Category Archives: Thoughts

5 tips on how to look like you have your act together even when you don’t.

  1.  Make a list.   Creating a To-Do list with things like Do Laundry or Empty Dishwasher can help you stay focused on what really needs to be done.  As each task is completed draw a line through it.  

 

2.   Stay positive.  Nobody likes a Negative Nancy.  Thinking positive thoughts actually help us feel better.  Make up a mantra and repeat it in your mind to push the negative ones out.  Think something like this: “I have everything I need to be happy and I am thankful today for_______.” Fill in the blank.  Are you thankful for the sun streaming through your curtains?  Are you thankful for the friend that called to say hello?  Are you thankful you weren’t actually out of toilet paper? 

 

3. Be aware.  I have preached this before but you should always be aware and observant.  Complacency is not your best friend.  Be aware of yourself, your family, bank account, co-workers, credit score, neighbors, what’s in your refrigerator, etc …. You can’t improve things if you don’t know where you stand.  

4.  Be proactive.  It’s as simple as this: Do the right thing, don’t be jerk to others and don’t treat your body like an out-house.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Finally, there can’t be a true-er phrase when it comes to keeping your act together: Don’t sweat the small stuff.  Give yourself a break if you mess up.  We are not perfect and we are allowed to make mistakes.  Just try to learn from them, “yeah THAT was not my best decision”  and move on.  Do not beat yourself up.  

Local’s Guide to Downtown Pensacola

Downtown Pensacola

There are so many things to do in the Downtown Pensacola area.  I compiled this list based on the places we like to visit and places we would tell our friends and families to go.  If I didn’t include a certain place, it’s because we haven’t been there or haven’t been there enough to give a review.

Let me add, this is a SHORT list of the many places to go and things to do in our town.  I could go on and on.  In an effort to not go on and on I decided to stick to the following for the reasons previously stated.

Where to Dine:  All are locally owned

Wine Bar Palafox – Happy Hour every day 11-6, extensive wine list, full bar, nice menu.  Great for a quick bite before a show at the Seanger or Vinyl, date night or girls night out.

Global Grill – Upscale dining, known for tapas, martinis and exceptional service. Reservations suggested

Nom Sushi – Must try the Tuna Tacos and Ramen Bowl, you’re welcome.  Small space, with sushi bar seating.

Pensacola Fish House – One of the restaurants in Great Southern Group on the Gulf Coast,  known for Grits Ya Ya.  Great place for families!

Iron –  Exquisite menu, exceptional service.  Reservations are a must!

Carmen’s Lunch Bar –  Kale Salad and Chicken Salad are my absolute favorite, served with a glass of crisp Pinot Grigio.  Small venue, limited seating & hours.

Union Public House – delicious cocktails and fabulous menu

George’s Artisan Bakery & Bistro – Champagne Pop? Yes!  Brunch is sooo good!

Dharma Blue – Divine Sushi menu, Backdown Roll, just get it.  Small menu full of delicious entrees and salads.  The Pear salad and pan fried oysters appetizer is my fave!

Lucy’s on the Square – Located by historic Seville Square.  Flatbreads and nachos are so good!  They serve a good selection of local beers and have a nice wine list.

Five Sisters Blues Cafe – Can you say authentic southern comfort food?  Fried Chicken, fried okra and the most delicious collard greens you’ll put in your mouth.
Sunday Jazz brunch = Live Jazz Trio, Bloody Marys and Chicken & Waffles, yum.  Good spot for families.

Where to Stay:  It’s tough to recommend places to stay in your home town since typically we stay at our house, haha.  However, we have had the opportunity to stay in or have heard first person reviews from friends that have stayed in the following hotels/bed & breakfasts.  For families, you can check VRBO.  With that said if you are traveling here you’ll prob want to stay on Pensacola Beach and those tips will require a separate post.

New World Landing InnPensacola Grand Hotel , The Lee House

What to see & do:  Some of these spots will take you away from Downtown but worth the drive! Historical fact: Pensacola was first settled in 1559.  If you enjoy history, you’re gonna be entertained. 

Historic Tour – Check in with the Pensacola Historical Society for the tour schedule.  If you visit during October, the haunted tour is a must!

Palafox Market – Saturday morning only, stroll through the vendors and who knows what you’ll find.

St Micheal’s Cemetery, Pensacola Art Museum, Pensacola Little Theater, several parks

Pensacola Maritime Park & Blue Wahoo Stadium – see a ball game & explore the park

Naval Aviation Museum – Free admission, you’ll spend the day!  Located on Pensacola Naval Air Station.

Blue Angel Shows – If you are lucky enough to be in the area for this air show you will continue to return.  Simply amazing!  These pilots fly all over the country but the “Home” shows are typically in July & November.

Pensacola Lighthouse – climb to the top and enjoy the view!  We had so much fun exploring the grounds of this historic spot.

Ft Barancas – Also located on NAS, You could easily visit the Fort and the Lighthouse after the Aviation Museum if you plan it right.

TT Wentworth Museum – located in Downtown Pensacola and full of artifacts and info about the city.  Perfect for a rainy day. See if you can find the petrified cat. :/

Vinyl Music Hall – We have seen soooooo many shows here.  Drvin’ & Cryin’, The Revivalists, Fleetwood Mac Cover Band, Guns & Roses Cover Band… It’s your typical standing room only venue with a swanky bar in the back called 5 1/2 (five and a half).  You can access the bar from Garden St as well if Vinyl isn’t open.

Pensacola Seanger Theater – We have also seen an array of shows here! Pensacola Children’s Chorus performances,  Grace Potter, Jerry Seinfeld, BB King, Robert Cray… recently Tedeschi Trucks Band.  I hear the White Tie Rock Ensemble is fantastic!
Little fact:  In 2017, I danced (more like frantically trying to remember the steps with the rest of the group) on the Seanger stage for a Dancing with The Stars style event to raise funds for a local charity!  yep!

Shopping – Downtown Pensacola and surrounding areas are full of boutiques ranging from upscale to second hand.  Palafox street is lined with a majority of shops of all types.  Check out this article on Visit Pensacola to find out more.

Graffiti Bridge – a Pensacola Landmark also known as the 17th Ave trestle, this concrete bridge was built waaaay back for the CSX train.  Police tolerate graffiti on the bridge, giving its name.  Ever changing, the painted on graffiti has been estimated to be 3 inches thick!  You might want to pull over in the boat launch parking lot to get a good look.

Breweries:  I never knew we had such great brewers crafting micro brews.   These places are a nice pit stop between shopping and/or exploring the Downtown area.
Pensacola Bay Brewery ,  Perfect Plain,  Gulf Coast Brewery 

Nightlife:  Where to go for an after dinner drink, hear some live music or satisfy your dancing mood

Old Hickory Whiskey Bar – Think of a 1920’s Speakeasy complete with bartenders in leather aprons….. These guys and gals know the “brown stuff”.  This is where you go when you want a fancy cocktail made with love!

World of Beer – pretty much sums it up, Blend Lounge is in the back if you want more of a full bar experience with thumping music.  Taco Agave is also in this establishment with a small fresh mexican style menu and an array of margaritas – Strawberry Jalapeno is yum!

Seville Quarter – can’t decide weather you want to bust a move in da club or  groove to a cover band belting out ballads or watch dueling piano show or play pool or visit the saloon bar where there’s no telling what band will be on for the evening.  Maybe you just want to chill in the courtyard or end of the alley and listen to some reggae.  Seville Quarter has 7 rooms of fun, seriously.  You could spend all evening here and not get bored.  Seville also has a wine shop and restaurant serving lunch dinner and Sunday Brunch.

Fish House Deck – usually a band during some nights of the week and on the weekends on the outside deck.  Check the calendar to be sure especially in the off-season months.  Wednesday is ladies night on the Deck and ladies drinks are $2!

There ya have it!  My rundown of the places I’d recommend to my family and friends.  I hope this is helpful in planning your trip to Pensacola and I hope you have a good experience in your your visit.   Thanks so much for visiting my blog.
We love to travel and also love a stay-cation from time to time.  You can read about some of our other trips like New Orleans and Breckenridge here and here.
What would you recommend if friends were coming to your hometown?

Ashley

 

 

Pink, Mauve and Florals | My top picks for Spring

February means Spring is almost here!!!

Well, kinda.  To get to Spring weather….. crisp mornings and low humidity…. we have to get through February and March.  These can be the coldest months in the NW Florida Panhandle.   We don’t get to experience a lot of seasons.  A cold front here and there and sometimes if we are really lucky the temps will drop into the “possible snow” zone.  This is usually accompanied with school closures, mass hysteria at the grocery and everyone discussing how crazy it is that we could possibly get snow!   I agree but since it’s happened a few times over the last two months I’m more like eh, schools are gonna close and lets build a fire.  haha

I digress…. what Spring means to me is a chance to wear something different!!!
TA-DAAAAH!

I’m sure there are plenty agreeing with me.  Thick bulky sweaters, dark colors, weather-proof boots and big jackets take a back seat!  There’s something NEW coming to town…… Neutrals, light fabrics, floral patterns, shoes that don’t cover your entire foot and most of your leg…. YES!

I’ve put together some of the items I have my eye on for Spring.  Taking in the feels of Valentine’s Day everything pink is catching my eye.  Some are already in my closet and some are sitting in the online shopping cart waiting for a sale 🙂
*Please don’t pay full price for anything unless its an emergency or you know it NEVER goes on sale*

Spring TopsBP the Perfect Checkered Button Down @ Nordstrom
BP Peplum Tee @ Nordstrom
Lush Perfect Roll Tab Sleeve Tunic @ Nordstrom
Floral Long Sleeve Dress @ Target
Chenille Flare Sleeve Open Cardigan @ Loft

Spring ShoesBP Maddy Mule
Jeffery Campbell Rosealee Bootie
Adidas Gazelle Sneaker
Sam Edelman Arielle Ankle Strap Sandal
(for a chunky heel option look for the Yaro Ankle Strap Sandal)
BP Sky Wedge
All of these beauties can be found at Nordstrom.  *wait for a sale though!

 

Spring BottomsMoon River Pleat Blanket Stitch Shorts @ Nordstrom
Slim Cuff pants @ Loft
AG The Legging ankle length @ Nordstrom
Modern Destructed white jeans @ Loft
Embroidered Mesh Midi Skirt @ Target
Flouncy Floral Skirt @ Loft

So there ya have it!   The super cute items that have been catching my eye lately.   What I like most is that all of these items could be worn from work to play to date night.   The other thing I like is that each of these retailers have sales ALL THE TIME!  I shop online and put things in my cart then I check back every couple days.  Or I’ll get an email regarding a sale and Boom!  I click click click and reap the rewards 🙂

Thanks so much for visiting my blog!  Please share with your friends!!

*I did not include direct links so there is no confusion over affiliate links.  I have not been compensated or given free products for this post or my ideas.  It’s 100% all my thoughts and personal opinions.

 

Ashley

Hair Day! What I’m loving right now…

img_0587I have used just about every hair product under the sun!
Being in my mid-forties (ugh) has given plenty of time to experiment.   I have been on a quest to acheive the look I want with-out damaging my hair and with-out spending a fortune or loads of time.  If you know me, I’ll throw my hair in a top knot in a hot second if I feel so inclined.  I want to extend the time between shampoos.  I don’t want to spend 30 minutes drying and styling my hair every other morning.  #worldproblems

What’s my hair type?
My hair is fine (likes to frizz in our lovely mostly humid weather), I bleach and color my hair regularly… Well, my hair stylist bleaches and colors. haha!
I haven’t personally bleached my hair since I was 14.  It was called “frosting” back then and I have vivid memories of my mom and I taking turns wearing the plastic cap with holes and pulling our hair through with a little metal hook that came with the store bought kit.  Hello 1987!!  Does this bring back any memories for you?  I’m so grateful for foiling!item_XL_23379107_33292421

My hair tends to get oily at the crown and I typically cannot go more than two days with-out washing.  Dry shampoo you say? No ma’am.  It weighs down my hair and makes it look like I need a shower even more so.   I really envy the girls who say “by Friday I’m 80% dry shampoo” while fluffing their perfect hair.
Wash your hair at night, girl! Negative, I cannot sleep on wet hair.  I’ll wake up with a really crazy frizzy situation!
Gel is crunchy, mousse is heavy, hair spray… just no.
Washing and blow drying my hair three times a week at least then using a flat iron and/or curling iron makes it dry and damaged at the ends.

Alrighty, enough about my hair…. I think you get the picture and my struggles.

Here are my needs:

#1: I do NOT want to feel anything in my hair.
#2: I want to be able to get more days between washings.
#3: I will not pay a crazy amount for a product that is literally going down the drain.  Been there, done that, over it.

Here’s my latest greatest repurchase:   OGX Biotin & Collagen

OGX Biotin & Collagen
It smells amazing and feels nourishing the second it hits my scalp.  I swear my hair has more body after using this line for a couple of months.

Their thermal protection treatment feels weightless.  I use about a nickel size amount and work it into my damp hair starting in the middle and finishing up on the roots.  Moroccan Argan Oil goes into my ends and I’m ready to blow dry.

OGX Moroccan Argan Oil
Thermal 2

 

I’ll section my hair and use a paddle brush once I’ve gotten most of the moisture out.
I have a Moroccan Oil Flat Iron and and old curling iron (I can’t remember the name of) to finish out my hair depending on what I want to do with it.  Since I’m usually in a hurry, running the flat iron through seems to be just fine. (I section my hair for this too)  Typically on the second day I’ll curl.  But low and behold – since using the thermal protection treatment I can get through a third day!!!!!!  Hallelujah!!!  Praise be!!
I know you get my excitement on this.

So there ya have it!  My go-to hair products.  I may grab another shampoo out of this line to alternate (because I’ve heard that’s a good thing) maybe the Coconut Oil one?

Have you tried any products from this line?  What are your thoughts?

 

Ashley

It’s Soup Day!

Butternut Squash Soup

Since it’s been super cold we have been pulling out all our favorite soup recipes. One of the easiest and my most favorite is the Butternut Squash Soup.

Pan of yum!

With any further blah, blah, blah here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

One package cubed butternut squash (found in the produce section)
2 cups baby carrots
3 stalks celery chopped
One small onion chopped
4 garlic cloves smashed and roughly chopped
2 TB Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
Fresh Rosemary
2 TB Thyme
2 TB Rubbed Sage
1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes (reduce if you’d prefer a little less spicy)
4 cups Vegetable Stock or chicken stock

Preheat oven to 350
Line baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
Place all chopped vegetables on baking sheet and drizzle with Olive oil. Sprinkle spices over veggies including salt & pepper and gently stir to coat. Top with 3 sprigs of rosemary. Roast for 1 hour.
Remove veggies and place in a large pot, add half the broth and puree until smooth with an immersion blender. (Be careful not to scratch your pot or get splattered!)  You can also use a food processor following the same method. Add remaining broth and heat over medium high. Serve immediately or let cool and freeze. I like to top mine with a little sprig of Rosemary.

This recipe takes about 1.5 hours from start to finish and makes about 6 servings.

I have altered the original recipe a bit since I made it the first time over a year ago. It’s super easy and mostly everything can be prepared ahead of time.

Also……………….

Roasted Cauli & Dipping Sauce

If you caught my Instagram Live’s you got to see this delicious beauty during the prep & cook process.

Roasted Cauliflower with Creamy Goat Cheese Dipping Sauce ….. just like the one at Domenica we drooled over last month!!

Here’s the recipe we followed.  It’s a little time consuming but totally worth it!

Let me know if you like it!  Enjoy!!!

Live stress free, financially

As we skate into the new year we contemplate how to make our life better, less stressful, more enjoyable.   Eventually, in my opinion, this all rolls into one word – MONEY.  No matter what changes you make in your life you WILL spend some amount of money.  Unless of course you decide to drop everything, pack your bags, walk away from it all and find a community that works only from trade – if you desire that lifestyle and succeed, good for you!  The rest of us will be over here trying to become less stressed over finances.

I hear over and over that money is the main cause of stress in life.  I do not have all the answers on how to manage money.  I do not know a damn thing about investing or the “market”.  I only know this….. you cannot move forward until you know where you are.

Here are some money managing tips that have worked very well for me over the years…   In random order.

Know your financial responsibilities:  Write EVERYTHING you spend on a sheet of paper.  Go through your bank statement, write down every recurring bill.  Utilities, rent, car pymt, loan payments, credit card payments, insurance, cell phone, daycare, tuition, gym membership, jelly of the month membership, etc.  Write down the minimum payment amount and the due date (this will help you later).  For utilities, jot down the average amount keeping in mind this amount will fluctuate over the seasons.  Total up your grocery spending,  gas station visits, bus fare, Uber fare, etc.  Finally total up your eating out, personal shopping, personal care and anything else you spend on a normal basis.  Compare all these totals to what you bring home in a month’s time.  If you receive tips or commission possibly you can look back to see how your income can fluctuate and make an estimated guess from past history.

Budget: Now that you are aware of your expenses, your financial obligations and what you might be able to live without… create a budget.
Mint.com and DaveRamsey.com have some awesome articles and tips on how to create and stick to a budget.  CHECK THEM OUT!  It’s an eye opener.

Credit cards and Debt:  Do you know what the APR is on your credit card balances and or loans? Some cards can charge over 20%.  I’ll direct you back to Mint.com and DaveRamsey.com to learn more about these charges.  What you read may help you decide that no matter what your balance is, skimming by making the minimum payment each month is a big NO-NO!  With that said, credit cards are not the devil – they can be if their powers are abused, though.   If you are responsible and can pay off your balance each month, they may be rewarding in the long run.

Pay yourself:  SAVE, SAVE, SAVE  Whether its $100 a month or $5 a week, just save something!  Keep track of your savings balance.  As you watch it grow, it might be harder to spend it.  Set a goal like this: “I’d like to save $200 in 6 months….. see if you can do it and adjust from there.

Give yourself a break:  Taking control of your finances is serious “adulting”.  It takes a TON of self control and discipline to keep it in check.  Don’t beat yourself up if you make a mistake – like forgetting to pay the power bill – yikes!  Just be prepared to get back on track as soon as you can.

*The opinions and  recommendation of Mint.com and Dave Ramsey mentioned in this article are 100% uniquely mine.  I have not been compensated in any way and links provided are not affiliate.

What I packed for our December trip to NOLA with possible snow!

 

Planning for a weekend in New Orleans with snow in the forecast means one thing.

It’s going to be COLD!!

Here’s a few of the things I packed that I kept reaching for during our weekend getaway.

I have a heavy-ier weight jacket that isn’t shown because I’ve had it for so long, it’s not available anymore and frankly it’s falling apart.

We also packed an umbrella and a scarf or two.  Hope this helps you plan a weekend trip 🙂

Similar Vest

Crossbody

 

Pj’s

Invisibobble

Similar Wrap Sweater

Similar Long Sleeve Shirt

 

Cat Eye Sunglasses

1. State Black Suede Booties

Zella Live in

Zella Leggings

 

 

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All Weather Boots