Happy Reformation Day!

I don't do Halloween.

 Essentially, I am the Grinch version of Halloween. I want to go and steal all of the candy {on Nov. 1 from Walmart, when it's 75% off, and they put out the candy cane Hershey's kisses} and then crawl back to my cave {bed} and eat it all, alone.

Growing up in Christian schools, there were always debates about the appropriateness of Halloween, and costumes, etc. I hail from the land of "Harvest Festivals" on Halloween night, held in church parking lots with "family-friendly" costumes. Even Trunk or Treats were a little too progressive at the time.

Anyways, the school I attended through middle and high school was a non-denominational Christian school, but we learned a lot about all the different sects and how they came to be. Basically my whole 8th grade year was a study of Calvinism, which has ultimately developed some really weird beliefs for this Southern Baptist girl. We always had "Reformation Week"  leading up to October 31--the day in 1517 that Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the church door which argued against the pope and his teachings. Each day was spent reviewing all the "Solas":

  1. Sola scriptura--by scripture alone
  2. Sola fide--by faith alone
  3. Sola gratia--by grace alone
  4. Solo Christo--by Christ alone
  5. Soli Deo Gloria--to God alone be the glory
This week was always one of my favorites. It seemed kind of silly at the time, but we all got really into it, and I appreciated the time to break apart my faith to the core structures of what I believe: salvation in Jesus Christ alone, by grace and through faith only. We learn how to live our lives, shape our beliefs, and be Christ-followers through Scripture {that's it.}, and our ultimate purpose in life is to bring glory to God. It's all there, in just a few simple Latin phrases.

I don't condemn Halloween. I am a great lover of tradition, and I think Halloween can be fun {I just really don't like to be scared}. But I do like to take the time each Halloween to reflect on the teachings of my childhood, and what this day actually means for me and those I love. Happy Reformation Day everyone! Now go out and eat some candy...

*all pictures via Google Images*

2018 update to include this gem:

What to Buy the Boys

I've always found it a little difficult to buy for the men in my life. It's made even more difficult by being engaged to someone who has more clothes, shoes, etc. than I do. My "fancee" says I am a great gift buyer, but I don't always feel like I am--especially for him! I want to get him something useful, not just some silly novelty items. I do tend to find some quick and easy gifts in the specialty Target sections leading up to Christmas, but if you need to give a gift before then, you might get stuck.

 I know some of my girlfriends also have this issue, so I thought I would blog today about some easy go-to 'guy gifts' that can be used for birthdays or Christmas {it is only 57 days away...}:

Shaving Club
via www.dollarshaveclub.com
First of all, go to the website and watch the video. It's hilarious. Secondly, just go ahead and order the $9/mo set for yourself. In my opinion, the more blades the better. The 'fancee' has gotten really interested in the straight razor business as of late, and luckily there is a cool specialty shop in Savannah that has tons of gadgets and creams that entertain him for hours. But I'm guessing there are times when a normal razor may do the job quicker. Either way, this is the gift that keeps on giving all year long! You get a handle and blades sent the first month, and then {4} new blades each month. How easy! Seriously, I may need this for myself, as I always forget to buy razors before I need them.

Wallet/Phone Case Combo Leather
via Etsy
Does your significant other routinely lose their wallet, keys, phone, etc.? While mine never does, {*rolls eyes*} this wallet/iPhone combo seems super convenient. The cards only model {shown} comes in right at $100, but a fold-over traditional wallet with an enclosed money section is only $50 more.

The Southerner's Handbook: A Guide to Living the Good Life 
via Amazon
The title says it all. A compilation of basically "how to be a good southerner" from the fabulous editors of one of my favorite publications, Garden & Gun. This book is a great gift for any southerner, males and females alike.

University Decanter
via One Stop Fan Shop
If your man friend enjoys the finer things in life, he will really get a kick out of this item. University-specific decanters. Who wouldn't want to show up to a tailgate with this thing? It's pretty classy looking in you ask me, probably along the lines of "University Decanter. It's a #TFM."

Dress Socks
via Nordstrom
This may seem like a silly item, but it's a great stocking stuffer. Most guys I know only wear the no-show black sports socks, even though they're meticulous about their bow-ties, blazers, and every other detail. Dress socks are easy to find, in a wide array of colors and prices, and according to Nordstrom's extensive sock page, "Tradition dictates that over-the-calf socks should match the color of your trousers. If you want to go modern, choose patterned or bold-colored socks that complement your shirt or tie." Have fun with this one!

Nick Offerman Stuff

via The Offerman Shop
Does your beloved obsess about the show Parks & Rec, beards, and being a man? If so, The Offerman Shop is your one stop shop for gifts. Get an autographed book, hand crafted meat paddle or mustache comb...even an end table. This stuff is really too cool, as is Nick Offerman's personal story. {And you know he's married to Karen from Will & Grace, right? So...win-win for you and the boy.}

What do you like to get for your guy?

I'm Feeling...23

Perfect birthday flowers
from my mother!
Yesterday was my 23rd birthday. It was a really fun and exciting day, which makes this week even better. I'm looking forward to having Friday off, and being able to go spend the long weekend with my family in South Carolina.
     I woke up to a ton of sweet text messages, Facebook wishes, and Instagram posts from so many thoughtful friends and family members. When I got to work, I was in for a big surprise. A birthday sign greeted me at the door, with two pink balloons attached to it. My wonderful co-workers had taken time over the weekend to decorate my office with pink and green balloons, a "Happy Birthday" banner, tinsel, and confetti. They also picked out the most wonderful gifts for me--Kate Spade earrings I've been wanting for forever, and a beautiful pearl necklace that will definitely be a longtime wardrobe staple. We enjoyed our traditional Groucho's Deli birthday lunch together before closing up shop early for the fair parade.

While at Georgia Southern, I would always go to the fair on my birthday to celebrate with my friends. I was thrilled to continue the tradition this year with Niki and Kirstie. We had funnel cake {the best kind of birthday cake right?}, blue cotton candy, and boiled peanuts before riding the Ferris Wheel, the Scrambler, and a flying ride. I really enjoyed the petting zoo, too. I had never ventured into that part of the fair before, and was surprised to see camels, zebras, tiny ponies, monkeys, and more! Probably the best part of the fair is the people watching...I may have to go back for round two later this week!
Can you find the Queen Bee? I did!

The very sleepy zebra. 

Pigs in a bowl! 

The Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair
Thank you to all who made my birthday special, especially my mom, best friends, and co-workers!

Bag Fairy: 2014 Edition

Okays, this is an exciting day. I have found a new request to send to the Bag Fairy.

This really only happens about once a year, and is a purse that I feel like is a true long-term investment {see last year's beautiful bag, here}. I try to acquire one higher end handbag each year that will last, and can be used through a variety of seasons. For example, my black Dooney from last year is my fall/winter bag, and the Michael Kors Hamilton tote from two years ago is my late summer/early fall and late winter/early spring transition bag. I tend to gravitate towards more neutral pieces that can be worn with a variety of outfits and in an array of settings.

via Jack Rogers

Hello, beautiful! Metallics can be neutral, right? I need the beautiful bag. I love the color, the hand and shoulder strap options, and the very trendy Celine shape. It's a very roomy bag for all of my stuff {I have a rule that I must be able to fit a toddler in my bag. This can probably hold Layla, which works too.}, and is from the fabulous Jack Rogers team, so you know it's going to be great quality. 

What kind of bags are you loving right now?

It's the Little Things

One of my love languages is gifts. Not just receiving gifts, although it makes me feel so treasured and loved, but giving gifts. Especially around the holidays, and for birthdays, I want to give everyone a gift. Sometimes you need a little gift to make someone's day, or a small thing to finish out your larger gift a la tower of presents which is my preferred way of receiving gifts. Here are a few of my favorite little things that I like to give {and receive! wink wink}:

Glitter Monogrammed Sweatershirt via Marley Lilly. Who doesn't love a good sweatshirt for fall? I love monograms and glitter, and this is an easy, personalized gift to give and get. Plus, Marley Lilly is always super speedy with their production and delivery times.

Candles are another great personal touch. My favorite fragrances are both from Yankee Candle: Campfire Treat {available year round}, and a Christmas special called Peppermint Bark. While other candle companies have come into trend in the past few years, I still love Yankee Candle best for their long burn time, and not overpowering fragrance. 

This is a fun one. The Naked 3 make up palette by Urban Decay. I have Naked 2 which I got for Christmas a few years ago, and I still use it every day! The colors are highly pigmented so they last, and the wide array of colors works with any skin tone and allows for the user to switch it up from time to time. I think these colors would definitely compliment my other palette.

Two popular items this year: druzy stones and tassels. That's why I love these necklaces--best of both worlds! I really like the black and white one because I think it could work year round. These necklaces also compliment the incredibly popular wire wrapped bangles that most boutiques are sporting right now.

And finally....the new Taylor Swift CD. I have every TS CD thus far, and just can't stop now. I also can't stop listening to "Shake it off," so I'm assuming the whole album is going to be great. Always be sure to order the delux version {extra songs!} online, or sometimes available at Target. While this one doesn't come out until after my birthday on October 27th, it would make a great stocking stuffer too!

*Disclaimer: pictures are not my own.

Steals and Deals

This past weekend, the Statesboro Service League hosted their 41st Annual Attic Sale at the Kiawanis Fairgrounds. I have heard about this event during my time in Statesboro, but never had a chance to go until this year. I am so glad I went!

Christopher and I got in line about 20 minutes before 7 a.m., but people had been there since 4:30 a.m. That's too early for me. It worked out in my favor though because I hit the jackpot. Going in, I was searching for a vacuum to last me until we get married, and possibly a chair to replace the one I started painting and never finished {miserable project. Very messy.}.

In addition to a $10 vacuum that works way better than my very tired old one, we got two golf bags for Christopher for $24, and two awesome retro chairs for $15 a piece! Such good deals...and how cool are these chairs?! And they swivel. I'm pretty pleased with how my living room is turning out, and I'm finally getting some inspiration for some finishing touches that I can't wait to show off soon.

P.S. Like my wreath? Go Eagles!

Weekend Recap: Sunday in Macon

As those who know me can attest, I am not a spur of the moment kind of gal. But when I got a Groupon email about Styx tickets in a town just an hour and a half away, I knew I had to act. For some reason, Christopher loves Styx. They're fun, but not my favorite rock group {Def Leppard, Fleetwood Mac, and The Eagles tend to top my lists}. But with such a steal on tickets, we decided to make a day of it and go.

I've spent some time in Macon throughout my life, and it holds a special place in my heart since it is where Phi Mu was founded at Wesleyan College in 1852. I've been to the college and seen a lot of the historical items they've collected throughout the years, but had never visited the grave of one of the founders who is actually buried in town. So to go along with our semi-spontaneous trip to Macon, we stopped by Riverside Cemetery to check out the grave of Martha Hardaway Redding, one of the three founders of Phi Mu.

We then went to eat at The Rookery before the concert which was so yummy! Homemade chips and pimento cheese as a starter, and one of the best burgers I've had in  a long time with pepper jack cheese, guacamole, and bacon on top. After dinner we made one more Phi Mu related stop at the Cannonball House. This beautiful antebellum home has a lot of history itself, but it also carries on the history of Phi Mu by recreating the original Philomathean Society room in its front parlor and is home to many original Phi Mu artifacts. 

The concert was held at the Macon City Auditorium which turned out to be the best location. It's a beautiful building, and much more intimate feeling than the coliseum which turned out to work in our favor. Thanks to our Groupon tickets, we ended up with fifth row seats. Awesome, right? Turns out, not as awesome as my sweet-talking fiance who ended up snagging spots right up at the stage right before the concert started! Check out some of the awesome pictures from the evening: 

And to cap it all off, Christopher even got a guitar pick at the end of the show! Now if only Mondays were this exciting...

Essie Giveaway

Have you entered the Essie giveaway? They're giving one lucky lady a chance to win 100 of their most popular shades! Who doesn't need 100 different colors of top quality nail polish? Head over to Essie now to enter, one time per day while the contest lasts.


It's Birthday Month!

My Sweet Sixteen
Hello, October! Nice to see you. Thanks for ushering in one of my favorite months, Birthday Month. Birthdays should not be limited to only one day a year, but should instead be treasured and celebrated for days and weeks at a time. Only 20 days until I'm 23...how exciting is that?!

Lots of other exciting things happen in October too...Georgia Southern's Homecoming and Phi Mu Alumni Brunch, the fair, pumpkin carving, a friend's wedding, The Best of Me movie release {crying already!}, and more. What are your favorite October things? And have you checked out my birthday list yet?