Creating Family Heirlooms during the Holidays

When picking out holiday gifts for friends and family, I got to thinking about family heirlooms and their importance in my families legacy, as well as the joy those heirloom items bring to me this time of year. When you bring out a silver ornament or a special pair of earrings, you start talking about you bought it our who gave it to whom and how long it has been in the family. During the holidays I also bring out a pair of earrings that are over 120 years old that were my 2x great grandmothers. I got to thinking… what heirlooms am I creating for my future 2x great-grandchildren to remember me by?

I have been lucky enough to inherit a few pieces to pass down and I had a few quality pieces of jewelry but most of what I had was costly costume jewelry that was certainly never going to last a lifetime. As I’ve gotten older (and hopefully a little wiser) I’ve started to invest more into quality jewelry pieces that will stand the test of time.

I realized that while I had not collected many pieces that I felt really told a story about who I am and about things I have done. I decided it was time to start investing in my legacy and my future family by collecting quality pieces to pass down to my future family members.

I partnered with James Avery to show y’all some items that I think make wonderful heirloom pieces that I have personally added to my collection and also give you a chance to win a $150 James Avery gift card to start adding to your own heirloom collection!

4 Heirloom Pieces to add to your collection:

1. Charm Bracelet

Charm bracelets have been around for centuries. Early Babylonians around 600 BC! But Queen Victoria really popularised the charm bracelet including mourning charms after her beloved husband passed away.

Charm Bracelets tell a story and that story can be shared and passed down in a tangible and meaningful way.

My James Avery charm bracelet story started off with the San Antonio Tricentennial bracelet that I purchased for my birthday and added on some iconic Texas charms onto it ie. Whataburger and the super adorable FIESTA Pinata charm! I recently included a few more charms to my bracelet’s story, the Taco charm (foodie life duh!) and the beautiful new Bell Charm from the new 2019 Holiday Collection.

This beautiful Bell Charm (Love Song Charm) actually does ring and there is nothing quite so pleasant as the sound a ringing silver bell.

Love Song Charm

This particular charm is darling and not just for its lovely name ( the Love Song Charm) holds a few meanings for me:

-My Dad is a Real Bearded Santa and having a subtle nod to Christmas is something really lovely to have on all the time.

– The bell represents the beautiful missions in San Antonio and the beautiful 5 bell display along the San Antonio River Walk. And since I’m River Walk Royalty for 2020 I felt it was perfect to add onto my bracelet that tells my Texas story.

2. Claddagh Ring

The next piece I invested in was a Claddagh.

Adorned Claddagh Ring

The Claddagh Ring is a very old Irish traditional ring that has been around for hundreds of years and having one to pass down is extremely important to me. The James Avery Claddagh ring is a classic piece but still with beautiful modern lines that is something that will be passed down to future generations of my strawberry blond and red headed future Irish family.

3. Silver Ornaments

Merry Christmas Ornament This photo provided from James Avery

There’s nothing like setting up your tree to really get you into the Christmas spirit. Part of the fun of putting up the Christmas tree is pulling out old ornaments and saying “remember this one this is from grandma” or “we got this when we visited” etc. sharing those stories are so important for ensuring that families continue to pass down important family memories. Having silver ornaments not only look beautiful on the tree but also ensure that those precious family memories don’t accidentally break due to a furry family members tail or some other calamity.

4. Subtle Statement Earring

My last heirloom recommendation is a pair of subtle statement earrings.

Venetian Frame Hoop Ear Posts

This pair has an elegant quatrefoil style ( very reminiscent of the San Antonio quatrefoil) that easily transition from daytime at the office to an evening affair. They are light and delicate but still sturdy and will easily stand the test of time both in changing the fashion trends and also being passed down from person to person. I cannot wait to tell my (currently nonexistent) future grandchildren how I wore these earrings during my reign on the 2020 River Walk Royalty Court!

Quality jewelry of precious metals like silver and gold are one of the few things that are able to be passed down from generation to generation because those items LAST. The $10 pair of costume jewelry earrings won’t last you until your granddaughters 16th birthday, but a pair of silver, gold, or gemstone earrings or a charm bracelet, now that will last generations past your lifetime. If you start curating your collection now, you will have a wonderful collection to pass down to your future great grandchildren.

For a chance to win a $150 James Avery gift card to start building your own heirloom collection follow me on Instagram and enter my giveaway (Closes 12/22)!

Send Holiday Cheer With Basic Invite!

Tis’ The Season For Holiday Card’s!

I’m excited to send out my own solo Christmas Cards this year! It’s a daunting prospect for the first time you’re sending out cards on your own!

Thankfully I recently teamed up with Basic Invite so I could get my holiday cards all set to be sent out and give y’all a Coupon Code: holi30 for 30% off!

The Basic Invite Holiday Cards Maker is such an easy way to get professional holiday cards done quickly and easily! They have over 500 designs to choose from and an almost unlimited color pallet for your cards (Even the envelopes!) so you can have a truly unique option for your family.

The process is SO easy and really quick. You can choose from personalized holiday cards no photo required, or go fully custom and add in a great family (or in my case solo) photo!

I chose to use an amazing photo of me from a recent photo session with a local Boerne photographer, Kate, for my card photo.

Once I had my fabulous glamour shot selected; I simply edited the text, changed some colors, and the front of my card was complete!

The coolest part about the whole process, is that Basic Invite offers an address capturing service that allows customers to simply share a link on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other form of social media to request their friends and family’s addresses which will be stored in the customer’s account and can then be selected during the design process. Basic Invite even offers recipient address printing at no cost on all Christmas card orders!

The great part about Basic Invite’s cards is that you can add in some really unique options to make your card stand out. The the backs of Basic Invite’s cards are totally unique and offer fun ways to put the hi-lights of your year together for friends and family.

I really love the adorable holiday ornament options to give quick easily digestible memorable moments from your year!

There is even an option to customize the interior of your envelopes for a really personal touch.

I chose my signature yellow with my initials for a fun pop of non traditional color for my envelope. There are over 40 different colors to choose from so you can fine something unique to you!

I can’t wait to send out my Christmas cards this season! If you’re looking to stand out this holiday season check out Basic Invite and use Coupon Code: holi30 to get 30% off your order and start sharing those memories right away!

And of course I will be sending Santa a card as well with my list…hopefully he will check it twice!

Holidays At Rock Harbor Hill Country Lodge

I was recently invited up to Rock Harbor Hill Country Lodge by owner Amanda to see her holiday decor and visit the little getaway in the heart of the Hill Country that is quickly becoming a popular getaway destination.

Located in just past Boerne proper out in Sisterdale, it is the perfect distance away from restaurants and wineries in the hill country and far enough away from the hustle and bustle of San Antonio to let you fully relax and enjoy some of the natural beauty of the area.

Upon arrival you drive through a cheerful gate and are welcomed by the Rock Harbor furry greeting committee aka owner Amanda’s pets which include two dogs, three cats, and two chickens. Having those little furry friends around really helped make me feel right at home on Amanda’s property. Once inside I took some time to wander with my new furry friends and explore the area.

Every inch of the space is a Pinterest dream board. This quaint little bed and breakfast looks like it popped straight out of the pages of Better Homes and Gardens or Southern Living. So much thought and attention has been put into every detailed corner of the property and they have really thought of absolutely everything that you as a guest could want. Amanda has a keen eye for design and attention to detail and you can really tell how much love has been poured into every corner of each space. The whole property is bursting with Christmas Holiday Cheer!

My favorite spot at RHL is probably the outdoor seating area near the private cabin. In this elegant outdoor space (complete with cat companion) you can lounge outside under gorgeous chandeliers and enjoy the sounds of birds perched on branches of the nearby trees, watch squirrels scampering across the fence line, read a book, and enjoy the crisp air of the season.

Owner Amanda is an Air B&B Super Host (which means she is very highly rated) and EVERY review is 5 stars, so you know that you are in good hands at Rock Harbor. She and her husband have worked hard to convert and create spaces that make you feel at home while still giving you a luxurious experience.

I can’t wait to head back up again after the New Year to stay in the new  lotus bell tent for a ‘Glamping’ experience and stargazing in the the evening (Keep an eye out for a post on that experience).

If you have been searching for a place to stay while visiting family, girls weekend, or are looking to book your next romantic getaway, Rock Harbor Hill Country Lodge and it’s proprietors are sure to make your visit relaxing, restful, and memorable.

Blogger Gift Giving Guide 2017

We all know there are multiple types of blogger genres, fashion, beauty, lifestyle, food, family, etc. But there are a few items that no matter what the blog focus is, there are  universally useful items to any genre of blogger.

If you have been racking your brain trying to figure out what to buy the blogger in your life with only a short time left to shop, or are looking to pick up something for yourself, here are the 7 things that I think any blogger would like to find under their tree or in their stocking this year:

 

 

 

812p+EpxiBL._SL1500_.jpg1. 2TB External Hard drive 

Having an external hard drive is an absolute must for just about everyone these days but especially if you are a blogger. I think it is a prefect surprise to find in ones stocking.

 

 

TCP2018-ProductPhotos-10_600x6002. Content Planner

For the blogger who is a planner nerd or that needs a written calendar to get things done this is a great gift. This planner helps lay out what content you want to put out and really helps if your are trying to get on a posting schedule.


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3. iPhone Photo Lens

This is a great tool for the iPhone Instagramer or Blogger. Having the ability to up your game before you make the leap to a DSLR, or for when you want to leave the big girl camera at home, really helps to diversify your photos.

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4. Blue Light Blocking Glasses

I was introduced to theses by beauty blogger MegO on her blog  gift guide. I’ve been using THIS pair for several days now and I have noticed an IMMEDIATE improvement in my workday. I haven’t had a headache in over a week! I know that may sound strange to some but for a frequent migraine sufferer this is HUGE!!! I highly recommend them to anyone who spends a lot of time in front of a computer or phone screen!

 


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5. LED Light

I recently discovered the usefulness of these lights and have been hooked on them for taking photos ever since. It is a great product if you want to be able to take better quality photos in areas with limited lighting with your iPhone.

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6. Karma Go Wifi Hotspot 

I featured this product in my 2016 Gift Guide and it is back again this year! I use this regularly and it is one of those items that is always in my bag no matter what. The great part about this hot spot is that you can do a monthly subscription or just a one time purchase of data so you’re not tied down if you don’t want to be.

Click HERE  to get $10 off your purchase of a Karma Go!

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7. Creative Market Gift Card

This is a gift that any type of blogger or Instagramer will appreciate. There is such a wide variety of items to choose from of this site that range from website templates, animations for your Instagram story, Snapchat filters,  themes, fonts, banding mockups, and other add ons that will all bring amazing enhancement possibilities for the various means of messaging your blogger has.

 

 

 

 

 

*Some links may be affiliate links.

Boerne’s Dickens on Main Weekend / Weihnachts Parade To Come

Every year on Thanksgiving weekend one of my absolute favorite things to do is attend Dickens on Main. Main Street is blocked off from traffic, and a festive holiday celebration ensues.

There are lights on every shop, vendors with amazing food (my favorite is still the roasted candied nuts), shows, and all kinds of other holiday themed entertainment.

I hope that you got the chance to visit Boerne and attend this amazing event! If you missed it, don’t worry there is still holiday cheer to be had! The Weihnachts Parade is coming this weekend on Saturday December 2nd! You can come up and experience more Hill Country Christmas cheer and have start off this years holiday season right! It’s also the perfect opportunity to shop locally for any Christmas presents you still need!

Event Alert: Dickens on Main

 

 

 

Dickens on Main            It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Walk off that turkey and stuffing by taking a stroll down the Hill Country Mile and start out your Holiday Season at the 18th Annual Dickens on Main on Friday, November 24th and Saturday, November 25th!

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Roasted chestnuts, caroling, and Santa! This is an event for all ages.
New this year is “Reindeer Village” where you will find real reindeer waiting by Santa to give him a ride back to the North Pole.
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Take a romantic carriage ride down main street, see the colorful lights, and sip some hot coco for a great date night; or take your kids to go sledding in the snow, and then go finalize their wish list with Santa!
Looking forward to seeing y’all there!

Holiday Gift Guide – Under $150

Sometimes finding gifts can be difficult. I know I have had a few difficulties this year finding just the right thing for everyone on my list especially when trying to stay within my budget. So I thought I would share a few ideas with all of you to hopefully give you some inspiration!

Here are a few things to consider for those on your Nice List (with a few special treats thrown in):

 

Karma Go

This is a wifi hot spot aka wifi everywhere you go. I cannot tell you how useful this has been for me! It is a great gift for a college (or soon to be) student, frequent business traveler, or busy mom in your life. And I even have a discount for all of you! CLICK HERE to get $10 off your Karma Go purchase!

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$139

Wine:

Starting at $18.99 a bottle ONEHOPE wine is a great choice for a holiday host/hostess gift.

With portions of the proceeds going to a myriad of different causes from hunger to breast cancer, you are sure to find a cause that both you and the recipient are passionate about. It is a gift that continues to give, binging meaning back into this holiday season.

Ornament

If you want to give a gift that is a little more sentimental, a tasteful gift option is a beautiful holiday ornament.

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$50

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$75

The ornaments pictured above start at only $50. The person getting this gift will get all the thrill of opening the iconic little blue box but without the major ouch factor to your wallet. It is a wonderful keepsake that they can cherish for years.

 

 

Yeti

These tumblers are everywhere for a reason, they are seriously awesome. I have two myself of different sizes and both make a great gift option. Starting at only $29.99 they make a great gift for the outdoorsy person or the college student in your life.

 

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$29.99 +

 

*Note DO NOT purchase these on Amazon. They are NOT from YETI,, and you will end up with a fake. You do not want to give someone a fake for Christmas! The only way to guarantee that it is authentic is to purchase directly from YETI.

 

 

 

 

Totesavvy from Life in Play Company

Hands down the Totesavvy is the best purse organizer I have ever used even if it is technically made to be a diaper bag organizer. With or without children this is still an amazing gift. I have used mine for several months now and I love it so much that I actually purchased another one in a different color! If you or someone you know is like me, in that they like to take practically their entire house with them daily, this is the perfect present.

Life in Play has graciously offered you all a promo code as well! Use Code JESSICASTROM for 25% OFF your purchase of Totesavvy!!

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My Totesavvy packed up inside my Longchamp tote. Use Code JESSICASTROM for 25% OFF!

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Here is Totesavvy packed as a diaper bag. *Image courtesy of Life in Play Company

SLG’s (Small Leather Goods) 

 

Small leather goods are always a tasteful and welcome gift. All of the items below are from Leatherology, which offers amazing quality for a very competitive price. And the best part is that everything can be monogrammed!

 

Collar stayToothpick Case

I know what you’re thinking… toothpick case? Um WHAT?

It may seem a little bizarre (and believe me I didn’t get it wither when I moved to Texas, but hey I carry floss… same thing?)  is the habit that many Southern men have (and sometimes women) of carrying toothpicks around everywhere. If you have a friend or family member that has this habit, consider getting them a toothpick case. Leatherology sells this one for $7. They also have it listed as a collar stay case, so if your loved ones are more of a business professional type this still works out great and makes a great stocking-stuffer.

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Key Case– $45

I personally own two key cases, one for personal keys and the second for work keys. I currently have eleven keys on my work key case, without even going onto the other hook!

They keep your purse from getting scratched or getting holes ripped inside them/ keep you from stabbing yourself in the butt when you sit down on your wad of keys, and they look very chic. They come in a multitude of colors, perfect for both men and women on your nice list.

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There you have it! Hopefully this list helps you with your last minute gift giving needs! Happy Holidays everyone!