Monday, December 26, 2011

christmas 2011.

Andddd we are off!! Blake and I are headed to Austin for the holidays to be with our family.

These are the special carolers my mom grew up with in her childhood home.  She cherishes them so much.

My little sister, Natalie, gave my mom and I sock monkey...socks! Cutecity.

Every year my dad plays "Santa" and hands out all of the gifts. He has always loved this tradition and is so cute while giving out each one.

Mom cooking up her next appetizer in the kitchen.  How adorable is she?

My mom taught my sister to knit this Christmas!  Natalie did a darn good job too! 

Amy (or "Maymee") & Georgia

My handsome hubby on his birthday (yep yep! his birthday is Christmas) with the holiday pup, Brody!

The girls in our holiday PJ's that Jennie gave everyone! I love this picture. 

Georgia, Holly, & Carter! Such a precious family.

Georgia got the milk and cookies ready for Santa...and then decided to eat them :) Here she is caught in the act!

Ack! This picture is blurry but I had to post it anyway.  The expressions on Sonny and Georgia's faces are absolutely priceless.  Here they go down the stairs to see what Santa brought for everyone!

Georgia running to her presents.

Stylin' Georgia :) 

Such a perfect candid picture of the family enjoying Christmas morning.

This is one of the gifts Blake and I got for Georgia.  She looks SO stinkin' cute in her jacket!

Below is a very special little elf, Skippy.  Skippy was on my mom's family tree growing up and was also passed down to our family when I was a baby. Since then my mom and I have had quite a dual over Skippy, where he sits on the tree, who gets to place him there, etc.  As you can see by his torn hat, this elf has had a lot of love over the years and will continue to going forward.

 It's hard to believe 2012 is almost here. Merry Christmas, happy holidays, & happy new year!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

mere's favorite youtubers.

Hi. My name is Meredith and I’m addicted to YouTube videos.  I primarily watch videos surrounding beauty products, however, there are others that have caught my attention as well. Below I am going to mention my top 10 channels and why I adore each of them. Go check em' out! 

Why I love her:
-Her and I have the exact same taste in clothes, jewelry, hair, makeup, etc….you name it, I probably agree with her.
-Her accent is fabulous.
-We seem to be the only two girls on the face of the planet who swear by Bare Minerals foundation.  If you haven’t tried it, pleeeeassse listen to us and try it! It will change your life. Zoe taught me this J
-She has an incredible blog. Follow her!

Why I love her:
-She works at Sephora and knows.her.stuff.
-She has an awesome personality—very down to earth, funny, sarcastic, and seems like an old friend.
-She does gratis hauls (i.e. Ashley will show her freebies for the month from Sephora, what she likes, what she didn’t like, what the employees are raving about, new and upcoming products, items that are not worth your money, techniques with products, etc.)
-She is always changing her hair (I can relate.)

Why I love her:
-She has multiple YT channels and is always updating them with new videos. Since she updates so frequently, you truly feel like you know her.
-Has the cutest little dog ever!
-Has cute workout/daily clothes and accessories that I snag ideas from (she will tell you where they are from and all of that good stuff!)
-Has a fun outlook on life and adores where she lives (explains a lot about Florida, shows you views of the water/sunsets, fun places to eat, will take her camera on her daily walks, show you what she’s cooking and how she did it, etc.) Very much a “day in the life of” type youtuber.
-She makes sure her husband makes an appearance in every video (they also have another channel, the current couple!)

Why I love them:
-They are HILARIOUS—will make you laugh out loud.
-Have the best outtakes, been known to say “that’s what she said,”  and maintain funny accents with a straight face. Impressive. Anyone who says “that’s what she said” in a YT video gets a stamp of approval from me (and Blake! Ha!)
-Some of my favorite product reviews.

Why I love her:
-When Tiffany says something, people listen. If she tells you a product is incredible, it is. If she tells you a product is crummy, it is.
-Gives straight forward, honest, sincere opinions even when given freebies. She isn’t a guru who tries to sell everything that is sent her way (none of the people I’m mentioning do this.) She wants her viewers to benefit from her suggestions and opinions. 
-Well known in the community for a reason—she is good at what she does.
-Has an awesome house/decorative style and fun clothes/accessories.
-Tiffany and Lorraine are friends J  I believe their husbands are too!

Why I love them:
-Another hilarious duo—so funny! Great dynamic between the two of them. BEYOND sarcastic (Jaime, they remind me of us together.)
-You will know Michelle from the Bachelor. Familiar face! Now you can see her true personality, unedited. She’s a funny gal and you will see how the Bachelor used her sarcastic sense of humor in a way that wasn’t completely “her.”  Now I can see why everyone at the reunion was saying “no, no, that’s just her being funny—not serious! It’s her dry sense of humor.” So true.
-Awesome makeup/hair tips, tricks, and tutorials to show you how it’s done the right way. I cannot tell you how many small tips they have given that have helped me so much in my daily routines.
-LOVED their fall fashion video on where to buy skinny jeans and all those fall essentials.

Why I love her:
-She is super sweet and seems like such a kind person!
-Girl can sing! She will do a monthly favorites or a product review and then sometimes sing at the end.  Cutecity.
-Her and her boyfriend are precious together.
-Fab monthly favorites videos.

Why I love her:
-She’s my baby sister and I adore the ground she walks on.
-Newbie to the YT community and already SO GOOD at it! You will not think she is new to this stuff.
-She’s a graphic designer so she knows what she is doing with her videos, formatting, editing, etc.
-Has the cutest personality..ever. You will fall in love with her sweet little self.
-Has always been an honest, straight forward person and will provide legit opinions worth listening to!

Why I love her:
-She was THE person who made me get into YouTube. I stumbled across her page when looking for hair tutorials before our wedding and was absolutely hooked. I owe Jess for my YouTube Guru obsession.  This is where it all started folks.
-Another awesome personality and so freaking funny.  See a pattern here?  If you have a great personality, people are going to want to watch!
-Look for the videos of her just talking about random things as they are some of her best!
-Has the cutest stories about her kidos.
-She’s a hair professional who knows all things hair!!!

Why I love him:
-Okay…this one WINS the funny award.  If I’m having a bad day, I will turn on a GG video and end it in tears from laughter.
-Best.story.teller…ever. Watch his videos on dating—you won’t regret it.
-One of my favorite people to watch for monthly favorites. He will cover makeup, hair products, perfume, candles, etc. After he’s done talking about a product, he will chunk it across the room. Again, hilarious!
-He films in his room and I love looking at how he decorates. Amazing.

Well, I think that about covers it.  I know I repeat myself on a few of those as several of them are absolutely hilarious, down to earth, and good at what they do.  I follow hundreds of people on YouTube and on blogs but these are the people I am constantly checking for updates.  If I get home from a long day of work and one of these channels pops up in my subscription box, I get oh so excited. Cheers to you, gurus!  You know your stuff and are loved by many. Keep doing what you do!!!

Do you watch YouTube videos as well? Who are some of your favorites? Definitely let me know if you end up subscribing to any of my top 10. I would love to hear about your favorite videos, what made you want to subscribe, etc.  Have a wonderful day!


Sunday, November 27, 2011

thanksgiving weekend.

This year, Blake and I spent half of the holiday with my family and the other half with his family. In the morning/early afternoon we were in New Braunfels with my parents, grandparents, and Aunt and Uncle (at their house.)  Then, in the late afternoon/evening we were in Austin with Blake's family at his parents' house.  Lucky for us, our parents live close to each other so after the actual holiday it's easy to bounce back and forth between the two.  

The pictures above show Blake and I on our way to New Braunfels to get the festivities started!! 

Hmmm my dad isn't excited for Thanksgiving and family or anything... :) Too cute.

Below (left to right:) My dad, grandfather, & uncle. Each of them are so wonderful.

Here's what it's all about folks. FOOTBALL! Classic picture.

Blake and my grandfather, Daddy Billy.  This picture makes me smile and get a little teary eyed.  

Daddy Billy & I. 

My adorable mom!

The next few pictures are at Blake's parents' house.  Each year, the day after Thanksgiving, the family gets together to decorate the tree.  Merci is my nickname so they like for me to hang this "Merci" ornament. I love it!

Love this picture of my mother-in-law, Jennie! Cutecity.

Georgia (our niece) & Sonny (Blake's dad & my father-in-law.) Two peas in a pod. 

I did take some other pictures of my two sister-in-laws and my brother-in-law.  Unfortunately, they were either blurry or one person was always blurred.  I will work on getting stronger shots of each family member over Christmas for sure. So sorry Amy, Holly, & Carter! 

This little cutie was quite helpful with the ornament hanging this year.

Brodie was sleepy after all of this holiday excitement!

Blake all cozied up on the couch after the tree was finished.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving we were at my parent's house.  Shame on me for not taking more pictures :(  I did, however, snap this picture of our little elf, Skippy, on the tree. This guy has been around for ages. You will notice the hat is torn off and overall he is kind of falling apart.  Rumor has it I used to chew on him as a kid ha!  Skippy has always been very loved in our family. 

What did you do for Turkey Day?  We cannot believe it's almost December already! Blake and I are obsessed (like most people) with Christmas!!! Not to mention it's Blake's birthday. Let the holiday/birthday spirit begin!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

one year wedding anniversary.

For our one year wedding anniversary Blake decided to surprise me with a trip to San Antonio for the weekend.  He even called my boss in advance to make sure I could have Friday off.  It was the sweetest gesture. Blake tried to keep everything a secret and finally cracked about a week or two before the special weekend hit. 

We stayed at Hotel Havana and couldn't have been happier with the experience.  This boutique hotel has a strong Latin influence and has been around for ages!  It was originally built in 1914 and has clearly gone through quite a transformation since then. Blake and I were in awe of the Spanish Colonial architecture and couldn't stop finding neat things to be enamored by.  The rooms were so unique and eclectic.  To be honest, it wouldn't have been my first choice and I'm so glad he sneakily picked this.  I would have missed out on the best experience and now see hotel options in a completely new light.

For our first meal of the weekend we decided it was only appropriate to have dinner on the river walk. We were "those people" feeding the ducks and fish the entire time :)  

Blake is notorious for stopping to read every.single. historic sign whenever we are on vacation. Deep down I think it's adorable and just had to snap a picture to capture his love for these.

Blake makes this exact face ALL the time. If I had to guess, I had just said something completely random that made him laugh.  It's his "huh!?!?" and "that's funny!" look all rolled into one. 

Although Blake and I had been before as kids, both of us wanted to visit the Alamo. As Texans, we felt the need to check it out now that we are a bit older and could appreciate the hundreds of years of history and what helped create our great state! 

We decided to walk everywhere throughout the weekend instead of driving to really get a feel for the city (and you can't beat a little extra exercise surrounding some "splurge" meals.)  We ate at La Gloria which is inspired by the street foods of Mexico. The food and atmosphere was amazing.  After our long walk we were ready to dig in and enjoy some relaxation!  The restaurant was right on the river and had such a neat vibe to it.  

I had this mini quesadilla and Blake had the fish tacos.  Thumbs up on each!

Before we left La Gloria, Blake asked our waiter, Russell, if there was a better way to walk back to our hotel. He informed us that the city had just re-done the extended side of the river walk (i.e. the Floating River Walk Corridor ) which was right below the restaurant.  It took us straight back to our hotel.  We had no clue what we were in store for but it was unreal.  Under each bridge was a different art installation.  You also have the option to view it from the River Taxi for free.  Both of us really wished we had known about this before we went to lunch so we could have walked it there and back (as opposed to our sketchy walk on our way over ha!)

For dinner on Saturday night, Blake suggested we go to Mi Tierra (a restaurant he had been to several times with his family.)  I don't think he could have picked any better. I'm a sucker for Christmas lights and Tex Mex.  I was smiling from ear to ear all night. 

We found this Dia De Los Muertos ("Day Of The Dead," a Mexican holiday) monument on our way back to the hotel after dinner.  

We purchased these little guys (above) as a souvenir.  The bride and groom represent our anniversary.  And the other two...well... we just thought were hilarious and had to snag them as well ha!

Hotel Havana has two separate spaces attached to the hotel.  Both are referred to as Ocho Lounge It's a toss up as to which of these two is our favorite spot. 

First, there's the downstairs section, described on the hotel's website as, "dimly candlelit gathering place with velvet couches and antique leather club chairs suited for intimate meetings and secret rendezvous."

I heard a few girls speaking negatively in regards to how dark it was.  Honestly, I think that was the best part!  Blake and I felt like we were in the middle of some Johnny Depp movie situated in Cuba.  The music playing really added to the atmosphere as well.  To get to this section of the lounge, you take an elevator from the middle of the hotel that brings you down into a bar--a very "underground" feel.  Talk about a statement when those doors open and you are suddenly in Ocho.  The picture below is the elevator ceiling.

The hotel also offers an outdoor lounge area, the courtyard, where they play old films on the building wall. The courtyard is somewhat in between the two separate Ocho Lounge spots.

Below is a picture of the red, candlelit stairs that lead to the courtyard.

Now, onto the upstairs section of the Ocho Lounge.  The hotel website describes this as "situated in a glass and steel conservatory reminiscent of a birdcage, opens onto the river and offers seating both indoors and outdoors.  The beauty of the steel structure is highlighted in Tiffany blue, with couches and lounge seating filling one side of the luminous space and linen-clothed tables spilling into the courtyard."

Blake and I went here for breakfast this morning before we left town.  

Once again, incredible food and atmosphere.  You genuinely feel like you are sitting in this gigantic, gorgeous birdcage on top of the water.  We truly lucked out on our restaurant/bar choices and did not leave disappointed. 

The upstairs lounge sums up my decor style perfectly.  To the point where we are even contemplating decorating one of the rooms in our house to mimic this style.  Stay tuned!

I can say with the utmost confidence that Blake and I will return to Hotel Havana (as well as Ocho) in the future. Highly recommend!

Our first anniversary was so wonderful.  This was definitely a weekend that neither of us could ever forget.  How is it possible that it has been a year already? You know what they say, time flies when you are having fun. Seriously, it does.  I couldn't be luckier, happier, or more proud to be Blake's wife.  As cheesy as it sounds, I keep wondering when I'm going to wake up from this dream.

I love you, Blake.  Thank you for everything you did to make this weekend so special.