Friday, January 5, 2018

five on friday:: january edition

New year, first Friday!

Linking up with ChristinaApril, and Natasha:

ONE:: happy new year!

Yes, I am one of those "new year, new me" crazies -- our household is eating clean, I'm taking barre classes, Drew's working on his kettlebell routine, I'm trying to take hold of our finances (what up budget?), and we're diving in DEEP into church. So far, so good; I already have new energy, my blood sugar levels have been phenomenal, I've been delightfully sore but feeling good today, and we're making progress. It's day 5 of 2018, but progress nonetheless. I want to come out of 2018 feeling bright, confident, healthy (for the long haul), connected in community, dreaming, thriving... lots of things. 2019 will be the year I turn THIRTY so there's much to be done to lay the groundwork for a highly successful new decade.

TWO:: whole30 faves

A few days into Whole30 and feeling awesome! Favorite meals I've made:  2 fried eggs (over easy) + avocado with sprinkle of sea salt & cracked pepper {my everyday breakfast}, low-carb minestrone, sous vide burgers with an egg on top. Need to find some more good staples that don't cost a lot but taste delicious!

THREE:: lilly sale

Oh, how I wish I had unlimited funds to blow every year at the biannual Lilly Pulitzer sales! I ended up getting a skort and a coverup, but I definitely wanted the Allair maxi, all the Kelly pants & Palazzo pants & Callahan chinos, every luxletic legging they sell, and rompers galore.

FOUR:: mermaid party

AnnaCate is turning one NEXT MONTH (insert gasping face) so I've started working on details for her mermaid-themed first birthday party. Cannot believe my BABY-BABY is almost one!! Any great mermaid party recs you've got? We're not going as purple and turquoise and basic as most of the things I've seen on etsy -- I am having a hard time articulating the "type" of mermaid we're going for. The inspiration for the party is her beloved knit mermaid rattle doll, so it's that kind of cozy/homey/sweet feel. There's got to be a way to describe it better than that!

FIVE:: flu galore

Our girls have been sick LITERALLY every other week since the end of November. When will this madness stop?! I know we're kind of screwing ourselves by constantly having the girls in preschool / church nursery / gym childcare / seeing cousins, but we can't hermit ourselves in this year. Not going through that again! Hoping the healthier eating and exercise habits will bleed over into our whole family's wellness.

Happy new year, y'all!

Monday, October 30, 2017


A new season is upon us! Drew just started a new position at a new company TODAY, so we're in a period of transition. New hours, new commute, new life. I feel like we have such an opportunity here, and I don't want to blow it. How can we make life better now that we get a reset button pressed? Here's what I want our life to encompass:

- Healthy food
- Healthy habits (good sleep, good eating, exercise, washing my face, flossing my teeth, going for walks)
- Going out and doing things
- Running out Lilly's boundless energy
- Dressing cute, looking presentable, feeling confident
- Time to write
- Nap coordination so I can get some peace time
- Doing more of what God wants / listening to Him
- More quality time, better quality time
- Intentional spending
- Maintaining a peaceful home

I'm also very much in a mindset of the holidays already... I've kind of breezed past Halloween now that we've gone to parties and done the dress-up thing. I don't want to get too ahead of myself or miss out on anything, though. Where is this delicate balance of life?! How do I grasp it?!

I need to simplify my life overall. Less decisions to make. Less clutter to manage. Less mess.


Monday, September 25, 2017


I have been an anxious person at least since I was 10 or 11. I remember watching The Sixth Sense (which was my favorite movie at the time) and asking my mom towards the end (when it gets super suspenseful) why I couldn't breathe. Since then, I have had seasons of anxiety. It comes up at different times -- my senior spring, for instance, when I was in a full-fledged panic over which college to attend, trying to survive make an A in my AP Calculus class, fearing the loss of identity that would come with graduation, and developing a full eating disorder. Then in college, when the transition away from home rocked my world unlike anything prior. And since being married, it's come up in seasons of work stress or newborn baby stress and moments I don't have a great physical outlet to deal with it (like hot yoga).

Falls also tend to be really stressful for us (as in, me and Drew). We broke up multiple times in the fall. We've had school issues in the fall. Work issues. Stressful wedding seasons. Family turmoil. Illness. You name it. I have tried to pray off any kind of actual spiritual issues that are recurrent, but this fall is yet again kicking my ass.

I thought finally getting my high school reunion planned would relieve me of this crippling chest-crushing anxiety, but it hasn't. It brought a new set of problems to resolve -- dealing with how I handled myself around ex-boyfriends and still trying to please the popular crowd (ten years later, with no relationship with them outside of this). I have to let a lot go, but it's not without things to work through.

I have two big weddings mounting. That's got to be some of the most serious pressure. (One is the second most high-end wedding I've ever done.) My health is deteriorating, so I'm in the process of waiting to receive my continuous blood glucose monitor and figure that out. The girls are good, which is a massive blessing. Drew's in the midst of a potential work situation change (talks of promotions and responsibility shifting on the horizon). We're trying to deal with finances and get a good grip on them at long last. Beautycounter is stalling out for me, as the impending holiday season is fast approaching. Family life is tense and under pressure (as my sister's family is currently living with my newly retired parents -- 3 adults, 3 kids, 3 cats, 2 dogs, 1 roof; plus my two girls one day a week when Mom watches them). THERE IS SO MUCH.

I know the way to deal is to breathe, take things one little step at a time, keep things in perspective, and prepare. Be intentional. Let things go. Meditate. PRAY. Do some yoga. Connect. Consume less caffeine. But it's hard.

This is a refining season. Time to let go of bad habits, develop good ones, survive. Learn.

It's just hard to breathe.

Friday, September 22, 2017

five on friday:: it's reunion week!

Friday AGAIN?!

Linking up with ChristinaApril, and Natasha:

ONE:: reunion on the brain

The time has come, at long last! I seriously can't believe this week has finally arrived and how much this event has changed since it was initially planned by our class president. If you read my previous post about it, I stepped in as the third planner for it at the end of July (the date has been set since LAST August!). It's gone the gamut from a hotel ballroom adult prom to game night at Dave & Busters to a formal cocktail party to now a relaxed BBQ at the local golf range. When I was consulting the initial planner back in March (when I had a newborn baby), I told her I didn't expect for more than 50 guests to come regardless of our idea, and I oftentimes threatened to reduce the event to a potluck at the dam, so it's crazy to think that some persistence, stubbornness, and a willingness to be flexible to accommodate more people has garnered a crowd of 75!

My priorities have always been food, drink, and a party concept that accommodates conversation. We've got food, drink (despite a wine snafu thanks to Trader Joe's lack of inventory - BOOOOO!), dessert, and some party decor ready to go. There's still plenty I haven't gotten done (procrastinating much?) and I obsessed over my outfit for daysssss but we're close enough.

TWO:: a cohesive wardrobe
{i totally need these shoes for my capsule, right?}

I really need to go through my closets and pare down all the things in it to only have a cohesive, love-to-wear, versatile wardrobe, but I tend to either hoard things or pare down TOO MUCH (I have donation regret every now and then). I definitely think I'm too much on the hoarding side, but it's hard. I have soooo many dresses from college that are now outdated, not flattering, and don't make a lick of sense for my current lifestyle. And a lot of businessy attire that never gets worn (silk blouses, dress pants). My other issue is I have a huge range of sizes, too, so it's hard to get rid of a bunch of one size since I do fluctuate -- between breastfeeding, working out, getting pregnant, having babies, I don't know what I'm necessarily going to wear forever. It's not like I want "fat clothes on reserve" or anything, but it's just hard to fit my body right now. I also need to look at my things and decide what gaps there are (if any) to fill -- are there pieces I would get so much use out of, that would make me look more polished and put-together? Do I have disproportionate amounts of certain types of clothing? (Umm, dresses?) What the hell am I going to wear this winter with breastfeeding all the time? Halp.

THREE:: it's fall already?

I was really embracing fall when it struck the first week of September (and end of August), but now that it's back to being 90 degrees and miserably hot, I'm kind of surprised it's ACTUALLY fall now. We pulled out a couple of pumpkin things (candles, salt & pepper shakers), but I've nowhere near tackled fall-itizing the house. September has been 100% survival mode. What day is it again?

FOUR:: very important things
There are some extremely important things that really should take precedence in my mental state right now, but I have to actually switch gears to deal with them. Like getting a Dexcom (my health is out of control) and dealing with some tag issues. The stupid emissions test people said they were going to renew our tags for us, but there was some mixup with the amount so now we're screwed and our tags are expired. WOOF. PRIORITY.

FIVE:: beautycounter

I'm way behind on beautycounter. It's been a roughtastic month for me in that business. Stagnant. Frustrating. Jesus take the wheeeeel!

Friday, September 15, 2017

five on friday

It's that time!

Reunion countdown -- 8 days to my class reunion! Ticket sales officially end TONIGHT, so I'm seeing the last-minute procrastinators fill my inbox with their ticket sales. I'm getting excited! The party aspects are kind of having to come together last-minute, too (hence the issue with no set budget in advance), but I'm determined to make it fun and lovely albeit ultra-casz and low-key. We've got food, booze (beer & wine), a covered pavilion, the promise of some music, and a makeshift photo booth repurposed from past party supplies, so we'll see how this goes! Ha!

Now that our mini-fall is officially over (BOO! I was loving windows open 24/7!), it's going to be hot again. Which screws up my reunion outfit planning. I will admit, originally I was going for something insanely try-hard and it did NOT work... thank goodness. (As in, a backless skin-tight red cocktail dress with cowboy boots... to a BBQ at a golf course. Y'all.) Oftentimes I need to rein it back in... this was one of those times. Fortunately for me it didn't even fit, so that got sent back and then I had a few glasses of wine to peruse eBay (unintentionally, honestly) and bid on a couple of options there. Right now the winning contender is a navy blue eyelet-patterned solid Lilly dress with the same boots (it just looks a lot less stupid / attention-seeking). Fingers crossed! Now what am I going to do if it gets chilly...?

My baby is 7 months old today!!!!!! HOW?! She turned real blonde in August but has been looking significantly more ginger in recent days. Crazy how much they change over the first year!


Lilly had the worst coxsackie virus last month. She got it once when she was a year old, but she got it again with a vengeance after we visited a new church the other week (boo) and it's seriously taken her 10 days for the rash to subside. It covered her legs and arms and face and feet, she was pitiful and weepy and felt awful, and now it's scabbed and is falling off to heal. AHHH! It was definitely not this bad the first time. Nashville peeps -- beware! It's most contagious before it turns to rash, which sucks maybe the most. Hoping for a healthy rest of fall!

Since I started with Beautycounter I've tried to completely eliminate ANY self-care products with toxic chemicals in them (because I mean, go big or go home right?), but I caved and bought a Kristen Ess dry shampoo at Target the other day and it's the first one I've ever liked! It sprays on as an actual powder (not wet-to-dry like the others I've tried), so it doesn't feel all gross on my scalp. The fragrance is kind of killing me now that I've detoxed from anything artificially scented for a few months, but I'm liking the performance. We shall see how often this actually gets used!

Linking up with ChristinaApril, and Natasha:

Monday, September 11, 2017

enneagram findings and what i'm up to

I took the Enneagram test over the weekend as part of a Beautycounter business growth project, and it was quite revealing to me!!! I was pretty much tied between a 9 & a 7 -- the Peacemaker and the Enthusiast. As I read into both of them, I identified more with the 7 - "extroverted, optimistic, versatile, and spontaneous, playful, high-spirited, and practical, [but] can be over-extended, scattered, and undisciplined." Unsurprisingly, it means I tend to take on a ton of projects at any given point of time. Exhibit A - my life right now. Here's what I've got going on:

- keeping two small children alive and happy
2 upcoming weddings for next month
- 1 upcoming wedding in November
- booking weddings for 2018
- high school class reunion planning (it happens Sept. 23!)
- Beautycounter business building (socials, dropoffs, trainings, all the things!)
- planning Julianna's bachelorette party for next March
- ongoing home projects
- joining a church & a small group
- selling all the things on ebay

I'm a bit overwhelmed but also trying to really settle into my groove at the same time. Patience, grace, time management, tackling one project in a block fashion at a time... Here are the recommendations the Enneagram people give me for personal growth:
  • Recognize your impulsiveness, and get in the habit of observing your impulses rather than giving in to them
  • Learn to live with less external stimulation
  • You do not have to have everything this very moment. Most good opportunities will come back again—and you will be in a better position to discern which opportunities really are best for you
  • Always choose quality over quantity, especially in your experiences
  • Make sure that what you want will really be good for you in the long run

Do you know what type you are? Do you agree with their recommendations, and what have you learned about yourself?

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

lilly after-party sale haul!

This week is a long-awaited one for me -- the Lilly Pulitzer After-Party Sale! You have just under 12 more hours to shop... eek!

Here are some things I scored:

The Colby Tunic Dress
I kind of cringe that I bought yet another dress, but this one is sooooo pretty (and originally $300!!!); I got it because I think it'll be the perfect Christmas card photo dress. Thinking of dressing our family in luxe neutrals -- so good for fall, winter, and Christmas.

Dusk Racerback Silk Tank
I have been needing a good solid neutral (light-colored) tank for layering / wearing with printed pants/shorts/skirts / wearing under my cashmere wrap poncho (Anyone else thinking of that "DON'T TELL ME PONCHOS ARE BACK!" quote from Legally Blonde these days?). Love the "Oyster" color and simple silhouette. I have the dusk racerback silk maxi dress from my maternity shoot circa 2015, so I know it's a great drape and flattering shape.

Lilias Tunic Top
I wanted to make my sale haul this year be max bang-for-buck, so I'm all about the neutrals that go with all things. This looked super soft and comfortable (softness is soooo important to me these days), and I know it'll be nice and versatile -- wear with printed pants, jeans, white jeans, skirts, maybe even leggings (I think it's long enough to cover my rear!). I've had the same 3/4-length navy top from Gap for yeeeeeears, so it'll be nice to have another solid basic to fall back on.

Meg Top
And finally, another solid basic for the fall/winter -- my beloved favorite shade to wear (white), perfect for layering with jeans and boots or under a vest! Much to be said for simplicity!


Did you find anything you were wanting?! It pained me a little to not invest in one of their gorgeous cashmere sweaters they had Monday or a Lobstah Roll pair of Luxletic leggings, but I really tried to opt for things I "need" / would be the most versatile / weren't pricier. I mean, it's debatable that I should've gotten an oatmeal-colored cashmere sweater rather than a more expensive gold silk tunic dress, but I legitimately don't have anything in my closet like it and I can see myself wearing it to church, work meetings, special events, etc. I'll let you know if my predictions are right or if it'll go straight to eBay to resell!