Wednesday, November 26, 2014

My Travel Essentials! ft. Mint Julep Boutique!

As much as I love to travel, it can sometimes be a pain! I frequently ask myself
"What do I need?" "What am I suppose to wear to that?" "Is it insane to bring five pairs of shoes?" "What should I bring on the plane?"...and it goes on. 

Well, I am here to share my top few "Essentials" for my travels. 

Checked Luggage/ Clothing
I am always being made fun of for being an over packer but 1. what girl isn't? 2. I totally own it! I typically travel with my Vera Bradley Large Duffel in Canterberry Magenta or, my Alpha 2 by Tumi. 

A few months ago, I came across an online boutique based out of Alabama. My favorite part about shopping from The Mint Julep Boutique is that no one else in my city has pieces quite like mine! MJB is trendy, affordable and belongs in every fashionistas closet! All of the items shown/talked about were bought personally by me. The pictures are also c/o The Mint Julep Boutique. I have no affiliation with The Mint Julep outside of being a major fan! 

Anyways, back to what we are here for...

1. A Maxi Skirt/Dress... or 4... Hey, there is NO shame in this girl's game! 
On the left is 'Arctic Maxi' in Navy $40. I typically pair this with a bright coral tank or a white vneck T. 
On the right is 'This Day Maxi' in Black/White $45. Wear it alone or throw on a denim jacket and you're all set! 

Maxi's are so practical, comfy, and versatile. Plus, most of my maxi's don't wrinkle-SCORE!

2. A cozy sweater. Planes are always set at some ungodly temperature so I frequently bundle up!
'Cozy Up To Me' in Natural  $38.50
How perfect is this neutral cardi? This is a go-to piece for me! It goes with absolutely everything! 

3. Boots! Y'all I don't care if it is 100* or -40, I am frequently spotted rockin' my fav. Pair of boots! 

On the left, 'True Love Boots' in Natural $86
On the right, 'Carolina Boot' in Tan $60
I always bring my boots with me no matter what city or country I am traveling to and, I always wear them on the plane. Typically they are the most cumbersome items I travel with. No matter what is on your travel itinerary, boots will always be practical! 

Carry On!
I am a pretty light packer when it comes to my carry on bag. I will usually pack a Vera Bradley Tech Backpack or a Vera Bradley Get Carried Away Tote

My top 10 items are: 
  1. Macbook Pro 15"
  2. iPad Mini/Kindle
  3. Headphones
  4. Fuzzy Socks
  5. Bottled Water
  6. Meal bar/Granola Mix
  7. Nikon D5500 
  8. Planner
  9. Tylenol/Meds
  10. Chargers

What are your essential travel items?
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Monday, November 24, 2014

Four Days 'Til Turkey Day!

Y'all it is only a few short four days until Thanksgiving! Being that this is the first year that I am hosting, I am officially freakin' out! I am taking a few minutes to link up with Bella for Weekend Recap and Meg for Mingle Monday

I spent the majority of my weekend freaking out, shopping and prepping for our upcoming Thanksgiving Feast! 
Friday:I woke up pretty early and hopped aboard the productivity train. I managed to do the dishes, laundry, clean the grill, tidy the house and hit the bark park with the pups all before 11! After the park, we (the dogs and I) returned home so that I could get ready before meeting an old friend for lunch! Kelleigh and I had way too much fun starting our weekends early with a pitcher of sangria, way too many laughs and an abundance of selfies. I came home to sleep off the sangria snuggle with the dogs until J got home from work. We spent the night in with homemade meatballs and sauce that his dear grandmother brought by! 
Saturday: I was up pretty early, J left for work at 430 and I was up and ready by 6. I started my laundry list of errands for Thursday. I hit Marshalls, Publix, Target, Hobby Lobby and Walmart before meeting another girlfriend, Jackie, and her mother for breakfast. After breakfast, we decided to make a quick trip up to the Brandon Mall where I got a decent amount of holiday shopping done and cleaned Bath and Body Works out of their $12 candles! At 630pm, I left to babysit one of my favorite baby boys on the planet..I happened to be the first 'non family member' to see him after he was born. This whole family holds a special place in my heart. We played with his toys, snuggled, made butternut squash soup, read books, snuggled and well, snuggled until his parents got home around 1030. I was headed home when Jackie asked if I wanted to go downtown. Since I don't get to see her often, I couldn't say "no" so, I scooped her up and we headed down to a country bar and line-danced the night away! 

Sunday:prep time! I started setting up our table and centerpieces, labeling all of the serveware and getting a few other things accomplished. I also found out that my love of Panera is still alive. I ate the rest of my panini from the night before with coffee for breakfast-judge me! 
Before I "overworked" myself, J summoned me to watch the Pats game at a sports bar near our house. We stuffed our bellies full of homemade chips, chicken quesadillas, and jalapeno'd think that we would have been full but, we both have a wicked bad sweet tooth so I made chocolate chip peppermint ice cream sandwiches. We came home and J did homework while I worked on blogging things and continued to prep for thursday! 

For Meg's Mingle Monday Question: Do you black Friday shop? If yes, what is on your list?
I go off an on with black Friday shopping. Last year I did and I bought a new tv! This year, I want to for a new knife set and a few other kitchen things but, because I don't have any 'big' purchases in mind, I am still debating if I should go. 

Well, for now, I am off to start a Sangria mix for thursday, clean the house, and grocery shop! 
How did you spend your weekend? Link up with the girls above!

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Friday, November 21, 2014

The Best Day of the Week

Happy Friday, Dolls
I am linking up with Karli from September Farm and Christine from Carolina Charm for this Oh Hey Friday! and 5 on Friday!

1. So I have a confession..I like love wine. Wine to me is just so classy. It is yummy. It is pretty. But more importantly, it creates a bond for me. Since I was little, my dad has been a wine collector-and by this, I mean legit wine (not the $8 special I buy at Publix). He has a whole wine storage room built into their house for his wines. He buys it (obviously), sells it, goes to auctions, he is wine. When I was younger, I didn't get it. Now that I am older, I think it is the coolest thing. He and I have been to several wine tastings and auctions together. He shares his passion for it and I learn and taste yummy wines along the way. It is silly to some but it is a hobby for us and I really enjoy the time we spend together. #daddysgirlforlife 

2. I would just like to take this moment to applaud myself in the productivity I showed this week! I conquered several DIY projects that have been on my list for a WHILE now and I knocked out a few Christmas gifts as well. *whoop whoop* 

3. I have officially hopped aboard the #strugglebus with my hair! Ugh. I am so over this mixed girl hair. I had the tips bleached the weekend of labor day in September-what a mistake! I wanted my hair to be ombre'd with reds and purples..the picture I showed the stylist was this one on the left... 
 ...I wish I could show you what I ended up with but I was so upset I didn't even take a picture...just think firetruck red. Thankfully, I managed to dye it to a decent degree using box color (pictured on the right).
Anyways, the bleach has seriously messed up my hair. If I don't stay on top of the box color, my hair gets this weird filmy feeling almost like I forgot to wash the shampoo out..I don't know but it is AWFUL. Moral of my rant: I will NEVER be bleaching my hair again.

4. If any of you are on Facebook or watch the news, I am sure that you have heard about the Florida State University shooting that occurred late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning. Obviously any and all school shootings are tragic but, this one especially hit way too close to home for me. Since before I was adopted (at three days of age), I was an FSU fan. I have been raised and FSU fan my whole life. Although I did not attend FSU, I have spent many Saturdays there rooting for my Noles, weekend trips to visit friends, and always sport a ton of FSU pride. I also have three very near and dear family friends that attend FSU currently. One was thankfully on her way down here before this happened for Thanksgiving, another was safe and sound in her apartment sleeping, but, the third, was in Strozier Library when this occurred she was quick and managed to make it to a closet which may have saved her life. Her Facebook status this morning absolutely killed me. Waking up yesterday morning with a flooded news feed containing the hashtag #prayforFSU and the overwhelming amount of news coverage both local and national sent me into a tear flooded tizzy. I immediately started texting and calling the families of my friends, my mom, anyone that could give me an update of where they were. Once I had conformation that they were all safe, I was a little better but still heart broken for the three families that received news that their children were injured. Thankfully the only fatality was the one of the shooter. All of the victims were injured but will make it through. I have a very set view on the gun laws-especially in Florida- and although I will not be sharing those views on here, I do believe that this shooting along with most if not all others, could be avoided.
On the left is Mckenna's post. She is one of my closest friends and has been since she was two years old. On the right is a post from another FSU student that I am not close with but have met several times through mutual friends. 
This really is confirmation that you never know what tomorrow will bring. You have to live each and everyday to it's fullest and never forget to tell the people you are close to how much you love them.

5. On a less depressing note, Holy cow y'all! Thanksgiving is in 6 days...SIX this will be the first time I am hosting Thanksgiving! I have a full page long grocery list, a two page long to-do list and I think I have bleached-re-dyed hairs falling out from anxiety and ANYONE else with me here or am I on my own island? 
Well, I am off to clean the house before catching up with an old friend for lunch! Link up with the girls above to share what your weekend plans will be! 
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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Our Fall Decor! + A Favorite Fall Recipe

I love love love Fall! Why?
1. Pumpkin #basic? Yeah, I don't care! There have been pumpkin candles burning on end in every room, 12 loafs of pumpkin bread baked, 4 pumpkins carved, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin bagels (yum!) and just pumpkin! 

2. Cooler weather-which we don't get a lot of down here!

3. Thanksgiving feasts

4. Family time

5. Living vicariously through everyone that lives north of the Florida/Georgia line that posts fall leaf pictures on Instagram! 

Those are a few reasons but, I also LOVE decorating! I am linking up with the girls down below for their Holiday Link Up!

Home of Malones
Kaite Elizabeth
Home Sweet Ruby
Lisa Loves John

Here is a look into our home for Thanksgiving
Accent Table

Dining Table

Dining Table

Dining Table

Kitchen Bar

Kitchen Bar

Metallic Pumpkins

Metallic Pumpkins

Autumn Flowers

Entertainment Center Decor

Living Room Accent Table

All of the pieces pictured, were purchased from Hobby Lobby. 
Autumn Succotash

What you will need:

1 1/2 lbs ground beef,chicken or turkey
1 green pepper diced
1-2 yellow squash quartered
1-2 zucchini quartered
1/2 of a sweet onion diced
1 can diced tomatoes with liquid
1/2 cup of water
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp. garlic
1/2 tsp of sugar
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
malt vinegar to taste
worschester sauce to taste
salt and pepper

Let's get started:
1. in a large sauce pan, start browning your meat. half way through, add in onion and green pepper.
2. when fully cooked through, drain excess grease. return to pan, add tomatoes and all seasonings plus water mix well.
3. cover and allow to simmer on a medium to low heat for 8 minutes. uncover and add squash and zucchini stir well.
4. cover again for 10 minutes.
5. enjoy!

We like to eat our over rice!

Click on the links above to go to the linkup for more great decorating ideas.

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Monday, You're a Big Ol B!

Ugh! It is definitely one of those mondays! But, the silver lining is that I am 5pm, linking up with Bella for the Weekend Recap and Meg for Mingle Monday

I wish I could say I had an eventful weekend but, I did not. 
Friday: J is a professional procrastinator. My darling boyfriend waited until 4pm after work to start, type, perfect, and turn in his 6 page essay on a culture, historical event, or holiday of his choice that was due by 11pm. Naturally, he enlisted the help of moi to help him write it. We I picked Mardi Gras (hey, if I am going to be the one writing it, it is going to be on something I enjoy!) We got it knocked out by 930pm and treated ourselves to dinner at a local 'chain' restaurant complete with margaritas!
Saturday:Since John works on Saturdays, I usually spend the day running errands, meeting friends for lunch, etc. This Saturday however, I spent at our old house doing one final clean up. I had Goodwill come and get some furniture that we were no longer in love with and cleaned like a mad woman. Saturday was also my mommas birthday so, after I left the old house, I picked her up some flowers and lunch for us at a deli close by and brought it over to her house. We ate, drank and talked-it was great! 

Lemon Poached Shrimp Salad
Later, my dad and John met us for dinner and gifts at my moms favorite restaurant, Stonewood. 

Sunday:Well, obviously it was gameday! We woke up pretty early, J ran into work for about an hour while I took the furbabes to the dog park. We ran errands, ate at Buffalo Wild Wings(the things I do for this man) for lunch, then returned home. J worked on some more homework while flipping through the afternoon games and I got a headstart on some of our families Christmas gifts that I am hand making. We ended the night cuddled up on the couch watching Brady and Gronk crush the Colts! 

For Meg's question of the week: What is on your DIY project wishlist?
1. glittered mason jars...I mean what is life without these?
2. decorated wine bottles
3. wine cork picture
(what can I say? I like wine!)
How was your weekend?
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