Christmas Cards

I LOVE sending and receiving Christmas cards. It seemed they came a little later this year than most. People must have been a little behind with the ordering/sending. But I love that we have a gorgeous collection from friends and family now – including two with announcements of a new baby in 2015! For me, our Christmas card is a way to recap our year for our family and friends; especially those we don’t see during the holidays.

IMG_8379

We actually ended up ordering a second set of cards after we addressed the first 45. Who knew we had so many cards to send out this year? I went ahead and spent the extra money on the return addressing (and my sweet husband got me  a new return address stamp for Christmas!). For $18 more dollars, I could have had all of the cards addressed to the recipients but we didn’t mind writing out the addresses.

IMG_8376

Since we sent out cards in March announcing we had moved and bought a new house, we didn’t include that on the holiday card. Instead, we included our one-year anniversary (photo by Taken by Sarah) and our trip to St. Martin to celebrate.

IMG_8377

We got all gussied up so many times this year for our friend’s weddings that it seemed only appropriate to include a picture from one of those. And since travel is such a big part of our lives, we included a photo in front of the bean in Chicago. Spoiler alert, next year’s card will have Paris, London, Ireland, Cape Cod and Key West on it! Can you tell I’m excited for our travel?

IMG_8378

We ordered this card from Photo Affections. I have enjoyed ordering items from them as they come quickly, look professional and are in adorable boxes. Definitely recommend trying it out if you’re looking for announcements or holiday cards!

Advertisements

Guy Day Friday [Protein Energy Bites]

Have I mentioned that our stove has been broken for more than 2 weeks now? It’s terrible. We’ve used our griddle and crock pot for meals but seriously, there is SO MUCH you need a stove for! My husband is likely getting tired of me telling him we should just forget the warranty company and go buy a new one (I REALLY WANT TO BE ABLE TO USE A STOVE!). Anyway, I made these delicious protein energy bites to travel with us for the holidays and since they’re no-bake, it worked out perfectly.

IMG_8063

Ingredients: 

1 c. quick oats (I actually used steel cut)
2 TBS chia seeds (PACKED WITH PROTEIN!)
1 TBS flax seeds
1/2 cup Chocolate Chips (or dark chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, raisins, craisins, almonds, walnuts)
2/3 c. coconut flakes
2/3 c. peanut butter (I used crunchy! Almond butter would also be good!)
1/3 c. honey (or agave nectar!)
1 tsp. vanilla

Optional:

1 TBS protein powder

IMG_8058

Directions: 

Mix all ingredients in same bowl until combined well (I used my hands but a wooden spoon would work too)

IMG_8057

Put in refrigerator for 30 minutes until mixture cools/hardens a bit

Roll out into 1 inch balls  on wax paper

IMG_8059

Should make 20-25 balls per batch. Keep refrigerated. Good for up to 5 days (I doubt they’ll last that long after you try the first one! SOOOO good!).

Let me know if you try other ingredients, I’d love to know what flavor combinations you come up with!

Weekend Wrap Up [Christmas #1]

Our first couple Christmases together, we tried to do both families in one day. They were only two hours apart, so what could go wrong? A snow storm. That’s what. We got stuck in a snow storm coming back to NC from VA and I watched cars sliding off the road in my rearview mirror. The only time in my life I’ve been thankful my SUV has 4-wheel drive (otherwise not necessary in NC!). So, ever since then, we’ve tried to alternate. This weekend, we celebrated an early Christmas with my in-laws.

IMG_8125

My mother-in-law made a delicious dinner of fried turkey and delicious fixins for us and had a beautiful table where we dined.

IMG_8122

Santa came and was good to everyone, even the dogs!

IMG_8139

This guy has been obsessed with his stocking ever since we put it up. Every year he’s obsessed, but it’s to a new level this year. He seriously LOVES Christmas.

IMG_8148

On Saturday, we went to hear a storyteller at the Fearrington Barn. Donald Davis made us laugh, made us want to hug our families and made us want to visit the Grand Canyon but never ride a mule. If you ever have a chance to listen to him, DO IT.

IMG_8107

One of our families favorite things to do is play games when we’re all together. We’re big fans of Apples to Apples and Cranium. This year, we got new games which made us laugh until our bellies hurt. Smart Ass and Telestrations were this year’s choices, with Telestrations being played the most. Smart Ass challenged us all a little more with trivia but was definitely fun!

IMG_8142

On Sunday, after days of being tempted with cookies and squash casserole, I had to get in my 7-mile training run for the Key West Half Marathon.

IMG_8164

Not going to lie, I didn’t want to do it. I was a little sore from T25 the day before. It was cold outside. There was beer and football in the house. I had a million excuses. The first 4 miles SUCKED. I even took a break at one point and gave myself a pep talk.

IMG_8149Once I hit mile 4, I actually got in a groove. I felt pretty good and also, the setting sun sparked a fire under me (I am terrified of the dark so running after sunset is out of the question!). I got to see some pretty awesome stuff like the Fearrington House decorated for Christmas…

IMG_8162

And from the side:

IMG_8143

And I finished just before dark with my legs telling me I couldn’t run another mile and chills from my sweat combined with cool winter air. I didn’t hit my pace that I’ve been aiming for with my training. It was actually probably my worst 7 mile run ever but I told myself “Done is better than perfect.” And it’s true. I did it. It’s done. I ran 7 miles. Maybe not in 1:03 like I wanted to, but I did it.

IMG_8157

Oh, and my timehop reminded me on Saturday of a date my now husband and I had on our 6 month anniversary. Weren’t we cute?

IMG_8112

Hope everyone had a wonderful last weekend before Christmas (or just a good weekend if you don’t celebrate Christmas!). We’re both off work this week and excited to relax and spend some quality time together (and with our pups!). Happy Monday!

Guy Day Friday [Turkey Burgers]

Hopefully you’ve started trying out those cookie recipes by now for all of your holiday parties. They’re good, right? Today’s post is all about meat and a healthy lunch/dinner that is easy, relatively quick and definitely delicious. You can make 4-5 burgers with a pack of turkey, which is great if you’re making dinner for someone or if it’s just you and you want to have lunch for the week! IMG_6734

Ingredients:

1 pack of lean ground turkey
1 can of Rotel
1 block of cheese (I like pepperjack or habenero cheese)
1 buns (or you can eat them without bread!)
Directions:

  • Open the turkey
  • Drain the rotel
  • Mix 1/2 can Rotel in with turkey (I use my hands)
  • Shred some cheese and mix in well with the turkey/Rotel mixture
  • Make into patties and place in skillet with a little oil (I like coconut oil)
  • Skillet should be on med-high and cook until both sides are brown
  • Meat should not be pink on inside!
  • If you want cheese on top, add a slice and serve with bun

IMG_6729

IMG_6730

IMG_6731

IMG_6733

I eat these bunless to save on the bread calories (also, I’m not a “bread person” but my husband will tell you I’m a “butter person” so if there’s good butter and bread to eat it on, then I will partake!).

I like to pair steamed veggies or roasted brussels sprouts with the burgers. It’s really a quick and healthy meal. And they save great for lunch the next day! In the summer, it’s nice to do these on the grill! Also, bison meat is really lean and just as delicious when made into burgers!

Enjoy + happy almost Christmas!

 

Giveaway Winners!

Going to make this post short and sweet! I recorded a video last night of me drawing the winners of the giveaway. I did change up the giveaway a little bit, so be sure to view it to get the deets and find out who won what!

Also, second part of the giveaway is happening in the new year so stay tuned and keep sharing! You can click the link on the right hand side to “Follow Blog” and get email updates each time I post, OR you can visit Blog Lovin’ and sign up there!

Hoping to announce another item to be crossed off of a bucket list today (will be posted on the Go Fund Me site) and all of the winners will have their items mailed to them this week!

My heart is so grateful for all of you who have read the blog, donated to the giveaway, shared the giveaway and for all the site owners who were generous enough to donate items, too! Also, please excuse my outfit, I got home from the gym and wanted to do the drawing last night as I had promised!

Last day of giveaway!

Again, I’m so grateful for everyone who has donated to the Go Fund Me and all the shop owners who donated their products for the giveaway. Today is the LAST day to enter and win these amazing items:

There’s some seriously good stuff in here, y’all! Don’t miss out on getting yourself something cute this holiday season while also donating to a good cause.

  • Enter by visting the Go Fund Me and donating $10 or more (the more you donate, the more entries you get!)
  • Then leave a comment on this post letting me know you donated
  • And SHARE the post on Facebook or Twitter (or both!)

Happy holidays! xo

We Believe Santa 5k recap + giveaway

Before I tell you about my 5k today, I wanted to share a few more items that are part of the giveaway. When I contacted Wendy with LoveW Boutique to see if she would be willing to donate something for the giveaway, she responded with “Can I send you 10?” I mean, seriously, the generosity of this woman is overwhelming! I received the bags and they are even more adorable in person! She sent two different sizes, some change purse sized ones and some larger make up bag sizes, and all different designs.

IMG_7954

And I may or may not have squealed over the charms that are attached to the zippers:

IMG_7955

IMG_7956

The smaller bags will be paired with the jewelry that was donated by The Painted Pearl, Lori’s Wire Jewelry and Island Cowgirl.

IMG_7953

So, by donating just $10, you could win some fabulous earrings, a necklace, or pink ribbon rings PLUS one of these darling bags. If you need a reminder on the jewelry, here you go!

Earrings from The Painted Pearl in gold or silver:

Painted Pearl
                         Painted Pearl

Necklace from Island Cowgirl:

Island Cowgirl
Island Cowgirl

Pink Ribbon Rings by Lori’s Wire Jewelry:

Lori's Wire Jewelry
Lori’s Wire Jewelry

Aren’t these items incredible? And aren’t the shop owners who are so generous also incredible? Their kindness has blown me away. And I’d love for you to have a chance to win any or all of these items in the giveaway. So go enter TODAY and don’t miss out!

______________________________________________

This morning I ran what will be my last organized race of 2014. I ran the We Believe Santa 5k at the US National Whitewater Center. I’m not a huge fan of trail races (although trail running can be quite enjoyable).

IMG_7930

I really should have been doing a 7 mile run today, but my legs were actually still a little sore from my 6 miler and workouts earlier this week, so I figured strenuous hills and trails would be enough of a workout today. And it was. I finished 206 of 480 participants. Somehow, I did not do so hot in my age group but I reminded myself that I wasn’t there to compete, just run and that I did.

IMG_7947

And I had my biggest supporter waiting for me when I crossed the finish line, so it was a good run.

IMG_7941

How was your Saturday? Hope it was AMAZING and I hope you’ve had a chance to check out all the amazing items in the giveaway and entered. Remember, it all goes to a great cause of making some special wishes come true for ladies who have breast cancer. Your support is appreciated and you’re basically guaranteed to win something with all of these amazing prizes!