Friday, December 15, 2017

Five on Friday!

Only ONE more Friday until Christmas!!! Can you believe it?!
one. Last weekend we had our friends Sara and Wyn over for a game night. We played our faaaaavorite game -- The Game of...THINGS! We've owned this game for years and used to play it a lot when we hosted regular game nights before kids. It is SO fun and hilarious. And the more people playing the more fun the game is.
two. I recently snagged a new work dress! The fit is so flattering, the material is really high quality and it's comfortable -- which is important because I drive a LOT for work and like to be comfortable when I travel. Another travel perk? I've worn this dress twice this week in different cities! Oh, and it's on sale right now too!
three. On Tuesday McKinsey hosted her annual gift exchange! There were 18 girls in attendance this year and lots of good gifts.The candles are always the most fought over gifts...and they were again this year. I brought a Volcano candle (stolen 3x!) and left with a Benefit Cosmetics Set (stolen 2x!)!! You can read about how our exchange works here and previous gift exchanges: 2016 | 2015 | 2013
four. We got a little snow last weekend!!! Caroline was SOOOOOO excited. And we were too. It's always a huge deal in Charlotte when we get some flurries. 
Cowl-Neck Sweater (on sale) | Leggings (on sale) | Sueded Booties (on sale)
five. Tom Tom had an eye doctor appointment yesterday! He is obsessed with his Superman Cape right now and insisted on wearing it to his appointment, and to breakfast, and to school yesterday. Although Thomas didn't tolerate the dilating, pressure check, alignment exam or eye exam portions of the visit we got a great report from Dr. D! Now that he is talking a lot more we were able to do an eye chart exam which was really incredible. We started with ginormous pictures of animals on the screen and went all the way down to a size smaller than the palm of my hand. We are so grateful and blessed for such amazing progress.
Happy weekend, friends!


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Christmas Around the House!

Our halls are decked for our first Christmas in our new home!
Let's start with my favorite part of our house -- our staircase garland! As I mentioned on Instagram, this project was truly a labor of love that was worth every hour (about 13 total), 3 trips to Trader Joes, 2 craft store runs and one fight with my husband. But like I said -- worth it. Matt and I are so in love with the garland and he gets equal credit for staying up till midnight (twice) holding garland for me in just the right spots (no wait, a little to the left, nooooo I said LEFT, no sorry, I meant right. Now up tiny bit. More. More. More! Perfect.) while I tied one million twigs together.
We decorated about 20 feet of banister using 4 fresh white pine garlands, 5 bunches of mixed eucalyptus, 4 bunches of silver dollar eucalyptus and 24 yards of ribbon. All of the greenery was purchased at Trader Joes.
Once the garland was finally finished I stood back to admire our work with tears streaming down my face. I was just so overwhelmed with gratitude for our home. We've worked so ridiculously hard this year to make it our own and I truly feel so blessed that it is ours.  I still can't believe it when I pull into the driveway at times. It's been such a dream come true for us.
I had always dreamed of having a fireplace one day in our home. And now we have one! If I'm home, you can bet we have a fire going.
We did have a few sad moments while unpacking the Christmas boxes. There were several reminders of Charlie. His stocking took my breath away when I unexpectedly stumbled upon it as I was flipping through the stack. And then came the ornaments. Every year my mom has a family ornament made for us and Charlie has always been included. We miss him dearly and Caroline still asks when he's going to come back because she misses him so much.
Every year I frame our Christmas card and it has brought me SO much joy to see them add up over the years. I absolutely loving walking past this table in our house.
Previous Christmas Cards 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 coming soon!

This year Matt, Thomas and I decided to get a live flocked tree! You know who was adamantly opposed to it? Caroline. After a strong "But I don't want snow on my Christmas tree!" meltdown we compromised and let her pick out a mini tree without snow for the play room. Everyone was happy.
 Ta-da! 100% decorated by Thomas & Caroline. But mostly Caroline.
 Handmade gingerbread man...also by Caroline.
And now for our tree!
Gosh I love this tree so much. It is so unlike me to not top this tree off with a massive bow. However, when I saw this Moravian Star Tree Topper I knew we had to have it. Matt is from Winston-Salem so I knew he'd love it so much.
Previous Christmas Trees: 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 20132012 | 2011


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

Ever since we hosted a crock pot party in my kitchen I have been wanting to upgrade our crock pot. The pot I own is suuuuuuper old and after seeing all of the features of the 5 much newer crock pots I realized I've been missing out! Tell me about your crock pot. Do you love it? Should I put it on my Christmas list?

OK, on to another delicious crock pot soup...
Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
Adapted from Baked by Rachel

1.5 lbs chicken breast
15 oz can sweet whole corn kernels, drained
15 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup onion, diced
1 cup green bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper
Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
Avocado, diced
Tortilla strips


1. In your slow cooker, add first 8 ingredients. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.

2. Prior to serving, remove chicken breasts and shred (by hand or stand mixer). Return shredded seasoned chicken to slow cooker bowl. Stir gently.

3. Serve with a generous helping of shredded cheese, avocado and seasoned tortilla strips.

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