Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thankful


Happy Thanksgiving, friends!  There is so much to be thankful for everyday but today I'm especially thankful for...

My faith
I honestly don't know where I would be without it. 

Nick
My husband, best friend, partner in crime.  

Brady
We've had him for less than one month but he has brought an insane amount of joy to our life.

Health
We are all healthy and happy and I do not take that for granted for one minute.

Our Home
A roof over our heads, food on the table and a warm bed to crawl into at night.

Friends & Family
They make our world go round.

Blogging
The friendships I've made through the blogosphere have been one of the best parts of 2014, by far.

Hope you have the absolute best day today.  I'll be taking the rest of the week off so I'll see you back here on Monday!

"Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Jesus Christ." 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Holiday Bucket List


It's our first holiday season in our new city, in our new house and with Brady - so it's going to be a big one!  This year is going to look totally different than it has in the past but I'm excited about making new traditions with my little fam.

I had fun putting together my fall bucket list - even though I totally sucked it up and accomplished a whole five things on it - so I put together a (shorter) holiday version.  I'm going to blame my fall failure on getting the dog, he was the best 'to do' :)  

Here's what I'm planning for the next 6 weeks...

Black Friday
You guys, I'm a sucker for Black Friday.  I love it.  I love getting up in the middle of the night, the madness and the deals.  However, I refuse to go out on Thanksgiving and think it's so terrible that employees are being forced to work on a holiday like this one.  I mean, it's called Black FRIDAY, not Thursday.  End rant.

Candy Cane Lane
The downtown of our city gets all decked out for the holidays, including a 'Candy Cane Lane'.  I will definitely need to go check it out and take a picture (obviously).  Nick and I can grab dinner down there after and it will be a fun little date night!


All of the Lights
Drive around neighborhoods in our warm car with comfy clothes on, Christmas music playing and Starbucks in hand while ooh-ing and ahh-ing over Christmas lights.

Sugar Cookies
I love me some cookies but I've never been a big fan of the decorated sugar cookie ones.  I do still want to make some though so I think we'll bag them up and pass them out to neighbors, co-workers or friends :)


Sleep by the Fire
We STILL haven't had a fire in our fireplace yet!  There are a couple masonry issues that need to be fixed but as soon as that happens, I'm moving the air mattress in there and we're going to watch Christmas movies all night and fall asleep listening to the fire crackling.

Christmas Eve Church
This is probably my most favorite Christmas tradition.  Growing up, we always went to our churches Christmas Eve candlelight service after a big dinner at home.  Last year was the first year I spent away with Nicks family and I really, really missed this.  The two of us went to a church near his house but it just wasn't the same.  So excited for it this year!


And of course we'll be decorating the house inside and out, doing lots of shopping and watching all of the Christmas movies.  It's the most wonderful time of the year!

What are your favorite holiday traditions?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Stocking Stuffers {Under $30}

Happy Tuesday!


This guy gave us quite the scare yesterday.  He ate something he shouldn't have in the yard (Lord knows what) and started choking and throwing up.  I was freaking out and called Nick who rushed home and the vets office who managed to get us in before our scheduled appointment.  Thankfully, he's okay - whatever it was gave him a pretty upset stomach but no major damage done.  The poor guy is still pretty sluggish and refusing to drink water today but hopefully he'll be on the mend soon.  I think I've almost recovered, too - so terrifying!

Today I'm excited to share some of my favorite stocking stuffer ideas.  Oh, and I think I've found the most perfect, classic womens watch that could ever exist.  But first, stockings!  They've always been my favorite part of Christmas morning for some reason - I think maybe because I always had to come up with a Christmas list so I knew for the most part what I was getting.  Stockings on the other hand, you never know what could show up in those!

Here's some of my favorite ideas all under $30...


Moscow Mule mugs - best price I've found, at Target of course!

Topshop + Nordstrom = awesome beanies.  I'm loving anything blush right now - it's such an unexpected color for fall/winter.

Lush bath bombs are literally, the bomb.

These Dior knock off earrings from Bauble Bar are so great. I own a pair myself and wear them all the time!

Because you can never go wrong with Essie nail polish.

A smaller size, cheaper Diptyque candle?  Yes please.  These are amaaazing.

And now for the best.watch.ever.  The Classic Sheffield Lady by Daniel Wellington.  Classic is theeee best word to describe it - this is a watch you'll have forever and can wear with anything and everything.  I'm in love with mine and wanted to share with you guys a special offer - that's how excited I am about this watch.  Use the code holiday_sliceoflifechicago for 15% off right now through December 31st!  They also offer free worldwide shipping which is pretty much a must for me when shopping online.  Go check out their website and let me know which watch is your favorite!


Linking up with Elise, Zelle, April & Katie for These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

Monday, November 24, 2014

Weekending: Chicago + A Giveaway!


This weekend was a big one - we headed back to Chicago for the first time since moving and it was also our first time leaving Brady.  I'm happy to report that we survived both adventures, barely ;)

Friday night was pretty low key.  We picked up pizza, watched TV and played with our favorite guy.  Pretty sure we were in bed by 10:30pm but seriously, I think this is the BEST way to kick off the weekend.  Oh, how things have changed.


Saturday morning, we made the hour trek to my families house to drop off Brady.  My family has a 12 year old miniature Yorkshire Terrier, Winston, who weighs a whooping 3 pounds so I was curious about how he was going to do with a playful, hyper puppy.  Within 30 seconds of arriving, Brady had ate Winston's food, pulled his blanket out of his crate and crawled in himself.  He's a crazy man and Winston wasn't too impressed.

After saying our goodbyes, we headed to Chi-town.  It was sooo great to be back!  Nick had a work dinner so that was the reason for the trip and they put us up in a hotel right on State Street.  Our first stop was for a late lunch at Chick fil A, obviously.



We spent a couple of hours shopping before we headed back to the hotel for wine hour.  Ignore my hot mess hair, I had thought I packed my curling iron - thought being the key word - but I have to share this jacket with you.  It's surprisingly an Old Navy find and I l-o-v-e it!  I got a ton of compliments on it this weekend so go ahead and add it to your Christmas list :)


Anyways, soon after happy hour, we parted ways.  Nick to his dinner and I went out with some of my girlfriends. We all met up later that night and had way too much fun.  It was a late one - I think we finally made it back to our hotel about 3:30am - but it was so great to see all of our friends!



Our 8am wake up call the next morning came REAL quick but we had to get back to our boy!  He had such a great time with my family and I will admit it was nice to have a little break from the hourly potty training trips outside ;) And luckily, turns out that Winston eventually warmed up and they're now best buds!  I think he looks like he had a little bit of fun.  I missed that happy face!


I ended the weekend on the couch, listening to the rain (and a snoring dog), eating a grilled cheese with tomato soup and watching Home Alone for the first time this season.  The holidays are here!  We've got a short but busy week ahead - Brady has a vet appointment today, I have a hair appointment on Tuesday (FINALLY) and we'll be packing and heading off to Detroit for a few days.

I think the best way to kick off this Thanksgiving week is with a giveaway... to World Market!  You guys know I'm currently obsessed with that store thanks to the new house so myself and 12 other lovely ladies have paired up to treat someone to a $155 World Market Gift Card!  Merry Christmas (early) from all of us to you!


 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway will be live from 12:00am EST on November 24th through 12:00am on December 1st. Open to US residents only. All entries are verified. Winner will be contacted via email and has 48 hours to respond and claim prize or a new winner will be randomly chosen by the Rafflecopter.
Linking up with LeeannBellaCarlyBiana and Ashley

Friday, November 21, 2014

Five on Friday 11/21

Hellloooo Friday.  I have been waiting all week for you!  Tomorrow we're headed to Chicago for the night and I am so, so, so excited.  I haven't been back since we moved and I cannot wait to see my friends and shop and eat and do all things Chicago.  BUT, this is the first time I have to leave Brady and that kind of makes me ridiculously sad.  My family is coming over for the night to watch him so I know he'll be in good hands but I'll still miss that fur ball.

Here's what we've been up to this week...

CA-RAZY Weather
The weather was insane this week.  It snowed from Monday night-Thursday and we got a grand total of 19 inches. It's the second snowiest November on record in West Michigan... and it all came within a few days!


Christmas Spirit
Speaking of all of the snow, it totally put me in the Christmas mood.  On Thursday, I finally caved and turned on the Christmas music and popped into a few stores to pick up some decor.  I can't wait to decorate the new house!


New Planner
I finally decided on a 2015 planner - because I know you were all so curious about what I was going to do ;)  Last year I had the Erin Condren planner (see my review here) and this year I was contemplating between a few different options... but it came down to not wanting to shell out the big bucks.  I ended up going with a Sugar Paper for Target planner and I love it!  It's super cute, the perfect size to throw in my bag and it was a whooping $9.99.


Bedding
Well, the white bedding came... and it went.  I've always thought I wanted crisp, bright white bedding but I really didn't like it once I got it!  I think I'm more of a cream or a muted pattern type of girl. Either way, the hunt continues. We are painting our bedroom in the next few days and hopefully that will help me make a decision - pictures to come!

Operation Christmas Child
Saving the best for last.  Operation Christmas Child is something I think Nick and I are going to do on Sunday. Basically you just pack a shoe box filled with things for a boy/girl in a certain age range and then you drop it off at a drop off location near you (found on the website).  Super easy and something that will make a huge impact on a child at Christmas. November 17-24 is collection week so we only have a few more days if you want to participate!

Also, I put together a list of other ways to give back last year so check that out here if you're interested :)


And lastly, today I'm guest posting over at Natalie's blog - sharing a little of 'what's in my bag' - so head on over there and say hi!  Have a great weekend!
Linking up with KarliLaurenJennieRebecca and April

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Socks, Mexico & Ice Cream

How's that for a random title?

First of all, THANK YOU to everyone that joined in on the Thanksgiving link up fun yesterday!  I loved reading all of your posts and was all but drooling over your amazing recipes and tablescapes.  Not to mention all of the great hosting tips!  One day I'll get my chance to put them to work.  I hope you'll link up with us again for our Christmas edition coming Tuesday, December 16th (also known as my half birthday).  It'll be here before we know it!

Now back to the randomness.  My favorite Chicago girl, Nina at Flowers In My Hair, nominated me for the One Lovely Blog award so I'm here to share seven random things about myself today!  Let's get right to it.

I must wear socks to bed, even in the summer.

I despise crying in front of other people.  I'll try my hardest not to, even in the saddest of situations.  Nick is another story, though.  I've cried in front of him just because I was over tired a few times, haha.  And while we're talking about crying, the cry face that will never get old...


I haven't started Christmas shopping yet. For anyone.  Only 35 days to go... :|

My high school/college summers were spent working at an ice cream shop near Lake Michigan and it's still my favorite job to date.  The place was quite famous, actually - it was featured on the Today Show and President George W. Bush even stopped for a treat during his 2004 campaign!


My goal for 2015 is to get rid of Nick and I's student loans.  Those things haunt me.  Any tips on how to do this as quickly and painlessly as possible are welcome.

My friends and I went to Mexico for our high school senior year spring break trip, in which I brought home an e.coli infection.  You honestly couldn't pay me to go back there.  I'm scarred for life.


Two years ago, Nick and I made a game out of how long we could go without turning on our heat.  We made up "No Heat November" and we were flipping freezing.  I've never been so excited to see December 1st in my life.

The rules call to nominate seven other bloggers so here's who I've got... only if you'd like to participate of course!


Amanda @ As The Wine Cork Turns
Elise @ High Heels and Glittering Eyes
Jessi @ Jessi's Design
Kristina @ Medicine & Manicures
Lindsay @ Pink and Fabulous
Diana @ Wonderfully Made
Katie @ Yellow Mango Life

Now, tell me something really random about you!
Linking up with Shanna and Liz