December 19, 2014

The First Ever J&M Cocoa & Cookie Swap

This year, I can’t explain it, there is just something different about this season.

Justin & I still have all the normal to do’s we always do each year of sending out our client gifts, getting in those last few albums, having our final client meetings of the year & booking our December new J&M brides (love all you ladies!!) But this year, I just feel….peaceful. Or maybe more to the point, peace-filled. I just have this calm over me that it’s all getting done, it’s all coming together, it’s all going to be great. And in the midst of it all, we have still had time to really enjoy the holiday season ourselves. That is definitely a FIRST for us in a looong time!!

So far we have gotten to see the lighted boat parade in Mystic, watched a ton of Christmas movies, made homemade soup & sat by the fire. We’ve decorated our house, we’ve gone to friends holiday parties, and this weekend we are going to see The Nutcracker! It’s really been so amazing to see that change and I’m just so, so grateful for it. And I think if I had to put my finger on it, it’s just been this great season of exchanging striving for being still. Of relinquishing control & trusting that someone much better has got this. It’s in the slowing down, the taking deep breaths, the letting good things come to us rather than trying to force them all the time. It’s been such a huge blessing! And there’s not a doubt in my mind that God has had a hand in all of it. I am so thankful for His peace!

Last night, we gathered some of our favorites together and hosted our first ever J&M Cocoa & Cookie swap! We lit every candle in our house, turned up the Christmas music, and filled our home with friends and a ton of laughter (watching the guys act out the Heads Up game will do that!). When it was all said & done, the party didn’t end until close to 2am. And we went to bed tired, but oh so happy! And as an extra bonus: we are stocked in cookies through the rest of the year!

If you are thinking about hosting a holiday part (either this year or next), I highly recommend the cookie swap! It was a ton of fun seeing what everyone made & we all walked away with such an awesome mix. I wanted to include our set up here in case you’re looking for any inspiration!

Happy Friday friends!

One of my favorite things we did was these tray boxes for everyone to put their cookies in to take home. They were striped boxes with a polka dot tissue paper liner and these metallic imprinted Merry Christmas tags. We got all of them at Hobby Lobby on their 50% off sale for like $1 each!

Jars of marshmallows, chocolate chips & crushed peppermint for everyone to customize their cocoa. And chocolate dipped Oreos there on the right!

Red & white striped straws for the cocoa & hazelnut pirouettes.

Sugar cookies with the peppermint hershey kisses on top. Justin did all of our baking while I did the decorating, and they were DELICIOUS!! He cooks & he fixes stuff….I’m the luckiest girl ever! :)

I just draped these tags into the mugs & it was such an easy & fast way to make them a little more festive!

Candy, CANDY CANES, candy corn and …..syrup!

Cooper was definitely wondering if Santa would put some of those cookies under the tree for him!! :)

  1. katie

    I’ve got a sugar high just from looking at these images! Gorgeous styling and decorating and I’m sure the cocoa and cookie swap itself was the grandest of times :) LOVE YOU!

  2. Christy Tyler

    LOVE this idea!! Some year we will host a holiday party! Some day! haha. And we are feeling the same this year! Much more peace filled! We deliberately turned away work in December (other than one big commercial shoot and a wedding on NYE), so we were able to tie up all our loose ends with fall weddings & sessions, and the last week we’ve been caught up and actually able to RELAX and ENJOY the season! I forgot what that was like! I definitely look forward to being intentional about doing this in the years to come. Much love to you guys this Christmas! xoxo

  3. Rici

    Oh you guys!! you make it all look to wonderful & cozy & wintery & christmasy! <3 <3 You & Cooper make me long for more Christmas flair. as in baaaaad ;) Many hugs!

  4. Karen

    Is it dorky that I am thankful you said "first ever" and not "first annual" … because it can’t be first and an annual event at the same time! Oh, those journalism days! ;)

  5. LaurenDRogers Photography

    I have the biggest urge to just go binge eat cookies for the rest of the day.

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