Blogmas Day 17: Merry Christmas

Hey y'all,

I hope you have a Merry Christmas with your friends and family today!
You can catch up on my other Blogmas posts here as I am blogging everyday this month!

Merry Blogmas,

Blogmas Day 16: Hallmark Movie Review - Part 2

Hey y'all,

Get out the tissues as I am reviewing 8 of the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries - Miracles of Christmas premieres that I have watched this season. If you love traditional Hallmark Channel movies that are more rom-coms, these are more heart string pullers. Also, as a military brat, any military involved movies are guaranteed to make me cry and there are two military movies this season.
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A Merry Christmas Match

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Corey works at an antique store her father started when her best friend comes home from the city with both a boyfriend and her boyfriend's best friend, Ryder. Corey and Ryder hit it off and Corey begins to question her choice to stay in her hometown to help the family business and what it would be like to pursue her dreams. 🎄🎄.5/5

Nostalgic Christmas

A toy buyer from the city, Anne, returns to her hometown to help her father close his toy store. She meets a single dad and her old wooden Santa's she created as a child begin being gifted to the members of the town for the exact right reason. 🎄🎄/5

Two Turtle Doves

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Sharon is back in her hometown for the first holiday without her grandmother. The will requires her to complete twelve holiday traditions (one for each of the 12 days of Christmas ornaments) before she can consider selling the home. The estate attorney is her grandmother's neighbor and together they complete tasks like decorating, a movie marathon, etc. all while on the hunt for the missing two turtle doves ornament. 🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄/5

A Blue Ridge Mountain Christmas

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Willow is a hotel manager that returns to Virginia to help plan her sister's wedding at the Inn her parents once owned. She meets the new owner, and single dad, David and helps him heal from the past. 🎄🎄/5

Homecoming for Heroes

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Matt and Audrey were pen pals while he was stationed overseas after Audrey's brother shares coffee from her shop with Matt. When Matt returns stateside he seeks out Audrey and together they work on the Holiday for Heroes program for the town. 🎄🎄🎄/5

A Christmas Miracle

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Emma works for a lifestyle magazine in a temporary job. She searches for a lead on the story with a fellow co-worker and hopes to bring a miracle to a lonely street musician. 🎄🎄/5

Holiday Hearts

He's a doctor who has been back in town for the last year. She's an accountant at the family hotel. Together, they are helping to care for their friend's daughter while he is in the hospital for surgery right before Christmas. Their mission is to complete all the holiday traditions the daughter did with her mother (before she passed). Together, they enjoy the holidays and are reminded of how they felt about one another years ago. 🎄🎄🎄🎄/5

Time For You to Come Home for Christmas

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She lost her husband a few years ago and has not been back to her hometown for Christmas. On the train, she meets a stranger headed to town to meet someone. After a lot of chance meetings, Katherine heals with her family and discovers what Jack was seeking in their town. 🎄🎄🎄/5.

You can catch up on my other Blogmas posts here as I am blogging everyday this month!

Merry Blogmas,

Blogmas Day 15: Sunday Scripture

Hey y'all,

As we enter the week of Christmas, I hope that you are reminded of the Savior who came for us. He took on flesh, suffered, and died in our place so that we can be reconciled to the Creator, God.
If you need a service to attend, my church is livestreaming the Christmas service today at 11:30am, 4pm, and 6:30pm. You can watch the complete service here.

You can catch up on my other Blogmas posts here as I am blogging everyday this month!

Merry Blogmas,

Blogmas Day 14: Hallmark Movie Reviews - Part 1

Hey y'all,

I am a big fan of movies on Hallmark throughout the year (Winterfest, Spring Fling, June Weddings, etc). Since it is December, the majority of what I am watching are the Countdown to Christmas movies on Hallmark and the Miracles of Christmas movies on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries. Since October, I have watched over 20 of the new premieres (thank goodness for the Movie Checklist App) so I thought I would write a quick review on each over the next few days.

Christmas Wishes & Mistletoe Kisses

Abbey is a single mom that gave up her old role as an interior designer. However, she is hired by a local business man, Nick, to decorate his estate by Christmas Eve. Abbey helps Nick get into the Christmas spirit and the role helps Abbey get back to her passion. This was a sweet story and a great way to start the Hallmark movies. 🎄🎄🎄🎄/5

Merry & Bright

Cate inherited the Merry & Bright Candy Cane Company from her Aunt. Gabe is sent to the company under corporate recovery to look into the company and find ways to make it more profitable. Together, they work together to find creative ways to make the candy cane company thrive and Gabe shows Cate Christmas in the city. 🎄🎄🎄/5

Christmas Scavenger Hunt

I watched this with a few friends and we think although the title is correct, Belinda and Dustin did not have a lot of pep in their step to win the hunt. Belinda heads home for the holidays and is matched with her ex in the town's scavenger hunt. They have 10 tasks to complete in the day and together they learn that their history might be filled with a lot of misunderstandings.🎄🎄🎄/5

Picture a Perfect Christmas

A photographer returns to her grandmother's house to help her after an accident. While home, she meets the neighbor, a single dad and helps out watching his nephew (he took him in after an accident) while he is working on his latest app. 🎄🎄🎄🎄/5.

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The Mistletoe Secret

Aria submits their small town to a famous travel writer contest as the best Christmas town. The writer selected the town, but both the travel writer and his ghost writer show up to town and Aria learns who she was truly falling in love with when reading the travel blog. 🎄🎄🎄/5
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Write Before Christmas

Jessica is a former cellist that now owns a music store. She is recently single and decides to write cards to the people who have greatly impacted her. Well, the music teacher  who inspired her is out of town, and instead, her son shows up to thank Jessica for the card. This one had a few different couple stories within it which was a change and helped you root for a few different people. 🎄🎄🎄/5
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Check Inn to Christmas

Lawyer Julia Crawley returns to her Rocky Mountain hometown and her family’s lovely inn for the holidays, she finds herself at the center of a generations-old feud with the family that runs the town’s other inn. As the ongoing competition between the two inns escalates, “forbidden” romance blossoms between Julia and Ryan Mason, whose family runs the inn that is her family’s big competitor. This one did not hold my attention this year even with the fueling families. 🎄🎄/5

Christmas at the Plaza

Jessica, an archival historian is hired to create an exhibition honoring the history of Christmas at The Plaza Hotel. Nick, the decorator hired to add the holiday decor to the Plaza is set to work with her on the exhibit.  Together, they discover the history of the Plaza and enjoy some Christmas traditions together. 🎄🎄🎄/5
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Christmas in Rome

Angela, recently lost her job as a tour guide in Rome when she runs into Oliver, a business executive set to acquire a Italian ceramics company on his way to his first meeting. Oliver hires Angela to be his tour guide around the city and to help him learn about how business in Rome is conducted. Together, they discuss the heart of Rome, the holidays, and the importance of family. 🎄🎄🎄/5
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Christmas in Evergreen: Tidings of Joy

This is the third in the Evergreen series and I have loved all of them. The town searches for a rumored Christmas Time Capsule when a writer comes to town to discover if the Christmas spirit really is high in Evergreen. You get to check in on the previous couples in the series which the time capsule shows all sorts of traditions in this sweet town. 🎄🎄🎄🎄/5.
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You can catch up on my other Blogmas posts here as I am blogging everyday this month!

Do you watch Hallmark this time of year?

Merry Blogmas,

Blogmas Day 13: What's Up Wednesday {December}

Hey y'all,

I can't believe that Christmas is one week away and it's the last full week of work this decade! I am ready for some time at my parent's house and some deep cleaning when I get back to start the new year. I am linking up with Shay and Sheaffer to share What's Up Wednesday::
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What I'm Eating This Week:

I'm mostly just cleaning out the fridge and pantry this week before heading home. Sunday was a big baking day since I had some brown bananas. I made Real Food Whole Life's Banana Bread and Double Chocolate Banana Muffins.

I also made these Snickerdoodles for book club since they are gluten and dairy free.

What I'm Reminiscing About:

Past Christmas' of course!

What I'm Loving:

All the time with friends this time of year. Yes it can be a bit draining to this introvert but I love building relationships and community.

What I've Been Up To:

Last week I joked was the week of eating. There was at least one event involving food everyday from Sunday to Sunday - a birthday brunch, holiday party with my BSF group, a company meeting with lunch provided, cookoff at work, closing night of the Abide study dessert bar, ice cream social, holiday brunch, work party, book club party, etc.
 At the Barker's Holiday Brunch
Book Club Year 6 is complete!

What I'm Dreading:

Taking down all the festive decor. I posted late last night about my decor in my home and while there is not a lot, the taking down everything is the worst part of the holiday season. However, I also love a clean refreshed home so that is something to look forward to.

What I'm Working On:

Goals for 2020. I love taking the last few weeks of the year and reviewing what worked and what did not. I also love spending the first few days of the year really deep cleaning and organizing to start the year off clean and fresh. I just sent off a box to ThredUp as a jump start on my closet clean out.

What I'm Excited About:

Christmas morning! I am ready for 6am to open stockings, cinnamon rolls at 9am, and a 9:30am start to opening gifts. Gifts are one of my love languages so I love giving and receiving gifts. Plus, this day is all about the family and just hanging out in our pjs.

What I'm Watching/Reading:

All the Hallmark movies. Tonight at my small group we are having a gathering, watching Hallmark, and praying for each other and the new year.

Reading, I am just starting Shades of Milk and Honey and enjoy it so far.

What I'm Listening To:

Christian Christmas on Spotify.

Winter Street as an audiobook.
Winter Street (Winter Street Series Book 1) by [Hilderbrand, Elin]

Podcasts:

What I'm Wearing:

My blue light glasses. They have been great during this time of year when work has me staring at a screen for most of the day.

What I'm Doing This Weekend:

By the weekend I will be heading home to my parent's house to spend a few days with them and my older siblings. The hardest part about going home for the holidays is driving with Max since he hates the car and had gotten car sick a few times. Let's pray we can make it home safely with no sickness.

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month:

My birthday! I will turn the big 3-0 next month and I am excited to celebrate with both family and friends during the month.

Also, the Figure Skating National Championships will be in Greensboro next month and I am going to try and make it out to the Collesium for at least one of the competitions and some of the practices.
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What Else is New:

I think that is about it!

You can catch up on my other Blogmas posts here as I am blogging everyday this month!

Merry Blogmas,
 


Blogmas Day 12: Holiday Decor

Hey y'all,

With a lot of holiday events this weekend and the busiest week of the year at work I have gotten off a blogpost everyday for Blogmas but I will try to keep up as I have been loving sharing little posts daily. Here's a peek into my holiday decor at my place. I have a one-bedroom apartment so I keep my decor mostly in my main living spaces.

The Tree

The tree is in my dining room and is a simple fake tree that is quick to assemble. It is pretty decked out in ornaments and I have even more ornaments I did not put out this year. Between getting an ornament in our stocking, ornaments handed down, those I purchase on trips, and my god-parents getting me an ornament every year for my first 10 years, I have quite the collection.And yes, my parents have gifted us our ornaments we made as a kid so for sure do I put up the circle with one squigle from my childhood each year. 
Max cat is a big fan of the tree every year and he cries every night until I turn on the lights.

The Nativity

My older sister is an amazing crafter and she took up crochet a few years ago. She made herself a nativity and three years ago I saw it and asked her to make me one. Since then, I have received pieces as Christmas presents. My first year I received the Holy Family and last year I received the three kings. This year should be the final year with me receiving my shepherd, animals, and I believe an angel.

The TV counsel

I do some simple decor from Hobby Lobby on my TV counsel. I found these glass trees and sign two years or so ago and have placed them in this spot since. My mom got me the angel tree ornament but I put it out over here instead of on the tree this year.

The Kitchen

I purchased this stand from Hobby Lobby last Fall and I have loved finding decor to decorate it. I found most of this stuff at Target last year in the dollar spot area. The salt and pepper shakers were part of a white elephant game at my first job out of college (7+ years ago) and remind me of my grandmother who collected salt and pepper shakers.

The Dining Room Bookshelf

This is a bookshelf/bar cart in my dining room that this year became the place for Christmas cards and my She Reads Truth Advent cards. The paper bag angel I made back in '98 and has been part of the holiday decor ever since.


Living Room Bookshelf

The only other decor I have out are a traditional nutcracker and smoker (he smokes incense) on my bookshelf in my living room. I also received this print of North Carolina in the winter from an old supervisor.

I hope you enjoyed this peek into my holiday decor.

You can catch up on my other Blogmas posts here as I am blogging everyday this month!

Merry Blogmas,

Blogmas Day 11: Sunday Scripture

Hey y'all,

During a hectic week, it was great to read this reminder:

We should not be fearful of anything. We have a Savior who came to defeat death! Christmas is the greatest news and it is fro ALL PEOPLE! 

You can catch up on my other Blogmas posts here as I am blogging everyday this month!

Merry Blogmas,
 

Blogmas Day 10: Five on Friday {December 13}

Hey y'all,

I cannot believe that I have made it to 10 posts in a row this month for Blogmas. If you didn't see the first post, I was inspired by Bailey to blog everyday this month. So far, so good since I started on the 4th. This weekend I am hosting friends for some Hallmark movies tonight, going to a holiday brunch and my office's seasonal celebration tomorrow, and Sunday will include a lunch with a friend and book club's annual Christmas party! All the celebrations before the last full week of work of the year, decade, etc.

one. Abide Study.

This week was the final night of the Abide: 1 John, 2 John, and 3 John study by Jen Wilkin I did with my church's Women's Discipleship. I loved the women at my table this semester and it was an amazing study. Last night was a night of fellowship, review, and sporadically deciding to do the Exodus Part 2 study as a small group during this break before the Spring semester studies start in February. You know you have a great group of women who love to study together when you are doing the work outside the group.

two. Puppy playtime.

On Tuesday night I went to visit some puppies. One of my co-workers has a "pack" of cavaliers. She shows a few of them and this Fall, Sunny had 5 puppies. Unfortunately, the little girl did not make it but the 4 boys did and they started going to their homes this week. Therefore, I had to run over and cuddle the boys before they left. The boys were so sweet and you can follow the dogs their Instagram here.

three. bagel-wich.

This week I decided to see if the cafe downstairs would change out the bread on one of the sandwiches on the menu to a bagel. It was so good and reminded me of the "Pilgrims Pride" bagel sandwich I got at Alpine Bagel all the time in college.

four. Audiobooks.

This past week I have been on a big audiobook kick and I finished two books and I'm halfway through a third. I will share my reviews in my January post on December reads but I read To All The Boy's I've Loved Before and PS I Still Love You. I have been checking them out from my local library on the Overdrive app. I've heard great things about Hoopla but my library system does not subscribe to the program.

five. Max Cat's Gotcha Day. 

Tuesday was the anniversary of Max's Gotcha Day! Back in 2012 my family took him. He was found wandering the streets at 6 months by one of my mom's good friends. Now, he clearly lives a life of luxury napping under the Christmas tree every night.

I'm linking up with Erika, Narci, and Andrea

And linking up with TifBeckyDellaWhitney, and Whitney.


You can catch up on my other Blogmas posts here as I am blogging everyday this month!

Merry Blogmas,