Friday, November 23, 2018

I'm coming at y'all with a late post today, but I got up early and went Black Friday shopping this morning.  I found some REALLY GREAT deals that I want to share with y'all!

Some of these deals only last through today (like GAP and Athleta) and others will last through Monday!!  These would be perfect "gifts" to yourself or for those women you love in your life!

If you've followed my blog for a little bit then you know how obsessed I am with my faux leather leggings.  I love that these can be both dressed up and dressed down and the camo gives it a fun twist.  These are expensive at regular price, but they are on sale through the weekend!!

 I have a few pieces from the GAP body line and when I saw earlier this morning that GAP had the same pieces but in long sleeves AND ON MAJOR SALE, then I knew I needed to share it with y'all because I bought myself a top and new pair of bottoms!  These are the most comfortable lounge pieces ever!!

 Mom and I also stopped by Athleta this morning, and I have to admit--I prefer tops from Athleta and leggings from Lululemon.  Athleta never has sales, and today the sale was 20% off!  I love this top because you could work out in it if you want, or you could wear it for a regular day.  Their tops are so soft and hold up well as long as you wash it the right way.

I love this time of year because I can wear sweaters all the time!  This sweater is loose for a comfy fit and could easily be front tucked (like the picture above) to help create a shape on your body if you don't always want to wear oversized tops.  Best part??  It's under $25!!

Tips for Staying Healthier During the Holidays

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

With Thanksgiving happening tomorrow (so crazy!) and then Christmas parties just around the corner, there will be LOTS of opportunities to overeat and ruin your diet.  And most of us have more than one Thanksgiving feast to attend--which means a lot of eating.

I thought I'd share with you some of the tips I'm going to try to follow in order to make sure that I enjoy the holiday and don't leave regretting everything I ate.

1. Fill up on the protein.
Turkey is a lean protein, so get more turkey and less sides.  Just make sure you stay away from the skin if your turkey has been fried or baked.  

2. Allow yourself 3 sides.
Instead of getting a little sample of every side (which can add up), pick 3 that you want to treat yourself to and sample those.  My favorites that I'm definitely putting on my plate are dressing and baked mac and cheese.  We actually have 3 meals to go to, so I guess I'll just decide on my 3rd when I see all of the sides available!

3. No breads!
Do you really need a roll?  You don't.  And if you are going to get dressing like I'm going to, then that counts as your bread since it contains cornbread.  Yes, rolls are good but they aren't essential and are unnecessary calories.

4. Allow yourself a tiny dessert.
I'm going to allow myself a tiny slice of pumpkin pie since it's a once a year dessert.  Usually I would get a piece of this, a piece of that, and eventually, my dessert plate might have 3 things on it.  Pick the dessert you want the most, and treat yourself!

5. Get some exercise in!
Our first Thanksgiving is tonight, so I will be exercising this morning to try to get my metabolism going.  Maybe in between cooking, take a break and go out for a brisk 15 minute walk.  You'll feel much better going into Thanksgiving knowing you've had a little exercise--that always works for me 😊

6. Don't be so hard on yourself.
If you overeat, then don't be so hard on yourself.  Give yourself some grace, but also be cognizant of what you eat the rest of the day.  If you overeat at one Thanksgiving, don't go home and eat your leftover pie you made.  This morning I'll be eating 2 hardboiled eggs for breakfast, and then for lunch, I'll have some deli turkey meat and a few veggie straws.  Both are filling meals and healthy meals to prepare for tonight's calorie-filled feast 😜

And if you want to wear something stylish, yet comfortable...
-this sweater  (on sale!)
-my favorite leggings!!

Do you have any other tips that you follow to ensure you are healthier during the holidays?

The Song That Plays When You Walk Into a Room

Monday, November 19, 2018

Have you ever thought about that?  What song would you want played walking into a room?

Well, for some reason I have thought about that and I can't decide between two.  Both songs have great beats at the beginning that would allow me to make a great entrance 😜

"American Girl" by
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

"Voodoo Child" by
Jimi Hendrix

Now it's your turn!
Leave a comment telling me what song you would want to play as you walked into a room?!

Friday Faves!!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Happy Friday, y'all!!!  I am in the BEST mood today because today is my last day of school before Thanksgiving break and this is the first year we get an entire week off of school for Thanksgiving!  WHAT!?  I'm SO SO excited!!

I plan on working on a gift guide or two for y'all over the break!

Since today is Friday, I'm sharing a few of my FAVORITES with y'all!

 We put the Christmas tree up on Monday because I put it up around Veteran's Day every year.  Christmas is my FAVORITE and the decorations make my house feel so joyful and merry!

 As soon as I saw this photo this week, I immediately saved it to my phone.  I hope y'all thought of me when y'all saw it too because you know my obsession with the royals and specifically, Megan 😍  She is #goals.  And because I really am so obsessed, I listen to the Royally Obsessed podcast every Thursday morning and y'all should too 😜

 My sweet friend Maribeth brought me a gift to school on Tuesday and said she'd been holding it until we got matched!  It was the cutest hooded bath towel and wash rag that matched the gown that we used to announce our adoption!  It was the sweetest and most thoughtful gift!

I love that my sister works from home now because we can meet up after school on random week days to grab coffee together!

I got Nordstrom's Christmas catalog in the mail yesterday, so the next few things are items that would either work as Christmas gifts or gifts for yourself ha!

I've learned that these colors look great with blue eyes and I really want to try Charlotte Tilbury make up.

I hate to admit this, but I don't own a pair of holiday pajamas and I also don't own a pair of matching pajamas 🙈  I thought these were so cute and the price tag isn't bad at all--plus, these could be worn all winter long!

I also wanted to share this sweater with y'all!!  I bought this during the 2017 anniversary sale and it's a favorite sweater.  It's now 40% off!!  I do wear it with a cami underneath to school because of the back.

Aaaaannnd a FAVORITE song for the week!

Alabama vs Mississippi State

Monday, November 12, 2018

Before I get started with today's post, I'd like to thank my favorite Veterans for their service!  My dad was in the Air Force and was stationed in Italy for two years (which is why my sister and I grew up knowing a few Italian phrases, and my older sister actually got to live there!), and my Popo, my dad's dad, who was in the Army and fought in Korea.  It is because of their sacrifice and dedication that I can enjoy the freedoms I have!

Saturday morning Dustin and I were up early and out of the house by 6:30am to head down to Tuscaloosa, my alma mater, to watch Alabama play Mississippi State.  I'm never excited to get moving that early on a Saturday morning, but for this, I was ready!  

We try to go to at least one football game a season, so this was our game for this current season.  The game started at 2:30, but we got to Tuscaloosa early so we could walk around campus, eat on the Strip, and get in the stadium a little early.

We met up with my coworker and parked at their RV spot and hung out a little.  Then Dustin and I headed to campus.  We went to the Ferg (student building) where they've expanded it since I graduated.  I wanted to walk around the Supe Store--which is now HUGE!!  We found the baby section and I almost bought a UA onesie for the baby 😍😍

We walked over to the Strip because I wanted to eat at Buffalo Phil's (my favorite place in college to eat and where I ate at least once a week), but it was 10:45am and the line was already out the door, so we walked over to Glory Bound Gyro to eat.  Then we walked across the street to the Houndstooth to hang out until we were ready to walk to the stadium.

 Didn't we have awesome seats?!  Because it was Veteran's Day weekend, they honored Veterans throughout the game.  SOCOM Para-Commandos jumped out of helicopters into the stadium before the game began to bring in the flags and the game ball.  It was amazing to watch!  The Million Dollar Band also had a great show dedicated to the Armed Forces.

 We sat with my coworker and her husband (Hi Eve!) and notice how bundled up Eve and I are.  When I checked the temperature for Tuscaloosa that day, it said the high was 47 degrees.  It felt much colder where we were sitting (in the old press box area), and the wind coming in from behind us was freezing!

 Dustin, the rule-breaker, was so excited to be there!

Toward the end of the game, the temperature dropped down to 33 degrees and I was SO COLD!!!  I'm using two blankets in this picture!  

Alabama won--ROLL TIDE-- and we had a great time!!  Thank you, Eve, for letting us sit with y'all!


Friday, November 9, 2018

 We have some fun news!!!

We are MATCHED!!!

I honestly can't believe it!  Half of me is so excited and the other half is still in shock.  Our sweet, precious baby will be joining us in February!!

Dustin and I found out last Friday, so keeping it a secret has been the hardest thing ever--and now I'm so glad that I can talk about it!  Sabrina, our consultant, called me at school during my planning to tell me, and after I stopped crying, I jumped in my car and ran home to tell Dustin...who happened to be off work!  Except that he wasn't at home and I had to lie to him to get him to meet me in a parking lot haha!

We took these photos at my sister's house and literally two minutes into taking these pictures, Dustin...

...lost the "B" and Rachel took these in the midst haha!  

I asked on IG for any questions and I got A LOT!!!  I won't be able to answer all of them (some things we are keeping private), but I am going to answer as many as I can!

Will you find out the gender/do you already know the gender?
Okay, this was literally asked by 20 people and I laughed out loud because my small group asked me this a million times yesterday!!  We knew the gender when we said yes to presenting to this birth mom, but we're not sharing yet!  I've always wanted to have a gender reveal party, and we'll have one in a few weeks.

Do you get a maternity leave for adoptions?
Yes!!  I would take off the rest of the year if I could afford it ha!

Will y'all have to travel out of Alabama?
We will!  For ICPC, we're told to plan for 10-14 days out of state, so basically if anyone wants to let us stay with them for a few days to save money, we'd appreciate it 😜😂

Will you get to be at the hospital when the baby is born?
That's the goal!

Is your church or family throwing you a shower?
This always makes me feel so awkward because the people who bring up showers are the ones who have done so much for us already and I don't want anyone to think I expect a shower at all....because I don't!  But I have had a lot of people talk about throwing us showers, and it just reminds me that we have so many people who support us and this adoption!

Did you cry so many happy tears?
I'm still crying haha!

What are specific ways to pray from this point forward?
I really appreciated this question!!  First, please pray for this expectant mom and her heart.  I'm so thankful that she's choosing life for this baby.  Adoption is born out of brokenness and I pray that her heart is comforted by God and that she knows she is loved!  Please pray for her health and this baby's health for the duration of her pregnancy.  Also, please pray for Dustin and I to continue trusting in God and His sovereign plan!

We are still fundraising the last bit of money, so if you feel led to donate anything, you can here:


November Goals

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

I'll be the first to admit that I'm horrible at creating monthly goals for myself.  I have no idea how I got that way.  I have goals that I set for myself--like when I'm going to run my next 5k--but I don't sit down each month and create a list of goals.  But on big months like November, I'm going to since I have a lot of things that need accomplished!!

The last time I set goals for myself was over the summer 🙈  Here's a recap of whether I completed them or not ha!

Summer Goals:

-start BBG on the Sweat app   I did about 4 weeks of BBG using the PDF and realized it just wasn't for me
-yoga every Tuesday morning with teachers  Yes!!  So fun!
-buy new bathing suit Yes!  I got the cutest Kate Spade suit for the summer
-finish reading Canadian West series  Sadly, no
-read books for school  Thankfully I only had to read 1 and then refresh my memory for the other 2
-vacation in Rosemary Beach!!!  YES!!!  Our new favorite vacation spot!
-go to a Braves game (at least 1)  Nope--timing just didn't work out for us
-Gospel Coalition Women's Conference in June  Oh my goodness, this was the best experience ever!  Janie and I are already planning our next trip to the one in 2020
-eat healthier  Overall....yes!
-work on portion control   I think I did good on this one, too!

-build a privacy fence  Nope...the money set aside for the fence went to the adoption haha!
-decide on backsplash tile and put up backsplash  No 😞
-buy frames for a gallery wall  I did this and 5 of them came in basically I won't ever order frames online
-print out pictures for gallery wall  No since most of the frames arrived broken.  So now that I have 4 frames, I'm going to put them somewhere else....still need to print pictures
-new soap dispensers in master bath  Yes!!!
-new toilet cleaning brushes in downstairs bathrooms  Yes!
-look for an antiqued mirror for entryway  actually ended up forgetting about this haha!
-look for new curtains for living room and breakfast room  No, I put together a nursery instead!
-find picture for Dustin's nightstand   Yes!!  Found one, framed it, and hung it behind his nightstand!
-frame pictures for both nightstands  Yep!!

And now onto my goals for this month...

November Goals:
-continue to eat healthy
-decorate for Christmas
-register for a 5k and run in
-Go to an AL football game
-Enjoy Thanksgiving
-do over half of my shopping on Black Friday
-figure out how we're going to decorate our booth for the Advent Market
-order prints for grid gallery wall

TBB Asks: November Edition

Monday, November 5, 2018

Hey y'all!!  I'm linking up today with The Blended Blog for their TBB Asks November edition!

1. Have you ever kept a Gratitude Journal? Yes or No?  I haven't, but I've heard more and more about people who do keep them.
2. Hosting Thanksgiving at your house? Yes or No?  We may this year for Dustin's family??  It's just kind of hard right now since we have nothing for the littles to do and because our upstairs is pretty much empty haha
3. Favorite Food from The Thanksgiving Meal?  My mom's dressing with white sauce on it and then I love that Thanksgiving is my excuse to eat a lot of mac and cheese!!
4. What one thing in Nature are you most grateful for?  The foliage!!  I love seeing the trees change colors.
5. Pumpkin Pie: Yes or No?  YES!!!  I found a recipe 2 years ago for pumpkin pie from scratch and I've made it every Thanksgiving tastes amazing!
6. Traditional Cookbook: Yes or No?  Yes, but that recipe above I found online haha!!!  This cookbook is a staple in any woman's home in my area, so I plan on using it to cook at least one thing this year for Thanksgiving.
7. Oven Baked or Deep-Fried Turkey?  Smoked--I'm not much of a turkey fan (I'll eat a few small pieces), but it's so much better smoked.
8. Thanksgiving Leftovers: Yes or No?  Yes!  I eat leftovers for everything....I'm not picky haha!
9. What is one household product your most grateful for?  This is a hard question because I'm thankful for a lot of household products that make my life easier!  I use my stove/oven frequently, my washer and dryer, and probably my cordless vacuum
10. Are you most grateful for home cooked meals or restaurant meals?  I'm grateful for both--especially when they are gifted!  And although I love cooking our meals, sometimes it's nice to go out and let someone else do the cooking....and clean up!

Tell me, what do YOU plan on making for Thanksgiving?

Friday Faves!

Friday, November 2, 2018

Happy Friday, y'all!
Today I've got a few FAVORITES to share with y'all so I'm just going to hop right into it!

November is National Adoption Awareness Month.  I keep saying it's so funny how God works, but I know everything He does is with purpose.  I'm part of an adoption Facebook group, and while Dustin and I were in the early stages of paperwork for FAC, I posted a question on the Facebook group asking for advice.  This girl, Julie, replied back and I think I ended up messaging her asking her something else since I found out she was with FAC, too.  We ended up swapping phone numbers and have texted pretty much every day since then since we were pretty much in the same exact place within FAC.  I know God brought us together to give us someone who we could get advice from or to have someone bring us out of the sadness the adoption process sometimes brings and point one another to the hope we have in Christ.  She posted this yesterday and I think she said everything of how I feel right now perfectly!

My Halloween costume for school is still a favorite!!  My friend Hailey and I recreated those "Best Friend" necklaces that were popular when we were in elementary and junior high.  Sadly, some of our little junior high kids didn't get it and kept asking why we had broken hearts haha!

We're putting some finishing touches on the nursery, so last night we hung frames for a grid gallery wall.  Well, our marriage survived the tedious measurements of hanging frames 😂.  I can't wait to share the nursery with y'all eventually!!  And since I know people are going to ask, yes the walls are blue and no that doesn't mean we're having a boy.  We're still open to either gender, but blue is my favorite color and I've made the nursery gender neutral--even with blue walls.

Y'all know my obsession with Meghan Markle.  This might have been my favorite look of hers while she and Harry were on their 16 day tour of Australia and surrounding areas!  While I love Kate Middleton, I think I love Meghan Markle's style a little more because while she does dress classic, she also modernizes it and I love it!

This Free People sweater has been my most purchased item from the blog because Nordstrom price matched it a little over a week ago.  Since it's now back to the original price, I found this FP sweater that is on sale (50% off!!) and so cute!  I love FP sweaters because they really are great quality.

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