Friendsmas + A Dining Room Table Makeover

Christmas is my absolute favorite time of the year! The only thing that can make Christmas even better is hosting a Friendsmas! If it’s even possible, hosting would be one of my love languages. I love the prep, the rush, the cleaning, the cooking, the organizing and of course the staging and designing. Everything about hosting close friends makes me so, so happy!

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Christmas this year will be a little different for us so we are making the most of the season while we can! Kirby will be going home to Houston and I’ll be in Phoenix still for work so we decided we needed to have our nice Christmas dinner before Kirby left, and the only way we could make that any better would be by inviting two of our very best friends over to enjoy it with us.

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On the menu for Friendsmas I tried a lot of new recipes, and a few that I’ve really come to love around the Holidays. First up, the appetizer! Now, I have to give my friends Brie & Tyler the props here because they found this recipe and made the appetizer for us. Man oh man was it delicious! This is going to become one of my new go-to appetizers for dinner parties. This appetizer is a Roasted Brussel Sprout and 3 Cheese Crostini (click on any photo below to see where I got the recipe).

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For the main course we did a Garlic Rosemary Pork Loin, Slow Cooker Buttery Herbed Mashed Potatoes (this actually was a mashup of two recipes, find one here and the other here), Oven Roasted Vegetables with a Maple Glaze and of course my family’s favorite, some good old fashioned Sister Schubert Rolls.

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Lastly, the most important part of a Friendsmas, the dessert!! A pretty well known fact about me is my love for Hallmark Chanel, but what people don’t typically know is that even more than the Christmas movies, I LOVE their program Home & Family. If you’re not familiar, it’s similar to a talk show but it’s everything Christmas! They have crafts, decor, recipes and tips and tricks for the season. Well, I got this amazing recipe for a Red Velvet Hot Chocolate Cake while watching Home & Family.

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Now, the funny thing is that we almost didn’t have a table to eat our dinner on at all… Kirby and I got this kitchen table (for free!) about 6 months ago with the intent to redo it. Well, life got in the way and we kept putting it off until I randomly got the urge to get started about a week ago. I moved it into the garage and got to sanding. It was a slow project that we would work on for a day and then not touch for a few days, until it was two days before Friendsmas and we realized that we HAD to get it done or we would all be eating on the floor. I guess that was the nudge that we needed because we finally finished the table the morning of Friendsmas! Granted, we don’t have the seat cushions reupholstered yet but at least we had somewhere to eat!

Take a look at it now and keep scrolling down to see the before!

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Before Table

I am by no means a DIY expert, actually I’m very far from that. One of my favorite bloggers, Nesting with Grace, always says that the goal isn’t to be perfect but to be better than before and that is exactly what I wanted to do here!

I hope this inspired you to get out there and host your friends or remake something in your home, but more importantly not to strive for perfection but to make your home better than before for YOU!

My Favorite Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

One of my absolute favorite things about Fall is the food… pumpkin everything! Since I’m so passionate about pumpkin, I have definitely had my fair share of pumpkin cookies. I’ve tried them all and these are by far my favorite! They are soft, chewy and not overly sweet.

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To start out, make sure you round up all your ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Oil
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Milk
  • 1 1/4 Cup Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheet.

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In a large bowl add pumpkin puree, sugar, oil, vanilla extract and the egg. Using a hand (or stand) mixer beat all ingredients until well combined.

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In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In another smaller bowl mix the baking soda and milk until they form a slurry.

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Add both the dry flour mixture and slurry to the pumpkin mixture and combine all.

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Stir in the chocolate chips.

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Using a tablespoon scoop heaping spoonfuls onto the greased cookie sheet.

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Bake for 10-12 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool slightly before removing.

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Now it’s time for some hot chocolate and a cookie! If you try out this recipe, let me know what you think!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Summer Reading List 2018

 

Well I am a little late to the game since June is almost over… how is June almost over?! Well I finally got my life together long enough to put together a few books that I’ve had on my list for months that I’ve wanted to start. I’ve got a few trips coming up and to me there is nothing better than a good book on vacation! Although I am a sucker for a good podcast, nothing compares to physically holding a real book. Here are a few picks for me for the summer:

 

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up//Rising Strong 

 

Big Magic//Chasing Slow

 

As of right now I’ve started Big Magic but I’ll come back and update this blog post as I get through the books with some notes!

What books are on your summer reading list??

Anthropologie Spring Favorites

If you don’t already know, I’m the Home Department Manager at my local Anthropologie. I’m constantly surrounded by so much inspiration and beautiful products, and I wanted to share some of my favorite spring favorites with y’all! Here we go –

 

Apparel

Some of my favorite staple spring pieces are jumpsuits, rompers and dresses. Living in the sunny state of Arizona it is HOT. Having a romper or dress to throw on that is lightweight is a saving grace, and it’s even better when it’s a done-for-you polished outfit. One easy step and you’re ready to go!

I’m also super into stripes (not just spring, pretty much year round)! The Paperbag-Waisted Striped Pants are like WOW. And of course you’ve got to add in some peasant blouses and tunics.

Farm Rio Lila Maxi Dress • $198
LAIA Germain Embroidered Tunic Dress • $188
Mes Demoiselles Nautical Peasant Top • Mes Demoiselles • $205
Cloth & Stone Juliana Jumper • Cloth & Stone • $138
Burning Torch Painterly Cactus Graphic Tee • Burning Torch • $128
Akemi + Kin Veria Peplum Tunic • $88
4OUR Dreamers Paperbag-Waisted Striped Pants • $118
Anthropologie Priscilla Striped Kimono • Anthropologie • $78
Maeve Breanna Polka Dot Wrap Dress • Maeve • $168

 

Home

For me, it’s hard to insert color into my home (and honestly my wardrobe)! I picked a few home products that are a little out of my comfort zone but that I am really into!

The Sabrina Indoor/Outdoor pillow is so great! It’s weather-resistant and has a great texture. I love weather-resistant pillows not only for outdoors, but because if you are using it in your living room it help protects from that occasional red wine spill… or is that just me? Ha!

I also wanted to highlight Anthropologies new melamine storage bowls!! Every year there is some form of melamine at Anthro but this year the new patterns are also featured on these storage bowls and I love it! These are so great for picnics or packing lunches to go to the pool – and they’ve got the best patterns to get you in the spring/summer mood.

Anthropologie Sabrina Indoor/Outdoor Pillow • Anthropologie • $128
Anthropologie Succulent Bookend • Anthropologie • $68
Blakely Made Sunscene Melamine Storage Bowl • $12
Anthropologie Elana Dinner Plate • Anthropologie • $18
Anthropologie Tasseled Araya Duvet Cover • Anthropologie • $268
Anthropologie Sun Porch Pot • Anthropologie • $26–88
Illume Knotwork LA Etched Ceramic Candle • $26
Anthropologie Antigua Hanging Basket • Anthropologie • $98
Anthropologie Ridged Pot • Anthropologie • $16

 

 

 Comment below your favorite Spring products!

Friday Favorites – Cookbooks

This Friday we’re kicking of  a new series of blogs… Friday Favorites! A weekly roundup of my current favorites from the past week. This Friday we’re talking about cookbooks!

I have always been a lover of cooking but I am by no means a chef… I always gravitate towards those beautifully curated cookbooks, but the problem with a lot of them is that they have 5 million ingredients that you can never find at the grocery store and it takes about 10 hours to cook one meal.

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I finally found a cookbook that is practical, beautiful and DELICIOUS – Healthyish! Not only does it have a lot of really yummy recipes, but it’s also packed full of sauce, butter and pickling ideas that are so fun and great staples to have around in your kitchen.

ACS_0006Here are a few of my favorite recipes that I tried from the cookbook this past week:

  1. Spiced Chicken and Chickpea Flatbreads with Cucumber-Dill Tzatziki
  2. Prosciutto and Cucumber Tartine
  3. Lemon-Herb Butter
  4. Pork and Mushroom Stroganoff

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Get your own copy of Healthyish here! I got mine at my very own Anthropologie, but hurry! We sold out of it so fast at our store and haven’t received replenishment yet!

Gifting Guide // For Him

Are you struggling with last minute gifts for the men in your life? Well I definitely was today when I went out to get some last minute gifts. This gift guide is brought to you by a guy himself… my guy! Forcing my guy to help me with this gift guide not only helped me, but will hopefully help you as well!

Here are some super cozy gifts for any guy in your life. Four days left until Christmas… Happy Shopping!

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Shop this board here!

1. Fossil Q Explorist Gen 3 Leather-Strap Smart Watch • Fossil • $255

2. Amazon Echo Voice Command Smart Assistant Speaker • $74.95

3. Faux-suede slippers • Gap • $24

4. Fair isle shawl-collar cardigan • Gap • $40

5. French rib trouser sweatpant • J.Crew • $69.50

6. Slim broken-in henley • J.Crew • $39.50

7. Converse Men’s Chuck Taylor All Star Sneaker – Men’s’s • Converse • $49.99

8. Men’s Levi’s 511 Slim Fit Stretch Jean – 32″ Inseam • Levi’s • $44.95–69.50

9. Wusthof Gourmet 18-Piece Knife Block Set, Walnut • Wusthof • $299.99

10. Lodge Red 4.5 Quart Enameled Dutch Oven • World Market • $100

Gifting Guide // Hostess with the Mostess

Welcome to my 2017 Holiday Gift Guide! Yay!

This year I’ve decided to break up my gifting guides into a few different categories based off of the person that you’re shopping for! Today is for the Hostess with the Mostess. Is there someone in your life who LOVES hosting parties? Or are you headed to a Holiday party yourself and you need to grab a hostess gift to take with you? Either way  you can’t go wrong with any of these gift ideas!

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Shop this board here!

1. Marbled Monogram Cheese Board • Anthropologie • $26.60

2. Agate Bottle Opener • Anthropologie • $11.20

3. Nina Cheese Marker Set • Anthropologie • $19.60

4. Bertie Bottle Stopper • Anthropologie • $11.20

5. Reversible Prep & Serve Board • Anthropologie • $26.60

6. Gilded Monogram DOF Glass • Anthropologie • $12.60

7. Agate Cheese Board • Anthropologie • $54.60

8. Emily Isabella Holiday Spirit Platter • $40.60

9. Slivered Geode Coaster • Anthropologie • $9.80

**Disclaimer: You’ll notice that all of these products are from Anthropologie, but this post is in no way affiliated or sponsored by Anthropologie. Just one girl who loves all things Anthro (especially for hostess gifts)**