Friday, September 29, 2017

Five on Friday - Favorites + Two Nights Out

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Another busy week has come and gone and this one was a great one.  I had not one night out this week, but two and I basically feel like a new woman.  I got to spend quality time with my Momma and quality time with my girlfriends, and I’m going to be spending lots of quality time with my little fam this weekend, too!  I love weeks like this! 

And a special thanks to the hubs for holding down the fort two nights in a row while Mommy was off gallivanting.  Thursday evening was no easy feat, I’m sure, but he rocked soccer practice, dinner, bath time, and bedtime with both kids LIKE A BOSS.  I really don’t give him enough shout outs here on the blog, and I really should do that more.  I definitely hit the husband/baby daddy jackpot and I am very thankful for that. 

O N E – A Movie Night with Two of My Favorite Ladies

As I said before, Wednesday evening my momma and my aunt and I went to see Home Again.  We were able to watch it in one of the theaters with the big plush recliners and we were so excited because none of us had ever been to one of those theaters!  The seats were soooo comfy, and I can totally see how people could fall asleep in there.  The movie was also really good!  I’ve been a big fan of Reese Witherspoon’s since waaaay back when she was in Fear and Cruel Intentions and I’ve pretty much seen every movie of hers since then. 

I’m just really glad that a good romantic comedy was finally made again!   Back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s there were loads and loads of great ones… The Wedding Planner, Sweet Home Alabama, What Women Want, Miss Congeniality, You’ve Got Mail, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Love Actually, The Proposal, Notting Hill, My Best Friend’s Wedding… you know the ones!  I could go on and on and on!  Anyway, for the last several years they just haven’t been making those kinds of movies and that makes me so sad.  I was excited to finally see one come along, and with one of my favorite actresses, too!  So Hollywood, if you’re listening, I think I speak for most women my age when I say BRING THE ROMCOMS BACK!

T W O – GNO to Celebrate My Favorite Newly-Turned-30-Year-Old

My friend Katie turned 30 yesterday and we took her out for a surprise birthday dinner to celebrate!  This was an extra special celebration because a) she turned 30, b) her husband just deployed last weekend and she doesn’t have family here in town so we know that she’s been a little down this week and needed a little pick-me-up, and c) some her husband’s family decided to drive down from Missouri to surprise her to be with her on her big day since her hubs couldn’t be here.  I can’t take any credit for this get-together since us girls had actually already celebrated her birthday earlier in the month, but her sister-in-law decided to contact another one of my friends and they organized the entire thing.  She even arranged for her husband to keep Katie’s babies so she could have the night off!

We started the evening with some happy hour drinks downtown on the patio... the weather wasn't quite as hot, and it was actually pretty pleasant out!

Then we went to my very favorite restaurant in town (it’s an upscale Italian steakhouse), we ordered a bottle of wine, and I got to eat my very favorite meal ever – a filet, mashed potatoes, and grilled asparagus.  Their filets are TO DIE FOR.  The one that I get is topped with fried garlic and herbed butter sauce and it is seriously the best steak I’ve ever had in my entire life… better than any other filet I’ve had at any fancy restaurant in NYC, LA, Vegas, DC, you name it.  It is phenomenal.  I wish I could reach through the computer screen and give each of you a taste.  ;o)

Anyway, it was a great night with great people and I’m really glad that Katie was able to celebrate her big day in a special way because she deserves it.  Love you, Katers.  <3

P.S. I love my booties even more after seeing them in this picture.  And they're on sale right now!  I told y'all I've been wearing them every day!

T H R E E – Soccer Pictures

Jacob had his professional soccer pictures taken last week at practice, so I had to document it on the blog, of course!  I basically stood behind the photographer and zoomed way in with my iPhone so they’re a little pixelated but you get the point.  Hopefully we’ll get our hands on the real pics soon and I’ll post the official one then!

And here’s what Olivia does during soccer practice… aaaah the life!

F O U R – Cute Halloween PJs

I think one of my favorite things about having babies is being able to dress them in super fun holiday jammies.  Is there anything cuter than a baby in holiday jammies?!  I think not.  Anyway, I’ve been on the lookout for some cute ones for Jacob and Olivia as I typically get them each a new pair every year, and these are the ones that I’ve come across so far… 



F I V E – A New Fall Mug & a Giveaway

I teamed up with some blogger friends to host a mug exchange and a giveaway yesterday and I hit the jackpot!  The mug that Danielle gave me is the cutest thing ever.  If you missed the post, you can click here to see the mug that she got me and be sure to scroll to the bottom of the post and enter the giveaway!  We are giving away $50 to Starbucks and we would love for you to enter!  

Well, we are gearing up for a seriously fun and fall-tastic weekend so I’ll see you back here Monday with a recap of all the pumpkiny goodness!

*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, September 28, 2017

Mug Love Exchange + Starbucks Giveaway!

For the second year in a row I have teamed up with some of my favorite bloggers to participate in a blogger exchange, and this year I’m a co-host.

If there’s one thing that us bloggers have in common it’s that we all adore fall.  The scents, the crispness in the air, the coziness of it all.  And nothing makes things cozier than a cup of coffee and/or tea!  I typically drink a cup of tea every day, and then I treat myself to coffee occasionally during fall and winter.  When I saw the announcement for a mug exchange I couldn’t sign up fast enough. 

Don’t coffee and fall go hand-in-hand perfectly?

This year I was paired with Danielle at A Sprinkle of Joy, and I could not have been happier.  I have been following along with her and her sweet family for a couple of years now so it was like being paired with a good friend.  She and I both agreed that we would love something fall-themed for the exchange because – surprise! – neither of us actually owned any fall-themed mugs. 

Shocking, I know.

When my package arrived, I was giddy because who doesn’t love receiving stuff in the mail?!

When I unwrapped the mug I almost died.  Y’ALL.  THIS MUG!!!!  Is it not perfect for me?!  It’s currently gracing the top of my two-tiered stand as a piece of my fall décor because it’s just too cute not to display for all to see.  I will probably bring it to work soon as that’s where I do most of my tea drinking.

She also sent a sweet note and some crocheted covers for my other coffee mugs, one for regular mugs and one for travel mugs.  That curly Q on the pumpkin stem is seriously the cutest thing ever.  I think I love those just as much as the mug itself!

Thank you so much, Danielle!  I definitely hit the partner jackpot with you.  XO

If you would like to see what I got for Danielle, you can check it out on her blog.

And now for the fun part… we are giving away a $50 Starbucks gift card for one lucky winner.  You can enter via the Rafflecopter below.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

 And if you were part of the exchange, don't forget to link up below! 

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

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

What's Up Wednesday - September 2017

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I’ve mentioned several times this year that 2017 hasn’t been my favorite, but I’m happy to say that the start of fall has seemed to bring me out of my funk somewhat and that is a wonderful thing!  While September brought on some challenges – hello Hurricane Irma! – I’m glad to be emerging from the funk and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it’s all good things for the rest of the year!

What We’re Eating This Week

Mon – Bacon and Broccolli Quinoa
Tue – Leftover Sausage & Vodka pasta and garlic bread
Wed – Seasoned gold potatoes, corn on the cob, black eyed peas, and green beans
Thu – Who knows?  It’s always up in the air on soccer practice night!
Fri – Out
Sat – Take-out while we watch the Georgia game! 
Sun – Momma and Daddy’s for Sunday dinner (if her oven gets fixed, that is!)

What I’m Reminiscing About

All things fall from last year!  I put together my Fall Bucket List for 2017 this week and it felt like I was reliving fall 2016… our mountain trip, apple picking, wine tasting, pumpkin patch visits, etc.  It has made me feel very warm and fuzzy, hence the reason I think I’m coming out of my funk.  ;o)

What I’m Loving

This is going to sound redundant, but I’m just happy to be surrounded by pumpkins and the sound of college football on my TV again.  Our house is decorated for fall and I’m soaking up every bit of the pumpkiny goodness.  I’ve been waiting for it all year!

What We’ve Been Up To

This month wasn’t technically as busy as August, and it definitely wasn’t as busy as October is going to be, but somehow it seemed really hectic.  September was packed with errands, doctor’s appointments, and other life things rather than fun events and big accomplishments, so there’s not really much to document for all that we’ve been doing.  Our weekends have consisted of soccer games for Jacob and watching a lot of college football, and B has also been very busy at work this month so I’ve had to tackle several days of single momming while he worked lots of overtime. 

We also went through Hurricane Irma (and fortunately came away unscathed), and September also brought on a big let-down when I went to my last specialist appointment in Atlanta for my back only to be told that they could no longer do anything for me.  Sigh.

What I’m Dreading

I’m not personally dreading anything right now, but I do have a very sick family member who was just diagnosed with two kinds of advanced cancer so my heart has been heavy these last couple of weeks since we found out.  Please excuse me for being vague, but please continue to keep our family in your prayers.  And it is no one in our immediate family of four so please don’t be alarmed.

What I’m Working On

Planning planning planning.  We have two trips in the very near future, so I’m trying to get everything planned and prepared.  Lots of research has been going down – restaurants to go to, sights to see, things to do – and lots of lists have been made – what to pack for each family member, things to do before we leave, etc.

What I’m Excited About

These tunics!!  Did you see my post about the tunics and leggings that I found on Amazon for dirt cheap?  Well, my tunics arrived and they are awesome.  The quality is every bit as good as any boutique tunic that I’ve ever owned and they are as soft as buttah.  The fit is really flattering, and I will go so far to say that they are officially the best tunics that I’ve ever owned.  I did size up as recommended (I would normally wear a small, but I went with the medium) and they fit well.  I probably could have gotten away with a small, but then I would run the risk of them being too short if they ever somehow shrunk (story of my life).  They come in 45 colors/styles and you can find them here if you’re interested. 

I also found these leggings that have rave reviews (most are comparing them to LulaRoe leggings), but I ultimately decided not to get any because I am already overloaded with leggings… since I don’t usually wear them to work I just can’t justify buying another pair right now.  These also come in 45 colors and patterns so there are loads to choose from!

What I’m Watching/Reading

Watching – B and I finished Ozark earlier this month and we didn’t start anything new because a) neither of us are really that excited about anything, and b) we knew that all of our regular shows were about to start, so there was probably no need to get involved with anything on Netflix just yet.  We are SO excited for fall TV, though!  This week we will be enjoying Big Bang Theory, THIS IS US!!!!, Scandal, and Shark Tank to name a few.

Reading – I’m still reading My Not So Perfect Life and it’s really cute.  I’ve always been a big fan of Sophie Kinsella, so I figured I would like it.

What I’m Listening To

I have been listening to lots and lots of Ed Sheeran to gear up for the concert in a couple of weeks!  Oh my goodness his new album is one of my favorite albums of all time.  He is just phenomenal.

And as per usual for this time of year, I’m also rocking the old standards and cocktail jazz because they make me feel cozy and warm and that’s the best way to feel now that fall is approaching!

What I’m Wearing

We had a very brief taste of fall earlier in the month, and now it’s back to 90 degrees every day, so I am sadly still rocking aaaallll the summer clothes.  I have been wearing these booties to counteract the summerness of it all, though.  ;o)

What I’m Doing This Weekend

We will definitely be watching our Dawgs take on Tennessee on Saturday, and I’m also hoping to check a couple of fall things off of our bucket list.  I just found out that there is a sunflower farm relatively close to us, so I’m hoping we can go see those.  I’m also hoping that we can make it to a pumpkin patch this weekend.  My mother-in-law won’t be cooking lunch on Sunday like she usually does, so we will have that day free as well.  Anything is possible!

What I’m Looking Forward To Next Month

Oh my goodness, where to even begin?  Going to Nashville, going to the mountains, having a whole day off for just myself, taking the kids trick-or-treating, and squeezing in as many fall things as we can!  Isn’t October just glorious?

What Else Is New

I haven’t really mentioned it here on the blog, but I have now started seeing a pelvic physical therapist for my back/SI joint/tailbone/hip issues.  I’ve seen loads and loads of doctors these last six years (seriously, upwards of 20) and have always been optimistic in the beginning that they will finally be the one to help me, but no one ever does.  Since none of them have ever been able to, I’m trying to not get excited about this new doctor, because I don’t want to be let down again.  I will say that she understands more about my issues than anyone else has so far, and that is a good sign, but like I said – no excitement until she proves to me that she can “fix” me.

Happy Wednesday, y’all!

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

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Fall Bucket List 2017

We have already started enjoying some fall activities over here, but once again I’m behind on posting our fall bucket list.  I have posted a fall bucket list every year since I’ve started blogging, so if you’re a long time reader then a lot of this may look familiar to you.  As always, though, I have made a few changes to keep it interesting!  

O N E – Decorate the House for Fall

I have actually already decorated the house for fall, and this year’s décor is by far my favorite.  You can see the post here.  And just because I don’t like posting new fall pictures in my bucket list posts (those are saved for the bucket list recaps), here is a picture of last year’s décor.

T W O – Go to a Georgia Football Game

Last year we made it to three games, but this year we haven’t yet made it to one.  This time of year is especially beloved to us because of college football, so we surely can’t let a year go by that we don’t go to a game.  Last year also happened to be Jacob’s first Georgia game, but the jury’s still out on whether or not he will be attending with us again or not.  It all just depends on the game we choose and the game time.  

T H R E E – Install a TV on Our Back Porch and Watch Football Outside

This one has been on my bucket list for the last two years and it wasn’t crossed off either year.  Dare I put it on here again?  Maybe we won’t install one… maybe we’ll just carry one out there.  Haha.

F O U R – Attend a High School Football Game at My Alma Mater 

Jacob now attends the school from which I graduated, and Olivia will be there next year, so just like 1996 – 2000 I’m hanging out at school football games again!  It’s wild to be there with my old elementary and high school friends seventeen years later and watching our kids walk the same halls together that we once walked.  We attend the big homecoming alumni social and football game every year, but it happens to fall the weekend that we’re going to be out of town this year, so for the first time in probably a decade, we will miss it.  My parents will be taking the kids so Jacob won’t miss it because my Momma is an alumna, too!  We have actually already attended one game, and we are also attending our big rivalry game this Friday, so hopefully that will make up for missing the Hoco game.  ;o)

F I V E – Frolic in a Field of Sunflowers

Sounds cheesy, no?  Well, this has been on my life’s bucket list since I was a little girl and I recently found out that there is a huge sunflower farm just an hour or so away from us!!  EEK!  The only bad thing is that they are only there for another week or two before they start to wither, so if we can’t make it this weekend then we won’t be going this year.  I’m hoping that we can make it happen.

S I X – Nashville Trip

This isn’t typically on our bucket list, but boy oh boy am I excited about this new addition!  It technically has nothing to do with fall other than the fact that we’re going during the fall, but I’m adding it to the list anyway.  We just so happen to have fourth row seats to see ED SHEERAN, y’all, so we are taking a trip sans kiddos and I.  Am.  Stoked.  Not to mention I’m thrilled to explore Nashville since I haven’t been in so long!

S E V E N – Take an Entire Day Off for Just Me

This is another new one to the bucket list, and it also happens to be one that fell into my lap.  The way the calendar falls this year, my employer ended up having to give us one less holiday at Christmas, so our HR department took that day and gave us Columbus Day off instead.  It just so happens that B does not get the day off and the kids do not get the day off from school, so y’all, I HAVE AN ENTIRE DAY TO JUST MYSELF.  I honestly don’t even know what I’m going to do with myself… maybe grab a PSL, get some work done on a couple of projects I’ve been wanting to do, organize the Christmas gifts we have already purchased for the kids (right now they are haphazardly crammed into my office closet whichever way they will fit), and enjoy just being aloooone.  Praise hands!

E I G H T – Fall Weekend Getaway in the Mountains

We’re actually going to be taking two trips this fall – one to Nash and the other to the mountains!  Last year was our first time going to the mountains as a family of four and it was seriously one of my favorite trips of all time.  We had a total blast and I’m hoping to have a repeat of the fun this year.

N I N E – Go Apple Picking

Last year was our first year going apple picking and I am officially declaring it one of my favorite activities to do.  We had so much fun!

T E N – Go Wine-Tasting at a Vineyard

This is another mountain trip activity from last year and we had an amazing time.  We’re hoping to make it happen again as well!

E L E V E N – Visit a Pumpkin Patch

Our favorite one closed the year before last so I’m still hoping to find a new one that we love enough to want to go every year.  We did go to a different one last year and it was fun enough, but I’m still thinking there’s probably something better out there.

T W E L V E – Carve Pumpkins

The kids are so excited for this one!  They’ve been talking about it recently and they are ready!  

T H I R T E E N – Go on a Date with the Mr.

We haven’t been on a conventional dinner and drinks date in quite some time (maybe all year?) as all of our date nights have been for concerts and social gatherings, so I’m ready for one.  Something fall-themed would take the cake!

F O U R T E E N – Trick-or-Treat

The kids have already picked out their costumes so we’re ready for the big day when it arrives!  

F I F T E E N – Watch Our Favorite Halloween Movies

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is turned on every Halloween night once trick or treating is over.  We let the kids stay up a bit later, we put them in their Halloween jammies, and we all snuggle up on the couch to watch.  It’s a tradition that I’ll be glad to carry over each year for as long as the kids will let us.  We are also always on the lookout for new ones to watch… we still have Toy Story of Terror on our Tivo from two years ago and the kids actually just watched it Saturday for the first time this season.  I’m just ready for them to be old enough to watch Hocus Pocus!

S I X T E E N – Read Our Favorite Fall Books

Our huge collection is already in our seasonal book crate in the living room, and we have even started reading a few of them.  Olivia’s favorite?  It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.  She likes to mash the buttons and her favorite button is the one that plays the jazz music… she is her mother’s daughter.  <3

S E V E N T E E N – Hire a Professional Photographer for Fall Family Pictures

Our photos were so great last year so I’m hoping that we can use the same photographer again this year.  She captured the kids perfectly and I can’t wait to see what she captures this year.

E I G H T E E N – All the PSLs

I already have one under my belt, but I’m hoping to enjoy a couple more before I make the switch to the Salted Caramel Mocha and the Peppermint Mocha.

N I N E T E E N – Play in the Leaves and Enjoy the Fall Foliage

This is something that we love to do every year.  We have a couple of parks that look absolutely beautiful during the fall, so I’m hoping to make it to one of those and play in those beautiful red, orange, and yellow leaves!  And I’m sure that there will be plenty of leaves playing in the mountains!

T W E N T Y – Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

The perfect way to end fall and begin the transition to Christmas.  In my book, once Santa Clause waves at the end of the parade on Thanksgiving Day, the fall season is officially over and the Christmas season has officially begun!  

And there you have it… a good mix of old and new!

It truly is the start of the best four months of the whole year!

And now it's time for the Tuesday Talk Link Up!

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