Fashion and Beauty

Investment Piece of the Month: Mario Badescu

July 1, 2015

It’s been quite some time since I’ve given you the scoop on what I invest in. My bad.

Besides my 401k, I do tend to splurge on invest in facial cream. No, I do not absolutely need expensive facial cream but I do love it. And my face loves it back. I take some things at face value. I pun.

Facial creams are a dime a dozen these days, and it is quite difficult to break through the clutter to find the one that works for you. So I’d recommend trying a couple. I’ve tried plenty in my ripe young age, and usually switch what I’m using every six months or so — not necessarily because the current cream doesn’t work, but because I want to try something new. Variety is the spice of life?

The only facial cream I’ve used for more than six consecutive months is Mario Badescu. I was first introduced to my dear friend Mario from this guest post on The SoGood, but I was appalled at the price and therefore did not give him another thought. But then a few months later Mario Badescu was featured on Gilt Groupe, and so I decided to try it. I started with the daily Collagen Moisturizer, the Herbal Hydrating Serum, and the Caviar Night Cream. Now keep in mind the prices on Gilt were almost 50% off so I didn’t spend as much moolah as I would have full price, but honestly, it doesn’t matter. This stuff is the bomb.com.

 

Mario Badescu Skin Care

 

one / two / three / four / five

 

During the winter when my face is particularly desert-like, I’ll wash my face and apply the Caviar Night cream and then the Serum on top of it, which my face just drinks up. You could say this is happy hour for my face. 

 

After I fell in love with the daily moisterizer, serum, and night cream, I then sprung for the full Anti-Aging Kit and Almond & Honey Face Scrub, and I love both too. The Anti-Aging kit is a pretty good deal — it includes a cleanser, toner, smaller moisturizer, collagen mask (which I put on once a week, much to Wilson’s chagrin) and some cooling eye cream for $30. Not terrible. 

 

 So if you are in the market for a new facial skincare regimen, Mario Badescu is my go-to, and could be yours too. Your face deserves a happy hour. 

Fashion and Beauty

Cover Ups for Under $100

June 26, 2015

This weekend Wilson and I are going to a beach party with some friends, which is all fine and well except for one problem — I need a cover up.

Bathing suit cover ups are kind of weird. They aren’t supposed to technically cover you up, just generally provide some protection when you are in your bathing suit (which is essentially glorified and quick-drying underwear) when you are not in an acceptable place to be scantily clad, such as your car. That little stretch of walking from your car to the beach can be fragile and cover ups are here to save your day.

Despite their heroic nature, I still strongly maintain that cover ups are weird. And, more specifically, elusive and difficult to find. So, I’ve perused the world wide web to locate a few good cover ups all under $100. Because if you spend more than $100 on a cover up, you need a serious reality check. #contributetoyourroth

 

Cover Ups for Under $100

 

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

Cute right? And affordable.

Ok ta-ta for now. I’m off to dream of my 5PM wine.

Home Living

Majorca

June 24, 2015
sunset behind lighthouse

Ah Majorca. Quite possibly one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. C’est incredible. 

We stayed at Hotel Esplendido, which was a stunning hotel with amazing views and fantastic decor. Understated and modern, but not annoyingly so. It’s tagline was Hasta La Vista Baby!

There are so many photos from this trip and I kept finding more and more that I wanted to share. So apologies for the extreme amount of photos included below, but I feel like they speak for themselves. Majorca was incredible and you must visit as soon as possible. End of story.

beach view right

beach view left

paddleboarders

We rented paddleboards and paddleboarded around the little bay.

clear water

The Mediterranean was crystal clear.

an intruder

Oh hello!

blue things

Some sort of something that washed up on the beach.

crazy hair

incoming train

There was a little train that connected Puerto de Soller, where we stayed, to the nearby town and was just the cutest thing I’d ever seen.

the train

train 2

the room

I absolutely adored our room. I want that wallpaper stat.

room again

It was so cool at night that we kept the doors open to the porch and listened to the quiet roll of the sea all night long. There are no bugs there either. If we left our doors open in Savannah our apartment would become the jungle of no see’ums. 

the view

Our view from the porch.

oh hey

white chairs

These are the chairs outside the hotel lining the quaint street. I want them for my porch!

austin

Our neighbors.

view from room

me and wilson on beach

the four of us

That selfie stick was clutch.

the four of us first din

Dinner with a view.

sunset and wilson

sunrise on porch

One morning I randomly woke up at sunrise and snapped this photo. And then went back to sleep.

boats

How cute are these little boats?

me and wilsie

lunch

Lunch one afternoon. Wilson got sashimi — he claims it is the best he’s ever had — and I had some sort of ceviche. It was scrumptious. With a glass of rosé, of course.

maggie and austin

See how orange the orange juice is? Yes I realize how dumb that sounds, just humor me ok? Orange trees grow like weeds in Spain, and Spanish orange juice was on point. So you can imagine how delicious the mimosas were… 

olives

maggie in majorca

mi amor y sunset

the four of us best night

This was my favorite dinner of the whole trip. The food was delicious, our waiter was hilarious, and the company was the best I’ve ever had.

maggie and blanket

There was a chilly breeze blowing off the water and the restaurant gave us fleece blankets.

guys

And because the boys want to be just like us, they wrapped up too.

to the shops

chairs

town and mtns

trees and chairs

beach view

sailboats

sunset from pool

me and wilson in the pool

The infinity pool that overlooked the entire port.

sunset

Each night the sun set perfectly behind a rolling hill, providing a breathtaking view. People lined the streets each evening, wine in hand, and toasted the sun as it set.

sunset from our room

sunset from room 2

So I thought looking back at Barcelona photos was bad, but these pictures almost have me in tears. Such a fabulous trip. Spain is the best. You must go and experience its amazing culture. I need a mimosa. Or maybe a xanax. Or maybe both.

On Friday I’ll be chatting about some cover ups since I need one and maybe you need one so come back then. We can have champs together.

Fashion and Beauty

Wide Leg Pants — Save and Splurge

June 17, 2015

So before I show you photos from our time in Majorca, let’s take a pit stop and talk about something very important: wide leg pants. Wide leg pants are a great for dressing up or down, or even wearing to work. While in Spain I did some serious shopping at Zara, and scooped up the below pair of botanical pants — remember when we talked about botanicals — and loved them.

I’ve also been eyeing these very cute Alice & Olivia pants for awhile now. Truth be told, they are actually in my Neiman Marcus virtual shopping cart currently. The only thing holding me back is that damn price tag. But they are on sale for $198, which is very tempting…

Regardless of my inner wide leg pants struggles, you should get some if you are into being perfectly comfortable and chic at the same time.

 

Wide Leg Pants -- Save and Splurge

 

save / splurge

 I wore my “save” pants in Majorca and loved them. They need to be hemmed, but I wore them anyway. With this crop topThat crop top has gotten some surprising mileage. 

majorca wide leg pants
 These also have an elastic waistband, which is also super clutch after eating nothing but ham, cheese, bread and gin and tonics for six days. Trouble. 

 Check back in later this week for Majorca photos!

How to Speak Southern

Hello and Barcelona

June 12, 2015
blue lighting at la sagrada


Well hello there! It’s certainly been awhile, hasn’t it? My bad. Let me dust the cobwebs off this blog for a second. I’m not going to say that I’ve been too busy for you guys because the truth is I’ve been both busy and lazy, but I have been busy. But never too busy for you. 

So. The initial reason for my blog abdication was that Wilson and I took a 10-day trip to Spain with our best friends. And, quite frankly, I’m surprised we came back.

Spain is the shit.

We considered ourselves uncultured Americans seasoned travelers as we globetrotted from Barcelona to Majorca to Sevilla. It was a whirlwind of a trip, and certainly the trip of a lifetime. Even though looking back 10 days is certainly not enough time to do Spain the justice she deserves, when we were there, it was as if time stood still. Nothing stood between us and Spain but getting another drink at the bar from a handsome Spanish bartender. Time moved leisurely, elegantly, and we sauntered around Spain as if we belonged. We most certainly did not belong. 

We were on Spain time, and it was truly spectacular. I am going to become a complete and annoying cliche when I wax poetic about Spain and traveling and how important it is to see this extremely gigantic world we live in, but screw it. Traveling is one of those things you must do. It gives you perspective. It humbles you. It makes you realize how absolutely and infinitesimally small you are in the grand scheme of life. You are teeny. Your problems don’t really matter. So move on. 

(I’m talking to myself here)

Not only was Spain spiritually enlightening, it was so much fun. We drank and ate to our hearts’ content. We woke up late and partied late. We really embraced siestas. Y’all, the Spanish do life right. They go to work around 9, take a break for breakfast at 10 (it’s in their constitution that every Spaniard can break for breakfast) then they have lunch, then they leave in the afternoon. Sometimes around 2PM. You know, for the siesta. Yes Spain’s unemployment rate is inching towards 40%, but that’s neither here nor there… 

They eat extraordinary amounts of salty, cured ham; they only cook with olive oil; they stroll around and look disapprovingly upon drunken American tourists; they spend lots of time with their families, eating meals that could last all night and move from location to location. Spaniards do life right. Us Americans have gotten it all wrong. Our Puritan values of early to bed and early to rise and work all day and night until you are so stressed you’re on a double dose of Xanax are so screwed up. Mr. Puritan, I want to smack you upside the head. You are really, really dumb. We should do as the Spanish do and start livin’ la vida loca every day and every night.

Who’s with me!?!

Oh Spain was so great. Going through these photos was similar to taking a bullet. But, the other thing that I haven’t mentioned already that traveling teaches you is appreciation. I was really, truly happy to be back on Southern, American soil when we returned. There’s just something about the South that creeps into your soul and stays there, reminding you that even if you leave it, it never leaves you.

Here’s a taste of our delicious time in Spain. Hope you enjoy.

architecture

 I loved the architecture of the city. Even though it’s a historic, old city, the streets are wide and clean, and there aren’t any skyscrapers. Reminded me of D.C. a little.

wilson and i at cafe emma

maggie and austin

 Our dear friends Austin and Maggie, the perfect travel companions.

view w la sagrada in back

 The view from our hotel. That is La Sagrada Familia in the distance, which has been under construction for quite some time.

panorama

 I figured out how to do a panorama on my phone. I’m about two years late on that. 

hungover breakfast

We thought we spoke excellent Spanish. Maggie ordered a bagel and cream cheese. This is what she was served. We ate it all. 

street view

bike lane

three amigos on beach

One afternoon we went down to the beach in Barcelona and drank rosé. It was magical.

rose on the beach

boys

Great tapas place.

how cute

The pictures I took at night were all from my cell phone so the quality isn’t as great, but how cute are they?

us two

bar selfie

Bar selfie.

deliciousness

This was the best paella I ate the whole trip. Mmm it was so delicious.

gaudi house up close

Gaudi!

blue lighting at la sagrada

This was inside of La Sagrada Familia, and the light was just amazing. It poured in through the stained glass windows and illuminated the cathedral in a wash of rainbow-colored light, reminding me of a kaleidoscope.

la sagrada four amigos

la sagrada

stained glass windows

Isn’t that just amazing?

stained glass 2

green yellow lighting

So beautiful.

christopher columbus church

I can’t remember the name of this one but we learned some history here. It was built for the people, by the people, and therefore is a lot less ornamental and gilded.

half zip mafia

My three amigos.

market

This was in one of the food markets in the city, which basically shit on every farmer’s market in the U.S. They don’t have “farm to table” specialties over there because everything actually is straight off the boat or from the farm.

more market

fish at market

Fish!

strange meats

This was totally gross but very interesting. On the bottom left in the container is a sheep’s brain. Above the brain and to the left are bull testicles. Um. In the middle is stomach from either a cow or a sheep. On the right is a tongue. YES A TONGUE. LOOK AT HOW BIG IT IS.

grains at the market

churros

We ate churros dipped in real chocolate. It was absurdly good and I will never eat another churro again because it will never taste as good as these did.

boat ride cliff

One day we chartered a sailboat to cruise the coast of the Costa Brava to see Spain from the Mediterranean side. It was so gorgeous, and I got so seasick. Holy crap I was so nauseous.

landscape from boat

from boat landscape from boat 2 little white house

12 century castle

austin and champs

magz and champs

We took our cava very seriously.

four amigos on a boat

so seasick

By this time I was holding onto Wilson for dear life. The high seas are not for me.

fishermans lunch2

Finally we docked and ate the most scrumptious “fisherman’s lunch.”

background

It is an understatement to say that I was sad when we left for Barcelona, but I had no idea what waited for me in Majorca, which ended up being the most amazing place in the world. I’ll share those photos next. Stay tuned…

How to Speak Southern

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

May 15, 2015
OutoftheBoxArt_Molly-9420

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. 

OutoftheBoxArt_Molly-9562

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

OutoftheBoxArt_Molly-9624

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. 

IMG_1036

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
house

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

house

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:

Me: HOLY SHIT!

Wilson: What! What? What happened?

[silence]

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.

[silence]

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

 

shoez

 

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

romper

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…