10 Years Of Independence

This past weekend, we attended a really special event for a foundation near and dear to our hearts. My bestie Sarah is a tireless advocate for veterans and their (very important) family members and caretakers. Has she walked a mile in those shoes? Ten million miles. Her husband was catastrophically wounded in the war and by the grace of God, he survived. They later were engaged and married and now have three adorable daughters! She knows what it's like to fight for your basic medical rights as a veteran but to also be a family and caretaker for these heroes. 

The Independence Fund celebrated ten years with a HUGE and successful celebration. Over 600 attendees, over $50,000.00 raised, and just an amazing event with food galore, craft beer and whiskey tastings, live music from American Idol country star Josh Gracin, a s'mores station, hayrides, bounce houses, and a killer silent auction (Ian scored a nice little restaurant bundle for us!). 

I've been to this farm countless times for pumpkin picking, strawberry picking, and farm animal visiting, but never have I seen the entire farm space used so perfectly. The event was a true family festival and was spread out perfectly over the land, giving everyone such a wonderful idea of how awesome and naturally beautiful The Hunter Farm is. 

All of my girlfriends are just wonderful and on this day in particular we were SO. PROUD. of our wonderful friend Sarah and all she has accomplished with her amazing team with The Independence Fund! They are doing GREAT things. The pinnacle of the event was when they awarded a double amputee veteran with a track chair, which is like a wheelchair/ATV crossover basically for supreme mobility. I'm probably describing it horribly, but that's the only way I can think to do justice to how awesome it is. 

So, cheers to the past 10 years and cheers to decades and decades more! 


Solo Shopping FA LA LA LA LA LA TO ME!

Saturday night, Ian and I had a babysitter but our plans were a little different than normal. I had a delicious Italian dinner planned with some girlfriends, and he was going out with some of their husbands for wings and bowling! We drove together both ways so enjoyed that car time together, but other than that we were like "PEACE!" and he got to go drink beer and I was able to have a fancy frilly girly night.

The guys were meeting earlier than our 8pm dinner reservations, so I used my time wisely and hopped over to South Park Mall to make a quick return, hit the Disney store SOLO (praise hands) and also hit up LOFT. I had three verrrrrry favorite items that I tried on!

This bell-sleeve top is the perfect shade of blush, and I love that it's basic and simple and then the sassy sleeves are like BAM. 

The shimmer boucle top has the perfect amount of swing and is nice for concealing a tummy that maybe is hiding an extra large slice of chocolate bourbon pecan pie. 

And finally, for holidays, can't beat this off-the-shoulder top with the huge lace bell sleeves! The body of the shirt is SO soft, as well. 

LOFT is running their LOFT CASH program now where you earn $25 to spend November 28 thru December 11th for each $50 you spend. You have until the 27th to earn this!

Happy shopping, friends!


Five On A November Friday!

It's time for another edition of Five on Friday and I do hope you'll join along!

Remember, all you have to do is post about five things on your mind, add our logo (found at the bottom of this post), and join the party using the linky tools below. Easy, and a great way to find new blogs and be found. :)

ALSO: Thanks so each of you who commented, texted or emailed about yesterday's post. I know we are all in this together and I appreciate that you don't always expect me to be sparkly unicorns and holiday gift guides. Everything is good good good and I'm just trying to remember that it's okay to pump the brakes from time to time, slow down, and say "no thanks" to the stressful hustle-bustle.

Okay let's talk food. Earlier this week I posted on Instastories the delicious salad we had for supper. By the way, is it odd that I say "supper"? Or old-school? Or uber-Southern?

I was around some young neighbors this past weekend and THREE of them said "Hey Miss April, why do you call it 'supper'?!?!?!" I guess I grew up knowing that some people here in the South call lunch "dinner" so therefore it was proper to call your evening meal "supper" to make the clarification. Is that so weird? Maybe it is!

Okay, so when we see salads that look like this I know we all think about Natalie from Designer Bags and Dirty Diapers, and yes, that's where the salad inspo came from. I used THIS basic recipe and tweaked it for the ingredients I had.

I was chatting with a girlfriend recently who said "Do you have a source for smocked clothes that aren't so expensive?" and I said "ohhhhhhhhh yes ma'am I do!"

The children have plenty of secondhand smocked clothes from resale sites or consignment shops, but for brand new clothing I just don't think you can find a better selection than Zulily!

These are some of the items I pulled up to show her -- they may not be available any longer. But, if you go to the website, just type in "smocked" or "Christmas smocked" or "smocked 2T" or whatever your heart desires, and you'll find plenty in the $16-20ish range!

Need an invitation to join Zulily? 

So I mentioned on Instastories yesterday that Camille is officially moving into her big girl bed tonight! That's right, she's been in a crib this whole time (praise hands) and has never been able to crawl out (a literal miracle).

I ordered everything I needed from Amazon and ended up choosing THIS $93 memory foam mattress which is suuuuper comfy! It came in a box, I dragged it up the stairs to our guest room, cut open the package and the thing sprang to life in about seven seconds. I paired it with THIS bedframe which eliminates the need for box springs, and added on an 18" bedskirt and this basic white quilt set. I figure with some fun colorful pillows and a bright blanket at the base of the bed, going all-white (bleachable!) was a way to make the look grow with her.

So, Thanksgiving is around the corner and I am officially on the hunt for some wonderful holiday jammies! I've got a pair I wear now that are so cute but they are animal print ... so bring on the plaid or buffalo check. Anyone have any great jammie recs that won't break the bank?

Main Image - PJ Salvage Print Flannel Pajamas

This weekend we will be celebrating 10 years of The Independence Fund down at The Hunter Farm in Weddington! There are still tickets available ... all you can eat BBQ, hayrides, yummy beverages, lots of family fun, AND they are presenting a track chair for ultimate mobility to a double-amputee that lives right here in our city. So amazing. CLICK HERE to purchase tickets. Kids and veterans are free! 

TGIF my friends!


That's it for today! Hope you have a lovely weekend -- thanks for linking up with us below!


Warp Speed

Wait ... wasn't it just Halloween?

I didn't even get a chance to share my Halloween-decorated house, which wasn't anything extraordinary or anything, but it was cute. Skeletons, spiderwebs, and a Frankenstein mask on my fancy female bust figurine that sits on the entryway table.

I guess we are in that warp-speed zone where fall festivals, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years get all smooshed together, and we just do the best that we can! I'm trying to find that "perfect" balance between cramming in ALL of the special holiday experiences and also just taking the time to SIT with my husband and children, and enjoy.

I've been burning the wick at both ends, and I've got even more going on than this little slice of life that you may see here. Char still is not walking independently (19mo), my closet is an embarrassing disaster zone, we are all in a state of coughing/stuffiness/sore throat, ugh ... tis the season!

So, I'm literally sitting here thinking -- where do we go from here with this post? Do I swing it into a positive way and showcase my favorite oil diffuser, comfy robe, and tell you how much I'm enjoying the book I'm reading now? Talk about slowing down for the holidays, taking time for yourself?

Or do I just give you a virtual fist-bump, let you know that if you're feeling a little sick, a little tired, a little overwhelmed, that you're not in it alone? But that I do think there's so much JOY to be found in this season, and we shouldn't just plod on through it with our warrior boots on? We should actually just let ourselves slow down, lessen our expectations a little bit, and not invite uninvited stress through our front door.

Girrrrrl, you ain't the only one feeling overwhelmed!

Sending hugs.


Holiday Home and Pure Integrity Candle Trio Winner!

I'm so excited to share with you one of my favorite GREEN companies that helps my home get holiday-ready -- especially because there's a great deal for you in store.

PLUS I'll be announcing the winner of the Pure Integrity candle trio giveaway!

First things first, I've realized that our perfect holiday home is less about the twinkly, sparkly, glittery stuff and more about the items that make it feel like a cozy, family-centered home. A warm fire, a scented candle, the smell of spruce pine and orange clove.

You know my love for Grove Collaborative runs deep, and I partner with them from time to time to share new customer specials that greatly benefit you as they introduce you to their awesome company.

Grove Collaborative is where I purchase 80% of the cleaning products and disposables for our home. The prices are competitive, and they only partner with green companies who treat our earth as it should be treated. The items YOU need and want are shipped to your doorstep once a month, and it's SO simple to change up your order or postpone it if you would like. That's my favorite part -- because I need that sort of flexibility.

So, to prepare all of our homes for the holidays, they are offering a fantastic deal for anyone who gives them a shot.

New customers receive the following with a $20 qualifying order:
  • Mrs. Meyer's holiday hand soap 
  • Mrs. Meyer's holiday dish soap 
  • Mrs. Meyer's holiday multi surface spray 
  • Grove Collaborative seasonal kitchen towel
So yes, just purchase a few items you need already (detergent, dish soap, shampoo) and get all four items above for free!

Oh, and already a Grove Customer? CLICK HERE to receive free walnut scrubber sponges in your next order! These are my favorite and I love that they blend right into the sink because they're a nice neutral, organic color and not a flourescent orange or green.

So, new Grove customers -- if you want to take advantage of these offers, it's easy! 
Just CLICK HERE or click the image below to snag this deal. I love the Mrs. Meyers line, and the holiday scents are amazing. 

And lastly, the winner of the Pure Integrity soy candle trio giveaway is:

ohh sugared spruce sounds lovely!!

Congratulations Emily! Please email me before Friday so I can put you in contact with Pure Integrity!

Thanks to Pure Integrity Soy Candles for your generous donation to my readers. 


Monday Morning Musings

Hey, everyone! Coming at you this dreary gray Monday morning with hopefully a few things to make you smile!

First of all, I wanted to remind you all that today is the last day to enter the giveaway for the Pure Integrity Soy Candles and you can enter HERE. One of you will get all three of these candles that I own!

I will announce the winner tomorrow!

Next, I was perusing Facebook early this morning and saw this video posted and just loved it. Have you listened to this graduation address?

It's Monday night so that means another episode of The Good Doctor! Anyone else watching? My mom got me started watching this show and I have to say it's really good ... and typically makes me cry! I think tonight's episode is going to be a crazy good one. ABC, 10pm (which means I'll catch it on DVR tomorrow)

Image result for the good doctor

Lastly, today is the second-to-last day of the Mystery Hostess party I'm hosting for LipSense. You can join the party HERE and check out some live videos done by me as well as today's special deal. I'd love interaction during the party, but if you just want to quietly watch from the sidelines, that's cool too! I'll be logging on shortly to pick a pretty lip color to wear today. The party ends tomorrow, and each day has a special deal or giveaway!

PS, Mystery Hostess means that EVERYONE that places an order during the party is entered to be the chosen hostess at the end of the party, racking up the hostess discount on her order! That's why this type of party is so much fun to participate in!

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Carolina Panthers play at 8:30 tonight which means we'll be watching from the couch and cheering on our Cats! Hope your Monday is off to a wonderful start. Hugs! 


Fall Moments and a Candle Trio Giveaway!

The girls and I were driving home from preschool yesterday on a gray, drizzly day, and as I was driving down a winding road, an entire burst of yellow and brown leaves rained right down from a tree in front of my car. It was ... #SOFALL

I'm embracing it all ... the autumn scents, the cozy food (we had beef stew last night), having the fireplace on, the fall treats! I mean, Pumpkin Spice Frosted Mini Wheats? Okay!

And for fall fashion, I'm loving that I'm seeing some more muted yet feminine colors like blush and camel on the rise. It's just such a pretty and girly color scheme. 

Color Swatch 5970Plaid Blanket Scarf

Look at the pattern on this PLAID BLANKET SCARF! And 40% off today using code HAPPY

Main Image - BP. Flare Sleeve Sweater

This bell-sleeve sweater is just such a lovely color -- called Purple Mist. FREE SHIPPING HERE

Kimono Wrap Cardigan

I love the kimono shape of THIS SWEATER and it's also 40% off with code HAPPY

Main Image - Madewell Tie Cuff Sweater Dress

And lastly, how adorable is THIS SWEATER DRESS with the tie accents on the sleeves?

If you scroll back up and take a peek at those colors, you will see how gorgeous they all pair together for the fall. With a cognac bag and some gold accessories, I am just loving this palette. 

Hey, one last thing! Y'all seemed to love the Pure Integrity Soy Candles I posted about on Friday. Well, they have so generously offered to mail one of you a trio of gorgeous scents -- the same ones that I own!

To enter:
Visit them HERE and comment below with the scent you'd love to have burning in your home.

Remember to follow them HERE on Instagram for updates!

So good luck, and I'll announce the winner next Tuesday!


Halloween 2017!

Halloween is such a loved holiday around these parts, and with the girls getting a wee bit older, it was even more enjoyable. Camille flip-flops between loving alllllll things spooky ("Hey Mom, why do zombies have blood on them?") and being positively terrified of the very fake-looking ghost that we had hanging outside our front walkway. 

Charlotte's just along for the ride. :)

So after nap on Halloween, we did a little pumpkin carving! Ian was still at work but my mom was in town which was really nice. 

Our kitty-cat pumpkin gets a B- but we were a little under the gun and pressed for time! Camille still thought it was magical and was so interested when I put the lit candle inside. 

Then it was time to get costumes on and make our way over to a neighbor's house for some fun together before the sun went down.

The girls looked adorable -- Charlotte wore the same unicorn costume that Camille wore two years ago (you can see here HERE) and was just so content taking everything in. Camille wanted to be a mermaid and I'm proud to say I made her costume! It cost me no more than a dollar or two. I bought some felt, used grosgrain that I already had, and accented it with sparkly paint! We already owned the princess crown so I just added the seashell on top with hot glue. 


Trick or treating at our own home!

Charlotte didn't collect any candy, but our favorite babysitter did give her a chocolate-covered pretzel stick, and I let her gnaw on it in the wagon. Only when we got home in the light did I see what a chocolatey mess I had on my hands! 

We did find that one magical home that was giving away full-sized Skittle packs. You know, there's always that ONE house! Am I right?!

Now if only I knew where that pack disappeared to..... (wink wink)
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