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Month: October 2017

Hawaii Adventure

Hawaii Adventure


This post is WAY past due, but better late than never right? Back in June Chase and I took a trip to the beautiful state of Hawaii with his family! We flew into Oahu and stayed there for 3 1/2 days, then island hopped to Maui and stayed there for about 3 days. Here is a little photo travel diary of our trip!

Day 1:

Pearl Harbor

Luau-which is a must! It was really cool to learn about the Hawaiian culture and eat yummy food of course!

Day 2:

A day filled with exploring the North Shore and hanging out at the beach!

(We saw sea turtles–MADE my life!)

(The acai bowls are WAY better in Hawaii!!)

Day 3:

Not many pictures! Chase explored the island by riding bikes with his brother, while the girls went shopping!! This lemonade shop was SO cute! There were tons of different flavors to choose from. And look at the fun glass cup!

Day 4:

Island hopped to Maui!

The pork is AMAZING!

We got coffee every chance we could!

Day 5:

Chase and I got to spend the day snorkeling!!!

Day 6:

Haleakalā National Park

Day 7:

One final acai bowl and saying goodbye to the beach!




4 Ways To Decorate With Pumpkins

4 Ways To Decorate With Pumpkins

If you don’t already know this about me, I love to decorate! I’m obsessed with reading the latest HGTV magazine, scouring Pinterest for great DIY tips, and rewatching Fixer Upper over and over! Since it finally feels like Fall in North Carolina, I wanted to give y’all my top 4 ways to decorate your home with pumpkins!!


I’ve started seeing this trend all over social media! Go to your local farmers market or favorite pumpkin patch and search for flat pumpkins in various sizes and stack them on top of each other! This adds some height to your pumpkin collection. There are so many funky shaped pumpkins out there you can really get creative!


Not a fan of the typical pumpkin orange color? Does it clash with your decor? There are SO many different colors of pumpkins you can buy! I LOVE white pumpkins! Green is also a popular color! I am using white pumpkins on the mantle to go with my neutral color decor and then green and orange pumpkins on my dining table and by the front door!


Pumpkins look best in groups! Instead of having single pumpkins placed throughout your home, try having them grouped close together! I love things placed in threes, but you can’t go wrong with more!


I learned from my mom to make your table centerpiece complete just add a little greenery! What’s so great about this decorating tip is it’s free!! Just go outside and clip greenery from bushes and trees around your home and ta-da, instant decorating addition!! My all time favorite is sprigs of eucalyptus, which I put in a gravy dish in the photo below!

(Kona isn’t too sure about them!)

I hope these are tips you are able to use in your own home!

Wait! One last thing!!

Decorating isn’t complete without your house smelling WONDERFUL, right?! During the Fall I use two methods to have my home smelling all warm and cozy!

Number 1: I diffuse clove and orange essential oils in my diffuser!

Number 2: I put a pot of water on the stove with apple slices, the rind of an orange, clove, and cinnamon sticks. Then allow it to simmer throughout the day!


I would love to hear from you! How do you like to decorate with pumpkins?! What are your Fall decorating tips!

Gluten and Dairy Free Pretzel Bites

Gluten and Dairy Free Pretzel Bites

Need a yummy game day snack?! I got a great one for you! While scrolling through Pinterest (where MOST of my recipes come from) I found the pretzel bites recipe from the blog Fooduzzi and knew I had to try it! You can get the original recipe here.

I made a few changes, so here is my adapted recipe!

Prep: 20 minutes      Cook: 20 minutes    Makes about 30 pretzel bites

• 1 packet instant dry yeast

• 1 and 1/2 cups warm water

• 1 tsp. salt

• 1 Tbsp. raw sugar

• 3.5-4 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour

• 9 cups water

• 2/3 cup baking soda

• For topping: “everything” bagel seasoning, salt, etc.


1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. (I had to use two baking sheets)

2. Add yeast, water, salt, and sugar in a bowl and whisk together. Using a hand mixer on the medium-low speed, slowly add your flour to the mixture until combined. The dough should come together and not be too sticky. (The original recipe uses a stand mixer with the dough attachment, but we only have a hand mixer and it worked just fine!)

3. Meanwhile, bring your water and baking soda to a boil in a large pot.

4. Turn the dough out on a floured surface and form into a flat circle. Cut into 2-inch strips, then cut each strip into 1 and 1/2 – 2 inch bites.

5. Take 5-10 bites and carefully drop them in your boiling baking soda water for 20-30 seconds. Carefully remove with a slotted spoon and place on your prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with desired toppings – I used salt. Continue this process until all of the bites are boiled and topped.

6. Bake 18-22 minutes, or until the pretzels are nice and golden brown on the outside and cooked through on the inside. Serve immediately – these get really dense and chewy after a few hours at room temperature.

These are seriously AH-mazing! They were easy to make and I love how few ingredients there were. I made them Sunday after church and my husband and I ate almost all of them in one sitting while we watched the Panthers play! Next time I want to try a new topping like cinnamon sugar! They would be a tasty sweet snack too!

Happy cooking!



How To Simplify Your Life with THE SIMPLIFIED PLANNER

How To Simplify Your Life with THE SIMPLIFIED PLANNER

Is your life crazy busy? Do you have a million things to remember to get done during the day? Then you are just like me. If I don’t write it down then it’s usually long gone. I’m the girl with post-it notes all over her desk.

One of my 2017 goals is to simplify. Simplify mentally, physically, and emotionally. I knew I needed to have one space to compile all of my lists and thoughts. Throughout the years I have tried various planners, and back in May I bought my first Simplified Planner. I can already tell you, this will not be my last. I absolutely love it! I’ve had my eye on Emily Ley’s Simplified Planner for a while, but didn’t know if the style and layout would be a good fit for me. Since changing jobs and working from home I wanted a fresh start. I needed something simple, easy to use, and ONE place to write everything down. No more post-it notes engulfing my desk!

I ordered the July 2017-July 2018 gold pineapple daily edition. Each month there is a monthly calendar spread. I use this space to write down any birthdays, appointments, and weekend plans. Then there is the daily spread. Each day has it’s own page, with an hourly schedule on one side and a to do list on the other. At the bottom of each page is a box for meals and a box for notes. That’s it! No extra fluff or frills!

The weekends have both Saturday and Sunday combined on a page. Sunday’s spread looks a little different because it includes a section called Sunday Prep. If you want to learn more about Sunday Prep, check out Emily Ley’s video! The pages are thick and a great quality. The cover is durable too. I love the way the daily is spiral bound so you can flip back the cover and previous pages when writing (great for us left handed peeps!)

How I Plan My Week:

Each Sunday I check my monthly spread and transfer any appointments or meetings to the corresponding day. I plan out the meals for the week, and begin writing out my daily to do lists. My goal is to simplify my life right?! Since each day has it’s own to do list, it’s much easier to break up my usually long weekly list into more manageable daily tasks. I can write down what I want to accomplish for each day of the week ahead of time and don’t have to worry about it until the day of! Clearing mental clutter! After doing this for three months now, I can tell it’s made a huge difference! I can’t complete a long to do list everyday! My expectations were set high and I was getting frustrated with myself. All I need is 3 or 4 tasks to focus on per day! Progress not perfection!

I love Emily Ley and what she stands for. Creating resources to make our lives easier and able to spend more time doing the things we love and being with people we love! You should also check our her book, Grace Not Perfection! It is an AWESOME read!

Now for those who are wondering, why spend all that money on a planner or do I have to use this specific one to get organized?! Absolutely not!! You don’t have to have the Simplified Planner to stay organized and live a simple life. Yes it is a great resource, but you can start right now making those life changes.

Here are 3 easy ways to simplify your tasks!

  1. Have ONE central location for your calendar and to do lists. That can be a planner, notebook, wall calendar, iCal, or phone! This helps prevent having your thoughts and lists scattered about!  
  2. SMALLER to do lists. Let me say this again SMALLER LISTS! This is a tough one, but you have to be realistic. Breaking up your to do list allows your day to become manageable. Each day have your top 3 things you want to accomplish before you go to sleep, complete those, and anything else you get done is icing on the cake!
  3. Lastly, post the FUN! In the Simplified Planner there is a space to write down a happy memory from the week. I love this! Record birthdays, anniversaries, special milestones, and fun adventures you are taking with loved ones! It is the reason why you are simplifying! 🙂

I could go on and on about how I have started simplifying my life! Leave a comment if you would like to see more posts like this! I would love to hear from you!



*Note: This is not a sponsored review of The Simplified Planner