5 Christmas Gifts I am Loving

My family is great at giving gifts, but my husband is like no one I have ever met before.  Not just for me, but for many other people, he is very intuitive and can instinctively pick out things that they will enjoy, just by knowing them.  Needless to say, many of the items on my list were gifted to me by Will.  

Recommendation: if you don’t know what to give someone as a gift, or you don’t know how to let people know what you want, make a public Amazon wishlist and share it with everyone.  You can also encourage others to share their wishlist with you.  I have my wishlist set up so that if someone buys me something off my list, it won’t spoil the surprise and it leaves the item on the list for a few weeks once purchased.  

All of the items on my list of Christmas gifts I have been loving have been well used and well loved almost every day since they were received.  I’ve linked each one to Amazon in case you are interested!

LapGear Designer Lap Desk

This first gift was a very intuitive gift from Will that I hadn’t thought to ask for.  I had a lap desk from childhood that I used all of the time.  I mean ALL of the time.  I left it in our storage unit while we were in Arizona and, as I am sure many of you can guess, it was lost when our unit flooded.  I was not expecting Will to get me one for Christmas, but he went beyond that and got one for each of us!  Not only has it been incredible for use while blogging and editing photos for photography, but it has also been very beneficial during game nights and the occasional meal on the couch in our bonus room.

He got two of the beige quatrefoil desks, linked above.

Giantex Bedroom Wooden Full Length Mirror

This mirror was on my Amazon wishlist for a while.  I got hooked after seeing similar mirrors at the Christmas Tree Shop and on Instagram influencer pages.  I was surprised and blessed to find two of them under the tree this year and get to have one in my room and one in our guest room!  

After returning from Arizona and losing my cheapo full length mirror in our storage unit fiasco, it has been lovely to finally see my full outfits again.  Our girl Blue also enjoys building a relationship with the puppy in the mirror.  haha.

Spring Form Pan 

My mom came in with the win and got me a spring form pan!  It was an awesome surprise, especially because Will and I were able to buy a food processor on Black Friday back in November so that I can make cheesecake.  I have already tried them both and made a super delicious chocolate swirl cheesecake that was to die for, even after we accidentally dropped it (crust side down) in the yard.

Land’ End Hooded Squall Winter Jacket 

God bless the Lands’ End squall.  It is wind proof, waterproof, hooded and fleece lined.  I have put this coat to good use, through photoshoots and cold winter days, it has yet to let me down.  I took photos of a house in a downpour recently and was completely dry and warm afterwards.  Another time I took photos of a house in freezing temperatures and felt nothing but cold hands because I neglected to wear gloves.  It is legit, cozy, and absolutely what every adventurer needs on their list.  Bonus: Lands’ End has great sales and coupons so you don’t have to pay full price.  Like ever.

Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Cooperative Deck Building Card Game 

Last but certainly not least was an awesome gift from my sister and brother-in-law.  Will and I had many date nights involving this game and recently beat the seventh game.  However, with four players we have yet to get past game two, so we are enjoying the strategy and variables.

It is a deck building card game that includes seven games (just like the seven books/years).  There are four heroes (Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Neville) that must defeat the villains who are trying to gain control of different locations.  Each game gets more difficult with different obstacles and abilities being added in each deck.

Next up, I think I may look into getting the expansion, which adds another hero and some other cards and items.  Who knew I would love a deck building game?  All it took was a Harry Potter theme, I guess.   

Have you and your loved ones started using Amazon wishlists yet?  It seriously makes gift giving so much easier.  Whenever I think of something I need or want during the year, I add it to my list!  #LifeHack

Let me know your favorite Christmas gifts you have been loving down in the comments.  If you enjoyed this post, please give it a like and don’t forget to join the family and subscribe if you haven’t already.

Until next time,
Jamie out

I am thankful for…

At my job, every day we start the morning by sharing our good news.  Sometimes it is a struggle to think of something, but I can appreciate it all the more because it forces me to chase the good and positive.  

Even if I have been dog sitting another puppy all weekend and I feel like I cleaned up more messes than when we were in the thick of potty training our pup Blue.  Even if I am struggling to adjust back to North Carolina busy life.  I know that my good news this morning is that I got to spend some much needed quality time with my husband this weekend and that we actually weren’t that busy the past two days.

So here is my challenge to you—life is hard, and busy.  There is always something responsible to get done, like laundry and the dishes.  There is always something that will throw off your routine, or be frustrating.  The good news is that you are in control of yourself and how you react to things.  My challenge for you is to chase the good.  Do it with me—every morning think of what your good news is.  

Did you just get a cute new pair of shoes?  Did you successfully try a new recipe?  Did your kid accomplish something awesome, like good grades?  Did you have a great date night?  

Be thankful.  Have an attitude of gratitude.  If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.  

It isn’t going to do your life much good if you are only thankful on Thanksgiving.  It is time to create a habit of gratitude.


our Thankful family our Thankful family our Thankful family

Until next time,
Jamie out

Mini House Tour (Before)

We bought a house!  Our very first home purchase.  It is a big deal and we are excited and nervous.  But mostly excited.  

So excited that we are bringing you along on the adventure of home ownership.  From the $300 microwave that needs replacing within the first month, to the fun paint colors and new furniture, we are bringing you along for the ride!

First up are our “before” photos.  I took these literally the day we moved in, and as moving days go we were running behind so my photos have some of our stuff in them, despite my best efforts.  Oh well!

mini house tour-before mini house tour-before

Our living room!  It has an electric fireplace and is the central hub of the whole house.  Right now our intention is to not have a television in our living room and make it a place of conversation, reading, and quality time.

mini house tour-before mini house tour-before

Here is our little kitchen, with not quite enough cabinet space and no pantry whatsoever.  That door leads to our tiny laundry room, which we will be creating additional storage space in to use as a pantry.

mini house tour-before mini house tour-before

It is a three bedroom, two bathroom house. As a couple with no kids but a good amount of friends who will likely come over, the second bathroom is ideal for guests. Eventually it will be great for kids too, but for now it is just a luxury to have two bathrooms and we LOVE it.

mini house tour-before mini house tour-before

The master bedroom is just the right size for us and gets great natural light throughout the day. There is a perfect amount of space for me, Will and Blue and once we got our furniture it became a lot easier to keep it pretty clean. Also, I never knew that a jetted tub is what my life was missing, but that thing is a dream.

mini house tour-before

The bonus room is our favorite room. We are going to create a great relaxing hang out space. We are going to have movie marathons and game nights and plenty of room for my at home work outs. We literally get so excited to go upstairs and watch a show or just relax together as a family.

mini house tour-before

Last but not least is our beautiful, roomy two car garage. I never knew that I as a grownup could get so excited about a garage. I love that our cars get to live inside. That I don’t have to go out in the cold or the rain to get in my vehicle at home. That we have a place to store our lawnmower (that we will eventually purchase). I feel like such an adult, but honestly. Pulling into our garage every day is so cool.

Stay tuned for updates and decor throughout our time in this home.  We are so excited to share!

Until next time,
Jamie out

a Christmas Bucket List

Christmas Bucket List

  1. Go to a Christmas choir production
  2. Go to a work party
  3. Participate in a Secret Santa gift exchange
  4. Host a movie night
  5. Take festive family photos
  6. Go to a town holiday event
  7. Shop at a local store
  8. Have hot cocoa by a roaring fire

Christmas Movies

  1. The Santa Clause
  2. Home Alone
  3. Elf
  4. The Holiday
  5. A Christmas Carol
  6. The Grinch

Until next time,
Jamie out