Monday, December 31, 2012

What to Wear For New Year's Eve: A Holiday Style Post from Molly

I am beyond excited to share my first guest blogger with you today. She is the always fashionable and fabulous Mommy who blogs over at Stilettos & Diapers, and she is here today to help to plan your New Year's Eve outfit!

Hi! I'm Molly. A wife, boy mom and displaced southern gal. I live not far from Pam and got to lunch with her not too long ago. It's always fun to finally meet a blog friend and even better when you actually like them in person as much as online!

I blog a lot about fashion at Stilettos and Diapers. I love dressing up and staying trendy, even if those fashionable clothes may have spit-up on them. I never spend a lot on my clothes for that very reason. I like to call myself frugal, but I'm probably just cheap. Being a stay at home mom, I often dress to the nines if I have an event to go to. Even if that event is a trip to Target. I'm going to share with you some of my fave New Years looks. 

Let me warn you by saying my photography has changed a big since the beginning of the blog...thank God. 

New Years, in my book, means sparkles. Whether you're dressing up or going casual, a splash of sparkle never hurt anyone. These are a couple looks from holidays past.
1. Dress: Forever 21, Cuff: Forever 21, Tights: Target. 
2. Pants: Old Navy, Cardigan: Gap, Belt: Forever 21, Tank: Forever 21

1. Try a cocktail dress, that may have been put away with the summer clothes, add some sparkly tights, booties and jewelry. 

2. A sparkly tank, (don't forget to check those summer pieces!) topped with a festive colored cardigan and belt is a good casual option. I love putting a belt over layers, as it gives you more shape. You could pair it with pants and heels, cropped pants and booties, or a skirt and tights. 

3. This is an option for a more casual look. A t-shirt with a sparkled pattern and jeans can be dressed up just enough with a blazer, heels and a little jewelry. 
Boyfriend Jeans: NY&Co, Blazer: Forever 21, Necklace: Forever 21 Tee: Target, Shoes: Steve and Barrys

4. A couple things I've worn this holiday season are fun cocktail dresses. One, a punch of color, and one covered in sparkles. Pair with sky high heels and lots of accessories and you're ready to party. I find that I can wear a coat and once you I'm at the event, it's generally warm enough to be able to wear this type of dress with nothing over it. You could always add a cardigan, if you wanted to. 

Dresses: Hazel and Olive Accessories: Molly Suzanne

Lastly, don't neglect those nails! My go-to color this season is Revlon's Sparkle Aplenty. I have also seen a lot of people wearing China Glaze Champagne Kisses. Love it, too! 

 Thanks, Pam, for letting me take over Our Love Nest today! 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Week of Rest & Exciting News!

Well, I decided to take most of Christmas week off, as you probably noticed. I spent as much time as possible soaking in the spirit of Christmas, celebrating with family & friends, and sitting by our Christmas tree watching Christmas movies.

Now that Christmas week is over (sads!), and B and I have made the trip down south to sunny Florida, I am super excited to share some of my favorite bloggers with you this week as they take over my little home on the interwebs and dish about their favorite holiday memories, New Years Eve fashion, and goals for the New Year! Sheesh, I really need to get on this whole resolution thing!

Starting tomorrow you'll be hearing from six fabulous women who all have wonderful families, stories and hearts to share with all of you. I think you'll enjoy every word you'll read this week! Thanks for supporting us this year. Let's do this, 2013!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

I May Never Take My Christmas Decorations Down ...

Every year, I can barely wait until Thaksgiving to start decorating my house for Christmas. After all, it is the most wonderful time of the year, so why not celebrate that for as long as possible, am I right?! My husband always has other things in mind, like not getting a tree until the second week of December, but we've come to a compromise that sometime right after turkey day works for us.

I also like to document what my decor looks like each year, because I do some small things a bit differently, and it's fun to look back at what the years' past have been like.  Last year was all about my bright new red decor, and the DIY projects that I completed. 

This year, I did many of the same things (ahem, my windows always have candles in them, it is my absolute favorite thing), but I think I went a bit more traditional and simple.  This is our second year in this home for the holidays, and this year it truly feels like our home. Even better, we get to host my family this year! The Sunday before Christmas (only three days left!!) we will have our own little Christmas morning with my parents, brother and one of my sisters. We'll make a big breakfast, and then open gifts in our pajamas in our living room. It is hard for me to even put into words how excited I am to be starting new traditions this year, and I hope that this will be one that sticks around for years to come. 

My tree is bright with mostly red ornaments, ribbon and beading, and I just love the way it came out. 

This little nook of our main level is probably my favorite. The Pottery Barn stockings, the tree, the candles. I love it all and could easily leave it up all year round. 

And this year, for the first time ever, I put up our hand-painted nativity scene that we got as a wedding gift. It is beautiful and you can bet that I will be on the hunt for the perfect manger to use with the set. It just adds a special and traditional touch to this years' decor.

So, now that I've taken you on a little tour of my house, I would love to see some of what your house looks like for the holidays!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

My Holiday Necessities: A Guest Post for Love to the Moon & Back

Today, I am so excited to be guest blogging for Lindsey. For those that don't know me, I'm Pam and I write over at Our Love Nest. When she asked me to help out with her holiday theme, it took me a while to figure out what to write about. And then I realized that there are certain things that truly make the holiday season as special as it is. So I wanted to share a little bit more about what that means to us with you.

Every year when the holiday season rolls around (which in my world is no later than November 1st), I get all giddy and start dreaming up new things that I can create, bake and do to make this year the best ever. 

From cookie baking with girlfriends to gift exchanges to Ugly Sweater parties, we have really done it all. Adding extra ribbon to the tree? Check. Buying those extra holiday dog treats for Riley's stocking? Check.  Setting up the nativity this year for the first time ever? Check, check!

What I've come to realize over the years is that it's usually not all of the new things that I try to add to an already never ending list, but it's the few things that are absolute necessities, and have become traditions, that truly make the holidays such a special time of the year for me. 

For me, these things include ...
  • Setting up and decorating my tree with Christmas music playing
  • Driving around to look at Christmas lights. This was a huge one in my hometown, and I'm still trying to find something equally as exciting down here in MD
  • Kicking off my Christmas shopping on Black Friday. Yep, I am one of those crazies.
  • Baking a minimum of 2 dozen Christmas cookies. Sometimes the types vary, but I just love having a tin (or two) of cookies to eat for dessert!
  • Watching Christmas movies approximately every other night for the entire month of December
  • Indulging in my brothers' 'famous' crumb cake for breakfast before we open gifts on Christmas morning. I can't even remember exactly when or how this tradition started, but my brother is a decent cook, and his crumb cake topping is to.die.for.
  • Unwrapping stockings and presents on Christmas morning in PJs. I'm not sure I will ever be able to part with this one. It is one of my favorite parts of Christmas, and I think staying in PJs all day really helps to slow down the pace of the day
  • Packing up and heading to Florida with my family just a few days after Christmas and celebrating New Years' in the balmy Florida temps!

I am excited just thinking about what's in store for the next two weeks. It really is the most wonderful time of the year, isn't it?!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Comfortable and Chic Workout Gear: pv.Body

Since I work out of my house, I am constantly looking for cute and comfortable threads that I can throw on in the morning and will last me through hours in the office, or even a morning out around town while running errands. 

Simply put, I am a huge fan of workout gear simply because it's comfortable, easy to move around in, and there are so many cute styles to choose from!

When I was asked to check out the fabulous apparel from pv.Body, I jumped at the chance. You simply log onto their site, take a quick quiz, and they customize outfits for you based on your style profile. How easy and great is that? Each month, you can get a brand new customized outfit, valued at $150, shipped directly to you for just $49.95!

Even better, pv.Body has everything from flowy, bright-colored tanks to the perfect leggings for your favorite yoga class. 

I absolutely adore my leggings. They are comfortable, practical, and perfect for a day at home, or one when I'm on-the-go. And the blue top they sent me adds the perfect pop of color to my gym outfit. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't planning to wear it most of the day this Friday while I run errands and clean my house in preparation for our holiday visitors!

But, pv.Body has so much more to offer. Tons of styles, colors and brands are waiting at your fingertips. Sounds like the perfect gift for that athlete on your list too, right?!

Well, you're in for a spcial, holiday treat! pv.Body is offering a special discount just for my readers to use - Signing up for pvBody gets you a $15 Lululemon gift card, plus 25% off your first month subscription.

Don't miss out on this awesome opportunity. I can barely wait for my next package to arrive on my doorstep next month!


Easy peasy lemon squeezy: pvBody is easy. Take the quiz, sign up and boom, an awesome package arrives at your door each month with a hand picked outfit for you!
Every outfit is styled just for you by a pvBody expert. Each month you receive an outfit worth $150, but you pay just $49.95. You’re getting great, quality pieces for a fraction of the retail cost thanks to the relationships pvBody has built.
pvBody is not just another clothing company, but a lifestyle brand. Their blog is a great place to check out tips and tricks for healthy, delicious meals and at home workouts.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of pv.body. The opinions and text are all mine.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Homemade Shortbread Snowball Cookies: Hey, That's Pin-tastic!

i love you more than carrots  

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know that we celebrated Christmas with B's family on Saturday afternoon. It was a day full of food, family, gifts and laughter and we had a blast. One of the traditions that we have with his family is that we all bake cookies and do a little 'exchange' at the party. It's a win-win because I love to bake, and we get to bring a couple dozen yummy treats home with us afterward. 

Just like last year, I made my Mom's 'Snowball' cookies. I know these go by many other names, but they are basically short bread cookies filled with crushed walnuts and dusted with powdered sugar. The recipe is simple and they are so yummy, so I couldn't help but share them for this week's 'Hey, That's Pin-tastic!' over at my SIL's blog.

Snowballs Recipe

What You'll Need:
1 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
Powdered sugar for dusting

First, mix the butter, sugar and vanilla. Next, sift in your flour and salt and continue to blend until it forms a nice doughy consistency. Then, stir in the walnuts and chill the dough in the refrigerator for 30-35 minutes.

Once the 30 minutes is up, preheat your oven to 400 degrees and begin rolling the dough into 1 inch balls and placing on an ungreased cookie sheet. 

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes, and then roll each cookie in powdered sugar while they're still warm.

Serve at any temperature. These cookies are bite sized and a perfectly sweet treat for the holidays!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Perfectly Simple ZONEPerfect Bars: A Review

I tend to be a 'grab-it-and-go' type of eater about 60% of the time. Hence the reason we pack our pantry full of snack items that are easy to throw in your purse or lunch box and/or are easy to eat while driving. Trust me when I say that I have eaten my fair share of peanut butter crackers lately. 

Although we like easy on-the-go snacks, we're not big fans of your typical fast food. So, when we can find an easy snack that also packs a protein punch, that's a win-win in my book.

I was asked to review the brand new line of Perfectly Simple Bars by ZonePerfect recently. They sent not one, but all three flavors for us to try, which included Cranberry Almond, Peanut Crunch and Toasted Coconut. 

These bars contain only simple ingredients, taste great and don't leave you wanting more. They're the perfect snack to throw in your bag and grab when the hunger strikes around 3PM. Is that just me?!

I was thrilled with this new line of bars, and even got B to take one in his lunch one day last week. Small victories!

So, if you're looking to add a new, healthy snack to your cabinets, definitely check out ZonePerfect's newest line of nutrition bars, they will not disappoint!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sometimes, I Set Myself Up to Fail at the Holidays.

Do you ever feel like to aim to overachieve around the holidays? To add just a few more decorations than last year, buy just one more stocking stuffer for your husband/dog/kids, and agree to one too many holiday parties? 

I think my friend Mandy said it best today: 'I swear my brain doesn't function on full capacity at all in December, so bits and pieces is all I can muster today.'

Could it be true? Is there a part of our brains that gets overloaded and just stops working during the month of December? That must be what has happened to me these last two weeks since Thanksgiving. Or at least, that is what I'm telling myself so I don't feel like a complete failure. 

Sure, my house is decorated, and you can see the candles and tree shining from our windows each night. I even finished my Christmas shopping a little early this year, but it's not helping me feel any more accomplished. 

The reality is that I haven't plucked my eyebrows in weeks, and it's driving me bonkers. My home office has turned into the North Pole with unwrapped gifts strewn all over the floor. We have our first family Christmas celebration on Saturday and I still have to wrap, bake, cook and find something to wear. 

This is a big year for us. We are hosting most of my family for Christmas the weekend before the big day. I am over the moon ecstatic to have my family at our home this year. But, where will everyone sleep? Do we have enough food, coffee, gifts, towels, etc? I so wish I could be one of those women that creates personalized welcome baskets for her guests. Maybe some day

So, if I'm a little scant over these next few weeks, please forgive me as I am probably buried in wrapping paper or wrapped up in my holiday haze.

Monday, December 3, 2012

The HUGE Holiday Giveaway Event!

First things first. I am happy to announce that Abbey is the winner of my Printcopia photo canvas giveaway from last week! Congrats!!

As you likely know by now, I am participating in a HUGE holiday giveaway with Becky from 'From Mrs. to Mama' that kicked off Friday night! There are a few other fabulous bloggers that are in on it with us as well, and I am so excited to be able to share it with all of you, and give one winner a load of goodies in time for the holidays!

What will you win? Well, a lot. Check it out!

That's right. $643 worth of prizes of all shapes and sizes! To enter, simply use the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway