Homemade Holidays | Christmas Potpourri

Let’s Blog Over Making Your House Smell Like Christmas!!!!

It’s finally the time I wait all year long for.

Thanksgiving week is here and that means the holiday craze is beginning! Yes!

Here’s the thing, every year I always make these grand plans in my head to do all my favorite holiday things. Like all of them. Put up my tree, decorate the tree all fab, make sugar cookies, decorate the house, make gingerbread houses from scratch, send out christmas cookies and holiday cards to everyone, find the best gifts, watch A L L the Christmas movies, go ice skating, make hot chocolate with giant marshmallows and loads of whipped cream, make the most grand Christmas dinner – with the table set all cute and festive. The idea is pretty much just to have the perfect Holiday season, which for me started in October.

Here ‘s the reality though, I maybe do half of those things and then Christmas comes and goes and I am really sad it’s over because I didn’t even get to cross off the other half the things on my list. It honestly happens every year.

So this year, I am speaking it into existence to get all those things done. Especially with how busy I am right now, it’s close to impossible. Instead, I am bringing the Christmas fun to the blog and making my work not work like at all. Gotta love that. I have decided that there are just way too many things I want to tell you guys all about this December, so now the weekends will be filled with Christmas cheer.

So exciting right!?!? Ok well exciting for me any way.

Today I am kicking things off with some crazy easy, holiday potpourri that simmers on the stove all day long. Don’t think I am all old and lame trying to tell you guys to make some homemade potpourri, I promise you will love this. Just trying to make the house smell like Christmas – like home. I spend tons of money on candles, and this is a cheaper option. Even if you’re a candle person, you’ll love this potpourri.

The best part is, you can really use whatever you have on hand. The must-haves in my opinion are cinnamon, citrus, ginger and vanilla. Nothing makes it feel more like the holidays than those smells. Trust me, if you are having guests over this is the perfect thing to have simmering away on the stove. So try it at Thanksgiving. It’s a great easy fix that makes people feel warm, cozy and welcomed!

Jeez, I am so domestic and excited. It’s the holidays, they do that too me.

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 3 tangerines halved
  • 3 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise gives a strong black licorice smell. optional
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean + 1 vanilla extract
  • 1 small branch fresh pine
  • 1 cup apple cider pomegranate or cranberry juice
  • water

I can’t wait to hear what you all think!

XoXo

Faux Fur | Style Guide

Faux Fur

Let’s Blog Over Faux Fur!

I never thought to blog about this, but I posted a photo on instagram and a few of you messaged me about my jacket and my top, so I figured I’d do a post about it for you ladies and some gentlemen!

Now that we’ve officially entered the holiday season i’ve been seeing SO many great faux fur options and had to share this one with you. I love a good statement jacket so in today’s post i’m sharing tons of great faux fur options …at all price points!

Pink Faux Fur

Seriously how cute is this pink coat?! If you’re going to go faux fur you might as well go allll out right?! This jacket is so bright and girly that I wanted to keep the rest of the look monochromatic and let the jacket do the talking. I dressed mine up by pairing it with black distressed jeans, and a gooseberry intimates body suit, but you could easily pair one of the jackets in today’s post with denim and ankle boots as well for a little more dress down/casual vibe.

Style Guide Gooseberry Intimates

Similar Coat Here |Similar Body Suit Here| Black Skinny Jeans | Heels

Here’s a roundup of all of my favorite Faux Fur pieces.

 

XoXo,

Riley

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#CoffeeTalk

#CoffeeTalk

Happy Saturday! Let’s Chat…

I’m looking for a stocking for my baby girl (her first Christmas)! Any suggestions on cute ones that aren’t too childish looking?

I get all of my Christmas stockings from Pottery Barn. You can never go wrong with this classic one, and I think this collection is just TOO cute!!!

I’m in need of some new black lingerie. Can you give me some suggestions on cute pieces or where to shop?

I love lingerie from La Perla, but I’ve been getting everything lately from Gooseberry Intimates. Fleur Du Mal has some amazing pieces as well.

Riley, with your HR background, can you give resume tips, or maybe do a post regarding that sometime soon? I’d like to be prepared for the new year.

I’ll work on a post for you!!!

Hi Riley! I met you at Williams Sonoma. We were the older couple. You are such a sweet girl, and you’re so funny. Absolutely informative about the kitchen. Will you be posting your duck recipe anytime soon?!

Hi!!! Thank you for your sweet words. When we get a little closer to Christmas I will post the duck recipe!!!

What shows are you currently watching? I need something to binge!

Hmm… Well, my friend Caroline got me stuck on this show called 90 Day Fiancé. I started from season 5. It’s a mess, but keeps me glued. I just finished watching Stranger Things. I love the Good Doctor. However- Power, Insecure, and Game Of Thrones is my shit!!! Lol. Real Talk…

What was the lash serum you posted on instastories?

Olive oil in one of my moms jars.

Riley- I was shocked to learn that you were 30. I wouldn’t have thought you were a day over 23. What is your skincare routine?

It is true. I celebrated my dirty 30 this year. It wasn’t dirty though. I don’t wear makeup a lot. I actually didn’t start wearing makeup until I was 25. I drink a lot of water, and I just wash my face every morning and night followed by moisturizer.

Your instagram story of you, your brothers, and dad was so funny. I love your laugh!!! What was the back story on that? You guys all range is colors and features. Who do you look like? Are you all close?

GAWDDDD!!! They’re so annoying, but they’re so funny so it’s hard not to laugh. I don’t remember the back story, I just know they were talking smack about everything. Lol. We do all look different. Jordan is tall and very, very fair with red hair. Blue is really dark with colored eyes, and then me… I took after my mom. My family and I are very close. My brothers are my best friends.

How does it feel to look in the mirror and be so perfect looking? Seriously a question though lol…

Honestly- I wouldn’t know…

Hi! You always braid Skylar’s hair so beautifully. How did you learn to braid? I’ve tried braiding my daughter’s hair, but not only can i not braid but I can’t get her to sit still. Any tips?

I’ve always known how to braid, but I learned all kinds of braids in Cosmetology School. I took Cosmetology in high school mostly because it was 3 credits in one year. Lol. True Story! Skylar has always been good at being still when I did her hair. My little Angel Girl. Try giving her a book, or turning on a show she likes.

What was the name of the christmas song you were blasting while you were cooking? It sounded very catchy.

Lol! That was called the Mistletoe Jam by Luther Vandross. That’s my Jam!!!

What are you cooking today?

Hamburger Helper. Lol! Nothing fancy going on over here today!

What are you listening to right now?

The new Sam Smith Album. OMG you H A V E to listen to it.

Where’d you get those ripped sweatpants?

My favorite store. Target!

It was fun chatting. If you have any questions please leave them in the comments or shoot me an email.

-Have a great weekend! xx

 

 

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#CoffeeTalk

Let’s catch up!

I’m looking for the perfect faux fur vest that’s a light brown color (with dark/light brown and white all mixed together). I can only find solid black or solid brown. Any ideas?

I love this one from Nordstrom, and it’s a really good price!

I love that you’re sharing instagram stories. Will you be back on snapchat any time soon?

I try to snap. I just like instagram better. I’ll try though.

Could you link some of your favorite over the knee boots? I’m looking to buy some and don’t know where to start…

Sure. Check below for my fave’s!

What’s your Thanksgiving menu looking like?

I’m not sure yet. I’ll be working on that this week.

Trying to figure out how many bridesmaids are “too much”? How many bridesmaids are you having? Any advice?

On your day you set the rules. The way my list looks I’ll probably have nine.

I can’t help but notice you are so happy in your relationship with your ‘guy.’  – but I’m curious how were your past relationships and how did you get through any rough breakups?

I was in a relationship for a really, really, really long time. Leaving that relationship and dealing with the end result was really hard for me. Keeping busy, being surrounded by my family and friends, and of course wine always helped. Having that good support system, traveling and so forth made each day easier.

I love your teapot. Could you share the brand and where you got it from?

It’s a Mackenzie Child’s teapot from Neiman Marcus.

My husband and I are taking a short trip to Houston right before Christmas. I am looking for some restaurant suggestions. Maybe something for lunch in River Oaks, and any good dinner recommendations?

You came to the right person. Potenté just happens to be one of my favorite restaurants. I was able to have a private dining experience before they opened up to the public and they have a phenomenal menu. My favorite being the lobster bisque and lamb. Brasserie 19 is amazing. Steak 48 is a fave of mine, and Caracol is also one I love.

Skylar and Aven are the cutest! I love your conversations with them. How did you get them into cooking and at what age?

They were really little when they started cooking. Skylar never wanted an easy bake oven. She always wanted to do the real thing. Aven followed in her footsteps. By the time they were 4 and 5 we were making dinners together. They also take cooking classes.

Do you find people look at you like you’re a celebrity when you’re shooting in busy areas?

Noooooo- they probably think I’m weird, and I always hate to take a photo when someone is around. I don’t pose correctly because I feel awkward.

I saw your workout on your Instagram story. You looked like you got a really good workout in. What kind of cardio and work out do you do?

My cardio consists of jump rope. That’s the only kind of cardio you’ll ever see me do. I hate to run so a treadmill or elliptical is out of the question. I don’t want to run outside because if I stop I’ll think people are saying ‘ahhhhh she couldn’t make it down the street!’ However, jump rope is really good for you and it works out your entire body. You burn way more calories, and quicker that what you would running on a treadmill and so forth. So I do that and select strength training a few times a week. I jump rope everyday.

Where did you get your dutch oven?

My red one is from Target. A Giada De Laurentis brand that has been discontinued. My white one is Le Creuset from Williams- Sonoma. They’re both very good. If you’re looking for some fairly priced, I’d check out target though.

How many times a week do you cook?

I cook five to six times a week depending on my mood. LoL!

I know you bought Matcha tea. I have been wanting to try it. I’m wondering what your thoughts were on it…

I’ll post about that later this week so stay tuned!

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The Magic of Gratitude

“I Would Maintain That Thanks Are The Highest Form Of Thought, & That Gratitude Is Happiness Doubled By Wonder.” ~Gilbert K. Chesterton

The Magic of Gratitude

Sometimes I can be so quick to throw myself a pity party. I’m so tired, I’m working so hard, I still don’t have millions of dollars, I’m so bored, I really want this. I really want that. Why am I not famous? Life is so hard. Can you tell that I can be a bit dramatic???

When I was younger I thought I had it tough. I grew up in an affluent environment, and we were well off. My parents were well off. I never ever wanted for anything. Quite frankly I was spoiled. However, back then I didn’t see it that way. I never realized how amazing my parents were. How wonderful and lucky I was to be apart of such a great family. Instead, it was so “tough” to travel every summer to a destination of my choosing, while some people stayed home because their parents couldn’t afford to send them away. It was “tough” to practice the piano every day for my recitals when some people wished they could have a chance to learn an instrument or even be able to afford the lessons every week. It was “tough” to get up before 7 A.M. to commute to school in my new car, only to arrive and see a lot of people didn’t have cars at all. Especially a new one. It was “tough” to be 20 years old living in my own house in California with 360 views of the ocean, while others lived in dorm rooms or at home with their parents. It was “tough” to have two young children, go to school, have a social life and still accomplish everything I wanted to accomplish while so many people were single parents with no support system. They were struggling to do a tiny portion of what I was doing regularly without a second thought.

As “tough” as it was, I was constantly reminded how easy I had it. All I had to do was show up and apply myself. Had I had things my way, I would have been enjoying life responsibility free,  but what would that have done for my character? As much as I had to complain about, I know now I wasn’t thankful enough. When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around. Gratitude is the spring from which blessings flow. When you realize there are people who have to work twice or three times as hard to do the things that are “tough” for you, you realize how much you’re truly capable of. I’m grateful for those small moments of clarity and inspiration.

It’s the beginning of November. It’s a busy time for us all, and we can get so caught up with things we have to do, or things we don’t have that we don’t sit back and appreciate our blessings. I challenge you to take a moment each day to reflect on your everyday life, and what you’re grateful for.

Happy November, xx!

 

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