Thursday, December 18, 2014

Our Christmas Photos…

Photos by Jenn Loryn Photography, visit her blog, Facebook, & Instagram
On me: 
On Chris: 

This past weekend, Chris and I took our Christmas Pictures with Jenn Loryn Photography… Jenn is a local Charlotte photographer who specializes in wedding, engagement and family photography. (And she has the most adorable daughter I've ever seen!!) I haven't worked with a lot of professionals (my mom takes all my blog photos) but it was so easy to work with Jenn and she even made Chris feel at ease - he is scared to death of the camera haha! She also loves sewing and monogramming so she makes beautiful photo props for family and wedding shoots. If you are in the Charlotte area, definitely check her website out and follow her on Facebook and Instagram!

On to the outfits… Chris is so not into fashion, but it's something I find really endearing about him (he could care less about material things!). This shoot was really fun because I got to pick out some stuff for him too. I was surprised that he actually loved the sweater and even the scarf! Red is my go-to color lately, so I knew I wanted a few pops of reds in our outfits. I love the pom pom beanie I'm wearing, as well as my red Hunters - y'all know I love those. :)

I hope everyone has a great Thursday!


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Apartment Tour with Lulu & Georgia

gold trays (comes in a set of two) // gold urchin // chevron lamps // incitatus bookends 
Kate Spade gold dots highball glasses // Kate Spade glitter coasters
All Lulu & Georgia times are 20% off with code PEARLS20

Today I'm giving you a peek into my living room, since I recently gave my coffee table and room a little makeover… thanks to Lulu & Georgia. (P.S. Use code PEARLS20 for 20% off your order!) When I moved into my apartment last February, my roommate had already been living there for a few years, so all of the furniture is hers. The apartment itself is pretty old and needs some updates (aka it's no mansion lol), but I've been able to save a lot of money because the rent is so good! For the makeover I wanted to add some "trendy" touches to update the room, so I chose a lot of white and gold pieces as well as these funky chevron lamps. When I ordered them I thought I was ordering the black and white ones, but I actually really love that they are more of a navy blue color since it goes with the couch that was already in the room! Beside the lamps, my other two favorite items are the gold trays and the moroccan pouf. I have been wanting a moroccan pouf for ages just because they are so pretty. :)

Be sure to check out Lulu & Georgia for some really amazing home decor and furniture! (And if you are still shopping for Christmas presents, I put together a whole post on the sales going on right now!) xoxo


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Last-Minute Christmas Sales

In case you still have some Christmas shopping left to do (for yourself or others!), I thought I'd alert you to some AWESOME sales going on right now. The trick is to order within the next few days while things will still ship in time for Christmas! 

First up, Macy's is running a huge sale right now, which is where my gold sparkly top is in the photo below (which, btw, I'm obsessed with!). They are offering $10 off your purchase of $25 with code MERRY25 or a extra 20% off with code MERRY

Next, Tory Burch just posted a lot of new items to the Sale Section of their website and they are gooood… I'm dying a little over the metallic handbags and phone cases! Their clothes are also on sale and I'm lusting over this cozy sweater (in the ivory color) for Christmas morning. Be sure to order with express shipping for it to come in time for Christmas Eve!

Piperlime also just announced a new sale… they are offering 25% off everything with code SHOP25 (act quickly because the sale only lasts for 24 hours!). They also just added a bunch of new merchandise to the website… (my picks are below). They are offering free shipping by Christmas Eve, but you must order before 12/20.

Nordstrom also has new markdowns on their site, including some gorgeous dresses that would be perfect for Christmas Eve or NYE (Some are even less than $40!!). They are offering free delivery by Christmas Eve.

Happy sales shopping!

Stripes + Elbow Patch Perfection

Dior lipstick in "rialto" // Celine sunglasses, similar here

Stripes and leopard has to be one of my favorite pattern mixing combos of all time. Although they are completely unexpected, they just seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly. Add in some fun details like elbow patches (I adore this elbow patch top!) and a faux fur vest, and you're set. (You've seen me wear this fur vest a ton but it is seriously my favorite and SUCH a good price!!) 

Now, this is truly the week of awesome giveaways because I have another one for you! One lucky reader will receive $100 to spend at Juliana's Boutique… and trust me, y'all, when I say I'm very jealous of the winner. I am literally dying over this perfect Christmas sweater, this sequin top and these fabulous sequin leggings (Hello NYE!). You can enter to win the gift card using the Rafflecopter giveaway below… Good luck!!


Monday, December 15, 2014

The Most Popular Scarf of All Time

dark wash jeans (my fave) // red bow gloves // Celine sunglasses, similar here // Baublebar earrings

Today I am sharing two different looks from one of my favorites boutiques… ShopBellaC! This first look is one of my favorite outfits ever, mainly because of this popular plaid blanket scarf that you've probably seen all over Pinterest and instagram. If you haven't snagged one yet, you can pre-order it today or it could be your lucky day because I have teamed up with ShopBellaC to give one away! Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of this post for the giveaway rules.

Now for the second outfit featuring another ShopBellaC favorite, their "no blues" plaid top...

This J.Crew puffer vest has been through a lot with me this fall… white may seem like an unlikely color for the cold months but I think it actually goes with so much! I wanted to make the plaid top a little warmer without covering it up completely, so a vest was the way to go. It's the best way to layer, in my opinion! 

I hope everyone had a great weekend! My boyfriend is officially on his Christmas break so he spent the weekend in Charlotte with me… we attended a Christmas Party Friday, went to the Hornets game Saturday night and also took Christmas photos together (he was such a good sport!). I love busy weekends but by the time Monday rolls around I feel like I need another weekend to just relax… anyone else feel like that?! I'm planning to spend my Monday night in bed early watching Netflix!

And now, the moment we've all been waiting for! Enter to win the plaid blanket scarf using the Rafflecopter giveaway below:

Giveaway will end Dec. 22 at 12 a.m. Good luck!

first look:
second look:

Sunday, December 14, 2014

New Years Eve Plans?

If you live in North or South Carolina, I invite you to join me at the Southern Skyline Grand Ball this New Year's Eve... A ton of my friends went last year, and we are getting another big group together to attend this year! There are two locations, one in Greenville, SC, and one in Charlotte, NC (I'll be attending the Charlotte one). Both are black tie optional and the ticket price includes heavy hors d'oeuvres, premier entertainment and an open bar (for those who are 21!). 

Southern Skyline Grand Ball Charlotte (I'm going to this one!)
- Held at the Hilton Charlotte City Center in uptown Charlotte
- Music by Tyler Boone, DJ Method and the Atlas Road Crew
- $125 general admission / $180 VIP
- Wednesday, Dec. 31 beginning at 9:00 p.m. at 222 E 3rd St., Charlotte, NC
- A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation

- Held at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Greenville
- Music by the David Higgins Band & DJ Apollo
- $125 general admission / $180 VIP
- Wednesday, Dec. 31 beginning at 9:00 p.m. at 220 North Main St., Greenville, SC
- A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation 

You can check out their Facebook page here and their Twitter here.

If you are going to register I would quickly because tickets are selling out! I hope to see you on NYE :)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas Sugar Cookie Recipe

Some of my fondest memories of Christmas revolve around sugar cookies. When my brother and I were little we would go to Gramma and Papa's house every year and spend an entire afternoon baking in their kitchen, cutting out gingerbread men cookies and decorating them with frosting. We always left their house with tummy aches (from too much sugar, haha) but those times stand out to me whenever I think about my childhood. Since then, it's become a tradition to make sugar cookies every Christmas (even the year I was in Greenville I made them on my own!). 

Anyways, this recipe is pretty simple and easy, but it's one of the best sugar cookie dough recipes you'll ever find. The dough doesn't have to be chilled before you roll it and cut it, so it's a lot quicker than some of the others. The cookies keep their shape when baked so they are perfect for decorating (and they taste good too!).

cable knit blanket (the coziest blanket every & it's on sale!)

(Pssst. This outfit is super comfortable and was perfect for a day of baking! Especially the festive sweatshirt and these fuzzy socks - the brand is called "butter" for a reason! ;)

Christmas Sugar Cookie Recipe
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 egg
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2. Cream the butter and sugar with a mixer (we used a KitchenAid mixer but a regular mixer will do!)
3. Beat in the egg, vanilla extract and almond extract
4. In a separate bowl, combine the baking powder and flour. Add this mixture a little at a time to the wet ingredients (keep mixing while you are adding it in). If the dough becomes too stiff for your mixer, you can finish kneading the dough by hand. 
5. Divide the dough into two batches. Roll the dough onto floured parchment paper, but be sure not to roll it too thin! The dough should be 1/4 inch thick. 
6. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, depending on your oven. Let cool completely before decorating.

You can decorate the cookies however you want… but I used this method to decorate them with homemade icing! (It seems complicated when you read it, but it's really not.) Of course, store bought frosting is just as good and a lot easier :) I used to really love sharing recipes with y'all when I was back in college and had more time (especially healthy recipes… which this one is not, haha!). Let me know if you want to see any more! 

I hope everyone has a great weekend!!