Life Lately

Oh what a whirlwind of a year! It has been a busy couple of months around here so a life lately recap is much over due.

In August, Brandon and I enjoyed another trip to the beach with friends and spent the few days soaking up the sun, trying some tasty new adult drinks and driving along the beach at Corova.

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Home Sweet Beach Home
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Outside Showers are the very best
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Corova!
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Delicious Watermelon Spiked Punch

We cut the trip a little shorter than planned but we were more than excited to head back to town for Brandon’s promotion ceremony at the fire department. Words can not describe how proud I am of him. He works so hard and spent most of the past year preparing to rock his promotion testing and interview (which he did!!). He looked so handsome dressed in his dress uniform and we celebrated his success with dinner, drinks and friends!

brandons-promotion-july-2016

September was a busy one at the office for me, but when my day-to-day work involves event prepping, even the stressful work ends in a big fun street festival. One of my favorite new events we have added is the Drive-In movies at the park. ET was the halloween season pick and watching the loads of cars pour in to the park was the best! The busy days continued as we celebrated the holidays in town with tree lightings, parades, and Santa himself!! I definitely love the work I get to do and am so thankful for a great workplace!

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The best Mr and Mrs Claus in town!

This Thanksgiving I headed to Pennsylvania to visit family and every trip there is magical. The fall in the mountains is always breathtaking and time with family and friends is the best. We spent time shopping, eating and drinking, just how the holidays should be spent!

 

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Thanksgiving outfit with a fantastic bottle of Casanel Wine
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Victory Brewery, our favorite Black Friday hang out

Christmas this year was wonderful too. Brandon worked at the fire station Christmas Eve so I headed to mass with my parent’s and brothers and dinner at the oceanfront in Virginia Beach. Christmas day we opened presents, watched the boys play with nerf guns around the house, and ate and drank until we were stuffed!

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The “kids” on Christmas

My favorite present we gave this year was taking our niece and nephew (who are both 11) to the trampoline park for the day. They are at the age where we have no idea what to get them and most of their time is spent on their computers or phones so we figured getting them up and out of the house over their winter break was the best thing we could do!

And we are two years in to our new house and still loving every inch of it! Slow and steady we are adding furniture and decor pieces and figuring out our personal style has certainly been an adventure. I feel a real sign of “adulting” is gifting furniture to ourselves for our anniversary! We are creating a list of work to be done (built-ins here, new room designs there) and getting to work making the house our home.

It has been a great year for us overall and we are looking forward to all the wonderful things 2017 has in store.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful New Year!!!

Lavender Summer Drink

We have been loving these summer days, especially down in the outer banks hanging out with friends and family. The sunny beach days by the water and the cool nights around the table playing the Mexican Train Game (have you played… it’s addicting) have been the best. My 30 by 30 list has seemed to fall by the way side between vacations and busy work weeks but my #28 – have a signature drink has been one everyone has been willing to help with! So by trial and error at the beach house we have been testing every pinteresty delicious drink around.

While this lavender lemonade didn’t make the signature cut it is still one I would recommend to try during these last few days before fall.

Found this great recipe at onekingslane.com (and cut the servings in half):

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar
4 sprigs lavender (stems and buds), plus a few additional sprigs for garnish
5 fresh squeezed lemons (approx 1 cup) lemon juice (I was excited to use my new juicer for this!)
2 fresh squeezed limes worth (approx. 1/4 cup) lime juice (and this!)

Directions:

Boil about half a gallon of water and the sugar. Remove from heat, and add lavender sprigs along with the lemon and lime juices all together in the pot.

Let the mixture cool to room temperature, strain the lavender.

For a quick way to serve use a shaker after straining (love this new shaker from Shikshook) with ice to chill quickly.

To make this a bit more adult friendly (and what better kind of signature drink than an adult one) I topped each serving off with a 1/4 glass pour of my favorite Prosecco from Trader Joes.  It added a little carbonation and whole lot of deliciousness!

Hope you enjoy!

 

*I received the shaker to test at a discounted rate but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Cucumber and Onion Salad

Summer is coming to end and while I am looking forward to pumpkin spice lattes, football games and cool fall weather I will miss the amazing vegetables from the garden my husband grew out back!  We have been eating out way through countless squash, zucchini, tomato, basil and cucumber recipes.

Last night while mixing and matching some delicious sounding cucumber salad recipes with what ingredients we had left in the cabinets (the struggle of not grocery shopping after vacation) I came up with a tasty little treat I thought I would share!  I even managed to use a new vegetable peeler I received from Raaya without slicing my own fingers in the process(which is a culinary miracle).Cucumber and Onion Salad

So here is my new favorite summer Cucumber and Onion Salad:

Ingredients:

1 large cucumber

1/2 purple onion

1/8 cup balsamic vinegar

1/8 cup extra virgin police oil

1 tbsp dill

2 tsp of sea salt

Directions:

I used the slicer to make vegetable noodles out of the cucumber, then chopped up the onion.  Next I simply combined all the ingredients in a large bowl, tossed it all with tongs, being sure to coat all of the vegetables and served!  Simple!

Hope you enjoy!

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!

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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

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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