Tuesday Thoughts

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

I had plans to share a breakfast recipe with y'all today, but after searching for the pictures I snapped I've had no luck finding them on my computer, so instead, I'm going to share some things I found while perusing the interwebs as sleep eluded me at one o'clock this morning. 

First, you have to read these hilarious memes about parenthood, you will crack up at a few of them because there is so much truth. Here's a few of my favorites.

Ya feel me fellow stay at home mamas?

Caroline walks into my ALL the time when we're just busying around the house so this one spoke to me.

Okay, so I still decorated Carter's nursery, but I wasn't nearly as rushed to do it as I was with Caroline. I think hers was finished when I was about six or seven months along. 

I found this list of 60 things to throw out in the next 60 days. Isn't it amazing the effect that clearing away clutter has on your overall mood? I don't know about you, but if my home/car/inbox/mind get too overcome with stuff I just start to feel claustrophobic. Also, being the Lent season, it's a great time to donate things and clear out your spaces anyway. 

Speaking of Lent, Happy fat Tuesday! Who is eating King Cake this year? I usually have everyone out for dinner on Fat Tuesday, but my parents are in the middle of having some major work done on their home, my husband lives in another city most of the time, I have to keep my house clean for showings right now and it's just overall crazy, so I hate it, but we're forgoing the celebration dinner this year around here. 

Finally, how much do I wish I could just climb into this gorgeous picture and live? So dreamy. 

Recent Reads and Random Things

Monday, February 27, 2017

I've finished a couple of books since the new year began and thought I would share what I've been reading here with y'all today. I really enjoy reading all sorts of genres, but typically stick to the more light-hearted stuff. First up:

Southern Solstice by Sarah Sadler. I saw someone post about this book on Instagram and decided, what the heck. I'd never heard of it or the author before, and since this is her first book, I suppose that makes sense (she has another now available for purchase with a third releasing sometime this spring as well). I have to say, at first, I didn't think I was going to enjoy this one; there were lots of little editing errors that always throw me out of a story and the writing in the first few pages almost seemed like it was trying SO hard to convey "Southernness" that it didn't feel inherently Southern if that makes any sense, but I stuck with it and after about the first four chapters found myself really enjoying the book. The story follows main character Larkin through a broken engagement and subsequent move back to her hometown of Charleston, SC (location being my main reason in choosing this book). There are some fun and colorful characters like Larkin's mother Bunny and her best friend Priss. Of course, there is a love interest in the plot line, plus another love interest for good measure. Overall, I'd recommend this one, I ended up enjoying the book. 

Of course, Chip and Jojo's book was my first read of the new year and I have to say, I didn't think I could love them anymore than I already did, but this book proved that I could love them more! It's an account of their beginning as a couple, the beginning of the business and how God's plans turned out to be the best laid plans of all. If you enjoy their show, this book reads like their interview portion and I just heard their voices in my head as I was reading it. I would think that even if you aren't an avid watcher of the show, you could still find some really great life takeaways from this book. Definitely recommend this and I passed my copy along to my mama who has already finished it as well.

And for the random tidbits...

Carter turned ten months old yesterday and started taking a few steps last week as well. It's so funny, Caroline took her first steps three days before turning eleven months, and Carter took his first few steps three days before turning ten months. That boy is trying to keep up with his sister.

After a glorious long stretch of temperatures in the upper 60's and low to mid-seventies, we had a cold snap this weekend which automatically put me in the mood to make vegetable soup. I've been making my mom's tomato based recipe the last few times, but decided to go back to my old standby broth-based that I always used to use and gosh it's just so good. What veggies do y'all put in your veggie soup? This time I did carrots, tomatoes, okra, butter beans, onion, corn and green beans. I love how you can just tailor veggie soup to your likes and dislikes. It's as unique as whoever makes it I suppose. I also put beef cubes and egg noodles in mine along with a ton of spices.

I'll be doing my first showing of our house this week and I'm equal parts excited and apprehensive about it. It will also be my first showing since getting my real estate license a few months ago. I've been shadowing with my broker a bit as time allows and learning the ropes so that I feel really prepared when I get my first listing. But the apprehension comes more from the fact that once we find a buyer for this house, we really are going to have to move :( I guess it's just one more step towards the reality of leaving this chapter of our lives and moving on to the next.

Lastly, I thought I'd share a few of my red carpet favorites from the Oscars last night. I never watch the show, or usually the red carpet for that matter, but I love looking at the fashion after the fact. And what about the poor cast and crew of La La Land thinking they'd won Best Picture for a hot second?! I read that the presenters were given the wrong card to read, so that's how it happened.



I love how Old Hollywood glam all those ladies above look. Nothing really wowed me that I saw, but everyone looked beautiful. 

Recent Acquisitions

Saturday, February 25, 2017

I've picked up a few things online recently and thought I'd share what I snagged with y'all since some of it is on sale right now. 

I just can't say no when pearls are involved. I got the smallest size. The large size is comparable to all of the bon bon earrings all the style bloggers have been wearing lately for reference. 

I'm also loving this Saratoga bracelet but didn't get it. I like that it's just very simple and feminine. And through the weekend, you get 25% off anything on Moon and Lola's site with the code 'Oscars2017'

How fun and versatile are these Sam and Libby Ester heels from Target?! And only $33. I haven't received them yet, so I can't testify to the quality, but I will once I receive them. I think they'll be super cute for springtime and maybe with my Easter dress (once I find one). 

These sunnies are a major steal at $24! They look like Karen Walker but won't hurt when I inevitably lose them or get them swiped off my face by a certain grabby but handsome little baby boy. They're from Nordstrom. I also have this dress on my Nordy's wishlist but haven't purchased it...

It's so cute and summery and I just love the tie detail on the sleeves. . It would be cute dressed up with wedges and those drop pear earrings pictured above, or dressed down with some sandals and simple accessories. 

And if you've been reading here any amount of time, you know my love for Beaufort Linen Company! I can always find a thing or twelve when I browse their online shop and I picked up this shirt a few weeks ago but it sold out almost immediately...

Well, it's back in stock now and in another patterned option as well. It's such a great basic shirt with endless possibilities. Cute with some distressed jeans and fun, bold accessories, like maybe these fun Lisi Lerch earrings, also at Beaufort Linen. 

Well, that's it for today. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Spring is in the Air

Friday, February 24, 2017

I know there's still technically a few weeks of winter left, but this weather has got me feeling spring something fierce. The crocus and daffodils are just starting to open up everywhere, buds have started sprouting on all of the trees and flowering plants and it is sunny and mid-seventies outside. I currently have the windows open in the house and can't stop smiling. I just adore this time of year. We've been out for a walk and swing set time almost every day this week and it's my favorite time of year to run outside. I've managed six outside miles this week so far and plan on another few over the weekend. 

Spring always puts me in the mood to do a few things:

I have been a cleaning and organizing fool. Moving has ramped this feeling up even more because I am determined get this house sparkling clean for any showing and subsequently for the next owners. 

Plan Trips//
So far on the agenda, we have Alabama and Charleston in March, then New Orleans in April and our family beach vacation in early June, most likely to Outer Banks this summer. I'm hoping to work in a short weekend trip to North Carolina at some point in April as well. 

Overhaul the kids wardrobes since they've outgrown everything//
Kids sure do grow quick, don't they? You blink and you're cleaning out another season's worth of clothes and shoes to box up and put away. It's always so bittersweet cleaning out the kids closets because as I'm folding up little outfits, I think of all the memories associated with them and obviosuly, just how quickly it's all passing by. 

Purge my closets//
Again, probable amplified since we are moving, but I have been cleaning out my closet and listing tons of things to my Poshmark (jenapate) and getting donation piles ready as well. It's so strange, but I develop weird emotional attachments to articles of clothing. Like, I still have things from high school that I just can't part with for one reason or another. Am I the only one like this? But I'm doing better. So far I've managed to weed out lots of clothes I still had from college that I just felt weren't really age appropritate or my style anymore (you know you're getting old when...)

I love how just moving things from one room to another or just adding some fun finds from local shops can change the feel of a space. I'm trying not to do too awful much of this as I know we will just be packing it all up soon anyway. As much as I don't want to leave my home and don't want to move, I'll have fun decorating a new home. 

Work out//
I'm the type of person who actually enjoys working out most of the time, but something about spring makes me ready to mix things up...try new classes, change my run course, alter the types of weight workouts I'm doing. I just really enjoy the feeling of everything being fresh and new this time of year. 

So even though it's supposed to cool off the next couple of days, "no matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow." 

Weekend Recap

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Man, long weekends are just the best...especially when they coincide with 60+ degree sunny weather in February. I may just be jinxing us, but I think spring may be springing early around these parts. To spite the holiday weekend, I'm pretty sure it passed just as quickly as all the rest, but we sure were happy to have Juston home with us an extra day. 

We spent most of the day Saturday doing some cleaning, playing, I went for a run and hit the gym and made cheeseburger meatloaf for dinner...one of our favorites. I feel like meatloaf just looks and sounds so gross, but I can't help but to love it. 

Sunday, we headed to Lexington to meet Juston's mom for a quick lunch at The Cheesecake Factory. I swore to myself after lunch that I was hopping back aboard the healthy eating train. I don't really eat that bad, I just feel like I need to start eating so much more of the goo for you stuff. I know I'm not eating enough fruits and vegetables lately or drinking enough water and to spite my fairly consistent workout schedule, it's not going to cut it come swimsuit season, which will be here in no time. So, I'm browsing my trusty Pinterest boards in search of some good salad recipes for myself. I usually choose salad recipes that include grilled chicken so I can just give Caroline a chicken and fix her a side or two to make meal prep easier. Of course, she'd be happy with hot dogs and rice for every single meal. I never thought my child would have a hot dog/ carb diet because she used to eat every single thing I'd cook, but alas, here we are.  

Juston got a lesson in the fine art of helping a lady out with her necklace. Such a good daddy. 

My boys before lunch Sunday. I've clearly rubbed off on Juston over the years because he came out ready to hit the road Sunday and matched the outfit I'd put on Carter unintentionally. I sure loved color coordinated family photo ops....but my kids do not. 

Monday, when Carter went down for his nap, Juston took Caroline and my sister's oldest two kids and they all went fishing. My nephew started fishing with Juston a few years ago and has been eaten up with it ever since. I'm pretty sure he'd never stop except to clean them and eat them. Caroline didn't have any luck catching her own fish, but she did help Bryan reel one of his in and she caught a snake ;) Actually, she caught some algea that the kids convinced her was a snake because she was a little disappointed at not having caught anything herself. 

That little shirt she's wearing is by Prodoh kids and it has SPF protection built into it. We had it for the beach last summer and it's great for fishing and boating as well. We've gotten so much use out of it already. Carter has one in blue. 

Lastly, I can't be the only adult that is over the moon excited about the new Beauty and the Beast movie coming out soon, right? Belle was, is and always will be my favorite princess. I mean, I spent the better part of the nineties wanting to be her, so this movie will hopefully live up to my expectations. The preview looks SO good! Oh, and we officially got our new (to us) house! Let the project list-making commence! Now, we just need to sell our current house and hopefully sooner rather than later!

House Dreaming

Thursday, February 16, 2017

If you read my post Wednesday, then you know we have honed in on a house that we are hoping will be ours within the next few weeks. Well, obviously, the first thing I did after seeing the house was start dreaming up ways we could put our stamp on it. I guess I should be honest; there are likely only a couple of things Juston would change, but I'm excited about the thought of really making this place feel like our own, not like someone else's house we moved into. 

Juston is probably the most practical person I've ever known, aside from my parents. I am probably not the most practical person he has ever known to say the least. But between my ideas and his handy man skills and thriftiness, I think we can really do a lot to bring the place up to date. I'm probably getting ahead of myself here because we have not closed on this place and anything can happen, but it's still fun to think and dream in the meantime. 

The place was built in 1990 and has a cape cod style with dormer windows at the top. Well, right now, everything just looks very brown about it. The brick has brown undertones, the shutters are tannish-brown, the landscaping is all brown right now since everything is dormant and it's just begging for some color. I'm not certain that we will paint the brick; my mama says that you just do NOT paint brick. I don't necessarily agree, but I'm going to start by painting the shutters and front door just to see the overall effect that has, then decide from there whether or not to paint the whole exterior. If we do end up painting the entire thing, the house below is definitely my inspiration for a color scheme. 

I'm fairly certain I'm going to have to add a couple of window boxes as a nod to my very favorite place, Charleston. Mine don't even compare to the ones you find around the peninsula, but it's still a nice little reminder. 

As far as front door colors, I'm loving anything in the haint blue color scheme like the door pictured above. I wouldn't rule out something in the green family or a coral tone either. I'd say the color I choose will largely depend on how generous Juston is feeling when we choose the color. I can't see him going for a coral front door based off of a paint swatch, but I think once it's done he wouldn't mind it. 

Moving on to the kitchen. I have always loved white cabinets in a kitchen. It just really brightens up the whole room and feels clean and airy. I can't decide whether I like the black or the white countertops better though. I know an all white kitchen with little kids might seem like a bad idea, but people do it everyday, it's good motivation to clean ;)

Then we will have a mudroom for the first time and I have had a lot of fun thinking of things we can do in there! I love the one pictured below. 

Then we have an entire unfinished basement that Juston has some big plans for. I love the idea of a blank slate down there and I really think it's a great opportunity for us to add some value to the home ourselves. 

Valentine's Day

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day yesterday! It's not really a holiday we ever celebrate, but with Juston gone a lot now for work, he wanted to surprise Caroline, so he took a half day yesterday and showed up at the front door with flowers, balloons, chocolates and gifts. I could have done without the chocolates, I've already eaten way too many. They may find their way into the garbage tomorrow, or at least into the back of a cabinet. I'm an 'out of sight, out of mind' kind of gal. 

Carter chose his stuffed animals to be his Valentine. It's the funniest/most pitiful thing, but we have this little Mickey Mouse car seat hanging toy that plays "You are my Sunshine" Well, every time I hold up that mouse and the song starts, Carter just gets SO sad. He will actually turn his little bottom lip inside out and start crying. I feel sort of mean doing it, but at this point, it is a little bit funny, too. Oh, and of all the days, Carter started giving kisses when we ask for them on Valentine's Day! My dad got him to start doing it this morning!

And some Valentine's Day outfits from the girls...I got Caroline's Lilly Pulitzer dress on major sale when she was probably a year old and I remember thinking, "well, it'll be forever before she can wear it, but it's a great deal." Well, I'll be doggonned if I didn't blink and here she is fitting into it. And those pants I'm wearing are the most amazingly comfy, but cute pants. They are from Beaufort Linen Company and my tank and sweater are both Lilly Pulitzer. My whole outfit was so comfy I actually felt like I was wearing pajamas around all day. 

Caroline was just so happy when she opened up the door to find her Daddy on the other side. I'll sure be glad when our living situation finds it's new normal and we're all under the same roof every night again. And speaking of houses, I think (fingers crossed) that we may have found our house. I don't want to put the cart before the horse, but we have put an offer in, it was accepted and now we're waiting on inspection and may have a new home in the next month or so. It's funny because I'm a real estate agent now, but this will be the first time I've ever house hunted and gone through the buying process myself. I moved out of my parents home and into an apartment for college, then moved back to my parents after I graduated until I could find a job (my plan had been to move to coastal North Carolina), but I ended up taking a job at our local YMCA as the Fitness Director and started dating Juston that very same month. We were engaged six months after that and after we got married, I moved into his house that he had just finished building, which is where we still live now. So it's been interesting going through this whole process for the first time. 

Anyway, hope everyone is having a great week so far! I hope top share some home updates as things move along. The house we're hoping to buy was built in 1990 and while it has had updates since then, we have a long list of projects we'd love to tackle with it to really make it our taste and make it feel like our home. 

Getting to Know Me

Monday, February 13, 2017

I always love when people do these "Getting to know me" type of posts, so I thought I'd do one today for anyone who's new here or just enjoys reading these sorts of things. So here goes...

1. What brings you the greatest joy? I find joy in lots of things, but I'd say my greatest joy comes from being with my family. Like my entire family...my parents, my sister and her fam and of course my little Pates and husband. 

2. What are your vices? Sweets and shopping, but not necessarily in that order. 

3. What is on your nightstand? A Rewined candle, the remote, a clock, a picture of us from our wedding and a bunch of sweetgrass flowers. 

4. Do you have a secret talent? Not unless you count still being able to tumble? I can crochet and smock but don't do either very often.

5. What is your greatest indulgence? Charleston. It has some of everything I love; amazing food, gorgeous architecture, incredible gardens, the best shopping and the beach. I feel like I'm living my best life anytime I'm in Charleston which is why I like to go so often. 

6. What should everyone try at least once in their life? Not giving a hoot what anyone else thinks. And TRAVEL!! Go everywhere you can while you can, there's so much to see and learn.

7. What makes you laugh? Few things get me going more than old episodes of America's Funniest Home Videos. Why is that show still not on? Lord knows people these days could stand to laugh more!

8. What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you? I don't know, I was a cheerleader in college, but most people who know me would know that. Oh, and I can play a mean fiddle. I was in the ororchestra in school for ten years.

9. What is on your bucket list? 
Flipping a house. It's something I've wanted to do since I found this show that used to be on TLC called The Real Estate Pros. I was still in college at the time and just fell in love with the idea of taking some old, run-down place and making it pretty again. Giving it a second chance at life and being a place someone would be glad to call their home. 

10. What is on your feet right now? Not a thing. I'm generally barefoot. 

11. How did you make your first dollar? I have no clue, probably babysitting or doing chores at home for my parents. 

12. What superstition do you believe in?
  I always throw spilled salt over my left shoulder without even realizing I'm doing it a lot of times. 

13. What items in your closet do you wear the most? 
Anything comfortable that I can work, run and workout in, so my Lululemon pants and t-shirts mostly. 

14. What is the best gift you’ve ever received?
 Probably from a practicality standpoint, the luggage set my parents gave me for high school graduation. Little did I know that luggage would accompany me on so many of the best memories in life to this point. I still use that same luggage today. I also have a special place in my heart for the push presents Juston gave me after each baby. After Caroline, I got a necklace with a diamond for Caroline and one for myself. Then for Carter, I got a ring with a diamond for each child and a larger center stone for myself. Makes having a third child very tempting if diamonds are the reward ;)

15. What is on your liquor shelf? Most likely every bourbon made in the great Commonwealth of Kentucky, but you'd have to ask my husband as I don't really keep up with it all. 

16. What is on your kitchen counter? A big ole mess right now. My mixer, tons of Carter's bottles, cookbooks and some mail.

17. What would you never leave home without? My car keys and my phone. I'm trying to get better about not leaving the house without at least a little bit of makeup. 


House Hunting Ain't for the Faint of Heart

Thursday, February 9, 2017

I think I've shared here already that Juston has a new job that is going to require us to relocate. Well, I was born and raised in the town in which we currently reside, my entire family lives here and I never really imagined us moving unless it was to the Carolina's. This is most certainly not to the Carolina's and to be perfectly honest, I don't want to move at all, but it's happening, so since early December, we have been searching for a place in our new city to no avail. I am probably every real estate agent's nightmare client (I hope not, but I am realistic). I'm not difficult in the sense that I'm hard to please, but I am in that I know exactly what I don't want and it's so common in homes anymore. 

I really had my heart set on a charming, historic home that we could move into, maybe do a little (or a lot) of work and just enjoy adding to the story of the home. I love old homes. The house I grew up in was built in the early 1900's and they just don't build them like they used to. Newer homes are great and I have nothing against them, but old homes have my heart. 

Well, the city we're moving to has a few older homes, but none for sale and many that once stood were bulldozed in the name of progress...don't even get me started on my thoughts about that. So, we've looked at probably 12-15 homes in the area and none of them really felt just right. I may be odd also in that I'd prefer a bit of  a fixer upper just so that we can put our stamp on the place and make it our own taste, so the thought of a complete kitchen or bathroom reno doesn't turn us off to a place...if anything it may make it more appealing. 

We have seriously run that gamut in the process. Step one was searching for a historic home, but that was no bueno due to the reasons above. Step two, we decided we would build a home to suit our needs and just find ways to build in character by incorporating old things accordingly. Well, land is a fortune and not readily available in the school district we think we want Caroline in when she starts in a year or two. This was a whole new facet for me, one because we are going to have a child in school that soon :( and two, the town I grew up in had two schools, public and private Catholic. This new place literally has like five elementary schools. Step three, our agent had two different older properties where the owners mentioned to him they were ready to sell, but hadn't listed them yet. He got pictures, sent them our way, I loved them...the owners in both instances decided they weren't quite ready to sell. Sigh. Step Four we decided to build again and just look at the land as an investment that would diversify our portfolio a bit, but after really talking about how long the building process would take, I decided I really didn't want our family to live apart for what could end up being a year. Step Five, back to looking at what was available and on the market. I still didn't love anything, but we got to a point of deciding to just put an offer in on something and resolving that we could move later on when/if the right one came available. We narrowed down to two that we really liked and decided to let the neighborhood be the deciding factor on which we would offer on first. We decided the max we were willing to spend on either home and if the first didn't work out, we'd move on to the other. These homes were so completely different from each other but we liked/disliked things about both, so either was a good option. Well, the first offer we put in was countered and they barely came down at all, so we offered on the second home, only to find out another offer had gone in on it the same day. They asked us if we'd want to up our offer given the circumstances. We decided to come in a bit under the max we thought the house was worth, and apparently, we were the lower of the two bids. So, then we went back to the first house we'd offered on and put in a higher offer, only to be countered again, still not much movement from the sellers. I'm being completely honest when I say that it was a great house, but truly not worth was they countered with. We decided to try one more time and came up a bit in price and told them it was our best and final. They must have thought we were kidding, because they countered us again and their counter was $4,000 over what we'd decided was the absolute most we would spend. With this house, it was so pretty from the outside, but the main floor just had the most odd layout. A lot of small rooms, but not a ton of usable space. The kitchen I really loved though, and the neighborhood was just the best we'd seen, so after figuring the monthly payment amount wouldn't be too much higher, we accepted. 

But we still have no house. We had a condition for a home inspection in our contract to purchase and after completing that step, we asked for some concessions to do necessary repairs the inspector found. Well, the sellers countered us yet again and something just didn't feel right to me at that point. Don't get me wrong, the house was really nice and we won't beat the neighborhood, but I just had this feeling I couldn't suppress that we needed to decline the counter and move on.  I can't explain it other than to say something just didn't feel right to me. 

So here we are, having made our way back to step one of this roller coaster that is relocating to a new city I know nothing about and trying to purchase a home for our family. Why can't this house be listed in our new town?

Recent OOTD's

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

I have been hoarding outfit pictures on my phone, but never thinking to transfer them here for a post, so for everyone out there who's been waiting with bated breath for some OOTD pics, this post is for you. Oh, and some of these date back to fall, ha. 

Gingham shirt, Vest, white jeans: All J Crew Factory | Shoes: Vans

Dress: Old Navy | Shoes: Tory Burch | Earrings: Old from Express

shirt: Annie Griffin Collection | Jeans: J Crew | Shoes: Sam Edelman from Blossom Shoes and Such in SC | Bracelets: Bourbon and Boweties | Necklace: John Wind from a boutique

Vest: Patagonia | Shirt: J Crew | Jeans: J Crew Factory | Boots and Belt: Target

Jacket: Ciao Milano from Sugar in SC | Jeans: J Crew Factrory | Booties: Target

Dress: Tyler Boe via Monkees of Lexington | Pearl Bracelet: Beaufort Linen Company | Boots: Target | Tassel Necklace: Bourbon and Boweties

Shirt: Copper Penny in CHS | Jeans: J Crew | Boots: Target | Bracelets: Bourbon and Boweties

Dress: Madewell | Shirt: J Crew | Boots: still Target

Jacket: Ciao Milano via Sugar in SC | Shirt: J Crew Factory | Pants: Gap | Shoes: New Balance for J Crew

Shirt: Copper Penny in CHS | Jeans: J Crew Toothpick | Boots: I wear these with everything apparently | Bracelets: Bourbon and Boweties | Child: Not for purchase, but her outfit is Lilly Pulitzer

Vest: Patagonia: Sweater and Button up: J Crew | Jeans: J Crew | Those boots again

Poncho: Tuckernuck | Turtleneck: Old Navy | Jeans: J Crew | Boots: You should have this figured out by now

I love the poncho pictured above so much, but man, it gets snagged on EVERYTHING, so I'd have to say if you're going to wear it for anything besides sitting still, I'm not sure I'd recommend it. It's really warm and comfy though.