12/28/13

Santa's Reindeer


These past couple weeks have flown by and I can't believe the year is almost over!  I wanted to share some pictures from when we visited the reindeer at Thanksgiving Point.  It's one of our favorite Christmas activities that we try to do each year.  They had pretty lights, some fun ice sculptures, and a hot chocolate stand.  My kids wouldn't let us leave without getting an ice cream cone...I'm not sure how they could even think of ice cream when it was freezing outside!

What fun things did your family do for the holidays?

12/26/13

$250 Sephora or Amazon gift card giveaway!


I hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas! I was able to make a trip to Oregon to spend the holiday with my family...there really is no place like home for the holidays! Santa and Emery were really good to me this year and I ended up getting pretty spoiled, so there isn't much else I could ask for.  There are a few after Christmas sales that are tempting me, but I'll probably save my Christmas cash for our next vacation (since I'm kind of obsessed with traveling).   

Is there anything you were hoping to receive that didn't seem to find it's way under the tree?  Well, I have teamed up with Coupons.com and several of my favorite bloggers to bring you an After-Christmas Giveaway!  The winner will receive a $250 gift card to either Sephora or Amazon...think of all the makeup you could buy with that money!!  Make sure to enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway


-- PARTICIPANTS -- 

12/17/13

Purple and Plaid

Sweater: Target, Shirt: Target (old, but love this), Jeans: Old Navy, Boots: G. H. Bass (similar), Bag: Rebecca Minkoff, Necklace: c/o Wild Butterfly Boutique, Watch: Michael Kors (similar and on sale!)

Last night Emery and I went on a date to see The Hobbit and it was so good!  I love action-packed movies...especially when the production quality is amazing, which the Lord of the Rings series definitely is.  If you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend watching it!  Anyway, this is what I wore on our casual date.  Nothing too exciting, but I'm all about comfort these days!

Are there any other movies that I need to see?  I can't wait for Anchorman 2 and American Hustle to come out.  The Secret Life of Walter Mitty also looks really promising.  Oh man, I love movies!!

12/15/13

Christmas Gifts for Men

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Today I'm sharing one final gift guide for all of you last-minute shoppers.  I usually get at least half of the items on my Christmas shopping list from Kohls and this year was no different!  They always have the best sales and coupons, so why wouldn't I shop someplace where I can get more for my money?! Here are just a few of my favorite Kohls gifts for men:

1. Every guy needs a good pair of headphones.  These Monster on-ear headphones come in several colors and can be used with phones, tablets, gaming consoles and more!

2. Christmas is always a good excuse for me to buy my husband some new clothes.  I love the style of this patterned crewneck sweater and I think it would look great on most men.

3. Some guys might be opposed to carrying around any type of "man bag", but I think most guys would love the classic look of this leather briefcase bag...it's both functional and professional.

4. One of my husband's favorite scents is Lacoste essential cologne.  It's not too strong and it smells so good!

5. If you are looking for a gift that is sure to get a lot of use, a Norelco Sensotouch 2D razor should be at the top of your list.  This high-rated razor comes complete with a cleaning and charging system.

6. A pair of nice dress boots would be perfect for men who work in an office, or even just for wearing to church each sunday.

7. My husband is on his phone ALL THE TIME, so it would be nice for him to have a good pair of texting gloves in the winter.  They are touchscreen compatible, which means he wouldn't have to constantly pull his hands out of his gloves to use his phone!

8. What guy doesn't like to throw on a comfy, plush robe when they get out of the shower? 


You still have time to ensure your Kohls purchase is delivered by Christmas...just make sure your order is in by 11 pm (CST) on Thursday, December 19th!  I'd love to hear what you are getting the men in your lives for Christmas.  I've finished up most of my shopping, but I still need to get a couple stocking stuffers!

This post is sponsored by Kohls.  However, all opinions are 100% my own.)

12/12/13

Chocolate Peppermint Cupcake Recipe


If you follow me on Instagram you may already know about these delicious cupcakes I made, but I wanted to share the recipe in case any of you wanted to try it out!  These chocolate peppermint cupcakes make the perfect holiday treat!

For the Cake:

1 box chocolate cake mix (I used Betty Crocker "chocolate fudge")
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
cupcake liners

For the Buttercream Frosting:

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 tsp peppermint extract
2 tbsp milk
4 cups powdered sugar


Mix cake ingredients according to directions on box.  Spoon batter into cupcake liners, making them each 2/3 full.  Bake for  18-22 minutes.  Let cool.

Cream together the butter and shortening, then blend in the peppermint extract.  Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time.  Beat in the milk, until you get a light and fluffy consistency. 

Pipe frosting onto the cupcakes, sprinkle with crushed candy canes and enjoy!

12/11/13

Cool Gifts for Dad!


My husband is one of the hardest people to shop for, but I know that he loves his gadgets...so, as part of a sponsored post for Collective Bias, the kids and I drove over to Best Buy in hopes of finding the best tech gifts.  It was fun having my little ones help me find items that their Dad would love and I think they did a pretty good job picking some out!


One of the major contenders were the Beats by Dr. Dre headphones.  These sound fantastic and would make the perfect gift for any music lover!


Another great find was the Samsung Galaxy S 4.  Personally, I'm an iPhone fan...but my husband loves android phones and this is one of the best out there right now! 


My children are OBSESSED with tablets, so of course they had to try all of them out.  I think they wanted a tablet more for themselves than their Dad though!


No trip to Best Buy would be complete if we didn't check out the gaming section, especially since Emery got his Christmas present early this year...a PS4!  The kids wanted to find a game for Dad, so he would actually have something to open on Christmas day.  They helped pick one out (I can't tell you which game...that could ruin the surprise!) and I was even able to get it price-matched, so that was awesome!

With the help of Best Buy's Trending Gifts page and gift center, I was able to come up with 9 gifts for all of the Dads in our lives (or any men for that matter).  Here they are:


Clockwise from top-left:



Of course, if none of these float your boat, you could always give a Best Buy gift card...cause I don't know anyone who wouldn't like to find one of those in their stocking! Annnnd from December 11-24th Best Buy is rewarding the gift-giver with their "Give It To Win It" promotion.  Every time a customer purchases a Best Buy gift card (valued at $25 or more) they can scan/enter the gift card number to enter for a chance to win an awesome prize...there will be over 50 winners every day!

Also, make sure to check out a special Google+ "shoppable hangout" on 12/17.  Best Buy is partnering with Google for this broadcast, which will have a focus on last minute shopping.  You'll be able to view the hangout on YouTube or your Google+ page.

I hope you are checking off your holiday shopping lists...there aren't too many shopping days left!

12/9/13

Holiday Fashion Challenge

Dress: TFNC from Lulu's, Shoes: Payless, Clutch: Target, Bracelets: Kohls, Nailpolish: "Your Present Required" c/o China Glaze

One of my favorite things about the holidays is being able to dress up for all the festive parties!  But let's face it...the fancy party attire can get pretty dang expensive.  However, there are definitely ways to make your holiday outfits much more affordable.  I ALWAYS use a coupon code when I'm shopping online and the first place I check for them is at RetailMeNot.com.  So when the lovely people at RetailMeNot asked if I wanted to be a part of a Holiday Fashion Challenge, I knew it was the perfect opportunity...since I already use their codes all the time!  Each blogger was given $150 to come up with a fabulous holiday party outfit, consisting of at least 3 items.  

I knew I needed a dress for my husband's fancy work party and I knew I wanted some sparkle!  I seriously searched hours upon hours trying to find the perfect dress.  And then I found it.  There it was, in all it's sparkly glory...but there was just one problem: It was $123.  There was a coupon code for 10% off, but even then it was $110.70 and that left less than $40 for the other 2 items!  I knew I had to keep looking, so my search continued.  

I couldn't stop thinking about it though...I was having dreams about this dress!  It HAD to be mine!  And then, guess what?  A different coupon code popped up on the RetailMeNot website, for 15% off!  Now the dress was down to $104.55. This is still more than I would usually spend on a dress, but it was just too gorgeous to pass up, so I was willing to work at stretching that last $45.45!

I opened up a browser and checked out my go-to store: Target.  I found this pretty black clutch and was able to use a coupon code to make it $16.01, leaving me with $29.44.  Ok, this was getting scary, but I knew there was one place I would be able to find cheap shoes. Yup, Payless.  Usually I can't find anything I like there, but these black heels were the perfect style to go with my new dress! I just love the pointed toe with the ankle straps.  They were on sale for $24.99 and there was a coupon code for 20% off, making them only $19.99!  This left me with $9.45, so I visited my other go-to store, Kohls, and found these silver bracelets on clearance for $4.80 ($4.08 after 15% off coupon). 

So, this entire outfit came in at a grand total of $144.63!  Here is the breakdown:

    Original Price: $123
    Purchased For: $104.55 (using promo code WEHEART15 for 15% off)

    Original Price: $19.99
    Purchased For: $16.01 (using promo code ONEDAY for 15% off)

    Original Price: $29.99
    Sale Price: $24.99
    Purchased For: $19.99 (using promo code 70144 for 20% off)

4. Silver Bracelets from Kohls.com
    Original Price: $24.00
    Clearance Price: $4.80
    Purchased For: $4.08 (using promo code GOBBLE15 for 15% off)

I can't believe I was able to make it work, with the dress being as much as it was, but I'm so glad that I did!  You can see what the other bloggers came up with over at The Real Deal by RetailMeNot.

(This post is sponsored by RetailMeNot, however all opinions are 100% my own!)

12/7/13

Have a very. minted. Christmas.

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I'm pretty sure everyone loves opening up their mailbox and finding a Christmas card.  I know I love to send out cards as much as I like to receive them...I don't send a lot of snail mail the rest of the year, so it's a fun way to update my family and friends with what's going on in our lives and share a photo or two.  

Have you heard of Minted?  They have the most beautiful Christmas card selection I have ever seen and the best part is they are designed by independent artists all over the world!  The photo ornament cards are my favorite (#3 above).  They are kind of like a card and gift in one...I think they would be so perfect for grandparents and other family members!  I'm also loving the personalized wrapping paper (#4 above).  How awesome would it be to include your favorite recipe on the gift wrap?! In addition to Christmas supplies, Minted also has great gifts.  You can by all kinds of gorgeous artwork, stationery, journals and more! 

Through Monday (12/9/13) you can get 15% off your holiday card purchase, using code SLED15FS.  Minted will even address your card envelopes for you, at no extra charge...I don't know about you, but I'm all about saving time whenever I can.  Christmas will be here before we know it, so make sure to get those cards sent out right away! 

Oh, and those family pictures were taken by the amazing Daryl of Unlost Photography.  I will be sharing more of them soon!

(This is a sponsored post. However, all opinions are my own.)

12/6/13

It's the Holiday Season...

Skirt: Anthropologie, Turtleneck: Target, Tights: Nordstrom, Shoes: Target (similar), Bracelet: c/o VeryJane (similar), Clutch: Target, Nail Polish: "All Wrapped Up" c/o China Glaze

Holiday party season is in full swing and I LOVE it, because it's the one time of the year when I have an excuse to dress up in shimmery, sparkly attire!  I'm so glad I was finally able to pull out this awesome Anthropologie skirt that I picked up last year...the metallic lace is perfect for the holidays!  I wore this outfit last night to the Bright Night Event, which was a super fun charity event benefiting a local women's shelter.  Mingling, crafting, snacking and giving back...it doesn't get any better than that!

12/2/13

$2,000 Fall Style Giveaway!


As we all know, the holidays can be a very hectic time with both the pressure to research and pinpoint the ideal gifts for your loved ones as well as making preparations to entertain guests. That’s where a brand-new app comes in – Cinch. It’s almost like having your very own personal advisor who can share their wisdom with you – exactly when you need it the most.

Cinch by Klout is a free and easy way to get trusted advice from experts for just about all of your home and lifestyle questions. In a nutshell, Cinch extends your trusted network beyond your friends by allowing you to directly tap into the people who know each area best.

Whether you’re seeking insight on the ideal present for your significant other, you’re in need of holiday d├ęcor inspiration, or are even wondering what the best kitchen gadget is to whip up your upcoming holiday feast — Cinch connects you to people with great advice to make every decision easier. Just tap in your question related to the holidays or beyond, and Cinch will connect you to the people with the most relevant advice!

Today, I have joined Cinch and 34 awesome bloggers to bring to you a $2,000 Fall Style Giveaway! Cinch is giving 4 winners a $500 VISA giftcard each! What better way to start the holidays?!

To enter the giveaway, download the Cinch app and sign in with your Facebook account.  Then enter the easy to follow steps below on the rafflecopter.  The more entries you complete, the closer you are to winning part of the $2,000 Fall Style Giveaway.  Giveaway ends Friday, December 13th at 11:59PM MST and is open to US Residents.  Good Luck!






a Rafflecopter giveaway Verification of Cinch Download required to win the Giveaway.