Friday, December 27, 2013

Friday Five

Sorry I am wayyyy behind on Friday Five posts y'all! Hope y'all had a Merry Christmas!

1. J.Crew Factory Sylvia Black Patent Wedges
I had been eyeing these black patent wedges from J.Crew Factory for awhile, and took advantage of a 50% off sale + additional 10% off and free shipping during one of their pre-Christmas promotions!

2. World Wildlife Fund Elephant Adoption
I adopted an elephant from the World Wildlife Fund as a Christmas present to myself, which was something I had been wanting to do for awhile! 

3. Gingerbread Latte
I took advantage of a free Reward on my Starbucks Gold Card and got a grande Gingerbread Latte. The Gingerbread Latte is definitely my favorite Starbucks Christmas drink, and I get nonfat milk and no toppings so it's at least a little bit healthier.

4. Lilly Pulitzer Notes , Pen, and Catch-all
One of my favorite local gift boutiques was having 25% off their entire store, so I got this Lilly Pulitzer catchall with loose notepaper and a pen in Chin Chin (one of my all-time favorite prints) for my desk at my new job!

5. C.Wonder Elephant Bangle
One of my best friends got me this beautiful orange elephant bangle from C. Wonder for Christmas! I had admired it when I was in the store with her back in November so it was an especially sweet and thoughtful gift!


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." -Isaiah 9:6

Merry Christmas y'all!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Party Outfits

The past couple weekends I have attended multiple Christmas parties. A couple of them were cocktail attire, which was super fun dressing up for since I usually don't have that many semiformal events to attend. Here is what I wore:

Party 1:

I wore a LulaKate bridesmaids dress from my cousin's wedding with my pink Lilly Pulitzer bow earrings, pearls, and Kate Spade idiom bangles and cocktail ring. I wore a pair of one-inch pointy-toe heels since I was standing a lot.

Party 2:
I wore my Lilly Pulitzer Shauna Tunic dress with black tights and Tory Burch black Reva flats (not pictured), sparkly Kate Spade stud earrings, Kate Spade idiom bangles and cocktail ring, J.Crew elephant critter necklace, and my new Tory Burch Amanda Crossbody.

Party 3:
I wore my Lilly Pulitzer Black Bowen dress with gold embroidery detail on the skirt, pearls, Tory Burch gold logo stud earrings; and a Kate Spade cocktail ring and bow bangle. I also wore my shorter black pointy-toe heels for comfort's sake.

What have been some of your go-to outfits for Christmas parties this year?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Featured Outfit: Striped Cassie Dress

Here's another Featured Outfit post I have stored up and have been meaning to share. Several months ago I bought the striped Lilly Pulitzer Cassie Dress from Ruelala. I love the Cassie because there are so many options for accessorizing. And even though this one isn't a solid, there are still multiple ways to pair it with accessories. Here is how I wore it a couple weeks ago (and it was a warm December day so I didn't need tights!):

Dress: Lilly Pulitzer; Boots: Ariat; Earrings, Necklace, Bangles, Cocktail Ring: Kate Spade

Close-up of Kate Spade Bow Pendant Necklace


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Featured Outfit: Elsa Top + Murfee Scarf

Here's a favorite outfit I wore out to dinner with a friend about a month ago that I've been meaning to post! I wore my cotton Lilly Elsa Top and one of my favorite Murfee scarves- a print that was designed for Palm Avenue to benefit the Amani Children's Foundation which helps orphans in Kenya! I also layered pearls with a scarf for the first time ever!

Top and Scarf: Lilly Pulitzer; Jeans: Citizens of Humanity; Shoes: Tory Burch; Earrings: Lilly Pulitzer; Bracelet and Ring: Kate Spade


Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday Five

Hope y'all have had a great week! I have a marathon of Christmas parties this weekend so have been on the go! And I'm linking up again with A. Liz Adventures and friends!

Here's what I'm loving this week:

1. Tory Burch Amanda Crossbody
I had been wanting a Tory Burch purse for awhile, and I was also in need of a small crossbody purse that could hold just the essentials for when I go to weddings, parties, and such. So when I saw this bag at Nordstrom last weekend and it was 50% off, I figured it was meant to be. I bought it for myself as an early Christmas present and also a congratulations present, which brings me to the next thing...

2. NEW JOB!!
I have accepted an amazing full-time job offer at a wonderful place that is very dear to me! The past three years have been a huge time of transition for me job-wise. I went to graduate school and got a job in my field right after I graduated, but after working there for 18 months I was laid off due to lack of funding. I found myself in a quarter-life crisis and wasn't really sure what I wanted to do with my life anymore. I knew God had a plan but it was still hard. Luckily finances were never an issue (a huge blessing from God, but there were definitely periods when I had to cut my spending) and I worked a couple part-time jobs in the interim (including a really great one that I'm currently winding down) and was able to live with my parents for awhile and save money. God could not have brought me a more perfect full-time job opportunity and the long wait has been totally worth it. I have learned and grown so much over the past three years. They have been some of the hardest of my life but also full of some of the greatest blessings. I am so thankful for God's faithfulness and provision!!!

3. Rameses Pillow Pet
I had been wanting a Rameses Pillow Pet for awhile (totally not ashamed of this despite the fact I'm a 20-something college grad) and a couple weeks ago I found one for a great deal at TJ Maxx! (Image via)

4. Romans 8:28
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
This is one of my favorite verses and it has really been on my heart a lot in the past week, as I have rejoice in God's provision in my life and how during the trials over the past three years He really was working all things out for good, even if I couldn't see it at the time.

5. Kate Spade Rotating Stamp
I have been wanting this fun stamp from the Kate Spade for Lifeguard Press line every since it came out. I took advantage and bought it at a local gift boutique that was having 25% off. It rotates to say 12 different phrases, including "live colorfully" and "be an elegant thinker."

Have a great weekend y'all!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Our Mascot Is Cooler Than Your Mascot

In honor of college football regular season and conference championships being over, I want to share this picture of the real live Rameses and me taken before a UNC football game a few weeks ago. Of course I'm biased, but I seriously think UNC has the coolest mascot ever. He is absolutely precious!
Outfit Details:
Sweater and polo: Lilly Pulitzer; Jeans: Joe's; Boots: Ariat Heritage Western R-toe; Earrings: Kate Spade; Pearls: Honora; Sunnies: Kate Spade

Oh and how about the basketball team's win over #1 Michigan State last week? Go Tar Heels!!!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A Few of My Favorite Things: Gifts Under $100

Can't believe it's already December! Christmas will be here before we know it! I'm several days late getting this post up (it's been a crazy week!), but I'm linking up with Cheers Y'all and Down With The Dearmores for the final installment in their "Favorite Things" Link-up series.

 So without further ado and in no particular order, here are some of my favorite gift ideas for under $100:

11. Gift Cards (any amount <$100)
You can never go wrong with a gift card, and Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon are a few of my favorites!

This list is by no means all-inclusive, but it's a great starting point! I will probably do a couple more posts between now and Christmas on gift-giving ideas as well!

Hope y'all are enjoying your weekend!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Friday Five

Hope y'all had a great Thanksgiving and didn't get caught in too much Black Friday craziness today! I ventured out to have lunch and coffee with an old friend who was in town for Thanksgiving who I don't get to see very often, but I didn't do any serious shopping. Here are five things I'm loving this week:

1. Mellow Mushroom Mega-Veggie Pizza
Last Saturday after the UNC game I ate at Mellow Mushroom for the first time in months. I get their Mega-Veggie pizza every time. It has tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, feta cheese, artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, tomatoes, green peppers, black olives, mushrooms, broccoli, and tofu. I'm not a vegetarian but I'm a big fan of vegetarian entrees and can definitely go a few days without eating meat. This pizza is downright amazing!

2. North Carolina Pendant Necklace
Last weekend when my best friend visited she brought me my Christmas present early. I had seen a picture of this North Carolina pendant necklace on Instagram and told her how much I liked it. She had seen it at a boutique recently and just had to go back and get it for me. She was so excited she just couldn't wait until Christmas to give it to me. I absolutely love it and it's a great way to show the world that I'm a proud NC girl! It will definitely be a great piece of jewelry for UNC game days too!

3. Pink Bee Koozie
A few weeks ago when I visited Pink Bee (my favorite Lilly store) in Greenville, SC, I got one of their koozies. The color is perfect for Carolina game days, so I broke it out at the tailgate last weekend!

4. Dean Smith Receives Presidential Medal of Freedom
Since I didn't do a Friday Five last week, I had to include this piece of news this week. On November 20, Dean Smith's family went to the White House to accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom on his behalf. Sadly, one of the greatest minds to ever coach college basketball is battling Alzheimers and was unable to travel and accept it himself due to deteriorating health. Regardless of political views, this is an accomplishment that should make any Carolina fan proud. Dean Smith was still the coach back when I first got into Carolina basketball in late elementary school and I vividly remember the day he announced his retirement like it was yesterday. All of the articles I have read about Dean Smith receiving this award have given me chills, and this one by Adam Lucas is especially great!

5. Inspiring Quote
"Your goal can be to use your past as a foundation for an outstanding life. The hurts of your past can become a springboard from which you rise to great strength."
One of my friends shared this quote, which is based on Romans 8:35-39, from a book she is reading. I loved it so much I had to share it on here and it is so true. In case you missed my post earlier this week, here is a glimpse at how God is using the pain of my past.

I hope y'all enjoy the rest of your Thanksgiving weekend and that it's filled with lots of rest, relaxation, and football! Go Heels! Beat Dook!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Give Thanks to the Lord!

Happy Thanksgiving y'all! I hope everyone has had a restful day filled with food, family, and friends! This year I am thankful for the most amazing friends in the world, both old and new. I'm also so blessed to have found an amazing new church that has wonderful worship, teaching, and fellowship. Most importantly, I'm thankful for everything God has done in my life in the past year! To read more about the journey I've been on in the past year please check out my post from earlier this week. As a follow-up, I want to share some verses that have been especially meaningful to me as God has healed me and drawn me closer to Him:

"I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord." -Psalm 40:1-3

"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us." -Ephesians 3:20

"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." -2 Corinthians 4:17-18

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things." -Philippians 4:8

"We live by faith, not by sight." -2 Corinthians 5:7

"The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised." -Job 1:21

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." -James 1:2-4

"Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you." -James 4:7-8a

"Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, 'So shall your offspring be.'" -Romans 4:18

"She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come." -Proverbs 31:25

"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." -Psalm 27:14

These are just a handful of verses that have encouraged me or described how God has worked in my life over the past year! I have so much to be thankful for! God calls us to be thankful every day and not just one day out of the year, and to give thanks in ALL circumstances, not just when things are going our way. I strive to have a heart of thanksgiving, and because I'm human I don't always succeed, but His grace is sufficient!

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." -Psalm 118:1

Have a blessed night and stay safe if y'all venture out in Black Friday shopping!

Monday, November 25, 2013

One Year Later...

Today is significant because it marks the one year anniversary of one of the worst days of my life. The evening of November 25, 2012 I received a phone call with some unexpected and unwelcome news. I managed to maintain my composure on the phone, but after I hung up I bawled like a baby. I was completely devastated and heartbroken. I was also completely blindsided, because based on how my life had been unfolding in the weeks prior, there was no foreshadowing that things would turn out the way they did. In fact, I thought that chapter would end completely differently than my new reality. I was overwhelmed with sadness, but also with anger. I didn't understand why God would suddenly take from me what I thought was amazing, right, perfect, and the most natural thing in the world. I was angry that He would bring such a wonderful blessing into my life, only to snatch it away as quickly as it came. I thought that what I had just lost was the best possible thing there ever could be, and didn't see how God could possibly have something better in store. As a result, my heart grew hard and bitter and I spent months wallowing in self-pity and anger. I resented others whose circumstances were what I thought mine would be before I received that fateful phone call. I resented God for allowing my circumstances to be the way they were instead of the way I thought and hoped they would be based on the events of November 2012 before the unwelcome plot twist. Out of my deep hurt and anger, I even said some hateful things to one of my friends (who had nothing to do with heartbreaking situation) and as a result feared that I had lost a dear friendship for good. The first few months of 2013 were an extremely dark time for me. Finally, in early spring of this year I realized I had had enough. I couldn't change my circumstances but I could change my attitude. With the help and encouragement of a dear friend and spiritual mentor I chose to trust God and believe the truth that He has a perfect plan for my life. I chose to cling to His promise that He is faithful and sovereign and trustworthy. I was able to have this change in heart not on account of my own strength and ability, but because of God's amazing power and the precious blood His son shed on the cross so that I could be His for eternity, even though I am completely undeserving of such amazing grace.
Over the past months, once I threw away my pride and submitted myself to God's will, He has done an amazing work of spiritual and emotional healing in me that I can't even attempt to express in words. And He has fully restored the precious friendship I feared I had lost. Though I will never fully understand God's ways this side of heaven, I have begun to see the unwelcome news that phone call brought one year ago from God's perspective. I would've never said this one year ago, but I am thankful that things turned out the way they did. While God has yet to reveal His "something better" regarding the fulfillment of a hope and dream that I thought would be completed last November, He has shown me "something better" in so many other areas of my life. Because of the heartbreak of last November, I have grown closer to God and He has revealed Himself to me like never before. I have gotten involved with an amazing church and small group and made so many wonderful new friends I couldn't imagine life without. I would've never gotten to know and love these wonderful people if my life had turned out the way I wanted and anticipated last November. I have learned that God truly knows what is best for me and I am so glad He had other plans!
Last November 25 after my devastating phone call I talked with my dear friend and spiritual mentor. She told me that I wasn't just going to be okay, I was going to be more than okay. I highly doubted it at the time, but she was so right! She loves to talk about building a "history with God" through tough times. This morning I was texting with my her about how I couldn't believe it had been a year already and how she was right that I would be more than okay. Her exact wise words back to me were as follows:
"That is what I mean when I say we have to have a history with God. You chose to trust him and he saw you through and now you know you can trust Him the next time you are in a predicament. He is always trustworthy and is at work in his children!"
This blog doesn't do justice to how God has worked in my life as a result of the trial I endured one year ago. Perhaps later this week I will share some verses that have meant a lot to me over the past year and reflect what God has done in my life. But for now I want to end with saying that this Thanksgiving I am most thankful for the hearbreak of last Thanksgiving. Great Is Thy Faithfulness!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Lilly Styles From Seasons Past

Today I felt like doing a Throwback Thursday post where I share some of my favorite styles from previous Lilly Pulitzer lines that I would love to see make a comeback in new prints and colors!

Swift Vest:
I love my Lilly fleece vest from Fall 2010 and would like to see the Swift return in the future so I can get another color!

Cotton Elsa Top:
I love the fit of Lilly's Elsa top, but I really wish they would make it in cotton again. As much as I love the look of the silk ones, I try to avoid buying 100% silk tops because I want to steer clear of dry cleaning fees as much as possible. I got this hotty pink cotton Elsa from Rue La La a couple years ago and would really like another color!

Printed Tess Turtleneck:
The Fall 2010 Lilly collection included this gorgeous rayon/spandex blend turtleneck in multiple prints. It adds such a nice Lilly twist to a basic turtleneck and the fabric gives it a dressier feel, but it can still be worn with jeans for a casual look.

Gloria Cableknit Sweater:
I would also love Lilly to bring back their basic crew neck cableknit sweater with the classic palm tree logo embroidery on the chest. I have this striped one plus multiple solid colors from Fall 2010.

Paley Cardigan:
I'm not completely sure what season this cardigan is from, but I think it's the best design of Lilly cardigan ever. I like the material is a bit thicker, the sleeves are long, and the gold detail buttons are gorgeous!

Cocoa Halter Dress:
It's too cold to think about wearing a dress like this anytime soon, but I love this style of sundress from the Spring 2010 collection, especially the lace applique detail at the neckline!

What are your favorite Lilly styles from previous years you would like to see make a comeback?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things: Christmas Wish List

Hey y'all! Today I'm participating in a link-up hosted by Cheer's Y'all and Down With The Dearmores. I usually don't do Christmas-y stuff before Thanksgiving, with the exception of thinking about Christmas shopping. Here are a few of my favorite things that I would love to see on Christmas morning!

I currently alternate between about two Longchamp Le Pliage totes as my everyday handbag. And as much as I love my Longchamps, I would really love a nice leather handbag. I am eyeing this messenger bag from Tory Burch. I love the neutral color (I currently do not have a tan purse either) and the fact that it can be worn over the shoulder or as a crossbody (I currently don't have a crossbody bag either).

I am loving my pink Lilly Pulitzer Maddie Fleece so much that I am asking for the black one for Christmas. I have had my black North Face Denali for seven years now and gotten a lot of great wear out of it, but these Lilly fleeces are definitely softer and I think they're warmer as well. So I would love this as an updated black fleece jacket.

I love vests because they provide warmth without completely covering up your outfit underneath. I don't have a down vest and would love one because as much as I love my fleece vests they just won't cut it on a frigid winter day, even in the South. The down vest from L.L. Bean is a great affordable option and the "blue jay" color is similar to Carolina blue!

I have been wanting this coffee table book Kate Spade published this year in honor of their 20th anniversary ever since I first heard about it!

I have no shortage of scarves in my closet, but none of them are infinity loop scarves. I am loving this one in the adorable zebra print from Lilly's Resort 2013 collection!

These Carolina blue pearl stud earrings would be the perfect finishing touch to any UNC Game Day outfit!

7. A Gold Watch
I'm not including any picture for this one because I'm honestly not sure which one I would want. A Kate Spade watch I liked got not so great reviews on Piperlime, so now I'm not so sure if I want it anymore. Would love any feedback from y'all on what kind of watch you have and love! Kate Spade? Michael Kors? Other brands? I'm open to suggestions!

I know presents aren't the point of Christmas, and I am already blessed with more than enough things. But it's still fun to come up with a Christmas wish list! What is on y'alls list this year?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Friday Five

Hey y'all! Can't believe November is halfway over! I'm back with Friday Five this week! 

1. Lilly Pulitzer Maddie Fleece
I treated myself to the Lilly Pulitzer Maddie fleece in Chic Pink during the Lilly Birthday promotion last weekend. Last year I had admired the Maddie in stores but never got it. So this year I had I to get it! It is so incredibly soft and if you're on the fence about it then do it! You won't regret it!

2. Did Duke Win
Whoever created the site is a genius! It never fails to provide entertainment after Duke has lost a game. I love that we are only one week into college basketball and Duke has already lost. What can I say, I'm a true blue Tar Heel!

3. James 4:7-8a
The church I visited last weekend when I was visiting Greenville had these verses on the front of the bulletin. They have really meant a lot in my life lately. I also attended a great Sunday School class for young adults and the speaker was amazing. He talked about stuggles and how during tough times we have two options: trust God or run from Him. Choose to trust Him!! He has great plans for you!!!

4. Inspiration Quote from Shawn Johnson's Instagram
Olympic gold medalist gymnast Shawn Johnson posted this quote on her Instagram this week and I'm obsessed. "Taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it's more like a cha cha."

5. Tupelo Honey Vegetable Plate
While I was in Greenville last weekend I also ate at Tupelo Honey Cafe. Their biscuits are great and I love to order their vegetable plate because I like side dishes! I got Mac and cheese, cheesy smashed cauliflower, and salsa verde black-eyed peas. Yum!

Have a great weekend!