Monday, November 24, 2014

/ / Pinspiring Vol. 7

It's time for another Pinspiring! Each week, I find myself so inspired by the pins I see on Pinterest. Whether it's fashion ideas, recipes, or words of inspiration I always come across pins that get my creative juices flowing. Lately, though, I've been neglecting my little Pinterest account. I'll pin here and there, but it isn't often that I spend time just scrolling through my feed. However! Last week while I was waiting for my baby nephew to arrive, I finally had some time to get lost in a pinning frenzy. A few things I noticed about myself throughout my pinning spree...

I'm obsessed with all things flowers. What's new though?
Hangry-ness is real, people.

Here are some of the pins that warmed my heart...
DECOR | How beautiful are these florals? The colors are perfect for the Thanksgiving table. I like the idea of using a pumpkin as a vase, too. Never thought of that!

MAKE | My heart skipped a beat when I came across these beauties! Before I clicked on the link, I assumed this DIY would involve way too many steps and expensive materials. Wrong! This DIY only requires four materials--and most of them I bet you already have in your craft closet. Guess what I'll be making for family and friends this Christmas. These babies.

WANT | How adorable is this hot air balloon travel mug? As you probably know, I'm obsessed with hot air balloons, and I'm in need of a new travel mug. This is definitely on my wish list.

WORDS |  I don't pin too many quotes on Pinterest, but this one really inspired me. I am navigating some small steps in order to achieve some of my dreams, and it's not easy. Sometimes the small steps seem pointless and are frustrating. This changed my perspective a little bit, though. It's so important to gogh after your dreams, friends! Sorry, I couldn't resist.

I've got a treat for you today! I've invited some of my amazing and inspiring sponsors to share two pins that are inspiring them this week. Check 'em out!

 "I have dreams of throwing backyard BBQs with all of our friends when we finally are in a home. This picnic table/ice chest project is one I can get behind. There's nothing better than celebrating with a group of friends, brisket in the smoker, and a cold beer in the hand. Flowers make me incredibly happy. Living in a small apartment with only a small enclosed patio, we are short on space and the number of plants we can fit in. These wall planters are a genius way to add color and life to our small home."

Follow Jaelan on Pinterest

"With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, I've been looking for a couple new recipes to try out this time around. As soon as I laid eyes on this beer and bacon mac 'n cheese, my searching came to a halt. Beer, bacon and cheesy goodness all wrapped up into one? I'm sold. Hopefully it will taste as wonderful as it looks!These metallic playing cards from Anthropologie caught my eye the other day. Although I'm almost done with my Christmas shopping, I think that these would make a great stocking stuffer (if they weren't almost $20 - haha). I really can't help but want a set for myself."

Follow Jessica on Pinterest

"I love these pins because they both have to do with the holidays. Homemade gift wrap to me is so special because not only did you put the effort into giving someone a gift but you also took some extra effort to wrap it beautifully. This table scape also brings in my favorite part of the holidays which is eating and being with the people who are the most important in our lives. Good food and a beautiful table just makes the holidays that much more special."

Follow Amanda on Pinterest

Interested in joining my sponsorship team? Visit my sponsor page for details, and use code HELLOLOVE for 20% off any package! I'd love to have you!

What is inspiring you today? What are your favorite kinds of pins?

Friday, November 21, 2014

/ / A Week at the Cabin

Once the school day is over with, my week-long Thanksgiving week at the cabin begins! Each Thanksgiving, my family either travels to the beach or the mountains. It's one of my favorite traditions! This year we are going to north Georgia to spend the week in a cabin on the lake. There will be lots of resting, endless cups of coffee, and baby snuggles. It's going to be so lovely. Oh, and these are just some of the things I'm looking forward to this week at the cabin...

Yes, I'm fully embracing the idea of waking up each morning with such simple to-do's on the brain. It's been a long few months, and for a while there it seemed as if Thanksgiving week would never get here. Now, it's finally here and I'm so grateful.

BAKE   maple glazed cinnamon rolls
WEAR  slouchy tunic, leggings, cozy scarves
READ  Bread & Wine, Gone Girl
SIP       rosemary grapefruit cocktail

Along with these fun little gems, I do plan on actually being somewhat productive. Okay, that's a lie. I don't. But, I do plan on doing some writing, walks around the lake, cooking meals for my family, and oh yes--watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade. Eep.

Don't leave yet! Let me introduce you to my friend Brittany of Happy is a Choice. I've been reading her lovely blog for about a year now, and let me tell you--her sweet spirit is so contagious! Her photos from her recent anniversary trip to Hawaii are speaking directly to my traveling heart. She's a good one, y'all. Show her some love!

Connect with Brittany: Bloglovin  |  Pinterest   | Twitter

So tell me, what is your favorite way to spend Thanksgiving vacation? What are your plans?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

/ / Pumpkin Chai Cookies | Recipe

I made these little delicious wonders a couple of years ago, and have been thinking of them ever since. They are always the cookie I remember at random moments and think to myself, "Man, I really need to make those again". But then I always forget to pick up chai tea at the store. Oh, the horror, I know! Finally, I had the necessary ingredients on hand after I was battling a cold and the pantry was stocked with tea. Weird fact about me: I only drink hot tea when I'm really sick. SO, I made a batch of these yummy pumpkin chai tea cookies and all was well in the world.

These are the perfect breakfast cookie, in my opinion. They aren't overly sweet, and the spices from the chai tea brings out the flavor of the pumpkin so nicely. So whip these up real quick (it took me less than 30 minutes to make these!), grab a big cup of coffee, and enjoy.

Click the recipe card below to print! 
    Recipe adapted from All Recipes

Before you go, I want to introduce you to one of my new blog friends, Cassie of Kent Heartstrings. She is so incredibly sweet, and her amazing DIYs have stolen my heart. I mean, how amazing is this leather tassel necklace? If you need any creative inspiration, this blog is made for you! Meet Cassie!


What have you been baking lately? 

Monday, November 17, 2014

/ / Week's End

This weekend was incredible. My nephew decided it was finally time to come into this world! I had the honor of taking birth photos, which turned out to be such an emotional and touching experience for me. As I edit and sift through the photos, I find myself in tears. I am one proud sister and aunt, y'all!

Welcome to this world, Killian Patrick! I love every bit of your 9 pound 6 ounce self.  You've stolen my heart completely.

I took over 450 photos during the 17 hour labor, so I can't wait for Thanksgiving break to roll around (starts this Friday!!) so I can edit and organize them. I'm not a photographer, but I am really digging documentary-style birth photos. Would you ever consider having a photographer document your birth story?

Other than welcoming my new nephew into this world, Lamar and I took some Christmas photos, which was really fun. It reminded us of our engagement shoot from many moons ago. :) My new friend, Christina, took professional shots of us, but while we were waiting we got a few snapped of us by our friend Katie. I do love this man of mine. :)
After our photo sesh, we high-tailed it back to the hospital to hold Killian before visiting hours were up. The doctors eventually had to come and kick us out. :) Yesterday, they were finally were able to leave the hospital and settle into their home with their new little one. Today I'm praising God for a healthy baby and mama! God is good all of the time!

How was your weekend? What are you praising God for today?

Friday, November 14, 2014

/ / Coffee Date | Highs and Lows

Happy Friday, friends! I'm so happy that it's time for another coffee date with you. I wish we could take this virtual date and make it a real-life coffee date, but until then we'll meet up here every 2nd and 4th Friday of the month. I had so much fun reading your funny, inspiring, and exciting updates on life at our last coffee date. This is such an amazing group of women, and I'm loving the community that is being built. It gives me the warm fuzzies. :) Grab your coffee or tea and let's chat!

 If we were really on a coffee date, I'd ask you about life. I'd ask you your highs and lows from the week. What has been challenging this week? How have you failed? When did you feel accomplished? What are your hopes and dreams? I'm pretty sure we'd chat for hours.Sometime in those hours, I'd share with you my highs and lows of the week.

My highlights...

On Tuesday night, I saw my class perform at a PTA meeting/concert. They sang cute, funny songs and they all dressed up so fancy! It warmed my heart to see them all up on the stage singing their hearts out. Moments like those is why I love teaching.

My sister, Katie, is having her baby this week! Her due date was Tuesday, so she should have him any day now. Just the thought of holding my first nephew in my family makes me tear up. I can't wait to hold his little hand in mine.

Last night I had a dinner date with my sister Julie at our favorite spot. I love that when we make dinner plans, we don't even have to say the restaurant. It will always, always be at Noche. The restaurant of trailer park tacos, skirt steak, and sangria. Yum town.


Feeling sick nearly every day this week, It seems like my cold from last week has turned into an annoying cough. I went home yesterday feeling feverish, but finally felt better after two Excedrin and a nap.

I'm pretty sure my rose bush has officially kicked the bucket. I've been a really bad waterer, and the early freeze didn't help. Poor buddy. I have a few skills, y'all, but gardening and keeping plants alive is not one of them.

In college I went through a spell (a year long spell) of having nightmares and stressful dreams every night. It was horrible and full of death, dying, and terrible things. Well, I was healed of those nightmares, and went years without having any. Now I'm starting to have them again, and it's making me unable to sleep well. Prayers are appreciated. :)

Now it's your turn!

1. What are your highs and lows from the week? Comment below!
2. Link up one post from this week that gives a glimpse into your life lately. This could be a coffee date, highs and lows, recent update, etc. Make sure it's a link to your post and not your blog URL.
3. Important: Comment on the blog that linked up before you. This linkup us about building community, so this step is important. Feel free to comment on more than just one!
4. Share about the coffee date via social media using the hashtag #coffeedatefriday

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

/ / Nutella Pound Cake | Recipe

Today I'm linking up with Rachel for Bread & Wine. We're talking about yummy recipes, holidays, hosting and what it all means to us. Here's a little bit of my story. 

I made this pound cake a couple of months ago, and shared it with some good friends. It was a hit. 
I usually make this recipe using mini chocolate chips (my friend Mary Hannah's recipe), but decided adding Nutella might be fun. It was oh, so yummy, and it made our kitchen smell like Heaven!  We ate it for breakfast and dessert for a few days. My favorite part about it, though, is that delicious crunch of the outside crust, with a little Nutella mixed in. Yum town. 

(Click image to print recipe card)

Along with most everyone else I know, Thanksgiving and Christmas are my favorite times of the year. Along with giving gifts, decorating, and celebrating life, cooking and baking are so important to me. It's one way in which I feel like I'm serving, loving, and bringing joy to others. In a few weeks, I'm having some of my old work friends over for a late Friendsgiving. I'm looking forward to inviting them into my home, making a few yummy dishes, and talking life. Since our workplace closed in May, we have all scattered to different jobs, with new coworkers, no longer seeing each other every day. The people who I ate lunch with five times a week, I haven't seen since the summer.  We went through a difficult time, and I'm looking forward to see how the Lord has healed and provided for each of us. I think the holidays is the perfect time to share in fellowship, laugh, and celebrate the portions our God has provided so lovingly.

What do the Holidays and hosting mean to you? 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

/ / 5 Things You Might Not Know About Me

It's not often that I share random tidbits about myself on the blog, and I figured it was about time that you know some of the things that make The good, the nerdy, and the painful. 

I am one of five children | I was the youngest of three girls until I turned ten. Then my parents gave us a "surprise" little brother and two years later a planned little sister (you know, to keep him company since we would all be ancient by the time they became teens).

I've traveled to Romania twice for missions | Less than a year after I dedicated my life to Christ, I went on my first mission trip to Romania. There we connected with an at-risk women and children's home, and we held babies in the abandoned baby hospital. I was even able to witness taking some of the abandoned toddlers outside for the first time in their life. It was incredible and heartbreaking. The next year, I lead a group of adults back to Romania to work with the women and children's home. Lamar and I hope to go back again soon!

I used to hate cats | Like, really hate them. I grew up with dogs, and I had the idea that all cats were mean. Then I rescued my little Lucy from a storm drain my senior year of college, and my cold heart melted. Now we have two cats, and although I still really love dogs, I'm a complete cat person. Miracles do happen, y'all!

I have weird toe problems | Ever since I was in high school I've had painful ingrown toenails (I know, sick.), and I finally got the surgery to permanently remove them last year! Welp, they came back. So I'm not supposed to wear closed toe shoes, and when I do I can expect my toes to hurt like heck. Can't a girl just wear boots without pain!? Whyyy.

I played the trumpet for 9 years | My entire family plays the trumpet, and marching band is where Lamar and I first met. So when we married, we added another trumpeter to the family! Fun fact: Each Christmas, we have a little concert and play Christmas songs together. We usually can't get through the songs without laughing, though. It's a fun tradition.

So, now you know a few new things about me. What are some things most people don't know about you?