Bluegrass, Bourbon & Horses

What a awesome weekend we had in Kentucky!! We worked on Thursday... which was actually super fun work. I had lunch with our Centennial book author and got to see a sneak peak at the manuscript. It's looking GREAT!  I also got to finally met my Helms Brisco Event planner after working with her for 3 years. Yes, 3 years of talking to someone every week and I have never met her in person.  We met for coffee, did several site visits together and she treated J and I to a wonderful dinner at Sabio!  I had the shrimp and J had the Scallops and we switched half-way through. It was amazing food.  {I will say... we certainly ate really well on our trip} Karen is even more wonderful in person and it was so great to finally meet her!
She also surprised us with this amazing basket of goodies, and picked up the race guides to get us started nice and early for the next day. Karen, you're the best!!

After dinner, We arrived back at our hotel and the Hilton reps surprised us with fun goodies....

The hotel was smack in the middle of downtown, with free valet parking, amazing meeting space, a free downtown trolly, free airport shuttles and great customer service!! We will most certainly be going back.

Friday we packed up and headed out to the races at Keenland. Dot brought some yummy tailgating treats and we set up our own little tailgate in the Louisville lot. The perfect spot to see the races from the grounds, and really close to the entrance as well.

Such a fun day!

Dot and I found out it was National Pretzel Day on Friday, so we scouted out pretzels in the stands... and boy were they yummy! {Maybe it was after a long day of mimosas, Kentucky Ale and Keenland Breezes... but still, hit the spot}

Saturday we took on the Bourbon Trail. But not before grabbing a fabulous brunch at Doodles.  I had a Kentucky Hot Brown casserole and Jesse has the Egg Doodle {egg in a biscuit} with cheese grits! We also had some beignets while we waited.  The food was incredible!!

After brunch, we toured three distilleries... Buffalo Trace, Woodford Reserve and also a local distillery and brewery - Town Branch, who also makes Kentucky Ale.


After our distillery tours, we really wanted to do a beer tasting - which we couldn't do on-site at the brewery. However, our tour guide gave us a place to go where we could do a full flight or grab a pint. We pulled up to Shenanigans and entered a liqueur store. Yep. A store. haha... but they had tables and chairs and all the beers on tap, so we grabbed some BBQ tator chips and had us some beers. It was hilarious... but the perfect end to our day of tours!

The night we had an amazing dinner at The Village Idiot.  I had "The Idiot" and I wish I would have taken a picture... it was the best burger I have ever head. It's topped with chipped beef, a large onion ring and all the fixins. to. die. for.  Jesse got their famous crab mac-n-cheese, so we shared meals and enjoyed every bite!  After dinner we found our way over to an awesome Bourbon Bar, Bluegrass Tavern and enjoyed many more Keenland Breezes... which is my new favorite drink.

A Keenland Breeze
Maker's Mark
Triple Sec
Ginger Ale
Orange Garnish

We stayed quite a while, listening to the great music and watching the bar-keep's culinary skills. I believe Dorothy and J could have watched him all night long. haha He was pretty good though. 

Sunday we said goodbye to Dot and Stephen and met some good Kentucky friends for brunch... and got to meet their sweet baby girl, Addy.  I didn't get a picture, but this is her.  She's a doll! 

Such a fun Kentucky weekend. We can't wait to go back! 


Life Lessons

Happy Monday folks! We had the best weekend in Lex, KY with some really great friends... exploring all things Kentucky, including lots of Bourbon and a few horses. I will have a great re-cap for you soon, but today I wanted to share with everyone one of my favorite short inspirational stories on life.  With our traveling over the past few weeks, we've missed Mass and so today, I felt like I needed a little bit of reflection time.


This is an important life lesson that a philosophy teacher taught his students.

The teacher cleared off his desk and placed on top of it a few items. One of the items was an empty mason jar. He proceeded to fill up the jar with golf balls until he could fit no more. He looked at the classroom and asked his students if they agree that the jar is full. Every student agreed that the jar was indeed full.

The teacher then picked up a box of small pebbles and poured them into the jar with the golf balls. The pebbles filled all of the openings in between the golf balls. He asked the students if the jar was full. Once again, they agreed.

Now the teacher picked up a bag of sand and poured it into the mason jar. The sand filled in all of the empty space left between the golf balls and pebbles. He asked the class again if the jar was full. The students agreed it was technically full.

Finally, the teacher pulled out two beers from under his desk and poured both of them into the jar filling the empty space between the sand. Now the students began to laugh wondering how far this was going.
The teacher waited until the laughter stopped. "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life," he started. "The golf balls represent the important things. Your family, children, health, friends, and passions. If everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles represent the other things in life that matter, such as your job, house and car. The sand---that is everything else. The small stuff. If you put the sand in first, there is no room for the pebbles or golf balls.

The same goes for life. If you spend all of your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are most important. Pay attention to the important things in your life.
Enjoy time with family. Go to dinner with your spouse. Play games with your kids. There will ALWAYS be time to clean the house or take yourself shopping.

Take care of the golf balls first---the things that really matter. The rest is just sand. You are dismissed.

"Before the students left, one shouted out. "You never mentioned what the beer represents!"

The professor smiled and said, "Well I'm glad you asked. The beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of beers with a friend."

Cheers to that! Busy is good. Being involved is good. Volunteering and Giving back is good. However, nothing beats time with an old friend, a quiet dinner with the hubs, or long play days with my family. Friday I am heading south {finally} for some quality time with my family and I am SO excited!! I can't wait to hug my momma & daddy and get some sweet lovin' from my 7 babies. I'm not trying to wish away the week just yet, but Friday... hurry up!! 

xo, Trace


Wednesday Shout Outs

Short post today folks... I'm running out of the office to pack and head to Kentucky for work/horse races at Keenland. I couldn't be more excited for a fun little getaway and to see some old friends {YAY for time with Dot and Stephen}... and meet a few news ones as well! 

I did want to send a little shout out to two of my very dear friends who have Birthday's today... 

Jessie Lynn. Jessie is the "girl J" here in Lex... usually it's "I'm girl Jessie and he's boy Jesse" everywhere she goes with my hubs.  Jessie is married to the other half of my husbands Grumpy Old Man to be days... I swear these two are like grumpy and grumpier when you put them in a room together. It's a love-hate relationship. But, what that means is that Jessie and I get to spent a lot of quality time together! I'm so blessed that Jessie is as wonderful as she is. She's the most dedicated person I have ever met when it comes to workouts.. and the best person at surprises and knowing how to lay back and just enjoy a beautiful day. We've already logged many many memories over the last 5 years, and I look forward to so many more ahead.


Steph. Where to begin. I met this girl on bid day our freshman year at AOII and immediately we became attached at the hip. I can't even pick out one AOII memory from college that doesn't include this lady... the tailgating, dorm-room funnies, date parties, socials, spring breaks, LC meetings, retreats, service projects, Panhellenic events... I could really go on forever. Thinking about all the fun we've had together makes me ever so grateful for the friendship we still have today. I am so blessed to have known you and Craig since the very beginning of your relationship and watched you blossom into such wonderful, loving parents of two of the cutest kids I know. I am so lucky you are so close to me now, and hope for many more trips to DC!! 

Wishing you both the happiest of days filled with love from your families! I hate I don't get to celebrate with either of you, but we will make up for lost time very soon. Love you!!! 

I also wanted to share a fun quote I saw today... 

This is really me in a nutshell.  I'm just a sweet as pie to everyone... until you take my pie. Then, you better watch out! haha 

Happy Hump Day!

xo, Trace


Spring at Old Navy

Last weekend, during my busy AOII trip to Baltimore, I did manage a stop into Old Navy for some spring shopping!! I haven't been to an Old Navy in so long... I forgot how cute and versatile their stuff can be. I added some great items to the spring wardrobe for a pretty inexpensive trip.

I came out with 11 items, but I thought sharing all of them may be a bit much... so I'm sharing my favorites {and a few others I wish I would have seen}.

I also picked up a precious coral ruffled bathing suit top with mint green bottoms - I'm already excited about packing them for a trip to the beach. I was also pleasantly surprised at Old Navy's new jewelry collection. It's super cute! I couldn't find it online... so it must just be in stores, but if you have one nearby, you should stop in.

If you're doing some online shopping get 15% off with the code ONSAVENOW. Tee's are also buy one get one free!

I'm excited to start adding new spring items to the wardrobe... what do you have in mind?


Monday Treat!

Happy Monday Folks! I hope you all had a nice and relaxing weekend... I spent the weekend in Baltimore with my AOII's! We have such an amazing team of women... the 18 hour days we spend together, talking... and talking... and more talking... don't even seem so bad. I think when I arrived home last night at 10pm, knowing that today was Monday, I knew the absence of a relaxing weekend was really going to be missed come 7am. I spent my Monday morning at the Dentist - getting that cracked tooth fixed up.... now i'm living on smoothies and waiting for my mouth to de-numb. Ugh!

But, I thought we needed a little happy today, so I wanted to share a recipe from a good friend here in Lex. She brought them over last week for our spud party {post to come - I promise} and we gobbled them up in no time.  They are the perfect treat for any party!! 

White Chocolate Coconut Rice Krispie Treats

  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 (10 oz) bag marshmallows - about 40 large marshmallows or 4 cups miniature (*EC's note: I add about 40 marshmallows and let them melt, then 10 or 12 additional halved marshmallows to give extra "fluff") 
  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract (optional)
  • 5 1/2 cups Rice Krispies Cereal
  • 1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts 
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup shredded sweetened coconut, toasted 
  • Toast Coconut in 350 degree oven until light golden brown
  • Grease an 11x7 baking dish, set aside. Melt butter in a large non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Add marshmallows and cook, stirring constantly until marshmallows have completely melted (optional: add 10 or 12 more marshmallows, halved, and dont let them melt). Remove from heat and whisk in coconut extract (optional). Add Rice Krisipies cereal and macadamia nuts and toss mixture until evenly coated. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish and using a buttered spatula, spread and gently press mixture into an even layer.
  • Melt white chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl on 50% power, in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval until melted and smooth. Spread melted white chocolate evenly over Rice Krispie Treats. Sprinkle with toasted coconut and gently press coconut into melted white chocolate. Cover baking dish with plastic wrap and allow chocolate to set and harden at room temperature before cutting into squares (alternately you could speed up the process by placing them in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to set) or cut and serve immediately.  
Only pic I got of the original goodness. 

Thanks Erica, for letting me share your fabulous treats! 


Love for Toomer's

Sorry for the short week in posting... I've been crazy! We had a super fun and work-packed week... and I head off this afternoon to a jam-packed AOII weekend.  Busy... but fun, right?  Today, I just wanted to share my love for Toomer's... tomorrow marks the traditional A-day football game and the Auburn family with gather one last time to roll Toomer's corner... I'll have to be there in spirit! 

So many great memories... 

War Eagle!!! 


Lex Ladies W&W - Enjoying Spring

For those of you further South... you may have warmer weather {and I am super jealous} but living in Virginia we certainly have the cream of the crop when it comes to spring flowers!  Last night we had another Walk-n-Wobble with the Lex Ladies... with two strollers in tow.  Welcome to the club Miss Ava.  {We seem to be multiplying!} I wanted to share some beautiful pictures from around town... I could walk for hours just soaking up the flowers, trees, plats and shrubs... everything is in full bloom!!

Sneak peak at Jessie,  Alecia & Ava getting their walk on!

This my friends, is why we Walk-n-Wobble in Lex.  Happy Wednesday!! 


Quick Menu Monday

Happy Monday!!

I'm not really sure where today went... but I sure am happy the clock says 5pm.  I wanted to share a super easy and delicious Sunday Supper we had last night. This seriously was some of the best chicken I have put in my mouth. You have to try it!

 Sweet Hot Chutney Grilled Chicken


  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup peach or mango chutney
  • Torn cilantro for garnish



    In a large plastic bag, mix together the chili powder, cumin, cinnamon and salt until well combined. Place the chicken in the bag, seal and toss until the chicken is coated in the spice rub. Put the chicken in the fridge to absorb all those flavors for about 2 hours.

    Take the chicken out of the fridge to take the chill off. Light your grill—wood burning, charcoal, or gas. Place the chicken on the grill, slightly away from the hottest part. Cook the chicken about 8 to 10 minutes on each side until cooked through. Then, brush both sides of the chicken with chutney and sear an additional 1 minute per side on the hottest part of the grill. Top with torn cilantro (this really gives it the flavor) and serve!

    We tossed a few fresh veggies - mushrooms, zucchini and squash - in olive oil and Caribbean jerk seasoning and grilled them on the side in a grill basket.  They were a nice addition to our left-over potato salad and garlic bread.  I hope you enjoy the chicken as much as we did - it was amazing!!


Project Simplify

TGIF!  Who else is TIRED???  Yes, I mean - just warm slap out. Go ahead, raise your hand.  Today, I'm feeling pretty good and actually productive for a Friday morning... even after a week of go-go-go. But, I'm a little tired too. I opened blogger just now to this great post from Marguis of Simply Clarke, who was guest blogging today for Kayln of Love, Laughter, and Happily Ever After. She hit the spot on her post today... Project Simplify. Lately, we have also been focused on trying to Simplify. Clean out. Organize. Give Away. Prioritize... and try to enjoy the simple things in life a little more frequently. My monthly to-do lists have really helped and J has gotten on board too. He always asks, what's left on your list this month? Which, he knows makes me happy and he enjoys most of my "wish list" projects and outings as well.  My April list is focused on giving back, enjoying the things {and people} we love and get some of those projects done we have been putting off.

But, I also love Simply Clarke's idea of the gift card pick-up.  You both head to Target {or Wally for us... wish we had a Target}, you each have $5 to spend on the other person.  This sounds like a super fun idea to put on the list each month. I think it would be a great time to focus on each other... and the small little things that we enjoy.. jewelry, socks, candles for me... tools, gadgets, books for him. Great idea... and you get a little happy too!

We've had a great week...

I tried this awesome Sloppy Joe recipe from Pinkie for Pink!
I served ours on whole wheat deli buns and added some fresh garlic to the meat. Otherwise - so easy, healthy and delicious!

We started the week off great with three early-morning workouts in a row. I know - I'm impressed too. But, we have the warm weather to thank for that. Running at 6:45am is beautiful these days! 

We pulled out our spring clothes and started packing away sweaters, coats, scarves and all that bulky stuff.  We also made it out to Irene's to have some items hemmed - check off the list! Spring is here. :)

Last night we met M&M in Staunton for dinner!  We tried a fun little Italian spot called Pompei Lounge (@ Emilio’s Restaurant) and took full advantage of the beautiful weather sitting outside on their open-air terrace.  We miss having them in Lex and I know it's hard to get away during the week - but so worth the 3 hours and catching-up and gabbing about our dream trips and what to do next.  

... and are looking forward to a fun Oyster Roast at The Lyons' Den tomorrow afternoon.  We ordered a bushel of oysters from a guy that drives them down from Northern VA... and we picked up a few items for the roast too...
Knives for Shucking / Shells for Baking / Gloves for Shucking

I can't wait to share pictures next week from our fun! Hope everyone has a Happy Friday and a fabulous weekend!


Music & Memories

While trying to think of a fun topic for today's blog I was listening to my Pandora country station here at the office... and I starting listening to the lyrics... each song that came on instantly brought me back to  a happy memory, a sunny beach, a loud honky tonk... you get the picture.  Well, it just made me smile. Which gave me the idea for my blog today... why not write about music?  I know everyone can think back to high-school and the countless hours of MTV, VHI and CMT videos that were logged... over and over... singing along with every beat. Those were the days... the good days of television. When all I really wanted to do was catch the latest Dixie Chicks video or watching for hours to catch the new George Strait video release. Ha! O the good ole' times.

So, when is the last time you watched a music video?  Yea, they still make them!  Me, I watched a few today... but before then, it's been a while.  If you're like me, you get to work, open Pandora, pick a station your feeling at the moment, drop it to the bottom of your screen and only revisit it when you realize that it's really quiet and yes, Pandora I'm still Listening! Thank you.

Well, if you have a few minutes to spare, check out some of my favorite hot videos today:

The Band Perry - Postcard From Paris  Man, gets me every time. 

Lady Antebellum - Take me Downtown  I just wanna have a little fun...

Florida-Georgia Line - Cruise  I mean, I'll go for a ride! 

Darius Rucker - Wagon Wheel  {I can't listen to this song without seeing Molly's face smiling and singing at the top of her lungs... jammin' beside me at every Honky Tonk in Nashville} Love!

Luke Bryan - Drunk on You  

I just love the spins they put on these video's. So clever. AND, you never really hear the full song on the radio either and it's usually the best part.  Sorry no pop songs today... I'm feelin' my country blood comin' out!

Let's bring back the music videos folks... I'd love to go home, flip on CMT and watch for hours.


A Little Sunshine

"Anything is possible with sunshine and a little pink."  ~ Lilly Pulitzer 

Super busy day at work... so short, sweet and right to the point.  Also, showing a little Lilly love for the Queen Bee, who is bringing lots of color to the sky's above these days.  RIP Lilly - the world lost a little big pop of color on Sunday. 

Getting outta here to soak up some sunshine before the nights falls.  

Happy Tuesday! 

xo, Trace


The Foam Roller Workout

Happy Monday Y'all!

I hope everyone had a nice weekend.  We thoroughly enjoyed the sunny {and considerably warmer} weather!  I finally got into the garden, packed up Easter and also planted my wheat germ... I am excited to watch it grow over the next few weeks.  I'll be sure and keep you posted!  With April already in full-swing, I am trying to stay true to my 5-workouts-a-week-plan. But, I'm already getting board with the usual run, jog, walk, elliptical, yoga... so I'm looking for fun ways to switch it up this month.

On Sunday, we brought out the bikes and hit the trails for a long Sunday bike ride. It was beautiful weather and one heck of a work-out! A nice way to add something fun to our normal workout routine.  This week we decided we would bring back our morning workouts, so we could enjoy our evenings a little more.  We hit the gym at 6am {or really 6:30am} and hopped on a treadmill.  I picked up a copy of the April Shape magazine and was flipping through looking for something new to try and came across this Foam Roller workout.  Of course, I have seen lots of people using these in the gym - mostly super buff athletes - who know exactly what they are doing and look totally normal doing it.  I always would look at them and think, "what in the world? aka.. I would look so ridiculous doing that".

But, after seeing this plan, I finished my two miles and decided to try it.  I can't really don't too much weight lifting {unless I'm ready to bring back my softball thighs- ha} but I'm always looking for workouts that focus on length and strength. This was perfect!

I followed the 8 workouts this morning and loved it. I'll be adding this one to the routine for sure!  For those of you who have been scared of the foam roller like me - not to fret this one is super easy and doesn't make you look ridiculous.

Looking for other foam roller workouts? Try this one from Runners World.

Looking to purchase one at home?  Try this one from Amazon - free shipping for Prime Members!

Happy workouts ladies {and gents}!


Hostess Gifts

With spring just around the corner and all this party-planning in mind, today I wanted to share some fun ideas for Hostess gifts. Southern Living did a piece on this in the March issue this year. They had some cute ideas if haven't, check it out!

The go-to staple of hostess gifts.  Try dressing it up with a fun dish towel for the season. I don't know about you, but I love getting new dish towels. Something you never really buy for yourself. 

Fresh Herbs for the kitchen.
This is one of my favorite and most useful ideas. A good friend gave us some Rosemary for my Birthday last year and we still have it on the kitchen counter.  Find a cute mug - the one above if from Anthropology for $6 - or a planter or mason jar and top it off with a ribbon and pair of new scissors!

A Summer Day!
This was a fun new idea I found. Purchase a cheap lantern {Ikea or Old Time Pottery has them for cheap} and fill with cute straws, napkins, booze, a lemon, mixer and bar snacks. Or whatever you can find that reminds you of summer. {Stick with a theme, like drinks or BBQ} Top with a ribbon and card!

When life gives you Lemons...
Make Lemonade! Fill a cute pitcher with 5-7 lemons, a bag of sugar and a recipe. Top off with a wooden spoon and your favorite fresh garnish, like Lavender. 

Homemade Coaster Set.
This idea is super simple to make and personalized - which makes it super special. In My Own Style shows you exactly how to make them - with only a few items. Stack them, wrap them with a bow and you're ready to go! 

Does anyone have any fun parties to attend this weekend?  Maybe you have some more ideas for fun summer hostess gifts! Please do share...

Have a great weekend!

xo, Trace


Thursday Thoughts

Just some random thoughts for today... I've been fighting a nasty cold since Easter, so yesterday I finally caved and stayed home from work. I am glad I did too. I am still "under the weather" but back at it.  Just wanted to share some random thoughts today...

First, don't forget to go and vote in the Southern Food Bracket - today is the last match-up... and for all you Diet Coke gals, It's Coke vs. Krispy Kreme in the finals!

Last Night I was itching to get out of the house after laying in bed all day because it was gorgeous, so I dipped out to our first Walk-n-Wobble of the season. It was just four of us, but it was nice to have some girl time and a little exercise too. We made big plans for the spring... including our Memorial Day white party {ha}, the possible founding of a new JL chapter in Lex {stay-tuned} and bringing back LexSuppers with the crew {April 17th}. I love having gal pals in town to keep us active!

Tuesday I had the pleasure of meeting our newest member to the crew, Ava Kathryn. What a cutie!!

Mommy and baby are doing great - and getting spoiled by everyone!  We all pitched-in and pulled together a rotating dinner schedule for the next 3 weeks. I think it's the most helpful and fun way to welcome a baby into the Lex-Vegas Fam... and so helpful for the new mommy. :)

Speaking of, I wanted to share the recipe I made for their meal. It's an easy Vegetable Tortellini Bake.

I decided to not use chicken this time and added a squash and more mushrooms. Other than that I followed the recipe exactly and it was super yummy - using fat free milk and low fat cream cheese as well.  I will defiantly be adding this one to the dinner rotation.

I don't usually like to mention the non-happy's in life, but this week has been especially heavy on my heart. One of our very good friend lost his Dad this week... another friend lost her baby and one of my co-workers found out her son has cancer.  I just wanted to let them all know that I'm thinking of them and leave them with this quote...

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot.

 Overall, it's been a pretty nice week - looking forward to a fun weekend ahead with the KA Ladies!


April Must-do's!

Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener 
seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer.  
~Geoffrey B. Charlesworth

I was so happy to wake up to a pretty blue sky this morning and see beautiful spring flowers popping up everywhere. I enjoyed having my March to-do list, so I thought I would make one for April as well.  Last month I did 17 items in honor or St. Patty's Day. This month I settled on 21 things I'm looking forward to this month... why 21?  Why not?

1. Have fresh flowers in the house every week! - 3 down, 1 to go.
2. Welcome our new ED to town on April 18th
3. Log 5 work-outs each week in April - 3 down, 1 to go.
4. Celebrate Keenland!
5. Visit with Dottie & Stephen
6. Enjoy time at our AOII team Meeting
7. Get out the spring wardrobe - so ready for bright colors!!
8. Order a new bathing suit for 2013 - 1 ordered. and returned. try again. Success!! 
9. Read 2 good books this month - 1 down. 1 in the works.
10. Get to the seamstress for alterations. 
11. Enjoy a day of antiquing with the KA Ladies in Staunton
12. Donate one bag of clothes to goodwill
13. Plan a baby shower for Karen
14. Get to the Dentist to fix my broken tooth. booked. and done. Ouch! 
15. Tune up my bike
16. Order J's 2nd Year Anniversary gift {need some cotton ideas, folks}
17. Sign up for my design class
18. Play some golf!
19. Finally plant flowers in the yard
20. Plan a dinner outing with M&M {missing our monthly outings} April 11.
21. Book something to celebrate our 2 years as Mr. & Mrs. next month!

Here's to hoping this month is just a great as the last... looking forward to making many more great memories this month ahead...

Happy Spring 2013!! 


Easter Weekend!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend!! We had such a nice LONG weekend - I must say, having an extra day off on the weekend {with the hubs} really makes for a nice break from the madness.  Don't get me wrong, I do like my days off alone, but it's just nice to have the hubs around too - home and NOT working - for once. But, he loves Easter just as much as I do... so it was a pretty easy sell.  We both did squeeze in a few hours of work on Friday morning, but were done by 10am - and hit the ground running.  First, we stopped in the local antique mall to finds some state maps and a vintage picture frame - check, check, and check. $17 later, we walked out with the perfect items!

Next, stop - Wally for chalkboard paint, frames, some house-hold goodies and food for the weekend.

Following this step-by-step tutorial, the chalk board was super easy to make.  The hubs wired some mason jars to hang beside it... and I'm now in search of spring flowers to fill them to the brim. That will be one of my April list items - fresh flowers in the house each week!

Then we decided we wanted to re-decorate our large wall in the dining area... so we took everything down, added a few more pieces... and ta-da!

There is a lot going on... and I do love the addition of the maps, but I'm still not 100%.  I figured I would stare at it for a few weeks and see what happens. Maybe some new spring pics. I'll keep you posted.

Friday afternoon we went for a nice run through town - soaking up the warmer weather! Then, I relaxed with a much-needed mani/pedi.  {Love my bright pink nails} We caped off the evening with some delicious fish sammies on the grill at Moore Street with some great friends.  It was a really "good Friday" indeed!

Saturday morning we got up nice and early to grab some Pure Eats doughnuts before the end of the month - and to share on our nice drive over the mountain.  We {and 12 of our closest friends} caravanned over the mountains to Nellysford and enjoyed an amazing Birthday Lunch for B. Hastings at Wild Wolf Brewing Company - talk about some dynamite food. Check out this flat bread we ordered.  Uh-mazing!

J also enjoyed some nice brewskie tastings. I even loved their beer!

Next stop was Veritas Vineyards, for a beautiful afternoon soaking up the sun and polishing off quite a few bottles of vino!

We made one final stop on the way out for a few hours at Afton Mountain Vineyard - great wine, and a wonderful relaxing time with friends!

Sunday morning we woke up to a nasty rainy day... but after a beautiful Easter Mass - we kinda forgot it was even raining. We opened our Easter baskets from each other, cooked a yummy Easter brunch at home {including Bunny Pancakes} and enjoyed talking with our families and the kiddos! {and hearing about the egg hunting at my folks house - I just had to share this great picture from my sister-in-law. Its so funny how much Emi is starting to look like me - god help her, she's an Elleard!}

Sunday afternoon we gathered at a good friends house for more fellowship and fun. We enjoyed WAY too much food and an "adult-friendly" egg hunt as well. I found the golden-egg...aka, iTunes gift card!

The skies finally cleared and the hubs and I enjoyed a nice walk downtown before we climbed into our PJ's.  I must say, it was such a wonderful Easter season... we really enjoyed being in town, attending mass almost every Sunday and being truly reminded about the reason for the season.  I think the History channels mini-series, The Bible, has also helped. We stayed up way to late last night watching another episode and it's so intriguing. Makes me ever so grateful for all we have and how blessed I am!

Here's to a great start to the Spring! I already have my April list in the works... check back tomorrow to see what we have planned!