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 (XX/20)
1.    Come up with 101 things to do in 1001 days
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 (XX/12)
48.    Continue saving for retirement
49.    Get a promotion
50.    Style a shoot with styling credit
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.    Create a will

Wellness (XX/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 
74.    Attend a black-tie event
75.    Take family photos 

Travel (XX/10)
76.    Visit 3 new states
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 (XX/16)
86.    Take a cooking class
87.    Take a photography class
88.    Read 40 books
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 15 new restaurants
95.    Do something out of my comfort zone
96.    Read only library or audiobooks for a year (no purchasing books)
97.    Attend 3 concerts
98.    Go to a state fair
99.    Go to a college football game
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! 

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Saturday Shopping vol. 18

Happy Saturday! I’m spending the day by/on/in the water celebrating my friend Macy’s birthday. Maybe that caused me to subconsciously put together a colorful conglomeration of my favorite finds from this past week. Some of these items are at higher price points than other Saturday Shopping roundups, but I did my best to include lower price points as well. In case you’re interested in shopping any of these items, click directly on the item shown in the image to be taken to where the product can be purchased. 

Friday, June 21, 2019

Patriotic Pieces for the Fourth of July

I know I’m not alone, but I LOVE the Fourth of July. Usually, for my family, that means we are at the beach, so that’s likely a contributing factor of my love for the holiday. This year since the Fourth of July is on a Thursday I’ll be heading to the beach on Wednesday afternoon through Sunday which will be a great way to get my beach fix in before a busy July. 

Whether you’re traveling to celebrate or are staying put where you are, looking festive seems like a must for the occasion. I’ve been saving all of the cutest red, white, and blue pieces I’ve pulled for Saturday Shopping posts specifically for today’s post. I like to think it’s an impressive, but really, it’s probably because we all know I have a weakness for all things blue and white. If you’re interested in shopping any of the items in this post, you can click directly on the item in the image below to be taken to where it can be purchased. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

2019 Summer Bucket List

Summer officially begins on Friday, and I am so excited to celebrate. It just so happens to also be one of my good friend’s 25th birthday, and a group of us are headed to her house on the bay to celebrate all weekend long. In Alabama, the heat has made it feel like summer since May, so I’m glad that I will officially be speaking about the right season come Friday when complaining about the summer heat while basking in the fun activities this time of year brings. I love greeting the new season with a bucket list of sorts, and you can bet that this year is no different! Below I’ve included some of the things I am hoping to accomplish this summer that may apply to you as well. Feel free to print this out and hang it on your fridge (my roommate and I already have) as motivation to do something fun when you feel the slightest bit bored this summer. 
illustrations by Evelyn Henson

What would you add to this list?

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Meal Prep In Your Step: My Favorite Lunch Wraps

It has been FAR too long since I last shared a Meal Prep In Your Step post. Apologies for that, but I am excited to announce that I am making up for it with today’s post plus another one I have planned for next month! I had to laugh at myself since I took to Instagram stories to see if y’all would rather see a lunch or dinner recipe first. Instead of doing a poll, I used the multiple choice feature which told any of you that voted for lunch that that was the wrong answer. Oops. With 175 votes for a lunch recipe and 134 votes for a dinner recipe, today’s Meal Prep In Your Step post is one of my go-to lunches. 

I tend to eat the same thing over and over for lunches and am lucky that after years of making this, I’m still not sick of it. These wraps are also super easy to make, which makes them ideal for making the morning you plan to eat them or the night ahead! All of the ingredients I used are from Trader Joe’s, but feel free to substitute in your favorite turkey, wraps, or hummus to personalize the recipe a bit more. In the ingredients below, I am sharing quantities to make a single wrap. Adjust accordingly when making more than one!

1 Whole Wheat Wrap (I like the small ones from Trader Joe’s)
About 1 Tablespoon of Hummus (I used tomato basil, but Root’s Roasted Red Pepper is my favorite)
A Handful of Spinach Leaves
3-4 Slices of Turkey
¼ of an Avocado

How To Make The Wraps:
1.    Cover wrap with a layer of hummus. 
2.    Place spinach leaves on top of hummus.
3.    Place 3-4 Slices of turkey on top of spinach.
4.    Cut ¼ of an avocado and place on top of the turkey.
5.    Roll wrap and store in ziplock or air-tight container until you’re ready to enjoy it.

I feel silly even writing out those directions for you since this is such an easy meal to prepare. I need to try some different variations of this wrap but keep coming back to the one above since it’s so delicious.

I hope you’ll share your favorite lunch recipe with me as well! 

Monday, June 17, 2019

Step Into My Week 6.17

Happy Monday! I always want to start these posts by saying good morning and find myself stopping myself since I know not all of you start your day by reading my blog. I’m not sure why I feel the need to share this, but I do. Also, I so appreciate the positive feedback on these posts since whenever I am writing them, I am always convinced they are boring since it’s just a detailed list of what I’ve done during the day. I’m so glad to hear that at least some of y’all find them interesting! Sadly, I don’t feel like I was particularly interesting this week, but I did do a few more out of the ordinary things, so I’ll let you be the judge of that. 

Monday morning always starts with me combing through emails I missed from the weekend and responding to social media comments. It’s a nice way to get my brain going first thing in the morning when I get to work. I had a team meeting that morning as well and spent most of the rest of the day finishing a piece I was working on, sending out complimentary copies, working on resources, and scheduling out social posts. Before I knew it 5:00 came, and it was time to leave. I went straight to the YMCA to work out before heading home to shower and cook dinner. While I was making dinner, I also made my favorite baked oatmeal to have for the week. Once I finished that it was off to sleep knowing that the next day would be busy. 

As soon as I got to work on Tuesday, I was focused on the shoot we had had happening later that day. I never even opened my computer and instead spent most of our time before packing up the van and heading to the location ironing the linens we were using and making sure that we didn’t forget anything. The shoot was outside, and we were lucky that it wasn’t quite as hot as it has been the past few weeks. We also lucked out that it didn’t rain and we were able to finish right around 4:45. Once we wrapped the shoot, I took all the props back to the office to unload them before heading out for the day. I went to the Y for a quick workout so that I could be back home and showered in time to watch the bachelorette with my roommate. Once the episode was over, we went to our rooms to get ready for bed. 

On Wednesday morning, I had to play catch up on my emails after being away from my desk the day before. I finished up a piece for an upcoming issue of Southern Lady and finalized the resources for the Autumn issue of The Cottage Journal. Aside from that, I had to find pillows for another shoot happening during the week, read through our team members’ pieces for our October issue, and write and about me for our website. I was excited for 5:00 to roll around since I had dinner plans with Kate (you may have remembered her wedding weekend from this post). She officially lives in Birmingham now, so we tried out a restaurant neither of us had been to called Chez FonFon. It was delicious, and the burger I ordered was arguably the best one I’ve ever had. When we left after dinner, it was especially nice to say goodbye knowing that it wouldn’t be months before we see one another again! I ran home to change before hanging out with Nell for a bit before bible study that night. After I got home from bible study, I went straight to bed since I hadn’t slept super well the nights before. 

Thursday felt like it should have been Wednesday when the morning got started but didn’t necessarily feel that way once the day was over after productively checking things off my to-do list. I spent the morning writing and working on social content before being bombarded with emails about an event we are hosting in the Fall. After making it through some of those emails, I read through our September binder and finalize the resources for the issue. In the afternoon, I continued to work through emails and plan some of our content. My roommate and I had planned to go to the baseball game that night, but both ended up wanting to bail, which worked out perfectly. Instead, I went to the Y to work out before coming home. I showered, put away laundry, and she and I watched part of a Netflix movie before getting in bed relatively early and finishing up blog work from there before falling asleep.


I decided to get up early on Friday to workout before going to the office since I wanted to go to the pool after work and would have to shower anyway. At work, I was able to schedule our social media into our publishing platform and look back over our resources, among other things. Working half days on Fridays always has me feeling so productive since I try to fit my whole to-do list in before noon. After work, I went to the library to check out some new books before heading home to make lunch and change and grab my pool bag to go and sit out by the pool. I spent a while reading and relaxing before I finally came back to my house to shower and hang out before my evening plans. One of our friends was having a gathering at his house, so my roommate and I walked that way around 8:00. We stayed until close to 10:15 before heading back home and going to bed.

I didn’t do a ton on Saturday which was honestly kind of nice. I worked on blog posts from my bed until about 10:30 before putting on sunscreen and grabbing my book to sit by the pool. I stayed there until I got hungry and came home to make lunch. After eating and rinsing off, I continued to do some blog work before reading and then going for a walk. I came home and fully showered and hung out before going with a friend to dinner. After we finished dinner, I decided to go to Trader Joe’s to get my grocery shopping for the week taken care of. 

On Sunday, I got up and did some laundry before getting ready to meet a camp friend who was in town for the weekend for brunch. We went to the Essential (always delicious) and finished up a little after 11. I read by the pool for a bit after and caught up on the phone with Nell. Once I was home, I started another load of laundry before going for a very long and hot walk. I ran to Publix after that and then showered, and meal prepped for the week. I watched an episode of The Bold Type and then got in bed to read. 

It’s been a bit since I last shared a Lately portion on a Step Into My Week post so here you have it…

Listening To: The Jonas Brother’s Album
I am only just at the point that it takes two hands for me to count the number of concerts I’ve attended in my lifetime and honestly, I have Furman to thank for most of them. I didn’t even see my first real concert (aka not at Furman) until the end of the summer going into my senior year of college. So, it’s especially funny to me that my roommate and I ended up getting pre-sale Jonas Brothers’ tickets. 

Loving: Stok Iced Coffee
The first time I tried Stok Iced Coffee was before agreeing to do this sponsored post last August (fun fact about that post, I got up super early that day to shoot those photos since I also had to pick up a Uhaul and move out of my apartment on the same day). I instantly liked it but got in the habit of buying Starbucks Iced Coffee at the store after it was buy one, get one free (thank you Publix). Well, Stok was recently buy one, get one free, and I rediscovered how much I love it! I get the one with the orange cap and put a little bit of cream in it to enjoy at work in the mornings, and it is delicious. 

Wearing: Walmart Sandals
Anytime I wear these sandals people ask me where they are from. People think I’m kidding when I answer that I found them at Walmart. If you’re looking for a fun summer sandal that looks good paired with lots of different outfits definitely give these a try. They come in lots of different colors, and I’ve found them to be really comfortable. 

If this were under $100, I probably would have justified ordering it and have worn it multiple times by now. I love easy to throw on dresses in the summer so add in a cute embroidered design, and it’s an easy sell. Honestly, my wallet and I are thankful that my size is currently sold out. 

Posts You May Have Missed:

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Saturday Shopping vol.17

I'm never quite sure how these posts will turn out, and this one is a prime example of being a collection of anything I found cute while browsing the internet this week. Forget a color scheme and instead add in cute silhouettes and you have today's Saturday Shopping post. If you see anything you'd like you can click directly on the item in the image below to be taken to where it can be purchased. Happy Saturday!

Friday, June 14, 2019

How To Tie A Silk Scarf {Where to Find Affordable Summer Scarves}

Whenever I share a photo of myself wearing one of my Tuckernuck silk scarves, I inevitably get asked how I tie it. Until I started receiving this question over and over I never really thought it was worth sharing since I didn’t necessarily feel like the way I tie it best shows off the design of the scarf. 

The way I fold it to tie it is a lot easier than it may look and will hopefully inspire any of you who have been struggling with how to tie your silk scarves to pull them out of your closet and wear them. And if you don’t own a silk scarf and are looking to purchase one I’ve shared some cute ones I’ve found online at the bottom of this post! 


Step One: Fold Scarf Into A Large Triangle
I find that spreading the scarf out on a flat surface helps me when I am folding my scarf to put on. Usually, that flat surface is my bed, but it’ll likely depend on the size of the scarf you’re working with. To start, fold one corner of the square to another, creating a triangle shape. It’s ok if the scarf isn’t a perfect square and therefore doesn’t line up exactly since that won’t be obvious with the way I tie mine. 

Step Two: Starting On Long Side Of The Triangle Begin Folding Scarf Into A Rectangle
Start at the long edge of the triangle and begin folding the scarf into a rectangle. The size of the rectangle will be dependent on how thick you’d like the scarf to be when it lays over your shoulders. If I were to measure my rectangles would probably be between 4 and 5 inches. Be sure that you’re not folding these rectangles accordion style. Folding the edges in a way that almost looks rolled makes it, so all the edges are tucked together. Keep folding in a rectangle until you get the point of the triangle and have no more fabric to work with and are instead left with a long strip of material. 


Step Three: Drape Around Neck And Tie Two Knots Toward The Ends
Once you’ve finished folding, place the portion of the strip of fabric that has the last bit of fabric (the point of the triangle) against the back of your neck. Decide where you want the knots to hit you and tie a simple knot on either side of the fabric, and you’re all set! 

I told you this would be easy! I’ve found myself pairing these scarves with everything from basic t-shirts to dresses to re-wear pieces in a fun way. The exact scarves I have are no longer available, but Tuckernuck has come out with new color waves that would be equally as cute. Below you’ll find those and some other more affordable silk scarf options.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

June Q&A

Has this week been weird to anyone else? I can’t decide if it feels like it has been going by fast or slow since I feel like it should be Wednesday and Friday all at the same time. I always get excited when it comes time to share an updated monthly Q&A with y’all because it’s so interesting to see what questions will be asked. Before we get too caught up in the questions though, I need to take a second to brag on a recent find that should be added to any working girls’ closet.


I happened across this skirt when looking through Walmart’s new arrivals and was completely impressed with the quality given the price when it arrived on my doorstep two-days after ordering it. I shouldn’t have been that shocked since all of the pieces I’ve purchased recently from Walmart have been so great but especially those from the TEXTILE brand (including this dress that I shared here). It is the closest I’ve come to find a similar style to one of my all-time favorite skirt silhouettes that J.Crew only released for a season (fortunately I snagged it in 4 colors then but keep my fingers crossed each spring that it will be re-released). This Walmart version comes in three different color options, and the material is much more comfortable than the J.Crew counterpart it resembles. I was curious if it would be see-through or look bunchy with something tucked into it, but the quality of the fabric and thick waistband made it, so neither of those things were a concern. And at under $40 I know I’ll be getting my money’s worth. I paired it with this adorable blue and white striped blouse ($11!) that looks equally as cute with white jeans. I did size up in the top to a medium but stuck with a small in the skirt which was a perfect fit. And my watch is still $400 off!!  Alright, PSA over and now on to the questions. 

What books have you been reading that you would recommend?
I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately and have been loving it! I think I’ve read/listened to close to twenty books so far this year and am excited to continue to increase that number. I’ve even recently started to share what I’ve read on Instagram stories (see “books” story highlight). My favorites as of late have been A Beautiful Corpse, Pretty Girls, Ghosted, and All We Ever Wanted.

What is it like to be a blogger? Is it fun?
Being a blogger is a lot of fun, but honestly, I can’t remember much of what I did before being a blogger since I’ve been doing this for so long. There are plenty of times that it is challenging to juggle a full-time job and still have quality content on the blog at least five days a week, but I love the creativity it offers me. 

Any wedding season tips for being a bridesmaid?
Hmm, I’m not sure I have enough experience just yet to be giving a bunch of tips when it comes to being a bridesmaid, but when it comes to dressing for all the events that come along with being in a wedding, I can’t recommend Rent the Runway’s Reserve service enough. I’m planning to use it for the two weddings I have left this summer, and if you would like 25% off your first order, you can use the code DOROTHYPERK25 (and see what I’d order for a whole wedding weekend here). 

Are you still using BeautyCounter?
Yes! My favorite BeautyCounter products that I’m using currently are this sunscreen stick, counter control SOS acne spot treatment, tint skin, and their hydrating body lotion in citrus mimosa

Do you want to get married?
Yep, but I’m in NO rush. I feel like in the South it’s really common for people to get married at a relatively young age, but right now I like my independence way too much to see that as a good fit for me. 

Can you do a makeup tutorial?
I haven’t done a video tutorial, but I did share a blog post with details about my everyday makeup routine here

Do you miss having summers off as a teacher?
Not really since I never had a summer off while teaching. The summer right after college, I started grad school, which meant I had class all summer up until I started my first year as a teacher. Fast forward to the following summer, which would have been my first summer off as a teacher, but I was finishing grad school with class all day. I think had I not been in grad school and had those summers I would miss having them off, but since I didn’t, doing work in the summer feels normal. My work/life balance is better than it has ever been now, so I have been making the most of the summer with what my roommate and I refer to as our summer mentality. Like anyone, I am looking forward to some vacation time off next month. 

I was fortunate enough to get a job in my hometown during my first year out of college. Do you have any tips for figuring out how not to get down on myself for living at home and not in a new city like my other friends?
For starters, congratulations! No one really warns you, but your first year out of college will be a bit of a challenge. I don’t say that to scare you but instead to encourage you since you will be with two of the people that support you the most (your parents) during this time. By living at home, you’re going to be able to save SO MUCH and therefore will have a little bit more money to go and visit friends in their new cities when you want a taste of what their lives and different cities may be like. I would try to be intentional of being social and making friends just like you would if you were starting someplace fresh since it could be easy to just rely on the comforts of home. My plan last summer if a roommate and job hadn’t lined up so perfectly in Birmingham was to move home with my parents. And no offense to any roommate I’ve ever had but my parents top them all since living with them comes free of charge, with meals and groceries, and even a cute dog. Don’t beat yourself up over moving home in the slightest but do start saving as much as you can so that if the opportunity presents itself to branch out and move somewhere new, you feel confident doing that!

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