Bites of My Life

Four blog posts in one week, who am I?? Gift guide, dinner recipe and cookie recipe all went live last week. Can you not agree that sometimes you get more done when you are busier? The rush of the holidays are real, but if that means being more active on the blog side so be it! Can't say four posts will get rolled out this week...

Feeling festive with all the Christmas decorations up, gift guide out, shopping (almost) done, cookies made etc! A festive weekend for the Sooners too, cheering on our team with my best friends in Dallas! 'Tis the season!

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-The Jones Assembly decked their halls last week! Love having this festive place to work from.
-Apple nachos inspired by my insta girl crush @rachelsgoodeats.
-A few of my favorite things from my gift guide. Who else is a sucker for gift guides??
-Crock-Pot Pork Chops and Sweet Potatoes was a recipe my mom would often make growing up and I've loved fixing it recently for an easy but nostalgic dinner. I used these mini purple sweet potatoes from Trader Joe's and loved them! 
-Last week's cookie recipe doubled as an OU game day treat and a festive Christmas cookie! 
-Went in, went out for a quick dinner on the road and Taylor's first In-N-Out experience! 
-Mimosas, coffee, Baileys and a Chick-Fil-A breakfast spread to get the game day started!
-12 big cheers for a winning weekend and being with my favorite crew.
-Verde Turkey Chili made whole 30 // sans beans, topped with just avo and plantain chips. 

Annie

Annie's Favorite Things Gift Guide

Raise your hand if you used to anxiously tune in to the Oprah Winfrey Show everyday near the end of November in anticipation of it being the "Oprah's Favorite Things" episode. You never knew what day it would air, and neither would the guests in the crowd, until Oprah and her elves would announce it was OPRAH'S. FAVORITE. THINGS!!!! Cue the crowd going wild because they knew they were about to rake in loads of presents that made it on Oprah's Favorite's list. I remember being in middle school turning the TV on at 4PM and going crazy when it would be this special episode. 

Oprah makes a list of her favorite things and then gives everyone in the audience one of each of those things. Ranging in price anywhere from $30 to $3,000+! RIP the Oprah Winfrey Show and long live the year when she gave everyone their very own VW Bug. "You get a car! You get a car!" 

I wanted to curate a gift guide for the blog this year. Inspired by Oprah, I bring you, Annie's Favorite Things! These are all things I own and love and want you to know about. They range in price and genre, fitting for stocking stuffers to nicer gifts.

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Click through the gallery below to shop the items on my list!

A little background: my Le Cruset makes me feel like Ina Garten (and yes mine is pink), these coil hair ties are everything and give you the perfect perky pony, I love my mini SCOUT wallet, it's perfect for going day to night (disclosure this isn't the exact one I have but they don't sell mine anymore).

The CocoKind Matcha stick is a magic dry skin healer/under eye de-puffer, this MAC lipstick in TWIG is my everyday/every night color. I love changing my Cinema Lightbox for the holidays or with different sayings, these Dolce Vita boots are maybe my most worn thing I've ever bought, the My Little Steamer is a must for every girl, peppermint essential oil gets doused over my forehead when I have a head ache, all over my tummy when I'm bloated and goes into my smoothies for a seasonal boost.

Rails plaid shirts are the softest shirts ever. I proudly own two and I'm flipping out over these pajamas they have this year. The Nutri Ninja is my most used kitchen gadget and makes perfect single size smoothies and protein shakes, these gray sneaks from Target are my best kept secret, the Healthy Human tumblers are a chic version of a Yeti and what I drink my water and smoothies and tea from errrrryday, keeps them ice cold or piping hot. Lastly this is the best (and cheapest) dry shampoo ever just make sure you get it in the "fresh" scent.

You get a Rails shirt, you get a Dolce Vita Over the Knee boot, you get a My Little Steamer!

Happy Holidays!
Annie

Gift Guide Round Up

image via  Camille Styles

image via Camille Styles

One of my favorite parts of the blog world is when gift guides hit the interweb. I can kill some serious time scouring through gift guide posts, opening new tabs left and right, perusing the products bloggers are promoting. 

I used to think gift guides were more of just an excuse for a post and didn't really produce good curated content. These days there are some seriously good guides out there. Listed below are some of my favorite guides this season.

*BONUS* The perfect playlist to listen to during your holiday online shopping!

The Everygirl's Budget Friendly Gift Guide  (something for everyone on your list)

Cup of Jo's Gift Guides that includes ideas for people such as "Your Little Brother Who Throws Your Kids Way Up in the Air and Makes a Mean Grilled Cheese" (she is continually adding new guides).

LC's Gift Guide for the Fitness Buff.

Gaby's Ultimate Kitchie Gift Guide, salt cellar and spiralizer please! 

The Gilmore Girls Beauty Gift Guide, duh.

Amazon's Gift Guide for the party planners.

The Gift Subscription Gift Guide (Kathleen gifted me Try the World last year, and I loved it)!

100 Gifts under $25 Guide. Perfect for Dirty Santa parties, friends, neighbors etc!

Happy gifting!

Annie

Out of the Box

I've got a new one for you, one that takes things slightly out of the box, literally. June Box is bringing a new approach to gift giving. No shopping, wrapping or shipping hassle when you use June Box. The thought and crafting that Carson and Katie Rock have put into June Box makes it a stand out in my eyes. 

Last week I got to sit down with this husband/wife co-founder duo. They greeted me with fresh baked beer bread, and instantly had me hooked. I got the inside scoop on why they started June Box, got to see how each box is put together and hear all about what is ahead for this new company. With a passion for starting their own business, the idea came and they ran with it. They wanted to make the process of gift giving easy. They have found the products, designed the packaging, ship each box and even include a hand written note to make your gift fit each recipient personally and perfectly. 

Since graduating school my friends are spread far and wide. How nice to be able to send a friend a gift for their birthday, when they start a new job, move into a new home, or to just send them a little box of sunshine. 

They have boxes in a range of themes for all of life's occasions. Boxes for your BFF, your bridesmaid, your mom, your boy, the little ones and the furry ones. Getting married? June Box can even handle your welcome gifts for out of town guests.

The products Carson and Katie have rounded up is what makes June Box stand out to me. Each box includes items you would actually use and want. One of my favorite boxes is the You Knead It box. It includes a package of beer bread mix, a tea towel and a butter knife. The perfect thing to send to your friend a few states over who just moved into her first big girl apartment. Biased because I got to try the bread and it's stinking good, but really, you knead it. 

Q&A with Carson and Katie:

Where did you get the name, June Box?  June is the month we got married in, but we also wanted something short, simple and available on social platforms which made us land on "June Box" 

What is June Box’s mantra?  Thoughtfully curated and hand packed gift boxes for all occasions. 

Where do you see June Box going in the future?  Our goal is to make gift giving easier. We want to give people a way to still put thought into their gifts, but have the convenience of online shopping. We are constantly trying to grow our assortment so we have gifts for any occasion you could want to send a box. We're looking forward to a "build a box" option and a full lineup of wedding boxes coming out soon! 

What’s an average day in the June Box world?  On a average day we'll ship out the previous day's boxes (we try to get all boxes delivered within 3 days of your order), update all our social platforms, reach out to new vendors, and continue building out new parts of our website. We also like spending time meeting with future brides and business owners about customized bulk orders at our storefront in OKC (open by appointment only). 

Which is your favorite box?
Carson = "You Knead It" I can't get enough of the Soberdough beer bread mix in this box.
Katie = "RelaxI love the colors of this box, all the products are great, and there are so many occasions to give someone this box! 

Any tips for entrepreneurs?  Go for it! If you have an idea you want to pursue, we'd tell you to jump right in and make it happen. We saved for a year to start this business and Katie still works full time at an oil company while Carson works part time doing consulting. We're excited to be making June Box go from a dream to a reality and for an entrepreneur there is no better feeling than seeing something you've dreamed up actually take shape. So we'd say do what it takes to get your business started as soon as you can! 

Favorite bite?  Carson = Ribs. I love barbeque anywhere, but the ribs at Red Rock Canyon Grill are at the top of my list right now. Katie = chips and queso!

Guilty pleasure?  Carson = AM talk radio/documentaries, I'm kind of a nerd sometimes. Katie = Dancing with the stars. Last season was the first time I had ever watched it, but I'm totally hooked! 

Now for the really fun part. Want a June Box sent to you? Enter the June Box/Take A Bite giveaway for the chance to receive your very on box on your doorstep! June Box is giving away one of their most popular boxes, Ray of Sunshine. Comes from the idea that you can send someone a little sunshine! See below for how to enter!

To enter the giveaway:

1. Follow both @shopjunebox and myself.

2. Tag three friends you would send a June Box to!

Winner will be announced Thursday morning!

Make sure to follow June Box on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to say up to date with all the JB happenings! 

Annie

Grad Gift Guide

Moscow Mule kit (Use code Fiesta25 ONLY today to get 25% off) // "The World Is Your Oyster" print // Scout Bags storage bin // Madewell tote (monograming available) // Caphalon frying pan // Mark & Graham personalized champagne flutes // Bose bluetooth speakers // Jon Hart weekender bag
Moscow mules and glasses of champagne to toast the next stage of life, sophisticated luggage for business trips or girl trips, portable speakers for dorm room jam sessions or background dinner party tunes, functional storage for moving into a first apartment or into a tiny college dorm (the lid is sturdy enough to double as extra seating), an inspiration art print for decoration and a reminder to never settle, a pretty leather bag to carry papers in to work or your books to class, and a frying pan for cooking up the next stage of life. And because who else has seen the episode of Laguna Beach when Kristen's dad gets her a frying pan for graduation?
Whether you know a high school or a college graduate this gift guide appeals to both! Having personally gone through both and seeing two older sisters graduate as well, I have a pretty good handle on what is appropriate, functional, necessary and fun!  
Annie