fall porchphoto by Laura Steffan

Guys, we are just a couple days away from our favorite time of year. That crisp, cool air and those hot chocolate dates are just around the corner, and I am so excited! From falling leaves to decorated stoops and porches that warm our hearts, it’s a no-brainer why we love Fall. Here are 10 things making me excited for the season:

  1. Fall foliage. The leaves change colors, fall, and collect; and the colors are beautiful. Something about gathered, autumnal leaves bring me back to simpler days of my childhood when we would rake them up and jump on in! Haha (Remember those big, orange pumpkin trash bags that you’d stuff with leaves and leave on the lawn? I still love those.)
  2. Our favorite TV shows return! YES!! Cozying up on the couch for all new episodes is the best. My favorites? The Middle, The Goldbergs, and Last Man Standing (cut from ABC – boo!, but I hear it’s coming to Netflix… Speaking of Netflix, new episodes of Fuller House and Stranger Things return, too!)
  3. More baking. Cooler days and nights mean it’s the perfect time for baking. Pecan pie is on my bucket list, and I’d like to try a new bar or cookie recipe. Do you have a good recipe? Let me know if there’s something I should try!
  4. Pumpkins! I’ve already begun decorating for fall, but I will be heading to Trader Joe’s this week to pick up a few more pumpkins, including mini white pumpkins! I’m also looking forward to making a trip to one of the local pumpkin patches and taking pictures. So fun!
  5. Watching “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.” This one is an annual tradition and a seasonal favorite. Bake cookies, pop corn, get cozy, and enjoy.
  6. Fall fairs. The local schools host some great fairs. The BEST have delicious food, good music, and fun game booths and rides. There’s also a few craft fairs you can check out. My aunt and I have one that we attend every year, and we usually find things we love enough to buy.
  7. Dressing up for Halloween. Okay, so I’m not always in full costume (and I never do scary), but I do love an opportunity to get creative and play dress up.
  8. Drinking hot chocolate and eating candy corn. I mean, what is fall without hot chocolate and candy corn? These are essentials.
  9. Fall nail color. I usually prefer a pink, blush, or red but love playing with color a little more during the fall. Last week, I went with OPI Barefoot in Barcelona and am excited to try an all-new hue next.
  10. Giving thanks. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I’m back in New Orleans this year, so I’ll more than likely be hosting dinner. Gathering with the people I love most to reflect on all we’ve been blessed to have and give thanks to God is my favorite thing. Gratitude always points our hearts to what matters most.

What are you looking forward to this Fall? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Wednesday!

 

reading chairHi, friend! I hope wherever you are, your weekend is off to a pleasant start. I am in the middle of a long weekend, which is proving to be wonderful, despite staying put in my hometown instead of traveling as I initially planned to. I am very much enjoying the time off.

How do you spend your Saturday mornings? Breakfast with family? A trip to the Farmers Market? Brunching? Lounging? Yard work? If I’m not working on a Saturday, I like to enjoy a big (i.e. different from the usual) breakfast – biscuits, sausage or bacon, eggs, or maybe even pancakes or waffles. Having the luxury to lounge about and soak up some quiet time at home is one of my favorite things. Anyway, lets catch up!

This past month has been full of excitement. There have been hurricanes and flooding and fires, and the devastation has hit very close to home. I lived in Texas for several years, and my dad and sister are still there and remained in the Houston area during Harvey. Thankfully they are safe and their homes spared, but so many others (some friends there, too) are dealing with the aftermath of flooding and storm damage. Then came Irma, and now our Florida neighbors and friends are dealing with the same devastation. As someone whose home was once flooded and who dealt with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, I know all too well that these storms change things and we lose things that cannot be replaced. The good news is there is hope! It has been amazing to see the helpers and heroes and communities pull together to help and serve those in need. It will take months to recover and rebuild, but there is strength in community.

A family friend and professional painter is coming over this morning to check out the master bedroom because… it’s time to paint! Remember me mentioning a bedroom update? Currently my room is a light blue (and I’ve loved it for four years!), but I’m ready to bring it back to some kind of white, and I’ve narrowed it down to three colors. More on that later.

Fall. We are less than one week away from the official start of the season, but Fall is already in the air. We had a mini cold front roll through that stayed around for about a week (later, humidity!), and now there are talks about a colder fall and winter in New Orleans (cue happy dance!). I’m not a coffee drinker, but have PSLs returned? I’m already thinking hot chocolate and beignets over here. Pumpkins and foliage and sweater weather are the best, which is probably why Fall is my favorite season. My favorite TV shows return for an all-new season, and people are starting to talk about the holidays! Okay, I may be getting too ahead of myself here, but can you blame me? This time of year is simply the best.

Emily Ley recently released her new Daily and Weekly Simplified Planners for 2018. I decided on the Gold Dot Daily for next year and love it! One of my favorite features  of the new planner is the stickers. So fun! The Simplified Planner has been my go-to planner for several years now, and I’m certain I’m sold on it for life. It’s minimal in design, has a super clean layout, and is easy to use. All holidays are listed. There is a full calendar spread for each month. It’s a great tool to have. Emily also provides awesome tips on how to use and make the most of your planner (including the option for cute accessories that are available in her shop) and has built an incredible community in the process. If you haven’t already, check out the new planners. They are gorgeous! P.S. If you are interested in one of the Weeklies, more will be available in November, so mark your calendar.

Happy weekend!

xo,

Elizabeth

 

 

 

 

serena_lily_beddingHi, everyone! The last couple weeks have been full but so productive and good. There are a few things that I am loving lately and thought I’d share with you. Let me know of any favorites you have lately in the comments below!

First up are new sheets and shams from Serena & Lily. I was shopping for sheets for a while and fell in love with these. I love the blue and white design, and am so glad that they are also super comfy! The shams are clean and simple with just the right pop of color. Very happy with these. A little more money, but I waited to purchase during a sale; and knowing you spend about one-third of your day in bed, you can’t put a price on quality and comfort for a good night’s sleep.

flintstones_dvdNext up is the complete first season of The Flintstones. Hanna-Barbera cartoons were some of my favorite as a kid, so this was absolutely a buy spurred on by nostalgia. I’ve been watching episodes when I just want to turn my mind off and relax, and it’s been nice. Still fun to watch, too! Found at Target but also available at Wal-Mart.

sam_edelmanFinally, are these espadrilles by Sam Edelman. Purchased on sale a couple weeks ago at Nordstrom thinking they’d be great for fall. They are super comfy, and I love this neutral color. They pair well with just about anything! The color is oatmeal suede and have since sold out at Nordstrom but are still available here.

I’d love to hear about any favorites that you have! Happy Monday!

 

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!