i can almost hear the jingle jangle

the countdown to christmas is always filled with cheer.
the anticipation.
the excitement.
one can’t help but to be very merry.

i love savoring the entire month of december,
celebrating a bit of christmas with each passing day.
and this year is no different.
same merriment. same joy.
but with a new little addition.
our littlest family advent calendar.

instead of gifts,
each day will have either 
a little activity for my lovie and i to do together.
an act of kindness towards someone we love.
or some sweet treats.

december one.
my lovie and i will kick off this christmas month
by snuggling up and watching the original rudolph movie.
we will share a steaming peppermint hot chocolate.

december two.
my lovie and i will bake apple crisp together. 
from scratch. aprons and all.
this should be funny!

december three.
a peppermint mocha latte will be delivered to my grandmothers.
and our very first christmas cards will be sent out.

december four-ten.
 my lovie and i will be on our honeymoon,
advent calendar will be on pause.

december eleven.
a tour of christmas lights.
st. pete & tampa. 

december twelve.
my lovie and i will put up our very first christmas tree.
we will hang our decorations and drink hot cocoa.

december thirteen.
secret santa will be making some special deliveries. 

december fourteen.
my lovie and i will enjoy breakfast in bed.
{for dinner}
and watch miracle on 34 street.

december fifteen.
we will deck the halls of our little gingerbread houses.

december sixteen.
christmas movie night with the brett family.
prancer. mr. magoo's christmas.
a fave annual tradition.

december seventeen.
baking & decorating christmas cookies.
delivering the sweets to loved ones.

december eighteen.
my lovie and i will attend the christmas program at first baptist church.
christmas on gandy.

december nineteen.
read the christmas story together in the bible.
joy to the world!

december twenty.
candlelit dinner by the christmas tree.
listening to michael buble's christmas album.

december twenty one.
i will snuggle up with my lovie 
in some new christmas jammies to watch family man.

december twenty two.
christmas caroling with our dearest friends.

december twenty three.
christmas eve eve date night.
dressed up. champagne. cassis.

december twenty four.
my lovie and i will enjoy christmas eve morning 
in hyde park. 
strolling together.

december twenty five.
christmas is here! 
spending the day with our loved ones.

i can hardly wait for december first to get here. 
i love, love, love looking forward to each day 
and enjoying the merriment it brings. 

join us in this month of celebration,
and let me know what other advent ideas you may have!!!

what family traditions do you have for the christmas season?!
what activities do you love the most?!

gonna paint the town red.

lately i have been drawn to anything and everything red. 
maybe it is the season. maybe it is the glamour.
whatever it is,
red has great appeal to me these days. 

i am seeing pops of red all over in the fashion world.
handbags. purses. shoes. blouses. scarves.
"big apple red" may or may not be my fave go-to nail color.
and the perfect red lipstick is a must have on my december shopping list.
{i am open to suggestions from fellow red lipstick lovers} 

all this seeing red has definitely gotten me into the christmas spirit.
and has got me wanting to adorn my home & life with festive pops of red.
i am dreaming of little vases filled to the brim with red and white peppermints.
silver trays displaying perfectly arranged red bauble ornaments.
leggy twigs dripping with winter red berries.
a high gloss kate spade red purse.
red skinny pants from jcrew.
just the thought of it all makes me feel very, very merry

here is a bit of my red and white inspiration.
for home. for dress. for parties.

a sweet way to display minty treats.
perfect for a hot cocoa party. 

i love the simple elegance of these chairs.
the satin ribbon.
the simple greenery.
and a dash of nature with the pinecones.

eye candy. in red and white. 
the variation in height and size helps in reaching
peppermint perfection. 

i simply adore how everything here coordinates. 
the neutrals and reds are lovely.
look at the details.
the stamps. the bakers twine. the buttons.
love. love. love. 

i am certain i will be baking these for my little first graders.
how precious?! 

the art of gift wrapping is something i greatly appreciate.
i have already bought my wrapping paper for the season,
{gold and cream. stripes. polka dots.}
but this tower of pretty presents is making me rethink my color scheme. 
i love the red & white with a hint of lime green.
the patterns are whimsical and fun.

it is a fact, wrapping pretty presents can be just as fun as giving them.
so, pick a color scheme & organize your gift wrapping station now.
make sure you check your list. twice.
wrapping paper. double sided tape. ribbons. tags.
i especially love having all the presents wrapped early so that they decorate the tree.

loving this little get up.
simple. yet bold.
kate spade has a darling red dress like this, 
only it has flirty, ruffled sleeves.
i am coveting it. 

a girl can't go wrong with red skinnies. 
so versatile. so fun.

hello, lovelies.
every girl needs these to twirl around in.

i see lanterns like these at home goods all the time.
a good deal. a bottle of red high gloss spray paint.

i could see a few of them stacked up my front porch steps. 

color blocked books. 

red baubles just scream christmas spirit. 

is it acceptable to paint my front door for the season?!

i just can't get enough of all the red.
i always did like rudolph best of all. 

{all photos courtesy of pinterest}

bridal brunch bliss

i have just got to be the luckiest girl. 
i have the absolute sweetest & most generous friends. 

my bestie, maid of honor, hillary,
my little tiffy,
and my amber joy
hosted the most beautiful bridal brunch.

i did not have bridesmaids, only a very special maid of honor,
and so this brunch was for my pseudo-bridesmaids. 
the friends that are the nearest and dearest to me.
the ones that i love with all my heart. 

they know me entirely too well,
and knew how to host the most perfect morning outing.
cassis. white roses. champagne. croissants.
laughter. a few tears. lots of hugs. endless chatter.
family. friends. and a room full of love.

so, here is to you, my friends. 
for making my world as sweet as can be. 

a servants heart.

this thanksgiving was different than years past.
the bretts. the gilsons. the mills. we all decided that this year 
we wanted to serve others.

we wanted to fill their hearts. their souls. their tummies. 
we wanted to share our bountiful blessings with those less fortunate.
we wanted to serve with a cheerful & humble heart.
serve with a true servants heart. 

all children's hospital was in need of volunteers to prepare & serve 
thanksgiving lunch for their patients and families.
we immediately knew that our big ol' gang
would eagerly lend twenty-four hands,
and twelve warm smiles.
and that would be welcomed.

we hung signs of sweet salutations.

and dressed the tables in fine linens.

the tables were adorned with fall foliage. 

and stickers. 

and placemats to color.

pumpkins & turkeys popped up all over.

as each table was decked out for the feast.

the windows were sprinkled with bright colored leaves.

and hugs were passed out to generous helpers. 

we walked into all children's hospital 
excited to bring joy to the patients and families.
and while i am certain we did bless them,
i know that they blessed us even greater.

these sweet people provided us with the richest reminders.
a reminder to have a grateful heart.
a reminder to cherish life everyday.
a reminder to rise above even the toughest circumstances.
a reminder to find joy in everyday.
a reminder that we are blessed beyond measure.

and while they thanked us for carrying their trays.
and thanked us for refilling their drinks.
we thank them for a new perspective on our blessed lives.

a heart of gratitude

when i think about my life, and as we prepare for thanksgiving,
i can't help but recognize how richly blessed i am.

this thanksgiving season i have a heart that is overflowing with gratitude. 

for each november day that leads to thanksgiving, 
i am beyond thankful for 

1. my gracious Lord.
2. my lovie.
3. my family.
4. my best friend.
5. all my friends.
6. my humble home.
7. my health.
8. my job.
9. cassis.
10. diet coke.
11. flowers.
12. silver.
13. kate spade.
14. candles.
15. forgiveness.
16. laughter.
17. vacation days with family.
18. a new last name. 
19. sparkly things.
20. apple crisp.
21. my marked up bible.
22. love.
23. hugs.
24. humility.

i am thankful for all of these gifts, as they are given to me by God.
"every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father."
James 1:17

may your thanksgiving be overflowing with love, warmth, and gratitude. 
may you soak in every moment spent with family & loved ones, 
as these moments are so valuable.



one of our dearest friends
shared these pictures with us.

and it perfectly captures us.

over the moon happy.
head over heels in love.
eternally grateful.

together forever. amen. 
God is so good. He is so good to me.

my husband

if you saw the last post,
you now know why i just adore my lovie.

i was sitting rather impatiently in the bridal suite.
we had one short hour before the ceremony was to begin.
and my lovie texted me & said to check my blog.
that he had a surprise for me.

i read his love letter aloud to all that where in the room,
and we all swooned together over my romantic lovie.

that was the absolute sweetest wedding gift ever.
i love you, my lovie hubby.
thank you for making my life so wonderful.

that being said, i wanted to give you all a little sneak peak
of our perfect wedding night. 
it was simply stunning. 

there were candles galore. 

floating around us. 

a glowing room, full of warmth and love.

a table bursting with gold and light.

and perfect bow napkins.

we drank from gold rimmed stemware.

and basked in the glow of the shimmering light.

we spent time in prayer.

and enjoyed all the company of those around us.

our night was extraordinary, to say the least.
i can hardly wait to share my joy with you.

but for now,
i have a loving husband & a cozy bed waiting for me.

there is nothing quite like this feeling i have.
and i am eternally grateful.
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