Friday, August 31, 2012

August Favorites

I just can't get over the fact that it will soon be September.


September brings with it festivals, cooler nights, yummy smells, Starbucks Pumpkin Spice everything.

August came and went pretty quickly.

Here are my August favorites...

1.  I won a giveaway from Ashley's blog and received my prize this month.  Ellie Puente at A Felt Affair (check her out on etsy & FB) made me an awesome chevron L from my entry.  I am in love with the letter L.  If I had the wall space I would just do a huge collage of Ls.  Until I have my dream house (many years from now), it goes perfectly on my black vintage chest with a topiary and buffet lamp.

(yes, the handle on the chest is broken.  I broke it.  I've got skills like that)

2.  I am super excited about these boots I found for Caroline.  I found them on Gilt.  If you have not joined, let me know and I will send you an invite.  This is just one of the early Christmas gifts I have found.  Thanks Day Day!  Caroline is going to LOVE them!

3.  This blanket was a steal!  My mom found a green and white one at Tuesday Morning that she bought for herself.  It is Thro by Marlo Lorenz.  It reminds me of this one I saw on One Kings Lane but with a better price tag.  When my sister and I saw it, we had to go back the next day to purchase a few more.  My sister has the black and white one.  It is the best blanket ever.  It is super soft and who doesn't love a chevron pattern? 

4.  This is my craziest favorite thing this month.  I am NOT one that loves the "as seen on TV" stuff.  However, I saw this Hair Bean in Bed, Bath & Beyond.  My Nana was with me and she LOVES all of the "as seen on TV" stuff so we bought it.  I have to say, it works pretty well.  Maybe I will do a before and after for the blog to prove it.  I brush Big and Bug's hair with this first then with the regular brush.  They haven't cried about having their hair brushed since the Hair Bean came into our life.

5.  Caroline has been BEGGING to do another painting.  I go to Lisa Jordan's classes pretty religiously with my sister, Anna.  It is sort of like a once-a-month-therapy for us.  We love it.  I prepared myself for Caroline going again.  I am a perfectionist (for the most part) and when you are working with a 6 year old, perfection is out the window.  She did this whole painting by herself.  I helped her keep up with the color pattern around the border but she did the actual painting.  I think it is pretty fabulous.  She LOVES it.

6.  This is our new favorite song.  I am still driving the minivan.  I don't like to talk about it.  Hearing my children sing this song makes driving the pimpin' mini much better.  The girls call it "The Clapping Song".  It is actually titled 40 Day Dream.  You're welcome.


Ashley hosts a monthly Favorite Things link up.

Favorite Things will always be on the last weekday of each month.

You can tell us about anything you've loved from that month.   A new product, a favorite picture, a new favorite show....anything!!!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Cats Yuck

I hate cats.

Let me rephrase that... I hate cats with a passion.

They make me sneeze.

They make my eyes swell and water.

They make me feel like I have a three ton elephant on my chest.

I am gasping for air just thinking about it!

Have you ever noticed that when you hate an animal, that certain animal loves you?

It was no surprise when this little thing showed up on my doorstep.

I screamed.

I panicked.

What the hell am I going to do?

Who does this little itty bitty thing belong to??


Thank God my sister was here and went to the rescue.

She loves cats.


Anyway, she picked him/her up and we walked to my neighbors house.

She verified that it was her new kitten, Oreo.

Properly named being that he/she is black and white.

She informed me that Oreo is a wanderer but would come back home.

"Not to worry," she said.

Well, not really.  She doesn't talk like that.  But she said something along those lines.

So, everyday for the past month this little itty bitty kitten, Oreo, has shown up on my doorstep.

He/she just lays there.


It is all Ryan's fault.

He came home one day and informed the girls that cats LOVE milk.

"Let's give Oreo MILK," they squealed.

I coldly told them "NO!"

Ryan did it anyway.

Do you know what happens when you feed a cat?

They NEVER go away.  They keep coming back for more.


There are a few that are ok with the cat.

Emma is smitten with the kitten.  She has even gained enough courage to hold the cat.  The cat just lays in her arms.  He/she doesn't try to fight it anymore

My Dad was all, "It's nice to have a cat around, Hailey.  Cats keep other animals (umm, rodents) away."

Too bad this cat hasn't done anything.

Zoey, though, is a champ of rodent killing.  She is slowly digging up the backyard looking for a mole.  She has also brought us birds, june bugs, turtles, july flies and a mouse.  I wasn't at home for the mouse situation... thank God!

Dog catches animals while cat lounges on the front porch sipping milk.

No wonder I hate cats.  What assholes.

(This picture just happened to be the cat's butt because the stupid thing pounced on Emma's foot right before this shot.  Jerk.  Good thing the picture went along with my last statement though.  Score.)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


A friend of mine posted this on FB.

Almost as good as this (don't click this one at work) and this.

You're welcome!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sisterly Love

Caroline is adjusting to school.

Actually, I can't believe that I am saying this but she loves it.

She woke up this morning, hopped in the bathtub, ate breakfast, brushed her teeth and was ready to go.  No  fight.  No screams.  No vomit (thank God).

I will admit she may have been excited because today is PE day.  She LOVES her PE teacher (she even stalks his pictures on Facebook... I'm not kidding).  I hated PE as a child.  I do not have an athletic bone in my body.  Caroline though, is pretty coordinated.  She is pretty great at everything that she does.

She was also excited because she has a pretty awesome teacher that has promised to do pretty awesome things this year.

So, while Caroline is at school having a blast... Bug is NOT adjusting very well to being at home without her.

By 9:30am this morning, Bug had:

- a meltdown because "we can't go to storytime without CAROLINEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!  We can't!"
- asked 3 times, "When do we go pick up Big?"

Although I want to pull my hair out on the daily, my girls do play well together.  They will hop on a plane and fly to China, eat lunch in New York City, be teacher and student, be mama and daughter.  Most of the time they enjoy being together.

It is easy to say that depression has set in because Big is not here all day.

Bug is in a slump.  She just lounges on Caroline's bed, watching Doc McStuffins reruns with her babies most of the day.

Occasionally she will come out of Big's room and ask, "When are we picking Big up?"

She starts preschool soon.  That is sure to bring about multiple meltdowns.  So, until then I will let her lay quietly in her sister's room.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Big is a first grader

Big started 1st grade today.


I have a first grader.

It seems so weird.

We rushed around getting ready this morning but Caroline seemed a little excited.

I wouldn't say she was overly excited but it is better than tears.

She cried just a little as I walked out of her classroom.  However, she quickly pulled herself together.

She's is in first grade now.  First graders don't cry.

I can't wait to hear how her first day went.

Shirt: 7 for All Mankind
Shorts: 7 for All Mankind
Shoes: Dansko Jada Mary Jane


 And I couldn't forget my First Day Favorites picture.  (I LOVE pinterest)...

For old times, here is Caroline on her first day of Kindergarten...

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Friday Letters on ummm Saturday: 2nd ed.

Dear Friday,
You came and went by way too fast.

The girl who doesn't have enough hours in a day


Dear Gossip Girl,
You keep me awake WAY to late/early in the morning.
It is getting ridiculous.
Why must you be so addicting?

(heart) Hailey Archibald (heart)


Notice I still had 34 minutes and 40 seconds left to watch.


Dear Iron Man,
Thank you so much for finally getting rid of the stumps in our backyard.
Those trees fell during a hurricane exactly one year ago.
I am so happy those eye sores are now gone.
Now, for the bushes in the front we've been wanting to get rid of...

Ironing Woman


Dear McDonald's wokers,
It is critical that I have my large black iced coffee in the mornings.
I do NOT like it when you mess it up.
I specifically ask for "a large black iced coffee.  No cream.  No liquid sugar."
It is awful when you think you are getting a black coffee until you sip and find that it has been loaded it down with liquid sugar.
Please don't let it happen again.

Thanks for making me vomit in my mouth,
Black Coffee Lover



Thursday, August 23, 2012

Fashion With Bug

Dress: Vintage Gap complete with little white buttons down the back

Bow: French Knot Polka Dot Bow
it has been dubbed "The Carolina Bow" at our house

Shoes: Old Navy similar to these


Why did you pick blue today?

Daddy loves blue.

Why do you like about this outfit?

The blue and the buttons on the back.


Bug dresses herself sometimes.
When she does, I snap her picture.
Emma has her own sense of style & obviously loves fashion.

She loves everything from smocked dresses to hand-me-down "vintage".

Mystery Crop

Soy beans, tobacco, corn, cotton, wheat... I know.

This I do not.

I have been living in North Carolina my whole life and I have never seen this.

Now, I can tell you the exact location of two of these fields.

So my dear sweet blog friends, help me.

What in the world is this?

The plant has very pretty tops.

It also looks similar to a small corn plant.

I've googled everything I know to google and I have come up with nothing.

Thanks for helping!

I will sleep much better knowing what this is.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Beer cans at the library

I have been gone for too long.

I have finally caught up on laundry.

My house is semi-in-order.

My toilets have finally been cleaned.

But there are still signs of being gone for far too long.

For one, my reader is overflowing...


I found a beer can in my pool bag/beach bag/library bag.

We went to story time at the library today.

I was digging through my bag looking for the minivan keys.

I almost cut my finger off on a Bud Light can.

I quickly threw a bathing suit cover-up and a pair of swimmies over it.

That would have been cute for another parent to see.

All signs of a fabulous summer.

A super, fabulous summer.

6 more days of summer vacay.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday Letters: 1st ed.

Dear 2 glasses of wine before bed last night,
Thanks for leaving me with a headache this morning.  Damn you.


Dear Iron Man,
Thank you for keeping the house clean while I was out of town for a few days.  Last time I came back after 24 hours to sour milk in the sink, a shattered coffee mug all over the floor, and a very smelly house.  This time the results were much better.  I am proud of you.

I love you,
Ironing Woman


Dear children,
Can I use the bathroom by myself today?  No?  Whatev.



Dear humdity,
You need to chill out.  You and the heat are killing me lately.




Thursday, August 16, 2012


Today was our last day on our mini vacay.

I settled into Heavier than Heaven with the wave lapping at my feet.

The girls took off with Grandmom to play pretend.

I took a break from Kurt and I watched them play for a while.

Caroline was "making a movie".  She was Allison and she was a surfer.

Then they played bath tub.  The fought over the biggest hole in the pool of ocean water that gathered during the exchanging of tides.

The biggest hole equals the biggest bath tub... complete with dead, half eaten sand fleas.  But we all know that biggest is bestest even with a little dead sand fiddlers floating around.

From the shoreline, I saw two little imaginations racing... taking my babies anywhere they wanted to go.

Those moments are what I want to remember.

Sometimes I feel like all I talk about is the bad days.

I want to remember the good days too.

I love the imagination of my children.

I always want them to remember that with a little imagination and you have the whole world at your fingertips.

Dream on, little ones.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Great Books

I am on another mini vacay.

I laid on the beach in peace for the second time in a week while my fabulous MIL splashed in the surf for almost 2 hours with my children.

All by my lonesome.  It made me miss my better half, Iron Man, but on the upside of things... I was able to finish my book.

I squished the wet sand between my toes and cried like a baby under my big floppy hat.

I read one of my favorite books of all time... What Remains by Carole Radziwell.

I could read it over and over and over again.

Good books and the beach are good for the soul.

I am a true believe that books and beach go hand in hand.

It made me wonder, what great books have you read this summer?

While I wait for the next great book to fall in my lap, I am reading Heavier Than Heaven by Charles R. Cross.  Do not judge me.  My sister claims that it is a wonderful book.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Despite my lack of blogging, I am alive and well.

We survived GNO.

We had a fabulous time.

FABULOUS, I tell you.

Our friends Jamie and Heather set up the whole trip.  We stayed at Jamie's mom's place.

Jamie is a great friend a girl.  She loves to take care of people.  I mean, just look at the reminders she sent us.  She and Heather even packed little brown bag lunches for everyone to eat on the beach.  Love those girls!

Of course, the whole drive down we were driving into a big black cloud.

We were all silently praying the sun would come out and give us a little time on the beach.

Much to our surprise, our prayers were answered.

We were able to spend a little time on the beach together.

We even did a few dance dares on the beach.  Yes, there are videos.  No, I will not post them just yet.  Let's just say Bud Light Lime-a-ritas make you do crazy things.

We went back to the house and all 7 of us got ready in no time.  We went to Amos Mosquito's for dinner.

As you know, this is one of my favorites.  I was looking forward to some sort of "white fish" like mahi or wahoo.  Their fresh catch was yellowfin tuna and I just wasn't in the mood for that.  I decided on the crab cake appetizer which was amazing.

And guess what?  I met Jaime Pressly.

She is from Kinston, NC which is right beside my hometown, La Grange.

I have seen her before.  I even saw her once at a local pizza place and almost knocked a sign down staring at her.  Embarrassing... yes.

This time, I decided to introduce myself and become BFFs with her.  I was shaking.  My heart was beating out of my chest and I am pretty sure that in this picture I was about to throw up because I was so excited.

She is so beautiful, sweet, nice, tiny, perfect, awesome, beautiful...



We went to a few shops and then to Ben and Jerry's for ice cream.

A few dance dares later, we were back at home in our PJs giggling the night away.

I am so lucky to have such a fabulous group of friends.  We are already planning our next girls trip!


This is all about what a "Dance Dare" is...

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Fight Club and GNO

Today is the day.

Today is the day I get to go to the beach with just my friends.

We can talk without interruption.

We will only have to apply sunscreen to ourselves.

We will have a nice dinner without someone throwing food or having to go to the bathroom every 5 seconds.

We are free for the next 24 hours.

We are excited but...

I wonder how long it will take for one of us to call our husband and children?


The Rules of GNO
Based on The Fight Club (because I love that movie)

1st RULE: What happens at GNO, stays at GNO.

2nd RULE: What happens at GNO, STAYS at GNO.

3rd RULE: If someone says "stop" or goes limp, be sure they have a DD. {Seriously... just kidding. We will be civil.  No one will go limp.  We aren't 16.  I just used it because it was a fight club rule.}

4th RULE: No limit on the number of girls in attendance.

5th RULE: Loads of conversation at one time. {We are multi-takers, people}

6th RULE: Cute dresses, cute shoes.

7th RULE: We shall all have a good time.  No drama.

8th RULE: If this is your first night at GNO with us, you HAVE to have fun and please do not pass judgement on the rest of us... we may use ugly words at times.

Loosely based on the rules of Fight Club.
1st RULE: You do not talk about FIGHT CLUB.
2nd RULE: You DO NOT talk about FIGHT CLUB.
3rd RULE: If someone says "stop" or goes limp, taps out the fight is over.
4th RULE: Only two guys to a fight.
5th RULE: One fight at a time.
6th RULE: No shirts, no shoes.
7th RULE: Fights will go on as long as they have to.
8th RULE: If this is your first night at FIGHT CLUB, you HAVE to fight.

I puffy heart Brad Pitt.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The stress of a snack

I am writing from a happy place today.

I am not sure if it is the James Taylor & Carole King I have playing as I type or the fact that tomorrow is GNO.

Sidenote:  Have I ever told you that I write and listen to music?  I do.  Kind of strange, I know.  Music to write.  Music to photograph.

Anyway, I am also in a happy place because I picked a snack.

What is she talking about, you ask?

Well you see, we are all suppose to bring a snack to share with everyone on this trip.

As soon as I read it I began to perspire from every pore in my body.  I think WAY too much into these kinds of things.

I could make Islander Dip... I love it but what if it doesn't get eaten because no one else likes it??

I could make Roasted Corn Salsa... that is a little time consuming and what if no one likes it??

I could make spinach dip... what if no one likes it??

What if no one likes ittttttt??

Everything that came to mind, I was scared everyone would hate.

My biggest fear is that I will make something that no one likes.

That is a bad feeling.

I would be a terrible contestant on Top Chef.

Cooking for a big group of people is too stressful.

I am sure bringing a snack did not stress anyone else out.  Just crazy me.  Overthinking, a curse I got from my Mom.

I have been spoiled by the fact that my husband eats everything I put in front of him.

He may hate it but he will eat every bit of it without so much as a funny face.

It is super sweet but it gives me a sort of fake confidence in cooking.

"How was your dinner last night?"  "Oh, I cooked it a little too long.  The bottom was a little black but Ryan LOVED it."

With my insecurities in place, I decided to buy a snack.

So, I decided on pimento cheese and homemade bread from The Bread Lady.

Therefore, if it is crap... we can blame her.  It will not fall on me.

I also grabbed a bag of Buffalo Wing Pretzel Crisps because they are yummy on the beach AND I didn't have to make them.  Ha!


Now I am off to pack my bags and not-Hailey-made foods.  T minus 21 hours and counting.  Woo-hoo!

Fashion with Bug

This is Bug's favorite dress.
I let her dress herself a few times this week.
This was one of the outcomes.
Favorite dress... check
Favorite bow.... check
Favorite shoes.... check
Random black tights... check

The dress is Teenie Wahine by Roxy
The bow is what Bug calls "ballerina pink" bought from a local shop
The shoes are Big's from Walmart (don't judge me.  I bought them as angel shoes for the Christmas play)
We will call the tights "vintage"


Why is this your favorite dress?
'Cause I love it.

What is your favorite thing about this outfit?
I love the white and polka dots.  I love da purple too.  Oh, and the sparkle shoessss.


This is a new segment that will appear weekly on BS.
Emma has her own sense of style.
She loves everything from smocked dresses to hand-me-down "vintage".

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Young, wild and innocent

This post is about Chick-fil-a.

I do not care to argue over politics, religion, etc.

That is not the goal of this post.

I just want to share a story about my sweet babies.

Things are so black and white to them.

Things seem so easy through the eyes of a child.

I think this a quality we all cherish most in our children.


I took the girls to Chick-fil-a last Wednesday.

I stood in line with 8 million other people to pump my kids full of processed meat and a load of fat and sodium.

They enjoyed it.

Going out to eat, just the three of us, is a treat.  I rarely tackle that situation by myself.

Caroline asked from the backseat, "Why are we going to Chick-fil-a tonight?"

How to explain freedom of speech to a 6 year old?

This is going to be tricky...

"Well, because the man that owns Chick-fil-a said something that some people didn't like.  You see, whether you like something or not, you can say it if that is how you feel."

"So, he said something ugly?"  I am sure a slew of curses were going through her head.

"No, but people are being ugly to him.  They don't like what he said and they are not going to eat at Chick-fil-a anymore."


"I don't know, Big."


"Whether we like what he said or not... that has nothing to do with Chick-fil-a.  Let me see.  Hummm... what is my favorite color?"


"Yep!  I love orange.  If you tell me you don't like the color orange, I am not going to get angry and not be your friend anymore.  That would be mean.  It would be ok for you not to like orange.  That doesn't mean that I can't like the color orange."

We are getting way off course here.

Obviously Bug was listening to this in-depth conversation.

She chimed in... "So, the people are mad because they don't like his lemonade?"

Oh, if only it were that easy sweet, innocent child o' mine.

While adults seem to carry the weight of the world on their shoulders, kids only care about lemonade.

Oh, if we could be young and innocent again...  there would be world peace.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

My favorite pictures lately...

I wanted you to meet a few cuties I have had the privilege of taking photographs of this summer.


 The summer began with a photo shoot with a brother and sister.
Meet Jarrett and baby sister Kenley.
This was right before Kenley's 1st birthday party (which was owl themed).
She was tu-tu cute!!

This summer, I also met some friends for family shots at the beach.
This is Blair.
He is absolutely the cutest baby I have ever laid eyes on.

I also did Justin's pictures.
I have been doing pictures of him since he was tiny.
His birthday is less than a month before Bug's.
However, they are not in the same class at preschool.
Justin will be a year ahead of her in school because he just made the August 31st cutoff date.

He is a character and is always making people laugh!

I also had the chance to take pictures for a close friend.
This was the second time shooting her little one.
Gracie is a mess.
She has grown so much in the past year.
She was NOT happy about me being in her face, taking her picture.
I did get one sweet smile from her though.

I just did pictures for a family member.
They are the most gorgeous family ever.
Little Londyn was awesome for the camera.
She is such a cutie!

Girlfriend, loved the water until...

... she decided to sit down in it.
She was NOT a happy camper with a wet, sandy dress.
However, she was too cute and it made for adorable pictures.


Thanks to everyone for asking me to take your pictures.
I have so much fun spending time with you and your families!