Friday I'm in Love

Happy day after Christmas!  Hope y'all had a wonderful holiday!  Thanks for stopping by to see what I'm digging this week.  Don't forget to pop over to the other gals' sites to see what they're loving, too: MishaKendraMary Beth, and Amanda.

ONE: YouBars

For Christmas, my brother and sister-in-law tapped into my love of granola bars.  At YouBars, you can custom order delicious, preservative-free snacks made with organic ingredients.  Brandon and Jen created a recipe that included my favorites like ginger, cocoa, dried cherries, nuts, apples, and cinnamon.  They named the bar #snackforlaura.  (The three of us were talking in hashtags way before Jimmy and JT. #oghashtaggers.)  What an awesome, healthy, and personal present!  

 
 

TWO: Dune Jewelry

Dune Jewelry is a clever company that custom makes accessories using sand from your favorite beach.  They have a large bank with a long list of destinations to choose from.  In the past, my parents bought me a necklace with sand from my home beach, Kiawah, and earrings from my old stomping ground, Waikiki.  Yesterday, I was presented with a Walden Pond necklace.  It will forever remind me of my wonderful New England trip.  In addition to earrings and necklaces, you can design key chains, rings, or cuff links.  Again, it's an amazingly personal gift! 

 
Waikiki, Kiawah, Walden Pond

Waikiki, Kiawah, Walden Pond

 

THREE: Ticket to Ride

My family plays A LOT of board games.  After a while, the usuals can get a little boring.  So, my parents bought four new selections for Christmas.  One of them was Ticket to Ride.  Aside from being a killer Beatles song, Ticket to Ride is also a super fun strategy game.  The object of the game is to acquire the most points by building train routes.  Check it out if you get a chance!

FOUR: Kruškovac

Kruškovac is a Croatian pear liqueur traditionally consumed by my family during holidays and reunions.  Growing up, we spent Christmas evening at my Uncle Matt and Aunt Norma's alongside countless uncles, aunts, cousins, and friends.  Every so often, some of the adults would gather 'round the bar and Uncle Matt would pour each of them a Kruškovac shot.  Raising their glasses and shouting out Christmas salutations, the whole group would drink up.  In a few days, I'll be seeing my brothers and sisters-in-law...we have two bottles ready. :)  Zivio!

So, yeah, we drank some the other night.

So, yeah, we drank some the other night.

Uncle Matt (left) and my Grandpa (right) on Christmas many moons ago.   Kruškovac    highlighted in yellow.

Uncle Matt (left) and my Grandpa (right) on Christmas many moons ago.  Kruškovac highlighted in yellow.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and I wish you a Happy New Year!  See ya next Friday in 2015!

Friday I'm in Love

It's Friday!  Thanks for stopping by to see what I'm digging this week.  Don't forget to pop over to the other gals' sites to see what they're loving, too: MishaKendraMary Beth, and Amanda.

ONE: Wrapping gifts

I'm one of those rare breeds that actually looks forward to wrapping Christmas gifts. I delight in choosing paper, ribbons, and gift tags.  When November rolls around, I start scoping out my favorite gift wrap shops to see their holiday collections.  By Thanksgiving, I have my orders placed.  This year, I chose wrap from Rifle Paper Co. and Paper Source.  I love how everything turned out!  Oh, and it appears a certain princess was also "beary" excited about Paper Source's wrap!

Ugly sweaters, bears, and ribbon from Paper Source Pink packages and green reindeer from Rifle Paper Co.

Ugly sweaters, bears, and ribbon from Paper Source
Pink packages and green reindeer from Rifle Paper Co.

TWO: Captain Sam's spit

Captain Sam's spit is a narrow inlet on the south end of Kiawah Island just a few minutes from my house.  A battle over the sandy spot has been raging for years.  Kiawah Island developers wanted to build a seawall, dock, and 50 luxury houses on the unstable land.  Conservators and nature-lovers worried about the destruction such a project would cause.  Area dolphins practice a rare strand feeding along the banks.  They drive fish up to the shore, then jump up and eat them.  The seawall would  cover the bank, leaving the dolphins with nowhere to feed.  In addition, the spit is home to countless sea birds.  Yesterday, the State Supreme Court reversed an earlier decision and has denied Kiawah Development Partners permits to build the seawall!  Hooray for the dolphins!  

THREE: Sarah Potempa styling tools

Celebrity hairstylist Sarah Potempa offers some rather innovative styling tools.  I own the Beachwaver and bought my mom the Jet-Setter for Mother's Day.  The Beachwaver is a professional-grade curling iron.  You just select L or R (depending on which side you're curling), place the end of your hair in the clip, and hit Go.  The iron rotates your hair onto the wand to create even, fast curls.  The Jet-Setter is a portable, rechargeable flat iron.  You can even get a car charger for convenient on-the-go touch ups.  Best of all, Sarah is a fellow Libertyville native.  She and my brother were friends throughout junior high and HS.  I think of her as a hometown 'hair' -o.  Ha.

FOUR: Mrs. Arnold's sweaters

I love the Wonder Years!  It is such a great show with the best soundtrack.  Kevin's mom, Norma Arnold, has an amazing collection of sweaters.  One of my favorites is the one pictured below.  If someone could find the pattern, buy yarn in the same palette, and knit it for me, I'd be eternally grateful!

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Have an awesome weekend!  See ya next Friday!

Friday I'm in Love

It's Friday!  Thanks for stopping by to see what I'm digging this week.  Don't forget to pop over to the other gals' sites to see what they're loving, too: Misha, KendraMary Beth, and Amanda.

ONE: Vintage holiday placemats

As a nun, my great-aunt, Sister Angela, did not have a lot of money.  She did, however, have many family members--ten siblings and countless nieces and nephews.  When it came time to give Christmas presents, Sister Angela was creative and resourceful.  One of my favorite gifts was a set of placemats that she made for my grandparents decades ago.  Recycling greeting cards that she had received, my aunt cut the imagery into circles, layered them, laminated the front and added decorative contact paper on the back.  I love the vintage illustrations!  Every year when I get the placemats out of the holiday box, I find joy in her thoughtfulness.  I think they truly embody the Christmas spirit!

TWO: Aveda Tea

I don't drink coffee, but I drink tea like a Brit.  I prefer my cold tea to be sweet and my hot tea to be herbal.  Aveda's organic blend combines licorice and peppermint.  It's caffeine free, so it's the perfect beverage to sip on a cold winter's night.

THREE: Portillo's shipment

You can take the girl out of Chicago, but you can't take Chicago out of the girl.  Portillo's used to be a staple of my diet before I moved to the Lowcountry...I'm talking several times a week.  Thankfully, on portillos.com, I can have an Italian beef kit delivered to my southern home.  In fact, I have a shipment arriving today!  Yes, that was my stomach grumbling.  And, if I'm ever feeling extra homesick, I can order beef and a Lou Malnati's deep dish at tastesofchicago.com.

FOUR: Miniature Horses

Thanks to Parks and Rec, I'm a big fan of miniature horses.  (You're 5000 candles in the wind, Li'l Sebastian!)  My dream is to own an 18th century house with a big barn, lots of acreage, and a couple of therapy miniature horses.  This little fella, Black Beauty, is currently for sale.  He's therapy trained and is already putting smiles on the faces of rehab patients.  The woman at 4:25 of this video keeps my dream alive.  Someday...someday..

 
 

You know what I'm doing tonight...eating beef and browsing videos of mini horses!  Hope you have an awesome weekend!