Grandfather Mountain

Last week, Gray and I spent some much needed time away in the mountains. He was off work for Spring Break and there’s really no place to rest as well as my grandparent’s home in Banner Elk, NC. It’s so beautiful and peaceful, and just about 20 minutes from the little college town where Gray and I met.

I grew up going to Grandfather Mountain often, but hadn’t been since college, and neither had Gray. It’s funny, because the last time I went, I never imagined the next time I’d be walking across the swinging bridge would be with my own little boy! I’ve been in a constant state of awe about how Jesus works… I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… He’s so faithful!

Just wanted to share a few pictures from Landon’s first trip to Grandfather. He was so sweet and so much fun the whole time. He smiled from ear to ear the whole time we were on the swinging bridge and loved looking at the animals, especially the otters! It was such a special memory… the only thing that could have made it better is if my Baba and Paw could have been there to share in his joy with us!



Maybe you’ve been using essential oils for years, or maybe you’re like me and are kind of new to the oily bandwagon. I have been interested in them for quite a while, but just in the last six months or so really began using them in our home.


So far, I’ve diffused lavender, eucalyptus, and Thieves. Thieves is made by Young Living and smells like a heavenly blend of lemon, clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary. The scent is homey, warm, and welcoming. Young Living boasts that Thieves is possibly their most versatile and beloved blend.

You might be wondering why it’s called “Thieves,” and I was too (I’m just a nerd like that, I guess). Come to find out, it gets it’s name from a legend of four 15th century French thieves who wore a special combination of botanicals, which they believed helped protect them while they were robbing. Later, upon their arrest, they are said to have received a lesser sentence from the French authorities on the condition that they share the ingredients used in their secret formula.

I could hardly believe all the different amazing products that Young Living makes using the blend of naturally derived ingredients that is Thieves. There is a huge selection of products:

  • There is a home cleaning line, offering a great way to replace the harsh chemicals used in other cleaning products with more pure, natural ingredients. This line features things like all-purpose cleaner, heavy degreaser, glass and mirror cleaner, and even carpet spot cleaner and refresher.
  • They also have other unique products made with this special concoction of ingredients like disinfecting wipes and spray, hand soap and waterless hand purifier, and even toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash.
  • They even have cough drops, mints, and fruit and veggie spray.

The oil itself can be used for much, much more more than simply diffusing, as well. Just a few of the ways you can use it:

  • Rub a few drops on the bottom of your feet to keep your feet fresh.
  • Add a drop in your hot tea (delicious flavor boost)!
  • Keep your trash cans smelling fresh by filling them with water and a few drops of Thieves. Let sit for an hour and then rinse and dry.
  • Put 4-6 drops of Thieves on a washcloth and use it as a scented dryer sheet to enjoy the warm, fresh scent on your clothes.
  • Put one drop of Thieves on your toothbrush before brushing  to freshen breath.

The possibilities are endless! Another thing I love about Thieves is that it’s safe to be used in homes with small children and while breastfeeding. You should always double check before using any kind of essential oil, because some oils (such as Ylang Ylang or peppermint oil) are not recommended while breastfeeding.

My new friend, Nelz, is a Young Living Consultant and she is passionate about Jesus and products like Young Living’s chemical free alternatives that help us take care of our bodies and live happier, healthier, more abundant lives. You can order any Young Living product from her by clicking here, and I know you’ll find her to be a pleasure to work with. She is super sweet and knowledgable about the products, and she is more than willing to answer any questions you might have. She even has a FAQ page, which you can find here.

Nelz gifted this bottle of Thieves and roller to me in collaboration with Coffee Date With Kate, but as always, all opinions are my own.

Pig Pickin’ Cake

Every year, I make the same cake for my Momma’s birthday. If you’ve never tasted a Pig Pickin’ Cake, your tastebuds are missing out! It’s the perfect cake for springtime… the mandarin oranges and pineapple are just so delicious!


  • 1 box of yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 (11oz) can mandarin oranges, drained (reserve 1/3 cup of the liquid)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 (20oz) can crushed pineapple, not drained
  • 1 box (4 serving size) vanilla instant pudding
  • 1 (8oz) container cool whip, thawed


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease two 9 inch round cake pans, then dust with flour.
  • In a large bowl, combine cake mix, oil, eggs, mandarin oranges, and the reserved 1/3 cup of orange liquid.
  • Beat with electric mixture on low speed for 30 seconds, then on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  • Bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees.
  • Wait 10 minutes, then flip cakes out onto a rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.
  • To make icing, combine crushed pineapple and dry pudding mix and stir until well blended. Then, gently stir in whipped topping. Do not ice cake until it is completely cooled.

Optional: Save a few pieces of mandarin oranges from the can to use as a garnish! 


Also… how beautiful is my Momma? That’s her in the middle in polka dots holding Landie Bug. She’s so loved by so many. Just had to share this picture from her birthday lunch!