Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Here's to...

...Lending a hand, being a shoulder, and giving the shirt off your back.

...Being the girl who's not afraid of going to a wedding stag and dancing with every boy there. 

...Speaking up, even when your voice shakes.

...Forgetting "the plan" but staying intentional, motivated, and driven.

....Facing your fears.

...Keeping your head in the clouds and your feet on the ground.

...Over-dressing and celebrating life everyday. 

...Beyond the comfort zone.

...Runing fast, eating slow, and laughing til your stomach aches.

...Less wired, more connected.

... Adventure.

...Seeking. Serving. Loving.

Not a resolution, but a toast.

Wishing you all the best in the New Year. 
Thank you accompanying me on this journey. 
See you in 2011!
[all images via Patterson Maker]

Holiday Style Guide #6: For drinking champagne, making resolutions, watching the ball drop, and ringing in the New Year

Holiday Style Guide #6

Monday, December 27, 2010


The flurries that fell yesterday morning helped ease the day-after-Christmas blues. By about 10:30 everything was covered with a beautiful blanket of snow. After venturing out briefly, we spent the day playing Scrabble (I won), baking more cookies, and dreaming of this delicious soup we had a few weeks ago.

It is delightfully rustic and delicious, loaded with vegetables and perfect for a blustery winter day. 
And while we're talking cozy... Whether you played in the snow all day or you stayed fireside and watched the flurries fall, this yummy little drink is the perfect thing to warm you up!
Just prepare spiced apple cider as per directions (I used Alpine Sugar Free) and add butterscotch schnapps to taste. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

So this is Christmas...

Merry Christmas, friends! I hope you are snuggled up somewhere cozy, basking in the love of family, friends, and an awesome Savior! It has been a wonderful morning (and early afternoon) an the Johns household, savoring every minute of this glorious day and doing everything we can to make it last. Now we anxiously await the arrival of my other mom, dad, and brothers (I think some people call them aunt, uncle, and cousins?) and then the festivities will continue. In the mean time, here are a few images from the day so far:
[mom's homemade cream biscuits... yum. similar recipe here]
 [quite possibly the best latte yet... oh snap!]
 [poppin bottles]
 [I can't think of a better day to celebrate!]
 [Christmas Cheers! Mimosas- Orange and Cranberry-Pomegranate! (note: the little ones used Sprite Zero... no need to call Social Services)]
 [opening presents fireside]
Merry Christmas, from our nest to yours. 
May you be filled with the joy  of the season.

Then the angel said to them, 
“Do not be afraid, for behold, 
I bring you good tidings of great joy 
which will be to all people."
Luke 2:10

Friday, December 24, 2010

Holiday Style Guide #5: For leaving cookies out for Santa, dreaming of sugar plums, and waking up before everyone else no matter how old you get

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is opening one present on Christmas Eve. Can you guess what it is? Pajamas! I don't know what mine will look like this year (we wait until after dinner to open them) but here's a cute little ensemble that would be prefect for tonight! (p.s. Recognize that sleep mask? It's just like Holly Golightly's in Breakfast at Tiffany's! Adore.)

Holiday Style Guide #5

Pool House Living

One good thing about your sister claiming your bedroom the minute you leave for college is the prospect of relocation. Now, if my "new room" had been a cot in the basement (we don't have those at the beach) or an air mattress in the living room (we do have those though, but only when the house is overflowing with visitors) I may not have been so happy. Fortunately, I was relegated to the pool house (Doesn't it just sound sooo OC or Gilmore Girls? Fabulous dahhhling...) The icing on the cake is that my mom turns the pool house into an absolute winter wonderland. Seriously, she decorates the decorations. So I have been eating, sleeping, and breathing Christmas (literally). I love it so much, I had to share! (Disclaimer: All images taken from my BlackBerry, so that is kind of why they look like a crack head took them circa 1937.) 
[a beautiful fire burning in the fireplace]
[the most perfectly broken-in leather couch, a festive blanket, and a Christmas pedi makes watching the 25 Days of Christmas significantly more enjoyable]
[a tree that has more ornaments than branches, most of them homemade]
[how can you not dream of sugar plums in a bed like this?]

Side note: Christmas Pedi= OPI Smitten with Mittens. In real life it looks a lot more Christmas cheer and a lot less Jack the Pumpkin King.

Also, will be back later with a style guide AND some guilt-free fun! 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Gatsby + cocktails

I finished reading The Great Gatsby last night. Although the story didn't quite sweep me off my feet like I had expected, it is beautifully written. Each paragraph reads like poetry. 

"For a moment the last sunshine fell with romantic affection upon her glowing face; her voice compelled me forward breathlessly as I listened- then the glow faded, each light deserting her with lingering regret like children leaving a pleasant street at dusk." (Chapter 1)

Isn't the imagery just lovely? And here's another one of my favorite parts. Gatsby is telling Tom about falling in love with Daisy:

"I can't even tell you how surprised I was to find out I loved her, old sport. I even hoped for a while she'd throw me over, but she didn't, because she was in love with me too. She thought I knew a lot because I knew different things from her... Well, there I was, way off my ambitions, getting deeper in love every minute, and all of a sudden I didn't care. What was the use of doing great things if I could have a better time telling her what I was going to do?" (Chapter 8)

Of course, the story takes place in the Roaring Twenties, so the pages of this novel are filled with cocktails and parties and women and dresses and music and dancing and life. Feeling a little adventurous, or maybe just secretly longing for the days of the Jazz Age (or maybe just feeling  a sense of desperation since my life is in shambles... just kidding... kind of... not really) I decided to try a new cocktail this week. It was fun to branch out from the usual red wine and my dad recommended I try a Smith and Kearns after we finished dinner Monday night. Although it is not a drink from the 20s, it is delicious, a perfect little liquid dessert. Read how to make one here.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

on my mind this Wednesday morning

Do you read The Lil Bee? I do. Actually, I'm kind of obsessed. She has the most adorable baby. And husband. And baby to be! She does these "on my mind" posts during her commute sometimes and I truly adore them. Here is what's on my mind because 1. I can't seem to focus enough to get it together for a real post 2. I have pictures to edit before I can complete those real posts that I haven't even written yet. Unfortunately my mind is a lot more jumbled and confused that hers is, but here's a peek inside. 

On my mind this Wednesday morning...

do i seriously only have 25 minutes before i need to leave for kickboxing?
the first sip of the latte is always the best. just like the first bite of dessert. but maybe even better because it makes you feel all warm inside
seeing christmas trees on top of cars also makes me feel warm inside. i hope i see at least a few more this year.
i can't believe some people put a tree up on christmas eve.
whats the point?
i'm all kinds of sore. seriously. who else can get a sore neck from running? talent.
hmm.. in second thought... i must have looked like a real dummy 
i like how this makes me seem like i work out regularly. when in reality today will be the 5th time in like 2 months (also 2 weeks... but who's counting?)
i woke up thinking today was friday. seriously.  i was brainstorming guilt-frees and everything. and i dont even want this week to go by fast. its a good thing that today is wednesday, because i didn't come up with any.
i miss my roommates. sometimes we make up guilt-frees instead of talking. like if i failed a math test (which isn't true because a. i dont take math and b. i dont fail) but i would say "HEY it's ok if you fail your math test because your teacher is an incompetent fool and the jerk who sits in front of you wouldn't stop smacking his gum..." but usually they involve boys. 
gahhh i miss them (my roommates, not the boys we make up guilt-frees about)
but it is awfully lovely to be home
make that 15 minutes...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ask and it shall be given unto you...

Two hours after I posted this morning, Black Eiffel delivered with these lovely pictures of Anthropologie displays from around the country. I'm considering it an early Christmas present. Go on over and check it out

Empire State of Mind...

When I was 17, my mom introduced me to the Big Apple. I fell in love with the city instantly. The lights, the energy, the shoes... I just love it all. Since then, we have made our annual pilgrimage each year in November. 

We shop all day (spending most of our time at the boutiques in SoHo) and eat dinner in Little Italy almost every night. Our final day is always dedicated to perusing all the goodies in Dean and Deluca and grabbing pizza at Lombardi's. I drink my quota of cappuccinos for the century and we take cannolis back to the hotel each night. 

I always look forward to this fun time in the city, and even more, this special time with my mom. We didn't get to go this year (I was in Africa) but lately my mom and I have both been reminiscing about Italian bakeries, crowded metros, and the world's best breakfast

This morning I remembered something else I am missing... Anthropologie's Christmas decorations. (I think maybe this post sparked my memory) They always have the most beautiful displays, especially at the store in Rockefeller Plaza. I should be able to get my Anthro fix while I'm in Charlottesville after Christmas, but it just isn't the same. Here are a few favorites from years past:
[1, 2, 3, 4]

Monday, December 20, 2010

Holiday Style Guide #4: For a candlelight church service, Christmas Eve Dinner with the family, and fireside cocktails

Holiday Style Guide #4

Listening to...

Good morning sunshines! How was your weekend? The weather here in coastal Carolina was cold and rainy, so most of our time was relegated to indoors. Still a fun weekend, nonetheless, full of Uno and Words with Friends (have you played before? addicting... even though my sister inevitably beats me...) We baked a ton of cookies... more on that later this week... and finished off the weekend with an oyster roast!

Dashing out the door to the gym for a short and painful run, but should be back this afternoon with a full-fledged post!

Until then... Tracy Chapman's rendition of O Holy Night (a personal fave!)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Guilt-free Friday!

Can you believe it is the last weekend before Christmas?! Ahhh I hate it... I wish I could just slow time down and savor these few days. Any festive fun planned? I will finish my Christmas shopping and undoubtedly make dozens and dozens of cookies (and surely eat way too much cookie dough)

Besos, kittens!

Hey it's ok...

if your approach to winter fashion is layering on as many articles of clothing as possible. And then belting it. Then adding one more layer. (or just avoiding the outdoors altogether and staying in sweatpants all day.)

if all of your favorite Christmas movies are animated. 

to stay in your car until Yeah by Usher is over. Not just the first verse. Not just the chorus. the. whole. song. (dancing is fine too, actually encouraged.)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Holiday Style Guide #3: For catching snowflakes on your tongue, ice-skating, and caroling off-key

This one was a bit of a challenge. I am a total baby when it comes to being cold. Don't get me wrong... I looove winter weather, snow, etc. I just think it is best enjoyed fireside with a steaming cup of something. However, if forced to venture outside I think I would be pretty happy in this. (Shoot, with a coat this beautiful I'd be happy in Antarctica) Oh and p.s. these earrings are called "frozen-through" ... I simply couldn't resist!
Holiday Style Guide #3

Holiday Style Guide #2: For trimming the tree, shopping for gifts, and spiking the egg nog

Holiday Style Guide #2

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday Style Guide #1: For baking cookies, making a gingerbread house, and drinking coffee around the clock

Holiday Style Guide #1

Side Note: Can I just say that I am obsessed with these boots... Unfortunately Ruche is currently sold out...

Food Coma + excitement!

Ok, this first part is shameless bragging... This is what dinner looked like last night...
But then again, you wouldn't expect anything less from restaurant owners, right? Did I mention how great it is to be home? (Minus the perpetual food coma I have been in...)

Anyways... on to the exciting, exciting news...

Confession: This year I got a little tired of reading gift guides (sorry!)

I don't know if it's because Christmas is in 10 days and I still have not purchased a single gift or what...

But I've been playing Caitlin Zoe and have decided to do a holiday style guide instead... i.e. what to wear for every holiday event/occasion/festivity possible. Excited?

They'll be posted throughout the next week or so, so be sure to check back soon often! (Hint: The first one will be posted later today!)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Melatonin is changing my life. No seriously, I just had the most restful 12 hours of sleep I have had in a looong time. If you haven't tried it, you should. Not that I condone using sleeping aids on a regular basis, but a. Melatonin is natural and b. I don't see myself using Ambien or Lunesta ever again. (Ambien hangover, anyone? No thanks!)

Now that I've made myself look like a pill-popping insomniac, let's talk about design*sponge... it is one of my absolute favorite blogs. When I first started following I created a "Home Inspiration" folder on my desktop just to save pictures of things that I like, in hopes of using the ideas in my future home! Needless to say, the folder is overflowing with beautiful ideas.

As for now, my roommates and I have to tolerate the stark, white walls and the heinous light fixtures in our little apartment. At least our happy home is full of love, that's what matters. Hopefully someday I will be able to incorporate these lovely ideas in my own home:
[all spotted on design*sponge]
Grace also features really cool before and after projects on the blog. One of my favorites was this old mini-fridge. They updated it by repainting it with chalkboard paint. How rad is that?
Only problem with design*sponge: serious nesting fever and home envy. 

P.S. here's the link one more time so you can get your little butt over there and follow her! :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

to heel with it

It's easy to get lost in the sea of Ugg-clad-look-alikes in my small, coastal town. Seriously, the day temps drop below 60 they come crawling out of the woodwork, often bringing the leggings with them. Maybe that's why I have developed such a penchant for dressier boots lately? Now don't get me wrong, I have a pair (or three) of Ugg boots. And I think there is an appropriate time and place for them (Note: it usually involves snow or sub-zero temperatures). It’s not like I have some strange vendetta against Ugg Australia, I practically live in my Ugg slippers from October through March. Now I mean, you won’t find me wearing them in grocery store or the library, mind you (disclaimer: unless it is exam week, which of course lends itself to all kinds of questionable choices). 

If you’re sipping lattes with a girlfriend, catching a show, or window shopping, there's absolutely no reason not to brave the storm and wear a heel.

Boots with a small heel (we're not talking stripper status) are ridiculously comfortable and truly make an outfit look polished and put-together. Here are a few favorites from our boy Michael Kors. 
[Linkage: 1, 2, 3, and 4.]

And a little style inspiration to go with it:

P.S. this post is kind of the winter version of this one. Remember it?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Mexican Coffee Crisps

This past weekend I was dying to bake cookies, because that's what you do when you have exams to study for. I decided on an old favorite: Mexican Coffee Crisps. They are absolutely delicious and pretty easy to make (unless you read the recipe wrong and add 1/2 a teaspoon of salt instead of 1/8 a teaspoon. Then you spend 10 minutes trying to pick out tiny grains of salt... not so easy.) Despite my blunder, they turned out great. I used this recipe.
Hello breakfast. (Since they're coffee it's ok to eat cookies for breakfast.)


Related Posts with Thumbnails