I’m All For Playing Hooky

I’ve never been a huge believer in New Year’s resolutions. However, after taking on one of the busiest, most eventful years in 2016, I’m feeling inspired to make some positive changes moving forward in the new year. At the top of my list is a commitment to make more time for myself. It can be so hard to pull away from the day to day grind. As a small business owner, the clock never seems to stop. So whether it’ll be sneaking my toddler out of pre-school for a little daytime adventure, going on a midweek lunch date with my husband or treating myself with a friend, I’m ready to play hooky every so often come 2017. Just last week, with the help of American Express, I was able to get a taste of that much needed pause by spending an idyllic afternoon in Napa Valley at the Quintessa Estate. To celebrate 25 years of the Membership Rewards program, American Express debuted it’s 25th Anniversary Collection this year, with an impressive collection of gifts and exclusive travel experiences to choose from using Membership Rewards points. Our private tour of Quintessa included a behind the scenes tour of the wine making facilities and a tasting of current releases and barrel samples from a stunning hilltop pavilion overlooking the property’s vineyards. It was perfect. And honestly, there’s never a bad time to visit wine country – even in the winter, when the grapes have already been harvested, the splendor is omnipresent. The best part is, I came home feeling awakened, inspired and happy. I’ll be seeing more of you, Napa!

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DIY Gingerbread Gift Tags

There’s three more days until Christmas and we’re headed to Los Angeles to spend the holiday with my family. I can’t wait. It’s been a challenging year – in the best and worst ways. I’m looking forward to stepping away from my computer for a few days, cooking with my sister, spending quality time with my kiddos, reflecting on the year and start making goals for 2017. I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be a kick ass year, y’all. If you’ve got some time in the next few days, and haven’t finished wrapping all your gifts yet, may I suggest trying a fun tutorial for gingerbread gift tags? I had so much fun making these – Quincy even helped me roll out the dough and cut out the shapes with cookie cutters! The recipe and icing tips are over on HonestlyYUM. Happy holidays, everyone!!!

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Swallows & Damson

Gah, I’m dying over these moody floral projects by florist designer Anna Potter. Her creative vision is utterly stunning, changing how we perceive arrangements by the way she uses unexpected elements like mushrooms or displays like glass cloches (which by the way, I’ve already gone digging in my shed this morning for a glass cloche that I just know we must have!). Lucky for us, the Swallows & Damson owner has been sharing tutorials for the stunning projects below via Design Sponge and Food 52. Check them out – I hope you’ll be just as I inspired as I am to go out to your local florist to make some magic out of flowers!

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DIY Pearl Studded Sweater

Brrrr . . . we’ve been having an intense cold spell here in California, which means sweaters have been in heavy rotation so far. So much so, that I’ve been inspired to gift the one thing I feel everyone needs this holiday: a turtleneck sweater from JCPenney. But of course, it isn’t a gift from me unless some personalization is involved. I love the idea of transforming an otherwise simple sweater into a chic statement piece with just a few pieces of inexpensive jewelry – in this case, a few strands of glass pearl beads. It’s so easy to do and you can even put it in the wash!

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You’ll need:

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