I can’t wait to….

Time seems to move at warp speed these days, but the older Addie gets the more excited I get about reading to her. Most weeknights Addie is tucked into with a Bible story/devotional and a short fiction book. While I cherish these times, I can’t wait to read some of my very favorites along with her as she gets a little bit older.

I can’t wait for her to explore Hogwarts, Narnia, and learn to navigate diplomacy with dragons (As you can see, I am going to try my best to fully indoctrinate her into the realm for fantasy fiction). The overly-dramatic Anne and the ever-courageous Mandy were some of my cherished companions growing up. I can’t wait for Addie to meet them too. Lord, time is moving too fast…please help me to slow down long enough to cherish these moments with her and instill in her a life-long love of reading.

What else should Addie and I read together?

 

 

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Weekend Adventures In Jacksonville: Tea Blending and All-natural Babycare

After a hectic Saturday, it was nice to get away…even if it was just for a day! AJ and I went to Jacksonville in order to take a few more classes at The Studios at the Florida School of Holistic Health. We learned about the art of tea brewing, blending, tasting, and even made two of our own herbal brews. We finished the day off with a private all-natural baby product making class with the owner, Donna. Eleanor is set with tubs of baby butter, foaming baby wash, massage oil, and diaper rash cream. I have the recipes for each, and plan on making a ton more. New mamas let me know if you need some and I can share some with you!

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1,000 Food to Eat Before You Die

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I don’t know about you, but I like to explore local fare when I am exploring a new city. What is the point of being in a new location if you are just going to eat at the same old chain that you can eat back at home? Don’t get me wrong, we eat at Chili’s and Olive Garden back home too, but when we are out exploring I like to take my tastebuds on an adventure too! This book is PERFECT for my wanderlust!

British and Irish

  1. Afternoon Tea
  2. Bangers and Mash
  3. English Biscuits
  4. Black pudding hash
  5. Clotted cream
  6. Fish and chips
  7. Mushy peas
  8. Shepherd’s Pie
  9. Trifle
  10. Shortbread
  11. Corned beef and cabbage
  12. Irish Breakfast

French

  1. Brie
  2. Brioche
  3. Baguette
  4. French cookies
  5. Croissants
  6. Croques Monsieur and Madame
  7. Dijon mustard
  8. Escargot
  9. Quiche Lorraine
  10. Steak fries

Belgian and Dutch

  1. Waffles

Italian

  1. Blood oranges
  2. Cannoli
  3. Carpaccio
  4. Chestnuts
  5. Crostini
  6. Espresso
  7. Gelato
  8. Gorgonzola
  9. Fennel
  10. Italian ices
  11. Lasagne
  12. Mascarpone
  13. Minestrone
  14. Pane
  15. Pasta
  16. Basil
  17. Pesto
  18. Pizza
  19. Prosciutto
  20. Ricotta
  21. Risotto
  22. Seafood in Venice
  23. Sfogliatella
  24. Tiramisu
  25. Hazelnuts

Spain and Portugal

  1. Capers
  2. Churros
  3. Saffron
  4. Tapas

German, Austrian, Swiss

  1. Marzipan
  2. Sauerkraut
  3. Whipped cream
  4. Schnitzel
  5. Lintz Chocolate

Scandinavian

  1. Dill and caraway

Eastern European

  1. Poppy seeds
  2. Sour cream
  3. Feta
  4. Paprika
  5. Kielbasa

Jewish

  1. Bagels
  2. Horseradish
  3. Kosher dill pickles
  4. Salted chickpeas

Greek, Turkish, and Middle Eastern

  1. Spanakopita
  2. Baklava
  3. Dolmas
  4. Halvah
  5. Kebabs
  6. Mint
  7. Baba Ganoush
  8. Olive oil
  9. Parsley
  10. Pistachios
  11. Pomegranates

American and Canadian

  1. Ambrosia
  2. Apple pie
  3. Bacon
  4. Idaho Russett potatoes
  5. Baked rome beauty apples
  6. Barbecue
  7. Benne wafers
  8. Biscuits
  9. Black walnuts
  10. BLT sandwich
  11. Boston baked beans
  12. Bread and butter
  13. Bread pudding
  14. Brownies
  15. Brunswick stew
  16. Caesar salad
  17. Candied apples
  18. Chicken sandiwch
  19. Chocolate cream pie
  20. Cinnamon toast
  21. Cobb salad
  22. Corn fritters
  23. Corn on the cob
  24. Cornbread
  25. Crab cakes
  26. Crawfish
  27. Creamed spinach
  28. Deviled eggs
  29. Funnel cake
  30. Fried eggs
  31. Gumbo
  32. Country ham and red eye gravy
  33. Hamburger
  34. Hash
  35. Hanger steak
  36. Hoppin John
  37. Peanuts
  38. Hot dog
  39. Hot fudge sundae
  40. Huckleberries
  41. Ice cream sodas
  42. Jambalaya
  43. Key lime pie
  44. Lemon meringue pie
  45. Maine lobster
  46. Manhattan clam chowder
  47. Toasted marshmallows
  48. Moonpies
  49. New England clam chowder
  50. Oreos
  51. Oyster Po’boy
  52. Peanut butter
  53. Pecan pie
  54. Pigs in a blanket
  55. Popcorn
  56. Red beans and rice
  57. Pork rinds
  58. Saltwater taffy
  59. Shrimp and grits
  60. Shoofly pie
  61. Sopaipillas
  62. Soft shell crabs
  63. Soft pretzels
  64. Southern fried chicken
  65. Southern potato salad
  66. Sweet Georgia peaches
  67. Sweet potatoes
  68. Tangerines
  69. English muffins
  70. Thanksgiving turkey broth
  71. Tuna salad sandwich
  72. Toll House chocolate chip cookie
  73. Vidalia Onions
  74. Turkey sandwich
  75. Watermelon
  76. Poutine

Mexican and Latin America

  1. Enchiladas
  2. Guacamole
  3. Pineapple
  4. Tortillas
  5. Chile peppers
  6. Bananas
  7. Empanadas
  8. Frijoles negros
  9. Picadillo
  10. Brazil nuts
  11. Cashews
  12. Ropa vieja
  13. Quinoa

Caribbean

  1. Pina colada
  2. Meat patties

African

  1. Couscous
  2. Mint tea
  3. Ginger beer
  4. Ginger
  5. Sesame seeds

Chinese

  1. Chow mein
  2. Dim sum
  3. Oolong tea

Japanese and Korean

  1. Bento
  2. Edamame
  3. Miso soup
  4. Sushi
  5. Tempura
  6. Wasabi
  7. Bulgolgi
  8. Kimchi

Thai and Southeast Asia

  1. Coconut
  2. Sriracha sauce
  3. Papaya
  4. Pho
  5. Watercress

Indian

  1. Basmati rice
  2. Dal
  3. Cinnamon
  4. Darjeeling tea
  5. Nutmeg and mace

Australian, New Zealand, and Tahitian

  1. Granny smith apples
  2. Macadamia nuts
  3. Kiwi fruit

Spring Break 2018

From Breckenridge, New Orleans, Pensacola, to Boston, Spring Break over the past several years has always been full of adventure. Even in college I made sure to NEVER miss a Spring Break adventure opportunity from Daytona Beach, Chicago, Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon, there have been many memories made! However, this year’s Spring Break was full of a different type of adventure. I had a full to-do list of things to cross off and accomplish in order to be as productive as possible and prepare to bring Eleanor home. We started off the break with a great family brunch downtown, followed by a family fun Easter, a week of crazy decluttering, and a whirlwind trip to Lynchburg, VA with Waring as he spent his weekend at Liberty University. He sat through classes all day and I explored, ate good food, got a mani-pedi, and caught up on my to-do list making. All in all I am thankful for the time off, the time with Addie and Waring, and another Spring Break in the books!

Here is my to-do this for the week and an update on what I was actually able to accomplish:

  1. Visit Meredith and Baby Eli- CHECK, twice!
  2. Take Addie to the Dentist for a cleaning and check-up -CHECK! Addie was a super brave girl!
  3. Buy a new rocking recliner for the living room— NOPE
  4. Create memory boxes for Addie and Ella— Bought the boxes…but haven’t put it all together yet. 
  5. Create April Monthly Goals- CHECK! Yes, this is something I do each month and I am addicted!
  6. Declutter the WHOLE HOUSE–CHECK! This pretty much took all week and created a cluttered mess in the entire house, but at this point every closet is organized, the cabinets in the kitchen have new contact paper laid out, and I even found the space to put up a small coffee bar in the kitchen!
  7. Setup Ella’s Nursery- Partially…. We are finished except hanging up some pictures and finishing the crib that was mailed to us without HARDWARE!?!
  8. Touch-up paint in hallways— NOPE
  9. Recaulk bathroom tub — NOPE
  10. Clean oven- CHECK!
  11. Unpack baby stuff from the attic– CHECK, thanks Waring!
  12. Wash all of Ella’s hand-me-downs from Addie– CHECK!
  13. Take a trip to the Front Porch Cafe and have a library date– Nope, maybe sometime soon. 
  14. Go bowling- CHECK!

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Why I Put the “Little Things” on my Bucket Lists

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This weekend was a slow and relatively lazy weekend for our family. We spent time hanging out at the house and ate lunch around town before I went to work the Prom. Even though there were no tri-state adventures on the to-do list for the weekend, we still had quality family time and I even managed to cross of a bucket list item. I found the cutest pot set at TJ Maxx, purchased some thyme, lavender, and mint at Home Depot, and BAM….instant indoor mini herb garden!

Now, I know that you may be thinking that this isn’t a really big deal. I mean who really cares about a few tiny plants sitting in my kitchen? Well, I do! The whole point of an annual bucket list for me is to add a big of novelty/whimsy into every day life and to live with intention. Sometimes that means planning elaborate trips around the country or the world, but more often it means trying something new, getting outside of my comfort zone, or working on a project/skill that will bring fulfillment and a sense of accomplishment. Small and simple bucket list tasks like the one I have crossed of this weekend bring so much joy to my life and help add a sense of intention, accomplishment, and fun into otherwise uneventful weekends.

Thank you, Lord for another weekend with my family!

Road Trip Adventure Log: 4 New States in 4 Days

Well, it is official…. I only have EIGHT more states to go until the big goal of setting foot in all FIFTY STATES is complete!

My husband, Waring, was such a trooper on this trip. He knows I have been itching for adventure lately and dying to get some more states crossed off the list. Although driving to Oklahoma and back in a four day weekend was probably not his 1st choice for a fun-filled family vacation, he buckled in and took to the road just for me!

We set out after a small group bible study at our house on Thursday afternoon and drove to Atlanta for the night. We woke up before sunrise the next morning and headed to Memphis, TN. We stopped for famous Memphis dry rub BBQ for lunch and a quick art studio paint session for Addie before hopping in the car again bound for Bentonville, Arkansas. We swam in the hotel pool (Addie’s favorite) before crashing for the night. On Saturday we stopped at two donut joints before noon, cruised along historic Route 66 in Oklahoma, made it across the Kansas state line, and spend the afternoon in Branson, Missouri. The Ozark’s were beautiful to ride through and Branson did not disappoint with its kitsch. Addie (and Waring) wore themselves out at Fritz’s Adventure Park before making the drive back to Memphis, TN that night. Sunday we spent the day exploring Memphis sights and attractions before heading back to Atlanta, GA. Monday morning we headed to the Atlanta Children’s Museum for a little exploration before making it back home around 5pm that evening.

My goal this year was to knock out 2 new states. I really wasn’t sure if that was going to be possible at all, considering I am not allowed to travel after the end of April and soon after we will have a brand new baby to celebrate and party (stay up all night) with. I know it sounds like our trip was a whirlwind…and it was…but it was also a great deal of fun and adventure. I am so thankful for my husband, who puts up with and even encourages my hair-brained schemes.

PS: Addie is turning out to be a great little road trip warrior!

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1st Bucket List Adventure of 2018: Float Therapy

  1. Try Float Therapy at Remedy Float in Savannah. This ancient technique has been around for a while, but it involves resting in a water chamber that is filled with one thousands pounds of salt so that it is IMPOSSIBLE to sink. You float in darkness and with complete sensory deprivation. It is supposed to be incredibly relaxing and safe for pregnant women!—-CHECK!!! This experience was AHHH-mazing! February 2018=Self-love in a (salty) tub!

 

Thanks, Jennifer for being crazy enough to try this out with me! Remedy Float is located downtown Savannah, nearby the Savannah Civic Center. They have a neat setup, that is complete with a green tea station, yoga room, and two float chambers. The concept is pretty straight forward. After a quick shower to rinse off any perfumes, soap, etc.. you take a 60 – 90 minute soak in a highly-concentrated salt bath chamber. Float therapy hinges on the concept of sensory deprivation, leading to an other-worldly sense of relaxation. The water in the float chamber is so highly concentrated with salt that you literally CANNOT sink. You will float in 95 degree water for your session in complete darkness and silence.

To be honest….the whole concept seems a bit scary, but it was not at all! I was so relaxed the receptionist had to bang on the float chamber in the room beside me to wake me up! Floating in nothingness made me so aware of Eleanor’s movements inside of my belly. I found that I could focus and was more aware of her when all of the outside chaos disappeared. I could also feel tension in my shoulders and neck that I wasn’t cognizant of prior to floating. In short, it was amazing. I will definitely be back!

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