Friday, December 28, 2012

InstaChristmas

Happy Friday everyone!  
(Even though it doesn't really feel like Friday to me...)

After a wonderful week in Michigan, we fly out this evening to head back to Oregon. Although I'm looking forward to being reunited with Lola (who is currently staying with Cam's parents) and celebrating Christmas with his family this weekend, it's always really sad to leave Michigan and my family. It's tough because every time I'm home there are always so many people I'd love to spend time with, so many things I'd like to do, so many restaurants I want to eat at (sad but true...ha!) and it seems like there is never enough time to fit it all in. But we do the best we can with the time we have and try to enjoy each moment, and this trip was no exception. Next week, I'll be sharing more about our visit along with some photos from our actual camera but for now here are a few of my favorite Instagram snaps from the past week...

Christmas cheer at my parents' house
Couch, roaring fire, and a Christmas tree at my parents'...so relaxing!
Coffee and crepes
Catching up with old friends
Some of our best friends from college just had a baby last month, it was so fun to meet him!
Beautiful cake from the local bakery
My sweet Grandma gets us a Barbie ornament each Christmas...even though I'm 26, I still love it
Love seeing my cousins!
My littlest cousin Evan at my grandparents--he filled me in on all the cool apps I've never heard of...ha!
Cute little Christmas tree at my grandparents' house
We had a cookie baking day with my cousins, which was a lot of fun. Frosted sugar cookies are my fav!
I'm still very close with a lot of my friends from high school, so Christmas Eve we got together for a fancy brunch...the place we ate had beautiful decorations!
So great to catch up with my besties :)
Essie's Leading Lady, an early Christmas gift from my mom...also, I need to get better at painting my nails
Shopping at Somerset Collection
Thanks to everyone who commented on this photo of these two coats...almost everyone seemed to be in favor of the red one (I was too!) I ended up deciding not to get either one...mainly because I don't really need them/wasn't really in love with either one. Whomp whomp.
Beautiful snow falling on Christmas Eve after church
My classic Christmas Eve movie, this end makes me choke up every year
Christmas morning--got a new Kindle from my hubby! :)
White Christmas
One of Cam's presents from my sister...this book is hilarious.
Christmas Dinner, love my Grandma!
Merry Christmas!
 {Follow me on Instagram: @janemarieg}

Have a lovely weekend everyone and safe travels if you're headed somewhere! Xoxo

PS: Today is the LAST DAY to vote for me in the Online Shoes Contest! Although I don't anticipate winning at this point (ha!) I'd still very much appreciate your vote...plus you can still enter to win a pair of Sorel boots! Thanks for your support! :)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Checklist

Hello, hello! 

I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas! This was my first time in a few years to actually be at home with my family in Michigan on Dec. 25th and we had a really great day. I'll be sharing more next week, but for now I want to enjoy all the time in Michigan I have left before we leave tomorrow. 

It's kind of sad because it seems like the holiday season goes by more quickly each year and it's hard to believe Christmas is already over! Well, it's not technically over for us yet as we still have Christmas, Part 2 with Cam's family this weekend out in Oregon, plus I think that the holidays aren't really over until after New Year's Day. So while there are still a few days left, I figured I'd go ahead and share how we did on our Christmas To-Do list! We were actually able to get most of the items completed...while some will have to wait for next year!

Book tickets home to Michigan for Christmas
(Photo from my grandparents' house this weekend)

Get a Christmas tree 

Watch the following Christmas movies: Love Actually, Elf, Miracle on 34th Street, Christmas Vacation, The Holiday, and It's a Wonderful Life

Decorate our house/tree
 
Mail Christmas Cards {Our card for this year}

Adopt a family/buy gifts for people in need

Have an Ugly Sweater party 
Do some sort of Christmas craft (I didn't have time this year, but I did make these from a Pinterest recipe I found and they came out great!)
Bake at least 5 kinds of cookies (New favorites for this year: These and these)
Workout at least 4 times a week (We did for the two weeks that we were actually home in Tahoe this month...ha!)
Go to see the Nutcracker Ballet (Next year we are definitely doing this!)

Make a really good batch of hot cocoa to enjoy on a snowy night

Get our Christmas shopping done ASAP (This kind of dragged out...but it's done now!)

Go to candlelight Christmas Eve service

Keep the house clean during the month of December (Eh, we did alright...)

How about you? Did you do anything fun this holiday season?

{Lola double checking with Santa to make sure she was on the nice list}
Alrighty, that's all for me today! Have a great day everyone! Xoxo

PS: Don't forget to vote for me in the Online Shoes Contest! I'm in dead last (ha!) but your votes would still be very much appreciated...plus, by voting you can enter to win your own pair of Sorel boots! {Vote here}

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Hark!

Jerusalem // 2012
Hark! The herald angels sing  
Glory to the newborn King  
Peace on earth and mercy mild  
God and sinners reconciled
Joyful all ye nations rise  

Join the triumph of the skies  
With angelic host proclaim  
Christ is born in Bethlehem 
Hark! The herald angels sing  
Glory to the newborn King
 
Christ by highest heaven adored  

Christ, the everlasting Lord 
Late in time behold Him come  
Offspring of a Virgin's womb
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see  

Hail the incarnate deity 
Pleased as man with man to dwell  
Jesus, our Emmanuel  
Hark! The herald angels sing  
Glory to the newborn King
 
Hail, the heaven born Prince of Peace 

Hail, the Son of Righteousness  
Light and life to all He brings  
Risen with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by  

Born that man no more may die  
Born to raise the sons of earth  
Born to give them second birth  
Hark! The herald angels sing  
Glory to the newborn King

**********
I was trying to figure out what to share today, but I think this song says it all. Although I love all the Christmas carols, 'Hark! The Herald Angels Sing' is a particular favorite of mine as it so beautifully describes the immense joy we're celebrating today. And while Cameron and I didn't end up visiting Bethlehem on our trip to Israel last month, we were able to visit many other cities where Christ spent time including Nazareth and Jerusalem. That experience has definitely helped to give the Christmas story renewed meaning this holiday season! {I shared one photo from Israel above, I'll be sharing the rest in January!}
 
I hope that each and every one of you have a very blessed day full of family (or friends, if you can't be with family!), food, and fun! Merry Christmas!! Xoxo

Friday, December 21, 2012

Season's Greetings!

Happy Friday everyone! 

We are in Michigan, YAY!! I do have to work today, but I'm so looking forward to having five days off in a row starting later on this afternoon! I can't wait to just relax, sit by the fire, see friends, and spend time with family. It's so nice to be back in my home state! 

Today, I just wanted share our Christmas card for 2012...

Front
Back
  I ordered our cards from Minted for the first time and I was thrilled with the finished product. They have the most adorable designs and I really like the one we ended up choosing. In the past I've ordered from Tiny Prints/Shutterfly and although the cards were nice, Minted's products are definitely higher quality. While Minted's cards do cost a little more, I think that they're totally worth it and I will definitely be ordering from them again. 

As for the photo, my sweet friend Kelly them for us. I knew I definitely wanted to get the lake in the photo we'd use for the card, and originally I was just planning on using a photo we had already taken. However, when I started looking through our photos, I realized that so many of them that had the lake in the background we're also wearing our bathing suits! And I'm sorry, I just was not going to send one of those types of cards ;) So luckily Kelly was nice enough to come take some (fully-clothed) photos of us in front of the lake and I love this photo.Tahoe might not have much in the way of shopping or restaurants, but it does make for a good Christmas card! Plus, this is sort of my way to entice family/friends who haven't seen where we live to come out and visit!

And then I ordered these address labels which I just loved: 


I thought it was so clever how they wrap around your envelope because I always worry about things unsealing after you send it out. 

So there you have it, our Christmas card for this year! Each holiday season, I get so excited about sending them out as it's a tradition I really enjoy. I put photos up on FB/my blog all the time, but it's nice to send mail once a year, and I know that some of our older relatives who aren't super tech-savvy really enjoy it. What about you? Did you send out cards this year?
{I'm also linking up with Kelly's Korner to share our card today!}

Now, my next project is going to be putting a book together for all of our Christmas cards that we can add to each year--but that will be something for January once things calm down and I have some spare time! :)

Last but not least, I realized I never announced the winner of my Shabby Apple Giveaway from last week...whoops! The winner is Mandee @ You Say It Best! Send me an email to claim your prize! :)

Have an amazing weekend everyone!! Xoxo

PS: If you haven't voted for me yet in the Online Shoes contest, I'd really appreciate your support! Voting is really easy and you can win a free pair of boots!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Holiday Happenings

"It's the end of the world as we know it..."

Kiddingggg. But just in case, I figured today was as good a time as any to fill you in on some fun things that have taken place over the past few weeks!

{If you follow me on Instagram, you'll probably recognize some of these}

Earlier this month, we hosted an ugly sweater party at our house! The hard part about having a get-together a this time of year is that people are busy/there are a lot of colds/flus going around, and due to this our party ended up being a little bit smaller group than we originally anticipated...but we still had a great time!

Lola was really excited about how awesome I looked. I actually bought the sweater vest/turtleneck at Kmart, kind of frightening that someone would want to wear this not as a joke.
We had plentyyy of food...desserts on one side of the bar/healthy stuff on the other
I was in love with these cute little Target names because they fit the theme perfectly. As for desserts I made Nutella Kiss Cookies, Holiday M&M Cookies, and Cinnamon Roasted Almonds
Natasha, Kelly, & I
Three men and a baby...ha.
Natasha's husband Ryan also had on a super sweet turtleneck so we though an Olsen-twin style picture was only appropriate
 Our tree this year is probably my favorite one that we've ever had. Even though we only had it up for a few weeks between getting back from Israel/Turkey and leaving to travel to Oregon/Michigan for the holidays, I'm so glad we got it. The other day, I tried to snap a few pictures of Lola in front of the tree...and it didn't go so well. Most of them were really blurry because the light was really low and she didn't want to sit still but some of the shots came out pretty cute :)

She was bound and determined not to look at the camera
She pins her ears back when she's annoyed...LOL
I thought it would be a good idea to get out to Santa hat...she disagreed
Santa Lola
Blurry, but funny :)
 Yes, I realize I'm a crazy dog lady and I'm fine with it. Also, I already kind of feel bad for our future kids for all the ridiculous seasonal photos I'll no doubt make them take one day. 

Earlier this month, Cameron and I attended a mixer for Tahoe Regional Young Professionals (TRYP) held at Basecamp Hotel in South Lake Tahoe. The hotel has the most awesome "modern rustic" decor and I couldn't help but snap some photos...I'd highly recommend staying here if you're going to be visiting Tahoe! I'm also happy that I've gotten involved in TRYP this year because it's allowed me to meet some really fun people here in town!

I loved this farmhouse table and the industrial light fixture with the edison lightbulbs!
They have this amazing room called the Great Indoors where the bed has a tent over it and you feel like you're camping...it was seriously SO cool!
Making S'mores!
This past Saturday, Natasha had a Cookies & Cocktails party at her house and it was such a fun time! Getting to know the Schue family this year has been such a blessing, I'm so thankful the blog world brought us together! 

Nothing says Christmas like cranberry martinis! Also, I made a batch of these (on the plate in the bottom right corner) and they were a hit once again, seriously the BEST COOKIE.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, Ethan is the CUTEST baby...love that little guy!
 Then this past Sunday, we packed up the car and made the twelve hour drive to Oregon to see Cam's family. We've had a great time spending time with them this week, and although Cam and I have both been working remotely all week it's just nice to be here!

I love this picture of Lola from the night before we left for Oregon...she gets so anxious whenever she sees the suitcases come out! She just sits there looking distraught.
Pretty snow outside the window at my in-laws' house
Cam's brother is a fire fighter and he had to work on his birthday (Monday) so we stopped by to visit him and he gave us a tour of the fire station
I think it's safe to say I've somewhat fallen off the Paleo train this month...but peppermint chocolate milkshakes are just so hard to resist!
We did have the opportunity to try out a "Paleo" restaurant called Dick's Kitchen in downtown Portland earlier this week though, and the food was delicious!
Cam's parents' pretty Christmas tree
 A fun holiday thing we were able to do this week is spend the day volunteering with a non-profit here in Portland organizing and wrapping gifts for kids in need. My awesome company encouraged us to take a day this month and go volunteer with a local organization in our community and they gave us a day of free PTO to use for that reason. Because most of my colleagues work remotely and are spread out all over the country, my sweet husband was kind enough to volunteer with me so I didn't have to go by myself. We had a blast! 

 

Speaking of work, things are extremely stressful right now with my job. This entire year I've been working on one client account and it's been great, but I really want to keep growing and expanding my skills so I let it be known that I'd be open for new opportunities within the company. My wish was granted and I'm now on a new client account as of Monday. However, the positions I'm recruiting for now are definitely out of my realm of my wheelhouse (aka IT positions) and so I have a lot to learn! Everyone on my new team has been super nice and I know that it will just take some time to get ramped up...but right now, I'm kind of drowning in work! Bah humbug. 

However, Christmas is almost here and I couldn't be more excited. Today is my mother-in-law's birthday (and she is so sweet and always reads my blog--HAPPY BIRTHDAY KATHY!) so we're all going out to dinner to celebrate tonight. Then after dinner, Cam and I are taking a red-eye to Michigan and will be in the mitten from tomorrow until next Friday! I am so pumped to see family and friends, plus it will be the first time I've been home on Christmas day for the past three years so I'm really excited about it. 

I think that should pretty much catch you up on everything that's been happening with us lately, this ended up being a much longer post than I realized! I hope you're having a wonderful week and feeling the joy of the season! 

Only 5 more days! Xoxo

PS: If you have not voted for me yet, I'd love it if you could please cast your vote for me in the Online Shoes blogger contest! I'm in last place right now (wahhhh) as I'm up against some larger bloggers so I'd really appreciate your support! Plus you can enter to win your very own pair of Sorel boots!

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