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Peace Out 2018, Hello 2019

Can you believe another year has come to an end?  It’s time to reflect on the last 12 months, make plans and set goals for the upcoming year.  We agree that 2018 has been the longest and yet the fastest year of our lives, if that even makes sense. We have been through the trenches this year with the unexpected death of our dad in February. For us, it’s been a year of tremendous sadness, growth, and thankfulness. Sadness and growth because we are learning our “new normal” without this man who was one of the centerpieces to our family.  Thankfulness because we were reminded of the true meaning of love as our family and friends have given abundantly in our time of sadness through prayer, hugs, cards, and calls/ texts. We are so grateful!

To say we are ready to say “peace out” 2018 is an understatement, but we are ready to kick 2019 off the right way! If you haven’t thought about your resolutions yet, there’s still time and we are here to help get you started. Here are a few things to consider when setting your New Years resolutions.

  • Start small. If you set achievable goals, you will be more likely to stick with it.
  • Be specific on what you’re trying to achieve so that you don’t lose focus. We are both guilty of getting sidetracked and losing sight of the what we are trying to achieve.
  • Set a start date. It helps to have that hard date in mind as it always mentally prepares us to commit. It doesn’t matter if it’s January 1st or February 1st, just pick a date that works for you and GO FOR IT! You’re less likely to push it off to next week.
  • Write your resolutions down. If you have your resolution or goal in front of you, you are more likely to follow through.
  • Have fun! If you keep it lighthearted and have fun along the way, you are more likely to stick with it!

Now that you have a few tips to help you get those 2019 resolutions set, let’s bring in the new year and be as productive as we can.  Thank you for coming around this year as we have embarked on this blogging journey. It’s been a wonderful experience and we can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store for us!

 

Alta High Fashion – A Boutique That Meets Your Every Need

Isn’t it amazing when you find a store that has quality pieces for every occasion?  We discovered just that when we visited Alta for this first time last week.  Alta is a high-end fashion retailer located in Rock Hill, SC that can outfit you from head to toe, and have you walking away with the cutest gifts!  The owner was nice enough to let us do a quick try-on session while we were there.  Unfortunately mom life stepped in, and we had to cut it short to pick up the kids.  Trust us when we say the selection is insane, so we were only able to scratch the surface of what this boutique has to offer!

Cute outwear is a must have this season and Alta does not disappoint when it comes to options. We were so excited to find this Teddy Bear Coat in several colors. This camel beauty is so soft and is a perfect length to keep you warm when wearing anything from jeans to dresses. If the weather calls for something lighter, this sherpa lined faux suede vest is the perfect stylish addition to keep the chill away.

Alta has their own line of clothes that is something that you want to look for when walking through the doors. If you are searching for something fun to wear to the office, brunch or party, look for the Erma’s Closet line. We had the opportunity to get a sneak peak of some of the newly released designs from this line. The cut and bright colors of these fun dresses is flattering for all shapes and you can’t help but turn heads when you walk through the door.

Did you say holiday party? We tried these holiday pieces we didn’t want to take off. As you know, plaid is one of the favorite patterns for this holiday season. Look lovely when you pair this blue plaid poncho (also available in red) with jeans or even a skirt. The best part – velvet trim!  We love all things soft this season and we are excited for this velvet top!  Velvet is such a classic material and when it’s a smokey silver, you just want to ring in the New Year with that special someone.

When talking outfits, we can’t leave out cute accessories! You will find a wonderful selection of accessories ranging from rings, earrings, necklaces to handbags. You may walk the boutique looking for something for yourself, but don’t be surprised if you leave with something for your gal pal too. You can purchase these looks by visiting Alta’s online boutique.

Thank you for stopping by and we hope you have a great week!

 

 

 

Graphic Tee Gift Ideas

The holiday season is here, and ’tis the season to find your loved ones gifts that show them how much you care.  What better gift than a graphic tee that describes them to a T – see what we did there?!?  Graphic tees are cute, comfy, and can show a little insight into a person’s personality.  We have categorized some graphic tee selections to make it easier to find the perfect shirt for that special someone in your life – or for yourself!

FOR THE COFFEE LOVER

Because coffee gets us through the day, we decided to share two shirts dedicated to our caffeine addiction!

First I Drink the Coffee, Then I do the Things, Etsy – JLaw Creations, $23.00


Caffeine Sips and Target Trips, Etsy – Work It Wear, $20.00

 

FOR THE FOOD LOVER

Feed Me Tacos and Tell Me I am Beautiful,  Etsy – The White Invite Gifts, $18.99


You Had Me at Pizza, Etsy – Cube Shirts, $24.00

FOR THE GIRL BOSS

Girl Boss, Etsy – Daydream Design US, $23.95

 

FOR THAT PERSON YOU ARE GRATEFUL FOR

Grateful, Thankful, Blessed, Etsy – JLaw Creations, $12.00

FOR THAT MOM THAT IS ALWAYS HUSTLIN’

For every busy mom out there, this shirt is for you!

Mom Hustle, Etsy – Life With Sunshine, $19.00

FOR THE WINE LOVER

Wine Because it’s Not Good to Keep Things Bottled Up, Etsy – JLaw Creations, $23.00

This Wine is Making Me Awesome, Pink Lily Boutique, $26.00

FOR THE PERSON THAT LOVES THEIR PET

If I Can’t Bring My Dog, I’m Not Going, Etsy – Rabbit Print, $19.99

 


I Can’t, I Have Plans With My Cat, Etsy – Lunar Habits Apparel, $24.99 (ON SALE for $19.99)

FOR THE TV SHOW LOVER

The Grey’s Anatomy fan in your life, will probably love this shirt because #McDreamyForever!

It’s a Beautiful Day to Save Lives, Etsy – After Color, $23.00 (ON SALE for $20.70)

 

This Game of Thrones sweatshirt is super cute and absolutely perfect for this time of year!  Fingers crossed this ends up under the tree!

Winter is Coming, Etsy – Sugar Bae Wear, $27.00 (ON SALE for $24.30)

 

There were SO many amazing Gilmore Girls options, but this is where it all began…

Luke’s Diner Hoodie, Etsy – Good For Nothing Studio, $29.00 (ON SALE for $24.73)

 

The antics of Jim and Dwight were endless, and The Office lover will totally laugh over this tshirt!  Trust us!

Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica, Etsy – Camisa Co, $22.99

 

And the shirt that inspired this blog post, is the one that always makes us giggle!  If you know someone that loves Parks and Recreation, they will no doubt love this shirt that honors the late Li’l Sebastion.  They will probably even break into Mouse Rat’s “Bye, Bye Li’l Sebastian” song, or solemnly say “10,000 candles in the wind” when they see this tee.

I Met Li’l Sebastian at the Pawnee Harvest Festival, Wal Mart, $24.90

We hope you found the perfect gift idea for someone on your list!  Good luck with your holiday shopping and thanks for stopping by!

 

 

25 Things to do This Fall

The fall season is officially here!  Fall is always extremely busy with our families.  The kids are getting into the swing of the school year, sports teams are starting up, and we are starting to prep for the holidays. Which means it can be hard to fit in quality time with each other.  We have compiled a list of fun, family-friendly activities to help us enjoy the season TOGETHER!  Even if you don’t have any kiddos yet, many of the items on this list can still be fun with friends or a significant other.  We can’t wait to check everything off this list, and share it with you as we go on Instagram!  We challenge you to try to fit in as many of these fun activities too – just click here to print a copy of this fun fall bucket list.

  • Visit a pumpkin patch – This might be our all-time favorite fall activity! Live in the Charlotte area?  Below are some pumpkin patches that have great reviews! 
    • Bush-N-Vine – We have raved about Bush-N-Vine’s fresh produce and berry picking on our blog before, but we also have to brag about their fall festivities!  This is your perfect spot for a fall day excursion!  Enjoy hay rides, pick-your-own pumpkin patches, fresh seasonal produce, food trucks, and a bouncy house!  Check out their calendar here for these festivities!   
    • Hall Family Farm
    • Wise Acres Organic Farm
    • Hodges Family Farm
  • Apple picking – We eat a lot of apples – especially during this time of year when we are making  yummy baked goods!  There is no better way to enjoy the apple season than to go and pick your own!  Check out these two orchards that are close to Charlotte – you will not be disappointed!

  • Fall themed scavenger hunt – Who doesn’t love a good scavenger hunt?  This is a great way to get the kids up and moving outside.  If you’re up to making the hunt educational, include a science lesson about the changing seasons and why the leaves fall!  We have included a PDF that you can download and print, then just attach it to a brown paper bag and see if they can find everything on the list!  After they fill their bags, have them create a craft with their fall items!  Click here to download your own scavenger hunt document!
  • Paint a pumpkin 
  • Carve a pumpkin – Carving a pumpkin can sometimes be a little intimidating, but we found this amazing site that takes all of the scare out of this activity!  The Pumpkin Lady has over a hundred different carving templates as well as videos teaching you everything you need to know about pumpkin carving. She picks up from the beginning with how to pick the perfect pumpkin!

  • Drink apple cider – If you live in the Charlotte area, our favorite place to indulge in some cider is Windy Hill Cider and Orchards.  During the fall, they always have fun weekend activities ranging from riding in a tractor-pulled wagon, live music, and apple picking!  Not to mention their fresh apple donuts!  Yummm!  Check out their calendar of events here, and pick a fun weekend to visit!
  • Movie night – It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! – This can be done with any fall movie, but Charlie Brown is always a favorite!  We cannot wait for cooler weather so we can host a movie night for our families and friends!  We are going put up a screen and projector in the yard, spread out some blankets, grab some snacks, and welcome in the season!
  • Make smore’s
  • Have a weenie roast
  • Make a pine cone bird feeder – We have been seeing a lot of cardinals around the house in the past two weeks and Emma loves to watch them! So much so, that we decided to make these adorable (and easy to make!) bird feeders and tie them in a tree outside the window in the hopes that they will stick around!  The adorable blog, Happiness is Homemade, offers an easy to follow tutorial.  Click here to get instructions on how to make your own!
  • Hay ride/corn maze – Ok, so we know that nothing can compete with Stars Hollow’s hay maze (Gilmore Girl fans, you get me!), but who doesn’t love a good hay ride or corn maze?  If you are in the Charlotte area, check out this list of places close by that offer one of these fun fall activities!
  • Go on a hike – What better way to get outside, get some exercise, and enjoy the amazing scenery and weather?  We came across the blog, Primally Inspired, that has a recipe for natural tick repellant!  We haven’t tried it yet, but we are definitely going use this on our families when we go for a hike!  Get the recipe here.
  • Tailgate for a football game

  • Make your home smell like fall – There is something that is so homey about the smell of cloves and cinnamon!  Try this easy recipe on your stovetop to fill your home with the scent of fall.
    • one orange, sliced
    • one apple, sliced
    • one lemon, sliced
    • 2 Tbs of whole cloves
    • 4 cinnamon sticks
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 2 cups of water
    • Combine ingredients in a pot, and bring to a boil.  Once the liquid reaches a boil, adjust the temperature to simmer.  You can simmer this for several hours, just make sure you check the liquid level (I usually check in every 30 minutes) and add another cup of water when needed.
  • Make a pot of chili
  • Create a wreath for front door (with the kids!) – Raise your hand if your grandparents told you to go pick up sticks out of the yard when you were a kid?  (Ok, just curious, if this was you, did you actually raise your hand?!)  Ours definitely did, and we aren’t sure if it was that they actually wanted the sticks out of the yard, or if it was because they wanted to keep us busy!  Well, for this craft, you can keep your kids busy picking up sticks AND come away with a really cute door wreath!  We came across an adorable wreath on the blog Yellow Mums, and knew instantly that we had to try to make one!  Click here for the tutorial.  Check back with us on Instagram to see how our own version of this wreath turns out!
  • Tell ghost stories
  • Go on a picnic

Wishing everyone a very happy fall season!

 

maurices – Our Fall Finds!

 BUTTON FRONT WAFFLE TOP,  PLAID BLANKET SCARF,  DENIMFLIX DESTRUCTED DARK WASH CUFFED JEGGINGS, LARGE TASSEL TOTE

Fall is in not in the air here in the Carolinas, but we are loving all the fall clothes that we are seeing on the store racks. We were so fortunate to be able to spend a fun afternoon with maurices and shoot a few pieces from their fall collection. maurices selections range from casual to night on the town and available in sizes 1-24. They also take the stress out of styling a complete look as you’re able to shop their line of purses, shoes and accessories! There were so many looks we wanted to put together for you, but we only had so many hours before someone came looking.  Sad – heck no! It just gives us a reason to visit again!

LEFT PICTURE: LATTICE CHIFFON HANGDOWN TANK, SOLO ZIPPER NECK LONG SLEEVE JACKET, DENIMFLEX DARK WASH DESTRUCTED JEGGINGS, FAUX LEATHER O-RING CROSSBODY BAG  RIGHT PICTURE: LOVE FALL MOST GRAPHIC TEE, LACE UP SIDE CARDIGAN, DENIMFLEX HIGH RISE DESTRUCTED JEGGINGS, LARGE TASSEL TOTE

Let’s first chat about their selection of  jeans. Between the two of us, we tried on 6 different styles in the DenimFlex and EverFlex and they were so comfortable. Available in medium to high rise and various shades, your only problem will be deciding which to keep. These jeans will give you that stylish look while providing enough flexibility to chase the kids and run errands around town – all while they maintain their shape.

ROAD TRIPS AND CAFFEINE GRAPHIC TEE, PLAID CHEST POCKET BUTTON DOWN SHIRT, DENIMFLEX HIGH RISE DESTRUCTED DARK WASH JEGGINGS, AFTERBURN ROSE GOLD AVIATOR SUNGLASSES

The selection is amazing and you won’t have a problem finding that perfect top when you visit the store or shop online. The graphic tees are some of the cutest we’ve seen, and they have a large variety to choose from!  From the seasonal themed fall tees, to the every day graphic tees (our personal favorite said “Because I Said So”), you will find a top to match your mood!  Don’t forget to warm up your look by pairing a fall colored cardigan or scarf with that soft tee or fashionable cami. The quality of their tops is equal to or better than some of the common department stores. You won’t be disappointed with whatever you choose.

LEFT PICTURE: FLORAL WRAP MAXI DRESS, BUCKLE CLIP FRONT SATCHEL RIGHT PICTURE: CHIFFON FLORAL PRINT DRESS, ELBOW STITCHED FAUX LEATHER JACKET, TASSEL CROSS BODY BAG

A good dress is not always that easy to find. We must say that maurices did not disappoint. The fall floral patterns were abundant with short to long options available. If you’re feeling extra flirty, go for a high low cut. We chose two of our favorite dresses to share.

This maxi wrap dress is amazing! The deep wine tones of this dress would go beautifully with a gold, camel or black cardigan or jacket. Pair this with a pair of heels or your favorite boots on a cold day.

Another favorite from the maurices dress collection is this short keyhole neck dress. The deep green with gold and wine floral pattern has us planning a night out on the town. Paired with this maurices brown faux leather jacket, we transition right into fall and are ready for those cooler days.

With 900 locations throughout the United States, you may have a maurices in your area!  We visited the location at Tanger Outlets in Charlotte, NC and thoroughly enjoyed our experience. The customer service was amazing and the dressing rooms have a feminine boutique feel. To sum up our visit, maurices offers quality clothes in a wide variety of sizes and styles that will meet the need of any occasion. Get your cards out friends, your carts will be full after shopping!

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Hair How To: Beach Waves & Perfect Pony

We are so excited to introduce our new series, Barstool Banter! We will talk to the experts on different topics and will be posting our interviews on IGTV. Take a look and we hope you learn something new!

Great Hair, We’re There

In a dream world, fantastic looking hair just happens as you jump out of bed. In everyday life, we all know there are tricks to getting great looking hair. But HOW do we get this amazing hair? We spent a couple of hours with one of our favorite stylists getting tips for the beautiful beach waves that everyone wants and a quick tutorial for a perfect stylish pony. Check out our IGTV video for our complete interview, and for quick reference we’ve noted the “highlights” below.

Let’s first introduce the expert, Michael Weston. Michael is a stylist with 8 The Salon located in The Village at SouthPark in Charlotte, NC. He has been working professionally for almost 8 years and is amazing at both cut and color.  He is originally from Maine, but now calls Charlotte home. Lucky us!!  We’ve been seeing him for going on over 3 years now and can’t say enough good things about him.

 

The Beautiful Beach Waves

Michael started with tips and tricks for perfect beach waves. We ALL want them, so here’s how:

  • He advises a 1 inch curing wand (a flat iron may be better for above the shoulder hair).
  • Separate your hair into sections and subsections.
  • Before curling, apply a light hold hair spray to maintain the curl.
  • Start with the bottom layer of hair (top should be sectioned up) at the back of your head, and work towards your face.  After you complete the bottom layer of hair, take another small section from the top layer and repeat.
  • Once you have completely curled hair, grab smaller pieces around your head and curl these smaller pieces to give a more natural look.
  • After curling, apply a dry texturizing spray – this will give the hair more body.

 

The Flirty, Fun (and easy) Pony Updo

We all want a quick style that looks like we spent hours on it! Watch the tutorial on IGTV as the steps below may now tell the story on just how easy this is!

  • Section your hair where you part at the top of the head and behind the ear.
  • Put the remaining hair that is left in the back section into ponytail.
  • For the remaining hair on the front of the head that is down, use a texture spray to give it height and body.
  • Take a Mohawk section (the top middle section of hair) and back comb this hair. PS, do more back combing than you normally would. More is better!
  • Back comb the side sections. This adds volume to the side of your head to give a more proportioned look.
  • Apply spray to each section.
  • Then smoothly comb all loose hair back to form one ponytail.
  • Grab a clear ponytail holder and pull the new hair plus the established ponytail through to form one large ponytail. This should hide the original rubber band to give a softer, more polished look.
  • To finish the look, pull down a few small pieces of hair around the face.

What’s Up for Hair This Fall?

Color?

  • Warmer tones (beiges and neutrals) are always more popular going into the cooler months.
  • Balayage and hand painted highlights. WHY? Because it gives dimension and a cool youthful look. And the best part, it’s LOW maintenance. This means when your roots grow out, it gives the hair a more natural look. This means less trips to the salon!

Cuts?

  • When it comes to cuts… it’s really what works for the individual. Check with your stylist and they can advise on what’s best for your face shape, hair texture and lifestyle.
  • Layers are great for long hair, as it helps with weight and curls.
  • Humidity is down in the winter, making winter months a great time for layers.

And please don’t hesitate to call 8 The Salon and request Michael for ANY of your hair needs. He will be able help with the perfect cut or color!

If there is something that you would like to see from us, please feel free to leave a comment! Thanks for stopping by and spending time with us!