What I’m Loving {4}

Hey friends, Happy Friday!!!

Hope y’all have had a good week! I for one am glad the weekend is upon us. We are traveling to the great state of Oklahoma this weekend to visit the best school in all the land – Oklahoma State University, naturally.  We haven’t been in almost THREE years, which is insane, so we’re taking the boys to show them what it’s all about – and since it’s a game day we know it’ll be a blast.

Here’s a little bit of what I’m loving lately:

What I'm Loving {4} | Haven Gray {the blog}

Athleta Capri Pants

I am a pretty frugal girl when it comes to clothing usually, but Arsen got me started on these and now I can’t stop! They are SO comfy and crazy flattering, and they’re also made out of super durable, nice quality fabric. I’ve got several pairs of the Chaturanga ™ Capris and I’ve been wearing these babies nonstop, even though it’s a million degrees outside. When the weather finally cools down in Texas I’m pretty sure I won’t take them off.

Bible Study

A few weeks ago I started leading a table at the Women’s Bible Study at my church, and I am LOVING it! I was a little (a lot) hesitant at first, because this is so far from something I ever thought I would be doing, but after a lot (a lot) of prayer, I knew it was the right step. And man, God has used it to bless me big time, because the girls at my table – pretty much none of us knew each other beforehand! –  feel like they were hand picked especially to be in this group together. I just love when he coordinates my life in such a fun, unexpected way!

My Little Family

I always love my boys (all three of ’em), but lately I have been pretty much obsessed with how great they all are. I feel like we’re in a bit of sweet spot right now, and we’re having a lot of really good family time. I mean, don’t get me wrong, the kids drive us absolutely bonkers a large portion of the time – especially the tiny one, he is CRAZY – but their relationship is becoming cuter, they’re easier to communicate with, and the husband and I seem to have found a good balance with this parenting thing. Kind of madly in love with the family we’ve created right now.

“Fall”

Or more accurately, the idea of fall. Texas usually barely gets a fall, and this year is proving to be totally predictable. It was at least 95 degrees outside today, which is horrendous when all you see everywhere are pumpkins and halloween decor and boots and sweaters. I swear I’m meant to live somewhere that gets a true four seasons – but no, somehow I’m in the hottest state on the planet. Nonetheless, I’m loving the fact that our version of fall is just around the corner, which means the holidays will be close behind. The next few months are my FAVORITE time of the year!

Alright friend of mine, tell me – what are you loving??

 

What I’m Loving {3}

Hey hey friends. So, when I started this blog earlier this year, I did this fun little thing where I would share what I was super into at the moment with you. And then, you know, life happened and I quit blogging and that was that. But now that I’m back (hopefully consistently!) I wanted to get back in the swing of things with another What I’m Loving post. So – on the the goodness!

What I'm Loving | Haven Gray {the blog}

Just Mercy

If you haven’t read Just Mercy yet, DO IT. I’m a little more than halfway through, and….just, wow. Fair warning – it is intense. Super intense. It’s though provoking. It’s infuriating. It’s heartbreaking. It’s enlightening. It’s really making me dig deep inside myself and look at feelings that may have been engrained in me so long ago that I didn’t even realize they were there. I haven’t talked about this here, because it’s SO huge and SO intense and SO overwhelming that I don’t want to open the discussion until I’m truly prepared, but racial reconciliation is something I feel very passionate about, and this book brings so many feelings to the forefront for me. Just read it. I don’t think you’ll regret it. I heard Bryan Stevenson (the author) speak at the Global Leadership Summit a few weeks ago, and wow. Look that guy up and listen to what he has to say. So good.

Parenthood

Y’all. Are you kidding me? I had NO IDEA this show was so dang good. The husband and I started it awhile back – maybe two years ago? – and just couldn’t get into it, so I wrote it off as “not for me”. Well, I finished Gilmore Girls and was sad and depressed and needed a new show to watch while I eat my lunch every day, and Netflix suggested Parenthood so I thought, I’ll give it a shot. OMG. It’s SO GOOD. I could cry. And sometimes I do. Give it a chance friends, it warms my heart every episode!

Hair Skin and Nails

I swear this isn’t a plug, but I am obsessing over this product. Yes, I started selling It Works a few months ago, and no, I’m not going to bombard you with sales-y posts, but, you guys. This Hair Skin and Nails is the real deal. I am (embarrassingly) a life-long nail biter, and my nails are always tiny, painful stubs that make me feel like a very unsophisticated child. I started taking these less than a month ago, and not even every single day like you’re supposed to, and my nails are loooong and stronger than they have ever been in my life. Like, they look like grown woman nails! I actually have to file them to keep them short enough to do stuff. I can’t get over it.

Sweet Tea

So, I am also a life-long coke (a-cola, let’s be clear) addict, and I gave it up back in May. Like, haven’t had ANY (aside from two in NYC, because there were basically no other good options). But once I ditched that habit, I picked up a new one, and it’s so very southern. I cannot get enough sweet tea. I’m judging restaurants by their sweet tea now, and if it’s not good I don’t even want to go back. And if they don’t have sweet tea? What is even happening, we’re in Texas for crying out loud! If you’re wondering, Gold Peak is really the only acceptable at-home version. No, I can’t be bothered to make it myself.

Haven Gray Kids!

This seems like another plug, but I swear it’s not! I am having SO MUCH FUN with HGK right now. My mom and I decided to expand and open a second booth location at Lone Star Mercantile in Allen, TX, and it has been a blast. Our first booth at Doozie’s Corner in McKinney is babies and boys clothing only – which is obviously what got us started – but we decided to branch out at our second location. So now we’re doing girls clothing, stuff for moms, a little bit of home decor. Y’all, I’m having a blast. We’re not selling online anymore, but we did start a private shopping group for people who aren’t local, so request to be added if you want to check it out!

There you have it! Alright, what do I need to know about? Tell me what you’re loving in the comments!

5 Things I Can’t Live Without

I would love to claim to be a low-maintenance kind of girl, but I think anyone that knows me well would dispute that claim pretty quickly. I feel like children have taken me down a few notches on the high-maintenance scale, but still – I need what I need. But if you were to strip it down to the basics, there are just a few things that I probably couldn’t live without – at least, not very happily.

Small disclaimer here – I’m not adding my husband and kids to the list, because they aren’t “things”. Just in case you were to read this list and be like “dang, that girl is so self-absorbed!” – I’m not, promise.

5 Things I Can't Live Without | Haven Gray {The Blog}

  • My Phone

I mean, how cliche is this, right? I wanted to leave it off the list, but I would be lying to you. I can’t live without this thing. It’s my lifeline. Obviously it’s important to have in case of emergency, but it’s my lifeline in so many other ways. Texting is my #1 form of communication. I really hate talking on the phone. That is reserved for my parents, my husband when he’s traveling (barely), and friends that live far away – and even that rarely happens. Just text me.

And since I’m a “blogger” or “digital influencer” or whatever the cool term is these days as well as a small business owner, I use my phone a lot for social media and business related things. I’ve got Instagram/Facebook accounts for this blog as well as for Haven Gray Kids, I have all 72 of my email accounts on my phone (slight exaggeration), I can run our Shopify site from an app on my phone, check in on our booth sales, edit photos – seriously, this little iPhone is magical. I resisted the draw of the iPhone for as long as I could, but I caved several years ago and never looked back.

  • Caffeine

Y’all. I’ve always been a caffeine addict, literally for as long as I can remember. I used to drink several Cokes a day, and when I was in school and working in an office before having kids, I lived on those 5 Hour Energy drinks in addition to the Cokes. Now I’m more drinking more Spark (an Advocare drink), iced coffee, and maybe one Coke a day – although I promise I’m trying to cut back here. I honestly don’t think I would survive without caffeine. My children are not great sleepers, aside from the handful of nights I’ve stayed away from home, I haven’t had an uninterrupted night of sleep in basically four years. I NEED caffeine.

  • Yoga Pants

I’m sitting here trying to think of a better feeling than getting home at the end of the day and taking off my jeans and slipping into a pair of yoga pants, and I literally cannot think of one. Stretchy pants just make me happy. If that’s wrong, I don’t want to be right, because they are heavenly. I have maybe 20 pairs of “athletic” pants (not sure what technically classifies as yoga pants) and I 100% could not live without them. Nope.

  • DVR

So, I don’t get much downtime to sit around and watch TV, despite what you may have heard about stay at home moms and their screen time. If the TV is on during the day, it’s Disney Junior. The only time I actually sit down to watch something is at night after the boys have gone to bed, and this is only a couple times a week. So needless to say, my DVR is very important to me and it is FULL of goodness. And the benefit of not getting to watch TV often is that when you do, you get a good binge session in. The husband and I have probably five episodes each (at least) of Scandal, Blacklist, and New Girl waiting on us. And I personally have probably 10 episodes of Fixer Upper I need to get to. Just waiting on that downtime to show up….

  • Books

Oh man, do I love to read. But similar to the whole “no time to watch TV” thing, I also don’t have much time to read. But I have started making a point to cram it in where I can. Some night instead of getting online to work I hop in bed with a book. And since it takes me like half an hour to blow dry my hair, I’ve started reading as I do that. Other than that, I don’t get much reading in at this stage in my life, but my goodness do I have a HUGE stack of books to get through when I do get the time. If you’re curious, I’m working on Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist right now, and it is speaking to my SOUL. This would be a sad, sad world without books in it, in my humble opinion.

OK, so I’m curious to hear from you – what items can you seriously not live without? Are they as shallow as mine? Share!

What I’m Loving {2}

A few weeks ago I shared my first “What I’m Loving” post here on the new blog. This is something I did occasionally on my former blog, and I think it’s one of the things that I’ll keep around. I love the fact that it makes me take a second to pause and consider what it is that’s making me happy at the moment – it’s sometimes easy to let the good fly by without really soaking it in. So without further ado, here are my favorite things of the moment.

What I'm Loving | Haven Gray Blog

  • Texas Weather

I’m almost 100% positive this is the first time I’ve ever said that I love Texas weather. It is basically always way too hot around here, but right now I am absolutely loving the abnormally warm weather that we have. The last couple of days I’ve been able to let the boys play in the yard, we’ve taken a walk around the neighborhood, and man is it nice to not have to worry about coats, blankets, hats, etc. Even when it’s cold here it’s kind of a joke – we think it’s cold when it’s in the low 50’s, and I’m totally serious – but these mid-70’s that we’ve been having are really just blissful. (Don’t be jealous anyone up North, you can brag when I’m dealing with temps of 105+ in a few short months.)

  • Dreaming Big 

I seriously could dream up business ideas, hopes and dreams for my family, and ways I want to make a difference in this world 24 hours a day. My little brain never stops churning, and sometimes it leaves me feeling totally overwhelmed. For some reason though, right now I’m seeing this non-stop crazy as a blessing, and I am just really enjoying the dreams I’m dreaming. I am so hopeful that many of these things will come to pass, and regardless, it’s fun to imagine all the things I could potentially do with my life.

  • Brother Love

You guys. I know I’m an only child so I don’t have much to compare it to, but I’m pretty sure the relationship between my boys is the cutest sibling relationship ever. It seems like almost every single day it takes on a new form – the older Gavin gets, the less he annoys Grayson constantly and the more they seem to really start to bond. Don’t get me wrong, they are also starting to fight much more frequently, which isn’t near as cute, but my goodness is it adorable when things are going well. Seeing them wrestle around and laugh hysterically together makes me feel like my heart might actually just explode from the cuteness of it all. THIS is why you have multiple children. It’s not the added expense, stress, or general feeling of exhaustion, great as all those things may be. It’s the cuteness.

  • The Husband

You know how relationships tend to ebb and flow – sometimes you’re really in a good place, other times you think you could potentially end up on an episode of Snapped? (Totally kidding y’all, no one panic) Well right now the husband and I are in a particularly good place in our relationship. We’ve been having a lot of fun, conversations are going well, he’s looking extra cute these days, we haven’t been having many tense “discussions” – and man am I thankful for that. Marriage is no joke people, it can take a lot of effort to make sure you’re doing your part to keep things rocking along peacefully, and when we are in one of those seasons where things seem to be happening without a lot of added effort I have learned to fully embrace and appreciate it.

I would be super happy if you wanted to share what YOU’RE loving with me! Either here in the comments, or catch me over on Instagram or Facebook. Happy Friday sweet friends!