Friday Faves Edition 16

Friday Faves – Edition 16



It’s Friday!

And I’m up and typing earlier than normal.


Because around lunchtime today I’ll be heading toward the outskirts of D.C. for the girlie’s soccer tournament.  It’s looking to be a weekend of soccer and rain, so I’ll be packing up my umbrella, raincoat, and rain boots!

On top of sick kids and regular mom stuff, I’ve spent part of the week gathering a few things for my trip to Scotland.

You might recall from last week’s Friday Faves that I thought I might carry my camera in a backpack.



In the end, I’ve decided that isn’t quite going to work for this trip. I opted for this Lowepro Toploader Zoom 50 AW II. While my Sony a7II would fit in a slightly smaller bag, I chose this one because my phone fits into the front zippered pouch and I can also fit my financial and identity necessities alongside the camera.  This frees me up to carry only this bag out during the day. It has a crossbody strap, but another reason I chose the slightly larger model is that is has attachments for a chest harness (sold separately) that I think will be a good choice when hiking.

I also like that stowed in the bottom is its own rain cover. Scotland is known for its rain and I want to protect my gear. It does appear quite utilitarian and due to its construction it has a lunch box feeling to me (probably because the exterior feels like all of the lunch boxes I pack). My husband likes to remind me that “function is beauty”. Which is true. But…


I still want to look cute when we go out to dinner at night. My purse collection is actually quite small as I usually carry cloth totes. I have the green bag shown on my About page, a black bag of similar size (both of which I won in a silent auction at an American Cancer Society event over 6 years ago) and a small brown Coach bag that my husband bought me for Christmas about 10 or so years ago (its size makes it a date night purse, which is why it’s held up so long).

I will be wearing predominately black in Scotland and therefore wanted it to be a black crossbody purse. It also needed to be small enough so that if I wanted to wear it along with my camera bag, I would not be killing my shoulders and back.

Enter this cute little Rebecca Minkoff bag. I will tell you that I found this at TJMaxx. I don’t know if that means it’s out of season or if there’s a slight flaw.  I saw no problems and its classic style means I don’t care if it is the current seasonal trend.


Another purchase that showed up this week was a new scale. We’ve had our old scale since right after my oldest was born (he’s 17). I’m not a fan of diets, but I am a fan of body awareness. I was increasingly frustrated by the body fat % portion of the scale. While I know that these are typically inaccurate and watching the movement is the better way, the fact that it showed my percentage as being in the “obese” category aggravated the heck out of me. Given the fact that I fall within the healthy weight and normal BMI for a 5’8″ woman, I wondered if it was because the scale was so old.

I ended up purchasing this Balance scale from Amazon based on its reviews and it being listed as a #1 Best Seller. When it arrived I was happy to learn that the company who makes the scale, Greater Goods, sets aside a portion of every purchase for charity. The Balance brand is built in collaboration with Love146, which is a non-profit dedicated to ending child trafficking. They provide long term care for survivors and also operate prevention programs.

The scale was accurate in its weight feature and my body fat % was around 13% lower. I think this is probably slightly lower than what is accurate, but puts me a lot closer to what I thought the reality should be.


Which leads me to my next fave of the week. I can’t say that I’m ever thrilled as bathing suit season comes upon me. I have plenty of self conscience issues when it comes to my body in a bathing suit. Last year was the first year that I’ve wore a bikini in public since I saw a photo of me in one back when my daughter was 2. And last year I only wore a bikini at the beach. I’m still not prepared to wear one at smaller gatherings like our local pool.

Each year I go through the torture of finding one that fits properly. Standard assumptions about ratios do not work with my body. I like a slight ruching across the belly to detract from the “pooch that just won’t go away” that I earned birthing three giants. A lot of suits are in the “no” pile because my cup runneth over (also earned by birthing said giants).

The J. Crew Clearance store in Lynchburg closed this year. I was so disappointed as that’s where I found some suits last year. I’ve often had good luck with Michael Kors shirts as he seems to know that some women have slightly larger chests and doesn’t then assume that there is no waist. He worked his magic in this swimsuit as well. Now I just need a little sun on these pale legs that have been hidden all winter and I’ll be all set!


My next fave isn’t so much about the mug. In fact, it was one of the gifts I purchased for my husband at Christmastime. It’s because the quote is from Game of Thrones. We decided to watch Game of Thrones a little over a year ago while I was fascinated by some medieval research I was doing with my genealogy. We were hooked and binge watched the first 6 seasons right in time to watch season 7.

If you are familiar with the show, then you have likely heard of Winterfell. The castle used for Winterfell in the pilot is Doune Castle located in the village of Doune, Scotland. The castle is also the well known film location for Monty Python and the Holy Grail as well as Outlander. Even though it was only used in the pilot, I plan to make my way to Doune Castle as we already had plans to visit nearby Stirling.

Now I’m off to pack. I have limited time after I return from the tournament before I head to Florida to meet my mother and aunt and we fly off to Scotland!

Couldn’t leave you without a song this week:

I hope that you all have a lovely weekend and find many moments of peace and relaxation.


Let your light shine!




Friday Faves – Edition 15


They say time waits for no one.

And I would say they are right.

Friday seems to roll around faster and faster as the school year winds down for my children and as I approach my departure date for my trip to Scotland with my mother and aunt.

While my week on the whole wasn’t as intense as last weekit still had plenty of ups and downs.


The oldest had Prom on Saturday night. That day I had to take the girlie to a soccer game in Charlottesville. I walked in the door 5 minutes before he had to leave to pick up his date. He told me that parents were taking pictures in front of the prom location, The Hotel Roanoke. The hubby and I headed that way to have a chance to snap some photos. We arrived before him, but I had no idea where the group was taking photos. Long story short, I was not where his friends were taking photos and by the time I threaded my way around the building, the large group had dispersed. The group began taking couple photos. It was windy. He wore his hair down. My photos are not usable. And I left on the verge of tears with only the pictures I grabbed while he tried his tux on a few nights before.

I moped around a bit and then decided to sit by the creek still filled with water. There is something about rushing water, whether it be a creek, stream, river, or ocean that just soothes my soul.  I decided to practice one of my favorite types of photography – long exposure. I shared a few over the week on Instagram.

Sitting there listening to the music of the water as it played across the rocks, my soul gradually found peace.

He had a lot of fun at Prom. And in the end, the day was really about him, not what photos I was able to take to preserve my memories.


I spent Mother’s Day in Blacksburg cheering from the sidelines for the girlie’s soccer game.

But not before I was presented with tulip bulbs and chocolate from the hubby and kiddos.



The girlie also made me a clay sculpture of a camera.

It felt wonderful to feel known so well.


These are a few of my favorite things (cue The Sound of Music).



This week my Papa had a stroke (he is recovering and heading to rehab) and my close friend lost her father. It really made me want to be sure to cherish the relationships I deem so important.

I knew that I wanted to spend some quality time with the girlie after the loss of our dogso we decided to watch the Harry Potter series.

Because… I’ve never watched them.


I saw some pieces of the earlier ones, but you are lost if you don’t follow the storyline. So I stopped trying and figured I’d watch them all in a row at some point in the future.  That time has come.  We are halfway through the third movie.




One of my big faves this week is that I finally decided on a camera and it came in on Wednesday!

I went with the Sony Alpha 7 II, which is a mirrorless camera. I bought it with the 28-70mm lens. I do plan to add more lenses, but I will not be doing that before my trip to Scotland. I would say that it is the same size as my Nikon D3200 and perhaps slightly heavier. However, it is a full frame camera and I suspect smaller and lighter than my second choice of a Nikon D810, which is still a camera I might want to add someday (if you want to see what that beauty can do, you should check out Deborah at Circadianreflections because she just added it to her gear).


At the same time, I also ordered the Lowepro Flipside 300 camera backpack.  The layout is inserted by velcro and can be rearranged.  I have not tried it out, but am hoping that I can put enough other things inside for it to be my carry-on to Scotland. What I liked best about it was that the zipper is on the backside so there is not a need for concern that somebody may open your pack as they pass by you.


I am planning to get out this weekend to really test out the camera. This was the very first photo that I took with it. A flower blooming in my backyard.  My friend and I think it’s a peony.

Any flower experts know for sure?

I did not do any editing to this photo. I am still figuring out the controls so I have not moved off of auto yet. The photo settings were: 41mm | f/4.5 | ISO 250 @ 1/60.

As always, I offer a song this week. This one is chosen because as the news has shared Chris Cornell of Soundgarden and AudioSlave has committed suicide. Metal is not my preferred genre, but I was familiar with Soundgarden in the 90’s, with this song being in the Top 40. It came out right as I was graduating from high school. I was 16 and had no clue about where my future might lead.

I have shared on this blog in the past that I have had periods of time when all was not right in my inside world. At various points in my past, I have chosen medication. My worst despair happened with leaving Florida for Virginia. The waves engulfed me. I felt alone. I felt overwhelmed. I did not want to commit suicide, but there were moments when I thought I might not want to live if every day for the rest of my life were going to feel like this. Moments when I thought that I’d rather God call me home than have day after day of this feeling. The thought of people I loved being sad if he chose to do that was what made me not wish to hard for it.

But I had a concerned husband who opened the blinds every day for the sun to pour in, who kept after me to go to the gym, go for a walk, go see a doctor, but do something. I decided that this time I would spend time in nature and exercise and eat differently before I went down the medication path. And that plus time worked for me. This is absolutely NOT the answer for everyone. I am not a doctor. Medicine is the BEST choice for many people.

But whatever you do, don’t sit in despair. Find help. Talk to a professional. If you know somebody who needs help, do your best to help them get it.  In the United States the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. A Google search shows that there are numbers in other countries as well.

I’m glad that as a world we are beginning to reduce the stigma associated with issues relating to mental health, but there is still a long way to go.

Today, a family sits alone without a person they love. In the U.S. alone, there are an average of 94 completed suicides EVERY day (based on statistics found at the Emory University website).

This is 94 to many.

I hope that as you go into the weekend and meet people along the way that you offer kind words and smiles. That could be all that it takes to change a person’s day. Yes, some issues go deeper, but when hasn’t kindness made the world a little brighter.


Let your light shine!





Friday Faves – Edition 14



I’m so thankful to see Friday this week.

This week has had many rough moments from the loss of our dog on Monday to the stealing of my lawnmower on Tuesday to somebody wrecking into my yard and ending up with the rear of the truck in my creek (and not the shallow part… luckily, it was dry).

I’m thankful that nobody was injured, but this is also the third wreck on this strip of road in the past two weeks.  It’s a residential neighborhood, not a highway. The first one, I happened to be checking my mail when I heard the tires screeching. I was certain they were going to hit the tree and missed it by some handfuls of feet. They were not injured. Thank goodness. That one bothered me for days. I did not see the 2nd and there weren’t marks in my yard, but the street sign and stop sign along with a piece of car were in the ditch. Yesterday, I was sitting in the kitchen when I heard the screeching tires, the bashing and breaking of glass (this was them taking out the stop sign) and when I ran to the front door, they had slid into the ditch.


So needless to say it’s been a crazy week.

However, we are focusing on the FAVES of the week.


And the first is that the lawnmower was returned!


Honestly, I can’t say exactly when it was returned. It’s easier to notice that something is missing than to realize something is back that has been sitting in that location for almost 4 years. But Thursday mid-morning, I went to the mailbox.  My mailbox is on the other side of my road. I have to wait if a car is passing. I did that. Put letter in mailbox. Lifted the flag. Looked to cross back and waited for a landscaping truck to pass. Which reminded me that we’d need to get a new lawnmower by this weekend (rain makes that grass grow quickly!) and that’s when I saw it….the lawnmower was in its spot.

I did chalk this up to good karma (until the wreck into my yard that afternoon) and here’s why.

I bought the girlie a new pair of shoes. There was an issue with said shoes so we went to exchange them. We were at a different location and this one did not carry said shoes at that location so we just returned them. The shoes had come with a free gift (a fob of some sort) that I didn’t have with me when we returned them since I had expected to just exchange them. I felt a strong prodding at my conscience to hurry up and get that returned as well.

Here I was not happy that I had been stolen from, but my still having this free gift in my possession for shoes we no longer owned was not okay either.

The next day I went to the store, explained that this had come with the shoes we had returned a few days prior. His facial expression showed that he was surprised that I returned it and he “okay, you have a blessed day”

I left there feeling like a weight had been lifted and giant grin. My grin was because he had spoken a blessing into my life after my awful situations on Monday and Tuesday.

If you take nothing else from that story, I hope you’ll take away that your words are powerful and 5 little words from a stranger changed my entire outlook for the day.


Another fave are these nuts. They were a crucial component to my detox. I like to keep my blood sugar even and these make a great snack. A few days, I have an early Pilates class and I usually eat nuts and a piece of fruit beforehand and save eating eggs until afterward.

I will tell you that I did not complete the entire 10 days of clean eating and no cheese. On day 7, I wasn’t feeling well. I thought it was that I may have had too much caffeine. But as I listened to my body, I realized that I needed some more carbs. If I’d been properly prepared I would have had some whole grain bread on hand. As it was, I ate a Hawaiian roll with a hunk of butter. I felt better the rest of the day.  Looking back, I realize my body was dealing with the stress of knowing what was happening with the dog.

I was frustrated at the time because I had 10 days set arbitrarily in my mind. In the end, I think it is always more important to listen to your body. Mine tends to get panicky and nauseous when I don’t treat it properly and then I have to figure out whether it wants water or a specific type of food.


I already talked about the girlie’s soccer season last week, but last night was the Middle School awards program.  The coaches for Baseball, Softball, Track, and Soccer hand out certificates and awards.  The girlie’s team got this medal along with a rose from their coaches. All of the athletes dress up for the program, so it’s fun too see that as well.


And speaking of dressing up, the oldest has Prom tomorrow night. He was able to pick up his tux last night and I snapped a quick pic while he tried it on for size.

I’ll be spending most of my weekend at soccer games for the girlie’s travel team and hopefully be back on Saturday in time to snap lots of pictures of the oldest and his date to prom.

I hope that you have some amazing plans in store for your weekend.

Here’s the song that I’m loving this week. Being a mom is a hard job. I can’t even imagine doing it alone.

For those of you that are mothers, I want to wish you a wonderful Mother’s Day.

And if you are one of those out there who have already lost your mother, as I know some who are close to me have, I know that this day can be hard. I wish you love and peace as you wander through your memories.


Let your light shine!






Friday Faves- Edition 13


Friday seems to come around faster than I can blink my eyes!

Between editing some photos, running errands, spring purging of household stuff, and life in general… I somehow ended up at Friday (and with my house showing the chaos of my not tending to it!).


One of my frantic errands this week was procuring ingredients for cinnamon golfeados. My middle son is in his third year of Spanish and chose this as the recipe he would bring in. You can find the recipe he chose here.

I do like making treats, but not ones that require letting dough rise and rolling it out. To say I was nervous about its chance of success was an understatement. But they turned out.

The main reason it’s one of my faves this week isn’t because they tasted wonderful. (we didn’t know star anise smelled like black licorice and would have reduced the amount called for if we knew that it, not the cinnamon, would be the main flavor).

No, it’s because my son carried out all of the steps to create this recipe. INCLUDING, rolling out dough. I was only there to oversee. We bonded as we laughed and wondered how a cinnamon roll with cheese in it might turn out. It was moments spent in the present, creating memories.


And since we are on the topic of food….here’s another of my faves this week. Our gas grill finally died. And, of course I needed some things grilled. The hubby picked up this handy, dandy Weber charcoal grill.


Prior to vacation I decided that on May 1st I would do what I am calling a 10-day detox (aka real food, minus cheese and alcohol). I’ve said before that I don’t like diets. I really worry about the message they send to my children and I want them to have a healthy relationship with food. However, I did think that in Europe I would likely eat more than normal because I wanted to try new things. I ate more than one of these croissants at our Paris hotel’s breakfast buffet each day, plus tons of other tasty treats that I don’t normally eat. And let me tell you, they were all worth it! I did not gain weight (probably due to tons of walking), but still decided to do a reset. Hence the need for a grill.


We’ve had a ton of rain! Last night was a huge downpour. The creek by my house only has water for a couple days after a rainstorm. It rushes quickly enough in the beginning to pose a real danger if you step into it. You may recognize it as the location where I practiced my skills on long exposure photography. You can check out one of the photos that I shared in this post. I took this photo to share another fave.

My bracelet.

It’s a hammered metal bangle. It’s a piece of costume jewelry that I found at Anitya, located at 45 rue d’Hauteville in Paris. I wanted to take home a little piece of jewelry to remember this day. The boys wanted to pick out a piece of jewelry for their girlfriends. The middle son has had this girlfriend for some time. We went to a few store, but it was at Anitya where he chose a necklace and ring for her.

The part of this journey that makes my heart smile is that he was so thoughtful about his purchase. He also asked my opinion. Which if you are raising teens or have raised teens, then you know that doesn’t happen often. When I look at this bracelet, I remember that he truly is caring and sweet. Even if sometimes he makes me forget that. 😉


If you’ve seen my Instagram, then you already know that this is a photo that I took of the girlie’s middle school soccer team. It was for the coach’s gift.

Last night they held their banquet. To say that these girls have had an amazing season would be an understatement. They completed the season undefeated. They are the district champions. Due to the rain, they were only able to have a 10 game season. Yet, in a 10 game season they scored 40 goals, 1 shy from setting the school record of 41. So had they played the other four games…

One of the forwards scored 28 goals, shattering the school record of 13 (which, if I heard correctly, was also her record tied with someone else.) And don’t quote me, but the center-back had 4 goals and 5 assists (this could be reversed), which if you know soccer (and I barely do) is not typical. We play our home games on a turf football field and watching her score a goal from the 55 yard line was impressive! But it took every single girl to make this season possible. A fact that did not go unnoticed.

Not only did the entire team come together on the field, but off the field they rallied around some personal situations.

The coach called each girl forward and offered such kind words about who they were as a player. I admit that I was misty-eyed as he spoke words of encouragement to my daughter.

This year my girlie played a left back. She also played defense for travel this year. But it was an adjustment for her. She had played left forward the years, leading up to this. She was hoping for mid-field, but you play what the team needs and so she did. She worked through the learning curve of moving from an 8 v 8 game to 11 v 11, and from moving to a defensive position.

He spoke about how she played the position that the team needed. As a left foot in soccer, she’s kinda rare. The team was lucky enough to have two left foot players and she was strong enough to play a defender. But where he really made me teary was when he went on to say that she is unselfish on the field. It made my heart well because that is just who she is. I was so happy for her that in her final game, she came in as a center-mid and kicked a beautiful cross to the other player, which resulted in a goal.

The 8th grade parents also came up and said kind words about the team and spoke with love about their children.  I’m not sure there was a dry eye by the end.

It’s again in moments like these that I am at peace with this season of living so far from my family.

Because in moments like these, community IS family.

And since I’m tearing up still thinking about it, I’ll share my next fave.

Plane tickets and hotel rooms have been booked! My mom, my aunt, and I will be heading to Scotland this month!

In the end, the Highlands just weren’t an option because I’m not ready to leave my kids for that long. It was hard to give up as we wanted to see the Isle of Skye and I would love to see Highland Coos and sweeping vistas. My mother and I both had a strong pull to visit the Standing Stones of Callanish, but the Outer Hebrides are much too far. She doesn’t know if she will ever have a chance to return. I am convinced we will return for the Highlands.

We are splitting our time between Glasgow and Edinburgh. Our traced ancestral history is mostly in the areas surrounding Glasgow. Along with sights there and in Edinburgh, we also plan to see Stirling and Doune castle. I am studying public transportation as I will NOT be driving on the opposite side of the road. 🙂

So lastly, I close with a song I love although I don’t have a real reason. I’ve mentioned in the past that I love the sound of Gaelic and envisioned that I would have Percy Jackson-like abilities and miraculously be able to understand it.  Alas, I cannot. This version, however, shows the translated lyrics as well:

I hope that you have a wonderful weekend filled with blue skies and joy in your heart.


Let your light shine!



Friday Faves – Sweet Memories

Friday Faves Sweet Memories.png

It’s Friday!! It’s Friday!!

I’ve had a week of playing catch up so it’s flown by.  I hope that you all have had an amazing week as well.

Some of my favorites this week are from reflections on our trip to Europe.


One of our dinner stops in Amsterdam was the Hard Rock Cafe. I know some people might think this was cheating since it is American food, but I have a love for the Hard Rock Cafe.

When we lived in Florida, we had annual passes to Universal Studios and would always eat at the Hard Rock Cafe in Orlando. We even stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel once for my 25th birthday. Wow! Was it that long ago!

My daughter has a little bear with angel wings that was a limited edition souvenir for Valentine’s Day in 2003.  I was sure I was pregnant even though it was too early to tell and bought that as a gift for her.

So I couldn’t pass up the chance to go to the Hard Rock in Amsterdam. The hubby and I opted to order the Double Dutch burger (sourced locally from Dutch Blonde d’Aquitaine cattle and finished with homemade onion jam, traditional smoked Dutch sausage and ‘Henri Willig’ mature Gouden Cheese) and the Guiness and Jameson burger and split them.  They were both amazing, but the the Guiness and Jameson burger may have been the best burger I’ve ever had…. and that’s saying a lot.

We opted for Heineken… because… we were in Amsterdam! We couldn’t pass up the chance to have Heineken on tap. And we got to bring home some glasses to add to my collection.


In Paris, we did quite a bit of sightseeing. My daughter wanted to pick up a little gift for her friends.  We decided that the best place to purchase our mass produced items was at a Bouquiniste stall along the Seine. That way there would be a great memory associated with it.


The Bouquinistes are booksellers of used and antiquarian books. They have four boxes assigned to them, only one of which is allowed to contain souvenir items. Their trade along the Seine goes back the 16th century. If I hadn’t been traveling with three teens, whose interest wanes after so long of perusing titles, I could have spent an afternoon just sifting through the treasures.


The gentleman whose stall we chose to purchase from had the best deal on trinkets.  I think this was because he was located in the middle and easy to pass.  I decided to purchase a set of coasters as well even though I’m not a fan of mass produced merchandise. He was out there trying to earn a living and selling lower than the other stalls to achieve that, so I wanted to make a slightly higher purchase.


One of my favorites makes me smile each time I think of it.  My husband and I have an “our cafe” in Paris. We stumbled upon it our first night in Paris.

Le Relais Madeleine. 9, Rue Chevalier Saint-George.

We had checked into our room and decided to stroll down the Jardin de Tuileries.  The girlie wasn’t feeling wonderful and so we decided to grab a meal and settle in for the evening. We found this restaurant near our hotel.  The menu was in French with English below so we were hoping to run into luck and have them speak English.  They did! We had a wonderful meal and sent the kids over to the hotel while we sat outside, had a drink and watched the city life go by.

In case you haven’t been reading my blog long, my kids are 13,15, and 17 so we didn’t just send minis to the hotel. And if you look at the photo, we are on a one lane street and our hotel is the one with the black flag hanging down. The Hotel Opera Richepanse, which was a wonderful hotel that I will talk about in a future post.

We ended up back at the cafe for drinks two more of our four nights there, officially making it “our” cafe.


I had read that no trip to Paris would be complete without a trip to Laduree, a French bakery and sweets maker created in 1862, for some macarons.  Our final night in Paris, the hubby and I strolled along the Champs Elysses and got some macarons for all of us to taste.

I’m enjoying reliving some of the fun times as I put together my photos.  Keep checking back as I continue to share more of my newfound wanderlust on my first European vacation.


I hope that you all have a lovely weekend filled with lots of happiness.

Lastly, I leave you with a song that I am loving this week.

I’m not gonna lie.  It’s mostly because I love Chris Martin’s voice.  Way back when, my ringtone used to be “Yellow”. I’m not sure I’ve heard a song that he sings that I don’t love.  Pair him with The Chainsmokers and how could you not love this song:


Let your light shine!





Friday Faves – European Vacation

Here we are at Friday!

Tomorrow I will catch a flight back to the United States.

All in all, I would say that my first vacation overseas has been amazing. I’m looking forward to sharing so much when I return home. I have lots of photos to process, with only the ability to share Iphone pictures today.

It’s closing in on 11:00 pm here, and we are mostly packed. I wanted to share just a few photos for my Friday Faves… because this weeks Faves were all about Europe.

Amsterdam was beautiful.

Paris was beautiful.

Integrity prevailed in Vondel Park in Amsterdam where items found in the park where hung to be found by their owners.

Arc de Triomphe Paris, France
Resilience prevailed in Paris. This capture of the Arc de Triomphe was taken this evening. Yesterday evening , there would have been chaos  on this street. Today… strength. And not just on this street. We were near Montmartre, Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, and Champs de Elysses over the course of today.

We have formed a lot of memories during our travels. I look forward to sharing them when I get back home.

I hope that you all have a wonderful weekend and I will be spending next week playing catch up, both with editing non-phone photos and reading blogs! 🙂

So lastly, a song:

Let your light shine!


Friday Faves – Europe Bound

I’m heading to Europe!!

I didn’t actually get any posts scheduled. Packing for a trip gets crazy towards the end.

So I’m writing en route to D.C.

I wanted to share some of my faves this week.

So I’ll go ahead and let you in on a little secret.

We didn’t end up taking only carry-on bags. Everything did fit in them, but I needed more space for my camera and wanted to be able to bring things home.

In the end, we have 2 medium suitcases and 3 carrry-on size bags that will be checked. Each of the three teens and the hubby brought a backpack for the plane. I have a purse and and the carry-on suitcase.  The carry-on has our raincoats and my camera bag and a few toiletries.


Carry On toiletry flatlay

We found a dual voltage flat iron. Yay!  I’ve not had luck with dry shampoo in the past, but I’m going to give it a try. I’ve heard great things about Wet brushes. I have the hardest time brushing my hair when it’s wet. I also got Travel size Buxom mascara, some Peter Roth moisturizer, and a Smashbox palette with eyeshadow, blush and eyebrow powders all in one container. 

This is my bag for around the city. It holds my camera. If you need you camera padded, this wouldn’t work. It’s by Kipling and has an cute monkey keyring.

Isn’t he just adorable.

Some reading and some backpacks that fold up nice and small!
If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you might know that one of my faves this week is some new Converse. They aren’t coming to Europe though. The black Converse are the ones that are making the trip.

I’m sure that these pink ones will see lots of use when I get home.

They are one of my absolute favorites this week.



What’s a plane ride without some snack, some good reading, and some shut eye.

I also picked up a rechargeable power source.

Of course I can’t leave you without a song:

Check me out on Instagram for stories while I’m away. :).

I hope you all have a wonderful Friday!

Let your light shine!