Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving Day Attire + Cyber Week Sale Items I Own And Love

Happy Thanksgiving y'all! After looking forward to this for so long it's a little bit crazy that it's here. I drove home yesterday (as in was on the road by 5:30) grabbed some clothes from my closet at home, got teary seeing my parents for the first time in forever, and then was off to get ready for my friend Bowen's deb ball last night. Clearly not on vacation mode just yet but today changes that. Nell and I both ventured to our grandparent's farms in Alabama and I am finally getting in that family time I've been craving since September. I sure hope that you are gathered around the table with your friends and family enjoying today as well. 

I thought it would be fun to share a festive outfit for the occasion that you could easily take into December as well. I feel like the cyber week sales keep starting earlier and earlier so while I'll be sharing all of my favorite items on sale from retailers tomorrow I couldn't leave out those pieces that I already own that happen to be on sale. This post may end up being a little long because of that but if your family is anything like mine, a post Thanksgiving meal nap will give you plenty of time to peruse.

Dressing the part for the holidays can be hard when Alabama chooses to embrace warm weather most  of the time so a suede skirt offers an easy and practical solution. I have the cutest pale pink button front suede skirt that I got last year and when I saw this navy one I figured it would get just as much wear. Whether with an oversized sweater like the one featured or a cute blouse (I'm thinking this one) the options seem endless. Since my wardrobe, bedroom, and classroom seem to sometimes exclusively highlight navy and white this plaid scarf provides the perfect pop to avoid my ensemble matching too much with the rest of my life. Paired with my cognac riding boots (that need desperately to be resoled) I'm warm enough without compromising style. 

As for items that are on sale already that I own, I've included many of them below. Be sure to pop back by tomorrow for all of your online shopping Black Friday needs. Plus, I have something very exciting Prep In Your Step related to share with y'all! 

White Lace Up Top // Hinge Tan Booties (if you buy anything today make it these)




So there you have it, a number of pieces I own and love that are already on sale for you to shop! I hope that you'll step away from the computer at least for a but and enjoy those around you. I don't think I say it enough but I am so thankful for each of you checking Prep In Your Step however frequently you do. It's still crazy to me that people read what I write and have provided me with opportunities I couldn't imagine. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Building Your Perfect Barbour Jacket - Your Guide To Shopping Barbour (On Sale)

If I had to think of a Furman student's winter uniform I would think of a classic Barbour jacket for both girls and guys. After seeing these jackets all over campus my freshman year and realizing that Greenville has a tendency to get a lot colder than Alabama I decided I wanted to ask for one for Christmas. Easier said than done. Little did I know, that iconic jacket I had seen around came in so many different styles and colors that it left me confused. At Thanksgiving, I was talking to my family about my Christmas list and mentioned that a  Barbour jacket was on my list. It didn't take long for my grandfather to go and get his out of the closet and tell me a story about buying my aunt her first Barbour. Talk about timeless. I feel like so many people have similar stories about growing up seeing their dad wearing this style or knowing where their mom hung theirs that I couldn't have been more thrilled when my grandfather chose to carry on this tradition so to speak by gifting me mine. 

The process of deciding which jacket to get was made easier by trying on a few different styles and seeing different colors in stores. I knew that I wanted my first Barbour to be a classic waxed one although I have since added a quilted one to that collection (last seen here). The two most popular waxed styles for women are the  Bedale and the  Beadnell. The  Beadnell is what I opted for due to its more fitted style and interior plaid. Sizing for Barbour is a bit different as well. Since it is an English company, the first size on the tag is UK sizing. Fortunately, the US size is also included. I was deciding between the US 4 and the US 6 when I chose my freshman year of college and am so glad that I opted for the 6. I figured since it would work as my winter coat I would ant to layer chunky sweaters underneath so having wiggle room was not a bad thing. At the time, I had no idea of all the Barbour accessories available to purchase to help make your jacket fit whatever environment you were preparing for and now that I have a liner it has definitely been the right choice for me. If you're as confused about what the difference between Barbour's Beadnell and Bedale jacket is, Tuckernuck created the cutest graphic to help which I included below for y'all. As for coloring, I went with the Sage jacket instead of the Olive. The  Sage is more of a hunter green while the Olive color has more brown hues. The different colors also cause the plaid lining to differ so be sure to pay attention to that as you're deciding between the two. 

It took me over a year after receiving my Barbour to realize that I had been missing out on a cozy fleece liner to make it a bit warmer. When I was studying abroad in London I ended up in a Barbour store there (across from Liberty) and finally purchased the  Olive Green Betty zip in liner. Ironically enough, Betty was the name of my alter ego when I was throwing tantrums as a child. I hated it then and still hate it when my family brings it up or hints at me having a "Betty moment." When I got home from the trip and was showing my family what I purchased while abroad I was reluctant to let them in on this little secret, but we were all in hysterics when I finally told them. My Barbour certainly is full of its own stories. Despite the name, y'all, this vest is amazing zipped into the jacket and looks equally as nice alone. Alone, the waxed jackets are warm but only if you're spending Winters in the South where Winter doesn't begin to compare to the weather in colder areas. This vest has a fleece interior and quilted exterior that keeps you warm but still simultaneously looks stylish. When you purchase a Barbour you definitely pay for the quality and the brand though of everything. This vest can zip inside your waxed Barbour jackets to make it seem like one piece and once a cold front comes in late November you can bet that mine stays zipped in until the weather becomes more bearable for the waxed jacket alone in the Spring. 

The most recent addition I've made to my Barbour has been a  hood to make it the perfect jacket for rainy, cold Winter weather. The hood is detachable making it so easy to snap on and off as needed, but honestly I really love the look of my jacket with the hood on and have a tendency to leave it on most of the time. It took getting the hood for me to realize how desperately I need to get my jacket re-waxed. I ordered the hood in the same color of my jacket and after all the wear my jacket has gotten the past four years the hood doesn't quite match. Fortunately, you are able to send your jacket back to Barbour and have it professionally waxed for a fee. I meant to do that over the summer and completely forgot and am kicking myself now. Since I have gotten to the point where I can't live without my Barbour from October-April I'm planning to send it once Spring has decided to come and stay. It'll probably look, feel, and smell like a brand new jacket then. I definitely don't trust myself to re-wax it myself and am glad that Barbour offices these services and others in house so that I don't have to worry about compromising the quality of my jacket and can leave it to the professionals to make it last a lifetime. After all, my aunt still has the Barbour my grandfather bought her when she was in college. 

Jacket (More sizes here) //  Vest //  Hood // Top (Nordstrom last year) //  Jeans //  Riding Boots 

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday around the corner, I thought I would share some of my favorite stores to shop Barbour at who will likely have some styles on sale in the near future. A Barbour coat is definitely an investment, and if I had a dollar for every time I wear mine I'd probably have this one and at least 2 other ones hanging in my closet. The quality, classic style, and ability to add additional pieces to fit your needs makes it so worthwhile (especially on sale). 

My Favorite Retailers for Shopping Barbour:

Tuckernuck: I love Tuckernuck in general but especially when shopping Barbour since they have a section specifically for it. You can shop jackets, accessories, and cute additions to outfits all in one place while also learning more about each style to ease in your decision making. I would hold off to see what their Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are like because in the past they've offered anywhere from 20-30% off and included Barbour in this. With my jacket alone, that would be a discount of about $80-$120. 

Nordstrom: Barbour goes on sale a little bit more frequently on Nordstrom's site. I've seen their pieces available in the Anniversary Sale over the summer and during periodic sales as well. In the past they have included Barbour in their Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales so if Tuckernuck doesn't have what you're looking for I would make that my next stop. And let's be real, who doesn't love an excuse to browse Nordstrom's site. 

Bloomingdales: The last of my go-to online retailers to shop Barbour would be Bloomingdales. While I haven't ordered my pieces from there they allow you to use discount codes for some of their Barbour styles. 

The Classic Styles:

If you're a girl (I just assume most of my readers are) the two classic styles for a waxed Barbour jacket are the Beadnell and Bedale (compared above). You really can't go wrong with either so it just depends on your preference.

Accessories to Add Along the Way:

Whenever I post an image in my Barbour I always end up getting a number of questions so I hope this was able to answer some of them for you while also giving you a heads up about retailers that will likely be providing big discounts on Barbour in the coming days! I am thrilled to finally be arriving home today after waking up *so* early to drive home. Tonight I have a fun event to attend that involves  this fancy dress that I am hoping I can pull off. Be sure to come back tomorrow and Friday for a very exciting announcement (hint: it may involve the first of some Prep In Your Step items available)!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Best Gifts I've Received

I feel like the holidays come sooner and sooner each year (I'm looking at you Christmas). The may be in part due to the fact that I follow a number of blogs and have already started to see Christmas decor and related content that it seems hard to avoid. While I am obviously looking forward to Christmas I am not ready to breeze straight over Thanksgiving just yet. So instead of sharing my Christmas and Birthday (since it's the day after Christmas) wish list just yet, I thought it would be more fun to share some of the BEST gifts I've received in years past to hold off on the holidays just a smudge while still giving you plenty of time to ponder what items may be worthwhile to add to your wish list. 

When compiling which items I received fall in my "best" category I came to realize a common thread that pulled these items together, practicality. For the most part, the items that standout as some of my best gifts are ones that I can use or enjoy frequently. Over the years, I think I've become more sentimental and I tend to be more drawn to the items I own that offer me some sort of connection to the people who got them for me. With that in mind, most of these items are things that were gifted to me by my family which gives me an excuse to think of them as I reach for the item. Since I assume most of you are past the years of asking for trinkets and toys I couldn't recommend adding items to your wish list that you could see yourself using frequently more. While over the years those items seem to grow in their price tag I am also able to get more out of them tying back to the idea of practicality. 

After a lot of thought about which items to actually include, here are my top picks of the best gifts I've received. 

Barbour Beadnell | You'll be seeing more about this in a post VERY soon (so if you're hoping to get your hands on one be sure to check back in the next few days) but this is hands down one of the most worn items in my closet. While it is certainly an investment, if I had to mention one things you'd find me in for almost 3 full seasons of the year it would be my Sage Barbour Beadnell

Sony Camera | Last Christmas, this camera served as my big and very unexpected gift. I put it on my list without any expectation of receiving it and was in shock to open it up. I know just how much y'all love video content and this has been the perfect way to allow me to better integrate it onto the blog without the hassle of figuring out a camera's focus and my ability to see what is going on. I am certainly hoping to use it even more in the coming years as I continue to gain time to work on Prep In Your Step. 

David Yurman Bracelets | My first David Yurman bracelet was actually a gift to myself my sophomore or junior year of high school. I had seen them and loved the simplistic style and combination of metals and eventually saved up enough money to purchase my own. I have since added to my collection and love the layered look they give. As such a timeless piece, I could see many girls categorizing David Yurman bracelets as one of the best gifts they have received. 

Michele Watch | I believe my Michele Watch is the most recent item added to this list after receiving it for my college graduation. Initially I didn't know if I would feel like wearing a watch was normal for me, but ever since putting it on for the first time it has become odd not to have it around my wrist. The square face is modern but still classic and the ability to change the bands has been an unexpected feature that I have adored. 

Day Designer Planner | Admittedly, this has been a gift to myself over the years and I am so glad it has. If you've been around the blog for a while then you probably know that I LOVE organization. Opening my day designer in the morning to write down my to-do list and what I have going on during the day is almost therapeutic to me. If you're in the market for a daily planner a Day Designer is the way to go.

True Grit Pullover | This pullover may come as a bit of a surprise to some of y'all. While initially made for men, this True Grit Pullover might just be one of the softest items I own. Although it isn't exactly all that fashion forward, paired with yoga pants and some cozy socks, I find myself wanting to curl up in this pullover all winter long. Think of it as being just as cozy as a blanket with sleeves. These come in a number of colors and styles and I know girls and guys alike who would choose to live in theirs in the winter given the opportunity.

Longchamp Le Pliage Tote in Large | I got my very first Longchamp bag in eighth grade and have been a huge fan of the brand ever since. While I've outgrown the medium sized chocolate brown one received all those years ago, my navy, large Le Pliage tote is one of my favorites to reach for. The material is so durable and the style is simplistic enough to be paired with an outfit for work or carry workout clothes in when I head to the gym. 

Hunter Rain Boots | I've come to realize that once your feet stop growing, investing in footwear that works for your weather and style is important. I adore Hunter rain boots and actually have two pairs. The short, high gloss ones are definitely utilized more than my taller pair but I am always so thankful to have these come rainy days. Nothing is worse than having to get out of bed to go to work on a rainy day, but fortunately rain boots can help to keep me dry which makes the rest of that scenario a little bit less discouraging. 

Glamorous Wash Detergent in Diva | Pointing my fingers at my mom for this obsession. What started as an innocent Easter Basket item has become my signature scent and the reason why doing laundry isn't so bad. If you've never smelled this detergent then it's worth ordering just to do so. I have no problem with friends telling me that I smell like my laundry since I use this on every load. The mini size would make the most perfect stocking stuffer! 

Macbook Pro | This computer and I have spent more time than I care to admit together. From college applications, to blogging, and all four years of college I can honestly say this is the most used gift of any included on the list. A lot of good has come from the projects and ideas thought up behind this screen and while I didn't expect to get this as a gift, it has been one gift that has kept giving. A new hard drive later and I don't think I'd be able to switch back from a mac at this point. 

As I struggle to build my own Christmas list, I would love your suggestions and input of the best gifts you've received that I should consider! 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Step Into My Week

Hooray for a short week! Last week I was in the ultimate get stuff done mood so that I wouldn't have to work on school stuff this past week and could solely focus on blog related things. I left school on Friday ready for the two school days this week and with everything done for the following week as well. I'm thrilled to not be taking work home with me to do so that I can instead spend time with my family and friends. That made this past week one where I'd leave school just for a change in location to work more.

It was American Education Week at school which made for another week out of routine with various dress up days and events. While I know this can be really fun for the kids I can tell we need our routine back. Hopefully after Thanksgiving break we can establish a little bit of normalcy before being on break again. The best part of the week was getting to wear pajamas to school on Tuesday. My students were a little in shock to walk into the room with their teacher in pajamas so I figured it was about time for me to break it to them about how much I LOVE matching pajama sets. I was bummed to have class that night since it meant changing out of my pajamas in order to get back into them later on. It was pretty chilly this week which meant cozy jackets at recess in an attempt to stay warm. We had a school t-shirt day on Wednesday and college t-shirt day on Friday so I am getting back into the routine of posting my outfits from the week but that should explain why an outfit is missing.

Aside from class and getting dinner with a friend on Thursday night most of my afternoons were pretty normal as well. I have been listening to Taylor Swift's new album nearly non stop on the way to school and on a couple of night runs, and while it is definitely different I like it. It's also helping me to hold off on listening to Christmas music just yet although I have on a couple of occasions. Friday I went straight from school to Starbucks and planned out lots of blog content for this week and next. While some may consider that to be more work it's the type of work that  I really enjoy and am glad to have as an outlet. I ended up staying there till some time around 8:00 before heading back to my apartment to shower and do a bit more work before bed.

Saturday was spent sleeping in a bit which was much needed. Then I went to one of my favorite coffee places in Greenville, Caviar and Bananas, to write posts and work ahead. I ran some errands and then ended up back at Caviar and Bananas later that afternoon (does that make a regular). Sunday was spent doing much of the same along with laundry and maybe turning on a Christmas movie or two with a pine scented candle. We may have even started with our Christmas decorating as well.

Last week was a busy one on the blog (and this one will be an even busier one) so I've included all the posts that went live so that you can stay up to date!

Step Into My Week
Rainy Winter Weather Wear
Novels With Nell - The Hiding Place
Post-Grad Apartment Room Tour
What to Wear for Thanksgiving
The Real World So Far + How To Make The Adjustment Easier With Shipt

Wishing you an easy start to your (hopefully) short week!

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