Be Merry

December 1
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Happy 1st day of December everyone! I absolutely love this time of year! We already have all of our Christmas decorations up and have been making our homemade Christmas candy as well as enjoying Christmas music! This year it is much more fun decorating and celebrating because Reagan actually understands what we are doing. It is fun coming up with our own family traditions that she will enjoy every Christmas season.

Today I wanted to share one of the decorations we made this year, because it is seriously so cute, easy to make, inexpensive, and can be stowed away and used every year. It would also make a really cute gift for someone! It is our Be Merry Banner. You can use other phrases that you think of, but I really liked “Be Merry” for ours. I am going to give step by step instructions of exactly how I made it, and if you have any questions just ask them in the comments below.  Hope you guys like it!

Things you need:

Holiday paper

Twine (for hanging)

Scissors

Glue stick

Ruler

X-acto knife

Single hole punch

 

Step 1. Decide what word or phrase you want for your banner

This is important to know before you go and get your supplies, because the number of letters in the word or phrase will determine how many sheets of paper you will need.  If you are going to use “Be Merry” you will need 9 sheets of decorated paper (of your choice); be sure to pick one green page which will be used to cut the Christmas tree. You will also need two sheets of sparkly paper to use for the letters. (two is probably more than you need but it’s nice to have more just in case you mess up)  Lastly, you need 10 sheets of a solid color (I chose red) which is the base layer color and will also be directly behind the letters.

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Step 2. Measure, cut, and glue

The dimensions of the sheets of paper are 12 in x 12 in which actually works out perfect for this project.  I found it easiest to take one paper and using a pencil, make marks where all of the cuts will be.(should look similar to this picture)

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The back piece of paper should be 9 inches tall and 6 inches wide, meaning you can fit two per sheet.  To make the cut-outs at the bottom, measure 3 inches in(the exact middle) and 1 1/2 inches up.  Then draw a line to each corner. Repeat on each remaining sheet. With the extra paper left at the top of the sheet you can make the small squares the letters will go on.  They will be 4 1/2 inches tall by 3 inches wide.  In order to make the second paper (the decorated one that goes on top of the red backing) do the same thing but measure 8 1/4 inches tall by  5 1/2 inches wide.  It’s important that enough of the red shows behind the smaller decorated paper so you should place them on top of each and the red should show about 1/4 inch all the way around.  If it doesn’t, just trim a little where necessary.

Once you have everything cut out, take each decorated sheet and glue it on top of the red sheets. Then center the smaller red rectangle on the decorated sheet and glue. Using a glue stick is key because if you were to use regular liquid glue it will make the paper curl.  Arrange the sheets in a pattern you like. sincerely me stephanie Christmas banner 10

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(I had to arrange the pattern a few times to get it how I wanted)

Step 3. Cut letters and Christmas tree

I wanted a specific font for the letters, so I went on a Pinterest hunt to find free printables letters to trace and cut out.  If you are super crafty and have the Cricut, it will cut the letters out for you! If you’re like me, and need to do it the old fashioned way, you can get the same letters I have here: Free printable letters.  Enlarge each letter to 3 1/2 in. by 2 in. and then print and cut them out. Next, trace the letters on the back side of the glittered paper and then cut them out.  **It is important that you trace the letters backwards so that when you flip them over to the glittered side they are the correct direction.  On certain letters you may need to use an X-acto knife.

For the Christmas tree, google an image that you like, and print and trace it.  Decorate the tree however you like.  I used a hole punch on the glittered paper to make several little circles that I glued right next to each other to make garland.  Then I cut out a star for the top of the tree. Once the tree is decorated, glue it and each letter to its page.

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Step 4. String banner 

Lastly, punch a hole in the top two corners; make sure you don’t get too close to the edge or the twine will tear the paper.  Put the twine through each hole leaving an inch or so in between each letter.  Leave enough twine on the ends so it can hange with a little curve.

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sincerelymestephanie Christmas Banner16 I hope this tutorial made sense and if it didn’t, hopefully the pictures helped clarify what I was trying to say.  If any of you make one, please send me a picture, I would love to see how they turn out! I hope you have as much fun making this as I did!

XOXO

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Pre Black Friday Sales!

November 25
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We all know that Black Friday is near, but who likes waiting in lines and dealing with all the chaos? Not me! I have made a list of some of my favorite places to shop that already have sales going on. This is a great time to get a lot of your Christmas shopping out-of-the-way! If you miss out on these deals, don’t worry, Cyber Monday is just around the corner as well! Hopefully this will help you save a little while you shop, even though my husband says “you are never saving when you’re shopping” haha! Happy shopping everyone, and Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you all enjoy time around the table with family and friends!

Early Black Friday Deals

Target

Target thanksgiving deal

Kitchen aid mixer

Just got a kitchen aid for my birthday, and I love it! At target they are $50.00 off and you get a $20.00 gift card with purchase. They have so many other great deals right now so check it out!

Loft

Loft deals

Gingham Flare Dress

Everything at Loft is 40% off with code Turkey Day! I love this Gingham flare dress, it is perfect for the holidays!

Lulu’s

 

Lulus deals

Blush pink feather mini skirt

Lulu’s has 25% off site wide and you can sign up to be on the Black Friday VIP list to shop early and get more savings! They have the cutest dresses, and I absolutely love this skirt (they have it in black too)

Nordstrom

Nordstrom deals

Fringe beaded layering necklace

Nordstrom is one of my all time favorite places to shop and they have sales regularly! Right now they have a bunch of deals store wide and more specifically 40% off designer items. This necklace is from BP and its only $8.98! Such a steal!

Sole Society

Sole Society deals

Suede tassle bootie

Sole Society

Cahya heel

Sole Society is one of my favorite places to shop for shoes! The green booties are only $62.97! The sparkle heels aren’t on sale but I am in love with them, they are $69. They have bags, shoes, and accessories on sale! Head over and snag shoes before they sell out in your size.

Gap

Gap deals

Striped sweater

Gap Women deals

Velvet skirt

Gap men deals

Flannel plaid shirt

Gap is great for the entire family! I love shopping here because they have great quality and great sales! Right now they have 50% off entire purchase with code Early!

J.crew

J.crew deals

Buffalo Check Vest

J.crew jewels

Mixed Crystal Bracelet

J.crew is also another one of my favorite places to shop! Right now they have 30% off site wide and 40% off sale items with code Holiday!

Kate Spade

Kate Spade purse

Cove Street Provence Purse

Kate Spade deals

Beacon Court Nisha

Kate Spade has items up to 75% off click on my first link and then type in your email to access the sale items. The Cove Street purse is originally over $400 and is on sale for $149!

Baublebar

Baublebar deals

Genevieve Collar

Baublebar jewels

Tiffany Tassle drop earrings

Baublebar is an amazing site for jewelry! If it’s your first buy, you can enter your email for 20% off, I don’t know what deals they will have for Black Friday but I am definitely going to check them out that day!

Other stores to shop great deals on Black friday are:

Asos

Tory Burch  30% off code: Thanks

Bloomingdales up to 50% off site wide

Urban Outfitters

Shopbop 25% off with code: Gobig15

Anthropologie

Michael Kors Save with code: Glam

Bandier Athletic Clothes 25% off site wide with code: Gobble25

I am sure there are tons of other great deals, so if anyone knows of any others feel free to post them in the comments!! Thanks for reading, hopefully this makes shopping a little easier!

XOXO

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I’m 26 Y’all

November 24
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Another year has come and gone! I honestly don’t know how I just turned 26, when did I get so old!! When I was little, after each birthday I would tell my mom “only 365 days until my next birthday” and I would count down. Okay, I will admit I never fully counted down from 365, but I would definitely count down from 100 haha. When I got married I tried to convince Bry that the entire month was my birthday month; in fact, I’m still trying for that one. For now, he has settled with me having a birthday week haha! That doesn’t mean I get gifts all week,  it means I try and say things like “It’s my birthday week, can I have an extra long foot massage” or “It’s my birthday week, you’re on dishes tonight” or my favorite, “It’s my birthday week, Reagan needs her diaper changed!” Needless to say, it was a great week!

One thing that has become a tradition in our family is the birthday boy or girl wakes up to a fully decorated house. Even though Bry and I both expect the decorations, we still manage to sneak out and decorate without the other person knowing. Reagan and Bryant decorated for me this year and I think Reagan was more excited for my birthday than anyone else, it was so cute. Throughout the whole day she would randomly say ” Happy Birthday Mom, I love you!” Having a kid when it’s your birthday makes you feel like it isn’t your birthday, due to the amount of slave work you still have to do for them; but at the same time, they completely melt your heart with all the sweetness and love.  

The best part of the decorations this year were the awesome balloons in the pictures above.  I knew that I would have fun taking pictures with them and they actually turned out pretty cool! I also mentioned to my dad that I am saving them for his 62nd birthday in a few years, so I had to send a picture with the numbers switched.  I don’t think the reminder of his soon to be age was appreciated. Sorry Dad, I LOVE YOU! 

I also took the time to show one of my favorite pieces in my closet, which is my leather jacket! You can literally wear it with just about anything and it adds the perfect edge to your outfit. It’s definitely a piece of clothing you want to have in your closet. There are so many different styles of leather jackets, so if you are in the market for one, try on a bunch of different styles to find the one that fits your style and looks like good quality. I am all for finding good deals but there are some things you can’t buy cheap, and this is one of them. A little extra money goes a long way when you are talking about leather jackets.  I promise you will get your money’s worth. As you can see in this one post I got to wear it twice this weekend with totally different looks.

Friday night we celebrated as a little family and went to dinner at one of my favorite Italian restaurant’s in San Diego, called Arrivederci. If you are ever in the area and looking for good Italian food, definitely give this place a try. On Saturday, my mom, sister, her friend, and my niece came down to celebrate and to help my mom watch Reagan while Bry and I went out with our friends. Poor Bry, it was all girls and him haha.  We hardly ever get a babysitter, so it was fun to have some adult time and enjoy a night out. 

Our first stop was to Basic Urban Kitchen which is downtown, just a few blocks from the Gaslamp Quarter. My long time friend is the manager there and we have been wanting to try it out for a while. The whole experience was awesome! The atmosphere, layout, and the food was incredible! It was such a cool place, we are definitely going back. After dinner we went over to a country club called Moonshine Flats. I love country music so this was definitely my type of place. They had line dancing, a live band, a bunch backyard/tailgating games, and most importantly some of country music’s hotties on the bathroom stall doors! Naturally we had to get a pic with Tim McGraw! We danced all night and sang along with all of our favorite songs!

This really was such a fun way to celebrate my birthday and I am grateful for all my friends who came! I am excited to see what things are in store in this next year of my life! 

Love you all!

XOXO

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