Dec 21, 2017

Winter Bucket List (And My Fall Bucket List Update)

It's always so crazy to me that winter doesn't technically start until the holidays are in full swing.  I feel like fall is a distant memory and I've been doing lots of fun winter activities for weeks even though we are just now transitioning seasons.

So before we are officially in cold-weather hibernation mode, I want to look back at my Fall Bucket List.

1.  Decorate the front porch for fall.  Yes!  I live in a house for the first time since I moved away to college so I was super excited to actually have a porch to decorate.  I kept things simple and was very pleased with the way it turned out.

2.  Tailgate before a Michigan State football game.  Of course!  I tailgated before every single home game this season.  Go Green!

My dad and me in our matching MSU coats!

3.  Wander through a corn maze.  My boyfriend and I spent a fun day at our local apple orchard doing all sorts of fall things (another of which appears later on this list).  We successfully found our way out of the corn maze, and indulged in donuts and cider!

4.  Run four miles without stopping to walk.  I, unfortunately, experienced a lot of pain in my left foot this fall that prevented me from sticking to my training the way I wanted.  But I think I'm on the mend and just signed-up for a 10k in May.  I gotta get to work!

5.  Try a new crock pot recipe.  I've tried lots of new recipes this fall but only one crock pot recipe.  I made this Slow Cooker Balsamic Glazed Roast Beef and it was delicious...perfect for a chilly Sunday at home.

Photo from Closet Cooking

6.  Attend a high school football game.  I can check this off of my list one and a half times.  I cheered-on the Wildcats at my boyfriend's alma mater and my very own Lancers for half of a game before the rain got the best of us.

7.  Try another round of Stitch Fix.  Financially, it just didn't make sense for me to do SF this season, but I am going to put it on my list for winter!

8.  Wrap up in a sweater and read outside.  I didn't do this one either!  I read (and listened to) lots of good books, just not outside.  Does wrapping up in a sweater and reading inside count?

9.  Go for a hayride.  My boyfriend and I included a hayride in our day of fall fun at the apple orchard.

10.  Visit a new hiking trail. (a repeat from spring and summer!)  And yes!  My best friend and I have successfully hiked together each month this year and we've been exploring all sorts of new trails.

And now we can really celebrate the start of winter!  Here are the activities I want to do to make the most of the season:

1.  Make the perfect beer cheese soup.
2.  Have a Christmas movie marathon.
3.  Learn how to ski.
4.  Go to an MSU basketball game.
5.  Mix some warm winter cocktails.
6.  Find a church in my new hometown.
7.  Try a top 10 Grand Rapids restaurant each month.
8.  Go to Taco Tuesday at Cannonsburg (our local skiing spot).
9.  Watch all of the Star Wars movies.
10.  Try another round of Stitch Fix.

Thanks again, Leslie, for hosting our bucket list posts every season!  And if you feel like putting together a bucket list for this winter, make sure you link-up below!

Dec 20, 2017

The Holiday Series: Christmas Day Outfit

T-MINUS FIVE DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS!  And I'm just a little bit excited, can you tell?  Christmas is always my favorite day of the year but the holiday season this year shines a little bit brighter because it's the first my boyfriend and I are spending together.

We are fortunate that three out of the four sets of family we are spending time with this weekend live in the same town.  But that does mean lots of time popping in between houses and the car.  In this snowy Michigan weather, practical shoes are a must and a fun winter hat make a white Christmas a little bit easier.  A sparkly reindeer tee and an evergreen sweater help me to feel festive for the holiday!

Looking for some more Christmas Day outfit inspiration!  Make sure to visit the other ladies participating in The Holiday Series!

Dec 13, 2017

The Holiday Series: A Winter Wedding Outfit

Alternate title to this post:
When You Think Pictures In Front of the Alluminated Christmas Are A Good Idea

Well friends, these pictures did not turn-out quite as well as I'd hoped and this really bothers the perfectionist in me.  I thought I would be able to edit the lighting a little bit better, but oh well.  Voilà, my outfit for the Winter Wedding Edition of The Holiday Series.

In case you've missed it, The Holiday Series consists of six posts where a group of bloggers led by Ada of Elegance and Mommyhood provide holiday-themed inspiration.

Winter Wedding Outfit
Christmas Day Outfit
New Years Eve Outfit

I'm not actually attending any weddings this season nor am I going to any swanky soirées (much to my chagrin).  If I were, I probably would have bought a pretty, sparkly new dress (because is there anything better than a holiday dress?!).  

But alas, since all of my Christmas get-togethers are casual.  I decided to remix a dress already hanging in my closet.  Typically I wear this jersey-material dress more casually but I found that a sparkly necklace and a pair of velvet heels really jazzed it up!

Do you have a holiday wedding to attend?  What are you going to wear?  If you need some more inspiration, make sure to check-out the blogs below!

Dec 12, 2017

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party with TBB

Deck the halls with boughs of holly!  Fa la la la la la la la la!  'Tis the season to be jolly wear ugly Christmas sweaters!  Fa la la la la la la la la!

The ugly Christmas sweater trend has exploded in the last couple of years.  From parties to 5k runs, the opportunities to wear your gaudiest knitwear are endless!

This week (technically tomorrow) on The Blended Blog we are joining in the festive fun!

Believe it or not, I don't actually own an ugly Christmas sweater!  I do own an ugly Christmas sweatshirt, though.  That counts, right?!  I opted for the sweatshirt material because I typically wear this top to run in holiday 5ks.

I purchased this sweatshirt three years ago for my first ugly Christmas sweater run and am still jogging the streets in it!  Combined with some tacky reindeer leggings, I feel festive from head to foot!


Now go strike a few poses in your ugliest of Christmas sweaters so you can link-up with The Blended Blog tomorrow!

Dec 7, 2017

The Holiday Series: Holiday Home Tour

Ahhh, take in the sight of a beautiful, sparkling Christmas tree!  Is there anything else that makes you feel quite so warm and fuzzy inside?

Decorating for the holiday season is always one of my favorite Christmas traditions, but this year is extra special!  I moved-in with my boyfriend a few months ago so we are spending our first holiday season together in our home!

It's been so much fun to decorate with someone!  We had a ton of fun visiting a Christmas tree farm and choosing the perfect evergreen while sipping hot chocolate.  Then we spent all day Saturday watching Christmas movies and decorating the tree.

Last year, I decorated in rose golds and pinks, but this year I went for a look that's a little less feminine.  Part of the fun has been choosing decorations that reflect both my boyfriend and me!

My boyfriend and I each had a few sentimental ornaments of our own to contribute to the decorations.  Plus, while we were traveling this summer, we decided to always purchase an ornament in each place we visit together.  But despite this collection of baubles, we still had lots of blank tree to be filled.  When we decided on a traditional color scheme of gold, green and red, I picked-up some ornaments at Target to finish the decorations.  I also grabbed a wrapping paper trio to fit the theme!

Dec 4, 2017

TBB Asks: The Holidays

Happy December, y'all!  I absolutely believe that the most wonderful time of the year is here!  As I type, I'm sitting in front of my sparkling Christmas tree, sipping hot cocoa, and feeling quite festive!

My awesome blogging friends at The Blended Blog have had a fun questionnaire series running the first Monday of every month called TBB Asks.  This month we are talking everything holiday.  Join us in sharing what makes your holiday season special and link-up with us below!

1.  Real or Fake Tree? Real!  My boyfriend and I had tons of fun at the Christmas tree farm picking-out our first tree together this year.  We are looking forward for making this a tradition for many years to come.

2.  Favorite Christmas Cookie? My Grandma Marge is the queen of cookie baking and I always look forward to the goodies she bakes for the holidays.  I suppose my favorite Christmas cookie would be her traditional sugar cookies, decorated with a tasteful amount of colored sugar and not too sweet.

3.  Home on Christmas Morning or Travel?  I would prefer to be home on Christmas morning but now that my sister and I are grown-up and starting our own traditions, one group or another of us will have to travel.  This year I get to be home on Christmas morning!

4.  Clear or Colored Lights?  I actually love the different vibes that each give!  This year we decorated our home with warm white lights.

5.  Send Christmas Cards?  Yes!  This year I went with a company that I just heard about, Simply To Impress, and I love the cards we got for a great price (because Christmas cards can be ridiculously expensive)!

6.  Favorite Christmas Present Received?  This is such a hard question because I've received so many thoughtful presents over the years.  For some reason the present of my childhood that stands out the most is a little, hand-held Beauty and the Beast video game.  I loved that thing!

7.  Favorite Christmas Present Given?  Oh wow, this is even harder!  I love picking-out the perfect gift for each of my loved ones.  Last year I purchased all gifts while I was in Beijing, China.  It was really fun to think about all of my favorite people while I was on the other side of the world.

8.  Stockings or No Stockings?  Definitely stockings!  Grandma Marge also knows how to knit a mean stocking.

9.  Christmas PJ's?  Yes, please!  My family has matching plaid pajamas that we wear when we're together on Christmas morning.

10.  Favorite Christmas Carol?  Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas performed by Judy Garland in the movie Meet Me In St. Louis (a must-watch Christmas movie for me)!

11.  Favorite Holiday Tradition?  Can I say all of them?  I just love this season so much and every activity that comes with it!  But hmm, if I have to pick one, I would say that it's decorating the Christmas tree and reminiscing about all of the ornaments.

12.  Early Shopper or Last Minute?  I would call myself a gradual shopper.  I start early but I don't rush.  I spread it out so I can find the perfect gift for each person.

13.  Favorite Christmas Movie or Show?  Oh lordy, the list is long.  My favorite movie of all time is Love Actually which I consider a Christmas movie.  But in terms of classics, I love Miracle on 24th Street.

14.  Favorite Holiday Beverage?  Hot cocoa with whipped cream!

15.  Cookies and Milk for Santa?  Of course!  Plus some carrots for the reindeer!

What about you?  Tell me about your holiday traditions!