Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The L Word

As mentioned recently (since all I do is dance to Taylor Swift and talk about horses), I've been barn-searching here in North Carolina. I happened to stumble into a pretty perfect situation out of pure luck and have found myself with my third "L" horse (Lucy, Lane, Lady... how these things happen, I'm baffled).

Meet Lady, a Thoroughbred x Appaloosa (...right?) who is actually registered as a non-characteristic because she not only has no spots, but not a single Appaloosa quality. Go figure. She was actually bred by a big sporthorse barn, but never quite grew and ended up in that awkward not-a-pony, but not big enough to play with the big horses spot. (At 5'1", this is my kinda horse). She's as cute as a button, definitely still green, but seems to have a great mind and is sweet as can be. 

I can't get over how lucky I've been in the last year to find myself some pretty awesome rides. I recently read a great article here about taking a break from riding and how it can benefit you as a rider, and it really struck home for me. When I left for Auburn I was burnt out on horses, showing, all of it. While I spent summers riding and dabbled around a few semesters at Auburn, I was essentially a 'has-been equestrian' for my time there. And it was great. Were there times I missed it? Absolutely. But in the end, I can truly say it reignited my passion, made me remember why I love horses and why I love riding and want it in my life. 

With grad school starting up (this week!), I'm not sure what my riding schedule is going to look like, but I know that it's important to me to have as a mental and physical break from school. Something about hitting a back road, getting to the barn and not thinking about anything else in the world...

Not to mention, now I want to shop for all the new horse things. I want new boots, breeches, baby pads, half pads, jumping boots, a new saddle, a new helmet... Who needs to eat, right?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Saturdays Down South

En route to getting soaked to the bone in Baton Rogue at Auburn vs LSU wearing Madewell
It was so cool and overcast here all weekend, it felt like almost like football season (that is, late October football season). With less than a month until the best time of the year starts again, I'm feeling seriously nostalgic for Auburn and Saturdays spent tailgating and screaming at the top of my lungs in Jordan-Hare.

If I was headed back to the Plains, this is the time of year I'd start shopping for gameday dresses. I was really picky about what I bought for gameday while I was at Auburn, and it served me well. My rules were simple, but I essentially followed three guidelines:

In J.Crew and Ferrini boots at the 2013 Iron Bowl (I wore this dress to church this weekend!)

1) Stay away from the common gameday brands
Is Judith March adorable? Do all of the Auburn boutiques carry the cutest gameday dresses in orange and navy? Yes and yes. Will you end up wearing the exact same dress as at least five other girls in the student section? Also a yes. I tried to avoid shopping at these stores and stuck to mostly 'regular' brands I already wear. I've found that by simply looking for your regular favorites in the right colors, you avoid the markup on so-called 'gameday dresses' and you're more likely to be the only one wearing your dress on Saturday.

2) Buy to wear again
I don't own a single orange AND navy dress. Solids of each? Uh, yeah - half my closet consists of navy dresses, and there's a few orange ones thrown in there for good measure, but I stuck to classic cuts and colors when shopping. It's paid off - by buying dresses I can re-wear in 'real life', I added classic pieces to my wardrobe. I've worn plenty of former gameday dresses to work, church, dinner and so many other places!

3) Don't get caught up in fall
Right around this time every year, Pinterest will start blowing up with fall outfit inspiration. Which is wonderful if you live somewhere like say, New Hampshire. If you're in Alabama, you can go ahead and forget about that until November. When dressing for gameday, remember you're going to be outside and in the sun all day long. If it's a night game (my favorite!), then a light sweater might be handy to take along, but it's always easier to throw one on, than to be miserably roasting in the stadium at 3pm.

Here's a few of my favorite navy selections for fall - I was always partial to navy as a blonde, because I think it looks better on me than orange!

P.S. If you haven't seen the 2014 edition of T'was A Month Before Football, then go read it now!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The laziest Thoroughbred

Charles Owen | Everlane U-Neck t-shirt | No name belt | Tailored Sportsman breeches | Ariat boots & half chaps
I'm knee-deep in the barn/riding search here in North Carolina (lots of promising leads so fingers crossed!) and it has me missing my sweet horses I rode all summer. On my last ride on Lane, mom came out and snapped some pictures and I can't stop looking at them. Definitely missing that sweet face this week. I'm excited to see how he progresses as he starts jumping this fall!
Sometimes I make dumb faces and sometimes I can't actually ride

My equitation is seventeen kinds of screwed up, but he's so cuuuteee

Slouching, good. I'm good at that.
For an off track Thoroughbred, he's the laziest horse ever. Lane's preferred speed? Stopped. Maybe a dull walk if he's feeling perky. Also, I can't wait to see how he looks when he gets some real muscle and topline conditioning!

I like to pretend this was us all summer

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Likes and follows and tweets, oh my!

Hey, Hey Holls is now on Facebook, so if you're so inclined, I'd love for you to "like" the page to stay updated!

Don't forget to follow along on Twitter and Instagram too! Sometimes I'm funny... I think.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Book Review: Rewind To You

Rewind to You
Lauren Johnston
Kensington Publishing Corp
YA/New Adult
4/5 Stars

Summary from Goodreads

"One last summer before college on beautiful Tybee Island is supposed to help Sienna forget. But how can she? This is where her family spent every summer before everything changed, before the world as she knew it was ripped away. 
But the past isn’t easily left behind. Especially when Sienna keeps having episodes that take her back to the night she wants to forget. Even when she meets the mysterious Austin Dobbs, the guy with the intense blue eyes, athlete’s body, and weakness for pralines who scooped her out of trouble when she blacked out on River Street. 
When she’s with Austin, Sienna feels a whole new world opening up to her. Austin has secrets, and she has history. But caught between the past and the future, Sienna can still choose what happens now…"


Rewind to You follows Sienna and Austin through their last summer before college on Tybee Island, alternating points of view through chapters. Sienna, an accomplished dancer, is struggling with grief after the death of her dad and can't quite figure out how to put her life back together. Austin is the witty and charming athlete who literally sweeps her off her feet when she runs into trouble one night wandering around town. Both characters were entirely likable, although Austin more so from the very beginning. Sienna pushed my buttons a little bit before the author lets you get to know her, but soon opens up. The book does a nice job of blending romance with family and other realistic feeling scenes.

One of my favorite aspects was Johnston's ability to take her time telling their stories. Too often, young adult novels rush into relationships, as if the reader is going to lose interest unless they're declaring their undying love for each other within the first 15 pages. Here, the spark is set off early, drawing you in, but she allows both characters to develop naturally and in a way which feels appropriate for college freshmen.

The family scenes interwoven into the story add a nice touch as well. Getting to know the people surrounding both characters helps form a sense of completion for both without taking over the story. Sienna's mother and brother were confusing and frustrating characters to read, but it helps the reader empathize with Sienna and does a good job of putting the reader into her shoes. Austin's story towards the end was beautiful and touching, well worth the wait.

Definitely a solid debut novel for Johnston and one I'd recommend for a sweet and touching read.

An advance readers' copy was provided to me by the author/publisher in exchange for a review. These are my honest opinions!
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