Tuesday, March 31, 2015

april goals

I figure I am more likely to follow through with some goals I have for this month if I post them here!  You guys can hold me accountable...right?  Then at the end of April I can update you on how my progress was the these goals.  I am trying to include one goal that is health or wellness to try to get back in those healthy habits I have been neglecting!   So here are my goals for April!

 {one} Have two friends over for dinner
This past month I had a sweet couple over for dinner and I loved it!  I made it super easy on myself and ordered pizza for dinner and made salad and dessert.  What I loved most about it was being able to get to know them better and share in conversation.  I really do love having people over to my house so I want to be more intentional about that.  My goal will be to have one friend/couple that I know well over and then one that I might want to get to know better.  

{two} Donate at least 1 bag of clothes
My mom tells me all the time that it is a sin to have as many clothes as I do, and even though I want to argue with her about it, she is probably right!  I have way too many clothes.  And since I have an older house the closet situation isn't the greatest either so that is a double whammy!  I figured this would be a good time to get rid of some things as I will be switching out the closets this month.  I have no doubt I can probably get rid of more than 1  bag!

{three} Read 2 books (one fiction/one non fiction)
I shared yesterday the book I am excited about starting this month, Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty.  That will be my fiction pick I think.  And as for the non fiction selection, I am not sure!  Any suggestions friends?  I am really trying to get out of the habit of going to sleep with the TV on and instead reading before bed.

{four} Send at least 1 card per week
Snail Mail is one of my very favorite things.  Everyday I am so excited to get home and see if there is something besides bills and junk mail tucked in the stack of mail on my floor!  There is just something special about getting a card or letter in the mail.  And I also love cute stationery.  I am excited to send one card a week to some of my sweet friends.  Wanna get some fun mail this month?  Leave me your address in the comments! :)

{five}  Exercise at least 3 times a week
The weather is getting warmer, the days are getting longer and I need to be spending more time outside.  My neighborhood is perfect for walking, so really I have no excuse.  I gotta get my rear in gear.  Along with walking, I need to get back in the habit of drinking water.  This month I am going to try to focus on some healthy habits.  It really does make me feel better!

What are your goals for April?  Check back at the end of the month to see how I did!  Have a great Tuesday friends! 

Monday, March 30, 2015


Happy Monday friends!  This weekend was packed, but packed with all good things!  Over the course of the weekend, I attended three birthday celebrations, including 2 for some of my best friends and 1 for my sweet Mamaw!  I ate lots of good food, watched Duke pull out the win to head to the final four, saw the movie Home with some of my favorite people, and did lots of laughing and smiling!  This weekend was definitely one of those that causes your heart to swell!  And this is a short week here at the school house because spring break is on it's way!  Woohoo!

I thought it might be kinda fun to do a currently post today to get this week started!  Tomorrow I am going to share my goals for April, so be sure to stop back in to see what I want to accomplish in April! 


Well, I just bought a new book, that I am pretty excited to start this week.  Some friends and I read Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, and I loved it!  So when I saw one of her other books was on sale for 2.99 for the Kindle, I decided to pick it up!  My next read will be Three Wishes.  I am excited to read another one of her books.  It was an easy read and so good!  Anyone read it?  

I have also been trying to get through Gone Girl, and I don't know what it is, but I just can't finish it.  Part of it might be that I saw the movie before I read the book, which I rarely do.  So I know a lot of the twists and turns.  It just isn't holding my attention.   What new books have you read recently?  I would love some more suggestions!

My sweet, funny, hip-hop loving mom got me hooked on Empire.  I just had time to catch up on the season finale.  Cookie is no joke and Lucious...he is something else as well!  Kinda can't wait for that one to start back up in the fall!

Scandal is getting back to being Scandal again which makes me happy.  This last episode reminded me why I am Team Fitz!  That ring, that music, sweet baby.  Yeah, I know it is wrong, but I do love those two together!  

And even though it is a kids movie, if you haven't gone to see Home, I would highly recommend it.  I laughed so much at this movie and the voices for the characters were perfect!  And the story is great!  

This weekend after a breakfast birthday celebration, I went to get my nails done with some friends.  I wasn't going to go, but they twisted my arm and I went.  I decided to get a mani and try the gel nails.  And I am in love!  They look great, and I think they will last forever!  I went for a light pink color which is perfect for spring and will hopefully match whatever I decide to throw together for an Easter outfit!  I think I might be hooked!

 I know I am late to this party, but I am loving the Moscow Mule these days!  Saturday evening I ordered one while we were out to dinner celebrating with my grandmother and she stole it from me!  It was pretty tasty!  I fell in love with ginger beer this summer in South Africa so add that to this fun cocktail and it is an instant winner!  

Thankful this week for my sweet family!  I know I talk about them a lot here but really they are the best.  We might be small in numbers but we sure do love each other.  It was such a treat to be all together this weekend to celebrate with Mamaw ! 

Spring break is almost here and I am thrilled to have two sweet friends come and visit me in NC over break!  I met Allison and Nicole when I was in South Africa about 3 years ago and we really hit it off!  Nicole has stayed in South Africa and is currently home for holiday and Allison is in CA.  I went to visit Allison last May and since then have been trying to get her to NC, so when she decided to come over spring break and it just so happened that Nicole was home too, well, it was perfect!  So they will be here on Easter Sunday and I am planning lots of fun things for us to do! 

I can't wait to take them to Asheville to hang out with Beth too!  I don't want to give too much of our fun away but one thing I am so excited to share with them is the LaZoom Comedy Tour around Asheville!  I have done this 3 times before and I laugh so much each time!  I know they will love getting to know my hometown in this fun way!  I think we will visit the winery at Biltmore as well, probably the Chocolate lounge and who knows what else! 

There is what I am up to {currently} up to these days!  What's new with you?  Hope this week is full of nothing but good things for you friends!  

Friday, March 27, 2015

friday favorites

Anyone else feel like this week has been the longest week ever?  I am so very thankful that today is Friday! 
Linking up with all kinds of fun people today to share some Friday Favorites! 

I think I am going to bite the bullet and order these fun Kate Spade earrings.  They are 25% off right now at Nordstrom and I think I really love them.  The big question is, what color?  It's funny that I would even think about ordering earrings because up until about a year ago, I never wore them!   I thought they looks stupid on me. So friends...what color would you order? 

This week it was such a treat to have my sweet friend Erin and her husband Justin over for dinner.  I was not the best hostess because I ordered Mellow Mushroom instead of cooking, but I gave myself some grace for that.  It was more about the great company, laughs and conversation than it was the food.  I did whip up a super simple dessert for us to enjoy though.  Can't go wrong with angel food cake, strawberries and whipped cream!  I love having people over to my house so I am going to make that a goal for the next few months!  So be on the lookout friends, an invite might be coming your way! :)

March Madness is in full swing and it has been madness for sure!  I was so excited to fill out my bracket and was certain I would be the winner in my small little bracket contest.  Well friends, that is a big ole no!  Look at all that red!

The East is killing me!  Fingers crossed for Duke win tonight against Utah!  How does your bracket look?

This weekend we will celebrate my Mamaw's 88th birthday!  I am so blessed by this spunky and loving woman.  She has such a generous heart and has taught me so much!  Excited to celebrate with the family!  And doesn't she look great for 88?  

Easter is one of my favorite times of year and I have been meditating a lot on this thought this Easter season.  So thankful that God continues to make things new.  

Have a great weekend friends!  

Thursday, March 26, 2015

thoughts on thursday

It't that time of the week to share some Thursday Thoughts and to link up with Meagan over at Beautiful Things!

I think...

* being sick is for the birds.  And I will totally admit I am a big ole baby when I am sick.  I want my mom to come to my house, put sheets on the couch, bring me food and baby me.  This head cold, sinus stuff has taken over this week and I am feeling pretty yucky!

* nothing beats a handwritten note from a kid.  The misspellings, the smiley faces, the messy handwriting...sure brings a smile to my face!

* getting an Easter Basket as an adult is way better than getting one as a kid.  Hope the Easter Bunny reads my blog or checks out my Wish List pinterest board for some ideas! :)

* people should extend more grace and less judgement.  This week my heart was broken by the way people treat other people, especially on the social media.  There is no question that we all mess up, I sure do all the time, but I don't want people blasting my mess ups all over the internet.  Shouldn't we be encouraging, praying for and being compassionate instead?  We truly never know the deep hurts people are dealing with, the emptiness they feel, the darkness they live each day.  So this week, I am trying to love people more. Sorry for that soapbox.

* I am already looking forward to Easter dinner at my grandmothers house.  I can't wait for broccoli salad, deviled eggs, ham...yummo!  What are your favorite Easter recipes?

* I am excited to celebrate 4, yes 4 birthdays this weekend!  Three of my best friends have birthdays this week and my sweet Mamaw turns 88 on Saturday!  Bring on the celebrations and birthday cake! :)

* my friends are some of the greatest people on the earth.  I watch them love selflessly, give til it hurts, care for people well, and I just feel blessed.

* Dave Barnes is amazing.  That is all!

* this quote from the movie We Bought a Zoo is one of my absolute favorites..."You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage.  Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery.  And I promise, something great will come of it!"  So be brave people....

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

it's beginning to look a lot like...Easter!

Easter is one of my favorite times of year!  Yay for spring, sunshine, Easter baskets, flip flops and so much more!  I love being able to decorate my house for this season!  This year I went a little crazy with the spanish moss and the eggs, but can you really ever have too much of those things?  :)  

Here is a little tour of my house at Easter!  I apologize for the not great quality of the pictures!  But enjoy friends!  

This is my sunroom which really is one of my favorite rooms in my house!  It is perfect for Saturday morning coffee or a rainy day afternoon nap.  I kept it a little simple in here this year.  Just a vase with some spanish moss and eggs.  I picked up that sweet little blue bunny from Michael's for less than $5 to add to the decor.  I love using old windows around my house too!

I don't sit at the dining room table often, since it is just me, but I added a purple dish with you guessed it, spanish moss and eggs.  Very simple but festive!  

On the other side of my dining room is one of my very favorite pieces of furniture!  This piece was refinished by my dear friend Liz and it adds the perfect touch to my dining room.  I am in love with that green moss bunny I picked up at Home Goods!

I added a little bunny and some more eggs to my table in the hallway under my Instagram wall.  Don't you love this table?  I found it at Hobby Lobby for cheap!  

Most of my Easter decor is in the living room on the mantle!  I really do love my mantle.  Are you sensing a trend here?  I love my house!  :)  

Every good Easter decorator knows that jelly beans are an essential to this season, so I had to include them around my house!  

How do you decorate for Easter?  What are some your favorite ways to add some spring to your house?  

Thursday, March 19, 2015

thoughts on thursday

Linking up with the lovely Meagan over at Beautiful Things to share some Thursday Thoughts!  If you are visiting from the link up or even if you have been reading for a while (aka, my mom), don't forget to leave a comment! This blogger LOVES comments!

I think...

* the blog needed a little makeover!  Did you notice?  I am in love with the calming colors, it kinda makes me want to be at the beach.  There are still somethings I would like to fix, but overall I am pretty pleased with it!

* the meal I ate on Tuesday evening was my favorite meal of all times.  While you might have been munching on St. Patrick's Day treats, I was devouring country ham wontons, Appalachian egg rolls stuffed with pulled pork, the most amazing fried okra and warm pimento cheese.  Friends, I can't even explain how amazing it was!  And to top it off they had one of my favorite beers on tap, Son of a Peach.  It was just a magical dining experience and to top it off I got to share it with a dear friend!   If you live in the Asheville area, Charlotte, Greenville, etc you must try Tupelo Honey!  One of my favorites!

* Spring Break needs to hurry on up!  I don't have plans for any major trips but am so excited some dear friends are coming to visit!  Just really ready for a break!

* I could be on the amazing race.  I have been watching some old seasons and really think this would be one reality show I might be good at!  And this most current season has Jonathan Knight from NKOTB!  Are you watching?

* if you haven't listened to All Sons & Daughters you are really missing out.  This past Tuesday evening after that amazing meal, my friend Christen and I went to a beautiful church in downtown Charlotte to worship with these guys.  I was a mess at the beautiful picture of the body of Christ.  And the simple words of the songs they shared...so thankful for the love and faithfulness of God.

* it might be a bit of a problem when you can down an entire bag of jelly beans in 2 days?

* I am beyond excited for my sweet goddaughter who will be in a play these next two weekends.  I am so proud of her for taking a risk in trying out and for sticking with this! She is a natural on the stage, so proud!

Have a great Thursday friends!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Bunny Canvas: Easy DIY Easter Project

How is it Monday already?  I don't know about you but the weekends sure seem to fly by.  I was so thankful for the sunshine yesterday, that it inspired me to try a little DIY Easter canvas.  It is by no means perfect, but the final product sure makes me smile!  And the good news, you can do it too!

I was inspired by this post I saw on Tom Kat Studio

I loved the simple white bunny silhouette.  While mine does not look exactly like this, this was the inspiration.  I looked around my craft area to find supplies that I already had which made the project even better!

I started with a square canvas, some grey acrylic paint, and some brushes.  I searched online for a bunny template and found this one.

Now this is where it gets really technical friends...I used some scotch tape and taped the template onto the canvas.  I am sure there is a much better way to do that, but I wasn't sure what that was and the scotch tape was handy so I went with it! :)

My color choice was grey,  but honestly any color would work.  I did two coats of color around the bunny. One just didn't seem like enough coverage.  I used a paint brush first but found that it was leaving bristles in the paint, so I switched to the foam brush.

Here is the final product!  You can see there are some areas around the template that didn't turn out great.  I tried touching them up but quickly realized that I was making more of a mess than helping, so I decided to keep the imperfections. :)

I decided I wanted to add a little color to the canvas and found some ribbon and ric rac in my craft cabinet.  These were some I found in the Target dollar spot last year about this time so I was exited to use them! 

I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted to add so I tried a few different things!  I just cut the ribbon and ric rac to go around the canvas and then taped them in the back.  Again, very high tech here!  You might also use washi tape, fabric or scrapbook paper to add some color to the canvas. The top and bottom design won me over so that is what I went with.

Here is the final product on my mantle and I am really pleased with how it turned out!  It was a simple way to add some springy goodness to my house!  Now I just need to finish getting out the rest of the Easter decorations!  How do you decorate for spring?

Have a great Monday friends!

Friday, March 13, 2015

five favorites on friday

Linking up with some lovely ladies to share some Friday Favorities!  It really is one of my favorite blogging days!

Last night due to the encouragement of my bestie I went back to the gym after a loooooong hiatus!  We went to the Zumba class and man I am feeling it today!  It's a good feeling though and I am hoping to get back on the wagon!  

I love chalkboards!  And adding that with fonting, I am in my happy place.  I am considering making some birthday chalkboards that moms can fill in each year with some of their kiddos stats, favorites and other fun info.  What do you think moms?  Would this be something that interests you?  I would fill in all the labels, name and decorations and then you can fill in the specific details each year.  Kinda like this example...(this is not one I have done, by the way)
Would love to hear your thoughts? 

Yesterday on the blog I shared a post that I co wrote with a sweet friend of mine.  We really had a blast at Epcot on our little adventure!  Our favorite thing was going to each country and finding a hat that represented that country.  Gosh, it was so much fun.  Here is my favorite picture from that trip! Love having friends who are up for adventures!

Has anyone watched the new Netflix showUnbreakable Kimmy Schmidt?  I am anxious to watch it and am a huge fan of the actress Ellie Kemper after her performance in Bridesmaids.  I have seen some good reviews on a few blogs, but would love to know if you have watched!  

Cheers it is the weekend!

Sorry for the lack of pictures in this post, my computer is not being my friend at the moment!

Enjoy the weekend friends!  

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Friends, Dreams and a little Disney

Today's post is a joint effort between two friends who love adventure, travel and smiling!  Through this post we hope to encourage you to love your friends well and to invest in those you love!  Thanks Breeze for partnering with me to share! Sharing this post with Meagan for thoughts on thursday as well!   Enjoy friends!

Releasing a sigh of relief, we relaxed against the airplane seats. We had made it! Months of planning, excitement, and dodging obstacles of a winter storm, we were off on our girls trip. Heading south to warmer weather and sunny skies.

We had decided last fall that we needed a girls trip. We both love adventure and being single provides some advantages of flexible schedules. Not that you can’t travel when you’re married, but it requires a lot more planning and discussion between your spouse.

Our trip to Orlando consisted of a Luke Bryan concert, full day at Disney, a day in our Pj’s reading and collaborating on some upcoming projects, and great food and conversation.

Our day at Disney was so much fun! A highlight of the day was walking from different countries and experiencing the different cultures at Epcot. We decided to capture this experience by taking photos at each location with us wearing hats that represented the country we were in. This became such a fun game of which hat we were going to use and laughed at the ones we found.

In France, we stopped at a bakery that we had been told we must visit. We were not disappointed. Who knew a sandwich and dessert could taste so good. It was a wonderful day with perfect weather, not too crowded, and reminded us of magical places and dreaming big.

What do you and your friends do together for fun?

Maybe you’re in a season and having a hard time finding a time to hangout with your friends. Whether due to your busy schedules, newly married, or raising kids. Maybe you have forgotten how crucial it is to have quality time with your friends and have fun.

We have taken some time to answer some questions that we hope will encourage you and give you some ideas in helping you invest in your friendships.

1. How do you  keep up with your friends?


My friends will tell you I am a terrible phone friend.  It is actually one of my goals this year to be better at catching up with friends on the phone!  I do make it a point to text friends often to say hi or to send them some encouragement.  And I do love the old school way of communicating, sending letters or cards in the mail!  I think the important thing is just to be proactive in keeping up with your friends!  I love how with many of my friends it doesn't matter how long it has been since we have chatted we pick up right where we left off! 

Friends that are close by I usually see every week. We also will text each other throughout the week. These people are who I go to for advice and share my days with. The friends that don't live close, I have to make sure and be more intentional at having "phone dates" and catch up with each other. I love to talk on the phone but I know several of my friends have families and sometimes it's hard to coordinate a phone call. My goal this year is to be with friends more face to face.

2. What is something we can do when we are so busy to make room for fun with friends?

Be intentional!  As women we are always juggling lots of plates.  Whether you are in college, working, single or married, we tend to over commit ourselves which lead to friends being put on the back burner.  We must be intention in making time for friends, in order to foster those relationships.  Set weekly or monthly dates and put them immediately in your calendar.  Set phone dates or Facetime dates.  

I agree with Brooke. Be intentional. Sometimes you need to plan ahead and set some fun get togethers. A group of my close friends and I have set Memorial Day weekend as a beach trip for the past 10 years or more. Now that school gets out later, we choose to go in June. It's something we all look forward to. It doesn't have to be a long trip somewhere. Plan a evening to paint or do pottery together at a local shop.

3. What are some of your favorite girls nights out for you and your friends?

I L.O.V.E girls nights!  One of my very best friends and I have a weekly girls night to watch one of our favorite TV shows together.  I go to her house in my pjs and we set up shop in her girls playroom and watch Scandal. It is one of my favorite traditions.  I love grabbing coffee or dinner with friends.  Going to concerts, movie nights, are other fun outings I love to share with my friends.  Weekend getaways are a great way to connect with friends and explore and enjoy new places.  

I love evenings when we cuddle up in blankets on the couch and talk. Eat junk food and share each other's dreams. Sometimes it's Zaxby's and watching one of our favorite shows. I also love movies and popcorn.

4. How do you encourage your friend's dreams and goals?

I think it is so important to invest in your friends enough to really know what it is that makes them come alive.  It is such a great feeling to have people get excited about the things that we are passionate about.  On those girls night mentioned above, take some time to really listen to what your friends goals and dreams are.  Then help them move toward them.  Encourage them, look for ways to challenge them to move toward the things they love!  Partner with them in making their dreams come true!

I absolutely love hearing about my friends dreams and plans. I love getting to be a part of encouraging them with my words, help, or time to see their dreams come alive. I am not the friends who is able to give good steps and ways necessarily to get the goals achieved but I love to encourage a long the way and remind them to dream big and positive feedback.

We hope you will be encouraged to be intentional with your friendships. Tribes are important and need quality time.

{so excited to have partnered with my sweet friend Breeze to share this post.  Breeze is a dreamer who resides in a small town in Western North Carolina.  She is a second grade teacher and founder ofShe Dreams Ministries.  She loves spending time with family and friends.  She enjoys getting to share her story and to encourage others with her words on her blog!  You can find Breeze on her blog, Walking in the Journey and on Instagram.}

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

By the numbers

Today I am going to try something a little different on the blog!  After reading this post  on Eat Drink & Be Mary's blog, I thought this would be a great post to do!  So today will be a get to know you type post, except my life in numbers!  

 years I have answered to Ms. Simpson in the classroom

1, 144
posts on Instagram, yes I know it might be a problem (and if you aren't following me, you should be!)

82, 830
(approx) miles I have traveled while traveling to South Africa 3 different times

years separate me and my little brother Zach

average number of times I hit the snooze button each morning. 

years I had braces on my teeth

times I have seen NKOTB in concert as an adult

season of Friends I am currently watching

tattoo on my foot (plans for another soon)

number of Starburst jelly beans I could eat in one sitting

What else would you like to know about me by the numbers?  
Hope you enjoyed this post friends!  Have a great rest of the week!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Five on Friday

TGIF friends!  After a few weeks of snow days and work days I have not had to work a full week so this week has worn me out!  Looking forward to a great weekend!

Linking up today with lots of fabulous gals for some Friday Favorites!  Check out April and Christina  for 5 on Friday.  Head over to Erika and Andrea for Friday Favorites.  And for oh hey Friday check out September Farm and the Farmer's Wife

Last weekend I had a little getaway to my hometown Asheville.  I love being a tourist in my own town, always fun to stay new places and act like its a new town to explore!  We stayed at the Grand Bohemian which is located near the Biltmore Estate.  And friends, it was fabulous ! I highly recommend it!  The attention to detail in the room and throughout the whole hotel made it a wonderful experience!  

And we ate at Ruth's Chris which is one of my favorites.  The Coconut Ginger Martini, was to die for!  

This weekend we will be celebrating the greatest rivalry in college basketball...Duke/Carolina!  My family has always been die hard Duke fans so I am pretty excited to cheer on the Blue Devils in their final game of the regular season with some of my best friends.  There really is nothing like college hoops in NC!  Can't wait for March Madness and to fill out those brackets!  Do you have any fun traditions with March Madness?  

My sweet Momma Suz has been visiting this week and it has been so fun to have her here.  I love when my mom comes to visit.  She makes me laugh so much and always goes above and beyond to do things for me.  This week she tackled my laundry and cleaning my bathroom.  I seriously don't know what I would do without her. She is my biggest fan and best friend!  I might just keep her around!

My amazing friend Breeze and I are working on a blog post together that we are going to put up next week.  It's all about friends!  I am excited for you all to read this post and hopefully get some encouragement about how to nurture and maintain great girlfriends!  I am beyond blessed with the absolute best friends in the world!  Can't imagine life without them!

So glad I took April's advice and checked out the Javie flats on Amazon last week!  I am in love!  They are so comfy and look great with skinny jeans and I can picture them with maxi skirts or yoga pants!  These navy polka dotted ones found their way to my house last week in 2 days thanks to Amazon prime and were a great deal!  You should check them out ladies, they are still on sale!

Have a great weekend friends!  

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