Midi Shorts on a Budget

June 13, 2016

I don’t know when it became a trend for your butt cheeks to hang out when wearing shorts, but I am not about it. Maybe it’s my age but I’m not a fan of that trend. Unfortunately my short frame isn’t exactly conducive to bermuda/knee-length shorts either. That’s when I discovered midi shorts. (I had no idea they actually had a name. I just called them “non-booty shorts.”) Last year I pretty much lived in these shorts when working events outdoors. They are modest enough to wear on event days at work but I don’t feel like a nun when wearing them.

Midi Shorts on a Budget

To me, having one of these three styles in my closet is essential for a Southern summer. Jean shorts go with almost everything, and I love the look of these J. Crew Factory Cuffed Denim Shorts. For less than $30, these shorts so versatile and would go with almost any top. The 4″ inseam (uncuffed is 6.25″) is a great length for my short frame.

White denim is obviously a staple in the summer. I own these Jennifer Lopez Boyfriend Shorts from Kohl’s and wear them at least once a week. The website lists the inseam as 7″ but I think it’s actually closer to 5″ unless this is a different pair than I have. Plus they are super stretchy and the best part? They are thick enough that I don’t have to wear certain colored underwear. Hardly any colors show through!

This past weekend I popped into the Loft Factory Store in Charlotte and found the most adorable blue gingham shorts. I love patterned shorts for the summer, what a great way to incorporate some color on the bottom half of your body! These Elephant Riviera Shorts from Loft are modest enough with a 4″ inseam but colorful enough to be playful. (Loft Factory Store doesn’t sell online, but my blue gingham shorts were only $19.99. Solid color shorts were $14.99!)

What are your summer staples? 

 

Best of the East Coast: Charlotte, NC

June 10, 2016

Charlotte, NC

I’m so excited to be linking up with Savannah and lots of other lovely East Coast ladies to talk about our cities. To me, Charlotte, NC is my adopted hometown. I grew up about an hour and a half southwest of the city but never really explored Charlotte proper until I was in college, just 20 minutes south of the city. It’s really confusing to a lot of people because while I technically do live in South Carolina, I could get to the border in a less than 10 minute drive.

Two weeks after I graduated college, I moved 900+ miles away to Houston, Texas. Growing up, I always wanted to live in a big city. However, I didn’t understand how important public transportation is to a big city. (It’s pretty much nonexistent in Houston due to it’s below-sea level altitude and massive size in population and square miles.) After spending four years in Houston, experiencing it’s highs (THE FOOD) and it’s lows (THE TRAFFIC) it made me realize that Charlotte truly is the best of both worlds.

A little background, Charlotte is the 17th largest US city (based on population). It’s the largest city in North Carolina but not the capital (that’s Raleigh). The Charlotte metro area, where I live, spreads across multiple counties and into two different states. In my opinion, it’s the quintessential Southern city.

So, I want to share with you all of my favorite spots in the city in hopes that you’ll come visit. Having just moved back I’m so happy to get reacquainted with the city, so if you think I left anything out, please leave them in the comments below:

How to Get Around:

If you’re exploring Uptown (which is actually downtown, for you out of towners) the Lynx Light Rail is the way to go. For those of us that live very far south, driving to the station at South Blvd (the end of the line) and taking it all the way up to Uptown is way easier than trying to find a parking spot in the city. Not to mention it’s way cheaper. Of course you are welcome to drive but do be prepared for traffic.

What to Do:

Blumenthal Performing Arts – I’m a little biased on this particular spot, since I interned there when I was in college, but I absolutely love going to see shows at the Blumenthal. It’s not just one theater either, the organization manages SIX different venues. You can see anything from the latest Broadway touring production or music performances from tons of great artists. One of the things I love most is the ability for students to see some shows at a discounted rate. Learn more about the Student Rush offer here.

PNC Music Pavilion – Over the years I’ve seen tons of concerts at this venue, way before it’s name change! This venue, compared to the Blumenthal, has larger acts like Coldplay, Dave Matthews Band, and Journey. The venue is owned and operated by Live Nation, so you know the performers will be top notch.

BB&T Ballpark

Charlotte Knights at BB&T Ballpark – The Charlotte Knights are the minor league teamed located in town, the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. I haven’t had the chance to visit the new stadium Uptown but after seeing photos of the view, I’m dying to go. When the Knights played in Fort Mill, SC, we went a few times and even celebrated Independence Day there!

Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium – Need I say more? I’ve been a Panthers fan my entire life and I was so excited to see them in the Super Bowl (even though we lost. BOO!) In case you’re living under a rock, the Panthers is the city’s NFL team.

Charlotte Hornets at Time Warner Cable Arena – Charlotte’s NBA team recently changed from the Bobcats back to the Hornets and I couldn’t be more pleased. I haven’t made it to a game yet but I can’t wait for next season to start up again.

BB&T Ballpark

Romare Bearden Park – If you’re looking to get into some free fun, I highly recommend Romare Bearden Park. Located right in the heart of Uptown, the gorgeous green space is a great respite from the hustle and bustle surrounding you.

Crowders Mountain State Park – I have a deep desire to be an outdoorsy person. My husband Nick used to hike Crowders all the time and I’ve only managed to make it up the mountain once. But after living in flat Texas I’m itching to hike again. This state park is located about 40 minutes west of Charlotte.

Anne Springs Close Greenway – Located south of the NC border in Fort Mill, SC, this is the place to go for horseback riding, camping, boating, and any outdoor activities your heart desires. The Charlotte Symphony does the occasional concert here and it’s lovely.

Old Town Rock Hill, SC – I would be remiss to mention the town I actually live in on this list. Old Town Rock Hill has lots of fun things going on including Food Truck Fridays and Farmers Market Thursdays. There are tons of good places to eat too, but I’ll cover that in the next section.

Where to Eat:

Okay, give me a little bit of slack here. When we lived in the area before, we considered prime cuisine to be Chili’s. Since moving back, we’ve had about three months to correct this and explore all of the great cuisine that the Charlotte area has to offer. So your favorite may not be on the list, but if that’s the case, please leave your suggestions in the comments so I can try them out.
Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 10.07.44 AM

Paco’s Tacos and Tequila – I gotta be honest you guys, the thought of trying to find good Tex Mex outside of Texas was a little terrifying. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the food at Paco’s. In fact, I’m surprised that many Charlotteans prefer to frequent the Chuy’s across the street as they absolutely do not compare in my mind. I highly recommend the cheese enchiladas and Nick likes the brisket tacos. Their charro beans are on point and quite authentic Tex Mex. Go go go!

Dandelion Market – We ate here right before seeing a show at Blumenthal, as I had always heard great things from my friends and co-workers. I have to admit, we probably went a little overboard, but that totally happens when you go to a tapas place, right? My favorite dishes were probably the Baked Potato Croquettes and scallops.

Copper – Now I feel like I need to warn you: this isn’t somewhere the average person would go to for a quick bite on a weeknight. This is a special occasion kind of place. It’s the first place I ever had Indian food and promptly fell in love with it. It’s located in an old home transitioned into a restaurant and I love how cozy it is. Perfect for a date night with someone special.

Bakersfield Charlotte

Bakersfield East Blvd – Yes, another Tex Mex restaurant. What can I say? We got into a habit when we lived in Houston. Apparently this is where the hip kids hang out in Charlotte, especially seeing as we had a 15 minute wait on a Wednesday afternoon. But after eating there I totally understand why. The tacos were delicious and the margaritas were too. But my favorite thing? The salsa verde. It reminded me of my favorite place in Houston. It doesn’t come to your table automatically unlike other Tex Mex places, but we requested it and they happily brought some to go with our chips and queso.

Toast (The Famous Toastery) – I had the pleasure of brunching it up with some lovely blogger ladies here a couple of years ago and I’ve wanted to go back ever since. Going out for breakfast always makes me feel like I’m on vacation, and I love Toast. I had the Southwestern omelette because I always choose the dish that had chorizo in it. Even though I’m not a coffee drinker, I’ve heard that it’s amazing here, and strong.

Hobo’s – Again, I have to mention a few places south of the border in my neck of the woods. Hobo’s is a great burger place in Fort Mill, SC, but I’m a crazy person and always order the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich. The buns are delicious and fresh. If you go, you must get the pimento cheese fritters. It’s not an option.

Flipside Restaurant Rock Hill, SC

Flipside Restaurant/Cafe – There are two locations, one in Fort Mill and one in Rock Hill. Not only are the brunch options delicious, the dinner is fantastic as well. (The menus are different at each location, so be aware.) The pimento cheese skillet with pretzels is a must-have and the shrimp and grits are to die for..

Where to Drink:

I’m kind of the worst person to give recommendations since my drink palette consists of margaritas and Moscow mules, but here I go…

Legal Remedy Brewery – When I lived in the area before, breweries were not really a thing. Now, they are popping up all over the place. There are tons in Charlotte, but I love Legal Remedy. I don’t drink beer (womp, womp) but their cider is yummy and the food… you guys. The food at breweries is always an after thought, but not here. Their chicken fingers are the best I have ever had. Get them. Thank me later.

The Unknown Brewing Company – A couple of things I love about this Uptown brewery (other than the beer because I couldn’t tell you if its good or not)(but I have been told it is): 1) the logo of the company is a green question mark and I feel like I’m walking into The Riddler’s House. I don’t hate it. 2) On Thursday nights, Geeks Who Drink do trivia here and it’s super fun.

Okay, now you know my favorite places to go in Charlotte! Visit the other bloggers to hear about their cities!

Best of the East Coast 2

 

June 2016 Goals

June 7, 2016

Well, you guys, another month has come and gone and I’m sitting over here asking myself how 2016 is passing by so quickly. For me it’s been especially weird because I started the year by living in a completely different state halfway across the country. The first two months of 2016 were all about two things: crossing my fingers for an amazing job opportunity that would help us move back closer to family and planning for Thrive 2.0. After a whirlwind weekend (that I barely survived to be quite honest) I moved 900+ miles back to South Carolina and started my new job less than 48 hours after the blog conference that I helped plan ended. Am I insane? Yes, probably. But getting to know my “new” hometown has been nothing short of amazing and kind of crazy all at the same time.

In case you’re wondering, my May goals were about 50/50 on the success scale:

  • Goal #1: Finish “The Girl on the Train” and start/finish “Alexander Hamilton” and “First Comes Love.” Check on the first book and on the last two? Womp, womp. I got about 30 pages into Alexander Hamilton and it was due to the library. I feel like this book may need to be one that I invest in, because there is no way I can binge-read it.
  • Goal #2: Blog twice a week. HA. HA HA. Yeah… that did NOT happen. Although I will say, I did blog a heck of a lot more than I have in the past few months, but six posts in 31 days ain’t that great.
  • Goal #3: Clean out closet and take basket of clothes to Clothes Mentor and Plato’s Closet, and donate remaining clothes to women’s shelter. Well, I did take clothes to CM and PC and got nearly $150 back. Woo hoo! Unfortunately the remaining clothes are sitting in my car waiting to be taken to a new home.
  • Goal #4: Eat out only once the first week of May while Nick was out of town. Believe it or not I actually kept myself from eating out tons while Nick was out of town for work. Unfortunately we have been TERRIBLE about not cooking at home and have eaten out quite a bit in June already. The bright side is that I received both Hello Fresh and Blue Apron boxes last week and so we have made dinner at home for the past four nights.
  • Goal #5: Eat something substantial for breakfast every day. I was really good at this for a while, but then I started visiting Starbucks way too often. We need to get back on our wagon of smoothies and breakfast sandwiches.

June Goals

1. Goal: Work out at least three times a week.

I lost a handful of pounds in May but ended up gaining it all back in the last week. BOO. Nick and I both signed up for a gym today so I’m hoping that I can actually get myself doing active things again. Positive: the gym has classes at my lunch time, so I think I’ll go do a class I actually enjoy: Zumba!

2. Goal: Work on rebuilding my wardrobe and storing out of season pieces.

The problem with selling all of your clothes and getting new ones is that awkward situation when you have gotten rid of old things but have nothing to wear. I counted and have TWO short-sleeved shirts (not including tanks or logo tees) which is obviously not conducive to summer in the South. I’m on the lookout for short-sleeved shirts that can be good for work and casual. Right now I have tons of sweaters hanging up in my closet which is also pretty silly considering the 90+ degree days we have been having.

3. Goal: Catch up on watching Game of Thrones.

Now, if it was up to me, this would already be done. Nick and I started the series back on Memorial Day 2015. Yes, you read that right. We started the series more than a year ago and have yet to catch up. I am so sick of having to avoid social media on Sunday nights and so tired of people spoiling things for me. Unfortunately Nick is not one to binge watch TV so this is extremely difficult to complete. Right now we are on episode 3 of season 4 and I’m dying (no pun intended) to catch up.

4. Goal: Read and review “First Comes Love” before it releases June 28.

I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of Emily Giffin’s new book “First Comes Love” and I can’t wait to read it. My plan is to read it and publish a review on this here blog so the advance copy was not sent in vain. Be on the lookout.

5. Goal: Drink at least 64 oz. of water per day.

I have been so bad about drinking water lately and my body is totally feeling it. Today I’ve barely finished one 16 oz. bottle. This has got to change! Any tips on how to drink more water?

What are your goals for June? I’d love to hear about them and encourage each other!

Stitch Fix June 2016 Review

June 5, 2016

Ever since my last Stitch Fix box was a home run, I’ve been dying to get another box. As soon as I made my last purchase, I scheduled my next box and have been counting down the days since (it sounds so cheesy but y’all, it’s 100% true.)

Here’s a quick rundown in case you aren’t familiar with Stitch FixStitch Fix is a subscription box that is delivered at whatever interval you like (most people probably do monthly but you can certainly do more than that.) You pay a $20 styling fee and receive 5 pieces in your mailbox. It can be anything from shoes to clothes to accessories. Your $20 fee is applied to whatever you keep from your box.

I was so happy with my last box that I requested to have the same stylist! Lucy, you did another fantastic job.

Stitch Fix Market and Spruce Spencer Jersey Dress

Market and Spruce Spencer Jersey Dress, $54

Obviously my stylist know that stripes (and navy) are totally my thing. Unfortunately, I just bought a dress very similar to this so it would be redundant to have both in my closet. I’m also not a huge fan of the diagonal stripes across the chest or the tightness around my middle. I’ll probably pass on this one!

Daniel Rainn Eliza Lace Trim Blouse

Daniel Rainn Eliza Lace Trim Blouse, $64

The last purchase I made from Stitch Fix was Daniel Rainn, so I’m happy to see another piece in my box! I love this turquoise color and the cut is super flattering on me. It’s a little bit sheer but overall this top is probably one of my favorite pieces in the box.

Finnegan Roll Cuff Chino Shorts

Dear John Finnegan Roll Cuff Chino Shorts, $58 / Harry Potter tank from Jordandene

I was super excited to try these shorts on when I pulled them out of the box, but was a little disappointed with the fit. I obviously love navy stripes but the leg holes (is that even the proper word?) are kind of huge on me. They look like they swallowing me! What do you think?

Market and Spruce Channy Open Cardigan

Market and Spruce Channy Open Cardigan, $54

This cardigan is so super soft and I love the length of it. Unfortunately the arms are a bit too snug for me and I don’t like that it doesn’t come across my chest. I also don’t think light pink/peach looks great on my complexion. I probably won’t be keeping this.

Papermoon Verner Crochet Collar Top

Papermoon Verner Crochet Collar Top, $48

I don’t know if it’s possible to express just how much I love this top. The floral pattern is gorgeous and the crochet collar is so soft and feminine. I’m a little disappointed at how sheer it is though, because I would need to wear something underneath (and normal tank tops don’t look right with the cut of this top.) I’m pretty sure this is my “pick of the box” but I want to hear your thoughts!

Any help on what you gals (and guys?!) think I should keep? If you haven’t tried Stitch Fix yet, I definitely encourage you to!

*I am a Stitch Fix Influencer and referral links are used in this post. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own!*

Five On Friday: We’re Going to NYC!

May 27, 2016

It’s been a while since I’ve linked up for Five on Friday, but I have so many random thoughts in my head today that it’s the perfect opportunity to spill!

5 on Friday Logo - Final

1- A few weeks ago, Nick and I decided to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary in New York City (“the greatest city in the woooorld”) seeing, you guessed it, HAMILTON.

Thomas-Jefferson

We both have been obsessed with the show since November of last year so I scoured the internet and managed to find relatively cheap resale tickets to see the show. Unfortunately, finding a hotel room in New York has started to give me panic attacks. You see, I’m a little claustrophobic, so a tiny room won’t work for us. Unfortunately, a bigger room means a bigger price tag. Do any of you out there have suggestions for hotel rooms that are a little more spacious but aren’t super duper expensive?

2- Going along with those NYC hotel recommendations, we need suggestions on where to go and what to eat! We are huge foodies so we love trying out yummy places all over the city, and at all price points. I’d love to hear some recommendations in the comments below!

NYC

(Nick and I the last time we went to NYC, for like 6 hours in Dec. 2010)

4- Now that we have moved back to the Carolinas, we (namely, me) are chopping at the bit to buy a house. I’m constantly looking at houses on Trulia, Zillow, Redfin and any other sites. I don’t even want to decorate our apartment because I just want to focus on saving up and buying a house. More importantly, I’m ready to DECORATE my own place. Has anyone else felt this way?

4- I just want to say, all the praise hands emojis for our summer schedule at work. We work 8-5:30 Monday through Thursday, and then just 8-11:30 on Fridays. Getting that half day on Fridays is SO NICE and really gives me a chance to take care of things before the weekend starts. Last week I was able to go up to Charlotte and get my hair done (oh, by the way, I chopped my hair off! It actually looks longer in this picture than it actually is.)

Whitney New Hair

5- Last night Nick and I saw “X-Men: Apocalypse.” We did a Facebook Live reaction video and had a handful of people tune in to watch our thoughts! It was so much fun and we really enjoyed doing it. We’re thinking about continuing that for more movies that we see. Overall I loved the movie. I’m a huge X-Men fan so it was definitely right up my alley. Nick is doing a full review of the movie on his blog at some point today, so check it out!

Ready for X-Men

How are you spending your (hopefully) 3-day weekend?