Tuesday, October 16, 2018

My Daily Schedule

Please tell me I’m not the only one who NEEDS a routine. Not only do I need it but I feel like often I get very little done without it. Thinking back about the time between when I graduated with my master’s degree in mid-August to when I started my job at the beginning of September, and I’m thinking about a lot of unproductive time. While yes this was supposed to be a time to relax, I couldn’t even fully do that since I felt like I should’ve been productive with blog content. Moral of the story, my life with a routine is more productive and in turn, gives me time for full-on relaxation, so it’s a win-win.

I’ve gotten some questions lately about my job and routine, and I thought that would make a fun blog post topic. If you’re unaware, I taught 4th-grade last year while getting my master’s degree in early childhood education but decided that after finishing my first year of teaching that I needed to do something else (more on that here). That something else has been working as an editorial assistant for one of Hoffman Media Group’s publications. While it did take a little time to adjust to my new schedule, I finally feel like it has become very much so a routine. As with any schedule, it’s subject to change some day to day, but this is the most typical version of it.

In the past, I know that people have been shocked by how early I get up and I am curious, are y’all night owls or early birds?

Monday, October 15, 2018

Step Into My Week

Happy Monday. First, I want to address how shocking it is that October is already halfway over. October is typically one of my favorite months of the year, and I can certainly claim that to be true this year. I feel like my last few Step Into My Week posts have been packed full, and that trend looks as though it may continue the remainder of the month as well. I hope that your October is shaping up to be equally as fun.

Monday started off very normal with me hitting snooze once not wanting to get out of bed. My to-do list at work filled every box in my Day Designer and shockingly I was able to check everything off which doesn’t always necessarily happen. After work, I met Nell at her apartment to go for a walk and embrace the cooler weather we had instead of heading to the gym. Once I was home, I got cleaned up, put on pajamas, made dinner, and enjoyed it while doing some blog work and watching Gilmore Girls. I know I can’t be the only one who depends on Rory and Lorelai to get me in the fall mood once the weather officially agrees to co-operate. I forced myself to have an earlier bedtime which I thanked myself for on Tuesday morning.

Tuesday, I had a two-hour meeting to plan out content for our magazine for 2019 which was really interesting to be involved with. Our whole team was together (one of our team members
is usually based in Washington), so it was good to be able to bounce ideas around in person and form a general outline of the different stories that will be covered. Aside from that, work was very normal, and I fell back into a podcast hole (check back Thursday for more on that). The weather was so nice (in the 80s instead of 90s), so I decided to skip the Y and instead go for a run through Mountain Brook. While this was really nice, it was a reminder that Mountain Brook has some serious hills that I don’t really think about when driving them. Afterward, I went home, showered, made dinner, and watched Gilmore girls while finishing up a blog post and painting my nails.

Wednesday, I slept in a little bit (5:45 instead of 5:30 woohoo) and still had time to take a couple of pictures of items before heading to work. I had a very productive morning and got to know a few of the other girls my age better in the break room as we all went down at the same time upon receiving an email about warm monkey bread and extra icing. I’m good at ignoring a lot of those test kitchen emails but with it being gloomy outside that one really got me, and I’m glad it did. The afternoon was pretty normal as I worked my way through my to do list before heading out. I came home and made myself enough food for the next few meals I would be in town for and worked ahead on blog posts while watching Gilmore Girls. I got in bed around 9:30 and decided to go to bed.

I knew Thursday would be a day filled with a long after work to do list in preparation for heading out of town, so I decided to get started on that before heading to work. I went ahead and put my suitcase out and began gathering things that I knew I would want over the weekend but wouldn’t necessarily need before then. Work was pretty typical with a meeting in the afternoon, but the gloomy weather definitely had me wishing I was curled up in bed. Fortunately, it cleared off later in the day and was absolutely beautiful. Because of that, I took my laptop and worked outside for about an hour in the afternoon. After work, I went to Publix and then came home to put a load of laundry and get a couple of pictures for this post before going for a run around my area. Once I got home, it was time to move my laundry to the dryer and take a shower before eating dinner. After dinner, I did some packing and responded to some blog emails before finishing up my to-do list and eventually going to sleep.

Friday morning, I woke up excited since after work I was heading to Greenville! I packed up my car before going to Starbucks for my typical Starbucks Friday. I was so tempted to go early to Starbucks to sit there and enjoy my coffee but decided to go ahead to work and start my day since I’d be able to leave a few minutes early if I did that. I used that time gained by running to a bakery in Birmingham, Pastry Arts, on my way out of town to grab some Baby Bites (delicious tiny cakes) to take with me to Greenville as a thank you to Sophia for letting me stay with her. We had been texting most of the week about what we would do while I was in town so by the time I was on my drive I was ready to be there even though a 4-hour drive felt very do-able. I arrived around 7:00 Greenville time and went directly to Sophia's apartment to put my stuff down. We went to dinner at Up on the Roof (they have the best chicken lettuce wraps ever) and ended our night by watching Hocus Pocus enjoying the Baby Bites and prosecco I brought. We had agreed to hold off on watching Hocus Pocus until we were back with one another and I’m glad we did. After watching the movie, we decided to call it a night to rest up before our fun day ahead.

Saturday morning started with homemade pumpkin spice lattes and homemade pumpkin bread enjoying the fall weather on Sophia's porch. We had plans to get our nails done at 10:00 which was relaxing and a good way to catch up during our pedicure until we didn't end up next to one another while getting our nails done. We went back to her apartment to change before heading to Tandem (the best crepe place in Travelers Rest near Furman). Tandem is one of our go-to spots and was on the way to Sky Top Orchard in North Carolina which is where we went next. We weren't the only ones who thought the weather was perfect for picking some apples since it was so crowded. Sophia wanted to make an Apple Pie, so we picked a full basket and grabbed an apple cider slushy before we left. We really wanted to get some of the Apple Cider Donuts but with a ridiculously long line and plans later on decided that the slushy would suffice. We went back to Sophia's apartment to get cleaned up and ready for dinner that night. I had texted a bunch of our friends in Greenville, so we could grab dinner together at Cantina 76 (my favorite Mexican restaurant). Downtown Greenville was so crowded due to Fall for Greenville happening downtown, but luckily we were able to get a table and catch up some over dinner. We walked through Fall for Greenville after that and ended the night grabbing a drink at SIP before calling it an early night. Once we got home, Sophia and I watched part of Halloweentown before deciding it was bedtime. 

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Sunday morning we slept in and went to breakfast at Swamp Rabbit Cafe with Sophia's fiance. Sophia and I went to The Village Grind after breakfast before I headed out. The weather was a bit gloomy on Sunday, but the temperature still felt like fall which I appreciated. The drive back to Birmingham was pretty uneventful although I was able to listen to some podcasts and catch up with my brother on the phone. Once I got back, I unpacked immediately (unheard of for me) and then met up with Nell for a walk. We walked through Mountain Brook and caught up about our weekends. I came home and showered and made dinner while talking to my parents. I ended the weekend with Gilmore Girls before heading to bed.

I hope that y'all had an equally as great week and are also finally soaking up some fall weather. 

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Sunday Spotlight: Chappy Wraps

Happy Sunday! I am on my way back from Greenville, South Carolina today and although I loved getting to see friends and spend time with them, I am looking forward to being back in the comfort of my own room. While home will always feel like Fairhope, AL to me, my bed in Birmingham is definitely more comfortable which has me excited to get back to it.

Speaking of comfort, I’m not sure if anything helps me to feel quite as at home as curling up in my pajamas under a cozy blanket. Blankets are one of those things that I don’t necessarily feel like you can have too many of. This feels especially true for my roommate and I currently since we have two living rooms, a guest room, and an outdoor space that all feel more put together and inviting with blankets used as practical décor. Finding blankets that are cute but also practical for our outdoor space was a challenge until I remembered ChappyWrap and their beautiful, oversized blankets. Not only are the design options plentiful, but also the blankets are machine washable making them the perfect addition to our outdoor space.

ChappyWrap was started based on a desire to discover a blanket that resembled the founder and her siblings’ favorite childhood blanket. What was found after asking questions and doing a lot of digging was that many blankets available in the U.S. were lacking quality. That’s when Beth set out on a mission to find a way to produce high-quality blankets made from a plush, natural blend of cotton and high-performance fibers, as opposed to synthetic polyester or polar fleece. Today, ChappyWrap has become a family business aimed to spread comfort to everyone, everywhere with the best blankets in the world.

With so many beautiful prints, choosing one can be quite the challenge. Since I wanted my ChappyWrap to be something that could be used in a variety of spaces I ultimately decided on the Harborview Herringbone Beige Blanket and Throw. There is something about a classic herringbone that is hard to beat. Since setting up our deck to also be a place to watch movies I knew just the place to test it out. With our projector set up and a movie ready to go, this blanket was the perfect way to stay cozy even outside as the temperatures drop. Fortunately for friends, the size of the blanket will even allow me to share so that they don’t have to be cold when opting to watch movies and football outside either. And once we have retreated back indoors, I can easily toss it in the washer knowing that it won’t shed, pill, or fizz and will be clean for its next use.

Since this is a Sunday Spotlight that means that tonight on Instagram you’ll have the chance to enter to win your own ChappyWrap. As an added entry, head to their site and let me know which print you would choose and comment it below!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Wear to Work & Work Tote Organization Featuring Barrington Gifts

While there are so many exciting parts about starting a new job, one thing that I was really excited about beyond the realm of responsibilities I’d have was transitioning some of my “teacher clothes” to a more corporate business setting. While I am lucky that our dress code is pretty casual (we can wear jeans!), you see a bit of everything in the office. I will wear jeans occasionally but am reserving a lot of my jean time for when the temperatures get colder, and I want to live in sweaters. One piece that I added to my closet soon after starting this job was this  adorable navy ruffled jumpsuit. You could definitely wear this in a variety of job settings, but there was something about working for a magazine and assisting stylists at photoshoots and running errands among other things that made a  jumpsuit the perfect “professional” piece that requires minimum effort that still looks put together and chic. While the jumpsuit certainly makes a statement on its own, with the right accessories, it looks even more put together.  

If I had to identify one thing in my closet that I may have too many of it would certainly be tote bags. Even knowing that fact doesn’t tend to stop me from adding new ones to my selection. Over the past few years, however, the new ones I’ve found have all been by the same brand,  Barrington Gifts. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, then this is probably not the first time you’ve heard me talk about this brand. Their  St. Anne Tote has been my go-to since early on in my college career. So much so, that this is my 4th pattern in this timeless style. What’s so tempting about  Barrington and discovering a style that you love so much is that there are countless pattern and monogram combinations that make it so challenging to decide on just one. With my love of navy and light blue, I loved that I could combine the new monogram and stripe style with their python pattern for a bag that pairs perfectly with brown or black and across multiple seasons.


Aside from the cute exteriors of this tote, the functionality of it is what keeps me coming back. I used to have to carry so much more in it but lessened that a bit now that I don’t have to take my laptop to work. I have included my case and laptop in the picture since I thought it may be helpful to show how I like to keep it all orderly when everything is inside.

My biggest tip when it comes to organizing your work tote is finding one that has pockets and/or using pouches to ensure that everything has a place. I like using this combo because it helps me to ensure that my bag doesn’t become a catch-all for random things I know that I don’t need. The large zipper pocket in the  St. Anne Tote is perfect for your laptop charger to help keep it from getting tangled. In the three front pockets, I like to keep my headphones, blue-light glasses, and store my  Barrington Gift ID Key Ring so that they are easy to locate when it comes time to leave the office at the end of the day. In the main part of the tote I like to keep my planner (sometimes both my blog one from Sweet Caroline Designs and my everyday one by Day Designer), my laptop in its case, as well as writing utensils. Since I don’t like having to dig for things and would hate for a pen to explode in my bag, I like to keep my pens in a pencil pouch by  Truffle (they have the best small organizer pouches). Lastly, I have another pouch in the main part of my bag with a hairbrush, Chapstick, and other little miscellaneous items. Because everything is in its spot, it isn’t a chore to pack or unpack my bag which is the last thing I’d want to deal with after a long day at work.

I'd love to hear any of the tips you may have when it comes to keeping your work tote organized!

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