This post is sponsored by Shane Co.

I would by lying if I said that I didn't find myself entertaining the occasional dream of opening a mysterious small box tied with a bow on Christmas from time to time. Maybe it's because I've watched too many Christmas movies or maybe it's because "Santa Baby" has been playing on repeat in our house (Elle's Christmas recital song), but the hopeless romantic in me (and pretty much every woman I know) sure would love it. And then, at the same time, I would feel so guilty if Ryan had spent tons of money on jewels and I just got him a pair of shoes. But, Shane Co. has the best of both worlds - quality, sparkly diamonds at great prices, so there's no guilt and only pleasure. I'm sharing my personal favorites from their Toy Land Collection. Maybe between us all someone will get a mysterious little box this year. (wink, wink).

1. Diamond Crescent Moon Necklace - I've always been a minimalist when it has come to jewelry. This white gold necklace with diamonds is completely on trend and timeless all at once.

2. Triangle layered necklace - This white gold necklace gives the look of two, but is actually just one. I loooove how functional it is and that I can wear it with many things. It worked perfectly as I layered it with the diamond crescent moon.

3. Diamond Bar Earrings - These earrings are simple and modern all at once. You can dress them up or down, and wear them for years to come.

4. Diamond tennis bracelet - Sipping cocktails, hot cocoa or eggnog will look so glamorous with a diamond bracelet no doubt. This one is small and simple, and can easily be layered.

5. Infinity Bracelet - This infinity bracelet is beautiful, but has more femininity with its curves. It also has the meaning of infinite love, which would be very appropriate for married women or moms.


6. Stackable rings - Statement rings are slowly fading and simple stackable rings are taking their place. I stacked a diamond band, white gold band, and a garnet ring together for the holidays. You can do other colors like emerald or sapphire too.

For more affordable and quality gifts that sparkle and shine, be sure to visit Shane Co. online or in your city (see here for locations).

Photos by Rennai Hoefer


This post is sponsored by Coca-Cola.

Every extended family has that one person that champions Christmas. That person that rallies the troops for holiday baking, sets a date to see Christmas lights or plans the secret Santa gift exchange. I have someone like that in my family. It's my sister-in-law, Nicky Vender. Her home is always decorated beautifully for the holiday, she bakes the best cookies and she gives the best gifts wrapped to perfection. She is always the person you secretly hope picks your name for the gift exchange because you know your gift is going to be awesome. Well, this year Coca-Cola has asked me to highlight my unsung heroine of Christmas as part of their #ShareACoke campaign, and I would like nothing more than to #ShareACoke with Nicky. Truthfully, her jolly Christmas actions go unthanked a lot, and I want to thank her with the ultimate gift basket!

Her energy and excitement for the season is what keeps me going because I think my energy peeks shortly after hosting Thanksgiving or maybe it's because my kids tire me out...Either way, her holiday spirit and joy make Christmas much more fun. To honor her, Coca-Cola personalized her favorite drink, Diet Coke, with her name on it, and then I put together the ultimate gift basket.

Gifts always feel more special when they are personalized. Wouldn't you agree? You can get 40% off a personalized six pack of Coca-Cola using shopping code HOLIDAY40 at checkout.

To take the personalization one step further, I had a wooden sign made for her family that she can hang on a wreath year round. In addition, I packed some more of her favorite things in a lovely basket. 

1. Diet Coke - Her favorite drink
2. Madonna ornament - Her favorite 80's pop star
3. Chocolate and caramel - Her favorite treat
4. Bottle opener  (similar)- To help her enjoy her Diet Coke, of course
5. Personalized wooden sign for any wreath or basket - It can be used in many ways
6. Hand cream - Beauty products always win.
7. Nail files - Her toes are always painted to perfection
8. Wrapped soap - Who doesn't like to bathe in the scents of Christmas?! Haha!
9. Throw - To keep her warm and cozy
10. Beautiful basket - Something that she can use to store things in her home
11. Boxwood wreath - It's a beautiful and neutral gift for the season.
12. Bouquet of Holly - Everyone loves flowers, especially Christmas ones. 

I left the basket on her doorstep like a good little elf to let her be surprised, and she sure was! I got a call with tears and joy. I'm sure Santa would be proud. The fun doesn't stop there though. I want to give you something special too.

You can win your very own six pack of Coca-Cola that's personalized with your name, as well as a $100 gift card. The total value of the prize is $130. To enter, please tag your Christmas hero or heroine in my Instagram post (click here). Contest ends on December 11th at 11:59 PM, and one winner will be chosen by December 12th and contacted via direct message on Instagram. Please make your Instagram account public so that I can contact you if you win.

This prize was provided by The Coca-Cola Company. The Coca-Cola Company is not a sponsor, administrator or connected in any other way with this campaign.

Photos by Rennai Hoefer


The Real Mom Series is back again, and we're all sharing about holiday traditions that we are either beginning or have already started with our families. I definitely encourage you to read everyone's stories because they are all SO different. Getting diverse perspectives is one of my favorite things about this series. The Effortless ChicFreutcake, A Daily Something, Parker, Etc., Sacramento Street, Apartment 34, The Refined Woman

What if sometimes you had a tree on Christmas and sometimes you didn't. Would it "feel" like Christmas without the tree for you? What if you ate ham on Thanksgiving instead of turkey? Is it still Thanksgiving? What makes it Thanksgiving afterall? 

When I sat down to write about this topic I thought I didn't have much to say because I didn't grow up with any traditions that we consistently did for the holidays other than the basic things such as opening gifts on Christmas, eating turkey on Thanksgiving and trick-or-treating on Halloween. That's all I have currently established for my kids too with the exception of also attending church on Christmas Eve. 

At first I felt sad thinking about the fact that there was no baking tradition, special book I read, or football game I played, and that I haven't implemented that for my kids. But then I was realized I was feeling sad over expectations of having and doing certain things that come from things and people I don't even know. They come from Pinterest, they come from other families, they come from movies and magazines...I realized that being fairly "tradition-less" was a gift that my parents have given me because it has really freed me to not have major expectations for the holidays. 

Sadly, the word "tradition" is often met with the word "expectation" in this day in age, and specifically in the United States where we have so much. Whether it be a child expecting to always bake cookies every Christmas or an adult making their kids bake cookies, I don't want to pass down the expectation of always doing that just so a holiday can feel like a holiday. 

Instead, the "tradition" I would like to pass down to my children for the holidays is to simply contemplate the holiday they are about to celebrate and then celebrate how they want. Maybe it's throwing an insane birthday party for Jesus's birthday that's decked out with glitter and neon colors and maybe the next is to pick a family to give gifts to. All I know is that this year we plan to trick-or-treat as a family, host a yummy dinner for our extended family for Thanksgiving and this Christmas we may try the polar express. I just hope my kids experience the holidays for which they were intended and that is to have a blast on Halloween by being creative and eating candy, taking a moment to think about all they are thankful for and on Christmas celebrate the birth of their Savior Jesus Christ. If we bake cookies, watch a holiday movie, sing song and happen to ice skating that's so great. I'm all for it, and I think that's awesome that other families do those fun activities. I just hope that isn't the sum of traditions that make the holiday, but, rather, the holiday that brings about the acts of celebration. 

Photo by Rennai Hoefer


This post is sponsored by Coca-Cola.

Marshmallows, white chocolate and candy canes smothered all over your popcorn. Christmas Elves eat this for dinner, and I make this recipe as part of my perfect Christmas movie night (see my last post for my top FREE holiday movies)

It's a festive recipe that your kids will always talk about, and it's also a great treat to make for gifts. Bundle it up in a Coca-Cola tin, add a movie gift card and a bottle of Coca-Cola and you have yourself the perfect gift basket.

by Nicky Vender

3/4 cup butter
8 oz mini marshmallows
1 cup white chocolate chips
4 candy canes, crushed
Red and green sprinkles
2 bags plain popcorn, popped (about 26 cups

In a large dutch oven or pot, melt butter over medium low heat. Then add marshmallows and stir until melted. Add white chocolate chips and stir until melted. Remove from heat. Pour popcorn into pan and stir gently until pieces are evenly coated. Then add the crushed candy canes and the red and green sprinkles before stirring a final time. (If you desire a stronger candy cane flavor, add a few drops of peppermint extract to the marshmallows while melting). Enjoy warm or spread out on parchment paper to cool and then place in a tin for later.


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Teens are fun to shop for, but finding them the perfect gift can be a hard feat. Nowadays it seems like teens are constantly moving on to the next trend and there's so many options out there it can be overwhelming. I've found that you can't go wrong with a grouping of little stocking stuffer type gifts. Here are a few ideas: 

You may have noticed that a lot of these gifts can be found on Ankit is an amazing site I discovered recently and sells the cutest accessories and tech goodies. Shop with them online before December 31st and use the code AVESTYLES15 for 15% off your purchase!