Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thankful for...

His faithfulness 
Another year. 27.

Baking, baking, baking. I can't seem to keep myself out of the kitchen.
Having him home for the holidays.
Our military, firefighters, & police officers.
A warm, safe place to sleep.

Candles flickering.
The Hallmark Channel during the holidays.
Stationary, planners, notepad.
Early morning stillness.
Sunny winter days.


The anticipation of your mailbox flooding with Christmas cards.
Christmas decor.
Home decor in general.
Giving gifts.

Great friends.

New adventures.
Continental breakfast.
Road trips (one in particular coming up that I am not sure I can handle, more on that later).

A book you can't put down.
Chocolate chip cookies. Chocolate ice cream. Chocolate pie. Chocolate bar. Chocolate. 
Celebrating your birthday on Thanksgiving and feeling like everyone around the country is celebrating with you. 

[Dress: Melrose in the OC // Wedges: Rebels // Belt: Forever 21 // Earrings: Kohls // Bracelets: Forever 21 & Stien Mart // Necklace: Kendra Scott // Sunglasses: Ray Ban]

Wishing y'all the most wonderful Thanksgiving! Dress comfy, it's my birthday request! 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

chestnuts roasting on an open fire

This past weekend we drove up to Orange Country and spent the evening with our friends Bryan and Emmy. They created an entire evening to celebrate our birthdays including a fall dinner and roasting chestnuts! Every time we go up to their place I learn something new. Just a couple months ago we learned how to make almond milk. When they first suggested roasting chestnuts, I didn't even believe it was a real thing, I just thought it was a line in a song, but nope, it's real, and easier than you think...

  1. Before you roast chestnuts, cut a large X into the nut to prevent them from exploding and making them easy to peel when when you eat them.
  2. If the chestnut feels soft, it's probably bad. They should be firm to the touch.
  3. Next transfer nuts to a roasting pan or (what our friends did) use two disposable casserole dishes, add the chestnuts to one casserole dish and cover with the second casserole dish, flipped upside down. Seal with aluminum foil and cut holes in the top to allow heat to escape. Cook over open flame (grill or fire) for 15 to 20 minutes, shaking regularly so the chestnuts don't burn.
  4. Once done, move chestnuts into a bowl and cover with a towel (preferably a seasonal towel) and cover for 10-15 minutes so they can cool.
  5. Peel and enjoy!

*Emmy made a cinnamon butter to dip the chestnuts into and it was the perfect pairing.

Have you tried this before? You have to add it to your holiday traditions! It works so well for both, Thanksgiving and Christmas which makes it a perfect transitional tradition!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Monday Motivation

I know, I know I have been dreaming of sweater weather and all things cozy, but this weekend Southern California graced us all with balmy breezes and clear skies and it was a true gift.

We spent the afternoon cruising along the beach road with the windows down listening to the waves crash and the rustle of palm leaves in the wind.
It was peaceful and refreshing as we gear up for a busy (but fun!) week!

Friday, November 20, 2015

sweaters ($40 and under) i'm swooning over....

We're finally having sweater weather here, kind of. I've switched over to my fall/winter tops, so I am feeling hopeful that we'll get a little chill soon.
Here are a few that I have my eye on (or may have already purchased) for this season:

1 - This looks like Free People, but not $1050203, no? // 2 - I want this nowwwwwwww // 3 - Actually Free People, and I get so many compliments on this sweater! // 4 - I just bought my first fair isle sweater, and I can't wait to wear it! // 5 - The drape makes an outfit instantly chic, see here. // 6 - this with a simple pair of of black skinnies and black ballet flats. // 7 - I love the texture contrast // 8 - all things that glitter!  // 9 - a little edge

Thursday, November 19, 2015


This year, my birthday, lands on Thanksgiving! On the years that happens, it's extra special because I feel like people all around the country are celebrating with me! Plus, I get Pecan Pie for my birthday cake, or I better...

You guyssss, I cannot express to you how excited I am for this holiday season and these next couple of months as a whole. We're together for all of it and we have been creating new traditions and merging our families (more on those later). 

Really though, I just wanted to give y'all a heads up that my birthday is on Thanksgiving this year, I'll probably not so subtlety hint at it a few more times between now and next Thursday, just so you don't forget! 

[Top: Maurices // Blazer: C'est Toi // Jeans: Silver // Wedges: Blue & Shoes // Belt: Forever 21 // Chain Necklace: Forever 21 // Arrowhead Necklace: Express // Earrings: Forever 21]

I have to show you these adorable earrings my friend, Britney, sent me for my Thanksgivrthday!
Aren't they kind of perfect?!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

what's for dinner?

Over the weekend, in the midst of us running errands, my husband and I went into Barnes & Nobles. He can get lost in a books store for hours (actually, his whole family is the same way). I will admit, it's therapeutic. As we were leaving, I said, "If someone ever questions what their hobbies are, they just need to put themselves in a bookstore and see which sections they gravitate towards."

For me, it's Crafts & Hobbies and Cookbooks, Food & Wine, oh, and that section at the front with all the random bargain books, that section is my favorite. 

Cooking, or more the reason behind what cooking means, gathering of friends and family, has always been something I've enjoyed. A few months ago however, my husband and I started something called The Fresh 20. It's actually a plan Britney has been trying to get me to use for the last 3 years and after growing tired of meal planning and still going over our grocery budget, I finally gave The Fresh 20 a try. I can't give this meal plan service enough praise! The meals are healthy, no processed food, enough to feed a family of 5, if I am estimating, and they save time! For me, the best part of using this program is that it's taught me how creative I can get with certain ingredients, using them in ways I never thought of before.  The first time I went to the commissary with my grocery list, I remember throwing piles of vegetables into my cart and thinking there is no way this is going to make 5 full meals, but it did! 

These are two things from this week:
Crockpot Garlic Chicken with Capers - fall off the bone, tasted just like chicken picatta good!
Clams Casino Style
It has completely transformed what and how we eat. 

PS. As I was writing this I realized they offered an entire Thanksgiving (Fresh 20 style) meal for it's members! I printed it to save for the next time I host Thanksgiving, but I plan on using a few of the sides for Friendsgiving this year! ---- Thanksgiving is next week!! Yay - I cannot wait!

Monday, November 16, 2015

monday motivation

This year I have been learning to let go and forgive myself for my past mistakes, things I have held onto for far too long, and allowing them to be my testimony in place of  my shame.

Hoping this week and season, you will give yourself grace for things in your past. Instead of having them burden you, allow them to shape you.

Grace not perfection.