Game Day: War Eagle Attire

With opening weekend in T-minus 9 hours {for your Thursday night game fans} I thought a tribute to game day was in order. Auburn fans are lucky this year, orange and blue seems to still be hot on the color trend. There are so many cute items available! You should have seem what we wore in college - talk about getting creative, haha!

Below are some of my favorite game day trends for 2013.

Cozy Cardigan
via Target - $19.99

Infinity Scarf
via Gap - On Sale for $15.99

Cap Sleeve Chambray Dress
via Old Navy - $34.94 (plus 30% off today)

Orange Sandals
via Target - On sale for $14.44 today

Print Chiffon Skirt
via Old Navy - $24.94 (plus 30% off today)

Striped A-line pocket top
via Gap - Super sale $8.99

Traveling through the ATL airport today... I should have thought better about my attire today and have on some of these orange and blue items above. Next time... there is always Monday!

Happy opening weekend! I hope everyone had their game day attire ready.

xo & War Eagle, trace


You! Yes, you.

Just a little reminder to let you know how wonderful you are. 

xo, trace

Tasty Tuesday: Quinoa & The Cheese Shop

Meet Quinoa, the super {yummy} food!  I know most all of you probably eat more quinoa on a regular bases than we do, but welcome to small town USA... it's so hard to find here. However, meet the Cheese Shop in Stuarts Draft, Va.

I have blogged about my love for this cheese shop before, but more about the cheese and less about the rest this great store has to offer. My co-worker and I stopped on the way home from a workshop in C'ville for his first trip to the cheese shop. It may be a 20 minute drive for us, but it's totally worth every penny! Dry goods, spices, cheeses, meets, candies.... that crazy spice you can't even pronounce... that random grain some healthy recipe calls for. Yep! They have them all.  Just to give you an idea...

These guys stacked up to less than $2.50. Garlic salt, garlic pepper and paprika. 

They also have random items... 

Like lucky charms mellows.
 I couldn't believe it when I saw it... And they were only $1! 

Have I mentioned the deals on cheese?? We enjoyed a variety at girls night last week, for less than $10! 

Other steals.. Wasabi peas for $1.05, alphabet pasta for $2.13... And lots of quinoa! In general, quinoa is pricey, but here it's around $1 for one cup. One bag feeds the 2 of us 2-3 meals. 

Last night we tried a delicious recipe for black bean quinoa.

So yummy! What's your favorite quinoa recipe? There are so many to pick from I can never decide! 

Meanwhile, we've been soaking up the final days of summer... And enjoying the outdoors. Last night, I enjoyed the new Southern Living while the hubs cut grass. O the joys of summer! 

One more day in the office... Until I head south for the Labor Day weekend... Beach, boat, and family reunion. Woo hoo! 

What's on tap for your holiday weekend? Hope it involves some fun in the sun!

xo, trace


In the Community

This weekend was packed with Community fun in Lex {& the Valley}!  Saturday was our 37th Annual Community Festival, which I was lucky enough to have the pleasure of chairing this year! The skies cleared-up around 10am, just in time for the crowds to arrive... and arrive they did, in droves! We had a wonderful day - packed with arts, crafts, local BBQ, face-painting, entertainment, kettle corn and hot dogs to go around. This year we attracted over 200 vendors that sold everything from wooden toys to hand-made jewelry, and everything in between.... 

...even the Natural Bride of Virginia was for sale at the Festival!  Anyone have 20 mil they are looking to get rid of... you get a hotel, wax museum, caverns and the actual bridge! 

It was an early morning Saturday, so I squeezed in a nap before having friends over Saturday night to celebrate a great festival and break-in the new patio. 

Sunday we decided to get out after church and explore some new sights {for us} in VA. We took the Blue Ridge Parkway {gorgeous} and headed over to Nelson county to enjoy a lil Sunday Supper in the mountains. The Devil's Backbone "Basecamp" is a really neat smokehouse, nestled amongst the hills of the Blue Ridge. We tried a few of their award-winning brews - the Hazy Summer for me and the Smokehouse Brew for J... that happened to win the gold medal in the Virginia Craft Beers festival on Saturday - it was tasty! 

A sampling of our Sunday outing. 

Today, I also want to mention a very special Happy Birthday to the one and only... Papa Sam!! 
Thank you for being such a wonderful Daddy... I love you to pieces!

Yesterday, the fam celebrated with a cookout, pool party and cake.

We will get to celebrate again this weekend - since I am going home.... yippee for some beach, boat and family time. I hope everyone has fun Labor Day plans on the books.  
Yay for a short work-week ahead... and some travel too! 

xo, trace


Lilly Summer Sale

I know all of you Lilly lovers had a great week... it was the Lilly End of Summer Sale! I must say, Monday morning when I logged-in to find this...

I was really sad. 

What a clever idea though... those Lilly folks, they know how to keep it playful.

They had a decent selection this year, however, not a great as last years' sale. Last year, racked-up on shorts and jeans for $19... skits and dresses for $29-$39 and bathing suites for $9.  This year, there wasn't much less than $44 for shorts... $49 for dresses, etc. I guess that folks at Lilly figured out that they don't have to drop the prices to low in order for people to buy, buy. buy!  I certainly helped the Lilly craze.

I am excited with my purchases. Three cute dresses and a mint green pair of jeans. 

What did you buy at the Lilly summer sale?  

Now,  I need a couple fun places to get in at least one wear before the fall hits. That should be another list I need to get started on... Fall will be here before we know it!

Cheers. It's almost the weekend!

xo, trace


Update on "The List" - 113 days to 30

Well folks, we are T-minus 113 days to my 30th and we still have some work to do on the 30b430 list. Meg updated us on hers... and she is doing a mighty good job, I must say.  I decided I would do a quick update on my own. It's coming along... we have no plans to make it on any of these big trips on the list, but that's what the 30th year is for, right?

So, here we have it: my 30 before 30 Bucket List and the updates:

1. Take a design class - purchased. Still need to take it. haha
2. Visit the BVI's
3. Make a t-shirt quilt with old t-shirts
4. Brush-up on my Spanish {so I can understand my niece & nephew}
5. Start a blog
6. Plant a Garden
7. Go fishing with my dad - On tap for Labor Day!
8. Visit Uniontown, PA
9. Finish our Honeymoon scrapbook
10. Purchase nice jeans for myself. Fall. I swear. 
11. Join Life Loyal AOII
12. Complete our china for 8!  Picking up two more salad plates Labor Day... so close. :) 
13. Finish the Harry Potter trilogy. on book 5, still getting there... but I started! 
14. Visit MASS with the Lyons'
15. Start Recycling!
16. Take a class in Sewing {in person, online or read a book}
17. Run a race with Jesse {a 5K will do!} - Autumn Ridge 5K & Shamrock Run
18. Grind my own coffee
19. Take a dance class - on the books with Suz at Halestone. 
20. Hike House Mountain
21. Throw a {hopefully Mango} baby shower - Ok, so this one is super fun... I threw my Sister a baby shower in June and in the same weekend found out a Mango is preggo! I can't wait... so I may get to host 2 before 30. 
22. Go snow-skiing...ummm
23. Order our wedding album... it's just so pricey. I do have a quote.
24. Bake a cake from scratch
25. Purchase a home computer/iPad... this was was in the plan, but now since work is buying me an iPad, it may have to wait. Who needs two ipads? This may get crossed off in a couple weeks. 
26. Visit NYC at Christmas time! 
27. Pick apples from an Apple Farm.
28. Buy a piece of pottery {Did this one yesterday!}
29. Pay off my after College CC. I am SO close.  Like, hope to have it done by November too!
30. Give the Jeepster AC. Done! {I must admit, this was originally to get rid of the jeepster, then we got real and said...let's just fix the AC}

What a crazy week it has been... traveling, meetings, lunches, festival planning... I'm so ready for the weekend/Sunday to be here. Saturday is our local Community Festival and I am in charge {why do I do these things to myself -ha} Let's just say it has been really, really fun... and we have had a great time planning - but I am ready for it to be here!!

Last night, J and I did enjoy yummy Burgers at a local spot, Pure Eats. It was my first time having dinner... and it was SUPER delish. I would recommend a stop-in in your future. 

Off to Walk n Wobble with the gals... I need some sunshine and chatter in my life! 

xo, trace


Tasty Tuesday: Jalapeno Popper Chicken

I have a delicious meal for everyone today.  It's called Jalapeno Popper Chicken and it. is. TASTY!

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 egg
1 cup panko bread crumbs
2 tsp. taco seasoning (I made my own)
2 tsp. cup canola oil
2 medium Jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
2 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Garlic Salt and pepper to taste.

Cut pocket into side of each chicken breast and set aside.
Beat egg in bowl and set aside for coating.
Next, stir together bread crumbs, taco seasoning, and oil and set aside for second coating.
In small bowl, combine cream cheese, diced jalapenos, cheddar and spices.
Stuff Chicken with cream cheese mixture.

Dip chicken in egg, followed by bread crumb mixture until fully coated.

Bake at 375 degrees on greased, rimmed baking dish 25-30 minutes, or until internal temperature reads 165 degrees.

Super easy week-night meal that was a HUGE hit with the hubs. I paired it with a Southwestern Chopped Salad for a super yummy meal!

Bon App├ętit!

xo, trace


Weekend Shenanigans

What a fun weekend it was... being back on a college campus, soaking up the energy and spirit... the nerves and the giggles. Recruitment season has defiantly arrived in full fashion! I have the pleasure of helping with four chapters recruitments this fall, and this was my first stop along the tour. This was my home for the weekend....

The beautiful AOII House at East Carolina University

They are an amazing group of women and I know they are going to knock it outta the park this week!! 

On Saturday my parents celebrated their 39th Wedding Anniversary! How lucky I am to have two amazing parents still going strong after 39 years.... 3 kids... 4 homes... thousands of baseball/softball/volleyball/basketball games... 2.5 college tuition's... 3 weddings... 8 grand-babies and countless late nights waiting up on the sofa. Thank you for always being there - through the good times and the bad times - I'm so blessed to have such amazing parents. I don't know who I'd be today without you both!! Cheers to making the 40th year a year full of fun and laughter! 

Circa 2010 at our Engagement Party

On my way home, I made a brief stop for some Ross shopping/treasurer hunting. I scored this adorable bowl for $3.99.

Crackers? Silverware? Keys/Phone? ...the possibilities are endless!

Sunday night the hubs cooked me a yummy welcome home feast and we enjoyed a nice Sunday Supper... complete with a delicious bottle of vino.

I hope everyone enjoyed a nice weekend doing all the things they love!! Busy week ahead with {real} work and community work...and a fun Walk-n-Wobble with the gals on Wednesday, but I'm home, which is always a blessing!

xo, trace


The New Patio!

As you may or may not have picked up on... we actually rent the house we live in right now. We do own two other houses in Lex, but when we got married it just made sense to live where we do. And now - it really is hard to leave. We live just steps from downtown. One block from our favorite family pizza shop. Two blocks from our favorite bar. Three blocks from the Farmers Market on Wednesday... you get the picture. We may be graced with 700 square feet of foot space - but you know the old saying location, location, location. It's just impossible to give up!

So, when it comes to house renovations - we have to keep it simple. Raise the curtain rods, sure. A new microwave - sure. New trashcans - well, that was the landlord... re-cocking the bath - that's really what the landlord is for, right? A girl could get used to this. But to say we are spoiled would be an understatement. New trash cans just arrive in the old ones spots without a word. New calking in the bath is done on a weekend we are out of town. New braces under the 1920 original floors - done while we were at work one day.  Well, the latest landlord gift  to us was a patio. We didn't even ask. She stopped J in the yard one day and just asked if we wanted one and if it was "ok" to cut down some old trees from the {her} yard. Yes, she is asking us - too funny!  Of course, we said go right ahead... thinking it would be months or even a year until it was done.

One week later, a guy shows up and the trees are gone. Then the fence was up! The next day, gravel was in place, and then pavers. We took some progress pictures throughout the week, so I could share the transformation with my blogger friends. In all of about 10 days, we went from tiny space for the grill, to large back patio!

The final product {for now}.

Did I mention that she also power-washed the house, sidewalks and front porch.... and weeded the beds and fence lines. Yes, she did. So spoiled! It's so fun to actually have something house related that we can make our own. We bought fun new plants and put some hostas in the ground... purchased some nice new tiki torches, so we can bare through the late summer nights. Now, it's time for furniture. What a better time to buy outdoor furniture than at the end of summer. SALES, here we come!!

I would really love wooden chairs with cushions, but I'm trying decide if they are "weather-friendly" or if they will be ready to toss in the dumpster after a month outside.  Any suggestions?  What kind of patio furniture do you have? Or love? For now, it's the old faithful set from Nashville... holding strong.

Now, it's about cocktail time... and the patio is calling my name.

xo, trace


Fashion: From Misses to Mrs.

Is it just me, or does anyone else suddenly feel 13 when they put on anything too short, too tight, too low... too crazy... you get the picture. I'm stuck in their weird funk, where I feel like just about everything in my closest screams "let's go take shots" or  "belly dancin' - sign me up".  I know it sounds silly... but I am here. Stuck in between the Misses and Mrs. Is anyone with me?  I'm about to pack up duffle bags full of dresses and ship them to my niece who just started her first day of high school {there's another one for feeling old} and start over. Maybe it also has something to do with the big 3-0 looming in the not so distant future that has me re-thinking my outfits and hemlines. But I'm in need of some new staples to the closet.

I'm not really into following fashion trends... but I'll try them if they are cute. These are some of my favorites I'm thinking for fall:

Black cropped pants and chic booties.

Classic Sheath Dresses.

Peplum Tops. 

Mxi Dresses. via.

Another confession... I used to be a Today Show fan, but the hubs has switched me over to GMA. {It may have to do with one of the anchors being a KA} I have started to love Lara Spencer - especially her outfits - she is one classy momma. Her necklines and statement necklaces are the best, today she wore a beautiful green one, but here are some other favorites:

New statement necklaces. 

Let the packing begin. Here's to new to new fall trends... and longer hemlines I suppose! :)

xo, trace


Weekends at Home

They same Home is Where the Heart Is... and sometimes just a good ole dose of {being at} home makes for the best lil weekend.  It has been over a month since we {both} woke up in our own bed on Saturday morning... cooked breakfast, went for a long run through town and enjoyed a lil bit of Lex. So that is just what we did this weekend.

KJ was visiting - so we also hit our favorite hot spots throughout the weekend. We started the weekend at Devils Backbone for Happy Hour. They have a great new front porch with awesome views of the Valley. Good times with great friends!

Drinks were followed by dinner at Southern Inn. Always a good choice. The Fried Chicken never disappoints!  Saturday we slept-in {yay} and ran a long 5K through Lex. It was Blake's First birthday party that afternoon. Kelli did such a cute job with the party and Blake really enjoyed his cake...

KJ and I posed for a pic in the front parking lot - check out the view! Amazing.  
Miss you already, friend! 

Sunday was a little adventurous. We dropped KJ at the tiny lil airport in Weyer's Cave, Virgina - which ironically is where FFA was founded. Who knew?  We stopped and marked the occasion with a pic at the commemorative sign below. 

Next stop was Barron Ridge Vineyards for some good laughs and a lil vino with M&M. They were actually hosting a fundraiser for the MaDee Project, so we joined in on the fun - complete with a band and arts & crafts fair. Catching up with these two is always just the best - times seems to fly by and it's never enough. We also realized just how lucky we are to live where we do - there are so many beautiful things to see throughout the Virginia countryside. Each time we discover something new - it energizes us to see more!  Thanks for taking part in our adventures, Matt & Meg!

Sunday we always try to have Sunday Supper at the table, with a full meal to start the week out on a happy note. This time it was even better - because J got to cook on our new patio!!  It's still a work in progress, but I promise to give you the play by play on the blog here soon.

We finally have some veggies popping up in the garden... late bloomers, I suppose. 

BBQ Chicken, Grilled Green Beans, Chopped Spinach Salad

I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend! I am gearing up for Recruitment season and Community Festival in 2 weeks. I can't believe it's August. Man o' Man. Where have you gone 2013? 

Happy Monday!

xo, trace