Thursday, March 8

Let's Celebrate Women!

(coats from Miss Patina)

Happy International Women's Day, friends! Women are so cool. Being a woman is so cool. I mean, I didn't always feel this way, but the journey has been worth it. Sometimes it just takes a little time to grow into who you want to be.

When I was younger, I was of the belief that women were catty and dramatic and mean. I guess some of us may know a person or two like that, but that's not the definition of being a female. I've had so many ladies in my life that have come around and loved me and changed my entire perception on feminism and relationships and the like. I'm thankful for that, because who knows where I'd be if it weren't for them. Let's back up a bit.

We all had terrible friends in high school at one point or another, I'm guessing. I basically decided in high school that I just preferred to hang out with guys and never really pursued relationships with females after that... until I met a gal who changed my mind. See, a pattern I've noticed in my life is that when you meet a super-awesome lady-friend, 1 or 10 more super-awesome lady-friends seem to follow. That growth happened over years for me, but I'm thankful now to be of the strong opinion that women are amazing and I try to surround myself with them whenever possible.

Okay, so above I mentioned the "f word" (feminism). If you would have asked me 6 or 7 years ago if I was a feminist, I probably would have told you no. *GASP* Feminism, in my former small town, was painted as angry women who didn't wear bras and hated men. Ugh. Such a weird, small-minded stereotype. Still, I didn't understand it and wasn't really interested in educating myself on the subject. My conservative Christian background didn't really help with making feminism interesting either, if I'm being honest. At the church where Johnny worked, women weren't allowed to be in leadership. As a young woman, I believed that woman weren't strong enough to be in authoritative roles besides school teachers. As I got a little older, I found myself questioning WHY about a lot of what I was brought up to believe. I started to become friends with women who were a bit more liberal. I started asking more questions. I guess if I'm being honest with myself, I started caring more. My feminism was birthed there.

I have two daughters now and I want them to be sensitive, caring, strong, smart, and inclusive. I want them to grow up seeing their mother as an empath who FIGHTS for others. When they are grown, hopefully they will follow in those footsteps. I want them to be proud to be a lady, not ashamed or feel lesser-than. Women's voices are important and all women deserve to believe that. I hope you do. xo.

Monday, February 12

My Birthday Trip to Memphis

Hi, friends! I finally have a bit of time to sit down and blog about our trip to Memphis, TN. We traveled to Memphis over my birthday weekend. It was a very quick trip, but we did get to do a little bit of exploring. I fell in love with the city and I can't wait to go back. Here's a peek at some of the fun things we got to do, all squeezed into one day!

Memphis Trip 
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The first place we hit in Memphis was The Beauty Shop Restaurant. You know those places that make you grin from ear to ear as soon as you walk in? This place is SPECIAL. My eyes started tearing up when we sat down because it's just so magical. No joke.

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The food and drinks were absolutely delicious. Definitely a great kick-off to my birthday!

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After brunch, we made our way through some cute local shops, two of my favorites being Red Velvet and Stock & Belle. We didn't do a ton of shopping because it was pretty cold, but I did enjoy popping in a few local boutiques and antique shops, and then grabbing coffee before heading back to our hotel.

Memphis, TN Untitled Memphis, TN
On the way back to our hotel the girls conned me into going to the giant Bass Pro pyramid. We come from a city with a huge Bass Pro, so I wasn't super eager to go all the way to Memphis and find myself there. It ended up being fun, though. We took the elevator to the top part of the pyramid and enjoyed a gorgeous sunset. (The first photo from this post was taken from up there as well.)

Memphis, TN Memphis, TN
After I dropped my crew back at the hotel, I met my sweet friend, Natalie (of The Crybaby Club), at The Liquor Store for drinks and a snack. Let me tell you, the drinks and appetizers there are incredible.

Untitled Memphis Trip
How cute is their neon bathroom sign? In love.

It was wonderful getting to visit with her. We've been internet friends for quite a while now, so it was nice to finally meet up in the real world.

After I got back to our hotel, my sweet crew had birthday cake and presents waiting. They sang me "Happy Birthday" and we spent the remainder of the night just hanging out together. It was a lovely end to a special day.

Memphis, TN
Memphis, TN
(Find this pin here.)

Whew. Talk about squeezing everything we could into one day! It was a good trip and I'm so glad Hope's gymnastics competition took us there. Otherwise, I'm pretty sure I would have spent the day curled up under blankets, hiding from the cold. 😂

You have our hearts, Memphis! xo.

Tuesday, January 9

Goals for 2018

Goals 2018
So here we are. 2018. Part of me can't even wrap my brain around it. Another part of me is excited for some big changes in the months ahead. I mean, you can make big changes any time of year, but there's often a built-in motivator to a brand new year. That being said, I'm here to share a few of my goals with you! I've decided not to list out a whole bunch of things that I may or may not accomplish, but really be intentional with a set few.

Over the course of 2017, I started transitioning to safer beauty products. With so many friends into oils, chemical-free beauty routines, and no-animal testing makeups... well, it really hasn't been very hard. My biggest thing with "natural" beauty products is that they often don't work very well. You've gotta try to know though, right? The two best things I did for myself last year was try out Beautycounter (thanks, Jess!) and subscribe to the Oui Fresh monthly beauty box. Here are some of my favorite products:

Goals 2018

The Beautycounter foundation and moisturizers above are my absolute favorite. (I'm also a Beautycounter consultant now, but please know this isn't a sales pitch. I just really love these products.) The face oil and face mist are also WONDERFUL for these extremely dry months. I found those in my Oui Fresh boxes. I've also started getting into oils, but I don't feel quite educated enough to share my favorites with you yet! I actually just placed my first big order and I can't wait until it gets here!

So what's the goal in all of this? My goal is to continue toward a healthier lifestyle in general. We've signed up for a monthly food subscription to hold me to cooking at least 3 times a week and really examine what I'm putting in my body. Don't get me wrong, there will still be ice cream parties and donut mornings, I just want to counter those with a lot less processed, fatty junk. You guys know I love my chips.

Goals 2018

Our second big goal is to BUY THIS HOUSE. So, you may or may not know that we still rent this lovely place we call home, but over the last year I've been working hard to build my credit and we've been saving as much as possible. We really want to be able to call this place OURS. We have some big projects in mind for this home, but those upgrades don't really make any sense when we're pouring our dollars into someone else's property.

Casa Caracol

My third goal for the year is to travel for recreation more. We travel regionally a lot for The Mixtapes, but I want to make 2018 our year of seeing more and doing more. My milage credit card is definitely going to help out with that one! Our first big trip we have planned for the year is a New Orleans trip with some wonderful friends in April! I've never been before, so I'm completely excited to get a feel for the city. Also, if you guys have any recommendations of favorite places, please share!

Well, those are my big goals for 2018. Hopefully putting them down here helps hold me accountable. They are all things I really want for my life, so I'm sure I'll be working hard to see them come to fruition. Happy 2018, friends!

Wednesday, December 27

Christmas 2017

Christmas 2017
We had such a lovely Christmas at home with the girls this year.  Our typical Christmas tradition is basically travel-travel-travel, but these last two years we've changed things up so we can enjoy Christmas morning at home.  It's seriously so nice.  Sometimes it can be hard for us to switch up traditions with family members because of hurt feelings and whatnot, but I honestly wish we had proposed this change years ago.  Having Christmas as a relaxing and slow time instead of chaotic and stressful makes all the difference in fully taking it in.

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You guys.  Poesy's face just kills me in this one.  Oh, to feel like that again.  Being a kid at Christmas is just the best.

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Poesy lost her voice this year, so listening to her high-pitched shrieks was pretty entertaining.  She gets excited about EVERYTHING, so you can probably imagine all squeaking and honking. 

This is the first year Hope hasn't really wanted any toys.  I was nervous about navigating those waters, but it was actually the most fun year for me to shop for her.  She likes clothes and jewelry and games.  Her favorite gift was a pink Taco Bell hoodie that I found at Forever 21 earlier this year.  It was the very first Christmas gift I bought-- that kid LOVES Taco Bell.  Her big present was a Harry Potter overnight bag filled with gobs of smaller Harry Potter presents.  (Clothes, Pop figures, DVDs, jewelry, etc.)  It was also a win!

Poesy's school travels to a local church once a month to shop with points they've earned.  There are clothes, toys... well, quite a variety of things.  The church gifted the kids 20 extra points so they could shop for family members, and Poesy was thrilled to have her very own presents to give us.  She picked a Springfield Cardinals hat for Johnny and I got a three pack of dollar store eyeshadow. 😂 It was precious and so very thoughtful.

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The last 4 pictures are some of my favorite gifts from this year.  Johnny's mom and dad braved auctions to find these beautiful head vases for me.  I mean, I'm now the proud owner of a Lucille
Ball head vase.  What?!  She will go perfectly next to my Elizabeth Taylor vase.

The swan measuring cups were a sweet gift from Hope.  She braved the mall days before Christmas and bought these with her own money.  I love to see this thoughtfulness shining through her.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday.  I know family stuff can be tough sometimes... I'm thankful for a year without any drama and a slow-paced, nap-filled Christmas.  xo.