Links I’m Loving

1. Ten quick and easy moves to do before breakfast. (

2. This is why leaves change colors – and other fun fall facts. (real

3. I plan on making this dip for a little appetizer soon. (

4. Reading Jen Hatmaker’s hilarious and on-point thoughts on Gilmore Girls makes me want to re-watch the whole series ASAP. (

5. Game day outfit ideas for every occasion. (

6. Outdoor Halloween decor – I can’t wait to decorate our front porch this weekend! (

7. How to be emotionally intelligent. (

I Can’t Stop Watching Parenthood


There. I said it. The first step is admittance, right? After being told I should watch it by no fewer than ten people, two of those being my friend/former roommate and the other being my mom, I decided to give it a go. I told myself I could always stop if I got bored but let’s be real, once I started I couldn’t stop. I watched season one, episode one maybe a month ago and now I’m almost done with season four. That’s right, I have a problem. I’ve become emotionally invested to the point where I tell my sweet, sweet husband what’s going on in the characters’ lives like they live down the street and are coming over for dinner later. Side note: I would LOVE to have the Bravermans over for dinner!

So before you write me off, those who haven’t gotten sucked in to this captivating NBC series streaming on Netflix, let me share some real-life important things I know for sure now having watched several seasons:

Family is everything

Parenting is hard work and parents everywhere deserve a medal (and a very nice dinner)

I owe my parents a very nice dinner

Outdoor lights are always a good idea

Always embrace the messy, loud and imperfect moments and people

Be there for those you love even if there’s nothing to do

It’s okay to fight with your sibling(s)

Friends who become family are such a blessing and should be cherished

Marriage is a beautiful/tough/fun partnership and worth fighting for

Kids need to see how in love their parents are

Family dinners are a wonderful thing and should be a thing whenever possible

Communication saves relationships

Sometimes you just need to turn on the music and dance around the living room

People may surprise you – let them

You can do thing differently than your parents but their way is good, too

Be quick to forgive and pass grace out like candy

Take risks and go after your dreams

There isn’t much a big hug and a good cry won’t fix (or help at least)

Celebrate everything every chance you get

When times get tough cling to your people and love fiercely

Appreciate it all because life goes by so fast

Fall To-Do List


Today I bought a massive white pumpkin at the Farmer’s Market (that looks killer on our front porch) and while there may be plenty of green still on the trees, our yard is already half-covered in gorgeous leaves that completely freak Buddy out when they fall in front of his face. You know what all that means? Fall is upon us and whether you prefer pumpkin in your spice or not you have to admit there’s nothing sweeter than autumn in Tennessee. There are plenty of fall/Halloween-related activities I’m looking forward to so I created a condensed list of things I plan on doing this fall:

  1. Make homemade apple cider (thinking I’ll try this one)
  2. Decorate the house with pumpkins of every size, shape and color (halfway there)
  3. Spend a night by the fire pit (s’mores are a must)
  4. Make Mom’s famous chili and watch college football all day
  5. Find Buddy the perfect Halloween costume (I can’t stop laughing at this one)
  6. DIY my halloween costume (inspiration here)
  7. Watch “Hocus Pocus”
  8. Attend a hayride and eat lots of candy corn
  9. Carve pumpkins with Taylor
  10. Unplug for a few days
  11. Buy too much candy for trick-or-treaters (so then we can justify eating 8 reese’s cups)
  12. Finish our gallery wall in the hallway (these are swoon-worthy)
  13. Host a dinner party for friends at the house
  14. Send handwritten thank you notes
  15. Take plenty of long walks with Buddy to admire the season

5 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Mood In 2 Minutes (or less)


Experts and moms alike preach that we won’t find happiness in a paycheck or stuff in general. Revolutionary, huh? I consider myself a happy, joy-filled woman but I am human so there are times when I find myself feeling overwhelmed, stressed, exhausted and in need of a serious attitude adjustment. So next time you need to turn around a crazy day at work or brighten up a draggy afternoon, try one of these to lift your mood and bring that award-winning smile back to your face.

Let the Light In

To feel happier in seconds open those windows! Have a little more time? Have breakfast/lunch/snack time outside or near a big window. For those of you who don’t work from home and wear yoga pants on the daily, make sure you make time to sneak out of that dim office filled with recycled air and spend some time outside.

Smell Something Amazing

Light your favorite candle, add a few drops of lavender oil behind your ears or do what I do in a pinch – smell your hair. Yes, I’m serious. SMELL YOUR HAIR. Unless it’s very dirty and has lost all of its amazing botanical scent.

Talk A Walk 

Hands down, this is the best one for me. Whether I’m stressed, anxious, ready to throw my Macbook off the back deck or just need to recharge my batteries during the afternoon slump, a walk around the block always brings my engines back to neutral and gives me the strength to keep on keeping on. Plus, what’s better than getting some fresh air and watching the leaves fall this time of year?

Phone A Friend

I am so blessed to have wonderful friends in my life and you better believe we all keep in touch daily, whether it’s a quick call or a never-ending text conversation (that would make an excellent book, btw). Often times I’m flipping out or feeling down about something but after I’ve chatted with my friend I either a) realized I was overreacting or b) completely forgot what I was so worked up about. Find your tribe and keep them close.

Count Your Blessings

God has blessed us all in a major way and nothing can put that smile back on our face quite like reflecting on those blessings. Sometimes it’s as easy as thinking about people and things you’re thankful for and sometimes it’s more effective if you jot down as many as you can write in two minutes. Remembering all that you have sure brings life’s little annoyances back into perspective and boosts your mood like no other. Have a great weekend! xo

The Newlywed Life: Full of Surprises


It is common knowledge among friends and family that my sweet husband is not the best at keeping secrets when it comes to special occasions. Once he buys something or plans any sort of happy surprise he typically spills the beans anywhere between 4 hours to 2 days after having developed the idea. I love him but it’s a fact as true as my blue eyes.

Well for my birthday this go around he proved me wrong and surprised me from the moment I woke up until we finally fell asleep that night. I woke up to the KitchenAid mixer of my dreams – I immediately named her Ina after The Barefoot Contessa – and a homemade card that made me a little weepy. He also pointed out that his clues made complete sense and I give him credit because he was right! We fixed a big breakfast and were lazy for a while before he whisked me away to the sweetest cafe for a late lunch and some boutique shopping.

What had he planned for the rest of the night? I wasn’t sure, but I let my best girlfriends know something was happening but he wouldn’t budge. After we both got ready and he told me to pack an overnight bag – !!! – we left for Nashville. I started to get suspicious when he was driving around in random neighborhoods surrounding West End and texting at every red light but I never expected what happened next. We walked into the restaurant and the hostess said, “Bell party of 6?” and I was like “I’m sorry what?” Taylor beamed, grabbed my hand, and next thing I knew I was enjoying the most fabulous dinner with my husband and my dearest girlfriends.

Best. surprise. ever.

I smiled and laughed so much my face hurt and the night was even better when we headed to the next location where we donned pink birthday hats (even Taylor) and ate lots of cake.  It doesn’t get much better than a night spent telling old stories and talking about how good life is with your best girlfriends and husband at a dinner they planned together for you. I was thinking it couldn’t get any better until Taylor asked if I was ready for my next surprise.

Ummm yes, but what could possibly be left?

Soon we arrived at the sweetest Bed & Breakfast with a room filled with big windows and chocolates on our pillows. We laid in bed and talked about how great the night was and he spilled how he had planned the whole thing for weeks with the help of my best friends and I fell deeper in love with my husband.

I can’t help but smile when I think about this past weekend and all the many surprises planned with love but you want to know something? The best thing about being married to Taylor isn’t necessarily in the big surprises but in the little ways he surprises me every day. By saying “I love you” mid-conversation. By helping me get the pizza dough just right. By taking out the trash because he sees it needs to be done. By excelling in grad school. By showing me grace when I’m tired or moody or hungry and not the best version of myself. By washing the dishes that wouldn’t fit into the already-full dishwasher because he knows I would appreciate it. God has blesses me in a major way and I pray I never take any of these surprises for granted.

Here’s to a life full of surprises and plenty of love. xo












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Links I’m Loving


  1. 51 Secrets of Adulthood I Learned In My 20s. (
  2. Watch this sweet elderly man wait for his wife with a bouquet of flowers at the airport and try not to feel all the feels. (
  3. Why We Should Take Fun Seriously. (
  4. 11 Ways to Boost Your Self-Esteem in Less Than an Hour. (
  5. Why You Don’t Love God. (
  6. How To Recover After a Bad Night’s Sleep. (
  7. Ingredients To Keep In Your Freezer For Healthy Last Minute Meals. (

Shameless Plug: Yeti Tumbler


My husband bought one of these a few months ago and quickly became obsessed. I mean he went from thinking it was neat to promoting it so much I often asked if he was getting paid for the positive (and sometimes lengthy) endorsements he was sharing with everyone. I stole his tumbler now and then so I wasn’t surprised when my very own Yeti arrived a couple days ago – he’s a keeper.

So what is it? It’s a tumbler with superpowers: stainless steel, double-wall vacuum insulation, and doesn’t sweat. In short, your cold drinks stay cold and your hot drinks stay hot. I love that I can fill it up with ice and that same ice will still be there a day later. I also love that I can keep it in my car and know it will still be cold when I get back, even in the hottest Tennessee heat. Oh, and did I mention you can have yours monogrammed or personalized with a decal? Tell me that didn’t seal the deal.

Want to drink more water? Want to stop wasting money on water bottles? Want something versatile to drink everything from water to coffee in? Get the Yeti tumbler. xo

Fave Five


[ Pretty paint colors ]

Another week breezes by but hello September! Even though I’ve been out of school for a while, I still look at September as being more of the start of a “new year” than January. My nerdy self is living vicariously through Taylor, who is back in school for his graduate work, as he leaves twice a week with his backpack and iPad. There’s just something wonderful about the fall, where everyone is back in a routine and weekends are centered around Church and Football. Am I right?

This week we’ve enjoyed some time at home after a couple weeks away – more about our trip to Gatlinburg coming soon. We picked out the perfect paint color for the living room/hallway and I am so thankful for a husband who doesn’t mind taking on such huge project. He paints, I cook. It’s not a bad trade-off!

We plan to spend this long weekend relaxing as much as possible and enjoying the first SEC football weekend with a party tomorrow afternoon. We’re in charge of bring s’more stuff – YUM. Thanks so much for reading – I hope everyone has an amazing holiday weekend! xo


[ Welcome to the world, sweet baby Walt ]


[ Buddy’s daily post-walk nap ]


[ Weeknight date night with this guy ]


[ The aftermath of having the tween/teen girls over for a devo & dessert ]

Links I’m Loving


  1. 10 insanely nice things you can say to anybody. (
  2. 4 workout moves for a tighter butt. (
  3. This pecan pumpkin bread is going to be a staple in our house this fall. (
  4. The modern cheese plate. (
  5. How to be happier without even trying. (
  6. Looking to celebrate Labor Day in style? Try one of these snazzy party ideas. (
  7. Why you should take yourself out of the running. (

September Checklist


Buh-bye Summer and hello, September! This is my favorite month of the year, rivaled only by December because of our wedding anniversary and Christmas, naturally. I am looking forward to cooler temps, SEC football, tall boots and pumpkin spice everything. Can I get an amen? Here are some of the events and happenings I’m excited to welcome in with open arms this month:

September 4: National Hug Your Boss Day

Yes, you heard it right and this is for real. This will be a lot less awkward if you actually like your boss but if not what a great team-building moment.

September 7: Labor Day

No work! No school! I plan to spend the day with my better half being lazy.

September 10-17: New York Fashion Week

While I won’t be flying to NYC to hit the tents this year, I do plan on wearing my best yoga pants and flipping through Vogues September issue while I watch the shows from my Macbook.

September 8: National Grandparents’ Day

Give your precious grandma or grandpa a call and tell them how much you love them! Brownie points if you send a sweet card via snail mail – correspondence is everything!

September 18: My Birthday

Shameless plug! Gifts not required but I never turn down dark chocolate.

September 20: National Wife Appreciation Day

I thought for sure this was every day but alas, the US of A has deemed the third Sunday in September as the day husbands should step it up.

September 23: The First Day of Fall

This is the day I will allow myself to fully embrace all the pumpkin and cinnamon smells and flavors – pumpkin spice latte anyone? Fingers crossed it will no longer be 90 degrees and I will be able to frolic comfortably in jeans. xo