It’s Friday, FRIDAY!

Y’all, it’s finally Friday this week!  It is my first Friday off of 2014.  To make it better Matt and I both have this weekend off and we have lots of house to-do’s on the list.  I really cannot wait!  Ah, adulthood.

Right- so getting right to my FIVE for today- as always linking up with AprilDarciNatasha, and Christina.

O N E

It may be a little surprising, but I am so looking forward to the Real Simple challenge I wrote about here.  And it’s funny how this week has somewhat prepared me for next- as if in anticipation of the Get Real Week.  Exhibit A:

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love this buddy, but sometimes I could ship him off free of charge to the first taker.  Then he suckers me back in with that sweet face.  Shoot.

T W O

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This was our dessert last night and it took less than 5 minutes total.  For a girl who loves to bake, that’s my kind of treat.  I can’t take the credit for it, though- hop on over to visit Laura from The Reedy Review to find out all about it.  Seriously, this might make a regular appearance in our home and next time I’ll be prepared with some vanilla ice cream!

T H R E E

Along with the rest of the East coast, it has been unseasonably cold this week.  Like brrrrrrrrrr (of course, now it’s moving into the upper 60s but such is life).  I was so happy to have picked these pretties up on sale last week, preparing me to brave the extreme temps in style.

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Go grab ’em up here.  I am of the opinion you can never have enough fair isle sweaters in your closet- it’s a timeless look.  These are super warm, comfy, great for layering, and keep well.  Don’t pass them up online, use code ONSAVENOW for an additional 15% off (my local store was all out).  You’re welcome!

F O U R

I have been doing this devotional all week- let me tell you!  It blows my mind how simply switching focus in the morning from myself to my husband causes me to love him better.  This devo draws the beautiful parallel between God’s love and pursuit of us to that in our marriage.  It’s not too late to start if you haven’t already.  I highly recommend it!

F I V E

We finally have some social dates on our calendar again!  The holidays about wiped us out and it’s been just me and Matt here since.  Now we’re ready to venture out into Wilmington again and enjoy our city.  Cheers to the weekend!!

Hope y’all have had a fancy Friday- any fun plans for the weekend?  

xoxo, heather

REAL Life: Real Simple

With the start of the new year and a fresh perspective in tow, I recently perused the magazine aisle at work for some new inspiration.  Of course, I had to grab the new issue of Real Simple among some others.  

Laying aside the age-old warning of judging a book by its cover, I generally base my decision largely on just that- the cover design.  And I must say, the current issue delivers before even opening its pages.  As previously mentioned here, the color of 2014 is Radiant Orchid.  As you can see below, the editors of Real Simple have so cleverly already introduced it.

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I am telling you, these things are not an accident.  

Anyway.. the articles within speak to resolutions, organization, and fresh starts.  While it will take me a while [as it always does] to really dig in and glean inspiration from the wealth of advice in its pages, I was struck by the editor’s note.  

balance

Van Ogtrop writes about the seemingly unending quest for balance in our lives.  As an aside, she begs the question, “Who hasn’t felt lousy after browsing a friend’s too-good-to-be-true Facebook page?” .  This leads to a challenge- one I feel compelled to tackle.  

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They call it Get Real on the Internet Week.  From January 13- 17 everyone is encouraged to forget the froufrou status updates and filtered instagram posts to be REAL on social media.  That isn’t to say I don’t appreciate seeing the joy of life and the beauty all around, but allow me to be honest.  There are “pictures” around my daily life that are not allowed on my social media outlets.  They are the grimy, gritty, cause-me-to-pull-my-hair-out moments that I try to sleep away day in and day out.  Do you feel me?  I feel confident I’m not the only one out there- surely I’m not the only type A personality stuck in a type B body.  

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So uh, let’s embrace the less attractive side of this life together and find the beauty in the honesty of it all.  You can follow along on twitter [@realsimple, @h_barcus] and instagram [hbarcus] with the hashtag #rsgetreal.  And if you would like to sign up to get the daily prompts, go here to submit your email.

Anyone else signing up with me?  If so, leave your links below so I can check it out!  I hope you will!!

xoxo, heather

We interrupt the regularly scheduled programming…

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…I’m still linking up today with the sweet ladies of Five on Friday (April, Darci, Natasha, and Christina) but I have been struggling to come up with my five.  

Don’t get me wrong- there’s plenty to look forward to and plenty to be thankful for- but my mind is reeling at what seems like a mile a minute.  And for a girl with NO speed, I would say that’s mighty fast.  Jotting down and publishing my New Year’s Resolutions yesterday has got me examining how I’d like this year to turn out.  

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Admittedly, this is likely due in part to my propensity to try to plan, plan, plan and take the reigns on everything.  And my list of 5 main resolutions is slowly but surely budding into lots of smaller thoughts and ideas.  While I would like to avoid overreaching and setting myself up for failure, I truly think a lot of these ideas can be accomplished within a month’s time and can serve as little milestones to ultimately help me accomplish my 5 mains.  

I know I’m being super vague for now, but I will share in due time.  Just think along the lines of changes around these parts (the blog), motivational/accountability tools, and plenty of inspiration.  

Here’s to 2014!  Can I just repeat this chorus for the whole month?  Or year?!

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Although I am breaking the rules a bit, I would love to know your 5 for this week.  (I got the number 5 in there a couple of times, so it counts, right?)

Join us!

xoxo, heather

Cheers to 2014

It’s already 2014.  

This has really crept up on me this year.  I put so much into celebrating the Christmas season and planning our time with family following the holiday that I’ve hardly thought about my resolutions.  In fact, I couldn’t tell you what mine were this last year.  Shoot.  

In 2012, Matt and I wrote down a list of goals in January and you know what?  We accomplished (by the Lord’s grace only) every single one of them. What?!  Does that really happen?  Well it did.  2013 saw a gradual end come to my daily journaling.  Again, I couldn’t tell you why exactly.. maybe just because I refused to wake up in time to do it in the morning.  This is why I can’t tell you my most recent resolutions.  There was nothing done to keep track of them.  That makes me sad.

Lecrae, one of my favorite music artists, made a solid point on social media yesterday.  While we may use the turn of the new year to give a clean slate, God allows us to wake up with the same every day.  So in case I (we) fold on these goals/ resolutions early- let’s remember we can always start over tomorrow.

So without further ado, my list of goals for 2014:

1. Journaling/ Bible Study:  Restart.  Journaling is less of a ritual for me and more of a way for me to get my thoughts out.  In regard to its relationship with the Word, it allows me to digest the wealth of information on paper, to make better sense of its intent and application.  I hope this will allow me to know myself better in God’s eyes and who I am today, in a fairly new role of being a wife, but still maintaining my identity.

2.  Being a better wife:  This sounds so generic, but I know what I mean.  There are ways I feel I’m excelling at this whole wifery stuff (is that a word?  because spell-check is saying no).  And then there are times I can feel the snowball of failure gaining speed and girth as it crashes down an endless mountain, with me right in the middle.  How’s that for some imagery?  Per my friend, Elise’s suggestion, I’ve downloaded the Wife After God devotional to hit the ground running.  Also, I got it on my kindle from Amazon for 99 cents.  <–no idea how that happened.

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3.  Working with intent:  It’s so easy to go to work and do the pharmacist thing and come home and be done with it.  But truly, this field takes so much continuing education to stay afloat with all the constant changes taking place.  Instead of completing CE to maintain my license, I’d love to make it a priority to complete them for the knowledge they afford.  And this also includes just loving people more while donning that white coat.  Sometimes all they need is a big hug and an ear to listen about their day.  

4.  Make Wilmington ours:  Matt and I both agree we could make more of an effort to explore this city; we could do more to create our community here.  Corporate worship hasn’t been so easy since getting jobs in the retail sector, but we have yet to really make a valiant effort in making this a priority.  This could involve becoming members of a local organization, volunteering locally, attending sponsored events, finally moving our church membership, etc.

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5.  Hello, patience:  As I was moving our 7 foot Christmas tree outside by myself yesterday (Matt was at work and I was determined) and our sweet pup was doing everything in his power to get in the way, I realized I need more patience.  Yes, more thoughts/choice words occurred where that last comma is, but for all our sake, I have chosen to withhold any further details.  Really, I have grown just a little less patient in all areas of my life.  While this seems like it might be the simplest, I feel it will prove otherwise.  But here goes nothing!

What are your new year’s goals// resolutions?  Anything big planned for the new year?  

Join me in linking up with The Birdie Bowl and The Ledford Life to share yours!

Pop-Fizz

xoxo, heather

Bringing the Good News!

Wishing the merriest of Christmases to you and yours!

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And the angel said unto them: 

Fear not, for, behold, I bring you great joy of good tidings, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born on this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord”
[Luke 2:10-11]
xoxo,
heather + matt + leroy

Let your heart be light!

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It’s Christmas Eve and our celebrations are in full force!  I was just discussing some fun family traditions with friends (haha, Elise) and it lead to some reminiscing on our own traditions old and new.  

Here are some fun things we’ve done through the years plus some of Matt’s and mine we’ve adapted:

1. Watching A Christmas Story on Christmas Eve

2. Enjoying a delicious family dinner leading up to Christmas> either beef bourguignon or london broil/pork loin

3. Exchanging Christmas pjs

4. Walking the beach on Christmas Eve morning

5. Sit on stairs waiting on parents to film our gifts before we see them (tell me they’re not the only ones- it’s kinda weird)

6. Go to the movie theaters the afternoon of Christmas Day (last year it was Les Miserables, this year it’s Wolf of Wall Street)

7. Biscuits and gravy the morning of Christmas

8. Visiting the grandparents throughout the day

What are your Christmas traditions? Any you’re looking forward to starting this year?

xoxo, heather

Five on Friday

I’m linking up with the lovely ladies of the Five on Friday again- I’ve missed the last few weeks and have really missed it!

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Y’all!  Is it really Friday already?  While most of you are celebrating because today marks your last day of school/ work before Christmas or maybe just your last day of work before the weekend, I’ll be pulling one of those 12 hr shifts and strolling right into a weekend of work;)  Noticing a pattern?!  The great news is I still have joy in my heart; and this week has given me a full tank to run on for this stretch of work.

O N E.

That bring’s me to this week’s number 1.  Have you ever prayed and prayed and prayed and PRAYED for something to happen and then stopped?  Stopped because it’s exhausting and disappointing and maybe you’re just scared the answer will be ‘no’?  Well, Matt and I have been in our new city for a little over a year together.  While we’ve so enjoyed making it “our” place, we have struggled to make friends.  Now, don’t hear me say that we don’t have any– because the friends we have made here are so dear to us and we could almost squeeze them so tight to not lose them.  We can acknowledge the great gifts from God they are.  But let’s be real, making friends as married adults [who work retail= funky schedules] is much more difficult than doing it in college.  No forced community here!  

So back to my original point- I’d pretty much stopped praying about it.  Because I certainly wanted the answer to be ‘yes’ and if it wasn’t, then I didn’t want to hear the ‘no’.  Matt and I both, really, were initially concerned when I began this blog, I’d be potentially shutting myself off from the community around us here in NC and opening up to this fictitious community on the web.  Until it’s not fictitious.  That’s right.  You guys are real people and I’ve seen what an online community can do.  And then the other day, I find myself meeting a sweet woman [read: complete stranger] for coffee.  In real life. Elise and her husband are very similar to Matt and me, but really she is just a normal, down-to-earth, breath-of-fresh-air person with whom I was able to sit and talk as though we’d been friends for years.  Praise the Lord!  

Praise the Lord for all our dear friends we’ve made- and are continuing to make.  Thank the Lord that He stays here with us and is continually working on our behalf even when we give up.  Huge win for the week, people!

T W O.

Obviously, it doesn’t compare to number ONE, but I recently stopped by the dollar section in Target.  BAD IDEA.  You guys?!  They had a ton of gold knick-knacks.  I know what you’re probably thinking- crap.  But it was a whole bunch of office notepads, journals, pens, pencils, stickers… <– right, I sound like a child.  Well, it made my day and I can’t wait to ring in the new year with my brand new gold office stuff [FOR A DOLLAR].photo (4)

T H R E E.

Yesterday marked one week until Christmas.  I am extra giddy about this year’s celebrations.  Matt and I will be doing our thing here on the 24th-25th and will be headed to SC following work on the 26th.  This will be the first time my whole family has been together since news of this [my sister] and I know it’s going to be extra sweet when we hug their necks.  We’ll make our way to Matt’s parents’ house and close out the weekend.  It will be quicker than I ever desire but so nice to be able to celebrate the birth of Jesus surrounded by our dearest.

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F O U R.

Today’s date is 12/20.  Two days ago it was 12/18.  Speaking of 12/18 [like how I created my own segue there?], my birthday is 1/18; meaning, we are officially on the countdown.  Call me ridiculous, but I think everyone should celebrate their birthday for at least one week.  Then you have to count down for a month.  Am I alone in this?  Sweet Matt’s birthday is 1/15 so our weeks intersect- this means he generally gives in to whatever I plan… oops.  And since we hardly ever have our birthdays off from work, it’s totally necessary to celebrate on more than one day.  

Let’s just call it what it is, I’m doing a lot of justifying up there.  Moving on.

F I V E.

I linked up yesterday with some lovely ladies to bring you NYE outfit ideas.  I had a blast putting clothes together online- then again, I would be a personal shopper if it paid the bills.  We will be linking up for the next 2 weeks discussing party ideas and goals/wishes for the new year.  Check back for those posts and join us in the link-up!

Pop-Fizz

Happy Friday, y’all!

xoxo, heather

New Year’s Eve

Have you ever been to one of those huge, magical New Year’s Eve parties that are always in the movies? You know the ones where you typically have to live in a big city to even have the opportunity. This is the picture I always have in my head leading up to December 31st. There have been various reasons we haven’t made it to a jamming party in the past- be it work, friends being scattered or being asleep.  

Did I just say that? Yes- I, Heather, have fallen asleep before the grand NYC ball drop more than once.. even in recent years.  What can I say, girl’s gotta have her sleep. With that said, I’m excited for today’s post!

Pop-Fizz

I am linking up with The Birdie Bowl and The Ledford Life to bring y’all some snazzy NYE outfits I hope to one day be able to don (maybe in New York?!).  Without further ado..

Screen shot 2013-12-19 at 8.59.18 AMGold Dress // Black Dress // Jeweled Necklace // Tassel Necklace // Earrings // Fur Coat // Fuzzy Ascot // Gold Strap Heels // Clutch // Gold Open Toe Shoes // Black Heels

Like the accessories yesterday, I could go on and on with the party-ready outfits.  It’s probably because I could never wear anything remotely flashy on a regular basis- something about that white lab coat that just takes away from it.  

Got any outfits you’re ready to break out on the big night?  Please share!  And be sure to link up with us!

xoxo, heather

ps. I ran across this adorable number right before posting- it’s definitely worth the mention. Oh, Anthropologie..

Good as Gold

There have been so many fashion trends this season.  I feel like, for the most part, they have been relatively risky.  No longer can you both embrace a trend and remain in your comfort zone.  Am I the only one who feels this way?  With that said, I have loved about 93% of what I’ve seen.

From the new neutral: leopard, to faux fur, to leather galore, to print-mixing, to plaid for days, to layers upon layers, to stacked jewels, to GOLD.  Did I miss any?  I’m sure I did!  But what I think makes me the happiest about all these is it only requires one subtle change, one “piece of flare” added to any outfit to jazz it up.

Then again, there are those of us who choose to go overboard sometimes; but once you are freed from your comfort zone, it really is difficult to go back.

So that brings me back to my original point: one of my favorite trends.  Gold.  GOLD. Gold. Is there anything flashier?  I submit not.  And it’s everywhere these days.  I’ve put together some of my favorite options which have been hard to ignore when I am supposed to be elfing for everyone else.  Even better: it’s not just limited to your wardrobe.

[ H O M E ]

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[ C L O T H E S ]

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[ A C C E S S O R I E S ]

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Maybe I went a little crazy with the accessories- what can I say?  They are that little something to brighten up any outfit and are typically less expensive.  I’m thinking there should be a lot of glitz and sparkle in your NYE outfit this year!

Do you feel like you’re on gold overload?  Nah, I didn’t think so 😉 Anything I left out that you are loving about this trend?  Please share!

xoxo, heather

Back on the Blog Train

Hello, Monday!

This weekend was one full of rest, sweet friends, scrumptious food [lots of it!], and time away from all our to-do lists.  Matt and I took off to Charleston on Friday night to visit our friends for a couple of days.  We did [surprise, surprise] partake of some delicious meals while there, beginning with our victory steaks at midnight when we arrived.  So maybe not the smartest thing we’ve ever done, but the steaks were amazing!  All from a friendly little bet about the gender of our friends’ forthcoming baby, due in like a week!!!

The weather wasn’t anything to write home about, but that led to running the streets of Charleston in monsoon-like downpours searching tirelessly for an open restaurant to feed us.  The city was filled with the Christmas spirit; holiday medleys pouring from the stores/ restaurants into the open air, Charles Dickens-esque carolers serenading the crowds, and bagpipes strolling through King Street.  

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Saturday night’s dinner was followed by a much-anticipated trip to James Island to see their Christmas light display.  Karsen and I were like little children, ooing and ahhing at all the lights.  I gotta say, I was really impressed with how much was put into the decorations.  There were even lots where you could park throughout the drive and see sand sculptures, roast s’mores, ride a carousel, sit on santa’s lap [we did not!], and see holiday-themed artwork from local schools.  They really did it up; I certainly got my Christmas-light fix for the season.  So it wasn’t our local Airlie Gardens, but we were able to enjoy it with friends, making it even better!

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Our trip wrapped up with a trip to King Street for some shopping, aka getting inspiration from Anthropologie [can we please get one to come to Wilmington?!!] and Williams Sonoma, and discovering an adorable USC merchandise store that’s popped up over the last year.  Matt also allowed me to indulge in some Starbucks on the way home- what a keeper!  

We so needed this trip to hug the necks of our dear friends but we are so happy to be home and get to snuggle our pup again!  I hope your weekend was joyful and you’re refreshed for the week ahead.

good day

Check back later this week for one of my favorite trends this winter season!

xoxo, heather

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