cookies and other

It was another successful sugary night at the cookie exchange a week ago.  I got to host it at our home and there were cookies everywhere, but it was so much fun... SO many cookies..

Everyone really "brought it" this year with their cookies and packaging.  I have such creative friends!  Here are the results from this years cookie exchange/party/competition.

WINNER: Sara Midyett with her Lemon Cookie

The Runner-up this year for overall winner (Anne Nowlin asked for runner-up to be announced for each category):  Jamie Jerkins with her Momo's Molasses Cookies.

The Most Unique Cookie : Leslie Poe with her Cheese Date Tarts

The runner up for Most Unique : Leslie Jerkins with her Clementine Chip Cutie

The Best Packaging/Presentation : Leslie Jerkins with her Clementine Chip Cutie Box (this category was VERY close as there were so many great packages)

The Runner-up on Best Packaging/Presentation : Sara Midyett with her Lemon Cookies

Such a fun night, but so many cookies to taste.  It's so fun to take them all home so you can actually taste each cookie again by itself.

I loved all these winners, but my personal favorite was Mandi's Mocha Rounds... Chocolate cookie with coffee/kahlua flavored icing. :)  I've already made them (so easy) to give to neighbors for a little holiday treat.

Last week T and I enjoyed Monday off together getting our Christmas shopping done.  First year we started and finished on the same day.  We even squeezed in a nice lunch date at one of our favorite spots.. Las Delicias.  I tried something different this time, the torta, and it was delicious.  I highly recommend it!

This weekend we came to Oxford to spend time with his fam before Christmas.  He, of course, spent most of the time in the woods while I shopped with my MIL and enjoyed time with her.  Since their tree [unfortunately] fell over two times in a week, we helped put all the ornaments back up and it's now secured with a thick rope.  They also pulled out their life-size dancing Santa, and the dogs went crazy.  Gibson just looked at him very confused, but Weezy (Katy's dog) went nuts barking at him non-stop.  Gib finally just looked at her like, "chill out, girl, it's just good ol' St. Nick."

He's never phased when we come visit Oxford.. Makes himself right at home...

I snuck up to the square on my lunch break today and it was such a pretty day.  I'm so thankful for days like these...  I hope everyone is having a relaxing and memory-filled holiday season!


new (and old) holiday additions

Every year I love pulling out our Christmas boxes and remember all the special things that make our house festive during December.  We are building up our collection as the Carters and it's been so fun.

I've added a few new little things this year, and T man put his touch on the outside...

So much fun!  Something else he added this year is just so funny to me.  When he was a little guy he loved teddy bears, so we have lots of little bear christmas ornaments and lots of non-Christmas bear items, too.  Well there are these little stuffed animal bears dressed in Christmas costumes and we normally stick em under the tree... This year he has displayed them for all to see.  Hopefully little Gib won't think they are his toys.  

One of my most favorite things about decorating for Christmas is getting out the nativity.  My sweet MIL has given me a piece of this nativity every year since we've been married.  This year, the ox and goat join us, offering warmth and protection.  I can only imagine how special it'll be to show future kiddos the meaning of this special piece of Christmas (the meaning of it all) when we get this out year after year.  I remember my mom doing that with us and of course remember playing with my childhood nativity figurines.

While rummaging around in our back garage for items used in the antler project, I came across some old shutters among the old cabinet doors.  I remembered seeing this from pinterest... so now we have our very own...

I love Christmas card season and checking the mail daily awaiting the next one.  While we're on the topic, this year in honor of our big adventure to Italia, we say "Buon Natale" in bike helmets!  My sweet friend Laura drew the little designs for it.  Love.

Buon Natale everyone!


hallway update

After collecting and purchasing a big number of frames (and having some Italian art professionally framed) T and I hung up the hallway wall gallery.  I was going to do the whole cut out scrap paper and tape it up, but we didn't want to go into that much work... So we started and found the center of the gallery and worked our way out.  It wasn't too bad.  Hardest part was hanging that C because there are two holes to make it hang straight.

We love how it turned out!

Here was the hallway before (mentioned in this post):

And here it is now!

It will be so easy to change out our little instagram photos, the other photos, and even add to the gallery as life goes on...  That empty frame you see is a place holder for a sweet photo of his granny ree and pawpaw, and when he finds a good photo of his dad's parents, we'll switch out something for them to be in our collection.  The two black and whites are my grandparents (two ladies I was named after), and that double matted center piece is a note from George W congratulating us on our marriage!

Love having these memories displayed in our home.  Maybe we'll just eventually add to the other side?


merry happy

Our favorite season has arrived.  And it has arrived quickly.  It is St. Jude marathon weekend here in Memphis, and it seems like just yesterday I was finishing up the marathon.  I can't believe it's been a year.  This year I'll be having some fun with Leslie doing the 5K.  Whoop whoop!  Good luck to all half-marathon and marathoners! 

I love this season for many reasons, but mostly for the celebration of the coming of Christ.  Celebrating the truth, love, and the hope of eternal life.  It just so happens that we give presents, bake & eat delicious cookies, build roaring fires, and smell a nice fluffy green tree.

We're still in the process of putting out all our fun Christmas decorations, but I finished up with the mantle last night and it's so cheerful!

I hope everyone is enjoying this busy season of celebrating.  We Carters have a bunch of fun things happening this month, and Gibson is so pumped his Santa toy is back.  He'll be busy carrying him around the house for the next month. :)

December desktop calendar for ya --->