Wednesday, December 30, 2015

5 NYE Recipes That Sparkle

Are you hosting the NYE bash this year? Or will you be attending a soiree to welcome the new 2016 year?  Either way, you might find yourself in the kitchen whipping up glamorous treats for the occasion.  Here are 5 recipes that sparkle and shine in all the right ways. 

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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

We Found Your New Years Eve Frock

This New Year’s Eve will be a little different.  There will be no champagne toasts, no heels, or eye catching sequin dresses, and most likely there will probably not even be any lipstick. Chances are this year when the ball drops you will find me snuggled on the couch with my handsome husband, in my most comfortable pj’s, with a messy bun plopped on top of my head, accessorized by one big ole round belly that I am absolutely in love with!  With that being said, I still love a good NYE frock and decided since I won’t be out and about cheers-ing the new year I could at least share my top picks to help you all decide on your look for the evening. 
 Shop Your NYE Look

 Shop Your NYE Look
Shop Your NYE Look

Body Con
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Monday, December 28, 2015

Quote of the Week {Weekend Wrap Up}

Christmas is one of my favorite holidays! I love coming together as a family, remembering the true meaning of Christmas, and of course all the gift giving.  It's just such a happy time.

Every year we spend Christmas Eve at my dear Great Aunt Flonnie's house.  She is 94 this year and I think we all are counting our blessing for having another year with her.  I have to be honest, I am a little camera shy since packing on the lbs for what is sure to be a healthy and plump Baby G, but I had to snap a few pics with my precious family!

 This is my and Scott's 3rd and last Christmas together as a family of two! So we were up at 6:30am to make special memories and open gifts just him and I! 

We really kicked things off at Scott's Parents!  There was an amazing breakfast, gifts all around, and great QT with the family!

Our next stop was to see my parents and brother!  I have to say "Santa" seriously impresses me every year.  I cannot count the blessings!  Baby G received so many gifts...this baby is already so loved and sure to be spoiled! 

 One of my favorite gifts that brought on yet another round of tears (I can't count how many happy tears I have cried lately) was this precious ornament from Sweet Mama.  To say our prayers with Baby G were answered would be an understatement! I still thank God in amazement for HIM blessing us with this priceless gift.

After we wrapped the Christmas festivities all I wanted to do was work in the nursery and start putting all of the little one's things away!  And, since I have been holding out on you all, and will be for a few more weeks I thought I would give you a tiny peek into Baby G's nursery!

I still can't get over how warm it was in NC these past few days.  Upper 70's for Christmas is just crazy!  So on Sunday, when we were back to our usual routine of cleaning around the house and running errands, our big boy got a much needed bath.  I'm not sure how happy he was about this at the time, but he sure seemed to be a happy boy after his bath!

So how was your Christmas?!  Did you enjoy lots of quality time with your family?

As we wrap up the 2015 year and welcome a new fresh 2016 I leave you with this quote!

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Thursday, December 24, 2015

An Ashley Family Tradition

In just a few short hours I will be unplugging and cherishing Christmas moments with my favorite loved ones.  But, before I go, I want to share one of our family traditions that I hope you can adopt for your family.

Every Christmas morning my brother and I would rush downstairs to see what Santa had brought us that year. We would rip through the wrapping paper, screaming with excitement, tossing one gift to hurry and discover the next gift and before you knew it the living room looked like a bomb went off and gifts were everywhere.  My Sweet Mama really felt like we weren't truly appreciating our gifts or taking time to really enjoy each gift.  So she and "Santa" decided it was time to come up with a new plan for the kiddos.  When I was about 5 years old and my brother 9 we came downstairs one Christmas morning to find a sign in front of all of gifts that said STOP! "First, put on your new pajamas and your mama will explain the rest." So we did just that.  Then mama began to read "the rules"...

Each of your gifts has been numbered.  Now the trick here if you have more than one kid, especially ones who LOVE gifts from Santa (like me), make sure both or all kids have the same number of gifts!  Then Mama would randomly pull a number from her bowl of numbers that she had made.  "Number 7" OK,  now Brent and I would shuffle through our pile of gifts to find the present marked #7!  We would both open ours then wait for the next number to be called.  There is ALWAYS a present in the stack (usually the biggest box) that we were dying to open!  BUT, you had to wait till that number was called.  It was so intense!!  This process of opening Santa's gifts fills more time and also makes you really take in each gift.  Another added bonus, your parents get to see the excitement on your face with each present!  Dad's, your main job is to film the kids opening the gifts!  Oh and try to keep the camera steady!  I swear you need a Dramamine pill before watching our old home videos.

Sharing this tradition with you all brings a bittersweet feeling to me.  Now most kids stop believing in Santa and for me...I am almost 34 and I STILL believe in the magic of Christmas.  For almost 30 years now I have opened my presents alongside my brother with Mama calling numbers. It's just a tradition you never seem to grow out of.  This year will be our last year that we open gifts this way.  As of next year, I will be "Mama" and I will take on the role of helping Santa by calling numbers to our sweet "Baby G" on Christmas morning. It's a moment I can hardly stand waiting for.  A moment I have dreamed of and a tradition I have longed to pass down to my very own family.

May you all have a Blessed and Merry Christmas!  May you also remember that Christmas is about something way more important that opening gifts.  

I wonder what God wants for Christmas…Maybe peace on Earth, no more empty seats in church
I wonder what God wants for Christmas…What might put a smile on HIS face, Every Bible with no dust, the devil giving up
I wonder what God wants for Christmas…More sister, more brother, more lovin' one another
What if we believe in HIM…Like HE believes in us...

Merry Christmas! 

(all images via pinterest)

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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

From the Gaither Kitchen {Christmas Pinwheels}

Cranberry Pecan Christmas Pinwheels are one of my favorite appetizers to make over the holidays.  They are festive, bite size, and always a crowd pleaser.  

What You Will Need  

2- 8oz packages of cream cheese
1 Cup of coarsely chopped pecans
6 slices of bacon (cooked crisp so it will crumble)
1 Cup of dried cranberries (chopped coarsely)
½ Cup of green onions (thinly sliced)
4 large tortillas (2 sun dried tomato and 2 spinach if you want to “tis the season”)

Combine all ingredients (minus the tortillas) in a large bowl. Lay one tortilla on a flat surface and spread ¼ of the mixture evenly across the tortilla going all the way to the edge. Roll the tortilla up tightly and wrap in plastic wrap. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. To serve, unwrap each roll and cut into slices about ¼ inch thick.  To shorten the amount of time on this recipe I suggest a KitchenAid Food Chopper (I live by mine when cooking) and you can also buy microwaveable bacon and cook crisp. 

 Plate, Garnish, Enjoy!

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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Last Minute Holiday Gifts

Still in search of a few last minute holiday gifts?  We have the most perfect round up for you!  Have a look at these great, easy to shop finds that are ALL at the perfect prices, because let's be real... we know we all are officially over budget at this point! 

Happy Shopping

4. Target Fur Throw + Knit Throw

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Monday, December 21, 2015

Quote of the Week {Weekend Wrap Up}

Happy Monday and Merry Christmas!  This past weekend we celebrated my amazing husband’s 32nd Birthday! We kicked things off on Friday night with a birthday dinner with my family! 

Saturday on Scott’s actual birthday we started the morning with gifts of course.  After Scott was spoiled, we spent the day with Scott’s parents and nephew shopping and just spending QT time together.   

Saturday night we wrapped up the celebrations with dinner with a few of our closest friends.  After dinner we all drove out to see what all the fuss was about regarding a home in a neighborhood putting on a light show.  It really was pretty cool, the family broadcast from a local radio station so once you tuned in and had the music the show was super adorable!  Right now we keep our home pretty Christmas classic, but I told Scott we totally have to do a National Lampoons kinda Christmas as we continue to grow our family!

Sunday, was super exciting! We registered for our precious little Baby G!  I have had the hardest time with  registering because I am not really into the "baby stuff".  You all know I am simple. I like whites and golds and clean crisp looks.  So trying to keep this in mind while prepping for a baby that we don't even know the gender of is super hard.  BUT, we did it! 4 registries total!!  I am finally happy with the selections! Registering for our wedding was way easier.  I feel so clueless shopping for the "necessities" for Baby G, but I totally have a handle on buying our angel clothes! 

I just love this picture of Scott! It just melts my heart when I see him reading up on strollers and such to make sure they are perfect and safe for Baby G.  My nickname for him is "Danny Tanner" because he has so many of the same qualities.  I just love it!


I wish you all the most beautiful and magical Christmas and may we all today and always remember the reason for the season! 

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