Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

It's a bittersweet Christmas this year! Today is the last day of the #25DaysOfGlam series, and the girls and I want to wish all of you a Merry (and safe) Christmas. It's been awesome to have you all supporting us throughout this holiday series, and we hope to have another one for you next year! 
Now that the festivities are over, I'm off to the beach to celebrate the New Year! I hope you all have an amazing holiday!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Burning Bright with Yankee Candle

Can you believe Christmas Day is TOMORROW? With all of your friends and family coming over to celebrate, you'll surely be wanting to give your house a festive scent, right? Today's #25DaysOfGlam theme is Burn Bright, and I'm sharing with you my favorite holiday candle.
I tried this candle at the recommendation of my friend Breanna, who knows how much I love peppermint! It's the Peppermint Bark candle from Yankee Candle, and it seriously one of the most amazing scents on the planet. Peppermint bark is one of my favorite treats during the holidays, and this candle fills my head with the delicious smell. The scent is very refreshing, and it definitely gives your house a festive aroma. The only downside is that I'm always left with a craving for peppermint bark!

You can find this at the Yankee Candle website in large here or in small here. These candles make amazing Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers for friends and family, and although I'm not usually a big candle fan, I love these! What's your favorite holiday candle? Let me know in the comments below!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Staying Thankful During the Holidays

Everyone romanticizes the holidays a bit. Our thoughts are all swarming with gifts and food, and sometimes that makes us lose sight of what the holidays are really about. Today, I'd like to take a moment and discuss what I'm most thankful for.
I know you see this one all the time, but the first thing on my list is my family. My cousins Emme, Landry, and Chasity, my brother Canaan, my dad, my aunts and uncles, and my grandparents are the most important things in this world to me, and knowing that they're there for me makes my life worth living. They've supported me through every hair color, blog post, and bad outfit choice I've made, and I know they won't be going anywhere for a long time. 
My dad and brother Canaan
Me and my cousins last Easter

Next, I'd like to say just how thankful I am for my friends. My two best friends Grant and Desiree have been there for me through so much, and I can't describe how lucky I am to have them in my life. What's ironic is how we each went to school together for years before we became close. I used to think Grant was pretty psychotic because my circle of friends dissed on him all the time, and I never gave Desiree the time of day until last year. If I hadn't become close friends with the two of them, I'd be in a completely different place right now. 

Grant's the awkward one in the fez :)
Next, I'd like to say how thankful I am for my faith. It has guided me throughout my entire life, and my love for Him has always been a stable point for me. I know that He will continue to lead me for the rest of my life and even after that into eternity. 

Last but not least, I'm thankful for my readers. Each and every one of you have been here for me, and you're my motivation to keep doing this day after day. I'm still an extremely small blogger, and I'm definitely still growing, but the few of you that check back daily to read what I've written is definitely something I'm thankful for. 

What are you most thankful for? Tell me why in the comments below!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Kiss Me Under The Mistletoe

Kissing under the mistletoe is a holiday tradition that dates back centuries, and although countless couples across the globe share a kiss under the mistletoe every Christmas, many of them never think about why. For day 22 of #25DaysOfGlam, I'm sharing with you where this tradition comes from and why we celebrate it today.
I'm a freshman in high school, and this year, I was placed in a mythology class as an elective. We've studied the origins of several traditions that are practiced today, and it's fascinating to see how many have resulted from the mythologies of ancient cultures. That being said, it didn't surprise me when I learned that this tradition also evolved from mythology. Mistletoe has been a prized plant in many cultures over the years due to its many healing properties, and the most commonly told story of its origin comes from the Celtic Druids of the first century A.D. They saw that the mistletoe plant was one of the few that could still blossom during the winter months, which led them to see it as a symbol of life, fertility, and sexuality. This belief spread, rooting itself in the cultures of other civilizations, and the traditions of mistletoe began. 

In Norse mythology, there is a myth that Baldar, the god of summer, had a dream of his mother convincing the plants and animals of the earth not to harm him. She extracted the promise from all except the mistletoe plant, and because of this, another god used the poison of the plant to kill Baldar with the help of Baldar's brother. His death brought winter, and with the help of his mother, he was raised to the dead as her tears touched the berries of the mistletoe plant, turning them white. His mother vowed to bestow a kiss upon everyone that walked beneath the plant and that it would bring love to the world, not death. This myth let to what today is the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe.

The history of this tradition even has roots in Christianity. Christians believed that the cross on which Christ was crucified was made from the plant, and as payment for its role in His death, it is condemned to bless everyone that walked beneath it. This idea is believed to have sprung from the Norse belief and is what really popularized this tradition. 

I haven't had my kiss under the mistletoe yet, but perhaps I'll take part in carrying on this romantic tradition next year. Have you shared a kiss under the mistletoe? Let me know in the comments below!
Want to read more about the history of mistletoe? Check out these links!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas Dinner Favorites

I think it's safe to say that dinner is one of the most amazing things about Christmas. All of those succulent smells running wild through the house have you begging to sample everything as soon as it's coming out of the oven. Today I'm sharing what my favorite Christmas dinner consists of and what makes it so perfect.
The main course that I love the most is the ham. We don't usually eat ham a lot during the year because a lot of my family isn't crazy about it, so that makes it even more of a treat to have during this time of year. I also love it because it goes so well with all of the classic Christmas side dishes.
This is going to kill many of you, but I hate potatoes. No matter how you cook them, I just can't stand them. That means no baked potatoes, no sweet potatoes, and no french fries unless they're cooked to a crisp. My favorite side dish is the mac and cheese. My dad does this amazing baked macaroni and cheese that is absolutely divine, and I could seriously eat it with every meal.
Oh my goodness, rolls. Where do I start? They make every meal, and since I'm a huge bread lover, the rolls are a big reason why I love Christmas dinner. Dad makes these homemade rolls with a honey butter spread that is to die for, and the fluffiness of the roll with the sweet spread is absolutely perfect. 
Setting the meal aside, let's talk desserts. My Grandma makes some pretty amazing desserts every Christmas Eve, and they change every year. We'll have cakes, peanut butter fudge, chocolate treats, cookies, and whatever else she decides to cook up! We're all so stuffed after dinner that eating dessert makes us feel like we're about to explode, but it's definitely worth it to head over to the dessert table.

What part of Christmas dinner is your favorite? I'd love to hear yours in the comments below!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Alternative Christmas Music

I'm going to sound like a major Scrooge when I say this, but here goes. I don't like Christmas music. Over time, I've just gotten so incredibly sick of the ones that come on over and over again, so I have a habit of looking for more recent Christmas music to listen to rather than the same old stuff. My favorite music is more metal/punkrock, and I decided to try listening to some of their Christmas tracks this year. Some of these ended up being pretty great, so for day 20 of #25DaysOfGlam, I'm giving you some of my favorite alternative Christmas songs that were released this year. Enjoy! 

I'm starting off Sickly Sweet Holidays, a collaboration between Panic! At The Disco and Falling in Reverse, both of which are on my favorite bands list. It was a very surprising song since it isn't what you'd generally expect from these two, but I was pretty impressed. It isn't a hardcore as Falling In Reverse or as punkrock as Panic! At The Disco, but I did really like it. Definitely something different than the classics!

This next song is The King by Wolves at the Gate. I'd never heard of this band before, but I heard that another band I like, Memphis May Fire, was contributing to a Christmas album, and this was one of the tracks that really grabbed my attention. It is most definitely a metal song with the heavy guitar and screaming vocals, but it has a Christmas message. Mixing the two together created a Christmas song that I actually liked to listen to and was still considered a Christmas song. I love most every song on the Christmas album it's on, Midnight Clear, so I'd recommend checking it out if you like this song.

This last song is pretty hysterical. This is The Killers' Joel The Lump Of Coal, and despite the name of the band that sings it, it's a pretty hysterical Christmas song. It honestly cracked me up the whole way through, and the video is great. It'll definitely get you into the Christmas spirit, and it has a fun storyline.

These are definitely different from other Christmas songs you usually hear this time of year, but I love trying new holiday songs just to get a break from the traditional songs that I've heard so many times I can't stand them anymore. Do you listen to Christmas music that isn't grouped with the traditional few that are replayed on the radio throughout this month? Let me know in the comments, I'd love to check them out!

I'm ending today's post with another giveaway! The #25DaysOfGlam girls are teaming up with Lydell NYC to give one of you a gorgeous necklace set. Enter below for your chance to win! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, December 19, 2014

Starbucks Hot Chocolate

It's day 19 of #25DaysOfGlam, and we've only got six days left! Today, I'm giving you my favorite drink to relax with during the holidays.

By now, you should all know that I'm a chocolate freak. It's the extreme woman in me coming out, and if I didn't have to worry about calorie intake and tummy aches, I'd eat it day in and day out. So it's only logical for me to drink it too, right? Hot chocolate is my favorite drink for this time of year because it's a relief from the cold weather outside, and it's some of the most relaxing stuff you can find. I also love it because it's so crazily simple to make. Just combine milk, cocoa powder, and sugar in a mug, stick that sucker in the microwave, and enjoy! It isn't something you'll need to shop for ingredients for because chances are, you'll have them in your pantry already. But if you're looking to get some hot cocoa out, I'd recommend Starbucks in a heartbeat. It's on the pricey side, but I absolutely love it. I also like to add in some cinnamon to mine!
What drink is your favorite to sit around with during the holidays? Let me know in the comments below!