Sunday, June 30, 2019

Top Clicks & Purchases In June

I don’t know who I think I am becoming with multiple weekend posts. If you’ve been following along on Instagram, then you’ve probably noticed that I’ve started to post stories most days with my Shopping Picks of the Day. After beginning to search for pieces to share in Saturday Shopping posts I realized that not all of the pieces I want to share will fit in those graphics. My solution became sharing those additional items as well as some included in Saturday Shopping posts on Instagram. 

Beyond just sharing those, I also am a nerd and LOVE to look at analytics to see what pieces y’all like the most. I thought I’d go ahead and share those statistics with y’all by including the top clicked items and purchases from the month. This month beyond reading the new posts I've been getting up, it's clear to me that a lot of teachers are looking at this post as they shop for their classrooms. 

This gives me great insight into what y'all are most interested in seeing and hopefully makes sure you don't miss any cute pieces I've shared during the month!

Y'alls top 10 clicks for the month of June:

Y'alls top 10 purchases for the month of June:

Hopefully, you enjoyed seeing this as I had a lot of fun putting it together!

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Saturday Shopping vol. 19

Hi, friends! It's a bit later than usual but I'm obsessed with today's Saturday Shopping post. From bright colored swimsuits and floats that match to cute sandals, a jumpsuit, and flowy dresses it's hard to narrow down a favorite. Today has felt like the epitome of summer after spending the morning at the pool with friends before getting a late lunch and relaxing the rest of the day. These pieces embody that same summer feel as well. If you're hoping to shop any of these items click directly on them in the graphic below to be taken to where they can be purchased.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Dorm Room Design

One of the things I was most excited about before heading away to college freshman year was designing my dorm room. I had never gotten to design a room from scratch and had every intention of taking full advantage of picking out each item that would be in that space (my side at least) for my first year of college. 

With a graduating class that was mainly heading to Alabama or Auburn who had their roommates picked out before I even knew where I’d be attending school forced me to be patient when it came to designing my dorm room. Furman didn’t even give us our room or roommate assignments until early July, which in my 18-year-old mind sucked some of the fun out of the dorm room shopping experience. I had started picking out some of the basics before I got my assignment, but once I had my assignment and knew I was living with Nell, we were fully engrossed in picking pieces out to make our room cute. 

Everyone was shocked when they walked into our dorm room freshman year and said it looked like something out of Southern Living. We even heard people walk by our room whispering “rumor has it they only met once” when referring to how coordinated everything ended up being. We were used to decked out dorm rooms from our friends at state schools, but apparently, this wasn’t as much of a thing at Furman when we were a freshman. I know that’s changed a good bit, especially given that there are so many places to find cute pieces for your dorm room now.

I thought it would be fun to share a few different dorm rooms I’ve dreamed up for anyone planning on decorating their dorm in the fall. I had more fun than I should probably admit searching through the sites I scoured before my freshman year in hopes of inspiring y’all with the ways to make the most of your small space. I tried to use different color schemes and retailers to help those of you trying to figure out the best place to buy various items. And while you’re at it shopping for your dorm room, be sure to check out my list of dorm room essentials from this post. 

You can be taken to most of the items below by clicking on the product in the graphic. Unfortunately not all of the items could be linked that way so I have included some of the other pieces below!

Navy Bed Skirt // Light Blue Scallop Coverlet // Grey Blanket // Grey Monogram Sham // White Coverlet // White Ruffle Lumbar Pillow // Teal Patterned Headboard // White Pom Pom Quilt // Teal Accent Pillow // Tan Bedskirt

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Kate's Wedding Photos

If you’ve been reading along closely, then you probably are well aware that this is the summer of weddings for my friends. June has been my month off per se given that I was a bridesmaid in a wedding last month and will be one in weddings in both July and August. After sharing a couple of photos from Kate’s wedding weekend in a Step Into My Week post and Instagram I was surprised by how many of y’all were interested in seeing more photos from the weekend’s festivities once we got them back from the photographer. 

I don’t really know what sort of post to write to accompany the photos since Kate, and her wedding planner worked out all of the details of the event and the photographer snapped pictures that did a stellar job of documenting the moment for Kate and Patrick to treasure for years to come. Seriously, Kate’s wedding photographer made such a point to make us feel comfortable in front of the camera and was beyond kind complementing us the whole time. If you have any specific ideas about what you want me to share when sharing photos from weddings later this summer, I am all ears.

I will say that there were two specific details of Kate’s décor that caught my attention. The first being that all of the bridesmaids were able to take their bouquets directly to vases on tall tables in the reception area for them to become centerpieces. I’ve never been a bridesmaid before, so maybe this is a normal thing that I’m unaware of, but I thought it was genius. Brides are already paying so much for flowers that they may as well have every bit of the ones they purchase displayed for guests to enjoy. This was especially nice for us since we didn’t have to worry about what to do with them while trying to grab a bite to eat or dance. At the end of the night, the wedding planner helped us to gather them from those tables to take home with us. The other detail I loved was the citrus displayed in large glass vases on some food tables. Kate’s family lives on a lot of land where they grow satsumas and lemons. More than just being visually beautiful, it seemed like the perfect way to represent part of her life. I’m not getting married anytime soon but will definitely be filing away both of these ideas to one day consider! 

I received several questions about the bridesmaid dresses we wore and figured why not share that here since I’d like to give you something to read before scrolling through so many photos (although if you’re just here for the pictures, I can’t blame you). Our bridesmaids’ dresses were from Bella Bridesmaids and were the type that you can wrap however you’d like. I’ve found them online here and here. Originally we were supposed to wear a grey color, but when those came in there was some sort of discoloration, and we had to send them back. Kate then selected the color we wore, and mine arrived *just* in time to head out of town for the weekend. Since they can be wrapped a bunch of different ways, they only come in two sizes so altering them isn’t much of a possibility. I had no idea how to tie mine until the day of her wedding since I knew I didn’t want my sides to be super exposed. Fortunately, the other bridesmaids had been practicing and were able to help me secure it in a way that looked nice and also kept everything in place! Since I’ve linked the bridesmaid's dresses, I figured it would also be handy to link the pajamas we wore while getting ready. After feeling how incredibly soft they were, I was shocked to discover they came from Target. Whether a bride or not, they are a great find! Now enjoy all the wedding photos…








 you can see a better look at the back of my dress in the photo above

The Details

Venue | Private Property
Catering | Naman’s Catering
Florist | Belle Bouquet
Cakes | Cakes by Judi
Band | Powerhouse
Bride’s Gown | Bliss Bridal
Bridesmaids Dresses | Bella Bridesmaids
Let me know any wedding related/bridesmaid content y'all are interested in for the future! 

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

101 in 1001 List Two

It’s incredible how fast time flies. I remember in high school when 24 and post-grad seemed so far away, and I have no doubts that I’ll look back at this post and think about the stage in life I’m currently in and think about it that way as well. I remember sitting down one summer in college to create my very first 101 in 1001 list thinking that 2019 seemed so far away. Well, the thousandth and first day for that list passed earlier this year, so I figured it was time to sit down and create another one. While I certainly didn’t cross everything off, I enjoyed having them as back-of-my-mind goals to strive for and knew that sitting down to come up with 101 more tasks to complete in 1001 days was something I wanted to do. 

If you don’t read  Mackenzie Horan’s blog, Design Darling, then you may have never heard of this type of list before. Basically, she started this concept as a happy medium between a to-do list and short term bucket list to consume the next 2.75 years. While the time frame when completing my last list (read it here) was pivotal, I have no doubt that there will be plenty of life changes that accompany this period as well. I’m going to be open to the idea of altering this list a bit as situations change but for the most part, am hoping that by writing these tasks down I’ll feel motivated to accomplish them. Here’s to crossing these items off and hopefully sharing updates with y’all as I do! 

Start date: June 26, 2019
End date: March 23, 2022
Personal (1/20)
1.    Come up with 101 things to do in 1001 days (June 26, 2019)
2.    Finish 101 things in 1001 days
3.    Go a week without hitting snooze
4.    Go 2 months without shopping
5.    Unplug for 24 hours
6.    Vote in an election
7.    Buy coffee for the person in line behind me
8.    Go to the dermatologist
9.    Schedule well visits
10.    Make a yearbook of college photos 
11.    Write favorite recipes on recipe cards
12.    Join a local organization/group
13.    Back up my phone to my computer
14.    Go one week without eating sweets
15.    Reach out to professors/mentors from college
16.    Publish 5 freelance articles
17.    Find a place to donate/sell unused clothes to in Birmingham
18.    Read for 30 minutes before bed for two weeks
19.    Stick to phone’s bed time of 10:00 for a month
20.    Upload photos to Facebook

Blogging (XX/27)
21.    Switch to Wordpress and…
22.    Redesign
23.    Create a newsletter
24.    Reach 50,000 followers on Instagram
25.    Introduce my blog to at least 5 brands
26.    Introduce my blog to at least 5 PR agencies
27.    Be featured in an online publication
28.    Collaborate with a dream brand
29.    Attend a blogging conference
30.    Become friends with another blogger 
31.    Update my “about me” page
32.    Connect with creatives in Birmingham
33.    Create a Birmingham, Alabama blog series and guide
34.    Collaborate with Birmingham businesses for said guide
35.    Plan one month’s worth of blog content ahead
36.    Double blog views
37.    Reach monthly blog earning goal for 3 months in a row
38.    Find a way to better promote blog posts (and be consistent)
39.    Hire an intern
40.    Move Prep In Your Step to an LLC
41.    Trademark Prep In Your Step
42.    Purchase a new camera lens
43.    Find a better way to organize photos
44.    Create a new book series on the blog
45.    Have 5 friends guest post on the blog
46.    Create 2 new monthly blog series
47.    Create 10 new Youtube videos

Real world (2/12)
48.    Continue saving for retirement
49.    Get a promotion (November 2019)
50.    Style a shoot with styling credit (First styling byline in summer of 2020)
51.    Finish decorating our house
52.    Begin saving to one day purchase a house
53.    Create a better budget and stick to it
54.    Create a separate emergency savings account
55.    Create 5 new go-to recipes for weekday meals
56.    Change my residency to Birmingham
57.    Minimize Facebook friends and likes
58.    Find 3 new stocks to invest in
59.    Join a church in Birmingham

Wellness (2/8)
60.    Run another half marathon
61.    Workout before work every day for a week
62.    Find someone to play tennis with
63.    Get 8 hours of sleep for a week
64.    Find doctors in Birmingham
65.    Wash my makeup brushes once a month for a year
66.    Go a month without eating fast food
67.    Walk/run 100 miles in 2 months

Family and Friends (XX/8)
68.    Visit 3 friends’ in their post-grad towns
69.    Surprise my parents by coming home
70.    Send Christmas cards to friends
71.    Form new friendships 
72.    Mail 10 snail mail letters to family and friends
73.    Celebrate 5 exciting life events for friends (3/5 Ellison's Engagement, Sophia's Wedding, Gil's Wedding)
74.    Attend a black-tie event (Kristyn's NYE Wedding 12/31/19)
75.    Take family photos (do Gil's wedding photos count?)

Travel (XX/10)
76.    Visit 3 new states (1/3 Washington State)
77.    Plan a trip outside of the US
78.    Visit some place tropical
79.    Bring a friend to my hometown
80.    Go on a trip with my family
81.    Visit my brother in D.C.
82.    See the Cherry Blossoms in D.C.
83.    Visit my brother in FL 
84.    Plan a girl’s weekend
85.    Bring a friend on a blog trip

For Fun (6/16)
86.    Take a cooking class
87.    Take a photography class
89.    Learn to use chopsticks
90.    Purchase a piece of art I really love 
91.    Host another friendsgiving
92.    Host a holiday party
93.    Host a brunch with friends 
94.    Try 20 new places in Birmingham (8/20 Marble Ring, Roots & Revelry, Dread River Distillery, Urban Cookhouse, Paper Dolls, Nana Funks, Queen's Park, Bandit)
95.    Do something out of my comfort zone
96.    Read only library or audiobooks for a year (no purchasing books)
97.    Attend 3 concerts (3/3 The Dirty Guv'nahs - summer '19, Blackjacket Symphony - summer '19, The Brook & The Bluff - fall '19)
98.    Go to a state fair
99.    Go to a college football game (LSU v Auburn Game, October 2019)
100.  Go ice skating
101.  Have a Harry Potter movie-marathon

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Meal Prep In Your Step: Avocado Turkey Burgers

After sharing a new Meal Prep In Your Step for y’all last week (find my favorite lunch wrap recipe here) and it getting such a positive response I figured I wouldn’t make you wait many many months for the next one. Instead, I’m sharing it today to help any of you searching for an easy and delicious weeknight dinner option. Like last time, I can’t exactly refer to this as a recipe since, in reality, it’s just combining a few different ingredients to make a meal. But, I have a feeling that if you’re anything like me when it comes to cooking and wanting quick options, then you won’t mind! 

Frozen Turkey Burgers (I got mine at Trader Joe’s)
Swiss Cheese
Half an Avocado
Optional: Condiments

How To Make Avocado Turkey Burgers:
1.    Start by reading the cooking instructions on the turkey burger box. Follow those directions as you begin to cook the turkey burger.
2.    Once the burger is almost finished cooking place a slice of swiss cheese on it until melted.
3.    Place bun in toaster and toast to ideal crispiness.
4.    With a fork, mash half of an avocado.
5.    Assemble turkey burger on bottom bun placing mashed avocado on top before setting the top bun on top of the mashed avocado.
6.    Optional: Add any condiments you’d like. 

Told you it was so easy! What’s especially great about this recipe is how easily this can be done with a regular burger as well. When I’m not sure what I want to cook for the week, this has become a default. Like I said last time, I am always on the hunt for new, easy recipes so please send your favorites my way!  

Monday, June 24, 2019

Step Into My Week 6.24

I don’t know about y’all, but I really didn’t want to get out of bed this morning. This past weekend was the best one I’ve had in a while, so coming to terms with the fact that it is over was a little bit sad. Luckily, I have plenty of fun planned for weekends in July, so I can’t be that bummed that it’s back to reality today. This past week was a busy one, and according to everyone in the office, it’s like this until late August as we finalize issues for the remained of the 2019 year. 

On Monday I started my day by replying to comments and emails before working to create a step by step guide to help some of the people signing up for the event that Southern Lady is hosting in October. Between that guide, responding to emails, and preparing graphics for stories my morning was over. In the afternoon I finished edits for a piece for our October issue and continued to work through my email inbox. After work, I headed to the Y to workout before coming home to shower quickly before watching the bachelorette. My roommate and I watch it together, and I ended up having to cut up some of the vegetables that I planned to eat with dinner in front of the TV so I wouldn’t miss anything. It wasn’t the best episode, but it was a good way to fill time before heading to bed to read.

Tuesday was also busy with a team meeting taking up a large chunk of my morning. I worked on outreach emails and an expense report aside from that meeting in the morning. After lunch, I had to make some pillow returns for our stylists and was able to get some of the copy for our social media accomplished as well. Toward the end of the day, I ironed some tablecloths for the shoot we had the following day. After work, I went to the Y to workout for a while before coming home to shower, eat dinner, and get a bit of blog work accomplished. 

Wednesday was an all-day outdoor shoot that went really well. I was thankful for a bit of cloud coverage off and on since it was hot! Helping stylists at photo shoots is one of my favorite parts of the job since I enjoy the styling aspect and like seeing the behind the scenes of it all. The homeowners had the sweetest dog that I got to play with between photos. The shoot finished around time to head home, so once we loaded up all the props in the car, we were able to leave for the day. I felt too gross to even go to the Y to work out and instead went straight home to shower. I ate dinner while catching up on episodes of the bold type before going to bible study that night. 


On Thursday morning, I woke up to no power in our house. We had had a bad storm the night before, so all of the power on our street was out which made getting ready for work a bit of a challenge. I was especially thankful to have iced coffee and granola bars on hand since I couldn’t use the Keurig or microwave. That morning I finished up an expense report and some social posts before heading to my first shoot for The Cottage Journal. The home we were in was beautiful, and it was really interesting to see the difference in style used for that as opposed to Southern Lady. I came back to the office around lunch time since I was supposed to have a meeting that afternoon, which ended up having to be rescheduled. I was glad to be able to use that time at my desk to respond to emails and work on pieces for upcoming issues. After work, I came home to change so that I could go on a run before the walk Nell and I had planned. It was really hot out, but I was glad that we were able to catch up with one another after not seeing one another in a bit. After our walk, I came home to shower, do laundry, and pack to head out of town for the weekend. 

I woke up early on Friday morning so that I could workout before heading to work. After my workout, I showered and finished packing. On my way to work, I stopped at Starbucks for coffee. I spent most of Friday morning writing out social captions and scheduling them before reaching out to giveaway winners and organizing those prizes at my desk. The remaining time was spent working out resources for our October issue, and before I knew it it was noon, and I was in the car headed to Fairhope for the weekend. Friday was my friend Macy’s 25th birthday, so to celebrate a big group of us was headed to her parent’s house in Point Clear to celebrate. Some of the group had left on Thursday and was already down there, but the rest of us were arriving that afternoon. On my drive down, I was able to catch up on the phone with some friends, which made the time pass quicker. I stopped by my parent’s house to say hello to them since I wasn’t spending the whole weekend at home. I got to Macy’s, and we hung out on the porch as she opened up her presents and waited for the rest of the group to arrive. We went out to the pier to watch the sunset and set up for dinner since we ate as many meals outside this weekend as possible. The rest of our group arrived, and we had fish tacos for dinner, followed by a chess pie that one of the guys made on his lunch break. We stayed out on the pier until close to 1:00 talking and enjoying the breeze before all the girls decided it was time to go to bed. 


Saturday morning, we woke up and had coffee and breakfast on the porch before Macy’s mom led us in a yoga class in their front yard. Since we were already sweaty from that, we went and helped one of their family friends move (I don’t think they were fully expecting 12 helpers) before coming back to the house, eating lunch, and changing into our swimsuits. The remainder of the day was spent on the boat and floating on the water. It wasn’t until around 7:00 that we figured we should all probably shower and clean up before dinner. Once we were clean, it was back to the pier for dinner and drinks. We stayed out there until close to 2 that night since most of us felt too full from all the delicious food to move. 


On Sunday morning, I got up early to shower and head to my parent’s house for breakfast. Most of the rest of the crew was still asleep when I left around 8:30. My parents made pancakes and bacon, and I stayed at our house until around 10:00 before I got on the road back to Birmingham. The drive back was pretty uneventful, and I stopped at Trader Joe’s on my way in for groceries. Once I was back at my house in Birmingham, I unpacked and changed to go on a walk and catch up with friends on the phone before showering and putting on pajamas around 5:00. I could’ve easily fallen asleep right then but prepped some food for the week before getting in bed around 8 to read and fall asleep early. 

I hope that y’all had an equally wonderful week and weekend! 

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