2016 Gift Guide

The holidays are in full swing, y’all, which means my very first gift guide! It was great fun to curate a collection of products for friends, mamas, teachers, small group leaders, coworkers, and every lady in between. One of my favorite bloggers, Emily says “The most successful gifts, I think, are little luxuries the recipient wouldn’t buy for herself – maybe upgraded versions of things she uses every day,” and I agree!

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Val Marie Prayer Journal | equip her with a tool for spiritual growth through guided prayer

Walk in Love Tee | encouragement and comfort that can be work out with jeans or at home with leggings

Simplified Planner | provide her with a place to keep track of all the commitments and activities 2017 will bring

Capri Volcano Candle | this candle smells delightful and has beautiful packaging. Fun fact: my dear friend went to Taylor Swift’s house a few years ago and said she was burning this candle.  (this one from Illume at Target has a similar scent for a fraction of the cost, too)

Powersheets | invest in her goals by giving her a place to define and take action on what matters most

Parris Chic Boutique Mug | add some hand-lettered charm to her morning cup of coffee

Rifle Paper Company Botanical Calendar | add a beautiful piece to her workspace to carry her through the year

Magnolia Market Metal Sign | adorn one of her walls with beautifully-written scripture

Kendra Scott Rayne Necklace | treat her to a timeless necklace for layering over her favorite outfits

Plum Pretty Sugar Sweetheart Robe | bless her with a comfy robe that looks beautiful on a hook between uses

Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Balm Set | pamper her with a beautiful beauty product that she might not buy for herself

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Thanksgiving in My Childhood Home

As Dillon and I prepare for our marriage, it is not lost on me that this is the last Thanksgiving/Christmas/Easter that I will spend in my childhood home. I am excited to share the holidays with him as newlyweds next year, establishing traditions of our own to pass down someday. But until then, I am carving out some space here to share traditions and memories made while I was growing up.

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With all of our immediate family living in New Hampshire, we have gathered in my grandparents home on Thanksgiving Day for as long as I can remember (except for 2001, when my aunt and uncle hosted everyone down the road). We have always gathered in the early afternoon, with everyone catching up for a bit before the meal is served (at which point I usually sneak a roll from the kitchen :)). Tappy usually carves the turkey with the help of one of the grandchildren, and then prays a blessing over the meal before we eat. Grammy always sets the table with her china (in the blue danube pattern) and includes her meat stuffing recipe along with all the traditional Thanksgiving staples (pictured below is my plate from 2013).

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We often go around the room and share things we are thankful for that year, usually designating an item to serve as a ‘talking stick’ because everyone gets excited to share at the same time (pictured below is this tradition in 2010, with our Tabasco sauce talking stick).

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We have also had a household tradition for years of watching Planes, Trains, and Automobiles on the night before Thanksgiving. With the exception of the curse words (take caution), it is a fun tradition that elicits heaps of laughter every time. We have been quoting our favorite scenes for a few weeks now in anticipation and I’m excited for Dillon to join us for it this year!

Our Thanksgiving traditions are simple but carry with them a familiarity that brings the family together year after year, and for that I am thankful! Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

Life Lately

Life has been pretty busy lately! I often shy away from using the word ‘busy’ to describe my routine and schedule, but the past few weeks have been quite full between preliminary wedding planning, the election, end-of-the-year teeth/eye/etc exams, a flat tire, church activities, babysitting, and seeking out God’s direction for my next season of work. Amidst all that ‘busyness’ there have been so many sweet moments and snippets to share!

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The start of November meant the release of Target’s holiday products. I am eager for all things Christmas as soon as the leaves begin to fall of the trees, but Dillon prefers to savor the festivities until Thanksgiving has had its fair share of holiday recognition. Thankfully, he went along with my enjoyment and accompanied me to look at the Christmas decor (and smell the winter candles!) after a dinner out a few weeks ago.

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The first Saturday of this month brought about our church’s fall festival. It was such a fun afternoon to gather with our family and church community for the event. I snapped this picture of my dad while we took my little pint-sized relatives on the hayride.

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Election day came and went as quickly as the lines at my poll location. There is usually a long line with a substantial wait time, but this year they really moved things along with less than ten minutes spent in line. Sadly, there were no stickers in my town. I even asked.

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Southern Weddings V9 officially launched on November 10th! I was excited to receive my pre-order a full six days before the official release. The content is absolutely stunning and the pages are filled with inspiration to guide Dillon and I as we plan our wedding. Well done, ladies!

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Last weekend, my mom and I went to visit the horses at Dillon’s home. Horses are my mom’s absolute favorite and she was loving every bit of our time there. I made a little goat friend while she helped Dillon with some of the horse care.

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After we took care of the horses, Dillon and I went out to dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants, High Street Farmhouse in Goffstown. After we got our fill of fresh-baked bread (and my go-to item of chicken pot pie), we began our wedding registry at Target. Needless to say, it became more of a ‘scan the pretty things’ outing as we realized we should have more of a game plan of actual needed items on our next trip.

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Last week my mom and I went to visit my grandparents on Monday and I love this picture my mom snapped of me listening to my Tappy. He was really excited about all those leaves on the ground, as he said they’d fallen like snow that morning when the frost melted away. Fall felt longer this year than most because of how much foliage held onto the trees into November and I am thankful for that!