I’m extra happy to see Friday because that means we’re getting through this longest month of the year faster. With all the boys back at school, life feels somewhat more subdued, but I miss them so much and I’m in that after holiday slump. We cannot let these January blues get us down, so let’s get right to some Friday Favorites.

1. My Boys
Not only are the holidays magical but they’re so joyous when I can have all my boys at home and really enjoy the time together. We taught them how to play rummy, had movie days, fun dinners out and lots of family time. It was great!

2. No Carb Snack
"Homemade Cheez-Its"
Easiest no carb snack in the world! Get the ultra thin cheese slices, any flavor, I used Colby Jack, cut them into fours and place them on parchment paper lined baking sheet. I add a little coarse sea salt on top. Bake in a 250° oven for 25 to 30 minutes and wa-la, you have homemade cheez it’s crackers with no carbs!

3. Week's Attire
Top HERE // Jeans HERE & HERE // 

I shared this outfit on Instagram earlier this week, but I had to share it here, the leopard colors of the sweater are just so divine, and a perfect winter pick me up. And Mint Julep boutique, where the sweater is from, is offering $10 off your order. See below.

Sweater HERE // Skirt HERE
(BONUS: For $10 off your order from Mint Julep Boutique..Text the word MINT to 90243)

4. Blue and Black 
If January gives you the blues, just wear a bright blue color to lift your spirits! I totally love the bright royal blue. I feel it flatters every skin tone. In the summer, I like to pair it with white, but I thought it would be fun to pair it with black in the winter. I’ve seen lots of black and blue outfits and I love them. I also love adding a little leopard.

BUY Sweater HERE // Hat HERE // 
Boots HERE // Jeans HERE

More Inspo

5. Misc. Fun
Wednesday ~ Yumi Kim for the Win

So, I am not a big bar girl. I feel like they are loaded with junk and empty calories even though they are supposed to be healthy. However, there are a few out there that I like when I need a protein pick me up And I don’t want to feel too guilty for indulging. My niece and I got to talking about protein bars and she recommended this chocolate sprinkle doughnut one. She said to heat it up in the microwave a tiny bit and it will be like dessert. It was super yummy, and I will be stocking up on these. I also tried a Pure Protein Chocolate Salted Caramel that Lisa recommended and think I may even like that one better.


You may have seen on my Instagram stories, my latest trek up to Trader Joe’s. Here are six new to us items that I can say get the big thumbs up!

MAY Your weekend be full of yummy snacks and no blues unless it's a pretty piece of clothing, lol!

Linking up with  Friday Favorites  // High 5 For Friday



Yumi Kim for the win! And with a word like “Yumi,” you know it’s going to be good! This is a favorite brand of mine that I often forget about. I was super tickled when a local influencer friend of mine, shared on Instagram, that one of my favorite Yumi Kim styles was on major sale for the holidays. Mr. Nine was so sweet and gracious to get it for me and I knew the minute I saw it, that I would wear it to our annual family steak dinner this past Friday!

I think a high neck is again, so classy and I love the ruching at the top. The slight balloon sleeves and tier at the bottom add more sweet femininity. The pattern with blush, mahogany and a lil blue, white & green on the matte black makes for the most beautiful floral pattern! AND THIS DRESS is 50% off right now!

I knew I would want fairly simple accessories but I wanted to add a little bling with the coin belt and some blush statement earrings. A plain pair of tights is always best with a floral and I added my beloved sock booties.

I don’t know about where you’re at, but in my neck of the woods, the weather sucks for trying to get pictures for the blog. It was a rainy, dreary and dark night when we attempted these, thank goodness for the front porch and a flash. I’m also a little sad because now it’s back to the tripod by myself since my photographer sons have headed back to school. my phone camera isn’t working right either so I am waiting on Mr. Nine to upgrade me, LOL! Continual challenges that make me ask myself why am I still blogging? All in good fun I suppose.


My favorite from last week’s link up was
Debbie with her pink satin skirt..such a soft look!

Now, let's link my babes!


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Listed Clockwise from our GRAPHIC

Chrissy from Granola & Grace

Lisa from Coast to Coast

Andrea from Living in Cloud Nine

Shelly from The Queen In Between

Laura from The Horton Family

Kellyann from This Blonde’s Shopping Bag

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What a fun time in Gatlinburg Tennessee over the holidays! This is the first time we’ve gone on an away vacation with Mr. Nine’s sister and family and we had a ball! It was so wonderful to spend some quality time with them and for the cousins to enjoy each other’s company! 

Bro snd Sis look so much alike

We did want crisp air and snow but it was a balmy 65-70, so while nice, a big nada on the white stuff.
We have been to Gatlinburg before and some of you know it’s where we eloped to, but we had not been back in years, so this was a treat! Except for one thing! The switchbacks were the death of me and I thought for sure we would go over the mountain on several occasions! Here are some of my favorite things we did in order of their occurrence.

Luckily, both of our families love to hike, and we have an obsession with finding water on our hikes so the trails to waterfalls were inevitable. One of them, Mr. Nine and I had done before but the other one was new to us and they were both beautiful. Funny thing was the one called Abrams Falls noted on the sign that it took 3 to 4 hours, but it was getting close to dark and we were able to do it in just two, we are speedy like that! I don’t know if the kids loved as many miles as we put in but we sure were proud of ourselves!
The "Girl's" before the hikes..we're outnumbered.

Lil Fun around town before our hikes 

OK, this is where I was scared blank less! The longest suspension bridge in the country opened in May 2019 in Gatlinburg. It is basically a swinging bridge with the glass bottom middle and metal across the mountain. Not only was I scared to death to go up the ski lift type thingy straight up but this bridge had me frightful. However, I was able to conquer my fear and it was actually so so cool. Talk about being proud of myself!
The other side! We DID IT!!

The glass portion..eek. it looks like the dirt is right under you in this pic but it's hundreds of feet down.

Beautiful pic my niece took

Ole Red
After our SkyBridge trek, we were starving, and we were excited to try Ole Red for lunch as it had been a two hour wait the night before. If you’re not familiar, Ole Red is an older song by Blake Shelton and he opened this restaurant in Gatlinburg along with one just like it in Nashville. It features scrumptious home cooking and awesome live entertainment. We just loved the band as they played all new and old-school country. 
The homemade tater tots were to die for!

They were fantastic!

Playing Games & Being with family
Both of our families also love to play games. We played everything from Yahtzee to Quiplash which is a fun interactive phone game with the TV screen, to heads up to rummy and of course some trivia.

Yahtzee was a fav

And Mini Golf was a blast even though we lost. 2 of our team got a hole in one and Mr. Nine got 2!

Meeting Nadine
Talk about a bonus! You know I love to meet my favorite bloggers in real life when I can. When Nadine from Life By Nadine Lynn and I found out we were both going to be in Gatlinburg at the same time, we knew we had to make a meet up happen. This girl is just as genuine and sweet in person as she is on her blog. And bonus, I got to meet her beautiful daughter Zoe, who is born on one of our sons’ birthdays and her cool husband Chris who I’m sure you all know from some of her blog posts. Nadine found the perfect area to meet called the Village and the best hot chocolate and donuts from the Donut Friar. Such a blessing to meet my wonderful blog friends like Nadine, who I have known since the beginning of my blog journey. I just love this girl!

The Island
After I left Nadine, it was time for lunch with my crew. Mr. Nine's sister and family were attending mass and doing lunch on their own. Ironically, Nadine mentioned a great place to go in Pigeon Forge called the Island where there were all kinds of shops, water displays rides and games. How funny is it that out of all those places, our family ended up seated by us at the same restaurant! We had a ball at the Island. After doing the skybridge, I was actually excited yet still a little fearful to do the big Ferris wheel. We also went to Ole Smoky and did the moonshine tasting with the boys that are over 21 and it was a blast!
Found some big balls, lol!

The cornbread and sweet butter and my salad was so good!

View from the Ferris Wheel

 JT...our moonshine taste master

Cheers with our mini moonshines

Just a pickin' and a grinin'!

Log Chapel
We knew long before we planned this trip that we wanted to show our boys where we eloped to. Luckily, our Log chapel was not destroyed by the Gatlinburg fires. It looked a little worn, but it had some new decking added on and we were able to get some pictures and walk around the property. So fun to reminisce on the lovely little chapel where we got married. We knew we wanted to spend some more time with family playing games, so it was another quiet night at home and wanting to get back to the cabin before dark because the switchbacks are even worse to drive on in the dark!

Another bonus, the road intersecting ours was called Daisy Lane with an additional homemade sign with daisies on it. It felt so comforting to think that Daisy was watching over us on the mountain. 

Here is a picture of our cabin which was perfect for our families and a link if you’re interested in renting it. RENT CABIN HERE 

One last morning view..