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Meet the Ridleys!

Posted by Emily Richwine on

There's no place like home for the holidays, which is why we were so excited to spend our seasonal campaign at home with one of our favorite families, the Ridleys! Their happy home in Northern California was the perfect place to deck the halls and unwrap all of our latest styles. We can't wait to give you a behind-the-scenes peek!

You may recognize Ruthie Ridley from our Instagram feed. This lifestyle blogger is one of our favorite follows. You have to check her out at @ruthieridley. She offers so much inspo for every day — from fashion to decor to Friday dance parties with her sweet family!


 

A mama of three and former nurse, Ruthie started her blog six years ago as a place to share her love of fashion. She describes her look as "classic and timeless with a side of fun, flirty flair" (which we love of course!). And she loves Vera Bradley. "I just can't get enough of the colorful prints and feminine details!"

 

What we love most about Ruthie is her commitment to being real and sharing positivity, peace and unity. "I want people who visit my blog to just feel JOY!"


 

Joy is of course exactly what we want you to feel when you see our new holiday collection, so we were so happy to celebrate the holidays a little early with Ruthie and her family  — after all, it's their favorite time of year! Christmas is a BIG deal for Ruthie. She grew up with immigrant parents who were all about working hard and didn’t do a lot of holiday traditions.

 

"The holidays were not huge for me growing up ... but they are BIG in our house — I love going all out!" — Ruthie


 

After a not-so-normal holiday season last year, the Ridleys were so excited to get back to their favorite traditions. Even Mimi and Pops joined the celebration! Our small crew documented it all — from present exchanging to big dinner preparing to the quiet moments at home.

 

Ruthie and her family are all about family traditions — cutting down their own Christmas tree from the local tree farm, arguing over who gets to place the angel on top, packing the kids in the car to go look at holiday lights, a BIG Christmas Eve dinner with extended family (Ruthie hosts!), watching the Queen’s speech (husband Ben was born in England) ... and so many more. Here's a few we got to experience with Ruthie and her family.


Festive Fact: Daughter Sav takes all of Ruthie's blog pics and was a HUGE help on shoot. She earned her new title of "mini creative director."

 

First up, we talked food! With her husband being from England and Ruthie being born in Jamaica, the menu is most certainly a mash up of all kinds of favorites — from roasted lamb to lots of apps to Pop's famous mac and cheese.

"We host everyone here for the holidays. We have loads of appetizers, a big dinner and plenty of treats!" — Ruthie

Another favorite holiday tradition is matching PJs and a holiday book on Christmas Eve. We LOVE this one (and just so happen to have lots of festive options to build your own family look).


 

As for presents —  it's all about the GIVING (not the receiving) for the Ridleys! "I love to see the reaction on their faces when they open it!" – Judah

 

And after presents, it's homemade cinnamon rolls around the table ... and later, gingerbread-house decorating. Yum!

 

 

The Ridleys also love to use Winter Break together to travel. "We don't get snow here, so we LOVE to go find it in Tahoe and build snowmen and have snowball fights." – Ava

 

Follow the festive fun all season long on Instagram as we continue to celebrate with the Ridleys! We so hope to be part of your traditions this year!

 

 

Ridley Recipe: Homemade Gingerbread Houses

A favorite holiday tradition for the whole fam is making (and eating!) gingerbread houses. Get in on this sweet tradition with this classic recipe!

 

Yields 1 gingerbread house

 

Baking:

½ cup butter, softened

½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup molasses

2 tbsp cinnamon

1 tbsp ginger

1 ½ tsp cloves

1 tsp baking soda

2 cups all-purpose flour

3 tbsp water

 

Assembling:

Royal Icing

4 cups powdered sugar

2 egg whites

1 tsp vanilla

    Piping bags

    Piping tips

    Candy for decorating (and snacking!)

     

     1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar, molasses, spices and baking soda until smooth.

    2. Slowly add the flour and water until a stuff dough forms.

    3. Chill the dough for at least one hour.

    4. Preheat the oven to 375℉.

    5. Roll out the chilled dough until it’s ¼ inch thick. Lightly flour and cut the dough into gingerbread house shapes. Save the unused dough scraps for tiny, bite-sized cookies!

    6. Bake the shapes for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

    7. Let the shapes completely cool — they can be stored in the fridge for up to a week before assembling!

    8. To construct the gingerbread house, use generous amounts of royal icing to stick the shapes together.

    9. Decorate the gingerbread house with all of your favorite candies, like peppermints and gumdrops — you can even use coconut flakes for your own snow!

    10. Enjoy the sight of your finished, oh so jolly gingerbread house!

      #VeraBradley