Book Review: The Magnolia Story

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The Magnolia Story is the first book from Chip and Joanna, offering their fans a detailed look at their life together. From the very first renovation project they ever tackled together, to the project that nearly cost them everything; from the childhood memories that shaped them, to the twists and turns that led them to the life they share on the farm today.

-Goodreads Summery

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Ya’ll’d’ve Done it Different: How I Define the South

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I saw a post recently on Tumblr that stated only in the south would a monstrosity like ya’ll’d’ve be both used normally and considered grammatically ‘correct’. Another one I really like? All ya’ll, because ya’ll isn’t plural enough. This is a side note, which might not be the best way to start a post, but I enjoyed the humor.

I’ve been meaning to write a post on how I define the south, since it is after all part of my URL. Anna Down South was not chosen just because I love the south, but because the south is a big part of my identity. This blog was never meant to be a travel blog where I post all the southern hot spots or a place where I only talked about southern topics, it was supposed to be a lifestyle blog, and I just happened to feel like my lifestyle was southern enough for the name.

So how does one define the south?

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Photo Diary: Georgia Aquarium

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Before I left for Atlanta I decided I was going to record the entire trip to a T. Well, I only did that at the aquarium, other than that it was just a few group selfies. The only reason I did at the aquarium was because everything was so jaw dropping. I’m trying to find a better balance in recording and living, because I feel like I’m bouncing between the extremes.

But as for the aquarium, it was the best one I’ve ever been to. The pure size of the whale sharks was stunning (they said their biggest was 20ft!). The beluga whale that chased it’s own air rings around the tank. The sea lion show!!! They didn’t let us take pictures during it, but guys, it was the best thing ever. Sea lions have more talent than I do.

I don’t have words, but there are some more pictures below to try and do it justice.

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The Flowers before the Frost:

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I’m kind of upset, they’re calling for snow and ice all week and we already have half our yard blooming, which means they’ll be going, going, gone.

It also means I’m going to be a little colder than planned in Atlanta, a trip I leave for tomorrow with one of my best friends. I’ll do a blog post on here to share the fun, but it’s more a visiting girls trip then it is a sight seeing trip. If you’d like to follow along, I’m sure I’ll be putting some up in real time on my instagram account and story. I’m excited to get out of GSO for a bit, having been sick for a year I haven’t gotten to do much. Continue reading

Fall at Reynolda

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In the middle of last spring I ended up going to Reynolda Gardens in Winston Salem (NC) for the first time. Given the season everything was beautiful and in bloom. You can see all those photos here.

Now that it’s fall it’s a little different. They’ve still got a few things in bloom, some letting off some serious colors like the one below, but for the most part it’s a lot subtler. Still, the green house proves to be  beautiful any time of year and I’m excited that my doctors office is right down the road. It means I get to pop in every now and then and explore. Continue reading

Healing Cuddles:

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I went out to the farm for the first time in a while. In case you didn’t know (and if your a blog reader you wouldn’t, because I keep saying that I’m getting better!) I’ve still got chronic Lyme’s. The hardest part is that I haven’t been able to ride that often.

There is good news though, I’ve started a new pain treatment that’s really helping, so I’ve gotten to ride twice this week after three weeks of nothing. The pain treatment has been nice in a lot of ways, not because I’m anywhere close to pain free, but because it is much more manageable.

I don’t feel like Lyme’s gets talked about enough. It’s something doctors don’t like to diagnose and the main test they give you throws false negatives all the time. It’s dangerous because if you don’t catch it in time it can go to your brain and leave it’s mark on you forever. I feel like I should link to the symptoms because it’s a spreading problem that needs attention.

Until I fully recover, I’ll be healing up by cuddling with my favorite boy.

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Feeling Alive on Lake Fontana:

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My amazing neighbor opens his house and boat to us almost every summer on the beautiful mountain lake Fontana. It’s another place that has captured my heart over the years. (Like I needed another reason to love North Carolina so dearly.)

Actually scratch that- I always need more reasons to love North Carolina. It’s my favorite place in the world, it’s the place that will always be my home… and it’s great because though I’m very settled in my little region of North Carolina- if I need something even slightly different, NC has it all. Mountains, lakes, pastures, islands, beaches, country sides, amazing cities. If there is a place for anything and everything, it is here, in my home state.

But more on that after a few more gorgeous lake views. Continue reading