Seersucker Sass: December 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!