Going Out With Some Style!

Well, 2012 is almost here! There is something about how "2012" sounds that gets me all excited. It just has a nice ring to it. Know what I mean?

Before I explain this beauty of a dress, let me be honest about something. I have zero plans for attending a New Year's Eve party this year. The plan is for me to be safe and sound at home with a glass of champagne. The plan is also for me to be awake at midnight. We'll see how that goes. That's just how I'm rollin' this year. Am I the only one?

So about the outfit. If I were to go out, this is what I would want to wear. I'm not sure how much longer sequins will be in, but I would certainly take advantage of this fabulous trend by wearing a little sparkle. I would probably throw on a pair of opaque black tights if it's a bit nippy out. 

The dress says it all to me, so my accessories would be nice and simple. I LOVE that YSL bracelet. It's on sale for $711. I'll race you to buy it! Ha. I think the teardrop earrings would be perfect- especially if I wore my hair back or up. The ring is the cherry on top. It's simple, yet makes a statement. Oh and the shoes... Jimmy Choo platforms. Delicious.

What are your plans for New Years??? Whatever they are, be safe!

Linking up with Friday's Fancies (for the first time I might add)!

P.S. If you want to avoid nursing a hangover on New Years Day, refer to Gwyneth Paltrow's blog post from yesterday. It might help... :)

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In My Spare Time...

I've had the opportunity to enjoy this thing called spare time this week. I totally forgot how wonderful it is. I am sitting here now watching The Holiday for the 105th time (which might actually be accurate), a clean house and unpacked bags. I am thankful.

Spare time calls for something that I am incredibly addicted to. It starts with a "P." I have been pinning like crazy all week- both on my computer and my iPhone. It's dangerous because it makes me want to...

paint my entire house and buy new furniture TODAY, not tomorrow...

buy chalkboard paint and have a last minute wine and cheese party...

call California Closets to see if they have availability for an appointment TODAY, not tomorrow...

Max out my credit card just on jewelry alone...

and accessorize my toilet. Ha.

But even after all of those thoughts, Pinterest has a way of reminding me of what's really important...

Amen to that.

Linking up with The Vintage Apple!

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Holiday Highlights: Christmas Day

Hi there! Are you still enjoying your week? I wanted to share the last of my Christmas photos with you. I was walking around my house like a mad woman with a camera trying to capture images of the special day.

Starting with breakfast. I made cinnamon rolls for my brother. I wish I could say they are homemade, but they are straight out of the can (Grands) and they are GOOD. I also made this banana bread minus the chocolate chips...

While breakfast was baking, my brother and I organized all of the gifts by person. We put them by each person's spot, which have been the same spots for years.

My 20-something year old brother still loves legos and my dad is retired from NASA. We bought my dad a new shuttle for his home office... 

My brother and his lovely girlfriend spent the afternoon putting it together. He is lucky to have a girlfriend who also doesn't mind legos... :)

I got a few cookbooks- Barefoot in Paris and Nigella Christmas! I read them like books. Is that crazy?

My mom's cat, Miles Davis. Empty boxes were his Christmas present. He loves them.

Aren't these wine holders cute? Mom got them from the Dollar Tree...

We wanted to mix things up a little this year, so we had gumbo for Christmas dinner instead of the traditional turkey dinner. We aren't from Louisiana, but I swear my mom makes the best gumbo! 

My brother requested a southern-style pound cake for Christmas, so I made my very first one. I was scared. If you are from the south, you might know that these cakes are staples and can be made 100 different ways. Everyone thinks their cake is better than everyone else's.  I have now joined that club. I got a little help from Paula Deen and the cake is now all gone! It might be the best one...  

My dad loved it and so did my brother, so in my book its the best one. :)

That was our day! Can you tell there was a lot of eating going on??

I'm back home today to continue with real life. Let the cleaning, organizing, and planning begin! Oh and maybe healthier eating, too...

How were your holidays and what are you up to?

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Holiday Highlights via Instagram

Hi guys! I hope you had a good Christmas and are enjoying your family and some good downtime! I just changed into my second pair of pj's today, so life is fabulous here...

Here are some highlights of the last few days...

My brother introduced me to this fabulous vintage shop in my hometown. I bought the gold clutch for dirt cheap. Love it. 

My grandmother is in her late-eighties and can still make the BEST ham. We had it for our Christmas Eve dinner. After dinner, I made my very first southern-style pound cake. We had it for dessert on Christmas day. There is none left, so I assume my family liked it! I am certainly going to share the recipe with you later. 

Christmas Day was incredibly fabulous. We did our Christmas morning ritual, which I will share with you in my Christmas Day post coming up later this week. Santa was so gracious. I received several cookbooks, a matured savings bond and Photoshop Elements! My brother (who is in his late 20's) got legos (more on that later). We both spent Christmas morning playing with our "toys" - just like the old days...

I'm off to spend more precious time with my family. See ya later this week!

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So Excited...

I think that is the cutest thing ever...
Are you as excited as he is that Christmas is only two days away??
I am. 
I hope that Santa brings you everything you asked for. 
Make sure you leave cookies or something for him...  I used to leave apple Fig Newtons.  He liked them. :)

I'll be spending the next week or so with my family, in my bed sleeping and in my closets and drawers (cleaning out), so I will see you in the New Year. Well, maybe sooner if I need a bloggy fix.

 I wish you and your family a wonderful, safe, and happy holiday.

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Casual Holiday Outfit: Tailored Plaid

The dress code for Christmas Day at my house is very casual. Dressing up in our Sunday best and won't be required and our elbows will be allowed on the table...

If I had it my way, this is what I would wear. This whole ensemble is a trillion dollars in my book, but the centerpiece isn't... Isn't that coat amazing? I fell in love with it the minute I saw it. The $177 price tag is quite fabulous... It's tailored, too...

I have got to have that coat...

What are you wearing on Christmas Day??
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His & Hers...

Coffee or tea in these on Christmas morning (or any morning for that matter) with a better half would be darling...

Image via

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Oatmeal, Cranberry & Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are my favorite, but I have this thing for oatmeal cookies around the holidays. I'm not sure why... I have had many of different types of oatmeal cookies, but these are by far my favorite. I think I love them the most because they offer the best of both worlds for me- chewy oatmeal and bittersweet chocolate...

 Even better, dried cranberries are involved. So you experience this burst of sweetness when you bite into the cookie. It's quite marvelous. 

This cookie is another one of Giada de Laurentiis's masterpieces... I made these on Sunday and after one bite, I completely forgave her for not picking my photo for her contest... :)

If you see yourself eating a few of these (you won't be able to eat just one- I guarantee it ), then click here for Giada's genius recipe.


I'm debuting my first recipe today over at BluLabel Bungalow! It involves baked apples, a buttery crispy topping and cinnamon whipped cream... Click here if you think your taste buds would be interested!

Linked up to Tasty Tuesdays & The Lady Behind The Curtain!

All images by me

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Weekend in Seven

Hi there! How was your weekend? Did you get everything done for the holidays? Gifts wrapped? Menu planned? I can honestly say that I am almost there due to my jam packed weekend! Here are some highlights and random thoughts...

1. My holiday theme this year is "simple." I applied my theme to my gift wrapping, too. I used postal wrapping paper, simple red satin ribbon, mini ornaments from the $1 section of Target and glittered letters from the scrapbook section of Michael's. By the way, Chad is my brother. The gift to "bro." is also for him. I thought I would get a little more creative with his name. Ha...

2. I never thought I would see the #2 again...

3. I found this blog last week and spent a chunk of time over the weekend reading prior posts. I love it! I think you will, too.

4. Paula of the beautiful blog Two Ellie posted an image of this gorgeous bag last week. I asked Santa if I could add it to my list at this late hour. He said yes, but couldn't make any promises. 

5. I watched Pretty Woman for the 1000th time this weekend. Has anyone else seen it more times than me?

6. The weekend before Christmas wouldn't be complete without baking! I made these delicious chewy treats yesterday to share with my office. I'll be sharing the recipe with you tomorrow!

7. I am the new food contributor for BluLabel Bungalow and my first post is up today! I'm sharing my top 10 essentials for the kitchen. The post doubles as a little last-minute gift guide, too! Click here to check it out!

Have a great week before Christmas!!

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Our Holiday Card

Happy Friday friends!! I thought I would end the week by sharing our holiday card with you. And by "our," I mean me and Maxwell. :) This was the first year that I used Minted and I am so happy with the way they turned out...
I love the back of the card, too...

Max was totally not interested in taking photos that day, but after countless shots and a ripped pair of my favorite leggings, we finally got a few photos where we didn't look like we were going to kill each other!

I am so thankful for the patience and talent of my photographer, Dana of Dana Eason Photography. She is an amazing wedding and lifestyle photographer who was recently featured on Style Me Pretty! So happy for her!

 What's up for the weekend? I am going to tackle my mile-long "To Do Before Christmas" list. I can't believe Christmas is only nine days away!! Yikes! Have a great weekend and see ya on Monday! 

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High/Low: Wine & Cheese Party

It's time for another edition of High/Low! I especially love this one because it involves CHEESE! I adore cheese... Hosting a wine and cheese party is definitely on my list of things to do. Good cheese and good wine can be pricey, so keeping the cost down on styling would be my goal. 

So, here are the rules: Below are two pictures of a beautifully styled cheese table. One was styled for much less than the other. Can you guess which one?

In my opinion, both of them are still pricey, but this does prove that fabulous styling can be done for less. Click here for the answer and for product details. Let me know if you got it right!

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