Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Wishing you a most fabulous New Years!

I hope you celebrate to the fullest tonight & enjoy each pretty moment!
See you in 2012!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Friday's Five

Today's post is compiled of my five favorite posts from this year. While I have only been blogging since September, these are the few that stand out to me.

#1 - My very first post. I decided to start this blog with a post dedicated to the great life event of leaving your 20's behind to welcome in your 30's. So far they aren't so bad!

#2 - My first blogger award. You can tell how new I was to blogging because I didn't know that blogger awards even existed...especially one for the newbies!

#3 - My "following" post. Each & every blog that I follow usually has more than one way for their readers to follow along & I joined the social media train as well! Check them out & follow along!

#4 - My first cooking post. I am not a fancy chef by any means but I tried out my mom's recipe for pumpkin bread & it was a hit! Try it out if you can!

#5 - My first style challenge post. I didn't win but I loved putting my look together!

Hope you enjoy going back to these favorites of mine!

Thanks for coming by, reading my posts & sharing your thoughts. I truly appreciate each & every one of you! You have made my first months of blogging such a fun ride!

And don't forget to take advantage of the 50% discount for your first JewelMint purchase, courtesy of the MBA Seattle team! Details can be found HERE.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Holiday Survey

I saw this fun little Christmas survey over at Sloanbook awhile ago, planned to do it & then forgot it was in my drafts. Now that I see it, Christmas has come & gone but it's's still the holiday season if New Year's hasn't passed yet!

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
I'll take both! Just not together. That would be gross. BUT my egg nog needs lots of cinnamon & my hot chocolate needs a mound of mini marshmallows.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Is my name Santa? Because I am the only gift wrapper in our house (unless they are gifts for me). The Hubs isn't the best wrapper ;)

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
Our house had white icicles & nets. You can see them here!

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
I think I did for our first Christmas & it never stuck because it hasn't been around since!
5. When do you put your decorations up?
Right after Thanksgiving if we can! I like them set up as soon as possible because we can only enjoy them for a month's time. So the first weekend available, it's on!

6. What is your favorite holiday dish?
Hmmm this may be hard because there is so much to choose from. First off, my aunt makes the most amazing, juiciest turkey for Thanksgiving. For Christmas, a few staples include roast pork, my grandmother's rice pudding & my mom's Christmas morning brunch (you can see a few shots of it here!). Serious food coma.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child?
I think I had some great Christmas memories as a child but two stand out the most. I remember one Christmas Eve not being able to sleep (what kid can sleep the night before Christmas?!) & peeking around the corner of the hallway to continually stare at the presents underneath the tree - I must have done it every few minutes or so. But at one point, I peeked out & saw my parents putting together my first real bike. I almost shrieked from excitement but couldn't because then they knew I would be awake. I was so excited that I DEFINITELY couldn't sleep at that point! My other favorite memory is that my dad would read the story of Jesus' birth from the Bible every year.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
I never believed in Santa. My parents just never started that whole story with us. Being that my dad is a pastor, we just always knew about Jesus' birth & that gifts came from them!

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
Yes! My husband & I open up our stockings on Christmas Eve. Just a little treat!

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
Our tree is color themed - red, green & white. I also like to play up on typical Christmas icons such as snowmen, reindeer, snowflakes, candy canes. I wanted it to look fun :) You can see our tree decor here!

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?
Neither! Living in South Florida means no snow & barely any cold weather (this Christmas was in the high 80's & we spent it in t-shirts & shorts!). But I do dream of living somewhere that has seasons because I don't think Christmas feels right with humidity!

12. Can you ice skate?
Our city used to have an ice skating rink (foreign in South Florida) & I went a few times when I was younger. I was ok if I was holding onto someone or the wall. ;)

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
Oh there have been some good first bike, jewelry, clothing, etc. This year was pretty good too - the big gift was an iPad2! You can see what was on my wish list here & then see which items I got here.

14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
Well I definitely believe that the most important thing to remember about Christmas is the story of Jesus' birth. It is why we celebrate it. After that, it is definitely all about the family time. I especially LOVE when my entire family gets together.
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?
Can I pick more than one? My grandmother's rice pudding, red velvet cake & my mom had made this amazing brownie/whipped cream trifle thingy that is soooo delish!

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Hands down, it is my family's annual roadtrip to Disney World. We go a week or so before Christmas & take in the decorations, dining & overall ambiance that Disney puts together during the holidays. I look forward to it every year! You can see pics of this year's trip here!
17. What tops your tree?
I do have a white snowflake tree topper that is adorned with small red & green ornaments & it matches our tree perfectly. This year we got a real tree for the first time & the snowflake topper didn't fit so a red bow went in it's place.

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving?
Definitely giving. I LOVE shopping for others & I love seeing their faces when they open their gifts! Don't get me wrong, I do love receiving them too. ;)

19. Candy Canes: Yuck or Yum?
YUM! Especially the multi-colored ones that are fruity flavored!
20. Favorite Christmas show? Show or movie?
Shows - The Christmas Spectacular featuring The Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall in NYC & The Nutcracker Ballet.
Movies - National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, ELF, Four Christmases, Home Alone

21. Saddest Christmas Song?
"Christmas Shoes" by NewSong. It's sweet but just depressing!

22. What is your favorite Christmas song?
Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You", NSYNC's Christmas album (it rocks) & Silent Night is my favorite traditional song.

I'd love to hear your answers especially if they are different from mine!

And don't forget to take advantage of the 50% discount for your first JewelMint purchase, courtesy of the MBA Seattle team! Details can be found HERE.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Years Eve - Golden Girl

I came across this photo of Nicole Richie in her own Winter Kate design and fell completely in love with her look. I love the brassy, golden color of her sequinned dress and the way it stands out against the black tights + shoe combo. Also worth mentioning, I was a huge fan of her dark hair phase. This is exactly the type of look I would pick for myself and it would be perfect for a New Years Eve bash or any other sparkle-worthy occasion. Want to recreate it for yourself? Check out my picks below!

MICHAEL Michael Kors also has a pretty version here.

Kelsi Dagger offers a similar style here.

Then just add opaque tights to complete your look! 

I would keep jewelry to a minimum since the dress speaks for itself, but a cocktail ring and simple earrings would definitely be good add-ons!

Is this a look you would pick for yourself? Are you a fan of gold sequins?

Linked up to Blonde Episodes Fashion Friday!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Scenes from Christmas

I can't believe Christmas came and went by so quickly! I think just flew by once Thanksgiving came and now here we are about to walk into a new year. I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas holiday with family and friends. Nothing better than that, right?
Here are some snapshots of what my holiday looked like!

On Friday evening, the Hubs took me to see The Nutcracker ballet performed by Miami City Ballet. This is my all time favorite ballet. It is such a sweet memory of my childhood because my parents took me a few times to see it. My husband is a super macho man so he wasn't entirely into the idea of watching a ballet, but in the end he actually enjoyed it!

Christmas Eve was spent at my uncle and aunt's house for the traditional family dinner. My extended family is about 50 strong and every holiday get together is filled with an abundance of delicious foods, fun (although SUPER competitive) games and lots of picture taking. I am usually the one initiating the photo ops (much to everyone's dismay) but for some reason, I did not take ONE picture this year! There was just too much going on! Super bummed because my outfit was pretty cute. Ha!

I did much better when it came to Christmas Day though! My brother and his wife were in town so the family met at my parents house for gifts and brunch. My mom does not slack off when it comes to brunch. She makes a million courses and we get filled to the brim.

(that would be banana/pecan stuffed french toast - heavenly!)

(My brother's dog, Lily had her first Christmas with us!)

And the gifts. I was definitely spoiled this year. I didn't even snap pics of them all (this year was not the one for photo taking apparently) but if you remember my wish list here, I did get the pink Clarisonic system, Zumba for Wii & the monogrammed pendant!

(Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty)

I was also blessed with some other books, movies, cds, perfumes and such. The BIG gift from my husband this year was a white iPad2. Sure I wanted it but Apple's price tags almost nauseate me so I kept telling him to not take me seriously. He did anyway. I still cannot believe I have it and it's taking me forever to figure it out but he said that it was like a "Go get 'em tiger" gift in regards to my ventures into blogging. It was really sweet :)

I'd love to know what your Christmas looked like and what gifts you got this year!

And don't forget to take advantage of the 50% discount for your first JewelMint purchase, courtesy of the MBA Seattle team! Details can be found HERE.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Christmas Roadtrip

This past weekend my family and I road-tripped it to Orlando for what has become our new holiday tradition - a mini getaway to celebrate the Christmas season at Disney World! It started the Christmas right before the Hubs and I were married and it has happened every year since. Coincidentally my brother and his wife happen to live in Orlando so it works perfectly, especially on the years they are unable to drive south and spend Christmas with us.

I brought my camera along for the trip but didn't pull it out once, so here are some photos from the trip courtesy of my trusty iPhone. Enjoy!

We stayed at the Wyndham Grand Orlando Bonnet Creek resort which had only been open for two months prior to our stay. I would definitely recommend it if you visit the Orlando area. This hotel was a-maz-ing! Check out some of the decor...

Some shots from Downtown Disney -

The next two shots feature displays made entirely of LEGOS!

 Dressed up for dinner -

And the randoms -

This display is made entirely of chocolate! It smelled heavenly :)

Peppermint Patty martini

That's all folks! Sad thing is that I just realized how few pics I took of people, haha!
Oh well, better luck on family photos this weekend ;)

And don't forget to take advantage of the 50% discount for your first JewelMint purchase, courtesy of the MBA Seattle team! Details can be found HERE.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Deck the Halls

I had originally planned to post this a week or two ago, but life has been non-stop since Thanksgiving and it totally slipped my mind until this week! If you remember my other decor posts (Halloween & Thanksgiving), then you can probably guess that Christmas is my big she-bang when it comes to holiday decorating. I don't even think I have a gazillion decorations or even that my stuff is super amazing, but it lights my face up every single year when it is all set up. I'm like a kid in candy store when it comes to Christmas :)

So we will start with the outside - this is mostly the handiwork of my husband!

Our front door - you can also see the net lights for our hedge & the icicle lights from the roof

These candy canes line our walkway & they were a new addition this cute!

This mini tree stands to the left of our front door - I added a few decorations to spice it up

This wreath is the best part of our outdoor decorations. For one thing, it's huge & rocks my socks. But most importantly, my aunt made it & she is the queen when it comes to decorating wreaths (or really anything). I asked her a few years ago to help my naked wreath, we went shopping for supplies & then she put it together. Amazing-ness, I tell you!

Now onto the inside!

Our living room table - pretty simple with red candles, snowflake candle holders, a giant etched vase & some cranberries, acorns & glitter mini ornaments as fillers

We have a double sliding glass door that takes up one wall of our living room so I threw on two lighted garlands & added extra lights (in red, white & green) & a bow on either side.

On one side of our bar counter, I have some candle holders featuring Santa, gingerbread men & red scrolls (all from PartyLite) & more acorn/mini ornament filler.

The other side features more candle love in the form of trees & a gingerbread house!

On one side of our tv - Mrs. Claus & a crystal Christmas tree

And on the other side you will find Santa & a crystal angel

And finally, our tree! This year we got a real one (which smells amazing, by the way!) & our theme is red, green & white. Whimsical & fun. Growing up, my mom always decorated our trees in a glamorous, chic way & I loved it! But the Hubs & I decided to keep it more traditional in regards to our colors...even the wrapping paper matches!

A special decoration gets added every year in the form of a Mickey ornament to commemorate how many Christmases the Hubs & I have shared together since getting married. It's a tradition we started year one & since the family goes to Disney right before Christmas every year (check my post tomorrow!), it makes it convenient to get an ornament personalized for that year & try to alternate between red, white & green ornaments.

Can you find any of the Mickey ornaments in the tree photo above?

So that's it! The Kelly household in all it's Christmas glory! Isn't it pretty?! :)

If you are a blogger & you have a post with your Christmas decor, I would love to see it! Leave your link in the comments below!

And don't forget to take advantage of the 50% discount for your first JewelMint purchase, courtesy of the MBA Seattle team! Details can be found HERE.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

JewelMint + Special Discount!

JewelMint is a monthly service club headed up by Kate Bosworth & stylist Cher Coulter that offers beautiful jewelry pieces at just $29.99 per month. The membership is similar to it's sister companies (StyleMint, ShoeMint, BeautyMint), allowing members to have jewelry handpicked for their boutiques based on the results of their submitted style survey. I have been a member of JewelMint since November 2010 and their quality has never been a disappointment. Each piece I own has garnered tons of compliments!

Here are some of my favorite pieces in my personal JewelMint collection...


You can get more information on how JewelMint works HERE.

Thanks to the powers of social networking (Hello, are you following me?!), The Mint Brand Ambassador Seattle team is offering new members a 50% discount for your FIRST JewelMint purchase! That makes your first piece only $14.99! That is a great price for those that want to try JewelMint out but may not want to jump in at full price.

Here is how you can get your first JewelMint piece for half off:

Sign up for JewelMint HERE & fill out your style survey!
Once your showroom is ready & filled with jewels, use code SEATTLE118 to receive 50% off your first JewelMint purchase!
Share this special code with your friends & family so they can enjoy it as well!
*Remember, this code is only valid for first time purchases only.

The 50% off discount code is courtesy of the MBA Seattle Team - THANK YOU!

Stay tuned for an awesome JewelMint giveaway coming soon!!!