Friday, December 30, 2011

Friday's Fancies: New Year's Eve

I feel like I'm repeating myself with this Friday's Fancies post, because the sparkle and shine post would have been my dream New Year's Eve outfit. I ended up getting the Tory Burch bag that I posted that week, so now it will go from dream to reality. That was Santa's really big surprise to me (I had never asked for it and totally didn't expect it). Thanks mom and dad!

Instead of making another dream New Year's Eve outfit, I decided I'll just post my reality New Year's Eve outfit and then ask for a little help. With all the sparkling and shining I'm doing, I don't know if I should/can wear a necklace or what jewelry to wear really and also if the tights are really necessary? The dress is a little on the short side.

The dress and tights are both Express, the earrings I picked up at anthropologie, and the shoes are Zara.

I'm headed to dinner and then to a party at someone's house where we're all dressing up. But of course, it's always important to match and not go over the top. Do you like it like it is or do you think I should wear bracelets or lose the tights? Any and all suggestions are appreciated! And link up your outfit with {av}

What are your New Year's Eve plans? Any resolutions? I will absolutely be making some and reviewing 2011 and plan to do so at the beginning of next week with the fresh start of 2012. There's a lot of great stuff for this year!

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Bossypants


I told you I'd be finished with Christmas posts...but I might sneak in a tidbit or two for the next couple of days if there are things that I remember that I want to share. I just won't theme anymore of my posts around Christmas. And Christmas is officially over as I'm driving back to Tampa all day long today. 
It's not the worst drive in the world--a little over eight and a half hours plus a stop along the way. I made it home mostly because of Tina Fey and her book Bossypants. Have you read it?
If not, I assure you that it is absolutely worth the read. It's a story of her life, and in the audiobook it is told by her, which only makes it all the more hilarious.

A terribly brief synopsis: she talks of her childhood and high school life as a young Greek American misfit who found her way in the theatre kids and older outcasts at Summer Stage. She heads to UVA where she was desperate to find a boyfriend but found herself only feeling more of an outsider as a guy she likes confesses his love for another girl to her while climbing a mountain together. She starts here professional life working at a YMCA before joining Chicago's improv troupe: Second City. And of course she discusses her time on SNL and 30 Rock as well as a failed cruise where the ship almost caught on fire and sunk; it was her honeymoon. I haven't quite finished it and save the mommy bit (and a whole 20 minutes) to save on the car ride home. 

There are three quotes that I happened to type down while driving that will give you a teeny sense of the amazingness and hilarity of this memoir. 

"You can't boss people around if they really don't care."--and ain't it the truth? She has a whole life lesson to go along with this, and I laughed out loud.

"Speak in statements with your words and actions."--she spends a bit of time talking about the importance of standing up for yourself as a woman. I really enjoyed that part.

And this one is the funniest but also the most true: "People only say 'you really must...' when it's something you really don't have to do..." She is talking here about breastfeeding and how it didn't work for her and how people kept telling her "you really must give your child the gift of breastfeeding" but how no one will come up to you and say "you really must breathe" or statements of similar necessity. Another moment I laughed out loud in the car while strangers I'm sure looked at me sideways while passing.

So after I finish the last few minutes of this in the long car ride home, I'm going to start on Bill Bryson's  I'm a Stranger Here Myself. Read it? It's stories of the quirkiness of American culture told by a columnist who moved back to America after living in London for 20 years. I'm looking forward to it!
Have you read either Bossypants or I'm a Stranger Here Myself? How do you get through long car rides when you're driving? Or when you're riding? What other books in this vein would you recommend? I'm looking at the Mindy Kaling book next.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hey! I've got some new shoes on...{last Christmas post}

I can't stop with Christmas posts! I've had such a great Christmas with family, gifts, and traditions that I have so much stuff to share. I wanted to share some Christmas Eve pictures as well as my gifts with you today (because I love seeing what everyone else got), even though it's a bit out of order.

 Baxter got so worn out by all the Christmas festivities it took him two days of non-stop napping to recover. 
 Mom made homemade thumbprint cookies, red velvet cupcakes, and peanut butter cookies (not shown). She had to cheat with a box chocolate cupcake, which I said was obviously acceptable.
 My sister and I exchange gifts on Christmas Eve. It's one of our traditions. She pegged me with her gifts, and I thought a lot about what to get her.
Grandma had a nice Christmas as well. We got her a new computer, as the one that she's been using is very outdated. We're going to get her a webcam and show her how to Skype with us.

Now for my loot. Here are my gifts that I love love so much! You'll probably recognize a lot of it from past blog posts!

From mom and dad I got

the Tory Burch crossbody bag, the Seychelles wedges I've been wanting for a full year, new slippers, the NAKED palette, and Nike Running tights. I also got some BaubleBar jewelry, nail polish, and some money! It was an amazing Christmas.

From Grandma, the holy grail of boots were unwrapped.

Do you remember how many times I put these into outfit and Friday's Fancies posts?

And from my sister, I received

a chann luu bracelet that I've also posted multiple times and a blogger's book of style.

I got Kacey

Anthropologie candlestick, earrings, headband, and scarf as well as some personalized Erin Condren notepads. I was happy with my gift because those were all things that she had asked for. She liked them as well!

Tim got me the books I showed you before, and then the rest of his gifts hadn't arrived when I left for Chattanooga, so I'll have another little mini Christmas when I get back to Tampa!

I hope Santa (and your family) was good to you and you have a wonderful end to 2011! 
What was your favorite gift?

This is my last Christmas post. I promise! It's just been such a wonderful holiday season!

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Morning in Tennessee

We had a wonderful Christmas, and Santa brought us everything that we could have possibly wanted and so much more. This was one of the best Christmas's we've had because of how little time we get to spend together normally and how much we appreciated and all loved our gifts. My mom is now swearing that this blog is the reason behind her successful gift giving. And it's funny, because everything I got has appeared in a blog post or two (or three) in the past. She's now telling my sister that she needs to get a blog too...and I definitely wouldn't object to that!
I spent 2 hours making this thing above in photoshop, and I'm so frustrated that it won't appear as large as it did in photoshop. So anywho, I hope that Santa was good to you and you enjoyed the time with your family.

Since I've been home I've also been going to yoga daily and attended an hour and a half spin class on Saturday. Both of those are major first for me. And I'm loving yoga. Do you do yoga? The only think that I can't figure out is how to categorize it...I'm doing hot vinyasa-esque yoga. Any help here?

What was your favorite gift you received? What was the gift you were most excited about giving? 
I think my favorite gift was my Tory Burch crossbody bag, and my favorite gift to give was either the Erin Condren notepads to my mom and sister (although not their biggest gifts from me, they're the ones I planned the longest for) or the Netflix year long subscription to my dad (from both my sister and me).



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Monday, December 26, 2011

Instagram Target Post-Christmas Sale

I had an amazing Christmas in every way. We had our breakfast casserole on Christmas morning before opening gifts, mom and dad went before my sister and me, and we took our time lingering on each gift so that we could draw out Christmas as long as possible. We do that every year. I'll share a few Christmas gifts with you, but first I just had to share my Target after-Christmas haul through Instagram.

I mentioned that I was going to get more decor for Tim and my first married Christmas at our own house, and I thought the best way to do it would be for 50% off. We're going to have our first tree together next year!
Everything was 50% off, and I loaded up on wrapping stuff, ornaments, stocking holders, and other fun little Christmas items. It really wasn't too crazy, and I'm thrilled with my loot. Now I just have to wait until next year to use it! That will be the hardest part.

I'm linking up with a {little} dash of ash for Instagram Monday
You can follow me on Instagram with username lttlegrlbigwrld

What was your favorite Christmas moment this year? What was the best gift you received? 
I'll be back tomorrow to share more Christmas.




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Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas in Chattanooga

I hope you have a Merry Christmas or wonderful whatever holiday you celebrate! I took pictures of the decorations around my parents' house that I thought I would share. My mom takes such pride in her Christmas decorations, and there are so many elements that I absolutely love. My favorite, without a doubt, is the Christmas village.


I'll be back Monday. Enjoy the time with your friends and families.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

almost Christmas!


Thanks for all the well wishes. I did end up getting a dress on Tuesday, and I just adore it. It is perfect, and I totally had the whole wedding dress experience and have absolutely no question that this is THE dress. But obviously I can't share it on here since Tim is a semi-regular reader...

Around here we've been getting ready for Christmas and also exchanging a few gifts. I'm headed up to Chattanooga today by car for the last Christmas sans Tim, and he's getting ready for his family's Christmas Eve tradition. They do an ugly sweater contest and white elephant gift exchange. Tim had a beautifully hideous Christmas vest last year, but this year we went to the next level. I helped him craft an ugly Christmas blazer. It's horrible--and perfect.
Between hot gluing tinsel to the bottom and wrists and ironing 'Christmas!' onto the back, I think we've got all the ugly covered. And in case all of that overkill didn't do it, I threw on a sequin patch to really drive home the ugly. I made him put his hands in his pocket to show off the tinsel, and he was a good sport for the pictures.
Tim is cracking me up because he loves how horrible it is and is dead set on winning. I'm not sure what the prize is, but I said it must be split since I'm the one that made it.

We also exchanged a few gifts tonight. Everything from Tim to me hadn't come in yet, but I got one of the things that I was most excited about--some books!
I'll definitely be bringing these home with me to peruse while hanging out with the family. I asked for all of them and am hoping to get some ideas on redesigning our town home, since we won't be buying a house after we get married. I also hear that Lauren Conrad had some great tips about closet editing in her book, so I'll share any tips I learn!

I hope you have a great Thursday. Christmas is so soon! I can't believe how quickly 2011 passed us by.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

christmas cheer


For the first time ever, I sent out Christmas cards! My family growing up never sent them, even though my sister wanted to send them every year, so it's not been a tradition for me. I love receiving cards, though, and I realized that if I want to keep getting cards it would also be nice to send some myself! I used 3 boxes of the cutest cards from Target to send to bloggers, friends, and family.

I also setup a little display of the cards on my bar area backed by two sparkly (would you expect anything different) nutcrackers supporting the whole display. In fact, they're so important to the stability that when I knocked on yesterday I ended up having to pick up several cards off the floor.
This will be my last treeless year in Tampa, as Tim and my first Christmas together will absolutely include having our own tree (we've never actually spent Christmas together because our families live hours apart and he has a less than flexible work schedule). I'm also dedicated to putting more thought into my Christmas decor for next year. This year I have quite a bit out, but I need to more thoughtfully place it. Some of your houses are just so incredibly amazing!

I'm packing up and driving to Chattanooga on Wednesday or Thursday, and I'm going wedding dress shopping again tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Are your holidays sending you out of town? Where ya headed? Who's coming to you?
 
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Monday, December 19, 2011

birthday weekend

I'm a big believer in making the most of birthdays or birthweeks; Tim's birthday was on Saturday, and with a little help from my mom, I think I put together a nice few days for him. On Friday my mom had cupcakes delivered from Crumbs in New York, which is Tim's favorite cupcake place. He has had them now for the past few birthdays, and it's come to be a bit of a tradition.
There are still quite a few left, as we always split every cupcake so that we get to enjoy and taste all of the difference flavors. The double you can see is the Red Velvet, which is both of our favorites.

I had given Tim his presents early, as he had wanted a nice new colored Southern Tide shirt to wear for our engagement pictures last Wednesday and had weaseled me into giving him his wireless headphones on Friday night. I still wanted him to have something to open on his actual birthday, so I threw a few fun things together for Saturday when he got home from work. 
I love the little "serving smiles daily" flags that are stuck into each cupcake

On Saturday night we went out to dinner with a number of friends, where I embarrassed Tim by having him order dessert so we could sing Happy Birthday. He doesn't like having attention on just him, but you need a candle for your birthday! I think he may have secretly enjoyed it. I lived the moment and didn't get any pictures, but we had a great time.

I spent Sunday cleaning, organizing, and setting up Christmas cards. My major organizing project was really exciting, so I want to share that in it's own exciting to me post. 

Do you have any birthday traditions? Are you a big birthday celebrator? I had a girlfriend in college that would send out what she was planning each night of her birthday week and you could just tell her when you would join. I always loved it and would try to go to at least two or three nights.

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday's Fancies: Sparkle and Shine



It's been a while since I've linked up with {av} for Friday's Fancies, but because of my love for sparkle and glitter I couldn't possible miss this week. The theme is Sparkle and Shine!


This would legitimately be my absolute dream new year's eve outfit without any shadow of a doubt. I love everything about it. I've wanted Louboutins for ages, I adore this Tory Burch Crossbody, and with the dress and earrings, it's enough gold sparkle without being too much, I think.

I'm also learning a lot more about Photoshop and am really loving the fun that I've had with it. A few bloggers lately have been posting tips and tricks that I'm using, and The Coffeeshop Blog and Pugly Pixel are fantastic sites to look to for information, tools, and tricks on Photoshop.

This weekend is Tim's birthday, and my mom sent him Crumbs cupcakes that should arrive today...so I'm just sitting here waiting on the FedEx man. I'm out of school on break for a few well deserved (I think) weeks and am looking forward to spending time with family and friends, cookie more often, making some treats, and getting some chores and housework done. I sent off a huge batch of Christmas cards yesterday and will be dropping the rest in the mail today!

Have a wonderful Friday!

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: Registry Favorites

After our engagement party two weekends ago and our shower this past weekend, Tim and I have received a number of very thoughtful and kind gifts. And as I mentioned in my post about the engagement party, it really isn't the gifts that matter at this time; it's the amazing friends and family that we are so blessed to have. The gifts are just the fun addition.

And from what we registered for initially, we've received quite a bit. We may need to add a bit more for spring showers and the wedding. But from what we've received, here are a few of my favorites and why. If you're a bride or soon to be, think about some of what I've received.

And if you're a bride or have recently been, what are some suggestions that you have for things to add that I may not have thought of?
I cheated an bought these pillows off the registry on Tuesday because they're no longer available in store or online, and I happened to find a few after searching high and low. But they're on my registry, so they count. And I love them because they have so many great colors in them and can easily be incorporated into any color scheme.

The Le Creuset line is amazing, and I already love the casserole dish we received from a friend. It's stoneware and distributes heat evenly, and I know Tim will really love it once I use it to cook a casserole or some enchiladas.

I am finally the owner of some All-Clad cookware; the measuring cups and spoons along with the multi-pot are amazing and such fantastic quality.

And from a great family friend, we received our Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer! It's up in Chattanooga waiting on me to drive up for Christmas to bring it home with me. And I can't wait. Tim has been so excited about this one too, because he knows what goodies will come from it!

We received many other fun and beautiful things that I can't wait to use!

Question for you: can I use this stuff before the wedding, or is that bad luck?
And what were some of your favorite registry items that I might think of adding?

And to go along with Wedding Wednesday, we're having our engagement pictures taken today! I can't wait to share some!

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

pictures or a story?


Before you read my post here, go check out my guest post at join the gossip. I picked out my stocking stuffer choices.

We got back from Chattanooga on Monday afternoon and walked into our hot mess of a house. That's neither here nor there, but I will have my work cut out for me getting things in order in our regular lives after all the parties we've had lately. 

This weekend was another wonderful wedding shower put on by one of my bridesmaids, Blair, and her parents Iris and Lee. It was amazing. There was sushi and sushi and pinterested rainbow fruit sticks along with anything else that you can name. She even ordered eggplant thumb print cookies to go with our colors! It was so thoughtful. I have some pictures to share, but instead of again regaling you with stories of how loved and special I felt, I want to share the plane ride back. 

Before going into that, thank you so so much Blair, Iris, and Lee. You had such an amazing and wonderful party and Tim and I can't thank you enough!
I swear to you this plane ride was like none I've ever been on, and for the strangest reasons.

We had this man sitting the row behind us and across the aisle that was seriously intoxicated and seemed to be a bit disoriented. Before boarding the flight he told the desk attendant that he hadn't been on a plane since 1971, right after Vietnam. Lucky for me I had no headphones and just got to listen to this man talk.
After asking the man sitting next to him what he was doing on his typewriter, that man decided he wanted nothing to do with him. But the inebriated man didn't stop. He continued talking about how religious St. Petersburg (Florida) is, and how there must be 25 religions. He asked several people how much they paid for the flight, and he said he hadn't been to Tampa in 30 years and hoped nothing that changed. It was a riot.

And while I was thinking about talking to him, because he was clearly desperate for conversation, he seemed to be easily angered a few times, and I didn't want to have a new friend that we had trouble parting from (I'm not really sure he knew where he was going when he got off the flight).
While he continued telling tales, the woman in front of me across the aisle threw me for another loop. While I'm usually not one to judge a book by its cover, this woman must have been 65-70, and wasn't dressed in the most up to date fashion. She reminded me of someone you would see on Food Network kneading dough in the back of the kitchen at a family restaurant. 

However, she surprised me several times. First of all, she was video taping the plane on her smart phone before we took off. She was all over this massive screened droid like it was her life. After taking off and being told that we could use technology, she whips out her iPad and read about a slew of eastern European countries on some country data app she had. 
I had no headphones and was too tired to read, so I just listened to this man while watching this lady. And at the same time I soaked in the giggles of the man in the back row and the flight attendant conversing about their next destination and what kind of work they do (...she was at work buddy).

It was one odd flight, and while I wouldn't normally share such a mundane story with you, I hope some of you can appreciate all of the ridiculousness that ensued.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend. We certainly did. 

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Friday, December 9, 2011

...on a jet plane


I'm on my way out of town again. I think my parents may get sick of seeing me between Thanksgiving, our engagement party, this weekend's wedding shower, and then Christmas. They keep telling me it's not possible, but I wonder if there's a little dance when we part.

Just dropping in to share a quick few things on this Friday (yippee).

1. Modcloth is really a great place to get dresses. It's not usually my first go to, but I found a cute dress to wear to the shower this weekend the other day.
And it's called the engagement party dress. How fun?

2. I wish I had seen these shoes earlier, because I totally would have gotten them to wear with black tights and this dress. 
They're from Zara, and I'm not past buying them for no reason...maybe new years shoes? It's weird that I'm posting two shoe-related posts in a row...I've never known myself to be a shoe person.

3. I was in a hurry the other day and needed a quick lunch at a fast food restaurant. I never ever eat fast food besides my beloved Dunkin Donuts, Chick-fil-a, or Subway. But there was a Wendy's, and it was convenient. And I have to say...

The Apple Pecan Chicken Salad is a healthy, yummy, easy grab.
It comes with pomegranate dressing, candied pecans, gorgonzola cheese, warm chicken, and craisins. It's delicious. And it's only 340 calories for the half size. If you need a quick lunch, I would absolutely recommend it.

4. I found the best Christmas cards to send at Target yesterday, and even though I'm swamped by thank you notes, I'm planning to send out these cards to friends and family. They're precious. I can't wait to show you (but I can't yet).

And if you are participating in the holiday card swap, be sure to send your cards by tomorrow too!

5. I've always wanted to say, got to run! My plane is boarding! And even though it's not, it probably will be soon. So I'll cut this one short. 
I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Mine will be filled with friends, family, and chilly weather in Chattanooga! I love this time of year!

What are you up to? What could you add to a Five Things Friday?

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