guess what? i'm almost through with all of my christmas gifts, and last night, as i wrapped, i thought, "this bow on top is so stinkin' easy, and it really gets a lot of attention”. i figured i'd post a little tutorial, so you can impress your friends and family too with this ridiculously easy (but oh so pretty) christmas bow!
i bought my ribbon from hobby lobby, i'm not sure what it's made of, but it's amazing and not too pricey!I i don’t believe this method will work with grosgrain or silk ribbon, but it WILL work with acetate – for all you ribbon connoisseurs.

step 1: go ahead and wrap your present, and top it with a ribbon.
wait…i've lost you already? here’s another tutorial for those who are wrapping-impaired.
leave the ends of your ribbon loose – later referred to as “ribbon 1”.
[fyi: i CAN wrap a box…with paper…promise!]

step 2: dispense enough ribbon to make your bow - i unreeled about 5 feet. now cut it, and reel it back up, as if it’s on a spool again. the bigger your circle, the longer your bow “loops” will be. my circle is a tiny bit bigger than my hand.

step 3: press it together in the middle, like you’re forming a BOW [who woulda thought?!]

step 4: cut a tiny v-slit on one side of the bow – be sure to not cut all the way to the middle. i'm actually using my kitchen shears because, depending on the amount of ribbon you use, it can get pretty thick! [ps: i'm a really good photog, right?]

step 5: repeat on side 2. it’s VERY important that your “v's” don’t touch [even a little bit]. 
if they do, you’ve just destroyed your beautiful bow. sorry ‘bout it.

step 6: place the bow on your present, and tie the loose ends [from ribbon 1] to stabilize the bow. tight! lastly, “fluff” your bow by pulling each loop, one at a time, towards the center knot with ribbon 1. i find that it works best if you start from the inside of each loop, separating each layer, and just working it until it looks the way you like!
don’t forget to curl the loose ends!

now, stand back and admire the beauty of the easiest bow EVER!
see? hand-wrapped box prezzies.



i was fortunate enough to not only be born into a cooking family, but i married into one as well. both my mom and andrew's mom are excellent cooks, so when holiday gatherings roll around, i usually don't have very many responsibilities. my contributions usually fall into 1 of 3 categories: drinks, desserts, or appetizers. so here are a few recipes i've been eyeballing:
*disclaimer: i have not yet attempted any of these recipes, nor can i vouch for their deliciousness. this is simply me, staring at food, thinking it looks good!

gingerbread martini

Pomegranate Prosecco
pomegranate prosecco

blood orange cocktail (no alcohol)

sangria (my favorite recipe - sub sprite for carbonated water!)

hot crab dip

hot crawfish dip

How clever!  Just cut a cream cheese block on the diagonal to have the pieces to make a tree shape.  Then add some bell pepper decorations and some pepper jelly (and Wheat Thins of course), and you have an awesomely cute appetizer!
cream cheese and pepper jelly (no recipe necessary!)

Rosemary Apple & Goat Cheese Crostini
rosemary apple & goat cheese crostini


Gingerbread brownies
gingerbread brownies with cream cheese frosting

Oreo Truffles
oreo truffles - i CAN vouch for these, it's my go-to and they're SO GOOD, esp straight out of the fridge!

red velvet cheesecake – anyone made this? looks amazing!

Gingerbread Cheesecake Bites.  4 Ingredients!
gingerbread cheesecake bites
those cheesecake bites are TOO adorable and might just be my winner this year for the desserts! are you trusted with a main dish? or are you a “dinner accessory” gal like myself? if so, what’s your go-to recipe?



so last night was the 1st annual charlotte blogger christmas dinner and ornament exchange, and i have to say that i sincerely hope this continues as a yearly tradition. i had SUCH a blast with these ladies, and although i had only met 2 of them previously (whom i adore!), everyone was SO warm and welcoming - even to me and my tiny little blog! and to be a bunch of computer-savvy tech gals, we’re not too bad to look at!


top: me, bre, kate, annie, mariel, lulu, maran, lauren
bottom: bri, christina, mindy, michelle, april

bubblyenjoying a little drank before the shindig begins!


me with christina and april, sweet sweet girlfriends.


photo credits go to these gals 1  |  2  |  3

it’s so refreshing to spend some time with ladies who aren’t catty and really just enjoy each other’s company, talking about things in common (sororities and favorite neighborhood restaurants, mostly), and good food – duh! for inquiring minds, we all met at aria in uptown charlotte – which i highly recommend for a fancy-ish dinner out. i enjoyed the most delicious thin crust pizza with goat cheese, caramelized onions, and mushrooms [helllooo leftovers!], and plan on going back soon to partake in their champagne selection!

everyone, have a great weekend! xoxo



thanks so much for the great responses on my last post. it really put me at ease, knowing i'm not the only [late] twenty something who still feels like a shy little girl sometimes!

let's lighten things up a bit today, shall we? christmas cards seem to be the running trend in the blogosphere today, and it just so happens to be the day i've planned to do myyy big reveal. i can tell -- you're really excited!


yes, that is our house, and yes, those are our kitties. i really enjoy designing our own christmas cards each year, and although i do have to sacrifice on paper quality (eek!), i'm really proud do deliver something that i made and has our own little touch.

i hope everyone is having a wonderful week! i'm over-the-moon excited because tonight, sweet "annie" has arranged a charlotte blogger dinner and ornament exchange! i'm pumped to meet some new friends and have a blast with these great gals!



be-yourselfthis little online world seems to be so full of energetic, outgoing, courageous people. and while i love them all (the majority of my friends are like this!) and enjoy being around them, i am not one of them.

my name is laura, and i am a shy person. a lot of my girlfriends have told me that before they knew me, they thought i was snobby, but in reality i'm just pretty shy and quiet. even after i warm up, i'm still pretty mellow and quiet. at least, this is how i perceive myself.

it's no secret that i was in a sorority in college [ZTA], and as a sister, we all participate in recruitment. looking back now, this was one of the most beneficial events for me. as an introverted person, it really helped me to overcome my "fear" of talking to strangers - no joke. after talking to the first 15 girls or so, i started getting the hang of things, and after 60+ it was just another day. no nerves, just new faces. as a result of this newfound confidence, i sang at many chapter events (philanthropies, pref nights) and was even president of my chapter senior year [and a pretty good one!].

now, being a real adult, and out of college now for 5 years, i feel as if i've lost track of that fun sorority girl persona that just jumped in and lived life so easily. i get nervous now...but i'm working on it. i've seen the results, i know that if i can get out of my little shell, i can not only feel better about myself, i can be proud to be myself.

so if you're that stranger beside me in the grocery store, and i strike up a conversation....just play along.




it’s the weekend - and a cold one at that! actually, it looks like only today will be cold. oh well. y’all have a good one!



hey y'all! last week, i promised a trip through our past years christmas cards, and i've put together a little somethin' for that. i really enjoy recieving christmas cards from loved ones and like to think that our friends and family like seeing our happy smiling faces when they receive ours too!


this was our first christmas as a married couple and right when i started dabbling in graphic design. it was a really simple card, and the envelope had a gold liner. hindsight, i wish i had done a pretty photo card with one of our wedding pics. oh well, what can ya do?


we're lucky enough to have a friend who is a professional photographer, and were on vacation with them this summer. the pictures were very casual, and kind of unplanned, but turned out cute, so we decided to stick them on the christmas card!


again, our good photog friend visited us in our new city! this sesh was pre-planned and the pictures turned out gorgeous - it was an amazing fall day in uptown! this is my favorite card out of the 3 so far!


i've designed a couple of holiday invites over the years, so i thought i'd throw this little guy in the mix. (that’s not our current address. sorry, stalkers.) it's such a cute invite for a holiday party, don't you think? if anyone's interested in purchasing this design for an upcoming holiday party, contact me!

hope everyone's having a great work week and really getting into the christmas spirit. i've had the holiday tunes blasting on full force! i think everyone's in agreement that mariah carey's christmas album (the original, not the recent-ish crappy remake) is the best christmas album OF ALL TIME, no? still obsessed – after all these years!


number 187


just a couple of christmas scenes from the wyatt residence…we had a productive little saturday and put our christmas decorations up (along with andrew raking up 22 bags of fallen leaves); it really got me in the christmas spirit! [i wasn’t really feeling it yet!] had some holiday tunes on the tv, a simmer pot on the stove, and some online purchases in my shopping cart for you special ones. i've got a good amount of the shopping started and christmas cards are on the way, so i feel like i'm really on top of my game. so in the spirit of giving, i've put together a playlist of some of my favorite festive tunes just for you! yes, it’s got everything from otis redding to hanson, it’s my list, and that’s what i like, okay? y’all enjoy!

my ultra awesome christmas faves


number 186

is it just me, or did christmas arrive VERY quickly this year? i've never been one to start decorating before december, and i'm usually a last-minute gift shopper as well, but this year, i have to say, that even waiting until tomorrow to put up my tree makes me feel i'm running behind! maybe it’s having our own house to decorate? anyway – i'm really on the ball this year, having already submitted my order for christmas cards! go me!
for the 4th year in a row, i've designed mine and andrew’s christmas cards to send out to family and friends. why not? here’s where i'm drawing some inspiration:
1  |  2  |  3  |  4
and i know you friends IRL would love to see my and andrew’s bright and shiny faces, but this year, we’ve opted to do a non-photo christmas card. don’t worry, it’s still very “us”!
come back next week for a peek into christmas cards past and, later in the month, for this year’s reveal!


number 185

it’s wednesday! i haven’t played in a while, so i figured i'd link up with jamie for what i'm loving wednesday! can i get a “hallelujah” for the week being halfway over?

christmas is just around the corner, but i've been eyeballing several things for myself lately! i'm going to have to hold off for a little longer, and just tack ‘em onto the wishlist!


1  |  i drink my coffee out of my huuuge tervis tumbler every morning. it keeps my brew hot much longer than my regular ol' mug. so i'm putting a monogrammed tervis on my wish list this year (24 oz, please!), but wanna hear a sad story? my circle monogram is terrible! sob story, i know.


2  |  this balsam and cedar footed candle. i spotted this beauty in a boutique over the weekend – she is not only beautiful, but smells amazing! since i'm allergic to real christmas trees (another sad story), i need her to fill my home with the seasonal scent we all love so much!

3  |  ok, so shrimp and grits isn’t on my christmas wish list. this one i'm taking care of myself. i've been craving it like a crazy person lately, and i plan on making this recipe this weekend. if you have an amazing recipe for s&g, please please share!

4  |  lastly, on cyber monday, i sat for about an hour with these leggings from loft in my online shopping cart. i'm feeling really smart right now, because not only are they not half off anymore, they’re sold out. (i'm really full of sad stories today, right?) hopefully santa snagged a pair before they were all gone!

hope everyone’s having a wonderful week! p.s. who’s buying lottery tickets tonight? 500 MIL? yes, please!

what are you loving this wednesday?


number 184

ermagersh! i'm still here, y’all! i won’t give you a line and say “things have been SO crazy lately!” because it hasn’t been anything out of the norm. i've just had a lazy streak and haven’t felt that anything was blog-worthy. we all have those days weeks, right? where nothing really seems all that interesting? it doesn’t mean that i was any less thankful during thanksgiving or that i haven’t been whipping up delicious food, no wait, scratch that last one.

here’s a snippet of what’s happening, via crappy cell phone pics. i think i'm due for a new cellular device.


at the virginia tech football game, before the buzz wore off, when we were still warm  |  we’ve had a ton of gorgeous fall sunsets around charlotte  |  quick trip to richmond for a dear friend’s perfect southern baby shower (invites designed my moi!)  |  we hung drapes in our bedroom – these are a fabulous buy, going to get more this weekend!  |  annie got dramatic before we left for thanksgiving  |  cookout pecan pie milkshake – a total game-changer  |  i got a fur vest and clearly fail at modeling it

that’s about it. we’ve been slowly, but surely, making the house more home-y and have spent a lot of time on the road or with guests here, in town. i know andrew and i are both super excited just to be in charlotte for the next few weekends, relax rake leaves, and decorate for our first christmas in our new home. so yeah, i'm here, just being a little quieter than usual!


number 183

ah! in less than 24 hours, i will be up to my eyeballs in maroon, orange, and bourbon! andrew and i are headed to see some of our favorite people in one of our favorite places: blacksburg, virginia! not only is it where i spent the best four years of my life, it’s gorgeous, and ...who wouldn’t want to go? see ya sunday, charlotte!



313098_10150466824093054_1135999486_nall images via


number 182


so this weekend, i played suzy homemaker and whipped up a little breakfast on saturday morning. i've been craving an easy casserole-type breakfast lately and decided a quiche would be easy, yet impressive enough for my sweet house-guest  not only was this recipe a snap, but it was delicious – with only a few ingredients. the hardest part was waiting for it to bake, so we could devour it!

spinach and bacon quiche via southern living

ingredients: 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 (1.8-ounce) package leek soup mix
1/4 teaspoon pepper
10 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
1 unbaked (9-inch) frozen deep-dish pastry shell

prep: preheat the oven to 375°.
drain your spinach, make sure you get all that excess water out!
wisk together your eggs, half/half, and leek soup mix. next, stir in spinach, bacon, and both cheeses.
pour the goodness into your pie shell and bake for 45 minutes.
devour and enjoy!


number 181

so this weekend my beautiful and sweet sweet friend, alex, came to visit and continue our [new] tradition of no boys, floor seats, and being generally obsessed with carrie underwood for a good 48 hours. the concert was unbelievable [to be expected], as was the entire weekend. 
here are a few pics for your enjoyment…
needless to say, we were “blown away”. the last pic is my favorite. we felt so much closer in person, looking at these pictures doesn’t do her justice. girlfriend is gorgeous and didn’t miss a note! we were in the 8th row, and did a little “celeb” spotting – with emily maynard, charlotte’s own former bachelorette, just 2 rows ahead of us!
overall, it was a perfect weekend. we dined at cowfish and vida, partied at thomas street tavern and rira, and boutique hopped all around charlotte. alex, you’re welcome back ANYTIME – you were the perfect houseguest! now if only we could get you to move to charlotte….
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