About hartsindurham

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Snow Day Favorites

Oh my goodness, am I glad it’s the weekend! We have had one heck of a week over here. It has officially snowed more in Durham than I’ve ever seen at one time. The girls have been to school exactly one day this week, none of the roads around us have been plowed so we’re stuck at home, and I think at this point we’re all a little stir crazy. Thankfully we didn’t lose power at all, which meant we relied a lot on Netflix when we weren’t playing in the snow and we got to cook some delicious food. I’m not going to lie though, being trapped in the house for days on end is not my cup of tea. So I’m kind of ready for a bunch of light-hearted favorites this week. Are you?


I posted awhile back that I was looking for a new concealer. With makeup I tend to get stuck in ruts and just repurchase the same things I’ve been using for years, even when I don’t love them anymore. After doing a it of research and finding a lot of good reviews, I decided to try the Age Rewind Concealer. Guys, I LOVE it! It is truly the best concealer I’ve ever used. I just use my concealer for my dark under eye area, so I got the neutralizer shade. It provides fantastic coverage and it lasts all day–like way longer than the Cover Girl product I was using before. If you’re in the market for a new concealer, definitely give this one a try.


My Old navy jeans. I am pretty picky about jeans, but I’m certain in the month that I’ve owned these they’ve become my very favorite pair. They have some give without being so stretchy that they lose their shape halfway through the day. Mine are the distressed Rockstar jeans and if you haven’t tried Old Navy’s Rockstar denim, you’re really missing out. I have several pairs in different styles and they are all so comfortable and stylish.


I guess I shouldn’t really classify this as a “favorite,” but my crock pot is officially dead. And I’m wondering if I should buy another crock pot or finally just spring for an Instant Pot. I like my crock pot and use it a lot, but the draw of being able to cook meals quickly with the Instant Pot is huge. The big downside is not being ale to rely on my old standby crock pot recipes and having to learn a new way to cook. So I want to hear from you! Do you have an Instant Pot that you love? Or is the trusty crock pot the way to go??


Snow!!! I know I mentioned the downside of the snow this week, but really it was a nice excuse to slow down. We had all of Wednesday together as a family with no agenda. I honestly don’t remember the last time that happened. It felt refreshing for sure. And even though the snow can feel like a hassle, it is a favorite for my girls, so I had to include it in my list, right? The thing I love most about snow is being outside right after it snows when the whole world is hushed. It feels so peaceful.


And last is a new show I started watching this week. If you were around a couple weeks ago, I asked about shows to stream while I tackle the organization of the house. You all had some great suggestions and I tried quite a few of them out. In general I gravitate toward comedies, and I enjoy sitcoms with witty dialogue, a solid plot line and strong character development the most. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel hits all those marks and then some. It was created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, who also created and produced Gilmore Girls. The dialogue and banter feels similar, which I enjoy, but I know not everyone loves it (ahem–Corey). Just be warned–it’s definitely more “grown up” than Gilmore Girls, so there is a ton more bad language in this show. The plot is good though, and the main character is so darn likeable! I’m loving it in that way you do when you want to see what happens next, but you don’t want to run out of episodes to watch.

That’s all for me this week! Depending on how high the temperatures get today, we may or may not have a snow-filled weekend. I hope you have a relaxing weekend, I’ll see you back here on Monday :).


Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning I get a small commission if a purchase is made. 🙂


2018 (And the Last Day of 2017)

I love a new year in kind of the same way I love Mondays. A fresh start, new goals, a chance to reset and make the best of life. I’ve always kind of loved that my birthday falls at the beginning of a new year. A new year on the calendar, a new year in my life.

At the beginning of a new year I usually get really excited about goal setting. Overly excited about goal setting may be a more apt description of things :). I have a tendency to become too abmitious, bite off more than I can chew, and ultimately end up crashing and burning because I can’t live up to my own (pretty unrealistic) expectations. So this year I decided to do something different. Don’t get too excited–I’m by no means breaking new ground here. Instead of coming up with 10,000 I want to do better/differently, I chose a theme. I’m not even sure I did this the right way, but who’s making the rules here? (I AM! I’m making the rules!) It’s my new year, and I’m determined to do it my way. So the theme I’ve committed to his year is cultivate creativity. If the last couple years have taught me anything, it’s that buckling down and forcing myself to become more regimented often leaves me spinning my wheels rather than becoming more productive. Choosing a overarching theme allows me to loosely structure my life around that idea and to gradually get to where I want to be.

This year I want to infuse creativity into more areas of  my life  For example, creativity in my parenting might look like saying yes to my kids more often, even when it feels inconvenient to me. Creativity in my marriage may mean finding a way to have a date night after the girls are in bed if we don’t have the time or the money to go out that week. And cultivating creativity means spending more time doing/watching/listening to things that spark my imagination instead of mindlessly getting sucked into things. And again, this is something I just want to be mindful of. Like asking myself during the day, “what could I be doing right now that would inspire creativity?” and not, I need to do [blank number] of creative activities today.”

So, what do you do to get ready for a new year? Are you a goal-setter that sets out to achieve all sorts of things? Or do you choose a word or idea and try to let that affect every area of your life? Please share in the comments, I’d love to know!!

I also wanted to share a little bit of NYE 2017 with you as well. We had a pretty low-key day and were just really happy to spend it together after the hustle and bustle of Christmas.

We started out with coffee on the couch in the morning. If you know me even a little bit you know that one of my favorite things is a slow morning with my family and a full pot of coffee.

Later on we took the girls to the museum to put their Museum of Life and Science membership to use for the first time! It was such a good time for all of us. Corey and I got to sit and talk (and drink more coffee) while the girls ran around and played with all.the.things. I think this is going to end up being one of our very favorite gifts this year–and I’m not just talking about for the girls!

When we exhausted just about everything inside (because the high was in the 20s or some such nonsense and mama doesn’t play outside in cold weather!), we headed to NanaTaco for–what else–tacos! Much to our surprise it was nearly empty, which really never happens. We enjoyed taking our time with our meal and these two entertained us with their antics.


We came home and Corey and I broke out the champagne toast (early ;)), we all put on our jammies and slippers and snuggled up on the couch for a movie.


The girls were asleep by 10. Corey carried them up to bed and we crashed hard shortly after. It’s certainly not the NYE I desired or could have imagined in my 20s, but right now I wouldn’t have it any other way. These are my people and I couldn’t be more thankful.

I hope you’re having a great start to a fresh new year. I’m really looking forward to using this space a little more to create more of an authentic connection with you this year. I just can’t wait to see what all is in store!



A Beachy Thanksgiving

We got back Saturday evening from a really fun Thanksgiving beach trip! It was a kid of unconventional way to spend the holiday, but we all agreed that it was one of our favorite Thanksgivings ever!

We ate at a buffet for Thanksgiving dinner and there was just seafood galore! It was amazing. I usually don’t love buffets, but the food at this one was fantastic! We stayed just a short walk from the beach and the girls loved running along the water after our seafood feast. They kept asking to get in the water–and JJ did at one point–but it was cooooooold! We all had to warm up with hot tea and coffee and warm baths when we got back.

O Friday we headed over to Jockey’s Ridge State Park to walk up and down the sad dunes. It was such a last! My kids were literally rolling in the sand. They also had a plan to make a dune of their own and spent a rather industrious 30 minutes building up a big pile of sand ;).

And of course there was more running. Because what’s the point of being in a wide open space if you can’t stretch your legs and sprint up and down giant sand dunes?

We left the dues about a hour before sunset a went to our favorite coffee shop for lattes ad hot cocoa. My mom and I hit up the newish Homegoods i Nags Head ad got some really great Black Friday deals! It was nice to just take our time browsing the aisles looking for goodies.

I between the fun beachy things and shopping and eating, there were lots of coloring pages, Hallmark movies and snuggles.

We had such a great time that we’re talking about doing it again the next time we all spend Thanksgiving together. It was the perfect mix of getting out and doing fun stuff and staying in and relaxing. A big plus was not having to cook a huge dinner after traveling to get to our destination.

I kept saying that this was the most unique way we’ve spent Thanksgiving, but I’m pretty sure being on safari two years ago takes the cake. That year will be really hard to top! I’m so thankful for our family and that we got to spend Thanksgiving with people we love so much. There is just so so so much to be thankful for!