Friday, May 24, 2019

Blogger Bloopers

Happy Friday! I hope that y’all are all gearing up for a relaxing and fun long weekend for Memorial Day. I’m heading to the beach after work today, and the weather isn’t supposed to be rainy, which is a major win. Fingers crossed for lots of time in the sun. 

As for now, I thought it would be fun to give you a taste of reality at the not so picture perfect moments of blogging. While I tend to share photos where I look put together and am smiling, there are so many outtakes that aren’t quite as pleasant. So as a way to embarrass myself and entertain you, here are some funny outtakes from photos from that past few months. I’ve linked the posts where the real photos were used above each image if you’re interested in reading the content or shopping the pieces shown. 

See this post.

Read this post.

Read this post.

Read this post.

Read this post.

Read this post. 

Read this post. 

Read this post.

See this post.

Read this post.

Read this post. 

Read this post.

Read this post.

 Read this post.

So in case you need me during blog photos, I'm probably either sleeping, talking, or rolling my eyes according to these photos. Good thing my friends who help with pictures are somehow able to snag good shots between all the outtakes! 

Thursday, May 23, 2019

College Dorm Room Essentials

It is wild to think that I graduated high school 6 years ago. I still remember how hot it was at graduation and how excited (and relieved) I was to know where I was going to school in the fall. So many of my classmates had known since September, but since I wasn’t applying to many state schools, I had to wait much longer. I also had to wait longer when it came to scheming up how I wanted my dorm room to look given that Furman didn’t give us our room or roommate assignments until the beginning of July. As a planner that took A LOT of patience. Fortunately, I ended up in a great room with an even better roommate, so maybe the patience paid off. 

Nell and I occasionally will go back through those first facebook messages we sent one another, and we usually end up cringing a bit. She was definitely playing hard to get when it came to agreeing to room with me. Eventually, she came to her senses, and I am so glad she did. During my time in the dorms (at Furman you live in dorm rooms both freshman and sophomore year), I came to realize what items were must-haves. For any of you already getting excited about shopping for the dorm room you’ll live in in the fall I thought it may be helpful to go ahead and share these items now instead of waiting closer to August. And for any family members out there, these would make great gifts to give a recent high school graduate! 

See where I lived here:

Nell, I blame and thank you for this one. When moving into our freshman dorm, Nell brought along this sound machine, and I quickly became hooked. When living on a busy hall where not everyone values shut-eye as much as you might, a sound machine that provides a bit of white noise and peace. Even though Nell and I no longer live together, a piece of our time together still is given that I have owned my own sound machine ever since.

Hear me out on this one...Is a fancy detergent really necessary? No, but little luxuries like the smell of the diva scent glamorous wash detergent gave me a taste of home even when I was 8 hours away. I never thought I’d take pride in a detergent being my signature scent, but my little figured out I was her big because the t-shirts I gave her smelled like me. Now when my friends hug me or walk into my room after I’ve done laundry, they always say I smell like me, which means I smell like this detergent. A secret of making this detergent last longer is to put a cap full in with a regular, unscented detergent. That way you get the scent from the pricier detergent but the cleanliness from a more affordable option.

As a huge fan of natural light, I’ve realized that occasionally it comes at a price. Somehow, I ended up with windows that offer great natural light but also have artificial street lights nearby that gave my room a glow even at night. I have gotten to the point where I like total darkness when I sleep, making blackout curtains a responsible choice. The ones I’ve included are from PB Teen and are a bit more expensive (but are the *best* and *cutest* blackout curtains I’ve had), so here is a more affordable option as well.

This is a bit of a cheat since I never had these in my dorm room; however, I so wish I had! In my apartment, these were the perfect way to organize some bathroom products in the tiny space that I had, meaning it could do the same thing in your dorm room! These shelves have been a cute way to display perfumes and products I reach for often without cluttering my counter space. Plus, they are available on Amazon Prime, a major win in my book.

This may not be essential for everyone, but if you’re looking to make your dorm room a bit homier, a headboard is the perfect solution! I made both of the headboards I used in college and got one from Not Just Dorms for my first post-grad apartment and am still using it in the house I’m in now. There is something about a headboard that makes a room look more complete. You’ll quickly find that your bed will serve many purposes in your dorm from sleeping to a study spot and even additional seating when friends come to hang out. A headboard is a great way to make your bed more inviting in all of those situations.

If you’re not a coffee lover yet, college has the potential to make you one. While I do have friends that deny themselves of this simple energizing pleasure were able to resist a daily cup of coffee, for those of you like me who can’t, a Keurig in your room will be a game changer. I’ve been using the same Keurig since my junior year, and it has undergone making more than one cup of coffee for my roommates and me for years. Although you may have a meal plan where you can grab a cup of coffee in your dining hall on the way to class, there are times you will be in a hurry or want need a late night cup making it convenient to have your own coffee maker in your dorm. It may just be the best roommate you ever have!

The best space saving piece of furniture I had in my dorm rooms was a desk hutch. With textbooks, notebooks, and pens and pencils alike, your desk can get crowded quickly. Instead of spreading out your stuff atop of your desk, spread up. My desk hutch was super easy to build and under $50 (which is a steal compared to many others that were available when I was on the hunt). Available in a few different colors, it’s easy to match your decor and furniture while giving you a little bit of extra room.

Removable wall hangers may seem like a no brainer but stock up ahead of time because you won’t want to pause your dorm decorating to run out to try to find these (which can be tricky in a college town). All four years in college, we were unable to hang things any other way than using non-damaging, removable wall hangers and I found that ones that had velcro on both sides ensured that what I was hanging stayed up and that I didn’t damage the wall come time to move out.

Closet space wasn’t overly abundant in college. From storing costumes for different functions to your suitcase for trips home, making the most of the space was important. Before I left for college my freshman year, I switched all the hangers in my closet to skinny huggable hangers. These hangers gave me the ability to fit more pieces of clothing horizontally in my closet and even had the ability to cascade downward. I can’t imagine how tight my closet would have felt had I chosen to use plastic ones.

My freshman and sophomore dorms had community style bathrooms meaning that nearly 40 girls were using the same space to brush their teeth, wash their face, and shower. As someone who doesn’t love getting ready with other people, I couldn’t foresee myself putting on makeup while making small talk in our hall bathroom. Instead, I purchased a small makeup mirror that sat on my desk so that I could allow that space to double as a vanity. If you’re anything like me and plan to get ready in the comfort of your own space, this is a must-have!

So I may be pushing it with the term “essential” at this point by including a personalized pillow; however, touches like this made my room feel so much more like home. Whether you go for something monogrammed or something patterned in your favorite color, these touches of your personality will provide a sense of comfort.

Dorm beds are NOT comfy. A mattress topper should high on your list of items to buy for your dorm room. In college, I always had a down feather topper, but now that I’ve switched to a Tempurpedic topper I wish I had had one of those in college too and I NEVER would’ve expected myself to like it. Your bed will be just as much of a couch as a bed in a cramped dorm room, so consider investing given that it’s serving dual purposes.

Along with a dorm room, you’ll also likely be getting a roommate. Whether or not you know them in advance, there are going to be times that one of you will be staying up later than the other. A bedside table lamp will make the lighting a bit less intense for when you may need light while your roommate is trying to sleep and is a courteous way to allow both of you to use the room simultaneously for different purposes. The same goes for in the morning if you are waking up earlier than your roommate and need to turn on a light while getting ready.

I don’t know if I’ve ever taken quite as many pictures in a period of life as I did during my freshman year. Everything feels so new, so it makes sense to document these changes with photos. While it’s fun to share them on social media and have them to scroll through on your phone, there’s something about printing out photos for your space that feels homey. Don’t forget to add some of your friends and family back at home too. I love this bulletin board that I currently use from PB Teen (more affordable option here), but a simple board from target is an easy solution for covering bland dorm walls as well. I covered my Target bulletin board with fabric that matched my room for my junior and senior year, which made my space look even more cohesive.

Remember how I mentioned that dorms can have community style bathrooms? Well, this is when a robe or shower wrap comes in especially handy. I ran into plenty of people on our hall as I was headed to the shower (don’t forget shower shoes!) and it was a bit less awkward since I wasn’t fumbling with a towel to try to cover up.

In dorm rooms, I wasn’t really the type to walk around barefoot. Something about knowing lots of other people have treaded through my space made the thought pretty unappealing. Keeping slippers in my room made it easy to keep my feet off the floor and stay comfy while wandering around.

I know I’ve already mentioned this, but the likelihood of you doing work from your bed is high. At least feel somewhat studious by having a hard surface to set your book on while highlighting or a way to prop up your paper as you work through it. I love this acrylic monogrammed one since it still looks stylish on top of being practical.

One of my secrets to non-wrinkled clothes freshman year of college was ironing them with my hair straightener. While that works, a steamer does a better job. I know it’s not going to be something you use a ton, but when you need it, you’ll be glad to have it. Plus, it’s easier to store than an iron AND an ironing board.

Maybe I should have listed this first, but Clorox wipes are necessary to have on hand from the minute you walk into your dorm room. Although the room has likely already been cleaned, it doesn’t hurt to wipe everything down before settling in. Once the move-in process is over, you’ll be glad to have these on hand for spills or quick clean up sessions as needed. While it doesn’t hurt to keep other cleaning supplies on hand, if you’re anything like me in the dorms, you’ll find that these become your go-to.

You can shop the items listed in the graphic below by clicking directly on the item you're interested in to be taken to where it can be purchased. What would you recommend for dorm rooms for anyone that may be dorm room bound?

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Beach Bag Must-Haves

It’s getting to be that time of year when my beach-bag remains packed so that it’s ready to go at a moment’s notice. Whether I’m toting it to the pool with a friend or packing it in my car for a trip to an actual beach it’s something I like to have at the ready in the summer. It’s such a bummer to get all set up to soak in the sun and hang out with friends and realize that you forgot something crucial. 

With Memorial Day Weekend mere days away and a trip to the beach on my agenda, my beach bag is officially packed with the following essentials! 

I shared a DIY for the tote above here.

Growing up near the water beach towels seemed to fill our laundry room shelf after receiving them as gifts over the years. While those towels were great, many of them had run their course, and an update was in order (my brother was still using one with Polo bears on it a few years ago…). With beach towels, my mindset is the bigger, the better and this tassel one from Serena & Lily fits that bill. I couldn’t say no to the blue and white design and stripes, but if that’s not your thing, there are plenty of other towel designs out there. 

Hair Tie
I’m a lover of ponytails pretty much all of the time but especially at the pool or on the boat. I like to keep an extra one on hand in case the one I am using breaks. A breezy boat ride and wearing my hair down do not mesh, so it’s better for me to be safe than sorry. 

While I love the sun, laying out by the pool doing nothing can get boring. If I have a book on hand, it makes it infinitely better. I find that I read so much more in the summer just to have an excuse to be outside. I’m hoping to start making a dent in my to-read list and have a few books packed in my beach bag to read this weekend. All We Ever Wanted, A Beautiful Corpse, and The Wedding Guest were my most recent library finds and I tucked a couple of magazines in my bag to enjoy as well. 

There is no denying the fact that the sun dehydrates you. To help avoid that I like to bring a reusable water bottle with me to the pool. If I’m not bringing a bottle, I’ll at least bring a Yeti (or similarly insulated) cup and hugger with me. 

I keep at least two bottles of sunscreen in my pool bag at all times considering if I don’t lather up I am bound to get burned. I like to have one that’s more gentle on my face and another (usually a spray) that is easy and quick to apply to my whole body. Right now, I have a pouch that’s overflowing with sunscreen in my bag since it’s also nice to have varied SPF options.  

Bathing suit top found here (size down a size).

Another no brainer for the pool and beach, especially when I am trying to read! My favorite sunglasses for the past few summers have been by Madewell and are reasonably priced (love lenses of this color for summer). This is especially nice given that I’ve had sunglasses fall overboard before and losing these wouldn’t be quite as much of a bummer as losing a pricier pair. Also how fun is this pair for something a little bit different?!

Headphones can be tricky when it comes to the pool. If there are a bunch of people and I am trying to be productive, I like having them on hand to drown out the noise, but I’ve always been afraid that I am going to end up with a random tan line across my stomach because of the cord. This is when having airpods or some other type of Bluetooth headphones would be handy. For the time being though I’m careful to make sure I loop them behind my head so that the cord is out of the way. 

In the summer, even when I use a lot of sunscreen, my freckles tend to pop out. I like my freckles, so it isn’t a big deal, but sometimes I want my face to have a bit more protection. Because of that, I like keeping a hat in my bag. While sunhats are cute, I usually opt for a more classic baseball hat since they are easier to store and take up less space! 

I’d love to know if you have any additional essentials that I should start bringing with me that I may have forgotten! 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Spring and Summer Event Shoes

After sharing so many posts about dresses for graduations or weddings, I realized that I never thought to include some great shoes finds as well. I’m making up for that today by sharing some of the cute shoes I’ve seen that would work well for spring and summer events! 

Despite having my fair share of shoes, I’ve discovered that I often don’t have the type of shoe I need to “complete” an outfit. As I’ve grown my collection over the years, I have found myself gravitating toward neutral pairs that are seasonless and classic. While that’s responsible, I can’t help but notice some of the more colorful shoes available that may not be quite as practical in my closet. I’ve shared a bit of both in the graphic below to help you shop for whichever style you may need to complete your look. If you’re interested in a pair, you can click directly on them in the image below to be taken to where they can be purchased! 

Monday, May 20, 2019

Step Into My Week

Wanna hear some exciting news? It’s the last working Monday of May if you’re like me and get Memorial Day off! It’s to be determined, however, whether or not that makes this week go by faster or slower. This past week was a busy one for me, which made it seem to fly by. 

Coming into the office last Monday I knew things were going to be busy given that I had been off at the end of the previous week and we had a copy deadline and were shipping an issue this past week. That meant that after emails and social media comments were responded to I pretty much had my nose in my computer finalizing the products we needed in, finishing my copy, and reading through other team member’s pieces. I did get a nice mid-day break though to celebrate a coworkers birthday at Chuy’s. The rest of the afternoon was spent working on pieces for upcoming issues, packing boxes and loading the van for the following day's photo shoot, and making sure all the linens were crisp. I put off meal prepping on Sunday so I ended up coming home from work instead of going to the Y so that I could cook food for the week before watching the Bachelorette. Sadly my roommate had a meeting to go to so she wasn’t able to watch it with me, but tonight you can bet we will be camped out on our couch ready to see what happens. 

Tuesday was a long but fun day spent at an outdoor photo shoot. Fortunately, it didn’t rain, but there also wasn’t a single cloud in the sky, which meant that getting the lighting just right was a bit of a challenge. I went to the office before heading to that shoot so that I could get some work done and drive the van we loaded to the location of the shoot. The weather is definitely getting warmer, so I’m glad we were able to get this shoot in before it gets to be brutally hot in the coming months. I left the location of the shoot around 5:15 and headed back to the office to drop off the van and get my car before heading home. I decided to go for a quick run before showering, making dinner, and getting in bed early after a long day.

Wednesday morning I was especially tired and made myself an extra cup of coffee to have at work which ended up being the second extra cup I had given that the stylist I worked with at the photo shoot from the day before brought me Starbucks as a thank you for my help. Overly caffeinated, I spent most of the morning working on resources and copy for our upcoming issues while also preparing letters for the complimentary copies we send out. During lunch, I made a return for my mom at Saks, and the rest of the afternoon was spent unpacking boxes from the shoot the day before. After work, I went to the Y to get a quick workout in before coming home and putting Sister Shubert rolls in the oven and showering before our bible study brinner (breakfast-dinner). We had quite the spread, and everything was delicious and enjoyed with good company. Afterward, I came home and got in bed to read for a bit before falling asleep.

Most of Thursday was spent reading through the binder for our upcoming Porch special issue and finalizing those resources. I also got to move all of the pillows that have been stored at my desk for an upcoming photoshoot downstairs, which makes my cubicle seem a lot more spacious than before. After work, I headed home so that I could get ready to watch Birmingham’s minor league baseball team, the Barons. It started to rain before we headed out, so we decided to sit out the delay of the game at Good People, a brewery across from the stadium. It seemed like most people had that idea since we ran into a lot of people we knew. Luckily the storm subsided, and the game started about an hour later than planned. I couldn’t tell you the score or even what inning we left during since I continued to run into people I knew at the game as well. I think I finally was in bed and turned my light off somewhere near eleven that night.

Friday morning, I decided to get up early so that I could be at the Y by 5:00 to get a workout in before work. Most of the time this isn’t a possibility since I’m in the office by 7:00 but since I don’t start til 8:00 on Friday’s I decided to give it a go. Somehow, I still had time to shower, get ready, and enjoy my Starbucks Friday tradition even with an early morning workout. I spent most of my time at work preparing social captions for the following week before heading out at noon. I came home and made myself lunch before getting back in bed for the nap I had promised myself since I woke up.

Friday afternoon Rebecca, Nell, and I had plans to go to a free workout event at the Botanical Gardens that had been rained out the week before. It started raining on our way there but let up a little bit, so we decided to give it a try. After we checked in and got set up, it started to thunder and lightning, and while the instructors were adamant to continue the class unless it got worse, we decided to bail. It felt a little bit like that scene in Bridesmaids when the main characters are hiding behind the tree during the workout class since they didn’t pay and weren’t fully paying attention. We opted for dinner at Saw’s instead of Pure Barre in the rain, and I definitely think that was a good decision. After dinner, we went and got ice cream at Mountain Brook Creamery and then all headed back to our house to watch Mary-Kate and Ashley’s Passport to Paris.

Saturday morning, I slept in a bit before Rebecca and I went to one of our friend’s houses for brunch. We ended up staying there about an hour before heading to Nell’s apartment to sit by the pool. The weather was beautiful on Saturday, so by the time we left close to 3:00 the pool had gotten quite crowded. I came home to shower and hang out for a bit before we all went to dinner that night. We ended up sitting outside at Bottega, which was really fun (and delicious). I think all three of us were members of the clean plate club, which is always a good sign.  After that, Nell and I went and got a glass of wine on the rooftop of the Elyton before heading back for the night.

I went to church with Nell and Rebecca at 11:00 on Sunday morning and didn’t do that much aside from laundry beforehand. After church Nell and I made a Trader Joe’s run to stock up on groceries for the week. I had blog work that needed to get done so once I put some chicken in the crockpot and changed clothes, I went to the library so that I could be productive. I stayed there for a couple of hours and then went for a walk to catch up with my family on the phone. Most of the rest of the afternoon was spent attempting to get ahead for the week and included meal prepping, showering, and putting away laundry before getting in bed around 9:00. I ended up staying up until after 10:00 listening to the audiobook I’m getting close to finishing (All The Pretty Girls).

I hope that y’all had a great week and weekend and that your Monday is off to a good start! 

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Vineyard Vines for Target

I think we can all agree that Target is a great place where it's easy to get in trouble with how much you accidentally spend on all the cute things you add to your cart. This is especially true when it comes to the collaborations Target occasionally does with other brands. I couldn't help but browse through the most recent one that they did with Vineyard Vines and came across so many cute summer clothing and accessory finds. While many of these are selling out online now, check your local store to see if they have any left! I've shared some of my top picks below for y'all to browse.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Affordable Linen Striped Dress

How is it already Thursday? I’m sure you could guess that this week has been busy given the lack of post yesterday. I’m hoping to come up for air this weekend and get all my ducks in a row when it comes to next week’s posts. For now though, I have a fun and affordable dress to share with y’all! 

Have you ever been somewhere and seen someone wearing something that you almost purchased and immediately regretted not buying it when you saw it? That was how I felt when a lady walked into a coffee shop I was getting work done at wearing this dress. I had seen it on Old Navy’s website and was intrigued, but it wasn’t until I saw it in person that I realized it really was as good a find as I initially thought. It didn’t take me long after arriving home from that coffee shop to order it, and now it has become a work and weekend outfit staple. 

I love dresses that are lightweight and easy to throw on but always fear that they are going to be see-through or too short. Old Navy has a “tall” option in many of their products, and while I often opt for that I didn’t on this dress and was really impressed by the length (I’m 5’7” for reference). After taking the dress out of its package, I was also able to negate my fear of it being see through since the printed linen material is structured and also lined with a slip. Since buying this dress, I saw that Old Navy came out with it in a few other prints that I’ve included below for y’all to look through.

Had the blue and white stripe option been around when I purchased the multicolored stripe one I bought I probably would’ve gotten it too, but we all know that closet does not need any more blue and white. So far I’ve stuck to wearing this with sandals, but a casual pair of wedges could easily dress it up a bit and was how the lady in the coffee shop was wearing it. 



dress (wearing size small) //  sunglasses // sandals // hoops // watch // bracelets ( 1 & 2 )

Doesn't it look like it should be much pricier from some place like Madewell? Fortunately it's not and it is currently in stock in most sizes which likely won't last long! I'd love to know where you find your favorite summer dresses so that I can prepare before the weather becomes brutally hot.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

How To Recharge After A Vacation Or Weekend Away

If you read yesterday’s post, then you probably already know that this past weekend was one filled with out of town activities that meant I didn’t get to do my typical weekend to-dos that help me feel prepared for the week ahead. Since summer is soon to begin which typically means a bit more traveling than you may be used to, I thought it would be helpful to share some of the ways I’m able to prepare and recharge so that the week after being out of town doesn’t feel too terribly out of routine. 


Prep Food Ahead Of Time (and stock up on groceries)
There’s nothing worse than coming back from vacation only to realize that you have an empty fridge with nothing to eat. I wasn’t the best about remembering to overstock on groceries the week before, but I did think to cook and freeze some of the food I had prepped previously so making dinner and lunch for the first day back at work wouldn’t be as much of a chore. 

Unpack Immediately & Start A Load Of Laundry
If I’m honest, I don’t really like packing or unpacking. I always overpack which means I end up having lots of clothes to put away when I return. I also don’t like clutter or a messy room so having a suitcase or tote bags strewn about my space isn’t exactly relaxing either. I have tried to get in the habit of unpacking immediately when I return from a trip and start a load of laundry right after I’ve finished unpacking. If you’re not as motivated to unpack right when you return try purposely making a mess of your suitcase and what you need to unpack since you will be less likely to leave your stuff all over the place when you do this and in turn will unpack sooner. 

Check Your Email Before Going Back Into the Office
Hopefully, you didn’t spend your whole vacation checking your email and let your out of office do most of the work while you were gone. If you are in a job where there will be lots of emails waiting on you, comb through them before going back into the office to make it a bit less stressful. There’s no need to necessarily respond but having at least seen what’s waiting on you will make adjusting back into your routine more manageable.

Go To Bed Earlier Than Usual
After traveling, I am always tired. My schedule is off and going to bed earlier than usual before heading back to work is my first line of defense when it comes to recharging. I like to put on a favorite pair of pajamas, heat up this neck pillow, and take a cup of tea to my room and read before bed as an attempt to make myself more relaxed and sleepy when I feel like I’m going to have trouble falling asleep. 

Make A Realistic To-Do List
I am a huge list person, and there’s something about writing down the things I need to do that helps me feel more relaxed before actually doing them. I am also the type of person who writes down just about anything that needs to be done which helps to motivate me as I tackle the list once I am back at work. 

Keep Plans Directly After Returning To A Minimal 
You don’t want to overcommit yourself when you know that you’re going to need time to readjust after being on vacation so try not to schedule too many activities once you arrive back. Give yourself the time required to get back into your routine and then make plans to look forward to once you feel recharged! 

What do y’ all do to recharge after a vacation or a weekend away?

Monday, May 13, 2019

Step Into My Week

 If I am being honest, I am kind of surprising myself by having this post live today. After such a fun weekend, it took a lot of motivation to sit down and sum up the whole weekend before falling asleep. I know it’ll be fun to have all the details written down to look back on in the future, so I am glad to have it up and ready for y’all to read as well. 

For the most part, the work week went by relatively quickly due to long to-do lists of things to accomplish before heading out of town. I felt like I was trying to juggle a lot work-wise as well as getting ahead to have posts up on the blog and didn’t do quite as good of a job with the blog aspect of things. Monday started the way it usually does with me catching up on emails and social media comments. A lot of the day was spent getting in contact with companies to order in products we have for a shoot this week. I finished writing a piece for our September issue and gathered everything I needed to prepare to send out complimentary copies of our next issue that will be on newsstands as well. After work, I went to the Y where Macy and I were finally able to work out together again. Most of the time when I workout on my own I’ll do cardio and then arms and abs or legs and abs, so I like when we get to do our workouts together since we find a way to incorporate all those parts into a single workout. I screenshotted the workout we did and included it below if you’re looking for something new to try. After our workout, I went home and got showered before making dinner and attempting to get some blogging work done before bed. 


Tuesday was a lot of the same with ordering in products, reading through our team’s copy, and working ahead on social media posts. After work, I picked up a couple of things from the grocery store before spending the rest of the evening at home waiting for my bridesmaids dress for this weekend to arrive. We had to get a new color of the same dress style, and I was feeling a little stressed that it wasn’t going to arrive on time. Luckily it did, and once it arrived, I went to Nell’s apartment to borrow some dresses to potentially wear over the weekend. We hadn’t seen each other in over a week, so we caught up a bit but knew we were going to hang out the following day, so we attempted to keep it short. I came home and showered after that and began organizing what I would need to take home for the wedding to make packing on Wednesday a bit easier. 

Wednesday was kind of all over the place since I worked from home in the afternoon as our disposal was repaired. That worked out nicely since I was able to do laundry while working so that everything I needed was clean before I started packing. Since our bridesmaids' dresses could be tied a bunch of different ways I knew that applying self-tanner myself wasn’t an option, so I had a spray tan appointment that night at 6:15 (for Birmingham people I went to Escape Day Spa in Homewood). After that, I came home, and Nell came over to entertain me as I packed. She, my roommate, and I all ate dinner together and caught up before I started to put everything in my suitcase for the weekend. I wasn’t positive what all I’d need and definitely overpacked a bit but appreciated having options. I made Nell proofread my rehearsal dinner toast and time me as I practiced it which I’m sure was tons of fun for her. After she left I brushed my teeth and got in bed since I knew Thursday would be a long day.

Thursday morning I showered the spray tan off, packed my car, and headed off to work for a half day. I had several reader phone calls during the morning and helped them to find what they were looking for on top of working on another set of complimentary copies to send out. When 1:00 rolled around, I got in my car and was Fairhope bound. The weather on my drive back wasn’t the best, so it was nice to have an audiobook to help pass the time sent in the car. I’m currently listening to Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter and was roped in pretty quickly. It’s a long audiobook, so hopefully, I’ll be able to finish it before it needs to be returned. I got to Fairhope around 4:15 and went to my parent’s house for a bit before heading to the Airbnb that was rented for all the bridesmaids. Once I arrived there, we waited for everyone to get into town before changing and heading to dinner at Thyme on Section. After our dinner, it was back to the Airbnb for a little shower for Kate (I got her this pajama set). We stayed up talking and getting to know one another before everyone was tired enough for bed. Kate, the bride, decided she wanted to stay there as well so I slept at my parent’s house that night so that no one would have to sleep on the pullout couch. I pretty much lived out of my open suitcase in the back of my car since I was back and forth for most of the weekend. 


Friday morning I woke up and got coffee from one of my favorite local coffee shops before taking our dog, Scout, on a long walk by the bay. Not long after that, I had to shower and start getting ready for the days’ activities which began with the bridesmaids’ luncheon at the Fairhope Inn. We had a big room reserved there and were served a delicious meal. Kate had given us all matching pajama sets the night before for us to get ready in on Saturday morning but gave us a cute monogrammed toiletry pouch during the luncheon as well. We even got handwritten notes from Kate and her fiancé which felt like a really special touch. After we finished our meal, we did a charm cake and told stories about how we knew Kate. There was a bit of downtime between the bridesmaids’ luncheon and when we needed to be at her house for the ceremony rehearsal and rehearsal dinner (the wedding was hosted on her family’s property which was very Kate and turned out beautifully). The rehearsal dinner was a low country boil that we all ate before getting into giving toasts. We were there until about 9:00 and then it was back to the Airbnb to hang out and relax before resting up for Kate’s big day. 

I had the first hair and makeup time slot on Saturday morning, so I was awake around 7:00 and put on the pajamas Kate gave us to head to her house. It was really fun getting to hang out with just her and her mom at the house for a bit since it felt just like it did as we were growing up. We all sipped coffee and told stories while checking the weather over and over. More girls started to arrive, and it poured rain most of the morning which was nerve-wracking since all of the events of the day were supposed to be held outside. By the time the photographer arrived at noon the rain had stopped, the sun was coming out, and there was only a 10% chance of rain until 10:30. After taking some pictures as we finished with hair and makeup, we did some group shots in our pajamas before it was time to put on our bridesmaids' dresses and prepare to see Kate’s wedding dress for the first time. After that, until the actual ceremony was a blur of photos. The ceremony was at 5:30 so the wedding party was lined up around 5:20 and waited until the wedding planner gave us our cue to walk. The aisle was from Kate’s house all the way to the ceremony site, so I was glad that groomsmen and bridesmaids walked down together.


The ceremony lasted a little over 30 minutes, and both the bride and groom had a few tears during it. Once we did our final walk back down the aisle, it was off to the reception to chat for a bit before the wedding party was introduced. We were instructed to do something fun during the introduction with our partner and all surrounded the dance floor for the first dance, father/daughter dance, and mother/son dance. The groomsmen had prepared a dance so that they could all dance with Kate and then came and got us to fill out the dance floor. I ate after that and got to chat with my parents and some of there friends before running into some other people I knew during the cutting of the cake. I chatted for a while before heading back to the dance floor for the rest of the night. Kate tossed her bouquet, and we all did a sparkler send off for the couple around 9:30. Everyone left after that, and as I got out of the car to walk into my parent’s house that night, it started to storm. We lucked off that it held off perfectly for us the whole day until then. I washed my hair a few times (it’s amazing how strong the hairspray that was used on my hair was) and was excited to go to sleep that night. 

The next morning I woke up and showered again before heading downstairs to celebrate Mother’s Day with my mom. My dad cooked bacon and pancakes, and we ate that as brunch together before I packed up my car and headed back to Birmingham. The drive back went smoothly, and I was able to catch up with Sophia for part of it which was fun. I went to Trader Joe’s on my way in, and Nell came over once I got back so we could go on a walk after I unpacked. We decided to get dinner as well which took a while, but it was nice since it meant I didn’t have to cook. Once I was back at home, I started some laundry, showered, and got in bed to watch some of the Ted Bundy movie on Netflix before falling asleep.

I hope that y’all had a fantastic week and weekend and I can’t wait to share more professional photos from Kate’s big day once we have them back from the photographer!

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