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

linking up with:

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.

linking up with:
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, 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

linking up with:

Friday, July 1, 2016

TGIF: Happy 4th of July!


Happy Friday, y'all! I thought this week was never going to end. I think knowing that  a long weekend is ahead makes for a longgggg week. 

Morning Brew 

I recently discovered Morning Brew and I love it! Morning Brew is a dpart of the business world, bur still would like to know what's going on. I think lately it has been a solid read and kept me well informed with the ups and owns of the market because of the Brexit Vote. (If you don't know what the Brexit Vote is, Morning Brew is definitely something you should read!) This quick morning read is definitely easier to follow than the front pages of the Wall Street Journal. Check it out and let me know what you think! 
aily (weekdays only) email that gets to your inbox around 630am and gives you the rundown on all things business going on in the world. Sounds similar to the Skimm, I know. But, the biggest difference is that the concentration is more business/finance geared than just a general news report. As someone who has always been interested in the business world, I think it is a great resource. However, I think it is also great for those not necessarily

Fourth of July

I just love the Fourth of July. Summer is one of my favorite seasons because I LOVE warm weather, and the fireworks, and all of the love for America. Okay. I know, you get it. I am just so excited about this weekend, and not just because it means an extra day off work! Plus, we're heading to the local Minor League Baseball game, which really just tops off the weekend! What plans do you have? 

New Planner 

I've recently been introduced to the term "planner peace," and I hope that one day I can get there. Sometimes I think I just need to design my own planner, until I realize that a. I don't have a lot of time for that and b. I'm still not sure I know what I want. I have really gone through the planners. I've tried Moleskin, Lilly, Emily Ley, and I've just ordered my first Plum Paper Planner. I cannot wait for it to arrive! Now that I'm not in school and work pretty much 8am-6/7pm every day, I don't need a ton of room for hourly events. However, I am still very much a planner and like to have plenty of space for my to-do lists. I am hopeful that the planner I order from Plum Paper will satisfy (almost) everything I am looking for. I will be sure to update y'all when it arrives! I've posted a few photos of my Emily Ley weekly layouts over on Instagram if you want to check those out. Do any of you have a planner that is tried and true? 

Orange is the New Black 

I finished Season Four and I am just so sad. I do not want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't watched it yet, but holy cow. I do not know if I can wait another year for Season Five! 

Painting our Bedroom  

In addition to celebrating this great country we live in, we are also planning to paint our bedroom this weekend. We bough this house about 6 months ago and have s l o w l y been working on updating it to our tastes. The master bedroom has this weird light orangey/pink/peach color on the walls and I had finally had enough of it. It obviously doesn't match any of our stuff and I certainly wasn't interested in trying to match to it. [note - there are also a lot of patches and poor touch ups, so it needed a repainting, of any color] So last weekend we went to Lowes and chose a few paint samples - all shades of grey - put some of the swatches up on the wall, and have looked at them all week trying to decide which one we like the best, and I think we've made a decision. My mom loves to paint and at this point has probably painted every room in our house at least twice, so I feel like I know what I'm doing for the most part. However, I learned as we were choosing samples that my husband has never painted a room, so he was very hesitant to get the process started. We thought if we started with our bedroom and it went well we could tackle some of the other rooms in the house. If not, we'll get a few quotes from the pros. As much as I think I know what I'm doing, I am always open to suggestions if any of y'all have a story or tips to share! 


Have a great weekend y'all! Happy Fourth of July! 

xoxo

linking up with:

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

look for the positive in a season of negatives

I am doing my best to repeat these things to myself everyday, and believe in what they say. Sometimes it's the only thing we can do.