Here we are!! Our blog is alive & well, surviving and thriving through this blissful Holiday Season.
Yes, Tis the Season to be Jolly and we here at LL&A are certainly ready to enjoy this time with our families! We are spreading the joy and are excited to share some terrific gift ideas for your list of Nice and Naughty’s. Whether you are busy online shopping over the world wide web (Hello Amazon, we all love seeing those blue vans pull up to the door to drop off all the goodies we forgot we ordered!!) or venturing out into the stores masked up to find the perfect gifts for all your favorite people, now is the time to get started finding the perfect gifts.
The Shop at LL&A is open for business and we welcome you to come in and find the perfect something for the special someone. From jewelry, scarfs and home accessories to candles or holiday gifts – we have a great assortment to select from.
Try one of these sweet Holiday ideas…
Nothing says “celebrate” better than a bottle of wine. Cap your favorite bottle off with one of these adorable felt wine toppers in assorted styles. Quick & easy and a sure hit with the receiver! Price: $9 – $16 each.
Recycled Beer Bottle Candles
Line them up 1,2,3 and bam! Instant cuteness! These are perfect for the beer connoisseur on your list that appreciates a nod to their brew! Cheers! Price: $9 each & includes matches.
The sweet smell of the Holidays, who does not love it! The gift that keeps on giving through the season! Price: $16 each
Holiday Pet Pics
HoHoHo, these precious pooch pics are the perfect delight for the pet lover on your list. Price: $32 each
Apricot Hand Sanitizer
This little product is all the rage! Nothing says “I love you” like a sweet bottle of hand sanitizer these days. Perfect little 2020 stocking stuffer. Price: $7 each
We love these funky and colorful reindeer, perfect for table top or a mantle! What a fun color scheme to trim your tree in bright pink, green, yellow and orange! Falalalala Lalalala… Price: $67 each
Metal Deer Wine Cooler
Try one of these wine chillers to cool down that favorite bottle of wine, so cute! Price: $34
Cozy up next to the fireplace with one or both of these chic furry pillows! Buy them for yourself and enjoy them all season long. Even Santa would want to rest his feet on top of one of these stylish down filled pillows!
Grey Fur Pillow: $120 & Red Fur Pillow: $125
Burgundy with Embroidered Trim Pillow: $99
For the person who has it all, try one of our Design Consultation gift certificates, valued at $250.00 or a gift card of an amount of your choice to be used towards any product of choice. We have something for everyone and every home at LL&A!
Stop in The Shop and enjoy 30% off all merchandise through Christmas day. We are offering curbside pick up and free gift wrapping for any gift purchased too!
Local shopping made easy! Thanks for shopping small this holiday season.
Wow, can you believe the Holiday Season for 2019 is among us?
The hustle is on and the bustle is bustlin’!
Question:How do we get through another season of festivities, shopping, feasting, sipping, gift wrapping, decorating, cleaning, spending and memory-making all in one piece?
Answer:We have absolutely no idea!
We all love to entertain and be entertained, give and receive gifts and cook and feast. Making it all happen and appear to be effortless, on time and stress-free is the challenge. Where do we cut corners with time and money without making it appear that we obviously cut corners with time or money!?
We aren’t Pinterest Maidens but, we do appreciate all of the terrific ideas that can be found on this terrific platform. The problem is – how do you decide what to choose with so many options? It can be so overwhelming…
Do we need to feel guilty if we order our roasted turkey from the market and do not roast in our own kitchens? Is time saved in the kitchen more valuable than a homemade feast?
Which do you prefer, this or that…
Homemade pies vs bakery goodies
Instant vs real potatoes
Bag of bows vs hand tied ribbon
Gift bags vs wrapped boxes
Silver & glass vs paper & plastic
Gifts vs experiences
Cash vs gift cards
Clear lights vs multi-color
Help a friend out here people! We would love to hear from you.
What ideas can you share for making new Holiday traditions?
What family traditions do you still carry on from your childhood?
What tips do you have as a host for your Holiday festivities?
What gift giving ideas can you offer for that hard-to-buy-for person who has it all?
You see, we need to help one another through this blissful time of year and make beautiful memories together.
We would love to read your favorite recipes, gift giving ideas, time savers, family traditions, and anything else you would like to share with us.
Simply add your comments here, tag us on social media or message us to share.
Help us help you, from Christmas lists to Christmas miracles, Frosty to fruitcakes, and elves to eggnog, where do we start and how do we keep it fun & peaceful.
Now, lets rock around the Christmas tree with Frosty the Snowman, playing our silver bells while we watch mommy kiss Santa Claus!
As working women, we are all a combination of strong, independent, talented and resourceful achievers. Our personalities all vary which create the melting pot within our work family. Each of us have our own interests and outlets which we thought would be fun to share in this month’s blog. From recipes to rest – check us out and enjoy!
In order for me to do what I love and do my very best work – I must be my very best self and also the very best wife, mother, daughter, friend, co-worker and tribe member! Steps for me to be my very best self start with these little things that make a big impact on my daily life.
Give thanks and begin every morning with a simple, thankful prayer and a great cup of coffee. Believe in the miracles that are presented to me each and every day. My new favorite acronym is GDT – “God Did That”.
Let go of expectations. Not much surprises me anymore and I just try to smile and roll with it! See the opportunities that are presented to me each and every day as a new way to stretch, grow and learn.
Disconnect and get outside. I love to run, ride my bike or catch an exercise class. Physical fitness always makes me feel better afterwards.
Finally, I love getting home, putting on my comfy clothes and giving thanks for a full day while enjoying my wine! My new favorite toast is “Thanks Be to God!”
And So It Is!
Yoga is my ticket to a healthy me.
Practicing yoga is an essential part of my life. It takes the focus off of life’s daily challenges, routines, commitments and overall “noise” that the day can present. Yoga supplies me with time to myself to be quiet and thankful for all things and people that surround me. It allows me to go somewhere else in my mind and focus on myself, unplug and put myself to rest.
Some days it may be a simple 10 minute stretch before I start my day with a few cat/cow, forward bends and downward dog. Another day may be a little more intense with 30 minutes on my mat. But my favorite time spent are the classes I attend at Heat Yoga. I am blessed with two great friends who are yoga instructors who have taught me the tools and techniques to experience the most from my practices. I can turn up my time with a Bikram flow or dial it down with restorative – whatever my body and mind need. I customize it for myself. I especially enjoy hot yoga and love a good healthy sweat. It feels like I have been cleansed from the inside out and walk away feeling calm and detoxed. Yoga works for me, after 10 years I am not an expert by any means, but in my world I feel confidant in my skills and feel stronger after each practice.
Staying organized is the key to my sanity.
If something comes in, something must go out!With clothes it’s easy to get overwhelmed quickly, so whenever I purchase something, I look at my closet and get rid of something.I use the “one-year” rule. Anything that hasn’t been used or worn within a one-year period is fair game!By doing this I’m able to keep my wardrobe manageable and my closet space needs to a minimum.
Go to the grocery store armed with a menu and a list!I spend a little more time at home to look for the items needed to prepare the menu meals, but I save time and money at the store. Meal Prep!I don’t mind leftovers so I will prepare one or two meals over the weekend and use them the following week as a main meal or a portion of my main meal.I try to keep a cut up salad or cut up veggies on hand to use as well since cutting veggies is time consuming and during the week I don’t have a lot of time to cook.This helps me eat healthier foods and stay away from the “quick meals” that can be very tempting, but unhealthy, when I’m tired and don’t feel like making dinner.
I’m a bargain shopper through and through. Clothing, furniture, home accessories and everything in between. I VERY rarely pay full price for anything – call me cheap, but I prefer resourceful! In addition to bargain shopping, I’m also a looker. I love to browse and wander aimlessly through stores (in hopes of coming across a great deal, of course).
Here are a few of my favorite spots to get lost.
*note: I’m a firm believer that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. I have a slight obsession with thrift/antique stores. Walking through these stores is like exploring a magical treasure trove. You never know what you’ll find!
Furniture & Home Accessories
Mellwood Antique Mall – If you’re local to the area and love thrift shopping, this is a must! Booth after booth and room after room, they have it all. Clothing, home accessories, furniture, jewelry – you name it!
Joe Ley Antiques – Again, another local must! Quirky and so much to see. I love the history behind old/vintage items and they have so many unique finds!
Peddler’s Mall – Commonly referred to as a “flea-tique”, some junk and some gold. That’s the thrill of the hunt!
Habitat ReStores – ReStores offer both new and used items. Profits from Habitat ReStores are used both in your local community and around the world, so a win-win all around.
HomeGoods – This one shouldn’t need an introduction. A good place to rummage for deals if you’re weary of secondhand!
I also love attending local arts and craft fairs. Check out Fleur de Flea or The Flea Off Market!
Thrift stores – Louisville has A TON of cool thrift stores. Think more “boutique” setting and less Goodwill (although Goodwill can be a great option too!).
TJ Maxx – Many of my clothes come from here. Discount retailer with both boutique/designer brands.
Nordstrom Rack – I worked for Nordstrom for several years so this will forever be a favorite of mine. A vast majority of the merchandise here is from Nordstrom (AKA designer looks at a fraction of the original cost!). I almost always buy my designer shoes and handbags from here. Great prices/great quality on clothing and accessories!
If you feel up to the challenge, check out some of these spots!
Makeup Mania! I’m such a “when you look good, you feel good” kind of girl which is probably why I am such a makeup guru! I love cosmetics and skincare products.Yes, I am confidant in my own skin, but appreciate products that enhance my features, skin and complexion.
I love experimenting with new products, techniques and looks, but of course have my favorites that I cannot live without.
I love Smashbox’s Studio Skin foundation. It’s a full coverage foundation, has a dewy finish, is cruelty free, and doesn’t break the bank!
My next go to is Kat Von Dee’s Shade & Light Contouring kit. I have tried a variety of different bronzers and this is by far the best formula in my opinion and is the most economical.It is easy to use and the results are flawless.
My favorite products that are a little more expensive, but worth the investment are Becca’s Champagne Pop Highlighter and Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray. The Becca’s highlighter will give you a summer glow even in the dead of winter.Urban Decay’s All Nighter Setting Spray is awesome. Afteryou finish your makeup routine, mist on your face and you are good to go for the next 24 hours! This is by far my favorite and a must have.Being in our field, we are constantly on the go in the rain, snow, wind and heat, and this product will stay with you.When I am not working, you can usually find me outside with my Fiancé and dogs either boating, fishing, or camping. Needless to say that the Urban Decay setting spray is agodsend – no matter what I am doing or where I am at I’ll have a fresh look all day. #cannotlivewithoutit
Looking my best and putting in the effort makes me feel confident and the best version of myself.As women, a little polish is all it can take to bring out the best in us! #lookingpretty
I love to cook for family and friends.
I’m a fan of the Pioneer Woman’s recipes. They are usually easy to make and are crowd pleasers every time. I found this one to be a favorite of my husband’s, Cody.The Pig Cake. Don’t let the name fool you – it’s delicious, simple and perfect for any party or potluck!
FOR THE CAKE:
1 box (18.25 Oz. Box) Yellow Cake Mix
1 stick Margarine, Softened
1 can (14 Oz. Can) Mandarin Oranges, Drained, 1/2 Cup Juice Reserved
4 whole Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
FOR THE TOPPING:
1 package (4 Oz. Box) Vanilla Instant Pudding Mix
1 can (20 Oz. Can) Crushed Pineapple, Juice Reserved
1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
4 ounces, fluid Frozen Whipped Topping (such As Cool Whip)
Extra Mandarin Orange Slices, For Garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. For the cake, combine cake mix, margarine, 1/2 cup juice from the mandarin oranges, eggs, and vanilla. Beat for four minutes on medium-high. Add drained oranges and beat again until pieces are broken up and small. Pour batter into greased and floured 9 x 13 inch baking pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely. Once cake is cool, blend juice from drained pineapples with the vanilla pudding mix. Add powdered sugar and mix, then mix in whipped topping. Stir in drained pineapple. Spread on cooled cake and refrigerate several hours. To serve, cut cake into squares and top each square with a mandarin orange slice and a smile!
We hope you enjoyed a peek into our fun-filled world.