Christmas House

Happy Christmas Eve from our Christmas house!

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It’s another quiet Christmas at our house this year. Traveling at 8 months pregnant just did not sound enjoyable so we opted to stay home again for the holidays. While Ryan’s been working today, I’ve been at home listening to my Pandora Christmas stations, drinking my favorite decaf Dunkin Donuts coffee and making these Peppermint Oreo Truffles. OMG.

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They might be the best holiday treat ever because they are so sweet and rich that you really can only eat one (as opposed to the two cookies I’ve been scarfing down at a time).

Tonight we are grabbing sushi with our neighbors who are also family-less for Christmas which is turning in to a pretty fun tradition. Then I’ll probably snuggle my husband in front of the fire and watch a movie while he drinks delicious wine and I sip on sparkling cider. Quiet and cozy makes for a sweet Christmas Eve πŸ™‚

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Virtual Baby Shower

You already know I love pretty much everything about living in Charleston. I’m guessing that you already know too though that it’s hard to be going through this exciting time in my life (being pregnant) away from most of my friends and family. But this weekend, my sweet sweet sister and sister-in-law threw me a virtual baby shower so I could feel the baby love from my friends and family all over the country.

With the help of technology, I was still able to have a fun, beautiful baby shower for my boy and celebrate with the people I love. If you’ve never heard of a virtual shower, here’s how ours worked. There were two different versions of the invitation that were sent out: one for those living in Minnesota, and one for those who live every where else and would need to Skype in on their own. My sister-in-law in Minnesota hosted a shower for those that live there. They came over to her house for drinks and food and were able to Skype in using her computer that was hooked up to their big screen tv. My friends who live in Chicago, Atlanta, Columbus, and Florida that wanted to attend all Skyped in from their own homes. In Charleston, my sister ran the group Skype call and hooked her computer up to my TV so I could see all of the cute faces of my family and friends that were attending. It was surprisingly easy and while we had a few minor technology glitches, everyone was such good sports and we were able to have the shower pretty easily! Β I opened presents and we were even able to play some games through Skype which was pretty amazing. If you have specific questions about the logistics of how this worked, let me know.

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(This is a pretty unflattering picture – I blame a stretched out top, haha – but you can see how excited I was to see everyone’s faces!)

My sister locked me in my room before the shower started so she could set up. When I came out at the time of the shower I was totally BLOWN AWAY by the level of detail and thoughtfulness she put in to making Friday night feel like a “real” shower for me!

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The theme was “Baby It’s Cold Outside” so our menu consisted of potato soup, ham sandwiches, a snowman cheese ball and apple trees with swiss cheese snow. There was a hot chocolate bar and even a cake! She strung snowflakes, onesies, baby clothes, and little socks and diapers up with twine and clothes pins across our living room so everyone could see the decorations on their screens.Β It was just above and beyond what I was expecting – it couldn’t have been cuter!

Want to see the weirdest picture my sister and I have ever taken together?

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The weeks leading up to the shower were so exciting because every day I would get packages on my door step! Here’s the pile of presents before and then after I ripped them all open.

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We are so lucky to have such generous family and friends! Besides getting almost everything we need for this little guy, we also were gifted some of the cutest baby outfits and super thoughtful and creative presents. I loved absolutely everything including this sweet hat that was brought back from Ireland for our little Irish boy and this onesie from my mom that is so special.

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My sister-in-law even made this cute diaper cake for me!

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It was such a funny/fun/unconventional/sweet night that I am so thankful for! Thank you to all of my friends and family that sent something or Skyped in – and especially to my sister for making it so special for me here in Charleston!

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PS: Here’s a picture of dad setting up the Rock N Play. He melts my heart when he gets excited about baby things.

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A Weekend Recap in Pictures

We could not have crammed more into this weekend if we tried!

Friday night was a Christmas movie marathon night. On the docket was Love Actually, A Muppet Family Christmas, (a Scholz must-watch for the holiday season), and White Christmas.

Saturday morning I was feeling muffin-y so I whipped up some mixed berry muffins using my go-to-McCleary Approved recipe.
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After breakfast we headed consignment furniture shopping for Bec and Kelly’s new townhouse. We had a ton of luck and got them almost everything they need!
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After lunch at our favorite Indian restaurant and moving their furniture in, we went to pick out our Christmas tree. We stopped at this cute tree stand…

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But after hearing their prices, bought our tree here:

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We spent the rest of the night stringing up lights outside and decorating our tree. Ryan specifically requested tinsel this year and expertly placed each strand πŸ™‚

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This morning Ryan and I went to brunch and took the dogs on a chilly walk at the beach. I did some more decorating (which I’ll post about this week) and then the girls and I headed downtown for the Charleston Christmas parade. So cute and fun!

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When we came home we started our Christmas baking (coconut macaroons, sugar cookies, Andes Mint cookies and toffee) and warmed up with this sausage, potato and spinach soup:

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PS: If you aren’t decorating your sugar cookies with red hots, you’re doing it wrong.

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PPS: I’m feeling too lazy to link up the recipes in this post so if you want any of them, post a comment and I’ll reply with the link. Have a great week!

Thanksgiving in ‘Bama

We just had the best time spending an unplugged weekend with family in Alabama. We did a lot of eating, walking, porch-sittin’, cribbage playing, catfish catchin’, chopping down trees, bonfire making, laughing, beer drinking, and armadillo chasin’. The weather was absolutely perfect and in case you’re wondering, the pies turned out pretty great πŸ™‚
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#TBT Savannah Style

While my parents were visiting in October we took a day trip to Savannah which is conveniently less than 2 hours away from Charleston. Since we were just there for the day we jammed a lot of sightseeing in.
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Our day started with a trolley tour. Definitely recommended if you’ve never been to Savannah before – you get a layout of the city in a one hour tour so you know where you want to spend your time the rest of the day.

Of course no trip to Savannah would be complete without walking around with peach sangrias! This was a hard one to miss out on…

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We decided to eat at Paula Dean’s restaurant, The Lady and Sons, for lunch just to say we did it. The food wasn’t anything special and the wait was long but at least we got to meet the butter queen herself!

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The rest of our day was spent with lots of walking and visiting the beautiful Bonaventure Cemetery.

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My sister and I decided that we want to take a day trip to Savannah just to do some shopping next time! There are so many cute stores on the little side streets that I can’t wait to go in. Maybe we’ll go back after February when I can sip one of those peach sangrias while we shop. Savannah is just lovely.

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C&T Take on Charleston

After a tearful goodbye at the airport curbside drop off, my parents’ Southern adventure is officially over. We had so much fun and were so busy exploring and eating our way through Charleston! Here’s some of my favorite pictures from their time here.

Getting to know Charleston via foot and mule travel:

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Yappy Hour at the dog park:

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Kayaking with the dolphins on Shem Creek:

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And visiting Magnolia Plantation:

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These were just the few activities that I actually took pictures of! If you are traveling to the area and need some recommendations on what to do/where to eat, let me know!

30th Anniversary in Asheville

We spent the most beautiful fall day in Asheville, NC celebrating my parents’ 30th anniversary with them! They have been in Charleston with us for about a week now so today we made the 4 hour drive to see the famous Biltmore Estate which was on my dad’s bucket list. It did not disappoint!

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Our day was spent touring the house and gardens, wine tasting (well some of us did this anyway!), eating delicious North Carolina BBQ and listening to live music in downtown Asheville.

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Happy anniversary to the best parents a girl could ask for!

Family Traditions

A lot of the traditions in my family growing up involved food and competition: fondue dinner complete with twice-baked potatoes on Christmas Eve, Easter egg decorating competition with my siblings, sugar cookie decorating contest with my siblings, probably a pumpkin carving competition on Halloween, playing the dice game at my grandpa’s house on Christmas, and my dad MUST make scalloped corn on Thanksgiving or all hell is going to break loose. One family tradition that won’t seem to disappear is my sister sleeping in footie pj’s on Christmas Eve (did I mention she’s 23?).

But one of my favorite, and sweetest family traditions is that my dad always brings home flowers for my mom on the first day of spring. There is nothing better in the dead of a Minnesota winter than the promise of spring brought by beautiful, colorful flowers. Although Ryan hasn’t quite caught on to this tradition yet, that’s okay! I’ll buy my own flowers on the first day of spring. It makes me too happy not too. Happy spring!

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