Wednesday, December 31, 2014


I want to end this year by thanking y'all for welcoming me into this fun little world of blogging.  2014 was a good that allowed me to be creative, accept new challenges, and reevaluate the truly important things in life.  Starting this blog was taking little risk for me, one that made me step out of my comfort zone, and for that I am grateful.  I can only hope that my posts (and especially my photography) will continue to improve in the upcoming year.  Here's a look back at some of this year's most popular posts:

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

On My Bookshelf [Where'd You Go, Bernadette?]

When I first started Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple, I loved it!  Parts of it were just laugh out loud funny, Bernadette is entertaining and even lovable despite herself, and you found yourself rooting for her.  Although the disjointed writing (the story is told through emails, notes, and many different points of view) took some getting used to, I tore through the first half of this novel. 

Monday, December 29, 2014

Greek Coffee [How To]

Growing up Monday afternoons meant Greek School at church.  If I'm completely honest, it was not my favorite part of the week, but I can vividly picture all the moms sipping little cups of Greek coffee and working on their needle work when we came out for recess.  If we were really, really good Sweet Petrula would read our fortunes in the grounds.  To this day, I can't make Greek coffee without remembering.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas, Y'all!

Just popping in to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas!  Wishing you all a holiday filled with much love and great joy!

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas Sign on Canvas 8x10
via Pinterest

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve Traditions

When I was little every Christmas Eve my brother's Nouno (Godfather) came over to celebrate.  We had yummies, finished decorating the tree or did some last minute gift wrapping, and just spent time together.  We were allowed to open one early gift each (always pajamas -- after all we had to look nice in the pictures the next morning).  I can vividly remember just being purely happy, feeling sheer joy.  My brother's Nouno has since moved to Florida, our family has increased with in-laws and new loved ones, and my brothers and I are no longer all living under the same roof, and I miss it. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas at the Lilly House [Indianapolis Museum of Art]

I was so very excited to be able to spend some time with Bestie KB during this very busy time of year.  We met at the Lilly House on the grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, which was decorated in all its Christmas splendor. 

The home is absolutely stunning......

Monday, December 22, 2014

Jingle Rails

Last week we took the kiddos on a field trip to the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art.  The museum is fabulous and I always look forward to this trip.  This time there was an extra special activity, Jingle Rails.  I had heard wonderful things, but had never seen it for myself. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies [Sort of....]

We had our annual Holiday Cookie Exchange at school.  I typically host the event, but was unable to this year.  I did help Bestie KP and whipped up an invitation on Picmonkey.  (I know you're surprised....ha, ha!)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas Printable Round Up

This year's guest room features a picture ledge with the most adorable Christmas printables.

Some Christmas Touches

Decorating for Christmas is one of my very favorite things of the season.  I tend to keep things pretty traditional, using mainly reds and greens.  Please come on in for a little tour.....(and bear with my's one of my biggest resolutions for the new year....).

Welcome!  Y'all come on in....

Friday, December 19, 2014

Five on Friday ['Tis the Season III]

It's been so busy around these parts that I haven't been posting as I had planned.  I hope to get caught up this weekend as today is the last day of school for two weeks!!  Woo-hoo!!!

Bestie KB and I took a quick tour of the Lilly House at the IMA decorated for Christmas.  Although the tour was a little bit of a let down, the company more than made up for it.  We were able to grab a cup of tea and visit, which was completely delightful.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Happy Birthday, Brother #1!

Today I'm wishing my brother a very Happy Birthday!  He is one of the most kind and generous people I know.  He has a special gift of putting everyone around him at ease and I'm beyond grateful to call him my brother. 

Our wedding photographer captured this shot immediately following the service.  It is my very favorite picture of us together. 

Happy, Happy Birthday!!!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

DIY Eggnog Latte

The eggnog latte is my very favorite beverage that comes in that little red know the one....everything about it tastes like Christmas.  This morning I was determined to make our own here at the hive, and what do you know, it was delish! Totally hit the spot. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Five on Friday ['Tis the Season II]

After a very hectic and long week, boy am I ready for the weekend!  I may or may not have thrown a frozen pizza in the oven for dinner and been in bed by 8 last night.  Excited to spend some time with sweet friends this weekend and finish up some Christmas shopping, decorating, etc. SO excited!

I've made the super quick (and if I do say so myself) super cute pepper jelly appetizer a few times this year.  It's the perfect thing to take when you're in a pinch.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Champagne Cork Ornaments

I'm a big believer in celebrating the little things (and big things, too!!) in life.  And I certainly love any excuse to pop a bottle of champagne.  In fact, if you peek in my fridge you're likely to find a bottle just in case, but not necessarily a gallon of milk.  (Full disclosure: if I'm being completely honest, you're likely to find a bottle of champagne and an expired gallon of milk....)

Via Pinterest

Monday, December 8, 2014

Pretty (and Quick) Christmas Appetizer

Sometimes I just don't have enough time to whip up something impressive to take to a dinner or pitch-in, especially during the Christmas season.  Enter in the bazillion jars of pepper jelly I make each summer. 

Pepper Jelly Christmas Tree Appetizer

  • 8 oz block cream cheese
  • 1 jar pepper jelly (you don't have to make yours!!)
  • Yellow Bell Pepper (I only had green in the fridge) - optional
  • Cranberries - optional, I just happened to have them
  • Crackers
  • Cut the block of cream cheese at a diagonal.
  • Plate pieces together so they form a Christmas tree and smooth the seam.
  • Spread pepper jelly over the top.
  • Cut a star and stump out of the bell pepper.
  • If desired add cranberry garland.
Merry, Merry!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Five on Friday ['Tis the Season]

Happy first Friday of December!  I love everything about the Christmas season, and have spent this week getting the hive ready to celebrate and enjoy the entire season.  So without further ado, here's this week's Five on Friday.

Every year the day after Thanksgiving Hubby and I put up the tree and reminisce as we unwrap our beautiful ornaments from our loved ones and tennis family.  The ornaments from our ornament wedding shower hold a very special place in our hearts.

Blue and White Hearts from Vietnam

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Embellished Tree Skirt [Cheater Applique]

Well friends, I have a confession.  I'm too cheap to buy a good tree skirt.  There.  I've said it.  I just haven't found anything I love enough to spend the money on....especially since it's something that is only going to be covered with presents and unseen for most of the season anyway.  (It's not so much that they are expensive, it's just that they go so unseen.) 

So, until then, I've purchased a cheap inexpensive scalloped, felt tree skirt from Target (said with a Frenchesque accent so as to make it sound fancier...Tar-jhay).  The past few years I've just made sure to wrap the presents (with beautiful paper and ribbon, I may add) and cover that sucker up pretty quickly.  This year I decided to do a little something about it for the time being.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Christmas Ornament Wedding Shower

When Hubby and I married the tennis program hosted a beautiful ornament shower in our honor.  It was one of my very favorite celebrations and each year as we decorate the tree I am reminded of the special people who make up my tennis family. 

It is the perfect type of celebration for a group wanting to celebrate the happy couple, but at the same time not expecting the guests to purchase large gifts.  Each guest simply brings an ornament of their choosing.  (And I can only imagine how bare the house would have felt our first Christmas without these special decorations!!)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

My Favorite Things: Gifts Under $100

I have to be honest, while thinking of my favorite gifts under $100 I didn't intentionally choose things that were all personalized, but it did kind of evolve into that.  What can I say, I'm a sucker for something monogrammed (or in some of these cases, individualized) and think they make the best gifts. 

Personalized Wedding Bowls (H Shadron Pottery)
Hubby and I received one of these beautiful, handmade bowls as a wedding gift, and absolutely love it!  She is not just limited to wedding bowls, however, and also has baby plates, celebration bowls, and limited editions.

wed 1.jpg

Monday, December 1, 2014

Activity Advent Calendar

The first year Hubby and I were married I painstakingly made 25 little cards and 25 little envelopes with 25 different activities for us to do together leading up to Christmas day.  (Sadly, over the years some of them have lost their numbers.)

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