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K A T | shrimp salsa recipe

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Cason, my mom, and I have been in Pensacola, FL for a week now and we are getting our fill of seafood! One of the many reasons we vacation in Pensacola is because of Joe Patti’s Seafood Market. We love going out just as much as the next person but there is nothing better than picking up fresh seafood and trying out different recipes.  So far we’ve fixed crab cakes, low country boil, fried shrimp, shrimp tacos and everything has been amazing! We’ve also been trying out different appetizers but our recipe for shrimp salsa remains a family favorite. My aunt made this for a family gathering several years ago and we all loved it so much, we’ve been making it ever since! It’s so refreshing and not too heavy. If you’ve got an event coming up and need an appetizer idea, you’ve got to try it- it’s super easy and all your guests will love it!

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Shrimp Salsa:

:: 1 lb. shrimp (cooked and deveined)
:: 3/4 Cup chopped avocado
:: 9 Tbsp. chopped onions
:: 9 Tbsp. chopped tomato
: 13 1/2 Tsp. lime juice
:: 3/4 tsp. salt
:: 3 Tbsp. minced cilantro
:: 3 Tsp. chopped jalapeño peppers
:: 9 Tbsp. olive oil
:: Dash of pepper
:: Tortilla chips

Cut shrimp, place in a small serving bowl. Stir in the next 10 ingredients. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Serve with tortilla chips. Bon Appetit!

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Anyone have any great seafood recipes we should fix? I’d love to try it out! Happy Tuesday…I’ll be busy beachin’!

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C A S O N | summer fashion

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If I can’t be real with y’all, then who can I be real with?! Mom, Kat, and I are down in sunny (mostly) Florida for a couple of weeks of rest and relaxation. To tell you the truth, I’ve been dreading today’s fashion post. Why? Because it meant I had to actually blow-dry my hair and put on a little makeup for the first time in over a week. To someone like Joanna, this is no big deal. She can wash, blow-dry, and style her hair in like 7 minutes – no joke. Y’all, my diva hair has its own Sasha Fierce personality. I finally just told myself to screw it and threw on a hat and the largest sunglasses I packed. Here I am, crazy beach hair and all. Please love me for me.

When I’m packing for a low-key beach week, it’s the bare essentials. After a cooler, beach chairs, an umbrella, and the odd amount of groceries my mom packs, we’re definitely lacking in space. Swimsuits, cover-ups, and pajamas take priority in the small amount of space allotted to me. I usually pack a couple of pairs of shorts and 2-3 tops that can all be interchanged so that I can make it look like I have a lot more clothes than I really do. This means LOTS of neutrals like denim, black, and white. These black and white striped shorts and chambray shirt have been a go-to since we’ve been here.

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 Black and White Stripe Shorts: GAP | Chambray Shirt: Old Navy | Hat: H&M, no longer available, similar here | Watch: Michael Kors | Bracelets: David Yurman | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

Speaking of fashion….we have a winner to announce for our ASOS giveaway. Congrats to  Hannah for winning a $50 gift card to ASOS! Happy Monday folks!

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A U D G E | i’m gonna do it too

LH2013_072Recently I was in Trader Joe’s doing my weekly grocery shopping with both of my kiddies. We’re kind of a package deal these days. Ollie was in the ErgoBaby (nursing, of course. It’s his fave past time while grocery shopping for some reason. Men.) and Tacie wanted to help me push the cart this time instead of sitting in it. I’ve never really let her do this before, but I’ve really been trying to get her more involved in chores and daily activities so I figured this would be good practice. So we’re going down the freezer aisle, and I turn to grab something to put in the cart, and in the 2.5 seconds it took me to turn she managed to accomplish the following things: 1) Climb up onto the side of the cart. 2) Pull it over. 3) Pin herself underneath said shopping cart. 4) Break a dozen eggs all around her and across the aisle. 5) Freak every single person in that aisle out to the point where if they didn’t have kids yet, it definitely isn’t happening now. So here I am (with my boob hanging out), my daughter pinned under a shopping cart laying in broken eggs and totally freaking out. And then I realized… YES. This is my life. Pick it up, give a hug, let’s just keep moving. Life happens. But then you never get to go back to Trader Joe’s.

As crazy as the madness was, I really want her to be an active participant in real life. What I mean by that is YES. It would’ve been a whole lot easier to just let her sit in the cart and play with my phone. Which, don’t get me wrong, I definitely still do from time to time. But I’m really making an effort to cut back on her screen time and find ways to get her involved. Wanna know why? Because we’re all getting super addicted. There, I said it. And I’m building habits for her now that might stick with her, but the scarier part is that she’s watching me and forming habits of her own based off of my behavior and reactions. If I throw my phone at her to fix whatever issue we’re having, what is that saying to her? I want her to be patient when she’s bored. I want her to be servant hearted and want to be helpful. I want her to be observant of the people and the world around her. I want her to compromise and be thoughtful of others. If she gets involved with us living life all together, she can start to see these things unfolding in normal everyday situations. Nothing earth-shattering really, but it’s just really small things that build onto one another. And you’d be surprised with how much they actually do understand and can help you with! Here are a few of my fave things to keep her tuned in with:

  • Washing berries \\ Whenever we come back from the grocery store, I fill a big bowl of water, put it on her kitchen table, and let her rinse all of our berries and produce. Then she lays (whatever she hasn’t already eaten) out on the paper towel to dry. She LOVES it.
  • Making kale chips \\ When we cook dinner, if we’re having kale chips I try to let her prep them. Just spray a pan with olive oil, rip your clean kale off of the stem and into smaller pieces, spread them on a baking sheet and sprinkle with more olive oil and sea salt. Bake at 350 for 8-10 mins and voila! Kale chips.
  • Baking \\ If we’re making anything that needs to be measured and poured, she’s my go-to girl. I’ll measure everything out, she combines all ingredients and stirs. We’re kiiiiind of like a dynamic duo.
  • Getting out/ Putting away dishes \\ She uses all plastic Ikea + Target dishes (which I highly recommend!) and everything is in a bottom drawer in our kitchen. So when it’s time to eat she pulls out what she needs. When it’s time to unload the dishwasher, she puts her dishes back where they go. And sometimes she’ll even put away the big silverware in the plastic tray, I’ll just pull the tray out of the drawer and put it on her table (and it’s great sorting practice!).
  • Laundry \\ She’ll help me pick up dirty clothes, match socks together, and put away piles of things like bibs, undies, etc. We haven’t mastered folding yet, but we’re working on it… a girl can dream!! :)
  • Grocery Shopping \\ She’ll help me carry our reusable bags to the car, hold the list for me, put items in the cart (sometimes I get surprise items at checkout) and um… push the cart. Buuuut that one wasn’t so great last time. Proceed with caution on that one.
  • Watering Plants \\ This is JoJo’s job, so she’ll help him hold the hose and water all of our outdoor potted plants. She even helped me pot them too by scooping the dirt in and patting it down at the end. Hopefully her green thumb is better than mine…
  • Washing Dishes \\ She would stand at the sink and do this for hours if I let her. Just filling cups, dumping them, scrubbing anything and everything with our little dish brush. It’s awesome.
  • Diaper Runs \\ She knows where all of the diapers and wipes are, so she’ll be the one to bring me a fresh batch if I need it. Learning to serve her brother, even in the smelliest of times…

The list is ever-growing and evolving, but the point of all of this being that my job isn’t just to keep her entertained and pacified. I’m nervous about how technology is changing things already, especially with kids… it’s a love/hate relationship. But I’m going to do what I can to make her feel loved, independent, and kind-hearted.IMG_6770

And Ollie is already watching her every move, so looks like I’m off the hook with that one. (*WHEW!*) Here he is helping me write this blog post… he basically wrote the whole first half. I’ll give him credit where it’s due.

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Hope you guys have a good weekend! Enjoy these last few weeks of summer break… where did it all go?!?

Until next time,

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J O A N N A | #sbscon fashion

IMG_7292 (400x600)Y’all, I am so glad that we got to attend the Southern Blog Society coffee talk event this weekend at the W Hotel. Audge shared a little about it here! It was so great to meet fellow bloggers, pick up some tips, network with some fun brands, and of course, see what everyone was wearing. (DUH!) Everyone’s style was on high alert and I didn’t expect anything less! Check out  some of the cuteness for yourself! (To see more from the weekend check out #SBScon on Twitter and Instagram.)

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I was trying to keep my crazy on the down-low so I went with a casual/professional look… I am in love with this skirt and was excited for an opportunity to pair it up with a comfy chambray shirt and these high wedges.

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IMG_7317 (400x600)Striped skirt: J. Crew (on sale!) | Chambray shirt: T.J. Maxx | Brown Wedges: Audrey Brooke, no longer available, similar here. | Bag: Kate Spade | Watch: Coach (T.J. Maxx) | Necklace: J. Crew no longer available, similar here.

If you are a Southern Blogger OR interested in finding some other great blogs to follow, check out The Southern Blogger Society. We’re newbies in the blogger world (7 months and going strong!), but so far we feel so welcomed and are excited about all the fun plans we have for the future! THANK YOU for your support so far!

We love you Guys!

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K A T | music scene in the south

There is nothing greater than a good concert. I will never forget my first one- the Spice Girls. I had never felt more united with a group of strangers before in my life. It didn’t matter that we didn’t know each other, we bonded while belting “Wannabe” at the top of our lungs. There was no judgement for putting your hair in pigtails or wearing hideously high platform heels. One of my most favorite concerts of all time still remains the Black Eyed Peas. Cason, Joanna, and I got there early and somehow managed to end up in the front row of the standing section. We bonded with the groups around us and danced the night away while Will i Am, Fergie, Taboo, and apl.de.ap were within reaching distance. We left that night with 20 new friends. Let’s be real, music just brings people together. The right song can come on and you’re instantly best friends with the guy on the bar stool next to you because y’all both know every word to Devil Went Down to Georgia.

Music is a passion of mine. I love any and all genres. I’m an Atlanta girl at heart which means my first two loves are country and hip hop but my love doesn’t stop there. I’m a sucker for some good oldies’ and I recently discovered a hidden love for house music! (Who knew? Thanks Miami!) I’ve done a little research and am liking the upcoming music scene in and around Atlanta.

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Drake and Lil Wayne | August 31 at Aaron’s Amphitheatre. I went to the Lil Wayne concert in 2009 at Aaron’s and it was a great show! I must confess, I love Lil Wayne so I might be a little biased. Drake would only add to the performance. In recent years he has had so many hits that it’s bound to be a great performance. The best thing about rap concerts is that they are bound to bring friends. The line-up never really shares everyone that’s going to be there. In ’09 Soulja Boy, Birdman, and many others performed as well.

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Music Midtown | September 19th and 20th at Piedmont Park. I have never done Music Midtown before but the line-up this year is as tempting as ever! You’ve got Eminem, Zac Brown Band, John Mayer, Lana Del Ray, Lorde, Iggy Azalea, Bastille, Run DMC, B.o.B, and so many others. Tickets are already on sale and I’ve got to get my hands on some! Anyone else in the Atlanta area planning on going?

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Southern Ground Music and Food Festival | October 11th and 12th in Charleston, SC. Cason and I just got our tickets and could not be more excited! A two-day food and music festival in Charleston…what’s not to love? I’ve been wanting to visit Charleston for awhile and when I heard ZBB was performing for two nights, I knew I had to be there. My love for Zac Brown Band knows no bounds.

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Justin Timberlake | December 20th at The Arena at Gwinnett Center. Justin Timberlake. Enough said, right? If anyone caught his 2013 VMA performance I think we can all safely assume he would put on the show of a lifetime. His concert would be one for the record books and I want to be able to say I was there.

Anyone have tickets to any of these events? If you know about any great shows coming up, please share…you just might see me there!

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C A S O N | on my radar

Officially on my family vacay this week! I’m soaking up the sun, reading a book a day, taking pics of all the incredible recipes we are trying out, but most importantly – RELAXING. I’m pretty excited about some of the life changes I’m going through currently. Kat and I have recently made some big decisions and are thrilled to share every detail with you….SOON. We’ve still got some kinks to work out but as soon as all of our ducks are in a row, you’ll be one of the first to know! In the meantime, come get in my head again and see what I’ve currently been stalking on the world wide web. The next time I give you a life update, it’ll be good. I promise!

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1 | Awesome Festival Hair by A Beautiful Mess – Definitely trying this out while at the beach this week!
2 | Save the Date by Mary Kay Andrews – One of my beach reads this week!
3 | Baltimore-Style Crab Cakes – Just ate these for dinner! A must-have when at the beach and have access to fresh crab meat. See a theme yet?!
4 | Foto Strap – My good friend Holly has one of these monogrammed camera straps and I’ve had my eye on it for a while.
5 | Southern Ground Music and Food Festival – Just purchased my tickets for this fun weekend in Charleston featuring performances by one of my all time faves – ZBB!
6 | ASOS sale – Up to 70% off summer styles!
7 | Check out this video for a good laugh! Kat and I literally can’t stop watching!
8 | A new favorite Etsy shop! Their pillows are to. die. for.
9 | Who doesn’t love a good BuzzFeed? As a fellow lefty, this one really spoke to me. These everyday items really are a nightmare for us!

Happy Tuesday ladies! (And gents?) Until next time…

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A U D G E | southern blog society

IMG_7276This past weekend Joanna and I were lucky enough to get to attend a Coffee Talk for the Southern Blog Society’s Conference in Atlanta, and MAN! It. Was. AWESOME. We were hanging out at the swanky W Hotel, munching on breakfast, and learning from some really insightful speakers. Being with so many other creatives to talk shop was so refreshing – we definitely left feeling so inspired and encouraged! We were also able to make new friends from all different walks of life… the whole experience just made us SO  thankful for this journey that we’re on with all of you!

IMG_7290One thing that I love about the YCSWU crew is that we’re all in this together. All four of us have a heart for community in whatever shape or form that looks like, whether it be where we work/live/play, or who we socialize online with. Being able to make friends in our local blogging community was not only super beneficial from a learning standpoint, but also WAY fun! Y’all, the south has got it going ON.

One of my personal faves from this weekend was speaker Amy Flurry – she did such a great job of de-mystifying how to use press in your favor and made it so much less intimidating. I’m dying to read her book that she gave us, Recipe for Press, all about do-it-yourself publicity for entrepreneurs! It really was a talk for all kinds of budding businesses and working creatives, so hop on board and read it with us! My favorite piece of advice from her? When dealing with people “… Just be lovely.” So simple, yet so true! Check out our YCSWU Instagram for a few more pictures from this weekend, you can re-live the magic with us!

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Hope you guys had a happy weekend! Until next time!

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J O A N N A | peachy keen

DSC_0779 (600x402)I have the best father-in-law ever. I’m seriously not exaggerating. He loves the Lord, his family, the church, and basically everyone he comes in contact with. He has taught me so much and loves me so well it can be overwhelming (in the best possible way)! I don’t have a relationship with my own dad so sometimes I think that Ronnie (aka Ron) is God’s special gift to me.

For Father’s day we took a family field trip to Lane Southern Orchards (one of Ronnie’s favorites). I was not that excited about driving 2 hours just to visit a peach farm (they didn’t even let us pick any!) BUT, see above paragraph… I would honestly spend all day in Home Depot if it meant making Ronnie happy… y’all that means a lot, I like… really hate Home Depot. ANYWAY… the day was a success, we bought a lot of peaches, ate a lot of ice cream, all while being really hot a sweaty. It was good.

DSC_0754 (600x402)picstitch (6) (600x600)DSC_0778 (600x402)DSC_0791 (600x402)picstitch (7) (600x600)The best part about coming home with a bunch of peaches was that I was able to try out some fun recipes. I was home alone (hubby was traveling for work) so I made this mini peach cobbler and tried out several different smoothies recipes, this one was my fave! I am totally inspired to try more things… like this bread… YUM!

DSC_0776 (402x600)Peaches aren’t your thing? Try out some of these fun strawberry recipes Audge posted!

Alright folks, it’s Friday! Whoop, whoop! If you haven’t already entered our ASOS giveaway, do it now! I’m bitter that I can’t enter… so you better!

DSC_0799 (600x402)Have a peachy weekend!

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K A T | summer casual

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There are 3 C’s I look for in an everyday summer outfit. Cute, casual, and comfortable. For this teacher, I’m doing good if I’m not wearing sweats all day. This summer I’ve been trying to make more of an effort. I don’t feel like getting dressed to the nines but I want to look presentable while running errands. What if I bump into a cute guy while grocery shopping? That NEVER happens…but if it does I want to make a good impression! A girl can dream, right?!

A summer staple for me are J.Crew Chinos. J.Crew has the best colored shorts out there and I love the fit. I either pair them with a fun sweater, chambray, or cute tee. You name it and I’ve worn Chinos with it.

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Polka dot sweater: J.Crew, no longer available similar here | Coral shorts: J.Crew | White collar shirt: H&M | Chucks: Converse | Watch: Michael Kors | Bracelets and Ring: David Yurman | Gold bangle: Kate Spade, no longer available similar here | Sunglasses: Kate Spade, no longer available similar here

Speaking of summer styles- have you signed up for our ASOS giveaway? If not, stop what you are doing and go sign up to win a $50 gift card. No lie, I order 90% of my dresses from them. You should probably be slightly mad at us if you didn’t know about ASOS…because you are going to be addicted. I apologize to your bank account, I don’t apologize to your wardrobe. Look for all the details here!

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C A S O N | asos giveaway!

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As you probably noticed via Instagram this past weekend, my girlfriends and I love a good GNO! (Or an entire weekend for that matter.) We love nothing more than getting dolled up, sipping on champs while photo boothing, and dancing the night away to our favorite tunes. There are 6 things you can ALWAYS count on with our GNOs. (1) Kat will have a seriously awesome playlist ready. (2) Jo will always do something fun to your hair. (3) Audge has the awesome camera and photo booth supplies. (4) Holly is a water pusher and ensures you stay hydrated. (5) I’ve got hotels, restaurants, and any reservations taken care of. (6) You can always count on ASOS to find the PERFECT dress!

ASOS is THE place for online fashion and I can’t say enough good things about them. Several years ago I noticed most of my favorite fashion bloggers gave ASOS.com credit for their ensemble and I ventured over to the UK-based website. Y’all, you have THOUSANDS of options to choose from. They have pieces that will meet every budget and it doesn’t matter if you’re petite, curvy, tall, or pregnant – I promise you they will have something in your size that looks incredible on you. Even better, they offer free shipping and returns to the United States. And believe it or not, it actually arrives within a week. When it was time to dress shop for Miami, ASOS was definitely first on my list. See below and click here for some of my favorite styles currently available!

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1 | Lime Deep Plunge Mini Dress $53.35
2 | Shift Dress in Brush Print $53.35
3 | Union Polo Dress in Color Block $53.35
4 | Shift Dress in Colorful Leopard Print $26.68
5 | Pink Dress with Asymmetric Hem $95.27
6 | Floral Print Strap Dress $85.74
7 | V Neck Shift Dress with Flute Sleeves $53.35
8 | Black/White A-Line Striped Dress $85.74
9 | Yellow Shift Dress $95.27

I fell in love with the colorful animal print (#4 above). Not only did I fit right in down in Miami, but it’s currently on sale for $26.68!

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The best part of this entire post and why you’re still reading? We’re giving away a $50 gift card to ASOS! Leave a comment below telling us your favorite style listed above and the event you’d rock it at. That’s it! We will contact the winner next week. How’s that for a Wednesday surprise?

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