RISE + LA Girl's Weekend

Sitting in the airport reflecting on my weekend at the RISE conference. I almost backed out of going 400 times. I had trouble buying my ticket *inner voice: must be a sign that you'll die in the plane on the way over,* was worried about traveling alone *inner voice: you'll miss your flight, you don't know what you're doing,* meeting a bunch of strangers *inner voice: you're going to nervous talk where you say weird things and people will think you're nuts.* L-O-L, literally so sad the way we just speak fear and negativity over ourselves from the itty bitty bullshit committee (thanks for that one Jen Hatmaker!).


What actually happened was... I had the most amazing California weekend with some of my favorite ladies and had truth and life and sisterhood breathed all over me. God knew I needed to be there even when the enemy tried to keep me from experiencing one of the most life giving conferences I've ever been to.


We started the weekend in beautiful LA at Rachel Hollis' HOUSE for a garden party. Have you read Girl, Wash Your Face? Seriously if not, just click that link and order it right away. Every woman should read it. She announced the sequel this weekend and I freakin' can not wait. The party was beautiful with cocktails, fun snacks, beautiful dresses and the hostess herself.


For dinner we took an Uber to Malibu, the only bummer was sunset was way earlier than it is at home so we couldn't see the beautiful coast BUT Malibu Farm was so dreamy and delicious, so even though we drove for a thousand hours to get there it was totally worth it (I may not live that drive down - haha!!).


Rise day 1 was all about our pasts. It was incredibly emotional and beautiful and made me truly proud to be a woman. We all carry so much and can feel so alone even though we have so much more in common that we do differences. We finished the day with a happy hour at our hotel which reminded me so much of Big Sur and we all agreed it was one of our favorite parts of the trip: The Garland. We ate breakfast here every morning. It was the best.


We also spent some time in Silver Lake at Cafe Stella, seeing the LA tourist spots and driving through Beverly Hills, basically looking for Justin Bieber.


Rise Day 2 was all goal setting and personal branding and SO INSPIRING. This year has been personally hard for me, I haven't felt like myself, we've had a lot up in the air and it was just the kick in the pants that I needed. So grateful. We finished the trip with a drive to Santa Monica for walking the pier and lunch at the cutest Little Ruby. Heading home with a grateful and renewed heart. I was reminded that this is something we have to seek out, we have to carve out the time to fill our cups up and make it happen. There is nothing like a getaway with friends that spurs you on and lifts you up. If you've had something like this on your heart, don't wait for permission just do it!! 

Gift Idea: Test Tube Bath Salts

I love to do something wellness oriented at Christmas for my neighbors because I know our bodies could use a little r + r and self care after running around for weeks trying to get everything just right for the big day. I did linen sprays for elevating the every day last year and this year I was inspired by my friend Jennifer to do bath salts. 


What I love about using oils is that you can make all sorts of things with them. I wanted to make these bath salts extra special so I ordered these test tubes with cork tops and this collection of dried flowers (which came in the prettiest box with four different dried petals: rose, lavender, chamomile, and marigold!).


Test Tube Bath Salts

You will need:
+ Test tubes with corks
+ Dried Flowers
+ Epsom salts (make sure it's unscented - I get mine from Target)
+ Your favorite oils (I used Eucalyptus Radiata and Lemongrass and Lavender)

Layer in the salt, add a drop of oil, layer in flower petals, then salts with another drop of oil, etc until full. To use simply run a bath and soak amongst the beautiful petals. Merry Christmas!!

Interested in oils? You can find out more about the Golden Drop Society and how to get the best essential oils EVER :) right here!


3rd Annual Favorite Things Party

Last night the dope squad had our 3rd Annual (hard to believe!) Favorite Things Party!


For the past three years we have been intentional about getting together during the busiest time of year, showing up in our casual best, and nibbling on cheese and drinking bubbles. We bring a gift around $5 that we gift to everyone. I've done mini bottles of champagne tied with a straw and hair ties with mini latte bowls and this year I did my current favorite thing...


Bougie scrunchies!! LOL! I love these silk scrunchies for throwing my hair up at the end of the day, doesn't damage your hair and feels weightless. Heavenly and while I love giving gifts, it's so much fun to see what my friends loved over the year. Here were their gifts: Sarah - Personalized Dope Squad moleskin mini notebooks with an erasable pen, Kristy - Lululemon socks, Emily - Rifle Paper Notebooks. Loved ALL of these!!! I always find something new that I love from these amazing ladies and I look forward to this special night of catching up every year.

Last Minute Gift Ideas

I'll be totally honest that this post is a way for me to procrastinate. I'm like knee deep in tissue paper and to-do lists but lemme whip up a quick blog post, right? While most of us certainly do not need a thing, it can't hurt to put together a little happy list...

 a collection of sweet gifts plus some of my favorite things!

a collection of sweet gifts plus some of my favorite things!

Ok here are some things that I think any adult girl would like! Basically, it's my wish list. ;)

+ Subscription to Domino or Magnolia Magazine! 
+ Gorgeous stationary + pens! Rifle paper is always a good idea and Anthro stationary is a fave. (Psst free shipping, no minimum and 25% off of everything today!).
+ A pink toaster because... pink + toast.
+ Pretty mixing bowls like these.
+ Basically anything from Anthropologie (have I mentioned that?) or Lululemon for those darn resolutions. ;)
+ A good bottle of wine. Although I love rosΓ© I go for reds and bubbles in the winter. How cute are these bags?!
+ Good handwriting always stands out. How cute is this book?
+ Pretty coffee table books like this one or this one.
+ Self care! Gift cards to spas or nail salons (anyone else?!).
+ A heartfelt note. Christmas card lovers unite.
+ An online class! I feel like this is unique and fun! Annie Liebowitz is offering a photography class that sounds amazing. All of these Masters Classes sound fantastic.
+ Fun costume jewelry! Gimme all the sparkle during the holidays. Target has great jewelry right now.
+ This ADORABLE hand knit hat (that I had to snag) would make a great gift. So soft and comfortable!
+ Cute pjs for a steal (that she probably wouldn't buy herself but will love!).

What's on your list?!

Garden Ideas

Southern Living Idea House 2012

It has felt like spring in Georgia even though I know we aren't finished with chilly days. Here are a few of my inspiration photos for the outside of our house (sources here). We have spent so much time inside that our outside is a little sad. We did get our fence put in so here is where we are on the project list:

  • Paint fence
  • Landscaping - front + back + side
  • Paint side of house
  • Paint decks/replace with something more durable
  • Nicer gutters/guards
  • Refresh containers (love this hydrangea/fern combo above - so southern!)
  • Update lighting fixtures. Would love to install some gas lanterns like these.
  • Install a brick mailbox

We started here and have since hired someone to clear the back yard and we removed the chainlink fence. Major progress!! We also updated the back deck here. Sam and my Dad were amazing!!

Still loving this blend of pea gravel with the more formal gardens. We get such little sun that we really struggle with getting grass to grow in the back and front and honestly I would much rather have plants than grass. :)

A tree hedge is something that I adore but the side of our fence is pretty long so it would be quite the investment. I especially love European Hornbeam that makes the loveliest hedge.

I look forward to sharing progress pics soon!! I miss gardening so much. See all pins + sources here.