All posts by Shelby



Over the past few weeks ( okay, months), I’ve been a bit (very) neglectful to this little space of mine. To be completely transparent, it didn’t really feel like mine any more. I felt so disconnected from the blog name, from what I was writing, from where I was going. Instead of letting it grow with me, I sort of derailed the whole thing, which is okay (I keep telling myself). I took a summer break to regroup, which is a nice way of putting, “I took some time off to figure out what I want.”

I love this place so very much, and I’ve loved watching it grow even by the littlest bit over the past year. I don’t want it to go away, but I do want to shift the direction a bit. I know I don’t have to write this post, I don’t have to explain why  I was gone, and I can make subtle changes as I go, but I did want to get this off my chest and onto paper. A bit of accountability.

You’ll see a small shift in blog content-writing what I want to write vs. writing just to write. Oh, and the biggest change of all- a much needed name change is in order. Which of course means we’re moving.


Starting today, you can find me on ShelbyLeighRu dot com. SoSo will automatically direct over there for a bit beginning on Wednesday, and my archives will be transferred over to ShelbyLeighRu. Hopefully, it’s pretty seamless. Hopefully….

Thanks for listening to my monday morning rambles, for those who come to this tiny space of the Internet, and even more thanks to those who are going to come with me to my new tiny space of the Internet.

girl crush:: letters + light


The first time I met Lindsay, I knew she was one of the “good ones.” I’m not sure what that precisely implies, but I do know she just radiates this energy that you want to be around. You want to soak it in for a few hours, feel the warmth of her kind words, take in her talent.

Lindsay is the owner of Letters + Light, a combination photography and design studio. Her talent behind the camera is so natural, looking at her photographs, you’d think she’d been taking pictures for 100 years. I could talk all day about what an amazing photographer she is, but today I’d prefer to brag on the new shop she opened this week.


Filled to the brim with watercolor, hand drawn design, and gorgeous color palettes, I quickly fell in love with every piece. Her work speaks for itself,  below are my top picks from her shop, but Y’ALL-they are all amazing.


This piece is hands-down my favorite. It reminds me a bit of my ultimate girl crush, Chelsea of Oh My Deer. The color, the lines, I swoon for it all.






Head to her shop, and while you’re at it, check out her blog so you can see all her photography skills too. I’m tellin’ you-one of the good ones.


*all photos by Lindsay of Letters + Light 

our kitchen:: before and progress

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The kitchen has been (and continues to be) the biggest undertaking in the house. When we found this house, I was captivated by every detail-I was totally smitten. Which is why I totally ignored Josh as he kept saying “this kitchen needs work,” “there is no counter space,” and my favorite “there is only one drawer in the whole kitchen.” It’s like when you’re really in love with someone and you ignore all those annoying things they do like how they’re always late or they chew with their mouth open. I was blind to the kitchen’s faults.

So this is what we started with (again, these are all iPhone photos from before we moved in so they are poor quality, messy photos)

kitchen-before kitchen-before4

kitchen-before3 kitchen-before5

Charming right? ;) So yes, some glaring concerns like the color of that wall, total lack of storage and counter space, and some interesting layout concerns. Our original goals were this:

1- paint walls: As much as I’m all about a bright teal kitchen (I’m not), this room needed to be white. It was one of the only rooms I was able to convince Josh to let me paint white. The kitchen actually has the least light in the house (sadly), so white was the best way I could brighten it up.

2- add some storage and counter space: this was Josh’s big project, and I’m so grateful for a handy man because it has completely transformed the kitchen. We added a bookshelf, bar counter, kitchen counter, space for a microwave and toaster, and (soon to come) DRAWERS.

3-build kitchen table: We had so little furniture moving in, and we were a bit particular about what we wanted (and had limited funds to spare), so Josh built a lot of it. This includes our kitchen table.

Here is where we are as of today:


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A total transformation right? I have to digress for a few minutes to praise Josh because he spent every single night in our little backyard shed putting the add-on bookshelf/counter top together. He completely designed it, put the plans together, and did all the manual labor. She’s a beauty, and so much more special because he built it for us. I’m a lucky girl.

We still have a pretty long check list left to do:


-finish kitchen table and build bench: We need to stain the kitchen table to match the counters and Josh is going to build a bench in the corner. I’m pretty excited about this, that was one of my big goals when house hunting-find a kitchen that we can build a “built in” bench. We’ll also need a few chairs or stools for the other side of the table.


-build shelves/drawers in built in: I should have included a picture, but right now, under that counter top is just empty space. We (by “we,” I mean Josh) need to do some electrical  work for the microwave and toaster oven and install the drawers. Fun stuff I hear.


-switch out knobs: I bought some that I loved and were perfect, but not actually perfect because they were gold and I realized the hinges were silver. Of course, I could switch out the hinges too. But this is a rental. When you’re working on a rental, there is this fine line between “reasonable spending on updates” and “remodeling for your landlord.” Sadly, switching out the hinges just goes too far. I’m learning to embrace silver, but I still want some knobs that aren’t so…dingy.

-minute shades for above the sink: Trying to decide what we want to do design-wise here. Do we go subtle or should they have a pop of color? I don’t want them to be too dark because we need as much light as possible in that room.


-style the bookshelf: Obviously, the shelf needs work. It has to be functional and pretty. Right now, it’s only function is storing the massive amount of wine we have left over from our housewarming. Who wants to come over and help finish?

-find a coffee/smoothie solution: The Keurig is in the attic right now while I’ve only been drinking iced coffee. The Ninja is taking up valuable real estate on our tiny counter. What I want is a coffee/smoothie station. The question is WHERE! The wall by the door to the hallway? Or by the window? IS there room? Is it cluttered looking? Realistically, I should wait until the table/bench is finished to get the sizing right, but I’m desperate for a solution, so I might do something with wheels so we can move it around until we find the perfect spot .

-art: I want something on that big blank wall where the kitchen table is, but WHAT? It’s such a big wall, so there is a lot of territory to cover.

-misc: There are a few other things we’ll probably cover, like possibly curtains/blinds above the kitchen table, something above the fridge (Josh’s request, not mine), a solution for that wasted empty space next to the oven, etc.

Same as the living room, we’d love to paint the trim and the ceiling, but it seems like such a big task (again, the renters struggle). We’ve resigned to the bowling alley-esque counter top (do we have any choice?) Other than those little nuances, I think our kitchen is shaping up pretty nicely :)

Here’s where I need your advice! 1-where should I put the coffee/smoothie station? 2-any suggestions on how to fill that wall above the kitchen table??

Catch up on our living room progress here.

fourth of july cocktail with spodee


Fourth of July is hands-down my favorite holiday. It almost always involves summer sun, being close to the water, fireworks, friends and family, and delicious food.

Oh, and of course, libations are typically present as well ;) With the help of one of my favorite drinks around, Spodee, I whipped up a delicious summer Fourth of July cocktail for everyone’s weekend celebrations.


Spodee Summer Cocktail

  • Blueberries
  • Peaches (I used white peaches, but any peach will do)
  • Spodee White
  • Ginger Beer

Simply combine the ingredients and enjoy! With fruit, I find it’s best to let it sit for a few hours, so I suggest making this early in the day or the night before. Spodee White has the yummiest hint of coconut and pineapple, so it’s my favorite for summer time.


You can find out where to buy Spodee here, and check out my other yummy Spodee concoction.

Are you a Spodee fan??

in a week


I did a lot of searching for my awesome with Bing, Alison, Anna, and Jamie

Fell for this DIY towel ladder because let’s be honest, I fall for everything Em does

I had to pick my jaw up off the floor after staring at this shoot by Simply Charming Socials and Paige Jones. I love having such talented ladies right in my backyard. And that tub! So dreamy.

Dreamed of attending this outdoor baby shower. How can I get this backyard right now?

and on SoSo, I talked a bit about the balance of the busy, I gave a progress update of our living room, and shared my favorite ‘healthy’ milkshake recipe.

Spending the weekend in the mountains with Josh’s family, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have a weekend escape. Hope everyone else has a wonderful weekend planned :)


healthy milkshake


My mama has the biggest “chocolate” tooth of anyone I know. Like clockwork, after every supper, she would say “what’s for dessert!” And it almost always was chocolate.

I really don’t even have a very big sweet tooth (I’m a salty kinda girl), but she managed to get this routine stuck in my blood where I crave something sweet at the end of the day. I’ve been  searching for something to satisfy these cravings that doesn’t completely kill my bikini bod. For months, I was on this huge milkshake kick, and oh my goodness, Josh has the most amazing milkshake recipe from his grandfather, but I was quickly turning into a piggy.


So after some experimenting with a different combinations, I finally figured out a ‘healthy’ milkshake that I don’t regret the next day while putting on my jeans. I say ‘healthy’ with quotes because I’m not actually a nutritionist and the healthy option would probably be to get over my sweet cravings in the first place. Alas, I have zero self-control, but at least I know this is better than old fashioned ice cream and 1/2 cup of chocolate syrup.


If you ever cook or bake any recipe I share on here, you know they’re always easy and this one is no different. It literally takes 2 minutes to make with the help of a Magic Bullet (or similar blender). Maybe it’s too easy since sometimes I find myself making seconds. Whoops!



Healthy Milkshake Recipe 

  • 1 cup almond or coconut milk (I go back and forth depending on what I’m craving, but usually I lean towards almond milk. It makes it a bit thicker than coconut milk.)
  • 1 tbsp of cocoa powder
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • optional ingredients: frozen strawberries, chia seeds, coconut oil

Step 1: Combine all ingredients into blender

Step 2: Blend

Step 3: Chug

See, I told you it was easy! This should be called ‘healthy’ milkshake for the lazy ;)

As for the optional ingredients, sometimes I use them, sometimes I don’t. If I’m craving something extra sweet, I’ll add the strawberries. I usually put chia seeds and coconut oil in my morning smoothie, but if I don’t, they’ll make it into my night time milkshake.



I really recommend using frozen fruit, but I’d be lying if I said I always do. If I don’t have frozen fruit on hand, I’ll either add ice or just drink it like a chocolate milk vs a milkshake. Just as good ;)

So what are your healthy dessert treats? Any others I should know about?