Long time, no talk – Welcome back!
I skipped out on the last Favorite Things Friday to post my first EVER Christmas Gift Guide (re-visit it here) and now I’m coming back to you with the regularly scheduled program!
This Week’s Favorites:
- This Mexican-style soup recipe is a must-have for this chilly season.
- Looking for custom, personalized paper goods?
- Ditch the makeup remover wipes, and save the environment AND your face!
- Finally a Christmas photo pop-up that’s designed for selfies when no one is around to take your photo.
- My favorite t-shirt that supports a worthy cause.
- New favorite local downtown area for shopping and sipping wine!
- EXTRA BONUS: Feature on a spot in Grapevine, Texas: Hotel Vin
Note: All of the following recommendations and opinions are of my own, and this is not sponsored post.
Soup Recipe – Mexican Green Enchilada
It’s that time of the year to bust out the crock or the InstantPot for some chili, soups, and stews!
One of my favorite go-tos is the InstantPot Green Enchiladas Chicken Soup with homemade Green Enchilada Sauce
Custom Gifts, Cards, & Envelopes – Simply to Impress
I don’t remember how I stumbled upon the company Simply To Impress, but now I’m a fan for life. I was needing to order thank you cards for our wedding gifts (photo above!), and creating the design on the website was seamless and simple! They even printed our return address on the back flap of the envelopes.
They turned out so beautiful, and I was very impressed (ha, pun intended) by the quality of their work, the beautiful packaging of the cards and envelopes, and their wonderful customer service. They included a note within the order that mentioned that they included a bunch of extra cards and envelopes because “mistakes happen.” What a great deal.
The website often has specials and promotions, so I’ll check it periodically to see that offers they have. The site is also a great place to personalize and order gifts and stationary. So, don’t just take my word for it – Check it out for yourself here!
*Right now, the entire site is 35% off + free shipping using code SNOWFLAKE
(Offer ends December 21st)
Reduce Waste – Use MakeUp Eraser
I did it. I gave into an Instagram ad. (Darn those specifically targeted, brilliant marketing ploys!)
But I’m glad I did.
I’m always looking for ways to improve my skincare routine, and I’ve found something that I love. I’m also all about reducing waste and trying to help the environment whenever I can, and this miracle towel claims to cut down on the equivalent to 3,600 wipes!
MakeUp Eraser is dedicated to creating the most sustainable makeup removal product in the world by using only the most accessible resource available: water!
Did you know that wipes were the 3rd most wasteful product in the world?! It takes approximately 100 years for one to breakdown… wow.
Outside of the fact that it helps the environment, it’s a great product that works REALLY well. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for something to remove makeup, cleanse, and exfoliate. You can’t go wrong with this!
Prior to purchasing this reusable towel, I was using a makeup remover towel from Ulta. As much as I’d LOVE to do a video of me comparing the two towels while taking off my makeup (negative, ghostwriter), I’ll let this video below do the review for me because these were my exact thoughts, though the MakeUp Eraser actually removed ALL of my eye makeup!
** I also purchased the larger towel because the small one looked so puny, haha. **
Christmas Pop-Up – Legacy West
Chris and I took a little trip up to Plano to see the Christmas pop-up installations, and outside of the crowds and the LARGE number of people not social distancing, it was a lot of fun to see.
All of the displays even have a small podium that can hold a cell phone, perfect for taking group or solo photos if no one else is around. We were lucky enough to have plenty of people to take our photos, and we had a great time, especially since it was FREE!
Check out some of our photos below!
Favorite T-Shirt Company – The Home T
I’m sure you’ve seen the shirts; the ones with the state outline and the word “home” written in the middle.
The Home T is actually the first company/brand to create that kind of shirt, so all others are just replicas. Featured on Shark Tank, their shirts really are insanely soft, and all of their products are made in the USA. But beyond making things that we love, they have a greater purpose than just spreading happiness with cotton.
The following is an excerpt from their website: Multiple sclerosis is a nasty disease that can impact anyone, at just about anytime, and comes in many shapes and sizes. It’s a disease that impacts our founders’ family, which is one of the many reasons we donate a minimum of 10% of profits to multiple sclerosis research.
If I didn’t love the company and their products already… ❤
I have had several shirts over the last few years, and I love that they keep releasing new products such as hoodies, sweatshirts, and shirts with the v-neck option. I love them, and you will, too!
Exploring Local Hangouts – Historic Downtown McKinney
I LOVE finding hidden gems not too far from home!
Chris & I spent a sunny Saturday in historic downtown McKinney There’s SO much to do – shopping, sipping, dining, & exploring. We even got to knock out some of our Christmas shopping!
We started our visit at The Pub McKinney, where Chris enjoyed The Texas Burger, with local wagyu beef, white cheddar, jalapeños, whiskey bacon, caramelized onions, and chipotle. I had a delicious Whiskey BLT with whiskey bacon, lettuce, tomato, American cheese, & spicy mayo on toasted sourdough bread. AND a small side of sweet potato fries 🙂
After lunch, we wanted to check out all of the shops AND walk off our lunch, so we were in the perfect spot for both!
We got to enjoy some wine flights and live music at 4R Ranch Ranch Vineyards and Winery, and we attempted to try the wine at Landon Winery…. but… well, ask me about it sometime. I don’t want to be overly negative on here. 😐
The shops are all adorable (including an antique store that was formerly a bank, which would explain my photo from inside an old vault) and ALL of the employees and shop owners were incredibly friendly, helpful, and genuinely excited to have us in their store.
You really could spend the entire day in their downtown area, and still not see it all.
We can’t wait to go back!
*We both wore masks the entire time we were in McKinney, only to remove it for photos when NO one was around or we were seated in a restaurant.*
BONUS – Grapevine Feature: Hotel Vin
Hotel Vin is the first boutique hotel in Grapevine, is officially open & we finally got to visit! We stopped in for some late night drinks & bites, & fell in LOVE.
The Bacchus Kitchen + Bar, located inside the Vin, is open to the public, & not just for hotel guests.
The bar & restaurant is stunning, & perfect for experiencing Euro Mediterranean cuisine, as well as a multitude of beer, wine, & cocktail options.
With some friends, we shared & devoured:
– Stag’s Leap Chardonnay (so buttery & delicious)
– Nonna’s Meatballs with pomodorro ragu, Parmesan, & basil
– Braised Lamb Crostini with Black garlic tzatziki, feta, & tahini
– Pimento cheese deviled eggs with crispy bacon & chives
I died & went to culinary heaven.
We can’t wait to go back for an actual full weekend of staycation fun! Part of the hotel is still under construction, but opening soon is a chef-driven European-style food hall, featuring seven kitchens. We’re looking forward to checking this out once it’s completed.
If you’re looking for super chill, luxurious vibes definitely check out this hotel, whether you’re staying for the weekend or just a night. Tell ‘em I sent ya 😉
As always, thanks for stopping by! Let me hear from you – Leave a comment here or on my Instagram or Facebook post about this blog entry.
If I don’t have another blog post before Christmas, I hope that you and your family have a VERY merry and healthy Christmas. Love you all!