Being Happy in Love

I will be the first person to stand up and give props to someone who is just ready to let go of a relationship. Any relationship. A relationship with a family member like your mother, father, brother, daughter, son, grandmother, etc. A relationship with your best friend that you’ve known since 1st grade. A relationship with a significant other. No person is bound to any relationship no matter what kind of promises you’ve made or contracts you’ve signed. If it’s time to go – even if for the simplest and simultaneously the most complex reason of you’re just not happy in that relationship anymore – you can go.

For me, leaving is the easiest thing. Running away is my instinct. Avoiding the conflict. Just waiting for it to all go away so I don’t have to deal. That comes naturally for me.

Staying. Fighting. Confronting the mess. Living in the muck and mire. Finding healing within all the hurt. Those things are incredibly hard.

Love is not something you fall into or out of. It’s not a hole you accidentally collapse into. Love is something you choose or choose not to do. It’s your choice. I live by that. I breathe by that. I tattooed that on my arm – but even I sometimes forget that.

I once saw this post by Word Porn on Facebook that said something along the lines of, “Great love is not found, it’s made.” And that just also really resonated with me because it’s basically another way of saying that love is something you do and make … not something you can catch or lose. 

I know and swear by the idea that no one can make me happy except for myself.

When you hear a couple who have been together for a long period of time reflect upon their relationship – you will inevitably hear them talk about bad times they’ve been through. They will tell you how things got incredibly tough. They may say that there were years of tough times. And honestly, I just always glazed over comments like that. I just didn’t understand why you would live and go through something .. some vague circumstance that was so awful for the two of you  – yet you stuck it out. You’re still together. And things are better.

I think it’s because so often when talking about a romantic partnership, you let the romance part get in the way of the partnership part which is actually more important and what gives your relationship longevity.

The thing is we give our friendships so much more grace. We have friends that we’ve known for 10 or more years wherein there were some extremely rough patches, but we can look back on that and laugh and smile about how we’ve grown together and we’re still here together …everyday…living in, nurturing, and growing our friendship.

The generations of people who are my age (early 30’s) and down are experiencing committed relationships in such a different way than our parents or even our older brothers and sisters. We move in together years before we are even ready to talk about marriage. We have kids without a thought to future commitment to each other. We quickly and often times without thought or foresight establish a bond to each other financially and emotionally with very little concern for where it’s all going.

We’ve also got access to pretty much anyone we could want to be with. Geography and travel time no longer stand in our way. The internet has put the world at our fingertips and allowed us to easily establish and grow relationships that span oceans, continents, and time zones. There are no limits.

So then what? What do you do when you’ve made these great leaps of faith just to be with this human being you felt you couldn’t live without? What do you do when you move in together after three months of dating, mainly because it was just the most logical and reasonable thing to do in the face of the money you were spending on an apartment you never stayed in anymore? What do you do when you find yourself married to someone just so that they can live where you live and you can be together? What do you when years have passed and now you’ve got this whole life and family together that just kind of happened along the way?

What do you do if you made one of those decisions, but now…now you’re not happy in love and you don’t know why?

You may have not made intentional plans for the way your relationship looks today.  You may not know what to do with each other so you lash out. You might just be tired and are searching for things that you think are making you happy.

Other people – other things – they will not make you happy. YOU have to decide to be happy in the place that you are standing. YOU have to do things to make yourself happy. Sometimes that’s as easy as changing your perspective…getting a different view…letting go.

But sometimes – it’s harder than that. Sometimes it’s realizing that you love your life and the people you share it with. The person you share it with…and knowing that they feel the same way. And then making yourself happy. Deciding to be happy. Moving past the hard stuff. Being hopeful of the future. Allowing yourself to see beyond all the ugly and hateful things. Choosing your words wisely. Speaking in love, not anger. Being kind.

Allow yourself to be happy. Stop exhausting yourself by searching for your happiness in other people. Acknowledging what’s standing right in front of you.

Just be happy. Intend to be happy in the everyday moments that make up your life. Nurture the partnerships you want to keep, and fit in as much romance as you can.

No one person can fulfill you forever and always. No one friend. No one significant other. You’ve got to admit and realize that before you can make yourself happy. Before you can be happy.  Before you can make great love. Before you can be happy IN love.


What We Wore Wednesday

Hey hey! It’s Wednesday and we are here showing you guys what we’ve been wearing. Why? For a little bit of accountability on our part – and to may inspire some style ideas for you guys!

Ashley –

Sweater: Target (this link is to the plus sized version – I can’t find it online in regular) Pants: Jordache Skinnies Earrings: N&S Black 

Cardigan: Target  (can’t find it online not in plus…but I know they still have it in my store in regular) Tank: Target Brallette: Target (no longer available) Pants: olddd…I don’t even remember from where I bought them!

Sweat Shirt: Target (not online ) Pants: Black Jeggings Earrings: N&S White Cut out

Rhonda –

Tee: Mixtape, coming soon. Leggings: Amazon. Cardigan: Super Old Old Navy. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.

Tee: Target. Jeans: Old Old Navy. Shoes: Target. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.

Tee: Mixtape, Coming soon.  Jeans: Old Navy, similar. Shoes: Converse. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.


Eat Happy: Goat Cheese Stuffed Mini Peppers

Welcome back to our Tuesday post, where we share our experience with cooking through the best cookbook on earth: Eat Happy! If you missed the intro post you can click on over here to read that.

We are starting with the very first recipe and working our way all the way through to the end. We will not be sharing with you the actual recipes that we cook, because you should be buying the book to support the author.  However, we will be telling you about our experience with the process, as well as our opinion of the outcome.  Let’s do this.

I was really excited to do this recipe.  I love cheesy anything and love working with mini peppers.  I underestimated this simple little gem though.

As usual, I had grocery shopping misadventures when preparing for this recipe.  There were NO regular bags of mini peppers left like I usually buy.  There was ONE bag of organic, which doesn’t have as many peppers but I had to just roll with it.  It left me wondering though, what in the fuck is happening mid-March that everyone needs peppers?!

After a WalMart, a Target, and a local grocery store, I still couldn’t find the specific goat cheese the recipe requires.  I had to stop in the grocery store to look up what’s so special about that cheese.  I discovered that it’s made creamy like a spread, instead of crumbled like the one I could find.  I decided to just roll with it.

The cheese was a little difficult to get into the peppers and had just as much all over my countertop, but it was fine.  They smelled absolutely DIVINE while they were cooking!

I didn’t realize until I pulled them out of the oven that I forgot fresh herbs, so I foraged around in my spice cabinet and emerged with my finest dried parsley.

Absolutely could not stop eating these and had to force myself to save 3 for Stuart to try.  100% will be making these again…soon.

My Cry Song

Almost everyone can say they have gotten emotional listening to a song before.  But…. can you say there is a song that has that effect on you every single time you hear it?

When Brett Young’s self-titled album came out last year, I loved every single fucking song on it, but…. “Olivia Mae” decided to just destroy me for the rest of my life.  It has made me full-on ugly cry or at least get a little misty every time I play it. It seriously pushes all my buttons. Let’s break it down and talk about why this one hits me so hard.

Olivia, may I get to know ya?
Buy you a coffee or a drink sometime next week
Olivia, maybe I could call you
Olivia, what do ya think?
Yeah, what do ya think?

[So far, so good.  Just a nice sentiment.  Buy a drink.  Sounds good.  Don’t call me though.  Just stick to texting, thanks.]

‘Cause Olivia Mae, I saw you standing there
Laughing, playing with your hair
Looking like you walked out of a dream [Oh.  So… he is seeing me and thinks I’m fucking beautiful and I had no idea.  So, like… I wasn’t even trying? Swoon.]
Olivia Mae, I hope it ain’t just me
From where I’m standing I can see
Us finding our own kind of meant to be
Maybe I’m wrong, maybe I’m right
But I just had to try [Wow, he’s thinking about these things?  I love a man who can admit to this.]
Olivia, may I?
Olivia, may I?

Olivia Mae, I’ve fallen for you [Oh.  Oh God.]
The past year with you has been the best year of my life
And Olivia Mae, I think I love you
And I hope that that’s alright [Wait, though?  It took a year to just THINK you love me?  Ugh, I’ll let it go.]
Tell me that’s alright

Oh, you’re not crying?  Damn it.  I guess it’s just me.

What We Wore Wednesday

Welcome back!  It’s Hump Day, or as we prefer to think of it, Wine Wednesday!  Every Wednesday, we give you a look at what we, real and unedited moms, wear.  We think it’s so important to see actual functional style from a couple of hot mess moms.


I am opening a boutique very soon, so I have new merchandise from that.  It’s been very exciting to know that I can outfit my closet with things I have hand selected from wholesalers.  And soon, you’ll be able to grab them too!  One is in this post!

Tank: Piper Lou. Jeans: D Jeans from Marshalls. Shoes: Converse. Jacket: Target, no longer available. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.

Dress: Mixtape Boutique, coming soon! Boots: Coconuts by Matisse. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.

Turtleneck: Amazon. Jeans: Old Navy, no longer available. Boots: KMart, old AF. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.


Listen peeps…I currently cannot find my computer so I’m doing this on my phone which is annoying AF to do. Like. Let’s not even talk about adding links too. So when I find my computer I’ll come back and add links. 😘

Shirt: Online Boutique (Gypsy Clothing) Earrings : N&S Leopard

Shirt: Old Navy Lucedale T Earrings : N&S Leopard

Buffalo Check Shirt : Walmart last year Striped Tank : Target Earrings : N&S Black

Eat Happy: Kale Chips & Deviled Eggs with Greek Yogurt

Hi there.  Welcome back! We’re doing a weekly series that publishes every Tuesday wherein we are cooking through one of our FAVE cookbooks : Eat Happy! If you missed the intro post you can click on over here to read that.

We are starting with the very first recipe and working our way all the way through to the end. We will not be sharing with you the actual recipes that we cook. We WILL be sharing our experience during the whole process and our opinion of the outcome. So thanks for stopping by…and let’s dive in to this week’s recipe shall we?

Today’s post is a joint effort. Rhonda is handling the Kale Chips and Ashley is going for the deviled eggs. 🙂

Rhonda –

I am no stranger to kale chips.  I hate the ones you can buy in the store, but have always enjoyed making them at home for a crispy snack.  When I looked over Anna’s recipe, I thought, cool… I just need to buy kale and White Balsamic Vinegar.  Easy, right?  LOL.

Truth be told, my kale chip experience was supposed to go up last week, but I have struggled to find the white balsamic.  I have gone to every store in my area.  I finally gave up and decided to use the regular balsamic that I have at home.


Listen, the recipe calls for washing and drying and cutting up a bunch of kale.  Ain’t nobody got time for that when the store sells it in giant bags already prepped.  I used to eat a lot of kale and I have never bought it in any other form.

One thing that makes cooking more enjoyable for me, along with having a drink and dancing to some loud music, is having cooking tools that I enjoy.  I recently got these copper pinch bowls at Target and am pretty much OBSESSED.  I also got a new set of measuring cups and spoons because we were missing so many.  That mixing bowl?  Yep, it’s new too because I never have any the size I need!

Anyway, these were quick to prep and they cooked in half the time, thanks to me using prepped kale.  The pieces are smaller than they would have been if I had used a bunch and cut it myself.

I have made kale chips probably 30 times, and loved them every time.  These were on another level though and I will absolutely be making them again.  I mean, I do have a giant prepped bag of kale to go through now.



Ashley –

Sooo, deviled eggs? Listen, I’m southern so I for sure love some deviled eggs. They’re like a staple in our diet around here. Granted – typically they are loaded with unnecessary things like cornbread or some other form of bread crumb BUT  we are still down with the deviled egg here in the south.

I baked my eggs instead of boiling them. Y’all – it’s so much easier. Thank you to Rhonda for introducing me to that life hack.

Besides the absence of some kind of grain being stuffed into these bad boys – Anna’s Deviled Eggs are missing that usual key deviled egg ingredient : mayonnaise.  If I had to admit any kind of apprehension when making these, it would be that I was for sure that without mayo these bad boys wouldn’t taste quite right.

I literally had an internal battle raging the entire time of… maaaaybe I could just put like a dollop of mayo in the mix. I repeatedly had to tell myself to trust Anna – cause she hasn’t let me down yet. 🙂  OH and the green onions. Cause I’m just not a raw onion (of any kind) fan. Again, I trusted Anna.

I ‘got fancy’ as Anna said and put my deviled egg filling in a zip lock baggie to dispense it into the egg halves. Why? In actuality, it was because that was way less messy than spooning it into each egg half. Also, I may or may not – ok actually I did – eat some of the filling straight from the zip lock bag when I was finished filling all my eggs. It’s so good man. So good. I didn’t even miss the mayo! Nor did I mind the green onions. I was shook.

Now, because I’m from the south I couldn’t resist sprinkling the filled eggs with some kind of red spice. Typically people use paprika – I like things real spicy so I grabbed some chili powder. To be fair, I did taste one without the chili powder and it was delicious. 🙂 So good – and so good for you cause there’s no pesky grains or sugars added to these babies.


If you want to read through our other Eat Happy posts…I’ve got them all lined up for ya!

Eat Happy: Cheese Biscuits

Eat Happy: Sausage Stuffed Mushroom

Eat Happy: Tzatziki Dip & Almond Meal Pita Chips

Eat Happy: Super Guac! & Smoked Salmon w/ Coconut Flour Blini

Eat Happy: Prosciutto Wrapped Peaches & Cheese Crisps

Life Lately

Welcome back to another review of what we’ve been up to.  Is the time change killing you today?  It’s a struggle over here for sure.

Let’s get on with it.


Life has been pretty good to me lately.  I have been able to enjoy life a little more, while still accomplishing things.  I got to check a concert off my extensive with list when Stuart and I went to see Brett Young.  It was amazing. as I expected.

The weather has been really nice and warm (until a cold front came through yesterday) so we have spent a lot of time out front playing.  I decided to take advantage of all the time I was having to spend out there watching the kids and give our front porch a makeover.  I can’t wait to show y’all what I did.  I am almost finished and will do a post about it.

I was so excited to spend time with some of our favorite people this past weekend, when we went to Wyatt’s birthday party.  Wyatt’s family is our favorite and this was our first time to go out to their farm.

My outdoor lovers had a great time running around outside without fear of being hit by a car.  We drank a little (a lot) and just enjoyed the company of our besties.

Most excitingly, I got much closer to launching my new online boutique!  My inventory has started arriving and it’s been fun to dress myself from my own store!  Stay tuned for all the info on this new business for sure.


Hey y’all hey! What’s been going on in my neck of the woods? Not to much beyond just enjoying the everyday with my littles and family. Until recently, the weather has also been nice in South Mississippi – so we have been able to enjoy the outdoors a lot.

Work is work and school is school lately. I honestly am pretty boring this life lately post….sooo I’ll just leave you with some pictures and go with that!

Mommy and Sophie beach trip one day while Coop was at school. Don’t tell him we went. 😉

Oh you know, just a bad guy mask Coop developed himself. We live in a state of constant “gunfire” and having to come up with “missions” for him to accomplish.

That? Well that’s a little swimming pool made out of a fire pit with some bubbles for good measure. 😉

Chick – Fil – A with Grammy and Ppop!

Anddd one of the many playground park adventures these two take part in.

What have YOU guys been up to?

Ashley’s Top 5 Must Have Sandals

My absolute favorite thing is to slip on a pair of sandals after having had to confine my toes to closed toe shoes for the two bitter weeks of winter that we typically get down here in South Mississippi. It’s rough man. I love living in a warmer climate. I like swimming through air so rich in humidity that you can feel the moisture on your skin. Winter air is terrible for my dry lizard skin, and my naturally cold cold feet. SO, when those blessed 70-80 degree temps return – I am overjoyed to get my feet in a pair of sandals.

Why am I telling you this? Well, in honor of the approaching Spring/Summer weather headed our way – I thought I’d share with you my top picks for some sandal staples you should get in your closet asap.

Women’s Mala Shield Espadrille Wedge Sandals – Universal Thread™

I actually already bought this sandal which is why I feel like it is worthy of making the list. Yeah, it’s pretty high, but they are actually super comfortable. I didn’t wear them hiking or anything – but for a normal the day to day life of an office worker or a warm and breezy summer afternoon day date – these guys would be perfect.

Women’s Michaela Block Heel Quarter Strap Sandals – Who What Wear™

Now, these beauties – I do not own, but will shortly. The block heel is so so hot right now. If you don’t own a pair of shoes with this block heel, what are you doing with your life?? Seriously though, I think these would be great for nights out with your best girls for some dranks and dancing.

***edit: I didn’t realize that these are unavailable for shipping and sold out in most locations…so I found some similar on the Nordstrom Website. They are definitely more expensive – but super cute and almost identical look.**

Women’s Maribella Toe Wrap Gladiator Sandal – Universal Thread™

These little pretties also already have taken up residence in my closet. I love them. I’ve worn them several times. I think you need a classic but cute pair of flat sandals that are versatile and can go with several different outfits.

Women’s Kerina Leather Braided Heeled Huarache Sandals – Merona™

I really think that the design of these sandals are another classic staple. That braided leather detail is everything.

Women’s dv Kylisa Two Band Slide Sandal

And last, but certainly not least – a pair of slides are essential in your sandal collection. Sometimes you just want/need to be able to quickly slip into your shoes and hit the road, or go check the mail, or bring the garbage can in from the road, or run out to the car for something you forgot in it. Slides are important, but definitely don’t fall into the rubber flip flop trap. These particular slides will give you the convenience of a rubber flip flop but will leave you looking a little more put together.

Anddd that is it y’all – do you revamp your shoe choices for each season? What is your must-have sandal for Spring and Summer?

What We Wore Wednesday

What up you guys? It’s Wednesday, and we are here to show you all the things (well some of the things) we put on our bodies this week. Why? For some accountability on our parts. You know, to try and get us to mix things up from day to day – not get stuck in the rut of wearing the same ole thing since we know we will be posting it here. And maybe to give you guys some style inspiration. 🙂

Sooo, happy Hump Day – and let’s get to the outfits!

Ashley –

Cardigan: Kohl’s [can’t find it online…also I should have ironed down the pockets, they are giving me extra bulges I don’t actually have] T-Shirt: Old Navy Pants: Black Jeggings Choker: Target (not available) Earrings: N&S Silver Gem

Shirt: Target Clearance (not available) Earrings: N&S Black

Jacket: Drunk impulse buy from Ross in TX LOL T-Shirt: Old Navy Pants: Jordache skinny jeans Earrings: N&S Black Cut Out

Rhonda –

Top: AmazonJeans: Target, not available. Boots: Amazon. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.

Top: Target clearance, not available. Jeans: D Jeans from Marshall’s. Shoes: Converse. Jacket: Target, style no longer available. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.

Dress: Amazon. Kimono: Hope’s. Fishnets: Local “adult” store. Boots: Amazon. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.

Tee: Ross. Jeans: Old Navy, not available. Shoes: Target. Cardigan: Target. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.


Wise man Gavin DeGraw once said, “Sometimes the only way is jumping, I hope you’re not afraid of heights.”  It has stuck with me for the last fifteen years since the song “Meaning” came out.  It’s just true – you have to take a leap at times.

In the last couple of weeks, I have taken leap after leap after leap.  It’s scary, but it’s how I live my life in a way that I can be happy and not sit around wondering what could have happened.  Last week, I surprised Stuart by booking our wedding venue and today, I pulled the trigger on a new business.  It was extremely scary, but I know it’s the only way to feel like I am doing all I can.  I can’t say that something is my dream and then not take steps toward it.  It doesn’t work that way.

Dreams come true with a lot of hustle and heart, and those are two things I certainly have.  I look forward to telling you all about this new adventure… as soon as I can get my ex-husband to fix my technical difficulties, because that is not my strong suit!

When was the last time you did something extremely scary AND life-changing?