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

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

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

Stocking Stuffers!

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Here I am again with another edition of my favorite things this year- this time with some stocking-stuffer appropriate gifts.

Screen shot 2013-11-26 at 8.47.25 AM{1} Garden & Gun’s The Southerner’s Handbook:  I died when this became available.  I cannot express just how excited I am when my new issue of G&G arrives every 2 months, so I was swooning over this handbook.  It’s both ridiculous and amazing at the same time.  

{2} Gold Tassel Necklace: BrinaBox has this on major sale.  I would never be able to get it at its original price, but can you beat this sale?  This would be a wonderful addition to my growing collection of necklaces.  And these tassel necklaces just about go with everything.

{3} Leopard Scarf: Again with BrinaBox.  Leopard is my favorite neutral of the season, but surprisingly, I’m still without a scarf in this print.  Granted, I have amassed more scarves over the years than any sane person should, but recently I’ve been trying to scale down and this one would [just like the necklace above] go with so much in my closet!

{4} Annual Christmas PJs:  From my beloved Target, I can’t wait to get cozy in some new Christmas PJs.

{5} Rifle Paper Co TYs: Gold Gold Gold.  It’s always appropriate to write thank yous.  No matter what.  These are super chic and can be used for any occasion.  Rifle Paper Co does it again.  Can you tell I have a stationery obsession?!

{6} Gold Starbucks Sleeve: It’s a special treat these days to enjoy some Starbucks coffee drinks, and this sleeve would make it even more sweet.  I could even use it with my homemade coffee drinks at work just to jazz it up a bit.

{7} Starbucks Gift Card: a duh.

What are some of your ideas for stuffers?  Join us today!  And thanks again to Cheers Y’all and Down with the Dearmore’s for hosting!!

xoxo, heather

A Few of my Favorite Things

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I know it’s pretty late, but this girl just finished a 12 hour shift and a trip to the gym with my man crush.  

Tonight I’m joining Cheers Y’all and Down with the Dearmore’s to feature our wishlists.  So without further ado, these are a few of my favorite things!

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<1> KJP. I’m always a fan of American-made and these bracelets are stylish, too.  Made in New England, Kiel James Patrick’s pieces are both creative and charming and there are a variety from which to choose.

<2> Rifle Paper Co.  Need I say more?  I love all things paper and this company has the most amazing designs.  I have some of their notecards framed around our house, I love them so much.

<3> These boots!!  Their on huge sale right now at Macy’s, plus go through Ebates and get cash back- cha-ching!  I’ve gone without black boots for a couple years now and I think it’s about time I add to these to my closet.

<4> Love Does.  I’ve heard so much about this book and am about ready to dive into reading again in my spare time.  I’m ready to find out just what love does.  Join me?

 <5> Blue House Paperie. I cannot rave enough about this new etsy shop.  One of my sweet college friends is showing off her artsy abilities.  She can do custom orders based off pictures of your own home or make cute notecards and prints.  Don’t waste any time getting your order in before the holidays!

<6> Mia 2.  I guess maybe I’m late to jump on this train, but I’m so wishing for one of these.  The thing I like about the concept of this beauty product is it’s not about putting something else on to cover up what’s there, but rather about getting down to the bare look; taking care of what you’ve got.  Yes, please.

<7> Brittany Fuson Planner.  I love fashion.  I love art.  I love planning.  I’m OCD.  Can I get an amen?  Stocking Stuffer, please, babe?!  Enough said!

Sorry for being so late with this one, join us next week for another edition!  Anything you’re hoping to get this year?

xoxo, heather

Weekend Recap

Shoot.  It’s Monday already.  I feel like I’ve been off work for so long- it’ll be hard to make myself go in this afternoon.

This weekend was spectacular.  I had 3 days off work, Friday to myself and Saturday/ Sunday with Matt.  We decided to revisit the local high school crowd at their football game on Friday night.  We always have so much fun going and reminiscing about when we were there [almost 9 years ago!!].  This time we were cheering for the home team whose colors are black and orange.  Those of you who know me, know that my dad would murder me if he found anything orange in my closet.  I was sure I didn’t have anything.

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Well I’m not sure where I got it, but I had one orange sweater- perfect for wearing that night.  Don’t judge me, it’s totally burnt orange. This was also the first time I’ve ever left a sporting event before it ended- the home team was up 33-0 at the half.  No thanks, those weren’t my Gamecocks and it was cold 😉

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Matt and I celebrated our anniversary on Saturday beginning with him surprising me with a gift.  I screamed and jumped when I discovered beautiful china on our dinner table.  I never registered for china when we got married; we wanted to make sure we got our essentials.  I know, a typical southern girl didn’t consider china… gasp. Honestly, I’ve been a little sad about it since but I found out I’d be getting a set from my mom… just as soon as we had somewhere to safely keep it.  Then a couple of months ago Matt and I were at one of our local consignment stores in Wilmington. The Ivy Cottage is a massive, three building store that has some of the most amazing finds.  We were browsing the selection when I came across a beautiful set of china for a ridiculously reasonable price.  Matt so sweetly took note and actually went back that same day and bought it.  He’s had it ever since! Y’all, I was in tears when he gave it to me.

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I had already taken him to pick out his gift a couple of weeks ago.  I knew I wanted to get him a fishing pole [or two] so we could start taking advantage of the local waterways, but I felt like he would enjoy picking them out, too.  Boy was I right?  We went on our day trip to Myrtle Beach a while back and he picked out 2 rod & reels, a sweet Bass Pro hat [totally necessary, of course] and some other goodies to fish in style.  He’s already taken Leroy to the beach to try them out!

We also got to see his mom and friend that morning when they brought us some sweet treats from one of our favorites, The Confectionary.  Mom also spoiled us with some beautiful ornaments marking our anniversary and new house to add to our growing collection for our Christmas tree.  These are becoming so special to take out each year and place on the tree.  

I wish we could still be relaxing during the weekend, but alas, it’s time to put my big girl pants on and jump back into the work grind.  Join me later this week when I highlight the food we enjoyed over the weekend.  That’s right, it deserves a post of its own!

xoxo, heather

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