Hi friends! Several of y'all have asked for some house updates, so I thought I would share with y'all today. I'm still in the earrrrrrrrly stages of building my house. I'm talking earrrrrrrly stages. So far, I have a driveway pipe. Yep, I told you. Early stages! :)

My next step is to clear the land, but all this rain is making this step difficult. Hopefully this will get accomplished within the next few weeks. Fingers crossed. 

I've met with my contractor and gone over a few plans. I'm 95% sure of which plan I'm going with and I thought I would share it with y'all and show my thoughts on everything. I love absolutely everything about this house, but I'm so worried about it not looking like I think it will when it's actually constructed. The only picture that is online is this computer generated image, so it's a little hard to tell what the actual house would look like. I've been searching for similarly built houses to get an idea. I even marked off the dimensions on the land so I could get an idea of how big the house would be. I really wish I could see a house in person (or even a picture) that looked like this one. One contractor took me to a house that I was looking at prior to this two story one and I was very surprised at how small it felt compared to what I had in my mind. I really want to be sure of what it's going to be like before being absolutely certain that this is the house for me. I just love everything about it, but I so wish there were more images online! 

You can't really tell in the exterior picture, but there is a front porch. I posted this as a choice on an Instagram story poll a few days ago and so many of y'all messaged me about this one not having a front porch to decorate because y'all know I love to decorate a porch! :) Don't worry! There is one! 

Oh my goodness gracious, I am so glad it's Friday! Y'all, this week has been anything but "normal" and I need this 3 day weekend coming up to recuperate and regroup!

We had a surprise day off on Monday due to ice (I live in Alabama, which I realize is not the most winter equipped state, so yes, we do have ice days!) You would think having one day off this week would make the week go by faster, but I think it had the opposite affect! It's felt like the week has lasted forever. I didn't go to sleep on Monday night until well after midnight due to the national championship and then I had a workshop on Wednesday, so it's just been one of those weeks where there is a lot going on and you can't get much done!

While this week might have been extremely busy and stressful, I did FINALLY close on my land!!! Yay! (Insert dancing girl emoji times 100!) Y'all, I am so excited to start the process of building my house. I know it's going to be SO incredibly stressful, but I am so excited! I've been pinning like crazy and I cannot wait to actually start the construction process. I'm sure it'll just fly by and I'll be in my new house in no time! ;)

I've somehow rediscovered The Vampire Diaries and the obsession is real, friends! I originally watched the first four seasons and then never caught up. I've decided to start over from the beginning because I can't remember a thing and try and watch the whole series. I'm still in the middle of season one, but how fun is Damon? I was always a fan of his and not Stephen's. There was just something about Stephen I didn't like. 

So I did a poll while I was grocery shopping (because I HATE grocery shopping and this makes it a little more bearable/fun!) I was shocked that almost 30% of y'all advised me to be good and NOT splurge on this ice cream. And then I bought it and understood exactly what y'all were trying to tell me. Y'all this ice cream should be outlawed because I'm pretty sure I ate all 6 chocolate ice cream cups in 2 days. I don't think I've ever eaten chocolate ice cream that was as good as this! 

And the unhealthy eating continued with ramen noodles and...

top // leggings // shoes 

the best and most unhealthy pizza in the world. It definitely wasn't my best week as far as food was concerned. I can't wait to go to the grocery store and buy some food that will make me feel better because I have felt awful this week after eating all this junk! Sometimes a week of really unhealthy eating is just what you need to kick your butt into gear!

Loving this color and formula!

The Golden Globes were on Sunday night and I loved every minute of it! I just love award season and it was especially exciting seeing all the support for the Times Up movement. I wore black to show my support! 

How great was Oprah's speech?? Oh my goodness! I've never been a huge fan of Oprah until now. She is so inspiring!

Did you check out my travel post from Monday that featured this pretty pink tote? I'm not much of a traveler, but I'm hoping to change that in 2018! 

And then this happened. What in the world. Alabama wasn't even suppose to make it to the playoffs after we lost to Auburn and then by some miracle we got in. And then we beat Clemson. And then we WON! 

The game didn't go off until 11:30 because it went into overtime and then I was wide awake so I didn't fall asleep until way after midnight. Needless to say, Tuesday was ROUGH! 

R.S. Grey released the cover to her newest book that comes out in February and I can't wait to read it! If you have Kindle Unlimited, you have to check out RS Grey's romance books. They are such fun quick reads! You can check them all out here!

I attempted to read the newest John Green book this week. It wasn't successful. More to come in my January book review. Have you read this one? What did you think?

I'm currently reading this and having better luck! It's a cute story of a girl who comes to LA to make it as an actress. You can add it to your Goodreads shelf here. Friend me on Goodreads here.  

I also attempted this one this week and didn't have any luck with it either. Such a shame too because the cover is so pretty! Maybe someone else will have better luck than I did with this one! You can check out the synopsis here


Also obsessed. 

So that was a bit of my week! I'd love to hear/read your favorites from your week! :) 
Happy weekend! 

shirt // cardigan // necklace // necklace // earrings // bracelet // Erimish bracelets (mixed from several different collections // tote (mine is called "Left Bank") // watch

Friends, I am not a traveler. I'm the type of person that stresses out about a vacation. As much as the vacation itself is fun, all the preparation that comes with it is just so stressful, not to mention the aftermath of unpacking and sorting everything once you get home. Plus, I'm a HUGE homebody, so anytime I go on vacation, I can't help but think of all the fun things I could be doing around my house. I've decided this is something I want to change though. This year, I want to actually make traveling a priority. 

Because I'm such a homebody, I haven't been to many places, but I have a list of places I want to travel to and I thought it would be fun to share those places with y'all today. :)

Charleston, South Carolina
When I think of Charleston, I think of Rainbow Row.  How gorgeous are these brightly colored houses? I think it would be the perfect place to visit in the springtime. 

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago is one of those places that I want to visit in the fall or winter. I know next to nothing about this place, but for some reason it's always been one of those cities I'd like to visit. I just imagine they have all these neat stores and coffee shops mixed in with some fabulous shopping!

The Hamptons
If I could live anywhere in the world, it would be in some part of the Hamptons. Montauk, South Hampton, Sag Harbor. I'd love to visit any of the towns that make up The Hamptons. Remember the few episodes of Gossip Girl that were filmed there? Ah! Weren't they all just gorgeous??  Summer is my favorite and I think experiencing the Hamptons during the sunny, warm months would be just heavenly!

New York City
Touristy, I know! But, NYC is somewhere I definitely want to visit during the winter months. I would LOVE to visit the Upper East Side, the public library, Central Park, the Plaza Hotel, and Serendipity. Seeing a broadway show is an absolute must, because y'all know I LOVE musicals! Oddly enough, I have no desire to see the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, or any other well known landmarks. Go figure!

For a long time, Hawaii was my number one most desired place to visit in the world. A friend and I were even planning a trip right after college. Then as I was planning, I realized the flight was 5 hours over water. And I'm terrified of water. When you look at a map, it looks like Hawaii is right off the coast of California, but nope! I don't know if I'll ever work up enough nerve to travel to this place, but it sure is on my list! 

So I may not have any definite travel plans just yet, but I do have some super cute travel accessories to use when I do! I am loving this Jon Hart Designs tote. It's called the "Left Bank" and I have it in the color "Rose", which is actually a new color that the company just launched this month! The color on the site doesn't do it justice. It's a gorgeous light pink that is so eye catching and feminine! 
As you can see, you can even get your bag monogrammed for a classic look. If you've never looked at all the bags Jon Hart Designs carry, you have to check it out! They carry everything from bigger luggage pieces to small cosmetic bags. All the pieces come in a variety of colors and styles. I cannot wait to actually use mine to travel! :)

So, now that you've read where I want to go, I'd love to hear from you! Where do you want to travel in 2018? Have you ever been to any of my travel place wish list? Or are you a homebody like me that never goes anywhere! 

Thank you to Jon Hart for sponsoring today's post!

Happy Friday! Sadly, Christmas break is over for me and it's back to reality! We do get to start these two days back to school with a 3 hour delay, so it's not exactly back to reality....more like an ease into it! LOL I'll take it! 

I'm always up for a snow day or school delay! I love my job, but there is nothing better than thinking you have to go to work and then realizing you don't! We had a three hour delay yesterday morning too and this is how I spent it:

Eating pancakes and catching up on Monday night's episode of The Bachelor. I hate when the national championship playoff is on Monday nights! I had to record The Bachelor because I was too busy watching Alabama kill Clemson in the semi-playoff game. Next stop: the national championship!

I started a new bible study this week and I'm really enjoying it so far! I'm using this book, which puts the bible in an easy to read format. :)

Sparkly vans? Yes, please! I LOVE these shoes and they are surprisingly comfy! 

I have a few beauty favorites that I've really been loving this week!

I washed my foundation brush earlier this week and just had to share on Instagram with y'all. So many of y'all replied raving about this brush too! It's simply the best thing to apply your foundation with. Love!

Ya'll. I am 31 years old and I can quite certainly say I've never taken my picture with no makeup on, much less post one on the internet for all the world to see, but this exfoliating facial mask is worth all the makeup free selfies! Santa knew what he was doing when he brought me this. I have tried MANY face masks, but this one is now my absolute favorite. It leaves your skin feeling so smooth and fresh. I use it 2-3 a week and I am obsessed! Seriously, y'all I cannot say enough good things about this one.

I've also got two book favorites to share with y'all!

I finished an ARC of The Wife Between Us that St. Martin's Press sent me and I loved it! It's a thriller that keeps you guessing. I did figure out the main twist early on, but that didn't spoil the rest of the story for me. I did have two issues with this one so it wasn't a full 5 star read for me, but overall I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it!

I'm also finished with Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell and oh my goodness gracious! I am LOVING this one! It's about a woman whose 15 year old daughter goes missing and is never found. Years later she meets a man and falls in love and when she goes to meet his daughter, she looks exactly like HER daughter that went missing. It is fabulous!!! It comes out in April, but I ordered the UK edition on Amazon because I just couldn't wait. 

Filming videos for my new Youtube channel took up a large part of my week, but I'm determined to overcome my fear of talking to a camera in 2018! You can subscribe to my Youtube channel here. Right now it only has two videos on it and both are about books, but I hope to eventually include some beauty favorites as well! Teacher friends, you can subscribe to my teaching channel here

I had the hardest time getting started because my SD card kept filling up and not working! Thankfully I asked y'all for help on Instagram and your suggestions worked! I just love the internet sometimes :)

After all that trouble with the SD card, I finally got the video filmed, edited, and uploaded! You can watch my top ten favorite thrillers here. :)

Strawberries, grapes, and spinach. The only "salad" I'll ever come close to eating! LOL #pickyeater

I'll leave you with a picture of a happy teacher with her coffee and three hour delay. :) 

Happy Friday, friends! :)

December is gone, so that means it's time to review all the books I read this month. I'm trying something new this month and uploading a video instead of a blog post. Feel free to let me know your thoughts...just be kind because I'm still trying to figure out this Youtube thing! :/ ;)

Friends, 2017 was a hard year. But it will also be forever remembered as the year I stopped hiding. I'm focusing on the positive part of the year and sharing that with y'all today!

If you haven't read my blog post on dealing with stress and anxiety, you can check it out here. This post is basically just a recap of how my progress has gone throughout the year. In February, I decided to start eating better and being more active because I was so tired of feeling so bad about myself. I had let my job and all the other activities I had going on in my life get to me. For about three years, I simply hid in baggy shirts and sweatpants. I took hardly any pictures of myself and basically didn't want to be seen. I stopped "dressing up" and just threw on anything, which made me feel awful because fashion has always been a huge passion of mine and when I let stress get the best of me, my appearance and self confidence suffered tremendously. 

Like I mentioned in the original post, as silly as it sounds, documenting my fashion on Instagram helped me so much with staying motivated this year. It helped me stop hiding in baggy, oversized clothes. It helped me get excited about fun fashion again and sharing different outfits with y'all. 

Today I want to share (in pictures!) how this year is different from last year.  I've made a conscious effort to take more pictures of myself so I can remember the days. I still love a good "object picture" but for so long I was only taking those types of pictures instead of pictures that I was actually in because I hated the way I look. I love using Instagram as a way to look back and remember little moments, but when I stepped back and looked, I realized that the majority of what I remembered about those days from those pics, was how bad I felt about what I was wearing and how bad I felt about how I looked. 

Please don't misunderstand: I still have major self confidence issues and I scrutinize every picture by analyzing my face, legs, hair, etc. Just because I'm starting to post pictures of myself doesn't mean I think I'm gorgeous and want to share it with the world! ha! I simply don't want to hide anymore, so this year I've made a huge effort to put more of an effort into feeling better about myself instead of "slobbing" around in v-neck sweaters and black stretch pants, which is what I was doing. 

Christmas. Know why there's a question mark on the left picture? Because there's not one picture that I took on Christmas in 2016. Or 2015 or 2014. I just hid. 

Thanksgiving. Last year's Thanksgiving was just awful. I felt absolutely terrible about what I was wearing because I bought that top and those pants in two sizes too big so they wouldn't be tight or clingy. 

Candle shopping. For me, shopping for candles at Bath and Body Works always signals the start of a new season, which is so very exciting to me! Last year I documented this by taking a picture of my shopping bag. This year I made my mom snap a picture as we were leaving the store. 

Christmas shopping at Target! 

Shopping for Fall flowers and pumpkins. I remember when I took this picture in 2016, it was so hot here in Alabama and I was in a long sleeve t-shirt that fit too snug and therefore was too short and some black yoga pants. Even though it was burning up outside, I was hiding in my clothes.

TJ Maxx shopping!

Spring flowers! For the past three years, I absolutely dreaded when the weather started getting warmer because that made it harder to hide in clothes and feel comfortable. The right picture was taken in late March, after I had been eating better for almost two months. My jeans were starting to fit loose and I started to see a difference in how I felt each day!

For the past three years, I maybe have 4 pictures of myself and Reese. This makes me especially sad now that she's having health problems. I make sure and take multiple pictures of myself and Reese throughout the week!

Going on walks. That picture of the left might not look odd to you, but I remember hating how my calves looked. When I posted the picture on the right, I remember looking at my thighs and thinking they should be smaller, but posting it anyways. It's about progress...not perfection!

Shopping for desk chairs

Snow Days

I still struggle with stress and anxiety daily, but I'm happy with the mental progress I made this year, even if I'm not where I want to be physically. And I think that's important. Here's to an even better 2018! 


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