Weekend Ruminations {August 5 -7}

Happy Monday!

I am back from the beach and back to the office.  A quick weekend away is never enough but I can’t wait to get back down to the outer banks in two weeks for a longer vacay!  Here is a quick look at the weekend by the sea…

weekend ruminations August 5 - 7, 2016

My sister and I started an annual ‘Sister’s Weekend’ in Duck, NC a few years back and I was looking forward to a few days away with her all summer.  We packed the fridge with our favorite drinks and all the appetizers and cheese we could find at Trader Joes!

weekend ruminations August 5 - 7, 2016

That night we tested out the local Uber and went exploring (definitely a new adventure for us… we are usually homebodies at the beach).  The friendly drivers and delicious margaritas were so worth it!

weekend ruminations August 5 - 7, 2016

I have a few orders coming in for customized t-shirts for some friends so I thought I would play around with some techniques and made a few shirts for me and Beth to wear at the beach.  This lime one may be my favorite!

Now time to finish the laundry that I didn’t finish when I got home Sunday!  Hope you have a wonderful week!


Weekend Ruminations – July 2016

Happy Monday!

The weekend is never quite long enough! So let’s reminisce on the weekend and pretend it’s not over just yet!

Friday at work was a day I have been looking forward to all year. I put together a summer concert series for the city I work in and this Friday’s band was a definite favorite! The Deloreans are a local 80’s cover band and boy do they put on a phenomenal show! Things went smoothly (despite the 90 + degree weather and lack of breeze) and everyone seemed to have a great time!

Weekend Ruminations July 2016
Saturday I got to spend the day with my best friend, Holly, and her sweet new baby boy Everett! Holly and her husband recently bought a home in Maryland but this weekend she was back home in Virginia Beach to visit family and I took full advantage for some baby snuggles.

Weekend Ruminations July 2016
It was a weekend of stormy weather with the best sunsets, and Sunday we spent a lazy day complete with Mexican, margaritas and a red box movie night!

Weekend Ruminations July 2016

Now we are back and ready for the week ahead!

Simple Baby Gift Ideas

The spring and summer for us has been a baby boom. Little ones are popping up left and right we can’t help but spoil them. If you are like me and bouncing between throwing baby showers and attending “sprinkles” (baby showers for the second baby, or third… or fourth) it is sometimes hard to find a new gift idea. While shopping off the registry is always appreciated, I usually like to add in a little extra gift from me. My current go to has been made-by-hand baby blankets, but sometimes there are not enough hours in the day and I need a sweet gift to grab and go! Here is a little round up of perfect gifts for any little one coming soon!

Simple Baby Gift Ideas

1. Diapers! Always a necessity and with companies like Honest, you can even give gift cards for new parents to get just the size they need.

2. Sophie the Giraffe. This little creature is a baby whisperer and seems to be adored by any little human she encounters! She is soft, rubbery and super cute.

3. Baby Gym. A cute little play center to keep baby occupied. Love this one from Ikea, no batteries needed.

4. Hooded Towel. You can find this bath accessory in all kinds of animal styles.

5. Play mat. A cute alternative to a blanket for little ones to lay on on the ground. Mom and dad can add a little loop on the top so baby’s mat can be hung on the wall when not in use.

6. Baby bandannas. These super soft bandannas are the perfect bib to add a little style to drool happy babies.

7. Books. Wether it’s a book that was special to the gift giver when they were little, or a sweet story new parents will loving reading to their little, you can never go wrong with books!

What is one of your go-to baby gift ideas?

And, just because she is too cute, the newest little to our family, my sweet niece Abigail rocking her little baby bandanna (c/o Zoozik)…baby abigail 06.2016

Herb Garden Tags

My skills in the garden are definitely lacking (err.. nonexistent) but I have a wonderful husband who is very skilled in that department. This years gardening is overflowing with delicious veggies and he even added a smaller herb garden on the porch that is flourishing.

Brandon let me pick out which plants to add to the porch planter and I was excited to add some dill (for my favorite fish recipe), basil, cilantro and lavender. He planted it all and tasked me to make tags to mark the different plants.

I grabbed some chalkboard tags on hand so I attempted to write out each herbs name but was not liking how my print was looking with the chalk-paint markers (total type-a personality shining through). I had some vinyl I had received from angel craft on hand so I decided to take a few extra moments, write out the names on paper with a favorite marker, scan in the handwritten print and use my silhouette curio to cut out the print on vinyl. A few extra steps, but the results were just what I was looking for. With the vinyl I was able to use different colors for each herb and the vinyl will weather much better than paint markers. I am loving the results!


Herb Tags

Lavendar Herb Tag

Weekend Ruminations June

Oh today was a Monday in every way that people hate Mondays!

But now I am home, the house is clean and I am ready to grab a glass of wine and take a long bath (thanks to H-Set for the perfect bath mat to making soaking in the tub just right… no bum slipping!)

Weekend Ruminations June 2016

First, a quick weekend recap before I let the day slip away!

Friday, I had the day off work so while Brandon was out working, I attempted some DIY house cleaners.  All epic fails and I have come to the realization that the  price to buy the cleaners is so worth it!   When Brandon got home we ordered some pizzas, grabbed some movies and had a night in.

Saturday was a busy day while I spoke at a conference and Brandon helped his parents around their house so we determined Sunday was going to be just for us.  We decided to head to a concert series at the Winery.  It was a beautiful day so we took the ferry, which neither of us had done before, to Williamsburg.  It was an easy trip and we made it to the concert, got a glass of wine and grabbed our seats before Ben Rector took the stage.  Simple Plan followed and oh my did my high school memories came flooding back!  The crowd was great, wine delicious and sun was shining bright.  A new experience and one we want to do again next year.

We wandered around the winery then headed back home to get ready for the week ahead!  A few pictures from our little adventure!

Weekend Ruminations June 2016

Weekend Ruminations June 2016

Weekend Ruminations June 2016

Lovely Jewelry {& a giveaway}

I am currently obsessed with delicate jewelry.  It can add the perfect touch to a bold print or complete a simple, sophisticated look.  So I was excited to find the great pieces that the lovely ladies at A-list Greek have.  Not only do they have beautiful jewelry to show off your sorority pride (woo hoo Alpha Gamma Delta) but you can personalize pieces to fit you best!

A list Greek Necklace

Whether you’re buying a gift for your new little or picking a sorority piece for yourself to wear around campus, be sure to check out all the great things A-list Greek has to offer!

I picked this delicate rose-gold bar necklace with Brandon and I’s initials and find myself wearing it everyday.

A List Greek Necklace

Want a bar necklace or bracelet for yourself, A-list Greek is offering one Simply Styled Emily readers one of their own!  Click below for a great giveaway from Simply Styled Emily and  A-list Greek giveaway today!  (contest ends June 10, be sure to enter today)
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Weekend Ruminations

It was a dreary and wet weathered weekend here but still lent itself to a nice relaxing weekend.

My event was cancelled on Saturday due to the no stop rain (will we ever dry out?!) so after checking the park conditions and make my ten billion cancellation phone calls I treated myself to a Target trip (and oh was it a good one!). A cancelled event also meant I was now free on Saturday evening to attend my sweet friend, Jana’s, 30th birthday dinner.

Home Brew Pub


We had dinner at the new Home Republic Brew Pub at the oceanfront in Virginia Beach then went to a little dive bar down the road to hear a friend’s band play. A great night with some great friends I had not seen in a while!


Sunday I stopped by my sister’s house to say hi.  We spent the afternoon catching up and playing an intense game of Uno with my nephews.  Then it was back home for some Sunday cleaning and prepping for the week ahead.   We are looking forward to a 3 day weekend coming up and the official kick off of the summer season!

Starwars Nephew

I mean, doesn’t everyone need a good trooper mask for Sunday Funday?!

Just had to mention this adorable necklace I have been loving lately (did you the instagram post). Can’t wait to share a fun give away with the lovely ladies at A-List Greek this Friday!  Stop by their shop and see all their great pieces!

A List Greek Necklace

Thirty on Thursday (week 1)

I thought I would start a weekly post to keep up to date on my Thirty by Thirty list!

Now this week has been about prepping to start tackling these fun new things so nothing has been crossed off just yet!

But tomorrow, I head to the hair dresser for # 10 – Dye My Hair!  Such a silly one, I know, but I have wanted to dye my hair for a long time but had this deep rooted fear that I would end up with ‘hooker orange’ hair!  After a tragic experience getting a “body wave”(which ended up as full blown perm) I have been a bit hesitant on doing anything new!

So I have been scouring google to find looks I like.  Now it won’t be anything crazy just some highlights to lighten up my hair (and cover the grays!).  Here is the current favorite!



I have also started my attempt at Learning a New Language – # 2!  I stopped by the local library and picked up a CD French lesson set.  I have a 45 minute commute to work and thought the best way to be productive is to use my time wisely.  I am one lesson in and well…  je ne parle pas Francais (i don’t speak French)!  But I am trying.  I will count this one completed when i finish the 8 lesson course (but I have already done the first lesson twice… it’s a little harder than I thought!)

2 learn a new language

So cheers to the weekend ahead and accomplishing more on my 30 by 30 list!

Weekend Ruminations

A great weekend has led to a great week.  I have been dominating the to do lists and not hating it!  But oh if I could go back to the weekend I would in a heart beat…

Saturday we spent the day at home catching up on things around the house and I spent most of the day at the sewing machine work on some fun lift gifts.  That evening we had some friends over to watch the UFC fight.  I always love to have people over and spend a fun night in.

Sunday was my sweet friend Beth’s little girl’s first birthday!  Beth and her husband just moved back to the area from Cincinnati and I could not be happier they are close!  Baby Hazel was an adorable birthday girl and made the greatest mess with her birthday cupcake.Weekend Ruminations_baby H

After the party I ran a few errands before heading home and I finally checked out a Whole Foods!  The one in Virginia Beach always seems so packed, so I was happy to run in to one that had just a few Sunday shoppers.  I was pleasantly surprised with some of their prices and products, but still need to head to the regular grocery store for the everyday basics.  But the fresh flowers and candy isle made it so worth it.

Weekend Ruminations_whole foods

Sunday night as we were prepping for the week ahead, my in-laws stopped in to drop off two heaping piles of fresh strawberries.  They had been visiting Brandon’s aunt who had a full garden this year and they knew they would be just what we needed for our morning smoothies (and without having to pick them, I call it a win!).

Weekend Ruminations_fresh picked strawberries

Now back to dominating this week and crossing all my fingers and toes that the weatherin the forecast blows over!

The List…

I started to read a book, and it’s a good book, and it got me thinking…. (my husband seems to think that isn’t always a good idea!)

The book is called 30 By 30.  It’s about a 29 year old coming close to her 30th birthday as her life takes a bit of an unexpected turn!  In straightening her new life out she rediscovers and old list she wrote in high school about the 30 things she wanted to accomplish by the time she turned thirty, and the story continues as she works to complete that list!

Half way through the book I set it down (which was tough, it’s a page turner) and decided that is just what I need now as I creep closer to my 30th birthday, a list!

So I got to work making my own! I made a few simple rules for my list, it shouldn’t be something I have done, it couldn’t be too expensive, it needed to be a measurable item with an ending (no ‘organize my life’ type ones), and I need to get it all in by my birthday, November 2.  I talked ideas over with my family and friends and finalized the list over happy hour with my sister on my “half birthday”.  Which gives me 6 months to get through it!

Now I’ve been told some of my items are lame and that there should be more exciting adventures on my list but that made me realize, I have had a pretty great life so far.  I have been to the top of the Eiffel Tower, swam with dolphins, drank cocktails at a swim up bar in paradise and bought a house with my amazing husband.  So maybe this list is more of a “things I have always talked about wanting to do so now I want a deadline” list, but it doesn’t quite have the same ring, so here’s my 30 By 30!!

30 by 30

30 by 30… with my thoughts!

  1. Go skydiving – now ‘real’ skydiving is a bit pricey, but thankfully Virginia Beach has an indoor sky diving place that I can’t wait to try!
  2. Lean a new language – I took Spanish in college (and I can ask ‘where is the bathroom’… and that’s about it) so now I want to try French.  I will mark this as complete when I finish the learning CD’s my sister lent me!
  3. Learn mom’s sauce recipe – my mom’s sauce is the best but when you ask for the recipe she says “just put in what you have till it tastes right“!  I hope to get the actual ingredient list this time!
  4. Host a fancy dinner party – I can put those hours I spent drooling over Southern Living to good use!
  5. Take a cooking class – Found some great options at shops like Sur La Table and William and Sonoma
  6. Take a dance class – An adult ballet class is what I have my eye on!
  7. Take a golf lesson – So one day maybe I can play with the husband
  8. Visit Chicago – It looks like such a great place and my cousin lives there now, time for a visit
  9. Sew a dress to wear out – To put my sewing machine to good use
  10. Dye my hair – I have never dyed my hair before and it’s time to hide the grays!
  11. Name a star – A simple list item that is close to my heart
  12. Go deep sea fishing – Just something fun to say I have done
  13. Read a classic book – My little brother pointed out that I have a classic book or two at school, but this time it’s my choice (any recommendations?)
  14. Have a fancy picnic – This is just something that has always looked fun!  Bring on the champagne and bugs!
  15. Learn to give a good massage – This was the husbands list request!
  16. Make my handwriting a font – Something easy to do, but has always been on my list
  17. Go para-sailing – One I plan to do with my sister in the outerbanks this summer
  18. Do a 30-day capsule wardrobe – Love this idea, can’t wait to try
  19. Start my own Etsy shop I have had a blast making some great pieces for coworkers and friends so why not open up to more people!
  20. Get a gun carrying license – A silly one, but it never hurts to have, right?
  21. Knit a hat – Now that my little brother is a knitting pro (funny, I know) I thought he could show me how!
  22. Take a pottery class – My uncle has so much fun with this, I would love to try it too!
  23. Build a piece of furniture I have the piece picked out and know I will feel so accomplished seeing it everyday on our home
  24. Bake a carrot cake from scratch – It’s Brandon’s favorite, so what better way to get him excited about this list too!
  25. Visit a financial advisor – Well, I’ll soon be 30… I should probably do this one!
  26. Attend a paint-n-sip night – I went to an open paint studio, but I think the paint with direction thing sounds way more my style
  27. Learn to use my camera in manual mode – It’s sad how long I have had this camera and I definitely need to use something more than auto focus
  28. Have a signature drink – I mean, this will be perfect for the dinner party, right?
  29. 7 days without TV – Well if I plan to do this all by November, a days without tv will surely help!!
  30. Start a family! So the drinking items need to be done sooner rather than later…

So have you ever made a list like this?  What would be on yours?!  I have a few coworkers now making their own and I loved my parent’s idea of a 7 by 70 list (though they said with quite a few years till 70, and only a few things to complete, they are gonna be have to be good!)

I can’t wait to start!!

Thanks to the author for sending me this great book to read!