Weekend Recap & Free Printable Christmas Gift List!

Hey, friends! I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and long weekend full of family, friends, food, and some shopping! My mom, dad, and my sister headed to my Aunt and Uncle's for Thanksgiving, and it was really nice to spend some time with them and our two cousins, Morgan and Sara. I totally failed as a blogger and only have one grainy selfie of my sister, me, and my two cousins from the day, but I think that goes to show that we were having a good time. 


We had a bunch of yummy food, and I really loved how my stuffing and pies turned out. Yay! If you're looking for some recipes for upcoming holiday parties, check back to THIS post for the recipes I made for Thanksgiving. 


I'm not a huge Black Friday shopper, so I headed to my sister's instead to hang out with her for the day, and I ended up joining her and Mike for a second Thanksgiving dinner on Friday night. It's safe to say that I'm still full from Thanksgiving Dinners one AND two. 

On Saturday my mom, dad, sister, and I headed out to get our Christmas tree. This is the earliest that we've ever gotten it, but we figured why not enjoy the Christmas season for as long as possible? There's not many things I love more than waking up to the smell of our Christmas tree and looking at it all lit up in our living room at night.


On Sunday morning my mom and I strung lights onto the tree while sipping coffee in some festive mugs that I found at Marshalls Homegoods. There's just something about drinking coffee out of a Christmas mug that makes it so much better!


The rest of the Sunday we ran some errands and then I went to the gym with my dad for a post Thanksgiving workout. And now here we are on Monday night! I hope all you big shoppers out there scored some good deals during Cyber Monday today. We got a teensy tiny head start on our Christmas gift shopping this weekend, but we still have a good amount to do!


I'm a list kinda girl, and that's no different when it comes to Christmas gifts. I like to write down the gifts we still need to get, along with the person's name we're gifting the present to. So, I figured why not make a cute printable to use this year, and I'm sharing it with you all so you can print it out to use for your holiday gift lists. Isn't is so much more fun to make lists when it's Christmas themed? Please tell me I'm not the only crazy list lady here ;P


Click HERE to get your FREE printable Christmas List! Happy gift giving, friends :) 




Weekend Recap & Homemade PSL Recipe

Gooood morning, lovely people! I hope that you're feeling refreshed and rested after the weekend! My weekend was a good one, with my sister being home for a good part of it and getting to celebrate my mom's birthday. 


On Friday night my sister, one of my good friends, and I headed out for a drink at the Copperhead Saloon, a nearby bar with speciality cocktails. I got the Maginot Line cocktail that was a mixture of Death's Door Gin, Creme de Apricot, fresh lemon, simple syrup, and Molleto Prosecco. It was light, refreshing, and delicious!


We called it a night after just one drink to head home to sing an early happy birthday and eat cake with my mom. Her birthday was on Sunday, the 9th, but who turns down early birthday cake? Not the Fergusons ;P


On Saturday morning, my mom, sister, and I got up early to head out for a day of shopping. Our intention was to go look at some bridesmaids dresses for Alie's wedding, but it turned into more of a jean shopping day. I don't know about you guys, but when I walk into Nordstrom and see 25% off signs on their high end denim brands like Paige denim, I beeline for those racks immediately! I mean, how often does Nordstrom discount that kind of stuff? Pretty much never. So, we got kind of distracted and I think by the end of trying things on we had about twenty pairs of jeans in our dressing room, oops! We may not have picked out a bridesmaids dress, but we all got a nice pair of jeans :D

After we left the mall, my sister and I dropped off my mom at home and picked up our dad for some last minute birthday gift shopping for my mom. We were going for a coffee theme since she just got the Ninja Coffee Bar from my dad for their anniversary and picked her up some seasonal coffee beans from Brew Haha (our local coffee shop), a coffee grinder, glass mugs that she wanted, Starbucks vanilla syrup, and a hazelnut syrup. She pretty much is ready to open up her own coffee stand on our street now, haha. 


We got home from shopping just in time to wrap my mom's gifts and get changed for dinner, and before we knew it we were on our way to The Farmhouse for our reservation. The Farmhouse is a quaint little restaurant with old wooden tables and chairs, candlesticks, and homey decorations. It has a really cute and cozy feel. The food there was absolutely delicious, complete with warmed rolls, mushroom soup, and salad with homemade balsamic dressing. I chose the Surf and Turf as my entree because why not have a taste of everything when you can? We ended the dinner sharing the ricotta pound cake with strawberries and fresh lemon curd which was so, so yummy! 


Once we got home (with extremely full bellies) my mom opened her gifts and cards. Does anyone else get cards from their dogs for birthdays or is that just us? Alie and I get a kick out of picking a card out to give our parents on their birthdays from Munchkin and Lola. This year we picked out this card: 


The head and eyes bobble around as you move the card, which is pretty hilarious to our pug-obsessed family. After my mom opened her gifts and cards, Alie headed back to her and Mike's place and the rest of us called it a night and went to sleep.


On Sunday morning (my mom's actual birthday), my mom and I experimented with all of her new coffee accessories. The grinder worked perfectly and we had fun making homemade Pumpkin Spice Lattes and drinking them out of our fancy glass mugs :) If you have a coffee maker and a Frother you can easily make this delicious treat at your house. Here's the exact ingredients that you'll need:

  • 3 tablespoons ground coffee
  • 1/2 cup milk (we used vanilla soy milk)
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, plus more for garnish
  • Pinch of salt

The steps you'll take are:

  1. Following the measurement above, place the ground coffee into your coffee maker. 
  2. While the coffee is brewing, place the remaining ingredients in your glass Frother. Microwave on high for about 1 minute. Remove from the microwave, secure your Frother lid, and pump the Frother 15-20 times. 
  3. When your coffee is brewed, pour into your mug and then gently pour frothed mixture over brewed coffee. Sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice and then enjoy!

I never realized how easy it is to make speciality coffee drinks at home...I may get wayyyy over caffeinated because of this! 

Let me know if you try out the homemade PSL recipe! I'm still hoping to make that apple pie chai, and once I make it I'll definitely share the recipe. Happy Monday, guys, and thank you for reading today's post :)




*The links in this blog post are Amazon affiliate links, which means if you choose to purchase through the link I will get a small kickback. Thank you for supporting my blog!

Weekend Recap: A Wedding, Lola, Fall Decorating, & An Engagement Party

Hellllo, hello and happy Monday! I hope you all had a great weekend! Today I'm stopping by to give you a peak into my weekend. So, I hope you'll grab your morning coffee or tea and stay a little while :) 

Friday: Wedding Fun

On Friday night my family headed to my cousin Kristina's wedding. The ceremony itself took place in a local church. I love going to weddings, I mean, who doesn't though? It's so nice to see two people come together and vow to spend their lives together (I know, I'm a real sap over here). The ceremony was nice, and the newlyweds looked so happy walking out together.


Not the best quality of picture, but how cute do they look walking out of the ceremony together?! As we walked out of the ceremony we were handed bubbles...


I loved this idea! I always love the exit pictures of the bride and groom, whether it's throwing rice, confetti, etc. It's one of my favorite parts. 

After we left the ceremony, we headed over to the country club where the reception was being held. Cocktail hour was in full swing when we got there, so my parents, Alie, Mike, and I grabbed drinks and some yummy appetizers. We also took some time during cocktail hour to snap some pictures outside.

My sister, Alie, and Mike (her fiancé )

My sister, Alie, and Mike (her fiancé)

My mom, me, Alie, and my dad

My mom, me, Alie, and my dad

The backdrop of the golf course was absolutely beautiful, and I loved the outside patio. After cocktail hour we headed into the reception for the bride and groom's entrance, the wedding toasts, dinner, dancing, some photo booth action, and of course, wedding cake!


We had a lot of fun at the wedding, and we're so happy for the new Mr. and Mrs. Borsello! 

Saturday: Lola, Fall Decorating, & Lisa's Engagement Party

On Saturday we had a check-up at the eye doctor for Miss Lola. Thankfully the ulcer in her right eye has healed, and we're getting closer to booking surgery so we can get those cataracts taken care of and get her vision back. The next appointment she has is in early October, which is for some pre-surgery testing. The tests are pretty much to see a more in depth view of the health of Lo's eyes and to allow the doctor to see what she would be faced with during surgery. 


She's pretty cute, isn't she? :) 

After we got back from Lola's eye appointment, my mom and I started some Fall decorating. I think decorating for Fall is one of our favorite things to do each year! We love piecing together pumpkins, mums, and other decorations to make the front door look as festive as possible ;P We're not quite done yet, but I'll have to snap a picture once we are so I can show you all! For now, here's a little preview...


Pretty cute, huh? My mom put the little scarecrow holding the pumpkin, which I think is kind of adorable :) I just love fall, don't you?

So, after spending some time picking out pumpkins from the local farm and decorating, it was time to get ready for one of my good friend Lisa's engagement party. Lisa got engaged to Eric this summer and as I've mentioned before (I think) they're getting married next July. I'm one of Lisa's bridesmaids and I'm so excited to be able to be a part of her special day and all of the fun leading up to it! She's the first one out of my close friends to get married so it's really exciting but kind of weird too - are we really old enough to be getting married?! Time, please slow down :)

I unfortunately didn't get any pictures at the party, but it was a fun night filled with friends, food, and wine (of course). My other good friend Taylor and her boyfriend came home for Lisa and Eric's engagement party as well (they live in NYC) so it was really nice to get to see them and spend some time with them. 

As I write this it's Sunday morning. I'm planning on whipping up a yummy recipe today that'll show up on the blog later this week. My parents and I are also going to meet up with my sister at some point today and probably doing some grocery shopping as well - a very standard, kind of lazy Sunday, which is quite alright with me! 

I'll chat with you all on Wednesday! I hope that your Monday is a good one :) Thanks for reading today's blog post, it means a whole lot! 

Question of the Day: What was the best part of your weekend? Let me know in the comments!


A Coffee Lovers' Body Scrub & Weekend Recap

Goooooood morning, you lovely people! I hope that you all had a great weekend! It was really hot here this weekend, and we're hoping that after today things will cool down and start to feel like the beginnings of Fall. 

My weekend started off with a relaxing night at home with a short trip out to Sweet Nel's for some absolutely delicious ice cream. If you missed my Friday Favorites post you can read all about my love for Sweet Nel's here. I told you guys I would snap some pictures of our ice cream this time, and I delivered! I managed to convince my dad to let me take a picture of his before he dug in, and I resisted from taking a bit of my brownie sundae for a quick picture too ;P


My brownie sundae was chocolatey, decadent, and delicious! I got chocolate raspberry chip ice cream on top of the brownie, with hot fudge, homemade whipped cream, and chocolate sprinkles. Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is! The girl who made my sundae was a little heavy handed with the scoops of ice cream she gave me - good or bad thing??? Good at first and then bad when you eat wayyy too much and feel a little too full afterwards :) 


My dad's absolutely in love with their caramel sundae, and rightfully so! Their caramel sauce is unlike any other caramel I've ever had. It's dreamy. It's delicious. It's just absolutely to-die-for. If you're local and you still haven't made your way over to Sweet Nel's, please do yourself a favor and treat yourself ASAP to some of their delicious ice cream!

Saturday my mom and I got out of the house for a bit and ran a few errands. I had a $20 coupon for DSW so we went to check some shoes out and I ended up bringing home two pairs to try on with jeans so I could figure out which ones to keep. These are the ones that I'm leaning on keeping (click here), but the other ones (click here) are super cute too! Ahhh, decisions, decisions. 

After we left DSW my mom and I went into Marshall's Home Goods just to walk around and browse. Anyone else love just walking around that store? We loved looking at the the Fall decorations that were out and ended up walking away with a few large containers to organize some of the kitchen pantry baking goods, like flour. 

On Saturday night I met up with two of my good friends, Meg and Lisa, for dinner at a local place called The Oyster House. I didn't snap a picture of my food (I got the fish tacos), but it was pretty delicious! I did happen to snap a picture of the drink I ordered which was a Peach Crush, which had some peach liquor, club soda, and freshly squeezed orange juice. Definitely a winner in my book, and I loved that they served the drink in a cute little mason jar. Again, for my local readers, I would recommend checking out The Oyster House for dinner if you haven't already. 


It was great to catch up with Meg and Lisa and get to talk about some of Lisa's wedding planning. Lisa got engaged recently and is getting married next summer so the wedding planning is in full swing! Speaking of weddings, Meg is the Wedding Coordinator at her job and she'll be guest posting on Joyfully Jenna pretty soon with some tips for brides-to-be! I got a sneak peak at her content last night, and let me tell ya, you don't want to miss her post. Be on the lookout for it pretty soon :)

As I write this it's Sunday morning and I'm still in my pjs. I'm planning on getting a workout in today, finishing up a recipe, and then heading to my sister and fiancé's place to watch some football. Before I go though, I want to leave you with a homemade body scrub that you can make in a short 5 minutes and will leave your skin feeling smooth and soft. Did I mention that the main ingredient is coffee? So, if you're a coffee lover (or just like the smell of coffee) you're gonna like this recipe!

I got this recipe from Kristin Cavallari's Instagram account - remember her from Laguna Beach and The Hills? All you need is: coffee grounds, almond milk or coconut oil, and unsweetened cocoa powder. 


You'll take a 1/4 cup of finely ground coffee beans, 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, and either almond milk or coconut oil (start with 3 tablespoons and keep adding if you need more - you don't want the scrub too be chunky, or super liquid-y either, find a balance in the middle). 


Once it's to a good point consistency-wise, you can go ahead and use your delicious smelling scrub! Just gently rub on your skin and rinse off, and voila! Smooth and soft skin with a natural scrub :) You could even make this scrub, put it in a cute container, tie it up with ribbon, and give it as a gift!


Alright, friends, I'm signing off for today! Thank you guys as always for reading this post, it means a lot. I hope that you'll give this DIY scrub a try :) 

Question of The Day: What was the best part of your weekend? 

Catch ya next time!

An Unexpected Weekend

Good morning, friends! I hope that your weekend was fun and relaxing! This post is going to be a short one and I apologize for any typos along the way. It's been quite the long weekend. 

I usually like to give you guys a peak into my weekends on Mondays, so I'm going to do that hopefully in more detail on Tuesday. For now, I'm just going to give you a quick little recap.

So, on Friday afternoon I took Lola (our younger pug, 10 years old) in for some blood work. I had been smelling almost an alcohol-like smell on her breath for a week or so at that point. We had taken Lo to the vet last Monday, and I told my vet of my concerns (which were that her breath had that alcohol-like smell and I saw on various website that's a sign of diabetes). Well, my vet didn't seem very concerned and attributed her breath to maybe her eating something out of the ordinary. She told us we probably should get blood work at some point soon because of her being 10 years old and all - just to see where her health was.

I went home after our appointment on Monday and just still really didn't feel right about it. I just had this gut feeling that Lola's breath wasn't just due to something she may have eaten...

Because of my weird feelings I decided that I wanted to schedule her for blood work regardless - hoping that it would just be something to put my mind at ease. So, we took Lo on Friday to get her blood work done. On Saturday we got a call from the vet telling us that Lola has diabetes.

The vet said she was honestly really surprised that Lola's numbers had come back so high, as she didn't feel that she really presented as a dog with diabetes. So, our choices were to take her to the animal hospital on Saturday since the vet was closing (which would cost at least $1500) or wait until Tuesday when the vet was back in the office and hope that Lola didn't "crash and burn" as the vet put it. 

Something that really makes my blood boil is the cost of animal care. To take her to the hospital would have cost us at least $1500, but going to the vet for what they needed to do would only cost $215. I mean, it's just ridiculous in my opinion. I feel that they make you choose between your checkbook and your pet's health - which I have heard MANY people say. Simply because the vet was closing, which left us thinking that the hospital was really our only option for that day. 

We really didn't know what to do right away. Do we take her to the hospital and just know we have to spend that much money (and more by the way - her syringes and insulin itself cost $189)? We really didn't feel good about waiting until Tuesday (also really don't understand why the heck we had to wait until Tuesday...what about Monday?). Can you tell I wasn't super happy with our vet? If you know me and my family, you know Munch and Lo aren't just our dogs - they're much more than that. They're our family - hence the "crazy pug lady" in my bio section.

Well, thank goodness for my mom's friend Carla who happens to be a vet. We called her and she gave us a much better explanation of what was going on with Lola and how serious it was. She told us what we needed to do was get her started on insulin that day - not way until Tuesday or take her to the hospital. So, we picked up Lo's insulin and syringes from the pharmacy and headed to Carla's house where she examined Lola and also showed me how to give Lo her first insulin shot - which Lo will have to get twice per day for the rest of her life. A HUGE, HUGE thank you to Carla for making a really scary situation a little less scary and a lot more comfortable for us. She welcomed us into her home without a second thought. 

So, things were looking up from there. We at least got some insulin into Lola's body and felt good that Carla got to look at her. 

Later that day, towards the evening, my dad started noticing that Lola wasn't able to see things as well and eventually started running into things when making her way around the house. She basically went blind within a few hours. Her eye sight was probably worsening over time before this obviously, but not drastically enough for us to notice. Diabetic dogs are prone to getting cataracts, and Lola's developed very very quickly, which isn't unusual. 

So, now our poor Lola isn't able to see which is probably one of the saddest things - to watch her be so confused and wonder why she isn't able to see what she was able to just yesterday. BUT she is one smart cookie and has been learning her way around the house. We're hoping to get her into see the doggy eye doctor this week to see if she's a candidate for cataract surgery, which would most likely restore her vision. We'll also be visiting Carla at her vet practice for her to take a closer look at Lola, to check her blood sugar levels, and to figure out if we need to increase her insulin dosage.

I'm just very grateful that we caught it when we did, and I'm hoping that we caught it early enough. Dogs with diabetes can live normal lives as long as they're given the proper amount of insulin everyday, with a diabetic diet incorporated as well. I'll keep you guys updated, and I'll be doing my best to post this week, but bear with me as I'll be focusing on Lo a lot this week. 

Keep our little Lola in your thoughts and prayers this week if you could. Thanks for reading this post, it means a lot.