Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Ten on Tuesday [No.48]

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Hey y'all!
So many things have been going on lately, I haven't even given y'all a life update since May.
We've had so many things going on in our lives on the farm, getting ready for baby, etc.
ONE
A big part of our lives since I stopped teaching is obviously the farm since it's both of our "full-time" jobs. 'Tis the season around here for weaning our calves, so we've had a lot of early mornings getting ready to do that. It's a little annoying when you're getting up, but that sunrise view makes it a little bit better.
 Driving the tractor with Forrest leading the way is how we get the cows moved from the various pastures they're in, to the barn where weaning will take place.
 This little guy was checking me out while we were unloading back at the barn.
 A gorgeous golden hour shot of our girls, since I'm back on checking cows duty once or twice a day.
 We recently purchased a new big truck for our hauling business and Chris took me for a ride!
He took our niece and nephew for a ride as well and they loved honking the horn.
A lot of people don't understand our farming way of life because they never see it up close.
I can't invite all of y'all over (even though I wish I could!), but hopefully seeing these pictures & hearing my passion about this little corner of the Earth will reassure you all that family farms do exist  and that we love these animals that we're entrusted with-we're trying to be good stewards of what we're given. ♡
TWO
 Another fun thing that's happened over the past month & a half was being able to spend some quality time with our niece and nephew.
Lola went for a tractor ride with Uncle Chris to bale hay and loved it-I just melt seeing them together!
We took them and our favorite puppy boy, Forrest, for a hike at High Falls.
We all loved doing it together-especially the kids and Forrest, who all got to take a swim in that little natural pool behind us at the base of the Falls.
To end the weekend with our niece and nephew, Lola snuck off with us and ended up going for a little boat ride with Uncle Chris. This shot is him showing her some fish swimming beside the bank.
THREE
Oh, Williams-Sonoma, why you gotta tempt me this way?!
If y'all have been following along for some time now, then you probably know my affection for ginger jars in all shapes, sizes, and colors.
This one from Williams Sonoma caught my eye last week and it's now on my permanent wish list (where it will probably remain forever because of the price tag!) but that color is just so different & beautiful!
FOUR
 I mentioned in the last life update that I did, our anniversary was the 30th of May plus my birthday was the 13th of June.
Chris took me to my all-time favorite restaurant, Acre in Auburn, AL for a romantic dinner.
They have an amazing "Urban Farm" where they grow a lot of their vegetables on site, but they also have a great program with local farmers to source their other produce, meats, etc.
The meal was incredible and I'm hoping I'll be able to convince him to squeeze in one more meal there before this babe comes!

FIVE
 Our Fourth of July was absolutely wonderful.
We have some of the best friends, the Thompson's, that have a lake house and are always so kind to welcome us there during the Summer months.
It's just one of my most favorite places on Earth, so calming and rejuvenating-plus those friends of ours are just some of my favorite people!
Of course, we couldn't not take a boat ride & end our day with the most beautiful fireworks show from the dock-you can't beat that view!
SIX
Another not-so-fun thing that has kept me from blogging is that we lost my Daddy's mom, our Maw-Maw just a few weeks ago now.
When Chris & I went over to my parents to look through photos for the slide show for her memorial, I found this gem of us "smoking" cookie cigars-she certainly was a character that kept us all laughing!
SEVEN
 Just in case you missed it, I did blog Saturday about what I've been reading lately.
I got really honest with y'all & explained that I've actually read three & a half books but I hated one of them so much I didn't even want to review it here and the other I stopped not even halfway through and tossed it in the donate pile because I just wasn't interested.
Influenster is one of my most favorite apps/sites to use both as a consumer and as a blogger.
I was recently sent these Marc Jacobs lip gloss sticks in Sweet Escape and Uh-Huh Honey and y'all, they are so good I've raved about them to anyone that will listen.
They're lightly hydrating, not sticky like normal lipgloss and the colors offer the perfect wash of color for every day.
If you'd like to get freebies from Influenster (you don't have to be a blogger-you just have to have social media like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to qualify!) then sign up through this link and you'll be able to qualify for free makeup, food items, household items...basically the sky is the limit!
EIGHT
This section is just going to be kind of a dump of some pictures that I wanted to share from my phone to y'all. . .
 My sister, Mama, and I have been scouring antique stores for finds for not only the house, but the baby's room specifically because even though it is a nursery it's still a part of our home and I want it to fit.
We decided to not go with white because that felt too feminine, but you best bet that if we ever have a little girl I'm going to pray to find beautiful antique furniture like this one for that room.
 Our foyer has gotten a mini facelift by adding this arched mirror from Kirkland's.
It really gives that space a finished look & brings so much light into that area-I love it!
I haven't had many pregnancy cravings, but one major one has been fried green tomatoes...y'all-they are so addictive!
I haven't fried any in about a month now, but it's on my to-do list for this week.
NINE
Have you seen the Lilly Pulitzer X goop collection?!
This maxi dress and the maxi skirt are giving me all the vintage Lilly Pulitzer vibes and I really want them both! ๐Ÿ’ฎ
TEN
Just another beautiful view to end this life update/Ten on Tuesday from one of our local date nights on Lake Wedowee.
The cotton candy sky reflecting off the of the lake was just beautiful over the marina, basically just the lake is a favorite for Summer.

Let me know; what's been going on in your life lately or what are some of your favorites?!

Until next time. . .
xoxo,

Saturday, July 14, 2018

What I'm Reading Lately

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If you keep up with my blog, then it's probably been so long since I've updated y'all on my latest reads that you probably thought I stopped altogether ๐Ÿ˜‚ It's literally been since March!

I've read three and a half books since then, but one of them was honestly so bad I immediately put it in my donate pile so I never had to even see it on my bookshelf again so I definitely don't want to share it with y'all & torture you too! The half book was one that I picked up on a whim from the thrift store and it was okay, just not something I wanted to focus on and I decided I was tired of forcing myself to read terrible books-so I didn't and I put it in the donate pile as well.
Don't make yourself waste your time reading bad books-read things you like!

When I was at the thrift store hunting for new books for myself and our little guy (it's the best place to find books on the cheap!) I stumbled upon two Elin Hilderbrand books and of course, bought them!
This book focuses on main character, middle-aged Dabney Kimball Beech and her life on Nantucket.
She lives a wonderful like with a pleasant husband, a sweet daughter who is successful in her own right, a job she loves, and a successful ability for matchmaking-42 successful couples in all.
The story absolutely drew me in from minute one and I was enthralled from the beginning, I stayed up many nights late into the night reading this book trying to finish it.
It has funny moments, touching moments, and just when you think you've got it figured out-you don't.
I don't often have good reviews of books that have me in tears at the end, but this one did and I still love love love it.
It's the perfect beach read, so grab a copy on your way for your last summer vacay!

Y'all know I had to squeeze in at least one historical fiction because they are my favorite genre. This story follows Isabella Bankmill as she journeys throughout London society as she comes of age and is on her way to finding her future betrothed.
She is pursued by two gentleman that are complete opposites of one another; Lord Bromby, who is dark, mysterious, and a talented poet. The other is David Beringer; a true gentleman, a philanthropist, and a man who shares the same Christian faith as Isabella.
I was a big fan of the novel from the beginning, simply because it is a historical story with a strong female lead. I feel as though it contained an excellent "lesson" if you will for those who are searching for their future life-mate because it truly is important to be like-minded and to know your partner well for the success of your relationship.
The book was well written and it kept drawing me in throughout the entire story, always frustrating me with it's direction, then consoling me with something pleasant, then taking a different turn. Some people don't like their reading to go that way, but I enjoy a book that keeps me guessing.

Although those are the only two books that I've read in the past three and a half months, I'm hoping that now that I've started back in earnest that I'll keep up with it.
It's really come in handy to have some good books to read with my inability to sleep well at night (& I'm sure there will be lots of long nights with a babe in my future that I might be able to sneak some pages in then!)

If you've read anything good recently, please leave it below as I'm always on the hunt for new books!

Until next time. . .
xoxo, 

Saturday, July 7, 2018

30 Questions for Self-Discovery...Answered!

Happy Saturday, y'all!
It's been a few days since you've seen me around the blog, life has been overwhelming the past month & I haven't been able to pull myself together to type out a post.
Expect a Ten on Tuesday with a life recap soon, but until then...I'm going to answer some fun questions that I found on Pinterest. Maybe y'all will discover something new about me while I'm on this journey to self-discovery!

1) How do I feel at the moment?
I feel good. A lot of major things have been going on around these parts lately & things are finally slowing down, just in time for us to start really preparing for Baby Upchurch. So good & excited!

2) What do I need more of in my life?
Time! But don't we all?

3) What would make me happy right now?
One of those new peach tea lemonade things from Chick-Fil-A. I've been wanting to try one forever!

4) What is going right in my life?
Currently, everything is pretty "right" right now.
My relationships are in a good place. I'm happier now than I think I've ever been.

5) What am I grateful for?
I'm grateful for the people I get to spend my life with. I'm grateful for this little one that will be joining our family in just a few months. I'm grateful for a big black lab that is sleeping by my feet as I type. I'm grateful for the freedom to enjoy the little things that life offers.

6) When did I experience joy this week?
The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays because of time spent together with friends, fireworks, and because it's a strong reminder of the freedom that so many of us take for granted on a daily basis.
I definitely experienced many types of joy on the Fourth!

7) Share a small victory or success:
I made it through two weeks of eating low-carb, aka no desserts, pasta, bread and minimal starchy veggies! It was a success because now I know I can do it and I definitely want to stick to a loose version of this diet now & then go all out after baby gets here.

8) What's bothering me? Why?
Getting the water balance with my tomato plant has been a struggle, y'all.
It's a first world problem, but it's bothering me because I want homegrown tomatoes!

9)What are my priorities at the moment?
Taking care of myself & Christopher, enjoying our "alone" time before baby arrives, and getting the nursery finished!

10) What do I love about myself?
I love my empathy for others.
After teaching, I realize that empathy isn't all that common (especially among the next generation) and I hope it's something I foster in my child.

11) Who means the world to me and why?
My family. No matter what happens, they're mine & I love each and every one of them.
When things happen in your family, you realize how you want to hold all of them as close & as tight as you can.

12) If I could share one message with the world, what would it be?
Choose kindness.
It costs nothing to be kind and it can change someone's world.

13) What advice would I give to my younger self? Do I follow this advice now?
Don't be so worried about what people think of you. Do what you like & do what is right and everything else will fall into place.
I definitely follow this advice now, I didn't way back when.

14) What lesson did I learn this week?
To always bring bug-spray!

15) If I had all the time in the world, what would I want to do first?
Get in my kitchen and try out different recipes!
(Oh, and if I didn't have to clean up, haha!)

16) What's draining my energy? How can I reduce or cut it out?
The only thing draining my energy right now is this baby and he's worth it!

17) What does my ideal morning look like?
Sleeping in, then spending the morning on the porch leisurely sipping a cup of coffee and reading a book/magazine or listening to a podcast episode.

18) What does my ideal day look like?
If it was my perfect, ideal day-I would definitely be on vacation!
Preferably, the beach.

19) What makes me come alive? When was the last time I felt truly alive?
I'm most alive when I'm out having fun with the ones I love.
When Chris and I are able to get away and spend time doing things that aren't work, that's when I'm most myself and the happiest-for example, we took my niece and nephew hiking a few weeks ago and I felt great, I had a blast-it was the best.

20) Who/What inspires me the most? Why am I drawn to those inspirations?
My Grandma is always going to be one of the most inspiring people to me.
She was a wonderful hostess, had the most kind heart, but also was fierce in her fight for the things she wanted.
I'm drawn to those inspirations because that's exactly how I want to be remembered at the end of the day!

21) Where does my pain originate? What would need to happen for me to heal?
I used to worry over things people said about me or mistakes I had made (no matter how small), because a lot of the pain I have comes from disappointing people. However, time and learning to forgive myself is how I heal from those hurts.

22) What are my strengths? What am I really good at?
I definitely think that communicating is one of my major strengths & something that I'm really good at. Sometimes it takes me a little while to warm up to someone and be sure of myself in a situation, but once I am I can rock a conversation.

23) What is something I've always wanted to do, but was too scared?
Go on a trip somewhere, solo.
I've heard so many amazing things about traveling by yourself, but the thought of it has always terrified me!

24) What is something I would love to learn?
I really would love to learn a foreign language, but the time commitment seems so daunting.

25) What hobbies would I like to try?
I've always thought it might be fun to be able to sew or embroider, they're lost arts in today's world!

26) Where would I want to live in my ideal life?
I'll be 100% honest, the only location I can imagine myself living other than the home we're in now is when we're finally able to build a house at the farm.
Other than that, I don't want to leave my tiny small town.

27) Where would I like to travel in the next five years?
-New Orleans, Louisiana
-Charleston, South Carolina (yes, I've been, but it was only one day!)
-Disney World (maybe-if we don't have another little one by then!)
-Kentucky (I would love to see horse country, so I don't necessarily have one city or town that I'd like to see)

28) What can I do to take better care of myself?
Not be so lazy in applying my skincare every night.
I apply it probably 5 out of 7 nights a week, but every night would be ideal (I do manage to cleanse my face every night though, thank goodness!)

29) When have I done something that I thought I couldn't do?
I've never really thought that I couldn't do something 100%...but one time I did make strawberry shortcakes from scratch with about 5 minutes warning that they were wanted by my husband.
I impressed myself that night.

30) At the end of my life, what do I want my legacy to be?
I've already mentioned this previously, when I talked about my Grandma being my inspiration, but I want to be remembered as someone who was kind, fiercely loyal to those around her, loving, and of course-a gracious hostess that always made her guests feel at home.

Well, some of those got deep-didn't they?!
I hope y'all learned something or at least found these questions & answers entertaining!

Until next time. . .
xoxo,

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Fourth of July Style

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Can you believe that we are less than two weeks away from the Fourth of July?!
To me that holiday really signifies Summer & I love the patriotic spirit that everyone seems to catch around this time of year.

I picked out a few different patriotic pieces for y'all, these would work from everything to an afternoon spent on the lake to a beachside bar-be-cue or anything in between.

Just a little note; those precious red & white gingham slides in the bottom right hand corner aren't to be missed. They're less than $40, they seem very well-made (they aren't your standard rubber slides-they're more of a leather-like material), and they come in 6 colors including a navy and white gingham, blue seersucker, and more neutrals as well.

As for my Fourth of July, I'll probably be sporting these shorts, these shoes (not the cutest, but totally comfortable & perfect for water!), and a cute patriotic top or tank by this brand since I'll hopefully be out on the lake with some of our good friends!

Let me know below; do you dress up for the holiday or keep it casual?

Until next time. . .
xoxo, 

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Striped Swing Dress

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Is it just me, or is Old Navy really killing their new arrivals here lately?
I went just a few weeks ago and bought way too many things because everything was just so cute.

My number one purchase that I've already wore a ton is this striped swing dress. It comes with an attached slip, so it's lined. The fabric is so light and comfortable, it's the sort of long-sleeved dress you can wear in the Summertime and not melt.

I kept my accessories really simple, because that's what Summer fashion is to me-airy and simple.
My bar name necklace was a gift one Christmas and it's probably one of my most-worn pieces, & y'all know by now that my OTBT's are my most-worn shoes because not only do they add height and dress up any outfit, but they're also so comfortable.

Here's a fact that y'all might not know about me. . . I can't keep more than one pair of sunglasses to save my life.
I have bought so many pairs over the years & something always happens to them!
My favorite brand is Costa & right now, I actually have two pairs of mine in their repair shop ๐Ÿ˜’
but the ones that I've not had a single problem with in over a year are these High Key by Quay that I bought at Dillards for around $60. You can't beat that for how well they've held up...and I love the big mirrored frames!

What about y'all? Make me feel better by telling me y'all are rough on sunnies or other accessories below ๐Ÿ˜‚

Until next time. . .
xoxo, 

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Father's Day Gift Guide [2018]

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Can we all just take a minute to agree that men are the hardest people to buy gifts for?!
But on the other hand; when you do manage to pull off a really great gift that they love, you feel like a winner because they are truly a challenge.

I've rounded up a ton of great gifts today for the men in your life, whether by blood or just the father figures out there-June 17th is the day to show them just a little bit of appreciation.

Some great smaller gifts that pair great with a card with a little note; the leather coozie, the uniquely scented candle, the notebook (which can be personalized & comes with free gift wrapping!) or even the grilling set (which is a great deal and comes in many different college teams.)

If you want to step up your gift giving just a little; the dopp kit I linked is a great, high quality piece without breaking the bank. I would pair it with the Clinique for Men gift set so he'll be set for his next  trip. The tie is also a beautiful piece for the sharp-dressed dad's out there!

And of course, for the bigger splurge pieces (still less than $150!); I love the collegiate stadium prints (they come in 47 different teams!), the Yeti Hopper cooler-we own several different Yeti's and they're great quality...this is a great beach sized cooler in my opinion, and of course that beautiful leather overnight bag-if your dad is a quality kind of guy, he'll appreciate this nice piece.
I also included the sunglasses because they're favorites of both my husband & my Daddy!

Please remember that Father's Day & any other holiday, they really aren't about the gift-they're about showing love to those that are important to you.
A sweet note in a card or just spending time with the important men in your life is more than enough.
Other great gift options would be concert tickets or tickets to a sporting event for a team that your dad enjoys; I also think it would be so much fun to take your dad to a cooking class if he enjoys cooking, or perhaps a book signing if his favorite author is coming close to your town.

You know your Dad best so you know what he loves ❤

Let me know below what you're planning on gifting (or doing for/with) your dad this Father's Day below!

Until next time. . .
xoxo, 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Ten on Tuesday [No.47]

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ONE 
Number one of this week's Ten has to be a shout-out to yesterday, Memorial Day.
We sometimes take our country and our freedoms for granted, especially in today's political climate when it feels like so many things are going wrong.
But yesterday, I chose to be very thankful to the men & women who sacrificed their lives so that we might be able to have freedom and sleep in our beds at night without fear. ๐Ÿ’™

TWO
Tomorrow will be Christopher & I's three-year wedding anniversary and honestly it feels like we just got married yesterday, but also like we've been together forever if that makes any sense.
He is my absolute best friend & I love going on new adventures with him.
I've been reminiscing both on our wedding day & our beautiful honeymoon in Savannah and while those were both wonderful, I'm excited to begin the journey of raising our little boy with him in September-this will be the biggest trip of our lives, I'm sure!
 These are two of my favorite shots from our wedding; the above because we were going into our reception & were so stoked to finally be hitched, and the below shot because even though you can't see Chris' face, you can tell he's smirking & that's a favorite ๐Ÿ˜‰
Wedding Photos by Amy-Cole Photography

THREE
This past weekend, Chris & I tried out a couple of new recipes (& by that I mean, I cooked them and he ate them ๐Ÿ˜‚).
They all turned out so good & I wanted to share them with y'all & stick them here just in case I ever need to go back & reference them.
These pancakes were so light & fluffy-and easy! I also added a dash of almond extract to some of the mix, it gives it a little different flavor that I love.
Sunday Salad-Summer Corn Salad
I love, love, love a good corn salad and this one was great.
I grilled my corn for some added flavor & added a few more tomatoes. I also plan on trying this over lettuce and adding jalapeรฑos and feta to it for a little different flavor in the future.
My husband requested Strawberry Shortcake at the last minute, so I had to find an easy recipe...and I've never made this before in my life!
It turned out really delicious and didn't take long at all, you probably have most of the ingredients on hand too.

FOUR
GUYS. If you're spreading that post on Facebook about raw onions left in the fridge overnight becoming inedible because they harbor bacteria-stop! Snopes debunked it ๐Ÿ˜œ

FIVE
Forrest is really my first giant-sized inside/outside dog & y'all, I love it.
He's my sidekick. We go everywhere together. In fact, he's laying on the floor right next to me while I'm typing this.
My favorite is his begging face though; we hardly ever give him human foods but that face almost gets me to give in! How could anyone resist it?

SIX
As September draws closer & closer, of course we're thinking more & more about our little boy's arrival! Amanda from A Sweet Simple Southern Life shared her Thoughts for a New Mom over on her blog since her little Anna Claire is a month old now. There's so much advice floating around out there, but I loved her take on it!

SEVEN
If you haven't seen the "bad lip reading" of the Royal Wedding-you've got to watch it-it's so funny!

EIGHT
Saturday morning I was at my parents and had to check in on these three.
I had slowed down on riding even before I got pregnant, but now that I can't ride, I want to even more.
Why is it that when we can't have or do something, we want it even worse?!
Counting down the days 'til September for more than one reason!

NINE
Have you seen Lilly Pulitzer's new bathing suits that were just released?!
I'm dying over this one-it's a one piece, but still so fun and playful.

TEN

The other day on someone else's blog (I honestly can't remember who's, I wish I could!) I heard of a website called ThriftBooks.
Y'all know I'm already thrifty when it comes to book-buying because they can be so expensive and sometimes only get read once. I'm also trying to save money while building up our little guy's library, so every penny counts but I do want him to have a lot of great children's books!
So far, I haven't made any purchases but I've found them to have pretty decent prices (not as good as the actual thrift store, but the selection is much better) and all the reviews I've read are positive.

Have any of y'all tried this one out? I may have to make an order and report back!

Until next time. . .
xoxo,

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Light & Easy Summer Style

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Y'all this is one of my all-time favorite looks that I think I've ever showed here on the blog!
It's a combination of some of my favorite pieces that truly are perfect for obtaining that light and easy summer style.

It's no secret that I'm a huge Lilly Pulitzer fan and these Essie dresses are some of my favorites to wear because they're just so darn easy. They're a tank dress that easily stretches (peep the growing bump in that last shot!) and the dress is just so light and wearable.
I have two and took them both on our beach baby moon last weekend because they're perfect for hot days.

I'm a little shy about showing my arms (one of my least favorite features) on camera, so I thought why not break out this beautiful light, lace kimono as a coverup of sorts?
It's ideal because it doesn't add any additional weight, but just adds the right sort of covering to shield any worry zones.

Just touching really quick on the shoes I'm sharing today-they're my favorite sandals for summer & they're a dupe for a designer piece!
They may not last as long as their more expensive counterparts, but for only $19 I can afford to buy a new pair, wear them out, and then repurchase.

P.S. if you noticed that I'm actually not blindingly white in these photos, it's not because I tanned-it's because I've found my holy grail beauty product.
It's less than $15, a little goes the longest way, and it gives you the most beautiful glow with minimal effort (all wins in my book!)

I hope y'all enjoy the rest of this long weekend-let's celebrate that it's a long one!

Until next time. . .
xoxo,