Five on Friday!

Friday, June 26, 2015

I'm finally back for Five on Friday!! I feel like it's been forever since I've done one of these but in reality, I only missed one week.

Sunday morning Stephen and I grabbed bagels for our first breakfast at the new house and wanted to get something different for the cream cheese so we picked out a vanilla flavor! It's actually really good, especially with blueberry bagels!

Thank you so much for all your kind words and congrats about us buying a house! Thankfully, it is going really well and I'm trying to get all of the boxes out before taking pictures for the blog. I'll be taking a little blogging break next week but I'm hoping to have some sort of a house tour posted the week after!

For our first night in the house, we decided we wanted a healthier dinner (and not buy our 5th pub sub within a week) so we got Publix salads and sparkling grape juice to celebrate! It was so much fun sitting on the kitchen floor talking about that day and how we were finally home owners! I have to say, the Publix salad on the left is amazing (but I can't remember what it's called)!

I am really enjoying the view from our back yard, especially while doing dishes or working in the kitchen. It really makes chores seem better ;)

The sunrises have been so pretty!

Please ignore the water stains on the windows

I'm so glad that I can now start officially decorating the house! However, I feel like I'm in a rut until I'm able to buy some of the bigger staple pieces so I've been on the lookout for living room chairs, rugs and tables. Once those come, then everything else will fall into place. Definitely learning this is a process that will take a while to complete.

At some point, I'd love to get a wooden monogram for our family room or master bedroom! I stumbled upon this website that has them for great prices but I have no clue on the quality of the items.

Beach Vacation | Shoes

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Today is my final post for my 3-part series of what to bring to the beach - I'm talking about shoes! What are you favorite shoes to wear to the beach?

Part 1: Beach Bags
Part 2: Outfits

Linking up with Annie.

We Bought a House!!!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Stephen and I are so excited to finally be able to say we bought a house (although you probably heard something about it on Friday or if you follow me on Instagram)! We closed on Friday and started moving smaller boxes and whatnot immediately. On Saturday, we had some help and were able to make the final move. We are so thrilled to finally be homeowners!

Without giving too many details, here's our story about how God prepared the way for us to become homeowners.

Stephen and I have fantastic jobs - we love what we do and enjoy going to work everyday - but the area where we live isn't so fantastic. The only reason we live here because it's as in the middle as you can get to both our jobs (my drive was 45 min each way and Stephen's is about 30 min). We began to question if this was the right place for us and where God ultimately wanted us to live. We'd been praying for about a year as to where God wanted us to live so we could finally settle down and start growing roots. We hit it hard when it came to finances and saved as much money as we could knowing wherever God sent us, we'd want to purchase a house. It was hard waiting, but God taught me a lot about patience (I always need that, but I might not always want it) and He provided!

A few months ago, God answered our prayers in the form of some amazing opportunities for Stephen at work. We decided it was time to settle down and God was telling us to stay. We knew we didn't want to stay in the area we were living so we started looking around town. We narrowed into a nice area not too far away (the drives will be about 15 min longer but the location is worth it) and decided to start looking for houses. The houses around were good not great - they were all about 10-20 years old and needed some upgrades. Don't get me wrong, they weren't bad I just didn't envision us living in a house like that. I always saw us buying new, not a 20 year old house.

We found a house that was built in 1994 and needed a little bit of work but we thought it was the perfect size and it had an amazing backyard. We placed an offer and fortunately, we didn't budge when the owner wanted more money than it was worth. The day before seeing that house, we stumbled upon one of Stephen's co-workers in a nice neighborhood that we both liked but was out of budget and he told us that there was a house being flipped down the street. The house was torn apart and we said it'd be a great 2nd choice if the 1st house didn't work out. Turns out, it was just under our budget and after seeing it again (and the 1st house falling through), we fell in love with it!

The guy who owns it, flips houses as a hobby and was half way through - everything ended up getting upgraded. It's as if no one had lived there - so I got my new build yet we're in an established neighborhood. We initially thought it was going to be too big but it'll be perfect and we won't have to move out as soon when kids start to arrive. We were able to get an offer in before the house was even on the market and thankfully, they accepted.

We just love this house and can't wait to continue living our lives in here! The Lord was so faithful to us and answered our prayers. He might not have answered them right away, but He provided. This whole story was crafted carefully by God and I couldn't be happier that we're where He wants us.

This is why I've been so absent on the blog the last few months. Hopefully once we get settled, postings will be back to normal.

Beach Vacation | What to Wear

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The countdown is on until Hilton Head - only 2 more weeks! Today I'm continuing with my 3-part series of items to bring to the beach and today I'm sharing some of my favorite outfits for HHI.
Tank / Romper / Chino Shorts / Hat / Cover Up / Dress

Part 1: Beach Bags

Linking up with Annie

July 4th Bridesmaid Inspiration

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

I've teamed up with Weddington Way to create an inspiration board for bridesmaids during a July 4th wedding. I was very excited to participate for a few reasons 1. Weddington Way is a neat company that compiles all of the major designers' bridesmaids dresses (more on that later) 2. I love all things wedding,s so of course I'm all over it 3. Stephen and I got married on July 5th and my parents got married on July 4th so early July is a special time for us. Instead of creating just one look, I decided to create three different looks with the bridesmaid dress colors of red, white and blue.

The first dress is an adorable red number that is simple, sophisticated and fun! With the cinched in waist, it would be flattering on all your girls, and they'll thank you for having a dress that poofs out so they don't have to buy spanx to suck it all in.

I've never been a huge fan of white/creams for bridesmaid dresses since the bride should be the only one in white, but I've been seeing lots of lighter colored bridesmaid dresses and they're starting to grow on me! I love how different, yet elegant this dress is with the neckline and the flowy sleeves.

This navy dress is adorable and perfect for a summer wedding. The sweetheart neckline is perfect and the flower on the side is a cute touch! I am obsessed with the white flowers and gold Kate Spade shoes.

I wish I utilized Weddington Way while I was planning my wedding - they have so many great items! They compile all of the great/popular bridesmaid dress designers into one website for super easy searching. They have whole sections for bridal event wear like bridal shower dresses, getaway dresses, rehearsal dinner dresses, etc. They also have a section for gifts for bridesmaids/flower girls, flower girl dresses and bridesmaid dresses that you can rent instead of purchase!

*I was contacted by Weddington Way to create this post but was not compensated in any form. All opinions are my own.

Five on Friday!

Friday, June 12, 2015

I am so thankful it's Friday! This week seems to have flown by even though my days at work have seemed long - not gonna complain about that!

I found out that Bath and Body Works is having their semi-annual sale so I had to run by and snag some things that we needed. I was looking for some hand soaps and some travel items for our guest bathroom - boy was it hard to stay on task. They have so many new great summer scents! I probably had about 10 hand soaps in my hand at one point but ended up with 4. Is it bad that the packaging/sticker on the containers really swayed my decision? They were too adorable to pass up and they smelled really good. I was really good and steered clear of the 3-wick candles but caved and got a beautiful peach candle for $6.

I'm obsessed with these scents and their packaging #bringingthesouthtoflorida

There's a mile-long running trail behind our building at work that a lot of people like to run on during lunch. I can't imagine running that thing during lunch - I would stink the rest of the day! However, my friend and I decided to try to walk it a few times a week during lunch and so far, we've only made it 1 day so far because of the rain. I was laughing at how ridiculous I looked in my sneakers and work clothes so I had to snag a picture. It was definitely nice to get out of the office for a few minutes though!

I've noticed (hard not to) that the new summer trend is flamingos and pineapples. They're everywhere, but I'm not going to complain because they're so cute! I recently downloaded a flamingo background for my phone from May Designs and I'm loving it! It's got me thinking I should find a cute pineapple background for my lock screen....

Stamp designer, 2712, recently ran a promotion for a self-inking custom return address stamp this week on Jane. I had to jump on it because we've had our other one for a few years, I'm ready for the change and the design is a little big. I'm so excited with what we picked and can't wait to get it in the mail!!

Earlier this week I decided to make a Greek Pasta Salad and it was amazing! I used this recipe and instead of making my own dressing, I used a Greek Vinaigrette salad dressing that we had at home. It was delicious and so lite, whereas the Italian Pasta Salad that I usually make is a little more heavy. The Greek salad is perfect for summer and will definitely be on rotation in our house.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!!

Beach Vacation | Beach Bags

Thursday, June 11, 2015

I am so excited because in 3 weeks Stephen and I will be joining my parents and my sister on the beautiful island of Hilton Head in SC. My family has been going there for vacation since I was a baby and we always have an absolute blast! Stephen has never gone on one of my family vacations so I'm excited to show him where we've spent at least a week every summer.

I've decided to do a 3-part post on items to bring/wear to HHI. Today I'm all about beach bags! I've been seeing some adorable ones lately so we'll see if I pull the trigger on a new one or keep using the one I already have.

Linking up with Annie

Baked Tacos

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Stephen and I always enjoy a good Mexican dish (I mean this week we're eating chicken enchilada bowls for the 100th time). I've seen a bunch of "baked taco" recipes on Pinterest and other blogger's sites so I finally decided to give it a try. They actually turned out really good! These will definitely be on repeat in our house and the nice thing is you can make them tons of different ways.

*You can really use whatever you'd like inside the tacos. Below are the items we used.
- Hamburger meat (approx 1 lb)
- Hard taco shells 
- Taco seasoning (we used some home made seasoning that was gifted to us)
- Salsa
- 1 onion
- Mexican cheese
- Sour cream
**Next time, I'd add lettuce and tomatoes on top after everything has baked

1. Cook your hamburger meat. Once the meat is cooked, drain the grease, add a teaspoon or 2 of water (add water according to the taco seasoning packet) and then add your taco seasoning. Make sure everything is well combined.

2. Lightly spray some non-stick cooking spray on a baking dish and line up your taco shells. Fill shells with hamburger meat, salsa, onions (we grilled ours prior), and cheese. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. 

3. Once your tacos are done, top with remaining items (sour cream, tomatoes, etc.) and enjoy!

I did have some lessons learned with this recipe:
1. The bottom of the tacos got a little soggy so I had some blow outs. I'm attributing this to either I didn't let them cook long enough (I took them out 2 min early), I put too much spray in the baking dish or I didn't drain the grease from the meat enough. 

2. I planned on having this dish for 2 nights and cooked/baked everything the first night. Next time, I'll cook everything the first night but then only bake what we were going to eat each night. They were a lot more soggy the 2nd night but heating them up in the oven instead of the microwave seemed to help. 


Monday, June 8, 2015

Stephen and I had a great weekend - it was very productive and yet nice and relaxing. After work on Friday, we didn't do too much which was great after a long a busy week. We planned on sleeping in on Saturday but that didn't happen; I was up and ready to go by 8:30 am. We spent the whole morning cleaning and getting our apartment in order which was great!

Saturday evening we headed out to do some window shopping and attend an Ethan Allen book release party. The party was interesting (filled with singers and dancers) and I'm pretty sure we were the youngest people in there, but it was fun and we got a free copy of their new design book which I will gladly use as a coffee table book.

I had to appreciate the personalization on the bags

The dancer... not going to lie, it was a little awk

After the Ethan Allen experience, we ran over to Melting Pot for dinner. It was delicious and we were stuffed - we didn't even get cheese or dessert!! Next time, we'll go for just dessert or cheese fondue.

I wanted to watch a movie after we got home so I had to laugh when I saw Jurassic Park on at least 4 different channels!! They're really promoting the new movie (Can't wait to see it on vacation in a few weeks!).

Did anyone see the ADORABLE pictures Kate took of Prince George and Princess Charlotte?! So stinking cute!!! His socks are just too much!

I also realized this weekend that our 2nd anniversary is quickly approaching and I haven't even thought of what to get Stephen! I'd like to stick with the traditional gift of cotton but I'm not sure what to get. I want something sentimental but not too expensive. I'd love to hear some of your gift ideas!!

Linking up with Biana.

Three on Friday

Friday, June 5, 2015

So I thought this week I'd have a little more time and be better about blogging but that has yet to be proven true... Last night, I didn't even realize that today was Friday - so now I'm writing this post 45 minutes after I like to have them automatically posted. Anyways, life if just getting crazier and crazier and I'm hoping things will slow down come July.

Since I waited so long to write this post, I've only got three things for y'all this Friday.

Season 3 of Chrisley Knows Best aired Tuesday!! Stephen and I watched it and we were cracking up the whole time! This show is such a riot!!!

Has anyone seen the crazy Shia LaBeouf motivational videos? My sister started sending me snapchats of his videos and we haven't looked back since. It is the funniest thing ever and we can't stop laughing! Here are my 2 favorite versions below...

This week has been filled with some great friend time! One day after work I was able to get together with some old friends and catch up which was super fun (I was a bad blogger and didn't get any pictures). And last night I was able to skype with my friend, Susannah! We met in high school and unfortunately we don't live near each other which stinks, but I love our skype dates and laugh because they always end up lasting for 2 hours (sorry hubby's!). 

I hope everyone has a great weekend!