Life Lately

HEY friends! Oh my goodness, I've let this space sit unattended for a bit too long over the last month, but what I can say? We've been busy and life has been crazy. So, let's just catch up. 

Tomorrow we celebrate three years of owning our home. I can't believe it's been three years already! We love our little home so much and looking back over the last three years and the blood, sweat and tears, work AND MONEY we've put in to our house is unbelievable. We actually just finished up our patio project yesterday and it looks incredible, I am over the moon. Josh busted his butt he past few days to get it done for me, and yesterday we tackled the last leg of it together. I've got a little bit of staining to do this week but it's basically all done and looks like a million bucks! And we're also going to plant lemongrass all the way around the edges. I'm so thankful for the place that we call home and when I think back over just the last year and the fun parties we've had, showers we've thrown and dinners we've shared with people we love makes me so very happy. 

On Saturday I'm throwing a shower for my sweet friend Mackenzie to celebrate her little girl that is due on Halloween! The theme of the shower is pumpkins, utilizing the colors that will be in the nursery which are coral, mint and a few other accent colors. I'm so looking forward to celebrating that sweet babe and her mama. (Also, throwing a shower is perfect motivation to finish up home projects ;) 

Last week we went to Charlotte on Thursday night to see our man Keith Urban. I've mentioned it plenty of times before, but I love concerts, they are my thing. And I especially love Keith Urban, so combine the two and you've got one happy girl :) 

We're only a few weeks away from our trip to Dallas, and when initially sat down and booked the trip I had a bit of an itinerary planned out for each day...but I haven't looked at it since. I should probably get my act together and nail down exactly how we'll be spending our days in Texas!

We went to Edisto Beach with my in-laws at the beginning of the month and had a nice, long relaxing weekend at the beach. Josh played golf one evening and we had such a great time just the two of us cruising the beautiful course and watching the sunset. I was also the caddy for the evening and did quite a jam up job if I do say so myself ;)

I've been slacking big time in my kitchen over the last month, but I have been putting my spiralizer to good use a few times. I just love how easy it is to use! I've done zoodles twice and even did curly fries one night...I'm not sure they were quite as good as Arby's, but I'm working on it, ha!

AND the biggest update of all...I put my 3 week notice in at work last week. Out of the BLUE my dream job came knocking on my door...and I almost fell out of my chair when it did. I went through a few interviews, and I start the day after Labor Day. Also, God's timing is so good. I'll be able to explain more later; for now I am sitting on pins and needles with excitement to start my new job, but enjoying the last couple weeks with my co-workers. 

And one sweet picture of my fellas because I just love them so and I mean, how cute are they, right?! I can't believe it's just about time for summer to come to a close, but I'm ready to say goodbye to the extreme heat and to embrace fall with open arms. Fall is by far mine and Josh's favorite season because cool weather, and duh, football. Which by the way, Go Gamecocks!

Oh and P.S. I was sad to see the Olympics finish us last night, but we have been hardcore Olympic watching and cheering at our house. USA did such a fantastic job! 

Hoping y'all have a great day!


Hilton Head Vacation: On a Boat

Josh and I honeymooned on Hilton Head Island, and it also happens to be the spot where his dad vacations every year, so we do our best make it down to HHI each summer. This year my birthday fell on a Friday and it happened to be the day before his dad's beach week started. We decided to take our vacation from Thursday - Sunday to celebrate my birthday and overlap with his dad for a few days.

In my search for a place to stay, I checked out AirBnb since it feels like its popularity has taken off recently, and I was interested in what types of places they had available. I landed on the listing of a boat and thought "hey, we've never stayed on a boat before, this could be fun!". Then I read the reviews of the boat, all of which were positive, then posed the idea to Josh to see what his reaction might be. To my surprise, he was completely on board, no pun intended, and thought it'd be somewhere fun and different to stay. We booked the boat and waited anxiously for a few months to pass and our vacation to arrive. 

In the listing for the boat, many people mentioned that it was a lot like camping because of the tight quarters. When we arrived at the marina the day of check in, I could not help but laugh when we saw the boat. It was exactly how it was described in the listing, but Josh's reaction was priceless. He obviously thought the boat was going to be quite a bit larger than it actually was :) 

To say we were cozy for the duration of our trip would be an accurate statement. While the boat was small, it was well appointed and after we moved a few things around and got adjusted, it was easy to navigate around the small quarters and each other. The marina the boat was docked in was the Shelter Cove Marina, which is actually home to the Disney Resort in Hilton Head. Therefore we were greeted by the very friendly Disney staff each day, going through the gate every time they said "Welcome Home!", and we got to use their pool, hot tub, and awesome water slide. A win-win I'd say :) Our rental also came with bikes, which we used each morning to take a bike ride around the marina and to some local spots nearby.

We really did have a great vacation and it was more than wonderful to put a pause on reality for a few days. The weather was hot, so we only lasted at the beach for a few hours each day. Neither Josh or I are ones to sit on the beach from morning until night, so we like to spend a few hours out then head in to cool off. We bought this JBL bluetooth speaker right before the trip and it was awesome to have on the beach to listen to our music. The shape made it the perfect fit in the cup holder on my beach chair so we didn't have to worry about where we'd put it. 

For my birthday we booked a sunset cruise through The Salty Dog and to say it was my favorite part of the trip would be an understatement. We had a gorgeous evening, and while it was hot, the boat had plenty of fans running and once we were out on the water, it cooled down a bit. The Salty Dog just started offering this cruise last August and I think they have a very successful venture on their hands. They have a catamaran with two levels, and a bar and kitchen. We were so lucky to have a fantastic group of people on the boat with us, which made the experience even more enjoyable. Everyone was so nice and friendly! The cruise was scheduled to be an hour and half, but our captain, Bill, kept us out well over an hour and 45 minutes and parked us smack dab in the middle of the ocean as the sun set. We saw over 10 dolphins while we were out, and one even did a huge jump for us! The drinks were delicious, food wonderful and staff exceptional. We thanked them profusely as we got off the boat at the end of the evening, and I can all but guarantee we will make it a point to take this cruise each year. It was a perfect birthday! 
We got to spend time with our family, although not long enough as they were coming and we were going, but we did squeeze in a beach day and dinner together before we headed back home! We love Hilton Head so much and are already talking about our return next year, maybe with Murphy in tow :) 


A Sweet Angel

Hey friends! It has not been my intention to stay away so long, life has been busy over here and I'm playing a bit of catch up. I've got to recap our 4th of July cookout and our trip to Hilton Head, hopefully both this week. But as soon as we got back from HHI, we had a difficult week ahead as we had to put my childhood dog down. So last week was spent half trying to get unpacked and reorganized from our vacation, and half crying my eyes out all day everyday. So today we'll celebrate the life of the sweetest baby girl in the whole wide world.

My dad has always been a huge dog lover, which  he passed on to me.  I'm sure that is fairly easy to catch on to if you have spent any length of time around my blog, to say Josh and I obsess over Murphy would be an understatement ;) 

When I was very little we had dogs, but they were all up in age and went to heaven when I was young. When I was 8, one Sunday afternoon my Granny pulled into the driveway with the cutest black lab puppy you've ever seen and said "here you go!". I gave her the name of Dixie, and from that day forward she and I were inseparable and my love for that dog surpassed my love for some people ;) 

She was my very first pet and taught me the love of an animal. She had a beautiful, long life living to be 16 years old, and less than 6 months shy of her 17th birthday. She was a black lab and chow mix, and truly looked like a little bear. She had thick, black fur that turned brown as she got older. She had little baby ears that when she stood them up, curled around her face just perfectly, making her head look exactly like a bear. She had the sweetest brown eyes, filled with so much love. She also has the girliest and cutest high pitched bark, she didn't bark often but it certainly was precious when she did.

In her younger day she loved to take golf cart rides, I mean, you could not even look at our golf cart without her jumping on the front seat. We often called her the Queen, because that's exactly what she was. She loved cold weather and loved when it snowed. She'd dig a hole in the snow, sit in it and then try to cover herself with the snow. As she got older, her legs started to fade, but in her younger years she loved to talk walks around the neighborhood and play ball. She also loved to go swimming and was quite the explorer. We have a river that runs one street behind ours and she'd be gone all day exploring and when she'd scratch on the door to be let in that evening, you'd never know what'd she'd be covered in. Sopping wet, mud from the tip of her nose to the end of her tail, battle wounds, etc. She also loved to dig holes in various places around the yard and spend hours napping in the cool dirt.

She was extremely loving and truly the sweetest dog I have ever known. She would smother you in kisses anytime you'd ask. She loved my dad to no end, and followed him everywhere. She and him were partners, pals, best friends. She loved everyone, really and had the most loving demeanor. After I moved into a home of my own, she and my mom really created a beautiful bond between the two of them, often times mom chatting her ears off all times of day :)

My sweet Dixie girl was the light of my life, and truly my sister. She walked with me through my entire childhood and many changing stages of life. She'd sit at my feet as I got ready in the morning, I'd load her in to the car any chance I got to ride around with me, she was my girl. Telling her "bye" to leave for college was hard, telling her "bye" to get married was hard, but telling her "bye" so should could go to heaven and be in pain no longer was the hardest one yet.

We had to make the difficult decision to send her to heaven on Friday, but I know her legs no longer hurt and she can run and play as much as she wants. In my house growing up, and in our house now, our dogs are not just pets, they are family members and are treated as such. We love our dogs as much as we love each other, and I'd have it no other way. There is nothing like the love of a dog. 

Having to say goodbye to her was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I loved on her from the moment I walked in mom and dad's house on Friday, to the moment the vet came out. I feel positive she knew how much I loved her. 

My sweet Dixie girl, I'll love you forever my angel. 


Hello, July

A 3 day weekend is on the horizon and I am just giddy about it! I also can't believe it's July, but I'm welcoming the month with open arms, because it is my birthday month after all ;) 

The start of a new month means that I get to read all of my blog friends goals for the coming month, which then prompts me to think about my own, or lack thereof. If we are being honest, I have totally fallen off my Powersheets train since April. I'm making a large mental note to sit down with those in the next few days and get back on track. The other day I was thinking back to January and how well I felt like I loved on my friends and family and how intentional I was with my time because I was checking my goals and Powersheets often. I want to get back to that, so here's to hoping in July! 

As a bit of an overview for July and August here are a few things going on my goals/ to-do list: 

-Start and finish building the patio off the deck and put up the lattice around the base of the deck
-Plan and execute Mackenzie's bridal shower
-Nail down the specifics of our trip to Dallas 
-Work on putting our will together 
-Celebrate the birth of our friends little boy

We've got a couple vacations during July and August and I am certainly ready from some time not sitting behind a computer screen for a few days.

We've got a busy weekend ahead; an early birthday celebration and we're hosting a cookout for the fourth, so I've got to get it in gear and get my to-do list nailed down...and then start crossing things off. I hope y'all have a safe and happy fourth! 


Airbnb Host Gift

via sciway
Looking ahead to our trips coming up in the next few months, we are staying in airbnb's in Hilton Head and Dallas. (Side note, if anyone has experience with airbnb's, let me know how yours was! I'd love to hear.) Josh and I were chatting last night about our trips and I threw out the idea of giving both our host in HHI and in Dallas a little thank you gift and he loved the idea. A little southern hospitality never hurt anybody, right?! 

Thinking of the gift for our Dallas host is easy, we want to do something South Carolina related. There is a quaint shop on Main Street called Uptown that is my go-to for unique and specifically SC related gifts. At the beginning of the year, Josh and I made a basket for some family members that just bought a house in Charleston and I got a few great gifts from Uptown, one of which is this palmetto tree bottle opener. I think it would be perfect for our host in Dallas and is the perfect nod to our great state. I remember when I brought it home to put in that first gift basket, Josh made mention of how nice it was and that the quality was excellent, as are all the items at Uptown. This palmetto trivet and spreader would also make a great gift, going to keep it on my radar. 

As for the gift for our host in Hilton Head, I would love to give her something that's local to Columbia since she already lives in South Carolina, but I haven't quite put my finger on the perfect thing just yet. Although, I am heavily learning towards grits from Adluh Flour. 

I love a good host gift and Josh and I both believe that there are few things in life greater than being able to hand pick a gift for someone, even if you don't know them personally as in this case. The gesture and thoughtfulness is what counts! 

If you have any host gift ideas, I'd love to hear them!