Saturday, April 4, 2020

Saturday Shopping vol. 41

We have a sunny Saturday in the forecast today and although it won't be spent out at a brewery I'm thinking I'll spend some time enjoying the sun with a book on our deck. Scrolling through online retailers looking at the cute new pieces being offered has me excited for when socializing on a Saturday is a thing again. Below are some of my favorite finds in cute spring colors and patterns. If you see anything you're interested in you can click directly on the items in the image below!

Friday, April 3, 2020

Let's Talk About Boys (Your Questions On The Topic Answered)

Maybe this quarantine/social distancing thing has officially driven me to madness because never did I expect to actually write a blog post about boys. I can guarantee you my friends are all shocked as well since they have to pry information from me on the subject. But, whenever I was asking about what blog posts y’all wanted to see in the next few weeks, this topic came up over and over and over again. Overtime (ok done using the word “over” for a while), more and more of my Q&A questions and post requests have been on this topic, so maybe it’s time to humorously tackle it to a given extent. 

If you came here for interesting (or any) details about my love life, go ahead and exit this page since it’s unlikely I’ll be giving you what you’re looking for. As I mentioned at the start of this post, I am pretty much a closed book on the topic, even to my closest friends. They know better than to ask questions about dates that would warrant a one-word response because that’s definitely what they are going to get if they do. I’m a very private person and like to keep my cards close. So much so that once in college, a boy sought Nell out in the library to try to get information out of her about me telling her that I was a hard read and more private than Fort Knox… Out of solidarity to me, Nell immediately informed me of this interaction (one of their first), and I didn’t tell the guy about this until well over a year later. 


Not that this post needs a disclaimer since I’ve always been in control of what is being posted (perks of having your own blog, I suppose), but as a private person, it can be weird knowing that this is a very public platform. That means that anyone will be able to read these thoughts and stories on the matter, which is taking away from me being able to hold my cards close. Not only are my family and friends on the other side of the computer screen, but any of the guys I’ve previously been on dates with or may go on dates with in the future could be reading this (which feels like an unfair advantage to them). I’m also not someone I’d necessarily recommend taking dating advice from since there are certainly people with far more experience, but I guess being someone whose life you can read about on the internet makes me an easy target to ask questions to. For that reason, I took to Instagram (yet again) to have y’all put your questions on the topic in one place so that I am only answering things that you actually want to know about and, therefore, not exposing more of myself than I care to. My hope is that you’ll understand. 

As for these pictures, I could show their faces without hesitation since many of them are still friends/were only ever friends, but I thought it made this funnier and maybe added a bit of intrigue. In short, I probably think I’m a lot funnier than I am. I also figured you wouldn’t want to be overwhelmed by a blog post without photos.

So why are we referring to them as boys? In our house, my roommate and I call them “sirs.” We can’t automatically assume they are men since some probably aren’t that mature (no offense), but “sirs” has become code among our friends that maybe this could be a guy you’re potentially interested in. Keyword, maybe. 


Have you had a boyfriend?
I have not technically had a boyfriend, although I’ve been in situations where I’ve been going on dates with the same guys for long enough that it probably would’ve been a lot easier to just classify them as a boyfriend. I’m the type that takes forever to make up my mind, so in most situations, I am the one dragging my feet, which I’m sure is a really endearing quality, ha. 

Have you had an overall good experience with dating?
I have. 


Do you worry about finding someone?
I don’t worry so much about finding someone as I do finding the right someone. As I mentioned above, it takes me a while to make a decision, and a lot of that time is spent overthinking things. So, deciding that someone is the right one will likely be a challenge for me.

Do you use dating apps?
I don’t. I’ve never downloaded any of them but know plenty of people have success with them. Heck, my brother met his wife on one! At the moment, they aren’t really something I’m interested in downloading, but that’s not to say later on down the road I might not be curious. My brother was persistent in trying to get me to download one over Christmas since he was adamant that it expanded the number of people you’re exposed to, which seems to be the purpose of the apps, but that didn’t intrigue me enough to take action. 

Advice for dating apps? // Dating app experiences? // How to take apps seriously?
See above. 


Any pre-date advice?
Having a date on your calendar and being able to look forward to it is fun, but then a few hours before it comes, I start to question everything I know about socializing. I feel like that’s a pretty normal feeling since many times, you’re going on dates with people you only distantly know or know of. My friend Macy and her roommates started the tradition of taking a shot before going on dates, and it has somehow trickled into our household. While most of the time we opt to not actually take the shot and have a glass of wine while getting ready instead it’s always funny when you come home to find a shot waiting for you or have it delivered to you while getting ready if my roommate is home before I leave. While yes, taking a shot is dramatic and unnecessary, it’s more of the lightheartedness that comes with the tradition that eases the nerves. We like to say that the worst-case scenario of any first date is that you may have a good story to tell later. 

What should I wear on a first date? 
Chances are you’re probably grabbing drinks or dinner somewhere on a first date. Hopefully, this is occurring at a place that is casual but still nice. Side note: Once on a first date, the guy had told my friend that he made reservations at the nicest/hardest to get reservations to James Beard award-winning restaurant in Birmingham, and I quickly told her to tell him that was way too intimidating. So, if this is the situation you’re in, then I’m sorry and don’t follow my outfit advice below because that’s stressful, and I don’t know what to tell you. But usually a cute top and jeans (white in the summer is my go-to) should do the trick. Definitely wear something you’re comfortable in, and according to my roommate’s advice to me before a winter first-date, maybe don’t wear a turtleneck.


What’s the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you on a date?
I really can’t think of anything overly embarrassing, but maybe I’ve just blocked those experiences out altogether. One time I did accidentally take Nyquil instead of Dayquil before a dinner date, and it took everything in me to keep my eyes open. I later told the guy that, so I guess it’s not that embarrassing if I’m willing to admit it.

Best date you’ve ever been on?
I’m having a hard time coming up with what the best date I’ve been on has been since I’m fortunate that most of them have been pretty fun. I like dates that start one place and end somewhere else. So, I always like grabbing drinks at one place and then walking to a restaurant nearby for dinner. I also like it when someone has paid attention to something I’ve mentioned in passing and making plans around that because it seems thoughtful. For example, I once mentioned that I loved the movie It’s A Wonderful Life, and a guy planned a date around us grabbing food and then going to see a showing of the movie at The Alabama Theater. I also enjoy doing activities as well since then you have a guaranteed topic to talk about, so now that I’ve mentioned about three different things, I guess I don’t have one stand-out date experience.   


Worst date you’ve been on? 
So, in all this was not a bad date, it was just kind of a boring date. We met for dinner at a sushi restaurant and ordered one roll and were there for 3 hours. The meal came pretty quickly, so I felt bad that we were taking up space in the restaurant when it seemed clear that nothing else was going to be ordered. I remember being very ready for that date to be over for the sole fact that I was tired of sitting there after that long and was still hungry since my roll only had six pieces. I also don’t know how to use chopsticks, so I had to eat it with a for which is also pretty funny.

Another date that wasn’t necessarily bad but wasn’t my favorite involved a CycleBar spin class. I get relatively competitive with myself and the leaderboard in this type of class, so I was drenched in sweat by the time it was over, and the guy then wanted to go straight from the class to a decently nice wine bar. If you’re going to do something active and then social after maybe choose an activity where you won’t sweat quite as much or reconvene after allowing the person to go home and shower. 

Are there some good dating options in Birmingham? I’ll be in school there in the fall.
I feel like it is definitely easier to meet someone when you already have something such as school in common. Aside from that, I’ve met plenty of great guys here, so I’d say yes, even if I classify most of them as friends. I could see myself dating more of the people I met here than the ones I met when I lived in South Carolina. 

How do you introduce yourself to a guy and not be extremely awkward?
Try to find some common ground. It’s easier to introduce and talk to someone if you have something to talk about. If they are in your class and you see them in the library, ask them what they thought of xyz recent assignment. If this is someone you see at your favorite brewery wearing a shirt from a place you’ve been mention that you love, that should be an easy way to start a conversation. Just don’t overthink it! 


Have you ever ghosted anyone?
Sort of, and I’m not proud of it. I don’t feel like I fully ghosted him since I did thank him for the meal at the end of the date, but usually, I follow up with a text later on saying thank you again. This time I did not do that, and I think he texted me, and I never ended up responding. I wish the story ended there, but instead, he coincidentally (and unknowingly, I would assume) moved into the same apartment complex as me directly across the parking lot. Better yet, his roommate, who I had never met, then messaged me on Facebook messenger saying that they had moved there, and since we weren’t Facebook friends, I assumed it wouldn’t notify him that I had read the message. Well turns out it does so in a way I guess I ghosted that guy too since I didn’t end up responding. Moral of the story, don’t ghost someone because you never know when they may become your neighbor. 

How should you handle ghosting? 
In a perfect world, no one would ghost anyone because it’s not nice and is confusing. I’ve clearly learned from my mistake above. My instinct when you’re the one being ghosted is to come up with something to text them so that if you happen to run into them again out in public (which after being ghosted always seems to be more likely), it isn’t awkward. Maybe say something along the lines of “Hope you’re doing well. I feel a little weird about the way things were left and don’t want it to be awkward if we do happen to cross paths in the future. Hopefully, you feel the same way I do in that there are no hard feelings!” As much as I hate confrontation, I think that people should be called out on ghosting so that hopefully it becomes less of a trend. 


What’s some advice on taking a relationship from easy and light-hearted to deeper and more meaningful? 
Ideally, this would be something that happens naturally. I HATE talking about feelings, so I’m probably not the person to ask this question to, but it could just be that the guy doesn’t know how to bring the topic up so it may work in your favor to weave it into the conversation. 

How do you not feel down/excluded when most of your friends get in a relationship? / How to deal with close friends who desert you when they get a boyfriend? 
Make friends with other people who may not be dating someone or married! It’s nice to have friends of all types, so I would make that a priority instead of focusing on that friend, maybe being more distracted. 

How do you not freak out when people around you are getting engaged? 
I used to think at 25 I would have a lot more of my life figured out than I do, but now I don’t know why I ever thought that would be the case. While this is a perfectly reasonable age for people to be getting engaged and married (this is the south after all…) I personally don’t feel old enough. I love my life the way it is right now and, in a lot of ways, feel too selfish to want to change that. I know these feelings will probably change eventually, but trying to be content with exactly where you are is a good start. 

What do you do when you know a guy isn’t right for a friend? 
Yikes, this is a tricky one. I really don’t have a good answer for this since I haven’t felt the need to step in and express to a friend that the person they are with doesn’t seem like the best match from an outsider perspective. If you are making this judgement without really knowing the guy then I think it would be important to put in the effort to get to know him first since that shows your friend that you've at least tried and have spent time with him making this opinion more valued. I would say then maybe have a one-on-one conversation with her about your concerns, but be sure to phrase those kindly and in her best interest. From there it will more than likely be up to her to really figure things out. 

Alright, I think that’s enough from me on the topic for now! I hope that y’all enjoyed this post and I’ll see you back here tomorrow for another one. In the meantime, enjoy your Friday!

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Easter Dresses For Making New Traditions

I know I’ve already talked about how Easter will look different this year, so I won’t get into that all over again, but in many ways, I feel like it will be nice to at least attempt to make it a less than ordinary day. One way I fully plan to do that is to get dressed for church on Easter morning. Even if church won’t be in person and instead will take place on my couch, it’ll feel special to have on real clothes for the first time in a while. I’ll more than likely wear a dress from my closet, but in case you’re looking for something new to wear, I still wanted to share some cute spring dresses that would work for the occasion. Many of them are a little bit more casual than what you may wear to church for the event, but they are festive nonetheless. Also, if you’re still looking for Easter basket ideas, I shared those last week as well. 

I’d love to know if there are any fun recipes you’re planning to try or what you’re doing to try to make the day as special as possible, even when it looks different than what you’re traditionally used to. And if you happen to want to purchase any of these dresses, you can do so by clicking directly on the one you are interested in in the image below to be taken to where it can be purchased! Many of these online retailers are currently having really awesome online sales, so you’re likely to get a deal.


Tuesday, March 31, 2020

What To Read Right Now

I am so excited about today's post since I feel like my activity of choice besides going on obscenely long walks has been reading. My screen time since this outbreak began has skyrocketed, and being able to dive into a good book with nothing but time feels like such a treat. I am a bit bummed that I was unable to pick up the books I placed on hold at the library before they closed, but I have been better about exploring my own bookshelves to pick up any books I may not have read when they initially arrived. 

I love seeing what Phoebe is reading and was thrilled to see that two books I've already read made this fun list! I read Winter In Paradise in January (and have been trying to get my hands on the sequel) and listened to Daisy Jones and The Six last fall and loved it. At one point, I had to google whether or not they were a real group since it was so well written. I'm hoping to share some of the books I've read so far this year in the coming weeks, but for now, this list will definitely hold you over. Also, I've linked directly to Amazon for these books since that allows you to read the full synopsis, but if you have a local favorite book store and the means to purchase a book or two, I'd recommend trying to buy your books from there for the time being. I have no doubt Amazon will be in good shape when this is all said and done, but smaller businesses are more likely to be hurting. From here I'll let Phoebe take it away! 


I had this post ready to go for Dorothy all about books to pack for Spring Break. Now that we are all hunkered down until further notice, here are some great reads that will take you on vacation in your mind or distract you from the craziness that is happening in the world! I hope you are all staying safe and that books can bring you comfort right now. It’s taken two weeks for me to get my own head on straight, so you aren’t alone! 

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
An enemies to lovers romance that takes place in Hawaii. It is SO fun! 

Winter in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand
I call this a “thriller light” because it’s a character-driven mystery but nothing too scary. It takes place on St. John and has a sequel, What Happens in Paradise.

Anna K by Jenny Lee
A modern retelling of Anna Karenina! It’s been compared to a darker version of Gossip Girl. 

Long Bright River by Liz Moore
A tale of two sisters in Philadelphia battling the opioid crisis: one a police officer, the other an addict. An excellent audiobook option, as well! 

Beautiful on the Outside by Adam Rippon
A fun, silly yet serious memoir about Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon. 

Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
One of Reese’s picks from that year that I am still recommending today! It’s the story of a band told in an interview format, and it’s SO good. A great book to read or listen to with its full cast! 

The Simple Wild by KA Tucker
If you follow my on Instagram, you’ll know I am OBSESSED with this book. It’s the story of Calla Fletcher, who goes to Alaska to reconcile her relationship with her dying father. It has heavy themes but also has a lot of heart, humor, and romance. And it has a sequel, Wild at Heart

For all fantasy lovers, this is a new to me series that I have fallen in love with. Give it a chance, even if you think fantasy isn’t for you! 

Right now, Scribd is offering a free 30-day trial, and they have TONS of audiobooks and ebooks. Now is a great time to try them out! Lots of these options are available to read and listen to for free. And, if you’re looking to support small businesses in your communities, check out Libro.fm! It is an audiobook subscription that works just like audible, but your $14.99/month goes to your favorite independent bookstore! 

If you’re interested in more books, you can always find me on my blog Read & Wright and on Instagram @readandwright. There are LOTS of exciting things happening over there now! 

IG: @readandwright

Monday, March 30, 2020

Step Into My Week 3.30

Doing these posts now that all my days run together is just plain confusing. I’m no longer writing out long to-do lists in my planner and have instead been relying on my memory to try to keep the days separated in my head. I’m doing a relatively mediocre job of that at the moment, but even with a whole lot of the same every day, I hope that you’re finding these weekly recaps somewhat interesting. This week I’m going to try to prioritize taking more pictures of what I’m up to even when I find whatever it is that I’m doing semi boring because maybe that will help to jog my memory while writing these posts. 

Monday morning, I woke up to not only pouring rain but also a water leak in my ceiling directly above my desk. This definitely wasn’t ideal after the spot where the crack is was supposed to have been fixed twice now. So, with a bucket in my chair, I opted to work from our living room this day and turned on the Today show while I planned ahead for some shoots. In the afternoon, I did a true40 class in our basement, and that night my roommate and I continued to watch Tiger King on Netflix.


Tuesday was a relatively similar set up to Monday since the roofer wasn’t able to come and check out my ceiling situation until then. I was able to get a lot done and even worked outside for a bit in the afternoon. I did another true40 workout and went for a walk before eventually showering, eating dinner, and continuing Tiger King.

Wednesday morning, I went to Trader Joe’s to stock up food to hold me over for a while and spent the rest of the day working from the dining room table as the roofers worked outside until close to 3:30. I did a true40 workout outside that afternoon before showering and getting ready for our virtual bible study in the evening. We finished that around 9:30, and I read for a bit before falling asleep. 


Thursday, I was finally able to work from my desk again, which seemed exciting. I pre-planned a few more shoots and also spent most of the afternoon working outside since the weather was beautiful. I was able to catch up with Ellison and Sophia over face time in the afternoon which was so fun and much needed. I went for a run that night before my roommate, and I finished Tiger King that night. 



Friday morning, I got up early so that I could get an hour of work in before going for a morning run. It felt really nice to be able to do this, which is certainly a perk of working from home. When I got back, I quickly showered and got back to work until a little after noon. I eventually made myself lunch and read in bed for a while. In the afternoon, I worked on some blog work from our deck, and eventually, my roommate and I made a margarita and went on a walk. Once we got back and showered, we realized we were in our pajamas before some of the kids on our street, which made us laugh. With dinner in hand, we camped out on the couch to watch the most recent episode of Little Fires Everywhere and then went to bed. 

 

Saturday was the most eventful day of my week and fortunately a beautiful day too. I had plans to go hiking with a friend whose family has some property right outside of Birmingham. It was so nice to get out of the house and have plans despite the fact that I wasn’t positive what the whole day would entail. We grabbed lunch to go and ended up exploring some more land and didn’t actually end up eating our lunch until around 5:00 when we headed back towards Birmingham. We came back to my house, where my roommate was watching a movie and sat on the deck for a while before eventually calling it a day. 

 

Sunday morning, I woke up, showered, and got back in bed to watch church online. I spent the rest of the morning cooking, baking, and doing some laundry. I tried to take a nap in the afternoon but was never able to fall asleep and read instead. I went for a walk around 3 to talk on the phone with my family and enjoy the cooler weather and didn’t end up finishing my walk until close to 6. I ordered takeout from one of my favorite Mexican restaurants in Birmingham to eat for dinner and was in bed by 8:30. 

I hope y’all are hanging in there and staying healthy as most of us enter into week three of working from home! 

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Saturday Shopping vol. 40

It has felt a whole lot like spring the past couple of weeks in Birmingham, and I am SO GLAD! While I'd rather not have to deal with sheltering in place at all (which I'm sure everyone can agree on), I'm glad it's not happening when it's freezing cold and raining. I spent so much time working from our deck this week, and it really helped my attitude. This is always one of the most fun times of the year socially it seems (minor league baseball dollar beer nights anyone?) that it's hard not to feel like we're missing out when staying put at home is definitely the right thing to do. That can't help me from envisioning all the fun places I'll go and people and things to see when this is eventually over, and given all these Saturday Shopping posts I've done, there are cute options of what to wear. If you see anything in today's post that you're interested in purchasing, all you have to do is click on the item in the image below!


Friday, March 27, 2020

Easter Basket Gift Ideas

Welp, the reality of your Easter morning plans looking a little bit different than you had anticipated seems to be becoming more and more of a reality if you’re anything like me. I love being with my family on Easter but have spent a couple away from them, so I don’t feel fully justified about being in a funk about that no longer being a possibility. Last year, my mom came to visit me in Birmingham since I had been traveling the week before and she needed to shop for clothes for my brother’s wedding later that summer. She ended up heading home on Easter morning, and I spent it going to church with friends before going to my roommate’s parents’ house to celebrate with her family. Church services have already been canceled here, family gatherings are going to have a cap, and I feel like driving home to see my family would definitely be breaking the rules of sheltering in place. 

Instead, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’ll probably be in Birmingham for Easter and hope to have a make-the-most-of-it attitude. At 25, you’d think maybe I’ve outgrown Easter baskets, but when my mom asked what the Easter bunny should consider delivering to Birmingham, I mentioned stamps and a hairbrush and was promptly told to keep thinking. Well, I did, and I’m sharing the most fun ideas I came up with here for y’all. To purchase any of the products below, you can click on the items directly in the image below! 


Thursday, March 26, 2020

Are AirPods Worth The Investment?

Almost two weeks into working from home, this blog post seems even more applicable than when someone reached out to me on Instagram, knowing I had recently purchased AirPods and asking if they were worth the investment. I told her that hands down, they were one of the best purchases I’ve made this year and that I really don’t understand why it took me so long to finally purchase them after having them on my wish list for so long. Now, as I’ve adjusted to working from home, that couldn’t have become more true.

shirt (similar) // airpods // airpod case (comes in tons of colors)

I’ll be the first to admit that when AirPods were released I didn’t fully buy into the concept. I was used to doing things with corded headphones and had the mindset of “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” There is still absolutely nothing wrong with corded headphones, and I am fully aware of the fact that being able to purchase headphones that rack up a price tag of over $100 is a luxury. However, when I did finally buy a pair, I was able to truly understand the hype no matter how funny it looks to me to walk around with headphones in. To fully show how much I have loved my AirPods since I got them, my original pair was unfortunately taken off of my desk one day after office hours and since have gone unfound. I was SO bummed as I am not good at “losing” things and fully intended to not buy another pair as seemingly punishment for not thinking to put them somewhere other than out in the open. I think my parents were so sick of me talking about how much I missed them that for Valentine’s Day, they sent a card with a little bit of cash to help me purchase a new pair (and probably also shut me up from whining about not having them). It took me well over a year to finally decide to purchase my first pair, and in the span of a week after losing them, I had purchased a second pair. If that doesn’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed them, then I don’t know what will.

I became a little less hesitant to purchase a pair when the newer model was released, causing the original model to decrease some in price. I don’t really know what differences the two models have aside from the newer pair being noise-canceling, but knowing what situations I would be using them in, the noise canceling feature didn’t have any major appeal to me as I need to know when a coworker is trying to get my attention and be aware of my surroundings while working out. So, I found the original model on sale on Amazon and purchased them not once, but twice. The second time around, I was wise enough to get a case that can easily connect to my keys or water bottle, which will hopefully ensure that a third time purchasing them won’t be necessary. Below I’ve included why I like using them at work and working out while also sharing a few tricks I’ve only recently learned that AirPods are capable of. Hopefully, if you’re on the fence about purchasing them, this will help to make that decision a bit easier. 

phone case // airpods // airpod case (comes in tons of colors)

For Work
In my role as a stylist, I am out of my desk, moving around a lot. Whether that’s pulling props in the prop room, ironing linens or arranging flowers for a shoot, or packaging returns to be shipped back to vendors, a cord started to get in the way. I love listening to podcasts and audiobooks while I work and discovered that I was doing that a whole lot less since I didn’t want my headphones to be in the way and, in turn, would opt to just not listen to anything. 

Now, as I’ve adjusted to working from home, it has been really nice to be able to put my AirPods in for phone calls so as not to distract my roommate while she also works. I’m able to easily walk to the kitchen to grab a snack without pausing my music or book and carry on once I get back to my desk. While taking headphones in and out certainly isn’t hard, the convenience of not having to worry about doing that is one I love. 

For Working Out
When I ran my half marathon in March of 2019, I joked that I would place first in the age group of “Under 30 With Corded Headphones” since I felt like EVERYONE was using AirPods. I was initially going to purchase a pair before the race but ended up needing new running shoes instead and never got around to it. Now, running while keeping my phone in my legging’s pocket without maneuvering a cord out of the way of my arms has been a game-changer. I also love them for spin workouts that have me in and out of the saddle since I don’t have to worry about accidentally hitting the cord and sending my phone flying. Again, they are a convenience more than anything but have made both activities even more enjoyable. 

Things I Didn’t Know You Could Do
Did y’all know that if you take one of the pods out of your ear, it automatically pauses your music? Or that if you double-tap a pod you can skip to the next song? You probably did, but both of these things were news to me! I’m sure there are tons of other features that I’d discover if I actually read the manual, but y’all are welcome to share any of the discoveries you’ve had with me here! 

If you do end up purchasing a pair go ahead and spend the extra $8 to get a case since if you love them as much as I have, you won’t want to go without them!


Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The Most Random Things You've Considered Buying While At Home During Covid19

Last night I took to Instagram (in an attempt to entertain myself) and asked on my stories what was the most random thing you had considered buying while being at home. My examples were a pogo stick and a mini trampoline, so while the bar was set, it wasn't necessarily set all that high. It didn't take long for me to start laughing reading through the responses I received, and while I had no intention of posting them here, many were too funny that it didn't seem right to keep these responses to myself. 

When I asked my parents ideas of what some activities were for me to do while social distancing, some of their responses were just as out there (looking at you, dad). I shared my actual list yesterday, but in case you're feeling creative, the items below are what Prep In Your Step readers have considered buying or maybe even purchased at this point. I hope it makes you laugh as much as I did!


Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Fun Activities To Do At Home While Social Distancing

Now that we are all (hopefully) spending a lot more time at home it can be a bit of a challenge to come up with engaging activities that can make this time feel enjoyable as opposed to alarming. While a certain amount of uncertainty is expected, I am doing my best to make the most of the time I have at home by filling it with activities I love both new and old. I thought it may be fun to share some of these ideas with y'all in case you had additional recommendations to share with me! 

So far, I've had an itch to bake and have been loving the ability to do my favorite workouts from the comfort of my home. Chances are you probably have many of these items already at your house so there is no need to go out to buy them, but if not, I shared where these items can be purchased online if you're hoping to order something. I think next on my list is to order a puzzle to do to avoid added screen time at night and stock up on the ingredients to make some of my favorite cookies over the weekend. 

If you're interested in shopping any of the items below you can click directly on them below to be taken to where they can be purchased! Make the most at being at home by having a bit of fun too!


Monday, March 23, 2020

Step Into My Week 3.23

Where to even begin with today’s Step Into My Week post. For starters, this is up a bit later than usual due to my ceiling starting to leak this morning, which is far from ideal. Hopefully, that will be fixed today, given that it is right above my desk, which has become my newly established office. 


As you can imagine, with social distancing in place and those who can being required to work from home, my week was less eventful than most. We were emailed on Sunday to work from home, although I had to go into the office on Monday to conduct a conference call and pull my props for the in-studio shoot I had scheduled for the following day. I was only in the office for about 2 hours before heading back to my house to finish the workday there. I am certainly more productive at work and already miss having that kind of routine in place but did my best to start establishing a schedule for myself on Monday. I was able to make a general schedule of the different tasks I have that I can do each day and have been slowly working through those. Although most of my day was spent sending out emails and getting everything set for the following day’s shoot, I was able to also work through some other work projects that I hadn’t had time for previously. In the afternoon, I did a true40 workout outside on our deck and was able to go for a walk too since the weather decided to cooperate. I don’t really remember much else from that evening since the days are starting to run together in my head. 

Tuesday, I did go into the office for my shoot, and it was eerily empty as I suspected. The food stylist, photographer, and I all stayed very spread out as we powered through the photos for the cookbook the shoot was for. I was at the office until close to 5:00 and went for a decently long run once I got home. My roommate and I did a true40 workout together, and that night I made dinner after I showered and got in bed pretty early.


Wednesday was my first official day of working from home the whole day, and I had a few phone calls scheduled and a growing list of things I could do to get ahead for when we eventually do go back to the office. I was scheduled for an in-studio shoot on Thursday, which got canceled midway through one of my phone calls about it, which made the reality of the situation hit a bit harder. I took my lunch break outside while reading before coming back in to finish the rest of the workday. My roommate and I decided to go for a walk around our neighborhood after the workday was done, and it was nice to see so many people enjoying the beautiful weather from their yards. That night we had a virtual bible study with our friends, which was refreshing and felt like a great way of keeping some part of our routine consistent.

Thursday was spent very similarly to Wednesday, and I did my best to keep my routine intact best I could. Eating lunch outside in the sun with a book has become one of my favorite aspects of working from home. After I sent my final emails and wrapped things up for the day, I went and played tennis for a few hours before coming home. My roommate and I watched a couple of episodes of The Office and then went to bed. 

Since work starts an hour later for me on Fridays, I was able to sleep in before “getting ready” to start my workday. After work, I caught up on the phone with a couple of friends, listened to a lot of an audiobook, spent time outside on our deck, and eventually went for a run. When I got back from that around 5:00, my roommate and I made margaritas and after showering and making dinner hunkered down on the couch to watch the first three episodes of Little Fires Everywhere. We are so excited for Wednesday when the next episode is released on Hulu. We’ve gotten in the habit of coloring while watching TV. I think we were both in bed by 10:00, and in all honesty, it was kind of nice not to feel guilty about being in our pajamas and in bed so early on a Friday.

Saturday morning, I slept in a little bit before deciding to make scones while listening to my audiobook. While they were baking, I deep cleaned our kitchen and made a quarantine care package to drop off on a friend’s front porch. When I got back from doing that, I deep cleaned the rest of our house before relaxing for a bit, catching up on the phone with a friend, and then going on a walk with a friend’s sibling’s dog and that friend. It has been helpful to get outside while still social distancing, and knowing that we are supposed to have bad weather at the start of this week has me bummed that won’t be an option for the next few days. My roommate’s parents had us over for dinner that evening, which was great, and we were in bed early this night as well.



Sunday was a very slow day with a later wake-up time and me lazily finishing my audiobook that morning. I was productive while watching the parent trap and later in the afternoon took a decently long nap. I went on a walk and talked on the phone with my family and then decided to go for a run. When I got back, I showered, made dinner, and my roommate and I watched Tiger King on Netflix that night. The show is so weird, but if you’re looking for something to watch, it will surely pass some time. 


I hope you had a good week as well! 

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Tuckernuck Sale Finds

Hi, friends! Although I don't usually upload new blog posts on Sunday, seeing that one of my all-time favorite sites was having a big sale was enough to get me to do it. As I've mentioned in my past couple of posts, shopping during this time of uncertainty may seem a bit odd, and if that's the way you feel I can't blame you since I'm feeling the same way. But, in an attempt to keep my site as a happy distraction, even if only momentarily, I'll be continuing to post things I'd normally post. 

It likely comes as no surprise to those of you that have followed along for a while that I LOVE Tuckernuck. If I could only shop at one store for the rest of my life I think it's what I'd choose. The pieces are happy, colorful, well made, and classic making it hard to beat. They are currently having a sale that includes 20% off their entire site with the code TNUCK20. Plus, they are offering 40% off the Barbour jackets they have in stock which is almost unheard of. Barbour's don't usually get this heavily discounted so if you've been wanting one and can afford the splurge now is the best time to save on it. I have shared all about the Barbour and sizing I have in this post and it's on sale right here

If you find anything in this post that you're interested in you can click on the item directly in the image below to be taken to where it can be shopped. I hope y'all are hanging in there and making the most of social distancing! I'll be the first to tell you that tomorrow's Step Into My Week post will be very different than what I'm used to sharing and likely a lot shorter with so much time spent at home!


Saturday, March 21, 2020

Saturday Shopping vol. 39

Good morning! I hope that y'all are planning to make the most of this weekend at home. My roommate and I made a list of activities (you can find those on my instagram story) for the weekend and her parents are having us over for dinner tonight so it's nice to have some things to look forward to! This morning I'm going to try my hand at making homemade scones to deliver to a friend's mailbox as a quarantine pick me up if they turn out, and I have a feeling another long afternoon walk will make it to the agenda too. 

For those of you looking to pass some time with a bit of online shopping, today's Saturday Shopping is a good one. From cute shorts, summery dresses, and a tote bag I can't get enough of, hopefully you'll find something you like! And if you do, you can click directly on the item (aside from the tote bag which can be found here) to be taken to where it can be purchased!


Friday, March 20, 2020

Nordstrom Sale Finds

Y’all, we did it! We made it through workweek one from home. While I wish I had a countdown for how many more of these are in store for us. My roommate and I were both talking about how we are kind of dreading the first weekend of social distancing since we won’t have work to distract us and help pass the time. I have a feeling we will be going on lots of walks just to be outside, and maybe we will even grab a meal from all of the curbside pick-up options to help some of our favorite local businesses. Whatever we end up doing, it’s likely to look very different from a typical weekend’s brewery hopping and meals with large groups of friends. 

Online shopping is another way to pass the time since so many sites are having big sales. If you’re not interested in shopping at the moment, I can’t blame you since it does feel a little weird to share cute clothing options with no real place to wear them at the moment. But, if a package on your doorstep is going to brighten your week, then I have some options for you here. Admittedly, I *only* made it through the first 100 pages of the 1182 pages of Nordstrom’s inventory that is on sale. This is nearly as good as the Anniversary Sale and expands nearly site-wide. So if you are looking to do a bit of online shopping, I’ve included some of my favorite finds below for y’all. To shop these pieces, you can click directly on the item in the graphic below to be taken to where it can be purchased!


Thursday, March 19, 2020

Put Together Work From Home Outfits That Are As Comfortable As Pajamas

I have no doubt that we can all say we’ve learned something about ourselves so far during the Coronavirus outbreak. The list could be pretty deep, but a more light-hearted realization is that working from home comes with its own set of challenges, and I’m not even trying to juggle my own work and homeschooling. Shout out to all the parents who are doing both right now because you deserve all the wine at the end of the day! As someone who thrives on my routine to be productive, I’ve had to be very intentional with my schedule and habits in the past couple of days in order to make sure that I am doing a good job of working even if it is from a new place.


There are so many blog posts out there highlighting tons of tips about working from home, and while those are great, the biggest thing I’ve discovered in the past few days is that I have to change out of my pajamas and put on something other than leggings and a t-shirt. I wouldn’t wear these to the office so mentally I know that I need to be in other kinds of clothes to trick myself into a productive mindset, especially since my home “office” is inches away from my bed. 

The thing about getting dressed in the morning is that I want to still be comfortable and I don’t want to put in a ton of effort since the only person I’m going to see is my roommate who sees me with a towel on my head each night to dry my hair and isn’t looking to be impressed by work from home attire. My solution as of late has been flowy dresses. They are equally as comfortable as pajamas, and because it’s just one piece, I’m not spending much time deciding what to wear and can wear them to the office when that opens back up.

The first of these dresses is the infamous  Amazon nightgown dress, which really does make me feel nursing home ready. The blue and white pattern seemed like a no brainer to me and fits the name given the fact that it does feel like I’m wearing a nightgown. I’m wearing it in a small in this print but have another pattern in a medium that is equally as comfy, and some might say unflattering. I will be sharing a try-on of some of my favorite put together work from home outfits on Instagram stories tonight, which will give you a better look at the size difference in this dress.

 

The second dress option I am so thrilled about is this orange/red number I found at  Target. I have been so impressed by their selection lately and am already itching to be able to wear this out of the house. In the meantime, it is looking really cute on my .7 second commute from my closet to my desk. I got it in a small and love that it is lined and has pockets. 

 


In case you’re on the hunt for some dresses to help you get in a productive mindset while working from home, I’ve included some I’ve found below. Better yet is that most of them are under $40. Since I know right now it’s more important than ever to shop small, local businesses, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite online boutiques on my Instagram stories tonight after the try-on portion of this post. I hope you’ll join me there to check out some of my favorites! Best of luck rounding out the rest of your week getting work done from the comfort (and with the distractions of) your own home.


Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Meal Prep In Your Step: Peanut Butter & Coconut Energy Bites

Today is my first day fully working from home as I had to run into the office on Monday to pull props and had an in-studio shoot with two other employees at the office yesterday (yep, we stayed at least 6 feet away from one another at all times). It has been nice to have my schedule a little bit broken up so that working from home doesn’t feel quite as daunting as it could. I know I thrive on routine and have been a bit concerned about how to stay productive, but even more so, I’ve been worried about how tempting it’s going to be to want to snack all day knowing my kitchen is right there. When planning ahead this past weekend, I decided having a sweet snack on hand that I’d want to reach for that would also be somewhat healthy and packed with protein would be one way to avoid mindless munching. I shared these energy bites in my Instagram stories last week and had quite a few requests to publish the recipe on here.


The idea for these stemmed from the fact that I forgot to buy Girl Scout cookies and was specifically craving Samoas. I used to not like coconut at all but have grown to love it and decided that coconut flakes and chocolate chips would be my best bet at curving this craving when I can’t get my hands on a box of the cookies. These take no time to make, and a lot of these ingredients are probably ones you already have on hand. If not, the next time you run to the store hopefully, you’ll be able to find them and not only have a yummy snack to eat but also a fun activity to help pass some time! 



Ingredients
1 and ¼ cups Rolled Oats
1 and ½ cups Smooth Peanut Butter
1 and ½ cups Coconut Flakes
1 and ½ cups Mini Chocolate Chips
1 tablespoon Flax Seeds
2 tablespoons Chia Seeds

Instructions
1.    Measure all ingredients and place into a bowl. I like to use my Kitchen Aid mixer, but this can also be made without one!
2.    Stir ingredients together until everything is incorporated.
3.    Place in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes so that scooping/rolling into balls is easier.
4.    Roll the mix into balls and place them in a container. I prefer to use a 2-inch cookie scoop for this step, which yields 28 energy balls. 
5.    Enjoy and store what is not being eaten in the fridge!



 
  
I’d love to hear if you decide to make these for yourself! I will probably make myself another batch once my current ones run out since I’ve been reaching for 2 of these as dessert (in addition to being a snack) at the end of the day. Speaking of the end of the day, when I went for a run last night, it was so encouraging to see just how many people were taking advantage of the ability to move their bodies outside in the midst of this craziness. From kids on their scooters to couples enjoying a cocktail on their walk, there was something about it that seemed optimistic. If you’re feeling stir-crazy, put on your tennis shoes and join them from a safe distance tonight!

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

This Month's Q&A

When I asked y’all to ask questions for my February Q&A y’all got creative and I love it! I hope that doing these from month to month allow you to get to know me a bit better! 



Q: What is your go-to work outfit?
I am lucky in that my office’s dress code is very casual. That seems to make sense, given the creative industry we are in. Since fall, my go-to outfit for work is this pair of jeans, a sweater, and either sneakers or slides. I’m getting to the point of being very over wearing sweaters on constant rotation, especially as spring draws near. 

Q: What’s your skincare routine?
Most frequently, I shower at night which means I am washing my face in the shower. I usually start with this exfoliator, this charcoal bar, and then will end with this cleansing wash. Sometimes I skip that last step, but when I remember, it feels nice. After I dry off, I’ll make sure all my makeup is gone using my Makeup Eraser (or this eye makeup remover if it’s especially resilient) and then spray some of this witch hazel. I finish off with Cetaphil lotion all over my face and neck. 

Q: Where do you want to be/what do you want to be doing in a week, year, a decade?
Talk about a tough question, but I love it! In a week, I’d be happy doing the same thing I have been doing but tbd with the coronavirus currently. In a year, I would still like to be in Birmingham, working as a prop stylist as I genuinely love my job. I feel lucky to currently be in a place where I am so content with a great community and friends! A decade is when I feel like I could see more changes in my life. Maybe I’ll still be doing the same thing, or maybe, I’ll be doing something else. I think being an interior decorator would be awesome, but I’m not sure how I’d even get started with that given my lack of knowledge and experience. It would also be great to own a home, potentially be married, and maybe feel really settled in Birmingham or somewhere else in the South (although I really can’t see myself leaving Birmingham any time soon). If I look back to where I was a decade ago, I can guarantee I wouldn’t have foreseen what I’m doing now, so I guess only time will tell. 

Q: What are your favorite things to pull out of your closet for spring?
In the spring, I find myself reaching for cute blouses more than ever as the temperatures begin to warm up. When buying blouses, I usually try to find ones that I can wear with both white jeans and regular denim for added versatility. I also get really excited about being able to wear sandals again and am in the market for a new brown pair. If you have any suggestions on that, let me know!  

Q: Do you ever feel guilty promoting “fast fashion” that isn’t ethical/sustainable?
I wish that all brands were sustainable; however, as we all know that’s not the case. Fortunately, many brands realize that consumers desire this and will begin to make changes. While I would prefer for people to buy items that are more ethical and sustainable I know my audience well enough to know that many people don’t have the budget (although I know not all sustainable items have to be more expensive) for those items which I also understand. While I’m not in blogging solely to make money, I would be no use to the people coming to my site to discover some cute budget buys if I took those items out of shopping collages and suggestions. I definitely think that as time goes on my readers and followers will begin to move toward seeing the value in investing in items that may not be as quickly labeled as “fast/fashion” but in the meantime, it’s my hope that when they do get tired of an item (whether they discovered it through me or not) that they are donating it or ridding their closet of it in a way that is sustainable. The short of it is that there are plenty of bloggers that are great about sharing more sustainable items with their readership, but at the moment, I will continue to scatter those pieces in the same way I have! 

Q: Since you’ve mentioned before that you think you’re tone-deaf, if you were famous for something, what would it be for?
I’ve always joked that if I were ever in a pageant (which would be so unlikely, to begin with) that I would have absolutely no stage talent to share. I stand by that statement now and really don’t know what I would become famous for. It would be cool to become “famous” or well known for a skill or something I’ve created, but this has me stumped. 

Q: List of must-watch shows (other than the Bachelor)?
Some of my favorite TV shows to watch include Friends and Gilmore Girls. On top of those two, I’ve recently watched some of the popular Netflix series like You, Cheer, and Love Is Blind. If you haven’t watched The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, then you’re in for a big treat and same with The Morning Show on Apple TV. I think my roommate and I may start something new now that we will be spending even more time at home, so if you have any suggestions, we would love to hear them! 

Q: How do you not freak out when most of your friends are getting engaged? 
Instead of freaking out, you just have a blast at their wedding. Kidding… kind of. In all seriousness, at 25, I don’t really feel old enough to be engaged as crazy as that may sound. While that could change and would depend on meeting the right person, I don’t see a reason to feel rushed into getting engaged or married. Do I want it to happen one day? 100%. But right now, I realize that there are so many things I love about my independence that would take a lot of selflessness to give up at the moment. 

Even though these answers are half a month late to truly count for February, hopefully, you enjoyed reading through them! Maybe they even served as a work break as some of you adjust to working from home. Yesterday I was most productive when I decided to work outside while it was overcast, which really surprised me. Maybe it’ll stop raining in the afternoons so that I can look forward to some time on our deck with my laptop checking things off my to-do list.  

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