Monday, October 9, 2017

Four Friends and a Baby

It's already Monday? This weekend went by way too quickly because it was just too much fun. I thought it would be a perfect weekend for a little recap! 

On Friday, our friends from Chancellorsville drive down and then we had a surprise visit from Christian's best friend that lives near DC. We spent a good night catching up and just enjoying each other's company. 

Saturday, it was baby shower time! Our friend Sam is expecting her first little one and she's the first one of our friend group so we are over the moon excited for her. Kristin and I ran a few errands and got breakfast with our husbands before heading over to help finish setting up for the shower before everyone arrived. 
The baby was totally spoiled with all the gifts and now they're in crunch mode to get it all set up and ready because she's less than two weeks from her due date now! 

After the shower, we all headed to meet up with the men for a few drinks and dinner. We went to one of my favorite hole in the wall Mexican restaurant and such a great night catching up and talking about the new little baby and getting so excited for her arrival! We ended the night changing out my flat tire in the restaurant parking lot because I somehow ran over a nail this weekend :( Thankfully, I took it in and got it patched first thing this morning and it's all good to go! 

Sunday, as we always do when we're together, we had a delicious brunch at Another Broken Egg and possibly saying goodbye to Sam until that baby pops out! 
Alyssa and I then went to Windy Hill Orchard in York, SC with our men. I've wanted to head out there for a few years and hadn't made it yet. It was.... underwhelming. Everyone in Charlotte is really obsessed with this place and there's been all this drama over it this year because the first weekend of apple picking, it was apparently trashed by customers so they closed the picking season. The weather wasn't great, so we thought it would be a good time to go. 
Now, the hard cider was SO good. We got a few flights and we all really liked everything but it's a tiny spot right on the highway, so you couldn't even walk around and enjoy your cider. We just sat at picnic tables and people watched. We did grab some donuts and traditional cider to take home and I will definitely let you know if those are worth it. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

My Honest Review of Stitch Fix and Le Tote

A few weeks ago, my aunt and uncle were in from Maui for the week and we, of course, spent a lot of time with them at my grandparents. One night, we were out on the screened porch and my aunt mentions that her whole outfit is from Stitch Fix. Obviously, I have heard of Stitch Fix at this point and have even had a few friends try it out without much luck. But, Joyce convinced me to bite the bullet and try it at least once.

I filled out my style profile and chose the prices I was willing to pay (hint: the lowest they offered) and waited for them to arrive. I won't lie, getting a box full of surprise goodies is pretty fun. It felt like a little moment of Christmas!

Here's some pictures of what I received, but unfortunately, I didn't do a full try on with pictures because I knew pretty quickly I wasn't keeping any of it. I really did love the cardigan and it was SO soft but it was too big and fit me kind of weirdly. I liked the pants, too, but, again, they had a weird fit and I wasn't willing to shell out almost $100 for pants that don't fit perfectly because I know I won't wear them.
After not really falling in love with any of the items (at least not enough to buy them at their price points), I decided to send them all back. I told a friend at work about my experience and she mentioned wanting to try Le Tote which is a rental box service. I scoured the internet looking for reviews (and coupon codes #cheap) to see if it was worth my time.

One coupon code later, and my first Tote was being styled. I ordered the Tote late in the day on 9/27 and it was here on the morning on 9/30! Immediately I was impressed by the turnaround time.

So what makes Le Tote different than Stitch Fix?

one //  As I mentioned, it's a rental service (but they do offer a purchase only box, too). There are a few different options:  1) 3 clothing items + 2 jewelry items,  2) 5 clothing items + 3 jewelry items, and 3) 4 clothing items.

two// You pay a monthly fee and can get as many Totes as you want during that month instead of the styling fee per box as with Stitch Fix.

three // You can wear the clothes as many times as you'd like before sending it back.

four //  If you choose to buy anything from your Tote, it comes at a discounted price. For example, with my first Tote, I received a vest that was marked down to $15 with retail being $68!

five // You get a chance to swap out your items prior to shipping! Once you sign up/send your Tote back, you will get notification that your next Tote is ready for approval. You have 48 hours to approve your Tote OR change out the items. Seriously.

When my Tote was first styled, I honestly did not like anything but the earrings. So, I swapped it all out! You can save items to your "closet" for easy reference moving forward which I think is awesome. I've heard as you get more Totes, the stylists get better, but either way, it's great to have the customization option!

Here are the items that I received in my first Tote!
I really liked everything in my Tote, but the pink sweater fit awkwardly. I wanted to buy the vest, but couldn't think of more than a few outfits with it based on my current wardrobe but I felt great the day I wore it! I did buy the necklace because I wore it almost day I had my Tote so clearly, I'm attached to it. Thankfully, it was pretty discounted! 

I just mailed the items back last night and I'm eagerly awaiting my next shipment. I have a baby shower this weekend and fun plans with friends so I hope they're here in time for that! 
For now, I think I will stick with Le Tote over Stitch Fix. I still like the idea of Stitch Fix and maybe when (if ever) I want to spend a little more on my closet, I would probably go back and try again. But, you can't beat a revolving door of new clothes at a lower price with Le Tote!

If you're interested in trying Stitch Fix, feel free to use my referral code.

If Le Tote is more your fancy, you can get $25 off your first month using my code here (I will also receive $15 if you use this one!).

Have you tried any clothing subscriptions before? What did you think about them? Is there another one I should try?

Monday, October 2, 2017

October Goals

It's here, it's here! We have finally hit my favorite month of the year! And, we even had some Fall-ish weather this weekend (well.. Sunday). This weekend I got two great workouts in at Pure Barre and Vibe5 Yoga and we spent a wonderful afternoon at the Renaissance Fair with our friends and their adorable baby. I'm so glad my friends are having cute babies so I don't have to ;) 

I wanted to start this month off with a few "goals". Obviously, I'm not setting goals this year and I'm just "trying more" things so I'm going to keep these more general like that.  For an update on where I was in June, check out this post.

one // Be active for at least 30 minutes per day. 

I've been doing this almost every day the last couple of weeks and I want to keep it up and make sure not to miss any days if I can! I usually go to a workout class or the Y 5 days a week and I try to get in a long walk on the other two days of the week. 

two // Try a new workout class. 

I actually went to a new studio for hot yoga yesterday and it was nice to get out of my groove. I've been in a pretty good groove (which I plan to share soon if you have any interest in that) but it's always good to shake it up. I have a love/hate relationship with hot yoga but I really loved the studio so I may try another class at that same studio! 
three // Try five new recipes. 

Again, I've gotten into a good recipe groove of healthy recipes and now that we're moving into (hopefully) cooler weather, I'd like to try some good crockpot/Instant Pot recipes that are good for Fall nights. 

four // Eat at a new restaurant for our anniversary. 

This week, we will celebrate our 7 year dating anniversary (and 4 year engagiversary, but we don't actually celebrate that one) and in a few weeks, our 3 year married anniversary. We've done a trip the last two years to the mountains (Asheville and Charlottesville) but this year there is a lot going on so we are staying home and saving for some trips later this year/next year. BUT we want to treat ourselves to a nice dinner somewhere we haven't been. 
five //  Pick pumpkins and get mums for the porch. 

Is it Fall if I don't have pumpkins and mums on my porch? No, no it's not. 

six // Hit up a corn maze. 

I don't know why I love corn mazes so much but I just really do. At a lot of corn mazes, you can also get the pumpkins so we can just shoot two birds with one stone. 

Do you have a list of goals for this month?

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Add it to my List: Beauty Edition

Today, I'm back again and linking up with Bre and Lauren for Add It To My List! I really enjoy reading everyone's posts and have definitely found some new things to try. So, today, I thought I would go with some of my new (or just tried and true) beauty finds.

Up first is my new Wet Brush! After my hair appointment a few weeks ago, my stylist (if you're in the Charlotte area, you should hit me up and I'll send you her way!) gave me a wet brush. I have very thin hair BUT there's a lot of it and it's super tangly. This thing smooths out my hair in less than 30 seconds. I used to fight my hair after every shower and hated washing my hair specifically because I didn't want to detangle it.

The next product I've been buying repeatedly for over a year now: NYX under eye concealer. I've found a lot of NYX products that I really love and even used a few when I did a friend's wedding makeup last month, but this is my absolute favorite that I tell everyone about. It works on multiple skin tones, too. I am the lightest but Kristin in the darker shade and it works beautifully on both of us!

Since we moved into our house almost three years ago, I've had dry scalp/dandruff. I'm blaming the water. I tried everything to clear it up: getting a water filter on our shower, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar rinses, Head and Shoulders (even though its terrible for your hair!) until I finally found Clear shampoo. I use the Complete Scalp shampoo and conditioner and I am finally flake free! Plus, it's made my hair super soft and shiny. I will say it can be a little hard to find and I usually start checking stores before I actually run out, but I typically find it at Target.

I use a mix of drugstore and high-end makeup. Most of my high-end makeup comes from Tarte (and I buy most of it on sale around the holidays and it will last me most of the year! My current favorite that I bought myself for my birthday is this Tarte blush. I have a lighter color and it's almost like a highlighter with a pink flush to it. It looks so natural and dewy. A few reviews said they disliked it because it took off their makeup when they swiped it on. I've found that dotting in on and blending it solves that issue! 

And finally, my newest favorite is the Loreal Air Dry it spray. I have weird hair (as previously mentioned above) and it doesn't air dry well. It's super flat to my head and gets greasy when I air dry it. Every time I washed my hair, I had to blow dry it. On top of the once a quarter coloring I do, this is not good for the health of my hair. When I saw this stuff advertised, I had to try it. Since I don't have wavy hair, it doesn't make my hair wavy but it does make it dry beautifully. No weird greasiness, not totally flat to my head and it dries very quickly! I have two friends at work with wavy that have started using it, too, and they're hair also dries quickly, not frizzy and with a wave! There's also a cream and mouse version! 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Happy Fall Y'all!

And welcome back to your own blog, Leslie. 
I've learned that I'm just not good at blogging in the summer. For most people, this would be because they're so busy outside enjoying it. It's exactly the opposite for me. I spend most of the summer hunkered down inside and refusing to go out unless I absolutely must or it's dark. 

For any of you that are also cursed by living in the South, you may understand this. I just find ZERO joy in sitting outside pretending to enjoy myself while it's 110 degrees and 100% humidity. 

Recently, I wore shorts to the first Panthers tailgate and my family gave me the hardest time for how white my legs are and "not to worry, there's plenty of time left in the season" (insert cry laughing emoji here). Basically, what I'm saying is Summer is the WORST and I'm pretty happy to say buh bye to it. Sadly, its still in the 90s here in Charlotte so if it's cooler where you are, please send it my way! 
This was in June - proof of the paleness.

To jump back on the blogwagon, I decided to just share a few reasons I love Fall so much and I've got almost 10 blog topics sitting in my drafts begging me to write ranging from big life decision to workouts and healthy eating so I will be staying in Blogland for awhile (you know, until it gets hot and I go back into hiding). 

one // My TV shows are back! 

Now that I'm writing that, I think I've got another blog post to add to my drafts! I love when shows come back on and I have something besides The Bachelor/Bachelorette/Bachelor in Paradise to look forward to. Don't get me wrong, those are my guilty pressure but they're literally all I watch in the summer (except I did watch The Bold Type this summer - go watch it!) 

Whitney wrote a rundown of what shows are coming on what network if you're interested to see what's new this year! 

two // Jeans and booties. 

As I mentioned earlier, my legs are pale. I'm a VERY pale human. I used to go to the tanning bed (I know, I know) and I have attempted a few spray tans in the last few years and they're all bad. So, I just embrace it now. And by that,  I mean I much prefer being in pants and sweaters. 
And let's be real, I really enjoy not shaving my legs. Don't we all? And to cap it all off, keeping the toes ready for sandals constantly sucks, too. Basically, jeans and booties hide my laziness. 

three// Fall activities. 

Back to my earlier point, being outside during the summer sucks. Everyone is pouring sweat and pretending to enjoy themselves. In the Fall, its actually gorgeous and being outside is comfortable. Therefore, it's the perfect time for corn mazes, apple picking, pumpkin carving, bonfire sitting, breweries, festivals and taking the dog for looooong walks. 

four // Cooking. 

I find meal planning much harder during the summer. Yes, all the fruit is in season and I eat a ton of it, but I hate slaving away over a hot stove/oven in the summer. And for some reason, I always want to make fish in the summer since it's light but there's only so many nights Christian will eat fish in a row. 

During the Fall, I cook a lot more stews and "hearty" foods (although I've found healthier ways to do this now!) and it's just easier to think of new ideas when it's not so hot in the kitchen. 

five // It's gorgeous! 

Can you really beat the gorgeous leaves falling and  flying everywhere?! Answer: no. 

Six // It's our 7th dating anniversary and 3rd wedding anniversary! 

Friday, August 18, 2017

I was there.

I was in Charlottesville last weekend.

I've written about my love of Charlottesville a few times before (here and here). My best friend moved there three years ago and I've spent so many weekends exploring the town and totally falling in love with it. I'm always so amazed at how nice and welcoming ever person I've met is. All of the businesses are vocally welcoming and inclusive.

This is something Kristin loves about Charlottesville - it's open, inclusive, loving culture; and it's a reason I've come to love it as well.

Friday night, we went to Fridays After Five on the downtown mall. This is an event where they have beer tents, food trucks and live music during the summer. When we got down there, Kristin remarked how not busy it was for  Friday and we assumed it was because it had rained a little earlier and people didn't want to risk getting caught in it.
After hanging out awhile, we walked down the mall to grab dinner at Jack Brown's. As we walked through the mall, I noticed a LOT of police officers gathered in groups all over the mall and things were much less crowded than normal.

As we left the mall, I noticed there were multiple temporary barricades around Emancipation Park behind the mall. At this point I said "oh, I guess there's a rally happening?". We knew there was a rally planned but it didn't hit us until that point that the city was probably quiet because of it.

Saturday morning, we woke up to the news of the violent march that had started very shortly after we had left the mall. I couldn't believe that such horrible hate and violence had taken place in the very spot that we had been just a few hours early when the town had been so sleepy and peaceful when we left.

Anytime I'm in Charlottesville, I always need Bodo's Bagels and this weekend was no exception. We drove to our normal spot to find it closed and the parking lot closed off. Immediately, I check their social media to find they preemptively decided to close that location to protect their employees.
At this point, Kristin and I both started to really get worried about the day's events. As we ate breakfast (we went to a different Bodo's), I saw things on social media that the rally may not really be happening because things got violent before it even started.

I was there to help with wedding preparations, and we needed to do some shopping. Kristin picked a place that was farther away from the Downtown mall to be on the safe side. As we were driving down the highway, Kristin points out my window and says "oh my god, look.... "

As I turned my head, I saw probably 200-300 white, primarily men marching into McIntire Park beside the YMCA and a playground. These people were carrying Confederate flags, Nazi flags, swastika emblems, poles and other random things that were later used as weapons. And we both froze.
Source - Read. This.
I can't describe how awful that scene made us feel. I truly thought I would be sick. And, then, I became extremely aware of my privilege. I, as a white, middle class female, was not in dire danger just by existing in this town at that moment. I realized that we were free to go about our errands, while others were living in fear by these people being in their town. And I think that is what made me feel so sick.

I felt (and honestly still feel) helpless. How do I help? What can I do? How do I make a difference? How do we end such vile hate? I really don't have the answers but I have spent the last six days consumed by these thoughts and truly trying to discover what I can do. There are marches and rallies being planned but is that the answer? Will that solve the underlying hatred that exists in this country and has become more tolerated in the last 18 months?
One thing I also want to note is that these people traveled to Charlottesville specifically to cause an issue and to bring hate and violence to a town that is loving, open and progressive. These were not Charlottesville locals and this is not a problem with Charlottesville. The majority of arrests made during the rally and protests didn't even reside in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The man who drove a car into a crowd of peaceful anti protestors who injured over 19 people and killed Heather Hyer was from Ohio.
Thank you if you made it this far into the post because I know it's heavy and it's kind of rambly but I just have so many thoughts and I don't know where we go from here. I just know that it hurts me so I can only imagine how those who were actually being targeted feel and I want to know how to help.

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Try More 2017: 6 Month Check In

Well, we're halfway through this year, now, so it seems like a good time to pop back up on this ole blog. The last month-ish has just been overwhelmingly busy, but somehow I just really don't know what all I was doing. Do you ever feel like way? Like you're just BUSY but kind of on autopilot?

I felt like this would be a good time to look back on the year and how I'm doing with Try More 2017! This post is going to be kind of long, but it's nice to have it all together in once place!


I got a slow start in January because it's easier to lay on the couch and binge watch TV.  But, I did make the decision to volunteer with Girls on the Run. Considering I'm not a runner, this is shocking and the season is over and I'm still shocked that  I did and enjoyed it so much. I have an entire post planned to talk about the organization and what I learned being a part of it!

I did get a discount code for Classpass and joined for January and I'm still loving it! If you'd like to sign up and try it out, you can use my link and we both will get $30 off!


After a lackluster January, I was off and running in February starting with a watercolor and hand lettering class for Valentine's Day with Skill Pop. I created two cards - one for my grandmother's 70th birthday and the other for Christian!
We ended up going to a Charlotte Checkers (hockey) game which was my first hockey game. We seriously had such a blast and I'm looking forward to getting to go again next season!

If you follow along on Instagram, you've probably seen a few posts about my new obsession with AIR Fitness. I have a couple of friends who had gotten into it and I convince my Classpass buddy at work to go with me one Saturday morning. It was weird and I felt so lost BUT I've been going a couple of times a week now and I just love it so much. There are different types of classes: a HIIT class, yoga and the standard AIR class that uses the silk hammock to do crunches, burpees, planks, push ups, etc.
Also, thanks to Classpass, I tried my first hot yoga class and was going pretty consistently. Hot yoga and hot summer in North Carolina don't work for me so I'll be waiting a couple of more months before I go. But, it's seriously such a workout. My biggest piece of advice though: drink SO much water during the day before you go.


During March,  I was definitely eating really well and exercising a lot which was definitely a part of the whole "try more" initiative. I felt like I was finally starting to see some results, too, and feel really good! I also had my first facial at Mud. Facial Bar which is in the same building as AIR.

If you can't tell from the name, all the facials are mud based and they're about 30 minutes in length. Lisa and I got facials together and tried Yafo Kitchen for the first time and it was an absolutely perfect girls morning.

Buckle up, April was crazy!

We started into April with a trip down to Atlanta to see our friends, The Reimherr's! Maggie and I cheered together freshman year of high school and she's been stuck with me ever since - she even sang at my wedding. After they got married last year, they were in Boston so this was the first time we'd seen them since their wedding. Now, yes, being from Georgia, I've been to Atlanta quite a few times. But, it was fun to see it in the eyes of friends and try new restaurants and places. (But, yes, we did go to the Aquarium and World of Coke because duh).
I finally made it to Charleston, SC for a trip with my best friend. We had tickets to see Tim McGraw and Faith Hill in their Soul 2 Soul tour and it was SO fun. I've seen Tim before, but never Faith. She is absolutely flawless in person. Amazing. We also spent the day bouncing around King Street and the Battery and another day being lazy on the beach!
The weekend after Charleston, I ran my first 5K with my team from Girls on the Run. And I use "run" lightly because I didn't fully run the entire but I tried to!
For Easter, I attended another SkillPop class: Cooke Decorating. The class was hosted by Lindsey of Follow the Ruels. I thought I was going to totally bomb, but they didn't turn out as bad as I thought they would!

Oh, man. We had a blast in May. I celebrated my birthday for the first time in three years (we've been at my uncles' weddings the last 3). But to REALLY celebrate, we went to New Orleans with Christian's best friend and his wife. Three of the four of us have April/May birthdays so we wanted to really celebrate this year!
We had SUCH a blast. So many Hurricanes, beignets, and LOTS of seafood. I'm pretty sure I gained 10 pounds in the 5 days we were there but it was worth every single bite and sip.


I ended May and started June by heading out to Lawton, Oklahoma to watch my little brother graduate from Basic Training. I never thought I'd end up in Lawton and I'd really like to not ever go back there. But, if he ever ends up stationed back there (he might drop out of the military, LOL), but I would go visit if I had to.

The rest of June, I didn't really have any huge "try more" moments like earlier in the year, but I did try a few new restaurants, had a mac and cheese hot dog at my first Charlotte Knights game and started Parenthood for the first time.
On the workout front, I worked out at the gym with Christian for the first time ever and ouch. He's a mean trainer and I couldn't walk for a couple of days. I've also been working on incorporating more yoga and trying out some handstands with my practice.
Whew. A lot has happened this year and plenty of it wasn't covered in this post that I may never talk about on the blog or maybe I'll write a huge, long post spilling my guts. Who knows. But, if you read this far, kudos to you. We'll do it again in December ;)

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