30 December 2015

NYE 2015

I'll be honest, we do very little for NYE. We typically watch a movie, play games, and eat appetizers until it's time for Dick Clark's Rockin' Eve. I feel like since we usually begin clean eating the next day we should whoop it up and pig out. So, here is what I'll be wearing.

If I was to go out however, I would probably get something a bit sparkly and inexpensive. The likelihood of wearing it afterwards may be slim to none so why spend a ton of money on your one night unless it is your wedding. I would go to Forever 21 have first. This, this, and this are all cute. If you want something you will wear again, this is so sweet! Just wear tights, sparkly earrings and heels and you'll fit right in for NYE bash.

If you think that those are a bit too young or slutty for you, you cannot go wrong with LBD, but I actually prefer navy. This one is perfection. Top it with a navy wool coat, broach, clutch, silver bow earrings, and Ferragamo's in silver or navy. I find parties to be quite warm so I would not wear hose, but if you think your legs will get chilled wear navy tights so as to make your legs look longer.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year's Eve!

*Contains Affiliate Links

28 December 2015

Christmas 2015

It has been a few days since my last post. We have been Christmasing it up. We went to a colleague of my husband's Christmas party, traveled for the holiday, and of course there was plenty of eating, merriment, and Hallmark Channel Christmas movie watching. I hope everyone had a most blessed holiday season. Here are a few photos from our travels. 

My mother uses the Spode Christmas Tree China and paraphanalia. 
While we were at my sister's house we had a tornado warning and had to leave to go back to my parent's house before it hit. This weather has been batty for sure.
We were thrilled to have our oldest son home from the Army. His base is not that far from my parent's house so he was able to come up. The only missing family member was our daughter whom could not get off of work in Cali. Mother bought a beautiful new tree. It is white feather branches that look like snow. She topped it with robin's egg blue ornaments; it is so elegant. The boys open their pajamas on Christmas Eve every year. It is a tradition that my parents began with my sister and which I have passed on to my children, whom I hope will continue the tradition.
My nephew, Will, and niece open presents (my niece did not want to be in the photo ;)
Here is a picture of my gorgeous niece and my equally gorgeous sister. Love them!
We went to Nana's house after the children opened their presents. In this photo my uncle is reading the Nativity story in the Bible. Once upon a time my grandfather read it every year and it has passed down the line of uncles and once my cousin's husband, whom is an associate pastor, have read it as everyone has aged. It is such a wonderful tradition. You know us Southerners. We love our traditions.
I just had to post this tender moment with Nana and Will...so special. Nana is 96 and we do not know how many more Christmases she will be with us and we cherish each one. 
I made this Christmas card on Red Stamp app. I intended to use one that used gold as that has been my theme this year, but my husband decided on this one. PS, I have lightened my hair considerably. I do not like this color, which is actually my natural hair color (mixed with a little white, thank you Papaw C., whom was white by the age of 50).

Did you all have a good Christmas? Please leave a comment with your Christmas traditions. I love to read what others do in their families. 


25 December 2015

Merry Christmas!

18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 
19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorceher quietly. 
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 
21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." 
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 
23 "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"--which means, "God with us." 
24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 
25 But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

Matthew 1:18-0 NIV

I hope and pray that all of my friends and family (If you read this blog you are a friend) have a very merry Christmas!

24 December 2015

Christmas Eve

Growing up my parents, sister, and I always enjoyed Christmas Eve together. We eat appetizers and watch home movies. Muzzie gave Father a "video camera" around 1972 so there are many home movies from before I came along that do not have sound so when they had those put on CD a few years ago they added this happy orchestral music that is very disco. It is fun to watch those and then after I came along with the upgraded camera. We laugh and laugh. Ever since Muzzie and both Papaws passed these movies are even more special.

Mother changes the appetizers every year, but I think her cheese ball is my favorite:

Pineapple Pecan Cheese Ball
2 (8 ounce) bricks of cream cheese, softened
1 (8.5 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
2 cups chopped pecans
1/4 cup green peppers, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. green onions, finely chopped
1 tsp. Lawry's seasoned salt

Mix all ingredients except for 1 cup of pecans in bowl and cover tightly; refrigerate overnight. Make into a ball and roll in remaining cup of pecans. Serve with crackers or celery.

What are your Christmas Eve traditions?

16 December 2015

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today
December 16, 2015

Outside my window... is so warm. It is just before 4:00 and 74* outside. It is unseasonably warm for December. There have been days of Christmas shopping in short sleeves, as I was today, but it is rare. Normally I would be fussing but this year, I'm fine with it. Tomorrow we cool down about 30* but by the weekend it will be back to highs in the 60's. It is safe to say the flannels I purchased to be worn on Christmas Day can be returned.

I am thinking about... how it does not feel like Christmas because of the weather. I had my car windows down with Christmas music playing on the stereo. Haha! 

I am thankful... that I am 95% finished with my shopping. I need to get teacher gifts tomorrow for Friday and that is it! 

I am wearing... black silky shorts with nautical flags and polo shirt

I am creating... my Christmas cards (well, writing them out). This is one of my favorite traditions.

I am going... no where else today. I went to Target, Walmart, GameStop, and Sam's Club earlier today. 

I am wondering... if my daughter will miss us as much as we will miss her next week.

I am learning... to just be. Changing people is not easy, but changing circumstances can be. Until then, I'll be content.

In the kitchen... dinner will be pasta for Will and I, while Bryan eats healthy salmon and brussel sprouts. 

I am reading... Love Does by Bob Goff.

Favorite Quote... 

A peek into my day... what is your opinion? Honestly, I'm over this tree since we've had it forever and I can't decorate it since it has all of these holly berries and pine cones all over it. B loves it though so I let it go but I think it needs more lights. 

10 December 2015

Teacher Gifts

For the first time in a few years I have a child back in traditional school setting so I'm back to giving teachers Christmas presents. Next Friday is Will's last day before winter break so I need to get it ready by then. I was thinking back to the presents that I have purchased for the many teachers over the years and these are the ones that received the most praise:

1. By far the best received presents were a gift bag with a bottle of wine and baguette from Trader Joe's. It was one of the easier gifts as well. So that the child is not expelled, walk the wine in and ask for it to be delivered or put in their mailbox. If your child is in middle or high school, this is a inexpensive, yet fancy gift for several teachers.
2. Trader Joes also has other gifts like their books of chocolate bars, scented soaps, and this year I noticed a shaving kit for the male teachers.
3. Writing supplies and stickers. Amazon has Sharpies for a good price right now. These personalized notebooks are adorable. Engraved pens are neat gifts, especially for male teachers.
4. If you have elementary aged children, I think the best thing you can give is a bunch of Bath & Body Works hand sanitizer and lotions.
5. Gift cards are perfect for any age. A Starbucks or Target gift card in a Starbucks travel cup with candy and Burt's Bees or EOS lip balms are perfect.

One year my son was really struggling to write so he wrote his teacher a letter thanking her for helping him and that made his teacher tear up. She said that knowing how difficult it was for him made it that much more special. I think everyone wants to know the work they do is valued and that is a super cheap, yet meaningful present.

Contains Amazon Affiliate Links.

08 December 2015

Happy Hanukkah & Feeling Festive (Not)

Happy Hanukkah! (or is it Chanukah?) I pray that everyone has a wonderful Festival of Lights. To my Jewish readers, do you enjoy getting gifts for 8 nights or would you rather have 1 day like Christians?

The tree is bare minus the lights and pine cones that come with it, but it is up and glowing. I will get the wreath, stockings, outside lights, and bed frame lights up this weekend. Bryson said today that it does not seem like Christmas. My cousin texted me and said it is difficult to get in the Christmas spirit in the 60's and 70's. We are used to it being warm when shopping; I had a Facebook photo last year of me in shorts and flip flops going Christmas shopping, so that's not it, but something is off. It's not festive. So, obviously something has got to be done. I'm thinking Stone Mountain Park on Saturday since it will be 75 so nice and warm but in a festive environment. It gets cool at night so the light show will be perfect to get us in the Christmas spirit.

Everyone is going on and on about the new Adele album. I listened to it during Thanksgiving since Anne bought it before our trip. Her voice is awesome, but I don't think it puts one in the Christmas spirit. So, if you're struggling to get into the Christmas spirit turn her off for a month and turn on Frank Sinatra Holiday station on Pandora, Elvis Christmas Album, or the pinnacle of my middle school years, 98 Degrees

Eggnog, hot cocoa, mulled wine, hot apple cider, etc. in fun holiday cups bring back memories of coming in from playing in the snow and warming up (the wine maybe not but it's still festive). Make sure you have lots of marshamallows (these are snowflake marshmallows!) and other toppings on hand. I bought some Organic Valley Eggnog that should help get us in the mood. 

Do you have young children? If so, there's nothing like making paper chains to countdown the days until Christmas. If you're Jewish, your children can make little star of David's for each day of Hanukkah. Make lighting the menorah or advent candles so special that they look forward to it each day. 
Of course Christmas movies are so necessary to get into the Christmas spirit. I mean, Hallmark Channel knows this so you'll shop in their stores during the season so they play holiday movies 24/7. I have about 10 recorded on my DVR that I'm slowly working my way through. Netflix has several but Youtube has a lot, such as my favorite Eloise. I love her! 

I think once we start getting Christmas cards, shopping is finished, and get around family it will seem more like Christmas. In the meantime, I'll do the things above to help foster festive feelings. 

Happy Hanukkah!

03 December 2015

Thanksgiving Recap

As I type this, I'm listening to Christmas music and basically trying to forget about all of the terrorism. My daughter lives about an hour and a half north of San Bernadino and so that does not make me too happy about all of that. Michaela said there's tons of police out. Anyway, for something happier, vacation recap as promised.

Michaela arrived in town on the 17th. She went back and forth from her friends to sleeping at our house. It felt like she had not left! It was so good to have her home. Her goofiness is shining through in that photo. Haha! Miss that sweet girl. We left on the 22nd and drove to Kentucky to spend the night at my parent's house. 
Around the dining room table my father began regaling his stories of his time in the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard. He showed us his formal hats for Bryson to try on. Bryson wore his Coast Guard hat and it looked so good. I think that Bry needs to give this whole Coast Guard thing a thought. I could not handle another son in the Army, Navy, or Marines, but Coast Guard won't be too scary for this mama's heart. Father and Bry look a lot alike here.
The next afternoon we drove the rest of the way to northern Ohio to spend the next few days with my in-laws. 
I like to ride in skirts/dresses since they are much more comfortable to me than pants or leggings. Oh my. It was chilly and windy and my legs were frozen! If you follow me on Instagram, you'll see a video of us driving up to the farmhouse at night.
My sister-in-law gave Bryan a quilt with my mother-in-law's old shirts. It. Is. So. Special! Here are more images of us and my great nephew, Wyatt, great niece, Reagan.
Wyatt was a dancing king!
After Thanksgiving lunch, which I managed NOT to get a picture of (insert hand to forhead slap here), we played games and enjoyed watching the babies open their presents from Bryan and I. The next morning we left for the airport early to drop Michaela off and then we headed down to my parent's house again. It was so nice to be with her and hope to go out there in the spring.
My birthday was on Friday so I got my free Trenna pumpkin spice iced coffee and splurged on a snowman cookie. That was sooo needed on my 4 hours of sleep. 
Mom and the other Reagan at birthday dinner. It was yummy! I asked for BBQ, macaroni and cheese, and whatever else they wanted. I think I over dosed on Velveeta. Oh but it was so good. I looked at a few photo albums with my sister of when our children were little and took a few photos. Watch for #TBT's on Instagram. I wonder if my parents wish that they did not have a child that is in social media? ;)
We came home with a super sick kid here. He and my husband always get ill when we go up there. The farmhouse is well over 100 years old and so their allergies get horrible. Bry kept feeling bad so I took him to the pediatrician yesterday after he was up all the night before wheezing. He had an "extreme obstruction". Basically he was breathing through a straw. He's on steroids, inhalers, and allergy medication. The good news is we have a medical treatment plan for our next visit to Ohio. It wouldn't be a holiday without a sick child. We had a nice time visiting with my sweet Father-in-law whom is dealing with some health issues, my crazy nieces and nephews, and my parents.

How were your Thanksgiving's? 

01 December 2015

Welcome December

We are home now so a Thanksgiving recap post is coming. Thinking back, I should have scheduled a few posts prior to leaving, but the plan was to do one post at my parents house then use my hotspot for an additional one or two more. Somehow we burned all of our data before we made it to Ohio! My sweet Father-in-Law does not have wifi, or even own a computer. Isn't that cute? Anyway, now it is time to enjoy my favorite month of the year...DECEMBER!

So, what did y'all buy on Black Friday and Cyber Monday?


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