Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Novels With Nell - Mockingbird Songs

Nell is back again sharing another book recommendation with y’all. I shared what I was reading in yesterday’s post but am pretty sure I am going to need a larger nightstand and more free time to get through my own personal reading list as well as hers! To see some of her other recommendations click on the “book recommendation” label in the sidebar!  

I personally loved this weeks recommendation and hope that y'all will as well!

I love To Kill a Mockingbird (TKAM). I first read it in the 8th grade, after which, my classmates and I went to Monroeville, AL, where Harper Lee grew up, to see the play that is put on annually by local residents. The set is outside on the lawn of the Monroe County Courthouse, until the trial scenes, which are performed in the courthouse itself. TKAM fans (and a lot of literature teachers) travel from all over the country and around the world to see this particular production. Definitely a neat experience!

I just finished this book, which is a collection of letters Harper (and occasionally her sister, Alice) exchanged with her friend, Wayne Flint (and occasionally his wife, Dartie). Their relationship is described more in the quote below and the book itself. I thought it was a unique look into Harper Lee’s more private life. (Actually, pretty much all her life was private. I personally do not love having a lot of attention on me, and I respect and understand her wanting boundaries). It’s not that the book reveals any secrets or scandals or things like that, but reveals her personality. Based on my takeaway, I would say she seemed to be kind, witty, and a loyal friend- someone who would be a pleasure to know, Pulitzer-Prize-winning-author or not.

If you like TKAM or are just intrigued to learn more about Harper Lee, Mockingbird Songs is worth the read.

**If the names Boo Radley, Atticus Finch, and Tom Robinson mean nothing to you, not ringin’ a bell, then ignore every other book I’ve mentioned on this site and go read TKAM. **

And no, the movie, although wonderful (and on Netflix right now!), doesn’t count. It’s gotta be the real deal book.

“An indelible portrait of one of the most famous and beloved authors in the canon of American literature—a collection of letters between Harper Lee and one of her closest friends that reveals the famously private writer as never before, in her own words….Flynt and Nelle Harper Lee began writing to one other while she was living in New York—heartfelt, insightful, and humorous letters in which they swapped stories, information, and opinions on topics both personal and professional: their families, books, Alabama history and social values, health concerns, and even their fears and accomplishments. Though their earliest missives began formally—"Dear Dr. Flynt"—as the years passed and their mutual admiration grew, their exchanges became more intimate and emotional, opening with "Dear Friend" and closing with "I love you, Nelle." Through their enduring correspondence, the Lees and the Flynts became completely immersed in each other’s lives.
Beautifully written, intelligent, and telling, this remarkable compendium of their letters—a correspondence that lasted for a quarter century, from 1992 until Harper Lee’s death in February 2016—offers an incisive and compelling look into the mind, heart, and work of one of the most beloved authors in modern literary history.”

A love of To Kill A Mockingbird and connection to Monroeville are only two of many things that Nell and I have in common so this book seems to be one I would particularly enjoy. I'm also a sucker for handwritten letters and love books that imitate that type of correspondence so this will be definitely be added to my "to read" list!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Striped Off The Shoulder Top & Currently

Happy Tuesday y’all! With a short week ahead hopefully you are going to work with a bit more pep (or should I say prep?) in your step! I am excited to have tackled a lot on my to-do list yesterday leaving me with lots of time to be creative and enjoy being home! Instead of sharing a typical outfit post I thought I would change it up a bit today by sharing what I’ve been up to currently. While I sort of do this with Step Into My Week posts this is a bit more specific to different facets of my life!

Eating… Home cooked meals. I have definitely been taking advantage of that while being home. I am definitely not quite ready to head back and have to figure out recipes each day for myself without the dining hall or my mom’s cooking to lean back on when I don’t feel like cooking. If y’all have any easy and healthy recipes that you like to make definitely leave them below as I need all of the help I can get.

Drinking… Constantly alternating between Iced Coffee and La Croix (berry, lime, passionfruit, pamplemouse). I have been doing a lot of my blog work at coffee shops in the morning as I am much more productive when I am not at my house so iced coffee has had a prominent place in my diet. If you haven’t seen how I make my own Iced Coffee then check out this recipe that I shared last summer here!

Listening… TO MY PHONE IN THE CAR! Definitely worthy of all caps as my last car (2007 Hyundai Santa Fe) didn’t have a way for me to play iTunes or Spotify from my phone. My new car (which I shared in this post) connects through bluetooth and I’ve been LOVING it. I usually listen to pre-made Spotify playlists but have slowly been making some of my own. I do feel like I betrayed my first car but boy do I love this feature in my new car.

Shopping… Currently on a bit of a shopping hiatus (aside from choosing  graduation gift which I’m still deciding between this bracelet and this one) as I know once I get back to Greenville I know that furniture shopping will be the priority.

Watching… Anne with an E. I’ve been a long time fan of Anne of Green Gables and while I was a little skeptical of how Netflix would recreate the books and original series I have really enjoyed watching. Initially I thought it would take me awhile to get through it but after realizing that only the first episode was an hour and a half I ended up flying through the seven episodes. I definitely hope that they make additional seasons! I started watching Girlboss after hearing a number of people say it was good. I’m not that attached to it so when I do watch it I’ve been having it on in the background while doing other things. I’d love to hear any show recommendations y’all might have.

Loving… This hair brush and the fact that when I use it while blow drying my hair I don’t have to do anything to my hair in the morning. This is huge as I usually straighten my hair or at least attempt to. My hair is naturally wavy so being able to save some time in the morning by blowing my hair dry straight at night is so nice! It’s a little pricey but I’ve found that it is so worth it.

Reading… The Husband’s Secret by Lianne Moriarity. I am almost finished with this book and have to admit I love murder mystery-esque books. This was a great beach read although I was a bit confused at the beginning with how the different storylines were going to connect. Next up to change it up a bit before two books similar to this one (Bittersweet & The Woman in Cabin 10) I am reading The Defining Decade. Once grad school begins (in just over a week) I figure it will be a lot of reading for class but hopefully I’ll be able to fit in some more fun reading poolside this summer.

Needing… Furniture. I’m heading back to my new apartment on Saturday and am in desperate need of furniture and a mattress (that should probably be number 1 on my list). I will be heading to Ikea this weekend and possibly will also stop by a Pottery Barn Outlet to see what they might have as well. Aside from that I am pretty sure the mail people are going to hate my roommates and I soon as we order furniture and other necessities.

Enjoying… Time at home and time to blog. I’ve been working hard to ensure that I have lots of ideas stored up so that even as grad school begins I can continue to remain on top of blogging. Blogging is something I am really hoping to keep up throughout grad school and into my first year of teaching since it is such a great creative outlet. As I know this will be an adjustment period (especially since Nell won’t be with me to take my photos and I’ll have to find someone else) I’ve stocked up on photos and content ideas to prepare!

Wearing… Jean shorts or white jeans and off the shoulder tops. Exhibit A. This blue and white off the shoulder top I found at Forever 21! I hope that this silhouette stays in style as it really is the perfect summer style to beat the heat and at this price it’s even better!

top // jeans // cross body bag (similar) // sandals // watch (c/o) // bracelets ( 1 & 2 ) // rose gold bracelet

I'd love to hear if you like this style of post as well as what you've been up to currently! 

Monday, May 29, 2017

Step Into My Week & More Memorial Day Sale Favorites

I hope that y'all are enjoying the extension of your weekend today and spending it with friends or family for Memorial Day. Personally, I am hoping to get a lot done this week and that to-do list starts today. I've been working on some fun projects and have a lot of photographs to shoot so I am glad to have today to get a head start on that. I'll be heading back to Greenville on Saturday so that I can start furnishing my apartment, setting up wifi (definitely needed), and setting in before grad school starts on the seventh.

Similar to this week, last week was spent trying to get ahead and making sure I've been productive here before heading back. I've been painting the desk I bought for my apartment, catching up on emails and posts, and have even been shopping some sales since getting back from the beach this past weekend. Clearly there is lots in the works (and one surprise I haven't even told y'all about yet) so it has been nice to get things done. Below are some pictures from this week! 

After receiving a number of requests on instagram for new videos (specifically vlogs) I decided to blog Wednesday of this week which you can watch here! 

If you haven't started shopping Memorial Day sales yet I've featured some of my favorite finds in the following two posts to make shopping easy for y'all!

And if you haven't seen my other posts from this week I've included them below to make it especially easy for you! 

I'd love to hear any requests you may have for blog posts as I begin working through some this week! I hope your week is off to a great start! 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

How to Wear White on White + My Favorite Pair of White Jeans

In celebration of the fact that Memorial Day is tomorrow I am continuing to break the no white before Memorial Day social standard with an all white outfit. We can call it trendsetting. Summer whites are about to be in full force so I am here to prepare you now with a crisp way to wear your white jeans along with my criteria for the best white jeans and a few pairs I’ve found that will leave you ready to wear white all summer long.

I feel like every time I open a magazine or am scrolling through instagram and come across a chic event the women look effortlessly perfect in an all white ensemble. If wearing all white can help me to look put together I’m sold although being the color lover that I am I had to find some way to add a little color. These ombre tassel earrings did just the trick and paired perfectly with my new Barrington St. Anne tote. Pretty fitting that a Dorothy would opt for a blue and white gingham bag. I guess all that is missing is a pair of ruby slippers but I’ll save those for Halloween. If you didn’t see the do it yourself I did for these earrings then you should definitely venture over to this post and check out just how easy they are to make and with tomorrow as a holiday my guess is that you’ll have a little bit of time. I’ll start to question this all white look on an especially hot summer day while eating a popsicle to cool off but my guess is that put together people in all white probably have alternative ways of cooling off aside from popsicles (I said look put together definitely doesn’t mean I am).

tank (similar also like this one) // white jeans // sandals (I've worn this pair for years and LOVE them) // tote (co) // earrings // watch (c/o) // bracelets ( 1 & 2 ) // rose gold bracelet

Now for the real kicker, finding the perfect pair of white jeans. I’ve been through the struggle and know just how challenging it can be especially when your options of in store shopping are limited (I’m from a small town so I feel your pain). If you have a place to go with a plethora of pairs to choose from then seeing your options in person is super helpful and you don’t have to worry about ordering multiple options and returning the ones you don’t like. Fortunately for me, Nordstrom has the easiest shipping and returns so that’s where I tend to look for all my jeans. When it comes to shopping for a new pair I like to make sure they are

1. Comfortable 2. Not See Through 3. Lightweight.

I also prefer for them to be relatively inexpensive since it is only a matter of time before I spill something on them (the popsicle situation) or sit down in something. Jeans can be so expensive but my favorite pair of white jeans happens to be from Articles of Society a pretty affordable brand that fits my demanding jean criteria.

I'd love to hear what brand or where you got your favorite pair of white jeans!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Memorial Day Sales to Shop & My Picks From Each

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! Maybe it’s just me but I’ve never really thought much of Memorial Day Weekend being a holiday. At this point for me it is pretty much always summer so a long weekend just feels like part of the summer to me. The one major perk of Memorial Day Weekend? The sales. Any excuse to get a discount while shopping online at the beach can be a holiday for me! Lucky for you I’m attempting to make your life easier and encourage more time outside by including some of the best finds from various sales right here for you. I’m a giver, I know…

Drumroll please....Here are some of the best sales and items included as well to serve as your one stop shopping source all weekend long!

Extra 40% off sale

Banana Republic
40% off purchase with code BRSummer

30% off sale with code EXTRA30

20% off site wide with code HEYSUMMER

20 or 30% off plus free shipping starting on the 29th

30% off your purchase with code SWEET

50% off everything! I have so many favorites piling up in my cart that I think J.Crew Factory may just need to be your first shop when it come to memorial day shopping!

Cutest favorites include: this tie front tank, these scalloped shorts, pale pink key hole sunnies, tassel earrings, and this scalloped cami!

40% off everything with code VACAY

Up to 40% off with the Half Yearly Sale! I shared all of my favorites in this post!

Take an additional 25% off clearance

Up to 60% off sale

Urban Outfitters
Up to 50% off

So many good finds that it is necessary to have an extra day this weekend! Best of luck with your shopping and I hope y'all have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend. I'd love to hear if you're headed somewhere fun!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

$35 Eyelet Bell Sleeve Dress

Like most girls on the planet, I LOVE Target. I am definitely guilty of walking in with a list and completely forgetting about it after spending a few minutes picking up and analyzing how I could find a need for every item in the dollar section. From wandering up and down the party supply and stationery aisles to picking out another Essie nail polish shade super similar to one I already own but with a cuter name there is no hope of me escaping the store without adding something to my cart that wasn’t on my list. Usually it’s more than one thing but hey, we are all human. One recent find that I looked for every excuse to justify (does adding something to your list once it is already in your cart count?) was this adorable bell sleeve eyelet dress. For $35 I just couldn’t say no considering it looks like pieces I’ve seen for triple that price tag. It would be a disservice if I didn’t get it and share it with y’all, right? I didn’t even try it on in the store, that’s how sold I was on getting it.

After checking out and hanging it in my closet I realized the whole reason Target’s clothing section was knocking things out of the park was because of a collaboration they had with Who What Wear. This dress was part of the collaboration and after looking around Target’s site the other day I saw that not only was it available in white but it also comes in black AND a shirt form in the two color options. I am so tempted to get the shirt but since I didn’t see it while in Target I’m attempting to have a little self control.

Since purchasing this dress I’ve worn it a couple of times and love it more and more each time. I wore it over my graduation weekend to a steakhouse we went to and when I put it on I halfway felt like I should be attending my own rehearsal dinner. Once I got past that thought (definitely not getting married ANYTIME soon) and put on my favorite wedges I realized just how big of a score this dress was. At first I was a little nervous that the bell sleeves would seem a bit overwhelming but if I managed to get out of a steak dinner with a number of sauces not making their way onto their sleeves then I can officially take on the mentality that bigger really is better with these bell sleeves. The eyelet along the top is a fun added detail and was surprisingly good quality as I didn’t get my brushes bristles or my hoops caught in it while I was getting ready. Everything about this dress is a win so far and I haven’t even mentioned the best part (aside from the price, of course). This dress, from Target, for $35, is fully lined! Finding dresses that are lined nowadays proves to be a harder struggle than one may imagine but I was so impressed that this Target find didn’t skimp on that very important detail when it comes to a white dress! While I kept things pretty toned down with the way I styled it it would look equally adorable with colorful wedges or earrings to spice it up a bit.

dress (white & black, available as a shirt here) // wedges // hoops // watch (c/o) // bracelets ( 1 & 2 ) // rose gold bracelet

Since not all Target stores seem to treat their clothing department equally (I’m talking to you home Target) I have included some other adorable pieces from Target’s collaboration with Who What Wear for you to shop online!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

My Favorite Finds From The Nordstrom 1/2 Yearly Sale

It's your lucky day! Two new posts from me and one which includes a sale from my favorite online retailer. Talk about a win! I spent this morning sifting through Nordstrom's site to curate my own list of favorites from their Half Yearly Sale. Select items on the site are 40% off through June 4th which gives you a head start on your memorial day shopping. 

This is just a glimpse of all the on sale pieces being offered now through the sale so be sure to start shopping before things start selling out. 

Dorm Room Design with Not Just Dorms

Being at home for the past few weeks has me seriously questioning my age. Getting into my summer routine and going back to some of my favorite places makes it almost feel as though I could be back in high school again. In some ways I wish that were the case considering doing college again comes with a little less pressure than starting a job and becoming an “adult” in the real world. A recent, very specific reason I would love to be a college freshman again? Decorating a dorm room. Fortunately I have an apartment to tackle when it comes to decorating which seems to be a bigger undertaking than I originally anticipated making me almost (keyword: almost) wish I were back in the small space of a dorm room. Recently I had the opportunity to go to the showroom of a really cute dorm (and home/apartment, my luck!) design showroom and relive those dorm decorating days. The best part was that Nell got to join me. If you’ve been around PIYS for a while then you’d know that Nell and I lived together both freshman year and senior year so there was something kind of nostalgic about going together. When we went to Furman 4 years ago dorm decorating was definitely a big deal at state schools but everyone at Furman was a bit shocked by how much we decorated our room. We constantly had people asking if we had planned to coordinate it and saying that it looked like something straight out of Southern Living. In all honesty we didn’t really coordinate our dorm but happened to have styles and color schemes in mind that complemented one another. Had we known about Not Just Dorms when we went to school I could definitely see us meeting up to design our own dorm room there. And had that been the case I think there would have been a few more dropped jaws as classmates foreign to the idea of headboards and matching bedding when it came to a dorm walked into our room.

While the Not Just Dorms showroom happens to be relatively close to my house they ship their products all over the country to help you decorate any space you may be designing. For you girls headed off to college in the fall it serves as a one stop shop for everything you could possibly need to make your cinder block cell into a cozy home away from home. From offering products that don’t damage the walls (command strips WILL be your best friend) and ample items that help to keep your things stored and mess free, Not Just Dorms allows you to focus on the fun stuff like picking your color scheme, fabrics, and pillows!

Getting to play with the products in person had me that much more impressed with the versatility of the items while being super practical for a dorm room, especially on move in day. We were super impressed by the Bedside Bookcase which looked a lot sturdier (and cuter) than the ones we used all 4 years from Target that our dads quickly volunteered to build on the porch outside of our room to get out of our way on move in day. After walking up to them we were told just how awesome their features were. They weigh less than 4 pounds and don’t require any tools to assemble. Yep, I questioned that too but left super impressed by how thoughtfully they were designed. Honestly, that’s how I felt about all of Not Just Dorm’s products. Every piece was thought through when it came to weight, durability, and of course style to make it an affordable and functional purchase to use in your dorm room and beyond.

I am super excited to include some of Not Just Dorm’s items to decorate my new apartment in the coming months. I already decided on this cute headboard as the sleek design and white color will serve as the perfect backdrop for my pillow obsession. Their blackout curtains are definitely at the top of my wishlist as the natural light in my room is wonderful but there is definitely a time and place for everything. And if I were headed back to school the one thing I can’t recommend enough would be a bed skirt. Don’t waste all of the wonderful storage space under your ridiculously tall bed and instead take my word on that being a must have. Not Just Dorm’s are super easy to install as they sell the tension rods that work best for their design and allow you to secure it beneath your bed while still being able to move the fabric around to access all those essentials you may be storing under your bed.

I can’t wait to share more photos of their products in my own space but would love to know which color combinations you would include if you were decorating your space with Not Just Dorms.

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