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family: Christmas 2015

what a wonderful Christmas season we had! i loved every minute of this past week with our family. we did a lot of traveling on the road but it was worth every minute spent with our loved ones. i wanted to share a few pictures of our time in memphis and indiana with you. i have one hundred pictures or so but just wanted to post a few :)

between our two families we have numerous family traditions. it is so fun to see how both sides of our family have created these traditions over the years. reed and i both cherish our Christmas memories with our family, it is very important to us. our first Christmas together as husband and wife was truly amazing, just as i expected it would be.

i hope you all have had a wonderful Christmas weekend and i hope you have family traditions as well that will carry on over the years and last a lifetime. 

this week we are in clean up mode and trying to get our house back to normal. this will be an all week thing, i can feel it ha!

enjoy the pictures above and see you later this week!


craft: Christmas stovetop potpourri

orange, cranberries, rosemary

my house smells so good because of the pictures above!! this was my first time trying stovetop potpourri and i am in love! this was so easy and simple to make (as you can see above) and this is the perfect smell for your house for the holidays! i want to research and make up my own recipes that i can use the entire year. 

-4 cups of water
-1 cup of cranberries
-1 orange sliced
-2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
-3 cinnamon sticks
-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

-mix all of your ingredients in a pot and bring this to a boil
-allow this to simmer uncovered as long as you would like 
-i put my burner on low and let this simmer for 3-4 hours
-once you turn the heat off you can let it sit for a day or two to enjoy the wonderful smells!
-this can last up to several days, you can simply add water and stir to make it last
-you can also use this in a crock pot as well

you will love the smell of your home and this is such a great aroma to walk into when you have guests coming over for the holidays.

i hope you enjoy your new potpourri recipe and hope you are enjoying the Christmas week,i know i sure am.


hosting our first Christmas gathering

what a fun weekend we had! our first Christmas dinner hosting took place on Saturday and it turned out great! we had family and friends over and the house was filled with Christmas music and a lot of food. paw helped set the table (as you can see) and reed took care of the ham. 

the menu consisted of:
-pineapple casserole
-sweet potato casserole
-holiday ham
and for dessert a yummy cinnamon bread pudding and strawberry cheesecake

i loved using my new Christmas dishes that i received as wedding presents from babcocks in memphis. i loved the new serving pieces as well. the plaid napkins i purchased at home goods and i watched numerous videos of how to fold them into Christmas trees. i love how they turned out! i had several requests on how i made these and i wanted to share with you a quick video of how i learned how to make these. these will be great for your holiday parties or family Christmas dinner. 

(this video is also found on

i hope you enjoy this and please share your napkin folding techniques with me, if you have any! i would love to see your examples and ideas as well! i hope you all had a great weekend!

enjoy the week and happy monday :) 


family feature: mom's gooey bars

okay, let me set something straight. my mother has many wonderful dessert recipes and she's famous for many recipes; however, one of my personal favorites is her gooey bars. boy oh boy they are delicious! i know she wouldn't pick this recipe as her "go to" or her "famous" recipe but i decided to pick this one because we all love it!! i have also had several friends request this one as well haha! 

thank you mother for allowing me to share this wonderful recipe :)  i have taken a few weeks off with the family features and i am excited to share a few more in the coming weeks and especially for the holidays. so stay tuned! 

here is the recipe:

ingredients for the cake:
-1 yellow cake mix
-1 egg
-1 stick of butter, melted 

for the gooeyness:
-1 8 ounce package of cream cheese softened 
-2 eggs
-3 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
-1 tsp vanilla

-preheat your oven to 300 degrees
-combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well
-spread this mixture into a 9x13 greased pan or dish
-in a medium size bowl or mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth
-next, add in your eggs and your vanilla and beat together
-then, add the powdered sugar and mix well
-spread this mixture over your cake batter in the pan and bake for 45 min
-make sure not to over bake, as you want the center gooey 
-let these cool for 20-25 minutes before cutting and serving


a picture of my beautiful mother :)



our home: Christmas home tour

yay, its finally here! here is a look at our Christmas home tour! our Christmas tree is up, stockings hung, and decor is in place. you already know how much i love this time of year and i couldn't be more excited to spend our first Christmas as a married couple in our new home. 

we have had a wonderful weekend full of Christmas fun and finishing our shopping for others. as you can see from the pictures above, we have been busy with a Christmas tree and decorating. i almost have all of my packages wrapped and i will show you the full effect of the tree but for now this is what we have accomplished ha!

as you can see from the pictures, i posted a few pictures of our decor outside on the porch and the rest inside. our foyer, mantel, living rom, and kitchen is full of Christmas details. with our house in general, i don't like to over do it and i used the same technique for our Christmas decor as well. i like simple, rustic, and modern all mixed together. 

i was so happy with our first tree. we purchased it at hobby lobby and it was unlit with pinecones placed throughout the tree. as you have noticed, i am all about pinecones in my decor. it was the perfect tree for us! i found a tree inspiration on pinterest and it had a rustic look with black & white striped ribbon. well, after a long search we were only able to find one roll; therefore, we created our own with the white and burlap ribbon. i love how it turned out!

i hope you all have enjoyed your weekend as much as we have. today, marks a fun memory for reed and i; two years ago today was our first date and we have talked about it all day. we ate mexican food for our first date at local taco in brentwood and we decided to re-live the date and go for mexican food today! also, tomorrow marks our 9 months of being married! i am so blessed each and every day to be able to do life with reed. i can't wait for our first Christmas and our one year anniversary soon. crazy how time flies!

this week consists of christmas music, wrapping gifts, making cookies, and counting down the days for family festivities. 

enjoy your week everyone and thank you for stopping by!