Rachel Awtrey

Blog

Lifestyle | Travel | Faith | Marriage

Posts in Lifestyle
The Best Office Supplies
IMG_9910.JPG

If you’re a 3 on the Enneagram then I think you get me when I say “productivity is key.” There’s nothing that lights a fire under my booty to get stuff done like some new office supplies and a good snack (or coffee, let’s be honest). ☕️ ✏️ 📓💕
If you’re obsessed with office supplies as well, then let me introduce you to this new line from @lifewaywomen! 😍😍 It’s a line that encourages me with scripture, hymns and other quotes that keep me going throughout the day!
Nothing like combining Jesus, my favorite colors and office supplies! 😂 

These "Suck" - Your Top Hand Vacuum Recomendations
 
handvacuums.jpg
 

Thomas and I are looking for a hand vacuum to use in our home to pick up all of the little Remi hair’s around the house. The other day on Instagram, I asked you all your recommendations for Hand Vacuums and I got those and lots more! So, I figured I’d share with you what all I got!

P.S. Thomas and I have (and use everyday) the iRobot and recommend it all the time! We just want a hand vacuum to use in little corners, knick knack spots and to vacuum the car when needed!

2019 Goals!

Either you’ve moved passed your goals or you’re still in it to win it. Regardless of wherever you are, I want to remind you we don’t need firsts of the years for fresh starts. We need grace. Grace for ourselves and for others.
In efforts to get ya back to it and on the road for a healthy (spiritually, mentally, physically) “you,” I’m sharing my 2019 goals with @maryscottmercer on @behindtheblisspodcast!
We’re sharing all of the “goal” things + a little encouragement for you to get closer to yours! 🖤🎧☕️

Friendsgiving Hosting
Friendsgiving (1 of 2).jpg
Friendsgiving (2 of 2).jpg

The other evening we hosted a Friendsgiving party and it was THE MOST fun! It was way easier than we ever anticipated so we wanted to share our tidbits and secrets with you this season! There are lots that go into this but it makes it all worth it once you have your friends and loved ones around a table breaking bread and laughter bouncing off of your walls!

The Invitations

Yes, you could text your guests to let them know that you are hosting a fun party but how fun are invitations? I have always loved receiving a thoughtful invitation with information about the event and what I can expect in a fun way. This year, instead of doing printed and mailed invitations or e-vites, I designed my own invitation and sent it with the text. It says “you are thought of!” To use my design as a template for yours!

FriendsgivingDownload.jpg

The Table

Yes, you could go get lots of fun decor for your table and make it super fancy but I like to shop from my home! I go and grab pumpkins, fall decor, greenery, flower vases, platters, candlesticks and votives to decorate our space.

This year, we decided to go with a long family-style table and it was the most fun! We had around 20 guests so it was a way that everyone felt included, you could see everyone and it was easy, with the way our house is set up, to get in and out for seconds (or thirds). We combined 3 card tables, borrowed some chairs, covered with some inexpensive table cloths and a layer of craft paper (in case there were any spills, makes for easy clean up with larger groups)

If you’re having a smaller get-together, you could go with real plates, heck, you could even pull out your china if you’d like! Or, you could run to your favorite store (cough, Target, cough) and grab a few of your favorite festive plate and serving ware. We found dinner plates, dessert plates, and gold utensils.

The Food

By no means do you feel like you have to prepare all of the food! On my invitation, I asked people to bring a side and drink of choice! That way, we had plenty of wine and food to go around! Need side ideas?

Entree ideas: Turkey, ham, pot roast, tenderloin

Side ideas: Sweet potato casserole, veggies, bread/rolls, a salad, stuffing, gravy, cranberry dressing, mashed potatoes, corn bread

Dessert ideas: Pumpkin pie, pecan pie, spice cake, cookies of your choice

This Friendsgiving, I paired up with Ashley Mac’s in Birmingham, Alabama and they gave us the ham, sweet potato casserole, rolls, cornbread dressing, and pecan pie. They are AMAZING! If you’re on-the-go or would want to easily impress people this Thanksgiving, make sure to put in an order from their Holiday menu! Use the code RACHEL10 for 10% off! All you have to do is pick it up, put it in your fridge and heat up with the direction on the top! So easy!

Make sure to have platters and serving ware ready to go for your dishes, a lot of people will bring them without! That’s alright! It gives an occasion for those platters to come out of the pantry!

I set up a buffet for ours using the long table for the sides. If someone wanted seconds, they could ask to pass the dish just like the good ole days!

Pro tip: We heated up the dessert as people finished dinner!

The Drinks

Of course, after asking people to bring their drink of choice, you’ll end up with a lot of yummy drink options. We provided a sangria for our guests and it was a HIT! Here’s the recipe!

The Music

I created a jazz playlist that played the whole night. It’s upbeat enough to be tons of fun but smooth enough to not cause chaos! Feel free to use this at your upcoming Friendsgiving/Thanksgiving as well!

Last Minute Details

Light your candles, turn off your heat (!! it will get toasty with all of those people), turn on your music and pull those dishes out of the oven, you’re ready for a party!

Friendsgiving (11 of 12).jpg
My Fall Decor Picks

Now that it finally feels like Fall around here in Birmingham Alabama, I’m finally bringing out the pumpkin decor, lighting my scented candles and making all of the spiced baked goods.

I’m decorating corners of my house to show off this fun Autumn season to all of the friends and guests I host! To be honest, I wasn’t super impressed with a lot of the options this year but I did find a few golden nuggets so I figured I’d share them with you!

 
California Tree House Home Tour

If you’ve been following our journey for a while then you know that Thomas and I live in Northern California in the summertime (April through august) and Birmingham, AL during the other seasons. Thomas’s current job takes us out there while he works and helps operate a guest ranch - so we get to call a cozy little cottage “home” a few months out of every year.

Just because we only live there for a few months doesn’t stop us from making it a place to rest, retreat and host our friends. This summer was my favorite version of our “home” yet so I  thought to share it with you all.

California Home (6 of 12).jpg
California Home (1 of 12).jpg
California Home (4 of 12).jpg
California Home (5 of 12).jpg

When we arrived, our kitchen cabinets were wood, and because our house sits back in the forrest, it tends to be pretty dark and lacking natural light. To lighten up our home, we decided to paint the cabinets white and add faux subway tile to the walls and it made all the difference. The details of our French oven/stove, the French country cookbook and more made it the perfect space to greet friends, make cookies and frozen pizzas, and enjoy the morning light.

Cord+Cotton (1 of 1).jpg

The living space was tons of fun. We had countless movie nights, Bachelorette premieres, gathering of friends and afternoon naps. We added our favorite pieces from Carolyn Johnson Art and an inexpensive brass mirror to the wall behind the sofa. This coffee table is perfect for the minimal look while also being functional our Cord and Cotton rug added the color we needed to lighten up the space.

Right behind the living space was a tiny room that we used for guests. We had a friend visit us from the west coast, my mother and sister in law and my mom so we kept the room full!

The wooden accent wall was the perfect touch for a “treehouse in the woods” and the other wall was decorated with our favorite posters from Magnolia Homes.


 
California Home (11 of 12).jpg
 
 
California Home (10 of 12).jpg
 

Our bedroom was the lightest, brightest and biggest room of the house and we loved that! We kept the bedding light with accenting with our Cord and Cotton rug, again. The walls were covered with windows and invited all of the light in every morning. This was Remi’s favorite room, too! We added greenery with this faux fiddle leaf fig tree potted in this basket from The Basket Room, we loved the colors and the size! At first we used it for our cycling gear/storage and loved how it hid what we needed to be accessible in the most precious way.

IMG_4532.JPG
California Home (9 of 12).jpg
California Home (12 of 12).jpg

This home was cute, quaint and stuck in the middle of the forrest with trees surrounding it and the sound of a creek not too far away! We miss it so much and the memories made there but will treasure the ones we make and create back here in Birmingham.

Rush Survival Kit

Oh boy! Rush (or recruitment, whatever you want to call it) is right around the corner and you should be so excited if you're going through! Rush was so fun for me, exhausting - but fun- so I'm pumped for you! Here's a few of the items I wish I had (or I did have) going through recruitment that I think you'll find helpful!

On another note, we know how emotionally exhausting the process can be to so here's a post I wrote a few years ago about some of the things you need to know as a "Potential New Member."

xoxo 

 
Dorm Room Necessities

I so wish I had these suggestions when going into college! I had no idea what to buy so I just bought all of Target to be honest. There was so much unnecessaries and lots of things I wish I had instead. SO, I'm spilling all of my beans on what helped make my college dorm room "home" and what simplified the college lifestyle for me and my roommate.

 
My Current Skincare Routine
Skincare (1 of 1).jpg

I like to know my skin is taken care of when I sleep - there's a peace of mind knowing you're ending your day well with your body.

Rose Water Spray

I like to spray my face and fan it dry with my hands after my face is clean to give it the vitamins it needs and to take away any redness I might have after the day.

Charcoal Bar

I like to rinse off the day in a shower and I love using my charcoal bar. Charcoal acts as a magnetic and strips away the dirt from your pores, unlike any other soap. If you don't have one of these bars, it's a must!

Cream Exfoliator

My go-to facial cleanser!! It has tiny grains to help exfoliate your face but it's gentle and soft enough to use daily.

Moisturizer

I love this moisturizer as my everyday moisturizer. Whether you have oily skin, dry skin or combo, this is made for you. It adapts to what your skin is needing so I never feel too greasy or too dry after using this.

Ultra Moisturizer

If my skin needs extra attention in a certain area, I love using this moisturizer in lieu of the other one. Plus, it's more affordable so it's great for daily use without breaking the budget.

Eye cream

I highly suggest using an eye cream nightly! If you are 19+, it's time to start using eye cream. Not necessarily for anti-aging repair but to protect from aging. Just a little under your eyes adds the moisture your eyes need to stay glowy and bright.

Charcoal Mask

Every so often I treat myself to a charcoal mask and it is SO FUN. Not only do I enjoy the pampering but I love how I can actually see it working. After a few minutes, I can see holes in my skin (pores) becoming empty. It's easy to wash off! Love love love!

Beach Picks
 
BeachPicks.jpg
 

Sunglasses

I always tell my friends to pick out sunglasses that are super fun, block the sun and aren't expensive. The worst is when you get to the beach and the sand scratches the lens. So, I buy a few cheaper pair for the summertime - that way I'm not heartbroken if anything happens to them.

Straw Beach Tote

Somethin' cute to throw your stuff in. It's easy to carry around, big enough to put things in but not too big that you feel like you're lugging it around.

Bohemian Cover-Up

Not all coverups have to be t-shirts and jean shorts. I mean really, jean shorts + sand + wet bathing suit is not my favorite combo. That's why I choose a flowy dress/type coverup for the beach.

Birkenstock Sandals

Sandals are also tricky. They need to be easy to wash up, preferably cute but also comfy in case you wanted to take a walk to the pier or go on a bike ride to lunch.

Classy One Piece

Two pieces are so fun but I'm thankful that one-pieces are back in! Especially at the beach: it doesn't give the ocean any opportunity to take away any pieces (hehe). This one combines a little bit of fun and a lot of class. I love this color - super flattering on any skin tone or body shape.

Sunscreen

DON'T FORGET YOUR SUNSCREEN! Here's the deal: not all sunscreens are actually helping your skin. In fact, most have chemicals in them that are actually doing more hurt than good to your skin. I've found a sunscreen that I love and think is so super safe for the beach + whatever your day looks like. It comes in a lotion and sprays!!

Baby Wipes

If you've been around this tribe for a while, you'll know why I love these so much.
1. They smell so good
2. They can be used for any circumstance: to remove that little bit of mascara from under your eyes after swimming, refresh your pits, wipe off the sand + sweat, add a little bit of moisture back to your legs after getting some sun
3. They don't leave a stickiness to your skin, your skin is left so so soft!

Must have! Unfortunately, these aren't available online (only available at some Target on the baby isles with other wipes + diapers).

The Easiest Banana Bread Recipe 🍌
 
Bread (2 of 2).jpg
 

Banana bread with a spread of Irish Butter is my most recent craving in the morning.

With Thomas loving smoothies and asking me to buy a bunch (literally) of bananas every grocery trip, we're left with a few bananas left over that go bad.

I've found a few ways to make sure they don't go to waste: 1) peel, chop and freeze for future smoothies or 2) BANANA BREAD!

Bread (1 of 1).jpg

*cue Gwen Stafani's "Hollaback Girl"*

Here's how easy it is:

  • 2 to 3 very ripe bananas, peeled
  • 1/3 cup (or 5 tbsp) melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • Fun additions: chocolate chips, coconut flakes, a nut of choice.
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare a loaf pan with nonstick spray or butter.
  2. In a mixing bowl, mash the ripe bananas with a fork until completely smooth. 
  3. Add the melted butter to the bananas and mix well.
  4. Mix in the baking soda, salt, sugar, beaten egg, and vanilla extract. Then, add the flour.
  5. Transfer the batter to the loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour at 350°F or until you're able to insert a fork and it comes out clean without any batter.
  6.  Remove from oven + let cool in the pan for a few minutes. I normally let mine cool in the pan and then transfer it out of the pan for further cooling before serving.

See! How easy!

Tips:
If I'm making loaves for friends, I make mini loaves using this mini loaf pan to package and give out to friends. It's easier to share!
I suggest adding butter to add a salty flavor to this sweet baked good!

Enjoy!

Print Friendly and PDF
In Portland

Portland’s quirky but not super weird, colorful but still tasteful and has the perfect blend of local favorites and classics when it comes to shopping.
Seriously, you must add Portland to your bucket list if it’s not already there.

A shortsleeve sweater (like this one) is perfect for this misty + foggy, chilly summer weather. I don’t mind the rain when it means I can wear my favorite rain boots 🙌🏻

IMG_4838.JPG
Portland (13 of 17).JPG
My Airport Outfit
Portland (5 of 8).jpg
Portland (7 of 8).jpg

Safe and sound in PORTLAND! So excited about venturing around a new city with a close gal friend of mine! 

If you’re going on a trip soon, you NEED to know about Barefoot Dreams sweaters. They’re the softest sweater you could ever imagine which makes the perfect loungewear for a flight. These leggings have side pockets for holding your phone, boarding pass and ID. Genius! + gotta have those tennis shoes in case you need to run to your next flight.

Blue Light Glasses

It’s almost been a week in California and we are loving it! I’ve been cranking out some projects (personal and for clients, secret and public) and cannot wait to share more!

With me being on my computer or iPad most of the day, my eyes are screaming at me by bedtime + my brain is still going nuts. But I’ve found a solution and we have GOT to talk about these glasses.

They seem to be 🔥 around this corner of Instagram since putting them on my stories yesterday! Basically they block your eyes from the blue light in your screens leaving yourself not so wired at the end of the day 🙌🏻 plus, they’re only $30!!!

You can get the link for them and others I love (and this cutie sweater) by finding me in the @liketoknow.it app!

Skincare Routine Steps + Products

Over on Instagram, I shared my skincare routine and WOW. Y'all blew it up! I figured with all of the interest on Insta, it would probably be smart to have it all in one place with links, pictures and the facts that I shared, all in one place. So here!

I put the products in order of how I use them. Some of them I switch out every other day so make sure to read how I use them. 

Quick tip: I use them from least oily to most oily so that I'm not blocking my pores first thing from getting what it needs. For example, I'll use a mist before I use a moisturizer and a moisturizer before I use a cream and a cream before I use an oil. Hope that makes sense!

skincare1.png

Face Wash

First, ya gotta wash your face. Make sure all the dirt is off and your face is clean before applying other products. This is my favorite because it's a gentle exfoliator so it's lifting dead skin as well as nastiness. Great for sensitive skin.

skincare3.jpg

Face Mist

Sounds crazy but you really need a face mist a part of your routine. It preps your skin for the prepping. Crazy, I know. It wakes your skin up to get ready and recieve all of the moisture and nourishment it's about to recieve in your routine.

skincare2.jpg

Face oil

Better than moisturizer. I promise! If you have oily skin, you need this. If you have dry skin, you need this. Seriously, putting oil on your skin tells it, "hey, here's the oil you need that you're either a) trying to produce or b) producing too much of." It helps regulate oil release. Amazing!

skincare6.jpg

Moisturizer

Not an oil fan? That's okay. This is for you! It's the greatest moisturizer on the market. Honestly. No matter your skin type, this bad boy can handle it. If you're too oily, it will control that. If you're super dry, it will brighten you right up. Also, it smells like cake.

skincare4.jpg

Eye Cream

This eye cream is amazing for instant restoration. If you need tightness or just an everyday eye cream, this is the best I've found.

 
skincare5.png

Anti-aging Eye Cream

I switch in between this and the other eye cream from day to day. This one is anti aging and will help restore your skin and prevent wrinkles.

 
skincare7.jpg

Eye Masks

If you've never done an eye treatment, it's the most relaxing thing. These are easy to apply, it takes 5 minutes and instantly tightens and brightens under your eye

 

 
skincare8.jpg

Matcha Stick

I carry this around everywhere with me (flights, groceries, in my purse) it's the best for quick hydration on your lips, dry spots or under the eyes. The matcha moisturizes super quickly!

skincare9.jpg

Jade Roller

I mentioned on my Instagram stories wanting one of these to roll in the extra oils. I've heard nothing but amazing things and might order one to try!

My In-N-Out Order + Outfit

The inaugural “we made it to California” trip to In-N-Out 🍔 🍟 
After a long flight and a late night, we’re on our drive to the ranch! Can’t wait to settle in, take a few deep breaths and make this place home again. California, we’re back and so glad to see you ☀️
P.S. this sweater is the best to have to thrown on in airports + while traveling or just for fun 🙌🏻 linking it in my bio + stories. Plus, it’s on sale 🎉

What I get: a protein style burger (aka lettuce burger), fries and a coke. Try the neopolitan shake!

The Workout Playlist + Apps You've Been Waiting For

I don't know about you but if I have a cute outfit, comfy shoes, good music and some structure, I can kill a workout. But, I need motivation, acountability and some fun to make it happen. If you're anything like me, I think these apps and workout playlist will definitely help. 
Fitness apps are so fun because you can have several to suit any fitness mood you may be in that day. Yoga? Go it. HIIT workouts? Got it. Cycling? Got it. Just need someone to talk you through a workout? Got it. Seriously, anything you can think of, they probably have it. Lucky for you, I've tested a few out over the past year and here are some of the apps I love!

Playlist

 

Shop my favorite athletic ware

 

Apps
 

The "Sweat" app by Kayla Itsines is intense! This is for those of you that want a fun workout that will make you sweat but feel oh so accomplished once complete. 

Not only does the app offer high-intensity plyometric training, it also offers yoga training and a post-pregnancy shred program.
My favorite part about this app is that it's made clear that the goal isn't weight loss. Instead, "it’s to make women around the world be happy in their own bodies and be bikini body confident."
It's a 28 minute workout for $19.99 a month (less expensive than a gym membership) and you can do it all at home!

 

The "Nike Training Club" app is super fun because you can pick your intensity and your workout. If you don't have much time that day, it's okay! You can pick and chose however long you want your work out to be, what you want to focus on and the intensity.
This app is linked to your fitness app on your phone so it's keeping track of how many stairs you climbing with mountain climbers, how many miles you ran or how many calories those push-ups burned for you!

 

app3.jpg
 

Sometimes I find myself getting super overwhelmed, easily tired or unmotivated halfway through my workout. My mind goes elsewhere and I'm not focused on pampering my body and sweating. If you're like me you've got to try "Aaptiv." It's a totally cool app that talks to you while you workout. You pick a trainer and they'll talk you through your workout and tell you to "keep going," "you're doing great" or maybe, "speed up!" How cool is that!? If you need motivation, here ya go!

app4.png
 

I LOVE ME SOME YOGA! Yoga is the most fun for me because it's mixing the stretching and resting that my mind and body needs with the movement that will wake my muscles up. I try and do it on my own but easily forget the poses and moves to get my body moving. The app "Yoga Studio" helps me do that all at home. There's videos to follow so you don't have to try and figure it out from pictures, a countdown so you know how long to stay in those poses.
You can choose how long you want your classes to be too - they have a library of classes anywhere from 5-60 minutes.

pelaton.jpg
 

THIS ONE IS SO SO FUN! I've been looking at Peloton bikes for a while and just drooling over the thought of maybe, somehow, someway having one in my home. But then I found this app that let's you have the Peloton experience without actually having to have a Peloton bike! You can download the app to your phone (I use my iPad for a bigger screen) and you can take live cycling classes, rewatch old ones or pretend to be cycling through a variety of scenery. Most gyms in hotels, apartment comlexes or gym memberships will have access to a stationary bike, this app is perfect for those. Great for traveling!