November 29, 2016

Holiday Traditions & Decorating with Thymes

It really is the most wonderful time of the year. . .

We are savoring these days filled with extra special school activities, holiday movies, baking, decorating, warm fires, chilly temperatures and everything in between.  And as busy and chaotic as it can get, I'm doing my best to stay on top of things and keep us all organized so that we can enjoy as much of this short season without the stress.

Traditions are so important to my family and I find that the holidays are the best time to incorporate them into our daily lives.  I love introducing my kids to traditions that I enjoyed as a child and we are really having fun starting some new ones of our own.

As a child, I couldn't wait until the weekend after Thanksgiving to start dressing up our home for Christmas.  The tree would go up and my brother and I would add in the ornaments and lights while my parents played Christmas music and lit the fireplace.  My mom would go out and buy lots of fresh greenery to drape across the mantle and then my dad would weave it all the way up the banister to our second floor.  Our home looked and felt so warm & cozy.  The sounds from the crackling wood-burning fireplace and the fragrant scent of the fir tree garlands sprinkled throughout.  A scene I vividly remember and cherish all these years later.

This past Thanksgiving weekend I knew we had to continue the tradition that I adored as a child and so my husband, the kids and I decided to pull out all of the holiday lights and decorations to start dressing up our home for Christmas.  We added in a few new {and inexpensive} things this year like those sweet little bottlebrush trees and ceramic houses on the mantle.  And rather than go out to purchase fresh greenery to bring out those incredible smells of the season, I decided a better {and far less messy} alternative would be to light our favorite holiday candles in different rooms throughout the house.

Thymes Frasier Fir candles are as close to the real thing as you can get.  The scent is so fresh, crisp and pure.  An authentic holiday scent that truly makes your home smell festive for the season.  Thymes has even introduced new packaging this year and it's absolutely gorgeous.  Natural wood boxes and limited edition mercury glass take the candles to a whole new level of beauty.  They really add so much to each room in our home and I'm sure the scent will linger long after the holidays are over.  A scent I know my children will love for years to come and one that will evoke memories of time spent as a family, decorating our home for the holidays.

Thymes is also passionate about supporting our planet and has partnered with WOODCHUCK USA to plant a tree for every product sold in their Northwoods & Limited Edition collections featured in this post as part of their buy one, plant one campaign.  I love that each of these products includes a special gift tag detailing the campaign so if you were to gift one to a family member, friend or loved one, they will read that a tree has been planted as a result of the gift.

So give the gift of trees and shop Frasier Fir and buy one, plant one here

Lastly, with every purchase of $25 or more {here} you will receive a variety bundle of 12 Thymes lotion samples using the code BESTGIFTEVER.  

I hope you all are enjoying the beginning of this magical time of year. . .

Happy Holidays!!


November 17, 2016

Monthly Beauty Favorites {October/November}

Gimme allllllll the moisture. . . am I right?!  My skin is crazy dry this time of year so I really try to focus on my skincare regimen and up my water intake to combat the dehydration.

Hydrate, exfoliate, hydrate. . . repeat.

I definitely tend to wear less makeup in the winter and just concentrate more on my skin.  No powder products and minimal foundation keep my skin looking dewy, fresh and natural.  I stick with cream based bb creams and blush if I want a little more coverage but most days you'll find me with a tinted moisturizer, mascara, groomed brows and lip balm.

Here are the current beauty products I've been loving the past month and a half. . .

Sunday Riley Tidal Cream //  No, I'm not sponsored by them in any way, I just really love their stuff. I'm about halfway through my luna oil & good genes and my skin looks & feels SO good.  I use those 2 both at night and then finish with this tidal cream.  It's a winning combo for sure!  My pores are less visible, the sun spots have almost completely diminished and I even see the lines around my mouth and eyes are very faded.

Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Masque //  One of my all time favorite products.  I bust this stuff out every winter and it really brings my skin back to life.  I even sleep with a thin layer of this stuff on some nights and I can always count on waking up to a softer, more hydrated face.  Once a week I'll do a mask and this is great for anyone needing a moisture boost.

BeautyCounter Rose Water Spray //  I love these beauty mists and have been known to keep them all over my house and car.  I love to have one in my purse too.  Usually by the afternoon my face starts to feel a little tight so I reach for one of these rose water sprays for a quick refresh.  They are great any time of day really and my kids will even ask for a little spritz if they see me reaching for one.

French Girl Organics Rose Lip Polish //  Just like my skin, my lips start to crack and peel during this time of year.  I've been really enjoying this lip scrub on a weekly basis before bed.  I rub a tiny amount on my lips and then follow it with my favorite lip conditioner from Aerin Beauty.

Chanel Sublimage Eye Cream //  I have a little secret to share here. . . whenever I walk through a department store, I stop by the Chanel beauty counter.  I love the displays and all of their products are so luxe and pretty.  And if I'm lucky, one of the sweet sales girls will happily dish out samples.  The eye cream samples are THE BEST.  You only need a teeny tiny amount so they last for quite a while. Next time you need a new mascara, stop by the Chanel counter and ask for this one {it's amazing!} and then be sure to ask for a couple samples!


October 25, 2016

Creating Quality {& Easy!} Photo Books

I can't believe it's been over a year since my husband and I traveled to Portugal (remember this post & this post).  We had the most incredible time and truly believe it was one of those "trips of a lifetime."  While we were there, I snapped a ton of photos and promised myself to put them into a photo book within a month or two after we were home.  I was really excited to reflect on the trip and share all the stories and photos with our closest family and friends.  Well, as usual, life got in the way and it fell to the bottom of my list of priorities. . .

Well that all changed when I was recently introduced to a new service at Shutterfly called Make My Book.  As someone who has made photo books in the past, I know they can be incredibly time consuming.  Like hours and hours of choosing the photos, cropping them, adding captions, rearranging pages, backgrounds, etc.  So the new Make My Book service completely changed that for me and I'll tell you how. . . You simply upload your photos, select a theme or color format and add in a few comments about the overall look you are going for and the designers at Shutterfly do the rest.  That is it.  It took a couple of days after I submitted my images but then I received a proof of what my book would look like.  I was able to edit a few things and swap out a few photos and even upgrade my pages to a more heavy duty matte paper.  It was so easy and I'm THRILLED with the way it turned out.

Now, nothing makes me happier than seeing my kids flip through the pages as it sits on our coffee table.  It's the perfect conversation piece and my husband and I just love sharing details about each and every photo.

If you are anything like me and have tons of family photos or vacation pictures just sitting on your phone or memory card, I would highly recommend the new Make My Book service at Shutterfly.  I've been saying for years that I wanted to get better at putting our photos into books and with this new service saving me time AND making it so simple, I'm really looking forward to creating more. . .

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