my fall to-do list

Friday, September 26, 2014

1. one last ode to summer
2. i mean the cutest fall outfit you ever did see!  overall skirt!  i die...
3. & 4. getting pumped up for a wake forest game with daddy :)

i can't believe it's fall.  and it's friday.  and i haven't blogged this week (ooooops!)  i have good reason!  i gave my powder room leopard spots.  yep you read that right.  i literally stenciled leopard spots all over it (reveal to come in the next 2 weeks) and i re-did my laundry room!  and!  and!  i have some amazing friends in town all weekend.  soooooooo life has been busy.  but so good busy!  so for now i'll leave you with my fall to do list.  because i'm kinda loving this fall weather yall.  and so does g.  being outside without melting is a blessing.  and we are taking advantage of that, especially this weekend!  so here are some things i plan to do this season - what about you?

- carve a pumpkin with matt and georgia
- frolic in fallen leaves
- sip something hot on my front porch under a blanket
- tailgate
- go to a college football game
- walk on the beach (fall is the BEST time for this i tell ya!)
- sit by a campfire
- make s'mores
- make a yummy soup
- go on a hike with my loves

thankful my baby girl is better!

Friday, September 19, 2014


** above pictures from a much better baby girl this week  **

last week was rough y'all.  like real rough.  g was the sickest she has EVER been in her life and it rocked this mama's world - emotionally and physically.  she had a fever (103.5!) for a few days, some tummy issues - oh and a lovely rash broke out just as i thought she was getting better!  and sleep?  yea there was none.  for anyone involved.  but the strangest thing happen.  in the midst of the midnight tears (from my sick babe and from yours truly) i would look down at my precious angel and be reminded of how blessed i was.  undeservingly so.  i get to be her mom.  i get to comfort her when she's sick.  and when she's really sick i get to put her in bed with me and rub her back for hours on end.  i get to do that y'all.  and i pray i never take that for granted.

parenting is hard.  the hardest thing i've ever done.  and you veteran mamas and daddys out there are probably thinking that i don't know the least of it.  and you're right.  i don't.  and i know it gets harder.  but it gets richer too.  

so this week we attempted to catch up on sleep, scrubbed the germs off of every surface in our house and try to establish better sleep habits... again.  i still think about last week.  and how hard it was.  how sad it was (seeing your baby sick pains you in ways you never thought possible, which then breaks for my heart for parents out there who continually see their child sick - i'm praying for yall, hard).  but i'm thankful for those cuddles i stole last week.  those mornings waking up to my baby girl.  and i'm thankful she's all better.  and that we can run and play this weekend.

happy friday friends - spend time on what matters this weekend!

$370 Target Gift Card Giveaway!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Happy Wednesday!  Today I am so so excited to be joining in on a group giveaway.  First and foremost the blogs involved in this giveaway are each amazing, unique and the women behind them even more so.  They are all on my daily read list so you won't be sorry when you follow along with them too :)  But OK here's the nitty gritty:

We are give away a $370 gift card to my favorite place in the world - TARGET!  Think of all the things you spend that on.... their adorable sunglasses, groceries, that new line they just started carrying, some new books for the fall.  I mean really - Target has it all.  Giveaway will run for a week and we will pick a winner next Thursday.

There are lots of different ways to enter below so get to crackin' people!


family vacay = happiness

Thursday, September 11, 2014

for the past week and half this little family of mine has been on the move.  we spent some time in Hilton Head, SC with matt's family for our yearly beach vacation and then headed to Myrtle Beach, SC to celebrate my dad's 60th birthday with my side of the family (happy birthday diddy we love you!).  we've been looking forward to both of these vacations all summer and i can say they did not disappoint.  there was wine, cards, laughter and lots of sun - and cousins!  oh the cousins!  between my sister and matt's brother we have 4 nephews and i just LOVE seeing them with G.  it makes my heart smile.  although i think all of this travel did my little lady in because we have been home all week sick :(  but she's feeling better slowly but surely and i think we have decided to bid summer farewell for now.  the temperatures are dropping a bit here in NC and it makes being outside so much more enjoyable.  so.  great vacays make my heart happy, but it's also good to be home.  because i'm a creature of habit for sure (i get it honestly - dad i'm looking at you) and i kinda like our little routine over here - dinners, errands, move nights in.  and sevilla!  i missed that mangy pup while we were gone.  so we're back.  our little family in our cozy home.  and i like it that way.  that's enough ramblings for today!  happpppy thursday!


getting organized // my secret weapons // link party!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Hey y'all!  I'm excited to join some of my sweetest, bestest blogging friends today for our monthly link-up!  Today we are talking about organization and I don't know about y'all but I can ALWAYS use some organization tips in my life.  And not just a Pinterest Board filled with hundreds of great ideas.  No, that doesn't make me organized.  It's these real women sharing what works for them and then finding the time and energy to implement some of these tactics into my own life.  Because life is not about pretty Pinterest Boards and great ideas.  Yes, those things are great - but those things need to take on life.  So friends I encourage you to read our posts about organization and find something that might work for you - and go do it!  Make it happen lovelies.  And now for my two secret weapons....

1. The Simplified Planner - Y'all this is not just a planner.  It's really not.  Yes it's pretty.  But Emily said it best when she said that we don't need another pretty thing on our desk.  And we don't.  We need things that help us make the life that we want happen.  And for me, this Simplified Planner has helped.  Maybe to you it's the Whitney English Planner or the Kate Spade one, or the adorable Target Planners that just came out.  Whatever planner it is, if it helps you - use it.  This past year has been a whirlwind for me.  I'm still scratching my head wondering where the 1st year of my baby girl's life went, but I am so thankful for these blessings.  I chose the daily edition of the Simplified Planner so that I can organize my day better.  It helps me to prioritize what is important and when I block out times for exercise or blogging or housework, then I am more focused on playing and laughing with my daughter when she isn't napping.  So that is one of my secret weapons.

2. Mind * Body * Soul Chart - This chart was created by one of my first ever blog friends.  Sheila is a heart of gold.  A rare soul.  She created this MBS Chart for people like me and you who, in the midst of a crazy life, want to make goals happen.  And friends it truly has helped me.  It is divided into 2 main categories and each category has 24 boxes.  You can divide them however you want but I usually make 2 goals for each month in each category.  She writes more about the chart here.

So those are my 2 secret weapons to an organized life.  What are yours?!

And now go meet the other hosts of the link-up!

Meet Your Hosts:
Elizabeth @ All Kinds of Things
Britt @ The Fisk Files
Katie @ The Lane Above
Keri @ Living in This Season
Becky @ BYBMG

Rules for the Party:

* Please follow your hosts in some way- We would love to connect with you on social media!
* Please no giveaways, link parties, or shops.
* Visit the other links and leave some comment love!
* By linking up to this link party, you give us permission to feature your image on our blog and social media. Proper credit and link will be given.
* Don't forget to link back and grab a button!

mama's life

Friday, September 5, 2014

being a mama is hard sometimes.  there's puke everywhere, you usually have a messy house, you're always always late, dinner is never ready on time, your tummy is soft and your hair full of grease.  at least that's how it is most of the time around my house.  but i've come to find the hard mess the most beautiful thing.  matt has been a big help in this.  he makes sure i know he finds me even more beautiful than before.  he tells me he loves our messy house way better than our perfectly straight house.  and that means the world.  one of my favorite boards on my pinterest page is this one.  most of these photos don't show the mess, but they do show the small moments in between the mess.  dancing around the kitchen, holding tight to mama's sleep (probably after she just cleaned up puke), sleepy cuddles.  they make my heart happy. i just love seeing mama's and babies and their different style and way-of-life.  which is why i've also fallen in love with the grace tales.  and before i was a mama i loved being an aunt and a teacher.  these women in these photos may not even me mamas.  they could just be women in a young babe's life that loves them dearly.  and i love that.  so cheers to special women and the role they play in a child's life.  and a special shout out to our teachers as they go back to school!  your influence in our child's life is immense and i am forever grateful.

follow me on pinterest here.

Healthy 1st Birthday Cake

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

As excited as I was for the adorable pictures of cake all over G's face on her birthday, I wasn't quite ready to give her a full-fledged sugar cake.  Do I think it is bad?  Of course not!  I just personally wasn't ready.  So I set out to find a yummy recipe for a "cake" using ingredients other than sugar.  And this is what we came up with!  I modified it a bit from the first recipe here but all in all it was a success!  I baked one on her actual birthday when we had the grandparents over for dinner and she really liked it.  No, she didn't smash it in her face unfortunately but she was pretty into it.  I made it again for her birthday party later that week and to be honest, she was slightly uninterested.  I even put Cool Whip on it for the party!  But to be honest, this really isn't a cake.  It's more of a banana bread.  So it's hard for little fingers to really dig in.  Since then we have had this as a breakfast go-to and she loves it - as does hubby - so it's a win win for us!  

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
a few sprinkles of cinnamon
6 ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup sugar-free applesauce (I made my own using my baby food maker - so easy!)
1/4-1/2 cup whole milk (depending on consistency)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
In a bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, baking soda and cinnamon)
In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients (bananas, applesauce and milk)
Pour wet mixture over dry mixture and and mix.  If it seems dry, add a splash more milk.
Bake in a 9'' round pan for 60-90 minutes (testing the middle after 60 minutes)

Yummy Yummy!  I used Organic, Sugar-Free Cool Whip for her icing.

Made With Love By The Dutch Lady Designs