everyday inspiration

Spring

Vacation Picturebook: Philadelphia

W E D N E S D A Y 

[loved our hotel: Kimpton Palomar at Rittenhouse Square!]

[late lunch at Parc – the most adorable Parisian cafe on the square]

[walked around Rittenhouse Square on the most adorable little streets, then wound up in this bookstore that printed classic books right in front of us! We picked up Frankenstein by Mary Shelley – such a cool souvenir]

[one of my favorite things about exploring a new city is the food – I read about this Israeli restaurant Zahav in a magazine and immediately called to get a reservation. 2 months out and all I could get was 9:15pm on Wednesday night, so of course I took it. I didn’t get great pictures, but this was a meal and an evening I’ll never forget! we got seated around 9:30 and didn’t leave until almost midnight. we did the tasting menu and it was such an experience and the food was amazing – especially this hummus! HIGHLY recommend this place if you’re in Philly and can get in!]

T H U R S D A Y 

[all the historical things! independence hall where the declaration of independence was signed, snuck a peek at the liberty bell through a window, benjamin franklin museum, and my favorite: elfreth’s alley]

[dinner at buddakkan – the edamame dumplings were the best!]

[the reason for the trip – BON IVER!!! I can’t say enough how magical this show was. the venue was stunning, our seats were incredible and I’ve loved Bon Iver for years. this was a bucket list show for me, and it exceeded all my expectations]

F R I D A Y

[recovery after late night show: donuts + coffee, and not just any donuts, some of the BEST donuts I’ve ever had – made fresh right there. my favorite was the strawberry lavender, and we may or may not have gone back saturday morning….]

[did a lotttt of walking down museum row, but totally worth it, especially to end up here…]
[is the music playing in your head right now?! we had to run the rocky steps, obviously.
and the art museum was also legit]

[y’all, the eastern state penitentiary was crazy cool and crazy creepy – totally recommend this tour. it was seriously fascinating (and did I mention creepy??)]

[drinks + apps with a familiar face!! loved spending time with AMR and hearing about Philly from a “local” ❤️]

[after a long day of walking + drinking, we stumbled upon a ben + jerry’s – it was the perfect late night snack by the fire to end our friday]

S A T U R D A Y 

[because saturday morning it was rise + grind for a 60 min soul cycle! not quite peloton, but still fun]

[brunch at the cutest place The Dandelion british pub with the cutest husband. also it was 75 degrees (!!!) and we got to sit in the little balcony and people watch]

[ended the trip the best way we know how – found a local brewery, enjoyed the sunshine and talked about our favorite parts of the trip]

xo xo

You might also enjoy: Picturebook: Napa + SF, Picturebook: Girls Weekend in NYC!


life lately

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 6.49.57 PM{drinking this || so much iced coffee}

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{dressing up for this || a kentucky derby party}

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{eating this || trickdilly tacos}

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{enjoying this || my beautiful farmers market flowers}

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{celebrating this || our 4th anniversary!}

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{working this || a busy week with these wonderful walmart mom bloggers!}

xo xo


Discover Arkansas: Fayetteville Farmers’ Market

Screen Shot 2015-05-30 at 4.01.54 PM[my first farmers’ market of the season!]

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Screen Shot 2015-05-30 at 3.58.52 PM[veggies on veggies on veggies]

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[love the live music on each corner]

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Screen Shot 2015-05-30 at 4.01.18 PM

Screen Shot 2015-05-30 at 4.00.59 PM[stopped in at bouchee bistro for coffee + macaroons on the patio,
then a walk through the anchor – an adorable new home decor store]

Screen Shot 2015-05-30 at 3.57.11 PM[surprise run-in with my sister-in-law!]

Screen Shot 2015-05-30 at 4.01.39 PM[great family saturday morning adventure!]
xo xo

See all my Discover Arkansas posts here.


What I Learned From Hosting My First Dinner Party

It’s hard.

Parties are already hard enough, but add in the dinner part and it’s even harder. I’m not a cook, and never should have attempted to be one. Cooking for two is enough of a chore most nights, so cooking for eight is rough. How do people know when they should start everything so it all comes out at the same time? How do you finish cooking while greeting everyone as they arrive?

I’m the kind of person who wants everything completely done by the time the first person steps in the door, and that is not going to happen with a dinner party.

[Note: I am being a little overly dramatic – everything turned out wonderfully, with no mishaps to speak of. I was more stressed out on the inside, than I was on the outside, which is always a good skill to have.]

Before I share some photos of the evening, let me back up a bit – while in Vegas with the sistahs, we decided to do a family supper club. Each of the four couples hosts once a year, youngest to oldest. We started the tradition and will pass it to Sister E for summer.

When it finally comes back around to us next year, I have it all figured out – not only will we have a porch party again, this time it will be a pizza porch party. One of our favorite foods, and so easy. I can spend more time on the decor, drinks and dessert, which I love, and less on the rest of the menu.

 

The Location:
Front porch – with folding tables, butcher paper tablecloths + rented chairs

[Without a formal dining room table, or seating for 8, you have to get creative!]

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The Menu:
Baked Parmesan Pork Chops
Green + White Asparagus
Crockpot Potatoes
Baby Wedge Salads
Sister Schubert’s Rolls
[Not Pictured: Appetizer – Baked Brie with apples, summer sausage + vintage cheddar cheese]

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The Drink:
Sunset Sangria
15 oz. Blanco Tequila
1 bottle of Pinot Grigio
25 oz. Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice
25 oz. Club Soda
1 cup Lime Juice

Mix together. Add ice and large fruit garnishes. Enjoy!

[Tip: Ask every couple to bring a bottle of wine. You supply a signature drink!]

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The Dessert:
Pioneer Woman’s Lemon Lime Pound Cake – YUM.
So fresh, moist and very spring-y tasting. Also, goes perfectly with coffee the next morning.

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The Guests:
The best part of any event!

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The Morning After:
Coffee (and leftover cake) on the front porch, thankful for a wonderful family + the ability to get to host an event with abundant food and drink

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Happy Sunday!
xo xo


wednesday, my inspiration.

The most vibrant sound in the room is one that can either soothe or distress.
The wick is almost at its end, but fights for dear life, throwing its light from side to side and forcing itself to be heard and not forgotten.

At times it competes with the screaming thunder, but its benefit is its consistency –
laying a raspy baseline throughout the room.

The puppy is confused. He looks up from his sleepy state on the newly carpeted floor, searching for the source of the hissing and buzzing.

The thunder stops and the rain begins; the wick seems to play in harmony with the pitter patter. Occasionally birds add a verse, bringing the illumination of spring.

The girl sits on the couch drinking it all in.

She sits in her cushy sweats wine in hand, after removing her corporate attire. She sits with fragrant food in the crockpot, waiting for husband to arrive home. She sits on her immaculate couch, admiring her new rug. She sits oblivious of how thankful she should be of nearly everything around her.

She sits in silence.

She allows herself the peace and rest and lack of distractions that are so hard to come by. She doesn’t feel the need to turn on the radio, or the tv, or grab her magazines.

She sits in silence.

And then the hail begins.


life lately, stress + prayer

Hello luvvys, it’s been a while. I’ve missed blogging and my creative outlet. It’s been a whirlwind here as of late, more so than usual, and there’s really not an end in sight until June. Sigh. The busy-ness has been some exciting things (to announce soon), some monotonous things, some fun things, some work things, some of which you’ll see below.

I’m struggling with how to process everything. I’ve always been prone to stress. I often blow things out of proportion and focus on the negatives, not seeing the positive and not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I see the present and the present is stressful. I’m constantly looking for ways to de-stress – reading, walking, baths, ice cream – but none of them are long-term solutions. I always wonder if I’m just meant to stress. If it’s a personality trait like being persuasive, considerate or outspoken. Husband is the opposite and doesn’t understand stress, doesn’t understand how I can let it affect my sleep or my eating or my weekend.

I know deep down that the key is prayer. I think it’s being so connected to the Holy Spirit throughout the day that He’s constantly giving you exactly what you need in that moment – peace, joy, faith. “Pray without ceasing.” He is the only thing that can calm you when everything around you is a storm. Everything else is temporary. Everything else will fade away. But He is always there.

I know this, but it’s so hard to put into practice, and I’m really struggling right now. I’m writing this really for me as a reminder, in what sometimes feels like a diary in which I give away the key to anyone who asks, and as an open prayer.

I hope to keep my blogging consistent over the next few weeks, sharing updates and inspirations, but I’m not sure I can keep that promise. For now, here are a few photos of my life lately.

Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 8.53.51 PM{celebrating // Easter with my beautiful family on Mount Sequoyah}

Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 8.54.00 PM{reading // like crazy, review post to come soon}

Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 8.54.10 PM{loving // these glasses for my vision center photoshoot}

Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 8.54.21 PM{enjoying // a perfect evening on the Bentonville square with friends}

Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 8.54.32 PM{remembering // my dad’s birthday}

Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 8.54.43 PM{working // the sustainability expo with 4 of my Walmart Moms}

Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 8.54.57 PM{celebrating // this bride-to-be getting married in 7 weeks}

Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 8.55.16 PM{drinking // craft beer at foamfest with these boys}

xo xo


{spring things}

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{pretty in pink mani}

d5f5decd62aec611a90de5eee2773805-1{pink lemonade margaritas}

9fe6e4334f8bcb1b3ffbf92180043401

{colorful minis + windblown hair}

fe066a994276b9236204cd2760a4b765-1{breathtaking sunsets}
b5ba9c746f814e18563288b79810e84c-1{patio living}
728ccc840d2a72510f693f53911f9611-1{inspiration}

7e5dd9dcba950c8693b9bf4aafa267a7{farmers market flowers}

07e97ee28c5998c00cb0c97518fadb05{long walks with pup}

e0e3254181a34f39dbde7068abeace9e{outdoor brunch}

xo xo