Favorite Things via Classic Annie

Today I am following Classic Annie and talking about my favorite things! Who doesn't love talking about their favorites... I'm happy already, just thinking about them. The gorgeous weather outside doesn't hurt either!

favorite dinner
homemade pizza and a big salad

favorite book {currently}
anything by Dorothea Benton Frank

favorite summer cocktail
a Moscow Mule

favorite winter cocktail
Maker's Mark and Ginger

favorite song {at the moment}
If you want Some by Joel Crouse

favorite trip ever taken
This one is hard. We've had SO many. But our Honeymoon in Antiqua would have to be the BEST!

favorite job ever
Working the dock at The Oyster Bar - every summer of college. 

favorite indoor smell
Clean sheets!

favorite outdoor smell
Hands down BBQ on the grill. 

favorite day to spend a rainy day

favorite hangover food
A yummy brunch {with friends, laughing at our shenanigans the night prior}

favorite state I've visited but never lived in
Louisanna. Who can compete with the French Quarter? 

What are your favorites??

xo, trace


Meet Olivia Louise

The Elleard family has grown by 1! Last week I welcomed my eighth niece/nephew into the world.  Miss Olivia Louise Elleard graced us with her presence on Wednesday, July 24th at 10:20am. She weighed 7lbs, 13 ozs, and was 20 1/2 inches long. What a sweetie too!!  My maternal great-grandmother, Louise Johnson, would be very happy that she is carrying on her beautiful name too.  I just wanted to share some fun pics of her first week in the world...

Uncle Jesse and I had a fun Facetime session with baby O, so we could meet her on her "birthday." I love technology for that very reason... I really felt like we were right there in the hospital with her. So fun!

Resting in her sweet lil bouncy from Uncle J and Aunt T! 

Emi and Lucas are so excited about their new baby sister. It's just the sweetest! 

Love my sweet god-children. I was in tears last week when they gave me kisses goodbye... why do they have to live so far away?  I am thankful to have great brothers and sisters who talk about us and keep pictures around, so they know who we are... and thanks to Facetime, we get to chat every so often too. 

Love my sweet babies and wishing mommy well. Thanks for bringing us another baby to spoil!! 

Hope everyone is having a great Monday. It's just beautiful here in Virginia!! 

xo, trace


Mango 2013

Happy Sunday! Sorry for being MIA the last week... It's be a busy, but fun 10 days. I've been on 7 planes {one more standing in the way of me and home}, had 3 rental cars, been in 4 states and spent only 3 nights in my own bed. Only 3 nights at home this week too... but the travels have been really fun. I got a good does of girlfriend time in, a short day with the fam, one craft night at home, lots of work and some exciting adventures. It went a lil bit like this....

MANGOFEST 2013 was a blast. We ate, drank, slept, swam, bounced in waves, did lots of porch sitting, a lil bit of hot-tubin, lots of talking and laughed a a ton. I feel so lucky to have a great group of girlfriends who I love to pieces! They are the best dose of feel-good medicine anyone could really have. This is a just a preview of Mango 2013, along with some new finds that I wanted to share on the blog...

The acrylic stem-less wine glasses you see in all our pics are my new obsession! Perfect for the beach or back yard BBQ. They are already on the wish-list for when the new patio is complete.  I'm already thinking about the fall and how we can get a TV outside to watch some football with one in my hand.

We also made several yummy Mommy- mock tails using this delicious La Croix. So good! I am going to have to add this one to my cart... if I can find it in Virginia! It's really great with a lime too! {or rum for us non-mommies to be}

I also found some great summer cocktails to try!
Ale and Sydo got me hooked on some new lip balm.
Syd got us all great drink holders for the beach. I used the Cricut to put on names on them... lets just say that some turned out better than others. ha!
All in all it was a great girls trip! I even got  to sneak in a visit with these cuties..... hoping that I would have gotten to meet their new baby sis. But she decided to take her sweet time. She will be my next blog, say stay tuned!
xo, trace


Mangos & Sunsets

Off to the land of Mangos and Sunsets! It's MANGOFEST 2013!!  aka, girls weekend at Bees Knees! 

I will try to update from my phone, but until then, I will leave you with this.... 

Happy Weekend!

xo, trace


Wedding Wednesday: Bridesmaids Dresses

From the very moment we got engaged I started looking at bridesmaids dresses. And from Day 1, I had the hardest time making any decisions. I went from blue to seersucker, to raspberry, white to green and everything in between. Picking colors for our wedding was probably the hardest decision we had to make, so picking outfits was seven harder. Once we decided that the guys would be wearing traditional blue seersucker - we needed to go with something to compliment it. I almost chose raspberry and then changed my mind to yellow {see yellow backpack comment below} and I loved it! It made the whole wedding bright and cheery and my girls looked amazing in it! So after the color was picked... it was on to the dresses. My inspiration came from an Etsy collage in a Martha Stewart Weddings magazine. Etsy had just taken-off and they were featuring some of the wedding ideas you could get from artists on the store. The dress they posted was this:

via Nostalgia.

The dress was fun and flirty and very original. We are not very formal folks and we were getting married in Orange Beach, so we wanted to go more casual. While also keeping in mind that we were having a very traditional Catholic Mass, we wanted it to be somewhat traditional. 

Well, after visiting her site on Etsy - I found another dress I loved! I wasn't really sure how this was going to work, since I couldn't see an actual dress and since my BM's were all over the country - there would be no in person appointments. I decided to order a sample in a different color to wear for my Engagement Party. 

and this is the actual dress...

Mols & I / J & I with my Parents at our Engagement Party.

The dress didn't really fit when it arrived just in time {the Friday before our party}. Thanks heavens for mommas who know how to sew. I had asked for pockets on the side... and the crazy looking slits on the side of the dress didn't show - thank goodness. I wore it anyway and was glad I did. The pictures turned out great. But... it was now on  to finding a dress maker that was willing to take my idea and make it a reality!  I went through many appointments, calls, emails and such until one of my bridesmaids mentioned her sister, who was just about to graduate from design school. Of course, I jumped on the idea and ran with it!  

Meet Jamie and the Jones. Two best friends with crazy talent who are making it big!! They have an amazing new spring line out, {if anyone is interested} and have been a huge success on the Nashville Scene. Now, I wouldn't say that J&J are really in the business for more BM dress making, but they did a smashing job and I am so thankful for the favor!  

The dresses couldn't have turned out more beautiful! Of course, my beautiful friends make the dresses, but I was so happy with the color and fun funky flower/ruffle. Thanks for wearing yellow for me gals, you all looked amazing, no matter what you say!  The final results...

What was your inspiration for your Bridesmaids Dresses?
Mine. The Yellow L.L. Bean backpack I wore throughout high school and college. 

Photography by Mary Beth Tyson


Tasty Tuesday: My first Chicken Salad

Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone's week is off to a great start. I don't know about you, but I just realized the date - we are half-way through summer folks... slow down, please. Time just keeps on flying by, faster than I can count the days! We have had a really great, and busy summer - but I have been cherishing the few days that we actually get to cook at home and eat together at the dinner table. Sometimes, it's just the simple things.

This week, I actually sat down on Sunday and made a grocery list... and I even planned out a few yummy lunches, instead of just leftovers or sammies. I wanted to be creative! {and also look forward to lunch and not rush by it - like we usually do} One of the things on my forever long to-do list was to finally make some homemade chicken salad. Sunday the hubs made a Beer Can Chicken, so we could use the extra meat for chicken salad. It turned out really yummy!

Chicken Salad with Apples, Grapes, & Almonds

3 cups chicken cooked and shredded {we used left over beer can chicken}
2 small gala apples, cut into cubes
1/2 cup slivered almonds
2 stalks celery
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 cup vanilla yogurt
1/3 cups lite mayo
25 red seedless grapes, halved
1 tablespoon onion powder
salt & pepper to taste

First, toss shredded chicken, apples, almonds, celery and lemon juice together in a large bowl. Add onion powder and salt & pepper.

Next, whisk vanilla yogurt and mayo together in a small bowl; pour over chicken mixture and stir to coat. I added in batches to be sure it wasn't too much.

Gently fold the grapes into the salad and serve!

This batch made a TON of chicken salad, but it's so good I bet it'll be gone in just a few days!

Hope you enjoy as much as we did!

xo, trace


This Weekend We...

Were finally HOME. Hooray for free time and fun with great friends!

Friday Night the rain held off {almost} long enough for our second to last Friday's Alive for the summer. We made it to around 8:30 p.m. and then closed down early and headed to the Palms to celebrate this sweet girl...
Happy 32nd K-Rae! So happy we got to celebrate with you, in true Palms fashion! 

Saturday morning, we were up nice and early for a long run, so J could head to KA Family weekend early - while I cleaned, organized, did laundry, cooked/prepped for our good friends, M&M, who were coming to visit!  Once we had the house ready to go, we headed up to Mulberry Hill for a fun Family Weekend cookout with all the new guys and their families - such an awesome group of guys. I am so excited to have them all in Lex and a part of the KA Family!

M&M arrived early afternoon and we proceeded to do a downtown tour of Lex-Vegas... you know those afternoons where you don't really have to be doing anything, but being out and about with good friends makes any afternoon just the best!  Our fun went a lil like this...

Lunch at Salarnos. Beers at Blue Lab.

More beers at Devils Backbone. Wine and Cheese at the Lyons Den.

Going away party/drinks at Sushi Matsumoto for Emily. Emily scored an amazing job with Cincinnati Children's Hospital and will be leaving our small town for a new adventure of her own. Wishing you the best of luck on your new adventure, Em!!  We are so happy and exited for you!

Next, we met the guys at Brix for dinner... A-Mazing. Their food is all farm-fresh and local. Love! After drinks, we met up with the Dobry's for drinks on their "date night" sans Blake'ster. Of course, the night wouldn't have been complete without a stop at Bistro to see Morty.

...and a stop at the Southern Inn was not in the cards, but we made it anyway after running into the Crumplers. After which we all proceeded back to the Lyons' den for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and a night cap to an evening of fun.

Sunday, we actually made it up for mass and a nice run/walk around town to score some gorgeous hydrangeas. Thanks neighbors!!

After mass we decided to soak up a few hours of sun at the pool before the Hollomon's had to hit the road. All and all, a pretty exciting, but very low-key visit. The perfect kinda weekend. Miss you guys already and can't wait for you to come back soon. Some -R- tyme with you guys is the BEST!

Thanks for the photo KJones.

Sunday afternoon, J and I did some grocery shopping, fixed up the garden, and cooked a delicious Sunday Supper!

4 days until #Mango2013.  SO EXCITED to see my girls!!!
Happy Monday!
xo, trace


5 on Friday

I hope everyone is having a lovely Friday!  I have some fun items this week, so here it goes... Cheers to the weekend!

{One} Gold Mesh Bow Earrings 

I picked these up two weeks ago on my trip to Chicago. I thought they were fun and girly... maybe not for every occasion, but hey, for $4 - who could pass them up? 

{Two} Sweet Basil Corn on the Cob

Such a yummy variation of grilled corn on the cob for summertime. We have tons of fresh basil finally popping up, so we wanted to put it to use. We actually added the basil with the rest of the spices before we grilled it and it gave it a great flavor. Will be a repeat for sure! 

{Three} Aerosole Lemon Plush Wedges

I have been searching for some fun summer sandals that I can wear to work or out casually... and I finally found some. These are especially comfy too! {thanks Aerosols} I just got them in the mail on Wednesday and can't wait to wear them out soon! 

 {Four} Boca Towel Clips

Thanks for the fun idea Carolina Charm. These will be a fun happy for the momma this summer!! 
Only $5.99 for a set from Bed, Bath and Beyond.

{Five} Navy Lace Dress

LOVE this dress! I picked it up at Forever 21 in Chicago, after watching a Today Show special...comparing this $16 dress to one that costs $900. I have already worn it several time and it pairs well with so many accessories and shoes. 

Don't forget to link up!

Happy Weekend! 

xo, trace


Crafties: Word Art

Today, I wanted to share one of my favorite craft/design gifts that I have made for several of my friends - Word Art. I sell them on A Mango Tree Shop, but have been too busy to update... however, if you're in the market for one - just shoot me a note!


Room Decor.


Mother's Day.

Wedding Gifts.



...and more weddings. 

Do you have any word art on your walls? I'm in the market for new ideas! 

Happy Thursday y'all. It's almost the weekend!! 

xo, trace