August 2014



My Favorite Entertaining Items for Labor Day — Under $60

Written by , Posted in Home Living

Hello! Happy Thursday everyone.

A housekeeping announcement before we begin our daily thrift session: my mother and sister both kindly informed me that my last post was RIFE with errors and typos, so I just wanted to say oops and I’m sorry. Self-editing is an ongoing process that is sometimes more successful than others. So, my bad. #shit

Now, on to much more important things: THE WEEKEND.

Labor Day weekend is almost here and I am going to the beach with my parents, sister and bro-in-law, Wilson, and, most importantly, my baby nieces. Sorry Wilson and fam. My nieces are the sweetest/cutest/smartest/prettiest/etc. etc. you get the picture – I’m obsessed with them. 

On Saturday night I am in charge of making dinner. I’m going to make crab cakes, a delicious salad, and some sort of buttery, not-good-for-you casserole. After all, it’s vacation and the weekend. And I deserve it, dammit. 

Here are a few entertaining lovelies that I think would be perfect for my Saturday dinner — all under $60. Perf. 


aqua plate / napkin rings / cake stand / wooden bowl / linen napkin / gold glasses / gold spoons / fish bottle opener / blue bowl / coasters

 Good stuff, huh?

And speaking of weekends, a fellow UNC grad just started a fabulous blog called Weekend Wanderer that is truly fantastic. Check it out if you are into weekends. If you aren’t into weekends, you shouldn’t be reading SST either, for that matter. 

Hope each of you has a safe, happy and extremely fun weekend.  I’ll be toasting you. 



August 2014



Porchin’ It

Written by , Posted in Home Living

Since the porch in our old house was so great — our street was warm and friendly with great sidewalks and lots of foot traffic — I wanted to make sure our Savannah nest offered the same amount of eavesdropping. People-watching is one of my favorite past-times, particularly with a strong cocktail.

Before I get too much into porches, I first want to tell the story of finding our Savannah love nest. If you’ve been reading awhile you’ll know that I got a new job at the end of May and had three weeks to find a new place to live in Savannah. Never one to be deterred by a tight deadline, I turned to my best friend and supplier of all things wonderful, Craigslist. I obviously avoid the personals section. The rental market is slim-pickins’ these days and I searched high and low until I found our gem of an apartment. I clicked on the listing and poured over the gorgeous photos of our apartment and promptly reported to Wilson that I had found our new home.

That weekend we drove down to Savannah to view a few apartments, our present one included. I wasn’t interested in any of them besides our current one, but I wanted to pretend we had options. Our first appointment was cancelled, and then our second appointment was for our current home.

“Ok Anna, don’t go in there and oooo and ahh over everything. I know you want this place but you can’t blow it for us — we have to be able to bargain with them a little,” Wilson instructed as we pulled up to the condo. I scoffed at him as I am always the pinnacle of discretion.

We got out of the car and into my life walked one of the best people I’ve met in a long time. Enter: our current landlord Steve.

Equipped with a bluetooth earpiece and proudly holding a tiny yorkie dog with a hair clip in its hair, Steve’s face was warm and excited as he greeted us on his front stoop. “Hi, I’m Steve, and this is Zoey,” he shook both of our hands vigorously and then grandly gestured to the squirrel of a yorkie who started to violently shake when I tried to pet her head. “She’s not one for strangers, she likes to be held,” Steve informed me. Clearly.

Steve opened the door for us — “It’s a really old door, you have to jiggle it just right” – and then led us up the stairs into the apartment. I had to bite my lip to keep from squealing. But because Steve is amazing and my favorite person, he did all of the squealing for me. “Isn’t it just STUNNING?” he gushed. “All the floors are the original ones from the building — this place is over 200 years old. I redid this whole place two years ago,” he said as he took a little bow. I wanted to hug him. 

In keeping with Wilson’s strict instructions – must not act too excited, must not act too excited – I coolly walked around the apartment, politely nodding to Steve’s colorful commentary. “Anna, come look at these windows. Are they just gorgeous? Floor to ceiling almost. The ceiling’s are 12 feet. One time we had a cocktail party in here with over 50 people that was a doctor theme and everyone wore signs on their backs that said what kind of ailments they ‘had’ — I had the flu! — and my friend who’s a doctor was in town and everyone had to go ask her questions about their sickness until they figured it out! Isn’t that just hilarious?” I had to do everything in my power not to invite him to stay and live with us for forever.

I really was doing a great job at not ruining our bargaining power until I saw the porch.

“Oh. Mah. Gaw,” I exclaimed and interrupted Steve as he was regaling us with a story about the neighbors downstairs and a fight over a lasagna. I sprinted to the porch, leaving Steve, Wilson and Zoey in the dust, and threw open the hand-blown glass doors. “OH MAH GAW!”

I suppose you can say the rest is history.

the view 2

 This porch is everything I wanted and more.

the view

 Everything from our porch was from our old house. We bought nothing new. Woot!

Recognize the coffee table? It’s used to be in our living room.

loveseat view

 The wicker furniture used to be on our front porch. I bought it with from Wilson’s old landlord along with a dining room table and chairs and a outdoor iron dining set all for $500. Booyah. The lantern was a cheap find on Joss & Main for $12.

couch and chair

The striped pillows are from Pottery Barn, the others are from Homegoods that my mother in law found.



porch pot

Steve created these gorgeous planters for us. Remember my front door planters? Steve’s make mine look like crap.

pot upclose

Good stuff.

Wilson and I ate dinner on the porch last night and it was perfect. Steve, I love you!



August 2014



Lingerie Shower Gifts Under $40

Written by , Posted in Fashion and Beauty

In keeping with this week’s theme of love, I’m covering something that (most) men love — lingerie. My friend asked me for some suggestions for nice lingerie that doesn’t cost too much — she’s a bridesmaid in her good friend’s wedding and needs an inexpensive lingerie shower gift.

Before discussing lingerie, let’s talk lingerie showers for a hot second.

Lingerie showers are always kind of awkward. You’re sitting with a group of girls watching your best friend open up gifts of underwear. Weird. You usually don’t know everyone at the shower because it’s an amalgam of the bride’s friends — her high school cronies, college sorat sisters, post-college adult friends, and a few other randos peppered in between. And because you don’t know everyone at the shower, you don’t know what they will buy for the bride, which is cause for serious concern. You don’t want to be the annoying bridesmaid who buys your bride-friend a pair of ugly pink grandma panties — hate that word – that she’ll never wear, but you also don’t want to show up with a full-on cat suit that makes others think you are some sort of freak. Or something.

It’s a stressful situation, I understand. I’m here to help you.

All of these suggestions are from Nordstrom — it carries the best underwear in my opinion. And no, the Nordstrom peeps are not sponsoring this. Also all of these choices are under $40. Woot!


Lingerie Picks

 balconette bra / purple bralette / white bralette / black bralette


All of these bras can easily be matched with either their actual matching underwear or can be paired with ones that are the same color. Except for the purple bra, that needs to go with its matching undies. 

Mmk enough bra talk. It’s supposed to be 101 degrees tomorrow in Savannah. What the hell? Did I miss the memo and the Equator suddenly moved over south Georgia? I just don’t know how to handle this… Oh I know. A cold vodka cocktail with extra ice. Wilson, if you wouldn’t mind having that ready for me when I come home, I’d be much obliged.



August 2014



In My Mind I’m Gone to Jackson

Written by , Posted in How to Speak Southern

As a born and raised Southerner, I’ve never been overly obsessed with any area in our fine country besides the U.S. I loveeeeee to travel, but I really love the South. Except I cannot get Jackson off of my mind. Here’s some more photos from our amazing trip this past weekend.

photo 5


photo 3

What a crappy view.

photo 4

photo 7

 My little golfer.





11 Mountains.

Tomorrow is fryyyyyday.



August 2014



5 Things I’ve Learned In My First Year of Marriage

Written by , Posted in How to Speak Southern

Oh hello there. It’s been a long time since we’ve last spoken. I’ve been a very busy lady. In the past week and a half I’ve celebrated my parents 40th wedding anniversary, visited Jackson Hole to watch some of my best friends get married, and then celebrated my own first wedding anniversary with my dear husband, Wilson.

It’s been a helluva 10 days, and all of it has been because of two things: love and marriage.

In the South, we love marriage. Once a couple has been dating for more than a year, they will be asked — incessantly — this annoying question: “Well when y’all gettin’ married?” And then once you’re married, it’s: “Well when y’all havin’ kids?” Marriage is less of a societal institution and more of a rite of passage to adulthood, to wisdom, to acceptance. Once you get married, people have figured you out. 

And while it feels good to be in “the marriage club” so-to-speak, I’ve learned a few things about marriage in my first year that are worth sharing because they not only apply to a marriage, they can apply to any relationship in your life — with your parents, your boss, your friends, your dog, anyone. And as a tribute to my marriage of 367 days, I’m going to share some of my favorite photos from our happy day as well.

dress hanging

getting ready

1. Once someone gives you a genuine apology, it’s then your turn to get un-mad.

Getting into a fight when you are married is normal. When you live with someone and spend a lot of time with that person, you’re bound to get into a disagreement. In my opinion, what differentiates the great relationships between the OK ones are how they move on from a fight. And after 367 days of marriage, I’ve learned it’s extremely important to move on from a disagreement. Once Wilson gives me a genuine apology — he’s learned how to give really great ones — then it’s up to me to build a bridge and get the f*@% over it. It’s human nature to revel in being right and make someone pay for their transgressions — but when the shoe is on the other foot — and it often is – you don’t want someone making you feel like crap for making a mistake. I’ve learned that when Wilson waves his white flag, I have to take it graciously and not make him pay for it. Humbling yourself to your partner will go a long way in making a happy marriage. Because, really, we all behave badly at some point or another. No need to be a jerk about it.

getting ready w mom

Jones Wedding_054


2. Let go of your preconceived expectations of marriage and create your own definition.

Chocolat is one of my favorite movies and one of my favorite lines in the movie is when the grandmother tells her grandson “Don’t worry so much about ‘supposed to.’” Same thing rings true here. If I did everything that I was supposed to as a wife, then I wouldn’t a) swear nearly as much as I do; b) look like complete crap all of the time; and c) cook the same three frozen meals for Wilson and me each week. But because Wilson accepts who I am, he lets go of the antiquated Southern definition of a wife and lets me be me, and loves me for it anyway. And I try to do the same for him. We’ve created our own version of marriage — eating dinner from the coffee table, holding hands in the car, laughing at jokes only the two of us understand. It’s the good stuff. 

wilson getting ready

Jones Wedding_028

3. Ask your spouse about their day — every day.

This one is really important for Wilson. He works very hard every day and wants some credit for it. And he deserves to have that credit, so I ask him about his day and then tell him he’s doing a good job. I’m not lying, either, because he really does do a good job, but I’ve realized that this is an important way for me to get involved with his life that I’m not around for – his career – and also make him feel good about himself. Marriage is a support system, a way to provide emotional backing for your partner when they need it, and even when they don’t. Asking Wilson how is day is every day was an easy — and worthwhile — change that makes him feel good and gives him the opportunity to be heard.

wilson and men

me and dad 2

Jones Wedding_144

Jones Wedding_133

4. Don’t compete with your spouse. Instead, uplift.

This is something I’m very guilty of. Wilson is, by nature, a very talented and successful person. He’s also good-looking, extremely likable and genuinely lovely. And sometimes I wish I were more like him. And by sometimes, I mean a lot of the times. He handles even the worst situations with grace and tact while I most often fall apart and end up having an anxiety attack. So naturally, I want to be like him. And then other times, I want to be better than him. But that’s not what marriage is about I’ve learned — competing with your significant other gets you nowhere. Except into a big fight that is your fault and for which you will have to apologize later. I’ve had to learn that he can’t help that he’s so dang wonderful. It’s not his fault, and trying to compete with him is futile. Instead of competing with him, I have to remember to celebrate him. And that he’s mine and no one else can have him!


ceremony 2


Jones Wedding_306

Jones Wedding_304

5. Fight fair.

If you’ve been reading awhile you may know I have a flair for exaggeration and drama. As any person with a penchant for storytelling knows, hyperbole sells. A lesson I’ve learned in the past year – the hard way, unfortunately – is that hyperbole/exaggerating/drama have no place in a marriage, and particularly during a fight. I tend to say things solely for dramatic effect and/or for a reaction – I really love to make people laugh – but doing this during a fight only leads to unnecessary hurt, and I don’t even really mean what I’m saying anyway. I’ve learned to fight fair — to not say things that I really don’t mean just because they sound better and/or corroborate my point of view… It’s definitely difficult for me because I really love telling a good story, but I have to scale it back and *try* — keyword try – to be honest with my feelings and don’t exaggerate just for the sake of winning the fight, because it’s unfair to Wilson. As someone told me before I got married: It’s better to be happy than to be right. 

Jones Wedding_039

Jones Wedding_328
during speech

dancing 2


To my dearest Wilson — I adore you. You are a wonderful partner, friend and confidante. Thank you for being so sweet to me, for tucking me in every night when you have to work late, for going to get me water on a hungover Sunday morning, for watching the Real Housewives with me during dinner even though you want to kill those women, for sharing your food with me even though I don’t reciprocate, for not judging me when I deserve to be judged, for listening to me and giving me great advice… for everything. You’re the best and I will always love you.



August 2014



Nothing Says Lowcountry Like a Cocktail and Mud

Written by , Posted in How to Speak Southern

This past Monday I was tasked with providing a specialty cocktail for a happy hour with coworkers. They know cocktails are my specialty. Of course I wanted to make it pretty and tasty, but I also wanted to make sure it was cheap too — I don’t like spending a lot of money on anything, even when it’s not my own. 

Another particularly interesting tidbit of the happy hour was that it was out in the middle of nowhere — our team loaded up in trucks and were taken to God only knows where and left to drink and chat with the marsh, trees, bugs and animals of the Lowcountry. If the Lowcountry had its own Real Housewives show, this would be the perfect backdrop — The Real Housewives of the LC. It was also kind of like Naked and Afraid… except with clothes, alcohol and coworkers. Thank God I wasn’t naked, I’d be very afraid of the bugs. Oh and being naked around people I work with. 

So all of this was very lovely and outdoor-sy — look at me I’m glamping! —  but there was one teeny blip in the plan — it poured. Damn. 

As the heavens opened up and rain gushed all around us, I happily poured each of my coworkers a delicious cocktail created with prosecco, a dash of Italian orange soda and blueberries. Blueberries were on sale, I’m sure any fruit would do. It was essentially a happy hour mimosa, and it made everyone very happy indeed.


bottles and cup

 Ingredients: 2 bottles of prosecco, 1 bottle of Italian orange soda, 1 carton of blueberries or cheap and in-season fruit. I got the semi-cheap prosecco at $10 a bottle, and the italian soda was $4.

Directions: Pour 3/4 of a glass of champs, top with Italian orange soda and float the fruit. Easy enough.

cup up close

I also bought some cute paper straws and cut them in half to put in the glasses. Just for some happy hour flair. 

bottles and cup 2

bottles again


 The torrential downpour was the perfect test for my J.Crew dress made out of scuba suit material. Remember when I recommended it here? I never thought I’d need to use it as a wet suit, but you know what happens when you assume.

stopped raining

 Rain stopped. Beautiful backdrop. The Real Housewives of the LC know how to throw down. 


Some cacti.


 Even though it rained, it definitely didn’t rain on my specialty cocktail parade. This is the perfect cocktail to whip up this weekend to impress your friends and make them think you spent a lot of time and money on them. Perception is 90% of reality.



August 2014



Help a Fella Out — Easy Gift for $45

Written by , Posted in Home Living

Alright men, listen up. It’s August, and unless your lady has had a birthday in the last month, it’s probably been a while since you gave her a gift. Unless you gave her the last Help a Fella Out rec, which in that case, good for you! I’m proud of you. 

This ice bucket is where it’s at, and it’s only $45. I realize that’s a little pricey for an ice bucket, but this isn’t just any ice bucket. This is a tortoise-shell, the-woman-in-your-life-will-worship-you ice bucket. See, that’s why it’s worth $45.

Bar tool

Furbished by Furbish Studio, this ice bucket will make your lady very happy. Pop a bottle of bubbly in there with some ice and your lady will be ecstatic. I told you I would look out for you, SST men. 

Furbish also has a ton of other great stuff too, so stop back by there for many more gift ideas to surprise and delight yo woman.

  Happy There’s-Only-Four-More-Days-Until-Friday-Day!



July 2014



Sconce Up Your Life — $100 and Under

Written by , Posted in Home Living

I never was much of a Spice Girl fan but I do hope you’re now humming the 90s favorite Spice Up Your Life as we discuss my secret obsession with sconces.

Sconces are one of those things that do not get nearly the amount of love or attention that they deserve. A source of light – and happiness for me – sconces are a great way to illuminate a room and add some flair to a blank wall. Below are some great sconces I found online that are all under $100. Except for one, oops. 



#0 — Super modern, super interesting to look at. I bet it would cast a really neat shadow on the wall too from the double lightbulbs. $69

#1 — Finally, something from Restoration Hardware is on sale… Their stuff is so ridiculously expensive. $75

#2 — Great bronze sconce for cheap. Lowe’s has surprisingly great light fixtures, Wilson and I bought almost all of our fixtures for our old house from Lowe’s. Mad respect. $80

#3 — Simple, beautiful. Two of these pretties would be perfect flanking a bed or in a bathroom. $90

#4 — These are my FAVORITE! I love them — on Etsy for only $75! Holla. 

#5 — I really love this sconce too and I’ve never seen any like them before. On Crate and Barrel for $90.

#6 — Mmk so this sconce is stupid expensive so do NOT buy it, but it’s so pretty I wanted to show it to you anyway. Sorry. $447. I promise I haven’t been drinking yet.

#7 — This one is a little too ornate for my taste, but it’s pretty regardless. $80

#8 — Another great simple light fixture. Simple is the new black. $80

#9 — Very modern and unexpected. $100

#10 — This sconce is neat because it’s a candle. Candles are cool. $71

Sconces are like champagne — simple, delicious and always make you happy. Go buy some, you won’t regret it.

Today is the last day to enter the SST Beautycounter giveaway — click here to enter peeps…



July 2014



Good Quality, Inexpensive Rugs

Written by , Posted in Home Living

My friend Molly reached out to me the other day to get some SST suggestions on inexpensive rugs. Smart girl. Molly and her husband are currently doing a major renovation on their house, thereby increasing their home equity, stress levels and drinking habits. I’m just guessing about the last two from my previous #reno experience. And of course, once you renovate your house, you have to renovate your furniture, too. The old stuff in a new house just suddenly looks… sad. 

As per Molly, she wants some rugs that aren’t crazy expensive because she’s about to spend a small fortune on them as their house is all hardwoods. I feel bad for you, really I do. Here’s the thing about rugs — they are all expensive. Even the cheaper ones aren’t still that good of a deal — it’s most upsetting. But I’ve found a few good ones — some of which I actually own and love — that are good quality and will last through the wear and tear of shoes, feet and paws. Molly has the cutest dog, Sadie. 


Handwoven Casual Sisal Natural Seagrass Rug

 This rug from Overstock was a great purchase I made for our dining room at our old house. It now covers the floor in our apartment’s living room. Great sturdy rug that doesn’t show dirt. On sale today for $199 for an 8×10.

Handmade Geometric Flat Weave Gray Wool Rug

Another great rug from Overstock that I bought for our master bedroom. The colors are really muted so the print isn’t too much and it’s pretty soft on the feet too. $441.

 Cow rug

Teehee I had to throw the cow in. I love the look of a rawhide rug layered over a sisal one like the first one listed above. Very farm chic. 

Handwoven Natural Fiber Jute Rug

 Another Overstock special. Great 5×8 jute rug for $81. The only thing about jute rugs (and sisal for that matter) is that dogs love to pee on them because they are technically grass. So Molly, if Sadie has an issue with mistaking rugs for grass — Wilson has trouble with it too — I’d stay away from them.

Blue and White Flatweave Rug

 This rug from One Kings Lane would be a great runner for a hallway. $145 for a runner.

Brinley Flat Weave Rug
 LOVE. Another One Kings Lane find. $379.

 Great Ikea rug for cheaaaaap. $99 for 5×8.

So whatcha think? Are you ready to trade in your crummy old rugs for one of these?

Also don’t forget to enter the SST Beautycounter giveaway — click here to enter to win a free Every Day AM Face Lotion — it’s like butter, seriously, feels so goooood — and if you’d like to order some Beautycounter things from Jennifer, click here, the link in the original post is wrong. Everyone has their moments… #oy come on anna…



July 2014



Beautycounter Talk and a GIVEAWAY

Written by , Posted in Fashion and Beauty

For the most part, I feel like I am fairly educated on how to be healthy/eat and drink well because of the bloggers I follow.  Some of my main gals are Domesticate Me, who is seriously hysterical and tells me what salads to eat so that I look like Kate Moss in a bikini; The Whole Tulip, who shares some awesome healthy recipes that are cheap (love them); and then The Food Babe, who tells me that everything I eat and drink is going to give me cancer and scares the shit out of me daily. It’s a good balance of laughter and shock that inspires me to (mostly) be concerned with the things that I eat and drink.

So while that’s all fine and well, all of a sudden I’ve started hearing about Beautycounter – from the girly gossip that seems to follow me — which provides chemical-free makeup/skincare/etc.

“You know some sunscreens can lead to cancer,” a girl said to me as I smeared on SPF1000 on my face while at the pool a few weeks ago. “Really?” I inquired, wishing she would just shut up and pass the mimosas. “Yea apparently it has a lot of chemicals in it,” she replied. Well dang, I thought. Here I am trying to prevent myself from getting cancer but I could just be giving it to myself anyway.

Then a few weeks later another friend told me about Beautycounter at a bachelorette party a few months ago. “You haven’t heard of it?” she said, shocked at my lack of knowledge of the latest thing. No I haven’t heard of it, I just told you I hadn’t. Now just freaking tell me. She then proceeded to school me on the world of Beautycounter, how everything in our skincare and cosmetics is bad for you and has gross chemicals and that’s probably why I get sties every time I wear mascara. Well shit. 

So when SST reader Jennifer reached out to me about doing a review of Beautycounter I was super excited to a) finally be in the know and b) try out some stuff that won’t cause an early death. Jennifer sent me a boatload of teeny little pots of samples and I tried them all out for a week to see if I could tell a difference — I wanted it to be a real review — and all of the products I LOVED. The best part? Not only are they not made with bad stuff, but everything is also pretty reasonably priced, mostly in the $20-$40 range for the skincare products. It’s comparable in my opinion to Clinique prices, which is doable for the good quality. There always needs to be a balance between price and quality. 

Here’s the lowdown on my favorites:

Beautycounter Favorites


1. Routine Cream Cleanser: thin, silky formula that left my skin super soft and squeaky clean. $24

2. Every Night PM Hydrating Cream: Ah this felt so good putting it on my face at night. The texture of a good sour cream, it goes on super smooth and my skin just drank it right up. In the morning I had a dewiness about me, and it wasn’t from night sweats, either. $44

3. Broad Spectrum Sunscreen: LOVE this stuff. Very light, not greasy, great coverage. I went out on a boat for half a day and got absolutely no sun on my face. $34

4. Any Time Eye Cream: I put this on after I washed my face every night and it felt so good to put on. Nice and cold on my puffy, dark-circled eyes. I’m so fan-cay… $32

5. Radiance Firming Complex: This stuff is fancy. I’m not even sure what it does, but I swear I looked better after putting it on. $60

6. Every Day AM Hydrating Cream: I loved the way this felt underneath my CC cream when I put on my makeup in the AM. It has a great orange-y smell… Reminds me of this orange Triaminic cough syrup that my mom used to give me growing up that I loved. I was not addicted to cough medicine as a child, I promise. $40

And because everyone should have the gift of a great face cream, Beautycounter is giving away a complimentary Every Day AM Hydrating Cream to a fortuitous SST reader. Enter to win by doing one or all of the things below. Freedom of choice, peeps. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway
  If you are interested in ordering any of the products from Jennifer, visit her website here or email her at She’s the bomb. She’s also offering 10% back on all orders through July 30, 2014 for all SST readers. Booyah. Happy Friday! Oh thank goodness it’s Friday. Someone give me a bottle of wine.   **This post was sponsored by Beautycounter but all writing/thoughts/opinions/typos are my own. I wish I could blame any typos on them.