2013 - A Year in Pictures

With another year coming to an end, I figured I'd go out with a bang just like I do every year. I know I slacked on writing posts last week and that's because I was fully enjoying family time for the holidays. So, that is something I refuse to apologize for because it was wonderful! I will recap that soon, promise.

Now.. my yearly ritual is to recap my year. It's something I started doing the very first year I began blogging, and I'm so glad I did and have kept up with it. Feel free to check out my previous posts..

And now... I present to you...


  • Nate and I spent our 5th New Years together. We rang 2013 in at a friends' house and had a blast.
  • We went to our first wedding of the season for our sweet friends, Katie and Dave. 
  • I also hosted lots of giveaways on the blog this month. Good month for winning, I guess. ;)

  • We moved in together!! After more than 4 years together, we took the next big step in our relationship.
  • I did one of my first OOTD posts here on the blog where I talk about one of my all-time favorite skirts. Since then, I feel like I've done better about piecing together some fun outfits. Only sometimes though.
  • I was hospitalized, yet again, for kidney stones. Thank goodness I haven't been in since. Knock on wood.

  • Nate went to Vegas for his BFF's bachelor party, so I spent the weekend having lots of girl time with my sister.
  • Celebrated St. Patty's Day on Greenville Ave. in Dallas. It's always a blast. May or may not have done a keg stand to get a mouth full of green beer.
  • Went to Blissdom for the 2nd time, which was in Dallas this year. Had an amazing time with my BFFs.
  • Nate and I hosted easter dinner at our new place for both of our families this year. My heart was so full to have both of our parents in our place at once.

  • Attended our BFF's wedding. It was SUCH a fun night and a beautiful wedding had by all. So much so, that I dedicated a whole post to it!
  • I learned and shared an amazingly delicious recipe. Apparently, the internet liked it too. Pinterest has brought my blog TONS of traffic from it alone.
  • I tried jumping back on the workout train and was punished for it. I tore a muscle in my arm and had to wear this lovely sling. Not fun.

  • This month, my little sister turned 24. We had a fun time celebrating her life out to dinner and drinks.
  • We spent many weekend days out in the heat at concerts for Nate's job. But, I'm not complaining. It's always super fun to enjoy a beer, listen to live music and watch him work in his element.
  • Seattle's Best Coffee opened in Dallas, and I may have become addicted to their iced coffee.
  • I helped host a baby shower for my BFF and her baby girl. It was at a park on the lake and she had so much fun being honored for the day!

  • Nate and I spent the first weekend of June celebrating a friends' baby shower. It was a little boy, and they had the shower in a suite at the Rangers baseball game. Genius.
  • Nate's mom gifted us with a new dryer since ours bit the dust. It was an early birthday gift for the both of us.
  • My friend Danielle gave birth to the sweetest little boy named Miles. Pretty sure my ovaries exploded the first time I held him.
  • We started spending lots of weekends at the pool, as it was a scorcher of a summer.
  • This month was very hard for me in terms of my anxiety. I struggled worse than I ever have.

  • Nate turned 31! We had a pretty chill birthday weekend complete with our favorite pizza and a baseball game with our BFFs.
  • I spent lots of time with my newly re-kindled BFF.
  • I turned 26! We had a fun weekend for sure. Dinner with lots of friends, out for drinks, and Nate took me to see Matchbox 20 and Goo Goo Dolls. Such an awesome concert.


  • I started the month of September by doing the 24 day Advocare challenge. I lost a total of 8 lbs!
  • Nate's mom was in town and we did our yearly tradition of Grapefest which is a wine festival here in Texas.
  • Stephanie and I officially launched Miles of Smiles and held our first event.
  • I made the trip down to Houston and was able to meet Myra before she moved to another country. While in Houston, I attended Blog Elevated and hung out with so many other amazing bloggers.

  • I made a commitment to do 31 days of Random Acts of Kindness throughout the whole month of October.
  • Nate and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary. He gave me the most gorgeous bouquet of red roses and we spent the day at the fair. It was Nate's first time to ever attend the State Fair of Texas. My BFF Stephanie and Mathew came into town and enjoyed the fair with us too!
  • Binky turned 4 years old on the 26th! And he was the cutest little hot dog for Halloween. :)

  • November was a pretty fun month! We started off by celebrating my BFF's daughter Olivia's 3rd birthday. That same weekend, we also had brunch at an omelette bar complete with $1 mimosas for our friend Chris' birthday.
  • Stephanie and Ashley were in town for a blog conference, so I was super happy to see them again! I produced a Pinterest-worthy outfit for the night, too!
  • It was the first Thanksgiving in almost 4 years that Nate didn't have to work. So we stuffed ourselves with my mama's good cooking.
  • We also took pictures for our Christmas cards this month. I'm in love with them all!

  • The month started out giving Texas quite the 'Ice-pocalypse'. We had hard ice on the ground for almost a week which meant we were cooped up in the apartment for 4 days. To say I had cabin fever would be a total understatement.
  • We went to a White Elephant Christmas party with some friends one weekend and enjoyed gingerbread martinis. So fun and so cute!
  • We headed to Montana for the week of Christmas to spend some time with Nate's family for the holiday. It was so beautiful and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Recap to come, I promise!
And there ya have it, folks. My 2013 year in review. Thank you so much for following along with my life by reading my blog. It means more to me than I can say. I hope you'll stick around for 2014. It's going to be a good year. 

However you're celebrating tonight by bringing in the new year, I hope you have fun and stay safe. See y'all next year!! ;)


TGIF, It's H&C Time!

The Vintage Modern Wife & Brunch with Amber: Happies and Crappies Link Up

Welcome to our 48th week of Happies and Crappies link up day! H&C wouldn't have been around for so long if it wasn't for you awesome ladies linking up, so we really appreciate you!

The deets on Happies and Crappies link up:
1. Happies and Crappies link up will be posted EVERY Friday at Midnight CST . Happies and Crappies link up was created so you could write about the happies (good) and crappies (bad) from your week!
2. Please put the H&C button on your post for the link up.
3. Please follow your host. It's not mandatory, but I appreciate the love.
4. If you tweet about your post, feel free to tag Steph or me and use the hashtag #HappiesandCrappies


Today is my last Friday at work for a week! I'm so happy to have the week off. It'll be a nice break, that's for sure. Plus, I get to experience a white Christmas and see Nate's sweet family again.

Today for lunch, I'm having leftovers. Last night, I made Lasagna Soup. It's sooo yummy. Definitely one of my fave meals I make, and it's even better left over.

New Family Guy episodes on TV always make me laugh. We always watch TV while eating dinner, and this week Family Guy has been the show of choice.


First off, I have more crappies than happies this week. That's the first crappie. :(

I went to the dentist this week which basically ruined my week. One of my biggest fears is the dentist. I had 3 fillings and a crown. First crown, and it's NOT fun. This temporary crown is on my nerves and the time ticking away to get my permanent isn't going fast enough. Also, I have to go back tomorrow because I need one more filling and my cleaning that they didn't have time to do on Tuesday. I'm horrible and haven't been all year, so now I have all of my benefits I need to use up because they don't roll over.

Getting the crown also means nothing crunchy, chewy or sticky to eat. Which makes me realize how many foods I eat that are those textures. Maybe I'll lose a few pounds while I wait for my permanent crown! ;)

I haven't started packing at all. We leave Sunday. Packing stresses me out, especially when I have no idea how to pack for the weather! I don't own near as much warm weather clothing as I should.

I'm already getting teary eyed thinking about leaving my sweet boy for a whole week. It's ridiculous, I know. But I know I'm going to bawl like a baby when we drop him off at my mom's house knowing that I won't see him for a week stinkin' week!

C'mon. Tell me you wouldn't miss that face, too!

Your turn to link up with us and share your happies & crappies of the week!!!


Good Things Come in Orange Packages

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. I was given this product in exchange for my honest opinions. All opinions in this post are mine and mine alone.

If you're a Shutterfly fanatic like me, you already knew what this post was going to be about just by reading the title. ;) And it's so true isn't it?? Seeing that bright orange box in my mailbox always makes for a happy mail day!

Last year, I ordered my Christmas cards from Shutterfly and knew this year I'd have to choose them again. The quality is super fantastic. They have a million, or so it seems, designs to choose from. It's easy to customize the card to your liking. AND my favorite part? The super fast shipping that always comes with my order.

This year, we chose this holiday card. Since I couldn't choose just ONE picture, I liked this layout because it let me pick 3 of my favorite poses. The color quality is just perfect, too. The card is very sturdy and printed on nice hard cardstock that will hold up throughout the holiday season.

I was going to leave the bank of the card just plain with the Shutterfly logo, but when I was browsing and saw that you could add different designs to your background of the card, I saw the puppy paw prints. And then I died. So adorable. I knew I had to add a picture of solo Binky to the card now because he wants to say "Merry Christmas" too! :)

As always, Shutterfly didn't disappoint. They're my go-to place for all my card and picture ordering needs. Be sure and check out their section of holiday cards. Even if you don't think you'll have time for Christmas cards, New Years cards are always a fun way to go too, I think! Be sure and check out the special offers as well. Shutterfly is always offering some kind of deal that is too good to be passed up!


Santa loves Peanut Butter cookies, too! {recipe}

The typical cookie of choice for Santa is chocolate chip, or so it seems. Now, I don't know about you, but that isn't my favorite cookie. I know, how un-American of me. My favorite cookie is peanut butter and it just so happens to be Santa approved. Lucky for you, and Santa, I'm sharing my recipe from the archives today. 

First, you'll need to gather all of your necessary ingredients:

1 3/4 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla

And now let's get to work!

First, whisk together the flour and baking powder and set aside. Then, stir butter to soften and mix in peanut butter until well blended. Gradually add sugars, mixing until creamy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Then, stir all of this into the flour mixture. 

Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Roll in sugar and place on an un-greased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and quickly press fork into tops of cookies. Cookie will crack around the edges. 

Now, for the fun part - EATING the cookies.

They're so yummy and will stay soft like they just came out of the oven for days. That's my favorite part.


What's your favorite cookie to leave out for Santa?


Weekend Review & Book Swap Reveal

This weekend was QUITE eventful. I mentioned last week that I was going to have a busy weekend, and boy did I! Don't worry - I won't skip a single detail. ;) But before we get into that...

I joined Heather and Katie's book swap. I have participated in every single one they've hosted because who doesn't love a new book, am I right?!

I was partnered with sweet Heather, and I was very pleased. Not only did I already know her, but I know that she's a fellow book worm so it would be fun to swap with her. We gave each other a list of 10 books or so that we would like to have and we surprised each other by which one we sent.

She sent me The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels by Ree Drummond. 

I was VERY happy with the book she chose. This has been on my to-read list forever! I'm going to tackle it next week when we are traveling for Christmas. Lots of time on airplanes and in airports is the perfect time for reading!



After work, I needed to finish up some Christmas shopping. I forced my sister to go with me. I also FINALLY found the perfect pair of boots. I've been looking for some forever. I'm very picky when it comes to boots. I don't want a heel and they have to be 'wide' to fit my calf. Well, I finally found THE PAIR at Payless. Annnd, I can't find them online so you don't get a picture until I take one of my own pair.

Anyway, I was super excited about the deals we got at Bath & Body Works. Nate and I are slightly obsessed with their candles and hand soaps. So, we stocked up. With coupons and sales, we ended up getting 2 candles, 4 hand soaps, 1 bottle of lotion and 1 bottle of body wash for the price that 2 candles alone would normally be.

Binky approves of the candles we chose. ;)


I woke up with the worst headache, but I was determined to suck it up because we had a lot to do. I got up, had some coffee, made my meal plan and grocery list for the week. Since we'll be out of town next week, I wanted to get just enough food to last us, that way we won't have any sitting in the fridge while we're gone. I headed out to the grocery store, which was PACKED. I'm not sure why that surprised me considering it's less than 2 weeks 'til Christmas, but I was annoyed. Then, I swung by the Chick-fil-a drive thru for a quick late lunch and it seemed as if everyone else in the area had the same idea. The line almost wrapped around the building.

Once I got home and we ate, it was time to get ready for a White Elephant Christmas party we were going to with some friends.

It was so much fun. We had gingerbread martinis (pictured above) - I mean, how festive is that?? We had a tamale dinner complete with all the Mexican side dishes, we exchanged gifts and the kiddos even put on a little performance for us with their own rendition of Jingle Bells. It was adorable.

Afterward, we were headed to see another friend of ours who was in town. We met her at her hotel and had a couple of drinks while catching up. We ended up leaving around midnight because I needed to be up early the next morning!


I was up and at 'em bright and early to pick up my sister and meet up with my BFF to do our monthly Miles of Smiles. If you haven't already, I'd REALLY appreciate it if you'd like our Facebook page. We want to spread the word!

..not sure why this pic shows up so blurry.. it doesn't look that way on my computer..

Our turnout was incredible. We even had to take 2 separate cars this time because we had SO much to give. I joked that next month we're going to have to rent a van. We passed out sandwiches, coffee, soup, shirts, jackets, blankets, undergarments, scarves, and hygiene products that were wrapped up like Christmas gifts. It is always overwhelming preparing for the event and passing out all of the goodies, but seeing the smiles on their faces and the feeling we get afterwards is SO humbling.

Here we are so exhausted after our event, but so happy it was such a great turnout!

Came home, clipped some coupons, did some laundry, cleaned the apartment, made some dinner, gave Binky his weekly bath and crashed out to start my week all over again.

How was YOUR weekend?

still being [molly]Mingle 240


It's Friday! Time for Happies & Crappies!

The Vintage Modern Wife & Brunch with Amber: Happies and Crappies Link Up

Welcome to our 47th week of Happies and Crappies link up day! H&C wouldn't have been around for so long if it wasn't for you awesome ladies linking up, so we really appreciate you!

The deets on Happies and Crappies link up:
1. Happies and Crappies link up will be posted EVERY Friday at Midnight CST . Happies and Crappies link up was created so you could write about the happies (good) and crappies (bad) from your week!
2. Please put the H&C button on your post for the link up.
3. Please follow your host. It's not mandatory, but I appreciate the love.
4. If you tweet about your post, feel free to tag Steph or me and use the hashtag #HappiesandCrappies


I made a whole week of posting on my blog consistently. I was taking a look at the number of posts here in the past years and this year is not my best :-/ I know it's not about quality, but I slacked a lot this year. I am proud to have posted every week day this week.

I found Essie polishes for $4.99 at Marshall's yesterday. I picked up Sunday Funday which is one I've been LOVING. Can't wait to paint my nails soon.

We've got friends coming in town this weekend, and I'm doing Miles of Smiles again so it's going to be a BUSY weekend. I love those kind most times.

Less than 2 weeks 'til Christmas!!!!!

I'm getting excited to work on my Year in a Review post. I have done one every year since I started blogging, and it always makes me so happy to look back on them. It's a way to 'scrapbook' and keep all my memories in one place.


In our bedroom, the balcony door takes up one whole wall. With the temperatures dropping below freezing at night, it's been beyond cold in our bedroom. So what did we do? We drug the mattress out into the living room. It's nice to be warm at night, but it's putting a damper on keeping the living room organized right now.

We ended up deciding not to take Binky with us to Montana. Thinking about leaving him for a whole week makes me want to cry. I know I'm going to be a mess on the day we leave. I'll miss my sweet boy!

Today is going to be my busiest day of work so far this week. Gah. At least it's Friday!

Your turn! Tell us your Happies & Crappies from the week and don't forget to link up!


The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. I received a product in exchange for my honest opinion.

When it comes to preserving my memories in picture form, I'm not always the best. I am horrible about leaving files on my computer or phone and never getting prints made. Or if I do, it's always WAY later than I meant to do it or I will leave the prints in a photo box and not display them.

I've recently found that the best way to display my favorite images is on canvas prints. Imagine how excited I was to stumble upon Printcopia

Printcopia offers custom canvas prints of all sizes for you to proudly display your favorite memories.

I immediately knew which picture I wanted to order. I chose my favorite from our Christmas card photo shoot and the ordering process was so simple. Even better? Was that I got my canvas in the mail TWO DAYS after I placed my order. If that's not excellent customer service, I don't know what is.

It comes packaged up as to not damage your canvas and the colors are just gorgeous and vivid.

One of my favorite things is that you can choose what your border looks like. I chose to keep it a simple black color, and it looks great with the rest of the canvas.

I'm already envisioning the way I want to re-do my gallery wall, and I have to say - this canvas will most likely be my center point to work around. I just love it so much.

Printcopia is offering 50% off canvas with free shipping right now. Such an amazing deal. It's the perfect time to get those gift orders in. It's definitely one that will be cherished for many years to come.

If canvas prints aren't your thing, you can also check out Build a Sign and Allied Shirts for more custom print options.

What's your favorite gift to give that 'keeps on giving'?


What I'm Lovin'

Well, it looks as if the old host of this link-up doesn't host anymore. :-/ When I first started blogging, I was a loyal linker upper. I loved this one! Even though it's not technically a thing anymore, I think it'll still be fun to list what I'm loving anyway. Everyone could use a little mid-week positivity, am I right?? 

I'm LOVING.. catching the 'crafty' bug. I decided to do a few handmade gifts for Christmas this year. I went to Michael's for supplies last night, and that place just inspires me. I walk up and down the aisles and want to do ALL THE CRAFTS.

I'm gonna try my hand at these.. we'll see if I got the right pens or not for them.

I'm LOVING.. wrapping presents. I'm not sure what it is, but I just love wrapping what I've bought for loved ones. Unfortunately, the gifts we have bought for Nate's family can't be wrapped yet because we're traveling with them, and the airlines don't want you to wrap them. You'd think if they have a machine that can see inside your luggage that they could see through the wrapping paper too.

I'm LOVING.. Michael Christmas album. I bought it last year, and I am loving it again just as much this year. His voice is swoon-worthy.

I'm LOVING.. receiving Christmas cards from family and friends in the mail. Fun mail is definitely the best kind of mail.

I'm LOVING.. the holiday themed photo contest that Easy Canvas Prints is hosting beginning 12/15! Be sure and check out their blog on the day the contest begins. That's where you can enter and upload a photo that you'd like to print on canvas to gift to someone this holiday season. The photo with the most votes will win a $300 credit to Easy Canvas Prints! 2nd and 3rd place will win a $100 credit and everyone that enters the contest will receive 60% off + free shipping. So, basically - everyone wins :) Check out their Facebook page for more details!

I'm LOVING.. that this turned into a 'holiday' post. Because let's face it.. with 2 weeks to go until Christmas, I'm getting a little excited. :)

What are YOU loving this Wednesday??


2nd Annual Christmas Card Photo Sesh!

Remember last year when I crazy excited to have 'family pictures' done for our Christmas cards?

Well, this year was no different. :) I definitely wanted us to get our pictures done again for cards. A friend of ours, Adam, recently started getting more use out of his camera. He's picking up photography as more of a hobby. When he offered to take our pictures, I was excited to see what he would do for us.

And he didn't disappoint. He did amazing! So many great shots, I had a hard time narrowing it down to which one(s) to put on our card. Don't worry - I'll be revealing it next week here on the blog for you to see which ones I chose! 

It just so happened that it was chilly for a while and the weekend we had planned to take pictures, it hit 80. So we were sweating a bit outside in our long sleeves. And poor Bink. He was panting so hard, haha.

Adam brought along his wife, Kelly, as his assistant. ;) She was fun telling us which poses to use. She came up with the above ones and described them as 'hipster', love it! Hands down a few of my faves from the whole shoot.

Of course we had to get some of my little man all by himself. See what I mean?? Panting his little booty off. I do like though that it makes him look like he's smiling. :) And yes, Nate was less than enthusiastic about giving pic love for a pic. He says I always make him do cheesy things. 

Just a few random poses. I thought the tree ones were super cute, but Nate looks kinda awkward in them, HA!

And that's a wrap! What do ya think? Do you love 'em? 

Did you have Christmas card photos done this year? Which pic(s) do you think I chose for our card? Leave your guesses in the comments. :)


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