everyday inspiration

Life

life lately

[watching this || PLL SERIES FINALE #HalebForever]

[rocking out to this || silversun pickups + third eye blind on a super fun wednesday night]

[dying over this || a ROOFTOP bar in little ol’ bentonville!]

[loving this || a beautiful saturday with beautiful people]

[eating this || the best tacos ever]

[celebrating/crying over this || our best friends moving to Kansas City this weekend. we are so sad, yet so happy for their new adventures … and of course, we will visit all the time!! #Hotarmans4Ever]

xo xo


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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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


This Thing We Call Life

My blog has been suffering because of two reasons – I’m busy, and I’m exhausted.
But you know what, it’s great.

And for all y’all with kids reading this I know you’re thinking I don’t even know the meaning of the words busy and exhausted yet, and you’re more than welcome to go ahead and think that. But for the life stage I’m in – I’m busy, and I’m exhausted.

A few things to note:

  1. Work is crazy busy. Crazy, crazy busy. Non-stop when I’m at the office, and partial-stop when I’m at home. I struggle with trying not to think about (or dream about!) work after I’ve left the building, but it is so hard. If anyone has tips to share, please do.
  2. I’ve started working out in the mornings, and I’ve been doing it consistently for a month now. I’m waking up an hour earlier than usual – something I never, ever thought possible. But hey, “It always seems impossible until it’s done” right? This deserves another blog post entirely on it’s own and will happen at some point, but for now, just another thing to note.
  3. Husband and I have started cooking together more. Instead of basic, easy, sometimes healthy/sometimes not dinners, we’ve been getting HelloFresh weekly and cooking together. This certainly takes more time in the schedule, but it is precious time together, and I’m loving it.

All that to say, my blog has been suffering for good reason. With the time I do have, I’m trying to be more intentional and do things that bring me joy. If I want to spend an entire Sunday afternoon reading a book, why shouldn’t I? If I want to spend the extra hours of sunlight throwing the ball with our dog in the backyard, why shouldn’t I?

It seems to be getting harder and harder to force myself to open up the computer after work and blog. I still enjoy it, and I still love hearing from you that you read my blog and appreciate it, but sometimes I just have to take a break and enjoy what is around me – no screens, no pressure to post.

So, if you don’t hear from me as often for a while, now you know. I’m starting to travel again for work the next few weeks, then we leave for Italy in 6 WEEKS.

It’s a busy and exhausting time, but it is also a glorious time.

xo xo

 


life lately

{enjoying this || time at HOME after a lot of traveling}

{loving this || Husband’s first pedicure!}

{eating this || delicious Italian night at a friend’s house – complete with lots of wine + lots of laughs}

{celebrating this || girl’s birthday at bentonville’s very own speakeasy}

{traveling to this || an AMAZING radiohead concert in Kansas City – with a side of BBQ}

and not pictured: a wonderful few days with my aunt + friend catching up on life, eating great food, drinking cheap wine and seeing a thought-provoking play

xo xo


life lately

[Other than my recent trips to Chicago + Austin]

[being fashionistas at this || nwa fashion week]

[cheers-ing this || a new opportunity + great evening with friends]

[waking up to this || minneapolis x2]

[celebrating this || st. patrick’s day in downtown rogers]

[eating this || the best filet and sautéed mushrooms ever at mister b’s for a special date night with husband]

[loving this || sunday morning porch time]

xo xo


life lately

screen-shot-2017-02-19-at-6-40-07-pm[loving this || gorgeous february weather + a walk around lake atalanta]

screen-shot-2017-02-19-at-6-40-24-pm[eating this || the best fries ever. go to saiwok NOW.]

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img_2486[celebrating this || valentine’s day with wine, chocolate tastings + photobooths]

img_2583-1[playing with this || adorable little boy for an afternoon]

img_2482[swooning over this || beautiful flowers from husband!]

xo xo


life lately

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screen-shot-2017-02-05-at-12-05-12-pm{loving this || BEST TRIP EVER to Vegas with an amazing group of people #WhatHappensInVegasStaysInVegas}

10477e60-4e05-4a95-b159-d071b99aadf8{learning this || nude figure drawing class with mom… let’s just say I decided I’d rather be the model, ha!}

ee5997eb-cb00-426e-9d49-c627d6d5baa1-2{celebrating this || my birthday in style! thanks, work family!}

2b96fb81-b8e8-4e7c-a747-0a6136c2fe2c{planning this || summer trip to Italy!}

{enjoying this || lady gaga concert aka super bowl 51}

xo xo


favorites, round 6.

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Things I love and want to share with you, so you can love them too.

LULULEMON: Guys, I never thought I’d be that girl. I tried to fight it for so long. They always said, once you go Lulu you don’t go back, and now I completely understand. Thanks to my sister-in-law over Christmas, Husband and I got our first Lulu gear and instantly became hooked. I can’t even explain it to you, but it just feels amazing. I now have a shirt, sweater, leggings and a scarf and I love them all so much. Yes, it’s definitely expensive, but now I can’t go back.

STILA HUGE EXTREME LASH MASCARA: Thanks to Birchbox for sending me this one because I am now officially obsessed! I try new mascaras regularly, but this one has been my go-to for a while. It gives you volume and length, and it comes in a pretty gold tube. I do supplement with cheaper mascara so I don’t use this up too quickly. I purchase either online or at Ulta.

BENEFIT GIMME BROW: Thanks to Birchbox for sending me this one because I am now officially obsessed! (wait, am I having deja vu??) But for real, this is another one from the subscription service that I now cannot live without. It’s different than other eyebrow fillers because it goes on like mascara, which is kind of strange, but once you see the difference it makes you won’t believe your eyes. I use shade 3, and again purchase online or Ulta.

WOODWICK CANDLES: As of late, I love love candles. And I especially love woodwick candles. I received one as a gift a couple of years ago, and now I buy new ones every season. They make the perfect crackling sound when they’re lit, and it lasts the entire candle. It seems like the noise might be annoying, but it is surprisingly very relaxing. Even husband was skeptical at first and now loves them. You can find good deals at Home Goods and sometimes on sale at Target.

HILLSHIRE SNACKING SMALL PLATES: This one seems kind of random, but I had to share this with you if you haven’t seen these before. I love cheese and crackers, but can easily eat an entire block of cheese when I shouldn’t. This is perfect – it’s the perfect amount for a snack or even for lunch if you add in some fruit or carrots, and it’s delicious! This is great to keep in the fridge just in case. Buy at Walmart!

LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER: Husband and I are hooked on John Oliver – a weekly 30-minute show on HBO. It’s more than just a John Stewart/Stephen Colbert type show because I truly learn a lot about the week’s headlines and he goes deep into a topic each week that’s fascinating. While he delivers the news very seriously, he also adds in witty commentary. We are aligned to his political beliefs and are often cheering at the TV for saying all the things we want to say.

xo xo

See more of my favorites here: favorites, round 5., favorites, round 4.


birthday week reflection

What a week it’s been.

[a Vegas recovery week. a birthday week. a tough work week. a tough political week. an emotional week. a party week.]

How has it been all those things in just a simple week? As I type this, the ability to describe this week is honestly beyond my words. The rollercoaster of coming off of a Vegas high, down with layoffs at work, back up to an amazing birthday high and down and around again as our new President continues to shock us all.

This world and these lives of ours are very volatile. We have no idea what tomorrow brings. It is even more important now than ever to be thankful for today and all that we have.

As I was driving to work Wednesday morning, head still spinning from the day before, I turned off the radio and started listing all the things I was thankful for right now.

Just to name a few –

A roof over my head. Food on the table. Clean water to drink. A husband who loves and cares for me. A family who is always there for me. Friends who make me laugh and are there when I cry. And an incredible job that does more than just pay the bills.

What an incredible 28 years I’ve had thus far.

It’s as simple as that. If I have those things, I’d say I’m pretty lucky. I gained some needed perspective just by taking those 10 minutes to think about everything God has graciously given me.

The world is not okay, and there are a lot of horrible things happening right now. I have a lot, and I never want to take that for granted, but I also need to work harder for those who don’t have these same freedoms and luxuries as I do.

All of you reading this are amazing people and I love you and I’m so thankful to have you in my life. My hope is you will do the same – take a few minutes before you go to bed tonight or on your way to work in the morning and truly think about what you have and how you can give back to others.

“It is not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy.”

xo xo

 


life lately

screen-shot-2017-01-15-at-11-48-08-am{celebrating this || new year’s eve with these fun people}

screen-shot-2017-01-15-at-11-48-29-am{getting excited for this || VEGAS and BRITNEY this weekend. pssst – look closely at this picture}

img_2050{loving this || a lot of reading and snuggling with my boys}

img_2138{enjoying this || dinner and a show (and love and murder) in fayetteville}

screen-shot-2017-01-15-at-11-47-23-am{cheering at this || razorback basketball game … and we won!}

xo xo


2016: my year in pictures

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screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-9-58-06-amJ A N U A R Y 
bought a new car + celebrated my birthday at downstream casino #BettingOnAMILLEon

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screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-10-08-30-amF E B R U A R Y
first of (several) work trips to NYC + got pulled on stage during spamalot on our valentine’s day date at the rogers little theatre

screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-10-14-36-amM A R C H
a work conference with some pretty decent views

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13076982_3227904129492_6973742797472645262_nA P R I L
welcomed becky to america with the best party ever + celebrated a beautiful bride at mount magazine

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13166027_10153649304001915_6114007446513469655_n
13220885_3251620762393_7107240867260238179_nM A Y
(best month ever)
bentonville film festival, fayetteville foam fest + 5-year anniversary in St. Lucia

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screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-10-27-24-amJ U N E
sister-in-law got married + traipsed around california with these people

screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-10-31-05-amJ U L Y
celebrated husband’s birthday in denver

screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-10-33-28-am
screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-10-33-41-amA U G U S T 
mother daughter weekend in NYC + too much fun at a wedding #travkeg2k16

14203313_10153922899241915_9128922253108058608_nS E P T E M B E R 
best labor day weekend ever #tracytrap

14900570_10103890278223222_8474944676224192731_nO C T O B E R 
squad goals at a stranger halloween

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screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-10-41-41-amN O V E M B E R 
an amazing weekend getaway in missouri + a fun week in LA

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 D E C E M B E R
birthday celebrations with the sistahs + christmas in DC

[a catalog – my year in pictures] 201520142013201220112010


Picturebook: Christmas in DC

C H R I S T M A S   D A Y 

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{Woke up (suuuuper) early and hopped on a plane to Baltimore to spend Christmas with Husband’s dad, stepmom, sister and her husband. We hadn’t spent Christmas with them in a very, very long time so it was extra special. We ate, drank, played ridiculous games and stayed up laughing until 4am.}

M O N D A Y 

img_1541{Woke up (suuuuper) late (did I mention we stayed up until 4am…which means we had been awake for 24 hours…) then shopped and explored Georgetown, which of course was adorable}

T U E S D A Y
[first day in DC]

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img_0311{We had so much fun walking around the National Mall and exploring the monuments. My favorite was the Washington Monument behind us. How great is this candid picture?!}

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img_1623{Stopped for lunch at the famous Old Ebbitts Grill – seriously one of the best reubens I’ve ever had}

img_1717{Quick stop at Arlington Cemetery on our way out of the city – it was absolutely gorgeous and I would love to go back and spend more time walking around}

img_1723{The boys and their cigars after an amazing fondue dinner at home}

W E D N E S D A Y
[second day in DC]

img_1734 {The perfect start to the day – Mari’s famous huevos rancheros! We seriously talk about these all the time because they’re so delicious.}

img_1743{Holocaust Museum – the museum and this quote in particular were very moving and convicting, a must-see museum in DC}

img_1759{Smithsonian Museum of American History – very packed, but very cool. We even saw the Hope Diamond!}

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{STRANGER THINGS BAR! You would not believe the line to get in to this place, but it was totally worth it!}

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{Dinner at Founding Farmers was incredible! Pictured: Shrimp & Grits with andouille and bacon (more like gumbo), Not Pictured: the best cornbread and fried green tomatoes I’ve ever had, and husband’s chicken and waffles he claimed were the best he’s ever had}

T H U R S D A Y 

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img_1846{Visited the new MGM Grand Casino – played slots, lost money, drank beer, oh and ran into Sarah Jessica Parker selling shoes – no big deal!!!!!}

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img_1985{Spent the evening exploring Annapolis, which was seriously the cutest town ever. Then stopped in a wine bar and had the most fresh crab tostadas with tomatoes, onion, cilantro and lime juice. It was so good we had to order another round!}

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{We then stumbled upon this cute little underground gastropub for our last supper – not pictured, but seriously delicious … pig wings!!}

What a trip! I’m not sure how we got so lucky with such amazing family on both sides, but we sure are thankful. It will be a Christmas we never forget!

xo xo


life lately

img_1237{enjoying this || breakfast with the best team everrrr}

img_1446{relaxing with this || big poodle by the fire}

img_1350{dying over this || meeting harry connick jr. backstage at his show – he’s soooo dreamy}

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{making this || beautiful wreaths with beautiful friends}

screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-9-21-46-am{eating this || chrissy teigen’s delish chicken noodle soup}

screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-9-23-29-am{celebrating this || mom’s birthday at the hip hop nutcracker!}

the-u-s-capitol-christmas-tree{planning for this || christmas in DC!}

We have a busy couple of days ahead with several fun Christmases, then we head to DC for the week to see more family. Wishing you all a merry and blessed Christmas!

xo xo


10 Favorite Wines Under $10

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Have a holiday party coming up? Or just like to drink good, cheap wine, like me? Either way, here are some great bottles to stock a party or your pantry.

From L to R:

19 Crimes – Red Blend: This is my go-to affordable bottle to take to a party or someone’s house. It’s good and has a unique label. Each cork has one of the 19 crimes on it; I’m currently trying to collect all 19.

Underwood – Pinot Noir: I don’t normally drink pinot noir, but when I do this is it. And usually, I drink it in the can in the summer. Yes, a can of wine. It’s an amazing thing.

Souverain – Cabernet: This is my latest find and current favorite. I liked the bottle and it was under $10 so I tried it out. I’ve bought about 5 bottles in the last month …

Sledgehammer – Cabernet: This is another one I randomly picked up off the shelves and has become a staple lately.

Cupcake – Malbec: I really like a good Malbec, but typically they’re more expensive. This one is lighter than usual and very easy to drink.

Dark Horse – Cabernet: Funny thing about this one – It was my go-to drink at Sassafrass Vineyard for about $8/glass. One day I saw it in the liquor store for, you guessed it, $8 A BOTTLE. Now I just buy the bottle.

Alamos – Malbec: Here’s another cheaper Malbec that’s good and that I originally found at a restaurant then saw how cheap it was in the store.

Ecco Domani – Pinot Grigio: If I drink white, it’s drink Sauvignon Blanc. However, this is a great, light and refreshing white I really enjoy when it’s hot outside.

Charles & Charles Rosé: Oh, it was the summer of rosé! While this one is a little more than $10 ($11-$12), I had to add it to the list because it is oh so delicious.

Freixenet Negro Brut: Looking for a good champagne that looks fancier than $10? This is it. There are several styles to choose from. I always go for the brut.

What’s your favorite wine for less than $10?

xo xo


life lately

img_0796{darkening this || my hair for the winter}

screen-shot-2016-12-01-at-6-49-40-pm{dying over this || gorgeous views a la runyon canyon in los angeles}

screen-shot-2016-12-01-at-6-49-21-pm{FINALLY doing this || screenshot from our mannequin challenge, thanksgiving edition}

screen-shot-2016-12-01-at-6-49-03-pm{loving this || a very thankful turkey day with our amazing families}

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img_1214{bingeing this || GILMORE GIRLS REVIVAL, DUH!!! of course we spent all day bingeing, eating, drinking coffee, eating, discussing, crying, laughing, eating. remember when we did something similar a few years ago?}

xo xo

P.S. Team Jess!


Just rest. And drink wine.

November 1 comes with a myriad of emotions. Joy and childlike excitement for the holidays. Subtle, but ever-present melancholiness for those no longer with us. And often times, stress and anxiety with the overwhelming amount of so much to do, to buy, to see.

We’ve been so busy the last few months, and the next two will be even busier. I love all the things we’re doing and all the people we’re spending time with, but it’s so important to rest – something very hard for me to do sometimes.

A couple of months ago, I had the foresight to book a weekend getaway just me and husband for some pure relaxation together. A weekend of solace in wine country … in Missouri! We heard about this little town called Hermann, Missouri with wineries, breweries and adorable B&Bs. {More on this later – you know there will be a dedicated blog post with pictures and reviews.}

My hope for this weekend is that we can turn off the noise, enjoy each other’s company and re-center ourselves. This way we can go into the holiday season with thankful hearts, a positive attitude and the reminder to sometimes say no to (good) things, and just rest.

Oh, and did I mention I’m staying off social media for the weekend? No facebook, no insta and no snaps … just wine and my husband. Just the way I like it.

xo xo


halloween + an 80’s movie update

I love Halloween. Really I just love dressing up for anything specific – give me a theme and I’m there. Or as my favorite fictional mother says,

“I’ll do just about anything if I can buy an outfit!” – Lorelai Gilmore

This year, we decided to dress up as characters from our favorite TV show of the year – Stranger Things. It’s about a 12-year-old boy who goes missing and his friends are determined to find him. Also a lot of weird sh*t starts happening in the town. It’s creepy, but not too creepy, and it’s set in the 80s – giving major homage to Stand by Me, E.T., The Goonies and many more.

Go watch it on Netflix now. Seriously, I promise you it’s worth it. And after you see our costumes, you’ll be even more intrigued.

img_0407{husband as dustin}

img_0405{me as eleven, looking creepy AF || my own mother didn’t recognize me in that blonde wig…}

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img_0436{I will forever cherish this polaroid of us || also, we won best couple costume}

img_0412{convinced some friends to be “the wall” and joyce byers}

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img_0430{and two random, but amazing polaroids from the night, for good measure}

Since we’re talking 80’s, I thought this would be a good time for an update on my 80’s Watchlist. I’ve been making headway on the girly movies:

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (1985) – LOVE, LOVE, LOVED this movie. I want to be SJP and dance all day.

Can’t Buy Me Love (1987) – How adorable is a young Patrick Dempsey?! I also adored this movie. Can’t believe I hadn’t seen it until now.

Heathers (1988) – Okay, I know this is a cult classic, but someone should have warned me how dark it is!! Didn’t love it, but enjoyed seeing Winona Ryder and Christian Slater in their hay day.

Love Potion No. 9 (1993) – This movie was so cheesy and adorable and right up my alley. Sandra Bullock and Tate Donovan are so dreamy.

Teen Witch (1989) – Watched this one in honor of Halloween and again, LOVED. Please watch this scene. It’s hilarious, and awesome, and so 80s. TOP THAT.

xo xo


life lately

screen-shot-2016-10-23-at-5-51-55-pm{relaxing with this || adorable cuddly poodle}

img_0325{cheering for this || our work kickball team that all our friends are on, and we just sit in the stands and cheer … and drink wine}

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img_0365{eating this || my witches hats + brooms and jordan’s disgusting looking, but delicious tasting buffalo chicken dip at our team halloween party}

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{enjoying this || fun night at a haunted house}

img_0362{drinking this || delicious cappuccino at a new coffee shop down the road}

xo xo


Picturebook: Fall Party!

I think we can all agree – Fall is the BEST season of all. If you don’t agree, you can just stop reading now.

(Just kidding. Kind of.)

For the first time, I decided to host a party celebrating all the best things of the season – red wine, pumpkin-flavored everything, scarves, boots, and the perfect weather.

And boy, did we have it all!!

See a few pictures below. Unfortunately I didn’t get quite enough for my liking … but I do have a couple of hilarious videos/snaps to show if you ask next time you see me.

img_0145{party outfit goal: basic white girl – fall edition}

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img_0130{drink table, including my signature drink: apple cider mimosas (delish!)}

img_0123{This was SUCH an easy appetizer/dessert – wrap butter-soaked apples, apple pie spice + brown sugar mixture, and pecans in crescent rolls. Cook for 8-10 minutes.}

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img_0029{These were our contributions – apple pie bites (recipe above), baked brie with fig, pumpkin cheesecake bars + pumpkin salsa from fresh market (which was seriously a hit!) This doesn’t show all the amaaaazing food our friends brought. Thanks, friends!}

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img_0038{Love these beautiful friends! Unfortunately didn’t get any other pics with the 20+ people who were there, but I love them too!}

img_0142{late night games: drenga + fingers}

img_0141{final pic of the night with husband <3}

[not pictured: shenanigans on our back patio, including boys + cigars, a hilarious 30 minutes trying to open a champagne bottle with a knife then a shoe, and stories that made us laugh ‘ till we cried.]

xo xo


life lately [special edition]

It’s been almost a month since my last blog post. I’ve been busy, but not too busy. I’ve been enjoying life and husband and family and friends, and for some reason haven’t felt like blogging.

And that’s why I love this. I have no requirement or burden to blog every week. I blog for me, and if I need time to rejuvenate and not pick up a computer after work, so be it.

I love all my readers, and hopefully they’ve missed my posts at least a little. And while it was nice to step away a bit and enjoy the fall season moving in, I’m excited to be back with several posts on the tip of my fingers.

But first, let me catch you up a little on my life lately …

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-6-05-23-pm{loving this || wednesday over water at crystal bridges, presidential style!}

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-6-06-06-pm{drinking this || first PSL of the season!}

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-6-05-38-pm{dining in this || blindfolds… for dining in the dark at river grille – we ate alpaca! eek!}

img_0169{eating this || italian sausage tortellini soup – the best fall recipe!}

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-6-05-58-pm{overly excited about this || fixing our walls after our puppy ate them. you can just call us chip and joanna}

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-6-06-24-pm{buying this || amazing sunflowers + arkansas black apples at the farmers market}

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-6-06-33-pm{enjoying this || tailgating + a birthday night out in fayetteville}

SUITS -- Season: 2 -- Pictured: (l-r) Patrick J. Adams as Mike Ross, Gabriel Macht as Harvey Specter -- Photo by: Robert Ascroft/USA Network

     {bingeing this || SUITS! love me some mike + harvey}

Other eventful happenings …
– a hand infection from my rose bushes that caused 2 dr. visits, 1 allergic reaction, 5 medications + countless sleepless nights
– a new KING bed! pictures and blog post to come
– FALL PARTY! celebrating the best season of all with apple cider mimosas, lots of brie + champagne soaked clothes. of course I have photos and of course I will do a post about it soon.

xo xo

 


life lately

screen-shot-2016-09-17-at-5-06-11-pm{savoring this || dinner al fresco with the family}

L A B O R  D A Y  W E E K E N D

screen-shot-2016-09-17-at-5-07-45-pm
screen-shot-2016-09-17-at-5-09-21-pmF R I D A Y
{loving this || light night party at crystal bridges}

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screen-shot-2016-09-17-at-5-07-17-pmS A T U R D A Y
{cheering at this || the first razorback game of the season}

screen-shot-2016-09-17-at-5-05-54-pm{listening to this || collective soul + goo goo dolls}

screen-shot-2016-09-17-at-5-05-34-pm{dressing up like this || for a 30th birthday party}

14379963_3397774296140_8496053782534612195_o{rocking out to this || rock of ages at arkansas public theatre}

xo xo


life lately

IMG_2852[enjoying this || awesome team building at Bolt escape room]

FullSizeRender[eating this || taco soup at the first sign of fall]

IMG_2890[packing (and wearing) this || for my amazing NYC trip]

IMG_3483[cherishing this || quality time with the father in law]

IMG_3489[obsessing over this || delicious cappucino + avocado toast at Onyx]

IMG_3505[hosting this || a happy hour birthday celebration for a dear friend]

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IMG_3567[celebrating this || bailey’s wedding + #travkeg2k16]

xo xo


For the love of food

“Food and music have the ability to bring back memories long forgotten.

I’ll take a double order of both.”

-Krayl Funch

 

I love food.

I can never understand people who eat purely for calories/nourishment and not for the pure joy of eating.

Yes, gluttony is a sin, and I’m working on not overeating and eating healthier the majority of the time. But food just makes me so happy, and usually that food is not a salad.

As I was reading Bread & Wine (read my review! then go buy the book!) I started thinking about some of my fondest memories with food. You know, those special memories in special places with that food that makes you drool just thinking about it, or that brings back such a wonderful memory associated with it.

I wanted to share a recent food memory with you, partly so I don’t forget it and partly to get you thinking about your fond food memories. I truly think we’re the most happy when we’re sharing good food and good drink with good people.

P A R I S

On a whim, we decided to spend one of our Parisian nights at the Moulin Rouge. I went as a child and thought it was SO scandalous, but several years later fell in love with the movie of the same name and decided I had to go back as an adult. As a serious trip planner, this was a very spontaneous decision. We literally printed out our tickets in our Paris hotel that day … what?!

I went on Yelp and found the restaurant with the best reviews within walking distance of the venue. When we got out of the cab and walked the block from the Moulin Rouge to the cafe I was starting to doubt my decision. It was literally a hole-in-the-wall cafe that couldn’t have held more than 20 people. We sat cramped next to the window as a brusque waitress took our drink order. “This was the top rated place on Yelp?” Husband asked curiously, as scantily clad women walked the streets steering tourists in to their cabarets.

You guys. I will never forget that place. Not just for the location, but for the best duck I’ve ever had in my entire life. It was so flavorful and cooked perfectly and came with pomme frites, and I was seriously in heaven. It was literally the best thing we ate in Paris, and possibly the entire trip. And I just love that it was on a shady block in Montmartre before going to the Moulin Rouge. (Which by the way, we loved. Where we drank champagne, and got in trouble for taking pictures, and met two sisters from England who couldn’t believe we were taking only 2 weeks for a vacation! Isn’t it funny the things you remember?)

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Other fond food/memories –

Little Debbies will always make me think of my grandfather Pops. Wasabi of my Dad in Florida (when he thought it was guacamole). Pimento cheese + oyster crackers of my grandmother’s house. Poppyseed chicken of my college roommate and best friend. Oysters of Mom and NYC. Jerked Shrimp of Husband and St. Lucia. Powdered coffee of camping in Botswana. Saddlebock Farmhouse of the Summer of 2014. And on, and on, and on.

There are so many other memories I could tell you about that revolved around a great meal and great company. What is your fondest food memory?

Cheers!

xo xo