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christmas

Christmas Giveaway with Anderson Design Group! [CLOSED]

Christmas Giveaway with Anderson Design Group Our Streamlined Life

Today we’re launching our first-ever giveaway … and we want YOU to be a part of it! We’ve teamed up with Anderson Design Group to introduce you to some incredible artwork … and give you a chance to get some of it for yourself  just in time for Christmas!

We first discovered Anderson Design Group while doing some random Googling about the national parks. (Yes, that’s something we do a lot.) We immediately fell in love with their gorgeous national park art printst-shirtscalendars … and even the coloring book that made it onto our holiday gift guide! And their National Park collection isn’t the only thing to love at Anderson Design Group! We’re also crazy about their Lake and Lodge and American Travel collections!

2017 Travel Planning with Anderson Design Group

Anderson Design Group was generous enough to send us a few products to check out for ourselves, and we loved them even more once we got our hands on their beautiful, high-quality work. As soon as he started turning the pages of their coffee table book, Ryan was immediately inspired to drop everything and start plotting our 2017 map across the United States. (The vintage-inspired art for each of the 59 national parks is jaw-dropping, and there’s tons of interesting information about each park, too.) And we extra loved this company after learning that in 2015, Joel Anderson — the artist and founder of Anderson Design Group — took his family on a national parks road trip from Nashville to New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah. Total kindred spirits!

They also sent us this gorgeous calendar (I can’t get over how beautiful that oil painting of Redwood National Park is!) and the 59-piece national parks postcard set (which we are currently scheming to use in a fun blog project for 2017 … seriously, if you’re a national parks enthusiast, the possibilities for ways to use these postcards are endless!).

We knew you guys would love Anderson Design Group as much as we do, so we were thrilled when they offered to give two of our readers a $25 gift card, good for anything in their online store! Whether you’re a full-time traveler like us … a weekend warrior intent on seeing the world … or a homebody who loves celebrating your hometown, there’s something at Anderson Design Group for everyone! (And their products would make the perfect gift for the traveler or national park enthusiast in your life, too!)

Here’s How To Win:

  1. To enter, leave a comment at the end of this post telling us which item from Anderson Design Group’s online store you’d use your $25 gift card to buy.
  2. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to track your entry (mandatory). Simply log in with your Facebook account or email. Once you’ve left your comment on this post, check it off in the box below, which will unlock additional options to enter.
  3. OPTIONAL: Earn ADDITIONAL entries by completing more actions in the Rafflecopter widget, including sharing our post on Pinterest and liking Our Streamlined Life and Anderson Design Group on Instagram and Facebook.

So jump in and enter! We are dying to give these gift cards away!

This giveaway closes Friday, December 23, 2016, at 11:59 p.m. EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Christmas Gallery: Five Thoughtful Reads

Ryan and I love Christmas. For the most part we find ourselves pretty stress-free during the holidays. That’s partly because we’re pretty good about streamlining the holidays and only doing the things we really want to do … and partly because we genuinely enjoy many Christmas “obligations” like parties and shopping.

The posts I’m sharing below are fresh, thoughtful, and practical takes on Christmas. I hope they encourage and bring you a little joy this holiday season, just as they have to me!

How to Practice Minimalism During the Holidays - Our Streamlined Life

How To Practice Minimalism During the Holidays. Melanie’s tips on keeping your holidays sane are practical and attainable. #3 is my favorite. [from A Small Life]

5 Reasons I'm Not Simplifying Christmas This Year - Our Streamlined Life

5 Reasons I’m Not Simplifying Christmas This Year. Ironically the concept of “simplifying Christmas” can feel like a lot of work. (So much pressure to not do what everyone else is doing!) I always find Laura Vanderkam to be a voice of reason in a crazy world, and this Christmas post is no different. [from Laura Vanderkam]

How We Do Christmas Gifts in Our Family - Our Streamlined Life

How We Do Christmas Gifts in Our Family. Emily’s posts are always practical and thoughtful and I loved this read on the four gifts they give each of their kids at Christmas. Not only does she include lovely printables, but she shares how they’re helping her kids become more grateful. Love! [from Jones Design Company]

How to Decorate for Christmas Without Punching Someone in the Face - Our Streamlined Life

How to Decorate for the Holidays Without Punching Someone in the Face. Both funny and thoughtful, this post will help you put the joy back in holiday decorating. (Without punching your husband, OR the Martha May Whovier who lives next door.) #4 is my favorite, but the bottom line — “Simply decorate until it’s not fun anymore.” — is perfect. [from The Lazy Genius Collective]

Christmas At Home (Wait ... Whose Home?) - Our Streamlined Life

Christmas at Home (Wait … Whose Home?) With one family in New Hampshire and another in Louisiana, we do a lot of traveling at Christmas. So I really appreciated Rachel’s post on making sure your Christmas reflects your family values (not just your extended family’s traditions). [from Small Notebook]

Travel Update: Holiday Doings in Baton Rouge

When we last updated you on our travels, we had just arrived in Baton Rouge, Louisiana after a two-week, fun-filled road trip south.

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In the two weeks since then we’ve been enjoying fun holiday activities with our southern family, and spending lots of time in front of the Christmas tree!

The first order of business was not one but two (delicious) Thanksgiving celebrations — the first with Ryan’s extended family on his dad’s side, the second with his mom’s family.

That weekend we helped pick out a lovely Christmas tree, and Ryan and his dad decked their house out in lights. (Notice the mixture of Christmas lights, the fall leaves on the fence, and the short sleeved shirts. The South can be a confusing place.)

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The following week was something of a whirlwind. We celebrated three family members’ birthdays, and Ryan’s mom and I went to a ladies’ Christmas party at their church. (The food was delicious, but my favorite part was the beautiful and creative centerpieces decorating each table.)

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On Friday night we headed into downtown Baton Rouge with Ryan’s parents for the annual Festival of Lights, which included a tree lighting, fireworks, a live band, a 5K race, and an appearance by Santa.

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I was disappointed not to be able to run in the Reindeer Run 5K as I’d hurt my back that week, but the view of the fireworks over the old state capitol made up for missing out! (Yes, Louisiana’s old state capitol is awesome and looks like a castle.)2015-12-04 18.06.34
We grabbed dinner at Poor Boy Lloyd’s and headed home to watch The Bishop’s Wife (one of our favorites!) — a thoroughly Christmasy evening!

Our next holiday adventure was visiting the Christmas display at the LSU Rural Life Museum. Rural Life is a fascinating indoor and outdoor museum focusing on the life of the working classes of the 18th and 19th centuries and the culture of southern Louisiana at that time.

We paused to take a Christmas picture on one of the many old cottages in the museum …

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… and the evening wrapped up with a blazing bonfire, a band (is that what they’re called?) of bagpipers playing “Auld Lang Syne,” and an appearance by Papa Noel!

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In between all those Christmas festivities, we’ve been hard at work: Making blog plans for 2016, plotting our next road trip, and working on the camper. In between we’ve been enjoying time in front of the fire, watching all the Christmas movies, and soaking up the holiday cheer.

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After just a few weeks in one place, we’re already getting a little stir crazy. I’ve caught myself browsing flight deals on Southwest and Ryan’s been spending waaaaay too much time being envious of other people’s Instagram adventures. So we’re thinking we might squeeze in a car-camping weekend — Arkansas and Mississippi are both on our radar — if we can work around family activities. In the meantime we’re getting pretty excited for our upcoming 10-week trek across the Southwest … and until we hit the road, we’re so happy to be getting in lots of family time!