This time of year is hard, am I right?! Especially now that I'm in the retail biz, I'm hyper aware of fall fashion beginning at the end of July and beginning of August (even though it's a million degrees out until around October if not later where I am!). That's why I love finding pieces I can wear now and later - and those transitional and layering pieces are 100% a must-have!

I ordered this top before heading on my cousin's bachelorette trip. I wore it with these shorts while in the Keys and then again over the weekend for my brother's birthday, but I'm loving how it looks with jeans as well. As we approach fall, the days will still be warm while the mornings and evenings cool off, so throwing on a sweater like this one will be my go-to for sure! Don't be surprised if you see this combo on repeat!
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My morning routine since owning a business looks a bit differently than it did when I worked in a more corporate setting. The store doesn't open until 10am, which gives me a little bit more time in the mornings to get some other things in, which is really nice. I definitely have my productive mornings and then my "lazy" mornings, so keep reading to see how they vary!

On a productive morning, I'll wake up around 6:45 - 7:00am and head to the gym. Even if I'm rushing out the door, I try to make my coffee and drink it while I'm getting ready and then during the drive to the gym. I'll work out between 30 minutes to an hour, then head home to shower, and a lot of times, I'll snag another cup of coffee. Then I pack my lunch, put Sophie in the car, and we're off!

I call this kind of morning lazy because I'm not getting a workout in - and these days, if I don't get it done in the morning, it doesn't happen! I have a hard time going to sleep at night, so waking up early is sometimes a challenge - I think the insomnia comes from stress and then I toss and turn, so I rarely get 8 hours of sleep - it's more along the lines of 5-6, which my body doesn't love. So on these slow mornings, I'll normally check my email, catch up on Instagram messages for both the blog and the store, and then hop on my computer for a few. But my favorite part of my morning is grabbing a cup of coffee and sitting at my vanity to do makeup. Sometimes, I listen to a podcast, sometimes I watch the news, sometimes I watch InstaStories but these days - it's #Greys all day every day. It's a problem, I know. 

In other news, my sweet mama swears by this coffee maker! We have a Keurig (and she used to use one as well), but she is all about the Hamilton Beach single serve coffee maker! Now I'm wondering if I should get one for our house - or at least for the store!

And P.S. Target is my jam these days for comfortable PJs. Every time I go in, I take a peek at what they've got going on in the pajama section because they are so comfortable! I've ordered and returned expensive PJs because they can't hold a candle to these! I'm loving this little cropped sweatshirt (I sized up for a more slouchy fit in the neck) and these shorts (true to size). I also got these cuties because I couldn't resist.

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I've shared here and there little insights to certain areas of our home, but one thing I haven't shared is our kitchen... we don't own the house we're currently in, so a complete overhaul of certain areas doesn't seem like the best fit. Instead, we've done smaller cosmetic updates, like painting, etc.

In a dream world, I'd love to completely re-do our kitchen, but considering we don't know how long we will be in our home, it's just not the most feasible (or economical) option. I always like to say that our house has "good bones," which I think it does. We currently have oak cabinets in our kitchen - they're great cabinets, but they don't fit into the "pinterest perfect" white cloud kitchens that you constantly see today. Completely redoing our cabinets doesn't seem like the best option for us, so I've been on Pinterest browsing different updates you can do for kitchens that don't involve paint. Here are a few of my favorites.

A few things we can do to update:
  1. Change the hardware: We currently have basic silver knobs - they do nothing for our kitchen cabinets. I've found a few knob options that would spruce up the cabinets without committing to a cabinet overhaul.
  2. Update lighting: I'd love to add pendant lights over our bar that would jazz things up a bit.
  3. Change faucet: I've found with lot of kitchen renos that changing just the faucet makes all the difference!
I'm having a hard time committing to a few of our changes (hardware especially) but these are a few that I'm loving.
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Do you have any updates you're working on in your home?

This week has been an interesting one! I feel like I have been going non-stop all week but just can't seem to catch up. Anyone else ever feel that way? I'm hoping for a productive weekend so I'll be all ready and fresh for the next work-week. On this weekend's agenda: healthy eating, time outside, cleaning our house, and working out. How about you?

On a different note, when I first started blogging, the Friday Five was something I shared every week. At the time, I was blogging almost every week day, Instagram was not nearly as much of a thing as it is now, and blogging was less about business and more about sharing what I thought was interesting.

Each Friday, I'm going to head back to my roots, if you will, and share five snapshots, products and the like from the week. I hope you enjoy!
this new arrival from ZIA. love it. 
not the cutest picture, but I found this print in Key West and it had to go through a lot of traveling to make it home. Glad to finally have it in its place.
thoughtful gifts from Southern Bee Brooke
our new ottoman that I can't get enough of
weekend casual vibes

Cheers to a wonderful weekend! I hope you make it a great one!

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If you're like me, you may have quite a few end-of-summer and fall weddings coming up on your calendar! This summer has been fairly quite for us wedding-wise, but we're excited for some of our friends who are getting married in September and October!

I often get quite a few questions as to what good options are for weddings this time of year! This dress is probably my most favorite dress I've ever worn to a wedding as a guest - I've shared it countless times but you all still love it! The great thing about dresses is that oftentimes, they can transcend across several wardrobe classifications. I wore the above dress to a 5:30 church wedding and country club reception (formal/cocktail) but I would have made it work for a black tie event as well. I've broken down a few dress code options and a few beautiful dresses I have my eye on.

For a more casual wedding, these are some beautiful options.

Formal/Black-Tie Optional:
From personal experience, formal/cocktail is the most commonly-chose dress code for a wedding. t's what our dress code was as well. I also find that for women, formal and black-tie optional also tie in together pretty well. 

Black Tie:
I love any excuse to wear a long dress, so though a formal cocktail dress is appropriate nowadays for women for black tie weddings, I love any reason to wear a long one! Check out the white-tie section for a few more great options.

White Tie:
The most dressy occasion of all! For a white-tie event, a long gown would be the most appropriate selection. 

Stephen and I are so excited to have celebrated our first wedding anniversary! It honestly seems like we just got married three weeks ago - we've crammed so much into this first year of married life, but at the same time, it has just flown by so quickly.

We've been on the go so much lately - I just got back from Key West, he is heading to ATL for a bachelor trip, I'm going to Charlottesville for a bach trip later this month, then NYC for market in September, and then to the Outer Banks for a week-long vacation/wedding for one of my best friends! We've been entertaining an anniversary trip for the last few months and even contemplated planning one last week, but we both decided decided that with all of our travels, we would love nothing more than a staycation. 

We decided to head to the beach house for the weekend, and we had the best time just the two of us! I think we've eaten more over the weekend than we should have in a week, but we did love spending time together at some of our favorite places. We started our weekend off with a casual dinner at Po's at Wrightsville Beach, and Saturday included bagels from our fave bagel joint + a long walk around the loop. Dinner at Port Land Grille was absolutely amazing, and we finished off our eating with brunch at Boca Bay. We spent the rest of Sunday (our actual anniversary) with another great walk, take-out dinner, and the tradition of cutting into the top layer of our wedding cake!

We did keep our original top layer, but let me tell you - it was a disaster! We ordered another cute little one that looked identical, and while we cut into the original and took a bite, we definitely went with the new for a real piece of cake!

It's safe to say it's been such a fun weekend - this weekend spent here in town is such a good reminder that you don't always have to be on the go to enjoy time together. We're planning on taking a fun trip later in the fall or maybe in the winter - but for now, our staycation was the perfect relaxation we needed!
As we celebrate our 1st anniversary, I thought I'd share a fun little Q+A! Some of the questions are incredibly random, some relate to marriage, but just keep reading to see what we had to say!

What has been your favorite thing about our first year of marriage?
Stephen: Getting to enjoy our relationship every day and find new ways to live our lives with one another as we grow together.
Zelle: I love that we come home to each other each day! For years, we lived in different towns, and seeing each other always required a plan. Now, I know that at the end of each day, we'll be in our little home and I absolutely love that.

What advice would you give to newlyweds?
Stephen: I’ve heard plenty of times that to be happy, the man has to say “yes dear.” But more important than that is to be truthful with one another every day because the other person probably feels the same way deep down. 
Zelle: Be quick to listen and slow to judge! Be supportive of your spouse. I can so easily get caught up in the little things, but it's important not to take everything too seriously! Stephen reminds me of that all the time - and it definitely makes me a better person. 

Who is the better cook?
Stephen: Grilling: Me. Everything else: Zelle!
Zelle: I probably cook more than Stephen does - so..? But he can cook a mean steak on the grill complete with a side of mac-and-cheese and veggies.

How many children do you want?
Stephen: Twins. We’re not sure how many sets.
Zelle: Two kids. But honestly, I'd love it if we had twins! I always thought it would be so neat to be a twin - so having them would be pretty cool too (as a note to Stephen's - if twins, one set...)

What was your first opinion of each other?
Stephen: I thought I would never find a more beautiful dance partner when I stalked her at a concert. 
Zelle: I definitely thought he was cute! And I also thought he was a lot older. I was 18 when we first met and I thought he was at least 22. 

What is something you've had to adjust to about living with each other?
Steve: Timing/planning of what to do after work some days...gym, eat dinner, idk let’s just sit around and talk about it for 45 mins
Zelle: I had roommates in college but then lived by myself for the better part of 4 years (aside from a short stint of living with my brother). So it's always an adjustment when you're sharing space with someone. I'll get annoyed by something left in the sink or clothes in "the chair" in our room, but then I turn around and do the exact same thing. 

What is something random about your spouse that someone may not know?
Stephen: She doesn’t like to be touched by me when I’m sweaty after a workout. Even if I just talk about it, it makes her anxious and she gets stressed haha.
Zelle: Although he's pretty active, he loves movies - and remembers all kinds of quotes from them. I'm the opposite! (also - super true about what Stephen said about me... very weird, I know. I get plenty sweaty when I work out but I just don't like being touched...)

What has surprised you about your first year of marriage?
Stephen: How we can both agree pretty quickly on big decisions in life. Family/religion/money.....we may give a strong opinion at first but then we can side together shortly thereafter and then we say... hmm, yeah that’s true...sounds good! I hope that can continue haha.
Zelle: I shouldn't say I'm surprised by this, because we've always had a good time together, but I love how fun our marriage is. We definitely don't agree on everything, but I can get so frustrated by something and then be laughing within minutes. 
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