Monday, December 19, 2011


whoa. it's already here! christmas eve is this saturday... crazy! i feel like there is still so much to be done! i have about half my wrapping left to do. we have some laundry and packing to do for our trip to indy to visit phil's family, and we still have our christmas traditions to do! we haven't even looked at christmas lights yet! sheesh. and i work tuesday through friday.. so not a whole lotta time either. i can't wait until christmas gets here and i can just enjoy family and be lazy : ).

so in true christmas spirit i am going to tell you what i hope i'm getting for christmas.. haha. well really christmas spirit is about giving, but i can't tell you what i'm giving people yet since many of them will read this before they open their gifts. plus it's more fun to look at the things i want. don't judge me, i know you will all want this stuff too ; )

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these boots are just what i've been looking for. plus i don't have any cute boots like this. aaaand i am fairly certain these are under my tree because i went with phil so he could make sure he was getting the right ones. so unless he took them back, they will be making an appearance on my feet soon : )

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i don't think these soft vs tees will be making an appearance under the tree, but if i have any christmas money i will be sure to buy some of these for sleeping. soft sleep tees are necessary in life.

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i love scarves. i love buying them, receiving them, wearing them, looking at them.. i always want a new scarf at christmas time. this is just to represent that fact, although i do really like this scarf.

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okay. i have been in love with cameos forever. even before the whole craze started going on. it reminds me of jane austen and sense and sensibility and just old fashioned charm. and i love this necklace. it's not available on etsy anymore. i wish it was because i was opening it on christmas... : )

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this one however is still available *wink* *wink*
(now don't any of you go ahead and buy this for yourselves because if i didn't get one i am getting this. i mean it. don't make me come over there.)

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slippers are a must. i always want more slippers. i like to be old fashioned and think of them as house shoes. and i mean, a girl needs more than one pair of shoes, right?

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i also love being super dorky and wearing hats like this. go ahead and judge. i don't mind : )

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i have wanted some blue topaz something or other for a long time. i wouldn't be mad if i found some of this on christmas morning... ; )

of course i like to have fun and getting presents sure is fun, but i know and you know that is not the reason we all love christmas. even though there will be lots of gifts to be had, let's all remember the true gift. the gift of God's son that He so freely and gladly gave us so He could rescue us and show His abounding love for us. that's what we are really celebrating. a gift so amazing that all these wish they could be so good : ).

i love you guys and i hope you have the merriest christmas. i probably won't be around until next year, so happy new year!! i hope the end of this year is just perfect for you all and that you spend it doing whatever you love doing most.

Merry Christmas!

*all links to products and product info can be found here on my pinterest christmas list. all questions about sizes and/or my address so you can send me those presents will be answered ASAP. ; )

Friday, December 16, 2011

tell me if i'm wrong. for real.

okay. here is a story. now it's kind of a "haha that was kind of funny/i can't believe that happened" story.. but when it happened it was a "i am so mad right now i want to never enter this godless hole again" situation. here is what happened.

okay wait. no, it needs a tiny bit of back story. this deals with walmart. yes. they have amazing prices on everything. and yes. i can go there and buy my makeup, a tv, pick up some dvds, cat food, and some milk and apples on my way out. however i do not love walmart.

i hate how crowded it is. i hate shopping with crazy people (i am not trying to be mean or judgmental. you know the people i'm talking about. you don't believe me then visit this little website. but i warn you.. you can never un-see these things...). okay back to my point. i also hate that it's so impersonal there. down here we have publix as one of the big grocery chains. people there are so nice and helpful. they always talk to you and are friendly. they even offer to take your groceries out to your car for you. okay. i am lucky if the people at walmart even acknowledge i'm there. and it's an amazing day at walmart if they dont smash your loaf of bread with cans of tomatoes. you know what i'm talking about. and when i need help it's like i'm totally inconveniencing miss walmart employee who would rather flirt with mister walmart employee. or sometimes they don't have teeth and i don't know what they are saying. or this one time, this really happened, i asked a woman for help and she said, "this is my lunch break." and it was like, 8 pm..... whatever. it's not good customer service.

now, i was willing to overlook all this because i needed to save money. oh and also their produce is really not up to par. but anyway, like i said i was being all overlooking and rising above all that just so i could have more money in my bank account at the end of the month. and i shopped there throughout college and the 3 and a half years i've been married. okay? that's 7 and a half years. of buying everything there. okay, that adds up to thousands of dollars people.

so okay. what happened. so i am buying some little stocking stuffers for my husband. now, we share a credit card with his name on it. i went through dave ramsey's financial peace university and i try to be really careful with money. i don't trust myself with a credit card. i just know i'll buy more than i do now, so whenever i need it (for grocery shopping, gas or marshalls (haha)) i borrow it from phil. and it has worked so well for us.

so i swiped my credit card and the girl asked for id and card, so i handed it to her. this is where it gets bad. she says, "who is philip??" like i stole this card. so i say, "oh that's my husband. we share a card. i always use his card here." and she starts telling me she can't take it. so i say, "look. i always use it here. i have never heard of this policy. i don't even have my own card. i'm obviously married" while holding up my ring finger. so she calls a superior. she tells me she won't take it. somebody used a card with the same last name the week before and it turns out she was stealing. we won't take it. so i get mad. this is ridiculous. i have used this card a billion times. then she proceeds to tell me i need my husband with me in order to use the card.

so now i'm mad and thinking, okay. so because i'm being responsible with my money and not carrying my own credit card i can't make a purchase here. plus it's only $40 worth of stuff. it's not like i was buying an entertainment system for crying out loud. and now i am also thinking of how much business i have given them. and now they are treating me like i may have stolen this credit card. so i ask to speak to somebody else.

another woman comes over and starts to treat me like i'm out of control. okay, for being as annoyed and shocked and mad as i was, i was surprisingly calm. so i tell her my problem. she again says, we won't take that card. it's our policy. even though i've used it there a million times. and THEN she says she is just trying to protect my husband, the man who is on the card......

protect him? from his wife? thanks walmart. thank you for protecting my husband from me. the big bad wife who was spending $40... yah. that was gonna break him. me buying stuff for his stocking. how awful.

so then i say, okay i'm sorry i'm not trying to cause trouble i just don't know why you would suddenly decide not to take this card when i've used it here a million times before. and they are all looking at me like i'm that mean horrible woman who is making a giant scene over not having the right kind of cranberry sauce or something, you know what i mean? but i am standing here with no way to pay for my groceries and upset about it. and i think i had a right to be. and you know what would have fixed this? if they said, "you know what.. since you didn't know about this you can use the card, but this is the last time. we can never take it again." and if i was stealing, they could take the loss of $40 to make a customer happy. you know, like CUSTOMER SERVICE?? but they absolutely refused. so i had to call phil at work to ask him if i could use my debit card instead. i can't always just use it because sometimes, if he just paid a lot of bills, he doesn't feel comfortable using the money from our account until the bills all go through so we never overdraw.

so i used my debit card but i was m. a. d. and they did nothing to resolve it. and on my way out i thought, you know why didn't i just leave my groceries and go to target? a store that will take my money because they don't automatically assume everyone is most likely a criminal who stole a credit card of somebody who just happened to have the same last name.

so that day i said, no more. walmart does nothing to show me they appreciate my business. they treat me like i am most likely a credit card thief. their produce is mediocre. their customer service is nothing short of awful. or maybe nonexistant. and i hate it there anyway. and NOW i cant do any sort of grocery shopping unless i get my own credit card (which i don't want) or take my husband with me. like i'm a child and i need my daddy. or like this is the middle east and i'll be stoned if i'm out without a male to accompany me.

so this is the big problem. phil loves walmart. he used to work there in high school and college. he has discovered great customer service there (yah he must have run into the one friendly associate.. i can't figure it out) and he loves saving money. so he thinks i need to give them another chance. i say no. he says, pleeease? and is looking for any possible way we can still go to walmart so we can keep saving money. he is convinced kroger and publix will be too expensive for us.

what do you guys think? seriously, i want to know. what would you do in this situation? am i overreacting? was i too quick to say buh-bye to walmart? or would you also stop giving a store like that your money? i need your help!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

christmas trees and presents! my two favorite things!

christmas tree party

hi guys! i told you i would blog again this week! i can't believe you would doubt me... haha okay, i doubted me too. but here i am! this is my favorite time of year and i am in love with christmas trees, so that may have helped me in the making myself blog process... whatever it takes, right? : )

so i wanted to show my tree since the tree is always the main event of christmas. i have to be completely honest, i think my tree is pretty because i mean, hello it's sparkly and glittery and has at least 600 lights on it... but i'm not in love with it. but since i decided i was just going to enjoy this holiday season and not worry about things like that, it does just fine for us : ). plus i am willing to overlook the whole effect and focus on the little details i love.

my tree is special because almost every ornament on it (besides cheap walmart filler ones) is my favorite. my stepdad bought my sister and i small christmas trees when we were still living at home, and every year he bought us an ornament for it. that way when we moved out, we would already have a good headstart. pretty awesome, right? and ever since then, every year my sister and i have bought each other some more special ornaments. and now my husband has joined in on the fun and he lets me pick out an ornament to buy me every year : ) it's so fun! and every ornament i have is so special to me! so of course i couldn't resist taking pictures of lots of ornaments... so be prepared. : )

it's funny to me that many people are choosing to do white and red this year. i decided to change from gold to white just because i liked it better. then i realized everybody was doing it... so maybe i was following a trend without realizing..?? haha i do not know, but as soon as i decorated it i noticed everyone changing their color scheme to red and white. it makes me feel like a boring ol' follower, but that's okay. at least i'm in style, right? : )

i also opted out of a tree topper. and ribbon. of course this tree is the old kind with all the individual branches on pegs that you pop into the holes on the tree stand. which also means i have to put my own lights on every year... so after all that hassle all i want to do is just hang ornaments and be done with it. i like it though. it's simple and no fuss.... except for all the fuss that goes into assembling it.... and wrapping 80 strands of lights on every branch..... but besides all that, it's no fuss.....

okay, so here come all my favorite ornaments. be prepared. these. are. awesome. and you will want them for yourself. haha okay well, i think you'll like them anyway ; )

this ornament may be hard to see so you may not be able to fully appreciate it. it's a giant crystal gem with sparkly leaves and berries on top. it. is. awesome. it's probably one of the most expensive ornaments i own but holy cow. when i saw it i said, holycowineedthis!! so my wonderful husband bought it for me : )

love these mini chandies from my sister

i am so in love with birds. this little girl is from target from my sister and i am seriously in love with her. she sits front and center. love. it!

and look at this little cutie! i love the beads and feathers.. so! cute!

this is quite possibly my favorite ornament ever. it's perfect. i love everything about it. i've had it for years and every time i pull it out i still sigh and say, ohhhh i love this onnneee.. : )

and since i'm in love with deer and birds these cheap little ornaments fill up the rest of the tree. but i love them too. and so does emily... she showed me by pulling lots of them off the tree to play with. so they get lots of love around here, fear not.

and now, since i've already gotten some wrapping done i can show you my tree with presents! well, only half the presents... i'm not that on the ball...

i decided to go old school and use brown packaging paper... and then i realized everyone was doing that too. but i guess once again, that just makes me oh-so-trendy : ). i bought some more cheap ornaments from walmart to add some sparkle and prettiness to the packages.

i chose the old school wrapping because it reminds me of when people used to walk along main street and go from little shop to little shop buying christmas presents. and then they wrapped all your packages in brown paper for you in the store. and then you walked home with all your packages in your adorable heels and stockings and of course a cute dress. then you still had pot roast on the table for dinner. of course i wasn't alive for any of this, but it sure seems like a lovely time : ).

i bought the paper from lowe's for like, $7. the string was also from lowe's but i forget how much it cost... i bought it all at the beginning of november.. gimme a break.

i hope you enjoyed my tour d'ornaments. i certainly did. every time i take them out of the box and unwrap them it's like christmas morning.. so fun! i plan to keep these ornaments forever. then maybe i can pass them on and then they'll just be around forever and ever.. or, more realistically, once i have kids half of them will get broken and/or lost and they'll think the other ones are old and boring so we'll replace them with penguins and snowmen. hmm. i see now why people need about 3 christmas trees in their homes... ; )

speaking of 3 trees, linking up with thrifty decor chick's christmas tree party!

christmas tree party

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

decking my mantel.

hey all! i hope everyone's holiday season is going so well! we're having a good one around here. this past weekend we finished almost all our shopping. 1 more person and that's it! so needless to say, there is wrapping to be done. major wrapping.

the good news is i already got a big chunk done.. but at this rate i might just be handing some people their presents in the store's shopping bag... maybe i'll put some tissue paper in there too.. nooo, i would never do that! it's tempting though. especially for those weird shaped items that don't fit easily in the boxes i bought. what do you do about that?! they take so much extra time to figure out how to wrap nicely... *sigh*... wrapping isn't my favorite part of the holiday if you didn't notice : ).

i realized i quickly showed you my christmas decor, but i didn't really show details or talk much about it, so i figured i'd do that for you. i'll start with the mantel, my favorite part!

this mantel was NOT my favorite part to do, however. it took for. ever.

i decided i wanted my garland to swag this year. the stuff i've been using every year (i literally take it off the mantel and stuff it in a box for next year) wasn't long enough to swag. so i had to take it all apart first. i had 2 walmart garlands wrapped together and some pretty fancy garland on top of that. i decided to go a little more natural so i bought 2 more simple 9 ft garland strands from michaels and one of their decorative ones.

since the michaels garland was a little different from the walmart garland, i took 1 of each and wrapped them together. then i just twisted the ends together. it's a little fatter at that section, but it just so happened to be right where the stockings go so it was perfect!

the decorative strand is gor. geous.

isn't is pretty?! i love it!!

it has all different kinds of needles, which i wanted for added texture. it also had those gorgeous pinecones on there (big fat ones!), red berries scattered about, and there are these random little twigs that stick out too. it's so beautiful! i added the red ornaments for a little extra color in there. 

to save money, the decorative piece only goes over the center. it was half off at michaels, but it was still way too much to buy numerous pieces. maybe if they have this stuff again next year or at the end of the season i can get a couple more. 

the pointsettias are felt. i made them using this tutorial from centsational girl. it was very time consuming for me, but i ended up making 15 of them... which is a lot... 6 of them were for my mom then i made the rest for me. but they add so much so it was worth it.. at least that's what i'm telling myself.

so pretty, right? tell me it was worth it. : )

 the rest of the mantel is very different from last year. i didn't have enough space for much on the mantel last year since the garland took up all the space. however, since i met mister swag this year i had so much room i wondered what to do with it all!

on one side i wanted something tall and kind of greenery-ish.

i just realized this mantel is basically brought to you by michaels. i saw that vase at michael's and i fell in LOVE with it. for real. i did that thing where you leave and all you think about for 2 weeks is that perfect vase that you just have to have. well then my husband went to michaels with me one day (i know. he's awesome.) and i saw it half off! and i said, ohmygosh!it'shalfoff!!! and phil said, oh i'll buy that for you.... : )

isn't it beautiful?

so i stuck a pick i found at michaels, also half off and i actually took the sparkly leaves off a present i got from my brother and his girlfriend for christmas. she wraps presents so beautifully and i loved those leaves so much i used them on my mantel haha. i just wired them right to the pick. done. the sparkly bird was like, $1 at michaels one day. easy.

i knew what would be on the other side since october. i bought a gorgeous reindeer at homegoods in early october because well, it was so different and beautiful. plus i have a thing for deer. and birds.

sorry for the fuzzy picture. i swear i have about 50 pictures of this guy and not one is perfect. they are all blurry or too dark. hmm. but he's beautiful and you can still tell : )

the wreath is the same grapevine wreath i've had up since the fall. i just took out the white pumpkins and added red hydrangeas and some cheap walmart ornaments. i was so lazy i didn't even take it down to do it. i just put red felt over the pink ribbon that holds the wreath up. la. zy.

across the room i pulled out my old red pillows and put out my new pottery barn pillow!!! i got it as a gift from my brother and his girlfriend.. you know, the gift i borrowed the sparkly leaves from? i LOVE it so much!

isn't it the cutest??!!!

i also put a pick in my coffee filter flower arrangement. i like it so much, i wish i could keep it like that all the time...

so simple but it's one of my favorite things i did for christmas.

so that's the living room. hopefully if i can get myself together i'll show you the rest of the details later this week. i just love my home all dressed up! 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

cats and mounatin climbing.

so a couple weeks ago i was watching some snl clips. sometimes that show can be a little too inappropriate for me to enjoy, but i usually enjoy the weekend updates. well, in this clip seth was making fun of people who put their pets in costumes for halloween. he said something to the effect of pet costume sales are equal to the number of couples who can't have children... i thought this was totally mean and uncalled for because these days pets are just as much members of the family as anyone else. especially our pets. both phil and i are animal lovers. i am pretty sure i've wanted to live on a farm with as many animals as possible since i knew what a farm was.

all of this is just an excuse to show you pictures of our cute cats : ) i realize that means i'm a crazy cat lady, but they're so cute! i want you to see just how cute they are too!

this is how our sofa usually looks. pillows and cats everywhere. this is otis, emily and hobbes. : )

they like to steal all the attention and make my pictures about them. here emily is doing a good job of that.

trying so hard not to pull off an ornament because she knows she will be in big trouble.

she decided it was okay to just swipe them now instead of actually yanking them off. progress.

this cracked me up. hobbes just went over and sat here like he wanted his picture taken. he wanted to say merry christmas to you all : )

i have absolutely no problem saying he is the favorite. but how can you resist that cute, big, fat furry face?

this is what they do most of the day. you know, whenever they're not eating, fighting, pulling my christmas decor down, or trying to escape from the apartment....

even though they have a way of making me want to lock them in a closet about 7 times a day, i love our cats. they are the perfect pets for us and each one has its own crazy personality. now if only we could figure out how to stop emily from running out the door every chance she gets. sheesh.

well, this past weekend phil and i decided to just have fun and enjoy each other. we didn't care about christmas shopping, baking, parties or anything. we climbed kennessaw mountain together and picnic'ed at the top. it was so fun. it was really hard work, but somehow it was still relaxing and we just enjoyed being out together.

isn't it beautiful?

if you look really hard you can see atlanta in the background along the horizon.

it was such a beautiful clear and cool day.

okay, now get ready for the ridiculousness of us trying to take a picture of ourselves.

whoa. camera was way zoomed in hahaha.. i left this one small so you didn't have a close up of our faces across your whole screen. you're welcome : )

jessica: "yuck! i don't like that one! gimme that camera.."

phil: "you cut off my head! now i look completely bald! i mean, i know i have some hair.."
jessica: "hahahahahaha! hmm... i think it's cute... hahahaha"

me reaching as high as i can and both of us just laughing at this point..
phil and jessica: "good enough."
strangers watching us: laughter. : )

end ridiculous pictures of ourselves.

kennessaw mountain is also a civil war battlefield. they have cannons up at the top that the southern army dragged all the way up the mountain to try to stop sherman's troops from reaching atlanta. after climbing this mountain i have no. idea. how. they did this. it's a mystery to me because those cannons must weigh a ton and i mean, it's no everest or anything, but it's still a mountain! geesh.

at the very top are these rocks that we sat on to eat lunch. people carved their initials into them.. i liked this one because it's a heart with the initials inside and i just thought it was so cute.

here are the feet that made this all possible.. just enjoying the view : )
notice how phil's shoes get a lot more use than mine? haha... i won't tell you how long i've had these perfectly white gym shoes.. just forget it.

i loved doing this together. like i said, it was challenging but it was so fun and relaxing. i loved just being able to get away from everything and just do something fun together. i think hiking will have to be a regular thing that we do. it's free, anyone can do it, and we can put away all distractions and just be together. so! fun!

the only downside is that now the pressure is on to get the christmas shopping done. we're going to go on a christmas shopping date this saturday instead of a hiking date. i'm not sure which will be more fun!