i don't know about you guys but life is moving fast for me these days. some days i forget to even feed myself. the more chaotic my life has become, some things (some of my favorite things) have had to take a backseat. one of those is online shopping. i LOVE online shopping, just ask cal ;) but i have been way too busy to even have time to online shop ::gasp:: i know, sad times.
.......ENTER YOU OWN THE LOOK.
i really used to be the pro at online shopping and still would be if i had the time these days. i used to pride myself in finding the best deals on the internet. of course during long road trips or something, i will get enough time to myself to start looking. but most days, its just not an option for me. time is money, right? well you own the look (i'll call it YOTL from here on out) has changed the freaking game! for $20 a month they do all the shopping for you!
what i mean is every monday, they send you an email with their latest "lookbook" of photos of shopable items with links, everything from athleisure to cocktail attire. the best part is, every item is under $100! occasionally they have "investment pieces" but we're talking affordable, fashion forward, neutral pieces. everything always look super high end without the expensive price tag too! i am LOVING my subscription to YOTL.
i was shocked to hear about the concept (being the shopaholic that i am) because i'd never heard of anyone doing anything similar. i look forward to that email every monday! is anyone else already signed up for yotl? what do you think!?
This morning I went to check the weather for today and accidentally clicked the city at the top, taking me to the list of cities I've plugged in my weather app in the last year:
And I had to stop for second. "Wait. How had I been to all those cities in the past year?!" The answer for many of those cities is my brother, Nathan. If you don't know about my brother you can read more about his story here. But two years ago we found out he had terminal brain cancer. My only brother, my baby brother, is fighting one of the most aggressive forms of cancer out there. Two years ago he collapsed and had 3 seizures at work. We found out that same day that he had a baseball sized mass in his brain. This was SHOCKING to us. Nathan is a VERY active person. He didn't have the best diet back then but you'd never find him sitting around on a couch all weekend.
A few weeks after that he had a crainiotomy to remove as much of the tumor as safely possible. Since then he did the chemo/radiation song and dance without much luck and got just enough regrowth to get him eligibility into a clinical trial with an immunotherapy drug. For the past year he's being doing immunotherapy every two weeks in Birmingham, AL. And just to bring you totally up to date, he's having a second crainiotomy on June 13 to remove the fluid filled cyst that's filled the cavity where his tumor was, as well as his regrowth of the existing tumor.
But back to what I was saying, since Nathan's diagnosis he has LIVED more than anyone I know. He created a YouTube account for his son where his made all kinds of videos for him to watch one day, he wrote and published a book written for his son (you can get a copy here), he started running and I mean hardcore ultra marathon running. He qualified for The North Face 50k in the Muir Woods, which was one of our trips to San Francisco last year. He ended up having multiple seizures during the race and had to drop around mile 19. But hell! That's 19 more miles than I could've run! And he did it with brain cancer and without complaining about anything except not finishing.
We also took another trip to San Francisco with Nathan and Elizabeth to do the Napa thing. We took a trip to Carillon Beach, right outside of Rosemary Beach, with all the kids. We went to Boston to see him run (and finish, even after 5 seizures!) the Boston Marathon. In December we went to Birmingham for a surgery to place a drain in his tumor cavity. February 13th was his 30th birthday and Elizabeth threw him an awesome party that we went to Chattanooga for. It's been a BUSY year with all the "nathan trips" as Cal calls them. I told Nathan his next race needs to be in the carribbean (😂) and he said "that's way too hot for a race."
A month ago I started reading 21 Days of Prayer for Your Business by Monique McClean. It's a fabulous book and I highly recommend it. But in it she talks about living a life of worship, using this verse:
"My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts, says the Lord. And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine." Isaiah 55:8
She talks about how giddy it makes her to think about what God has in store for her life. I LOVE that. A lot of her book is about giving God the reigns in your business, which is a super hard trait for me because I'm a CONTROL FREAK and sinfully think my ways are pretty good. But the deal is, HIS ways are better. HIS ways are perfect.
She goes on to say to live a life of worship with YOUR gifts. I feel like Nathan has done this in spades and I feel honored to have gotten to watch and learn first hand him live his life "until Christ is formed in you." He recently got that tattooed on his upper thigh facing him, up so high that he has to be running in running shorts to see it. The full verse:
"oh my dear children! I feel as though I am going through labor pains again for you and they will continue until Christ is formed in you." Galatians 4:19
Think about that for a moment....I never felt labor pains with any of the children that I have living in our home today (thank you epidurals and spinal taps) but I lost a baby at 10 weeks and went in FULL ON LABOR during the miscarriage. It's the worst pain I have ever experienced. I'll spare any possible men reading this the details but I was literally throwing up in pain and ended up having to call an ambulance. I've never felt pain like that in my life.
Life is GOING TO BE painful. But I pray, that if nothing else in my life, that Christ is formed in me and my children. Nathan never hides the reason he's still alive today and will sing Jesus's praises all day long. Sometimes I wonder "did God pick Nathan because he knew Nathan would give him ALL the glory?" Nathan is a walking miracle and would NEVER take credit for how well he is doing even though he eats a very strict diet and has an unreal work/exercise ethic.
So what are YOUR gifts? I ask this because I'm also asking myself. I'm in a facebook group this summer led by 10 of the highest ranking leaders (diamonds, crown diamond, and royal crown diamonds) at Young Living. These women are strong Christian women who have devoted a good portion of the summer to helping our teams grow. They've been sharing their stories with us and challenging us in different ways. So the other night one of the girls, Jen Jordan, spoke about our dreams. She asked what our goals were? My first thoughts were "pay off medical bills and debts." And then she said "I felt like God brought me this business to pay off our 15k in medical bills." And tears started to roll down my face. THOSE WERE MY EXACT THOUGHTS!!! Then she said, "but then we were also able to pay off our cars, our house, and then the pay checks became so big that we wanted to do more." They now own a company that funds adoptions for families that can't afford them. She challenged us to "dream bigger!" Because y'all, God is bigger.
As I started to rack my brain of my biggest dreams, I was coming up blank. I've never thought that far ahead because it seems too far fetched and I'm more of a green personality (if you don't know what the means, check your personality here) and it doesn't seem logical that I would ever do well enough at any job to have those kinds of dreams. My paychecks will never be THAT big. I thought of the company we recently got some adorable travel blankets and bibdanas from, Elliefunday. They hire women in India who are victims of domestic abuse, human trafficking, or societal rejection and give them fair wage jobs making their BEAUTIFUL baby products. They also provide the women with medical clinics, ongoing education, and financial management. You can read more about their mission here. Who's to say I can't have a dream like that? One for HIS glory in the Kingdom.
So this week I've been trying to figure out how to live a life or worship with MY gifts. I know one of my gifts is photography and I pray God shows me how to use it as such. Another one of my gifts (and love languages) is actual gifts. I looooove giving people things. So I decided to do a giveaway with EllieFunday and give one of you our favorite blanket, the nomad travel blanket.
To enter: 1. Follow both @hdavisphotography and @elliefunday on instagram 2. Click here to enter your info 3. Bonus entries for tagging your friends in my instagram post! The giveaway will end at 5PM PST on Friday 6/16/2017 and we will announce the winner in the comments of my instagram post!*
I hope this week you will challenge yourself to live a life of worship and find ways that you can use your gifts. Pray for God to show you how He wants to use you and be still to listen to what He has to say. You have some amazing gifts and are made uniquely in HIS image.
*this giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Instagram.
i have been dying to have a garden for the past couple of years but if the people who keep plants alive are "green thumbs" i must be a "red thumb." my succulents are lucky to make it out alive. its not even that i forget about my plants and don't water them, because i do! i don't know what my issue is. but this summer we decided to give it our best shot. for less than $100, we are going to try our hands at a little 4x4 organic garden!
what you need:
- raised garden bed ($30)
- 2 bags of 1.5 cubic feet of Foxfarm ocean forest organic potting soil (these are $60 on amazon, but i paid $20 each at our local mayos garden store)
- one wheelbarrow full of 1 year old compost (i'm talking call a friend with horses and ask if you can have some poop thats over a year old, this is important because new poop will kill your plants)
- seeds and/or starter plants of your choice! we did okra, celebrity tomatoes, roma tomatoes, cilantro, and green beans.
- leftover cardboard from stuff you've ordered on amazon prime (the box the raised garden comes in works great too!)
so i called one of my best friends, kari, who is the organic gardening expert. she graciously walked me through all the steps because y'all, I KNOW NOTHING. she said to first place the cardboard down in the bed, this will kill the grass and keep weeds from coming up through it. next you put down the organic soil. then last, you add the compost. after that just space the seeds and plant them about 1.5" down. she told me to soak the okra seeds in water overnight before i planted them, so i did that too!
we got the compost from our sweet friends, angie and harold cannon. i wish y'all could've seen cal's face when i told him we were going to spend last saturday going to a farm and filling the back of my car with horse shit. hahahaha! the kids had a BLAST at the farm and haven't stopped talking about it since! thanks for all the tractor rides angie ;)
so far the seeds have sprouted! i realized i might've over planted so i pulled out some this morning, leaving me with like 20 okra plants instead of 40 hahahah! i still have no idea what i'm doing and love all the tips i can get. i'll keep you guys updated on whether or not any of this survives. we plan on using essential oils for pest and weed control!
the kids have LOVED helping with the garden so far and it seems like they are far more likely to eat a vegetable that they have helped grow. so pray the plants live and flourish! ha!
have a great weekend!
i am fully aware that i am the slowest human ever at decorating this house. i have an extreme anxiety about hanging art...always afraid it'll be crooked, in the wrong spot, etc. its paralyzing and art sits longing for place to hang..haha! recently my friend, larry lawrence, painted me the most killer piece of mixed media art that i am finally getting hung today! he does everything from home illustrations, to dog portraits, to nursery prints, to anything you can think of! i wanted something with trees and mountains and he nailed it. (don't confuse my silly art in the white frame in these photos with his BEAUTIFUL art in the simple gold frame.) he's FABULOUS and local to knoxville! you can find his art for sale here and his insta here. grab a piece of his art before he gets mega famous and all those prices go through the roof!
the peacock chair in the corner i recently got from my grandmother's house. i LOVE it and it was just what that corner needed. thanks gran! so stay tuned as we eventually finish this room..maybe in the next five years. still gotta get some blinds and maaaaaybe a coffee table. one step a time. slow and steady wins the race, right?
details: iro dress (past season) similar here and here // lucky mules (past season) similar here // lo and sons pearl cross body bag // sole society hat from elle boutique // hermes bangle // 360 marble studs
this month has been absolutely nuts and i feel like blogging has totally taken a backseat to this crazy world of oils. I'm sorry y'all! my love for fashion is never going anywhere but i just haven't had time to post some of what i have shot over the past couple weeks! so hang with me while i try to get back in the swing of things!
i got a new amazing bag just in time for the beach from lo and sons! i have been obsessing over it ever since. its so slick and streamlined so it looks super minimalistic but its got a ton of pockets, bells, and whistles! they've got a bunch of colors but i had to go with white for summer! you can shop them here.
so this past monday was our 7th anniversary! cal and i had a trip planned to the highlands to celebrate it. it was going to be a nice quiet getaway filled with champs, spa days, fly fishing, and relaxing. then cal started looking at flights to nyc... and we found the allegiant flights...O...M...G....$80 a person round trip!!! cal asked if i wanted to bag the mountain trip and trade it for an NYC trip with the whole family. i didn't bat an eye... "OF COURSE!!!" i come from a long line of flight lovers: my mom is a flight attendant, her dad was a semi-professional sky diver with his pilot's license (even built his own stearman), my dad has his pilots license and attended the air force academy. we grew up with him flying us fun places! the kids had never been on a plane and i couldn't WAIT for them to fly.
everyone told us we were absolutely insane to take 3 toddlers (3 and under) to NYC but cal and i felt differently. you know whats insane? loading and unloading 3 toddlers in a singular row of crammed carseats 239473297 times on the weekend. not to mention, we wanted to try and see what it would be like to live more organically... like instead of getting in the car with a destination in mind, we wanted to walk around and see what we walk by that looks like fun to try....and you know get exercise just doing life. life was easy in nyc.
HOW DID WE MAKE IT EASY?
well nothing is "easy" with three toddlers, but i think life in nyc was just about as easy as it gets. the beauty of flying into newark was that we never got in a car our entire trip aka NO CARSEATS NEEDED!! we flew into newark and took the free air train to the NJ transit train, then took the NJ transit train to the subway at penn station and subway to our hotel. it sounds complicated but its not! and $50 round trip total for the whole family! an uber with 3 carseats round trip was going to cost more than the flights!
the flights were direct and short (1.5 hourish) ...we loaded up their kindle fires with movies and got some headphones. they all got a quick roll down the spine with my young living tranquil roller and then the kids did great on the flights!
we packed all our clothes in one checked bag (the best bag money can buy with a lifetime guarantee) and put all the kids in the stroller, the uppababy vista with rumble seat and piggy back (the best stroller money can buy). we stayed in a midtown hotel close to a subway station with elevator access. the hotel was super affordable and also provided us two pack n plays for the twins to sleep in for free.
WHAT MADE IT HARD?
only about 20% of subway stations have elevators...so while we tried to plan to get off at stations with handicap access, it wasn't always possible. sometimes we got to stations with elevators and then the elevators were broken! while cal and i can (and did) carry the stroller up and down the stairs, handicap people don't have that option! it made me really sad for them. i can't imagine how frustrating that is for them. carrying the stroller up the stairs wasn't fun, but it was a good workout! it was only REALLY bad going to and from the airport because cal had our luggage. a couple nice guys helped me carry the stroller and at one point we had to have simms stand at the top of the stairs with the luggage while cal helped me carry the stroller up.
another super frustrating thing was people using the elevators that were perfectly capable of walking up the stairs...crowding the elevator or making us wait even longer on one. one day a teacher got on with an entire classroom of kids. she could see cal giving me a look and she said something to cal like "is there a problem?" and cal said "i'm not sure why you guys aren't using the stairs?" and she said "THEY'RE CHILDREN!" sooooo they take gym class, have recess, and play sports but can't walk up stairs? what a terrible thing to teach impressionable children. i would rather teach my kids to always take the stairs...but thats just me.
WHERE DID YOU GO?
we really tried to make the trip about the kids and focus on things they would like. on our first day we took them to ellen's stardust diner. it was around the corner from our hotel and so much fun! the waiters and waitresses take turns performing songs. it was REALLY loud and perfect for kids. they were entertained the whole lunch. the food was overpriced but worth it for the experience.
after lunch we took the kids over to williamsburg. we hit up east river state park and let them run around. we grabbed a few quick pics of the nyc skyline and headed to one of our fav pizza spots, vinnie's.
after dinner we headed back over to manhattan and walked the kids through times square and, of course, to the m&m store. it was a huge hit! we grabbed some champagne, beer, and chocolate and put the kids to bed. i have to say, as crazy as it sounds, one of my favorite memories from the trip was sitting in bed drinking champagne and seeing the lights and hearing the sounds of NYC out the window. cal and i talked about how comforting it is to have so many people near by. in all the chaos, theres a strange peace.
day two we woke up and had the kids favorite, bagels! then we headed to rockefeller center so the kids could go to the lego store. they each picked one toy and then we jumped on the subway to go to the museum of natural history. YALL. i had no idea the size of that place. it could be it's own city. we only spent a couple hours there but you could spend literal DAYS. we just hit the highlights (dinosaurs, space, rocks, and animals):
after the museum we walked down central park to columbus circle and met my friend shelley for lunch at cancun. vance had the best chicken fingers i've ever had in my life there. we spent the rest of the day down in tribeca/soho/lower manhattan while the twins napped in the stroller. i secretly hoped i'd bump into something navy and my life would've been made right then and there....we never saw her but i just felt cooler even being in her neighborhood! we decided last minute to walk across the brooklyn bridge...it didn't last long because simms was about to pee in his pants and refused to "pee like a doggie" so we only made it about halfway.
after the brooklyn bridge we headed to dinner at a place called cafeteria. i had read they had mac and cheese egg rolls and KNEW thats what i wanted for our anniversary dinner. it was perfect. amazing atmosphere, great kids menus, awesome food and drinks! highly recommend!
WOULD WE DO IT AGAIN?
HELL YES! i actually don't know what i would do differently, except maybe never leave haha! it was such a fun getaway for all of us. cal proposed to me there and it was neat to have our whole family in a place so special to us. it really gave me some confidence in flying with the kids too. heres a few more photos from the trip: