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!

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Sunday Styling vol. 24

Happy Sunday! Sorry for going silent the past few days on here. I had a busy end of the week, and Nell came to visit me this weekend, so I stepped away to enjoy some me time and friend time. The lucky part of that for y’all is that next week’s Saturday Shopping post is going to be FULL of great finds from the past two weeks. But before you get too excited about that, I have to say that I’m pretty obsessed with all of the outfits in today’s Sunday Styling post. From cute outfits that are fit for brunches, church, or even a few celebrations to outfits I’d put on to wear to a brewery or date night, I think I’ve covered every occasion (even working out)! 

To shop each of the pieces you can click on the links beneath each image. This will take you to where each item can be purchased! Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

Outfit 1:

Outfit 2:

Outfit 3:

Outfit 4:

Outfit 5:

Outfit 6:

Outfit 7:

Outfit 8:

Outfit 9: 

Outfit 10:

Outfit 11:

Outfit 12:

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

My Favorite Spring Target Finds

I think it’s a safe guess, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who could write a multiple-page love letter to Target. Whether you go in with a list and can’t seem to stick to it (because, let’s admit, coming out of Target with something that’s not on it is pretty much guaranteed) or love to go and wander the aisle mindlessly as a form of stress relief, there’s always a time and place for a Target trip. My dad would jokingly tag me in memes about missing Target when things were closed at the beginning of quarantine, and he was pretty spot on. There’s something about Target that is soothing to me, but not always my wallet. 

When working on Saturday Shopping posts, I like to scroll through various retailers and always like to take a look at Target’s site since despite Target trips not always being friendly on my wallet, at least their clothes and shoes are reasonably priced. On a recent scroll through their site, I came across quite a few items I wanted to try, so I placed an order, and the pieces arrived soon after. I fully expected some of the items to be a miss and was pleasantly surprised by most of them! 

Stay tuned later today for an Instagram story try-on session, but in the meantime, I’ve included photos and details about each of the pieces below to aid in your decision making when it comes to slimming down your cart before checking out (because let’s be real, you’re bound to find something you want to add to your closet!). I have done my best to share sizing details for those of you that like that information before checking out. I’m between 5’7” and 5’8” and typically wear a small, 2-4, or 27 in jeans. Most of the time if I size up it’s because I want a looser fit or a bit of added length. I have noted below when that may be the case! 

Color: Cream
Size: Medium
Price: $25.00
Comes in 6 other prints.

This dress isn’t exactly form-fitting and definitely fits more like a tent than anything else. Despite how flowy it is, I absolutely love it. I went a size up (medium) in this print for added length and should have stuck to my typical size. The length of this dress is great and feels work-appropriate. The print is a combination of purple and orange, and the details on the upper portion of it are really cute.

Color: Blue
Size: Small
Price: $25.00
Comes in 6 other prints.

This is the same dress as the one above in blue and white stripes and also the proper size. Even when sticking to my normal size, the length is work-appropriate. It’s not see-through but is something I may opt to wearing a slip under on occasion. It has pockets for any of you that are easily sold on dresses with that feature! 

Color: Light Purple
Size: Medium
Price: $15.00
Comes in 9 other colors.

I had high hopes for this dress since I love a peplum hem, but I’m afraid this one felt a little bit short on me. I sized up to a medium with hopes of added length, but it made the fit too roomy under my arms. If you’re on the shorter side and can stick to your normal size then this will be a great dress to have on hand over the summer. The material is really soft, and it comes in a bunch of different colors.

Who What Wear Flutter Sleeve Dress (not online yet)
Color: Pink
Size: Medium
Price: $34.99 (I think)

I thought this dress was cute on the hanger but LOVED it when I put it on. I sized up to a medium for added length, which may not have been necessary, but since it’s flowy to begin with, I knew it wouldn’t impact the fit of it through the body of the dress. The flutter sleeves are really cute, it has a tie detail on the back, and the way the seam runs diagonally across the front of the dress makes it a bit more interesting. 

Color: Blue
Size: Small
Price: $34.99
Comes in 3 other prints.

The last thing I need in my closet is more blue and white, but this dress was cute online and even cuter in person. The details on it are really well done and it’s the perfect midi length. It’s another one with pockets, and I’m glad I stuck to my normal size when ordering it! 

Color: Purple
Size: Medium
Price: $24.99
Comes in 2 other colors.

I wanted to love this top, but unfortunately, it was sheerer than anticipated. The embroidery on it and button details are cute, but I think I’ll be returning this since I don’t always love having to wear camis under blouses. The other colors available may not have this issue, but since I didn’t see them in-store I can’t say for sure. 

Color: White
Size: Medium
Price: $24.99
Comes in one other print. 

This cute printed top is what led me to actually check out when I was placing my order since I was afraid it would sell out. I love the sleeves and the print and that it’s thick enough to not be see-through. I prefer it front tucked with white jeans but know I’ll be wearing it with jean shorts too since it’s one of those pieces I know will be reached for often in the coming seasons. 

Color: White
Size: Small
Price: $20.00
Comes in 5 other colors.

This top was the exception to my ‘I don’t like wearing two shirts’ rule since the white of it is thin enough that a cami is necessary. At $20, I may go back for another color (which may not require a cami) since this is a shirt style I love! 

Price: $10.00
Comes in 2 other colors.

There’s not much to say about this headband aside from that the colors and print on it are really cute. I like that the knot doesn’t stick too far off of my head, and the actual headband that rests against your hair is flat! It’s an easy way for me to accessorize an otherwise plain outfit.

This dress and this dress are currently waiting in my cart for the next time I checkout! If you’re interested in seeing the other Target finds I’ve had my eyes on, you can shop them by clicking directly on what you’re interested in in the image below! 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Mother's Day Gift Guide

 This is your handy public service announcement that Mother’s Day is approaching! The good thing is it’s on Sunday, May 9th, so there’s still time to order your mom something nice and have it come in before the occasion! I won’t be with my mom on Mother’s Day since I’ll be going to the mountains with my family later that same week, but I’ve already made sure that what I’m planning to give her is good to go for that trip. She keeps hinting to my brother (after I made it clear that I was already on top of my gift for her) that she wants some pickleball accessories from him since she and my dad are now hooked! 

Keep scrolling for the clickable image.

Keep scrolling for the clickable image.

Whether you’re looking for something special to purchase for your mom on your own or are going in with a sibling, I’ve compiled a list of great Mother’s Day gift ideas that are perfect for any price point or mom! Given that my mom instilled her love of blue and white in me, I couldn’t help but color coordinate this guide to match her style. So many of these items are things I’d love to have as well, so maybe I really am turning into her! 

To shop the items featured, you can click on the items directly in the image below. The only ones that don’t work that way are my favorite short sleeve robe with blue piping and this adorable hydrangea yoga mat that I own and love. I would love to hear what you’re thinking of getting for your mom to celebrate!

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