Here is the point in our relationship where I confess to my closet love for the one and only Miss Taylor Swift. Or T. Swift, if you live at my house. Or if you are cool.
I finally gave into my urgings a few days ago and downloaded her new, 1989, album and it’s been looping on repeat since. Taylor Swift 1989. IT’S THAT GOOD, ear worm type stuff. So what, I’m a 30-something wife and mother with decidedly more mature tastes than that of an early (and I do mean early) 20’s country-to-pop-crossover star. But I love her, I do.
Taylor Swift, I couldn’t quit you if I tried.
Don’t judge me, it just feels right.
I’m guessing if you haven’t admitted it already, you probably love her too and that’s okay. This is a safe space. A safe, Taylor Swift friendly place.
Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.
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If you are in need of a snappy mantra for holiday cheer to get you through the season, stick around. Friends, please meet Kalli Verbecky. She’s visited us before, is generally fabulous, and today has shared a refreshing perspective and gentle reality check, to which I say amen.
IT’S ALMOST FREAKING CHRISTMAS
I mean, duh, right?
You have your advent calendar out, your halls are decked to the max, and cookies and treats, and zoo lights, and making gingerbread houses, and trimming your tree, and an elf on a shelf and hot cocoa for all! Because that is what celebrating the holidays in 2014 means I guess. This level of festive commitment is what your kids are counting on because you ARE the source of friggin’ holiday magic! So get with the program and try not to ruin their childhoods with a lackluster December showing. You don’t want to spend the rest of the year in a shame cycle now do you?
Let’s dial that back for a minute with a short vignette: last December I had a bit of a wake-up call. Let me preface this by saying I love the holidays, I love Thanksgiving, I love Christmas, … >> find out more...
I don’t know about you, but online shopping is my best friend this time of year, a godsend actually, considering that we’ve been in survival mode for the past several months at our house. Not that that makes us any different from any other family, aren’t we all in survival mode? Preach!
I haven’t left my house to Christmas shop at an actual brick and mortar store once this year, and I’ve somehow managed to avoid the mall all together, hallelujah! Praise the online shopping gods for delivering everything straight to my door. Of course, lots of online shopping means lots of shipping costs and dealing with hassle filled returns and exchanges. Is it just me or do those things take F-O-R-E-V-E-R? So annoying, right? It’s kind of the worst. That stuff adds up and time is money, chop chop!
All of those reasons are why I’m glad I discovered Shoprunner this year.
Won’t lie, it’s kind of saved my bacon with its free 2-day shipping, free no-hassle returns, and then of course there’s all those handy dandy member only deals where I get access to sales and deals available only to Shoprunner members like myself. Plus, if you … >> find out more...
Friends! It’s December and the holiday spirit is everywhere, except I’m not feeling it. I thought November would never ever end, but here we are on December 4th and the festivities are upon us. Somehow in the last 3 days we’ve managed to decorate a Christmas tree, put lights on the house, mail greeting cards, and listen to every Christmas album we own. A stack of our favorite holiday movies is on standby for the coming weekend, and the shopping is nearly done. It certainly seems like we are all ready for holiday joy and cheer, but I just don’t have my usual holiday mojo. I’ve gathered a few bits and pieces of inspiration to help me along, feel free to join me.
It’s really cold here, but not snowy and pretty, just cold and grey. So, I’m going to simmer up a lovely pot of this wassail to warm me up from the inside out–including my spirits!
Then I’m going to fantasize that I have a fancy holiday party to attend. I don’t, but a little day dreaming never hurt anyone. This collection of holiday party dresses all styled up with fabulous shiny accessories ought to brighten my day … >> find out more...
Post Sponsored by Olay Regenerist
Beauty might not be top of mind when you think about the holiday season, but it probably should be. I mean, when you get together with so many different groups of people for work and family and church parties, you want to look your best.
Stress (ie bad skin + frizzed out hair) goes hand in hand with said family / work / church parties, and sometimes you’ve got to primp and pamper yourself a little bit to combat the *fun* of the season. Especially if you’re having family photos taken for holiday cards. You want to look all glow-y and shiny (in a good way), your best beautiful face forward and everything.
So how does one get all glow-y and sunshine-y for holiday photos? Well. It all starts on the base layer. Your inner beauty matters first and foremost, but after that, you’ve got to work on your skin. My skin is a train-wreck when I’m stressed, so I have to take extra care of it, especially during the holidays.
I happen to be a very big fan of Olay products of every sort: face wash, face brush, and especially the moisturizer… >> find out more...
I grew up in small-town Texas, about 40 miles North of Dallas. Potholes were an everyday occurrence in that small town. In fact, even though I haven’t lived at my parent’s home for 19 years, I still remember the path you had to drive to dodge every pothole, dip, and crater that presented itself in my parent’s neighborhood. Suffice it to say, I viewed potholes as evil little ploys to slow me down and ruin my car. Naturally, they were not a source of beauty.
When I moved to South Africa and heard of a tourist destination with the word “pothole” in it, I brushed it off. What could be so great about going to look at potholes? Well, there is something great, and let me tell you why visiting the Bourke’s Luck Potholes should be on your “things to see” list next time you’re in the Mpumulanga region of South Africa.
1. You can have a picnic. My family laughs at me for my love of picnics and picnic baskets, but seriously, isn’t there something that’s just so great about having a family picnic together with your favorite food and the fresh air?
2. The Bourke’s Luck Potholes are … >> find out more...
Today’s how-to is all about preserving garden herbs for winter. Did you know that was a thing? If only my teenage self could see me now. She’d be horrified that I not only keep a garden, but take extra steps to preserve my herbs for the Winter. It’s all good, teenage Allison, chill out.
Learning how-to preserve your herbs to use in the cold months of the year is a thing, and it’s a super easy thing at that. Also, tasting *fresh* garden herbs in the depths of frozen Winter? I don’t want to go Martha on you, but it’s a good and lovely thing, a very wonderful thing, so let’s get to it.
I planted a lot of herbs in my Summer garden this year, and had rosemary and basil coming out my nose so I’m grateful there’s a way to preserve that business. (although don’t try to preserve basil, it’s a wimpy plant for the freezer) Let’s get started, shall we?
How-To Preserve Garden Herbs For Winter
- chopping knife
- cutting board
- fresh rosemary
- ice cube trays
- extra virgin olive oil
Pick rosemary from your garden. Or from the grocery store shelves.… >> find out more...
It’s another beautiful day, friends. The scent of Autumn is in the air. The snow is starting to fall, one trickling snowflake at a time. It’s cold enough for hot drinks and cozy fires, a good novel on the couch. Time to tuck in with your favorite TV shows and hunker down for the Winter.
What are you watching, what are you reading? I’m reading romance novels, one after the other. Ones with totally implausible plot-lines and modern day, swashbuckling heroes. There’s always a firefighter or some other tough guy, with plenty of money and six-pack abs. And a damsel slightly in distress. It takes feminism back a solid half-century at least, but it’s mind numbing, and sometimes that’s what counts when it’s always dark outside.
I’m behind on life. I have an inbox jam-packed full of emails I need to return, and laundry that needs to be folded. Doctors to call, appointments to make, groceries to buy, posts to write, stairs that need vacuuming. But right now I’m spending a lot of time with my kids. They need me, I need them, and the house can wait. Hopefully the email and you guys and everything in-between can hang tight … >> find out more...
A giveaway! Friends, you are going to love me today. I have an immensely rad giveaway for you today! I have partnered up with the lovely Christine Koh (Boston Mamas), Audrey McClelland (Mom Generations), Heather Flett (Rookie Moms), Jane Maynard (This Week For Dinner), Morgan Shanahan (The 818), Rachael Herrscher (Today’s Mama), and Sarah James (Whoorl) to offer one lucky follower a 128GB wi-fi iPad Air 2 ($699 value)!
Enter to win between November 10-21 via the Rafflecopter widget below; you have 8 entry options and of course we encourage you to enter all 8 ways to maximize your chance to win! Once the giveaway ends, the winner will be chosen randomly and contacted by email, with 48 hours to respond. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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