Monday, October 2, 2017

Harry Potter in Concert


On Saturday, we went and saw Harry Potter in Concert. The Florida Orchestra performed the music to the movie while it was playing. I am not a huge Harry Potter fan, but I do love listening to orchestra's live. It was cool to watch them perform the music live, but I will say that I was probably more focused on the movie than watching them play. Sometimes I would forget they were even there!

At the beginning of the show, the conductor encouraged everyone in the audience to be interactive and cheer when their favorite character appeared or make some noise during the scenes. While it was fun to see people cheering on their favorite character or when the houses were called, it was a little distracting! However, not more distracting than the couple sitting next to us. The guy decided to get wasted and was acting obnoxious during the show. During the second half, he was so drunk that he ended up spilling his drink and I guess it got all over the girl's purse. Needless to say, she was not happy with him and after some minutes of bickering, they left the show early. Why people would pay that much on tickets for a show to get wasted is beyond me. Once they left, I was able to enjoy the show more.

They will be performing to the second movie in December. We shall see if we see this one as well.

P.S. - Don't miss the Fall fashion haul I posted on YouTube yesterday!

XO


Friday, September 22, 2017

2017 Fall Bucket List

Happy first of Fall, y'all! Every year, I like to create a Fall Bucket List. When it comes to seasons, Fall is my top fave with Winter coming in second place. This is probably one of the biggest reasons that I want to get out of Florida. I want to experience seasons, especially Fall! Not having the cooler temps and colors of foliage here make Fall "activities" not so fun. I don't get that feeling, you know? Plus, you sweat your toots off if you try to dress in fall apparel. So, needless to say, my bucket list is Florida style.


Host a Pumpkin Painting Party
Drink a Pumpkin Spice Latte
Bake Fall Treats
Watch Hocus Pocus
Visit a Pumpkin Patch
Go to Disney to see Fall decor
Take Fall Road Trip

What are your Fall bucket list items??

XO

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

YouTube | Get To Know Me!

I've recorded my second video and it's live on YouTube! Get to know me as I answer some fun questions in this video. :)


If you have any video suggestions, let me know in the comments!

XO

Friday, September 15, 2017

Friday Five | No. 21

It's possible that I've said this before but this week has been one of the LONGEST weeks ever. Hurricane Irma definitely left her mark in Florida this week. So many people were out of commission at work thanks to either having evacuated the state or power outages that lasted days. We were working with a skeleton crew and then had to pull more than half of that crew to support another team that was experiencing major technical issues. It was just nuts. I was beat by Tuesday and couldn't remember what day it was. It was all a blur. I am so happy that it's Friday.


ONE Hispanic Heritage Month

Lately, it's been very disappointing to see all the challenges that Latinos in this country have been facing as immigrants. Many who have sacrificed so much to come to this country in search of a better life for themselves and their loved ones. Through perseverance and determination, many have been successful and made a difference in their community and in this country. Today is the start of Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 - October 15) which celebrates the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

TWO | iPhone X

Apple released the news of the next iPhone. Initial thoughts... WHY did they get rid of the rose gold?! The 2% conspiracy theorist in me is not sure how I feel about the facial recognition. The selling point of that for me is the opportunity to make animojis. I live for emojis and this is taking it to a whole other level!

THREE | Hearth & Hand

Shut the front door. Two of my FAVES are coming together! Target and Magnolia. All the tears of joy!! November 5th could not come soon enough! Can you tell my excitement by the overuse of '!' ?

FOUR | 10 Pound Donut

THIS guys. This is what dreams are made of... my dreams at least. If you were to ask my friends or co-workers, "What is the first thing that pops in your mind when you think of Vicky?", I assure you that 99% of those responses would be donuts. When someone tagged me in this Facebook post, my jaw seriously dropped. Obviously, I immediately tagged the husband and commented that we needed to make vacation in Cali and stay at this hotel. I WANT THAT DONUT! #vickyrunsondonuts

FIVE | Too Faced Peaches and Cream Collection

Okay, y'all know I'm a sucker for cute packaging and this collection has me all heart eyes and high five emojis. I seriously want everything in this collection! However that would be excessive and the husband would frown upon that unnecessary shopping spree. But I WANT IT!

XO

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Lessons I learned from Hurricane Irma

I've lived in Florida for 20 years and this is the first time that I've had real concern of danger as a result of hurricane. We've had some close calls, but those that have made landfall in Florida have been in other areas. This time it was different. No one in Florida was escaping the intense force and size of Irma. It was like a scene from the movie The Day after Tomorrow, which I happened to watch yesterday, with how the state disappeared off the map once the storm was over us. It was crazy!

(source)
Now that it has past us, I am thankful that we did not experience any major issues. We were one of the lucky ones that didn't lose any power or cable. There are some trees in our neighborhood that were damaged and lots of leaves/small branches on the ground. Seriously, not bad considering the wind that we experienced last night! I think in my area we had winds that were around the 70's. It felt like the windows were going to blow off at some point. I would have thought there would have been more damage in my street.

With all that being said, this scare sure taught me some lessons:

1) Have a hurricane supply kit. You hear the news anchors and meteorologists say this at the beginning of every hurricane season. And of course, I don't really think about it until we have a possible hurricane threat in our area. At that point, it's pointless because not only did I not plan ahead and have a hurricane supply kit, everyone else didn't either. This means that the shelves of batteries, candles, flashlights, etc are empty. That is exactly what happened leading up to Irma. Well, lesson learned. I have pinned a couple lists that I will be using for starters as I create kits for us and the pups.

2) Purchase some non-perishable foods at the beginning of hurricane season. Since it is just the Mr. and I, we don't eat a lot of processed food so we don't typically have a lot of food in the pantry. Well, very much like the hurricane supplies, non-perishable food items were cleared off the shelves leading up to Irma. Water, bread, canned food, even the TUNA! It was like the apocalypse, y'all. I think that for hurricane season sake, it would be good to stock up on some of those items, even if it's not our usual diet.

3) Invest in a generator. While we were fortunate to not have lost power, a lot of people we know did lose power. Some of them have a generator which is great because depending on the situation and location, it can takes days to get restored. NOT a situation I want to be in. I am not sure the cost of generators, but still might be worth the investment.

So those are some of my take-aways. I will say, that even with these lessons, I think the most important thing is to keep calm. I know that's easier said than done when faced with this type of threat that we have absolutely no control over, but stressing is not going to make things better. Stress and panic makes you not think logically and do things impulsively.

Again, considering the original size of this storm and the havoc that it wreaked in the Caribbean, I am so grateful that we are safe and sound. People, the power of prayer and our God is greater than any emergency kit, checklist, storm preparation we can do. I am grateful for all those that kept us in their prayers as we waited and hoped for the best. While we were spared, I urge you all to continue to pray for those that were impacted. I know there was a lot of destruction in the Caribbean and those in southern Florida. Pray for peace and strength as the families impacted begin the restoration process. If you are able to donate money or time to help the victims, please do consider doing so even if it's small. Any amount counts.

Now, it's time to start prepping because hurricane season doesn't end until November 30!

XO

Friday, September 8, 2017

Friday Five | No. 20

It's Friday y'all! Thanks to the holiday weekend, last weekend, this work week was shorter and I so much appreciated it! While it wasn't really to crazy at work itself, it's been nuts thanks to Hurricane Irma. So let's kick off this Friday Five with a little hurricane talk, shall we?


ONE | Hurricane Irma

Every time a hurricane is slated to come to Florida, I realize how UNPREPARED we are for any worst case scenario. I guess I don't feel too bad given that in the past few days, it's been mad chaos in the stores with shelves of water, bread, and survival equipment clearing out. Note to self: Work on the hurricane kit ASAP. We are somewhat fortunate that the eye of the storm has now shifted more to the east (but that could change any time). Still have to be concerned of high winds and rain, but not to the extent had we been in the direct line of path. Saying prayers for all those that have already been affected by the storm or in the path of the storm.

TWO | YouTube Video

In case you missed it, I created my first video on YouTube. Say what?! After YEARS of saying I want to do it, I finally took the leap and did it. I shared it on Facebook and was seriously overwhelmed with the response I received. I had so many views and people leaving me comments, direct messaging me, texting me, EVEN giving me compliments in person. Gosh. For the longest time, I held off on sharing this blog with anyone because I was afraid of people's reaction, mainly their criticism. Wishing I had started and shared this sooner! I plan on recording another video this weekend. Stay tuned!

THREE | Baby Number Three

Hot off the Royal Press! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (you know, my bff) are expecting baby number three! I was flipping through pictures of Prince George and Princess Charlotte... they some cute kids. Did anyone see George's first day of school pics? Adorbs.

Kensington Palace // Twitter
Let the guessing game for baby name begin. I am holding out for Victoria cause duh, we bffs.

FOUR | The Sinner

Any other crazies watching this show? So, if I'm to be honest... I started watching it simply because Jessica Biel was in it and was kinda expecting it to be a bust. Not a fan of Jessica Biel. Didn't care for her in her 7th Heaven Days. #TeamJustney4eva

Well, have they proved me wrong! That ish is nuts! When we first started watching it, we thought we had figured out the plot, but this show is one of those shows that has a twist in almost every episode. It's an 8 part series and this week is part 6, so we are getting to the end. I want to know what happened!

FIVE | T-Swift is back!

I'm sure everyone is probably tired of hearing and seeing this on FB etc, but I am living for T Swift's two new singles. I will admit, it was not love at first sight with Look What You Made Me Do, but after listening to it on repeat like ten times, it grew on me. The girl knows how to make some catchy songs. I'm just sayin'. Counting down til November 10.



XO

Monday, September 4, 2017

Hello YouTube! The Making of My First Video

Guys. This has been a LONG TIME coming. I've been wanting to make a video for too long and I've finally made it happen.


Not too shabby for my first video. It took a much longer than I thought it would. I definitely have a lot to learn and perhaps some better equipment to invest in if I really plan on doing more videos. It seriously took me half a day to record, re-cord, edit and upload. Sheesh!

I won't say much more about the video because I know I will become very critical of myself and I don't want to do that. I'm just happy that I DID IT!

If you watch it, please let me know what you think!

XO

Friday, August 4, 2017

Friday Five | No. 19

Hello friends! Not only is it Friday but it's my last work day before I'm off for a week! I am ready to knock this Friday out!

ONE | Nordstrom Debacle



So earlier this week I was NOT to happy with Nordstrom. I received an email from them that my #NSale purchase was cancelled because the item was not available when the order was processed. WTF. Like, why not just say, it's on back order, we'll get it to you when it's back available. Nope. So, I called their customer service which isn't something I normally do. I typically hate going customer service and complaining. But this time things were a little different as I had redeemed some recognition reward money I received at work to get this gift card for these boots specifically. I don't typically shop at Nordstrom and most certainly wouldn't have chosen Nordstrom for my gift card if it weren't for the #NSale. Well, after talking to the customer representative, he searched for another location that had the boots I wanted and gave me the number. I called that location, purchased the boots and now they are here and I am in love. Worth the extra calls.

TWO | Packing List for Vegas


T minus two days before I fly out to Vegas for the ALPFA convention/Girls Weekend Trip. I haven't actually started packing but I have started on my packing list. Seriously, guys, my toiletries list alone is long. Like I don't understand how people can travel in a small luggage for a week long trip. My toiletries alone can fill a carry on.

THREE | 12 Accents in 3.5 minutes video

I happened to come across this video of this gal that is a dialect coach and can speak using all sorts of accents. Not gonna lie, I was kinda mesmerized. Top faves are the Transatlantic and Old South. *sigh* Shame that these are both accents that are non-existent or almost there.

FOUR | How Successful People Spend Their Weekends Article

I saw this article on Facebook and thought it had some great tips, some of which I do already! There are some that I need to add to my weekend routine as well, like getting up at the usual time.

FIVE | Tax Free Weekend for Back to School

Who's excited?! Yes, I know, I don't go to school, but who said you can't get excited for back to school shopping when it's tax free? I take advantage of this sale to stock up on office supplies that I really don't need but want. I also like to purchase school supplies to donate and take advantage of this weekend to do that shopping.



XO

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

May Designs Planner and Notebook

Hello first day of August and hello first day using my May Designs Planner! A friend of mine gifted me a planner and notebook from May Designs for my birthday and the planner started in August. I have been counting down the days for when I could start using them.

Please excuse the "I took these pictures at work with my i-phone" images. I know it ain't all fancy but you get the idea. 


For those of you who don't know about May Designs, you can pretty much customize them from cover to cover. They have all kinds of patterns, page layouts, fonts and colors to choose from which sounds both awesome and overwhelming. I have tried designing something myself in the past but I could never decide on a design! Fortunately, she did the job for me and a good job I might add.





I've held off on using the notebook because I wanted to start using it when I started the planner. My plan is to really use this planner and notebook for my blog planning. I am really trying to be more consistent on this blog and with my sometimes long work days, I need to plan posts ahead. I am hoping that a little pre-planning will help me get more posts done.

XO

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Little Mermaid

On Saturday, we went to see The Little Mermaid show at the Straz Center.



It was so cute! Leading up to the show, I was curious how they were going to do the under water scenes on stage. Well, so it was interesting. There were times they would drop this sheer backdrop with a bubble pattern and raise actors with cords to look like they are swimming in water. That was pretty good. The kind of weird part was the times they were standing on stage. They would move their bodies as if they were in water. THE. WHOLE. TIME. Hard to really explain in writing. Really something that you have to see in person. It was a cute show. They didn't fully stick to the original movie script towards the end. It was a little different.

Here's a picture of my cute date and I before the show. Love him.


We are already looking forward to our next show at the Straz in September to see Harry Potter Film Concert Series. It will be so fun to hear the Florida Orchestra perform the music to Harry Potter live during the movie!

XO

Monday, July 17, 2017

Style | Warby Parker

Hi friends! I am here today to chat with you all about Warby Parker. I was contacted a couple weeks ago by one of the brand reps, who asked if I would mind writing a post of their new collection that debuts TODAY for them on my blog. I've been contacted before by other companies/brands to do collaborations but they were companies that, honestly, I've never heard about before. I was a little skeptical about those so I passed. However, I have heard about Warby Parker before and have always had an appreciation for some of their styles.

I also love to support brands that have an initiative to help others. They have the Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program - for every pair sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need. You can learn more about it here.

Let me start off by saying, this is NOT a paid sponsored post and I did NOT receive any goodies in the mail. I am simply sharing my thoughts based on the images and descriptions that were emailed to me. 

Okay, enough formalities, let's get to the good stuff! Their new collection contains four new styles: Gemma, Mae, Skye and Stella.

Gemma - Walnut

Mae - Onyx

Skye - Jet Black

Stella - Sable Horn

I'm really loving the Gemma and Mae! The Gemma's I could totally see wearing on the daily. Stylish and Feminine. The Mae would be my go-to's for the weekend. Fun and flirty. The touch of color on the sides adds some variation to them but not a lot. When it comes to accessories like sunglasses, I am not one that hoards a collection of them, so I like to have one or two pairs that can go with anything.

The last two are a bit to futuristic looking for me, but definitely something I could see a model wearing down a fashion runaway.

If you're interested in any of these, you can visit their site or location for a location near you. I just discovered they have a location at one of my fave places, The Oxford Exchange! I may need to plan brunch over there next weekend and go peruse the new sunnies in person.

XO

Friday, July 14, 2017

Friday Five | No. 18

This is my Friday Five - Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Edition. If you've been living under a rock and haven't been bombarded with posts all over social media about this, the sale starts July 21st.




Tory Burch Adeline Boot - I am in need of a new pair of riding boots. The last pair I had were in pretty bad shape and I needed to toss them out. I have wanted TB boots for some time now and what better time to get them than during a big sale? Hello, $200 off!! #nobrainer

Kate Spade Park Bow Bracelet Watch -  Y'all know I love me some Kate Spade. I have been wanting a watch that is both silver and gold for it's versatility. This one is adorable!

Sole Society Ivan Faux Leather Backpack - I have been on the hunt for a nude backpack purse to use while in Las Vegas. I know I will be doing a lot of activities and don't want to worry about slugging around a tote purse. It needs to be a more formal looking bag because I will be using it during the conference and wearing business attire. This purse hits the mark! I want to see it in person to see the size of it.

Sigma Beauty Classically Beautiful Brush Set - Confessions. I have been wanting Sigma makeup brushes since I started watching YouTube videos back in 09. Of course, I kept delaying because I couldn't get myself to dish out the money but I am still wanting them!

Diptyque Scented Candle Set - I have heard so much about these candles. Very possible that it is just people that are sponsored by this brand that rave about it. Not sure. Have any of you tried these? Are they real deal?



Monday, July 10, 2017

Weekend | July 8 & 9, 2017

It was another HOT weekend here in Florida. I'm over it and ready for Fall. Not that that means much here but still. Over the heat.

SATURDAY

A friend of mine recently bought her first house and had a housewarming party. She had a little hawaiian theme and she DIYed the cutest balloon banner to go over the food table. I was so proud of her party planning skills! 


Oh and her BF has a this game station. Which y'all, he has the Nintendo NES, Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64 AND the Cube. Seriously, #gamersgoals! As you can see by the picture below, we were glued to our seats playing in the AC. Meanwhile the young crowd was out in the lanai playing beer pong and water guns. HAHA!


SUNDAY

It was a chill day for us. We had breakfast at my fave, First Watch, and went grocery shopping. After dropping the Mr off at home I went to the outlet mall to do a little shopping for Vegas. I got a cute black dress from Banana Republic that was 60% off and the pumps below at ALDO for 50% off. Love me some good deals!!


I think I am set with shoes now - black and nude. This pair has a slightly higher heel than the nude pumps I got last week, but not too high. I did also get these sticky pads that you put on the bottom of the shoe to prevent slipping. Lord knows I need all the help I can get to prevent me from busting on my bum. 

After my mini shopping haul, when I got home, I'm not sure what got into me but I did some major cleaning and purging in our closet and drawers. I have a mound of clothes and shoes going to Goodwill this week. 

Ended off the evening giving myself a mani while reading a book and watching the thunderstorm storm outside cause it was cuh-razy! I'm talking shake the house kind of thunder.

Now to get this week started. It's gonna be a crazy busy week at work and I am ALREADY looking forward to Friday. Oy vey!

XO

Friday, July 7, 2017

Friday Five | No. 17

ONE | Summer Vacations


If you missed, I shared with you all some tid bits of our summer vacation in St. Augustine. You can read about it here. It was so nice having the extra days off from work for the 4th of July and only having a two day work week. Although I will say, it wasn't easy getting up Thursday morning for work!

TWO | Britney Spears Las Vegas


It's official! I purchased my ticket to go see my girl Britney Spears in Vegas next month!! I am going for a convention for work and extended my stay there to have a little girls weekend with a friend. She is a huge Britney fan like moi so this was an obvious must do while in Vegas. Excuse me while I brush up on my vocals and dance moves...

THREE | Beauty and the Beast


I have been dying to watch this movie since it was first announced that they were making it. Sadly, I didn't get the chance to see it while it was in theatres. I told myself that once it was out in DVD I would be purchasing and watching it. Well, I watched it Tuesday evening and it did not disappoint! I loved the animation and love that there was singing! On the DVD, there is an option to watch the movie and sing-along.... we know what I will be doing this weekend...

FOUR | Nude Pumps

As I briefly mentioned above, I will be attending a convention in Las Vegas next month and I have begun doing some purchases here and there for clothes and shoes. I have been in need of new nude pumps and tried a couple places then found these at Dillards. Not only are they comfortable with a not so ridiculously high heel, but they were on sale too! Win, win!

FIVE | My faux fig leaf tree



We have been living in our house for over two years now and I am STILL working on decorating it. I have a vision but always struggle finding what I want for a decent price tag. Money don't grow on trees y'all!

One of the areas I have been working on is our "foyer". I have a table and mirrors from Ballard's that I absolutely love, but wanted to add some type of greenery. After what felt like years of searching for a fake fig leaf tree that didn't cost an arm and a leg, I finally found one at Hobby Lobby. I would scour online sites like Wayfair for a decent one with good reviews that I didn't need to sell my soul to afford and always ended up empty handed. Well, when I saw this little guy at Hobby Lobby and saw the orange 30% off tag, I knew it was meant to be mine. The basket I found this weekend at Homegoods for $15 and I am really diggin' the look. This weekend I want to go to Michael's to get something to put on the base to give the tree a little more height and then add some fillers.

XO


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Read | The One & Only by Emily Giffin


I finished reading this book during our summer vacation to St. Augustine beach. I started it a couple weeks ago, reading a few chapters at a time and was determined to finish it during this trip. It's an easy read but a little over 400 pages long. Usually takes me a hot minute to get through books that long.

Overall, it was a good read. I was a little disturbed while reading it, I'll explain why shortly. The story is about a gal named Shea, who is a big college football fanatic (specifically for her alma mater, Walker). She's a budding sports journalist and lands her first real job after having worked at Walker for years.

Then, as with any gal in her late 20s/early 30s (?), there is the whole love situation. She starts off the story in a relationship with a guy who everyone agrees is not the guy for her. She ends up breaking it off with him. Then throughout the story we follow along her love struggle as she has feelings for two guys. One is the McDreamy guy, Ryan James, quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys who is perfect in every possible way except he holds a dark side. Then there is the other love interest, this is where it gets a little disturbing for me, her childhood best friend's father, Coach Carr, who is a recent widow. There is just so much wrong with this. Not only is he her best friend's father, he is also twenty plus years her senior. That is just all kinds of wrong. As you can imagine, this does not sit well with her bff when she finds out.

I won't spoil the story for you, in case you decide to read this book. :)

As always, if you have any good book recommendations, please leave it in the comments!

XO

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Travel | St. Augustine Beach

Happy 4th of July friends!!


Aren't we just the cutest? In our matching Patriotic attire... Holla at Old Navy for their $2 women's tanks and $4 dollar men's tees. 

We just got back from our three night stay in St. Augustine Beach. We stayed at this cute little rental that was in walking distance to the beach and restaurants off the A1A. Seriously, the BEST location.


We went to the beach the second day we were there for a couple hours in the morning. That was enough beach time for me. I am not a huge beach fan, so the close proximity made it perfect for the Mr. to go take a dip in the water while I stayed indoors reading a book.


We also did a little sightseeing in the historic district, visiting the fort and taking a stroll down George St. Guys, the Florida heat was at an all time high. We I did not last very long. After grabbing a bite to eat, we made our way back to our rental.


If I'm to be honest with you, the historic part of St. Augustine is alright. We visited once, back in 2010, and I was looking forward to visiting again. But after having traveled to so many places, I was perhaps a little disappointed with the historic part. The restaurant selection was ehh to me. Typically, I flood people's IG and Facebook feeds with all the different foods we eat on vacation and this time, the food posts were minimal. So that was a bummer.

It also felt very dirty to me. Probably that dirtiness was heightened because of the extreme heat.

Aside from the food game being weak, the trip overall was nice and needed. Very relaxing. I was able to lounge around and do some reading. Also got myself a nice little tan.

The Mr. and I both agree that if we do a vacation up there again, staying next to the beach is the way to go.

Added bonus is that it's only a three hour drive from our place. We left late morning and got home early afternoon. Leaving us plenty of time to settle back in at home and go out for a late lunch. What's even better is that we have tomorrow off as well, so the vacation fun continues on for one more day!

XO

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Travel | Nashville, TN

We just returned from our week long trip to Nashville, Tennessee and I left smitten by the city. Guys, the houses there are gorgeous! Every street we drove through I was oohing and ahhing. The weather was beautiful for the most part. There were some days of rainy/stormy weather but it was typically in the evening and we were already exhausted from being out all day. Worked out just perfectly.

I've been wanting to visit Nashville for some time now. Especially in the past five years where I've grown to appreciate country music. Then with the show Nashville, I wanted to see some of the spots in the show.

When we started planning out our trip, I was fortunate enough to have a friend who lives in Nashville and able to impart her wisdom of good places to eat and visit. Made the planning part pretty easy! We stayed in a rental in the 12 South Area which turned out to be a great location. It was a quick drive from downtown and there were lots of restaurants and shops in walking distance. Reminded me of South Tampa Hyde Park area for any Tampa readers.

Typically, when I do my travel posts, it's usually a photo dump of everything. This time, I thought I would type it out for you of the things we did and places we ate.


Things to Do: 
You can't do Nashville without visiting the country landmarks...

  • Country Music Hall of Fame
  • The Ryman
  • The Grand Ole Opry
  • Johnny Cash Museum
  • Bluebird Cafe - We didn't really go in to this place, but I did go drive by to see it.

We did a little historical/museum visits.

  • Andrew Jackson's Hermitage
  • Nashville Parthenon
  • Belmont Mansion and University
The weather was beautiful so we wanted to take advantage of it and be outdoors. 
  • Cheekwood Botanical Gardens
  • Radnor Lake State Park
  • Centennial Park (The Parthenon is located here as well)


Places to Eat:
This was probably the best part of the trip. Honestly, I could have titled this post, "Eating our way through Nashville" because we ate like it was our last meal each time. Even as I type this and think about some of the restaurants, my mouth is watering and I want to go back.

  • Flip Burger Boutique - The burger was delicious BUT the Nutella Burnt Marshmallow milkshake stole the show for me. 
  • Butchertown Hall - Chips and Queso
  • Taco Mamasita - This place had your not so typical tacos which I was pleasantly surprised with. 
  • Hattie B's Hot Chicken - I am not a big fried chicken fan or eating any chicken off the bone really. However, this chicken was too good not to have. 
  • The Loveless Cafe - Biscuit heaven. 
  • Box: Bongo & Bakery on 10th - I had a falafel sandwich with beet tzatziki sauce which was delicious. Their cookies were so so good. I had a chocolate pretzel cookie and was talking about it hours after. Ha. 
  • Frothy Monkey - We stopped here a few times during our stay to grab some coffee and had breakfast once. That was just as great!

For the Sweet Tooth!
It wouldn't be a post of mine if it didn't include a dessert selection. Lucky for me, there were so many choices within walking distance!
  • Las Paletas - They had quite the selection of popsicles. We got our popsicles and walked over to the park across the street for a nice little stroll.
  • Jeni's - Ice Cream Shop - This was not your typical selection of ice cream. One of the flavors I chose was a Salted Peanut Butter with Chocolate Flakes. It was light tasting and good.
  • Five Daughters Bakery - They had a small selection of cronuts and some other pastries. Again, delicious. 
  • Legato Gelato - This was not in walking distance but a quick drive.
  • Olive & Sinclair Chocolate - The cutest little shop that makes their chocolate in-store. 

Another great trip in the books!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Life Groups and New Friendships

In honor of GFC's Beautiful Bible Study Spring semester starting yesterday, I thought I would share about my experience in joining a life group and the value in being a part of one.

I started attending the Monday night life group last Fall. I was feeling really drained emotionally, physically, and spiritually and I felt that I needed some more Jesus time in my life and wanted to get more connected to my church. We'd been attending this church for about 9 months, but hadn't really gotten involved. (It's a large church and easy to get lost in the crowd, especially when you are introverts like we are.) I'd heard time and time again, that the best way to get connected in a large church (or any size church for that matter) is by joining life groups/bible study groups.

Well, I finally made the leap (huge leap) and went on a Monday night to try it out. Leading up to the evening, all the anxiety kicked in and it crossed my mind to just go home instead of turning on the road to get to the church, but I didn't give in. When I entered the sanctuary I was greeted by a couple ladies who welcomed me, had me fill out a name tag and sat with me a group of ladies at a table.

The rest was history. 

These ladies made me feel welcomed and part of the family. I created relationships, friendships through this group which has opened up other relationships through the ones created from this life group. We have provided each other support and words of encouragement in this thing called life through table conversations, prayers, texts, etc.

One of the friendships that has formed as a result of this life group is with this lovely lady, Ashley.


This bottle of sunshine has been such a pleasure to meet. She was my lifesaver during the women's conference from saving me seats each day to introducing me to other ladies at church. She will send me a text or two throughout the week just to say 'hello and hope that I am having a great week'. While it may seem like nothing, this small gesture, taking out the time of her busy week to send me a text, has been huge in just making me feel special and loved. That folks, is what this Christian life is all about.

Okay, enough of the gush talk.

I am so thrilled that this semester we will be doing a bible study reading Lisa Bevere's Girls With Swords book. Y'all already know, since the conference, I've been slightly obsessed inspired by Lisa Bevere. I'm really looking forward to reading this book this semester!

XO

Sunday, February 5, 2017

GALentine's Soiree 2017

Yesterday, I hosted my first GALentine's party with some of my fave gal pals. I've seen these sorts of shin-digs on pinterest and blogs for years and always wanted to host my own. I had some ladies over to enjoy chocolate fondue and wine.

Here are some pics of the details.



So, those who know me, KNOW that anything kitchen related is NOT a strength of mine. The good Lord blessed me with a husband who is a great cook and baker, so I do not mess with all that non-sense. See, because when I do, something is bound to going wrong.

Chocolate fondue.

I followed this recipe, STEP BY STEP. While it was in the sauce pan, it looked great. Once I transferred it to the fondue pot is where things took a turn for the worst. It was my first time using the fondue maker because I bought it specifically for this night. When I set it to "warm" it made the chocolate bubble, which you don't want happening! I immediately turned it off but there was no turning back, y'all. The chocolate began to separate and it got very oily. Then it started looking not so appetizing. I was so thrown off by the oil. Where in the world did the oil come from?! There was no oil in the recipe. EPIC FAIL. See picture below.


After several SOS texts to the Mr. from not only me, but friends who were cracking up, he came home to the rescue with more chocolate from the store and re-made the chocolate.


I am still trying to figure out what went wrong. We have a couple theories...

1) I bought the wrong kind of chocolate. I bought chocolate chips instead of the baker's chocolate bar.
2) The dang fondue maker made the chocolate bubble which caused it to separate.

Thoughts??

In the end, we had a great time, chatting, eating and drinking some red wine! First time in the books. Can't wait for future ones.

XO

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Style | Ankle Booties

At the women's conference last week, I noticed that 90% of the ladies in attendance were wearing some type of ankle bootie. I was part of the 10% that was not wearing them. #alwaystheoutcast

We had perfect boot weather and, of course, I don't have any. I always have it on my mind that I want to a get a pair, but haven't actually made the purchase. While I love fashion, I am always way behind to get on trend with my own personal style.

Well, after this conference, I feel very motivated to get a pair. So I've started browsing online to get ideas. Below are a few that caught my eye from DSW site.


My wardrobe consists of a lots of neutral colors hence the neutral tones above.

I see shoe shopping in my near future!

XO

Friday, February 3, 2017

Friday Five | No. 16

Well, it's been a hot minute since I've posted a Friday Five!

ONE | Guest Post on the GFC Beautiful Blog

On Sunday, after I published and shared my post about the Fearless conference on Instagram, I was contacted by the Women's director from my church asking to share my post on their ministry blog. Guys, I can't tell you how excited I was to be asked this. I have followed the blog for some time now and always thought how cool it would be to guest post on it one day. So to have them reach out to me to do this was huge!

TWO | Beauty and the Beast Trailer


All the goosebumps! I am so excited for this movie to come out in theaters. I already have a girls night planned to go watch it.

THREE | Valentine's Day Home Decor

I've already put up the Valentine's Day decor in the casa. I bought some new items from Kirklands a couple weeks ago and have been anxious to set them up. Getting the house ready for my GALentine's Soiree this weekend!

FOUR | Magnolia Journal Spring Edition


Joanna Gaines announced on Instagram that the Magnolia Journal Spring Edition will be hitting stands on Valentine's Day!

FIVE | Nashville Vacation

It's official y'all. Our next vacation will be to Nashville, Tennessee! We actually booked this last week, so I am a little late in sharing the news. We already have a list of things to do and places to eat thanks to friend recommendations and our own searching the internet. Essentially, we will be eating our way through Nashville and I wouldn't have it any other way. If you have any recommendations, pass them along!

XO

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Currently | February 2017

Hello February! Here is a short list of my current happenings...

READING | Grace Not Perfection by Emily Ley. I have been a long time blog/Instagram follower of Emily. Umm, hello, she owns a planner business. My love language. When I learned that she was writing a book I knew I wanted it.



WATCHING | Victoria on PBS Masterpiece. Guys, I am loving this series! #historygeek



DOING | Planning for my GALentine's Soiree that I am hosting this weekend. I am having a few girlfriends over to have drinks and a chocolate fondue. Yum!

WANTING | Too Faced Sweet Peace Eye Palette. Not that I need another eye palette but the packaging is just to cute!

LISTENING | This was one of the worship songs during the Fearless conference and I am a little obsessed. Hillsong can do no wrong.


XO