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My Favorites ... Travel Edition

Oh travel
... I think one of the things I missed most about quarantine was the adventure of traveling.  But ... we are traveling, some, and enjoying smaller trips instead of bigger ones and getting out there to some extent, and I love it.  I have so many places I wish to travel, see, and things to do and have a running list.  Let us all hope that next year is the year that this crazy virus finally gets under control for the duration. One of my favorites things about travel is packing and getting ready for the trip.  I have worked hard to find pieces that I love to travel with, and a system that works time and time again.  I am thrilled to share those pieces with you today, and after, to suggest gifts based on this list. 


The Fabulous Melissa Smrekar ...

I fell in love with all things Melissa Smrekar about a year ago when my friend Nicole shared she was gifting me something she had learned about from Melissa. When I inquired more she shared with me that I was about to adore Melissa and her strong self and cheeky wit.  She was indeed correct, Melissa is a favorite follow for me on Instagram and someone I admire and adore.  Melissa reminds me a lot of my youngest who is also someone who has a strong sense of self, is well spoken, can convince her very well educated and extremely un-waivered in most things father with a perfectly executed power point, and speaks her mind.  I adore all things Melissa. She is bold, she is self-assured in the best way, and she is funny.  You will love her ... 


The Best Tomato Soup ...

This weekend I made a big batch of tomato soup as the first soup of the season.  We love soup and tomato soup is the second favorite in the house, right after Taco Soup.  I like to make it instead of buying it at the store, I think the flavor is better and I can control how much basil I add, which spoiler alert ... is a lot.  With the cold weather coming the soup will be good for lunches all week and will be perfect to add a grilled cheese for dinner on a night when I am tired and ready for dinner and bed.  I made a big stock pot and broke it down into a few containers, one of which I froze.  It is easy to pull out, defrost, and before long the house will be smelling of tomatoes + basil just in time for a warm meal. 


My Love For The Nap Dress


This summer, funny enough at a needlepoint class, I took the plunge and bought my first Hill House Home nap dress.  After seeing so many love theirs and buy them time and time again I decided I needed to understand the hype.  So three of us were busy typing away on our phones instead of listening, sorry Marcy, and in minutes had all purchased two new dresses.  I then stalked my email for days waiting for the goods to arrive and once they did, I put one dress on and immediately understood the hype.  To own a nap dress is to love it. 


Happy Monday ...

Happy Monday!  I had the best weekend, and woke up this morning in a really good mood.  I am a morning person by nature, but this morning I felt lighter and happier than I have in a bit.  I am so excited for the week, some fun things on the list, and just to tackle another week in October.  I shared on Instagram this weekend that October feels like a month of adventure to me, the weekends I crave to pick apples, hit a pumpkin farm, walk through some corn mazes ... and sit by a fire.  It's definitely the crisp air I am loving. 


Fall Alfresco

This time of year I crave to be outside.  I think its the thought that in just a few months it will be too cold and more undesirable to be outside and yet now the weather in the evening is just perfect and crisp and begs for alfresco moments.  As much as I fight summer ending I do love fall once I really give into it.  I am planning a pumpkin carving next weekend ... so I am already thinking of setting a table to carve pumpkins, what to serve, and what I want it to look like.  We only have one week left of pre-Halloween and then it will be just full on fall with all the leaves changing and the time I crave to be outside in the evening will just grow. 


My Favorites ... Bed + Bath

This year when it comes to gift guides I have decided to do it a little bit different.  I always struggle with choosing things from various lists and various retailers, small and large, and trying to put together a list of items that I would love to gift.  I have decided to go about it a little different and instead share with you my favorite things I own and gift and give you some ideas on how to pair and gift them.  I am intentional with gifts and I think this is a better fit for me that massive gift guides.  Every single item on this favorites list, and the ones to come, are things I own, buy again and again and gift to others.  I will not be checking stores for things I think would be a good gift, but instead will be sharing what I swear by, own and love, and how I would gift it.  And to go a step further I would suggest you write a card, let your receiver know why you chose it for them and what your thoughts were in choosing the gift.  I can promise you a handwritten note with your thoughts about why they are important to you, why you chose the item, and how you thought it would bring joy to their life will mean so very much. 


Our Bedroom Refresh ... It's Done!

As you know I have been working on our primary bedroom for a few months, every single thing takes so much longer these days. I am so excited to share we have all of our custom bed linens back from the Upholstery Spa and it is even better than I imagined. 

Let's go back and catch up a bit. 


My Favorite Cold Weather Drink

I will cop to the fact that I do not care for pumpkin spice.  I do not like the smell of it, the taste of it, or sadly, the hype it gets this time of year.  I do, however, love all things pumpkin.  The second the air changes and it gets cold in the fall I want all of the pumpkin things.  I buy pumpkin bread, muffins, soup, cookies and we eat them on repeat.  You will not find me ordering a PSL ... I have to say I just do not like them.  


A Great Trench ...

I love a trench coat ... it's the perfect "I need a light coat for wind and rain" + a great accessory.  A good trench fits well, buttons well (everything lays flat) and folds up well allowing you to wear it and store it in your car without wrinkles.  I have a solid one I snagged a few years ago but this one is truly so very me.  I popped into the store to return a dress and there it was hanging next to the counter.  I swapped that dress for this coat and the rest is history. 


Halloween Explosion ...

I have decorated for Halloween for many years but to varying degrees.  Sometimes I just do carved pumpkins and tea lights and other times I have decorated the stoop with more details and even dressed a scarecrow as me.  I have never added blowups to our yard as they really aren't me ... but this year I have gone all out.  When my father in law went into hospice I decided I would decorate with every single thing I had since his birthday falls on Halloween. When he passed away a few weeks ago I added to my stash to make sure it was full all Hallows eve over here to celebrate him. 


Six Things I Bought + Loved Vol. 11

Happy Monday
... I am a little sleepy from all the activities last week and then Homecoming this weekend, but in the best way.  It was a fun week and my girl was the cutest for the dance.  She had the best time and I was up early Sunday morning waiting on the sofa with all the coffee to get all the juicy details.  They had a blast ... and their group is so cute, oooh ... high school.  It will another busy week as their volleyball team has made it to the finals and my girl has been cleared to play so ... all the prayers please for the safety of her ankle.  

Does life ever slow down?  I think not


A Perfect Breakfast Idea

When I was planning what to pack to take to Athens my list also included snacks, a cheese tray, and a breakfast idea.  I was excited about being able to enjoy the house we rented and I wanted to try out something I wanted to make, a toast board, and I figured a group of girls was perfect to use as a test subject.  I stopped at Trader Joes on my way out of town and snagged all my ingredients for both the cheese board and the toast board so that when we arrived in Athens it would be all about the events and the shopping would be done.  It turned out to be the perfect plan as the traffic was bad and we arrived later than planned.  But ... all my shopping was done so I didn't feel the stress I could have. 

Win, win. 


Denim + Bows

When I first planned out my outfit for this darling bow denim shirt I planned on a cute pair of off white jeans.  But ... when it came to wear the top I could not find my jeans (they were buried between two towels I put away) and I decided to try the top with these light wash jeans.  I recall saying to myself ... can I wear denim on denim??  Well, the answer is a resounding yes, because fashion is what ever you make it and I like it so I will wear it again and again. 


Introducing The Preppy Desk

I love stationery.  I think I have loved it since I was a small child and I was sending letters to my grandmother.  She was an avid letter writer and kept up with many friends and family via snail mail.  She would send me letters weekly, all which I still have, and I would send some in return.  I was never committed the way she was.  But, this action as a child definitely made me a lover of handwritten notes and letters, and by extension a lover of stationery. 


The Southern C Fall Retreat

art market on Thursday afternoon

Athens was sooo good. You know I am a big supporter of all things Southern C and I was really excited to try a smaller workshop vs Summit which can have around 400 attendees.  I also really love Athens and do not spend any time at all in this darling small town so "living" there for a few days was really so fun.  My friends and I rented a house and loved having time in the morning and at night to recap our days, bond, and talk all sorts of business (and personal) related things. The house was truly stunning and I could have written a whole blog post on the house, its location, and the decor if I had not been so immersed into all things small business.  You can see more of it here, and if you need a rental for a game, this one was so good. 

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