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

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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Gift Guide: Beauty & Skincare

Hi!  So, I know there are about a million gift guides floating around the blog world, but how about another one?  I personally enjoy gift guides, because the work of searching for ideas is already done!

This past year (since I turned 30), I have really been more aware of taking care of my skin.  I do a lot of that through how I eat, but I also have invested more in products and makeup.  I personally love to receive beauty-related gifts!

If you are looking for a gift for your mom, sister, sister-in-law, friend, co-worker, this list has a bunch of ideas, in a wide price range.  This includes everything from a more generous gift to stocking stuffers!

I use basically everything on this list, and I have seen so much improvement in my skin and makeup.

Beauty Gift Guide

Neulash – I have mentioned this many times, but I can’t help it!  My mom and some friends have both commented that my eyelashes look much longer.

Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Peel Pads – These are like a mini (daily or weekly) chemical peel at home and they are so darn easy! I highly recommend them.

Aztec Secret Clay Mask – If you want to truly clean out your pores and refresh your skin, this is the way to go!

Dry Brush – I dry brush my skin all over (not my face) regularly.  This is good for detox, for your lymphatic system, and it can improve cellulite.

iS Clinical Youth Serum – Amazing and so worth the money.  Mine has lasted me a year already, and the jar is still not empty!

Caudalie Anti-Wrinkle Defense Serum – Casey introduced me to this brand in France.  It is made there and is all natural.  This vitamin C serum has changed the look of my skin, and it seems to be helping fade my melasma.  I was so happy to find out that it is sold in the states!

Young Living Essential Oils – I don’t sell them!  But I do love them and use them constantly. There are many that are good for the skin.  For my skin, I like to use Purification for a bad blemish (and mosquito bites!), Tea Tree Oil for healing, any dandruff, and blemishes, and Frankincense for wrinkles and healing blemishes.  And I didn’t include it, but lavender is also amazing for skin.  I have used it personally on a curling iron burn, and I used to combine it with coconut oil to treat my son’s diaper rash. My cousin and BFF, Sarah, is who I buy my oils through. (you can contact her directly!)

Nail Polishes: OPI Ski Teal We Drop; Essie Tuck it in My Tux; Essie Penny Talk; Essie Berry Naughty.  Some of my favorites for this season!

Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette – I do not own this, but I have only heard rave reviews!

I spoke about my updated makeup recently, but here are the links again:

Tarte Clay Concealer – I wear Light-Medium color.  My new favorite thing for those awful under eye circles

Laura Mercier Foundation – Mine is ivory.  I am obsessed!

Sephora Airbrush brush set – On my Christmas wish list!  This is what the makeup artist at Sephora used on my face, and they were great.

Laura Mercier Highlighter – This would truly work for just about anyone!  And you only use a tiny bit, so it would last forever

Oribe Beach Waves Spray – On my wish list as well!  I would love to have it for days that I wear my hair in loose waves

Goody Spin Pins – My updo MUST-HAVE.  They are only a few dollars, and are genius for buns or any updo!!!

Voila Makeup Bag – From Forever 21, so it is affordable, and would be a cute way to package a gift of makeup

Wet Brush in rose gold – I don’t know why I have yet to purchase a Wet Brush, but people swear by them!

Viva La Juicy perfume – This is what I have used the past year.  It is a fruity, playful, light scent.

Versace Bright Crystal – Another favorite of mine!

Monogrammed Makeup Bag – My cousin Lauren gave me a monogrammed makeup bag as a hostess gift, and I use it constantly.  I love the personal touch, and this would make a great gift for any girl on your list.  (Gotta love etsy!)


I forgot to include a few things on the collage:

Anastasia Contour Kit – This is now a part of my daily routine.  I keep it pretty simple, and don’t do any major contouring, but it still makes an impact.  And it serves as a bronzer plus highlighter.

Rosebud Salve Lip Balm – I apply this to my lips and hands every night before bed.  The lid is kind of hard to get on and off, but it is worth the trouble.  It makes your lips so soft!

NYX Butter Lip Gloss – My go-to lip gloss.  I love the Tiramisu color (broken record…I have posted about this so many times).  Would be a great stocking stuffer!

Rodan & Fields Micro-Dermabrasion Paste – I do not sell R&F!  My friend Stephanie does, though. I have used this a couple of times, and now it is on my Christmas wish list!  It works very well!

Mario Badescu Facial Spray – This spray has aloe, herbs and rosewater, and is meant to refresh and hydrate tired skin.  I’ve heard it is great to use later in the day to give a fresh look to your makeup.  At only $7 it could be perfect in a stocking!

I hope this list is helpful!  I am planning to do a couple more gift guides, including one for guys in tomorrow’s Five on Friday post.  Thank you for reading!



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Friday Favorites

It has been another fun and busy week around here! Last night I attended a Kendra Scott event at South Park hosted by April and Sarah. This is the first of this kind of event I’ve been to, and I’m so happy I went! My friend Caroline went with me, and we had a great time! I even came home with some fun jewels!  Just wish I had taken some pictures.

I hope you all have a fabulous Friday and stay as cool as possible this weekend!

I’m linking up with April; Karli; Erika, Narci, and Andrea again this week.

ONE: I’m already thinking Fall clothes – anyone else?  I ordered these booties from Sole Society.  I need some updated booties this year, especially in black.  These look great online.  I will post more details once I receive them!  (Just fyi, you can receive 20% off your first order).

sole society booties, HOLLIE_BLACK_0852151

TWO: More hair updates. I had my hair cut shorter and updated the balayage color on Wednesday. My hair hasn’t been this short since 2007 but so far I’m enjoying it! The shorter blow-drying time doesn’t hurt either! Thank you Planet 21 for another great hair experience! 

medium length bob with balayage color medium length bob with balayage

THREE: The Honor Roll is BuzzFeed-worthy! Todd and Ryan’s t-shirt business was featured in an article on BuzzFeed last week: 18 “Friday Night Lights” Products That Will Make You Miss Dillon. Way to go guys! “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose.” Check them out!  They’re currently sold out, but another order is on it’s way! 

Friday Night Lights memorabilia

FOUR: I am planning to start a new series (of sorts, I won’t be too strict) on my healthy habits. I’m a total nerd about health trends and keeping myself and my family in shape. If you want to get into a lengthy conversation with me, bring up nutrition. It’s my thing! So I am always fascinated by what’s new and hot in health and I thought I should start posting about what I’ve tried and what works for me. I want to try some new trends, but for now, here are some of my blog post ideas of practices that I currently put into habit:

  • Dry Brushing
  • Clean, Green, Lean
  • Gallon of Water
  • Oil Pulling
  • Vitamins & Supplements
  • Clay Mask
  • Gluten & Dairy Free
  • Healthy Fats
  • Vegetable-Based Diet
  • Probiotics
  • Healthy “Extras”
  • Essential Oils
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Manuka Honey

FIVE: Working on this.  It is perfect timing, too, seeing as how LOVE Week begins at our church this weekend.  If you’re looking for a way to volunteer and serve the city of Charlotte, we have tons of opportunities!

generosity quote


Have a lovely weekend!  Thank you for stopping by!
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Our Weekend + Sea Salt Spray

Last weekend was low-key….working around the house, dinners at home, church, etc.  It was nice to be home with my family, but I have to be honest – I did have flashbacks of our island trip and it made me miss vacation!

I took Davis to the pool Friday morning for swimming and a “picnic” lunch.


That night I felt the need to get some “superfoods” in our system, plus I had some vegetables left from our CSA.  I made a kale and quinoa salad for dinner that included carrots, toasted pecans, cucumber, creamy balsamic vinaigrette, and we topped it with avocado.  I may post the recipe soon.

kale and quinoa salad with avocado

Saturday I had a girls morning with Sarah and Ashley!  I wish I had gotten a picture.  We were just chatting and catching up too much to remember to snap one.

The rest of the day was spent around the house.  Seeing these two together is such a dream come true!


Saturday night I made some very simple tacos: chicken, arugula (from our CSA), avocado, cheese, chipotle sauce.  And champagne, duh. ;)

We started watching Bloodline on Netflix over the weekend.  Anyone watch it?  We have watched 2 episodes so far.  Not sure exactly what to think yet! 

Stickers before church on Sunday.  Those Melissa & Doug sticker books are great.  The stickers can be used over and over again.  I found this one for Marshall’s for around $4.

Melissa & Doug sticker book

We attempted a family selfie on the way to church.  Davis wasn’t thrilled with the idea, clearly. ;)


Besides last Sunday, when our pastor preached about the tragic events in Charleston, our church has had a “staycation” in June.  The sermons have been a little shorter, giving people time to hang out and get to know other after church.  This weekend our campus had a bounce house, sweet summery treats, and other games for the kids.  Todd and Jeremy convinced some of the kids playing basketball to give them a turn.

We are truly blessed to have so many great friends through church.


Todd had a little assistant when he mowed the yard later that day!

Side note – our back yard needs a ton of work.  We have big dreams, but we’re trying to take the house projects one at a time.  Maybe it will look better by next Summer?!


Okay, now onto my new favorite hair product!  I bought Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray and now I’m hooked.  It’s less than $5 at Target, and it’s also on sale at Ulta.  I use it on dry hair, before using a curling iron to add loose waves to my hair.  My hair is very straight and slick.  It is not naturally curly at all.  This adds enough texture to my hair to hold the waves, and it gives a natural look.  Plus, I can fix my hair when it’s dirty (my hair hadn’t been washed in 2 days).  For being so inexpensive, I am very happy with the results.  And smelling like the beach is an added bonus.

Not Your Mother's Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray


Sea Salt Spray

Not Your Mother's Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray



Life Lately: House News!

Quick updates, because life has been happening at warped speed the last couple of weeks, and I really really want to get back to blogging!

  • Within a 2 week period, we found a house, bought that house.  Then we listed our house and sold our house.  It’s just been nuts!  And such a blessing. Now we’re in the middle of inspections and appraisals and we need to begin packing.
    • I’m planning (hoping) to document a lot of the upcoming projects on the new house!
  • We went to the mountains with my family (post on that coming later this week)
  • After the frantic prep of getting our house ready to show, we finally had some relaxing time at my parents’ house while our house was being shown
  • I got my first CSA produce and have loved it (another post about that coming soon)
  • I’m behind on my fitness challenge with all of the house craziness, but I’m trying (more on that soon)
  • I cut my hair shorter
  • Our little man is almost 2 1/2 and even though he’s had more of an attitude lately (he is 2!), he is hilarious and seems to learn something new each day.  A few things I can’t let myself forget… he says “aminals” instead of “animals,” he has learned to march, and attempts to do yoga with me.  Todd and I spend plenty of time cracking up!

IMG_9659 IMG_9663IMG_9557 IMG_9719

Five on Friday

I’m going to jump right in to my five today.  Happy weekend!

I’m linking up with April, Christina, Natasha; Erika, Andrea and Narci; and Karli.

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ONE: I finally joined a CSA!  It was hard for me to pull the trigger on it, because it looks expensive at first (when you break it down and compare it to grocery costs, it isn’t more than what I’d normally spend).  But I’m so glad I joined, and I can’t wait to receive my first box.  Dana from Organic Eater was helpful in leading me in the right direction, and I’ll now be getting bi-weekly organic, local produce from Bell’s Best Berries farm, along with pastured eggs.  Woohoo!  If a huge box of produce seems overwhelming, here’s some helpful tips from The Kitchn with 3 simple ways to use any vegetable in your CSA box.  I will try to keep my blog updated with how I use my produce through the Summer.

The Kitchen, CSA article

TWO: Another thing I’ve been thinking about forever and decided to do this week was to cut my hair.  She cut 5-6 inches off in the back, and 4-5 inches off in the front.  I was so attached to my long hair, and I’m not really sure why.  I’m enjoying it shorter, but am still trying to figure out how to fix it.  The first picture is the day it was cut and dried at the salon.  I did not like my hair straight when it was long, but I can wear it straight now!  The second picture is from last night, when I used a curling iron to create some loose waves.

lob haircut; medium length; straightmedium length haircut; lob haircut; loose waves in a lob

THREE: Todd and I have started personal fitness challenges.  We each have a list of workout goals we’re aiming to achieve between now and Memorial Day, and my muscles already hurt!  All the details are on yesterday’s blog post.  Here is my challenge:

40 Day Fitness Challenge

FOUR: In other health news, I tried kombucha for the first time this week.  Any recommendations for other great brands or flavors?  The ginger flavor was great.  I don’t know why it took me so long to try.  It was interesting at first, but I really liked it and have been craving another.

ginger kombucha

FIVE: I read this quote a couple weeks ago, right after Todd had brought me coffee in the morning.  I completely agree!  It’s just the best.

coffee quote

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  Thank you for stopping by!