Fairhope-1Last week I made my first trip out to the charming southern town of Fairhope, Alabama. I recently mentioned to you my latest obsession with Hart of Dixie, and part of that may have something to do with my love for small towns. (Also, Gilmore Girls’ Stars Hollow comes to mind!) Well, the fictional town of Bluebell, Alabama – the town featured in Hart of Dixie – is supposedly located near Fairhope and Daphne, and just maybe the series was inspired by the south’s very own small towns. Fairhope was also suggested as a must-see by friends (and Southern Living), so why not make the trip?

Fairhope_4Fairhope is every bit as charming as you might think. Pedestrian-friendly with wild flowers in bloom on every street, locally-owned restaurants and shops for you to explore and enjoy at your leisure, unique character features, and beautiful tree-lined roads and neighborhoods.

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We ate at Panini Pete’s which is located in Fairhope’s French Quarter – an area which models our own French Quarter in New Orleans. Ironwork and brick, and a fountain central to its outside eating space create a familiar, but unique atmosphere.

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Fairhope_8Have lunch, and order the House Roasted Turkey or Pete’s Famous Muffaletta Panino, and you have to place an order for hot beignets! They are so good. A little different from the beignets we have in New Orleans, but still delicious.

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There was one Fairhope bookstore in particular that gaged my interest, Page and Palette. Inside are books of all kinds with works by local writers and subjects of interest to the area as well; and I loved that there were employee recommended books featured – each recommendation had a handwritten note on it from an employee stating why they recommend it as a great read. (I love that!)

Fairhope_10We drove along the Bay to The Grand (which according to friends and Southern Living is the perfect place to stay… just in case you’re planning for more than just a day trip) and took in the sights along the way. It’s a beautiful drive, and I’d recommend going down to the Bay, too if you can.

Add Fairhope to your list of places to see, and make the trip. You will not be disappointed.

saturday-series-oneHi, friends! I’d like to introduce you to the first post of the all-new Saturday Series. My Saturday Series will feature updates and highlights on what’s new and current from life and at home, and everything in between. I’ll get a little more personal here and hope that you’ll feel welcome to join in on the conversation, too.

Let’s talk!

Summer. Lately I can hear the neighborhood kids two doors down having fun in the pool. Their voices carry over, and it’s a nice, comforting reminder of what summer is all about. Lazy, crazy days with friends. Bike rides. Playing tag. Sleepovers. S’mores. Pool parties. Kids should get to enjoy the simple things in life as much as possible, and while they still have the freedom and time to do so. I can’t wait to have my own kids enjoying the same moments in life (and re-live all the fun with them!).

I’m hooked on an old – but new to me – series on Netflix, Hart of Dixie. I cannot get enough of the small-town fun and drama. It reminds me of everything I love about the south: tradition, close-knit communities and neighbors, charming towns and history, good food, familiar places, and… Burt Reynolds? Hart of Dixie is my latest obsession.

Bedroom Makeover. This is a goal I’ve set, and I’m determined to pay for the update without adding debt to my name. It requires me to set aside a little bit of money each month (which means I’m constantly budgeting, balancing my checkbook, and allotting funds), but I’m doing it and have felt such a great sense of pride and accomplishment for staying the course. New paint, nightstands, quality (cozy) linens, and a couple decor pieces are all part of the project, so this is a worthwhile pursuit for me.

We celebrated my brother’s birthday in June. Just a small get-together with close friends and family, but such a treat. I was so excited to give him this ukelele! My brother is a musician, and I thought this would be a fun pastime for summer and beyond. Sure enough, he loved it!

Fourth of July is just days away, and it is one of my favorite holidays. I love the pomp and flare and fireworks and patriotism of it all. I love getting dressed in my best red, white, and blue; and I look forward to savoring a few American classics – a hot dog or hamburger, Lays potato chips, sliced watermelon, and an ice-cold Coca Cola (please, and thank you!). It’s an all-around great day to celebrate the freedom we are so privileged to have in America.

On a final note are these words that a friend shared this week:

“Never is a woman so fulfilled as when she chooses to underwhelm her schedule, so she can let God overwhelm her soul.” – Lysa Terkeurst

 

10-best-summer-moviesSummertime means plenty of time spent outdoors – swimming, beach tripping, boating, barbecuing… The best of summer. But after a full day of adventures and sun, it can be nice to break away from the heat, keep cool, and relax. For those times, there’s nothing quite like a summer movie night. What could be better than free entertainment and creating priceless memories with friends and family?

Some of my favorite memories include watching movies with my friends and cousins. In the summer months, when school’s out and the days are hot and long and there’s nothing that has to be done, it’s the perfect time for blankets and popcorn and a good movie.

Here are my picks for the 10 best summer movies:

  1. To Catch a Thief – One of my all-time favorites! Starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly, this Hitchcock film features romance, mystery, and intrigue along the beautiful French Riviera.
  2. The Parent Trap – I never tire of this one. Wholesome entertainment that everyone can enjoy. Plus, it all begins at a summer camp where the best kinds of memories are created.
  3. The Sandlot – A classic! Friendship, adventures, and America’s favorite pastime. It’s quite simply summer at its best.
  4. Beach Blanket Bingo – This film is silly and fun, and with music from Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, it has all the makings of a classic beach party movie.
  5. Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl – One of the best adventure movies! No doubt, you’re familiar with this one…. I mean, it’s hard to forget a character like Captain Jack Sparrow. I love this Disney favorite.
  6. Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation – James Stewart is a businessman who takes his family on a seaside vacation, which turns out to be everything but relaxing.
  7. Hook – I love this retelling of Peter Pan. A grown-up Peter must remember who he is in order to save his kids who’ve been kidnapped by Captain Hook.
  8. Troop Beverly Hills – An all-around fun comedy. Shelley Long is a spoiled Beverly Hills housewife that takes leadership of her daughter’s Girl Scout troop and teaches the troops some very useful skills… like where to appraise diamonds!
  9. Gidget – A summer 50’s classic. Sandra Dee plays a teen that falls for two surfers who teach her to surf. I’ve enjoyed this movie since my teen years.
  10. Rear Window – Another Hitchcock film with a little more suspense. Jimmy Stewart stars as a photojournalist with a broken leg and little to do but observe his neighbors from his rear window during a sweltering New York summer. When he thinks he witnesses a murder, he tries to solve the crime himself alongside his love interest, Lisa Fremont, played by Grace Kelly. This movie is fantastic, and Hitchcock does well to tell stories within a story while never once leaving Stewart’s apartment.

Any other movies you’d add to the list? I would love to know!


ea-summer-bucket-listSummer is officially here! I love this season and all the extraordinary moments and opportunities it presents. There’s nothing quite like these long, hot, lazy, crazy days. I took a little time this week to put together my summer bucket list, something I think is great to have as a reference and goal sheet of sorts for a summer well-spent. Here’s to checking off everything on my list!

What’s on your summer bucket list?

 

baseball / book / sno-ball / cruiser / Mickey waffle maker / The Parent Trap / picnic basket / Cape Cod postcard

embroidered-shortsBelieve it or not, I’m not big on shopping. I love getting new clothes but hate going on the search for things I need. I tend to stick with pieces that are classic, timeless, and easy to wear, and have a few go-to places where I know I’ll find exactly that.

When you do find a good thing, you’ve just got to share. These embroidered shorts are it! Bright, comfortable, and finished with the prettiest details. Not too short, not too long and in a lightweight cotton-linen fabric. They’re perfect for summer. Plus, that blue!

Also worth noting: they’re lined and feature a smocked waistband (super comfy and a nice, flattering fit).

I’ve paired them with fitted tees and tanks and a fun statement earring and absolutely love them. If you’re in the market for a great pair of shorts, I am happy to recommend these. If you want something more neutral, they’re also available in white. You can shop them here.

Tee / earrings (old J.Crew) / Italian phrasebook / sunglasses / shorts