Friday, May 27, 2016

Life Lately

Well, life has been full lately, hence the blogging break I've mostly taken this week! First things first...
I worked this past weekend, which probably played a part in my blogging break. It was a doozy, and I didn't get home Sunday night until 9:15...l-o-n-g day! And it was just one of those days where you come home and feel defeated and discouraged. I hate that. Thankfully I was able to shake that feeling after a few days...and I'm mostly thankful that those days are few, and most of the time I'm more encouraged than not.
I've also kind of been in a blogging funk lately. Sometimes I feel silly posting about things like clothes and interior design and TV shows. I often ask myself if doing so makes me vapid? Or am I contributing anything to the world? And with all that's going on around me (in this big world), is it shallow to put energy into these things that really mean nothing? I mean, there are so many people in this world who can't put food on their plate, and I'm blogging about cute sandals for summer. I'm not sure how to find that balance...between giving back and being aware of the harsh realities of this life while also enjoying the things that for whatever reason I've been lucky enough to enjoy. This is something I've always struggled with. Wow...getting deep here, huh? All that said...with it being summer, I am probably going to cut back a little goal is to blog three times a week, rather than five. And I'm thinking about doing a giveaway soon, in order to get feedback on my blog and what my readers reader like likes to see. So, was that Debbie Downer enough for y'all? ;) And on a very happy note...
Summer officially started on Monday, as both girls are out of school for the next few months. I cried picking Lily up from The Weekday Preschool on Friday, her last last time to pick her up there. She'll start kindergarten at a new school this fall. She's been at this preschool for three years, and it's also where we go to church. Her teachers have loved and encouraged her, and I'm sad to leave it behind. But that's life, huh? Hadley will begin preschool there in the fall, so I'm excited that we'll still be connected with many of the teachers that we've grown to love.

Hadley proudly walking up to school on her last day.
First day of school vs last day of school...look how much her hair has grown!
 First day of school vs last day of school!

Lily on her first day at The Weekday Preschool. She was 2-years-old. Check out those sweet arm rolls! :)
I've really had the best week with my girls. We've kept it simple and have played our little hearts out. We've made Play Doh snakes and pancakes; we've had a Chick-fil-A picnic outside; we've made lots of necklaces and bracelets. We've played many games of hide-and-seek; we've had sno cones, and we've been to the park. Lily's class had their end-of-the-year party on Tuesday, and she had a blast with her cute friends. My veggies and flowers have been growing, and that's made my heart happy. It's been a really good, full-of-fun week, which was something I needed! And now for some pictures I took to capture our week...




Do y'all have anything planned for Memorial Day weekend? I'm looking forward to grilling out, trying out some new recipes, swimming, and taking it easy. I hope y'all do much of the same, and I'll see you back here sometime next week!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Classic Southern Tomato Pie

Not much epitomizes summer in Mississippi to me like tomatoes do. I always say it's the one redeeming quality of our humid days with temps in the upper 90s. At least we have our tomatoes, right?
Now that summer is upon us, I wanted to officially welcome it with Tomato Pie. Next time I might even add a candle. ;)

I found this recipe in a cookbook that I bought at a local farmers market. I served ours with a side of sautéed squash and onions, but I think a small salad or any fresh vegetables would be perfect sides as well. Hope y'all enjoy it as much as we do!


Classic Southern Tomato Pie
{Deep South Dish cookbook}
3 medium-size tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick (about 18 slices)
Kosher salt
2 slices bacon, cooked crisp, crumbled, divided (save drippings) **I used 6 slices of bacon**
1 small Vidalia onion, quartered and sliced thin
3 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
1 (10-inch) deep-dish pie crust, partially baked, cooled
Black pepper, to taste
Garlic powder, to taste
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 cup regular mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1/8 cup chopped fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place tomatoes on paper towels. Salt, then cover with paper towels. Let rest 30 minutes.
Saute onion in bacon drippings until soft, not brown.
Put 1/2 cup mozzarella into pie crust. Top with 1/2 tomatoes. Season with pepper and garlic powder. Add 1/2 basil, top with 1/2 onions, and 1/2 bacon. Repeat layers.
Mix mayonnaise, hot sauce, parsley, and remaining 2 cups mozzarella; spread over top. Bake 40-45 minutes until light brown on top. Shield edges of pie crust with foil, if browning too quickly.
Cool pie before slicing. Serve warm or cold. Refrigerate leftovers.


Hope everyone has a great day. After a weekend at work and a LONG day yesterday (I got to the hospital at 6:30 a.m. and didn't get home until 9:15 last night!), I'm going to be on the struggle bus express today. Hoping this coffee kicks in soon!

Friday, May 20, 2016


The last time I did an "about me" post was on my 35th birthday. You can read that one here. I thought it was time for a follow-up. This time I did it in the form of questions and answers. Y'all, no lie, I used to want to work for a magazine interviewing celebrities...mainly because I loved/still love coming up with random questions...and it's a great way to find out about somebody. With that said, here goes...
What is your favorite time of day?
Hands-down the morning...I'm a morning person and have the most energy and drive early in the day. I get up at 4 (yikes!) each morning to work on my blog, read, have devotion time, unload the dishwasher, etc. Yes, I'm one of those annoying morning people.
If you could go on only one more trip in your lifetime where would it be and why?
Greece. The water. The food. The history. Can you imagine eating dinner one night and this is your view? It's got to be what Heaven looks like.
What is your favorite blog post that you've written?
Probably the letter to my Dad. You can read it here. I loved every minute of writing it, and it was really special to look back at some of my favorite memories with him.
Also, the post Learning to Eat Again was really cathartic for me. I had to revisit a time in my life that was awful, and it honestly made me sad to see how low I was at one point. I liked that post because I was able to be vulnerable, and I had several people reach out to me who have gone through/are going through similar situations. If I helped them in any way by being honest then it was worth it.
Would you ever have plastic surgery?
Yes! #noshame Truth time: I've always wanted a nose job. I'm jealous of those who have petite little upturned noses. I think I'd look crazy with a nose like that, but if someone gave me the funds, I'd probably go under the knife. Just being honest.
What's your all-time favorite song?
"Southern Cross" by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. I'm a happy girl every time I hear that song.
What's your guilty pleasure?
Trashy TV. Give me a Real Housewives show on Bravo, some comfy PJs, a glass of wine, and I'll call it a good night.
What's your favorite quality in your spouse?
His zest and passion for life. He's fun and extroverted and gets excited about little things. I strive to be more like that!
What's something you collect?
By collect you mean hoard, right? Coffee table books, Wolfe birds (ceramic, hand painted birds from Mississippi), fun wine glasses/glassware, and knick knacks. I love little accessories and have them sprinkled all over our home. Some people call them dust collectors, I call them personal touches!
What are you most insecure about?
Hmm...maybe my contribution (or lack of) to this world. Am I doing enough to give back? Am I making a difference? Am I helping shape my children into whom they're meant to be?
What made you start your blog?
I was in need of a creative outlet. It's something I'd done (briefly) before, and I missed it. I enjoy writing and sharing my thoughts and ideas. So a blog was a perfect avenue for me to do just that.
What's your all-time favorite book? Why?
Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott. I feel like her book gave me the freedom and the OK to be an imperfect Christian. That probably doesn't make sense, because all Christians are imperfect...but she doesn't fit into the cookie cutter, ultra-conservative mold that for a long time I felt like I needed to fit into as be a "good" Christian. My faith grew because of her book and because it allowed me to see that I could be quirky and unconventional and still love the Lord.
Who's your favorite Housewife?
Carole Radziwill from New York. I read her autobiography, What Remains, long before she became a housewife. It's one of my favorite books. She's just hip and cool and smart, and I love her style.
Where is your happy place?
No doubt the beach. We vacation there every summer (and I have been doing that since I was a little girl). Sitting on the balcony in the morning, drinking coffee, watching the sun come up, and smelling the salty, sticky air is the most peaceful thing ever.
What's an area you're trying to improve on?
Being quick to share my opinion. I like to think that I'm a kind and gentle person, but sometimes I might come across too aggressive. I think it's important to stand up for what you believe in, but I might need to do a better job of being a little softer in my delivery.
What's your favorite quote?
What's your style?
I've been thinking about this lately as I've been posting a lot of OOTD pictures on Instagram. I love seeing what other people are wearing or how people put outfits together. I'd say my style is a combination of sporty, classic, and maybe a little boho at times? Style-wise I'm not too feminine, and I'm definitely not preppy...I like a little quirk or randomness thrown in.
What's one of the biggest things you've learned about life thus far?
It can be summed up with this fabulous little image I found not too long's very freeing, and I'm thankful that I've finally gotten to a place in life where I am more and more OK with this.
What's your biggest hope for your children?
That they have a relationship with God...and that they are confident and never doubt that they are loved.
What's something professionally that you're most proud of?
Two things: when I worked in the public relations department at the Mississippi State Hospital, an article I wrote about heart disease was voted best feature story in a statewide competition.
I left that job to pursue a career in nursing and began my job as an oncology nurse at a local hospital. A year or so after working there, I was nominated for, and received, the RN Rookie the end of the year I was recognized as the hospital's Rookie of the Year. It felt really good to be appreciated by my colleagues and to be recognized for my work and achievements as a new nurse.
What's your favorite Bible verse?
Matthew 11:28-29
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."
I turn to this verse frequently, and I am at peace in knowing that it's very true.
Any questions for me? I could fill out a questionnaire like it's my job! I hope everyone has a great weekend...I'm working Saturday and Sunday, so I'm going to be one tired gal come Monday. See y'all then.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Lemon Cake

I've gotten more and more into baking. I just really enjoy it, plus it's always something fun to give away. I was browsing the Internet, looking for a recipe for Lemon Poppy Seed Cake when I stumbled on this recipe for Lemon Cake. It had great reviews + Ina Garten is the creator...I knew it'd be a winner. It's very similar to the Key Lime Pound Cake recipe I've shared, but it's different enough to give it a whirl. I've been eating it for breakfast...and dessert. Enjoy! Recipes tab is completely up to date. That's what you call #winning! :)
Lemon Cake
{Ina Garten}
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup grated lemon zest lightly packed
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the glaze:
2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 1/2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 loaf pans. Cream the butter and 2 cups granulated sugar in an electric mixer. Beat about 5 minutes or until the mixture is light and fluffy. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs 1 at a time and the lemon zest. Sift together the flour (to make sure there are no lumps), baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Separately combine 1/4 cup lemon juice, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the flour and the buttermilk mixtures alternately, beginning and ending with the flour. Divide evenly between the pans, smooth the tops, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.
Cook 1/2 cup granulated sugar with 1/2 cup lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. When the cakes are done, cool for 10 minutes, invert them onto a rack set over a tray and spoon the lemon syrup over the cakes. Allow the cakes to cool completely.
For the glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar and the lemon juice in a bowl, mixing with a wire whisk until smooth. Pour over the tops of the cakes and allow the glaze to drizzle down the sides. To freeze, prepare them as above but do not glaze. When ready to use, defrost and glaze.
**I added some fresh lemon zest as a garnish, and I thought it turned out pretty.**
Hope everyone has a happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Loving Lately

A few things I'm loving lately...
How darling is this dress from Old Navy? I love the embroidery, the loose fit, and the tassels.
This bracelet set is so cool. The colors are beautiful, and I always like beaded bracelets that easily stretch on. These would add something fun to any simple outfit.
And here is the necklace version of the bracelets above. How pretty would this be with a white T?
Y'all know I have a thing for stripes. The flutter sleeves on this top take it up a notch.
These sandals look much more expensive than they are! I always like gold and tan paired together. You could wear this pair with almost anything.
Criss-Cross Faux Leather Sandals
I normally stick to blue jean cutoffs in the summer, but these are pretty tempting. I'd wear them with a black tank.
Oh how I love these sandals. Another mix of gold and tan, and I adore the thin laces.
Anthropologie has some amazing dinnerware, in my opinion. I could spend my life savings in their home department! I love the size of this platter, the slightly uneven edges, and the marbled pink color.
I think mint green and red look so good together. And this top is no exception. Dress it up with black cigarette pants or a black pencil skirt. Dress it down with jeans or cutoff shorts.
Target has the best totes! And clearly I have a thing for tassels.
I'm always looking for dresses I can wear to church. It's hard to find something that's fun yet appropriate, but I think this one falls in that category. I like the colors and the fact that you could add a cardigan and wear it into fall.
That's all I've got for today. Hope everyone has a happy Tuesday!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Weekend Update

Hope everyone had a great weekend! Here's what we had going on...
Friday I took the girls to school and had a handful of errands to run before the weekend began. Here's my sweet Lily before I walked her inside...

I picked up my very first Fiddle Fig Leaf tree from Home Depot. I was surprised at the selection...and the price! Under $30...from what I've read that's rare for this plant. I feel kind of lame for jumping on the bandwagon, but I do think the plants are really pretty. I love the big leaves, and the height is perfect. I put mine in the foyer and am hoping I can keep her alive with some TLC. I've heard they're kind of hard to maintain. Any tips? P.S. Fitting a Fiddle Fig Leaf into a Honda Accord is not an easy task. I had to do some major wrestling to get her in the passenger seat. Opening up the sunroof helped. I'm sure I looked like the crazy lady driving home with a plant hanging out the top of my car. Ha!

I also stopped by Target to look for a hat. Confession: I have never liked the way I look in hats and always feel kind of weird in them. But I'm scared of the sun. Like seriously. I found this guy at Target and was pleasantly surprised. I think it's just the right size, and I actually feel OK in it! Win!
Friday night we hit up Kristo's for dinner. It's kind of become a weekly tradition in our house. There was a guy playing guitar and singing (who was really good, by the way), and Hadley was not impressed that I wouldn't let her get on stage with him. She keeps us busy!
Saturday we made cinnamon rolls for breakfast and spent most of the day outside. We worked in our yard, pulling weeds and trying to pretty up our flower beds. I planted a lot of herbs and a tomato and cucumber plant too. We had a nice garden at our old house, but that's just not a big priority this summer. Hopefully next year we can do that again...but until then, a container garden will do!

We also took some selfies...
Serious Hadley...#smizing

Surprised/pensive Hadley. #stillsmizing

 Lily as an old cat lady!!
I ordered some Soludos espadrilles from Zappos, and those came in the mail on Saturday. I'm loving them. They feel a little snug when you first try them on, but after about an hour of wearing them, they felt perfect. So if you order, I'd say they run TTS, although a lot of folks will tell you to order up. I couldn't resist the leopard.
We also spent much of the day working in our garage...why you ask? Because it's still jam-packed full of stuff from our old house. #hoardersanonymous And now that summer is upon us, it'd be nice to actually park in our garage. Anyway, Rob did end up taking two truckloads full to a local consignment shop. It's amazing the amount of stuff one accumulates over time.
I did pick up these beauties at the consignment shop. Not sure yet where we'll hang them, but I thought they were too pretty to overlook. I could go thrift shopping all day long.
Rob and I picked up sushi for dinner, and after a day in the yard and garage, I think both of us were in bed by 9.
Yesterday we kept the nursery at church and had a full day of odds and ends. I baked some lemon pound cake, which turned out great...I'll share the recipe later this week!
The girls conned Daddy into watching an episode of Paw Patrol with them. Snuggles for days...

Rob took down Hadley's crib (insert me crying here) and put Lily's old toddler bed in its place. We figured it was time, but it was a hard "milestone" to hit. Knowing it was our last time to have a child in a crib was hard to swallow. Ugh...
Thankfully, Hadley did well through the night and is still sleeping soundly as I type this. Hopefully it will stay that way! I did snap some pictures of my sweet girls sleeping last night. I check on both of them every night without fail before I go to bed. They are sound sleepers, so I'm lucky I can get away with this. There's nothing like watching your babies sleep.

Hope everyone has a great day and a happy week ahead!