Scenes from the Weekend

Hi! I hope y'all had a fabulous weekend. Mine was pretty relaxing, and I'm definitely not complaining about that one bit! Friday was spent in the south end of Charlotte drinking beer and watching sports! Brian and I took the light rail there and had a fun night, just the two of us! Being in a long distance relationship it's nice to have time spent just between us sometimes (even if it does mean watching endless hours of sports!!) 

Spring is one of my favorite seasons (excluding the pollen it brings)! The scenery all around town is simply gorgeous. Flowers are blooming, trees are their brightest of greens, and everything seems a little more cheery! I took advantage of the beauty and was able to snap some photos this weekend! There is a garden not far from my house that is filled with acres of flowers, walking paths, and benches. In the spring I love to go here to take in the beauty, read my book, and of course take some photos. This time I even captured a bee pollinating! It was pretty cool to see up close.

Saturday I got to spend some quality time with my best friend, Bre! We had both been extremely busy and kept missing each other between trips! It was a fun day filled with taking some outfit photos (of course), playing around Uptown Charlotte, and trying to avoid the rain!

Sometimes, relaxing weekends are just what the doctor calls for after a crazy busy work week! I feel rejuvenated and ready for the week to come!

What did you do this weekend? 


Coral Pleated Maxi Dress

In the warmer months I am all about Maxi dresses! Because really, what could be more comfortable than a long summery dress? My answer: nothing. Over the past few years my love of maxi dresses has turned into a full on obsession. They are flowy, easy to wear, and perfect to wear in day-to-night settings with a few simple accessory changes. 

To me, maxi dresses are kind of like a blank canvas. I always go after the simple ones and play around with accessorizing them! This dress is the perfect coral blank canvas for my wardrobe. Coral is one of my favorite go-to colors for the summer months and I have so many accessories that go well with it! The pleating and the slit up the sides of the dress make it a little more fun! 

This time I paired it with a pale turquoise flower necklace and wedges for a semi casual look.
Dress: Petal Boutique c/o ⎪ Wedges: Target ⎪ Necklace: Target (similar) ⎪
Accessories: David Yurman, Stella + Dot c/o, Ralph Lauren, Urban Outfitters


Tips for Better Blogging: Photography

Photography has been one of my favorite hobbies ever since I was old enough to have a real camera. It started out with the cheapie camera that I begged my parents for, then I moved on to the point and shoot camera (ok, so maybe a few of those....I was clumsy!), and finally for my college graduation I got the Canon t3i, D-SLR camera. My family is filled with people who have a great eye for photography and a real passion for capturing precious moments. I certainly take after them in that aspect! You will always find me with a camera in hand.

So naturally, one thing that instantly draws my attention to a blog is photography. If a blog has great photos in addition to their content, I am about 99.9% going back to read it (and view the beautiful photos!) Being able to visualize and see into people's life in the form of photos makes a blog so much more appealing, in my opinion.

Now I am by no means an expert photographer or anything of the sort, but these small tips can go a long way (and they have certainly helped me over time!)

Learn the basics of your camera. Whether you have a point-and-shoot camera or a D-SLR learn the basics of it. It is so helpful to read the manual that comes with your camera. What I have found that also works well for me is to google or youtube anything I have questions about- whether it's aperture, ISO, etc. Seeing step by step instructions really helps to understand something as intimidating as the buttons on your camera.

Take a lot of photos. My grandfather, who has mastered pretty much every camera from the box camera to today's most up-to-date D-SLR,  has always told me "it is better to take too many shots than not enough." I have taken his advice to heart. Anytime I am out taking photos I take a lot. Even if it is just of a flower I will work with the manual setting, try different angles, and work with different shutter speeds. It always amazes me as I am filtering through them later just how different each and every photo looks, even though the subject is the same. It's a great way to get different perspective! And of course, by taking more photos you are allowing yourself a better chance at one you really love. 

Invest in a Tripod/Remote. Having a tripod is extremely beneficial. There are some shots I wouldn't have ever been able to get without my tripod. Having a tripod allows for straight photos without any movement. (I am so guilty of having shaky hands while taking photographs!) Having a remote is also very beneficial (and pretty cheap too!) While self timed photos aren't necessarily bad, it is much easier to have the remote to get the optimal quality photo and still allowing yourself to be in the photo. These are two items I deemed "essentials" right after getting my camera. Each has gotten their fair share of use and they've made for my clear, timed, and straight photos! 

Practice, Practice, Practice. I think practicing is the best way to learn how to use your camera. Any chance I get I am taking photos in different lighting and different settings. I also play around with the features my camera has. Because really, what is the use of having a nice D-SLR if you don't know how to use it! Practice still shots, action shots, and any other type of photos that you would ultimately like to have on your blog. Each photo is an opportunity for you to improve!

Here are just a few of the photos I have taken and experimented with over time.
Next week I'll be back discussing photo editing software! 


All in the (back) Details

 Earlier this year (like way earlier than I should have been buying spring clothing) I went to Petal Boutique in Charlotte and had a little too much fun trying on spring/summer items. Which, of course, resulted in buying a lot and wishing for warmer temperatures more than ever! With warmer temperatures finally here in the south I have seized every opportunity to break out my favorite spring and summer attire.

Which includes this amazing top I purchased from them and have been dying to wear ever since! If there is one thing I love it is pieces with fun backs. And this one did not disappoint. I love the contrast of the ruffle front with the exposed and zippered back. 

Ruffles + Zipper + Exposed Back = my new favorite top.
Top: Petal // White Denim: J.Crew Factory // Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters // Clutch: Urban Outfitters (similar)


Tips for Better Blogging: Fonts

One of my favorite college courses was a typography class. We got to work with ads, typography, fonts, and attempt to figure out why a certain font was used in ads/magazines/etc. It was so informational and really prompted my interest in fonts and typography.  As a blogger I have found a new love for design, typography, type faces, quotes, and the like.

Often times I come across a great quote (on Pinterest of course), however I don't like the background or font used. Luckily, that's an easy fix! I like fonts. But even more so, I like free fonts.When I discovered the concept of "free fonts" I think I was in typography heaven! I suddenly realized I could make my own graphics using the *free* fronts and graphics I wanted on my blog design, my photos, and for my content!

Since this realization I have downloaded more fonts than I would like to admit! Creating my own graphics and adding font to my photos makes everything a little more personal, which I love! It's great to put my own spin on my blog and quotes I like! 

So, I compiled a list of my favorite fonts to share with you!

One // Two // Three // Four // Five // Six // Seven 

I find most of my fonts on Dafont.comfont space, and 1001 free fonts. It is so easy to download fonts to your computer's font book and use them any way you please!



Friday Five

Happy Friday!
I am definitely doing my "Friday Happy Dance" today! It has been one stressful week, but I have a half day at work today, so that makes up for it for sure! I have a fun weekend planned and can't wait to update y'all on it!

First I want to thank each and every one of my friends, family, and followers for making my birthday on Wednesday so unbelievably special! The texts, comments, tweets, phone calls, and snap chats were all so overwhelming (in a great way!) So, thank you! My birthday was spent working, with a dinner and dessert celebration after! No birthday is complete without a Maxie B's cupcake! I plan on celebrating with friends this weekend!

I got the beloved Tory Burch Miller Sandals I blogged about wanting last Friday for my birthday, so that was a fun surprise! I have already worn them and love them! I may just have to invest in another pair! I'm so glad I got black because I didn't really have a nice pair of black sandals!

Barrister Ball is today! Remember this post when I was trying to decide on a dress? Well when I was in Wilmington I found the perfect dress! It was just the style and color I was looking for! It's not too dressy, and not too casual. it's juuuust perfect! The best part? It is definitely a dress that I will be able to wear again.

So, without further adieu, here is my Barrister Ball dress. These pictures don't even do it justice! I can't wait to share photos from the night.
I didn't do a weekend recap post last week like I normally do, but it was such a fun weekend. On Friday Brian's brother turned 21, so we took him out for a night of fun! On Sunday Brian and I took Dingo to The Dog Bar to play with Taco, the dog Bre and Jeremy were dog sitting for the weekend! We got to drink while the dogs got to make friends! It was too fun.

Last week Marley Lilly sent me the cutest bow as a spring present! It was so thoughtful! I can't wait to wear it on those days when I just want to throw my hair up and get it out of my face! 


Turning Twenty Three (& 23 Facts)

Happy Wednesday, friends! 
Today is a little more exciting for me because it's my birthday!!
Today I turn 23!

Twenty-three isn't one of those ages that is super exciting to me. Nothing monumental happens when you turn twenty three. I am old enough to drink, yet still too young to rent a car (or run for Senate he he!!) To me it's one of those "in between" ages. Which, I guess is quite fitting for me. I am a college graduate and young professional still in my early twenties, yet I haven't quite hit the mid-twenties and don't really seem like an adult (even though I clearly am). I'm just "in between." Although this age isn't big in the sense that it permits me to do something new, I am so looking forward to what my twenty third year brings!! Twenty three is starting off with great family, friends, and a wonderful boyfriend! What could be better?!

1.>>I am a born and raised North Carolinian. I'm not sure I ever want to leave this state.
2.>>I am 5'2" (on a good day), wear size 5 1/2 shoes & size 5 1/2 ring. I like being little. It has its perks.
3.>>I was a golfer all through high school. 
4.>>I am the oldest of four siblings in my family. I like being the oldest.
5.>>I have a terrible fear of falling backwards down the stairs. (I'm not even sure why).
6.>>I'm a perfectionist. So much so, that is becomes a problem. I want everything to be perfect all the time. 
7.>>I graduated from Appalachian State, but to be honest, I'm not sure I would choose to go there again.
8.>>While I may seem confident and happy on my blog I am quite insecure. I let them smallest things get to me.
9.>>I am addicted to social media (instagram, pinterest & facebook) I'm constantly refreshing the sites.
10.>>I am a clothes/shoes/purse/jewelry hoarder. I'm that girl who never gets rid of it because "I might wear it."
11.>>I am a lefty. I like it. Aside from the pen/pencil smudge that is always on the side of my hand. 

12.>>I get the hiccups at minimum three times a day. (Someone tell me this is normal!)

13.>>Everything has to be an even number to me. The car radio and TV volume especially.

14.>>I never meet a stranger. I love meeting people, making friends, and talking. 

15.>>When I drink I like to think I can dance & I end up having dance offs with friends. Ask Bre, she can attest!

16.>>This is my favorite number...because it was my cubby number in third grade. So, no real significance. 

17.>>I wish I had a different name. Preferably a double name.
18.>>I have a huge fear of blood, needles, veins & the Dr. Like I full on pass-out when I even hear talk of them. 
19.>>I have a ridiculously good memory. I can vividly remember facts & details about situations (that no one else can). 
20.>>It takes me about six alarms to wake up every morning.
21.>>I have an obsession with painting my nails. I usually paint them twice a week.
22.>>I am the pickiest eater. And my food can't touch. gross. 
23.>>My goal is to be happy with myself & make others happy every day.

Cheers to a new age, new opportunities, and lots of fun! 


Striped Peplum

Who has an obsession with peplum?? I do. *guilty*
So when I saw this black and white striped peplum top from Target I just had to have it! I has a very business casual feel to it, yet it is so versatile! I love that it isn't a short peplum top (like most). I loved the semi-nautical feel of this outfit with the C.Wonder necklace and espadrilles. 

I can't wait to style this top more. 
Oh, the possibilities!

That's all I've got for you on my last day of being 22!
Have a fabulous day, friends!


Oak City Collection

On a beautiful Saturday about a month ago, I loaded up and headed to Raleigh for a day of fun. What for, you ask? To do a little modeling for Oak City Collection, a new handmade bow-tie and clothing company located in the city of oaks, Raleigh, NC! I was so thrilled that they asked me to be involved in this photo shoot. I couldn't have been surrounded by a more nice and talented group of people!

We started out the day at the Tucker House in downtown Raleigh. Talk about beautiful! It was the perfect southern setting for our photo shoot! It was a day filled with drinking sweet tea out of mason jars, playing cornhole, laughter, and lots of seersucker and bowties! Could we have been any more southern? I don't think so!

The ladies got to model their skirts, while the boys got to show off the bowties! 
Like what you see? You can order custom skirts and matching bowties on their site!
A special thanks to Kathryn & Ben, the brains behind Oak City and the fabulous Lauren for her expert photography skills (and dealing with us!)
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