A Year in Review

I don’t even know how to begin.

How does one begin to explain all that happened in the year 2020? In all honesty, 2020 was a tough year for us all, but so much good came from the year that I can’t help but be thankful–even in the midst of the chaos that surrounds us all.

I think spending some time in reflection will do some good for my heart and soul–for reflection promotes growth. I want nothing more than to grow from my experiences in 2020.

Here goes nothing…

Untold Secrets

January 2020

My year started off in celebration of my 31st birthday. After Charlie’s death in December, I needed a break–so I planned a trip to Orlando in much need of friendship and sunshine.

Without getting into too many details, in January, I was told some things that broke my heart. These things would wreck my perception of some loved ones in my life–leaving me to battle things I never thought I would have to face, taking months of prayer and devotions to forgive those who hurt me.

My deepest insecurities came to surface along with the secrets held, leaving me to seek truth in Gods word–CHOOSING not to believe the lies within the depths of darkness.

Friends, the power of forgiveness is so great and we must not let hurt overcome love.

New Beginnings

February 2020

Lilli celebrating her 6th birthday with a Frozen themed birthday party–with close family and friends.

I loved nothing more than celebrating this one in February. Lilli is such a freakin’ joy to be around and we had the best time celebrating her life on her birthday.

Along with her birthday, she also went to her first daddy daughter dance!! After the dance, David told her they could go anywhere for dinner that night–and in true Lilli fashion, she chose McDonalds! She loves her chicken nuggies.

Our First Pandemic

March 2020

This month, everything started to shut down, schools started closing, and life as we know it–would change for the unforeseeable future.

I went into work for the last time that school year March 17, 2020–fully expecting to return several weeks later. Little did I know, e-learning would continue for the remainder of the year. Not only did I have to attend work everyday–online of course, Lilli was near the end of her Kindergarten year. Along with teacher my own students, I was also responsible for teaching my daughter at home.

I loved nothing more than staying home with my kiddos but this was most certainly a very trying time. With David at work most days, my family living in Tennessee, I had to quickly learn how to manage our new normal.

My Creative Outlet

To add onto my stress, I decided to create a creative outlet–sparking my desire to begin making our SPEC home a little more our own. My first project was our foyer.

Our Foyer: Before

Our Foyer: After

To wrap up the month of March, I bought my dream mom car–A Toyota 4Runner! Nothing like a little shopping to bring a little joy to my life!

April 2020

I dove into a couple more projects in April, one being replacing all the mirrors and light fixtures in our master bathroom. I loved every second of it and I will never tire of a good transformation.

May 2020

The kiddos and I spent a lot of time outside, enjoying each other, and embracing the South Carolina sunshine. I also spruced up the guest bathroom downstairs with a new mirror–which completely made a difference to the bathroom.

Downstairs Bathroom: Before

Downstairs Bathroom: After

Mother’s Day Surprise

For Mother’s Day, David surprised me with flying my sister up from Florida. It was the best surprise! We spent some quality time together and my sister even let me give her a much needed haircut (or should I day dread cut), lol!

End of Kindergarten

Even though Lilli’s first year of school will go down in the record books as the most unique year of learning, we were happy for the potential of 1st grade, and super excited to live up the summer time!

Here are some pictures that sum up our May in 2020 pretty darn well!

June 2020 & July 2020

We spend so much time in the sun, sweating and soaking up all the vitamin D! Our 4th of July was also spent with one another, with no trip to the ER this time–Jonah gave us quite the scare last 4th of July!

Laundry Room Project

I ended the summer with my favorite project of them all! The laundry room needed some creativity and I could not be happier with the results. Check out the before and afters–it looks like an entirely different space!

August 2020

What a stressful month! We received word that school would be starting on a phased in plan…although I would go back to work full time–minus Fridays (for full e-learning days), Lilli would only be attending school one day a week.

Mommy had a brain fart and misspelled Doctor 😉

Eventually we would be phased in for two days a week, then four days a week, and finally five–but finding child care for Lilli, working full-time while teaching her her 1st grade online work was NO walk in the park.

We also enrolled Lilli in the Center of Excellence program at our local soccer club to expose her to my favorite sport, yes (haha), but also to help her make new friends in the craziness of the world and all the new restrictions placed upon society.

Meanwhile, Jonah did go back to school–his first day of Pre-K 4.

September 2020

School and soccer are in full swing! Life is crazy busy but we love every minute of it!

October 2020

Happy Halloween! We are so thankful for friends and the best neighbors in a time of lonliness and isolation. We carved pumpkins at Elizabeth’s house and had the best time!

November 2020

David and I took a trip to Idaho Springs, CO for our anniversary! I was not sure how everything would go in the midst of the pandemic, etc. but it was a nice getaway and a great change of scenery. See my blog post on the trip if you want a complete breakdown of our experience in Colorado.

The day after we got back, it was Jonah’s birthday! We didn’t do anything special but it was still so fun celebrating our boy and waking him up with balloons and some toys to open!

Lilli also lost her first tooth and I could not be more excited for her but also feeling lots of emotions watching my baby girl grow up so fast!

December 2020

With the new year approaching, we spent the month of December decorating our house for Christmas and getting ready to spend some much needed time off with our family and friends. David and I wanted to cut down a tree with the kiddos–had the best time doing it, and Davids parents decided to stay in SC for the holiday’s so we spent several days in each others company, celebrating the birth of Jesus, eating good food, and drinking amazing wine!

Takeaways

With all the divisiveness that surrounds us all, lets find reasons to come together–celebrating our differences and embracing them.

I look at my children and crave a better world for them. Since I am one person, I know I can not solve all of the problems of the world, but I know kindness and love start at home. I am thankful for a year that allowed me to spend this time with them. I will never take it for granted.

2020, you were a crazy wild year. You started off pretty freaking rough but I am thankful for all the memories. I will forever cherish every one of them.

2021, lets see what you have in store for us.

The Gadabouter

Nordstrom Sale

Shop Here

I spent a little time New Years Eve perusing Nordstrom–because well, COVID…and this momma did not have a whole lot going on. Last night, we stayed home and I enjoyed every minute of it. 2020 was a lot of things, but for me, it was an amazing year I got to spend with my two blessings–four if you include my pups Winston and McQueen.

I linked all the items above–below the roundup picture, but I will also list them here, one by one, so you can see how cute each find really is!

I wish you all a very happy New Year and I hope 2021 is full of nothing but LOVE and BLESSINGS to you and your family.

Quay Australia Blue Light Glasses
Tie Dye Vans
Ugg Platform Sneakers
Nike Air Max’s
Adidas Sneakers

Shop all items here.

Happy Shopping and Happy New Year!!!

The Gadabouter

Mystic Tree Farm

Mystic Tree Farm is a family-owned and operated business that has been providing quality Christmas trees, handmade garlands, and wreaths since 1983. Set on 30 acres of beautiful farmland, they provide a wide variety of products that will appeal to any style or decor.  They focus their efforts on providing you a fun, stress-free, and friendly shopping experience that will have you coming back year after year!

This was the second time we bought our tree at Mystic Tree Farm and we LOVED every minute of it. We arrived on the farm at about 11 AM on Black Friday. The Farm was pretty pack, but the employees at the farm were expecting the large crowds and handled everything efficiently and professionally. All farm workers followed CDC guidelines but did not shy away from helping visitors finding their perfect Christmas tree.

This year, they had a Train Ride for kids, Pop’s Kettle Corn Co, and The Rollin’ Doughnut.

Along with the various venders they had on property, the tree farm has various trees for your family to choose from. There is something so special about picking your tree, cutting it down, and taking it home to decorate.

Types of Trees on Property

Carolina Sapphire, Blue Ice, Virginia Pine, Leyland Cypress, White Pine, and Fraiser Fir.

The kids decided on a Leyland Cypress–they thought it was the perfect fit for our family. I personally wanted the Fraiser Fir, as they are the most distinctive type of Christmas Tree–especially known for their aroma! The one plus side about the Leyland Cypress is that they do not shed!

Overall, the kids had an absolute blast, and it was a great experience. As long as we are still living in the Greenville, SC area, Mystic Farms is our place–we will be back!

The tree the kids picked looks great in our home and we had a blast putting all of our family ornaments on the tree. Even though I still can’t believe it is Christmas time already, I am so happy its here.

Lilli and her daddy handing ornaments

Our Mystic Tree Farm Experience in 2017 made us come back–for the second time, and I am so glad we did!

Mystic Farm Information

Address: 9029 Old White Horse Road Greenville SC 29617
Email: mystictreefarm.com

Tel: 864-380 7636

Hours of Operation:

Monday – Saturday: 10AM – 7PM

Sunday: 12PM – 6PM

Thanksgiving 10AM – 2PM

The Gadabouter

Idaho Springs, CO

Where the Gold Rush Started

It has been ages since I last posted on here and I am happy to be back.

Life as we all know it has changed dramatically since COVID and I have felt that change in all aspects of life.

David and I had several trips planned, as you know–to Jamaica (canceled) and Mexico (canceled as well), and we felt like with everything going on, we needed to still get away. Even though Colorado was not the tropical destination we were originally planning for, it still served its purpose, and was incredibly refreshing.

Trip Breakdown

We flew out of Charlotte–direct flight to Denver, CO. Flying with Frontier for the first time, I would strongly recommend finding other flight options as Frontier was below par. You ultimately get what you pay for…as our flight over to Denver for both David and myself was around $180 (including our checked bag). The flight attendants were incredibly rude and the seats extremely uncomfortable–for a longer flight.

When we arrived to Denver, we took a shuttle to our rental car company, SIXT.

I have not heard too much about this rental car company, however, I got a great deal on Priceline–I like to live life on the edge I guess 😉

Sixt is amazing! We were met by the nicest agent who upgraded us to a 4-wheel drive (as when I got the rental car originally, it was not expected to snow). We ended up with a Volvo S90–which was beautiful and worked wonderfully in the mountains/snow. I will be renting a car from them in the future!

Volvo S90

The car was 4 wheel drive and incredibly beautiful. Since David and I both drive a truck and an SUV (4-Runner) the car was incredibly low for us and a little bit of an adjustment.

Our First Lunch Spot in Denver

Annie’s Cafe and Bar

David and I both truly loved the atmosphere and quirkiness of this location. The food was affordable AND delicious. David got a brisket and I got the patty melt and ohhh boy, it hit the spot. Even though we weren’t in the mood for breakfast, this restaurant serves it all day. Yes, please!!

After lunch, we walked around downtown Denver. Walking around and seeing how much has changed since our last visit in 2016, I was disheartened! Lots of places had been shut down–as COVID prevented sales, which caused many business to close their doors. Store fronts were boarded up from the recent protests. Overall, I wanted to escape the city of Denver, so we headed straight to our final destination: Idaho Springs.

Our Air BnB

Click the title above for a direct link to the property site

I found our little cottage on AirBnB. When I saw the property for the first time, I think my jaw literally hit the floor. I love the simplicity within the design and I also loved the backyard stream/creek and privacy the property provided. Downtown is about 5-7 minutes away from the cabin, and there are quite a few food and shopping stores to visit.

The Space

This cabin is very chic & modern, and has several fun games & books. It is small at approximately 330 sqft.

The outdoor view is incredible and serene.

There is a small kitchenette for cooking, with a Keurig for coffee & tea, microwave, plugin cook plate, pots and pans, mugs, minimal dishes & flatware, and refrigerator in the pantry.

4 wheel drive is NOT required to access the cabin, parking is directly in front.

Drawbacks

The cabin is REALLY small and quaint. If you want space, this is not the place for you. It has a small inside space (330 sq. feet) but the outside space/view does make up for it.

The bed, although comfortable, it super small for two grown adults. If you are used to sleeping on a king sized bed like we are, it will be a little bit of an adjustment.

The price is somewhat steep…currently the property is listed at $239 a night. There are no refunds given by the host–it is a commitment if this is the place you want to stay.

Cell phone service is non-existent, however, great WiFi does allow you to stay connected while on vacation.

Pictures of the Property

Our First Dinner Spot in Idaho Springs

Clear Creek Cidery & Eatery

This place was freakin’ awesome. Even though the service was a little on the slower side, we loved the vibe of the restaurant and all the creative entrees they provided…let us not forget about the CIDER. I was in heaven with their Pineapple Cider. I got the most delicious salad–as I was still somewhat stuffed from our lunch, and David got the Bacon Macaroni and Cheese.

Ciderhaus Salad: mixed greens, tomatoes, onions, carrots, sliced apples, goat cheese, house-cider vinaigrette & grilled chicken $17.00

Our Breakfast Spot

The Main Street Restaurant

We freakin’ loved this place we went there two days in a row for breakfast. Everyone was incredibly friendly and service was quick and efficient. Everything was made in house, including all their breads–not to mention their fresh squeezed orange juice.

Outfit Breakdown

Since it was snowing and very cold, I brought what I could–this Florida girl who lives in South Carolina doesn’t have very many cold weather options. I have link all the outfits in my LIKEtoKNOW.it profile.

Travel Outfits

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

https://www.liketoknow.it/ltk/2xaPf2NqeQaoZhcdckxXh1

If you have made it this far, thanks for reading about our little adventure. If you have any questions, leave a comment and I will get back to you 🙂

I hope you all have the BEST Thanksgiving.

The Gadabouter

Kirkland’s Outdoor Summer Sale

Pillows & Poufs

Some of My Favorites

Sale Breakdown

There are so many cute finds at Kirklands. Every time I go there, I seem to find something “I need” for my house. Okay, okay, it might not be a need, but when I find a #bargain, it is so hard to pass up. Kirklands rarely ever does a 50% of sale, so when I got the email, I had to put some stuff together ASAP!

This weekend (6/27-6-28/2020) they also have a 15% off coupon a regular priced item. Code is SUMMER 15.

Shop outdoor pillows & poufs here.

Shop outdoor furniture and accessories here.

I hope you can find something you like & something that works for your space!

Happy Shopping,

The Gadabouter

Amazon 4th of July

Product Links

Oh my word, you guys–it has been a WHILE since I have posted on here. Boy, have I missed writing on my blog.

Things have been a little crazy in the Wilson household. Not bad crazy, just crazy crazy. I am sure some of you all are experiencing the same type of crazy during these times.

With everything going on, I felt compelled to somewhat get back to normal, and normal for me means writing and providing you all with some super awesome finds–if I must say so myself.

I will make sure to link everything below! Just made sure to click on the link attached to the picture and voila–you will have access to the clothing and accessories I think would make a great addition to your 4th of July wardrobe.

I am not sure what all of you have planned for this 4th of July, however, I think it is important to come together to celebrate the official birth of this nation. Whether you celebrate alone with your family, or together with some close friends or neighbors, let us COME TOGETHER to celebrate the country we call home. HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!! **cue the fireworks! 😉

Here are some close up’s of my Amazon finds 🙂

Click here to shop!!

Which are your favorites?! Happy shopping and Happy 4th of July!

The Gababouter

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Anddddd just like that, Mother’s Day is right around the corner. With Mother’s Day approaching on May 10th, I wanted to compile a list of options for you all to look through and shop for your Mama’s.

I think it is always important to think about a unique gift that is special in some way. So with that being said, I wish I knew what your Mama wants, needs, or some of your sweet inside jokes–since I don’t, I tried coming up with some gifts that any Mama might like.

Let me know if there are any other ideas you think I should add to the gift guide. Everything I chose, I tried to think of affordable options.

I hope you all are happy, well, and healthy!

HAPPY SHOPPING!!! (<– Click link to shop)

The Gadbouter

This or That: New Balance Edition

Hey guys! I hope you are all well, happy, and healthy! This week, instead of outfits, I decided to do some shoes instead. I don’t know what it is about shoes these days, but man, having options makes this mama happy. Having options that are also comfortable also makes this mama happy!

I found this amazing website that has some amazing New Balance shoes for great prices. I think you guys will agree once I link them below.

If there is anything you want to recommend for next weeks This or That, make sure you leave a comment below!

Click the individual shoe pictures below to shop ❤

Happy Shopping,

The Gadabouter

I will review the shoes in order to how you see them pictured above!

Women's 997H

Women’s 997H

WOMEN’S LIFESTYLE SHOES

$30.00

Women's 997H

Women’s 997H

WOMEN’S LIFESTYLE SHOES

$62.99

Women's 997H Mystic Crystal

Women’s 997H Mystic Crystal

WOMEN’S LIFESTYLE SHOES

$30.00

Women's FuelCell Echo

Women’s FuelCell Echo

WOMEN’S RUNNING SHOES

$60.00

Women's FuelCell Echo

Women’s FuelCell Echo

WOMEN’S RUNNING SHOES

$60.00

Women's 997H Mystic Crystal

Women’s 997H Mystic Crystal

WOMEN’S LIFESTYLE SHOES

$35.00

Women's 997 Sport

Women’s 997 Sport

WOMEN’S LIFESTYLE SHOES

$76.99

Women's 247

Women’s 247

WOMEN’s LIFESTYLE SHOES

$40.00

This or That: Style and Comfort Part II

I can’t believe everything that is going on right now, not only in our country, but also around the world. I remember watching CNN 10 with my students when the Corona Virus was taking over China, and I thought–man I can’t believe a virus could shut down an entire city, disrupting lives in such a Hollywood movie kind of way. Never did I think, or expect, that this virus would make its way to our country to the point where we are social distancing, working from home, and doing our parts to decrease the number of people who become infected.

Sitting here, while my kiddos are watching Disney, I can’t help but feel thankful for this time with them, but my heart also goes out to all those people–around the world, who have experienced the loss of a loved one.

As Americans are trying to navigate this new normal, most of us are having to work from the confines of our homes. I think, like I mentioned in my previous blog post, it is so important to get up and get ready–as if you were getting ready for work. Something about getting ready allows a sense of accomplishment and allows room for a productive working mentality.

So, as I sit here, writing this blog post in my PJ’s (thinking about what comfy outfit I am going to wear today), I am going to link two more style and comfort outfits that will hopefully add some style and comfort in your life.

http://liketk.it/2Mjq6

This Outfit

I love how simple this outfit is. I chose a crop top with some super soft and comfy joggers (with an elastic band). I don’t know about you, but this outfit screams comfort to me. I also added some STEVE MADDEN Golden Goose dupes that are trending right now. They have great reviews come naturally distressed.

That Outfit

I am a little biased and LOVE this outfit. I chose a Henley top to wear with some shorts. The perfect combination for working at home. I had to add my favorite pair of Birkenstock’s to bring the outfit together.

WHICH IS YOUR FAVORITE?!

Please let me know if there is anything I can do from afar to pray for you or your family! I hope you all stay well and healthy! Let’s get through this together by all doing our part to help those around us!

Happy Shopping,

The Gadabouter

This or That: Style & Comfort at Home

Hey everyone! Oh my word, what a crazy time it is to be alive. I have had an interesting two weeks. Between teaching full time online while taking care of my two kiddos, Lilli & Jonah full-time, I have had my hands full. I have wanted to blog so much…but with my lack of time, I haven’t been able to.

So without further ado, I want to present to you this weeks This or That: Style and Comfort at Home.

I have had to figure out some structure the past couple of weeks, as I am sure you have as well, with being home full-time. For a little while, I was finding that being in my PJ’s was so comforting, and now, I find that not getting ready in the morning puts me in some sort of funk (so to speak).

I have found that waking up, making my bed, washing my face, and getting dressed allows the opportunity to present myself to my day–“hello day, let’s get it done today.”

Let me know which outfit is your favorite. Both of these outfits scream Angie Wilson. I hope some of you guys like them too!

I hope you are well, healthy, and happy!

Happy shopping!

The Gadabouter

Shop the link below the picture or click here to shop.