HOLIDAY TRAVEL AND POLKA DOT VIBES

And just like that, Christmas is over and I’m not ashamed to say that I’m happy about it. As much I love hanging with family and friends and having some down time it’s also the perfect opportunity to over eat and subject myself to awful unnecessary shopping. I literally have one more gift to buy for a friend and that is the end of visiting these crazy over crowded shopping centers for a while. Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays, but I also love to see it go so people can start acting normal again and stop bombarding the store lines. God I love a short store line, LOL. I also love online shopping too, 😂 but for some reason I always talk myself into going into a mall or shopping center during the holiday for some crazy reason. I guess it’s because my mom, baby sis and I are avid shoppers and love the rush we get from finding a good deal I suppose. In any case, more than anything, I loved hanging with my family and my in-laws. Charles and I have been so crazy busy this year that trips to see them have been far, few and in-between, so to be able to spend time with them was truly a blessing.

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On the way to grandma and grandpa’s house we ran into the most decorative house in Monroe and I just had to stop and get a few pics for the blog. I know nothing about this house and can’t for the life of me remember the name of it so, if you’re native to Monroe, NC and have any clue, drop the name of this house in the comment box because it’s driving me nuts that I don’t remember; I think it starts with  the letter “B” but again, I have no earthly idea, grrr. Easy my suffering and help an ole girl figure this thing out, LOL.

Keep a scrolling good peoples and check out all the pics of this stellar property…

Top | Pants

Needless to say, the only thing I could think of was how long it would take to take down all the holiday decor from this property. This is also pretty much what I think about when I get make-up caked all over my face for pageant stuff, LOL, for those wondering why most of my post consist of either a little make-up or none at all. FYI, I have nothing on in these pics #sorrynotsorry, I’m on vacay and just using my energy towards enjoying the fam and friends. I promise I’ll get my life together before pageant day #scouts-honor. Anyway, I’ll be posting a few more outfits from this month and ending the year of 2018 blogpost with one New Year’s look for ya so stay tuned. What a year this has been. Can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store. We do know first things first, our trip to Hawaii, can’t wait to post content about this!

Till next time!

Sincerely,

Deidra Marie

ECLECTIC HOLIDAY FINDS WITH SHANELLE EBANKS

Good Friend and Guest Blogger, Shanelle Ebanks

It is the season of giving! When I go shopping, aside from a specific need, I like to make memories.  Isn’t that what quality gift giving is all about anyway?!?!  I like to gifts that:

  • Reinforce that I see you and speak to who you are
  • Remind us of moments we’ve shared
  • Hopefully make us laugh and/or cry
  • Support dreams and goals we’ve discussed or I may hold for you
  • Are an experience

I love the off beaten, eccentric, quirky, hole-in-the wall, hidden gems for gifts. In general, I want you to have something unique and truly special.  Here are just a few of my favs.

Grab a great book…ok who are we kidding, books from Quail Ridge Book Store, Letters Bookshop, or  Reader’s Cornerand then head over to Tin Roof Teasto get some amazing loose leaf tea and infused honey. Heading into winter you need just the right tea(s) and a great read to cozy up on the couch with. If you are really living on the edge, pick up a CD or record from Reader’s Corner or Carolina Soul Recordsand add some great tunes to the mix.  (I know it’s old school but I promise it’s a different listening experience and records DO sound different).  Don’t forget the whole body! Treat yourself (and others) to the healing soaps, moisturizers, and essential oils of Aly Willowand top it off with a massage, there are SO many spas to choose from in the Triangle.

When I have no idea what to get, there are a few stores I love to get inspired by and wander through.  Give yourself a little time and just get lost in these gems, Deco, Dolly’s Vintage, Exotique, Parker and Otis, Morgan Imports, NOFO @ the Pig and Relish Craft Kitchen and Bourbon Barhas a cute little section of NC centric gifts (eat something when you pop in to shop).

There are of course a few old faithfuls. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the NC State Farmers Market. There’s an entire building of cute handmade goods and food, but I always get in trouble with plants (what’s better than giving someone life and better air quality) and the fresh food. Pick up a cook book in one of those great book stores, find a recipe and pick up the ingredients to cook together!  Grab some awesome spices and sauces from Savory Spiceand olive oil from The Olive Wagon.  Food is love! The Raleigh Flea Market at the NC State Fairgroundsis amazing. The vendors and merchandise change and you never know what you’ll find. Go peruse, shop, get your step count in! It’ll be great!

**Shameless plug** don’t forget the precious little ones in your life. Check out my Simply Unforgettable Etsy shopfor some warm and creative handmade baby and toddler blankets and more.

I also love to gift an experience. Don’t be afraid to get a specific gift card or make a coupon (hello Canva) for an experience.  Things like wine and design classes, cooking classes, golf, bowling, escape room, barcade, wine tasting and/or vineyard tour, etc. But, I SO want to go axe throwing; I’ve heard good things about Urban Axesand Epic Axe Throwing & Social House.  Feel free to invite me!!  😉Don’t forget, Groupon is your friend!

Whatever you get, don’t forget the perfect wrapping, the present is theentireexperience. While I’m a huge fan of wrapping a present in the comics section of the paper, sometimes you just have to step your game up with a perfectly paired card and awesome wrapping. For this, check out If It’s Paperor Paper Source.  Paper Source also has some great cute gifts too!

 

Happy shopping and remember “He who giveth good gifts, receiveth good gifts.” I really want to say that came from the Bible or Confucius, but we both know I just made that up.  I hope you find great gifts, but also really enjoy experience of the hunt for the perfect gifts.

Happy Holidays!

TURKEY DAY AND THE 5 F’S

(left) Big Bro Derek, Mom, Dad, baby sis Danny, and me
Momma

There were about 5 different families under our roof the other day and I couldn’t be more blessed. This is the first time we’ve had almost the whole squad together under one roof so, like any blogger would do in this situation, I forced everyone to dress up in fall colors and go outside and take pics, LOL. (and like I knew my family would, nobody was in dress code, LOL) which leads me into my 5 F’s or in other words, the 5 things I’m grateful for. Keep scrolling for the list.

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Hubby and the in-laws
My nieces and nephew
Sister in-law Selina, baby Will, Allie, and Mari
Baby Will, isn’t he the cutest?
These cuties melt my heart
My Allie Bear
And more of baby Will
Big Bro and his gf
Double the trouble
Remind me of my baby sis and big bro
Mi madre
In-laws and hubby
The Munn’s
Okay, one more because he’s so darn cute!
Last one, I swear
Mi Familia

FAMILY

Duh, you knew that already. This is literally the ultimate gift and I so appreciate just eating with them, catching up with them, playing endless games of Taboo into the night hours with them. God is so good!

FRIENDS

I’ve lost some friends, but really value the ones I have. Friendships these days have been so meaningful and now that my circle of friends is smaller and tighter, I can really focus in on what makes each and every one of them so special and unique. You know who you are, you know who I’m talking too. Know that I value you and all the things that make you you.

FOOD

God bless all the calories I took in this past weekend, may they all melt away into a far far land that is not my stomach, LOL. I must admit, there was some good food this past Thursday, of course, I was responsible for making all the bad food, all the cards, all the starch. Thankfully, my mother in-law brought all the healthy green beans, mustard greens and broccoli. Food really does bring people together and then afterwards sends people home so they can nap too, LOL.

FUN

Because we all need a bit more of it. Between school, work, blogging, family, friends and pageant duties, I’M BEAT and so looking forward to a vacation. This turkey day was a highlight of what’s to come. Our family has had a few scares these past few months so to see everybody at my house on Thursday was really the ultimate blessing. We had fun, we joked, we laughed, we watched the game, were loud and obnoxious, how any family member of mine would be. It was felt like home again.

FRIDAY

Black Friday that is. I shopped until I dropped. I’ll probably also return a whole bunch of stuff after seeing my next credit card bill but it was nice to take part in this ludicrous shopping tradition and because it started on Thursday, there was no fight with the crowd on Friday. I walked right in Target without a hassle, didn’t have to stand in one line and was greeted by one of the friendliest Target employees EVER.

What you thankful for? Drop your comments below!

Till Next Time,

Sincerely,

Deidra Marie