Links + Loves (big news for our family!)

06
21

We’re moving! NEXT WEEK. We’re so excited and very busy with all the details that need to be arranged in order to get into the new place! This all happened at the end of May with a “30 day close” window so it feels quite fast but very exciting.

A few details are that we’re staying in Raleigh and moving into a “new to us” home that was built about 10 years ago or so. I’d call it my “dream home” as it has a beautiful wrap around front porch with a swing, and a wonderful backyard with space for the kids to play!

We have bittersweet feelings about leaving our current home. We love our cul-de-sac and neighbors, and the house served us well for the 3 years we were here. We’ve had to do a bit of fixing while we lived here (perhaps the curse of moving into a 20 year old home?) but I’m happy to say that it’s looking the best it’s ever looked as we put it on the market.

We’ll be listing it next week. On the off chance that you are perhaps looking for a home in the area, please send me an e-mail and I’ll be sure to send you more details about it. For security and safety reasons we aren’t sharing any information until we’ve moved out.

My plan is to slow posting a bit here on the blog at the beginning of July, though I will continue to post re-shares of popular posts on social channels. My office is one of the top priority rooms to get set up so I can jump back into things, but realistically I’ll make sure my kids are all settled before that!

On to other links & loves. . .

I shared a video earlier this week about the skincare I’ve been loving, you can click here to check it out!

A nice round up of cute swimwear under $100!

Cute easy sandals with a knot detail.

A very helpful post about shapewear by Caralyn!

I have a few of the Z Supply t-shirts but I’m thinking about adding a tank top or two into my summer wardrobe as well!

I made this lemon blueberry cake last weekend when my cousin came for a visit. The lemon flavor doesn’t overpower the blueberries and it’s a crowd-pleaser for kids and adults alike!

I hope you have a fantastic weekend!

Our Romantic Getaway to Biltmore

06
20

As I’m writing this, I’m reliving our time at Biltmore whilst thinking through my calendar for the rest of the year to see if we can get back there for another getaway. I’ll never be able to do it justice with a post, but I hope the beautiful photos and stories of our stay are enough to inspire you to visit.
Biltmore is so much more than a castle on a hill. The estate includes restaurants, a winery, multiple places to stay, miles of trails for walking or horseback riding, and adventure tours as well as behind-the-scenes house tours. On top of all there is to do and see, the gorgeous setting of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Asheville, North Carolina, makes it even better. It’s truly a wonderful mix of a relaxing, slow-paced, romantic getaway spot, while also being fun and exciting.

We arrived in the late afternoon, dropped our bags at our room at The Inn on Biltmore Estate, and headed straight downstairs to catch a shuttle over to the “Behind-the-Scenes” wine tour. Arriving at The Inn was pretty special and grabbing a quick glance at the view of the estate from our room was the beginning of the fascination we felt the entire time we were there.
The Winery tour was in Antler Hill Village, only a few minutes down the hill from The Inn. It’s a very quaint little area set up with restaurants and shopping, and great for enjoying the views. The tour allowed us to see the large containers where the wine is stored before it’s bottled, and we also learned the process involved in bottling a sparkling wine. It was pretty interesting to see the facility, the oak barrels that are shipped in from all over the world, and how the wines are set up before they head out into the shop. We tasted a few wines and I bought a few to take home.

After the tour, we needed to change for dinner. We started the trip with the finest dining experience in The Dining Room of The Inn. The service was truly outstanding and the food arrived at our table looking like a work of art.

 

The next morning we went to Biltmore House for our tour. Seeing it again reminded me of just how spectacular this home really is. The view from the backyard, the thought that the landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted put into framing the house with trees so it looked like a park but wouldn’t be blocked, and the reflecting pond at the base of the hill the house was seated on are just a few of the details that went into the production of this place. You can’t help but feel so incredibly small as you walk along the perfect lawn toward the front door.
George Vanderbilt constructed Biltmore House from 1889-1895 and lived here as a bachelor for 3 years, before he married Edith Dresser Vanderbilt, at age 33. George’s wealth was an inheritance from his grandfather, Cornelius “Commodore” Vanderbilt, who made a fortune in railroads and shipping back in the 1800s. George was referred to as “a man of leisure”, who traveled the world collecting fine-art, books, and furnishings to fill his home. 

 

As you walk through his home, you can see the detail and care in so many of the rooms. George’s personal library was enormous, with a secret entrance from the second floor so guests who stayed with him could wander down and grab a book from his collection if they desired.
There was a mixed feeling of extreme luxury and wealth with generosity and hospitality. There were large rooms on the second floor for guests to gather and relax in while they were staying there. The house conveys a clear message that it was designed for entertaining.
After our self-guided tour of Biltmore House, we ate lunch then got to experience a Rooftop Tour. We were able to see more behind the scenes in the home before we ventured out onto the roof. I’d say that a behind-the-scenes tour is completely worth it because you learn so many interesting facts about George and how he lived in his home.

We ate a casual dinner on the veranda at The Inn, looking out onto the rolling hills while watching the sunset. It was so peaceful, and the mountains provided a cool breeze that was much enjoyed by Justin and I.

The following morning we explored the grounds on Outriders, electric, off-road tricycles that can reach about 20 mph. Not only was it so much fun, especially when we got to hit the “turbo mode” button, but it was a wonderful way to experience the trails and vast surroundings of Biltmore’s 8,000-acre estate. I imagined being a guest at the home back in the early 1900s. We’d probably be on horses instead of tricycles, but we’d be exploring the exact same grounds!

Of all the things we were able to experience during our stay, the tour on the Outriders was one of my favorites.
The entire estate is beautiful. It’s the perfect place to wander around and enjoy the slower pace. The food is outstanding, and the service was beyond what I could have imagined. I truly cannot recommend it enough.
Upon returning home, I told my parents that they must try to plan a visit in the fall. I, too, would love to return as I feel like we only scratched the surface of what Biltmore has to offer.

I’m so excited to share that I was given two Biltmore daytime admission tickets to give away to you! You can enter to win by commenting below and telling me what you’d be interested in doing during your visit. The winner will be chosen on Monday, June 24, 2019, and contacted via e-mail (so please make sure your correct e-mail address is included in the comment form). This giveaway is brought to you by Biltmore. 
This post was created in partnership with The Biltmore Company. All opinions are my own.

Slips + Shapewear

06
19

I’ve always been on the more conservative end when it comes to my wardrobe choices. If I find a dress that I love that may be little too thin for my comfort, I’ll just throw on a slip. To me, finding undergarments that work exactly like they should is almost more important than the clothing item itself!

I’ve worn my fair share of shapewear, specifically for my bottom half, and I’m rounding up a few favorites in today’s post. I also have some thoughts on favorite bras and sports bras as well!

One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Nine

 

When it comes to slips, I have a full dress length slip, as well as a skirt slip. I tend to wear the skirt slip more, especially when I’m wearing a white summer dress. Sometimes when the sun shines right through the back of a white dress it can be like shining x-ray vision!

If I’m wearing a more fitted dress, I’ll choose some sort of shaping shorts. I love these from Spanx because the fabric is silky which prevents other fabrics from sticking to it. So, your jersey or cotton dress just grazes the shapewear like it would your actual skin.

If I’m wearing a white tank that is too see-through for my taste, I’ll throw on this silky tank from Target. No other fabrics stick to it, and it’s easy to tuck into your shorts or pants so you can barely tell it’s there.

Oftentimes in the summer, though, I’ll wear this bra if I’m wearing a sheer white top. It’s like wearing absolutely nothing, in the best way possible. It’s the only bra I wear on travel days and I’m so glad that they make a skinnier strap option now!

When it comes to underwear, my favorites are the hipster by Sloggi.

p.s. Looking for a white dress? You may like this post! 

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