I’ve escaped this

for fun in the kitchen,

helping write last minute letters to Santa

and kissing babies!

It was a great trade! 


While BeachBoy runs to Lowe’s for an emergency supply, I thought I’d check in.  I’ve been busy, busy, busy sealing the floors in the living room and dining room.

I still need to hang the blinds and curtains back up, replace the floor grates, and purchase the new rug (this one is from our bedroom).   Plus, we’re STILL trying to sell the furniture (no bites yet).  But, the floors are done in here and in the dining room.

As for the master bedroom, well…I haven’t coated those floors yet because it looks like this today:

In OTHER news, we also have THIS surprise project to tend to right away.  What’s new at your house?

BeachBoy and I celebrated our 5th anniversary on September 30th!  What a blessed woman I am.  While I’m quickly outliving my “newlywed” status, I feel just as tickled and glowy as I did on day one.  He’s a keeper for sure!

We’re saving up BeachBoy’s vacation time for Christmas, so we decided to stick close to home instead of taking the “Big Trip” we’d originally been planning for this year.  I planned a last minute surprise getaway weekend instead.

Rather than throw a bunch of words at you, I’ll give you what you really want….PICTURES!!  You are going to drool all over the cottage we rented.  I sure did!  Go grab a towel before you scroll down, sugar.

We started our weekend with a zipline canopy tour and ropes course in South Carolina, which you can read more about here.    The rest of the weekend was spent roaming through the mountains, visiting farms, and exploring the vineyard where our cottage was located.

The Cottage

I decided they designed the garden especially for me.

The first thing BB did was throw open all of the doors. Can you blame him?

The dining room made my heart sing. I loved it that much.

The kitchen was small but mighty. It boasted a copper sink, subzero fridge/freezer drawers, a hidden microwave, a dishwasher drawer, and a viking range. Not bad for a tiny little space, huh!?

Take one more look before we move to the master suite.

That california king bed was quite a treat for us since we're used to a queen.

OK, brace yourself for the bathroom, girls.  No, really.

Why is he smiling? Because at home, we only have one sink. Here, he has his own. Haha!

We stepped this shower off to be at least 6x8. It was incredible, to say the least.

Having 2 sinks made getting ready such a breeze. It's the little things...

This was the crowning jewel. The view from the tub was amazing!

a few more, just for fun…

Breakfast outside...perfection

We didn't want to leave....ever.

The setting was perfect.

Here are a few of the relaxing adventures we shared.

I HIGHLY recommend The Farmhouse at Persimmon Creek. It was incredible.

Those are boiled peanuts….a delicacy I’d never heard of before moving to the south.

Now, I have to tell you something.  Our cottage was not the only one at the vineyard.  In fact, it was the smallest of three stunning cottages.  And, I just so happen to have pictures of the other two.  They are lighter and brighter than our woodsy cottage.  I promise to post them soon, so be sure to keep an eye out.  You DON’T want to miss seeing them.  For me, it was love at first sight.

I found that the more I let go in life, the more I grow.  The more I grow, the more alive I feel.

Today was a big day for me.  It was my final day as a teacher.

My whole life, I longed to teach.  And, for 6 years, I loved my job.  But, I found that it was time for me to let go and grow.  It was time for me to reconcile my priorities.  And, right under “1. God” on my priority list is “2. Family.”  It’s a funny thing though, how being a devoted teacher can push things out of whack.

You see, I am the type of teacher who cares for every child like my own.  I’m the teacher who is in the classroom 12 months a year, often as many as 12 hours a day.  I am the teacher who can’t fall asleep at night because I’m thinking about a struggling student.  I’m the type of teacher who takes every grumpy parent’s comments to heart because I just want what’s best for “my” child.  I’m the type of teacher who can’t say, “Well, I’ve tried hard enough.  There’s nothing else I can do.” Imagine, then, how that emotional roller coaster adds up when you have not a house filled with kids but a whole classroom full!

Yes, it was certainly time for me to reconcile my priorities with my energy and emotional expenditures.  So, today, I held my chin up and said goodbye to a classroom of students for the last time.  In so doing, I closed the door on my life-long dream and prepared for a fresh start.

I thought I would be sad today, but instead I found myself excited. It was a pleasant surprise.

You see, these past months, I’ve been studying and preparing to begin a new career.  I will be working from my favorite place (home!) as a holistic health counselor.  I am so excited about my new adventure and the prospect of devoting my energy toward my loving husband that I didn’t even think to be sad today.  And, I think that’s a good sign.  It reminds me that I’m on the right path. So, I’ll continue praying and walking.

I cherish my years of teaching and the ways in which they have prepared me for this new journey.  Now, I look forward to beginning my work with growing families and to helping them discover their own best health and happiness.

In just a few more days, my business website will be up and running, and I can’t wait to share it with you!  I’ve been so busy growing that I haven’t had much time to write lately, and now I will be helping others grow, too!

Last weekend, Beachboy and I enjoyed an impromptu trip to California.  It was a refreshing getaway from work and a wonderful chance to give each other our undivided attention.

Now, I know most people go to the coast to see the ocean.  But this girl goes to the beach to see the COTTAGES! I simply adore beach cottages, no matter the size or style.  I’d inhabit one if I could, but the “tear down” cottage we saw while there was listed at $7.8 million. So, there won’t be a waterfront cottage in my future anytime soon!

What really struck me about the California coast was the lack of salty air.  You couldn’t smell the ocean.  Instead, you smelled the roses.  Everyone there had roses, and the scent drifted all around you.  It was absolutely divine. 

This is a street of dreams!

One thing is for sure, these cottages are begging me to return when I have time to explore with more leisure.


Much to my dismay, BeachBoy was very excited, and exclaimed he need the same bumper sticker. 

You see, we have this little problem when we travel…

I’m pretty sure I was left with whiplash due to the quick turn this little stand caused during our recent trip to Alabama.

I’ve complained mentioned once or twice many times before that most of our home is currently in storage.  If you visit our storage unit and take everything out, youwill find our Christmas decorations in the very back.  Poor planning? Welll….you see, BeachBoy insisted we’d only be using the unit for the summer.  *Ahem* Summer, fall, winter…maybe he meant until the next summer.  Anyway,all of our Christmas supplies are in storage. 

So, this year, we decided to make (yes, make) all of our ornaments for the tree. 

Our inspiration came in the form of a pre-Thanksgiving trip to the lovely Sanibel Island in Florida. 

Apparently, when BeachBoy is at the beach, he’ll agree to anything, no matter how crazy it is.  So, when I told him I thought we should make all of our ornaments from shells, he pronounced it a great idea and began collecting bags of shells.  It was rather adorable, actually.

Three bags of shells, some bleach, and several bottles of glitter later, we had a tree.  Guess who did most of the glittering? My sweet Beachboy.  I’d share a picture, but I’ll save his pride as thanks for his hard work.


Now, I must confess something (southernistas, close your ears).  I wanted to use the drop cloths I’ve been bleaching to make rag garland for the tree, but I just didn’t have time.  So, to save BeachBoy from having to make quite so many shells, we put ribbon on the tree.  It’s not my thing, but I’ll survive.  Meanwhile, there is a  drop cloth skirt at the base which does not match the ribbon.  Oh, the social outcast of the south I am!

You’re right.  I didn’t make the birds.  They were a find from Michaels earlier this week.  Since they were the exact color of one of the glitters BeachBoy used on the shells, I couldn’t walk out without them. (excuses, excuses!)

In a recent post, sweet, sweet Suzanne of Our Southern Nest shared her tip for gathering free greenery.  I must say, I was skeptical.  You see, Suzanne is a true southern cutie and also quite charming.  You just can’t help but love her. I was convinced the Home Depot guys just couldn’t resist giving her the clippings.  But, as it turns out, they’ll apparently give them to windswept teachers covered in paint, too, or at least the ones at Lowe’s will! 

So, I went to work.

I have always had an aversion to fake flowers and greenery, so free Christmas tree clippings make me very happy.  It’s a chance to fill my home with things which would never be there otherwise.

I’ve been eyeing these baskets at TJMaxx for a while now.  What a lovely excuse the little red clearance sticker makes! I bought two.  Someday maybe they’ll grace a lovely front porch.

It’s a shame, for this purpose, that the mirrors are kept off-center.  But, an unbalanced garland will have to do for now.  The lovely smell makes up for it quite a bit. 

Tomorrow, I’m stopping by Home Depot so I can pick up more greens and do the outside of the house.  It’s amazing, really, how excited free greens can make me!

Ho, ho, ho, ya’ll!

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