Friday Favorites

Running a little behind this Friday.  Todd and I hosted a party for some friends last night, and Davis basically had to drag me out of bed at 7 this morning.  Mom of the year.   Anyway, it’s been a big, busy week around here, and I am very much looking forward to a relaxing weekend at home!
Today I am linking up with April, Natasha, and Christina; Karli; Erika, Narci, and Andrea for Five on Friday, Oh Hey Friday!, and Friday Favorites.  I am also linking up with the group from High Five for Friday, Bright on a Budget!

ONE: I have a hair secret weapon!  I like to do my hair in a simple, low updo for special occasions, if my curls aren’t acting right, or if my hair is in need of a wash, but I still need to look presentable.  I have had these corkscrew bobby pin things for at least 6 years and I love them! I did my hair like this for the wedding we attended on Sunday, and we didn’t have a mirror for me to see the back, so I asked Todd to take some pictures so that I could see what I was doing.  I decided since I had the photos, to share one of my go-to hair tools.

the best hair tools for simple updos; simple undo for medium to long hair

I pinned a few of those loose pieces in after this picture. 

style spin bobby pins

To fix my hair this way, I:

  • curl it into waves with a 1 inch curling iron – the curls don’t need to be perfect – then spray it with flexible hold hair spray
  • pin the top half back with 3 or so bobby pins (a parted half up, half down look). Make sure to bump it up a little for some volume.  Don’t worry if this entire style is messy – that is what you want. I left the very front piece of my hair (bangs I guess) out of the half-up pins, and pinned that back last
  • spin your hair into a loose bun or twist
  • spin one of the pins through your hair, then from the opposite side, spin the other pin.  They will twist together and should hold the majority of your hair
  • pin the loose pieces in with bobby pins as needed.

I don’t aim for a perfect bun!  These pins are magic, and sure beat using a million bobby pins!

the best bobby pins for updos

P.S. My robe is Pink Blush Maternity!  Full post about it coming soon.

TWO: Our gender reveal!  I will post a how-to next week, because paint in squirt guns is basically the most fun ever for a 3 year old boy.  (I posted a video of Davis finding out he’s having a brother on instagram earlier this week). But obviously getting to see our second baby BOY again was a favorite this week.  Todd and I were both a little shocked to find out we are having another boy, but we’re really excited!  It confirmed our decision to move further out into the country to this house last year. :)

older sibling gender reveal

His “Big Brother” t-shirt is Honey Bee Tees and was a gift from Todd’s parents!

Honey Bee Tees big brother t-shirt

THREE: I made these cupcakes for a few different celebrations this week, and I fell in love with their charm.  If only I could eat gluten!  These are pretty tough to resist.  I made a mini version of the absolute best sea salt chocolate chip cookies.  The cupcakes are my classic chocolate cake with my go-to vanilla cream cheese buttercream.  I rolled the sides of the buttercream in sprinkles, then topped with a cookie!

I can’t believe I’ve never shared this cupcake recipe on my blog.  I will fix that soon!

birthday cupcake; chocolate cupcake; cream cheese buttercream with sprinkles, topped with a chocolate chip cookie

rustic baby shower setup; sprinkle cupcakes

FOUR: One of the reasons I made the cookies was for a couples baby shower that we hosted for some of our dearest friends last night.  They are also our Honor Roll Designs partners.  Look for a post with more details of the shower later, but here is a glimpse of the party.

baby boy shower; rustic and gold centerpiece

FIVE: Davis spent last weekend with my parents while Todd and I were in Charleston.  While there, my mom had this fun activity planned!  She bought 4 craft paper mache animals (from Target!) – 2 dinosaurs, a lion, and a rhinoceros – for them to paint.  We left the dinosaurs at their house, and brought home the lion and rhino.  I love them!  I even included them in our living room as decor!

Target craft paper mache animals to paint for kids; kids craft idea

Don’t forget!  If you’d like a chance to win $75 to Pink Blush, you have until NOON today to enter!  All the details are in this post from Wednesday!  You can also enter on instagram.  THANK YOU to everyone who has entered so far!  I will announce the winner early next week!

Pink Blush Maternity; dressing the bump; 17 weeks pregnant bump

Also from this week: my second Charlotte Restaurant Review featuring healthy, casual spots, and a caterer.  And I wrote about our Charleston trip, with some restaurant ideas included.

Enjoy your, everyone!  Thank you so much for reading!

 

 

Friday Favorites

Long time, no see!!!  I did not intentionally take a break from blogging, but it has really been so long.  Life has simply gotten a little crazy (planning several events, computer issues, etc etc), and I haven’t made it a priority!  But I am hoping to start a new pattern of blogging again.  Because I really do love it, and I love this community. :)
I’m happy to be linking up with April, Natasha, and Christina; Karli; Erika, Narci, and Andrea for Five on Friday, Oh Hey Friday!, and Friday Favorites.

ONE: Last weekend we celebrated Sarah‘s 30th birthday!  On Friday night we met Sarah and Jeremy out for drinks and dinner…Fahrenheit then Roosters – yum!  Then Jeremy surprised her with a brunch on Saturday morning with lots of family and friends!

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I made the decor for the brunch.  I wanted to incorporate Spring colors and flowers, pictures, and a little gold.  For the centerpieces I bought some ceramic pots from the dollar store, spray-painted them gold, and filled them with soaked flower foam.  I found sticks in the yard, then added lots of flowers from Trader Joe’s around them.  I asked everyone to send me pictures with Sarah, and we hung those pictures from the branches.

Spring flowers

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Sarah’s friend, Kristen, made some custom sugar cookies for everyone to take home, and they were perfect.

custom sugar cookies for a girl's birthday

TWO: I went out to run errands one night this week once Todd was home.  I really needed a pick-me-up, so I drove through Starbucks for my new favorite drink.  Sarah introduced me to the shaken iced passion tea.  I get it unsweetened, and it is delicious!  Well, when I pulled up to the window, the guy wouldn’t let me pay!  He appreciated that I was nice to him, because he had had some really rude customers previously.  It was so kind, and really made my day. :)  It’s the little things, you know?!

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THREE: We have a couple weddings coming up, and I always get so stressed about what to wear.  (silly, I know) I just ordered this dress from Nordstrom for a wedding in May, and I am hoping it will work!  I love the colors and pattern.  It also comes in a couple solid colors and another pattern.  I have some sandals similar to these that I’m planning to wear as well.  And maybe my royal blue clutch?

patterned maxi dress from Nordstrom

dressy black sandal

FOUR: I also recently ordered a few things from Old Navy during a 40% off sale.  I need some new basic tan sandals for running around.  Shoes under $30?!  Such a great steal. Honestly, they had so many cute things, and I had to limit myself.

peplum chambray tank

I bought those double-strap sandals, but I think I may need to exchange them for those fun gladiator sandals (currently $26!!!) below!

Old Navy flat brown faux leather sandal

flat brown gladiator sandal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FIVE: Easter is about to sneak up on me…I have done one little thing for Davis’ preschool class, but that’s about it.  I need to work on his Easter basket, put out my bunny decor, plan menus, and of course make sure we spend time as a family discussing the real reason for Easter.  I’m hoping to dye eggs as a family, and I love this idea from Shop Walk In Love!  You dye the eggs, then use a Sharpie or paint pen to add designs, inspiration, Bible verses, etc.

Shop Walk In Love; fun way to decorate Easter eggs

Happy Friday!  I’m so happy to be back working on this fun little space…I forgot how much joy it brings!

THE GOOD LIFE BLOG

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Super Bowl Ready!

To all of you who read my blog who are not football fans, or not from the Carolinas, I apologize!  I cannot get over the excitement that our Panthers are in the Super Bowl!  Lately, my blog is evidence of that!

We have had so much love for our Panthers t-shirts, and we truly appreciate it!  The Honor Roll Designs team spent much of the weekend packing and shipping.  One of our younger team members was pumped as well!

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Davis’ school has Panthers spirit days this week, which is awesome.  I am excited for him to experience team spirit and pride in our city at a young age!

Keep Pounding! Go Panthers!

As we all know, besides the game, the FOOD for the Super Bowl is of utmost importance!  I am making food for a few different events this weekend, including our own Super Bowl watching plans.  I’ve been putting together menus, and searching Pinterest and blogs for recipe inspiration.

I am planning to make:

  • Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream and Salted Caramel Drizzle
  • “Funfetti” Cupcakes (my version)
  • Braised Short Rib Sliders with Pimento Cheese & Apple Cabbage Slaw
  • Wedge Salad Skewers/Chopped Wedge Salad
  • Taco Cups with BBQ Chicken, Monterey Jack Cheese, Avocado Crema, Cilantro (inspired by these BBQ Chicken Tacos; I’m going to serve them in Tostitos scoop chips)
  • Shrimp Cocktail
  • Black-Beery Whiskey Smash 

FYI, The Super Bowl is one of the days of the year that I don’t worry as much about clean eating.  It is one of my husband’s top 3 “holidays,” so we splurge some.  

Here is a list of some other appetizer ideas for your party! (Some of these are my recipes, but they are mostly from other talented bloggers and cooks!)

And from a food blogging/cookbook auther/creative food genius, How Sweet Eats, here is a list of 200 recipes for football watching!

 

Go Panthers…Keep Pounding!!!

Friday Favorites

The weekend is HERE!  My husband is finally home from a long trip, I am attending a culinary competition today, and we have a date night tonight!
I’m happy to be linking up with April, Natasha, and Christina; Karli; Erika, Narci, and Andrea for Five on Friday, Oh Hey Friday!, and Friday Favorites.

I think the drab, snowy weather has made me crave color.  Here are my bright 5 Favorites this week!

ONE: These DIY marble and gold coasters. I am determined to plan a girls’ craft night and make these! I am not terribly crafty, but I think we’d have fun trying! And it would be even more fabulous if they turn out like this!

DIY marble and gold coasters

TWO: You know what added cheer to my week? This avocado! How silly is that?! Beautiful produce is kind of like fresh flowers in my book. Davis and I actually “fought” over this perfect avocado. Ha!

perfect avocado

THREE: Target does it again! Davis and I went to Target the other night (because #stircrazy) and I spotted these fun bags! I also saw that adorable, bright pillow and almost instinctly threw it in my cart.  If I had somewhere to put it, I would have bought it for sure!

Target clutches for Spring

ivory tassel | bright yellow | woven “leather” | woven black tassel

bright Target Threshold pillow

FOUR: The Carolinas are all about our Panthers right now! Super Bowl 50, here we come!! While on our target shopping spree I found this teal/turquoise nail polish (Essie Garden Variety) that is pretty darn close to Panthers blue! It will also be perfect for Spring and Summer pedicures!

Essie turquoise nail polish

Essie Garden Variety

FIVE: Speaking of the PANTHERS!  I am seriously so excited!  I posted on Monday about our new t-shirt design in the etsy shop honoring some of the Carolina Panthers greats. It has been flying off the shelf, which is amazing, and we still have a few available.  Since the Super Bowl is coming soon, I have been planning food and drinks to make!  This one isn’t Panthers blue, but it’s almost black, and the ingredients would be great for a co-ed crowd!  Black-beery Whiskey Smash

Blackberry-Whiskey-Smash-with-Wheat-Beer

 

I also wanted to say that I have truly loved blogging lately.  I have received so many encouraging comments, which is fuel to keep writing.  THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! I appreciate you so much! Have a wonderful weekend!

THE GOOD LIFE BLOG

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Christmas 2015

Our Christmas vacation was grand!

Todd and I had a date night to the Summit Room last week. (Thank you for babysitting, Seth!)

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Then on the 19th we had Christmas with Todd’s family at his parents’ house.  We enjoyed time opening gifts and stockings and had a great meal of hors d’ouvres.

We also attended a funeral for a family friend that afternoon.  His death was unexpected, but his life was one to be admired.  The funeral was a celebration of his life, a call to Christ, and a reminder of how much influence we can have if we allow ourselves to be used in that way.

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The Sunday night before Christmas, we went on a search for Christmas lights!  We copied Mix and Match Mama’s idea, and wore jammies and drank hot cocoa while we drove around Charlotte.  We also ate homemade popcorn.  If you need some ideas for the best Christmas lights around Charlotte, we used this article from Scoop Charlotte as a guide.

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On the 23rd, my parents watched Davis for the afternoon.  While they were making a gingerbread train station, Todd and I had a sushi lunch and knocked out some items on our to do list.  You’ve got to love a day date!

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On Christmas Eve, we attended our church’s worship experience.  It was an incredible presentation of the gospel, and another reminder of the talent on our church staff.

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The message was called “The Whisper of Christmas.”


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That night we had our traditional Christmas Eve dinner at my parents’ house.  The 24th is my granddaddy’s birthday, and they were able to come!  IMG_4478 IMG_4483 IMG_4486 IMG_4488

We spent the majority of Christmas day celebrating at my parents’ house!  We ate delicious food, drank some brunch cocktails, and shared gifts.  (Oh and we worked on potty training…I don’t think I mentioned that we conquered that over Christmas!)

The day after Christmas, we went to my grandparents’ house to celebrate with my aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.  It was so fun, and seeing all of these little ones together is the best.

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Our Weekend

This past weekend was full of fun and time with family and friends.  We were busy, but it was a good busy.  Lately I have felt such a sense of gratitude for the friends that God has placed in our lives!  We have a circle of people that love us, and we love them and their kids.  It’s an incredible blessing, and I do not take it for granted!

On Friday, Davis was a carpenter. :)  He put on his tool belt and safety glasses from our friends Ryan and Ashley.  I love this picture so much! IMG_4234

On Friday night we watched Charlie Brown Christmas and ate popcorn on the couch. This was one of our advent activities! IMG_4241

Another advent activity was to decorate Christmas cookies with our cousins!  Sarah, Jeremy, Bryleigh, Cam, and Ezra all came over on Saturday morning and we decorated cookies and played outside.  It was such a beautiful day that we were able to eat lunch outside, too.

I used the recipe that I posted about on Friday, and the cookies turned out really well.  They kept their shape, but were still soft.

P.S. I love how Ezra is looking at his Uncle Todd in this picture.  (heart eyes!)IMG_4256IMG_4253

Sarah and I, in our Christmas-colored baseball tees.  Apparently we think alike! IMG_4274

IMG_4281IMG_4278decorated christmas cookiesIMG_4280

Our sweet pup had to go to the vet on Saturday because of some joint pain.  If you have a lab or a golden, you’ve probably seen this happen in your dogs as they get older.  I hate that it’s affecting him already! IMG_4303

On Saturday night we had a team dinner with our Honor Roll Designs partners and friends.  We always have fun with them, and it was great to celebrate!

After church on Sunday, we made nachos for lunch.  It was the perfect football-watching food!  It has been so exciting to watch the Panthers have an undefeated season so far!

I posted the how-to for the nachos on instagramIMG_4288

Our friends Adele and Jeremy invited us to a local parade on Sunday afternoon.  The weather was perfect to be outside.  The parade was quite a small-town experience ;), and we had a great time with our friends!  I wish we had taken a group shot!  IMG_4307

Have a great day!  Thank you for stopping by!

Five on Friday

Two weeks from Christmas!  I still have a few gifts to buy, and I haven’t wrapped a single thing.  I’m planning to drink extra coffee today and knock out some of my to-do list!

(p.s. If you have some more gifts to buy, I have 2 gift guides coming tomorrow!  These are for the foodie/home chef/hostess/bartender, etc.  Come back tomorrow to see those)

I am linking up with April, Natasha, and Christina; Karli; Erika, Narci, and Andrea for Five on Friday, Oh Hey Friday!, and Friday Favorites.

ONE: Star manger scene ornament perfect for preschoolers!

I volunteered to help with Davis’ preschool class Christmas party yesterday.  I was in charge of the craft (not exactly my strong suit), but I think it turned out well!  I found the original idea on Pinterest, but I couldn’t find a link to any directions, so I just did my best to figure out how to make them.

preschool Christmas ornament; star manger scene ornament; ornament a preschooler can make

I started with yellow wooden stars, tiny little anchor hook/screws, gold pipe cleaners, light brown paint, American style moss, off white cardstock,  tan cardstock, and a brown marker.  I also used a ruler, foam paintbrush, a pencil, a glue stick, and Tacky Glue.  I painted on the brown marker 1/3 of the way from the bottom, screwed in 2 “hooks” at the top, and made a loop through those with the pipe cleaner.  For baby Jesus, I cut out 3/4″ circles from tan paper and gave him a simple smiley face with brown marker.  For his swaddling blanket, I cut strips of paper from cream-colored card stock.

star manger scene ornament directions; preschool Christmas ornament

I put the stars in a large ziplock bag, then the hay in one snack-sized bag, and baby Jesus plus some star stickers in another snack-sized bag so that the craft would be organized for Davis’ class.  We used craft glue sticks to glue on baby Jesus, the kids applied the star stickers, and after his teacher put some Tacky Glue over the brown paint, the kids glued on the straw.

TWO: These are a couple recent outfits from the week.  I had a really cute model helping me. :)

best fitted faux leather jacket; black leather jacket with striped shirt

I bought these black legging pull-on jeans from Gap recently, and I have been loving them.  They are higher-waisted and stay put, which is perfect for us moms!  And this black faux leather jacket has become one of my top 5 favorite pieces in my closet! black and white striped t shirt; black legging jeans; plaid scarf

Leather jacket off, plaid scarf on. Mine is from Target last year (a gift from 2 of my best gals), but here is a similar one (under $20!) for this year. Fall outfit; military vest outfit

Nothing too new about this outfit!  I have posted about my military vest before.  But I did buy a new ring set from Forever 21 and I’ve had fun wearing them in different ways.

THREE: Tomorrow we are going to decorate cookies, and I am planning to use this cookie recipe!  I have made lots of decorated sugar cookies in the past, but I want these to be soft, and for the icing to not be too hard.  These have awesome reviews.  And aren’t they adorable?!

decorated sugar cookie recipe

FOUR: We are quite behind with Christmas cards this year.  I should receive them some time next week, but by the time I get them mailed, I’m sure it will be cutting it close!  I do love this idea from Better Homes & Gardens of displaying Christmas cards on evergreen garland.  It would be fun to change it up from putting them on the fridge!

evergreen garland Christmas card display

FIVE: This time of year is mostly full of joy and fun times with family and friends.  But it can also be hectic and stressful, or you may be experiencing a difficult situation.  If you need some encouragement today, you should listen to these songs!  Meredith Andrews “Soar” and Lauren Daigle “Light of the World” are two of my favorites.  “Light of the World” is also a perfect reminder of why we celebrate Christmas.  I could listen to them both on repeat (and I may do just that today!).

 

Happy Christmas season!  Thank you all for reading my little blog!  Have a wonderful weekend.

THE GOOD LIFE BLOG

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