Friday, June 28, 2013

June's Favorite Things

Here are a few of my favorite things from June.

1.  This sweet picture of my Charlie man.  It doesn't get more adorable than a little guy pushing a miniature shopping cart.  (And at the end of the video he's running towards a package of frozen chicken nuggets).  I've been loving Charlie's afternoon ritual this past month.  When he wakes up from his nap, he peaks his head out the door, sees me, and comes running out saying "Momma!!!".  So sweet.

2.  The Dressmaker.  I wish it could've been a chapter longer, but this was a great book.  I'm a sucker for stories about the Titanic. 

3.  The Double Braid:  If I leave my hair down in this humidity, I have a good 3 minutes before my hair turns into a fro.  This double braid is so simple, and I do this hairstyle pretty much every day.

4.  Yes, this was included in my Favorite Things list last month, but I couldn't resist.  Noel and I are officially caught up on all 5 seasons of Parks and Rec. It's THE best show ever and I'm actually feeling a little sad that we're all caught up now (in my best Pitch Perfect imitation.."getttt aaaa lifffeee").  But seriously, I can't wait until the fall for Season 6, and if you haven't seen an episode, start tonight!!!

6.  Noel being home!!  He doesn't travel as much in the summer, so we've taken full advantage of him being home.  We had a great time in DC and at the beach this month.

June's been a great month!  I hope you've a good one.

And now it's your turn to link up.

1.  Link to your actual Favorite Things post.

2.  If you have an old post you want to use, that's totally fine!!  Just make sure you link back to my blog in some way.  (You can grab a Favorite Things button on the sidebar if you'd like)

3.  Go visit a few other bloggers and say Hi!  (I've met some pretty amazing people through link ups!)

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!
PS.  Make sure you enter to win this incredible giveaway.  2 winners!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

4 pieces of Fashion Advice

Is June really almost over?!  It's been wonderful collaborating with Kristen, Chelsea, and Jamie.  Each week we showcased a different summer trend.  Here's a recap from the past month, along with a fashion tip from each of us.

See full Summer Brights post here.

This might seem silly, but my fashion tip is to make sure that your clothes (bras included) fit properly. (Duh, right?!)  But for the longest time, like up until about a year ago, I was wearing clothes that were 1-2 sizes too big for me.  It's important to know your body type, to know what types of clothes and fabrics flatter you, and to totally work them!  Take a friend with you shopping, ask a sales clerk their advice/opinion, and search blogs/Pinterest to understand what types of clothes you like and to get feedback on what types of clothes work best for you!  

See full Summer Hats post here.

In terms of personal style, my hard and fast rule I live by is to accessorize.  I know that might be a no-brainer for most, but even if I'm running to the grocery store, I'll still throw on a hat or something that adds a little interest to my look....even if that look IS pretty casual. For one, you'll feel better about yourself....and two, you just never know who you'll run in to. 

See full Shorts post here.

My motto when it comes to style is to have fun and wear what makes you feel good.  If you do that your confidence shines through and you can pull off any look.  And also, never say never!  

See full Summer Florals post here.

Fashion for me is trying new items that not everyone is wearing. It's fun to go with the trends but its also fun to start your own. Explore fashion and enjoy it. You will never influence the world by trying to be like it. 

And now, we have a great giveaway for you.

1 lucky reader will win a $50 gift card to the store of their choice!  We want you to go out and treat yourself this summer, so you name it...Target, Old Navy, ASOS, Starbucks,'s yours!  

And 1 reader (that's right, 2 winners!) will win $50 to Sticky Grams.  We're obsessed with these things, and what a great way to capture your summer memories (or any season's memories!).  Sticky Grams takes your Instagram photos and turns them in to magnets.  So much fun.

2 winners.  2 amazing prizes!

Just use the Rafflecopter below to enter.

The giveaway will be open until next Sunday, July 7th.  The winner will be notified through email.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Summer Style: Florals

Dress: Old from Che Bella (similar "feel" here),  Wedges: Old from Che Bella (similar here)

I've had this dress for 8 years.  EIGHT!  In fact, most of my clothes are ones that I bought way back in the day.  I love this dress, (it's one of my favorites), and it's still in perfect condition.  It's also super light-weight, which is perfect for these North Carolina summer days.  

This is the last week of our June Style Series...(and we have a special surprise for you tomorrow!)  This month has flown by!!

This week we are featuring Summer Florals.

Kristen from The Mrs and The Momma, Chelsea from Haute Child in the City, and Jamie from Stylin' Mommies are looking beautiful in their floral outfits.

What is your favorite item in your closet?!

See our first week here where we showcased Summer Brights, our second week here where we showcased Summer Hats, and our third week here where we showcased Shorts. 

*Friday is June's Favorite Things Link Up!  It's a great way to recap your month or week, talk about your favorite products, fun finds, etc.  Hope to see you then!* 

Linking up with ShannaAdrienneAmy, and The Pleated Poppy.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Change of Plans

Our Saturday plans got changed up this past weekend because of the rain, so we did a little bit of around-the-town exploring.  That afternoon, we found a farm a little bit on the outside of town, and realized that we are the absolute last people to go strawberry picking.

We found about 4 good strawberries, but the boys had fun running around, playing with the "toys" (I had fun playing with the toys), and seeing the animals.  Walker made friends with the farm cat...which is good, because we are not getting an animal any time soon.  (Unless we decide to dognap Floyd one of these days.)

And a fun side note....I found this skirt at a thrift store. I never have luck thrifting, so I'm kinda proud of myself.

How was your weekend?!
Linking up with Sami.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Beach Trip

We took a mini vacay to the beach last weekend and had the most perfect trip.  Noel's aunt and uncle have a gorgeous beach house at Atlantic Beach and were so kind to let us stay there for a few nights.  (Thank you!!)  The weather was amazing, and the boys proved themselves to be little beach bums...loving the water and never wanting to leave the sand.

Because of the boys' love for the beach, we kept them up way past their bedtimes to play for a little bit longer and to eat lots of ice cream.  I thought this would make them sleep in a little bit, but nope (!)...the first morning Charlie was up early singing, "Beach time, Mommy!!", the second morning I woke up to find him mopping the floor (he really is my child), and the 3rd morning I found him in Walker's crib playing cars....all at 7am.

2 things that really helped us on the beach....  A beach cart, we have one pretty much identical to this one, and a pop up disposable trash can that I found at Target in the summer section for $3.  I hate having garbage shoved in my bag, so this was a super easy way to keep things clean!

I'm so glad I was able to spend this time with my boys.  I do love the beach and can't wait to go back soon!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Summer Style: Shorts

Shorts: Old Navy (exact), Top: Old Navy (old), Blazer: Gap Outlet, Shoes: Gap Outlet

For some reason, shorts are always so hard to style to me.  These shorts, (I finally found a pair of shorts that I like!) are currently on clearance at Old Navy, and come sewn up a few more inches than I am wearing them.  (I popped the thread to make them knee length.)

I'm so excited for you to see how the 3 other ladies in our June Style Series styled this week's feature: Summer Shorts...they do not disappoint!

3 of my favorite fashionistas in their summer shorts...

Kristen from The Mrs and The Momma, Chelsea from Haute Child in the City, and Jamie from Stylin' Mommies are rocking these outfits!

What is your go-to summer outfit?

See our first week here where we showcased Summer Brights, and our second week here where we showcased Summer Hats
PS.  Make sure you enter to win this giveaway for a chance to win monogrammed earrings and a Starbucks gift card!
Linking up with Shanna, Adrienneand Amy.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Summer Hair Styles

We just barely got back from the beach last night, and had the most wonderful time.  (More on our vacation later this week!)  

I am currently at an awkward hair phase.  I want my hair to grow just a little bit longer before I chop it all off...and I especially want my bangs to growwwww and grow some more.  I have been doing this hairstyle on Pinterest every day.  Literally every day.  And I love it.  I also found this tutorial on Pinterest last night and will have to give it a try.  North Carolina weather makes it impossible to breathe most days, so I'm going to need at least some of my hair up at all times.  If you have any other good summer hairstyles, I'd love it if you sent them my way!

I am borderline giddy about this giveaway today!  Susannah and Jordyn are giving one lucky ready a chance to win a monogrammed pair of earrings in the color of their choice AND a $25 Starbucks gift card.  Happy Summer, indeed!

I loved reading Susannah's story about growing up in Asia.  Fascinating stories about her childhood in a Taiwanese preschool (so cool, right?!) and all the experiences that make her the incredible person she is today.

One of my favorite posts from Jordyn is her "Be Jordyn" post.   In this, she talks about what makes her the happiest and why she started blogging in the first place.  (She's also wearing the most adorable braid in this post) :-)

Two fantastic ladies giving away two fantastic items!  Just use the Rafflecopter below to enter!

The giveaway will be open until this Sunday at midnight.  The winner will be notified via email.

Comments turned off so you can go show Susannah and Jordyn some love!!  (But if you find a cute hairstyle to share, be sure to tweet me or tag me on Pinterest!)

Friday, June 14, 2013

North Carolina Blogger Meet Up: Summer Session

Angela and I are so excited to announce our summer North Carolina blogger meet up.  We will be hosting one each quarter (Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring), and would love for you to join us. 

Each quarter, we will have a special guest speaker, and for our Summer Session, we are so excited to have Mary, Social Media Manager for Clothes Hound, join us as our featured guest!  

Now for the details.  We will be meeting at a boutique in Raleigh (specific location will be announced via email to participants) from 7-9pm on Friday, July 26.  We will have drinks and refreshments, everyone can enjoy 20% off any purchases they choose to make (not required to buy anything, though). We'll have a group activity, Mary will speak to us, and afterwards will open it up for questions and discussions.  

Our topic for the evening will be "Social Media:  The Ins & Outs and the Do's & Don'ts."

This event is open to bloggers of all levels.  You can come if you've had your blog for 1 week or 10 years...have 1 reader or 1 million readers!  We can all grow and learn from each other.  It's also open to every type of blogger; lifestyle, fashion, craft, etc.

The cost to attend this event is $10 per person, and payment will be requested through PayPal. 

If you are interested in attending, please email me at with Summer Blogger Buzz as the subject, and I will send you a paypal invoice.  Space is limited, so the sooner you reserve your spot, the better! Looking forward to seeing everyone!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Summer Hats

Hat: Charming Charlies, Dress: Target (old, but similar here), Chambray Shirt: Anthropologie on sale and from my sister, Jessica's suitcase while she was in the process of packing, Wedges (again..."borrowed" from my sister's closet), Belt: Old Navy Exact.  

My sister was in the process of packing for her trip out west this summer, and she left her suitcase wide open...and unaccounted for.  Mistake.  Thanks to her and to Priscilla for posting a version of the outfit last week, this outfit was born.  I was nice, and actually told my sister that I was going to be taking her stuff.  She was ok with it..especially since I found several things of mine in those suitcases. :-)  Sisterly love.

I'm so excited to be working with 3 of my favorite fashionistas again this week for our June Summer Style Series.

This week we are featuring Summer Hats!  I never thought I could rock a hat, and have the hardest time finding a hat that fits my abnormally large head, but when I tried this fedora on at Charming Charlie's, and saw that it was only $4, I decided to go for it!  So glad I did, because I've really been enjoying wearing it.

I'm loving how these ladies are rocking their summer hats!

Kristen from The Mrs and The Momma, Chelsea from Haute Child in the City, and Jamie from Stylin' Mommies are totally on point with this Summer Hat trend.

Do you have a summer hat you love to wear?
See our first week here where we showcased Summer Brights.
Linking up with ShannaAdrienne, and the The Pleated Poppy.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


I was looking at my blog's "keywords" yesterday (words that people type in that leads them to my blog), and one of them was "ashley proud mommy".  I almost started tearing up, I loved it that much.  I do love these sweethearts of mine.  They make my days more fun than I could have ever imagined.  And even though they wrestle and fight over trucks occasionally, they also take care of each other and enjoy playing and laughing together.  

I am so excited to introduce you to my good friend, Nicole today.

She blogs at Pharr Away, and is one of the most genuine and friendly people that I've ever known.  We hadn't seen each other in years, until a few months ago at our NC Blogger Meetup, and I squealed so loud when she came in.  Nicole has the most adorable daughter, Maddie, who I'm slightly obsessed with, wrote a fantastic post on learning to NOT say "no" (to your kids), and hosts a Monthly Measures link up (first Monday of every month), where you report on your health and fitness goals...such a great idea!

Comments turned off so you can go show Nicole some love!

Monday, June 10, 2013

6 ways to teach your child manners

How gorgeous are my sisters?!  I wish my brother could've been there, but he's in Scotland playing golf.  Tough life. :-)

My youngest sister graduated from high school this past weekend.  I'm so proud of her and the wonderful person that she is.  I am not proud, however, of the way people from my old high school acted during her graduation.  It was, honestly, the biggest display of crazy that I've seen in a while.

Despite the principal's instructions of "holding all applause until the end", there were people yelling insane nicknames after their grad walked, people taking phone calls during the National Anthem, and people acting like they had not one bit of home training.

And the thing that's even more disturbing is that I don't remember this kind of behavior from my graduation or from my brother's.  I remember a few people acting out of line at my sister, Jessica's graduation 2 years ago.  But Sarah's, just 10 years after mine, was a complete animal house.  This really got me scared about where our society is heading.  Ahhhhh!!!

So, I thought of 6 ways we can teach our kids manners, in response to this.  I know there are way bigger issues than just manners...but we have to start somewhere!

1.  Teach them by example.  If you lash out because someone is taking too long ordering in front of you, say rude things about people, and use bad language, your kids will as well.  On the flip side, if you are patient with others, serve people around you, and use your time wisely, your kids are more likely to do the same.  

2.  Give them opportunities to use good manners.  Take them to short performances, to restaurants, to church, etc., where they have to use their good manners.  This doesn't mean that they will behave perfectly right away, but eventually they will catch on.  My mom took me everywhere with her, and I learned so much from those experiences.

3.  Let others teach them.  There is no way you can teach your child everything.  It truly takes a village to raise a child, I believe.  That's why it's important to make sure your kids are participating in the arts and in sports.  Doing so allows them the opportunity to have good mentors to show them how to behave well in different settings.

4.  Look people in the eye.  This one sounds so silly....but it's true.  I know way too many people that don't look others straight in the eyes when they're having a conversation.  Not to say that you have to maintain firm eye contact the entire time...but when you don't look at someone's eyes, you are showing that person and your children (who are watching you ever so closely), that personal relationships don't matter.  

5.  Don't always bash the "other person".  When your child comes to you with a problem they're having with another person, and you are constantly finding fault with the other person, your children will never learn how to face challenges and handle situations themselves.  It's important to support your child, but teach them that there are 2 sides to every story.  And on the other end, don't play devil's advocate constantly.  It's hard to find a nice balance, I know.  If you only take the other person's side, your child won't come to you with their issues, and that would be a shame to lose that connection with them.

6.  Teach them the importance of work.  When a child knows the value of hard work, they are more likely to be more respectful of people around them and of situations.  

I am, in no way, an expert when it comes to this matter...and my kids are still learning about this, but I'm trying hard to teach them the best I can every day.

What is something you think will help teach our children manners?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Trip to DC

^Noel is corrupting my child by trying to make him a Wolfpack fan.^

Noel and I celebrated 6 years of marriage last Saturday, June 1, and decided to celebrate by taking a trip with the babes to DC.  We always like to take a trip for our anniversary instead of exchanging gifts. You can see last year's trip here.  

Charlie and Walker would've been perfectly fine with just riding all the public transportation.  Ohhh how they loved it.  And our room looked out on the train, the airport, and boats.  I mean???!   

We did all the touristy things, like The White House and the Zoo.  And I guess Georgetown Cupcakes is considered to be a touristy place.  The cupcakes were really tasty, but I have to say I like Gigi's better (mainly because they're twice the size of a Georgetown Cupcake!).  Our favorite part about the zoo was definitely the monkeys, but on the way out, in the 95 degrees, our stroller tire popped.  Nightmareeeee. Thankfully there was a bike shop near our hotel, and they fixed it up super quick.  We were also able to visit the Washington, D.C. Temple and visitors' center, which is, of course, beautiful!  

I'm so glad we were able to travel for our anniversary; it was nice getting away as a family. It was also nice staying a little outside of the city so we could walk around later in the evening without all the crowds.  

Any recommendations on places for next year's trip?!
Happy Friday!! I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!
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