Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, y'all! I hope that you get everything on your list this year, spend plenty of time with family, eat great food, and find time to relax in between all of that. I always try to take a minute to reflect in the chaos of Christmas day to remember why we celebrate in the first place.

But the angel reassured them. "Don't be afraid!" he said. "I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior- yes, the Messiah, the Lord- has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!"
Luke 2:10-11

May each of you find peace and joy this Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Sweet Homecoming + Weekend Recap

Although I was just home for Thanksgiving, this trip home for Christmas couldn't have come fast enough! I decided to drive the trip home so I could have my car to run around and visit people while here. The drive is about 10 hours from NoVA to my parent's house in Georgia. To say it was long is an understatement! I look forward to doing road trips with passengers again after this experience. At the end of my drive, I was able to perk up from excitement when my car started picking up my favorite radio stations from home! Just fills me with nostalgia and happiness. I have truly enjoyed being home so far- not only is it warmer weather, but I have been able to spend precious and large amounts of time with my family and friends.

Atlanta has gotten a permanent Ferris wheel called the SkyView Atlanta since I've moved away and I have been itching to ride it. I had a lovely girls night with two of my best friends from college, and we took a gondola in the SkyView for a spin! I won't lie, I was really nervous the first time we went around and especially when we stopped. I am afraid of heights but wasn't really worried because I thought being inside the gondola "pod" I would be more comfortable. Thankfully, this was true after a little time had passed and I really enjoyed the ride! Atlanta is one of the prettiest cities I've been to and I'm totally in love with it. Unfortunately, my iPhone photos don't do it justice but here are a few photos from the ride!

SkyView, Ferris wheel
I think it was festively lit for Christmas!
atlanta, city lights, night skyline
The famous "pencil building" as we all called it in college!

My boyfriend flew in Saturday morning and I helped him get a little more Christmas shopping done. Even though it was just 2 weeks since his DC visit, I was still so excited to see him! Before earlier this month, we had gone 6 months {!!!!} without seeing each other! That is way too long in my opinion. While we were out shopping, I found a GREAT deal on a beautiful new pair of Sam Edelman boots. They were on fabulous sale at Nordstrom and I have been looking for a new pair of black riding boots- it was destiny! My new boots are the 'Penny' style and can be seen on Nordstrom's website as well as my Instagram:

'Penny' Boot (Women)
They really are fantastic and I can't wait to wear them more!

On Sunday my guy's mom came down to pick him up {he is from Tennessee} so I will have to wait until this Saturday to see him when I go up to celebrate Christmas with his family! I haven't seen them since last Christmas so that will be really great for me. Christmas time is always hard because there are so many places to be in a short amount of time. My parents are divorced and re-paired so I have 2x the amount of people to visit with around the holidays. Yet another reason why having my car down here is helpful! The hustle and bustle of it all is always fun although there are a ton of moving parts. Thankfully my family is flexible and understanding so it makes things easier for me!

I am hoping to find time to get my gifts wrapped up later today or tomorrow- I got really cute patterned red wrapping paper and an assortment of ribbons to spice things up. I'll get some photos up here as soon as I get it all wrapped! I seriously just can't believe Christmas is THIS THURSDAY!

Are your holidays jam-packed? How do you juggle seeing all of your family? Have you put the finishing touches on your gifts yet? I hope you had a wonderful weekend and if you have any thoughts please share them in a comment below!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Tree Inspiration

Hello there!

I can't believe that Christmas is just 10 days away! I absolutely love this time of year and plan on soaking up each minute I can. This past weekend, I went into Georgetown with a couple of my girlfriends to look at the lights and get a little more shopping done. There are several storefronts who participate in festive displays as well as the art exhibit 'glow' that they had around M Street to really get you in the Christmas spirit. It was really awesome to see and definitely made my Christmas shopping special! After looking at the lights, it made me wish I had my own tree to decorate. I decided not to decorate at all this year because I won't be in my apartment for very long before heading home for Christmas. I have definitely regretted this decision {more than once!}, but it's too late to do anything about it at this point! So to substitute, I created a Christmas tree mood board to share with y'all! I decided to stick with a traditional red theme- nothing screams Christmas to me like a tall, jolly, red tree. 

O Christmas tree
Shop these items below:

How are you decorating this year? Do you decorate even when you aren't spending the holidays in your home?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide: For Him

Happy Thursday!

Today I am sharing with y'all my fourth and final gift guide for this holiday season. {Fear not, I will continue to update my Pinterest board with my picks!} I am a self-proclaimed lover of shopping for guys- yet I still seem to struggle to find unique gifts for all of the special men I am blessed to know. Maybe it just comes with age, but I feel like I've gotten into gift patterns with certain people in my life- dad gets clothing, uncles get sports gear, male cousins get gift cards.. you get the picture. I love a well dressed man, but can't help but wonder if guys get sick of being dressed at each holiday? Thankfully, there are many novelty options for men that allow to you break the routine if you've slipped into one. Here are a few ideas I've gathered for you- happy shopping!

cufflinks / coasters / book / glasses / watch / shoes / jerky / shirt / kit
Personalized cufflinks. As I've mentioned before, I am a lover of personalized items! I am also a firm believer in male and female monograms- male being block letters in order {first middle last} and female in the traditional sequence {first LAST middle}. These cufflinks are great for any age- whether they are about to enter the workforce soon or have been there for 30 years! It never hurts to have atleast one pair and adding the initials ensures that they know which are theirs!

Leather coasters. Almost every home has a liquid-sensitive surface in it, which make coasters a must. I love these leather coasters that look like they are made of wood! They have a rustic and masculine feel while keeping your surface dry. Could he ask for more?!

Cocktail book. I love the simplicity offered in this book. It is a must for any home-bar or masculine coffee table stack and even better for you if you get to taste-test the beverages!

Old-fashioned glasses. Any man would be lucky to have this gorgeous set of glasses to sip from! Williams-Sonoma offers personalization on these babies and I think they make an excellent gift- alone or paired with a nice drink to fill them!

Watch. When you enter the workforce, a watch becomes a necessity! It is no longer socially acceptable to use your phone clock as your primary time source, so why not gift a lucky guy in your life with a professional-looking timepiece? The eco-drive watches don't contain batteries so you don't have to worry about it stopping! He will {hopefully} never be late again.

Sperry boat shoes. Brown shoes are a wardrobe staple. I personally love Sperry's for myself and have given several pairs as gifts. There's nothing like a comfortable pair of shoes!

Unique jerky. I like to throw in an eclectic piece every now and then, and the flavors of this jerky sound great!

Button-down shirt. Most southern men appreciate a good plaid shirt. This pick caught my eye with its pastel colors and Vineyard Vines offer great fitting shirts for guys. Seems like an A+ gift in my book!

Home-brew kit. I have given this exact kit to my beer-enthusiast boyfriend and he absolutely LOVED it. It doesn't take up too much space or require experience- making it a great opportunity for any guy to make his own beer. It's really special to cheers with a drink he made himself!

What are you getting for the lucky guys in your life? Do you have any experience with these items? Are you still unsure of what to get the ladies in your life? Check out my other gift guides for her: boho, gold, & classic.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide: Classic

Well hello there! I can't believe that a week of December has already come and gone- and that Christmas is so close! I am so excited to be headed home for the holidays and to be able to see my family again. That has got to be one of the best things about Thanksgiving and Christmas being only a month apart. This year has been hard for me from a gift perspective- I am normally finished shopping by now but I am pretty stumped on several people in my life. I think that living away from everyone makes it difficult to be sneaky and pick up on good gift ideas throughout the year. How are you doing with shopping this year? If you are stumped as well, here is another gift guide {if you haven't checked out my others check here and here} for that classic loving girl in your life!

bottle / pullover / glasses / bracelet / stationary {sold out; similar here} / scarf / mittens / tray / tech wristlet / necklace

Water bottle. I love the mint color and practicality of this water bottle. It is perfect for taking to work or yoga class. I can't think of something better for a girl on the go!

Monogrammed pullover. Ask anyone who knows me- I love a good monogram. This pullover is extremely cute and affordable. I would throw it on to run errands on the weekend or snuggle up on the couch in this to get me through the winter. Personalization takes a great gift one step further into an awesome gift!

Champagne flutes. These rosy glasses are absolutely divine. They are awesome to have around for a special occasion or any evening you want to take things up a notch. I think they could be a lovely hostess gift during the holiday season.

Bracelet. I adore this pearl bracelet! The pearl look is classic in itself but the anchor detailing makes it perfect! Although the nautical look screams summertime, I think this fits perfectly in a winter wardrobe as well!

Stationary. Every girl needs a good assortment of stationary. I love these note cards because they are so cute yet generic enough to be used in many different situations. These are a perfect gift for any girl right now- we all need to be writing thank you notes through the holidays!

Cashmere scarf. There's no more denying it- we are in the dead of winter. To me, that means layers layers and more layers. A cashmere scarf is not only practical, but it has the right touch of fancy for a friend on your list this holiday! I love having a soft scarf up by my face to keep me warm. 

Mittens. Keeping up with winter weather needs, mittens are a cute and functional gift to give this holiday season!

Tray. I think that every home needs a tray. Not only are they beautiful decorations, but they are functional to hold things together on a coffee table or console. I love this navy striped tray!

Tech wristlet. This is a fabulous gift for any friend who likes to have a fun night out on the town! The wristlet has just enough room for your going out essentials and is so sleek. I also love the color options!

Statement necklace. I am a huge fan of statement necklaces. Is there an easier way to completely change the feel of an outfit besides adding a dazzling necklace? If so, please let me know- I haven't found one! I like to add a bit of sparkle to my work outfits, as well as my weekend wear, so this seems like a gift set to be used!

What gifts are you getting for the classic girls in your life? How is your holiday shopping going? Look out for one last gift guide for the guys and be sure to check out my Pinterest board for more present recommendations!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Giving back this Christmas

Happy Monday!

I was less than enthusiastic when I woke up this morning with another weekend gone by. They seem to get shorter and shorter as you get older, no? I had a particularly special visitor this weekend and was sad that it flew by so quickly. The one thing that functioned as a serious pick-me-up this morning was the fact that I wasn't going into work today. Thankfully, I work for a company that encourages its employees to give back in their local communities. I joined 3 of my co-workers this morning to head into DC to work at the Capital Area Food Bank. {I have to admit I was slightly disappointed that I didn't run into Prince William in the city today!} We spent the day packing boxes of donated food that will be sent out to feed local families. It was extremely humbling to go work with the wonderful people at the food bank and be a small part of the battle to end hunger. I have always been blessed with a high level of compassion and have been looking for a fulfilling way to give back to my new community. Not only was I amazed at the amount of supplies that the generous metro-DC communities have donated, but I was so pleased to hear that some of the largest donations came from grocery stores in the area. Hunger may seem like a surprising problem to have in today's society {especially in the wake of Thanksgiving}, but it is a staggering problem world wide- even here in our own country. One in six people in the US struggle with hunger. ONE IN SIX. That is sickening to me.

As we continue with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it's easy to get caught up in our own lives- our days are filled with shopping, wrapping up the year, arranging travel plans, as well as planning and attending parties. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to take a step back and refocus with the bigger picture in mind. Here in Virgina, one in eight people struggle with having enough food. There is definitely more work to do and I am happy to have found a great place to do my part. Here are a few photos from my day:


This was my first experience at a food bank, and I am really excited to go back when I am able. I HIGHLY encourage you to take some time to give back to your community, especially as we continue through the Christmas season. Please check out the Capital Area Food Bank's website if you are in the metro-DC area for more opportunities or Feeding America's website to find opportunities in your area.

How do you give back in your community? Are you planning to take time out during the holidays to serve others? Please share your thoughts in a comment below!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Holiday Gift Guides: Golden Girl

Hi y'all! I'm back again with another gift guide to get you through your holiday shopping. I'm not sure what it is about this year, but I feel so behind my typical shopping timeline! I did some major damage on Cyber Monday, but everyone I have left is stumping me. Hopefully I will get some inspiration soon! On that note, I have put together a gift guide that shines {literally!} for the gold loving girl in your life.
gift guide, golden girl, gold, christmas
earrings / necklace / candle / charger / tshirt / notebook / bracelet / cards

Glitter earrings. These sparkling earrings are a perfect gift for any glam girl. What a great addition to any outfit that needs some extra shine and I know I would put them to use during the holiday party season.

Golden heart necklace. I am loving dainty jewelry right now. This necklace is so pretty AND has a sweet message on the packaging. Perfect for a girlfriend {romantic} or a close friend!

Polka dot candle. Kate Spade gold + white candle- Need I say more?

Back-up iPhone charger. I love this black, gold, and white combo! The charger is the perfect size to be portable and perfect for that friend who is constantly killing her phone battery while capturing that perfect shot for Instagram!

Gilded t-shirt. This shirt screams glam girl and is perfect to ring in New Years! I love the shiny detailing against the plain white background.

Striped notebook. A notebook this cute begs to be used! I could see this being perfect for your list-making friend, or maybe as a friendly suggestion to that friend who needs to START making lists. We all know one!

Bracelet. I am totally loving this chunky chain link bracelet! It is great on its own or would make a fabulous addition to a stacked look.

Metallic playing cards. Not only are these pretty, but they are entertaining! Perfect for a friend who loves to play card games.

What are your golden must-haves? Did you miss the guide for boho chic gals? Keep checking back for my remaining gift guides for the rest of the season, and check out my Pinterest board for more present recommendations!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Holiday Gift Guides: Boho Chic

Why hello there! I can't believe it's actually time to start thinking about the holidays!! I absolutely love this time of year. I love spending my time hunting for the perfect gift for all of the special people in my life, seeing all of the decorations, listening to the music, being with family, and enjoying all of the traditions I look forward to every year. Giving gifts is absolutely the highlight of this season for me! I love the look on someone's face when you get their gift just right.

To kick off the most wonderful time of the year, I wanted to put together some gift guides for y'all! I am starting off with this guide for her- channeling the inner, laid back chick we all have inside (some buried deeper than others!).

gift guide, boho chic, Christmas gift
bracelet / blanket / phone case / purse / necklace / jewelry holder / ring set / pillow / nail polish / headband

Wrap Bracelet. I am absolutely drooling over Alex and Ani jewelry right now. I love the meaning behind all of the symbols as well as the stacked look. So effortlessly trendy! 

Blanket. With the cold weather setting in, I can't imagine anyone not loving a cozy faux fur blanket! I would live in that on my couch. It's perfect for that friend who just moved, or anyone who is always chilly!

Phone Case. This case is cute and functional. I get nervous just seeing people who carry a phone around without a case- so this could be a great gift for that friend!

Purse. Who doesn't like a great cross-body purse? This one is a beauty and perfect for any purse-loving girl! I love the color options and the small tassel detail is perfection.

Pillows. I love the bright colors here, and the patterned case is a great way to brighten up any room.

Necklace. A gift like this is great for two different people- the girl who always switches out her jewelry, as well as the girl who never wears jewelry! I love versatile gifts and really love giving gifts that people like but wouldn't necessarily buy for themselves.

Jewelry Holder. I am a firm believer that well thought out gifts are the best gifts and who wouldn't love that decorative holder to keep their jewelry organized?! 

Ring set. Stacked rings are EVERYWHERE right now. A whole set is a great gift option because you can wear as many or few as you'd like! Options are always a good thing.

Nail Polish. As I have mentioned before, I am a huge fan of Essie polish! The gift sets are excellent to sample new colors for the season. These are great on their own or as part of a spa day set!

Headband. Last, but not least, I love this knitted headband. Perfect for keeping your hair tame in the wind and your ears warm. What more can a girl ask for?

What gifts are you getting for those trendy friends? Keep checking back for my remaining gift guides for the rest of the season, and check out my Pinterest board for more recommendations!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Weekend Recap

Happy Monday! {what an oxymoron, right?!}

Happy belated Thanksgiving! I hope you had the most relaxing and fulfilling Thanksgiving. I absolutely loved going home to be with family- and truly enjoyed my resolution to stay "unplugged" for the day! I really didn't realize how amazing that would be for me and I am definitely looking for other opportunities to have dedicated "unplugged" time moving forward. My sister hosted Thanksgiving for the first time at her new home, and I had a blast helping her prepare. We did as much as we could on Wednesday: set the table, folded the napkins, cleaned the floors, brined the turkey, put up decorations, peeled and cut potatoes, and created a cooking schedule so the dishes could be started at appropriate times. Although we ran into a few stressful points on Thursday, we had a mostly relaxing day and I look forward to incorporating that planning aspect into my future Thanksgiving. One of my favorite details of the day were the "I'm thankful for..." sheets my sister made for our table. We put one at each place setting, and had the guests fill them out as we reflected on our blessings over the past year. It's always a great reminder to step back and remember how blessed we are! Thankfully, my sis snapped a photo that I can steal to share with y'all! :)

Thanksgiving, thankful

At midnight on Thursday night/Friday morning, we set out to do a little Black Friday shopping. Let me just say this now- I think I am getting too old to battle the crowds. Especially since you can get all of the same deals online in your pjs at home! It has been a long standing tradition in my family to head out at midnight to shop until we drop and I will say that I enjoyed spending some sister time with my sissy.. but we were both tired around 2 and headed home to sip on some hot chocolate until we went to sleep! It was a great night. We did decide to wait until midnight to go out for our own form of a protest against shops opening on Thanksgiving day. I do not agree with plucking the employees out of their homes and away from their families to set up the store and work 12 hour shifts starting at 4 or 5 on Thursday. I have had to work on Black Friday in the past, and whether you are earning holiday pay or not you are almost always required to come in for a shift to keep your job. Thankfully, I got out of retail before Black Friday bled into Thursday but I still feel the pain for those who don't have any other choice. Thanks for helping us out with a smile on your face! I am happy to share that I did come away with some great deals for myself and some of my loved ones! {I am a huge fan of getting my Christmas shopping done early}

On Friday, I met up for brunch after a nap with my mom and sister to do a little more shopping at some of my favorite local shops. We found a few great deals, but it was so good to have one last day of girl time! Friday night I headed over to Athens with my dad and step-mom to get ready for our state rivalry game on Saturday. I am still in shock that GT won! It is always a fun game for me because my step-sister attended UGA and I attended GT, so we have a great house divided thing going on! Although we tried not to rub it in, it felt great to enjoy that win with my dad instead of unite in loss against the rest of the fam. This particular game kept me on my toes the whole time. Unfortunately I was only able to attend one game this season, and I unknowingly picked the best game of the season to be at!

What did you do this weekend? Did you host Thanksgiving this year? What did you do to relax during the holidays? Please share your thoughts in a comment below!


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

On my horizon

Happy Wednesday, y'all! I am so excited for Thanksgiving tomorrow!!! Any holiday solely devoted to carbs and eating is a-ok in my book! I love spending dedicated time with my family, and it makes me oh so happy to get everyone in the same place at the same time. Because Thanksgiving is so heavily on my mind, I decided to dedicate this post entirely to a Thanksgiving theme! So here's what's on my horizon this week...

1. Unplugged Holidays

Every day I have been more and more aware of my dependence on my phone. I always find myself holding it, checking it, and constantly having to know where it is. I am sure some of y'all know the feeling I'm talking about that you get in the pit of your stomach when you can't find your phone. It's a terrible attachment to have and I am quite honestly embarrassed by it. I like to be wholly in the moment when I am with people I care about and I don't like to be distracted by my compulsion to check my technology. Because the holidays are supposed to be about family and quality time, I have made the decision to go "unplugged" and be without my technology on Thursday. And keeping in the theme of being wholly present with my family, I am going to be "unplugged" from posting as well through the remainder of the weekend. So look out for one hefty weekend recap at the beginning of next week! :-)

2. Thanksgiving Tablescapes 

My Pinterest feed has been bursting with yummy Thanksgiving recipes and decorations, as I'm sure your is as well. One of the things that has been catching my eye are the beautiful table arrangements and place settings! I will probably not be hosting my first Thanksgiving for a while, but it doesn't keep me from looking at what others have done for ideas. I have a collection of my favorites on my Pinterest board, but I'd like to share a few top contenders here with y'all!

Fall Thanksgiving Tablescape
Blue and White Dining Room Thanksgiving Tablescape

DIY place card for Thanksgiving Tablescape
Rustic Elegant Winter Wood Table
A Blue Willow Thanksgiving Tablescape, Blue and White Thanksgiving Table, Blue and White place setting, Blue, White and Orange Thanksgiving Table, Celebrating Everyday Life with Jennifer Carroll
3. Black Friday Shopping

Recently, I have realized that Black Friday has become a strategy game. Over the past five years, the experience has changed for me. There are so many people out to take advantage of the great deals, I think you have to be extremely strategic if you are going to go out to fight the crowds and get the items you want. Thankfully, many stores have given you the option to get the savings simply by shopping online in the comfort of your home. How amazing is that?! I haven't decided if I am brave enough to fight the crowds this year, but I do have a few places I am going to check out {whether online or in person} this Black Friday. I love to get my Christmas gifts early when there are still plenty of sizes/colors available. Plus, I just like to check people off my list early so I don't have to stress about it later! That helps me to better enjoy the holiday season.  I definitely want to check out J.Crew, Target, Brooks Brothers, Best Buy, The Body Shop, and Loft.

Where are you shopping on Black Friday? Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year? Do you choose to unplug around the holidays? Please share your thoughts in a comment below!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Weekend Recap

Happy Monday! This weekend was quite a whirlwind. I had an amazing surprise at the end of the week- my sister and brother-in-law planned a trip to come visit for the weekend!!! This was great news for me, as it had been since July since I had seen them. Far too long, in my opinion. They got up here late on Friday night- leaving me just enough time to pop up to Pentagon City mall to take advantage of The Body Shop's latest deal. They are currently offering buy 3, get 3 free! I just discovered this gem in June, and absolutely love their products. I use the seaweed skin care collection and think that is has done wonders with my combination skin! I am a huge fan of the fact that they offer natural products, do not animal test, and are very environmentally friendly. If you haven't checked out their stuff yet, I suggest you take a peek!

Saturday, we headed over to Annapolis to do a little shopping and attend the Georgia Southern/Navy football game! My sister and her hubby both attended GSU- so it was exciting to go cheer on the Eagles with them! It was an unfavorable outcome for our team but I think we all had a wonderful time. I know I did! Before the game, we wandered around the streets of Annapolis and enjoyed the view into the harbor. It was absolutely dreamy over there and I got some awesome photos to share with y'all. All of the boutiques along the streets were stocked with cute items, the food was great, and the atmosphere was just perfect. There were people stopped all around with easels set up to paint the scenery- I'm not exaggerating how picturesque it is! One of my favorite things we did was stop by a gourmet oil and vinegar taproom, Seasons. It was really neat to taste the different flavors and hear tips on how to cook with them. I ended up coming home with the Red Apple Balsamic Vinegar. I'm looking forward to using it with salads and maybe some marinades. Stay tuned for exactly how I will be using it! In addition to these great events, my alma mater beat Clemson! {I was that annoying fan who made the waiter change the tv to my team where we ate lunch!!}
water, annapolis
Gorgeous view out onto the water!
annapolis, streetfront
annapolis, streetfront
Loved this hat! They were all over the stadium.
fall, trees, annapolis
I couldn't pass up a good foliage photo.
On Sunday morning I dropped my beloved guests at the airport to send them back to Georgia. Time really does fly by when you're having fun! Thankfully, I will be getting to see them next week for Thanksgiving so it won't be a terribly long time in between visits! I had the best lazy Sunday after church and then went out for a send off party for a girlfriend who is moving. We went to True Food Kitchen in the Mosaic district in Fairfax. I had the most adorably named drink {which was also DELICIOUS} called "spontaneous happiness." I am trying to figure out how to make it at home, hopefully I will be able to recreate it! I also had spaghetti squash casserole for the first time and loved it! I am a huge pasta fan, and although it couldn't permanently replace my pasta, the spaghetti squash "noodles" were really yummy!

What did you do this weekend? Any exciting football scores with your teams? Have you tried any new restaurants lately?

Friday, November 14, 2014

4 Workout Essentials

Lately, I have been chasing after that elusive "runner's high". I hear people talk about it, but I am beginning to think I was not blessed with the ability to reach it. "Just get past the first mile!" they say. "You'll hit 5 miles before you know it!" they encourage. Well, I'm here to say that's just not the case for me. Running can be extremely beneficial from a health perspective but difficult to accomplish from a discipline perspective. What I can share with you is this- there are ways to make running more enjoyable for a "non-runner". While there are many ways to do this, I have accomplished it through the right gear.
Nike, Lululemon, fitness
Headband {currently on sale!} / Crop / Tank {currently on sale!} / Shoes
For me, a few of the right products have totally changed things up.

1. The right headband. I don't know about y'all, but I always have the hardest time keeping thin sport headbands in my hair! I feel like I stop, fix the headband, and restart for more time that I actually spend running. That feels like a problem to me. I discovered the Fly Away Tamer from lululemon earlier this year and it quickly became my go-to. It stays put, holds my hair back, and looks adorable! As an added bonus, it won't get destroyed in the washing machine so you can keep it sanitary AND the right size by tossing it in with a load. I highly recommend it.

2. Comfortable bottoms. Throughout college I was a HUGE fan of Nike shorts. They were the perfect thing to throw on with a t-shirt to tackle the daytime. While they are excellent for running {since that is their intended purpose}, I like to have a little more coverage on my bottom half when I'm moving around. I am head-over-heels in love with Wunder Under crops. I only have 2 pairs, but I feel like I live in them! They are thick enough to wear without fear of them being see-through with a tank top, but the material isn't restrictive or too thick- making them perfect for serious workouts.

3. A perfect tank top. I get SUPER hot when I work out. It doesn't always translate into pouring sweat, but my temperature always rises quickly. One of my favorite things I've discovered are the Nike tank tops. The dri fit ones are the best! They are form fitting so they don't fling around {depending on what workout you're doing that's important} and they keep you cool since they are sleeveless. If you do happen to sweat a lot, the dri fit technology really helps keep your temperature regulated and the sweat off of your body! All around, it's a winner!

4. Shoes. I can't think of something that would deter me from working out more than an ill-fitting shoe. Making sure you have the right size and support is key to having an enjoyable workout! I was one of the lucky few to snag a pair of the "Tiffany's teal" Nike Free's and I absolutely adore them! They have just the right support for my workouts and don't weigh down my feet so I can keep moving. I seriously dread the day I retire these babies.

With these 4 workout essentials, I truly enjoy my workouts more. And, obviously this goes without saying but I wear my fitbit to track all of my activity while rocking these amazing pieces! Here's to finishing out the year in good health!

teal nikes, workout gear, fitness

What are your workout essentials? Do you have any product recommendations? Have you tried any of these workout essentials?

Monday, November 10, 2014


Hi there! I wanted to give y'all some insight into my name choice for this blog. As previously stated, the 'peachy' represents the fact that I am from Georgia. We are known for our peaches, and the sweet southern girls from my home state are often referred to as 'Georgia Peaches'. Pretty self explanatory, no? 


As for the rest of my title, the word 'sonder' is relatively new to my vocabulary. By definition:
"sonder n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk."
This is incredibly humbling to me. All too often, we become consumed by our own lives- making everything about my troubles, my agenda, my excitements, my details- that we forget how many other things are going on in the world around us. We are each just one piece of a complex puzzle. I think it's also very freeing to realize that life is so much bigger than what's going on within the parameters of my day-to-day. Keeping that in mind helps me shift the focus from myself to others in my life. I think that our self-centered tendencies are innate and completely human, but that doesn't always result in the healthiest lifestyle or thought process.

I have always been a people watcher. I think it's completely fascinating to have a glimpse into other people's days/lives- even if just for a few seconds as they pass you by. What are they thinking? Where are they going? What made them behave in that way? These are just a few questions that pop into my head. Since learning what sonder means, this word is all too present in my mind every day. It grounds me and prompts me to live with more awareness than ever before.

With that being said, I couldn't think of a better title for my blog to express my feelings about my current journey through life. Something that ties me to my roots, yet challenges my views and reminds me to take note of my surroundings.

Thank you for reading and joining me on my 'peachy sonder'! 

xox. T

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Weekend Recap

Happy Sunday! This weekend was both relaxing yet action packed! I had a really rough day at work on Friday, so I treated myself and got a bottle of Prosecco to sip on in my pjs. I snuggled on my couch in front of my first fire of the winter to catch up on some Revenge. It was a perfect way to end the week! 

prosecco, pjs
Pajamas {from Target- old, similar here}

Yesterday, I was able to sleep in and have a leisurely morning. I went to Ikea and bought a new nightstand set to put together for my bedroom. I don't know about y'all, but Ikea furniture can be so daunting to put together! The instructions are purely photos, and someone with limited assembly experience {aka me} may not know the difference between the pieces pictured. I actually got my desk from Ikea and put it together myself- which was a huge accomplishment over a several day period- and swore I would never make anything from there again. Unfortunately, I have been wanting to get nightstands and found ones that will work well {for a great price, no less!} with my current bedroom furniture. These will be a much smaller task, and I will be sure to put up a photo when they are complete! Be sure to check out my new instagram account for photos in between posts! I also found the perfect coffee table tray during a quick trip into Target. Stay tuned on future styling!

tray, target

Saturday night, I went out with some girlfriends in Reston Town Center. We ate at a fantastic restaurant called PassionFish. They had wonderful cocktails and the food was so yummy! It's bad when you get the group of us together because we L-O-V-E to get dessert. I'm not usually one to splurge for dessert when I eat out, but if everyone else is doing it I can be easily swayed. I was so full afterwards, but I can't say that I regret it one bit!

Passionfish, cocktails

passionfish, seafood

Today, I had lunch and did a little exploring with a college friend who was in town for an interview. It was SO refreshing to see her, and we had a blast strolling around Georgetown. I took her to Luke's Lobster {my go-to tourist stop} for a lobster roll, we did a little shopping on M Street, then grabbed some coffee and macarons from Paul and sat by the river catching up until it was time for her flight. It was such a fun day with great company! 

luke's lobster

What did you do this weekend? What's your favorite way to relax after a hard work week/day?

Friday, November 7, 2014

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Hi out there! Nothing kicks those cold weather blues for me like a bowl of hot soup. Up in northern Virginia, we are definitely sliding into that winter weather scene. I won't lie to y'all- I'm not happy about it. Maybe it's my inner Southerner, but I just despise cold weather! Earlier in October I decided to take preventative action and purchased a Crock-Pot slow cooker. My mom used to make soup often during those "cold" months in Georgia growing up, and she taught me that a slow cooker is definitely the way to go!

Crock-Pot, slow cooker
To cheer myself up in the midst of this chilly time of year, I decided to make one of my mom's slow cooker recipes for Chicken Tortilla Soup and share it with y'all! Cooking in a Crock-Pot really simplifies things because you only have to worry about the prep work. You can even get one step ahead of things and do all of the prep work the night before so you just have to add the ingredients into the slow cooker before running out the door!
soup, crock-pot, recipe
Before I get to the recipe, here are a few helpful tips to make things run more smoothly. Feel free to chop your veggies/chicken as small or large as you would like- it's your meal! When cleaning the serrano pepper, use a small spoon to clear out the seeds and veins. I sliced my pepper in half and started to scoop from the top down to the point initially- then switched directions to make sure the veins were completely removed.
pepper cleaning 
When preparing the garlic cloves, make sure you peel all of the casing off! To check this, slice the clove in half and check the fresh edges to see if they peel before mincing. You can feel free to substitute any ingredients with frozen/prepackaged since this is going into the slow cooker to soak. Don't forget to freeze your left overs for those future cold nights! I recommend making the tortilla strips right before serving- that way they are warm and crispy! 
frying, tortilla strips

Momma's Chicken Tortilla Soup with Homemade Tortilla Strips
1 lb boneless and skinless chicken breast
5 cups chicken stock {I mixed both regular and unsalted}
1 white onion, roughly chopped
1 green pepper, roughly chopped
1 serrano pepper, veins and seeds removed, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can {15oz} of whole kernel corn, drained and rinsed
1 can {15oz} of diced tomatoes, drained
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
generous pinch salt
generous pinch pepper
sour cream

Tortilla Strips
canola oil
flour tortillas 

1. Combine all soup ingredients excluding tortilla strips and sour cream into the insert of your slow cooker. Stir.
2. Cook on 'low' for 8 hours or 'high' for 4 hours.
3. After cook time has elapsed, remove chicken breast and shred with forks. Replace shredded chicken and stir the entire pot. Place on 'warming' setting until ready to serve.
5. Cover the bottom of a skillet with enough canola oil to float tortillas. Heat skillet to med-high.
6. Slice flour tortillas into strips.
7. Fry 5-6 strips at a time, turning over when the edges appear golden brown. Remove when fully fried to drain on a plate draped with a paper towel.
4. Serve desired amount in a bowl, topped with dollop of sour cream and a handful of tortilla strips. Enjoy!
Do you have any favorite cold weather recipes? Any tips for surviving the winter months? Please share your thoughts in a comment below!

Happy Friday, y'all!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

On my horizon

Happy hump day, y'all!

I'm not sure about you, but my week has flown by so far. Hopefully it well keep up momentum until this weekend- I have an exciting weekend planned! Look out for a recap either Sunday or early next week. Let's just jump right into what's on my horizon:

1. 'Animals' by Maroon 5

Do you have songs in your life that make you want to drop everything you're doing and dance when it comes on? I sure do. Each one is typically short-lived but I have intense love for them when it's their turn! Currently, the song I'm stuck on right now is 'Animals' by Maroon 5. I can't help but sing along and dance in the car every time it comes on. If you haven't seen the video I don't recommend watching it at work- it's super frisky! But, I think it's spot on for the song. And I think it would be an incredibly creepy video if Adam Levine wasn't so sexy.

2. Aprons

Last weekend in New York, I stumbled upon this adorable apron at Anthropologie. It has the most delicate powder blue lace detailing! I have been looking for one for a while, but I hadn't found the right one. As soon as I laid eyes on this baby I was hooked!

blue lace apron

Pretty cute, huh? There are definitely some other great ones out there- here are a few of my other picks.
heirloomed full apron {halter}



3. CMA Awards

I am so excited for the CMA awards tonight! I have always loved country music and can't wait for a whole evening dedicated to some of the best songs/artists! I know Carrie Underwood will be an absolutely stunning hostess along with Brad Paisley.  There are also some intriguing match-ups on the schedule- Little Big Town with Ariana Grande and Miranda Lambert with Meghan Trainor? Let me tell you now I have NO idea how that's gonna play out. I suppose we shall all see tonight at 8!

What's on your horizon this week? Any songs you can't get out of your head? Thoughts on the scheduled CMA Awards performances? Please share in a comment!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

All Hallows Eve

Happy Sunday, my friends! 

This weekend was a blast. There is no other way to put it! For me, Halloween is a time to tap back into my inner sorority girl and put together a great costume. I prefer to make my costumes, and usually put a significant amount of time into planning and creating each one. Due to the craziness of the past few weeks, I wasn't able to put in ANY time to even think about what I wanted to do for a costume- so it came down to what I had stored away in my closet. Thankfully, I had a lovely flapper dress, feather headband, fishnet stockings, and some beaded necklaces to pull a costume together in a hurry! With a quick trip to CVS for the last minute essentials {black eyeliner, false eyelashes, and cranberry lipstick} I was good to go! 

On Friday, I went out with one of my girlfriends up in Clarendon. I hadn't experienced any nightlife there up to this point and really enjoyed myself. I will say that I was pretty surprised at how quiet the streets were for Halloween to fall on a Friday night! I'm not sure if the cold temperatures scared people away or if everyone was making the trip into Georgetown for the crazy experience that I've heard Halloween is out there. Regardless- we had a wonderful night of sweet cocktails, loud music, and funny conversations. That's an A+ night in my book! 

I have to admit that the flapper costume came together pretty well! The trickiest part for me was doing makeup. I have pretty fair skin and do not ever wear heavy eye make-up because it is overwhelming on my complexion in my opinion. However, every single photo I found on Google had dark eyeshadow and red lips so I knew I was going to just have to suck it up and do it! Although it was tricky, I found the simplest way to put it all together. I used my Naked 2 palette by Urban Decay {which is my go-to for nighttime looks} and went to town with a heavy hand. I used a black crayon liner to line my lids, smudging with the blackout shadow for a dramatic effect. Above that, I used the pistol shadow to fill in up to the crease and blended the liner edges with blackout again for continuity. For a little sparkle, I used the half baked shadow at/above my crease and highlighted my brow with foxy shadow. After making sure everything was blended and even, I applied the false lashes. I think it is best to do this last so you are able to get up close to your eyelid without the lashes in the way to apply shadow! Overall, it was simple and had just the right effect! For my lips, I used Maybelline's Color Sensational Creamy Matte lipstick in Divine Wine. It stayed put with minimal effort/touch-ups to look nice and didn't bleed around my lips. I highly recommend it!

Here is a glimpse of the costume:

flapper, halloween

What did you do for Halloween 2014? Any unique costumes? How do you deal with a last minute costume demand?

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

On my horizon

Hello out there! 

I'm not sure about you, but I sure am ready for the weekend. Not only is it some lovely time off work, but I'm getting all dressed up for Halloween tomorrow night! I absolutely love any opportunity to get dolled up. I will be posting later this weekend to share my costume! So now, here's three things on my horizon this week..

1. Tocca Liliana Perfume

I'm pretty much a sucker for anything from Anthropologie. Although it can be pricy, I truly love their products and the quality is amazing! While shopping this weekend, I happened to come across this GORGEOUS perfume.

tocca, tocca liliana, perfume

Not only is the scent heavenly, it's pretty! The inside lid of the box says "Love Yourself" in a pretty script font. Who doesn't need that as a reminder every now and then?!

Tocca, liliana

I went with the smaller bottle just to make sure I loved it on my skin- so I did have to sacrifice the sprayer attached to the normal size bottle. I am really enjoying it, so obviously I had to share with y'all!

2. New York City

However stereotypical this may be- I just have to put it out there. I am completely and utterly in the middle of a love affair with New York City. During one of my previous assignments, I was located just about 1.5 hours outside of this lovely city. In hindsight, I wish I went more than once/twice a month during my six months up there! It truly is a magical place to visit. Additionally, I have serious respect for those who live there. It is so loud and busy 24/7! Too much going on for me. I was blessed with the opportunity to head into the city with a couple of my girlfriends and stay with a family member for the weekend. 

I had a Japanese style of cooking that I have never had before called sukiyaki. Let me first just say that it was INCREDIBLE!! You choose a type of meat and cook it at your table in broth and vegetables that complement the meat. Similar to what fondue in a restaurant feels like. Once all your ingredients are cooked, you eat your sukiyaki "soup" with rice. I was thoroughly impressed. 


Although a weekend allows you a teensy tiny amount of time in NYC, we made the best of the trip by walking all over the city and enjoying the sites. We hit up Central Park, the Hudson River park, Chelsea Market, Little Italy, Madison Ave and 5th Ave, Rockefeller Plaza, and just about everything in-between that you walk through! And I'm sure this goes without saying, but we ate some of the best food I've ever enjoyed. Here are a few photos from our sights:

Central Park, NYC, skyline
brunch drinks
Union Square

3. Macarons

For me, it's not a trip to NYC without eating at least one macaron. And if I'm in New York, I want to trek over to Ladurée to get the best of the best. They had the cutest storefront decorations up for Halloween- and I was able to try the seasonal flavor offering! It was an orange cookie with Hazelnut filling- and I highly recommend it! I would be a happy girl if I had a Ladurée in my neck of the woods, but it also makes each trip special because it is such a rare treat for me.

macaron, laduree, halloween

halloween, window, laduree

What's on your horizon this week? What is your current favorite perfume? Do you have any go-to spots in NYC?

xox. T
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