links + loves


How was your week? We’ve had sunshine ALL WEEK which makes me so happy. While it’s a bit warmer than my heart desires right now, this is still such a lovely place to live.

My kids are very excited about Halloween as they have been counting down the days since last week. We also picked out a time to go to a corn maze and do all the fall activities with the boys soon, so we’re all looking forward to that!

This week would have been the NC State Fair week. I’m sad that it was canceled, though I understand why. I cannot imagine the stress from the hundreds of people who rely on the state fair for the bulk of their income. This is a hard time in the world.

A few other links and loves. . . 

A great podcast about how to become an informed voter. Jasmine is easy to listen to and full of helpful information that she delivers from a very heartfelt place.

I used this tool this morning when I went to vote early. It shares the wait times for the different voting locations in my county, Wake County.

Such a beautiful Fall outfit on Amy!

Sarah shared a round-up of the best fake Christmas trees.

Did you catch my round-up of favorite movies?!

I listened to one of my favorite podcasts, “How I Built This” and they shared a fascinating episode about the McBride Sisters Wine. I haven’t listened to part 2 yet but if you want to hear a crazy story and be inspired, give it a listen!

Beautiful rooms inspired by Serena & Lily.

Cute Halloween crafts for kids.

I love these long-chain dangle earrings.

This is a much-adored sweater from Amazon at a great price. I have it in black and love wearing it with leggings!

I hope you have a nice, restful weekend!

My Favorite Movies


After talking about my favorite movies for years, I thought it was time to share an updated “Favorite Movies” list here on the blog. I will fully admit I have a unique taste in movies and have been the recipient of MUCH feedback regarding my choices over the years, but I stand behind the 5-star films I’m sharing on this list.

What can I say, I like what I like!

Great Movies

Cast Away – Honestly, it’s been a long time since I’ve watched this movie but I remember when I saw it being profoundly moved by Tom Hanks being the sole character in the vast majority of the movie. And the Wilson scene? I was a mess.

Titanic – Another long one like Cast Away, but one of the most iconic movies from my youth.

The Infiltrator – The drama of this movie had me on the edge of my seat! It involves drug content and stars one of my favorites, Bryan Cranston.

Whiplash – Not as many people are familiar with this movie but I’m telling you it is very intense to watch and there is a pretty crazy twist in it as well.

Adrift – This is one of those movies that goes a completely different direction than you imagined it would. It’s easy to watch, and great for a girls night in.

La La Land – I love Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling together and the musical nature of this movie made it fun and unique!

Lion – Deeply moving and emotional depiction of a man finding himself.

Only The Brave – I’m not sure a movie elicited a more emotional response from me than this one did.

Hotel Rwanda – It’s been a long time since I’ve watched this movie but I remember appreciating the fact that it was inspired by true events and I really love Paul Rusesabagina as an actor.

Good Will Hunting – “Do you like apples?”  (watch this movie and you’ll get it)

The Count of Monte Cristo – This movie highlights so many emotions of a human caught betrayal and revenge.

Forrest Gump – To me, this is just a feel-good movie with characters who you remember for a lifetime.

Shutter Island – This is twisty and a bit of a thriller, and it went a direction that totally shocked me!

Catch Me If You Can – I loved the time period this was shot in and was blown away that this was based on a true story!


Amanda’s Picks:

The Shawshank Redemption – This is my all-time favorite movie. From the acting to the writing to the overall story this is my big winner.

When Harry Met Sally – I will stop at this movie ANY time it’s on TV and it still makes me laugh, even though I’ve seen it a ton of times!

The Usual Suspects – I love a twisty psychological flick and this one really got me the first time I saw it.

The Princess Bride – Classic, smart, sweet, and timeless…tell me you’ve seen this one!?

Forrest Gump – I can’t believe I agree with Kate! Just kidding, we all know she’s got good taste. I remember being fascinated by this movie and its timeline. It was so fun to watch how the characters developed as the years went on.

The Hangover – This movie makes me giggle-happy and is wildly inappropriate…I love it! My favorite part will always be “Stu’s Tiger Song”.

The Breakfast Club – The characters and dialog in this film are just so well done. And the fact that it was filmed in such a limited location really impresses me. It also reminds me of all of the rest of the great movies of that time period (Sixteen Candles + Pretty in Pink to name a few).

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – For years every Christmas Eve my husband and I will put out Christmas presents, sit down and open a nice bottle of wine, and laugh hysterically at this crazy movie. Pure comedy gold!

Amelie – The music, imagery, colors, and the sweet story really stole my heart the first time I saw Amelie. It is a French movie with subtitles which only adds to the uniqueness of this flick.

Goodwill Hunting – I was so in love with all of these actors when this movie came out. Plus it made me want to visit Boston!

Love Actually – This is my guilty pleasure movie. It’s quite sweet and the way the story moves and intertwines all of the characters together is my kind of thing.

Rain Man – Confession: I actually didn’t watch this movie until I was in my 30s. Another confession: I’m not a huge fan of Tom Cruise (please don’t tell him) so I avoided watching Rain Man for a long time. But once I did I was so impressed! The toothpick scene is pretty cool.

Titanic – I guess epic is the word I’d use to describe Titanic. It may be cliche but I think it definitely belongs on my best-of list. I’ll never let go.

Scent of a Woman – Oh what can I say about Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman? His performance was stellar. I also grew up around blind people so it was great to see a pretty accurate portrayal of a blind man as the lead in a movie.

The Goonies – I may be aging myself but if you too were a kid in the ’80s then you know.

Thanks to Amanda’s list I have a few more movies that I need to add to my “Must Watch” note on my phone. Have you seen any of these that we suggested? 

A few hair products (and a blow-dry tool!) I’m enjoying from Sephora


I picked up a few fantastic products at Sephora recently, and my hair is so smooth and shiny because of them!

First of all, I finally used the “reserve in-store and pick up” feature on Sephora’s website and it was a breeze to get the exact products I was shopping for. While I typically just order online, the Sephora near me is open and I just love browsing their newest releases in the store. I reserved the Amika New York Minute Blow Dryer Brush Set as well as the Briogeo Detox + Restore Kit, but you can be sure that when I went to pick them up I added a few extra things to my order at the counter.

And listen, if you are planning on doing any shopping for anything at Sephora, sign up to be a Beauty Insider! It’s totally free and a way for you to earn points to use on a bunch of things, and learn about promotions and discounts. I’m sure it wouldn’t surprise you to learn that I’m a “Rouge” member, and I’m always amazed at how great the perks are for being a part of the Beauty Insider Program!

The Briogeo Detox + Restore Scalp Revival exfoliating shampoo and Don’t Despair, Repair! deep conditioning mask are two great products to incorporate into your routine in the cooler months. Drier, cooler hair means drier skin which can cause flaking on the scalp. And while it’s relatively easy to exfoliate your face or body, exfoliating your scalp is a bit harder. This exfoliating shampoo not only cleans your scalp, but it helps detox your hair from any leftover product or buildup.

Combining that with the deep conditioning mask is a perfect duo to reset your hair!

I’ve shared on Instagram Stories a bit that I’ve been searching for a blow-dry brush tool that doesn’t burn my hair dry like some of the other brands that I’ve tried. I love this tool in theory, but until the Amika version that I’ve started using recently, I didn’t feel comfortable because I found other blow-dry tools to be extremely hot and loud. The New York Minute Blow Dryer Brush kit is such a great deal for the blow-dry brush as well as two of Amika’s top products. I’ve been using the Anti-Humidity Spray for years and find that it makes a huge difference in the longevity of my style, and the Perk Up Dry Shampoo is another great product to use on day two and make your hair smell great.

When I wear my hair straight, I always focus a lot of attention on the ends. I hate dry looking ends, so the Virtue Healing Oil has become a product that is a part of my regular rotation these days. It’s light, hydrating, and helps seal my ends so they look a bit more nourished than they are. And the healing oil goes deeper than just making my ends *look* nicer, it contains Virtue’s proprietary hair-healing Alpha Keratin 60ku which helps strengthen and “fill in the holes” in damaged hair.

If you are looking for products to help soften, smooth, and nourish your hair, I’m sure that you’d enjoy any of the ones I’ve mentioned in this post! You can find them, and so much more, at Sephora and

This post was sponsored by Sephora.

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