Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Christmas Card Outtakes | Minted Favorites

This year I am actually on the ball with my Christmas Cards.  They are ordered and en route and should hopefully be in the mail next week!  This year I decided to do a picture of all 4 of us.  I normally just do the kids because it is damn hard to get everyone smiling and looking at the camera.  I decided to enlist my friend and photography Brook Bertschy to snap some pictures to ensure we were all looking good- she does wonderful family photos if you need them!   
I thought I would share a few of the outtakes we didn't use for our card.  There were so many fabulous photos- after my cards arrive I will share the final product!

I went total cheeseball and had us all dress in coordinating Christmas colors.  Normally I am so against the matchy stuff but I guess I was feeling the Christmas vibe this year. Fa la la la la:)

Outfit Details ||
FRANCES MOON || Dress | Shoes
STERLING || Sweater | Jeans | Boots

I love to use Minted for our holiday cards.  They are fast and the quality is amazing.  The cards are super thick which I think makes for a more elegant card and I just love the foil pressed cards.  If you have yet to order cards you must check out the Minted site.   There are so many amazing designs, I spent over an hour browsing and picking our card out.   I tried to narrow down my favorites for ya'll to see.
You can shop all the Foil Printed Cards Here.
If you have not ordered cards you can use the code DBDD10FS to save 10% on your order and get free shipping!  If you spend more than $150 you can use code JOY15 to get 15% off your order but that does not include free shipping.

This one is precious if you just had a baby and a great way to tie in a birth annoucement and Christmas card.

This one is great if you want to use more than one picture

and if you don't feel like doing a picture card these are beautiful non-photo cards.

Added bonus they do Custom printed addressing for your envelopes!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Coconut Ginger Chicken + Gratitude Beads

I am so excited to share this recipe with you guys, it was incredible.  I made it a few weeks ago and have been dreaming about it ever since.  The whole family loved it and we all ate seconds. At first glance the recipe may seem complicated but I promise it is not.  The hardest part is blending the onion, garlic, and ginger and cooking the meat.  After that your pot or crock pot does the work for you.  We served ours over white rice and you could brown rice but I really do recommend white rice for the recipe.  I think white rice just soaks up the sauce better and brown rice has more of a nutty flavor.  The sauce on this dish is the real winner, I am not kidding Sterling and I sat and ate it like soup it was that good.   You can use any veggies you want in here, the original recipe called for snap peas, but I did a mix of broccoli and bell peppers.  I also let this simmer for almost 3 hours.

|| C O C O N U T  G I N G E R  C H I C K E N ||
original recipe via Simple Bites

  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 inch cube of ginger roughly chopped
  • 1 small sweet onion, peeled, quartered
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into four
  • 2 cans coconut milk, not shaken
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 can of baby corn cobs
  • 1 bag frozen broccoli and frozen peppers or any mix of veggies you choose)
For the spice blend
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground tumeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt

  1. Combine ingredients from the spice blend together and set aside.
  2. In a mini food processor, combine garlic, ginger and onion and pulse until it forms a paste.
  3. In the bottom of a slow-cooker placed on a burner heat olive oil and melt butter. Add pureed aromatics and stir well. Cook for a few minutes, then add spice blend. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Move aromatics to one side of the pot and add chicken pieces to the pot. Cook chicken slightly on all sides, using a sturdy wooden spoon to move it around the pot. It should get thoroughly coated with the spice mixture.
  5. Open the cans of coconut milk and remove the cream from the top using a soup spoon. You should have about 1 cup. Pour the coconut milk over the chicken and with both cans, it should just barely cover the chicken.
  6. Drain the corn cobs and chop in half. Add to the slow-cooker.
  7. Place the slow cooker in the base and cook on low for 4 hours.
  8. Whisk flour with coconut cream until smooth and add to the chicken. Stir well. Add frozen broccoli and peppers or other vegetables of your choice. Cook for another half an hour or until you deem the chicken cooked and the vegetables hot.

This time of the year with all the hustle and bustle, and holiday madness I think it is especially important to be thankful and grateful for what we have.  I am trying hard to teach my children this.  We are so fortunate compared to so many others.   It is easy to get caught up and forget the real meaning of Christmas.  It is also easy to get caught up thinking about the challenges and negative parts of our life.  I find it helps me stay centered to take a moment to sit and quietly thank God for all I have and have been blessed with.

I mentioned these gratitude beads and prayer beads last year but this time of the year I tend to use these beads more often. 

I always let Sterling help me,  each day we make a point to sit and say what we are thankful for and pull a bead (or several) aside.  It is a nice reminder especially during this time of the year to be thankful.  As overwhelmed as I feel, I am so lucky, I really do have such a blessed life.  There are so many people fighting way bigger battles out there.  I can't help that I am a worrier by nature (although my dad claims I can change this) but I can change my outlook on things and choose to look at the positive side and be grateful.  I read a great verse in my Jesus Calling the other day about starting your day thanking God, such a good reminder.  Often we pray for help and things we want but sometimes it nice to just stop and Thank God for what we have.  I try to sit with Sterling and we each pull back a bead and say what we are thankful. 

One of my mom's dear friends makes and sells these prayer/gratitude beads.  They are such a wonderful gift for someone.  A new mom, a teacher, someone going thru a rough time, a fab stocking stuffer.   Anyone can benefit from these gratitude beads.   She will hand make them in any color you want.   I love the idea of gifting these to friends and family.  I am thinking of doing these as end of the year gifts for Sterling's teachers.  I love the idea too of bringing these to new moms post baby.   Such a wonderful idea for anyone to be thankful.

  The beads start at $22. 
You can email my mom's friend Kathy at to see a full catalog of the beads or to place an order.  The beads usually come with something attached to the end think a disc or cross etc but my children  ripped mine off- go figure:) They still serve a purpose!  They come in so many different colors and materials and they come packaged in a sweet little bag with a small book filled with some gorgeous photography and inspirational quotes.  I am telling you guys this would be an amazing stocking stuffers!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Life Lately + The Best of Cyber Monday

Happy December 1st!  We are officially decorated and ready for Christmas.  This is my favorite time of the year!  Get ready for picture overload.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving besides Matt hurting his back- he was laid out for most of the weekend but he still managed to produce two amazing turkeys one roasted and one fried.
I made both the cheese ball and the Brussels sprouts gratin and they were both amazing. You never know when you try a new recipe if they will suck but both were awesome and I will make them again.  The cheese ball would be beautiful for a Christmas party as well with the red pomegranate seeds.

I also made the Southern Living Pumpkin Tart with candied Toffee and man oh man was it good. I am so not a baker so I made Matt take a picture of me with my pie because I was so proud of it!
Wearing the JCrew Ikat Blouse I picked up last week it is still on sale with additional 40% off.
Right before Thanksgiving we had our built-ins in the kitchen finished.  I just love them.  Now to select a paint color for our cabinets!

We also celebrated Frances Moon's first Birthday! 

We did a low key party at our house with friends and family.
Cupcakes are from Lockhaus Brubaker and the toppers are from SweetCuts Shoppe

I can not believe I have a one year old!!
Frances is wearing Pleated Dress | White Tights

Frances Moon with both sets of grand parents.

Champs with my girl Caycee.

We tried to get a holiday picture with cousin Finley while they were in town but of course no one would look at the camera at the same time. It is still pretty cute though.

Sunday I tackled decorating our whole house.  It was a feat but glad it is done.  My motto is the more lights the better.

I found identical glass trees to the ones above here and they are free shipping today.

Sunday night we made homemade Mexican Pizzas (the copycat Taco Bell kind) and they were so delicious I will be making them again!

If you are like me I am sure you were a bit disappointed by Black Friday,  the sales just were not that good.  I did manage to order the kids this piano and guitar from Serena and Lily and take advantage of the Gap sale. Oh and this dress from French Connection (30% off with code FC30BF) was the one thing I ordered for me. 
 I tried to condense Cyber Monday and list the best sales.

FURBISH STUDIO \\  20% off all orders of $75 and more with code HOLLADAY.  Great time to buy Christmas gifts,  I loves these bug earrings (made in Charleston) and Mr. Mrs Glasses.  

PROGENY SHOPPE \\ 25% off orders $50+ with code PROGENYXMAS. I am so ordering these dino tattoos for Sterling.

SERENA AND LILY \\ 25% off today only, code HAPPYMONDAY

PIPERLIME \\ 30% off site wide and extra 40% off all sale code CYBERSALE.
Love these Cynthia Vincent Flats and they are under $100 with the discount. and these are quite possibly the perfect nude shoe.

JCREW FACTORY\\  50% off site wide
use code THANKS. Love this green blouse for the holidays.

TARGET \\ Buy one clothing, shoes or accessories get one 60% 0ff.

GIGI NEW YORK \\ up to 30% off.   I love my Teddie Tote and Uber Clutch.

GAP \\ 40% off the site. Use code CYBER.  Please order this hat, it is too cute not too.  We love ours.  I am ordering this embroidered dress for Frances!

KATE SPADE \\ 30% off the site with code CYBER30.
These slippers look so cozy and cute. and this blouse is another favorite.

LOFT \\ 50% off everything. Use code MONDAY
The color of this blouse is perfection.

BLOOMINGDALES \\ 25% off the site no code needed.