Happy New Year – Christmas style!

Happy New Year!

We’re set and relaxing our way into 2018 and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

It’s been a whirlwind Christmas season and I’m finally sharing a recap of all the fun!

*disclaimer: this is picture OVERLOAD so just be prepared!

We headed to my Mama’s on Saturday before Christmas and enjoyed some queso and margaritas 🙂

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I got to pick the restaurant and I couldn’t NOT pick Mexican 🙂

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After dinner, we headed back to my Mom’s to do some Christmas baking…

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while Logan helped do some wrapping 🙂

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My siblings arrived the next day just in time to celebrate Christmas Eve at the Leinie Lodge!

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We matched when Ms. Nora arrived so I just had to get a picture 🙂

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This has kind of become a tradition for us at my Mom’s.  We head there for a little bit of beer tasting (not my favorite!) and some soft pretzels (a total favorite!).

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We goof around and look at all the fun Christmas decorations and the good sales on cute stuff.

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We took 15 pictures and legit… this is our best one! #husbandgoals

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Once we got home from the Brewery, we tried something new and did a Christmas crawfish boil!

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Logan braved the cold while boiling it all up outside!

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We enjoyed matching pajamas (well, the girls enjoyed some!), took a few pictures by the tree before playing some games and heading to bed!

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Just a few pictures, as usual 😉

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We celebrated Christmas morning opening gifts, enjoying Baby Nora (her first Christmas!!) and getting everything ready to head over to my Grandma’s.

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How sweet is this girl?!

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We did a Secret Santa (via Elfster) with my in-laws and since we couldn’t be there on Christmas to open them, we facetimed them and opened our gifts so we could keep the guesses flowing.

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We headed back out with my family for good food and a fun White Elephant game – with some dice involved!

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This is my little (2nd) cousin – she’s such a doll and my Mom swears Bre and her look alike 🙂

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It’s sweet when you get all the little cousin’s together!

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We also hear that we look a lot like – so they needed a picture of us together to see 🙂

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We ended our night with more games!

And that was Christmas 2017 with my family!

We celebrated with my in-laws and somehow I didn’t take many pictures…. which is ironic because Logan surprised me with a really nice camera!!

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We opened presents (sans pictures, boo!) and spent time with Logan’s grandparents!

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My SIL had a Gymnastics meet and we were able to go see her compete!

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It was a closed meet so we made sure to sneak in quietly 🙂

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She is seriously amazing – I can never get over how good she is on all those events!

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We got matching pajamas (so fun – i wasn’t kidding when I said I loved those things!) and they just so happen to be monogrammed – two of my favorite things!

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Love these girls!

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The boys got a matching top too – we’re just missing Tanner and Erika!

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We visited my Dad and Step-Mom for a few hours to catch up, open gifts and have lunch.

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My Sister came over too – which is always so great to see her 🙂

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We enjoyed Mimosa’s which are a HUGE favorite of mine!

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We went back to Logan’s parents and played “That’s what she said” – along with “What’s yours like”?  You definitely need to play both of these games – if you like to laugh 🙂

We celebrated New Year’s by ourselves at home after a busy few weekends!

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We  my husband smoked Prime Rib in -8 degree weather!  Isn’t that crazy?!

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We toasted to a New Year with good food, good drinks and better company (I mean, our pups are great company! :))

Hope you had a fabulous Christmas and New Years!

I’ll be back tomorrow (big shocker, isn’t it?!?!) with my favorite styles to prepare for the Lilly sale!

aKristi

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holiday House Inspiration

Happy Monday! Can you believe we’re ONE week from Christmas?! I really can’t! Normally I’m crazy in the spirit but this year it’s been a little tougher.

I did, however go to the Bachman Holiday House this past weekend that I’ve shared so many times and it as usual, it did not disappoint!

The theme of the shed was ice fishing at the lake and it was seriously so cute!

The front porch is always a favorite of mine! I could just imagine snuggling up with a large cup of hot cocoa and listening to Christmas music! Doesn’t t sound magical?

The bedrooms are so dreamy!

I legit want every room in our house to look like them!

Usually there aren’t so many sale tickets but it was the last day of the tours so they were making sure to get rid of everything!

How fun are all the things above the beds?! I would never think of half those things!

The last bedroom was turned into a gift wrapping room and y’all…

I need it! How cute is this?! Wrapping paper on the windows even??

And I loved this idea for a checklist – I swear I love making checklists but I lose them more often than not!

They even decked out the small bathrooms and it just shows, you don’t need a huge room to make it cute 🙂

I’m obsessed with the sleighs turned into shelves.. now I just need to find some old sleighs to turn into shelves!

Even the toilet paper holder was a sleigh!

How smart is this makeshift bar area?! So perfect for a small area you need to fill!

Next year, I’ll go a lot earlier for a tour to get ideas before the holidays! It’s just amazing what they do this same house every year!

They show this house 3 times a year, spring, fall and holidays so if you’re in the Minneapolis area – you should definitely check it out! 😍

I still need to get 2 white elephant gifts for Christmas! Does anyone else do this?! If so, I’m all ears for ideas for gifts! Aka please oh please give me some!

Hope you had a fabulous weekend and are ready to rock the last week before Christmas!

Kristi

Annual Christmas Cookie Exchange!

My oh my.. it was my 2nd annual Cookie Exchange on Tuesday and while that doesn’t seem like much… it’s one of my favorite events every year (aka this year and last… 🤣🤣).

How it works: I send out an invite a few weeks ahead of time. Have everyone send me their recipes a week in advance and I put together a book for everyone to have a copy! This year, I did an EBook because let’s be real… I lose all things paper!

I have all the girls bring a dozen cookies per person and we have fun, sip wine, play games and enjoy cookies!

We vote on a winner and there’s always a prize for the best cookies!

Last year we did Christmas charades and family feud. This year we did two Minute to Win It games and they were hilarious!

The first game was a candy cane competition where you had to pick up candy canes and put them in a bucket. Sounds easy right?!

Try it with only using a candy cane 🙂

I got a whopping 2……. Ashton was our winner with 9!

The next game really had us girls crying! It’s called… Bottoms Up!

How it works… tie string around your waist to make a belt. Tie a longer string to hang down and attach an ornament.

You set up empty cans and have to use your booty to get the ornaments to knock down the cans!

It was so funny! And one other thing.. you only have 60 seconds to do each game!

Then we chatted more, ate cookies and voted for our favorite!

This years favorite was Elaine’s Christmas Crack! 😍

It really is the best time! We were missing a few girls but they’ll be there next year I’m sure! 🙂 It’s been a bit of a rough year for personal reasons and I wasn’t feeling the most Christmasy.. which if you know me is very UNLIKE me!

I actually wasn’t even sure if I wanted to have this party.. but I’m so glad I did! These girls are something special 😊

I’m already looking forward to our next get together and next years Exchange!

What holiday traditions do you do every year?! I’m always looking to make new ones 😊

Kristi

Happy Friday!!

Two consecutive blog posts?! Keep ’em coming, right?! 😉

This Friday Favorites is a little different because I want to chat with you guys about a fun little contest I’m going to be having!

Do you remember when I shared some tips for a perfect front door?!

Well… while shopping this weekend, my Mama came up with this brilliant idea… Let’s do Christmas/holiday front door contest!

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Um… yes please!

So here how it’s going to work… In order to enter and participate, you just have to email me a picture of your front door/house (happilyevergriedls@gmail.com) after it’s all dolled up – before December 1.  I will then share and allow people to vote for a winner!

A winner will be shared on December 8!  How fun is this going to be?! I figured December 1 gives people enough time to decorate after Thanksgiving (if you wait until then ;)).

Want to know what you’re going to win..?!?! 

A few of my favorite winter/Christmas things!  I’ve started accumulating and will share once I have it all 🙂 Some things they include are a good winter candle, warm fuzzy socks, favorite Christmas candy/treats, a fun ornament, Starbucks gift card, my favorite lip balm and a few other things! It’s definitely worth it!

To enter:

1. Decorate your front door/steps/porch

2. Take a picture of it (or a few for good measure!)

3. Email it to happilyevergriedls@gmail.com

4. Get ready to vote and share until you WIN!

Sound like a fun time to get us all in the spirit?!

I can’t wait to see all the beautifulness shortly! And even if you live in an apartment – a good wreath and doormat add so much 😉

Let’s get decorating!

heartKristi

Holiday Outfits in the snow!

I am totally failing at this whole blogging thing this week… I mean, I haven’t posted since Monday and it’s my favorite week of the year!  I wish I could say that I was busy doing fun Christmas things but I was busy packing and baking… Oh yeah, and cleaning!  #adultingsucks

While packing for Christmas Eve this year (that’s when we get all dressed up for church. Christmas is more of a casual day) I couldn’t help but turn to J.Crew for our holiday outfits!  I fell in love with my husband’s shirt when I saw it in the store (it just screams holiday to me!) and knew that it’d look great with this sweater for Christmas Eve (and any time, because let’s be real, he looks great.. just saying! ;)).

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As usual… when I have some kind of idea for fashion, he obliges.. well I say, as usual but let’s be real, he usually says no and pitches a little bit of a fit but this time, he was all in! 🙂 AKA he didn’t have to completely pack for himself this way!

_mg_8500My dress is sold out but this one is fun and off the shoulder (under $60); I also love this one and this one!  Plus, if you order by 12:00 pm today, you can get it delivered to you by Christmas!

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Please ignore the fact that my skin literally blends in with the snow… I’d like to say I’m the fairest of them all.. but let’s be real, I need a tan!

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Gosh, I love him and a good holiday picture ❤

J.Crew is currently offering 40% off with GIFTNOW so if you’re looking for a few last minute gifts or holiday outfits, head there now- such great deals that they aren’t always offering.

And one more because I just love these outfits and any pictures that my husband smiles in 🙂 In case you didn’t know.. its a bit of a struggle with him getting a good picture.. hello goofy faces! So it’s nice to have a few he smiles in 🙂

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If you’d like to see the outtakes… this blog post would be WAY too long! ha!

Any way, I’m clearly rambling so i’ll put you out of your misery and move on.. we’re off to our first Christmas of the year with lots of games, presents and some family time.

Try to soak up the last few days of Christmas. Merry Christmas Eve Eve! ❤

 heartKristi

Easy Christmas Treats!

It’s the week of Christmas.. which is just crazy to me!  It’s such a bittersweet time.. I’m so excited for Christmas (of course) but so sad it’s almost over!  The holiday season is just magical to me and I hate when it’s time to go back to reality!

While everyone is doing final touches on gifts or treats – I thought I’d share a few of my favorite easy and quick treats!  These are perfect for little gifts wrapped up or to bring to holiday parties!

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The first one up.. is seriously so quick! I mean, it takes longer to take the wrappers off the candies than it does to actually make the treat!

Rolo & Hug Pretzels!

There are tons of recipes on Pinterest for these so if you need more of a tutorial, just click on a few there 🙂

Ingredients:

  • Pretzels (holiday or regular)
  • Chocolate candies – Rolos, Hugs, Kisses, etc.
  • M&Ms (holiday or regular!)

Recipe:

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees and line baking sheets with aluminum foil or parchment paper, whichever you have on hand!

Next, line up the sheet with pretzels (I used holiday wreaths but you can use regular pretzels too) and place Rolos and Hugs on top of pretzel.

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Put in the oven for 4 minutes – until slightly melted.  Once you pull these out of the oven, place an M&M on top and put in a cool place to set. Because it was -15 in Minnesota today (not even kidding – or counting the wind chill), I placed these outside for just a few minutes!

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These are easy peasy and so festive 🙂 You could switch out the color of the M&Ms too for any holiday!

Christmas White Trash was next on my agenda to make!

I used Alton Brown’s recipe and it was just as easy as the pretzels!

Ingredients:

  • 3 1cups Cheerios toasted oat cereal
  • 3 cups Rice Chex
  • 3 cups Corn Chex
  • 16 ounces M&M’s plain chocolate candy
  • 2 1cups salted mixed nuts
  • 2 cups small pretzels
  • 2 (11 ounce) packages white chocolate chips (Ghirardelli brand preferred)

Recipe:

Compile all the ingredients (minus the white chocolate chips) into a big bowl.  Next, melt down the white chocolate on a double boiler and pour white chocolate in large bowl over all ingredients.  Mix until all pieces are coated.

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 Lastly, put all on a large baking sheet and let cool.  Once cooled,  you can break it apart and serve!

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Ta-Da!

I was done with both treats within a half hour which is perfect – so you can start other baking projects or finish your Christmas wrapping!

Do you have any quick and easy treats that are your go-tos for the holidays?  I still have a bit of baking to do before we head out to Oshkosh this week BUT am happy to cross a few things off my list 🙂

Happy Christmas week!

heartKristi

Cookie Exchange!

So many of you have asked about the details from my Cookie Exchange party and I’m finally sharing! PSA: This post is literally FILLED with pictures, so beware 🙂

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I sent out these cute invites in early November in hopes everyone could come!

I had a cute little “boxing” station with lots of Christmasy containers for the girls to take the cookies home in!  I also (always) provide favors for parties so the girls took home a cute little throw and those cute mugs on the counter!

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I served appetizers, wine and hot cocoa (thankfully a few of the girls brought some too!).

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And a few pictures of the cookies 🙂

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My favorite Frostbite Cookies – in one of our wedding gifts! ❤

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Yummy Spritz cookies.. how good do these look?! And it looks like the ones you get at a store!

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The Snowman Pretzels were the big winner this night 🙂

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Missing: Lalo, Sugar and Gingerbread cookies!

And after visiting a bit, we headed upstairs to the photo-booth and games!

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Did I mention, this post is filled with pictures?!

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Love these girls!

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We played Christmas Family Feud  which was pretty funny!  Then we headed downstairs for the “cookie testing” and voting part!  There was a tie initially between the Gingerbread cookies and Snowman Pretzels but the Snowmen ended up winning!

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After she opened her winning gift, we played Reverse Christmas Charades!  This was a pretty funny game 🙂 Easy, by all means but funny!

I usually am not a fan of charades.. I can’t act!! But with reverse charades, it makes it so much easier when you’re acting it out with a group of people versus just yourself!

Then we had a little more fun with the photo-booth!

Gosh these girls are fun!

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All in all = the party was a success!  I wish I would have taken more pictures of all the decor and how I set it up but maybe next time I’ll remember!

It was such a great time having a girls night and the games/cookies definitely helped! Oh yeah.. and the wine #givemeallthewine  I can’t wait for the next party!

The hubs was gone during the party (girls only!) but showed up for a quick picture after the girls left!

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Have any of  you hosted a cookie exchange?  Anything I totally missed and need to add next year?  I’m always looking for things to add to my parties!

It’s almost the weekend and I can’t believe how close we are to the last weekend before Christmas!!  Such a bittersweet feeling – I can’t wait for Christmas but I also never want it to end! Any of y’all with me on that one?!

heartKristi

Salvation Army Gifts

So I had every intention of showing you the remainder of our home today for Christmas.. BUT our kitchen is a little bit of a disaster.. we’re getting new appliances this Friday (which I’m pretty excited about!) and my husband thought it would be a good idea to try to take out the dishwasher this last weekend… just to see if he could.. and then decided to not stick it back so it’s literally peeking out a bit with all the fluff and we’re down to hand washing dishes!

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So because of the eye sore… and the massive amount of dishes that are drying, I thought I’d wait and show you it when we have the new appliances in next week! 🙂 I’m just hoping either get them in before the party or that the hubs puts the dishwasher back in at least for looks! We’ll see…

So anyway.. I thought I’d share a fun little thing the hubs and I did this year..

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We purchased some gifts for the Salvation Army Angel Tree for 2 kids.  The hubs has a board at work with kids names on it and what they’d like for Christmas (and their ages).  He picked two off the tree on Monday and we set out to get some gifts they are hoping for!

We have 2 10 year old kids (one girl, one boy) who wanted nerf guns, minecraft, headphones and a guitar.  Well, the hubs thought maybe a ukulele kit would be a good start for a guitar player.. we’ll see how it goes!

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It’s always fun this time of year to think of the less fortunate and give a little (if you can).  I wish we could wrap up these gifts and make them all pretty but unfortunately they request them without wrapping… so off to work they’ll go with my husband.

We used to do this when I was little with my Mama every year.. we’d go to the mall, pick an ornament with a kids name and buy them a present.  It really was one of my favorite things!  We’d like to start making this a tradition again.

Do you do any type of gifts for children?  If so, what programs do you use?!

Anyway – this is a lot of writing and as we all know.. boring. So have a great Hump Day!

heartKristi

Cookie Exchange Guide

Happy Hump Day and last day of November!  It’s so hard to believe tomorrow marks the beginning of December and I already feel like the holiday season will be over before we know it – which if you know me… makes me so sad!

In the mean time, I’m trying to soak in as much holiday as I can 🙂 I’ve  mentioned before and I’ll probably mention it like 10 more times BUT I’m hosting a cookie exchange party next Friday night and can’t wait!  I’ve started to make lots of lists and DIY projects to prepare and thought I’d share the few things on my list!

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  • Invites: First and foremost – making cute invites!  I’ll show you mine after I share the event but I just made my own! So simple and there’s a lot of free templates on google! I love getting fun snail mail compared to just bills #adultlife so I made sure to mail these instead of just email!
  • Cookies: This is a given – I can’t wait to indulge a bit – who am I kidding?! I want to eat them allll! I indicated on the invite that everyone should bring 4 dozen of their cookies and email me a copy of the recipe about a week before so I can compile them all for everyone to take home
  • Prizes & Gifts:  I have a gift for everyone to take home at the end of the party and a gift for the best cookie (everyone will vote after trying them all!)
  • Holiday Games: I have a few in mind and I hope all the girls love them too – think Family Feud and a Christmas song game – I have a running list of songs but need a lot for it so if you have some favorites, let me know!
  • Appetizers & snacks: This is a must for me because I love to eat 🙂 And we’ll need something to balance all those cookies!  I don’t think we’ll end up eating too many though so that everyone has lots to take home! Those hubbies and boyfriends want to reap some benefits of this party!
  • Drinks: I’m planning to make a big batch of crock-pot hot cocoa and of course, I’ll have some alcoholic drink options as well – #givemeallthewine
  • Festive Photo booth: This isn’t necessarily a must but if you know me (which all these girls do obv) then you know I am all about pictures so any chance I can get to make a photo booth, I’m in!  It’ll be my first one ever to tackle but I can’t wait to bring out some creativity… or if all else fails – the props will be funny
  • Holiday Jammies: I am all about comfort and Christmas #duh so I thought it would be fun to play some Hollywood Game Night games (holiday style) in our jammies

  • Decorations: This  shouldn’t be too hard since we already have our tree up and all the decor but just in case you’re not in the full festive mood – make a DIY tassel garland and you’ll be set 🙂 Or if you don’t want to make it – you can order one here or lots of other places too!
  • Fun friends:  Another given but make sure you gather up all your fun gals for this night because it’ll be a few hours of fun and hopefully can be turned into an annual event!

Are any of you planning a fun holiday party?! If so, anything I’m missing from my list?! Hope you’re having an easy week adjusting back to work – seriously though, can I just be a stay at home dog mom?! I think I’d love that job until kiddos come 🙂 Anyone with me on that?!

heartKristi

Wine Wednesday Gift Guide!

Calling all you wine lovers out there!! How fun are these wine glasses?! And seriously… the towel set is my total way of thinking since I’m a white wine drinker over red!  I came across these wine glasses and thought they were so fun!  One of my favorite things about drinking wine is when it’s out of fun glasses and if they’re festive… I clearly need them 🙂

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It’s no surprise that I love wine… I mean, it’s usually one of my favorite things! My love affair started in college with Blackberry Arbor Mist which I realize is juice but it started it all nonetheless.  Now, I’m a huge fan of white wines… the sweeter the better usually – Rieslings and Moscatos are definite favorites but let’s be real.. if there’s only red, I’ll drink it 🙂

Oh yeah and if you want to know my favorite wines that you HAVE to try (or bring as a gift and just convince them to open it immediately); this one is my favorite but I really love this one! Story behind that last one.. the hubs took me to a fancy restaurant as one of our first dates and ordered this bottle of wine and it quickly became one of my favorites! Also, note that it’s marked down to $7.50 – it was at least $35 at the restaurant! If you’re looking for a sweet red, try this one!

Do you have any friends or family that are huge wine drinkers?! Or maybe even just yourself? 😉

heartKristi