{date nights} how we make them happen!

Happy Tuesday, friends! Today, I'm sharing a post that I wrote for my sweet friend Emily's blog series "Love is in the air" back in January. I've yet to share it over here and felt it was time! So forgive me if you've already seen this, but if not, enjoy! Hopefully it'll get you thinking about date nights with your main squeeze! It's not always easy to make them happen, but they are oh so important!


Obviously, date nights happened on a much more regular basis before we became parents! However, we have tried our very best to keep up with them! I believe some of the best advice I received after {and I even think before} becoming a mommy was to make sure that my hubby and I continue to spend quality time together. Before a baby is ever in the picture, your time if pretty much focused on each other. Not so much after a little babe! It definitely takes much more of an effort, but let me tell you, date nights are SO important!

Some of our most favorite date nights are going out to eat - and I'm not talking about running in, eating real fast, then on our way out the door! We almost always get to a restaurant early, usually about 30-45 minutes. This allows us to have a little time to unwind from a busy day, visit, enjoy a cocktail, and focus on each other before we become consumed in our food {you know what I'm talking about!!!!} :) About 2.5 to 3 hours later, we feel like we've been able to truly unwind as well as enjoy each others company {without feeling rushed to get out the door}! We are very blessed in that we have of our parents living close by, so we do get to go out and make these nights happen, I would say at least, once a month! But, sometimes, going out isn't always an option....

SO, how to we make date-nights happen in our home?!!? That's just it....in our home! Instead of going out for a fancy shmancy meal every Friday or Saturday night, we do the whole get up at home as soon as we put Ella to bed! She is an early riser, so she is normally down by 7:30. Then its time for us....just the two of us! If it's a nice night out, we'll venture to our back porch for our own cocktail hour, listen to music, talk, dance....whatever our little hearts desire! :)

After hanging out for awhile, hubby {who is the cook in our fam} will grill us out a steak, fish, whatever we're in the mood for that night. I like to get everything set up inside {it doesn't have to be fancy, but it sure makes it more fun} and maybe put together a side or a salad!

Honestly, we've been enjoying nights like these even before our sweet girl was born! We love to experiment with different foods, wines....we even had live lobsters shipped from the Northeast for a date night {sorry, just a little side note}!

We then get to enjoy our meal together {sitting at the dinner/dining room table}! Afterwards, we normally watch a movie or sometimes, just sit on the couch together and listen to music! Nothing fancy, I know, but that's not the point! The point is quality time with just the two of us!

I hope this will be a fun little inspiration for you and your hubby! Don't get me wrong, we love getting to go out, go to concerts, travel....just the two of us, but sometimes, that's just not a reality with little ones {and I wouldn't trade that for anything}, but that doesn't mean that date nights have to stop {or even be boring}! I came across this little quote the other day and thought it was pretty fitting for this series!

So here's to your next date night, whether in or out, just make them happen!

{abc's of me}

I'm jumping on this little bandwagon! I've seen a few people posting the "abc's of me" lately and thought it was a fun {and different} idea {even if it does feel like I'm back in HS completing a silly survey}!!! Here goes....
A- AGE: 30 + 1 {it just sounds a little better that way} ha!
B - BIRTHDAY: August24
C - COLOR: Do I have to pick just one? Navy, turquoise, coral {depends on the season!}

D - DRINK: Raspberry Blackberry Sparkling Water; Hazelnut coffee; red vino
E - EYES: Hazel
F - FLASHBACK: Honeymooning in Maui {almost five and a half years ago}!
G - GENT: My sweet hubs!
H - HOBBY: Interior decorating, traveling, shopping,
J - JOB: Speech-Language Pathologist {part time}, Mommy and Wife
K - KIDDOS: Our sweet and spunky girl – Ella!
L - LOVE: My Savior, family and friends!
M - MUSIC: I’m all over the board on this one! It honestly depends on my mood! I like anything from Christian to Country to Jazz to Pop! My husband {the music guru} has opened my eyes in this area! Ha!
N - NICKNAME: Do I really have to? None really now, but in High School, my friends liked to call me Jenni Poo! HA! I.DO.NOT.KNOW
O - ONE WISH: That Ella would grow up to love Jesus with all of her heart.
P - PETS: Finley – our lab! Josh surprised me with her {yes, pretty much just like Marley and Me} 2 months after we got married. Spoiled thing!
Q - QUOTE: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6 
R - RESIDENCE: Deep in the heart of TEXAS!

S - SIBLINGS: My sis - Jessica {here's a sweet pic of her and her very soon to be hubby}!

T - TEMPERATURE: 87 degrees right now. Ideal – mid 70’s with NO humidity {I live in Houston….need I say more}! :-)
U - UNIVERSITY: Undergrad: Hardin-Simmons University; Grad School: Texas Tech University {I had to throw in a picture of Kingsbury - our head football coach}!!

V - VEHICLE: Lexus RX350
W - WORST HABIT: Social media {there, I said it}!
X - XRAYS: None {knock on wood}
Y - YUCK: Stomach flu {my worst nightmare EVER}
Z - ZOO ANIMAL: I think I’m gonna have to go with the monkey’s! They’re just too cute and funny!
Happy Monday, y'all!!!

{five on friday}

Finally, Friday! So glad it's {almost} the weekend! Hopefully our girl is on the mend - strep throat is NO fun. Not exactly the kind of week we hoped for, but hey, it's apart of life. Here's to hoping for a healthy weekend!!! Excited to be linking up with the gals behind The Good Life Blog, Hello Happiness, A.Liz Adventures, and Carolina Charm for another week of Five on Friday!

I mean, really?!? I can hardly wait to wear this this summer! Monogram+navy+white=made just for Jen! What's a girl to do?!!
 I'm in the process of adding some Spring/Summer touches to our house! Winter is finally gone, and the warmer months are here at last! Once all of my Easter is put away, I hope to do a post on my Spring/Summer additions this year! Here's just a little sneak peak! 
I came across this rug yesterday, and I'm in LOVE! I've been on the hunt for awhile now for the perfect black/white rug for E's playroom. The pops of pink and orange make it even that more perfect as she already has those colors throughout the room!
Do I have a fun recipe for you! While watching Giada yesterday {I rarely get to do these days}, she shared this oh so fun and yummy recipe that I knew I had to share! Watermelon infused pops! I see many of these in my future! You can find the recipe here.   
Beyond thrilled to share that I will be hosting the series "All About Mommy" again this year! I loved hosting this last year and heard such positive feedback from you, so I decided to do it again! I have some oh so fabulous bloggers lined up! Stay tuned! The first post could be as early as next week! You're in for a treat - promise!
Wish me luck....I'm holding my first ever garage/yard sale tomorrow! Yikes! What was I thinking?!? It'll be so worth it in the end {fingers crossed}, but it sure is a lot of work! Maybe I need a few of those watermelon pops to get me going! :-) Cheers to a wonderful weekend, friends! 

{green + blue} mommy and mini style

Happy hump day, friends!!! This week has not exactly started out as I had hoped...we just got back from the doctor and Ella was diagnosed with Strep Throat. Boohoo hoo! This is her first time to have strep - which I am thankful for. Hopefully we caught it early and these antibiotics will kick in SOON! So, while my babe takes her extra long naps, it gave me a little extra time to put together this super fun board! I have always love the green/blue combo! Is it just me or is it everywhere right now?!? That is a dangerous thing for this girl! I'm sharing a few of my favorite "looks" for mommy and me - casual and a little more dressy. Happy browsing and shopping!

{green + blue} mommy and mini style

{easter recap}

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a very Happy Easter weekend! We were on the go starting Thursday afternoon, but it couldn't have been more fun! Ella is also at such a fun age, so Easter was even more exciting this year {not sure how that is even possible}! Here is a mini recap of our mini vacay to the beach, crawfish boil with Josh's side of the family, and Easter Sunday!

Our little fam headed down to the beach house Thursday afternoon! We couldn't have asked for more gorgeous weather!  
We then headed to Double and Gram's house for one of our family's most favorite....crawfish!! Such fun celebrating Easter with Josh's side of the family! Never a dull moment with these sweet cousins! Check out Gram's bunny cake! Hello, Martha!! :-)
The Easter Bunny came! This one was happy little girl!
 Then it was off to church with Mimi and Papa! Always love getting to worship at my home church! After church, it was time for Ella's third and final Easter celebration! The Easter Bunny sure did spoil her this year!

It was a blessed weekend, indeed!

{easter blog hop 2014}

Happy Easter Blog Hop 2014! I met so many fun bloggers through this link-up last year, including Darci, so I couldn't wait to be back again this year! I posted about the details of Ella's basket here, so you can get a better idea of where some of the items are from. We always try and go with "practical" gifts with a few surprises in the mix!
We're beach bound for a few days then off to spend Easter with our families! Wishing you all a very blessed Easter! I'll be back next week! Xx

Be sure to check out all the amazing baskets linked up on The Good Life Blog!

{ella bluebonnet pictures 2014}

Texas bluebonnets are simply breathtaking! I'm so glad we were able to take these sweet pictures! We tried last year, but the timing just didn't work, but it was worth the wait! Thanks again to Jen Loves Photography for capturing our precious girl!

{ella's easter basket 2014}

Can you believe Easter is just a few days away?! It's even later this year and it has still snuck up on me!!! I have to say, Easter is one of my favorite holiday's! Ella has already had so much fun at our neighborhood Easter egg hunt {although, she is not a fan of being up close and personal with the Easter bunny}! I can't wait to see her little face when she opens her basked on Sunday morning! :-) Today, I wanted to share what's inside Ella's Easter basket this year. I always try to go for practical items - and this year was no different. I have several books pictured; however, these aren't actually the books I purchased {I just couldn't find the exact ones on Polyvore, but I will share a link for them}. Hope you enjoy!

Sure, the Easter bunny, Easter egg hunts, cute gifts, yummy treats area all so much fun, but Easter is SO much more than all these "things". Without Easter, there would be no hope for us. I'm so thankful for what this weekend means and holds for us. He is Risen, He is Risen indeed! Matthew 28:6

{five on friday!}

The weekend is here!!! Happy Friday, y'all! I'm back again for another week with Five on Friday! So here we go!
I made this yumminess for dinner this week! Quiche is one of my favorites! My picky little eater even said {after she cleared her plate}, "this is so good, mommy!" Winner! You can find the recipe here.
My spring porch inspiration! I LOVE everything about this! Love the look of the all white flowers on the front porch!
This past weekend our neighborhood put on their annual Egg-stravaganza! Ella was in her element!!! It was amazing what a difference a year makes! This year, she wanted to do everything {including the mini roller coaster}!!! It was fun seeing her running into her friends from school - every time we turned around, she was running off to hug her friends - little social butterfly! :-)
By now, I'm sure you've figured out that I absolutely love Chick-fil-A! {I've passed on this love to Ella!} Maybe this recipe could save me some dollas during the hot summer months! ;)  
Wishing you all a very happy weekend! I'm headed to Ft. Worth for my sister's first wedding shower! It's here....wedding season has arrived!!!
You to can join in on the Friday fun with Darci, April, Natasha and Christina! Check it out!

{Easter book favorites} for the mini

One of Ella's most favorite things to do is to read! And I love that! Growing up, I remember getting to pull out all of our "holiday" books whether it be for Christmas, Easter, Halloween! It was always fun to change up our books for about a month or so! I love getting to continue this tradition with Ella. Today, I'm sharing a few of our Easter favorites! Some were books that I remember enjoying as a little girl and others are newer ones {to both her and myself}! If you have some favorites that are different from our little list, please do share!

{Easter book favorites} for the mini
Happy browsing and shopping!

{five on friday} florals + photos + food and more!

Hellooooo, Friday! Linking up again with the gals behind The Good Life Blog, Hello Happiness, A.Liz Adventures, and Carolina Charm.
I came across this centerpiece the other day and love, love, love it! So simple! Love the pop of pink with the turquoise mason jars! Might just be my springtime winner this year!
Speaking of flowers, we did a little photo shoot this past week with the gorgeous Texas blue bonnets! We've been wanting to do these for several years, but it never worked until now! Here's a little preview! Can't WAIT to see the rest!!!
There's nothing better than seasonal popcorn mix! My mouth is watering already! Can't wait to make this "bunny bait" for myself our sweet little friends and co-workers!
And while I'm at it, is this not the cutest little packaging you ever did see?!? Click here for this easter tag instant download!
Thank you, Pinterest! I always love finding "winner" recipes! I made this the other night to go along with some grilled chicken and the caption says it best....the best you'll ever eat! So delish!!! Recipe can be found here.
In case you missed it, I shared some of my favorite "spring things" this week! Check it out here!
Wishing you a happy weekend!!!! Xx