With Style and a Little Grace: 2016

2016 Year in Review

*Pre-Christmas Dinner at Dauphins celebrating the new house with Henry's parents. 

Hello All ...... is anyone still there? Ha I kid.... but really I have been the worst blogger and there truly might not be anyone reading. To be honest, the past three months were a constant blur of travel and perpetual go. We literally haven't even unpacked everything from our move and I just hung things on the walls yesterday. Finally moving into our first home is  amazing and I feel like I should not complain, because we have wanted it for so long but it is also a gigantic pain in the bum. Life has been completely insane, as you can probably tell from my dwindling of posts from basically June to the end of the year. 

If I am being honest I haven't really wanted to blog or be as present on social media, I can't pinpoint it exactly but I subconsciously took a step back.  It just became a bit exhausting. Too much comparison on my end and just too much stress for really no reason. I started blogging because I love writing and having this place to share what is going on in my life and all my favorite things. My favorite blogs are just the ones that talk about their week, family, meals, favorite new purchases, just the day to day fun.

 It just became this constant comparison to all these bloggers buying things constantly and just making me feel like I couldn't match up. We were trying to save money to buy a home and watching people constantly buy things was kind of bad for my psyche. I know this is all me but I am just explaining why I took a step back. I started to notice that all my favorite blogs are just constant ads now, which I understand they are doing so they can make money but it is just not what I love about blogs. I have even done a few ads myself. I like to see what they really love and the real life experience. The truth....... if this makes any sense at all. I probably will not edit this diatribe so please forgive any grammatical errors. I just want to go into 2017 and fully enjoy our journey and not constantly compare to others. I plan to stop looking at so many other blogs and just follow myself on this journey here. 

2016 was a wonderful year for our family but it definitely had it's bittersweet moments. We lost my amazing grandmother this year, my last living grandparent. I adored her and will miss her every single day. Henry and I both started new jobs in 2016 and that has been the biggest blessing ever! We bought a home, which was the most exciting and scary thing Henry and I have done. We scraped, painted, added recess lighting, and finally moved in.... the project list continues. It is our first home and it has been so much fun/exhausting pouring our blood sweat and tears into it. We went on some fun trips: New Orleans, Bald Head Island, The Grand Hotel ( basically all summer) so fun, Virginia and Athens for family Christmas. 

2016 was extremely good to us and I am so excited to see what 2017 has in store. Thank you to anyone who is still reading! Please leave me a comment and let me know what type of posts you would like to see in the new year. I have a running list and I am excited to refresh and change things up. 

Mardi Gras Fun 

My favorite trip to New Orleans 

Annual Girls Beach Trip in Seaside 

Summer Weekends at The Grand Hotel 

Bald Head Island with the Beard Fam 

BUYING OUR FIRST HOME - The biggest highlight of 2016! 

My Christmas Wish-List

Happy Tuesday Loves! I went to Ulta yesterday during lunch and broke the seal on my Christmas shopping, it definitely has me in the spirit. We kicked off our Christmas season by celebrating at dinner with my in-laws at Dauphins on Friday night, followed by our annual Christmas tree shop on Saturday and working on the house the rest of our weekend. We are leaving for our annual Christmas in Virginia this week and I just feel like it is going to kick the festivities into high gear. I CAN'T WAIT! 

All the items on my Christmas list are wardrobe staples that I need, items for our home, or splurgeworthy items that have been on my list in years past and still elude me.. this will be your year Clarisonic! 

What is on your Christmas List? 

Christmas Past 2015 | 2014 | 2013 

Christmas Lush Haul

When I was in Birmingham a few weeks ago I was finally able to stop into a Lush store. A bath every night is my favorite time to unwind and I just love Lush bath products to make them even more luxurious and fancy. I haven't been in a store since my last trip to New York, which unfortunately has been years so it was a real treat to shop the fun products. I mainly love the holiday items and although they did not have the full selection of Christmas items - I am so excited with the ones I did bring home with me. 

The Magic of Christmas - Reusable Bubble Bar - this one is by far my absolute favorite. It smells of cinnamon, cloves and all things Christmas and it is seriously gorgeous! 

Peeping Santa Bubble Bar - This Santa is almost sickly sweet but I am kind of loving the strong candy scent. 

Butter Bear Bath Bomb - This little bear smells of cocoa butter and leaves your skin feeling silky smooth. 

I just love their bath bombs and I think they are such a beauty treat for the holiday season! To be honest, I have had them for two weeks and was saving to disperse throughout December for maximum Holiday enjoyment. I hope you are having a great week and I am so excited for the upcoming holidays! We are decorating, getting our tree, and working on the house this weekend - I can't wait! 

Thank you for reading! 

Currently Craving: The Poncho

Happy Tuesday y'all! With the weather finally cooling off I am starting to feel a little bit more festive, but with the move I am just not quite as prepared for the holidays as I normally am. I thought to get myself in the mood I would do some online browsing and am now convinced that I need an adorable poncho for the winter weather. How cute and cozy do they look? #needitinmylife

Halogen Poncho - love the maroon color 

OBSESSED with this one - the perfect Holiday poncho with a red lip! 

This one is a cashmerical! 

The most gorgeous poncho cape/coat from J.Crew here 

What are you currently loving? 

Life Lately Update + We Moved!

I'm back strangers! Life has been completely crazy recently and I am so excited to get back to a tiny semblance of a schedule, before we dive into the holiday season. We finally moved and we have been so busy getting our house in order and there is still so much left to do. We literally have hardly any furniture so I have been scouring the internet and sales around town looking for pieces. So much going on, so I thought I would do a fun little recap of the past few weeks. It is probably going to be a bit random so bear with me. 

The photo above is our current kitchen situation from finally opening most of our wedding gifts - which was just as much fun as I imagined it would be - thanks again everyone for all the awesome gifts, three years later.

Wickham Grey is the color we used in our bedroom and bathroom and I could not be happier with how it turned out. 

Manchester Tan is the color we went with for our kitchen, living room and laundry room and it is the perfect neutral. 

Trying out paint samples 

Trick or Treating with our favorite little monsters 

Loving the gorgeous houses in midtown Mobile during the Fall 

Halloween Treats at the office 

Kitchen cabinets are slowly coming together. I am on the hunt for a great china cabinet. 

New Mac goodies just in time for the Holiday season - 217 Brush - perfect for blending my eyelids and Ruby Woo lipstick - the perfect matte red for Holiday season. 

Henry's boots we ordered for his Birthday finally came in - if you are looking for a great gift for your guy - Russell boots are a great option. 

The coziest holiday candle from Target that smells like a Christmas tree. 

Tricks and Treats

Happy Monday and Happy Halloween Friends! I hope your day is filled with tons of Halloween goodness. I thought I would give you a little snippet of Charlies Halloween costumes past. Sadly, this year I didn't have time to do anything for him. We have been working on the new house nonstop, but I am excited to say it is MOVING WEEK. We are packing/finishing the projects at the new house and are moving this weekend. We could not be more excited to finally move in - I feel like it has been one of the busiest months of our life.

We are Trick or Treating with our godchildren tonight and I plan on eating WAY too much candy - I hope you have a spooktacular day! I spent my weekend scraping popcorn and managed to squeeze in a little Halloween movie marathon - Halloween (a classic), Hocus Pocus, and The Nightmare Before Christmas. All necessities before Halloween is over.

Thank you for reading!

Pumpkin Bread

I will reiterate again how much I love this time of year - the crisp - sometimes cool weather, the clothing and the layers, again sometimes, or maybe just for the morning in Mobile, and of course the pumpkin and apple everything! I made this pumpkin bread last week and I think it is a great classic version that goes well with your cup of coffee in the morning. 
Pumpkin Bread Recipe 

2 cups of Pumpkin
3 cups of Sugar
1 cup of Vegetable Oil
2/3 cup Water
4 Eggs
31/2 cups of Flour
2 tsp. Baking Soda
2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
2 tsp. Nutmeg

Mix pumpkin, sugar, oil, water, and eggs in mixing bowl until well combined.

In medium bowl, combine other ingredients and then gradually mix into large bowl and combine everything.

Spray our loaf pans and pour in mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until done. 

Serve and Enjoy! 


Sinatra in the Fall

Something about the Fall always has me playing my favorite Sinatra songs on repeat. They just feel like there should be a chill in the air and the same can be said for Norah Jones, so good with a cup of cocoa. I purchased this chunky knit from ASOS and it is soft and cozy and perfect for layering in Mobile when it's chilly in the morning and hotter towards the afternoon. My new high-waisted jeans have been on repeat and I am loving the dark wash. Oh another song I am in love with is Closer by The Chainsmokers on repeat. Anyone else loving it too? 

Currently reading The Ramblers - my  book of the month, especially enjoying because it is set around Thanksgiving. Perfect time of year for this read - full review later this week. 

Sweater | Jeans | Boots OLD Enzo Angolini similar here | Tory Burch Bag | Sunnies Bracelet

Thank you for reading! 

Friday Five

Happy Friday Friends! There is a chill in the air and the Halloween decorations are in full effect. It makes me so happy! It has been a hard week - we lost my sweet grandmother a week ago today and as glad as I am that she is not suffering I miss her every single day. Her service was beautiful and such a testament to what a life she had. I am so blessed and proud to be her granddaughter. 

Between the traveling and trying to be in our house in two weeks - our lives are a little manic right now. We are buckling down this weekend and trying to get a ton finished. Wish us luck. I might try to squeeze in some pumpkin bread and a Hocus Pocus viewing to really get me in the Halloween spirit.

- The most beautiful flower arrangements that were given to all the grandchildren and children after my grandmother's service. I want them to last forever.

- Enjoying Milo's and Taco Casa twice in one month - Oh just looking at this picture makes me hungry!

- A few little Halloween moments around our house. I didn't get everything out this year since we are moving in two weeks. 

- Enjoying the cutest pumpkin patch in Downtown Mobile 

- Current state of affairs at the new house - it might not look like it but tons of progress is happening.

Make sure you are following my Snapchat - GracieJohnston for tons of house updates all weekend. I hope you have a Spooktacular one - time to cram all the Halloween fun in!

Something Wicked in Your Bath - Lush

I look forward to my nightly bath ritual everyday. It is my time to unwind. I light my candle (right now Bath & Body Works Pumpkin Pie), run my bath, and catch up on You-Tube or watch a show on Netflix. I absolutely love beautiful bath products and no one does fun seasonal bath products better than Lush. I wish we lived near a store, because I would be there all the time. I just ordered two little Halloween treats, but I am planning on getting several Christmas products to outfit my new bigger bath in the new house. Can't Wait! 

Currently Loving 

Are you a fan of Lush?  So many yummy goodies for my favorite time of year!