Wednesday, December 10

Winter Woods




CHRISTMAS IS COMING... the goose is getting phat!!!! 
Oh man, I'm sorry... couldn't help it. No but seriously, I cannot wait for Christmas!!! This is the greatest time of year because the family comes to town, mom goes crazy on the baking, I break out my winter coats, Christmas music plays all through the house, and we get to focus a little more on others (and more importantly) Christ. Every year I look forward to the overall feeling of love and peace during the holidays, there's just nothing like it!

 

Let's talk family traditions. 
So in my family, there are ten of us. I have five sisters and two brothers, and of course my adorable parents. Now for a college student on a budget, that's a pretty significant number of people to provide Christmas presents for every year. To solve our little dilemma, our parents decided to have us draw names every Christmas. It has become one of my favorite traditions ever! I don't know why I love it so much... I guess it's just fun to go all out on one of your siblings and go crazy on all the stuff you know they would love. The easiest person to shop for is Allie. You literally could get her a Jamba Juice gift card and a sweater, and she will love you forever!


This year our mom set up ALL of our Christmas decorations like two weeks before Thanksgiving. We gave her such a hard time about it, yet we all secretly loved it! We usually set up our tree the day after Thanksgiving and when we decorate we blast Kurt Bestor, drink hot chocolate, pop popcorn, and mom always makes fresh cinnamon rolls. They are To. Die. For.



The weather at home has been a little unreal. 
I'm used to snow by Halloween, but this year it has been warm and sunny! No snow yet (knock on wood)! I am sooo not complaining, although I do hope we get a white Christmas this year. I'm a little obsessed with this coat I got a Forever21, I've been wearing it everyday, and it's super cute and warm for the winter! It would make a great Christmas present. Also, I've been completely obsessed with this Target shirt, it might also make a great gift! Hailey and I both got them in like every color! Ha!



Lindsay recently threw a Christmas movie party where we watched "Elf" in our pj's and ate enough chocolate to last us the rest of the year! It was great. I thought of that because looking at this picture made me think of an elf... Hailey said all it's missing is the little bell on my toe. 
Gotta love her.


Before you judge me, 
I have ALWAYS wanted to be a ballerina, and every single year in my family all the girls go to The Nutcracker Ballet. It never gets old. I always walk out of there with the urge to twirl in the hallway. That, and I also love to make faces and weird poses for Hailey when we do blog pictures. Anyways, I hope your holidays are filled with love, family, and Christ. Eat lots of sweets for me, find time to relax, remember the true meaning of Christmas, and enjoy the holidays! 
<3 Mandi  



Friday, December 5

Gap Photo Shoot!


 We had the greatest time getting to be a part of a social media Holiday campaign for Gap! All of these photos were shot by the amazing Matt Clayton, who we are certain is the next big thing in fashion photography! Gap has so many adorable and comfy cute looks this Holiday season, and we were so lucky to have the experience of getting all dolled up and styled for this fun shoot.


We absolutely loved the cozy turtleneck sweaters we got to wear, as well as these comfy knit ponte pants.

Isn't Allie's infinity scarf amazing!?

The Cullens.

Sister kisses!


Happy December, Everyone!
-Hailey, Allie, and Mandi-

Friday, November 14

"Better" EP Announcement!


Mark your calendars! We are so excited to announce the release of our brand new "Better" EP of original music produced by Jesse Barrera, coming November 25th! We'll be posting daily videos next week leading up to the release to show you the recording and producing process that went into our new songs. We can't wait for you to hear what we've been working on!


Sunday, November 2

30 Days Of Gratitude Challenge


As we approach this wonderful Holiday season, we invite you to join with us during the month of November in a thirty day effort to live a more grateful life! We're excited to share with you our thoughts and experiences and hope you'll be right there alongside us as we work to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. You can share your progress and we'll keep you posted across social media by using #GSgratitude.

Here are 30 suggestions we came up with to help guide you in this gratitude challenge! Feel free to do what you feel will help you individually, especially since gratitude is a pattern of thinking and behavior.

30 Day Gratitude Challenge

1.     Write someone a Thank-You note.
2.     Keep a daily gratitude journal.
3.     Invite a friend to join you in becoming more grateful! Talk and set goals together.
4.     Create a music playlist to listen to daily that that uplifts and inspires you, and makes you feel thoughtful and reflective.
5.     Do a personal study on the word “gratitude” and come up with a list of ways that you can develop a more grateful attitude.
6.     Think of a teacher who has been a great influence in your life and send them a letter, email, or note expressing your gratitude for their service.
7.     Make a conscious effort to use the words “Thank You” more sincerely and frequently.
8.     In moments where you find yourself complaining or thinking negatively, immediately stop and list five things to yourself that you are grateful for.
9.     Write a letter to a serviceman or woman serving in the armed forces.
10. In a place you can see it daily, write or print out the words, “Today, I am grateful for…”
11. Offer a specific prayer of gratitude, where you only express thanks for what you have and do not ask for anything in return.
12. Make a dedicated effort to be more grateful to your parents. Let them know you appreciate their love, support, and care.
13. Take a walk or go explore in nature by yourself and observe the beauty around you. Send grateful thoughts to everything you see, feel, hear, and touch that inspires you.
14. Read a self-help book on gratitude and set goals for yourself as you complete each chapter.
15. Spend 10 minutes in quiet meditation focusing on the great abundance that surround you in your life.
16. Contact a Grandparent and thank them for their influence in your life.
17. Visit someone who is in a nursing home, or someone elderly who could use a friend.
18. Leave a generous tip to your server next time you eat out at a restaurant.
19. Double your prayers. Say twice as many as you usually do.
20. Spend a few minutes thinking of someone who could use some love. Send them a text letting them know you are thinking of them.
21. Think grateful thoughts throughout your day, especially in the morning when you wake up, and in the evening before you go to sleep.
22. Change the wallpaper on your phone and laptop to something that reminds you of all you are blessed with.
23. Think of an act of service you could do for your mother or roommates around the house and do it.
24. Write your closest friend a letter of gratitude.
25. Do a Pinterest search for quotes on gratitude. Print out a couple of your favorites and place them where you can see them every day.
26. Write a note to each of your siblings to let them know how grateful you are for them.
27. Make an extra dish during your Thanksgiving feast and take it to someone in need.
28. Do a scripture study on gratitude. Search the word of God to know what you can do to be a more grateful person.
29. Spend a day without your cell phone. Be present with all those you come in contact with and express gratitude sincerely to everyone you see.
30. Help prepare and serve a meal at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen.


Happy Thank-ing!



Saturday, October 25

BOO!

Happy Halloween Everyone! 
So to be honest, I've never actually enjoyed Halloween until this year. I don't know what came over me, but I was determined to throw a Halloween party complete with food, costumes, candles, and desserts galore! We went all out this year, and I think we might have to make it tradition! You can check out this party in action below! Have Fun Y'all! 
<3 Mandi








Let's just say scary movies, haunted houses, creepy masks, and anything that jumps out at me I try to avoid at all costs! I won't even walk up the driveway of a house that has any freaky Halloween decor. I just keep on walking! So naturally, my idea of a Halloween party is sparkly, cute, and more harvest themed than haunted.


Thanks to Target and Michaels Arts & Crafts, I was able to find all the cute little trinkets I needed to get the house all sparkly and festive for Halloween! I decided bright purple, shiny black, and sparkling orange were perfect for a classy Halloween color scheme. 




Chocolate covered pretzels are the cutest, simplest, party treat ever! You can stick them in a jar, cover them in sprinkles, or bag them up and send them home with your guests!


These adorable Pumpkin Deviled Eggs were delicious and insanely easy! The recipe can be found here 




I basically begged my mom to make her famous Pumpkin Bars, it's a secret family recipe, but she might decide to share them with you if you keep a lookout on her blog! They are seriously melt-in-your-mouth AMAZING! 


What's Fall without pumpkin and squash? 
For dinner tonight I made a Butternut Squash with Pears and Rosemary soup. It was delicious. Took me all morning, but it was worth every minute! Thank you William Sonoma for the great recipe







These Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Cookies are to DIE for! 
MMMWWWAHAHAHA!
Adapted from: Here




I hope your Halloween is magical and delicious this year! Spend a little extra time with your family this season, have so much fun dressing up, and stay safe trick-or-treating! 
Happy Halloween from our family to yours! 




Wednesday, October 22

October Seaside


Fall is filled with some of my favorite things in the world: food, family, sweaters, colorful leaves, pumpkin bread, and fall break. This year fall break was a much needed time to re-assess my priorities and set goals, whilst being surrounded by scenic views (and my equally as beautiful sisters).


I tend to get swallowed up in the routine of school and other activities, and forget the things that matter most. Going into nature is one of my favorite ways to relieve stress and forget things that aren't very important. There's something about admiring the creations that Heavenly Father has given us that revives and inspires me.


 The ocean is my favorite place in the world. (I prefer the warmth of Hawaii's beaches, but this is beautiful too!) I love the contrast of the water and the vibrant color of evergreen trees in this picture. 

This fall season, try to spend time with people you love, go outside, stress less, and be happy! And eat really good food (fall food is the BOMB-DIGGITY). 
<3 Lindsay


Friday, October 10

Falling Into...Autumn






The colors in these woods were unreal. I love when the leaves change colors! It's nice to just get out and explore... And talk and laugh and be inspired by nature. When your phone has no service you're doing something right. ;)
xoxo Allie




Yup. I am in Heaven.
 There is something beautifully peaceful about the fall, and I take full advantage of the cooler weather to start on my hot chocolate kick that lasts the rest of the year. Now is the perfect time to grab your favorite sweater and your camera, and head into the colorful unknown. Autumn is a magical time of the year full of beauty and color, and an opportunity to spend more time exploring the world around us with the people we love. Happy fall everyone! 
<3 Mandi




Fall is my absolute favorite time of year! I love the colorful changes in the landscape, the sunny transition into cooler weather, and the feeling of warmth and comfort that comes with the season. Before the temperature drops towards the end of the year, I love spending a lot of time outside, soaking in the last weeks of sunshine and experiencing the beautiful contrast of reds, oranges, yellows and browns of the leaves in the trees with the Carolina blue of the sky. That is my favorite shade of blue - October sky blue. There is something so wonderful about Autumn; it's nature's time to gear up for winter, and our chance to be present and entranced by its beauty. 
-Hailey-

The colors of the leaves against the sky are unreal! It looks like a painting!



This road was so magical; the leaves littering the ground are like nature's confetti.