Happy Monday! Today, I'm excited to start a little Q+A that stems from questions I receive via email, InstaStories, messages, and more. I love Instagram's question feature on Stories, but it's also fun to share some of those questions right here on Southern Style. 

How many kids do you and Stephen want?
I interestingly enough get this question quite a bit! I think we're both on the same page in that two kids would be a perfect fit for our family, but I wouldn't be surprised if we had one and stopped there. We'll just have to see!

Who does your lash extensions?
I see Maari at Beauty Bar Boutique! BB3 is salon located in the same shopping center as my shop, so it's nice that it's so convenient and also that I can support another local business.

What kind of foundation do you use?
I'm going to share a detailed post on this soon! I've used Estee Lauder's DoubleWear for years and years. But about 2 weeks ago, my face just seemed like it was over it, which has never happened with that makeup before. I purchased the Too Faced Peach Perfect over the weekend and I immediately loved it. I'm going to give it a little time before I give a full review but so far, it's a winner. 

How do you manage time between your business/blogging/personal life?
I'm still trying to figure this out! When I first started blogging, this space was a creative outlet. My current career in owning and operating a business requires so much creativity and brain power, so the blog sometimes takes a backseat as the store always has to come first. In the beginning, I was going in super early and working late and then constantly on my computer and phone when I got home. I do tend to spend an hour or two on my computer each night, but it works well with our evening routine as Steve normally turns on a movie and I work on emails, the blog, or the store website. 

What made you get into blogging?
I just wanted a little creative space! Wednesday makes 6 years of Southern Style, which is so hard to believe! In the beginning, I shared different things I found interesting that I saw on TV or on Pinterest, etc. About a year in, I shared my first style post and from there, it just seemed to spin into a style blog. 

I'll be continuing this series at least once a month, so feel free to leave a question in the comments, email me, or message me on Instagram!

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When we have family gatherings during the holidays, my family pretty much always expects that I'll bring one of two things - brown rice (you can check out my Nonny's recipe here) or mashed potatoes. This year, I did add a breakfast casserole to my Thanksgiving repertoire, and I'll have to share that recipe that I got from a friend soon because that. thing. was. good.

I love mashed potatoes, so even though peeling potatoes is a bit time consuming, it's my go-to dish of choice. The peeling potatoes is honestly the worst part of this entire recipe because the rest you just throw in the mixer and blend. Voile - you have a delicious side dish that even your great- aunts will be asking for (this happened at Thanksgiving and made my day...)

Start to Finish Time: About 40 minutes

5 pound bag of gold potatoes
6 oz sour cream
3/4 can of evaporated milk
4 oz cream cheese
1 stick of butter
Salt to taste

*Note: I didn't say this recipe was healthy...

  • Peel potatoes and cut into smaller pieces (they will cook faster this way)
  • Boil until soft (about 15 minutes)
  • Add other ingredients and mix until smooth
We received a KitchenAid mixer from my grandparents as a wedding gift and I love this thing for mashed potatoes. I dump all of the ingredients into the mixing bowl, turn it on low and gently raise the speed until the potatoes are nice and creamy. It makes it so easy! Though a hand mixer works just as well, too.

You can also top your potatoes with garnishing of your choice! I opted for chives here but will sometimes add cheese or bacon and then pop in the oven until melted. If you are taking your dish to someone else's home, just warm in the oven if they need a little heating. 

*Another Note: The ingredients listed above are give and take. That's what I base my recipe off of but I'll add the evaporated milk slowly to see how creamy I want them to be. If my brother is around, he'll tell me add the rest of the cream cheese and probably the sour cream, too. 

 In this mashed potatoes photo shoot, I thought I would also share a few of my fun little tablescape items! I snagged these reindeer from Pottery Barn a few weeks ago and I've just been moving them around my house because I like them so much. Although, this little trio may have found their home for this Christmas season on our dining room table.
Our Vietri Old St. Nick plates are also one of my Christmastime favorites. We opted for dessert plates vs. an entire set of Christmas china and we mix and match with our other pieces, like these gold ruffle chargers that I always receive the most compliments on. 
What's your go-to side dish for the holiday season? I always love hearing about a few favorites!

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Now that our Christmas card has arrived in our friends' & families' mailboxes, I'm excited to share our season's greetings for this year! In 2016, we shared an engagement photo and last year was very easy as we used one of our favorite wedding photos for our card, but this year, we decided to just keep it simple!

My mom stopped by our house, snapped a photo on our porch, and then I just uploaded our photo to Minted (which I've used for Christmas cards, invitations, save the dates, and more. Minted is also having a sale now through 12/3 to receive 15% off holiday cards! Whether you love a traditional Christmas card, a fun and unique seasons greetings, or even a Happy New Year card, there are so many really great options. This is the exact card we chose (the petite 4x6 version) but I moved around the wording so that it would best fit with our photo!

The other thing I love is that Minted offers free envelope addressing. I hand-addressed all of our save the dates, so if I can avoid doing that ever again, I will be happy! 
Shop My Minted Picks:

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'Tis the season to be engaged! Or get engaged... because let's be honest, the holiday season is such a wonderful time to say yes to your special someone. Though Stephen and I got engaged in late summer, spending that holiday season of engagement was so special and unlike any other! With Christmas fast approaching, I stopped into Perry's Emporium to check out their incredible selection of bridal jewelry from designers like Simon G., Hearts on Fire and Sylvie. 

Stephen and I ring shopped once, about 8 months before we got engaged. I definitely sent some photo hints, but for the most part, he chose my engagement ring all on his own, which I loved! Stephen went with me on my most recent visit to Perry's and it was fun to see him point out which diamonds he liked the best - and he loved the same one as I did!

It's clear I'm all about an oval, because not only is my own engagement ring an oval, but my favorite in the Simon G. collection was this gorgeous oval halo! The display ring in store is a diamond setting with a CZ center stone, which allows you to customize the diamond that fits within your style, preference in terms of the 4 Cs (clarity, cut, color, and carat), and of course, your budget. 

I had the opportunity to try on a variety of styles - and with the Simon G. collection, there are so many gorgeous options that it's hard to go wrong! One of the great things about this collection is that there were so many settings available in store to try on, giving a good insight on a variety of styles.

As if these diamonds aren't reason enough to head over to Perry's Emporium, then their Let it Snow event should be! As part of the Let it Snow event, if it snows 3 inches in Saint Nicholas, PA or Saint Nicholas, MI on Christmas Day, then your diamond is free!* Be sure to see below for all the details. 
And in case you missed my post on Instagram, my friends over at Perry's Emporium are generously giving away a pair of 1/2 total carat weight studs. But it gets better - if it snows on Christmas Day in ... like I mentioned above in their Let it Snow Campaign, then the winner will get an upgrade to a pair of 1 carat diamond studs! If you haven't already, head over to this photo and like, comment, and follow @zellewiggins and @perrysemporium on Instagram to be entered to win!

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Thanks so much to Perry's Emporium for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own. 
I hope everyone has had a wonderful long weekend! I'm running on E on this Monday morning as it was a huge weekend for us at ZIA (and absolutely no complaints here!) We are so thankful for each and every person that shopped in-store and online with us. 

I don't do a ton of shopping anymore unless it's for our home but sales are a perfect time to stock up on a few favorites or must-haves that we don't have at the shop. This year, I ended up purchasing things I already had my eye on:

+ J.Crew Jacket - I've been wanting this jacket since last year but just never found a reason to purchase. But at 50% off, I knew it was worth coming home with me! J.Crew is still offering 50% off but sizes are getting slim in some of the fan-favorites. 

+ Faux Leather Moto Leggings - These leggings are an item that I would've paid full-price for, so finding them for 20% off just sweetened the deal. If you don't own a pair of Spanx leggings, run to their website. Everything is still 20% off. 

+ Velvet Quilted Stockings - I wanted some stockings that will be timeless in our home, so I ordered these from Pottery Barn! I actually started out with a set that were faux fur and though they are beautiful, they just aren't quite what I envisioned. Those are going back and I can't wait to get these, complete with name personalization. 

+ Old Navy Workout Leggings & Basics - I actually shopped for these things on Sunday and then they ended up changing up their sale from 40% off to 50% off! So if you're shopping today, you're winning! I snagged these leggings for working out and these for my days I just want to throw on an oversized sweater and leggings. I also love their luxe brand of tees as they are so comfy so I purchased one of those as well.

+ Martha Stewart Dutch Oven - I'm excited to snag one of these and I went with the color Oyster. It's 70% off this week - such huge savings!

A few of my favorite retailers are still offering great sales - whether it's an overall purchase discount or specialty sales, there are still great sales online!

+ Ulta - over 180 sales and $10 off your $50 purchase. I'm purchasing more of the Nioxin (I use system 1) as it's on sale + you also receive a free bottle with purchase. They're also doing a cute little free gift!

+ West Elm - my new light fixture is on sale and West Elm is also offering free shipping. 

+ Serena & Lily - 25% off everything. S&L has some amazing lighting as well + a gorgeous selection of home decor.

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I hope each of you had an absolutely wonderful Thanksgiving! We spent the entire day with family and had the best time. We kicked it off with breakfast at my in-laws, came back to our house and cooked a few sides with my brother and his girlfriend, and then had dinner with at my parents' with our extended family. It's safe to say I am completely stuffed and my heart is so full!

It's a huge shopping weekend and while I encourage you to consider shopping locally and supporting some of your local businesses, I also have a few of my favorite pieces that are on sale + a few deals that are hard to resist (and that I'll be shopping as well! One amazing sale that you don't want to miss is on this necklace - I wear it every day and receive the most compliments and it's 65% off!
Adidas Tank - under $20
Camo Leggings - 20% off

Cocoon Jacket - 40% Off

Tunic - Under $25
Step-Hem Jeans - 30% Off

Slouchy Tunic - 40% Off

Alo High Waist Leggings - Originally $110, On Sale for $55!

Shop My Sales:

In my shopping cart:
Fur-Trimmed Parka - I've had my eye on this jacket for quite some time but just can't seem to make the purchase! But this weekend it's 50% off so there's a good chance I'll be purchasing. 

High-Waist Moto Legging - I'm trying to decide between the Alo Yoga moto legging and these by Spanx. I really don't need two pairs but would wear the Spanx as actual clothing and the Alo to work out in - although I may be able to repurpose one or the other!

Lewellyn Mule - I have these in camel and leopard and I'm contemplating them in black!

Other Great Sales:
H&M - 30% Off Purchase with code 3238

J.Crew - 50% Off with code TGIF

Bloomingdale's - 15 - 25% Off

7 for All Mankind - 40% Off with code BLACK40

Serena & Lily - 20% Off with code GATHER

West Elm - 15-30% Off with code SAVEMORE

Victoria's Secret - Buy One, Get One Free PJs with code SLEEP

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