Saturday, February 29, 2020

Saturday Shopping vol. 36

Happy Leap Day! It’s supposed to be sunny here in Birmingham today, so I’m guessing it will be a good one. Since March starts tomorrow, I’m going to stop apologizing for sharing cute spring pieces in these posts. I’m getting jealous of all of you who may be heading on vacation somewhere warm in the near future since maybe you’ll be able to wear pieces of this nature soon. If that’s the case, you can shop any of the pieces you may be interested in by clicking directly on the item in the image below to be taken to where it can be purchased.

Friday, February 28, 2020

February 2020 Favorites

February felt long, so I shouldn’t be surprised that it is almost March… but holy cow, it’s almost March! February usually isn’t my favorite month, and I tend to be over the fact that it’s cold outside, and I’ve been re-wearing the same sweaters non-stop, but as a whole, it had its highs and lows. I haven’t necessarily discovered a ton of new products but instead rediscovered some old favorites. Y’all seem to love these posts, so if you happen to be hunting for more product recommendations, you can check back to see last month’s favorite's post for further inspiration. 

I definitely was influenced by that paid campaign that Sephora was doing with influencers to promote this product; otherwise, I’m not sure I would have discovered it. I think it could probably best be summed up as a smoothing leave-in conditioner, and I’m a big fan. I put it on my hair after towel drying it, and right before I blow it dry. I love the scent of it and do feel like it smooths away flyaways and makes it so that I don’t have to do much to my hair after blow-drying it.

After featuring this sweatshirt in a Saturday Shopping post earlier this year and receiving a coupon for Anthropologie in the mail, I decided to buy it. The blue and white shouldn’t surprise y’all that it caught my eye, and the sleeve detail was too cute to pass up. Since I wear a lot of sweaters and sweatshirt style tops to work, I knew I would get a lot of wear out of this, and I definitely have. It looks really cute front tucked with jeans and a pair of sneakers or slides. 

Last month I featured AirPods as one of my favorites, and now that I am unfortunately on my second pair (a sore subject in my world), I got an $8.00 case that would allow me to connect them to my keys. There were a lot of colors to choose from, but the blue just felt like me. While I think it will probably get dirty over time so far, it has been durable and served just the purpose I purchased it for. It’s also so handy to be able to connect the case to my water bottle when at the gym so that I don’t accidentally leave it on a machine.  

If you caught yesterday’s blog post about my favorite Amazon workout wear, then you probably aren’t interested in hearing me rave about these leggings anymore than I already have. The short of it is that these are just as good, if not better, than the Lululemon pairs I own and are so much less expensive. 

I had two different black tie events that I was invited to attend this past month and considered wearing these earrings with both of the dresses I had picked up. Ultimately, I let my friend Macy borrow them one of the nights, so I only ended up wearing them to one of the two events, but I am so glad to have looked through my jewelry box to rediscover them. 

I don’t know if it’s just me, but slippers are a season-less piece in my mind. I don’t care if it’s 100 degrees outside, I will be wearing my slippers while in my house. I got a new pair of the same J.Crew slippers I’ve had for the past two years for Christmas and was reminded of just how much I love them thanks to the fluffiness of this new pair. I feel like the fur inside isn’t too thick to where my feet get hot, and I like that they cover my whole foot. 

I added this to my Christmas list kind of randomly a couple of years ago, and I am so glad that I did. I have a tendency to tense up my shoulders (even when I am sleeping), so it’s nice to have a way to relax them. I know that you can get these much cheaper from other brands on Amazon, but I love the scent of the Origins one, and over a year later am still able to smell it after taking it out of the microwave. This would be a great gift to give just about anyone since it’s not gender-specific, and everyone deserves to relax a little bit after a long day.

I want to know what you’ve been loving. Feel free to leave any of your favorites from the past month in the comments below! 

Thursday, February 27, 2020

My Favorite Affordable Amazon Workout Wear

With February nearly over, now is a good time to re-address all those fitness-based resolutions/goals that you may have made back in January. What better way to do that than by being inspired by affordable workout wear? 

When I do my laundry, the majority of it seems to be athletic wear, which means that I go through a lot of workout outfits in a given week. I try to workout 5-6 times per week and usually go on a walk on my off day, which means that if I’m only doing laundry once a week (which is my norm), I have my share of athletic clothes. Given that athleisure is all the rage and that name-brand workout clothing comes at a price that could very well add up. But, instead, I’ve pretty much become dependent on Amazon to replenish my stash. After some trial and error over the past year, I’ve discovered some truly awesome pieces that rival the big-name brands for a fraction of the price. Below I’ve shared my favorite finds for y’all even though this is just scratching the surface of all the items offered on the site. 

I think Amazon, as a workout wear provider, took off when someone discovered that this brand makes essentially the same leggings as Lululemon for a fraction of the price. These feel nearly identical to the Align leggings but may be better for working out than the Aligns would be. I have a long black pair that I find myself reaching for whenever I pull them out of the dryer. I’ve also added a navy pair and light blue pair (both with pockets) to my stash. They do sell out frequently, so if your size is in stock and you’re interested, pull the trigger while you can. As for sizing, I went with a small and would order that again. I’m hoping they continue to come out with different colors and patterns since I’m at the point where I don’t see a purpose in getting my leggings from anywhere else. 

By far my favorite Amazon purchase in a while (eh maybe should say tied with the Makeup Eraser) is this jacket, which seems nearly too good to be true. I tend to like pullovers better than full zip jackets, but this one may have changed my mind. It’s easy to take on and off without worrying about it getting caught in your headphone cords, which is perfect when I’m bailing on a layer mid-run. 

The fit of this is great as long as you know about the weird sizing. I wear this in a large and am usually a 2 or 4 in regular clothes and a 4 or 6 in Lululemon pieces. The material of the jacket is stretchy and sweat-wicking, which makes it breathable when working out yet still warm. One feature that I absolutely adore on these jackets is the built-in hand covers. With cooler temperatures lately, it’s the perfect way to stay warm without having to pack another layer or feel restricted in gloves. I have the space gray and clay but think that any of the color options would be equally as great. 

After realizing that my water bottles were pretty much shot after years of being tossed on the pavement or sideline with cross country and soccer, I finally upgraded. I was initially drawn to the color of this water bottle but have since become such a fan of the size. I don’t need a giant water bottle that can’t fit in my cup holder since I can easily re-fill it at work, and I’ve found that this particular bottle does a great job of keeping things cold. Plus, it comes in lots of colors if blue isn’t your thing. 

While I don’t want to say never, it is very unlikely that I purchase another Lululemon sports bra after having discovered these $20 ones from Amazon that are nearly identical but made out of a material I like even better! My only warning with these sports bras is to make sure you get the one linked if you want decent support. I made the mistake of thinking I was getting the same one I already had and ended up with one that definitely didn’t seem quite as supportive due to its thinner straps (although it came in a lot more color choices). The material of these is what really sold me since they aren’t as thick as some of the Lululemon ones and seem to wick sweat better. They have removable padding if that’s a game-changer for you, and I think I can rank them as my favorite workout sports bras, which is great considering their price point. I’d say they run true to size, so I got a small. 

Another great sports bra find that offers more coverage, which is great for when I peloton at my parent’s house and know I’m going to get especially sweaty is this racerback one. It’s longer and could easily be worn as a top (which isn’t my thing unless I’m walking from my room to our peloton down the hall). The material is smooth, and it also has removable padding. The mesh on the racerback is a nice touch as well! 

I was pretty hesitant when I first ordered this top since I was afraid it was going to look like a guy’s cutoff muscle shirt, which I didn’t expect to be flattering. With barre style classes, I’ve started to like shirts that aren’t quite as long since then they don’t get in the way, and this $11 option is a winner. It’s overall pretty flattering and flowy, but the only downside is that it isn’t a true sweat-wicking material. I haven’t found the white one I have to show a lot of sweat, but I also haven’t worn it outside on a run on a particularly hot day so that all could change. I believe it can be purchased individually or in a set and is offered in a variety of colors. 

For true40 classes, I have to wear sticky socks that my washer and/or dryer (I’m not positive which is the culprit) seems to be eating. These Tuckett socks were a pair I tried when replacing a lost pair and have been repurchased a few times since. I like that they have cutouts for your toes but don’t have individual toe slots since I’m not too fond of the way those feel. 

This isn’t something I necessarily wear to workout in but instead like to throw on after I exercise. The material is thick and the tie on the back is really cute. I’ve even worn it to work before on a photo shoot day. All around a comfy piece to have in your closet. 

I don’t own a ton of long sleeve workout wear since I usually prefer to just wear layers, but this top is pretty much identical to a long-sleeve Lululemon one I own. This shirt can be a hit or miss depending on whether or not you find a more fitted style to be flattering on you, but they are so nice to layer under a fitted jacket since you don’t have to worry about bunching. 

Lastly, a hair tie is a must-have for me when I workout. Sometimes I’ll see people working out with their hair down, and I don’t know how they do it. My hair has to be out of my way when I workout, and I know that when I use a Teletie, I won’t have to worry about it going anywhere.

What are your favorite Amazon workout wear finds? 

Monday, February 24, 2020

Step Into My Week 2.24

I am starting this Monday morning off right after a great night of sleep in my bed at my parent’s house. If you missed it from my post on Friday, I am currently at home in Fairhope for two days of vacation. I’ll be heading back to Birmingham tomorrow, but a quick trip spent relaxing at home feels like an excellent way to wrap up February. Y’all know I’ll be sharing more of the details of what I’m up to next week, but for now, let’s go over this past week. 

Last Monday started with a kind of funky schedule. I got up early so that I could go to the 5:15 class at true40 since I’d be working from home until the place I needed to borrow china from for the shoot I had opened at 9:00. I’ll be the first to tell you that it felt odd not being in the office as early as normal. I left my house at 8:40 so that I’d be waiting outside the shop’s doors when they did finally open. I was able to pick up what I needed and was on the way to the office by 9:10. I had back to back meetings for food shoots I’m styling in the coming weeks, which delayed the start time of the lifestyle shoot I had on Monday. Fortunately, the shoot was only scheduled to be two hours since it was a flat lay of beautiful fabrics, trim, and products in a specific color scheme. Judging from the shot below that I took while I was cleaning up, I’m guessing you’ll be able to figure out our color focus for that issue. Once I finished that shoot, I worked through some photo worksheets for the meetings I had had in the morning, pulled props for the shoot I had on Tuesday, and eventually went back to the shop to return the china I had borrowed that morning. Since I had already worked out that morning, I was able to head home and relax before eating dinner. The rainy weather we have been having encouraged me to finish my book in bed. My roommate and I went to Macy’s to watch the Bachelor that night, and we all had the same idea of bringing sweet treats to eat while watching and ended up with quite the spread. When the episode ended, we drove back home to get in bed and go to sleep.

Tuesday morning was a bit more normal, although, with a food photoshoot scheduled, I don’t have much to update y’all on since that took all day. In between shots, I was able to finish my expense report, which was good, but aside from that, my attention was on the food. After work, I went to the Y and ended up running on the treadmill for a little while until a bike opened up. I did Ally Love’s 30-minute Black History Month Pop Ride and then stretched before heading back into the rain. Once I got home, I showered, made dinner, and read in bed. I went to sleep pretty early, which was especially nice! 

Wednesday was a pretty typical day since I was at work at a normal time and didn’t have a shoot. I spent a good bit of the day at my desk getting things done while listening to the audiobook of Kept Woman on the Libby app. I needed to unpack my cart of props from the day before and then had to reload it for my shoot on Thursday. I left work at 4:00 since I didn’t take a lunch and was able to make it to the 4:30 true40 class at the downtown location. After that, I went home to shower and make dinner before going to bible study at 7:30. Bible study finished around 9:00, and I came home and went to sleep. 

Thursday, it was raining even harder than the past couple of days, and the temperature began to drop, which had me less than thrilled to get out of bed in the morning. I had a food photoshoot at work that took all day and was focused on various loaf pan recipes. I left the office a bit after 5:00 and headed home before my evening plans. I was there for a little while before changing and getting ready to meet a friend for dinner at El Barrio in downtown Birmingham. There ended up being a wait, so we went next door to The Collins Bar for a drink in the meantime. Dinner was good, and I got home a little after 9:00 and went to bed. 

I woke up early on Friday morning to go to a 5:15 true40 class before work. My roommate had been wanting to try working out before work and joined me! The class was great, and I was definitely sore after it. Before work I got ready and started some laundry to have clean by the time I got home. I had a meeting in the morning and spent the rest of the day squaring things away for my shoots the following week. I needed to unpack and repack my cart and send a few emails before it was time to go. After work I desperately needed to get an oil change for my car despite not wanting to have to spend the time getting that done. Afterwards I drove home so that I could shower, put away laundry, put fresh sheets on my bed, and pack for the weekend. I also ate lunch somewhere in there before heading to Nell’s apartment to meet up with everyone before driving to Mobile for Mardi Gras. Since I took a long weekend and have Monday and Tuesday off thanks to rollover vacation days, I drove myself the four hours. We got to Nell’s parents house around 8:40 and ate the delicious dinner they had made for us while some of our friends heard about the history of Mobile Mardi Gras for the first time. Nell’s sweet grandmother made us little gift bags that were a hit and had picked up some sweets for dessert from some of the Mobile staples. After we ate, we all decided it was time to call it a night and went to bed. 

Saturday morning, we woke up around 8:00 and gathered in the kitchen for a cup of coffee while Nell’s parents made breakfast. We had king cake, fruit, and two different breakfast casseroles. I ended up with the baby from the king cake, so maybe if I remember before heading back to Birmingham, I’ll get one to take back. After breakfast, we got ready and dressed for the day. On our way to downtown Mobile, we stopped by Nell’s grandmother’s house to see her and thank her for the treats she got us. We made it downtown with ease and were able to park and get to where we wanted to stand with no problems. We even had enough time to walk to get a cup of coffee at Serda and mosey back to our spot before the parade started. The weather could not have been any better, and it made the morning parades especially fun to watch since it feels like we haven’t had a sunny day in Birmingham in a while. After the parade, we decided to grab lunch at Squid Ink and were lucky enough to get a table outside. At one point, there was even a band and a bunch of people who went by in the street, making it extra festive. Since we still had time to kill before the night parade, we walked to a cute cocktail bar to hang out for a while. After that, we went back to the car to get our jackets and grabbed a drink and used the restroom before the night parade started. There must’ve been some sort of slow down for the night parade since it was supposed to begin at 5:45 but didn’t make its way to us until over an hour later. The floats and costumes for this one were better, although I don’t feel like we caught quite as much. After the parade, we went to Foosackly’s to get dinner and take it back to Nell’s house to eat. We were all in a bit of a slap-happy mood eating dinner but were still able to fall asleep shortly after. 







We woke up around the same time on Sunday and enjoyed another yummy breakfast all together before packing up. Since I took Monday and Tuesday of this week off, I only had to drive about 40 minutes to my parent’s house in Fairhope. When I got here, I took my stuff upstairs and then took our dog, Scout, on a walk in Fairhope with my mom. We had lunch, and then I took a big nap before we all took Scout on a longer walk in the afternoon. I showered and put on pajamas, talked on the phone with my brother, ate dinner, and hung out with my parents to round out the weekend. I hope y’all also had a great week and weekend.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Sunday Shopping vol. 35

A day late, but not a dollar short when it comes to cute pieces available now! While I know some of these aren't necessarily wearable just yet they definitely make me excited for the weather to come when they are wearable. If you see anything you like, click directly on the piece in the image below to be taken to where it can be shopped.

Friday, February 21, 2020

How I Organize My Planner (Day Designer)

Now that we are well into February and I feel like I have my planner organized how I want it to be, I can finally share that organization with y’all. Whenever I take to Instagram stories asking for requests for blog content, it seems to never fail that someone asks me to explain how I’ve organized my planner (even if it looks pretty similar year after year).

Some of you may remember that last year I opted to try out The Simplified Planner by Emily Ley. I ultimately decided to give it a try because it measured out to be smaller than the Day Designer that I was loyal to from my sophomore year of college through my first year of the real world. While The Simplified Planner was, in fact, smaller in overall size, the thickness of it made it feel equally as large. Once in a meeting, our CEO (who has a tendency to joke around) asked me if I carried my bible to all of my meetings. Although she was kidding, it was a spot-on observation since the size of it really does resemble a bible. So this year, when it came time to make the important decision of which planner I was going to select, I knew it was time to go back to my tried and true.

What Planner I Chose
 Since The Simplified Planner didn’t necessarily feel much smaller than The Day Designer as you probably guessed, I went back to using a Day Designer this year, and I am so glad that I did. For one, I love that it matches most of my other planners (did I mention the weird fact that I save old planners to look back at because I do) when lined up on a shelf. I also LOVE the blue on blue design of the Perfectly Paisley cover I chose. Mine is the Daily Flagship planner offered on The Day Designer’s site; however, if you do want something smaller (but still equally as thick), you may want to try the Mini Daily Flagship. I’ll leave the size and cover design up to your personal preference.

Academic v. Yearly
I use the yearly calendar (starts in January) as opposed to an academic calendar (usually starts in July or August), and I did this for most of college as well despite still being a student. There is just something about starting the year with a blank calendar that I love. Now that I’m not in school or working on an academic calendar, I am glad that I have the yearly version even though it was a bit odd not having an entire school year in one planner back in college.

In the same way that I can be a bit of a planner snob, I am also a pen snob. Since I don’t like the way my handwriting looks in pencil (anyone else?), I stick to solely using pens in my planner. Le Pens and Flair Pens are my go-to with Flair Pens being what I’ve been using lately since, over time, my Le Pens have run out of ink. I like the colors of them and that they write smoothly without smudging, but I would say that both brands fit that criterion.

Hopefully, none of you planner obsessed people freaked out when I said that I only use pens since I have a system when it comes to tentative plans. Since I now have a job where vacation days aren’t assigned to you, I use post-it notes on the monthly overview of my planner to represent vacation days I plan to take but haven’t yet requested or been approved to take. Once they are approved, I remove the post-it notes and write down my plans in pen to make the monthly spread look a bit more cohesive.



Color Coding
In college, I used to use upwards of six to seven different colors to denote various activities in my planner. Now that I am not juggling nearly as much, I’m down to a mere two colors in my planner, black and pink. If I were to want to add more color, I could write down blog things in here in another color and workouts in yet another one, but since I don’t do that, two colors it is. I use black to write down anything related to work and pink to write down various social activities like meals with friends, vacations, birthdays, weddings, etc. It makes my monthly overviews a bit less exciting since there aren’t as many colors, but it works well to help me mentally separate work and play.

Monthly Overview
Speaking of the monthly overview, I tend to use this for big picture things. Since I work for a magazine, this is where I write down big photoshoots as well as some of the meetings I have. This helps me keep the monthly spread from looking cluttered since there is a page for each day in the planner.

In addition to that, I write down fun activities on the monthly overview as well. Whether it’s a Superbowl party, meal plans, weddings, or vacations I’m taking, I like including more of these on the monthly overview. I think that I like this because it encourages me to make social plans with friends in advance so that I have something to look forward to. I wouldn’t necessarily write down reoccurring plans on the monthly overview, but as with anything organization wise, it’s best to do what works for you.

Daily Overview 
One requirement I have when it comes to choosing a planner is that it has a page for each day. I have very much so become accustomed to using planners that include hourly time slots and to-do lists on a page for me to use. The Day Designer has this, as does the Dapper Desk planner from Emily Ley.

The hourly part of the daily overview always starts the same with me writing down what time work starts and ends. Any meetings I may have are written down in between, which helps me to visualize what my day may look like. Usually, there isn’t too much written down since I don’t have meetings daily (and I don’t write in what time I take my lunch), but writing them down when I do helps me to make sure that I don’t miss anything.

To-Do Lists
My friends love to make fun of the fact that I write down the simplest activities that you expect to do daily on my to-do list. While I know it may seem silly to write down showering on your to-do list, I do it because it’s something I plan to accomplish during the day. I like to sort of line up my to-do list with the hourly timelines on the page. For example, I put workout further down so that it lines up with what time I’m planning to take a workout class or go to the gym. This helps me to separate my work to-do list and personal to-do list while also time blocking in a sense.

This is one section that I don’t always use, but I do like having the option of having blank space to write in. I’ve gotten into the habit of writing down what workout I plan to do each day in this section and will sometimes write down blog post ideas or people/brands I need to email. I’ve also written down grocery lists or the meals I plan to make too, so you never really know what you’re going to find from me here.

I hope that this helped inspire you to get organized for the rest of the year. If you want to read more about how I’ve organized in the past, you can find those posts below.

My other planner organization posts:

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Instagram Accounts I Love

I am SO thrilled that Friday *almost* here. I have a long weekend coming up and have been looking forward to it all week long. Some friends and I are headed to Mobile for the weekend to stay at Nell’s house and participate in Mardi Gras festivities. Then, on Sunday, I am headed over the bay to Fairhope to visit home through Tuesday. I rolled over two vacation days from last year that have to be used before March, so it turned out to be the perfect impromptu vacation. You can bet I am counting down till noon tomorrow (and trying to get a lot accomplished before then) when the weekend officially begins.

Ever since starting my job as a stylist a few months back, I feel like I’m on my phone a bit more often. Sometimes that is looking for great locations for future shoots, and sometimes that is to gain inspiration and discover new brands. Whatever the purpose, it has led me to discover some new Instagram accounts that I’ve been loving. I’ve shared posts like this in the past (see here and here) but figured an update on my most recent discoveries would hopefully be well received. I’ve linked directly to their accounts below and hope you’ll enjoy following along or garnering inspiration from their accounts as well.

Can you tell I love color and a well designed space? Which Instagram accounts do you love following? I'd love to check them out as well!

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