Thursday, December 31, 2015

Sweet Sixteen

I am so excited about this upcoming year and I have a feeling that it is going to be the best one yet! I've compiled a list of things I would like to accomplish this year and things I am looking forward to! Mostly, I just like making lists! :) It has got to be one of my favorite pastimes. It's always fun to set goals for yourself and just do your best. While some things I have jotted down that I personally want to strive to work on and improve this year, some are just plain silly and fun! I have to remind myself that while I am making goals, to be sure and have fun in the process, slow down, and just take time to enjoy the trivial. 

  • Read, read, & read! I have not nearly taken the time to read as much as I should the past couple of years. I have an entire personal library at my disposal and most of them I have never read! This year I want to take the time to read some classics, spiritual, cookbooks, and lifestyle books. More specifically, Paris is on my mind a lot these days and there are several books on the subject that I would like to read before traveling abroad. On my list: Lunch in Paris, How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are, and Paris Underground to name a few. I would also like to cook a French dish just for fun. 
  • Live well. This consists of preparing/eating healthy meals at home and out and about. Also, I want to be more disciplined in consistent exercise. 
  • Journal. I have also really slacked in this area. Before I was married I journaled pretty consistently but for the past four years it has been either few and far between or non-existent. Even if it's just jotting down some thoughts on paper, a few lines that someone said or did, I want to take time to record the moments and not leave it to my mind to store every little happening.

  • One of the other things I need more consistency in is reading and meditating on the Word. Just to be real and honest, there are many days I just don't feel like reading my bible or taking the time to meditate on it. I think "I forgot to put on that load of laundry" or "I am going to browse my Instagram for a few" and before I know it an hour has passed. I want to forsake my third kidney this year (my phone is literally always attached to my hip), learn to leave it in the next room (no, it really can wait) and spend more undistracted time alone with my Lord. I deeply desire for Him to be my ALL and to know Him even more intimately this coming year. 
  • Go on more dates. Because you can never go on too many or spend enough time with your best friend. I can't anyways. I'm so looking forward to growing in love with Josh even deeper this next year and taking on more adventures in 2016. He is my favorite. 
  • Write more letters. In a day and age of social media frenzy and texting galore, the art of the handwritten note is becoming an endangered species. I love to get snail mail and I want others to experience that joy as well. 

  • Invest more time in my first love. I want to get back into photography. It is what I studied in school and what I invested most of my time and money in back in the day. I had put it on the shelf for the past couple years but I want to dust it off and get invested once again. Here's to more projects and using it to capture images that myself and others can treasure forever. 
  • Take an interior decorating/design class. My other passion is interior design. I have not had any proper schooling or training on the subject but ever since I was a little girl I have had a passion for making things pretty and bringing a space together. I would love to embellish that passion and take it to another level. 

  • Fall in love with Audrey again. Ok, I have never fallen out of love with her but just recently I have wanted to read her books and re-watch her films all over again. I grew up on Audrey Hepburn films and she quickly became an obsession with me. I had to collect her movies and biographies, hang her posters on my wall, and even write a research paper on her for school my junior year.I remember one summer (before Netflix and when Blockbusters were still around) calling every movie store in the Atlanta area to find her rare films and binge-watching them with my mom and sister. I had the idea not long ago of trying to get my hands on whatever movies of hers that I don't have and watching them in the order they were shot. A few of her earliest ones that she had a very minor part are not available anywhere (sad day) but some of her rare movies that I still have not seen I have been lucky to find online. I think it will be a fun project to watch her films in order and see her acting and characters evolve. Do you have a favorite film of hers? I would love to hear. 

  • Plan our trip abroad! This will definitely be one of the most enjoyable projects this year! Already searching online for must-see sites in Paris, Amsterdam, and Brussels has been sooo much fun! Browsing Parisian flats, cafes, and canal cruises has left me day-dreaming every day of this adventure that awaits us! I can not wait to see and snap pictures of these places I've only ever seen in books and in my imagination. 
I hope each and everyone of you have a fabulous New Year that it is filled of new adventures, new victories, and lovely moments and memories. Sweetest sixteen to you all! xoxo 

Monday, December 28, 2015

A Very Parisian Christmas

This Christmas was definitely one for the books. Josh and I have been talking about going to Europe together since we first started dating. I've been a few times but Josh never has. There is so much we would like to see and explore and experience together. We had decided awhile back that for Christmas this year we were going to gift experiences instead of a bunch of materialistic stuff. After all, experiences are what make memories. 

So this Christmas Josh gifted me with a trip to Paris and Amsterdam! Many friends have asked me if I was surprised. No, but I wasn't sure how he was going to present it. Josh loves to buy presents so of course he had to pick me up a few little things that make me smile. I didn't protest. :) Almost every little gift had a connection to our European adventure. A box of socks from Madewell that had French phrases on them, a book on Paris, a striped shirt and black beret, and a shiny gold Eiffel Tower ornament. He surprised me a beautiful, vintage map of Paris with the different streets and landmarks to frame and hang in our living room so that every time we see it we can dream of our upcoming adventure and one day remember the memories we made there. Of course, Josh had to include some kind of puzzle or mystery for me to solve in with my gifts. He slipped a sheet of paper in my stocking with a bunch of French words printed on it. I quickly googled it and discovered it was an allotted amount of money for me to buy clothes for our trip because "you have to buy some pretty new clothes for Paris!" Every little gift was perfectly me and well thought out.

I am so full of happiness and excitement for our adventures that await us this next year! We plan on spending a week in Paris and 3 or 4 days in Amsterdam. Residents, tourists, or once inhabitants - lend an ear! I would love to hear any advice you have or tips on must-see cafes, bookstores, parks, shops! 

Until next time, lovelies! 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Home Tour // Den

For our wedding anniversary this year we decided to treat ourselves to a leather couch. We had only used hand-me-down couches since we have been married so we thought it was time to invest in a piece that complemented our own personal style and could be used for years to come. Then for my birthday, Josh gifted me with two beautiful tufted back cream accent chairs. I finally feel like our den has come together and it is a wonderful feeling! I thought I would share a few pictures with those who are interested in our new den make-over. This is probably our favorite room in the house and where we spend the most time playing games, watching tv, and reading. Excuse the photos, there isn't any natural light in this room (which makes it great for watching tv but bad for capturing photos). I opened the side door to snap a few shots of the room without the artificial light casting glares on everything. Anyway, hope you enjoy! 

This leather couch is so comfortable! I love the distressed look it will take on over time. It will only get better as the years go on and I love that. 

My little schoolhouse hook rack is so handy for my trusty leather tote and baskets. 

Perfect cozy spot to curl up and watch movies or read by the fire. 

This trunk was a wedding gift from a friend that knew I love old trunks. It makes for quite the 
perfect cozy corner! 

I love old portraits and after searching for awhile I found this one. I thought Josh favored this dude from the 18th century. I thought it may be fun to tell people he's Josh's great great great...grandfather. 

Hope you enjoyed the tour! Have a lovely week, friends! 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Handmade Cheer

A couple of weeks ago I decided to join some friends and take a Christmas card art class. A friend from our church was teaching it and I thought I would be able to learn some pointers from her. I will be honest and say that the evening of the class I did not make one decent thing but I decided to go home and try my hand at it. Fortunately, I was able to take a couple cards home with me that my friend Chelsea, who was teaching the class, had made as examples to go by. I practiced and practiced and actually was surprised at myself for being able to create a few that weren't half bad! 

I love anything handmade. It adds a bit of character and personal touches to the gift. In a day where everything is mass produced it's more meaningful and special to know that someone took their time and created something with you in mind. So these will be my Christmas cards to friends this year! I hope they enjoy receiving a little holiday cheer in their mailbox this season. 

You should try it out! Take a class or get online and teach yourself! Pinterest also has loads of inspiration! It created a couple evenings of immense enjoyment for me and I am able to send a card to friends that I put myself into and that they won't receive from anywhere else. 

Merry Christmas! 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Maggie + Glenn

Glenn & Maggie....who doesn't love this adorable, zombie-killing couple? They are my favorites ever. If something happens to either one of them, I'm going to riot. They have the worst of luck but here's hoping Glenn can make it through the Red Sea of zombies and rescue Maggie off of that tiny outpost come February.

I discovered online one day the most darling photos of them all dolled-up and they are just too amazing not to share. So I am sharing them with you along with my loving obsession of these two. You're welcome.