Last night we continued one of our favorite Christmas traditions by seeing A Christmas Carol at the ACT Theater, a small theater in downtown Seattle with an arena stage. The intimate setting (literally sitting on the stage) made the performance that much more enjoyable and truly resonated the true meaning of Christmas spirit.
Live for the past, present, and future.
These “silk” track pants are ah-mazing - all night I felt like I snuck out of the house wearing my pajamas. Due to their comfort and fit, pumps are a necessity to elongate the legs and distinguish them from my pjs. The leather jacket and metallic heels made the paisley print fun for a date night out with the husband. Want to wear them to work? Simply swap out the leather jacket for a structured blazer and the metallic pumps for ones in black to make this look work appropriate.
Seattle is apparently experiencing their coldest weather in fifteen years….and it is a high of 33 here. As a Midwest girl, I am experiencing the mildest winter in my twenty-eight years while also getting in some good chuckles listening to these Seattleites complain about the freezing cold weather and gasp the thought of actually getting snow. Don’t get me wrong, I do NOT for one second miss the bone chilling wind of Chicago or romping through knee-high piles of snow on the way to work, I just hope and pray that I never lose my ingrained Midwest winter coat and forever think 33 is warm for December. Regardless, I will take any excuse to warm up with a hot pot of chili.
1 lb ground turkey
1 bell pepper – red, yellow, green, or orange (or half of each)2 stalks celery, chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 cup organic vegetable broth
28 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
cheddar cheese, shredded
In a large pot, cook the ground turkey on medium heat until no longer pink, drain off fat, and return to the pan. Add in bell peppers, celery, onion, and garlic. Cook on medium until vegetables are soft (about 4-5 minutes). Add remaining ingredients, stir well, bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low and cover for 25 minutes. Remove cover and cook an additional 20 minutes until thickened. Top with cheese and garnish (optional).
Heading into the mountains to capture our 2013 Christmas card photo called for some major planning, perfect weather, and patience. Luckily we were blessed with all three plus some good laughs and memories. When dressing for your Christmas photo, you want to appear subtly festive. Leave the ugly sweaters at home and sport a combination of plaid, shades of red or green, sparkle, and/or visible layers, all of which remind us of cozying up, celebrating, and dressing for the holiday season. Check back Christmas morning for our official 2013 Christmas Card photo along with some bloopers from the shoot (i.e. a big fall into the snow). Do you send out Christmas cards?
An embellished sweater is the perfect way to add a little sparkle to your wardrobe for the holiday parties and events this season without breaking the bank.
Can you guess which is the splurge and which is the save? Left or Right?
This one here is a huge save right now too!
A major benefit of living in the Pacific Northwest is the opportunity to venture into the local mountains to search for and cut down our very own Christmas tree. In the past, we’ve proudly decorated our fake four-foot cashmere pine, which is sadly tucked away in our storage bin in Iowa, but this year we wanted to step it up and get our first REAL Christmas tree as a couple. The thrill of the search, traipsing through the mud and snow, feeling the fresh nip of the cold, debating the potential of each tree, sawing at the thick trunk, and shouting timber in victory adds a sense of pride, joy, and excitement that a fake tree in a box just doesn’t capture. This will forever be a tradition for our family to experience together to kick off the month of December. Now on to the decorating.
Searching for that perfect tree calls for a comfortable outfit fit to get dirty while keeping you warm and dry. Hunter boots to stomp in those knee-high puddles, black leggings to hide the dirt, a puffy vest to easily control your temperature (it gets hot hiking!), a stocking hat to lock in heat, and glittens to give you full finger function. Comfort, functionality, and style – the perfect combination.
I hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving holiday weekend full of time with your families, pants-popping amounts of deliciously good food, time relaxing on the couch, and being thankful for what truly matters. With the passing of the Thanksgiving holiday comes the most exciting time: a month spent preparing for Christmas. This year I’m participating in Chelsea’s Holiday Challenge to make sure I squeeze in time for all my favorite holiday traditions this month. I would love to hear what your favorite holiday traditions are – share or link up your December bucket list below! Make sure to check out Chelsea’s list here and follow me on Instagram for pictures of my daily doses of holiday cheer! Happy December everyone!
Sometimes impulse buys are all you need to put a little life back into your favorite neutral basics. These pants (that I scored for $12) did just that trick for an impromptu early Sunday breakfast date with the husband at Wild Mountain Cafe this past weekend followed by a stroll at Green Lake Park. Can we discuss these gorgeous leaves that aren’t saturated or filtered in any way? Now picture an entire park filled with trees in varying shades of yellow, red, orange, and green – absolutely stunning – the perfect way to start a Sunday.
The number of times I wear this leopard scarf a week is highly embarrassing, which is why it is surprising to discover I’ve only styled it one other way on here when I shared my favorite travel attire. This outfit is ridiculously easy and my go-to way to get dressed when I’m standing in front of my closet committing the typical “I have nothing to wear” tantrum – a blazer layered over a tank and tee combo topped off with a printed scarf, leggings, and boots. What’s your go-to outfit combination for fall?
When you travel for a long duration of time whether it be two weeks or eight months, you begin to have frequent conversations of the food you miss from home. The comfort foods from your childhood, hometown restaurants, and those you create in your own kitchen. One thing that we were always craving were the sandwiches, cheese fries, and spice cake from a Quad-Cities only deli called Hungry Hobo (if you’re ever in the area, you HAVE to stop). While we were home this past summer for three months we definitely ate enough spice cake from there to make up for the previously missed eight months. Now that we are yet again out of Hungry Hobo’s location range, we’ve resorted to making and devouring this decadent, rich, life-changing pumpkin bar recipe to remind us of home. Special thank you shout-out to the Fox family for sharing this recipe with us – we can’t get enough of it!
for bars 15 oz can pumpkin
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Mix together all the ingredients for the pumpkin bars until smooth, pour into a greased 10×15 or 11×14 jelly roll pan, and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the vanilla with the softened cream cheese and butter then slowly mix in the powdered sugar until frosting is smooth. Allow the pumpkin bars to cool completely before frosting and devouring.
If clothes could tell a story, this oversized, blanket cardigan would tell of our adventures throughout Hong Kong and Nepal. Wrapping up in this cozy sweater brings back a rush of memories (exploring new places, trying exotic foods, meeting new friends) and a mix of emotions (adventure/safety, longing/comfort) each and every time. I love that each compliment it receives opens the doors for reminiscing about our time traveling and for connecting with strangers. Here’s to a week filled with appreciation for where we’ve been, where we are now, and wherever the future may lead. Have a great week everyone!