Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas Eve!

Merry Christmas Eve to you and yours! 

I'm very thankful for the PICU nurses who are away from their families, traditions, getting little sleep, and working today and tomorrow so that I can be off with mine. We love that we get to see both sides of our family this year. 

I hope your holiday is filled with love, laughter, and joy!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Fulton & Roark Giveaway

Have you been searching for a new cologne for your man? I'm loving the new Fulton and Roark solid colognes for men. 

Recently, the Chef tried the Tybee scent, and it is a very sophisticated, musky, manly scent for my handsome husband. The scent lasted all day, and I thought it was the perfect new scent.

I absolutely love the packaging of this product with silver F&R logo and the printed old school directions.

And today, I get to offer one of my reader's their own scent to choose. Check out Fulton & Roark and let me know which one is your favorite!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**I did receive a cologne sample to try (or rather the Chef to try). All of the opinions are my own.

Monday, December 16, 2013

A Raleigh Christmas Party

We had a short but fun weekend full of Christmas cheer. I worked Friday night shift, got home Saturday morning and napped while the Chef cleaned the house for our first Raleigh Christmas party. 

We decided to keep things simple with cookies and cocktails since I worked the night before. I love baking and baked a variety of Christmas cookies that I had not tried before and thought they all turned out well: chewy peppermint mocha, ginger snaps, chewy lemon, chocolate crinkle, my mom's candy canes, and Pfeppernusse cookies from Trader Joe's. 

We were so thankful for everyone who came to spend the evening with us. 

We love hosting parties and were so glad that everyone had a good time because we will definitely be having more. 

I'm so thankful for all of the friends we've made during our first year and a half of living here. 

We absolutely love living in Raleigh, and it's all because of the people who we share life with here. 

And now I only have three more shifts before a Christmas vacation of nine days off! 

Linking up with Sami and LeeAnn

Friday, December 13, 2013

Love and Grace

I've been reminded this week, by my sister, that I need to show grace, love, and mercy to those around me through my words and actions. I need to stop tearing others apart and stop being unkind.  

I've also been encouraged to be proactive in loving others by Carrie and her love for showering people with cards and letters.  It's a simple way to show someone love and grace. 

Trader Joe's is one of my favorite places, and this week, I stopped by their card section and absolutely loved it. They have some of the cutest cards.  

I bought a few and have decided this is a great way that I can love and be a tiny blessing to others. 

What ways do you show love and grace? I'd love to find more ways. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas Card Photos

Merry Christmas from the P family! 

We haven't had professional family photos taken of us since our wedding...three years ago. Aida wasn't apart of any of those, so this year I wanted a few family photos.

I found a local photographer, Heidi and set up a date in Downtown Durham in October. 

I mainly wanted a few good shots of Aida because it's so hard to capture her on an iPhone camera.

This was the winner! I used Tiny Prints for this year's Christmas card; I love their designs.

I'm loving that our friends and family are already receiving it.

I loved how our Christmas card turned out this year. But I wish I had known about Pikcal because they have some great Christmas card designs AND they are offering 20% off for my readers by using the code: blogcard20 when you check out. 

I love the photos Heidi shot for us even if it felt a little awkward. 

We're the type of family that needs a photographer to give us ideas on what to do. I had also hoped for some closer shots since we wanted a Christmas card photo. 

All in all, she was a really nice photographer, but I'm not sure I would hire her again. 

Did you have professional photos taken or do you usually have a friend snap a few? I wish I had a photographer friend who would do ours for free next year...

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Happiness and Cheer

Our weekend was full of Christmas happiness and cheer! 

My weekend started off on Thursday with lots of Christmas baking. We're hosting our first Raleigh Christmas party: Christmas cookies and holiday drinks. I have to work the two nights before, so I'm starting early. 

Thank you so much for sharing with my your favorite cookies on IG. I added a few more kinds to my list. 

We met some of our favorite friends: Allison and Jarod at the Angus Barn for dinner and drinks. 

We loved the Christmas decor with the upside down tree and elf children. 

Our bellies were stuffed and our hearts full after spending the evening with them. I just wish we lived closer to each other...move to Raleigh....

I'm loving my new Christmas wreath made by my bestie Mallory. Isn't she talented?

I also love it because she made the holder removable, so I'll be able to change it for Valentine's and Fourth of July. So creative!

Friday night, we spent the evening with our favorites: our small group.

We met for lots of chips, salsa, queso, margaritas, and tacos at Chuy's and then had dessert back at our apartment.

I love that there is never a shortage of conversation or laughter with these friends. I'm so excited to walk through life together. Especially, right now with the excitement, stress, disappointment, and hope of house hunting.

My weekend ended a little early with starting work on Sunday, but at least it's only two shifts in a row before I'm off again and will start prepping for our first Raleigh Christmas party.

Any Christmas party hosting tips for me? 

Linking up with Sami and LeeAnn

Monday, December 2, 2013

Hosting Thanksgiving

Happy belated Thanksgiving! 

I hope you enjoyed a fabulous weekend full of family, friends, and food. 

This was the first year that I didn't get to help in the prep for Thanksgiving dinner because I worked Thanksgiving day at the hospital.

Halfway through the day, I got this text from my sister. 

I got off work and rushed home, sorry if I flashed my lights or tailgated, I just couldn't wait to get home to my family. This was the first year we had both sets of our parents and sister at our apartment for a holiday.

We aren't crazy Black Friday or Thanksgiving day shoppers, but we do love to go and pick out our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. 

This year, my FIL picked out the perfect tree. 

I love our little family of three. 

On Dasher and Dancer...or Aida and Bailey! 

We had so much fun with our families this weekend.

We laughed, stuffed ourselves, bought our tree, saw The Book Thief in theater, and squeezed in next to each other on the couch watching football. 

Aida and Bailey loved celebrating their birthday together with a trip to Woof Gang Bakery and a special birthday treat to share.

After all of the family left on Saturday morning, we worked out, and finally went to see Catching Fire. I love the Hunger Games books and the movies are fabulous. Afterwards, we went to church and tried a new-to-us restaurant: Chow with a friends from our small group. I'm so thankful for incredible friends and conversations with them. 

We wrapped up the weekend with a quiet Sunday relaxing and getting ready for the week. 

Yesterday, I also put together my first of three Secret Santa gifts for a co-worker. If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them for my next two gifts. 

Linking up with Sami and LeeAnn