Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Wedding Wednesday: 86 days to go!

Today's post covers one of the things that I personally love to think about, but am always hesitant to talk about - lingerie! In addition to all of the wonderful events my bridesmaids planned for my bachelorette party, they also planned a mini-lingerie shower as part of the weekend and it was so fun!
I don't know about you, but I don't tend to buy a lot of nice lingerie for myself because I never really viewed it as a necessary expense, and it is obviously something that you aren't going to wear on a daily basis. Well hey, I mean you could, but you're not as likely to, so it is one of those things that I do enjoy receiving because I'm not as likely to buy it for myself. And now, despite (or because of ) all of their wonderful gifts, I am currently addicted and want to fill my closet with many more beautiful pieces!

Like most all clothing items, everything has its season. Which is always a great excuse to update any part of your wardrobe, right? (I am great at rationalizing any purchase.) A few weeks ago I shared how I Winterize My Beauty Routine to prepare for the cold winter and warm tones. So now, I want to share with you some ways to winterize some of the other personal items in your routine. In the summer we all tend to lean towards bright colors. I swear there is something about neon colors that actually makes me look more tan! But as the colder weather comes in and that color starts to fade, I like to tone down the color just a little and have some softer, warmer jewel tones around me.

Adore Me has some beautiful lingerie pieces out right now and these are some of my favorites, which pair great with deep red colors for winter, and some all over warmth used on your face and neckline. While I generally prefer brighter colors, I'll take any excuse to try something new, and changing seasons is always a good one. As much as I'd rather be in bright yellows and pinks, I am at least (usually) aware enough to realize those colors are generally out of place this time of year.

I think my absolute favorite is this green set because the color is so rich and it really sets the mood for a warm romantic evening. Combine that, with some intense eye makeup, like this set from MAC, and you won't need anything else.

Or, this beautiful sapphire blue - and it matches Essie's Fall Bell Bottom Blues to a T!

And my runner up to the green set above, is definitely this Peaches and Cream set, paired with Clinique's Plum Brandy to really pull together that fall or winter look with out going too dark.

Isn't it fun to think about updating every aspect of your wardrobe as the seasons change? It's something I'm still working on myself, but I have really enjoyed thinking about this lately, especially as I transition more in to work and don't have as much variety in my day to day outfits. What do y'all think? And check out some additional makeup combinations below!

It's kind of Friday today, yay! Have a great day y'all! 

linking up with:

Friday, November 20, 2015

TGIF, sip sip hooray!

I don't know about you, but things have been a little crazy around here lately! Lots of late nights at work this week, but also lots of fun celebrations to balance things out :) How has your week been?

sip & skimm

I know it sounds like I'm beating a dead horse, but seriously you need to check out the Skimm! With so many things going on in the world right now, and an upcoming presidential campaign, I honestly don't know how anyone can keep up with it all. The Skimm is a great way to feel like you're at least close to knowing everything that's going on, or at the least knowing about everything that's going on. I have been a subscriber to some form of daily news email, whether it be the local paper, the WSJ or Washington Post, and I have to say, the Skimm surpasses them all, by miles. It has the most far-reaching topics, but not so many that it's overwhelming, and they are always on top of the latest news. Plus, one of the best parts is that it only comes to your inbox ONCE/ day, no exceptions, and no weekends. Unlike Gap, who I think can tell when I delete without opening, and sends me another email. I swear it's happened before.
Anyways - seriously, if you haven't checked it out yet you should, and if you are interested you can become a Skimm'bassador and take part in super fun events that are held all over the country. Last night Louisville Skimm'rs hosted a Sip and Skimm at a local restaurant and it was so. much. fun! If that hasn't convinced you yet, then surely this will - you get a shout-out on your birthday!

bachelorette party

My bachelorette party was a couple of weeks ago, and I think I am still recovering! Have you ever had a bushwacker? It might be the #1 reason that I love Nashville so much! It's essentially an alcoholic milkshake, and it can really creep up on you if you have a couple :) I would highly suggest trying one if you ever get the chance - or making one at home. I've done it, and the results actually weren't half bad! We had such a great time that now I really want all of my friends to be engaged so we can go back ASAP!

in the lobby

Despite choosing three other colors as my fall favorites from the Essie collection, I ended up purchasing "In the Lobby" last week, and I could not be more pleased! I will say it is not nearly as purple as their stock photos make it look, but more of a merlot-deep red. If you are looking for a staple fall nail color this is one could not be more perfect! Have any of y'all tried it? What did you think about the stock color vs. the actual color? [I will update with picture! I'd already repainted my nails a different color without thinking]
I swear these fall colors just came out, or maybe I was late to the game, but I'm already seeing and loving the winter colors as well! I wish it was still cool to have each nail painted a different color so I could wear them all at once!

house hunting part 3

Eventually I'm going to stop numbering these because it is just reminding me how long it takes. I know, finding a house is not a fast process. But I am a very impatient person, and when I know what I want, I really want to do what I can when I can to get it accomplished. Maybe I can call myself driven or determined, rather than impatient. That sounds a little better, right?
Well, anyways, we put an offer in last week! It was countered, and then we countered again and they accepted!!! We are still in the inspection/survey/financing stages, but we are planning to close before Christmas and I am so excited!

one year engagediversary

One year ago I got engaged! It is still surreal to think about sometimes, and I have never been happier. We are also exactly three months from getting married (!!!), which is crazy when I know there is still so much to do! The planning has definitely gone in waves of doing absolutely nothing for a month, to having three appointments in one day. But, so far it seems to be working out alright. We are going to dinner at a new restaurant tonight to celebrate, which I am really looking forward to because we've been so busy lately that we haven't had a true date night in what feels like months. Any married friends want to share some advice for these last few months of planning? I am all ears!

Have a great weekend, y'all! Go Cats! 

linking up with:

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Wedding Wednesday: 93 days to go! Bachelorette Bags

Y'all. I cannot believe I am down to double digits in my wedding countdown. I know 93 days might still seem like a long time, but when you throw in Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, things are going to be so busy that I am starting to feel like I can't get everything done. I've been making the effort lately to really assess what I have left to do and what I can reasonably do. My mom has been so wonderful, and at this point any time she offers to do something I just say yes. I am somewhat of a control freak - I'm sure my fiance would say its a little more than "somewhat" - but I also have complete faith in my mom, so I don't mind at all relinquishing some tasks to her!

A few weeks ago we had my bachelorette party in Nashville and it was so. much. fun. I'll be honest, I had never been to a bachelorette party, so I wasn't really sure what to expect, but this exceeded any expectations I ever had.

I wanted to get something for the girls, but I also had no idea what they were planning, so it was hard to figure out what I could do without overshadowing anything they had planned. I ended up putting together bags with some necessities for the weekend and hair-ties I made with elastic that I ordered from Etsy. I used my Cricut to cut a lot of the elements of the bag, and I am so pleased without they came out! What do y'all think?

It was seriously a blast and I had so much fun! I have always really loved Nashville and my bridesmaids planned the perfect weekend! What did you do or what are you planning to do for your bachelorette parties? 

Have a great day, y'all!

Friday, October 23, 2015

TGIF, autumn organizing

I couldn't really come up with something as catchy as "spring cleaning," although I'm not sure if that is catchy as much as it's just a thing now. Anyways, I thought "autumn organizing" sounded pretty good, its almost alliterative.

wading through the chaos

Looking back on the last three or four months and forward three or four months there has been a lot going on. Graduation, moving out of my law school apartment, moving in with the boy, engagement party, taking the Bar, PASSING the Bar, showers, football games, the boy getting a job (!!!) and looking ahead to buying a house, more football games, my bachelorette party, and the wedding! I think collectively all of these things are called "being an adult."

But seriously, it has been quite chaotic around here lately, and this last weekend I finally (after far too long) was able to to a lot of straitening up, putting things away, and general cleaning that had been a long time coming and it made me feel so much better. Since we're looking for a house, I kept telling myself there was no reason to pack and unpack different seasons of clothes because we'd be in a new house before winter. And while I would still like that to be the case, after last weekend, I'm not sure we'll be moving quite as soon as I'd hoped - at least not before I need my winter jacket! Once I realized this, it made it easier to finally sit down (or rather run all over the condo), and get tings in order, and I had no idea how much better I would feel after all of the autumn organizing. So from now until we move, whenever that may be, it will be my goal each weekend to make the home we're in now a home, and not just a temporary place to lay our heads each night.

monogrammed napkins

I am a crazy person and decided I wanted to personally monogram all of the napkins for our wedding. So in case y'all were wondering, the current completion count is up to 75! My goal is around 200, but I think we'll only have about 180 guests, so I'd say those last 20 will eventually become optional.

house hunting part 2

Last weekend our realtor took us to six or seven houses, and of those six or seven there were only about three that we were really interested in. I am so ready to move, but I also am not ready to settle for anything I don't at least almost love. I think this is going to be a longer process than I'd been hoping for, but I am doing my best to stay positive and keep an open mind about houses I might not have been interested in initially. Last weekend after seeing so many, it was easier for us to really determine what was non-negotiable, and what we could fix. One of the houses that I thought I loved turned out to be a little smaller than we'd realized, and didn't have great storage options. I'm not looking for 6,000 square feet or anything, but we do want room to grow, and there's no reason to move somewhere that's just barely bigger than the place we have now. That was a little disappointing because the house is in such a good location, but on the other hand, it was helpful to narrow down more what we wanted and eliminate some choices.

dress alterations

I have my first round of alterations this weekend and I am so exited! I cannot believe it is getting so close to the big day! We are less than four months away, and it seems like there is still so much to do. I still don't have shoes picked out, but I have a couple of pairs of heels that I think will be about the right height that I'm going to take with me - do y'all have any other advice for a first fitting??
And if you missed it earlier this week, check out my bridesmaids' dresses here.

fun fact of the day

When you take an oath to be officially licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, you have to swear that you've never taken part in a dual, and that you never will take part in a dual.

Have a great weekend, y'all!!

linking up with:

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wedding Wednesday, 122 days to go: Choosing Bridesmaids' Dresses!

I think a large part of my indecisiveness comes from wanting to make everyone happy. I overthink almost every decision because I want to make sure that it is the right decision, not just for me, but for anyone else it might effect. So, you can imagine how difficult it was for me to choose the dresses for my bridesmaids. I know everyone says, "It's your wedding, you get to pick." But here's the thing, I'm not the one actually wearing the darn things!

I was also faced with the dilemma that only two of my seven bridesmaids live in the same city as I do, and the other five are literally in four other states, so trying to have everyone involved seemed like it was going to be impossible. And then I came across Weddington Way. I honestly cannot remember how I found out about this place, after a while all of the bridal/engagement stuff starts to blend together. Maybe it was in a magazine, maybe it was one of the millions of (weirdly accurate and specific) Facebook ads, who knows. Either way, I'm glad I found it.

You're probably wondering what exactly is Weddington Way? Well, in short, it is an online only shop (except for San Francisco where they're based) that has hundreds of dresses. I mean y'all, I had yet to discover this many dresses in one place, but it was great. So you sign up for an account and then they match you up with a stylist and you can create a virtual showroom. You then invite all of your bridesmaids so that they can view, vote, add to, and comment on the dresses in your show room.
I personally waited until I'd had some time to play around with the shop and make sure I liked it before I made all of them sign up and create accounts.

As with most shopping websites now, there is a great filter system so that helped a lot. I also had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted before I started looking, long, navy, and not ridiculously expensive. I also knew that I wanted them to all wear the exact same dress because I just really like things to match and especially with an odd number of girls, there was no way to even do half and half. That being said, the website does a great job of pairing dresses of similar style that go together, so that if you are going for that look its easy to coordinate.
When all was said and done, my showroom ended up with about five dresses that I'd chosen and a couple of others that some bridesmaids added. Luckily most of the bridesmaids like the same styles of dresses, there were a few I liked that they didn't, but that was fine with me - that's why there were so many for them to choose from!

Another great thing about Weddington Way is that they have free shipping and free returns, so while they do a great job of getting you the right size, it is no cost to exchange for a different size, or gives you the chance to just order two from the get go with out worrying about a difficult return policy to send the other one back. This was one of the things that really caught my attention because for starters, I really hate to pay shipping, and second, I wanted to do my best to make it cost effective and easy for them - win win.

As of now, all of the girls have ordered their dresses and they have all given great reviews and I am so  relieved. I realize online shopping is not a new concept (duh), but there is still a lot of risk when ordering from a new company, so it was great to know that this was such a success!

These are some of the questions I was frequently asked about the process from the girls, my mom, and his mom:

How do you know which dresses they like?

Since very girl has her own account, she can favorite a dress and/or comment on it if she wants to give her opinion. I encouraged them to vote so that I knew which ones they liked since that was kind of the point, although none of them actually commented, which was fine with me.

What if they don't all like the same dress?

Well, that's life. But, at least I can see (and so could they) how many people liked which dress, and in my case the dress with the most votes won because I also really liked it. If you're not set on having them all wear the same dress, this might be a situation where you let them choose which style they'd rather wear, assuming that the different ones they like still go well together.

How long will it take the dresses to arrive?

The dress that we ultimately selected wasn't a made to order dress, so from the time it was ordered to when it was received was about a week.

Do all of the girls have to order before the dresses ship?

This is an option, but since these dresses aren't made to order anyways, I wasn't worried about the cloth not matching, so I told them all it was fine to just request their dress when they ordered it, rather than waiting on everyone else.

How will you know they ordered it?

Well, in a super (kind of) stalkerish way, it emails you every time a dress is ordered, and then you can log into your account and check on the shipping/tracking status. There is also an option to "Remind to Order," but luckily all of my bridesmaids ordered their dresses plenty early so I didn't have to do any nudging.

My only real complaint is that they send so many emails. There might be some setting that I could have changed to avoid that, but I just felt bad because I was afraid that the bridesmaids were also being bombarded with emails. Otherwise, I had great success and I think if you are in a situation with a lot of bridesmaids in a lot of places, it is a great resource! If y'all have any questions about the process I would be happy to answer them!

Have a great day, y'all! 

Friday, October 16, 2015

TGIF, it's the freakin' weekend!

y'all, it has been a longggg week around here. I thought it was Tuesday was Thursday, so I've been ready for Friday for a while. How has your week been?

Criminal Minds Grace and Frankie

Well just as soon as I'd mentioned that Criminal Minds was our most recent Netflix obsession, we finished the entire series. Yes, all nine seasons. I told you, obsession. But fear not, one of my friends suggested Grace and Frankie, a Netflix original, and it is SO funny. The good and the bad of it is that it's a short sitcom, so the episodes go much faster and there is currently only one season available. So, expect a new Netflix update next week! Ha! But seriously, it is hilarious.
The first episode starts with two married couples meeting for dinner and the husbands tell the wives that they have in fact been in love with each other for twenty years and have finally deicded to leave their wives and marry each other. Y'all. So much emotion. And the main characters are some very well known actors - Martin Sheen, Sam Waterston, Jane Fonda (love her!), and Lilly Tomlin. If you've ever seen Law and Order, and I'm not sure how you could have lived life and not seen it, then you're familiar with Sam Waterston. Well. Let me tell you, the Sam Waterston in Grace and Frankie is nothing like he was in Law and Order, and he is still wonderful. Martin Sheen is his usual self, and is great as well. The cast is packed with familiar faces and you are guaranteed a laugh!


House Hunting!

My fiance and I are going to look at houses this weekend and I cannot contain my excitement!! We were planning to wait until after the wedding so that we didn't end up with too much on our plate, but timing wise finally decided this was the best time. My biggest "want" is a nice/large kitchen, mostly because I think kitchens are the more expensive and time consuming renovations, so if it can just be ready when we move in that would be perfect! I am so excited and so nervous at the same time - do y'all have any tips??

Catching Up with Old Friends 

One of my sorority sisters (and bridesmaids!) from Furman was in Lexington this week so I drove down to have dinner with her and it was so fun! I hadn't seen her probably in two years and she lives in Dallas so it is nearly impossible to get together, but she travels for work and finally made it to the great Commonwealth. Seriously, time with old friends is so good for the soul.

Bridesmaids' Dresses

Despite my hesitation, I ended up using an online-only* website for my bridesmaids to choose and purchase their dresses. Almost all of them have ordered and received the dresses and I have heard nothing but great reviews! This was such a relief for me because we all know it can be hard to find a dress that even two or three people like, but eight is nearly impossible. Well y'all, miracles do happen! Check out next week's Wedding Wednesday for more on choosing their dresses and the interactive process.
the * - there is a single store in SanFran, but as neither I, nor any of my bridesmaids are anywhere near the west coast, it is essentially online-only, which is also how they market themselves

Hitting the Gym instead of the Snooze Button

My number one goal for next week is to be better about going to the gym at least three mornings. I have been having a weird/annoying mid-day fever for the past week or so, and then use that as an excuse to sleep in, but honestly I'm not sure that's making a difference. What is making a differnce is me not going to the gym and losing out on that great stress reliever. I will go to the gym this week. I will go to the gym this week. I will go to the gym this week. I. will.
Maybe I need to check this guy out.

But seriously, if y'all have any suggestions to help a girl not hit the snooze button, let me know because I swear I've tried every trick in the book and sleep always wins.

Have a great weekend y'all!!

linking up with:

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Winterizing My Beauty Routine

As much as I think I can pull off a "year-round" look when it comes to my makeup, there are still a lot of things that I alter, even if ever so slightly, as winter comes around. The great Commonwealth of Kentucky experiences all four seasons, with all of their extremities, and that can really start to take a toll on your skin. I'll be the first to admit that I am not the best at preventative measures, but in theory, I start trying to prepare myself, and my skin, for winter as early as possible. 

Bronze Palettes

Okay, so I guess this isn't exactly something that makes your skin feel better and stay healthy, but I personally hate to lose that natural summer glow and tend to supplement that with a bronze palate/ all over face color. Although this is something that is actually good for your skin when the alternative is the forbidden tanning-bed, so there's that! A couple of months ago I went to BareMinerals to try out some new foundation - which I love - and the makeup artist also used some "faux tan" all over color, kind of as contouring "light". She made it look super easy, and for the most part it is. Then I picked up this palate from BareMinerals and have since fallen in love! First of all, it comes with a guide so you don't have to know/remember exactly how to apply each shade. Secondly, while it is long, it is very thin and compact and travels very well. And since it's not a loose powder, there is zero chance of it spilling. If you love to have that glow year round I would highly suggest this palate or something similar! This one is currently available - and on sale! 

Moisturize x 100


This is probably the most important thing that you can do for your skin in the winter - well really all the time - but especially in the winter. This is also probably the thing that I am the worst at, basically because I'm lazy. BUT I was recently given the opportunity to try out Curel® Itch Defense® Instant Soothing Moisturizing Spray and I am sold. Y'all this stuff is great. It's a spray, I know captain obvious over here, but seriously, that makes me 100x more likely to use it because it is so much faster to apply in the mornings when I'm usually always running late. Unlike most spray sunscreens you do still have to rub it in a little bit, but still wayyy easier. The only downside I've found to it so far is that the can gets pretty slippery after I've applied the lotion, so I try to spray as much as I think I need before I rub it in. 


Moisturizing my face is the first thing I do when I get out of the shower because my skin is so dry. When I went to BareMinerals that day, I'm pretty sure the girl told me I should be putting it on twice a day because my skin was just that dry. I like to use moisturizer that has SPF in it so that in the summer I don't have to apply greasy sunscreen to my face. It's also a good idea in the winter too because you are usually getting more sun than you realize and most people don't think to apply SPF when its 15 degrees outside. I've been using Aveeno for a couple of years and really like it, but any moisturizer is better than none. 

Staying Hydrated

Basically in keeping with the importance of moisturizing, winter can dry out your skin so much. But, your skin benefits from everything you put in to your body, as well as lotions and other things you put on the surface. Staying hydrated and getting at least 64 oz of water each day is essential to keeping your skin in good condition. Plus, staying hydrated does wonders for your complexion

New Nail Polish

As if I need a reason to buy new nail polish. But seriously. have y'all seen Essie's fall shades - I am in love! I haven't picked up any yet because I just can't decide which one I want, but I've got my eye on "Frock 'n Roll" and "With the Band." And honestly, I think if I was confident enough, that "Leggy Legend" is stunning! Have y'all bought any of these yet? Thoughts? 

Changing Out Perfume

Using a different perfume is kind of like the nail polish, obviously, not essential to preparing your body and skin for a new season. That being said, scent is one of the most acute senses with thousands of memories attached to specific scents. Every time I wear a different perfume I'm suddenly taken back to a specific memory that was trigger merely by the scent. And while I think (almost) all perfume smells wonderful, there is still a time and a place for different scents. I love to have a more floral airy scent in the summer, while a soft yet spicy scent is my go to for winter. One of my favorite fall/winter perfumes is Burburry Brit. I wore it for the first time this season last weekend and I just knew fall was here. 

What are some changes you make to your beauty routine as you gear up for winter? 

Have a great day, y'all! 

Friday, September 25, 2015

TGIF, results day!

I cannot believe it is already Fall! This is the first time in a looonggg time that I have not been in school in the Fall and I think it is throwing my whole perception of the seasons off! That and the crazy ups and downs in the weather! Anyone else or is it just me?

Louisville BrewFest at Slugger Field

Three years ago we went to Louisville BrewFest kind of on a whim just as something to do on a Saturday night/afternoon, and it was great! Last year it coincided with the Avett Brothers concert so we got to take my mom and brother and they loved it just as much as we did.
It is coming up tonight and I am so excited! The BrewFest is held in Louisville's Minor League Baseball Stadium and they have different beer (and wine!) set up around the entire concourse, as well as a few inside. At the beginning you buy tickets and with each ticket you can get a 3oz pour of the beer of your choice, so it makes it possible to try a lot of different kinds! The weather the last few years has been perfect, the nice crisp fall that we've all been waiting for, so hopefully the same holds true for tonight. Louisville honestly has so much going on all of the time that it's hard to keep up, so it's nice having events that I already know I'll enjoy! What are some of your favorite fall events? My

Recent Netflix Obsession: Criminal Minds

I don't generally consider myself a big TV watcher, but there are about half a dozen shows that I do tend to watch regularly - Greys, How to Get Away With Murder, Madame Secretary, and the Good Wife. However, as you may or may not know, those are all shows that run a regular season, i.e. not in the summer. So during Bar Review and in the evenings after work this summer I'd been looking for new-old shows on Netflix to watch and came upon Criminal Minds. I used to watch this show all the time when I was in high school and even in college, but I have not watched it live in a few years so I had a lot of catching up to do - read: a lot of new episodes I hadn't seen yet. I also got the boy hooked on it, which is rare because I don't tend to watch things that he likes. But we have made our way through quite a few seasons and I'm loving it. We have also learned that it might not be the best thing to watch right before bed - hellllllo nightmares!

Building My Work Wardrobe

After finnnnaly cleaning and organizing my closet, I realized that I have more clothes than I realized and that maybe I don't need to work all that hard, for the time being, to build up my work wardrobe. However, the one discovery that I did make, is that because of my weight loss I no longer have pencil skirts that fit well. And by that I mean they fall down to my hips, rather than sitting at my natural waist, and just look very awkward over all. So. I've been on the hunt for some new ones, but can't make up my mind. On the one hand, I would just much rather buy online because it is so much easier to scout out good deals and see a lot at once, but because my sizing has changed so much lately I don't trust myself to order online, even from my favorite places. As much as I love shopping, I just get so overwhelmed when I don't even know where to start!

Related/Unrelated: I am also on the hunt for a new pair of jeans and had the same overwhelming experience at the mall last weekend because every pair I've ever owned have been from the Gap or OldNavy, but I want something different and had no. idea. where. to. start. So I ask (beg) y'all - where do you buy jeans??

Wedding Planning!

Wedding Planning is in fullll swing! I can't believe that we are less than 5 months away! I know that still might sound like a long time, but considering when we got engaged we were 14 months away, it feels very close. Plus, when you add in the holiday season - it will be here before I know it! As I mentioned last week we met with a wedding planner, who pretty much forced me to start making decisions - which was a much needed push - so since then I've been trying to narrow down some minor/major details, one of which is our napkin color and what the table is going to look like. I got the idea in my head months ago that I wanted to embroider all of our napkins with our new monogram - I know. I. am. monogram. obsessed. However, in order to do this I (1) needed to actually decide on the napkin colors, (2) order the napkins, and (3) figure out how we were going to set the table because that would dictate the placement of the monogram on the napkin. I am proud to say that ALL of those decisions have been made and I've finally gotten into a grove of using my sewing machine for embroidery - which is half of the reason I bought it in the first place! I also may or may not have stopped at four different Michael's stores between here and Knoxville to pick up 200 silver chargers. Spoiler - I did, I totally did. And of course I wanted to buy everything else in the store, and was quickly reminded why I love Michael's so much and made me wish I'd gone into crafting as a profession, although I'm pretty sure that's not a thing. Is it?


So I mostly kept my promise of not talking about the Bar again until results came out. Well, folks, TODAY is the day! {and hopefully I will be updating this post with good news!} I PASSED!!

Happy Friday, Y'all! Have a Great Weekend!!

linking up with:

Friday, September 18, 2015

TGIF, heading out for the weekend - again

Kentucky Football

I know I mentioned we were going to the UT game last weekend - which we did - but I am always going to be a 100% Kentucky fan and I was SO excited to see all of the score updates with Kentucky leading South Carolina - and AT South Carolina! Luckily the UT game started about an hour and a half before the UK game so when we got home after the game, I was able to watch the end and watch UK seal the deal! If you aren't a Kentucky fan, you might not understand the excitement, but let me tell you just how exciting it is that we beat South Carolina - it was the first time since 2009 that Kentucky had won a road SEC game. 2009 - as in SIX years ago. Let's see if we can pull off another win this weekend against Florida! GO GATS!

Travel Pro

This is the third, yes third weekend in a row that we are heading to Knoxville. Before that we'd also gone to Hilton Head for a week, and after this weekend, we only have one "break" weekend before we're on the road again. This pretty much par for the course for us during football season, and now with what feels like a gazillion wedding appointments, but I have really turned into a travel/packing pro at this point. (except that I didn't unpack from last week until right before I was packing for this weekend - oops) Plus, I feel a lot more justified in buying all of those super cute matching Vera Bradley items!
Do y'all have any tricks or tips for being on the go all the time?

Dirty Guv'nahs

Y'all. The Dirty Guvs are retiring and I am so sad! They are a band out of Knoxville, and we saw them for the first time New Years Eve 2013, and then again soon after when they just happened to be playing a show here. A couple of months ago they announced they were "retiring" and would have a few final shows. Originally their only show near us was going to be next Friday in Knoxville, and we just knew that we couldn't get down there in time on a Friday. Then they announced a second show (!) for this weekend, and on Saturday - so of course we did our best to get tickets and were successful! I am really looking forward to the concert tomorrow night and so excited we'll get to see them one more time!

Monogram Mania

I'm on the Reese Witherspoon train of thought - "If it's not moving, monogram it." My shirts, my shoes, my computer, my phone, you get the idea. However, I am also just as aware that not everyone shares the same love for monograms as I do. As I'm thinking abot the different gifts that I want to get my bridesmaids it is taking all that I have in my to resist having monograms on every. single. one. What are your thoughts on monograms??

Guilty Pleasure - Real Housewives

Confession time. Watching the Real Housewives of Orange County with a glass of wine in my hand is the best part of my Mondays. Please tell me I'm not alone on this.

Have a great weekend, y'all! GO CATS!

linking up with:

Friday, September 11, 2015

TGIF, it's football time in the Bluegrass!

okay, okay, I know, its football time everywhere :)

Football Tailgating Season

Y'all. There is nothing I love more than a good tailgate. I love to plan them, I love to go to them, I just love everything about it. We didn't get to go to the UK or UT games last weekend because we had to  meet with the wedding planner (see below), which was pretty much the opposite of a football game. This weekend we're heading to the Tennessee v. Oklahoma game in Knoxville and I am so excited. Not only is this going to be a big game for Tennessee, but they are also doing "Checker Neyland" again, and it was a lot of fun last year. From what I understand it started as a big push from a couple of fans to get everyone to wear either white or orange, depending on where your seat is, so that from far away it looks like a checkerboard. And let me tell you, it. was. awesome. It actually worked, and worked well. And honestly you didn't have to be that far away to see what was going on. Basically from anywhere inside the stadium you could look across and it looked like a checkerboard - I was very impressed. Here are a few pictures from last year, and I'll be sure to document it again this year because it seriously looked photo-shopped it was done so well.

Wedding Planner

After having a couple  lot of moments of extreme stress over trying to plan our wedding and trying to coordinate everything that needed to be done, as well as keeping all important parties informed, I finally decided that we definitely needed someone for day of coordination, and preferably someone who could help out a little bit along the way. Luckily my mom was able to talk to a few people at home and found a woman who can do as little or as much as we need, which is perfect. We met with her last Saturday and I feel 100x better about everything. There were definitely still some stressful moments because me, my finance, my mom, and both of my fiance's parents were there - so there were a lot of opinions. But, I could tell she was working towards what I  wanted to make happen and not getting bogged down with all of their ideas as well. I'm hoping this will be a much smoother process and all of my winter wedding fears will subside. Well, most of them at least :)


I have finally (almost) finished unpacking from moving out of my apartment and it is so nice to come home and not see boxes and boxes everywhere. I also did a major purge of some clothes and my closet, at least for now, is very organized and looks great. I invested in getting all new hangers for my dresses because I just think it looks so much better when all of your hangers match, if anything it can give the illusion of organization. I'll try to include a few pictures soon. Working with a small closet is always a struggle, and especially trying to use the empty space on the sides that I can't really get to. If y'all have any suggestions, it is still a work in progress and I am always looking for input!

Goodbye to the Pastels :(

While I was unpacking and getting my closet organized, I also started putting away all of my summer clothes. It was definitely a good thing because it cleared up some space in my closet, but I just hated to put them all away. Don't get me wrong, I love boots and oversized sweaters as much as the next girl, but I love bright colors, pastels, seersucker and sun dresses. I am also an extreme rule follower, so when Labor Day came around I knew I had to put them all away for now. That being said, it is barely going to get to 70 today, so I guess mayyybe it was time to pull out my fall clothes anyways. 


Do any of y'all watch Big Brother on CBS? My mom and I have literally been watching it since the first season - which I can not believe was 17 years ago! I've since been able to get the finance into it, to the point that he sometimes is more interested in it than I am. They are down to the final 5 now and I honestly don't know if I like any of the ones that are left. I kind of felt like this season there weren't any major stand outs that I was really pulling for. I do think John is hilarious though! If you watch it, what are your thoughts??

Have a Great Weekend, Y'all! Go CATS! 

linking up with:

Friday, August 28, 2015

TGIF, time to RELAX!

TGIF, Y'all! I feel like this week has flown by!

Vera Bradley Purchases

A few months ago I got a travel jewelry case from Vera Bradley. I've always had some kind of travel jewelry bag, but I was starting to out grow the one I used most often/it wasn't really designed for bangle-like bracelets. It didn't have a lot of give. Enter: the perfect jewelry case from Vera Bradley.
Since then I've also been admiring the travel hanging organizers for quick weekend trips, or really anytime that we travel. Because honestly my suitcase usually consists of at least two small makeup cases, along with all of my other toiletries scattered throughout my suitcase, and me praying they don't all open up. I first saw their hanging organizer in the outlet store around here, but there weren't any patterns I loved, so I just couldn't justify getting something that I thought I needed but didn't really like, knowing I'd find a way to replace it sooner rather than later. Well, as we were gearing up for this vacation, I thought I'd give their website a quick look and boy did I luck out! The pattern that my jewelry organizer is (which I love!) is being discontinued so the whole line of it is on sale, plus last week Vera Bradley was celebrating its anniversary and the entire site was 25% off, and - my favorite part - free shipping. So I miiiight have broken my spending freeze, but I am now the proud owner of the cutest travel organizer I have ever seen!

State Fair

We went to the state fair last night and it was so fun! Admittedly, I had never been to the state fair, only the county fair, and needless to say, I had no idea what to expect. The entire expo center was full of the most random vendors, and then the outside was exactly what I would expect for a fair - rides, all of the fried food you can imagine, and silly games. I indulged in a bloomin' onion, and I am pretty sure I shouldn't eat for the next three days because of all of the calories! Have y'all ever been to your state's fair?

Selling Back Books

I shared a few weeks ago the many ways you can save money when you're buying text books. But, another one of my personal favorite "savers" is to sell back any books that I no longer need. You can go about this in a couple of ways. School bookstores will usually buy back your books, but not for a whole lot. Amazon also has a great deal where you can send in your books (free shipping) and receive an Amazon gift card for the balance. Both of these are great because the money is guaranteed and you're not waiting for someone to actually buy it. However, sometimes the amount they are willing to pay is quite low and you tend to feel like its not really worth it. That was the case for a few of my more recent books (because apparently tax law books are worthless?). Then I noticed Amazon gave me the option to list my books for sale on my own, and I thought  I'd give it a shot. Within two weeks I'd sold all five of the books I had listed, and I am getting a direct payment to my checking account! So if you're like me and have any law  or other text books laying around, or really any kind of books that you're looking to get out of the way, I would highly suggest checking out this option!

Dinner with my Big!

My Big in my sorority lives about an hour away from me now, but I haven't seen her since we accidentally ran into each other at Keeneland in the spring. She texted me earlier this week to see if I wanted to come up for her birthday dinner and I was so excited to get a chance to see her! Going to a small school where everyone kind of spreads back out after graduation can be tough, and we are lucky to be so close to each other, so I'm trying to make more of an effort to hang out with people that I can see more easily than others. I'm not sure where we're going yet, but I am really looking forward to it!

Wedding Plans

Earlier this week I mentioned some of the concerns I was having about the fact that we were having a wedding in the middle of winter. While there are still some things I am trying to sort out and envision to fit in with a winter wedding, I am so excited about all of the progress we are making! We have finally selected our band, caterer, and hired a wedding planner to help with the remainder of the decisions, as well as coordinate on the day of. Let me tell you, knowing that someone else will be the point person and that I can honestly trust her and enjoy that day was a huge relief. My mom met with her and said she was great, and I am meeting with her in a few weeks and cannot wait to share all of my ideas and hear her suggestions on how to make it all come together!

How has your week been? Do y'all have any big plans?

Have a great weekend, y'all! 

linking up with:

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Get Your Skimm On!

It's fun, it's witty, and it's quick. What more could you ask for? Oh, and it's free!

I've mentioned it before, and I'll mention it again. Y'all, if you're not reading the Skimm in the morning (or whenever you wake up), you are missing out. I think one of the best things about the Skimm is that you only receive ONE email per day, and only on weekdays. As most of you do, I feel like my inbox is constantly flooded with more or less spam emails from various companies. I was a little hesitant about voluntarily adding another one to the list. But this is different, it is not intrusive, and unlike most of those other emails, I actually read this one! Ha!

In hopes to spark your interest a little more, here are some of my favorite stories from the last week or so. // These snippets come with the disclaimer that the Skimm reports on the good and the bad, but I didn't see any reason to rehash the bad news for the purpose of persuading you :)  //
the Skimm 

Every Skimm starts with a Quote of the Day and they are almost always funny, and on a lighter note than a lot of the news for the day. And it always leaves me wanting to read more into what was actually happening. (any of the green text in the Skimm is a link to a longer article, or articles about that particular piece of news)
the Skimm 
This was so exciting because I am recently obsessed with Amy Schumer and JLaw is a Kentucky girl! What better combination could there be!

the Skimm 
I am finally starting to have more time to read for pleasure now that I am out of school, but since it has been so long, I am constantly looking for recommendations. Sometime in the early spring (late winter?) one of the "Skimm Reads" was a book called Big Little Lies, and I took a chance to pick it up for the beach and it was so good! I am sure the others will not disappoint and I am looking forward to taking a few more suggestions from the Skimm.

the Skimm 
 With the impending election, the Skimm has taken on interviewing all of the candidates and it has been quite enjoyable. I mean y'all, the republican candidates are currently in double digits. I cannot imagine trying to track down the relevant information about every single one of them to really understand their platform and plan. Enter - "Skimm Your Candidate." Plus, apparently most of them don't hit the snooze button, who knew?
the Skimm 
This is just another example of the broad, and random (but relevant!) news you'll be presented with. I honestly feel like I have zero time in the morning to watch or read the news and the Skimm works as a perfect supplement to my need to know what's going on in the world. Plus, its a bonus when I can tell my friends or family something interesting that I read and that they haven't even heard about yet because we are all. so. busy.

Do you Skimm?

Have a great day, y'all! It's almost Friday!!

linking up with:
Wednesday Showcase

Friday, August 7, 2015

TGIF, Back to Work

I have officially been back at work for a week and I am honestly so glad. My boss was generous enough to give me a full month of to study for the bar, so it has been a while since I've been at the office, but it has been a pretty seamless transition getting back into my work schedule. Although, it has made for a longggg week. How has your week been?

one - getting organized

I may end up doing a full post on this later, but I just wanted to share with y'all a quick before & after of my bathroom. As I mentioned last week, I have officially moved out of my apartment and moved in with my fiancĂ©. I already had quite a few things here, so adding everything that was also at my apartment made for a lot of stuff. Getting organized is one of my favorite things (I know, weird), so aside from the time that it takes I've been really enjoying getting settled and giving everything a place. The bathroom is always a big struggle for me because I like to think that I need almost everything everyday. Obviously, that's not true. As you can see in the pictures below, I made an effort to keep a clear counter because I think that makes the biggest difference - kind of like how making the bed seems to make your bedroom look 10x cleaner. It's only been about a week, but I've been good so far about making sure it still looks this way, hopefully I can keep it up! 

two - relax

Last weekend we spent almost all day Saturday at the pool and it was so nice. I spent a lot of Thursday and Friday finishing up my move, so Saturday was the first day all summer that we were finally able to just lay by the pool and not feel guilty at all! I am looking forward to a few more weekends spending the days by the pool while it's still open.

three - Fitbit Challenge

I did my best to stay active while studying all summer, and I think I did a pretty decent job. We were in the habit of working out every morning before we went to class or started studying so that we wouldn't have any excuses. Most of my friends, on the other hand, became rather sedentary. I get it, we all deal with stress differently, and I personally feel better when I can work out, but I realize thats not the case for everyone. Anyways, we're all back and active and in a "Workweek Hustle" challenge this week and it is all I can do to keep up! I've been getting 10,000 to 12,000 steps each day and I am still barely between 2nd and 3rd place. It is so nice to have this kind of competition though because it keeps us all very active and accountable!

four - the Skimm

I've mentioned it before and I'm sure I'll mention it again, but y'all. the Skimm is one of the greatest discoveries I ever made. It is a quick, free, and easy way to catch up on the most recent and pressing news around the country. I have never had the patience to read a newspaper for more than twenty minutes, and I am very guilty of just skipping the parts that don't seem interesting to me, which is pretty much everything. Ooops. But, with the Skimm I can get everything I need to know in under five minutes and in language that makes sense to me! Plus, right now they've got a series going with interviews of all of the presidential candidates. This has been really helpful especially since there are like a million to keep track of. If you have any of the same issues, but want to stay informed, I would highly recommend signing up for the Skimm. It comes to your inbox around 6:30am every weekday and that's it. No emails on the weekend, no extra afternoon emails, just plain and simple, once a day. You can either click here, or on the button on the side. Skimm on!

five - Ruth's Chris

We're going to Ruth's Chris for dinner tonight and I cannot wait! The food is SO good, the cocktails are always a lot of fun, and in Louisville its at the very top of a building so you can see the entire city while you're dining. I'm still trying to decide what I can wear that will give me enough room to breathe when we're done! What are your weekend plans?

Have a Great Weekend, y'all!!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

How to Save Money on Textbooks

As school is starting back, for the first time in 20 years* I am not going to be sitting in a classroom on a daily basis. This is such a bitter-sweet feeling, it is so nice knowing that I will not have homework every night, but work is obviously a much bigger responsibility than just going to class everyday. Not to say that class isn't important! One thing I know I will not miss is having to buy hundreds of dollars of books every semester. Luckily in all my years of school, I essentially became a professional student, and with that came a lot of experience in buying textbooks and trying to get the best deal. Here are some of the ways that I managed to save money every semester when the time came to buy books -

Personal Preferences to Consider:

1. When do you need these books? 

The amount of time you need for shipping can limit your choices on where you purchase your books. Don't forget that some classes will have assigned reading before the first day of school, so you might need to build in a few days before the actual first day of class. On the other hand, if you have a friend in the class who would let you borrow her book for one assignment, you might have a few extra days.

2. Are you willing to purchase a used book? 

If so, consider just how used you can live with. There are great variances in highlighting and notes from book to book.
If not, consider that some used books look new because the previous owner didn't make any markings, but they are still technically used.
I tend to prefer new to slightly-used just because I like to organize my thoughts (and my books) in my own way. However, with careful selection I've purchased many used books without any real issues.

3. Would you rather rent or purchase? 

This is something that can be decided on a book-to-book, class-to-class basis, but is something to consider, especially if the resale value is likely to be very low.

Comparing Prices

The (obvious?) first step is to realize that you should be comparing prices across multiple sources. What looks like a good deal, might pale in comparison you can find somewhere else. But - keep in mind that a lot of third party sellers (i.e. not Amazon or Barnes & Noble) will have shipping costs as well, so make sure you calculate that into the total price/book.
As far as where to look - here are my personal preferences, and what I've found to be the most cost-effective over the years.

Amazon is always the first place I look. I mean, lets be honest, there are very few things that you can't find on Amazon. Plus, it is so easy to throw things in your cart for later so that you can keep track of everything in one place. Another major factor in my obsession with Amazon is my Prime membership. If you are a student, you can get Prime for half the regular price - and it is well worth it in my opinion. Especially when it comes to ordering textbooks because shipping can be so expensive, AND with Prime you can usually get your books with FREE 2-day shipping, which is great for the peace of mind. Amazon also gives you the ability to buy used books from other sells - again convenient because you can mix and match new and used depending on your preference, just be sure you are paying attention to the "Condition" of the used books.
There are of course some downsides to Amazon - 2-day shipping is obviously fast, but if you need your books within the next day, it might not be soon enough and it is a steep increase from free 2-day, to "Next-Day." Not to mention that if you go the used route, you aren't actually going to have a chance to inspect the books before you buy - this will depend on your personal preference and how comfortable you are with that. is eBay's book website. It's fairly easy to use, and like Amazon's used section, divides the books up based on the "Condition" indicated by the seller. I have found some great deals on, but then for whatever reason, some books will be priced at the same or more than a brand new one. The biggest catch here is the shipping - there's just no way around it. And unless you get lucky, all of your books are likely to come from different sellers, which means you could end up paying a lot in shipping.

Buy from Other Students at Your School
This option will greatly depend on your school and what kind of classes you'll be taking. When I was in undergrad at Furman there was a website just for us where we could buy and sell books among other Furman students. (Not sure if that's still a thing anymore.) In law school we have a Facebook group for each class, generally used for class specific or school-wide announcements. At the beginning and end of each year, it is flooded with offers to buy or sell certain books for the upcoming year/semester. The convenience factor here is hard to beat, usually students would just plan on a time to meet-up and make the exchange. I did this on a few occasions and, like I said, very convenient. Plus, at least at our school, that generally meant you would have the same professor as the student selling the book and it gives you a chance to find out a little more about the class. The obvious negative here is that the books are used, but that doesn't necessarily mean they've been written all over or highlighted on every page. I've also found this to be a very cost efficient purchase because the selling student usually just wants to get it off his hands and out of the way, hoping to make some money in the process, but without the hassle of shipping.

School Bookstore
I remember my first semester as a Freshman going to the school's bookstore because I didn't know what else I was supposed to do. I later (next semester) learned that on-line book purchases were the way to go in order to save some money. However, that was almost ten years ago (y'all, I'm getting old), and a lot has changed since then. Bookstores quickly saw a decline in their sales and the prices have become much more comparable to their on-line counterparts. My first semester in law school I purchased about half of my books from the school bookstore because there were a lot of new editions on our list, which meant there wasn't really a used market yet. In that case, it made sense for me to go to the bookstore because I was going to be paying the same new price and I could have my books instantly. If you're going the used route - or at least willing to - the school bookstore is a great idea because you have the ability to flip through the books on the shelf to see if the markings in the books are something you can live with.

Nine times out of ten, renting is going to cost less upfront. However, if you think you want to rent, keep in mind there are a lot of restrictions that can come with it. There are almost always rules on how much you can write in it, if at all, and a certain date that you will have to return it by. Usually the return date isn't an issue, but when you are in graduate school and the dates are based on undergraduate classes, occasionally the book is supposed to be returned before you even take the exam. Another issue with renting is that at the end of the semester you have to return the book. I know, duh. But, what I mean is, you don't even have the option to sell it back if you wanted to. Last fall I bought one of my books for around $150, and resold it for $145, whereas if I'd rented it would have been $80 upfront, and no resale. I understand its a risk to assume you'd be able to sell it back, and generally the return isn't that good, but it can be just as risky not giving yourself the chance to sell it back.
One very important thing to keep in mind if you are considering renting is whether or not you will need the book for the entire year. In law school especially, there are a lot of classes in the first year that last for the full year over both semesters. When you choose to rent a book it is on a semester by semester basis, which means you'd actually have to rent it twice, which is likely to cost just as much as buying the book in the first place.

Set Up an Excel Sheet (or not)

{Disregard if you're not as organizationally obsessed as I am} After you've looked at some of the options above (and anywhere else you come across), you should make some kind of chart. I liked to have all of the books listed in an Excel spreadsheet, with a column for each store/website. Then all you have to do is fill in the prices for each book at each place and you can quickly compare who as the best deals.
This can also serve as a sort of checklist for you to make sure that you've purchased all of the required books. I've found the hardest part about finding the best deal is making sure that some of the books don't fall through the cracks because I didn't knock out the whole list at one place.
Here is the spreadsheet I made for my 1L semester. As you can see I listed the ISBN numbers, rather than the name of the book since that is more reliable when you are going from website to website, or store to store. I honestly can't remember what the colors/bold represented. I think the red meant that it was required, and that the bold numbers meant that was the one I'd ordered. Either way, some kind of system like that is very helpful. I also printed this when I went to the bookstore just so that I could remember what the prices were elsewhere.

BUY your Books 

Choose One or Two Sources

When you're deciding where to buy your books, I would narrow it down to one or two places, unless there just happens to be a really great deal on a certain book somewhere else. Narrowing it down to one or two might mean you end up paying $5 or $10 more, but when all of your books are delivered in just a couple of shipments, rather than 8 different ones, it is much easier to keep track of the books you've received and the books that are still in transit, or that still need to be ordered. Another benefit to ordering just from one or two places is that you minimize shipping costs - in case you can't tell I really hate shipping and will look for any reason to not pay for it if I don't have to. 

Make Your Decision 

After you've had time to explore your options - and maybe organize them - just go ahead and place the order/contact the seller. I know the prices on Amazon tend to fluctuate on a daily basis, and its always possible a new book will be added to the used marketplaces. But, if you wait more than a day or two - especially if you are buying used - the books might not be available anymore, or only at a higher price. You'll also drive yourself crazy if you are constantly checking to see if the have changed at all.

I know this might seem like a lot of information, but if you are truly trying to save money when buying your textbooks, it can be a bit overwhelming to keep up with everything. If you have any more questions, I'd be happy to answer them!  Do y'all have any tried and true tips for saving money on textbooks?

Have a Great Day, Y'all! 

* I took one year off between my Masters and Law degree to work as an accountant, but otherwise I have been in school every year from the Fall of 1993 through the Spring of 2015. I told you, old. 

linking up with: