ranch life

What’s Up Wednesday {9.26.18}

Oh, my goodness, I feel like every time I publish a “What’s Up Wednesday” (with Shay!), it seems like I blink and it’s time for another! We have been so busy that it seems like these are the only posts I get out these days, but they are good because I can dump out a little life update all at once! Happy Wednesday, y’all!



Well… we got in late Sunday night from New Orleans, so I didn’t buy groceries during my usual time, which meant we had to order pizza Monday night. I went to the grocery store and grabbed a few things for us to have salmon, steamed rice, and green beans on Tuesday night. And we are leaving this afternoon for Arkansas, so… I probably won’t be cooking again until next Tuesday! 🙂


We had such a fun long weekend in New Orleans! I had never been, so it was an experience for me to see everything for the first time, and Steven grew up going there because he had cousins living in a suburb there for a period of time, so he enjoyed seeing how things have changed.

We took off Wednesday night and made it four hours to Beaumont (which was surprisingly crowded? We had to hit 3 hotels before we found an open room!). On Thursday, we got up pretty early, grabbed breakfast at Chick Fil A and hit the road! After an adventure locating some dress pants for Steven at Cavender’s, Boot Barn, and finally Dillard’s in Lafayette, we ate lunch at Acme Oyster House in Baton Rouge, and then made it into the Hyatt Regency New Orleans by 3:00 or so. Steven had a welcome cocktail party for the interview that night, so he headed out to that and Olivia and I ordered a pizza from room service and watched Netflix while I knocked out some charting for work.

On Friday morning, Steven left out early for his interview. I worked most of the morning while Olivia napped off and on (that girl has FOMO like no other. She is not about to take a nap if there is the least bit of a chance that something might happen without her!). We ordered lunch from room service (we ventured out once before Steven left to get Starbucks in the hotel for breakfast, but stayed in the rest of the time). Our hotel was downtown and enoooooormous. Like twenty something floors and eight restaurants huge. We had to valet our Expedition because there wasn’t separate parking and I think they hated us by the end because we asked for it in and out so much, haha!

Steven finished with his interview by early afternoon Friday, so we headed out for some fun! We had dinner at Deanie’s in the French Quarter and it was hands down our favorite meal of the trip. I had crab au gratin and he had blackened red fish with crawfish etouffee on top. From there, we walked through the French Quarter down to Jackson Square, and then across the street to Cafe du Monde for beignets and cafe au lait! After this, we walked back to get our car, then drove around the city for a little while before turning in!

On Saturday, we got up and had brunch at a place called Flamingo-A-Go-Go downtown near the World War II museum. They only had outdoor seating available, so we went with it, but less than five minutes after getting our food, a huge rain cloud broke open and it started pouring. At first, the umbrella over our table actually kept us fairly dry, but as time when on, it started raining harder and we got progressively more wet, so we finally called it and headed inside. We had knocked back most of our fried shrimp already, so we just paid our ticket and headed out when the rain died down. After a quick stop at the hotel to change, we tried to head back down toward the river to the aquarium, but there were so many people, we couldn’t find a place to park and ended up just moving on.

We headed over the Lake Pontchartrain causeway (fun fact: this is the longest bridge over water in the world! It is about 24 miles.) to Mandeville and Slidell (where Steven’s cousins lived for a while). We mostly did what we love to do– drive around and check stuff out, so we did that for the afternoon, and then after an early dinner, we headed back to our hotel because… Taylor Swift was in concert at the Super Dome right next door to our hotel and traffic was crazy! The hotel was pretty crazy, too, so we ducked out of the crowd and had a quiet evening watching a movie and ordering a late night pizza from room service.


On Sunday morning, we got up a little later than we expected to, so we just packed up and headed to grab an early lunch out in Metairie and then headed home. Other than getting gas in Baton Rouge and a stop at Torchy’s in College Station, we churned through the whole drive home and finally got in about 9:30 that night. It was a fun trip!



So, for a while now, I’ve really loved the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri nail polish line. They are suuuper cheap, I like the wide, flat brush, and I feel like it only takes a one-two coats to get good opaque coverage so it doesn’t take forever to dry– even with light colors (this white shade is one of my faves and it literally only takes two thin coats!). So, fall and winter to me means dark nails! One of my favorite Instagrammers, Cristin with The Southern Style Guide, uses a few different shades of black and it always looks so chic, so I decided a few weeks ago to try it. But, once I was looking at them at Target, I just couldn’t pull the trigger on straight up black, so I went with Go Garnet instead. It’s definitely dark, so it has the chicness factor, but it’s really just a very very dark red- think like a black cherry. If you just did one coat, it would be still pretty red, but two coats makes it pretty dark, which I liked! Some other shades I’ve liked are Re-Teal Therapy and Petal Pusher. 🙂

And the other thing I’ve been absolutely loving is my turquoise Yeti coffee rambler! True confession: when it comes to Yeti cups, we just about have them all. Steven and I both have the original stainless steel 10 oz. ramblers, 20 oz. ramblers, and 30 oz. ramblers, and then I have the turquoise enamel 30 oz and Steven has a black enamel 30 oz. Strangely enough, they do actually all get used, but we probably have way more than the average person! The new 14 oz enamel coffee ramblers have handles… and it’s turquoise, so I couldn’t resist! Steven got me one for my birthday and I use it pretty much every day at work. It’s really nice because my coffee stays warm through several patients so I don’t have to worry about downing it before it gets cold!

The other Yeti adjacent thing I love are these Bubba silicone straws. This will probably sound stupid, but one thing that helps me drink way more water is using a straw– don’t ask me why, it just does! But, instead of getting the separate lid/ straw from Yeti, I grabbed these fun silicone straws and I love them! They slip easily through the opening on the regular lid and are way more fun colors. 🙂

The next week was our first Alliance bake sale! I am the co-coordinator for our fundraising bake sales this year and we kick things off in September with a Back to School themed sale. We made about $840 total with 30 bakers, so we were really happy! Our goal is usually about $4500 total for the year over 6 sales, so we are right on track for that so far. Money raised in the bake sales goes toward our annual donation to our local children’s hospital, so we like to raise as much as possible to go toward that!


In the mean time, I’ve gotten all my fall decorations out and up, but I think pictures will have to wait until next month! Our house is teetering on that just clean enough to live but not clean enough to show people edge right now since we haven’t been home much. 😉 There’s a little sneak peek in that picture above of our dining room table 🙂



Not anything!



Keeping everything rolling! We’ve got a busy schedule in and out of town for the next several weeks, so just remembering what I’m supposed to do and where I’m supposed to be at any given time is enough, haha! Last week, I got up super early on Tuesday morning to bake two chocolate chip bundt cakes to take to the dessert house for the Alliance progressive dinner (I wasn’t planning to go since I was trying to get everything ready for New Orleans, but I still wanted to help with food!). I got my cakes all ready that night, and after we ate an early dinner, I ran them over to the house assigned for dessert. This girl’s poor husband answered the door so confused, and after calling her over, we figured out that I am the village idiot and was dropping everything off a week early… {face palm}. I guess that’s better than a week late? Needless to say, I’ve found myself thinking I’m one step ahead while I’m really two steps behind a lot lately and I’m working to get caught up!



Fall! Fall and winter are my favorites! I love the cooler weather, the clothes, the holidays, and the college football! 🙂

Fall TV is back! So far all I’m caught up on is the new season of Dancing with the Stars. I’ve been a Bobby Bones fan for about 10 years– way back to the original KISS FM Austin days, so I’m definitely rooting for him! I’ve been watching for the last few years, but so far this is my first season to actually take the time to vote!



We picked up a few CDs in El Paso because there are stretches there that there is literally nothing on the radio, and I think my favorite is Thomas Rhett’s! I think it’s pretty catchy and upbeat. We also grabbed Chris Stapleton and the newest one from Kenny Chesney.

I also started using Spotify Premium on my phone, and I’ve had the worship albums from Caleb and Kelsey on repeat while we’re home. Growing up singing acapella in church makes me really enjoy and prefer simple worship music and they are so good!



Ugh, I’m dying to be wearing all the fall clothes, but the weather just isn’t there quite yet. I feel like right now I am the queen of the black wrap dress– wrap dresses are the most flattering nursing friendly dress option, and black is just universally flattering and easy. So, I think every time I look at clothes at Target I end up with one, so I have way more than the average person should have 😐 (the average person probably really just needs one?). I have this wrap dress in black, but I also grabbed the mustard/ gold color and I love it! It’s soooo fall, and the cut and fabric are really flattering. (And in finding that link, I had no idea they had the other colors and they are all on clearance… Ah! How many of the same dress is too many??? Asking for a friend 😉 )



Well… we are headed out today to Arkansas! We are going to Little Rock for a fellowship interview, and I’m excited to go since I’ve never been there! After this, we will just have New Mexico and Olivia will have hit Texas and the four surrounding states (Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico) before her first birthday! (But 6 states total because she’s also been to Kansas!)



I’m excited for Olivia’s first Halloween! We are going to do pumpkin pictures at the Arboretum in Dallas when we’re there in a few weeks, and other fall things. I’m trying to decide on a costume for her, but right now, I’m leaning toward Cabbage Patch Kid! I LOVED my CPKs when I was a kid, and I think she looks so much like one, so it would be so cute!




September 1 means the start of dove season, which means the start of hunting season for the Smith family! Dove runs through several weeks, and then duck season starts, and then dove opens back up again, and quail opens up at some point, and I think it’s maybe always crane season? Beats me, but I know this is the time of year my man and our boys are the happiest! They will be knocking down birds until February and loving it! I thought that I would be just the most awesome wife and schedule Steven a duck hunt while we’re in Arkansas for his birthday next week. And then I figured out that duck season isn’t open there yet. Womp womp. Oh well! We’ll still have fun there and he’ll still get plenty of ducks later on! 🙂


This girl just lights up like a Christmas tree any time any of the dogs are near. They are protective of her and make her laugh, and it’s safe to say they all love each other! (She feels the same way about her daddy 😉 )

And we’ve found a new use for our IKEA baby bath tub…


I cannot believe she is over 7 months old! Where is the time going???


And, of course, Livy and I will cheer on the Red Raiders this weekend! Go Tech, beat West Virginia!



When Dad turns you into a Ninja Turtle…



And one last picture of our happy girl!


Bonus Question: What is your favorite way to eat/drink pumpkin? 

I am NOT a pumpkin fan whatsoever- leave all the PSLs to someone else. But, I do LOVE Shay’s Pumpkin Spice bundt cake! It is delicious and so easy! (Actually, ALL of Shay’s bundt cake recipes are delicious!)

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