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Nothing like a party to get people together for a good time. I’ll take any excuse to celebrate, from birthdays and anniversaries to little known national holidays. My affinity for DIY and Tyler’s love of cooking make us enthusiastic party-throwers. But even when we can’t gather in person, I try my best to make it a fest even online (;

Leipzig Christmas Market

Leipzig Germany Christmas Market

The 25th may have come and gone already, but I couldn’t resist posting another Christmas-related, photo-laden story. And it doesn’t get more nostalgic and seasonal than a Christmas market!

We have been posting chronologically thus far, and now at last we’re up to our time in Leipzig, Germany. We spent three wonderful weeks there housesitting/crashing at a family friend’s house. She was kind enough to let us stay and watch over the place while she was away on vacation, and we found it to be one of the nicest homes we’ve sat. And she was unbelievably hospitable– leaving a handmade, scrapbooked guide to the town on our arrival, and taking us out to the Christmas market when she returned.


December Vlog Challenge: Creative Gifting

Coming at you from Dublin this Wednesday! Just me today for our sixth December Vlog Challenge… talking about lots of random things (I tend to go off on rabbit trails a lot in real life, and online) and then a tiny bit of creative gifting ideas as well.

We have prioritized traveling in our budget the past few years, and that has left us with little to put towards other areas, like gifting. However, that doesn’t stop me from wanting to exercise the love language of gifts! We’ve always been huge fans of creative, thoughtful presents that can be given with lots of love and only a little money. And now we’re really getting to put that into practice.

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What are ways that you gift creatively (this season and/or year-round)? What type of present is your favorite?


December Vlog Challenge: Christmas Traditions

december vlog challenge |

And it’s ready! Our first official post from our December vlog challenge (Christmas Traditions Edition). I’m talking all about those traditions from childhood past and marriage present. All the things that combine together to give you the warm fuzzies every time this season rolls around. Wish I was gathered across the table from you with an apple cider or peppermint mocha, but our computers will have to do as the gateway to our community.

I’m excited to hear what traditions strike a chord with you! Whether you hate my Christmas Eve present opening (Tyler would love your support) or you also are a White Christmas diehard fan, let us know in the comments below!

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A Peach and Mint Shower

I’ve been so blessed to have my best friend from college living in Anchorage at the same time as me! It’s been really special for us to be together this year as she recently got married and is planning for a lot of changes in life.

Since she and her husband had a small elopement, it worked out better to have her wedding shower after the event itself. (I labeled it a “Wedding Shower/House Warming” on the invites.) Speaking of invites, I picked those out at Target– my favorite one-stop-shop for putting together a party– and they set the theme for the afternoon. Peach, mint, and navy!

peach and navy shower invites from target

The shower was on a Sunday afternoon, and I spent all Saturday setting up the decorations for the shower with the other shower host and a church friend. It was a beautiful space and really provided an awesome backdrop for the few decoration we made using crepe paper, tissue paper, and lots of fresh flowers.

peach mint and navy color scheme, congrats mr and mrs pennant banner, wedding shower decorations   peach mint and navy wedding shower decorations, crepe paper decorations, tissue paper decorations peach mint and navy wedding shower decorations, polka dot straws peach mint and navy wedding shower decorations, polka dot straws, blue mason jars peach mint and navy wedding decorations, affordable flowers

The day of the shower, I got there early to help facilitate and finish arranging as all our friends brought over finger foods and desserts. And of course, I made sure there was sweet tea to go along with the lemonade 🙂 I also created a flower crown for the new bride to wear as she sat in her seat of honor and opened gifts.

peach mint and navy wedding shower decorations wedding shower flower garland, floral headpiece, flower crown wedding shower flower garland, floral headpiece, flower crown

I had such a fun time putting together games and activities for the shower as well. They all got great feedback from the guests so I think they are worth hanging on to for any future showers! We played “How well do you know the couple?” and “Name that movie love quote” games, which I customized to include info on my friend and her husband, and many of her favorite movies, respectively.

wedding shower games, how well do you know that couple, name that movie love quote

I also found an activity online that I thought was really sweet and would be a meaningful reminder of the shower. I ran by Michael’s and grabbed a few decorative keys, burlap tags, and kraft paper tags. I tagged each of the five keys with a different “Key to Marriage” written on the burlap tags. Then, during the shower while the bride was opening presents, I had the guests take kraft paper tags and write out advice and attach it to the corresponding key. This was a huge hit with the guests and my friend loved having these to take home, read with her husband, and display on the wall.

wedding shower games, keys to marriage wedding shower games, keys to marriage

Overall, I think the shower was a beautiful time to celebrate my friend. We were able to shower her with practical gifts as well as encouragement as she enters this new stage of life. I’d call that a wedding shower success!

A Momentous Day

Checking in again to commemorate a big day for the Murphman household. Not in any particular order, these celebration-worthy events take place every year on this day:

  1. St. Patrick’s Day
  2. Daddy Guzman’s birthday
  3. Sister Murphy’s birthday
  4. Beard Shaving Day

Did you do anything fun for this holiday? I really wanted to throw an Irish and/or green themed party, but Tyler was not up for it this year. Since we had a St. Patty’s dinner party last year, I let it go. Maybe every other year? Tyler did wear a giant leprechaun hat to work today, so I suppose that counts for something!   Happy birthday to my dad! So proud to be his daughter. Growing up I was always compared a lot to my dad; it seems we had a lot in common. I’m thankful to still be carrying on so many of those traits today, of course making them my own with my own life experiences and perceptions. But my musical taste… that will stay stuck in the rock and roll of my dad’s generation forever 🙂 HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY!sister bday (From Tyler) Happy birthday to my beautiful sister! She inspires me. Through her amazing world changing business (Better Life Bags) and raising three adorable children, I’m constantly blown away at her talents and abilities. Our childhood fighting and yelling at each other has matured into laughs over the phone. And I’m so thankful for that. I will always love my sissy-butt (childhood nicknames last forever) and I will always look up to her. HAPPY BIRTHDAY BECKY! tyler shaveTyler grows his beard out every winter, and March 17th is the designated shave day. Even though spring has not yet sprung in Alaska– as it seems to have everywhere else based on the rest of the country’s social media updates!– it is still a nice nod to the approaching warm season. As you can see, Tyler did keep a little bit of face fur for the last few weeks of biting cold 😉


A mere 56 years ago, you joined this world to make it a better place 😉

But really, much of what makes me friendly to the stranger, alien, and outcast; curious about different cultures and peoples; stubborn about what I think is truth; eager to welcome people into my home; obsessive about things having a place and being in it; adventurous enough to travel the world… I get from you.

Thank you.