Monday, September 15, 2014

Eating Like a Cave Woman...

Sorry for the blog hiatus! If you wonder where I've been, well, it feels like I have been spending all my time cooking! Lewis and I recently wrapped up the Whole 30. I'll quantify that a little by calling it our slightly modified version of the Whole 30. Lewis told me he was in except he was not giving up his weekend bourbons and so I happily have had a few glasses of wine!

I am not an extreme person and diets or workouts or anything extreme usually turns me off, but after reading It Starts with Food. I was determined to give this a try! I was ready to quit 4 days in - but Lewis loves anything extreme so he kept us on track! 

If you don't know what the Whole 30 is basically, you eat no grains, legumes, sugar or dairy for 30 days. It's similar to the Paleo Diet  (hence the title of this post) which lots of people at Lew's Crossfit gym do, so I got some great recipes from them! 

I was inspired by Jenna from Small Fy blog, a great kids blog if you are into that kind of thing. Jenna designed my blog header a few years ago and I've loved following her as she and two friends launched Small Fry. A few other friends and blog friends had also done the whole 30, so there was lots of good inspiration out there! It challenged me because we love to eat out lunch - it's usually mine and Lewis' adult time together and is most often when I make unhealthy choices! Dinner was easy- we grill a lot anyway! 

I love to learn to cook new things and it's been fun experimenting with spaghetti squash, making homemade mayo, and making our own salad dressings! I have to say, after a week or so off the diet, there is a small part of me thinking I'd do it again, it really did make us feel great! 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

One Year Pics!

I was so excited to get some pictures of Millie taken while we were in Rosemary Beach. I'd seen many people posting about Marla Carter's work in the blogosphere and had a few friends who'd used her as well. I couldn't have been more pleased with the photos! We kind of thought Millie may be walking by then, but she held out on us, but Marla still captured her expressions and gave us a great memento of her at a year old! Here's a few she shared with us on Facebook. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sweet Summertime...

Summertime is sweet ( and hot!) around our house! We started off with a beach trip to Rosemary Beach, Florida. Lewis and I honeymooned near there so it is always special place for us. Last year, we headed to Rosemary about a month before Millie was born, so it was fun ( and much less relaxing) to take her with us this year!  We couldn't have asked for better weather, or better friends to travel with! Our friends Hayden and Will pulled duty as secondary parents to Millie and we had a blast making lots of memories with our girl on her first beach trip! We even took our first love, Minnie Lou along for the fun. 

Not two weeks after that, Lewis and I were spoiled to get to sneak away to Key West for a few days to celebrate the wedding of some friends! We soaked up a lot of sun, road bikes and were reminded of a fun trip to we took to the keys several years ago! We both claim one of the best meals we've ever eaten is at Blue Heaven in Key West and we took full advantage of being back-- I think we ate there 3 different times! 

We made it back to Oxford just in time for Millie's first birthday! How is she already one? I don't know that I even have the words to express how this past year has been. It seems like she's been a part of our lives for so much more than a year, but also feels like she was born a few seconds ago. It was fun to look back on all the month-to-month photos and see how she's changes over the course of the year! We celebrated with some of our family and some close friends on the day after her birthday, which was also Father's Day! I'd be remiss if I didn't mention how blessed I am to have not only a very wonderful father, but also a husband who has blown me away with his love for our child. I fall more and more in love with him when I see how he loves Millie. Lewis' parents are making their way into town in the next few days and we are certainly going to share in round two of the celebration with them! It'll be a good excuse to have some more cake, which Millie thought was pretty delicious! 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Hello from sunny Florida...

We're soaking up some sun, eating great fish, staying up late and recharging with a little beach vacation! Be back soon...

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Good to Know: How to Set the Table

I am pretty sure I set the table about a million times during my youth.  My mom often asked me or my brother to set the table while she cooking. Family dinner around the table was a fixture of my childhood and as we grow as a family, this is something I want our family to share in too!  Lew and I are bad about eating in front of the TV many nights, but the nights we sit and look at each other, and really talk, are some of my favorites.

I have to admit, each time I go to set the table, still, after all these years, I find myself thinking, "is this really where that goes?" One helpful hint someone once told me was that fork has 4 letters and so does left, and knife and spoon both have 5 letters, just like right.  Handy, huh?

But, if you really want to take it up a notch..... check out  these helpful guides that I found on Pinterest the other day!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Digging in the dirt....

My girl and I have been digging in the dirt! I planted my succulents -- maybe this time I'll have a little better luck with them! I snagged these three at Kroger last week but wasn't sure what to plant them in until I was browsing in one of my favorite Oxford spots on Friday, Amelia. Paper and Clay was having a pop up shop and these three little pots were the perfect "happy mother's day to me" splurge for my little green friends. Crossing my fingers for a green thumb this go around! 

Meanwhile, this girl has discovered our raised beds, which are the perfect height to pull up on and snag a quick mouthful of dirt!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day: Grateful

Today I am grateful for the chance to be this girl's mommy, and for my own mom who loves me so well (and now is loving my baby girl too!)

Happy Mother's Day! 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Friday Favorites: Succulents.

You know those weeks that kick your booty.... well, the stomach bug made a round through our house and it's been one of those weeks.  So, if I was saying my favorite thing of this week it would be Lysol. But, that's not very fun!

So, inspired by Leslie and Mary Straton, who've both been potting some succulents recently, I am going to give these guys a whirl again. The forecast looks sunny this weekend and I think this is the perfect mini weekend project!

Full disclosure, I've not had very good luck with succulents the past two summers, but everyone continues to tell me how easy they are, so I am going to try again. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again, right?

So, here are a few inspiration pics from my pinterest perusing!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Summer Reading List...

Does the title of that post make your heart race a little? So, about a hundred years ago, Brooke over at Blueprint Bliss  asked me about some book recommendations. WAY back then, I started a post on some recent reading favorites, but never finished it. If y'all only knew how many drafts I have started that have yet to be finished!

We have a beach trip coming up in a few weeks, and although with our 11 month old in tow, I doubt much reading will take place for me, it seemed a good time to think about a summer reading list!

Here, in no particular order, are a few things I've read this past year that I really enjoyed.

1. Jane Eyre - I've made mention of this one before. It's one of my all time favorites, and I have read it many, many times! But, while I was on maternity leave, my high school did an alumni book club with out 8th grade English teacher leading the discussions about Jane Eyre. It was a fun opportunity to revisit this classic, reconnect with old friends and discuss this story in a much different way than we did in 8th grade, when I first read it. If you have read it, read it again.  If you haven't, you totally should.

2. The Paris Wife - This, and the next two on the list have a similar feel. The Paris Wife is the fictionalized account of Ernest Hemmingway and his wife Hadley. Set in Paris, in the 1920's the whole thing was very fascinating to me. I studied abroad in Paris in college, and loved the images of the American literary scene in Paris in the 20's!

3. Loving Frank - I followed The Paris Wife with Loving Frank, which is a fictionalized account of the love affair between Frank Lloyd Wright and his mistress. Again, real life characters, some fictional liberty taken, but this one is based off the diaries written his lover Mameh Chaney.  Although, the story at times is quite depressing, I loved this book too!

4. Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald- I just finished this one a few weeks ago. It's sort of fun to see read about the same time in Paris that is portrayed in The Paris Wife, from the Fitzgerald's point of view. Clearly, I find that time and place very fascinating!

5. The Book Thief - I actually didn't read this one this year, but it's one that stands out in my memory of recent reads! I have not seen the movie that came out this year based off this book, but I always believe that the books are better! This book made me weep, but was also such a wonderful story!

6. Wonder - You may look this one up and wonder ( no pun intended) why I am reading young adult fiction. My high school English teacher recommended this one, and I read it on the plane ride to California. This book challenges the way you think about those who are different than you and will touch your heart, I promise!

So what about you?  I'm about to start this one. What have you read lately?

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

New Adventures.

At the start of 2013 we were in the new year, new baby mode! Now, our "new" baby is approaching 11 months old! In some ways it feels like she's been here for no time and and in other moments it feels like we don't remember life without her! It's almost impossible to describe!

Millie was certainly a major factor in my decision to leave my job with Visit Oxford at the end of January. It was a job I loved, and choosing to leave somewhere after almost 10 years was a hard decision. Really hard. There were more than a few tears shed at the end of 2013 as Lewis and I decided what was the best thing for our family.

But sometimes opportunities present themselves that just feel right deep down inside. The company where Lewis works, jcg apparel, was expanding and there was an opportunity for me to help them with their new retail store on the Square in Oxford, and do some marketing for them.

The store, felt like our new baby of 2014, as we spent many, many hours brainstorming about how we wanted it to look and pulling it all together! There were a few times that I looked at Lewis and said, "what was I thinking!"

In addition, I have been given another exciting opportunity to do some contract work for the Mississippi Tourism Association-- which keeps me connected with lots of colleagues turned friends from my time at Visit Oxford.  It's really been a big change, but has been really fun too, and most importantly provides a lot more flexible time with my baby girl to tackle the job of mama!

Here's a sneak peak at the store:

Those were snapped opening day, about 5 minutes before we opened! Revamping the old building on the Square and making it functional but also unique was something that was very important to all of us. We wanted the space to not just feel like another t-shirt store, and I think we accomplished that. I, of course, loved picking out some vintage furniture, and a really cool counter with some help from my mom. And Lewis cooked up these amazing rolling panels on barn tracks with abstract paintings that provide us really flexible display space that is also really beautiful!  To see more, follow us on instagram  (@jcg_apparel_oxford) or  on facebook to see more!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

California girls...

A few weeks ago I got to have a really fun girls week in California! My friend Rochelle had some tickets to the Mississippi Grammy event in Los Angeles, a party that celebrates the grammy winners from Mississippi. You may not know this, but Mississippi has the most grammy winners of any state in the country! So, I jumped on the trip and throughly enjoyed a girls week in LA complete with delicious food, some pampering and of course some shopping! 

I was kind of obsessed with this wall in a Mexican restaurant in Malibu.... If only I didn't kill every succulent that comes into my home! 

We were there a few days before my birthday, so my friends couldn't resist this enormous candle at Sur. For those in the group who watch Vanderpump Rules, this was a big deal. I had ( and still haven't) seen the show, but the restaurant was delicious and the candle was ridiculous and awesome all at the same time!

Champagne and blowouts? Yes. Yes. Yes. This might have been my favorite part of the trip.  

All and all it was a great week. I love visiting places I've never been and LA will definitely be on my list of places to visit again. I told Lewis that He and I could have spent a week looking at houses. The architecture was amazing, I should have snapped a lot of pictures to save, but I was too busy enjoying the ride!  

Friday, March 21, 2014

Snow Day

Although today is the first day of spring, and I am welcoming warmer temperatures with open arms, I can't help be but a little nostalgic over this winter picture!  This might have been one of the best moments of winter.  We had a snow day, well, not really, but it was enough snow to warrant an obligatory first snow picture and even a little driveway sledding.  If you follow me on instagram you might have seen that video. Even though it was gone by middle of the day, it was such a fun morning. These are certainly the moments I wish I could bottle and that I hope to hold onto in my heart for years to come! 

Friday Favorites: May Books

Hello There... to those who still read this ol' blog! I haven't completely forgotten her, in fact I have many posts in the drafts section, but it's been a hectic and fun few months that haven't left much time or energy for blogging! See, back in January, I quit my job with Visit Oxford! It was a tough decision, and was a job I loved very much but I had some new opportunities pop up that provided me flexibility in my schedule and thus, more time with this girl! More on all that in another post....

How about a friday favorite? 

 May Books. Do y'all know about these? I've ordered some for myself - to help keep several projects organized and I ordered some for Mary Straton to celebrate her new job! You can customize the exterior and interior. Y'all know my favorite is an unlined page, but there are tons of other cute options. 

oh, and they are having a sale right now too! 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Late Recap: Christmas and New Years

So where does the time go? I had great intentions of making a Christmas post back in December,  a 2013 recap and so on, but those didn't quite happen in a timely manner but for the sake of documentation I am plowing ahead. Better late than never, I assume.

December marked Millie's 1/2 birthday, these six months have flown by and have changed our lives in the most wonderful ways. It seems six months isn't long enough for all the memories we've already made to have happened!

December was filled with many Christmas outings and activities, including the obligatory trip to meet Santa!  Our first Christmas with Millie was wonderfully fun and was filled with family and friends who are like family.

On Christmas Eve, we continued the tradition of having both of our families and some good friends over for gumbo. Millie stayed up late, and was quite the darling of the party!

Lewis' mom and my dad with Millie

Millie and "Kaki"

My grandmother, Grandma

Christmas morning was spent quietly with just the three of us at home, before we loaded up for Memphis. Santa made a stop at our house, and even though we know she had no idea what was going on, it was fun to make the morning special!

Lewis surprised me with these two paintings by our friend Chad Mars, and we couldn't resist hanging them before leaving for Memphis.

Once we got to Memphis, the Millie fest continued! By the end of the day, she was one tired ( and loved) baby girl! It really is so much fun to watch our families love on her.

Uncle Matty

My grandmother, Gaw-Gaw

Too bad we didn't get a really cute photo of our family! 
Millie in her big girl chair from Santa and the gorgeous dress smocked by my friend's mother! 

As soon as the festivities ended, my Dad, Lewis and Minnie Lou were headed to the woods for some duck hunting.

All and all, it was a really wonderful Christmas!  We wrapped up 2013 with a fun evening out with friends in Oxford, and even though we were babyless, we were still home by 10:00 p.m.

2013 was truly an amazing year for our family. It's so funny to look back and think that this time last year we were waiting to find out whether we were having a baby girl or a baby boy and our minds were reeling with the anticipation of this next phase in our lives. I used the word "joy" on our Christmas card, because although it is a season of joy as we celebrate the birth of Christ, it seemed very fitting for the way I feel about this year too!

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