TFF + The Pick No. 17

Friday, April 29, 2016

All the praise hands for Friday! This week has been bleh, if you know what I mean. It's just been a week full of stress for this gal, and when there feels like there is just too much on my plate and I'm not handling it well, the little things start to feel like big things. All that being said this little blog of mine took to the back burner. But, I've got some great posts to share next week, and I'm hopeful I can get them put together to share with you. I've missed you all this week!

Today, you'll be catching me cruising toward husband's hometown for a long weekend trip. And yes, there will be a Starbucks drink in one of my hands :) This is Greer girl's first road trip, and I've got my fingers crossed that we have timed the travel just right, matching up with her nap times. I'm looking forward to a simple and low key weekend. We'll be getting in all the hometown favorites and relaxing our way through till Sunday. 

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T H I N K I N G  > A lot about the future. With husband graduating at the end of the year, we have a lot to consider and plan for. I'm a little overwhelmed with it to be truthful. Someone make all the decisions for us??

P O N D E R I N G > On social media and the way it has changed over the last year or so, especially Instagram. Has anyone else noticed how calculated social media is? I feel like I'm late to the game in discovering all the apps out there that schedule people's posts, the apps that "like" people's photos, and so on. In the last couple of weeks it has really disheartened me about how strategic it all has become. And if you're trying to keep up with the top dogs it seems that's the only way to play the game. I'm just not into it, and I've been trying to reevaluate how I want to use my social media, mostly Instagram. My desire is to share photos that inspire, make you feel happy, and are genuine, true-to-my-life. I'd love for IG to help bring new readers to Hill Collection too. The problem is that I want all of this organically, and somehow I feel like in choosing that route I'm getting left in the dust. I think it's why I'm loving Snapchat so much these days. I don't worry about filters or if it looks just right. It's just a fun blip of life as it's happening and I love that. Plus, I love that you can comment and share with others. What are your thoughts?

N E E D I N G > To let the worries go. 

L I S T E N I N G > To the actual radio. Last Saturday I was driving alone (baby girl was home with her daddy) and I realized that I hadn't listened to the radio since before she was born. It was nice to have the car to myself and jam to my own music.

D R E A M I N G > Of my own HGTV show. Silly, I know, but I'd love it nonetheless!

S W O O N I N G > Over this! I think it would be perfect as a purse + diaper bag!



p.s. I've got a new, spring-perfect nail polish that I'm wearing on repeat! I think you'll love it! And if you're looking for a quick and perfect meal to make over the weekend, check out my Chicken Burrito Bowls! They're a Hill favorite!


Have a really wonderful weekend, lovelies! xo


have we found each other on Instagram??  @astleigh_hill
what about Snapchat?? @astleigh_hill
and stay up to date with posts by liking the blog's Facebook page


p.s. Join Rachel and I on Instagram for #thedarlingdetails throughout the year. Each Monday we pick a theme, you post a photo that interprets it, and on Friday we share one of your photos on our IG feeds. Get creative, get colorful, get unique! You in?! You've still got time to post a photo for this week! The theme is Mom Uniform"


Don't forget to link up with me for The Pick by grabbing the URL of your favorite blog post from this week and adding it below. I ask that you comment on some of the other posts linked-up, and that you most definitely comment on the blogger that linked up just before you. Spread the blogging love! Tag me if you like!


Affiliate links were used in this post, which means if you clicked on them I may earn a commission. 
Thank you for supporting this blog! 

TFF + The Pick No. 16

Friday, April 22, 2016
This week came and went faster than I even thought possible! But alas, happy Friday!! I'm rounding out my week with a 4 month old (that officially happened yesterday, someone hold me), breakfast this morning with my mama, and anticipation for some amazing weekend weather!

We've got few to-dos this weekend and I am so looking forward to some down time and some little projects! What are you most looking forward to this weekend??


T H I N K I N G  > That I need to come up with a way to magically get my kitchen cleaned up after dinner. I realize this is just not possible, unless I hire full-time help. A girl can dream, can't she??

P O N D E R I N G > About our first (mini) road trip with Greer coming up. I think she'll be a champ, and catch some zzz's the entire way.

N E E D I N G > A massage! And hallelujah, all the praise hands, I've got one tomorrow!

L I S T E N I N G > To almost baby laughs. Greer is so close to laughing and I am so excited to hear her first giggle fit. She let's out little laugh soundbites and they completely melt me over.

D R E A M I N G > Of decorating a house one day. I've got a house on my mind so very much lately. In the meantime I'll keep looking and scanning homes for sale, mostly for fun but also just in case ;) 

S W O O N I N G > Over these! I need them and all other things striped too!


p.s. My favorite boxwood wreaths are on sale and so is the lamp I adore that is my family room!

Have an incredible weekend, lovelies! xo


have we found each other on Instagram??  @astleigh_hill
what about Snapchat?? @astleigh_hill
and stay up to date with posts by liking the blog's Facebook page


p.s. Join Rachel and I on Instagram for #thedarlingdetails throughout the year. Each Monday we pick a theme, you post a photo that interprets it, and on Friday we share one of your photos on our IG feeds. Get creative, get colorful, get unique! You in?! You've still got time to post a photo for this week! The theme is "Blue Skies."


Don't forget to link up with me for The Pick by grabbing the URL of your favorite blog post from this week and adding it below. I ask that you comment on some of the other posts linked-up, and that you most definitely comment on the blogger that linked up just before you. Spread the blogging love! Tag me if you like!


Affiliate links were used in this post, which means if you clicked on them I may earn a commission. 
Thank you for supporting this blog! 

Burgers, Babes & Beautiful Weather

Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Springtime is killin' it this week! The temperatures have been in the high 70's to low 80's, the sun is out in full force, the grass is greener than ever, and the trees are filling out beautifully! To say I'm excited about it all is a severe understatement. The windows in our home have been open since Saturday, and I'm breathing in as much fresh air as possible. 

With perfect conditions like these husband and I strongly agree that you can't let the days pass by without enjoying them thoroughly. And sometimes that looks like taking your dinner outdoors for a picnic with your people. Last night we did just that, packed up our little family of three and headed for an outdoor grill with family. Hamburger anyone?












Don't even get me started on this joyful girl of mine. She's pure happiness and it makes my heart sing. This mama made an oopsie and bought a hat that was too big, but Greer still made it look like the cutest hat in the world. I could seriously eat her up, y'all. And I think she could eat up all this warm and lovely weather. 










baby outfit || carter's
baby bucket hat || target



Affiliate links were used in this post, which means if you clicked on them I may earn a commission. 
Thank you for supporting this blog! 

TFF + The Pick No. 15

Friday, April 15, 2016
TGIF! I blinked and my baby grew bigger, my house got messier, the laundry basket filled back up, and Friday appeared again. You guys, where are these days going??

This weekend is going to be rather relaxed. I'm most excited for the warm temperatures and am hoping to get outside to stroll baby girl around. It's been so cold lately and I've missed going for walks and getting the fresh air. Fingers crossed the weatherman is on target for the upcoming temperatures! How do you plan on spending your weekend??

And a big congrats to Heather Hevener for winning the Covered Goods cover! 
Look for an email from me!
T H I N K I N G  > That revamping the blog is a whole lot of fun, but also a whole lot of work! So while it's not completely made-over, be sure to catch the coming changes over the next week or so! What do you think so far??

P O N D E R I N G > Our upcoming summer travels and trips.

N E E D I N G > More sleep! Greer is going through a 'leap' according to her wonder weeks chart and we can tell it. She's fussier than normal, wants to nurse 24/7, needs to be held constantly, and refuses to go to sleep in her crib right away. Just when we were feeling settled, we get a little out of the blue challenge. We'll get past it, but in the meantime can someone send me some extra zzz's??

L I S T E N I N G > To a few birds chirping and the movement of air outside. Our windows are cracked currently, and it's glorious. #longliveopenwindows

D R E A M I N G > Of a project that I've given thought to on and off for several years. Maybe it's time to make a move!

S W O O N I N G > Over this hair coloring! I'm thinking you'll be seeing me sporting that look come May! Think I can pull it off?


Have a super weekend, lovelies! xo


have we found each other on Instagram??  @astleigh_hill
and stay up to date with posts by liking the blog's Facebook page


p.s. Join Rachel and I on Instagram for #thedarlingdetails throughout the year. Each Monday we pick a theme, you post a photo that interprets it, and on Friday we share one of your photos on our IG feeds. Get creative, get colorful, get unique! You in?! You've still got time to post a photo for this week! The theme is "Nail Envy."


Don't forget to link up with me for The Pick by grabbing the URL of your favorite blog post from this week and adding it below. I ask that you comment on some of the other posts linked-up, and that you most definitely comment on the blogger that linked up just before you. Spread the blogging love! Tag me if you like!


Virgin Tropical Margaritas

Tuesday, April 12, 2016
I love a good frozen drink, whether it's coffee or fruity, if it's crunchy and cold I'm all about it. As a new [nursing] mama I'm currently looking for alternatives to some of my favorite alcoholic drinks. Like most of you know, we throw a monthly Supper Club, and it was our turn to host this last time. Husband has himself a new smoker, and he takes any opportunity to throw meat on it, which I happily oblige to (have you smelled a smoker going?! It's heaven!). Since he had been itching to smoke pork, we ran with it and decided pork tacos and all the fixings would be perfect for a Fiesta theme. And you can't have a themed meal without the right drink. Cue the frozen margarita!


These margs are super simple to throw together! And if you wanted to add tequila to it for a little extra punch, you could easily do so. Now grab your blender and let's get started...

  • What You'll Need
    • 1 can frozen limeade
    • 1 1/2 cups orange juice
    • 1 1/3 cups grapefruit juice
    • Ice
    • Lime slice for garnishing
 
  • What You'll Do
    • Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until slushy. 
    • Add ice as you go to reach your desired consistency.
    • Garnish with a lime slice for a little something special!


Cheers! xo

From Ordinary To Extraordinary

Monday, April 11, 2016
Happy Monday, lovelies! I hope the morning has been treating you well so far and the manic part of Monday is passing you right by. It dawned on me lately how needed it is for me to make each day a little more extraordinary for no other reason than just because. I don't need a special occasion or a holiday to turn a regular day into something a bit more fabulous.


So how do I do it??

I love iced coffee in the morning, that's no secret. And it's not always feasible (or budget-friendly) for me to get out of the house to grab one. So I make sure that I have my favorite (Starbucks Iced Espresso ClassicsVanilla Latte) in my fridge and ready to be poured out. I serve it in a fancy glass, one with a bright blue rim, and throw a decorative and playful paper straw in it. 


How do other gals do it??

"I make a point each day to do something for myself, whether that's fixing my hair and makeup, taking a hot bath with a glass of wine, or getting dolled up for a date night. I try to remember to take care of myself first so I'm able to take care of my boys." >>Ashlie Langston

"I like to buy a bouquet of fresh flowers every week! It's my little treat to myself for always making sure everyone else is taken care of! They make me happy every time I look at them!" >> Jessica K.

"I eat a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream with homemade hot fudge every single day. It's a rich reward to look forward to after the boys are in bed." >> Rachel Zimm 

"I try to wear one thing everyday that makes me feel pretty, like a bright lipstick, a fun earring, or even a sparkly headband on days when workout gear is all I can muster. When I catch my hot-mess self in the mirror throughout the day, my one thing makes me smile and puts a little more pep in my step!"           >> Chelsea Purifoy

"Lighting fun candles and playing French music in the background always helps my day to feel a bit more adventurous!" >> Hayle Olson


As a stay at home mom it's easy for me stay in pajamas, forget the makeup, let my hair go, and not venture out of the house for days in a row. But how simple it is to take my days and spruce them up, turning just one aspect into something fancier and more playful. 

How do you turn an ordinary day into an extraordinary one??

p.s. Don't forget to enter the GIVEAWAY happening now! It ends tomorrow!!


TFF + The Pick No. 14

Friday, April 8, 2016
You guys! How is it another Friday?!

Why am I even surprised that another week has come and gone? This week literally felt like a blip on my radar. It was busy, but not. Do you know that kind of week?? And I feel like I got a good bit accomplished, but I also don't at the same time. I blame it on the whole, never-ending to-do list ordeal.

In other news, I'm getting pretty hooked on Snapchat (find me @astleigh_hill) even if I'm not 100% sure of what I'm doing and how to operate all of its features. You can bet there is a whole lot of baby cuteness happening, so find me and follow along with our crazy antics ;)

Oh yes, one more thing, I love being able to respond to your comments with Disqus and have you getting notified that I've done so!! Hallelujah for a good commenting system!

Just kidding, I've got yet one more thing to share...the giveaway going on has your name all over it! Go enter!

T H I N K I N G  > About how to arrange my console table. I've got the bottom just how I want it, but the tabletop is leaving me stumped!

P O N D E R I N G > When the release date for the Gilmore Girl installments on Netflix will be! Have I missed that announcement? And for funsies, look what I stumbled upon, some sneak peak photos! EEEK!



N E E D I N G > A Home Goods near me! And a Trader Joe's too!

L I S T E N I N G > To the house creak. It's windy out and this home of ours is making all kinds of racket. Doesn't it know I've got a sleeping baby?!


D R E A M I N G > Of a workshop experience that I host. Who would want to come hang out with me on a Friday night, eat good treats, and get busy with a DIY?!

S W O O N I N G > Over Fixer Upper. I've been watching the older seasons on Netflix and I can't get enough. Can Joanna and I be BFFs already? Also, can she come style my hair??


May your weekend not be snowy (Virginia's weekend forecast), but warm and springy! xo


have we found each other on Instagram??  @astleigh_hill
and stay up to date with posts by liking the blog's Facebook page
or subscribe via email to be updated every time I post (see the sidebar)


p.s. If you're interested in ROCKSBOX and want your first month FREE, use my code: ASTLEIGHBFF

p.s.s Just one more thing! Rachel and I are hosting an Instagram challenge throughout the year. Each Monday a theme will be posted. During the week post a photo that gives your take on the topic. Get creative, get colorful, get unique! And on Fridays we'll pick our favorite and share it on our feeds! You in?! We'll be sharing next week's topic on Monday. And you've still got time to post a photo for this week! The theme is "On My Shoulder."


Don't forget to link up with me for The Pick by grabbing the URL of your favorite blog post from this week and adding it below. I ask that you comment on some of the other posts linked-up, and that you most definitely comment on the blogger that linked up just before you. Spread the blogging love! Tag me if you like!


A Stroll With Covered Goods + A GIVEAWAY [closed]

Thursday, April 7, 2016
With warmer weather and springtime here (not including this weekend, go away forecasted snow flurries), we love getting out and strolling with our girl. As soon as husband is home from work, we make our way outside to soak in the sunshine and digest our day as we walk. While baby can use some vitamin D, we don't want the sun shining directly on her and for so long. Cue the best cover ever! 

Covered Goods has saved us countless times, from keeping her covered on a walk that is either too bright or windy to helping her sleep in a loud restaurant by shielding her from the noise and all the hubbub going on and providing all-around coverage while she nurses when we're in public. We don't know what we would do without this thing!


I happened upon Covered Goods through Instagram, and after checking out their website I knew I had found a product gold mine. Not only does it act as a carseat cover, but it doubles as a nursing cover, giving stretch and security (nope little one, you can't pull this down!), which are two BIG musts/needs on my list. Seeing as I am very modest, a cover that has me covered all the way around is super important to me. This cover makes breastfeeding in public not so nerve-racking and I love that. Did I mention it can also be worn as an infinity scarf and will be great for using in a cart at Target, ahem I mean the grocery store when she is big enough?! 


Everywhere I go around town I have people commenting on the cover. From complimenting its design to wondering where they can get their own. I've been in the waiting room at the doctor's office, on my way into church, and strolling through the grocery store, when women of every age make the nicest comments about what a great cover I've got. I know a mama (new or old) spots something good when she makes such a big fuss over it! And that's why I'm sharing it with you! Because this thing is awesome! Husband would attest to it too. And on the few occasions we have forgotten to bring it along, we are hitting ourselves (not literally!) for the error. 


Covered Goods offers several different patterns. We went for the wide black and ivory stripe and the thin gray and ivory stripe because they felt timeless and classic. Also because we want to use these covers for all of our babies and the neutral stripes are great for either gender.

I love the ease of using it, the breathable material, the ability to "check in" without disturbing her, the flexibility it offers for different things, and the style. I know Greer appreciates it too, giving her the protection she needs, the peace to fall asleep when a nap is calling, and the privacy when she's nursing. Those are the same reasons I'm so in crazy about it too.

I'm so excited to be partnering with Covered Goods to give you the chance to win one for yourself or to gift to a mama you know! Covered Goods is giving a $34.99 store credit to one lucky winner to pick the cover of their choosing. And you're not going to be disappointed; this cover is a total game changer! Scroll on down to enter!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway will end Tuesday, April 12 @ 3:00 PM, and a winner will be randomly selected and announced on Wednesday!



Thank you to Covered Goods for sending me the gray and ivory striped cover! All opinions, thoughts, and photos are solely my own. 
Affiliate links were used in this post, which means if you clicked on them I may earn a commission. Thank you for supporting this blog! 

Chicken Burrito Bowls

Tuesday, April 5, 2016
We've found a new favorite! With a little culinary imagination husband and I whipped up these AMAZING chicken burrito bowls. They're so good that we've eaten them for dinner twice in four days. Plus they leave you with leftovers for a healthy and delicious lunch. That's saying something considering I'm not the biggest fan of leftovers!

  • What You'll Need
    • For the seasoned chicken
      • 6 chicken thighs (boneless & skinless)
      • Chili powder
      • Onion powder
      • Salt & pepper
    • For the bowl
      • Minute brown rice
      • Corn (we used a steamable bag)
      • 1 can black beans
      • Mexican blend cheese
      • 1 avocado (+ another for the next day leftovers)
      • Romaine lettuce
    • For the chipotle cream sauce
      • 1 cup sour cream
      • 2 TBSP medium chipotle sauce
      • Juice from 1/2 a lime
      • Garlic salt (to taste)

  • What You'll Do
    • For the chicken and bowl
      • Dice the chicken and season with the chili powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Cook until done.
      • While the chicken in cooking, prepare the rice according to the box directions. We make 4 servings to have enough for leftovers.
      • Dice the avocado; cut the lettuce; and heat the corn and the black beans (we just microwaved them).
      • Layer the bowl with the rice, then top with the romaine, chicken, corn, beans, avocado, and cheese. Dollop the chipotle cream sauce on the side. Mix it up!
    • For the chipotle cream sauce
      • Mix the sour cream, chipotle sauce, and lime juice in a bowl. Add the garlic salt to your taste preference.


Now enjoy a hearty and healthy meal that takes no time to throw together!