Saturday, May 8, 2021

Saturday Shopping vol. 85

 I have had the most relaxing Saturday morning, and I can only hope that you have as well. I went to a favorite coffee shop to grab some coffee and breakfast before tackling laundry, working on blog posts, and spending time on the couch leisurely getting ahead on next week’s to-dos. 

The first of those to-dos is this blog post. There’s no denying that the pieces I found to include in this post are just begging for a beach trip, and I think this hat and these sunglasses are moving to the top of my summer wishlist. If you see something you’re adding to your own wishlist, you can find where to purchases these pieces by clicking directly on them in the image below! 

Thursday, May 6, 2021

lemlem x H&M Collection

 After a rainy few mornings, the sun is finally out today just in time for my outdoor shoot for work! Thank goodness. I’m hoping this weather holds through the weekend so that May starts to have that summertime feeling. Nothing screams summertime to me quite like bright colors, lightweight linen, and a beach to wear pieces with that combination on! H&M’s newest designer collaboration offers everything but the beach, and I’ve been looking forward to it launching ever since scrolling through the UK drop in April. Fortunately, lemlem x H&M is ready to shop in the US and just dropped today! 

I had discovered lemlem last summer, but despite the pieces being cute, couldn’t quite justify the price for a statement piece of casual clothing. Now thanks to their collaboration with H&M and the affordable price point I’ve already checked out on this dress

Keep scrolling for the clickable image! 


Keep scrolling for the clickable image! 

As a bit of backstory, lemlem was founded by supermodel Liya Kebede and features artfully designed resort wear, and is sustainably sourced. For the collaboration with H&M, the brands embodied bright colors on the garments which are made of lightweight, comfortable materials. 

I wish I had a beach vacation planned to scoop up all these pieces for, but maybe one of you does and can shop them with a trip in mind. The image below allows you to click directly on an item you may be interested in, which will then take you directly to where it can be purchased. Happy shopping! 

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

My Favorite Margarita Recipe

Happy Cinco de Mayo! My friends would be the first to tell you that today is hands down my favorite minor holiday. As a lover of bright colors, Mexican food, and of course, margaritas that pretty much comes as a no-brainer. Tonight, I am getting together with my supper club to celebrate the occasion while of course, sipping margaritas! I've perfected my recipe over the years and am excited to share it with you here! 




Usually, when playing bartender, I tend to eyeball things and take a sip to see what I may need more of. When sharing a recipe, I know that's not always helpful. With that said, I did try to come up with proper ratios to share with you here since I know it can be tricky to guestimate. But hey, if you’ve had a rough week/day add an extra splash of tequila, I’m not judging! 


To make our favorite margs, you’ll need:

Tequila of your choice
Tres Agaves Margarita Mix (I buy mine at Publix)
Lime La Croix (or something similar)
Limes


 

In honor of my love of a theme, I couldn’t just make these directly in the cup and decided instead to utilize my  Amanda Lindroth pitcher and some festive cups we have. I’ll be writing out the recipe as it pertains to a single serving, but don’t be afraid to make enough for a second since as far as margaritas go, these taste light and refreshing. 

1.    Start by pouring one shot of tequila into your glass or pitcher filled with ice.
2.    Add two shots of Tres Agaves Margarita Mix (you can adjust this according to your taste, but I’ve found this to be my sweet spot).
3.    Cut up a small lime and squeeze two wedges into the drink. I usually toss one of the squeezed wedges into the drink.
4.    Top with lime La Croix, stir, and enjoy. 


dress (previous season) // bracelets // earrings // watch // ring // pitcher

Nothing too groundbreaking, but undoubtedly delicious! I wish I could cheers with y’all in person to celebrate. Below I've included some cute items that would take my at-home fiesta set-up to the next level: 

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Graduation Gifts for High School & College Guys

 While many colleges had graduation ceremonies over the weekend, I know high school graduations will be taking place all throughout May and June. And after sharing my graduation gift guide for girls, I didn’t want to leave the guys (or those of you shopping for them) hanging! 

Keep scrolling for the clickable image!

Keep scrolling for the clickable image!

I put together a list full of great gift ideas for both high school and college graduates. I have no doubt that it will be obvious to you which items may be suited for each age group (imagine what a nightmare it would be to have a grill/smoker in a dorm room), but hopefully one of these things will seem like a great gift for the graduate you’re shopping for! 

If you see something you’re interested in, click directly on the item in the image below to be taken to where it can be purchased! 

Monday, May 3, 2021

Step Into My Week 5.3

Today in Birmingham is rainy with thunderstorms which are making it feel like such a Monday. Fortunately, I went to bed early last night, so even with the gloomy weather, I’m hoping it doesn’t hinder my productivity to kick off the week. Last week was a busy one in a good way, and I’m hoping to carry that momentum through to this week as well. Anyone else in disbelief that it’s already May though?! This year is flying by. 

Typically, our work schedule is set up so that we can get most of our meetings done on Mondays and therefore don’t often have Monday shoots. Last Monday was different, however, given that I was scheduled to style a home tour. I was able to do most of my prep work on Sunday, but I still got to the office early to finalize some of the last-minute packing of props that needed to be done. I arrived at the house around 9:00, and we shot until close to 4:00. Thankfully the homeowner had a great setup, which made my job easier since I really just had to fluff things up to look camera-ready. After work, I went to meet with Elizabeth, who owns Hibiscus House, to see her beautiful showroom. She has a business sourcing and lacquering furniture, and it was so fun for us to connect. I left there around 6:30 and was starving and unmotivated to cook, so Hunter and I got Taco Mama to go and watched a movie while eating it. I went home tired before 10:00, knowing that I had an early morning the next day. 




On Tuesday, I went to a 6:00 cycle class to get my day started. I quickly showered at home before picking up the last of the flowers I needed from a local florist before heading to the office for that day’s shoot. I was doing a feature for both March/April of 2022 and September of this year, so it was a little all over the place. We finished the shoot by capturing some reels to share once the issues hit newsstands. It was around 1:30 when I left the office, and I finally ate lunch once I made it home. I worked from our sofa after eating and was able to pull all the props I plan to use for a shoot I have next week during that time. At 5:00, I met up with my friend childhood best friend Kate to go for a walk after not seeing each other for over a year despite both living in Birmingham. We had tried to get together a couple of times in the past months, but the weather kept not working with us. Fortunately, it was really pretty Tuesday evening, and we went about 4 miles while catching each other up on life. I came home and ate leftover salmon that night while working on some blog content before bed. 




Since my shoots for the week were finished for the week, it was nice to have the rest of the week to power through computer work. I went to another cycling class Wednesday morning before going into the office to unpack props and packages and ship items back. This took until around 1:00 when I came back home for the rest of my workday. Around 5:00, I went over to Hunter’s house to use his dryer (since ours is broken and we don’t want to have to deal with fixing it before moving) before heading to supper club at Macy and Drew’s house that night. We ate dinner on their porch and played with their puppy until around 9:30 before heading home. 


I was on the waitlist for another morning cycling class on Thursday but didn’t get off the list, which ended up working out for the best since I had a long to-do list of things that I needed to get done before heading out of town for the weekend. I was able to get through most everything and pack for the lake during the day, and Hunter and I drove to his family’s lake house once my workday wrapped up. There was still a little bit of daylight left when we arrived, so we sat on the dock until his mom and brother and sister-in-law arrived later that night. The boys turned the NFL Draft on while dinner was being made and we ate outside on the porch while watching. I went to bed around 10:00 to prepare for the rest of the weekend ahead.



I woke up early to get some work done from my room before Hunter’s tee time. His brother and sister-in-law joined in, and we headed to Willow Point where I worked from the golf cart until noon. The weather was nice and breezy, and despite me not knowing all that much about golf, it was a lot of fun! When we got back to the house in the afternoon, we made lunch, and his sister and her boyfriend showed up, followed by Hunter’s dad. Everyone changed into swimsuits and went down to hang out on the dock for a few hours. The boat was eventually picked up from the marina, and we went for a late afternoon ride before everyone went inside to shower and clean up before dinner. Since Janie and Matthew were graduating from Auburn the next day, we had steaks for dinner followed by cake to celebrate! We sat on the porch after dinner watching that night’s draft, and about half of us fell asleep out there. I eventually made my way to my room, ready to get in bed after being in the sun for a good portion of the day.






Saturday was graduation day, so everyone was up and getting ready for that so that we could leave by 10:00 to make it to Auburn in time to get a bite to eat before watching Janie’s ceremony. Hunter’s oldest brother had arrived late the night before and joined us with his other brother and sister-in-law. We went to Live Oaks for brunch and then made our way to the stadium to watch the ceremony. It didn’t last all that long which was nice given that it was hot and everyone took some pictures afterward. Before we knew it, we were on our way back to the lake. We ate a late lunch once we got there and changed into swimsuits to head down to the dock. We stayed out there until it was time to watch the Kentucky Derby, and then Hunter and I went on a boat ride. Everyone ordered dinner from Willow Point that night and hung out reading or watching TV until it was time to eat. We watched the first couple of episodes of Ted Lasso that night before going to bed.

Janie has a blog called Just Jane Elisabeth which you can find here


The guys had a tee time Sunday morning, so we got to sleep in some. I woke up around 8:15 and made a cup of coffee which I drank on the porch while reading until everyone else started moving. We had a leisurely breakfast while the sheets and towels were being cleaned. Eventually, we were able to put the rooms back together, and the guys made it back. Hunter and I took the boat back to the marina, packed up, and ate sandwiches before heading back to Birmingham that afternoon. I unpacked when I made it home, and I think I was in pajamas before 5:00. I talked on the phone to my dad, caught up with my roommate, and made myself dinner before getting in bed to continue to read and fall asleep.


I hope that your week is off to a prettier start than it is currently in Birmingham! 

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Saturday Shopping vol. 84

Happy Saturday! I’m keeping this short and sweet since I’m about to be on my way to Auburn’s graduation. After not sharing a Saturday Shopping post last Saturday, I feel like today’s is especially full of great finds! Hopefully you think so too. If you see something you’re interested in, click directly on the item in the image below to be taken to where it can be purchased!  

Friday, April 30, 2021

The Perfect Pair Of Jean Shorts

This is a blog post I was fully convinced I’d never be able to write. No matter how many jean shorts I’ve tried on over the past few years, I could never find the perfect pair. There was always something about them that wasn’t quite what I was looking for, so I’d spend time in line at the post office returning pair after pair. The longer it would take to find a pair and the more times I’d fail, the more willing I was to increase my budget for this spring and summer staple. Even still, there were a lot of misses before finally hitting a home run! 

I’m hoping this post will save y’all the trouble of ordering and returning time and time again and instead get you straight to the excitement I felt when finally finding the perfect pair of jean shorts. Now to be clear, this is the second time I’ve felt like I’ve found the perfect pair of shorts, and that’s because the two pairs I’m sharing with y’all differ a bit, but both are ones I’d recommend depending on what you’re looking for in your perfect pair of jean shorts. 

The two pairs I’m sharing with y’all in this post and in a try-on in my Instagram stories are Madewell’s Curvy Relaxed Ripped Shorts (top in the image below) and DL1961’s Cleo High-Rise Jean Shorts (bottom in the image below). Both are over $50, but once you get it right with jean shorts think about how much time you’ll save no longer having to hunt for the perfect pair and take that into account (kidding, but only kind of). 

 
 

Since I know everyone’s criteria differ when it comes to clothing preferences, I thought I’d share mine specifically to jean shorts below. If that’s not what you’re looking for then these shorts may not seem quite as perfect to you as they do to me! 

My Jean Short Criteria

-       -Long Enough To Feel Appropriate In Public: More power to any of you that feel confident pulling off short-shorts, but that’s just not me. I tend to lean toward the side of modesty in most things and short length is no different. I don’t want to have to be tugging on my shorts in order to feel comfortable wearing them in public and appreciate pairs with a longer inseam. 

-        -Non-Homemade Distressing: I don’t mind some distressing on jean shorts, but I don’t want them to be ripped up with holes that look like I did it myself with a pair of scissors. If the distressing looks intentional and doesn’t leave threads hanging all around on the shorts ,then I tend to be ok with them! 

-        -Waist To Actually Fit: The way my body is built has my waist size and leg size pretty disproportionate. Growing up I pretty much only bought pants with the adjustable elastic on the inside of the waistline (shoutout to The Children’s Place) so that I could get that area to actually fit snuggly when coupled with my bottom. While I know to expect some looseness in order to fit the next criteria, I don’t want there to be a ton of gapping. 

-Loose Leg Holes That Allow My Thighs To Breathe: I’ve come to terms with the fact that my upper body and lower body look like they may belong to two separate people size wise which can make buying pants or shorts tricky. Growing up playing soccer for most of my life probably contributed to the fact that my legs are pretty built compared to my waist. This has been the biggest stressor when it comes to jean shorts since it made it nearly impossible to find a pair that fit loose around my thighs but is probably the most important criteria on this list! 



Color: Homecrest
Size: 24 (Two down from my normal jean size, 26)
Price: $74.50
Overall Thoughts: Knowing about the sizing of this pair is key to discovering how great they truly are. It’s important to size at least two sizes down on this pair of shorts, although I probably could’ve sized down three sizes and ended up with an even better fit. This pair is a really great length and I have never seen jean shorts with quite as breathing room for your legs. I love that they  are comfortable and flattering when both sitting and standing, and the high waist makes them easy to wear with shirts front tucked. I didn’t know this when ordering them, but they have buttons instead of a zipper to secure them in the front. These are the BEST jean shorts I have ever tried on! 






Color: Macarthur
Size: 27 (One up from my normal jean size, 26)
Price:  (On sale in select sizes here)
Overall Thoughts: While I still love these shorts for a variety of reasons, I think it’s safe to say that this pair is a better recommendation for someone who may be looking for something a little bit shorter and more fitted. The wash of this pair is great, but compared to the Madewell shorts above, they do fit tighter through the bottom and leg holes than those although overall are still relaxed. The waist of these has a bit more of a gape as well. Had I not just discovered the Madewell pair, this is what I would be recommending to y’all (and reaching for myself) all summer long! 





Honorable Mention:

I know I told you I’ve tried a lot of shorts, and a more affordable option that worked decently was this pair from Old Navy. Had they been looser in the legs I probably would’ve liked them more, but if your body is a bit more proportional and you’re not quite as picky as me then I have a feeling you may like them! 

Other items shown in post:

top // sandals // phone case // rug 

You can shop these jean shorts at a variety of retailers below!

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Graduation Gifts For High School & College Girls

 Can y’all believe another school year is coming to an end? I definitely can’t, but maybe that’s because I’m no longer in school and don’t have finals to mark the passage of time. With the end of the school year comes a new batch of graduates preparing to start their next chapter. 

Nell (so unkindly) informed me that this May marks us being out of college for as many years as we were in college. As unbelievable as that is, I still use many of the items I was gifted for my high school, college, and master’s graduation. Y’all probably know by now that I love creating gift guides, but each year I find there are some mainstays when it comes to the ones I put together for graduation, thanks to some tried and true items I received, love, and am eager to recommend. 

Keep Scrolling For Clickable Image! 

Keep Scrolling For Clickable Image! 

My most recent great-gift discovery that would be particularly helpful for a college graduate moving into an apartment or house is the Dyson Cordless Vacuum. Does it make me feel a bit like Monica from Friends to feel so passionate about a cleaning product? Maybe a little, but I guess that’s part of growing up! Luggage is another great option if you’re looking for something durable that will get used often! Until I received the luggage set like the one pictured, I still relied on duffle bags or suitcases my parents had been storing in our attic. It’s safe to say that both of these items are great investment items that someone would be able to use for years to come. 

That’s not to say there aren’t some fun, more affordable gift ideas on this list as well. If you see anything you’re interested in gifting, you can click directly on the item in the image below to be taken to where it can be purchased! I hope this guide helps you shop for the perfect graduation gift.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

April 2021 Mood Board

 A mood board almost didn’t happen this month despite the saved photos on my phone, but with two days left before the calendar switches over to May, I am just barely squeezing it in. And I am glad I am because making these always leaves me feeling so inspired, which is what I’m looking for right now as I try to plan ahead blog content to share with y’all! 

The images for this board are filled with photos from Instagram that I’ve saved over time and felt a bit like April to me. Given that Easter was at the beginning of this month, you may see some untimely (given that it has already passed) beautifully crafted Easter eggs among the flower-filled, pastel photos that embody this month in my mind. 

Whether you use this post to inspire you or discover new people to follow on Instagram, I hope that it’s a bright spot in your day! I’ve included links to all of the people who shared these photos beneath my combined image. 


game table // blue and green fabrics // blue floral handbag // beach day look // the garden handbook 

pool floats // banquette and beach balls // tennis stripes design board // suitcase packed // topiaries 

rings and raffia // painted Easter eggs // powder bathroom // liberty bucket bag // flower motif // blue and white lamp and ginger jars // blockprint stripes // floral hoops // garden stand // pink roses 

Monday, April 26, 2021

Step Into My Week 4.26

 I’m back! Although I shared a new post yesterday, writing something more long-winded actually feels like being back in the groove of blogging. I had ideas for posts to share last Thursday and Friday, but sometimes ideas never make it to paper, so I’ll just have to try again this week! I was so thrilled to see just how many of y’all have been loving all of the Target Spring Finds I shared in this post because at least I know I’m not alone when it comes to my love of Target! My week is off to a busy start with a shoot today and tomorrow but should slow down a bit and allow me some time to get everything more organized later in the week. As for last week though, I’m sharing what I’ve been up to below. 

I decided to start last week with an early cycling class at M Power before my meetings began later in the morning. I was able to get showered before getting on my first video meeting of the day for a food shoot I had later in the week, followed by another meeting, but this time with our team of stylists just to check in on how things are going for everyone. By the time those wrapped up, it was nearly lunchtime. I was able to figure out some details for upcoming shoots in the afternoon and tackled my email inbox as well. During a break from working, I vacuumed and cleaned the house just so everything would be nice and neat for the week and then went back to my to-do list. That night was Hunter’s dad’s birthday, so Hunter cooked some different proteins on his smoker, and we took them to his parent’s house to eat dinner with his family and celebrate.

Tuesday was another work-from-home day, so I went to True40 in the morning and spent most of the rest of the day working on stuff for shoots in the coming weeks. I had a meeting around mid-morning to discuss the two shoots I have this week, and then was doing a good bit of location scouting the rest of the day. Finding places to have shoots is definitely one of the harder parts of my jobs, but I’m so thankful we are no longer having to turn our studio space into different settings. Once my workday was over, I went for a long walk while listening to an audiobook before showering, making myself dinner, and getting in bed early.

Wednesday, I had a food shoot, so I was in the office pretty early to pull props and prepare for that. We were shooting various columns, which meant that I had to switch gears every time a photo was approved and make a completely different set, but even with that being the case, we wrapped up a little after lunchtime. I was able to put away some of my props and pull items to use for the following day’s shoot before heading home to work from there in the afternoon. I came home to two Amazon packages and was confused since I hadn’t ordered anything and was surprised to find that my dad had sent me new pickleball paddles. The ones we had previously been using were from Walmart and not the best quality, so I was very excited to come home to that surprise. After work Hunter and I had to go test them out and while I wish I could say they helped me win, they didn’t but I do think overall they will improve my game! That night I went to get pizza with a few friends to celebrate our friend Mary’s birthday! 

Although I had a shoot on Thursday, I decided to go to a 6:00 cycling class at M Power beforehand, which made my morning pretty busy. Once it was over, I quickly went home to rinse off and dry shampoo and blow-dry my sweaty hair before heading into the office. My shoot this day was all baked goods and went pretty well. We finished around 3:00, and I was able to start pulling props for my shoot on Monday after putting away the props already on my cart. Once I got home, I pulled props to order in for a shoot happening in May and emailed one of our assistants to help me with that before finally washing my hair after the morning’s workout. Once my workday was over, Hunter and I went for a walk before making tacos and guacamole for dinner. We turned on Marriage or Mortgage on Netflix at the recommendation of some friends and watched two episodes of that before I called it a night. 


I slept in until 7:00 on Friday before getting through some emails in the morning before running errands for work until around noon. Since my shoot Monday is a home tour, I needed lots of potential props on hand when styling various areas of the house. This meant that my car all weekend was full of pillows, throws, trays, and other home accessories. After securing all those items, I ran by Walmart to get stuff to make a balloon arch because we were throwing Mary a surprise birthday party that night. I made that, cleaned up some, and took it easy in the afternoon before getting ready. Nell was staying with us over the weekend and arrived right before our other friends showed up around 5:30. Mary arrived close to 6:00 and was so surprised. We enjoyed the evening on our deck and had some cake to celebrate before some of us went to an outdoor concert around 8:00 at Avondale Brewery. The concert was for Rebecca’s brother’s band, The Brook and the Bluff. I kind of loved that everything was so spread out and that you could sit and talk to your pod during the concert and would be ok with covid-conscious concerts remaining a thing! I think we made it back to our house around 10:15 and went to bed soon after. 



Nell and I slept in on Saturday morning before eventually eating breakfast and getting ready to go to a workout class at 11:00. M Power has cycling (which I’ve been going to) but also offers pilates classes on a megaformer which I had wanted to try out. Fortunately, there was a free beginner’s class that day, and Nell agreed to try it out with me. I loved it and the instructor was so nice, but I’m definitely still sore today. After the class was over we grabbed salads and sandwiches to-go at Continental Bakery before showering and getting ready for the rest of our day. I went to a crawfish boil with Hunter at his friend’s house in the afternoon and ate more than my share of crawfish. I was really impressed that some of the guys knew how to cook them themselves since I’ve always purchased them already cooked. We hung out in his friend's backyard most of the afternoon and only had to dodge the rain a couple of times. I went back to my house around 6:00 and waited for Nell to get back from her activities before turning on a movie and watching it. I was able to finish my book that night, and I think we all went to sleep pretty early.

Sunday morning Nell and I woke up and walked to Crestline Bagel for breakfast since the weather was so nice. After walking back, Nell left to go back to Mobile, and I went to Trader Joe’s, a gardening store, and Whole Foods to get the remainder of props for my shoot. On my way home, I stopped by my friend Macy’s house to meet her new puppy named Lolly. We sat on her screened porch petting the dog and catching up for about an hour and a half, which was so nice! I came home and finished up my Sunday Styling blog post before calling my parents and going to the grocery store. I showered, and then my brother called me so we talked on the phone for a while as I was meal prepping food for the week. After cleaning up the kitchen, I had salmon and Brussels sprouts for dinner and got in bed to read. 


I hope that y’all have a nice Monday!

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