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Welcome to 2017, friends! We had the most enjoyable winter break with the kids. It included time with family, friends, each other and so many simple fun moments playing board games, napping, watching movies. We spent Christmas Eve and Day with our entire family (with the exception of just a few people). Our home was full of people, joy, laughter and playing. So much playing! My cousin’s twin girls are almost two so the house just felt alive with all four kiddos and all of the fun aunts and uncles who were on the floor and in the basement playing full force. It was amazing! We hosted a small group of some of our closest friends on New Year’s Eve as well. It was a fairly last minute gathering so I didn’t feel the pressure to host how I might normally host. That was incredibly fun and freeing. The evening was filled with sugar-high kiddos playing, laughing, dancing, parents acting ridiculous and so much more.

I have to admit that while I’m normally someone who starts a new year filled with goals and ideas, I’m finding myself feeling content. I’ll certainly set goals for my career. I’ll likely set personal goals of one kind or another. I’ll continue to exercise a few days a week and strive to eat well, but I don’t have any intense desire to make huge changes this year (other than one thing-I plan to ROCK The Snapchat. ;) I just figured this thing out thanks to a friend and am a bit obsessed. Ridiculous?! I know!). Read More »


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DIY Confetti Packing Peanuts and Free printable holiday gift tagsSometimes the pace of the holiday season takes away from how magical everything is. I love slowing down to enjoy some of my favorite parts of this beautiful season.

Getting creative can be so fun this time of year. Whether you love trimming your tree, baking amazing holiday cookies or spend hours wrapping gifts, taking a moment to savor the season is lovely.

DIY Confetti Packing Peanuts and Free printable holiday gift tags

Today I’m sharing another fun way to get creative this holiday season with FedEx Office. I’m excited to share my DIY confetti packing peanuts project and two free printable confetti gift tags you can use for all of your gift tag needs. The gift tags are finished with confetti so they will match your DIY packing peanuts perfectly. Read More »


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Jingle All the Way holiday party DIY ornament crafting station

Oh friends! I’ve been excited to share this party with you for quite a while now, but December is truly busy in my line of work. I’m finally sharing the beautiful images  Sabrina Reis captured for us. And due to time constraints, I’m not writing much.

Live The Fancy Life | Holiday Joanna Gaines Matilda Jane Party | Sabrina Reis Photography

We had a simple dessert table. The backdrop was made from pretty plaid wrapping paper I found at Home Goods, bulletin board paper from Joann Fabrics and a wood Jingle all the Way cutout from an Etsy shop I recently found. Desserts were all store bought for this party. It was effortless!

Jingle All the Way Party

Store bought paper bows, bottle brush trees and a cheap wood cutout (less than $1) helped fancy up the cake.

Jingle All the Way Party

Have you tried the gingerbread cookie sticks from Trader Joe’s yet?! If not, you must! These ones were a touch dry, but another pack I got for a different gathering was pure perfection!

Jingle All the way party

The bar cakes at Target bakeries are another favorite! This one was chocolate hazelnut. It was good, but the peanut butter chocolate one is the best!

Jingle All the way party

Christmas time is the only time of year when I feel like my house looks finished. I enjoy hosting because the trees take up spaces where our home is otherwise bare and I love the look of warm candlelight and twinkle lights.  Read More »


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Free last minute gift printable

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! I’m so excited to share my latest work with FedEx Office with you today! I hope you can use it for any of those last-minute gifts you may still need.

Free last minute gift printable

One way I enjoy the holiday season is by truly putting thought into getting my loved ones personalized gifts that feel special.  Today we’re offering a fun personalizable home print that you can gift to those you love most. Our print is a simple watercolor anchor and wreath with a text space that can be personalized for the person you are gifting to. That means you can make it work for your grandma, sister, mom, friend, neighbor or even your child’s teacher. It would make a great addition to a home themed gift or could even be a great host gift if you’re attending any holiday parties.

To me, an anchor symbolizes home and family in many ways. You can change the font, font size and colors of the font if you’d like as well.

Ready to get started?

Head over to FedEx Office Out of Office Blog for all of the details plus the free printable gift!


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This post is sponsored by Christmas Tree Promotion Board. I’m so excited to share our experience visiting our local Christmas Tree Farm!

Creating holiday traditions: A visit to the Christmas Tree FarmDecember is here! I’ve been sharing my thoughts on creating simple holiday traditions that can easily be incorporated into the holiday season year after year no matter how busy life seems. My favorite tradition we’ve embraced is heading to the Christmas tree farm!  Creating holiday traditions: A visit to the Christmas Tree Farm

Christmas tree farms are located all around the United States and the real farms are amazing! Many of them offer hay rides, horse-drawn carriage rides, hot cocoa, kid spaces, gorgeous views of amazing Christmas trees and of course, the nostalgic scent of pine.  Creating holiday traditions: A visit to the Christmas Tree Farm

Amazing! It was a winter wonderland for our kiddos and for us. Rows and rows of trees. The kids ran around enjoying the idea of simply getting lost, but not too lost. Don’t worry!

Creating holiday traditions: A visit to the Christmas Tree Farm Christmas is all about real quality time spent with family and friends; a tradition embraced by families around the world and the beacon of memories made throughout the years. Read More »


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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, MARS Incorporated. All opinions are mine alone. #BakeInTheFun #CollectiveBias #SweetSquad

The best peppermint s'mores brownie dump cake recipe

That title, you guys! Do you love s’mores? Brownies? Peppermint? If you love any of them, you are going to be obsessed with today’s recipe. Honestly, it turned out even more amazing than I was envisioning when I came up with the concept. The marshmallows turn into gooey, toasted goodness. The whole thing is simply divine.

The best peppermint s'mores brownie dump cake recipe

We love surprising good friends and neighbors with treats during the holiday season. And I love putting together EASY recipes that the boys can help with. This recipe is a perfect one to work on with the kids.

The best peppermint s'mores brownie dump cake recipe

So, I brought my boys to the kitchen and we got to work on these delicious and pretty adorable Peppermint S’mores Brownie Dump cakes.

The best peppermint s'mores brownie dump cake recipe Read More »


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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SutterHomeForTheHolidays #CollectiveBias The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older.

Jingle All the Way holiday party DIY ornament crafting station

I hosted a fun party last week with some wonderful women. We enjoyed wine and cocktails from a build your own cocktail bar. One of my favorite mixes is Sutter Home Pink Moscato or Sutter Home Moscato combined with vanilla cranberry cider. It’s super easy to throw together vanilla cranberry cider and the vanilla makes it much less tart. Combine one liter cranberry juice cocktail, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 2 Tablespoons simple syrup. Of course, you can taste and add or subtract based on your own preference. Then simply mix with Sutter Home Pink Moscato or Sutter Home Moscato. Perfection!

Cranberry Vanilla Cider Moscato

I’ll be sharing the entire party soon, but today I wanted to share how I quickly and easily put together an easy DIY ornament crafting station for the party. While you could certainly make an ornament crafting party super elaborate, I chose to make it simple for me and easy for my guests to put together in minutes so they could mingle and enjoy other activities too including trying fun combinations at our cocktail bar.

Cranberry Vanilla Cider Moscato

Are you ready to see the SIMPLE ornament crafting station?

DIY Ornament Crafting Station

I wanted to create an ornament crafting station with tons of options so each guest could make an ornament unique to them and their personality. But I also wanted it to be fairly simple and not too messy since this was a fun night out for most of us. Read More »


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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MyWayToVeg #CollectiveBias 

Morningstar Farms Veggie Bowls

Friends! Busy season has been busy season and beyond this year. I’ve never had such a full Fall in my business before and keeping up with all of life’s demands has been challenging. Today I’m excited to share how to make life a bit easier during busy seasons in life.

One way I’ve taken charge to make things easier is by having meals ready to go. MorningStar Farms® Veggie Bowls are my go-to meals for lunch between photo shoots, client phone calls and picking up the kiddos.

Morningstar Farms Veggie Bowls

Sometimes I’m eating on the fly. Other times I’m at my desk working. Either way these Veggie Bowls fit my lifestyle and goals so well.

Morningstar Farms Veggie Bowls

With the ability to heat and eat, Veggie Bowls help me balance family, work and life goals in a health-conscious way. We are vegetarian so these bowls are especially fabulous for us, yet they are for everyone. These are great for families, busy working people, general health-conscious people and more. As someone who works from home 30 hours a week, has two children, works out at the gym, stays involved in extracurricular activities and tries to stay active, quick and easy meal solutions are fantastic! I bet you could benefit from them too.  Read More »


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Joanna Gaines for Matilda Jane

Friends! If you are a fan of Joanna Gaines, Fixer Upper or Magnolia Market, you are going to LOVE her new collection for Matilda Jane. It launches today and is highly anticipated. This collection may sell out so I wanted to share it with you here and give you the inside scoop on how to order. I’m hosting a Matilda Jane Cocktail Party tonight so I’ll be sure to share all the Joanna Gaines inspired party details soon too.

Joanna Gaines for Matilda Jane

My sweet friend Heidi is a Matilda Jane Trunk Keeper (Trunk Keeper #1117) and can help you order any of these pieces for Christmas gifts, the holiday season or just for yourself. There are home items, mama items and beautiful pieces for girls from infants to tweens!
Joanna Gaines for Matilda Jane

There are SO many great items. I’m currently in love with the tent, the tea set, the beautiful aprons for mama and littles, the buffalo check tunic (Joanna is wearing above) and the maxi skirts. Matilda Jane is known for their attention to detail and quality. All items are SO soft and beautiful. They wash up wonderfully. Read More »


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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BigLotsHoliday#CollectiveBias


It’s the most wonderful time of the year! I’m hosting my first holiday event tomorrow and couldn’t be more excited. I’m having a simple night in with the ladies! Decorating my home for the holidays is my favorite thing and the boys were helpful this year. Can you believe it?

Family holiday traditions are a big deal to me. I grew up with a few simple ones, but I always knew I wanted to have some really special ones for our family. From decorating our trees (yes, plural. ;)) together, building a snowman and sledding in our back yard to hot cocoa by the fire and cookie decorating, our crew has such a great time in this season. And this year we’re hosting my family so we’re going all out on decorating.

Joy

Our Holiday traditions

  • Visit a Christmas Tree farm (just did this weekend! So fun! Post coming soon)
  • Decorate for Christmas—a kid tree and adult tree
  • Hot cocoa and candy canes with a holiday movie
  • Build a snowman
  • Sled and play in the snow
  • Gingerbread men cookie decorating
  • Gingerbread house building/decorating
  • Visit Santa and our local holiday display
  • Do good. Volunteer. Shop for others. Donate time or money.

Holiday family traditions

Big Lots is your go-to retailer for all your holiday shopping needs! The holiday section is loaded with everything from beautiful decor to amazing gingerbread house kits. I picked up some fun icing for the kids to decorate little cakes. They also LOVED the candy spoons we used in their hot cocoa. So fun.

Holiday traditions

We decorated our tree with the most beautiful white star ornaments and I filled our hurricane vase with buffalo snow and a white led candle for decor. It was such an easy and beautiful addition to our holiday decor.

Holiday traditions

If you haven’t started prepping for the holidays, it’s no problem. Big Lots has everything you need to prepare your home for the season! Big Lots is loaded with fun and affordable home decor items to deck the halls.

Holiday traditionsFrom small scale items to large scale items, Big Lots carries a wonderful assortment of high quality holiday items that are perfect for the season! We already owned Christmas trees, but I stocked up on Christmas lights, Christmas decor and a few fun Christmas presents too.

I loved spending an hour walking through Big Lots gathering inspiration and ideas. Employees were incredibly helpful. At least three people asked me if they could help me in any way and they said it in the most genuine way.

Holiday fun biglots1

 I’m so excited that I’m already done decorating and shopping for the most part. I’m looking forward to all of our fun family traditions this December.

Holiday traditions

What are your favorite family traditions?