Cranberries are a quintessential symbol of all things Christmas. 
Sweet and tart, this universal fruit transcends categorization and their luscious red shades lend a festive touch to an array of desserts and decor. 
Cookies and jams, candles and yams get gussied up for the holidays with cranberry twists. 
It's certainly hard to miss these ripe, round little beads of bold color this time of year, even if you're not typically drawn to their red hue. 

Having reddish hair, I have always steered away from wearing red tones and our massive brick-chenille sectional has made me a red-a-phobic when it comes to decor... but I have been finding so many lovely cranberry-colored items lately that have caught my eye, I thought I would put together a little collection to share with you. 


xoxo happy wednesday xoxo


My Pin-Peeve...

Oh Pinterest.
I think I lust love you...

If you only knew (it's better for both of us if you don't) how many hours, days!,  I've spent pouring over your endless supply of pretty pictures- open-mouthed and googly-eyed- captivated by your charms and rendered utterly useless to society. Ultimately, what began as an innocent pass time; a medium for gathering and sharing "inspiration" and "ideas", has become an essential element of my daily routine.

Pinterest... what have you done to me?!

Why is it that I can no longer:
dress myself each afternoon morning,
prepare a meal, pick out throw pillows,
decorate, design, create, or decide upon... anything, really

without you.

You are not perfect. 

In fact, I have even developed a little pin-peeve of my own:

::: labels ::::

Each one of your faithful followers spends time scrolling through hundreds of perfect pictures- the best of the best of anything we could ever imagine- staring blankly at the screen pinning/pining (what's the difference?) to our heart's content, offering little more than: at best- an adjective: "pretty", "shiny", "lovely"... and at worst- a misused punctuation mark: ".", "!", "*" to describe our reactions. 

you reward this behavior:

If aliens are watching us...they're having a field day. 

Usually, my pin-peeve lies dormant in my subconscious... until:
I am actually looking for anything in particular.

Search "Christmas Table Decor"... 200 results.
Search "Pretty"... 2,000,000.

oy vey. 
I appreciate what you're doing (I think), Pinterest.
I know this peeve is not technically your fault.
But how dare you capitalize on the depths of basic human instincts and reward incoherent behavior with your "repins" and "likes". 
Oh, how we love those repins and likes.

May I kindly suggest you encourage your followers to revolutionize their label-descriptions beyond mere carnal reactions... so when one of us is in need of pasta salad, cleaning suggestions, or style advice we can avoid sifting through pages of "yum", "helpful", and "perfect"...


 labels: 24, female, 5'7'', redhead, blue eyes, freckles, stickler for grammar,
believer in maximizing-brain-activity-so-it-doesn't-turn-into-pudding,
relentless pinner.


What a WEEK[end] recap!

Did you have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend?
Did you savor time with family and friends and delicious food?
I hope so!

(I ate all.of.this... and pie. two kinds of pie.)

We had an absolutely jam-packed week/weekend and probably couldn't squeeze one more bite of food or fun in if we tried! 
Based on a predominance of photo-filled posts from the weekend, it appears that this was a trend this year! 
Although we were missing our families, I certainly have much to be thankful for and definitely felt blessed to be surrounded by the love of amazing friends and comfort of our little home here in Colorado. 

~here's a bit of a recap of our week~


We celebrated our anniversary last Tuesday by driving up to Boulder (where it all began) three years ago. Dan was able to take the day off work, which was a miracle considering he was already facing a stressful short-week due to the holiday. We had breakfast at the Original Pancake House (potato pancakes, yum!) and then went to Color Me Mine to use a gift certificate my brother gave me almost a year ago! There is nothing that makes my husband more uncomfortable than exploring his creative side, but the Anniversary card trumps all excuses... so I pulled it. We (even Dan!) had a blast, even if we painted horrendously tacky Christmas-themed decorations for our home (a cookie platter complete with costumed portraits of our pets, and a striped holiday-ish spoon rest). 

(yep, it says "we woof you a meowy christmas!"... judge me.)

The thing with Color Me Mine is that you (I) can have every intention of creating a gorgeous master-piece, using every technique you (I) gleaned from a four-year Fine Arts degree... but your mug/plate/vase/bookend will still look like a five year old painted it, so I say it's best to simply embrace the tacky, cheesy, sloppy, and corny and have fun with the process. It's not a competition. (If it was, we would win, though... do you see the surgical precision of Dan's stripes?! And those portraits! Such detail!)... Anyway...

We had planned on spending more time around Boulder that afternoon, but our CMM creations took longer than expected (perfection takes time, people) so we headed home to Denver. We took the pups for a walk...

Then went to the mall to suffer through the latest Twilight movie... Luckily, we pre-gamed it through the TB drive through or Dan would have likely sacrificed me to the (ware)wolves. 

The photos end here... but after the movie we went to a fabulous dinner at an incredible restaurant called Potager. We had only been once before- the night before our wedding, where we were writing our vows at the table and were mistaken as food critics...an excellent ploy for fantastic service and free champagne!- but it was just as amazing as we remembered. I had a chili-crusted cod with pumpkin, apple and caramelized pecan-something-or-other and Dan had herb cod with potato, leek, and bacon chowder-something-or-other... and  we had a whole bottle of white wine we couldn't pronounce, followed by pumpkin-chocolate tart with homemade whipped cream. Yum! Simply cannot say enough delightful things about this place, but if you're looking for a fabulous dinner in Denver- Potager!
We came home, had a tawny-port night cap, and watched a slide-show of all 1400 of our wedding photos to a sound track of songs from "our day". 

It was the perfect way to celebrate with all the things we love (...minus Twilight and Taco Bell...?), although we could have eaten  in a cardboard box and have been content... simply 'cause we're in love, and we've worked really really really hard for that. 


The next day Dan was at work and I ran the grocery-store-gauntlet getting everything we would need for the next day's feast. Five stores and four hours later I was ready to not set foot in public again for at least 48 hours. We had dinner, and I made insanely buttery banana cupcakes with honey-cinnamon frosting to take to our friend's house for some late-night poker and ginger-apple-bourbon drinks, double yum!

(that's the shine of butter, y'all.)


We spent Thanksgiving with our incredibly generous friends and their wonderful families. There were about 18 people and we all sat at one-long-table believe it or not! They pushed 4 card tables and their dining table together and we grabbed chairs from all over the house. We passed food, shared all we were thankful for, and talked and laughed over an incredible feast. We were so thankful for friendship and families near and far. 


The next morning our "Black Friday" agenda consisted of sleeping in, drinking coffee on the couch, reading, getting dressed eventually... then picking up our friends Sarah and Colin and, with peppermint hot chocolate in hand, we headed out to find our perfect little Christmas trees! We had permits to cut down our own tree, as part of a fire-prevention program in the mountains, which was a first for us! After romping around in the woods for a few hours, we found the two best-looking trees around, and decided they should come home with us. At first I wasn't sure how I felt about actually cutting down a tree (I was sad, to be honest)... but I am not a fan of plastic trees made-in-you-know-where and even the trees we've bought at Whole Foods in the past come on trucks all the way from North Carolina, so I decided that cutting our own- an hour from home- was the most eco-friendly option... not to mention it was good ol' fashioned fun!

showing off our bounty.

(Colin, Dan, and Sarah strapped the trees to the car)

Then we brought 'er home and prettied her up with lights and ornaments. She's just the cutest little skinny tree ever~

Then we made Snickerdoodles  (twice actually... the first round had some difficulty. I blame the altitude, always) and watched Christmas Vacation (a Lowe-family tradition).


I spent the entire day at our church hanging artwork for the advent season and Dan worked on some homework. We grabbed happy hour at our favorite sushi spot, Hapa, in Cherry Creek...then accidentally wandered into the mall. We didn't do too much damage, all things considered, but Dan did find an awesome snowboarding jacket on major-sale at Eddie Bauer...so he can finally retire his 12-year-old one that has always been too big and bulky on him. Later that night we spent time reading the Bible together (something we are really trying to do more often) and talking about plans for Christmas. 


Sunday morning we went to church then came home, walked the dogs, had some lunch, then went to play spontaneous mini-golf at a random little place in the middle of nowhere. But we had sunshine and the whole place practically to ourselves... which is good because we tend to do a lot of trash talking during mini-golf. 

my purse helped balance my swing. strategy. 

we kept score. obviously.

...and we landed at a dead-tie. champions!

Then we headed to Jeff & Katies (whose Thanksgiving we crash each year) and watched the Broncos game with our 10 closest friends huddled together on one massive couch, and enjoyed delicious Christmas brews 
like Shiner Holiday Cheer!

It's made with peaches and roasted pecans... I'm a fan.

... phew! Well friends, if you've made it this far I truly thank you and wish you all a very cozy and relaxing start to your week. I'm looking at doing some laundry, job-searching, and thinking about working off a few of the trillions of Thanksgiving calories I recently consumed... but don't bet on (any of) it.

xoxo Happy Monday to You! xoxo


..Let us come before Him with Thanksgiving..

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
Let us shout aloud to the Rock of our Salvation!
Let us come before him with thanksgiving 
and extol him with music and song.
For the LORD is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth,
 and the mountain peaks belong to him.
The sea is his, for he made it, 
and his hands formed the dry land.

Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker,
for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care.

psalm 95:1-7

I hope you all have a beautiful Thanksgiving, overflowing with love, laughter, family, friends, and feasting! 
It's our fifth Thanksgiving in Colorado (well fourth if the one we spent eating a buffet in Mexico on our Honeymoon doesn't count), and we are celebrating our third-annual "orphan" dinner with some of our closest friends and their families who generously invite those of us without family nearby to their table. There's usually about 15-20 of us that gather together, potluck style, and feast to our heart's content, followed by a round of nerf football or frisbee. During dinner we go around the table sharing something we are thankful for that starts with the first letter of our names...

This year, I am so thankful for our home away from home; for our health; for the hope we have in Jesus; for His love that provides for all our needs; and for happiness that comes from simply being thankful for all we have been given.

 Well, the parade is over so into the kitchen I go!
I'm going to make our "famous" caramelized roasted brussel sprouts- tossing in some butternut squash and carrots this year- and possibly a sweet potato & apple gratin if it turns out as planned. 

Have a lovely day friends,
I'm truly thankful for each and every one of you!


Our Story: Part Three... our Wedding!

~November 22, 2008~

The absolute best day of our lives.

Over a year of planning (9 months too long if you ask me!) spent picking out
the perfect dresses, invitations, decorations, flowers, favors, music, locations, menus...
every.single.last.detail. was just right.

We stood before our families and friends in a beautiful chapel overflowing with love, and tearfully, joyfully, became husband and wife. 

From the minute I stepped into my dress... to the minute I stepped out, it was the most beautiful celebration I could have ever imagined. 

{We can never truly thank everyone enough for being part of our weekend... each time we see photos, hear "our" songs, or simply get lost reminiscing, we have nothing but incredible, precious memories of our first moments of marriage.... so, thank you again, and again, and again.} 

{getting ready}