Happy December! I think I blinked and Thanksgiving came and went - it's so crazy how quickly time flies during the holiday season. I try to cherish each moment because before we know it, it will be a new decade! 

Because the time goes by so quickly, I always try to order my Christmas cards early. This year, it worked out perfectly because we went to the mountains for the weekend, which made for a great backdrop and change of scenery for our photos. We just had our friend snap this one with my camera and it's a favorite of our little family for sure. While we didn't take our cat to the mountains, we didn't want to leave him out, so he got a solo shot (along with Soph) on the back of our card.

While I design almost every printing project I do, I love ordering our Christmas cards through Minted. That may change next year because I've really delved into printing projects, but what I love about Minted is how easy the process is. The designer in me doesn't love that I don't have full control, but I try to pick templates that allow me to move text around and change up wording, so it's not so limiting!

Christmas cards are a favorite tradition of mine - I get excited all through December to see beautiful family photos, life updates, and display cards of friends and family in our home. Merry Christmas!

Outfit Details:
On Zelle - 
On Stephen - 
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I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Mine was spent with our families and it was such a great day. I'm always a little sad when the day comes to an end as it's just another sign of how fast the holidays go! I'll be working all weekend - happy holiday retail season! - but if you're staying in and doing a little shopping online, I've rounded up a few sales that I am taking advantage of as well as some sales on some of my current favorite items!

Dolce Vita - 25% Off with code TREATYOURSELF
I absolutely love Dolce Vita shoes. I may be biased because we carry them in the shop, but I often order other styles that we don't carry because I love them so much. These sneakers were a find last year but they are still available and 25% off!
Bloomingdales - variety of savings
I love checking out Bloomingdales for different items and one of my everyday jewelry pieces is 65% off! I wear this diamond pendant necklace every day (I very rarely ever take it off) and it's marked down to $420 from $1200!

Spanx - 20% Off Sitewide
This is a great time to snag a pair of Spanx leggings if you've been wanting to try them! I have so many people ask if they are worth it and my answer is always yes! I've had mine for close to 5 years and they still look brand new. 

Goodnight Macaroon - 30% Off Sitewide, 40% Off $250+, 50% Off $450+
I haven't ordered too much from this shop but I do have this sweater and these boots and I love them!
Sweater - 30% Off, Jeans - 40% Off with code FAM40

7 for All Mankind - 40% Off with code FAM40
Since opening the shop, this line is what I wear primarily because I carry it! Some of my favorite styles are 40% off this weekend!

BB Dakota - Black Friday Markdowns
This skirt was a favorite from my trip to California and it's on sale for under $40!

J.Crew - 50% Off with code Friday
If you've had your eye on a J.Crew jacket, now is the time to shop! I snagged this one on Black Friday last year and have loved it so much each time I've worn it. Sizes sell out like crazy with this one so I would snag one sooner than later!

A gift guide for guys has come highly requested! Sometimes I find it hard to be creative with gifts for Stephen as we've been together for 10 Christmases (and his birthday is two days after Christmas) but every so often, I manage to surprise him! Our first married Christmas, I got him an Xbox (which I had adamantly told him I didn't think he should have - ha!) I often tend to get him clothes but I've found that he genuinely enjoys getting them as they're not always something he picks out for himself. 

Gifts for my dad can be hard as well, but this year I think my brother has a few ideas up his sleeve. 

Here are a few ideas that may help you with shopping for the guys in your life this year!

  1. Vest - I always love finding a good vest for Stephen. He's hot natured and with our mild climate, he often reaches for a vest over a jacket. 
  2. Barrington Laptop Bag or Luggage - I've been slowly adding to Stephen's Barrington collection and I think he genuinely really likes each piece. Due to the leather quality, some of the pieces are more of a splurge but the items I would suggest are the laptop bag and leather duffle. He also uses the dop kit every time we go anywhere and I most recently added the garment bag to his collection!
  3. Speaker - I feel like this is one of those things on every single gift guide but a portable Bluetooth speaker is such a great item to have. 
  4. Concert Tickets - We are always talking about how we don't attend enough concerts. Does the guy in your life love music? Find a favorite artist and purchase tickets! It's a gift you can experience together. 
  5. Tech Gloves - These tech gloves look great and are by The North Face - they could be perfect for our trip to Colorado!
  6. Socks - When you were little, socks never seemed like a great gift but I love getting socks in my stocking now. Make them fun ones, and that's even better!
  7. Leather chair - This is certainly a splurge but if your husband or dad is wanting to upgrade "his" chair, Pottery Barn has some beautiful options.
  8. Wine/Beer Club - Is the guy you're shopping for a beer or wine connoisseur? Subscribing them to a wine or beer club could be a great gift!
  9. Harry's Razor - I put this razor in Stephen's stocking last year and he still loves it. 
  10. Duluth Trading Undies - Another good stocking stuffer that was a recommendation from Stephen himself haha! Duluth Trading offers a selection of underwear for men so if you need a stocking stuffer that's a little more personal, this is a good one. 
  11. Leather Wallet - Sometimes a guy may want to pick out his own wallet, but I've given both my dad and Stephen wallets in the past that they used until they were worn out!
  12. Portable Charger - Stephen and I both use our portable chargers (stocking stuffers from my in-laws) and they make such a great gift! I always pack mine on trips when I'm not sure if I'll have access to an outlet. 
A few other great gifts that aren't on the list:
  • Lake Pajama sweatpants - Stephen gave me a second pair of Lake Pajamas after I couldn't stop raving about the pair I bought and now they have launched a men's line! These sweatpants look amazing!
  • Personalized artwork - I have a few local artists I use for my art gifts and have gifted my dad a few pieces in the past! Alley Hunt Art created a gorgeous canvas of my dad's boat that he has displayed in his home office. 
  • Coffee shop gift cards - My husband has his favorite coffee shops he likes to make a quick stop in on the way to work, so adding a few gift cards to his stocking is always a win. 
  • Weekend Experience - Is there something your boyfriend, brother, husband or dad has been wanting to do? Plan out a fun weekend and surprise them with it on Christmas morning. 

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It's that time of year where I love spending hours on Pinterest looking for holiday decor ideas! This year, I decided to create a Thanksgiving tablescape that would easily transcend into Christmas (especially considering our Christmas tree is already up!). Vietri kindly sent me a few pieces to compliment what I currently already have and I love the way everything turned out!

I've loved Vietri for years - I worked in a gift store in high school that sold the line and fell in love with it then. We received so many gorgeous pieces of Vietri for our wedding and I love mixing and matching to create different looks throughout the year!

For the center of the table, I used a faux eucalyptus garland I found last year and accented with these adorable pumpkins. Once Thanksgiving has passed, I'll store the pumpkins and add in a few mercury glass votives for a holiday look. 

We already had the gorgeous ruffle chargers (and we also have this pattern for Christmas) but thanks to Vietri, we added this vase, these wine glasses, and these bud vases to our collection! I'm hosting a girls night ornament exchange in December and can't wait to put all of these pieces to good use!

Interested in snagging a few pieces of Vietri for yourself? Vietri is offering 20% off your purchase with code ZELLE20!
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This time of year, I just love something easy to throw in the crockpot! Make it a soup for chilly nights and it's even better. I got this recipe from a friend and then tweaked it a little bit to make it my own and it's one of Stephen's favorites. When I mentioned cooking soup a few nights ago, this was the one he requested and I'm quite confident it won't be the last batch of the season!

While I whipped up a grilled cheese to go on the side of mine, the soup is a perfect meal to serve on its own!

The Ingredients

    • 1 lb. Yukon gold potatoes, chopped
    • Chopped kale
    • 1 yellow onion, diced
    • 1 orange pepper, chopped
    • 1 package of Jimmy Dean's Hot Sausage
    • 3 cups chicken broth
    • 2 cups water
    • 2 cups heavy cream
    • 2 tablespoons of cayenne pepper
    • Sprinkling of red pepper flakes
    • Dash of garlic
    • 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning

The Directions

    1. In pan, cook thoroughly sausage until browned
    2. While cooking, add in Italian seasoning
    3. Remove cooked sausage from pan and remove excess grease
    4. Put kale, onions, pepper, and potatoes (all chopped) into crock pot
    5. Add in water, heavy cream, and chicken broth
    6. Sprinkle in seasonings
    7. Add in cooked sausage and mix all together
    8. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 - 10
    9. Enjoy!
I'm excited to kick off my gift guide with the one that will probably be my favorite - a guide complete with some of my favorite local businesses! While I've already done a little bit of shopping online here and there for the Christmas season, one of my priorities is to really dive in to some of my local favorites for gifting! 

There's no shame in admitting that a lot of my gifts come from my own small business, but I've got a few favorites around town (that also have great websites as well!). You may notice in the list below that I have included quite a few art gifts - but as I've gotten older, I've found that beautiful artwork makes for a great and personal gift! I work closely with Alley Hunt Art on projects for the shop and I've used Southern Bee Designs for several amazing wedding gifts. Here's a peek at a few of my local favorites: 
  1. Artwork from Printed Hues via Airlie Moon
  2. Earrings from Melissa Tyson Designs
  3. Cuff from High Strung Shop
  4. Bookends from Nest
  5. Calendar from Cleerely Stated 
  6. Diamond band from Perry's Emporium
  7. Blowout gift card from Set Blowout Bar
  8. Beach themed art from Brooke Eagle Art
  9. Customized art (and pet portraits!) from Alley Hunt Art
  10. Earrings from ZIA Boutique
  11. Gift Card to Drift Coffee & Kitchen
  12. Vietri dish from Fisherman's Wife
  13. Hair care from MISSIO
  14. Succulent from Coastal Succulent 

While Starbucks and Dunkin' are always some of my favorites, consider visiting your local coffee shop for a gift card this holiday season! If you're local to Wilmington, Drift is one of my favorite local spots. Another favorite of mine to pop in for gifts is Gathered - not only are the designers incredibly talented, but they have the cutest little storefront - follow them on Instagram for all of your design favorites!

As you head out to shop this season, check out your local favorites or support your favorite Instagram shop by sending them a direct message! I'm 100% confident they'd love to help!

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