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

Working for the weekend – and it’s finally here!  Todd has been traveling the entire week, and we have missed him like crazy.

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: Peonies! Always a favorite.  My sweet husband gave me a beautiful bouquet including some for Mother’s Day, my mother-in-law brought me a mason jar of them from her yard (they smell amazing!) and my mom’s gift to me for Mother’s Day is to help me plant a peony garden in my yard!  Good things.  And I feel so loved by those 3 people.

peonies flowers from the garden

The now-everywhere OPI polish on my nails (loveitsomuch!)

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TWO: Sneak peek for next week!  I am working on a collaboration with Pink Blush Maternity, with a giveaway…coming soon!!  If you are expecting, stay tuned for that, plus 3 other looks and outfit ideas.  Photo credit goes to Andi Perullo.

headshot in Pink Blush Maternity

THREE: Roasted Carrot Hummus.  If you are eating paleo or Whole 30, or avoiding legumes in general, I want to share this wonderful diet-friendly hummus with you!  It is made with a base of roasted carrots and roasted cauliflower, rather than chickpeas.  I added extra lemon juice, a little extra cauliflower, and some extra of the seasonings. The 3 of us really enjoyed this, and it was a great way to add more vegetable servings to Davis’ meals. We served ours with paleo BLT wraps and veggies.

paleo hummus recipeCarrot hummus recipe; paleo hummus recipe

FOUR: Some outfit details.  This light wash chambray shirt dress from Old Navy is a current favorite.  And on sale!  I wore it on Mother’s Day and I’m wearing it again today. I bought a size up to fit my bump, but it would be super cute in your normal size if you’re able to wear regular clothes.  The t-shirt in the casual outfit below is from Asos, and it is maternity.  I wore it two full days in a row this week!  I am also loving this nail polish on my toes (a really pretty dark green), and this watch from my boys for Mother’s Day!

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maternity t-shirt from asos

simple details

This watch has rose gold, which makes it so pretty and feminine.  And the bracelet from Etsy is one I’ve had since the month my son was born.  I wear it daily. It says DAVIS with his birthday.   I hope to add another when baby #2 comes!

FIVE: If you missed it earlier this week, I posted a Charlotte Restaurant Review.  The list includes some awesome restaurants in and around our city that are perfect for date nights and foodies! I will have another post with some more casual spots next week.

best restaurants in Charlotte

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Friday Favorites

It was another doozy of a week.  But we are trying to shift our perspective and not dwell on the negative.  Anyway, I am grateful for another weekend with my family!  We have landscaping projects on the to-do list, and I am honestly looking forward to them!  I’m also helping my cousin get ready for her senior prom!

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.  Thank you for inviting me, Bright on a Budget!

ONE: If you are attempting to eat fewer grains, have to eat gluten free, paleo, or lactose free, really, I highly recommend this book by Danielle Walker.  I think I have mentioned it on here before, but I have pulled it back out recently.  I have a blog post planned with some of the recipes I have tried recently. Our internet cable was cut this week, so I’m a bit behind on blogging. I should be able to post that this weekend.

I wanted to share the link to the book today.  She also has some other cookbooks and a great blog!  Danielle changed her eating habits years ago because of an autoimmune disease and her life changed for the better.  Her full health story and transformation can be found on her blog in the FAQs section.

Against All Grain, by Danielle Walker

TWO: I am starting to gather some ideas and pieces for our nursery.  We will find out if we are decorating for a boy or girl soon, but I want the room to be relatively neutral either way.  I love this crib skirt (not the sheets) from Pottery Barn Kids!  And this rams head from etsy?  So adorable – especially because we are UNC alumni!  I originally saw it on Merrick White’s instagram.

neutral tassel crib skirt

upholstered rams head for children's room wall; etsy

I also have a Pinterest board with ideas for the new baby’s room.

THREE: Because of a change of plans, Todd and I were able to get away for a dinner date last night.  After a stressful week, it was needed! We tried CO (Vietnamese noodles and sushi) and we loved it!  I would highly recommend going.  They also have a separate gluten free menu with plenty of options!  I had shrimp spring rolls and beef pho.  Todd had steamed buns with pork belly and a ramen bowl.

CO Charlotte Noodles and SushiCO Charlotte noodles and Sushi restaurant

FOUR: These nail colors are on my wish list: Essie Off Tropic; Essie Hubby for Dessert; OPI Let’s Be Friends.  I searched for the OPI color last night, but I couldn’t find it.  I think it is one my cousin has used and I loved it, and I’ve also seen it several places on instagram. Ordering that one soon!  And I did purchase Off Tropic…I think it will be great for summer pedicures.  I included a picture of Hubby for Dessert that I found on Pinterest.  You can never have too many neutral nail polishes, right?

Essie Off Tropic spring 2016 nails

21pDO-hkJKLEssie neutral pink

 

 

 

 

 

 

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FIVE: [excuse the language] This quote by Elizabeth Gilbert really motivates me and reminds me of some of the incredible women in my life who I admire.

One reason I love social media is because it is an avenue to see so many women doing amazing things – whether they are stay at home moms, moms with careers outside of the home, creative leaders, teachers, examples of health and fitness, women battling infertility and other health issues, women with children who have sicknesses or disabilities, Christian writers, and just women handling everyday problems with grace – there are numerous instagram accounts and blogs with women I admire.  They are handling problems when things go wrong, and overcoming daily obstacles.  I want to be more like this.  These words were exactly the reminder I needed this week.

Elizabeth Gilbert quote

 

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Friday Favorites

Holy moly.  It has been one hell of a week!  And I am honestly glad it’s coming to an end.  If you saw my post yesterday, you already know that we had a yucky house problem occur on Monday.  It isn’t fixed yet, but we have gotten some answers, and we have calmed down about it.  Trying to dwell on happier things!  Like lots of beauty tips and lovely things, apparently.
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.  Thank you for inviting me, Bright on a Budget!

I’ve got 6 things today…had to throw in that great find from H&M at the last minute!

ONE: I found some new goodies at Sephora recently, and had to share of course! Truth be told, I do not wear make up every day.  Who has time, right?!  But I do feel better when I love my makeup. I had been using the same eye pencil for a good 6 months and wanted a change.  This Sephora brand eyeliner is far better than any eyeliner I’ve bought in a while. It is a saturated color, easy to apply, and it stays put.  I bought it in Deep Brown. I also really love this finishing powder.  I was advised to buy the Laura Mercier brand, but this is a much more affordable alternative, and I’ve really enjoyed it.  It keeps your face from looking too shiny by the end of the day.  I also was in need of some new perfume, and decided to use a gift card that my in-laws gave me for my birthday.  In December. :)  I picked Tocca Simone mainly because the scent was described as beachy and light.  The pretty bottle, and the fact that it wasn’t crazy expensive helped convince me.  The perfumes on my wish list are over $100, but I wasn’t ready to spend that!

Tocca perfumeSephora eyeliner

 

Sephora setting powder

 

 

TWO: I tend to get my waves too curly, and they typically look better the next day.  But with this Flat Iron Wave Trick from The Beauty Dept., I think I can make them look more natural the first time I try!  I like to add waves to my hair with a curling iron, and this trick suggests that, but then going over it slightly with a flat iron.  If you read the tutorial and try it, too, let me know!

THREE: This necklace from Tealhouse Collection is on my wish list.  I rarely go for statement necklaces, but this one immediately caught my eye!

red and aqua stone statement necklace from Teahouse Collection

FOUR: I know I mentioned this recently, but did y’all know that Ray Bans are still on sale?! Oh how I wish I’d known when I bought mine (for full price, bummer!).  I have grown to really love my aviators, and am so pleased with the purchase.  If you’ve been wanting some for Summer, now is the time!  Plus Mother’s Day is in a few weeks…hint hint, husbands!

Ray Bans aviators

FIVE: Today is Earth Day!  I am not the greatest at being environmentally conscious with everything, but I do love buying from local farms.  And you all know how much I enjoy cooking with plenty of vegetables!  Today and tomorrow are great times to seek out some local produce at your neighborhood farmers market.  I have recently purchased eggs, produce, and plants from the Waxhaw Farmer’s Market, at well as the Kings Drive Farmer’s Market.  Here is a list of markets in and around Charlotte.  These are the ferns I bought for our front porch this week.

large ferns on front porch

SIX: A few weeks ago my mom was placing an order from H&M, and she asked if I wanted anything.  We were aiming for a large joint order and free shipping!  I ordered an off the shoulder blouse and this t-shirt.  I have worn it twice this week with white jeans, and I have gotten several compliments and people asking me where it is from!  It is a simple, loose-fitting, long black t-shirt, but it’s great!  I bought a size up to fit my bump for a while, but ordinarily I would’ve bought my regular size.  For $9.99, I highly recommend it!

black t-shirt tunic from H and M

 

Have a great weekend!  Thank you for stopping by!  I am off to the gym with my neighbor bright and early today.  She is a former personal trainer and has been keeping me active lately – when I truthfully haven’t felt like it.  So thankful for her!

 

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Five on Friday

I hope you all have had a great week!

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.

ONE: Back to Topsail this weekend!  With the Honor Roll Designs crew and our little boys!  Thank you to our awesome employee/brother-in-law, Seth, for holding down the fort while we’re gone!

Last year we took a big trip to the Caribbean, but with babies on the way for both of us, we at least wanted to fit in one weekend away together before the newborn stage.  Love these 3 people so much!

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TWO: I posted 2 new recipes this week: Sparkling Pineapple Mint Meyer Lemonade and Apple Rosemary Grilled Pork Tenderloin.  If you missed them, you should check them out!  They are both perfect for entertaining.

sparkling pineapple lemonade with fun fruit strawsapple rosemary grilled pork tenderloin

THREE: Self-tanner review!  I posted about the Fake Bake Flawless tanning system a few weeks ago.  (The link takes you to a seller on Amazon…Prime eligible and only $15!).  You can also find it here and probably find a discount code, if you aren’t a fan of Amazon.

I used it once after I bought it and immediately loved it.  Then I used it again this week, and I am still loving it.  If you’re looking for an inexpensive, at-home tan, this is the way to go!  Without a doubt. It comes with the mitt, so don’t worry about getting it all over your hands! I do have to say – this time I put on clothes and got in bed soon after applying…I woke up with a streak on my arm and my leg, BUT, the streaks came right off with a quick rinse in the shower.  Next time I will be sure to let it completely like I did the first time.  And it is washable from your sheets and clothes. 

FOUR: If you’re in an area, such as Charlotte, Fort Mill, Charleston or Nashville, with a Juice Bar, I highly recommend trying it!  Last week I got their Sweet Greens juice, and it is unbelievably good – and healthy!  And I really am not a big green juice person.  If this spot was closer to my neighborhood, I might be there every day.  Juice > Starbucks…yeah?!

best green juice in Charlotte

By the way, my aunt and my mom introduced me to Essie Ladylike (on my nails in the picture above) and it is definitely on my to-purchase list.

pretty nei

FIVE: Goals for this weekend.  Yes, yes, and yes! (source + a great instagram account to follow)

quote from harley quinn and co.

Happy weekend to you all!  Thank you for visiting this random space of mine that I enjoy so much!  I love and appreciate all of the comments and feedback and friendships made from blogging.

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Five on Friday

Happy weekend, everyone!

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.

ONE: THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to everyone who commented on my blog and on instagram, and sent me texts and emails after we shared our news yesterday!  We are thrilled and feel beyond blessed and grateful!  I seriously could not have been happier yesterday!  We should find out whether we are having a boy or a girl in a little over a month, and we will definitely share!  Either way, I can’t wait to see our sweet Davis become a big brother!

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TWO: Speaking of Davis, sort of, do you all like country music?  If you love it like I do, or even if it’s not your favorite, you should listen to Tim McGraw’s new song “Humble and Kind.”  We heard it in the car the other day, and I just can’t help but pray those things for our children.  It’s a great message, and I don’t know if it’s my pregnancy hormones, or just because I’m a mom, but it about makes me teary every time I hear it!

new Ray Bans sunglasses

Also….I finally bought some Ray Bans!  They have been on my wish list for a very long time, but since I have never owned nice sunglasses, I was hesitant to purchase.  I saved up gift cards from Christmas and my birthday, and bought this pair!  I love them! PLUS, they are currently on SALE!

Don’t worry – my car was completely stopped when I took this. 

THREE: Todd and I are working on eating closer to a paleo diet, and I wanted something new for dinner this week.  We are not doing it strictly by any means, and we are adjusting to no grains/sugar/dairy slowly.  I do have to say, not eating dairy the past few days has been great!  We will “cheat” every now and then, and if I feel like I need to eat something off the ‘diet’ I will!  I just want to eat much cleaner.  Anyway, I made a version of these turkey sweet potato burgers from Dashing Dish, and they were delicious!  My changes:  I added about 1 Tbsp worcestershire, and left out the garlic powder.  I grilled them, served them over baby spinach, topped them with tomato and avocado mashed with salt and lime.  Davis loved them as well!!

paleo meal; sweet potato turkey burger

P.S. Costco sells organic ground turkey!

FOUR: Honor Roll Designs has some new looks!!! One is dedicated to the Summer Olympics, specifically the gymnastics team!  When you all were younger, did you watch the Olympics?  I remember that Sarah and I were so into watching gymnastics!  Remember these names from the 1996 USA Gymnastics team?…Kerri Strug, Shannon Miller, Dominique Dawes, Amy Chow, Amanda Borden, Jaycie Phelps, Dominique Moceanu!  This shirt is in honor of them!  Also, I recently bought the Gap shorts pictured (in a size up) for the warmer weather.

Olympics gymnasticsSummer Olympics gymnastics shirt; Magnificent 7 shirt

FIVE: We were able to go down to Topsail Island last week with some of our family.  It was a weekend dedicated to improving and cleaning my grandparents’ beach house, but we also had a little fun on the beach.  Davis LOVES the beach, and it makes my heart so so happy!

Topsail Beach, NC

Also, if you need any more convincing to visit my favorite place, read this article by my cousin, Allie!  9 Reasons Why Topsail is the Best Beach in NC

 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  Thank you again for all of the amazing support!

 

 

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Five Friday Favorites

On this Good Friday, I am a busy bee in my kitchen, working on lots of Easter meals and prep!  Stay tuned to my instagram for too many food pictures.

And tonight we will be watching the Tar Heels play!

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: My possible Easter outfits.  We are going to church Sunday morning, and to a family cookout that night.  I bought the navy chambray peplum shirt from Old Navy (posted it last Friday), and I’m hoping it will work! I am loving my fringe sandals!  Check out Favorite #3 below for other fringe sandal options.

spring dress outfit

excuse the wrinkles!
navy peplum, white jeans, fringe sandals

TWO: The NCAA tournament is in full swing, and my husband is in basketball heaven.  We always compete with each other in filling out a bracket.  I have won far more times than he has beat me (I had to say it!!), but this year we are currently close!  Of course we are pulling for our Tar Heels!!!  My mom and I found these pictures from my time in Chapel Hill.  Back in my glory days, cheering on the Heels!

Carolina Tar Heels

UNC Cheerleading picture

old Carolina picture

THREE: Fringe sandals.  Are you all loving this trend?  I am a little late to the game, but there are still plenty of cute options for you to wear this summer!  Here are some fun options with fringe or tassels.

one | two | three | four | five

FOUR: I purchased a few new beauty products…some because they are organic, and one because I am pale and vain. ;)  I will try to post a review!  I must say I’ve heard wonderful things about this tanning spray, and I’m hoping to have a bit of color this weekend.

Juice Beauty organic peelJuice Beauty organic moisturizerFlawfless tan spray

FIVE: This song on repeat!  It perfectly describes the heart of Easter, and the sacrifice that was made for us.  I’ve written out some of my favorite lyrics.

“The head that once was crowned with thorns is crowned with glory now.
The Savior knelt to wash our feet, now at His feet we bow…
The tomb where soldiers watched in vain was borrowed for 3 days.
His body there would not remain.  Our God has robbed the grave!
Your Name, Your Name is victory! All praise will rise to Christ our King!
By Your spirit I will rise from the ashes of defeat. The resurrected King is resurrecting me!
In Your name I come alive to declare your victory.”


If you’re looking for an Easter church service to attend, or even something extra to do on Friday or Saturday to celebrate Easter (if you already are part of a church), I’d love for you to check out our church.  We have opportunities to go all over the Charlotte, Lake Norman, Rock Hill area, plus some in Raleigh, Roanoke, and even in Florida and Canada!  Here is a link to all of the times and locations.

Happy Easter to you all!!!

THE GOOD LIFE BLOG

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