Sunday, April 14, 2024

Sunday Night Thought


Friday, April 12, 2024

Daughter of Mine

 Spring has sprung, the weather is warming up, and the season of for reading a ridiculous amount of books if finally here. Honestly, any time is a perfect time to read a book, in my opinion, but there’s something about sitting by pool, on a beach, or even the comfort of your own back porch that makes the reading experience that much sweeter. Megan Miranda is such a talented suspense writer. The first book of hers I read was “All the Missing Girls”, and I was hooked after the first few pages. Her newest book, “Daughter of Mine”, is another suspense that is pretty much impossible to put down. 

Miranda has an amazing talent for weaving a web of drama, mystery, conflict, twists that will keep you guessing with each turn of a page, that will draw you into a dynamic world she has created.

The death of Hazel Sharp’s father, detective Holt, brings her back to her hometown of Mirror Lake. On the heels of detective Holt’s death, a drought begins to unearth some secrets from years ago. In the small town of Mirror Lake, where everyone knows everyone, and everything that is going on, the town can’t stop buzzing about a car that the drought reveled that had been found in the lake with its license plates missing. 

In quick order Hazel soon finds out that she has inherited the family home, which brings another layer of drama and conflict. Shortly after another car is discovered in the lake, but this time, in the lake that is right behind the house Hazel just recently inherited. 

Hazel soon begins to wonder if the two cars are related to her mother’s departure decades ago… She soon starts an investigation of her own once she finds out that her brother’s wife and once childhood friend has gone missing. With the mystery of her mother and her missing sister-in-law Mirror Lake soon starts to take on the light as a town being full of secrets and dark corners.

If you have not picked up your copy of “Daughter of Mine” yet, I highly recommend this book. The writing and storyline is simply fantastic. If you are a fan of mystery and suspense you will absolutely love this book

Saturday, April 6, 2024

Links I'm Loving

 Is it just me or does anyone else feel like this year is going by at a lighting pace? I feel like time is literally like sand running through my fingers at the moment. On a lighter note, I am so glad it is finally the weekend and I am so loving the fact that Nashville is going to experience one last cold and cozy weekend before the hot days of summer take hold of everything. 

One// Lilly Pulitzer

Lilly Pulitzer is one of those brands that does not have a sale very often, so you have to take advantage when they do; some styles are even under $50! This is the perfect opportunity to stock up for all your summer events that are just around the corner! 

Two// How To Know If Your Solar Eclipse Glasses Are Fake

The excitement surrounding the upcoming solar eclipse is beyond contagious. I never thought of someone trying to take advantage of the situation and sell fake glasses until I read this article from Martha Stewart’s website…

Three// Claire Saffitz Peach Cobbler

I have been such a fan of Clair Saffiz since her days in the test kitchen on bon appetit. In my opinion it is always a perfect time of year for a cobbler of any sorts and peach cobbler with a scoop of ice cream on top is my absolute most favorite. 

Four// Sarah Flint Secret Garden Scarf 90

I have a slight scarf obsession… I feel like buying a nice scarf can always be justified, because it is something that will always be in style, and really nice scarves are something that can turn into a generational piece. This new scarf from Sarah Flint is simply stunning! The elements of art that went into creating this piece and the design is really very stunning and timeless. Use code: SARAHFLINT_CCLAURENAID to save 15% on your order!

Five// Merit

Merit is one of my newest makeup obsessions. I love the whole “clean” movement that is taking place within the makeup industry right now. So far my favorite product has been the ‘Flush Blam Cream Blush”!

Monday, March 25, 2024

Links I'm Loving

 I feel like this past week was a complete bluer and everything just kind of blended together… does anyone else feel that way? I’m always so torn around this time of year – I love the spring weather, flowers, and the fact that the earth is coming back to life, but at the same time I am always a little sad to leave the cozy months behind. To be completely honest time markers, like the start of a new season always make me panic a little… I have a list of things I want to experience and accomplish, and I feel like the passing of a season is another reminder that time is moving on wheatear I’m ready for it to or not. On a sunnier note, with each new week, month, season, and year, there is always a sense of renewed hope. For now, here are a few links from this past week that I am completely loving! 

One// Claire Saffitz Best Cinnamon Rolls of Your Life

I feel in love with Claire Saffitiz’s cooking videos when she was on Bon Appetit; her videos are entertaining, fun, and relaxing. Plus, these Cinnamon Rolls look amazing!

Two// Hill House Home The Harper Lady Jacket Cardigan

My grand-millennial loving heart has completely fallen for the cardigan and Lady Jacket trend that is currently underway. This Cream colored  Lady Jacket from Hill House is so beautiful and so classic, and can be worn pretty much year round. Absolutely love it! 

Three// Lunar Eclipse 

I have a new found love for stars and all things space related; it’s just really humbling to think that we are a small piece of something so big. This article tells you how to see the upcoming Lunar Eclipse!

Four// Krewe Sale

Krewe is without a doubt my most favorite sunglasses ever, it’s honestly turned into a bit of an addiction. This is a fantastic sale – all sale items are up to 70% off, and this is a company that does not have a sale very often

Five// Tour of a 5th Ave Penthouse 

I was in NYC on and off last year, and I feel completely in love with the city, the vibe, and all the exhibits, shows, culture, food, and shopping that’s at your fingertips. I honestly want to move there one day… Nashville is a wonderful city to live and to visit, but honestly, we’ve had such an influx of people move here and just the amount of tourist, it makes me feel really boxed in sometimes… So obviously I now follow a ridiculous amount of NYC Instagram accounts. The apartment this realtor shows in this reel is amazing, and the light fixtures are incredible!  

Friday, March 22, 2024

Current Nighttime Skin Care Favorites

 Skin care is having such a big moment right now, and I am completely here for it. I think I was twenty-five when I first started paying attention to skin care, and I honestly wish I would have paid attention to it earlier. Honestly, up until about nine years ago, my skin care routine was a little touch and go… I might do it and I might not depending on my mood… I have to say, consistency is key, and I can tell such a difference in the quality of my skin and the difference in hydration. If nothing else, I feel like having a nightly skin care routine is very relaxing! 

There are so many great skin care products out right now and I thought I would share my most used and favorite nighttime products at the moment! P.S. most, if not all, my favorite skin care is linked in my Amazon store front!

Patchology Under Eye Patches

My eyes are something I always feel self-conscious about when it comes to taking pictures… I feel like they always give away my age… Patchology eye patches are amazing! I keep these in the fridge for the cooling benefit aspect and they do such a great job of minimizing dark circles and puffiness.

Caudalie Vinoperfect Dark Circle Brightening Eye Cream

I really like how this cream come in a squeeze tube with a nice applicator tip. If feels so soothing going on and I just love it!

Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask

I also use this face mask and this face mask, but I feel like the Jet Lag Mask is just a really great mask to use on an everyday basis; especially during cooler months, travel, or in elements when your skin may need a little extra hydration. 

Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum 

I purchased a few Drunk Elephant products just to see what all the hype was about, and the B-Hydra Serum is one of my favorite skin care products at the moment. I love how hydrating it is and the fact that it is safe to apply to the eye area. I also tried the Protini Polypeptide Cream, and I could tell a difference within three days. Honestly, I had pretty low expectation about Drunk Elephant just because of the age group this brand appeals to, but their products are very top notch, and I love their packaging!  

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream

Magic Cream is one of my tried and true products that I always come back to. I love it for night time because it does have a thicker consistency, and I feel like it helps to moisturize my skin over night

Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Evening Mist

With Queen in the name how could this product be anything but wonderful! I love a face mist; they are so refreshing, smell great, and I feel like they lock everything in, from skin care products to make up. This face mist is actually supposed to protect the skin overnight, and I can always tell a noticeable difference in when I use this product and when I don’t… Every time I use this I always wake up with softer, smoother skin

AlphaRet Overnight Cream 

A few years ago I learned that you’re supposed to start using a retinoid cream once you turn twenty-five, so if you’re twenty-five or over I highly recommend this cream. This is another product that produces a noticeable effect in a short amount of time. 

Rose Quartz Roller

And of course, no skin care routine would be complete without a roller of some sorts. I actually find this part to be so relaxing and a nice little facial massage 

Would love to hear what some of your favorite nighttime products are!

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

The Art of the Dating Double Standard

 I mentioned in an earlier post from this month that I was going to make a point to be more personal on here… I thought ‘the art of the dating double standard’ would be a relatable topic to share… I think it is fair to say that dating at any age is challenging in its own way…  just add the element of online dating and that factor really takes dating and everything that comes with it to the next level.

Like every person looking for their happy ending, of course I am on a dating app… I have honestly met some really nice people, and if you are single and on the fence about joining one, I definitely recommend; it’s just one more way to put yourself out there and meet people (be sure to always exercise caution and keep your safety in mind). However, like every social situation in life, you are bound to come across a few interesting characters….

About a month ago I was messaging with a guy through a dating app, and he exemplified pretty much every dating double standard in existence. For most, if not all my apps, I have opted to have the notifications tuned off, dating apps included, because I don’t want my phone pinging all the time. At best I check my dating app every few hours… On this particular day when I checked my messages one guy accused me of ghosting him, after a five hour wait - keep in mind that he was not responding right away… Then he went on a tangent about the amount of “gold diggers”, women who are prejudice against a certain height, and of course the number of “crazy” women…

If a woman questioned a man about not responding after a few hours she would be considered ‘needy’… If a man doesn’t want to go out with a woman because of her height/weight/hair color/etc. she is simply not his type… If a man is looking for a woman with a meaningful income, he is just looking for a partner. Then there are some men who would love to have a woman support them, because it’s a modern day and age, but they aren’t considered ‘gold diggers’, just modern-day men. If a man has a bad moment, he isn’t perceived as crazy, just someone who either had a bad day or is under a lot of pressure… 

To each their own, but I very much like playing the role of a woman and being pursued and wooed, but it struck me as so odd during this conversation that all these dating double standards still exist… women have a type, some want to work, some want to stay at home, everyone has different attachment styles, and women have bad days too… So, why is one gender allowed to fault the other gender for the exact same thing they are doing, just because it’s packaged differently? 

I will say that there are some very emotionally intelligent and empathic guys out there, but there are those who do embrace the double standards of the dating world…

Friday, March 15, 2024

Links I'm Loving

 I feel like this week has gone by so quickly… the older I become, the more I try to savor time, because it really does speed up. As I write the post, I can hear the sound of rain gently falling on the roof and the sound of thunder rumbling in the distance and is the most relaxing way to end the evening. Here are a few links that I am currently loving!

One// AD Inside Chloe Fineman’s Paris-Inspired New York Home

Architectural Digest is currently doing a YouTube series where celebrities take them on a tour of their home, and I am absolutely obsessed with it. Chole Fineman is a brilliant comedian, and for some reason I was expecting her apartment to be something totally different than what it is. After watching this home tour I feel like I need to be friends with her… Anyone who has a fondness for crown molding, velvet, brass, and all things French inspired is a completely wonderful person in my book.

Two// Ina Garten Lemon Capellini 

Anything Ina comes up with is garneted to be perfection. Lemon pasta is always a favorite of mine, and this recipe looks so quick and easy to make!

Three// Anthropologie Avec Les Filles Ric Rac Trench 

This has to be the most perfect trench I have ever seen. Usually, I feel like trench coats tend to be a little masculine, but this has all the right details. Buttons, and trim, to make it a girls’ spring dream come true.

Four// Popapologists

Popapologists  has started a series on TikTok and Instagram called, “Where TF is Kat Middleton”, and it is so addicting, They are so invested in figuring this out and their theories are really very intriguing…

Five//  Chappy Wrap Love Collection

Chappy Wrap has come out with a new collection entitled, “Love, Chappy”, and if you are a lover of blues, neutrals, and florals like myself, then you absolutely must check out this new collection!

Saturday, March 9, 2024

Current Favorite Instagram Accounts

 Instagram is easily the social media platform I spend the most time on; I love the endless amount of content, ideas, recipes, pretty things, interiors, fashion inspiration, and the overall rabbit hole that is any social media platform. I feel like it’s easy to fill my mind with positive things on this platform and that overall it’s filled with positive and creative accounts. On the endless sea that is social media is always so easy to discover old favorites, new favorites, new to me accounts, etc. I thought it would be fun to share a few of my current favorite Instagram accounts!

One// Maddy DeVita of @handmethefork

I absolutely love food. Love the process of making a dish, watching other people cook, the therapeutic relaxation cooking and food can bring on, and of course, most all of all, I love to eat… Maddy DeVita’s account shows you and inside view to the life of a personal chef, the food she makes, a little about her personal life. P.S. I am 100% invested in her revival of her sourdough started at the moment. Such a fun account to follow!

Two// Kelly Rutherford (@kellyrutherford)

Why I did not start following Kelly Rutherford’s account sooner is beyond me. She is most definitely a modern-day style icon. I love her iconic mirror selfies and her over style. When I was in my teens and 20s when it came to style icons, I used to just pay attention to what they were wearing. Now that I’m older I pay attention to what they’re wearing as well as their overall energy. Life is short, and in my opinion, you should embrace feelings of youthfulness as often as you can and be happy whenever the chance comes along. I definitely want to be like Kelly Rutherford when I am in my 50s

Three// Excuse My Grandma (@excusemygrandma)

Everyone needs a little advice from Grandma Gail in their life. Kim and her grandmother are just the best duo to watch. Love the advice they give, their dynamic, and the endless entertaining things they say. 

Four// Samantha Varvel (@samanthatravel)

Love this account because I feel like Samantha’s style is relatable to mind and her content ideas always resonate with me. She has flawless taste and the best sense of timeless style. 

Would love to hear what some of your favorite accounts are!

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Favorite Tex-Mex Dinners

 Cooking while listening to music or have a movie playing in the background is one of my favorite things. I find the whole activity oddly relaxing and I love how cooking is something that is always reliable – you follow a recipe, it turns out like it’s supposed to, and the second time you make something you can add your own flair to the dish to enhance a certain aspect or add a little bit more flavor to the dish.

Tex-Mex style dishes are amongst my favorite dishes to make. They are pure comfort food and I love all the vegetables these recipes usually call for and they always end up smelling amazing!


Half-Baked Harvest Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice Tortilla Soup

I am currently obsessed with this soup; it is my new most favorite thing. It only requires one pot, easy to make, you can top this soup however your heart’s desire, and so much flavor is packed into bowl. Sidenote: This was the first recipe I made that called for poblano peppers… I thought they would be on the same level as a bell pepper, and handed them without a care… if you are like me and have sensitive skin, be sure to handle these in a similar way you would a jalapeƱo.


Ree Drummond Stuffed Bell Peppers

This is such a great make ahead dish or make in the moment dish and there are always plenty of leftovers. I have made this recipe countless times over years, and it is the best bell pepper recipe I have ever come across… the only changes I have made to this recipe is I use ground turkey instead of ground beef, I add about a cup of corn, and I usually have enough stuffing to fill eight bell peppers. Highly recommend serving this with Bob Evan’s mashed potatoes!

The Pinning Mama Baked Southwest Chicken

If you have been searching for a recipe that is healthy, flavorful, easy, and quick, than look no further because this recipe is all of the above! It is honestly one of those dishes you will make once a week. This is another recipe I have made a ridiculous amount of time… I usually double the amount of cumin and pepper this recipe calls for and I use pepper jack cheese instead of Colby jack cheese. I also usually server this with the chicken on top of a bed of mashed potatoes. 

Just a Taste Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

This is another dish that is so quick and easy to make and perfect for a weeknight dinner when you are in a pinch. I lowkey love all the colors that are involved in the making of this dish…. It looks like a rainbow, plus it is healthy, filling, and low in calories!

The Pioneer Woman Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

No exaggeration when I say this is the best chili I have ever had,. I follow this recipe to the tee and it is always amazing and is another great leftover dish. A little old school, but I love noodles instead of chips in my chili and love the Cellentani (the spiral macaroni noodles). Also, if you are new to the ground turkey game, in my honest opinion, Butterball has the best ground turkey, hands down. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Links I'm Loving

 Sharing all the fun and interesting links I have found over the week is one of my favorite things to share with you all. There’s so many great movies, social media content, moments in fashion, and so much more that it is honestly a little hard to pick just a few. Off topic, but is anyone else in a slight panic that two months of the New Year are officially over and it feels like New Year’s day was just last week? Because I am definitely a little in shock by how fast time is passing…. 

One// Priscilla 

If you are an Elvis or Priscilla fan this movie is an absolute must see! I’ve heard mixed reviews about this movie, so obviously had to watch. I think we can all agree that the story of Elvis and Priscilla is an intriguing one, but not necessarily a happy one… This movie does have some dark spots, but it is absolutely amazing; I loved it. Some of the clothes used for the movie are stunning, the music is fantastic, and the storyline is so interesting, 

Two// Sarah Flint Janet Loafer

I am so loving the fact that loafers, ballet flats, and Mary Janes are having a moment in the world of fashion; they are not only stylish, but also comfortable… I am so smitten by Sarah Flint’s newest loafer and the tassel detail is just next level! To save 15% use code: SARAHFLINT_CCLAURENAID

Three// Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm

I honestly do not know how I lived without this lip product. I love how it goes on…. I so smooth and just a luxe texture… a little bit of a splurge for lip balm, but it lasts a long time and it is just a really great product!

Four// Gaspard Cardigan

I am officially in love with all thing Sezane; everything is so beautiful, elegant, and timeless. The Gaspard Cardigan is my most current obsession. You can style it with the buttons in the front or the back and it comes in like 20 different colors!

Five// HayleyyBaylee

This is my new favorite YouTube channel. If you need a good laugh or a lighter moment in life, than be sure to check out her account!

Monday, March 4, 2024


 In case you are wondering, yes, the title of this post is a reference to Adele’s song, “Hello”. For the past few years I haven’t been very consistent about posting on the blog, especially this last year… (sidenote: I am always active on my Instagram…). Over the past few years big events have taken place and 2023 was the first year I was able to come up for air and honestly wanted to enjoy every second of life, soak things, people, and experiences in, and sat some thing aside.

In life, we all face personal challenges, and in some cases Adele’s well-chosen words, “Hello from the other side” resonates a little too clearly… Usually I don’t get super personal on here, and for the most part try to keep things light and fun, but thought I would share some of what has been going on to explain why I haven’t been as active and why I took a break last year… In short, the past three years have been a season of ending, loss, and healing… I broke off an engagement, lost my grandmother, and experience a family hardship. I also thought I would share more personal posts on here in the hope that at least one person feels less alone in their situation. 

In January of 2020 I broke off an engagement… The number of emotions that came with that situation were too overwhelming to properly put into words… I felt relieved, overwhelmed with grief, embarrassed, foolish, alone in the worst possible way, hopeful, like I had failed on a level, and experienced an odd sense of guilt.

I think the hardest thing for me was that there are so many questions I will never know the answers to… I’ll never know how one individual could change so much in a short amount of time, why pronouns quickly changed from we/us/ours to I/me/mine, why he became so critical, why all the sudden I had to be the voice of reason when he was ten years older…It will always be a memory surrounded by whys, the unshakable feeling of humiliation that came with being kicked out of a house during an argument, and the indescribable feeling of finding out he was a father (not mine)…

I placed an engagement ring on a restaurant table, told him we were done, walked out, and with the exception of a couple necessary emails, never talked again… I eventually came to the conclusion that the love I had with him was like fool’s gold - on the outside it looked real, but the deeper I looked, the more apparent the reality of the situation became. So, if you are in a similar situation, know that the real thing is waiting for you. I haven’t found it yet, but have come close and have made some new friends along the way. 

The following year my grandmother passed away at the age of almost eighty-nine. The order of a family changed, a new dynamic was slowly established, and the importance of memories was realized all too well. 

The third thing that happened is something I feel isn’t really mine to share… 

The 2020s have been difficult for most, for various reasons… Life is something that moves along unapologetically. At times I wish I could freeze everything, stand still, and catch my breath. Last year was the first year in a long time that I wanted to stand up, walk with time, and enjoy every moment. It was the first year I didn’t want to escape between the pages of a book or a corner of the internet. Things felt a little lighter, hope for the future was renewed, possibilities of countless futures lay on the horizon, and life goes on.