Thursday, December 12, 2013

Our Zazzle Christmas Cards

This year, we used Zazzle for our Christmas cards! My aunt works with Zazzle, so luckily she keeps me in the loop as to when they have great deals. At 75% off, nothing beat the price! They had several options this year that reminded me of the cute Minted ones we had gotten in the last couple of years. I enjoyed making a photo collage of some of our travels in the past year. From the top left going clockwise: Point Lobos, CA, Santa Fe, NM (x2), Denver, CO, Home in Amarillo, San Diego, CA. We've been a few other places as well, but these trips were my favorite. I think I had too much fun with washi tape on my envelopes to spruce spruce them up! Where I saved on the cost of cards, I sort of splurged on Finley stamps!!! Yes, I did. I love that you can customize anything on Zazzle. From ornaments (a photo ornament makes for a great stocking stuffer, by the way!) to mugs, to candy bars and everything else under the sun. Finley was pretty impressed. I'm hoping these are going to be mailed out in the next day or two. Almost complete!

Are you on the ball with your Christmas cards?!


Monday, December 9, 2013

A Year with Finley Foo!

A year ago we brought home our puppy Finley! Of course we had prepared for him by reading several books, puppy-proofing our house, and also by purchasing fun doggy accessories, but I don't think we realized how MUCH we would love him and how much bigger our hearts would grow because of him. I cannot imagine life without our sweet Finn. I honestly think he's brought Steven and I a little closer together, too. Lots of teamwork goes into training a dog. But aside from that, the spirit in our house has been so full of laughter, fun, and cuddles in the last year. And I truly think it's somewhat because of Finley! He's got the best little personality--always happy to give kisses for belly rubs, eager to ride along anywhere, and constantly by our sides to love on us. If you're considering getting a dog, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is the way to go! They just want to make you happy and they're obedient most of the time and too cute for you to care when they're not. He really is a great dog, though. Rarely does he misbehave! Of course he had some moments when he was a tiny pup, but since he's grown up a bit, he's learned the rules. He's great at traveling. He LOVES meeting anyone new, and he's as social as we are, so that works out well. He IS the king of the castle. There's no doubt about that, as he lets us know it on a daily basis. We think his stocking should be extra stuffed this year with some fun things he can enjoy.

Finley told me he thinks it's about time we got some artwork of him. Clearly, spoiled. (And yes, Steven and I tell each other daily what Finley thinks and says. #dogfreaks.)

For more fun pictures of Finley, I'm trying to go back through Instagram to tag him as #finleyfoo. He's this close to having his own account, though. I go back and forth all the time since we enjoy following other little cavs, but eesh. Time suck!


PS- How CUTE is this doggy blog?!?! 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Friday Frills : Holiday Tulle!

This holiday season, I've decided to embrace the tulle skirt trend. We just unpacked the cutest one at Lilly Finch & it's not too tu-tu-ey & it's inexpensive! Paired with gold and red, I think it will be darling for any holiday fete! And those shoes. They are so lovely!! Please, Santa! Please! I will force myself to learn how to walk gracefully in them. While I realize my outfit above may be just a bit over the top with all the fur, sparkles, and tulle, I kind of think, "why not?"! It's for the Holidays! However, pair the look with a chambray shirt instead of the fur & gold, and you'll achieve an equally festive look, a bit toned down! 

Here are some more fun tulle skirts!

What are you wearing this holiday season? I'll tell you this weekend, I'll be donning fleece, long undies, and mittens if I dare venture out in the freeze. SUPER attractive!

Stay warm,

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Tuesday Traveler: Albuquerque, NM

must give this photo cred to the hubs! great shot, huh?

Welcome to my new little series: Tuesday Traveler. I can't promise that every Tuesday we'll be tripping out, but I can assure you I'm full of travel tips, suggestions, and stories! I figured, why not share them on Tuesdays?! I may be working backwards until I catch up on all the fun places we've been, but the information should still be relevant! This past weekend we made the 4 hour trip to Albuquerque, New Mexico for a one night stay. We typically go to Santa Fe, but ABQ is on our list of "biggest cities of America tour" and we had not taken the time to explore it yet. Believe me, 8 hours of driving for just a night is something, quite frankly, we're not used to doing, but out here in Texas, there's legitimately NOTHING for four hours in most directions! At least the drive out west is pretty. You do whatchya gotta do, y'all. 

Local gelato! We both loved the red chile with chocolate chunks!

So, we ventured out to Los Poblanos Inn for a little R&R. Nestled right along the edge of town (but only 15 minutes from downtown), Los Poblanos is a working organic farm with fields of lavender, a miniature horse (!!!!), chickens, peacocks, and field to fork dining. The experience was nothing short of charming! 

The view of sunset casting upon the Sandia mountains was breathtaking. Yes! they really do turn pink! 
Unfortunately, the lavender nor the flowers were in bloom, but it was still beautiful! 

It's not every day that you wake up to the noise of barnyard animals and you can chat with your fine feathered frands!
Speaking of fine feathers....


I became slightly obsessed with the peacocks! The white one's name is Albert and when we were leaving dinner we saw him perched up in a tree, sleeping! 

 Here's a bit of a photo recap since I did NOT Instagram one bit while we were immersing ourselves into our trip. Quite a challenge for me, but I'm eager to share some favorites now!

The Inn's entrance was just adorable. You enter through a courtyard to get to the main office (there's a blue mosaic fountain is in the middle of the courtyard). Everything was lush with foliage but the buildings were mostly crisp and white. The Farm Shop on the property was stocked full of homemade lavender soaps, oils, and other neat products. Los Poblanos also makes their own honey and caramels which were sold here as well. We loved the variety of cookbooks, olive oils, spices, and cooking utensils. There were plenty of gardening tools for those with a green thumb! Fun fact: the Lavender soaps were just featured in the J.Crew gift guide this year! They really do make for a great gift (made in the USA, too). After wandering around the property, we got excited to see the kiva fireplace in our room. So cozy!

I cannot say enough about the food at Los Poblanos. Dinner Friday at La Marienda (on the property) was scrumptious. We de-vou-errred a cheese plate before our main dish. (Got chez?) Steven had a ribeye with fancy fresh things and I had butternut squash tortellini. Both were SO good. You can see my Danish pancakes with spiced apple chutney and bacon above. The breakfast was included with our stay, which was a nice touch. Dinner was not, but I'd highly recommend dining at La Marienda as we did. While the atmosphere was casually elegant, the food was fit to the season and prepared beautifully with quality ingredients. Farm to table or field to fork is something that Steven and I strive to look for when dining out, if possible. It just makes all the difference and we're becoming a bit intrigued with the idea of learning better ways to prepare local food. Los Poblanos actually has cooking classes so we will likely be back in the Spring for one of those and a chance to feed the baby goats! I'd love to go for the bike tour once the weather is warmer, too.

Prior to dinner, we headed downtown to Apothecary, located in Hotel Parq Central. Known for classic & craft cocktails and the rooftop setting, we made it just as the the sun was going down. The view was beautiful and the drinks were so delicous! I tried the Flying Figs-vodka with elderflower liqueur, figs, lemon juice, and agave nectar. Cheers!

Back at the ranch, Steven had captured the hot air balloon descending across the field. Several were popping up and coming down all around us! We will save our pennies and participate next time, I hope!

We did venture around Albuqueque during our stay, too. Friday we hit up the madness of black Friday  at ABQ Uptown (J.Crew and Gap were calling my name.) and Saturday we went back for the Trader Joe's (my happy place). I don't know how we live somewhere without a TJ, y'all. And the updated outdoor shopping mall? It was much like North Hills in Raleigh! I guess we took all those things for granted before, because neither are here in Amarillo and it depresses me a smidge. There was a nice day spa that we enjoyed on Saturday called Betty's Baths. The massage was wonderful and I loved soaking in the hot tub and getting to use the sauna before our service. I was so glad that Steven was able to relax! Afterwards scoped out an area called Nob Hill, which is the heart of Route 66 and full of fun local shops and restaurants. We'd like to go back for more museum type stuff and perhaps even to go to Old Town, but time did now allow it for this trip. 

Until next time, ABQ! We certainly were enchanted.