Thanksgiving Weekend

Monday, November 30, 2015

 We sure managed to cram a heckuva lot of fun into a long Thanksgiving weekend around our parts. Juston was off work Thursday and Friday so it was so nice having the lazy mornings together. He actually decided to forego hunting a whole weekend to be home when Caroline and I woke up in the mornings. We're not that lucky most weekends during hunting season. Thursday, we had plans to meet my family at my parents house for Thanksgiving lunch. I bring a dessert and a few sides, most of which I had prepared the night before so I wouldn't be stressing out and running around like a crazy lady the morning of. It ended up being such a great meal, like it always is when my mom cooks and it's just always so nice all of us gathering around the table for a meal. I'd love to do it that way with the whole family every Sunday, but with my sister's kids schedules, it's nearly impossible. 


Can you find Catty Cat? He probably wasn't too happy with me getting rid of the fall decorations this week. He's taken up residence in the hay bail since we put it out at the end of September. We saved the hay to put into the dogs house and made the car a little bed of hay, too, so hopefully he's not too mad at me. 


Thanksgiving day outfit. Leggings are indeed pants on Thanksgiving. Not any other day though. Pearl necklace is Beaufort Linen Company. Vest is Patagonia from Moosejaw. Chambray is J Crew Factory. Leggings are Gap and Boots are Target. 

Me, my parents and my sister. 




It's blurry, but the only one I got of the three of us that day. 

When we got home Thursday evening, I got right to the business of getting the Thanksgiving decor taken down and put away to get the house tidied up and ready for the Christmas decorations. My goal Thursday was primarily to get the trees up after sweeping and mopping the floors. We do our big tree in the living room, a small "Charlie Brown" tree in Caroline's room that she decorates herself and then Juston does his Redneck Christmas tree in the basement. I'll have to share that one with y'all once he gets it all done. 

Friday we actually got the trees decorated, but not before finding a special guest in the tree that morning.  Atticue Finch the elf is back in town and he brought Caroline a Cow Tail (her new favorite treat), all the way from the North Pole. She just kept giggling when she saw him and it was just precious. 


 After I hit the gym for awhile to make amends for my piggy ways the day before, we got to decorating. 

Caroline's tree. 


Caroline was actually a big help decorating the big tree this year. If I remember right, she wasn't very into it last year after just a few minutes and peaced out. But this year, she helped for a good long time and really got into it. She was making up stories about where each ornament came from and by the time she finished, the tree was a bit bottom heavy, but I love it. 


Saturday night we headed to Lexington's Horse Park to catch the Southern Lights. We've gone every year for a long time now. My parents rode with us and we followed my sister and her family. After driving through all the lights, we headed inside for the attractions. 





Saturday, we cashed in on Juston's anniversary gift and headed to Knoxville to watch the Vols take on Vandy at Neyland. My husband has loved Tennessee football his whole life, so it's always fun to surprise him with a trip to Knoxville. This trip was extra special though because we decided to bring Caroline along for our first family football game. It was a great atmosphere as usual, we made some new friends once we got to our seats and the Vols got a W. Caroline really loved it. We did leave right after the 4th quarter started, but I think she could have lasted the whole game, we were more just trying to beat the crazy traffic after the game. 




Sunday, more Christmas decor went up, I got in another great workout and we lazed around watching Disney Junior and relaxing. I did get a bit of present wrapping done, but nowhere near enough. I was busted by Juston and Caroline so that had to be put on hold for now. I can't believe the holidays are here. I feel like it was just summer yesterday, but ready or not, it's time to deck the halls. Hope everyone's holiday was restful and wonderful. 

Five on Friday

Friday, November 27, 2015

One,


Anybody else feeling about like the fluffy cat after Thanksgiving besides me? Oh. My. Word. I ate way too much food yesterday and I sort of don't even feel bad about it. I did report to the gym today to repent. The way I see it, I work out all the time and eat relatively well most of the time so I'm sure going to enjoy the holiday when it rolls around. 

Two.


I don't know about everyone else, but you couldn't pay me good money to go out on Black Friday and shop. I don't like crowds, early mornings or rude people so it's definitely not my scene. But, Small Business Saturday is a shopping cause I can get behind! I love supporting small businesses and have met some great friends from frequenting some local shops while traveling.  Plus, you can usually find so many more unique finds.  Juston and I will be on the road most of the day tomorrow, but I plan to hit up a few of my favorite small business websites from the highway. A few of my favorites:


Three.



So after about three years of starting to do it, but ending up not at the last minute for various reasons, I've finally signed up to take classes and get my real estate license. I work part time now and stay pretty flexible, but I really wanted to take on something that would be just as flexible, but allow me to put a little bit of money away for savings and travel and other things like decorating the house. I've always been so interested in houses, particularly historical properties, and could see myself taking on some rental properties as well. I'd love to be able to get more into design work someday, too, but this really just isn't the area for that sort of thing. I should be finished with classes and ready to take my exam around May/ June. It's certainly going to be a busy spring and summer around here, but all good things. 

Four. 


I was feeling a little crafty in the kitchen for Thanksgiving, so I made this fruit turkey for an appetizer. It was so fast and so easy, but no one ate any of it! haha. I didn't get finished making my sides and getting everyone ready until right at noon, so by the time we got to my parents, all the food was ready, no need for appetizers. Oh well, I'm enjoying some fruit now at least. Next year, I'll make it and take it the day before so it's already there and ready for snacking. 

Five.



I'm so excited that the holidays are here and so excited for all of our family traditions. Outside of decorating, I'm most excited for the scents of the season, mainly baking scents, but I'm also going to give this seasonal scent recipe a try to make the house smell Heavenly. I envision this bubbling on the stove while I sit wrapping Christmas presents with Christmas music playing in the background. But in all likelihood, nothing nearly that relaxing or picture perfect will happen. I'm still making the dang potpourri! Hope everyone's Thanksgiving was fabulous and you enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend. 












Current Beauty Favorites

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

I have never been much of a beauty product junkie at any point in my life. My everyday makeup effort usually included mascara, Vaseline on my lips and maybe some blush if I think I'll run into people. I have always cleaned my face with rubbing alcohol or soap so I'm not real high maintenance when beauty products are involved, but I've been getting more into playing around with makeup lately and trying new things. I joined a Makeup Group one of my friends has on Facebook and her looks are always incredible, so I have tried a few new things as a result of recommendations that have been made through that page and have found a few new favorite products and makeup that I've really liked, so I wanted to share some of them. I've included links to everything as well in case anyone is interested in giving any a try. 

 
With the recent drop in temperatures, my hair and skin are already drying out like crazy. Usually, as soon as the static starts in my hair, dry lips and hands are the next to come. This lip scrub has been really great so far. I also used the lotion below the last few winters and nothing has helped the dry skin on my hands more! 
 



Speaking of hair static, last winter, I was talking to my hair dresser about how I always used tons of hairspray in the winter in an effort to keep my static under control. She looked at my like I was a nut and told me that wouldn't help, to use leave-in conditioner. I'd always used conditioner sparingly because it tends to make my hair look greasy super fast, but I tried an Aveeno brand leave-in spray conditioner and it has really helped with keeping my static in check...at least until I put something fleece on or forget to put a dryer sheet in the dryer, then all bets are off.

 



I have tried so many mascaras in the past few months, but I always come back to this one. It's hands down my favorite and I love that it's cheap by comparison and I can grab it at the grocery store. It is weird when it washes off because all the little lash fibers come off and it looks like your lashes are coming out, but it's not and it washes off so clean with warm water and little effort. This is the only mascara I have that doesn't leave racoon rings the next morning if it's not all completely washed off. 



 
I don't wear foundation often at all, maybe once every other week and for special events, but I really like these makeup blending sponges when I do use it. 
 
 

I've talked about this palate recently, but I really do love it.  SO many great options you can create with it from everyday looks to more dramatic smoky eye looks.






The last two are pretty self explanatory, but still newer favorites that I tried as a result of my friend recommending them.  If you have any favorites you swear by and want to share, leave them in the comment section so I can give some new things a try.  
 


 


Life Lately

Monday, November 23, 2015

Been a hot minute since I've posted here, so I thought it was time to do a catch up. Last weekend, Juston and I attended his annual President's Gala to honor school supporters of each campus all around the state. It was in Lexington in the same building that houses Rupp Arena on the same night as a game, so there parking was fun. It's nice to get all gussied up every now and then. My parents kept Caroline for the evening for us. 

 My Dress is from Nordstrom by Dress the People I think. The sizing is SUPER weird on it. It says to order a size up from your regular size, but I have a pretty wide upper body, so I ended up going up two sizes from usual for fit up top but then the length was almost six inches too long and I didn't get it until the day before. A few well placed safety pins kept everything where it needed to be for the evening. Hah. I need to either learn to tailor or find a good one in town. My earrings and bracelet are Loren Hope. 



Caroline, for as much as she seemed to despise travel as a little baby, has surely changed her tune in her toddler years. She's always up for a road trip now and when we don't have one planned, she takes "pretend trips". She emerged from her bedroom one day wheeling this suitcase and told me she was going to Charleston to visit our friends Miss Kristy and Mr. Christian. Yes, we took the suitcase everywhere that day. 


She was so funny grocery shopping one day last week. We hit the cookie/ candy aisle and she picked up every type of Oreo package and finally I asked her what she was doing. She said, "Mama, I just want to smell them. I love oreos sooo much." I have no idea where that came from but it was hilarious. No, she did not get the oreos. 


Saturday, we had a mother-daughter-dolly tea party hosted by the local chapter of the AAUW. It was absolutely the cutest little event and the hosts left no stone unturned. I wore the outfit above. Dress is by Topshop and runs pretty true to size. My boots are Frye look-a-likes from Target. Necklace is old from a boutique. 

Here's a few pictures from the tea party. Sorry for the terrible quality, I only had my antique iPhone 4 with me. 




Each girl had her own placecard and place setting complete with tierra for their dolls. Next to each of their chairs, a high chair was attached to the table for their dolls to sit next to them. The girls all had tables together and the moms had their own tables close by. Each girl and her doll was introduced by a real English butler and escorted to her seat by a princess. 



There was an etiquette lesson before their tea and snacks were served and it was just about the cutest thing ever. The lady giving the etiquette lesson went over the use for each piece of silverware. Caroline picked each piece up and held it in the air until she started talking about the next pice. The girls all learned to properly curtsey and the art of writing Thank You notes. I can't say enough good things about this event, it was so well done.  



And check out the adorable cupcakes! That's an edible fondant tea set on top of the cupcakes. That was probably Caroline's favorite part of the event. 

Saturday evening, Juston and I had the Hospice of Hope gala here in town so that made two weekends in a row of getting dressed up and hitting the town;) 


I absolutely love this dress. It's Vince Camuto and I got it at Dillards a couple of weeks ago. My shoes are from Off Broadway and were only like $45. They look a lot like the gold bow Kate Spade shoes but for way less than half the cost. You can't tell from the picture, but my dress has the most beautiful jeweled collar. 


On Sunday morning, Caroline's Godsighters class was performing the songs they have been learning during church for everyone to see. She's the youngest one in her class so I'm always interested to see what she'll do with these types of situations. She stood right up there in front of the whole congregation and did her dance moves and sang with everyone else and I was so proud. She gave her fan section (my family in the balcony) a shout out on her way back down the aisle. 


I'm super excited for a bit of a slow down this week and really looking forward to having Juston home a few extra days, spending some quality time with my family and tearing up some amazing food! I have four things to make and take to Mom and Dad's for Thanksgiving Day, most of which I'll probably make ahead on Wednesday except my mashed potatoes. I hope everyone has a relaxing week filled with food, fellowship and family! Hopefully, I'll manage to post a little bit more this week.





Loving Lately

Thursday, November 12, 2015

I have found a few products, projects and items lately that I have just been loving so far, so I thought I would share a few of them with y'all in case anyone is looking for some of these things I'm sharing. 




I was in a shop in Lexington last week and came across these Tervis Tumbler sippy cups and just had to give one a try. Now, they are pricey at around $20 for the lady bug cup I picked up, but we have tried and tossed so many sippy cups that in my mind, if this one works well, it's worth investing in it to me because it's something Caroline literally will use every day. We've been using it for about a week now and so far love it. Our everyday drink cups are our monogrammed tumblers we got from our wedding, so I knew I was getting quality with this brand and it has been worth it. I may invest in one more since we will likely be using sippy cups for a while longer. The ones I've linked above from Amazon are a bit cheaper in the $15-17 range. 



I'm not a huge makeup person on a day-to-day basis, but I do have occasions a few times a week that will warrant me putting it on and recently a friend recommended this Lorac Pro Palette and I absolutely LOVE it! I've been using the Naked 3 palette for a while now, but this one is so much better in my opinion. There's no fallout when you're applying it and the colors show so well and stay all day without settling. I can't recommend this enough and there's any color you could want. 




I got Caroline these tennis shoes a couple of months ago and they have been my favorite tennis shoes for her so far. They have a really wide sole and are so easy to slip on and off. They come in a few color options for boys and girls, but I always seem to get pink tennis shoes for Caroline and myself :)


My loving lately isn't just purchases, I've been in such a baking mood lately! Something about the weather turning cool makes me so eager to get in the kitchen and work, particularly baking. I made these cinnamon rolls last week when my sister's kids spent the night. I'll only make things like this when there are plenty of people to share with! I will share the recipe for these next week. 


Crafting. I've been searching Pinterest for some seasonal crafty projects I can do for and with Caroline and I think making one of these little feather headbands is at the top of the list presently. It would be a great little tool to use to begin introducing the meaning behind Thanksgiving to a toddler. I image link doesn't offer any instructions, only the photo, but I think it will be simple enough to figure out, so a trip to the hobby store will be in the near future. I could see my nieces enjoying helping with this as well as a way to keep busy while the mama's get all the Thanksgiving fixin's ready. 

Well, I've rambled on long enough I suppose, but if you've got anything you're loving lately, share in the comments so I can check some new ideas or activities out!




Workout Wednesday

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

I used to share some easy at home workouts on here pretty frequently, but have gotten away from it in recent months, which is ironic because I'm working out more now than I have in quite some time. I have intentions of sharing my weekly workouts as well in case anyone is looking for a plan to follow. I try to change things up pretty regularly to keep my body guessing. And just as an FYI, I've held Personal Training certifications from ACE, NCSF, the YMCA and group exercise certifications, so I am qualified to share in case that's ever a concern, but like with every other physical activity, if you have certain limitations, or are new, you may want to consult a physician to get a physical before starting in any program. And always remember, any activity is better than no activity. 

The workout I'm sharing today is an at home Leg Day workout. A quick Google or Youtube search of the exercise names will show you how to execute and I will do my best to include clear explanations as well. This workout is to be performed as a circuit, so as soon as you finish one move, immediately move on to the next one, etc. Once you've completed the entire list, start back at the beginning until you've done every exercise three times total. 


Breaking down each move...

Leg Bridges: Lying flay on your back, place your feet flat on the floor so that your knees are bent and heels are close to your glutes. Raise your hips to the ceiling and slowly return to the start position. For single leg bridges, cross your non working ankle over your working knee, raise hips towards ceiling and slowly lower to start position. 

Kneeling Glute Kickbacks: Get on the floor on hands and knees. One leg at a time and with a flexed foot, press through your heel straight up towards the ceiling. Note that the range of motion on this move is fairly small, maybe a few inches. You can lower your leg back to the ground between each rep, however, keeping your leg up the entire time and your range of motion small will keep your glutes and hamstrings engaged and working the entire time. 

Side Plank Leg Lifts: Assume a side plank position. To modify, lower your bottom leg's knee to the ground while keeping your top leg straight. If you don't need the modification, keep both legs stacked and straight, pulled forward slightly so that you can see your feet when you look down. Keep your hip raised off the ground the entire time. Top leg only will lift slowly up with a flexed foot and lower back to start position. 

Jump Lunges: These are a more advanced move and can simply be replaced with stationary lunges if needed. For jump lunges, start in a lunge position with either leg in front you wish to start with. Jump as high as you can, driving off through your toes, then switch your legs in the air so that your other leg is now in front when you land back in the lunge position. 

Lunge Driver Jumps:  Another more advanced move here that requires a lot of balance. I really love these. Start with either leg you wish in front in the lunge position and this leg will stay in front for all 10 reps, before you switch to the other leg for ten reps. For the driver jumps, lower into the lunge position (front knee never goes forward of your toes. If you look down when lunging, you should still be able to see your big toe). As you drive off the ground through your front toe to jump, your back knee will drive up into a high knee position and you will land back in your starting position. These happen fast, so I hope that explanation made sense. To modify this move, you can just do a lunge, then when you stand, raise your back knee up before returning to start position. 

Lean Backs: These will target your quads and hamstrings a bit as well. You kneel, bringing your heels together behind you with your knees about hip width apart. You want to keep a straight line from your head down through your hips as you lean back slowly, then slowly return to the starting position. It's important that you don't drop your hips here. Your glutes should never be near your heels in this move. 

Squat Jumps: These are exactly what they sound like. Start with your feet hip width apart, Lower into a squat position making sure that your knees stay behind your toes at the bottom of the move. Think about dropping your hind end towards the ground. From that squat position, simply jump striaght up, then land back in the squat position. 

Single Leg Toe Touches: Think of these like a single leg deadlift, just without weight. You can always add dumbbells to this move or a kettlebell if you want to up the intensity a bit. You want your standing leg to be soft, in other words, your knee is slightly bent. If you stand on your right leg to start, hold your right arm out in a T straight to your side. Your left arm will reach for your toes as you slowly bend forward, raising your left leg straight behind you. 

 
 Calf Raises: Stand on a step so that the balls of you feet are on the step, but your heels are hanging off. Raise up to your tippy toes, then slowly lower back down. 

The biggest things with most of these moves is to perform them in a slow and controlled manner. With the exception of the jumping and explosive moves, you can make them more difficult by holding a pair of dumbbells for added resistance. Let me know if anything doesn't make sense!

And finally, but more importantly today, Happy Veterans Day to all those who have served and are serving in our military. Y'all are what makes this country great. 


 



Weekend

Monday, November 9, 2015

I swear, I love keeping busy and socializing and having things to do, but we have done nothing but RUN these last few months. Last week, I had to be out of town for something every single day and I am so ready for a little slow down this week. Caroline and I spent the day in Lexington Friday and did a little bit of Christmas shopping, and then Saturday, we headed to Montgomery County to watch one of my cheerleading teams compete in their Regional competition. They absolutely could not have performed any better than they did. I can't tell you the last time a performance by a group of my athletes brought me to tears, but these girls did it this weekend.

 

Cheerleading has been such a huge and important part of my life for decades now and I can't imagine not being a part of it in some capacity. Doing it as a coach is such a fulfilling job because you watch these kids grow not only as athletes, but also into young adulthood and being part of a team sport like cheer, they learn so many life lessons that will carry them through some important times in their futures. These kids have seen more injuries in their few months together than any other team I have coached and they still somehow managed to pull out a nearly perfect performance. They finished second in their division, which means no bid to State, but we are competing again next weekend and each time they take the mat and perform, they get more confident in themselves and their team and it's a magical thing to watch. I'm not kidding when I say all of those girl and every coach was crying like a little baby after they came off the mat. They were just so proud of themselves and those are the moments you live for as a coach. 




After the competition, Caroline and I stopped to grab a bite a Cracker Barrel before heading home. I barely made it home in time to get my workout in, but we made it work. 

Sunday, we had some friends out for a fish fry and after that was over, I worked a little bit more on fluffing up the guest bathroom.  It's so close to being finished now, and I probably would have completed it this weekend, but the fabric I ordered to make the shower curtains with turned up a whole yard short when I started measuring to cut. So now I'm going to have to ship the fabric back and wait for them to send me the right amount so I can wrap it up, then hopefully finally finish the Master Bathroom after that.

How adorable is this hand towel from Number Four Eleven?! They make the most gorgeous monogrammed linens and gifts. I'm going to have to order a second one though because when I first started the guest bathroom, I had a towel ring and only needed one towel, but I moved the towel ring to the master bath, and moved the towel rod from the Master Bath and into the guest bath, so now a second towel is needed. I'm just going to order another of this exact one and hang them side by side. It takes four weeks for this model to ship though, so I better get on that. I'd like to have all of my current projects wrapped up before the Holidays.



The lighting is terrible and doesn't do this fabric a bit of justice, but here is the cornice Juston and I made. He cut the wood and I did the fabric and covering. I just love the way it looks. We went ahead and hung this up even though the curtains aren't finished. I'm the most impatient person ever. 


And finally, this gorgeous art from my friend Erin with Erin M Art. I have a few of her pieces around the house, so I just knew I wanted to add some to the Guest Bath as well and these fit in with the navy color palate perfectly.  

And finally, Anthropologie is having a sale that ends today so I thought I'd share a few tops I've snagged recently that are 20% off, but it ends today!

                                     Tie Neck Blouse                                Fauna Tunic

    Pineapple Top 
                       Peasant Top


Hope everyone's week is off to a great start.