Home Living

Help a Fella Out — Gift for $32

March 4, 2015

It’s been a little bit since I’ve helped my fellas out on SST, so today I will change that. If there are any men still reading SST besides Wilson and my dad, I’m not sure why you are reading, but I am certainly glad you are here. And in the event that you’d like to shower that certain someone with a gift for $32, you’re in luck. I have just the thing for you.

Linen cocktail napkins are one of my favorite things, and these pineapple ones are no exception. One of my favorite Charleston haunts Open Door Shop carries them and they would make the perfect surcee. Maybe I will turn this into a surcee series… 

 

shop hemstitch cocktail napkin | open door shop | Open Door Shop

 

 

napkin

Wanna know the best part? Open Door Shop is having a 20% off sale today online with the promo code SPRINGSALE. Holla. These napkins would be the perfect hostess gift, birthday present, or Happy Humpday gift. Go getcha some!

In other news, it is a glorious 70 degrees already in Savannah as I’m writing this and I have a major tingling of Spring Fever, which really means I am dying to pour myself a mimosa in a bikini. Don’t give me that look Wilson, you know you want to too. 

Who’s with me!?

Fashion and Beauty

How to Dress Like Spring When It’s Still Cold

February 27, 2015

I think we can all agree that winter is bad and we are sick of it and it sucks and we hate it and it’s awful and we wish it would go away. Winter is like that obnoxious third cousin that always tries to hug you when all you want him/her to do is just get the f off of you. Shoo. 

One easy way to beat the winter blues is simply dress like it’s spring, but with cold weather clothing. Straight brill. And dressing for spring can be easy on the wallet, too — I’ve pulled together a springy outfit below and all of these pieces are $70 or less.

 

Spring Style for Cold Weather

 

hat / lipstick/ scarf / jeans / sweater / necklace / sunglasses / ringwedges

 

As previously determined here on SST, white pants are no longer just for the spring and summer months — they are a year-round staple. Wilson, you’re welcome. Pairing these white jeans with the peep toe booties and a neutral sweater is a fresh take on dressing warmly yet with spring on the brain. And nothing says I’m loud, proud, and over winter like a bold red lip. Right? 

 

TGIF peeps, I’ll be toasting you tonight. Or in an hour. 
Fashion and Beauty

Resort Wear Double Duty

February 24, 2015
IMG_2356

Hola! Cómo estás? I’m working on my Spanish. It’s a slow process. 

Today instead of me telling you all of my brilliant ideas — ha – I need your help. I am mentally packing for my Mexican getaway (hell I may never come back if this weather keeps up) and I want to re-wear some of my honeymoon attire. My trousseau, if you will. These were some of my favorite outfits from my honeymoon, and I need your opinion if you think they are still in style or perhaps maybe need to be shelved for future vacations. This is also my effort to not break the bank by buying a new resort wardrobe that I won’t be able to wear to work. Although I wish I could. 

IMG_2183

 This pink dress is one of my favorites and I love it. Something no name from a boutique. What do you think? Wilson is so handsome. 

IMG_2339

 I love this cover up. J.Crew on sale. Still good to wear?

IMG_2136

We stayed at the Gansevoort in Turks and Caicos and I cannot speak highly enough about it. It truly was one of the best weeks of my whole life, and I think I will always say that no matter what kind of trips I take in my future. Every day began with a delicious spread of breakfast foods, and then Wilson and I took our iced coffees to-go and finished them on the beach. We’d then start the mimosas, which was followed by grilled pizza for lunch (they have a woodfire grill on the beach for such necessities) and then drinking ourselves into a nap. Every night for dinner we tried a new restaurant on the island. It was a dream.

Cover Up

Another cover up option for Messy Toe.

Jumpsuit

A jumpsuit option. Not sure this will make the cut. What do you think? I’m not checking a bag, so packing strategery is key.

Trina Turk Dress

This was a Trina Turk dress I bought and have worn several times since. Another one I need your opinion on. Is it a bit out-of-season? 

And who is my lovely friend, you might ask? Wilson and I made vacation friends and went to dinner with them on the last night. Obviously you can see why we were such good friends. Anyone who likes Veuve is automatically in. 

Please leave me comments with what you think of these outfits and suggestions for others. This is an extremely important matter and planning my outfits for this trip is pretty much what I’m holding onto right now to get out of my severe seasonal affected disorder. As my sister told me yesterday, we’ve all got SAD this year. 

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Beach

 T&C was positively idyllic. I can’t wait for Messy Toe.

How to Speak Southern

Those Early Mornings

February 19, 2015
164H

For the fifth time in two weeks the volume on my phone was turned so low that I didn’t hear my alarm and slept past my 5:25AM wake up call to go to my barre class. I awoke to a grayishly lit sky, and knew immediately I had once again slept through my alarm as the sky is pitch-black at 5:25AM.

“This f&*(**(&)(&&**((( piece of shit is so (&*&*(^*(&^!!!!” And so on. 

Expletives continued to explode from my mouth as I lunged for my cell phone and threw it on the ground in a sleepy rage. I laid back down in bed, so upset with myself that not only had I missed my barre class ($15 each), but I missed my opportunity to exercise, and heaven forbid if I don’t exercise almost every day. I continued to curse at myself and finally sat up on the side of the bed. I couldn’t help myself when the tears started to fall. It wasn’t even 6:20AM.

I am a person who is dictated by rules. I have rules for when I go to bed to get enough sleep, rules for how I arrange things on a bookshelf to be stylish, rules for when I have to get to work to be a good employee, rules for how my hair must look to be pretty, rules for how much I am supposed to exercise to be healthy, rules for how many breaths to take to relieve my anxiety, rules for the jokes I make on this blog so as to make people laugh but not offend anyone. It’s fucking exhausting.

I wrote a blog post last year about how I wanted to stop making so many lists. As I write this I’m looking at the list of things I need to do at work tomorrow morning in addition to the list of things I want to accomplish over the weekend. I also have another mental list of errands to run on Saturday. We see how well that resolution worked out.

I am telling you this sob story for two reasons: 1) because I don’t ever want to seem like my life is perfect or that I know anything about anything and 2) it feels nice to get it out.

I also want to say that I am going to change, but I am an inherently type-A person to the bone, so I’m not sure I can completely change. But I am determined to tweak. At least a little.

I put more pressure on myself to be perfect than anyone else does. I am not influenced by super perfect models that have unimaginable bodies. I don’t see other businesswomen busting ass and feel pressured to measure up. Sure I’d like to be like all of these people, but this pressure is different because it comes from within. This pressure is self-inflicted in some sort of sick masochistic way. Ah yes — I am a perfectionist. And it’s fucking exhausting. And just saying it’s exhausting makes me feel better. So I’ll say it again.

IT’S FUCKING EXHAUSTING!

I’m feeling better already.

An aside: I normally don’t say the f word on SST because my parents read and my mother in law reads and my aunt reads and my mom’s friends read and my mom does not want me saying the f word on the internet, but it does provide a certain amount of impact and power that other words do not carry, so for this one post Mom please forgive me. I probably won’t do it again.

But here’s the thing that happened once I started to embarrassingly cry on the side of my bed at 6:15 in the morning — my dear Wilson got up, put his arm around me, and told me that everything was ok. His breath wreaked of sleep and his face was a bit greasy, but the warmth of his embrace was enough to warm a thousand hearts. He gently rubbed my shoulders and told me it was ok and not to worry. Wilson is one of the kindest, most empathetic people alive, and you’re lucky if you have him as a friend. I’m even luckier to have him as my husband.

And you know what, it was ok. The world did not stop spinning because I did not get up at 5:25AM like some idiotic exercise-crazed freak. War and famine did not break out because I wasn’t at work at my goal 7:55AM start time. Lives were not lost because I was a bit hurried that morning as I got ready. Everything was fine, everything was good, everything was ok.

So here’s my life tweak — everything is ok. Not everything is going to be ok or everything will be ok, everything is ok right in this moment, right this second. If your heart is still beating and your eyes are still seeing and your fingers are still touching, everything is ok.

These are deeply personal thoughts I’m bearing right now, but for some reason when I drain my emotions out on this blog it makes me feel lighter and therefore more sarcastic and funny moving forward. So here’s hoping I’ll be better tomorrow.

But for now, everything is ok and I’m getting some wine. Cya.

Fashion and Beauty

Mexico Resort Style: Swimwear

February 18, 2015

Bathing suit shopping is a well-known cause for anxiety and frustration among women, present company included. In fact, it freaking sucks actually. I’m not normally one to be overly critical of my body, but when I shop for bikinis, the voices in my head are straight up evil.

Shouldn’t have eaten those cookies last night, they say.

Your metabolism isn’t what it used to be, they say.

Maybe you should cut back on your red wine, they say.

And that’s where I draw the line. Cut back on my red wine intake? What, are you trying to kill me, me?

Anywho, I find it much safer and easier on my self esteem if I order a bunch of bikinis and try them on at home. Not only can I control my own lighting — and that is to say I can turn the lights in the room off – but a bottle glass of wine is just steps away. When in doubt, wine makes it better.

Here are some of the bathing suits I’m considering for my romantic Mexican getaway.

 

Mexico Trip Beach Picks

 

blue wrap bikini / green bikini / coral halter bikini / black and white wrap bikini / white cover up /
neon bottoms / neon top / crochet bikini / underwire bikini top

 

These bathing suits range in price (one is super expensive, oops) but what is so interesting about bathing suits now is the wide variety of types available. Gone are the times where the options for bathing suits came in three sizes, three colors and three different styles. Now, you can choose from just about any bathing suit contraption imaginable (see that blue bikini above) to make all of your bathing suit nightmares dreams come true.

A thought on buying bathing suits: My swimwear strategy is to find a good pair of bottoms in a neutral color like white or black, and then just switch out the tops. Finding swim bottoms that actually cover my bottom is a bit of a feat, so once I find a good pair, I stick with them. If you have more difficulty finding a good top, find one that you love and then just switch out the bottoms for multiple looks. Dressing for your body shape is key, especially when you are in a bathing suit. The true definition of letting it all hang out.

By the way, all the J.Crew bikinis above are 20% off today with the promo code SHOPPINGTIME.

T-minus one month and one day until Wilson and I are on a plane to get some much needed sunshine and daiquiris.

Home Living

Investment Piece of the Month

February 13, 2015

My sweet aunt and uncle gave Wilson and me a gift certificate to Bed Bath & Beyond for Christmas this past year. I have to admit something about Bed Bath and Beyond — that store overwhelms me almost to the point of being frightening. It is so massive and has so many useful things in it, and coupled with my extraordinary ability to rationalize just about any purchase, I could easily spend a mortgage payment in there.

Truly, I think it’s the Beyond part that is so scary. What is BEYOND? You mean to tell me there is MORE than the 100,000 items you carry in this store? Absolutely insanity I tell you. 

But here’s the best part about BB&B — its online store. I can easily peruse to find what I need without spending $200 on strange potholders and a lemon zester. Phew. 

Anywho, with my handy gift card I purchased a new set of knives, and my culinary life has never been the same since. February’s Investment Piece of the Month = a few good knives, but these knives in particular are bomb. Thank you Marilyn and Norman!

 ZWILLING J A HENCKELS Zwilling J.A. Henckles Four Star 3-Piece Essential Knife Set

 

via

These knives are so good. Last night I made zucchini noodles (zoodles!?) for Wilson and me with the big knife. A bit time consuming certainly, but my zoodles were freakin’ on point because of the ultra-sharp, ultra-precise blade of the Henckles knife. Henckels I love you. 

This set of Henckels knives is $100, and worth every penny. Buy them. Do it.

How to Speak Southern

Impulse Purchases Aren’t All Bad

February 11, 2015

It was a chilly, blustery day in the Lowcountry about a month and a half ago when Wilson asked, “Can we go to Mexico?” His skin was pale, his eyes were a grayer version than their normal hazel, and he looked tired. We’d been trivially tossing around the idea of a warm-weather long weekend somewhere tropical, but all of the sirens in my head said “you need to save for retirement!” and “no more credit card debt!” and “you could donate that money to charity instead!” and so I said no. No my dear Wilson, we cannot go to Mexico and spend time together and make memories because I am responsible and I say no.

A few more weeks went by, and I kept thinking of that trip to Mexico. I thought of Wilson and I basking in the Central American sun together, drinking tropical drinks, taking naps to our hearts’ content. Heavenly. I thought of us sleeping in late, drinking coffee on our porch overlooking the water, no decisions to make besides what’s our next drink?

Savannah was chilly and annoying. Life was getting a little heavy. I think Wilson and I have seasonal affected disorder.

And so I said f&ck it. Sorry Mom and Dad. 

I texted Wilson BOOK THE TRIP and within 10 minutes Wilson sent me the booking confirmation from the travel agent. Talk about motivated. 

In a little over a month we will be viva la vida in Messy Toe.

A brief aside: last year my sister and brother in law went on a trip to Mexico, and my parents, Wilson and I kept my two baby nieces. Yes, that’s correct, we had a 2 to 1 ratio of adults to children, and yet I still almost died. Those babies kicked my butt. To all you moms, cheers, I have no idea how you do it. Anywho, when asked where her parents were, my niece Ella Grace responded, “Mommy Daddy in Messy Toe.” So Wilson and I are very excited to be briefly vacationing in Messy Toe.

 

Zoetry Resorts Paraiso photo

via

Doesn’t it look lovely? We are staying at a resort south of Cancun, which doesn’t really mean anything to me but it sounds just fine. If you are looking for a moderately priced quick vacation spot, this may be the ticket. Since we haven’t visited yet I can’t give my formal stamp of approval, but I’ll let you know how it is as soon as I return. The reviews are fabulous.

Zoetry Resorts Paraiso

 via

Paraiso Room Plunge Pool

via

That is the plunge pool I will be plunging in. Oh look, they’ve already poured me a mimosa. How thoughtful. 

 Now, what shall my Messy Toe resort-wear look be?

Photo credit: Zoetry Wellness & Resorts

Fashion and Beauty

New Running Shoes or Impending Disaster?

February 6, 2015

Oy vey.

I am in dire need of a new pair of a running shoes. I have had the same pair for seven years, which is either a testament to my cheapness or my neglect for exercise, I can’t decide. Probably both. 

Anywho, while I am normally stoked about the prospect of actually needing new shoes — because I never actually need them, just want them, very large difference in the plastic fork budget world — I was less than excited about picking out new running shoes. And that is probably the reason I haven’t bought new ones for seven years — because I don’t care enough to pick them out. So I enlisted Wilson to help in this matter.

I’ve forced Wilson into Wilson’s recently taken up running as a form of exercise and knows a good bit about these things called running shoes and therefore he got to work. I sent him an email earlier this week asking him to pick me out some options, and not even 10 minutes later he responded with a myriad of choices.

After I was through four of his options, I was in stitches I was laughing so hard. Here’s some of his selections:

Nike Wild Trail

Interesting color.

ASICS GEL-Excite 2


Interesting color combination. Pink and purple, that’s really something.
ASICS Gel-Cumulus 16


He does know that I like all black.
Nike Dual Fusion Run 3

It gets worse. Just wait.

ASICS GEL-Nimbus® 16 Lite-Show


Sigh.
Nike Free TR Connect 2 Hyper Cobalt/Antarctica/Metallic Silver/Volt - Zappos.com Free Shipping BOTH Ways


NO HE DIDN’T. Oh yes, yes he did. 
ASICS GEL-Noosa Tri™ 9 Flash Yellow/Turquoise/Berry - Zappos.com Free Shipping BOTH Ways

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

ASICS GEL-Noosa Tri 9


Someone please make it stop. My eyes are burning.
After reviewing Wilson’s shoe picks for me, I was reminded of this cartoon:
Cookie Monster
via
Despite Wilson’s flagrant disregard for my fashion preferences, he did end up choosing the pair of shoes that I purchased.
Nike Dual Fusion Run 3 Blue Graphite/Hot Lave/Flash Lime - Zappos.com Free Shipping BOTH Ways

The shoes are more saturated in person than they appear above — the gray is darker, the neon yellow and orangey pink are shockingly bright – but I totally dig them. I also look like a legit runner in them too. I’m a great pretender and love to dress the part. Even better, I didn’t completely break the bank — at $80, they are good quality shoes and not overly expensive. So all in all, even though I cannot trust Wilson to pick out any clothes whatsoever for me (insert shudder here), I can trust him to come through in the end. We all have our strengths.

How to Speak Southern

Delicious Drink Tuesday

February 3, 2015
bittermilk

Over the weekend I dipped into a scrumptious tonic that I bought awhile back as a special treat to save for a special occasion. What was the occasion, you might ask? Well, it was a raging Saturday evening that included binge-watching Californication, — yes I know I’m six years behind on that show — making homemade quesadillas, and tying one on. Wilson and I are the best of drinking buds. 

Anywho, I was so excited that I finally dipped into this tonic because it truly was a special experience.

Friends, allow me to formally introduce you to Bittermilk. I featured Bittermilk on my guys’ gift guide in December, but now you two really have to meet. SST readers , meet Bittermilk — Bittermilk, meet SST.

You’re both welcome.

set up

Bittermilk is a line of handmade cocktail mixers made from real ingredients and bottled by hand. Side note — isn’t a bit ridiculous that you have to specifically say something is made from real ingredients because otherwise it most likely does not include real ingredients? WTF. Sorry, soap box. But for real, this mixer is the shit.

The best part about Bittermilk? All I did was fill my mule mug with some ice, and mix equal parts vodka, club soda, and Bittermilk. And then a lil’ more vod. Garnish with a lime and bam! You’ve got yourself a drink good enough for a fancy occasion.

bittermilk

 Nothing says a southern Savannah Saturday like a strong cocktail and a good porch session.

mah drink

 The tonic that I bought is the Charred Grapefruit Tonic, which tastes a little similar to a Moscow Mule but, in my opinion, better. Those damn Moscow Mules are so trendy these days that I’m glad to be done with them.

long view

 So, if you are looking for something to elevate a regular ol’ day, try BittermilkBut really, any day with homemade quesadillas is anything but regular. 

Home Living

How Cool Is This!

January 30, 2015

Happy Friday!

I was freaking out delighted when I received this email from an SST reader (glad to know someone is still reading besides my mom) regaling an SST-inspired home success.

 From: Marci  <xxx@comcast.net>
 Date: January 27, 2015 at 1:27:15 PM EST
 To: xxx@gmail.com
 Subject: Hooray!!!
Still need to get end ghost chairs (I have 6 in the middle but the old ones in the ends still) but it's 
finally all coming together. See your AWESOME acrylic (AKA fancy-pants plastic) rods? Dining room pictures 
to come!!! 
:))) Marci

Remember these acrylic rods that Wilson and I cajoled into curtain rods? Looking at those pictures make me a wee bit nostalgic/homesick. Welp, my new favorite person Marci did the same thing in her dining room below and I have to say, I like hers better than I liked mine.


dining room

I love how she hung just one drape on each side. Makes it more interesting I think. Cheaper, too. 

dining room 2

Marci, do you want to start writing SST? I need some help. You did a fabulous job my friend!

Now can someone please make me a mimosa?