Packing Like a Pro

Raise your hand if you’re an over packer.

over packer

*Raises two hands*

I prefer the phrase well-prepared but if I’m being honest, I’m just a product junkie who over packs. For most trips, I embrace it and fill my car up with all the things I don’t need. But when I’m flying, I try and consolidate. Fact: I have a real fear of having to lift my carry-on into an overhead bin and it falling on top of me. 

over packer

I never have a problem editing down my wardrobe but definitely have trouble downsizing my accessories (ie: toiletries, hair products, makeup, my Buttercup). Over the years, I’ve fine-tuned my packing list and relied on three “tricks” to help keep my well-preparedness in check:

over packer

  1. Always keep your favorite toiletries in stock.

Should I ever need to flee my apartment in a hurry, I find comfort in knowing that my toiletry case is always packed. I keep a supply of travel-size shampoo, skincare samples, contacts & solution, a mini electric toothbrush, etc. on hand, always. I have a designated drawer to collect extra items while also keeping the essentials stored in my toiletry bag for quick packing. When I return from a trip, I make a list of items to replenish and go ahead and stock up so I’ll be ready for my next getaway.                                              

  1. Knowing when to donate or keep those free samples.

Whether items are from a “gift with purchase” promo or cashed-in points at Sephora – I’m a sucker for miniature/travel-size anything (as discussed in Tuesday’s post). But it’s important to keep your stash stocked with only things you will actually use. I make a point to donate or give away samples and travel-sized items that I know I won’t use.    

  1. Pack, assess, edit.

Though I tend to over pack initially, I always go back and edit my suitcase and toiletry bag. Usually after weighing them and realizing I’ve exceeded the 50lb limit but that’s neither here nor there. Once I’ve packed everything I think I need, I reassess and remove items that I could probably live without. It’s hard to do at first, but you’ll pat yourself on the back later. I usually make it a game – remove 5 unnecessary items and I reward myself with a drink. 😉

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And because I love reading about/seeing what other people keep in their bags (read: I’m nosy!), I thought I would share some of my favorite travel-friendly beauty products that I’ve packed for my trip…

over packer

In the hair care category – I need all the help I can get to extend my blowout. So I a few dry shampoo options, good shampoo + conditioner, and duck clips are musts.

over packer

For skincare – I like to continue my at-home (pretty basic) routine while on the road. Face wash, toner, and makeup remover – I can’t go without. I especially love Glossier’s Milky Jelly Cleanser – the bottle isn’t huge so it makes it perfect for travel but it lasts a long time. The formula is so gentle (yay for no burning eyes!) and passes the white towel test every time. Not pictured is the moisturizer stashed in my carry-on. 😉

over packer

I would love to know if you have any go-to products for travel or any tips and tricks for packing! Read up on my carry-on essentials in this post

| shop today’s post here | 

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over packer

Inflight Cocktails

Today’s post combines two of my favorite things – cocktails minuatures.

Inflight Cocktails

I’m getting ready for a trip abroad and while I’m procrastinating packing my suitcase, I’ve started brainstorming what cocktails I plan to enjoy mid-flight.

Totally normal, right?

While we all have our own pre-flight “rituals,” I think it’s important to consider each trip as a treat. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of your fellow rushed passengers. So next time you’re heading out on a trip – pack a few airplane bottles, indulge in a drink, close your computer (those emails can wait!) and start your vacation before you reach your destination.  

Here are a few of my favorite travel-friendly combinations that will add a little party to your next flight…

Inflight Cocktails

Pack a mini gin and mini Chambord. Snag a lemon wedge and sugar packet from the food court. Order a club soda and 2 cups – 1 with ice. // Pour gin, a heavy splash of Chambord, sugar into a cup over ice. Pour beverage back in forth between cups to mix well. Add a squeeze of lemon and top with club soda.

Inflight Cocktails

Pack a mini vodka, a mini bottle of hot sauce and mini celery bitters. Snag some salt & pepper packets and lemon wedge from the food court. Order a can of tomato juice and cup of ice. // Pour vodka and tomato in a cup over ice. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper, a squeeze of lemon and add 5-6 dashes of hot sauce and celery bitters. Stir, sip and tweak to taste.

Inflight Cocktails

Pack a mini tequila. Snag a lime wedge and sugar packet from the food court. Order a club soda and 2 cups – 1 with ice. // Pour tequila over ice. Add a squeeze of lime and sprinkle in sugar. Pour beverage back in forth between cups to mix well. Top with club soda.

Inflight Cocktails

Pack a mini bottle of Baileys. Snag a sugar packet. Order a coffee. // Pour sugar packet in hot coffee and stir. Add a healthy splash of Baileys and sip away.

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While these libations are delicious don’t forget to drink lots of H2O during your flight. Sip the cocktails, chug the water – I say!

Labor Day Entertaining

In the spirit of prepping for everyone’s favorite holiday (..kidding, but seriously who doesn’t love a Monday off work?) I wanted to share two fun things to enjoy this extra long Labor Day weekend.

The first thing being – surprise, surprise – a cocktail.

I realize that it’s technically not autumn yet but Labor Day does signify the end of summer so I think it’s safe to start celebrating with fall flavors. But let’s hold on the pumpkin, please.

Pear Margarita Labor Day Cocktail

My fall-ish spin on your typical margarita involves some pear and a little honey. It’s sweet with a punch of tequila and makes the perfect transitional bev for this “it’s-football-season-but-still-not-quite-fall” stage we’re in. Salut!

Pear Margarita Labor Day Cocktail

Pear Margarita Labor Day Cocktail

| recipe

Pear Margarita Labor Day Cocktail

On to the second thing – a game – creatively coined, The Accent Game.

Pear Margarita Labor Day Cocktail

A little backstory… this “game” started as something we would play on long road trips – previously called The Acting Game. I know, I know, my names are so inventive. The premise involved reciting weird sayings while expressing a specific emotion. My friends weren’t that into it, but I thought it was hysterical. This game eventually morphed into The Accent Game* after one too many Moscow mules in Highlands one night and has since been a group favorite ever since.

Instructions are explained below and to get you started I created a printable template with accent prompts (+ blank ones too). All you need to do is write in some really hilarious sentences. Adult beverages are optional, but strongly recommended. (It helps with the accents.) 😉

  1. Nominate someone to be the “Dialect Coach” – they are responsible for coming up with the hilarious sayings and writing them on the slips of paper. The Dialect Coach can participate in reciting a saying but can’t participate in the guessing (because they will already know the accent).
  2. Fill a bowl, hat, or whatever container you have with the folded (filled-out) slips of paper.
  3. The participants then each choose a slip of paper and keep their accent/phrase a secret.
  4. One at a time go around the table and each person can recite their saying using the accent instructed. The accents included in the template have a little more context but it’s only to help you get into character. The bolded word(s) notate the correct answer.  

Example: Accent is Boston police officer that was born and raised in Dorchester. If someone guesses “a Boston accent” that is totally acceptable.

  1. Other participants try to guess the accent the speaker is impersonating. Whoever guesses correctly first, collects the slip of paper. (Optional play: For every incorrect guess, drink.)
  2. The participant with the most slips at the end of the game wins!

*Editor’s Note: After proudly sharing my entertaining game idea with friends, I was later informed that the game already exists. 🙄 I will admit their name is catchier but my DIY version is just as fun!   

 

 

Sisters Weekend at The Spectator

It may have taken 27 years to have our first sisters weekend but I think we started a new tradition!

SistersTakeCharleston

Charleston was the perfect locale for our weekend getaway.

No kids or husband left us with a weekend full of doing whatever the hell we wanted. I’m pretty accustomed to these types of vacations (perks of being childless and single), however, my sister (the most self-less person I know) is used to coordinating plans around her pre/teenagers and husband. Not to say she didn’t miss them – there was a lot of Facetiming – but it was a nice break for the both of us. 

SistersTakeCharleston

From the minute we checked in – greeted with complimentary cocktails – I knew I would love our weekend home away from home. After being shown to our room, we helped ourselves to (more complimentary) snacks and freshened up before heading to dinner. The rooms were spacious, clean and gorgeous – the perfect mix of southern charm and 1920s art deco. I won’t bore you with details on how beautiful the bathroom was, but it’s worth a peek at their photo gallery.

SistersTakeCharleston

SistersTakeCharleston

Each night when we would return from dinner, our bed would be turned down, robes laid out and a delicious night cap would be brought up from their in-house mixologist. I’d also like to think our stay at The Spectator temporarily made me a morning person – waking up to (again, complimentary!) room service was such a treat.

SistersTakeCharleston

SistersTakeCharleston

The team at The Spectator made sure we had everything we needed without being bothersome – truly an art in the hospitality. We felt so spoiled and loved every minute of it. My only regrets are not grabbing a drink downstairs in the library and taking advantage of their onsite bicycles. All the more reason to visit again soon!

As for food – we totally over indulged. Being my sister’s first time in Charleston, I took her to some of my favorite spots but tried some new places too. Also, our cocktail game was strong, as seen below…

SistersTakeCharleston

SistersTakeCharleston

SistersTakeCharleston

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SistersTakeCharleston

Where We Stayed

The Spectator

SistersTakeCharleston

Where We Ate

The Darling

Butcher & Bee

The Macintosh

Poogan’s Porch

The Vendue Rooftop

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Love you, Sissy! 

SistersTakeCharleston

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For more of my Charleston travels – see here, here & here.

This post is not sponsored, I’m just that obsessed with this boutique Charleston hotel. 😉

Quick Trip to Nashville

I was tempted to name this blog post, “28 hours in Nashville and 28,000 Calories Consumed…”

But it seemed a little long (& dramatic).

Over the weekend, Caroline and I took a quick trip to Nashville to visit some friends. The main reasons for our trip was to attend a housewarming party for our friend Lindsay and to visit Stacey who had moved up about 3 months ago. While we did go to Lindsay’s party and we did catch up with Stace, we also managed to eat some really, really delicious meals. So if you’re headed to Music City any time soon and want to avoid the crowds on Broadway – here are 4 can’t-miss spots for breakfast, brunch, dinner and donuts.    

Located a little outside of downtown Nashville, The Old School is a farm-to-table spot where the farm is like very close to the table. The restaurant is housed in an 80 year old restored schoolhouse with a beautiful outdoor space surrounded by flowers, gardens and strung lights. From the building itself to the parking lot with old, rusted basketball hoops still intact – the whole place brings a since of nostalgia that makes you feel like a carefree kid (who just consumed a pitcher of mimosas and some really good food). Their delightfully southern menu is full of options that make it really hard to choose only one. Which is always a good problem to have in my opinion.   

Don’t leave without ordering … THE POP TARTS.

For dinner, we chose a neighborhood restaurant in Germantown. Rolf & Daughters is industrial but cozy, small but not terribly loud. Their menu was full of sharable plates that you may not want to share because each dish is so good. We started with a shared salad and then ordered three dishes of pasta. Things escalated quickly but I didn’t regret a single bite. Their homemade pasta makes you never want to eat zucchini noodles again.

Don’t leave without ordering … Garganelli verde with heritage pork ragout and sarvecchio. (Their menu changes often but this dish is longstanding.)  

Our last meal was just as indulgent as the first two. We opted for a French brasserie in Midtown – Le Sel – where all your plush, pink booth and striped umbrella dreams come true. The menu consisted of traditional French fare with a few more modern dishes sprinkled in.  I chose a Croque Madame and Frites – fries and cheese are always a solid choice, albeit a heavy one.

Don’t leave without ordering … Crêpe with Bear Creek Farms sausage, sunnyside egg, tomato and fromage blanc.

 

 

And because we just weren’t ready to stop treating ourselves, Caroline and I swung by Five Daughters Bakery on the way out. I may regret that croissant/donut hybrid next week when I’m at the beach but at that very moment it was an excellent decision!           

Don’t leave without ordering … King Kong (a bacon topped donut, enough said.)

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Happy housewarming to Lindsay and shout out to Stacey for being the best host! You guided us to some really delicious eats. xx

Bar Cart Basics

Today, we’re talking about one of my favorite pieces of furniture – ever.

[Hint: it rhymes with car fart.] 😉

Is a bar cart a necessity? Nope Depends on who you ask. Does it have potential to be the most stylish piece in your home that also serves the very important purpose of holding your most cherished libations? Absolutely.

When it comes to interior decorating, time and patience is a virtue. Some pieces you seek out and know exactly what you want, while others are just ideas waiting to be found and executed. Same goes with styling your bar cart. My best advice is to stock up on the essentials (quick buys) and the other knick knacks will come together over time. So, in hopes of inspiring you to add a new piece of functional furniture to your space or rearrange your current situation – I’m sharing my bar cart essentials.  

THE CART | Bar carts can follow under a wide price range but I’ve linked some more affordable options below. Choose a design that suits your personality but that will also be aesthetically pleasing and fit your space. Personally, I prefer a thinner design with not a lot of bulk. After all, I’m going to load it down with lots of stuff so the simpler the better.  

TOOLS | A shaker, bottle opener, and jigger are must-haves. Other tools like a strainer, muddler, bar spoon, and lemon peeler/zester are good additions if you’re wanting to whip up some slightly advanced craft-like cocktails.

LIBATIONS | Stocking up on booze is the fun part. While I’m always tempted to judge alcohol based on how pretty their bottles are (silly, I know), it’s best to go with what you know you like. If you like Burnett’s because it reminds you of college, then live your life and add that thing to your cart. (But really try Ketel One – it’s great). Keep a variety of liquors on hand, so that way your company has a small menu of options to choose from. (I’m not a huge fan of darker liquors but keep a stash for guests.) Vodka/gin (do both!), tequila and whiskey is a good place to start.

For mixers – I recommend on keeping ginger beer, flavored sparkling soda, juice, tonic and/or soda water on hand at all times. You never know when a long day might call for more than a glass of wine. 😉 I keep my mixers chilled in the fridge – must leave room for a few decorative pieces.

ADDITIONS | Bitters, a bowl of citrus, books, and fresh florals are not must-haves but really complete the look. Bitters (highly concentrated flavored alcohol) are kind of like spices for your cocktail. My favorite brands include 18·21 Bitters, Scrappys and Fee Brothers. I like to keep a couple fresh lemons and limes on hand at all times so even if I’m just making a gin & tonic, I can add fresh lemon wedge. A small, dainty bowl is the perfect home for citrus. I also love stacking small books to add height and serve as inspiration for recipes. Fresh florals don’t serve a real purpose besides just looking pretty – making your bar cart less about being an open shelf and more about being a styled design element in your living room.

Happy decorating (& drinking)!

My Favorite Podcasts

Have y’all heard of this new thing called podcasts?

Kidding, you guys. I’m late to the podcast party but boy have I made up for lost time. I have to credit Abbye on getting me started and must thank Karen and Georgia for keeping me hooked.

Admittingly, I used to wonder how my work buddy, Alina, could listen to her podcasts while working – but now it’s my favorite way to get focused. Earbuds in, a podcast playing, and I’m more productive than ever.

Here are my current favorites …     

1. If you binge watch Criminal Minds (& have a crush on Dr. Reid), you will probably enjoyMy Favorite Murder

I could listen to Karen and Georgia (& Stephen) for hours on end. I thoroughly enjoy the first couple minutes of “housekeeping,” live for their rehashing of their favorite murders and even find myself entertained by their self-read advertisements. They somehow manage to teeter the edge of TMI with just enough gory details to make you think, “what the hell?!?” Their commentary is hilarious without being offensive. They always tell you exactly what to google if you want to look up that gruesome photo they’re discussing – we’re all guilty of this, don’t lie to yourself. Basically, they are the two best friends you didn’t know you needed.  [Must-listen episode – ep 71 Put It In A Door*]

*but you should really listen to them all, in no particular order. 

2. If you consider yourself a part of #BachelorNation and still follow Shawn B on Snapchat, you will probably enjoyOff The Vine with Kaitlyn Bristowe

Kaitlyn Bristowe recently launched her new podcast and although she’s only 3 episodes in, I’ve subscribed and I’m hooked. It’s a delightful reprieve from the world’s more serious issues and the perfect podcast to listen to when you need to check out and un-wine (sorry, had to). [Must-listen episode – Her first episode is co-hosted by Shawn B. so start there.]

3. If you love watching Jimmy Fallon interview celebrities on YouTube, you will probably enjoyAnna Faris is Unqualified

Full disclosure – I’ve only listened to a handful of episodes, but I’ve loved every one. Anna Faris is charming and charismatic while she hosts a wide range of celebrities – from the likes of Allison Janney to Andy Cohen. She offers genuine advice to listeners and callers, usually with the help of one of her Hollywood friends and Sim (producer and co-host). It’s an easy listen and the perfect background noise to have playing when you’re trying to get through your inbox. [Must-listen episode – ep 17 with Chris Evans and Jenny Slate]

4. If you remember when that Georgia school teacher went missing in 2005, you will probably enjoyUp and Vanished

Thanks to MFM, my intrigue with murderous crimes has only increased. Up and Vanished is a natural fit based on my interests. Fellow Atlantan, Payne Lindsey, unravels a middle Georgia cold case that has a small town at the center of murder mystery. The Tara Grinstead case is over 10 years old, but new discoveries and arrests are happening in real time. Can we credit Payne Lindsay for the recent progress made with the case? Listen and judge for yourself. [Must-listen episode – Start with ep 1 so you can get the full story from the beginning!]

5. If you like to dissect every episode of the Bachelor/ette until your head hurts, you will probably enjoyHere to Make Friends

A HuffPost podcast, this broadcast is hosted by Emma Gray and Claire Fallon. The duo lovingly snarks on the Bachelor franchise, episode by episode. So now you can relive those eye-rolling moments with sentiments from 2 women who are most likely thinking the same thoughts as you. They occasionally will have a celebrity guest on who is equally as captivated by The Bachelor as you are. Stars are just like us!  [Favorite episode – S13e3, Allison Williams co-hosts!]

As you can see, I definitely have a type – murders and pop culture. I would love for you to share your favorites (even if they don’t follow under the aforementioned categories). 😉 I’m always looking for a good listen!

 

Peony Provisions

It’s the most wonderful time of year!

Patios are opening, temperatures are rising and peonies are blooming. There is no shortage of peony posts on my Instagram feed and I don’t hate it. Admittingly, I stalk Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s like a crazy lady for peonies and scoop up a bunch every time they’re available. But these lush flowers are popular for good reason – not only are they photogenic ( 😉 ) but they smell wonderful.

So after stumbling upon some peony-scented cleaning supplies (seriously, 2 of my favorite things combined) I was inspired to track down every other floral product so I could enjoy the scent long after my bouquet dies. From skincare to home fragrance – I’ve rounded up 7 of my favorites …

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7

Wall Decor Wishlist

I’ve been in my new apartment for just over a month and now that everything is in its place (but is it ever really?), I’m focusing my attention on wall decor.

| wall art dream board featuring Slim Aarons & Gray Malin

I have a bare spot in my bedroom that needs some love. With my room being very neutral – lots of whites and greys – I’m envisioning the wall décor to add a pop of color. I’m still deciding between a small, curated gallery wall or just a simple, framed piece of artwork but leaning towards the latter. While I would love nothing more than to splurge on a Slim Aaron or Gray Malin (examples featured above), I’m opting for a more cost-friendly option. In my search for the perfect piece, I rounded up 5 of my favorites that are all under $100…

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Sometimes I open my mouth and my mother comes out.

She’s a firecracker, that mother of mine, and I love her to pieces! Even when we have our differences (which is more often than not) she’s always been my cheerleader, confidant and number one adviser. I think that’s what makes mothers so wonderful – their unconditional love (& ability to provide unsolicited advice on how to live your life). 😉

In honor of our beloved matriarchs day, I’ve rounded up 7 gifts for any kind of mama – the traveler, the chef, the homemaker and the firecracker…      

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7

For more inspo, check out my previous Mother’s Day gift guides here and here.

Bachelorettes Do Nashville

This Thursday I’m throwing it back to Allison’s bachelorette weekend in Nashville….

…because today is her wedding day!

| Photo: Brasspenny Photography |

Allison and Brandon are currently eloping atop Sunset Rock in Highland, North Carolina and I’m over here just impatiently waiting for them to return to Atlanta so we can all celebrate on Saturday. Until then, let’s recap her last fling as a single lady.

| Photo: Brasspenny Photography |

Per usual, Nashville did not disappoint. Our weekend was a leisure one, kicking off with a taco dinner and lingerie party at our Airbnb Friday night. We spent Saturday day drinking on the rooftop at Acme and just soaking up each other’s company.

 

Something that made the weekend even more special was a thoughtful surprise planned by our sweet and talented friend Sarah. Sarah is an Atlanta-based photographer and was able to connect with Nashville local, Rachel of Brasspenny Photography, to host a photoshoot for us. Since Allison is eloping and wouldn’t have the traditional bridesmaid pictures, we thought it would be a treat to plan a photoshoot to commemorate the weekend.

| Photo: Brasspenny Photography |

*PS – the confetti tossed above is biodegradable, something I said multiple times, out loud, so that strangers knew we weren’t trying to litter the beautiful pedestrian bridge. 😉 

I must admit, trekking around 12South with a herd of 13 women followed by a photographer felt a little obnoxious and awkward – but the pictures turned out beautiful, making the weird glances and snickers from strangers well worth it. Rachel was an absolute gem and was a pro at corralling us to get some good shots.

| Photo: Brasspenny Photography |

| Photo: Brasspenny Photography |

| Photo: Brasspenny Photography |

| Photo: Brasspenny Photography |

| Photo: Brasspenny Photography |

| Photo: Brasspenny Photography |

| Photo: Brasspenny Photography | 

| Photo: Brasspenny Photography |  

| Clearly, we get extremely excited when champagne is popped! |  

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Where We Stayed

The Best AirBnB in 12South (which is sadly no longer listed!)

Where We Played

SOUTH

The Stage

 

Where We Ate

Acme

Moto

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| Photo: Brasspenny Photography |

Cheers to you, Mrs. Allison James. Your bride tribe loves you a lot!

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For more bachelorette inspiration, see our trips to Miami, Charleston I, Charleston II, and the North Georgia Mountains.

Backyard Movie Party

Being an aunt has so many perks.

One of those perks being able to have all the fun without the added pressure of having to actually parent a tween.  

I’m sure my sister is thinking, “your time will come, Bree. Just you wait.” 😉

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It’s safe to say I get my party planning skills from my sissy. Maybe it’s our southern roots or something we inherited from our mother, but we love playing hostess. Come springtime, we join forces to plan my niece’s birthday and it’s always so much fun. It also gives us an excuse to load up on paper products and party décor (something that we both do without reason too frequently).   

The conversation usually goes like this:

Me: “What are you planning for Morgan’s birthday?”

My sister: “I don’t know yet. But whatever I do, I’m keeping it small this year.”

Me: “Yeah, small is good. She’s only turning 11.”

…famous last words

Countless phone calls and 72 pins later… my brother-in-law is blowing up a giant movie screen, my mother is rolling out homemade fondant and my sister and I rearranging air mattresses in the grass. You only turn 11 once!    

Last year Morgan’s party was art-focused with a floral motif, this year was a relaxed backyard movie soiree. With Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants as the feature film and 20 tweens in attendance, we pulled off another unforgettable birthday! Here are a few snapshots from the party…

| Couldn’t pass up an opportunity to make my caramel bacon popcorn! |

| Invitations via Paperless Post

| Party Favors: stationary + a note from the birthday girl herself. |

| Menu: corn dogs, raw veggies, french fries and glass-bottled sodas |

| acrylic popcorn containers |

| cake plates + napkins |

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Happy Birthday, Morgan!

Hand-Embroidered with Love

Long time no see, friends! I took a semi-intentional break from blogging while preparing for my move (ie: all my cute sh*t was packed up so I technically couldn’t shoot any content). Shame on me for not planning ahead! March was a busy month all around, with two weddings and a move so I let myself neglect G&J for a bit. But I’m back today and I’m sharing previously promised and very delayed post on how to hand embroider your comfiest t-shirt.

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I have such an affinity for cheeky tees, and more recently embroidered ones.

They are clean, simple and I love the added detail of a stitched saying. For Alden’s bachelorette, I made each girl a shirt to have as a little souvenir. I’ll be honest, this project was a little trickier than I anticipated. It took me a few tries to get the hang of the backstitch, but once I got use to the technique, the project became surprisingly relaxing. I would work on 1 or 2 shirts every night while catching up on my dVR – #multitasking.

SUPPLIES | T-shirt + Embroidery Thread + Embroidery Needle + Disappearing Ink Pen + Wine

STEP x STEP |

  • To make your pattern/stencil, type your desired phrase (use a semi-thick font) and print on a white piece of paper.
  • Cut out a box around your pattern and slip the piece of paper inside your shirt. The lighter the tee, the easier it is to see your stencil.
  • Trace onto the shirt using a disappearing ink pen. Once you’re happy with your word/phrase placement, you can begin threading the embroidery floss and needle.
  • Cut a long strand of the floss – the length really depends on how long your word or phrase is but if you ran out, you can always re-thread and pick up where you left off.
  • Before you thread the needle, split the floss in half, so that you have 2 strands with 3 strings in each. (See photo below)
  • The trick when threading the needle is to push the eye of the needle through the thread (instead of pushing the thread through the needle). This video explains it best.
  • Now that you have traced your word or phrase and threaded your needle, take a sip gulp of wine and get started!
  • Use the back-stitch to complete your word (this video is super helpful, skip to 0:18). When you make the first stitch, tie a not on the inside of your shirt, as shown below.
  • Continue stitching, making sure your stitches are short so that you have more control over the line or curve of the letter. The shorter the stitch, the smoother the lines.
  • Once you’re finished with the entire bottle of wine word, knot the thread to secure it in place and clean off any dangling threads on the inside of the shirt.
  • When knotting the thread at the end of your word, make sure not to pull the thread too tight. You don’t want to pull the thread from the front because it will gather the fabric in between the stitches. 

Don’t forget to dip the area of the embroidered word in water to remove the pen marks. This pen is water soluble and the ink vanished almost immediately.

If you’re not an expert seamstress (*raises hand*) don’t let this project intimidate you. With the help of YouTube and a glass of wine, you would be surprised about how much you can accomplish. If you decide to try this DIY, I would love to see your finished product – send me a Snap!

My Spring Agenda

After Atlanta’s surprise cold snap last week, I welcomed spring with open arms. Even though I will forever be a fan of fall, spring time is a close second.

In Atlanta, we tend not to experience “true seasons” so our winters aren’t terrible. Still, I always look forward to March and April when the temps start to rise. It’s warm enough for sandals and patio happy hours but not miserably hot and humid.

As we all know, I’m a list maker so I’ve jotted down 8 things I want accomplish while the weather is so enjoyable…    

What will you be getting into this spring?

Cheij Yes!

You’re not experiencing déjà vu – just another post re: a bachelorette trip (plus a super simple DIY project)!  

One of my sweetest friends, Alden, is getting married this weekend. We had the best time throwing her a shower back in November and a few weeks ago we got together again for her bachelorette in the *North Georgia mountains. It was such a nice break from the city – the perfect amount of relaxation and activity. And by activity…I mean going to a winery. 😉  

Because I’m always looking for an excuse to go shopping, I put together little gift bags for everyone to enjoy over the weekend. While all “bach bags” are different (examples here & here), this version is one of my favorites – focused on a self-pampering and keeping cozy. Since there were only 8 of us, I was able to DIY most of the contents. Here is what I included: 

Tote | The bags were from Forever 21 and fit the girly theme perfectly.

Pink Mug (DIY below) | I picked up blank mugs from Ikea and added eye lashes using an oil-based Sharpie. The added deco was simple enough but added an extra girly touch.

Boozy Hot Cocoa | In effort to keep things easy, I stuffed the mugs with hot cocoa packets, mini bottles of Bailey’s or Kahlua and homemade marshmallows.

Sheet Masks | What girls weekend is complete without doing a mask in your PJ’s? I ordered these from Target and included one in each bag.

Candle (DIY here) | You guys know I’ve been on a major candle-making kick lately! For Alden’s girls weekend, I personalized the labels with Beyonce-inspired names, paying homage to Alden’s love for Queen Bey.  

Hand-embroidered Tees (DIY coming soon) | I wanted the girls to have something that would remind them of our fun weekend, so I embellished white Old Navy tee’s with Alden and Matt’s wedding hashtag – Cheij Yes! (Cheij – pronounced Shay – is Alden’s soon-to-be last name.)        

Homemade Chex Mix | Lastly, I wanted to include a snack. My sister’s chex mix recipe has made me look good on numerous occasions, so it was a no brainer that I would make some for our weekend. Filling cellophane bags with a dry snack is always an easy option to toss in any gift bag.

   

 

Traveler’s Note: As I mentioned earlier, the weekend was very low key. While we didn’t leave our warm cabin often, we did make a trip to 12 Spies Winery and Fortify for dinner. Both of which I highly recommend if you ever find yourself in the area!

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DIY Eyelash Coffee Mug

SUPPLIES | Mug + Oil-based Sharpie

STEP x STEP |

  1. Wipe down your mug with a wet cloth, making sure the surface is completely clean and dry.
  2. Draw the desired design or text on your mug using an oil-based I used a stencil, but you can absolutely free hand. If you mess up, a quick swipe of acetone will remove the ink.
  3. Let your mug dry for 72 hours. I know, I know this seems like a long time but this will ensure that your design will stay put.
  4. Once 3 long days have passed, place your mug in a cold oven and heat to 425 degrees.
  5. Bake the mug for 1 hour. Once 1 hour has passed, turn off the oven and let the mug cool completely in the oven
  6. This method helps keep the mug from cracking. I recommend baking your mug at the end of the day, so it can cool completely overnight. I also recommend handwashing and not putting you precious new mug in the dishwasher.

Check back next week for a full breakdown on how to embroider your own t-shirt!