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rivers and roads // giveaway time.

happy friday, y'all! today beth of oak + oats and i are bringing you a giveaway of one of my favorite prints in my shop. say whaaaaaat? i know, i get excited about giveaways too! we can be friends. i opened my shop back in august of 2013 and am slowly dreaming up what i'd like to do with it and how i'd like for it to grow. i just wanted to say a big THANK YOU to all of you who have supported my shop already and encouraged me to move forward with my dreams and the things that i enjoy doing.

i know i haven't written about my phrase for this year yet. maybe it'll happen, maybe it won't. life is busy, guys. at least i picked one! baby steps, y'all. but because it's my phrase for 2014 and because i love you, i'm giving away 1 copy of my "be brave" print! good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor! ;)

HERE'S YOUR CHANCE TO WIN! this giveaway is run via rafflecopter with several ways to enter! in exactly one week the giveaway will close, one winner will be selected at random and announced! the winner will be contacted by email. all entries will be verified, so please play by the rules! a Rafflecopter giveaway


snow day.

winter storm leon decided to make an appearance in chattanooga despite the weatherman's prediction that it would pass around us. i was already at work when the snow started coming down and automatically turned into a five year old. i'm really just a child masquerading as an adult, y'all. needless to say, i was quite distracted all day. snow is one of my favorite things on this earth. it's beautiful and magical and fills me with wonder. snow showers also provide a great opportunity to bust out some Frozen tunes. so, do you wanna build a snowman?

i was so anxious all day about driving home. it's not the driving in the snow that worries me....it's the idiot drivers who are also out on the roads driving all cray cray. i wish i could show y'all all the pictures popping up on facebook yesterday of cars running off the road or flipped head first in ditches. like we needed anything else to add to the southern stereotype of not being able to drive in the snow. ;)

my sweet dad came and picked me up from work so i wouldn't have to drive with all the crazies. our hilly neighborhood streets are covered in snow and ice making it impossible for me to get out this morning. so i'm taking it easy, going sledding, and drinking some hot chocolate by the fire. i didn't think we would actually get any snow this year, so i'm not going to let it go to waste!

how do you spend snow days?


recipes // sweet potato crockpot chilli

today i'd like to introduce you to my friend, meghan newsom. we met a little while ago (i can't exactly remember how) but i'm so glad we did! meghan is a beautiful person and an incredible photographer. she's also a lover of adventures and the outdoors. a girl after my own heart. we are hoping to meet up sometime this year when she and her hubs come through chattanooga. yay blogger friends! be sure to stop by her blog and her shop later! :) but first, take a look at this delicious recipe!

Hello lovelies! My name is Meghan, and I'm popping over from eat.live.make to share this easy and delicious gluten free & vegan crockpot recipe with you guys. Eat.live.make is my space where I share all about simple, healthy and creative living. I've gotten to know Megan over the past few months, and am so honored to be on this space today!

I have made this chilli countless times over the fall and winter this year, and just can't get enough of it. It kind of varies each time I make it because I tend to throw whatever veggies we have in the fridge in the pot as well. This soup is a staple for us because it's very inexpensive to make and makes so much that we can eat off of it for several days.

I'm going to give you guys the "base" recipe, but know that you can modify it with whatever veggies and beans you want!

- 2 boxes veggie broth (find out how to make your own here) // you can add more or less depending on how much soup you want to make and how many people you want to feed!
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 can beans (I make my own black beans for this, but you can use kidney, black, white or lentils)
- 1 red onion
- 3 carrots, cubed
- 2 TBS cumin
- 1 TBS cinnamon
- white or brown rice for serving
- salt and pepper to taste (salt really brings out the flavor of this dish)
- 3 cloves garlic

- Add all ingredients to crockpot and turn on high for 10 hours, or until done. All of your veggies should be soft, and it should be boiling!
- Serve over rice (we use sushi rice and it's SO GOOD). ** This makes a lot of soup! It can be stored in the fridge for a week, or frozen to be eaten at a later date.**

I'd love to get to know you guys better! Come visit the blog, check out my photography site, or follow along on instagram// facebook// pinterest


weekend update.

-- my coworker and i took our lunch break tuesday and ran over to the mall to pick up a couple things. when we walked back out, there was a 10 minute snowstorm going on outside...or as our weatherman likes to call it, a "wintry mix." apparently tenneessee only gets snow when there is no prediction for it.

-- i sat down and actually watched american idol. the week before i'd just seen clips online the day after it aired. i am loving the vibe that the judeges are bringing this year. i think they are going to be a little stricter (especially harry connick jr.) which is great.

-- i spent friday night eating dinner and playing board games with my grandparents. my grandmother was listing off our dessert options and ended up pronouncing "sherbet" as "sher-butt." only the cutest southern women can get away with it.

-- after taking our pups on a very long walk on saturday, i spent the rest of the day by the fireplace reading and watching BBCs Sherlock. SO GOOD.

-- ummm, Frozen's "let it go" sung in 25 different languages. beautiful.
-- i am wanting to be more intentional about memorizing scripture and ann voskamp has provided a fun way to do that! she's offering free downloads of cute prints to help you memorize the Word, and you can find those here.
-- i've been on the hunt for a good pair of black jeans. i found these legging jeans at GAP and LOVE them. they are comfy and have the perfect amount of stretchiness. also, i got them on sale. bonus!
-- for all you lovers of doctor who. p.s. don't watch this if you haven't finished eleven's last season.
-- quiz time! which hunger games character are you? i'm katniss! score.

you're a wizard, harry
coca-cola classic, please
seeking beauty

authenticity | jenny highsmith
dream big, work hard | elah tree
blog post: creating quality content | oak + oats

basically all of jenny's prints in her shop! i just bought her "homesick for you" print. it's lyrics from my favorite avett brother's song. :) she's currently giving away one free print, so you should enter for that here. the giveaway ends in a couple days, so don't postpone!

how was your week? what was your favorite part?


coca-cola classic, please.

i'm going to be honest, i didn't have anything planned for today. however, i saw this commercial last night while watching american idol and was captivated. i love it when people do creative/funky things with music. plus, i think the cello is so incredibly beautiful. so check out this take on of monsters and men's song, little talks.

are any of y'all watching american idol this year? it's still hard for me to believe i can love any american idol more than phillip phillips, but i'm willing to give it a chance. i skipped out on most of last year's season because i really couldn't stand the panel of judges *cough* mariah and nicki *cough cough* anywhoooo, this year has so much promise! the judges are incredible and funny. no more drama queens. also, i heart harry connick jr. just throwing that out there.

what are your thoughts on this season? do you have any favorites yet from the auditions?


seeking beauty.

on new year's eve, i went and saw the secret life of walter mitty, and i think it might have been the best way ever to bring in a new year. a soul-stirring movie full of embracing life and adventure and rediscovering joy. i was hooked because it spoke straight into my soul and tugged at the longing i think we all have to be wild and free and adventurous in this one life we've been given.

on this earth, we are always seeking beauty. i seek the things that take my breath away. snow glistened mountain tops, enchanting sunsets, star-filled skies, wind-swepted plains, drives down empty roads with the windows down. we want something to take our breath away...something more. something that makes us feel alive. i don't want to just see the beauty, i want to feel it, and i want it to fill my very soul. it's these things, the glories of nature, formed by my Creator's hands, that fill up my heart.

"what more, you may ask, do we want? ah, but we want so much more -- something the books on
aesthetics take little notice of. but the poets and the mythologies know all about it. we do not want
merely to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. we want something else
which can hardly be put into words -- to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it,
to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it."
-c.s. lewis-
let's be practical, though. it might not be possible for you to go on adventures at the level of walter mitty. you might not jump out of a helicopter into the frigid ocean and then almost be eaten by a shark. you may not explore the himalayas or barely escape the wrath of an exploding volcano. maybe you'll never leave your own country, but as human beings, i think we need to explore. i know i do. my heart craves it. so wherever you are, go, do, see! i'm a firm believer in creating adventures for yourself, even if it's right where you live. explore your city. go for a hike. stand on top of a mountain and take in the views. it's these things that remind me how small i am. yet, my Jesus who created these mountains and rivers, created me, and in His eyes, i am of far greater worth than all of the things i find beautiful. and that brings tears to my eyes.

a couple days ago as i was driving to work, i witnessed one of the most beautiful sunrises. i was sitting at a stoplight so i had time to just stare at all the colors and drink it all in. then i looked around at the cars surrounding me, and guess what i saw? NO ONE ELSE WAS LOOKING AT THE SUNRISE. it killed me. i wanted to kindly shout, "don't you see what you're missing??" friends, please don't take this life for granted. enjoy every moment. beauty surrounds us every day. you just have to take the time to look around to see it. i never want to get to a point in my life where i've gotten "used" to the beauty. i hope i always keep that sense of awe and wonder.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
walter mitty received mixed reviews from critics, but i say go see it. maybe more than once. i did! critics don't always know what they are talking about and they certainly don't always "get" life.

in the movie, walter quotes LIFE magazine's motto a couple times >> "To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life."

i just love that.

p.s. the soundtrack for this film is fantastic. go listen to it ASAP. :)


you're a wizard, harry.

guys, i just HAD to tell y'all about one of the greatest purchases of all time. i found out that USPS has harry potter forever stamps! say whaaaaaaat. i know. my little nerdy heart just couldn't handle it!  i'm currently reading through all the harry potter books (well, i've taken a break to read the divergent series, but we'll talk about that another time) and i'm on book five. that would be harry potter and the order of the phoenix. it's a sad one. i've seen the movies. i know what happens, people! however, as we all know, the books are always better than the movies. i love getting the detail and character development that the movies don't have the time to give. books for the win!

when the best friend told me about these stamps, i just HAD to get them. i love snail mail. sending and receiving. and who doesn't want awesome stamps to dress up an envelope and give it a little character?? can't wait to send out some letters with cute little ron weasley's face on them. best letter ever, amiright?

p.s. i'm also obsessed with the disney pixar stamps. check 'em out!


weekend update.

-- THE BRONCOS ARE SUPERBOWL BOUND!!! so proud of peyton and his team. they've worked super hard this year, and i can't wait for the big showdown in a couple weeks.

-- i took the plunge and bought an iPad this weekend. AHH! now i need your suggestions for design related apps and stylus options! leave me some advice in the comments!

-- coffee dates and dinners with friends this week. so thankful for time to catch up and for encouraging conversations.

-- downton abbey AND sherlock in one night?? my nerdy heart couldn't handle the excitement. i'm not going to lie, i fell asleep a few minutes into sherlock...i couldn't keep my eyes open! i'll have to re-watch later this week :)

january sponsors
remembering eleven
review // warby parker
let's talk olympics

-- and my obsession with JLaw grows...
-- which disney princess are you?
-- a letter to every woman who doesn't think she's beautiful

how was your weekend?



let's talk olympics.

in just three weeks, the winter olympics will be here! i LOVE the olympics. i'm super competitive and also all about some team spirit. the summer olympics are my fave because i like so many more of the summer sports. i was a competitive swimmer growing up and am obsessed with watching those races. plus, the 2012 olympics were in london and y'all know i love me some royal family, so i was extra pumped.

however, with winter sports, you've got ice skating (magical) and skiing (breathtaking and stressful), and the bobsleigh races (absolutely terrifying.) every time i watch bobsleigh teams getting ready to go, i start quoting cool runnings. feel the rhythm. feel the rhyme! seriously though, can you imagine flying down icy paths at those speeds?? i'm on the edge of my seat for every second of every race yelling at the television and cheering on my favorites.

do y'all like the olympics? what events are your favorite?

also, P&G always comes out with great commercials for the olympics. remember this one from 2012? now they've got one for this year's winter olympics. i cry every time.


review // warby parker

i have been wearing glasses since i was ten-ish years old and graduated to contacts a couple years after that. my vision is one of those less-than-convenient things in my life. i wish i was one of the lucky few with perfect 20/20 vision, but alas, i am not. i've been through a couple pairs of glasses, but hadn't purchased new frames since my freshman year of college. my prescription has changed a little since then, and i was ready for some new and updated specs.

i heard about warby parker through another blog sometime last summer and decided to check them out. they have an online store and a few select retail locations, but none that were super close to me. however, i'm one of those people that needs to try things on before i buy them. no problemo, amigo! warby parker has this GREAT home try-on program. you can choose up to 5 different frames, they will be shipped to you FOR FREE, and you have 5 days to try out the frames, wear them to work, get your friends' opinions, etc.  warby parker has a nice sized portfolio of different frames to choose from. i think my only complaint is that they each come in one specific size, so if they are too small or too big for your face, you're kind of at a loss, unless you're into that my-glasses-are-far-too-big-for-my-face sort of thing. ;) i did learn, however, that if something like the arms of the glasses are too long, and you need them bent so they will stay on your face, warby parker will cover up to $50 of what it would cost you to take to an optician to fix. warby parker's customer service is pretty incredible. i emailed them with a few questions and received a very detailed answer with an invitation to give them a call to discuss more.  i only had to wait a few seconds to speak to a real live person who was extremely helpful in making a couple decisions.

i did two different home try-ons and finally found a frame i really like that also fit my face well. it took me a couple full days of wearing the new glasses to get used to the prescription, and i still feel like it's a little "off" every now and then...i think it may have something to do with my astigmatism...but overall i love them!! typically i wear my contacts every day, but since purchasing these from warby parker, i've been wearing my glasses a whole lot more. so that tells you something!

since i didn't have time to do an offish photoshoot with these new frames, here's a classy selfie of me in my car. i was not driving. promise. :)

one of my favorite things about warby parker is that for every pair of glasses purchased, they give a pair to someone in need. that's a company i feel good about supporting.

| this review is in no way promoted by warby parker. i just love their company! |


remembering eleven.

i have admitted to you already that i am a nerd. a super major nerd...i am so aware of it. last january after i broke my foot and wasn't able to do much of anything for a while, the best friend said "watch doctor who!" and i said "i tried, but i didn't really like it." and she said "get through episode four, and you'll be hooked for life." well folks, she was right. after episode four, i just couldn't stop watching. i was taken on a whirlwind of a ride through time and space with a madman in a blue box. the bluest blue. ever. i experienced the emotional roller coaster of meeting and losing friends new and old (if you don't understand fictional characters becoming your best friends, well, i am sad for you. let's talk about it sometime!) changing places and faces. exciting adventures around every corner.

last weekend, i watched the eleventh doctor's days come to an end. he and his companions were my favorites together and to see all of that end, although not real life, still hurt my heart. i hate the sound that goodbyes make. you see, i think we relate to fictional characters just as we would to people in real life. we laugh with them and cry with them. we hurt for them and rejoice with them. we feel as if we know them and have lived life with them for as long as we can remember. and when it is time for them to go, our hearts break. at least, that's how it is for me. i think it says a lot about the storyteller when they can draw you in and captivate you like that. so when it was time for eleven to go, i sat with tears streaming down my face, slightly embarrassed that i was crying this much over a television show, but also painfully aware of all the friendships i have had to let go of and say goodbye to. like i was saying, things like this do touch on the real circumstances in our lives. in some odd way, i think it's one thing that helps us to learn, grow, and move on.

so take all that nerdiness and do with it what you will...but in his final moments, the eleventh doctor spoke these words that i will hold on to because they are oh so true and resonated deeply down in my heart.

"but times change and so must i. we all change. when you think about it, we're all different people 
all through our lives, and that's okay. that's good. you've gotta keep moving so long as you 
remember all the people that you used to be."
- eleven -


january sponsors.

well hello there and happy tuesday! we are already halfway through january (how did that happen??) and i've been thinking a lot about all the adventures i'd like to go on in 2014. i'm entering the beginning of my third year at my current job which means i get two weeks of vaca this year instead of just one! what will i do with all the extra time!? i'm sure i'll come up with something ;) i'm always craving a new adventure, so i thought i'd see where my sponsors are dreaming of traveling to this year. take a little look see at their answers!

"where is one place you'd love to travel to in 2014?"

beth // oak + oats
It is so hard for me to pick one place to travel to in 2014! Currently, I am counting down my days until my Florida Disney vacation which I am pretty pumped about so that is a trip I really want to take! It would be so nice to also (finally) visit my best friends - one in Chat Town (that is you megs!) and the other in Kansas City. Also Seattle is on my list! My pandora station keeps telling me that there are cheap flights to Seattle from Colorado Springs - they are right. eeek! Too bad my grown up life only allows for two weeks of vacation!
stormy // life's a dance
I'd LOVE to travel to Bora Bora in 2014! Hello lovely villas on the water!
blog | instagram | twitter

amy // taking steps home
I would love to travel to see some of my blog girlfriends in 2014. If i'm unable to do that - maybe Disney World? The Harry Potter theme park is calling my name!
samantha // elah tree
Two places I would love to travel to this year are Wellington, New Zealand and Nashville, TN. Tyler's dad lives in Nashville and we're hoping we get to see him this year. We're big fans of the Mid-West and big fans of Nashville!
britney & hillary // the quiet place
One place i would love to Travel in 2014 is Virginia Beach, since i just moved to 2 and half hours from their this month for Grad school. It would be fun to maybe visit the beach!
blog | twitter | facebook

jessie // nelson notes
I dream of traveling all over the world, but the truth is, there are hundreds of things I haven't explored in the good 'ol United States... yet. This summer, our family would love to visit Glacier National Park. I've heard the views are unique and breathtaking. I can't wait!
christina // sweet lavendar bake shoppe
We just recently had a bloggy friend come and visit us over New Years. Someone I had never "met" physically, but had developed a strong friendship with, over the last few years. It got me thinking- how fun would it be to travel the country this year (and maybe into the next) and actually visit all of these strong blogging women I call my good friends?! So, my husband and I plan on saving up and visiting all of them little by little as often as we can! I have three in Arizona (score!), and one in Tennessee...so that's a start! Plus, Samantha from Elah Tree and I will be seeing each other in just a few weeks! Eeeeeep! So excited!
betsy // heavens to betsy
i'd LOVE to travel to someplace warm. it's just been so cold lately that i'm dying for some sunlight and a beach. plus, my best friend is currently in mexico on her honeymoon and i'm just a little bit jealous of how warm and lovely that sounds right now!
allison // allison ramsing
Leaving the country for an adventure has been on my goal list since I was in undergrad. I'm excited to officially announce that 2014 is the year that it is finally going to happen! I'm excited to travel to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in 2014 for an academic advising conference. I'm so excited for my adventure that my flights are already booked. I am ecstatic to stay in the beautiful conference hotel and explore Vancouver. If any of you have any tips please send them my way.
kenzie // the ashcraft bunch
I would love to go to an Atlanta Braves baseball game with my husband this year. You can visit this link here for their website. :) We are HUGE fans.
now that we've all got the travel bug, where do YOU want to go this year? tell me about your adventure plans! if you'd like to be part of the rivers and roads team, i'm offering 30% off all advertising through the end of january! code: HAPPYNEWYEAR



weekend update.

-- i pre-ordered frozen AND catching fire with some leftover christmas moneys. you know what that means! it means they'll show up at my front door on their release date. woohoo!

-- we took down our christmas decorations on sunday. it hurts my heart a little every year when we have to take the ornaments and lights off the tree. we even still had our christmas lights up out front and had started referring to them as "winter lights" so that it was more acceptable as we were in the 2nd week of january. christmas for liiiiiiiiife.

-- my flight for cali is booked, so my san diego vaca in march is offish. can't wait!

-- i'm still in love with my new glasses from warby parker. i'll be doing a review of them this week. i promise!

-- interesting article about bravery
-- this DIY anthropologie wreath is to-die for. i'm totes going to make one!!
-- loving this valentine's themed garland
-- please tell me y'all have see this AHmazing photo bomb from the golden globes last night. i seriously love JLaw.

embracing the weirdness
it's just business
great christmas exchange 2013

-- check out beth's review of her top 5 favorite blockbusters of 2013...which just so happen to be my favorites as well. probs has to do with the fact that we are best friends and love all the same things ;)
-- if you haven't had a chance to check out the spoils of the great christmas exchange, be sure to catch up!
-- need some new reading material? check out this list. i just bought gift from the sea and bittersweet.

how was your weekend?


embracing the weirdness.

so my friend amy tagged me (forever ago) to tell you guys about all of my weirdness. she obviously knows me well enough to know i won't be offended that she's found out how weird i am. not like i try to hide it. i've embraced the weirdness, the awkwardness, and the overall craziness that is called meg. #YOLO

// i like to go into target and put on superhero masks //

1// sometimes i talk like marcel the shell. my best friend pointed it out once. it's just a word or a phrase where i catch marcel's monotone, croaky snail voice.

2// i am a complete nerd. i love shows like doctor who, sherlock, and merlin. BBC for the win! and i heart all things narnia, harry potter, and lord of the rings. nerds unite! ;)

3// i like eating goldfish and m&ms together for a snack. some people are super grossed out by that, but it's the perfect sweet & salty mix!! so don't be hatin'.

4// i only wash my hair twice a week. this just got real, y'all. my hair doesn't get dirty/show dirt very quickly. plus, it takes too much time to fix, so less is better in this case. please still be my friend?

5// i turn into a 2 year old after 9pm. it just happens. the day is coming to a close and i turn into a hyper/exhausted toddler. it's about as crazy as i get in life.

6// i am 25 years old and still terrified of the dark. when i'm coming home late at night and have to turn off the basement lights before heading upstairs, i flip the switch off and bolt up the stairs as fast as possible. the burglar that has obviously been waiting in my house for HOURS could get me!

7// speaking of being terrified, i'm also still scared of someone hiding under my bed or in my closet. i blame this on my brother and my mom growing up. my mom LOVES scaring people. after she and my dad got married, my mom would hide in tiny corners of their apartment and scare the living daylights out of my dad when he came home from work (he's super jumpy.) he finally had to ask her to stop...so when they had kids, my mom passed the scaring jobs off to my brother and myself. i can't tell you how many times my brother hid under my bed and would reach out and grab my foot as i was about to hop under the covers. seriously traumatizing. i've been in therapy for years...

8// i laugh at the most inappropriate times. i think laughter is my coping mechanism. a friend told me once that it's how i mask my pain, which is pretty accurate. but i almost always laugh in awkward situations and sad ones...not because i'm not sympathetic...i'm actually very sympathetic, but sometimes my first reaction is to laugh because i don't know what else to do! gosh, i'm so awkward.

9// i wear my emotions on my face. i have been told that i have the greatest facial expressions of all time...and by greatest, i do not mean "cutest" or "most attractive." think jennifer lawrence but way less adorable...hey, at least it's entertaining! ;)

weeeeell, that's all you get for now! can't be telling you all my weirdness at once or you may never come back! muahahahaha. so what about you? what makes you weird?  


it's just business.

i've been thinking about buying some business cards for my blog and shop for a while now...as in a few months. if you know me, you know it takes me some time to make decisions, especially when it comes to purchasing something. for instance, maybe around my sophomore year in college, the phone plan i had was up for renewal and i was eligible to get a new flip phone (this was before the iphone, people. how crazy is that??) most people would walk into verizon and just pick out a new phone they liked. nope, not me. i've gotta do my research, read reviews, and go look at different phones. if i'm going to shell out some money for something, i just want to make sure it's worth it and that i really like it!  all that to say, it took me a while to decide on business cards. i had to figure out where i wanted to order them and what design i wanted and OH MY GOSH this decision affects the rest of my life!! just kidding. but sometimes that's just how my mind works. i know, i'm a little cray cray.

after seeing the best friend post and talk about minted so many times, i thought i'd give them a shot. they have so many different options for personalized business cards from sizes to fonts to colors. i played around with a few design ideas and finally settled on this one. so if you get snail mail from me in the future, you may be getting one of these babies as well. just for funsies. ya know, because it's nice to hand out cute business cards to people...

i really love minted's website. it's simple and easy to navigate. they offer high quality products at pretty reasonable prices, plus they've almost always got some sort of promotion going on. i'll let you in on a little secret, you can get $25 off you first order of $50 or more with minted. that's half off, people! you seriously can't pass that up.

// this post is in no way sponsored by minted. i just really like my business cards and wanted to show them to you! //


great christmas exchange 2013 // the big reveal

it's today! it's today! we finally get to see what everyone got in the great christmas exchange! i was over the moon excited about participating in this christmas gift exchange that samantha and beth created. it's been a couple months since i signed up, and then started shopping for my swap partner, mailed off the goodies and waited in anticipation for my gift to arrive too!

my swap partner was codi from the art of balance. she hails from michigan (AKA the mitten) and runs a blog full of adventures and encouragement. when i got my assignment email from samantha, i was so excited because as far as "favorite things" go, codi and i had a lot in common. caramel lattes? um, my go-to drink on the daily. anything and everything office supplies related? give me some cute post-its and i'm a happy girl! mumford and the civil wars? what what! my faves! anyway, i got to shop at a couple of my favorite etsy shops and hit up target for some cute supplies. see what i picked up!

cute print & "sing anyway" cards // katygirl designs 
stationary & ribbon // target 
hair ties // the liberty shoppe
my christmas exchange gift came from kristy over at kskristy. come to find out, she's actual a friend of my bestie's! they went to college together. how fun is that? kristy said she doesn't have very good gift wrapping skills, but she could have fooled me! my gift box looked like a pro wrapped it. ;) she sent me some cute inspirational cards, a scarf (I LOVE SCARVES), and essie nail polish (my favorite!) thanks, kristy, for stalking me and finding out about all the things i love ;)

thanks to samantha and beth for doing all the hard work and putting together this exchange! can't wait for next year!! there's going to be one next year, right? ;) ...because i'd love to add it to my list of christmas traditions. how about you?


weekend update.

- we rang in the new year with the secret life of walter mitty and a competitive game of dutch blitz. i fell asleep on the couch around 10 (i am old), woke up at 11:30, and was kept up for the next couple hours by the fireworks our neighbors were shooting off. happy new year ;)

- i got my new glasses in from warby parker! i'll have a review up for you sometime soon.

- catching fire: round 2. a friend and i went to hang out with katniss and peeta on saturday afternoon. we just love them a whole lot.

- downton abbey is back!!! my mom and i watch it together every sunday when it's being aired. i wasn't sure i'd watch it again this year since they killed off my two favorite characters, but i'm willing to give it a shot. plus, maggie smith is the greatest. am i right??

HANAair // product review
2013 in review
DIY // pom pom garland

we were supposed to have some snow today, but i woke up this morning to only a few flakes. however, our back porch is a sheet of ice. here in tennessee, people tend to freak out a little when they hear the term "arctic blast" come out of the weather man's mouth. apparently all bread and milk have been bought out at the grocery stores. i heard it was like a madhouse at all the stores yesterday. my only issue this morning was getting out of our super hilly neighborhood while avoiding the black ice. i made it! phew.

what did you do for new year's eve?


HANAair // product review

okay let's talk hair products. more specifically, hair dryers. i was asked by misikko to do a review of one of their hair dryers and was more than happy to oblige. mine was literally falling apart. no really, pieces had actually fallen out and i was sort of scared to point it at my head because i thought something might fly out and impale me. yikes!

when the hair dryer arrived i was so excited to give it a try! a real live hair dryer that isn't trying to kill me? yes, please! okay, this hair dryer by HANAair is the best one i've ever used. i have pretty wavy and incredibly thick hair, but it's not a pretty wavy if you know what i mean. i went through this really awkward phase, and by phase, i mean like all of middle school and high school, where i didn't have a clue how to take care of/fix my hair. it takes a powerful dryer to get my hair thoroughly dried and a high heat setting on a flat iron to get it straightened.

now let's talk price. i'll be honest, i've never paid more than $25 - $30 for a hair dryer. i don't HAVE to have a hair dryer that's more expensive, so i usually go with a less expensive version that still gets the job done. this is a salon grade hair dryer so i understand the price being higher. it is a sleek and well-made product that i believe should last a very long time, while cheaper hair dryers i've owned have fallen apart within a year or so.

it has two fan speeds and three heat settings, which includes cool air for setting your hair. it dries hair my well without severely damaging it or drying it out, if that makes sense. this dryer is also tourmaline, titanium oxide & silver infused, and i can definitely tell that my hair dries more smoothly and with far less frizz.

overall, if you have the funds to treat yourself to a high grade hair dryer like this, i completely recommend it. check out misikko to see all the products they have to offer.

// i was gifted this product by misikko for the purpose of review, but my opinions are 100% my own //