Sparkle and Shine in the New Year

Here's a look at a sparkling NYE soiree I previously hosted! Click here to see more! What better occasion to bring gold, glitter, sequins and sweets to one party?! Oh and don't forget the sparkling cider to toast to a fabulous new year ahead!! Cheers to 2014, friends! Make it your best year yet!

Happy New Year! 

Making the Most of A New Year

(I encouraged my guests at a NYE party to write some of their goals out, and pin them to a glittery, gold wall!)

Oh how I happily anticipate the arrival of a new year! It's a fresh start, a new opportunity and the beginning of a new chapter of life! (all cliches aside,) I so enjoy thinking about all I want to accomplish, and the fun memories to be made with friends and family! Do you set goals for the new year? Not resolutions, as those tend to quickly slip away after a short while, but real, measurable, and achievable goals for your's often said that if you don't know where you're going, how will you ever expect to get there? In life we're either moving forward or going backwards, one is never truly standing still. If you haven't ever sat down, and written out some things you want to accomplish, whether it be this year, 5 years, 10 years, in your life..etc, I highly suggest it. It's so motivating to have a list of things to work towards, whether that is a particular career, degree, event or lifestyle. I challenge you to write out 10 things you want to accomplish within 2014, and place them somewhere you can see them everyday as a reminder of where you're headed, and what your focus is; life can throw us some big time distractions, and it's easy to get off focus, but when you see those goals, it can serve as a reminder to stay on track, stay focused, and you'll get the life you dream of! One of the things I like to do is to set a time each month to reevaluate my progress, and make any necessary adjustments in order to continue moving towards accomplishing the things I've set out to achieve. Maybe you didn't achieve all you'd hoped to last year, but I encourage you to leave the mistakes and disappointments of last year in the past, chalk it up to experience, learn from it, and move forward. This is a new year, make it yours! You've got this! Here's to an amazing 2014! What do you want to accomplish?

Island Time

(Top & Shorts: Lilly Pulitzer, Jewelry: Bourbon & Boweties, Sunglasses: Target)

We took a quick weekend getaway to the nearby island for an escape from the busyness of the holiday season. Once you're over the bridge, and onto the small roads that lead you to the heart of the charming downtown, it's as if all stress and schedules swiftly melt're on island time. Its been unusually warm, and this was no exception, as shorts, sandals and chiffon tank tops were the weekend uniform. I loved to wander about the hotel, admiring the Christmas decorations and the charm of coastal living. With beautiful bouganvilla bushes all in bloom around every corner, and all roads leading out to the beach, we enjoyed exploring the side-streets on our bikes.  Oh the bliss of the island life. 


A Gatsby Christmas Party

The Christmas season is always a wonderful reason to get friends together for an evening to enjoy some good food, laughter and each other's company (and maybe a fun gift or two!). Each year's party is always eagerly awaited, as we've accumulated stories to share, and reminisce over sparkling raspberry cider. This year's theme was inspired by my halloween costume of Daisy Buchanan from F. Scott Fitzgerald's, The Great Gatsby, and yes, with the recent film adaptation of the book, it only seemed fitting to host a glittery, Gatsby-inspired Christmas party. Everyone donned a glittery frock, headbands (I played with a faux-bob hairstyle), pearls, and even a feather boa to emulate the styles of the 1920's, and we were lucky enough to enjoy an evening under the cafe lights outdoors. White and glittering gold pieces were accented with black, and loose gems sparkled among the decorations as golden lions, elephants, and zebras danced with mini disco balls among the tulips arranged on the table. As we caught up on each other's recent endeavors, and exchanged gifts, we also toasted to the cheerful season, the upcoming new year, and the friendships we're blessed to have. CHEERS! 


Sweater Weather

I must admit, this is the first year that I've attended an ugly Christmas sweater party...usually my Christmas parties are cozy & casual or glittery and dressy, but it sure was fun to don a tacky, festive piece for the evening, and yes, a bright red bow (I felt like a present). This vest reminds me of the 12 Days of Christmas, even though it's really not related, the lines of gingerbread men, ornaments and trees had me humming "five golden rings..." in my head all evening long. Have you been to any tacky/ugly sweater parties?! They're so much fun!
Also, as I've mentioned on the blog before, my friends have this fantastic tradition of dressing up like gingerbread men to come caroling and bring me homemade Christmas cookies. Needless to say, it's highly anticipated and one of my favorite traditions of the season! Here's a look at this year's visit!


Merry & Bright

(Top: Marshalls, Denim: F21, Boots: Target, Ring: Berricle c/o, Necklace: Lilly Pulitzer, Earrings: F21, 
Mug: Anthropologie

Christmas is such a beautiful time of year, and I am always amazed at how quickly this holiday season flies by! It's so nice to enjoy a few moments to think and to take in the beauty of the cooler weather, twinkling lights, and all-around merriment. The sweet team at Berricle sent over this gorgeous, gem-encrusted tulip ring, and I have to admit it's quickly become a piece that's part of my everyday jewels. The intricate design and sparkling finish make it a perfect piece to gift to yourself or others. (gifting yourself a little something is totally allowed!)
 As I wrapped up some of my Christmas shopping the other day, I got to thinking, amidst the hustle & bustle of shopping, parties and get-togethers, it's easy to forget the true reason we celebrate, and that's the birth of Christ. It was such an unexpected, quiet entrance, and yet it held the weight of all eternity...sometimes I question why He chose such a humble beginning when all the world could have bowed at a moment's notice, but then I remember that He wasn't here to "make an entrance", but rather to walk among us, take on the still, small life of a human in order to prove his unfathomable love for humanity. What a beautiful example of how much He loves us. It's a busy (and sometimes stressful) time of year, and I hope that you find time among the lights and wrapping paper to take a moment to enjoy, take in the loveliness of this season, and realize how much you are loved by your creator!

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
    there will be no end.
--Isaiah 9:6-7


All is well here, but things have been a bit of a whirlwind lately. Here's a little iphone view of life for the past few weeks..
Halloween and other related dress up occasions resulted in a rendition of Daisy Buchanan and 1920's inspired fun. 

 Hillsong's Welcome Zion tour...OMG. Really, it was absolutely incredible. 
 I just have to say that the fall & winter bring in the best sunsets...yes, it's real. 
 Christmas shopping with some friends resulted in making a few new ones...llama ones. These llamas are therapy animals, much like guide dogs and therapy horses, and are trained to be helpful to people who are in recovery or needing a little day brightening. They're so sweet!
 Thanksgiving photos with my sister..finally cool enough to wear some coats & scarves, yay!
 More sunsets...who could get tired of this colorful view? It's my happy place for sure!
 This year I've found the perfect christmas sweater. Can't wait to wear it to some festivities, and possibly to open presents on Christmas morning!

Hosted a bridal luncheon for one of my good friends, and got to see some of my favorite girls from when we were in college together! It was so good to catch up and see each other! 
 My sister danced the role of Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker Ballet this year, and it was a delight to see her beautiful performance. What a fun way to welcome in the Christmas season!!
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