Happy Thanksgiving!! I swear I have been waiting for this day since the end of Thanksgiving last year.  I'll be wearing a loose pair of jeans, eating until my stomach's content, napping, then doing all of that over again. Twice maybe.

More important that all of that, I have SO much to be thankful for. SO very much. I'll be taking stock in that today as I spend time with my family, the people that I am the most thankful for.

I hope you have the most wonderful day and weekend. I'll see you back here next week...


Image by Rachel Gomez Photography via Style Me Pretty
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The chair, the throw, the rug, the books... the whole look.

This quote. I couldn't agree with Albert more...

Her sweater... and her blog.

That Daniel Wellington watch and the simple accessories around it...

So I'm just taking things slow here on the blog this week. Next week things will get back to normal. In the meantime, it's Thanksgiving week (my second favorite week of the year after Christmas ) and I'm taking some time to relax, cook, sleep and hang out with my family. I posted a quick recipe for you on Monday (let me know if you make it!) and today I have a few things that are pleasing my eyes at the moment... I hope your week is going well!
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Hi there! I hope you had a good weekend! So - I know I don't normally start the week off with a recipe, but I wanted to post this early in the week for one particular reason. If you are like me, you hate grocery shopping at the very last minute before Thanksgiving. All the people and picking over the leftover items on the shelves that have questionable freshness - totally not my thing. So if you find yourself interested in making this oh so good smoothie, I wanted you to see it early and be able to shop for the ingredients if you don't already have them on hand! 

Anyway, this pumpkin pie in the form of a smoothie would be the perfect quick dessert the day of or the day after Thanksgiving. It tastes good and can be made a number of ways and STILL be good. You can make a light version with almond or skim milk or a full fat version (like the one in the pic) with whole milk and whipped cream. Here is how I made this one along with a few variations:

What you need: (makes 8 servings)

3 cups whole milk
1 can pumpkin pie filling
1/2 cup plain vanilla yogurt (you could use Greek yogurt, but it's a little too tangy here in my opinion)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 banana, peeled and diced

Optional Toppings:
1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
Whipped cream

What to do:

If you have time beforehand, freeze individual servings of the pumpkin pie filling in muffin tins. Cover the muffin tin with foil before putting it in the freezer. If you don't have time to freeze the filling, you can add ice or use frozen bananas to make the smoothie cold. 

Add the milk, yogurt and 4 pieces of frozen filling from the muffin, banana and the cinnamon to a blender (in that order) and blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and top with one or none (or both!) of the optional toppings. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Optional Ingredients:
Slices of pumpkin pie instead of the filling (yes!)
Almond milk
Skim milk
Pumpkin pie spice (if using the pumpkin pie puree instead of filling)

Recipe adapted from the Pioneer Woman

Image by me

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Happy Friday!!! I hope you had a great week. My week was good, but I'm sure this next weekend and week will be even better. My Thanksgiving vacation starts today and I am thrilled! I plan to start my time off with putting up my Christmas tree all while a cheesy Lifetime Christmas movie is on in the background (that's the way to do it right??) get in a good workout or two, run some errands, and put the finishing touches on the Thanksgiving meal. It's gonna be fun...  I hope your weekend is just as wonderful and I'll see you here next week!

Thank you SO much for your comments on Monday's post! You know how to make a girl feel good!

You know that fabulous dance at the end of the movie "Dirty Dancing?" This couple perfectly reenacted it for their wedding dance. Love this...

A Julia Child inspired kitchen makeover that is just gorgeous...

If you need an honest review about your next purchase of a fashion or lifestyle product, this genius site might help...

In case you are looking for a budget friendly dress for that holiday party...

A perfect, simple and delicious looking Thanksgiving dessert...

And a great guide on how to find the perfect wine for the Thanksgiving table...

Did you know you could schedule Facebook status updates??


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Well yesterday was about Thanksgiving and today I have moved right on to Christmas! Yikes! Welcome to my first gift guide of the season! I wanted to focus my guides this year on thoughtful yet budget friendly items. There are so many great things out there this year that meet that criteria, so it was pretty tough for me to narrow down my picks! But here are the items that made the cut. I tried to include everything from the girl who cooks to the girl to loves fashion and decor to the girl who loves to just lounge. I hope this is helpful! :)
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Can you believe that Thanksgiving is right around the corner??!! I can't! But I'll take it! Thanksgiving is truly one of my favorite holidays. Any excuse to be with family eat, sleep, lounge, then eat, sleep and lounge again is perfection to me. Today I thought I would share a quick and simple dish that would be a great little side dish on the Thanksgiving table. It also make a great vegetarian dish for any winter meal. I found this recipe for maple-dijon roasted winter vegetables in Gwyneth Paltrow's first cookbook, "My Fathers Daughter." I love roasted vegetables, but the real maple syrup in this recipe is what grabbed my attention. Lately I have been using real maple syrup in everything from oatmeal to salad dressings. It's naturally sweet, slightly smokey and just a small bit of it adds SO much flavor to food. That's exactly what it does to these vegetables. The sweet syrup paired with the spicy dijon mustard adds the perfect amount of flavor to these fresh winter vegetables. I used sweet potatoes, parsnips and carrots in this dish, but I think this sweet and spicy sauce would work on pretty much any combination of winter vegetables. So good... 

Here is what you need: 

3 tablespoons real Vermont maple syrup (the fake stuff will not work here!)
3 tablespoons course ground Dijon mustard (regular Dijon mustard works, too)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon course salt
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 3 inch sticks about 1/2 inch thick
1 large parsnip, peeled and cut into 3 inch sticks about 1/2 inch thick
4 medium-sized carrots or 8-10 small carrots, peeled and cut into 3 inch sticks about 1/2 inch thick

Here is what to do:

1/ Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil. This will make for easy cleanup!

2/ Place the vegetables on the cookie sheet. In a small bowl, whisk the maple syrup, mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper together.

3/ Pour the mixture over the vegetables and toss well. Make sure each veggie is coated with the mixture.

4/ Roast the vegetables for about 30 minutes or until browned and cooked through. Stir them occasionally to ensure even roasting.


Images by me
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Well hi there! I hope you had a good week last week and a great weekend! So I'm back this week with my first outfit post in like 100 years! :) It obviously hasn't been that long, but it has been quite a while. This outfit is like a representation of about half of my closet. About half of my closet is made up of black clothes. I've always liked black because it's sassy, classic and easy to mix and match. I keep black from being boring by purchasing clothing that has a little edge to it. The sheer panel on the arms of that Zara top I'm wearing = edge. I paired the top with two different black skirts, a fluted skirt and a leather skirt. I've had that leather skirt for 8 years, so classic is the word! I love the details of the both of the skirts and how each of them are made. I often pair all-black outfits with pattered or colored shoes. They just rev up the whole look. Of course you can never go wrong with leopard... When it comes to jewelry, I always keep it simple. That's just how I roll. I meant to pair these outfits with this necklace (which I LOVE), but forgot to bring it with me to the shoot! :) 

Speaking of the shoot, a HUGE thank you goes to my friend and photographer, Paula Coldiron. Not only is she an amazing photographer, but she made me feel so comfortable - which is fabulous because these shoots often make me feel so nervous and awkward! We did a few more shoots (more colorful ones!), so more "I'm Wearing" posts to come! 

Top: Zara | Fluted Skirt: J.Crew | Leather Skirt: Banana Republic (old) | Heels: NineWest/InStyle (similar here and here) | Clutch: Zara | Sunglasses: Dolce & GabannaBangles: J.Crew (similar) and Madewell | Stacked Rings: Banana Republic (similar) | Watch: Michael Kors | Nails: Essie (one coat of Material Girl, one coat of Shearling Darling) | Lips: Nars "Fire Down Below"
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So yesterday after I got settled in from the weekend, I reviewed my to-do list for home, work and this blog and well - I'm a bit overwhelmed at the moment! So if it's ok, I'm going to end the week a little early here. I've got to catch up so I can free my mind for the more creative and fun things I have planned for you next week. Those things include an outfit post (eek!), a really easy Thanksgiving side dish and my first gift guide of the holiday season. The gift guides will be cute AND budget friendly this year, so be ready! 

Have a great rest of the week and I will see you here next week!


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{From my weekend photo shoot...}

Hi there! I hope you had a great weekend! My weekend was quite eventful, which is why I'm popping in a little late this week. I spent Saturday with my blogging bestie Paula. She is a fabulous, genuine person, a talented designer, and can work a camera like nobody's business! She did a little photo shoot for me and I can't WAIT to show you how the photos turned out!

I spent the rest of the weekend with my family. My sweet brother and dad made the most perfect grilled salmon for my birthday dinner. I'll have to share the recipe with you soon... My dad bought me the most beautiful and perfect tasting chocolate birthday cake. My patient mom waited TWO hours with me at the Apple store while I purchased a new phone AND she treated me to a pancake breakfast yesterday morning. I heart pancakes... Being around nothing but wonderful people this weekend was really special, which is exactly what I wanted for my birthday... :)

With all that being said, I spent zero time with my computer or camera over the weekend (hence the trusty iPhone photos today). So I might not be the best blogger this week! But bear with me!

{The requisite selfie of Paula and I during the shoot}

{My birthday cake...}

{The beauty of fall in my parent's front yard... }
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How crisp, clean and fresh is this space??!! I'm not typically attracted to modern pieces and spaces, but the mix here of warm, antique furniture with the crisp white walls paired with the console table - well I like it! This is the new living room of designer Sarah Samuel. She is in the process of renovating her new home and I have enjoyed seeing her style unfold in her space...

So what's up for the weekend? I've got a fun day planned with one of my favorite bloggers on Saturday. I'll be sharing details of the day here on the blog soon! Sunday is my birthday and I'll be turning 30 something. :)  The day will include time with my family, a big Sunday dinner and downtime. I wouldn't want to welcome another year of life any other way! Have a great weekend and enjoy the links!

A day in the life of a lady (and personal friend of mine) who has a hubby, 3 gorgeous kids, a booming blog + more. I loved reading about how she does it all...

Oprah's Favorite Things for 2013!! Good stuff!

This was interesting take on marriage. What do you think??

I think this looks better than the one you can get at Starbucks...

Homemade chicken stock... made in the Crock Pot. Too easy...

The most amazing gallery wall... in a bathroom. Loved this!

As a girl who has a 9-5 job, I am in LOVE with this fashion blog!

Five things productive people do before 8AM...

Only a few more days to enter my $200 Minted giveaway!!

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So it's been cold here for a few weekends straight and I'm LOVING it! When it is cold, there is nothing like curling up on the couch with a really big heavy blanket, the remote and a big bowl of something warm. That something warm for me a lot of times is chili. So two weekends ago, I was really craving it, yet didn't have a lot of time to babysit it while it cooked. So of course I turned to the Internet and searched for a chili that could be made in the Crock Pot. I wanted a recipe that only required three steps: chopping, dropping, and turning on the Crock Pot. That is it. No extra pots, no extra work. Luckily I found this recipe that met those requirements. And it was SO stinkin' good!!! It's so easy to make, well seasoned, and chunky. That's how I like my chili. :)

Here is what you need:

1 16 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 16 oz can kidney bean, rinsed and drained
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 jalepeno pepper, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 package frozen corn (doesn't need to be thawed)
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 

Here is what to do:

Add all of the ingredients, except the chicken, to the Crock Pot. Stir until everything is combined. Place the chicken breasts on top of the mixture and cover the pot. Cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 4 hours. Stir occasionally. I cooked my chili on high. After about 2 hours, I submerged the chicken into the chili to make sure the chicken would be well seasoned! 

Thirty minutes before you serve the chili, shred the chicken breasts apart using two forks or your clean fingers. Stir the chicken back in a cook for another 30 minutes. NOTE: I actually just used one chicken breast in my chili. I thought that was plenty! I saved the other chicken breast for salads for the next week! Just a tip! 

Serve the chili with your favorite toppings. Freshly grated cheddar cheese, pickled jalepenos, sour cream, green onions, and cilantro are my faves!


Image by me
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Can you believe that it is the first week of November? Can you believe that the holidays are right around the corner? Time is flying by, but the holidays are truly my favorite time of the year and I am so excited! I'm can't wait to have great downtime with family, eat good food, and enjoy the lights and the cold weather. I'm also excited about my holiday cards this year, which will of course come I always order my holiday cards from them and this year will be no exception! There are so many beautiful choices this year like their new petite holiday cards and ornament cards. But I have to say that their new foil pressed cards are my favorite! They are so classy and elegant! Here are a few of my favorites...

Lovely right!! I love cards that make a pretty statement and make people want to keep them for years to come. These fit the bill for me! It's going to be hard to narrow down the design for my card this year, but I will be sure to show you what I selected!

NOW FOR THE GOOD PART! The lovely people at Minted are offering a $200 credit* towards the purchase of any product on If you aren't ordering holiday cards this year, don't fret! They have a great selection of art, party supplies and decor, personalized wrapping paper and wrapping accessories (that gold striped washi tape is one of my faves!)

All you have to do is CLICK HERE for your chance to win!

Enter by Tuesday, November 12th by 11:59 PM PT. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, November 13th at the bottom of this post once the winner has been notified. Good luck!

* Giveaway is limited to U.S. residents only. So sorry!

Congrats to Jen Wilson!! Check your e-mail!

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Hi there! Was the weekend good to ya?? I hope so. My weekend was pretty good! This weekend I...

+ Skipped Sunday brunch to enjoy the extra hour of sleep, cuddle time with Max (I actually took that pic of him a few weeks ago) and some morning reading. I also thanked God yesterday before my nap that it was an hour earlier instead of an hour later. The little things...

+ Enjoyed the look of fall pretty much everywhere I went this weekend. All of the trees have turned here and it is really beautiful...

+ Learned how to apply makeup. Except for lipstick, I don't wear makeup on a daily basis (and never have), but am at the point where I need a little pep for special occasions and photos. My favorite purchase was that Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge (in Calypso Coral). It's a blush and a lipstick - love that. It's definitely not as bright on as it looks either. Now once I get the whole eye liner thing down, I'll be good. :)

+ Got my first professional fitting for a bra. Ladies - if you haven't been professionally fitted for a bra, then I highly recommend you put it on your to-do list. A fitting at Victoria's Secret doesn't count... I have totally been wearing the wrong size bra! I can definitely tell the difference in the correct size!

+ Kicked myself for trying these on during my errand outing on Saturday. Of course they fit perfectly and looked great. Of course they were extremely comfortable. Of course they were expensive. Of course I walked out the store empty-handed. Uggh. Maybe Santa is reading this??

+ Made an amazing 15 minute meal for dinner last night. I made this (the sauce is SO good!) with quinoa and a salad. Good stuff...

+ Prepared tomorrow's giveaway! If you love the holidays like I do, then you will love this giveway!

Happy Monday!

Images by me
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Happy Friday!! How was your week?? I always say my week was crazy busy, but thankfully this week I can't say that! This week was good in the sense that I just took things slow. I took my time waking up each morning, took my time getting through some projects and took my time driving from point A to point B. I relaxed and drank tea before bed a few nights this week - all things that I don't do enough because I often feel so rushed. It felt good to slow down. I definitely need to do that more often - even when I'm pushed for time.

What's up for the weekend? I'll be working on some projects for the blog, including an AMAZING giveaway that will be up next week. I've got brunch plans here along with plans for a Sunday n-a-p. Fun times... I hope you have a great weekend and enjoy the links!

The recipe for that peanut butter chocolate-y goodness you see above...

I'm inspired every time I read a post about her journey...

If you have trouble meeting and making new friends as an adult, then you are not alone. Loved this post...

If you have a full time job and blog on the side or want to start a blog, then this might be helpful (in case you missed it)...

One of the most creative groom's cakes I've seen...

Wishlisted: This and these...

This moving and adorable video touched my heart...

One more gooey chocolate recipe for the road...

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