Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!


Wishing you all a beautiful Christmas filled with love, hugs and happiness...
tucked into each stocking,
resting softly beneath the tree,
nestled into every corner of your world.
Love Brittany and Daniel

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Frosted Rosemary Sprigs with Cranberries {Drink Garnish}

I made these for our Christmas party this year. They are so easy to make and they look really pretty. I paired mine with a Brut Champagne (but I'm sure they would work with a variety of drinks}. The rosemary is very aromatic -- a lovely little surprise that lingers in your glass. 

Here's what you'll need: 
5 inch or longer rosemary sprigs {= to # of glasses you'll be serving}
1 bag of fresh cranberries
1 bowl of water
1 cup of sugar {for dusting}

 ^^^ strip the rosemary so that just the top needles are left. Spear each cranberry in the middle and push it up towards the top.

 ^^^Dip the Rosemary needles into the water bowl and then into the sugar. Tap to get any excess sugar off.

^^^Then put them in the freezer and take them out just before your guests arrive.





Yay For Christmas Time!

I just LOVE Christmas Time! If it were up to me, I would have our tree up the day after Halloween. I think Thanksgiving and Christmas go hand in hand, right? I guess Dan would be embarrassed or something, so we waited until after Thanksgiving this year to decorate our beloved Christmas tree. On December 1st, Dan and I turned on the Pandora Christmas station, sipped eggnog and hung up our Christmas decorations. And then we wrapped ourselves in blankets and watched the Grinch {Dan's all-time favorite}. Now why can't we celebrate Christmas year round? I love this fun stuff.

^^^ Dan cut a wafer from our Christmas tree trunk last year and I made into an ornament so we could always have a little piece of our first Christmas from 2012. {Just let the wafer dry for a few months and use a soldering iron to burn words or a design into the wood -- super easy}.

^^^We found some snow on a hot chocolate walk with friends! The church around the corner made snow for us to play in...I mean the kids, for the kids to play in.

^^^I tried my hand at making snowflakes out of coffee filters. Pretty cool huh?

^^^ A Christmas Wreath Party with neighbors. We all brought our own wreaths and decorated them together while listening to Christmas music and drinking pomegranate mojitos! My kind of party :)

^^^ The finished product!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Great Christmas Gifts! BIRCHBOX {For Him or Her}

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Our Thanksgiving!

 
^^^I know it's a tad on the late side, but I hope you all had a wonderful thanksgiving! We had Thanksgiving with my Parents and our HUGE extended family. So, I might have gone a bit overboard with all these pictures of the table, but I think my Mom did and amazing job -- she should be a party planner...right?
 
 
^^^We reused the candle holders from our wedding. What a great investment...I think we've used them for every party since then!
 
              
                        ^^^Mom...you are killing me with the bitty butterflies and acorns! Too cute!
 
 
^^^ My cousin Charlie and hubby Dan. Dan teases Charlie for being a frat boy and Charlie teases Dan for being a surfer...basically they love each other. 
 
 
^^^My Dad is the turkey master. Our family loves to have potluck style dinners -- everyone brings their favorite dish. We have a huge family, so having one person cook the entire meal would be insane. I was in charge of bringing pureed candied yams and rosemary potatoes and carrots. I really got into it and sprung for the fancy multi colored carrots at Traders. Is it weird that I was excited about carrots? 
 
 
Because no Grams party is complete without a coffee station and butter cookies...^^^ Nice Mom ;)
 
 
^^^Meet my Family. Mom is up front and Dad is at the other end. Everyone in between is an Uncle, Aunt or cousin + about 20 more not pictured! My mom was the youngest of 8 kids and Dad was the oldest of 3 kids...who all grew up and had 2-6 kids of their own. So family holiday parties are of epic proportions.

 
 
^^^One of my Aunts always brings a box of See's Candy. It's sort of a tradition for family gatherings...one that I take full advantage of {I secretly snuck the rest of the box home when everyone had left}. And on the right is my Danny. This is what his face permanently looks like. ^^^
 
^^^And then we had a Friendsgiving with all of our friends who were still in town. We originally were going to have it in our tiny house {in the backyard},  but it rained all day, so my parents offered their house. How nice :) Well that made things super easy....everything was still set up from Thanksgiving, so we just cooked a new turkey and everyone pitched in with leftovers.
 
 
 
^^^The table looks so different at night! I love me some ambiance and candles!
 
                                          And then we had hot cider and beers in the backyard^^^
It was a great Thanksgiving! We have SOOOOO much to be thankful for! I/we couldn't be more blessed.
P.S. It is now officially CHRISTMAS TIME!
Woot Woot. Lets go get a Christmas tree!

Monday, December 2, 2013

50 Ways to Celebrate Life


 
 
1. Surround yourself with positive people.
 
2. Get involved in a charity or volunteer work. Do something good for your community.
 
3. Breathe deeply. Deep, slow belly breaths are good for reducing stress levels. 
 
4. Eat healthy foods. Your body will thank you immensely!
5. Laugh, laugh, laugh every day!

6. Dance! Turn up the tunes and shake it!
 
7. Have a yard sale. Declutter your home while making some money or you can also donate it!

8. Redecorate a room. Change can be a good thing, even if it’s just rearranging the furniture.

9. Go to your local farmers market for fresh produce. Support your local farmers.

10. Go out to dinner with friends and try new exotic cuisines.

11. Indulge in a piece of dark chocolate cake and cup of coffee while watching your favorite show, reading a book or sitting on the porch etc.

12. Travel as often a possible. See new places and learn about different cultures. Be humble and open to different ways of life when visiting other countries.

13. Take a slow walk with someone you love. Hold their hand.

14. Grow your own garden. Plant flowers, fruits, veggies and herbs that you like to smell and eat!

15. Clean the house while listening to your favorite music. It’s nice to feel organized.

16. Treat yourself to an item that you’ve been wanting for a long time. You’re worth it…you work hard. It’s ok to get something nice for yourself once in a while.

17. Spend time with your family.

18. Play a classic board game ex: Monopoly, Pictionary or Scrabble. Have a game night with your family and friends.

19. Drink red wine…one glass a day is great for your heart

20. Go on a date with your spouse, bf/gf or a lovely friend.

21. Write your letters by hand -- it's becoming a lost art and handwritten letters are beautiful and personal. Someone will definitely cherish your effort.

22. Learn something new {outside of your box}…Latin Dance, Trapeze or Karate. It may just be the greatest thing ever!

23. Keep a journal. Write down your thoughts, ideas or feelings.

24. Go for a bike ride. Bring picnic supplies.

25. If you’re tired, take a nap. You need it.

26. Exercise and establish healthy habits.

27. Take a mental health day.

28. Sleep in on the weekends. If you have little ones, take turns with your spouse. “You take Saturday, I’ll take Sunday.”

29. Get a massage, take care of your body…it's got to last you a lifetime J

30. Wear sunscreen, protect your beautiful skin!

31. Literally "smell the roses" when you take a walk. Enjoy them.

32. Have a technology-free day, weekend, or week {this is a hard one}. Go and spend a day outside at the beach, hiking, riding bikes etc.

33. Spend quality alone-time with yourself.

34. Call someone just to tell them how much you love them.

35. Snuggle and kiss babies as often as possible.

36. Have a spontaneous day. No schedules allowed. Follow your heart.

37. Reminisce with friends over old pictures.

38. Stay in your PJ’s all day.

39. Smile more.

40. Read a book. A real book. With pages.

41. Close your eyes, get in a quiet space and meditate, pray or reflect on your day and the people you love.

42. Once in a while be sure to take a leap - a big giant leap- do something that’s scary and watch how life supports you! You’ll never what will happen if you’re too afraid to make a move.

43. Write love notes.

44. Tune into the fact that there is only one you and you are here for a special reason. Leave every place better than you found it.

45. Do something nice for someone else. Share your gifts.

46. Forgive. Grudges weigh on your heart…life is too precious to spend it unhappy

47. Host a party and cook an outrageous meal to share with the people you love.

48. Give long hugs.

49. Follow the path that matters most. What makes you happy? If you're happy, the people around you will be happy too. 

50. Be grateful for EVERYTHING that has been brought into your life. Even challenging times can shape us into stronger, wiser people.

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