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

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I hope everyone has been having a wonderful day filled with family and friends and thinking through everything you are thankful for.  Tomorrow I’m going to share a recap of my Thanksgiving as well as how I decorated our table, but for tonight I want to share some things I am thankful for.  This past Sunday at church our pastor encouraged us to spend the last five minutes of the service writing down a list of things that we were thankful for.  I quickly discovered I was not finished after I had filled a page and have continued with the list since.  For Thanksgiving I thought I would share twenty things I am thankful for here on the blog.

IMG_E3106

  1. Incredible parents who love me and have supported me my whole life.
  2. Sisters who are my best friends and that I know are always there for me.
  3. An incredible group of friends who are seriously more like family to me than friends, community is an incredible gift that I do not take for granted and am so thankful for.

IMG_3087

4. Food on the table

5. A job that I can actually enjoy going to throughout the week with incredible coworkers that I enjoy spending the day with.

6.  The blessing of having the chance to go back to school and pursue a degree I love and being able to do so debt free.

IMG_3119

7. Dance.  When I had to quite dance at 9 I was devastated.  I am so thankful that God gave me the opportunity to get to dance again later in my life and even pursue the dream of earning my pointe shoes.

8. A chance to travel.  I have been blessed with the opportunity to go on many missions trips and as a result see the world and meet so many incredible people.  One of the greatest gifts this has given me is actually finally being able to understand the bigger picture that the church truly is.  It is so encouraging to know that there are people serving God all over this world even when I can’t see them.

9. An incredible church that I love where I learn every week more about God and have found an incredible community and grown so much in my faith.

IMG_3129

10.  A car that while it has had issues, gets me to where I need to be.

11. The baristas at my favorite coffee shop downtown that know my favorite drink and always have it already started for me before I even step foot inside.

12.  Extended family that is always there and that I enjoy seeing when we get together.

IMG_3144

13. Living close to work and being able to come home for lunch and spend time with my puppy and family.

14. My sweet puppy Checotah and cats Tiger and Oreo, they bring so much joy to my life with their sweet cuddles and personalities.

15. I am thankful that when I look over my life how I can see God’s fingerprints all over it and know that truly, I have never walked alone, He has always been there and always will be.

IMG_E3108

16. A bookshelf overflowing with books in my bedroom that I love sitting down to read.

17. Afternoons spent playing the piano and soaking up the music.

18. The holiday season and how it brings family and friends together, both ones you see all the time and ones that you don’t see often.

IMG_E3125

19. The gift of the Bible and living in a country where I am free to read it and study it without fear of being arrested.

20. And finally the most important thing I am thankful for, the gift of salvation.  When I truly stop and think of this, my mind truly can’t comprehend the love that God must have for us that he would send his ONLY SON to die a horrific death to save ungrateful wretches who were living in rebellion against him.  I will forever be thankful that he to give my a life filled with his grace.

Xoxo,

Leighton Michele

Fall Bucket List Review

P1010013

P1010017

P1010024

P1010032

P1010034

P1010037

P1010050

 

Shirt: Same  Skirt: Same  Vest: Similar  Boots: Similar  Purse: Similar

How can Thanksgiving already be only a week away?!  I feel like fall has only just started, but for fun, I thought I would revisit my fall bucket list from this post and share what all I have had the chance to cross off from it before the Christmas season is upon us.

  1. Corn Maze I went to the corn maze not once, but TWICE before it close two weeks ago.  Once with my mom and again with friends and had so much fun both times.
  2. Carve Pumpkins Once again I can mark this one off my fall bucket list.  I carved my first pumpkin last year in a snoopy theme and decided to continue the theme this year basing it off of this pumpkin from Pinterest.
  3. Camp Fire Unfortunately I didn’t get to do this one, the night we were supposed to have one when we carved pumpkins it ended up raining.  That’s Midwest weather for you.
  4. Hay Rack Ride They had hay rack rides to take you out to the corn maze, so I was able to mark two off in one night!  Woot woot!
  5. Eat S’mores I don’t know if this counts, but I make s’mores rice crispy treats and have made them twice this year and thoroughly enjoyed them both times.
  6. Eat Apple Pie I’ll be crossing this one off my list over Thanksgiving and am counting down the days until I get to eat it!
  7. Make Pumpkin Bread I’m crossing this one off my list because while I didn’t make it myself, my mom actually made it last night and I have eaten more than my fair share!  lol
  8. Go to a Haunted House  I was getting worried I wouldn’t get to do this one since no one wanted to go this year, but last minute a group got together and I was able to go.  We went to a new one this year, and not gonna lie, it was a little disappointing.  Way too short and not scary at all.  Oh well, it was still fun though and we made good memories.
  9. Go to an Apple Orchard  I was so disappointed that I was not able to do this one this year, I did some research and evidently all of the apple crops in my area failed this year and there were no apple orchards open.
  10. Pumpkin Patch  They have a pumpkin patch at the corn maze we went too, so check!  Marked this one off the list.

Not gonna lie, seven and going to be eight out of ten is pretty good!  Who wants me to do a Christmas bucket list?  I think I might share one right after Thanksgiving!

Xoxo,

Leighton Michele

Layers

Vest: Same c/o Shirt: Similar Shoes: Same (or very similar!) Earrings: Kate Spade Old (Similar)

If you’ve followed my blog for any point of time, you know that my most favorite things to wear in the fall and winter involve LAYERS!  The catch is, here in the Midwest, our weather is forever changing in the fall.  One day is absolutely beautiful, and the next could be freezing cold or even hot.  This vest from Versona though is such a great transition piece.  The sweater like material is so warm, but still light enough that I can wear it on those days that start out cool but are bound to turn warm later in the day.  When Versona invited me to come see their fall collection, I had to do a sneak peek on their website before heading to my local store and it was love at first sight with this vest.  Then when I tried it on I knew that I had to have it.  I love how I can dress it up with a nice button down and riding boots or wear it casual with keds like I styled it for this post.  Versatility is huge for me since it is not unusual on the weekends for me to go from a study session to hanging out with friends.

Xoxo,

Leighton Michele

Fall With Versona

Kimono: Versona c/o Striped Tee: Same  Denim Skirt:  Same  Booties: Similar

I was so excited when Versona invited me to come see their fall collection and pick out some pieces to share with you!  They have so many cute pieces that I couldn’t wait to share with you!  My three favorites are pictured up above, and let me tell you, it was so hard to choose!  I ended up walking out with almost all of them!  This kimono was a no brainer for me, as you know if you’ve been following me on Instagram, falls in the Midwest take a little bit longer for the cooler weather to set in.  This doesn’t change my desire for layers and autumn inspired colours, which made this kimono the perfect transition piece!  The colours are so gorgeous for this time of year, and the light weight material makes it the perfect transition piece for layering!  I have already worn in also with jeans and a white tee and a military inspired necklace too.  I love the look of it though with the distressed denim skirt and booties, it has that perfect dressy casual look for spending a Friday night or weekend with some friends while still being comfortable.

I can’t wait to share with you on Monday the other pieces I chose as well!  Anyone care to guess which ones were the winners?  Leave me a comment to let me know which pieces are your favorite!

Xoxo,

Leighton Michele

Fall Bucket List

P1010043

P1010050

P1010055

P1010061

P1010065

P1010084

P1010094

P1010103

P1010093

Jacket: Versona-old (similar) Shirt: Target- old (similar)  Shorts:  J.Crew Factory (different pattern)

This week on the blog I am sharing my fall bucket list with you.  It is still so warm these days, but on Tuesday it is supposed to FINALLY give us some fall weather here in Kansas.  In the mean time though, I am still rocking shorts and dresses trying to find creative ways to make them appear to have a fall flair.  Anyways, lets get on to the fun stuff, my fall bucket list!

  1. Corn Maze– I LOVE corn mazes and am hoping to go to one in the next couple of weeks with a group of friends, I’ll try to document for all of you.
  2. Carve Pumpkins– I carved my first ever pumpkin last fall and LOVED it, I definitely hope to make it a part of my yearly traditions.
  3. Camp Fire– growing up we used to always go to a friends house and eat smore’s next to the camp fire and go on hay rack rides and I’d love to do this again!  Which leads me to the next item on my list…
  4. Hay Rack Ride– they have hay rack rides at the corn maze I enjoy going to and I definitely plan on riding it this year.
  5. Eat S’mores– I don’t think this one even needs an explanation, just like the next…
  6. Eat Apple Pie– I’m not a pumpkin pie person (please don’t kill me, I know, it is so un-American) but on the flip side I seriously love my apple pie.  Like, for real, don’t get between me and my apple pie, lol.
  7. Make Pumpkin Bread– my mom has made pumpkin bread every fall since I was young and I want to try my hand at it this year, so stay tuned to my Instagram and I’ll let ya know how it goes.
  8. Go to a Haunted House– ok, quick disclosure, I do NOT like creepy things, but there is a smaller haunted house in some old barns and a silo I have gone to for the past couple years that I love.  I know the actors and actresses, so I actually just enjoy it instead of being scared.  I know, not the normal reason to go, but it works for me.
  9. Go to an Apple Orchard– I’ve never been to one before and after seeing several peoples adventures at them I now really want to go myself!
  10. Pumpkin Patch– I went when I was little as well as when I was a preschool teacher with my class, but I’d really like to go now with a group of friends and experience it as an adult!

What is on your fall bucket list?  I’d love to hear your plans and any ideas that I could add to mine!  Happy fall!

Xoxo,

Leighton Michele

P.S. I love my bracelet in this post.  Traveling is something I love doing and for years now I’ve been trying to find a fun way to collect mementos of all the places I have been.  My mom has a spoon collection and while I liked that idea, I wanted something that was uniquely me.  I finally settled on collecting charms from each country I have been too.  It’s still a work in progress, but I am slowly collecting a my charms and am loving wearing this bracelet as it represents the adventures I have been on.

P1010087