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Ashley

Family, Health, Uncategorized

Hand Out a High-Five- A Little Tip

Do you hi-five? I mean do you really hold up you hand with the corny gesture to tell someone “way to go” or “hey man good job”?

I gave my husband a high-five today for eating all his corn and chicken at the dinner table (for the pure audience of our children- hey parents will do anything to get their kids to eat). I also gave my husband a high-five for putting a backyard playground together. And you know what, it’s so cheesy. But you know what else, it feels great to hold up your hand and slap some recognition right into someone else’s being.

I don’t remember ever giving my husband a high-five before last week- how sad is that? There are so many missed opportunities. I am going to have to make it up to him! For those of you still here reading on about my kooky high-five banter, here’s the back-story.

My daughter would not eat the other day. This was her regular performance. We would set down her dinner and she’d turn her head and say “I don’t like” without ever trying it. This has been going on for weeks. It started to really concern me sooo I got desperate and did the first thing I could think of. I looked at my son and started giving him high-fives for every single bite he ate. My son was stoked and my daughter felt left out so she started shoveling food in her mouth. Hunger strike over! I was shocked! I mean, yes it was a desperate idea and I tried it out for size, but I never thought it would work!

My little experiment makes me realize how little effort requires to make someone feel engaged and appreciated. We have been handing out high-fives in our house ever since. My daughter is eating better because she doesn’t want to feel left out. She cares about being appreciated.  And what I took for granted is that my son WAS eating well and we weren’t giving him credit for that.

Here’s my challenge to you. Try out your high-five. Start with your kids, your spouse and your family and move to co-workers. Throw in a stranger for good measure. I promise you, most people can’t leave a high-five hanging. Plus, showing appreciation for other’s efforts with a high-five is totally cheesy, but strangely rewarding.

Side bar: We also tell Alexa to set a timer for a five minute count-down when our kids just take forever to eat- it drives my son BONKERS! (I can’t give away all my wonderful parenting tips in one post!) But the high-five approach has much better results around our table.

Cheers to high-fives (if a cheers and a high-five at the same time is even possible)!

~Ashley

Family, Food & Wine

Friday Favorites {8.11.17}

Hello and welcome to Friday! So Friday is always the day that I think things will start slowing down for the weekend, but it ends up being one of the busiest days of the week for me each and every week. It’s like everything I haven’t had a chance to wrap up all comes together on Friday and there’s an energy to complete all the things.

This Friday I thought I’d share a few favorites I’m loving for fall season (I know say it isn’t so!), a few fun things we love to do as a family, and food I thought was worth mentioning. I hope you’re settled in for a great weekend, how are you spending your Saturday and Sunday? We are running the Elvis 5K that I talked about in this post– wish us luck! We’re also headed to an adoption meeting our church- more on that journey (if you’re just tuning in) here. I also just posted about the baby shower my mom and I threw for my sister if you’re interested to see how we planned it.

If you’re new and want to read more feel free to click around and/or follow along: FacebookInstagram

And now, on to the favorites…

Family Fun

Earlier in the week I posted about one of our city adventures, a visit to Crosstown Concourse, located in Memphis, TN. Here’s a snapshot of some of the fun we had. Be sure to take a look at the full post.

I also loved this origami décor in one section of the lobby.

We are die-hard fans of our city so you will be seeing more content on how we explore and get out into our town.

Our family also partied hard at a friend’s birthday last weekend and this shot is one of my favorites. I mean that little girl of mine sure knows how to have a good time!

 

Beautiful Things

I have been scanning Etsy and look at these finds! I ordered this wall hang below. I posted it outside on my brick for better lighting so you can see all the colors, but I’ll be displaying it inside on a more neutral, tan wall.

I found this simple fall wreath on Etsy and I’m contemplating buying it…

And at Dinner Club we visited a fun new Colombian place; I just loved their décor. It makes me want to go visit Colombia wearing all of the below.

Eats

Finally, I am loving this zucchini “pasta” salad recipe I found on another Memphis blogger’s site…

And I’m snacking on these bars for a healthier option when I’m on the go and I’m forced to have a late lunches.

In other news, my sweet neighbor dropped by all these tomatoes because she was leaving town and couldn’t possibly eat them all.

And that brings my short list of favorites to a close…

(Sorry, this song is on a constant loop in my head- eek!)

I’m so happy you stopped by. Thanks for letting me share all the favorites I’m loving these days. I hope you have a fantastic weekend!

~Ashley

Linking up with Erika | Friday Favorites, and Katie | High Five for Friday

Family, Food & Wine

A Summer Shower- Baby Shower!

This summer, my sister will be having her first baby, making me an aunt. Actually, any day now, so I thought maybe I should update you all on how we showered her earlier this summer.

The celebration was in my hometown, Pensacola, Florida. The weather was expected to be incredibly hot and my mom’s sweet friend opened her new home for the festivities; it was the perfect space to celebrate.

Planning a shower from another city requires a bit of conscience coordinating. It’s also not easy co-planning with a highly engaged, and highly active partner, ahem, my mother. So, I’ll share the pics, but I do have to confess, I turned over the reigns to her early on regarding the intricate details for most of the decorations because well, she loves this stuff. And frankly interfering in her vision is like waving a red cape at an active bull in an open field. Kidding. Kind of. Eeek!

I’d love to share some of the plans with you if you’d like to see, but most of the credit goes to my mom!

Party planners selfie!

We knew we wanted the shower to be women only and my sister requested that it be a forum for celebration and a way for her to converse with her friends and allow her time to connect with the tribe of women who support her most in life.

To collaborate with that mission our main staples were food, champagne, and these mini petifores from J’s Bakery (love them so much)! My mom got the little bottles to scatter on top. We also had a white cake version with pink frosting for variety. My mom already had these cake stands- aren’t they lovely!

We had a hard time settling on food. In the end we chose catering from Moe’s Grill because I wasn’t sure when I was going to arrive to town and I didn’t want my mom handling the burden of cooking or heading to multiple places for pick-up on her own. They deliver for a small fee and do the complete set-up. Overall I was really thankful we decided to use them. Guests made a variety of entrees using the ingredients including tacos, nachos, and burritos.

My brother made a fun drink for this drink pitcher and we popped champagne to extend a welcome glass to each guest as they arrived. This is something simple that I’ve done at some work events for customers. Greeting people with a drink helps make them feel part of the party faster and people are generally pleasantly surprised to be welcomed this way. We also walked around to fill up drinks so people could continue mingling without putting a hault to their conversations.

My brother made this homemade salsa below- so sweet! Especially since he didn’t get to stay for the shower.

My brother and my mom settled on the name, the “skinny stork” for this special drink.

In order to stick to our original objective, we decided (with my sister’s blessing) not to have her open gifts at the shower. We also avoided planning a lot of games; we organized just one fun activity to join everyone together, a “gift pass around game” with cute little sayings regarding which direction to pass the gift- it ended up being the perfect game! The person it landed on in the end got to keep the gift. We also gave gifts away as favors for the mom with the oldest child, mom with the youngest child and mom with the youngest girl, since my sister’s having a sweet baby girl. It did take a while to gather the troops to pull people away from conversations and join together for the game and gift give-away. We entrusted one of the guests with the largest personality, and voice, to demand attention!

I’m orchestrating the directions to the fun game!

Here are some other fun photos and little details from the shower if you’d like to see…

The guest book was a children’s book; each guest left little notes throughout the white space of the pages.

These sweet friends all came together to celebrate this new little girl that we are all patiently waiting for! We were so thankful for their company and the sweet gifts that are preparing my sister and her husband for their new little bundle. This wagon though- I can’t wait until my niece is old enough to ride in it and she’s not even born yet!

At the end of the shower, my son stopped by with my brother and my brother-in-law to enjoy one of those fun little cakes. It wasn’t until the afternoon when we all compared notes that we realized none of us had fed my son lunch- ooops! His entire day consisted of jelly beans, donuts, fruit loops, and cake- he had enough sugar for one whole entire month! #minorparentingfail

I got increasingly sick and ended up having to lay down after the shower and my brother, his girlfriend, and my mom and brother-in-law all rallied together to break everything down- throwing this shower required a true mini village. And then after he helped clean everything up, my sweet brother brought me medicine and made me take it- love him!

I sure was so glad to have been able to bring my little side kick along to town to attend this shower though. We had a bash together that weekend playing at the beach and getting in some extra family time.

Thanks for hanging in there to see all the little details of our gathering for this new baby girl we are so excited to meet. At the end of the shower I advertised my mom’s services for anyone looking for a good party planner!

~Ashley

 

Food & Wine

Exploring Our City {#1}

This weekend we made it out to one of the most anticipated builds in Memphis, Crosstown Concourse.

It’s a historical building re-imaged into a mixed-use space accommodating living environments such as apartments, medical and fitness businesses, retail, restaurants, entertainment, education facilities (like an entire school will be inside there), a FedEx Office, a YMCA, banking services and even a nail bar (coming soon) to name a few. Basically you could essentially live and work in the structure without ever having to leave. The architecture is modern, mixed with historical materials including open brick and concrete, exposed beams, and lots of natural light.

Although we won’t be moving in anytime soon (believe me I’ve tried to convince the husband it would be a great plan for us to move in for a year) we do live close and the businesses add an extra element of convenience to our surrounding neighborhood. The building is also supplying new jobs to surrounding residents. Here are a few pictures of the space if you’d like to see.

I was especially drawn to the openness, and the sprinkled greenery throughout.

This center section had to be cut out to provide the open atrium look.

I loved the shared open library where books from residents were scattered about.

My kids appreciated the library mostly for the large platforms, perfect for climbing…

Old carts, originally found in the building prior to the renovation, decorate the hallways throughout.

The onsite grocery, named Curb Market, provides cheese, grocery, produce, a local craft beer section, a large dessert display and butcher services along with a small salad bar (among other regular staples).

I’ll be coming back to buy some of this to pair with wine, cheese and crackers!

And I’ll be sure to scoop up some of this on my next visit- local-made Memphis ice cream- look at that beautiful Nutella blend!

This space even features a recording studio and a lounge-worthy coffee spot (also serving a wide variety of local craft beers on tap).

You can see posters throughout the space announcing upcoming gatherings planned for residents of the community including diabetes meet-ups and crafts which really energized me most about this place- the promotion of gathering people. They even had a pop-up shop planned for later that morning featuring local merchandise (Memphis mugs, t-shirts, and other fun 901 goodies).

This gathering space in the lobby area showcased a container and streamer of colorful origami!

We sure enjoyed our visit and we’ll be back to take part in this mixed-use space.  The architecture and details along with the touches of local flair sure make it place we were immediately drawn to.

I hope you enjoyed our mini tour of our adventure in Memphis this past weekend. I’ll be sure to feature more of our local adventures in the upcoming months; I hope it inspires you to get out and find out more about your city. If you live close-by I recommend a visit to Crosstown Concourse. They’re having an official grand opening on 8/19! Here’s a quick guide map to get you acclimated to the space.

Food & Wine

How to Try a New Restaurant

Hi my name is Ashley and I’m a restaurant junkie. I love everything about trying out a new restaurant, experiencing food from different cultures and dining with friends. Last week I headed to a new Colombian restaurant with a few pals, otherwise known as Arepas Deliciosas.

I really do believe that food is an experience. It’s something that crosses cultural borders between individuals and it can not only serve as a topic of conversation, but a method for bringing people together.

I’d love to share some tips on things to consider when trying a food joint if you’d like to see.

If you’re already a restaurant junkie and this post doesn’t apply to you, stay tuned for a few new posts coming later in the week. BUT, if you’re like my husband and I were before we moved to Miami, picky, and regular restaurant chain goers (Chili’s and Olive Garden), read on!

Read the Reviews

Really, this isn’t rocket science, but Yelp is your friend. Read reviews, but not too closely. For example, I don’t pay too much attention to the star rating for 3 stars and above. I usually click around the reviews and read the comments. Is the place expensive, what do the pictures look like, and do people mention that they plan to come back? Is it a chain or is it a small business? That’s my criteria for choosing a place. I look for 3, 4, and 5 star ⭐️ restaurants. Our Colombian place has 4 1/2 stars and it’s locally owned.

Arepas Deliciosas has a 4 1/2 star rating

Call Ahead

If you’re visiting with a group I highly recommend calling ahead. I ask questions about seating, do they have enough space for my group (some places have very limited seating). I ask if they serve alcohol, and if they don’t I ask whether they have a corkage fee or allow people to bring their own wine. I also inquire about reservations, parking, and when they’re busy along with any specials they may be having. Finally, don’t forget to ask if they split the check and if there’s an enforced gratuity. You can really learn more about a place by having a quick phone call with someone who works there. Count on gaining additional information you may not have thought to inquire about.

For example, when I called the Colombian place they mentioned that they closed at 8 pm, which was important because we planned to arrive at 6:30 pm, which didn’t leave us much time. I was able to plan ahead and arrive a little early and order a few appetizers to get us started.

Little coffee truck replica in front of the colorful Colombian place we visited.

Your Waiter Usually Knows Best

When I arrive in the restaurant and the waiter comes by the table I almost always ask these two questions:

  1. What are the most popular items
  2. What do they recommend; what’s the server’s favorite item?

These two things can vary so I recommend asking both questions. I usually also do research and scan through Yelp reviews for images of the food just in case the server responds to my question with “everything is good!” which is never helpful!

Try New Things

I cannot stress this enough! Be sure to order something off the menu that you wouldn’t normally go for. And when you split food with friends, grab an appetizer size plate and dig into an assortment and start trying them! You’ll be amazed at how many things may become new favorites.

These tostones are twice-friend plantain slices and great with salt and homemade guac.

 

I’ll be back to visit Arepas Deliciosas to try their assortment of juices!

Split Food with Friends

Splitting food allows you to try a good depth of the menu; if you decide to come back you’ll have a lots of options to choose from. Friends also tend to help encourage other friends to try new things, since most everyone’s palate is different. Hearing other orders can also persuade you to be more daring. At our Colombian restaurant we ordered lots of appetizers for sharing and trying and then we also each ordered a variety of entrees which gave us a wide perspective of almost the entire menu.

Talk to People

Talk to people at the bar, your waiter, people at the restaurant. If you’re on a wait, talk to the people waiting. It’s a great way to hear from people who may have visited the restaurant before and I’ve never met a person who hates sharing their favorite foods. Talking to people also enhances your overall restaurant experience- go ahead, be social in the community!

Investigate the Staff and Facilities

I love a good bathroom. I pay attention to whether the facilities have a diaper changing station and high chairs in case I plan to come back with my family. Is the bathroom clean, is the staff attentive, is the seating comfortable, and does the staff accommodate special requests? Who is dining there, do they look like they’re local or tourists? Can they accommodate larger groups in case I like it enough to plan a special event in their space (birthday party, special dinner, anniversiary). Finally, décor can be a big draw and I always pay special attention to the little details.

Arepas Deliciosas had some great restaurant decor, but it wasn’t too busy. I loved the vibrant colors and the wooden ornaments.

 

Their purse/bag display makes me want to put together an arrangement of all of my bags at home.

One last tip: Open table allows you to make a reservation (which I highly recommend), but they also sometimes have reservation slots that the restaurant gives up. If you call the restaurant and they don’t have any reservations available, check Open Table, you might find a slot there. I also make notes in the Open Table reservation specifying if I’m celebrating a special occasion, if I’d like a booth vs. a table, and if I’d prefer a window or to be by the kitchen (if it’s an open-viewing kitchen). Most restaurants try to accommodate these requests and specifying can definitely enhance your overall dining experience.

Those are my go-to tips for trying new places. Be open, seek adventure, and remember, it’s an experience. It’s like a first date, you’re interviewing a first-time restaurant to see if it’s a place you’d enjoy going back to, find new foods, and ultimately widen your palate. If you want to read more about how food serves as an agent for connecting people you can start with this book, it’s an excellent depiction of how food can connect people. Also, don’t forget to be a Yelp contributor and give back to the community- leave a short review or pictures for all the new places you get out to try!

What tips do you have for trying new restaurants? I’d love to know.

 

Uncategorized

Friday Favorites {8.4.17}

Friday, Friday, Friday! I hope you’re having a great week. If you’re new here, take a look around and be sure to follow me on Facebook or Instagram or both for all the things Better with Beale.

This week and last week I have been stuck in work training and I’m so ready to move around and get back to my regular schedule because I’ve been SITTING and EATING and SITTING and EATING on repeat! We’re in the back to school boat. My son enters his 2nd year of preschool the end of this month. Finally, we’re trying to squeeze out the last few weeks of summer. It’s been hotter than hot (think 100’s), but we know the cold is coming soon so we’re trying to do all the summer season things (pool, water yard play, sprinklers, etc.).

I’m sure glad you’re here. Below are the highly anticipated favorites!

Bacon| This was the snack provided at my work training. Need I say more? A fantastic example of how Memphis does summer. It’s watermelon on a stick coupled with candied bacon. Let me repeat that: CANDIED BACON!!!! So now you know why I need exercise in my life- eek! (PS: I’m not sad about it. Just sayin!)

 


Sibling Love| These two! She can’t give out enough hugs and my son is like, really? He’s such a good sport though. She kissed and hugged him the entire walk! (PS: We do all our walks in matching jammies!)


Kicks| These red kicks match more outfits than I ever imagined. I want some for myself. They’re kids converse and I got them at a buy-one-get-one store, but I also found them online. I just love pairing a dress with tennis shoes for school. This kid’s face- she’s too much!


This book| I mentioned I started reading this book. It’s so good and a great light read so far. I haven’t finished it, but so far I recommend it.


Fail Fast| I posted all about my speeding ticket this week- yikes. That’s NOT my favorite, but I shared my perspective and that is to fail fast and how I’ve learned not to dwell on mistakes. It’s one of my favorite growing pains.

 


Praying for Others| Our women’s group at church closed one night with this exercise: trade prayers.

List a prayer you need for yourself on a sheet, throw it in the pile, and take a prayer home. I can’t post the group shot of all these beautiful women, but gathering around the prayers was so powerful that I took a quick shot of our prayers scattered all over the floor. It reminded me that everyone has something going on in their life. Every single person. We all need encouragement and grace from others.

 


That wraps up Friday Favorites for the week. I hope you are enjoying the rest of summer- have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by!

Career & Resources, Health

Fail Fast

Today I got a speeding ticket- eek! It’s funny, when I was in my 20’s I would have cried. I would have been shaking while I stuttered through my conversation with the officer and then immediately after I would have called my husband and cried. Then, once I calmed down I would have been angry at the injustice; and life as I knew it for that rest of that day would be over. I probably also would have had an organized glove compartment with all the necessary documentation required for the officer- but hey- those were the days when I had time to be organized like that.

It’s funny how perspective (due to age and experiences) changes things. Today I had to look for my wallet (unorganized mom fail), the nice policeman asked me why I thought he pulled me over and my answer was to the point and unwavering “I was speeding”. The omission to my mistake was direct and I had a clear goal for us to complete the transaction and continue on with our day as quickly as possible. The officer had already made up his mind and due to my previous experience in receiving tickets I was completely aware of that. Then I said all the prayers that my kids were not in the car, because all the million questions have been saved that my son would be asking me for the months to come- sigh.

At work we’ve been talking about “failing fast”. Fail, go over what you learned, iterate and move forward. I’m trying to apply that philosophy to my life. When I make an ooops or a mistake I try not to dwell on it. I am learning not to beat myself and to give myself a little grace. And then sometimes I share my failure with others. What better way to gain perspective and show an example to others that IT’S OK TO FAIL.

Don’t worry fellow Memphians, I’ll be slowing down. But on the upside, my city will be an even better place to live once they invest my ticket money back into their budget.

How do you view failure and how do you fail fast? Do you share your failure with others?

Food & Wine, Health

Friday Favorites {7.28.17}

Hello Friday- it’s been a while… well I guess it’s been 7 days… anyway, it’s great to see you! We sure are ready for the weekend. We have a fun play date planned this weekend and otherwise, we’ll be trying to plan for relatively no plans! This will actually be our goal until school starts at the end of the month. Also, we watched Pete’s Dragon last night and it was a huge hit so I’m sure we will have that movie on repeat that about 2.5 million times over the weekend. And I’m sure I will be balling my ever-living eyes out (an orphan loses his family, is raised by a dragon and then who is basically adopted- ugh- insert ugly cry here- why do you do it Disney- WHY???).

I thought I’d share some of my favorite products (not endorsed) this Friday. Some of these were recommended to me and others I’ve recently stumbled upon. I guess you could consider most of these summer favorites! But first, this… do you follow letterfolk on instagram? I just love this one…

Anyhow, on to the favorites.

Ice Cream. You Scream| We usually spend many evenings enjoying a summer treat on our front porch. My husband found these: they’re mini drum sticks. Less calories and sugar but just a little bit of heaven so we don’t feel as guilty indulging more often.


Bugs and Burns Be Gone!| Summer seems to bring all the bugs to Memphis. My husband also found this awesome, highly rated bug lotion. The sunscreen was recommended by one of my sister’s friends who is a dermatologist- it gives great coverage and even though it says “kids” my husband and use it too.


Drink Your Garden| My friend used to work for this company and I actually got a free sample of their chocolate protein powder the other day. I mixed it with a bit of almond milk and a few blended berries for lunch and it tasted great! Buy it straight from the company or at Whole Foods. Amazon also sells the large container of another flavor.


Necklace Junkie| I talked about Noonday in another one of my posts- I bought this necklace from an adoption fundraiser and it finally came in. I love it! Here it is pictured in person.


Calm Down| I’ve had this calm drink in my cabinet on standby for a while, but this Sunday I dragged it out- drinking magnesium is better than alcohol right? It definitely does the trick to calm nerves and I notice a difference in my system the morning after I’ve had it. Another friend of mine said she notices she sleeps better when she takes it.


Bath Bombs Don’t Bluff| A friend of mine brought this beautiful gift box of soaps and bath bombs that she was shipping to a friend from Buff City Soaps, a local place in Memphis. Isn’t the gift box of this assortment beautiful? And everything smelled amazing.


A School Lunch Sanity Saver| Finally, for those of you ramping up for school next month, we’ve been making lunches at our house all summer. I have a simple one pictured, but here’s a list of a few easy ideas for toddlers listed below just to get your brain kickin’. I swear I start to blank out and go comatose when it comes to thinking up a school lunch. Sometimes I just. can’t. do. it. anymore!

Lunch Ideas: Roasted sweet potatoes, turkey pepperoni, grapes, raspberries, blueberries, string cheese, hard-boiled eggs, elbow macaroni noodles (plain), brown rice, black beans, homemade chicken fingers (we use coconut flour and a little salt- but the one linked is a little more elaborate). You can make a lot of these ahead of time and store them in the fridge for easy access and mixing and matching (roasted potatoes and chicken nuggets go on a sheet in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes). We use re-usable silicone cupcake liners to separate food in regular plastic containers.

Do you have any summer favorites? We’re holding on to summer tight; it’ll be gone before long. Enjoy your weekend. Thanks for stopping by!

Family

What’s Up Wednesday {7.26.17}

Hey it’s Wednesday! How are you this mid-week? Are you dragging through the week or are you coasting towards Friday? Work training has my routine all mixed up; I’m trying to find my bearings, but it’s so great to shake it up every once in a while and get the brain cells movin’. Today I’m writing about what’s new; here’s a quick glimpse of what I’m sharing!

This link up is a fun way to check in with all of you to share just what’s been going on; I’d love for you to share what you’re up to in the comments!

What we’re eating this week

We are in survival mode in this department. My husband is taking night classes two nights a week and we head to church one day a week so that equals 3 nights of easy suppers. Think quesadillas, make ahead meals, homemade chicken nuggets and Annie’s Mac and Cheese.

What I’m reminiscing about

July! How did this month slip by? I wrote a post about all the things we were up to in July; we had a great month! Here’s one fun picture from our stay-cation.

What I’m loving

Right now I am excited for all of my Nordstrom items to arrive from the SALE! I am also loving this backpack that I bought for work- I’ve had so many co-workers ask about it, and every single time I tell them it’s less than $20 they’re shocked. I also bought my husband this one and both are extremely similar in size and quality. Finally, I’m back-to-school shopping and ordered the nap map below. We have one just like it in another pattern and we love it- it has a soft inside.

What we’ve been up to

We have been hanging at the pool and had a stay-cation in downtown Memphis. I talked all about our fun month of July here. Here’s one fun picture of us scoping out the sunflowers in Memphis right before sunset.

What I’m dreading

I am dreading an early school start time. Right now we’re in a daycare format where drop of is between certain hours. The structured school year will have us shooting for a more punctual approach. Don’t leave me summer!

What I’m working on

For the blog, I just ended two great interviews with two inspiring people. You can check them out here:  Why Limit Happy to an Hour and Hola and Hey Mon!

Personally, as a family we are working on our adoption plan and our FPU plan. Click the links to learn more!

What I’m excited about/ What I’m looking forward to next month

I am excited for the Elvis 5K. We do it every year. We live in Memphis and August is Elvis Week which is actually 10 days of activities with an Elvis theme. One time I flew back to Memphis at the start of Elvis week (I had forgot about it) and there were 4 Elvis impersonators on my flight! What we really really love most about the race is that they give out Krispy Kreme donuts, Old Venice pasta and Jim ‘N Nicks biscuits at the end… so basically whatever we burn off is immediately wasted away on a full feast of carbs!

PS: Speaking of Krispy Kreme, they came to my work to talk about their social media plan and so I started following them on Intagram and their posts are so fun!

PSS: Since we’re talking about Elvis, I ordered the Memphis Moonpie in Nashville off a menu once and they brought me this- what??? That is Elvis’ face in chocolate!

What I’m watching, reading, and listening to

I just finished up this book. It’s a great read and I’m sad to see it end. I think this one is up on my list next. I did a full recap of all the resources I am loving right now here.

We are listening to Johnny Lang (a quick snipet of his music) on Pandora right now. It’s been so long but I feel like this music really belongs in our house right now!

What I’m wearing

Well right now it’s “dress for your day” at work so I’m dressing down any time I have the chance because this all changes when summer ends. On weekends it’s shorts and swimsuits and flip-flops on repeat. I’m also wearing this necklace and still loving it. I have a blue one. She sells them right through her Instagram page.

What I’m doing this weekend

We are headed to meet friends at a fun art studio for kids for a play date. Here are some past pictures of some of our previous masterpieces in action. I am so happy to say that when we leave the studio I don’t have to clean up a thing! The kids also wear the cutest aprons.

What else is new?

In 4 weeks I am going to be an aunt to my sister’s baby! I am stoked and my sweet little niece can’t come fast enough.

I also did this post on getting organized with spaghetti jars, flower delivery vases, and potted plant containers.

Otherwise we’re trying to enjoy the last of summer and keep cool in this 100+degree weather until school starts. 

I hope you’re all having a great week! If you’re visiting this site for the first time I’m glad to have you here. Feel free to take a look around and follow me on social media for info regarding the most updated content.

 

 

 

 

Family, Food & Wine

Life Lately- What Happened to July? {7.25.17}

Happy last full week of July- can you believe it? This month has flown by but we have been enjoying every minute of it. Soon it’ll be stricter school schedules and cold weather, but for now, we’re all about finding ways to keep cool and that usually means squeezing in all the water activities and family time we can!

First, before I get down to business, be sure to check out two fun interviews that went up this month. The first is with Brian, titled Why Limit Happy to an Hour and the second one is with Nicole, titled Hola and Hey Mon! Both interviews are unique and genuine and I just love all the inspiring chiclets of information in these great stories.

Well like I mentioned we sure sought out the best ways to stay cool.

My daughter showed us all how to live the summer dream- eating Doritos poolside in a bathing suit. I mean, I hope she’s always confident enough to indulge while she’s hanging out in her bathing suit.We dusted off our water table and brought it out for an entire evening of fun complete with ice cream on the porch! We threw every bath toy we own in there just in case you’re wondering!A snow cone truck visited my son’s school; I pulled up to this!My husband and I squeezed in a date night. Somehow the only picture I took was of this monstrous margarita- yum! It’s from Frida’s Mexican Restaurante.We dressed up as princesses and ate more cold food items.We also squeezed in a couple of game nights with my oldest. We also found ourselves searching high and low for potted plants.And I made it to a girl’s night at Loflin Yard for Dinner Club. Isn’t this drink (titled Battle of the Greensward) and this cheese plate so pretty! All the cocktails have funny or local names! The food menu is pictured below in case you’re local and want a sneak peak. We had the street corn and the chicken wings in addition to that cheese plate- so yummy!

We rounded out July with a stay-cation in downtown Memphis where we rode the hotel escalator 20.5 million times (complete with serious bedhead), made important phone calls and visited two of our favorite eateries, Rendezvous (for dinner) a famous Memphis BBQ institution and The Arcade (for breakfast) where we sat in the Elvis booth (Elvis was a regular at one time; people kept coming over to the booth while we were eating to get a glimpse). My daughter had her first biscuit and jelly and I think it’s safe to say she was in heaven.

Finally, after church one night, my son and I visited the field of Sunflowers. They’re huge and the sun was setting over them when we arrived.

And that wraps up our July! I hope you’re having a wonderful month. If you’re looking to get organized, be sure to check out this post! And stay tuned for What’s Up Wednesday and Friday Favorites this week.