Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Linking up today with AprilEliseKatie, and Zelle for These Are a Few of My Favorite Things 2014!

Even though I'm 27 years old, my mom still fills a stocking for me every Christmas and I love it.  I can't wait to fill stockings for my kids some day.  I don't think that stocking stuffers should be expensive.  There are so many fun things to fill stockings with that are relatively cheap.  Today I'm sharing some of my favorite things to get and give as stocking stuffers.  

Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Socks - Cute socks or slippers make great stocking stuffers for anyone!  They could even be dress socks for work if that's something you need (hint, hint-I could use some).

Nail Polish - I love nail polish and they are the perfect size for stocking stuffers.  I'm looking for a great fall/winter color--any suggestions?

Candy - Such an easy thing to fill a stocking with--my favorites are York Peppermint Patties and Reeses, in case anyone was wondering ;)

Notebook/Stationary - Who doesn't love cute notebooks, note cards, pens, etc.?

Winter Hat - I don't know about you, but living in Michigan means I have a need for lots of cute winter gear, including hats, scarves, and gloves.

Starbucks Gift Card - Or any gift card really.  Coffee gift cards are great, because even a small amount like $5 or $10 will actually get you a drink or two.

Many of these items are great for the men in your life too (socks, candy, winter gear, gift cards).  Some of my other stocking stuffer ideas for guys include beef jerky, nuts, lottery tickets/scratch offs, and cologne.

What are some of your favorite stocking stuffers to get or to give?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Girls Shopping Weekend (& Giveaway Winner!)

I hope you all had a great weekend!  I spent the weekend shopping at an outlet mall and having a blast!  And most of our snow had melted away by the time I got home yesterday, so that made me happy.  Here's a recap of my weekend in iPhone photos:

Giant beers at dinner Friday night.
Me, my Mom, and my Sister

Our group at dinner, plus our awesome waitress!

These girls are serious.  Drinks and Cards Against Humanity Friday night.

All of the purchases after shopping all day Saturday,

How we had to set up the camera to get a group photo with all our bags.

Group photo (just missing my phone--she was taking it on her phone). 
Now it's time for a short work week, and a super busy weekend.  I'll be spending the next few days getting ready for Thanksgiving and hopefully getting a couple of runs in before I run a 5k Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning!

How was your weekend?

The winner of the Old Factory Candle Gift Set giveaway is:

Congrats Rhonda!  Make sure you check your email to claim your prize :)

Bella And The City

Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Five

ONE.  Snow Day.  I had my first snow day of this winter on Tuesday.  Actually, it was only a half snow day because I had to go in to work at 1:00 p.m., but I'll take it!  It's one of the few good things about winter in Michigan.

Nothing could be truer. The weather alone can surprise you. Sun, rain, thunder, ice, snow and slush...all on the same day.

TWO.  Speaking of snow....Kevin got to put our snowblower to good use over the past few days.  Let me tell you, that snowblower is one of the greatest things ever!  It only takes him 20-30 minutes to do our entire driveway and front sidewalk leading to our front door.  It used to take 1-2 HOURS with both of us out there shoveling.  And we would be tired and sweaty after doing it.  Definitely a great investment.

This was Tuesday afternoon.  He has had to do it two more times since then. SO. MUCH. SNOW.
THREE.  New Job.  On December 1st I start a new job.  I'm excited but nervous for this new adventure.  I've been at my current job for almost 4.5 years.  It's hard to leave something that I know so well for something new and different, but it's time for me move on.  It's an opportunity that I can't pass up.  I expect the next month or two to be a little slower with blog posts with all of the holiday craziness and learning my new role, so please bear with me.

FOUR.  Shopping Weekend.  Tonight I'm heading on a girls shopping trip with my mom, sister, and aunt.  We are going to an outlet mall for the weekend to do some Christmas shopping...and maybe some shopping for me. Remember the plaid shirt and fur vest I wrote about on Tuesday (here)?  They might end up coming home with me this weekend.

so true lol
FIVE.  Banana Ice Cream.  Kevin and I are trying to eat healthier.  It's hard, but we've been doing pretty good and we are seeing results.  We've both shed some pounds and we both feel so much better since we aren't eating so much junk.  The other night I made this banana ice cream.  Three ingredients: bananas, peanut butter, cocoa powder.  It was delicious!  It definitely satisfied our sweet tooth without all the guilt of eating a candy bar or some other sugar loaded treat.

ItsSelected: Guilt-Free “Ice Cream” Frozen bananas, peanut butter and cocoa powder

Hope you have a great weekend and stay warm!

Linking up today with:
 September Farm and The Farmer's Wife for oh hey Friday!

Momfessionals for Friday Favorites!

ChristinaDarciApril, and Natasha for Five on Friday!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Happy Birthday Sister!

Just popping in today to say Happy 25th Birthday to my sister, Ashley!  Thanks for always being my partner in crime and the person who takes silly mirror selfies with me :)  I love you!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Favorite Things - Christmas Wish List

Linking up today with AprilEliseKatie, and Zelle for These Are a Few of My Favorite Things 2014!

Although I am waiting until after Thanksgiving to decorate for Christmas, I am trying to get all of my Christmas shopping done early.  I've even started MY Christmas Wish List in case any of my family or my husband (hint hint) need ideas for me.  I decided to keep this list "fun" and share some things I'd love, but probably won't buy myself.

Ericka's Christmas Wish List

Jewelry - I really want some gold stud earrings, and these Kate Spade Sailor's Knot Studs are perfect!  I've also wanted a Michael Kors watch for a couple years now, but never could justify spending that much on a watch.  But now that the "gold" on my cheap watch is flaking off, I think it's time for something new....and nicer :)

Clothes - I LOVE the look of a plaid shirt and fur vest, so I think both of these things need to make their way in to my closet this Christmas.  I may have to just get them myself so I can wear them now!  Old Navy has tons of cute plaid shirts and I've seen lots of cute fur vests out there too.

Boots - I can't decide which of these Sorel boots I like more, so I think I need both.  The Sorel wedge boots are super cute and would keep my feet dry during the winter, but still look cute with skinny jeans or leggings.  On the other hand, the Sorel Tofino boots look like they would be perfect for keeping my feet warm and dry when I'm in the snow for long periods of time, like when I'm snow blowing or playing with the dog.  Yep, I think I just justified needing both of them!

DSLR Camera - I have no idea which camera I would get, but I know I want one.  I would definitely have to do some research before making this purchase.  This is something I would save any Christmas money for and purchase it myself when I know what I want.

Weights - I have 3lb and 5lb dumbbells, but I'd like some bigger weights too.  Probably 8lb and 10lb weights.  I'm trying to keep myself active this winter and I do a lot of indoor workouts that require dumbbells.

I do have some more "practical" things on my Christmas Wish List, like a new set of pots & pans, a new knife set, an automatic car starter, etc, but who wants to look at photos of pots and pans?  This list is definitely a "wish" list because I wouldn't buy myself most of these things, even though I love them.

What's on your Christmas Wish List?

Make sure to enter the Old Factory Candles giveaway HERE.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Weekend Recap - First Snow

It's a snowy Monday here in Michigan!  We got our first "real" snow this weekend (meaning that it actually stuck to the ground and accumulated).  Here's what we were up to this weekend:

Friday night Kevin and I went to dinner at Mongolian Grill with some friends--I forgot how much I love that place.

I worked during the day on Saturday and then Kevin and I headed to my hometown to celebrate my sister's 25th birthday.  I played Cards Against Humanity for the first time and had a blast.

We headed back to Grand Rapids that night, but it was slow going the whole way home because of the poor visibility and slippery roads from the all the snow.

Sunday was spent doing the usual: grocery shopping, laundry, and watching football.  Oh--and Admiral had fun playing in the snow Sunday morning.

How was your weekend?  Do you have snow where you live?

Make sure to enter the Old Factory Candles giveaway HERE.

Bella And The City

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Friday Five

ONE.  The dreaded S word.  Snow.  It's here in Michigan now.  We have 2-3 inches on the ground as of this morning and more coming today.  I am so not ready for this cold weather.  But at least we are prepared, because we have this amazing snow blower now.  No more shoveling for us!

TWO.  In anticipation of Dumb & Dumber To coming out, Kevin made me watch the first Dumb & Dumber this week.  I had never seen it.  I laughed a few times, but I could have gone without seeing it.  Am I the only that feels that way?  I'll probably end up going to see Dumb & Dumber To with  my husband and hope I like it better than the first one.

THREE.  In case you missed it yesterday, I shared my thoughts on Old Factory Candles (spoiler alert: I love them!) and you have a chance to win a gift set for yourself!  Just go HERE to enter.

FOUR.  I have very few Thanksgiving decorations.  I'm thinking this DIY Give Thanks burlap canvas from My Weekly Habit would be a quick, easy, and super cute addition to our decor for Thanksgiving.


FIVE.  Our weekend plans include dinner out with friends tonight, work for me tomorrow, then celebrating my sister's birthday Saturday night.  Sunday will probably be a low-key recovery day at home watching football.

What are you up to this weekend?

Linking up today with:
 September Farm and The Farmer's Wife for oh hey Friday!

Momfessionals for Friday Favorites!

ChristinaDarciApril, and Natasha for Five on Friday!

Old Factory Candles--Great Christmas Gift Idea (& Giveaway)

I don't know about you, but this time of year, I am burning candles every chance I get.  When it's cold and dark outside, one of the first things I do when I get home from work is light a candle.  I love the coziness it adds to a room, and of course, the scents are great too.

I was recently able to try an Old Factory Candle Gift Set thanks to BrandBacker.  Old Factory Candle Gift Sets contain three different scented candles that each burn for 20 hours.  I love the fact that each gift set is themed with related fragrances.  I chose the Fall Harvest gift set, which included pumpkin spice, cranberry, and autumn leaves.  The candles come with super cute labels (even on the bottom) and in a nice box too.

 I haven't burned the cranberry one yet, but when I smelled all the candles when I got them, it was my favorite scent, so I'm saving it for last :)  The pumpkin spice and autumn leaves smell AMAZING though.  The candles give off a strong fragrance, which really surprised me since they aren't huge candles.  It made my entire living room smell delicious, which I loved!

Old Factory Candles are hand-poured in the USA with natural soy wax, self-trimming wicks, and premium fragrance oils.  Old Factory Candle Gift Sets are sold exclusively on Amazon.  These gift sets would make great Christmas gifts or hostess gifts for Holiday parties.  The list of themes and related fragrances are listed below.  There is definitely a set for everyone on your list!  There is even a set for men, and a 50 Shades set...how awesome is that??

Fall Harvest: Pumpkin Spice, Cranberry, Autumn Leaves
Happy Holidays: Christmas Tree, Candy Cane, Gingerbread
Winter Wonderland: Hot Cocoa, Roasted Chestnut, First Snow
Romance: Rose Petals, Champagne, Dark Chocolate
Fresh & Clean: Lemongrass, Olive Blossom, Fresh Linen
Spa Day: Cucumber, Lemongrass, Green Tea
Vacation: Sea Breeze, Hawaiian Lei, Awapuhi
Coffee Shop: Coffee Bean, Hazelnut, Chai Tea
Man Cave: Straight Razor, Leather, Mahogany
High as a Kite: Cannabis, Incense, Bag O' Cookies
New Born Baby: Baby Powder, Baby Shampoo, First Blanket
50 Shades: Leather, Vanilla Sex, Jasmine Bubbles

Old Factory Candles has been gracious enough to give one of YOU a gift set of your own!  You can keep it for yourself, or use it as a gift.  All you have to do is enter using the rafflecopter below.  This contest will be open through Friday, November 21.  Winner must have an Amazon.com account, a PayPal account (for shipping reimbursement), and live in America to claim their prize.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a sponsored post.  The candles were provided to me by BrandBacker, but all opinions are my own.

Monday, November 10, 2014


Weekends are always too short.  Always.  I even took Friday off work to do some errands and yard work, and the weekend was still too short.

We didn't do a whole lot this weekend.  Friday afternoon/night was spent cleaning up leaves and mowing the yard.  I rewarded myself by curling up on the couch and watching Lone Survivor and going to bed early.

Got my first red cup of the season during my grocery shopping trip on Friday.
Saturday was spent doing some house work.  You know, the usual: laundry, dishes, dusting, vacuuming, etc.  It's never ending.  Saturday night I went to a work event with two of my girlfriends/co-workers.

Sunday we went to visit my parents for a little bit and then headed to Kevin's Dad's to watch the Lions game with him and his wife.  Like I said, it was a pretty uneventful weekend, but it was much needed.  I think we have something planned for every weekend until Christmas now, so I was glad for a little bit of a restful weekend.

Today, our snow blower is getting delivered!  I will be so happy that we don't have to shovel all of the snow any more.  But I'm not happy that there is snow in the weather forecast for this week.  At lest we will be prepared!

How was your weekend?