Thursday, September 24, 2015

Thursday Thoughts

Today is the day! It's Friday eve! And this afternoon marks the start of a 5 day vacay! I'm headed to the beach this weekend with my fam. It should be fun! I've never done a "beach  vacation" in the fall. It will still be in the lower 80s and breezy all basically it's like perfect weather. We are going to the Isle of Palms...where we've gone since I was young. It's my family's favorite place!

//1. It's Fall, Y'all!
I posted on Tuesday about All the Fall Things. I must admit I'm really getting into the spirit. Never have I craved the colors of orange and brown in my life this much! The weather is getting cooler and I just can't wait!

//2. Vacation mode.
So far, I've made 3 packing lists. This is different from a traditional beach vacation but it's still a beach know? Also, I'm planning a trip for M and I out west. I've always wanted to go and a blog friend is currently around the Yellowstone area and is posting the most amazing I want to go now. I'm thinking the Grand Teton/Yellowstone/Jackon, WY area. Anyone been there before?

//3. Navy & Black.
This week I've worn navy with black twice...intentionally. I'm breaking the fashion rules, y'all. I grew up old-school Southern fashion. You know, no white after Labor Day or before Easter, etc. Well you always had to be careful pairing neutrals and never navy with black. Too bad! I'm going to make it a "thing". (except not really because it's all over Pinterest...I just only recently got the guts to do it.) Here are some great navy and black pairings on Pinterest here, here and here.

Well, those are my thoughts for today. Join in on the fun below and link your blog post!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

All the Fall Things

Sung to the tune of "All the Small Things" by Blink 182.

All the fall things. Come out, this week. 
Candles and wreaths, turkeys and fake leaves.

I could go on...because I do enjoy a good song parody...but I won't. Instead, I'll celebrate the official start of fall here in the Northern Hemisphere (tomorrow) by sharing with you all the fall things I'll be obsessing over and about this season.

A lifelong fan of cardigans, I tend to ignore the other members of the sweater family, including long sweaters. However, I cannot ignore the cozy factor any longer. I've purchased a few longer "cozy" or wrap sweaters to wear this fall. Now, if I could just work up the guts to rock leggings or skinny jeans with them, I'd be set.

I ordered the Starfish Boyfriend cardigan above and I LOVE it. It's long and comfy. I can't wait for the weather to get cooler.

I was on the lookout for a blanket scarf and a blog reader tipped me off about a Zara-esque plaid blanket scarf on Ebay. (just do an Ebay search for plaid scarf and about 1 million will pop up) I ordered it and it got here last week. I can't wait to wear it! 

Ships the next day.    This is the scarf everyone is raving about. We found the fabric for you and are making them as we speak. This is a very soft:

Now that M and I have our own place, I've been perusing The Internets for great ideas for our front porch. It's not huge, but I could definitely do something fun and fall-y. There are some great ideas here, though some are a bit much. Side note - when did fall become a tacky season for decor? Did I miss that? I like touches of fall but I'm not scooping up every glittery pumpkin and scarecrow I see at Hobby Lobby. I'm thinking more like a wreath and maybe a few pumpkins on the porch. 

Neither M nor I are big fans of pumpkin. I do make an exception for my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal cookies once a year. I figure...they have pumpkin...pumpkin = they are quasi healthy, right? Right. 

So even though I don't love pumpkin, I'm all about some soups, slow cooker recipes and skillet dishes.

What do you love about fall? 

I'd love for you to link up with me on Thursday. You can blog about ANYTHING and link up to my Thursday Thoughts blog link up. Thanks in advance for helping me! 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Emmy Awards Fashion Review [Best and Worst Dressed]

Overall, I'm digging all the gorgeous colors I saw this year. Below are some of my picks for best and worst dressed. :)


Maggie Gyllenhaal in Oscar De La Renta
She looks awesome! I love her cute un-fussy hair and this silhouette. I'm really into her slightly wrinkly, unkempt dress. I think it makes this dress look fresh and not dated.

Lena Headley in Zuhair Murad
This color is GORGEOUS. And if it didn't have that awesome cagey texture I wouldn't love it as much. The texture and the sparkle are what make the dress. Her dark hair really works with this color dress. 

Amy Poehler in Michael Kors
I know, it's a plain black dress, but doesn't Amy look 25 years old? That dark hair and the easy waves with her simple cut-out dress make her look awesome! 

Laura Prepon in Christian Siriano
While I'm not normally a fan of red on the red carpet, this look is an exception. Her pale skin and dark hair make this red dress pop and that gorgeous baroque-ish bolero (say that 3 times fast) literally takes the look from a 7/8 to a 10!

Kerry Washington in Marc Jacobs
I've been rooting for Kerry after a few fashion missteps as of late. This chain-metal/knight-meets-military gown is gorgeous. The color is stunning on her and I love the balance of the hard/metal dress with flowy, wispy hair. Great job! 

Laverne Cox in Calvin Klein
There's nothing wrong with keeping it simple for a change. This color is gorgeous and Laverne looked awesome. I love this silhouette and her flowy, loose hair. 


Alan Cumming in Vivienne Westwood
I normally don't include men because suits are suits are suits. Unless you're wearing a costume, like Alan Westwood. There are fashion risks for men and then there's just plain silly. This is the latter.

Christine Marzano
No ma'am. The pattern just happens to get busier over her "business areas"? No ma'am. That's not fashion, that's trashy. And apparently she's carrying a water bottle for her purse. I'm done.

Heidi Klum in Versace
I love Heidi, but c'mon! This also looks like part of a Tinkerbell costume. And I was REALLY done at the matching yellow platform shoes. 

Renee Bargh
I'm not a fan of the off-the-shoulder look much anyway, but this stark white dress (complete with a fabric choker) and ridiculous shoes made me sad. This girl is trying way too hard. She's too extra

Joanna Newsom in Delpozo
Stahp. She looks like an antique bottle of perfume or something. I can't even see her figure in this dress and the hair? No ma'am. We stopped with that center-part-ear-covering hairstyle in 1879. 

Those are my best and worst dressed. What were some of your picks? Photos courtesy of Eonline.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Thursday Thoughts

Happy Thursday, friends.

This week, I've got nothing but kitchens on my mind. We are going shopping for a new dishwasher this weekend and will soon be starting our kitchen updating projects. I can't quite decide which combo I like best: dark cabinets and light countertops or light cabinets and dark countertops? Maybe you'd like to weigh in? Some photos below...

Dark Cabinets + Light Countertops
Pros: Look elegant, dark cabinets won't show stains/splatters
Cons: Might be harder to paint and it might make the room look too dark

Light Cabinets + Dark Countertops
Pros: Looks "airy" and would brighten up the room/make it look larger; looks modern
Cons: Cabinets may show stains/scuffs on bottom; paint might chip

Light Cabinets + Light Countertops
Pros: Beautiful, airy and clean look. My most favorite look of all.
Cons: Show stains and paint may chip off more easily.

Which do you like best? I'd love to hear your thoughts below.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Look for Less

I love getting inspiration from more expensive retailers and then trying to recreate the look with less expensive items.

Enter this inspo outfit from Eloquii. I love the colors together and *GASP* it pairs black and navy...which was a former fashion faux-pas-turned-new-trend.

the look for less - eloquii

the look for less - eloquii by aprilanne147 featuring v neck t shirts

The Eloquii look rings in around $245 and the copycat look is about $150. Not a huge difference here (not as much as other copycat looks) but still almost $100 in savings. See other Look for Less outfits (used to be called Splurge Vs. Steal) here.


Don't forget to link up tomorrow for Thursday Thoughts. If you blog on Thursdays, link up with me tomorrow starting at midnight EDT. :)

Monday, September 14, 2015

Our New Home: Gallery Wall for OCD/Type A People

I have a love/hate relationship with gallery walls. Meaning, I love the look of them, but literally hate every single attempt I've ever made to have one. I envy people who can throw together gallery walls and make them look totally awesome like this, this and this.

We have this ENORMOUS wall in our living room that scales about 20 feet or so at the top. We love it! But it's a difficult wall to put anything on because it looks dwarfed. Also, there are no large architectural pieces or furniture that I have to work with. It's literally a blank wall. I've tried a few things on it but hated them.

So, I decided to bite the bullet and work on a gallery wall the real way. I shopped my house (meaning took from other rooms in the house) and had my husband mount something on a little block of wood for the gallery wall. I used some of his old movie posters he was trashing for the templates. (which is why it looks so ridiculous)

Here's how we've progressed with the wall since we moved in:

I didn't hate the first. But it was too much for some reason...and that Home Sweet Home thing was at the top. Which made it weird. Plus it was too small scale for the wall. I hated the second one. It was plain and weird and had no "theme". I hated looking at it. 

So I finally bit the bullet and decided to try doing my gallery wall the proper way. If you look up how-to make a gallery wall, the basic gist of the process is you trace what you have onto large sheets of paper and hang them on the wall with painter's tape to get an idea of layout. Then you nail holes into the paper and then rip the paper off. Hang your art and it's done. 

Or so they say...

 I traced all my stuff onto posters and laid out a design I could live with. It's pretty squareish...not any cool angles or asymmetrical...but again, Type A, here.

Yes, the cow print is named Francine. I love it. Once we got a placement we could live with, we went ahead and hung the art and such. You'll see that the wood block for M's antlers. I wanted to mount them so they could be hung on the wall. Initially I thought I might paint the wood block but I ended up liking it natural.

I wanted to incorporate some photography, some paintings and other non framed elements like the wood hanging thing, antlers and the P.

I think I still need something for underneath the jelly to the left of M's antlers...but I'll find something eventually. Overall, I'm happy with it. It's very rectangular, which I was worried about initially, but upon further Pinsearch (Pinterest Research) I've discovered that a rectangular gallery wall isn't that uncommon.

Have you ever attempted a gallery wall?

Friday, September 11, 2015

9.11.01 - 14 Years Later

September 11th is my generation's Kennedy assassination. It's a defining moment for our nation and something that altered the course of history.

I've posted before on September 11th (read it here: A Prayer for America).

Today, to commemorate the 14th anniversary, I present to you a different story that I'd only first heard Wednesday. It's about the September 11th Boatlift. It's a little long, but it's an absolute must watch. This is a little known story of survival and the resiliency of the American people. It's a story that will inspire you and renew your hope in our nation.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Thursday Thoughts

I'm loving everything about this Thursday this week. It's a short work week and it's finally starting to cool down a little bit where I live. (So it's in the 80s and not the 90s.) I look forward to when the daytime temps are in the 50s and favorite time. Here's a round up of some of my thoughts on all things current and random.

I don't love pumpkin really at all. The only time I like it is in these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies I make. That's it. No pumpkin pie, no pumpkin bread and most definitely no PSLs. #byepumpkin

Actually, I don't like coffee. 

So, with that, my blogger card has been revoked. But I do love fall and maybe that will qualify me to get it back? 

I've been seeing a lot of fall fashion pins on Pinterest. I would wear about one out of every 7. Some are absolutely atrosh. Like this one, this one and especially this one. But along those lines, I DO want to buy a cute plaid blanket scarf. Any tips? 

Apple talked about all of their new technology yesterday. One big component of their 2 hour presentation was an update to Apple TV that allows you to add new channels, customize your channel offering, purchase additional channels and search for shows/movies amongst ALL channels on your device. 


Except my $50 Roku already does all of that. So for 3x that price you can purchase a new Apple TV and get basically the same thing. Cool. 

So with that...I'll leave you with this...

an actual commercial for dancing with the stars

Link up below, y'all! 

Friday, September 4, 2015

I've Become a "Purse Girl"

I've never been one of those women that owns very expensive things. I've always preferred to buy my clothes, shoes and accessories on the cheap. But as I've gotten older, I've begun to realize that quality trumps quantity. Shoes and handbags (pocketbooks for us Southerners) are an area this has become apparent. I'd rather have fewer shoes and purses that are higher quality than a bin full of poorly-made purses that have broken straps, ripping faux leather, loose stitches, etc. I'd much rather have a rotation of a few quality pairs of shoes than racks of cheap pairs I can only wear a few times.

I've always been exceptionally hard on shoes so I end up usually replacing shoe staples like my ballet flats or black pumps every year at least. But for the last 2 years I've started buying slightly more high quality shoes. And guess what? They've lasted a long time. I got a pair of pumps for Christmas that were $70 and I kind of freaked out because to me that is expensive. But I've worn those pumps at least once a week since Christmas and they are in pristine shape. (slow claps) Kudos to you Anneke pump!

This is coming from the girl who once had pink crocodile pumps and gold glitter platform shoes because they were on sale.

My tendency towards a semi-annual replacement also holds true for purses. I would buy a $40 purse at Target and it would last me about 6 months. That's $80 a year for purses (but more like $120 because a girl needs options) and $400 over the course of 5 years.

Now, I have always envied girls with beautiful, expensive purses but I just could never justify spending a ton of money on something like a purse...until a few months ago when I started noticing that my coworkers had nice (designer) purses. Curious, I asked a few where they would buy them and how in the world they could afford them. (in a nice way, of course) "I got it at the outlets" or "I bought it online" or "I stalked it until it went on clearance". Ah. So bargain hunting could also be done at the designer purse level. Also, every single person made the argument that these purses last a very long time and hold up to daily use even.

Fast forward to 2 weeks ago when I got a really, REALLY good promotion and pay raise at work. After stalking a few purses online and deliberating with some quick math and how much I actually spend on Target purses, I decided to take the plunge when I saw my absolute dream purse on Gilt. Gilt is a free flash-sale website (sort of) that specializes in designer labels. So, even though I've never spent this much money on anything that I wear (jewelry aside) I bought it.

Katherine, as I affectionately call her, arrived on Tuesday. I'm smitten.

It's pink. It's a tote and it's Kate Spade. It's absolutely beautiful. Though there's a little trepidation about changing into a "purse girl", I'm okay with it. Instead of calling myself a "purse girl", I prefer to say I'm just getting older, wiser...and richer. :)

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Thursday Thoughts on Football

I don't know why but I really enjoy sharing GIFs with my readers. (both of you) And since I wanted to talk about one of my most favorite'll do it in GIFs. Mmmkay?

Cheezburger animated GIF

I joined a fantasy football league that had an auction draft. I hate auction drafts. THE WORST. It's exactly how it sounds except it goes by have like 20 seconds to outbid other teams. I would get down to 2 seconds and then someone would take my player right out from under me. I got a few good players but some that I really wanted, I lost at the last minute. Sigh...

Sad Football animated GIF

Football Nfl animated GIF

Speaking of fumbles, this week I over planned. I mean, I rely on having time in the evenings after work at home. Doing nothing. (in reality, I'm cooking dinner, working out, catching up on Hell on Wheels, etc.) so when I have things to do on more than one weeknight it gives me anxiety. The good thing is that at least one is a fun thing. I'm doing that wine-and-paint thing with my S-i-L. Should be fun!! 

Also, who doesn't love a good Mark Sanchez GIF? Here's my absolute favorite of all time...

Yep. He's just eating a hot dog. NBD.

My teams this year are shaping up to be...well, interesting. The Panthers are down a good receiver, but I think it will allow the others to shine through. The Saints are still...rebuilding? But with The Drew, they are always still a good divisional contender. And the Gamecocks are definitely in it to win it this year! We're coming for you tonight UNC! 

To close out this mostly random #gamedayvibes football post, I leave you with some of great mascot GIFS. 

Sports Basketball animated GIFSports Football animated GIF

\\\Link up below!!\\\