New Traditions and Something Personal

This past Christmas, Russell and I had decided to not exchange gifts with each other…for many reasons.  The first reason and main reason was, because Ella was gift enough to both of us!  We wanted to really focus on her and make this Christmas special for her, (even with her being a little over 3 months old) because she had already made it very special for us.  We actually couldn’t wait for her to wake up on Christmas morning to take her downstairs.  All the firsts with her make you have the best feeling inside-makes your heart melt.  She just makes my heart melt everyday with her amazing smile and laughs…

Ella on Christmas morning, admiring the beautiful tree and all of her little gifts...

Ella on Christmas morning, admiring the beautiful tree and all of her little gifts…

The second reason we decided not to exchange gifts was because we wanted to start 2 new traditions with her.  We wanted to instill goodness into her heart and as she grows up and into our own little person; make her aware that there is more to Christmas morning than receiving.  That its about family, giving, and being there for people that need you.

So this past year, we “adopted” a family.   This was our first time doing this but we have admired our good friends for doing this the past few years.   We worked with the Lord’s Pantry on this.   We ended up adopting 2 little girls…a 2 year old and a 5 year old.  They each had a wishlist of a few things they each wanted for Christmas…specifically, a Little Mermaid Backpack, a Baby Doll.  We filled their wishes and in addition, bought them each a couple of outfits and some new PJ’s.  Each year as we continue to do this, and each year as Ella gets older, it will be fun to have her help us pick out gifts and deliver them.  It warms my heart to think about those little girls being able to open gifts on Christmas morning with their families.

The other tradition we started was specifically for Ella.  Each Christmas, we plan on giving her 2 books.  We will write a special message inside of each one for her- somewhat pertaining to what the book is about.  This year, we got her  “The Giving Tree” and “Where the Wild Things Are.”  The Giving Tree was in line with adopting the family and that when give, we will receive back.  And the Where the Wild Things Are” refers to her and her wild little personality and amazing energy.

giving tree

wild things

Years prior to this Christmas, Russell and I had started making each other gifts, with a $20 limit.  But this year, like I said before-no gifts!   ….guess who didn’t follow that rule?  Miss Ella!  She gave mommy her first little gift and it’s such a personalized one…she’s so advanced for her age 😉   It’s something I will treasure for the rest of my life (thanks for helping her Daddy).

Here is my personalize roman numeral gold bar necklace, with her birth-date 9.10.14.  Check it out at this wonderful Etsy Shop: Shop LUCA



Did you receive any special or personalized gifts for Christmas or a recent birthday from your little ones or hubby that you will cherish forever?  I can’t wait to get her a little something with a Sapphire in it for her first birthday!




Christmas Tree Farm Photo-shoot

The Saturday before Christmas 2014, we had our first family photo-shoot with our newest addition, Ella.  We had a dear friend of mine, Priscilla, who is a new and upcoming photographer, take them for us.  It took place at this adorable Christmas tree farm in West Chester.  It was a very chilly day and little Ella’s cheeks turned red and her eyes started to water,  but she was such a trooper that day!  She loves to pose for the camera…silly girl.

Here are a few of my favorites from our beautiful collection.

Photo Credit: Priscilla Millard Photography









The morning we found out

I want to start this post off saying that this is me, flashing back, 7 months.  Yes, it’s been over 7 months since I last wrote and that upsets me terribly.  I think about it everyday, but it’s just been a struggle to keep up with how busy life has really become.

Just about 25 weeks ago, Christmas morning, my husband Russell and I woke up in a hotel room, about 5 minutes away from where our parents live.  We were in a hotel because at the time, the Family that we were house-sitting for, were home for the holidays, so we were somewhat “homeless.”  Our wonderful friends and their 1 Year old had taken us into their home for 3 weeks, but we wanted to be able to give them their space and get ours, on Christmas morning.  And neither of us wanted to stay at each other parents house- so no need for an argument there.

So that morning, in that hotel room, I took out one of the pregnancy tests I had packed.  Yup, we were trying and had been for just a couple of months at that point.  I said, “should I take it?”  Knowing it was probably a tad to early to take the test (being only about 9 days past ovulation), I thought how cool would this be as a Christmas morning surprise, for just us to know about?  It would be our little secret.  Took the test and it told us a quick NO.  I was disappointed but kept telling myself it’s early to test, we’ll try again in a few days.  So we had ourselves a very Merry Christmas, just the 2 of us.


3 days later…it was a Saturday morning and we were back out our friends home.  They had left the day prior to head to down to Florida for a week so we had the place to ourselves.   It was a beautiful Saturday morning (for December).  I said to Russell again, “well, should I?”  That was a question we had become familiar with over the past few months.   And he said, “sure, why not,” as usual.  At this point I was 12 days past ovulation.  There should be a pretty high chance that the test results would accurate by this point.  I mean, I felt pretty educated about all of that ovulation stuff and testing times, from all of the endless reading I had been doing over the past year!

So I took that test and waited a few minutes.  I was about to toss the test until I realized, or I thought, there was something appearing as a second line.  So I held it up to the light and there it was.  That second line was forming.  I stepped out into the hall and called for Russell. I said, “look, there’s a line.  I think that’s a line.  That’s a line, right?”  He took it, stared at it for what felt like 5 minutes, but it was probably only 10 seconds.  He held it up to the light and looked at me and agreed that yes that was indeed a second line.


We were pregnant!!!

Wow- it’s almost like, what now?  What do we do?  We just hugged each other and gave each other a big kiss.  It’s a moment that you will never forget.  That moment when a tiny stick tells you that you are growing a human being inside of you.  How is that even possible?  How am and I going to do this? We are going to have a little “us.”  How cool is that??  Russ and I were on top of the moon (and we still are) and that’s when we decided, well, time to look for our first home to buy.  Another exciting chapter of these past 7 months!

Hello December

Hello December

The Christmas magic truly arrives in December when all of the Christmas lights come out in decorations seen all around. There is just something about all of the twinkling lights that just give you hope that something amazing is going to happen and they have a way of inspiring me to keep dreaming.  When the Christmas lights come out in December, families become closer, people become givers, and friends become family.  As much as I don’t love the cold weather, sometimes I wish December would last all year round.

My husband took this photo of our Christmas lights last year so I thought I would share it with you all and say welcome, and Hello December and all the goodness that you bring.

Cheers and Happy Holidays!  May the magic of the lights shine over you.


H&M Holiday Home Inspiration

A Shimmering Holiday Home Collection from my favorite store, H&M!

Who doesn’t love all the lights and the glitter and the shimmering everything during the holiday season?!  Well, when i cam across H&M’s “Home” section, it started making my mind wonder and create all of these design concepts and I just became so inspired!  If you don’t know already, I am obsessed with Grey.  I have even thought about naming my non-existant child, Grey.  So when I came across all of these sophisticated styles in mixed grey hues, I just fell in love.

P.S….the prices are unbelievable! By just placing 2 or 3 new pillows with different textures and patterns on your coach, is one of the most simple ways to add a touch of Holiday to your home this season.  And don’t forget a matching ornament!

p.s.s….I’m happy Halloween is past us now.  I already decorated my cube at QVC in CHRISTMAS! eek

Ornaments / Sequin Pillow / Felt Pillow / Faux Fur Throw 

Christmas in West Chester

christmas is all around west chester!  thank you to matt and ashley for letting us stay with you through the holidays in west chester for the next 3 weeks and allowing me to capture the christmas spirit all around 🙂  the family we are house sitting for while they are in china for the next 3 years are back in the U.S. for the holidays so we are happy to be back in town!