Friday, September 25, 2020

Five on Friday - String Lights Indoors, New Artwork, and Fall Leaves

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Happy Friday, y’all!!  SEC football is finally back this weekend, so we’re euphoric over here!!  Today I’m sharing some favorites from the week, and may I say that these are some wonderful favorites…

O N E – String Lights in My Office

Remember how I hinted last week that I was working on a project in my office?  Well, today is reveal day!  I hung twinkle lights in my office!!!!

I’ve had this task on my list of things to do for years, and I even went so far as to buy this box of string lights over a year ago, but I never took the time to get them up.  I wanted to hang them in a way that didn’t detract too much from that gorgeous chandelier, and they needed to be hung in a way that the cords were able to be hidden, so it was a daunting task. 

Since I didn’t really know exactly how or where to start, I just, well, never started, so the lights have just been sitting in my office closet, boxed up, waiting to be used.  I finally got the courage to start mapping things out a couple of weekends ago, and once my plan was in place, I couldn’t get them hung fast enough.  It did end up taking a couple of hours to plan it all out, but once the plan was in place, it only took about 30 minutes to get them hung. 

B couldn’t help since he’s still recovering from back surgery, but as I always tell him, “I don’t need no man” (lol) and I got them right up all by myself.

Y’all, it’s incredible what a single $15 string of twinkle lights can do for a room… it has completely transformed the space!  I seriously thought I couldn’t love my office any more than I already do, but these lights have made it completely magical.  I never ever want to leave this space.  I also want to hang these all over the house!  But I won’t.  Haha.

I’m sure most people never even think to hang string lights indoors, but don’t even question it… just do it!  It’s magic, I tell you. 

Be sure to check my Instagram stories as I plan to do a little tour of my office with the lights on, hopefully today.

T W O – New Artwork

Since I moved my travel gallery wall out of my office a few months ago, my wall has been bare, and I’ve looked high and low for something to hang in there.  I did come across these paintings from Minted, and while they fit my aesthetic, they didn’t fit right in the space since they are comprised of two separate paintings instead of one.

While I’m not nearly as talented as my dad (he’s an artist… he does it for a living), I have been known to draw and paint every once in a while, so I thought I’d just whip up something myself.  The result is this rainbow dot piece, and it turned out perfect for what I was looking for in my office.  It's acrylic on paper.  My dad gave me a couple of sheets of his heavy sketch pad paper and it was exactly what I needed.

I originally hung the painting in this black frame (and I actually like the painting in the black frame better), but the black frame didn’t look right in my office, so I put it in a gold frame that I already had on hand.

I intended to hang it where the travel gallery was, but I didn’t like the colors there, so I swapped it out with the other floral piece of art that hangs next to my desk, and it ended up being perfect. 

When I planned my office makeover a couple of years ago, I selected pale pink, white, and gold for the primary colors, along with rainbow accents, and I think this painting adds the perfect pop of rainbow to this side of the room.  Love love love!

And in case y'all were wondering, there are over 20 different colors in the painting.  I really enjoyed mixing the paints to transition from color to color!

T H R E E – Fall Leaves

In addition to the rainbow pumpkins in my office, I really wanted some faux fall leaves since fall leaves are my favorite.  The only ones I had on hand were multi-colored (red, orange, yellow, green, and brown), but I wanted to find some that were a golden yellow to bring out the gold accents in my office.

I found these beauties at Hobby Lobby this year and they are my favorite faux fall leaves ever!  They’re the same ones that I have on my bar cart downstairs.  You can see those here in my fall home tour if you missed it.

F O U R – The Wedding Planner/Marry Me

I know I’ve already mentioned this in my weekly recaps, but The Wedding Planner is now on Netflix and I’ve been watching it on repeat lately while I work.  It’s definitely in my top five favorite movies of all-time and it just gives me all. the. happy. vibes.  I’ve probably watched it seven or eight times in the last couple of weeks and I have zero shame in admitting that.  It is just the best.  They really need to start making more movies like that again.

Which brings me to… did y’all see that Jennifer Lopez has a new movie coming out on Valentine’s Day next year and it appears to be a romantic comedy?!  It’s called Marry Me and the synopsis sounds promising.  There’s no trailer yet, but you can read about it on the website here. 

It also stars Owen Wilson (whom I love) and it sounds like it could end up being a true romantic comedy… you know, like all of the good ones from the 90’s that they don’t make anymore?  Please oh please let it be!

F I V E – Working in My Office

Combine my new string lights with my new artwork, my pretty fall leaves, and The Wedding Planner on repeat with my cozy blanket and my fall scented oils in the diffuser and… I never ever want to leave my office.  Like, ever.  It is truly my happy place and it’s been my absolute favorite thing this past week.  I mean, just look at that cozy little space... and the second picture is my view when I look to the right.  Those fall leaves!

Friday Funnies

Amen, sister!

It's worth a try!!

But seriously, this hurricane season, though

Thanks!  Don't forget to fill it up for me while you're out.  ;o)

Literally me ALL DAY tomorrow because the SEC is finally playing.  Amen.

On the Blog This Week

 Our Week – The One with Quarantine, Week 27 (Hurricane and My New SUV)

Spanx Faux Leather Leggings Styled FiveDifferent Ways


Happy Friday, y’all! 

*Linking up with A Little Bit of Everything for Friday Favorites.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Spanx Faux Leather Leggings Styled Five Different Ways

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

After holding out for a couple of years, I finally drank the Kool-Aid… I bought some of the faux leather Spanx leggings in the Nordstrom sale!  I love them so much that I thought they’d be perfect for a styled five different ways post!!

These babies are soft like buttah, they’re stretchy and comfy, and they look so polished that you can dress them up for almost any occasion.  They are high-waisted so they stay in place and they don’t slide down like some leggings do.  They suck everything in and smooth everything out, too, so I recommend sizing up one size as they run a little tight. 

Nordstrom always has free shipping and free returns on every purchase, so you can buy them in multiple sizes and send back the ones that don’t work.  That’s exactly what I did… I bought a small and a medium, and while both fit, I liked the mediums better because they weren’t quite as binding, so I just popped the smalls back in my mailbox and sent them back for free.

I finally understand what all the fuss has been about, and I can already see that they’re going to be worth the money.  Today I’m sharing how I styled them five different ways… and trust me, it was hard to narrow it down to just five looks.  I could have easily styled these 10 or 15 different ways. 

Night Out on the Town

This is by far my favorite of all of the looks… I paired the leggings with an off-the-shoulder top, heels, and a clutch, and va va voom, ready for a date night or a night out with the girls.  Remember the days when we used to be able to go out to bars and clubs and be around a lot of people and stuff?  Yeah, me too.  I miss those days.  Haha.  Side note, this top is only $12.99 from Amazon and it is absolutely fabulous.    

Criss-Cross Off-the-Shoulder Top

Spanx Faux Leather Leggings

Black Heels (similar here)

Earrings (similar here)

Pink Bow Clutch (similar here)

Cold Weather Outdoorsy Fun

The second look is comfy, cozy, and cute… perfect for a day of apple picking or pumpkin patching.  We’re heading to the mountains in just a couple of weeks and this outfit will be the perfect combo to pack for the trip!

Top (similar here)

Vest (similar here)

Spanx Faux Leather Leggings

Duck boots (similar here)


For the third look, I paired the leggings with my favorite workout top and the cutest, most comfy tennis shoes, and just like that, I’m ready for the gym.  On another note, those adorable polka dot tennis shoes are only $18.98!!

Criss-Cross Top

Spanx Faux Leather Leggings

Dot Tennis Shoes

Office Chic

For the fourth look, I threw on my new favorite sweater and some leopard mules, and I’m ready for a day at the office… that is, if I had an office to go to.  ;o)  Side note again, this sweater from Amazon might be one of the best fashion purchases I’ve ever made from Amazon.  The quality is unbelievable, and it is the softest, most luxurious thing ever.  I still cannot believe it came from Amazon.

Sweater here

Spanx Faux Leather Leggings

Leopard Flats (similar here)

Everyday Runway

For my final look, I threw on a striped tunic sweater and some comfy suede boots… the perfect look for any chilly fall or winter day.  And if it’s raining or snowing, just substitute the suede boots for Hunter Boots, and you have yourself a rainy day outfit!


Spanx Faux Leather Leggings

Suede Boots (similar here)

Hunter Boots

These leggings can be worn pretty much any way for any event and you’ll always be comfy!  Shout out to Emily for snagging them for me during the Nordstrom sale’s early access so I was able to get the sizes I wanted… they usually sell out quickly, but I was prepared this year.  ;o)

Don't forget to link up with us below!  We will continue to have the link party every Wednesday, and for the first Wednesday of each month, we will be offering a prompt if you'd like to join in... if not, just link up your regular Wednesday posts.  :o)  Prompts for September, October, November, and December are on the graphic below.

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Monday, September 21, 2020

Our Week - The One with Quarantine, Week 27 (Hurricane and My new SUV)

This past week and weekend were probably one of the best we’ve had the past six months, and I’m just so glad that my funk is finally starting to lift.  I knew fall would have the magic touch!  It always does.  :o)

Monday, September 14 (Day 185 of Quarantine)

This past week was homecoming week at the kids’ school, so they had themed dress-up days every day of the week.  Monday was Pajama Day, which is their absolute favorite, so they both got to stay comfy cozy all day long. 

After I dropped them at school, I decided to punish myself by running 2.5 miles.  Every time I do it, I regret it for the next 2-3 days, but I just can’t quit it.

After I’d showered and gotten ready, I spent the rest of the day working while watching The Wedding Planner and My Best Friend’s Wedding.  I just can’t quit them either, y’all.  They’re both just so familiar and comfortable since I’ve been watching them since my teenage years, and they just make me feel cozy and wonderful. 

Plus, I’ve seen them so many times that I know every single detail, which means I’m able to let them fade into the background while I focus on my work.  Sometimes when I watch or listen to something new, I find that I can’t concentrate on my work because I’m paying too much attention to the movie.  These old faves are perfect for cozy background noise while I work and they’ll be on repeat all fall long… along with Father of the Bride 2, What Women Want, and a few other movies that I’ve seen a million times that make me happy.  Pretty much any 90’s romantic comedy or anything with Diane Keaton is a winner in my book.

After I picked up the kids from school, we stopped to pick up more leftovers from my mom and dad’s house and we chatted with my dad for a bit before heading home for our afternoon and evening routine.

That evening after dinner, I got a bee in my bonnet, and I just had to repaint that wall in my office that I told y’all about in last week’s Five on Friday post… the one where the paint had faded behind my frames?  It felt wonderful to get it done, and I was thankful everything turned out the way it did.  I’m also glad to have my house project/get things done mojo back after all these months.  I was starting to worry that it was gone forever.  I should have known better than that.  Haha.

Tuesday, September 15 (Day 186 of Quarantine)

Tuesday was Team Tuesday at school, so the kids wore their Georgia gear… we are counting down the days until Georgia football is back!

After I dropped them at school, I did a yoga workout and then worked all morning.  It was dreary outside all day because of impending Hurricane Sally, so I got all cozied up in my office.  After lunch, I turned on Sleepless in Seattle and I spent the rest of the afternoon watching that while I painted.  Since I moved the travel frames from my office to our bedroom, I needed something to hang on my wall, and since I couldn’t find anything that really spoke to me, I decided to paint something myself.  I’ll be sharing it soon. 

After dinner that evening, all four of us went for a walk, and the weather was amazing – cloudy, cool, and windy… I always say that pre-hurricane weather is the best weather.  It’s true.

The kids have been making How to Train Your Dragon Character Bookmarks all week, and Jacob asked me to snap a picture of his Tuesday night.  They did these totally on their own and I just love how creative and talented they are! 

Wednesday, September 16 (Day 187 of Quarantine)

Wednesday was When I Grow Up Wednesday at school, so the kids had to dress up like what they wanted to be when they grow up.  Jacob wanted to be a scientist, and when I asked him what kind of scientist, he said a herpetologist.  I had never even heard of that, so I googled it, and sure enough, it’s a zoologist who studies reptiles and amphibians.  That kid never ceases to amaze me. 

Olivia, on the other hand, had all kinds of crazy ideas for her future career, but we had dress-up stuff for none of them, so when Brian suggested a ballerina, she jumped at the chance to do that one.  She loves ballet and already has an entire ballet ensemble, so it was perfect.

After dropping them off, I went home to work for an hour or so, and then I had tons of errands to run.  Unfortunately, that was the same time that the outer bands of the hurricane started blowing in, so it rained nonstop the entire time I was out and about. 

After a trip to the gas station, Hobby Lobby, Kohl’s, Michael’s, Target, the dermatologist for my annual skin check, and Chipotle to pick up food for B and me for lunch, I was finally able to settle back in at home and dry off.  The rest of the afternoon was spent working on my painting while watching My Best Friend’s Wedding, and then it was time to pick up the kids.

We’d barely gotten back home from school when all of the schools announced they were closing Thursday for Hurricane Sally.  It ended up being stronger than they’d anticipated when it hit land, and since our city was expected to take a direct hit in the overnight hours, they thought it was better not to risk having everyone on the roads in the morning in case there was any significant damage.

In addition to canceling in-person classes, they also decided to proceed with virtual learning for Thursday which made me want to bang my head against a wall, so needless to say, I immediately put on my PJs and grabbed a glass of wine when I got that news.

Wednesday was the first day of the new year of dance classes for Olivia (they started late this year because of Covid), but her school has decided to start the year virtually, and not in-person.  Olivia loves dance class, but she is not a fan of doing it virtually, so she wasn’t super excited about it.  She powered through and did a great job, though, and she ended up enjoying it.  This year she’s not only taking ballet and tap like she has the past two years, but she’s also taking jazz.  She wanted to take jazz this past year, but it was an entirely separate class, so I was happy to see they had rolled ballet, tap, and jazz all into one slightly longer class this year... much easier to manage that way!

After dinner, I sat out on the back porch for a bit to watch the rain and the wind from the hurricane, and then after the kids went to bed, the harder winds started blowing through.  B and I were watching TV and we heard a loud noise out front, and our big urns holding our ferns had fallen over.  Thankfully, they didn’t break, so we moved them into the corner of the porch where they’d be more stable.  The main portion of the hurricane rolled through our area around 2 AM, and the wind and rain did wake me once, but we slept through the whole thing. 

Thursday, September 17 (Day 188 of Quarantine)

The one good thing about virtual leaning was that we were able to sleep in on Thursday!  As someone who is not remotely a morning person, sleeping in is always a huge treat.  Thankfully, our school didn’t do any live lessons, so we didn’t have to check in with the teacher and any time during the day and we were free to go at our own pace.

I got up around 7:30, got ready, and then we all headed down for a quick breakfast before starting schoolwork a little before 9.  Their work only took about 2.5 hours, so they were done before lunch, and then they were free to play for the rest of the day.

We had zero damage at our house from the hurricane, but we did get a TON of rain.  Olivia had put her rain gauge out the night before, and it ended up filling up totally and spilling over.  One of our neighbors said that their rain gauge showed that we’d gotten 9.5 inches of rain in our neighborhood… all in about 24 hours.  Is that not crazy?!  There was some flooding in certain parts of town, and there were some trees down, but other than that, I think our area fared well.

While the kids were doing their schoolwork, my phone rang, and it was the phone call I’d been anticipating for weeks – my new SUV had finally arrived at the dealership… four days early!!!!  The salesman told me that we could pick it up that afternoon, but since the kids were out of school we decided to wait until Friday morning to get it.  I had no desire to drag them to the dealership and make them sit there while we went through all of the paperwork. 

The rest of the day was spent contacting our insurance company, cleaning out my old SUV, and working on a few more house projects. 

Friday, September 18 (Day 189 of Quarantine)

Friday morning, I dropped the kids at 7:30 and then ran back home to grab a cup of hot tea before getting to the Kia dealership at 9 AM.  Our salesman pulled my new Telluride up and we got our first look at the exact one I’ve been dreaming up in my head all this time!  That’s the thing about the Telluride… they’re so popular right now that the dealership can’t keep them in stock, so we were never actually able to see some of the exact options that I wanted in person.

My main concern was the interior… there were so many color options, and it was so hard to decide which one would look the best in person.  I wanted a grey interior since I loved it so much in my old Saturn (the car I drove pre-kids), but the salesman warned me that the grey is much lighter in person than it looks on the website, so light, in fact, that it’s almost white. 

That had me majorly worried, but I really wanted grey interior, so I decided to risk it.  Fortunately, it ended up being the absolute perfect shade of grey, and it’s nowhere near white in my opinion.  The whole entire vehicle is even more beautiful than I could have imagined and I am head over heels in love and completely smitten with it!!   It’s perfect.

Just as we were about halfway done signing all of the paperwork, the power went out at the dealership and it didn’t come back on.  Since the hurricane blew through, the power has been spotty around town, because the electric company has been working on it.  I was so sad because I thought that meant I’d have to wait another day to take my new baby home, but, fortunately, they let us go ahead and take it home anyway.  We will be going back first thing this morning to finish it up and then it’ll (technically) be mine!  They got me to ring the bell and we were on our way!

On another note, it was a little bittersweet saying goodbye to my Honda CRV.  We bought the CRV when I was two months pregnant with Jacob, and it brought both of our babies home from the hospital after they were born.  I drove it for nearly 10 years!!  I would say I’ll miss it, but I’m really just excited to finally have Bluetooth and a display.  ;o)

I spent the rest of the day transferring all of my stuff to the Telluride and familiarizing myself with all of the controls.  Since I went from a very basic vehicle to a vehicle that’s full of high-tech electronics, I had to learn how to operate everything.  Haha.  My Telluride also has Apple CarPlay, so I paired my phone with it and learned how to use that as well.  My gosh, I can already tell that I’m going to love it.  It’s so dang convenient.

By the time I had everything set up in the Telluride, it was time to get the kids from school.  They knew I was going to likely be picking them up in the new car, so they were excited about it.  Both of them are still in booster seats, though, and no vehicle is ever good at accommodating boosters with seatbelts, so they both struggled a little to get their belts buckled.  I ended up having to pull over to help Jacob with his.  I guess I need to make both of them sit in it and practice.  Lol.

Friday evening, B and Jacob went for their second hair cuts since Covid started.  And let me tell you, this is the longest Brian's hair has ever been since I've known him.  Check out his before and after.  Lol.

Later that evening, B picked up dinner from our favorite pub and then we watched Hocus Pocus with the kids… the first time this season!  And surely not the last.  After the kids went to bed, B and I watched The Story of Us, that old Bruce Willis and Michelle Pfeiffer movie from 1999, since it has been added to Netflix.  I sure do love me some Bruce Willis, but I was not a fan of that movie at all.

Saturday, September 19 (Day 190 of Quarantine)

Saturday morning, we had homemade waffles for breakfast, I got in a quick cardio workout, and then we spent the whole morning watching GameDay, working on house stuff, and cleaning out the garage. 

We’ve always parked both vehicles in our garage, but we’ve never had two vehicles this large, so we had to clear a few things out of the garage that no longer fit.  My CRV didn’t have a third row, so it was much shorter than the Telluride, so we had a bench, a hand truck, and the kids’ bikes sitting at the front of my side of the garage.  Those no longer fit with the Telluride parked in there, so we had to scramble to find a place for them.  The kids’ bikes and the hand truck are going to be hung on the garage wall, and the bench is going to be painted with a protectant and placed out in our back yard under our two big oak trees.

Jacob rode around on his scooter and Olivia did sidewalk chalk while B and I cleaned, and the weather was just perfection – cloudy and cool and breezy… just perfect, I tell ya.  Olivia eventually made her way to the front yard to play in the leaves and at one point I heard her tell Jacob as she was throwing leaves in the air, “This is what I always dreamed of!!!!”  A girl after my own heart.  These girls love fall.  There is just nothing better.  Well, except for Christmas, of course.  ;o)

We had a late lunch at home, and then the rest of the afternoon was spent hanging out and playing video games (the kids), watching football (B), and working on some other small house projects and working on the blog (me).  

We picked up pizza from a new-to-us place for dinner, and afterward, we all decided to pile in the car to go grab pumpkin pie Blizzards from Dairy Queen.  DQ was struggling, and we ended up waiting 45 minutes for them to make ours (the kids and I waited in the car), but I suppose in the long run it wasn’t really a big deal since we had nowhere else to be anyway.

We ate our goodies when we got back home (our first pumpkin pie ones of the season!) and then we watched some of the America’s Got Talent we had recorded from earlier in the week. After the kiddos went to bed, B and I watched some football and that was our Saturday.

Sunday, September 20 (Day 191 of Quarantine)

Yesterday was homework in the morning...

And then we had our first Sunday Funday that we’ve gotten to have in six whole months, and we enjoyed every single second of it.  We hadn’t been out to eat since March 13 (aside from the few times we ate outside when we were at the beach back in June), but we decided to go out for lunch on Sunday.  We chose a place that one of our friends owns because we knew that they are requiring masks and doing everything else to keep everyone as safe as possible, and we went at 11:15 AM to beat the crowd.  One entire side of the restaurant is completely open to the outside because they have huge garage doors that open and close, so we opted to sit right by one of the garage doors to be, basically, outside.  We would have chosen one of the tables on the patio, but it was super windy, and that doesn’t usually bode well for outdoor dining. 

There were only two other tables of people there when we arrived and everyone working was masked up, so we felt comfortable the whole time.  That said, it was a bit unsettling being out, knowing that all of this Covid stuff isn’t over yet.  B and I aren’t one to let our guards down, so trust me, we haven’t.  We probably won’t eat out again for a very long time, but it was a really nice treat to do it this one time since a half a year has passed since we last did.

We went to one of our favorite local restaurants that we frequented before the pandemic because we hadn’t had it in over six months.  We’ve been doing carryout from a lot of local places, but we never did carryout from this place as it’s clear across town from our house, so I was excited to have my beloved hot dog with avocado, sambal aioli, cilantro, and goat cheese.  Y’all, it is so dang good, and I’ve missed it all these months.

After that, we stopped by my favorite mural in town to get a couple of pictures, and then we headed downtown to the river walk to walk off our lunch.  The weather was absolute perfection on Sunday, maxing out in the low-seventies, and Saturday night was our first night in the fifties since winter.  And did I mention the humidity was low, too?  It was just wonderful. 

After a nice, long walk downtown, we went to Spirit Halloween to let the kids pick out their Halloween costumes.  I don’t know what Halloween will look like this year, but our kids will have Halloween costumes, and we will celebrate it in some way... even if we just have to do a candy hunt in the back yard, Easter egg hunt style.  I’m not letting Covid take that from them!

We all masked up for our trip to the store, and fortunately, there was hardly anyone there when we went so we were able to avoid everyone easily.  Jacob and Olivia walked around to see all of the scary stuff, and then they both picked out their costumes and we were on our way!

At 3, we met my parents at my Mama Cass’s house to do another socially distanced yard party, and while we were there, my aunt, uncle, and cousin randomly showed up, too.  We all sat around for a good hour and a half chatting and catching up and it was really nice to be able to see everyone.  The weather has been awful here for the last few months, so it’s nice that it’s finally cooling off so we can start doing these yard parties more often.

We got back home a little before 5 after a long, fun day and we spent the rest of the afternoon working, eating a light dinner (Sunday charcuterie!), and preparing for the week ahead. 

I’m stepping into the new week with a full heart and it feels so good!

Happy Monday, y’all!

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