Friday, June 30, 2017

Pink Friday Summer Sale

Hi friends! I want to apologize in advance for how quick this post is but can't take too much time away from studying for my 2 finals today but also didn't want y'all to miss out on a pretty amazing sale! Lauren James (most recently talked about here) is hosting a huge sale on their site right now with some pretty amazing discounts. Considering I have and love some of their items I wanted to show y'all my favorite piece that is on sale, the Riley Gingham Ruffle Top. I have it in Delta Blue and Cotton Candy Pink and think the style of it is just the cutest thing. You may remember these outfits from this Spring on the blog but there's no reason not to share them again considering this top is currently almost $15 off. If gingham isn't really your style this same top is also offered in a stripe print in 4 different colors! With a cute bow tying it together in the back consider this a gift to yourself! 

While you're thinking about pulling the trigger on this top be sure to look around the rest of the site to see all of the other amazing deals offered in the sale! Many of their dresses would be great for recruitment. Even this ruffle bathing suit top that I've had and loved for a couple of years now is on sale! 

While y'all shop Lauren James' Site it's time for me to go back to chugging coffee and forcing myself to focus (productivity in the summer is a real challenge but we will tackle that next week)! Have a happy Friday! 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Novels With Nell - the Defining Decade

Oh my goodness y'all I am so excited for today's book recommendation. Nell likes to make fun of the fact that I never take her recommendations but for once we were reading the same book at the same time. I started to tell her about it the other night on facetime and was so excited to give Nell a recommendation of my own only to find out that she was already reading the same book. Disappointment that I couldn't be the one to claim I recommended it to her aside, I flew through this book and couldn't agree more with what Nell said. My friends here in Greenville are probably already over hearing me talk about how good and encouraging this book is to which they all nod and pretend interested. I finally know how Nell feels when I don't take her recommendations, ha!

Meg Jay, PhD

Sorry, no novel today. One of my friend’s parents gave this to a few of us as a little college graduation gift. Now I normally am not really big on books like this, (Dorothy loves them), while I typically go for fiction, but The Defining Decade is worth the read. And I feel like a lot of you readers are, or will soon be, in this age group, making this particularly relevant.
Personally, it made me feel better knowing I’m not the only one who feels like the world after college is a little unclear. The endless possibilities are both exciting and terrifying. Hopefully some of y’all can also relate to this feeling: “Our twenties can be like living beyond time. When we graduate from school, we leave behind the only lives we have ever known, ones that have been neatly packaged in semester-sized chunks with goals nestled within. Suddenly, life opens up and the syllabi are gone. There are days and weeks and months and years, but no clear way to know when or why any one thing should happen. It can be a disorienting, cavelike existence. As one twentysomething so astutely put it, ‘The twentysomething years are a whole new way of thinking about time. There’s this big chunk of time and a whole bunch of stuff needs to happen somehow’” (189). 

“Our “thirty-is-the-new-twenty” culture tells us that the twentysomething years don’t matter. Some say they are an extended adolescence. Others call them an emerging adulthood. But what if thirty is not the new twenty? Meg Jay argues that twentysomethings have been caught in a swirl of hype and misinformation, much of which has trivialized what is actually the most transformative period of our adult lives. Drawing on more than ten years of work with hundreds of twentysomething clients and students, Jay weaves the latest science of the twentysomething years with behind-closed-doors stories from twentysomethings themselves. The result is a provocative read that provides the tools necessary to make the most of your twenties, and shows how work, relationships, personality, social networks, identity, and even the brain can change more during this decade than any other time in adulthood–if we use this time well.”
The book is divided into three sections: Work, Love, and the Brain and the Body (aka Health). The gist of it is saying that, while there’s this move to “have fun” in your twenties and worry about the adult stuff when you’re really an adult, at thirty, can be more negative than positive. It’s not saying you have to have all your ducks in a row right now but having goals and being intentional with your twenties, rather than saying “wherever the wind takes me”, will provide you with a sense of purpose, which is a positive thing. “It’s unsettling not to know the future and, in a way, even more daunting to consider that what we are doing with our twentysomething lives might be determining it. It is almost a relief to imagine that these years aren’t real, that twentysomething jobs and relationships don’t count. But a career spent studying adult development tells me this is far from true. And years of listening closely to clients and students tells me that, deep down, twentysomethings want to be taken seriously, and they want their lives to be taken seriously. They want to know that what they do matters- and it does” (200).
Me again, I wanted to give my personal take on some of the sections. The work section was without a doubt my favorite in the book. It took me no time to read it and there were so many helpful things for me to take away from it. From the discussion of meaningful capital to the strength of weak ties I found myself sitting at the pool wishing I had a highlighter to emphasize what she was saying! The Love section is good although I feel like some of it was common sense. The perspective provided by the stories in it were good and I think could be a good reminder that other people are dealing with some of the same things as you. The last section on the Body was my least favorite but still good. Overall I can't recommend this book enough and am glad to have Nell's recommendation to back up my own!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Peplum Striped Bow Tie Sleeve Tank

I know that I already shared two looks for Fourth of July along with other cute outfit picks but for a girl who owns so much blue and white I think it would be easy to confuse my day to day wardrobe decisions with dressing for the occasion. In reality, my organized-by-color closet is bursting at the seams with blue and white. However, when I saw this top and better yet the price I knew it would be such a cute summer piece to have on hand that I couldn't not jump at the opportunity to get it. It also comes in white which, in my defense, was not available when I initially got the blue and white version since otherwise I may have opted for that to add a bit of variety to my closet. 

Y'all know that I am sucker for anything with a peplum hem (my friends made fun of the fact that I have a workout top with a peplum hem if that says anything about how drawn to the style I am) and bows and the combination of those two things on this piece balance one another out. The bows can be re-tied depending on the length you may need and a hidden side zipper makes it so that once you've got them tied one in a way you like it you don't have to re-tie them every time you want to wear the top! I'm not the only one that does that, right?

As for this skort, it had been a style that tons of my friends had been sporting that I thought was so cute but was skeptical about finding one that worked on my body type. Dressier than shorts but more casual that a dress I love the look of a skort paired with a cute top and when I happened across this white one I figured it was worth a try. Blindly trying to figure out which size to order was the hard part considering my waist is pretty small but my hips are a bit wider so usually if it fits in the hips it's going to gape at the top. When it finally arrived I was so careful opening the package since I just assumed I would have to use it to ship it back when it fit me weird. I was shocked when I put it on and it magically fit my waist and hips! 


top (in white) // skort // wedges // watch (c/o) // bracelets ( 1 & 2 )

While I really like the way this top and skort work together they are equally as cute paired in different ways depending on the look you're going for. This top looks adorable with white jeans which is probably how I'll wear it in the months to come before retiring it for the season when the weather starts getting chillier. I've tried this skort with a number of different tops and have been impressed by how well it pairs with different things in my closet! 

I hope your week is off to a great start!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Step Into My Week

Today is the last Monday of my first session of grad school and better yet, it's my last day of field work for this short semester! I am pretty thrilled about that considering I've come to realize that being a preschool teacher is not my calling (I'll stick to kindergarten and above please). I am pretty excited for this session to finish up on Friday but know that there is a lot of work to get done in the meantime with 24 assignments (read:projects) due on Friday, blog posts to schedule, and two finals on Friday as well I can pretty much guarantee I'll be sleeping during my flight to the beach. 

I feel like these step into my week posts have gotten more and more boring as the summer has progressed but school in the summer time is a new concept to me and since each session is only a month long there is a whole lot to fit in. This past week was pretty much the same as other ones in June with class from 9-4, barre at some point, cooking myself dinner, and getting work done. I will be sharing some of my go-to recipes with y'all at some point but if you have any quick and easy dinner recipes definitely let me know because mine tend to lack creativity.

Come Friday after field work I was exhausted so I came back and took a much needed nap before spending a few hours by the pool. If you didn't see my instagram, I read The Defining Decade and actually finished it by the pool on Sunday. I really liked it but won't give away too many details since it may just be a Novels with Nell soon. Friday night I made dinner and did some work at Starbucks since my roommate was out of town again. As lame as it seems to do work on a Friday night it actually feels really nice having some of it accomplished so that Saturday and Sunday can be a bit more enjoyable. Saturday morning I got up and went to barre and then went to the Farmer's Market down town with Sophia. Although it was overcast there were tons of people walking around and it's always fun to explore. I didn't end up getting anything especially since I'll be out of town this weekend but will definitely be going back in the weeks to come. After that I went to Home Goods, At Home, and Target to look at various items for our apartment but all I ended up with was a shower curtain and a swiffer. I had been using just a liner so I am glad to have finally found a curtain that I liked and that fit my shower. 

Saturday afternoon I cleaned our apartment, showered, and ended up falling asleep while watching Grey's Anatomy while it stormed outside. Some friends and I went to Chuy's and ended the night by watching Moana. I don't know how I had completely missed that disney had made another new movie (especially considering I am constantly with children) but it was really cute and is on Netflix currently. Sunday I finished my book and did a lot of work. Maybe this week will have some more exciting things to share with y'all but in the meantime be sure to check out all of the posts that went live last week:

Lastly, if you need a good laugh go follow this instagram. I ended up staying up later than I had planned last night and partially blame it! 

Friday, June 23, 2017

Two Outfits Festive Enough for the Fourth

Only one week til I head home for an extended weekend to celebrate Fourth of July with my family at the beach. It will be here before I know it but I have one more week of this session of grad school to make it through before officially checking out. In the meantime, I'll be thinking about packing up fun and festive clothes perfect for the holiday weekend. With that in mind I figured why not share some outfit ideas with y'all as well. 

When it comes to dressing for holidays, especially the Fourth of July, I find it helpful to pair the colors together in a way that ensures that the the pieces can be worn separately for the rest of the season. Earrings are a great way to add in that color that may be trickier to find in your closet. With the amount of blue and white I own for me, that color was red. 

This first look is a bit more casual and would be perfect for any outdoor events you may have going on. Ever since getting this white one shoulder top (available in blue and white stripe here) I find myself reaching for it all the time. The structure of it is so unique and the length is perfect for a pair of jean shorts. These jean shorts have been my go-to for a while now but I really want to try out this pair (how cute!?). Maybe the fact that I'm from Alabama has me thinking about how this would fair in the heat of the summer but I am pleased to reassure you that handling the heat would be easy in this look. Since this top and pair of shorts is something I'd wear normally on the summer these red drop earrings add the Fourth of July flair I was looking for. 

top (currently on sale here) // shorts // earrings // shoes // watch (c/o) // bracelets ( 1 & 2 )

After some searching I finally found a fun red top to add to my collection. In my organized-by-color closet it kind of sticks out like a sore thumb since it is the only piece of red I own but I'm embracing it! This top also is probably one of the softest things in my closet as well. This second look is perfect for any of your dressier Fourth of July plans and ditch the earrings and you've got a cute dinner outfit at your disposal. I was immediately drawn to the tassels on this top and y'all know I've been loving the off the shoulder silhouette. I love the pop it adds when paired with white jeans and the popover layer on it is a style I love. As for these earrings, how could I not choose them with my love of blue and white? The striped one in the middle is so cute and these became the perfect patriotic piece to complete this outfit! With some everyday jewelry and a good pair of sandals I'm set! 

top // jeans // earrings // shoes // watch (c/o) // bracelets ( 1 & 2 )

Other Festive Favorites: 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Your Guide to Fairhope, Alabama

Happy official first day of summer! With that reality I am bringing you a post I've been excited for for a while. I've been working on it for the past month or so and am ecstatic to have it finally going live. I've never really specified where exactly my hometown is despite being attached to all it has to offer. After sharing my Greenville guide last summer I knew that I needed to do something similar for my hometown. So, drumroll is your complete guide to FAIRHOPE, ALABAMA! 

If you've never heard of Fairhope then I would recommend flipping through Coastal Living or Southern Living next time you're waiting in line at the grocery store. It is a picture-esque small town nestled on the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay and I am so glad to have it as my "home base." So now it's my turn to share all of my favorites with y'all. Warning: after reading this post you may find yourself packing up and planning your trip. You can thank me later! 

I've set up this post up by sharing some of my go-to locations around town, a little about them, and what makes these places worth a stop. From where to stay to keeping up with your fitness after eating your way through town I hope this makes your experience (or even imaginary vacation) in Fairhope that much more fun! 

Places To Stay:

The Grand Hotel - While the Grand Hotel is technically in Point Clear it's a beautiful resort right on the bay. With old live oaks and a beautiful garden it's the epitome of southern charm. Don't miss their Sunday brunch or a dip in the pool (where I grew up going as a child) while you're there! 

Little Point Clear - This is a newer event space with the prettiest rooms to rent. It seems more bed and breakfast-y but much, much more modern! Everything about the building is so inviting with a beachy twist. 

The Hampton Inn Downtown - This is probably the most conveniently located of places to stay during your visit. In the heart of downtown Fairhope you'll be a short walk to all the great restaurants and shops and will only be a few blocks from the Fairhope Pier as well. 


Visit the Fairhope Pier - Located pretty close to downtown, this is the perfect place to watch the sun set over the bay or go for a walk. With beaches and a grassy area as well as the long pier I'm not sure it could be a trip to Fairhope without a stop here. 

Wander Around Downtown Fairhope - This will be a no brainer once you continue reading about my favorite shops and restaurants! While downtown is pretty small there is a lot to offer! 

Go On A Bike Ride - The Fairhope Store, located downtown, rents out bikes so you won't even need to worry about bringing your own to bike on the bluffs! With a view of the bay and hopefully a decent breeze this is a great way to take in the sites while staying active. 


The Coffee Loft - The Coffee Loft is my number one pick for Coffee in Fairhope. It's a European style coffee house and is definitely more bohemian than a lot of what Fairhope has to offer but it is so delicious! My go-to is their iced coffee or a #41 with mocha instead of heath which is a frozen blend of coffee. 

Refuge - Another great coffee stop downtown, this is a small coffee shop near the public library. The shop is relatively small but the coffee packs a punch and is delicious. 

Latte Da - Located within a book store, Page and Palette, this is the perfect place to grab some coffee while picking out a new book or meeting a local author.


Warehouse Bakery - Oh my goodness, Warehouse Bakery has pretty much any breakfast you could want and a bakery case that will have you drooling. My go-to is their breakfast sandwich (on a croissant because it is a bakery after all) with egg, cheese, ham, and avocado. I think I'm going to have to experiment making this on my own! 

Soul Bowlz - If you're looking for a healthier breakfast Soul Bowl has colorful acai bowls and smoothies. 

Sweet Olive - Located within Windmill Market this is a quick place to grab something to go or eat outside before exploring the produce and groceries inside the market. 


Master Joe's - Delicious sushi and hibachi, Master joe's is where Nell picks to go when we are in Fairhope. It is so good although it can get pretty busy but is worth the wait. 

Panini Pete's - If you're as big of a fan of Diner's, Drive Ins, and Dives as my parents (I swear they have a standing date with Guy every Friday night...) then you may have heard of Panini Pete's before. This delicious spot has wonderful paninis, burgers, and home made chips and fries!

Bay Breeze Cafe - With a number of good sandwich spots in Fairhope this happens to be my favorite. I like to get half of a wrap (TBG) and half of a caesar salad and love that they give the option to get a bit of both! 


Camellia Grille - Admittedly, I've never actually been to Camellia Grille it is a crowd favorite if you're looking for a nicer restaurant. 

Pinzones - Pinzones is hard to miss downtown as it tends from one side of a block to another. This Italian restaurant has a cool ambiance with seating in different rooms and even outdoors! 

Sunset Grille - Sunset Grille definitely has the best view of any of the restaurants mentioned. Nestled in a marina with a toast to the sunset each night definitely get a seafood dish of some sort while you're here! I love their fish and chips especially since the chip portion involves sweet potatoes. 

McShary's - This is more of an Irish bar but their menu is pretty delicious as well. Often times they have live music outside and I love their buffalo chicken wrap!


The Fairhope Store - I just know y'all are going to fall in love with Fairhope that you won't be able to leave without a souvenir of some sort. The Fairhope store has the best t-shirts, tumblers, and sweatshirts to serve as a memento of your trip. 

Living Well - Living Well embodies its name. The prettiest store for home decor, furnishing, and gifts  everything in the shop looks as if it came directly from your wish list on pinterest. The owner of the shop lives in my neighborhood and I've babysat for her girls for years so it has been so fun to see this idea become a reality. 

CK Collection - Definitely on the pricy side of shops I like venturing in to CK Collection for a bit of inspiration. If you have an event to dress for this is the place to go with a wonderful shoe and cocktail dress selection. 

Sway - Sway has trendier pieces at a more reasonable price. I've found so many cute tops and dresses worth trying on there and the extensive jewelry selection they have ensures that you'll find the perfect accessories too. 

Sadie's - Sadie's is sort of similar to Sway with some slightly more expensive pieces. If you're in the market for a good pair of jeans this is a good go-to. I also love how they organize a lot of their pieces by color since that's what I do in my own closet. 

7 South - This is a newer store located right next to Sadie's. They have pieces perfect for taking your workout attire to errand attire and all of their pieces look so incredibly soft. From leggings to comfy shorts and tops this is the perfect stop for your athleisure attire. 

Shoefly - Shoefly is a shoe store with lots of great brands and a helpful staff. Between my mother and myself we have a lot of Shoefly shoes. The store also has some unique local jewelry and art hanging around so be sure to stop in! 


Mr. Gene's Beans - You really can't leave Fairhope without stopping at Mr. Gene's Beans for a Fairhope Float. This is the perfect place to get your ice cream fix after realizing just how hot and humid Fairhope can be! 

Frios - Frios is located within Windmill Market and sells a number of delicious flavored popsicles. I've never had a flavor that I disliked and they even give you a holder so that your popsicle doesn't melt all over you. 

Fairhope Chocolate Shoppe - Tucked into Fairhope's French Quarter the Fairhope Chocolate Shoppe is the perfect place to satisfy your sweet tooth. With a number of unique combinations as well as more traditional ones this melt in your mouth chocolate would be the perfect afternoon treat. If you decide to take some with you from the shop be sure to keep it cool otherwise you may end up with some chocolate syrup. 

Andres - Andres has a little bit of everything. It is a wine and cheese store with a restaurant and an incredible bakery case. My personal favorite is their brownies with caramel on top! 


Soul Shine Yoga - While I've never tried this out I have a number of friends who love this yoga studio. The outside area of it is cool and inviting and it is a short walk to Soul Bowlz and Windmill Market if you need something to eat after! 

Pro Cycle and Tri - If my dad isn't at home or at his office I can pretty much guarantee he is at Pro Cycle and Tri with the owners, Katie and Joseph. Hanging out at this bike shop may as well be his part time job. while Pro Cycle and Tri has a number of triathlon and mountain bikes they also have plenty of cruiser bikes (more my speed) and biking accessories. You won't be able to miss their bright blue wall and don't be alarmed by the shop dog, Mr. Frank. He is probably only barking because he is afraid of bikes.

Running Wild - You'll notice that Fairhope is a pretty active community so if you're hoping to partake and go for a walk or run but need some new gear Running Wild can help you with that. With apparel perfect for beating the heat you'll be set to go and they do a wonderful job of recommending athletic shoes for your specific needs.

And to make your life easier, I've put all of my suggestions in one image for you. If you happen to be heading to my sweet little hometown then be sure to print this (or screenshot it) so that you can make the most of your experience! 

So there you have it, some of the many reasons I love my hometown! If you are considering a trip to Fairhope and have any questions don't hesitate to ask as I'd love to be the one to offer you that southern hospitality that you're sure to find on your trip! 

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