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Merry Christmas!

We interrupt these (some what) regularly scheduled posts to bring you....Christmas! 

Merry belated Christmas! I hope you are enjoying time with your families and are having a great holiday season! 

Friday Favorites

It's Friday! It's Friday! It's Friday!

For the next two weeks, I don't have to step foot in my office! Woohoo!! Not that I won't be working. I will. Too much to get done not to. But it does mean I can do it from the couch. In sweatpants.  So I'm calling it a win.  Hallelujah!

Ok first things first.  If you haven't entered my giveaway, you need to do so before NOON today (12/19/2014).  So go.  NOW! Hurry, I'll wait.

Now that you are back, shall we get into this week's Friday Favorites?

1).  Starbuck's Gingerbread Latte

It's the red cup.  Need I say more?  What you fill it with is your preference.  None of that pumpkin flavored stuff for me.  A gingerbread latte during the holiday season is what I love.  And I've actually been good.  This is only my second one of the season surprisingly enough.  And this week I was in definite need of a pick-me-up.  Thank you caffeine.

2).  Awesome Christmas card pictures

Yes, this is my hubby.  This is why I love him.  And yes, he and the dog match.  It's not their only outfit. ;-)

3).  The rest of our Christmas card pictures that pale in comparison.

PS - I really hate how light my hair looks when any amount of light shines on it.  Any suggestions?  It's darker than it looks in this picture, but it never actually looks darker if ya know what I mean.

4).  Office Gift Gift Idea

I can't take credit for this.  I was the recipient of this great office gift idea.  Inexpensive, fun for everyone and I won $10 so even better!

5).  My Honda Pilot

Thank goodness for my large SUV.  It's a favorite this week because it will fit all of this:

How much stuff can two people and 1 dog bring with them for Christmas? (Ok, two people and a dog because he has stuff too.) Sadly, this isn't even everything.  Having kids one day who take up precious cargo space is really going to cramp our style......

When do the holidays start for you?  Have a great weekend!

       Linking Up with Meet at the BarreThe Farmer's Wife & Hello Happiness

One Dress 3 Outfits

I am so excited!!!!  I've been been a quiet Santa's helper to bring you my very first giveaway, just in time for Christmas!!  Sometimes the from me, to me Christmas gifts are the best!  Have you heard of Winnie & Kat?  I hadn't until my friend Anastasia told me about it.

From the Winnie & Kat website:
Winnie & Kat is a women’s contemporary clothing company founded to provide a business opportunity to women throughout the United States via the social selling model.  Founded by Diane Prince Johnston in 2012, Winnie & Kat is a Malibu, California based company offering moderately priced fashion to women in every nook-and-cranny of the country.  

Anastasia was kind enough to let me pick out an item, so I could share it with you guys!  Even though she sent me the dress, these opinions are 100% my own.  I chose the Flirty Basic dress in Heather Black. AND I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!!  It's definitely more of a very dark grey than black (hence the heather in the name).  I've been living in it since it arrived, and I've gotten a ton of compliments.  The best part?  It's like wearing a giant t-shirt!  It's so soft, comfortable and versatile.  

I thought I would put together 3 looks and different ways you can style this dress.  Full disclaimer:  I am not a fashion blogger.  I have no clue how to pose for the camera.  So please don't laugh (too hard) at my lame attempts to be a model.

1).  The Christmas Party Look

Friday night was my hubby's office Christmas party and I couldn't wait to wear it!  For a Christmas party (or any fun night out) a pair of textured tights, booties and some bling is always a winning combination!

Dress // Tights // Boots (old) Similar Similar // Necklace (old White House Black Market) Similar Similar // Bracelet //  Bracelet // Bracelet // Clutch

2).  The Casual Look

Pair this dress with some leggings and slips ons or sneakers, a scarf and you'll look adorable in a comfortable, casual outfit to grab lunch with a girlfriend or for a day of shopping.

3).  The Date Night Look

Amazing what a different scarf and a pair of boots will do for an outfit.  Add a blanket scarf and a pair of over-the-knee boots and you are ready for a night out with your sweetie.

Dress // Scarf (Zara) similar similar // Boots // Bracelet

I hope you enjoyed my failed modeling attempt, but more importantly, I hope you go check out Winnie & Kat!  I will definitely be ordering more clothes from them!

This sweepstakes is open to those 18 and over.  U.S. residents only please.  The winner of the Winnie & Kat $50 gift certificate will be selected at Noon on Friday 12/19/2014.  (Friday is the last day to order in time for Christmas.)  Good luck!

Christmas Parties and Early Presents

Can we pause for a moment to say thank you for coffee?  After this whirlwind of a weekend and the way this week is shaping up, I am going to need a cup of coffee the size of me every day this week.  But it's almost Christmas break!  Woohoo!  Even though I have lots of projects for work I want to get done, I won't have to go into the office for 2 whole weeks.  And that is pretty darn exciting.  Assuming I make it until then.

The weekend started off pretty exciting.  Sadly, my almost 6 year old 13 inch Macbook Pro has been on it's last legs for awhile.  I finally hit a wall with it.  Because I need to be able to easily work remotely over the holidays, it was time to bite the bullet and get a new one.  So we went shopping.  I had planned on getting another 13 inch, but by the time I upped the memory, ram, etc. to where I wanted it, the sales person asked why I didn't just get a 15 inch?  It was the same price, a better graphics card and dual processing.(My hubby does a lot of video and photo editing with my laptop so it has to be powerful enough to work for him too.  Hence, the upgrades.)  So I went for it.  It is bigger definitely.  But even the 15 inch weighs SO MUCH LESS than my old 13 inch, it's pretty incredible.  And I must admit, I'm enjoying the slightly larger screen.  Now I just have to find the time to transfer everything over.  #firstworldproblems  Merry Early Christmas to me!

Friday night we had my hubby's company office party.  Since half of the company is family, and the other half is like family, it's always a lot of fun.  And of course, yours truly put my clutch down when we arrived and didn't snap a single picture until later in the evening.  (Stay tuned later this week to see what I wore and a giveaway!)

After staying out much later than we normally do on Friday night, Saturday night was a bit slow.  But I have almost all of our Christmas wrapping done.  Just a few more items to finish up this week and I'll be done!

Sunday was spent taking Christmas card photos (ours and some of our families).  Normally I have them ordered and mail out by now. Not this year.  Oh well.  Here is a sneak peek of what Buoy wore.  He matches our wrapping ;-)  Can you tell he is so over having his picture taken?

How was your weekend?

Friday Favorites

This week flew by!  Holy cow the holidays are racing towards us!  I also wish I could slow down a little bit more, but I guess I'll have to wait for Christmas break.  And even then I'm not sure that will work.  But why we are here.  Friday Favorites! Here are my favorites from this week!

1). Holiday Pillow

My Mom sent us a surprise early Christmas present in the mail.  When I opened it up, these adorable birds were chirping at me!  I love them!  I'm going to call it a winter decoration and leave it out past Christmas (or really January because we leave Christmas up for most of January).

2).  Christmas Nails

The only thing I accomplished last night was a few errands and a few glasses of wine (it's been a very stressful week at work).  I did manage to paint my nails, which was fun.  They are Christmas party ready!  Which is good because we have one tonight!  I'm wearing OPI My Favorite Ornament and Essie Forever Yummy.

3).  Holiday nails

I haven't tried this color combination yet.  I'm thinking New Years.  But I already know that it is going to be a favorite.  I think it's going to be a fun alternative to red for holiday parties.  But since I have been craving red nails, it's what I'm sticking with.  For the moment.  Essie Penny Talk and Maybelline Gilded Rose.

4). Urban Decay Naked on the Run

I took my VIB rewards card and a left over Sephora gift card and went to pick up this limited edition palette.  I've used it a bit so far and my first impression is love.  I thought the blush and bronzer were going to be too dark for my pasty winter skin, but it is not the case (with a light touch).  The eye shadows are gorgeous.  Especially if you love a neutral eye.  The lip color is the perfect your-lips-but-better shade on me.  The mascara is not my favorite, but I'll use it.  The only thing I haven't tried is the eyeliner and I'm looking forward to it.  I would definitely recommend this!  It's nice to have everything all in once place.

I found this at a stop in to my local J.Crew Outlet store.  It's a nice sized dish to put jewelry in.  I've been using this one when I need to layout jewelry for an outfit ahead of time.  It's a great addition to my jewelry shelf (details coming in a future post).  And I think it was $8?  Maybe less with the coupon I had.  (In case you are wondering, the earrings and silver link bracelet are Stella & Dot and the other bracelet I found on one of the many discount website I subscribe too.  Can't remember which one, but you can similar from Baublebar, Stella & Dot, Mindy Mae's Market, etc.)

                                                                    Have a great weekend!  

                             Linking Up with Meet at the BarreThe Farmer's Wife & Hello Happiness

A Christmas Sleepover Weekend

I am sooooooooooooo excited!!!  Today I am the featured blogger on my very first link up! LeAnn over at Join the Gossip and Kimberlee at I Have a Degree in This have been gracious enough to allow me to be a part of their weekly link up Monday Morning Gossip this week.  And I couldn't be happier.  If you haven't checked out either of their blogs, or the link up, you should.

So, on to this week's Monday Morning Gossip.  This weekend felt unbelievably short.  I think that had something to do with the fact that I had to go into work for a while yesterday.  When a private high school has their open house, it is all hands on deck.

Friday night, the hubby surprised me with holidays flowers and a date night to the movies.

 We went to a theater near us where you can enjoy dinner, cocktails and a movie.  It is a great way to enjoy a movie!  We saw Hunger Games The Mockingjay and really enjoyed it.  We both read the trilogy and have seen all of the Hunger Games movies.  This one did not disappoint and we are ready for Part 2 to come out!

The rest of the weekend was spent having our annual Christmas sleepover with our nieces.  It is one of my favorite Christmas traditions.  Every year we do something different.  Last year we made ornaments, this year we baked and decorated Christmas cookies. (Stay tuned for the recipe later this week.)

Then we drove around looking at Christmas lights.  There are a few parks by us that go all out.  This was our first time seeing these lights, so we were just as excited as the girls!  (PS - Trying to make pictures of Christmas lights out of a moving car is tough!)

After a dinner of grilled cheese and tomato soup, we snuggled in to watch Christmas movies before putting the girls to bed.  (And then we watched part of the Badger game.  I won't say more than that because I am still grieving.  It was hugely embarrassing.  We had to turn it off.)

Sunday morning we woke up to two little monkeys jumping on our bed.  After getting E (that's me) some coffee, we decorated the cookies we had made the night before (the icing needed to harden overnight) and watched more Christmas movies.

Then it was time for the girls to go home and for me to go to work.  We finished off the weekend with some laundry, cleaning and a nice, relaxing dip in our (finally fixed!) hot tub.  What a whirlwind!  I'm finally feeling Christmasy and looking forward to wrapping and getting a few more things off of my Christmas to-do list this week.  I hope you had a great weekend too!

Linking Up With Champagne and SuburbsB Loved BostonJoin the Gossip and I Have a Degree In This

Four on Friday

Oh Hey Friday!  Holy cow did this week go fast.  And yes, I know.  It's suppose to be Five on Friday.  But this week it's Four.  My friend Kelly did this post because she was tagged in it, and I've decided to tag myself for today's post.

4 Fun Facts

Four names that people call me other than my real name

  1. KTB (Katie = KT and B for my maiden name.  It's a waterski thing.  And if you have ever wondered about my Twitter/Instagram name ktbreynolds, it should now name sense.  And if you don't follow me on either, you should =) )
  2. KitKat (a high school nickname)
  3. E (what my nieces call me.)
  4. KTBR (see what we did there.  Added the married initial.)
Four jobs I've had
  1. Bilingual Claims Taker (my glamorous job in college where I sat in a small call center with weird call center people. (I was not one of them).  And they were weird. One guy's name was Bark-Me Wolf.  Yup, he legally changed it to that.  But it paid well and I got to study when the phones were quiet.)
  2. Senior Relationship Banker (I could help you balance your check book or try and sell you a HELOC.  I learned what a HELCOC was. And an IRA.)
  3. Community Relations (at American Cancer Society.  I worked with Relay for Life)
  4. Director of Development (fundraising, since that title usually confuses people)
Four movies I've watched more than once
  1. Pretty much every Hallmark Move Channel Christmas movie that's been on so far.
  2. Sex and the City
  3. Spaceballs
  4. Trouble with the Curve
Four books I'd recommend
  1. The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness
  2. On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves
  3. The Harry Potter Series - J.K. Rowling
  4. Anything by Kim Gruenenfelder - great chic-lit
Four places I've lived
  1. Miami, FL (born & raised)
  2. Madison, WI 
  3. Chicago, IL
  4. Chicago-suburbia, IL
Four places I've visited
  1. Rome
  2. Florence
  3. St. Lucia
  4. Vienna
Four places I'd rather be right now
  1. On the couch, in sweats, watching Netflix or a Hallmark Christmas Movie with a glass of wine.
  2. On a warm, sunny beach with a cocktail.
  3. In Utah skiing.  Looks like they have some good snow!
  4. At the lake on vacay.  Christmas Break can't get here soon enough!
Four things I don't eat
  1. Beef
  2. Pork
  3. Pretty much anything on 4 legs (can ya tell I am not a big meat eater?)
  4. Mushrooms (ick. And I'm allergic)
Four of my favorite foods
  1. Rice/Pasta (really all carbs)
  2. Key Lime Pie
  3. Stone Crabs
  4. Sushi
Four TV shows I watch
  1. Covert Affairs
  2. Glee
  3. Pretty Little Liars
  4. Once Upon A Time
Four things I'm looking forward to this year
  1. Christmas & New Year's with family and friends
  2. Baking Christmas cookies with my nieces at our annual Christmas sleepover
  3. Having our nieces over for your annual Christmas sleepover
  4. Getting to play outside in the snow up north, since we have none here. (Not that I'm complaining.)
Four things I'm always saying
  1. No worries.
  2. No. (To Buoy when he sees any kind of animal on TV and tries to jump at it.)
  3. Thank you very much. (This the season for donations to be rolling in, so there are a lot of Thank Yous going on.)
  4. Merry Christmas.  (I love this time of year!)
Four people I tag to answer these questions
  1. Joey at Hodges Podges
  2.  Kimberly at Chaos and Cocoa
  3. Alison at In the Font of A
  4. Amy at The Farmer's Wife

Happy Friday!  Hope you have a great weekend!

  Linking Up with The Farmer's Wife & Hello Happiness

Key Lime Pie Recipe

Cooking is not my forte.  Neither is baking.  But, I do have one thing I can make, and it is goooooood!  Key Lime Pie.  It is so easy.  And so delicious.  So I thought I would share this recipe with you in case you are looking for a new and different dessert this holiday season.  (For the record, you could make your own graham cracker crust and one of these times I swear I'm going to try, but the one you can buy at the store is just so darn good, why bother?)

This recipe can also be found on the bottle of your Nellie & Joe's Key Lime Juice bottle.  If you local grocery store doesn't have Key Lime Juice, try Whole Foods. Or Amazon.  Do not, I repeat, DO NOT use Lime Juice.  If you Google Key Lime Pie recipes, recipes show up with Lime Juice.  It is not the same thing and you end up with Lime Pie instead of Key Lime Pie.

Key Lime Pie Recipe

What You Need:

9 inch graham cracker pie crust
14 oz sweeten condensed milk
3 egg yolks (only the yolks, remove the whites)
1/2 cup of Key Lime Juice

What you do:

Combine all of the ingredients, blend until smooth and pour the mixture into the pie crust.  Yup, it is that easy!  Oh, and you should add an extra squirt or two of Key Lime juice.  It makes all the difference.  This part is to taste, but a generous extra squirt or two makes a huge difference!

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  (This sets the pie really well and eliminates any problem you might have with raw eggs)

Let the pie stand for 10-15 mins, and then stick it in the fridge.  You want to make sure to let it sit in the fridge for a few hours.  This helps the pie set.  This recipe is great to make the night before you need it, or the morning of if you are crunched for time.

(PS- A Kitchen Aid mixer is not required for this!  I just use it because I have it.  A hand mixer to even a whisk/spoon works just fine to blend the pie filling.)

One 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk and 3 egg yolks.

Add 1/2 a cup of Key Lime Juice. 

Don't forget the extra squirt to taste of Key Lime juice.  I swear it makes all the difference.

Mix it up! 

Pour the mix into the pie crust.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. (Yes our oven is a mess, Sorry!)

Let is stand, put it in the fridge and enjoy a few hours later!

Friends and Family Gift Ideas

Continuing on with Cheers Y'allA. Liz AdventuresMiss Dixie and Southern Style for their My Favorite Things series, this week it is gifts for friends and family under $100.  I am definitely struggling this year with a few people on my list (cough cough, my hubby), so I can't wait to see what other people are posting.  My Gift Ideas Pinterest board needs a refresh!

Friends & Fam Gifts Under $100

For Him:

The North Face Etip Glove - For the tech lover in your life who needs to keep his hands warm, these gloves are great.  You can use your iPhone/iPad/touch screen device of your choice without freezing your fingertips!  I got a pair of these last year (so they make a great gift for her too!) and love them.

Golf Club Bottle Opener - We all know at least one golf lover in need of a Christmas gift.  These bottle openers are functional and make a great display piece.

Whiskey Gift Set - What guy wouldn't enjoy a bar set for his whiskey?  A decanter and a few rocks glasses will look great in his man cave.

For Her:

Sephora Beauty Studio Services Gift Card - Give the gift of a Sephora makeover and some new beauty product this Christmas.  Sure to be a crowd pleaser, this gift is great for your sister, Mom, favorite aunt or best friend.  Get 2 and you can go together!

Stella & Dot Rebel Pendant - I think this is a great necklace that will get a lot of use day or night and will fit into any woman's style perfectly.

Stella & Dot Janice Stud Earrings - Whether it's this green color, or one of the other choices, these earrings are a sweet gift for any female in your life.

What are you gifting to your family and friends this holiday season?  I am still in need of ideas, so I would love to hear yours!

Thanksgiving Weekend

Happy Monday back from a long weekend!  I don't know about you, but my face has been buried in my coffee cup aaaaaaall day.  Why is it that I can never sleep on Sunday nights, leading to exhausted Monday mornings?  Every week.

What a fabulous Thanksgiving weekend!  I hope yours was as well.  We had a great time with family, ate lots of great food, enjoyed some tasty beverages and just had fun.  We have gone to my aunt and uncles's house for Thanksgiving for as long as I can remember, and this year was no different.

We arrived Wednesday afternoon with just enough time to unpack before it was cocktail hour.  Our Wednesday night Thanksgiving tradition is as good as our turkey dinner on Thursday.  Stone crabs.

If you grew up in Florida (or at least have visited, hopefully) you know what stone crabs are.  They are THE BEST.  Absolutely delish!  My dad has them flown up every year.  They are my absolute favorite!  For those who enjoy the turf of surf and turf, there is that option.  But I'm a purist.  Just give me stone crabs.  And key lime pie.  I make an awesome key lime pie!

Thursday consisted of a lazy morning of PJs and coffee, followed by a big breakfast and an even bigger walk. (We had to make room for the turkey dinner.)  And of course, there was some football.  Buoy made sure to watch the game veeeery closely.

My aunt always has the house beautifully decorated for Christmas by Thanksgiving.  To each his own, but we absolutely love having the decorations up.  It makes the weekend feel more cozy and festive.  We always set the table with her Spode Christmas china.

And since we are put together and presentable before we sit down to dinner, we usually snap some Christmas card photos.  My hubby is still editing the ones from his camera, but these were snapped on my phone.  He and I are going to take a few more this weekend.

We started off Thanksgiving dinner with a new wine.  Very appropriately named.  It is from Spain (Espana!).  For those of you who don't know, my nieces call me E.  When the oldest was learning to talk, she couldn't say the hard K sound of my name, so she just called me E.  And it stuck.  So obviously I loved this wine!

Our Thanksgiving dinner was delicious, as always.  My aunt is an amazing cook!

We were full full full.  Normally after dinner, everyone stretches out on the floor for a post-turkey nap, but this year we looked through pictures of my brother's recent trip to Costa Rica with his girlfriend.  Yup my lil baby bro (ok, he's almost 30), brought a girl home for the first time ever.  And she is AWESOME!  We are all super excited for him (and I know he doesn't read my blog so he doesn't know I'm embarrassing him!)

Friday was full of more quality family time over coffee in our PJs, and then we do like to get out of the house to take advantage of Black Friday sales.  The guys go off to do manly things like go to Cabela's and then girls head to a nearby mall where we did a lit bit of damage, but nothing crazy.

By 4pm, we were all starving and went out to grab an early bite at a nearby restaurant.  It has a fabulous menu and an even more fabulous beer selection.  We got a few tasting to try and share.

The fish tacos where to die for!

I love how there are so many different types of beer glasses, depending on what you are drinking.

Saturday early afternoon we took everyone to the airport and started to make our way home.  With a quick stop at the Outlet Mall along the way.  Sufficiently stuff from the weekend, the hubby, Buoy and I enjoyed a quiet Saturday night and Sunday at home with laundry, house chores and a lot of Hallmark Christmas movies.  (He is such a good sport!)

How was your Thanksgiving weekend?  What traditions do you have with your family?

Linking Up With Champagne and SuburbsB Loved BostonJoin the Gossip and I Have a Degree In This