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Wedding Planning 101

Coming up on our two year wedding anniversary, I realized that I’d never shared a blog post about my wedding planning tips. Let’s just say I learned a thing or two from watching all my friends get married, being a bridesmaid, a maid of honor and having my own wedding. Here are my most helpful tips and tricks to keep you organized and cool as a cucumber. You definitely don’t have to be bridezilla. πŸ˜‰

Ps. see our wedding photos here by the very talented Trevor + Allison.

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Classic Trench Coat & Leopard Print

Happy Wednesday, friends! The weather went from covering our yard in icy snow two weekends ago to being in the 60s and 70s this past weekend. Honestly, I was kind of excited to have weather above freezing for a few days. Being a Florida girl and all, I’m still adjusting to lower temperatures and seasons that are not summer. πŸ˜‰ I like our current weather because it’s a good excuse to break out my favorite khaki trench coat (and channel my inner Audrey Hepburn) while also trading in my winter boots for a pair of cute ballet flats. I think a staple in every girl’s closet should be a good pair of leopard print flats and a khaki trench coat.
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The first thing we did upon arrival at our hotel (we loved the Warwick for so many reasons) was venture out to the Pike's Place Market. They have the original Starbucks, fish being thrown around, flowers by the bundles and all sorts of other things to see.

9 Trip planning tips

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about trip and travel planning, so I thought I’d do an updated post all about my very best travel tips. Check out my previous Euro trip planning post here. In this post I’ll show you where to buy a few of our favorite travel items and I’ll share travel tips I’ve learned since my previous post. I’m in no way an expert, but I’ve found that other blogger’s honest opinions and travel posts have actually been one of the most helpful tools for me while trip planning for us. I’m pretty Type-A and I’m all about budget friendly travel, so if you’re into that, this post is for you!

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β€œBroad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things can not be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” -Mark Twain

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Snow Day!

Last weekend, we had our first snow day of the year and I’d say it was one of my favorite weekends in a really long time. Atlanta pretty much looses its mind when it snows or ices, because none of us (except the northern transplants) know how to drive in snow so the roads shut down and you can only walk to places. Our other problem is that we end up with a lot of ice because the snow melts and quickly becomes not so fun. Thankfully, this snow storm wasn’t anything like they predicted and we got to enjoy a little wintery magic. Let’s be honest, we all turn into kids when it snows and I’m no exception. Hope you enjoy some photos of our snow day! Ps. I’ve linked a few of my snow day clothes at the end of this post.

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2017, let’s do this!

I love the excitement and hope that a new year always seems to bring. We are very much looking forward to this 2017 year and all of the possibilities it brings. Like a lot of people, I always try to start out my new year with a set of goals rather than resolutions. Oftentimes, these goals build off of previous goals I’ve had, because I truly believe that we should never stop seeking to become better people. I read this the other day and thought it was a good mantra for me this year: “The proper response to the grace you experienced in the past is thankfulness, and the proper response to grace promised to you in the future is faith. We are thankful for the past grace of the last year, and we are confident in the future grace for the new year.” (Full quote can be found here.)

Annual New Year's hike had to be moved to New Year's Eve. We got snow flurries, mini hail and rain on our hike! So exciting!

Love the Sawnee Mountain hike! It never gets old. Last year’s New Year’s hike photos here.

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What I’ve learned from 2016

Okay, I think we all say this every single year…but really, where did this year go? We’re in the last month of 2016. Wasn’t it just 2009 and I was graduating high school? And then college flew by and now I’ve been married for almost two years. But, here we are celebrating the end of a really exciting year. Oh my goodness, we had so many sweet memories this year (see my 2016 travel diary here). 2016 has been full of lessons (as is every year), but I think this year was especially challenging, exciting and beautiful for me. Our world has seen so many hardships, really scary things, political divides and challenges of getting through to a stressed out “microwave generation.” Over and over again this year, I was reminded that this place is not our home and it is well with my soul despite what the world around me tries to say. That’s ultimately the only true hope we have and the entire reason we celebrate this season.

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I always said one of the best gifts my parents could’ve ever given me was the gift of siblings. And man, these guys are the jackpot rockstars of siblings. :)

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Once we were done in downtown Victoria, our driver took us to Butchart Gardens. This place was probably one of the craziest explosions of flowers I've ever seen. It's an old lime-rock pit that they turned into gardens representing countries around the world.

2016 Travel Diary

This is always one of my favorite posts (check out last year’s here). I love looking back on the year and thinking with such humble gratitude about all of the amazing opportunities God gives us. Most importantly, I love remembering all of the special times we’ve had with the ones we love. With each passing year, I’m reminded why God didn’t create people to be alone and he wants us to enjoy the things He’s given us. Obviously, this means different things to different people, but to me, I love enjoying God’s world by traveling with loved ones, being reminded that there are genuinely beautiful people everywhere and learning a few lessons about myself along the way. This year’s travel adventures in particular have challenged and grown me in ways I don’t think any other experience could have. Also, I love what traveling does to Matt and I’s relationship. As time has gone on and we’ve tackled more trips together, we’ve been given more opportunities to be team players, figure out what we’re good at and discover more reasons why we’re good for each other. Nothing makes you work out your problems like being stuck in a foreign country with your spouse and being forced to face your problems head on.

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Travel Themed Wall Collage

For two years, I’ve been working on this living room travel themed wall collage and I’m so excited it’s finally done! Matt and I decided a while back that our souveniers from trips would be prints from local artists or scenes from the city we were visiting. We also love to take photos of our travels, so we knew we wanted to create something that could incorporate our collected prints and photographs. However, for this collage, I did buy that Florida print from etsy and the framed quote in the middle was a gift.Β  These wall collages are a lot more work than I first thought, but I’m loving the outcome. Also, I learned a few tricks along the way. So if you’re thinking of making a similar wall in your home, I hope this helps! :)

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Our fall bulletin board that was created with our apple stamping projects.

10 (really creative) Preschool Activities

This school year has been flying so quickly and I can hardly believe it. Today, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite hands-on, easy and cheap preschool center activities to help kids learn the basic skills they need in order to be prepared for kindergarten. I think it’s really important to keep the kids moving and engaged, so we are always on the hunt for activities that fit the bill. I’ll also post a couple of great resources I’ve found along the way!

1. Playdough Letters

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Cookie sheets can be found for a dollar at the Dollar Store or Dollar Tree. I use regular letter cards and Playdough to help the kids learn letter recognition/formation while working on fine motor skills. Playdough is not just a fun activity for kids, but playing with it actually helps strengthen their hands, which is needed in order to have proper pencil grip one day.

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