Happy Halloween!

Hope your night was filled with goblins, ghosts, and lots o' sugar! Ours sure was. 

xo, trace


Winter Cocktail Dresses

I've been keeping my eye out for a couple great cocktail dresses for all the holiday and winter parties this year... and that special lil 30th.  I'm thinking of staying away from the traditional little red dress - and really trying to avoid all black {not that I don't own 6 or 7 of them} if I can.
Here are some I have my eye on for this season.

Parallel Sparkling Dress

Help me pick!! Any other websites that have fun cocktail dresses? Please do share. 
Happy Hump Day ladies... it's almost Halloween!! 

xo, trace


Sick Day

It's been a sick day for this gal. I'll be back on my feet tomorrow... Just in time for pumpkin carving! 

xo, trace


Halloween Traditions

Halloween Week is here!! Wowza... I know they always say that time flies by the older we get, but I never thought it would actually become true.  I can't really complain though, we've had a wonderful fall... and we love Halloween week!

Being the daughter of a first-grade teacher, my Mother {and Father} always made sure Halloween was the best!  Our costumes were always home-made, {or thrown together from what we had at home, as we got older} creative, and my mom always let us help make them! I remember several years spent as a lady bug, a clown costume that my mom made from my favorite care bear heart fabric, a couple years as an M&M, a scarecrow, a which, a cat... and my first halloween costume, a baby lamb.

When I was 3, we built a house in Smithfield - a HUGE neighborhood that was filled with kids.... no kidding, we had 1000's of trick-or-treaters every year. It was awesome! It's become a tradition that we always had hot dogs and chili {I am sure because it was easy to feed the 3 dozen kids we drug over throughout the night}, we always made caramel apples, popcorn hands with candy corn nails, and other home-made sweets like cupcakes and cookies.  My grandparents always came over... and most years, the cousins did too! It was a big ol' party.... and a week-night usually, which made it super cool for us.

After many trips out trick-or-treating, we came home with pillowcases full of candy... and spent all night organizing our chocolate bars and our sweets... bartering with each other to get what we wanted... always Skittles for me! We had other traditions... Our favorite book was The Candy Witch. We read it every night for weeks. The week before Halloween, we always had a Pumpkin Carving with Dad... we only carved one pumpkin, but each of us got to help with scraping and cutting and roasting the seeds. My mom and I always put together "special treat bags" for the kids she had taught and our neighborhood friends... we ordered spiders and pencils and little games from Oriental Trading. Then we spent hours stuffing them all into bags and labeling them with kids names. And if you were really special, Mom would invite you in for your very-own candy apple or cupcake.

Thanks for always making Halloween so much fun, Mom & Dad!!

I will never forget our Freshman year of college when Lynsey and I went to four Halloween parties four nights in a row - wearing the same devil and cave-woman costumes.  Once Lynsey locked herself out of her car getting gas - in her full devil outfit by herself... it was great. :) {Sorry, Lyns} I'll also always remember Halloween our Senior year when Lynsey and Neal had their "first date" of sorts.... or more or less, a late night trip to Supper Club! Little did we know that 8 years later they would be expecting a little girl.

Halloween also has a special memory for J and I - it was our first date!  We met 6 years ago this past weekend at Camp Hanover in Richmond, Va. We were facilitating an IMPACT session and were both facilitators. We spent the weekend pretending not to spend every free moment together... and on Sunday Jesse drove me back to Richmond and I gave him my number. Three days later he came back to Richmond for our first date - on Halloween!

We had fun reminiscing this past weekend and celebrating a little... Saturday night we had the Hastings over for our traditional Saturday evening dinner and game day. After dinner,  three separate couples stopped by and we enjoyed dessert and catching up.  Jesse and I decorated yesterday and bought a big bowl of candy for our trick-or-treaters.... excited for hot-dogs, pumpkin dip, and caramel apples on Thursday!

Happy six years babe! I love you... and can't wait to spent many more Halloween's together... creating many more spooky traditions.

What was your favorite Halloween tradition as a kid? Please do share...

xo, trace


Five on Friday

{one} Brest Cancer Awareness Month

Last week we attended a local fundraiser for Brest Cancer Awareness Month. It was so nice to celebrate so many strong women who have been through so much - long battles, short ones, and those still fighting.... we are celebrating YOU this October!

{two} Fall Squash

Tis the season for these yummy fellas above. We enjoyed a heavenly butternut hash last night with pork chops and it was delightful! Neal also whipped up an acorn squash medley in Charleston and it was just as tasty. They are all on sale right now - if you haven't tried out a recipe - add it to your list. It's so easy and super healthy too!

{three} Barbour Vests

I am loving the outdoorsy look of these Barbour vests. I'm not sure about other places... but Barbour jackets are super pop here in Va., especially with the college kids. {or maybe we just didn't really need jackets in Alabama} Love the vests too - they are great with tights, boots and a long shirt - I'm trying to decide which one I want to add to my fall shopping list.

{four} Happy Socks

It isn't very often that the hubs says he wants new clothes... or to go shopping... or most of all - wants me to shop for him. But, last week he requested some new dress socks in fun colors. I set out to find some fun ones... and that's when I found these. They have tons of colors and patterns... fun for any occasion and great to add a lil pop to a boring grey suit too!

{five} Friday Happy's!

My most favorite thing in the world is to send fun happy's to my besties {that I wish lived next door} just to say hi, brighten their day, and let them know that I'm thinking of them! This weeks' happy went to a momma-to-be for a precious little baby boy that will be here in February. I decided to go with the blue theme... and stick to fun happy's for momma this time. Hope you enjoy Momma B! 

Linking up with these lovely ladies today... 

Have a wonderful fall weekend everyone!  

xo, trace


The Charleston Life

The good life. That's what life in Charleston seems to be like these days... It's chill, it's lively, it's organic and it's relaxing. That would be a pretty easy way to sum up our weekend in the Lowcountry. We spent 3 nights with one of my beasties out on Johns Island, in her adorable little neighborhood. Look how cute her precious house is! {decked out for the Auburn win!}

Saturday {after a culinary display from chief Neal for breakfast} we hit the road for the Southern Ground music festival on Daniel Island. It was a long day... But SO much fun! The weather was perfect... the food was delicious... And the music was on point. For all you Nashville fans, we even got to hear Clare Bowen do a sit-in with Zac. She's so good. :) 

Sunday was tested out the Fat Hen for brunch and if certainly did not disappoint. Everything about this place is super laid back and authentic. I went for the veggie frittata and Jesse splurged on the french toast sausage sandwich. However, the pumpkin muffins and bloody Mary's may have been my favorite part of the meal. If your ever on Johns Island, it's worth a stop in!

After brunch we stopped at Angel Tree for a photo-op. what a beautiful tree!! It is over 400 years old and 187 feet in width... amazing to see. So old Charleston.  

We spent our afternoon at the downtown market and picked up some great finds {posting coming soon}, stopped by the market for some fresh seafood, and cooked up this lil delicacy for dinner... 

So good!! Y'all, Lyns and I even fileted the flounder ourselves... Thank you, YouTube

Thanks for such a wonderful weekend, Hatch's. Miss you so much already!! Sorry for my lack of blogging this week - I'll be back tomorrow to link up with A. Liz Adventures for Five on Friday!

xo, trace


Five on Friday

Happy Friday Folks!! Who else is pumped for the weekend... cause this girl is!  I am headed {as I type this} to Charleston, South Carolina to visit with one of my BESTIES for the weekend! I can't wait to hug her cute lil pregnant neck! I think it will also confirm in my mind that she is really expecting - and not just some crazy dream... for some reason it just doesn't seem real yet. Anyhoots - I'm linking up with the girls today for Five on Friday. Here's my Five on Friday for today...

{one} TJ Maxx Online

Maxxinistas - time to rejoice, TXMaxx online is up and running.  I am very shocked at how little I have heard about this... very few rumblings about... but it is defiantly LIVE!

{two} My NEW soap dish

Sorry for the blurry pic, but I picked up this lil guy last weekend in downtown. I needed a dish to allow my new fun soaps to breathe... And not sit in a puddle of water. 

{three} Label Makers

I know I am incredibly late jumping on this band-wagon, but I finally ordered a label maker for our office this week and it makes me SO giggly just thinking about everything I can label!  
...I already tested it out on my tissue box, love it.

{four} Jessie Curls

I received a sample of Jelly Soft Curls in the last Birchbox I received - and y'all, I'm hooked! It makes my hair so soft and my curls look awesome - no ramen noodle head here!  
You can order a free sample here - but don't wait, the bottle is on sale now for $14. 

{five} The Southern Ground Music Festival

We have tickets for our first Southern Ground Festival tomorrow in Charleston! I'm super pumped for good southern food and great music!

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

xo, trace

Game Day: Tiger Paw Door Decs

Remember this post last month about my door-dec brainstorming. Well, after a month I am finally posting my results. I made several for friends and one for us, and they all turned out super cute!  Making this tiger paw door dec was really fun and pretty simple too. 

All you need is burlap, paint, brushes, hot glue and scissors. For each paw-print you'll need around 1/2 yard of fabric and about 3 small bottles of acrylic paints. 

First draw and cut your fabric to your shape, cutting two shapes of the same size. Use hot glue to secure the two sides, leaving an opening to stuff the inside. 

Start painting with your outside layer or lighter color. 

Fill the inside of the paw print with the darker color next.

I let it dry overnight, so the white wouldn't mix and would go on brightly. Next, add the polka dots. 

Add some accents to the paw, to give it some character. 

Then add your text. This may have been the hardest part of the project, but I found a way to make it work. Find the font you want and print it out from your computer. Cover the backside of the paper with a thin layer of chalk, then put in place on your burlap. Trace over the letters with the chalk, to leave the letters marked on your project. Trace-over your letters with paint and ta-da. You have your text!

I used plastic bags to stuff mine - it probably took around 20 to give it a nice puff.  Stuff the bags inside, close your hole with hot glue, polish off with a small hanger and bow and you're ready to go. This one above is on it's way to SC for our good friends this weekend - hope they love it {and that she isn't reading to spoil the surprise}! 

War Eagle!

xo, trace 


Sweet Sunshine

I was so excited to be nominated by Sweet Happenings for the Sunshine Award today! Be sure to check out Sarah's blog - she is full of life and sweet as can be. 

My Questions from Sarah

1. Beer or wine?
Wine - Malbec or a Sauvignon Blanc to be specific! However, a cold beer on the beach or at the game is also compelling! 

2. Do you prefer a night out or a night in?
A night out - living in a small town makes me CRAVE a night out on the town every now and then! 

3. Describe yourself in 3 words.
 Energetic, Crafty & Generous 

4. Would you rather give up Internet or tv for a month assuming you can't watch tv online and can't get internet on your phone?
TV - easy. However, currently we do have cable and no internet at home. Maybe that tells me what my hubs answer to this question would be. haha

5. If you change one thing about your childhood, what would it be?
I had a pretty great childhood - not gonna lie - but I never really had the real "summer camp" experience. I would have loved to been able to pack my bags and head off to camp, all by myself, for a week in the woods. I think it's one of those experiences that I'll add to the Lyons' cubs check list. :)
6. Have you ever broken any bones?
Just one {surprisingly} I grew up playing three sports and dancing until my senior year in high school and broke nothing. Off to college I go and break a finger playing flag football. It's still a lil wonky. :)

7. What has surprised you the most about the blogging world?
How much fun it is to connect with other bloggers. I love reading about their lives and their crafts, what they cook each week, and what home improvement project they have coming up next. I sorta feel like I know them... it's wild! 

8. Do you shower at night or in the morning? Honestly, sometimes both. But, always in the morning! Usually I get in a workout when I get up, so I shower before work. But if I sleep in - I shower before work as well and then again after my afternoon workout. So much for saving the environment. Oops!

9. What's your favorite sport to watch? 
I guess I would have to say football. After attending an SEC school - it's just ingrained in your blood. 

Home Sweet Home - Jordan Hare Stadium

10. What are you up to this weekend?
We are heading to Charleston to visit great friends {for the first time}, see their new home, spoil the momma-to-be and we have tickets to the Southern Ground Music Fest as well - needless to say, I'm super pumped! 

The Rules
1. Include the award logo in your post.
2. Link to the person who nominated you.
3. Answer ten questions about yourself.
4. Nominate 3 bloggers to receive the award.
5. Pose ten questions to your nominees.

My Nominees:
Elise @ Cheers Y'all
April @ A.Liz Adventures

Questions for my Nominees:
1. What is your favorite vacation city?
2. What is your go to week-night meal?
3. Curly hair or straight? 
4. Favorite salad dressing?
5. Do you prefer cookie dough or baked cookies? 
6. Diamonds or pearls? 
7. Favorite nail polish for fall? 
8. Would you choose an e-book or a library book?
9. What's your favorite Christmas or Holiday tradition?
10. Green tea or coffee? 

Thanks for spreading the sunshine, ladies! 



Tasty Tuesday: Maple Bourbon Pumpkin Pound Cake

This little treat was an experiment really - but a delicious one that I just had to share! Last week, one of our friends picked up a bottle of bourbon on his way over to our house Saturday night for football and dinner. It wasn't until the guys opened the bottle that they realized it wasn't any ordinary bourbon - it was maple bourbon. It smelled just like taking a whiff of breakfast pancakes! ha Great for breakfast... not so great for sipping. So this past weekend, Jessie Lynn and I set out to put the Maple Bourbon to use. This is what we came up with.

It was T-A-S-T-Y!  We served it with vanilla ice-cream and polished it off in a day and a half. However, we still have a ton of Maple Bourbon to put to use... so I would welcome any recipes you have to share.

Happy Tasty Tuesday!

xo, trace



Happy Columbus Day!!  Hope everyone had a nice weekend - and for  you gals still weekending - I'm super jealous. It was really hard to pull myself out of bed this morning. We had a quiet lil weekend at home, while the VMI parents stormed the streets of Lex, we took it easy-breezy. We have developed quite the tradition of finding ourselves at Blue Lab after work on Friday...

... and grabbing dinner at The Bistro Bar for dinner after.  Always a delicious choice! Saturday was a good day in Lex.  If you haven't tried this Pumpkin Swirl Bread yet - add it to your shopping cart this week. We enjoyed it as French Toast on Saturday and it was delightfully fall.

Saturday was Rivalry day at The Lyons' Den. Auburn pulled out a big win, and we celebrated with fresh Gouda from Cheese To You in downtown Lex. It was our first trip and we will defiantly be back. That evening Jessie Lynn and I experimented while the boys watched football and made a delicious Bourbon Pumpkin Pound Cake. O my, yummy! Check in on "Tasty Tuesday" for this treat.

Sunday Fun-day did not disappoint this week. We road-tripped to C'ville for brunch and a trip to Carter Mountain. Despite the rain, we had a fabulous outing. 

Our first stop was Michie Tavern for some grub. What a cool place... the southern cooking was divine and the period costumes made the whole trip worth it. Next stop, Carter Mountain. 

Carter Mountain was packed y'all - even in the rain. We were nestled up in the clouds, but I can imagine on a pretty day the view is incredible. We are already making plans for a return trip to actually "pick apples" from the trees... we settled for picking them from the lovely pre-stocked bins this time. We also picked up some delicious apple cider doughnuts and warm apple cider. So grateful for such a wonderful weekend with our lil Lex family! It's great to be surrounded by awesome peeps. 

Excited for a fun week ahead. We are Charleston-bound on Friday, for a quick getaway to visit the Hatch family. I can't wait! 

Happy Monday!

xo, trace 


Five on Friday

Is it really that time of the week again?? TGIF!!! It's been a great week here in Lex - busy, busy... and so ready for the weekend.   I'm linking up with the ladies today for 5 on Friday.  Hope you can join in! 

{One} New Mascara from Clinique.

I finally bit the bullet last sunday and cleaned out my make-up bag {more updates to come on that next week}, but I also picked up this lil kit from Clinique and I love the new mascara. I also got this great eye-liner and all about eyes... all wrapped up in a cute lil pouch. Great additions to my {now} slimmed up make-up collection. 

{Two} Porch Sittin' with our Fall Decor.

We have been soaking up the season this week - from fall parties to just hanging out on the back porch. I am loving being outside.... and enjoying the decor. It may be my favorite season when it comes to decorations. For anyone in the Lex area - these gorgeous mums came from Herman's

{Three} Cookie Butter.

O my! This stuff is amazing. Meg brought be a cute lil goodie basket on Saturday with this lil guy - and it's almost already gone after one week.  I think I like it best with ice-cream - but It's really great on everything, let's be real. 

{Four} My nieces playing sports. 

Emi is on the left, third on the top. Kenzie is on the right.

Growing up with two older brothers, I really didn't have a choice as to whether I played sports or not - it was more about which one and how good I could be, so I could play with the guys. I thank my parents every day for kicking us out the front door on nice days and letting us try every sport we wanted to.  ...and for the countless hours spent on road trips, tournaments, equipment, uniforms, banquets, you name it.  The Elleard home was busy. And I am so happy to see my brothers carrying on the traditions... even with my two nieces. Kenzie has been cheering since she was 4 and Emi just started soccer at age 3 - I love it!  They are so stinkin' cute! 

{Five} Soup Season. 

With our busy week came quick dinners this week. Luckily I had put away a couple meals for us to heat up during the week pretty quick.  Hubs pulled out a bag of chicken taco chili that we made months ago - it heated up so quick and tasted just like new! It inspired me to get to work on some more soups and stews we can have on the go, so we may be having some more chicken chili this weekend so I can bag some up for later.  The hubs also made us some homemade chicken stock this week - from his beer can chickens and I can't wait to put them to use.  The house smelled amazing - I can only imagine what it'll taste like in a soup. 

Happy Friday!  We are here this weekend - enjoying a full cadet parade this afternoon at VMI, maybe some brews at Blue Lab after, and a nice weekend of weather! Not to mention my Auburn Tigers and J's Western Carolina Catamounts will be squaring off for AU Homecoming tomorrow - so much fun. I can't wait!

xo, trace