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10 Things I Learned in Italy

  1. Never, ever, ever, hold a wine glass by the top, only by the stem. Or get seriously called out by a sommelier.
  2. Italians only drink with food. They don’t go out for a drink at happy hour without something to snack on, and they certainly don’t just sit on their couch binge-watching tv shows with wine. Hmm…..
  3. Ciao is hello, not goodbye. Americans incorrectly turned it into goodbye. (According to our very opinionated bar tour host)
  4. Under no circumstances should you get off of a train, unless you want to stay off of that train. Not to smoke a cigarette, and certainly not to get a taxi.
  5. I CAN get sick of pasta + pizza. (Actually surprising) But I can NOT get sick of good wine. (Not really that surprising.)
  6. And I DO like seafood when it’s extra fresh – like mussels and scampi and anchovies and scallops and swordfish
  7. Spontaneous tears of joy are a real thing.
  8. A meal or even just a cappuccino is not something to be rushed through or as “take-away”, but to be enjoyed leisurely. The 3-hour dinner was a common and wonderful occurrence.
  9. Air conditioning is non-negotiable. Especially when you’re walking 10 miles/day in 90+ degree humid heat.
  10. Travel can make or break a friendship. Luckily, ours was the former and only made us even closer.

Picturebook posts of our amazing Italian vacation to come soon!

xo xo

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life lately

[celebrating this || a cousin’s wedding]

[eating this || amazing food at wednesday over water]

[loving this || chihuly exhibit + anniversary weekend]

[enjoying this || patio time with the sistahs]

[cuddling with this || adorable little girl for a morning!]

[saying this || CIAO, AMERICA!

because now we’re headed to Italy! follow our travels on #AldermansGoGlobal]

xo xo

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Discover NWA: Staycation at 21c + Chihuly

For our 6th anniversary, we decided to do a staycation at 21c. Since we’re going to Italy very soon, we didn’t want to travel far or spend too much. We’ve also talked about staying at 21c since it opened, so we decided to go for it. And I am SO glad we did. It was exactly what we needed for a little one-night getaway. Luckily, we also got invited to the special opening of the new Chihuly exhibit at Crystal Bridges and it was absolutely incredible. (Thank you, Denise!)

[beautiful, super cozy room – and my sweet coworkers surprised us with champagne!]

[a few photos from the night below – though I HIGHLY encourage you to check it out yourself!]


[chihuly in the forest – there was even a wine tent out there!
wonderful night with these fun friends]

[chihuly in the gallery – and husband’s favorite picture of the night]

[late night snack back at our hotel – sweet + spicy fries that are just amaaaazing]

[sunday brunch at the hive – that buttermilk fried chicken was out of this world]

[post-brunch stroll on the trails – a perfect end to a perfect anniversary getaway]

xo xo

You might also enjoy: Discover NWA: Mod, Modern Ozark Dining

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favorites, round 7. [walmart edition]

Things I love and want to share with you, so you can love them too.
[And yes, I do work for Walmart, so I especially want you to know about these awesome Walmart finds too!]

BIG BUDDHA: Did you know Walmart carries Big Buddha shoes and bags?! Until recently I had no clue, and now I own 3 pairs of shoes. Okay let me tell you about them – the sandals in the top left picture are so stinkin’ adorable and comfortable. I’ve seen a ton of these look-alike sandals in different retailers, but these are the most affordable at $13.

And I’m obsessed with the heels in the bottom right corner. A coworker started the trend and of course, now we all wear them on the same day all the time (case in point above). You can’t see the heel, but it’s short and chunky and totally in style. I bought them in black and tan, obviously, because they’re only $11.

The bag, pictured above the heels, is also Big Buddha and sent by my sis this morning! I love to send my family my WM finds and she sent us this one. I’ve literally almost bought this bag multiple times, but not sure why I haven’t. They have multiple colors/styles in-store.

CACTUS PLATES + BOWLS: Top right are these adorable cactus plates I found in-store for $1.50. I immediately bought two, then went back a few days later and bought two more. They’re plastic so very lightweight, but perfect for a Summer get-together, yeah?? Also worth mentioning are the amazing Better Homes and Gardens melamine plates. These are heavier and very nice. I buy their new Summer styles every year and always get compliments on them.

AVIA TANKS: Aren’t these tanks great? I’m sure you’re starting to see a trend here … when I find something I like that’s affordable, I buy in multiples. Since I’ve started exercising more it’s more fun to buy workout clothes and these are perfect. They are breathable, come in multiple colors and are just $7 each.

FADED GLORY DRESS: Okay so this is not a great picture of the dress, but I wear it ALL THE TIME. It’s sleeveless and so comfortable. It’s long enough for work, but cute enough for weekend. I just purchased another one in black. You will see me in these allllll Summer and definitely in Italy. Unfortunately they are out of most sizes in-store and online, but search your store just in case! It will be worth it, especially for only $7 each!!

OZARK TRAILS: Oh, Ozark Trails, how I love thee. (pictured top left with the sandals) We all know the Yeti trend, and yes we jumped on the bandwagon at first too. Until we found Ozark Trails at Walmart. It is EXACTLY the same as Yeti. I mean exactly. And I can say that for certain since we have both. We now have 3 coozie cans (pictured), 4 tumblers and most recently the cooler. It keeps my beer extra cold and my coffee extra hot, and I am a happy camper.

What is your favorite Walmart find?

xo xo


Weekend Picturebook: A Little Rock Wedding

S A T U R D A Y 

[a beautiful day for margaritas, guac + tacos at The Fold]

[and for sunning with a few beers at Rebel Kettle Brewing]

[wedding time! gorgeous wedding for cousin Olivia + Sam at Trapnall Hall]

[love my handsome dates!]

[and the southern food was ridiculously on point – fried green tomatoes, fried chicken, crawfish + mashed potatoes and a mini mason jar layered with collard greens, beans + corn bread]

[the only pic with the bride + other cousin Blair at the end of the night, which reminded me of another pic 10 years earlier …]

[girls trip to NYC – can’t believe this was 10 YEARS AGO!]

S U N D A Y   B R U N C H 

Before we headed home, we had one more stop – brunch + beer.

Y’all. Lost Forty Brunch was the best brunch we have ever had in our entire lives. I can’t even begin to describe how incredible every single thing was. I’ll let the pictures do the talking, and let you do the drooling.

[our brunch “appetizer” – fried green tomatoes (yes, again) with jalapeño pimento cheese + skillet cinnamon roll. I’m not a huge cinnamon roll fan, but this was out of this world]

[my dish – biscuits + gravy, which again, were the best biscuits and gravy I’ve ever had. next time I will get a dozen of these biscuits and bring them home with me]

[husband’s dish – a skillet with all kinds of delicious goodness inside]

[WE LOVE YOU LOST FORTY! and yes, of course we got a growler to take home]

xo xo

You might also enjoy: Weekend Picturebook: Chicago, Weekend Picturebook: Hermann, Missouri


Book Reviews: A Lover, A Wife + A Handmaid

 

Fates and Furies – Lauren Groff: There are only two reasons this book gets A minus – it starts a little slow and it’s a little too long. But everything else about it is just fabulous. It is a truly epic and fascinating love story that takes you on a ride with no clue of the final destination. Told in two parts – Fates is from the husband’s perspective and Furies is from the wife’s perspective. The latter infinitely more interesting and has a shocking twist.
Grade: A-

What Alice Forgot – Liane Moriarty: I’ve read several of Liane’s books, and I absolutely adored this one. It’s a tragic plot – she hits her head and has seemingly forgotten 10 years of her life, including her kids and her failing marriage – but it’s also so endearing. She sees her current life through a totally new, un-jaded lense and vows to get her marriage back on track. It’s cute, it’s easy, and it makes you thankful for what you have.
Grade: A

Wearing God – Lauren F. Winner: Highly recommended from a friend, I’m passing along this recommendation to all of you. This is a thought-provoking book about metaphors of God – though not the ones you immediately think of such as King or Shepherd, more like Clothing, Laughter, Laboring Woman… intrigued yet? This is a great book to read with a friend and discuss together. It will probably make you feel uncomfortable, but I promise it will also give you a new perspective on God.
Grade: A
The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood: I vowed to read this book before I watched the show on Hulu, and I’m so glad I did. Oh.My.Gosh. This book AND the TV show are absolutely incredible. It’s creepy and weird and will make you cry and will make you gasp, but it is such a good story. I’m so glad Hulu has taken it over so well and expanded upon the book, because I finished it and was dying for more.
Grade: A

 

You can read all my book reviews here.

xo xo


life lately

{rockin’ out to this || blink 182 concert}

{making this || amazing pasta from chrissy teigen’s cookbook}

{obsessing over this || “I’d rather be watching Gilmore Girls” sweatshirt}

{enjoying this || rooftop bars + a week in NYC for work}

{eating this || crawfish on crawfish on crawfish}

{drinking this in || fayetteville foamfest – our favorite event of the year}

{celebrating this || our amazing mothers on mother’s day + every day}

xo xo