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11.28.2014

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE | FOR THE ADVENTURER

Happy Friday! I'm sure many of you were up at the crack of dawn to snag some deals, but not me. Nope. I was cozied up under my mountains of blankets and dreaming of Christmas decorating. In my family, the day after Thanksgiving means the beginning of Christmas festivities! The weekend is full of picking out our tree, decorating, twinkly lights and getting the house ready for my favorite holiday.

For those of you who are like me and prefer to do their Christmas shopping away from the hustle and bustle of the crowds, I've created a great list for you travelers and adventurers to peruse from the comfort of your couch, hot cocoa in hand.








Chacos | $80 - $100
If you know me even a little, you know Chacos are my favorite shoes. They are comfortable, provide excellent arch support, and are always adventure ready.

Gregory Jade Backpack | $185
This is the perfect pack for an extended weekend backpacking trip. Lots of room and lots of pockets. I've had mine for years and it is still going strong.

Black Diamond Voyager Lantern | $25
Oh this lantern is my favorite!! I used it in my tent during the summer I worked at camp in Colorado, and now it sits on my nightstand to be used at my flashlight when/if the power goes out! I like to be prepared. ;) The lantern has great battery life and has dimming capabilities.

Vests | Prices vary
I am obsessed with vests, and I wear them all the time. They are like a security blanket for me...a constant hug. I'm currently eyeing vests from PatagoniaREI, and Athleta.

Outdoor Research UltraLight Compression Bag | $18 - $26
This compression bag is a miracle worker and fantastic for travel when you are looking to save more room. And who isn't looking to save room when traveling, amiright? I throw my sleeping bag in this sucker, and can synch it down to about half the size of a standard stuff sack.

Osprey Stratos 24 Backpack | $120
I bought this bag about three years ago, so the design has been updated a bit since then, but the functionality has not. This is a fantastic pack for travel and long day hikes. It provides excellent support and sits off your back to allow for air flow.

Patagonia Atom Sling | $49
I bought the Atom Sling this year to take the place of my purse when I travel. I absolutely love wearing it on my back and being able to also wear it in front when I'm in a crowded place. It allows both of my arms to stay free, which is awesome. It is the perfect size for my travel knick-knacks, and I can even fit my iPad in there. This is the perfect on-the-go bag for travel and the every day.

Outdoor Research Aspire Rain Jacket | $199
The rain jacket I bought in high school died this summer, and I replaced it with this Gortex jacket from Outdoor Research. I love it! It it long in the front and back, which I love. The hood is extra spacious in order to fit over a helmet if you wanted, which means plenty of coverage for your hair and face.

Petzl e+LITE Headlamp | $30
This headlamp is light and compact and does the job nicely. I've used mine backpacking, caving, and in my house late at night...because I'm scared of the dark. ;)

Travex Expedition Rolling Duffel Bag | $140
This bag was a Christmas present last year, and I have used it on every trip I've taken since. It falls under carry-on bag restrictions and is the best luggage bag I have ever owned. This bag has great grab handles on the front and top of the bag that are helpful to grab and go quickly. It is very lightweight, rolls easily, and is extremely spacious!


Don't forget! There are tons of outdoor sites that sell the same items and they all have sales at different points in time. Some sites I recommend: Moosejaw, Altrec, Backcountry, REI, and Rock Creek. Happy shopping!

WHAT ITEMS ARE ON YOUR ADVENTURE LIST?

11.27.2014

HAPPY THANKSGIVING.



I hope today is full of friends and family, memory making moments, belly laughs, afternoon naps, and the giving of thanks for the abundant gifts we have been given. I am beyond thankful for all of you, precious friends, for the year the Lord has given, and for the adventures ahead. XOXO.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING, BRAVE HEARTS!

11.26.2014

WARDROBE STAPLES.

My style is a pretty simple one. I will pick comfy and cozy over any other options every day of my life. My cold weather wardrobe is full of long, flowy tops, cardigans, chunky sweaters, skinny jeans, my favorite pair of boots in the world, and comfortable jackets. You know, the ones that don't constrict arm movement. Side note: why would anyone wear jackets that you can't move around in? It just doesn't make sense to me. ;)

While I was in Knoxville a couple of weekends ago, Nat (one of my official blog photographers) and I went exploring and chasing after the last days of autumn. We found ourselves down by the river surrounded by the most glorious colors, a crisp breeze, and the rolling hills of Tennessee. It was one of the final weekends of autumn with the leaves in full color, and I'm glad we took time to capture it.

















OUTFIT DETAILS
Jacket | GAP (similar)
Shirt | GAP
Jeans | GAP
Boots | Clarks

WHAT ARE YOUR WINTER WARDROBE STAPLES?

11.24.2014

WEEKEND UPDATE.



RECAPS
1 | Christmas photos. On the coldest day of the week, I got to run downtown with two of my favorites and take their Christmas card photos! It was very spontaneous (which means I was unprepared and didn't have my camera) so we did our best the iPhone!

2 | Ugly Christmas sweaters. I've never owned an ugly Christmas sweater, but we have a fun Tristyle & Co. challenge for you aell this month, so I stopped by the thrift store this week and picked up the ugliest one I could find. ;)

3 | Mockingjay. OMG. Katniss is back. I went to see Mockingjay on Saturday with the fam and some friends, and y'all, even though I've read the books and knew what was going to happen, I was on the edge of my seat the whole time! It was intense, and I'm not sure I can wait a whole year for part 2!

OTHER FINDS
-- Hey there, Charlie Brown.
-- We all need a little blogging 101 to get started.
-- 12 Thanksgiving Pie Recipes.
-- Oh Mr. Darcy, you are so funny.
-- Straight No Chaser + Kristen Bell.
-- How do you build community?
-- I am totally crushing on this jacket.
-- Take time to unplug.

YOU MAY HAVE MISSED
5 Things I Learned From Pride & Prejudice
Holiday Gift Guide | For Her
From London With Love
On Autumn & Best Friends

HOW WAS YOUR WEEKEND?

11.21.2014

ON AUTUMN & BEST FRIENDS

Happy Friday, brave hearts! Today I get to introduce you to my best friend, Nat. We've been friends since college, but not since the very beginning. Nat always likes to tell the story of how we first met. We were both in design school, she asked me to come visit the campus ministry where she was a student intern, and I was totally snobby and said no because I was attending a different one! Can you believe that?? I ended up attending that campus ministry the next semester and through the rest of my college years. It's funny how life works.






Nat and I became closer over the next couple of years as we had all of our classes together. We can both look back on those years and pinpoint the weekend where we started to become best friends. The design department went on a school trip to Chicago during the autumn of our junior year, and when you travel on a bus for hours together, explore a new city together, create hilarious inside jokes together, and laugh until you can't breathe together, you are meant to be friends. That's just how it works! :) We explored downtown Chicago, visited Frank Lloyd Wright's house, took a million pictures in the bean at Millennium Park, ate by the navy pier, walked through the art museum, were overwhelmed by the Merchandise Mart, and made tons of memories.








We are the friends who sing Christmas songs and quote Elf while running up and down the aisles of Target. We are the friends who dance in the car and listen to "Baby" far too many times past normal. We are the friends who go to see UP together every Wednesday one summer at the cheap theater several weeks in a row. We are the friends who cry together, call just to say hi, can sit in silence together, have an incredible portfolio full of inside jokes, and laugh an obnoxious amount.








We have been through a lot of seasons together over the past seven years. Surviving internships, graduating from college, big moves, relationships, living in separate cities, learning a lot about friendship, and growing in our relationships with Jesus. She is a friend who encourages me, accepts me for who I am, and appreciates my total weirdness. I am so grateful to have been given a friend like this one.

WHAT'S ONE THING YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR BEST FRIEND?

11.20.2014

FROM LONDON WITH LOVE.

I love glitter, and snow, and Christmas, and dancing, and trench coats, and plaid scarves, and Romeo Beckham (I mean, seriously. How are people allowed to have kids as pretty as him?), and brown paper packages tied up with string, and all things British. These are a few of my favorite things! This video almost (almost) makes me want to go and drop hundreds of dollars on Burberry. ;)



HAPPY THURSDAY, FRIENDS!

11.19.2014

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE | FOR HER




Hi lovelies! Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? I've picked up a couple of things over the past few months but still have the majority of my shopping to do. Below are some gift ideas to help get you (and me) started. They are all things I either already own or would love to. Happy shopping!

Cozy Plaid Scarf | $35
Oh my, I personally own this scarf and wear it multiple times a week. It is warm and soft and so cozy around my neck. Perfect for layering during the cold winter months. It does come in several other colors so be sure to check those out!

Happy Handmade Home | $14
This is on my Christmas wishlist! Emma and Elsie are amazing, and this book has a little bit of something for everyone. If you don't believe me, take a quick look at this adorable video review of the book!

Minnetonka Kilty Moccasin | $43
You can't go wrong with a pair of moccasins, especially if they come from Minnentonka! I have two pair of Kilty moccs and would recommend them to anyone!

Chrismoose Cards | $4.50
Cute stationary makes for a great gift, and I just love the pretty cards from Everyday Love Art. Get your stationary loving friend some goodies from this shop! They will love it!

Fotostrap | $85
This is the perfect gift for all of your photography friends. I was gifted a Fotostrap this year and absolutely love it! Great colors and fantastic quality. The shoulder pad feels like a light, fluffy cloud on my shoulder. I also recommend adding a pretty monogram to make the Fotostrap an even more personal gift.

Geometric Zipper Bag | $14
One thing a girl can never have too many of are zipper bags. They are so great for storing makeup, organizing your purse, holding pens, etc. Get on it.

Narnia Forest Soy Candle | $10
If someone gave me this candle, I'd love them forever. This shop is full of candles inspired by books. That just makes my book loving heart skip a beat.

TOMS Grey Chambray Classics | $54
These shoes are some of my favorites. They are cute and comfortable, perfect to pair with your favorite skinnies for a day out on the town. I suggest going a half size down when ordering because the shoes do stretch out quite a bit.

WHAT'S ON YOUR HOLIDAY LIST?

11.18.2014

5 THINGS I LEARNED FROM PRIDE & PREJUDICE

Ever since I was a child, I have been an avid reader. I could hide away for hours at a time and make my way through book after book. Those works of literary art transported me to faraway places and different times, full of interesting characters who were always beckoning me to come along for the ride. My friend Belle always taught me books are full of adventures, far off places, daring sword fights, magic spells, and a prince is disguise. Who wouldn't want that?

I've been a fan of Jane Austen since my younger days. I remember watching the BBC version of Pride & Prejudice during my middle school years. It was on VHS and approximately five hours long. ;) That was when I first fell in love with Colin Firth. I mean, who doesn't love Colin Firth? Out of all of the Jane Austen classics, Pride & Prejudice has remained my favorite over the years. I love and appreciate the other stories, but Elizabeth and Darcy is where it's at. Amiright? I actually didn't read the book until within the past few years, and it was glorious! I don't care what anyone says, a book is always better than its movie. There is always something to take away from a book, and Austen's books definitely don't disappoint in that department. So today I'm sharing a few nuggets of wisdom I gleaned from this tale.


1 | Witty women are wonderful.
I sincerely appreciate someone with a dry and witty sense of humor because they understand me, and I feel like Elizabeth Bennett and I would have gotten along exceptionally well. Apart from the fact that we would have had to fight over Mr. Darcy. #awkward. That being said, I love conversations full of witty banter. The British have conquered the art of wit, which may be why I like them so much.




2 | Stand by your family.
Let's be honest. No one has the perfect family. And no matter what your family does or does not do, you stand by them and you support them. Like when Elizabeth's silly sister runs off with the infamous Mr. Wickham, she does all within her power to save her sister's name.  Really, Mr. Darcy is the hero of that story (again), but at least Elizabeth is concerned. Right?

3 | Both men and women can be equally stubborn.
Hence the "pride" and "prejudice". Enough said.


4 | Be fearless. 
I absolutely love Elizabeth Bennett's confidence. She knows who she is, she knows what she wants, and she isn't afraid to tell it like it is. Sure she has her moments, but she's a brave woman with a strong character. I want to be like that.

5 | Never settle.
Just don't. Mr. Collins is not worth it, ladies! I don't care if he'll save you and your family home. Run away and live with the kind forest animals before you'd ever settle for Mr. Collins. Also, he's your cousin, crazy. Ew. (Please tell me you read that in a Jimmy Fallon voice.) Know who you are and stick to your guns.



This adorable Pride & Prejudice swag is from the cutest little shop, Pemberley Pond.  The lovely Lalla and Luisa are offering my readers a 25% discount in their shop using the code RIVERSANDROADS. Their items would make for great gifts and stocking stuffers this holiday season! Perfect for that Jane Austen aficionado in your life!

Current Pride & Prejudice recommendation: Death Comes to Pemberley. It's a mini-series (two episodes) on PBS. I was completely hooked! Give it a go and tell me what you think!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE AUSTEN CLASSIC?

11.17.2014

WEEKEND UPDATE.



RECAPS
1 | Instagram for the win. If you haven't heard, Instagram released an update to their app that allows you to edit your photo captions after posting! No more being stuck with silly typos in your captions or having to delete your photo and try and again! Hooray for progress. :)

2 | Movie night. My core group girls all got together Friday night for dinner and a movie. Our movie of choice? Elf. :) Yeah, it's a little early, but we all love Christmas quite a bit. Plus, winter snuck up on Tennessee, so it has been quite chilly out for this time of year and definitely feels more like Christmas.

3 | Game night. Because we just can't get enough of each other, my core group came over Saturday night for games and snacks! We had a cozy fire going in the fireplace and played multiple rounds of the salad bowl game. The night was full of good fellowship and a lot of laughter.

4 | New, new, new. Hello new blog design! Where'd you come from? I've been working with Maiedae over the past few weeks in re-designing my little blog, and it is finally done and oh so beautiful! It is very me. The perfect balance of adventure and class. I am a little bit in love with it. :)

OTHER FINDS
-- You can't be all the things.
-- Have you ever participated in Operation Christmas Child?
-- Frozen yolks? Who knew, right?
-- LOVE these adorable travel journals!
-- I am officially one month out from a vacation at the magical world of Disney!
-- The prettiest holiday prints in all the land are on sale!

YOU MAY HAVE MISSED
Fourteen Girls Walked Into A Field
Based On A True Story
Emily Ley Simplified Planner Giveaway


Sweet Jordyn of She Who Fears has been hanging out on my sidebar this month. She is such a gem and so is her precious blog. Jordyn does a weekly prayer post that is so uplifting and encouraging, and she just announced her pregnancy is the cutest little video that had me smiling the whole time.

JORDYN'S FINDS
-- Oh hello, cozy red scarf!
-- What does the fox say?
-- Aslan, is that you?
-- DIY Wingback rocking chair? Yes, please!
-- Take me to Alaska.

HOW WAS YOUR WEEKEND, FRIENDS?