.it's beginning to look a lot like...

...Christmas 'round here.

All the seasonal decor is out.

Hubs did all my shopping today and got all my gifts wrapped.

I made some paper flower/snowflakes for gift wrapping pizzazz.

I also determined from these pics that we desperately need some curtains.

I am happy.


.small business saturday.

Small Business Saturday is my jam.

I didn't do Black Friday this year. There was nothing I wanted bad enough to fight the crowds. Instead, we tailgated in Fayetteville and watched the last game of the Razorback season.

Today, though. Today was awesome. So. Much. Fun.

All the locally-owned businesses, including flea markets, offered discounts as well as refreshments (which meant free lunch for my mom and me - bazinga!). 

I didn't get to go to half the awesome little shops in my area, but I took my time at the ones I did go to and with the little spending I had, felt I hit the jackpot.

I went to two flea markets and two "gift" shops.

With all the special markdowns, I was able to walk away with some great deals. Here's my loot:

.metal basket: ~$11.
.spool of moss green velvet ribbon: $1.
.large pine cone: $1.
.grapevine cone tree: ~$2.
.fossil watch box: ~$3.
.homemade jar snow globe: ~$3.
.anchor hocking loaf pan: ~$5.

 +++ Not Pictured:

.IKEA large glass canister: ~$3.
A couple of Christmas gifts.


Shop local, y'all. It's more fun.


.thanksgiving: celebration two.

Since we celebrated the night before with my family, we spent Thanksgiving Day with my husband's family. Our sweet puggie got to come along with us, which made the puggie's grandparents very happy.

If you want to talk about a bountiful feast, this was definitely one of those. More food choices than there was room on my plate and desserts galore.

We always gather at Leslie's grandma's house, and as she ages, it gets more and more sentimental each year. I made sure to take candid shots of the hustle and bustle around the kitchen as well as all the familiar faces we see each year at this holiday.

After we ate, we decided to take a walk. Simon wasn't the only pug in the mix this year, so Honey (the other pug) got to join us on the walk as well. There was quite the group of us that went. The air was nice and cool and there were lots of leaves on the ground.

After the walk, everyone just gathered around in little groups on the front lawn and on the porch and talked before heading back in for round two of food.

Hubs and I left after dark. As always, another peaceful day spent laughing and chatting with precious family. I'm so blessed with the family I married into.


.thanksgiving: my family.

Oh, Thanksgiving. This is my favorite time of the year!

We celebrated with my family Wednesday evening at my brother's house.

The menu was traditional and yummy.


The gathering was smaller than usual since my brother-in-law had to work this holiday, and he and my sister live about 3 hours away. We definitely missed them. 
After we ate, we sat around and talked, played with my nephew and took some family photos.

But first, of course, Aunt Martha had to brush her teeth so she could put her Invisaligns back in. Levi wanted to join me in my routine, so we got these sweet photos while doing so.

Basically, it was a peaceful evening full of fun, lots of cuteness from my nephew, and lots of precious family time together.

The night ended on a silly note.

And when I say silly, I mean wacky silly. Like, we all grabbed a random prop and posed for one last family picture. The result was pure magic in my opinion...

And that was Thanksgiving with my side of the family!

I love 'em.


.christmas card sneak peek.

I am so excited to share a sneak peek from our Christmas card photo shoot.

This year was really fun. I wanted outfits just a little quirkier than we'd wear in everyday life, pops of color, and a natural setting.

Oh, and the pug had to have a bow tie. Of course.

So last Sunday after church, we picked up my mom (who graciously played photographer for us), changed at home, grabbed the pug and camera and headed out to a wooded setting (AKA the museum property).

Literally, no more than 15 minutes later, we were done. We had a few "money" shots to choose from, so we called it good.

I'm not going to show off the picture that will be on our card, but here are a couple of snapshots from our fun, easy shoot.

The tutorial I used for Simon's bow tie is from Simply Homemade.

Only 2 days until Thanksgiving!


.brace face, sorta.

Today begins an approximate 18-month journey of my life: BRACES.

Or, to be exact, INVISALIGNS.

Do I look happy? I am.

I've had gaps ever since my adult teeth came in, and now, at 29 years old, I can finally do something about it.

For that, I am so thankful.


I thought I should document everything I'm experiencing on this first day of wearing my Invisaligns, since today...yeah, it's not so fun. I'm hoping that when this process is over, I can look back at this entry and laugh at myself for being such a wuss.

First and foremost, y'all, I expect to lose some weight. I can't eat without taking the clear things off my teeth (which I haven't mastered yet, so that takes time), and then I have to put them right back on my teeth. I have to brush or at least rinse my mouth out before they go back in.

Meal time has become quite the process, and forget about snacking, at least until I master taking these bad boys off.

I'm still trying to decide how I'm ever going to enjoy a meal in public again.

I also seem to be salivating a lot. Not sure if it's the sensation of something on my teeth or what, but I can't swallow often enough. I think I've also been swallowing a lot of air so I foresee some issues of sorts in the future.

So far, I haven't experienced any pain or had to take any aspirin. HOWEVER. I'm about 5 hours into this thing and I'm already feeling like: WHAT IS ON MY TEETH? It would feel so good to take them off for just a few minutes, but the thing with Invisaligns is that you can't. Not if you want proper results, anyway. And I'm paying big $$$ for these so you better believe I'm leaving them right where they're supposed to be.

Also, I now speak with a lisp.


All complaining aside, getting to go through with this is a dream come true and a big step towards greater confidence in myself.

I'll try not to complain too much more. ;-)


.give thanks: free printable.

So I was browsing Pinterest tonight looking for a pretty Thanksgiving printable for my mantel.

I found one that said Give Thanks on a chalkboard background, but when I uploaded it to Sam's Club online to order an 8x10 print, the file size of the free download was too small to make a quality print.

So...of course, I had to make my own.

Here's what I came up with.

And here is what it looks like framed and on my mantel.

I'm offering this print as a free download for you to use in your home!

It is sized for an 8x10.

Click HERE to download.
{Your version will not have the watermark.}

This is the first time I've ever used box.com to offer downloads, so please let me know if you have any issues.

I am now in the process of redoing my mantel...because good enough is never good enough. ;-)

Happy Season of Thankfulness!