Seersucker Sass: 2017

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

A Holiday Day Trip to Asheville, NC

Christmas may have officially come and gone, but that doesn't mean the holiday spirit has to end.  Because the holidays are such a busy time, my family often did (and continues to do!) "touristy" Christmas stuff the week after Christmas.  While there are definitely still crowds, the pace of life is a little slower.  You're not thinking about all of the holiday errands that need to be ran, and you can be fully present.

If you're looking for a fun, holiday day trip to take between now and new years, let me recommend Asheville, North Carolina.

I don't live far from Asheville, and it's also a stop on the way to the lake house in South Carolina.  However, I don't go nearly enough.  There is so much to do there that I sometimes get a little overwhelmed.  However, I had a really great, relaxing visit there a couple of weekends ago, and I wanted to take you along with me!

We started our day out with brunch at Corner Kitchen.  I discovered Corner Kitchen in college when we used to take day trips to Asheville to shop at Lilly Pulitzer, and it's always my first recommendation when someone asks where to eat in Asheville!  It's affordable, the portions are large, and the drinks are delicious.  I had the Latin American style breakfast plate and a revolver mimosa... so good.  I get something different every time I go, and it never lets me down.

Corner Kitchen helpful hint - Reservations are your friend!

After having lunch at Corner Kitchen, we explored the shops at Biltmore Village.  I love shopping at Biltmore Village because it has some of my favorite chain stores - Lilly Pulitzer, J. Crew, Lululemon, Brooks Brothers, Williams Sonoma - and also fun boutiques like Monkees.

(PS - I didn't end up purchasing this top because it was too short on my long torso, but I did purchase this tissue turtleneck & I plan on ordering at least two more.  So comfy!)

Biltmore Village helpful hint - If you're planning to visit Biltmore Village, there is a free parking garage under the J.Crew/Williams Sonoma/Soma stores.  There's also a parking area right next to these stores; it's not expensive, but bring cash.

Less than a mile from Biltmore Village is... you guessed it... Biltmore!  This was my second time visiting Biltmore, and all of the Christmas decor added a touch of magic.  It was absolutely beautiful!

We got there a little early, so we explored the grounds, including the Conservatory.  It was full of gorgeous plants, including orchids, succulents and cacti, and the most vibrant poinsettias I've ever seen.

When it was time to check in, we began our tour of the actual estate.  The home is giant, so expect to spend at least an hour winding through the different rooms.  My personal favorite part of the tour is closer to the end.  The first half is a very formal space, but the second half gets into their kitchen, laundry room, indoor pool (!!!) and other more functional spaces.

Christmas at Biltmore is happening through January 7, so if you're feeling major FOMO, there's still time to enjoy the beautiful holiday decor.

Biltmore helpful hints - Wear comfortable shoes.  Even if you choose to ride a shuttle from the parking lot to the front of the home, there's still a lot of walking inside.

Flash photography isn't permitted in the home.  

It's surprisingly warm in the home, so you may want to dress in layers.  I would also recommend taking a smaller handbag.

Be prepared to wait.  It gets a little congested in certain parts of the home because of the layout and staged photo locations.  (It also gets congested because people buy audio tour speaker things and block everything to listen to them.  If that's not your scene, grab one of the booklets on your way in.  It shares a lot of history about the home, even down to the art.)

Order your tickets in advance and know that there's not really a bad time to go.  On my first visit, our only option was the evening-ish option.  However, we ended up touring the home during golden hour, and it was absolutely stunning.

After our tour of the grounds, we visited the Biltmore Winery.  It's about a two mile drive, but it's conveniently located on the path that you take to exit, so why not stop in for your free wine tasting?!  I really enjoyed the wine, especially the malbec.  We left with a bottle of Christmas at Biltmore Red. 

Biltmore Winery is in a charming little village that also includes the Fashionable Romance exhibit.  (The last time I visited Biltmore was actually specifically to see this exhibit!  My mom and I wanted to see Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis's veil.)  If you're interested in wedding fashion at all, it's definitely worth checking out... especially since it is included in the price of your ticket!

Biltmore Winery helpful hints - Bring cash for a tip.

If you're in a group larger than two people, you will probably have to wait a few minutes after getting to the front of the line.

All in all, it was a great little holiday one-day getaway!  It doesn't get better than delicious food, beautiful holiday decor, good wine, and being in the company of  wonderful people, especially around the holidays.

I hope y'all had a very Merry Christmas!  I want to hear from you - what was the highlight of your holiday season so far?

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Gift Guide: Favorite Things

Happy Tuesday, y'all!  If you're like me, you probably have a little bit of shopping left.  If that's the case, then you're in luck... I have one gift guide left for the season.  I know you're probably in a rush, so I'll keep today's post brief!  There's no time to mess around this close to Christmas, so I'm sharing my tried and true favorites.

Mophie Case ($70)  This is the perfect gift for a blogger or anyone who lives on their phone.  If you're unfamiliar with Mophie cases, you just push a button and they charge your phone.  I've been using a Mophie for about four years, and once you use it, it's hard to use anything else.  In my experience, they last really well.  I've had my current Mophie for a year.

Fragrance is typically a really good gift!  Depending on what you're looking for, I like Blush for every day, Black Opium for evenings or when I need a little boost of confidence, and Mademoiselle for fancier occasions.

L'Oreal Lash Paradise Mascara ($8)  This is my favorite drug store mascara, hands-down.  It makes a great stocking stuffer.

Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Mascara ($26)  If you're looking for a higher end mascara, I love this one.  It gives me the drama that I craved when I had lash extensions... minus the eye infections and maintenance.

Stress Away essential oil ($38)  This may seem a little pricey, but it lasts forever.  I use this oil almost daily, and I cannot get on a plane without it.

Pieces of Me Cuff (c/o) ($30)  The wonderful thing about Pieces of Me is that you can find something for all of the women on your gift list!  The jewelry features different symbols for different traits.  What I love about Pieces of Me is that the symbols are a great way to display your personality, but they're also a good way to remind you of who you are.  These would make excellent "grown up" friendship bracelets!

Tissue Tank ($18)  These tissue tanks are soooo comfy and great alone or layered.  I regret not purchasing them in every color.

Sugarfix drop earrings ($13)  I. love. these. earrings.  Not only are they super affordable, but they're so light that you don't even notice you're wearing them.  I have them in gray and wear them at least three times a week.

Wet Brush ($9)  Another awesome stocking stuffer!  This brush works on my super long, fine hair, my mom's thick, curly hair, and my brother's thick, short hair.  It may seem weird to give someone a hair brush, but if you've ever used a Wet Brush before, you know it's a total hair care game changer!

You are a Badass book ($7)  This book will rock your world.  It talks about letting go of things that hold you back and weigh you down, and constantly reminds you of how loved and amazing you are.  It's great for people who love self help books, but also for people who are a little skeptical about self help books.  (This book definitely pokes a little fun at some of the really strange suggestions that self help books are known for.)

IT Cosmetics gloss & stain duo ($30)  This gloss is amazing because it can also be used as the most beautiful, natural blush.  It also lasts forever.

Vineyard Vines Shep Shirt ($98)  Shep Shirts may be a little pricey, but they are amazing quality and super versatile.  It's great for casual Fridays and lazy weekends, and I love it in the summer for those days when the air conditioner is cranked so high that you're in danger of becoming an ice cube.

Williams Sonoma S'Mores ($30)  I am not the kind of girl that spends $30 on candy, so I hope that tells you just how delicious these are!  Haha.  They're individually wrapped, so you can break them up and use them as stocking stuffers, or they also make a great hostess gift.  If you're keeping them for yourself, know that the tin is sturdy and reusable.  I like to use mine in my craft cabinet.

Invisibobble hair ties ($10)  These are amazing.  Gone are the days of hair ties breaking in half or fighting with a hair tie to give it an extra wrap around your ponytail.  These are especially amazing for people who wear their hair in a bun.  Instead of having to break out the bobby pins for flyaways, just wrap them around the coil until they're hidden.

See anything you'll be picking up for someone on your list?  I want to hear from you - have you completed your shopping?!

Also, I want to say thank you for all of the prayers, kind words, and well wishes for my momma.  I am overwhelmed by your kindness, and I am hopeful that she'll be able to come home before Christmas.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Gifts Under $40 for the World Changer

It's that time of the year where I find myself getting sentimental.  I think about all of the people in my life, and how much they mean to me.  And then I start to look for the perfect gifts for each and every one of them, because in my eyes, they deserve the world... but I can maybe afford a world map.

In introducing this year's gift guides, I wanted to be sure that I kept budget at the forefront of my mind.  That's why this guide ranges from $8 - $38.  There's a little something for everyone.

I also wanted to keep distinct personality types in mind when creating this year's gift guides.  There are so many wonderful gift guides floating around out there, so I wanted to bring something a little different to the table.

A lot of my friends are super involved in the community.  In fact, it's how I've met the majority of the friends I've made in my adult life.  I created this gift guide today with those ladies in mind.

'Woman on a Mission' FEED tote ($25)  •  Not only is this bag cute, practical, and environmentally friendly, it also provides 10 school meals for a child in need.

Day Designer ($34)  •  Not only does this planner break your day down by the hour, but it also has space for tasks, notes, prioritized tasks, and daily gratitude.  (The inspirational quote on each page is just icing on the cake!)

Stress Away essential oil roll on ($38)  •  When I know I'm going to have a particularly rough day, I put a little of this on my wrists and the nape of my neck.  The calming scent does wonders.

'Nevertheless, She Persisted' Coffee Mug  ($10)  •  Because sometimes you need a friendly reminder to keep going while you're drinking your morning coffee.

Bad Girls Throughout History ($13)  •  For those days when she needs a little dose of inspiration or a reminder that she can do hard things.

To-do list pad ($8)  •  My best friend Amanda gave me a gorgeous to-do list pad for Galentines Day.  Instead of feeling overwhelmed because I'm looking at a list and have no idea where to start, it allows me to prioritize tasks in chunks.  I really like this list because it breaks "to-dos" down to three categories - tasks, correspondence, and errands - and leaves a quadrant open for notes.

Stripped:  Inspired Writings for the Evolving Woman ($10)  •  I keep this book in my work bag for those moments that I need an extra dose of motivation.

Natural Silk Sleep Mask ($10)  •  Because fighting the patriarchy is exhausting.

Pieces of Me Bracelet ($30)  (c/o)  •  Pieces of Me products provide an opportunity to put your personality on display, but also to remind you of your strengths and keep you inspired and encouraged.  Choose between 30 traits to determine which one suits you or the wearer best (take this quiz if you need a little help).  I love my Determined cuff bracelet, and I've got my eye on the Confident necklace.

Inspirational Print ($10)  •  I actually have this quote written on a sticky note and stuck to my computer monitor.  It's a great mantra for anyone, but especially someone who feels overwhelmed or stressed.

See anything on there that speaks to you? 

Happy shopping, and happy Monday, sweet friends!  Wishing you a happy and productive week!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Small Business Saturday Spotlights

One of my favorite days of the year is FINALLY here - Small Business Saturday!  I am passionate about small businesses, y'all.  I grew up in family businesses - my mom owned a preschool and her father owns a welding business - and it was such a cool experience (and totally explains my entrepreneurial spirit! Haha)  Watching my mom run a business day in and day out is something I truly appreciate.  I grew up feeling like I could take on the world, because I watched my mom take on the world every day.

When I graduated college, I kind of fell into a job in small business development.  I had the opportunity to work with small business owners every day, and it was incredible.

In honor of Small Business Saturday, I'm excited to shine a spotlight on six female small business owners.  I encourage you to check them out and consider purchasing your Christmas gifts from them.

Carolina Dandy  //  As a monogram lover, Carolina Dandy is my heaven.  The business specializes in embroidered monograms on really anything you could imagine - baseball caps, totes and weekender bags like mine above, and cozy clothing.  To top it all off, owner Addison is one of the sweetest people you'll ever meet.  Carolina Dandy's website states that they exist to show customers the best in Southern hospitality and provide you with beautiful, monogrammed gifts, and that's exactly what Addison does.

This Small Business Saturday, use code THANKFUL for 20% off everything at Carolina Dandy!  If you're not sure where to start, check out these gift guides or my favorite weekender bag.

photo courtesy of Confetti Social 

Confetti Social //  My friend Jenny is the blogger behind Breakfast at Lilly's and has also been running her own business for a little over a year now!  Jenny took the leap of faith to leave her corporate marketing job to open Confetti Social, a company that offers blogging and social media strategy services to entrepreneurs.

Jenny is great at what she does, but she is a Pinterest guru.  Her course PinPossible is currently on sale for $47, which is $50 off!  The sale is valid through Monday.

This insanely sweet photo is courtesy of jenny present®

jenny present® jewelry //  I met Jenny through theSkimm, and I instantly fell in love with her jewelry.  Not only are the products insanely gorgeous, but they're created with the intention to inspire and empower the women that wear them.  The company's clients include everyone from a-list celebrities to women just like you and I.  There truly is something for everyone on the site.  (Like this hamsa pendant that is calling my name!)

In the spirit of Small Business Saturday, receive this pendant for free (personalized any way you wish) with a $100 purchase.  Use code SHOPSMALL.  (You must have at least $100 in product and the pendant in your cart for the code to work.)

Mimi Mae Boutique //   Cori and I took dance together back when I was in high school.  Even then (which feels like a million years ago), Cori knew she would work in fashion.   In August 2016, Cori opened her own brick and mortar store, Mimi Mae Boutique.  There's a good chance you've seen a Mimi Mae product on my Instagram feed, and you can learn all about Cori and Mimi Mae from our interview this February!

Cori is offering lots of sales for Small Business Saturday:

  • Jewelry & clothes - 15% off
  • Bando. cups - 15% off
  • All ornaments - 20% off
  • Mud Pie home - 25% off
  • Shoes - 30% off

Photo courtesy of Pieces of Me

Pieces of Me //  You'll be seeing more of Pieces of Me on the blog very soon, and I'm really excited to introduce you to their products today.  Pieces of Me is a jewelry company that wants you to put your personality traits on display - sometimes to give others a glimpse into your personality and other times to remind you of your strengths and keep you inspired and encouraged.  (I'm the proud owner of a determined cuff!)

Today you can receive 20% off of your Pieces of Me purchase with the code BLACKFRIDAY.

Sparkle Etc with Lindsey //   I met Lindsey through Millennial Blogger Network!  (Check out her blog here.)  Lindsey recently started a Senegence business, which is the brand that sells long lasting cosmetics like LipSense.

Lindsey is offering four different packages for Small Business Saturday:

  • Lovable Lips package ($95) - choice of three colors, one gloss, and one remover
  • Enviable Eyes package ($76) - choice of two shadows, one mascara, and one brow color
  • Fabulous Face package ($95) - choice of one blush, one foundation, and one concealer
  • Build your own package (10-15% off) - choice of 3-5 items for 10% off or 5+ for 15% off

I hope that if you're shopping today, you'll take a few moments to check out these awesome, woman-owned small businesses!  I'm off to celebrate Small Business Saturday by checking out some cute brick and mortar shops!

I want to hear from you - what are your favorite small businesses?

Friday, November 24, 2017

Best Sales of Black Friday Weekend!

This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for supporting Seersucker Sass blog and my dreams of using this corner of the internet to make the world a little brighter :)

Happy Black Friday, y'all! When I was a little girl, my mom and I would load up every year to be at Walmart by 6 AM.  She owned a preschool, so it was the perfect opportunity to purchase gifts for all of her students, as well as pick up larger appliances and electronics.  It was a tradition I looked forward to each year.

Now,  my tradition is to shop Black Friday sales from the calmness of my home.  No pilfering through piles of sweaters to find my size in a store that looks like it was hit by a mild tornado, and no fighting with someone for trying to take something out of my cart.  Just me, my laptop, and a cup of coffee.

If you're in the same boat, you've come to the right place.  I've rounded up sales that I think you will love plus some of the pieces that have caught my eye.

black friday sales 2017

Ann Taylor // 50% off everything with code THANKFUL

Asos // 30% off everything with code EPIC30 [valid through 11/30]

Charming Charlie // Buy one, get one 50% off

Draper James // 25% off with code MERRY [ + 25% of proceeds go to Girls, Inc.!]

E.L.F. Cosmetics // 50% off on orders $30+ with code CELEBRATE

Francesca's // Buy one, get one 60% off on everything

Gap // 50% off everything with code BLKFRIDAY

Glossier // 20% off everything

J. Crew // 40% off full price with code THANKU

J. Crew Factory // 50% off everything

LOFT // 50% off everything

Madewell // 25% off everything

Marley Lilly // Up to 70% off + free monogrammed duck boots with $150 order [valid through Sunday]

Nastygal // 50% off everything

Neiman Marcus Last Call // 40-80% off everything

Nike // 25% off sale with code EPIC25

Old Navy // 50% off everything

Revolve // Up to 50% off sale styles

Sperry // Up to 50% off 

Topshop // Up to 50% off 

ULTA // tons of beauty busters and discounted sets (including IT Cosmetics, Becca, Benefit, MAC, Living Proof, Bare Minerals, and Urban Decay!)

Happy shopping!  I hope you have a wonderful weekend :)

PS - What are you shopping for this weekend?!  Any deals I should totally take advantage of?

Monday, November 20, 2017

What I'm Reading

This post includes affiliate links.  Thanks for supporting Seersucker Sass blog!

Growing up, reading was a huge part of my life.  My mamaw was a librarian, and I'm so fortunate that her love of books was instilled in me.  I was never good at sports, but you know those contests in elementary school where you got a certificate for reading the most books in a school year?  Those were my jam.

I started really reading again this summer, because I could not turn my mind off at night.  Reading before bed does so much for my mental state!  I'm also right in the middle of work travel season and reading on the plane reduces my anxiety so much.  Wouldn't it be wonderful if books were covered by insurance?! ;)

If you're curious about what I'm currently reading, look no further!  I'm not usually reading so many books at one time, but I'm hoping to finish them all pretty soon.

You Are a Badass  •  I wasn't really sure if I was going to like this book.  Self-help books are usually hit or miss for me, and typically more miss than hit.  I told myself I'd take this book chapter by chapter and a little at a time... I read a fourth of the book in a few hours.  So good.  

The author, Jen, totally gets that sometimes embracing methods from a self help book can seem kind of silly, and she walks you through the process.  I cannot wait to finish this book and see how it changes my life.

Can You Keep a Secret?  •  I love Sophie Kinsella novels.  I like to read before bed to unwind, and her books are perfect for that.  Can You Keep a Secret tells the story of Emma Corrigan.  Emma's life is pretty normal, until she's having the worst day ever, her plane experiences turbulence, and because of that, she spills all of her secrets like word vomit.  

This one is a little slower moving than some of her other books, but I have really enjoyed it.  If you like lighthearted fiction, you will enjoy Sophie's books.

Literally Me  •  If you are not following Julie Houts on Instagram, you are missing out.  (Vogue deemed her Instagram's favorite illustrator!)  Not only are her illustrations beautiful, but they are extremely relatable.  Julie's book is a combination of illustrations and hilarious, ridiculous essays that will having you laughing until you're crying.

Rise and Shine  •  I misplaced this book, and I haven't been in much of a rush to finish it now that I've found it.  (This is also the second time that I've tried to read it.)  It's the story of two sisters - Meghan, the host of a the country's highest rated morning talk show, and Bridget, a social worker in the Bronx.  When Meghan curses on air, her world goes into a tailspin, and this is the story of what happens next.  It's well-written with a great storyline, I have just been struggling to get into it.

Sisters First  •  When I was in college, I had an intense fascination with families in politics.  (If you share that fascination, you must read this book.)  However, when I graduated college and became an adult with bills and taxes to file, my fascination with politics turned into total disdain.  But when I saw the Bush twins memoir at Target, I had to pick it up.  My goal is to work away on it during Thanksgiving break!

I have no idea why, but this has been one of my most difficult posts to write.  Kudos to people who write book reviews for their blogs!  It is not easy, shew.

If you enjoyed this post and want to keep up with each other on Goodreads, here's a link to my profile!  I love seeing what y'all are reading and what's on your "wants to read" list.

What are you reading?

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Lessons from Momma

Today is my mom's birthday, and it feels so weird that we won't be celebrating together.  I can't remember the last time we didn't celebrate together.  One year on my mom's birthday, we showed up to dinner wearing matching dresses!  Haha.

Since I'll be out of town on business travel, I'll be celebrating with my momma as soon as I get back into town on Friday.  In the meantime, I thought it would be fun to share some lessons that I've learned from my momma with y'all.

1. Take care of your skin.  My mom put me on a three-step skincare regimen as soon as I hit middle school, and that is something I am so thankful for as an adult.  I didn't always stick with it religiously, but I'm glad that she helped me form the habit of being good to my skin, so by the time I became a lazy adult, it was second nature.  Haha.

2. Be resilient.  My mom is the most resilient person I know.  It is awe-inspiring to watch her handle some of the situations she has been dealt in life.  Her resilience has taught me that come hell or high water, the best response is to just keep pushing through and moving forward.

3. Eyebrow maintenance is very important.  Around the same time she taught me about skincare, my mom taught me the importance of eyebrow maintenance.  I had huge, bushy eyebrows growing up, and since kids can be assholes, my mom started having electrolysis done on my brows when I hit middle school.  I don't wear makeup every day, but you better believe that I at least make sure my eyebrows are brushed up!  Haha.

I appreciate that my mother raised me to take pride in my appearance.

4. You can do anything you set your mind to when you work hard.  I grew up watching my mom run a business, and that experience is one of the best gifts I have been given in life.  I know running a business is not easy, but my mom made it seem effortless.  I grew up with the belief that I could do anything I set my mind to, and that is because I watched my mom do the same.

5. Love people, and love those who are harder to love even extra.  When my mom owned a preschool, she accepted children that were too "challenging" for other childcare centers in the region.  She was so good to all of her students, but she made sure to give extra attention to those children who weren't the most well-behaved, because she felt they needed her love and support the most.

She encouraged me to be nice to everyone, but to be extra nice to people who aren't nice to me, because they probably need my love the most.

6. Do good things, and do them discretely.  My mom is the type of person who would sneak around to do good deeds.  She never wanted to draw attention to the situation or the person she was helping. I could make you a list as long as my arm of all of the children she went out of her way to feed, clothe, and sponsor on holidays, and even then it would probably only be about 5% because she was so discrete.

As I get older, I realize that a lot of people do good things for misguided reasons.  There's so much focus on putting something on a resume or getting a write-up in the paper, and while I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that, I have a lot more respect for those who do their good deeds in silence.

7. There's no need to hurry your current phase of life.  I used to think my mom was the world's cruelest woman for not letting me shave my legs.  I now appreciate that my mom didn't want me to grow up too fast.  I'm thankful for all of the times my mom told me "no."  (And I don't blame her for not trusting 12 year old me with a razor, because I still cut my legs 75% of the time when I shave.)

What's the biggest life lesson that you've learned from your momma?  Feel free to leave some happy birthday wishes in the comments, because my sweet momma reads my blog :)