weekend recap

Weekend Recap

Weekends are such a beautiful thing to me, and I am sure that most of you hold the same sentiments. Friday though Sunday is a time of rest and refreshment for my soul. I love that the Lord established patterns of rest in our lives like weekends, holidays, and the change of seasons. He new that we needed rest, and often time we (I am talking to myself here) will not take rest seriously unless we are at rock bottom or are forced to stop. So...all that to say I am deeply thankful for the weekend, and this one was no exception.

Ben and I went on a little Starbucks date Friday night to just spend time with one another. Life has become so busy for us during this season of grad school, part time jobs, and being knee deep in a new church plant. I have found it is very easy for us to do what I call "co-existing". We just walk through our days, talk about what happened, work on stuff around the house (or stare at the TV) and then hit the bed wearily before rising again and starting the cycle over. Sometimes this happens and we find ourselves having to fight to really see each other. So this weekend we stepped away, left Piper at home and went on a coffee date. 

We reminisced about the very first conversation we ever had, and how it was over coffee (and lasted 5-6 hours, and we were kicked out of the coffee shop as they closed and had to relocate our conversation). We walked around MSU's campus and snuck into one of our favorite buildings that has recently been renovated. It was a great night. 

Saturday I had to work of course, but came home to a family nap sesh, and lots of time on the couch with my pup and my husband. I was able to scroll through Pinterest guilt free and enjoy simply being still which was wonderful. 

My boss sent us all home with big bags of apples that needed to be used. We make a caramel apple biscuit at the shop but the apples wont be good through the next week so she gave them all to us. YAY! So last night I made apple pie biscuits from the Baking Bootcamp Challenge by Joy the Baker. They were pretty good, and I have plans to make apple pie or crisp, apple cider, and maybe even some apple sauce with these bad boys!

Oh, and I almost forgot...I AM ATTENDING THE INFLUENCE CONFERENCE NEXT YEAR! Can you tell I am a tad bit excited? The tickets went on an early bird sale yesterday and the sale ends tonight at midnight. I simply cannot wait to attend this amazing conference. (It will be on my 25th birthday weekend!!!) YAY! Anyone else going to be there next year for sure?

How was your weekend friend? 


Our weekends have taken on a new look since I have begun working on Saturdays. This has been quite the adjustment, and I am not going to lie, it has been pretty tough at times. But one thing Ben and I are trying really hard to do is to be intentional with the little time we have together on the weekends. This past weekend was awesome, yes I had to work from 6am-3pm...but we had the best time together Saturday and Sunday. Here are some snapshots from our weekend!

ONE. coffee straight from a french press with Ben. Mornings are my favorite, and that has been a big adjustment to leaving before Ben most mornings. So times that we can enjoy slow cups of coffee while cuddling under a blanket are cherished much more these days. 

TWO. date nights in Columbus. Hobby Lobby just had its grand opening in Columbus, which is about 30 miles away, so we drove over and wandered through the store for an hour. We brainstormed projects and crafts, and future home decor...it was so much fun. We also spent some time in a book store, and I just swooned over these cookbooks. The recipes inside were gorgeous, and so simple with great ingredients. Pretty sure I have decided to start collecting cookbooks. 

THREE. starbucks. We just recently got a Starbucks in Starkville, so it is still brand new, and makes Ben and I feel like we are out of town when we step inside to get a treat. It was the perfect way to kick off our date night. 

FOUR. fresh street bread. I love baking homemade bread, and I get giddy every single time I remove the dutch oven lid to such a beautiful sight. Bread is pretty magical don't you think? 

FIVE. notes from a blue bike. This is the book that my Influence Network small group is reading, and I am loving it. It has had me rethinking how fast we live, and what we put in our bodies. Living with more intention, and trying to rid ourselves of the American fast-paced culture is going to be hard, but sweet I believe. 

SIX. piper. Doesn't she look like a little angel? Weekends with a pup are the best, and this little girl is just the cutest. 

How was your weekend? 

It feels good to give grace - love this so much. 
Shortbread Cookies - totally craving these little guys! 
Are you ready to stay married? - great thoughts on marriage after the big wedding! 


4th of July + Thoughts on Withdawing

This weekend was one for the books you guys. So many sweet memories were made. We kicked off the weekend with a fun date night Thursday night, and it was full speed ahead from there! Ben took me to my favorite little downtown restaurant for some yummy chocolate cheesecake, and then we watched a movie at home, and cuddle with little Piper girl. It was so fun, and such a needed time together!

Friday we got up early, made homemade blueberry lemon sweet rolls(remember I told you I was craving them last week?), and began our 4th of July. We went to the refuge for the morning, and had so much fun letter Piper run around. The refuge is a big wildlife reserve a few miles away from Starkville, and it is just the perfect place to relax and get away. 

Self timer pictures with a puppy cause lots of giggles. We finally got a few good shots, but not until after many ones like these above. Friday we grilled stuffed burgers, and had loads of watermelon. We watched fireworks, and then crashed hard. Saturday was spent working on projects, and cleaning up around the house. 

So seriously it was the best weekend. I think another reason why I enjoyed it so much is because I had decided on Wednesday of last week to just take some time to withdraw. First things first, I am a TOTAL extrovert. I get my energy from people, and so when it comes to withdrawing, I really do not enjoy it. I hate being alone for long periods of time, and really do not require "me" time. BUT..."But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray." Luke 5:16 Jesus withdrew. 

So this past weekend starting on Thursday I just signed off social media. I deleted my Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook apps on my phone, and did not look at them all weekend. For me this was a way to withdraw, and to stop, slow down time, and press into my here and now. I often find myself with my nose in my phone, halfheartedly listening to Ben talk, absorbed in the media world. Don't get me wrong, as a blogger, there is totally a time for social media, but it must be held into check. 

So I have decided to more actively set aside time to withdraw. I want to be present in my day to day life, and relish the gifts the Lord has given me like blue skies with no clouds, loud fireworks that you feel in your chest, watermelon dripping down my fingers, and the smell of burgers on the grill. (all of these are from my gratitude journal). 

Withdrawing helps to clear the skies in our life, slow down time, and it helps us to live fully in the everyday "mundane" moments! 

How was your 4th of July? I would love to hear about your fun holiday traditions! 

The Cutest Bracelets in all the Land

Happy new week friends! How was your weekend? We had a super fun first weekend with our little Piper girl. As if you guys have not picked up on this already, I love having a puppy! Piper has been a handful, but already in less than a weeks time has gotten so much better. This weekend we took her on a picnic by Eckie's Pond on Mississippi State's campus, she LOVED it. We let her off her leash for a little while, which ended in her jumping in to the pond. So, later that night she had her first bath, and did not love it but she was good and let us get her all clean! 

Saturday, we went to the Farmer's Market, and walked the whole way! It was the best Piper has done on the leash yet, and then she was the talk of the town at the market. Everyone loved her, and I don't think she really minded...she eats up attention from other people. We are working on control in the friendliness area! 

It was a great weekend, full of fun memories made with our little one. Yesterday we went to Jackson for Ben's grandmothers 90th birthday party! It was great to see family and have everyone meet Piper for the first time! Check out more posts about this ball of fur here, and here!

Alright enough about Piper and our weekend, onto the real reason for this post! JEWELRY! A good family friend from my hometown in Georgia has started her own small business selling the CUTEST bangle bracelets you have ever seen! She contacted me about reviewing her bracelets, and I was more than happy to get my hands on some  of these beauties and to share them with you! Meet Southern Glow Bangles!
All of these bangles are handmade by Jessica, and can be made for adults or little ones! They are great quality and so pretty! 

I do not wear a ton of jewelry, especially bracelets. But, when I got my bangles in the mail, I fell in love. The one that I chose was a simple gold band with clear stones, and it is precious. It is subtle enough that I can feel confident wearing it even though I hardly wear bracelets. It is very elegant and would be great to dress up an outfit or to pair with something casual!

These bracelets would make awesome gifts! They are affordable, and so trendy right now! The best thing is that they are not age specific. These can be given to little girls, moms, your best friend, sister or in laws! Such a versatile and affordable gift is so worth the money spent, and you are supporting a stay at home mom who is using her creative gifts to bless others! Whoop, win, win, win in my book!

So because I am so obsessed with these bangles, and because Jessica I super generous I am giving one away to one lucky lady! This gorgeous turquoise cross bangle will go so wonderfully with so many things, and is the perfect piece to bring a little pop of color to your summer outfits! Enter below and remember to play fair, all entries will be verified! 

Check out my sweet sponsor this month, Madison of The Wetherills Say I Do!

Encouraging our Husbands (Guest Post)

Good Morning Friends! I hope your weekend was restful and filled with joy like ours. We had Ben's whole family in town for his sister's graduation, and it was such a celebration! She graduated with honors, AND a 4.0! Way to go Rachel (yes, we have the same name) We are so proud of you!!

I am looking forward to this new week for so many reasons...It is a fresh start, I have an awesome giveaway coming up on Wednesday that you can be a part of while helping someone else, and next Sunday is our one year wedding anniversary! Great week ahead! Today I am actually blogging over at A Harvest of Blessing today, about being an encouragement to your hubby. Make sure and check it out!!

Also, I wanted to take a minute this morning to introduce you to one of my sweet sponsors this month!

Meet Amber of Half Pint Prints! I "met" Amber through Instagram, and just fell in love with her Etsy shop. Her prints are beautiful and I now have several hanging up in our home! Her products are well made, unique, and perfect for gifts, happy mail, and gallery walls! Please go check it out! Now for a few fun questions for Amber:

What are you craving right now? 
Right now I'm craving sunlight and warm weather. I live in Northern Indiana and it's been a hard, long and cold winter this year. We had almost triple the amount of snow this winter than normal. I'm looking forward days at the beach with my little guys and evenings on the porch swing with my man drinking glasses of sweet tea. 

What are you reading?
This is so unexciting right now. Currently I'm reading Dobson's Bringing Up Boys. I grew up in a family of all girls...and boys are WAY different. Add a strong willed boy to the mix and some nights I go to bed wondering what I could have done different for the day. Summer is rolling around and when it does, it's prime reading time in our household. This is when I usually break out Pride & Prejudice. I reread it every summer. It's my all time favorite. My man may not want to read the book, but this is one he'll sit down and watch the movie with me (Colin Firth version preferred).

How would you describe your ideal day?
My ideal day would be waking up and having a nice cup of coffee followed by the best donuts ever from Rise n' Roll Bakery. I'm a total homebody, so I'd probably spend the morning playing in the yard with my boys or riding bikes on the trails. I would do some reading on the hammock. We'd have our family over for a cookout and some evening board games. I like to keep busy, but I also like the busyness to be with my family or friends.

Instagram // Etsy // Facebook  

Thanks so much for sponsoring me Amber! You are a joy to know! :) 

Some post you may have missed: 

Other GREAT reads:

Check out my sweet sponsor this month, Jenni of Frankly My Dear!

The Best Weekend Ever!

Do you ever have one of those weekend's that your heart is just so full when it comes to Sunday evening? Well that was this weekend. It was so great. Ben and I drove to Hernando, MS (where Ben's family lives) and he stayed there Friday night while I went on to Memphis, TN for my sweet friend's bachelorette party!

We had a blast! We enjoyed a great dinner on a riverboat cruise rolling down the Mississippi River. It was such a joy to celebrate sweet Lesley, and her upcoming marriage!

Cannot wait for June to celebrate this lady becoming a wife! Saturday I woke up and drove to meet one of my blog friends for coffee! (this is on my 101 in 1001 list). I was so excited to finally meet Lauren of Sincerely, Lo face to face and enjoyed sharing each our hearts about marriage, baby fever, and ministry! Cannot wait to see you again soon!
(small and blurry iPhone pic, please excuse the quality)

The weekend kept getting better. After this I drove back to my in laws house and celebrated my youngest brother in laws birthday! We went bowling, out for pizza and had the best ice cream cake ever! I am so thankful to be married into such an incredible family! 

Also, fun fact. I have the same name as my sister in law pictured above...Rachel Cox, and Rachel Cox. :) Name twins for life...or until Rachel number 2 gets married! haha

With it being Mother's Day also, we had a great weekend with Ben's family. I am so thankful for my mom who has always loved me so unconditionally and now for a mother in law who loves me like one of her own!

Overall, best weekend ever! How was your weekend?

Check out my sweet sponsor this month, Jenni of Frankly My Dear!