everyday inspiration


10 Things: March + April

Reminder: for 2019 I’m starting a new series – 10 things. I want to capture things I’m learning in my 30th year whether tiny or bold, big or small. The rules: It can only be one sentence, and there can’t be repeating lessons from month to month. It can be something I’ve learned in prior years, but needed reminding. I’m also including one picture per month that’s symbolic of the month for me.

My plan was to post this monthly, but the past few months have been craaaazy so doing a combo post again. Here are 20 things I’ve been learning:



  1. Don’t be lazy – put your outdoor cushions inside for the winter.
  2. Sometimes a 9:15pm dinner is the best dinner.
  3. Porch wine always tastes better than inside wine.
  4. Israeli hummus is the best thing I’ve ever eaten in my life.
  5. There is nothing like the first spring day.
  6. I am the worst uuni pizza chef.
  7. Give yourself permission to do nothing for an afternoon.
  8. Lemon coffee is not just a thing, but a very delicious thing.
  9. The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.
  10. Don’t listen to other people’s negative opinions.


A P R I L 

  1. It always seems impossible until it’s done.
  2. Wind therapy is a real thing.
  3. Add brussels sprouts to your crawfish boil.
  4. Sometimes the right thing to right thing to do is the hard thing to do.
  5. A fresh coat of paint can make the world of a difference.
  6. Not all tiki bar drinks come with umbrellas.
  7. Seeing my name in a byline never gets old.
  8. You can get a sunburn in April.
  9. A cookie can make someone’s day.
  10. Book the massage.

xo xo

10 Things: Jan + Feb

life lately

Life lately has been CRAZY. I’d sum it up perfectly with the manifesto –

W O R K   H A R D . P L A Y   H A R D .

I haven’t blogged in a month (since our trip to Philly), so here’s a little peek into my life as of late.

[traveled for this || great meetings in durham with my burt’s bees team]

[planned this (with some other party people!) || clorox spring fling at the holler]

[ate this || crawfish boil, round 1 + 2]

[loved this || two wonderful easter celebrations with the best family]

[enjoyed this || a night out with the girls to see Waitress at the WAC – which we LOVED!]

[soaking in this || the most beautiful spring weather]

[traveled (again) for this || more great meetings in SF with my SMG team

Busy month, huh? Philly > Durham > SF … and things don’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.
But you know what I’ve been thinking lately – let’s be THANKFUL for being busy with all good things, and enjoy the little moments of joy and relaxation with my favorite people while I can. ❤

xo xo

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]


[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!]

Screen Shot 2015-05-30 at 3.59.27 PM

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]

Screen Shot 2015-05-30 at 4.00.45 PM

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]

Screen Shot 2015-04-26 at 9.58.09 AM

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!]

Screen Shot 2015-04-26 at 9.59.09 AM

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.

Screen Shot 2015-04-26 at 10.01.08 AM

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}


{pretty in pink mani}

d5f5decd62aec611a90de5eee2773805-1{pink lemonade margaritas}


{colorful minis + windblown hair}

fe066a994276b9236204cd2760a4b765-1{breathtaking sunsets}
b5ba9c746f814e18563288b79810e84c-1{patio living}

7e5dd9dcba950c8693b9bf4aafa267a7{farmers market flowers}

07e97ee28c5998c00cb0c97518fadb05{long walks with pup}

e0e3254181a34f39dbde7068abeace9e{outdoor brunch}

xo xo

derby daze

Friday night we went to the ArtInfusion Derby Party at Crystal Bridges. After our trip to the races a few weekends ago and this weekend being the Arkansas Derby, we were all in.

As Lorelai from Gilmore Girls says, “I’ll do just about anything if I can buy an outfit.” So that I did. I found a fascinator at Dillards (which, by the way, I didn’t even know what a fascinator was then I saw photos of Kate and Pippa wearing them and I knew that’s what I wanted instead of a hat) and a bowtie for husband to match his salmon pants (perfect for the occasion, right??).

Enjoy some photos below from our “night at the derby”! xo xo

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{obligatory pre-party selfie}

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{first round of mint juleps – cheers!}

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{love, love, love this photo!}

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{the girls and the boys}

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{the second round of mint juleps}

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{the amazing tour guide, featured: Boy Leading a Horse, Picasso}

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{look who we found heading to the after-party}

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{after-party with penguins at 21c}

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{what a terrific evening with these party people!}

Weekend Picturebook: Hot Springs

Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 5.49.57 PM{started the weekend off right with margaritas!}

Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 5.53.08 PM{then back to the house for pool and beer … among other things}

Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 5.53.27 PM{love this pic – as someone said, it either looks like a rom-com or a psa for underage drinking}

10153382_10201815113006043_561263744_n Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 5.49.48 PM{beautiful home we were so fortunate to stay in}

1555835_10201815923346301_1606689307_n Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 5.49.24 PM Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 5.52.23 PM Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 5.49.37 PM{day at the races!}

Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 5.49.13 PM{dinner at backporch grill}

Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 5.52.31 PM{downtown hot springs – superior bathouse and brewery}

Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 5.52.47 PM{sunday morning mimosas}
Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 5.57.01 PM{brunch at fisherman’s wharf before heading home}

xo xo

You might also enjoy: Weekend Picturebook: Cabin in the Woods, Weekend Picturebook: Little Rock

Oh that sweet, sweet smell.


I’ve been taking Olli on long walks the last few days because it’s been GORGEOUS here and about to get cold again for the next week. Every day I’ve caught a whiff of one of my favorite smells of Spring – honeysuckle. You know those smells that just instantly put you in a good mood and transport you to a favorite time or place? For me, it’s this beautiful, fragrant flower.

What’s your favorite Spring smell?
xo xo

Rain, Rain Go Away, It’s Farmers Market Saturday

IMG_4427{first stop: coffee}



{next stop: the square with our guardian penguins}


{then a little shopping}



{final stop: Crepes Paulette, Nutty Monkey + Strawberry and Nutella}

xo xo

You might also enjoy: Saturday morning and who’s gonna play with me

Spring Details For the Home

Screen Shot 2013-04-22 at 6.36.00 PM1. Flowers – fresh or fake, Home Goods 2. Brightly colored candy adds flair to a coffee table
3. Fun throw pillows, Nate Berkus for Target 4. Eye-popping books + candles for the bedside

* * *

In our little apartment it’s all about the details. Small changes can update the feel of our home and signal a season change. We don’t  have the resources to completely redecorate for Spring, so above are some easy, affordable ideas to update your home.

Or if all else fails, just get a cute husband and puppy. That always does the trick.


xo xo

You might also enjoy: 5 things {I love about our little apartment}, Dear Spring Santa,

life lately


{celebrating // a beautiful friend’s bachelorette party}


{brunching // with mimosas on a patio. Is there any other way?}


{traveling // to Dayton, OH for work and the sweet old guy on the plane gave me this list of things to do in town}


{eating // this amazing deliciousness that is Pho}


{enjoying // a final night with my dear friend moving to LA}


{critiquing // contemporary art at 21c}

xo xo

p.s. I did wear the exact same outfit two Friday nights in a row with two different groups of friends.
My secret is out.

life lately

IMG_9334{celebrating Samantha’s birthday – a few pics from over the years}


{Easter with family}


{eating this deliciousness made by my mom while in town}


{LOVE sign making class with my community group girls}


{wonderful Friday afternoon with my mom – pictured here: champagne + blackberry mango pop at First Friday on the Square}


{Hawaiian bridal shower for the beautiful Nicky, and getting ready for her bachelorette party tonight <3}

xo xo

Sunny Style

Today feels like the first truly spring day we’ve had. As I’ve been doing housework with the doors and windows open and Olli has been luxeriating in the sun, I’ve been daydreaming of permanently warm weather and its accompanying spring style.

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1. Keds for Kate Spade New York; 2. Chino Shorts, J. Crew; 3. Textured Peplum Top, Banana Republic; 4. Henry, Marc by Marc Jacobs; 5. Mani Pedi Fund Cory Pouch, Rebecca Minkoff; 6. Summer Straw Hat, J. Crew

xo xo



These are a few of my current favorite things & I wanted to share with you, my lovely readers.

* * *

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{Just sign up now. Don’t ask questions.}


{Dear Mindy, I watched your show The Mindy Project and thought you were pretty funny. I followed you on Twitter and thought you were hilarious. I read your book “Is Everybody Hanging Out Without Me?” and thought you were brilliant. XO, your newest fan}


{Whether for breakfast or snack or dessert, it’s always 100 calories & it always tastes just like Key Lime Pie.}


{Gel manicures – I know there’s a lot of controversy right now about getting cancer from the UV nail lights, but that’s not going to stop me. Look how pretty they always turn out?! I’m currently sporting the My Sugar Baby Blue in the top left in hopes of warmer weather.}


{I recently subscribed to this magazine and I love it. It’s a perfect mix of my entertainment news + global news stories (and doesn’t JLaw look stunning??)}


{My new nude pumps are going to be my Spring best friend. I will wear with boyfriend jeans, work attire + my nude lace dress for Easter this weekend.}

What are a few of your favorite things?

xo xo

Dear Spring Santa,

{more lace}

 {red blazer}

{dodocase for iPad}

{spring flowers}

{bright skinnies}

{a fun, outdoor soiree}

{rose gold}


{Vince Camuto flats}


Spring Fashion Must-Haves

With the beautiful weather we’ve been having all I can think about is spring fashion. These are a few of the things currently on my wish list.


{I love white pants, and this white suit is stunning for the spring}

{I found this image and couldn’t resist. Yes, men can pull off white jeans and this is exactly how. Absolutely ADORE this look}

{I’ve been wanting a biker jacket all winter and never got one. This is a beautifully updated version for spring from J. Crew}

{As is this one from Rag & Bone, except, minus the pants. Don’t you just love the zebra detailed lining?}

{I’ve never been a huge fan of maxi dresses, but this one from Cavalli is fabulous. I’m hoping to find one similar for my Aruba honeymoon!}

{Nail polish of the season? Coral. Thank you Tay for demonstrating it so elegantly}

{Must have shoes: neutral wedges. These from Aldo will go with anything and everything}

{As much as I try, I’m not one for wearing bright colors. Thus, for spring it’s time for bold accessories like this eccentric Balenciaga watch}

Oh March, How I Love Thee

I hope everyone is enjoying this BEAUTIFUL warm weather.

Everyone is happier than normal.

Everyone is skipping class more than normal.

Everyone seems to think that’s okay.

Everything is more fun, i.e. a lunch date on the patio.

Everything seems easier, namely running, procrastinating and eating healthy.

Everyone finds something exciting to look forward to.

Everyone is talking about Spring Break.

Everyone smiles.


Enjoy the weather. Enjoy the people around you. Enjoy life.

(We do only have one to live you know.)


Spring [Fashion] is in the Air

As a tribute to March and a prayer for warm weather (and no more snow, tornadoes, earthquakes, etc.) I’ve decided to start my spring fashion list of hot trends and must-haves. And what better way to begin than by my favorite Oscar 2011 fashion look, Mila Kunis.

This look exemplifies everything I want for spring: sexy, lacy, bold, confident, unique.

To be honest I wasn’t sure what I thought about this dress at first glance, and then it just hit me. I think it’s reminiscent of love at first sight — I was unaware of it at first, because I’m not sure if I believe in that sentiment, and then I just realized, this is the one.

For those of you non-fashion lovers out there this probably sounds very cheesy, but for those of you like me, you know exactly what I mean.

Anyway, this Elie Saab dress is stunning in so many ways and will provide the basis of my spring look book.



Though I’ve never been much of a lacy fan, I’m reconsidering it for spring. My problem with lace has always been one of too much femininity. It’s romantic, delicate, girly, sweet — none of which I’ve never used to describe my personal style.  But this trend saw a lot of diversity at the spring fashion shows and is bringing a new generation of lace that I can definitely get behind — sexy and glamorous.


Bold colors

Let’s turn to another example from the Oscars to prove the power of bold.

This was the first dress I saw on the red carpet and it nearly took my breath away. I didn’t even know who this woman was. Now I know. Twenty-year-old Jennifer Lawrence from Winter’s Bone. 20 years old! Can you believe that? Studies have shown that red is the sexiest color for girls and guys to wear. And doesn’t she look sexy AND confident?

Bold colors should be worn head held high. They make a person stand out in a sea of safe LBDs. And though I am often guilty of choosing the safe black route, which will always be a classic, if you want to turn heads this spring stick with my mantra: Go for the bold!

Michael Kors


Accessories: Gold & Lucite

Gold has always been a favorite of mine and seems to be a hot accessory for winter and spring. Gold accessories come in such a wide range they can make a simple outfit more elegant or a party dress more funky. The gold metallic perfectly complements the spring break tan and bold colors, showing off the body’s natural shimmer.

Though lucite was really a big trend last spring, it’s still hot for 2011. Lucite is a solid, transparent plastic, seen everywhere from necklaces to earrings to bangles to high heels. The fun look is a mix of sophistication and innocence. (Aren’t these similar to the plastic bangles I wore growing up?)

Add the two hot accessory trends of gold and lucite together, and you get some amazing modern jewelry.