Cooking with Fruit Pt.1: Acai Bowl

I don’t know about you but I loooveeee fruit. How can you not? So sweet and delicious?! I protest those who say it’s not good for you because of all the fructose, BUT if you think about it I could be reaching for a bag of potato chips instead! So eating half a pineapple in one sitting still sounds okay by me..

Because I love fruit so much, I love to look for ways to incorporate it into a meal– normally as a side or a topping on a salad, but I’m going to be blogging a few of my favorite ways to use fruit in meals. Especially in summer when it comes into season, it becomes super inexpensive too!

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a voice of reason

I finally admitted it yesterday to God and to my husband that I’ve felt distant from God.  I’ve felt uncomfortable coming into his presence– trying to fill the silence with noise. Avoiding quiet time, meditation, prayer. It felt like an awkward dinner party, when I have a million things to say but never appropriate to say them. Which is silly– I know– because God has told us in Hebrews 4 that we can come boldly before the throne of grace that we may receive mercy in our time of need.  Yes, this is a time of need, but I am uncomfortable so I digress.

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Eating through Nashville: Year One

We have now officially called Nashville home for a year! In commemoration of this milestone, I decided to post a few blogs about a few fun things.
Even before we moved here, we were well aware of the billions of food options around Nashville. I love food. I especially love brunch food. So when we first moved here, we set an initiative to try lots of new places and keep a running record of them all to see what all we came up with. George and I are both homebodies that stick with what we know so this initiative really helped get us out and away from Chick-Fil-A and Jets Pizza every now and again.
Most weeknights we eat at home, but we usually go to brunch or dinner on the weekends which I love doing.  It’s fun to research our next eatery and what I want to order– and what I think George will order lol. Most of where we go is close around Hillsboro Village and not crazy fancy. Nearly everywhere we go for brunch I order eggs benedict because I love it and I’m determined to try it every restaurant’s take on it. We also rated all the eateries as yum (good), meh (just okay), and bleh (bad).
Without further ado, last year’s Nashville eats (and commentary)! Check em out and give em a taste next time you’re in the 615! Continue reading

2016 in the Books.. Literally

If someone posts a book recommendation on social media or even just mentions a book they read recently, I immediately look it up or screenshot it for later. I get soo many book selections off of recommendations from others and I would journey to guess that’s how many authors collect sales.
That being said, I was thinking the other day after seeing someone I know post about reading 50 books in 2016 *insert jaw-drop* and thought “dang I barely read anything!” Then as I thought more I decided to look back through my kindle, bookshelf, and audiobook app to make a list of how many books I actually consumed in 2016.  I have read many blogger’s posts with books and recommendations so I decided to write a little blurb about some and also added a list of books I started… and aim to re-open each and finish them very soon! (So they are a cross-breed between a 2016 and 2017 list.) Continue reading

How to Conquer New York City in Less than 3 Days

As young college-grads, people are constantly telling us to go travel before we are tied down with kids, commitments, etc., but when you work Monday-Friday with limited vacation time it’s not always feasible to take off and tour Europe for ten days. Knowing this wasn’t going to be possible for George and I, we decided soon after we got married that we would try to take small weekend trips every 3-4 months.
New York City was first on the list! We took advantage of the Fourth of July holiday weekend so we didn’t have to use any time off and with the help of Travelocity, I booked a flight + hotel package for a great deal!

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The Beginning

I for many years now I’ve seen myself as having a blog.. Maybe when I’m thirty with four or five kids writing about how to serve your husband or sharing the best chocolate chip cookie recipe, but it was hard to find the time and consistency to maintain one now.  Business school is hectic, time is scarce, and most of the time my great ideas don’t make it out the shower. But as of recently, I can’t shake the idea of why not start now? I mean I finally thought of a name, you have to start somewhere, and there is no better time than the present. 

Everything has a beginning. So this is mine.

The vision of this blog is to grow alongside young women. To become. Continue reading

Becoming a Bullock:: Our Wedding

I’ve been looking forward to sharing about this day on my blog for a while now, but I wanted to wait until I had all these amazing pictures to accompany it.  Our photographer was Erin Morrison Photography and she is so great to work with. I would highly recommend her!!

I really don’t even know where to begin, but I guess I’ll start that morning.  May 29th I woke up at my parents house in my little twin bed for the last time.  I hung around the kitchen with my family for a while enjoying Panera bagels and a huge Diet Dr Pepper (thanks Dad!), before I had to get to work packing all the cars.  We arrived at the venue, Smithview Pavilion, and it was a beautiful day.  This is where big families come in handy.. almost all my siblings and their spouses and my parents set to work decorating this venue as I had been envisioning in my head since November.  We had so much that had to be done, but we were seriously done in no time at all.  Some bridesmaids made an emergency run to Target and my dad went to pick up Zaxby’s (yes, I ate Fried Chicken and soda and bagels before getting in my wedding dress and I have no regrets about it).  Since everyone knows how long girls get ready for, I’ll skip those few hours.

Now I will share about the bane of my existence, the thorn in my side– my wedding dress. I looked and looked not finding what I had in mind until I bought a sample gown at LVD Bridal in Nashville.  I really liked it, it was simple and light like I wanted, but it was HUGE on me.  I took it for alterations in Knoxville and after a hellish four month ordeal with the seamstress, my dress was ruined by alterations and a lost cause.  My mom is a superhero.  She was level-headed and clear-minded throughout the ordeal and one Sunday afternoon we went back to David’s Bridal to search for a new dress even though I had looked months before and found NOTHING. But my mom prayed and trusted and I found a dress that I was happy with and could be rush ordered.  God always shows himself faithful.

I wanted simple everything so for my accessories I wore a beaded headband from Francesca’s (they don’t have the exact one anymore but this one I linked from Etsy is similar), some pearl studs George got me years ago, a tiny pearl necklace I found at Forever21 (this isn’t the exact one but close), and this beaded bracelet I bought through Katie Neely from Noonday Collection.  Noonday provides sustainable, fair work for people in at-risk countries and their accessories are GORGEOUS.  I’ve bought several items through Katie and the quality is good too! Check it out!  Lastly, I changed to a floral crown for the reception made by The Flower Shop for a change of pace.

George’s dad was his Best Man and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  He’s always been a close friend to George and our biggest advocate, and he stuck by George every moment of the day.  Love you, Dad!

George and I had been planning all along to not see each other until the ceremony, but it wasn’t until three days before I changed my mind and wanted more time at the reception then taking pictures.  I am so glad we made this call and our photographer was so flexible with us.

It was time for our first look and this is what it looked like outside:
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We waited out this round of rain, and then had our moment. George and I both expected to be bawling, but in the moment we were just giddy with happiness.  These moments can’t be described so I’m thankful we have the pictures to capture them.
Erin Morrison Photography www.erinmorrisonphotography.com

 

Erin Morrison Photography www.erinmorrisonphotography.com

 

It was if the rain stopped for what was important.. our first look, wedding party pictures, and the wedding ceremony.  Other than that, it rained on and off all day long.

Erin Morrison Photography www.erinmorrisonphotography.com
For my bridesmaids, I pretty much gave them free rein on what dress they wanted to wear.  I gave them a color palette to follow and they each picked something their style that looked good on them.  I love how it came together.
 Erin Morrison Photography www.erinmorrisonphotography.com
Becoming a Bullock:: Our WeddingBecoming a Bullock:: Our WeddingBecoming a Bullock:: Our WeddingBecoming a Bullock:: Our Wedding
My Emmy girl: for anyone who knows me well, they know how special my relationship is with my nieces, especially Emerson.  I was hesitant to have her in the wedding at first because kids so often mess up, but we decided to have her as our flower girl.  She was so excited leading up the wedding then at the rehearsal she FREAKED OUT and was so scared.  I was sure it wasn’t gonna work out, but day of we practiced a few times and she killed it with confidence.  Her dress and shoes are from Target and I made her halo with materials from JoAnns (so we could match of course).

Florals were done by The Flower Shop in Maryville, TN.  I met with Fran, showing her pictures and describing the flowers and colors I wanted.  When she showed up day of with the bouquets, I was floored.  She nailed it.  The flowers included white and pink roses, hydrangea, peonies, astilbe, and a variety of greenery.

For George and his groomsmen, we elected for no tie– to help them stay as cool as possible– and let them wear whatever grey suit they owned in shades slightly darker than George’s.  Once again, I love how they turned out.  Of course, they had to break out one of George’s footballs or it just wouldn’t be right 🙂

 

 

Our wedding party:
Summer, my life-long friend
Joy and Jill, my sisters
Cayla, my sister in law
and Courtney, another life-long friend

Bill,  his dad
Will, his brother
Colton, a life-long friend and partner in crime
Jarrod, a friend from CollegeLife group
and Nate, a football teammate and friend

 

 

I wanted decorations to be simple and compliment the venue and wedding colors.  A long-time friend of the Bullock family, Lane Bahr Floral Designs, made the table arrangements and holy cow she is so talented.  My mom and I went to Joann Fabrics, collected a bunch of bolts of fabric in all different patterns and colors, and I cut them into table squares.  Once again.. I love how it all came together.  I rented the mantle, chalkboard headboard, and sewing drawer with bottles from Sisters Vintage Rentals.  Oh my goodness, these sisters were the sweetest things and after a vintage lover like myself saw their storage.. I wanted it ALL (but thankfully had self-control).  The Flower Shop also did the greenery on both mantles.  The rest of the wedding decorations I gathered and DIY’ed myself.

 

 

The weather during the ceremony could not have been more perfect.  The sun was behind the trees, it was breezy, the birds were singing.  It was if this window opened with just enough time for our wedding.  We chose to have our former CollegeLife group leader, JC Neely, do half of the ceremony and my dad do the other half.  While in the Neely’s group, George and I grew so much in our relationship, made incredible friendships, and grew in the love of Christ– so it meant so much to have JC be apart of our day.  My dad has been a part of every one of my siblings weddings, and he conducted our vows and exchange of the rings.  My sister, Joy, and brother, Mark, played and sang Ever Be while George and I took communion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then the heavens opened…

 

 

 

George and I snuck away to take pictures at an old bridge that was on the property.  These are my favorite pictures of the entire wedding.  The rain let up, we could hear the music blasting from our reception, and we were finally married.  Wow.  Thank you Lord.

 

 

 

 

I opted to not have a wedding cake because I actually hate cake.. We went with a dessert bar instead with cookies, cheesecake squares, and petit fours.  My favorite were the lemon cookies by Special Tee Cookies— they rival Ham and Goody’s!  George and I cut a pre-cut (lolz didn’t know that til the reception) Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake.

 

 

Then we partied…

 

 

 

The amazing thing about our wedding day was that the same weekend, all over, other couple were celebrating the union of marriage as well.  Our wedding was just another day in another year where people have to buy a gift and dress up and eat a catered dinner.  To us, it was so special, but it wasn’t everything.  This marriage thing we’re tackling now– that’s everything.  It’s harder to remember the love you felt that wedding day after a long day working in construction, but looking back at these pictures is the sweet reminder of the covenant taken and the joy love brings us.

We couldn’t have done this without the amazing generosity of our family and friends, but especially our parents.  Thank you simply doesn’t suffice.

Becoming a Bullock:: Our Wedding

 

XOXO,
Abby Bullock