Tuesday, April 26

#posituesday

A few years ago, a very dear friend of mine started a social media campaign called #posituesday.

The "rules" are simple; you share something positive on Tuesday. Last year I pushed myself for every Tuesday in July to "shake it up" posting my own #posituesday here—to forget the bad stuff and focus on the good. Epic fail on posting a #posituesday on the first Tuesday of the month during 2016.

Forgive me internet, I'm trying my best.

What do I love today?

It's flower planting time! One of my favorite things to do in the spring, when I organize my container gardens, is to dumpster dive at Walmart. Walmart policy is (basically) if a plant looks like it is on its last legs, and hasn't been watered, to mark it down 50% off. Over the years cruising these little carts I've got some killer plants for no more than a few dollars! Score!!!
Sometimes I don't have a ton of success—the damage has been done—and the plant dies a few days later. But more often than not, after some water and good soil not only does it come back to life, but pops back better than I could've hoped!

Here's my haul from this weekend. Can't beat three 8 in. pots of daisies, two six-packs of dwarf foxglove and two 3 in. pots of foxglove for $15.

What are you loving today?

Monday, April 25

Getting Cutesy with Erin Condren: March

I knew April was going to be a little, shall we say nuts for me, but I don't think I actually let it sink in that March AND April were going to be completely nuts for me. I'm still blaming Leap Day for throwing me off the month of March. And pneumonia. I can get away with that, right?

I'm back with my second (super, duper, probably slightly embarrassingly late) Erin Condren Life Planner month review. To recap: I absolutely love my planner but have been, previously, terrible at using the month view and am trying to get cutesy with stickers. As part of my non-resolutions for the New Year, I am trying to take time at the beginning of every month to plan out what goes where. I'm also taking the opportunity to look back at the month I just finished—hoping this helps me reach and set attainable goals.

It was a busy March. Not as busy as I thought it was going to be from the start, but busy all the same. I fell off the sticker wagon. This was the month of the flu and pneumonia so the fact that I even wrote ish down makes me feel like I accomplished something. AND I did use the cute little do-it-all dot for my dentist appointment #winning
April, which I am going to pretend like it isn't Apr. 25th and act like I have the whole month ahead of me here, is going to be an absolute blur with a weeklong trip to Atlanta for a conference my company produces, plus some charity meetings and exciting things like a Magic Moments reveal and a baby shower. Maybe this week I will really give it my all and start stickering the hell out of my planner.
Right. There's always the idea you can start fresh when summer comes.

Friday, April 22

Friday Favorites

I'm celebrating the end of this week with some Friday Favorites. Because all the basic white girls love Fri Yay! right?!
Friday Favorites
I am #obsessed with this balm. My friend Kelley gave me a sample to try on Fitz's patches of eczema and in just three nights the patches were mostly gone. By morning four they were so hard to notice—and you could just tell his skin looked better. I promptly texted her that I needed much, much more of this magic elixir.
Speaking of Fitz and Alex, this made me quite literally laugh out loud last weekend. We were out running errands, and it got to be lunchtime so obviously I wanted to go to Chipotle—because when we are on that side of town, where Chiptole is, I always want to go to Chiptole.
I craved, like FIERCE craved, Chiptole when I was pregnant. Jury was out for a while but the verdict has finally returned: they love Chiptole as much on the outside as they did on the inside.

I need help Disney people!! So I am a "Magic Maker" this year as part of my volunteer efforts with Magic Moments. I am in charge of helping to make the magic last a little while for one very special girl (and her family) as they prepare to go to Disney!! I am so excited but so overwhelmed. I am not a Disney person, and the available crafts on Pinterest seem insurmountable. What are your favorite things to do for kiddos when preparing for a Disney trip? I've got a limited budget, but I really want to knock this out of the park. Help!!
via Travel & Leisure

Monday, April 18

Seriously The Best Cookie Recipe Ever

It is not often I can say without a shadow of a doubt I know something to be completely true. I blame that on being an overthinker and Catholic school. Without a shadow of a doubt, the following is seriously the best cookie recipe ever. I've baked and ate my fair share of cookies, so I can tell you this is easy-peasy and totally delicious—complete crowd favorite at my house.

I got this recipe via my darling and fantastic baker-mentor, my mother, when I was in college. She's been making these cookies since the 1980s. I have no idea how it crossed her path, but my god, I am so glad it did.

Typically, she used to make them at Christmas, and so we called them Santa's Cookies. Now though, we both make them at any/all times of year so I call them Momma's Cookies. Who cares what you call them, they are DELICIOUS. #trust

Previous to this post, the recipe is a print out from my college email address, that she sent me in 2008. I wanted to make them to impress a boy, go figure.
Momma's Cookies
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup coconut 
  • ½ cup chocolate chips 
  • ½ plus 1/3 cup oatmeal 
  • ½ cup cornflakes 
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar 
  • ½ cup white sugar 
  • ¼ tsp baking powder 
  • ½ tsp baking soda 
  • ¼ tsp salt 
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, melted 
  • 1 egg 
  • ¼ tsp vanilla 

Directions
Combine melted butter, egg and vanilla, beating well. Add all dry ingredients, mixing well. Once mixed, flatten dough onto piece of plastic wrap and place in the fridge for a few hours to let butter set. Once butter has set, I usually leave mine in for about an hour and a half, form into quarter-sized/small balls. Bake at 350° for approximately 10 minutes, longer if balls are larger or you like a crisper cookie.  

Friday, April 15

Weekend Getaway: Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain, Ga.

Why was Easter so early this year? For me, Lent seemed to be extremely long, but then all of a sudden—BAM! It was Easter weekend. My parents are in the process of buying a house in Amelia Island, Fla. and we were thinking we would spend the weekend of Easter there. But of course, life never goes as planned and instead we found ourselves at a cottage on the Callaway Gardens property.

Originally I was hesitant, only because I wasn't sure what we might do with Fitz and Alex at Callaway for an entire weekend. Like with 98% of everything, I worried for naught.

Callaway Gardens, located in precious Pine Mountain, Ga. actually has a lot to offer families with kids of all ages. Since it rained off and on the entire time we were there, we didn't fully enjoy the hiking and biking trails, and the real star of the spring: Callaway's famous azaleas weren't fully in bloom yet. Even factoring that in we had an incredible time.

The cottages were fully stocked and made it so easy to transition to the weekend with F&A. Kitchen had everything you could think of, and we brought our own groceries to have dinner Friday night, breakfast both Saturday and Sunday and lunch Saturday at the cottage. Bonus!! Since they are part of the Callaway resort I didn't have to bring the pack and plays, they were already in the cottage when we checked in. I love not having to lug those things places.

Mark spent all of Saturday on the lake system fishing. I think he enjoyed some peace and quiet. His catch wasn't all that bad either.
While Mark fished my momma and I took the boys into town and browsed the shops. I fell in love with a little place called Whisk—a local Williams-Sonoma of sorts where I wish I could have bought the entire store. I found a few good finds, as I seemingly always do.
After the boys woke up from their naps we walked around the property a bit. As part of the Easter weekend celebrations, the Gardens had tethered hot air balloon rides available, and I OF COURSE couldn't pass up the chance to live my own Bachelor moment.
I'm so glad we didn't let the rain stop us from having a good time. Well, until the Easter Bunny and his weird looking green friend showed up.
After that completely traumatizing experience we trucked back to the cottage to get ready for dinner. We originally weren't sure about the food offerings in town, but spotted 153 Main Bistro shopping and decided to try it for dinner. I am very glad we did!!
A local favorite, 153 Main knocked it out of the park. We sat at a sidewalk table, which was perfect for F&A. Side note: one of my favorite things to do is enjoy a nice meal with the people I love over a great bottle of wine on a sidewalk. Known for steak and seafood, all three of us chose various meat dishes. I really enjoyed my bistro steak. Momma couldn't stop raving about hers either. F&A completely devoured the fried green tomato and okra plate we ordered as a starter.
This restaurant was a pleasant surprise in Pine Mountain and should not be skipped! You can call ahead to put your name on the list—seats fill up fast on Saturday and Sunday.

We enjoyed Easter Sunday mass at Christ the King and followed it up with brunch in one of Callaway's ballrooms. It was a buffet style brunch in a ballroom, so not out of this world but not garbage either. 
After brunch Mark and I just weren't quite ready to leave and decided to walk around the famous Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center.
F&A absolutely LOVED seeing all the plants and swirling butterflies. Another activity on my list that should not be missed!
All in all, I would say Callaway is a great getaway.

Monday, April 11

The Hard Hat Diaries: Feeling Punchy

Yesterday, someone told me they admired my ability to cope and juggle my life. That really struck a cord—because half the time I feel like I am not coping or juggling anything.

Do you ever see those instagrams from people with a picture of coffee and say they have completely dominated the day? That's never me. I am usually warming up my coffee five hundred times before 10 a.m. and I never am on top of emails or the to-do list. And to have a Starbucks is a real treat.

But I do stay busy, and because of that busy-ness, and constant travel, and constant terrible juggling act, sometimes I go a week without remembering I need to double check the drafts of my little online space and hit publish on the very best cookie recipe I've ever made. So I promise, even though it was written in my planner to share that recipe last week—it's happening this week. I hope. 

Life lately has been dominated by a week long conference and expo my company produces in Atlanta, Ga. at the OMNI Hotel at CNN Center. Being a tourist in my hometown is weird. Like super weird. Anyway, I worked five 16-hour in a row days in five-inch heels and a set of black pencil skirts, so I've been a little punchy.

How punchy, you ask? 

Well, there are four new videos of me on the internet, punchy.
Great screen cap, youtube. Really appreciate that one.

I have a stack of paperwork and story notes to swim through about seven feet high, so if you need me I'll be practicing how to not bob and weave while a handheld camcorder is six feet away from me—because clearly I need the practice. #thisiswhyiwriteandnotbroadcast
...KILLING ME WITH THE SCREEN CAP FREEZE FRAMES YOUTUBE KILLING ME....

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