LAUREN KNIGHT

I vividly remember the day I met Lauren my freshman year at UofSC. I was this shy and quiet honestly, overwhelmed, freshman and Lauren, so kindly, reached out to see if I needed a date for the Halloween function that fall semester. From that initial meeting, I knew how important this girl would mean to me. Over the next few years together in college, she was the calm, easy-going and patient friend I knew would stick with me in the good, bad, // or ugly. She was an listening ear, steady presence and a trustworthy person who I could talk about anything with.

During college, Lauren was my go-to Toy Story fanatic, fellow Honey Boo-Boo watcher, hockey enthusiast and Gamecock football cheerleader. She was openly willing to house me for two weeks during sorority recruitment before my dorm had opened up for the semester my sophomore year. We’ve explored Emerald Isle together, been through sorority recruitment as Pi Chi’s (+ countless functions) and many other adventures along the way.

Lauren stood by my side as a bridesmaid in my wedding and we’ll be in switching places in a few short months! Through navigating adult-life living many, many miles away, I am SO excited to have both recently landed in Charlotte, NC together!


LAUREN,

Thank you for who you are as a person, friend, sorority sister and confidant. Your steadfastness over the past decade (wow!) have been nothing short of a blessing. I am grateful for your presence in my life and for being such a reliable, trustworthy and calming personality. I am so excited to finally be living in the same city again and for the many memories we will make in CLT. Get ready for many double-dates and lots of exploring our new town together! You mean the world to me!

P.S. – I can’t wait to officially celebrate with you and Alex in September!

XO,

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WE’RE MOVING TO CLT, NC!

Just when Asheville was feeling like our long-term home and I was feeling like a “local,” the Lord had bigger plans for the Bridges bunch! With that being said,

Asheville has seen 90% of mine and Chandler’s marriage, including our first anniversary. We moved here just four months after we got married and have not looked back!

In Asheville, we adopted our kitten, Belmont!
In Asheville, I bought a new car and is where we “survived” a global pandemic.

In Asheville is where I grew individually, spiritually and mentally, but also felt closer to Chandler in ways unexplainable.
In Asheville, I accomplished things my younger self would’ve never thought possible.

After all, Asheville is where I put myself out there and started this blog. P.S. – Thank you all for following along with my many ramblings along the way!

Asheville has seen a lot growth, challenge and change for us both – individually and as a couple. It has brought me lifetime friends and a lifetime of precious memories. I wouldn’t have traded this time for the world and selfishly wish it would’ve lasted a little longer!

Our time in Asheville was short, but oh so sweet!


With that being said, I have learned through this move that sometimes less is more. A home, as I stare at some of these empty rooms and walls, is made of the people inside. I am so grateful for my little crew and the life we created here, but more excited for the next chapter.

TO CHANDLER,

As sad as I am to be leaving Asheville, home is wherever I am with you. You are the best start to my morning and the greatest end to each day. Asheville has been such an amazing ride and you are to thank for that. We’ve made countless memories here and as hard as it is to be thinking about another city, the Lord knows what He’s doing. Thank you for being a great provider for our little family!

Home sweet, you and me
Ain’t got much, but we got all we need
Wherever the wind blows, wherever this life goes
Baby, all I know, ain’t nothin’ like, nothin’ like
Home sweet
You and me

RUSSELL DICKERSON

Thank you to all of our family and friends who are willing and able to help us make the move from Asheville and Charlotte. I couldn’t have imagined doing it without you guys and we are so grateful for your willingness to be the hands and feet, quite literally, to move lots and lots boxes. Y’all are life savers! THANK YOU!

Choosing to say goodbye to this little life we’ve built wasn’t an easy decision to make, but we’re excited for this next season and all of the adventures it’ll bring! The memories are long, the happiness we shared here was endless and the //. Here’s to the next chapter, bittersweet as it might be!


If you are ever in need of any recommendations to do in the Asheville or Hendersonville area, please feel free to reach out! I would love to share some of favorite places around town!

We are loosely familiar with the greater Charlotte area, but we’d love to hear from y’all about favorite coffee shops, restaurants, breweries, etc! Drop your recommendations below!

XO,

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EVERYTHING IS CANCELED

Love is not canceled.

Sunshine is not canceled.

Relationships are not canceled.

Reading is not canceled.

Naps are not canceled.

Hope is not canceled.

Coffee is not canceled and thank the Lord for that.

Kindness is not canceled.

Imagination is not canceled.

Going for a walk is not canceled.

Laughter is not canceled.

Family is not canceled.

Above all else, salvation is not canceled.

A lot of things in 2020 have been canceled and we all can feel the weight of life, especially this year. Remember that joy and hope can’t be taken away, no matter the circumstance. Life is too short to worry about things out of our control. Do your best and give every day all you have. Be kind to yourself and your neighbor.

Let’s not aim to be perfect in 2021, but to be available. Be intentional. Really aim to actively hear what those around you are saying rather than being a passive listener. This world can be a dark place, but be the light.

Life will only get better, I promise.

Happy Thanksgiving week, folks!

V: KRP

KRP. Kelsey Ryan Phillips. Ball of Energy. Sunshine personified.

I originally met Kelsey our freshman year during sorority recruitment, although that encounter is a bit fuzzy for me. Just ask Kelsey. 😂

After we both rushed Gamma Phi, our paths crossed many times during the fall semester and into the spring. Praise the Lord for His timing!

From then on, we ate almost every meal together at the sorority house. We took pictures together before every function and asked guys to be our dates in the most crazy ways possible. We went to Shag night every Thursday and ate our weight in Cookout trays. We traveled to Carolina away games and made the twelve hour road-trip to see Casey in Baton Rouge. On off weekends, we crashed Mama P’s house in Sea Pines and enjoyed the beautiful SC coast.

Often times, I would get asked where my “other half” was if Kelsey wasn’t somewhere nearby.

Our friendship quickly blossomed into one of my most valued treasures in life. Over the last nine years, Kelsey has been by my side through my highest moments and my darkest valleys. Like momma Phillips’ famous mantra, we have shared so many of life’s highs and lows together.

Kelsey was the Maid of Honor in my wedding. Kelsey is the blond to my brunette.

She pushes me to be spontaneous.
She shows me that all people are worthy of love. She inspires me to a better version of myself, even when it’s hard.
She has always been a listening ear and a steady shoulder to cry on. She is a firm believer in the Lord and is a testament of His grace in all things.

Thank you, Kelsey, for all you that you are. Your free spirit and unwavering positivity radiates joy and light into every room you step foot in. You have been such a gift to me since day one.

I can’t wait to

P.S. If you are also looking for any kind of art for a birthday, holiday or “just because,” check out Kelsey’s Instagram. She is one of the most insanely talented artists I’ve ever met. She can do acrylic, watercolor, handmade cards, photography and so, so much more. Check her out!

II: Chick-fil-A

You might be thinking the same thing I was when this idea came to mind. Chick-fil-A, Alex? Really? Do you not have anything else to be thankful for?

Chick-fil-A was my first official job. It was the job I had post-college for two-and-half years as a manager. It was the job where I met my husband and it was in front of our entire team when he proposed. Chick-fil-A was the job I got to travel cross-country to do Grand Openings with. It was my first (and current) job after we moved here to Asheville. Chick-fil-A has been a part of my life for seven years and seen a lot of my life’s ups and downs.

Looking back, this job has been more of a safety net than I ever realized.

Although any job has its highs and lows, CFA will always hold a special place in my heart. Having that experience on my resume has opened doors for other opportunities I didn’t know were possible.

Will this be my forever job? Probably not. I will be sad when it comes time to hang up this grease stained uniform forever, but I know it has taught me so many invaluable lessons. It taught me to be more coachable and to also look for chances to coach others. It has grown my ability to see the bigger picture and to multi-task or die trying. It has taught me endless amounts of patience to deal with the general public and how to say “My Pleasure” without second thought.

Chick-fil-A has given me relationships that are near to my heart and has provided me people who push me to be a better version of myself, even when it’s uncomfortable.

Thank you, Chick-fil-A, for the endless opportunities I would’ve otherwise missed out on. Although jobs aren’t everything, you have given me a lot in return.

Do it for Truett, y’all.

SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY INTRO

As an idea that came to me randomly today at work, I have a new “series” that I’ll be starting this upcoming weekend!

Every Saturday leading up to the week of Thanksgiving, I will be highlighting a “small business” that has meant something to me as well as ones that I have recently stumbled upon.

I can’t wait to see where this series goes and to bring light to all of the amazing talent we have around us in the Asheville (and Spartanburg) area.

If you have anyone that you would like to nominate for consideration, please send me a message and/or comment below!

Until next time,
Alex in Asheville

RBG dies at 87

Whether you agreed with her politically or not, credit cannot be denied Ruth Bader Ginsburg for the determination, grit and exceptional work ethic which epitomized her life and career.

On Friday, September 18th, our nation lost a justice of historic stature and a women who undoubtedly paved the path for women across the country.

Architect of the legal fight for women’s rights in the 1970s, Ginsburg served twenty-seven years on the nation’s highest court, becoming its most prominent member and rightly so.

“Women belong in all places where decisions are being made.”

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

As one of the very few women in her chosen path of education and law, she thrived at Cornell, Harvard and Columbia just after loosing her mother as a teenager. She managed to care for her own family all while supporting her her husband’s bout with cancer and maintaining his and her class load both. Mind blown…

Watching On the Basis of Sex opened my eyes to just how she single-handily catapulted women’s rights and forced for their voices to be heard. She fought to make the justice system and life beyond a level playing field. I would definitely recommend watching this movie if you haven’t already.

RGB made it possible for a woman to have
• the right to sign a mortgage without a man
• the right to have a bank account without a male co-signer • the right to have a job without being discriminated based on gender
• the right to be pregnant and/or have kids while still carrying a job

If you can’t count the number of rights that you have because there are too many to count, you have Justice Ginsburg to thank.

Every woman stands on the shoulders of this tiny, but mighty giant.
For every second of every day, there are not enough thanks in the world to thank Justice Ginsburg and the path you chose to pave for women everywhere.

I have admired her grit and example of perseverance. I pray those close to RBG find comfort in the days and weeks to come as the Lady Justice has now taken her final leave.


#RIP Justice RBG.

Top Self-Care Practices

If 2020 has taught me anything, it has been that self care is so important.

As March hit and life as we knew it was flipped on its head, people went into survival mode, more or less. Life was about adapting to the current situation at hand and learning to stay afloat. Jobs could no longer support all employees, schools quickly transitioned to hybrid learning and masks quickly became a new essential. With that being said, I have to come to realize that self care is a priority. You are your own advocate and

Know that taking of yourself is not selfish. It is important for your personal, physical, spiritual and mental health. For those of you who think like me, we are always aiming to help others and put ourselves on the back burner.

Below, I’ve listed some of the basic self-care needs that came to my mind when I am in need of “me time.”

  1. Journal your current thoughts and feelings.
  2. Spend time reading a book or magazine.
  3. Read a new passage of scripture and bible journal. So therapeutic, y’all!
  4. Freshen up by washing your face, brushing your teeth or brushing your hair.
  5. Go outside for a 10 minute walk.
  6. Put on one of your favorite songs.
  7. Text a friend and check in. Also pray for any needs to be met.
  8. Write a list of things you want to plan.
  9. Make yourself the perfect cup of tea or coffee.
  10. Treat yourself to a cake or a sweet treat.
  11. Snuggle with a pet or a friends’.
  12. Clip and paint your nails.
  13. Drink a glass of water.
  14. Watch a video from your favorite YouTuber.
  15. Listen to a new podcast.
  16. Treat yourself to something online.
  17. Read a blog post from your favorite blogger.
  18. Create a vision board on Pinterest.
  19. Clean and/or organize something.
  20. Write a list of things you’re grateful for.
  21. Hug someone.
  22. Delete any Facebook friends you no longer speak to.
  23. Make your bed. This one has become a new habit for me.
  24. Book an appointment you’ve been putting off.
  25. Try a new hobby.
  26. Volunteer somewhere new in your city.

What are some of your favorite self care practices?
+ Some of mine include taking a bath, reading a book or blogging with a coffee often nearby. On my days off, I’ll take a nap and that does wonders. These often help to renew my soul and fills my cup.

Above all else, be kind. Be kind to yourself and be kind to your neighbors. Be cognizant of the changes happening in the world and be aware of what is going on around you. We are all in this together and are doing our best to stay afloat. Everyday is a new start and a new look on life. Know that you are loved and there is only one of you on this planet for a reason!

Don’t be afraid to reach out with any thoughts, questions or concerns! I’d love to hear from you!

My cup overflows, Alex in Asheville

ABOVE ALL ELSE

If anyone would’ve told me in January what the rest of this year had in store, I couldn’t say I would’ve believed you even for a split second. March hit and every we knew as “normal” changed in an instant. Unemployment skyrocketed, lives were flipped on their head and families were left picking up the pieces. Masks have become the new fashion trend and an essential all in one.

Teachers and students were forced into an adaptive hybrid learning model of online and “in-person” almost overnight. Parents helped in taking on that role and kindergarteners were learning how to send emails.

Above all else, I am thankful.

This year has also brought new friendships and fostered old ones. With certain people in your corner, you can do anything. I’ve learned that friends are the greatest treasure in life and could not ask for any better one than those that I have. Many of my best friends have come to visit us in our new city and I’ve also been blessed to see friends in their “home base.”

2020 has also seen Chandler and my transition to a new city and adjustments in learning the ropes of our new hometown in Asheville. It has been exhilarating, freeing and humbling. I feel that from the minute we moved here, this was “our place.” Coming from the person who absolutely hates change with a passion, I knew it would take time to adjust. I not have asked for a greater place to live. (Which is also not too far from home)

Above all else, I am thankful.

This year has brought unwelcome and unexpected death. This year has also seen many challenges and chartered new territory. It has shown me that more things than not are out of my control and just how fragile life is. It has taught me that life is more about mindset than anything else. My emotions, reactions, perceptions and thoughts are completely up to me and how I control them. Through it all, I’ve learned that in the quiet comes healing and in less comes more.

Above all else, I am thankful.

This year has taught me to be more intentional with time and relationships. Spending time for self-care and for rediscovery fosters new growth. In those moments, I have also found my love of reading and processing the chaos through writing. Time with the Lord has also been more of a priority, which has been so, so refreshing. The sweetest moments of my morning have been spent with a coffee in one hand and my Bible in the other.

Above all else, I am thankful.

2020 has taught me that more times than not that beauty experienced in life is the most short lived, but to be grateful for it anyhow. This year has been hard but oh, so sweet. It has taught me that life can be both simultaneously. Learning to lean into the promises of the Lord has been a process everyday, but one that has helped me to hold true in His word.

I am thankful for “near misses” and I will continue this year with the promise that better days are ahead.

Above all else, I am thankful.

This year brought challenges no one saw coming, yet we persisted. Take every day as a new opportunity for good. You are stronger than what you think. Offer a lending hand, a listening ear or a prayer. Don’t be afraid to start something new. Start over. Allow this year to teach you something and do all things with a grateful heart.

I am thankful for the changing of the seasons from summer into fall, but a God that remains constant and steadfast. I am thankful for family, friends and a village that are there to pick me up when I need it the most.

Let’s make the most of the last two months in 2020. In 2021, we know there is hope.

💗 Alex

MY VISION BOARD + WHY YOU NEED ONE

Manifestation has always been a big part of my life. I have always been a visual person and personally do much better with achieving goals if I see them written out or have them hanging in a highly visible area.

We all know that 2020 has been a whirlwind and full of uncertainty. With that being said, I have often caught myself dreaming about the future and what it holds for my life. Although we are well over halfway through the year, I feel like it is never too late to start working on a new project or envisioning what our next steps are in life.

Why use a vision board?
If you are anything like me, you have goals and dreams that you are wanting to accomplish but aren’t always the best at having a plan in place to do so. Creating a vision board is a great tool because it allows you to conceptualise and visualise what’s rolling around in your head. Personally, creating a vision board was particularly useful because my brain is constantly running in a million differentiate directions and needs reminded of my thoughts.

They make you consider what you really want.
You might think you know what you want until you start creating your board. What you put on your board will make your goals come to life and seem that much more real (It did for me at least). It’s also okay to dream BIG. Allow yourself to create both small and lofty goals. For me, dreaming big has always been scary, but that’s okay. This was a space for me to do so and allow myself to think outside the box.

It helps to expand your creativity.
Creating a vision board can be a creative outlet and allow a space to do so. I have always loved crafting (spending hours in Hobby Lobby or Michaels is a skill of mine), so this was right up my alley. I chose to do a cork board so that I can interchange quotes, pictures and drawings pretty easily. There are so many methods you can choose from, so pick something that suits your style! You can create digitally online or draw something by hand. Your method is totally up to you and how you see fit.

Your board can provide you with daily reminders.
Consistency is key for achieving goals. Have a friend or family member help to hold you accountable by checking in every week. It also helps to know your own strengths and weaknesses in taking the appropriate steps in making your dreams a reality. Push yourself to do more than you ever imagined. Do something to make yourself proud. As you accomplish your goals or “visions,” highlight them and write down the date beside it. Allow yourself to see the hard work you’ve put in and have this also serve as a reminder of when they came to fruition.

For my board, I broke mine down into three categories: personal, spiritual and physical. For each category, I set three to four goals for myself. For example, reading five books (no certain genre) is one bullet on my personal agenda to finish before the end of 2020. Another is to get more involved in the community and to volunteer during my free time. How you categorise your goals are completely up to you.

DISPLAYING YOUR VISION BOARD
Display your vision board in a conspicuous place that will grab your attention throughout the day. The point of having a vision board isn’t to have it somewhere for you to forget about. Take a picture to keep on your phone. Put sticky notes on your bathroom mirror. Set it as your lock screen or put a list in your bible. Allow it to resonate your daily thinking and be thinking of ways to help accomplish those goals.

Above all else, remember that goals take time. Be patient with yourself and remember why you created this board in the first place. More likely than not, things won’t happen overnight. The beauty is in the journey and seeing how far you’ve grown along the way. It’s okay to reflect and see how far you’ve come, but remember to keep your sights set on what’s to come.

XO, ALEX

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