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How to Speak Southern

Creatively Speaking

August 17, 2017

Wilson staged an intervention with me this past Friday night.

It wasn’t a traditional intervention. He didn’t question my drinking, he didn’t question my behavior, he questioned my choices — or choice, rather, to abandon Silver Spoon Taste for the last five months. It all started in an Uber that we took home after a fun-and-wine filled evening with some of my absolutely favorite people, and it went a little like this:

Wilson: Anna, you’ve got to start writing on SST again.

Me: Huh?

Wilson: You haven’t written a post in months, and people feel like they were abandoned by you.

Me: What on earth are you talking about?

Me thinking: How much did he have to drink? 

Wilson: The blog! You haven’t written the blog in forever! You worked so hard to build it and then you just gave it up. You used to love writing it, and people loved reading it. Anna you’ve got to start writing it again.

Me thinking: Definitely had too much to drink. Perhaps it was that transfusion. Or was it transfusions? Never trust a purple drink. 

Wilson continued: When we lived in Charlotte you were so proud of it. You worked on it every day. You were building a brand. SST got you your job! And you’ve just abandoned it.

Me thinking: When we get home I’ll make sure he drinks plenty of water. He’s going to have a headache tomorrow. 

Wilson again: Anna you’ve got to stop making excuses about being busy and just do it. You can’t expect things to happen for you if you don’t put yourself out there.

Me thinking: Well damn. 

Over three years ago Wilson and I picked up our Pleasantville life in Charlotte and moved to the strangest, weirdest, and most wonderful place I’ve ever lived, Savannah, Georgia. I had no idea what was in store for us. And now, three years later, our life does look quite different — a new angel dog, house and friends — and I’m so grateful for all of it. It’s been the best adventure and then some. But Wilson’s right — the one thing that got me here, that gave me all this, I’ve quite literally given up.

My bad.

Real talk here — my job takes up almost all of my creativity. I’m like a sponge after you squeeze all the water out — dry and hole-y. Often times the last thing I want to do when I get home at night is open my laptop again. Hell, it’s all I can do some days to not throw my laptop out the window because I’m so sick of looking at it. Certainly I can’t be alone in this feeling? And it’s more than being busy — I just don’t have enough creativity to go around I suppose. But Wilson’s right — yes Wilson I said it — that is a big fat excuse.

My bad!

It’s not just my job though — I think I also found an identity with SST. The more momentum the blog gained, the more confidence I gained, and the more I could see a real future for my professional self. I’ll be a blogger! I’ll be a writer! It’ll be so fabulous! But when I moved to Savannah, the more I felt that blogging was a bit artificial — a very one-dimensional representation of life that didn’t always feel quite authentic despite my best efforts. Turns out keepin’ it real is, like, hard? And herein lies my message — why should I find identity in a blog instead of taking some time to get to know myself? Not Anna the blogger, not Anna the writer, just Anna. She sounds interesting, I think. 

I found this quote the other day and sent it to my friend Helen — who has a magnificent blog, by the way, read it here.

It’s kind of rebellious to be yourself. – Kate Moss

Ah, to be uniquely you. But what does that even mean? I think it starts with knowing your self-worth. To know your own value is something that no one can ever take away from you. I recognize I have a myriad of shortcomings, but I am starting to acknowledge that self-worth is much more than just your day-to-day actions — it’s knowing and appreciating yourself at your best, and at your worst, and trusting that your moral compass will lead you back to your true north when you may stray. Like today when I wanted to flick off the guy who cut me off in the parking lot. But decided not to. See? True north. 

But back to SST. I think a blog is a wonderful vessel to tell a story — but I need to keep it at that.

Now I know I didn’t do some sort of strange giveaway — seriously what the hell — nor did I tell you a story about white pants or describe how I almost fought a lady over a coffee table, but I did tell you the truth.

I’m not following the 12-step program, but I did just admit that I have a problem. And now I’m apologizing for it. I hope you’ll accept it. 

How to Speak Southern

Stream Your Workout Anywhere With Hilliard Studio Method

March 31, 2017

Happy Friday! Is it bad that I feel like I deserve a medal for making it to the end of the week sometimes? Even though millions of others achieve the same feat week after week, I still feel like I should win a prize of some sort. Maybe we all should. Fridays for the win just took on a whole new meaning.

Today is Wilson’s birthday — he turns 31 on the 31st. Happy birthday boo! When I told him that it was his golden birthday, he asked what that was. Cue eye roll. He enjoyed a boys’ night out last night and had a large time. Here’s the evidence of said big time that I found in the fridge this morning:

He took care to refrigerate the empty bags of pretzel and pita chips after destroying them. He is nothing if not considerate. 

Anywho, down to business.

Because I live in Savannah, but work in Bluffton, South Carolina, I’ve got a bit of a commute every day. It’s really not terrible, ranging anywhere from 35 to 50 minutes on any given day, but it does deplete a valuable chunk of my personal time. I need a personal driver. So when it comes to working out, I have to do it in the morning, or else it’s just not going to happen. Nothing gets in the way of my happy hour.

Exercising is important to me — not only do I like to stay in shape because I’m vain AF, I also love the way it clears my head. I try to incorporate a bunch of different types of exercise into my routine — yoga, circuit training, pilates, barre, etc. — because I get easily bored. Except running — never running. But the one exercise I always come back to is Hilliard Studio Method. Owned by mother-daughter duo Liz Hilliard and Clary Hilliard Gray, not only is HSM a small business that I can get behind, they literally kick my butt every single time I do one of their workouts. I’m sore just thinking about it. 

When I lived in Charlotte, I attended  classes at Hilliard Studio Method every so often, but it wasn’t until the I moved to Savannah that I really became addicted to HSM. The long distance movers dallas team that I hired couldn’t stop talking about HSM and how it benefited them — So, I downloaded several HSM videos and started doing them in the morning before work almost every day. Living room workouts are very convenient.  In fact, I’ve spent so much time with Liz and Clary that they don’t know about, it’s bordering on creepy. I’m the third family member they never knew they had nor wanted. 

My morning crew — Clary, Liz and Birdie.

But the Hilliard gals have now done me one better — they recently launched a new streaming subscription service that gives you access to all of their videos (ranging from 5 minutes to over an hour long) to stream online anytime, anywhere, with new videos added each month. I immediately signed up for the service once it became available, and I am obsessed. I usually do a combination of three to four videos, choosing videos that work different areas of the body for a full-body roast. And, by the way, this post is not sponsored whatsoever — I am just a really big fan. But the HSM gals did give me a promo code to share with you to try out the streaming platform. Use the code SILVER and receive 50% off your first month of the subscription. You already get to try out the service for free for two weeks, so this discount will be applied to your first full month of streaming after the free two-week trial. See more about pricing here.

You can take these workouts with you anywhere and become just as obsessed with HSM as I am. It’s even Birdie approved.

Speaking of exercising, check out my dear friend Helen’s new blog Chasing Helen. She’s a fitness freak (truly) and motivates me and many others unlike anyone I have ever known. The blog is fabulous and so is she. Read it here.

Ok that’s all for today. Can I get my Friday prize in the form of a cosmopolitan please? No seriously. Chop chop. 

Fashion and Beauty

Indigo Lace Dress of My Dreams

March 22, 2017

I’m currently writing this early in the morning at a local coffee shop in midtown Savannah — a part of town that I admittedly don’t frequent often, but needed some caffeine and WiFi so I made a pit stop. For some odd and unknown reason, there are quite a few school children surrounding me currently, each clad in his or her school uniforms and chattering incessantly about the most interesting topics. Some have their back packs on, some are talking with their hands, some are running around, but one thing is certain — they all have lots of opinions.

Did you know my teacher is getting married? I saw them holding hands. 

My mom’s on a diet.

I’m just getting my stuff ready. I have a busy day.

I have a Hershey’s bar for lunch.

So what do YOU do in the shower?

Can you hold this? I need to scratch.

Sometimes instead of brushing my teeth I just swallow the toothpaste.

My dad picks his nose in the car and puts it under the seat!

There must be 25 of them, each of them providing a new form of birth control and hilarity that I wasn’t expecting with my morning coffee fix. This has nothing whatsoever to do with the purpose of this post but I just wanted to let you know. And when I do have children, I’ll make sure to pick my nose in private. 

Over at Casa de Jones, things have been going swimmingly. Birdie is as wonderful as ever and takes after her mother in her affinity for bed time at 8 p.m. Wilson is still pushing me to finish the house, which currently involves a lot of bugging about the landscaping in the courtyard. But I can’t focus on landscaping when I still can’t make a decision on a dining room rug, so we are continuing to live with neither.

As far as family outside of Savannah goes, Wilson’s sister got married a few weekends ago and we had a large time. Nothing makes you appreciate the time and effort (and $$) put in to a beautiful wedding like throwing one yourself, and I was so pleased to toast someone else and be nothing more than a wedding guest as opposed to the center of attention. M & L, if you’re reading this, you throw a A++ party!

A few pictures from our weekend, all on the cell phone. Sorry.

Sweater is sold out, similar here.

I always take an opportunity to pose, and Wilson followed suit. Check out his hip-pop.

This was my dress for the rehearsal dinner, and I loved it. Great fit and great price. Buy it here.

Sorry, only crappy cell phone pictures to show you, but you get the idea.

Look at my handsome date.

This is the, oh-hello-I’m-trying-to-smile-and-not-trip-down-the-aisle face. You know the one. 

More updates of what else I’ve been up to coming soon. In the meantime, enjoy the dress. And a glass of wine. 

Fashion and Beauty, Home Living

A Few of My Favorite Things

February 17, 2017

So I have a confession to make — I think I may be addicted to almond butter.

Yes, I know, I know. This is not a real addiction.

But, I really do think I am addicted to it. To be fair, so is Birdie. We can’t get enough of  it — we eat it morning, noon, and night, and many moments in between. I currently have four jars of the stuff in my cabinet, all opened, all with varying degrees of almond butter left. Birdie even recognizes the sound of when I open a jar — we have jars of other foods and she knows the difference — and she’ll come running and sit at my feet patiently while I dig it out and eat it right off the spoon, and then I’ll let her lick what’s left. There’s never much left. Wilson finds errant spoons in various spots around the house (and the car), licked clean of all their contents. Birdie is an excellent dishwasher.

But it’s not just almond butter I’m addicted to. Indeed, I’ve come to realize I’m a creature of habit, gravitating towards the possessions I love most in life and ignoring all else. Below is a little compilation of some of my most favorite things — some I’ve written about before, but they still are my faves. This is the tried and true shiz.

By the way, if I could hyperlink an option to buy a Wilson and a Birdie, I’d do it for you. They are just that good. My real favorites.  

 

A Few of My Favorite Things

 

 

Pajamas. I am writing this post in these pajamas, and they are pretty amazing. Soft, lightweight, luxurious — you feel like you’re fancy.  You is kind, you is smaht, you is fancy.

Sunglasses. I bought a pair of these sunglasses while in Hawaii and love them. I have the tortoise shell color, but I love this light brown color too. Like a good cappuccino. Don’t worry Wilson I did not buy them. 

Nespresso. Holy shit I could yap all day about my Nespresso machine. It’s one of the best things that has ever happened to me, up there with meeting Wilson, moving to Savannah and birthing Birdie. This one makes coffee and espresso — so fetch — and includes a separate frother, which I would open-mouth kiss every morning if Wilson wouldn’t judge me. Frother, you’re everything to me. 

Shoes. I’ve written about these driving moccasins before, but I finally got a pair for Christmas this past year (thank you Mom and Dad) and I’m obsessed with them. They are very well made and so comfortable. I love them. Buy them.

Eyeliner. As previously mentioned I’m not the savviest makeup artist on the block, but I try. This eyeliner by Tarte has two ends — one normal eyeliner crayon end and the other is a faux magic marker with a pointed tip to create the perfect cat eye. Since I don’t normally go out with a traditional cat eye — but maybe I should, me-yowww — I use the crayon end daily, but if you’re in to options this eyeliner is the one for you.

Candle. This candle smells delish. I’m not sure it smells like Savannah because sometimes Savannah smells like the bottom of an old sneaker, but it’s great anyway. .

Face lotion. This face cream is awesome. I got it as a sample and am about to buy some more — it’s super lightweight and smells nice.

THE BEST ALMOND BUTTER/DRUG OF ALL TIME. Vanilla and espresso-flavored almond butter. It’s bananas. Just buy it. You will thank me later. It would be great with bananas too. 

Can I get an amen for Friday?

Fashion and Beauty

Makeup Update

February 1, 2017

As installment 129 2-A of the Anna’s So Cheap It’s Stupid Chronicles, I did not buy a single article (article? item?) of makeup in 2016.

Not one.

I didn’t buy mascara, I didn’t buy blush, I didn’t buy eyeliner, I didn’t buy anything. I think I may have bought some Chapstick, but I’m not sure that qualifies.

I didn’t buy makeup for many reasons: 1) I am cheap and it’s all terribly expensive 2) Makeup is frustrating and I’m unsure of what I’m doing with it most of the time and 3) I actually despise wearing makeup. But alas, because I was naturally gifted under-eye shadows the color of eggplants and skin tone fairer than Snow White’s, a girl’s gotta improvise. Who’s the fairest of them all now, bitch?

So I got to work. I replaced many things I had previously — mostly because I like what I use, and partially because I’m lazy — and in my online perusing (because Savannah certainly doesn’t have a Sephora) I uncovered this:

 

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get it here

This set comprises a few things I needed to restock (the fancy Dior-version of Chapstick and nail polish) along with some new things I wanted to test out (lip-plumping gloss and eyelash primer). So I decided to give it a try. After using all of these products daily for the past two weeks (besides the nail polish of course, who has time for that) I’m happy to report that I am very, very pleased with all the purchases in this set and will definitely buy it again. And for $120 for six different items, I felt like I was getting somewhat of a good deal. And we all know how I feel about a deal. 

I asked my Mom if she could tell a difference in my eyelashes after using the primer and she said, “Looks good,” which didn’t actually answer my question, but I am confident that my eyelashes look both fuller and longer regardless. So take my word for it, not hers.

Birdie is asleep beside me and snoring very loudly, which I’ll take as my cue to close my laptop and stop disturbing her 15 hours of beauty sleep. Happy Wednesday everyone, we’ve only got two more days until the weekend and six more hours until you can drink without people judging you.

Home Living

Foyer Update

January 24, 2017

The saying goes that a first impression is a lasting impression, and I believe this to be true. For me, I’m likely going to remember the fact that someone made good eye contact,  shook my hand with a normal, respectable strength, and complimented my hair the first time I met them. I’ll file that person away in my memory in the GOOD folder, under GOOD TASTE IN PEOPLE AND HAIR. Flattery will get you everywhere.  

On the other hand, a bad first impression can linger on far too long, like when your impatience gets the best of you and you slurp down that first sip of coffee when it’s just a hair too hot and taste your own burnt tongue all day. This lunch tastes delicious with a side of burnt taste buds. 

Similarly, the foyer is your first impression for your house, and you want to make a good one. Like a firm handshake, your foyer should greet guests with a stately elegance that someone might file away in their GOOD memory folder, under GOOD TASTE IN PEOPLE AND FOYERS.

While my foyer may not exactly say I’m stately and I’m elegant, I think it’s at least a good indication that good people live here who like to drink wine, which is always what I’m looking for when I walk into someone’s home. Don’t you? But don’t let me sway your opinion, decide for yourself. I also use a ToolsMaestro pressure washer to help clean the siding and driveway.

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Runner from Etsy — I bought this one obviously, but here is the seller. I also love this one.

Birdie can’t help but model. She’s just so beautiful she can’t help it. Like father like daughter.

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Love it so much. 
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Old Sleepy Poet purchase.

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Old pillows, old stool. Relatively new dog.

I think I need some sort of green plant to go in front of that vent. Is that a fire hazard? Can someone let me know about that?

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Rug from Number Four Eleven, one of my favorite stores in Savannah.

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Tray table and orchid from Number Four Eleven. Similar table here and orchid here.  Finally, an orchid I can’t kill.

You’ve seen those floral prints before too.

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I feel like this is one of those photos you used to look at when you were a kid of all the dizzying geometric sequences and you were supposed to see a cat or a unicorn out of it if you stared at it long enough. Do you remember those? I could never see the cat, I just got dizzy.  

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Mirror mirror on the wall, whose the cheapest mirror of all? This one. 

Umbrella stand old purchase from Sleepy Poet.

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She’s so bored of those photo shoot she took a nap. Clearly not an SST fan. 

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If you look closely, you can see a half-eaten tennis ball placed in my shot by Birdie. This is her version of prop styling.

Well, what do you think? Did I make a stately statement? Or are you filing me away in your BAD folder, under BAD FOYERS WITH CUTE DOGS?

So long as you think Birdie is cute, the rest is fine with me.

How to Speak Southern

Well Hello There

January 18, 2017

Wilson told me that if I didn’t post on the blog this week that he was going to take it over full-time. I told him that was fine with me and that he’d do a better job than I would anyway.

He bugged me about it some more, threatening a total blog takeover, and I kept brushing him off. But then I started to think about what a Wilson-led SST would look like. Blog posts would likely meander from interior design and fashion ramblings to the multi-faceted advantages of power tools and gas-powered yard blowers. He’d chat about the many ways you can wear camouflage and the health benefits of Natural Light. He’d give weekly tips on how to improve your common sense — “common sense just isn’t that common anymore” — and his Investment Piece of the Month would be a new piece of hunting gear. I fear we have half of Cabelas’ fall inventory in our attic. 

Quite frankly I think he’d make a great blog writer, but his audience isn’t my audience so I figure I’ll spare you and start this thing up again before Wilson does.

So hello! How are you? How have all three of you been?

I’ve been busy. Aren’t we all? And I’ve been lazy too — let’s call a spade a spade. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking of you — because I have, and daily. ‘What are my SST readers drinking today?’

I’d like to think this year my New Year’s Resolution will be to start up SST again, but I don’t have that much faith in myself so I”m not going to make that type of promise.

Instead, what I will promise is to deliver a little bit of periodic entertainment here and there. And plenty of recommendations for how to properly indulge in happy hour. 

So here’s what I’ve been up to of late. Apologies in advance as these are mostly crappy cell phone pictures.

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My model dog. Look at that beauty. Our obsession with this dog has reached new heights. I didn’t think it was possible, but alas, ’tis. She runs the Jones household.

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Oh yes, remember when there was that hurricane last October? Thanks to Hurricane Matthew, we evacuated to Charlotte for four days and Birdie jumped in my seat when we fled Savannah at 5 a.m. As a landlocked Charlottean (no Lake Norman does not count) I’ve never experienced the drama and stress that is evacuating from a hurricane. Savannah hadn’t had a hurricane in nearly 20 years, but the moment Wilson and I move here, buy a house, and spend the summer renovating it — boom. Hurricane Matthew hits. We were extremely extremely lucky and had no damage to our little row home.

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This tiny girl was so concerned about the Aunt Annie, Uncle Wilsie, and the “hurry-cane.” She dressed the part to ward off the impending storm in her matching rain boots and umbrella. Such a style icon. 

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Later that month Birdie dressed up for Halloween. She hated every moment of this and kept it on for no longer than six minutes. Wilson is dangling a treat behind me so we could capture this moment. I’ve put it in her baby book — Baby’s Second Halloween. 

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My in laws took the whole family to Hawaii for Thanksgiving. It was an incredibly beautiful place — the blues were bluer, the greens were greener, and the sunsets were spectacular.

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We went on a helicopter ride around one of the islands and it was unbelievable. Easily one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. I was so scared when we took off that I held on to Wilson’s arm and gave him bruises. All together now — Poor Wilson.

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I believe this was around the time of the bruise infliction.

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Gigantic sea cliffs. Flying over these gave me a slight sense of vertigo because they were so steep and the drop from land to sea was so drastic — but the view was just breathtaking.

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Look at all the waterfalls!

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Hey boo. 

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Just a casual rooster at one of the secluded beaches we visited. He wasn’t interested in me at all.

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Family hike to the hidden beach. That’s Wilson balancing the cooler on his shoulder. Atta boy.

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Our house at Christmas. Those wreathes died within a few days of purchasing them thanks to the Savannah heat. Nothing says Christmas like a balmy 80 degrees.

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We spent Christmas with my family this year, and this was Christmas Eve. My nieces dressed Wilson up and called him King. He liked that title very much and has requested that I refer to him as such since then. I’ll let you imagine what I said to that. 

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King and his bourbon, his magic elixir.

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Family on Christmas. Look at that sweet Christmas dog.

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The fattest, cutest Christmas tree ever.

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Wilson has been busy training dear Birdie for duck hunting season. I have no idea why Wilson wants her to be his accomplice in his duck murder, but she looks pretty adorable in this little get-up. I’ve got no clue what this is for.

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This also went in her baby book — Baby’s First Duck Hunt. So proud. 

So that’s generally what I’ve been up to. Next up — showing you around the house. Things are coming along nicely, but progress is a little slow. Between not being able to make a decision and staying within my plastic fork budget, I predict our row home will be completed in 2030. Going to be a great year. 

Cheers!

Fashion and Beauty

Tweed Rain Boots

September 26, 2016

Happy Monday. And happy fourth day of fall. I am not one of those peeps that freaks out over fall because of the sweater + pumpkin spice latté season, but it is nice to look forward to lower temperatures. You know, the days when you walk outside and sweat doesn’t immediately bead up on your face and your glasses fog up from the humidity so much so that you can’t see. Real life in Savannah. 

It’s not that I’m anti-fall, it’s just… why do we have to dress like the leaves on the trees in order to be in-season? Why do I need to wear a burnt orange sweater to be considered fall-ish? I don’t want to look like a pumpkin. Or a tree whose leaves are dead. Or a bale of hay, for that matter. What if I want to wear periwinkle? What if I want to dress like a piña colada instead of a PSL? Who doesn’t love a good piña colada?

Just sayin’.

Nevertheless, I saw these boots online and thought they were pretty darn acceptable. Fall in love. Or not, whatever. 

 

rainboots

buy them here

I think these would be acceptable in a non-rain situation as well as a rainy one. I like a boot that can be flexible, and these are flexible and only $45. Good deal. 

Our trip to Naxos is coming to SST later this week, stay tuned…

photo credit: joe fresh

How to Speak Southern

Athens, Greece

September 20, 2016

Wilson and I returned from our Grecian holiday a little over a week ago, and wow what a trip it was. 10 days of bliss in one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. Truly, if you have the opportunity to go to Greece, go. Now.

Looking back, it’s hard to believe a place as gorgeous as Greece even exists.

Because I received a lot of questions about our itinerary from our trip to Spain last year, I’ll try to do a better job at describing our itinerary from Greece as well as our accommodations and activities so you’ll be more in the know. And so that one day when I’m old I can go back and read this and remember. 

Our trip began with a quick overnight stay in Athens. I received a lot of feedback about Athens from people who had visited — that it was a big, dirty city, to not stay there for very long, that I most likely wouldn’t be very impressed by it — and I can understand why. But for me, I love two things: 1) a big city and 2) history, so I actually loved Athens. We only stayed there for one night, but I could have easily stayed for another because I loved the history of the city so much. But if you are not high on history or busy cities, one night in Athens will be more than enough for you.

We stayed at the New Hotel, which was wonderful — centrally located, reasonably priced, and beautifully decorated. The room was small, but clean and the bed was super comfortable. Highly recommend. The hotel also has a rooftop restaurant with a view of the Acropolis that is perfect for drinks before dinner.

We flew straight into Athens, landed in the morning and then checked into our hotel for a quick nap before our afternoon tour of the city. Personally I was super jet lagged and groggy, but after an espresso or three I was back in no time. The miracles of concentrated doses of caffeine. 

Our private walking tour of Athens (booked through our travel agent) went through the Plaka, the oldest part of Athens with narrow streets and beautiful row homes, and climbed higher and higher until we reached the Acropolis. Again, because I love history, this was one of the parts of the trip that I was looking forward to most, and it certainly did not disappoint. After all, how could one of the oldest and most sought after destinations in the world let you down?

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Our climb to the Acropolis through the Plaka.

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The view from halfway up to the Acropolis.

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Finally at the top.

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So handsome.

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I tried to focus on looking up as opposed to down…

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The Parthenon in all her glory. I absolutely loved this… History nerd.

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Our travel buddies.

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There were amazing homes right next to the Acropolis — can you imagine looking out of your window and seeing the Parthenon every day? — and these were the gates to one of the home’s side garden.

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This is the Acropolis Museum, dedicated to all things Acropolis and where a large amount of actual remaining pieces of the Acropolis are safely stored. I highly recommend a quick jaunt around — you’ll see some interesting pieces of the Acropolis that are protected from the elements in here and the museum also has a great cafe that is perfect for a quick cup of coffee (or drink) if you need a resting spot that includes AC. The museum’s restaurant also has a large outdoor area that apparently can get quite happening on weekends.

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Some bros inside the museum. At this point I was taking a seat on the ledge near the windows to rest and my travel partners were weary of my picture taking so I took one of some strangers. Hello tank-top-clad strangers. 

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Two more bros with the Acropolis in the background.

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red dress

That evening we went to Dionysus for dinner, which was just so lovely. Food was delicious and the view was bar-none — we had a panoramic view of the Acropolis, which is elegantly lit at night. The Greeks know how to do it right.

After Athens, we went to Naxos, part of the Greek isles, and then Santorini, which needs no definition at all. More to come…

Home Living

Paint Colors Are Difficult

August 26, 2016

I think it’s a safe assumption when I say I’m not alone in despising the choice of a wall paint color. It’s such a commitment — so many variables to consider and what if you don’t like it!? Such a nightmare.

Because I believe in surrounding myself with people much smarter than myself, I enlisted the help of my dear friend Addison and asked her for three things: one really great white wall color and two really great gray wall colors.

She answered immediately: Farrow & Ball Shadow White, Farrow & Ball Hardwick White, and Benjamin Moore Gray Owl. Boom. Done.

all three

Shadow White / Hardwick White / Gray Owl

(They all look super similar in this picture, but they are really very different in reality. Shadow White is a super rich white with a hint of gray, Hardwick White is a beautiful light gray with no traces of any other colors in it, and Gray Owl is a light, airy gray laced with light blue — very spa-like.) 

I then did some quick research on each of these colors and quickly realized the Farrow & Ball choices were incredibly cost prohibitive for my teeny tiny budget. F&B colors are stunning, but holy crap are they ridiculously expensive. Like the cost of mortgage payment ridiculous. And depending on how many walls you have/how big they are, it could equal the cost of several mortgage payments. Cue Wilson’s cardiac arrest. 

So instead of giving Wilson even more gray hair than I already do on a daily basis, I asked our painters if they would be able to mix the paints, and sure enough Sherwin Williams was able to mix the paints to almost exactly the same color, and for a fraction of the price. I’m sure it isn’t perfect, but neither am I, so who cares. Birdie is perfect though. 

Per www.plymouthbuild.co.uk tips and instruction, I painted nearly the entire house Shadow White and I absolutely love it. I would name my firstborn child Shadow White if that were socially acceptable and my parents and in laws wouldn’t disown me. The walls are an eggshell finish, the trim is semi-gloss, and the ceiling is painted egg shell at half strength. This last part is very important to note — there is a natural shadow on any ceiling, so mixing the wall color to half strength makes it lighter and will appear to be the same color as the walls because of that natural shadow thing. Or something scientific like that. Anyway it’s important to remember so that when your painters paint the ceilings double strength you can tell them they did it wrong. Like this:

wrong-2

Pretty, but wrong.

wrong-1

Wrong again.

Correct:

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Yas!

living-room

Beautiful picture of the scaffolding.

dining-room

Our dining room. We painted this Hardwick White in semi-gloss on the walls and the trim, and then Shadow White in half strength on the ceiling. I loveeeeeeee the trim and walls painted all the same color — looks saturated and modern. Or as Wilson said, “New, but old and updated.” Oh really, do tell me more.

Finished products (you’ve seen these already but now pay close attention to the wall color please):

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IMG_4653

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I’d like to also point out that Birdie matches the walls and most of the furniture too. Because, again, she is perfect. 

I can’t show you the bedroom quite yet because she’s not done and doesn’t want to be shown off until she has all of her makeup on — sounds like my mother who has never gone out of the house without her lipstick — but let me tell you, Gray Owl is just so perdy. Very peaceful and zen. I’ll show you the master bedroom soon enough… Now on to my midday rosé. I love that that rhymes.

Happy Friday everyone!