Friday, September 20, 2019

September Q&A

Happy Friday! This week has felt a lot longer than previous ones and I am so glad that the weekend is *finally* here. You'd think this meant I had big plans but that's the opposite of the case so we shall see what I come up with to do. After so many requests from y'all to post more videos I decided to turn this post into a video. If you have any requests for future videos feel free to let me know since I am more likely to film them if there are requests. 


For those of you loyal blog readers trying to decide if it's worth watching me ramble in this video, here are the questions I have answered! 

Q: Why don’t you post to Youtube anymore?

Q: How do you tell people you just met about your blog?

Q: What do you do for a living?

Q: Do you have any closet decluttering tips?

Q: How can I make friends in a city where the only people I know are my new coworkers?

Q: Any tips on how to build a community post-grad?

Q: What are your favorite fall treats/activities?

Q: When you meal prep chicken what do you use for seasoning?

Q: What are your favorite TV shows?

I hope that y'all have fun plans for your weekend! 

Thursday, September 19, 2019

How To Re-Establish A Routine

At this point, I feel like everyone who is going to be back in school is officially back. The first month back always felt like a prolonged period of getting back in the swing of things and attempting to establish a routine. I was recently talking with a friend about how we were both attempting to do the same thing workwise now that summer has drawn to a close. It seems as though fall never fails to become its own kind of busy so in an attempt to make weekend travel and day to day life a bit easier I’ve been doing my best to re-establish my ideal routine. 


Y’all know I’m a routine person, so since I only was out of it for shorter spurts this summer, it hasn’t been too challenging to get back in the groove the past couple of weeks. Below I have included some of the things that have helped me most, and that will certainly be my go-to tricks when I find myself wanting to regain a bit of structure.

Do As Much As You Can To Help Yourself The Night Before
No matter how much I have grown to love mornings, before heading out the door can always feel a little bit rushed. My solution to this is to prioritize doing whatever I can do to make my morning easier the night before. Personally, that means packing my gym bag (whenever I do it in the morning I tend to forget socks), thinking about what I’m going to wear the following day, and packing my lunch. Packing my lunch is my least favorite of those tasks but doing it at night tends to make it easier to get out the door on time. In an ideal world, I’d have everything I plan to put in my lunch box already in its container (be it a ziplock or Tupperware) and even have my iced coffee ready to grab. This doesn’t always happen but is going to be my goal for next week to save myself time and maybe even earn a few extra minutes of shut-eye.

Set Your Alarm Earlier
Hi, my name is Dorothy, and I never wake up to my first alarm. This fact tends to surprise people, but if you were to look at the alarms I have set on my phone, you’d be baffled. I have so many set, and they are oddly in three-minute increments. I usually get out of bed around 5:30 after my first alarm going off at 5:15. It would be great to get out of this habit but popping out of bed right when the first one sounds is not my strength. If I am aiming to get out of bed earlier, I know that my first alarm needs to be at least 10 minutes before I actually need to get up. Having that extra ten minutes in the morning makes me feel calmer as I get ready, which in turn allows me to start my day with a better attitude. 

Reward Yourself
Personally, re-establishing a routine doesn’t just involve waking up on time to head to work. Instead, it means going to the gym and meal prepping, among other things. While rewarding yourself may sound a bit generous, I don’t necessarily mean it as getting something just for doing something you know you should already be doing. Instead, as you ease yourself back to going to the gym, reward yourself by doing your favorite workout so that you don’t dread it. Or as you’re preparing food for the week make your favorite recipe so that you at least know that you’ll be excited to eat what you’ve worked so hard to make in advance. It really is the little things when it comes to trying to re-establish your everyday. 

Create An Achievable Ideal Schedule
I think that the hardest thing that people face when it comes to a routine is overcommitting themselves to thinking they can do a lot more than they actually have time for. Realizing that you’re not able to get it all done can be discouraging. Instead, create an achievable ideal schedule by writing out the priorities you have for yourself each day. From there, build that into your schedule while also giving yourself plenty of time for flexibility! 

What do you do when working to re-establish a routine?

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

One Year In Birmingham + What I've Learned

The beginning of this month marked my official one-year anniversary of living in Birmingham! I think back on it and am so torn as to whether or not it feels like it flew by since in a lot of ways it feels like I am so settled here. Time is a funny thing, so I’m not even going to try to figure it out since in short, being in Birmingham has felt so right! 

This time last year, I’m not even entirely sure I was processing all the changes that were happening in real-time since it was a lot all at once. In the span of a weekend I found a house in Birmingham (well my roommate’s mom happened to find us our home and stalled with our landlord long enough for us to both give her the ok), packed up my entire apartment in Greenville, SC, graduated with my master’s degree, drove the U-Haul of my stuff to Birmingham with my parents, put all of my things in the living room of the house, and interviewed for the job I currently have the next day. That sentence is exhausting just to read, and I’m sure glad I don’t have to relive it any time soon. 


I couldn’t let a year of being here pass without reflecting on it and while I’d like to think I could remember all of the things I’ve learned in this new (well not so much anymore) place I know there are things I’m leaving out. Below are just some of the things that I have learned over my past year that may be due in part to moving, changing jobs, but also are probably lessons I was bound to face along the way as I grow up. 

A House Is 100 Times Better Than An Apartment
While there is nothing wrong with living in an apartment, if I can help it, I hope it’s not something I’ll do again since I LOVE living in a house. A bit more elbow room, not having neighbors you don’t know above and below you, and a place that feels cozy and your own are just a few of the perks. I am definitely biased, but I think our house is the cutest (it has been confirmed to be the cutest house on the block) and it certainly feels like home to my roommate and me. Our house is old, and our landlord is young, so it comes with its fair share of quirks (read: most of the appliances), but I wouldn’t trade it for a brand new apartment! 

As a happy to celebrate our one-year in Birmingham anniversary, I gifted my roommate with this adorable print from Paper Eliza of us in front of our house. I can’t wait to frame the print (since naturally, I wanted my own copy too) and have it as a sweet reminder of this past year and the years to come. 

Making Friends In A New Place Takes Effort But Is So Worthwhile
Thank goodness for having a few good friends in Birmingham before I moved because it made making friends more seamless than if I had moved here completely alone. Even with those connections, I made it my goal to build a community early on. I’ll never forget my roommate’s mom claiming that Rebecca wouldn’t have friends if it weren’t for me and the way in which I pulled groups together. I don’t think anyone else would peg that on me, but in some ways, it is the truth. I don’t think I’ve ever been so intentional about trying to make plans with people and hosting things to meet and make friends. I did a whole blog post about how to make friends in a new place here that may be helpful for those of you in the same boat. 

Work-Life Balance Can Exist
Y’all, one of the biggest changes I’ve noticed in the past year is that I finally have a balance between work and my regular life. This was unfathomable in Greenville while teaching and also getting my master’s but boy does it feel good. I can go home at night and not have to worry about doing anything related to my job. Nope, no emails and no stressing about what I have to do the next day! This is going to sound dramatic, but it has made my quality of life so much better. There are still times when things are hectic at the office (especially since I now work on two different titles) that I’ll bring work home so that it can all get done but most nights and weekends I am completely disconnected from my job. It’s a dream come true so much so that I sometimes get bored on Sunday afternoons even when I have a blog to keep me busy! The Sunday scaries are also not a thing, and I don’t think I’ve cried about work once (and I cried too many times to count while teaching...)!

You Don’t Have To Have Your Life Figured Out At 24
You know that plan you had in your head about what your life was going to look like in your (nearly) mid-twenties? Yeah, go ahead and scrap that. My life looks a lot different than what I pictured, and there are times I find myself laughing and thinking, thank goodness it does. I hope to have this same mentality when I hit 25 in December (for whatever reason I’m scared that birthday/number is going to be a harder pill to swallow than previous ones). As someone who could definitely be pinned as a “planner”, it’s nice to remember that you don’t have to have everything figured out at this point. Fortunately, I have a job I enjoy in a city I love, and that feels as “figured out” as my life needs to be right now! 

When You Want To Explore On Your Own Put On Your Running Shoes
So much about Birmingham has been great, but with so many friends in school who need to study and a roommate whose schedule is very different than mine, there are times when I felt like I didn’t have anyone to explore with. I don’t know if it was wanting to pass some time when other people were busy or hope to get to know the area better or a combination of the two, but I’m so glad the solution I found involved running. I know this may not sound enjoyable to everyone, but this post is about me, so it gets to stay ;). I feel like I know the area where I live SO MUCH BETTER thanks to long runs on the weekends weaving down different streets. This became so much of a thing for me that I even decided to cross off the goal of running a half marathon thanks to it. I will warn those of you in Birmingham thinking about running to explore; it’s not called MOUNTAIN Brook for nothing… 

Routines Are Great, But It’s Nice To Get Out Of Them On Occasion
I know I mention this all the time, but I am a routine person to a fault. I like to have my week mapped out in advance and typically know exactly what I’ll be eating, when I’ll be working out, and what days I can get away with using dry shampoo instead of washing my hair before the week even begins. Because I write a lot of this down, my routine can feel very scheduled, which tends to get boring after a while. I’ve found myself saying no to spontaneous things with friends because I’ve already forced my brain into thinking that some other to-do is non-negotiable. Again, totally my own fault but fortunately I’ve learned this about myself and can make it more of a priority to schedule things outside of the norm with friends or say yes even to last-minute things to make week-night life a little bit more fun! 

Summer Can Still Be Fun Even Without An Official Summer Break
When I decided to stop teaching, I had an odd number of people ask me if I was sad to give up my summers. This always made me laugh since the summers book-ending my year of teacher didn’t exactly feel like the summers that most teachers get since I was in grad school all day. My response was usually along the lines of that it was best to give them up when I was in the habit of not having them and therefore not knowing differently! Fortunately, my roommate and I both agreed that even when working during the summer, we should do our best to have a summer mentality. That meant being social with friends more frequently than usual, staying at baseball games later than we should despite early alarms, and taking advantage of weekend activities as much as possible. Let us be proof that summer can still be plenty of fun without an official break. 

Somewhere Aside From Fairhope Can Feel Like Home 
Sappy much? I don’t mean for it to sound cheesy, but after being in Greenville for so long, I was still quick to tell people that I’m from or that home was Fairhope, AL. I still proudly claim Fairhope as my hometown but have grown to consider Birmingham home for the time being. I think that’s due to feeling very settled here. My parents like to give me a hard time about the fact that I’m now 4 hours closer to Fairhope and visit a lot less now (in their defense the last two times I was home I didn’t even stay at our house for the whole weekends). Maybe I’ll make it back before Christmas, but weekends this fall are already filling up fast! 

To sum it all up, it's nice to be in Birmingham. Hope that joke is clear based on the picture...Making a move to Birmingham and starting a job that was very different than my major but something I was passionate about was definitely the right decision for me. Have I been overwhelmingly happy every moment since I’ve moved? Of course not. But overall have I been a lot happier than I was previously. Undoubtedly. I have the best group of friends here that have created a community I was afraid to have lost when I left Greenville, and the group only continues to grow. I’ve put myself out there more than I have in the past and have become a lot more confident in who I am as a person. And the list goes on and on. 

I look forward to continuing to share my life here in Birmingham with y’all in posts to come and maybe I’ll finally get started on a guide to Birmingham in year two! 

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Little Luxuries I Love

Do you ever look at something and think what would I do without this? I do and often catch myself and laugh because it is typically about the most non-necessary item that I just happen to really love more than I should. Could I live without these things or substitute them for something else? Definitely. But, since I hope I don’t have to, I thought I’d be a bad influence and share some of the little luxuries I love with y’all instead. This post could have also been titled “why my parents tell me I have expensive taste” since it seems like all of these items are slightly overpriced. Regardless, they are the items that never fail to make me excited to use/wear when I reach for them. 


As far as drawers go, I think my pajamas drawer gets to be classified as my favorite. It’s filled to the brim with so many favorite pajama sets that make me excited to get in bed and have me feeling semi put together when I wake up. Lake Pajamas make the softest sets, and I’ve definitely been suckered into “collecting” a few of their different styles and color combinations. While they are pricey, they hold up really well and have maintained their softness over the years. I have linked some of my favorites from their newest collection at the bottom of this post! 

There’s something about lighting a candle that makes me feel a little bit more at ease. Maybe that’s because I tend to do it once I’ve sat down in the night to eat dinner or watch tv. I should probably light them more often since I’ve collected so many over the years, but all the smells seem to have a time and place (or at least that’s what I tell myself). I love the Baies candle by Diptyque, but it’s VERY pricey, so I only have a mini version from the set offered during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. 

When it’s cold outside, and I’m lounging around the house slippers are a good option, but soft socks are even better! They are something I forget about on occasion but am so happy to have remembered when I do reach for them! 

Having a favorite (expensive) detergent is downright ridiculous, but this detergent has become my signature scent according to my friends so now I feel like I’d be disappointing them along with myself if I didn’t continue to repurchase this product. I get the $28 bottle probably twice a year and am set which isn’t terrible but also isn’t ideal. To make this product last longer use regular non-scented detergent and add a cap full of this product to the washing machine and you still get the great scent without using the bottle up so quickly.

I remember about halfway through the school year when I taught one of my students asking me if I ever wore my nails unpainted. I had to laugh because it is a rarity for me not to have my nails painted. I pretty much always paint them myself and am a sucker for a new Essie color! 

I have gotten to the point where I’ve justified purchasing my favorite ground coffee which is pricier than typical ground coffee since I use it in my re-usable K-cup pod and am not having to buy the pods. So I’m helping the environment while also getting to drink my favorite copy which epitomizes win-win. This is the coffee that is served at one of my favorite restaurants in my hometown, so while the flavor is great I also like the association I have with it! 

What are your favorite little luxuries? 

Monday, September 16, 2019

Step Into My Week 9.16

Finally, Step Into My Week posts are back to going live on Monday! There are so many times that I write these posts and think about how on Earth y’all could be interested in what’s going on in my day to day life and it never fails that when I’m having those thoughts is when someone reaches out to tell me these are their favorite posts to read. So, thank you to any of you who find these interesting even when I’m just recounting checkmarks from my agenda. 


This week felt very much so “back to normal” after a summer of being in and out and attempting to take advantage of any, and all socializing friends wanted to do. While I still am quick to jump on a spontaneous excuse to not eat a meal I’ve made at home or mix things up a bit, it feels good to know that September is shaping up to be a more laid-back month before the craziness of fall kicks off. 

Monday was a pretty typical day with my morning beginning with emails, social media comments, and general organization of my to-do lists for the week. I had to review a binder around mid-morning and work through our resources which made time move quickly. Aside from that, I wrote out social captions for the week, attempted to schedule most of them, and worked on gathering product ideas for an upcoming shoot. After work, I went back to the Y for the first time in a while. I stayed there for about 45 minutes before hurrying home to shower and eat dinner before some friends came over to watch Bachelor in Paradise. It’s always fun to invite friends into our home for a casual evening in, and I especially appreciated that everyone had entertaining commentary to share. After they left, I got in bed to read before falling asleep. I’ve been reading Undercurrents by Nora Roberts, and while some parts of the storyline are a bit shocking, I’m interested to see how it all unfolds.


On Tuesday, I spent some time working on copy for upcoming issues and continuing to try to plan ahead social posts. I had a meeting in the afternoon and aside from that decided to take advantage of some time at my desk to work on emails and other tasks that are my responsibility. After work, I went to the Y to get in a bike workout. I finished that and headed home to shower, eat dinner, and work on some blog tasks with Bachelor in Paradise on in the background. 


Wednesday morning felt full of meetings, but fortunately, I was able to get some things done during the in-between time. One of those meetings was with Mary Catherine of Cotton & Quill to showcase her new collection. The color lover in me was hooked. So, if you need any pretty printed fabric or pillows, she’s the perfect solution! After that meeting, we had a team meeting for cottage to plan a couple of upcoming shoots and check-in our progress for the current issues we are working on. I spent the afternoon working on resources and some content management tasks before heading home after work. I made dinner and relaxed until heading over to Nell’s apartment to catch up before bible study that night. That finished around 9:00, and I gladly put on my pajamas and got in bed to read afterward. 



Thursday was a bit more eventful since two photo shoots were going on that I got to help with. The first one was in the studio, and the second was on location, which is where I spent the majority of my day. We were working on a winter tablescape for our January/February issue, and it turned out beautifully. Once the shoot wrapped, I had to make a couple of returns for a stylist, and then it was time to head home. I had dinner plans not too far from my house so decided to walk to meet my friends there while talking on the phone with Sophia and catching each other up on what has been going on in our lives. We finally nailed down a time for when we will get to see one another next, and I’m already looking forward to being back together in person. Macy, Betsy, and I got dinner at Taco Mama in Crestline at 6:30 and ended up staying there talking until 9:00, which was so fun! Macy drove me home after and I showered and got in bed to prepare for an early wake-up call in the morning.



I started my Friday morning with a 5:15 True40 class with Macy and then came home to get ready for work before heading to Starbucks for a little while. I got to work at 8:00 and worked on scheduling out social posts, reading copy for an upcoming issue, and planned ahead for the following week. I got to attend a tasting for an upcoming photo shoot before leaving the office which is always a treat especially since the menu for this shoot includes some All-American classics. I left work at noon with a list of errands to run in preparation for having a big group of friends over that night for our first deck party of the season. I cleaned up the back deck (which I shared on Instagram stories), made a few snacks, cleaned the house, and got ready for everyone to come over around 8:00. It was a lot of fun getting to have our group of friends back together, and the last people left around 11:45. After that, I cleaned up and got ready for bed! 


 


Saturday morning, I slept until around 8:00, made myself a cup of coffee and a bowl of oatmeal and got back in bed to eat breakfast and finish the Netflix show Dead to Me. Nell and I had plans to go shopping around 11:00, so I took it easy until then. We went to a shop in Crestline, explored Mountain Brook Village, and eventually made our way to Homewood. We grabbed lunch with our friend who met up with us at Brick and Tin and then all headed back to my house to watch the Alabama game. My roommate had some family in town and on her way out the door to meet them snapped this picture of all of us asleep watching the game. A group of our friends had tickets to a concert that night, so we all got ready for that before reconvening at my house for pizza beforehand. The concert was for a smaller band called The Brook and the Bluff (my roommate’s brother is the bassist). It ended a little after 9:00, and we all headed home afterward. I felt like I was coming down with a cold, so I took some NyQuil to attempt to get rid of it and fell asleep before 10:30. 




 


I woke up around 8:30 on Sunday morning and started my laundry before my second morning of the weekend having breakfast in bed. I worked on Sunday’s blog post and then eventually got up and got ready for church at 11:00. After church, I went to Trader Joe’s before making myself lunch and meal prepping for the week. I went for a walk and talked on the phone with my parents in the afternoon and even ate a popsicle on our back deck. The rest of my evening was very laid back, and I was able to get in bed pretty early. 

I hope that y’all had an equally as restful yet enjoyable weekend, and I hope your Monday is off to a great start.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Sunday Shopping vol. 25

Saturday shopping posts have now become equally as likely on Sunday as Saturday, oops! Either way, retailers are in full-blown fall mode and I didn't want to skip a weekend of sharing some cute pieces I've found! To shop the pieces click directly on the items below to be taken to where they can be shopped. 

Thursday, September 12, 2019

101 in 1001 (Round 2) Update

It took until I was looking around at my desk the other day at work for me to realize that the five to-do lists I have going make me undoubtedly a list person. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a handwritten list maker and apparently, I’m nowhere close to ending that. All these lists had me eager to re-visit the longest to-do list I’ve made, my second round 101 in 1001 list. While I did decently the first time I took on this task, I am hoping to cross even more off this go-round. To hold myself accountable, I thought that an update on my progress was in order. Keep in mind that I started the list in June so I still have plenty of time to attempt crossing 101 things off, but here is what I have started so far.



Completed Tasks

Come up with 101 things to do in 1001 days
Have you ever written something on a to-do list solely for the satisfaction of crossing it off? Yep, me too. This task counts though since intentionally coming up with 101 tasks that are achievable but also meaningful wasn’t easy. 

Create a new book series on the blog
I am so excited to have a new book guest poster on the blog! It really doesn’t seem that long ago that Novels with Nell was a thing, but it has been well over a year and feels like the right time to re-introduce book content regularly. I am so excited to have Phoebe of Read and Wright working on these monthly posts for y’all. I know it’s a bit premature to cross this off since so far there has only been one post, but we have more in the works so stay tuned! 

Wash my makeup brushes (once a month for a year)
This task doesn’t get a checkmark but more of a work in progress acknowledgment. It is alarming how infrequently I wash my makeup brushes, so I’m forcing myself to make it more of a habit. So far, I’ve got two months under my belt and are aiming to remain consistent with this goal. 

Celebrate 5 Exciting Life Events For Friends (Gil’s Wedding & Sophia’s Wedding)
I think weddings definitely get to count as exciting life events and since this list was made, I’ve gotten to celebrate with two very important people. I went to Seattle for Sophia’s wedding back in July and headed to Gil’s (my brother) wedding at the end of August. Both were a blast, and I’m looking forward to sharing photos from the events on the blog in the future.

Take Family Photos
Nobody told me I couldn’t kill two birds with one stone, but with most of our family at my brother’s wedding, we were able to get some great family photos at the event. I hope that we can continue to take more, but the wedding was a great start, especially since we needed to make sure to update the family photos since I officially have a sister-in-law. 

Visit 3 New States (Washington State – does the Dallas airport count?)
While for technicality’s sake I’d like to say I’ve visited two new states I don’t think seeing the inside of the Dallas airport really gets to count. I did visit the Pacific Northwest for the first time however and feel like I can genuinely say I’ve seen a good deal of Seattle, Washington.

Read 40 Books
I think I am going to need to increase this number since I’m already over halfway there at just two months in. Being able to listen to audiobooks has made it so much easier for me to fly through books and I’ve listed below the titles I’ve read and listened to so far since making the list. 


Try 20 New Places in Birmingham
This is another item I may need to edit since I’ve somehow made a lot of progress on it already. If you’re not in Birmingham, this may not mean anything to you, but it’s a nice mix of restaurants and bars if you’re local. 

(10/20 Marble Ring, Roots & Revelry, Dread River Distillery, Urban Cookhouse, Paper Dolls, Nana Funks, Queen’s Park, Green House, Five Points Oyster House, Lucky Cats)

Attend 3 Concerts (2 of 3 -- The Dirty Guv’nahs - summer 2019, Blackjacket Symphony - summer 2019)
I did not expect to be nearly finished with this item so quickly since I’m usually not a huge concert go-er even though I do enjoy them. I saw The Dirty Guv’nahs at Avondale Brewing in July, randomly went to an Eagles cover band concert with a friend in August, and am going to another concert in town this weekend. Check! 

Next on the list:
Go to the state fair
Go to a college football game
Read only library or audiobooks for a year
Read 30 minutes before bed for two weeks
Create 2 new monthly blog series

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

5 Things I'm Especially Excited For About Fall

September can feel like a bit of a weird month. You’re finally getting settled back into a routine, but it still feels like summer outside. It’s hard to fully embrace the fact that Halloween decorations are in stores and pumpkin flavor is being added to just about everything. Maybe that’s because I live in Alabama and it will take a bit longer for the temperatures and leaves to drop. Even still, fall is a season I get excited for despite how quickly my schedule fills with activities (does anyone else feel like that’s inevitable this time of year?). So, because looking forward to something makes it that much more exciting when it actually comes I’ve decided that it could be fun to share what I am looking forward to most about fall.

 

Football
Nothing makes it feel like fall quite like spending your Saturday afternoon and/or evening watching college football. Whether we put the game up on our projector, are watching it a friend’s house, or are at a brewery it’s an easy way to bring people together to enjoy one another’s company and usually delicious appetizers. I really enjoy watching the games and although the season has begun am ready for some of the better rivalries and get-togethers to come to watch them at. 

Cooler Weather
This is a no brainer and arguably the best part about fall. After plenty of weeks with temperatures in the 90s, any bit of crispness in the air gets me very excited. I know that the sun will start to set earlier, but it seems like in the fall I spend even more time outside just to soak it in! 

Sweaters
Another perk of cooler weather? Sweaters. I feel like looking put together in the fall and winter is so much easier since all it takes is a pair of jeans and cozy sweater and you still look like you put in plenty of effort. At the end of winter last year I remember being so tired of all my sweaters since I essentially lived in them, but now I’m eager to put them back on rotation. I guess it’s true that distance does make the heart grow fonder. 

Baking
I tend to get an urge to bake more this time of year and whether that be due to the cooler temperatures bringing me indoors or just looking for an excuse to try all of the pumpkin recipes out there I am not complaining. If you have any go-to fall recipes, I need to try definitely leave them in the comments below. Beyond just baking, I am ready for my crockpot to do all of my meal prepping for me with yummy soups and other dishes to come!

Bonfires
I am still fully convinced that our back deck (complete with a fire pit) is the reason I have friends in Birmingham. I never lit a fire just for myself to enjoy last year but am envisioning doing so this year with a warm drink and a good book (and of course s’ mores supplies).

What are you most looking forward to about the coming season?

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Step Into My Week 9.10

Even with this being the second week in a row that a Step Into My Week post has gone live on a Tuesday (as opposed to Monday) don’t get too used to that since I fully intend to have next weeks up on Monday! Between Labor Day weekend and the Lilly Pulitzer sale, I had to move things around accordingly. Thank goodness last week was a short one since I had some adjusting to do after being out of town but I’m making it a priority to get things back to normal this week.

Waking up last Tuesday with my body still on California time was a challenge. I knew that a lot of my morning would be spent catching up on missed emails, responding to comments, and getting back to square one at work which I don’t think really helped my energy level. There was a point in the afternoon where I thought I was going to fall asleep at my desk (don’t worry, I didn’t) and you can bet I treated myself to an afternoon cup of coffee as an attempt to combat that. My afternoon was spent writing social captions and working on resources before 5:00 finally came around, and I suddenly had a second wind. Although my gym bag was packed, I really didn’t feel like working out, so I instead texted Nell to see if she was free. We hadn’t caught up on our weekends yet, so we decided to grab dinner after I went home to change and start my laundry. I picked her up and didn’t tell her where we were going to eat dinner since it was a place I had been to before and talked up to her. Finally on the way there she guessed it and I’ll be the first to admit it’s not somewhere I would’ve ever gone had someone not raved about it and taken me there. For those of you in the Birmingham area, Blue Pacific (or gas station thai as I’ve gotten in the habit of calling it) has some of the best pad thai I’ve had, and I think Nell can agree. We fully brought each other up to speed on our lives, and after dropping her off, I headed home to finish my laundry and go to bed.



Wednesday was more productive than Tuesday but was filled with a number of meetings that made my productivity come in waves. I spent the morning working on captions, resources, and comps before a cover meeting at 11:15 and a round table team meeting from 2:30 to 4:00. After that, I had a few remaining emails to respond to before it was time to leave. I skipped the Y again opting to shower before heading to bible study so that I could go to bed right after. 


I spent most of Thursday at my desk, which was nice and I was able to make some progress on my ever-growing to-do list. I scheduled some meetings, worked on copy and social posts, and spent a lot of the afternoon looking for products to feature in upcoming issues. After work, I headed home for a little bit of downtime before grabbing dinner at Five Points Oyster House with a friend. Afterward, we ended up at a rolled ice cream shop (Lucky Cat) in Homewood, and both agreed that the rolled ice cream trend is a little overrated. I got home around 9:30 and read for a bit before falling asleep.


I kick-started my Friday bright and early after agreeing to meet my friend Macy at a 5:15 workout class at True40. I quickly showered and got ready so that I could still have a little bit of time to do blog work at Starbucks before heading into the office at 8:00. After work, I came home to eat lunch before changing and grabbing a book to sit by the pool for a little over an hour. Then it was time to go back home and change again for my second True40 class of the day. The first Friday of every month is “Free Friend Fridays,” and I had told Nell I’d go with her before Macy mentioned it and since I didn’t want anyone to be friendless, I decided to just go twice. Our friend Allie met us there as well, and afterward, we met up with all met up with some other friends at a Pizza place in Crestline Park called Basil. Once we were finished with our pizza, some of us went to Big Spoon (my favorite ice cream place in Birmingham) before heading home. Unfortunately, all of my PA school friends are back in study mode, which meant that them having plans only really included dinner. I showered, put on pajamas, and sat on the couch watching Netflix as my plans for the remainder of my Friday night.


 



Saturday morning, I slept in which felt great before deciding to run a few errands and accomplish general life to-do list tasks I had been putting off. I made it back home in time for the Alabama game, and Nell eventually joined me to watch that once she had finished studying for the day. When the game was over, we decided to go to Taco Mama for dinner. We jokingly told our waiter that we should’ve ordered a pitcher when he asked how our watermelon margaritas were, and he kindly brought one out to us. My roommate, Rebecca, had originally decided to stay home instead of joining us for dinner, but we were able to convince her to join us thanks to the free margaritas. After dinner, we went home to finish watching the Furman game before all calling it a night.


I had a slow morning on Sunday before getting ready to head to church with Nell. For once, I remembered to take a picture of what I wore, and I think it’s time to admit that I wore that red shirt three different times this week. It’s THAT good and on sale! After church, I dropped Nell off and headed to Trader Joes to get food for the week. My roommate and I ate lunch while watching friends before I decided to get my meal prepping out of the way. I spent the rest of the afternoon reading on our back deck and catching up with friends on the phone during my walk. After showering, I made dinner, cleaned, and started Netflix’s new show, Dead to Me. I got in bed early so that I’d have some time to read before calling it a night.


I hope that y’all had a nice week and that this week is going well too!

Monday, September 9, 2019

Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale Favorites

Your Monday just got better since the Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale is live! While there will likely be a line to wait for your turn to shop (since Lilly only offers two sales per year), I scrolled through all of the products and went ahead and already picked out my favorites to share with y’all. Last fall I ordered a few new pieces like this top (also available as a dress) that I get a ton of wear out of. I hope y’all enjoy scrolling through my favorites as you shop the sale!



Saturday, September 7, 2019

Saturday Shopping vol. 24

Happy Saturday! I guess after sharing so many fall pieces last week I couldn't make my mind switch back into actual temperature appropriate pieces. So, here are the cute things I've found this week that have me excited for cooler temperatures!

Friday, September 6, 2019

PIYS Readers Top Clicks In August

Pajamas, workout wear, and my favorite bedroom rug? It all makes sense as to why we are friends! It was so fun to see that some of my most worn and loved pieces (plus those cute ginger jar pajamas I’d love to get my hands on) were the items that y’all clicked on most frequently to purchase this month. I could be mistaken but that $20 Amazon sports bra seems to consistently make the cut as a top clicked item month after month, and with good reason! And don't get me started on my love of the Ostrich Travel Pillow. I may have written a love letter to it here... I have a feeling that next month’s post like this will be geared more towards fall given the blog posts I have planned for this month, but if you have any post suggestions I am all ears! 




Thursday, September 5, 2019

Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale Details, Tips, and Favorites

For all you sale shoppers out there looking to brighten your closet and your Monday, the Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale is back starting Monday, September 9th at 8:00 am. The sale will run through Wednesday, September 11th at 11:59 pm and new items will be added throughout the sale. 'I've loved shopping the sale myself in the past and wanted to share my best tips (and favorite recent Lilly finds at the end of this post) with y'all in preparation! 


1. Create an account and update your information before the sale starts. 
If you're even considering shopping the sale, this is not a suggestion but almost a requirement. Being logged into your account and having updated information before the sale begins will allow you to check out right away hopefully helping you snag more items you're dying to have. If you don't already have an account, you can create one here, and you can log in here.

2. Get to the site before the sale begins.
I constantly like being early to things, and this sale is no different. While the sale doesn't officially begin until 8 am EST getting there early will hopefully help you to be one of the first people in line. 

3. If there's something you love know that items in your cart are not reserved and it could be done if you linger before checking out. 
If you find that one item you hoped would be included in the sale and it's in your size, and that's all you wanted don't waste your time seeing what else you can get. GO AHEAD AND CHECK OUT! While it would be nice for items in your cart to be reserved, it's likely that Lilly lovers wouldn't leave their computers all day since they'd be scrolling through the sale pages to make sure they don't miss anything. That being said, since there is a virtual line, if you do choose to check out you will then be placed back in the line so you won't be able to continue to browse. It's kind of a catch 22. That's why my browser looks the way it does (as shown below) during the sale. 

4. Once in the virtual line, do not refresh your page.
This is just like elementary school in that you can't skip anything and if you get out of line you'll be hanging in the back. Once you've made it into the virtual line, definitely don't refresh. I do like opening multiple tabs to shop this sale. Most of the time, my browser looks a bit like this:

5. Have favorites in mind and have an idea of your size.
Knowing what you want or if there is a realm in which your closet is lacking will help you to avoid going too overboard during the sale. Additionally, make sure you're buying things in your size unless you love an item enough to go to the trouble of getting it altered. One little hint is to click the sale once you've gained access and narrow down by size using the filters on the site! 

6. Be Polite
If the site does crash be polite. The Lilly team wants the sale to go as smooth as possible, so harassing them with disappointed tweets isn't helpful. It's just a sale, and it should be fun!

Below you can find some of my current favorite pieces to browse while you wait. I'd love for you to share what you get if you're shopping in the comments! 

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Blogger Bloopers

What could be a better idea than starting my Wednesday by embarrassing myself on the internet? Jokes aside, whenever I post an updated “blogger bloopers” post I always hear from y’all about just how enjoyable you find seeing the other, less public side of blogging. Lucky for you that includes plenty of unflattering photos of me talking to whoever is taking my photos (usually Nell). Since I haven’t shared one of these posts since May and have had plenty of photos taken since I figured it was time for an update. I hope y’all enjoy this look at some of the photos that didn’t make the cut for the original posts they were shot for (which are linked above the photos).

 









 



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