Weekend Links / / Reunited


Today is a good day. Today, Jordan returns home from London! I can’t wait to meet him at the airpot! I’m grateful he’s had the opportunity to travel more for work, but I sure did miss him. I found plenty of ways to occupy my time this week (err 10 days) — I baked some, cleaned some and met up with friends, but Jordan is my person and I just love being near him.

It’s been in the 80’s all week, our farmers market opened on Tuesday, and I finally ordered a new swim suit. Summer in Nashville has arrived!

I had A LOT of time to read blogs this week and it wasn’t easy to narrow down which posts to share! Let’s get right to it.

Continue reading “Weekend Links / / Reunited”

Currently / / May


^ Photobooth fun from our friends’ wedding. Photo Credit: Black Pearl Photo

Designing | A new blog design. Jordan already began working on it and we hope to have it live sometime this summer. This is one of the many perks to being married to a graphic designer!

Enjoying | Live texting with friends while watching Dancing with the Stars. Yes, I will admit I have a slight obsession with this reality show, I can’t help it. 🙂 Each week is made better by discussing the dances and who should be voted off with a few old co-workers. It’s been a fun way to stay connected!

Ordering | Supplies to make my own laundry detergent. I don’t think I’ll ever get to the point where I will make all of our cleaning products, but DIY laundry soap is super simple and works just as well as conventional detergent.

Celebrating | That Jordan comes home in two days! He’s been in London for work and I’ve missed him so much. I wish I had the weekend off to spend more quality time catching up, but it’ll be great simply knowing he’s safe and sound.

Tasting | Jordan and I enjoy drinking La Croix, but recently we bought the Kroger store brand version and it was slightly comparable, but there is sodium in it.

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/ / Linking with Anne & Jenna.

Weekend Links / / Infertility Awareness


National Infertility Awareness Week began on Sunday. Jordan and I are that one in eight couples who struggle with infertility. It’s scary to be vulnerable, but I am honored to share my story. Learning to embrace myself has been difficult occasionally because I had assumed I would be a mother by now. In this time, I’ve taken the opportunity to reflect, learn and grow.

I believe we are not defined by labels, we are defined by being children of God. He meets us in whatever season we’re in and shows us we are loved. That lesson, one of being okay with me, came unexpectedly and with gentle force. I still desire to be a mother, but God continues to bless me in many other mysterious ways. I’m really enjoying the life we have cultivated in Nashville. My marriage, family, friends, job, blog and weekly adventures are full of purpose.

If I could go back in time and tell myself anything I would say: it’s okay to be sad for a moment, allow yourself to curl up on the couch and eat dark chocolate; don’t be afraid to seek support; and if someone says something insensitive, know that they mean well.

God is so good!

/ / While we were in Toronto, Emily was gallivanting around Paris and Milan. Italy sounds heavenly. Any country that is brimming full of gelato shops is my kind of place. 🙂 I can’t wait to hear more of her adventures!

/ / Lisa put together a huge list of bloggers who share their infertility story. I wish this list would have existed two years ago! Lisa has been so candid about their journey and recently she went through another round of IVF and is now pregnant. I’m so happy for her. 🙂

/ / This week I made these Salted Dark Chocolate Coconut Macaroons. DELISH! I had a bit of trouble with the chocolate, but I think it was just because I can be impatient when it comes to baking and didn’t allow things to cool properly. I enjoyed them frozen with a cup of Irish breakfast tea.

/ / When I read Brittany’s latest recap of her trip to California, I was struck by our similarity. Jordan and I make a point to visit friends and family on trips if we happen to be in the same city. Brittany and her husband did just that and while it can be  tricky working around different peoples schedules, the memories that are made are so worthwhile!

/ / Kristel reminds us that it’s okay to not like every season and phase you find yourself in.

Happy Weekend, all!

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/ / Linking with Meagan & Susanna.

Weekend Links / / Little Ladies


I really thought winter was coming to an end, but as I’m writing this, a fresh blanket of snow has covered Nashville. Supposedly, it’s the biggest snowfall this area has received since 2002, with towns north of us receiving close to a foot! If only I could find my snowsuit…

In other news, we’re preparing for family to visit us next week. We love being able to showcase why we love this city so much!

I’ve been following Erica (co-host of one of my favorite podcasts) and her husband’s journey to adopt for the past year. When she shared they were chosen to be the parents of two little girls my heart soared. The composure and grace Erica displayed throughout the adoption process is inspiring!

I have slowly been breaking my over-packing/over-prepared mentality. I’m that girl who doesn’t leave the house without deodorant, so you can imagine the vacation packing struggle. Sabrina’s tips on what NOT to pack for your next trip were helpful reminders! What do you have a hard time leaving behind (yet never seem to use) on vacation? I have a tendency to bring too much reading material.

Surprising late night conversations that keep couples together and they are all about money. I grew up witnessing my parents budget (or “go over receipts” as they called it) but Jordan and I haven’t always dealt with money conversations well. We both had discretionary money before we got married and aligning desires versus reality wasn’t easy! I would get defensive in our money conversations far too easily. After many years of trial and error (when it comes to realistic budgeting), we’re slowly figuring our best plan. It’s vital to discuss money respectively.

The combination of coconut and chocolate is one of my favorite. The best part about these cashew + coconut + cocoa bites…they’re free of (refined) sugar! I haven’t made anything with dates as the base, but I’ve been missing out because their health benefits are extensive! Any favorite recipes that use dates?

Happy Weekend, all!

And don’t forget about springing forward this Sunday!

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Weekend Links / / LeBlanc & Friends


Nashville is experiencing a mini polar vortex. Currently, it’s 19° but the windchill makes it feel like 9°. Locals don’t quite know how to handle it. 🙂 One of my favorite aspects about winter is the abundance of citrus fruit available: clementines and grapefruits are always stocked in our fridge. Not only do they look bright and cheery, I actually feel bright and awake after eating them!

/ / Abby reviewed Lena Dunham’s memoir and it’s on point with exactly how I felt while reading Not That Kind of Girl (I actually still have a few chapters left). She compared and contrasted it to Amy Poehler’s memoir, Yes, Please. Which reminds me, I still need to buy it!

What is everyone reading? I need a good novel to dive into.

/ / Erin’s quick breakfast tostado is one of those go-to meals I like to make on busy nights. Breakfast for dinner regularly happens in our house. Put an egg on it, is what I always say.

/ / I enjoyed following Anne’s fall capsule wardrobe and I’m glad she is continuing into winter. Winter is a hard season to be creative. All I want to wear is giant sweaters and fuzzy socks!

/ / Emily shared a few observations on living in the south, which were very similar to my own. I’m not sure when “y’all” will become my greeting. “You, guys” just comes far too naturally!

/ / The amount of television Jordan and I watch has drastically decreased ever since we got rid of cable. It’s impossible to keep track week to week without a DVR, so we utilize our libraries DVD selection a lot. We enjoy watching a show together, but after finishing the entire run of, How I Met Your Mother nothing clicked.

That is until we began watching Episodes. The show follows two show runners of a British sitcom after they move to LA to create an american version. It stars Matt LeBlanc as a fictitious version of himself, which is very fitting since Friends was recently released on Netflix. I love the witty banter and gentle industry mocking.

Happy Weekend!

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/ / Linking with Meagan.

Weekend Links / / Serial Obsessions


This was a crazy full week. It began by filming my first video blog (eek!). I watch a lot of vloggers on YouTube and after this week they get all my kudos. Filming yourself (or in my case, making my husband film me) and staying on task is not as easy as it seems! Our unique ticks and quirks become extremely apparent after watching back the footage. My voice and the way I say certain phrases has always been a topic of teasing, particularly because Jordan doesn’t have a Chicago accent. It really sticks out in Nashville though, especially when I’m calling out beverages loudly at work. Haha. I coined my accent the “Chicago Valley Girl.” Watch at your own risk! 😉

I got a bit behind on my blog reading this week, but I still managed to find a few gems!

/ / Are you listening to the Serial podcast? No? Well, you might want to consider starting. It’s truly remarkable.

“Serial is a podcast where we unfold one nonfiction story, week by week, over the course of a season. We’ll stay with each story for as long as it takes to get to the bottom of it.”

Serial has received praise from The New Yorker to The Telegraph and criticism from certain corners of the internet. News outlets such as the New York Observer have responded in defense.

Jordan and I’ve been listening each week and fervently discussing it. As Anna Silman reminds us on Salon.com, “…it’s a real family’s ongoing tragedy. We shouldn’t forget that.”

/ / I also started reading Bad Feminist. This quote from Roxane Gay’s introduction pretty much exemplifies her theory.

“I embrace the label of bad feminist because I am human. I am messy. I’m not trying to be an example. I am not trying to be perfect. I am not trying to say I have all the answers. I am not trying to say I’m right. I’m just trying — trying to support what I believe in, trying to do some good in this world, trying to make some noise with my writing while also being myself: a woman who loves pink and likes to get freaky and sometimes dances her ass off to music she knows, she KNOWS is terrible for women and who sometimes plays dumb with repairmen because it’s just easier to let them feel macho than it is to stand on the moral high ground.”

It’s like she knows me.

/ / Ashley shared her day in (hilarious) gifs. I was taking a break from work and couldn’t stop laughing at her selections. Gifs make me all giddy.

/ / Chelsea has gathered some unique and affordable Christmas gift lists. Here are some under $20 and under $10.

/ / These Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Rice Krispie Bars from Joy the Baker. Did I mention that I’ve been gluten-free for almost two weeks? I’m still on the journey to completely solve my acne dilemma. Dairy doesn’t seem to make a difference either way though I’m still trying to avoid it. So far the gluten removal has brought a noticeable change. Gluten is everywhere, especially in sweets, but I love dessert so I’m on the hunt to find great-tasting solutions. Rice Krispie’s for the win!

Happy Weekend, all!

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/ / Linking with Meagan.

Weekend Links / / Our Last


^ The pre-family-picture pictures are always the best. I love that Jenna is standing all stoic waiting for the rest of us to follow suit.

This was a good, but also bittersweet week. It began with visiting Jordan’s grandparents. Over the past nine years I’ve been embraced as their own grandchild and it feels really special. They live about two hours away, so we took a mini road trip with his youngest sisters. On Sunday, Jordan and I celebrated our birthday with our families. It’s quirky sharing a birthday, but we’ve grown to love it. For dinner, my dad made his famous Cincinnati Chili, but we each chose our own cake; you can’t share everything!


My mom baked my favorite cinnamon chocolate cake, which complimented my mother-in-law’s homemade ice cream cake! In between packing and moving preparations, we had dinner dates with family and friends. This is our last weekend as Illinois residents, but I still haven’t fully grasped what that all means. People continually ask me how it feels, but honestly it’ll take a couple of months for this new reality to actually seem real. My last day of work is on Monday and we leave on Tuesday. Most of our belongings are packed away, but I’m sure I’ve missed something.

Please pardon me as I become extremely frantic over packing details.

These articles/blog post/interviews served as great inspiration and perfect procrastination material.

1 | When I grow up. It’s daunting to determine what we will do when we grow up. I appreciated Rebecca’s honest words about her journey through different education decisions, careers, and life choices. Maybe our life path isn’t what we set out to accomplish, but life is created in those unexpected moments.

2 | Fresh Air interviews Joan Rivers. A compilation of three interviews Terry Gross has had with Joan over the years.

3 | On turning 30. For her 30th birthday, Sarah shares 30 things she still has yet to learn. The older I get the more I realize I always have more to learn.

4 | The secret to 80 years of marriage.

5 | Chelsea’s list of 10 lies every girl tells herself had me cracking up. Particularly the one about not regretting chopping your hair off. I’ve definitely been there and done that!

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Weekend Links


Hey all, we made it to Friday! Jordan and I have a full line up this weekend hanging with friends and celebrating his sister at her high school graduation party! Speaking of summer, I decided to sponsor a couple of blogs for the season. Today my feature on TJ’s blog, His Little Lady is live. I’d love for you all to stop on over and read my little Q & A! Once you are finished, you absolutely should read about her recent trip to Victoria, British Colombia! My parents honeymooned there and I’ve always had a strong desire to spend time in the Pacific Northwest.

While we are on the topic of blogs, I’m joining in with #bloggerlove and sharing my favorites recent reads.

1 | Are any of you following Joanna’s series, Motherhood around the world? Even though I’m not a mother, I am finding each feature absolutely fascinating. While it’s important to gather advice from our community, I think it’s extremely beneficial to see how other cultures solve their challenges: be that sleep patterns, safety, education, and a child’s general well-being. We have so much to learn from one another!

2 | Susanna participated in a weekly summer challenge, creating meals from items found at Trader Joe’s. That grocery store, despite its small size, has a range of products to help aid in quick, healthy meals. I’ve loved getting suggestions on how to use certain items. As a bonus, Susanna includes her families weekly meal plan at the end of each post.

3 | I loved this post from my beautiful friend Kate, wrestling with the Bigger Picture. I know that I can get lost in my own woes and need help reminding myself that I’m not alone in those worries. Tomorrow is always a new day.

4 | I’m still letting Emily’s words on being Set Free sink in. What is our identity, really? You also might recognize a familiar face on her sidebar 😉

And a couple from the celebrity world:

5 | Zosia Mamet on her struggle with an eating disorder. Bobbie Thomas and Savannah Guthrie from the Today Show, candidly share different perspectives on infertility.

I would love to hear what you have been reading this week!

Happy Weekend to you all!