everyday inspiration

Posts tagged “birthday

30 Before 30

As I head into the last year of my 20s, I decided to create a list of things to do before I turn 30 in January. Thanks to literally everyone for helping me come up with this list. I think it’s realistic to accomplish in a year, yet will be challenging. I’ll provide a few updates throughout the year as I check things off. Starting with #1 …

[husband’s 30th]

    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.
    3. Hike Pinnacle Mountain + eat a Hubcap burger at Cotham’s. This one stems back to my Arkansas Bucket List from a few years ago, and is one thing I really wanted to do that I never got to check off my list. This is the year!
    4. Successfully do a one-armed push-up.
    5. See a critically acclaimed show.
    6. Volunteer 30 hours.
    7. Buy all my friends a round, randomly.
    8. Play video games with husband for a night, complete with pizza + beer.
    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. This is one husband has been pushing me to do for years.
    16. Win at least 1 trivia night.
    17. Write 30 handwritten letters.
    18. Take a dance class.
    19. Go to a movie solo.
    20. Run 30 miles. I’m not a runner. So, no judgment please on “only 30?!”
    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 truly scare me.
    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 state I’ve never been to.
    25. Take a personal day, for no reason at all.
    26. Challenge myself with a new hobby.
    27. See someone in concert I’ve been dying to see.
    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.
    30. Plan a huge 30th birthday bash.

xo xo

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Weekend Picturebook: Lake Tahoe

The BEST weekend with LITERALLY everyone.

T H U R S D A Y 

[first stop: truckee! the cutest little town ever.
lunch: bar of america with the best jalapeño poppers on the planet, wine: pour house wine shop]

[first night in the hot tub – complete with snow angels…]

 F R I D A Y 
[my birthday!]

[could we have asked for better views to wake up to?! all the heart eyes.] [snowmobiling with these two was so fun! it was seriously a winter wonderland]

[and here’s the rest of our crew skiing/snowboarding at squaw valley!]

[post-snowmobiling bloody mary]


[birthday dinner at bridgetender tavern + a robust discussion on my 30 before 30 (another blog post to come soon)]

S A T U R D A Y 

[shopping in truckee – yes, I came home with both of these purchases (and more!!)]

[met the crew for lunch at Squaw – ate some of the best pizza + tried on literally a million hats][final night – dancing + drinks on the patio!]

[sunset in the hot tub …
and not thinking about how rough it will be to come home!]

xo xo

You might also enjoy: Weekend Picturebook: NYC


Christmas + NYE Picturebook

C H R I S T M A S 

[the start of Christmas break means Mom’s birthday – fun celebration at Midici!]

[Christmas Eve with this wonderful family + a new baking favorite: salted caramel cookies]

[Christmas morning love]

[celebrating Christmas evening with another wonderful family]

B I G  C E D A R
[a few days of rest and relaxation at this amazing place]


N Y E
[the best Hotarman-masquerade house party ever]

[Cheers to 2018!]

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


I Went to Trader Joe’s For The First Time With a Fanatic, and Now I’m a Fanatic Too

You saw the title of this blog, and you’re thinking one of two things right now  –

Person 1: OMG I love TJs too! It’s amazing!!

Person 2: I really don’t understand the hype. It’s a GROCERY STORE.

Well, this is the story of how I turned from person 2 to person 1 within hours, thanks to my dear friend Samantha. (And yes, I now lovingly call it TJs, like all the cool people.)

How this trip came to be: Samantha is obsessed with TJs and was telling me how one was opening in Tulsa  and how excited she was. I’d never been, and her birthday was coming up, so I decided my birthday present to her would be to take her on a road trip to Tulsa for the day so we could go. Some people thought this was weird to drive 2 hours solely for a grocery store, but it’s me and Samantha – the same people who took a day off of work solely to have a Stars Hollow Staycation aka Gilmore Girls marathon.

The week before our trip, Samantha sent me a text with her TJs list. My jaw literally fell to the floor. It had 49 things listed. Not just things she’d purchased before, but also things from TJ “best-of” lists. I responded with my list:

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This was one thing I did know about Trader Joe’s – Two-Buck Chuck ($2 wine!). I couldn’t wait to buy a case for only $24 purely to keep my wine rack full. Come to find out, due to some crazy Oklahoma laws, they don’t even sell it in this store. Needless to say, I was devastated. However, we continued on and made the journey to Tulsa.

You guys. This store is a GOLD MINE. There are so many unique finds here and for so cheap!! Case in point, Samantha had read about pickle flavored popcorn. Sounds weird/most likely disgusting, right? Well, we get in the store and it’s proudly displayed on an endcap for only $1.99. One dollar, and ninety-nine cents. So obviously, I had to try it, right?! Let me tell you – if you like pickles, and you like popcorn, you will love this stuff!!

IMG_0513{Yes, we took a selfie with the popcorn}

Other items purchased include: Scandinavian Swimmers, Frozen Macarons, Pear Champagne Dressing, Brownie Bites with Sea Salt, Porcini Mushroom Pasta, Dried Mango, Fancy Almonds, Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, Burrata and Prosciutto Pizza …. the list goes on.

We spent an hour and a half in the store, spent way more money than both of us were anticipating, and filled my Mini Cooper to the brim (including two coolers in my trunk).

And we had so much fun! Seriously. I was pretty much a convert when I stepped in the door, but it certainly didn’t hurt to have a fanatical friend show me all the exciting finds and to peruse the store with in search of new finds.

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IMG_0512{before and after}

Happy GOLDEN birthday, Samantha! I hope our trip to TJs makes the list of memorable birthday adventures.

And to anyone else who has a birthday coming up and going to TJs is your birthday wish, call me.

xo xo


Picturebook: Birthday Week + NYC

B I R T H D A Y  W E E K 

IMG_9825[kinky boots + bordino’s with the family]

IMG_9842[birthday tradition: hostess cupcake in bed]

IMG_9850[the best surprise at work!]

0F5DF980-2955-4FE5-952C-5C64534281FF
IMG_9887

IMG_9899[drove a van to downstream casino, ate, drank, gambled, danced, partied like I was 27]

N E W  Y O R K  C I T Y
(work trips can be fun too)

IMG_9996

[it may be touristy, but I still love times square]

IMG_9990[dinner at serafina]

IMG_0008[meetings at hearst tower – dreary day, but still amazing central park views]

IMG_0028[lunch at carnegie deli – pastrami + pickles]

IMG_0013[our hotel was right next to colbert, so we might have hung out near the talent access door a few times to have a celeb sighting, which we did – bernie sanders!]

IMG_0014[dinner at greek restaurant uncle nick’s – I will dream about this fried cheese!]

IMG_0023[obviously couldn’t leave without a bagel (or two)]

IMG_0048[had to wear my favorite shirt from shop written – new york, los angeles, bentonville]

IMG_0062[it sure was cold, but can’t leave NYC without a walk through central park (especially for levain cookies!!)]

xo xo


Golden Birthday Party [Details]

A few things about me: I love birthdays. I love parties. I love hosting people. I love gold.

Thus, the golden birthday party was born.

As a birthday present to myself, I decided to host a birthday party at our house. It was my GOLDEN birthday after all. For those who don’t know what that is – it’s when you turn the age of your birth date, in my case 26 on the 26th.

I’ve been planning this party for months, even sending out the save the date in December. I’ll be posting a blog later with all my party planning tips, but for now enjoy all the golden details!

 D E C O R

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{These gold wine bottles were my favorite and I can’t wait to use them again. They were also insanely easy to make. Take the wine bottle, cover it using spray glue, then pour TONS of glitter on top. Voila!}

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{More wine bottle decor and a beautiful banner from Etsy}

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{Bathroom details – print from Etsy}

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{No party is complete without a photo booth! Make sure to have lots of props (the more random the better), and clearly showcase the event hashtag so people remember to post their photos.}

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Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 6.09.29 PM
 {Gold spray painted and glittered snowflakes. Bought the wooden snowflakes from a local boutique, then DIYed them gold!}

Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 5.51.16 PM

{Birthday Wall! Probably my favorite thing of the night – hang black butcher paper and have gold sharpies for guests to leave you a birthday message!}

F O O D + D R I N K

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{Of course there has to be a gold cake for a golden birthday!}

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{and my favorite dessert – macaroons, dusted in gold shimmer!}

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{Spray paint mason jars for straw and fork holders – so easy and chic. Napkins from Swoozy.com}

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{Gold solo cups (obviously)}

Not pictured: Keg of Golden Ale + Gold Jell-O Shots

E T C .

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{One of my favorite birthday gifts – a polaroid camera! to capture the night in a unique way}

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{Dress from Rent the Runway}

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{black and gold nails on fleek}

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{and of course, my best accessory!}

xo xo