Around the house

-his and her study plans from She Reads Truth-

-bedside table with my current read, Big Little Lies (a must read!)-

-my new favorite skin products oxygen mask and toner-

-new queenb top, channeling my inner bey-

-Baker loving the springtime outside-

-citronella candles on deck, literally-

I hope everyone has a great weekend! I have been super busy with work and trying to get ready for our next trip!


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Wednesday Wish List


This is a quick post of some items I've been eyeing over the past week or so. Some are oldies but goodies, and some are some new loves. Hope you find something on here that you love as much as I do! 


Happy Wednesday! 

1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8





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how to host a girls night IN








This past weekend I hosted a girls night IN.
I invited some very close sister friends of mine over and we ate appetizers, drank wine, and solved all the world's problems.
Here are some tips that I live by every time I am hosting a little gathering at my house. 

5 tips for planning a girls night in
1) easy apps that you can grab and eat in one bite.
Not having to use a fork and knife is always a goal I tend to strive for when having people over. 
I decided to go with savory recipes because one of my friends brought over sweet 
I used this recipe and this recipe! 
2) a central eating area
I like to have plenty of room and options on where people can sit. We opted to gather around the food (surprise). I am a firm believer that food brings people together. Of course wine helps too. 
3) music
I had a playlist going in the background that set the mood for the evening. You don't want it to be super loud so you can't hear yourself talk, but it also helps fill space. 
4. homey area
you want your guest to feel at home, not like they are at a museum. If they are your close friends then you should have no problem with this. I try to have candle lit and comfy seating available to make them feel more at home. 
5. presence
If you're having friends over then most likely they want to see you too! It is so important to have 90% of your apps, drinks, and setting finished and done when they arrive. No one wants their host to be missing in the kitchen the entire time they are there! 
Be present and relax! 

Happy Monday! 

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i know guac is extra








I've actually starting liking graphic tees. I know it's a trend and it won't last forever but right now they can just trend on and on... 
I found this shirt rummaging through target one day and thought it was cute and instantly thought beach, all white, and Cinco de Mayo. (I have no idea why my brain thinks what it thinks, but there you go.) 
I bought this shirt in a size large so I can wear it over a swimmuit at the lake or beach, or tuck it in like these pictures. 
The sunglasses I found on Amazon for less than $15! I know amazing.
 There are a ton of different colors too. I really want these too! 

Happy Wednesday everyone! We just got back from taking Baker to the vet for annual shots and blood work. It was traumatizing.. for me. If I'm this bad when it's just my dog I can't imagine how bad I am going to be when we have kids! 


Shirt: Target// White Jeans:Citizens of Humanity// Shoes: Target// Sunglasses: GAMT

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Mother's Day Gift Ideas



If you haven't figured out Mother's day gifts yet then there is still time but hurry! Especially if you plan on ordering online. I tend to buy most of my gifts from Nordstrom since they offer free shipping and usually have great deals. I've found these perfect gifts for mothers and mother-in-laws too! I can't disclose which ones I've picked for mine because they might be on here snooping! ;)

Happy Monday! 

1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10



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Currently


Reading: I've just finished reading Killing Kennedy and it was awesome! I highly suggest reading this if you're wanting to dive into some history! I've now moved on to The Good Girl. I can tell this one is going to be a page turner and I'll have it finished by this weekend. Any more book suggestions that I just have to read? A friend suggested Big Little Lies so that's next on the reading list. 
Watching: Finally The Mindy Project has come back! If you have never watched this show I highly suggest you give it a try! The comedic timing of Morgan Tookers is astounding. Also  season 2 of Unbreakable Kimmy Schimdt comes on this week! 
Wearing: Still loving my subscription to Le Tote! I can tell it has definitely saved me money on clothes! See my post here and here for more details.
Praying: I just ordered the Proverbs Reading Plan for Taylor and I to start on May 2. We usually do our own thing when it comes to bible studies and quiet time, but I thought this might be a good way to see if we could do one together. I am really excited about this and am praying that we can learn and grow together spiritually. That has always always been my prayer for our marriage. 
Loving: Springtime in the south! We just got back from Ono Island (picture above) and the weather was gorgeous! I feel like we've been going on little trips a lot, so I am excited to have this weekend off to enjoy Birmingham and have an easy weekend.

Happy Friday everyone!
 Don't forget to sign up to win a free workout tank in this post! Giveaway ends Sunday! 
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Floral + Gingham






    




Mixing prints is one of my favorite things to do when I want to pick out a fun bold outfit. I haven't always gotten it right, but I think this outfit works! I think if you want to try out mixing prints you should start with stripes. A striped top with geometric pants or a floral skirt would be a great starter kit. 
When you are mixing it helps to have matching colors in both top and bottom like the center of the flowers and shorts in my outfit. It helps pull the patterns together. Another great option is leopard shoes. Leopard + stripes will totally step up your outfit. I am a full supporter of the leopard is a neutral movement. 

It was a beautiful weekend in Alabama, Taylor and I didn't get to enjoy it though because we were both at work, bummer. This weekend we are heading down to Mobile for his niece and nephew's birthday so hopefully we will have a nice road trip and some much needed r&r with family. I hope everyone else had a great weekend though! 

shorts (also love these)/top-Le Tote (use this link for $25 off your first box! see last week's post)
shoes (under $20!)/ cross body- Le tote)/ earrings- Le tote


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Barre So Hard + GIVEAWAY!





I've found my most favorite workout ever. Barre. 
This has been the first workout regimen that I have actually seen results in my body. It's a low impact workout that tones each muscle in the body by basically using isometric holds. 
One of the only things it has in common with ballet is the actual barre, so don't think we are doing spins or anything. These classes are HARD. 
I am a full believer in the barre classes. 
Of course I was super scared at first and had no idea what I was doing, but after about 2-3 classes I got the hang of it and started feeling the burn. 
If you have ever been interested in trying one I fully suggest you try! No one is going to be looking at you because they will be too busy worrying about their own form. It's a non judgement zone! 

The top I'm wearing above I found searching through Etsy and landed upon the shop Wicked Custom Apparel. They have so many awesome shirt and tanks like this one. I'm happy to say I've partnered with them to giveaway a Barre so Hard top just like the one I'm wearing above! 
Just fill out the survey below (or click here), leave a comment that you entered, and good luck! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway will end 4/17/16 and winner will be notified the next day! 
*Thank you Wicked Custom Apparel for allowing me to host this giveaway. All opinions are my own. Giveaway Tank is a size small. 
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it's nice to have you in Birmingham






Birmingham, AL is growing so fast! Restaurants are popping up all over the place! Here is a list of some of my favorite new (and old) places to go to over the weekends! 

Food:
Real & Rosemary- another new place located in Homewood that is a must try! Gorgeous food and gorgeous people. Holler and Dash Biscuit House- located on a cute corner in Homewood, this place is your new breakfast spot! Southern biscuits get your mouth watering.
Hot Box Food Truck- located at Parkside near Avondale. Don't let the small size fool you, there are pumping out some super delicious food. Fantastic atmosphere too! 

Events:
The Market at Pepper Place- Kicking off this weekend at 7am, there will be tons of farmers selling their homegrown goods. This is one of the best parts of Birmingham in the summer! 
Alabama Asian Culture and Food Festival- For lunch head on over to Zamora Shrine Temple and feast on authentic Asian cuisine and enjoy the arts too! 
Spring Food Truck Rally: Sunday enjoy your afternoon at Avondale Brewery at the food truck rally featuring tons of Birmingham food trucks! 

Hope everyone finds something to do this weekend! Have a good one! 


*thank you to the real star of this post: my shoes. 

Purchase my shirt << link to my awesome shirt! 
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Garden in a Bag


So if you have ever tried to plant something and failed miserably this is for you. 
My mom used to plant flowers in our front yard all the time, and she was good at it too! I, however, did not inherit her green thumb. All that has changed since I discovered Garden in a Bag. I know it sounds super cheesy but it's true! The company is Potting Shed Creations and they make it so easy to plant and actually grow something! They have herbs, flowers, vegetables, and lots more items to choose from plus they make great gifts! 

Below I have planted the dog grass. 
I planted this last year too and Baker ate it with almost every meal! She loves it! 

When you open the bag everything is separated and nicely packed.


 Then you mix the soil with water
Place the seeds on top and lightly cover

Then place a bag over the top and put it in a dark hot place

after a few days! once you see the sprouts you put it in a place with a lot of sunlight! 

another day! 

Ready for Baker to snack on! 

There are step by step instructions printed clearly on the back. I love this because the process takes a few days and that ensures that you won't lose them. 
I have the basil to plant next and I cannot wait to have fresh basil on hand this summer! 
Shop for Garden in a Bag here




*Thank you Potting Shed Creations for being an affiliate of this post. All opinions are my own. 

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why i started blogging



Today Taylor and I woke up real slow. We are usually out of the bed as soon as we wake up moving on with our day, but today we stayed in bed watching youtube videos, drinking coffee, and talking about our 5 year plan. It's the perfect start to the day.

Having been no stranger to blogs in my early 20s, this time last year I decided to start writing a blog frequently. I was inspired by the ladies at a beautiful mess mostly. 
There are two main reasons I started blogging:
1. To enhance my creativity. Let's get things straight, I am by no means creative in an artistic sense. I cannot play an instrument, paint a picture, or do any sort of diy crafts. What I can do is explain myself through writing. I figured if I started posting I'd have to come up with new ways to explain myself, and also create new material through trial and error. 
Managing and writing a blog has been a personal challenge that I have thoroughly enjoyed. It has helped me find new ways to think about things and challenge my brain.

2. Express myself better. At first I felt funny asking my husband to take pictures of my outfits (see instagram husband for accurate review of our relationship) or write like I was talking to a friend on the blog, but now I feel more inspired and I'm just like "WHO CARES?! Come take this picture of me while I pose looking off into the distance."
This has been an extremely inspiring year for me. I have felt more like a woman in charge than I ever have! I feel my insecurities melting away. Thank you older age and wise mind!

I'm out here to show myself that I can do this. I've learned that you really have to put yourself out there and break away from any insecurities and just do you. It's been so scary but I've got nothing but good support and encouragement!
So here's to this blog and everyone who reads it and encourages me!
Thank you from the bottom of my little heart!

xx-Jessica

p.s.- I've also fired my husband and hired a professional photographer to take over, sorry hubs. It was vital for our marriage.



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