Five On Friday No. 4

Friday, March 31, 2017
It's the last day of March, y'all!! I can't even begin to wrap my head around it. We're kicking April off with a 15-month-old who talks up a storm, a house full of in-progress projects (#wallpaperforever), and weather that keeps bouncing between warm/sunny and chilly/overcast/rainy. I don't think Virginia can make up its mind about committing to springtime officially. 

N O.   1
I love Grace & Frankie, and the latest season hit Netflix a week ago. So you know what I've been binge watching in my spare time. I really can't get enough, though I could do with less of some of the adult language. Speaking of television shows, my favorite Real Housewives (hello, New York ladies!) are coming back on next week. And so is Southern Charm. I am so excited, and feel so silly for being so excited. #guiltypleasures

NO. 2
Who knew cleaning products could smell so spring fresh?! I am obsessed with Mrs. Meyer's newest spring scent, and it actually makes me excited to clean the kitchen after dinner. It smells that wonderful! I'm using the everyday cleaner for a post-eating wipe-down of the countertops and the hand soap.

N O.   3
So apparently Starbucks has a spring cup out?! I don't know if I've missed the window to get one, but I need to get on that!

N O.   4
We bought our house at the beginning of fall, and the landscaping was completely non-existent. It's still non-existent as we try to decide exactly what we're going to do with our blank space. In the meantime, it has been such a delight to discover the surprise flowers that the yard still boasts. My ver favorites of them all?? The one white hyacinth, the row of tulips (still waiting to see their color!), and the grape hyacinths that are popping up like wildflowers.

N O.   5
One of my favorite parts of spring is breaking out all the dresses. Anyone else?? From casual to dressy, I love them all. Here are some of my top picks are: this, this, this, and this. Is there a dress I need to see? Leave me a link in the comments!

If you missed them, here is my A Taste Of Spring post and Mama Says No. 1 post from this week! Happy weekending! xo

**Affiliate links were used in this post. Thank you as always for supporting Hill Collection Blog!**

Mama Says No. 1

Wednesday, March 29, 2017
These days I find myself having the most basic conversations all day long. And while I like to think there's a dialogue going on, in fact it's usually just a monologue with one very cute 15-month-old who gives me the cheesiest grin in return. In the last couple of months, though, I'm finding that she is most certainly understanding more and more of what I'm saying, which makes me excited for the day when the two of us are having sweet little conversations together. 

In the meantime, I wanted to document the things mama says most. Because this time is so fleeting, and it's proving that to me over and over again. I just want to remember life as it is now.

M A M A    S A Y S 

Drop it!
No touch!
Can I have sugars?
Follow mama.
Not in your mouth!
On your bottom!
Take a bite.....(quickly followed by "chew, chew chew")
No m'am.
Lay down (a million times as we change a diaper).
Watch where you're going.
I love you, I love you, I love you!
Have some water.
Should we let the sunshine in (before opening the shades)?
Say, "thank you."
Clean up, clean up (in a sing-song way)!
What did mama say?
Come here. 
Mama loves!
I could eat you up!
Give me a squeeze!
Let's make good choices. 
Let's make coffee (no, she doesn't actually get any!)
Can you say fill in the blank?

Sometimes I say these things with a sweet smile or mid-laugh, and other times I am working on my "mom face" to let her know I mean business. I love watching her grasp what I'm saying, before I know it she'll be full on chatter (as if she's not already!) right along with me!

So, mamas out there, tell me I'm not alone in saying these things :) What do you find yourself saying day-in and day-out??

A Taste Of Spring

Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Saturday was our first taste of true spring weather, with the sun out and temperatures just creeping up to the 70s. We opted to put aside all of our to-dos and house projects for a full day of family time, which started early that morning at the local Farmer's Market. We almost got a Greek crepe, before skipping out of line to avoid the inevitable hour-long wait, promising ourselves we would make the crepe happen the next time, ordering a little earlier. 

What did we do instead of crepes? Jimmy Johns subs, that's what. And we walked those subs to the center of VT's campus for a picnic lunch with our girl. Who, after eating her share of food, decided walking all over the Drillfield is what dreams are made of. I'm not sure who was more enamored, her at all that open, beautiful space or the college students watching the most joyful baby waddle about. 

After a nap for baby, and a super short nap for mama, we resumed family time by playing outside, or in adult terms, tending to our yard while baby-wearing. Then we parked ourselves on a blanket to snack and listen to the birds. Greer loves tweeting back at the birds, and I find it all kinds of adorable. 

We kept dinner simple and delicious, which I'll be sharing with a double-recipe post later this week. And we rounded out the evening outside once more, walking all over, admiring the surprise flowers popping up in our yard, sticking our tongues out, and giving sugars. Saturday was one for the books, my friends. 

If you're wondering, this is our clothesline. It needs a little love, but it's going to be the best spot for air-drying clothes these next several months!

 Her first pair of sandals. I can't even. And she loves them, which makes it all the cuter. 

**Affiliate links were used in this post. Thank you for supporting the blog!

The Best Avocado-Topped Crock Pot Chili

Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Y'all, the Hill House is rejoicing the arrival of springtime! There's nothing quite so wonderful as early morning sun, the chitter chatter of chirping birds, fresh flowers, and open windows. If I didn't love fall so much, spring would easily be my favorite. I just adore this time of year. 

Even though it's spring, the temperatures aren't quite up in Virginia. So while I am gearing our dinner menus to reflect those spring feels, I'm still sneaking in some cozy meals. And there's no better way to fix this type of dish than in the crock pot where prep is minimal and the slow cooker does all the work. 

I think you absolutely must add this to your meal list. BECAUSE, THERE'S FRESH AVOCADO ON TOP, AND YOU WILL NEVER EAT YOUR CHILI THE SAME. It's that life-changing.  Of course, there's sour cream too. And the combo of those two with a spicy bite from the chili is perfection. 

Now let's get to making some scrumptious chili!

  • What You'll Need
    • 1 lb ground beef
    • 1 medium onion, diced
    • 1 green pepper, diced
    • 28 oz diced tomatoes
    • 2 cans light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
    • 3 1/4 cups chicken broth
    • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
    • 4 TBSP chili powder
    • 1.5 TSP cumin
    • 1 TSP oregano
    • 1 TSP garlic salt
    • Pinch of red pepper
    • 3 avocados
    • Mexican mix shredded cheese, for topping
    • Sour cream, for topping

  • What You'll Do
    • Brown the beef, draining off the excess fat. Add the diced onion to the skillet and cook until tender. 
    • In a crock pot, add the diced tomatoes, kidney beans, chicken broth, and all of the spices. Throw in the diced green peppers. Next add the browned beef and onion. 
    • Cook on high for 3.5 to 4 hours. 
    • At approximately 3 hours, add the corn.
    • Serve hot, topped with chunks of avocado, dollops of sour cream, and a sprinkling of cheese.
**you can cook the beef and onion ahead of time, storing in the fridge for several days until you are ready to make the chili.

**half of an avocado to one bowl of chili 

**if you don't like a little kick of spice, use only 3 TBSP chili powder

Five On Friday No. 3

Friday, March 17, 2017
Happy St. Patrick's Day and almost-weekend! The week was a good one until late in the day on Wednesday when some kind of virus struck and took me down. I'm feeling much better today, and I'm hopeful that I'll be back to myself completely by tomorrow. Because a) being sick as a mama is hard and b) I don't have time to be sick. Amen?

In better news, I've got a crockpot full of chili going, ready to be topped with a dollop of sour cream and chunks of avocado for dinner tonight. The weather is still freezing here, so a simple and piping hot dinner is perfect. If it turns out as declious as I hope, I'll share the recipe! Did I mention creamed corn cornbread is the side? #yum

N O.   1
I hope you're wearing a little something green today, but if not, check out this jacket! And green or not, I need all of these: this top with stripes (love!), these pajamas, and this comfy tee

N O.   2
Who is going to see Beauty and the Beast?? I think I am going to make a girls' night of it and go with my mama and sister to see it! I'm so excited! 

N O.   3
We're hoping these below freezing temperatures haven't killed the tulip and hyacinth blooms that had peaked through the ground during the stint of warm weather we had been having. Anyone have any tips about this? Can you offer me some hope? I love hyacinths and tulips, so finding them in our yard was such a lovely surprise. Now I'm hoping that I will get to enjoy them in bloom.

N O.   4
I've talked about them, and talked about them some more. In fact, you're probably sick of my talking about them. So I finally bit the bullet and ordered them! They're arriving tomorrow, and I've got my fingers crossed they bring some warmer weather so I can start wearing them!!

N O.   5
I'm really wanting to find a great pair of white jeans for spring and summer. Here are two options from Target: Option 1 and Option 2. Have you found that winning pair?? If so, tell me where to look!

p.s. Subscribe to our Youtube channel and watch our latest vlog! Happy weekending!!

**Affiliate links were used in this post. Thank you as always for supporting Hill Collection Blog!**

We Started Vlogging!

Monday, March 13, 2017
Happy Monday, y'all! I'm just a tad giddy with this announcement! For a while, husband and I have considered vlogging and taking the blog to another forum. What does that mean? We'll be making more videos in addition to still blogging here. I think one of my favorites, is our Little Chats series where we'll just be talking and sharing different topics of interest with you. Whether it's parenthood, family life, marriage, home ownership, DIYing, etc., we want to chat about it all! 

And do you know what I would love?? To answer any questions you might have for us in these videos. Do you have something you've wanted to know about us, our favorites or our perspective on something? If so, head over to our Youtube channel and leave a comment with your question! Our next Little Chats video might just answer your burning questions ;)

In addition to the Little Chats vlogs, we'll be vlogging home tours, DIY how-to's, recipes, beauty, travel, and the likes. What makes this so fun for me? Putting these vlogs together with husband! Because teamwork is the dreamwork, friends!

We'd love for you to subscribe to our channel to keep up with the latest videos. You can do that on our Youtube page! Let us know what you think! We're thrilled to be sharing life with you!

Five on Friday No. 2

Friday, March 10, 2017
This week  f l e w  by. As in, I blinked and Monday turned into Friday. I'm not complaining because some weeks drag by, and this just needed to be a quick week. Maybe because the weather has turned cold again and I'm counting down the days to spring or maybe because I have a stack of projects that I want to get completed. Either way, this gal is SO ready for weekending!

N O.   1
You all blew me away with your responses to the giveaway question from this post. THANK YOU to everyone who answered! I read all of the comments and feel so encouraged with moving forward with the dreams I have for Twine & Cotton! Speaking of the giveaway.....the winner is Heather Puzey!! Congrats, lady! 

N O.   2
Because they are good enough to mention twice in one week, these shoes give me all the spring feels. And I can't wait to sport them around during the warmer months. 

N O.   3
My favorite accessory lately has been my Roman numeral-engraved bar necklace. I chose to put Greer's birthdate on it because not only is it my first-born's birthday, but it's also the day I became a mama. (Any husbands out there reading this?? This would be a fabulous Mother's Day gift  **wink wink**)

N O.   4
I've been giving my nails a polish break over the last week. But, not I'm ready to put a pop of color on them! Do you have a favorite for this time of year? I'm think something like this or this or maybe this. What do you think?

N O.   5
I'm really wanting to get some large house plants to brighten up my spaces. And to go with some of them, I'd love a pot holder like this or a beautiful basket like this one. I'd love a Fiddle Leaf Fig tree to fill that basket. Any pointers on the best house plants?? I need them all, my thumb isn't exactly green.

Happy weekending, lovelies! You'll find me wallpapering, wallpapering, and wallpapering some more! Because three rooms are being wallpapered in the Hill House. #whatwasIthinking #itwillbeworthit :)

p.s. Read some little love letters I wrote on the blog earlier this week!

**Affiliate links were used in this post. Thank you as always for supporting Hill Collection Blog!**

Little Love Letters || March Edition

Thursday, March 9, 2017
photo by Rachel Wells Photography 

Thank you for making my wallpaper dreams come true. You are scrumptious.

dear weather,
I wish you would find a steady constant, preferably with warmer temperatures and no snow. This fluctuating must stop. 

dear johnnyswim,
I could play Georgica Pond all day, every day. Thank you.

dear daylight savings,
I'm excited for your longer days, but I am hesitant how Greer will respond. Promise to go easy on her, will you?

dear spring fragrances,
you make my heart sing and my house smell like springtime paradise.

dear green grass in my front yard,
You are a lovely sight. I'm sorry the surrounding grass on either side of you looks so sad and brown.

dear laundry,
Do you think you could find a way to do yourself? I would so appreciate it.

dear wedges,
I'm coming for you. You were made for my spring wardrobe.

dear flowers popping up randomly in my yard,
You are such a nice surprise, and one I didn't expect to find in our completely un-landscaped yard. The tulips and hyacinths are making me giddy, but those daffodils are going to need to go.

cheers and xoxo's!

p.s. Don't forget to enter the giveaway going on HERE! It ends tonight!

**Affiliate links used within this post. Thank you for supporting the blog!

Twine & Cotton Spring Candles + A GIVEAWAY

Monday, March 6, 2017

Eek! Y'all the best spring scents are now available in the shop! From florals to lemon fresh, there are six new fragrances sure to capture the essence of springtime. And I can't possibly pick a favorite. The warm weather disappeared over the course of last week, but I can assure you the spring vibes are still strong in the Hill House with one of these spring candles burning. The crackle of the wood wick is a little extra bonus!

So what are the scents? Let me introduce you....

I encourage you to browse the shop and read the descriptions to get the best idea of what each candle smells like. As I name the candles, I imagine and visualize exactly what the fragrance reminds me of, which also becomes a part of each candle's description in the shop. If you have a question about a scent feel free to ask. Whether it's here in the comments or through a conversation on Etsy, I'm happy to answer the best I can!

G I V E A W A Y 

In  honor of the spring collection release, Twine & Cotton is giving away a complete set of the spring line in mini candles! That means the lucky winner will get one of each of our spring fragrances!! The giveaway lasts until Thursday night at midnight, and the winner will be announced here on Friday!

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