Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Cards 2014

Happy Winter Solstice! I'm SERIOUSLY looking forward to some extra sunlight from here on out!
This year, I could not be any happier with how our Christmas cards turned out!
My only experience ever making and ordering Christmas cards was always through CVS, but earlier this year I noticed a killer Groupon for 50 cards from Staples for $10! That's seriously cheaper than our cards were last year! I jumped on the offer and quickly passed it along to my parents and in-laws. Ryan and I made the cards online with some of my new favorite pictures from this past year and they were ready for pick up the next day! My only regret is that we didn't order 100 for $20 instead! 


To address the cards, I used a combination of two different washi tapes to make the envelopes just a little more festive...that is until I ran out of washi tape. (sorry friends!)

Three more days until Christmas and one more day until Ryan and I finally catch a ride back to Georgia!! Happy Holidays!!

Monday, December 15, 2014

730 Days

730 days ago today, Ryan and I got hitched! 24 months ago, with our friends and family by our sides, we vowed to love and stand by each other's side for the rest of our lives. TWO years, people. Two years!

This past year of marriage has brought with it another set of new experiences and adventures. Some highlights: We made our first trip to Europe together. We (Ryan) received a couple promotions through work and (me) completed six out of seven classes towards a Master's degree. We hosted five sets of family members and friends up in Boston. And my personal favorite: We became Aunt Sarah and Uncle Ryan, welcoming little Leah into the world! 

These first two years of marriage together have been full of amazing experiences and we have made so many memories I will cherish forever. I am so excited to see what the years ahead have in store for us! Without getting too much more sappy on the old blog (Ryan, you know how I feel about you!), I'm just going to share how we decided to celebrate these past 730 days together, a couple days early.

Since our anniversary fell on a Monday this year, Ryan and I pushed our celebration up to Saturday night. Ryan, being the stud that he is, won an award through Dow that gave us a $100 gift card to the Chart House, a fancy pants restaurant in Boston.

To make the most of our trip into the city, we went in early to walk around and admire the city decked out for the holidays and do a little ice skating in Frog Pond! Once we parked, we walked over to Frog Pond since we thought it would be a good idea to ice skate before dinner. However, someone had other plans for us. When we got to the rink, the line to get inside the gate was ridiculously long. We stuck around for a couple minutes before deciding it would be a better idea to try to come back after dinner and hope that the line would be shorter. With our new plan, we set out to grab a taxi over to Quincy Market.

We spent thirty or so minutes walking around the Market, picking up a couple extra Christmas presents before our dinner reservation at 6:45. The Market had a special light show every thirty minutes, which was pretty cool to watch, but made picture taking by the giant tree tricky with the crazy flashing lights! We tried to ask people to take our picture a couple times, but could never seem to get all the lights on for a picture. Oh well!

Our dinner at Chart House was unbelievable. The service was so good and everyone made us feel super special for celebrating our anniversary with them. Once we were seated, a VIP sign was placed on our table and at least four or five different people came over to check on us and wish us a happy anniversary over the course of our meal.

Even the menus they gave us were specially printed, wishing us a happy 2nd anniversary! Such sweet little touches made our experience so wonderful!

For our meal, we started with crab stuffed mushrooms, followed by coconut shrimp for the Ry-Guy and a short rib and scallop dinner for me. Everything was D-E-LICIOUS!

As a compliment from the restaurant, our waiter brought us out a ridiculously tasty mud cake with coffee ice cream and an oreo crust. It was so large that the table next to us congratulated us on finishing the whole thing before we left. Win!

 With full bellies, we made our way back to Frog Pond to try our luck at ice skating again. Fortunately for us, there was no line, so we walked right through. The rink closed at 10, which gave us a good 40 minutes to play around on the ice. It had been YEARS since either Ryan or I had been ice skating. Needless to say, we were both pretty unsteady in our skates to begin. While Ryan seemed to get the hang of things pretty quickly, I tended to stick closer to the wall for the majority of our time on the ice! However, I am happy to report than neither of us fell on our butts the entire time!! Ice skating success!

Ryan on the move! 

Hanging out on my wall... 
Overall, our night was pretty similar to our first two years of marriage: extremely fun and full of new adventures!

For our actual anniversary tonight, Ryan and I are spending the night at home with some homemade spaghetti and meatballs and a bottle of champagne. Cheers to many, many more anniversaries, Ry!

Read about our first anniversary here.

Monday, December 8, 2014

My Favorite Things To Do With Burlap (Right Now)

Hello and happy Monday! This weekend went by like a blur and was filled with mall shopping, whiskey tasting, football watching, and errand running. While everything was great, the football game could have gone a little better (darn you, FSU!) 

So...if you've read any of my recent already know what my first Christmas craft of the season was. Without being redundant, I just wanted to share a few quick tips on how this little burlap wreath was created. 

After scouring Pinterest for craft ideas in November, I quickly decided a festive burlap wreath for the front door would be perfect! There were so many tutorials on Pinterest that I thought for sure it would be a breeze. Wrong! 
Luckily, I first tackled this craft at my friend Rachel's house. I say luckily because we all know two heads are better than one! On top of that, Rachel is a master crafter, so we figured it out pretty quickly together! We found that the best way to figure out how to put together a burlap wreath is to use a combination of directions from various websites. There are 2089357483942 different blog posts that can be found via Pinterest already, so I really don't see the need for me to spell it out one more time. 

Basically, all you need is a wire wreath, burlap ribbon (about 60 ft.), some accent ribbon, and either floral wire or pipe cleaners. I got all of my supplies at A.C. Moore for $8! These wreaths sell for $45+ on etsy! 

Just some extra tips: 
  • Start your burlap weaving on the outermost wire ring and weave over, under, over, under toward the inside of the ring. 
  • Weave the burlap through four times in each section so that the wreath is fuller. 
  • I really wanted to add an accent ribbon in to bring a pop of color to the neutral burlap. I found it best that the accent ribbon be wired. I weaved the accent ribbon through each section two times, trying my best to space them out evenly. 
That's it! I enjoyed this craft (and the end result) so much, that I made another one for my mom in Virginia! 

Another way I'm loving burlap this holiday season is as a Christmas card holder! I had some extra burlap ribbon from the wreath craft that I wasn't sure what to do with. Then one day while I was perusing the isles at Marshalls, I came across a couple packs of festive mini clothespins and immediately knew what to do! 

I didn't end up using the washi tape back there for this craft...but you will be seeing that again in a few days! 

Off of our makeshift pantry in the kitchen, I rolled down the burlap ribbon. I am currently using the clothespins to hold all of our beautiful Christmas cards we've already received (Seriously people... some of ya'll are on TOP of your game this year!). I LOVE the way it turned out and that I get to admire everyone's cards every time I walk into the kitchen! 

Alright, I am off to a Christmas cookie swap! The Christmas festivities have officially begun for this little Smith family! Have a great night, everyone! 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

We Decked the Halls

I have been waiting patiently for weeks now to finally share my Christmas decorations with the world (or whoever actually reads this thing...). Today is the day! 

Ryan and I actually decked our halls two or so weeks ago after much begging and pleading on my part. I realize some people may frown upon the whole "decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving" thing, but seasonal decorations make me giddy. So why should I have to wait until December 1st to put our tree up and only get to enjoy everything for a few short weeks?? Anybody? That's what I thought! 

I take pictures of our Christmas decorations every year (last years set up), so that I can remember where I put things the year before, making re-decorating the next year that much easier. Plus, I just like to give my friends and family out there a little glimpse into our home sweet home we've made for ourselves in Boston. So...without further ado, I present to you my views this season. 

Let's start at the entrance. Welcome in! 

This burlap wreath is my first Christmas craft of the season! It was also one of my November goals! I'm so happy with how it turned out. One of these days I plan on actually documenting the burlap wreath making process on here. One of these days. 

This is our entry table and one of my most favorite spots to decorate seasonally. The banner is new and glittery and came from Etsy. My favorite decorations on the table are the chef Santa, given to us by Mama Kathy, and the bowl of ornaments, which were handed down to us by Ryan's Granny and Papa. These are definitely decorations we will cherish forever.

 Once you walk past our entry, you see this:

Our tree for the season! Our DIY stocking holder can be seen closer up here

Our newest addition to the Christmas tree- a little leprechaun ornament straight from Ireland. 
 Our newest piece of furniture (Thanks Brad, Susan, Rick, and Jane!) decorated for it's first Christmas:

For our first anniversary, my god-father and uncle Dave and aunt Carolyn gave us a nativity scene. On a note that he wrote, Uncle Dave told us that my grandfather gave him and aunt Carolyn a similar nativity set for their first anniversary. I think that is so special and will also cherish displaying this set year after year.

To round this post out, here are a couple other odds and ends around the apartment.

I love coming home to our very own Christmas oasis after work in the evenings. Happy Holidays, ya'll!