Monday, March 30, 2015

Life Lately: Savannah

This past week brought to an end a crazy long stint of back to back to back conferences for me. Don't get me wrong, it was exciting and fun, but also nerve wracking and exhausting. I'm glad to be home for longer than 2 days in a row. That is, until we pack up later this week to head back to Kentucky for Easter!
I left Tuesday morning for Savannah, GA. It was a 5 hour drive and the weather was beautiful! I jammed with the sunroof open and it was glorious! The picture above is Oglethorpe Square, right behind my hotel. If you've never been to Savannah before, it is made up of over 20 squares that are like mini parks with benches, little gardens and usually a statue or fountain.

My scenic walk to the conference on Wednesday morning.

My presentation went very, very well! Lunch at a café down the street from the hotel.

It was delicious!

This picture cracks me up! I was missing my hubs and little Tucker so much. I asked Travis to send me a picture of them both and this is what I got. Tucker is mid attack yawn and it is hilarious!

Before heading home on Thursday, I took a long walk back to the hotel to pause and take in the sights.

This house was gorgeous, as are almost all of them in Savannah. I saw this one all lit up at night after dinner and it was even more gorgeous!

The entrance to an old cemetery.

Walking by the cemetery. I didn't have time to go in and walk around and read the historic signs. I had a UK game to get home to watch!

Beautiful church with twin steeples.

"Shew...cheering on the CATS is wearing me out!" - Tucker

Supporting the CATS before the Notre Dame game on Saturday!
White Denim: {JC Penney, old} Tank: {Old Navy, old} Leopard Sweater: {Macy's} Scarf: {?? vacation somewhere} Flats: {Old Navy outlet, old}

Fresh highlights and messy waves on Saturday afternoon! I have finally found the sweetest stylist who gives me exactly what I'm looking for here in Raleigh! It was so hard to switch from my hair gal in KY who is one of my childhood friends and has been doing my hair for the past decade. I love her to death but I just couldn't make the long distance hair thing work.
Sunday was spent resting and recovering from a bit of a bug I seem to have picked up during my travels. Ready to take on the new work week, tackle my to do list, and motivate myself to get back into the chamber for testing before a long weekend at home for Easter!

Stay tuned for a Diaper Cake: How To on the blog later this week! My first attempt and I think the finished product turned out perfectly!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Life Lately

Hey Ya'll! Whew! It's been a busy week and a half! And there's no slowing down in sight for me but I am definitely looking forward to a full weekend a home!
The past week or so has been a whirlwind. Last Monday, I attended a conference for my dissertation research that was local to Raleigh.
On Tuesday, I helped give tours of our lab, for the same conference, and then traveled to a local college to deliver a guest lecture.
Wednesday, it was back to the conference until noon, then directly to a local hotel to check myself in to the Building Future Faculty program until Saturday! Shew...are you still with me?
The BFF program was wonderful! I met 34 other academics from across the country and globe who are also interested in a career in academia, like myself.

Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning were full of great workshops on grant writing, work/life balance, how to prepare for the interview process, etc.

On Thursday afternoon, we got to put our interview skills to the test by meeting with departments on campus associated with our specialty areas. I met with the dean of the college and faculty in my current department. While I knew some of them beforehand, this was the perfect experience to ask questions directed towards the professoriate and to express my career interests. I then gave a research presentation and we all headed to dinner to take a big sigh of relief!

Friday was spent in more sessions learning about the promotion and tenure process and how to publish our research. Saturday morning we had a closing breakfast and were all presented with certificates of survival success!

I met so many great contacts and made wonderful friends!

Go Pack!! (But, really, Go CATS!!!! Still undefeated!)

BFF's for life! (Get it? Best Friends Forever...)
After the closing BFF breakfast I headed straight to our lab (yes, it was Saturday) to work the annual College of Textiles open house. It is so fun to see and hear high school students talk about their future interests in textiles!
Then this happened!!! And a whole lot of it!!!
I spent Saturday afternoon/evening with my bum glued to the couch. I was pretty exhausted after a crazy, hectic week. I didn't rest for long though. I was back to work on Sunday afternoon revising my CV and working on journal article revisions. (It's a good thing I like what I do, huh?!)
On Monday, I proctored an exam, caught up on email, and worked on a multitude of papers/projects. Then the hubs treated me to a big date night out before I left yesterday for yet another conference. I drove to Savannah, GA yesterday in order to present my research this morning. So, if you're reading this before 10:30am send up a quick prayer and wish me good luck! No matter how many times I present, I always get nervous before.
I'm headed back home Thursday night just in time to watch the CATS win again and tie up loose ends at work/school on Friday before the WEEKEND!!! I have some fun craft projects planned that I hope to share on the blog next week so stay tuned!!!
Happy Hump Day!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday Favorites: Spring Trends

It's Friday! And I'm still at my "stayconference" but am missing Travis and little Tucker like crazy! I will be so glad when I see them tomorrow morning!
Today, I thought I would round up some of my fashion favorites, via Pinterest, for spring!
1. Pastels

I love pastels, especially for spring. I seem to be drawn towards blush pink more than anything, according to the number of blush pink tops I keep racking up in my closet! That was also my wedding color, so maybe that's it!
2. Floral

A pop of floral is a great way to start transitioning into spring. Especially in your accessories such as a scarf, bag, or jewelry. I love a floral kimono during spring and summer.
3. White V-Neck Sweater


This sweater is everywhere, in various color combos. The first link is Forever 21, and affordable, unlike most of the designer versions. Pair this with a simple pair of distressed denim and sneakers (or espadrilles...see below) for a casual look or add black pixie pants and high heels for a night out.
4. Military Outerwear



Who doesn't love a great military inspired vest or jacket, right?! I actually don't have the traditional version, pictured above. Maybe that's why I love it so much? I have navy and camo versions instead.
5. Wide Leg Pants

I'm still on the hunt for a pair of perfectly fitting wide leg jeans. I have an old pair but they are way too big. The fit is not slim enough in the hips and thighs and look more like "mom jeans" than the fit and flare style above. And a purple pair of pants are always a win in my book! Love the wide leg silhouette!

6. Espadrilles


Espadrilles are everywhere this season! Comfy and casual, you can dress them up or down for everyday wear. I am loving the black and leopard styles from Target for just $25! I need to snag a pair soon before they're gone!
7. Hunter Boots


Hunter boots in bright pops of color make my soul swoon! Especially when paired with another bright color, like the jackets in the photos above. I don't own a pair of Hunters but they are going on my Christmas wish list this year for sure. I'm sure it will take me that long, if not longer, to decide which color I want!

What are your favorites this Spring?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Happy Easter Wreath

Well the St. Patrick's Day decorations are packed away until next year and it's time to welcome spring & Easter! I love Easter! It is a sacred holiday, when we remember Christ's sacrifice on the Cross, and his Good News when he arose three days later from the tomb. Last Easter was the first time in 23 and 25 years that we did not celebrate at home with our families. It was hard being so far away and by ourselves on a holiday that is normally spent with family and at our home church. This year, we opted to skip Spring Break and go home for Easter instead so I am very excited to see our families for the first time since Christmas!
If you've been reading long enough, you know I love to decorate, especially for holidays! Mostly, I love to make crafty decorations like wreaths, topiaries, bunting, and garland. I created this fabulous wreath for fall and wanted to do the same for Easter and spring.
I happened to be close to a Hobby Lobby last Friday while I was doing some observations at Elon University for a teaching program at NCSU. There are no Hobby Lobby's within an hour drive of Raleigh so this was a special treat for myself! I knew I wanted to get supplies to make a new wreath and to decorate for Easter.
Here is what I found, following a similar formula as my fall wreath:
-large wreath form (this one is the biggest they have but I needed it to fit the sign in the middle)
-4 rolls of 15 ft burlap (I only bought two and needed at least 4)
-1 15 ft roll of teal burlap (matches color of Happy Easter sign)
-1 4 yd roll of pink quatrefoil burlap ribbon
-1 Happy Easter hanging sign (any kind of your choice, just make sure it fits size of wreath)
1. I started by looping my plain burlap through each section (12 in total) making 5-6 big loops per section. If you wanted a fuller, more compact look, you could use 6 rolls and do 8-10 loops per section.
2. Once I had looped all the burlap through (I found that one roll equaled 3 of the 12 sections), I started layering the teal burlap on top, making wide loops to fill in the gaps.
3. I chose to layer the pink quatrefoil ribbon on top of the teal burlap, in the same pattern.
4. I used the left over teal burlap and pink ribbon to make a bow and hot glue it to the top of my wreath.
5. Hang the wreath and Easter sign of your choice in the middle. Viola! It's that simple! This took me under an hour to make!

This is by far the biggest wreath I have ever made and I believe my most favorite! It ranks right up there with my fall wreath. I like picking out a cute metal wire sign at Hobby Lobby, choosing matching burlap, and making a wreath accordingly. I've found this formula to be really simple. After Easter, I can remove the sign and have a beautiful wreath the rest of spring and on into summer if I choose.
When I was looking for an Easter sign for my wreath, I fell in love with this guy at first sight! Unfortunately, he was way too big to fit in a wreath and while he would work as a door hanger all by himself, I really wanted to make a craft, so I chose to do both. He is hanging inside our door so we have Easter cheer to enjoy inside as well!
I was able to get both items because Hobby Lobby has such great deals! I did not purchase anything that wasn't on sale. All of the wreath and floral item supplies were 50% off this past week and the Easter merchandise was 40% off. Both Easter signs were $15 or under!!! If you haven't checked out Hobby Lobby recently it is definitely worth the trip!
How do you decorate for Easter?!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

WIWW: Double Date Night Edition

Denim: {Versona Accessories} Top: {Kohls, gift, old} Leather Jacket: {Stitchfix} Booties: {JCP, old} Bag: {Steve Madden, Marshall's, old} Necklace: {Burke's Outlet, old}
Last weekend, the hubs and I went on a double date with some of our friends here in Raleigh. We always have a blast with them and their sweet little daughter! It is fun to end the week out with friends and enjoying a great dinner. I threw this outfit together fairly quickly before heading out the door. I love when outfits you didn't even realize you had in your closet come together so quickly like this one! There's nothing better than discovering a favorite new outfit with already existing pieces in your closet!

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