Friday, July 21, 2017

Friday No. 66

No. 1

We're back from our trip! Hooray! It was such a sweet time away exploring as our little family, and also getting to see my family in England, and travel with them too! It was so unique from any other trip we've taken and I can't wait to start recapping it next week. I've gotten a TON of questions about traveling with a baby/how we plan travel so if you have any send them my way so I can answer them all as I recap things! :)

No. 2 
The best post I've read in the past few weeks can be found here, on the history of Mackenzie Horan's family and Nantucket. I've loved reading Design Darling for years, and this is by far my favorite post of hers. When we were on our layover in Boston, there were SO many flights to Nantucket and it made me so antsy to visit there one day! Ben said he's afraid it's somewhere we'd go and it's just really expensive and we take one picture. NO BEN!!! Haha!! 

No. 3 
The Nordstrom sale just opened to everyone.. yay!! I got all my order in this week and I talked about everything I had my eye on in this post.. but let me tell you my few favorite items really fast. :) 

These jeans are even more flattering than I could have ever expected. They're still pricey, but the quality cannot be beat. I seriously felt like they took ten pounds off of me.... and this is coming from a girl who literally posted a photo of a Nutella filled croissant on her instagram in the past week, HA!!

This cardigan is a phenomenal staple. I can already tell I'm going to wear it constantly. The weight is perfect because it can be worn easily for a Texas fall (aka still sorta hot fall) but also legitimately keep you cozy! 

I ordered this shirt even though it's pretty trendy... and I'm obsessed!!! I ended up sizing up to a medium in this (I feel like Nordy clothes are often pretty generous on sizing!) and I think it will be so incredibly chic with jeans and boots this winter! 

Speaking of boots.. I didn't order these but I want a Christmas in July Santa to bring them to me!! Haha!

When I ran in to return a few things yesterday, I saw that my favorite tennies are part of the sale too! 

This cozy sweater really exceeded my expectations. Not a hint of itch in it, which is a huge requirement for me! Once I actually decided I was never going to wear sweaters again because of the itch not being worth it! 

All of my picks are recapped here.. I seriously am all stocked up for fall and it's such a great feeling knowing I saved SO much! 

No. 4 

Like I said before, we got home Tuesday night, and then on Wednesday we hit the ground running and went to the zoo to celebrate my niece's birthday! We literally went from freezing in Iceland to sweat dripping down our backs at the zoo, such a contrast haha! :) Beau really loved it, and it was such sweet family time! 

All of my Friday posts can be found here.


Monday, July 17, 2017

Three Things

My friend Sarah posted this little survey a few weeks ago, and I thought it would be an easy, fun little post to put up while we're away. :) It also reminds me of my friend Lisa's post on "Five Things Always in My Fridge" which was written some time ago but I really enjoyed it!

Three things I'd never give up
blue + white stuff (HA!!!!)
my love for personalized art

Three favorite vegetables
bell pepper (now I'm hesitating.. these aren't fruit are they?! HA!!)

Three shows I watched faithfully from beginning to end
Gossip Girl
One Tree Hill

Three places I want to visit inside the US
Nantucket, Massachusetts
San Fransisco, California
Seaside, Florida

Three place I want to visit outside the US
South Africa
Italy a million times always and forever more :)

Three things I always have with me
my phone
a hair tie
usually a little boy :)

Three things that are always in my car
extra diapers, wipes, + snacks (in my console)
a swiffer duster (newly adopted tip from lots of people online)

Three most recent calls were from / to
My friend Kayla
My friend Tiffany

Three most often used makeup products
Mascara (I like this one + this one + this one)
Blush (current favorite in "rose" + always favorite)
Eyebrow Pencil  (I use the color taupe because I once heard from a makeup artist that it works on almost every skin tone!)

Three things that make me laugh
Old episodes of Parks and Rec
Puns. I LOVE puns!!
my baby laughing

Three things that make me cry
Thinking about my boys
Military family reunion videos
Disney World- the magic is just too much for me!!!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

My Nordstrom Sale Picks

My favorite sale of the year is here! I know literally every blogger under the sun is talking about it right now.. but after really seriously shopping it last year, I'm passionate that everyone needs to know how worth it this sale is! Basically all of the new fall things go on sale for a few weeks before they're all just sold normally for fall. The discounts on jeans, shoes, lingerie, and cosmetics especially are awesome. I'm rounding up all of my favorites for y'all from our Barcelona hotel room while Ben and Beau nap. :) Several of these things I'm linking I've had for a year and still LOVE!

Early access for cardholders started today, and is open to everyone on the 21.. I'll post to this again on that date! :)


This simple tank is something I should probably grab a few of to wear with cardigans and whatnot! Same for this tee shirt.. especially because there are so many cute cardigans.

I ordered this dress so stinking quick. It will be so so cute with booties and a scarf in the fall! I ordered the navy but was really torn between that and the gray.

This sweatshirt is really similar to the one I've been wearing on our trip (same brand and everything!) Even if you want it oversized.. get your same size. I wore a small and I'd say 90% of the time I size up for an item like that.

Blush ruffle sleeve dress? No more questions need to be asked. :)

This cardigan is inexpensive and easy, I ordered it in gray!

THIS SHIRT. Might be my favorite of the whole sale.

I always think that a cream sweater is so classic. I ordered this one, and this turtleneck one and will decide which one I like the best. :)

I just added this to my cart because it's only $25 and will be such a staple this winter!! Why are stripes so effortlessly chic?

Maybe this is a TMI.. except no men read my blog anyway. Last year after having Beau I bought these two styles of bra (this one and this one) and I'll never wear anything else ever again. They're amazing. I just ordered two more.

This sweater is the softest I've ever touched. It always sells out so I ordered one at the Malaga airport before our flight to Barcelona this morning, minutes after the sale went live. It's a gift for a friend. :) It also comes in a robe version.. something that would be the best gift ever.

Last year, Ben and I both got an expensive pair of jeans.. and this year we'll do the same. They have been AMAZING quality and we literally only want to wear those pairs now. Last year Ben got these, and I got some Paige ones.. and this is my pick and his pick for this year. Literally Ben asked for Nordstrom gift cards for Christmas in anticipation of buying these jeans during the sale.

I ordered this sweater in blush and gray because I just can't decide which one I like the best! Eek! What do y'all think?

I love anything scalloped and I'm OBSESSED with the color of this dress. Also, in the photos it's styled with a maroon cardigan which I thought was unexpected and adorable. I hope it arrives in time for a bridal shower I'm hosting next week! :)

I think this cardigan is absolutely adorable! Such a special twist on a staple. I ordered this too. Can you tell that my currently Europe based self is treating orders like a dressing room? Eek!! Good thing Nordy is so good about free returns!

This cardigan is one I passed on last year because it was "nothing special" but then was jealous when I saw people post about it all winter long.

Last year I got two pairs of the long pant pajama set.. I haven't regretted it at all. They're amazing. The quality is great, they wash well. I have a pair in my suitcase right now. :)

Pajama Pant Set 

Shorts Set 

Chemise Version 


During the winter I always think that I want a classier version of a sweatshirt to throw on with leggings and tennies.. I couldn't have ordered this quick enough. I especially like that I don't have to worry about what I'm wearing underneath it.


I splurged on this hair dryer last year, thinking that as a new mama I'd love having a hairdryer that blew out my hair really quickly.. and I was SO RIGHT. This has been by far the best purchase I've made in the past few years, cutting down on drying time has allowed me to get in some extra workouts too.. knowing I could get ready quickly!

The only sippy cup Beau will take.. basically 50% off. Ordered so fast!


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Questions Lately

Hello from Europe! We are having such a great time and its hard to believe that we come home in a week! If you haven't already noticed, I'm posting tons on Instagram and Insta stories, so follow along there. :)

You mentioned in a recent blog post that you love fancy pajamas. What are some of your favorites? 

I love PJ Salvage brand, and Nordstrom often has their sets go on sale. These are my current favorite!

I also am currently loving these.  I know it looks like the tie around the neck wouldn't be comfy, but it hasn't bothered me a single time. :)

What is your day to day routine with Beau? How does he stay entertained all day? We are trying to avoid technology for entertainment with our one year old.

I'm so at a loss for how to answer this question, haha! First, Beau hasn't really been exposed to any technology. Not in some like "we're amazing and don't do technology" way.. he just kind of hasn't. A few times I've tried to put on a movie for us to watch together and he'll sit still for like one minute.. and a few times he's enjoyed watching sports with Ben, but he never watches anything on my phone. I may speak differently in the future, but right now I'm pretty committed to not letting Beau know that my phone plays videos. It's funny how instinctual it is for him to still want it though, he reaches for it and doesn't even know what it is. I'm sure it's just because I always have it but he always wants to chew on it.

Every day looks different for us. Whether we're running errands, meeting a friend, staying home all day in our jammies, it's always different. I try to really balance hands on time of me directly playing with Beau, and time of me sitting right by him and giving him some play options to entertain himself independently. I'm sure everything is about to turn upside down once he's confident walking.

Where are you traveling to this time? Are you taking the stroller and carseat? 
You probably know a few of these answers by now, but on this trip we'll be in Amsterdam, Belgium, England, a few cities in Spain, and Reykjavik, Iceland. We're so excited! We are planning on taking our stroller. We opted to bring our "big stroller" instead of our umbrella stroller simply because it has such great under stroller storage. We'll be able to keep anything and everything we need in the basket and never worry about it tipping over or anything. We also chose to bring our own carseat again this time. I'm sure renting could be great but the cost-benefit ratio wasn't good enough for us right now. I will say that I decided to bring Beau's infant carseat instead of his convertible, simply because it's less bulky, is super easy to install even if we don't bring the base, and he still fits in it for now, although he fills it up, haha!

How has your budgeting changed with Beau? 

Wow.. big question. Haha! Now that Beau's off formula, things are looking wonderful. :) I did a ton of research before Beau was born on how to get the diapers and wipes I wanted at the cheapest prices, so right now I literally have 50 packages of wipes in a closet. My take on certain types of budgeting is that you can't always control every category. For example, we don't budget a line item for gas, because we aren't going to be like "okay well no more driving this month!" so I know how much money we spend on gas, and make all the other puzzle pieces fit with that. Same with baby things. We aren't going to be like well okay, I want to limit the amount of diapers we buy this month so I just will stop buying them. I know how much we average on diapers, wipes, and clothes.. and then we just added a bit to our grocery budget for specific snacks for Beau. Most of the time I cook things that we can all eat, and a lot of what we eat, we all eat, we just need a tiny bit more. Hope this helps! I'll also note that in budgeting for clothing, I do so much of his stuff preorder or a season in advance that this really helps to not sneak up on me. For example, I just ordered quite a few things from The Beaufort Bonnet Company, my favorite great quality place to get things for Beau, because their Spring stuff is on sale. I ordered a few treasures for next summer, specifically styles that I don't think will change too much, because I know I'd want to order them full price next summer.

If you're wondering, I got Beau another pair of night nights (they're a splurge but the quality is phenomenal.. he literally wears these over and over and I just keep washing them!) a jon jon, and some shorts. A note: I always order $125 at a time to get free shipping.. bc its not worth paying $11 to ship when that $11 is a monogram, or a substantial percentage of another item. How did budgeting turn into me talking about expensive baby clothes? Oops. I always vote quality over quantity. I am OBSESSED with this bubble for fall. I'll be milking every moment of Beau's small season of bubble wearing that he has left!

Ps. If you're wanting to shop ahead, this, this, this, and this were my favorites for Beau this year.

Will you do a hair tutorial? 
This continues to be my #1 most asked question... and I'll try to get that planned for sometime in the fall!

How did you start blogging and learn to make your site? 
I started blogging really casually when I was in college and discovered how much I loved reading blogs. No one read it for a really long time. When Ben and I got married, four and a half years ago, I started using it more consistently, and the rest is history. I probably should have grown a ton more for the time I've been doing this, but whatever. :) I love this cozy space and all of the people who read. Every comment means so much to me, I LOVE getting them. I learned to do my site literally from trial and error and from knowing how to do html from Xanga back in the day. I also took a coding class in the 8th grade. So clearly that information is outdated, but from doing Xanga and Myspace and just like learning and searching, I learned how to do my site. One day if I hit it the big time I'll hire someone fancy to do the site, but that time is not now. :)

We're working on planning a trip to Europe next year.. what do you prioritize when you travel? Food? Attractions/experience? Hotels, etc? 
I got a lot of questions about this too! I will say that it's changed since we had Beau. Now, we are a little more strategic with our hotels. Paying a little extra for a central location is key when planning to return to your room for naptime. :) When it was just us, it didn't matter near as much. We also ate a lot nicer meals, and I know this trip we won't do quite as much of that. We aren't super crazy about paying to see the insides of old buildings, and have rarely gone to the top of buildings. We do some museums, but not tons of them.. we love just soaking up the culture of the city. This allows us to pay for things that are really awesome experiences.. like when we hired a private driver to take us down the Amalfi Coast at our own pace for a day, or like whale watching for this trip.

Yay! I'll save the rest of the questions for another day. If you have any more, leave them in the comments or email me or DM on insta, whatever! :) 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Nashville + Asheville Trip: Part Two

You can find part one, here. On to our day at the Biltmore! We chose to enjoy the property at our own pace over doing any sort of tour. We thought Beau might enjoy it more that way. :) When I looked up tickets, I found that because we were visiting on Father's Day there was a discount, so my ticket was full price and both Collin and Ben had $25 tickets. Also because of this it was apparently a busier day, but it honestly wasn't crazy when we were there, I obviously can't compare it to another day though. :) 

Thanks to Collin for the photos of us randomly walking around while we didn't know photos were being taken, haha! 

Note: I get a lot of questions about what stroller we bring when we travel, and for this trip we brought our umbrella stroller. Because there was a lot of in and out of the car, but no need for a lot of storage on the stroller, it was a perfect choice. 

I also got a lot of questions about the dress I'm wearing.. it's last season from Anthropologie but here's a similar one that I LOVE but couldn't justify buying because it's so similar! 

I don't know if it was just the time of year we were there or what, but we weren't incredibly impressed by the gardens. The greenhouse was obviously stunning, but the actual gardens themselves weren't looking as well kept as we expected. 

After getting our fill of the House, we drove over to Antler Hill Village. Our goal was to visit the winery and buy a bottle or two as gifts. 

Beau was LOVING riding in his carrier! :) 

We had originally decided to skip the free wine tasting because of Beau, but then got over there and realized there was absolutely no reason to do so, it was a super laid back environment. 

After finishing the tasting, we ate lunch at a quick pizza place and hopped back on the road for Nashville. It stormed for most of the second half of the drive which was actually kind of nice because it cooled us down so much. 

Random photo from the trip but I noticed around this time that Beau was getting some little curls around his face and I LOVE them. :) 

Monday morning we said goodbye to Collin's house and packed up to go stay with the Teasleys. We spent the morning in Franklin, and then the boys had a goal to do some cliff jumping. 

After cliff jumping, I mentioned in passing loving seeing Amelia's Flower truck on instagram, and Collin said that he was friends with the girl who started it and remembers all of her ideas and conversations about starting it because she was dating his roommate at the time. So we headed off to find one of the trucks and have a little photoshoot of course. :) 

We then arrived at the Teasleys and went out to see their beautiful new land! Meredith and I always talk about all of the fun things we would do if we lived in the same place. Hanging out on this land is one of them. :) 

After a fun night, we were headed home the next morning! Beau was wiggly at the end of the flight so we entertained him by "reading a story" of the airline magazine. He LOVED it!! Haha! :) 

If you're looking for more legitimate recommendations, I also blogged another trip to Nashville, here. :) 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

GUEST POST: Foyer Decor with Hill Collection

Hi, y'all! I'm Astleigh, the creator and author of  Hill Collection, a life + style blog featuring family, home décor, recipes, DIY, travel, and the occasional fashion and beauty. I'm the wife to a scruffy-bearded engineer and mama bear to our darling girl. We call the mountains of Virginia home where we spend our days adding extra character to our charming little 1950's ranch. I'm southern born, small-town raised, and Jesus-saved. When I'm not blogging, you'll find me swooning over fall, watching the Real Housewives (Bravo is my guilty pleasure) or flipping through a favorite magazine (hello, Southern Living, Country Living, BH&G, and Magnolia Journal!). I love a good accent pillow or three, will take a second cup of iced coffee any day, insist on at least wearing mascara, can't get enough seasonal/holiday cheer, and adore fresh flowers in pretty vases. I find joy in curating a lovely home, cultivating inspiration, hosting my people, loving hard on my family, and celebrating the little things. Follow along with me on Instagram + Youtube + Pinterest!

Y'all!! I'm so excited to be sharing our foyer reveal! This has been a work-in-progress for months, and at the time it is complete. I say that because if you know me, you know that I'm always finding a new way to look at a space and tweak it in one way or another. Sorry, husband ;) Rooms grow and evolve just like you do, so a bit of change is always inevitable. For now though, our foyer is serving us well, brightening our entrance in our home and adding a whole lot of character to the house. 

Foyer or entryway, what do you call it? Either way, I'm a firm believer that it makes the initial impression of your home. It's the first place people see when they come into your house. For me, it's important that this space is welcoming and cozy. Whether we are saying our hellos or gathering there at the end of the night to say our goodbyes, the foyer is a space where I want guests to feel like they can't wait to return. 

When we first started our makeover of this space, the only thing I knew is that I wanted shiplap. It was one of our very first projects, and was as simple as simple could be. It added so much charm to the room, but I knew that I wanted to push the design boundaries and do a little more. That's when I fell in love with Brewster Home's Balth Cream Botanical Wallpaper. The heavily patterned paper had me completely smitten. It was a big statement, and after years of honing my design style, it was exactly the big leap I wanted to take. I was nervous that I was making a mistake with such stand-out wallpaper, but I didn't let it deter me from moving forward with it. Husband helped me hang it, and after just one wall was finished, I knew my design instinct had paid off. 

This particular paper is stunning and oh so lovely! I can't tell you how many nice compliments I've received about it. If you're looking to dive head first into wallpapering a wall(s) in your house, I can't urge you to do it more! It makes quite the statement, and it's completely worth it! Just look how much it transformed my foyer!

After I made the big design decisions....the shiplap + wallpaper combination. I needed to settle on the accents. I opted to move forward with bright whites, blacks, and wood tones. Since the wallpaper was busy, the rest of the room needed to be subtle. So I added frames. I knew I wanted big, matted, black frames that would showcase photos there were soft, but also offered a pop of color. Framebridge came through for me and provided the most lovely, rippled Rialto frames. And my friend Rachel, had the most beautiful photos (she had taken in the last year) to add to them. 

Next came the wood tones. I scored the tobacco basket from Target on clearance and all of the hung baskets at a local thrift store. To soften the basket, I added a cable knit throw I already had. And I have plans to fill the bucket basket with seasonal and holiday décor throughout the year. Think cotton stems! The wooden hooks were another Target find, and they fit perfectly with the foyer's existing aesthetic. 

To top everything off, I used simple pieces to accent what was already going on. One of my favorite things to do is use a cake stand, a faux green plant, and a glass cloche to create a timeless look that fits seamlessly into any space. You can switch out the plant for seasonal/holidays accents too. I prefer lamp light to overhead light once all the natural light is gone for the day. So I added a thin, tall lamp to the entryway table. And a candle is always a must. Find links for all the pieces I used below!

 my outfit: off-the-shoulder swing top || jean shorts (on major sale right now!)
sandals || bar necklace

Our little Christmas cactus was given once husband's grandmother's. We transplanted it into its crackled pot, and my hope is to give it some height by putting it in a plant stand. I have an idea, but it's just finding the right one first. Until now, it rests next to our entryway table. 

entryway table || mirror (similar) || lamp (similar) || candle || glass dome || cake stand (similar)

I'm so glad y'all stopped by! It's been a joy to share this space with you! Be sure to see our dining room reveal, and stay tuned for little bit's nursery reveal coming soon!

Check out our other room makeovers below!

**Affiliate links were used within this post. Thank you as always for supporting this blog!