Sunday, December 21, 2014

Making the Most of Gift-Giving with Personalized Gifts

Isn't it the best feeling when you are able to find or create the perfect gift for someone special? When you have something that you know they will love and you can't wait to give it to them? It's one of my favorite parts about Christmas.

This year, I designed a lot of personalized gifts for our loved ones. I used Shutterfly to make several photo gifts and also our Christmas Cards. I also designed a special necklace for my Grandma with Origami Owl. She opened it early and loved it! I wish I would have taken a picture before sending it on it's way.

One great thing about having a baby is having great Christmas gift ideas for "hard to buy for" people. You know those people who already have everything they need, and just go ahead and buy anything they want? (DADS!) Having a baby opens up the doors for all sorts of photo gifts! Through Shutterfly, you can design photo books, puzzles, key chains, blankets.. the selection is seriously endless.

What grandparent or uncle wouldn't love a mug, calendar or puzzle full of my my kids' adorable face? :) I had so much personalizing calendars and mugs for gifts that I decided to order a special "Eden's First Christmas" ornament for our own tree. It turned out so cute and I know we will cherish it and the memories it holds forever.

I love how our Christmas Cards turned out as well - although I inadvertently ordered 5x7's which feel a little big. I'll have to keep that in mind for next year.

Although it's probably too late to order personalized gifts for this Christmas, it's definitely a great tool to keep in mind for future Christmases, birthdays, etc.!

P.S. - This was not a sponsored post - just my honest feelings about my experience with making Christmas gifts this year!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Three Things (Life Lately)

1. Last year, our blogger buddy Lyndsey opened up an online boutique, b.lovely. She has the cutest stuff and last week, AbbyJessica and I went to her pop up shop at Cashmere Cricket. I got myself that adorable, cozy cowl pictured above and have been wearing it basically non-stop ever since! I also got some gifts for a special friend, 'tis the Season! Lyndsey had this adorable hot chocolate station set up with the best hot chocolate and cutest mugs! So happy for her and proud to support a hardworking local blogger buddy. 

2. Eden had her 6-month check up last week and she's still in the 99th percentile for weight! She was so good at the doctor's office but hated her shots of course. Poor baby :( She is healthy and happy and I just love this age so much!

3. We've been going on date nights periodically (thankfully we have a babysitter we love!) and it's so nice to set that time aside to reconnect. We recently went on a dinner & movie date and had the best time. We saw the new Hunger Games movie at the Highland Theater which is the best. They sell wine and beer and it's only $5. You can't beat it!

Have a happy Wednesday!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Fashion Inspiration : NOTO Boutique

This exciting advancement actually happened a few months ago and I had forgotten that I wanted to share the news here! I've talked a lot about NOTO Boutique and Lauren's fun events (she's the owner!). Most recently being the 2014 NOTO Fashion Show. Lauren just hosted her 7th annual Wine & Shop Event that I was bummed to miss out on due to a prior engagement.

Anyway, the big news is that NOTO now has items available online here!

Just in time for holiday shopping. I'll all about shopping "small" and local - even if you're not in the Akron area, it still counts :)

Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Family Portrait

A few weeks ago, my brother helped us take some family photos for our Christmas cards. We went to the same spot where we took our baby announcement photos and maternity photos - it's so pretty! Especially in the fall with the changing leaves. 

It was so cold outside when we were taking them that we all agreed we would only last about 5 minutes - and hope for the best. Luckily, in literally 5 minutes we did get a few good shots. 

I'm glad we have these special family pictures with Eden. She makes everything more fun!

Happy Holiday Season! It really is the best. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Slow Cooker Creamy Tortellini Soup

This is by far one of the easiest and best slow cooker meals I've ever made.. which is why I decided to share it here. It's basically the epitome of cold weather comfort food - hearty, creamy and hot. I got the idea from this pin, and it's as easy as it sounds in the description!

-1 package of fresh spinach
-1 package of frozen cheese tortellini
-1 8 oz. package of cream cheese
-1 box of vegetable or chicken stock

Put it all in the Crock Pot and chunk up the cream cheese as best as you can. Cook on low for 5 hours and stir occasionally and that's it!

Have a great Sunday :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Thrifted Pants Become Headband for Baby

A few weeks ago, I shared my thrifted finds that included an adorable white and pink striped onesie ($1.50) and a pair of stretchy pants for 75-cents (half off $1.50). I got the pants specifically to turn into headbands for Eden and her little friends and cousin. 

Making the headbands is super easy - you don't even have to sew anything! I've made the sewn type too (see here), but usually just cut them out and tie them. I pick up the jersey fabrics from the thrift store and it doesn't fray. It couldn't be easier : just cut a long strip and then cut the ends into points, then tie. Oh, wash the fabric first of course.. your baby will thank you :)

Happy thrifting and happy December

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Swapped Vintage Poncho

I picked up this beautiful, Vintage, Poncho at the last swap (detailed here!) from Lauren of NOTO Boutique. I love how unique it is! I wore it with my (thrifted) Vintage fedora and some stretchy, boot-cut jeans.

I love the clothing swaps because you can pick up new-to-you pieces that you wouldn't normally pick out.. and it's not as risky because there's no cost involved! Jessica talked about that in this post, when she had the same experience with an item she picked up from the latest swap.

It would look better without the yellow cardigan underneath, but it was so cold that day. Wouldn't this be perfect to wear apple picking? Thanks, Abby, for taking these pictures for me at the Crafternoon!

I hope you had the happiest Thanksgiving!