Thursday, December 1, 2016

Christmas Gifting Ideas

I love giving gifts and I love receiving them! (I mean, who doesn't?) But I especially love, whether I am on the giving or receiving end, when a gift is very thought-out, complimenting a person's personality and tastes. That makes gift-giving (and gift-receiving) extra extra special. Whether it be my husband's Christmas gift to me last year (with a trip to Paris and Amsterdam), my best friend giving me a book with loads of pictures and captions in it from memories we've shared through the years, a maidenhair fern that is hard to come by gifted me by another plant-lover friend, or homemade cross-stitch linen napkins from a long-distance friend, it doesn't have to be extravagant to be special...just memorable. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Jord Watches

I recently discovered JORD's wooden wristwatches and I was so impressed by these classic timepieces that I was naturally thrilled when they reached out to me to style one of their men's pieces on my guy. I chose the Dover series in Koa and Black for Josh. He absolutely LOVES his new watch and gets questions and compliments on it wherever we go. Josh has always been an admirer of clock gears and gadgets so for me to pick one out for him that had exposed watch gears on the front AND back of the facing was pretty cool to him. It was also a pleasant surprise to discover that the watch doesn't come with a battery! It has that old school, heirloom piece vibe by being a self-winding automatic. As a lover of details, I was obsessed with the sturdy wooden case it came in, with a tiny hidden drawer to stow extra links or watch tools. Wood conditioner was also included to keep the wood preserved for years to come.

Friday, November 18, 2016

"You've Been Gilmored"

"It's all any of us wants, to find a nice person to hang out with 'til we drop dead. Not a lot to ask!" 
~ Lorelai 

"I need coffee in an IV." ~ Lorelai 

"Lorelai, this thing we're doing here, me, you, I'm in. I am all in." ~ Luke 

"I'm rooming with a Stephen King novel." ~ Rory 

"People are particularly stupid today. I can't talk to any more of them." ~ Michel

"People can live a hundred years without really living for a minute." ~ Logan 

"Is it raining?" ~ random girl (seeing a soaked Paris)
"No, it's National Baptism Day. Tie your tubes, idiot." ~ Paris 

"Oy with the poodles already!" ~ Lorelai 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

A Guide to Thrifting as a Minimalist

I just began getting back into thrifting. I used to be a big bargain-hunter and thrift-shopper but had grown to lose interest. Within the last year or two my wardrobe has gone from a collection of colorful and (somewhat faddish) clothes to a closet of mostly neutrals and solid classic pieces. I find that purchasing less clothes and being more intentional about what items I select, I actually get more wear out of them in the long run and they inhabit my wardrobe longer. 

Monday, October 31, 2016


I've recently discovered Monta, an aromatherapy collection inspired by landscapes. The collection consists of three scents: Echo Canyon, Canoe Beach, and Smoky Mountains. Each scent is vegan, 100% natural, and cruelty-free. I love wearing soft, earthy scents and was so excited to discover this brand-new company that specializes in scents created from essential oils.

Friday, August 26, 2016


When we were planning our trip to Europe we kind of went back and forth about planning a day trip to Versailles. It's about a half hour train ride outside of Paris and we knew it would take a full day. I am so glad that we decided to include it in our itinerary. Versailles was one of my absolute favorite things we did while we were in France and now it is one of my most beloved places I have ever been. I absolutely loved it. I'm excited to share with you guys a little photo album of our glorious day there. 

Friday, June 24, 2016

My Four Favorite Coffee Shops in Paris

When preparing for our trip to Paris I spent hours and hours researching the top places to see, eat, and you guessed it...drink coffee. I decided I wanted to do a little coffee shop tour of Paris so I made a list of places I wanted to try! These are my top four favorites that I visited... 

Boot Cafe 

Friday, June 10, 2016

Shakespeare and Co. & Cafe

Shakespeare and Co. What a sweet little book shop. Ever since I heard about this quaint place and saw it sprinkled across my Pinterest feed I knew immediately I wanted to visit. You may have recognized the shop from movies such as Midnight in Paris or Before Sunset. The first time this shop was opened was in 1919 by Sylvia Beach and during the 1920s it was a gathering place for writers such as Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, James Joyce, and Ford Madox Ford. It closed in 1940 during the German occupation of Paris and never re-opened. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Palais Garnier Opera House

Our first evening in Paris we took a tour of the Palais Garnier, the world's most famous opera house. It was the setting for Gaston Leroux's 1910 novel, The Phantom of the Opera. We were pretty exhausted with getting off the plane at 8:10 that morning (1am in the morning our time back home) and hitting the ground running all day. But regardless of our jet lag, we were still in awe of such a magnificent building.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Notes From Four French Chicks

I've been flipping through this wonderful little book for the past few weeks anticipating my trip to France. I wanted to get a glimpse into the lives of true Parisians. Disclaimer: it is a secular read so there may be words/advice that could be offensive. Although there were parts of the book I didn't care for, I did come away with a few tips here and there and phrases or stories that put a smile on my face. Here are a few of my favorites...

Friday, April 22, 2016

Travel Necessities & Tips

So my mother is just the sweetest lady in the whole world. I already knew this but it's always nice to be reminded when she does little things like this. I have traveled quite a bit but it's been awhile and my parents travel all the time. Like All. The. Time. So she was very kind and thoughtful to put together a little bag for us of things that we would need for our trip.

I've also been trying to collect tips from people who have been to Paris or Amsterdam before. You know, favorite spots to eat, dos and don'ts of Parisian society, and those touristy traps to avoid. I have one Instagram friend who sent me a myriad of wisdom about Paris and her numerous trips there. It is going to be super helpful to us.

Along with planning for our trip, I also try to stay inspired by reading, watching films, and listening to music....all French or Dutch inspired. The book below has been a fun little read but all the while I've just reminded myself it is a secular read so there are parts that are not the greatest morally. Take the fun, helpful tips and throw out the rest.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Shopping for a Parisian Holiday

When I found out we were going to Paris in the spring one of the first things I thought of was shopping! I need new clothes! I have to look Parisian! :) (Any excuse to shop, right?). Well my husband knows me well because when he gifted me with a vintage map of Paris for Christmas he also included a special note with a French phrase scribbled on it. I discovered the note said that I had an allotted amount of money to spend on a shopping spree for Paris. I was so so ecstatic and began my search for a few little outfits to wear while roaming the streets of Montmarte, Champs-Elysees, and along the Seine. I collected an inspiration board of different looks I loved and kept an eye out for similar styles when browsing online. I thought I would share some of my Parisian style inspiration with you because what girl doesn't love pretty, feminine, adorable things?

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Lessons from Corrie // Praying for your enemies

Together we said it aloud:"War." 

It was five hours after the Prime Minister's speech. How long we clung together, listening, I do not know. The bombing seemed mostly to be coming from the direction of the airport. At last we tiptoed uncertainly out of Tante Jans's front room. The glowing sky lit the room with a strange brilliance. The chairs, the mahogany bookcase, the old upright piano, all pulsed with an eerie light. 
Betsie and I knelt down by the piano bench. For what seemed hours we prayed for our country, for the dead and injured tonight, for the Queen. And then, incredibly, Betsie began to pray for the Germans, up there in the planes, caught in the fist of the giant evil loose in Germany. I looked at my sister kneeling beside me in the light of burning Holland. "Oh Lord," I whispered, "listen to Betsie, not me, because I cannot pray for those men at all." 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Welcome to the family, Baby Graham!

Today I had an in-home photo session of my new nephew, Graham. He is ten days old today and growing like a little weed! It was so much fun (although a bit challenging) capturing all the love for this little guy! Graham's big sister, Phoebe, loves to give him passionate hugs and kisses and sings to him,"It's ok, Gwam" when he begins to cry. 

Welcome to the family, Graham! Oh how we love you so! 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Lessons from Corrie // Just in Time

I recently picked up my old copy of The Hiding Place and am re-reading it before our trip to The Netherlands in May. One of the places that we are wanting to visit while in Amsterdam is the ten Boom house in Haarlem. I wanted to refresh myself on the story and introduce Josh (who had never heard of Corrie ten Boom until recently) to the movie.

Being that  it has been several years since I have read the book or seen the movie, the story drew me in right away and it's been difficult to put it down. I love Corrie's descriptions of her family, home, the crazy aunts (how in the world did they ever agree to let them live there??), and especially the dear love she had for her father. It's quite apparent that her father, Casper, taught Corrie many valuable life lessons by simple, everyday illustrations.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


Ten things that I am loving right now...

1. The plant selection at Home Depot . Anyone who has been to my home knows that I adore indoor plants. I scored the little guy above at Home Depot not too long ago and a beautiful succulent arrangement that was in my previous post. This time of year is a great time to buy some indoor plants because they are very decently priced considering the season and you can often find them on sale!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Live Life Beautifully

"God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in 
the flowers and clouds and stars." ~ Martin Luther 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A Girl's Best Friend

"You got that James Dean daydream look in your eye. And I got that red lip, 
classic thing that you like." ~ Taylor Swift maybe their diamonds but nobody got money for that so lipstick is the next best thing. I love my lipstick. I can throw on a striped shirt, pair of jeans and a red lip and instantly feel fabulous. Often on my Target runs I find myself in the makeup aisle and before I know it I am snagging another 
tube of the glorious stuff. Since I always love hearing from my girlfriends what their favorite
shades/brands are I thought I would share a few of mine.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Simply Style Your Space

I do love a beautiful, clean space! It keeps my mind, home, and focus clutter-free and inspires me to be creative. About a year ago I painted our tiny living room white and since then have painted two bedrooms, a bathroom, and our hall way white as well! I love the clean and bright vibe it gives a space! It instantly made our living room appear larger and I was able to work with colors that before had appeared chaotic.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Chain Linked Thoughts

"The Bible is not a string of pearls but a chain of linked thoughts." ~ John Piper 

Just a couple of weeks ago I was having one of my bouts of anxiety. I have read every single passage in the bible on anxiety countless times but for some reason my mind completely froze. I could barely think of one verse. I frantically texted my husband (instead of googling it as I should have done if I had been in the proper state of mind) and asked him to please send me any verses and words of encouragement on the subject. He quickly responded with verse after verse of promises. One of the many texts he sent was a link to a three part study John Piper did on anxiety. As I was browsing Piper's notes I came across some rich stuff. I felt like I had stumbled upon a gold mine. Piper has been conducting these mini scripture sessions, known as "Look at the Book", since June 2014. How was I just now discovering this??? He reads the text with you and then shows you how the verses relate to each other. It's as if you are getting a sit down mentoring session with Piper while he teaches you how to study various passages of the bible. You can check it out, subscribe, and watch the trailer here. It is my new favorite thing and discovery of late. 

Pastor John also teaches numerous part studies on various topics. The first one I have gone through guessed it...anxiety. It was excellent. Did you know there are 9 arguments to combat anxiety in Matthew 6 alone? I won't spoil it for you but you should definitely check it out. This study has helped me see Scripture in a new light and made me realize like Piper states, every passage is a "chain of linked thoughts". If you are battling with anxiety, here is the series I studied. Each "lab" is only about twelve minutes or less so you can go through a particular study in one sitting if you'd like. 

I love making new discoveries (thanks, Josh!) and even more, getting excited about God and knowing him deeper! I hope (and pray) that sharing this with you will encourage you in your walk and shine light on these beautiful ancient words in a new, exciting way! 

Photography by Hannah Briggs 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Hannah's Homemade Gumbo

A couple weeks ago I started craving gumbo so I began browsing Pinterest and online for the best gumbo recipes. I found a few I liked and decided to tweak them a bit and create my own. The result: some pretty dang good, melt-in-your-mouth, Cajun gumbo! Josh said it was the best thing I have ever made and in his top ten favorite things he has ever tasted in his life. Score! It has now become a family favorite and I recently made it for company and they loved it too! I thought I would share the recipe with you all! Josh and I aren't big seafood fans so we omitted the shrimp but you can add it in if you like. 


3 large boneless chicken breasts 
salt and pepper 
1/4 cup of vegetable oil (I used olive oil) 
1 pound of smoked sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices (I used turkey sausage) 
1/2 cup of all purpose flour 
5 tablespoons of butter 
1 large yellow onion, chopped 
8 cloves of garlic, minced 
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped 
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce 
2 tablespoons of hot sauce (like Tabasco) 
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves 
1 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning blend (I used Emeril's) 
1 (4-ounce can) of green chilis 
4 cups of hot water 
5 beef bouillon cubes 
1 (14-ounce can) stewed tomatoes with juice 
2 cups frozen sliced okra 
4 bay leaves 


Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed Dutch oven (or large pot) over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken until browned on both sides and remove. Add the sausage and cook until browned, then remove. Sprinkle the flour over the oil, add 2 tablespoons of butter and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until brown, about 10 minutes. Let the roux cool. 

Return the Dutch oven to low heat and melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter. Add the onion, garlic, and green pepper and cook for 10 minutes. Add your hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to taste, and green chilis. Cook, while stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Add 4 cups of hot water and your bouillon cubes, whisking constantly. Add the chicken and sausage. Sprinkle in thyme, Cajun seasoning, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes. Add tomatoes and okra. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Remove bay leaves before serving. Serve over white rice. 

Bon Appetit! 


Days of Late

Lately my days have been filled with community groups with our church, game nights with friends, taking care of trip details & planning, cooking new things, and just enjoying each day as it comes. Speaking of trip details, I made a visit to the courthouse (above) yesterday to get a certified copy of our marriage license. I am applying for a new passport (with proper documentation of my name change) and Josh is applying for his first one! Fun times. Not. I actually hate this part of planning a trip overseas but at least we will have them for the next ten years.

A friend told me about a girl she knew who took a trip to Paris with her husband and hired a professional photographer to take photos of them while they were there! What a marvelous idea! Josh and I have not had professional photos taken of us really since our wedding day! So, four years later, we decided we are going to splurge and make up for lost time in the City of Lights. I have already booked our photographer with Flytographer. If you ever plan a trip abroad or even in a larger US city, you should definitely check them out! I can't wait to capture our love in such an amazing city and have those photographs forever. Once in a lifetime thing for sure.

With every thing I book, Paris and Amsterdam become more and more of a reality. I still can't believe I am going in four months. So surreal. I'm trying just to soak up the planning phase because that is part of the fun of actually going, right?!? I love researching the best restaurants, hidden cafes, and must-see sights that you don't always hear about. 

Speaking of Paris, we finally got the map that Josh gave me for Christmas framed! I love the way it turned out and it looks perfect in our main living area. It makes me heart leap with excitement each time I look at it. I believe I even found the street our Airbnb is on! :) 

With wintertime comes nesting. I have been rearranging some things and simplifying. I am always finding new things to clean out, donate, and sell. I have a closet full of clothes and various things I need to place on eBay. That is always fun for me! I can clean out my house AND make some money at the same time! Win win. 

With it being so cold, we have been enjoying having friends over or going to friends' homes to play tabletop games. My husband has turned into an avid game collector so we have picked up some really good ones lately! I want to do a post sometime soon reviewing some newer board and card games we have come across! We love us some game night! It's a great way to have fun with friends and see their true colors shine! Haha :) 

There is a little tidbit of what's new in my life as of late. Just staying warm, making my space a little cozier, and keeping that little mug full. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Home Tour // Master Bedroom

I'm so excited to finally share my master bedroom with you all! I apologize for the delay since it has actually been completed for several months. I had decided last summer that I was tired of my dark chocolate walls and bright pops of color and wanted to do something very calm, minimal, and airy for our bedroom.
So I gathered inspiration and ideas and kept them in the back of my head for when I would finally make it happen.

The nice thing about a four poster bed is it's very versatile so if I no longer want a canopy overhead I can take down the beams  and do more of a simplistic look. I had been eyeing linen bedding for awhile and wanted to get some for our bed but could not justify the price tag. I finally found a very reasonable set at Ikea. It is actually very nice quality, 100% linen and I have enjoyed it so much. I also discovered that Ikea has linen curtains as well so I grabbed a couple sets of those for our bedroom as well. One of the many reasons I love Ikea is that they sell curtain panels in sets of two (like it SHOULD be).Who only wants one curtain panel? I'll never get that. To add some texture I placed a cozy throw (that doubles as a blanket scarf) at the end of our bed. 

I'm a huge fan of repurposing things you already have, especially if they have some sentimental value. My bedside lamp was in my grandmother's house while we were growing up. It was a very dull silver when I received it. I'm not usually a big fan of chalk paint, but for a small project like this I just sprayed it with a few coats of black chalk paint and it looks like a totally different lamp. 

The antique vanity was a steal from a local antique shop. I have a good friend who is a wonderful fixer-upper so I had her refinish it for me. I love the feminine and old world feel it brings to our room. 

The photos are ones I took when I lived in Scotland for a short time. I captured them on a trip I took with friends to the Highlands and they will always remind me of that very special time in my life. 

This tapestry was hand-made by one of my favorite girls I follow on Instagram. I love that a little app can connect you around the world to some of the most lovely and interesting people. 

If you are looking for some luxurious but wallet-friendly sheets then check out Ikea's. They are now my favorite sheets! So soft but durable. I feel like I am sleeping on a cloud. 

Sources (click on item to shop):  linen duvet coverlinen curtainsbeige pillow covers, West Elm grey throw pillow (no longer available), Ninelle's tapestryIkea sheet setblack candelabraPaint color: Falling Snow by Behr

Photography by Hannah Briggs 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

An Evening Reading of Shakespeare's Sonnets

Colonel Brandon. He wasn't the most dashing suitor a girl ever laid eyes on but he was the most loyal, kind, and gentle, not to mention deeply romantic, one. I remember seeing Sense and Sensibility for the first time as a young girl and was deeply moved by the love he had for Marianne. He was always there. He never once left her side. Out of all of Jane Austen's leading men I do believe he will always be known as the most loyal. 

The world lost a great actor today, and for all of us Austen fans it felt as if we lost Colonel Brandon as well. Alan Rickman will be remembered for many great roles but this one is definitely my favorite. 

This scene always gets me. After Marianne has her heart shattered to pieces, Brandon swoops in to rescue her from the pouring rain and cold, sends for her mother and sister when she becomes deathly ill, and eventually woos her by readings of William Shakespeare.  

I've attached a clip of Alan Rickman reading Sonnet 130. Farewell, Mr. Rickman. 
You will always be in our hearts. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Ten Classic Interior Styles I Love

My idea of a relaxing, creative outlet is browsing beautiful interiors and design styles while sipping my second or third or fourth cup of coffee of the day. Some days I surf the web, scroll Pinterest, or flip through magazine pages to gather inspiration. I thought I would share some of my favorite interior designs that I am loving right now and how all of them remain classic styles instead of passing fads. 
  • Floor-Length Curtains 
How gorgeous and luscious are these floor-to-ceiling curtains? I love the elegant and luxurious 
look they bring to a space.  

  • Herringbone Floors 
Searching Airbnb for a place to stay on our European adventure this spring, I have noticed a lot of this type of flooring in Parisian flats. I have really fallen in love with these floors! So chic and timeless. 

  • A Classic Chandelier 
One of my favorite things in our home is our fabulous chandelier hanging over our kitchen table. It makes ordinary meals feel just a little bit fancier and adds charm to our dining nook.  

  • Brass Candlesticks 
You can score some of these for fairly cheap at local antique stores, thrift stores, or eBay. I found a box full in my husband's shed when we got married, polished them up, and now have a small collection on our fireplace mantel. I also love to use them to adorn the dining table for gatherings or even a simple dinner for two.

  • Table Linens 
My friends who know me best, know I love some beautiful table linens. Last month for my birthday and then again for Christmas, two different girlfriends gifted me with some lovely linen napkins. Add a gorgeous flowing tablecloth, a few brass candlesticks or a fresh bouquet, and you have quite the fabulous table. It makes every meal quite the elegant affair.

  •  Marble Coffee Tables 
I spotted the one directly below from a photographer's feed I follow on Instagram. I wish you could see it better in the photo but I discovered that her husband made it for her! Too sweet. I know what Josh's next project is going to be. 

  • Makeshift Closets 
Limited on closet space? Make your own. I love this idea of displaying your favorite (and color-coded) apparel within arms reach. 

  • Portraits 
I obsess over a brilliant oil painting. My old soul craves them and loves spying them in eclectic homes. We recently added one to our cozy den and he has an uncanny resemblance to Josh which makes "Baron Von Briggs" seem apart of the family. 

  • Canopy Beds 
They are my favorite! Ever since I was a little girl, I always wanted one so when I moved to Alabama I broke down and made the purchase. Of course, my amazing bed came with me when I married Josh and moved into his home. I love the classic, simple lines of a canopy, or four-poster bed. I sometimes get bored easily and want to mix things up so this way I can keep it classic or fasten the beams to the post and hang faux leaves to create a romantic, whimsical haven below. Someday I would love to try the look below and hang yards of linen draped over the railings. Swoon. .

  • Mirrors 
I enjoy decorating with mirrors but have run out of room for them! There are so many unique, interesting, and intricately designed ones out there! I love how these rooms incorporated them into their aesthetic.

I noticed looking back that you can see several of these elements all together in many of the pictures. My interior design taste is ever evolving but currently, I am loving clean, simple, elegant, and European (specifically, French) style. 

Au Revoir! xo 

All photos were taken from Pinterest.