The Hubs favorite dish

casserole

This is hands down Sam’s favorite meal. At least a close second to fried steak, mash potatoes gravy and biscuits, of course. Because what can beat that? Above is the picture before I coated it in cheese and baked it.

I enjoy cooking and hate baking. I cannot bake because I cannot follow a recipe. When I cook I just throw things in. So here’s my version of this dish.

Chicken, Spaghetti and Squash Casserole-

8 Boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 pack of spaghetti noodles
4 yellow squash
4 zucchini
1 onion
Cheddar Cheese
Salt and Pepper
Olive oil

Boil chicken by itself, Sauté veggies in olive oil and boil noodles. I do this all at the same time. Mix it all together and dump in a lot of cheddar cheese and a jar or two of cream of mushroom soup. And use a lot of salt and pepper. If you want, add some butter 🙂

It’s so simple and yummy. If you aren’t a huge squash fan, just try it anyway! The squash isn’t overpowering at all. Give it try!


Pebble Hill Spring Photoshoot

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Models: Honey Balfour, Carolina Williams, Devon Tillman, Shanna Derby
Photographer: Abby Caroline Mims
Location: Pebble Hill Plantation


MacBeth Collection | Designer Spotlight

We are so excited to introduce a new line that you will be sure to love. Macbeth Collection is known for its eye popping color, bold prints, and whimsical detailing. The collection is designed to embody luxe resort glamour that radiates style and color no matter where you are!

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The prints and colors of Macbeth may remind you of a certain designer, but be rest assured these must have pieces come at an affordable price!

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Summer is just around the corner and each piece is perfect for anywhere you go and are so versatile. We love the fun prints on each of the shorts and the hoody and sweater are perfect to throw over a bathing suit to run into town.

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The jersey tunics in the collections are by far my favorite. I love anything that can be dressed up or down and these tunics were made for that! The soft material makes them wonderful to throw over a bathing suit to grab some lunch right off the beach. They also look amazing paired with a fun pair of wedges and sandals with white jeans. Put them with shorts even when you aren’t at the beach for an effortless spring look that is sure to stand out!

PicMonkey Collage2 Be sure to check out Macbeth and all of our resort wear in our By The Sea Collection to get ready for spring and summer. And like Macbeth says,

“If you can’t be on vacation everyday… at least look like you are!”


7 Things I learned Building a House

We are officially moved into our house now and somewhat settled. I don’t know how long it will take to ever feel settled. But, it is an AMAAAAZING feeling to finally be in our own home that we designed and planned for so long.  Several people have asked, so now that I’ve had time to breath and reflect I wanted to share what we learned during the building process.

1. Contracter- Of course this is the biggy and oh so important. We lucked out here because we had the BEST contractor ever. We used Kurt Demott out of Moultrie and he could not have been better. He backs up everything he says. He is a people pleaser and will do whatever it takes for you to have what you want and get the job done correctly. I never once heard him say, “We can’t do that” or “That can’t be done”.  You often hear horror stories from people have built houses and every time it falls back to the contactor. So, do your research.

Kurt Demott- 229.873.4517

2. Electric- I heard from tons of people that this was a biggy. I read up and plotted and walked the house for light switch placements, etc. Well, it was not enough haha. It is so hard to get this exactly right and it may be impossible. Here’s a few tips.

-Be sure to put plugs everywhere. Don’t forget closets that you might store electric items or brooms.

-Put a set of light switches at your bed. I have a set right at arms length when I’m laying in the bed and I love it!

-Also put 4 plus on either side of the bed instead of two. Theres so many things to plug in these days! There’s lamps, alarm clocks, phone and tablet chargers etc.

-Walk, walk, walk and walk some more around your house and carefully think about each step for light switch placement. The electrician will be a huge help here. We have two switches that drive me crazy. Its not that big of a deal. But when you are using them 10x a day it gets a little annoying. For example, my closet doors are small double doors that swing. The switch is on the inside wall instead of the outside wall so I have to come in, then reach my hands around the door. It should be on the outside and that will be an easy change one day. The other one is the back porch lights. We have one back entrance that we use a lot that doesnt have a back porch light switch. So, if you are leaving at night your in the dark.

Flood Lights- We have light switches for the flood lights and I just dont get it. They always get switched off so, then when you come in at night the automatic flood lights dont turn on. In the dark again 🙂 In my opinion a flood light should always be on, therefore it does not need a switch.

4. Help- You are going to need help! You will be asked 500 questions a day and you will have no idea what to do! I guess as women we always need someone to consult or make us feel good about our decisions. When I knew I had already driven my mom and aunt crazy for the day I called Marie Brown. She is a designer/consultant that will help with everything from floor plan, building to decorating. I loved using her because you don’t feel bad about calling her constantly or begging her to “come over right now, I need you”! haha I had the most questions with the floorplan and what materials to use here or there. She saved me so many times! She completely changed my back entrance and every single time I come in with a load of groceries I want to call and thank her!

Marie Brown – 229.402.0221

5. Ground work- I guess this is what it is called. Sam would tell you this should be number one on the list. I watched Sam drive that tractor back and forth across that yard a million times. I don’t at all understand it, but leveling the ground and steering water away from the house is a must. We know of several houses that have a problem with water being under the house after a good rain. This was very important to Sam.

6. Flag It – Before the walls went up I walked the house off in my parents yard. I flagged and measured out each room. I ended up adding 5 feet to the living room and I’m SO glad I did. Those 5 feet make all the difference in the living room lay out.

7. Don’t Stress! I know it’s hard, but enjoy the process. It is so much fun and you might not ever get to do it again. I enjoyed every step of the way and surprisingly I didn’t stress to bad. I think that goes back to having a good contractor. And the fact that Sam didn’t care one bit about what I did! As long as I was in budget of course. 🙂

I will update as I think of other things! If you have anything to add to the list please leave a comment below!

Update-

Farm Sink- This is not a biggy, but If you go with a farm sink be sure to get an “apron” sink. Its something about the way it fits or mounts to the sink. Also, have the counter top go over the sink ledge completely. Our counter tops stop in the center of the sink edge so you can see a gunk line where film, liquid or food likes to sit or build up. Its almost impossible to keep clean because its such a fine line and hard to get to.

Marble Counter Tops- So, you hear EVERYWHERE that marble stains. Well, surprise surprise. It DOES! I love, love, love the look of our counter tops. I love that it is so classic and all the old farm houses had them. I am not a super clean freak and I thought I wouldn’t mind the aged patina look. Well, it doesn’t look aged it just looks messy. It breaks my heart and I have seriously lost sleep over this. It shows water marks, cup rings and any spill or splash. Imagine a black truck with soap marks or a shower door with soap scum. It’s not a stain that shows color. Its a slight etch where it is no longer shiny. The alternative to this is going with a “honed” marble. But then they say it is more porous. It may still be a better option, bit I do not have any experience with it. We used marble in the entire house and the only area that really bothers me is the kitchen island. Its where you can see the most damage. The kitchen window is right behind it, so the light shows and reflects everything. The cabinets against the wall doesn’t show nearly as bad.

 

 


Umgee – Designer Spotlight

The New Year brings a lot of excitement.  I personally love it because it means spring is near and shipments of bright colors, prints, and white clothing are coming in. Our Mix it Up dress is one of our all time favorites from Umgee. I love all things that can be paired with an ankle bootie, and this dress is perfect for them. What is even better is it will also go perfect with wedges, heels, sandals, you name it. And the mixing of prints makes the dress fun and unique!

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Umgee has quickly become an employee and customer favorite.  Based in the heart of Los Angeles, California, Umgee strives to provide electric contemporary clothing for women of all ages.  That’s right, all ages.   These casual tops are some personal favorites.  It is not always easy to find a top that is super comfortable and cute too, but Umgee nails it every time.

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What I love most about Umgee, aside from the amazing prices that range from only $26-$48, is the prints and detail.  They have managed to add amazing detail that make a dress stand out above the rest.  And what is even better, is Umgee creates pieces that are perfect to throw on in the morning and wear through the night. Most items are great for layering and can be worn year round. Which means, you can completely re stock your closet with a whole new wardrobe with a minimal budget and have versatile pieces that will truly take you anywhere!

Be sure to check out all of our new Umgee arrivals at ShopAllyb.Com   You will be sure to fall in love as quickly as we have!

 

 


New Years Resolution

Well, here it is January the 8th and I have not yet to begin any of my new years resolutions. And yes, there are several. Eeek. My husband Sam has a motto that he goes by that I love and it has actually helped me tremendously over the years. He says, “You just have to be a better person everyday. You don’t have to change overnight, just do better tomorrow”. He puts it so simply and it makes it so true. Our lives have been SO busy over the last several years with moving twice and having two babies. Being in our new home and feeling like a real life family makes me want to do better! haha So, here are my resolutions…

1. Of course, loose the baby weight. I have 15 pounds to go and it feels like 50. I not only want to loose the weight but I want to do it right and begin a healthy diet. I don’t just want to crash diet to loose the weight. I want to change my eating life style and cut out the garbage. Also, I know I need to be drinking more water. I’m a sweet tea addict, so that might be the most challenging part.

2. Get up at 6:00 or at least the same time everyday and start a routine. Between moving, having baby Luke, the holidays and then the boys being sick I have had NO routine for the last 6 months. And I mean none what.so.ever. That makes it especially really hard getting anything done, much less on a regular basis.

3. This goes along with resolutions 2 but I NEED to have quite time and time with God every morning. I crave it, yet it is so hard to make time for it and to do it consistently every day.

4. And lastly, finances. Womp, womp. Set a budget and stick to it!

This is a lot, but it is truly things I need to do for myself and my family. So, the moral of the story is. Lets just try each day to do a little better. You don’t have to quit your new years resolution because you did bad today or haven’t done it in a week. Just “Do better tomorrow” and each day you will get a little better and a little better. 🙂


Tips for Mixing Prints

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If you’ve pursued Pinterest at all this fall, you’ve noticed that mixing prints is all the rage. But you have to wonder, how much is too much? You want to look like you’re straight off the runway, not straight out of the looney bin. So how can you achieve that perfect mixed pattern look? Here’s a few tips.

My absolute favorite is mixing plaids with stripes. This can work with anything as long as the colors work.

Plaids and polka dots are another easy mix. If you’re going with a large polka dot, you definitely want to keep the shirt stripes small. If the patterns are the same size, they will compete with each other.

Break up some of the prints with a solid item. You can certainly wear a printed jacket over printed bottoms, but it would probably be best to go with a solid top under the jacket.

Stay in the same color family. Going crazy with too many different colors will make you venture from the fashion realm into tacky land.

Leopard print goes with almost anything. Note that I said ALMOST anything. And a pop of color with leopard is always fab.

The best tip of all is to be confident and let it shine through! If you still aren’t sure about giving it a try, you can start by mixing textures. That’s an easy way to ease yourself into mixing up your look a bit!


Sequins and Metallics, Oh My

I am a sucker for anything sparkly–baubles, jewels, and at this time of the year in particular, sequins. You’re probably thinking, “Aren’t sequins only appropriate for a fancy gathering for a Christmas party?” That’s absolutely not the case. Sequins are and can be an extremely versatile fashion staple. Sure, you can wear a sequined dress to a festive fiesta, but what about for drinks with your gal pals or even to work? Yes, It IS possible.

The best way dress down sequins is to pair it with denim. You can put a seemingly dressy sequined sweater with a pair of jeans and an awesome pair of shoes and run out the door! You can always layer with a scarf, skinny jeans and pumps for work. Or just throw on a leather jacket for an edgier look. The options are endless!! Here are a few items that we have online now.

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This blazer is full on covered in a glitter party! It is AH-MAZING! Pairing it with denim, a solid pop of color and the silky chiffon fabric tones it down a bit and gives it a more casual look. This blazer would also be fun over a cocktail dress to add a little sleeve and glamour.

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Now, this is one you can wear everyday, anywhere and fit right in. You can’t be over dressed or under dressed in this metallic leopard print sweater. I’m totally in love with this! You can do so much with this like adding color with your accessories or black skinnies and heels to dress it up. We have the perfect pair of black waxed denim that would look killer with this. The waxed denim is a leather look with the comfort of denim.

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This top is so elegant and whimsy. This one would be perfect to layer with a leather jacket for a totally different look. I love the layered mix of sequins and chiffon.

Here’s just a few more splarkly beauties you can find on the website now.

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Be bold, don’t take yourself too seriously, add some glamour to your day and have a little fun! Share some of your favorite sequined looks with us! We want to see!


Baby Shower for Julie

This past Sunday we had a lovely baby shower for my friend Julie. She will soon be having her second boy and I am so excited for Luke to have a little friend to run around with. Julie and I are neighbors, we go to the same church and we both work downtown and eat together almost every week. Zack and Raymond are already big buddies and Im pretty sure Zack thinks Raymond is his cousin. 🙂 So, I know Luke and new baby Rowland will not have a choice but to be forever besties.

I thought I took more pictures than I did at the shower. Although I didn’t get many, I of course managed to get a few pictures of the house. Because isn’t that one of the best parts about going to a shower is the home tour? Oh, or is that just me? This is Heather Waldrops house and she has done an amazing job at adding pops of color all throughout her home. She was kind enough to let me come see her home and answered a lot of my questions when we were in the process of building. One of my favorite things about her house was her wide planked wood floors. We ended up going with the same floors and I am in love with them! These pictures are of the dining room, kitchen and sitting room off of the kitchen.

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Fall Photoshoot

I thought these pictures turned out so fun and cheerful! Thanks to the models and pretty clothes. I took the pictures myself, which could be better. But hey, I’m trying!! All of these arrivals are new and available now! Shop them now at www.shopallyb.com.