Posts Tagged With: Travel

Gaffney, I love ya

Horse show season has kicked off to a great start!  We took on the EXCA State Championship in Gaffney, SC recently.  Last year was the first time we had been to this beautiful town.  It never disappoints with it’s rolling hills and friendly folks.  Green River Farms was hosting an Extreme Cowboy Association Race.  We love these shows and what they represent.  You’re displaying true horsemanship over a course of ranch techniques + challenging obstacles with speed.  It’s exciting to watch and cheer on my family and the other competitors.


It made me so proud to see how much Erik + Miss Kitty and Kirsten + Mister Twister had improved from last year.  The horses and riders have matured so much.  Erik and Miss Kitty placed well in the Non-Pro and Pro Divisions.  Kirsten and Mister Twister brought home the Intermediate Champion Title and the Youth Champion Title at this show!!  Kirsten also introduced another horse, Diamond, to the show life and she impressed us with her calm, cool, collected attitude.  Dawton {Kirsten’s boyfriend}, showed for the first time on trusty Trinity.  They did so great and had a blast!  This won’t be the last you see of them.  Both of the courses tackled were tough, but all 3 of them rocked it.


The weather was perfect, the hamburgers from Mrs. Barb’s concession stand were delicious {as always}, the people were refreshing and kind, the late night Olive Garden run was tradition, and the quality time spent with the horses was progress.  Gaffney, you never disappoint and for that, I love ya.

Until the next adventure,


Categories: Horses + Farm Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Wild Journey {Part 1}

Howdy!  This post is for the horse folks, folks who think they would like horses, folks who are interested in my rambling on about horses, and folks who like to look at pictures of horses {basically all folks}.  As you may know, my sister has competed in multiple mustang makeover competitions.  Most of my clients ask, “do they end up racing the cars?!”  {HA}!  Nope.  Totally different competition.  We are talking about wild, undomesticated mustangs that have been rounded up out of the over populated wild herds.  If you’ve never watched the documentary, Unbranded, do yourself a favor and have a movie night with a big bowl of popcorn.  It’s a film about four guys, led by Ben Masters, who are recent college graduates embarking on a journey from the Mexico border to the Canadian border on horseback to raise awareness of the plight of the American Mustangs.  It is raw, eye-opening, and proves the worth of the mustangs over and over.  You will be much more knowledgeable about the mustangs after viewing the documentary.  You will gasp……laugh…….cry…….and swell up with pride as your eyes witness something most of us will never experience in person.


With all that said, my sister and my husband have been accepted and are competing in the Kentucky Mustang Makeover Competition this year!  Simple explanation: You are assigned a random, wild mustang that has been rounded up and hauled to a BLM holding facility.  Our pickup is scheduled in Illinois.  Things get real, very fast as you back your trailer up to the loading chute + load the mustangs you will be partnering with for the next several months and are sent on your way.  Once you arrive home, you have approximately 110 days to gentle and train the horse for competition.  That sums it up in a nut shell.


In July, we will travel to Kentucky where they will compete in a series of preliminary classes vying for a spot in the Top 10 freestyle performance finals.  All adult mustangs will be available for adoption through public competitive bid after the finals.  Many people have asked, why do they want to do this?  I know it sounds crazy, stressful, even scary, but we believe in the mustang makeovers and their purpose.  The experience, for one, is like no other, you’re preserving public lands, helping the mustangs find good homes + live a more purposeful life, and having a ton of fun along the way.


I plan to document this journey and keep you up-to-date as much as I can.  We are striking out this week to pick up the two mustangs.  We’ve tried to imagine what they will look like, what their personalities will be like and all their little quirks.  We are all super excited to get them and begin this unforgettable experience.  This is my husband’s first time participating in a mustang makeover and my sister’s first time competing in the adult division.  It is going to be so much fun and we will make many memories in these next 4 months.  I will have my camera ready to capture the moments for you all……the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Please be praying for safe travels and for God to guide Kirsten and Erik on this amazing journey.  We are grateful for this opportunity and can’t wait to share it with y’all!  Who knows, if you aren’t horse folk yet, you just may be by the end of this detour!


Until the next update,


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Traditions, Cowboy Hats, and Popcorn

We recently made our annual trip back to Augusta, Georgia.  If you missed my post last year, check it out here and it’ll catch you up on the Augusta Cutting Horse Futurity.  We love this little weekend getaway.  It’s nice for Erik and Kirsten to sit back and relax instead of showing.  We watched the futurity finals, shopped the vendors, and snacked on double-dipped chocolate covered pecans + salty popcorn.


Erik had been needing a new cowboy hat and found the perfect one!  They shaped it just for him.  I always love watching this.  Be sure to call Clay at Sombrero Brands if you’re in need of a fine quality cowboy hat {8179756247}.


It was so nice to see friends we haven’t seen in awhile and try a new Mexican joint for lunch.  Checkout Tin Lizzy’s Cantina if you’re ever near one.  They have multiple locations in GA and SC.  Double thumbs up for their chips and queso + salsa.

I absolutely love traditions and making memories.  Another Augusta Futurity in the books for us.


Hope 2017 has been good to you and your family so far, friends!  Now, where to next?!  Tell me about your upcoming trip in the comments below {I would love to read them}!!



Categories: Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

Family, Adventure, and Frozen Yogurt

There’s just something about sand between your toes, island breeze in your hair, and reggae music in the background.  We’ve already kicked the new year off with adventure by taking a big family cruise!  I know it’s January and I’m pale as 2% milk, but why not?!

God must have been looking out for my pale being because it was cloudy and windy most of the trip.  We made the best of it by doing activities around the boat and taking an occasional nap.  We cruised on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas.  It’s the largest ship in the world and it was pretty darn amazing!  They have a life-size carousel, boardwalk, central park with full grown trees/plants, an ice skating rink, 82 feet zip line, 2 rock climbing walls, and the list goes on.  We were there 8 days and I still didn’t see the entire ship.  I’m still trying to figure out how a boat that big can float?…


One of my favorite things about a cruise is they really force you to relax and be present with each other.  You’re completely disconnected from your phone, schedule, work, and busy life.  They also offer you uh-mazing food every hour.  I literally have no idea how I ate that much, but I’m glad I did!

Our first stop was Nassua, Bahamas.  It was super breezy and cloudy so we decided to explore downtown.  It’s a great place if you’re looking for a name brand item.  They have tons of shopping.


We headed to St. Thomas next.  It’s always been one of my favorites.  You’ve got mountains + beaches on the same island.  It’s soooooo beautiful.  Again, it was cloudy, but the weather was warming up.  We ventured in a taxi to Coki Beach.  Our driver was Gwyneth, a total hoot!  Her driving skills were intense; gripping to the rails for our lives one minute and laughing hysterically the next.  It was like a roller coaster ride with no extra charge.  The beach was gorgeous.  On the way back she showed us beautiful views of the island.  We tried fresh coconut {taste like a pecan if ya wanna know}.


Our last stop was St. Maarten.  This is probably my favorite island yet.  It’s stunning views + crystal blue waters + colorful buildings are lovely.  The sun finally came out and we had perfect island weather all day.  We took the water taxi to the far beach where it was less busy.  We all swam and soaked the sun up {maybe a little too much}.  I got a fresh aloe back massage on the beach {take me back}.  We walked through the shops on the way back to the ship.  There was a stand selling fresh-made ice cream rolls, ever heard of those?!  SO GOOD.  He made the ice cream out of the milk and fruit of your choice.  If you go, get coconut milk with pineapple, bananas, and local honey on top.  Perfect snack if you’ve been on the beach all day.


We made the most of our last two days cruising the sea.  We relaxed, played trivia, ate a lot, danced, Erik and my dad played in the Ping Pong Tournament, we watched the Belly Flop Contest, ate more food, shopped, watched a parade, and ate again.


It was so nice to have my family and Erik’s parents together on a big trip.  We’ve never gotten to do that before and it was my favorite part of this vacation.  I enjoyed turning my phone off and spending quality time with everyone.  This trip definitely reminded me to do that more often.  Also, travel as much as you can + make memories everywhere you go, and if they have frozen yogurt, always eat two cones {Y.O.L.O.}.

Seeking Adventure,


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Trampolines and Pier Fishing

Do you ever have one of those randomly awesome, adventurous, fun weekends??  That happened recently!  The entire weekend was so much fun and spent with my family.  Those weekends are the best in my book!

Friday night Erik and I went to a fancy schmancy dinner for our anniversary.  This doesn’t happen often, so it was nice.  My handsome husband of four years, a delicious meal, and I didn’t have to do the dishes.  Sigh.

Saturday was spent helping my parents’ at their new shop, Southern Detour.  They have been putting the finishing touches on the boutique.  All I can say is there’s turquoise and cute clothes everywhere.  You’ll have to come out to our Grand Opening this Saturday {December 3rd, 8am-8pm} to see it for yourself!  We had planned to go eat crab legs in North Myrtle Beach with my family for dinner.  We do this once or twice a year.  It always ends happy and miserably full on crab legs.  The guys wanted to go drive go-carts after {yes, I’m surrounded by children trapped in adult bodies}.  But…who knew, in the off season, all the go-cart and putt-putt locations close early.  Now you know.  We randomly drove by an indoor trampoline park at 9pm and someone thinks it’s a good idea to check it out.  After paying for our wrist bands, dad is making bets on who will vomit first.  Had we lost our minds?!  It was like kids getting off the bus on a Friday afternoon from school.  We were running to the trampolines full force.  Forgetting we had to work Monday.  Living life to the fullest.  Pulling all kinds of muscles and pushing ourselves to the limit.  Golly it was fun.  Thank goodness I had on jeggings.


It was seriously so thrilling.  We don’t have many pictures because we were living in the moment and too busy making fun of each other.  I would definitely go back even though I felt like I’d been hit by a dump truck on Monday.  It doesn’t take much for me, folks.

Even after all the adventure Saturday night, we were at church Sunday morning and decided to skip a nap and go pier fishing that afternoon.  I love going to the pier and looking out over the ocean.  It’s always so beautiful, no matter the time of year.  The guys had their fishing poles and I had my camera.  We were set and headed to the state park.  It was a gorgeous day.


Sorry for the picture overload.  That sky was so blue, I just couldn’t help myself.  Plus, we’ve got to document these moments.  Even though it was just another Sunday afternoon, it was also jokes in between the photos, learning how to cast the line out, eating cookies’n cream icecream, breathing in the salty air, soaking up the sun, car karaoke the whole way home, and making memories with the people I love the most.  Sometimes the littlest things are the biggest moments.  I love weekends like this.  They are my favorite.

Sentimental and sappy,


Categories: Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

God Blessed Texas…

“With His own hand

Brought down angels from the promised land

Gave’em a place where they could dance

If you wanna see heaven, brother, here’s your chance

I’ve been sent to spread the message

God blessed Texas.” {Little Texas}

Now that I’ve got you singing along, I can’t wait to share all about our recent trip to the big ol’state of Texas!  Erik and Kirsten had competed all year to qualify for the Extreme Cowboy Race World Championship in Hamilton, Texas.  After 23 hours, we pulled up to the Circle T Arena.  Erik said it was like a mirage in the dessert.  Literally, in the middle of nowhere, this horse venue was amazing.  Multiple arenas, a beautiful inn, the event arena with an attached steakhouse.  This place was so neat!  I was happy to be staying there for the next 7 days.


We arrived a couple of days early to let the horses rest up.  We explored the little town and found the nearest Mexican restaurant.  We also ventured out to an antique shop and a really cute farmer’s market.  We found the b i g g e s t pumpkins ever at the market.


Like they say, everything really is bigger in Texas.  Seriously, that pumpkin is HUGE.

A lot of my clients and friends have asked what cowboy racing is?  It’s an obstacle course you and your horse tackle together to showcase your speed, control, knowledge, accuracy, and horsemanship while displaying tasks a cowboy would do on a ranch.  It is so much fun to watch.  The show lasted from Wednesday-Sunday and I never got bored.  Wahoo!

After the first day showing, I talked my parents into visiting Magnolia Market in Waco {from the Fixer Upper show on HGTV}!  I’d always wanted to go and it was an hour and a half away from the arena.  It was such a unique place.  We loved it!  We bought a few souvenirs and got some cupcakes from their bakery.  Try the Cup o’Jo cupcake if you go!  Highly recommended in my book!


After a couple of days enjoying Texas, the show started to get more intense.  There was 8 divisions.  Kirsten and Erik competed in 4 divisions total.  There was 2 rounds for each division and your scores were accumulated to decide who made it to the Top 10 for Finals!  Our goal was to make it to Sunday, when the finals were held.  After you made it to the finals, your score sheet was wiped clean and you got a fresh start.  Kirsten and Erik gave it all they had in the arena.  Not only did they make it to the top 10 in every division, but they both did a great job and definitely represented South Carolina well.


Between the two of them they brought home 4 buckles and 3 checks!!! It definitely made the 23 hour ride back home much easier.  I cannot express enough how proud I am of them!  This was a WORLD horse show!  If you’re not of the horse world, that’s a pretty big deal folks.  There were over 200 horses and riders from parts of the United States, Canada, and Europe.  There was so much stress and pressure throughout the week, but Kirsten and Erik handled it extremely well.  Shoutout to their awesome horses too!!  All those late nights at the barn, eating dinner at 9pm, and traveling every chance we got was so worth it!


Texas was good to us and we can’t wait to go back!  The people are friendly, the horses are beautiful, there’s a cowboy hat around every corner, they have cute farmer’s markets, gigantic gas stations called Buc-cee’s you can spend 2 hours at, perfectly cooked steaks, and now memories we will have forever!  Texas, we love ya.


God blessed Texas,


Categories: Horses + Farm Life, Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 10 Comments

The Mountains Are Calling

You know that quote, “The mountains are calling and I must go,” I’m pretty sure that really happens to me.  I’m also pretty sure it’s hereditary.  It happens to my parents all the time.  Soon as the first signs of fall are present, I have a need to see the mountains.  It’s probably my favorite scenery in the entire world.  Simple but makes my little heart so happy.

Thankfully, my husband understands this weird hereditary trait that I inherited, and he goes along with it just fine.  We had the busiest work week.  Overtime on the job and we were trying to finish the plumbing in our trailer.  If you missed the renovation post of our horse trailer, I’ll fill you in here + lots of photos.  We had every reason not to go to the mountains, but we made it happen.  This was the last weekend we would really be able to do something for ourselves with horse shows coming up and using up all our free time + money to finish the trailer.  We headed to Blowing Rock, NC with a horse, 2 dogs, and enough luggage to stay for a whole week {I always overpack, I admit}.

We stayed at Blowing Rock Equestrian Preserve.  This place is beautiful and the facilities are so nice.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to enjoy the trails there.  The preserve has over 25 miles of horse trails through the mountains.  Erik was able to get a few rides in at their arenas.  We did some shopping {mostly me}, ate at their local restaurants, and took in the pretty scenery.


I love these little trips.  I love the mountains.  They give me some kind of peace and happiness.  I love my husband, who just gets me.  I love horses.  I love local shops and diners.  I love cream-filled strawberry pancakes for breakfast.  I love that we were able to bring our two pups along, even though Dally growled at a granny while we were downtown and 5 minutes later she was the friendliest pup ever.  I love salted chocolate caramel apples.  I love fall and making memories with my family.  Blowing Rock, I love ya.

Lots of love,


Categories: Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Yah Mon! {Cruising the Caribbean}

We’re young, we don’t have kids, we work hard and are way too busy with life.  So…we spontaneously planned a cruise with my brother and sister-in-law.  I’ve cruised before and love it!

We had a blast, y’all!  I loved that it was just the four of us.  We cruised on Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas.  It’s the 7th largest ship in the world.  The ship and it’s crew were fantastic!


I forgot how beautiful it is to lookout and see nothing but blue water and a sunset.  We danced the night away, ate pizza at midnight, got fancy for dinner, lounged poolside, went to trivia, watched the evening shows, drank out of pineapples, met new people, went to the casino, and took every chance of adventure we could find.

The first island we went to was Labadee, Haiti.  It was my birthday and it was a beautiful day!  We rode the alpine coaster and snorkeled.  What better way to spend your birthday, am i right?!


Next, we took on Falmouth, Jamaica.  We just did a little shopping around the port.  It was really nice and had a “village” feel to it.  I bought a really cute wooden carved pineapple bowl for my table.  We got back on the ship early and had the pool all to ourselves that afternoon {win}!


The third island was George Town, Grand Cayman.  It was an awesome and adventurous day!  We took a 15 minute taxi bus ride to our destination.  We got on a boat and rode 30 minutes to a sandbar in the middle of nowhere, Sting Ray City.  We got to see huge wild sting rays.  We swam in the ocean and had our picture made with them.  A little scary, but very cool!  When we headed back, one of the crew forgot to take the back anchor up.  #everybodymakesmistakes  The rope got caught in the propeller and we were stuck.  It took them almost an hour to get it fixed, but thankfully it didn’t ruin the rest of our afternoon + the view wasn’t bad either.  We took the boat back to Dolphin Cove.  We did the Dolphin Encounter.  We got to kiss, dance and interact with a dolphin.  His name was Nemo and he was awesome!!  It was such a great experience!  I would recommend anyone to do a dolphin excursion!


The last island was Cozumel, Mexico.  This was one of the best days ever!  We ventured out on our own and took a 5 minute taxi ride to Playa Uvas {pronounced “plah-yah oo-bahs”, a private beach club.  We were provided lounge chairs with umbrellas, hammocks, pool access, snorkeling, and kayaking!  It was a rainy day, on and off.  We waited until the rain was light and decided to snorkel since we were in Cozumel.  Might as well live it up, rain or shine!  A guide volunteered to show us star fish, sting rays, lobster, tropical fish, eels, a seahorse and a spider crab!  Heck yes!  It was the coolest experience!  The water was incredibly clear and blue.  I wish I could do this everyday, y’all!  Casper, our guide, had an underwater camera and got amazing pictures that I will cherish forever!  They were very affordable.  The staff at Playa Uvas were so friendly and helpful.  After we had tons of fun, we ate an authentic Mexican lunch.  Best fish tacos of my life.  If you’re in Cozumel, go to Playa Uvas and ask for Casper.  Also, buy you a pair of authentic Mexican cowboy boots in Cozumel.  You won’t regret it!


My awesome brother created a video to recap our vacation!  Check it out here and subscribe + give it a thumbs up!

One thing I’ve learned from this trip: you can think of a million reasons not to travel, but traveling is where the best memories are made.  If you’ve been thinking about a trip and have the money saved up, GO!  You won’t ever regret traveling with your family!  Don’t let life get so busy that you forget to live.



Categories: Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Horses, Cowboy Hats and Boot Shine

We just got back from the annual Augusta Cutting Horse Futurity in Georgia.  Now you’re wondering, what in the world is that?!  Click the link or I can give you a quick definition here…a cutting horse is a horse trained in separating cattle from a herd.  Sounds simple, but it’s a very detailed, difficult and interesting sport {cows are tricky}.  It looks a little something like this–>


My family loves this tradition.  It’s the same weekend every year in January.  It’s not too far from home, so it makes for a nice little getaway.  We get to see our friends, watch some of the most amazing, powerful cutting horses ever made, and shop a little!

Our weekend was filled with catching up with friends, keeping up with the scores, getting our boots shined, cowboy hats shaped, eating fried pickles and funnel cakes.  We were up early every morning and didn’t get to bed until late, but it was entirely worth it.  It’s such a fun time with my people.  I always love weekends like this where memories are made.

Plus, we got to see some snow Saturday morning!  It was such a pretty surprise to wake up to!


We try to never pass up a weekend with family and horses.  The cowboy hat shaping and boot shine were just the cherry on top!



Categories: Horses + Farm Life, Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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