Wednesday, August 29

My Tattoo

You read that right. I did it.

After I shared the story of Andrew's wedding band tattoo I was super inspired to get one of my own. We thought a wedding band would be a great idea but it never came to fruition. Instead Andrew gifted me three stackable wedding bands (I like change too much for just one band) on my birthday. It was a much better choice for me and I'm really glad we waited.

One day, not long ago, I was struck by the idea of having our wedding vow written in Andrew's handwriting as a tattoo. I knew I wanted it in at least two lines and on my left forearm. I also knew that Anna would need to come with us!

With no planning at all, just some rum and coke the night before and an idea, we did it. Serendipitously.

This is my nervous look. I was, oh I was.
Before you ask me if it hurt:

We found Lee, he is also who did Andrew's wedding band (we LOVE that), and he did a fantastic job for me. He helped talk me though it and answered all of my first timer questions. If you're in the Asheville area, let me know and I'll give you his info. He's phenomenal!

I'm honored to have our wedding vow in my beloved's handwriting forever. It gives me butterflies each time I see it and reminds me of standing in the woods while the rest of the world melted away, holding his hand, and saying these words as a pledge. Words that will last forever.

xo Shannon

Wednesday, August 22

Small Things With Great Love

I wore a cardigan all day yesterday. I'm hoping that it becomes a trend for me. Cardigans are my favorite outside of scarves.

We bought mums at Lowe's yesterday. I've never bought mums... or potted flowers for myself. Ever. I loved it! It was a surprisingly fun time, picking out the perfect plants and the perfect colors. So far we have collected rust, red and yellow mums. I'm looking forward to picking the perfect purple and burgundy to complete the collection.

I'm not a gardener. By any stretch of the imagination. Andrew is an excellent gardener though and with his guidance I got them planted in our chocolate colored pots with no harm and no foul. I'm hopeful they'll take off and be gorgeous!

This is a small way to welcome Fall at our house. It might become a tradition, I love creating traditions with Andrew. We'll add a few ferns, moss and rocks into the bargain. 

Did I mention that we're putting all of this Fall goodness in an old radio flyer?

I'm excited to share this with you as it grows from a semi-empty wagon to a full on small garden. I kind of hope that if I pour enough love into it nothing will die ;-)

xo Shannon

Tuesday, August 21


It has officially begun to feel like Fall in our Mountains. It's my favorite season and I like to find a way to welcome it every year. Usually in different small ways but this year I want to feel like the leaves are changing around me and be in the middle of all the magic. This year I need to be on a ridge I love drinking it in.

We had a fire in the back yard last night with a couple of friends. We left the windows open. When I got up this morning it was cold in the house. Just not the Summer cold, the Fall cold.  So I perked some coffee, of course. Cold house, warm coffee. Cold hands, warm heart.

I haven't been to this space in quite a while. But I'd like to change that. And the way I use this space will be a little different too.

Lately Andrew and I have been up to all kinds of wandering. Wanderlust struck early this year and we've had our camera in tow. I've been working on bringing our personal life into F&O. Even though it's our business, it's based on our love story. Our love story is in our hearts. So is photography. And we tell stories by making pictures. So it all comes full circle and I think it's a grand step.

Most of these images are coming from our facebook page but they show how we've been wanderlusting and spending our time lately.

Celebrating our 2 year wedding anniversary between the apple trees in our back yard.
From this photo up, celebrating my 26th year. In our mountains, of course.
Andrew taught me how to rock hop on this day. He said I was brave, but sometimes even when I'm brave, I need him to hold my hand. ♥
Late night walks with Little Bear.
There will be more adventures to come. Right now I'm savoring every moment with him and our little animal family. I think this might be the best Fall season yet!

What have you been up to lately?
xo Shannon

Wednesday, June 27

Blue Hair Chronicles | Volume 1

I have blue hair. My wonderful, lovely, talented, adorable, good company, sweet, friend Anna came over and dyed it for me. She wanted to give someone mermaid hair and I was over my red and wanted some change for summer and voila! Mermaid hair!

Allow me to say that I truly enjoy having blue hair. It makes me feel pretty when I see it in the mirror or get a glimpse of it from the corner of my eye. It's a super fun change and I love that it's different from anything that I've done. Plus it pops these baby blues of mine like you wouldn't believe. Where is the bad?

With that being said, I live in the Bible Belt, but in small town Bible Belt. With a lot of colorful (like that pun?) close-minded-traditional-super-religious folks that could never understand why any self respecting person would dye their hair an unnatural color. So when I did this I considered what kind of reaction I'd get from my fellow Haywood Countians. 

That's what this is about. It has kiiiiiind of turned into a social experiment of sorts for me. I do those a lot when I'm out but, this one is a little different. These are specific verbal encounters, I won't waste our time noting all of the stares and glances I get.

First Encounter:
Habitat for Humanity. A male employee sees me and my friend Marlee shopping for some goodies for her classroom. We're keeping to ourselves with quiet conversation talking about the neat doors they have in the back and we hear, "LOOK AT THIS HAAA-R DO!"He proceeds to follow us up to the front of the store calling people's attention to my hair and "WHY WOULD SHE DONE DO THIS TO HER HAAA-R?" During this episode a woman to my right comes out of the woodwork - literally - and walks over to me and reaches to touch my hair ....did I give you permission for that? No? I didn't think so. But thanks for trying.... and tells me she likes it, it's pretty. Why thank you madam. Finally stalker employee gets over his fascination and we move on with life.

Second Encounter:
I'm walking in Walmart with Marlee looking for something... I can't remember what exactly, when we hear "I LIKE YOUR HAAA-R!" from a young girl with her Mom. The Mom looks at us askance but I thank her daughter nonetheless.

Third Encounter:
Today with my dad and there were 3 high school kids playing around and as they pass the aisle I'm on they all back up in sync and one gets bold enough to tell me she liked my hair. It was cute.

Fourth Encounter - and my personal favorite:
I am searching for some fabric and I pass a mom, sister and 9 year old. The 9 year old calls out "MOM!! MOOOOOM!!!!!111!111!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I want her hair! I WANT HAIR LIKE HERS!" Whoa... So I back up so good ol' Mom can see what the heck her 9 year old is in a tizzy over. She peers around the corner of her aisle and takes one look at me and blanches and says, "Uh, no." In that mom fashion. You know, that kind.

Fifth Encounter - second favorite:
I run into my favorite little pizza joint for a to go order.  Chat with the pleasant cashier about nothing and as she turns her back to me I turn around to see if there is anyone in the place I know. Not joking you guys, EVERY single person in the dining room was staring at me. As my eyes reached theirs they all quickly averted their eyes and started talking amongst themselves and eating, like nothing had happened. Picture that scene in Beauty and the Beast when Belle turns from reading her book and the villagers quickly resume their lives after singing a song about how odd she is. Now, for those of you who don't know me, I have a booming laugh. I can't help it and it get's really REALLY loud when I'm super tickled. Once they had resumed their dinner I just burst out laughing and no help for it.

The general glances are either appreciation for it OR instant judgement. The judgement glances are my favorite - cynicism, I know. I don't have any tattoos (yet), I don't do drugs, I'm not a menace to society, I'm not a hirsute lout, I love Jesus, and I'm a pretty nice person that just wanted a change for summer. But, those folks won't ever know that about me.

To experience this kind of social reaction first hand is a lesson to me. It encourages me to always keep my mind and my heart open regarding people I don't know. It's also teaching me to continue reveling in and celebrating my individuality.  I'll keep a log here and share it with you when there is something worth sharing. Happy Wednesday!

xo Shannon