Friday, August 11, 2017

Statement Necklace for Work

School has officially started, so gone are the days of t-shirts and shorts, sadly. I've gotten into the habit (at least so far) of picking out my clothes the night before (I'm not a morning person by any means), and I'm trying to keep my look professional and put-together. This outfit was one of my recent favorites.

I was recently given this statement necklace by a friend who sells Stella & Dot, and I couldn't wait to wear it! It comes apart so you can be as flashy or as simple as you want, but of course I opted for the maximum statement. 

I love the excitement it brings to this little black dress. To make it work appropriate, and because my office is always freezing, I added a pink cardigan.

How do you wear statement jewelry to work?

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Culpeper Wineries

First of all, let me just say that our group brought along the most delicious spread for a day full of wineries! I'm talking apples with caramel dip, bean salad, tomato (straight from the garden) mozzarella basil skewers, bacon ranch dip, and chocolate chip cookie dough pretzel bites. All paired perfectly with wine ;)

We spent the afternoon visiting Old House Vineyards and Mountain Run Winery. If you're ever in the central/northern VA area, these are both definitely worth a stop!

Old House had the most gorgeous views. Their tasting room is actually in an old house, and your servers will give you the history of the area as they pour your tastings. 

The whole setting is breathtaking! 

Outside among the vines, there's an island in the middle of a pond, which of course we ventured out to. Many weddings take place here - I'm sure you can see why!

Mountain Winery is a little more rustic; their tasting room is in the loft of an old renovated barn! Being a country girl at heart, this one was right up my alley. The owners are incredibly sweet, and they fixed up the whole place themselves!

I wish I had gotten more pictures, but I was drinking too much wine having too much fun :)

How cool is this bar made out of wine barrels and an old door? Keeping that idea in mind for a future DIY project.

If the views have you interested, just wait until you try their wine!

Friday, July 21, 2017

5 on Friday

1. My Nordstrom Sale Purchase
I've been loving checking out what everyone got at the #NSale! I've been trying really hard not to spend much money lately, so I wanted to get something that I wasn't too pricey. There were SO many cute things that I could have bought, but I tried to only buy something that I could wear to work. Enter this bell sleeve top! I can see it with a fun statement necklace or earrings. I like that the bell sleeves on this aren't too over the top and that they're embellished with adorable little bows!

2. Groopdealz
Anyone else kinda addicted to Groopdealz? I regret signing up for their emails because the daily reminders of their insanely good deals are just too tempting for me! I've been looking for some leggings with cut outs for a while, and when I saw a pair up for under $10, you bet I added them right to my cart.

3. Chick-fil-A Family Meals
If you know me at all, you know that Chick-fil-A is hands down my favorite fast food restaurant. I may or may not have had it for lunch two days in a row this week. Anyway, they're going to start trying out family style meals. WITH MAC AND CHEESE. I'm seriously considering going to NC just to try it, and I am crossing my fingers that it goes well so they can bring it to VA!

4. Cookie Dough Pretzel Bites
A few girlfriends and I will be checking out a couple wineries on Sunday, and I wanted to make something easy and sweet to take along with us. I love cookie dough, so I'm excited to see how these cookie dough pretzel bites turn out!

5. Camera Recommendations
I love taking pictures, but I always rely on my phone. While I like the convenience of always being able to snap a picture no matter where I am, I've decided to upgrade to an actual camera. I'd love to be able to take pictures of our honeymoon and my baby niece/nephew that's on the way. If you have any recommendations for a good beginner camera, let me know!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Drugstore Makeup Favorites

Happy Monday, friends!

This is my first full week back at work for the school year. RIP summer break - it's hard to believe you've already come and gone. Over the summer, I typically don't wear as much makeup. I've used my relaxed mornings (not leaving the house until about 11:30 - only if I have to) to perfect my next-to-little-effort-required makeup routine. My simple look wouldn't be possible without some of my favorite drugstore favorites. I've probably mentioned it before, but I'm a bargain shopper, so I'm all about spending less than $10 on my makeup.

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes - Perfect for taking the day off. I make it a point to never sleep in my makeup.

Maybelline Rocket Volum' Express Mascara - Love the volume and impact this gives to my lashes without being too much.

Neutrogena Moisturesmooth Color Stick - My lips are constantly dry, so I was sold once I saw that this stuff added color AND moisture. Win win.

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Nail Polish - My go-to when I'm in a pinch and need to quickly fix my naked or chipped nails. Seriously dries in like two minutes.

Essie Nail Polish (Watermelon & In The Cabana) - I have a whole box full of nail polish, yet I constantly rotate between these two and Sally Hansen's Peachy Breeze.

Essie Good To Go Topcoat - I can be impatient, so I'm really bad at sitting around waiting for my nails to dry. This really helps speed up the process!

Honorable mention: these makeup brushes (1, 2, 3) work great and don't even come close to breaking the bank!

So tell me, what are you summer go-to products that don't break the bank? Let me know in the comments!

P.S. I'm looking for a new CC/BB cream, so please let me know if you have any recommendations!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Sunflower Picking

Nothing screams summer in the south (aside from the humidity) like a field full of freshly bloomed sunflowers! One of our favorite breweries, Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery, has all you can pick sunflowers just about every summer. As soon as I heard they were ready for picking, we planned a trip!

We stopped by the bar and got a glass of beer, then spent the rest of our time out in the fields picking flowers and taking pictures.

If you're in the area, it's definitely worth making a stop! Be sure to wear closed toe shoes, lather on the sunscreen, and take some scissors. And take lots of pictures - you'll be glad you did!

Monday, July 10, 2017

OBX Beach Trip

To me, it's not summer unless I've made at least one trip to the beach. I don't mean some sand at the edge of the lake, I mean the ocean as far as I can see with the waves crashing in at my feet. This year, we went to our usual spot: the Outer Banks in North Carolina. It was a girls trip (the best way to go, if you as me!) to celebrate a friend's birthday. We had the best time!

On the way down, we always stop at Morris Farm Market. It's a huge place full of fresh produce, dips, sauces, cider... and free samples of just about everything! I highly recommend it. We stopped by the outdoor bar before getting back on the road, and we tried the sangria. What a way to kick off our trip!

Once we checked into our rooms, I handed out the party favors! The birthday girl's favorite color is turquoise, so that was the theme of the trip. We used these wine glasses (with flamingo charms!) the whole time we were there. They were stuffed with sea salt caramel chocolate truffles, in turquoise wrappers of course, along with fun straws and little umbrellas. They were a hit! Most of our time was spend on the beach, shopping, and eating. We even went wine tasting at the OBX winery.

The birthday girl specifically requested Bahama Mamas, so we went up to the hotel's tiki bar and got Hippie Juice, the next best thing!

We went out onto the pier to take in the views, and wow, were they breathtaking!

We had dinner on a rooftop bar, which overlooked the ocean. We saw the prettiest pink sunset!

The water was a little more rough on our last day, but it made for the prettiest under-the-pier pictures!

Needless to say, I wasn't quite ready to come home! Did you take a trip this summer? What's your favorite beach?

Friday, July 7, 2017

5 on Friday

1. Cocktail Napkins
This may seem like a small thing to get excited about, but it doesn't take much for me to get excited. I recently ordered a napkin holder to add to our bar, and I've been finding the cutest summer napkins to go in it! I'm thinking about using the pink and green pineapples next.

2. Summer Country Music
Is it just me, or do summer and country music go together like peanut butter and jelly? I couldn't think of a more perfect combination. Currently listening to my favorite country summer playlist.

3. Red, White & Blue Poke Cake
I made this poke cake for my family's cookout on the 4th, and boy was it tasty! Everyone loved it. I'm now planning on making poke cakes to celebrate anything and everything in the near future.

4. Wedding DIYs
I've been so productive with wedding things this summer! I've already made a picture frame and gold sequined hangers. Look for some DIYs to come soon. Next up on my list: cork letters and a monogrammed cake topper.

5. Everlasting Summer
Does summer really have to end?! I'm already in denial that I have to go back to work on July 12. That will put a damper on all the crafting and wedding planning I've been doing lately. I'm trying to look on the bright side: by going back earlier, I can be finished earlier when May comes around, and I can be in full-force wedding mode! Already counting down the days.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Repurposed Washstand

My fiancé and I recently bought a house, and I've been having so much fun decorating it! We lucked out because around the time we closed, my parents sold my grandparents' house, which meant I got my pick of their antique pieces to furnish our new house. This washstand is one of my favorite pieces! We turned it into a bar, and I couldn't be more pleased.

In the top drawer, you'll find our huge koozie collection. Anyone else have a ton of these? How do they accumulate so fast? My wine bottle bags/coolers are in here as well.

The second drawer has all of my wine accessories: glass charms, bottle stoppers, etc.

The bottom drawer has shot glasses. I also have quite the collection of those. #college

The cabinet on the right has our liquor bottles. I originally wanted to put wine bottles in here too, but I'm not sure what I was thinking because it wouldn't even hold a third of my stash!

Aside from having all of our drinking essentials all in one easy spot, my favorite part of this bar is decorating it for the seasons! I found everything red, white, and blue in our house to decorate for the 4th of July.

Cocktail Napkin Holder: Amazon
Blue Wine Glass: Dollar Tree
Wine Glass Tassels: Target (from the Valentine's Day collection)
Pom Pom Garland: made it myself

I'm looking forward to decorating it for the rest of summer (I'm thinking pink and green, pineapples, and flamingos!), football season, fall, and Christmas!

Do you have any special pieces of furniture in your house? How did you decorate for the 4th of July? Let me know!

Friday, June 30, 2017

June Outfits

A few of my favorite looks from June...

But first, a few disclaimers: 
1) Approximately all of these posts will be full of mirror pictures. No shame.
2) My cats don't like to be left out.
3) Some of these pieces were sent to me free f charge to review.

Shirt: Old Navy
Sandals: Target Sugarfix
Earrings: Target

Shirt: American Eagle (c/o)
Flip Flops: Rainbow
Necklace: gift
Sunglasses: RayBan
Crossbody: gift

Dress: Loft
Shoes: Super Shoes
Necklace: Stella & Dot

Shirt: TJ Maxx
Sandals: Nine West Outlet

Shirt: eShakti (c/o)
Sandals: Nine West Outlet
Necklace: Loft

Shirt: Loft
Shorts: J. Crew Factory
Sandals: Peebles

Shirt: Loft (similar)
Shorts: fun find at Ben Franklin at the beach last year
Flip Flops: Rainbow
Necklace: Stella & Dot

Monday, June 26, 2017

DIY Calming Glitter Jar

I always see cool crafty project for school counselors on Pinterest, but they're usually geared more towards elementary school students. My high schoolers would probably roll their eyes at me if I brought in a fun little board game about managing emotions. Recently, I've come across several tutorials for these calming glitter jars, and I think my students would actually like to use this one!

A lot of times students will come in upset or worked up about something small. Sometimes I don't even really need to talk to them, they just need a few minutes away from everyone and everything to pull themselves together. I'm hoping this glitter jar will help them focus on the here and now, at least for a few minutes. I also like it because it serves as a timer - some students will sit in my office forever when they really need to be in class, so now I can just have them shake up the jar and once it settles, that will be their cue to wrap things up.

I read a bunch of tutorials on how to make these, and I kind of combined them. I ended up sticking to this one the most.

Here's what I used:
  • Mason Jar (I got the clear ones from the Target dollar section)
  • Clear Glue
  • Food Coloring (I used neon blue)
  • Glitter (I used three different sizes of glitter to add some visual interest)
Here's what I did:
  1. Heat up some water in a pot on the stove. I just warmed mine up a little, not bringing it to boiling.
  2. Put a drop of food coloring in the bottom of the jar.
  3. Fill the jar up about halfway with the warm water.
  4. Add in the glue. You can use however much you want depending on how fast you want your jar to settle. I used a whole bottle, and mine takes about 3 minutes. Use a fork to stir in the glue until dissolved. The warm water helps the glue dissolve smoothly.
  5. Now add the glitter! I was going to attempt to measure mine, but I just kept pouring until it looked right. Stir it with the fork to see how it looks and how long it takes to settle, then decide if you want more. I used maybe half of the light blue glitter from the picture above, and a few shakes of each silver.
  6. Top it off with more warm water if needed.
  7. Put the top on tight. Give it a shake and watch and relax! You can still go back and add more glitter at this point if you want to.
Let me know what you think if you decide to make one!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Target Finds

The other night, my mom and I went into Target to return some things I ordered. We started looking around, and once I saw her come around the corner with a handful of things to try on, it was all downhill from there (not my fault). As usual, we came out with more than we planned on.

He gets just as excited about my shopping finds as I do!

I really needed some new PJ tops for our upcoming beach trip. I usually wear old t-shirts to bed, but when traveling with friends, it's a little embarrassing when I pull out my 4-H Camp t-shirt from 2011. I ended up getting two PJ tops, which will definitely make their way into my suitcase.

Y'all, have you checked out Target's clearance sections lately?! I feel like I never have much luck finding things in my size, but I ended up finding the gray PJ top for $9 and these pants for under $18!

I'd been on the hunt for a pair of pink-ish pants for work, so these were absolutely coming home with me. They were SO soft and comfortable that I didn't really want to take them off to leave the fitting room. Work pants can be tricky for me, so we'll see how they hold up after a full day of work and a few washes.

And lastly, how cute are these tanks?? I loved both, and it took all I had not to toss the champagne one into my cart.

Have you found anything fun at Target lately? Let me know!