How to Speak Southern

Investment Piece of the Month: OTB Fine Art and a Giveaway!

May 15, 2015

Happy Friday!

Today, in solidarity of my fellow women on the move — these women in particular are on the up and up I’ve partnered up with a baller company called Outside the Box Fine Art to bring y’all an awesome giveaway. Outside the Box Fine Art is a brilliantly designed service that makes collecting fine art interactive and accessible. I loveeee going to museums and looking at art, but I can embarrassingly honestly say that I’ve never been inside an art gallery. Actually I take that back. I went in one once with my parents when I was little in Charleston. Booyah I’m cultured. 

But I digress. The way Outside the Box Fine Art works is you join the membership, pay a yearly fee, and receive one piece of custom fine art each month. The pieces range from oil paintings to prints to sculptures, and vary in shape and size as well. As you may have guessed, this month’s Investment Piece of the Month is art. Something you will have forever, if you find yourself in the financial position to afford a piece of fine art, make sure it’s legit. Collecting beautiful pieces of art over time is so much fun — every piece comes with a story and a memory, and you can pass the pieces on to your children. If those lil ankle bitters are lucky. 


How cute are they!? Founders Mary Hull Palmer (left) and Molly McDowell (right) pose in celebration of their straight brill idea. Brill is short for brilliant. Get with it. 

Outside the Box_-160

The art is sourced from 10 Southern artists who work year-round to create unique pieces of art for OTB members.

Outside the Box_-47


And now for the part you’ve all been waiting for… the FREE STUFF! Enter the raffle below to get a chance to win a free Solar Etching on Paper created by Tom Nakashima (shown above, love those glasses boo) titled “Devil Came Down to GA.” And no the painting wasn’t named after me and my move to the peach state. The etching was created in 2014 and is worth $200! We so fancy. 


Such a cool piece of art. Enter the raffle below to become its lucky owner!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**The post was sponsored by Outside the Box Fine Art, but all ideas, writing, etc.etc. is my own.

Fashion and Beauty

Weekend Outfits

May 12, 2015

Oh hello! This past weekend Wilson and I traveled to a dear friend’s wedding on Bald Head Island, NC. A lovely place, Bald Head is indeed one of the few places left on the East Coast that really feels like a true escape. There are no cars on the island, only golf carts, and you have to take a ferry to the island. This was all fine and well except for one minor detail:

Sub-tropical Storm Ana.

This dirty little storm made her way up the Southern coastline and hovered over Bald Head just in time for the wedding festivities, lashing out at the lovely love affairs on land beneath her. Besides her untimely fury, Storm Ana was also unfortunate because many people mispronounced her name, pronouncing it like Anna (my name, you should know this by now) and not AH-nah, like it should be. This constant mispronunciation made me feel as though I were partially responsible for the extremely foul and unpredictable weather. As a result, I spent a fair amount of time correcting said mispronunciations and now despise the name AH-nah. I still love AIN-nah though. 

Despite the intermittent sky falling down, the wedding was quite lovely. Here’s some pictures from the weekend.

coffee and beach

diy jorts made from these gap jeans, post on that coming soon.

bathing suit

swimsuit / sunglasses


my view

wilson and me

take one

wilson and me 2

take two… crop top sold out, similar here / shorts old, similar here / flip flops 25% off with code SALETREAT / wallet

old baldy

old baldy

wedding dress

dress is old, pretty red(ish) ones here and here

On Friday for the rehearsal dinner I wore the below crop top in black with a pale pink/nude pleated skirt. It was pretty darn cute if I do say so myself. No pictures of that outfit unfortunately.

Truly Madly Deeply Fitted Cropped Tank Top

super cheap crop top

I also really like this one in white and the black/white print. Good price too. Remember, do not invest in crop tops. They will go out of style in a hot minute and then I will be kicking myself for showing my mid-drift. Is that the correct spelling?

Happy week peeps. Check back later this week for a fabulous collab and giveaway…

Home Living

Last Minute Mother’s Day Gifts

May 5, 2015
Mother's Day Rose

For all you procrastinators out there – present company included – a word to the wise: Sunday is Mother’s Day, and shit is about to get real. We’ve put our mothers through the ringer over the years, and it’s time to show dear ol’ Mom (Mom you’re not old) just how much you love her and how much you appreciate her patience while you blossomed into the amazing person you are today. You are amazing, right? 

Here’s some gift options that are all $100 or less — except for that iPad case oops – and provide a wide variety of things to choose from. I’m particularly in love with those coral salad tongs. Salad tongs may seem like an odd present for Mommy dearest, but, I assure you, they are not. They are perfect and she will love them. So there. 


Last Minute Mother's Day Gifts


one / two / three / four / five / six / seven / eight / nine

 Which is your favorite? Chat with me in the comments and tell me your favorite Mother’s Day memories. Y’all have been awful quite lately.

Fashion and Beauty

Friday Shoe Fetish

May 1, 2015

Ah Friday, there you are. I’ve been wondering where you were all week. Good to see you.

A few nights ago I was doing some innocent online shopping. The reason it was innocent was because I added things to my virtual shopping cart with no real intention of actually buying anything. I was satiating my shopping fix without spending money. Am I the only one who does this? Anywho, I was benignly perusing Zara when I happened upon the most beautiful pair of shoes. For $100. Eeeeeee. 

Wilson was sitting beside me and our conversation went like this:


Wilson: What! What? What happened?


Wilson: Anna! What!

[silence] [intense laptop starring]

Wilson: Would you STOP looking at your laptop and answer me? You can’t just scream holy shit and then not answer.


Wilson: ANNNNNA!

Me: Oh. Sorry. These shoes!

[Wilson leaves the room to get another drink.]

Wilson brought it to my attention that I do this all the time. I will exclaim about something, and then won’t say another word. It’s kind of like the boy who cried wolf, but only cried wolf once, really loudly and alarmingly. Similarly, I also like to refer to things as the thingy-ma-jig and whatchacallit, and refer to people as whatshisface and whatshisbutt. I realized I actually am guilty of these annoying things when, in a meeting at work, I referred to someone whose name was escaping me as “whatshisbutt.” I’m a work in progress. Always. 

As usual, poor Wilson.


Zara Shoes for $100




The last thing I need is another pair of nude shoes — I think I’m approaching double digits — but these are just too good. And that price? Come on. They practically hopped in my online shopping cart themselves. In the event that you are looking for a fantastic pair of nude heels that will add just enough spice to your outfit without being obnoxious, these heels are the answer to your shoe prayers. Am I the only one who does this?

Fine, the cheese stands alone. Next to my wine. 


Fashion and Beauty

On Trend For Spring: Botanicals

April 29, 2015

Something I’ve been into this year is the botanical trend — all flower everything on everything.

It started with this romper in Mexico:

white jumper


And then it just bloomed from there. See what I did there. 

In the event that you would like to integrate some fresh flowers into your wardrobe, I’ve pulled together some great items for spring and summer that are all under $100. I think. 


Botanical Trend


gray top / pleated skirt / purple top / white miniskirt / collared shirt


Super springy, right? A top or two of these floral pieces could be just the thing your wardrobe needs to lift its spirits. That or a deliciously chilled mimosa. 


Ta-ta for now…
Fashion and Beauty

Sunglasses Under $100 For Him

April 21, 2015

As a follow up to last week’s post about women’s sunglasses, I thought it might be helpful to offer some men’s sunglasses options too that are under $100. In the event anyone lost their significant other’s sunglasses(es) also. 

A lot of men’s sunglasses are, well, ugly. Really ugly, actually. I had to coax Wilson for far too long to stop wearing Costas like these that made him look like a big-headed beetle. Sorry Wilson. Those types of sunglasses were perfect for the aspiring 18-year-old fratstar freshman trying to pick up the ladies, but alas, those times have come and gone and the big-headed beetle sunglasses trend has gone with it.

Yes Wilson, you still can wear those Costas on your fishing trips. So long as I am not there to see them, you are good to go. 

Yes that means I won’t go fishing with you. 


Men's Sunglasses Under $100


 one / two / three / four

Each of these pairs is very man-stylish and versatile and $100 or less. Men, go nuts.
Fashion and Beauty

Sunglasses Under $100 For Her

April 15, 2015

Last year I lost 5 different pairs of sunglasses.

Yes, five.pairs. Bad.anna.

Three pairs were mine, two were Wilson’s. I wore his Ray Bans from time to time. You can imagine Wilson’s delight that, after losing three pairs of my own sunglasses, I then lost two pairs of his. Winner. Our conversation when I told him about losing his sunglasses(es) went a little something like this:

Me: I have bad news.

Wilson: What? What’s the matter?

Me: I lost your sunglasses.

Wilson:What!! Which pair?

Me: Both pairs.


Me: Fraid so.


Me: Well, I thought I had them in my bag, but I actually didn’t, and I think I put them down somewhere, but I was drinking and I don’t really remember and I’m really sorry. And you said you wanted new ones anyway. Right?

Wilson: Anna, do you know how much money you’ve wasted by losing all of those sunglasses?

Me: Yea I think I have it totaled up and it’s kind of a lot.


Me: Oopsies.

So because I am banned from buying expensive sunglasses anymore, below are 10 options that are all below $100 in case any of you are like me and are fantastic at losing sunglasses. My bad. 


Women's Sunglasses Under $100


one / two / three / four / five / six / seven / eight / nine / ten

3, 4 and 10 are my favorites — they are pretty funky. And, thank goodness, not too expensive, either. Phew. 

Don’t forget to enter my Beautycounter giveaway before tomorrow — enter to win a free Tint Skin! The product is really great, I promise you will not be disappointed. #sstapproved

Continue Reading…

Fashion and Beauty

Beautycounter Tint Skin Giveaway!

April 9, 2015

Thursday. There you are. Thank God.

We. Are. So. Close. To. Fridayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

I’m super excited about today’s post because I have once again partnered up with SST reader/Beautycounter connoisseur Jennifer to do a giveaway of the newest Beautycounter skin product, Tint Skin. Tint Skin is a tinted facial moisturizer and is the bomb. Jennifer sent me samples when I originally worked with her in October, but I still had a full tube of my Clinique CC cream left so I decided to wait until I was out before buying the Tint Skin. I just ran out of the CC cream a few weeks ago and ordered the Tint Skin, and thank goodness that stuff ran out. The tint skin is liquid gold.

The Clinique CC cream is still a great product, but there is something about the creaminess of the Tint Skin that makes it easier to apply. And since I know pretty much zero about makeup, I can use all the help I can get. I also like the way you can layer coverage — I can apply just one layer if I’m feeling fresh and dewy, or two layers if I’m hungover and need to fake it. The latter option most often wins. 



 Tint skin comes in a variety of shades to match your skin tone so that minimal blending is required – I wear Linen.

Tint Skin in Sand

everything 2

And at $38 a tube, it won’t break the bank, either. But if you are lucky, you’ll win a free tube of your choice below! Do one (or all) of the do-hickeys below for a chance to win…

Tomorrow’s Friday. We can do this. Together. And with lots of wine tonight.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fashion and Beauty

The Mexican Wardrobe

March 31, 2015
wilsons lap

My euphoric Mexi-coma from last week has come and gone and it’s back to real life. Real life is good, but vacation life is good too. Just sayin’. 

Below are some cell phone pictures from our incredible trip that include links to my resort wear picks. None of the clothes were really #plasticforkbudget, but what the hell. You only go to Messy Toe with your husband when you are 27 once. 

I need a piña colada now…

anna at plunge pool

hat / bikini / sunglasses

wilson selfie

 favorite swim bottoms

wilson and me black dress2

dress in print / earrings / sandals (can’t see them but they are worth clicking the link)

wilsons lap
white jumper

romper / shoes last season but similar here

bathing suit and pants

bikini top / bikini bottom / similar sunglasses / pants are last season but similar ones here / flip flops

 Also a mega shout-out to my #1 on his 9th 21st birthday. Wilson I love you and hope you have a wonderful day!

How to Speak Southern

Vacate Your Life, Remember Why It’s Worth It

March 26, 2015
water tree

Wilson and I returned from Mexico earlier this week and what a fun time we had. As soon as we claimed our luggage in the Cancun airport and emerged into the warm, muggy Mexican sunshine, I knew our impulse purchase was a good decision. Our friendly driver poured us glasses of sweet Champagne and babbled in Spanglish to us as we drove to the hotel. I looked over at Wilson, who almost immediately drained his flute, grinning ear-to-ear as always.

We checked into the sprawling, open-air hotel and upon hearing the soothing roll of the Gulf of Mexico, we both began to breathe a little easier, a little deeper. Once we arranged our things in our suite – Wilson loves to unpack – we strolled to the pool, where we lounged and drank for the remainder of the day. That evening we dined al fresco on the water, noshing on fresh fish, sipping on a spicy red wine, laughing and clapping to the beautiful music of a mariachi band.

It was freaking amazing.

plunge pool

breakfast 2

The fact of the matter is, in today’s overstimulated, over-communicated world, it’s really important to unplug. Some days at work I only scratch one or two items off my long list of to-dos because of how distracted I get from all the beeping and buzzing and pinging that goes on with the forty million devices I have that let people contact me. I can only imagine how someone feels that is legitimately important. It’s super frustrating, but damn if this Mexican slice of heaven didn’t heal my electronic device wounds. It’s absolutely pathetic that it takes going out of the country to be able to really relax, but at least we did it. We pressed pause on our busy lives for a moment and made time for ourselves and each other, and it made all the difference.

morning espresso


Thinking back on the trip, the parts I am most struck by were the blinding rays of sunlight breaking through the sturdy palm trees, the sparkling cerulean waters of the Gulf, and the look in Wilson’s eyes after the second day – he was happy and peaceful, and it made my heart so very full. So sappy, I know. I was also struck by the steady flow of drinks we drank, — and the variety, we drank everything — but that’s another story for another day.

On our last day Wilson convinced me to do something other than lie on the beach and off we went on a snorkeling excursion to a barrier reef not even half a mile offshore. Once the boat came to a halt we snapped the snorkeling goggles to our faces and plunged into the inviting water. It’s easy to forget there is an entirely different world beneath all of that blue.

Brightly colored fish flitted past us as we ogled at the wildly beautiful forest of the ocean. I was stunned at how close the coral reef was to us – we were extra careful not to tread water vertically but instead float on our backs with our flippers up when we needed a break so as not to disturb the intricately constructed coral. Never before have I seen brain coral so large or orange. It was massive, the round coils curved perfectly together in a pattern so complex only nature could conjure it. Fan coral waved at us as we floated by, perfectly royal in its striking purple hue, and I gasped as a sea turtle elegantly paddled across the ocean floor, graceful and strong against the current.

A few times Wilson and I held hands as we kicked our flippers through the water, a bit out of character of us as we both get the icks from too much PDA. But it was terrifically romantic and sweet – one of those moments, the ones you never forget, the ones you pull out on a rainy (or argumentative) day to remember the good times.

water tree

beach high res

Like I said, this trip was freaking amazing.

So what is this verbose diatribe about, you might ask after reading a 681-word count blog post? I want to testify against the glorification of being busy, and testify for taking a moment to yourself. So often I catch myself proving to others – and to myself – that I am soooo busy and therefore that’s why I’m soooo fabulous and important and awesome and smart. I often validate myself based on my degree of busyness, telling myself that I am really worth something if my schedule is unbelievably full and ridiculous. Screw that.

This vacation taught me that I can validate myself with how I treat others, including how I treat myself. I’ve always had good self-esteem, but I think I am now broaching the subject of how to truly love myself, and thereby more fully loving the ones around me. It’s great fun learning how to do new things.

So in long, take some time for yourself. Whether it’s for four days in Mexico with your loving husband in tow or it’s going to a 55-minute yoga class or hell even chugging drinking a glass of wine that you love, be kind to that person inside of yourself. You just may be surprised at how good it feels.