Life Lately

2018 has already felt like such a year of promise, settledness, and hope for the future.  Here's what I've been up to the last 3 months!


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  • Spent the weekend at The Fearrington with some of my dearest friends
  • Establishing better rhythms in our home and life
  • Read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle again, The Maker's Diet, The Magician's Nephew, A Simplified Life, and Souvenirs of Solitude.
  • Enjoying work-together dates with friends.  Sometimes ya just need to be around people while you do your work!
  • Focused on health - did The Maker's Diet for the 40 days of Lent (mostly!) and also have been doing acupuncture.  It has helped so much with anxiety, and is specifically for helping infertility.
  • Date nights with John
  • Went to the Helser Worship Night in Greensboro with Steffany Gretzinger
  • Spent Easter with John's family - we played with bubbles, did an easter egg hunt with Milly, flew a kite, and ate yummy food - including a cake I made after 40 days of cakelessness
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  • Doing hair and makeup for the next Cultivate What Matters shoot (I'm a huge fan of their Powersheets and Write the Word journals!)
  • 2 more weddings this month
  • going to the mountains to celebrate one of my best friend's 30th birthday
  • going to the beach to celebrate our 6 year anniversary!
  • going to the beach again to spend time with one of my other best friends from TN!  Gonna show her the NC coast
  • Enjoying spring!  Here's a list of fun things I want to do this season.
  • Going to the Farmer's Market
  • 3 weddings in May
  • Enjoying Wellness Wednesdays at North Hills, as well as yoga classes at a local yoga studio (I won it at Unveil's silent auction!)
  • Get a new financial advisor and begin monthly budgets again
  • Create for fun!


What is on the calendar next for you?   What are your goals over the next two months?

Love, Sam

What I've Been Up To (& What I'm Looking Forward To)

Autumn is here!


The last year has been such a crazy journey for me.  I swiped the table of my professional plans, and personal life took precedence as I sought out healing for myself in a difficult time (to put it bluntly - severe anxiety/panic attacks and infertility).  All the details on that have been sprinkled about various blogs and insta-posts over the last 10 months, for those who might want to look back and follow the bread crumb trail.

I can honestly say that, though there is still some uncertainty regarding what 2018 will look like, life right now is so good.  To read what I've been up to in life and work, and what I'm looking forward, take a little browse below!

Since August 21 (when I sent the last Gazette):

In Life

  • Adopted Goldie Faith Ray, our hilarious tabby kitten who is as playful as a puppy.  Her in-shelter name was Faith, and we knew we needed to keep that in there.  After we had already signed the papers, we found out she was born on June 8th of this year, my 30th birthday!  Of course I started crying, and thankfully the people who work at the SPCA are the sweetest and did not make fun of me and my #catmom tearfest!
  • I've been trying to get outside as much as possible with friends.  Since John is working full time, I have enjoyed asking girl friends to go walking with me as a fun alternative to the coffee date, and a safe way to explore Raleigh trails instead of going at it alone.  Some of my favorites have been Lake Johnson trail (it's a 3 mile loop) and Falls Lake, and Umstead.
  • I did the Hormone Reset by Dr. Sara Gottfried , a diet similar to Whole30, but specifically geared towards women and healing metabolism.  It focuses on resetting the 7 main hormones that get out of whack largely due to what we consume.  I honestly just found the book on a whim while at the library.  I loved (LOVED) this diet, as I found it to be a little more gentle and holistic than Whole30 (which can, in my opinion, play into mindsets that are overly restrictive.) Dr. Sara also incorporates what she calls "cell to soul" work - a way to connect with your emotions, mind, and spirit throughout the process.  It was a great way for me to reconnect with my body and listen to all it had been trying to tell me (but I often try to overlook by eating whatever I emotionally want!)
  • To go with that, I have really upped my workout game by doing more classes at the Y.  I have especially loved Aerobics, Total Body Strength, and Cardio Dance.  Group workouts work way better for me because they push me harder and keep me accountable.  I also like meeting new friends!
  • Saw the last Bulls home game with John on the first cool, crisp night of early fall.
  • Helped my friend Taylor Leonhardt  for her album release.  If you guys want some fresh fall music, go stream/buy her album River House like now!  The album release show was super fun, hosted in the Portico Pictures studio with 170-ish of our friends.  I got to help create her magical backdrop and sing background vocals too.
  • Helping get things all ready for my sister-in-law Jess' wedding, which is happening so soon!  I haven't been a bridesmaid in a while, and it's really sweet to be in this season of life while bridesmaiding.  I feel like I know a lot more now about how to be a support and a help, and appreciating the honor of being someone's wing-woman for such a huge life event. 

In Work

  • Provided some touch-up hair and makeup for the 2018 Powersheets photoshoot at the Barn of Chapel Hill.  So. much. COLOR!! BTW, the new Powersheets are out and if you're any bit of a goal setter or want to be, I highly recommend snagging yourself some now!  I have been using them for the last 3 years and 
  • Got to meet some awesome ladies during the Beautiful You photo shoot with Kat de la Cruz at The Gray House in Raleigh. That was my first experience with boudoir-esque hair and makeup, and I had a ton of fun!
  • Got to do Nancy's hair and makeup for their newborn photoshoot!
  • Did Joanne's hair and makeup for her fresh headshots!  Check out all that Joanne is  up to - she's killing it with these business projects!
  • Got the ladies of Gilded Bridal all spiffied up for their team photo shoot, while they also celebrated their 1 year anniversary!  What a fun morning!
  • Joined the ladies of Emily Ley/Simplified Planner for a Holiday Shoot at the McAlister Leftwich house in Greensboro.  We channeled a little Gal Meets Glam and I loved it!
  • An engagement shoot, and a bridal trial for a dear friend getting married in just a couple of weeks!

So what am I looking forward to?

  • Savoring this quick fall season before the holidays officially get here - Sweaters, PSLs, crisp air
  • Celebrating alongside one of my best friends as she gets married in Beaufort
  • Celebrating Thanksgiving with my family
  • Picking out a petite Christmas tree for our living room (we're downsizing after our 9-footer last year!)
  • Continuing working out and eating well - treating my own body like a dear friend
  • Reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, E.M. Bounds on Prayer, and The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis : )
  • Our ignite group at our church - worshipping together, and getting onto college campuses and encouraging students!  I know I needed that when I was in college - is that the life gauntlet or what?
  • Drawing & creating stuff for fun
  • Worshiping and praying in my home
  • Making great meals in our home (I usually check out the @whole30recipes insta feed and make my meal plans from there!)

Do you have your goals posted on a blog or post?  Link it to me below - I'd love to cheer you on!



May Recap + June Goals

May, what a gift you were to me.  Where early spring brought challenges of anxiety, an emergency business overhaul, sadness, and deep, difficult, but freeing spiritual work, you, May, have brought me this:

  • laughter
  • a settled feeling of joy 
  • knowing that I am known and loved
  • feeling empowered from taking a stand (even though it felt like crumbling)
  • feeling more like my true self
  • sunny summery skies and beautiful thunderstorms

In early spring I pulled a plug from my business and stopped taking new clients.  Then, when things were still really rough physically and emotionally, I decided to let several of my clients go from their contracts (#humbling).  This space allowed me time to assess the direction of my life, assess the things I was running from (using mainly my business as the excuse), and to heal.  Like really, deeply, quietly and slowly heal.  I'm still healing.  It's not glamorous, it's not an envy-causing or identity-boosting image on Instagram.  It's not 100 likes, or a new thing I'm doing.  It's just real, beautiful life with the real people I love.  

So, here's a little recap of some of the goings-on of a healing May:

  • 6 weddings
  • 1 senior photo shoot in Beaufort, NC with my HAMU besties, Joanne and Michelle
  • A little bit of rest time in Beaufort tagged on
  • Reading Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequest
  • A date night with my man to Foundation & Brewery Bhavana (both are a must-try!)
  • A date afternoon at Jubala - we love the one on Hillsborough because it's close to our house and has a great view of the Belltower
  • A trip to Lake Gaston with the Ray family, which was SO sweet and restful and green!
  • I was nominated for Southern Weddings Best of the South Wedding Awards (The Pineys!) for Best Hairstylist!  WHAT!  I am so honored!  If you haven't voted yet, it would mean so much if you would vote for me here!  Voting ends June 9th.  



  • I'm turning 30!!!!  Woohoo!  I have no idea what is going on other than that John told me to save an entire week with no plans.  
  • 4 weddings
  • 3 trials
  • Enjoying home
  • The Piney's will be announced!

How has your start to summer been?  Anything you are planning for or looking forward to in June?

With lots of love,