Hike the Hooch: First Stop, Island Ford

{SMIJ by Jill “Game Day” hats and football thermal available at Henry & Pearl}

We love to hike and part of the fun is heading out of town an hour or more to find great spots to explore.  Let me clarify “we love”.  It’s always me coming up with the idea and “breaking the news” to the rest of the family.  Pat is usually pretty quick to jump on board.  I think he has already prepared himself for what he knows is coming as soon as the weather starts getting nice.  The kids want to know “how long of a drive is it?”, “can we bring our iPads, iPhones, etc?”, “What time will we be back?”, “What about my friends?”.  They give in pretty easily because they know I won’t give up!  And, let me tell you, without fail, 100% of the time, the one who complains the most about going is the one who never wants to leave.  Just sayin… Sometimes mom does know best.  And, we are all just different people after a few hours in nature.  There is just nothing like getting that fresh Georgia air into every last cell in your body.

So, while it’s fun to explore the endless options to hike around Georgia, sometimes you just don’t have that much time.  For those days, we have so many great options right in town.  I thought this Fall it would be fun to explore some favorites around the Chattahoochee.  Please share your experiences, too.  We are always looking for new places to explore.

First stop, Island Ford in Sandy Springs.  This park is right off Exit 6 in Dunwoody.  Very easy to get to, lots of parking and well-managed and staffed.  It is open every day except Christmas!  There is even a nice visitor’s center with clean restrooms and a park attendant to answer questions.  For your little – or big – scientists, they have a cool microscope display where the kids can get up close and personal with things they see in Georgia.

We started with this hike because it is very easy.  It is short and flat with breathtaking views of the river.  You can even take your shoes off and wade into the cool water in some kid-friendly spots.  We wish we would have brought a little snack because we wanted to enjoy a picnic on one of the rocks sticking out into the river – and because no one wanted to leave.  Remember that “mom knows best” thing…. The kids want to come back next weekend with bathing suits and a picnic.

The trail is fully shaded the entire way, but you can easily step off the trail at many spots to get close to the river and enjoy the sun.  I do recommend bug spray although we didn’t get bit, it seemed like a good thing to have along.  There are also two huge rock formations along the trail that kids can explore.  Great picture spots, too!  People were fishing, rafting, kayaking and enjoying this river.  We had a blast and we were back home right after lunch time with our lungs full of fresh air, our minds calm and plans for our next Chattahoochee adventure.  Stay tuned…




Zip into Fall with these Tanks

Just added to SMIJ by Jill website

OK, just saw the forecast for the weekend and it’s looking like tank weather still. Grab a SMIJ tank, put it on over jeans and enjoy the balmy Fall. Cold weather is sure to be coming soon… Until then we’ve got you. Click a picture to shop.

It’s Friday! Do You Know What You’re Wearing for Game Day?

We’ve got lots of fun choices on line HERE or in store at Henry & Pearl. Grab a cute, feminine Game Day tee to show your support and look great doing it. Happy Game Day!

Arrowhead Jackpot & New Kendra Scott Color

It’s a new Kendra Scott season! When I moved to North Georgia from Florida it was really all about the boots and sweaters. I just love Fall fashion. And, it’s looking like Kendra Scott is adding some great colors to go with all those Fall outfits. I’m wearing a new ring and necklace in Red Jasper. Here are the earrings, too. Click on here for my Shop Instagram page to see my latest faves for Fall. 

What do you Wear to a Rock Slide? Not this!

Well…not what I wore! We started the day getting decorating ideas from the Cashiers Showhouse (last weekend coming up!) so I was more dressed for that. While in Cashiers we decided grab some NC BBQ and hit a “swimming hole” complete with a natural water slide. We got there later in the day, after asking twice for directions, and I never did change into my bathing suit. I was too busy taking pictures and yelling safety rules. Ha! It was so fun and I could barely drag the kids away. There were enough people there to make it fun and festive, but not so many to make it crowded. Everyone was giving advice on where to slide. One dad even did a run so my kids could see his exact best route down the rock. Grant found a slide into a hole in the waterfall. Yes, he disappeared into a waterfall, under water in the middle of a rock. We’d seen a few people doing this so I was reasonably sure he’d pop back up, but I didn’t breathe until he did. I could just see us making the news in a tragic story that left people saying “Well, what mother lets her child disappear into a hole of rushing water in the middle of a mountain?!”. Anyway, thank you God for that cool experience and a happy ending. Here is a link to the rock slide, but plan to ask for directions when you get close. Google Maps led us down the wrong path. And, I do mean “path”. Our car barely fit. 

(Here is a link to a bigger slide. We did not visit this one, but plan to maybe next year. Didn’t think this one sounded too kid or over-protective mom friendly.)

Now, what NOT to wear: CP Shades Linen Dress | Kendra Scott Necklace & Ring | Snakeskin Sandals (these probably fit in)

3,000 Feet Above the Sea to Find Beauty Inside & Out


Live on the Edge into Fall

One way that I transition a summer dress into Fall is by adding some edgy, heavier pieces. Here I took my favorite summer dress and added some gunmetal, all black accessories, oversize, black sunnies and, of course, some snakeskin.  And, to give it a bit more Fall vibe, my new Bond lipcolor.  I was cool as a cucumber all day, but looked a little less summery.  Have I mentioned how much I love this dress?!?! 

I Was Winning Until the Shoes

I had a minor panic attack when I realized that at this time next year my baby would be in kindergarten and definitely choosing her own clothes. I look at what the girls are wearing at our elementary school and it’s not little dresses and bows. More jeans and Uggs! While I’m a huge fan of the Jeans & Uggs Program, I realized I only had this short little year of preschool to impose my choices on her. Most days I do let her choose her “outfits”. They always include multiple shades of pink from head-to-toe and, while they rarely “go together”, they are very cute little glimpses into her sparkly personality. 

Then there are the days I do, admittedly, make her wear what I want her to wear. It usually involves some bribery, but it’s worth it. On this day I won the battle from the ankles up. From there down, she won. I do NOT think pink animal print sneakers go with this cute Hanna Andersson dress, but I have to admit I make similar choices (see my snakeskin Tory Burch sandals in about every other post!). 

These Hanna Andersson poplin tunic dresses are great transitional dresses to start school. They come in a few colors and have fun leggings that go with them for a polished back-to-school look until they switch to jeans and never look back. 

Fall Color You Can Wear Now – Continued…

{Top Left: Bond; Bottom Left: Uber Beige; Below: Bahama Brown}

The other day I shared that I scooped up a few Fall lip colors. Well, not so much “scooped up” as much as found, tested, tried two different stores and ultimately ordered straight from Bobbi Brown. See the trouble I go through! Happy to do it! 

Finally in my possession, we took them on a test run in Atlanta yesterday and…they are keepers. It’s the end of summer and like the end of every summer, I need every beauty treatment available from hair color, to threading to mani/pedi, the list goes on. Still, I soldiered on to try out my new lips and share the experience. 


First up, Bobbi Brown’s Bond. It’s a little bit of oxblood, but not quite as deep. Kind of a neutral, wear-everyday oxblood. Great color for Fall and loved it with minimal other make-up for a quick pick-up. It’s amazing the power of lipstick! 

Then, I tried Uber Beige. I’m always on the hunt for the perfect nude and this gets pretty close. I love trying nudes with different lip pencils to give them some depth or different shades. I’m loving the Uber Beige and will experiment with the pencils, too.   

And lastly, Bahama Brown (below). A little bit of a pinky brown which is usually good for everyday. I love one I don’t have to think about and this will be mine this year. 

StyleWatch’s September issue has a great chart of nudes to choose from, too. Love that nudes are in for Fall. 

Fall Color You Can Wear Now

My first “next season” purchase every season is always lipstick. It’s a great way to wear the upcoming season’s colors even though the weather isn’t quite there yet. Yesterday I had some fun at the Bobbi Brown counter. Click on each picture to shop my color choices. Great pinks and plums with a Fall hue were my early season picks this year.