Bringing the Good News!

Wishing the merriest of Christmases to you and yours!

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And the angel said unto them: 

Fear not, for, behold, I bring you great joy of good tidings, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born on this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord”
[Luke 2:10-11]
xoxo,
heather + matt + leroy
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Let your heart be light!

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It’s Christmas Eve and our celebrations are in full force!  I was just discussing some fun family traditions with friends (haha, Elise) and it lead to some reminiscing on our own traditions old and new.  

Here are some fun things we’ve done through the years plus some of Matt’s and mine we’ve adapted:

1. Watching A Christmas Story on Christmas Eve

2. Enjoying a delicious family dinner leading up to Christmas> either beef bourguignon or london broil/pork loin

3. Exchanging Christmas pjs

4. Walking the beach on Christmas Eve morning

5. Sit on stairs waiting on parents to film our gifts before we see them (tell me they’re not the only ones- it’s kinda weird)

6. Go to the movie theaters the afternoon of Christmas Day (last year it was Les Miserables, this year it’s Wolf of Wall Street)

7. Biscuits and gravy the morning of Christmas

8. Visiting the grandparents throughout the day

What are your Christmas traditions? Any you’re looking forward to starting this year?

xoxo, heather

Five on Friday

I’m linking up with the lovely ladies of the Five on Friday again- I’ve missed the last few weeks and have really missed it!

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Y’all!  Is it really Friday already?  While most of you are celebrating because today marks your last day of school/ work before Christmas or maybe just your last day of work before the weekend, I’ll be pulling one of those 12 hr shifts and strolling right into a weekend of work;)  Noticing a pattern?!  The great news is I still have joy in my heart; and this week has given me a full tank to run on for this stretch of work.

O N E.

That bring’s me to this week’s number 1.  Have you ever prayed and prayed and prayed and PRAYED for something to happen and then stopped?  Stopped because it’s exhausting and disappointing and maybe you’re just scared the answer will be ‘no’?  Well, Matt and I have been in our new city for a little over a year together.  While we’ve so enjoyed making it “our” place, we have struggled to make friends.  Now, don’t hear me say that we don’t have any– because the friends we have made here are so dear to us and we could almost squeeze them so tight to not lose them.  We can acknowledge the great gifts from God they are.  But let’s be real, making friends as married adults [who work retail= funky schedules] is much more difficult than doing it in college.  No forced community here!  

So back to my original point- I’d pretty much stopped praying about it.  Because I certainly wanted the answer to be ‘yes’ and if it wasn’t, then I didn’t want to hear the ‘no’.  Matt and I both, really, were initially concerned when I began this blog, I’d be potentially shutting myself off from the community around us here in NC and opening up to this fictitious community on the web.  Until it’s not fictitious.  That’s right.  You guys are real people and I’ve seen what an online community can do.  And then the other day, I find myself meeting a sweet woman [read: complete stranger] for coffee.  In real life. Elise and her husband are very similar to Matt and me, but really she is just a normal, down-to-earth, breath-of-fresh-air person with whom I was able to sit and talk as though we’d been friends for years.  Praise the Lord!  

Praise the Lord for all our dear friends we’ve made- and are continuing to make.  Thank the Lord that He stays here with us and is continually working on our behalf even when we give up.  Huge win for the week, people!

T W O.

Obviously, it doesn’t compare to number ONE, but I recently stopped by the dollar section in Target.  BAD IDEA.  You guys?!  They had a ton of gold knick-knacks.  I know what you’re probably thinking- crap.  But it was a whole bunch of office notepads, journals, pens, pencils, stickers… <– right, I sound like a child.  Well, it made my day and I can’t wait to ring in the new year with my brand new gold office stuff [FOR A DOLLAR].photo (4)

T H R E E.

Yesterday marked one week until Christmas.  I am extra giddy about this year’s celebrations.  Matt and I will be doing our thing here on the 24th-25th and will be headed to SC following work on the 26th.  This will be the first time my whole family has been together since news of this [my sister] and I know it’s going to be extra sweet when we hug their necks.  We’ll make our way to Matt’s parents’ house and close out the weekend.  It will be quicker than I ever desire but so nice to be able to celebrate the birth of Jesus surrounded by our dearest.

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F O U R.

Today’s date is 12/20.  Two days ago it was 12/18.  Speaking of 12/18 [like how I created my own segue there?], my birthday is 1/18; meaning, we are officially on the countdown.  Call me ridiculous, but I think everyone should celebrate their birthday for at least one week.  Then you have to count down for a month.  Am I alone in this?  Sweet Matt’s birthday is 1/15 so our weeks intersect- this means he generally gives in to whatever I plan… oops.  And since we hardly ever have our birthdays off from work, it’s totally necessary to celebrate on more than one day.  

Let’s just call it what it is, I’m doing a lot of justifying up there.  Moving on.

F I V E.

I linked up yesterday with some lovely ladies to bring you NYE outfit ideas.  I had a blast putting clothes together online- then again, I would be a personal shopper if it paid the bills.  We will be linking up for the next 2 weeks discussing party ideas and goals/wishes for the new year.  Check back for those posts and join us in the link-up!

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Happy Friday, y’all!

xoxo, heather

New Year’s Eve

Have you ever been to one of those huge, magical New Year’s Eve parties that are always in the movies? You know the ones where you typically have to live in a big city to even have the opportunity. This is the picture I always have in my head leading up to December 31st. There have been various reasons we haven’t made it to a jamming party in the past- be it work, friends being scattered or being asleep.  

Did I just say that? Yes- I, Heather, have fallen asleep before the grand NYC ball drop more than once.. even in recent years.  What can I say, girl’s gotta have her sleep. With that said, I’m excited for today’s post!

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I am linking up with The Birdie Bowl and The Ledford Life to bring y’all some snazzy NYE outfits I hope to one day be able to don (maybe in New York?!).  Without further ado..

Screen shot 2013-12-19 at 8.59.18 AMGold Dress // Black Dress // Jeweled Necklace // Tassel Necklace // Earrings // Fur Coat // Fuzzy Ascot // Gold Strap Heels // Clutch // Gold Open Toe Shoes // Black Heels

Like the accessories yesterday, I could go on and on with the party-ready outfits.  It’s probably because I could never wear anything remotely flashy on a regular basis- something about that white lab coat that just takes away from it.  

Got any outfits you’re ready to break out on the big night?  Please share!  And be sure to link up with us!

xoxo, heather

ps. I ran across this adorable number right before posting- it’s definitely worth the mention. Oh, Anthropologie..

Good as Gold

There have been so many fashion trends this season.  I feel like, for the most part, they have been relatively risky.  No longer can you both embrace a trend and remain in your comfort zone.  Am I the only one who feels this way?  With that said, I have loved about 93% of what I’ve seen.

From the new neutral: leopard, to faux fur, to leather galore, to print-mixing, to plaid for days, to layers upon layers, to stacked jewels, to GOLD.  Did I miss any?  I’m sure I did!  But what I think makes me the happiest about all these is it only requires one subtle change, one “piece of flare” added to any outfit to jazz it up.

Then again, there are those of us who choose to go overboard sometimes; but once you are freed from your comfort zone, it really is difficult to go back.

So that brings me back to my original point: one of my favorite trends.  Gold.  GOLD. Gold. Is there anything flashier?  I submit not.  And it’s everywhere these days.  I’ve put together some of my favorite options which have been hard to ignore when I am supposed to be elfing for everyone else.  Even better: it’s not just limited to your wardrobe.

[ H O M E ]

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[ C L O T H E S ]

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[ A C C E S S O R I E S ]

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Maybe I went a little crazy with the accessories- what can I say?  They are that little something to brighten up any outfit and are typically less expensive.  I’m thinking there should be a lot of glitz and sparkle in your NYE outfit this year!

Do you feel like you’re on gold overload?  Nah, I didn’t think so 😉 Anything I left out that you are loving about this trend?  Please share!

xoxo, heather

Back on the Blog Train

Hello, Monday!

This weekend was one full of rest, sweet friends, scrumptious food [lots of it!], and time away from all our to-do lists.  Matt and I took off to Charleston on Friday night to visit our friends for a couple of days.  We did [surprise, surprise] partake of some delicious meals while there, beginning with our victory steaks at midnight when we arrived.  So maybe not the smartest thing we’ve ever done, but the steaks were amazing!  All from a friendly little bet about the gender of our friends’ forthcoming baby, due in like a week!!!

The weather wasn’t anything to write home about, but that led to running the streets of Charleston in monsoon-like downpours searching tirelessly for an open restaurant to feed us.  The city was filled with the Christmas spirit; holiday medleys pouring from the stores/ restaurants into the open air, Charles Dickens-esque carolers serenading the crowds, and bagpipes strolling through King Street.  

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Saturday night’s dinner was followed by a much-anticipated trip to James Island to see their Christmas light display.  Karsen and I were like little children, ooing and ahhing at all the lights.  I gotta say, I was really impressed with how much was put into the decorations.  There were even lots where you could park throughout the drive and see sand sculptures, roast s’mores, ride a carousel, sit on santa’s lap [we did not!], and see holiday-themed artwork from local schools.  They really did it up; I certainly got my Christmas-light fix for the season.  So it wasn’t our local Airlie Gardens, but we were able to enjoy it with friends, making it even better!

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Our trip wrapped up with a trip to King Street for some shopping, aka getting inspiration from Anthropologie [can we please get one to come to Wilmington?!!] and Williams Sonoma, and discovering an adorable USC merchandise store that’s popped up over the last year.  Matt also allowed me to indulge in some Starbucks on the way home- what a keeper!  

We so needed this trip to hug the necks of our dear friends but we are so happy to be home and get to snuggle our pup again!  I hope your weekend was joyful and you’re refreshed for the week ahead.

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Check back later this week for one of my favorite trends this winter season!

xoxo, heather

Radiant Orchid

So here’s the deal.  Did you know there was a Color of the Year?  Maybe if you’re in the design field or are obsessed with colors in general, or maybe you pay a bit more attention to fashion than others.  But maybe you didn’t know.  2013’s color was Emerald.  

What a fancy green, huh?  Emerald.  A gemstone primarily mined in Colombia, it’s a common feature of breathtaking jewelry adorning the necks, ears, and wrists of women all across the globe.  Without even knowing it, I’ve worn emerald garments all year long.  It’s been one of my favorite colors this season, along with most other jewel-tones.  

This reminds me of that scene in The Devil Wears Prada when Meryl very calmly puts poor Anne Hathaway in her place.  

But I’d like to think I’m a little more aware than she in this movie.

About a week ago, PANTONE® announced the 2014 Color of the Year. It’s Radiant Orchid, or PANTONE® 18-3224.  Here’s what Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute® had to say about it:  

“An invitation to innovation, Radiant Orchid encourages expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today’s society.”

“An enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.”

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And if you’re interest is peaked, please proceed to the full PANTONE® Fashion Color Report for Spring 2014.  

While my initial reaction was one of hesitation [you see, I have this pale, pasty, freckle-covered skin], I’ve come across some great pieces to help fuel my inspiration.  It’s my goal to help you get a jumpstart on next years trend.

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PS. Everything at the LOFT is 50% until midnight with code HOLIDAY. And don’t forget to use Ebates to get cash back.  Now that’s hard to pass up!

What do you think about 2014’s CotY?  Are there any items you’ve already picked out for early 2014?

xoxo, heather

MIA

M   I   A

No, not a girl’s name.  I’ve been missing in action for almost a week!  That’s a sin in blogger-land.  A million apologies.  My excuse: work.  Work gets in the way of play so much sometimes.  I’m in the middle of what basically will be 8 straight days.  That’s a sin in pharmacist-land.  

But ’tis the season.  

‘Tis the season, indeed.  I’ve had somewhat of a running holiday bucket list in my head, and we’ve done a pretty good job of checking things off.

1. Get tree. (I work with a pretty awesome pharmacist whose family cuts these down around Thanksgiving each year and brings them back to sell.  Matt and I are starting to love this tradition.

2. Decorate tree and house. While I’ve gotten a lot of new decor this year, I enjoyed unwrapping the sentimental ornaments from this year and last most of all!  Matt surprised me with so many that secretly made their way back in our suitcases from our honeymoon.  So special!

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3. Watch Christmas movies.  -this one is sort of ongoing.  So far we’ve hit Four Christmases, Love Actually, some hallmark favorites (mine, duh!).  Upcoming- Home Alone, Family Man, and of course, A Christmas Story on Christmas Eve.

4. Build Gingerbread House.

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5. Holiday Parties.

6. Hot Chocolate. With marshmallows, a candy cane, and a Hershey’s kiss at the bottom.

7. Elfing.  We’re in the process- hoping to get it all done before the week of Christmas.

8. Drive through Enchanted Arlie Gardens.  -a local garden that is decorated all over with lights, lots of glorious lights.

We’re always adding to it, especially if I hear of something going on locally.  I wish I could just bottle up everything I love about this time of year and replay it over and over.  This time is certainly special, ultimately remembering the most glorious gift of all, Jesus.  My She Reads Truth-Emmanuel Advent devotion has been helpful in keeping it in the forefront.  

What about y’all?  Any sweet new traditions?  What about your holiday bucket list?

xoxo, heather

 

 

Gift Guide <$100

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Final gift guide link-up, ladies and gents!  This one should help you find ideas for those hard-to-gift people in your life.  Am I the only one who has a bunch of men like that in their family?!

So without further ado…

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1>> Bittermilk. Won the Made in the South Award for drinks from my ever-favorite, Garden & Gun.  Take a look around their website.  This is a great gift for some of your difficult men who also like to enjoy a fancy beverage every now and then.

2>> Magic Bullet Deluxe.  What began as kind of funny when Matt gifted my younger, high-school aged brother with this a few years ago, has now turned into the best gift that we’ve all given each other.  I’m serious.  You can use these things for virtually anything!

3>> Big Bang Theory DVD. Or really any copy of their favorite TV series seasons.  This happens to be one of my family’s favorite shows.  Sheldon…

4>> Homedics Foot Massager.  This one hardly needs a reason.  For someone who stands on her feet for upwards of 13 hours at a time, just yeah.

5>> Statement Jewelry.  For the fashion forward women in your life.  These things sparkle, and then sparkle some more.

6>> Poker set.  Or any game that your family/ guys like.  I know Matt used to enjoy poker with his friends in high school on the reg.

7>> Anthropologie clutch.  It doesn’t have to be Anthro.  But then why not?  My sister says this store is a glimpse of the inside of her soul.  I can attest that it is pretty beautiful!  Super affordable gifts from this wonderful store this year, you can’t go wrong!

Alright, ladies.  I’m out for a 12 hour shift at work today- enjoy!

Thanks again to Cheers Y’all and Down with the Dearmore’s for hosting!

xoxo, heather

It’s beginning to look….

..a lot like Christmas!!

I just love this season.  I’ve been caught in this state of wanting so badly to decorate for Christmas and Matt has refused.  I get it…  I guess.  But let’s be honest, this really is the most wonderful time of the year!  [Cue music].

I had an extra long weekend off from work and I ate up every minute of it, literally and figuratively.  Matt and I had a quaint little Thanksgiving by ourselves;  it was bittersweet, with an emphasis on the sweet.  I missed seeing all of our family, but it was so nice to enjoy a home cooked meal together.  And I’d say we did a pretty terrific job!  Matt roasted a chicken- it was mouth-watering… so juicy and full of flavor.  I made stuffing and gravy, green bean casserole, and Matt finished it off with his mom’s famous cranberry fluff.  Naturally, we needed a long winter’s nap with some football on the side.  

{My apologies for the lack of food pictures this time, we ate way too quickly to snap any! Oops!}

There was more than enough time the rest of the weekend for me to rest, majorly clean the house, spend time with dear friends, decorate, and even do my favorite- elfing!  We cheered Carolina on to a victory over our rival Clemson – five in a row, my friends.  

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And we even got our Christmas tree!  I so enjoyed our sweet weekend together.  I’ve included some pictures of our decorations around the house- truly excited about these.  All I’m going to say is sometimes you gotta splurge and other times you gotta hit up the local Dollar Tree.  But once it’s all put together- no one will ever know the difference!

<<The Outside>>

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<<The Inside>>

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<<The Tree>>

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<<The Dining Room>>

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Needless to say, I cannot wait to host sweet friends and family during this season.  And you better believe this decor will be staying well into January.  That’s not tacky, right?

Before I return to work today, I’ll be making an advent wreath/calendar/thing somehow, someway.  For those of you interested- we’re following along with the She Reads Truth: Emmanuel study for this year’s Advent.  Join us!

>> UPDATE:  I just ordered this Advent Calendar printable PDF.  Plus, enter code BLACKFRIDAY13 to get FORTY percent off your order(!!!).  Support small business and have a wonderfully creative Advent calendar that gives you the flexibility of making it your own! <<

How have you decorated for Christmas time?  What has been you’re favorite part so far?  Any secret deals you’ve found?

{Also, don’t forget- CYBER Monday is in full force.  These sales are blowing my mind!  If you buy anything online today, please google their specials and don’t forget to go through Ebates!  I repeat- make your dollars go so much further!}

Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for the final gift guide link-up with Cheers Y’all and Down With the Dearmore’s!

xoxo, heather

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