Today was the day! The big launch! Can I just say I’ve officially had a Simplified Planner by Emily Ley for eight (or is it nine) years now. I found her amazing brand the year after she offered personalized monogrammed, laminated planners out of her home. From day one they have been nothing but amazing space for me to write out my dreams, to-dos and big plans. Yes, the paper (hello amazing paper) binding and designs have evolved over time, but it’s safe to say I’m sticking around for the long haul!

I thought it would be fun to share my picks from today with you all! I love the academic calendar option because, for me, changing to a new planner in July fits better with my schedule. I don’t have the pressure of the holidays + new year to go overboard with my calendar. Now that I have a kiddo in school it also makes sense to have a calendar that runs August thru July of the following year.

If you can’t get on board with the academic calendar layout have no far, in September team Simplified releases their yearly planners in the same beautiful cover options, but with dates the run January thru December!

So let’s get to it! This year my order contained the following:

Dapper Desk planner in blush! How beautiful is this planner. I love that it has a page for each day, including Saturday and Sunday! As an event planner having a full page for weekend days is critical! I also love that it lays flat!

Monthly planner in Carolina Blooms. This is the first year for a monthly planner layout and I’m excited to test this format out. I plan on using the monthly for my blog overview, big business goals and quarterly numbers.

Mini notebook in Blue Hydrangea. How AMAZING is this print! Jesse Bray in the in house designer for Simplified literally made my heart a print. It’s beautiful and I simply couldn’t pass up this perfectly sized notebook!

Magnetic book marks in Blue Hydrangea and Carolina Gingham. I love these page markers for my planner each year and grabbed an extra for my monthly. These page markers find themselves all over my office and I love them!

Of course there were items I had my eye on, but didn’t add to my cart so I had to share those too!

Daily Planner in Blue Hydrangea. I told you this pattern has my heart. Before switching to Dapper Desk last year I was a daily girl for years! I love that you can fold the planner in half and that the binding is extra sturdy. This would have been my pick, hands down, if I would have gone the daily route again.

Pen in Navy Gingham. I love the Simplified pens! My brides each get one to sign their contracts and I have a few in my office. I love how they write, but my office pens still write perfectly fine so I held off on this one this year.

Clipfolio in Navy Blooms. How perfect is this! I love a good Clipfolio and perhaps the only reason I didn’t grab it is because I have one to many. I love the clip on the front and full size pocket and legal pad on the inside. I still might have to grab one (if they aren’t already gone) because of how much I love the function of these!

Have you ever shopped Simplified? If not, you can use my affiliate link for $10 off your very first purchase!

If you did shop today I would love to know what you grabbed! Share with me below in the comments!

I can’t believe 2021 is almost a quarter of the way over and that Easter is almost here! If you caught my LIKEtoKNOW.it post you know that todays Easter Brunch blog post is going to be three parts! When I asked what would be helpful for you all this Easter season a few of your mentioned an Easter menu! So let’s do it!

When I think about brunch it can go a few ways, sweet or savory being the main two options, but also formal, fun or relaxed so that is what we are going to look at today!

FORMAL

I love a good formal Easter brunch! This is for the host who has beautiful white china and is looking for a few extra fun holiday touches and a great menu, for a refined palette. I love these rabbit napkins, chargers and precious stoneware egg plates for salad. For the menu, let’s take a look.

FIRST COURSE
Shrimp Cobb Salad
with Bacon Dressing
Salmon Smoked Crostini
Fruit Salad
with Vanilla Dressing

MAIN COURSE
Chipotle Pineapple Jerk Glazed Ham
served with Oven Roasted Carrots
Baked Potato Casserole
and Fruited Rice Pilaf

DESSERT
Blueberry Lemon Poppyseed Custard Cake

This salad is an all time favorite of mine and I love it served on these adorable plates. The main course is full of flavor and such a beautiful presentation and desert – how could anyone ever forget dessert! This custard cake is the perfect note to end your time at the table to head out to the big egg hunt!

FUN

Next up is cute, fun and kid friendly! How amazing are these bowls and I love the melamine plates. Great pieces for little hands! I love the versatility of this menu. It has all of your brunch staples, but friendly for the youngest guest.

FIRST COURSE
Caesar Salad Wonton Cups
Prosciutto Asparagus Puff Pastry Bundles
Hot Cross Buns

MAIN COURSE
Eggs Benedict Bake
Skillet Baked Eggs and Ham
Upside Down Waffle and Egg Cups

DESSERT
Strawberry Coconut Carrot Cake
with Mascarpone Buttercream

served with Vanilla Ice Cream

These bowls are perfect for this fun dessert and allow kiddos to enjoy their treats, or adults to take their dessert outside to supervise play time! Who doesn’t love cake and ice cream?

RELAXED

For a busy day filled with hustle and bustle I love the food to feel effortless and fun. These paper plates and napkins are the perfect addition to the buffet and allow your guests to serve themselves and enjoy their Easter brunch on their time. To keep things easy I love the idea of a combination of grazing boards.

FIRST COURSE
Waldorf Salad Platter
English Cheese Board
Sharp Cheddar Scones

MAIN COURSE
Build Your Own Bagel Brunch Board
Build Your Own Waffle Brunch Board
Build Your Own Avocado Toast Board

DESSERT
Easter Cupcakes
Easter Candy Board

I love these cupcakes for the sheer fact that they look just like an Easter garden should! They’re easy, festive and free of refined sugar, dairy and gluten! Perfect for any allergies and the pickiest eater won’t even know! Of course, you can also go 100% relaxed with this amazing Easter Candy Board!

What kind of Easter brunch host are you? I am a mix of formal and relaxed for sure! What menu do you prefer? I would love to hear below!

Yesterday was all about beauty so today we are jumping in to wine and whiskey! Yes, that’s right Easter Baskets perfect for the parents of the house! I also love this wine basket as the perfect bunny gift for someone who just bought their first home or is newly married!

First up, let’s celebrate the men! I don’t know about you, but the men in my family are big whisky drinkers. The one thing I can appreciate is a classic decanter and rocks glass set. Pair it with a great set of cocktail napkins and tea towel and you can freshen up any liquor tray any day of the week. A couple of gadgets my husband loves are this smoker and his round ice cubs. If you have a whiskey aficionado who is looking to perfect the round ice cube I might suggest THIS SET, but for any beginner this mold is a great place to start. Pair this with the perfect bottle of whiskey, and a sweet treat, and you’re all set!

Sources: Tray, Smoker, Decantar and Glasses, Cocktail Napkins,
Ice Mold, Ice Set, Candy, Towel

If you know a wine lover then this is the “basket” they need! I truly think this would be perfect for a first time home buyer, a college graduate, a newlywed or just a wine lover in general. You can always pair your favorite bottle of red, or white wine with this basket, but can we talk about what I love most? This amazing, custom monogram porcelain wine party bucket paired with this perfect blue charcuterie board and these melamine plates! Swoon, I’ll take one of each please! I am also a firm believer that everyone should own a classic corkscrew, great set of wine glasses (red and white), decanter and cheese knives. Don’t forget the chocolate to pair with your red wine and this basket is finished!

Sources: Party Bucket, Charcuterie Board, Wine Glasses, Plates,
Corkscrew, Decanter, Candy, Cheese Knives

Which basket are you, wine or whiskey? I would love for you to share below! To see the beauty baskets from yesterday click HERE!

I can’t believe I am writing this, my little boy is one!

If you caught THIS post you know that we thought long and hard about his name. A piece of that puzzle is that a part of Barrett’s name is a nod to my amazing husband, Blair Bear as his family affectionally called him.

I know I only have a few years to pick birthday themes before my little guy weighs in, so I am taking full advantage! I wanted d bear theme, but everything that is mainstream looked like a campsite, and everything else looked like a baby shower. So I took matters into my own hands.

To start I sketched a very special little bear for my little guy. Hidden in his “fur” is a birthday message from mom and I will cherish this detail forever.

I loved working with Katie and Co in Houston to bring the paper details to life. The Sugar Cookie Studio is my go-to for adorable, custom cookies and Alicia knocked these out of the park.

Let’s not forget the adorable bear macarons from Macaron by Patisse and the food from Tout Suite. Thank you Cinnamon Lane for lettering the perfect backdrop to our snacks!

I always knew I wanted to make my children’s birthday cakes, but this was quite the tricky situation. 3 days prior to Barrett’s birthday he actually put his tiny finger in my eye and made quite the mark. Needless to say I am eternally grateful that my mom, Barrett’s Gigi, was in town to help! She and her mom, my Grammy, were where I learned to bake. To have her help me with our family secret white chocolate cake and a chocolate mocha cake was just what was needed. I am sure I would have been off on measurements with my 48 hour eye patch! We also made Barrett a gluten, dairy and refined sugar cake… I’m certain he loved it, but will let you decide.

It was the perfect day with balloons from Big Ass Balloons and bears that we donated to the local fire department.

Happy Birthday little guy. It is the greatest blessing to be your momma, and I love that the Lord gave me a gift of celebrating others to celebrate you!
xo Christina

Photography, Balloons, Venue and Catering

I have linked all of the party supplies on my Amazon page here!

Let’s just say I have written and rewritten this post more times that I would like to admit, so here it goes.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not
to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11

The truth is that I knew when I created this website that this blog would eventually be used for more than just glimpses of my work, my heart for the organizations I volunteer for or things I advocate for. I knew it would eventually be to share more of my family; I just didn’t know how long that journey would take (which is a big reason to why this website has been in the works for a few years).


Courtney Leigh Photography Courtney Leigh Photography 

If you know me you know that I have two fur babies (the CL Mascots as we call the goldendoodles) and am married to the most amazing man! I know that every wife says that about her husband, but I truly mean it. When we got married 1,971 days ago I thought I loved him with all of my heart. Fast forward to our third year of marriage we both knew our love had grown as we started really visiting the idea of babies and a family outside of our four-legged children. Fast forward, yet again, to today and I truly understand that love knows no bounds and is bigger than I have yet to experience.


Christina Leigh Family.jpgChristina Leigh Family.jpg

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Courtney Leigh Photography

However, the one thing we didn’t know when we began that conversation was just how long God had our journey planned for. With more bumps in the road than I like to admit after more than 1,050 days something was different. Although we had been to this place before it wasn’t until December 6, 2017 that it became more of a reality than the times before.

With us taking things a little slower than others may have I am beyond blessed and incredibly humbled to share that Blair and I will welcome the biggest blessing we could ever comprehend this July. The amazing Courtney Brown of Courtney Leigh Photography captured all of these amazing images that Blair and I will be forever grateful for! Including a tiny baby bump we have been praying over for 17 weeks!

Christina Leigh and Blair Frederick Baby Announcement.jpg

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Christina Leigh and Blair Frederick Baby Announcement 3.jpg

Christina Leigh and Blair Frederick Baby Announcement 2.jpg

The honest truth is that while we are beyond ecstatic to share our news my heart also goes out to those in the midst of this journey. While we don’t know what your individual story might be, we do know what its like to love something so much and never meet. We know what its like to be asked when were going to jump on the baby train (to which my husband will tell you we may have very easily been the conductor – his ability to make me laugh may be one of my most favorite things about him) and what it’s like to see baby announcement after baby announcement, or what it seems.

Please know that if you’re in the middle of a journey, confused or discouraged that God is with you. If you need someone to talk to, or someone to pray for you I am more than happy to, and I’m happy to share more of our story.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged,
for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9

Christina Leigh and Blair Frederick Baby Announcement 5.jpgCourtney Leigh Photography  

To each of you who have shared in our journey, who have prayed over this precious baby or have loved on us and our marriage – we are so grateful for you and can’t thank you enough! We would love for continued prayers as we begin an entirely new chapter and welcome baby Frederick this summer.

For this child I have prayed and the Lord has granted me the desires of my heart.
1 Samuel 1:27

With Love, Christina and Blair Frederick

  1. Megan Elbrecht says:

    Hi Christina-
    I went to high school with Blair. This post is beautifully written. My husband and I found ourselves in our own “journey” with more sadness and loss than we thought we could handle. But handle it we did. We will welcome our miracle this August. Thank you for sharing. It’s important to talk about these things so women know they aren’t alone. Congratulations!!!
    – Megan (Freese) Elbrecht

    • Christina Frederick says:

      Thank you so much, Megan! I wrote and rewrote this post so many times, but in the end felt it was important to share a little of our journey as hearing from others helped me so much in the midst of our story. 🙂 Thank you for sharing also, and what an amazing blessing for you to welcome in August! Congratulations to you as well!
      xo Christina

  2. Rhiannon says:

    Congratulations, mama! Those sweet snuggly blessings are worth every single footstep and minute of prayer and waiting. You look so beautiful and happy. I’m thrilled for you three xoxo

  3. Meggie says:

    All the heart eyes for these gorgeous photos!! So excited for y’all!

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