Fashion and Beauty

Christmas Gift Idea #1 — Driving Moccasins

November 17, 2015

The holidays are almost upon us, and planning ahead for gift giving is key for staying on budget. And for staying in your loved ones’ good graces. 

One shoe that every self-respecting lady (and gentleman) must have is a driving moccasin, and they also turn out to be an easy Christmas gift too. Driving moccasins are one of life’s greatest inventions as they are the equivalent of pajama jeans in terms of comfort except kosher to wear in public and – bonus! — fashionable. Pajama jeans obviously do not fit into either of the latter categories. While primarily more casual, driving mocs are not just for driving – these shoes fit right in at home, work, or out on the town. Chameleons for your feet. 

But don’t buy just any driving moccasins for your loved one… why not design them yourself? Pick the color of the suede, stitching, and tread through M. Gemi, a fantastic Italian shoemaker. They are a tad pricey — $198 — but I think this would make a great Christmas gift.


Custom Moccasin - M.Gemi


M. Gemi has a great selection of shoes — love these, these and these — so go on and poke around. They make good quality items that transcend seasons and trends, which is always a good thing.

And for the man in your life, Wilson loves these driving shoes. On sale! Great color leather and very comfortable per ol’ Wilson.

More gift ideas coming soon. I’m now trotting off to find a mimosa to pour in my coffee mug. Wish me luck. 

How to Speak Southern

A Bad Case of the Why Mes

November 11, 2015

Last week I had a shitty week. A shit-tay, shit-tay week indeed.

First of all, I was as sick as I’ve have been in a long time. Besides the time I had the swine flu (remember the swine flu!?!) this is the worst I’ve ever felt. Achy AF, sore throat, nasty cough, runny nose, the works. I was a real peach. And as a sudden sickness usually does, this one came on at the worst possible time. Not only did it ruin a perfectly good trip to NYC, but this is the busiest time of the year at my job, and I really did not have time to be sick. But sick I was.

And then they came — the dreaded, awful, WHY MEs!?

Why did I have to get sick now when I have a mountain of work? Why did my trip have to be ruined? Why did I get a parking ticket and a flat tire at the same time? Why did I have to feel THIS bad? WHY ME?

I threw myself a pity party of epic proportion. Everyone was invited. No one showed up but Birdie. 

I spent nearly a week in bed feeling sorry for myself. Every time I coughed my disgusting cough, I moaned. Every time I sneezed, I whimpered. I even started to tear up at the doctor’s office when they took blood because I thought I may faint. I was a sorry sonofabitch.

After taking another swig of my almost-lethal cough medicine one night — this stuff was so strong you could smell it from a mile away — I tucked myself back into bed and began to think. Thinking is a powerful thing. I barked another gross cough and recalled a story I think of from time to time.

When I was in high school, a friend of mine had a little sister who was diagnosed with cancer. She was 13 when diagnosed. The cancer spread throughout her tiny body so quickly and so aggressively that even the strongest of chemotherapy couldn’t quell her cancer, and she died. It was terribly, horribly, painfully sad. Still is. I can’t even imagine the pain the family went through. The looks on their faces at the funeral was something I will never forget. But before she passed away, she was a part of the Make a Wish program, and her wish was to raise enough money so that all the other Make a Wish kids’ wishes in the Charlotte area would be granted.

Let’s pause on this for a second.

A child with cancer wanted all the other children with cancer to have their wishes granted. That would make her happy. Her heart was so full and so grateful that she wanted to share her love with others, making their hearts full too. She used her situation to benefit others, and the impact she had was powerful. Giving without abandon, without thought of yourself — that is the true meaning of selflessness. If given the chance to do anything in the world, would you make that same choice? Would you choose giving to others over meeting your favorite celebrity, or going to Disneyworld, or taking a once in a lifetime trip? I cannot honestly say I would. But this little girl did. She made the choice to think big and love big, and never once did she say, Why me?

Whenever I’m feeling particularly sorry for myself, I often think of this little girl. And she gives me something too — Perspective. Perspective and I have been speaking different languages for a few days now.

I share this story with you in the event you have a case of the Why Mes. It’s only human for us to feel sorry for ourselves from time to time, but it’s how we rise above these feelings that makes the difference.

After thinking about this little girl, I then made a list of 10 things I’m grateful for. This is something my sister says she does sometimes to re-calibrate her thinking and to realize just how lucky she is. Here’s what I came up with:

  1. My roomies, Wilson & Birdie
  2. My family
  3. My friends, near and far
  4. Ear plugs
  5. My health
  6. Trashy reality TV
  7. Living in the USA
  8. The pumpkin bread my mom made me
  9. My job
  10. Good chapstick

Obviously not all of these are as serious as others, and they aren’t necessarily in order (sometimes ear plugs are first, quite frankly) but these were things I was grateful for a that moment. And then my old friend returned — Gratitude. Good to see you ol’ chap. 

Life is unexpected, and changing, and, at times, challenging. But my little slice turns out to be quite sweet, running nose and disgusting cough included. And on this Veteran’s Day, I’d like to add one more thing I’m very, very grateful for — the service men and women who have made and continue to make the ultimate sacrifice so that I can have those 10 things for which I’m grateful. Thank you. Home of the free, because of the brave. 

Make your list of 10 things. You’ll probably realize you have many more than just 10.

Home Living

Decluttering the Bar Cart

October 28, 2015
top after

I love small living spaces, which is a good thing because our apartment is teeny. It’s plenty of space for Wilson and I (and Birdie), but not much else. The apartment boasts a total of three closets, one of which is the kitchen pantry, leaving the other two for Wilson’s and my clothes. And that’s it.

I’ve managed my storage dilemma mostly by getting creative — using bookcases and chests of drawers everywhere, storing things in unlikely places such as my car’s trunk, and then shoving everything else under any available covered floor space. Don’t you dare lift our guest bed’s skirt. It’s dangerous down there. 

But over the past year and a bit of living in our apartment, it’s become increasingly cluttered. The odds and ends stuffed haphazardly underneath our guest bed are starting to slowly leak out onto the floor. We’ve begun using well-intentioned corners of various rooms as places to keep strangely shaped necessities like bags of dog food, coolers, Wilson’s golf clubs, and, most recently, his third-row car seats. We’re storing stuff in the car, remember?

Sounds like we need to throw some shit out, right?

Wilson — it’s your worst nightmare — WE’RE GOING TO START GIVING THINGS AWAY.  

Wilson hates going through his stuff and giving things away. He is, how you say… an absurdly ridiculous pack rat. And because I’m OCD AF, this is a source of friction for us that is solved mainly by me throwing stuff away when he isn’t looking or paying attention. Once he finds out I’m throwing stuff out, he’ll go through it (without me knowing) and then pull his most beloved items and stow them away in (yet another) corner unbeknownst to me. Until I find it six months later. 

I think every couple goes through this — one is the crazy person who likes to throw things away and then the other one likes to keep everything down to their dog’s teeth because it all has a story… But true story – some rando in the park the other day told me I should keep Birdie’s teeth as they fall out as a memento. I’ll let you imagine what my facial expression looked like… 

Anywho, back to our freakish clutter. One place I really noticed our mounting muddle of odds and ends was on our barcart. While barcarts are great for storage, things should be stored here strategically, and, more importantly, stylishly. Obviously. Ours was doing neither. See the evidence below.

full clutter

A real mess, huh?

before top

This barcart was doing so many things at once it was having an identity crisis.

bottom before


Shots! Shots?

bottom again berfore

 It was a complete mess and it was bothering the shit out of me. So I took everything off, dusted piece by piece, stored most of the lesser-used bottles in the pantry and then added some different pieces I had laying around to switch up the look.

full thing

 Ah much better. Less clutter, more space, less dust. Only the necessities — vodka, gin, bourbon, ice bucket, glasses. Boom. Done.

birdie approves

 Birdie approves. And by approve I mean waiting for me to not be watching her so she could take all of my neatly-pressed cocktail napkins and strew them across the apartment. Such a jerk. 


 cocktail napkins / martini glasses / cocktail shaker / lucite bar accessories

top after again

Crystal low ball glasses / crystal decanter / tortoise ice bucket / ice scoop

cocktail napkins

full thing

 Now that the barcart is done, I’m thinking about attacking Wilson’s closet next. Beware things that go bump in the night. In the closet.

Home Living

Blue Apron — The Best Lazy Cooking Money Can Buy

October 22, 2015
tacos up close

You know, life can move a little quickly. And by a little I mean a lot. One day you’re in college where waking up early meant anytime before 10am, and drinking heavily on a Tuesday was a social necessity, and you ate chicken fingers and french fries and a diet coke, because, after all, a diet coke has no calories. Next thing you know you’re a young professional with an actual profession, and there are more photos on your Facebook page of babies than there are of jello shots, and your idea of cleaniness involves Lysol and 409 instead of the back of your sleeve.

The transition into — gasp — adulthood is a strange and bizarre one. I am reminded of the scene in Home Alone when Kevin McCallister is standing in front of the bathroom mirror after showering, brushing his teeth, flossing, and finally shaving his hairless face. He remarks to his reflection with a sense of accomplishment and pride on his meticulous dedication to his physical appearance, noting his particular care in washing all his body’s nooks and crannies, as if washing the nooks and crannies of one’s body is obviously the mark of an adult. He then pours a handful of after shave into one hand, rubs his hands together, and then slaps the liquid on his face — the immediate daggers of alcohol into open, youthful facial pores are brutal on poor Kevin and he screams in shock and pain at the after shave’s astonishing, agonizing sting, not unlike the swift slap of adulthood. Whenever being a grown up sucks, I imagine this scene and laugh. 

Even though growing up does stink from time to time, it does have certain perks. Like being able to have food delivered to your door with little to no effort put forth — all you do is set up a profile online, enter your shipping and billing info, and bam! Meals are delivered. This may be more of a credit to today’s technology, but bear with me now. 

Meet my cardboard best friend Blue Apron (don’t worry she recycles very well). Every week for $60 (for two people) Wilson and I receive a box full of individually packaged ingredients to prepare three delicious meals. The box includes all ingredients for the recipe — all you need is cooking utensils, salt/pepper, and olive oil. Each delivery also comes with a step-by-step recipe to guide you through the cooking process and even has pictures. The pictures are the best. The recipes take an average of 25 to 45 minutes to prepare, depending upon how overserved you are during the cooking process, and the meals really are scrumptious and restaurant quality.

Don’t get me wrong though —  just because everything is pre-packaged and spelled out for you, you do have to cook. As Wilson put it when we first began our Blue Apron subscription:

“Step 1: Thinly slice 15 different vegetables. Step 2: Delicately sear the meat and try not to overcook. Step 3: Burn everything. Step 4: Call Domino’s.”

Wilson isn’t much of a culinary enthusiast, but since using Blue Apron for six months he’s turned into quite the cook. He can now expertly smash and mince garlic, chop an onion, and fry a myriad of things.

To further convince you that Blue Apron is incredible and cost effective and that you should subscribe immediately, I took some photos of last week’s dinner prep of some sort of tacos.


The beautifully fresh ingredients from the box.

This whole Blue Apron idea upsets my dad to no end — the idea of someone spoon-feeding you (no pun intended) meal after meal week after week is lazy in his opinion. Being a real adult according to dear ol’ Dad means getting up at the crack of dawn, driving 45 minutes to work, working a full day, driving 45 minutes home, going to the grocery store, and then cooking a full meal once you get home. And since his idea of adulthood is my personal hell, it’s a good thing I have Blue Apron. Dad, agree to disagree. 

prepared ingredients

Oh look and here they are all chopped and organized and pretty. Can someone please teach me how to operate a camera? This photo is just bad. 

Another bonus of Blue Apron is there is no waste. Each meal is perfectly portioned for two people (or four if you choose) and there are no extra leftovers that will sit in the fridge for a week or two until they grow hair. It’s pretty great.

dry ingredients

The dry ingredients.


The dry ingredients having a party together.


Some onion pickling happening here…

pickled onions

And here…

ingredients prepared

 Taco innards getting ready for insertion into said taco.

I should add that if you are picky, Blue Apron is not for you. The recipes are all delicious in my opinion, but unless you like a variety of foods, you should probably just stick to my Dad’s way of doing things and grocery shop just for yourself. BORING


My sous chefs. Wilson chops, Birdie licks up any spills. We are very efficient at the Jones household.


Where’s my plate!?

the necessities

The other sous chefs.


The finished product. The recipe instructions even include how to artfully plate your dish, which I love. So fancy. 

tacos ended

If anyone would like to try Blue Apron for free, please leave a comment on this post and I’ll send you some free meals I have to give away. I want to spread the good news of Blue Apron with all of my peeps so don’t be shy. I only have five to giveaway so don’t dilly dally. 

Happy Thursday!

Home Living

Barware for Under $50

October 9, 2015

It’s Friday peeps, and I’m ready to get my happy hour on. Right now. Why is no one handing me a glass of rosé?

No really. 

I’m so ready for my Friday afternoon cocktail that I’m planning on how I would set up my bar if I wasn’t on another spending restriction (that Patagonia sale was a hit at the Jones household).


Barware for Under $50


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

Very Hollywood regency meets cheap bar. What a magical combination. And that cocktail shaker is pure gold. I’ll be here all day folks, come get your cheap laughs here…

Any of these items would be just lovely arranged around some beautiful bottles of alcohol on your perfect barcart — I love the Bombay and Tangueray gin bottles because that add a little color, and give a great buzz. Remember my barcart here? It’s a safe assumption to make that the UNC-themed barcart didn’t last long.


Fashion and Beauty

Patagonia Sale

October 1, 2015

Grab those credit cards and get online fast because Patagonia is having a very rare sale on some of its best selling apparel. I am obsessed with my pullover and wear it all the time, and when Wilson let me know one similar to it was on sale, I practically squealed with delight.

Here are some of my favorite picks for this sale:


Patagonia Sale

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

Patagonia, while an expensive brand, has excellent quality clothes and a killer return policy. If a piece of Patagonia clothing you own is worn or torn, all you have to do is contact Patagonia and then return it and they will send you a new item. Brands like Patagonia that stick by their product are just the best. Why can’t everyone be this way?  So if you are looking for a great winter vest or jacket, look no further. You will keep whatever you buy from this sale for FOREVER.

Just sayin’.

Happy Thursday!

Fashion and Beauty

The Perfect Bridesmaid Shoes

September 25, 2015
prom pose

Happy Friday! Today I am in Raleigh for my best friend Ashton’s wedding weekend and could not be more thrilled. The celebrations begin in under an hour and I need to get my shit together and game face on, but first, here are the great shoes below I purchased for her wedding. She asked that the bridesmaids wear silver, so I went on the hunt for something that is inexpensive, good quality, and that I’ll wear again. I am very pleased with the end product.


Steve Madden Women's Stecy Sandals
These Steve Madden heels are fantastic and come in a myriad of colors, so if you are given the task of finding bridesmaids shoes like I was, look no further than this pair. Only $80!
And because I can’t post only about the shoes for Ashton’s wedding, I decided that a trip down memory lane was necessary to truly commemorate my gal on her special day. We’ve been best friends since we were 12 and boy have we racked up some memories together. We also went through quite a lengthy awkward phase together, and that stuff can really bond two people together. Readers, I hope you enjoy. Ashton, I’m sorry I’m not sorry. At least you aren’t awkward now, can’t say the same about myself. 
high school
Ah the peak of our awkwardness. Such a special time in our lives. Who knew Jessica McClintoch dresses could be made any uglier, but indeed we found a way. Ashton, I can wear a ribbon around my neck tomorrow if you’d like. Seems very fetching. 
virgin islands
Our romantic vacation with my parents.
before college
Wew that hair cut.
freshman year
The freshman 15.
frat house
ashton and wilson 1
 When we convinced Wilson that Ashton’s shirt was actually his shirt and that it fit really well.
ashton and wilson
It didn’t fit.
us in nyc
The hottest trip to NYC ever.
fball game
Before we understood the glories of sunless tanner.
us in car seats
When we forgot to bring chairs to a tailgate so we used a car seat instead.
me ashton and street
When we decided we’d let Street into our duo.
my wedding
Ashton my pet, you are the best friend a girl could ask for. You are one of the kindest, sweetest, most loyal people I’ve ever known, and I am so grateful you’re my best friend. I am so happy for you that you found your new best friend because he’s simply the best. Love you forever and always. 
Fashion and Beauty

Travel Essentials

September 17, 2015

This Friday I’m traveling to NYC for a girls’ weekend and I could not be more excited. The weekend’s events will surely hold all of the events that basic bitches do: go to long dinners, drink mimosas at brunch, shop, gossip, and drink some more. NYC is one of my most favorite cities in the world so I am excited not only to visit the Big City in all of her glory, but I also haven’t seen these friends in far too long and it will be a lovely reunion.

In preparation of my quick trip, I decided to pull together a peek inside my travel bag. I hate lugging around a heavy bag and try to keep my carry-on tote to the bare essentials to save my shoulder. It’s also a lot more difficult to carry a cocktail around the airport with a bag full of shit. See below for what I consider are can’t-do-withouts on a plane. Cocktails not included. 


Travel Essentials


ipad holderipad /  headphones / charger / backpack / socks / zippered tote / roll-on perfume / lip gloss / luggage tag / passport cover


This zippered tote is a great find and a great price. There are other similar ones out there, but this one is good quality and not too expensive. Plus that zipper is clutch. And for heaven’s sake, don’t forget your socks. Cold feet on an airplane is such a bad way to start a trip. #amiright ?


An aside about friends and visiting them: it is frightening how fast life moves these days. I swear it was April last week. Because I live in Savannah and don’t have my best friends and family at my fingertips like I used to, I have to put forth a lot more effort to make sure a) I know what is going in everyone’s lives and b) they don’t forget about me. DON’T FORGET ABOUT MEEEEEE. I booked this NYC trip on a bit of a whim and am so glad I did it. Being committed to those you love most (and who love you in return) pays dividends far more valuable than those accrued in your investment account. Just a thought on this Thursday… 
Fashion and Beauty

Currently Coveting

September 9, 2015

Ah Wednesday. You’re such a tricky little minx. Not quite the beginning, not quite the end, and you take forever to get to 5 o’clock. Sometimes I want to punt Wednesday in the face. 

I’m in rare form today. Dangerous. 

Moving on. Apparently the new “thing” this year is strappy flats, and I must admit, I do enjoy them quite a bit. Here’s a pair from Zara for $70. What do you think?

Zara flats


Cute right? Yes Mom I know they look like my old ballet shoes. That’s probably why I like them.

Wilson don’t worry I haven’t bought them because I am on a spending freeze. Yet. Why am I always on a spending freeze? 

Can you tell I need some wine? Sheesh

Fashion and Beauty

How To: DIY Jean Cut-Offs

September 4, 2015
me and birdie

As summer transitions into fall, now is always a good time to take inventory of your closet. What did you wear all the time? What did you not touch? What looks stupid and you wonder why you bought it in the first place?

Cleansing your closet of your bad clothing purchases can be refreshing and motivating. And I highly recommend it. 

But before you give away any jeans, consider this — could they become jorts instead of jeans?

I asked myself this very question with a great pair of distressed jeans that I loved, but had become too distressed — i.e. I accidentally put my foot through the designer “hole” in the mid-thigh of the jeans, changing the designer hole from tastefully placed to inappropriate and unsightly.  Not a good look. But instead of giving away the jeans, I got crafty. I pulled out the sharpest scissors I had and got to work.

How to Cut Your Jeans to Make Jorts

Bear with me now. This is not the DIYs you see on HGTV. This is down and dirty.

1. Try your jeans on, and when looking in the mirror, estimate the length you want your shorts to be. Then take a ballpoint pen and make a teeny mark on the side seam of the jeans — I said teeny!

2. Take off your jeans and put some other pants on. This is not a pants-less activity. Wilson that means you too. 

3. Get a ruler (who am I kidding, I used my thumb) and measure 2 1/2 inches (you can always do 3 to be on the safe side) beneath your pen mark. From there, take your pair of scissors and begin cutting in as straight of a line as possible. Doesn’t have to be perfect, I’ll share why later. Keep your cut parallel to the top seam of the jeans as a point of reference to keep your line straight.

4. Put on your jorts. They will be much longer than you want them, but here’s the trick — flip up the raw edge of the jeans at about a half an inch in thickness, and then roll the seam twice to your desired length. If you’re feeling particularly bold, you can roll three times for shorter shorts, or if you’d like a little bit of room you can just roll them twice. You can adjust and tweak with the rolling part to achieve the perfect length for your jorts.

5. If you’d like a little bit of fray to your jorts, you can throw them through the washer/dryer and the raw edge will naturally fray a tad. You can trim the fray as it becomes unruly if necessary.

6. Admire your handiwork and how much money you just saved by creating your very own jorts!


against the gate

 I don’t like my jorts too short, so I just flipped up the raw edge once.

trying not to laugh

 Trying not to laugh here as Wilson gives me artistic direction: “Can you relax? You look so awkward.”

looking down

jorts up close

You get the idea.

w bird

 And because the real model in the family is obviously the dog, Birdie wanted to be a part of the photo shoot.

dog model

She is a total natural in front of the camera, unlike her mother.



Sloppy kisses from The Bird.


 Her serious face. She is committed to her craft.


 Happy Labor Day weekend from Savannah! Try making some jorts this weekend — if you mess them up, who cares. You were going to give them away anyway!