Friday, September 9, 2016

TGIF, Battle at Bristol!

Battle at Bristol

It is no secret that I am a Kentucky fan true and true. But, I was so immediately attracted to my now husband, that I completely ignored the fact that he was a Tennessee fan, and from Knoxville. I've learned to adapt, and I've learned to wear orange, but I will never put aside my love for the Wildcats. 
Anyways, this weekend is the Battle at Bristol. If you aren't familiar with that, Virginia Tech and Tennessee are going to be playing a football game inside Bristol Motor Speedway. Yes, it is as crazy as it sounds. My in-laws had to reserve tickets THREE years ago. Needless to say, the hype around this game has been going on for years, and the weekend is finally upon us. I'm hoping it will be a lot of fun, but an 8:30 kickoff makes for a long day. 

Kentucky Football 

Speaking of good ol' Kentucky, how about that game last weekend?? How many more days is it until basketball season? I am not a fair weather fan. I will cheer my heart out for Kentucky on all occasions, but that does not mean it is not disappointing to see a team flat out blow a 25 point lead. I don't act like I know enough to try to point blame on whose fault it is or isn't, but for the first time, I do feel pretty confident that it is a coaching problem, not a player problem. Kentucky has one of the best recruiting classes they've had in a long time, and the first half last weekend proved it. Then comes the second half, and it's like they were thrown back out there with no direction. Maybe they were. Here's to hoping for a miracle against the Gators tomorrow! 

Painted Furniture

I mentioned last week we were going to paint our very small foyer - and take off the existing wall paper. Y'all, it was hard work. We are very pleased with the results though! In addition to painting the walls I also decided to paint a small table we had in that area that served as a catch all for mail and keys. It was originally black, and I am just not a lover of dark colors. Honestly, I hate black furniture. I think it can look nice, but in my home I just want things light and bright. So I painted it, and it turned out awesome! I'm not really sure what I expected to happen, but it definitely looks better than I could have imagined. Naturally now I want to paint everything. 

Gilmore Girls

I am SO excited for the Gilmore Girls revival! I have been re-watching the entire series from the beginning, and it is just so good. I tend to re-watch most of the series every fall, and it is even more excited this year knowing that in late November I'll have new episodes to watch! I am definitely team Logan, maybe Jess. Dean drives me crazy, especially in these earlier seasons. What about you? 

Corn Hole Bags Galore

A few weeks ago, a girl on a local Facebook page was looking for someone to make custom corn hole bags. I'm always trying to have a little extra cash, so I thought I'd volunteer. (I definitely undercharged her.) Then I decided to add them to my Etsy shop, just to see what would happen and the orders started pouring in. And by pouring in, I mean four orders in two days. But still, pretty good traction for a new item. So I spent most of Monday getting all of the embroidery on the bags, and Tuesday and Wednesday assembling. I love to craft and make things, but there is only so much that I can make for myself, so it is really fun to be able to still put that to use, but for other people. I'm sure my husband appreciates it too. Is Corn Hole a thing where you live? I think people also call it bags. It is a staple at all tailgates around here, and barbecues, and back yards. Basically any time at least four people are outside hanging out, someone is bound to breakout the Corn Hole boards sooner or later.

What are your plans this weekend?

Have a great weekend, y'all!
xoxo

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Friday, September 2, 2016

TGIF, Welcome to the Long Weekend!

Can y'all believe it's September?? I have been stocking up on fall decorations for the past couple of weeks and I fully intend on decking out the house over the weekend. It is September after all, that's close enough, right? 


Long Weekend Ahead

I am so excited for this long weekend! It has been a rough week at work, so even though we don't have an real plans for the weekend, it will be the perfect time to relax. And drink coffee all morning. Once again, we are going to take advantage of that extra day to do some house work and paint. But this time the painting first involves wall paper removal. Yikes. Luckily the area is a very small entryway/foyer, so there shouldn't be too much wall paper to remove and hopefully it won't take nearly as long to paint as the bedroom did. Plus, we're pros at this point (kidding, of course!).

Whole30 Update

DAY 21. Well, I've made it three weeks and I only have one more week to go. [I'm only doing 28 days because Battle at Bristol. Don't tell.] I'm honestly not sure what to think about Whole30 at this point. I obviously haven't started the reintroduction, so I can't speak to that benefit yet, but I'm not going to lie, I am not feeling as great as I'd hoped. Especially since I am still hungry/getting cravings a. lot. Don't get me wrong, I have seen some benefit. My energy is every so slightly improved, and I've had a little less of the un-explained 3 p.m. crash, but I still don't feel as good as I would like to. On the bright side, I have lost almost 10 pounds, so there's that. 
Have any of y'all done Whole30 with less than expected results? I have considered stopping a few times, just because I don't know that it is really giving me what I was hoping for, but at this point I'm so close to finishing, I feel like I owe it to myself. And for finishing, I will be rewarding myself with a nice big glass of wine. 

Essie Gel Couture

If you are comfortable with painting your nails, but wish you could get that salon shine that lasts for a week, you seriously need to check out Essie's new Gel Couture. They've been marketing it forever, and a few weeks ago it finally hit the shelves and I bought a beautiful bright red, Rock the Runway, immediately. I had used their gel setter before, but after using about half of the bottle, it got a little clumpy. The Gel Couture is so much better. It is a little more expensive, and you need the color and the gel top coat. But you use the same top coat with all of the colors, so it's not that bad. Plus, I think of it as how much less it is than going to get a manicure. Even just one bottle of nail polish is only half of the price of a manicure, so you are saving a lot of money! This coming from a girl that never gets manicures, so I wouldn't have been spending the money in the first place, but still. If you are looking for a small splurge, look no further!

Plum Paper Planner

After it taking much longer than expected arrive, I finally received and have been using the Plum Paper Planner for about a month now, and so far so good! It is definitely a different layout to get used to, but the list capabilities on on the left-hand side is so convenient and so perfect for what I need. I always feel like I have these never ending to-do lists, and I hated assigning them to a specific day in my Emily Ley Planner because, well, stuff happens and you don't get to it, and then you feel like  you're back tracking. With my new Plum Paper Planner, I can put all of my "to-do" items on one page, in one spot and it's visible for the entire week. I realize the lessened space for the actual days might not work for everyone, but for me, I think I have finally found my perfect planner - at least for now. 

Gift Ideas for My Sister-in-Law

My sister-in-law is turning 23 and I am at a complete loss for what to get her. As of last night, I think we finally decided on a FitBit Alta that she had been eyeing - and that my mother-in-law confirmed she wanted, but Christmas isn't far away. What do y'all do for people that are just impossible to buy for? She is a graduate student, so she is still living in student housing, which makes fun household items a little less practical, and she tends to be pretty picky about anything she wears. Seriously, difficult. Any thoughts, or great go-to gifts?

I hope y'all have a great and relaxing weekend! Let me know what you've got planned!

xoxo 

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Friday, August 26, 2016

TGIF, I Can Almost Smell Fall

I don't know what it is, but this week has been a long one. How has your week been? 

Featured Blogger this week on High Five For Friday

I am so honored to be the featured blogger this week on High Five for Friday, hosted by the lovely ladies at Bright on a Budget, Della Devoted, and Cup of Tea

Etsy Sales Hit 100!

After a little over 6 months with my shop LegallySouthernStyle I have finally hit 100 sales! I know that may not sound like a lot for most people, and I am the first to admit it. BUT, for something I just started out doing for fun and have really come to enjoy it was so exciting to see the number of sales roll into the triple digits! To celebrate, I'm offering 10% off all orders from now through the end of the month (so hurry!), with the code "Legally100" - please let me know if y'all have any questions or are interested in a custom creation! 

Heading Home

This weekend my mom is hosting a wedding shower for the soon-to-be wife of one of my good friends from home, so I am heading back to help her out. I am actually really excited. I haven't been home in a while, and this will be the first shower I've attended in over a year that I wasn't the bride! My husband is also really looking forward to it because my hometown features a car show once a month, and we have never been in town for it. Luckily for him, there's one this weekend so he'll have something to do during the shower! 

Decorating for Fall

I'm not sure if it was the crisp morning we had a few days ago, or the decorations that are starting to take over the stores, but I am so ready to get our house ready for Fall! Soon after we moved in last December, it was a whirlwind of wedding planning, followed by lots of small home improvements (that never seemed to end). I finally got myself together to get our house decorated for spring, but its been that way since mid-April, and I am ready for a change! I just bought this wreath at Lowe's last weekend, and I cannot wait to get it put up. I am trying to maintain a little bit of sanity and at least not get things up until mid-September, but it is really hard! I'm not sure I can pull off the full interior fall decor, mostly because I still feel like our house is a little mis-matched on the overall decor. Welcome to two houses becoming one, and very little starting budget to speak of. I am determined to consult Pinterest and do my best. I am trying to get in order all of the projects I would like to accomplish and check them off one by one, rather than just trying to get things piece meal and hope it works. A girl needs a plan. 
Any other new(ish), or well seasoned home-owners with tips on getting everything in order in a new house? I am open to any and all suggestions at this point! 

Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale

Every year I tell myself I'm not going to partake because I don't really need anything, and I shouldn't spend money. And every year I log on to the site and wait as the 50,000th person in line. This year was no different. A few weeks ago I'd actually purchased a few dresses at a local Lilly store in Knoxville while they had some great sales going, and I fell in love with the Marlowe Boatneck dress even more than before. I love how comfortable this dress is, and in the world of Lilly, it is one of the less expensive options, which is always a plus. So of course I caught a few more of those during the After Party Sale. I am still waiting patiently for that shipping notification so that I can then wait a little less patiently for the mailman to deliver some bright additions to my already colorful wardrobe! Did any of y'all score some great deals during the sale? I will be sharing all of mine when they arrive! 

Have a great weekend, y'all!
xoxo

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Monday, August 22, 2016

OXO On, the Coffee Maker I Didn't Know I Needed



I want to start off by letting y'all know exactly what kind of coffee drinker I am. As many people as there are who claim to be coffee drinkers, we are not all made the same. 

Monday through Friday, or Weekends Only?: 

BOTH. During the work week I have one cup of coffee while I'm getting ready, and take another 16oz Tervis of coffee with me to work. On weekends I will have one cup with breakfast, and another cup or two through out the morning, usually until there isn't any more left. My husband's coffee drinking habits are similar so it works out pretty well, i.e. I'm not drinking 8 cups of coffee on my own!

Temperature?:

I prefer my coffee to be straight from the pot, plus an ice cube or two. That is to say, I don't want it piping hot, but if it is luke warm, it's a little tough for me to drink. Usually adding an ice cube or two from a fresh pot gets it exactly how I like it. 

Cream or Sugar?:

Neither. The first time I had coffee was my Freshman year in college. I used to add 10 packs of sugar. I know. I'm lucky I didn't die of a sugar coma. But in my defense, I'm pretty sure most of that didn't even get dissolved into the coffee anyways, and I was just left with a pile of sugar at the end. I slowly reduced the number of sugar packets, and unless the coffee somewhere is just really bad or burnt, and I really need coffee, I don't add anything to it. I truly like the taste of coffee, and it is a million times easier not having to keep those things stocked or request them at restaurants or friends' houses. But, to each his own. Oddly enough when I spent a semester in Europe, I almost always added a splash of milk to my tea. 

Strength?: 

STRONG. I'm not one to complain about weak coffee, but if I have anything to do with it, the coffee will be strong. Luckily my mom feels the same way, so I know I can trust any coffee she makes too! 

Any Coffee Maker Requirements?: 

When I look for a coffee maker, I only have a few specifics that it has to have. 
- Automatic Timer
- At least 8-cups
- Easy pour carafe 
That's it, my needs are pretty minimal, or so I thought until we started looking at coffee makers during the wedding registry process. If you haven't looked lately, there are a lot of coffee makers on the market. A lot. This brings me to - the OXO On 9-Cup Coffee Maker. Last week I received the OXO On from Influenster, my coffee drinking habits are finally paying off! 

OXO On

I'll be honest, I was a little hesitant about this coffee maker initially because I wasn't aware that Oxo had made its way into kitchen appliances. Their kitchen gadgets and tools have always been top notch, so I'm not sure why I was so unsure, but you just never know. I was very pleasantly surprised to see how easy this coffee maker has been to use, and how freaking good the coffee is. 

What makes this coffee maker so different? The biggest difference I can tell is how it warms the water and subsequently brews the coffee. The water is first heated in the side compartment, and then it showers over the coffee grounds, rather than a simple drip. This gets a more full bodied flavor because it is evenly distributed, rather than concentrated just over the middle of the grounds. Another major difference that this coffee maker offers is the thermal carafe. There isn't a hot plate under the carafe, which avoids the potential for the coffee in the bottom getting over heated or burnt. I have seen a couple of reviews claim they can't get the coffee to stay warm enough, but I haven't noticed any issues, even with coffee poured 45 minutes after brewing. My husband also mentioned that this feature makes him feel a little better leaving the house and not worrying if the coffee maker has been turned off or not because there isn't a heating element that could have been left on. 

The OXO On is also super easy to use. There is literally one button. Just one. It also serves as a knob to turn for different settings and set the time, but seriously, so easy. The backlight display is also very clear and there are icons that indicate whether the coffee is brewing, ready to drink, or set for auto-start. Easy peasy. 

In terms of the amount of coffee it makes, I could stand if it made another few cups, but honestly its probably better for my health that it doesn't! Ha! But seriously, 9 cups is usually plenty, and as I just mentioned it is super easy to use, so it isn't much of an issue to just make another pot if and when you finish one.

As with every product, there are always pros and cons. Here are a few that I've noted so far in using the Oxo On Barista Brain.

Pros:

  • DELICIOUS COFFEE
  • Thermal Carafe
  • Easy to Use
  • Automatic Timer
  • Indicator Tells You How Long Since Brewing

Cons:

  • Filling the Water Tank Requires Another Cup
  • Condensation Builds Up in Water Tank 

All in all, I would highly recommend this coffee maker if easy, delicious tasting coffee is the kind of thing you are in to. There are so many different features, that I'm sure I didn't cover them all. If you have any questions or want to know any more specifics, feel free to reach out. If there is one thing I could talk about all day, it's good coffee.

What is something that you consider essential for any coffee maker? Tried and true favorites?

Have a great day, y'all! 
 xoxo

* I received the OXO On complimentary through Influenster, but all opinions are my own.

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The Wednesday Showcase


Friday, August 19, 2016

TGIF, Let's Go!

Alright, I know I have been less than diligent the past few months around here. Summer seems to have just flown by and I'm still recovering from that whirlwind. Last summer was spent studying for and taking the Bar Exam, which was vastly different from this summer, having essentially nothing major going on. I literally can't believe that it is already the middle of August - past the middle of August in fact. How has your summer been?

Hilton Head

We spent last week on vacation in Hilton Head and it was wonderful. After taking so much time off for the wedding n February, I hadn't had much of a break and this was so needed. And for the first time that I can remember, we didn't have a single day that was completely washed out. It started pouring one day when we were already on the beach, but as tends to the case, it passed by quickly and we were able to dry out and enjoy the rest of the day. I was definitely not ready to leave. What are your favorite vacation spots? 

OXO On Coffee Maker

Y'all. I had no idea how much difference the coffee maker could have on the taste of my favorite morning ritual. Through Influenster I was lucky enough to receive the Oxo Barista Brain On 9-Cup Coffee Maker and it is amazing. There is a more detailed review coming (HERE it is!), but just let me tell you, it is worth it. The coffee is strong, and rich, and smooth, and makes me want to drink the coffee all. day. long. 

Whole30

I am on Day 7 of Whole30 and I am really struggling. Over the last five or 6 months I'd been having a lot of stomach issues and after having more than my fair share of tests, everything has come back normal. Which is great. I am thankful that nothing appears to be wrong. However, it didn't change the fact that I felt sick after almost every meal. Enter, Whole30. One of my good friends did it about two months ago, so she has been my go to on a lot of questions, but I am pretty sure I'm starting to drive her crazy, and I am trying really hard to figure everything out. According to the rough timeline, around days 6 and 7 you feel completely exhausted, and let me tell you, that could not be a truer statement.  I am hoping to get a boost of energy any time now, although I think I still have a few days to go. Have any of y'all completed Whole30? Any tips or tricks? 

Morning Brew

I know I've shared the Skimm here before, and I still read it every morning. But, recently I learned about Morning Brew which is another early morning email that comes straight to you. And I actually look forward to receiving and reading the Morning Brew. It is similar to the Skimm in its short new clips and witty remarks. But the biggest difference - and it is a big one - is that the focus is on the business world and the markets. In my line of work it is very relevant, and I appreciate having such a comprehensive review everyday of what is going on.  Even if you don't think its for you, I would still recommend giving it a shot because whether you realize it or not, it's still relevant to everyone. After Great Britain voted for the Brexit, there was so much information on how and why it was having such an effect on our markets, and kept me from having to read eighteen different articles to find out what was going on. Give it a shot and I can almost promise you won't regret it! Do y'all have any favorite morning news rituals? Sometimes I wish I had hours to read the paper, but when I don't the Skimm and Morning Brew definitely come to the rescue. 

Cleaning House

It has been eight months since we closed on our house and I still feel like there is so much that we need to do. The combination of packing, unpacking, and graciously receiving truckloads of wedding presents did not make for an easy transition. This weekend my goal is to really get the house in shape. Next week we have a few friends staying with us for a conference they have in town, so I really don't have much choice! It may not be everyone's idea of a fun weekend, but the clutter has been hanging over my head for months, so if I can get it tidying up and cleaned out I will feel so much better! Here's to hoping for a productive weekend! 

Have a great weekend y'all! 

xoxo

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