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!

 

 

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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Five Friday Favorites

I have been somewhat absent around here this week, but I am back for the Friday link-ups!

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: Ankle boots!  The number one question I get on my blog is about my ankle boots from this post, and several others.  I’ve also been asked about them out in public while wearing them.  They aren’t fancy, but the shape is so flattering.  Mine sold out some time last year, and Aldo has not brought them back.  BUT, I found some that are almost identical!

fall fashion; baseball tee with ankle boots and boyfriend jeans; Zara scarf

suede ankle boots

TWO: April posted recently about her staple nail colors, so I thought it would be fun to share mine as well!  I am always drawn to Essie colors, and I also love the butter LONDON color below that was a gift from my aunt.  For colder months I love deep red wine colors, black, navy, gray, ivory, and dark purpley-magenta.  I also use the Sally Hansen miracle gel top coat, and I love it.  When I paint my nails, it helps it last at least twice as long.  I want to try the Essie version to compare.

Fall nail color

Berry Naughty

Essie nail polish; ivory color; tuck it in my tux

Tuck it in My Tux

Essie almost black nail polish

Devil’s AdvocateEssie merino cool

Merino Cool Essie Bobbing for Baubles Bobbing for Baubles (currently on my fingernails!)butter LONDON Queen Vic; purple nail polish

Queen Vic

gel top coat nail polish

THREE: I go to Trader Joe’s at least once per week for groceries, and I am always tempted by the flowers!  I usually avoid buying them unless we’re having guests or an event at our house.  Well this week I hosted a planning meeting for an upcoming church event, so it was the perfect excuse for flowers!  TJs has beautiful, unique arrangements for $3.99!  I love the colors in these.  I bought 2 bunches, plus a bunch of eucalyptus for $2.99, and was able to make a few arrangements for around the house.

simple fall party with fall flowers from Trader Joe's

FOUR: Target does it again!  I found some ABC stickers made to stick to a window or other glass in the dollar section the other day.  I cannot find a link online, but if when you’re in Target soon, look for them.  Davis loved playing with them, they’re only $1, and they’re a perfect visual for learning the alphabet!

ABC stickers ABC stickers

Also, you gotta love the outfit he picked for playing at home…camo pajama pants with a blue shirt. ;)

FIVE: It’s no secret that I love metallics…if it wasn’t tacky my house would be overly decorated in gold.  We are coming up on gift-giving season, and I think any of these copper or gold items would be perfect to give to the ladies in your lives!  (Especially if you aren’t quite sure what their wish list looks like!)

gold and copper gift ideas

Copper Clips | Copper Volcano Candle (the BEST scent!) | Modern Moscow Mule Mug | Brass Desk Caddy | Gold Kiss Coffee Cup | Gold Painted 2016 Planner (I really, really love this!)

Cheers, everyone!  I hope you all have fantastic weekends!  Thank you so much for stopping by.

THE GOOD LIFE BLOG

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Friday Favorites

Good morning from the beach!  We’ve had too many thunderstorms to count, unfortunately, but we’re still having a great time.  It is supposed to storm again today, but that will just give me more time to read your blogs!

I’m linking up with April; Karli; Erika, Narci, and Andrea today.  Happy weekend!

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ONE:  I need your help!  I really need to put some effort into re-vamping my blog, and the first item on the list is hiring someone to make it prettier.  I would rather not spend a fortune, but I would like it to be unique, clean, and pretty.  And not look like it does now – like I just uploaded a theme directly from WordPress.  Any blog designer recommendations?!  I’m all ears!  Pretty Darn Cute Designs looks like a good option, as well as 17th Avenue Designs on etsy.

17th Avenue Blog Designs

example from 17th Avenue Designs 

I could also SERIOUSLY use a blog tutorial, or a blogging conference that is focused on the basics.  I can usually figure out how to do things, but I know I can make this more of a professional space, and I have plenty to learn.  If you have any recommendations, I’ll take them!  Thank you, girls! 

TWO: Chasing Paper Removable Wallpaper.  I saw this on Natalie‘s instagram earlier this week, and she also blogged about it.  I’ve never loved the idea of wallpaper, only because it is labor intensive.  But I think it adds depth to a room, and would love to use some in our powder bath, or when we re-do Davis’ room soon (switching out the crib for a bed).  And this wallpaper is removable!  I could handle that. Here are a few that I like: (This is not sponsored)!

Concrete pattern wallpaper

Concrete

Chasing Paper wallpaper in Speckle

Speckle

Chasing Paper Antler wallpaper

Antlers

Chasing Paper cabin fever design

Cabin Fever

THREE: I finally ordered my son a back pack!  Schue Love posted about it, then I found it online later and loved it.  I ordered it from Nordstrom (through Ebates with 6% back – any little bit helps!) and I cannot wait to get home and see it.  I am excited about and dreading preschool all at the same time, but I know it will be beneficial for Davis!

back to school preschool back pack for boys

For every State bag purchased, the company delivers a back pack, packed full of school essentials, to a child in need. 

FOUR: When our family gets together, we tend to put a heavy focus on cooking.  This week so far, our meals on vacation have been excellent.  We have only gotten dinner out once.

filet meal ginger asparagus Southern vegetable meal quinoa salad grilled vegetable kebabs shrimp scampi; kale salad

FIVE: motivational quote

Thank you all for reading!