Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Home Tour

Today I'm linking up with the Style Me Bloggers for a Christmas Home Tour.  I've been looking forward to this post for awhile, because I can't wait to see how everyone decorates for the holidays.

Before we head inside, a few disclaimers.  My camera was on the wrong setting when I took all of my pictures, so I apologize because they are a bit washed out. Second - this post could have gone on forever, and nobody has time for that!  I have so many decorations with so many stories, but I tried to be brief.

As you come in the front door, a staircase down to the basement is on the right, and the living room is straight ahead.

I wrote about this Christmas tree a few weeks ago.  There are finally a few presents underneath - but only because my mom sent them!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Style Me Blogger Gifts

The Style Me Bloggers did a "secret santa" gift exchange, and today is the big reveal. I got home from vacation and found a festive package from the lovely Joy who blogs at Quilty Joy Joy.  We were supposed to send a gift that represents the region we live in - and guess what?  Joy lives 45 minutes from me.  So funny.

My package was full of wonderful goodies.  Almond Roca is one of my favorite candies, and Joy told me that she used to work there!  I'm a scarf fanatic, and the colors of this one from Juicy Couture are so pretty.  The Seahawks ornament was a big hit of course, and I love the metal peace sign. Thank you so much Joy!

In this season of giving and gratefulness, my fellow Style Me Bloggers and I decided to write a special thank you to Alison of Get Your Pretty On, because honestly, none of us would know each other if it weren't for her.  Alison has given me many gifts this year, and I'd like to return the favor by sharing what she has done for me!

In March, before I even started my blog, I sent Alison an email telling her how much I liked her site and that I was thinking about starting a blog of my own.  She was so encouraging, and when I wrote my original post, she was one of the first people to visit and leave a comment.  Having such an established blogger support me was a huge inspiration to keep going.

As I participated in each of her Style Me Pretty Challenges this year, my confidence in my appearance grew.  Since I work from home, I had fallen into a yoga pants rut.  Not only did Alison challenge me to start wearing real clothes again, she convinced me to try new things - white jeans, leopard print, and maxi skirts are a few that come to mind.  I had never tried pattern mixing before, and now I can do it like a pro!  My husband is definitely appreciative, and I feel so much better about myself when I make an effort to get dressed in pretty outfits.

Finally, Alison has given me a whole new group of wonderful friends.  My fellow Style Me Bloggers are the most amazing group of women - kind, supportive, smart and fun. We have bonded over our shared interests, which of course includes fashion!  I'm so thankful to have them in my life, and without Alison's Style Me Pretty Challenges, we probably never would have met.

Thank you, Alison, for your encouragement, inspiration and great fashion sense.  You are a beautiful woman both inside and out, and I look forward to many more Style Challenges!

I wanted to share one more thank you today.  I also participated in a Blogger scarf exchange, but due to some miscommunication, I never received my scarf.  When my wonderful friend Deena found out, she sent me two scarves from her personal collection. She felt bad and didn't want me to miss out.  That's true friendship right there, and I was so touched by her kindness.  Plus, she has impeccable taste, so you know the scarves are fabulous!

So we come full circle.  If not for Alison, I wouldn't have met Deena or Joy or Carrie or Shaunacey or Leslie, and I wouldn't have this thankfulness post to share with you today. It all makes me feel so blessed and joyful, and isn't that the spirit of Christmas?

Visit the other Style Me Bloggers to see their secret santa gifts!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Winter Style Me Challenge - Week 2

Sheila's Potpourri | Once Upon a Time & Happily Ever After |  Sprinkled Just Right 
Quilty Joy Joy | From Plaid to Pearls | Daily Style Finds | Fast Life Slow Life
 The Blondissima | Looks Like Lauren

In case you aren't aware, there's only a week until Christmas.  I wish someone would have mentioned to me that Christmas was coming about a month ago :).  I was so focused on our Disney vacation that I didn't think beyond that, and I have never been so far behind in my life. I told my son tonight that at this point he's getting a case of gum and some gas gift cards.   Not good.  Where is Santa when you need him?

At least I don't have to worry about what to put on every day, because we're into week two of Alison telling me what to wear.  Thank goodness for that.

For me, this week has been all about the puffer vests.  These are a staple in my winter wardrobe, and I have more of them than I should.  I love vests because they are a great extra layer to help keep me warm.  This white one came from Macy's and I really like the big front pockets.

On this day Alison suggested a plaid shirt with the puffer vest.  Check and check.  My red vest is from Eddie Bauer (similar).  Apparently I was really chilly, because I went with black cords instead of jeans.  I may not be ready for Christmas, but I look like I am!

Be sure to check out the other fabulous Style Me bloggers and link up with us below! Then come back tomorrow for a special thank you post and gift exchange reveal from this wonderful group of ladies.

Today is also the reveal day for a scarf exchange that I participated in with some blogging buddies.  Due to a series of unfortunate events, and despite the most heroic efforts of my lovely friend Deena, my scarf didn't arrive in time to be revealed. However, check out the other scarves in our link up below!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Jingle Bell Run

On Sunday we headed to Seattle bright and early for the Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis. Even though it was cold, the sun was shining, and my younger son, nephew and brother-in-law were ready to go!  This was our third year participating in the Jingle Bell Run - well, it was their third year.  I don't run unless someone is chasing me.  I'm more the "cheer you on as you run" type.

T had Homecoming the night before and didn't get home until 1am.  When I woke him up at 6:30 Sunday morning there may or may not have been some serious grumbling - from both of us.

Aren't they adorable?  But I digress.
Thousands of people were lined up at the Start line, many dressed in Christmas costumes, and all wearing jingle bells around their necks or on their shoes.  This was the second of three waves of participants.

While the guys ran we took selfies - 

And enjoyed the Christmas decorations and music.  FYI - my older son doesn't run either - just like his mama.  He'd rather have a hockey stick and some skates.

Pretty soon our guys came around the corner towards the finish.  They expect you to run past Nordstrom to get to the finish line - sheesh.

It was a really fun, festive morning.  My sister and I might even register next year - to walk.

Monday, December 15, 2014

All I Want For Christmas

My younger son was extremely accident prone when he was little.  He never met a pole, tree, or piece of furniture that he didn't collide with, and he had a permanent bruise on his forehead for years. So when I heard crying coming from the play room, and my older son calling to me that T had hurt himself again, I only had a small heart attack.

This time he had tripped and smashed into the coffee table - mouth first.  Once I got him to calm down, I realized that his two front teeth were a little loose.  We headed for the dentist, where she gave us the news that they would have to be "wiggled" out (pediatric dentist speak for pulled) since they were too loose to tighten back up.

His cute little teeth before they came out.
T was almost five at the time, so obviously his front teeth were going to come out on their own eventually.  However, the dentist warned us that it might be a year or so until the permanent teeth grew in since they hadn't started moving down in his jaw yet.  The extraction went well and T slept through the whole thing.

A few months later, the Christmas season arrived, and we started hearing THE SONG. Friends, family, and even strangers at the store couldn't help singing "all I want for Christmas is my two front teeth" whenever they saw his gap toothed grin.  At first T didn't mind, but after the one-thousandth rendition, he was getting a little tired of it.  Ditto his parents.

The day arrived for the Christmas program and party at his preschool.  All of the kids lined up to see Santa and Mrs. Claus.  When T's turn came, he climbed up on Santa's lap and looked up to tell him what he wanted for Christmas.  Santa took one glance at him, nudged Mrs. Claus, and the two of them loudly broke out into THE SONG.

Et tu, Santa?
Needless to say, T wasn't thrilled.  He threw his hands over his eyes and said "not again!" Poor kid.  He eventually forgave Santa, especially when he apologized and gave him a candy cane.

Unfortunately for T, this wouldn't be the only Christmas without front teeth.  There was actually a second, and a third.  It took three full years for those darn teeth to grown back in. Three years of hearing THE SONG, and three years of being a pretty good sport.

But even now, when it comes on the radio, T looks at me and says "not again!"

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Jamberry Nails

I used to love having a fresh manicure.  Then I had two boys, my house became full of testosterone, and I just gave up.  Now I don't have time to go to the nail salon, and I'm way too impatient to paint my nails myself and wait for them to dry.

So I was intrigued when I started hearing about Jamberry Nail Wraps.  Lucky for me, my blogging friend Shaunacey is a consultant, and she sent me a set of nail wraps to review.  I was a little worried about doing my first "jamicure" since I'm a little challenged in the beauty product department.

My bare nails - ready to be jamified!

I read the instructions, watched the short application video, assembled my supplies - and did my first nail.  It was so simple, I thought maybe I'd made a mistake.  The entire process only took about 30 minutes, and I'm sure I'll get faster with each application. The best part - as soon as I was done I could use my hands.  No waiting for polish to dry.

Voila - I'm very pleased with myself!
I'm looking forward to seeing how long they last.  The literature says two weeks (four for pedicures) and I'll keep you posted.  So far I'm very happy with how they turned out, and I plan to purchase some more designs.  There are hundreds of wraps.

Jamberry wraps are ALWAYS buy 3, get 1 free and can be ordered from anywhere in the USA or Canada.  If you're interested in purchasing the product, or to see all the choices, visit Shaunacey's Jamberry page.

Have a great weekend!  I'm hoping to finish my Christmas shopping.  Except I haven't really started yet, so that probably won't happen!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Favorite Pieces From My Wardrobe

Update:  Sorry my post is up so late today.  We had a very big windstorm last night, and in the middle of finishing this up - poof, no power for 12 hours!

I'm linking up today with the Lifestyle Sistas to share the five favorite pieces from our wardrobes.

SO hard to choose.  Clothes are a hobby for me, and I like almost everything in my closet. If something's not quite right, I thrift it.  But I'll do anything for my Sistas, so I thought long and hard, and this is what I came up with!  I cheated a little bit, and some of the "pieces" are more like "categories" :).

Favorite piece that I've had forever.  My Dale of Norway sweater.  Right after we graduated from college, my boyfriend (now hubby) spent a month backpacking in Norway, and he brought this back from the town of Dale for me.  It's handmade and the details are absolutely beautiful.  Even though it's 25 years old and I've worn it quite a bit, the sweater still looks brand new.

Favorite accessory.  I love, love, love scarves, and I have a lot of them.  They instantly add a little something to any outfit.  This is just a small portion of my collection, and I would like to find a better way to store them - but I wear them all.

Favorite new piece.  This Daniel Rainn blouse that I received in my very first Stitch Fix. I love the fit and the colors, and there are little iridescent polka dots on the fabric.   This top makes me happy every time I wear it.

Favorite shoes.  If I was a proper fashion blogger, I would choose a pair of Jimmy Choo or Manolo Blahnik pumps.  But my favorites are my Skechers Go Walks, the most comfortable pair of tennies I've ever owned.  I can walk for hours and my feet don't even notice.  And I think they're pretty cute too.

Favorite piece that I wear most often.  I have a LOT of sweaters.  I'm cold all the time, and where I live I can wear them from September to June.  I've got cardigans, pullovers, lightweight, turtlenecks - this is just a small sampling.  I think my hubby is pretty tired of my sweater collection - but until we move somewhere warmer, they aren't going anywhere!

Check out my other Lifestyle Sistas to see their favorite wardrobe pieces, and link up with us below.  Be sure to come back next Friday when the Style Me Bloggers will be doing a Christmas Home Tour.  I can't wait for that!

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