December 31, 2008

Happy New Year's Eve!!

I just love a good party dress! Below is the dress I will be celebrating New Year's in tonight. It is by Free People. I love the jewels and fun embellishments. I will be wearing it without the black tights the model has on below, and instead with silver heels, dangling crystal/silver chandelier earrings and will carry a silver clutch. My boyfriend, his brother, brother's girlfriend and I are going out to dinner and then will be having our own New Year's party with some of our friends. I am looking forward to celebrating and to toasting a great 2008 and to an even better 2009. Have a happy, fun and fabulous New Year's!!! 


December 30, 2008

New Year's preparations

I can't believe tomorrow is already New Year's Eve! Here are some fabulous ideas from Southern Living to spice up a New Year's celebration.

To add a little glamour to your drinks, Southern Living suggests wrapping pieces of ribbon around each glass and securing it with double-sided tape. Use glue to attach embellishments. SL gave ideas such as glitter card stock cut in fun shapes or stick-on jewels. Dress glasses according to your theme/color scheme.  

I love wishes! I think New Year's wishes sounds more fun that resolutions, don't you? SL had the brilliant idea to use leftover gift boxes from Christmas to make wish boxes. Spray paint them in glittery fun, cut two holes in the back and tie on a ribbon. Make sure to leave them open at the top. Cut out letters that say WISH out of cardboard (covered in glitter too, of course) and glue on the box, or I'm sure stickers would work as well. Hang the wish boxes from the back of each chair and provide scraps of paper so everyone can put wishes for the new year in their box.      

Another great idea SL had was to buy inexpensive cloth napkins, decorate with trim and using stamps, spell out Resolutions. Guests can then use permanent markers to write their resolutions on their napkins.

And last but not least, the southern tradition of black-eyed peas. These are to be eaten on New Year's day for good luck. This is a tradition that my family whole-heartedly believes in. I have to admit I am not a fan of black-eyed peas, but do I eat them on New Year's day? You bet! My mom sent me home with a can so I can partake in getting some good luck. Here is a recipe from Southern Living to spice them up a bit if you don't like them plain.
Dixie Caviar
1 can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen whole kernel corn
1 medium-size plum tomato, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
2 green onions, sliced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup italian dressing
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Combine first nine ingredients in a large plastic bag. Seal and refrigerate for 24 hours, then drain. Spoon mixture into a bowl and stir in cilantro. 
*SL suggests serving the dip in endive leaves with a dollop of sour cream on top. This would be cute for a party! Otherwise, serve with crackers, tortilla chips or fresh cut-up vegetables like celery and carrots.  
Enjoy!

P.S. Does anyone else eat black-eyed peas on New Year's day?

December 29, 2008

Home from the holidays

Hello friends, I am back in sunny Florida! I had a wonderful Christmas with my family and loved being at home for a whole week. We spent our time relaxing, shopping, watching movies and catching up. I was so lucky to get many great gifts! My family is so wonderful to pick out just the perfect things for me. I miss being with them already! 
We saw Marley and Me (I read the book on the plane over) and it was so cute! It was sad at the end, but overall it exceeded my expectations. When I was growing up, we had a dog just like Marley. He was a golden retriever named Bo. He ate everything, including a can of Crisco and a bag of fertilizer because he thought it was dog food. Oh my goodness! He would also steal me and my sister's barbies and swing them by their hair. Despite his Marley-like habits, he was a sweet dog. We now have a rescued dog, a black lab named Rory (like Rory from Gilmore Girls). She is quite the opposite of Marley! She is calm-natured, but still likes to be playful. I love being home and seeing Rory and our cats, Griffin and Molly. I miss them already!
Also while I was home I got to meet up with two of my closest friends I grew up with and E. asked me to be a bridesmaid! She recently got engaged and wrote me the sweetest letter asking me to be in her wedding and gave me an adorable wine glass from Swoozie's that said bridesmaid and other cute quotes and was perfectly pink and green. I am excited already! 
So, it was a wonderful Christmas in Atlanta! I couldn't have had a better time. It is back to work tomorrow, but I'm already looking forward to New Year's. And my boyfriend gets back in town tomorrow night hooray! I can't wait to see him!! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas as well! I will be back to normal posting/commenting tomorrow. And to all a good night!

Another award!

Some lovelies have given me the Lemonade Award!! Thanks so much to Queen Bee Swain, Small Town Girl and Park Avenue Princess for giving me this award. I am so excited and honored! 

"This award is given based on displaying a great attitude or gratitude."

Thank you, thank you! I cannot choose just 10, but I pass this on to all my wonderful readers. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment and make my day :)

December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve!!

Hi all, I hope you are having a great Christmas Eve! I am spending time with my family and we are going to the candlelight service at church and having our Christmas Eve dinner at home tonight. We have a little baking to do as well. I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday! 

The lovely Jennifer at Diary of a Southern Belle has graciously given me an award. Jennifer is fairly new to the blogging world so stop by her blog and give her a warm welcome. She is too sweet and I love catching up on her blog. Thank you Jennifer for honoring me with this award!

"This blog invest and believes in proximity — in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kinds of blogs aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly written text in the body of their award."

I tag:

I love catching up on what Nola has been up to and checking out her classy Burberry finds. She is so sweet and I always love the comments and encouragement she leaves me. 

Kim is my grandbig from my sorority in college and is such a fun and fabulous person. She is planning her wedding right now and I love seeing all the amazing details she is picking out.

Classy Event Diva is my very best friend and sorority sister from college who recently started a blog. She is one of the sweetest people I know and is a fabulous event planner. 

HGB is a newlywed and I love reading about what she's been up to. She recently wrote about how important it is to do participate in random acts of kindness and I whole-heartedly agree.

Hopsy has such a kind heart and always goes out of her way to do good for others and encourages us to as well. I love all her paper finds and her love for all things Lilly.

PLD's blog is such a treat to read. I love seeing how her sewing projects turn out and I know we're all anxious to see the Lilly shower curtain she's currently working on.

Preppy 101 is such a sweetheart and her comments always make my day. She is such a caring and devoted mother and truly loves her family very much. Her daughter and I have so much in common! I was also the lucky winner of her fabulous giveaway!

Seaside Prep started blogging around the same time I did and we both encouraged each other from the start. I love reading her blog and everything she shares.

Although I have not been able to post and comment as I usually do, I am so thankful for all you readers and bloggers out there. I hope everyone has a wonderful, very merry Christmas!!!!


December 21, 2008

Just fabulous

Thank you so much Preppy Little Dress for giving me this award! You totally made my day and I am so honored. Everyone stop by her blog and check it out. Recently she has taken up some sewing projects and made some beautiful pillows. Next on her list is a Lilly shower curtain. Thanks again PLD for brightening my day!

The instructions are to list five obsessions/addictions you have, tag back to the person who gave you the award, post the rules and then tag five people to pass the award onto. 

Five of my obsessions:

1. Polka dots. I'll take them any way I can get 'em. On flip flips, on my sheets, on headbands . . . I just love them!

2. Cute/fun stationery. I like it monogrammed, or in cute fun patterns, madras, pink/green, classy and elegant style, cutesy ones, pretty much any preppy style! I like that it represents a little bit of me when I send someone a handwritten note.

3. Christmas ornaments. I'm a big believer in having ornaments that are meaningful. My Christmas tree at my parent's house is full of memories and I love looking at them and remembering what they stand for. There are so many fun and special ornaments out there!

4. Ballet flats. This is my shoe of choice. There are so many fun varieties and they're perfect for most outfits.  

5. Cute boutiques. I could spend hours in preppy boutiques/gift stores because I just love to look at all the fun things. I am beyond excited because a new store called The Pink Chalet just opened up near me and it has Lilly, Vineyard Vines, Toss Designs, Bonannos and so many adorable monogrammed and preppy items. I will be spending a lot of time there :)
I pass the award to:






I am enjoying being home! I've been busy shopping, wrapping presents and baking with my family. Today I got to take part in a demonstration at the Container Store and learned how to make fabulous bows to put on presents. I will try to post about these soon. Tomorrow I am off to my grandparent's house and will be back in a couple days. I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas week!! 

December 19, 2008

Candy Cane Tag

Happy Friday! I am flying to Atlanta tonight to be with my family for the next week and I can't wait to get there. I will try to post and comment when I can. Safe travels everyone!

I was tagged by Lilly P. Wannabe (she has a great blog, check it out!!) to fill out this survey. So, here goes . . . 

1. What is your favorite Christmas movie? Elf, The Holiday and All I Want for Christmas
2. Favorite Christmas song? All I Want for Christmas is You and Alvin and the Chipmunks
3. Favorite holiday memory? Last year my family and I spent Christmas in NYC and Christmas Eve we watched the Rockettes show, had lunch at Tavern on the Green and went for a carriage ride around Central Park.
4. What is your favorite cookie/treat to make? Sugar cookies cut out into Christmas shapes and decorated with icing and sprinkles
5. Have you ever made an igloo? No I'm from the South where it doesn't snow often.
6. Do you love Starbucks? I love the gingerbread latte.
7. What makes the perfect snowman? I've never made a snowman, never enough snow, but I would say a cute scarf around its neck.
8. This one is missing . . . 
9. Best gift you ever received? A pink dollhouse my grandpa built for me. My family and boyfriend always give me such thoughtful and great gifts as well.
10. What is the snowman's name on Rudolph? No idea. I'm not a fan of the claymation movies.
11. Silver or gold? Both, depends on the outfit.
12. What is your favorite Christmas decoration? My pink Christmas tree.
13. What's your Christmas decorating style? Cute and whimsical
14.  Do you hang stockings? Yes, at my parent's house. My sister and I have certain spots where we put ours.
15. How many days do you celebrate Christmas? All month.
16. What was your favorite ornament on the tree as a child? My Madeline ornaments or I think I had an Angelina Ballerina one.
17. Where will you be spending this Christmas? Atlanta with my family.
18. When do you open presents? I open the traditional pajamas and ornament on Christmas Eve and the rest Christmas morning.

Copy, paste, answer the questions and tag the last three in your blog feed and let them know they've been tagged.
I am tagging:






I won!!

A huge THANK YOU goes out to Preppy 101 for her fabulous giveaway for her 100th post. I am so lucky and thrilled to have won!! It totally made my day. I had the honor of choosing the color, monogram and style for the calendar below. I know this calendar will look fabulous on my desk at work and will always brighten my day. If you haven't checked out Preppy 101's blog already, please do so. It is one of my favorites to read and she is just the sweetest, kindest person. Thank you again Preppy!! I will be sure to post a pic of what style I chose after it arrives. I'm so excited!!

December 18, 2008

Peppermint Twist


Treats to celebrate the holidays!

1. Candy Cane Cocktail by Sandra Lee
(Serves one)
1 shot vanilla
1 shot white chocolate liqueur
1 shot peppermint schnapps
Candy cane for garnish
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into a martini glass. Add candy cane.

2. Polar Espresso by Sandra Lee
(Serves one)
1 shot espresso, cooled
1 shot white chocolate liqueur
1/2 shot peppermint schnapps
1 shot half-and-half
Whipped cream and cocoa powder for garnish
Combine all ingredients except garnishes in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake and pour into martini glass. Garnish with whipped cream and dust with cocoa powder.

3. Peppermint Chocolate Coffee by Paula Deen
(Serves one, non-alcoholic)
1 tablespoon chocolate syrup
2 tablespoons peppermint syrup
1/2 cup hot brewed coffee
Whipped cream and chocolate shavings for garnish
Fill a mug with all the ingredients except garnishes and stir. Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

4. Williams-Sonoma Peppermint Snow hand soap and lotion
$25.99 for a gift set that includes soap, lotion and a stand for both or $5.99 each

5. Williams-Sonoma Peppermint bark, $26.50

6. Williams-Sonoma Peppermint North Poles, $11.99
These are great for stirring in your hot chocolate or coffee. Add to the drinks above!

7. Crate and Barrel Dark Chocolate Peppermint Fondue, $9.95
I've tried the regular dark chocolate, and it is delicious!

8. Candy Cane Marshmallows, recipe by Martha Stewart
Recipe can be found here.


December 17, 2008

Christmas Eve pajamas

Every Christmas Eve my mom gives my sister and I a pair of Christmas pajamas (matching of course) to wear that night so we look cute opening our presents on Christmas morning :) This has been a tradition in our house for as long as I can remember. My sister and I get so excited that night when it's time to unveil the pajamas. My moms searches and searches for the perfect pair. One of my favorite was a pair of black flannel pajama pants with small, brightly colored reindeer all over them (hot pink, lime green, purple etc.). I love these and they're so fun I wear them year round. I tried to search around for some cute ideas this year and I must say it was tough. I hope my mom had better luck than I did! Here are a few I wanted to share: 

Victoria Secret $34.50
I like the bow to tie them and the pretty snowflakes.

Gap $19.99
The scotty dogs are cute and preppy.

Old Navy $20
These shorts are great for those who live in warm places like me!

Has anyone else been able to find any cute Christmas pajamas? Do any of you have a similar tradition?
If anyone is interested in watching The Singing Christmas Trees show I danced in, it will be on TV. Channel 9 is local for Orlando, but TBN is worldwide and you can find your station here. You just have to enter your zip code and it will tell you the channel for your area. It's a great show and will definitely get you in the Christmas spirit!!

December 16, 2008

Christmas cupcakes

Below is my entry in my work's bake-off competition. I made red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing along with homemade chocolate cake truffles on the side. There were nine entries and we were judged on presentation, holiday theme and taste. Sadly I didn't place. I was very disappointed. Mine was the only one with a holiday theme and the best presented. They were really yummy too! First place went to a banana split pie that had a graham cracker crust with vanilla pudding, strawberries, bananas, and whip cream and nuts. There's no baking involved in that and it was pretty sloppy. Second place went to a flourless chocolate cake with kahlua, and it was good but nothing special. Third place went to a cake baked by a coworkers's wife, which I don't think that should count. It was chocolate cake with banana and rum. None of these had a holiday theme. I guess not everyone has a love of cupcakes like we do. So, I am very disappointed because I spent quite a bit of effort on these and many many hours in the kitchen. Oh well, at least I have perfected my cupcake baking! The funny thing is, my coworkers ate up my cupcakes after the judging was over and not many people touched the winning entries. I wish I could share these yummy cupcakes with all of you!!!


Peanut Butter Balls Recipe

I'm back! I spent the weekend with my wonderful family and they got to see my last performance of the Singing Christmas Trees. It is bittersweet that the show is over, but it was such a wonderful experience overall. I am looking forward to moving on to all things Christmas now.
Today at work we are having a bake-off competition that I am participating in. Cross your fingers for me! I will be back later to give you an update and hopefully share some photos and let you know what I made, but for now I will leave you with a yummy recipe that is easy to make and great to give  as a Christmas present to co-workers or friends. Just put them on a cute plate and you're all set!

Chocolate-covered Peanut Butter Balls
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 Tbs butter
1 cup powder sugar
8 oz. chocolate

Stir the peanut butter and butter together. Gradually add the powder sugar. Shape into balls and put on wax paper. Let stand for 20 mins. to firm up. Melt the chocolate (I used chocolate chips) and dip the balls into it and place them back on wax paper so the chocolate can harden. You can decorate the tops with sprinkles, chopped nuts, crumbled Reese's or whatever sounds good.
Enjoy!  

December 12, 2008

Christmas survey

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper because I love all the fun styles and it looks cute tied up with accessories.
2. Tree — real or artificial? Definitely real! We are firm believers in a real tree.
3. When do you put the tree up? Sometime in the beginning of Dec. Sadly I was not able to help pick it out this year for the first time in my life.
4. When do you take the tree down? It must be taken down before New Year's day because it is bad luck if not.
5. Do you like eggnog? Never tried it!
6. Do you have a Nativity scene? Yes, but it's at my parent's house. My boyfriend just got a really pretty one from his mom so I like to look at his.
7. Favorite gift received as a child? Probably the doll house that my grandpa made for me. It is pretty and pink!
8. Hardest person to buy for? Boy presents in general are hard to shop for.
9. Easiest person to buy for? My mom or sister
10. Worst Christmas gift? Not sure!
11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail because Christmas cards are so pretty and fun to pick out. Mine will be sent out today!
12. Favorite Christmas movie? Elf, for sure! Also the Holiday, All I want for Christmas and White Christmas. Home Alone is always a good one too, especially the one set in NYC.
13. When do you start Christmas shopping? Sometime in December. I am very behind this year because I've been so busy.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Probably, or I've given it to my mom to recycle.
15. Favorite food to eat on Christmas? We have waffles Christmas morning, this year they will be gingerbread waffles! We also always have fondue. And my mom says we must eat chocolate from our stocking first thing :)
16. Lights on the tree? Yes, lots of pretty and sparkly lights
17. Favorite Christmas song? Baby it's cold outside, All I want for Christmas is you, Alvin and the Chipmunks and pretty carols/hymns
18. Travel during Christmas or stay home? Travel — this year, home to Atlanta and Birmingham to see my grandparents. Last year I went to NYC for Christmas, then went back home to Atlanta, to Birmingham and to Michigan to visit my boyfriend's family. Fun travels!
19. Can you name Santa's reindeer? Of course! I sing the song to remember them — Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen. But the most famous reindeer of all was . . . Rudolph the red-nosed Reindeer . . . 
20. Angel or star on top of the tree? A pretty angel
21. Open presents on Christmas eve or morning? Christmas Eve my sister and I get our matching pajamas and an ornament to put on the tree
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Grouchy/grumpy people
23. Favorite ornament? I have so many! Ours all have memories behind them. I have violins because I played the violin when I was little, ballerinas for my dance, cheerleading ones, an acorn for Elon because it means oak, all kinds of ornaments from places I've traveled, Madeline ones because I loved her books/dolls when I was little. Probably my most favorite are my Rockettes ornaments. They're so pretty!

Tonight, tomorrow and Sunday I have my final performances for the Singing Christmas Trees. It will be sad to say goodbye, but it has been such a fun experience. My family is flying in tonight and they will see the show on Sunday. I can't wait to see them! We are headed to Disney tomorrow to a few of the parks to celebrate my mom's birthday. It's going to be a fun weekend!! Happy friday!

P.S. Mrs. B, can I have an invite to your blog? I didn't realize you had gone private, thanks!

Congrats Preppy 101/fab giveaway!

Preppy 101 is celebrating her 100th post with a fun giveaway! Included is this awesome calendar that you personalize with the color/font and monogram/name of your choice, an accordion folded memory book, a preppy pink and green picture frame and a surprise. Who doesn't love surprises? If you haven't checked out her blog, please do. She is such a sweetheart and her posts are a treat to read. If you are a Lilly lover like most of us are, check out the 12 days of Lilly she has going on. So stop on by, congratulate her and enter to win this fabulous giveaway! 

December 11, 2008

Organized in '09

As 2009 is quickly approaching, it's time to think about getting a new planner. We all lead such busy lives so it's important to stay organized, but why not do it in style. I don't know about you, but I get excited about filling in a fresh new planner at the start of a year. There are so many days to be filled with travel, dinners with friends, volunteer activities, holidays and who knows what else. And I guess work projects, too. It's all about balance, right? ;) So, here's to kicking off 2009 and organizing in style!   


J. Crew Pocket Calendar $16.99 (was $29.50)
Comes in metallic or patent and has a satin ribbon marker. Includes weekly and monthly calendar pages, a list of holidays, address book pages and major city maps. It is pocket size and perfect for someone looking for a planner to keep in their purse. Comes in a few different colors. 

Vera Bradley Pocket Agenda $15
Features monthly and weekly spreads, 2009 and 2010 holidays, birthday and anniversary, note and personal goals pages and a world time zone map. It is also on the smaller side and will fit in a purse.

Whomi Compact Agenda $25 (www.seejanework.com)
Unfolds so that weekly calendar pages are on the top half for appointments/notes and color-coded rows for work and project schedules are on the bottom half. It has yellow reminder lines so you can fill in event dates or notes to yourself and perforated corners on the lower right help you find the current week. It also has a clear vinyl cover and a snap closure in case you want to inclose receipts, notes or lists inside it. The picture shows what it looks like when open and closed. It's great for multi-taskers.  

Kate Spade Small Desk Calendar $20
I think most readers are familiar with this planner and have seen it on other blogs, but it is a larger size and still small enough to fit in most purses and small totes. It also includes monthly and weekly spreads.
  
Donovan Designs Weekly Planner Pad $12 (www.thepapercafe.net)
For those looking for something instead of a calendar to throw on their desk at work, this is great for filling in tasks and assignments for the week because you can just throw out the page and start fresh the next week. It comes in fun colors and will surely brighten up a cubicle.

One of these choices (or two!) will be great to help you get organized in the new year. I ordered the Kate Spade planner and plan on using that, but I really like the small size of the J. Crew pocket calendar so maybe I'll get that one as well. Have a wonderful Thursday! 

December 10, 2008

A little Christmas cheer



Cinderella's Castle!


I had a wonderful time at Magic Kingdom yesterday! I just love seeing the park all decorated for Christmas. It was very festive! Isn't Cinderella's castle looking gorgeous? My boyfriend works for his family and they were kind enough to invite me along to the holiday party for their employees, which was at MK. We started off with a nice breakfast at the Contemporary and then played in the park all day. Well, some of us that is. Most people left early afternoon, but I dragged my sweet boyfriend all over the park the whole day so we could go on as many rides as possible ;) His family was so sweet to include me because I can't go to the Christmas party for their managers and assistant managers, which is what I usually go to, because of my performance Friday. I am crossing my fingers I will make it to the end of it! And lucky me, I will be going to Disney this weekend again because my family is coming to visit. Yay!  

To add to the Christmas cheer, below are pictures of my Christmas tree. I got this tree while I was in college and it has become a special part of Christmas for me! I just love its pink sparkliness. My best friend Emily also loves it and had already asked me at the beginning of December if it was up yet. Hi Emily, here it is! I decided to give it a makeover this year so I got some new pink and green ornaments, tied all sorts of holiday ribbons on and decorated each with paint pens and monogram stickers. On some I wrote things like peace and joy. Monogrammed ornaments make such a great gift and it's a fun craft to make. I made some for my dance friends last year and all I did was tie a ribbon on, put polka dots all over it with paint pens and put their initial on it with a pretty sticker. Or you could pain a monogram on, but I find the stickers make it more professional looking. They turn out really cute!  





December 8, 2008

Wooden soldiers on parade . . .

That is the song that keeps playing in my head! We had a wonderful opening weekend of The Singing Christmas Trees. To give you a little background, my church has put on this show, each with a different theme, for almost 25 years. They haven't had it the past two years so they brought it back bigger than ever for 2008. It is my first time being part of it since I've only been living in Orlando for 2.5 years now. The focus of the show is the trees. There are two 45-foot trees made up of 350 choir members. The choir is in rows that make up levels inside and coming out of the trees, all the way to the very top. They stand on boxes so that they all become six feet tall. In the second act they do what they call a "kabuki drop" and the two big shiny silver curtains drop to the ground at the same time and reveal the trees. I love hearing the woosh of the drop and the audience gasp in amazement. It's such a cool effect! 
This year's theme is Imagination. Everything is "through a child's eyes." In the first half, there are two little kids who discover a world of toys. The first song of the show is "Pure Imagination" from Willy Wonka when they are discovering the toys. The toys are soldiers, Raggedy Anne dolls, cowgirls and cowboys, elves, gingerbread boys and girls, and three ballerinas. Our costume designers did a fabulous job!! After the opening song is an overture where all the toys march down and dance together and spell out words with gigantic blocks among other happenings. The elves are doing flips and juggling etc. That leads into the next song that is the part of the show I choreographed — March of the Wooden Soldiers. This song is in the Rockettes show when they're soldiers, but our version is very upbeat and peppy. As wooden soldiers, we start to come to life and it's a tap number. It is so fun! All the other toys are down on the floor dancing and just the soldiers on stage. At the end we march around on "parade." The next big number is a hip hop version of "Little Drummer Boy." It starts out as a battle between the ballerinas, hip hop elves and a few of us soldiers. Then we just unite and all do hip hop together. The music for this is so fun! After that, one of the ballerinas does a beautiful dance to "If Christmas Never Came" where she is a music box ballerina come to life. This song reminds everyone what would happen if we didn't have Christmas and Jesus' birth. This leads to the kabuki drop and the singing trees. The second half is the worshipful half where Joesph and Mary come out and the songs tell about their journey. I dance ballet in this half as an angel. I do a slower ballet and then a very rejoiceful ballet where we dance with big white streamers. "Adore Him" honors the manger with Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus as we all bow to him and celebrate his birth. There are many other songs mixed in, but the very last song is very powerful. It's called "Song of Christmas" and people wearing all kinds of different uniforms and work outfits (flight attendant, sports uniforms, bride and groom, grocery bagger, scientist, everything you can think of!) come out and go about their day to day life, but all the sudden they all look up and "see" Jesus. They are all touched and thankful to have him in their lives. It's hard to explain, but such a moving piece.
Overall, it has been such an honor to be part of this. So many people made this happen. There are 115 actors and dancers, 350 in the choir, a 70-piece orchestra, more than 700 volunteers, 2,500 hours to build the trees, and 250,000 lights on the trees. We were filmed this past Thursday and it is going to be shown on TV worldwide, so I will find out when and what station and let you all know. I had four shows this past weekend and I have three more this upcoming weekend. My family is coming down Friday and I can't wait for them to see the show!!     

Below: Here is a picture of some of the dancers. I am the fourth soldier from the left. 



Above is a picture of the trees after the show. I wish I had one with the choir in the trees. I will try to get one because it's so beautiful. This picture definitely does not show them very well, but gives you an idea.

Thanks for reading and I hope everyone is having a great Monday! I am off to Magic Kingdom tomorrow with my boyfriend for his work Christmas party. I can't wait to see the park all decorated and to play all day!!

Tagged - Six Holiday Quirks

I was tagged by Tickled Pink and Serious Shopaholic to list six holiday things about myself. 
So, here they are:
1. Every morning after Christmas my mom and I (and sometimes my sister too) wake up really early and head out to stock up on pretty Christmas wrapping paper for the next year. We wait in line to run in and fight the crowds and have our own system in place so we can grab the best paper. We usually like to go to the Paper Affair or the Container Store where we can pick up some fun prints. 
2. Although I am 24 and my sister is 21, we still love our Christmas Eve traditions. My mom always gives us new pajamas on Christmas Eve and an ornament to hang on the tree. They are matching pajamas and my mom shops and shops to find the perfect pair. We then take pictures in the matching pajamas with our stockings in front of the fireplace :) 
3. Opening my stocking is one of my favorite parts of Christmas morning. I love discovering all the fun things and treats inside it!  
4. We always go see a movie on Christmas night. I am a stickler for this. We are still deciding what we will see this year.
5. After I've opened my presents I like to line them up so I can look at them and I like to just leave them in the den. I do not like to have to bring them upstairs to get them out of the den until I'm told I must. They are neat and organized in their boxes, I promise! 
6. Each Christmas season I must watch Elf and another favorite Christmas movie that my mom and sister and I love (my dad, not so much lol) — All I Want for Christmas. Has anyone else seen it? We also have to watch White Christmas.
I tag anyone who wants to participate! 

My office Christmas party was a fun time and the opening of my show also went well. I'll be back later to give more of an update. I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

December 4, 2008

A day full of fun

Today is my office Christmas party! In lieu of going out somewhere and bringing a date we are having the party at the office, 4 to 7 p.m., employees only. I have to admit I was disappointed I didn't have an excuse to shop for a party dress (I just love a good party dress!!), but I am thankful and glad that we are even getting to have a party at all, what with the economy etc. I am expecting there will be drinks and appetizers and it will be fun to mingle during office hours. Is anyone else's office doing anything fun for Christmas? After the filming I am off to the filming of the show I'm in, The Singing Christmas Trees. Wish me luck!

Here is my party outfit (worn with black pants) ~


Also, I am sad to say that I forgot to DVR the lighting of the tree last night! It totally slipped my mind. I found a video on the NBC Web site, but it just had a short highlight of the tree lighting. Did anyone watch? Was it wonderful? I saw the Rockettes standing around as they did a countdown on the highlights. 

A True Lilly Lover

Today, much to my surprise I found a story in the Orlando Sentinel about a Lilly Lover! You can find the article here. Check it out, it will make you smile! 
A woman in central Florida, Mary Lane, totally lives for pink and green. She wears Lilly Pulitzer every day for every occasion including work, play and bedtime. She dresses in Lilly from her head down to her toes. The story said she is very excited to celebrate the Jubilee and 50th anniversary, so she ordered the Crown Jeweled Clutch, which is studded with pink, green and gold crystals. Have you seen this? I just saw this yesterday when I received the Jubilee collection catalogue in the mail. Lane has so many Lilly clothes that she has two closets for them all — spring/summer and fall/winter. The closets are decorated with all kinds of Lilly paraphernalia. And of course she has a pink feathered tree that is decorated with Lilly ornaments. The story also includes a timeline of the Lilly Pulitzer brand through the years and very interesting facts. I'll leave you with a quote from Lane about why she loves Lilly clothes — "They make you smile. You can never have a bad day while wearing Lilly." I whole-heartedly agree!!

P.S. My good friend and sorority sister Lindsay from college was the third place winner of the Lilly Lovers contest this past year with a picture from her Lilly-themed wedding and is having a dress named after her. I'm not sure when in 2009 this is happening, but I will share the details when I find out. How FUN that she will have a dress made in her honor!    

December 3, 2008

Christmas at Rockefeller Center

Tonight NBC is showing the lighting of the tree at Rockefeller Center! It comes on at 8 p.m. There are lots of great performers singing some of their hits and Christmas songs and I'm really hoping the Rockettes make an appearance. The Radio City Rockettes are my very favorite dancers in the whole world. When I was little, I dreamed of being one someday. I've seen their Christmas Spectacular show twice in Atlanta and last Christmas I was lucky enough to see it in NYC. It was fabulous!!! Since I missed the Thanksgiving Parade on tv this year, I'm really hoping they'll perform at the lighting. I would love to get out my pink tree, have some hot chocolate, eat Christmas cookies and watch it, but I must postpone this because I have dance practice. It is the last rehearsal, thank goodness! Tomorrow it's being filmed and then Friday is the first real show. So, hopefully I will get out early tonight and can grab a gingersnap latte from Starbucks and finally spend time with my boyfriend and maybe we'll even get to watch some of the tree lighting tonight. If you get a chance to watch it, enjoy! It's sure to get you in the Christmas spirit.

Party invitations


It's the most wonderful time of the year . . . and that means parties! I found these Kate Spade invitations that are on sale
online right now for just $13. They come 15 to a set and the envelopes are lined in matching silver or gold. The inside of the invitation is fill in the blank with categories like time, place etc. pre-printed. I love the font and the cute martini glasses. It makes me wish I was having a holiday party so I could send them out. These will be great for anyone having a cocktail party or open house. My office party is tomorrow during the afternoon, so I'm definitely looking forward to it and plan to wear something festive. Does anyone have plans for a fun Christmas party in the works?

P.S. If there are any readers out there who have private blogs, I would love an invite! Red, White and Preppy, you are one of them. Thanks to all my fabulous readers! 

December 2, 2008

Rejoice!

Ever since I was little, dance has always been a part of my life and I am so lucky to be able to still have dance in my life after college. I am a member of Rejoice! Dance Troupe at my church and have the privilege of dancing with some really talented girls who are beautiful on the inside and out. As a troupe, we perform at Christmas and Easter of course, and also at various community events. This past spring, we put together a whole show that had tap, ballet, jazz, lyrical and hip hop dances. These girls are some of my closest friends in Orlando and I love dancing with them! The countdown is on for our the opening of our Christmas show this Friday. I can't wait!   

(I am the blonde standing on the left)

(I'm on the right holding my friend Xio up)

(Again, that's me on the far left)


December 1, 2008

I'm back!

Happy December 1st! I got back from Atlanta yesterday afternoon and went straight to dance practice for the rest of the day/night. Our first show is later this week so we are hard at work. More info to come! 
I had such a wonderful time at home and my Thanksgiving was spent eating yummy food, shopping, spending time with family, watching movies and much more. I am so blessed in many ways. Some of the things I am thankful for include my wonderful family, my boyfriend, my job, Rejoice Dance Troupe and the amazing girls I dance with, my church, health and happiness, fun times with friends and much more  :)
I did some great shopping while at home and there were many great deals going on. One of my favorite purchases was a pair of Jeffrey Campbell flats with a fleur-de-lis on the toe. I got them at Nordstrom on sale for just $33! Mine are hot pink and they make me smile. I found some other great deals as well. I just love a successful day of shopping!   

November 25, 2008

Travel Essentials

Thanksgiving is one of the biggest travel times of the year and when it comes to traveling, I like to have cute stuff and I like to stay organized. Vera Bradley has many great items that serve both of these purposes. I have many of these travel essentials listed below and they've really come in handy over the years. Right now, Vera Bradley is getting ready to retire a few of her patterns so items in Mesa Red, Botanica, Capri Blue and Pink Elephants are 60 percent off. This is a great deal! Many of these items will make great Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers. I will be packing mine up tonight as I'm flying home to Atlanta in the morning to see my wonderful family for Thanksgiving. I just have a five-hour dance practice to get through after work tonight first :)
Safe and happy travels!  

Large Duffel $50 
(Great for weekend getaways, sleepover parties, and as a carry-on for the plane)

Jewelry Case $20

Laptop Case $28.50 
(Perfect for the traveling blogger!)
Large Bow Cosmetic Bag $15


Umbrella $12


Luggage Tag $5


I-Pod Case $5

Curling Iron Cover $12
(I use this for my straightener so my Chi is protected)

Eyeglass Case $5


Ditty Bag $12
(This bag is lined in plastic and great to store toiletries)

Yay!

Thank you so much to With Love from New Orleans for giving me my first award! NOLA's blog is so much fun to read and I look forward to it each day. She is an event planner living in New Orleans, a newlywed who just got married earlier this month and has a love for Burberry. She also is the epitome of class. Check out her fabulous Christmas wish list!

Thanks again NOLA, I am so honored! After reading blogs for quite some time, I decided I would start my own and it's been so much fun so far. It's a joy to read everyone's blogs each day and discover adorable finds, read an inspiring message or just share in our love for cute and fabulous things. Thanks to those who inspire me!

Here are the five winners I am passing the award along to:

My five addictions:
1. Headbands - especially with bows 
2. Gossip Girl - I can't get enough of their cute outfits
3. Girly books - love to read
4. Cupcakes - they're just so cute, love all flavors
5. All things Lilly P. and Kate Spade

 Here are the rules: Copy and paste the rules and instructions in your post. When posting on receiving the award, make sure you include who gave you the award and link it back to them. Post five winners and link it back to them as well. Post five of your addictions. Add the award image. Let your winners know you gave them an award by leaving them a comment on their blog.    

November 24, 2008

Time to shine

The past few months I have been rehearsing for a show, The Singing Christmas Trees, that I am dancing in. It's a huge production my church puts on, involving hundreds of people. It's been a Christmas tradition in Orlando for 25 years and gets a lot of attention in the community. The past two years they haven't had it, so this year they are bringing it back better than ever. I choreographed the "Wooden Soldiers on Parade" tap dance. I'm also in a "Little Drummer Boy" hip hop dance and a few ballet pieces as an angel. I will post more about the show closer to time, but due to many practice hours, I am long overdue for a pedicure! OPI has some fun holiday colors out and I chose a few to share. 


Red Hot Gift (classic holiday red)

Rosy Mistletoes-Sies (magenta shimmer)

Brand New Skates (dark silver)

Baby it's "Coal" Outside (charcoal shimmer)

Glamour Game (champagne gold)
 
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