saying farewell to 2014

Monday, December 29, 2014

from the other week at our annual christmas exchange with my high school BFFs

Saying good-bye to one year and preparing for a new year is such a time of reflection for me.  Frankly this past month has been a time of reflection in my life.  I've obviously put blogging on the back-burner a bit, partially because it's the holidays and I've wanted to soak up every single sparkle in Georgia's little eyes and partially because this first trimester has knocked my socks off.  On top of getting the stomach bug, Matt's had a cold and I've been super exhausted and nauseous.  Honestly, I've just been kind of overwhelmed lately.  I feel like I've had so much to say on here but just haven't had the time or energy to say it.  I still have an amazing car review to share with y'all too (spoiler alert: I loved my weekend with a Tahoe!).

But my family is healthy again, I'm at the tail-end of my first trimester and I feel truly blessed to be ringing in 2015 with my favorite people, including the tiny baby lady/gentleman in my belly!  And God is so good y'all.  So good.  So all of this is so say hi!  I'm still here.  I still blog and I'm still so thankful for this community.  I'll be taking this week to prioritize and clear some clutter for the year ahead and hope to blog some more starting next week.  Things might be changing around here just a bit too :).  Until next week, happy new year!


And baby makes FOUR! (five including our fur baby!)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Surprise!  While I've been MIA for the past few weeks, I've also been (and still am) pregnant!  Georgia will be a big sis this July.  Apparently I have a thing for July babies?!  Baby #2 is due a few weeks before G turns 2!  We are overwhelmed, excited and feeling so unbelievably blessed.  Unfortunately a lot of this first trimester has been spent hovering over a toilet as I've been kinda sick, and exhausted (chasing after a toddler probably adds to that!), but I know it will all be so very worth it and I cannot wait to meet my sweet baby.  I love him/her so much already.  And I know G is going to be the very best big sister.  She is such a loving child already, always sharing her "baba" (aka sippy cup of milk) with her animals and giving them kisses before night night.  Her new favorite word is "cozy" and that is code for cuddle time, under a blanket with mommy or daddy.  

So surprise!  Anticipate some preggy posts to come :)

Merry Christmas!

oh hey! i'm alive!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

preparing to take on the slide at chik fil a....

my heart

sooo about the radio silence.  so sorry about that.  things have been a bit out of control over here!  between christmas decorating, baking and all things merry life has been a fun mess!  and then.  thennnnnnn, my family came down with the worst. stomach bug. EVER.  like ever in the history.  like i threw up every 20 minutes for 13 hours worst ever.  so yea.  and thankfully my saint of a mom and dad were able to swoop in a save our tiny princess from our contaminated house so she did not get it.  not sure what i would do with out my parents, i really don't.  or my huz.  because when he felt just as bad as i did, he still Cloroxed and Lysoled away as to prevent any further contamination.  love my family.

so yea.  we are on the mend thankfully.  and just in time for my mama's annual cookie exchange party!  and the VS fashion show tonight!  and!  and!  my 29th birthday tomorrow!  wahooo!  lots of celebrating ahead and i love it.  so i apologize for the MIA-ness around here.  i promise to bring some great posts next week (a car review!  a special little announcement!  and lots of christmas cheer!).  until then, i'm going to go enjoy my last day as a 28 year old!


cyber monday // give back

Monday, December 1, 2014

cousins on thanksgiving

I've been excited for today for awhile.  I'm a BIG online shopper you see.  Cyber Monday is like my arena.  I love it.  But something happened last night.  Matt and I were watching 60 minutes per a usual Sunday night and it highlighted the World Food Programme, specifically it's work in aiding Syrian Refuges, and suddenly Cyber Monday seemed like a joke.  I was stunned.  In the 21st Century, in a world where my family had TOO MANY leftovers on Thanksgiving, people, children, are dying from starvation.  I'm not completely naive now.  I know there are other parts of this world, other parts of my city even, where people don't live like I do.  Where the last thing on their minds is Cyber Monday and the most pressing concern is their next meal.  But when the face of a child, a young girl, flashed across my TV screen in the arms of her mother where she died from hunger, I just couldn't shake it.  No child should die of hunger today.  Especially when food is just a few blocks away (which was the case for this sweet, poor child).  I know most of us sincerely try to give back, especially this time of year.  And I truly believe your efforts make a huge difference.  Whether it's Operation Christmas Child, Salvation Army Donations or baked goods for those in need, your help is needed and appreciated.  So I guess this post is just a whole lot of rambling for me to say thanks.  Thanks to those who tirelessly work for the good of others.  Thanks to the World Food Programme.  To their volunteers who give their lives to bring a little hope to families who have lost theirs.  You bring Jesus to places that have lost everything.  Thank you.  Also I want to encourage you ALL to take this quiz.  It is COMPLETELY FREE and takes maybe 90 seconds.  And for each quiz taken, a meal is donated.  Please yall.  It doesn't take much.  You can also donate to the World Food Programme Here.

**This post is NOT a bashing on Cyber Monday or shopping at all.  I believe in supporting small businesses and I love picking out gifts for loved ones.  It was just a bit of a reminder, maybe just for myself, that there is a bigger world that we live in.  One that needs us to act.  And act now.

Happy Monday!

Holiday Gift Guide for HIM

Thursday, November 20, 2014

1.  The Gourmet Sea Salt Sampler.  My hubby enjoys cooking and grilling and he absolutely lvoes trying new "rubs" or seasonings.  And salt?  Well let's just say there's a love affair going on.  No matter how much I salt our food, Matt always has to add a little extra.  So I think this sea salt sampler is the perfect gift for a guy like him.  I know he would love trying out the different flavors (as will Georgia and I!).  $19

2.  Speck IPhone Case.  Guys like minimal - at least my guy does.  I can promise you Matt doesn't want an IPhone case in any color other than black (unless it's Wake Forest gold), and he sincerely needs a case.  I'm leaning towards this one because he can throw a card or two along with a bit of cash in the back which makes it so easy.  Love this case for guys.  $27

3.  Man Can.  Truth be told, my hubby likes candles.  He's been known to light one while I'm not home when he's cleaning or getting stuff done.  He's a keeper I know.  But how cute manly are these candles?  I love them!  I think Matt will definitely end up with one or two of these under the tree.  I'm thinking he may even like one for his desk at work!  $10

4.  Jelly Beans.  These are my hubby's favorite for sure.  So whatever the man in your life loves to snack on, make sure some form of it winds up under the tree!  I'm thinking this 4 lb. jar should last Matt about a month ;).  $23

5.  BMW Luggage Expandable Toploader.  If your hubby travels at all for work this is the perfect gift.  I've been trying to find one for Matt because he has been traveling more lately.  I love that this one serves a  briefcase but can easily slide over the handle of your carry on luggage for ease in the airport.  $300

6.  Math Glasses.  These are so fun.  Matt is super smart.  And loves math and science.  And I just think it would be fun for all the men out there to take their bourbon in a glass with pi on it! $38

7.  Weber Smoker Box.  As I mentioned above, Matt loves grilling.  He's always wanted to try to smoke something and I love that this little smoke box let's your try it out on your own grill.  $22

And congrats to the winner of the Mimi's the Look Giveaway!  Results HERE!

my first experience with Stitch Fix

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

wearing my favorite shirt from stitch fix.  holding my favorite girl.

Have yall heard of the ever-growing, personal shopping experience called Stitch Fix?  Well you should have!  Because it is ah-mazing.  See nowadays, I don't love shopping (my husband may disagree).  And I just don't have the time.  Try bringing a toddler into JCrew and see what happens.  Enter Stitch Fix.  The initial concept flagged my attention and some of my friends have tried (and loved) it so I thought I'd give it a whirl.  You sign up here, fill out a long and personal style questionnaire and your personal shopper does the rest!  You can even attach a link to your Pinterest Style board and leave personal comments (I requested a flannel shirt with some red in it and low and behold I got the softest, most comfy, absolutely perfect flannel shirt in my shipment!).  Another cool feature?  You attach price points to each categories (pants, tops, dresses, jewelry), so you won't receive a bunch of fabulous items that you can't afford.  The best part?  It's no strings attached.  You pay $20 to receive the shipment and if you don't like anything in the shipment, you mail it all back and all you forfeit is your 20 bucks.  But if you keep anything, your $20 goes towards the purchase of that item.  And even better, if you like everything you get 25% off of it all!  I spent $225 on my last shipment and kept everything.  I got a dress, a flannel shirt, jeans, a long cardigan and a black blouse.  I think I made out pretty great.  I also love the style cards sent with each piece offering various ways to style your items.  I kinda wanted to hug my personal shopper.  I know we would be friends in real life.  

So anyway, I think you should give it a shot!  Sign up HERE (I get a credit if you use my link!) and fill out your questionnaire and just wait.  Wait for Christmas to show up in your mailbox.  It's that good!

Holiday Gift Guide for HER

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

holiday gift guide for HER

1.  Gabriella Backpack.  I mentioned in this post about my new love affair with backpacks.  They are chic and practical and I love everything about them.  I carry this backpack EVERYWHERE I go.  I use it on date nights with the hubs as my purse and when I'm running around with G as a diaper bag.  It's the perfect size and goes with everything.  $56

2. BKR Water Bottle.  I think these are the cutest water bottles.  I've heard great things about them and I'm ready to give em a whirl.  So the gloss colored bottle is on my wishlist.  $30

3. The Lip Scrub by Sara Happ.  This stuff smells heavenly and I've been wanting to add it to my regime for quite sometime.  Fingers crossed it's under the tree.  $20

4. The Perfect Lip Collection by Beauty Counter.  After I scrub my lips thanks to Sara Happ, I hope I get to moisterize, color and shine them with this colloection!  I absolutely love the nude lip color in this collection and this would make the perfect gift for you mom, sister, friend or wife!  $60

5. Hurley Crop Legging. I love these leggings!  I think they would be so cute at the gym (duh) but also just running errands if maybe the gym was just a nice thought (more likely).  $48

6. Luminous Skin Collection by Beauty Counter.  OK truthfully, this should be at the top.  I own this collection and let me just tell you that every women in your life NEEDS this scrub, oil and rosewater.  I like to take baths every Sunday and I'll use the scrub before I get out, following it with the oil all over.  A few spritzes of Rosewater Spray on my face and I honestly feel as though I'm leaving the spa.  The Rosewater spray is a constant in my life (I have on by my bed and one in my purse), and I love mixing a few drops of the oil (the rosemary and citrus scent is to die for!) with my lotion after my shower or baths.  And the scrub?  Anyone that has tried it is hooked.  It's that delicious.  $120 

7.  Rip Curl One Piece Rashguard.  I fell in love with the rashguard trend over the summer but never pulled the trigger.  But I'm glad I didn't because this rashguard/one piece is on my must have list please!  It's adorable and would be perfect for chasing a toddler around in the sand come summer.  $69.50

$50 Giveaway to Mimi's the Look + Promo Code!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

jeans  //  blouse (old) similiar  //  belt  //  backpack  //  earrings  //  sunglasses (similar)

Today I am giving away a $50 credit to the adorable boutique, Mimi's the Look.  If y'all haven't heard of Mimi's the Look, you're missing out - stylish clothes, jewelry and accessories at affordable prices.  Another perk?  They have weekly specials offering a $20 clothing special on Monday, $20 purse special on Wednesday and a $10 necklace special on Friday!  I have my eye on this maxi which is part of this week's specials and I'm also slightly in love with this dress.  I feel like you can dress it up or down easily. And I'm thinking a few of these monogram scarves are going to make it under my tree as gifts for some women in my family.  Oh and that bag in the outfit post above?  I'm obsessed.  I am so glad the backpack trend is back because it makes carrying a purse (that can also double as diaper bag!) so much easier, leaving my hands free for sippy cups and a toddler :).  I'm so in love with it I am asking for this backpack for Christmas too.  

So enough chatter and get to entering the giveaway!  Winner will be announced in one week.  And you don't have to wait to start shopping.  Use the code INSPIRED and receive 20% off your purchase while the giveaway runs.  I may pull the trigger on that backpack and some scarves with that code!

Happy Shopping and Good Luck!

Mimi's the Look 
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November Link Party + Life Lately

Monday, November 10, 2014

just hanging in my christmas PJ's and my daddy's hat


Hey yall!  Happy Monday!  I've been taking some time off from link-ups lately because things have been quite busy around here.  But I'm super excited about this one today with these fabulous ladies.  For today's link-up we are talking about frugal tips for the holidays.  I try really hard every year to be smart when it comes to holiday shopping.  Key word here: try.  I'm sure my hubby would vouch that I am not always successful at this, but I'm a work in progress ok?  This year, I'm really trying to be smart, though.  I absolutely love giving gifts.  I love the process of carefully selecting something that a loved one will adore, wrapping it so neatly and then watching them unwrap it.  It makes my heart sing.  But thoughtful, meaningful gifts don't have to cost a lot of money.  I've learned that over the years and this year here are three ways I'm going to be frugal!

1. Ebates.  Ok this is the best thing ever.  A friend told me about it and I had yet to give it a whirl until last week. You sign up with Ebates and when you shop online (basically ANYWHERE you can think of: Amazon, Sephora, JCrew, Target, Walmart, Gap, Piperlime, Belk, I mean the list is in the thousands), you go through Ebates to get to the site.  You shop as normal, check out and boom.  You get CASH BACK!  It's amazing.  You literally get a percent cash back for every purchase you make.  They can mail you a check or transfer it through your PayPal account.  To sign up go here.  It's amazing yall, and there's really no reason not to!

2. Planning.  I know this is a no brainer, but Matt and I really try to plan out our Christmas shopping so we don't end up buying everything in the same month/week.  That helps with budget as well.  If you haven't started planning yet, start today.  Make a list of all the people you will be buying for.  Then write some ideas down next to each name (and even a budget amount if you want!).  It helps, trust me.

3.  Remember that your loved ones love you more than the gift.  Ultimately Christmas is about Jesus, being with family and spending time with one another.  Don't let the hustle and bustle of the holidays drive you to forget that.  While your loved one may absolutely adore that gift you got them, I can bet you they love having you with them even more.  And if you can't physically "be" with all those you love most this year, schedule a special Skype session or face time with them.  That's what matters.  Not the present under the tree.

Have any frugal tips you want to share?  Link-up below!  And don't forget to check out all the other amazing posts.  **I'll be sharing my Holiday Gift Guides for everyone in the family starting next week so make sure to come back!

Linking up with ElizabethTaraBrittSarahDeniseKatieKeri, and Becky for our Monthly Link Party

i kindaaaaaa want bangs. and this pineapple lamp

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

a few weeks ago i got a little crazy at the hair salon and did a drastic ombre if-you-will.  darker on top and lighter on the bottom.  picture above (excuses the car selfie).  that was big time for me considering i rarely change ANYTHING about my hair.  see, here's the thing.  my hair routine was low-maintenance before having a baby.  i rarely used a blow drier (or any styling tool for that matter) and it was generally in a ponytail.  well now, after baby?  it's just sad y'all.  i did the mom chop last fall and went to shoulder-length and i'm considering that again.  but something about getting bangs is calling my name.  there is one thing holding me back though... the fact that i had bangs until the 8th grade.  yep.  i wish that was an exaggeration but it's not.  i basically came out of my mom's womb with bangs.  oh and middle school bangs?  let's just say there was a round brush and lots of hairspray involved.  so that's why i'm hesitant about bangs.  i see all these cool people rocking them and i love the look.  and frankly maybe bangs would make my everyday ponytail look a little more chic.  but i can't get 7th grade denise out of my mind ha.  but if i do decide to take the plunge, these are my inspirations below.  i mean rose byrne, i love you.  and your bangs.  (all photos found on my pinterest page)

and this pineapple lamp?  it's on my christmas/birthday wishlist that's for sure.  

found at zara

halloween wrap-up 2014

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

As previously mentioned, my tiny baby lady dressed up as the cutest mouse there ever was.  Well her sissy, Sevilla, decided she wanted to be a giraffe.  And mom and dad had zebra and monkey ears respectively, although we haven't managed to get a family picture yet!  Shame I know.  By the time Matt got home Friday night it was off to "trick-or-treat", or in our case, walk the streets and wave "hi" to everyone.  And this weekend was spent recovering from a nasty cold that said tiny mouse passed on to mom and dad  We are all feeling much better, but man!  Cold and flu season is for the birds!  Oh and throw in daylight savings time?!!?  What was once my favorite Saturday night of fall (hello more sleep!) has quickly changed as I've realized tiny mice don't get the memo.  So it's been 6:15 wake ups for us over here (but I'm not complaining.  Judging by my Facebook feed, I may have it good compared to some of you mamas!  babies go back to sleep!)  I digress... well here are some pictures of the mouse and the giraffe.  Best of friends I swear.  And a family photo to come soon.

PS - the sweet Elizabeth of All Kinds of Things was kind enough to feature me on her blog last week.  Check it out here!

georgia the mouse

Thursday, October 30, 2014

 If you follow me on Instagram then you already know I had mistaken this adorable mouse costume below, for an elephant costume.  I then proceeded to plan our entire family costume theme around the fact that Georgia was going to be an elephant!  I went with a zoo theme.  Sevilla the giraffe (thanks home goods!), mommy the zebra and daddy the monkey!  But it turns out the Lopatka Zoo doesn't feature elephants.  No, it features the cutest mouse there ever was.  So behold... Georgia the Mouse.  More family pictures coming soon :)

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