the great Harney baking show

Hi friends! How’s the week going? I hope you’re having a lovely one! Thank you so much to those of you who have taken the time to answer this year’s blog survey and also entered the Favorite Things giveaway. Your feedback means the world to me, and helps me plan out the content you want to see, so please take 2 minutes here! 

This past weekend was filled with festive fun. The Pilot was home (wahoo!) and we took advantage of the time together. Saturday, we got to see two of our friends get married at the gorgeous Hacienda del Sol. (This is where we had our baby shower for Liv!) We very rarely make it out there even though it’s not far at all. It was the perfect venue for a wedding and the weather was a dream. It was 72 (heaven-ty two) degrees in the courtyard!

(The dress was a Rent the Runway win! I’m always a bit nervous because designer dresses always run very small and very long. I usually have to go up a size or two when I rent from RTR and avoid long dresses because they drag on the floor. I’m usually a S or XS, and ended up getting the petite small in this Bronx and Banco Moulin Rouge gown. It fit perfectly and I got a lot of compliments on it. The photos don’t do it justice, but the embroidery and sequins on the skirt really added to the quality and design of the gown. If you have any special events coming up, you can use my link to get $30 off your first Rent the Runway rental.)

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All of the details of the wedding were absolutely beautiful. 

The cake was decorated by their nieces (!)

the bride’s dress was beyond gorgeous,

the ceremony was personalized and heartfelt,

the food was fantastic,

but my very favorite moment was the live event painter. When we walked into the reception room, we noticed that he was painting the scenery onto a large canvas. The DJ introduced the new couple to the room, everyone cheered, and the bride and groom began their first dance. As they were dancing, the artist started painting THEM into the scene he’d started on the canvas. Cue all the dinosaur tears. SO beautiful, right?

He painted everyone who was there. Here’s a look at what it looked like towards the end of the night: 

What a beautiful way to immortalize the day. They’ll have this hanging in their house from now on, and the thought of that just fills me with all the warm fuzzies.

In between the sentimental moments, the wedding was chock full of fighter pilot shenanigans.

They also had a photo booth, which is always a good time. 😉

We came home just in time to watch the Wildcats lose (WAH) and Sunday was a Christmas brunch with friends, and chore day here at home. Later that evening, met up with Kyle and Meg at Winterhaven to check out the ridiculous Christmas light displays. 

I’ve mentioned Winterhaven a few times on the blog. It’s a historic neighborhood in Tucson and part of their HOA contract requires elaborate light displays. They’re sponsored by Tucson Electric Power – likely so they’re not hit with enormous power bills the month of December – and walking around  Winterhaven during the holidays is one of my very favorite things. The girls were SO onto it this year. We ended up strolling around for about two hours!

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My favorite house was the Christmas Story house, complete with a slide, and this enormous snowman.

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The rest of the week, I’ve been wrapping gifts (I just typed “wrapping gifs” – I live online too much lol), trying to convince P to wait until Christmas before ripping ALL of them open, and planning Liv’s class holiday party. We’re making snowman slime, having a dance station (Just Dance on YouTube on the projector), cookie decorating, BINGO, and pin the heart on the Grinch.

We also had a cookie decorating night here at home. It was my first time using the Sally’s Baking Addition recipe and it’s AWESOME. The girls and I had a blast making the cookies (with the almond extract, Liv said they taste like fluffy pancakes), and icing them while watching Elf.

We still have about two dozen left to decorate but the Pilot can join in the fun tonight. 😉 We can both get a little competitive so it will turn into the Great Harney baking show before we know it. 

I’m off to Orangetheory! Hope you have a wonderful day and I’ll see ya tomorrow with some faves. 

xoxo

Gina