A Very Cali Christmas Pt 3

I’m just now getting around to posting the last of our pics from our Christmas in Cali. Whoops! But give me a break, I did take about a bajillion photos. See Parts 1 and 2 here and here!

::Christmas morning::

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^our sweet gammy & poppy flew out and spend a few days with us in SLO!

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^ my name is Inigo Montoya. you killed my father. prepare to die. IMG_7494

^ nope i’m not spoiled in the slightest. drinking water out of a teacup. bless.IMG_7501 IMG_7508 IMG_7552 IMG_7558 IMG_7622 IMG_7568 IMG_7593 IMG_7597 IMG_7610 IMG_7612 IMG_7632 IMG_7584 IMG_7639 IMG_7641 IMG_7642

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::Hearst Ranch & Winery and Sebastian’s Country Store::

One of our last days in CA we spent at Sebastian’s, this cute little lunch place with yummy burgers and a view of Hearst Castle. Definitely worth the wait!

IMG_7663 IMG_7671 IMG_7675 IMG_7685 IMG_7697 IMG_7705 IMG_7708 IMG_7713 IMG_7720 IMG_7723 IMG_7725 IMG_7731Looking through all of these photos makes me miss my sister and her sweet family even more! I think I need another CA trip very soon indeed.

a very cali christmas part 2

Cali part deux! Goodness I took enough pictures to fill a museum. Oh well. Onward!

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^ picnic at a winery! the view was amazing

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^one night (my days are all running together) we met up with some of Drew’s family and went to Cambria to their Christmas village. So cute!

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^hiking and the beach, all right next to each other. it was definitely different from OK!

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more to come! ya that’s right, i said more. we haven’t even gotten to christmas yet!

a very cali christmas part 1

this year was our first christmas to spend in California with Courtney & Drew. It was SO nice to get away from the wretched winter winds in Oklahoma and escape to balmy San Louis Obispo. The only sad part in an otherwise fantastic trip was that Jared didn’t get to come with me. Next time babe! No excuses! ;)
IMG_6831^yes indeed 5 people drove 23 hours in an SUV.

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IMG_6842^those lashes!

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IMG_6881^court and drew have a darling lemon tree in their front yard, i’m so jealous

IMG_6887^walking to downtown SLO!

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IMG_6924^a gum wall in SLO, my mind is appalled and yet ironically intrigued. why? and for how long? and why? and just…why?

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IMG_6944^i just really loved this church we kept walking by, it was so darling!

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IMG_6959 ^ Court’s wedding swag (posts here and here) was re-purposed for christmas decorIMG_6960^Court and mom made chili for our first night in SLO. Yum!

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^dranpa with hims drankids

IMG_6963IMG_6985^little baby Rook liked to snooze under the Christmas tree

Parts 2 etc coming soon!

13 faves in 2013

2013favorite outfits from 2013

Last year I started a Favorite Things post so I thought I’d keep the tradition alive and do 13 Favorites in 2013!  Its so much fun to look back and see all the things that have changed and giggle at yourself.

1. Blog Outfit: well this one has been pinned quite a lot, but my faves from the entire year are posted above!
2. Shoes: Ankle boots are still a favorite of mine! I’m constantly looking for more.
3. Jewelry: my engagement ring :D
4.Accessory: HATS!! I’m utterly obsessed with hats.
5. Clothing Item: my leather leggings. they’re so comfy and I feel slightly less like a slob wearing them as pants.
6. Fashion Trend: right now? anything fur or leather. least favorite trend? galaxy pants. I just don’t get it. 
7. Home Decor Trend: I really love mixing unexpected pieces, like metal and wood, or vintage and modern.
8. Cosmetics: I found this foundation this winter and I love it, and I love all of the Sonia Kashuk lipsticks, they last forever.
9. Place to shop: Riff Raff, ASOS, Urban Outfitters, and Forever 21
10. Album: Arctic Monkeys or Lorde right now, but I also love oldies like Louis Prima and Sam Cooke.
11. Trip: our Christmas in Cali vaca of course!
12. Social Media: still Instagram! I’m also falling in love with Tumblr.
13. Blog Post: The most memorable would have to be the posts during my hospital stay. I also love our engagement story and photo shoot story.  

Love, Riff Raff

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RiffRaff has recently started a monthly surprise box program and while I’m not usually a fan of these subscription boxes I decided to give Riffraff’s a go since I’ve never been disappointed in anything they have sent me.

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Of course my first Love, RiffRaff package came with cute polka dot paper and gold confetti inside. I’m such a sucker for cute packaging and the Riffraff girls sure know a thing or two about presentation.

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These month’s package included a darling gold sequin clutch and this cute little red jacket. I love that they include four different ways to style your new pieces. IMG_6716

I’ve already worn my red jacket here and I can’t tell you how many compliments I’ve gotten on my sequin clutch! I’m definitely going to be signing up for the next Love, RiffRaff. You can too right here!

Little side note: RiffRaff is actually a locally owned business in Fayetteville, Arkansas. If you’re an Arkie you should definitely stop by their darling store! The RiffRaff girls are just the absolute sweetest and I love seeing their success. It’s so nice to see someone’s hard work pay off, especially someone as deserving as RiffRaff! If you haven’t stopped by their store do it today! You can still order and receive your gifts by Christmas!

sisters

sistersI moved back in with my parents in August of 2012 and since doing so, there have been moments of pure insanity and moments that stopped me in my tracks, squeezed  my heart, clogged my throat and made me wonder…just where exactly would I be if I hadn’t moved home? Literally and figuratively. This time has been a mix of irritating and hysterical and wonderful and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. thanks mom and daddy for letting me be that annoying adult child that leached off of their parents for a year and a half.

My relationship with my baby sister has been one of those hysterical/wonderful aspects of the move. My brother and I are five years apart so my memories of him as a baby are more toddler age memories, when I walked into his room and he was jumping on his bed in 4 layers of socks and 3 sweatshirts and a stack of hats balanced precariously on his humongous head. He’s 19 now, lives in the dorms and has become terrifyingly responsible for an entire floor of guys so our relationship has become more of the texting variety during this crazy busy time of his life.

Garrison and I will always have a special bond, being the two middles of the family and sharing a propensity to live in utter squalor, but Karianne and I are a different story. I’m nine years older than her. I have memories of changing her diapers and rocking her to sleep, singing God Bless America because I couldn’t think of anything else to sing. I’ve always had this inclination to mother her, to protect her, and I think she’s always felt that she could come to me, tell me things, and that I would listen.

But this past year or so has changed that relationship. She’s my friend, one of my best friends, just like our older sister Courtney is our friend. The three of us group text all day long and I know for a fact that there doesn’t exist another person in this world who can make me laugh as hard as those two do when they get going with emojee texts.

Karianne and I are getting close to the same size in tops and dresses and consequently, my closet has begun to service two girls on an almost daily basis. Courtney used to hate when I borrowed (alright, stole) her clothes but I have to admit, it tickles me to no end when Karianne borrows my clothes. She has frequently put together a completely new outfit that I would have never thought of. I love when she comes home in an outfit of mine and tells me how many of her friends said she looked cute. Is it pathetic that I find joy in the approval of a bunch of 16 year old girls? Think what you want, but these girls are MUCH more stylish than I was at 16 so I will take their approval any day.

Your life will never turn out exactly how you thought it would. But those twists and turns will reveal moments and opportunities that will become the sweetest memories of your life. I wouldn’t trade the months that I’ve had with Karianne for anything. I might have lost my house but I found a best friend. And that is far more precious to me.

 

last minute gift idea: Him and Her

If you’re like me, you’re still scrambling to finish up those last minute gifts on the list. I put together these boxes for my couple friends and they turned out so cute I thought I’d share!

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Kraft boxes//Hobby Lobby (buy in bulk online), Deer head stamp, Cocoa Daisy (looks like they don’t sell it anymore, here’s another option, and this one is pretty cute)// , Pom Pom yarn// Michael’s (buy online), Glitter Eyelash yarn//Martha Stewart at Michaels (buy online), Jute twine//Hobby Lobby (buy online), Gift Tags//Target last year after Christmas (sold this year but not online), Jingle Bells//Hobby lobby (not sold online, here’s an option) , Glass containers// Michaels (not sold online), Sugar Scrub & Hot Chocolate ingredients//Target

IMG_6649So fun! You could easily tweak these to make gift sets throughout the year by swapping a lemonade mix or some other cold drink for the hot chocolate. Merry Christmas!

crown braids and elf costumes

IMG_6721I wore this to a Christmas party the other night and my mom told me I looked like the chick from Elf. Since that chick is Zooey Deschanel and she is adorable, I will take any and all ZD lookalike comments forever and ever, amen.

 

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I also finally figured out how to do crown braids, inspired from this photo,  and it’s now become my go to hair style since deciding to grow out my fringe. I knew I’d regret chopping those little hairs after about, oh, a month, but ah well ce la vie. They are now at that strange, i-dont-know-where-to-live stage and consequently I’ve been wearing lots of hats. Or crown braids.

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This week has been very strange weather for December; 60′s and nary a chilly wind in sight! I have to say, I am far from disgruntled by the current state of affairs. A blessed break from the Snow Apocalypse is fine by me. Especially since it’s like getting me ready for our trip coming up. Christmas in California! I’m so excited to see my sister and brother in law and spend some time in their sweet little town. The 21 hour drive to get there with 5 people and a dog in one car? Tylenol PM you are calling my name.

 

IMG_6727 IMG_6749 Target top, tights, and boots (old)// Forever 21 necklace// ASOS dress

Christmas Miracles

IMG_5079poppy with the youngest of the 14 grandkids 

This past week was a week of terribly low lows and amazingly high highs, so I apologize for the lack of posts. Blogging was pretty far down the list of things I was thinking about!

A week and a half ago my grandpa was placed in a medically induced coma, leaving us with very little knowledge of what was going on and a very real fear that we might lose him.

Like my mom said, you never really expect to be the family that has to deal with Christmas tragedies. Of course, no one really expects it, but when it happens to you it’s like an out of body experience. Especially when it’s your grandpa, who’s probably the healthiest man in his 70′s that I have ever met.

But I live in a world of faith. I’m a part of a family that believes in prayer and miracles, and I have experienced the very real power of a peace that passes all understanding.

So when nurses are saying that there is no sign of response, when doctors are testing for brain damage, when it seems like there is no hope, there is always hope.

During this time of fear and confusion I kept feeling like everything would be ok. I didn’t know how and I didn’t know why but I just kept saying, “everything is going to be ok. I just know it.” My brain would argue with what my heart was telling me but when I started to feel scared I would pause and think to myself : you are not alone. Christ is with you, He’s with Poppy, and He is in control. It’s not always easy to have faith but the reward is oh so worth it.

After almost a week of little response my Poppy woke up. Miraculously. No brain damage, no signs of trauma at all. He’s still in the hospital and they’re still working on figuring out what exactly happened, but he’s alive, smiling and joking and befriending every single person that walks into his room, just like he always does. And three days later I still can’t think about this without grateful tears welling up in my eyes.

You can’t go through a year like my family has without becoming stronger, closer, better. But we couldn’t have made it at all without our Heavenly Father. You will never be able to convince any of us that Christ wasn’t in control, that a miracle didn’t take place this Christmas. And that faith has a lot to do with a man named Elmer Edward Dalton, not just for his recovery, but because of his life. For his constant reminder of God’s love and his faithfulness through his own actions, every day.

I’m so grateful for a family of faith, who brought me up to believe, who gave me the opportunity to give my life to Christ and know that faith myself, so that I would never be alone, never be without hope.

I’m so glad you’re feeling better Poppy. I’m so glad you’re here. I love you. 

Merry {early} Christmas! Free facebook banners

fb-banner-allHappy Wednesday friends! Today I’m offering these cute little facebook banners. Fo FREE! Just click on the link below, right click and save the image, and then upload to your facebook page and voila! A little holiday cheer, easy as pie!

If you do download a banner, let me know! I’d love to see your banner in action!

Click here to download Merry Christmas, Deer

Click here to download The Grinch

Click here to download Boughs of Holly

Click here to download Merry Little Christmas

Side note: the deer graphic I used is via The Graphics Fairy. You can find it here!