Showing posts with label five on friday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label five on friday. Show all posts



yay! five on friday! i'm linking up again with my favorites [christina, april, darci, & natasha] for the weekly five on friday link party! let's get it started:

1  |  i received this cardigan as a gift for christmas and wish they made one in every color. this is THE most comfortable article of clothing i own. i have a medium, and it's loose enough to be cozy, but fitted enough to wear out running errands.

2  |  another item on my christmas wish list was this paper source planner. since it was a christmas gift as well, i just started using it and LOVE it! paper source is sold out online, but you may be in luck if you have a local store. the large amount of space in the weekly breakdown sold me ... and the gold foil chevron didn't hurt too much either.

3  |  there are some days that only chicken and waffles can fix. after a stressful day at work yesterday, i came home and fixed chicken and waffles for dinner. andrew and i bought a waffle iron in the fall and cannot get enough! is that normal?

4  |  i've never claimed to be a huge football fan, but we'll be spending sunday cheering on our hometown team in the playoffs. our plans don't include going to the game, but DO include beer and hot wings - which is as good as a win in my book! GO PANTHERS!

5  |  lastly, i'm having my first real conditioning treatment done tomorrow. i was contacted recently by a local salon to come in for a service - they suggested the keratin treatment. has anyone ever had this done before? i've only heard good things, but i'm always a little apprehensive when it comes to doing something new to my long hair. image via




WOO HOO! Christmastime is here! it’s 5 days until Christmas day! if i was a grinch, i would say that now is the time where things start getting a bit stressful: we get a little snappy trying to get all our ducks in a row arrives, we start traveling, _______ [insert stressful event here]. OR you're cool as a cucumber because you used one of my Christmas “hacks” to get you through the madness! ok, so maybe these aren’t technically “hacks” – more like tricks that i’ve stumbled upon around the holidays. either way, i'm sharing them with you today for my five on friday! [thanks to april, darci, christina, and natasha]
1  |  i love the look of a crisp collared shirt under a cute sweater. what i don't love? when it's not smooth! solve the wrinkled/frumpy look by putting a tank top over your collared shirt [under the sweater].
2  |  i love presents. what i love more is presents with pretty bows. last year, i posted a super simple bow tutorial. learn it, memorize it, love it, and watch as your family and friends stand back in awe of your gorgeous christmas wrapping skillz.
3  |  i love big hair. lately, i've been curling my hair a bit different and am loving the outcome. first, i take my normal amount of hair [about a 2" chunk], and curl it with the curling iron. take that individual curl and wrap it with a velcro roller. repeat for your whole head. i do about 8 rollers for my whole head - not that time consuming. the result is soft, shiny, voluminous, curls!
4  |  i love re-inventing what i have. take 2 statement necklaces and layer them for a completely new look. this may seem like a no-brainer. i've been layering 2 gold chunky necklaces for the past month or so, and the compliments won't stop coming! if they have individual links, clip the ends to a link on the opposite necklace [still with me?] and secure at the back of your neck with a necklace extender [or if you’re me, a fancy safety pin, because i’m crafty like that].
5  |  i love fresh-looking makeup. make sure your red lips stay put! when i'm daring enough to sport red lips [the whole 3 times in my entire life] i apply my lipstick once, add a light dusting of translucent powder, then top with a second coat. using this quick fix, i've never had trouble with the lipstick cracking or smudging!



so it’s not cold…at all. in fact, the high today is supposed to be 76*. something’s just not right. i love living in a place where you can experience every season, and when it's december...i need some cold weather. today, my five on friday is dedicated to some cold weather favorites [which i fully intend on using once the temps drop below 60 again].

1  |  i've got this gorgeous plaid scarf on my wish list. i love a good plaid, and the length/width on this baby looks like it would be so plush and warm.

2  | a few weeks ago, i met christina for a thanksgiving mani, and tried out essie's new shearling darling. my mind keeps going back to that perfect fall color, wishing i had it on my fingers now. i think a trip to the drugstore is in my very near future.

3  | the ever popular golden edition anthro mug is on sale today! i swiped up a few for christmas gifts and mayyybe even one for myself. looking forward to sipping my nightly hot chololate from something so pretty!

4  |  a little lotion? yes please! my skin gets so dry and itchy during the winter months, and i need something to lock in the moisture

5  | sephora's birthday gift last year was a sugar lip balm. i know their lip therapy would be just as luxurious. gotta keep those kissers healthy for the holiday red lips

thanks to christina, april, darci, and natasha for hosting my faaavorite weekly link up! 




i'm not a huge football fan, but at least once a year, andrew and i try to schedule a trip to my [our] beloved blacksburg for a hokie football game. it’s GORGEOUS this time of year and theres’s always fun to be had in southwest virginia! we've been fortunate enough to have some great friends that live in town and are nice enough to host us for the weekend! really couldn’t be luckier! we always have a perfect time, and the weekend is the perfect mix of nostalgia and cold weather! we’re packing up this afternoon and heading up 81 for the weekend, and i could not be more excited!!
in my previous life – before i was a hokie – maroon and orange, just didn’t seem quite right together. some would even argue that the colors clash [how dare they!] after 4 years of seeing nothing BUT the chicago maroon and burnt orange together, it’s now in my nature to snatch up anything and everything that resembles it. or at least snap a picture of it and send it to my college girlfriends in case they want it!  i was in jcpenney not too long ago and was truly shocked at the amount of items that had my beloved college color combo. for my five on friday [christina, april, darci, & natasha], i've compiled a little list of their online selection! you can bet i'll be sporting that striped top with some skinnies and my boots tomorrow at the tailgate!


shirt  |  scarf  |  earrings  |  basket  |  cardigan





cardigan  |  necklace  |  sweater [for him]  |  slippers  |  sweater [for me]

fear not! you may not can count on me for a saturday-thursday post, but i'm not going to miss my five on friday with darci, christina, april, and natasha. we were total scrooges [is that applicable for halloween?!] and left our house [and the lights off] last night! the perks to not having kiddies on halloween is that instead of trick or treating, you get to just "treat yo'self". that was our motto last night when andrew and i made a last minute decision to head down to south carolina and hit up the [empty] outlets! it was a ghost-town, and we pretty much had every store to ourselves. the majority of our damage was done in j.crew and you can see just a few of our goodies above. they were having a massive in-store only sale, and we scored some really great fall and winter pieces for next-to-nothing! we had such a great time, just us two, and finished off the night at an old standby restaurant – outback!

a big congrats to my blog [and real life] friend, april, on her big baby bump announcement! you and ian will make great parents to that little babe! xoxo




it’s been one of those weeks where watching scary movies and curling up by the fire has taken priority over blog posts, that’s allowed right? however, i'm staying true to my friday gals by linking up with darci, april, christina, and natasha for five on friday! woo hoo! let’s go!

20131013_184537(0)fall is here, and with it has been some gorgeous carolina sunsets. this is one of my favorite skyline scenes in charlotte, and we just happen to drive by it every day on the way to work. there have been several evenings where i'll park the car and walk over the bridge just to get a better shot of this gorgeous city.
20131023_192543andrew’s gotta be commended on his dedication to healthy eating. in the past couple of weeks, he’s lost about 12 pounds just from being conscious about what he eats and working out [mostly] every day. he worked late one night this week, so i got dinner ready while he was at the office. after eating this salad for 2 nights in a row, we’ve declared it our FAVORITE salad!  get the recipe here for the skinny grilled buffalo chicken salad [and don’t forget the homemade skinny ranch – it TOTALLY makes the meal].
20131023_214811_LLSummm… i don’t really have words for this, other than: she sleeps like this ALL the time, and i wish i could sleep this comfortably on the couch.

20131024_134403i decided to give a new local coffee shop a try this weekend and it did NOT disappoint.  i grabbed a chai latte from “not just coffee” in atherton mill and was so pleased! not only is their logo cute, but the chai hit the spot! p.s. would you believe that i've never had one of those pretty latte art drinks? i'm adding that one to the fall bucket list!
lastly, my mom is heading to town tomorrow for a girls weekend! we’re spending the day antiquing, brunching, doing girly things, then wrapping up the day with the michael buble' concert in uptown! i'm sure there will be a good amount of screaming 20-60 year old women in the crowd, and i'm SO excited to be one of them!
hope everyone has a great weekend! stay bundled up, it’s supposed to get COLD [and i secretly love it]!



happy friday! i'm back with part 2 of “laura spends the whole weekend being super productive” with the much awaited chalkboard and table reveals! yay! along with those fun things, i'm doing the “friday usual” – linking up with my favorites for five on friday! [christina, darci, april, and natasha!]

a little while back, i saw emily from jones design company post her fall wreath on instagram, and i went out of my way to pin it because i knew i wanted one JUST like it! $20 later, i had my own, and i LOVE it!


THIS guy is at our house for the weekend, and i could not be more excited! my parents are visiting arkansas until sunday, so we’re keeping my puppy brother until they’re back. our life is about to get a little more crazy as a 3-pet family!


is there anything better than a man that cooks? i made a HUGE pot of vegetable soup sunday and we’ve been eating it all. week. long. wednesday night, andrew decided to reward our healthy eating efforts by making a batch of his mama’s homemade buttermilk biscuits. that man knows the way to my heart!


drumroll please….

YAY! TABLE! ok, so it’s not all that crazy and exciting, but it’s beautiful and perfect to me! i spent the better half of the week sanding, staining, and polyurethane-ing, and i'm so happy to see the final product looking beautiful in the dining room. our $30 bought the table and 2 leaves that will accommodate more friends! now on to the chairs…i'm thinking of these beauties from world market or these…or these…[on major major sale, obv. you know how this lady does shopping.] sidenote: should i chalk paint my china cabinet?

20131010_175948_LLS 20131010_180220_LLS

can you spot the big kitty?


and finally…my chalkboard! i'm not going to show you my freehanded attempt [definitely not my best work], but trust me - darci’s tutorial on chalkboard art truly saved the day!  my artwork is from clarendon lane – i just love it! i still think andrew thinks i've lost it, wanting a chalkboard in our living room, but i think he’ll become a fan soon: he has free reign over the board at the end of every month. how nice am i?


it’s supposed to be goooorgeous this weekend [i think?!], and i'm looking forward to being home in charlotte for the 4th weekend in a row! hope you have a good one too!




friday is here friends! hopefully this weekend will bring us some cooler temps. eight degrees just doesn’t say “october”, am i right? this week has blown by, and i can look back and say it was a pretty good one! i'm participating in my favorite link up today with darci, christina, april, and natasha for their weekly five on friday!


1  |  some poor target marketing intern probably got fired yesterday. they’re buy one get one coupon was available for a short period of time yesterday afternoon, and i was able to score this gorgeous necklace for free [with the purchase of my $8 earrings]! you can bet i'm sporting it today [and maybe all weekend]. i feel like such a jerk – of course i was so excited about the incredible deal, sharing it with my friends, only to have target take down the coupon almost immediately! sorry for getting y’all’s hopes up! maybe another intern will screw up sometime in the near future!

2  |  andrew and i are BACK on the weight loss/get fit wagon. this happens about 3 times a year, if we could up that to 12 times a year, i think we’d be in good shape! after eating well most of the week and doing some sort of physical activity every night, i think we’re on the right track! keep up with my progress and cheer us on here, on my fitness pal.

3  |  i'm on the hunt for a new dining table, and i'm not afraid of a little diy project if it comes with a low price tag! i love this table makeover by kristen davis designs.

4  |  speaking of diy... i know i totally missed the boat on the chalkboard trend, but i got an awesome deal on a gold frame at the salvation army store yesterday. planning on some chalkboard action this weekend – pictures to come!

5  |  one of our favorite brunch spots in charlotte, zada janes, has this jam on every table. after the first bite, i was hooked! i left thinking that i would surely have to order it online [and would inevitably forget about doing it], so i was so surprised to find it in my local harris teeter in the produce area [on our little local rack]. looks like andrew will have to make a few of his mama’s biscuits this weekend…




i'm well aware that i've been neglecting my little blog, but i am still alive, well, and busy! here's a little recap in pictures of the last whirlwind week. not pictured: me + the boo celebrating our 4th wedding anny eating ice cream straight out of the carton.

20130925_183046new birthday boots! y'all might remember my wishlist post a while back. well, andrew came through in the clutch this year!
i think i’m good-to-go on shoes for the next 17 years.

Capture playing dress up in the cliché birthday sombrero at cantina 1511 on friday night.

20130927_230917_LLStoo much mexican food = pj party with anni-mal after din.

IMG_5512me, whitney, mason, and alexa.
saturday morning blogger brunch at toast with some lovely ladies!
i'm so so glad whitney put together this little outing! it was wonderful meeting you gals!

20130928_213928cute little coordinated family at mellow mushroom saturday night! [only ate 1 dinner at home last week, oops]

20130929_144214lastly, our weekend project. and by “our” i mean, the men. my dad and andrew spent saturday [and most of sunday] routing the gas line and installing new gas logs! we broke them in last night during the finale for breaking bad [which was ahhmazing]. our living room is quickly becoming my favorite place in the house!




it’s friday!! i haven’t been the best blogger lately, but i'm staying faithful to my favorite post each week – five on friday! i'm linking up with some of my favorites: april, christina, darci, and natasha for their weekly link up! you should too – all the cool kids are doing it!
1  |  earlier this week, alex was raving about pottery barn’s mercury glass pumpkins. what’s a girl to do when you don’t want to pay the pottery barn price tag? find them cheaper at kirklands, duh. and you can light these up if you’re feeling extra spooky.
2  |  although the weather isn’t quite cooperating with my state of mind, i put together a little fall crockpot meal this week. one of my go-to favorites is red beans and rice. i've been using this recipe for years, and it never fails. the only bad part? my hands smelled like chopped onions all day.
3  | we’re headed to virginia for the weekend to celebrate our good friends’, marc and lori beth’s, engagement. the party will be at marc’s parents’ picture perfect home on smith mountain lake, one that andrew and i have been lucky to be guests at too many times to count. so excited to celebrate the beginning of married life for these two love birds!
4  |  last weekend, mom took me on a little pre-birthday shopping trip and just couldn’t leave francesca’s without this gorgeous dress. i'm wearing it to the party on saturday and can’t wait to sport it when the weather gets cooler with some tall boots!
5  |  lastly, being in danville for the weekend wouldn’t complete without some niece snuggles. these little girls are growing so fast into young ladies, and our time with them is so so precious! looking forward to some delicious home cooking and a beautiful virginia weekend!



so i'm full of empty promises and haven’t had a sec to put together my vacay-wrap-up post! instead, i'm dropping by today for a little five on friday action with darci, christina, april, and natasha!


1  |  alex and i received a little surprise text yesterday from our good friend emily with some very valuable information. apparently we’re the carrie underwood fanatics in our group – who knew?! mrs. fisher is coming out with her very own opi nicole line which debuts in january 2014. can’t wait to try some of these new hues!

2  |  yesterday was my dad’s birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD! we’re driving up to greensboro tomorrow for a little beer brewing [and beer drinking] in honor of the birthday boy! i love this old throwback picture of my dad and me! it’s so fun/creepy to look back at old pictures of him and see the extreme resemblance to my brother now!

3  |  i'm feeling incredibly thankful for my little fur babies this week. it’s a well-known fact that i'm approaching the “crazy cat lady” title [if i'm not there already], so it’s no surprise that andrew and i both got really freaked out [ex: me, in tears] when we almost OD’d our cats on flea treatments this week. lesson to be learned: don’t just go for the cheapest brand of flea prevention [hartz, sergeants], they can be incredibly hazardous to your pet’s health. go ahead, splurge on the good stuff at the vet if you want to keep fido and fluffy around for a while.

4  |  i'm not a tried and true PSL gal. *gasp* i know! i'm more of a chai latte lover. i'd love to whip up this homemade chai vanilla latte creamer! i think it would be a nice little transition into fall!

5  |  although i'm not crazy about a PSL, i do love a great spiced donut! i had my first little pumpkin muchkin from dunkin’ donuts last week, and i know it won’t be the last. i've never made homemade donuts before, but i'm thinking i might add that to my fall bucket list! image via




IT’S FRIDAYY! i thought this day would never come! y’all know the friday-before-vacation feeling? oh yeah, i'm there! i can only imagine how productive the rest of my day will be. for starters, i'm linking up with christina, april, darci, and natasha for their weekly five on friday link party! here’s a roundup of my week and couple of things i'm looking forward to…
1  |   as we discussed last week, i'm headed down south tomorrow for our annual family vacation to the florida panhandle. mom and i usually take a girls day to explore 30A – everywhere from grayton to rosemary beach! my favorite is stopping in seaside for lunch and perusing the shops! buy the jersey here
2  |  we gave a new restaurant a try last year and wanted to eat there every night after! stinky’s fish camp in santa rosa beach is our new go-to favorite! i've spent the past year trying to replicate their shrimp and grits! if you’re in the 30A area, it’s well worth a little bit of a drive to get there!
3  |  i put our jeep in the shop on monday for some maintenance before our trip, and chrystler set me up with a pretty badass rental. we’ve been cruising the queen city in a 2014 jeep grand cherokee – fully loaded, black, with a killer panoramic sunroof. it almost makes up for the fact that they’ve taken all week to get 1 stinkin’ part in stock. we’ve lovingly dubbed it the “batjeep”. maybe it wants to join us for family vacay, yes?
4  |  last night, april hosted christina and me for a little girls’ night action! we enjoyed some delicious little appetizers, a few bottles of wine, and a whole lot of laughs and girl talk! i'm always on cloud 9 after i get home from a night with these gals – everything is just so easy and natural! christina brought us both a little bottle of the organix coconut milk shampoo that darci’s been raving about, and april tied the cutest little nail polishes on our wine glasses as a little treat. i can’t wait to give them both a try next week!
5  |  last but not least: my best friend from high school, lauren, is being induced for labor today! she and her hubby, adam, are having their first little baby boy! it’s such a surreal thing, when friends start having babies! i could not be more excited for them, and i can’t wait to meet their new addition.
as of tomorrow, i'll be off the radar and on the beach! follow along via instagram, and try not to be too jealous!



this week BLEW by, and i'm so thankful for that! it seems as if fall is here already – we’re in the high 60’s/low 70’s all weekend [but in my mind, it’s 85 and sunny, and i'm at the beach already]. linking up today with april, darci, christina, and natasha for their weekly five on friday! here we go!
1  |  i scored the cutest cover-up that i've ever seen a new bright bikini for vacay at marshall’s this week – all for $37. i was completely giddy over the fact that the original pricetag for the cover-up said $96 and it only cost me $10! don’t you LOVE when that happens!
2  |  this time next week, i'll be packing my bags for vacation. if that’s not reason to celebrate, i don’t know what is! my family is originally from arkansas, so we’ve been traveling to destin,fl for vacation since i was little. we moved to the east coast when i was in middle school,but  it only took us 2 vacations to the atlantic to decide there’s nothing like that white sand and emerald waters of the gulf! we’ve decided the 12 hour drive is worth it!
3  |  last weekend we celebrated my mom’s birthday. i stopped by the farmer’s market and grabbed these beauties for the birthday gal! $10 will buy you this gorgeous bouquet, and 20 will get you one twice this size! can’t beat it! i'm planning on heading back today for more to brighten up the abode for my little houseguest [see #5]!
4  |  we’ve lived in our house for 10 months now and i'm JUST now getting pictures hung. i used wrapping paper to map out my little “gallery wall” and hammered away! it’s not a perfect science, but it gets the job done! this project took about an hour from start to finish!
5  |  andrew’s away at a golf tournament which means i'm having a girls’ weekend! one of my best friends, lori beth is bringing her skinny bootie to charlotte, and i couldn’t be more excited! on the agenda: makeovers at laura mercier [along with free champs], cowfish [duh], bridesmaid dress shopping [she’s a bride-to-be!], ikea, and forever 21. looking forward to spending some quality time with this gal!



happy friday, friend!!! i'm linking up for five on friday with christina, darci, april, and natasha. [you should too, because these gals are awesome]. let’s begin, shall we?
1  |  TODAY is my mom’s birthdayyyy! my mom is the sweetest person i know and has a southern accent that sounds like she “just fell off the turnip truck” –as my dad says. if you’re in town, you’re welcome to stop by and tell her happy bday. she’d like that. tomorrow, she and big john are headed into town to celebrate! plans include: getting our hair beautified at t.reid, dinner at cajun queen, and drinking my dad’s home-brewed keg beer all.weekend.long. whew! happy birthday, indeed! in lieu of a birthday cake, i'm planning on making a lemonade pie….with a candle on top. alltogethernow:
2  |  my new fancy curling iron arrived on tuesday! i've been prepping for this occasion by watching as many youtube tutorials as humanly possible. i think it’s paying off. and in case you were wondering, i'm getting really good at snapchat seflies. you’re welcome.
3  |  cookie butter. it happened. as andrew so eloquently put it, “i'm gonna demolish this whole jar on the way to get another jar at trader joes.” i'm eating it now, and i'm not ashamed to say it.
4  |  there are weeks when i really have my ish together and make meal plans and adorable printables. and then there are weeks when i go to the grocery store 3 times and we have turkey burgers with eggs on them and it rocks.
5  |  i just got even more excited about this top from target, for the fact that it’s $18 online, but i scored it for $5 in-store wednesday. naturally, i sported it to work yesterday and it might be my new favorite. it’s super soft, long enough to cover my booty, and it’s got shoulder studs which automatically make me a badass. no? mk.



woo. i thought summer was supposed to be a time for rest and relaxation? i don’t know about you, but for me, it’s been the busiest summer ever. work has been crazy and we’ve been going and doing LOTS on the weekends. those few and far-between weekends that we're actually home - in charlotte - are so precious and makes for a relaxing and welcome weekend! i'm starting this one off by linking up with some of my favorites for five on friday. shall we?


1  |  we have a visitor coming this weekend!!! our friend and fellow crazy cat lady, jessica, is coming to see the new house and play in charlotte! i'm planning on making my spinach and bacon quiche which is my go-to impress-the-guests dish. i'm SO looking forward to devouring cowfish tonight and doing girly things tomorrow while the boys are golfing!

2  |  i scored a new curling iron this week and can’t wait for her arrival. for years and years, i've been using a 1.25” barrel conair curling iron. after using alex’s 1” one a few months ago, i was amazed at how long my curls stayed and how much more i loved my hair. when i saw the hot tools curling iron for $25 on amazon, i just couldn’t pass it up!

3  |  a gorgeous friday morning calls for iced coffee! i swung through dunkin’ this morning and picked up a butter pecan iced coffee and man, i'm glad i did. i'm sure it has everything to do with my incredible amount of productivity today. AND it’s delicious!

4&5  |  i've become obsessive lately about making my genetically ginormous pores smaller. this combination has worked better than anything i've tried yet. i first invested in the pore refining toner, and not too long after, decided it couldn’t hurt to get the cleanser as well. i use both nightly with my clarisonic, and in the morning i use the cleanser before applying my makeup. i've read lots of articles about how much better it is to apply makeup to a clean face in the morning, and it only took me 13 years to make it a habit. my makeup goes on SO much better and actually has more staying power. not to mention, my complexion definitely thanks me for a morning wash. now, my next thing to master: any advice on anti-aging for oily skin – send that my way as soon as humanly possible!




five-on-friday41/3/5  |  if you follow me on instagram, you know that i spent last weekend [and then some] in dallas, texas visiting my best friend from high school and one of my favorite cousins and her family. it was hot, fun, and high-energy [with 3 little ones running around]. I spend half of my trip with my long time bff, lauren, prepping for her baby [coming in august] and just having some girl time! the last half was spent making up for lost time with my cousin, jacqueline, and playing/napping/coloring/snacking with her littles. jac spent many of her teenage days with me in diapers and pigtails – it was so fun/sentimental to finally spend a few days to make memories like that with her children! i can’t say that i didn’t come back with a hint of baby fever after snuggling with those sweet sweet babes! we took a trip to the awesome new perot museum of nature and science in downtown dallas – definitely worth a trip with or with out little ones! i'm so glad i had the chance to take this long-overdue trip this summer!

2  |  i've been raving about old navy all summer and for good reason! they’ve got their shorts [and more] on sale right now – head over and getchoo some! these pretties are only $10 – can’t beat it!

4  |  i'm really excited about something….ready? part custom, part pre-fab. the new “mini-design” template option is now available. i'll design a custom header based on design elements you love, and you choose from a selection of pre-designed navigation bars and social media icons. click here to read more and get started!

link up with me [almost] every friday for april, christina, darci, and natasha’s five on friday!





it’s friday! which means i'm linking up with my favorite ladies for five on friday! head on over and link up with darci (or christina, april, or natasha) and while you’re there, enter the faaabulous giveaway going on NOW -- a blog design by yours truly! now that’s worth a #1 spot in this list!

1  |  what? you just skimmed my paragraph above and missed the GIVEAWAY reminder? better get over there now! i'm so so thrilled about the overwhelming positive response from this giveaway! i can’t thank darci enough for this opportunity! YAY YAY YAY!

2  |  j.crew, you jerk. don’t you know that we’re on a shopping hiatus right now? how dare you send me coupons and sale announcements for ridiculous discounts. ugh. daydreaming about these sandals and this gorgeous necklace. for those of you who AREN’T on a financial restriction: j.crew factory is having a 50% off sale PLUS 10% off with the “VIP” discount code. (code is: VIP)

3  |  andrew came home yesterday with a sweet treat in hand. every night after dinner i get a craving for just a little something sweet – it can be 1 dove chocolate or an entire ice cream sundae. with these at 100 calories each, it’s no longer a guilty pleasure! these skinny cow chocolate truffle ice cream bars satisfy my sweet tooth without sacrificing my waistline!

4  |  this weekend is 1 of 2 forth of july weekends! since the holiday falls on a weekday, it’s only natural to start celebrating early at 5 o’clock today. how festive is this scarf?! i'm pretty sure we wont have one of those mild mid-seventies weekends (it is the south, after all), so i think a scarf is out of the question. bring on the cutoffs and tank tops! ‘MERICA WOO!

5  |  we’re hitting the road this weekend (what? i know, we never do that! psh.) to play with my college girlfriends and christen emily’s house with a cronie celebraish! i was blessed with a crazy huge group of college girlfriends (who mostly live in northern virginia and richmond, and who i don’t get to see nearly enough). i'm so so excited to celebrate the 4th, several birthdays, and fabulous friendship all weekend! oh, and emily and her hubs recently got a golden retriever puppy – do i really need another excuse to go?




we were traveling last week for father’s day, so i missed the chance to link up with some of my faves for five on friday. [faves – in no particular order: 1, 2, and 3] well ladies, i'm not missing it this week:


1  |  YES, i'm featuring a vacuum cleaner on the blog, but y’all it’s THAT good. this little baby arrived on monday, and andrew can vouch for my level of excitement when the UPS man arrived. i've already used it twice this week! it does a great job of getting into the grooves of our older hardwood floors and sucks up the kitty hair that has a tendency to accumulate like tumbleweeds overnight. if you have hardwoods and need something quick and light, i highly recommend this vacuum [over sweeping] – AND it’s cheap!

2  |  today’s the official start of summer which means i’ve had a tan now for 2 months in preparation. false. working indoors every week and traveling lots on the weekends leaves little to no time beside a pool/lake/any body of water. fake bake to the rescue! i ordered my fake bake earlier this week and have done 2 applications so far. the transition is a lot quicker than the lotions i've used in years past and doesn’t streak or leave me orange one bit! [or maybe no one’s telling me….] ANYWAY! i used this awesome fool-proof self tanner tutorial to ensure a flawless summer glow.

3  |  wednesday, i shared my new meal planning printable. what? you didn’t get that. here you go, friend. having this plan early on in the week made cooking a breeze! i actually looked forward to cooking my new recipes, and we ate a lot healthier than usual [bonus!!] here are some new recipes we tried: parmesan baked tilapia [YES!], skinny grilled buffalo chicken salad [YES!], zucchini cakes [eh…no, because i burnt the breadcrumbs], sweet corn, bacon and greek yogurt chicken salad [YES!]. as long as i can get my act together on sunday, this will hopefully become a weekly routine!

4  |  since andrew’s been watching a lot of basketball this week, i've had a lot of time to myself to take care of some girly things [hence the new vacuum and self tanner]. i scooped up essie’s FIJI polish - only to paint my nails that night, decide i didn’t like it, and exchange it the next day. [did you know you could do that at CVS!?] SECRET STASH came home with me in its place. i'm not usually a pink gal, that’s alex’s department, but it’s such a fun color and looks great on [after 3 coats: step up your game, essie].

5  |  with the sun shining and warm temperatures in the air, i'm craving something cool and refreshing – and i don’t mean ice water. i know i talk about blood orange margaritas on the reg, but they’re always on my mind...always. we really love cantina 1511, a mini-mexican chain here in charlotte. the tijuana taxi margarita is my go-to, and i think it might have to be added to the weekend’s agenda!




it’s friday! which means i'm linking up with my favorites for five on friday – FOOD EDITION! ok, maybe it’s just me thinking and talking about food [what’s new?]


1  |  as i'm picking up my bi-weekly cup of coffee at dunkin' donuts this morning, the man at the register asks me if i want to add a FREE donut to my order? the huge smile that immediately spread across my face just couldn't say no! today is national donut day and they're celebrating in the BEST way possible - FREE DONUTS! my favorite is the sour cream donut, and although she’s not the prettiest, it’s certainly veeeerrry tasty!

2  |   i made crock pot chicken last night and not ashamed to admit that we’ll be eating it all weekend. just 3 chicken breasts is enough to feed andrew and me for a while and we usually still throw a little out. just throw the ingredients in a crock pot for 6 [on high] or 8 [on low] and you’re good to go! i've been adding a little water to the pot too, so the chicken doesn’t dry out. [find those super cute recipe cards here]

3  |  i stocked up on fresh fruit this week at the new teeter, and i've got a boatload of strawberries just begging to be piled on a cake with fresh whipped cream. via

4  |  breakfast is my favorite meal, and throughout the work week, it’s definitely not the most glamorous. weekday breakfasts usually consist of yogurt and a piece of fruit or breakfast bar. weekends are saved for pancakes, eggs, and their friends. i saw a great post earlier this week about mixing cottage cheese with your eggs and i'm excited to give that a go! there i go again, getting excited about food.

5  |  i've been making a conscious effort to drink more water [and less diet coke]. i'm thinking of getting one of these infuser water bottles to liven things up a bit. does anyone have any suggestions of combinations that have worked really well? i might just stick to cucumber, lemon, and mint to boost my metabolism from gorging myself on all of the above. whoops!  [similar]




it's friday again [HALLELUJAH!], and i'm linking up with some favorite blogger girlfriends for the weekly five on friday! here are a few exciting things from this week, sprinkled with items for the weekend and right this minute:
1  |  i'm a big fan of dressing up neutrals or a comfy maxi dress with bold statement pieces. right now, i've got my eyeball on this gorgeous statement necklace from poppy style.

2  |  twice a day, every day for the past 7+ months, andrew and i have been driving past the construction site of our new grocery store. (it's on the way to/from work, we're not just creepin). yesterday was FINALLY opening day of the new harris teeter in plaza midwood! conveniently, we were out of eggs last night (a night that called for breakfast for dinner) so i made a quick stop by. the thing is as big as walmart, i swear.

3  | summer is the season for backyard cookouts, and i'm so so excited to be attending the season's first at matt and christina's. i know it will be nothing less than "pinterest perfect"!

4  |  i designed some bridal shower invitations for my sweet friend, and sorority sister, liz. i love seeing how this event is coming together and that i had a small hand in it!

5  |  j.crew had a BIG sale on monday, and i'm kicking myself for not loading up. right now, i'm especially loving their printed shorts and this sleeveless popover.