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Sunday, December 25, 2011

25 Days of Christmas - Day #25 Christmas has arrived

by: Ashley

Whew!! I know Christmas isn't about decorating and baking and gift-giving, but yet, we all tend to get a little stressed with those things.  So it's somewhat of a relief when the day is finally here.  The day where I get to eat all the cupcakes I've been baking and watch my nephew and niece open up their presents and just relax with family watching cheesy Christmas specials. 

But right now I'm not relaxing...because I took on this recipe from Always with Butter:

Well, you'll notice in the recipe that she suggests the use of an stand mixer.  Not only do I not have a stand mixer... but I don't even have an electric hand mixer.  I didn't think it was going to be a problem, but now I've been whisking and whisking and whisking away... and my cloud frosting isn't forming any peaks :( 

I know it's odd that I don't have an electric mixer - but I'm in the middle of moving in with my fiance and I might have one somewhere in a box that is still packed.  I've tried not to buy too many kitchen items because I've registered for a lot of those items already.  I'm hoping that maybe the frosting will keep in the fridge until I can take it over to mom's house and use her electric mixer.  Wish me luck!!!

But anyhow, I hope you guys are enjoying the day with loved ones, and, most of all, remember what today is all about.  (Besides enjoying tamales and egg nog and cookies)

By the way - I just wanted to say how much Danie and I have enjoyed writing this blog! We've written a little over 50 posts now (crazy right?!!) and love hearing feedback.  I especially loved this 25 days of Christmas series we've done, but I hope you don't mind if we take a small little break to regroup and figure out our next direction.  

Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas! And we'll be back before the New Year :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

25 Days of Christmas - Day #24 Last Minute Gifting!!

By: Danie

So the big day is almost here!!! I said the same thing to Mike last year, "We aren't doing this to ourselves again next year" we were doing last minute shopping at the mall! It was total brain damage, the lines were insane and it's just too busy.

My idea and I promise I am doing it this year. I am going to keep a little journal with everyone that I need to purchase for or get a little gift and through the year just write down things they mention they need or like.... and throughout the year try and buy the gifts and put them in a box until Christmas. We are dying to enjoy the holidays :)

So some last minute gift ideas?!? Yes, please!

-Subscription for __________ (They have everything you could imagine)
-Coffee Table Books
-Decoupaged picture to canvas (It is super easy for a finished gift)
-Gift Cards
-Gift Basket of some of that persons favorite things

This year we were not really sure what to get for my dad. Really the only think he is interested in is his grandson so I am putting a great picture of the two of them in a frame as one of his gifts. This year we are doing a lot of travelling so we are trying to keep it simple.

Friday, December 23, 2011

25 Days of Christmas - Day #23 Our Friends of the Furry Variety

By: Danie

So in case you were wondering.... Ashley's party was great! I hadn't done the "Cupid Shuffle" in a while. It's just like riding a bike though....once you get movin' it all comes back to you!

Well I can't believe we haven't written about gifting for our fur babies?!?! We would be lost without our little Jimmy B and I know the same goes for so many other families. I am also pretty sure he got more gifts than Mike last year :) So what to get??

The Famed Christmas Sweater

While I was checking out the puppy selections online I stumbled upon the jackpot so to speak, Baxter Boo, it is an online emporium of awesome doggy sweaters, snowsuits, boots, goggles, graphic tees and toys. To say the least I was pretty impressed!

Toys & Such

About a year ago Martha Stewart launched her line of pet toys at Petsmart and when I saw the commercial I thought that they were the cutest toys ever (they almost look like toys for kids). They are reasonably priced but beware it looks like most of the toys are plush.

Everlasting Bento Ball

Now this is supposedly the "it" chew toy... I was informed that it is all the rage. There is a cavity for you to put your dogs favorite treat and then you put the everlasting treat on top of that cavity (this comes with the ball), it also has the little massaging bumps, Jimmy loooves toys with that. Supposedly it will last ions because the everlasting treat just chips off a little at a time. They come in three different sizes so if you have a strong chewer get the next size up. It may be available at pet supply stores but I have also seen it at Amazon.

Courtesy of Martha Stewart
Apple Cheddar Dog Biscuits


(Makes about 16)

2 cups barley flour

½ cup old-fashioned oatmeal

1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 tablespoons olive oil


1. Preheat oven to 350°F
2. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients and about 3 tablespoons water to form a dough. Roll out mixture between two sheets of plastic wrap and cut out biscuits with 3½-inch bone-shaped cookie cutter. Reroll scraps and continue cutting out dog biscuits.
3. Space biscuits 1 inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes until nicely browned and firm.
4. Transfer biscuits to a wire rack. Turn off oven and place rack in oven overnight. Remove from oven and store in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.

Hopefully those cute little fur balls have a very Merry Christmas!!! :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

25 Days of Christmas - Day #22 Cookie Cutter Ornaments

by: Ashley

So tonight's the big night... well not the BIG night but it's the big night of my ENGAGEMENT party! I'm so excited but at the same time there is so much to do!!

Which makes it totally awesome that I discovered this super easy project - it only took 10 minutes to do two of these.

Typically an ornament from the store cost anywhere between $5 and $15 (and of course there are some way more expensive).  Well I got a canister of cookier cutters for $5 and a set of 5 different ribbons for $5. So that's just $10 for the possibility of several different ornaments.  Oh and don't forget the double stick tape - it's so much easier to work with than glue.

I have about 10 more cookie cutters so I definitely plan on making more of these bad boys!!! They are just too easy to not absolutely love them.

25 Days of Christmas - Day #21 Gift Wrapping with Love

by: Ashley

Feliz Navidad! Feliz Navidad! I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas, I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas... ugh this song is stuck in my head!!!!

So this year I decided to try something a little different with my gifts. Instead of just buying wrapping paper, I purchased some plain white craft paper (which is less expensive!), red craft paper, and gold ribbon.  And the result was FANTASTIC.

If you want some other ideas check out my Pinterest Gift Giving board.  I really like these ones below featured on Grey Likes Weddings (photographs taken by Jenny Liu).  

Hopefully you are all done with your Christmas shopping and you can focus on the gift wrapping.  Of course if you make it too pretty then you won't want the recipient to tear it open! :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

25 Days of Christmas - Day #20 DIY Reindeer Cards

By: Danie

If you haven't already sent out your Christmas cards... you probably should get on it!! We have already sent out the stock photo cards! Being new parents we are a little overzealous.... well this blog is a first hand account of me being a "crazy mommy." If I didn't have a child, I would probably not be learning to sew, making personalized gifts or decorating my house for any holiday..... just being honest :)

Lucky for you I am a mommy!! So you get to see how I made the Reindeer Cards.

First you will need one of these....

So you can do this with hands or feet (I think it would be really cute if you could get your puppy's paw print!!). We chose feet because when your child is asleep its easier to get his foot prints.

1. Stamp hand print/footprint/paw print on the card
2. Use whatever you have on hand to decorate your card (markers, paper, glue, glitter, sharpies)
3. Put your message on the card- We used some of these for our nieces and nephew's Christmas money but made some of them thank you cards for Christmas gifts. {Ashley's blog yesterday suggested taking Christmas cards to the nursing home, so if you are in the giving back spirit make some extra and try to do that this Sunday. If you haven't read her post from yesterday you should check it out!!} 
4. We made all of our reindeer different and unique!!

These fun personalized cards were so fun to make and it shows your family that you put thought and care into something for them.

Monday, December 19, 2011

25 Days of Christmas - Day #19 Angels

by: Ashley

It sounds so cheesy to say it, but Christmas is truly the time for miracles.  My favorite way to give back during the holidays is to adopt an angel from the Salvation Army tree.  This year my angel was 4 years old and only asked for three items: a dress, a coat, and a barbie doll.  Of course I spoiled her with a little bit more than that!  But there are so many more children out there that won't have gifts to open on Christmas morning.  Or their gift will be a pair of shoes to replace the ones on their feet that have holes.
Recently, I heard that some people were doing more at their local stores.  When I heard about these Layaway Angels, I just about cried.  If you haven't heard, there are individuals out there paying off layaway accounts at K-Marts and Wal-Marts.  They are looking for accounts that have children's toys to help make sure that these kids will have a real Christmas.  You can read the story here.

If you are looking for a way to help out this holiday season, there are so many options.  Check out the Salvation Army website for information about donating.  See if your local soup kitchen needs help or food/monetary donations.  And I know that we typically talk about helping or donating to kids on the holidays, but there are many seniors who don't have any family.  One Christmas, I went to a nursing home and handed out Christmas cards and socialized with the residents.  They really do appreciate just having someone to talk with, especially during a season meant for family and friends.

There's still 6 days left til Christmas! It's not too late to donate or spend your time towards a good cause and become an angel to someone out there.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

25 Days of Christmas - Day #18 Gifting for the NFL Fans

By: Danie

This year I have not really stressed myself about gifts. My stress has been focused mainly on my twin nephews!! They are those kids that pretty much have everything they could want or need. However they are two of the sweetest boys you will ever meet. In my eyes Christmas is for the kids and I wanted to make it extra special to let them know that I know that they love basball cards and I really have been paying attention!!

Tweens are at an odd age where they are just now embracing who they are and what they like. Thankfully my nephews have a one tracked mind .... SPORTS! I think I came up with some good stuff check it out!

NFL Follies {A blooper real for the NFL - 60 yrs}

Blanket  {Hand made by me, made with new england patriots fabric}
Click the link for instructions

NFL M&Ms!!
OMG how awesome would this be in their stockings!

Since I have to get two of whatever I get I thought that the blankey would be awesome gifts!! Not only do they watch sports but they also play and on cold late nights out on the field I think this will come in handy. I made one for my son to cover his car seat and it is aweomse and warm!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

25 Days of Christmas - Day #17 DIY Wreath

By: Danie

So we have been lovin' these wreaths and whats one more?? Hope you enjoy and this one was really easy and quick!

Initially I was going to go buy a Styrofoam or straw wreath but I saw that beauty {i.e. the ugliest wreath EVER} at goodwill for $1.50.... you really can't beat that! My other materials include burlap garland, felt and pins. It was a really easy process, first you wrap the burlap around and pin as you go.

The hardest part will be making the flowers. You can make any felt flowers that you want but I was playing around with mine to make these flowers I saw online. To make these you cut out six circles, fold them in half and then cut the bottom off about 3/4 of the way down. I put red thread through all the circles and made a tight circle and had to pull the petals out. My close up of the big one doesn't look that great I had to reposition it a little.

Here is my new beautiful front door!
{I have made a bunch of wreaths and finally I've made one for myself!!!}
This was super fun and super easy of you have any questions just leave a comment! P.S. I think this would be an awesome gift even if you dont make it for christmas you can make something that is year round appropriate ;) Just saying...

Friday, December 16, 2011

25 Days of Christmas - Day #16 Stockings Stockings Stockings!!

By: Danie

BAAAH HAHAH ... I literally think of this song everytime someone says "Friday."
OK, sooo congrats we all made it to "Friday Friday."
I'll stop now :)

Not sure why but I have had stockings on the brain!! Getting into the holiday spirit was not too difficult this year, I actually got the tree out myself! So after decorating I felt like something was missing. Well because something was missing....STOCKINGS!?! I have a legit fireplace this year so there is no reason not to have some 2-legit-2-quit stockings! I did some digging and came up with some great stocking ideas.

The Not-So Traditional

Traditional Red & Green

There are so many creative stocking ideas out there, its AH MAY ZING! I have seen ice skate stockings, ballet stockings, boot stockings.. the list goes on and on. The possibilities are endless too, you can spice up the front door with a stocking instead of a wreath. You could decorate your staircase or another part of your home. It doesnt just have to be the fireplace :O

Even if you aren't that crafty you can purchase cheapy stockings and decorate them with ribbon, puff paint, glitter, felt balls or buttons. If you want it to look more finished you can get them embroidered at your local embroidery store (sometimes people have kiosks at the mall and they can personalize items in 30 minutes or less).

I was a tad inspired by all this stocking talk to make a cute little stocking for my puppy dog, Jimmy!! My final product is not finished but I used felt, fabric tac and puff paint to create a personalized bone shaped stocking :) I am really contemplating making a huge stocking for my front door..... lol I may be going a little overboard.
Now what to put in those darn stockings?!

I think everyone will agree that "Stockings Stockings Stockings" was an appropriate title!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

25 Days of Christmas - Day #15 White Elephant

by: Ashley

I know you don't need a reminder (because I certainly don't) but I'm going to say it anyway :)


Many of you probably have Christmas parties and lunches with different groups of friends or co-workers.  One of my favorite Holiday traditions is the White Elephant gift exchange.  There are different ways to play this game and the only constant is that there is a price limit set.  But sometimes the organizers encourage gag gifts, and other times they want you to bring gifts that are actually wanted.

It's hard enough to find a gift for the people we know and love... and now we have to buy a gift without even knowing who is going to receive it??? CRAZY IDEA huh? But that's the fun part!!!

Here are some ideas random but useful gifts I found from

If your White Elephant party encourages GAG gifts you should check this next set out.  The first two items are from and the second two are from - all of the gifts below are under $20. 

I think that bacon frosting would literally make me gag - but I had to include it.  This has been the YEAR of BACON-FLAVORED EVERYTHING

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

25 Days of Christmas - Day #14 Sparkle

by: Ashley

Hola!! So there are only 11 more days until Christmas!!! {And I'm totally stressing out because I'm no where close to being done with my shopping list!} But, of course I made time for this little craft:

I wanted to add some sparkle for when I walk through the door.  It was super easy to make - it just took a few hours.  All you need is:

Styrofoam cone (usually used for floral arrangements)

How cool would it be if you made a bunch of these in different sizes in slightly different patterns and grouped them together??  Oh, and even though it takes longer, it really looks better when all the sequins face the same way.  I found this out the hard way, but oh well - my next one will be better!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

25 Days of Christmas - Day #13 Gifting for Infants

By: Danie

Gifting for an infant can be a little tricky, you want to help out the family but you also can't help but get the cute little outfits and fun toys. When Michael was a newborn we got four of the same outfits all in the same size..... what were the odds! Honestly we had clothes for days... too bad they were only for the 0-3 month days :) Who could blame them?? All those small clothes are so much cuter than the big stuff. Definitely had to do some returning and exchanging. So here are some things that I think are great infant gifts!!

Savings Bonds

Why bonds? Well because it is low risk, you can get them in fairly reasonable denominations starting at twenty dollars up to five thousand. So you really don't need a ton of money to make an investment for the little guy or gal. The only downside is that after December, 2011 they won't be issuing paper bonds any longer (i.e. you cant just go to the bank and purchase a bond you will have to purchase them on the internet and print out a "certificate").


Well this is on my christmas list and to be quite honest I really should have asked for this from the get go, a convertible carseat (5lbs-65lbs), front strap adjusters (comes in soo handy) and cup holders. We had gotten a graco travel system as a gift but unfortunately my son is already too tall for it and getting him in and out without easy access to adjusting the straps is really a pain. These big ticket items can be a little pricey and unexpected (I didn't even think about him outgrowing his car seat! I thought that was a one time deal). Christmas for the baby doesn't really need to be "for the baby"... as long as there is something wrapped in paper you are doing good.

If you rather buy toys think about age approproiateness. Usually the 1yr toys don't work for 4 month olds. If you need a little help check out its a great site that has ratings and awesome toy ideas! My son is 6 months and is obsessed with his baby einstein bouncer and any sort of rattle/teether.

My best advice is to ask mom and dad what they need. Mike and I are trying to focus on saving for baby Mike's college education so family members have been sending cash or bonds. Buying for baby can be pretty easy but you want to get something that baby, mom or dad will find useful and you don't know the family situation so just ask!

Monday, December 12, 2011

25 Days of Christmas - Day #12 Advent Calendars

by: Ashley

Growing up I don't think my family ever did the Advent calendar.  This year, thanks to the wonderful site Pinterest, I've seen some REALLY cute ideas but I wanted to understand the idea behind the Advent Calendar first.  Yes, the calendar is one way to count down the days to Christmas, but it really is to help us remember that Christmas is much more important than just one day.  Advent is about celebrating the entire Christian season and not just one day. 

Well, I didn't have time to make an Advent Calendar but I think I will get a jump on it and make one for next year.  Here are my favorite ideas from around the web:

1. The Advent Pocket Calendar
Place various activities in the pockets (i.e. visiting Santa Clause, making cookies, volunteer, donate toys, watch a Christmas movie, etc.)

Check out the original post here.

2. Silhouette Advent Calendar

Check it out here. 

3.  Pottery Barn Inspired Framed Advent Calendar

Check it out here.

These ladies who made these are all so creative!!! And I wish I had time to make one this year for my home, but I'll just have to plan ahead for next year.  

Sunday, December 11, 2011

25 Days of Christmas - Day #11 Christmas KooKies

By: Danie

Christmas cookies are one of the best parts of the holidays! You can also put them in decorative tins and baskets and gift them to family members, neighbors and friends. SO I thought I would get you all in the mood for something sweet. {I had dreams last night about snickerdoodles, so sad when I got up this morning and there were none in the kitchen- this will make up for it though!}

Save the best for last...

O.M.Gee these look so good!

So now that I have tantalized your taste buds...two days in a row :) Sorry about that! I just thought that this would be a great, easy and affordable gift. It would also be fun for the family to do together.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

25 Days of Christmas - Day #10 Things that make you go mmmm.....

By: Danie

Finally it's that time of year where you can indulge! Cook rich foods, use lots of cheese, butter and share it with your friends and family. So what are y'all cooking for your get togethers and holiday dinners?? I don't think there is anything better than some home made mac and cheese... nom nom nom. Especially when it is decadent and rich! Initially I had this mac and cheese at Eddie Vs in Dallas but I found a similar recipe online at What We're Eating. This would be a fantastic dish to bring to a holiday pot luck. {add some lobster or crab to spice it up if you are into that sort of thing.... }

Wild Mushroom Macaroni and Three Cheeses with Truffle Oil

Easy Creamy Corn Casserole

Creamy corn casserole is a hit in this house but it is also a treat due to all the butter and the cup of cheese that I add to it :O My Aunt had made it years ago for Thanksgiving and I found a similar recipe online at

1/2 cup butter, melted

2 eggs, beaten

1 (8.5 ounce) package dry corn bread mix

1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained

1 (14.75 ounce) can creamed corn

1 cup sour cream

1 cup cheddar cheese (optional)

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and lightly grease a 9x9 inch baking dish.

2.In a medium bowl, combine butter, eggs, corn bread mix, whole and creamed corn and sour cream. Spoon mixture into prepared dish.

3.Bake for 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top is golden brown.

Now I am super hongry!!

Hope you all enjoy these decadent treats for the holidays!

Friday, December 9, 2011

25 Days of Christmas - Day #9 Gift Ideas for Grandmas

By: Danie

You don't really realize how enamored your parents will be with your child until you actually see it. My mom has never seemed like a kid person, even when I was a kid. She was never the one to run up to babies in the grocery store and ooo and ahhh over them. She enjoys quiet and watching MSNBC.

You can only imagine my surprise when my son was born and my mother couldn't get enough of him?! Yes, there was baby talk, lots of baby sitting... It was a whole new side of my mom. I would say the same is true of my fiance's mom. She seriously asked us if we wanted her to move to Texas, no joke... She refers to her grandson as the "sweet baby angel sent down from heaven."

How do you show your appreciation to these women that love your child as much as you do? "Wellst, obviously" there is no gift that can hold a candle to their grandbaby but we can try.......

For birthday's I will be giving the grammys a charm from planet jill. They are really great quality and it looks great. Ashley's mom has two in different shapes of her grandkids and its an eye catcher.

The clutch and bag were actually my mother in law's idea. We went to my soon to be sister in laws thirty one party and she got a clutch with all her grandbabys. It is really neat you can choose hair, skin tone, hair color and clothes.

My favorite is the footprint pendant, it's so precious. I love looking at photos of my sons feet so to have his little tootsies on you at all times, who wouldn't love that?

Initially my idea for the wrapped canvas wasn't just to give your mom the canvas with a cute photo of the baby, really it was to set up a photo shoot with just the grandparents and give them the photo on canvas for christmas. A lot of times the grandparents are behind the lens so giving them the opportunity to have photos of just them and their grandchildren is so special and something everyone can cherish.

...OR you could just give them another grandbaby, just sayin'

Happy Friday :)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

25 Days of Christmas - Day #8 Another.....DIY Ornament

By: Danie

Hope everyone is having a great hump day! Well today I wanted to show everyone my DIY ornament. I have actually made these before as keepsakes for my friends Grandma and Mom with him in his army class a's minus the glitter! Its a great gift to give around the holidays especially to grammys and poppys!

  • Clear Ornaments
  • Glitter
  • Clear Stamp Pad
  • Ribbon or Christmas Paper
  • Picture
  • Clear Spray Paint

First we stamped Mikey's tootsies with the clear stamp pad glue then rolled it on the ornament and dipped in glitter. At first it wont look great because the static makes glitter stick where there is no glue just use a little brush to get it off.
{couldn't get him to open his hand for anything but if you can get your little person's hand to open let me know how you did it!}.

I didn't have ribbon so I just curled some Christmas paper to spruce up the back of the ornament.

The final step is to trace the circle of the ornament on the picture you want use then cut and stick it in the top of the ornament. Seal with clear spray paint to keep the glitter on it.
{be very careful with the top of the ornament, I have had a ton break on me getting the top on and off}


Grammy's gift is ready to stick in the cute Christmas themed Chinese take out box with some tissue paper for cushioning. Great gift for everyone!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

25 Days of Christmas - Day #7 "The Elf on the Shelf"

By: Danie

Happy seventh day of Christmas!

So if you are like me, you had no idea what the heck "The Elf on the Shelf" was... apparently this thing has been around for-ev-er. Well I suppose when you enter the "mommy hood" you start caring a little more about things targeted for the little dudes and dudettes. Thanks to pinterest, I am now in the know about this magical elf business.

The story of the elf is as follows:

"Based on the tradition Carol Aebersold began with her family in the 1970s, this cleverly rhymed children's book explains that Santa knows who is naughty and/or nice because he sends a scout elf to every home. During the holiday season, the elf watches children by day and reports to Santa each night. When children awake, the elf has returned from the North Pole and can be found hiding in a different location. This activity allows The Elf on the Shelf to become a delightful hide-and-seek game."

First, this would be the most awesome gift for any little ones in your life. It is so special and you will be thought of when their little elf appears each year! This year my son will be seven months old on Christmas day and he will receive his elf. I know, a little premature but I really wanted to be the one to get him his elf and it felt extra special since it was his first Christmas.

We will have to name our little Elf since Mikey isn't quite able to and I believe his name will be Siggy or Schatzi {this is German slang for sweetie, my grandma called me that when I was little and Christmas was generally when we would see her}. I am so excited to start our little holiday tradition! Check out what some people have done with their elf on a shelfs {looks like I have to get a little creative}.

So I think you should get to ordering your elf!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

25 Days of Christmas - Day #6 DIY Wreath

by: Ashley

Howdy! So we had a great weekend of inspiration, and now it's time for another Christmas DIY.

This one is super easy!!!

Here was my inspiration:

Very pretty right?? Well I wanted to change mine up a little bit. I absolutely love lace so I wanted to see I this type of wreath would look with it.

Here is the final product. I should add a ribbon like the one above for some extra pizzazz!!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

25 Days of Christmas - Day #5 Holiday Party Dresses

by: Ashley

I am so EXCITED!!! Because I FINALLY got an engagement party dress.  It's not at all what I was looking for but I am going to totally rock it because it is HOT and from one of my favorite stores!

Oh and you may be asking how this fits into our 25 days of Christmas posts... well take this as inspiration for your own Holiday parties!

Before I reveal this dress, check out my inspiration.

I thought I was going to go with a gold dress, and I absolutely loved these:
These are all pinned on my Pinterest board.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find any gold dresses like these that I could actually afford.  And I bought my honey a black and purple dress shirt so a black dress would coordinate better.  Here's my inspiration for black dresses.
Check out the Pinterest board for these dresses.

So I went shopping for my dress and after trying out the department stores (Macy's and Dillards), I decided it was time to go to old faithful Francesca's Collection.  I can't find a picture online so I guess you guys will have to wait until I show it off in a few weeks!!!!  But I'll give you a hint... it's very similar to the third one above. Now just to find some shoes to go with it!

Happy Holidays!! and hope you enjoy your parties :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

25 Days of Christmas - Day #4 Personalized Gifts

by: Ashley

Wow these days keep flying by and I still have a huge to-do list before Christmas!!

Here are some gifts that are more personalized for your close friends.  My very close friend introduced me to this site called ThirtyOneGifts.  Their mission statement is awesome! All about celebrating, encouragng and empowering women :)

Just remember that you have to place your order by December 12 for guaranteed Christmas delivery (that gives you a week to shop their catalog online!).  Oh and the monthly special is really great too - for every $31 you spend, you get a gift (like a wallet or flat iron case) for just $5.  Here are a few items from the catalog below, but check out the website because there is so much more including totes, organizers, and lunch bags. 

Happy Shopping!!!! (21 more days!)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

25 Days of Christmas - Day #3 Gift Ideas for the Men in our Lives

by: Ashley

I'm really excited about this post!!! Because not only do I get to hopefully help you guys figure out what to get the boys in your life, but it has definitely helped me do my research as well.  I hope you feel inspired with this list!

1. For the Fitness-Obsessed Guy

2. For the Techie
(Prices quoted for products are from

3. Gifts for the Quirky Guy (all products below from

4. For the Fashion-Impaired Guy who needs some help!!
(Jeans from Lucky, Sweater from Macy's, and Scarf from Banana Republic)

5. For the Beer Connoisseur (all products below are from

Friday, December 2, 2011

25 Days of Christmas - Day #2 DIY Pearl Ornament

Wow - time is flying by. It's already December 2 which means only 23 more shopping days!!! Earlier today I was already stressing about all the things I have to do this weekend. Putting up the Christmas tree, helping my mom put up her 10 ft Christmas tree, shopping for Christmas gifts, shopping for an engagement party dress, finding the perfect gift to give to the host and hostess of the engagement party, wrapping up a couple more DIYs to post for you guys... Ahhhh the list gets overwhelming!!!

And I'm sure you guys can all relate.  This time of year is supposed to be cheerful but sometimes it just gets so demanding and stressful! Well we hope to take some of the stress away and give you some awesome gift ideas as well as some fun DIY Christmas decoration ideas.

I saw this pearl ornament on Pinterest pinned from Do It Yourself Divas blog.  Click the link to their blog to see the ornament or check it out here on my Christmas Pinterest Board.

So I decided to give it a try - and I'm so happy that I did!! It came out beautiful and will be my favorite ornament on the tree this year. The DIY Divas did it with a broken necklace - well I didn't have one of those laying around so I bought these glass pearls from Michael's:

I started out using super glue.  It actually worked really well but got messy and sticky.  Probably better to use a hot glue gun.  And I would totally recommend using tweezers to hold the pearls instead of getting the glue all over your fingers.  And whatever you do, don't try to use that fabric or jewelry glue - it doesn't dry fast enough and the pearls just fall off!!!
Just keep gluing the pearls on until you've covered the ball.  And that's all there is to it.  Add a ribbon and voila! You have a Hand-Made ornament for your tree.  This would also make a pretty cool present!!

Ok - so I told a friend of mine that I was going to be doing another Christmas Gift Guide today. But the truth is that I totally ran out of time to do the proper research.  But I'm not going to leave her empty handed!!  This website has some really AWESOME deals on decorations and crafts.  So if you aren't feeling very DIY - you can score some great deals on decorations.  It's called Save on Crafts but while they offer products for crafting, they also have a ton of products that are ready to go.

Like this Rhinestone Crystal Sphere for $8:
Or this oh-so-gorgeous ribbon and pearl garland for $24.99:

Ok - so as a special gift this December - Dani and I won't be posting just Monday through Friday.  Look for our posts on the weekends too!!! Especially this weekend since I'll be coming back to you with another Christmas Gift Guide!!! I have some really AH-MAZING inspiration for what to get the guy in your life, whether it be your honey, dad, brother or best friend!! Oh and Dani gave some awesome inspiration for gifts girls would love to get from their boo... but now we'll be throwing out even more ideas for what to get our best friends, sisters and moms.