Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Resolution Recap

Wow, did this year fly by or what?  I feel like I was just writing my resolutions for 2015!  For the first year I can remember, I actually did a pretty good job keeping my goals throughout the year.  Here's what they were:

1. Send out birthday cards
2. Exercise every other day
3. Blog better:
     A. Blog smarter with new and unique ideas for blog posts
     B. Blog more personal
     C. Blog harder: proofing and photos
I wrote every birthday in my planner in big, red letters, and only forgot 5 or so birthdays (most of whom I remembered to send belated cards to).  I haven't talked about it very much on the blog, but Mike and I have actually become much more active this year.  With tennis, kickball, golf, and the gym, together we have lost almost 50 pounds.  More than making it a task everyday to work out, Mike and I have enjoyed finding new things to do together that are also active.  I even attended a Barre class with Charleston Blog Society!  Last was the blogging one.  I've tried really hard to be personal and blog about life down here in Charleston.  I had a lot of fun working with new brands as well as having the opportunity to try new products.  I appreciate all of my readers so much and am thankful for all of you!

To be completely honest, I'm still trying to figure out my resolutions for 2016, but I imagine that they will closely mirror those I had this year.
  • What were your resolutions for 2016?
  • Were you able to stick to them all year?

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas in Charleston

Happy Monday, sweet friends!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas last week.  I cannot wait to recap ours, but we are currently on route to Jersey then Delaware today to spend time with family and have spent time four states in the last 24 hours.  Instead, before I have time to get all of my photos and thoughts together, I thought I'd share a bit of our Charleston Christmas adventures this year.  
I absolutely love the Christmas decorations in our city!  This year, we had fun on King Street for Second Sunday, watched the boat parade under the Ravenel Bridge, and shopped at a bunch of wonderful holiday markets.  At home, we decorated quite the same as last year, and I was lazy and didn't take many photos (so here is last year's post).

Holiday events included two very different ones with Charleston Blog Society.  The first was our "Style a Blogger" event at a new shop on King Street, Beckett Boutique.  I was paired with the beautiful Charleston Shop Curator, Andrea, and she put me in an amazing Viktoria + Woods blush trench, Elizabeth and James dress, and stone and studded necklace.  I styled Kate (to the left of me in the group photo), and we all enjoyed delicious snacks and drinks from O&O Hooch.
Our CHS Blog Society holiday party took place at StyleDwell Boutique.  Everyone was invited to bring a guest, so a few friends and I decided to bring our husbands!  The hot chocolate bar was delicious and I can't wait to wear the new pieces I purchased.
I'm having so much fun with the Yelp crew in Charleston, and their holiday party at Striped Pig Distillery (one of my favorite places of all time!) was epic.  Food from Graze and a delicious cranberry ginger cocktail made with Striped Pig's orange lavender gin made for a great night!
It was an "ugly sweater" event, but since it's been in the 70s everyday, we bought these fantastic Christmas Star Wars tee shirts at Kohl's (that we also wore to see the movie that weekend).  Don't worry, no spoilers here, but who else has seen Episode VII?!  Please comment so we can talk about it; I hope y'all liked it as much as I did! 

Linking up with Biana for Weekending!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Meow Meow

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, your ornaments are history...

Hey, it's me, Shadow.  Ruxin is here, too, but she's more of the fat, silent type.  Our people left today for Christmas, so we're taking over the blog.  You know what?  We're angry.  What were those humans thinking?! They left us out of their Christmas card.  Didn't get they the point last year when I looked visibly angry?! Okay, so maybe I look that way all the time, but still.
They won't admit it to us, but we know that they have a new favorite cat this year...
So, we made our own Christmas cards, and I have to say, ours came out way better than theirs.
What do you think?  We hope y'all have a merry Christmas (yeah, we're Southern felines now!), and we will see you in 2016!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry - 2015 Homemade Round Up

Happy Monday, everyone!  It's hard to believe that by the time this one comes to a close, it will be Christmas Day.  I hope y'all finished up your Christmas shopping this weekend, but if you're still looking for something for someone on your list, maybe you should consider something homemade!  I've rounded up everything I've made this year from favorite drinks to a fantastic sugar scrub and some great party food to the cookies I put on my annual cookie trays this year.  First, the cookie trays.  These are a very small version of what my mom usually makes to give to family, friends, and neighbors.  This is the same woman who made more than 500 cookies for my bridal shower.  Well, my trays had 3 kinds of cookies: mint chocolate chip, white chocolate cranberry, and inside out cupcakes for a couple party hostesses are co-workers:

And now for all of my favorites this Christmas season:

If you're looking for even more holiday ideas, here are my round ups from 2013 and 2014.

Friday, December 18, 2015

A Merry Christmas, I Wish You!

Christmas might as well be today, if you're a Star Wars fan!  Mike and I have our tickets to see Episode VII this weekend, and I think we will somehow bust through I-VI again before Sunday.  Have any of you noticed how there's a Star Wars EVERYTHING this year?  This is the last weekend before Christmas, and if you still need something for your favorite Star Wars fan, I rounded up some of my favorite gifts from both sides.  You know there will be something with this theme in Mike's stocking this year...

Death Star waffle iron /// cookie cutters /// Darth Vader shower head /// light saber car charger /// bracelet beads /// ugly Christmas sweater /// Chewbacca koozie /// Han Solo ice cube tray /// Darth Vader toaster /// R2D2 measuring cups /// Yoda lawn ornament

If none of these items appeal to you, you can always get an R2-3PO or Toby-One action figure!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Vanilla Peppermint Hand Scrub

A couple of years ago, my college friends and I started the tradition of doing a Make, Bake, and Buy Secret Santa Christmas party.  There are 7 of us, so buying for everyone can get costly, and this way, everyone gets one really thoughtful gift.  I'm disappointed that I won't be at the party in person this year, but I'm excited that I still get to participate.  As you might have seen before on this blog, I love making sugar scrubs (pumpkin spice latte and honey lemon), so I thought that a wintery scrub would be the perfect addition as the "make" part of the gift.  Sorry in advance to my secret recipient, who I think reads this blog.  It will still kind of be a surprise this weekend since she doesn't know I have her!
Here's what you need for the scrub: 1 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract, 1/2 cup coconut oil, and 6-8 drops of red food coloring
Mix together the ingredients in a bowl, place the scrub in mason jars (this recipe makes 4 small jars), tie them with bows, and you have a fantastic Christmas gift or party favor!
  • Do you have a favorite homemade Christmas gift?
  • Have you ever done a make, bake, and buy?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Christmas Traditions

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.  All opinions are mine alone. #SendHallmark #CollectiveBias
Traditions are a funny thing.  Sometimes, you don't realize you have one until you've been doing the same thing for years and years, while other times you set out to create them (i.e. the concept of the "first annual" anything).  This will be my sixth Christmas with Mike and the fourth we've celebrated together in our same home.  In that time, we've started a few of each type of tradition, and I love each and every one of them.

Since the beginning of our relationship, we've always exchanged Hallmark cards.  Not just on Christmas, but also on birthdays, anniversaries, and Valentine's Day, we've always made a point to choose a card and write a note to each other.  Sometimes they're funny and witty while other time they're heart felt (with usually still a bit of humor).  This year, Mike's even sings!
Another tradition we have, that we purposely began our first year together, is purchasing a dated ornament.  My parents have always done this, and it's so fun to unwrap the box, see the "1979" written on it, and think about how many different trees it's been on.  Together, Mike and I have a simple ball, a few pop culture characters, and many wonderful ornaments from our wedding last year.  This year, while picking out our cards, we found this fun, dated ornament at Walmart to add to our tree.
The one thing about getting a new ornament every year, especially for those of us with a small apartment tree, is that it's easy to run out of room!  To make every part of our home festive, I've started making these fun wire ornament hangers.  They fit in little spots like Mike's desk or on our night stands.  All you need are two things: needle-nose pliers and wire (I used extra 12 gauge wire from hanging drop ceiling).  Use the pliers to twist the wire into any shape or word you desire; this will make the base of the hanger.  I chose the word "Joy."  Leave about 1 foot of untwisted wire at the end of your design to make the actual hanger.  Twist that wire into a hook shape, and hang your ornament!
What all of these traditions culminate in is a new one we began last year.  This will be out second Charleston Christmas, and for the second year in a row, we have planned a trip up north to be with our family.  Instead of bringing up all of our gifts to one another, we enjoy a smaller Christmas exchange, just the two of us, before we leave.  We wear our pajamas, listen to Christmas music (have you heard Pandora's Hallmark station?), and open cards, stockings, and gifts.
Looking to start your own tradition this year?  You can find more Hallmark inspiration here.  Plus, click here to save $1.00 off of a two Hallmark Greeting Card purchase at Walmart, minimum $1.00 purchase required.  Take advantage of the savings and #SendHallmark this holiday season.
  • What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
  • Do you send cards every Christmas?

Monday, December 14, 2015

Oh What Fun - Christmas Cards 2015

Receiving Christmas cards is one of my absolute favorite things, especially photo cards.  Living hundreds of miles away from friends and family, and it's so nice to have new photos to display each holiday season.  (Yes, I'm that crazy old lady with Christmas cards on her refrigerator in August.)  Getting married last year, we finally got a list together of everyone's addresses, so we went from sending 20 cards in 2013 to 75 in 2014.  Now, making new and wonderful friends in Charleston, that number has risen to 90.  Phew, that's a lot of stamps!  Let's just say that it was a small miracle that I got them all licked, stamped, and in the mailbox in time to link up today with our card:

For the second year in a row, we went with a Minted design.  I just love their styles and had the toughest time narrowing it down!  We finally decided on moments of jolly.  There's extra space to personalize each of the cards, and I liked how our photos didn't overwhelm it.  To make my life easier, especially upping the card count to 90, I decided to use Minted's free addressing service.  It didn't take that long at all to reformat my Christmas card list into their Excel template, and it saved a lot of hand cramping!
Of course, I also had to go with the Charlie Brown stamps this year.  The scenes are so cute, and Charlie Brown Christmas has always been a favorite of mine!
Here are our past Christmas cards (this was the fourth year we've sent them): 2014 (our first married Christmas), 2013 (engaged), and 2012 (roommates' Christmas)

Linking up today with Macy and Mary, and tomorrow with so many lovely ladies!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Stable Style

A couple of weeks ago, while we were in Hilton Head for Thanksgiving, we had so much fun going horseback riding.  Lawton Stables is a fantastic family-run business, located in the Sea Pines plantation.  I've been riding horses there for 15 years, and this time, it was so much fun to take Mike along.  He'd never been on a horse and had a great time with me and my dad.  Obviously, I had to put together a fun outfit to go riding, and it felt like a great excuse to break out the plaid and boots.  I've had this flannel for 3 or 4 winters, but every year, American Eagle comes out with fantastic ones just like it.  The puffy vest is also a favorite piece of mine from the fall to the spring and might be my most-used gift from Christmas 2014.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Stocking Stuffers from Arbonne

Now that I've shared my favorite gift ideas this year (congratulations to Kristina for winning my giveaway, by the way!) as well as my own wish list, it's time to start thinking about those stockings!  One of my favorite people is here today to share her newest business venture with Arbonne.  Heather and I have been blog friends forever, and we met for the first time when we both ran the Wine and Dine Half Marathon.  She and her boyfriend even came to visit last winter.  

Hi there! I am so thrilled to be here today on Meg’s blog. Meg has been a dear dear blog friend of mine for quite some time now, she was probably my very first to tell you the truth, and I’ve been thankful for this blogging friendship ever since!
Just to introduce myself real quick, my name is Heather. I’m 26 years old and live in Jackson, MS. I adore the South but would be open to experiencing other areas of the country! I’ve never been out West… but hopefully one day! Preferably to Disney Land. Meg & I both share a deep passion for all things Disney. In case you were wondering, I do have a blog and I’ve guest posted for Meg quite a few times. I’m not currently active on my blog, although I have high hopes of that changing very soon. I became a vegetarian in January of 2014 and never looked back. In May, I started with Arbonne because I really loved a few of the products I had tried, and I knew it was a vegan company, which was important to me. Plus, who wouldn’t want a great discount on products they’re already using with an opportunity to make a little extra cash?! So, instead of talking about me and my blog today, I’m going to share some Arbonne holiday stocking stuffer ideas because I truly believe we have some of the best options out there and you can literally get a gift for everyone on your list! So what is Airborne or Audobon?… Believe me, we’ve heard it all! Arbonne is a health & wellness company that has been around for 35 years. Our products are pure, safe, and beneficial for the whole family. They are vegan, soy free, dairy free, and gluten free! We use strict European standards for the formulation of our products, but it’s a U.S.-based company. One of the things that drew me to Arbonne was it’s diversity of products. We have skin care and makeup, of course, but we also have top-notch nutritional products, products for men, and a product line for babies that I hear is phenomenal! That is why I’m bringing you some of our very best stocking stuffer ideas for EVERY member of the family!
As you finish up your Christmas shopping, I want to offer Borrowed Heaven readers this unique Arbonne discount: your entire Arbonne order at 35% off through December 15th! All you have to do is complete the Google form below with your basic contact information. I will then contact you to place your order. Please note that you can check out all of the products on Arbonne's website, but to get the special 35% off deal, I need to place the order for you.  In addition to that, if you book a Facebook party for anytime in January, I’ll give you FREE shipping & throw in a special product gift just for you! My last Facebook party host said she loved hosting because it took almost no work on her part and she received TONS of products free or at a heavy discount. So now that you know what your shopping specials are, let’s get this party started!
A) Phytosport – A combination of pre- during- and post-workout mixes for the athlete. Prepare for high activity, remain hydrated, & recover quickly so you’re back to performance the next day!
B) Fit Chews - The delicious seasonal Fit Chews help control cravings while keeping energy levels sustained.
C) Arbonne Essentials Protein Shake Mix - Delicious, nutritious, perfectly balanced chocolate or vanilla shake mixes provide 20 grams of vegan protein, plus more than 20 essential vitamins and minerals per serving, delivering a 100% amino acid score. Clinically tested and certified to have a low glycemic index, which has little effect on blood sugar levels and does not cause a spike in blood sugar.
A) ABC Baby Care Bundle Set – A full set including Sunscreen, Body Lotion, Diaper Rash Cream, & Hair/Body Wash.
B) Unwind Bath Salts - Find joy in the present as you soak in a relaxing bath enhanced by mineral-rich salts.
C) Arbonne Fizz Sticks - What a kickstarter: when you start to feel the afternoon sleepies, stir in a fizz stick to create a refreshing bubbly drink when you start to feel tired to temporarily help promote alertness and enhance cognitive performance, help promote endurance and enhance motor performance, and help reduce fatigue.
A) Sugarplum Baked Eye Shadow Pallette - Sweeten someone’s holiday with an eye-catching favorite. Apply the metallic, mineral-infused eye shadows dry for soft impact, or wet for more intense effects. In four magical shades: Icing, Gingersnap, Ganache, and Plumberry.
B) It’s a Long Story Mascara **My Favorite Product!** - High-performance lengthening mascara helps create the look of ultra-dramatic lashes with major longitude.
C) Lipstick and/or Lipgloss – (LS) A moisturizing formula that smooths on long-wearing, luxurious color. Infused with fruit extracts for voluminous effects and to-the-max hydration. (LG) Treat yourself to maximum lip shine with major softness. Plant extracts and peptides leave lips feeling quenched and intensely moisturized for a smooth-looking, plumped-up pucker.
D) Makeup Brush Set - You'll love their super-soft feel and natural wood handles - plus they come in a chic canvas case with a pocket for makeup extras. Six brushes: Liquid Foundation, Powder, All Over Eye, Shading, Slant and Cheek.
A) Sky for Men Soap Bar - This moisturizing bar with exfoliating beads cleanses while conditioning skin for all-over coolness.
B) Men’s Shave Gel - Our foaming gel with skin-conditioning botanicals gives the razor an extra-smooth glide for a close shave and refreshed feeling.
C) Sky for Men Cologne – Sky for Men speaks to the modern-day renaissance man who approaches life as an endless new adventure, with intellectual curiosity and bold enthusiasm. It’s a masculine expression of his strength and spirit, with notes of citrus, woods and refreshing herbs.

I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have or provide a recommendation; feel free to contact me directly at I hope each and every one of you have a VERY Merry Christmas and a GLORIOUS New Year!

Thanks so much for sharing, Heather!  I can't wait to sneak these brushes and lip glosses into my stocking!

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