My weekend – via iPhone

Some of you may be wondering where I have been since last year when I posted last – and some of you may already know where I’ve been. Suffice it to say, it has been a whirlwind of a past few months for us, and I’m finally ready to get back into the swing of this blogging thing.

I don’t want to waste time catching you all up on the ins and outs of the past few months {trust me, there’s nothing interesting to share, I really haven’t been up to much!} so let’s just hop right into how I’ve spent this week/weekend. Warning: This will be all from photos off my iPhone. I only decided about ten minutes ago that I was going to jump back into posting, so I didn’t know to get out the good camera – or to have my sister come take pictures! With that being said, here we go!

Honestly, this weekend has been a glorious weekend. My husband and I were BOTH in town this weekend at the same time, and didn’t have concrete plans. This may seem to most as normal or nothing to get excited about, but lately, for us, this is a “little luxury” and I intended to soak up all of this time together. We’ve been trying to take a different approach to life lately. A slower one, focused on more time together, more intimate, more calm and kept to ourselves. I stumbled across a quote the other day that embodied everything we have been feeling lately, and it’s been such an inspiration. It says “The older I get, the more I realize the value of privacy, of cultivating your circle and only letting certain people in. You can be open, honest, and real while still understanding not everyone deserves a seat at the table of your life.”  That struck a cord. Just some food for thought for your Sundays!

Let’s get right into the weekend. On Friday, it was particularly stormy, and I thought we were probably going to be stuck in for the night {which I was completely content with!} but right as Charles got home, the storm had cleared, the sun came out, and a beautiful rainbow appeared. I should have known right then that good weekend was to come. We ended up getting sushi, and I was in bed by 9:30. The end.

Saturday morning, I woke well rested and decided to head to our local farmers market with Cholla, our little min-pin. It was only the second weekend this market has been open for season, so there wasn’t a vast amount of vendors, but it was still magnificent. Look at my loot! I’m fairly certain you can smell that gorgeous mint through the computer..

We had a great time, despite the chilly weather. We went back home and made a cup of coffee and did some research on what we would need from Lowe’s to FINALLY DO SOME LANDSCAPING IN THE FRONT YARD. We had nothing. No flowers, no trees, nothing. I was blessed that Charles was willing to get out of the warm bed on a cold and windy morning to go with me to Lowe’s to pick out flowers, trees, soil, etc. We didn’t completely finish everything we needed to, but we came home, made some mimosas, and got to work on the two flower beds outside of the garage. Look at this before + after. Nothing too fancy, but a significant improvement.

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I tell you what. I had more fun listening to music, drinking mimosas, and planting flowers with Charles than I’ve had in weeks. He makes me laugh, it was just the two of us, and we just had a glorious time. There’s still a lot of work to do creating a flower bed off the guest bedroom window and then doing a small flower bed around the mailbox, but we were happy with what we accomplished. Since it had rained, it was to wet to do anything besides those flower beds…{but that’s okay, that just means I get another fabulous gardening day with my handsome husband..I won’t complain!} We did, however, plant a plethora of veggie seeds and can’t wait to see how they turn out! We planted: green onions, tomatoes, cayenne peppers, jalapeños, vidalia onions, lavender, and mint!

We spent the rest of the afternoon doing a bit of grocery shopping + cleaning around the house. We grilled out steaks with friends and had a nice fire in the backyard. Take a look at some of our new additions to the house decor: The large GATHER sign and the large Letterboard are both from Paperwerk, which I’ve blogged about SO often, and much of the other decor was from Hobby Lobby. All of their items labeled “spring shop” were 40% off {and they were already fabulously priced..}

I am LOVING my new Mainstays essential oil cool mist diffuser. I purchased this at walmart and have been obsessed with Lemongrass and Grapefruit scents. I’ll put a few drops in the diffuser in the mornings and it wake me up and makes me feel refreshed. I’ll switch out of sandalwood or lavender at bedtime. Do you have a favorite essential oil? Please share if you do..

Sunday has been spent lazily drinking coffee, puppy walks, and then we are going golfing with some out of town friends {well, the boys will be golfing..I’ll be sitting in the golf cart!} 

I hope you’ve had as wonderful of a slow weekend as I have. I’ll leave with with a recent picture of the mister and myself.

Ho Ho, XO!

Welcome to my witching hour. I hope my post will be at it’s prime today because of the fact that I’m writing it during my favorite hours of the day — the wee hours of the morning.

`Everything is so peaceful between 5-7am. So peaceful. The peace is only intensified during the Christmas season. Everything during life is so chaotic during this time, I’m rushing back and forth from one place to the other, only to come home and have a to do list as long as my arm, so getting to spend a few hours knocking out the essential to do list items during a time of day when it’s oh so silent, my husband and sweet pups are sleeping, and the Christmas tree lights and twinkling just makes my soul soar. Now, of course I only get to enjoy these hours during the weekend – when I should be sleeping in – because I have to work at 6am during the week, and usually, I do sleep in..until at least 6:30 on the weekends, but today I had to take my parents to the airport, which means no “sleeping in” for me. {I foresee naps in my future..} Luckily, I got to spend some much needed time prepping for my husband’s 30th birthday lake weekend, and I can’t WAIT to share with you the fun things I have in store for him.

Okay. I’m sitting in bed with Milli the doberman curled up in the tiniest little ball next to me, I’ve got a cup of french vanilla coffee in the cutest sweater mug you ever did see {thanks, Katie!!}, and the winter morning light is starting to pour in the bedroom. Let’s start this post.

I know I just shared a few drinks with you a few months ago {ahem, I have been drinking that Cranberry Moscow Mule for WEEKS now..each time it just keeps getting better, so I hope you loved it too!} but I wanted to share a more “big batch” recipe with you that will be perfect for your holiday hostessing. I was doing a lot of soul searching Pinterest searching, and was trying to get inspired for a new Christmasy cocktail.

Can we pause for a moment to talk about the HYSTERICAL names for Christmas Cocktails? I’ve found everything from Santa’s little helper, Santa’s little ho ho, Jingle Juice, Grinch Green Punch, Rudolph’s tipsy spritzer, Yuletide Mules, the Red Rudolph..I could go on and on. I just love every single name! It makes me feel all holly and jolly inside. I perused all of the recipes, and I just couldn’t find one I was amazingly excited to make, so I decided to put my own twist on a winter sangria. I adapted this from a “secret sangria” recipe I found on Pinterest. First of all, why do people call things “secret recipes” even after they have shared them with you? I don’t understand. More like not so secret sangria.

I hope you enjoy this little recipe I’ve concocted, and I hope you get the chance to use this at your Christmas gatherings. Never miss an opportunity to get boozy with family and friends that you don’t always see! I’m giving you the “Big Batch” recipe, but feel free to adapt for yourself! Oh, and I’ve named this cocktail “Ho Ho, XO” 

  • 1 can La Croix {or Aquafina sparkling grapefruit water, or Fresca, or Squirt..}
  • 1 bottle champagne {Don’t use extra dry. Use either Brut or Spumante. I honestly think Spumante may make this drink too sweet with all of the other sweet flavorings in this sangria, so Brut would probably be your best bet. Because, you know, me being a professional bar tender and all…}
  • 2 cups vodka 
  • 1 cup white juice {You can use white grape peach, white grape, white cranberry..whatever you want, just make it kind of fruity tasting}
  • 1/2 can frozen limeade {softened..}
  • Garnish {cranberries, pomegranate seeds, rosemary..whatever you’d like, really!}

You stir it all together {..and you turn yourself around, that’s what it’s all about! 10 bonus points to you if you read this singing “do the hokey pokey”} in a big pitcher, and let it chill. Letting it chill isn’t necessary, you can pour this into a glass and drink right away, however, one, I like to make things ahead of time when I’m anticipating a large group, and two, I like the different flavors to get a chance to blend a little bit better.

Now, clearly in the pictures below, I only made enough for one person. Do as I say, not as I do, alright? It was just myself drinking this and I didn’t want to make enough for a party until Christmas Eve. Also, I wrote this post on Saturday and didn’t get it uploaded until Monday..don’t hate me.

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Have a few glasses of this drink and it’s you that’ll be merry

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bottle popping struggles

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Glaring at your husband / photographer

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#LiveLocalFS || 25th Annual Survivors Challenge

Hopefully by now, you are all very well versed in the #LiveLocalFS series that I’m doing. I’m not sure if this ever came across quite how I intended for it to, but the whole point of the mini-series is to showcase this wonderful town that we all have the pleasure of living in. I absolutely adore this town, and I know some people don’t know a lot about Fort Smith – they may have just moved here recently, they may commute from smaller towns here to come work, or they may live in a bigger city like Fayetteville and not really see the appeal to a smaller town like Fort Smith. Well I’m here to tell you, Fort Smith is constantly surprising me with the progress it has been making lately.

Who reading this has taken part in local events recently? Please comment and let me know. We’ve had some great local events lately – let me highlight a few:

Ø  The UnexpectedFS festival {that art is incredible and makes our town vibrant!}

Ø  The Dragon Boat Races {how fortunate are we to live in a river town where we can do these fun things?}

Ø  Ales for Trails {a personal favorite…for obvious reasons}

Ø  New York in the Fort {sadly I was out of town and didn’t get to attend!}

These are all relatively newer events to Fort Smith, AR and I love each one of them. They are all unique, and they all require hard work from board members, and it requires participation from the people in our community. My heart soars when I see how the good people of Fort Smith have been showing up to support community events! Especially these new, exciting, and ambitious events. But today, I want to talk about an event that’s been around for quite some time.  For 25 years, in fact..

Let’s talk about The 2016 Survivors Challenge – The 25th ANNUAL EVENT

I remember when I was in junior high school and high school, I myself ran the 5k portion of the Survivors Challenge, and I have very fond memories of running this race. My best memory was sprinting like my life depended on it to beat a girl ahead of me during the final stretch of the race {I know you’re all dying to know, and yes, I did end up beating her – success!} I’m not a runner, not athletic at all, and certainly not a huge fan of running, but somehow I was in cross country for years & years – yes, I started because I wanted to impress a boy – don’t all teenagers do not-the-brightest things for puppy love?

Back then, I didn’t really comprehend the complexity behind this race – I went because our coaches made us. As I’ve grown older, the Survivors Challenge has grown more meaningful and even more of a staple event in our community. Have you heard of this event? Let me tell you a little bit about what the event stands for and supports.

I got the privilege of meeting with Kandice Poirier, Events Coordinator at the support house. The 2016 Survivors Challenge is going to be held the weekend of October 14th-October 15th, and is presented by The Donald W. Reynolds Cancer Support House. Each year, runners from all over the region gather together to participate in the Survivors Challenge, where they support the Cancer Support House. It’s an opportunity for everyone to memorialize loved ones fighting cancer, or those who are currently fighting the tough battle. This year, to commemorate the 25th YEAR {can we just pause and appreciate the support this awesome community and this important organization have given over the past 25 years? Having an event last this long is impressive and not an easy feat, and it’s all thanks to our WONDERFUL COMMUNITY!}, they are having their first annual Survivors Challenge WEEKEND! Not just a run, but a whole weekend full of festivities. The 25th Annual Survivors Challenge is also teaming up with Over The Edge to bring a rappelling challenge to all of you daredevils amongst us. Don’t worry, Over The Edge has the highest level SPRAT certification that you can possibly have – this shindig will be safe as can be!

Here’s a breakdown of what to expect this year:

FRIDAY NIGHT {October 14th,1-4PM}: 

Ø  Over The Edge VIP night –> Come out to the First National Bank in Downtown Fort Smith to watch local celebrities rappel first national bank. On Friday from 1-3 pm, the Fort Smith Fire Department will be testing the ropes to ensure everyone’s safety. Starting at 4pm, local celebrities, including Congressman Womack, Dawson Meadows, and my personal favorite, everyone’s most loved local weather man, GARRETT LEWIS, will be rappelling down the side of First National downtown. We encourage everyone to come out and watch as these brave souls make their trek down the building.

SATURDAY {October 15th}

Ø  Survivors Challenge Race –> There’s a few options for all of you athletes here. The first option is the 10k Race, beginning at 8am at the Cancer Support House. The second option {a little less scary intense, is the 5k Race & walk, starting at 8:10am The third option is the Celebration Walk, which starts at 08:20am. If you’re not up for running – you can still UNRUN and donate to the cause! You can also go to the website, found here, and see who still needs donations to meet their Over the Edge goal!

Ø  Survivors Challenge FESTIVAL, 9am until the party stops –>Now we’re talking. This sounds like my kind of party. Starting at 9am in downtown Fort Smith, the festival will have your favorite local food trucks, kegs provided by Core Brewing {hello, now we’re really talking,} and entertainment for the kids! There will be a huge inflatable tv that will be playing the AR vs. Ole Miss game, and live music by The Crumbs! You’ll also get to watch people rappel down First National Bank all.day.long.

Does any of this sound intriguing to you? Check out the website, found here, for more information and to SIGN UP. In order to rappel Over the Edge of First National, you have to fundraise, which you can start doing on the website above! Here’s a breakdown of what your money will get you {graphic provided by The Donald W. Reynolds Cancer Support House, because I’m just not that talented!}

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Not wanting to rappel, but feeling like your boss should? Well, how about you TOSS YOUR BOSS!  Raise $1,500 and you can register you boss to rappel. If they are too scared, your boss will sit in the “chicken coop” on the ground, but they’ll have to raise $500 more to get out! Hmm..I can think of a few bosses of mine that might like rappel {Thank GOODNESS, it took me until this very time typing “rappel” to spell it correctly and not have autocorrect flip out..}

For signing up for these events, you’ll get a “swag bag,” and everyone loves a good swag bag.

This cause is becoming very near and dear to my heart. I will be doing a follow up post soon with a full tour of the Cancer Support House in an effort to give you insight into all of the wonderful services they provide to our community – from a salon for cancer patients with free wigs, to gas vouchers and grocery vouchers for those who have to travel to treatments. This facility is run by donations – they receive no state or federal funding. It’s imperative for our community to step up for events like this and donate to a cause that means more to this community than some will ever know.

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The top of the First National Bank building in downtown Fort Smith

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Swoon. I mean, wait, what? You didn’t read that, I’ll never tell. Thanks again Garrett for supporting the Reynolds Cancer Support House!
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For more information, view the website, http://www.reynoldscancersupporthouse.org, or please message me and I can either answer your questions or get you in contact with someone who can {..this option seems more likely!} I especially want to thank Kandice for being kind enough to sit and speak with me about this event, and for providing the pictures seen above!

 

 

Easy like Sunday morning

I’ve come to learn that whether you’re going through a rough time in your life, whether you’re stressed out to the max, whether you’re not feeling well, or whether you’re fit as a fiddle and everything in your life is going perfectly, one thing will always remain the same:

When you get home from work after a tiresome and long day, you want to get as comfortable as possible. It’s a fact. Home is a place of comfort, it’s a place where you can relax and replenish. As soon as I get home, the work clothes come off, the comfy clothes go on, and the hair goes into a bun. I joke around with my poor husband that he never gets to see me dolled up, because whenever we are at home together, I’m always in sweats!

Even though I love getting comfy when I get home, I typically don’t categorize myself as a t-shirt kind of person. You’ll never catch me wanting to throw on a hoodie with my favorite college on it, you won’t see me in line at concerts to buy a memorial t-shirt, It’s just really not me. {The one major exception is during Razorback season and maybe, just MAYBE you will see me in some hog related shirt..but it won’t be your typical cotton- polyster blend material shirt} Maybe it’s because I have a short neck and hoodies / high neck shirts just make me look uncomfortable and like I’m twelve, or maybe it’s the supremely uncomfortable fabric that keeps me at bay, but regardless, I just never have the feeling of “I need to run to the grocery store, let me throw on this t-shirt.”

Don’t get me wrong – I have nothing against t-shirts, I have nothing against people who wear t-shirts. I, more than most, LOVE to go home from a long day and get comfortable. But for me, t-shirts just aren’t going to cut it. I need soft material, I need oversized material. Lucky for you, I’ve found a few “holy grail” comfy sweatshirts {they are lightweight! Don’t worry!} that are cute enough to wear around town but cozy enough to cuddle in at home. You know when you see those movies where the leading lady has the most perfect sweatshirt when she’s at her house just lounging? The perfect sweatshirt that doesn’t make her look bulky or frumpy, but casual and relaxed? I think I found the exact one that they were wearing.

Ladies / gentleman / anyone who is reading right now, I introduce to you The Weekender sweatshirt by Z Supply{check this sweatshirt out here}. Maybe it’s exhaustion, or maybe I’m just this corny, but it makes me want to go all Dr. Seuss…I would wear this sweatshirt in a boat, I would wear this sweatshirt with a coat, I would wear this sweatshirt in the mall, I would wear this sweatshirt to a ball…

I’ll stop now {but just know I COULD keep going!}

In all seriousness, I was so obsessed with this sweatshirt when I bought it a few days ago in the olive color that I went out and bought it in the grey color less than 24 hours later….and I’m probably going to get the dark gray/navy-ish…color as well, don’t think I’m scared. As an added bonus, I picked this up at a local boutique called Hazel’s Haven{check them out here!} and scored this sweatshirt for $38.50!       {WAIT…………….. so you’re telling me I can SHOP LOCAL and SAVE. MONEY?} Hazel’s Haven has proved it possible.

Since it’s been such a wild ride this week, I only took a few pictures in this sweatshirt, but you can see more on Hazel’s Haven’s Instagram, as well as on the Z Supply website. Next week, you’ll see a fun collaboration post with my talented sister, which will be the first segment in my Shop Local, A Guide to Fort Smith, Arkansas series that I’ll be running for the next couple of months. Stay tuned, and stay in touch!

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This picture is purely to show you the slit in the sides of the top — So adorable

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Easy Breezy

Happy Sunday, and Happy Mothers Day if you’re a mother {either a mother of actual babies or of fur babies, I give full credit to both!}

I typically don’t sleep in very late, but I got an extra early wake up call this morning from my husband. He’s at the lake this weekend helping getting everything summer-ready and decided 6:30 would be a good time to call – I had other thoughts. It’s actually good that I got up a bit earlier this morning, since now I can finish cooking for mother’s day brunch. I made a batch of homemade Raspberry Sweet Rolls yesterday – check the recipe out here! – and now I need to let them come to room temperature and start cooking the breakfast potatoes. The clock is ticking until brunch time – and the mimosa bar! 

Whether you’re going out to brunch/lunch, going out to dinner, or staying in and cooking brunch like we are for mothers day, I have an outfit that might meet the cut. I always like to be comfortable while still dressing up a little bit. This outfit is every bit comfortable, cute, and you can add your own personal flair to the look.

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This outfit can be changed up in many ways. Add a blazer for an edgier look, ditch the boyfriend jeans and add a pair of dark skinny jeans, or add a long, cozy cardigan for a more relaxed feel. As for the shoes, there’s really not a whole lot that wouldn’t work with this outfit. My favorite part is the deep V in the back, which is kind of been a running theme with my lately. The spring like colors could easily be toned down to transition into fall.

Top: Suite One Boutique   Boyfriend Jeans: Old Navy   Shoes: Suite One Boutique

Well it’s time for me to get back to work {the kitchen waits for no one} Don’t forget to tell your mom how much you love her!