Wednesday, January 31, 2018

What’s Up Wednesday – January 2018

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January is finally almost over and it’s the first What’s Up Wednesday of the year!  Here’s what we’ve been up to!

What We’re Eating This Week

Mon – Taco Joe’s
Tue – Rosemary wine chicken, mashed potatoes, broccolli
Wed – Fiesta chicken with rice and beans
Thu – Sausage, peppers, and onions tacos
Fri – Out
Sat – Out
Sun – Hamburgers on the grill for the Super Bowl

What I’m Reminiscing About

I’m still reminiscing about our benefit ball last weekend.  We had such a wonderful time dancing the night away!  The photographer has posted several of the candids so I’ll hopefully be sharing those Friday. 

What I’m Loving

I made a “daily” bin to hold all of my books that I read/write in every day and I’m absolutely loving it.  It holds all of the things that I use on a daily basis – my planner, my devotional, my two One Line a Day books that I write in daily for the kids, my gratitude journal, my iPad, a notepad, all of my planner pens, and whatever other books I may be reading at the time.  This keeps everything together which makes them all easy to find, and now I never forget about any of them since they’re all in the same place.  Sometimes I like to work on these things upstairs in my office, but sometimes I like to work on them downstairs on the couch, so the bin also makes it easy to transport everything.  Its permanent home is on the table next to my desk in my office, but I can easily grab the whole thing and take it wherever I want… and it has handles!    

The bin itself is this one from Target and it was originally grey, but I decided to make it my own so I busted out the spray paint.  I sprayed the main bin white and then I sprayed the lid gold to give it a little umph.  Now it matches my office and it looks more glamorous!  Winning!

What We’ve Been Up To

Aside from our benefit ball last weekend, we’ve been taking it pretty easy.  We had snow earlier this month, which is a major rarity, so we spent a couple of days at home taking it in and playing.   Other than that we’ve been spending a good bit of time at home and I’ve been working on many of my NewYear’s goals!

What I’m Dreading

Another month of winter.  January and February are always my least two favorite months of the whole year, and February is typically my very least favorite. 

What I’m Working On

Cleaning out.  Purging.  Organizing.  Simplifying.  If you guys have been following along with me on Instagram Stories, you know just how much I’ve been getting done!  Since I spend so much time in my office now I decided to start there with the purging, and boy, have I been getting rid of stuff.  It feels ah-mazing!  I have purged old toys, clothes, papers, old notes from high school, and loads of other mementos.  I’m hanging on to some of it, but I’m really being intentional about what I keep. 

For example, last week I had 14 boxes on my closet shelf, and I cleaned out so much stuff that the things that I’m keeping can now all fit into just one of those boxes.  Isn’t that crazy?!  I still have a long way to go since I’m doing this to the whole house, but it feels amazing seeing the progress so far. 

Once my office is done, I think I’m going to move on to the kids’ rooms and the playroom next.  Those will all go hand-in-hand since they’re all overflowing with toys.  It should be another big job, that’s for sure! 

Jacob’s room is also going to be getting a little mini makeover… and by makeover, I don’t mean that we’re redecorating.  I just want to rearrange all of the furniture to make the room more functional.  The kids’ rooms are both pretty small, so once we converted his bed to a full size bed, he lost a ton of playing space.  I’m hopefully going to try to figure out a way to resolve that issue and make better use of the space in there!

What I’m Excited About

Aaaallll the concerts we’re attending in 2018!  We just got our tickets for JT the other day and we got tickets to see Dave Matthews Band yesterday!  We already have tickets for Ed Sheeran, so now I just need to find some for Phillip Phillips, Paul Thorn, and Taylor Swift and I’ll be all set.  Why oh why are Tay-Tay’s so expensive and impossible to get?!  Waaaahhhh.

What I’m Watching/Reading

Watching – The Bachelor, This is Us (all the tears!), Modern Family, Big Bang Theory, Scandal, Shark Tank, and Master of None.

Reading – the last book of Elin Hilderbrand’s Winter series… Winter Solstice.  I’m worried this one is going to have a sad ending.

What I’m Listening To

I always have music on in the background no matter where I am, and now that I’m home all day I’ve been listening to all of my own music instead of the radio like I always did at work.  I listen to The Elvis Duran Morning Show until 10 and when it’s over I either shuffle my own music in iTunes or I listen to entire albums.  The albums I’ve had on repeat lately are Taylor Swift – Reputation, Ed Sheeran –Divide, Phillip Phillips – Collateral, and Justin Timberlake’s two new songs… I’m dying for the rest of his album to come out!

What I’m Wearing

Lots of leggings, sweaters, boots, and scarves.  It was cold here in January.  Like really cold.  We’re not used to these extreme cold temps for such long periods of time, so I’ve just been doing everything I can to keep warm.  I’ve been wearing these leggings and these house slippers non-stop when I’m at home!  And I just got this peplum top in the mail yesterday… I’m sure it’ll be added to the list of frequently worn items soon!  And it's on sale now for just $20.98!

What I’m Doing This Weekend

Saturday morning we’re heading to the kids’ school to help with campus beautification and then the rest of the weekend is up in the air.  I do know that we are having people over for the Super Bowl Sunday evening and I’m hoping to grill burgers, but the forecast is calling for rain, so who knows if that will even work out.  All that matters is that I’ll get to see my JT on the stage for the halftime show!  ;o)

What I’m Looking Forward To Next Month

Brian’s 40th birthday and Olivia’s 4th birthday!  Y’all, I can’t believe that I’m going to be married to a 40 year old next month!  Lol.  Next month I’m also hoping to see Phillip Phillips in Atlanta as well.  He’s one of the few performers that I haven’t crossed off of my concert bucket list, and I’m hoping to remedy that next month!

What Else Is New

Did you see my post yesterday?  I posted about Valentine’s Day gift ideas for the ladies, so head on over if you want to do a little bit of shopping!

Happy Wednesday, ladies!

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

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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide for Her

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Brian and I have never really done very much for Valentine’s Day, but I know a lot of people go all out for the holiday that celebrates all things loooove, so I thought I’d whip up a little gift guide! 

Ladies, if you see something you like shoot the links over to your guys so they can get something for you that you actually want, or just treat yo’self and call it a day!  ;o)


1 – This BP peplum top is on its way to my house as we speak!  You may remember how much I have been raving over these Old Navy peplum tops?  Well, the last one I ordered got lost in the mail and when I called to report the issue they told me that they were all sold out and would only be able to give me a refund.  (Cue all the tears!)  Well, as soon as I saw that these BP peplum tops at Nordstrom were on sale, I jumped on them!  I’m hoping that I love it as much as I love my tops from Old Navy!  For only $20.98, why not?

2 – Fringe earrings are all the rage this year and these in blush are perfect for Valentine’s evening, date night, and spring!

3 – Heart shaped sunglasses are always so fun!  I have some pink ones similar to these that I love! 

4 – I’m sure most people already have their new planners for 2018, but if you don’t and you’re looking for something quick and not wanting anything customizable, this planner fits the bill. 

5 – Why yes, these are making yet another one of my lists!  Brian gave these exact house slippers to me for Christmas this past year and they are AMAZING.  I’m really wondering why the heck I’ve never owned any good house slippers until now.  I wear them all the time when I’m at home.  Literally all the time.  I wear real shoes when I’m out of the house, but the second I walk through the door, I put these babies right back on.  They are so cozy and they keep me so warm.  I never realized how much my cold feet were preventing me from staying warm at home.

6 – I’ve had this necklace on my wish list for a loooong time.  It comes in all of the different birthstones, and it would make the perfect gift for any lady who wears jewelry.  Lucky for me, I’m an April baby, so my birthstone is a diamond.  ;o)

7 – Dark chocolate is my favorite.  I choose it over milk chocolate and white chocolate every single time.  These dark chocolate bars are perfect for someone who likes to receive traditional Valentine’s Day gifts and – bonus – they are covered in champagne sprinkles for a fun twist! 

8 – Because I adore my Hunter boots so much, I will continue to sing their praises until the end of time.  Yes, they are expensive, but it is highly likely that I’ll still be wearing the same pair 20 years from now, so they were worth every penny in my opinion.  These pink ones are the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day, or if you’re me, they are the perfect gift for any day!  One of these days, I will own pink Hunters, too.  ;o)

9 – Everybody should have a good graphic tee for each of the big holidays.  I know I do.  Wine lovers, rejoice!  This one is adorable!

So do you and your significant other go all out for V-Day or do you keep it low-key like we do?  I always love to hear what other people do!

Happy Tuesday, y’all!

Monday, January 29, 2018

The Weekend with the Benefit Ball

Happy Monday, everybody!  We’re coming off of a wonderful weekend and I’m wondering how in the world it’s already over!

Saturday was drizzly and low-key.  We lounged around most of the day and the kiddos played with Play-Doh for four or five hours straight.  It was crazy.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything hold their attention for as long as that darn Play-Doh did!  While they Play-Dohed I finally got the Valentine’s Day decorations finished! 

Saturday evening our sitter arrived and then B and I were off to our annual benefit ball for the kids’ school.  We have been attending since 2009 (before we even had kids) because the ball is affiliated with our church and the school from which I also graduated, and every year we have such a great time!  Loads of my old teachers and friends from elementary and high school are always in attendance as well as the current teachers at the school and all of the students’ parents.  My mom and all of her siblings graduated from there as well, so most of my extended family is usually in attendance, but this year only my mom and dad came from our family. 

B and I dressed to the nines and then had our sitter snap a couple of pictures of us on the way out, and then we snapped a couple of car selfies on the way.  We realized about halfway through our picture taking that we had been photo-bombed by Olivia’s penguin.  Haha. 

We arrived at 6, just as the cocktail hour was kicking off, and we all grabbed drinks and chatted with old friends while the band played.  One of my best friends since high school is always in attendance and she and I always have a great time hanging out.  We snapped a few pictures on the red carpet in front of the step and repeat with the professional photographer (those pictures will be in a different post once they’re available) and then it was time to head into the main ballroom for dinner. 

We typically sit at a table with my parents and extended family, but this year my parents were invited to sit at one of the other sponsored tables, so we sat with three other couples who have kids in Jacob’s class.  We already know all of the couples because two of the guys at the table went to school with me (one of which who’s wife is the current Pre-K 4 teacher so Olivia may have her in the fall!), and the other couple has a son who has gone to daycare with Jacob since they were just a few weeks old.

More wine was poured when we sat down and dinner was delicious as always.  They hire the best chef in town every year to do the meal, and as always it was perfect.  The first course was salad with homemade dressings followed by the main course of steak and chicken served with a potato cake, carrots, and green beans.  The presentation started shortly after dinner was over and coffee was served with chocolate cake for dessert.  Some of the kids from the school sang a few songs for us, and then the guest speaker spoke for a bit, and then they called the winner of the raffle. 

Once the presentation was over, it was back out to the first ballroom where the band was starting back up.  We put another round of drinks on our tabs and then it was time to dance.  The band was great and they played a lot of old favorites, and on their breaks they played all of the very classy rap music that all of us younger people love, so we danced even harder.  We danced for almost three hours straight, y’all, and I was exhausted on Sunday.  And when the band was done a bunch of us weren’t ready to stop dancing, so they put on some more old faves like The Wobble and Low and Cupid Shuffle and we all danced some more.  The ball was technically supposed to end around 11, but we kept partying on until they finally shut the music down to kick us out around midnight. 

A few people who I went to school with were trying to arrange an after-party at one of the bars downtown, but after standing around for a good 30 minutes with no concrete plans, B and I decided to call it a night.  By then it was almost 12:30 and I’m getting too old to stay out any later than that.  Haha.

It was my favorite ball that we’ve attended yet!  We adore our church and school family!  And we made the local paper's website!  I love this picture that they took of us.

And here are the pictures taken by the professional photographer!

And I was so caught up in the moment that I barely took any pictures, and I didn’t even think about posting anything on Insta Stories either.  #BadBlogger

Sunday was drizzly all day and we did all of the usual Sunday things… lunch with my in-law’s and dinner with my parents and we also attended a birthday party for our friends’ daughter in between.  The kids got to play on the playground and burn some energy after two days stuck inside because of the weather, and the adults had a chance to sit around catching up.  It was a win-win!

Another whirlwind weekend in the books!  Happy Monday, y’all!

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*Linking up with B Loved Boston for Weekending and HoHo Runs for Weekly Wrap.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Five on Friday - Favorites + I Need Your Help

This week has been incredibly productive and I’m feeling extremely accomplished today, so I’m thankful for that!  I was finally able to bag up all of the trash, recycling, and items to sell in my office so all of the junk is off of the floor and I can finally see the carpet again!  Woo hoo!  With that said, I still have a loooong way to go in there, but at least from this point forward I won’t be tripping over junk as I’m rearranging things. 

Anyhoo, here are a few favorites for you today! 

O N E – These New Bins

If you follow me on Instagram Stories, you may have seen that I have already switched out the Amazon bins that I posted about last week for some new Target ones.  I absolutely loved every single thing about those Amazon bins, but I couldn’t get past the fact that they were grey and white.  I love grey, but it just doesn’t go with my office décor.  I really thought it would since my colors are white, gold, pink, and black, but the grey just ended up looking dirty against the white and gold, and it was driving me crazy so I set out once again to find something different.

I ended up going with these bins that I found at Target… it was pretty much love at first sight.  They are white with gold foil polka dots and they are perfect for my office décor.  My local store only had three, but I was able to get a fourth from  It arrived in two days and my shelves are officially complete!  I love these bins… they are the same size as the Amazon bins, but they are slightly trapezoid shaped instead of rectangular which I love.  Having that slightly wider opening at the top allows me to use the vertical storage method for all of my scrapbooks and diaries and that beats stacking any day!  In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, vertical storage is where you line up all items on their ends so you can see everything that you have.  When you stack items you can only see the one item that’s on the top of the pile. 

Anyway, if you’re looking for storage, I highly recommend these, and they are slightly on sale this week, too.  They are sturdy enough to hold stacks of heavy books so they would definitely be sturdy enough to hold toys in a play room, clothes, or whatever else you could possibly need them for.  They also come in other colors and patterns, and they also come in cube form for those of you who have the cube storage systems, so if you’re in need of some storage bins, look no further than the mother ship.  ;o)

T W O – Sweet Memories

As I said before, my office is really coming along, but on Wednesday I opened Pandora’s box… AKA my office closet.  I am a self-proclaimed keepsake hoarder, and three quarters of my office closet is filled with my old memories... notes from high school, old stuffed animals, mementos from my first job and other periods of my life, sketchpads, awards, school work, and the list goes on and on and on. 

The closet is literally filled from the floor to the ceiling with boxes and I have vowed to clean out every single one of them.  Y’all, it is bad. 

I opened the first few boxes Wednesday afternoon and what did I find?  Every single bouquet from every single wedding that I have ever been in during my entire adult life.  That would be six.  I have six old bouquets, three made from real flowers, and three made from artificial flowers.  I know a lot of you probably think I’m absolutely crazy for keeping these, but I’m just such a sentimental person and all of these ladies are still my best friends to this day.  HOW DO I THROW THESE OUT?! 

One of my sweet Instagram followers DMed me and said that she has also saved every wedding bouquet, every corsage, and every flower her husband has ever given her and she said that she pulled the petals off of them and put them in apothecary jars and glass vases to use as décor.  Y’all, I LOVE this idea, and I’m thinking of doing something similar, so stay tuned.

Along with the old wedding mementos, I also started going through the first of three shoeboxes of old notes that my best friends and I used to pass in high school, and y’all, I sat on the couch reading each one and cracking up all Wednesday evening.  We were hilarious.  I’m proud to report that the majority of those are getting tossed and I’m only saving a select special few. 

Pulling out and seeing all of these old things has made me so nostalgic and just so happy, though, and this has been a really enjoyable journey so far.  I’m really struggling to get rid of a lot of it, but I’m proud of myself for the progress I’ve made so far. 

And if you're working on decluttering and simplifying like I am, be sure to check out my two posts about how I organized all of our digital and non-digital media (photos, videos, music, paperwork) from earlier this week!  Post 1 here and post 2 here.  It's extremely thorough and it gives step by step instructions on how to get it organized and backed up once and for all!

T H R E E – Concerts

If you’re a long time reader you know that Brian and I love live music and we are avid concert goers.  Last year we attended six different concerts – Dierks Bentley, The Lumineers, Chris Stapleton, Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds, Paul Thorn, and Ed Sheeran and I thought that we could never possibly top 2017 for concerts.  Well, 2018 is already looking amazing, and we may even surpass last year!! 

So far we already have tickets to see Ed Sheeran again and I just got our Justin Timberlake tickets yesterday and the seats are SO GOOD.  We also just found out that Phillip Phillips is coming to Atlanta next month so we’re working on lining up a sitter so we can go see him (he just released his third album and it is fantastic just like his first two).  Dave Matthews Band just announced their summer tour so I’m sure we’ll attend that concert since we see them every year AND Paul Thorn (another favorite) just announced he’s going to be in Atlanta this summer, too.  Whew.  In addition to all of these gems, I still have my eyes set on some Taylor Swift tickets.  It’s a long shot because they are ridiculously expensive, but goodness gracious do I love her new album and want to see her!

So six concerts in 2017 and potentially six more in 2018… GIMME ALL THE LIVE MUSIC!

F O U R – Dinner with Old Coworkers

As you know, I left my job of 13 years back in November after my supervisor was laid off.  A couple of other people had already left in recent months as well, and now it turns out that our big boss (who also became my direct supervisor after my other supervisor was laid off) has jumped ship as well.  And he was there several years longer than I was.  It was quite a shock to our whole work family. 

I had not been happy there for a couple of years before I left, but I am told that the morale now is just completely in the toilet.  While I feel so bad for my coworkers who are still there, I cannot even tell you how good it makes me feel to know that I made the right decision to leave… not that I really had much of a choice anyway, of course!  I was missing it terribly for a while after I left and I was worried that I had made the wrong decision (again, not that I had much of a choice), but at two months gone, I can officially say that I made the right decision and I have no desire to go back.

I do have the desire to continue to contribute to our family financially, though, but that’s another topic for another day.  ;o)

Anyhoo, now that I’m way off track, let me get to what I actually wanted to discuss!  I was able to get together with some of my old coworkes for a little farewell party last night for our old boss and it was such a fun time.  We all met for Mex and margs and we did a lot of laughing and reminiscing.  I sure don’t miss the job, but goodness gracious, do I miss the people! 

F I V E – Dress for the Ball

I love all of you ladies whom I have met in this blogging community and I value your opinions so much!  With that said, I need your help!  We have our annual benefit ball this weekend and I’m still not sure which dress to wear.  I bought four (crazy, I know) and I will return the three that I don’t use.  The reason I’m having trouble narrowing it down is because each of the dresses all has something weird about it that prevents it from being perfect.

Dress #1

This is my personal favorite overall.  I ADORE the neckline, the overall style, and the color.  However, it is about two miles too long and it also doesn’t flatter my body shape because it’s slightly too large. 

Dress #2

This dress comes in a close second and it fits like a DREAM from the bust down.  However, I was not blessed up top (thanks, Momma – haha) so the bust is too big.  I think I can get away with wearing it without having a wardrobe malfunction, but I’m going to have to be VERY conscious about holding my shoulders back and being careful to not lean forward all night.  One other thing to note is that the back dips down very low (but it has straps that criss-cross in the back so it’s not completely backless) so I’m not sure if that’s slightly too risqué for this event?  The event benefits our kids’ school but I’m pretty sure I’ve seen ladies wear stuff similar to this there in the past. 

Dress # 3

I love the lace and the color and most everything about this dress, not to mention the length is perfect.  However, the top area is a little bit too baggy so it’s not quite as flattering as it should be.  And I don’t love it as much as I love the first black dress.

Dress #4

I love the color, I love the style, I love the neckline, and this dress fits perfectly but… it’s too short.  Sheesh!!!!  Also, I’m not sure how I feel about wearing a color like this during the winter.  I know blush is all the rage for winter, but usually people are wearing blush in the form of sweaters and outerwear.  This sleeveless, lightweight fabric dress just screams spring.  Plus it makes my super-pale arms look even paler. 

So, you can see my predicament, right?  Although, after looking at myself in the pictures above, I'm thinking BIG FAT NO to the pink one!

Now for the big question – which one should I keep?!

Happy Friday, all!  I have lunch lined up with my girlfriends today and we have a jam packed weekend, so it’s going to be a good one!

*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.