Five On Friday

It's time for another edition of Five on Friday and I do hope you'll join me, DarciChristina, and Natasha!

Remember, all you have to do is post about five things on your mind, add our logo (found at the bottom of this post), and join the party using the linky tools below. Easy, and a great way to find new blogs and be found. :)

I saw this easy outfit inspiration on Pinterest and I've been copying it like crazy recently. Easy enough for working at home, and the flats are 9-month-old-baby-friendly!


Last Friday night, at my husband's urging, I went out to celebrate my friend Meg's birthday while he stayed home with the baby (who was asleep). I had an awesome time. It's so easy to just snuggle in and not venture out solo in the cold. But I ended up catching up with all of these ladies -- former coworkers of mine at my last job -- and that was wonderful.

I must brag on these fellow Five On Friday hostesses. I have to tell you that DarciChristinaNatasha and I just have so much fun talking with each other and laughing every week. These are good, good girls. They keep me giggling!

Kindness is always Fashionable -

The tassel necklace I'm wearing above is from my talented sister's Etsy shop, and she has recently added more necklaces to her store! She has them listed at just $20 which is a steal. She is hand-making her tassels.

Pink Tassel Necklace

For the most fun part ... I ended up with an extra pair of the cheetah Ja-Vie flats that I love. They are size 8/38, and they fit my 7.5 feet perfectly. I'd love to give them to one of you who could really use them for yourself (or for a girlfriend or family member). If you would like to be entered in a little giveaway for these shoes, email me letting me know something fun or great that happened to you this week. My email address is in the sidebar of the blog. :)

If these aren't your size but you would love a pair, they are on Amazon. I'm seriously a big fan of these shoes and you can read my review of them here. I also own this color, and the next one on my wishlist is this navy polka-dot pair which happens to be on major sale and Prime eligible!

TGIF y'all, and hope you will join in on Five on Friday this week! Cheers to the weekend!


Snow Day: Hot Chocolate Time

Snow Day

It's a snowy day here in Charlotte, however we luckily didn't get as much snow as they predicted last night. On a scale of dusting to complete mayhem, we are right around "slight snow mixed with grocery store madness." Last night Ian ventured out for necessities (cheese and baby Motrin) and said the grocery store was a madhouse. So we are staying put and staying in. I do think a little hot chocolate is in our immediate future. I have some cocoa powder -- here is a recipe for hot chocolate from scratch. Yum.

Around this time last year is when Ian and I took our babymoon to Boca Raton and Miami, Florida. Our resort's sister property had a Serendipity onsite, the cute little sweetshop known for their frozen hot chocolates. So, if your temps aren't in the 30s like they are here in Charlotte, here is the copycat recipe for Serendipity's piece de resistance (even loved by Oprah).

Serendipity Frozen Hot Chocolate Recipe - this copycat recipe is spot on - if you have had the Serendipity Frozen Hot Chocolate before, you will feel like you are sitting in their cute cafe again surrounded by pink!

Stay warm loves, and see you here tomorrow for Five On Friday!


My Glossybox Monthly Subscription

(This is a non-sponsored review and I purchased my own Glossybox.)

This month I received my very first Glossybox and wanted to share my experience for anyone looking for a fun new subscription box.

Glossybox is a monthly delivery of five travel-sized or full-sized beauty products (makeup, skincare, hair products, nails).

Raise your hand if you feel like all you get in the mail is bills? Or junk mail? That's me.

But once I pulled up the online tracking for my Glossybox and saw that it was en route, I was so excited to check the mail each day!

I do have to give their packaging an A+. It was darling. And with my box being a February one, it was love-themed. 

So here are the items I ended up with. I was really excited to check everything out!

Royal Apothic Tinties Lip Butter in Pink (here)
The little container this lip butter is in is darling. It is nicely tinted and it contains moisturizing ingredients like argan oil, grape seed oil, almond oil and shea butter. I typically prefer lip glosses with a brush or sponge applicator, but I am a fan of this little pot of lip goodness. It feels like the kind of lip product you'd pick up at Anthropologie. (Okay, that's too funny, I just looked it up and they DO sell it at Anthro ... wow, is my makeup radar good or what?!) 

Yogi Flow Indial Rose & Sweet Almond Oil Foaming Shower Gel (here)
This is interesting. It feels like you are lathering up with foaming shave gel, BUT ... it's amazing. The scent is really beautiful. At the risk of sounding silly -- I actually get excited about using it every morning in the shower! 

Jelly Pong Pong Fairy Lashes Curl
I'm a self-professed mascara snob, and this just doesn't do it for me. If you're looking for my favorite mascara, you'll find it here

Julep Nail Color in Heartleigh
I was really excited to finally try Julep polish which is free of the five big nasty chemicals found in some other polishes. It's rare that I have time to paint my nails these days (as evidenced below) but I actually did use this polish. It is made up of glitter, white confetti pieces and red foil hearts. Not my typical polish, but ahhhh - the month of love, February. It's not one that will be in my normal rotation, but I found this Julep color that looks a lot more like my typical style, and I will be trying it next. 

Unwash Bio-Cleansing Conditioner
I have to say that I was most excited to try out this product out of everything I received. It claims to "replace shampoo" and is a non-foaming conditioner (sulfate and paraben-free) that washes your hair, keeping the shine and helping with color-treated hair as well. I have used it every morning now since this past Sunday morning. Days 1, 2, and 3 my hair still felt a little heavy and not quite squeaky-clean. But I was noticing that it was getting progressively better each day, so I kept at it. Today is day 4, and it feels as clean as I'm used to, BUT the main difference here is that it is way smoother and shinier with considerably less frizz and fly-aways.

My post-partum hair loss (which was INSANE - the worst part of my entire pregnancy) resulted in lots and lots of regrowth. Even my hairdresser was like, "wow, you have baby hairs everywhere ... all over your head!" (I guess that they are typically found just closer to your temples at at the top of your forehead.) Now that the baby hairs are about 2-3" long, they just stick up like crazy. Which is awkward. So the fact that they are laying down better with this cleanser and looking smoother is huge. Huge. This one is a big winner so far for me.

Glossybox does reward members with points for referring new members, so if you would like to try it out for yourself, please consider using this invitation from me! :) Then, as a member, you can start referring your own friends and earning points to use towards product purchases.

Have you ever tried Glossybox?


Thoughts On Tuesday

Saturday night we smooched the little one and left her with a babysitter (my wonderful cousin who is in college here in Charlotte) and spent our evening with the symphony! Ian bought me tickets for three shows this year as part of my birthday gift.

The concert was Mozart, Strauss and Brahms and it was absolutely fantastic. We hired a black towncar through Uber to get to and from uptown Charlotte and arrived early enough to enjoy a cocktail at Cowbell before the show. I had the most delicious cocktail with gin, St. Germain, mint, and cucumber.

(New to Uber? Use this link to get your first ride free! We are big fans.)

Moving along: my best-dressed for the Oscars goes to (... envelope, please) Gwyneth Paltrow.

I'm sort-of wishy-washy about Gwyneth in general, but I just loved her look Sunday night. 

I didn't watch the Oscars, though. Ain't nobody got time for that. #earlybedtime

And lastly, although it's already been a crazy week, I have a little spring in my step because we have a springtime getaway planned to MEXICO and I couldn't be more excited! 

More snow here in the Queen City. Stay warm, folks!


Menu Planning This Week

Yesterday I completed our weekly grocery shopping. I hit up two places, Aldi and Harris Teeter. It's amazing how many more items I got at Aldi (spending a little over $50) versus Harris Teeter (spending around $35). That's a bit higher than we typically spend on weekly groceries, but I stocked up on some organic fruits and veggies to make a big batch of baby food for the bambina.

Our menu this week isn't particularly creative, but here's what we've got planned for dinners.

Primitive Kitchen STENCIL Today's Menu Eat It or by OaklandStencil, $19.95

Rotisserie garlic herb chicken with warm maple honey mustard sauce
Sauteed mushrooms
Lemon-garlic green beans

I'm going easy tonight. I've got a busy day so the pre-made rotisserie chicken is such a help. Our Harris Teeter has them for $4.99 on Sundays. It provides enough meat for us for dinner and then I make chicken salad for weekday sandwiches from the leftovers. I'll also saute some mushrooms with rosemary, olive oil, and a splash of balsamic vinegar (the packages are $0.79 now at Aldi) and I'll also saute some green beans with butter, garlic, and freshly-squeezed lemon.

Takeout Tuesday ... we will probably grab something easy from Roasting Company. I love their veggie plate!

Turkey kielbasa
Zucchini cakes with lemon aioli
Stewed white beans

Another easy entree for me is sausage -- just cut into a few pieces and heat in the oven. The zucchini cakes will take a little more prep, but they are worth it. I'll shred them using a cheese grater, squeeze the water out, add in an egg, breadcrumbs, and some seasonings, and form them into patties. Aldi has packages of four on sale now for $0.99. The zucchini cakes will get a quick pan fry. The white beans will cook all day with some rosemary, salt and pepper in our small crockpot.

Leftovers from the night before

What's on your menu this week?


Saturday Sip + Shop


Signature Cocktail | Peach Rose Lemonade

Peach and Rose Lemonade
recipe here
This is a non-alcoholic beverage. If you wanted to kick it up a notch (and invite me over), I think St. Germain elderflower liqueur or a citrus vodka would be stellar in it.

Thanks M. for introducing me to this recipe!


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Alice High Heel from Boden
available here

I mean ... have you ever. I'd never take these off. 


Five On Friday

It's time for another edition of Five on Friday and I do hope you'll join me, DarciChristina, and Natasha!

Remember, all you have to do is post about five things on your mind, add our logo (found at the bottom of this post), and join the party using the linky tools below. Easy, and a great way to find new blogs and be found. :)

Yesterday I quickly whipped up these three-ingredient peanut butter cookies (recipe here). They are gluten-free for any of you who may be following that diet. And if you are like me, then it's not that you have an intolerance to gluten, but it's that you have an intolerance to nineteen-ingredient cookie recipes. So, if you have a jar of peanut butter, a cup of sugar and an egg in your kitchen, then you are set to create these.

3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies Hip2Save  1 cup peanut butter 1 cup of white sugar  1 egg Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes

Some of you asked about my pink vest I wore in the mountains -- it is the Lilly Pulitzer Getaway Vest and it seems to be sold out online. I did see a few on eBay so head on over if you are interested!

Recently I purchased the prettiest stargazer lillies for our home and enjoyed seeing them in our kitchen every day. Flowers to me are a reminder of how wonderful it is to not travel for work any longer. When I was traveling like crazy, I rarely spent money on flowers because I knew I wouldn't be home to enjoy them. So they make me smile much more these days because of what they represent.

I'm so excited about a fun dress I purchased from Fickle here in Charlotte (our invite-based consignment selling group). Rachel Pally for $40. Newly listed items are released each night at 8:30 and I love curling up on the couch with my iPad to see what hits the site each evening! If you are in Charlotte and would like an invitation to join, please let me know your email address and I'll get you one.

Fickle Resale

So, I just caved and ordered Camille this play remote (which I said I wouldn't do because I didn't want her to think of our remotes as a toy). But we have seen that nothing can keep her from wanting to grab ours... nothing! So, a $10 version will now be hers. Thank you Amazon Prime for your speedy shipping and for probably saving us some brain cells trying to figure out what button she pressed that made our display all wonky. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em ... I guess.

TGIF y'all, and hope you will join in on Five on Friday this week! Cheers to the weekend!


Our Valentines Weekend

This Valentines weekend kicked off with a fun playdate with some of our friends. We organized a little craft, mini terracotta pots and patio-friendly paint so the babies could make hearts using their thumbprints.

I don't think I realized how difficult this would be with a nine month old who likes to touch everything and have her fingers in her mouth. Somehow, we made it work without any paint accidents (hallelujah) and now I have a cute pot to plant some seeds in this spring.

(Want to recreate this? You can find mini terracotta pots and patio-friendly paint on Amazon.)

We also went to a 2nd birthday party for a little friend that was held at My Gym, a little indoor play area for kids. Camille is obviously not walking yet so a lot of what she could do was limited, but she was able to enjoy a lot of the stations with my help -- the ball pit, the small slide, and the parachute activities. It was really cute seeing her have fun and watch the older kids intently. I've heard My Gym can be a little expensive to join, but I could certainly see taking her there from time to time. 

Saturday afternoon we went to the mountains for a quick trip. Ian and I had plans to have a low-key dinner at the house, so we went out in the late afternoon to Over Yonder to enjoy a cocktail and an appetizer for Valentines Day. Right when we arrived, it was snowing!

It surprisingly wasn't COLD COLD COLD but the temperature was starting to drop and we wanted to make sure we were home before dark. We left the Valle Crucis area and headed towards Boone.

Dinner was super fancy ... takeout from Mellow Mushroom! We went with the Kosmic Karma pizza which has a delicious pesto swirl on the top of it. We enjoyed it that night with a little wine and some Dateline. Very low-key, but very "us" :)

We did get my car stuck in the snowy driveway on the way back up to the house. Such is mountain life, I guess. Ian shoveled it out the next morning and we headed home where the temps were slightly less freezing. 

Hope you had a beautiful and love-filled weekend!


Thoughts On Tuesday

Thank you all again for your amazingly sweet words about our Drake. What a beautiful community this one is. Blogging is a crazy little world ... I love joking about my "internet friends" but there really is something to be said about the way that blogging brings people together.

Joy is a choice

Who got snow last night? We did, if you can call it that. We woke up this morning to ice all over Charlotte ... the kind that is dangerous for us Southern drivers that FLIP OUT at the sight of snow, ice, heck -- even rain.

Schools are closed, which means that daycares are closed, and I've been working the dual role of working woman and accident-preventing mama. So far I'm not doing too hot at the second role. Camille now is sporting a bruise on the side of her eye. Camille: 0, coffee table: 1. #takemeawaychardonnay. She is still on two naps a day which is helpful for getting good, uninterrupted work done. And thank heavens for the exersaucer.

Well said, Liz.

Last night I made buffalo chicken chili (two tweaks: omitted the heavy cream and one packet of the ranch mix this time around) and it made enough for second helpings for both of us last night plus leftovers for dinner tonight.

In fact, I honestly think Ian had three bowls of it last night. Can't blame him. It's so tasty and perfect for this chilly weather.

I don't really have any fun recent purchases to share right now unless you count my Amazon delivery of coffee (which is truly very FUN and has been quite necessary the past two mornings when I -- for no reason -- woke up at 5am and stayed up). 

One thing I am loving that I've owned for a while is this La Senorita Jolie top in the style called Izabelle. I'm wearing it right now in this very color below. My sweet LSJ rep, Ashley, is offering free shipping to all of you with this special code: LSJ-ACK-FS


Isn't it fun? I live in this thing. So comfy, but sassy too. 

That's all for today -- stay warm, friends.


Still Missing Drake

I went back and forth about how to word this post, or even if it was one to write. But here goes.

We are really missing Drake. Last night before bed, we were looking at photos of him and I cried some more. He was fifteen years old; his days mainly consisted of sleeping. He couldn't take walks with us anymore and he had to be carried to the car and lifted in and out of it. This was a dog who used to live for car rides and would bound into my car for our Friday night pizza pick-up. I loved having him in the car with me and seeing cars of kids next to us who were in awe at this smiling husky.

Drake was on two different pills, a liquid pain medication, two eye drops and one eye lubricant -- all of this two times daily. He had a tumor removed surgically last Valentines Day but he had two more growing on him, one above his eye and one on his paw. He couldn't walk on hardwood floors anymore so we had small rugs all around the house for him like lilypads. He didn't talk to us like he used to (if you've ever seen the YouTube of the husky "saying" I love you, that's what I'm talking about). He really just slept a lot. He stopped sleeping in our room with us and slept in the den. He was having accidents in the house a few times a week. He didn't even love chewing on bones as he once did. We would give them to him and he would just ignore them towards the very end.

We consulted our vet who said that it would be an appropriate time for us to consider saying goodbye to him and that, while it was our certainly our choice, it would be a very respectful way of letting Drake move on. The vet said that we were not rushing this decision (our main concern). I mean, how do you decide when it's time? But on the other hand, it was obvious that his health was rapidly declining, and I feared that we would be out and about having fun one day only to return home and see that he'd passed by himself, without anyone there beside him.

Without going into too much detail, when he did pass, he felt immense love. Lots of hands on him, stroking his fur, whispering in his ear, holding him.

I am writing this post because I didn't feel like there were a lot of people that I could really talk to about the intricacies of this decision and the process. So, with that said, if you ever find yourself in this situation and you are looking for someone to talk to, or someone to whom you can ask questions, please email me.

Thank you ALL for your thoughts, your prayers, your comments on my last blog post, your texts, and the emails you sent. It means more than you know.

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