Thursday, December 29, 2016

Family pictures

A very talented friend of mine, Beth Johnson, took our family pictures a month or so ago.  She captured some truly beautiful moments of this family I love so much.  I'm so grateful I have these and will always cherish them!  Here are a few of my favorites.

^ohhhh my heart.

^favorite picture of all time forever and ever

^baby boo who wasn't super interested in solo pictures (fruit snack bribe.)

I hope you had a very merry Christmas and that your new year is wonderful!! 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Something I saw

I really like catching up on InstaStories at the end of the day, and the other night, I was watching a blogger* share what she was eating as a late-night snack/treat.  Y' was a tub of cottage cheese with something equally as healthy mixed in.

Maybe I'm the only one in the universe that doesn't consider that a treat...or a snack...or anything I'd ever remotely eat.  But! If I ever...I mean EVER tell you that that's what I'm eating as an after dinner treat instead of a cookie/Phish Food/Dove have full permission to come over, (don't even take it from my hands) SMACK it from my hands, and drive me somewhere so I can get my head on straight again.

That's no way to live.

Treat yo self.

Happy Friday, Friends.  Not pictured ^ are my favorite earrings in the entire world and I'm giving away a pair today on my Instagram.  But definitely pictured is my 30 week baby....she'll be here before we know it!

*Disclaimer: She's a wonderful, beautiful person and I'm sure she's making many great life decisions.* 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A few fun things

It's officially time for Christmas jammies!  And these were the best Black Friday deal ever at Carters.

Here are a few links that I've been liking around the internet this week.

1- Oprah's Favorite Things list came out a few weeks ago and this was my favorite item on her list. Genius, I think...and how have I never seen this before or even thought of it before?!

2- We've had this dinner a couple of times over this past month.  Absolutely delicious and surprisingly very, very easy.

3- If I wasn't pregnant this Christmas, this top would be at the top of my list.

4- But since I am, and since I'm going to my friend's wedding in a few weeks, I'm trying to decide on a dress.  These four are strong contenders.... One, Two, Three, you have a favorite?! 

5- I really enjoyed reading these tips and ideas for a successful Christmas Cookie Exchange party from a fellow North Carolina blogger.

I hope you're having a great week!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Mini Pecan Pie Bites!!

When my sister and her husband came out for Thanksgiving, he referred to pecan pie as puh-kahn pie.  Jessica and I both jumped on that quickly and,'s pee-can pie.  

Flash back a couple of weeks...I was at my parent's house reading through their "Our State" magazine and saw the most genius idea and recipe I think I've ever seen.  Pecan pie BITES. Miniature pecan pies!!

I made them this week and they are not only insanely delicious....they are insanely easy to make.  My only regret is that I didn't double the recipe.  (Next week.)

Here is the recipe from the magazine written beautifully by chef Lynn Wells.

Yield: 2 dozen.
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans
Combine cream cheese, ½ cup butter, and flour in mixing bowl; mix well. Cover dough and chill 1 hour. Roll dough onto floured surface. Cut into 3-inch rounds and place in small muffin tins, pressing dough about ½ way up the sides. 
In a bowl, combine brown sugar, 2 tablespoons butter, egg, and vanilla; mix well. Spoon sugar mixture into each muffin cup and sprinkle with pecans. Bake at 325° for 20 to 30 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.
We had planned to take these treats to our neighbors, but that plate ^ was emptied ridiculously fast.  So we'll be making these again to actually give out.

The cutest little baker ever. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Christmas tradition: Santa Mailbox

When Charlie was just 9 months old, I started the tradition of taking him to visit the Santa mailbox in Cary, and we've done it every year since.  It's fun to sit at the table to write out Christmas lists, deliver them to this special mailbox, and get a reply from Santa a few days later. The boys love getting a letter back from Santa in the mail!

Here is the information for the Santa mailbox...they're doing it for 3 more days if you're interested!

And some pictures from dropping off their lists.....they asked for some pretty unrealistic things this year- a Nintendo game without the actual Nintendo ("we can play it at Mimi and Grandpa's house, Mommy!!"), and giant toys that would never fit in a toy bin (and that I would trip on at night while I'm getting my crushed ice) we had a conversation about how Santa brings things they can actually use.  :)  They HAVE been really sweet boys this year (and always)  so I'm sure Christmas morning will be special for them.

^looking SO dare you, Crew!!
^a light in his favorite!

Here are a few more advent calendar items that we did last year and had so much fun with!  

We're also really enjoying participating in our church's challenge of #Lighttheworld.  (The video is so good.)  I'm a firm believer in serving all year round, but with a season that can somehow become rushed and full of checking off to-do lists, I find it extra important to reach out to others and focus on why we actually celebrate Christmas.  

I hope y'all are having a wonderful December so far!

Monday, December 5, 2016

4 Things We Should Discuss about Gilmore Girls

^Standing in line at "Luke's Diner" a month or so ago^

I waited a few days to watch the Gilmore Girls revival...I needed everything to be perfect for the night I started it- boys in bed, candles lit, snacky snack ready to go.

I stopped "Winter" about 45 minutes into it because, for the life of me, I could not keep my eyes open.

I finally finished it....and even though I have enough thoughts to fill a 3 hour podcast, here are my 4 main thoughts from Gilmore Girls.

1.  Lorelei looked fantastic.  

Truly! Winter, in my opinion, was the perfect season to start with.  Whoever styled Lauren Graham for all 4 episodes did a fantastic job.  The opening scene ^ with her pink peacoat and poof toboggan (beanie) was absolutely perfect.  I felt this way the entire time with Lorelei's hair, makeup, and outfits.

Rory's style, on the other hand, looked like my style in the early 2000s.  Slightly *off*.  Slightly ratchet.  Slightly......why are you wearing business trousers with a sleeveless blouse and heels that just. don't. belong???!

^Seen here.  Rory looking confusing and Lorelei styled perfectly.  And Luke...wearing the same thing he's always maybe this is me being sexist.  

And one more thing about Lorelei's style.  Her Totes Y'all bag in Summer!!

I love Reese Witherspoon.  I love this Draper James bag.  And when I saw it, it gave me about 3 minutes of entertainment before the rest of the episode went on.

2.  I remembered how much Lorelei truly annoys me.

I dislike Lorelei's character just as much as I dislike Lauren Graham's character, Sarah Braverman, in Parenthood.  But somehow...I really like Lauren Graham playing these annoying, selfish, over-emotional human beings.  (Side note: did you know she has a book out? On my to-read list.)

In the first episode, at Lorelei's father's funeral, Lorelei's totally inappropriate comments about her dad post-funeral, and her reaction to her mother's totally appropriate response, brought all those feelings back.  

3.  I am Team Dean.

And I don't care who knows it.  

BUT! When Logan came on the screen for the first time, I literally gasped out loud.  And then thought...."how dare you look this beautiful, Logan!!  I can't betray Dean!!"

I loved Logan throughout the entire series.  The elaborate and stunning Life and Death Brigade scene was by far my favorite from the series...that Tango scene-gorgeous!! 

4.  The "Last Four Words"

Maybe this is an unpopular opinion, but I really like how they ended the show.  I think this is mainly because the entire series was unbearably boring and this actually got me excited and interested in what was going on.


*Rory is pregnant with the "Wookie's" baby and Jess steps up, marries Rory, and helps raise the child.   

*Rory is pregnant with Logan's baby and they finally get married and travel and have 10 different homes around the world and do all the amazing things that don't really happen in real life.

Are we getting a movie?  Another series?  What'd you think about the revival?

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Family Trip to Asheville

We went on a long-weekend trip to Asheville a couple of weeks ago.  Noel and I kept saying it was the perfect "fall trip"...the weather, the leaves, and everything was just gorgeous.

We toured the Biltmore House that morning.  Best decision for the house was getting each boy their own hand-held audio guide.  Totally worth every penny.  The guide was narrated by the Vanderbilt's dog, and the boys were super engaged throughout the tour.  After the tour in the actual house we walked around all the gardens...truly breathtaking!

After the tour, and getting a ridiculously expensive piece of chocolate each, we ate a yummy lunch at the Stable Cafe.  

Our original plan was to leave the Biltmore after lunch, but one of the tour guides told us about Antler Hill Village.  It's a village on the Biltmore property that was included with our regular ticket and it was my favorite part of the entire day.  I'm so glad we found out about it.  There was a petting zoo, crafts for kids, a playground, and lots of open space for corn hole and walking around.  We ended up staying on Biltmore property the entire day.

The next day we hiked one of the trails at Pisgah National Forest.  

It was really great to get away for a little bit with Noel and the boys. I hope y'all are having a great December so far!

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