Five on Friday {March 16}

Hey y'all,

We made it to Friday! I officially head on vacation on Tuesday so this weekend is going to be filled with Barre3, laundry, getting my nails done, packing, and hopefully some relaxing. Now onto five things I am loving this week.

one. Match Day.

It's today! At 12pm EST, my best friend finds out where she will do her residency! This is such an exciting time and I am hoping that where she matches will be a good fit. I wish I could be there for the ceremony and celebration but I head to the West Coast on Tuesday so a flight to Chicago for today didn't make it. I am so proud of her! She has worked so hard and will now get to follow her dream of being a doctor.
 Image may contain: Jessica Driscoll and Aireanah Zednelem, people smiling, people standing and indoor

two. Revlon Oval One-Step Hair Dryer & Volumizing Styler

I recently picked up the Revlon Oval One-Step Hair Dryer. I have had the same hair dryer since college (aka 2008) so I thought it was time to upgrade. I have naturally curly hair and with this I can blow dry my hair straight in under 20 mins. And no, I don't look like I have a fluff of hair like you usually do blow drying curly hair straight. I sometime run my ghd straighter over my hair at the very end and sometimes not. Quick easy hair is always a win.

three. Book Club Book Shower

On March 3rd, we had our March Book Club meet up at Laura's home. Little did a few of our members know that we were surprising their future littles with books at the meeting. The surprise shower was a lot of fun and Laura went above and beyond with the snacks and decor. She checked out a ton of kids books at the library for decor and had children's book themed food as well. Here's to 1/4 of our group expecting littles later this year.

Book-Themed Baby Shower | Fairly Southern 
Book-Themed Baby Shower | Fairly Southern 

four. March Madness.

Living in NC and attending UNC for undergrad, March Madness is a holiday around here. My office has now been decorated with our brackets and we will see how I end up faring. GO HEELS!

five. Old Navy Twill Field Jacket

On Sunday I popped into Old Navy as I had not been in store forever and wanted to see what work pant options they had. I still hate the regular pixie pant on me but I have the Stevie in Navy and the new Pixie Sculpt now. I also picked up a dress and this coat. I love my J.Crew Downtown Field Jacket (I have the Navy un-quilted version from a few years ago) for spring but I have yet to grab an olive jacket. For under $50 (I got mine for under $40, check for sales). I thought it was a great deal.

Fun Links
This wonderful post about being a mess and embracing it. Let's all give ourselves some grace here.
Save/Splurge Post for those who are engaged
Speaking of engaged, it is shower season. If you are headed to a bridal shower why not throw in these luggage tags or these ones?

Link up with April, Christina, and Natasha.  
Also linking up with Tif, Becky, and Katie.

What is your carry-on must have?

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10 on the 12th {Spring Cleaning}

Hey y'all,

I am excited to once again be linking up with of the Perfectly Port Family although this was supposed to go up on Monday and I am running a bit behind. You can read my January 10 on the 10th post here all about 10 random facts about me. This month's theme is all about cleaning as we get into Spring the cleaning bug hits. Why I am no expert and there are often hand dishes piling up next to my sink and laundry to put away here are 10 cleaning tips and tricks I have learned over the years.

one.Emily Ley's a Simplified Life and Simplified Challenge.

I highly recommend everyone read's Emily Ley's book A Simplified Life and work through the Simplicity Challenge you can find on her Instagram and  blog. The challenge has a task for each day for 31 days from clearing out the apps on your phone, putting gas in your car, to making a list of ten go-to meals. It has been so helpful in simplifying which in turn means less stuff to clean!

two.Put trash away, right away!

This is something I have been working on a lot this year. Often, I put trash down in someplace that is not the trash can. Think, I just bought a new shirt, let me cut off the tags and place those tags on the top of my dresser rather than taking the three steps to the trashcan and throwing them away. Or placing all the mail on the dining room table, rather than sorting and throwing away junk mail immediately and then organizing the important mail to the files, invitations to the fridge, etc.

three.Method Daily Shower Cleaner. 

This spray will change how you clean your bathroom. Seriously, every time you shower, you just spray down the tile, tub, and curtain and you are good to go. No scrubbing necessary. This cuts down on weekly cleaning in the bathroom and means the tub/shower can be a monthly/deep clean only item. And for under $3.00 at Target it is a no brainier (you can also get the refill solution for under $6 and it refills over 2x). Their tub cleaner is also great for that deep clean bathroom weekend.
Image result for method shower cleaner

four.Take Everything out of your closet.

When cleaning out your closet, completely empty it. Try on every piece before putting them back in the closet. If it doesn't fit, feels off, hasn't been worn in a year, or has a hole it needs to find a new home. That could be donated to a local charity, taken to a re-sell/consignment store, put up on Poshmark, or given to a friend. Your closet should reflect your style and filled with pieces you love that fit your life now. Not your dream life.

five.Recycle Those Electronics.

Did you know that all Best Buy locations will recycle your old electronics? I had a laptop and printer from college that I have not used in 4+ years. I finally drove over to my local Best Buy and dropped them off to be recycled. It was a simple process and I know the batteries in the electronics are being taken care of responsibly. Go through your home and find those things-2nd generation iPod? CD player? Stereo? It felt good to know that they were recycled and I now have lots of space under my bed where those items had been living collecting dust.

six. Break Down Each Room.

I always write my to do lists in mini steps. My list might include, clean bathroom. Then under that line I make a list: shower, toilet, trash, counter tops, flooring, mirror. It helps me feel accomplished as I cross of each little step and if I don't get to all of it, I still feel like I accomplished a lot and can move that one item over. Like last weekend, I did the bathroom floors, toilet, trash, and counter tops but not the shower or mirror. Those got moved to a to-do list on Tuesday to finish up that room and it didn't feel as overwhelming to be cleaning on a weeknight as it was only two small tasks.
Living Room
Pick Up Items
Fold Blankets

Put Away Laundry
Change Sheets
Make Bed
Clean Closet
Clear off Desk
Clean off Dresser

Hand Dishes

seven. Make it Easy.

I don't know about you but the easier it is to put away laundry the better. I love to do laundry but the folding and actually putting clothes away is the worst. I just use bins for my socks, scarves, tights, belts, nike shorts, bathing suits, and sports bras. This means these items do not need to me meticulously folded but rather placed in this system in my closet. I also keep my extra large boat tote in my room filled with my at home exercise equipment like my B3 core ball, kettle bell, stretch band, etc.
Image result for storage cube unit

eight. Be Realistic. 

As someone who moved almost every three years as a kid I have learned the power of a good purge. Do I really need 20+ pens in my desk drawer. Nope. I donated a huge bag of pens, pencils, markers, and highlighters to some of my teacher friends instead. My parents kept a trunk for each of us for our sentimental things. That meant only a few items from every school year made it in but looking through the trunk now is such a treasure and I on occasion still add to it. From the baby bracelet at hospital, the first stuffed animal ever, to my favorite college t-shirt they all live in that trunk in the storage unit attached to my apartment deck. My parent's were realistic in the fact that I did not need every piece of artwork from elementary school but I did need the book I made, some of my book reports, and the about me pages. Be realistic about what is sentimental and needs to be kept along with what is necessary.  Ten black dresses, maybe whittle it down to five. 20 pairs of flats, just keep the favorites that are more wearable with outfits. Remember, the simpler and less items you have the easier it is to keep clean.


With my busy schedule, not every room gets cleaned every weekend. That's okay. I try to prioritize the kitchen as that is a shared space and you want to make sure it is clean so no one get's sick. After that, I prioritize laundry and bathrooms. Vacuum doesn't happen every week but it happens at a minimum of once every three weeks and we mini vac the couch weekly because of Max cat. That works for our apartment. For you it might mean the dining room dusting is at the bottom of the list and that is okay!

ten. Reward Yourself.

When you are done with the deep clean for spring, all the items have been donated (including those old coffee cups you never use), the electronics recycled, and the house looks great. Treat yourself. It might be a new decorative basket for the blankets in the living room so that you don't have to keep folding them, a fun new wall hanger for the mail or a nice massage. Just don't forget that cleaning and organizing is a way of self care and will set you up for success.

What are some of your helpful spring cleaning tips?
Favorite cleaning products?

Putting Me Together Capsule Wardrobe {Part 2}

Hey y'all,

Yesterday I shared some of my outfits from the PMT Winter Capsule Wardrobe challenge and I promised to share the rest today. As indicated, these were just some of my outfits during January/February and mostly my work wardrobe. You can read yesterday's post here.

Let me know if you have any questions about the challenge. I had a lot of fun and it helped me to really shop my closet and recognize that I could work with a capsule wardrobe and not feel restricted.

You can register for the Spring challenge here starting today!
Top (LOFT, similar)/Pants/Scarf/Earrings
Top/Pants (old)/Cardigan (LOFT, old, similar)/Necklace/Flats
Cardigan/Top (Church's Kids Ministry)/Earrings/Jeans (Target, similar)
Top/Vest/Scarf (old, similar)/Earrings/Pants
 top/pants/scarf (old, similar)/shoes, old from Ralph Lauren (similar)
Top/vest/necklace/Jeans (Target, similar)/boots (old, similar)
Cardigan/Top/Scarf (old, Lilly Pulitzer, similar)/Pants/Flats (Converse, old, similar)

These two outfits were worn the last week of February when we had a warm period and were in the 70s!
Top (old, LOFT, similar)/Cardigan (LOFT, old)/Necklace/Pants
pants/necklace/top-Target (old)

Let me know if you would like to see more OOTD posts on my blog. It would probably be work wear round ups like these posts.

I signed up for the Spring Challenge and was thinking I might post my weekly outfits for y'all. If you want to purchase the winter challenge it is on sale here.
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Putting Me Together Winter Capsule Challenge {Part 1}

Hey y'all,

I shared in my January/February favorites post that I participated in the PMT Winter Capsule challenge on Audrey's blog. While I didn't take a photo everyday (snow days meant working at home in leggings and a sweatshirt) I did end up photographing over 20 outfits over the two months. I decided to split up the post between today and tomorrow. You will notice that I shopped my closet a lot for this challenge so there are some very old items but I did try to find some similar things. Also, some of these items are now on major sale as retailers are getting ready to showcase new spring lines.

I also want to say that I work in a business casual office so some of the challenge items I tweaked to make it fit my work style. Some of the challengers were rocking some great olive jeans but I haven't found a pair of olive dress pants I love.

This was the list I was working from:
Winter Capsule Wardrobe
Also, the Spring Challenge goes up on the PMT tomorrow! You can enter to win a challenge registration here.
Top: ON (old, similar)/Vest/Scarf: Lilly Pulitzer (old, similar)/ Pants
Top: ON (old, similar)/ Pants/Scarf (old, Halogen, similar)/Earrings/Flats
Sweater/Necklace (Target, similar)/Pants/Flats
Work on a Casual Friday
Cardigan/Necklace/Top/Jeans (Target, similar)/Flats (old, similar)
Baby Shower & church
sweater (Loft, similar)/ Pants/ Vest/ Scarf (old, similar)
Shirt (Church's Kid Ministry)/Cardigan (LOFT, old, similar)/Scarf (old, similar)/Jeans (Target, similar)/Shoes
A surprising warm day at work & doctor's appointment
Dress(old, LOFT,  new version)/Scarf (old, Lilly Pulitzer, similar)
Dress (LOFT, similar)/Cardigan (Target, old, similar)/Tights (Target, old)/Flats
vest/top/pants/earrings/scarf (old, similar)
Casual Friday
top/vest (on sale for under $60)/necklace(B.P., similar)/jeans(Target, similar)/boots (old, similar)

Tomorrow I will show you my second half including some spring transition outfits as it hit the upper 70s at the end of February.

Also, read this post from Audrey if you want to learn more about the challenges.Also, the winter challenge is now on sale as the spring challenge has started. Feel free to check out the winter challenge here.

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February Reads

Hey y'all,

As I talked about in my favorites, I am really trying to make an effort to read more this year and it has been working. I have read 11 books now and that means I am two ahead of my pace for my GoodReads yearly challenge of 55 books. I recently found the Book by Book link up with Rachel and Kristin and their monthly challenge/prompts. It worked out that my February books all had a love & romance spin to them as romance is one of my favorite genres to read. Next month's challenge is to read a book with a green cover!

So let's get down to what I read in February:


ConfessAuburn Reed is determined to rebuild her shattered life and she has no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to become deeply attracted to the studio’s enigmatic artist, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a chance and puts her heart in control, only to discover that Owen is hiding a huge secret. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything Auburn loves most, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it—but can she do it?

I sped through this book. It is a great story and has a bit of a shocking ending that I did not expect when you start to unravel everyone's confessions. They actually made an online show out of the book that you can watch. This was my first book by Hoover and I understand why she has become a popular author. I have started the online show and I think it follows the book pretty well. 3/5 stars.

 Secrets of a Summer Night (Wallflowers #1)

Secrets of a Summer Night (Wallflowers, #1) Proud and beautiful Annabelle Peyton could have her pick of suitors—if only she had a dowry. Her family is on the brink of disaster, and the only way Annabelle can save them is to marry a wealthy man. Unfortunately her most persistent admirer is the brash Simon Hunt, a handsome and ambitious entrepreneur who wants her as his mistress.

Annabelle is determined to resist Simon's wicked propositions, but she can't deny her attraction to the boldly seductive rogue, any more than he can resist the challenge she presents. As they try to outmaneuver each other, they find themselves surrendering to a love more powerful than they could have ever imagined. But fate may have other plans—and it will take all of Annabelle's courage to face a peril that could destroy everything she holds dear.

I recently read the Ravenels series by Kleypas and realized the Wallflower series precedes it so I hopped on the library list for all four books in the series. The premise behind the series is that four ladies make a pact to help one another catch a husband. The first book was sweet and deals with  classism that occurred in London during the beginning of the industrial revolution. 3/5 stars

 It Ends With Us

It Ends with UsLily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up — she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan — her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

I think this is Hoover's most talked about book and I started it without reading the synopsis and was very surprised about the subject matter. I would say this book could be triggering to those that have experienced assault. The book deals with the questions of domestic violence and reading the author's note at the end almost broke my heart. I don't want to go into any detail as I thought it was a wonderful story that many should read. I read this as an audiobook and enjoyed the reader if you want to go that route---it was faster at my library to get the digital audio copy. 4.5/5 stars.

It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers #2)

It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2)Headstrong American heiress Lillian Bowman has come to England to find an aristocratic husband. Unfortunately, no man is strong enough to tame the stubborn beauty's fierce will. Except, perhaps, the powerful and arrogant Earl of Westcliff—a man Lillian despises more than anyone she's ever met.

Marcus, Lord Westcliff, is famous for his icy English reserve and his supreme self-control. But something about the audacious Lillian drives him mad. Whenever they're in the same room, they can't stop themselves from battling furiously to gain the upper hand.

I think Lillian's story is my favorite out of the 3 wallflower books I have read. She is headstrong and has a lot of personality and heart. This was a fun story of love over expectations. 4/5 stars.

 Scandal in Spring (Wallflowers #4)

Scandal in Spring (Wallflowers, #4)Quirky and fun-loving American heiress Daisy Bowman is the last unmarried Wallflower. Her exasperated father has informed her that if she can’t find a husband by the end of her third London season, she will be forced to marry a man she hates—the ruthless entrepreneur Matthew Swift.

Daisy is horrified. A Bowman never admits defeat, so she decides to do whatever it takes to marry someone... anyone... other than Matthew. What she doesn’t count on, however, is Matthew’s unexpected charm, or the blazing sensuality that soon flares beyond both their control. And Daisy discovers that the man she has always hated just might turn out to be the man of her dreams.

 Daisy is the sister of Lillian from It Happened One Autumn but her story is very different. Why also dealing with family expectations, Daisy's story is more whimsical and deals with some personal history. I enjoyed it and it was another fast read. 3/5 stars.

What have you been reading?

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TBB Asks March {Beauty Edition}

Hey y'all,

I have loved all the previous The Blended Blog prompts so I thought I would jump in today as an extra post as this morning I shared my goals with y'all. I don't know about you but I can love some beauty items and I'm excited to see everyone's favorites. I mean, I might have gone to Sephora yesterday just to check out some new items.

Let's get started:

1. Eyelash Curler Yes or No?
No. I have surprisingly long eyelashes and often don't wear mascara. My favorite mascaras though are from Benefit. I have loved Bad Gal lash (volumizing) and They're Real.

2. Favorite Nail Shade?
Pink! My absolute favorite is OPI's Arose at Dawn, Broke at Noon.

A-Rose at Dawn...Broke by Noon - Nail Lacquer - OPI
3. Favorite Lipstick Shade?
I tend to go with a coral or pink shade. 

4. Blow Dry or Air Dry your hair?
 I typically air dry my hair espeically if I am leaving it in it's natural state of curly. I did buy this new hair dryer over the weekend so we shall see how I feel in a few weeks.

5. Artificial Nails: Yes or No?
No. I have never had artificial nails from a salon. I think I tried press on nails. Once. Ever since I stopped biting my nails in fifth grade they grow like crazy. I typically keep them shorter in fall/winter and let them grow out a bit in the spring/summer but not a crazy length either. No Guinness book of world records for me. I think I am still haunted by the show and this woman.

6. Foundation: Yes or No?
Yes. I like a BB cream. I have tried the Garnier one, the It Cosmetic's CC cream and I just bough the Clinique Acne Solutions BB Cream with SPH 40 yesterday.

7. Hair Up or Hair Down?

8. Bar Soap or Body Wash?
Body Wash.

9. Bath or Shower? 
 On a regular basis, shower but I love a great bath on the weekends. 

10. Favorite Body lotion?
I don't think I have a favorite. I am currently loving my L'Occitane hand cream.

11. Do you wear perfume? Is so, favorite scent?
Not everyday but I love my Kate Spade Twirl perfume. 
 Image result for kate spade twirl

12. Do you shave your legs everyday? 
13. Favorite Lip Balm? 
 I love the eos vanilla mint.

14. How old were you when you first started wearing make-up?
 I danced when I was little so I think the first time I wore makeup was when I was three for a recital. I think because I had such heavy makeup every year for performances I really didn't start wearing makeup until high school.

What beauty items have you been loving lately? Any new beauty items on your list to try?
I currently want to check out some of the new Trader Joe's products that just came out like the rose water facial toner and the shea butter & coconut oil hair mask.

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March Goals

Hey y'all,

I cannot believe that it is already March. The calendars have been flipped, the office is decorated in shamrocks, and there is a vacation in sight. This is actually the first year since college where I am actually taking a spring vacation which feels so strange. Working in academia there is always a spring break for our students which is typically a week of powering through projects but I am excited to be taking 8 days off to go be with family and enjoy some sun on the west coast.

I am sharing my March goals. This year my word is content so I am trying to focus my goals on things that help to bring me contentment-gratitude, stewarding finances well, self care, etc.Image result for march goals


-Poshmark 20 items. I have cleaned out my closet and while I have donated some things I have a large pile to post on my Poshmark site.
-Complete my gallery wall in my quiet time space. This is almost complete. I started in January and now I just need to add a couple of items into frames.


-Meal Plan and Prep Meals.
-Attend Barre3 Chapel Hill Studio Classes at least 3 times a week. Take 3 online classes per week when out of town.
-Write 3 blog posts per week.
-Connect with one friend face to face.
-Relaxation Time/Margin (bubble baths, reading, mani/pedi, self care and recreation in my schedule
-Gratitude journal.


-Chronological Bible Reading Plan.
-Drink 90oz of water.
-No refined sugars/dessert. I have had a lot of sweets at the start of this year and it is time to limit them a bit.
-1 mile walk. Whether outside when it is gorgeous weather or one of Leslie Sansone's videos. I can devote at least 15 minutes to moving my body.

What are some of your monthly goals?

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