Wednesday, November 30, 2022

The Cutest Holiday Top Styled Five Ways

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

This top has been sitting in my Amazon wish list for a few weeks now, so I couldn’t snatch it up fast enough when it went on sale this past weekend.  It is truly the most perfect top and I love it soooo much that I decided to dedicate an entire blog post to it.

The quality is good, the fabric is average thickness (not too thick and not too thin), and the bodice is super soft.  I typically wear a small in tops, but at the time that I ordered, this one was sold out in small, so I bought an XS to try (because I didn’t want to miss the sale), and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the XS fits perfectly.  I wouldn’t say that you need to size down, though… I think the small would have worked for me, too.  (And it’s fully stocked in all sizes again now, too.)

My very favorite thing about it is that it can be worn with a regular bra… no strapless bra required!  That is always a bonus in my book. 

This top is incredibly versatile, so it can be styled many ways, and today I’m going to share a few ways that I styled it.  Per usual, I’ll link as many items as I can for each picture.  One more thing to note, this top comes in 13 colors, so if black isn’t your thing, then there’s probably another color you may like instead.

First up, I paired it with a pair of jeans and my beloved Rothy’s for a casual look.  This look would be perfect for a day of holiday shopping because it’s comfy, but chic.  I wore it out shopping all day yesterday actually!


Jeans (same brand, different wash)

Shoes ($20 off your first pair if you use this link)



For the second look, I traded in my jeans for my favorite leather skirt and some tall boots, and I think this look would be perfect for a girls favorite things party or a girls night out.



Boots (similar)



For the third look, I paired the top with my favorite fluttery skirt and some heels, and voila – holiday party ready!  I think it would look even more amazing with this glittery skirt!!



Heels (similar)



Next, I paired it with the brown version of my favorite leather skirt and some black booties, and I think this would be the perfect outfit for family gatherings or family pictures. 



Booties (similar)



Finally, I paired it with my favorite faux leather leggings and some heels, and that is the perfect look for New Year’s Eve!! 


Faux Leather Leggings (seriously the best)

Heels (similar)



Which look is your favorite?

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Our Week - The One with a Dinner Party, Thanksgiving, a Party with Friends, a Football Game, and Our Elf Breakfast

What a week, y’all!  We had the best time on Thanksgiving break – we spent so much time with family and friends, we did so many festive things, we were so productive (we got all the Christmas decor up!), and we still had some time leftover to relax – it was just perfect.

Monday, November 21

Monday morning, the kids were out of school and Brian was off of work, so we all slept in and then had breakfast.  After breakfast, I got in a workout and then got ready for the day, and then once we were all ready, we headed out in search of a Christmas tree for our living room.  We’ve always done a real tree in there (never an artificial one), but I’ve been thinking for a couple of years of making the switch to an artificial one.

We’d seen a couple of good ones online at Home Depot, so we decided to check Lowe’s and Home Depot first to see their selection.  Lowe’s had a terrible selection of fake trees and an equally terrible selection of real trees, so we left there as fast as we could and headed over to Home Depot next.  They had a great selection of fake trees for decent prices, although, they were still a little expensive for my taste... not nearly as expensive as the high-end brands, though.

There were three that we really loved, one of which was easily omitted because of its tiny lights, but ultimately, we decided to hold off on buying one because we knew Black Friday was just a couple of days away and we figured they’d probably go on sale.  Spoiler alert – they did NOT.  Haha.

Instead, we decided to look at their real trees, and while their selection was better than Lowe’s, they were all pretty crappy, too.  Right as we were getting ready to give up, Brian stood one up in the last aisle and it was like the heavens opened up and the angels started singing.  Lol.  It was seriously the most gorgeous real tree I’ve ever seen – perfectly shaped, full as can be, and the absolute perfect size for our space.  BOUGHT!!!!

This was the first time we’ve bought a tree from a big box retailer in years.  We’ve been going to the same Christmas tree farm that a family sets up down the street from our house for years, but these last couple of years their prices have been astronomical, and we knew it wasn’t going to be any better this year.  So, we opted for something more affordable (even though the prices at Home Depot were insane, too). 

The guys at Home Depot informed us that while they could help Brian get the tree on top of our SUV, they cannot be responsible for strapping them down anymore, so B got it on their nice and tight and we made it home without incident.  Hahahaha.  I always get so nervous hauling them home year after year since we have to strap them to the roof.

At home, we had a light lunch, and then B and I got the tree in the stand.  After that, I worked in my office for a short while and the kids played video games, and then I finished some laundry and got ready to meet my old coworkers for dinner and drinks.

I worked with them for 13 years before I quit five years ago, and after I quit, several of the others quit to go somewhere else, too, so we’re all spread out now.  The 13 years I worked there, we were all really close and we always did a big Christmas party together, so we’ve tried to keep the tradition going since then. 

We weren’t able to get together in 2020 for obvious reasons, and then last year, several of us ended up having sick family members, so we had to cancel that one, too.  I’ve had lunch with several of them since then, but we hadn’t all been together in three whole years – YIKES – so it was great to be able to see everybody again.

We opted for our old favorite place – a local Mexican restaurant that we all love – and seven of us were able to make it.  We invited 10 or 12, but several people were out of town or had plans, and then one girl ended up having to cancel the day of since she was sick, but I was excited to have seven of us back together. 

We started at 5, right after they got off of work, and three of us ended up shutting the place down right before 10.  Haha.  Those Christmas parties we used to have were always a little crazy – rounds and rounds of shots – but thankfully, there were no shots this time.  I was prepared to leave my car in the parking lot of the hotel next door and get one of the DDs to drive me home, though.  Hahahaha.

B had taken the kids out to dinner at our favorite pub while I was gone, and they’d just finished watching a movie when I got home, so I helped him get them in the bed, and then B and I went to bed shortly after that since he had to work Tuesday.


Tuesday, November 22

Tuesday morning, we all ate breakfast together, and then B worked from home.  I got in a long, hard work out and then after I showered, I spent the rest of the day putting up the remaining Christmas decorations and getting the lights on the big tree in the living room.  I always put a ton of lights on the one in the living room, so it takes a while.  This year, I decided to dial it back a little, though, and I only did 1,200 instead of 1,500 like usual.  That is still a ton.  Lol.

And look at this sweet picture I took of Maui... she looked like she was posing for the camera.

I cooked dinner Tuesday evening, and then afterward, we got the tree decorated.  The one in the living room is the one that we put all of the family ornaments on, so it’s always my favorite one to decorate.  About halfway through, Brian said, “The tree is falling!!” and he reached up to stop it.

OMG.  Haha.

We have been putting up and decorating real trees like this for 15 years, and we’ve never had that happen, so I’m not sure what went awry.  I was able to push it back towards the wall while B redid the screws in the tree stand, and then he put a couple of bricks at the back to hold it down even more.

So far, it’s still standing, but every morning when we go downstairs, I’m always expecting to see it laying on the floor with a bunch of broken ornaments scattered around it.  EEK.

After the tree was decorated, we watched an episode of Amazing Race and then after the kids went to bed, B and I watched two more episodes of Manifest.


Wednesday, November 23

Wednesday morning, B was off of work, so we slept in and had a light breakfast before watching an episode of Nailed It.  The rest of the morning and afternoon were spent decorating the house for Christmas.  I had a couple more minor things to get done inside, and B rounded up all of the outdoor lights and wreaths and blowups, and he worked on the outside of the house.  I did the garland around the front door, and I set up our new entryway trees and the kids played outside in the leaves while we worked on that.

I also got in a yoga workout.  I'm trying to stretch more since all of the cardio and strength training I do, tightens up my muscles.

By the time everything was done, it was time to get ready and head to Olivia’s post-op follow-up with the ENT.  We didn’t get to see her actual doctor on Wednesday – they had scheduled us with the NP instead – but thankfully, the NP was able to update us on the results from her biopsy, and THEY WERE BENIGN!  Thank you, God. 

After the first surgery and biopsy four years ago, we were relieved to get the benign results, but then after the nodule popped right back up two weeks later, the doctor told us that there was still a small chance that it could still be something more serious.  That has been in the back of my mind for the last four years, so being able to get another biopsy done and getting those benign results again finally gave me some peace of mind.

The NP said that Olivia’s eardrum is healing nicely, too, and so are the stitches in her earlobe where they removed the fatty tissue to patch the eardrum, but we still have to follow-up one more time in two weeks to make sure everything is completely healed.  In the meantime, she still has to avoid getting water in her ear, so we’ll still continue using earplugs when she showers.

Her appointment only ended up taking 20 minutes, which is a record at that place, so she and I headed home much earlier than expected.  The boys were at Walmart grabbing a few more strands of lights for the outside of the house, so Olivia and I worked on our fall puzzle until they got home. 

B and I put away the Christmas boxes after they got home, and then he headed back out to pick up Five Guys for dinner, and then we watched Honey I Shrunk the Kids with the kiddos afterward.  Again.  Haha.  I had hoped for a Christmas movie to go along with our newly decorated house, but the kids were both dead set on Honey I Shrunk the Kids even though they’ve seen it tons of times.

After they went to bed, B and I watched an episode of Manifest followed by some of the SNL Thanksgiving special, and then we called it a night, too.


Thursday, November 24

Thursday was Thanksgiving, so I made a big breakfast.  Pre-Covid, we always went to the country club with my FIL at noon to eat a huge lunch, but we’ve since discontinued that tradition, and since we weren’t getting together with him until Sunday, I decided to make a good brunch to hold us over until we ate dinner with my family at 5:30. 

I had never made French toast before (why??  I have no idea because I’ve always loved it), so I tried my hand at that, and it turned out pretty good.  We also had bacon, fresh fruit, and mimosas for B and me. 

After brunch, we lay around on the couch all morning watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade and browsing a few of the Black Friday ads online.  For the first time ever, Brian didn’t go out and buy a newspaper so we could look at the actual paper ads.  While we watched, the kids drew, and Olivia requested some festive Thanksgiving coloring pages.

After the parade, B and I worked on the fall puzzle some more, and we watched the dog show.  The kids always love it, and they were super invested this year.  Haha.

I made a light lunch for the kiddos afterward, and B and I skipped altogether because we were still stuffed from breakfast.  Then the kiddos got showered and ready for the day while I tackled a couple of things in my office. 

After that, it was time to make my dish to bring to our family’s Thanksgiving.  We have a HUGE gathering on my mom’s side, so everyone only has to bring 1-2 dishes, and I always make the hot pineapple casserole. 

While that was in the oven, I got showered and ready, and then we headed out to my aunt and uncle’s house.  Since we weren’t getting together with my FIL until Sunday, we invited him along to my family’s gathering, so he met us at our house and rode out there with us.

We had a smaller group than usual – typically, we have about 40 people – and we were missing about 20 for Thanksgiving since a lot of them live in other parts of the country.  Plus, one group that lives here went out of town this year, and another group that lives here didn’t come, so they were all missing, too.

The rest of the evening was spent eating too much and drinking too much and socializing with my fam.  I always love those big family dinners… they’re crazy loud, but we all have so much fun.  We Facetimed with the group who were in Athens, too, since they couldn’t be there.

My brother and SIL and nephew and niece were all here from Huntsville, so Jacob and Olivia were able to play with their cousins all night. 

We finally made it home sometime after nine, and we were all exhausted.  B and I got the kiddos in bed, and then he and I were lazy on the couch for the rest of the night.  I got started on some Black Friday shopping, and we watched football. 


Friday, November 25

Friday morning, we had a lowkey morning at home.  It was rainy and gross out, so we stayed home all day until it was time to head to my parents’ house to take family pictures for my Momma and Daddy’s Christmas card.  I did manage to get in a post-Thanksgiving workout, though.

After that, we headed back home to change clothes, and then we went to my friend Jeannine’s house to hang out for the rest of the evening.  They threw a party to kick off the holiday season, and they had a bunch of our friends over to hang out.  We were supposed to be outside all evening so we could watch Elf on their giant outdoor movie screen, but the weather didn’t allow, so we stayed indoors instead. 

They had pizza delivered along with plenty of adult beverages, and they had a hot chocolate bar for the kiddos along with several Elf-themed treats.  It was so dang cute!

Aaaallll the kiddos ran around like wild banshees for the first couple of hours while the adults visited, and then at dark, we started the movie for them. 

The movie ended around 7:30 and much as we were ready to get home and into our PJs, our school was playing in the final four for the football playoffs and they were playing our longtime rivals at our home field, so we couldn’t pass that up!

The game started at 7:30, so when we arrived a little after 8, the place was PACKED.  We ended up driving around for a bit only to squeeze in some random spot that wasn’t even a parking spot, and then we headed into the game.

The game ended up going into overtime, and it was a nailbiter.  The other team got the ball first in OT and they scored a field goal.  We got the ball back, had a few rough plays, and we were sitting at 3rd and 24… it was ugly. 

Our QB pulled off a miracle, though, and he managed to weave in and out of players all over the field to get the ball down to the one-yard line, and then on the next play we got the touchdown for the win.  It was insane!

Everyone went crazy – we were so thrilled – and they shot fireworks to celebrate our big win to move along to the State Championship game.

By the time we got home it was well after 10, and by the time the kids got in the bed, it was nearing 11, so B and I ended up staying up super late Friday night.

Once the kids were asleep, I set up our Elf breakfast for Saturday morning, and then B and I finally went to bed just before 1 AM.


Saturday, November 26

Saturday morning, the kids woke up to their special elf breakfast.  He always comes the Saturday after Thanksgiving, so the kids were anticipating his arrival.  ;o) 

He brought along new ornaments for each of us per usual, as well as a sugary elf breakfast.  The kids indulged in mini powdered and crunch donuts, Christmas Dots, Christmas sugar cookies, hot chocolate, and all the fixings. 

After breakfast, we watched ESPN College GameDay and then I got in a workout mid-morning before it was time to get ready to head to my MIL and step-FIL’s for Thanksgiving lunch. 

The Georgia vs. Georgia Tech game was on at noon, so we watched it on Brian’s phone at their house, and we also enjoyed a huge, delicious lunch.  The kiddos got to see all of their cousins on Brian’s side of the family, and we ended up staying there until a little after 5 PM.

When we got home, I filmed an Instagram Reel, and then B and I enjoyed the fruits of my labor since it was a cocktail that I’d made.  ;o)

The kids had a late light dinner and B and I opted out altogether since we were still full from lunch, and then after they went to bed we watched more football.


Sunday, November 27

Sunday morning was cinnamon rolls and an episode of Nailed It, and then I spent an hour in my office getting organized for the weeks ahead.  We have soooo much going on these next three weeks and I’m feeling a little overwhelmed even thinking about it.  Aaaallll the list-making for the win!

The kids played outside all morning since the weather was nice, and then we all headed to lunch at my father-in-law’s – Thanksgiving celebration #3.  Thankfully, they opted for takeout for this get-together, so we didn’t have to eat the same stuff we’d been eating since Thursday.  Haha.

We spent several hours at his house, and then we headed home for the rest of the day.  I got some work done in my office, the kids got the whole house tidied up, and we all got prepped and ready for the week ahead. 

We made breakfast for dinner – French toast, eggs, and bacon – and B and I polished off the leftover champagne from Thanksgiving morning.

And now for a few current things…


Currently Reading


In November, I read two books – Every Other Summer by Carley Fortune and Matthew Perry’s new memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big, Terrible Thing.  I absolutely loved Every Other Summer.  It was such a sweet story that toggled back and forth between the past and the present.  I loved both of the main characters and I found myself soooo invested in their relationship.  The book was a little predictable, but that didn’t stop me from devouring it in just a few days.  As for the Matthew Perry memoir, sheesh, it was really hard to read.  The way he wrote the book was excellent – it was like you were having a conversation with him – but I say it was hard to read because his life has been an utter nightmare due to his addiction.  I found myself cringing constantly while I was reading.  I have always loved him, and I’ve always known that he struggled with addiction, but reading about his struggles from his perspective made me realize just how awful his situation has been.  If you are a Friends or Matthew Perry fan, then I highly recommend this book.  You’ll love the inside peeks about how some things on the show came to be.  And if you are someone who struggles with addiction, I highly recommend this book because I think it will make you feel less alone.  He lays everything out there, and he doesn’t hold back or sugarcoat anything.


Currently Watching


With B:  We watched a few episodes of The Vampire Diaries earlier in the month, but then we jumped off of the wagon for a while because it got a bit boring.  I’m thinking we’ll probably start watching again soon, but I hope that it starts to pick back up again.  We’re also making our way through the new seasons of Shark Tank and Saturday Night Live, and we also started the new season of Manifest.  We’ve watched that show from the beginning, and I was mad when ABC canceled it.  I wouldn’t say that I love it or anything, but we were so invested and I was mad because I thought I’d never have closure.  I was happy to see that Netflix had picked it up so we can see how it ends.  Oh, and we’re, of course, watching aaaallll the college football + ESPN College GameDay per usual.


With the Kids:  We’re working our way through Nailed It, Lego Masters, and The Amazing Race.  We also started the new show on Disney+ The Santa Clauses.    


Alone:  The Christmas romcom watching has commenced, and I’ve already watched Serendipity and The Holiday countless times.  It’s my happy background noise while I work.    


Currently Listening To

Lots and lots of Christmas music!!  And I’ve also been on a HUGE 90’s R&B kick lately.  I mean, it’s always been one of my favorite genres, but lately, I can’t get enough.  For some reason I always have the urge to listen to it this time of year, probably because it reminds me of my first few months of working at the movie theater which was this time of year as well.

And that was our wonderful, wonderful holiday week!  

Happy Tuesday, y’all!

Monday, November 28, 2022

Fall Family Photos 2022

Well, per usual, we ended up taking family pictures uber late this year, and by uber late, I mean just last week.  EEK!  I swore after last year that we were going to hire a photographer to get some professional shots of us this year, but I ended up dropping the ball again and here we are.

That said, this year’s turned out better than last year’s, and they’re not too shabby considering we did them using a tripod and a timer.  Not to mention it was FREEEEZING outside. 

Thankfully, the morning that we finally decided to do them, it was cloudy, so we were also able to do them right in our own backyard.  While I do typically prefer taking pictures with some sunlight peeping through the trees, it’s always hard to get a good sunlight shot without driving to another location.  Our backyard has never been the best for daytime pictures since we don’t have many trees.  

And without shade, some of us won’t open our eyes outside without sunglasses.  Ahem, Jacob!!  Haha.

So anyhoo, this was the best we could do!  And all of this only took about 15 minutes… and we didn’t even have to drive anywhere!  Definitely calling this one a win!

Happy Monday, y’all!