Monday, October 16, 2017

Mountain Trip by the Numbers

We’re back from yet another trip, and I’m overrun with laundry and things to do once again, so today’s post will be short and simple.  It’s our trip recapped in numbers!  I always love doing these!

10 – Times I had to turn around in my seat in the car to help the kids switch DVDs/get snacks/take off shoes/etc. on the trip up and back.

10 – Times that we crossed the Georgia/North Carolina border.

12 – Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins baked.

0.25 – Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins eaten by the kids.  (They didn’t like them… weirdos.)

2,949 – Feet up… the highest altitude reached.

3 – Bottles of wine purchased at the winery.

2 – Gorgeous waterfalls seen on our hike.

1 – Bucket of rocks sifted through to find gems.

2 – Beers consumed at the German restaurant in Helen, GA.

23 – Apples picked at the orchard.

3 – Baby calves seen at the petting zoo.

6 – Apple cider donuts purchased and eaten.

1 - Tacky souvenir frame purchased for our gallery wall.

2 – T-shirts purchased as souvenirs.

7 – Times that the GPS fell off of the dashboard when Brian stepped on the gas

2 – Times that the GPS fell off of the dashboard and Brian blamed it on the mountain.

Happy new week, everybody!  Days one and two of our trip will be on the blog tomorrow!

*Linking up with B Loved Boston for WeekendingMy Glittery Heart for Hello Monday,  More Pieces of Me for Hello Monday Linkup, and HoHo Runs for Weekly Wrap.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Five on Friday - A Dress, Nashville, and a Day Off ALONE

*This post may contain affiliate links.

Happy Friday!  We have had a crazy busy week so I’m here today with a short but sweet five for you today!

O N E – This Dress

So if you haven’t heard, Amazon has really upped their fashion game.  I ordered this dress with the hopes of wearing it for Thanksgiving this year, and I LOVE IT.  The best part?  It’s only $14.99.  Yep, you read that right.  $14.99.  The only thing I didn’t like was that it’s not lined, so it’s only one layer of fabric but it’s not the least bit see-through so there’s no reason to wear anything under it.  Stay tuned because I will hopefully be modeling it soon!  I can’t wait to style it!  And it also comes in blue and white or purple and white.

T W O – Nashville Recapping

Did you catch my posts about our Nashville trip earlier this week?  We had THE BEST time and I’ve also had the best time reliving it through my pictures.  Trip by the Numbers is here, part one is here and part two is here.  And if there’s any takeaway from any of the posts it’s this – GO SEE ED SHEERAN LIVE!!!!  AND GO TO NASHVILLE!

T H R E E – A Favorite Larabar

I know I have already posted about these once before, but it’s worth mentioning again since I have officially found my favorite flavor.  I think I’ve tried pretty much all of them now, but none of them compare to the Banana Chocolate Chip.  It tastes exactly like chocolate chip banana bread.  So so good.  Honorable mention?  Mint Chip Brownie.

F O U R – A Day Off For Just Me

Monday I was off for Columbus Day but everyone else had to go to work and school so I had the entire house to myself from 8 AM to 5 PM AND IT WAS GLORIOUS!  I had originally intended to use the day to do some fun things for myself and catch up on some projects, but since it happened to fall the day after we got home from a trip and just before we had to leave again for a trip, I spent the day doing laundry, unpacking, repacking, and sorting through pictures from the trip.  It was kind of a bummer that I had to spend it doing chores, but I did treat myself to a Salted Caramel Mocha and… Christmas music while I worked!  Yes, I’m serious.  The day was rainy and dreary and I couldn’t think of a better thing to listen to!

F I V E – Another Short Work Week & MOUNTAINS!

I only ended up working two days this week since we were closed for Columbus Day and we left for the mountains yesterday.  Our house sitter is at home with Maui (poor girl is so sad because we left her again) and we are gallivanting through the apple orchards and sipping on wine at the wineries this weekend!  Definitely a favorite for the week!  I’ll have the recap up next week, but in the meantime you can following along with us in the mountains on Insta Stories!

Happy long weekend to me yet again!

*Linking up with A Liz Adventures and Carolina Charm for Five on Friday, A Little Bit of Everything for Friday Favorites,  September Farm and The Farmer's Wife for Oh Hey, Friday, Meet @ the Barre for Friday Favorites, and Cup of Tea for High Five for Friday.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Girl Chat - Favorite Halloween Costume

By now y’all should know that I always overshare on the blog and I post way more pictures than your average blogger.  When I started preparing my post for this prompt to share my favorite Halloween costume I went back and forth and just couldn’t pick a favorite, so instead of picking one, I’m going to share all of my favorites!  And guess what?  That just so happens to be almost every single costume I’ve ever worn.  Lol. 

Childhood Costumes

An aerobics instructor, Cyndi Lauper, a clown, a ballerina, a Southern belle, a Christmas present, a witch, a vampire softball player, a Catholic school girl, a Geisha… those are the things that I was for Halloween when I was little, and I may even be forgetting a couple.  Unfortunately pictures do not exist of the Cyndi Lauper get-up, but if they did, it would be on here!  Here are the pictures of my faves… and Laura, check out those sweet wire hanger braids.  ;o)

A clown when I was four-ish?

A ballerina when I was five

A Southern belle when I was seven-ish?

A Christmas present when I was eight, I think.  My mom MADE my costume out of an old box!

Adult Costumes

Okay, so I tried to narrow down my adult costumes to just my very favorite and I absolutely couldn’t because I love them all so much!  We used to go to an adult Halloween party every year before we had kids and every year we had the best time dressing up.  I, of course, always wanted to be “themed” (much to B’s dismay I’m sure) and we really did come up with some great get-ups over the years.  Enjoy! 

2004 - A witch and Shaggy... this was the one year that we didn't do a theme.

2005 - A nurse and a doctor

2006 - A Playboy bunny and Hugh Hefner... B even dyed his hair grey!

Another one from 2006... I LOVED that skirt!

2007 - A spooky bride and groom... that was one month before we got married, so we HAD to do it!

2008 - Santa's helper and a Christmas elf

2009 - Hippies.  And I LOVED that dress!  So cute.  Short, but cute.

Another one from 2009

Another one

And another
Our Kids’ Costumes

I also couldn’t pick favorites for our kids’ costumes, so here they all are as well.  

2011 - Jacob as a pod of peas

2012 - Jacob as a vampire bat

2013 - Jacob as Elmo and Maui as Cookie Monster

2014 - Jacob as Superman, Olivia as Bat Girl, and Maui as Wonder Woman


2015 - Me with my coworkers... I'm a leopard.  :o)

2015 - Jacob as Spider Man and Olivia as Anna from Frozen

2016 - Olivia as Belle and Jacob as a Storm Trooper
We love dressing up! 

What was your favorite costume that you ever wore?

*Linking up with Home of Malones for Thoughts for Thursday.

To link up – just grab our graphic, link up, and let’s get to chatting!  Make sure to stop by a few others in the link up for an extra bit of girl chat!

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Danielle - Bloglovin / Instagram / Pinterest / Twitter

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Nashville - Days 2 & 3

Despite the fact that B and I were out until 2 AM our time the night before, we were up a little after 8 AM (7 AM local time) Saturday morning because the guy next door to our Airbnb decided that 7 AM was a good time to cut down a tree or tree branches or something noisy like that… we weren’t exactly sure what he was doing, but we do know he was being loud.  I suppose it was a good thing, though, because without little babies running around and waking us up, we may have just stayed in the bed all morning!

First up Saturday morning was breakfast at Biscuit Love.  I had heard amazing things about it, so we headed in that direction.  The What Lifts You mural just so happened to be on the same block, so I dragged B back to it for another quick photo session because a) the lighting had been weird the first day we went… it was super sunny and the lights above the painting were casting weird shadows on it, b) my outfit from the previous day didn’t “pop” enough in front of it, and c) I had the brilliant idea that since I was wearing red for Georgia that the black wall and I would make Georgia colors… and you know what?  I was right.  Hehe.  I was so glad that we went back because I love these pictures a million times better than the ones from the previous day.  Do I sound like a real live blogger right now?  Yes, yes I do.  #PicturePerfection

We headed straight to Biscuit Love after that and lawd have mercy the line was wrapped around the front of the building and all the way down the sidewalk.  They are so busy that they have an employee whose job is literally just to hang out on the sidewalk with the people waiting in line to make sure that they are doing the right thing while waiting.  When we arrived he informed us that our wait would be around 50 – 60 minutes and we decided to go for it!  Every single person who came out told us it was worth the wait, so our decision to stay was reaffirmed repeatedly.  Fortunately it was cool and cloudy so we weren’t sweating our hineys off and the hour passed quickly. 

When we finally stepped inside I looked around and took it all in… high ceilings, painted exposed brick, uber trendy track lighting, and pretty much the cutest marquee lights I ever did see.  Yep, the wait was worth it just for the ambience alone!  At that point, good food would just be a bonus!  We opted to share the “Lily” (biscuit French toast, lemon mascarpone, blueberry compote, and house syrup) and an order of bonuts which are basically biscuit donuts… biscuit fried dough with lemon mascarpone, and blueberry compote. 


Everybody was right. 

That biscuit French toast was one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had.  The biscuit donuts were good, too, but the biscuit French toast was ah-mazing.  B and I sat out on the back patio to eat and we were positively stuffed when we left.

Next on the agenda was to head toward the Vandy campus.  As you know, we planned our trip to Nashville just to see Ed Sheeran, but by the happiest coincidence, our Georgia Bulldogs just so happened to be playing Vandy in Nashville that same weekend.  Crazy, huh?  Well, we knew that we were going to only have a day and a half in Nash, so we hadn’t planned on going to the game as it would have taken up a good four hours of our precious time in Nashville.  But after checking our To Do list for the trip, we realized that we probably had time to squeeze in about half of the game if we wanted to. 

We ended up getting a great (FREE!) parking spot right near the stadium, and we decided that we would try to get some tickets from a scalper since we hadn’t bought tickets in advance.  By that time it had started drizzling, so we grabbed an umbrella, grabbed my purse, and headed toward the stadium.  We knew we didn’t want to pay full price for the tickets since we weren’t going to stay for the whole game, and we were perfectly content with the decision to walk away if we couldn’t find anything cheap. 

We walked up to the first scalper we saw and he was asking $65 for each ticket (face value).  By that time the game had already started and the drizzle was still coming down, so we used that as leverage to get a good deal and told him that we were only willing to pay $30 for each ticket.  He tried to haggle with us a little bit, but we stood firm at $30 per ticket and he finally agreed when he realized we weren’t budging.  SWEET!

We headed toward the stadium and got to the gates only to realize that they had a clear bag policy and they wouldn’t let me in with my purse.  EEK!  So B and I trucked it back to the car to put my purse away (thankfully it was close) and then headed back to the stadium.  When we walked up to the line, the guy letting people in informed us that umbrellas couldn’t be taken into the stadium either.  0 for 2!  Haha. 

At that point it had stopped raining, so we just decided to chunk the umbrella in some bushes by the stadium with the hope that it would still be there when we left.  When I went to hide it in the bushes, I saw that loads of other people had the same idea as there were purses and umbrellas GALORE hidden in there.  Lol.

We got in the stadium and were in our seats only a few minutes after the game had started and we settled in to watch our Dawgs whoop Vandy!  Their stadium appeared to have more Georgia fans than Vandy fans and we were surrounded by Georgia fans, so it was a really fun time!  The skies also cleared up so we didn’t even need the umbrella… good thing, huh?

We decided to leave at halftime since we had a comfortable lead, and on the way out we stopped to grab our umbrella.  It was right where we had left it along with all of the other umbrellas and purses that everyone else had discarded.  I guess the world is mostly good after all!  Either that or nobody noticed!  Ha!

The whole time during the game my Momma and Daddy were updating us with scores on Jacob’s soccer game.  They ended up losing 15-3.  EEKS!  That was their first loss and I blame B and me for not being there… we’re obviously their good luck charms.  ;o)

Next up, we headed back downtown to The Ryman because they offer tours during the day.  If you’re not familiar with it, The Ryman Auditorium is the famous music hall in Nashville that has been around since the 1800’s.  It was the original home to The Grand Ole Opry and loads and loads of performers have graced its stage throughout the last century – Johnny Cash, Louis Armstrong, Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Elvis, Charlie Chaplan, Harry Houdini, Garth Brooks, Carrie Underwood, and the list goes on.

The tour started with a short video about the history and then we were allowed to walk around freely and explore.  We were allowed to go stand on the stage front and center and you know I wasn’t going to turn that down!  It’s pretty cool to say that I’ve stood in the same spot where Elvis Presley has stood.  And Carrie Underwood for that matter.  I love her.  Haha.

Next, we made the short walk to the Country Music Hall of Fame.  We grabbed a quick snack in the lobby and rested for a few minutes, and then it was time to tour! 

They had loads of outfits, manuscripts, and memorabilia from pretty much every country music artist ever.  I snapped tons of pictures, but I’ll just share a few of my favorite things:

Taylor Swift's guitar and dress

Jason Aldean's outfit and a poster from his and Luke Bryan's stadium tour... had to take a picture of the Georgia G!

A copy of Taylor Swift's original manuscript when she first wrote the song "Tim McGraw"

Jason Aldean's childhood Georgia t-shirt - again... had to take a picture because GO DAWGS!

The original handwritten lyrics to "Jolene" written by Dolly Parton

Original lyrics written to "It's Different for Girls" by Dierks Bentley and Elle King

The dress that Carrie Underwood wore on her induction night to the Grand Ole Opry.  Fun fact, my Momma and Daddy were there that night and they were back stage with Carrie when it all happened.

Elvis Presley's Country Music Hall of Fame plaque

After the Country Music Hall of Fame, we stopped in a couple of souvenir shops to grab a frame for our collection as well as some goodies for the kiddos and then we headed back to our Airbnb to get ready for the evening.

After a quick change of clothes and a few minutes of rest we headed back to the 12 South area again.  It was seriously my favorite area in the whole city!

I have heard several people RAVE about Bartaco, so we headed there first to put our names on the list.  They informed us that the wait was already an hour but they text your cell phone when your table is ready instead of using an old-school pager so we had plenty of freedom to roam the streets without worrying that we might miss them paging us. 

We walked back to Draper James and then to the pumpkin patch from the previous day and the twinkle lights were all lit since it was dusk.  We hung out there for a while and since it was such a picturesque little area I was as happy as a clam.

Our table was ready right on time and we headed in with extremely high expectations since people had been throwing out the phrase, “best margarita ever.”  We ordered our first round along with an order of chips and guac and OH MY GOSH.  I can officially confirm it… BEST MARGARITAS OF MY LIFE.  They make them completely from scratch using real limes (no sour mix) and my friends, that makes all the difference.  I didn’t ask what kind of tequila they used, but it was so smooth I can guarantee you that  Jose Cuervo it was not. 

For dinner, I ordered two of the chicken tacos and a side of black bean salad, and B got two chicken tacos, a chorizo taco, and the black bean salad as well.  It was all so SO good.  We ordered a second round of margs and nobody left a crumb on their plate or a drop in their cup.  I cannot recommend the restaurant enough.  It is well worth the hour to hour and a half wait. 

After dinner we walked to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream (another favorite) and shared a triple scoop of the Brown Butter Almond Brittle, and then we headed back to the car to call the babies and then head to our next destination.

The next destination was a major bucket list check for me.  We headed to… The Grand Ole Opry!!!!  I have been listening to it and watching it with my Daddy since I was a kid and I’ve always wanted to go.  We were able to snag some tickets for the 9:30 show so we headed on over. 

The lineup for the evening was as follows:

Connie Smith
Jim Lauderdale
Tracy Lawrence
Mike Snider
Charlie Worsham
Jerrod Niemann
The Whites
Steven Curtis Chapman
Vince Gill

Vince Gill sang Go Rest High on That Mountain as a tribute to all of those in Vegas who lost their lives last week, and it was touching.

It also happened to be the 92nd birthday of the Grand Ole Opry so they dropped balloons and sang Happy Birthday at the very end.

The Opry ran late so we didn’t get out of there until after midnight Nashville time which is 1 AM our time, so we headed straight back to the Airbnb and passed out again.

Sunday morning we packed up our things and left the house a little after 9 AM our time, and then we headed out for one last adventure before heading home. 

I had heard amazing things about Five Daughters Bakery and y’all know we love donuts, so we headed there for a quick breakfast.  They are famous for their “100 layer donuts” and my friends, they were as light as air and as tasty as can be.  I had a Maple Glaze and a Pumpkin Spice and B had a Chocolate Sea Salt (the one they’re famous for) and a Purist (similar to a glazed at regular donut shops).  We ate ours and tried each other’s and I was stuffed after I had eaten the equivalent to one donut.  I saved the leftovers for later and then we hit the road.

Unfortunately we had to drive back in Tropical Storm Nate so it rained all the way home alternating between drizzling and pouring.  Despite the weather we made really good time and we were back home and snuggling our babies by mid-afternoon!

We gave them their souvenirs – tambourines – and I’m still wondering what the heck we were thinking!

It was a wonderful trip with my favorite person in the whole world and I’m so thankful to my parents who kept our babies so we could get away.  It was much needed and we are recharged and refreshed!

*Linking up with Jessi's Design and Going the Distance for What's Hap-"Pinning" Wednesday.