January Recipe Review

How is it already the end of January?!

I really didn't set any New Year Resolutions this year because I knew we'd have a lot going on the first few months of 2017. And while I didn't succeed in keeping up my goal of trying new Pinterest recipes every month of my newlywed year, I have had a few wins and added some new favorites to my recipe box.

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January saw us trying out two new healthy recipes that I found on Pinterest: Shrimp Fried Cauliflower Rice and One Pan Healthy Sausage and Veggies

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Cauliflower rice has become such a "thing" lately, but making it at home always seemed like such a mess. Now there are tons of flavors and varieties of it at the grocery store in the freezer aisle. I used this recipe, but made it easier by using the frozen cauliflower rice {unflavored} and a frozen bag of mixed vegetables. To add a little kick {you know we like it spicy in our house} I cooked the thawed, deveined shrimp in olive oil, garlic salt, and red pepper flakes. This was a super yummy, super quick meal that made a lot!

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I made this deliciousness in my wok one night, and let me tell you, it almost smelled like pizza. Not sure why, maybe it was the Italian seasonings, but it was so good. I left out the potatoes to make it lower in carbs, and just added whatever similar seasonings I had in my pantry {red pepper flakes for the win, again!}. I'm really not a fan of turkey anything, but this turkey sausage was really delicious! I'd definitely add more broccoli the next time around; it soaked up all the flavors and were the best bites of the bunch. This dish packs well for lunches throughout the week, and is so perfect with a sprinkle of parmesan on top! 

I never thought I'd write this blog post.

Products c/o Deep River Outfitters 
Sounds dramatic, right? While not meant to be entirely "clickbait," it's sort of the truth.

When I moved back to Statesboro almost three years ago, it felt like coming home. It was my "safe space" away from a terrible year filled with stress, disappointment, broken hearts, and too many other challenges to name. I knew Statesboro was a place of growth and also of healing for me. With CJM in Savannah, it was as close as I could be to him during pharmacy school, and was a place where we both wanted to end up eventually. Statesboro felt like home; like a place we could envision getting married and raising a family.

We definitely have made a lot of memories in Statesboro. We've made new friends, grown personally, and laughed a lot. CJM took a job out of town after graduation, and in the fall, we realized that this continuation of our long distance relationship was not going to work for us. While I am thankful for my independent spirit, I crave creating a life with my husband.

I'd like to actually see him every day, even if it's late after a 12 hour shift, instead of just once or twice a week. I want to create friendships and memories with him, and grow together as husband and wife. And that doesn't happen easily when we sometimes have less than 48 hours together each week.

After more or less exhausting our options in Statesboro, we began to consider where we were being led. Both of us had an innate feeling that we were supposed to be near family and where he could accomplish very specific career goals. I've spent the last few months being supportive and watching all of the pieces of our new life somewhat fall into place at the exact moments I needed them to when praying for guidance, encouragement, and confirmation. I've only just recently begun exploring my own personal options, with the ever-growing realization of all that I'm leaving behind.

In just a few short weeks, we will be packing up the home we came home to from our honeymoon, and moving to Dublin, Georgia; CJM's hometown. We have found and fallen in love with what will be our very first home, and I can't wait to share with you once we close and officially move in around the middle of February.

I'm actually getting excited: the idea of decorating our true first home, making it our own, and all the memories that will come along with it. But I'm also a little nervous about finding a job, as well as making friends, in a place that I truly know very few people. I haven't had to do that in a while, and I know it will be an adjustment from seeing my best friend almost every day. I've spent the entire time of knowing Christopher saying I would never live in Dublin, but here we are, getting ready for another big change.

So the next few weeks will be a rush of getting rid of all the junk I've collected the past few years, sorting things into what room they will be living in at the new house, and boxing up each space one room at a time. I've got a running list of all the place to eat at in Statesboro that Dublin doesn't have {El Som anyone?}, and I'll probably be stopping in Walker Boutique once a week to try and get my fix, as well as pick up a few new pieces for the new house.

But we are excited. We have been so supported by family and friends in Statesboro and throughout the South during this time, and I'm forever grateful for these lifelong relationships. We're also super excited about these really cool hats. No, we don't normal twin like this, but I discovered Deep River Outfitters and the Hometown Traditions "Calling Home" hats in our new area code on Instagram and thought they were so cool!

Similar in style to the well known Aviate collection, these hats feature local  Georgia area codes like 912, 404, 770, etc. They're available online, and also at local retailers like The Exchange in Dublin! They come in a few different colors depending on the style. I love the idea of building the sense of community with your brand, and Deep River definitely does that through their products and their motto, "Live Deep." We're going to be living deep in the Dub very soon!

Be sure to follow them on Insta and show them some love like they've shown to us and our move--if you do place an order, let them know you found them through my blog! And of course, continue to follow here and on my Instagram to see more about our upcoming adventures.

Photos taken by the bestie, Kirstie. Thanks for doing life with us. Dublin is less than two hours away. No excuses.

Valentine's Day Gifts for Her

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Valentine's Day is a little less than a month away, and I'm already seeing some jewelry designers and monogram places posting their deadlines for delivery! That got me thinking; I've done a little bit of scoping out for guy gifts, but hadn't give girl gifts too much thought. So today I present to you, my Valentine's Day Gift Guide for the ladies, featuring gifts to fit in any budget.

First up, La Marca Prosecco personalized bottle. For only $15 more, you can get a bottle personally engraved with a sweet message to your loved one. Maybe an important date, a special phrase, or a funny nickname that is just between the two of you. This really takes the gift of wine up a notch.

Usually February is still cold, although if you've been living in the South this year, it looks like spring may already be here...I had pollen on my car this morning! Valentine's Day is the perfect time to pamper the lady in your life, so wrap her up in this super soft Turkish Terry Cloth robe. It comes in white, red, or this beautiful raspberry pink, and has a monogram option, too. And...it's on sale!

One product I consistently buy from Avon {shop with me! www.youravon.com/piperellice} is perfume. Their newest scent is Little Red Dress, after releasing the super popular Little Black Dress in 2016. I love Little Red Dress. It's light, feminine, and a little fruity with top notes of yummy raspberry. And, it's only $25! The perfect V-day gift for your gal pals, mom, etc.

Looking to be a little more sentimental? Why not splurge a little on a really nice frame and picture of the two of you from a special day: a wedding or engagement, first photo, or any picture of your significant other that you truly love! The Kendra Scott collection of frames includes super trendy marble styling, and a variety of colors/metals to match any decor.

Of course jewelry is always the way to a girl's heart, and I love this rose gold and sterling silver linked bracelet. It has just a hint of sparkle, and would be a great daily wear to stack with other bangles and bracelets. The "bolo" feature allows you to put it on using just one hand, which is super convenient. There are so many other styles and metals in this "bolo" look which would be a great go-to "collection" kind of gift for future holidays and occasions.

It just wouldn't be Valentine's Day without something sweet to end the evening. Champagne gummy bears are a fun, unique treat that will make your Feb. 14 memorable and delicious!

What gifts are you giving your girls this year?

What I'm Reading

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image via Amazon
The forecast is calling for basically 100% rain and thunderstorms all weekend here in South Georgia. I'm looking forward to snuggling with the pups, and spending Saturday morning on the couch with a good book. Rainy days usually make me super sleepy, but after a little downtime, I have got to spend some time organizing my house! I'm trying to be thankful for the rain, which we need, and also being forced to stay inside and work on somethings.

I'm currently in the middle of The Hypnotist's Love Story, and read The Husband's Secret one beach weekend over the summer. I really love the author Liane Moriarty, and am planning on reading the super popular Truly Madly Guilty next! Her style of writing kind of reminds me of older Meg Cabot books that I loved in high school, so it brings back the "warm fuzzies" of reading that I've been looking for the last few years.

I'm personally working my way through Kingdom Woman in my Bible study, and will probably start the 90 day devotional once I'm done. It's been great so far: practical and applicable, while still pushing you to be your best {aka a "Woman of Excellence"}. It's a really easy read, and I like how it presents a lot of information, but then also encourages your own exploration of the topics within the Bible as well.

Next will be Grace Not Perfection: Embracing Simplicity, Celebrating Joy by Emily Ley. Besides being the most beautiful book ever {hot pink and pineapples anyone?!}, this book speaks to my desire to simplify, organize, and be less stressed! With a lot coming up in the next few weeks, and a huge desire to purge all the junk that has accumulated in my home over the last two years, I think this read will be very engaging.

What have you been reading lately? I love getting suggestions, especially for good young adult/romance series!

Weekend Recap: Fixer Upper Chic

Saturday was CJM's first day home in over a week. He's been wanting to investigate the idea of building a live edge dining room table for us, and I've been needing to figure out a solution for our lack of drawers in our bedroom, so we decided to go adventuring to look at some furniture and some project wood!

We went to Rincon, which is near Savannah, to stop by The Rusty Nail Home Market and The Vintage Nest, two shabby chic/farmhouse styled shops. Some of the pieces are redone, and some are custom built by various vendors. The trip did not disappoint! We gathered lots of ideas of things we'd like to try to make ourselves {I totally forgot he has a large chest of drawers that we painted once in college!} as well as some pieces we'd like to incorporate in future spaces.

These are a few of my favorite finds:

I love the contrast of the metal container and that soft, fluffy cotton! I need more cotton in my life, stat. 

CJM and I are obsessed with barn doors. I'd love a piece like this in our bedroom to double as a place for the TV, and for shoe storage. 

Does anyone else imagine their classic family furniture with an updated look like this side board? 

I've made my own chalk paint in the past. Not the most difficult of projects by any means. But I want to try this kind that doesn't need the wax sealant! Anything that helps a project go faster is a product for me. 

CJM's chest of drawers is just like this, but we painted it a dark gray color to match his "boy room" in college. I'm thinking it needs a fresh look with a white coat of paint! I usually spray paint the handles a contrasting metallic color, but I kind of like how these add an unique texture to the piece. 

While personally not a huge fan of the chicken wire, the painting technique on this china cabinet is very unique! It brings a more casual feel to an otherwise formal structure. 

Besides of course loving the detail on this chest, I also love this Mr & Mrs sign! 

We also visited Denmark's Furniture in Brooklet which has the Magnolia Home/Fixer Upper line of home furnishings. We loved these looks! 

It wouldn't have been a trip to the furniture store without testing out almost every recliner in the "recliner world." I'm not sure that we'll be incorporating this piece any time soon! 

CJM Creates

My sweet husband is so talented. He's brilliant in so many ways, but there is a creative streak in him that comes out in the most unique ways. Besides being one of only two bagpipers I know {his precious grandfather being the other}, he's developed quite a knack for woodworking in the last few years.

He started out making coasters out of wood from his family's abandoned saw mill, and has upgraded to making larger pieces like coffee tables. We constantly dream of having our first house with a space for him to make even bigger things. We would love to build a live edge dining room table, extra long, with room for all our family and friends.


I love the "rustic chic" look inspired in part by everyone's favorite Fixer Upper show. His talents definitely lend to that look. Here's a few pieces I've pinned to the ultimate "honey-do list" Pinterest board, CJM Creates.




Prepare 2017

Well hello, 2017. Ten days later, and finally getting around to a "new year" blog post. Oops. No excuses other than an amazingly busy start to the year which is clearly going to be setting the tone for the months to come.

I spent a lot of time the week before January 1 thinking about this next year. It'll see us celebrating our first year of marriage, Christopher's first full year as a pharmacist, and many more milestones. In some ways I was worried that after the wedding, things would just become kind of blah. That's definitely not going to be the case!

Instead of setting resolutions for the new year, I know a lot of people focus on an all-encompassing word the focus their minds and actions, which seemed right up my ally. I'm very futuristic, and focus a lot of my time on planning...everything. From what I'm going to wear each day of the week, to when I'm taking my next trip, or going to work on the blog, it's a never ending calendar and checklist of things going through my head.

Sometimes that can seem negative, but I'm trying to focus that energy into something positive. That introduces my word for 2017: prepare. I love being prepared. I hate being caught off guard. As much as I enjoy surprises, I don't like to be surprised by a problem or a situation that I don't feel comfortable tackling immediately. This part of myself, this resistance or fear or whatever it is, can be refined through preparation.

I also want to prepare my heart and my family. Christopher and I don't see each other every day, but that doesn't mean that I don't want to prepare to be the best wife, housekeeper, cook, laundry person, etc. I want to prepare my home to be ready for guests, and to be enjoyable for us to spend time together. I want to prepare my heart to love my husband and my family in the most Christ-like way I can. I need to prepare time for friends and investing in relationships around me. I pray for a warmth and acceptance to flow from me to all those around me.

Yes, yes, this is probably the most "safe for a Type A person" word of the year. But it's practical and attainable. And is something that my heart craves. I'm so thankful for those of you coming on this ride of a lifetime with me in 2017!

"Be alert, stand firm in the faith, be brave and strong." -- 1 Corinthians 16:13