Question and Answer May 8th 2018

Thank you all so much for sending in all of these great questions! If your question didn't get answered this time, I'll be sure to include next time I post my Q&A here. 

Q. Are you so much happier/content in your new home? How does it compare to your old home? Lifestyle? It just seems like such a wonderful fit for your family!

A. Thank you, I truly appreciate the fact that you have noticed just how great is has been for us here! I'm much more relaxed in general, both as a mom and my own self. It feels a bit freeing, and I've been able to identify what makes me happy, and actually go out and do it. Happiness is truly an achievement. I strongly believe now that you can create your own happiness, and once I stopped my negative mindset, because I was unhappy where I lived, I was able to breathe again. You could say I'm also a believer in if you aren't happy where you live, move. Life is too short, that's for sure!

In comparison to our old home, our budgets were a lot tighter. It cost SO much more to live in Florida, and what you get for your money there is not worth it one bit. This is all my own opinion, of course. Especially if you enjoy a more relaxed, country lifestyle. If we were party people, who didn't mind living on top of our neighbors and paying way too much to surround ourselves with people who are mostly rude and annoyed, then we would have stayed. I get there are rude people everywhere, but it was prevalent there! I actually grew up here in Georgia, and not far at all from where we are currently living, so it all feels familiar even though so much has changed since moving away when I was 18!

Q. Why did you move to Georgia? And how old are you?

A. We moved for a lifestyle change! Everything I answered in the first question above is why we moved. Truly the best decision we've made.

I'm 26 in June!

Q. Your favorite foundation? Do you use any tinted moisturizers?

A. Dior forever will always be my #1 go to if I need a full face. Im currently undecided on a lightweight, more natural finish foundation. I keep trying new ones to see which works best with my skin. I've been reaching for Giorgio Armani luminous silk in shade 4.5 most recently.

I currently do not use a tinted moisturizer!

Q. What is the correct technique for layering coats of mascara. Do you apply on to second coat when the top is moist or wait till dry? Primer please explain.

A. Not a dumb question at all! I usually apply my second coat on my right eye after applying my first coat to my left. It gives a few seconds to dry but not too long to make it harden and flakey when I try to apply the second coat!

Q. What are some of your best blog tips? For photos? Content ideas?

A. I can only speak from a part time bloggers position, as I do not have advice like a full time blogger would, so bare with me here! When I first started, I didn't have kiddos and a lot more time to dedicate working on time consuming, behind the scenes tasks. (Basically, I feel I spent a lot more time building my blog than I do now!) I would share every blog post to a lot of different Google+ groups, and tried to post pretty consistently. My best tip would be to share your posts as much as possible, on Pinterest, Google +, Social media, and even create ads on Facebook!

For photos, I have been so blessed to have Chris. We actually met at the Art Institute, where he was attending for photography! So, before I even thought of creating a blog, I was lucky to have him when I decided to actually do it. I can imagine how challenging it is to find a photographer that gets you and vice versa! I wish I had specific tips for photos!!

It's been just Chris and I this entire time. It definitely takes time and it's a learning process for both you and your photographer. There are photo styles to think of, and what you want to portray in your photos and work. Editing style is another tough one! I still can't for the life of me create a cohesive Instagram feed with filters and whatnot ; )

Content ideas are another challenging aspect of blogging. I really do believe it's easy to not realize just how many hats a blogger wears. There is so much that goes into this, and it looks so easy! For me, I try and only write about something that sparks a fire in me. That could be a problem for those of us who want to pump out content consistently, but I've found what works best for me is posting less if that means I'm going to get better content when I do post. Try thinking outside the box, and creating content differently. What hasn't been created yet? Have a few brainstorming sessions every week, or daily if your schedule and life allows it!

Q. Possible wedding planning? How is that going?

A. It's great! Thankfully, the venue is our home and there aren't too many obstacles to worry about. It's going to be very small, intimate and simple. I'm using our landscaping and entertaining barn as the backdrop so that makes me super happy that the money we invest will be enjoyed much longer than one day!

Haven't found my dress yet, which gives me a touch of anxiety ;) Other than that, it's falling into place nicely and I can't wait to share more soon!

Q. What's your biggest tip for growing your blog?

A. I will add to the advice I wrote above, that being yourself 100%, and staying kind and humble is so important. Think of how you can inspire someone and what you have to offer. How are you unique and different from the hundreds of other blogs and what will make you stand out and apart from them? It can be your personality that you choose to focus on sharing too! Nobody is you my love, go out and share that!

Q. Do you live on the lake? Or does your family live on a lake? We want to maven a lame at some point. Your new home is beautiful!

A. Thank you! We do not live on the lake, but I grew up on one and that's where my parents still live! If you're interested, email me and I'd love to talk with you further about it. My mom is a real estate agent so it would be super easy to give recommendations! For security reasons, I am not displaying on my blog or social media our exact location. Promise I wouldn't be so cautious if I wasn't a mom. Actually, maybe I would LOL :)

Q. If you're just starting out blogging, how do you afford to do it if you can't buy new clothes all the time?

A. It can definitely be hard if you want to create content for a fashion and/or lifestyle blog! I hear you on that one, girlfriend. I really do. Everyone has a budget, and you are not alone.

When I first started, I worked 2 different retail jobs and used my discount to purchase clothes. I also contacted boutiques to borrow a few garments in exchange for promotion. I suggest borrowing pieces that actually reflect your style, and what you would actually buy if you could. Never wear lotions or perfumes and keep everything in a garment bag. I worked with a few different boutiques and Chris would shoot the outfit right outside the store so we weren't far, but it is the same concept a stylist does for a photoshoot when borrowing garments. This is obviously not what you would do constantly, and all the time, but it certainly helps! I do not recommend buying and returning. It's much easier (and better karma!) to be upfront with a store and ask permission.

If you have enough experience, you can request a boutique to gift you clothing in exchange for coverage on your blog and social channels! There are tons of small shops, and boutiques out there that love to do this because you are helping each other.

You can also wear what you already own, style it differently and share how your readers can recreate with similar items online!

Q. "Hi!! Just wondering if you decided whether you prefer Vital C or Drunk Elephant Firma C? Just curious of your opinion, Thanks!!"

A. Hey! I prefer the Vital C from Image Skincare. I am currently writing a post about my Sephora sale purchases, but I will go ahead and share that the Drunk Elephant C Firma did not work for my skin. It may very well work for others, as we do not all have the same skin! For me, it was too drying and didn't give me the glow or the results that the Image Vital C does! Plus, the C Firma doesn't have the delicious scent like Image Skincare does :)

Q.  "I would love to know what you wanted to be before you became a blogger? And if you've always been confident in front of the camera? I would love to look as good as you in photos"

A. First of all, thank you! You are SO incredibly kind. I'll have to start sharing some of the photos here as "bloopers" that didn't make the cut, so you guys can get a good laugh, and see that I look decent in some and not all LOL.

It definitely takes time and practice to be comfortable in front of the camera. There are people who are naturals at it, but everyone starts somewhere and progressively gets better. I'm scared to look at my photos from when I first started this blog, I can only imagine the faces and poses.

Before my blog, I had a little bit of practice in front of the camera. I was attending the Art Institute and would model for my friends all the time. From photoshoots, to runways shows, and video segments.

I would suggest watching Youtube videos of models posing for photoshoots. Sometimes there are awesome behind the scenes videos you can watch to get ideas and see how to let loose and have fun with it!

Before I became a blogger, I truly had no idea what I wanted to do. I was working retail and hated it. School was never for me, and I couldn't take a test to save my life. I knew that fashion was my passion, I just didn't exactly know how I was going to work with it. I played with the idea of interning for a fashion magazine, or becoming a stylist. Ultimately, my hobby turned into my job and I couldn't be any happier or more grateful for it!

Q. Where is the abstract art from in your dining room?

A. Answering this here because I get this question SO often, and I am happy to help!! The print is from Lindsay Letters, and you can check out the canvas here. I purchased the largest size available, 40 x 50 with the Gallery Gold style frame.

You can click on all links below for outfit details

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How To Get Perfectly Soft Curls

Thank you to Conair for sponsoring todays post!

In today's post I want to share with you how I get perfectly soft curls that I frequently wear, and a fun gift idea for Mother's Day! Look at that you guys, 2 for 1 post today :)

I can speak from experience when I say, "Moms ain't got time for that". What I mean by this is, moms don't have time to run out for a blowout and style every few days, and we sure as heck don't have time for products or tools that won't work. I'll add that we also like to feel good about ourselves.

My hair is number 1 when it comes to confidence and an instant mood booster when I'm having a great hair day, or if I nailed a style I wanted on the first try. You know those days you just keep at that same curl until you finally give up because it's just not curling the right way??? Me too, girl. 

That's why I partnered with Conair on todays post! I tried their InfinitiPRO 2-in-1 Styler for almost a month now, and I can say that I love being able to curl and straightener my hair without having to switch tools. It saves me so much time, and room in my cabinet! 

My hand might be touching the plates in the first photo, well because I wanted a cute shot afterwards, but this was right after I finished curling my hair with the InfinitiPRO 2-in-1 Styler. I actually learned to curl my hair with a straightener, and my love has been rekindled! I love the soft curl/slight wave it makes. 

Here are the steps I take to achieve these soft, curls. My favorite are second and third day curls that turn into beautiful waves!

1. Section hair into three sections, starting with the bottom row closest to your neck, lightly pull through and away from your face. I like to take big sections on the bottom row to have bigger, more loose curls for this layer.

2. Curl your second layer, keeping a very small portion of hair clipped up top to curl last. I curl away from my face on this layer too! Also alternate between curling a bigger section and smaller so the curls aren't all one size.

3. Curl the last few pieces on top. These should be your shorter layers so you can curl up closer to your root and it gives a soft, dimensional look. My stylist taught me to alternate curling away from my face, and a few into my face on this last layer!

Tip: If your ends are curled too much, you can quickly straighten them!

4. Lightly spray with a flexible hold hair spray, and let hair cool a few seconds.

5. Brush through your curls using your fingers and gently shake to create waves. If your curls are too tight, you can also use a brush to brush them out if your fingers aren't doing the trick!

6. Go to Target and pick up a Conair InfinitiPRO 2-in-1 Styler! Or, order online here for $49!

This would make a great mother's Day gift if your loved one enjoys beauty tools!

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My Best Purchases of April

A little late to this post, but better late than never am I right? I wanted to start these posts where I can share my best purchases of every month. There are so many finds that I share over on my Instagram stories that expire after 24 hours. I'd love to share here so you all can come back and have a place for reference! 

1. I'll start with this Petersyn blouse! It's a unique style that I don't see too often. Which makes me really  happy, because I feel everyone is starting to look the same. I love being able to stand out a little bit, but the print is a subtle floral, and I've never owned a yellow top before. I think it's sweet and feminine and pairs well with white or regular wash denim.

2. White Tea & Sage hand wash from Bath and Body Works. You just have to try this once to be hooked. The scent lasts for a while after washing and is my absolute favorite. Maddy washed her hands the other day, and came back outside to play. I was literally walking around the yard looking for flowers because the scent was SO good and fresh!! Little did I know it was just my clean, little Pa! :)

3. Carrie Forbes sandals - The color has been the perfect match for every outfit I've put on since purchasing these adorable sandals. The quality and comfort are also an amazing bonus. (It can be challenging to find woven shoes that don't hurt!) The real reason I'm obsessed? The card inside my shoe box that shared all about where Carrie Forbes shoes are made and how the brand is helping so many people. Each design is made in Morocco by female artisans, which means they can earn a wonderful living. That's a feel good, look good purchase right there, my friends!

4. Bobbi Brown Crushed lip stick in the color Sazan Nude. I knew I needed this as soon as I saw Sazan share her exciting collaboration news! I'm always such a fan when fellow bloggers land awesome brand collabs! I went right to Nordstrom here in Atlanta, and picked this up. The color is totally different than my other 200 nude lips I have in my drawer... I promise. ha ha! I've been wearing it in all of my recent photos, and I love that it feels moisturizing on my lips, has great coverage and the color is very pigmented. I'm obsessed!

5. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette - This was one of my Sephora purchases, and I'm so happy to report that it's my favorite of the bunch! I've been setting my under eye, and really my whole face with this palette! It gives the most incredible, lit from within glow while keeping my makeup set until I take it off. Pricey, but you'll be in love after the first try. Thats if you live for glowing makeup like I do!

6. Last but certainly not least, I've got to take a second and tell you about these white jeans. I've been on the hunt for the past 2 years. Yes, you read that right. TWO YEARS. Why is it so hard to find a good pair of white jeans? I prefer my denim to be high waisted. I like the way it pulls my stomach in, and the high waist is flattering with all tops and blouses. So, I needed a pair of white jeans that are high waisted, not sheer, stretchy enough to bend down but not stretch out and give me a saggy butt, and not too long but also not too short because I don't want super crops. Then, I found these from J Brand and I'm so happy with them!! I find them to be a bit too slimming for my thin frame at times, but that could also be me being too hard on myself!

Wearing - Petersyn blouse, JBrand jeans (I sized down 1 size!), Carrie Forbes sandals, Clare Vivier handbag

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Potting Gardenia In the Garden

Over the weekend, we made two different trips over to Lowe's. See, I did get lucky! (referencing
 my IG stories) I told you guys I was going to take up gardening as a hobby, and honestly I had no idea if I was going to follow through. Everyone tries many things in their life and you have no idea if the first day you tried it would be the last, or if you would continue. Blogging was a hobby that really stuck with me and fortunately has become my job! Hey, who wants to hire a gardener??? LOL, kidding. 

I really do enjoy it. I've stopped scrolling mindlessly through Instagram, and I've stopped comparing myself to others. I've found such joy and gratitude living here. I'm grateful for beautiful weather because that means I get to spend the day outside with my kids. We play hard, and they help water the plants, and are learning about gardening fresh food! My children are knowledgable in nature, and have learned SO much living here. This place truly is a blessing for us, and I can't stop saying "Thank You". 

I'm sure some of you may have noticed, or maybe not, that for a point there in my most recent season of life living in Florida, I was not as happy. Except thats life. It happens. It's okay. You are allowed to feel and experience different emotions and things in life. I'm definitely a big believer in if you are not happy and flourishing, move or change something. Words have power and you CAN speak positive thoughts and ideas into existence. I am living proof of that my friends. 

Here I am rambling again, so I'll save you the novel! We spent Saturday in the sun, out in the yard, working on different tasks. Our first trip to Lowe's included as many bags of mulch we could fit into the trunk (Chris really needs a truck now!) along with two kiddos, Chic Fil A lunch, and of course I snuck a few extra plants too! Gardenia to pot in these adorable blue pots, and a big ass pink hydrangea. These blue pots from Lowe's are freaking adorable, I love the style. Especially the color. It's the perfect blue, and I lOVE a pot with an attached vase!!

My mom told me to plant Gardenia, so I was on a mission to find it. The scent, you guys!! It's perfect for entryways and patios where the scent can be enjoyed, and works well in containers. Gardenia is paired well with Camellia, which we have in the big wood planters flanking the barn. 

PS: How cute are these floral gardening gloves and tool set? I ordered for the looks, and was pleasantly surprised to see they are functional too! 

I realized at the end of the day, that this chambray mini dress was the best thing I could have put on. The fabric wasn't stained from potting and working in the yard, and still looked new. It has pockets. The good kind. You know, where your phone doesn't fall out and when you have items inside they don't make you look goofy and awkward. The criss cross back is the icing on the cake. It's pretty hard to find clothing with a criss cross back that actually works and stay in place. A 10/10 for this purchase. 

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Blue and White Style

This past week, I have been so inspired by our garden and outdoor area at our home. Taking the classic charm that blue and white has to a whole new level. From planters and pots, to garden stools and crisp white rocking chairs.

This Karen Kane dress is so beautiful and feminine with its embroidery and soft, spring style. Perfect for running out with a light jacket for errands, coffee, or a date with your loved one. Try it with a crisp pair of white sneakers or a wedge sandal. Throw a knit cardigan, lightweight shawl or denim jacket on top.. or wear alone! It has been raining, gloomy and a bit chilly for bare arms this week so I opted for a denim jacket. We just missed the rain by a few moments to shoot this and I'm so excited to see our forecast showing sunshine for almost a week straight starting today. I definitely plan on spending my weekend outside with the kids, and working in the garden.

Dont worry, I've got more gorgeous options from Karen Kane up my sleeve if you're in the mood for blue and white! This floral off the shoulder top is adorable, and this Tiered Chambray maxi dress is perfection, and you can pair this embroidered bell sleeve top with white, dark, or light wash denim all spring and summer!

In partnership with Karen Kane. 

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3 Ways To Make Your Loved One Feel Special This Mother's Day

1. Write them a letter. My favorite possession is the letter Chris wrote to me when he proposed, and my family always reminds me how good it felt to receive a hand written letter on their special day. It will be a piece of their heart that they will love forever, and being able to pull it out and read it whenever they want.. even years down the road makes it more priceless. 

2. Print out photos. I grew up with all of the newest technology coming out. My parents and before didn't have that, and my mom LOVES pulling out a book of photos to look through. It brings you back to those moments much more than scrolling through a phone or computer to look the photo up! 

3. Spoil her with a timeless piece from David Yurman. Every time she wears that gorgeous piece, she'll be reminded of you! I remember buying my very first David Yurman cable bracelet. It's a piece I will wear, and keep close to my heart forever.

I'm so grateful I had the opportunity to partner with David Yurman, and share the timeless sophistication and grace that this brand has to offer. Shooting this with my daughter made me cry, and appreciate all of the love I am so lucky to be surrounded by. 

Happy Mother's day to all of you amazing women out there! 


Wearing -  David Yurman Helena Center Station Bracelet, Helena End Station Bracelet, and
David Yurman Crossover ring, David Yurman Petite Pave Earrings, and David Yurman Chatelaine Pendant Necklace

On Madelyn - David Yurman Starburst Kids Necklace

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