What I’m Lovin’ in April

The pollen is finally starting to wash away so we can enjoy the not-so-hot-I’m-sweating-all-day weather so I’m lovin’ April!

Read on to see all the little things I found enjoyable this month.

april

1. Classroom Inspiration

Last month I presented to a group of middle school parents. This quote was in the classroom where I presented:

As long as you keep a person down, some part of you has to be down there to hold him down, so it means you cannot soar as you otherwise might. – Marian Anderson

marian anderson quote

One of the things I love about visiting schools is seeing how the teachers decorate their classrooms and seeing the student work hung in the hallways. I always find inspiration when I’m in the schools – whether it’s an empowering quote hung in a classroom or a colorful display of bar charts from a math lesson hung in the hallway {future #DataDivas!}.

Kids can be little rockets of inspiration for us jaded adults in the most needed moments. 😉

2. Yard Flowers

Everything seems to be blooming – even in the yard of this very-brown-thumbed-gal!

yard flowers

If I’m being honest with you, I stole the flowers pictured here from my neighbor’s yard!

BUT: If you look closely, you can see MY flowers blooming out the window.  🙂

AND: If you look closely to the left, you can see little baby succulent sprouts. A coworker told me that when a leaf drops off a succulent to just plop it in soil and it’ll sprout little babies. I’m so surprised it actually worked {considering all my other succulents are currently dying on the front porch because I forgot to bring them in for the winter…}.

3. Eucalyptus Globulus essential oil

eucalyptus globulus

While on our spring break road trip, my allergies were in full swing {le sigh…does our body always have to rebel when we’re going on VACATION?!}. I went through cough drops like I’d bought stock in them and kept telling myself to get over it.

When we got home, I found my Eucalyptus Globulus oil was waiting for me. It was a freebie with my Young Living order last month so I wasn’t totally sure how I’d use it. I pulled the cap off and took a whiff and – wow!! – it smelled just like a menthol cough drop! I carried it around with me for a few days until my congestion subsided. I rubbed a drop on my neck and it worked so well to help me breathe easier. It reminds me a lot of those Vicks inhaler sticks {I used to love those!}.

4. Abby Glassenberg’s article Craft as Escape and Affirmation

glassenberg

{Image borrowed from Abby’s site – click the photo to read her post}

Abby’s post is so perfect. I love the story of her time as a teacher and how crafting served not only as an escape from the stress of her job but also as an affirmation of who she was.

It is a must-read for all creative people / people who work in stressful careers / everyone! Click here to read the post.

5. Excuses to go on Vacation again

Last weekend the Hubs played in a hockey tournament in Charleston so we had a great excuse to go on another vacation – even if just a weekend getaway!

hockey

To all the hockey wives/girlfriends out there: I’ve discovered the secret to surviving the frigid chill of an indoor ice rink. It involves two blankets (one for your upper half and one to wrap around – not just over – your legs), hot coffee (warning: do not buy coffee from the teenagers working the concession stand. Ain’t nobody got time for room temperature coffee that tastes like garbage. Do yourself a favor and find the nearest Starbuck’s as soon as you drop your man at the rink), and a good book (for when you’re wasting time before the game because your main squeeze insists on arriving an hour early…).

{PS: We ate some of THE most delicious food while in Charleston. You’re probably thinking “duh, it’s Charleston” but for a vegetarian sometimes that can be tricky. I’m planning to post a recap soon of some of the amazing places we found.}

6. Ice Cream with Breakfast

which cream

While in Charleston for the weekend, we stopped by the Charleston Farmers Market before the tournament games began on Saturday. While there we had the most delicious breakfast, drank amazing coffee (found another swoon-worthy Chai Latte) AND ate ice cream sandwiches {wich cream is our new obsession – handcrafted ice cream?! Yes, please.} before 9am because #WhenOnVacation.

7. Grilled Cheese Food Trucks

speak cheesy food truck

Did you even know such a thing existed?! Me neither!

You can imagine my delight when my sister and I stumbled upon the Speak Cheesy Food Truck at the Indie South Fair in Columbia a few weeks ago.

You know how sometimes when you order a grilled cheese somewhere and it is so greasy that you’re pretty sure your insides have turned into a slippery mess? NOT SO with Speak Cheesy. The bread was perfectly fluffy with a lightly crisp, buttered coating. Rather than sliced cheese, the sandwich involved a mix with the consistency of pimento cheese (but not the runny garbage you find at the grocery store…this was the made-from-scratch kind – chunky and delightfully fresh).

My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Without further adieu, here’s photographic proof it was heaven:

grilled cheese

Unfortunately for me (or fortunately for my health), Speak Cheesy is based in Rome, Georgia. They graced us with their presence for the Indie South Fair when it visited Columbia this month. Fingers crossed they’ll come back sometime!

8. Our Spring Break Road Trip

Are you tired of hearing about it yet?! I had such a blast writing the posts and reliving our trip. If you missed it, you can follow the trip with these posts:

I’m still working on the last stop (Virginia again) so stay tuned! 🙂

9. Empowering Quotes with Foul Language

Nothing makes me feel more fierce than a quote flavored with foul language. So, here’s a little flavorful empowerment for you too:

kate nash quote gif

{Click the image to find a free download via Melissa Chaib}

10.  One last giggle to share: check out this adorable video of dachshunds playing hockey!

Sending you sprinkles of joy and warm hugs til next time,

Jordan

{Catch up on all of my monthly What I’m Lovin’ posts here.}

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What I’m Lovin’ in October

October is my favorite month of the year! I’m sad to see it go, but man was October good to me 🙂

{Image via Pinterest}

{Image via Pinterest}

There are so many things that I’m lovin’ this month, but here’s my short list!

oct

Since October is my birthday month, you’ll have to forgive the fact that almost all of my favorites this month revolve around that 🙂

Oh, well – Cheers to being one year older!

1. the watercolor family portrait by Rachel Tenny my sister had made for me

If you've ever met me, the Hubs and our pets, you know how very SPOT ON this painting is ;)

If you’ve ever met me, the Hubs and our pets, you know how very SPOT ON this painting is. 😉

Y’all know how much I love my sister and when it comes to birthdays, she never disappoints! She’s also been pushing me to get some family pictures taken (no wedding = no fancy couple pictures) so this was the perfect solution! 😉

A few months ago, I discovered Rachel on Instagram through some common friends. Her posts are so thoughtful and uplifting – not to mention beautiful. Of course, I had told my sister all about how much I loved her work.

When I opened the portrait (which my sister had framed beautifully…upside down!), I almost cried. It was beyond thoughtful and something I will cherish forever.

My sister says that Rachel was amazing to work with! I’m shamelessly encouraging you to support this super talented local artist by ordering from her shop, but secretly I want to hoard all her time because I have about a billion family portraits I want her to make for me! 🙂

2. the Lavender Mocha at Drip

Lucky for me, my birthday fell on a Saturday this year which means I talked my sister, brother-in-law and the Hubs into going to The Good Life Cafe for brunch followed by a stroll through the Soda City market which ultimately landed us at my very favorite coffee shop, Drip on Main where Rachel aka “the Best Barista in Town” (as confirmed by Free Times) treated me to an iced Lavender Mocha {to.die.for. – for real, go grab one now!}

The Lavender Mocha is to.die.for!

Thank you for the treat, Rachel!

3. Learning new tricks to make my snail mail even fancier!

After learning the calligraphy basics (read more about that here), I’ve been diligently practicing and sending obnoxious amounts of snail mail (this month brought on a great excuse for thank you notes!). I was thrilled when I ran across a tutorial for “5 Unique Ways to Address an Envelope” on The Postman’s Knock.

{Source: The Postman's Knock - click the image for link}

{Source: The Postman’s Knock – click the image for link}

The best part about the post is that she includes styles that you can do without any “real” calligraphy training (aka: faux calligraphy).

4. Flowers

The morning of my birthday, the Hubs said he was going for a run. An hour later he arrived home carrying a vase full of beautiful flowers! Not only were they gorgeous on their own, the story of how they got to my house paints quite a comical picture: The Hubs arrived at Publix, picked out pink roses for sentimental value (the first flowers he ever bought me were pink roses), baby’s breath because they are my favorite and yellow because who doesn’t love yellow?! Then bought a vase, scissors and a bottle of water [which must have come from a cooler because the vase nearly slipped out of my hands from all the condensation!]. He cut the stems in the parking lot and arranged them all by himself in the parking lot of Publix. I can only imagine what this looked like to the grocery shoppers that morning!

flowers

I think we’re all familiar with the fate of most plants that end up in my care (remember the Dutchess?), but my sister insisted on sending pansies home with me last weekend.

After a bit of resistance, I gave in and took those pretty purple flowers home to adorn my porch for as long as I can keep them alive.

pansies

I have to admit, being greeted by colorful little flowers after a long day of work sure is splendid. 🙂

5. Any excuse to shop for vintage clothes!

One of my favorite local vintage shops is having a sale on Saturday, November 8th from 12-4pm at the Conundrum Music Hall. The Thrifted Sisters are two super sweet sister-in-laws who have a knack for finding the coolest vintage apparel (and other neat vintage goodies) and making them generously available to you (and me!).

thrifted sisters

Aside from the event on Nov. 8th (which you should definitely go to), you can find their goodies on Instagram (you get first dibs there and you’re the first to hear about sales!) and Etsy.

My friend Shanika and I attended the  last party the gals threw and we had a blast trying on some super cool vintage outfits – like this awesome faux fur wrap Shanika found:

shanika

This picture makes me feel regret for not snatching this for myself!

And last, but not least: I’m lovin’…

6. All of you who made me feel so special on my birthday!

If you're not following Kid President on Facebook, you need to! {Click the image for a link to his page}

If you’re not following Kid President on Facebook, you need to! {Click the image for a link to his page}

I love birthdays – not only because they’re full of delicious treats (like homemade cupcakes from my sister!), but because they’re a reminder of the fact that people care about you! My heart is so full from all the birthday love this month. Thank you to everyone who made me feel so stinkin’ special!

{Catch up on all What I’m Lovin’ monthly posts here.}


Star Spangled Family Weekend

No matter how many days “off” one has, Monday always comes too soon!

Kicked off the long weekend with the Slice Sisters tackling the Fabric 101 sale (keep an eye out for a pillow DIY post next week! 🙂 )

I may have had the whole day off, but the Hubs had a 12 hour day so I did what any good wife would do and bought him flowers…

only kidding - I bought him cheesecake, but aren't these bright pink flowers perfect in my new yellow vase from IKEA?!

only kidding – I bought him cheesecake, but aren’t these bright pink Publix flowers perfect in my new yellow vase from IKEA?!

On my way to pick up the flowers (err…cheesecake), I passed the new farmers market on North Main Street (at the edge of Cottontown). I did a quick U-turn and stopped to see what the local farmers had. We had weekend plans with family so I eagerly jumped at the $5 watermelon (what a steal!) – it’s my favorite summer time treat!

This was the SWEETEST watermelon I've had in a l-o-n-g time! If you're in Columbia, be sure to stop by the North Main Farmer's Market - they're open every Thursday from 1-7pm.

This was the SWEETEST watermelon I’ve had in a l-o-n-g time! If you’re in Columbia, be sure to stop by the North Main Farmer’s Market – they’re open every Thursday from 1-7pm.

Friday my Dad invited us over for a cookout – I might not eat meat anymore, but when my Dad says he’s grillin’ I know to grab the Hubs and head over! It’s always a great time hanging out with my parents.

Then…there were sparklers!

The pictures a little blurry, but the face the Hubs was making was priceless. He's a child at heart!

The pictures a little blurry, but the face the Hubs was making was priceless. He’s a child at heart!

Saturday my sister and her husband invited us all out for a day of sailing. Being that Lake Murray is so close (& my sister always extends an open invitation) it’s a shame how little time I spend on it. I haven’t been swimming (well…floating) in far too long. The sun felt splendid and there was enough breeze for our adventure to be more sail and less motor 😉

This is before I thought I was going to fall overboard..

This is before I thought I was going to fall overboard..

And as every perfect weekend should, the Hubs & I brought it to a close with brunch at Drip.

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Best coffee in Columbia!

 

The sun, water and time with family was just what my soul was craving! I’m so grateful to be part of such an amazing family that I live close enough to spend our holiday weekends together.

I hope you enjoyed your 4th of July holiday weekend!