Mother’s Day Lunch

IMG_4325

IMG_8051

IMG_4352

IMG_4345

IMG_8050

_DSC9360

_DSC9386

_DSC9393

_DSC9407

_DSC0047

_DSC9412

P1010003

My family celebrated Mother’s Day a little early two weekends ago when my aunts were in town visiting and my parents invited everyone over to their house.  I am blessed to live in the same city as all of my grandparents, so I was able to celebrate with my grandma and all of my aunts on my mom’s side of the family as well as my mom.  I am the decorator in my family and decided that I wanted to go with a flower garden theme for the event, so I rounded up some help, aka my dad, and we went on a run to get all of the supplies after I got off work the night before the luncheon and made it back about one in the morning!  I literally bought everything from Walmart or Target and it turned out so beautiful!  I bought several flowers as well as planters and used them to decorate with as well as fun twinkling lights to add to the atmosphere.  I wish I had taken more pictures, but I also bought some nice plates and a table cloth all in blush pink and light grey to nicely accent the flowers I had chosen.   It made the day more special for everyone and then my mom was able to take the flowers afterwards and plant them in her garden to enjoy all summer long!

My aunt and cousin also own Magnolia Photographers and brought their equipment along to take some mother/daughter as well as cousin and sister pictures!  We haven’t had some good pictures taken in awhile, so it was so great to be able to work with them and have some photos taken.

If you do not have your present for Mother’s Day yet, arranging to have family photos taken is a gift I can guarantee any mom will love.  If you happen to live in the midwest area, you should definitely check out my aunt and cousins business, they do great work and were so much fun to work with.  I linked to their Instagram account above.

Xoxo,

Leighton Michele

Advertisements

San Francisco… Take 1

Hi Everyone!

I am so excited for today’s post!  It is going to be part one of three or four sharing my adventures from my spring break trip to California!   If you follow me on Instagram you know that I went to California for spring break with some friends to visit one of our good friends, Megan, who is a travel nurse in California!  It was such an adventure!

IMG_6630

Our plane flew into San Francisco around 9:30 a.m. and we hit the ground running.  We decided to head down to Fisherman’s Wharf and do some sight seeing in that area for the day before we headed back to pick Megan up from work.

IMG_6632

IMG_6634

There was this adorable bakery, Boudin’s, that had the CUTEST breads made into the shapes of animals!  You could stand at the window outside looking in watching them form the bread into all of the animals you can purchase.  I was mesmerized by it and truthfully could have stood there all day watching.  If you are ever in the area I definitely recommend stopping by for lunch or an afternoon stack, the ambiance of this place is perfect.

IMG_6651

IMG_6652

*everywhere you look, everywhere you go, there’s a heart, a hand to hold onto. everywhere you look, there’s a face of somebody who needs you…*

I may have been guilty of playing the theme song from Full House like every other minute while we were there…. I am so thankful for friends that are 90’s kids too and were so understanding of my fan-girling about being in San Francisco.

IMG_6655

As a recovering chocoholic, I thought that Ghiradelli Square was the absolute cutest and was head over heals in love with their shop.  I mean, flowers, cute outdoor seating and chocolate, how could you go wrong?

IMG_6659

IMG_6663

There are so many cute shops along Fisherman’s Wharf, you could spend days there and still not see all of them.  I loved the fun colours and almost storybook feel in San Francisco.  I have never been to a city so full of colour and life that even on a grey, drizzly day it still feels like sunshine!

IMG_6666

IMG_6670

IMG_6674

IMG_6691

IMG_6683

IMG_6708

IMG_6701

IMG_6710

IMG_6728

I have dreamed of going to the Golden Gate Bridge for years and am so happy to say that it did not disappoint.  The beauty of that bridge against the backdrop of San Francisco is breathtaking and something that stays with you long after you wish San Francisco goodbye.

IMG_6733

IMG_6734

IMG_6735

IMG_6746

IMG_6757

IMG_6762

Then, as if our day couldn’t be any more perfect, we wrapped our time up in San Francisco by finding THE Full House house!!!!  Que the Full House theme song all over again, this girl was on cloud nine!

But, the best part was still a nearly three hour drive away, although it is grainy and we are all a little rumpled from a day of travel, the picture below might be my most favorite picture from the whole trip:

IMG_6779

(L-R, Lori, Megan and Me)

FINALLY REUNITED WITH MEGAN!  These two girls are two of my best friends and it has been hard having one of us so far away, so to finally be reunited was INCREDIBLE!  Guys, community is SO important, and getting to have mine reunited for the week was the best gift we could have had and absolutely made this trip to California.  This picture was taken moments after we were reunited and I think the joy in our smiles tells the whole story.

In the next post I’ll share more of our trip, but for now, I hope you’ve enjoyed this post on the first day in California!  I’ll link my outfit details below.

Xoxo,

Leighton Michele

Rain Jacket: Same (my pattern is no longer available, but these other patterns are adorable too!)  Shoes: Similar (these shoes were perfect on the trip) Blush Shirt: Similar

New Year, New Resolution

P1010148

P1010171

P1010176

P1010193

P1010195

P1010201

P1010205

Dress: Versona (sold out online, but I’ve seen it still in stores)

 Jacket: Similar Shoes: Similar

Happy New Year Everybody!

If you have been around for awhile, you may remember that last year I shared with you that I don’t enjoy doing the traditional resolutions, but rather enjoy picking a trait or two to work on for the year.  Last year my words were to be gentle and kind, and while I was not perfect, I have definitely seen growth in this and am so thankful that I spent the past year focusing on this.  There were several times where because I had this at the front of my mind I acted in a kinder and more gentle manner than I might have otherwise.

I have been looking forward to sharing my words for this year with all of you for sometime now.  While spending some time with God last October, I felt him leading me to have my words for 2018 be faith and courage.  This year I want to focus on having faith and trusting God at a new level, knowing that He will never lead me wrong.  This is so much easier said than done, and that is where the courage comes into play.  Sometimes it is scary to step out on faith, and this year I want to have the courage to go wherever God may lead me.

And while this isn’t part of my “words for the year”, I want to draw closer to God and own my identity in Him of a sinner saved by grace and a beloved daughter adopted into His family.  What are your goals and resolutions for the new year?  Does anyone else choose a word or words to try to define your year with?  If so, I’d love to hear them!

Xoxo,

Leighton Michele

Christmas Recap

IMG_5468

IMG_5458

https://flic.kr/p/HXqSWT

IMG_5445

IMG_5427

IMG_5417

https://flic.kr/p/ELB4Eq

IMG_5407

IMG_5385

IMG_5357

IMG_5355

IMG_5353

IMG_5349

Sweater: Jcrew Old (similar) (similar)  (similar) Necklace: Versona Old (similar) Boots: Old (this years version) Purse: Similar

Christmas began early this year for my family.  My aunts, uncles and cousins all came in town on the 22nd and we celebrated on the 23rd.  It was a little smaller gathering this year than in years past due to scheduling conflicts, but it was still so much fun to spend time with family!  My cousin has been wanting me to make my hot chocolate for her ever since I posted about it, so I promised her that when she came in town for Christmas I would make it then.  We got in the car and braved the grocery store to pickup the ingredients and had fun making hot chocolate.  Afterwards we all gathered around and opened presents.  All too soon the time came for family to head home, but thankfully Christmas weekend was still just beginning!

Christmas Eve I went to a candlelight service in the evening.  I am an old soul at heart, so I loved being at church in a room filled with candlelight singing carols of old and remembering the true reason for Christmas.  Christmas has always been my most favorite time of the year, everyone is a little nicer, the winter evenings are lit by twinkling lights, and there is this wonderful feeling of expectation, knowing that something is coming.  It is the time that we celebrate when God set his biggest and most beautiful miracle of all time into motion, the coming of His son as a baby to grow up and die for our sins to save us all.  The miracle that would be completed thirty three years later on a cross and then in an empty tomb.  It truly does not get better than that!

After the candlelight service my dad read one of our favorite Christmas stories to the family.  It is in this tiny old book called A Budget of Christmas Tales and is maybe three pages long, but it leaves us in stitches of laughter every time.  It is called Billy’s Santa Claus Experience and tells the tale of a young boy named Billy who tries to be Santa Claus to his little brother Tommy, but things quickly get out of hand.  My dad first read the book to my sisters and I when we were quite young, and it is one of my favorite stories to read at Christmas.

Before we knew it, Christmas morning was upon us!  We all gathered around the tree where my dad read the Christmas story from Luke before we opened presents.  This year all I asked for was money to buy books for school.  I was sooooo excited when between my Christmas and birthday money I was able to buy a commentary set for the New Testament!  I cannot wait until it arrives in the mail early next week!  We spent the day with some of my grandparents and in the evening we decorated gingerbread houses together.  When it came time for the judging I came in last place, but what can I say, it was my first time and my house kept falling apart while I was decorating it, lol.  Lesson learned, NEVER decorate the house until the icing is dry!

How was your Christmas?  Do you have any special traditions that you enjoy doing each year?

Xoxo,

Leighton Michele

A Very Versona Christmas

IMG_5580

IMG_5590

IMG_5598

IMG_5623

IMG_5629

IMG_5636

IMG_5641

IMG_5637

IMG_5632

IMG_5626

IMG_5605

IMG_5593

IMG_5585

Shirt: Same c/0  Necklace: Versona (not online) c/o  Shoes: Old (similar)

I was so excited when Versona reached out to me asking if I’d be interested in sharing their Christmas collection!  They have the cutest things not just for yourself, but also for the other women in your life.  I literally had so much fun shopping not just for a fun Christmas party look, but also finding presents for my friends!  I’d share with you what I found, but since they haven’t opened them yet I think I better not.  😉  One of my favorite parts about Versona is that when I am shopping I can always count on the wonderful sales associates to help me out if I need some help.  I fell head over heels in love with this shirt, but I couldn’t decide on a necklace.  When I shared my vision with the sales associate, she literally pulled not one or two, but FOUR necklaces that were spot on for what I described.  I know I can always count on them to help me figure out accessories if I need help.

If you follow me on Instagram then you know that I tried on everything from the adorable work office party dress, to Christmas Eve and staying comfy at home with your family look.  In the end I decided upon this beautiful blouse and necklace.  I loved the idea that I could wear it to a more casual party with jeans as shown here, or I could pair it with a cute midi or tutu skirt for a dressier occasion.  Versatility is a key for me when choosing items to add to my wardrobe.

If you have any last minute parties or family get-togethers (or just want a cute festive outfit “just because”) check out Versona’s  holiday collection.  I promise you that you will not be disappointed.  I even found my perfect New Years Eve dress that I can’t wait to share with you after Christmas!

Xoxo,

Leighton Michele

*a special thanks to Versona for sponsoring this post*

Gift Exchange Guide

IMG_5195

IMG_5212

IMG_5233

IMG_5242

IMG_5294

IMG_5337

IMG_E5220

IMG_5340

IMG_5326

IMG_5263

IMG_5239

IMG_5214

IMG_5211

Skirt: Similar Shirt: Similar Shoes: Similar  Headband: Same

 I LOVE a good holiday gift exchange.  I have already been to one white elephant gift party and am going to another one this coming weekend.  The only hard part for me is always coming up with a good present to bring.  I always want to find something that will actually be enjoyed, not just fill someone’s junk drawer.  Below, I have rounded up a list of ideas for what you can bring to your next gift exchange party.

  1. Christmas Candle- I brought a Christmas candle to my party last weekend and it ended up getting stolen three times!  You can’t go wrong with a good Christmas scent during this season, and who doesn’t love the warm glow of candles?
  2. Fuzzy Socks- I LOVE fuzzy socks, and if I happen to see someone open a package with them, you better believe it that I am going to keep an eye on that package to steal if I get a chance.
  3. Lotions and Body Wash- this one is a little bit more risky in my book, some people don’t like certain scents of body wash and lotion, but if you go with a good warm vanilla scent or some other neutral one, it is almost certain to be a winner!
  4. Candy- seriously, who does not love a box or basket of candy?  Especially if it is chocolate?
  5. Gift Card- if you don’t have time to come up with a cute gift idea, a gift card to Starbucks or a local restaurant is a good backup idea that will still be appreciated.
  6. Christmas Cookie Cutters- most people love to make Christmas cookies, so why not bring cute cookie cutters that they can use year after year?
  7. Hot Chocolate Mix and Mug- This makes a cute little gift idea, and you could even add marshmallows and a big bow!
  8. Snack Basket- you can buy a basket and tie a big bow around it and fill it with popular snacks and candies.
  9. Christmas Movie- Everyone loves a good Christmas movie, so buy your favorite Christmas movie and add some popcorn and maybe a cute fuzzy blanket and socks for a fun movie basket!
  10. Ugly Christmas Sweater- Go buy the ugliest oversized Christmas sweater you can find, the person who opens this will get a good laugh and be able to wear it to the rest of their parties during the season!

What are some of you favorite things to bring to a White Elephant Christmas party?  Like I mentioned above, I have another one this coming weekend, so stay tuned to Instagram to see the special gift I have planned for that party!

Xoxo,

Leighton Michele

Christmas Bucket List

IMG_E5170

IMG_E5165

IMG_5183

IMG_5179

IMG_5174

IMG_5122

IMG_5118

IMG_5097

IMG_5091

IMG_5088

IMG_5080

IMG_5078

Shirt: (old) Similar  Vest: Same  Boots: (old) Similar  Necklace: Same

In honor of the Christmas season, I decided to share my Christmas bucket list today.  Christmas is my most favorite season of the year, so is basically goes without saying that I love all of the fun activities and traditions that come with this time of year.  I would love to know what is on your bucket list for this season, so please comment below with what you want to make sure you do this year!

  1. Read Maggie’s Miracle- Maggie’s is my all time favorite Christmas story.  I discovered it when I was thirteen and have read it every Christmas since.  It is the sweetest story and if you haven’t read it I can’t recommend it enough!
  2. Go Look At Christmas Lights- Can you really have celebrated Christmas if you haven’t gone to look at lights?
  3. Go On A Horse Drawn Carriage Ride- We don’t get enough snow where I live to be able to do a ride in a one horse open sleigh, but there is a nearby shopping center that does free carriage rides every Friday and Saturday leading up to Christmas, so I definitely plan on going on one.
  4. Sip Homemade Hot Chocolate While Watching Christmas Movies- No need to explain this one, the title says it all. 😉
  5. Watch White Christmas- This is my most favorite Christmas movie of all time, and if I am being totally honest, probably just my favorite movie period.  It has everything, a sweet story line, hilarious moments that leave you laughing, gives you all the feels (I even sometimes cry during it, and I NEVER cry) and a beautiful love story.  Definitely all the ingredients for a perfect movie.
  6. Go To a Christmas Party- Christmas Parties are so much fun, so I definitely plan on going to as many as I can.  I love the festive spirit and spending time with dear family and friends.
  7. Read the Christmas Story With My Family- every year before we open our Christmas presents my dad gathers the family together and we all read the Christmas story.  I love starting Christmas remembering what it is all truly about.
  8. White Elephant Gift Exchange- I cannot WAIT to go to a white elephant Christmas party.  I figured out the PERFECT gift last year and can’t wait to put the idea to use this year!!!!
  9. Decorate Gingerbread Houses- I have never decorated a gingerbread house before, so I bought a kit this year and can’t wait to do it with my sisters.  Expect a post on that!
  10. Play Christmas Music On The Piano- I enjoy playing the piano, and Christmas music is always my favorite music to play
  11. Make Cinnamon Rolls- I don’t know why, but I always love cinnamon rolls at Christmas.  While they are good anytime during the year, they are always extra good at Christmas.

Xoxo,

Leighton Michele