A Few of My Favorite Things

With Christmas less than 24 days away, I put together a little list of a few of my favorite things. I debated calling this list “What I Have That You Need,” but refrained from it so you wouldn’t know how bossy I really am. But for reals, friends, this stuff is the best. And basically, you just need it all. Mmk? K.

♥ Smashbox HIGH Definition Healthy FX Foundation
WHY YOU NEED THIS: It’s amazing. The coverage is flawless, and it goes on beautifully with a big, thick bristled brush or makeup sponges. It’s oil-free and full of all kinds of ingredients to make the most of your already gorgeous skin.
WHERE I BOUGHT IT: If you live by a military base, I buy it there at the PX. If not, check out Sephora or Amazon.
♥ Project Life
WHY YOU NEED THIS: Because your time is precious, and you’re really too busy to scrapbook. But you still want to print & save your photos, and maybe there are a few things you want to remember about them. Project Life is really just a big photo album with journalling cards to help you document your life. It’s scrapbooking for us busy folks. Take a photo, print your photo, fill out a little journalling card and BAM! you’re done. Best part? It’s all color coordinated, there are 4 different themes to choose from, and you can order the pieces individually to get what works for you.
WHERE I BOUGHT IT: Check out Becky’s website (creator of Project Life) for a full list of products. The one I have (in my list above) is the Amber theme with the old binder. Now all the binders are new & even better quality! I’m just waiting for everything to get re-stocked so I can order mine for 2012.
♥ Vera Bradley Tote Bag
WHY YOU NEED THIS: It’s the perfect big tote to toss anything you like into it. I use mine just for work Monday thru Friday. It fits my lunch bag, my planner, my makeup pouch, my wallet, and a whole lot else. I have the “Vera” style in “Suzani,” which I love because the color is so versatile— black, brown, tan, and pops of color.
WHERE I BOUGHT IT: On base at the PX. But Vera is sold everywhere. Lots of Hallmark stores or Crabtree & Evelyn carry Vera. There’s also the Vera Bradley website.
♥ Michael Kors Rose Gold Watch
WHY YOU NEED THIS: Rose gold is beautiful, and such a nice change from silver. It’s a lighter, pinky gold, so not as brass as solid gold watches come off. I wear it with gold, silver, white gold, anything. It adds a little flair to any outfit!
WHERE I BOUGHT IT: This one was a birthday gift from Joshua… though I’m pretty sure he got it at the PX. Check in store at Macys or online at Amazon or Zappos.
♥ iPhone 4S
WHY YOU NEED THIS: Best. Phone. Ever. My favorite thing about it? The 8 MP camera. Yuhhh… it takes incredible photos. Next favorite thing? How easy it is to access email, Facebook, Twitter, the Internet, and my blog list. Next? That I can organize my apps into little groups. I have a group of utility apps, music apps, health & fitness apps, finance apps, shopping apps, and entertainment apps. Seriously. You don’t know what you’ve been missing until you have this.
WHERE I BOUGHT IT: Best Buy Mobile. But it really doesn’t matter. It’s the same price everywhere. Get the smallest size (16 GB), it’s all you’ll need.
♥ Sperry Top-Sider Nassau Boat Shoes
WHY YOU NEED THIS: The warm-weather version of boat shoes! Suede, cute tassels, and leopard print soles. What’s not to love?
WHERE I BOUGHT IT: On base. They’re also on sale at Zappos now. Snatch them up quick!
♥ Urban Decay Naked Palette
WHY YOU NEED THIS: The best palette out there for rich, smooth, neutral eyeshadows. I saw this palette about a year ago, and after reading a million raving reviews online, I had to have it. But it was backordered. So of course that meant I had to have it even more, right? When it finally became available again online at Sephora, I bought it. Then it sat in my makeup drawer for the last 9 months. I finally took this baby out about 2 weeks ago, and I’m in love. It’s everything they say it is and the shades are very blendable. Get it!
WHERE I BOUGHT IT: Online at Sephora.
♥ Organize Now! A Week-by-Week Guide to Simply Your Life & Your Space
WHY YOU NEED THIS: This book goes week by week, room by room, section by section with all sorts of tips and checklists to fill out as you go. I love that it looks like a planner— so cute. I’ve gone back to it over the years and my plan for 2012 is to conquer the whole book. The newest edition is a pretty orange color (the first was green).
WHERE I BOUGHT IT: A bookstore, not sure which since I’ve had it for so long. It’s definitely at Amazon, too.
♥ Keurig Brewer
WHY YOU NEED THIS: Mmm, hot drinks. Variety. No clean up. This is a favorite in the Ploscik house because I do not drink coffee, but Joshua does. So he gets his flavored coffees, and what do I get? Hot Apple Cider, Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa, Chai Latte, Southern Sweet Iced Tea, Brewed Raspberry Tea. Oh, so many possibilities. 
WHERE I BOUGHT IT: This was a Christmas gift last year from my daddy-o. Ours is the Special Edition B60— not sure what that means, but it has a removable tray to fit go-cups under it and 3 different brewing sizes. Check out Amazon, Target, Walmart, Kohls, Bed Bath & Beyond… just about everywhere has these babies.
10 ♥ Breaking Dawn Part 1 Soundtrack
WHY YOU NEED THIS: What? Don’t we all have our guilty pleasures? It doesn’t matter that I listen to this obsessively on my drive to-and-from work each day. It relaxes me. So it will relax you, too. Movie-seeing and book-reading not required.
WHERE I BOUGHT IT: In store at Target while it was on sale. 
11 ♥ Jo Totes Rose Camera Bag
WHY YOU NEED THIS: It’s the prettiest, girliest, most functional camera bag ever! At $89, it’s one of the most affordable, too. My Jo Tote fits my Canon camera, 3-4 lenses, and all of my regular purse contents so that I only have to take this with me when I’m going out & about with my camera. Love, love love.
WHERE I BOUGHT IT: Online at JoTotes. There are a bunch of other gorgeous colors & styles, too.
12 ♥ Tupperware Vent ‘N Serve
WHY YOU NEED THIS: Um, hello? Who doesn’t like to keep their food fresh? Haha, really though— this is my favorite Tupperware. They’re microwavable containers and they are FAB for leftovers. The next day, I can pop it straight into the microwave and voila! No extra dirty dishes. I know Tupperware can be expensive, so if you’re in the market to invest in some— this is my #1 choice. 
WHERE I BOUGHT IT: I hosted a party with my mom a couple years back, so I got the full set at a huge discount. Definitely do it that way to save the most money.
13 ♥ Hobo Lauren Clutch
WHY YOU NEED THIS: It’s a double frame clutch wallet that holds all your IDs, cash, cards, phone and even lip gloss! I got this after reading the amazing review on PinkLouLou’s blog. I wanted a neutral color so I got it in Stone. I love that it’s my wallet but it’s also a clutch, so I can carry it in my purse or on its own.
WHERE I BOUGHT IT: LouLou is right about shopping around. I got mine on eBay! 
14 ♥ Ugg Bailey Button Triplet Boots
WHY YOU NEED THIS: They are like slipping your feet into heaven. I really never got into Uggs because they were so ugly. Then, just a month or so ago, I tried on my first pair ever— barefoot. They were so comfy they became cute. So cute, they are my new favorite boots. Love.
WHERE I BOUGHT IT: Also on base, at the PX. Definitely shop around for these… I paid nowhere near the $200 price tag on the Ugg website!

A Little Project Called December Daily

Every year, the scrapbooking-project-making-queen Ali Edwards hosts what she calls December Daily.

“December Daily is an album project that documents the 25 days leading up to Christmas. Many people start their documentation earlier and many people go longer. I have found that 25 days is just right for me.” —Ali Edwards

I love the idea of this, because when I was younger, my mom used to keep little 4×6″ themed photo albums of our pictures over the years. She had a Halloween album, a Back-to-School album, a Christmas album, etc. It was (and still is!) so fun to pull out those albums when I am home to visit during whatever season of the year.
Last year was my first year participating in December Daily, only I did it a little differently. First of all, I’m much too busy during the holiday season to scrapbook a page a day. Secondly, having an entire album of 25+ pages for one holiday of the year is too cumbersome for me— and as a military family, I have to be conscious of keeping our baggage light and not adding too much to take from station to station. As it is, I have about a dozen scrapbooks from my high school/college years, and I still have most of my relationship with Joshua to document.
Yes, I’m a little obsessive when it comes to these things.
Enter— my version of December Daily. I didn’t set up my album ahead of time, as Ali does. I just kind of went with it. I scrapbooked throughout December 2010 and finished up the pages in early 2011.
It was our first Christmas living together. It was also the first Christmas we spent alone, without visiting family. We were living in Emerald Isle, NC at the time, stationed at Camp Lejeune, and our big move to Virginia was only weeks away. There was just too much to do.
And honestly?
It was one of my favorite Christmases yet. It was quiet, intimate, and absolutely beautiful. Probably one of the only Christmases we’ll have alone until we get old & grey, since we’re seeing family this year and hope to have little ones in the coming years. :-)
This is the start of the album I hope to pull out every December. My version of December Daily highlights just the key moments of the season, including holiday decorating, gift giving, and bits & pieces of how we spent our December.

I purchased my festive 12×12″ scrapbook at a local scrapping store in Emerald Isle. I seriously debated about it for weeks and finally got it! So happy I did. The photo of Joshua & I on page one is the day we graduated Corporal’s Course last December. Page three is a circle collage of all the fun things we did throughout the month. Again— highlights only.

We didn’t have a Christmas tree in the house we were renting in Emerald Isle, so we decorated one of the house plants instead. We also got the most perfect Christmas stockings— Vera Bradley for me, woodland camo for him. We hung them from the staircase. Once the gifts were wrapped, we were worse than 5-year olds. We opened everything days before Christmas, and only saved one gift for Christmas Eve. We figured it was just the 2 of us— so why not?

I loved having a place to keep our Christmas cards to each other last year. Now we’ll always have them and be able to look back on them. I also documented making our family Christmas cards & our holiday wreath. The beach blizzard at Emerald Isle was a phenomenon. Supposedly it had not snowed in years, and we got to be there the winter it did! The snow on the beach was so beautiful.
So that’s last year. It’s never too late to start… even if you just take some photos and make little paper book on Snapfish! Which of course I’d like to see if you do. So run! Take pictures— document your December
I swear, it’s so much fun.

Gifted

“Santa” was incredibly good to me this year. He spoiled me for the second year in a row. I’m so excited for all the incredible gifts Joshua gave me, because so many of them relate to the goals and resolutions I have for 2011! We’re both really looking forward to the new year and all it is already bringing us: moving to Virginia, Joshua’s new duty station with the Marine Corps, the launch of my design business, and our wedding, to name a few! 
Here are some of the beautiful things I was gifted from my love this year. I feel so blessed and loved and thankful for not only the things he gave me, but mainly for Joshua himself. I’ve found a man that I adore, respect, and would do anything for… and I know the feelings are reciprocated.

1. The most beautiful, sparkly, diamond earrings I could dream of. Such a surprise! They were hidden in the very bottom of my stocking and the last gift I opened. I never want to take them off!
2. Domino: The Book of Decorating, to make our new home pretty! The subtitle is “A room-by-room guide to creating a home that makes you happy.” ‘Nuff said.
3. A soft & fuzzy white bathrobe! It’s soooo soft and makes me feel like I belong at a spa.
4. A gift basket full of Japanese Cherry Blossom scented goodness from Bath & Body Works.
5. The Nest Home Design Handbook, also to make our new home pretty! This subtitle is “Simple ways to decorate, organize, and personalize your place.” We’re both excited for this since it will be all our own furniture and belongings!
6. Burberry Sport perfume. My favorite scents are those with fruits & musks mixed together. This scent is perfect!
7. The Versace sunglasses I’ve been lusting after for over a year now… these were actually an early Christmas gift he gave to me on Black Friday when we scored an awesome deal!
8. A Canon 50mm lens I asked for that’s great for portrait photography, along with a UV filter he surprised me with… I can’t wait to use these for the engagement shoot I have coming up next month.
9. Lauren Conrad Style. One of my goals for 2011 is to be more fashionable and really find my personal style. Joshua, being the fashion nazi that he is, approves!
10. Another fashion book! The Lucky Shopping Manual: Building and Improving Your Wardrobe Piece by Piece. I can’t wait to read this!
11. Riesen in my stocking. Mmm. So delicious.

He also put little handwritten notes in each gift, saying some special about each one. It was pretty much the sweetest thing ever. I’m just so in love with him, and our lives together. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Merry Christmas!

These are the Christmas cards that I designed (with Joshua’s help, of course!) and sent out to family and friends this year. I made them at the same time I made my Christmas blog header… it totally inspired me to make our Christmas cards, isn’t that great? Otherwise, I don’t know when I would have found the time to make them.

I think we sent… 46 cards? Phew. I made them similarly to how I made the save-the-dates and I mounted them on brown craft paper. And then I printed on matching brown craft paper envelopes. We loved the final look!

Today on Christmas Eve, it’s just Joshua and I. As much as I miss my family, I’m so happy to have this time together. The past week has been a blur with lots of things getting done both at home and with Joshua at work, and now we have some down time to just relax and enjoy each other.

Have a wonderful Christmas, everyone!

Holiday Decorating

It’s Christmas time in our household, and Joshua and I decorated together last weekend! I also “decorated” my blog for the holidays… including a new header with more of our engagement photos! It’s actually inspired me to make a similar Christmas card to send out to family and friends… hmm, we shall see if time permits!

My love and I will be spending this Christmas alone here in North Carolina, just the two of us. We’d love to be able to see our families, but Joshua is in a course until the 21st of December, and then of course it’s the month of the move! It will be our first and only Christmas here on the island. Yay!