What We Wore Wednesday

Here we are again, to show you what we’ve been wearing lately.  We would love some comments and feedback from you all… what do you like?  Do you get any inspiration from these posts?  Do you own any of the same pieces?  Do you also do a lot of shopping at Target?  HA!

Rhonda-

This week, I feel like doing something a little different.  I am going to give some backstory or narrative behind the picture or items in the outfits.

The mess is my office was a result of Claudia’s gifts piling up and me crafting some wall decor for the room.  

Top: Mixtape. Jeans: Old Navy Rockstar, this style no longer available. Shoes: Target. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.

I know, you can’t see much on this dress, but I’ve posted it before.  TBH, I only included these pictures because I rarely wear necklaces and I liked that my Grandma’s necklace that I only wear on holidays (Easter in this instance) is front and center.  Oh, and that LIP COLOR.  Swoon.

Dress: Mixtape. Earrings: Nickel & Suede. Necklaces: (top to bottom) FabFitFun Summer 2017 | Amazon | Family Heirloom.

So, I got dressed to run errands, then noticed when I went into my office to take a picture that my tee had a mustard stain.  Tied up the kimono to cover it.  Also, you will notice I wear Old Navy jeans a LOT and often they are no longer available.  That is because they last FOREVER and I wear them to death.

Tee: Target. Kimono: Hope’s, not currently available. Jeans: Old Navy, this style no longer available. Shoes: Target. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.

 

Ashley –

Shirt: Old Stitch Fix Earrings: N&S Signature Gold

Sweat Shirt: Target (no longer available) Earrings: N&S Champagne Shimmer

Shirt: Walmart Earrings: N&S Leopard

And just like that, she is four

How has a year gone by since I got all emotional about Claudia turning three?   Somehow, it flew by and here we are.

I won’t go through all the history behind Claudia’s existence, as I did that last year.  Instead, let’s just look at who she is today.

  • She could literally play Barbies all day, with her tablet acting as the big screen TV.  Best of both worlds – screen time and imaginative play.
  • She loves junk food and healthy food equally.  Her ideal meal would probably be bacon, eggs, and pickles with a side of cupcake and sugary yogurt.
  • She’s the sassiest.  I know everyone calls their daughters sassy…but this girl is like nothing I have ever seen.  She is always rolling her eyes, prancing with her hands on her hips, or flipping her hair.  Her attitude scares me, but she got it from me so I choose to just believe it will cause her to be a strong woman someday – just like her mama.
  • She loves her brothers like crazy.  I know, I know.  All siblings love each other.  But this girl loves to hang out with them and tell them all her secrets – and they do the same with her.  I never knew siblings like this existed.
  • She is incredibly social with NO anxiety at all.  In that way, she is very different from me, and it’s a strength that I am so glad she has.
  • Despite the fact that her father and I have intentionally raised all our kids to ignore gender roles and stereotypes and go their own way, she chooses the route of pink-and-purple-glitter-and-crushes-and-dresses-thank-you-very-much.

Her party was supposed to be this past Saturday, on her birthday, but due to all the sickness in our home, we had to push it back by a week.  She is perfectly happy to drag her celebrations out, so no complaints from her!  We spent her birthday doing mom and daughter stuff, running errands, and eating cupcakes.  We will have a unicorn party in a few days to wrap up her celebration!  I can’t imagine life without her and, in some ways, I celebrate her every day.

 

 

 

Cooper is FIVE

If you’re a regular reader you’ve seen me remark from time to time over the past couple of months about how I couldn’t believe that my baby boy was going to turn five this year. And now…just a few short months into 2018 we are here on his birthday with an official five year old. I just can’t believe how quickly time passes when you measure it against the aging of your children. I’m going to be melodramatic about it today, so I thought maybe you guys would indulge me a bit while I spend a couple hundred words talking about my freshly turned five year old. 🙂

Cooper with his dad. 🙂

I had so many ideas of what parenthood would look like. I was for sure one of those judgy non parents who thought she had it all figured out. The thing is I was pretty much wrong about 97% of all those pre parenthood ideas. These little human beings that we make and then proceed to raise are their own people. They are born with personalities and agendas that have nothing to do with the way we pictured things unfolding. I’m grateful for that though. And I’m so grateful for this little boy that I get to call my own. He’s my first born. He made me a Mommy. He’s been the one who taught me how to be parent and how not to be parent.

It’s crazy to think he’s been here five years already. It’s unbelievable that just five short years ago he made his entrance into the world at 3:30 am. He came unexpectedly about a week and a half before his due date which is too funny because Cooper doesn’t really care for unplanned life events. 🙂 His dad and I were scared to death. Neither one of us were really “kid people”. Neither one of us had held a baby that young. Neither one of us had changed a diaper. Neither one of use had ANY clue of what we were getting ourselves into – but both of us agree that he has made us better people and made our lives more rich – more full – more exciting – and more worthwhile.

Some things about our boy?

  • Cooper is one of the most…ok maybe THE MOST stubborn person I know. Everything has to happen in his time. It has to be his idea. Otherwise? It’s not happening. Whatever it is. You could want to take him to Chuck E Cheese, but if he’s not ready…he doesn’t want to do it.
  • Cooper has got a phenomenal memory. This child remembers things from when he was under a year old that I have even forgotten about until he brings it up. My sister and I were just talking about how he for sure will never let her live down that one time she was babysitting and thought she’d poured tea into his sippey cup, but she’d actually poured some cold brew coffee in his cup and insisted that he drink it. LOL
  • Coop is so incredibly thoughtful and sweet and he loves wide open. He loves fearlessly and passionately. On the flip side? He does the opposite of those things pretty dang passionately as well. 🙂
  • He doesn’t put any priority on sleep and bounds out of the bed before the sun comes up on most days. I should say – sleep in his bed. A longish car ride will knock him out it .2 seconds flat.
  • He is loving playing video games and also has this wonderful imagination for coming up with play scenarios that often involve the adults around him.
  • He had a rough time transitioning to starting Pre K 4 from being at home all day with his grandparents, but we are astounded daily now with the leaps and bounds in progress he’s made.
  • He talks NON STOP. Like literally. He’s always got something to say and he knows it all. When you ask him where he learned something he’s talking about, he will say “Nowhere. I just thought it up!”
Cooper with his great grandmother – aka Mimi – from whom he gets his middle name which is her maiden name.

I could go on and on, but I’ll stop here and just say that I’m so proud to call him my son and am grateful for every moment I get to call him mine.

Love you Cooper Grice Catchot!

And if you want to read more about Coop, turns out I’ve written about him a time or two before this. 😉

Cooper is Four

Speech – Cooper’s Journey

The Often Untold Story about Preschool Drop-off

5 Things We Learned on our Journey to Pre-K

Let Him Wear a Bow

When One Becomes Two

 

(Tell Me Something) Good Friday

It’s Fri-Yay!  Good Friday, in particular.  Maybe for you, that means a sacred day, a day off work, or business as usual.  For us, it’s a lead-up to Easter (which, for the most part, is a celebration of spring around here and not a religious holiday).  We thought it would be fun today to bring you a list of good things about this time of year!*

*If you’re wondering what could possibly be bad about Spring, I present to you my friends Seasonal Allergies and Bugs, for starters*

1. Wardrobe updates.  This is the time of year when it’s necessary and more comfortable to sport shorter hemlines and sleeves, airy fabrics, and (mostly if you’re Rhonda) brighter patterns.  Who doesn’t love an excuse to go shopping?

2. Extended outdoors time.  With more daylight, we are transitioning into a time where kids can just run out alllll the pent-up energy on into the evening.  Parents everywhere, rejoice!  Entertainment now becomes less digital and, more importantly, less your responsibility.

3. Skin that is no longer translucent.  Now that people can be outside more frequently and for longer periods, the skin can gain a little color.  We aren’t talking Tanorexia here, but just a natural flush to the skin.  Amen.

4. Alll the blooming flowers. I just love seeing pretty flowers pop up randomly. Azaleas are one of my favorite to see come to life. These little pretties just consume and cover their bushes. How can you NOT smile when flowers start to bloom?

5. Sun dresses.  Goodbye pants and winter tights. HELLO easy breasy sun dresses. Who doesn’t love the ease of throwing on one piece of clothing that makes you look put together and is incredibly cool and comfortable? We love them for ourselves and for our little girls.

6. Sandal Life.  Searching around for matching pairs of socks is one of the biggest annoyances and bummers when you’re trying to get ready in the morning. Waking up on any given morning in the spring and knowing that the weather is going to be perfect for sandals is such a relief.

7. Beach Trips.  Any trip to the beach is something that we definitely look forward to during Spring. Spontaneous weekday trips to the beach for Ashley. Planned beach trips to Orange Beach, AL for Rhonda. We love it all. Beach Please.

8. Light and Fresh Foods.  While there’s never a bad time to eat a loaded-up salad or some grilled veggies, some of the healthiest and yummy foods are in heavy rotation for most people this time of year.  Grilling a juicy steak or burger and pairing with some fresh fruits and vegetables?  Don’t mind if we do!

9. Yes way, Rosè. Pink wine.  We’re here for it and we don’t even care if it’s Basic and cliché.  Sometimes, so are we.

What would make YOUR list?

When Loss finds you Unexpectedly

This morning I packed up cookies for my almost five year old to take to school so that he could share them with his classmates in celebration of his upcoming birthday that will occur while their school is on Spring Break next week.

This morning his dad and I spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to get his almost five year old brain to wrap around the concept that yes today is not his birthday but he is just going to CELEBRATE it with his school friends. And yes we are STILL having a birthday party at the trampoline park, because he was very concerned about wanting them all to have fun.

This morning was full of conversations about celebrating his birth.

This morning – the very last thing I expected my mom to say when she called me while I sat in the Starbucks Drive thru lane was to tell me that my Pawpaw had passed away.

I never expected to be slapped in the face with a reminder of the fragility of life. I never expected to be mentally taken back to last Thursday when my own dad was in the ICU with a brain bleed facing possible surgery and being scared of all the worst possible outcomes.

I never expected after that and only a short week later that he’d be struggling with his  own recovery and then have the death of his father piled on top.

Things are still fresh and messy and complicated in my head – but I’m writing because that helps to sort things out.

I’m just thinking about how we can’t take for granted all the little moments that make up our lives. And we for sure can’t take for granted the ones we’ve chosen to spend those moments with.

I spent a lot of time today thinking about my Pawpaw and the moments that come to mind when I think of him.

My Pawpaw served and retired from the United States Air Force. When I think of a soldier, I think of him.

My Pawpaw was an extremely religious man. When I think of church on Sundays. When I think of long wooden pews and hymnals. When I think of the beginning of my childhood experiences with the community and extended family that belonging to a church brings, I think of him.

My Pawpaw used to do this thing where he’d threaten to ‘mute’ me with his TV remote, because I was a chatty kid – especially when he was trying to enjoy a show. When my kids are talking over my latest Netflix obsession, I think of my Pawpaw.

My Pawpaw was never afraid to try a new hobby. In my lifetime? He had horses, hunting dogs, several boats, scooters and then motorcycles, and always all kinds of new technology. When I think of jumping in head first into something you’re interested in, I think of my Pawpaw.

And then just a million other childhood memories, that flashed in my head throughout the day today.

So. Just love on your loved ones today. Be present in the moments that make up your life. Value the people that are there with you in those moments.

 

 

 

What We Wore Wednesday

Welcome back, y’all!  Every week we post some of the outfits we’ve worn over the past week (specifically, the ones we remembered to take pictures of).  Maybe you’ll see where to buy the perfect white t-shirt you’ve been looking for, maybe you’ll get an idea on how to style a top you have.  Maybe you’ll never read this again because we wear the same things over and over.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Rhonda-

Look, I have one outfit.  ONE.  First of all, I spent two days driving.  Enough said about that.  Then I came home sick as a dog.  So.  You get what you get.  Good news is, it’s not one I’ve posted before!

Top: Mixtape Boutique, coming soon! Cage bra: Amazon. Leggings: Custom made for my ridiculously tiny legs. Boots: Amazon (do not purchase unless you also have bird legs.  They are tight at the top, even on me!).

Ashley –

I have two outfits…and no valid excuses. LOL

Chambray Top: OLD Target [similar] Pants: Black Jeggings [similar] Earrings: N&S Leopard

Top: MixTape Boutique [coming soon!] Pants: Denizen Jeggings  Earings: N&S Leopard

 

Eat Happy: Broccoli Dip

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?


Sooo this week I made Anna’s Broccoli Dip, and let me just tell you that liking broccoli is not required to like this dip. Cause ya know…per usual – I don’t really care for broccoli. It’s honestly really just a texture thing. All those little balls… I just don’t care for a bunch of tiny balls in my mouth. It reminds of grits. I never like grits for that very reason.

But yeah – enough ball talk. Let’s get to the dip!

Dips are my fave. I love a dip. I could eat a dip for an entire meal. In fact, I did that with this dip.

I did have some mishaps while making this dip which actually have nothing to do with the dip itself, just me needing to get my life together. Want to indulge me and let me rant for a bit? I mean. Thank goodness this is a one sided conversation, because I’m gonna do it anyway. 😉

  • Obviously this is Wednesday…and these posts are supposed to go up on Tuesdays. Can we say blogger fail?
  • Broccoli seriously stinks when you steam it. Like my whole house smelled terrible. HOWEVER, I am super glad it stunk because I went to throw out the offending left over broccoli florets and remembered that I had forgotten to take the trash to the curb! So I mean, thank you Anna for helping me to remember to get that full trash can out.
  • Instead of pre mincing my shallot before throwing it in the food processor, I just threw it in there and let the food processor do the work. People. Then my house smelled like raw onion and steamed broccoli. Not a great combination. I lived through it though and got a delicious dip as a result.
  • Prior to getting this post up, I got hit with one of those “throw everything out, clean everything up” moods. Like, I couldn’t function unless I went through the fridge and pantry, mopped my floors, got all the sheets and blankets stripped from the bed for washing….etc. I almost slipped and busted my ass on my freshly mopped floors. So that was fun.

So ANYWAY – despite all those things I made it here to my computer with the most yummy broccoli dip I have ever tasted. I had planned on sharing this with my mom….but it may not make it to work tomorrow. Sorry mom! 🙂

It’s super easy to whip up. Mine turned out more green than the one pictured in Eat Happy, but I kind of like it that way. I thought about how it would make a cute festive Christmas Holiday dip since it was so green. I also added some chili flakes to the top for a little more heat. As Anna suggested in Eat Happy, this dip would be great with fresh veggies, but all I had on hand were pork rinds which are also serving as the perfect vessel for this dip!

So good.  You guys so need to purchase this book and make this dip! It is seriously yummy and seriously good for you. Why? Cause: no sugars and no grains! 🙂 🙂

Thanks for stopping by today!


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

Eat Happy: Goat Cheese Stuffed Mini Peppers

Eat Happy: Kale Chips & Deviled Eggs with Greek Yogurt

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

Hey hey! Every other Monday we spend a little time catching you guys up on what’s been going on in each of our lives.

Ashley –

Hmm… I always have to look back through the pictures I’ve taken and take a glance at the calendar to remember exactly what I’ve spent the past two weeks doing. LOL

We celebrated two birthdays: my brother’s on the 12th and mine on the 21st. Shane turned 25, and I turned 33. I actually can’t believe he is only 25, because I feel like he’s got his life together in ways that far surpass most people of his age…or even most people older than him. I’m a pretty proud big sister. 🙂 I mean, can I just take a few moments to brag on him? This kid went to college after high school, then immediately got a full time job wherein he has been incredibly successful. He’s already bought a house, and he is an amazing uncle to my kids. He is thoughtful and generous and always willing to help when you ask him to.  We just think he’s the best. 🙂

As for me? I mean…I’m a work in progress – I feel really good about 33 though. 🙂

Let’s seee what else? Coop has been doing great at school. We’ve been seeing some fluctuation in behavior according to the color chart that gets sent home each day in his folder but that’s normal. He just started learning how to write his last name and we are super impressed by his progress. 🙂

Sophie also likes to talk about ‘what color she got for the day’ – even though she’s not actually getting colors. She’s gotta do whatever big brother is doing..of course.

A major thing that happened last Thursday morning..my dad scared the crap out of all of us when he got dizzy and fell and hit the back of his head – ending up in the ICU.  🙁  He’s getting better now which is a major relief.

Anddd I got to see Rhonda this past Friday night. She was down on the coast for a hair color update…so we did our usual and spent Friday night at the Chill Bar in the IP Casino. It was so much fun!

Rhonda –

Like Ashley, I find myself on Life Lately days staring at my camera roll and trying to figure out just where the last 2 weeks went.

I tell you though, for the most part I have been soaking up life.  The weather has been great and, with the time change, the sunset sometimes doesn’t occur until Stuart is home to enjoy it with us.  It’s been lovely to check it out from the front porch.

The relaxing on the porch hasn’t been without work, though.  During the day, I’ve been busting my ass so that I can launch my boutique a week from today!

I got to have time with some of my best girlfriends in the last couple of weeks.  I had a Girls Night Out with my local besties.  We went to the Stockyards on a very stormy night and had a freaking blast.

This past weekend, I went on a super quick trip to Mississippi to get my hair done.  I squeezed in a night out with Ashley before hitting the road extremely sick.

I originally thought I was hungover, except I was hit with a fever, body aches, and extreme chest pain and congestion.  That made for a fun ride home!

What have y’all been up to?

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.