Friday, August 30, 2013

August's Favorite Things

Here are a few of my favorite things from August.

This sweet picture.  We had pictures for Noel's family because everyone was in town at the same time! Leah Watkins (Leah Watkins Photography) took this sweet picture and captured a beautiful moment with my Charlie.  And yes...the humidity is realllll in NC.  Check out those whispies!

This quote.  The boys and I have been learning more about the prophets through the Gospel Art Kit that we have.  I had to write this quote down from Wilford Woodruff because it's so true...and so powerful.  It's scary that you have to make such major life decisions when you're so young, which makes it so important to be doing your absolute best.

Teaching:  I'm teaching all ballet this year and am really excited about it.  My classes are awesome and I'm really looking forward to this year.  And I definitely busted out my old garbage bag pants this year. Oh yeah.

Revlon BB Cream:  I didn't realize how much I loved this stuff until I ran out of it yesterday.  It's a great base for my regular makeup, but is also enough coverage in case I have to run out really quick and don't want to scare the public.  Great for my sensitive skin as well.

My necklace!  I do love a good monogram.  (And you can win one of your own, in the color of you choice here)

Not pictured would be the strawberry poppy seed salad from Panera Bread.  Whyyyy is it seasonal?  I do love that salad.

August has flown by!  But it was a great month.

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!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Good find

If you have seen me at all over the past 2 months, you've seen me in this shirt.  I wear it all. the. time. With skinny jeans, boyfriend jeans (NC has have given us a handful of jean wearing nights), and with a grey maxi skirt.  I love it.

Noel and I were going out to dinner one night a few months ago, and I had to return something to Old Navy.  The line was insane, so while Noel stood in line for me (thanks, hon!), I browsed the Clearance section and found this top...for $3.  So, I'm kinda getting my money's worth out of it.

I just might wear it to Charlie's soccer meeting later.  That's right...I'm becoming a soccer mom, and can't lie...I'm so excited to see him looking all adorable, running up and down the field with his cute little soccer outfit on. 

Have you gotten a lot of wear out of one of your clothing items lately?
Linking up with KristenShannaAmy, and The Pleated Poppy.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The necklace

Polka dots, pearls, and monograms....all the things I love to wear.  I've been wanting a cute, initial monogram necklace for the longest time, and basically squealed when Elizabeth (a North Carolina gal) from Elizajay Charm sent me this adorable one!

Her entire shop is beyond fantastic, (go shop!), and one lucky reader will win a monogram necklace in the color of their choice!

And remember, August's Favorite Things link up is this Friday. (Great way to recap your favorite products, pictures, moments, etc.)  There will be an extra entry added for this giveaway for everyone who links up!

Just use the Rafflecopter below to enter.

This giveaway will end this Sunday, and the winner will be notified via email.

Comments turned off so you can go browse ElizaJay Charm.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Fall wardrobe essentials

It's time to start thinking about fall wardrobe pieces!  It's crazy to think about...but exciting, because fall clothing is my absolute favorite.  I've put together a few basic pieces that are great to have in your closet.

Bottoms123:  I am one of the those people that changes into sweatpants the second I walk into my house.  I like to be cozy.  A thick pair of leggings (the kind that doesn't look like a pair of tights) and a great pair of jeans are great to have.  I wear jeans occasionally,  but am not a huge fan of them...this pair of Loft jeans (#3) feels exactly like leggings.  I can wear them all day.  (Here's a post with me wearing them.)  It's also good to have a skirt like this in your closet.  Something neutral enough to go with a ton of things, but a fun enough color to "make" an outfit.

Tops12:  I can't express to you enough how much your closet needs a sharp, white, button-up shirt. It's great for layering or for wearing with a patterned/colorful bottom.  Plaid is also super big this fall, and is surprisingly really versatile.  I'll be showing my plaid button up in a few weeks.

Accessories12:  This scarf has the same qualities as the skirt.  It needs to be neutral enough to wear with a lot of outfits, but fun enough to stand on it's own if needed.  A pair of tights is also really great for the fall, and can help take a lot of your spring/summer dresses to the next season.  You can see some examples of that here.

Shoes: 1, 2:  Ankle boots are so in this year...and good thing, because they're adorable!  Even thought ankle boots are the big thing, riding boots are still great to have.  I don't think a day went by last year that I didn't wear mine.

Sweaters12:  I wear my plain grey sweater all the time during the fall/winter.  (See outfit here)  It's an essential piece to layer or to let stand alone with a fun skirt or pair of pants.  You'll also need a long top to go with those leggings, (the second sweater pictures), and this is a great one for that.

Outerwear12:  If you don't have this black LC blazer from Kohl's, save your Kohl's cash and get it asap!  Dress it up or will wear it all the time.  A cute cardigan is also a great addition to your wardrobe.  I see a black cardigan recommended often..and I agree...but I've gotten a lot of wear out of my navy polka dot cardi.

Most of these items are essential for your fall wardrobe because they can be worn in so many ways.  

What is one clothing item that you can't go without during the fall season?

Friday, August 23, 2013

10 Ideas for Girls' Nights

"It is a sociological fact that women need women.  We need deep and satisfying and loyal friendships with each other."

Such a beautiful quote from a beautiful person, and I totally agree.  Women need other women.  And that's why it's so important to make it a priority to spend time with your girlfriends.

Going out to dinner is definitely a good thing to do with friends, but here's a list of 10 other fun ideas. (And yes, my brain is working in lists this week; see Monday's post here and Wednesday's post here.)

1.  Favorite Things
          Everyone brings their favorite thing (beauty product, recipe, gadget, etc.) to share with the group.  It's interesting to find out what others love using, and will give you new things to try!

2.  Bowling:
          When is the last time you went bowling?  It's so fun, and will give friends a chance to chat and make memories.  Raleigh has an upscale bowling place called Sparians that is really nice.

3.  Nail/Movie Night:
          Bring your nail polish and paint each other's nails while watching a fun movie.  I was able to get together with a great group of girls a few weeks ago, (see my cute nails here), and it was so awesome to laugh, talk, and get my nails all fancy.

4.  Recipe Night:
          Decide on a specific ingredient or type of dish (dessert, main dish, side), and have everyone bring over the dish and the recipe to share.  It's a great way to eat yummy food, and will send everyone home with a new recipe.

5.  Netflix Night:
          Pick a series that no one has seen before, and start from the beginning.  It might take a couple of months, but it would be fun to watch a series with a group of friends.  

6.  Book Club:
          I love being around other book lovers.  I always want to talk about my favorite books with other people, so what a great way to do that with a book club.

7.  Craft Night:
          Take care of those Pinterest ideas, and have a girls' craft night.  Work on the same project, or bring supplies to work on an individual project.  This would be especially fun with the holidays coming up.  There's so many fun fall projects already floating cute is this?

8.  Fitness Class:
          Get a group together for a fitness class you've been wanting to try or that you love already.  I've been wanting to try hot yoga for a while...might be time to get a group together!

9.  Themed Party:
          Decide on a cute theme that everyone is excited about (a tv show, an awards show, a holiday, or a season) and plan a party/dinner around it!

10.  Get a Treat:
          I'm always up for dessert.  Find new places with a yummy dessert menu and get a group together to try it out.

What are you favorite things to do for a girls' night?

I hope you have a fantastic weekend!!
Linking up with Lauren.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

3 ways to wear a patterned skirt

I featured a white shirt worn 3 different ways last month , and afterwards asked for suggestions on my next 1 item, 3 ways post.  Molly requested a patterned skirt to be featured.  What a great idea!  

I love wearing skirts with fun patterns. In fact, it just so happens that I have already worn one specific skirt, 3 different ways on my blog.  

I bought this skirt from Gap Outlet a few years ago, and can't seem to get enough of it.  It's so cozy, and can be dressed up or down.

I wore this outfit for a date night, and paired this skirt with booties and a chambray shirt in this post. (where I talked about some fun middle school fashions that are coming back)  

I wore this outfit to run errands one morning, and wore this skirt with a white tee, a simple necklace, and some neutral flats.  I featured this outfit in this post where I shared some really fun links (including how much JK Rowling makes a second!!!  Insane!)

Yes, this is a super creepy, hotel mirror selfie.  I wore this outfit to a blog conference, and paired it with a plain tee, a blazer, the same elephant necklace as pictured above, and some neutral flats.  I featured this outfit in this post where I gave advice for attending blog conferences.

A skirt with a funky pattern is actually really fun to style...and can be styled in so many ways!

For options of cute patterned skirts see here, here, and here.

Do you have a patterned skirt you love?  Or are wanting to try?
Linking up with KristenShannaAmy, and The Pleated Poppy.

Monday, August 19, 2013

10 reasons why I loved college

My mom, my sisters, and I had a girls' lunch to celebrate my sister, Sarah, going away to college this week.  So sad that she's leaving (and going so far away)....but excited that she's pursuing a career in the arts.  She's going to be so amazing.

Sending Sarah off to college made me think about my college days at East Carolina University.  My grandfather went there, my dad went there, I went there, and all my siblings (except for sheep) have gone there.  I loved ECU and loved the college experience...and here are 10 reasons why. 

1.  I was able to take at least one dance class every single day.  How awesome is that?!

2.  My XTerra.  What a fun car to drive around Greenville with my windows rolled down, listening to Elisa on full blast.  

3. Boulevard Bagel.  My taste buds will never be able to accept Bruegger's because of how amazing Boulevard Bagel is.  I used to order a whole wheat bagel with strawberry cream cheese at least 4 times a week.  (good thing I was dancing so much)

4.  College was all about me.  And that's totally ok...because it's kind of supposed to be.  Yes, I had a job, church responsibilities, and homework/studying...but it was still about me.  If I wanted to take a 4 hour nap in the afternoon between class and rehearsals, I could.  If I wanted to take off at 10pm to get a Krispy Kreme, I could.  

5.  Despite (or because of?) college being all about me, it really helped me grow up.  I was responsible for getting myself to class, for showing up to work, and for being responsible.  So grateful to those 4 years for helping me become the person I am today.

6.  Fall at ECU is absolutely gorgeous.  They have the crunchiest leaves, and it's just beautiful.  The first cool breeze of the season always gives me nostalgia.

7.  My apartment.  My apartment was kind of amazing in Greenville.  (and my brother and sister both lived there after me).  I was such a slob in high school.  Those of you who know me now are having a hard time wrapping your brain around that one....but I was!  Having my own apartment and being in charge of decorating and cleaning it made me the neat freak I am today.

8.  Being a dance education major.  This decision is in my top 5 best decisions of all time. 

9.  Football games!!  I honestly didn't do a ton of watching the actual game, but the atmosphere is super fun.  My dad and uncle would drive a gigantic van to Greenville, and me and my family/friends would pile in to go to the games together.

10.  Meeting people who I will love forever.  My soul mates.  I met my greatest friends during those 4 years, who are still my dear friends today.  

Best wishes to everyone going to college this fall!  What a fantastic time it is.  Stay focused on what's most important and have the most amazing 4 (or 4ish) :-) years! 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Something I've been meaning to do...

I got chills whenever I read this quote for the first time.  How amazing would the world be if everyone showed a little more compassion?

I've been wanting to put together some bags for the homeless for a while now.  I always feel terrible when I'm sitting at the light and have nothing to give,  so I thought it'd be nice to put together a few bags to keep in my car for future service opportunities.

We put the following items in the bags:

*Bottle of water
*Granola bars 
*Hand sanitizer
*Garbage bag

I'm glad that we finally put these together.  It only took a few minutes, and hopefully it will lift someone's spirits one day.

I hope you have an amazing weekend! 
Linking up with Lauren

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

In Style

Dress: Old Navy, Shoes: Cousin Couture, Necklace: Ann Taylor, Shirt: Gap Outlet, Pictures edited by Kayla.
(I've worn this dress with a blazer here)

It's so difficult to find really cute dresses with sleeves.  Back in the day, most sleeveless dresses looked super creepy with a shirt under them, but now...they are so, so cute.

So, for modesty or weather reasons, definitely throw a shirt on under that dress!  This is especially great for the fall weather coming up right around the corner. 

Here are some other really fun outfits I found of ladies rocking this look.


Really cute basic white tee under a black dress, the good ol' trusty chambray under a patterned dress, and a patterned shirt under a bold colored dress.

Have you ever tried this look?!

Happy Wednesday!
PS. Make sure you enter to win this awesome, personalized giveaway!
Linking up with KristenShannaAmy, and The Pleated Poppy. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Looking ahead

My parents are taking us to Disney for Christmas this year!!  I'm so excited I can barely stand it.  It will be such a nice break from Noel's first semester in law school.

I've been trying to expose the boys to as much Disney as possible lately.  I know they're going to love it regardless, but it will be so fun for them to know the characters.  

I took the babes to a free showing of Beauty and the Beast at a local theatre....was kinda nervous about the whole Beast being scary part....but the boys really, really loved it.  Charlie said his favorite part was the Beast eating at the dinner table. He said the Beast eats like Walker (which is kinda true).

Another exciting thing about Christmas time this year...Christmas cards!!  I'm obsessed with Christmas cards, and this year I'm finally going to have a cutie cute return address stamp to use on the envelopes. (and to use the throughout the year as well.)

Jessica from Twisty Twig Calligraphy sent me THE most adorable NC stamp.

For privacy reasons, I didn't take a picture of my exact stamp, but this is the NC one from her adorable site.  

Jessica has these fantastic stamps in every state (!) and is giving one lucky reader the chance to win one of their very own.

Just use the Rafflecopter below to enter!

Giveaway will end this Sunday. The winner will be notified via email.

Comments turned off so you can go browse around Twisty Twig Calligraphy!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Big Changes

I took a spontaneous blog vacation last week.  There were about 100 million things going on, and I had a lot on my mind with not a lot of sleep to back it up.  I think it's necessary to step away from everything now and reevaluate, to rest, and to be inspired.  

We're also gearing up for some big changes over here.  Noel is starting law school this fall (today is his first day of orientation.)  We've thought and prayed and prayed some more about this decision, and although it's going to be a tough 3 years ahead, we are excited about the long term benefits of this decision.

As I mentioned previously, we tried to sell our house to move a little bit closer, but it just didn't work out.  I'm not exactly sure why it didn't, but I'm at peace with it now.  For 6 months I was on pins and needles trying to keep our home perfect (and it was), and that made me borderline insane.  The pressure is finally gone, and I'm ready to move on to the next phase of life.

Me and the babes won't be seeing a lot of Noel for the next few years...but fortunately his job has prepped us for that.  We're also going to be living on an even tighter budget than before, so that's going to be an even bigger challenge.

So, if you have any advice on law school, being a spouse to a law student (I've already found a few bloggers who are in my situation...yay blog world!), living on a super, super tight budget, or anything else, I would love to hear it!

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend!  Missed everyone last week!

Friday, August 2, 2013


We just took our house off the market after about 6 months of trying to sell it.  More details on all of that later.  Anyways, we completely repainted the upstairs to a neutral color, took all of the frames and fun things off the wall, and now the upstairs looks like more of a show room instead of a home.  

I've been trying to think of a few ways to switch things up a bit and need some help in doing that!  I just can't make up my mind.  

I'm thinking about moving the boys into the same room, turning Walker's room into a playroom, and the loft into a guest room.  Not positive, though.

This was Walker's room before we painted it and took everything down. ^ I think it would be fun to have all the toys, art projects, and books in one room.

Here are some ideas that I pulled from my Pinterest boards.  A chalkboard with a big table and a wall filled with bookshelves.^

This was Charlie's room before painting, etc.  ^

I think it would be awesome to have a huge map on the wall for the boys' room.  They read the Atlas every single day, (no joke), so I think they'd love this. ^

The loft is the tricky room.  This ^ was kinda what we had before painting.  (The chairs were in front of the blue wall).  I want an extra bed for a guest, but if there's only a bed up there, the rest of the room has no purpose.  It would be a fun playroom, but it's at the top of the stairs with no door, so that'd be the first thing you'd see when you walked up...a bunch of toys.

This ^ is a really great idea for the loft area...but then wouldn't the idea of a separate room for a playroom be pointless?!

Any suggestions on these 3 rooms?  Thank goodness for Pinterest, right?! :-)

Happy Friday!  I hope you have a fantastic weekend!
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