Thursday, November 28, 2013

Dwell in Gratitude



Being thankful on a daily basis is something I've been working on. It's hard. It requires being intent upon it. Having a thankful heart isn't something that just comes naturally for me. An uncontent heart? Sure. Jealous heart? Absolutely.  A snappy and sometimes angry-questioning heart? Uh huh. Yep. That's more my speed.

Isn't it funny how we naturally tend to see the bad. To find the problem or issue with any situation. To pick at the mundane. But, being joyful, content and even thankful every single day?? It just doesn't come quite as easily for any of us.

Good things take a lot of work. Courage. Determination. I've determined in my heart to find the good in everyone I meet. To dissect a situation until I find some, small blessing in it. Something to be thankful about. Oh, it's definitely not easy. Some days life just throws curve balls. Messes are made. Accidents happen. Air conditioners give out on you and tires get a nail and go flat. Obviously this all happens juuuuust when you're saving extra money for Christmas. You insert the scenario. You know the ones. That's just the nature of life, I think.

During this holiday season I'm striving to dwell on the things that I take for granted each day. Things that I am thankful for. Good health. A healthy, spunky little baby boy. Handsome Husband that works hard for our family. A career that I love, wonderful family members, friends, and coworkers. A warm home and a soft bed. I am determined to dwell in a state of thankfulness. To find joy in the everyday, mundane. Thanking God for his amazing grace and blessings.

I hope you're taking a moment just to pause this week. To say thanks. And, to live in a moment of gratitude. My heart is full. Happy Thanksgiving, friends!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Booties

I have a thing for cute booties right now. They look so adorable paired with tunics & leggings. Even fall dresses! I picked up two plaid flannel tunic dresses at H&M and I've been living in them. Like, everyday. Not even kidding. Pull on my leggings and throw on a tunic and chunky knit scarf. Cozy and easy. I love cozy clothes that allow me to romp and play with Jonah!

Here are a few of my favorite booties:

9
(All of these beauties can be purchased on Zappos.)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Take Note Tuesday {Three Things}

Golden Rush Nail Polish- Target
Gold Monogram Mugs & Mary Janes- Anthropologie
 
 
I'm loving all things sparkly and gold this holiday season! I currently have this polish on my toes and it could be my fave. Our favorite mugs are back for the Holiday's in shiny gold. Perfect for gifting!!
 
Happy Tuesday, y'all!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cranberry Crumb Bars

 
I made these last night. I had to run in HEB to get somebody another gallon of whole milk and bananas. Two staples in our home. While picking up the bananas I spotted adorable packages of fresh cranberries. I'm a sucker for cute packaging! I've never baked with fresh (or even frozen) cranberries, but I googled for a Baker Chick recipe and wasn't disappointed.
 
The bars are fantastic. The cranberries are just tart enough, and the crumb part is sweet. A great combination. This recipe is a keeper!
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks or 8 ounces)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Zest from one orange
  • 2 tablespoons of orange juice
  • 4 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
 
 
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, and baking powder. Mix in salt and orange zest. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter and egg. (I use my hands.) Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.
  3. In another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and orange juice. Gently mix in the cranberries, add the cinnamon. Sprinkle the cranberry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

So. I went to China.

I left on Sunday, October 20th and returned home October 30th. Ten whole days. On the trip over I few from Houston to San Francisco, and then to Hong Kong. Coming home I flew from Hong Kong to Tokyo and then to Houston. Woooowza. Y'all. It was the longest flight of my entire life (and longest time away from my Hub and little Chunk), but SUCH an amazing opportunity!!
 
We stayed in Hong Kong, and then traveled to Guangzhou for a couple of days. Each city was unique, but HK was my fave. It's just so insanely impressive. Seriously.
 
Ch-ch-check it out...
 
 
My first morning in Hong Kong. The view from L'Hotel Nina, our hotel.

The view from my bed. I mean. Seriously.



Huge petrified wood chunks in the halls of the Hotel.

Out and about in HK.


1881 Heritage, once the HQ of the Hong Kong Marine Police. SO cool!!

Shanghai Tang. Look it up.









My first view of Guangzhou, China!


Working at the Canton Fair


Fish Market in Hong Kong. Literally one block from our hotel. Hong Kong is the coolest mix of old and new. Traditions and modern thinking.




 
Ngong Ping Cable Cars in Hong Kong


Buddha

Looking towards Tai O Fishing Village & Lantau Island


Tai O Fishing Village



 
Ferry ride back to Hong Kong







Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Mad for Plaid






Always have been. Always will be. Plaid is my jam, esssspecially this time of year. I'm rocking my plaid flannel just about every day...

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

House Happenings

You should have seen it comin'...


I took an evening and knocked this out. Jonah woke up from his afternoon nap and was AMAZED. He will be 17 months old in two weeks and it is so cool to see him figure things out. He's loving the tree so I'm really happy I went with my gut and dragged everything out.

What had happened was...

Exhibit A) My tree is 9' tall and our fab apartment (ahem) has 8' ceilings. I'm not gonna let a little thing like that get me down, though. Right? Rigged that sucka.

Exhibit B) I worked nutcracker market setup for our retail division. I was responsible for the entire Christmas area setup...which included all of the displays. Sooo obviously it wasn't enough to have scratches from 1,000 feet of garland on my hands/arms/face. I wanted MORE. Uh huh.

And lastly, Exhibit C) There are approximately 6 massive tubs of fragile Shiny Brite vintage ornaments & one of a kind treasures that will not be making an appearance this year. My apologies. I couldn't chance that my cookie monster would knock this entire tree over (or pull it over?? throw something at it?? run into it??) and they would be demolished. Not gonna happen. I just pulled out all of the squishy yarn ornaments and he's having the TIME of his little life taking them off the tree and throwing them around. I'm sure they will never be the same. All of the fab ornaments will make an appearance next year in our new abode (Yesss!).

Okay, I lied. One last thing. I snapped this photo to show you that an old dog CAN learn new tricks...


Since our Christmas tree is now in the exact place this little side table was, I moved it over here by the sofa. DUDE. Why didn't I do that six months ago? Love it here, it's super cozy now. Even Hub noticed and commented on it. I mean. He doesn't notice anything. Ever. Goes to show you that you can (much) improve your spaces by just MOVING things around. Hmm.

Happy week, y'all. I'll be around.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Life. Is. Crazy.

I'm back in the good ole' U.S. of A!!! SO happy to be home!! China was amazing. Seriously the coolest.

Life is incredibly crazy right now. I landed and hit the ground running (after a TURRIBLE bout with jet-lag. That stuff is stupid bad, y'all!!!). I've been working Nutcracker setup for our retail division this week. I haven't even had a chance to catch up on email or Instagram. I am so out of touch with what has been going on the last three weeks.

Sooo, I said all of that to promise you a fantastic China recap soon, and more fun design + d├ęcor posts. Promise I'll be back soon, I've just got to catch my breath!

Happy Thursday, y'all!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Letting Go {On Being a Momma}

Today was Jonah's first day of school in Texas.

He went to daycare in Alabama from the time he was 12 weeks old, until we moved here in February of this year. He would have been eight months old when we moved. I've been worried that he wouldn't remember how to be social, and also how to function without me. Honestly, the reality of it is-- I was more than a little worried about how I would feel after being with him for so many months now. I was hating the thought of being without him during the day.

We both had the best day. And, I have such a peace about it.

I did my research on schools in our area, even went so far as to read specific reports from the Texas DFPS. I'm that Momma and quite proud of it. I want my child to be in a safe and wonderful environment every day!! So, we selected a facility and toured it last week. It was love at first sight for me. Open, bright, cheerful and accountable. We can login and view him at anytime during the day on his classroom video feed. The child to teacher ration is 7:3 (looove that), and the teachers are permanent in his classroom, not floaters.

I said all of that to say that he had the best first day. I hoped it would be easy on him. And me, if I'm being honest. It was MUCH harder on me, than him. Jonah had a great day, took a nap on his nap mat (I mean, hello. If I tried that business at home he wouldn't have any part of it!!).

Being a Momma is tough work, y'all. Regardless of whether you are a stay at home Momma, or a work outside of the home Momma, just being a Momma is difficult! Yet. The most rewarding job, ever. Letting go so your babies can can learn, and grown and become an individual is so rewarding. Loving them so much it could quite literally break your heart.

I want to remember these "first" feelings. Jonah will always be my baby. I'm really enjoying the seasons that parenthood is bringing us (yes, even these new "fits" he has started throwing when he doesn't get his way. Mercy!!). It's just an incredible journey.

I loved the little smile on his face today after school. He made sure we had paci and cookie and his little (bigger than he is) backpack.


I love you to the moon, Jonah Knox!!