Remember The Huge Diamond Ring I Wanted?

I promised myself that I would not blog about this gift because I did not want anyone to think that I was bragging, but I know my heart, and I know that I am not bragging, so I broke that promise and I am just genuinely busting with excitement and I really just wanted to share this gift that I received and this joyous feeling with you all!  On Christmas Eve Jerry gave me the most amazing gift, almost 14 years after he proposed, he gave me a beautiful cushion cut diamond ring similar to the one that Rachel Zoe received as a push present that I had been lusting over and blogged about but never thought I would receive!  Needless to say, I shed so many tears!


The Best Gift of All

"For unto you is born in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:10-12

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours. 


Something Special for Someone Special

We had a Secret Santa ornament exchange at work on Thursday.  All of us were randomly assigned who we would get an ornament for and we had to keep it a secret, hence the term "Secret Santa".  I looked everywhere for weeks to find the perfect ornament for my co-worker and friend, but I just could not find ANYTHING that I felt was special enough for Stephanie.  Please go and read Steph's blog and you will understand why I felt so convicted to get the perfect ornament to honor this amazing woman.

After searching high and low, I decided that in order to give her the perfect ornament, I was going to have to make it myself and this is how it turned out:

This is the front; the S not only stands for Stephanie, but also SURVIVOR!

 The back.
I was so happy how it turned out and Stephanie loved it!

This year I have been blessed in so many ways, my Faith has grown deeper than I knew that it could, friendships flourished and a broken friendship was healed, my children are healthy and thriving, Jerry and I are celebrating our 14TH Christmas together, my relationships with family and the time we spend together continue to be such blessings also, this list could go on and on.  I am so very thankful this Christmas Eve.  I pray that you all have a joyous Holiday spent with those that you love.


Our Christmas Decor 2011, Part 3, a Sons Love.

Remember the HUGE 12ft tree that is in my entry way?  Well Jerry and our son, Houston, have been saying that something was missing, but they both liked it without decorations. 

This last weekend Houston figured out what exactly was missing. He didn't tell any of us what he was doing, but asked his Dad to stay downstairs for a while.  Houston proceeded to bring up tote after tote of decorations, not just any decorations; most of them belonged to my late Mother-in-law, Mary Jane.  What was missing according to Houston "was love and having Grandma there to greet us at the front door."  Right when he said this to me, I could feel true Christmas spirit, brought to me by the loving heart of my son.  Houston wanted to decorate the tree for his Dad as an early Christmas gift.  Needless to say, it was hard for me to not get teary eyed seeing all of these sentimental ornaments while he brought the tree to life.  Houston is a remarkable soul that has so much love to give.  I am so blessed to be his Mama.

He took his time (again, he did this completely on his own, per his request) and wore a Santa hat while he decorated.

He even found my very first ornament and placed it on the tree.  

*Notice the Santa hat he had been wearing became the tree topper!* Once he finished, he let us see what he had been up to and the sight left us breathless.  Not only did we ugly cry get choked up, but we also felt so proud of the amazing Son we are raising and both realized that what we felt inside, right at that moment, was IN FACT the Christmas spirit and what the season is all about.

What is your favorite memory where you felt the true Christmas spirit? I would love to hear.


I'm Karen, You're Jack.

If you ever watched Will and Grace, then you are familiar with Karen and Jack.  Ryan is my Jack, a sophisticated yachting version of Jack, and I am a nicer version of Karen that is sober, well most of the time.

Isn't he just the cutest?  Love my Gusband!

Today is Ryan's birthday, Happy Birthday sweet friend.  I love you dearly!  To celebrate I thought that I would share some of our most recent, ridiculous text messages.

This is when I must tell you that the only person that I violate with the emoticon's is Ryan.  He and I never tire of cracking each other up with these ridiculous emo's!


Wardrobe Diary

Yesterday we went to the evening church service and this is what I wore: H&M sweater dress tunic, swoosh leggings from TJ MAXX and my leopard Manolo Blahnik heels.  Notice that the dress is being attacked by wrinkles?  I steamed it, but obviously not very well.  #fashionfail
Many of you asked me where my green coat was from that I wore in this post.  My green coat is from
J. CREW.  This year they did not make it in green, but you may be able to find it on eBay, but J. CREW did make their Metro Coat this year in green and it is currently on sale! I am also wearing it in the shiteous iPhone pic below that is blurry because I was probably moving while taking the pic and I truly was having a "I look like a crusty turd" day.
 Please reference this post by Megan.


What I'm Loving

The new stockings for our pugchildren from Ballard Designs.  Sir Chauncers and Lady Talulah Belle are loving them too!

This "Lorah" dress from DVF.

My kids personal Christmas trees that are decorated with their own ornaments.
 My Kate Spade headbands and...
 Kate Spade "licorice" heels.
The fact that I am ALMOST done with my holiday shopping!
What are you loving right now?


Answers to Your Skin Care Questions!

Obligatory disclaimer: I have not been compensated in any way for this post.  These are my honest recommendations and personal opinions. As always, speak to your dermatologist or health care provider prior to trying any new product to make sure that it is safe for your skin type.

Every day at work and via my blog or Twitter I am asked these questions most frequently:

"I have acne AND dry skin.  Is there a moisturizer that will hydrate my skin and not give me more acne?"

YES!  My answer is always and has been for almost four years, Epicuren Acidophilus Probiotic Facial Cream.  This amazing facial cream will moisturize your skin while the probiotic properties will keep acne at bay. 
 "What is your favorite eye cream?"

The BEST eye cream EVER is from iS CLINICAL, bar none.  Youth Eye Complex is the answer if you want to prevent and treat fine lines and wrinkles while saying bye-bye to under-eye puffiness and dark circles.

 "Tell me ONE product that will help my acne, wrinkles, and my brown spots."

I know that you are thinking that there is NO WAY that ONE product can do this, but there IS and it is the ACTIVE SERUM, also from iS CLINICAL.

"I want firmer, even skin and less wrinkles.  What should I use?"

TNS Recovery Complex from SkinMedica.  No, I am not being redundant; this product works in a totally different way than the Active Serum that I mentioned above.  I do LOVE to use the Active Serum and the TNS together, talk about an out of this world pairing to create phenomenal skin!

TNS Recovery Complex has more growth factors that any other product on the market with a 93.6% concentration of TNS®. Clinical studies have demonstrated that continued use of TNS Recovery Complex will improve the tone, texture, elasticity as well as improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  

TNS® is the main ingredient in TNS Recovery Complex's potent skin treatment which is formulated from naturally occurring growth factors, antioxidants, soluble collagen, cytokines and matrix proteins (93.6% concentration). TNS Recovery Complex is clinically proven to:
  • Reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Diminish the appearance of age spots and dyspigmentation
  • Improve skin texture, tone and elasticity
  • Reduce roughness and photodamage

I hope that I answered some of your questions and that you try these pharmaceutical grade (meaning they have to do what they say as they have been tested and proven by the FDA) products!


Easy Appetizers and Holiday Tablescape

On Saturday we hosted our neighbors for a Holiday party at our home.  I love to entertain, but honestly I get anxious about what food to serve that will feed a large group, be easy to make and still be delicious.  Thanks to google I found a few new recipes that were super easy and were crowd pleasers, since so many of you are also hosting upcoming events, I wanted to share these recipes with you and I am also linking up with SCHUE LOVE for a Christmas Cheer link party!

Ham and Cheese Sliders, recipe HERE.

Pecan, Brown Sugar, and Kahlua Baked Brie, recipe HERE.

Caramelized Onion Tarts With Apples, recipe HERE.

A-Freaking-Mazing Artichoke Dip, recipe HERE.

Our friends all brought yummy appetizers to share also.  Brian,our neighbor, served as bartender and made Pom Martinis, recipe HERE. These were AMAZING and I may have had a few too many of them. *whoops* 

This is the tablescape I created with items that I already had.  I used some ivory fabric that I had found a purpose for, lots of candle holders, decorative balls, and a large urn for the centerpiece.  The fresh greenery came from our tree in the back yard!  


Game Day Outfit

To cheer on my Dallas Cowboys I wore a super tacky bling t (that I love), a silver Kate Spade headband, J Brand skinny jeans and vintage Miss Capezio cowboy boots.

Best thing about this pic?  The creeper under the Christmas tree known as Lady Talulah Belle.


Ya, I Made This Baloon Valance With a Sheet and Staples

Thursday was our Annual Holiday Event for all of our patients and clients. So much time, love, and teamwork made this year's event a great success.  Wednesday we spent almost 14 hours decorating and setting up and I can honestly say that we converted a skin cancer surgery center into an elegant and festive party suite.

No matter what, surprises pop up when you are setting up for an event or decorating at home.  I was faced with the challenge of creating a window covering to disguise a huge 7ft w x 5ft window that normally is covered with vinyl blinds.  The challenges were that 1.The blinds could not be removed, 2. I could not hang curtain rods because this was a temporary installation, 3. I completely forgot about having to transform the hideous window until the moment it had to be done. 

Luckily I brought extra random fabric and linens from home that matched the colors of our theme and lots of extra white icicle lights.

 I pulled the blinds all the way to the top of the window, then hung icicle lights from the top of the blind, after the lights were hung I took an ivory polyester top king size bed sheet and then pulled a few inches of the fabric over the back side of the blind and then stapled it from the back so that no one could see the staples and so that the sheet drape would stay attached at the top.  

To create the balloon effect I gathered the sheet and stapled it from the back.  I did this over and over until my polyester sheet became an opulent window covering.  Of course I am using the word "opulent" loosely here, but in comparison to what the window looked like before, this certainly was an opulent transformation!


Our Christmas Decor 2011, Part 2

Here is our front door decked out in its Christmas splendor! I used different fresh evergreen pieces to create the bough that is over the door and for the wreath.  There are many tutorials on YouTube if you want to learn how to create these.  I added ribbon to the bough, wreath, the little pine trees, and to each of the three lights out front (not pictured) to unify the look.

I am really happy with how it turned out.  Jer wants to put white lights on all of it, but I like our cheery evergreen look just as it is.  Thoughts?  Lights or no lights? 


How To Style High Your Hair Into a High Bun EASY!

This week I have a big event on my plate that I have been anguishing over. The neckline of my dress calls for an up-do.  Today I stumbled upon a little piece of hair magic and I will share with you how I created this look in literally less than two minutes.  Granted, it would probably look better if I spent about five minutes on it, but my kids wanted me to make dinner instead.  Go figure.

 You like my sexy pugchild? Sir Chauncey (otherwise known as Big and Sexy or Big Bubba) is always bustin' up into my pics.
I stopped at the beauty supply store to pick up some new makeup brushes that just came out to add to my Makeup Artist's kit.  There I was, bopping along through the aisles absorbing all of the new treasures when the oddest thing caught my eye, it was a hair donut! I stared at it forever thinking that it was a pot scrubber.  No, not a pot scrubber, more like a pin cushion for your hair.  
I bought the crap donut thinking that most likely I would use it to scrub pans and because it was less than two dollars and I am a sucker.  

In between piles of laundry, homework, and making dinner I googled the hair donut, more specifically "how to create a high bun with a hair donut" and I found some fantastic YouTube videos.  I also found out that you can make your own "donut" with a sock!  Yes, a sock.  I give you the tutorial that taught me how to create my high bun, keep in mind that her hair is 23 inches long, mine is NOT.  You can create this look with many different lengths of hair.


Wardrobe Diary

Yesterday we did some holiday errands and this is what I wore:  Gap wool shawl, Gap thermal in brown oatmeal, navy J. Crew classic mini, brown tights, Dolce Vita boots, Louis Vuitton Speedy 35. Why did the pugs have their leashes on?  They went with us and got groomed. Lady Talulah Belle and Sir Chauncey are looking super sexy today thanks to their spa day.  Lady T refused to cooperate and get her nails painted.  Doesn't she know that we have many upcoming social events and that she needs a mani?  She can be so selfish.
These are outfits that I wore to work last week. I paired this F21 bright coral-red cropped jacket with a Milly lace dress and Tory Burch Sophie wedge heels and the necklace is vintage Cartier, left to me by my late Mother-in-law.
First let's address the fact that I look like an orange oompa loompa.  I did not even use self-tanner last week, actually not for a few weeks, but my iPhone must have thought that I needed a Snooki-esque tan for this photo.  This is probably my favorite pencil skirt that I own.  Pencil skirts are timeless and they easily pull a look together.  My closet is busting full of them! My look consisted of a Banana Republic knit blouse, Ann Taylor Loft pencil skirt, J. Crew skinny belt, Christian Louboutin patent Simple 100 heels and my Over Sized Grey YSL Muse handbag.

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