happy birthday and happy new year!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

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today is my lovely mum's birthday. she is the greatest woman i know, and i can only hope to be half of who she is when i become a wife and mom. she has this extreme amount of patience. i don't get it. she drops whatever she is doing when any of her kids or husband need her help. i get annoyed when someone interrupts me during an intense hulu session. hello, rude person. can't you see i'm watching new girl?!

i love that her birthday is on new years because i never forget, but it kind of sucks, too, because i'm usually ringing in the new year with friends. because i am in raleigh this year, and not at home with my momma, i wish her the very best birthday from afar.

dear mom,
you rock. i'm sorry for the times i'm sassy. i hope my choice christmas presents to you this year make up for that. if you're still mad, i promise to name my firstborn after you. boy or girl. i lova love you.

also, happy new years to all of you guys! any huge, major, catastrophic plans for this evening? i'm playing it low key and hanging out with some good friends. i can't get excited about fighting the huge crowds downtown, but if you are going out tonight, be safe and have fun! you are clearly the braver of the two of us. i wish you well. godspeed.


Thursday, December 29, 2011

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remember that time i wrote about my friend sarah finding out she and her hubs jason were expecting a baby? well, ladies and gents, i am proud to announce that baby parker james huffstetler has arrived! 
sweet baby p was born on wednesday, december 28th weighing in at a whopping 9 lbs 14 oz. *i cringe just thinking about that.* 

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as expected, sarah did an excellent job in the delivery room and, from what i hear, jason didn't pass out. go team! i'm so very proud/happy/thrilled for my sweet friend. she is going to be an amazing mommy, and i'm excited to play auntie to parker. 

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i haven't held an infant in years, so i am kind of scared i'll accidentally crush him when i hold him for the first time. maybe i should practice with a stuffed animal first.

christmas blues

Thursday, December 29, 2011

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is anyone else a little bummed the best day of the year is over? i always feel sad during the days following december 25th. the anticipation is over. there are no more wrapped presents under the tree. the work week starts again. i'm 12 lbs heavier. i've been hiding under my covers which is why this post is so far behind the blog wagon.

ok, i'm not really depressed. only a little sad, but that's just proof that my christmas holiday was fantastic! i loved the time spent with my family, watching their faces as they opened the gifts i bought them. we ate yummy homemade quiche and cinnamon rolls and drank lots of coffee from parker and otis. having everyone hanging out in the same room? so, so great.

on christmas day, we spent the morning at my mom and stepdad's house opening santa's gifts. santa brought me some sweet leather boots, the first season of parks and rec, clothes, monies, and mindy kaling's new book among many other gifties. that santa, always outdoing himself. not that i mind.

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oh, christmas tree. how lovely are your presents.

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he sees a camera, he looks away. 

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my mum is so pretty.

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world's cutest couple award goes to these guys.

later in the afternoon we headed across town to my dad's house. this year, for our gifts to each other, we tried something new. we did a chinese gift exchange/yankee swap/dirty santa/white elephant swap/whatever you call it. we were a little unsure how it was going to turn out (what if someone plays dirty and brings cat litter? or, worse, a kenny g cd?), but everyone played along and brought some stellar gifts. i'm going to speak for everyone when i say that my stepmom got the best gift-a singing justin bieber toothbrush and his new christmas album. i totes would have snatched those if i didn't already own both.

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she wishes.

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which one came first? the bow on my head or the glass of wine in my hand? 

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gravity ball as seen on tv. i know.

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little bros.

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i have a great idea. let's put things on our heads and take a picture.

more than anything, this christmas was a sweet time with my family. i am so thankful to have had the whole weekend off to spend with them. i love these memories in the making.

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yes, these memories. the ones of my stepdad dressed up as santa driving around town on christmas eve.

also, my family (including me it seems) doesn't know what a normal photo is. these are the best that i could come up with.

home for the holidays

Friday, December 23, 2011

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today i leave raleighwood to go home for christmas. 

i. am. so. excited.

i get to see my brothers, my parents, and our family cat whom i like to harass.

i will be making poor man's toffee in our small kitchen and probably taking up every inch of counter space.

i'll be house/kitty sitting while i'm home for a lovely friend who lives on a golf course. it's a tough job, but someone has to do it. actually, it's a really easy job, and i'm thrilled that i get to do it.

i get to attend my parent's church for christmas eve service.

i will drink the world's best cup of coffee made for me by my dad. he should be a professional barista.

i will eat too many cookies, pieces of fudge, slices of fruitcake, and cups of eggnog. did i say too many? i didn't mean that.

i get to spend christmas in the sweet little town of southern pines.

there will be no snow (sad), but there will be plenty-o-love.

love and jingle bells,

christmas at summersweet lane

Thursday, December 22, 2011

i feel it in my fingers. i feel it in my toes. 

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christmas is all around me. and so the feeling grows. 

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it's written in the wind. it's everywhere i go.

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so if you really love christmas. come on and let it snow.

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you know i love christmas. i always will.

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my mind's made up. the way that i feel.

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there's no beginning. there'll be no end.

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cause on christmas. you can depend. 

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 "christmas is all around" by billy mack. aww, yeah. 

tis the season

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

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i feel like i've been at a loss for words the past couple of weeks. i should have a lot to say since christmas time is my favorite time of the year, but i'm coming up empty. 

it's not a bad thing! i've been having a great holiday season with friends and family, making gifts, baking treats, going to holiday parties, watching christmas movies in my pajamas, admiring all the pretty lights, attending a christmas play, volunteering at a kids christmas event, decorating our cozy apartment, listening to christmas music nonstop, consuming more sugar and candy canes than buddy the elf, etc. 

i feel like i've been so busy with my real world life that when the time comes to tell you guys about it, i suddenly feel verrrrry sleepy. i hope you forgive me. perhaps a virtual platter of candy cane blossom cookies will help?

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i do have one thing to share. i've been thinking a lot about this season of advent. growing up, we always bought a chocolate advent calendar at the end of november. every day, beginning december 1st, my older brother and i took turns opening the paper windows to reveal a different shaped chocolate piece. sometimes we shared, most of the time we didn't.

it was a fun way to count down till christmas day. a countdown until santa and presents and stockings. the deeper, less superficial meaning behind advent is something i only recently cared to think about. i'm glad santa is only concerned if you've been good or bad and not smart or dumb.  i'm slow sometimes. 

advent: the coming or arrival of something extremely important.

what a cool word advent is. i think one of the reasons i like it so much is because it's not a word that i hear very often. it's a special word reserved for special occassions. in this case, the celebration of Christ's birth.

the definition reminds me how much weight this single word holds. advent involves anticipation. advent refers to an eagerness, an excited attitude, a hopeful mindset.

it reminds me how i should treat the christmas season-to anticipate the celebration of my Savior with as much enthusisam as i treat christmas morning present time. i need to put an emphasis on the fact that advent is an action. it's an active countdown. it's something to be excited about, thankful for, hopeful for.

that being said, maybe advent is a word we should use more often to remind ourselves not only of the birth of Christ but of His return as well.

let the countdown begin! 

a very merry roommate christmas

Saturday, December 17, 2011

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this past tuesday my rooms and i had our christmas together. since we're in different states seeing our families on the actual holiday, we like to set aside a night when we can exchange pressies and have a good dinner together. i had the day off so i made a chicken crockpot dinner with mushroom and herb risotto and, for dessert, warm apple pie filling over vanilla frozen yogurt. it sounds fancier/harder than it actually was. i mean, what am i saying? it was so labor intensive and extremely time consuming. don't even get me started on how rare and expensive the ingredients were. 

after dinner we exchanged gifts. my style of gift giving is usually to give a lot of little gifts. i can't ever afford a really big gift, and, besides, i think it's more fun to have a lot of pressies to open. i made her a few gifts and got her a cake cookbook (she has her own cake business), modern family season two, dark chocolate peanut butter cups, a pretty passport cover (she told her boyfriend that the only thing she wanted from him was a stamp in her passport. a very reasonable and low maintenance request if you ask me), green apple licorice (her fave), and softlips chapstick (because her boyfriend is coming home from deployment any day now).

i was next to go. i literally screamed when i opened the new justin bieber christmas album. she knows me, she really knows me. i've been listening to it nonstop which is very unfortunate for those around me who don't share the same love for him. she also got me a cupcake from our fave cupcake bakery, a metal spatula (i promise i actually wanted one), burts bees chapstick (i don't have a boyfriend coming home from deployment, but i have a right to soft lips, too), cute ankle socks, and three pairs of lacy panties. lacey panties was my nickname in high school. i made the mistake of telling my friends in raleigh about it and it stuck. i feel like i need to add that the name was given to me not because i flashed the entire school during a pep rally but because a classmate thought the connection of lacey and panties was funny. hilarious, actually.

the only low point of the evening when i got three calls back to back from work asking me to come in to work an emergency night shift. i ended up going in and somehow made it through. it helped that i worked with my friend liz, a cute (married) doctor bought us a pint of cookie dough ice cream, and we watched parks and rec on my laptop. we ended our shift by grabbing breakfast from the cafeteria and then went back to her apartment and watched tv until we fell asleep on the couch.

merry christmas to all. and to all a big, fat nap.

the lovely list. part five.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

this week was pretty lovely.

1. had a date with my mom in chapel thrill/carrboro that included coffee at the open eye cafe, thrift shopping, this and that boutique, carr mill mall, lunch at whole foods, and free samples of chocolate and wine at trader joe's.

2. got a package from my dad filled with my favorite ginger chews.

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3. spent time with my small group girls. they are the absolute jam.

4. had an sbux date with my friend liz during our work shift. chai soy latte for me, caramel frappuccino for her.

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5. colored my hair for the very first time. red(ish)heads have more fun.

6. went to a rodeo and watched cowboys do their thing.

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7. went to a fancy pants christmas partay and got a marshmallow gun from my friend michael. rockin.

8. had a morning coffee date with kelly and megs.

9. watched the new tay laut movie at the $2.00 movie theater. he rode a motorcycle, karate chopped guys in the neck, kissed a hot girl, defied gravity, drove a really fast car, took off his shirt, evaded several killers. it was every bit as predictable as i thought it would be right down to the terrible acting. would i recommend it? absolutely.

10. served at summit's coffee bar for the last time. happy and sad.

11. had a lazy morning with my rooms.

eleven lovelies is a pretty good week.


christmas party

Saturday, December 10, 2011

i have a fancy pants christmas party to go to tonight. i'm so excited to dress up and wear heels for the first time in months. i already have a cute dress to wear, but if i didn't, i'd choose one of these little numbers. 

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this one looks comfy enough to double as a nightie. i like clothing that can easily turn from day to night to bed. 

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i love a good red dress. 

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i don't think i could pull this dress off-too many sequins-but i think it's just adorable. 

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oh my. this dress is going on my list to santa. 

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black and lace and everything nice. or is it sugar and spice? no, i think i've got it right. 

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i love this deep purple. the added bonus is the flowy material around the middle which means you can eat about 20 extra christmas cookies and leave the celery sticks on the veggie tray where they belong.

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there's just something about mustard. it's so right, it can't be wrong.

but a dress that's so wrong, it can't be right? 
(see below)

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if i had no morals and a great body, i still wouldn't wear this dress. ever

black and gold

Monday, December 5, 2011

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i got my hairs cut the other day at the salon at ulta. i did my research beforehand and found pictures of short hairstyles that i liked. i've learned from experience to come prepared with pictures because, somehow, when i tell my stylist that i want a stacked bob, it translates to tapered mullet. i'm not sure how that happens. it's a mystery. kind of like how no matter how many different characters kristen stewart plays, she's always the same character. ponder on that.

i was sitting in the chair trying to avoid looking at myself with wet hair and an unflattering black cape over my shoulders when i spotted some verrrrry pretty nail polish bottles. so shiny. so colorful. i want them. one, two, fourteen. gimme gimme.

i remembered a simple tutorial i saw on the beauty department for black and gold nails so i made the decision to get some new polish in the name of creative research. check it.

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1. paint your nails a shimmery, glittery polish. i chose gold but silver would work great, too. 

2. let nails dry. very important.

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3. use tape or round stickers to tape off selected nail tips. you can do this on every nail or just a few. i decided to just paint my ring fingers.

4. paint nails tips with black polish. i would recommend two coats for good coverage.

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5. peel off tape to reveal your fancy nail.

6. hate the result.*

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7. use nail polish to remove polish. paint entire nail black instead.

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7. ta-da! black and gold. i'm going to a christmas partay on friday, and i think this is how i'll paint my nails. so fancy.

*i think the black polish that i used was too cheap. it stuck to the tape when i peeled it off. i might have to invest in a polish that costs more than $1 if i want to try this again. and i do. want to try this again.

happy polishing!

empty closet? fill it up!

Friday, December 2, 2011

a few weeks ago, i made room in my closet by getting rid of clothes/shoes i didn't wear anymore, but with all the extra room it looked lonely. so i went shopping at goodwill. i'm a girl. it's what i do.

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first up, this fancy red calvin klein dress. it hits me at an awkward length so i plan on getting it hemmed to hit mid-thigh. fire engine red + lots of leg = date night. now, to find the date part of that equation...

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my rooms found this sweet little number for me. she's not getting coal in her stocking this year. no siree.

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a bright orange, oversized martin + osa sweatshirt. 
kind of obnoxious. 
kind of awesome. really comfortable.

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light green suede loafers. i couldn't find any label on these shoes so i think that pretty much gives me permission to pretend i have a personal cobbler.

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this coat was priced at $8, which i was willing to pay. when i got to the register, it rung up for $4.50. and then my mom bought me coffee. it was a very good day.

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cropped navy silk tank. i wore it last week and felt pretty rockstar. maybe it's because i paid less than $4 for it. maybe it's because it's flowy and hides my soft-from-too-many-holiday-treats tummy.

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lbd. every girl needs one. or seven.

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this very yummy and very cozy talbot's kids sweater. my mum went halfsies with me because it was $10, and i wasn't willing to pay that much for it. but $5? well, now we're talking.

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the only non-clothing item i bought. meet deer head. he's my new best friend and body guard. he watches over me at night. just kidding. he doesn't really hang right above my head. i'm not a weirdo. he sleeps on a pillow next to me.

you thrifters been finding any sweet treasures lately? how about the next time i have clothes to donate, we just have one big swap meet? ok. 
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