Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year's Eve | 2014

For me, 2014 has been an amazing year filled both challenges and amazing experiences. It has been a wild, crazy, and unexpected ride that turned out to be one of the best years yet-- Seriously I hit the Jackpot! I would like to thank all of my family and friends for making this year wonderful-- I could not have done it without you! I am forever grateful for your love and support. I encourage everyone to take a look back and reflect back on your year. 

In no particular order here is a slice of my 2014.

I celebrated life with friends and family,laughed, and loved, saw my brother & cousin graduate from college and high school, watched the panthers make it to the playoffs {hoping for a win this Saturday!!}, enjoyed the HUGE snow storm that shut Charlotte down for a few days, put on a Go Kids Go event with Junior League of Charlotte, traveled--basically every weekend, had lots of Girls Night Out with my favorites, crossed some things off my bucket list-- flying in a helicopter & walking over the Brooklyn Bridge,  Winston entered my life {thanks Sara!},  spent time with besties, got back on my gym grind, turned the big 25! & celebrated my grandfathers 94th! plus many others, saw friends get married, engaged and have babies, went through my first corn maze, dressed-up, cheered on team USA in the World Cup, went to sporting events, ate TOO much Chick-fil-A, did the Ice Bucket Challenge, snow skied, got a promotion at Family Dollar, threw parties, played on the roof, started A Frayed Knot-- first post 10/27/14, and ohh so much more.

Cheers to the new goals and accomplishments for 2015. Wishing everyone good heath and success in 2015!


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas Eve | 2014

Merry Christmas Eve from me to you and yours!! I hope that you are spending your Christmas Eve the same way that I will be—enjoying the true meaning of Christmas. We will be going to Christmas Eve service, eating a delicious meal, skiing/snowboarding, hanging out, watching Christmas movies, playing games, and jumping into our matching pj’s before bed!

Each year when we get to Snowshoe for Christmas we stuff our wooden tree with presents & wrap it with lights and a few ornaments. This year Alex 3D printed white snowflakes to add to our tree. I love how large the snowflakes are. They really pop out in photos & will be something we will use for many years to come. It might not be your traditional tree but we sure do love that it’s easy clean-up and involves no watering!
Can you spot the snowman?

For Christmas Eve I wanted to finally share our 2014 family Christmas card. It was hard deciding on what pictures and memories to put into the card that we could have honestly send out a photo album…but we didn't! This year’s card highlights our family {photo cred: Jack Gillespie}, Alex’s College Graduation, our 16 year old puppy Cricket, and crossing one off my Bucket List: Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge! 

Merry Christmas Eve!


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Welcome to New York

Today I left Charlotte on a 6 am flight heading for NYC ... need I say more?

My Tips for this awful early flight {besides the Starbucks & Chick-fil-a}

1. Jamming to Taylor Swift's "Welcome to New York". 

2. Live Updates: Prince William and Kate during their NEW YORK CITY tour {planning where I am going to catch a glimpse}.

3. CARRIE UNDERWOOD's celebration of her Decade #1 Album Release Party today at the iHeartRadio Theater in NYC. The show will also be broadcasted on a jumbo screen in Time Square. {hoping to run into her too!}

4. Lunch @ Shake Shack. ALWAYS a must!

5. Getting to see the Saks Fifth Avenue Christmas Light Show + all the other wonderful Christmas windows & decoration!!! Check out the 2013 show below. It was even more amazing in person last year & I cannot wait to see the 2014 show!


Monday, December 8, 2014

Simmer Pot

A few weeks ago as the Holiday's were inching closer and closer I decided it was time to throw together a simmer pot to make my home smell of Holiday goodness. Although there are many recipes I could have used, I decided to make up my own recipe. My own recipe was extremely easy and all I did was gather ingredients from what I already had.  Some common ingredients that are found in simmer pots are cinnamon sticks, apples/ peels, oranges/ rinds, cloves, apple juice, vanilla, anise, and nutmeg.

Instructions: Fill a small pot with water and bring to a boil. Add ingredients, either from your favorite recipe or some of the common simmer pot ingredients {I used apples, oranges, plumbs, and cinnamon}, and continue to boil for a few minutes. Then turn the heat down to simmer. Then enjoy! Be sure to add water as needed, usually every 30 minutes or so. 

Tip: Get into a habit of saving (rather than tossing out) your fruit peels when you know your going to be making a simmer pot.

Plum, Apples, Oranges
Finished product. Next time i'll be sure to add some cinnamon sticks for texture and prettier appearance


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Hello {HECTIC} December

December, you're the last one so your supposed to be the best one!! I was so excited you finally arrived until my world turned into a blizzard.

Yes, I'll admit this time of year is often hectic with shopping, cooking, traveling, but add about 100 projects on top of that and welcome to my December. The below depicts what I thought the rest of 2014 would look like.. a little up hill and easy, but in reality it is all over the place.

I know that I am not the only person that feels this way during this season and I hope that through the midst of all the chaos you can find time to laugh, relax, and enjoy being with others. Here is some comic relief from the office today... clearly they have had a hectic December too!



Friday, November 28, 2014

Five on BLACK Friday | In a Snowglobe

Hello Friends! I have been blessed with my Friday starting on Wednesday just like many of you who have Thanksgiving and Friday off from work. Although it was a short work week it seemed like I had a few hiccups before Vacation mode. Monday morning I woke to having car troubles and my car had to go to the shop. Thankfully though, I have wonderful friends who were able to tote me around until my car was fixed--- just in time for me to pack it and head to Snowshoe. I made it safely and it has been snowing ever since I arrived.

A little peek into my week...

ONE: I'll admit I am completely obsessed with Taylor Swift. Did you see her performance of "Blank Space" at the 2014 AMA's? Ahhhmazing-- per usual.

TWO: My drive up to Snowshoe was clear the entire way until the last few miles of the drive--it had begun to snow!! The entrance to our condo buildings was so pretty as I pulled in.  It was beautiful to see my first snow so early in the season even though it was MIDNIGHT when I finally made it! Mom and dad rolled in around 3am and we moved a new refrigerator into the condo. After a long night it was finally bedtime at 4:30 am!
THREE: Have you ever had one of the gourmet cupcakes from Gigi's? I had never tried them before {sorry you cupcake lovers} and my dad brought these decadent cupcakes up to the mountains. I split the Candy bar Crunch cupcake and I was in Butterfingers heaven. I have never been much of a frosting person-- but this frosting was savory and sweet.
FOUR: HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! To see what I am thankful for go here. This Thanksgiving I woke up to a beautiful view of snow-covered trees, saw the Turkey Skiing, and had a wonderful Thanksgiving meal with my parents. By the end of the day we had gotten a FOOT of fresh powder and more on the way.

FIVE: BLACK FRIDAY {ONLINE} DEALS! Although I am doing no shopping today, I wanted to share my top 5 online deals for Black Friday:
BAUBLEBAR15% off two items
GAP50% off sitewide | code BLKFRIDAY
JCREW30% off select full price items, 40% off sale | code HOLIDAY
KATE SPADE SATURDAY: 30% off everything, free shipping | code DEALME
OLDNAVY50% off sitewide
FIVE A: Today I woke up and watched Live! with Kelly and Michael, which was a treat since I usually am at work. They wore these hilarious Christmas sweaters on the first part of the show and now I am looking forward to Tacky Christmas Sweater parties. Jack has been wanting this Knitted Crackling Fireplace sweater and I already have TWO new sweaters in my closet. TACKY CHRISTMAS here we come! 

Thanks to DarciAprilChristina, and Natasha!


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

"I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.  For in him you have been enriched in every way--in all your speaking and in all your knowledge"
1 Corinthians 1:4-5
I hope that you are enjoying spending time with family & friends, watching the 87th Macy's Day Parade or a little football, eating turkey and all the fixing's and MAKING SURE to leave some room for dessert-- the most important part!

There are so many things thanks I am thankful for--- 
I am SUPER thankful for my family {and dogs}, friends, health, shelter, food, faith, and everything else I have been given. Today has consisted so far of the parade {Alex was on the Kool Aid Man Balloon}, yummy food, and incredible skiing weather {it has been snowing all day--- 12 inches in the past 24 hrs!}.

Tonight i'll be at the condo with a nice fire and enjoy not being in the midst of the hustle and bustle! Please be safe if you are going out for "Black Friday" sales.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Vacation | Thanksgiving 2014

SnowIt's that time again for first tracks, powders stashes, and downhill fun---- TODAY Nov 26th is OPENING DAY at Snowshoe Ski Resort in West Virginia. LUCKY me I am heading up after work to Snowshoe for a Thanksgiving Celebration with my mom, dad, and Cricket! Current weather forecast is 32°F with 16 inches of snow for the season already-- and looking for more tonight! I am super happy that the eastern part of the state is getting fresh powder & cannot wait to hit the slopes.
Snowshoe 2013 Christmas
This year will be a little different Thanksgiving for my family. Alex is visiting friends up in Hoboken/ NYC- which is where we have done Thanksgiving for the past 5 years. Our normal Thanksgiving those years involved watching Alex in the Macy's Parade carrying a balloon {last year was BUZZ LIGHTYEAR, not sure yet which balloon he is on this year}.
View from Hoboken of NYC 2013
Blowing Up the Balloons 2013
Although the plans are different, I am going to enjoy the vacation time skiing/ snowboarding, spending time with my parents, eating Thanksgiving food + leftovers, and relaxing. There is not much shopping within a hour from Snowshoe so there will not be any Black Friday shopping during my Thanksgiving vacation. Time to hit the road now...

Safe Travels to all !


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

2014 Favorite Things| Stocking Stuffers

I am excited to link up with AprilEliseKatie, & Zelle to share a few of my favorite STOCKING STUFFERS for others!!! In my stocking I love getting some candy, practical items, and a few surprises along the way + who can forget the mini wine bottle that has made it in my stocking since I turned 21. #santaknowseverything

If you don't know what to get someone, a Gift Card or MULAH will always work, and you will never hear a complaint!

Now onto the list...

ONE/ Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Almond Toffee. If you have not had these, you need to try them. they are amazinggg! Let's face it--- what isn't amazing from TJ's? They offer many different sweet treats that are perfect to fill the stocking.

TWO/ Don't you hate when your favorite drink loses its hot/cold goodness before you can fully enjoy it. Why not give someone the YETI Rambler in their stocking? It's an over-engineered tumbler that comes in two sizes.

THREE/ Every time I walk into World Market especially around Christmas I am sure to find a few items that someone on my list needs in their stocking. I love this Tonal Gold Tassel Necklace made in India + its under $20!!

FOUR/ The new iPhone6 or charger accessories

FIVE/ Bvlgari Omnia Crystalline has been one of my new favorite scents this year.. but I have not made the plunge and bought a bottle. Most perfumes come in a rollerball or purse size bottle-- so if you know his or her favorite scent why not pick up a smaller travel size bottle.

SIX/ LULULEMON. Roll almost anything up and it will fit somehow into the stocking. I have been loving this and this.

SEVEN/ Working out I like to listen to music. It pumps me up and keeps me going throughout my workout. Although the cord does not bother me, it bothers some. Why not give them the new BEATS by Dre Wireless Headphones. They come in many different styles and colors. Designed for Sound. Tuned for Emotion.

Thanks to AprilEliseKatieZelle 


Monday, November 24, 2014

Weekending | Hornets & Friendsgiving

Friday night Jack and I went to my first Charlotte Hornets game. We had pretty good seats in section 116 and were sitting right next to the UNC-Chapel Hill Basketball team!! Of course I had to get my picture with Marcus Paige--- I mean who wouldn't when your that close! Although the Hornets lost in the end even though they were up 25 points at one point I had a wonderful time cheering on the team, dancing to the music {it was 90s night}, and getting to see the UNC team + Roy Williams. 

JG's Insta  #lovedit                                                 Me & Marcus Paige                         

Saturday we had our pre-friendsgiving football game. Amanda and I were the only girls to show up, but we had a wonderful time. I even caught the ball when my team went for the extra 2 points despite that my team lost both games
After the game we watched The Hunger Games: Catching Fire in anticipation of going to see Mockingjay, Part 1 ---which we were going to watch Sunday and ended up just watching Netflix.
Saturday night we headed to our friends Goddard & Kirkham's house for our 2nd Annual Friendsgiving. I made one of Jack's favorites-- Cheesey Potatoes {recipe soon!}, and the guys fried a turkey, which was something that I had never had before. The turkey was my favorite thing with the mashed potatoes coming in a close second. By the end of the night we were all stuffed! We had a great time together with old friends and some new... and especially enjoyed when Goddard sang/danced along to "Shake It Off" by Taylor Swift. Just plain Hilarious!

Caanan, Amanda, Jack, & Me!

Goddard with Mr. Turkey hat

Me, Chris, & Michelle

Sunday we watched Netflix all day, played a little N64 Mario Kart, and Jack made a wonderful sirloin roast for dinner. The weekend flew by but THANKgoodness it is a short week with Thanksgiving in just a few days!
Toad- JG, Peach- ETB

Sirloin roast, pre-oven!