Thursday, September 29, 2016

Style Simplified

Chambray Top - J CREW || Black Denim - NORDSTROM || 
Black Flats - FOREVER 21 || Statement Necklace - J CREW

I have a tendency to over complicate things.

It took me a solid five minutes to figure out how to begin this blog post.

The struggle is real.

I do the same thing with what I wear every day. It honestly doesn't matter whether I'm just running around town with the girls or going out on a date with Matt, I have been known to just stand and stare at my clothes hoping something will jump out and inspire me.

I've just always felt that in order to create a great style, I had to have a loud mix of colors and patterns.

Not long ago, I got so frustrated with this process that I started trying to really focus more on styling the simplest of outfits that still feel put together.

The idea of just wearing chambray with black denim sounds super uninspired. I'm technically wearing denim from head to toe. But just keep in mind that simple does not have to equal boring.

Simple is just simple. I'ts chic. It's polished. It's not fussy and doesn't take much to accomplish.

So don't be afraid to simplify.

Happy Friday, loves!


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Girl's Trip - NYC 2016

I've been to NYC once before but it was actually when Matt's flare up was beginning so it was really a hard trip for him and in turn for me too. We still had a great time -- he's such a trooper-- but I'm just excited to go back now that we've got a better lay of the land and Matt's health is heading in the right direction.

I'm going the first week in December with two other lifestyle bloggers so naturally we are already planning our outfits for each day, trying to decide how many coats we can each bring, and trying to uncover every quintessential "Christmas in New York" activity we can take part in.

There will be lots of brunching, lots of shopping, and lots of exploring the city. Last time we went, my sister and I didn't really take into consideration how painful it would be to try to walk all over a massive city in booties. Even our flats left us with blisters. This year I'm packing these shoes and plan to wear them every day! I'll change into heels for dinner. But when it comes to sightseeing, I'm going comfortable.

One of the dream come true moments from our last trip was having tea at The Plaza.

We went on my birthday and my sister, Anna, arranged a black SUV to pick us up from our hotel to take us to tea. It was the sweetest! We rolled up feeling like celebrities. Well, she looked like a celebrity. I felt like her assistant. It's fine. Anyway, it was absolutely everything I dreamed it would be.

When Pink Blush reached out to me about doing a collaboration with them, as soon as I saw this gorgeous black tulle skirt, I immediately thought about wearing it to The Plaza. The skirt has an elastic waste band but it's so soft and forgiving. You could even wear it over a baby bump if you're expecting. It was hard to narrow it down to this skirt when I saw all the cuteness on their site, but this was just speaking to me. Ladies, when you're in this season of baby carrying and having, you know an elastic waste band is your FRIEND!

This bow tie from ASOS is everything for me right now. I'm really trying to refrain from styling it 25 different ways. Don't be too shocked when see it reoccurring over the next few months!

We would love to hear from you about any tips on seeing NYC. Favorite spots to eat (especially dessert!), what to see aside from the big stuff, and any secrets you wanna share for how to make the most of our time there.

Hope you have a great day! As always, thank you so much for reading!



Thursday, September 22, 2016

Fall Bucket List

The first day of Fall has come and gone and we are officially IN the season.

Now if only the weather down here in the south would take a hint and cool OFF. We'd be in business.

In honor of it being scarf and boots season, here's a look that gives me all the Fall feels!

Our Fall Bucket List:

1. Spend a cool Saturday morning at the Farmer's Market: I love going to our local farmer's market! Our tradition is to throw on some comfy clothes, load the stroller, grab me a PSL, and just meander thru the rows and rows of local farmers, artists, and bakers. You can get a solid breakfast in thanks to the abundance of delicious samples being offered. I can embarrass Matt by asking the farmers what chemicals they use on the veggies. The girls are perfectly behaved as they look forward to the promised King of Pops Popsicle at the end of our walk. It's just the best!

2. Go Pumpkin Picking: Every year in late October my whole family (over 30 of us) meets up at Burt's Pumpkin Patch in the North Georgia mountains. It's the sweetest family owned operation complete with a hay ride that has talking pumpkins sharing the Gospel. Bless. They have kettle corn and hot boiled peanuts to munch on while you scour the fields for the perfect pumpkin to take home. It's also a LEGIT photo opp... golden leaves and pumpkins? Yes, please.

3. Go to the Fall Festival: Normally it's my family who are the steep tradition keepers, but Matt's family has a few of their own. One of those is going to the Fall Festival in McCaysville, Georgia. Matt's dad grew up in this teensy tiny town so every year we make the treck back up to explore old stomping grounds. Reese and Rowe are just in it for a ride on the tractor with their Poppa. I'm mostly there for the apple cinnamon donuts from the orchard down the road.

4. Go Apple Picking: The same weekend we go to the Fall Festival, we venture over to a small orchard to pick apples straight off the trees. Last time we went, we were the only people there so we got a private tour and got to learn about all the different kinds of apples they grew. It was beautiful and SO fun. Rowe will even be big enough this year to run through the orchard instead of riding on Daddy's shoulders.

5. Bake an Apple Pie: What are we gonna do with all those apples we pick? I'm glad you asked! We gonna bake us a PIE! I'll be trying my hand at a gluten free crust so Matt can enjoy it with us. It'll be good practice for Thanksgiving. I think I'm up for the challenge and my lovely little baking assistant can't wait to get her hands dirty!

We always like to add in a few more fun Fall-ish activities like eating chili by the fire while football is on TV. I also love sipping hot apple cider and roasting marshmallows for s,mores. We also take our family Halloween costumer pretty seriously. Stay tuned for that!

So what about you? What are you looking forward to this Fall?

Thanks for stopping by!



Outfit Details Here:

Fall Home Tour

Happy First Day of FALL!

I wish I could have each of you over to walk through our cozy little home as we prepare it to welcome the cooler weather. Just imagine you're walking in the front door where the sound of a crackling fire and the smell of pumpkin bread and spiced apple cider is in the air. Kick off your shoes and make yourself at home. I will fill you a mug to warm your hands as you wander.

My goal for this year's fall decor was to keep it simple. I have a tendency to go overboard with decor and I really just wanted touches of the season. I'm not a huge fan of orange but I do love the warmth of cranberry mixed with a hint of pumpkin hues so it's not all white and green. I used all fresh eucalyptus and mostly real white pumpkins. I did snag a few fabric pumpkins that I incorporated here and there. So glad to be able to look forward to re-using them next year!

Welcome to our Little White House!

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Home Sweet Home Sign
Harvest Pillow
Buffalo Check Pillow
Hanging Basket in Entry - local store, linked similar
Small green wreath
Hunter Boots
Red Kids Hunter Boots
Gold Lamp
Office Chair
Glass Lamps in Den
Shades in Den
Godfrey Sign
Large green wreath on mantel
Sofa Table
Magnolia Wreath - Decor Steals
White Pumpkins
Dining Room Chandelier
Dining Table
Dining Chairs
Wooden Candle Holders
Cloth Napkins
Dough Bowl (antique - similar linked)
Tiered Stand on Buffet
Buffalo Check Curtain Panels
Kitchen Table
Kitchen Chairs

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Family Health Crises + Cognac Bags

Hi, sweet friends!

I hope you had the best weekend!! Ours was so laid back and chill, which is just what we needed.

In case you were wondering, I am aware how random of a post title this is. Who talks about family health crises and cognac bags in the same blog post? Well, I do. This is my life, y'all. We may be struggling thru the toughest times our family has ever experienced, but that doesn't mean everything else in life stands still. It's a balance between being grounded in reality (which can be scary at times!) and escaping thru creativity.

Matt was diagnosed with a chronic disease (ulcerative colitis) when he was 18. If you know anything about our story, you know we were dating at that time of his diagnoses so we went through a lot at a very early stage of our relationship. He's been in and out of the hospital over the past 12 years but this past year has been a doozy of a relapse. Every doctor he's ever seen has told him that his case is the worst and most complicated they've seen in their careers. Flattering for sure.

He's spent a combined total of two months hospitalized since January and oddly enough, it was during this time that I started getting the idea to start a style blog.

I know, weird timing.

My first ever "style post" was actually on the Emory University Hospital campus during a visit with Matt. I finally got up the nerve to pose in front of the i-phone while random strangers walked by and stared.

There were so many nights I spent alone and scared and as far as I could see it, I had two options:

I could worry myself to tears, conjuring up all the horrible possibilities with his health


I could choose to focus my energies on something that breathed life into me.

I chose the latter and here we are.

Matt is such a trooper and has THE best attitude. Even with all he's gone thru, he is just the most positive and hopeful bright spot for our family.

He still has to go in for treatment every few weeks and gets admitted each time for at least two to three days, but we are so thankful that he seems to be improving!

We know he will have at least two lengthy stays (two to three weeks) due to major surgeries between now and the end of the year. I'll try to keep you posted on his progress. That's one area that we sort of forget to fill people in on. But I'll try to do better! Thank you to those who have prayed for us. We love you to the moon and back!

Now onto bags!

 I had a friend ask me to help her do some shopping for a new cross body leather cognac bag. I look at these all the time because I just don't think you can have too many of these neutral bags! I'd have hundreds if I could. But I can't. So I'll just look at pictures of them and drool.

Here are a few of my favorites!

I love this color bag because it can literally be worn with anything. The color is so rich and just makes me feel fancy even when I'm not at all fancy. #momlife

Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you had a great day!



Friday, September 16, 2016

Blush Pink + Favorite Fall Color Combos

Hi, friends!

I can't hide my love for blush pink right now. I'm seeing it everywhere and it's just beautiful. I'm currently on the hunt for a blush faux leather jacket and I'm loving this one...

I'm also needing a pea coat for an upcoming trip to NYC and am trying to choose between these four. Help a sister out!

This flannel plaid button down top from The Loft is giving me all the feels. Paired with skinny and these precious flats would be a perfect fall look.

I recently bought these blush flats from Forever 21 and I was really worried about whether or not they would be comfortable because Y'ALL I do not mess when it comes to shoe comfort. Aint nobody got time for blisters. Rest assured if you ever see me tag a pair of shoes, it goes without saying that they are COMFY.

Some of my favorite color combos for the Fall involve softer, muted tones (orange isn't in my color wheel) so grey + blush..... olive + blush..... marcalla + blush..... BLACK + blush..... yes, please.
I love this look, especially since the dress and poncho are both on sale!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Transitional Fall Style Under $25

Hey Y'all!

Looks like the heat is here to stay for a while so it seems I've got two options:

1. Move to Alaska and take all my blanket scarves with me

2. Add more options to my Fall transitional wardrobe

For the sake of familial stability, I guess I'll be going with the latter. So here I am, sweating in September and doing my best to find the right pieces that will work now in the heat AND later if and when the cooler temps arrive.

I love this tie button down top from She In. The fit is great and the built in tie is a sweet touch. Also, it's $13.99! Can't beat that.

Here are a few more that I've been loving! And YES they're all under $20!

One more quick thing: I've had quite a few people ask me about my experience ordering from She In so I wanted to just give a little run down for you! It normally takes about 7-10 days for my order to get here. The customer service department is actually very attentive. The quality of everything I've ordered has been really good with the exception of one sweater. I let them know about it and they were quick to rectify the situation. It is a pain to have to return anything so I suggest reading up on sizing before you make a purchase. If it's something you've seen me wear, feel free to give me  shout. I'm always happy to help!
Happy Hump Day!


Speaking Kind Words

Good Morning! I hope your week is off to a great start. 

I was reading in Proverbs this morning and came across this verse that I just love:

"Anxiety weighs down the heart, but I kind word cheers it up." Proverbs 12:25

I used to read this verse and think that I needed to just surround myself with more kind people so that I wouldn't become weighed down by anxious thoughts. But until I began to change my self talk, nothing would really change. I had to make the conscious decision to be kind to myself in order to combat the self-criticism I had become so accustomed to.

I've found that it's so much easier to be accountable to the words I say to others than the words I say to myself. I'm my own worst critic but this attitude really is counterproductive. In Mark 3:25, it says that "If a house is divided against itself, it cannot stand." If you are mean to yourself and calling down ugly words over yourself in your mind, your ability to accomplish anything will be slim to none. Because you're at war within yourself. You're divided.

But when you choose to speak kind words to yourself and to be gentle with your mind, you breathe courage and strength. You will literally cheer yourself  up!

Mommas, we don't have to look very hard to find reasons to beat ourselves up. Here's a little picture into my mindset on a daily basis. Maybe you can relate.

A Day in the Life of a Mean Mind:

Wakes up.

"I probably should have woken up earlier to work out. Now I'm going to gain five pounds and I'm NEVER going to lose the rest of this baby weight."

Hears baby crying.

"Maybe she'll go back to sleep. That's mean. I'm such a mean mom. I should get her right away. What if she's hurt?"

Jumps out of bed. Trips over shoes in the floor.

"Ouch! (Didn't cuss. Winning.) Maybe if I could keep my house cleaner, I wouldn't trip over things. I bet _______ has such a clean house. I bet she probably has already worked out this morning, too. She's so skinny. And her hair? Gosh I wish I had her hair. I'd settle for my hair just growing back in. Post baby hair loss is no joke. You know what IS a joke? My cleaning skills. I'm the worst homemaker."

Opens babies bedroom door.
"Good morning, love! Come see momma!"

Put baby down to change diaper and get dressed. Sees irritated bottom.
"Shoot, I knew I shouldn't have let her have dairy. Why am I so bad at feeding my kids? Only green juice for everyone today. Who am I kidding, I don't have anything green in this entire house. Ok frozen waffles it is. At least they're organic. Or are they? I just want to make sure she's getting enough calcium. I knew I should have breastfed longer. She probably wouldn't have a red bottom if I was still nursing. ________ still nurses her two year old and he never gets red bottoms. Or at least I'm pretty sure he definitely never gets red bottoms."

Reaches for clothes. Everything is dirty.

"I was supposed to wash clothes yesterday and forgot. Actually I remembered to put them in the washer but not in the dryer so now they've been sitting there for a day and I'll have to start them over again because they'll smell spoiled. Speaking of smelling spoiled... I stink. Did I shower yesterday? Did I shower the day before?"

Puts baby back in pajamas and walks downstairs. Feeling defeated because I didn't wake up early enough, didn't work out, probably getting fatter as we speak, has a dirty house with no healthy food and no time to shower. And it's not even breakfast yet.

A Morning in the Life of a Kind Mind:

Wakes up.

"This bed is so comfy I can't move. I've been running ragged so I'm so glad I was able to sleep in."

Hears baby crying.

"She'll be ok for a minute while I make my bed and brush my teeth."

Jumps out of bed. Trips over shoes in the floor.

"Ouch! (Didn't cuss. Winning.) Woops! Forgot to put those booties up last night. Gosh, I love these shoes. They made my legs look great on our date last night. That date was so fun. Those fajitas were amazing. Still proud of myself for splitting and only eating a few chips. Peace out, baby weight!"

Opens babies bedroom door.

"Good morning, love! Come see momma!"

Put baby down to change diaper and get dressed. Sees irritated bottom.

"Uh oh! You got a red bottom. Let's put some medicine on it to make it feel better then go get some yummy breakfast. We are gonna have waffles! No more yogurt for you, little one."

Reaches for clothes. Everything is dirty.

"No clean clothes yet so you get to stay in your jammies like mommy! Let's go start the washer over so you'll have some clean clothes to wear this afternoon."

Puts baby back in pajamas and walks downstairs. Feeling refreshed from a good nights sleep, already getting a good start to the day by doing laundry, eating waffles, and maybe will even sneaking a workout and a shower in during nap time.

Nothing changed about my morning except the way I responded to it. 

One thing that both kind words and mean words have in common is that they start a chain reaction. Speaking even one mean word to yourself will open up pandora's box of ugly and spew it out all over you. You might have started out tripping over a shoe, but you might just end up as a no good, clumsy, out of shape, doofus with bad hair, a dirty house, and no self discipline. 

Speak a kind word though and you begin to feel hopeful, cheerful, and optimistic. You might have started out tripping over a shoe, but you ended up as a grateful, happy, smiling girl who had an awesome date night last night, a super cute new pair of booties, and a genuine love for fajitas. 

I hope this little exercise will remind you that you're not alone if you find yourself beating yourself up, but you're also not a hopeless cause. It takes just as much energy to swing to the side of kindness as it does to slump into the hole of self-criticism. So let's be nice to ourselves. Little eyes are watching. What a wonderful legacy to leave to love ourselves the way GOD loves us! 

Happy Tuesday, loves!!

Monday, September 5, 2016

The Best Distressed Denim

Hi, friends!

Hope you had a great Labor Day Weekend!

Our weekend was busy but in a good way. Reese still had a soccer game Saturday morning and as soon as it was done, we headed up to the mountains for the day. Sunday morning we had a slow morning eating pancakes in our jammies before heading to the later service at church. We met family for lunch after church and then while everyone took afternoon naps, momma went shoppin! And Y'all. It was crazy town out there. If it weren't for the heat and lack of Christmas tunes, I could have promised it was Black Friday. What in the world?

After the hectic shopping experience, Matt and I got to go on a super fun date that included a few of my favorite things:
1. Being with Matt
2. Eating at OK Cafe
3. Browsing every aisle in IKEA
4. Jeni's Ice Cream

It was so fun!

Monday I got up and went for a run even though I had almost zero desire to do so. The trail was particularly crowded with fallen limbs and rocks so I wiped out GOOD. Thankfully no one was around to see me. Not one of my more graceful moments.

We had a mid-day birthday party for the sweetest little one year old. Reese and Rowen were so very excited to go and were just the sweetest little attendees. It's tough stuff having to watch someone else open presents. Especially when you're TWO!

Post party sugar crash made for epic nap times, which was the perfect way to spend the afternoon if you ask me.

I hope you got to spend time resting from your normal laboring this weekend!

Ok, now let's chat about JEANS.

I've rounded up a few of my favorite pairs of distressed denim and tried to keep the price points under $100. Most of these options have plenty of sizes available but when you're in this price range, options sell out pretty quickly. So keep that in mind!

A few things to keep in mind when you're shopping for jeans online... Most of the models wearing the jeans are fairly tall so if you're not wanting to cuff your jeans, then look for the "ankle" option. The "girlfriend" style will typically already be designed to roll at the cuff a few times and will be a loose fit around the upper leg.

If you're looking for a more of a super distressed look, you're leaning toward "destroyed" denim. If you're wanting an option with a LOT of stretch, try going for a jegging. Don't let that title scare you. What's out now is not the same as what was being sold on informercials a few years ago. Most often these will have an elastic waste band and will be sooooooo comfy and flattering!

Also, if you like the idea of distressed denim but can't quite find the right pair, it's super easy to add some distressing yourself. I'll do a little tutorial on the blog in the next few weeks on how to add distressing to otherwise non-distressed jeans.

Last, but certainly not least, just remember that absolutely anyone can wear distressed denim. It just adds a relaxed fit and visual interest to an outfit. I think they're a wardrobe essential. So get ya some.

Hope that helps with your search!