Sunday, December 30, 2012

quite a year.

It's funny how this obviously happens on an annual basis, and yet I still am always surprised by the new year. Right after we recover from the family and food explosion of the holidays, we then freak out about our big NYE plans and how we're getting there and what to wear - and is it going to snow?

And somewhere in there you realize it's been yet another year gone by, you've spent another 365 days here on earth and you are forced to look back and reflect. Recent events have especially forced us to take a moment, appreciate those we have around us, and realize how short and unexpected life can be. 

You also realize that every additional year after your mid-twenties tends to lose some luster. It's no longer another step towards adulthood, but rather, you're forced to stop and look around at what you're making of your life. Luckily for me, this period of contemplation ended with a smile. 2012 was quite a time in my otherwise uneventful life. I've moved into a new home, got engaged to my beau and favorite person ever, gained a new family, grew in a career I love and celebrated the first birthday of our furry little chunk. 
In looking through photos cataloging the year, I handpicked a few favorites. 

Cheers to an even shinier and prettier year to come! xo

Sunday, December 23, 2012

peppermint chow.

A friend of mine made this at a recent girls' night gift exchange and I immediately went home and made some myself. And I'll likely be snacking on it until July. It's THAT yummy. 

It was a hit at our family holiday. Seriously, we must have refilled the bowl a million times. 

And on top of that it is CRAZY easy. A la any puppy chow. No preheating, baking or chilling required. 

For this version, simply substitute white for the usual chocolate you coat the Chex Mix with. I melted a bag of white chocolate chips in the microwave (and added a few drops of vegetable oil to keep it smooth). Once the Chex Mix is coated, throw in peppermint chips (or chopped candy canes work just as well!). 

Lastly, put 1 cup of confectioners sugar in a bag, add the Chex Mix and shake like a mad woman. If you have any little kiddies around this is a step best left to them. 

And voila. That's one ridiculously easy holiday sweet.

Friday, December 21, 2012

holiday jam.

One of my favorite traditions this time of year is the full day bake-a-thon I have with my mom, the fruits of which we deliver to our local shelters. We both love to bake. And rather than dying of a sugar coma ourselves, we enjoy spreading the love. (more to come on what we bake).

Having the right holiday mix playing all the while is essential, so I put this little holiday playlist together. I'm usual partial to classics: Brenda, Bing, Sinatra - but I also threw in a few more modern tracks thanks to my discover of this killer Indie Christmas playlist. Enjoy whatever traditions you have this year! 


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

apps we love | shapely.

Man, do I have a great gift for all you picture taking, filter obsessive friends out there. 

Shapely lets you filter your photos with actual shapes + add in icons, words, you name it.
(Plus, it was developed by a Kansas City native, from our agency. what what.)

I've been way to shapely happy lately with my photos, and poor Bentley is getting the worst of it. (e.g. hipster stache bulldog). 
You can download Shapely here

Sunday, December 16, 2012

candy cane cookies.

Use your favorite sugar cookie recipe. I rely on Martha's
Then melt 1 bag of white chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second intervals. Dip cookies half way and lay on parchment paper, sprinking crushed candy canes before they dry. It's the perfect go-to for all those extra peppermint treats. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

on the record | purity ring.

{picture via}

I heart Canadians. 

Especially ones that make fantastic music. Arcade Fire tops my list of best bands ever, but this young duo from the north has potential to make the ranks too. Their debut album, Shrines, hits the upbeat yet soothing, retro yet futuristic sound that's been taking over my playlists lately. Enjoy their latest here

Sunday, December 9, 2012

dreaming of sugarplums, and these...

Holiday Wish List

                      1. J. Crew Portable Charger, $40 - a must for an iPhone that doesn't survive a late night.
                      2. Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Roller Perfume - my absolute favorite scent on the go.
                      3. Diptyque Mimosa Scented Candle, $61- aromic even when not lit, and for that much    
                      you probably wouldn't want to.
                      4. Rebecca Minkoff Kerry Saying Pouch "Girlie Stuff" in Bubblegum, $96 - RM 
                      accessories, always a do.
                      5. Kate Spade Skinny Bow Bangle, $88 - so delicately adorable.
                      6. Marc Jacobs bracelet, $126 - perfect mate for an arm party.
                      7. Sugar Rose Lip Balm, $24 - my obsession of late.
                      8.  L'Occitane Shower Oil, $23 - this stuff makes your skin crazy soft, like shower gel            
                      with a punch of moisture.
                      9. Topshop Studded Suede Clutch, $76 - perfect for everything clutch.
                     10. Topshop Hearted Leather Gloves, $45 - tough gloves with a girlie touch. 

sites we love | wevther.

I'm one of those girls that goes through about seven different outfit changes each morning. It's a daily strategic debacle to find the perfect mix of mood and attire that's right for the weather. Lately I've been using, a site that gives perfect outfit ideas based on your location and weather forecast. Freaking brilliant. It has diminished the daily changes to just a few.

Monday, December 3, 2012

tree hunting with a bulldog.

I grew up with a plastic Christmas tree. It was okay. Decently sized, durable and it performed it's ornament-holding duties just as expected.
But, there's something about an artificial tree that feels like a holiday buzz kill. 

So, this year the dude  and I decided to go big. Griswold, Charlie Brown Christmas, Rockafeller Center big. YES, this Christmas we were getting a real tree if we had to chop it down ourselves lumberjack style. Luckily there is a pop-up tree shop down the street so no axes were necessary. What we did realize is that the little chunk is terrified of pine trees. Terrified. Once we helped her conquer her fear of the green monsters, she helped us pick out the perfect matching tree for our living room. 

Despite having a wussy bulldog, I'm loving the welcoming pine smell that's radiating throughout the house. Just wait til we decorate the monster with ornaments and lights. Unlike her mother, I'm not sure the little wuss will be a huge Christmas fan.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

feast-ready outfits.

feast-ready outfits
No need to unbutton tomorrow post-turkey. This feast uniform is a lifesaver: oversized sweater + leggings = allows for a little give and lot of joyful cranberry-covered indulgence. If you go with the convenience of a legging or jegging, make sure your oversized top is long enough to cover anything grandma wouldn't want to see. This is a family holiday, after all. Forks up, ya'll. 

From left to right: Tsumori Chisato patterned top / Rag & Bone leather skinny jeans /  Oversized sweater / H&M elastic waist pants, $24 / Oversized cardigan / H&M elastic waist pants / Tribal pattern legging / French Connection scarf

food of fancy.

It's heeeere. The one day a year in which a third helping doesn't earn you any judging looks. 

Luckily, I'm not yet entirely responsible for preparing the feast - I'm still in the "offering to help" stage with mom and g'ma. Yet, I have been noting a lot of cute ways to spruce up the feast with a little decor. They don't leave a lot of room for the turkey, but are worth emulating. Also, be sure to check out Anthology's holiday issue, with a special video on chic table setting. Happy feasting! 

{photo above via Everyday Occasions}

{via Martha}

apps we ♥ | songza.

Awesome news for all you Spotify/Pandora freaks out there. There's a new chick in town and her name is Songza - and she's even more pretty and popular than our ad-shoving wannabes. Songza is the the Dr. of music streaming, and can prescribe exactly what your ears need based on your activity and whatever genre of music you jones for. Of course, I heart it for all the Indie music love it offers, but it has playlists to tickle anyone's fancy. And yes, you can stream via your desktop as well. Has it officially taken over as the music app of choose? Most likely. Although I still have love for playlist sharing with my ex (Spotify), evidenced here and here, I'm moving on to an app that actually listens to me and gives me what I need. We had a lot of good times Pandora, but I'm over it. It's not me, it's you. 

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