Twenty Sixteen

Looking back, I can't find exactly what so many people are complaining about regarding 2016. It was a wonderful year for me, all-in-all. There were ups and downs, just like any year, but when I ultimately look back at it, everything that happened helped me to grow from January 1st Taylor to December 31st Taylor. My only wish for 2016 is that the people complaining about how awful it was would take a moment to count their blessings!

I started flipping through my pictures from 2016 and I was entirely overwhelmed by the blessings that I received this year, in so many different forms. Trips, friends I adore, a sweet beagle, and so much more. I picked a couple pictures from each month and compiled them into a little collage, so I can reflect back on this challenging, yet all-in-all wonderful year.


finding a cow that shares my birthday at the dairy // enjoying our last few days with sweet Callie and reminiscing on some wonderful old pictures // ringing in the 2016 with some of my favorite people


sisterhood retreat to Savannah // beautiful sunsets // AGR & SA leadership seminar in Atlanta


big little reveal (left) // wonderful times with wonderful friends


AGR formal with Harrison // the cutest kid at Farm Animal Days


important intern events with Harrison and Anthony (left) // the view of downtown - intern perks // a lovely stay at Megan's house in Kitty Hawk // mother's day


(starting top left) not getting hit by a car to take this shot // Morehead City and the Big Rock with the standard summer 2016 group // one of the many concerts of the summer // shooting clays


fireworks at the 4th of July baseball game // the Charleston waterfront with Harrison // feeding giraffes at the zoo (definitely the highlight!) // brining sweet Sailor home // dreaming of living in one of the beautiful houses in Charleston // dressed up in our Independence day best for the Mudcats game // a wonderful and challenging week running the NC 4-H horse show // another beautiful sunset at Emerald Isle


our first family photo // the pig family // lazy days on the couch with my two favorites


dove hunting - new experiences for the win! // my start of my last football season as a student // celebrating my 21st birthday


my last milk booth as a student // the best halloween costume ever - Bill Clinton + Monica Lewinsky // the NCSU horse judging team at Quarter Horse Congress // lovely fall colors in Ashe County // cheering on the Pack to a great win in Hurricane Matthew


sweet friends that have been there since freshman year // savoring the sweet piglets in my swine management class // my last football game as a student // deer hunting in Virginia with my dad // another fun visit to Churchill Downs


taking all the Christmas tree pictures // watching the pup continue to grow and learning her personality // decorating Knittel Gingerbread House Competition award-winning gingerbread houses // a visit to the Biltmore Estate with Harrison

And just for fun, Spotify made a playlist of my most-listened to songs of 2016, which I thought would be fun to share! Currently jamming out to my forgotten favorite songs...


Cheers to Senior Year!

This is kind of embarrassing because I meant to write this the day before I started my senior year, but here we are, 3 weeks into school and I'm just now sitting down to write this. If that isn't an indication of how this semester has been so far, I don't know what is! (Read: super busy!)

There's so much that I'm looking forward to this year, and a lot that I have bittersweet feelings towards. Today is the start of football season, so of course that's a huge thing I'm excited for! There is always something to look forward to during the long weeks in fall semester when you know that Saturday (or in this week's case, Thursday) will bring tailgate and being able to hang out with all of your favorite people all day long.

The idea of graduation and what to do after May is both exciting and really scary. Knowing that in less than a year, everything that I have known for almost 16 years -- going to school -- will be over is actually terrifying. What job will I have? Where will I live? Will I still keep in touch with my friends? True adulthood is right around the corner and I don't know how to process that. I want to stay in my little safe zone at NC State and go to class, go to work, do some homework, and see my friends everyday.

Even though I would stay here forever if I could, I feel ready to move on. Like I have accomplished all I wanted to here and this year is just set on cruise control so I can fully enjoy it. I am so thankful for my college experience thus far. I have felt the highest of highs and the lowest of lows and I am really, truly happy with where I am right now. It is so weird to look back at where and who I was three years ago at this time. I can see how far I've come and I'm extremely proud of myself for persevering and getting to this place I am at now.

College is strange. It will tear you down and build you up. It teaches you the hard lessons, the really ugly ones, as well as the best ones, like: nothing beats a 1 am milkshake run with your best friends, the best tears are the ones that come from laughing until your stomach hurts, and that dancing, whether in your room or at the bar, is really good for your soul. The only bad, truly awful thing about college is that 4 years goes by way too fast.

Freshman year move-in...

to my senior year apartment!


Friday Favorites #1

Time for another Friday Favorites, where I round up my favorite things that I've come across this week! I've got a little bit of everything going on... What are you loving on this beautiful Friday?

To Read
+ The Day I Stopped Loving My Boyfriend So Much
+ Cow Reality vs. Chipotle Reality

To Watch
+ Madison Kocian's uneven bars routine earned a 15.866 - the highest individual bars score at the 2016 Olympics

To Buy
+ Jack Roger's has a pretty good sale going on, including their Lauren sandal and the classic Jacks in a ton of different colors!

To Listen
+ The Sound x The 1975 - such a fun song!

Happy weekend! xoxo Taylor


Bright Leaf

There are some evenings when the sun is setting and everything is gorgeous and golden that you just have to drive around. The other day I hopped in the car, turned on some music, and went for a drive. Passing the acres of tobacco fields that dot Johnston County, I couldn't help but think how iconic and important it is to my area. I found a little area to pull off the road, and since I almost always have my camera with me, I decided to snap a few pictures of the crop. 

(Did you know that North Carolina is the number 1 producer of tobacco in the country, and Johnston County is the number 1 producer in the state?)



This past weekend, I was blessed enough to get to go on a little getaway to Charleston with Harrison, Sam, and Anthony. Charleston is one of my absolute favorite places and I was so excited to get to go there with some of my best friends. This post is pretty photo heavy (even though I forgot my DSLR)!

Charleston is lively without being overwhelming -- church steeples are the tallest thing in town! There is so much to see... not to mention to buy and eat! We walked a lot, ate a lot, and overall had a wonderful time!

Friday we got there around 1:30 and immediately went to grab lunch at Toast. I had the fried green tomato BLT and it was incredible! After lunch we went back to the hotel to change and went back into town to explore! Stores close pretty early, so Friday evening we moreso walked around and planned out what we wanted to do on Saturday. We ate dinner at Hyman's Seafood, which is a staple in Charleston. I thought it might be a little touristy, and even though it kind of was, it was still delicious! We had an appetizer that was grits, fried green tomatoes, parmesan sauce, and cheese and WOW. It was probably one of our favorite things we ate that trip. We burned off some of those calories by walking to see Rainbow Row (worth seeing if you're nearby, a little underwhelming if you walk all over town to see it) and along the battery. The battery is gorgeous and even though it was a little hot, it was so nice to just leisurely walk and look at the boats and houses. We ended up at 1 King Street and realized our car was parked at 560 King Street. Needless to say, we Uber-ed back. We went to the beach at Sullivan's Island that night. We went on the beach right beside the lighthouse and we watched some cargo ships that we had seen in port head out to sea.

The next morning we were up bright and early for our 9 am reservations at Poogan's Porch. We loved how the restaurant was in an old house (built in 1888!) that was bright yellow with bright haint blue porch ceilings. We sat upstairs and it was the perfect brunch atmosphere! They were the 2015 winners of the best shrimp and grits in Charleston, and while Sam, Anthony, and Harrison went for it, I picked chicken and waffles. We had a fried pimento cheese appetizer that was incredible! The shrimp and grits were pretty good, but I was very pleased with my choice of chicken and waffles!

After brunch, we went to King Street to shop! Sam and I were obviously in hog heaven, but the boys were a little less than thrilled. I can't tell you how many times they said "Oh look, we're going into another store that y'all won't buy anything in." Ha! I made quite a few purchases, including these printed Lilly Pulitzer shorts in Multi Island Time and this Kendra Scott necklace from Bevello. One of my favorite stores that we ventured into was one Sam found online before we went down to Chucktown. It was called Candlefish and they have a library of over 100 scents! I got no. 58 (lemon, orange, and sugar) and got my mom no. 88 (lemon, tulip, and musk). Both smell incredible!

Later that afternoon we went on a carriage ride! I've always wanted to do one and I was so excited that the boys planned one for us. Franklin toted us around the residential neighborhoods in Charleston (don't worry, he's very well taken care of!) and with the exception of a slight startle at a little UHaul trailer, he was the perfect host. We went to eat at Low Country Bistro afterwards and I went with the shrimp and grits there. They were so good! The others said they were better than the ones at Poogan's Porch (shhh, don't tell!). After dinner, we took pictures by the pineapple fountain and just enjoyed talking and strolling around parts of town we hadn't seen before -- and revisited some of our favorites! We stopped by Folly Beach, but didn't stay long as there was a storm rolling in.

We left early the next morning with lots of new memories and pictures! I made a video inspired by Carly's Ireland video. The quality is pretty bad but it was still a lot of fun to make!

xoxo, Taylor


101 in 1001 Update #1

Wow, there are a lot of 1's in that title! I decided that each month I'll do a recap of how I'm coming along on my 101 in 1001 list! It hasn't been a full month yet (I started on July 14th), but doing it at the beginning of each month will help keep me accountable... plus I was just really excited to recap what I've done so far!

I've started on/completed 6 of my goals already, which is really shocking to me! It seems like so many, but in the grand scheme of things, I still have 95 more to go. I'm excited and even though I know some of them will be more difficult to achieve, I'm going to have fun trying!

1. Create a list of 101 things! | I know this one was cheating a little bit, but I wanted at least one that I could cross off easily to get me rolling! (7/14/16)

4. Get a puppy! | I honestly wasn't expecting to get this one done so quickly! I've been wanting a dog for a while now and was really itching to get one senior year of college. I'll write more on her later, but the stars aligned and I am now the owner of a beautiful little Beagle named Sailor! (7/23/16)

92. Make a video of a trip I take | This one was a lot of fun. After seeing Carly's Ireland video, I knew I wanted to do one myself. I decided that the trip to Charleston I took with three friends would be perfect to try. I used my old digital camera to film, and even though the quality isn't great, I thought it was a cool little recap of things we saw and did! I'll post the video when I recap the trip soon! (Charleston 7/29-31/16)

53. Go to 10 concerts | I'm a fifth of the way done with this one, thanks to my adventurous friends who are always willing to do things! I've been to Dierks Bently and Gwen Stefani since starting this list! Dierks was INCREDIBLE and Gwen Stefani was a TON of fun! Sam graciously got us VIP tickets, so we sat in a box and I don't think anyone had more fun with it than the boys did! (Fun fact: Gwen Stefani and Akon were my first concert in 2006!) (Dierks Bently 7/22/16, Gwen Stefani 7/24/16)

71. Try 10 new restaurants in Raleigh | This is definitely going to be one of my favorites to complete... Harrison and I went to Raleigh Times and it was really good! I had friends that went there for drinks on their 21st birthdays and they had said good things about it. I got a pulled pork burrito and I'll give it 2 thumbs up! (Raleigh Times 8/2/16)

87. Visit Charleston (again), Dallas, Boston, Destin, Nashville, and New Orleans | As I mentioned before, I went to Charleston recently with Harrison, Anthony, and Sam! It is one of my absolute favorite cities and I was so excited to get back for a little weekend getaway. I'm so excited to try and check off some other cities on this list! I've been to Nashville (briefly) and Fort Worth (a suburb of Dallas), but I want to explore them further! (Charleston 7/29-31/16)

xx Taylor


101 in 1001

Inspired by Mackenzie Horan of Design Darling, I decided to keep my own list of 101 things in 1001 days! She describes it as a happy medium between a bucket list and a to-do list -- and I completely agree! I want to accomplish things, to see and do and experience, and since crossing things off lists makes me happy, I thought this was the perfect way to challenge myself. So here goes -- 101 things to do in the next 1001 days!

START: July 14, 2016
END: April 11, 2019
(7 complete, 5 in progress, 89 to go!)

1. Create a list of 101 things! (7/14/16)

2.Move into a "big girl" apartment

3. Read the whole Bible

4. Get a puppy! (7/23/16)

5. Attend a Pure Barre class

6. Stick to a workout routine for a month

7. Go to church every weekend for a month

8. Run a 5K

9. Apply for grad school

10. Find my "signature" dish

11. Purchase a new lens for my camera

12. Inspire someone to write a 101 in 1001 list of their own

13. Create 3 meaningful paintings that I'm proud of

14. Learn 3 of my grandma's recipes

15. Learn to tie a bowtie

16. Go a month without drinking soda

17. Go to the chiropractor

18. Start my own business

19. Write a letter to myself to open on my 25th birthday

20. Purchase a Kate Spade bag

21. Have professional cap and gown pictures taken

22. Vote in a presidential election (11/8/16)

23. Learn how to change a tire

24. Learn how to fold fitted sheets

25. Go through the old photos and files on my computer

26. Go an entire day without complaining about a single thing

27. Get my hunting license (8/22/16)

28. Get my concealed carry permit

29. Bake really good cupcakes from scratch

30. Unplug for an entire day

31. Begin a retirement savings plan

32. Get up when my alarm goes off everyday for a month

33. Repaint my room at home

34. Make a photo book of all my favorite pictures from college

35. Memorize 50 Bible verses

36. Graduate from college!!!

37. Create an address book (a real one)

FOR FUN (1/22)
38. Read 5 classic books

39. Go on a helicopter ride

40. Start collecting something

41. Go offshore fishing

42. See an NFL game

43. Attend a Braves game

44. See a polo match

45. Learn to shag (well)

46. Finally make my t-shirt quilt

47. Camp on the beach

48. Go to a drive-in theater

49. Go to the Kentucky Derby

50. Go apple picking

51. Go duck hunting

52. Learn how to play chess (11/26/16)

53. Go to 10 concerts (Dierks Bentley 7/22/16, Gwen Stefani 7/24/16, Eric Church 8/20/16, Luke Bryan 9/3/16, Turnpike Troubadors 10/12/16)

54. Go whitewater rafting (again)

55. Get back on a horse

56. Watch the sunrise and sunset in one single day

57. Go to an away NHL game

58. Go to an out-of-state NC State game

59. Go to a music festival

60. Go a month without spending anything other than on necessities (no shopping, fast food, etc.!)

61. Put $10 in savings for each goal completed

62. Have 4 digits in my savings account balance

63. Maintain a $0 balance on my credit card

64. Pay for someone behind me in the drive-through

65. Leave a 100% tip

66. Donate $5 for each uncompleted goal to charity

67. Send flowers to someone unexpectedly

68. Send snail mail to 10 friends

60. Treat my parents to dinner

70. Go to the top of the Wells Fargo or PNC building

71. Try 10 new restaurants in Raleigh (Raleigh Times 8/2/16, Beasley's Chicken + Honey 12/22/16, Poole's Diner ?)

72. Go to the flea market

73. Go to Pik-N-Pig

74. Go to Britt's Donuts (8/7/16)

75. Try 8 different Raleigh bars (Boxcar 9/25/16)

76. New Year's downtown

77. See the 4th of July fireworks downtown

78. Bike all the way down Emerald Isle to Coast Guard Point (and back)

79. See all the NC lighthouses

80. Visit 5 wineries (Biltmore 12/30/16)

81. Hike (some of) the Appalachian trail

82. Photograph the Shackleford ponies

TRAVEL (1/11)
83. Visit 3 new states

84. Travel to a new country

85. Take a girls trip with my mom and sisters (and whichever other ladies in the family want to come!)

86. Take an out-of-state trip with friends

87. Visit Charleston (again), Dallas, Boston, Destin, Nashville, and New Orleans (Charleston 7/29-31/16)

88. Go to the Spy Museum and the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

89. Go on a legitimate road trip

90. Visit Cassie at school

91. Go to Epcot and the Magic Kingdom

92. Make a video of a trip I take (Charleston 7/29-31/16)

93. Go to the top of the Freedom Tower

BLOG (0/7)
94. Buy a .com domain

95. Create a professional collaboration post with a brand

96. Publish 3 recipe posts

97. Blog twice a week for a month

98. Guest post on 2 blogs

99. Redesign the blog

100. Joint a blog group

101. Make a new list!