Holiday Gift Guide for the Ladies (including yourself!)

It's no secret that blush and gray tones are my favorite and that doesn't change with the season. These cozy pieces are affordable and a perfect gift for your lady friends or for yourself (because we all know we deserve to gift ourselves a few presents under the tree too). These are just a few of my favorites and are all under $50 making them completely realistic for gift options.

 
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Healthy Banana and Blueberry Muffins

When long distance best friends visit, evenings spent baking, watching movies, and drinking wine is always part of the itinerary, right? My best friend (aka tea mixologist/queen of tea recipes), Tea Thoughts and I collaborated to make a quick, easy and healthy recipe that is perfect for an on the go breakfast or a sweet treat during the day.

We wanted a flourless recipe with a few quick ingredients that were everyday staples in our home, so after searching we came across this recipe that inspired our healthy banana and blueberry muffins.

For the recipe we decided to substitute the chocolate chips for blueberries (mostly because we wanted to make it just a tad bit healthier so that we could save our chocolate cravings for chocolate chip cookies and plus blueberry muffins are one of my favorite foods ever!).

For the recipe, we suggest doubling all of the ingredients so that you can make a larger amount of servings as the recipe we made only made 6 regular size muffins. Below you will see twice the amount of what we used so that you can make 12 servings.

2 ripe bananas

1 cup of quick oats

1 cup of blueberries

1 teaspoon of baking powder

Next, you'll blend up the oats and baking powder in a food processor (we used our nutri-bullet which worked perfectly!). After all of that is blended, add in your bananas and blend that up as well.

After the oats, bananas, and baking powder are blended up and has a consistent texture throughout, you'll add in your blueberries (do not blend this part but instead just mix them into your base mixture). Add them to your muffin tin after spraying them down with cooking oil or whatever you use to keep them from sticking.

Bake them at 350F for 10-12 minutes (start watching them after 10 minutes to make sure they don't overcook) and then take them out and let them sit for 5 minutes to cool down. 

Then VIOLA! You have some scrumptiously simple, healthy muffins to enjoy yourself or feed your kiddos as a healthy snack!

Recipe Card:

Below is a recipe card that you can print to add to your recipe book! Just right click it, save, and then open in Preview in print!

If you try this recipe, let me know in the comments below! Feel free to switch out the fruits for some of your favorite, fresh fruits and make it your own!

2017 Book list

In December, when I started putting together my list of goals for 2017, I started thinking about the individual tasks that I wanted to complete for the upcoming year. 1. Invest more into my clients 2. Concentrate on the stationery side of my business rather than the product side 3. Focus on the creative community by creating relationships, cheering other creatives on, and giving back to that community 4. Cook 2 new meals each month 5. Read a new book each month 6. Create a calligraphy workbook/guide 7. Create semi-custom stationery suites.. and the list goes on and on.. Once the list was complete, I looked at the monstrous amount of tasks laid out in front of me and felt a sense of overwhelming chaos flood through me as I thought "How am I supposed to do all of that myself.. I'm a one woman show and I work a full time job.. maybe I'm setting myself up for failure.. maybe I am not capable of running a business, working full time and having time to myself as well as time to love on my friends and family the way they deserve". At that moment, I realized that I needed to take a step back and understand the big picture. My "why" behind all of those goals. It was then that I realized it all comes down to living more in the moment, nurturing the relationships around me and loving on others, and taking time to be able to enjoy other things that I love and that bring me joy. In 2016, I failed miserably at this. I think we've all been there, especially when you're in your first year of owning your own business. There are so many things to learn and of course not enough time in the day to get it all done. I can't count the amount of times I read a message from a friend, was so happy to hear from them and when I went to respond would get distracted by other things (which of course nothing is more important than family + friends) and then forgot to message them back only to realize it days later. It's a terrible feeling. I don't like letting people down around me. I LOVE my people. I love people in general. Life is so much better when you have someone to share the special moments with whether it's your fiance, your best friend, your mom.. each person in your life always makes life a little brighter.

This is where I laugh and hear Dylan's voice (my fiance) in my head saying "you just told me an entire 20 minute story to get to one point". So the point with this blog post was to not only tell you about the 2017 book list that I put together but also give you a little intro into why I feel the need to pick up a new book each month. Up until last month, I couldn't tell you how long it had been since I read more than a few pages of a book. I felt like I never had the time to and that there were so many more important things to do.. This year, I'm practicing balance and contentment. I decided that reading would be my "me time". Time to wind down from the busy day, relax and put the to do list aside. As I wrap up my second book - "The Magnolia Story" I can't help but to think what I've been missing all this time and how much I truly love reading. You know those things that you go so long without that you don't remember how much you truly enjoyed them? Well that was me before I decided to pick up "Grace Not Perfection" last month. Now it's hard to find me without a book in hand and it has brought me more contentment than I could imagine. I would love for you to join me! Let me know if you are interested in joining me! The books that I chose are a mixture of motivational readings as well as romance novels which are the best in my opinion. So here's to accomplishing goals and finding time to enjoy the things we love but often leave neglected.

January - Grace Not Perfection

February- The Magnolia Story

March-  Present Over Perfect

April- Big Magic

May- Redeeming Love

June- Make it Happen

July- Wild and Free

August- Chasing Slow

September- Grit to Great

October- Girl Meets Change

November- All the Pretty Things

December- Uninvited