mamma's little country girl

Song is Country Girl by June Carter

Byron made this sweet little movie a few weeks ago on a lazy Saturday. Hope you enjoy it. 

it's my birthday

Hey y'all, this gal is celebrating the big 32. It's been kind of an off week but I'm keeping my head up and feeling lots of love from my wonderful family and friends. The ice cream, cookies and caramel popcorn help a lot too. I did my nails earlier in the week for the big day and they are still looking candy-coated, sweet and sparkly. And since it's Thursday, here is a throwback picture that my mom stumbled upon. My Grandma Niecie and I were born 60 years and one week apart so we usually celebrated together. We still had two cakes, of course. Boy, sixteen year old me sure was tan.  

my daughter dresses better than me: Batman

Aren't we just a couple of fangirls. Alice has gotten too big for most of her britches so she's wearing her most colorful, crazy patterned pants. Let's just say she's fashion-forward. I just got this skirt from Goodwill for 3 dollars, and its got pockets! The weather has been a bit cooler so I pulled out my favorite boots and leggings. And...Batman.

mom shirt: Delia*s
mom skirt (thrifted) and baby shirt (similar): Old Navy
mom boots (bought last summer for $20): Nordstrom Rack

nails of the week: the final season

 If you've been around this blog awhile, you have probably seen my numerous references to Breaking Bad. Like this. Or this. Or that time I went to Walt's house. Well, now is a bittersweet time for us fans of the show. The end is upon us. I try not to think about what will happen. Those writers sure are clever, and no matter what guesses I have, It will be the last thing I expect. Breaking Bad is just like that. In honor of the final season (and because I said I would), here are my breaking Bad nails. 

Don't read the details under the third season DVD pic, unless you have seen the end of season 4. There is also a spoiler for season 2- but how could you have not seen through season 2- what are you doing reading this and not watching?!?!

The last time I did Breaking Bad nails, I did a nail for each character. I figured I had to include a nail for Walt and a nail for Jesse this go around. I used various cut up decals to look like Jesse's tattoo. For Walt, I did his birthday bacon. 

I did one nail to represent each season of the show. Above you can see the season 3 nail- Gale Boetticher's notebook. And the season 5 nail- Vamonos pest control. I had to do the iconic Br and Ba again, as well as one blue nail for the product (on next pic- remember how I talked about the SPOILER ALERT- this is your final warning).

The underwear is for season 1. The top nail here is for season 2- the stuffed animal from the plane crash. The second nail in the pic is for our good friend Gus, or what is left of him. 

I hope you like my nails. They were really fun to do. It took me about an hour and a half and 14 different polishes. My nice, supportive husband took the pictures for me. And yes, I am wearing a yellow suit in the background. Here's to the final season.


I read through this technique and I couldn't wait to try it. I love the tilt-shift effect and I was super excited that I could get the same look with my own little camera and lens. I used my 50 1.8 lens at first but found I had better luck with my kit lens. I set my exposure before I removed the lens and I was able to focus manually after the lens was detached. I really want to practice this and see what other shots I can capture. Have you ever tried free-lensing?

I love the vignette the camera captures. 

It did take me many tries to get the focusing right. I think using my kit lens set at 55 worked the best.

I was also very careful to keep my exposed camera innards as covered as possible. And to not drop my lens off the top of a parking deck. 

nails of the week: gold and green

I have been feeling a little less than excited about my nail art lately. So much of the nail art I see on pinterest is just not practical. Too many coats and baubles. I need my nails to be dry and done in around an hour. I also need my manicure to last at least four days (more coats=more chips, in my experience). So, I started following this blog to get inspired. So many of her designs are practical and (somewhat) quick. Like this one, the waterfall. I used my two favorite colors (spanish moss and buttercup) as inspiration and matched the other colors accordingly. I used two different gold glitters. The Avon gold is fine and the Petites gold is chunky. I think they turned out pretty cute. I like how the tip is lighter and they sparkle, a lot. I will definitely try this design again with different colors. 

my daughter dresses better than me: Florida brights

Whew, aren't we a bright and chipper pair. A trip out for burgers and sundaes will do that to us Raphael gals. Alice's Florida grandparents got her this flamingo romper. Since I do not have such a romper of my own I had to make due with my numerous turquoise items and a bright pink shirt. 

mom shirt: JCP
mom shorts and baby shoes (exact items not found online): Walmart
baby romper: Target
baby purse: gift from the Raphael grandparents


We are the kind of family that will travel far and wide for a good meal. So, over the weekend we got together with my bff and her man at a new restaurant called Cowfish. They do sushi and burgers. They make burgers into sushi and incorporate sushi flavors into burgers. Say whaaat!? 

We heard tale that the place gets packed and the wait can be 2 hours long at times. So, we ate like the old folks we are, at 5pm (we still had to wait around 20 minutes). If you go, get there early. 

At least while you wait the decor is fun (hello giant aquarium). It's also a good idea to look over the menu because it is massive. I ended up ordering The Cowfish Has Officially Left The Building (A.K.A. The Hunka, Hunka Burning Love). I got the single patty version (just one Hunka) of this Elvis inspired burger. Peanut butter, bananas and bacon on a burger!?!? Yes! It was amazing. Oh, and make sure to save room for dessert. I think my favorite (our table ordered three- that's how we roll) was Byron's Shake, Crackle & Pop. It was like a Rice Krispie Treat in milkshake form. Yeah. That happens at Cowfish. 

It was a really fun night with great company and amazing food. Once we rolled ourselves out of the restaurant we were greeted by yet another thunderstorm (when did North Carolina turn into Florida) that left the prettiest sky once it passed. 

the little things

So many of my favorite things, all in one picture. Her little ponytail. Morning sunlight through the window. Little bows on little clothes. Relaxing time spent together at the start of the day. 

wedding shower

Over the weekend I took Alice to her first wedding shower. She was quite a little lady, a very well behaved lady at that. We celebrated our friend Jamie's upcoming nuptials with food and games and plenty of laughter. 

Some of our favorite babysitters were there too. 

There was a soup and salad bar, customizable margaritas and plenty of crackers (Alice's favorite). 

It was a fun-filled afternoon with friends. So much fun, Alice was asleep by the time we got home. 

Congratulations Jamie!