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Life

life lately [christmas week edition]

[great christmas party at samantha’s to kick off the week of festivities!]

[non-christmas event – celebrating Mom’s birthday with drinks at 21c]

[celebrated with this fun crew + made (double batch!) boeuf bourguignon – it was a hit!]

[potentially a new christmas eve tradition with husband – make your own pizza night, including english muffin pizzas husband loved making when he was a kid]

[zero christmas morning pictures (which included chicken + waffle brunch!), but post-brunch and presents included relaxing and nap time]

[finished the day with a wonderful dinner at the in-laws!]

Not pictured: a quick trip to Little Rock to see more family, including my 98 year old grandmother – we’re so thankful for all of our amazing family and such a wonderful Christmas.
Now to see what 2019 has in store! ❤

xo xo


life lately

[enjoying this || ozark brewery’s 5 year anniversary
and for giving us an excuse to drink beer before noon]

[drinking this || cappuccino in a Starbucks HOLIDAY CUP]

[loving this || last ((freezing)) tailgate of the season]

[celebrating this || beautiful lady at her bridal shower!]

[thankful for this || two amazing families to celebrate with on thanksgiving]

xo xo


[post-thanksgiving] weekend getaway

S U N D A Y   E V E N I N G
The wind wails and the fire cackles.
The garland glimmers and the poodle snores.
Thanksgiving is now behind us and the anticipation of Christmas lies ahead.

In the midst of the busy holiday season, husband and I decided to take a respite, just the two of us. We packed the makings for chili and a special Italian red, and brought only our coziest clothes. We vowed to do a phone detox, focusing on the present weekend with the presence of one another. We drove only an hour away, though we might as well have been a million miles away – with stunning lake views, great conversation and the joy of spontaneous, secluded living.

A few things I learned from this little weekend getaway of ours:

– You don’t need to keep your phone next to you at all times.
– You’re not really missing anything on social media.
– Finishing a book in a weekend is one of the best feelings.
– Sometimes all you need is abundant sunshine and the gift of time to reconnect with your significant other.
– Enjoying a leisurely cup of coffee on a patio is one of life’s little luxuries we should all take advantage of more often.
– Don’t lose sight of what’s most important this holiday season.

xo xo


30 Before 30: Q3 Progress Update

Alright, we’re getting into the final stretch, friends! Only 3 more months to go, which means the holidays are (basically) here and then it’s my birthday. I’m actually really looking forward to turning 30. Is that strange? Maybe it’s just because I love birthdays??

I’ve still got quite a few to knock out, but here’s an update on completing my list of 30 things before I turn 30 from the last few months …

    1. Start a new adventure. I’ve worked for Walmart for 6.5 years, as my first job out of college. I’ve officially accepted a position at Clorox, and couldn’t be more excited/anxious/thrilled to start this new adventure.
    2. Make a complex meal 100% from scratch. This one might have been my favorite one to check off the list thus far. I knew the meal I wanted to make was Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon and knew it would be more fun with help from my mom! It actually wasn’t as difficult as we thought it would be, just verryyy time consuming, but TOTALLY WORTH IT. Oh my gosh this was delicious. We already have a plan to make it again for the whole family for Christmas dinner!  
    3. Hike Pinnacle Mountain + eat a Hubcap burger at Cotham’s. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to eat at Cotham’s since the original location burned down last year. However, I did hike Pinnacle – and it was a doozy! The challenge was worth it, as the views were stunning, and we’re already planning another hike up in the Fall.
    4. Successfully do a one-armed push-up.
    5. See a critically acclaimed show. This one makes me so happy because I’ve been dying to see this show and Mom got me tickets for my 29th birthday for our trip to Chicago. It was AMAZING. Absolutely go see it if you get the chance.
    6. Volunteer 30 hours. (17 hours complete!) This quarter included a charity kickball game and volunteering at the Arkansas Public Theatre.
    7. Buy all my friends a round, randomly.
    8. Play video games with Husband for a night, complete with pizza + beer. This was so fun! We played Mario Kart (he schooled me), tennis (both won) and a fighting game (which we also both won, to Husband’s chagrin). I definitely need to get in Husband’s world and do this more often!
    9. Intentionally choose to stay by myself one night in a hotel. Obviously I’ve stayed by myself before, but for work or when husband was away – not intentionally.
    10. Learn a song on the guitar.
    11. Be in a play.
    12. Learn to play blackjack.
    13. Make a signature cocktail.
    14. Make a YouTube video that gets over 1k views.
    15. Start my book. Yay I’ve FINALLY started it, and no I won’t share any details yet! 🙂
    16. Win at least 1 trivia night. This one was totally out of the blue, but glad it happened the way it did. We won the poolside Hollywood Trivia on our family vacation in Mexico. Go Team Guacamole!
    17. Write 30 handwritten letters. This has also been one of my favorite ones to check off the list and I’m planning to set a goal for myself to write letters every year!
    18. Take a dance class.
    19. Go to a movie solo. I went to see Crazy, Rich Asians (which was THE BEST) and it was so liberating to go to a movie solo. I also happened to be the only person in the theater, so it was extra solo! Ha!
    20. Ride 300 miles. Maybe this one didn’t take as along as anticipated, but it’s still checked off the list and I’m proud!
    21. Dye my hair pink. Again, something I’ve always wanted to do. It could just be a few strands, and it could wash out after a day. Either way, I think 29 is the best time to do it.
    22. Do 5 things that scare me. (1. Leave my comfort zone job of 6.5 years. Trust me – it’s scary. 2. Ride a snowmobile)
    23. Give an amount of money that is significant to me and is significant to someone in need, but do it in such a way no one would ever know it was me who gave it and expect nothing in return.
    24. Travel to a state I’ve never been to.  This one actually happened without me even realizing it. I thought I’d been to North Carolina, but hadn’t – and now I’ve been twice for work this year. Check! 
    25. Take a personal day, for no reason at all. 
    26. Challenge myself with a new hobby. I didn’t realize it at first, but this is totally the Peloton! Since I didn’t grow up in sports or really sticking with an exercise routine, riding consistently has been a huge challenge for me and totally feels like a new hobby! We even chose to ride while on vacation – something I never thought I’d do, ha!
    27. See someone in concert I’ve been dying to see. Taylor Swift – check. Taking Back Sunday (our favorite band from high school) – check AND Beyonce/Jay-Z coming up next month. I think I can officially check this one off the list.
    28. Find an artist whose perspective of the world I appreciate and buy a piece of his or her work.
    29. Take a spontaneous trip. Someone could probably fight me on this, but it’s my blog so I’ll do what I want – our NYC trip was totally spontaneous for me. No, it wasn’t a pick-up-and-go trip, but our friend Mark called, said he was having his 30th birthday party in NYC and did we want to go? I never turn down a trip to New York, so we said yes, but not planning something like that several months out is my kind of spontaneity!!
    30. Plan a huge 30th birthday bash. The planning has begun for a week-long birthday celebration, obviously.

BONUS: Read 30 books. (24 complete!)

xo xo


life lately

[enjoying this || much needed girls night]


[feeling proud about this || hit my 100 peloton rides!
next goal: 150 for my live ride in NYC in Dec.]

[loving this || lots of cozy reading by the fire with poodle snuggles]

[laughing at this || gridiron show with the family
also, eating this amazing smokey and the (gouda) bandit pizza before starting my no-cheese 30 day challenge]

[watching this || adorable show at the Walton Arts Center with the best people]

[dressing up for this || H A L L O W E E N  P A R T Y !
post malone + the Gump family]

xo xo


life lately: fall party + kc weekend

3 R D   A N N U A L   F A L L   P A R T Y
[wine, appetizers + friends to celebrate the best season of all]


W E E K E N D   G E T A W A Y :   K A N S A S   C I T Y
[fun, albeit rainy, weekend getaway with friends + a concert][55 degrees and rainy shopping day on the plaza]

[KC must-eat: bbq!]

[the BEST brunch at the corner restaurant]

[WWI museum and memorial – highly recommend and beautiful views of the city]

[The National at Starlight Theatre – amazing show and we were so close to the stage!!
It did rain the entire show, but we made the best of it!]

[and THEN – Matt Berninger, lead singer of husband’s all-time FAVORITE band, came into the audience RIGHT NEXT TO US and husband sang into the mic with him. You have to trust me because I barely got a pic, but this “after” photo of husband is pretty telling. Life complete.]

xo xo


#Last90Days

Is it kosher to just copy and paste someone else’s post into my blog and just say, “Here! Read this – it’s everything I want to say and more!” No? Maybe?

Okay, well here’s what I need you to do before you read any further – follow Rachel Hollis on Facebook and Instagram, sign up for her emails, and DUH read her book Girl, Wash Your Face. Have you noticed I’m a Rachel Hollis fangirl yet?! I’ve already written about her book here and here. And now this is the 3rd post, and this one’s really important because we’re starting a new challenge:

L A S T   9 0   D A Y S 

Y’all, it’s October 1st. That means there’s 90 days left in 2018. 90 days to get your life together. Wouldn’t you like to end your year even better than you started it? Wouldn’t you like to START 2019 already feeling your best?! I love this concept.

The last 3 months are the slipperiest (?) time of the year. You throw all eating/drinking inhibitions out the window starting with the resurgence candy corn and it just goes downhill from there. You get busy with holiday parties and your workouts become nonexistent. You wear your sweats and cozy sweaters, and say you’ll start next year. Nope. Not gonna happen, friends. We’re going to do this together.

I love this analogy Rachel shared in her email this morning:

If you needed to climb to the 20th floor of a building and you’re already on the tenth floor, does it make sense to go back down to the basement now and start all over in January? No way! We’re already here. Maybe we charged up the ten flights last January or maybe it took us all of 2018 to get to this place but dang it, we’re here. It doesn’t make any sense to blow it all now.

Right?! Okay, so I’ve convinced you about the WHY, but here’s the WHAT –

5   T O   T H R I V E 

It’s honestly pretty simple. I didn’t say easy. I said simple. YOU can do all of these things, and YOU can start 2019 as the best version of yourself.

Let’s get our tribe and do this together. Comment below, email me, text me, facebook me – tell me you’re in so we can hold each other accountable.

Today was the first day of the rest of my life.
Who’s with me?!

xo xo