Monday, December 31, 2018

Step Into My Week

Who is ready for a two-week step into my week update? Buckle down with a cup of coffee to hear about what I’ve been up to the past two weeks since I last updated y’all in this style of post. Admittedly, there is not that much to report on especially since I was at home on a bit of a vacation, but I have done my best to include what I’ve been up to.

Starting at the beginning, the Monday the week before Christmas. I worked Monday through Wednesday and was so insanely busy. We were pushing through to start and finish a special issue of our magazine before we all went out of town for the holidays. Although it was stressful in the process, it was so nice to really be able to step away from work during my vacation time. After work on Monday I worked out, on Tuesday I went to a hole in the wall Thai restaurant in Hoover (It’s called Blue Pacific, and it taught me not to judge a book by its cover. It was the best pad thai I’ve ever had), and then Wednesday went to a tacky Christmas party with my roommate. Come Thursday morning it was time to pack up and head home. I am still in shock that this was the first time I had been home since moving to Birmingham, and naturally, I way overpacked. Right when I got into town, I went to say hello to my mom at work and then went to lunch with Nell at Master Joe’s. We caught up and wandered around downtown Fairhope before I went home to unload my car and hang out. That evening my parents and I went out to dinner. Friday morning I was completely content and drank coffee in my pajamas while watching the Today show. After doing that for much too long, I decided to make Christmas cookies while watching the Haunting of Hill House. That night after dinner at home my parents and I started the second season of the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (which we finished right before I came back to Birmingham). Saturday morning I got up early and went with my dad to pick my brother up from the airport. On our way home we stopped by an excessively large firework store to get fireworks to shoot off at my grandparent's house (not sure why but Christmas fireworks have become a bit of a tradition for us). Once we got home, I decorated the cookies I had baked, went on a walk by the bay with friends and witnessed the prettiest sunset, and continued watching the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel with my family. On Sunday, we packed up and went to my grandparent's house for the holidays and shot off the fireworks that evening.

This past week was a bit of a blur since I really don’t feel like I did much. We stayed at my grandparent's house until Christmas and left after opening presents and enjoying brunch. I went for a run on Christmas afternoon, and we continued to enjoy family time at home. Wednesday was my birthday which is never my favorite since I don’t typically have plans. I woke up and went for a run and then showered before going out to lunch with my brother. That afternoon I made my birthday cake, had dinner with my family, and opened presents. I have almost no recollection of what I did on Thursday and Friday although I do know that I spent some time at a coffee shop analyzing google analytics and hanging out with my friends Bowen and Turner. On Saturday I went to lunch with my family and watched the Alabama game that night. On Sunday morning I packed up and drove back to Birmingham. I don’t have to go back to work until the 2nd but am glad to be back in town with a little bit of time off before getting back into my routine. To avoid unpacking, I went to the Y and showered and then finally forced myself to put everything away. My roommate and I ate dinner on our couch and caught up before watching Netflix’s Bird Box which was really odd.

I feel like this post was a little all over the place, but hopefully, it gave you some insight into what I’ve been up to. I hope that y’all are enjoying your last Monday of 2018 and have fun New Year’s Eve plans!

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Saturday Shopping vol. 1

I hope that y'all are enjoying your last Saturday of 2018. I didn't intend to take this week off from blogging, but it has been much needed. I have been able to brainstorm ideas for future posts while thinking of making existing posts better. Hopefully y'all have been able to take some time over the holiday season to enjoy your family and unplug a bit as well. The last thing we probably need after the holidays is more stuff, but with so many great sales and new products being released, I thought it might be fun to share some items I've found with y'all. 

One thing I realized while looking at new arrivals online was that so many retailers seem to be trying to skip right over to spring/summer. While the colorful clothes and cute cuts are tempting, it can be a bummer to look at those and know that it will be months before you can imagine wearing anything but sweaters. I'll do my best to keep things seasonally appropriate as I bring back Saturday Shopping posts, but sometimes something is too good not to share. For today's roundup, that was this pair of shorts. Jean shorts can be tricky to begin with for me personally since it's hard to find a pair that fits in the waist without suffocating my legs. The wider legs on this pair look like they could solve that problem. Once spring approaches I may have to give these a try! 

To shop the items shared below you can click directly on the product in the image to be taken to where the item can be purchased. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas + A Look At How We Decorated For The Holidays

Merry Christmas! I still can't believe that today is the day. If I am being honest, it still doesn't feel fully like Christmas. I didn't quite get through all my go-to movies and I'm thinking that may be why. I have a feeling that I'll be spending part of this afternoon/evening catching up on the ones I missed. 

One thing that did help to get me in the holiday spirit even with all the hustle and bustle the season brings was decorating our house for Christmas. I could write a novel about how much I love living in a rental house as opposed to an apartment but there is something about having a house during the holiday season that feels even more festive. From hosting friends for a Christmas party to having space to spread out and wrap presents and having decorations surrounding us while watching Christmas favorites to having a table to set for the season it is just so much more fun! Below you'll find some photos of how we spruced up our home for the holidays. 


Although our tree wasn't real and was a bit lopsided, filling it up with lights and ornaments (both sentimental and funny) made it a focal point in our living room. We wrapped garland around our banister and eventually filled the area around the tree with gifts purchased for friends and family. Our inside wreaths were fake as well and I even plan to store them decorated since finding a way to make them look balanced on the two windows in our living room was trickier than I imagined. We did have a real wreath on our front door which was the perfect way to let in the scent of Christmas when we didn't have our Anthropologie Christmas tree candle burning (which was rare). 

I had bottle brush trees from previous apartments which served as the perfect way to extend our Christmas decorations into our dining room. With an oversized gift bow stuck on the mirror and a poinsettia centerpiece, it wasn't hard to make the room look festive. 

As for setting the table, spreading out festive wrapping paper or a cute table runner can easily do the trick. I added some cute scalloped gold chargers, bow napkin rings, and festive paper products to the white plates we already had which ended up looking very jolly and inviting. While it's not the formal table setting that I am used to during the holiday season, it was fun to decorate our house how we wanted to while still getting to enjoy traditional Christmas decor at home as well. 

I hope that y'all have a wonderful Christmas day!

Friday, December 21, 2018

Stocking Stuffers Available on Amazon Prime

Christmas is less than a week away. How? Since I am officially starting my time off for the holiday season, maybe it’ll start to feel like Christmas. I somehow managed to get all of my Christmas shopping done before heading home yesterday, but I know that may not be the case for everyone. Whether you’re shopping for stocking stuffers or something for that hard to shop for person on your list, Amazon Prime makes things easy. I thought it would be fun to share some stocking stuffer ideas with y’all since for my family, stockings are the appetizer of Christmas.

Our stockings are the first things we dive into (after filling a mug with coffee since it is morning after all) on Christmas morning. I never expect anything big in my stocking, but I do really love that stockings are a thing. A couple of years ago I had a mature conversation with my family that stockings would be most meaningful if they weren’t filled with random items but instead little things, I use daily and love. I would be totally content if I received travel size versions of my favorite products or items along those lines. 

As the appetizer of Christmas for my family, I thought it would be fun to share my best stocking stuffer ideas with y'all. As with all of my recent gift guides, you can click directly on the image in the graphic to be taken to where you can purchase each gift idea

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Holiday & Winter Bucket List

Although I know that Winter doesn’t officially begin until Friday I couldn’t hold off on sharing my holiday & winter bucket list any longer. My roommate and I were so determined to cross off the Fall bucket list I created that we put it on the fridge to remind us of fun activities to do when we were looking for something entertaining. It’s my hope that this holiday and winter list does the same thing for you! 

I have to admit that I may have put down some tasks I’ve already done on this list although there are still things left that I want to accomplish. It’s easy to cross off the Christmas related to-dos for me, but sometimes I find myself less motivated to enjoy Winter activities. There is something about Christmas time that makes cold weather seem more bearable, and after that, I find that I am not nearly excited about Winter (and that’s coming from someone in Alabama with such a mild Winter). I’d love some additional ideas for fun Winter related activities to help to avoid a cold weather funk and instead find some excitement in it. 

*The cute illustrations on this to-do list are by one of my favorite artists, Evelyn Henson. Be sure to check out her website for lots of great holiday gift ideas! 

What are you most excited to cross off first? 

Monday, December 17, 2018

Step Into My Week

Monday mornings are a lot easier when you remember that this is your last Monday working until the new year. Hopefully y’all have some plans to relax a bit this holiday season, but until the weekend it seems like a mad rush to Christmas. My roommate and I were recently talking about how we wish we could make Christmas slow down so that we have time to do everything we want to that is holiday related before it’s actually here. This past week I was able to do plenty of fun Christmas-y things so at least I’m getting there when it comes to getting everything done that I want to.

This past week felt long overall, but the days flew by. Staying busy tends to help with that, but I was convinced that Tuesday should have been Wednesday which I blame on having fun weekend plans to look forward to.

Monday was a day full of tackling my to-do list including finalizing resources, proofreading our March/April binder, and accomplishing various other tasks before calling it a day. That night I had plans to go to get dinner before going to see It’s A Wonderful Life at the Alabama Theater. For dinner, we went to The Pizitz Food Hall which was so cool. If you’re in Birmingham and haven’t gone definitely add it to your list of places worth going. It’s a bit like a fancy food court with a bar in it. After dinner, it was time to walk over to the Alabama Theater for their Christmas movie series. I had never been the before, and it’s an equally as cool place to go when in Birmingham. I believe their Christmas movie series will be going on all this week if you’re looking for something fun and festive to do! 

Tuesday was another busy day in the office with a meeting in the morning, a lot of planning ahead so that taking off for Christmas will actually feel like a vacation. I also did a lot to help prepare for a photo shoot that happened on Thursday which included going to some really cool flower shops in the area. I feel like I’m turning into my mom thinking that garden stores are fun, but the ones we have locally are filled with creative gifts and décor in addition to plants. After work, I went to the gym and then came home to work on graphics for the blog posts that went live last week. 


Wednesday was pretty similar to Monday and Tuesday with the afternoon spent setting up for the photo shoot we had on Thursday. I was able to get a lot of social post planning done for while I’m on vacation next week before we went to the shoot to set everything up. Thursday was spent almost entirely on location for the shoot that will be in our Christmas issue next year. I completely forgot to take any photos of how pretty it looked. After work, I went to the gym and then came home to shower, make dinner, and continue to work on various blog tasks. 

Friday morning, I slept in a little bit later than usual but still started my day with Starbucks before work. I was able to get a lot of work done for it being a half day before running a couple of errands and heading home to relax a little bit that afternoon. I worked on some blog photos and cleaned a bit before Sophia arrived in town from Greenville that night. We immediately went to grab dinner at La Paz with Nell before coming home and catching up in my room. It felt like senior year all over again with 3 of our 4 roommates all in the same place! 

Saturday morning Sophia and I woke up and did our own version of Christmas morning in matching pajamas with coffee in hand to exchange presents with one another. It’s amazing how perfectly she is able to pick out gifts that she thinks I’ll like, and I am so excited to start using the items she gave me. After we got ready, we went to The Essential for brunch (highly recommend) before wandering around Homewood and a few of my other shops in the Birmingham area. We came home and had some down time before we got ready to go to dinner and the Nutcracker with Rebecca that night. We had planned to go to Gian Marcos Wine Bar for dinner but ended up eating at Vino in English Village. Our meal was delicious, and the location was pretty convenient to the theater on Samford’s campus. After we got back, Sophia and I watched Eloise at Christmastime before going to sleep. 


On Sunday we went to Continental Bakery to grab a light breakfast and coffee before going on a walk. I showed Sophia some of my favorite houses in Birmingham and drove her around some areas she had not yet seen. We went to an early lunch at Real and Rosemary before she had to get on the road after lunch. I hung out at our house and wrapped some Christmas presents in the afternoon before running errands at The Summit with a friend. Afterward, I watched the first episode of Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House before making dinner and watching Elf with my roommate.  


I hope that y’all had a good week and weekend as well! 

Friday, December 14, 2018

Christmas Pajamas

If there’s one thing that I love, especially during the winter, it’s matching pajama sets. I definitely have my share of non-holiday sets as well, but the collection seems to expand each year when the temperatures cool down. With tons of cute holiday prints perfect for Christmas morning, it can be too tempting not to get a new pair each year. I always wish that I had someone to match pajamas with on Christmas morning (my brother refuses) but in my 23 years that hasn’t been the case, so I’ve moved on. Regardless of if you’re buying new PJs for yourself, a friend, or your whole family to match there are so many fun options out there. I’ve shared some of my favorite finds in the image below. If you see something you like you can click directly on the item to be taken to where to shop the product. 

As a friendly reminder, today is the last day to ship via USPS ground rates for deliveries to arrive before Christmas Day. Because of that, I’ll be back with a second post this afternoon with a few new gift guides so that you can make sure to have something for everyone wrapped under the tree before Christmas morning!

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Holiday Gifts Under $25 and $50

Remember how I sort of freaked out about how quickly Christmas is approaching in yesterday’s post? Well, time is ticking to order gifts for people and I feel like I still have so many ideas to share with y’all. Definitely going to have to make a mental note to start gift guides earlier next year so that I can squeeze everything in before the shipping deadlines approach. 

Since many of y’all are like me and just starting out or are maybe in high school or college, it can be hard to come up with more budget friendly items to give that seem nicer than the price paid. Because of that, I decided to create two gift guides for today’s post that include gifts under $25 and gifts under $50. Whether you’re shopping for dirty Santa, a co-worker, your best friend, or any other girl for that matter there is definitely something on this list to please. I will say that if you’re thinking about snagging any of these things I would act sooner rather than later so that they can come in the mail for you and you can wrap them before the holiday season comes to an end.

To shop the items, you can click directly on the product in the graphic to be taken to where the item can be purchased.

Under $25 

Under $50

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Holiday Dresses for Any Occassion (Over 50 of my favorite festive frocks)

Does anyone else feel like the holiday season is flying by? I read that there are less than two weeks until Christmas and kind of panicked. Fortunately, I have a lot of my Christmas shopping done, but I don’t feel like I have been able to fully appreciate all that the holiday season has to offer just yet. One of my best friends from college, Sophia, is coming to town this weekend and I have no doubt that we will be able to check some things off to make it feel more like Christmas. One thing that I think of when it comes to the holiday season is festive attire. That could be due in part to always having a winter formal or Christmas function to dress up for. This year I can’t say that I have either of these events to dress up for, but that didn’t stop me from spending the entirety of the movie The Grinch scouring the internet for the cutest festive frocks.

While I initially found close to 70 dresses that would be perfect for a variety of events (think Christmas eve church, seeing the Nutcracker, or even attending a work party), I narrowed it down to a much less overwhelming (ha) 50 something. I did my best to include a variety of price points, styles, and colors so that no matter what your budget is or the event you’re shopping for that there would be something for everyone. 

As with most of my shopping posts, you can click directly on the dress that catches your eye in the graphic below in order to be taken to where you can purchase it. And if you happen to have a plus one on hand for a holiday party feel free to send an invite my way, so I have an excuse to shop for one of these cute dresses too. 

Monday, December 10, 2018

Step Into My Week

I am sitting down to write this week’s posts with Christmas music playing in the background, a cup of hot chocolate next to me while it’s cold and rainy outside. Fingers crossed that sitting at my desk will help keep me productive in working on posts since I am thinking a Christmas movie will be calling my name tonight.

This week I was definitely feeling under the weather. I think that I had a cold of some sort, but it seemed to be in two stages. I went to sleep early most nights this week in an attempt to combat it and can finally say I think I’ve fought it off. I wasn't the best about getting pictures this week but will hopefully have more to share with y'all next week. 

My week started with a photo shoot on Monday for our 2019 Christmas cover that we had set up for the previous Friday. We finished up a little bit earlier than expected, so I was able to unload all of the props at the office and get some desk work done before heading home for the night. I think I made soup and was in bed before 8:00 if that at all describes how I was feeling. Tuesday I was in the office all day working on social posts, sending out complimentary copies, and helping a stylist prepare for the shoot we had the next day. I went straight home from work instead of working out this day too and was asleep by 9:00. 

Wednesday we had another Christmas photo shoot for next year. It was near my house, so I was able to work from home before heading to the house to begin setting up. We had our team holiday lunch and ornament exchange that day, so I was able to get away for a bit for that and wound up with a fun new ornament from one of the members of our team. I went back to the shoot afterward, and we were able to get the rest of the food shots done before packing everything else up and loading it in our cars. After work, I decided to go to the Y to workout before coming home and eating dinner, showering, and yet again going to bed early. 

Thursday was another day in the office aside from making returns for a stylist outside of the office for an hour. I was able to tackle a lot on my to-do list which always feels good especially since we work half days on Friday. As soon as 5:30 hit I headed home to get ready for a cocktail party for the Phoenix Club that I had been invited to. It was at a wine bar and art gallery in English Village and ended up being a lot of fun (sadly I didn’t think to take any pictures). We went to a bar in Mountain Brook afterward and I finally got home around 11:30 which is way past my weeknight bedtime (especially this past week). 

Friday I somehow woke up before my alarm despite being tired and decided to go ahead and get my day started. I got ready and then treated myself to Starbucks Friday with my laptop to continue working on gift guides for y’all. The office seemed especially quiet but was conducive to getting a lot done before leaving at noon. My afternoon was spent running to the store and then baking Christmas cookies, making appetizers, and tidying up our house before our friends came over at 7:15 to decorate Christmas cookies. I think I say this everytime I do things with this group of girls, but I feel really lucky to have such stellar friends here in Birmingham already. We ended up sitting around our coffee table in the living room devouring different appetizers before playing what do you meme and eventually decorating Christmas cookies. Before leaving, we played Dirty Santa, and I think all had a bit of a sugar high. 

Saturday morning it was cold and rainy here, so I ended up waking up and putting on comfy clothes with few intentions of leaving the house. I caught up with Sophia on the phone before deep cleaning our house in excitement for her to come to visit Birmingham next weekend. I worked on a lot of the graphics for this week’s blog posts. I did lots of laundry and watched the Grinch before Nell came over that night to watch the George H.W Bush special on NBC. We picked up dinner from Saw’s to eat while watching and ended up driving around and looking at Christmas lights afterward. The weather was getting really terrible, so we watched White Christmas and caught up before she went home. 

Sunday morning I got up and had a slow morning before going to church. My roommate and I ate lunch and watched The Princess Switch, and then I spent the rest of the afternoon/night preparing for the week ahead. I wasn't great about snapping outfit photos before work this past week but am determined to get all 5 days this week.

I hope that y'all had a great week and weekend! 

Friday, December 7, 2018

Gift Guide for College Girls

Happy Friday! I’m going to keep this intro short and sweet since I know that the gift ideas are the main reason you clicked on this post. If you are in college or shopping for a girl in college, I can guarantee that these gift ideas would be well received. Many of the items include are items I own and love. As with other gift guides, you can click directly on the items featured below to be taken to where you can purchase them! 

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Gift Guide for the Young Adult

Boy has this cold taken a toll on me and my ability to get gift guides live. I finally am thinking that I’m on the mend (aside from constantly needing a tissue) which will hopefully mean that I’ll be able to publish my remaining gift guides in the coming days. I will say that that means there will be lots of items to shop and less insight from me but hopefully it will help you to feel productive checking off names on your Christmas gift list.

Last night I sat down and wrote out what exactly I have left to shop for and now that I’ve put it down on paper it makes me that much more eager to cross it off. I am more excited about some people’s gifts than others but that is the way it goes I suppose. 

One group of people that I know it can be tricky to shop for is young adults. Whether they have just graduated college and are looking to establish themselves or they’ve been out of school for a bit and have been climbing the career ladder it tends to be easiest to just dole out gift cards and call it a day. Since I know that some people don’t like doing that due to it feeling less personal, I’ve put together today’s gift guide specifically for these hard to shop for young adults. While many of the items are much more practical, some like the dog ornament (perfect if they have a dog of their own or miss the one they may have grown up with) or fancy detergent are an item they will love but not necessarily have purchased for themselves.

As with all of my recent gift guides, you can click directly on the image in the graphic to be taken to where you can purchase each gift idea. And for any of you college-girls or people shopping for one, tomorrow’s gift guide will be just the thing to help you out!  

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Step Into My Week

How ironic is it that the last post I had go live was about how to balance it all and I missed two posts between it? Oops. The holiday season is usually hectic and filled with lots of juggling, and I don’t feel like I’m doing the best job of balancing things currently. I talked about this a little on Instagram, but recently it has been a little bit trickier for me to keep up with posting on social media and writing blog posts since I am getting to do similar things for my job. One of my goals for this month is going to be getting better about planning ahead so that everything is easier to balance. We shall see! 

As for this past week, it flew by! Monday morning I was surprised that I wasn’t more sluggish coming off of a holiday weekend but with a busy schedule, I guess I didn’t have time to be. The day was filled with a photo shoot for our March/April issue, a 2 hour afternoon training (if I hadn’t have had a second cup of coffee I probably would have fallen asleep), and lots of catching up on social media comments after being out of the office for half of a week. I went to the gym after work and came home to shower before my roommate, and I went to Nell and her roommates’ apartment to watch a Christmas movie. Since our friends in PA school rarely want to do things on weeknights (something about studying being more important…lame) we jumped at the invite. We watched the movie, A Holiday Arrangement, which was a corny Lifetime Christmas movie. Predictable to say the least but it was fun to kick off the holiday season with friends.

Tuesday I spent the better half of my morning wrapping presents for a Christmas photoshoot happening this week. I think I wrapped a total of 30 boxes so when it comes to actually wrap presents I’ve purchased I know that I’ll be a pro. In the afternoon I had a meeting with a PR team in the office and spent the rest of my day doing lots of work on my computer. Wednesday I finished tying bows on the gifts I wrapped, worked on planning out social content, and made returns for some of the stylists. After work, I went to the Y before heading home to shower and watch TV before going to sleep. 

Thursday was a pretty normal day in the office with lots of behind the scenes computer work and helping stylists prepare for their upcoming shoots. After work, I went downtown for drinks at The Atomic and then dinner at a really great sushi restaurant called Bamboo. If you happen to be in the Birmingham area and want good sushi, I’d give this two thumbs up especially if you can grab a seat at the sushi bar in the back where you can watch your meal being made. After drinks and dinner, I came back to my house and went straight to bed. 

Friday was especially busy since I was on set setting up for the cover of our Christmas 2019 issue. We were able to set up a tree, decorate it, and decorate the mantel in right around 3 hours which shocked me. I was sad that I couldn’t take the gorgeous set up home with me since I knew our tree would not look nearly as nice. After getting the shoot set up, I went to Saks to cover an event with one of our advertisers on social media. It was so fun getting to see them again and be in a store completely decked out for the holiday season. After that event, I met a friend for lunch at Real & Rosemary before heading home. A friend from college was in town for the weekend, so it was fun to see her. Since the weather was kind of gross, Nell came over for dinner and to watch her brother’s high school football game while I decorated the tree and house for Christmas. Afterward, we met up with some friends at The Atomic downtown for drinks and to catch up since most of us hadn’t seen each other since before Thanksgiving.


Saturday morning it was pouring making brunch at our friends’ apartment the perfect plan. We had a whole spread from breakfast casserole and cinnamon rolls to yogurt and chicken minis. I am pretty sure everyone ended up going home and getting back in bed before we met up that afternoon at the Tin Roof to watch the Alabama-Georgia game. It was fun to watch the game surrounded by so many Alabama fans (definitely didn’t have that when I was in South Carolina) but boy was that game a nail-biter. At halftime, we walked over to Moe’s and watched the rest of the game there. The porch was packed which made for an especially exciting end of the game when Alabama finally showed up. After the game, we went home and watched a Christmas movie before heading to bed. 

Sunday morning, I woke up extra excited since Nell and I were taking a Winter macaron making class at Sur La Table. The class lasted until around 11:30 and I felt like I learned so much. Macarons can definitely be a tricky treat to make, and I am excited to try making them on my own (following the recipes we were given) when I have a bit more time closer to Christmas. After the class, Nell and I went to Trader Joes before I dropped her off at her apartment and went home. I went for a long run that afternoon and once I was home realized that I wasn’t feeling 100%. I definitely think I’m coming down with a cold since my eyes feel heavy and my throat feels scratchy which contributed to my lazy afternoon drinking tea and going to bed before 8:30. 


Hopefully, I’ll be back to feeling myself fully soon, but even with that, it’s crazy to think how much I was able to pack into last week. I’m sure this week will be similar, and I’ll be sure to update y’all on it next week. 

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