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A U D G E | 9 little things

All us gals are working towards building some community, whether it’s in our own neighborhoods or right here with you guys in blog-land. It’s a beautiful thing, community – being with others both like and unlike you, getting to know their stories and growing from them and with them. So I wanted to take a minute and share 9 tidbitlets about me nothing too crazy. Just consider this like us taking a stroll together and catching up mmk? 

1 \\ I’m a LIST CRUSHER. If I need to be productive, you better believe I’ve got a list I’m working from, and every time I get to cross something off it feels SO good. Sometimes this is a bad thing though… after having kids, I had to come to the realization that for my lists to be realistic at all, I’d need to make them WAY shorter. And if things don’t get knocked off, everyone actually will still survive. Because sometimes reading “Yes Yes, No No” for the 12th time IS more important than that last load of laundry.

Oklahoma2 \\ I used to visit Oklahoma every summer when I was growing up.  My MawMaw and PawPaw’s house will always be the first thing I think of… it was just so homey and perfect for wandering. MawMaw’s laugh is one of my favorites in the whole world, and PawPaw’s overalls will never go out of style. They used to let me eat cookies for breakfast, and wear platform shoes when I wasn’t allowed to, and we even highlighted my hair for the first time when I was in middle school. I was SO cool. But I can’t show you a picture of it. Because we’re not on that level yet. Maybe next time.

crossfit goals3 \\ We have been hanging around Crossfit College Park for about 3 years now. I joined right after I had Tacie to help with losing the baby weight, and we’re back at it again now after baby #2! I have 2 Crossfit goals before the end of 2014. I wanna be able to do atleast 1 Muscle-Up, and to be able to run a 9-Minute mile. (Side note: All of my friends who have ever seen me run before just busted out laughing when they read that last one. Note, I did just say “run a 9-minute mile”, I didn’t specify that I had to be conscious afterwards.)

hey bub bbq4 \\ My husband has turned me into a BBQ snob. He’s ruined me! Since they started Hey Bub and I’ve been on the taste-testing squad, I’ve learned a lot of what I like and don’t like. Their barbecue is definitely some of my favorite (and not just because I’m biased! Or because the cook is a total hottie.). You can also find us at Pitboss BBQ atleast one night a week guaranteed… their brisket is THE BOMB.

skate-a-palooza5 \\ We went roller skating for my birthday one year, and it was the BEST. I don’t know why we don’t go more often?! Maybe because of the giant stuffed bear that comes out to skate with you. This also happened to be the night that we accidentally told all of our friends we were pregnant with Tacie… whoopsies! We went out to eat Mexican, and I had to refuse a shot. Our friends were like “TAKE A SHOT OR YOU’RE PREGNANT!” And I was like “UMMMMMM….. (*cricket*) UHHHH…..” Then a lot of screaming happened (*HOLLY*) and everyone in the restaurant thought there was a gun or something… but we assured them, it was just a baby. No need to panic. It was probably one of my fave birthdays EVER though – we need to make this happen again soon! (The skating, not the baby-making part… just to clarify.)

bupper86 \\ If I could do anything with my free time, it’d be to curl up with a really great book and veg out. That’s why I LOVE our Bupper club so much, it gives me deadlines I have to reach and forces me to make time to read (see, the list thing! It’s something I’ve gotta cross off… I know, I have a problem.)

chocolate river7 \\ I lose all self-control when there’s chocolate anything involved. If the chocolate river was real, I would totally be that chubby kid stuck that fell in and got stuck in the tube. I seriously can’t even have it in the house. If you’ve ever looked at my Pinterest board for desserts, you’d see a definite theme happening. GAH, I can’t even look at that right now.

mama bear8 \\ Being a mom is the most challenging and blissful thing I’ve ever done. It’s taught me more about God’s love for me than anything else, and more about what it really means to be die to yourself and live for someone else. Not that I’ve perfected this by ANY means, but it’s been such an ever-changing adventure that is bringing out all sorts of things from me that I never knew were there… and I love it.

9 \\ I was told once that I looked and acted like an Australian hippie surfer. I’m pretty sure that was the greatest compliment I’ve ever received, and have made it my life goal to fulfill it. It might be too late to be Australian, but you better believe I’m working on the rest! One day… once I get through this dang to-do list.

Anywho, I am seriously already missing Labor Day weekend… I can’t believe it’s already over! We got to spend some quality time with the fam down at the beach, and for once it was actually warm AND sunny all in the same trip!! Which means… I got kiiiiinda tan but mostly just got more freckles. Hope you guys had a blast wherever you were, and that transitioning back to the daily grind isn’t too painful today!

Happy Tuesday y’all! Until next time.

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J O A N N A | hey, hey, labor day!

Happy Labor Day, everyone! I hope you guys are having a wonderful (and LONG) holiday weekend surrounded by those you love the most! I am currently in St. Louis spending time with my brother Jonathan, sister-in-law Leah, and MOST importantly my nephew Jude! Isn’t he the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?10498302_842994595836_2621118519157613622_o (400x600)If you’re stuck in Atlanta with nothing to do, you’ve come to the right place, there are some fun events and yummy deals happening TODAY! Like…

Brunch at Murphy’s | Murphy’s in Atlanta is having an ALL day brunch (9 am-4 pm) to celebrate Labor Day!

Braves baseball | Cheer on the Braves as they take on the Philly’s today at 1:10!

Art In The Park, Marietta | Enjoy art, jewelry, boutiques, restaurants, and lots of family fun!

Park Tavern |  29th Annual Labor Day Blues Barbecue starts up at 12 pm today at the Park Tavern overlooking the beautiful Piedmont Park!

College Football Hall Of Fame | This just opened and I am looking forward to checking it out, I’ll have to take my sports obsessed mom. If anyone goes, let me know how it is!

If you can’t get away or none of these ideas tickle your fancy then no prob…just stay home and shop! Sales are happening after all… do you really have a choice?

photo (3) (600x600)Amazon | Sales up to 60% off.

Banana republic | 40% off your entire purchase online and in-stores.

Target | Buy one, get one 50% off sale on all clothes, shoes, and accessories and 25% off TV’s, sporting goods & home goods.

Old Navy | They are running their Labor of Love sale in-stores & online. Shoppers can get 50% off just about everything in the store (while supplies last).

Dillard’s | Dillard’s is having  a ton of different sales, but my personal favorite is the sale on handbags! (Up to 70% off!)

Forever 21 | Buy one get one free clearance sale AND free shipping on orders $21 or more!

ASOS | Up to 75% off PLUS and extra 10% at check out! (Promo code: HAVE10)

Cheers to summer! It’s been great, but we’re ready for scarves, boots, hot lattes, and hairy legs! Bring on the fall!

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K A T | garlic and parsley shrimp recipe

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Need an easy dinner idea? You’ve come to the right blog! Growing up this shrimp pasta recipe was a staple in our house. It’s so simple and delicious. Even non pasta lovers Cason loves it! 

Garlic and Parsley Shrimp Recipe

:: 1/3 cup olive oil
:: 1 pound shrimp, peeled
:: 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
:: 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
:: 1/2 tsp. red chili pepper flakes
:: salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
:: angel hair pasta (cook according to package directions)
:: parmesan cheese

In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shrimp, garlic, parsley, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Increase the heat to high and sauté the shrimp, shaking the pan constantly, for 3 minutes. Turn the shrimp over and sauté for another 3 minutes. Add angel hair pasta and toss together and top with parmesan cheese.

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Add this meal to your dinner rotation and you won’t regret it. If you try it out, share and let me know how it goes! Get excited, we’ve got a long weekend ahead of us!

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C A S O N | fashion: summer clearance

Some of my favorite little joys in life: Finding a $20 bill in an old coat pocket. Not knowing what to cook for dinner and coming across a frozen poppy-seed chicken casserole you froze last month. (YUM!) Finding an unused gift card in your wallet. Or my favorite – when the weather starts warming up and you discover clothes you bought on clearance last summer! Summer clothes are on the way out and clothing retailers are bringing out the scarves and boots. I searched high and low for summer fashion finds that are amazing deals. Now is the time to stock up people!

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 | 1 | Classic Grosgrain Fedora in Bouquet: Tory Burch, $95 now $66.50
| 2 | Sunkissed Stripe Shorts: GAP, $49.95 now $29.99
| 3 | Sea Island Starfish Studs: Kate Spade, $45 now $29
| 4 | Tie-Front Tanksuit: Madewell, $98 now $69.99
| 5 | Rugby Stripe Straw Beach Tote: C. Wonder, $78 now $38.99
| 6 | Tortoise Clubmaster Sunglasses: Forever 21, not on sale but at $5.80 it’s kind of a no brainer
| 7 | Denim Shorts: H&M, $17.95 now $10
| 8 | Printed Flip-Flops in Stripe: Old Navy, $9.94 now $2.97

It appears I’ll be rocking the nautical look next summer! Don’t judge me if that’s out of style by then. Happy Thursday!

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A U D G E | stitched journal making

Stitched_01So last week I got to go to my first ever Stitched Class… you guys have GOT to get in on this! You might’ve seen the post a few weeks back about Serenity’s Steps, which is a local ministry all about restoring dignity to men and women from the commercial sex industry and helping them to transition out of that lifestyle into normal work and living. Part of their solution to this problem is helping these folks find work, and they’re doing just that through their underlying ministry called That Grace Restored. Let me tell you why I love this so much.

Stitched_02As Leroy is going through the process of describing how the paper is made, he’s relating it to the story of these men and women. They’re taking this scrap paper that people have used, discarded, and no longer want. They’re breaking it down, blending it all together, and washing it in the water… it’s being cleansed and prepared. It’s then strained, pressed, dried, and then bound together, ready for a whole new life. Stop and think about how perfect that picture is… something so beautiful can come from these scraps that nobody else wanted. It’s the story of God’s redeeming love over and over again, and THAT is something truly beautiful.

Stitched_03The ladies that they’re working with will come together and make each of these sheets of paper used in every journal. When you go to a class, you’ll make two journals. One you’ll keep for yourself, and one you’ll donate back to their Etsy Shop for them to sell. They’ve got two more dates listed in September (I’ll be going again the 18th!) so you guys rally up your girl squad and have a night out! It’s a great time to sit around, get crafty, and relax with the ladies all while giving back to an incredibly worthy cause. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

Don’t forget to sign up for their September dates!! Can’t make it to the ones they have listed? Keep checking back – they’re always adding more!

Peace, love, and journal-making magic. Audge OUT. ;)

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J O A N N A | headband up-do tutorial

IMG_6133It’s time to learn a new do ladies! I personally love this style because it’s perfect for when you want to look fancy but either a) don’t have the time to do something more extravagant or b) don’t know what the HECK to do with that mop of yours. Seriously, anyone can do this up-do!

We posted this video not too long ago and the idea of the style is the same… instead of putting up half of your hair, do your entire head of hair… easy enough right? Check it out, try it out, and then let me know how it goes! (What? I’m nosy.)

T I P S |

*Be sure to select large sections of hair when looping hair through headband.
*Pull pieces of hair semi tight. If you have any little pieces you want to pull out, try to do it first.
*Go back and forth between each side of head to make sure it’s even.
*Once you get to the back of the head tuck in all the left over hair throughout the entire headband…this will make sense when you watch the tutorial.
*Use mirror to check the back, tuck and pull as needed.
*Use bobby pins to pin down any crazy hair.

IMG_6130IMG_6131Headband from Loft, no longer available (but these are super cute!)

YCSWU reader Megan pulls this style off so well… she sent me these pics per my request, isn’t she cute? You can do it too!

photo-1Alright people, be fabulous and have a great week!joanna_crop

K A T | fall favorites

It’s that time of year when I start getting really anxious for fall. Summer vacations are over, I’m officially sick of my summer clothes, and I want to order a pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks. Here are some of the things I’m looking forward to most this fall!

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Football games | I’m not your crazy football fan that plans my entire life around when the next Georgia game is coming on but I love to watch some football. It doesn’t matter if I’m cheering on the dawgs in person or at home, I get pretty into it. Cason and I have secretly turned into really competitive sports fans and have started yelling at the T.V. We are beginning to sound like my mom and dad (who were so embarrassing to watch games with) and it’s a pretty scary picture.

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Cabin Weekends | There is nothing like going to Big Canoe in the fall. It’s one of my all time favorite things to do! If we have a free weekend in October, November, or December you can bet that’s where we are. We’ve always got a fire going, watching movies, boiling peanuts, and all around relaxing. Whether we are hosting the Rainwater fam or a girls weekend it’s always unforgettable.

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When it Rains Paper Co. | Cason and I have been putting all our free time into designing new Christmas items for our shop! With fall right around the corner, it’s never too early to plan for Christmas. It’s been so much fun creating new photo cards, party invitations, banners, and gift tags. I’m seriously so excited about listing all of these new products in our shop!

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Charleston, SC | Cason and I are meeting up with our best friend Holly in Charleston for Zac Brown’s Southern Ground Music Festival in October and words cannot describe how excited I am! Two nights of dancing, Zac Brown, and cowboy boots with my favorite people…what’s not to love?! October can’t get here fast enough!

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You Can Sit With Us | We recently had a blog meeting and put some pretty exciting things on our fall calendar! We planned our first official blogger’s retreat. I can’t wait to get away with the YCSWU girls for a couple days and plan out our blogging future. We’ve even got some grand plans of knocking out some DIY projects, foodie posts, and fall fashion galore!

Here’s to a great fall! Happy Monday!

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C A S O N | welcome to miami

Last week I shared with you the photo booth highlights from our trip to Miami. Check them out here! (I randomly look at them several times a week but I understand if you don’t want to.) Let’s be real though, that wasn’t much help for any of you actually planning or thinking of planning a trip to Miami. Believe it or not, we actually DID leave our hotel room. For those of you ready to party in the city where the heat is on, here are my eat, play, and stay recommendations!

[ STAY ]

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Fontainebleau | There are a million hotels in Miami but it’s all about location, location, location. We wanted to be in the center of the Miami scene so we chose the iconic Fontainebleau in the heart of the action. You honestly didn’t need to leave the property at all! They had great restaurants and nightlife right on the property. Because there were 5 of us, we splurged on a junior suite in the main Chateau tower. Our views were INCREDIBLE! We could see the ocean, the main pool, and all the way down to Miami beach. Warning: The hotel is Vegas-style huge. If we were in any other tower I think there would have been a lot of walking. In the Chateau building we were literally an elevator ride down to the lobby, nightclub, and restaurants.

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[ PLAY ]

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It was the 4th of July weekend and we had amazing weather so of course our days were spent lounging by the pool. We rented a cabana and it was SO worth it! Pool chairs are a hot commodity and if you sleep in past 8am, you’re out of luck. With a cabana, we had a space reserved just for us whether we woke up bright and early or stumbled out there around noon. (Mum’s the word on which one describes us.)  Y’all, we felt so VIP. If anybody even so much as put a toe in our cabana they were immediately approached and told “If you are not with this party you need to leave.” (OMG. We died. And loved it.) With a cabana you get a small refrigerator stocked with fresh fruit, soft drinks, and water. We had to put the flat-screen TV to use so Holly enjoyed watching the World Cup!

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The staff regularly came around with surprises like popsicles, chilled towels, and baby mango smoothies. Add in the awesome music playing and it was more like a swanky club than a hotel pool. We didn’t hate it.

Y’all know we love to dance so we hit the club scene at night. I’ll be honest though – tons of house music. If this isn’t your thing, I hear most of the clubs have a hip-hop night so do your research before you go. We ended up at LIV (at the Fontainebleau) on Thursday, Mansion on Friday, and Cameo on Saturday. We only went to Cameo because we saw an airplane banner advertising that Soulja Boy was going to be there. It was different…. BUT when you’re with 5 of your besties and the drinks are flowing, honestly anything is fun!

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[ EAT ]

We did our research before our trip and loved every restaurant we picked! By accident we chose 3 different tapas restaurants but didn’t go wrong with any of them.

Yardbird | If you’re from Atlanta, think JCT kitchen. We ordered Mama’s Chicken Biscuits, the Big Ol’ Cheddar Waffle, Macaroni & Cheese, Deviled Eggs, and Shrimp N’ Grits. Y’all. SO GOOD. The award-winning restaurant also delivered a trendy southern atmosphere and quirky cocktails. Try the Blackberry Bourbon Lemonade or Strawberry Balsamic Daquiri! Check out the full menu here.

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The Bazaar | Honestly this place was just downright swanky. The menu was a mix of traditional Spanish tapas as well as a “Miami meets the World” section that included ceviche and Singapore street foods. I think we ordered one of everything on the menu, including 2 pitchers of their incredible sangria but every single bite was to die for. Some of our favorite dishes included the Mediterranean Mussles, Patatas Bravas, Sauteed Shrimp, and Not Your Everyday Caprese. This was definitely my favorite restaurant! If The Bazaar is any inclination of what other Chef José Andrés dining experiences are like then I can’t get to his other restaurants fast enough. Check out the entire menu here.

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Michael Mina 74 | This restaurant was located in the lobby of the Fontainebleau so we loved the location. Again, more creative and inventive small plates that did not disappoint. MM74 included fun American tapas like Lobster Corn Dogs, Maine Lobster Pot Pie, Garlic Duck Fat Fries, and Buttermilk Fried Chicken. The resident DJ kept the atmosphere energetic and although we didn’t partake, the seafood cart looked very tempting!

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Well that’s our weekend in a nutshell. (At least the stuff we’re willing to share!) I’m missing this posh little hot spot already. Have a great weekend!

[ images via Fontainebleau, Yardbird, The Bazaar, and Michael Mina 74 ]

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A U D G E | get nauti’

A couple of weeks ago, my bestie (Stephanie aka Chedda) and I rallied up our girl squad, packed our bags, and headed down to Florida for our dear friend/former college roommate Ailya’s bachelorette party… and MAN. IT WAS AWESOME. One thing I love about Perdido Key is that it’s kind of off the tourist-y grid, but still close enough where you can get in on the action if you want to. It’s between Pensacola, FL and Gulf Shores, AL – so it’s literally the last beach in the pan-handle before you hit Alabama. We tied everything together with our theme for the weekend, which was “Get NAUTI”… here are a few of the little things we pulled together to make our girl feel special!

GetNAUTI_gift bag_01Since everyone had to travel to get down there, we wanted to make sure they felt right at home and comfortable when they arrived. Everyone had a goodie bag waiting for them on their bed along with an itinerary for the weekend.

GetNAUTI_gift bag 2We didn’t want everything to be so planned there wasn’t any down time, but we also wanted there to be a flow for the weekend and for everyone to feel like they were “in the know”. If you’re planning a bachelorette party, especially one with different friend groups all mixing together, this makes things so much smoother for everyone! The goodie bags had personalized cups with everyone’s name on it, an eos lip balm, a snack bar, a personalized THEMED T-SHIRT (obvi), and a captain’s hat. Our fearless captain rocked a navy blue cap while the rest of the crew donned our white ones… gotta keep the ranks clearly marked!

GetNAUTI_bachelorette sailboat charterWe chartered a sailboat to take us out for a cruise, and it was beeeeeyootiful! We packed up some Publix subs and snacks and went out for an afternoon cruise. It was so relaxing, we all just sat around munching, sipping, and chatting while soaking up the sun… my kind of trip!

GetNAUTI_bachelorette scavenger huntWe whipped together a little scavenger hunt for our group to work on collectively… and of course. You can’t forget the most important part.

GetNAUTI_bachelorette scavenger hunt 2You’ve gotta have your designated hashtag for the weekend. Never leave home without one.GetNAUTI_bachelorette sashWe also made a little sash for her to wear out for our nightly adventuring. A bride can’t go galavanting around unrecognized for the royalty that she is, right?!

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We headed into Pensacola that night for dinner at The Fish House, and afterwards went into the Seville Quarter for the rest of our nightly shenanigans. This place has everything. There’s a dueling piano bar (my fave!), a billiard hall, an area with live music, and a dance club, and all of this is in one little complex – talk about hitting the jackpot!

I’d say overall the weekend was a success. We all made it out alive, there was only ONE concussion (which is an accomplishment in my book!), and Ailya was officially bacheloretted. If that’s even a word. We love her SO much and I can’t WAIT to start partying down come wedding time! Let’s DO this!

Planning a bachelorette party any time soon? Tell us about it! We love hearing new ideas!

#BACHlife4EVER

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J O A N N A | brunch meetings are the best meetings

DSC_0128 (600x402)I’m always looking for a good excuse to brunch. So, when the girl’s at YCSWU recently got together for a blog meeting I decided to whip up a little something and made a lovely little bloggers date out of it. Plus, we were also celebrating our first meeting since Case and Kat quit their day jobs to pursue their dreams and grow their business full-time, check out the details here!

I made mimosas with my own little spin; add cranberry juice and blueberries (in addition to champagne and orange juice) and BAM… an extra bit of flavor and deliciousness.DSC_0103 (600x346)DSC_0111 (600x401)DSC_0118 (600x351)I also made cinnamon bites, a recipe I found on the oh-so-cute blog, Six Sisters’ Stuff. I though they sounded great as a dish for a wedding or baby shower so I wanted to try them out on my girlfriends to see if they would pass the taste test… aaaaand they did, so yummy! I decided that the bites would be even more savory with icing (duh), so I made a cream cheese icing using a recipe that I found here and it hit the spot! (We may or may not have dipped our strawberries in it too.)DSC_0158 (600x402)We had a great time discussing the future and all the fun ideas and plans we have! Ollie was particularly excited…He also wanted me to remind you guys to be sure and enter our When It Rains Paper Co. giveaway going on NOW! You can find out how to enter on our Instagram, @sitwithusblog!DSC_0141 (402x600)Have a happy hump day!

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