PEOPLE YOU MIGHT LIKE TO KNOW
As a blogger, I’m part of a beautiful community of creatives. We may share our ideas through a virtual network, but often times we have the opportunity to connect in person, sit down and chat, and really get the creative juices flowing! Grab your coffee and meet my friends, appearing as guest bloggers in this near-to-my-heart section.
It’s almost CHRISTMAS! Ok – not really, but we’re pretty excited around here. We have curated gift guides, must-have items for your loved ones and some special designs just for you.
So for now, here is a sneak peek to get you in the holiday spirit.
We hope – wherever you are – this the holiday season brings you comfort and joy.
Today marks our third time in one week to dress up for our favorite festivity – Halloween! Here in Carolinas, the celebrations begin the weekend prior and include neighborhood get togethers, dress up occasions at preschool, and even a trick or treating event at my office space!
It is our 11thHalloween as a couple and 2ndfor sweet baby Hatton. You’d think I would have Halloween nailed down by now. But this year, I broke the cardinal mom rule. I decided to wait and try on Hatton’s costume from last year on the morning of our first party. Editor’s note – her costume was pretty big on her last year. But even still, she grew far more than I realized! With only a few hours until show time, I was scrambling for ideas.
Before sharing my Halloween extravaganza, another important note – we love dressing up as a family. Last year, we were “a barrel of monkeys” (with our dog, Jasper, of course, dressing up in a red shirt to symbolize the barrel). As I embarked on a journey to find her perfect costume, I reviewed family options based on things Thomas and I had in our closet (we’re all about holidays on a budget!)
I knew I had my monkey costume from last year, a set of butterfly wings, and some random articles of clothing I could assemble to be a cowgirl or western themed hero. Thomas had fishing apparel, ski apparel, a Top Gun suit, and his monkey suit. I stepped into a costume store with a smidge of trepidation but a commitment to follow through. Rounding the kids’ aisle, I spotted it.
Her favorite animal.
Size 6-12 months. Size 3-6 months. My heart rate quickened – could this work? And behold, there it was. A full giraffe costume in 12-24 months! I called Thomas and ran through family ensemble ideas, snagged a walkie talkie and large “jailer” keys, scurried home and got us ready.
In a matter of minutes, we went from costume-less to a zoo keeper and his wild animals. Whew. Saved by the giraffe! (Completing the look is our fur baby, Jasper, who joined us as a lion on tonight’s Trick or Treating adventure!)
What are some of your favorite family memories preparing for Halloween? Share your costume ideas with me in the comment section below. I promise I will hang onto them and prepare in advance next year!
Happy Halloween from the Wilsons!
Check in with National and be Pretty in Plaids! There is nothing I love more that wearing a plaid print, especially in the fall! It is simply everywhere this season! Being on trend never felt so good! National offers great fall styles in the softest knits. This season they are featuring the perfect Plaid Flannel Tunic made of 100% cotton! It’ll be my ‘go to top’ this season and i think I’ll pair it with my warm leggings. Or would you opt for your favorite pair of jeans? Whatever the bottoms, one thing is for sure ladies, we’ll be styling and turning heads, in our trendy plaid!
Can’t you see yourself in that outfit getting cozy with a cup of your favorite coco by the fireplace?! I also look forward to wrapping up for a leisurely walk in the vibrant colored leaves. What are some things you enjoy doing outdoors as the air becomes more crisp?
Our new puppy is finally old enough to take on walks! I bet she is going to love running through the leaves (me too, but don’t tell anyone)! I’m so excited to dress for the occasion! Keep in mind, there are lots of other choices for plaid and plenty of other gorgeous sweaters that National is featuring this fall. Check out this great Reversible Pocket Shawl Scarf. It doesn’t get any better than having multiple style options in one garment, now does it?! I have a favorite turtleneck that will work perfectly with my new shawl scarf.
How will you layer yours? Find your ageless style this season with all that National has to offer you!
Happy Sweater Weather,
October is Cancer Awareness Month – a season near to the hearts of so many members of the National family. Our founder and my grandfather – Eddie Smith – battled cancer in the final years of his life. My sister – Lanier – is a survivor of kidney cancer, one of the most underfunded types of cancer research.
Cancer is growing in its commonality, impacting half of the world’s population at some point in our lives. National believes in the cutting edge research afforded by the UNC Lineberger Center and contributes to its many life saving programs throughout the year. To read more about this incredible organization, click here.
Thanks to your commitment to National, we’re able to continue this great work with UNC Lineberger. We are grateful for the opportunity to give back to our broader community!
Don’t forget us on your journey this Fall! As you embark on your next adventure, be it close to home or far and away, you can’t go wrong by including your favorite UltraSofts® basics! I just love this easy care knit made in a fabulous poly/cotton blend! It makes packing a cinch with minimal wrinkling! I recommend rolling your favorite UltraSofts® garments into your suitcase; this actually gives me more space to add items and lessens any creasing. Upon your destination, simply quick steam (I love using the shower, ha! ha!), for a perfect look.
One of my favorite essentials for traveling are the UltraSofts® cardigans; it’s the perfect layering piece and so soft and comfy! This time of year calls for cardigans don’t you agree? National has so many for you to choose, check it out. I have so much fun coordinating my wardrobe with all the color and style options. You’ll have to share your favorites with me! So, where are you headed, to a cabin in the mountains, across the ocean or maybe just down the road to visit family? Wherever the season takes you, have a blast, be safe and don’t forget to nuzzle up with National this fall while staying on trend with UltraSofts®!
As many of you know, National is headquartered in Lexington, NC. This week, our entire state is preparing for a massive storm fondly referred to as “Flo” by the locals. We’re battening down the hatches along the coast and preparing for a heavy dose of rain statewide…and we’re saying some prayers along the way.
I’m writing today to tell North Carolina (and our neighboring states) how proud I am to call this place home. If you’ve followed National’s story, you know our roots are firmly planted in this beautiful state. My grandfather – with whom I celebrate my birthday this week – was orphaned at a young age and raised in the Junior Order Home (now American Children’s Home), just a few miles from the house in which I was raised. When he left the orphanage at 18, he chose to stay in Lexington and build his life – and ultimately his business – within its caring and supportive community.
The town in which I was raised is one you read about in storybooks. The cashier at the grocery knows when your dog is at the vet. The server at the corner deli knows to bag up some chicken soup for your dad who is down with a cold. The stranger you pass on the street doesn’t look away but engages in genuine conversation for at least 5 minutes (be prepared to live slowly, in the Carolinas). The goodness of my hometown is not unusual. Instead it is a small glimpse into the rest of our great state.
I now live in Wilmington, a coastal town preparing to receive the brunt of this storm. Yesterday, I paused storm preparations and ran a few errands. I stopped by our local seafood shop, which sits on the water, to grab ingredients for one final coastal meal before the clouds roll in. (A note on storm prep – small businesses feel the weight of these storms intensely. Consider supporting them in the final prep days with a bump in sales!) The team was in full force, many of whom were not getting paid to work but simply there to help.
On my way home, I stopped at the post office and managed to drop a large box in the middle of the street (note to self: do not attempt balancing a toddler and large box simultaneously). A gentleman, removing awnings in preparation for high winds, descended from his 10-foot ladder to help me….and carry my box all the way to the post office.
Pictures of the goodness of humanity….and the very essence of North Carolinians. It is this spirit that permeates our landscape – a loyal connection to our community and an unwavering resilience we carry together. As North Carolina and our neighboring states prepare for the uncertainty Florence brings, we also shoulder up with our collective neighbors and offer a helping hand to a perfect stranger….not because it’s what we do. But because it’s who we are.
Stay safe, neighbor.
The Carolinas are well known for beautiful outdoor music venues. When our family travels to Blowing Rock, we enjoy Fridays on the Lawn – an event at the Inn at Ragged Gardens held each week throughout the summer and early fall. here in Wilmington, I’ve had the chance to enjoy a special event in Airlie Gardens, a local botanical garden and event center.
Airlie hosts a wide array of bands including hip-hop covers, bluegrass, country and more. Thanks to Airlie’s commitment to varied music, I have expounded my summer playlist to include new artists. Click on the links below to hear more of what I’m loving this year!
Who are some of your favorite artists? Share your go-to music in the comment section below.
We’re on day 5 of rain here in the Carolinas, and I can feel my energy bank depleting with each passing cloud. It is important to maintain energy, and as a new mom I have struggled to find opportunities to fill up that energy bank after care taking, grocery runs, house repairs, and work. Today, I am sharing a few personal tips, inspired by an article from 60 and Me (click here or the image above).
What are some of your tips on refilling that energy bank? Share your go-to practices in the comment section below.
- Take deep breaths. Each hour, take a couple seconds to pause your breathing and take in some extra air. This will still your mind and energize your body.
- Switch for water. While coffee seems like a source for energy, water is an opportunity to cleanse your body and refuel it with what it needs!
- Take a walk break. When you feel your energy waning, get some endorphins running through with a 20 minute walk break.
Last week, Thomas and I discussed our afternoon plans on our drive home from church. He remembered we’d purchased a large rack of ribs and was eager to grill in the blissful summer sun. Given the amount of food we had in our fridge, it was clear we needed more mouths to feed! I sent a message to four families, and three hours later – neighborhood party!
We asked each neighbor to bring an easy side, and before our eyes a feast appeared. Our menu included:
- Smoked barbecue ribs
- Barbecue chicken
- Sliced fresh watermelon
- Potato salad
- Macaroni and cheese casserole
- Arugula salad with berries and goat cheese
- Toasted baguettes
- Chocolate chip cookies + peanut butter cookies
In a short amount of time, we managed to gather 15 folks and lots of kiddos to enjoy an afternoon of great food and conversation. Thomas and I try to keep some delicious meats frozen for spontaneous get togethers, and a stock of potatoes and salad fixings for easy sides. Of course, when in doubt – just grab a watermelon and watch the party start!
How do you prepare for an afternoon with friends? Share your tips with me in the comment section below!