A Winter Gift

Amidst pajamas, hot tea, and leisurely-read novels, the snow called to me from outside. Freshly fallen, it beckoned me to explore
We bundled up and walked out to the trail near our home. We pass pine trees beautifully adorned with boughs of snow and car bumpers ladened with icicles.
All seems quiet in our little town and the snow crunches gently under our feet. We are warm in our gloves, knitted hats, and two pairs of socks. 
the sky a pale white, the horizon is indistinguishable from the banks of snow. As we distance from the road and come nearer the open land adjacent to the trail, Daniel stops and points out into the fields. 


Christmas: Fixing My Heart on What Really Matters

"Fling wide the portals of your heart;
Make it a temple, set apart
from earthly use for heaven's employ,
adorned with prayer and love and joy. "
There are so many things to love about the Christmas season: decorating the tree, giving gifts, the music, the get-togethers, and the all-around cozy and cheerful spirit.

However, sometimes all this can get stressful.

I'll be totally honest here...
for the last five or so years, the Christmas season has really stressed me out.
Aside from all the activities, I really struggle to budget my time with loved ones. There are so many people we want to see and spend time with, and simply not enough time.
To be completely transparent, there have been times in the last few years that I have dreaded the holiday season, just because it can bring so much tension for me.

I was feeling that way this year... and then I took a step back. 


Feeling Fabulous in Las Vegas

In November we took a long weekend trip to the one and only Las Vegas. Our friends Katie and Justin are moving across the world soon, and we wanted to go on one more adventure with them before they move. Vegas was suggested, and we thought why not! 
The second evening of our trip was my favorite. We definitely did Vegas on a budget, but we figured we could still dress to the nines! The guys suited up and Katie and I wore all the sparkle and bling that are perfect for this crazy city. 


Make Your Own Pizza Night!

When we had seven family members come and visit, we wanted to have something fun, easy, and of course delicious for dinner. All credit goes to my husband for coming up with make your own pizza night! 
This is a super easy dinner that pleases everyone, and your guests can have fun with it too. This is by no means a fancy or Pinterest-perfect meal (I mean, there's paper plates and patio furniture in my photos), but it is one I know I will make again!


Sassy in Stripes

Last month I decided to finally get full bangs! (after debating it for the better part of a year.)
When I sent a picture to my mom of my new 'do, she said it was sassy.
Here's a before and after: 

I am loving the style that bangs add to any day!


5 Simple Tips to Cultivate a Love for Mornings

I am a BIG morning person. For me, the first hours of the day are the time that I am most productive, cheerful, and motivated. I understand this is not the case for everyone!
This post is dedicated to my fellow millennials who may not naturally come by the go-get-em morning attitude. Today I'm sharing five easy tips to help you become more of a morning person.


Blackberry Lavender Smoothie

I had a handful of interesting summer jobs during my college years. I babysat, I worked as a room attendant at the Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone National Park, tended the gift shop and washed buckets at a berry farm, and served as a camp counselor.
These jobs each carry memories of struggles and joy in their own aspect, when I think of them the sights, smells, and sounds of hard work in the summer come back to me. One scent I especially attach to my summer job memories is lavender.
The berry farm I worked at was known for it's milkshakes. While working at the gift shop I became a pretty bomb milkshake mixer. Our shakes were made with fresh berries and vanilla ice cream, mmm.


Multi-Pattern Scarf & Thursday Fashion Files

Today I am so excited to be cohosting Thursday Fashion Files. I so enjoy sharing my posts and checking out other great blogs at this party. The link up is below, but first I have a look to share with you today!

I went out on a beautiful sunny late September afternoon to shoot some photos of my outfit- it turned out to be more of a photo shoot of the landscape, and I'm ok with that! While these photos show the style I was wearing, they also showcase the rugged, sun soaked desert as it transforms into Autumn.


Floppy Hat & Fall Date Style


I love making weekend get aways to explore new places. About a month ago we took a date weekend getaway to Joseph, Oregon in the Wallowa Mountains. Holy cow, it was beautiful! 


Hidden Blessings of a Hectic Life

Honest moment here: the start of the new school year is exciting and it's nice getting back in the swing of things, but I am beginning to feel stretched thin.

We all know the feeling. Always something next on the to do list, waking up in the morning knowing it's going to be a long, busy day...remembering the bliss of summer when all that was on the agenda was reading a book by the pool.

A sweet friend in college helped me understand that the Lord gives us seasons. For the last couple of years, I've been given the unexpected gift of quietness and stillness... of room to breathe, create, and rest.
As I transition into this more frantic season of life, I'm challenged to find the beauty in it. I'm challenged to find peace and joy in the midst of my hectic schedule.


Details Matter & Warby Parker

I got my first pair of glasses when I was in third grade. They were pink, of course. My next pair came in fifth grade, when the style was rimless on the bottom to minimize the fact that you were wearing glasses. For the last ten years or so, I've been rocking big, bold frames and I am so glad they have come back in style! Glasses are smart, polished, and can be the perfect accessory.

I am so excited to give you a peek at Warby Parker's  fall collection, which launches today! Their Fall 2016 motto is "Details Matter", and you can definitely see it. As the crisp air of Autumn settles in and layers become necessary (and lazy teachers like me with summers off start actually getting dressed daily), attention to detail becomes a major element with intricate jewelry, bold patterns, and eyeglasses perfect for the change in season.
I've picked out my four favorite frames from Warby Parker's new collection, and paired them with some of my favorite fall looks. Keep scrolling for outfit and eyewear inspiration!


We pick up right where we left off

       As we move through different phases in life, we tend to move miles away from loved ones. I've seen this pattern as I went away to college, and moved on from college life and moved four hours away. I dearly miss being close enough to just show up at a friend's house, brushing my teeth every night with my roommate, and knowing the daily details of friend's lives. However, I think there is a preciousness of friendship that is discovered when there are miles between us. I think one of the most beautiful things about maturing friendships is picking up right where you left off.
      Just last weekend, I had a get-together with three of my closest girlfriends from college. Since graduating, we've all spread out. There have been weddings, moves to new states, and career changes. I laughed when I pulled up to the gathering and noticed we all had gotten new cars since college. It had been over a year since we'd been together,  and two years since we'd had a whole evening together.
        But we picked up right where we left off. Chocolate and wine and catching up ensued. I haven't laughed that hard in a while! We also somehow managed to stay up until 3 AM, which I know I haven't done in quite some time!


Swiss Dots and Tulle

When I first went wedding dress shopping, I was pretty sure I wanted a dress with swiss dots. I ended up going with something much more elegant, but I did pick a going-away dress with swiss dots and tulle. 

I loved wearing this dress on my wedding day during the last dance of the reception, while tearfully hugging dear friends and family goodbye (for some reason that was the part of the day that made me cry!), and finally getting in the car and departing for our new life together as husband and wife.  

In fact, I loved that dress and the beautiful memories tied to it I decided to give in another spin on a beautiful summer evening when we went to see The Lion King in downtown Portland. 


Silverwood & Sandpoint, ID

Oh boy, this summer we've gotten to have so many adventures. Towards the end of July, we made a trip to Northern Idaho. Visiting Silverwood and Sandpoint, we treasured almost a week in the sun and water, enjoying the beautiful scenery and a little break from the desert.


Summer is for Rompers

I am so glad that rompers came back in style. Can we agree that they should never go out of style?
This look is so comfortable, playful, and just screams SUMMER! 
I found this one on Target's clearance rack for $8.98. I wasn't sure about the pattern with a romper already being a bold statement, but once I tried it on and loved it, I figured go big or go home!