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Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Charlie Browniest.....

Sleepless nights, cranky mornings, snappy, zombie-like bags under my eyes. Mistaking the salt for sugar. Drinking so much coffee it all cancels out and has zero chance of helping pull me out of my daze. Am I describing those early days of Motherhood? Not exactly...rather those of a new puppy. 


Let me back up, the first part of this week was spent recovering from illness; sinus, flu, we covered them all largely thanks to the petri dish that is Preschool.  I was whining, complaining, and frustrated that we were ill during the Xmas season. Normally I bottle up my miserable feelings when I feel bad but this time I was downright angry!! I felt like I had the attitude of Charlie Brown, feeling as though this season was now a bust. As Linus says, of all the Charlie Brown's I was the Charlie Browniest. A big middle finger from the universe. 

I had plans for that week darnit..driving around looking at lights, wrapping up my shopping which will now happen back home, literally wrapping presents.  I wanted to make gingerbread houses and those fancy cookies I've been eyeing in Bon Appetit. Shoot...I really wanted to blog! This was a great week with all of the fun from Waiting on Martha's Hot Cocoa party but I just didn't have it in me.

But then....Friday ushered in the arrival of our newest family member; a Bernese Mountain Dog we will lovingly call Finley. We have wanted a Bernese for years so this day was met with great anticipation. 



However, nothing refreshes your memory of those first sleepless nights of motherhood like a new puppy. Woah! How soon you forget am I right? 

 I remember my husband laying on the ground with the hair dryer one night in a desperate attempt to make our newborn Aiden sleep. We were desperate knowing that both of us are awful people without 7 solid hours. This time we layed on the floor talking our puppy off a ledge in her crate, unable to comfort her. I was getting so sad. Hearing a baby or puppy , in this case, kills me!!!

The hair dryer idea crossed my mind. I started thinking back to my readings of "The Happiest Baby on the Block" and wondering if any would apply to Finley. I guess swaddling a puppy wouldn't work though. We'll get through it though...we can handle this right? 

As I write this we are embarking on an 11 hour drive to see family for Xmas. Puppy and kid are sleeping in the back. Husband taking us through Kentucky as his mouth waters from being so close to Bourbon country. I am rocking a few bags under my eyes and am on the mend. And though I'll admit our temporary insanity for driving with a new puppy this far I feel like this little fur ball came into our lives at just the right moment. 



As usual, the universe gave me exactly what I needed! So I'll think about Linus and the true meaning of Christmas. I'll wrap my loving arms around my family of four now and prepare for what will be a great Xmas with family. 




Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Cold Hands Warm Hearts..take 2!

 




 
 When I think of getting in "The Christmas Spirit" I think about traditions and special times spent with family and friends. Hot Cocoa, scrumptious treats, the laughter of children, the fresh smell of Christmas Trees and just being able to take in and appreciate the beauty that surrounds you.
 
In one of my earlier posts I mentioned that I had been rather 'ho hum' about the Holiday Season to this point. Nothing a day at a tree farm can't cure! I can assure you that a tradition I intend to start with my family in Georgia is to make an annual trek to Bottoms Christmas Tree Farm to take in the breathtaking views, enjoy the friendly folks and I won't forget to bring Waiting on Martha's Hot Cocoa! Have a wonderful season and I hope to see you back here again!
 
 
 
Photography | Rustic White Photography
Hair & Makeup | Dina Shelton For Stila Cosmetics
All Clothing | Gap, Gap Kids & Old Navy
Chalkboard Art | Jessica Garvin
Chalkboard Sign | World Market
 In Collaboration With | Hunted Interiors
In Collaboration With | In Honor of Design
Mugs, Marshmallows &Hot Chocolate Sticks | Ticket Chocolate
Ornaments & Stars | Waiting on Martha
Peppermint Stir Sticks | Michael’s
Tray, Plates & Reindeer Bowls | Waiting on Martha
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Cold Hands Warm Hearts at Bottoms Tree Farm



I have this occasional fantasy of living on the same cul de sac as my best friends and I have visions of going places together with our kids like Bottoms Tree Farm in Cumming, GA. Lucky for me, one of those friends happens to be a crazy talented stylist who can make such visions come to life in ways you couldn't possibly fathom. Mandy, from Waiting on Martha, has been styling herself and anywhere she lives flawlessly since I've known her back in college.  So it was no surprise to learn that Mandy is now the latest contributor for Style Me Pretty Living. 


I was to the moon when she invited Aiden and I to spend the day at the farm with some other fascinating gals for a Hot Cocoa Party. Anna of In Honor of Design  (who's blog I adore) and Kristin of The Hunted Interior (who is outrageously talented..she made a Christmas tree of chalk. I am floored) were simply delightful ladies with the sweetest and cutest children in tow. It was so fun to watch our young ones become instant friends for the day. They checked out the farm, loved on the horses, and Aiden did NOT want to leave...ever. Of course this wasn't your ordinary family outing to cut down a tree. We feasted on treats that would make St. Nick himself jealous.  I am still thinking about these Mugs and Hot Chocolate Sticks provided by The Ticket Kitchen.



And did you catch that adorable Chalkboard Art on sign by the table? The talented Jessica Garvin did this and I was swooning.



Mandy effortlessly styled us from top to bottom with the help of Gap and Old Navy and it was insanely fun playing dress up for the day. In fact, Aiden insisted on wearing the exact outfit over the weekend. He especially loved this new sweater from Old Navy. Since we traveled to Illinois this past weekend my precious mittens from Gap came in super handy all the while looking cute. Dina Shelton from Stila Cosmetics did our makeup and I wish I could keep her in my back pocket all of the time.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

all is calm....

 

 The smell of a fresh Christmas tree. The transformation a living room can take with the addition of a simple Christmas pillow and plaid throw blanket. A fire burning in the fireplace with the mantle decorated in such a way that it feels like home while you watch "It's a Wonderful Life" and drink a glass of red.  Ornaments you've had since you were a little girl, popsicle stick reindeer ornaments made by tiny hands with lots of love. The way the plaid ribbon perfectly compliments the rest of the tree's décor.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Getting Lost in Asheville, NC

Three hours north of Atlanta is a city in the mountains that is a hidden gem! It makes one of the best weekend getaways from Atlanta in my book and that city is Asheville, NC. You can go all out here or you can do it on the cheap. It's your call. To me, Asheville is the East Coast equivalent to Boulder, CO (which I love too). When a place has a hippy vibe you can always count on coming across some funky shops, good eats, and interesting people watching. Here is a breakdown of our quick 24 in Asheville.


Accommodations: Aloft Hotel, Downtown Asheville.
    - Style at a Steal. An appropriate tag line for the Aloft hotels. Aloft hotels are a part of the Starwood family so if you have points you can use them or earn them. Your choice. I've always been a fan of W Hotels. I always feel a little more fancy when I stay there and I'm sucker for that modern feel. The Aloft is the more affordable answer to the W and frankly more laid back for a family.


Photo courtesy of Aloft Asheville
What you need to know about the Aloft Asheville is pretty universal across this entire chain. It has a super open floor plan in the lobby that is chill, hip and inviting with bright colors. What I love is that the adults can grab a craft or a cocktail while we play pool or a board game with the little one. See, something for everyone This particular hotel is pet-friendly so I'm looking forward to taking our new puppy back soon. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Get Lost Series

 
We are a family that is on the go....we haven't traveled internationally yet nor do we jet off to some exotic destination on the fly but we do make the most of what is around us and often it only requires one tank of gas.

Enter the "Get Lost" section of the blog...I want to share with you the places and spaces we find and love.

If you're a parent, then you know that when looking online for "things to do with kids in (insert city)" you typically get the standard answers; zoo, children's museum, aquarium, indoor playground, cheesy restaurant, etc..

For someone who doesn't plan her travels around such places and has zero interest in eating at the Rainforest Café again those answers can get pretty stale pretty fast.