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Saturday, July 29, 2017

Summer Book Review

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Hey y'all!
I did my Spring Book Review at the beginning of June, so I decided that it was time to round up the four books that I've been able to read since then and let you know what I thought of them!

Shelley Shepard Gray, Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller, & Kelly Irvin
This book is a collection of four short stories based in Amish country (y'all already know about my interest in sociology and in the way different groups and cultures live).
The stories are all different, but they draw you in quickly and have incredible character development for a short story.
These would be perfect if you're trying to make time for reading, but can't tackle a big book or you want something to read on the plane or on a beach vacay. 
My favorite of the four would probably be Summer Storms, which is the second one. It has a great story of a girl named Arianna who is engaged, but her relationship almost falls apart because of demons her brother is dealing with.
Each story has a great wrap-up (kind of a "what happens after the story"), I highly recommend!

Liane Moriarty
This was a really hyped up book, I've heard so many people (bloggers and just in everyday life) that have raved over how great it is, so of course I wanted to check it out-so I added it to an Amazon order to round out for free shipping ;)

This story is based on three women who are all mothers of children who go to the same school; there is drama amongst the women and the students at the school, but there is also drama at home that hardly any of the women put together-but somehow they are intrinsically connected.
It has a surprising and shocking ending that will keep you guessing along the whole story-very interesting and worth the read & the hype!

Philippa Gregory
Y'all know I have a love affair with historical fiction and Philippa Gregory does it best.
She does so much research and her novels are so historically accurate, I feel like I'm learning and enjoying the best stories that history has to offer at the same time (win-win!)
Virgin Earth is about John Tradescant, who is the gardener to King Charles I.
This story follows his life as King Charles I seems as though his kingdom is going to be toppled, so John leaves England for America (for Virginia) and tries his hand there.
John has sort of a double-life, one in America where he marries a Native American woman and lives among the Powhatan for a while, and then his family back in England.
It's a story of being torn between two loyalties & one that I thoroughly enjoyed, because you can sense his confusion and never knowing that the choice he makes is going to be the right one.

Like I mentioned before, her stories are very historically accurate and this one is no different. If you enjoy European (or really, American) history then I would recommend this or any of Philippa Gregory's novels (she wrote The Other Boleyn Girl as well!) 

Howard Greenfeld
This book is actually geared toward a younger audience, but it is so well-written and it has a way of drawing you in that I finished it in one sitting because I was so enthralled.
Essentially, this book focuses on the "hidden children" of the Holocaust-much like Anne Frank.
It goes in-depth with surviving hidden children, telling their personal stories about how they were able to survive the world and the way they felt while the war was raging & how they were unsure that they would live, or if they would ever see their parents/families again.

Although this isn't a light read, if you're interested in history-once again, this is a very educational read! I love increasing my knowledge and I thought that this might be useful in my classroom in the future one day. 

I hope y'all enjoyed this little review, I know the books I read are a little different than the "basic bloggers" book reviews, but what can I say, I like to read a little bit of everything!
Right now, this is what I'm reading and I can't wait to see the movie that is based off of it!

Until next time. . .

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Ten on Tuesday [No.17]

Some of the links below are affiliate links-thank you for supporting Southern & Style by using my affiliate links!
Hey y'all!
I hope your Tuesday is treating you well-I can't believe that we're already at the last Tuesday in the month of July...this year is completely flying by!
 Last Thursday was an early one for me. I was up at 4:30 with my husband and the rest of the crew to go work our calves.
The best (and possible only good) part was being able to see this stunning sunrise when I pulled through the gate to our land.
And the steamy, hazy morning was beautiful too!
If you know me, then you know I adore my lab, Forrest (in the cutest picture in the world-below)
The video above came across my newsfeed this weekend on Facebook and it's the story of Ruff, the Labrador Retriever as told by his owner.
It's a tear-jerker, but it also reminds us how much loyalty and love dogs give us on a daily basis.
Did you catch Saturday's post?
It's an Instagram Recap with behind-the-scenes stuff and links to my favorites that I share on the 'Gram but not necessarily on the blog!

Doesn't Carly's trip to Nantucket look like a dream?

BTW, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is still going on and is completely open to the public. Things are starting to sell out quickly, but there's still plenty to check out and pick up.
I've said it before & I'll say it again-the prices in this sale are the best you'll see until Black Friday & this is the perfect time to stock up on Christmas/Birthday/Wedding/Baby Shower/Etc. gifts
I'm linking my shoe picks below, but you can visit my #NSale Picks post for more of my faves.
Since the sale has gone public, I've checked it out and found a few more things I wish I could justify buying!

I have completely fallen in love with two new-ish country songs in the past few weeks & I feel as though I'm doing y'all a disservice if I don't share them.
Roots-Zac Brown Band
Heart Break-Lady Antebellum 
Once again, y'all know I'm obsessed with my pup-so of course any time I can spoil him I definitely do so!
I was able to try out some products from Zesty Paws for Forrest & I have to say, I kinda love them all.
We tested out three products (one not pictured) the Pure Salmon Oil, Mobility Bites, and Omega Bites.
Out of all three, Forrest's favorite was the salmon oil. It provides essential nutrients for healthy skin, coat, and body. It also is said to help with joint function, heart health, and enhancing immune system.
Forrest loves the great taste (it must make his kibble taste delicious!) and it has made his coat so shiny.
The mobility bites help improve hip and joint mobility, which Forrest doesn't really need since he's only 2-but I think taking them now and preventing mobility issues is great.
The omega bites help with cardiovascular health, healthy skin & coat, and digestive health. This one is awesome for Forrest because sometimes he has tummy issues, but since he's been taking these daily he doesn't seem to have that issue anymore!

I recently discovered that along with Draper James killing it in the clothing, accessory, and housewares departments...Reese also has a blog that goes along with the store.
Hold the phone, that's right-my favorite actress and lady boss now has a blog full of Southern content!
Two of my favorite posts:

I know everyone is still crazy about the Nordstrom Anniversary sale (as evidenced by my posts above), but did you know Old Navy is also having a little sale too?
Right now most things are 30% off without having to use a coupon code!

Until next time. . .

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Insta Recap

Hey y'all!
I haven't done an Instagram Recap in a minute, but there are so many times I share photos over there that never, ever make it to the blog (& they're usually my favorite things!) so today I want to share with you a handful of my favorite shots & give you links and maybe some behind-the-scenes details too. The last time I did this was in March, if you want to catch up there!
Some of the links below are affiliate links, thank you for supporting Southern & Style by using these links to purchase products!
I've said it before & I'll say it again, this hutch in my dining area is my absolute favorite to decorate.
These Spring touches have honestly stayed throughout most of the summer, because I love their light & bright feel.
The colorful plates are from Lilly Pulitzer's collaboration with Target, the egg-shaped dessert plates are from the Target dollar spot (as are the two mini cake stands). The chicken egg plate was a wedding gift, as well as the photo album stand.
I have been loving everything pink lately (which is so out of character for me!) So when I saw that Too Faced was having a huge sale back in April, I stocked up on my favorite formula of lip-stick...the melted lipsticks in two fun pink shades.
The rollerball was also a deal (less than $10 at Kohl's) and I always keep it in my purse for when I'm out and about.

Y'all, I spend all year planning for the Lilly Pulitzer semi-annual sales, even if that means trying on items at full-price, falling in love, and having to leave them at the store-it's worth it to know your sizes and what you love when the sale comes around.
I fell in love with this roomy, comfy shift at Belk and I so hope it's in the sale!

Dressing for teaching was always so much fun for me, because when I'm at the farm-usually it's just whatever is comfortable & that I don't mind getting dirty.
This outfit is definitely a favorite because the tunic is such a statement and I look polished-but it's literally the most comfortable outfit ever.
The jeggings look like real jeans (no one ever knows they aren't, unless I tell them) and my wedges feel like walking on air-I'm obsessed.
Also the caption to this was born out of a talent show we had at school that day, one of my students performed and won (as a 7th grader!) because she sang this song and sang it very well!

This was the summer that I first ventured out into growing my own flowers on our deck out back, & y'all-I have fallen in love with it!
It all started with buying a geranium from a student as part of a fundraiser and since then it has grown  and grown (no pun intended!)

I have been really trying to step out of my comfort zone & try out more trends during the summertime and gingham has been one of my favorite! This dress (although you can't see it all in the picture) is full of trends; the black gingham, it's off-the-shoulder, the bell sleeves, and it has a big bow on the back. My exact dress is from Belk from the Crown & Ivy brand, but I linked a similar one (that's cheaper too!)

I love being able to do recaps so I can tell you about products like these!
I have been using this clutch by Marley Lilly (but truly, you can get these on Etsy, or really anywhere). I got it for my honeymoon two years ago and it's still going strong and is perfect for date night.
The blush by Kat Von D is one I actually picked up at TJ Maxx on super sale, but it's one of my favorites for light-makeup days because it's pretty sheer and very blend-able.
ELF Foundation, where have you been all of my life?!
This foundation is everything I've been wanting, for less than $10. It's got medium coverage, light SPF, it's creamy and I love the way it lays on my skin.
And last, but definitely not least-this Pirates of the Caribbean cheek palette, by Lorac-my favorite purchase, as of late.
It's got everything I need to look glowy this summer including three stunning highlights, two blush/blush toppers, and a glimmery bronzy shade.

I told y'all I had been loving trends lately, especially when I can get them for less!
I needed a new phone case after beating my Kate Spade one to death for the last year, but I just couldn't stomach $30-something for a case that I would scratch up and have to replace I went to Amazon and found tons of cute cases that were just as protective as my KS one & around $10.
The ball earrings in the link above are similar to the ones in the photo, but the ones in the photo were a birthday gift from my sister, who picked them up at Charming Charlie-so check there for trendy earrings for less!

This photo was shot the evening of the Fourth of July and I just thought it was beautiful, being on the water is definitely my happy place!

I've been posting a lot of throwback photos to Nashville lately because I'm getting so excited for our trip next month-only 27 days until then!

Well, I hope y'all enjoyed this little Insta-Recap...if you aren't following me @SouthernAndStyle you totally should be!
Until next time. . .


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Wedding Wednesday: Kristen & Christopher

Hey y'all & welcome back to another edition of Wedding Wednesday!
I've taken care not to post these every single Wednesday, because I didn't want to overwhelm those of you that aren't as wedding obsessed as I apparently am 😉
Today's Wedding Wednesday is a very special bride who I met through blogging (so she has tons of resources for weddings that I'm going to be sharing with you!) 
Let's jump in and see this stunning wedding!
Tell my readers a little bit about you & your husband (how you met, how he proposed, where you're from, what you both do-etc.!)
My hubby and I met through mutual friends in college. It was funny because we got all the way to senior year without even knowing each other existed. It wasn't until the end of the year that I finally admitted that I thought he was cute. I totally stalked him on Facebook (added him of course!) and then we added each other on Instagram. It all started when he liked my pics on Instagram! Haha!
He ended up messaging me in July for my phone number and then he called me and asked me out on a date.
Fast forward almost three years later, he got down on one knee under the gazebo where we first met in person (well across the street from the house).
I'm a full-time blogger and I also nanny some kiddos part-time throughout the summer. My hubby is a graphic designer, so he's super creative!
Give a brief description of your wedding day:
Our wedding day was perfection. It was spent with our immediate families and closest friends. It was a glam farmhouse theme and it was simply a dream.
What venue did you choose & why did you choose it?
We ended up getting married in our friend's barn. It was built in the late 1800's and it still had original stone walls (which we got married in front of) and we both felt that it was the perfect mix of our styles.
What has been the most fun part of planning your wedding or what did you most look forward to planning?
I absolutely LOVED planning my wedding. I so wish that I could plan it again, and again, haha!
I loved every moment of it. Most brides say that it wasn't fun or that it is too overwhelming and I am so glad that wasn't my case. I just kept everything super organized and kept on planning.
The most fun part of planning the wedding was the decor. I have a thing for decorating and it was so fun to get to be so creative for my wedding.
We did everything ourselves from the flowers to the cake. Doing everything ourselves with the help of family made memories that we will never forget.
What advice would you give to other brides as they're planning their weddings?
The two posts below go through my tips and everything that I wish I had known while planning my wedding! 
If you could re-do anything, what would you change?
If I could change anything, it would be to take the bulk of the pictures before the wedding.
I wish I had gotten to the venue just a little sooner and it would have given more time to take pictures with my girls before the wedding, saving time later.
My hubby and I ended up leaving the reception for almost thirty minutes to take couple pics that we weren't able to get earlier & a lot of our guests left during that time & we missed them.
Which did you look more forward to & why; the actual wedding day or the honeymoon?
We totally looked forward to the wedding more, simply because we haven't gone on our honeymoon yet!
Where was your honeymoon?
We haven't gone on ours...yet!
But we still aren't sure where we want to go.
At this point, we are hoping to go somewhere for either our six-month wedding anniversary or possibly our one year.
We felt that it was best to do it this way 1) to save money because weddings are so expensive and 2) we wanted to do real life as soon as we got married instead of jumping into a fantasy world. 3) When we finally go on our honeymoon, it's going to be even more special!
Did you DIY any of your wedding or did you let someone else handle all the details?
Why did you choose that?
Literally everything, and I mean everything was DIY.
I wrote several posts that highlight all of my DIY projects from the flowers, our arch, and centerpieces to our cake and even my makeup! I feel like doing everything myself and with the help of my hubby and our family made it so much more special.
We were able to create lasting memories and I wasn't a bridezilla!
You guys-it's a miracle, haha!
As long as you are organized and you plan ahead, everything will be fine.
In fact, since I had everything planned out and scheduled, everything went more smooth than I thought.

Was your spouse super involved in the wedding planning or no?
He was definitely involved, but about eight weeks prior to our wedding, I had quit my job to pursue blogging full-time and I was able to plan our wedding full-time as well.
He was in charge of picking out his attire, our dad's attire, and his brother's (his best man)'s attire.
Everything else I pretty much did myself, but of course I valued his opinion and we made changes together. During the week of the wedding, he took off work to help set up our venue and help with any last minute errands.
Photographer: Aaron Hulbert
Videographer: Atlas DeFay

Y'all-this Wedding Wednesday was stunning!
Be sure to check Kristen's blog, A Classy Fashionista out and check out all of her posts, including the wedding ones that I linked above!

Until next time. . .


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Ten on Tuesday [No.16]

Some of the links below are affiliate links, thank you for supporting Southern & Style by using these links!
Hey y'all!

I hope this week is treating you well-I just can't believe that July is halfway over and that Summer is on it's way out (except in Alabama, where Summer lasts until September 😂 Or later!)
Let's jump into this week's Ten!

If you've ever been to my blog before, you know that I have two subjects that I love to photograph-my dog & those gorgeous oak trees.
Chris and I plan on one day, possible a million years from now, but one day-to build our home on this land where some of our cows are right now. I can't wait to sit on my front porch and look at these oak trees as they change throughout the seasons. And Forrest, he's just photogenic anyway you look at it. 😉

If you haven't checked out my post from Saturday, it's all my #NSale (the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, if you've been living under a rock) picks from the categories of Home, Women's Clothing, Accessories, and Shoes. I think I did a pretty good job of trying to pick things that are different from what everyone else chose *pats myself on the back*. Let me know below what you've picked out or purchased from the sale!

So far, one out of my two Nordstrom sale purchases have come in. The first being this cardigan that feels like actual butter on your body-it's so good, y'all.
In Alabama, we don't usually need heavy jackets, so I just buy a nice thick cardigan to wear throughout the cooler months and this one definitely does the trick.
I'm still waiting on these leggings to come in!

On Sunday, we celebrated my husband's grandfather's 80th birthday, so of course in true family-gathering style I made a dessert. When I was younger, my aunt made this delicious dessert called Blueberry Delight and so I had to Pinterest it and find a similar recipe.
I didn't have graham crackers, so I searched through our cabinets & found Trader Joe's Cookie Butter Cookies and used those for the crust-it was a win for sure!

Just for the record, is anyone else getting excited about Fall and Christmas?! I saw someone post that it's only 66 days until Fall & 160 until Christmas-better get started on Christmas shopping! 😉🎃🎄

If you hate spending $$$ on throw pillows, but you totally know that they can change the way a room looks completely-you need to read this blog post from Less Than Perfect Life of Bliss, she explains how to make throw pillows from placemats & these even have tassels-I'm obsessed and her technique is SO easy.

I am completely aware that I'm not a fashion guru by anyone's standards...but I especially don't understand how Gucci is managing to sell this for almost $1,000. What were they thinking?!

If you read the popular blogger, Sheaffer Told Me To (formerly Pinterest Told Me To), then you've probably seen her family's new pair of golden retriever puppies! They have their own Instagram and they are too cute for words!

So, I've mentioned us planning a summer trip several times over here on the blog. I really wanted to do New Orleans this summer, but the timing just never worked out and so we decided to do something different. We're heading back to Nashville!
We're going in August to see the PBR (Professional Bull Riding) and it just so happened that a Total Eclipse is happening while we're wonder it was so hard to find a room!
I guess we're getting a two-for-one vacation deal!

I plan on doing a total Instagram roundup here soon, but until then I've got to rave to y'all about a product I've been using.
While I love the ELF palette (similar to this one) and the Essie (Excuse Me Sur) has an incredible formula and shade...the real star of this is the L'Oreal Hydra Genius Moisturizer (no, this isn't sponsored.)
I was sent this through BzzzAgent to review, but I didn't have to put it on the blog-I'm doing this because it's honestly one of my favorite daytime moisturizers I've ever tried.
It's like a drink of water for your face, it's so good. It does have a slight scent, but it's a clean and fresh scent so it doesn't bother me! 
I would definitely grab it if you see it at Ulta or Target-it's basically been my number one summer necessity!

Let me know below what you're purchasing from the Nordstrom sale or what your summer necessities have been!
Until next time. . .


Saturday, July 15, 2017

My #NSale Picks!

Hey y'all!

Today we're talking about the same thing that every other blogger is talking about, yes it's basic, but we're talking about the #NSale aka, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!
It's one of my favorite sales of the year (next to the Lilly sales, of course) because you have the opportunity to get so many Fall staples at great prices before the season, instead of after.
Instead of dragging this out into four different posts, I just separated this into four different graphics: Clothing, Shoes, Accessories, and Home.
Shop my favorites from the widgets below each graphic!
Just a heads up, you'll have to actually click on the images in the widget to see the sale prices, for some reason the normal price is the only one showing up :)
This sale is such a good one, I personally picked up the Barefoot Dreams cardigan in Indigo (it feels like you're wearing a blanket) and it is perfect for the mild Alabama winters. I'm also about to purchase the Zella leggings, because I wear leggings all year long and $35 is a great deal!
I also am currently living in Nike Tempo shorts, so $22 is a steal for those-I might need to stock up there too!
Y'all, I could've gone shoe crazy in this sale if I had enough $$$.
My personal favorites are the bootie options and those gorgeous lace up flats, but if you're looking for tall boots-this is the time of year to grab them!

I know I've said this about every category, but I absolutely adore so many things in this section of the sale! Those drop earrings are so trendy and such a great price (they come in four different colors!) and I'm a huge fan of aviators, just at $100-those are an awesome deal and are so classic.

My personal favorite category is home, because I absolutely love decorating our home!
The recipe tin, Mr. & Mrs. mugs, and the address books would all make excellent wedding gifts (yes, you'll still need a paper address book-I promise!)
I am a huge fan of stocking up on Christmas gifts throughout the year, both the UGG blanket and Barefoot Dreams blankets would make awesome gifts.
I personally am a huge fan of the pineapple float ;)

I hope y'all enjoyed my little roundup of my favorite products and pieces from this sale-let me know down below what you purchased on plan on purchasing in the sale!

Until next time. . .


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