Harry Potter Gift Guide

November 9, 2017

If you know anything about me, you’ll know that I’m absolutely obsessed with everything Harry Potter. I’ve been a fan of the books and movies since I was 13 and now, 15 years later, I still love the magic behind it all. And I know I’m not alone!

If you’re looking for a gift for the Harry Potter lover in your life, check out these 12 items that are sure to enchant any of the witches or wizards on your holiday shopping list.

“It’s Real for Us” Charm Necklace – $18

Any Harry Potter fan will tell you that it’s more than a book or movie series. We’re over here still waiting on our Hogwarts letters… (This necklace is made by a local Charlottean!)

Hogwarts Crest Ceramic Mug – $18

This red clay mug looks like it belongs in the Great Hall. Fill it with pumpkin juice or Butterbeer and it’s the perfect gift for any thirsty wizard.

Hallmark Resin Ornaments – $7.99 each

We have a tradition in our family to buy at least one “nerdy” ornament for our tree each year. We have a TARDIS and multiple Star Wars characters, so I think it’s time to add some Harry Potter love to our tree this year.

Constant Vigilance Tee – $25

Take heed of this warning from our dear friend Mad-eye Moody! If you’ve never purchased a tee or tank from Jordandene, you’re in for a treat. These shirts are the softest on the market – I promise you! And just because Jordan knows and loves my readers, she’s offering 20% off any purchase using code “TOT20” (be sure to order by Dec. 19 for delivery before Christmas!)

Marauder’s Map Scarf – $19.99

While this map won’t come to life or tell you where to find your friends, you can show your love for Messrs. Moody, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs with this scarf. Mischief managed!

Harry Potter Spells Coaster Set – $16

Since we don’t have magic to clean up water rings on tables, we have to rely on good old Muggle tricks. This coaster set is absolutely going on my wish list this year! It’s such an easy way to inject a little magic into your home without going overboard.

Hogwarts Letter Zip Wallet – $29.99

We may be too old to get our Hogwarts letters now, but imagine the joy on your (and your friends) face when you pull out this wallet. It won’t replace seven years of good memories at wizarding school, but pull out that cash and make your own memories!

Hogwarts Express Print – $27-32

If you ever dream of passing through Platform 9 3/4 to head across the countryside for Hogwarts, this print is the perfect way to bring that dream to life. I love that this print could easily be confused for a real travel poster. (I mean, Hogwarts is real, but shhhhh)

Yer a Wizard Tee – $25

Another favorite from Jordandene. We love Hagrid and this quote from his first interaction with Harry is just the beginning of the adventures for our young Mister Potter. This tee also comes in tank form! Don’t forget to get 20% off any purchase using code “TOT20” (be sure to order by Dec. 19 for delivery before Christmas!)

Harry Potter Makeup Bag – $22-27

Carry your love for the series wherever you go! This makeup bags comes in two different sizes, and can even be purchased as a set. You even get to pick the color of the lining.

Deathly Hallows Water Bottle – $19.99

I’m trying to stay in shape, and with Quidditch season coming up, what better way to stay hydrated than with this Deathly Hallows water bottle?

Golden Snitch Pin – $12

Pins are coming back into style and I absolutely love it. Grab this golden Snitch pin and show off your super stellar Seeker skills!

Which of these items are you dying to find under your tree? Anything you’d love to see appear at the foot of your bed?


November 2017 Goals

November 7, 2017

It’s been quite a while since I did a goals post, but I really enjoyed doing these a few months ago! Not only did it help to write them and get my head in line for the coming month, it helped to put everything out there. I felt accountable, especially when I checked in with my goals the following month. Have you tried writing out your goals for the month? Did it help?


Here’s what I’m working on for November:

School –

Complete my research paper. I’m almost done! Just need to add in my Works Cited page and I can submit before Friday’s due date.

Complete my process portfolio. This one is easy, I just need to upload all of the assignments I’ve done to my Google Drive.


Home –

Organize and store all Halloween decorations. I’ve moved all of our decorations into our spare bedroom. Now I need to organize them!

Evaluate current Christmas decoration inventory. This is our second Christmas in our new house, but we didn’t really decorate last year other than having the tree up. I need to get a ~*~look~*~ going on.

Purchase a new Christmas tree. I’m looking for something that’s at least 7.5 feet tall and less than $150… think that’s possible?


Advocacy/Community Engagement –

Attend at least one event with Moms Demand Action. I signed up to attend an event Nov. 16… I’m putting it out there so that I don’t back out.

Research my ballot and vote in the Nov. 7 election. It’s important to me to vote in all elections, whether they’re local or national level.


Life – 

Make a list of everyone that I need to purchase Christmas gifts for and start researching gift ideas. I’m bad at waiting until the last minute, so I want to get a jumpstart on this in case I need to order things online.

Work out at least three a week. This should be easy since I have a membership to Orange Theory Fitness. Really I should be working out more than this, but this is a good start.


Blog/Social Media – 

Blog at least twice a week. Trying to hop back on the bandwagon and pump out some regular content is daunting!

Post on Instagram at least twice a day. Sometimes I go days without posting, so I want to be more consistent.

Grow my new Facebook group (Southern Influencer Network) to at least 100 members. If you live in the southern US, I hope you’ll consider joining our group! It’s laid and a way for us to connect with other influencers across the region!


What are you trying to accomplish this month?


My Girls – Partnering with Elaine Turner for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October 18, 2017

I consider myself extremely fortunate: I have multiple groups of girlfriends from all from different points in my life.

In high school, I hung out with four other ladies. We bonded over our love of school (we were nerds), reading (particularly Harry Potter) and world events. We participated in Model UN and hung out on the weekends going to skating rinks and shopping malls. Each Christmas, we get together for brunch and swap gifts and life stories. We live all across the globe but when we’re together, it’s like no time has passed.

In college, I joined a sorority and quickly bonded with a handful of girls in my new member class. We experienced things alongside each other from our days of living in the freshmen dorm on campus to crush parties to mountain retreats. The years went on and we remained close. Now we text each other almost every day, go on yearly mountain trips together, and have welcomed a total of 5 little boys and one soon-to-be born little girl into our circle.

When I moved to Houston, I met the most incredible group of women through blogging. We kept up with each other through social media (and still do) but met up for monthly brunches, blogger events, and conferences. They supported me when I was missing my other girls who were over a thousand miles away (or more). I try to see these women at least once a year since I moved back to the Carolinas.

Lately I’ve been thinking about these women in terms of our experiences. We’ve laughed together, cried together, gotten into (mild) trouble together, attended each other’s weddings and baby showers. We’ve had our fair share of ups and downs.

Then I start to think about my friends in terms of statistics.

Out of these fifteen women, including me, it’s likely that two of us will be diagnosed with breast cancer in our lifetime.

Breast cancer is something that we have heard about for years. I won’t spout facts or figures off because I know we’re well-aware of the effect it has on women all over the world.

Today I wanted to share with you about a brand that I love, Elaine Turner, and their fundraiser this month. 20% of all proceeds from two custom jewelry pieces purchased online, in stores or with your Elaine Turner Elite Stylist will benefit National Breast Cancer Foundation’s mission of providing help and inspiring hope to those affected by breast cancer through early detection, education, and support services. Through partner and donor support, NBCF provides free mammograms across the country. Elaine has decided to take on this cause because of her mother’s breast cancer diagnosis, so it’s something close to her heart.

I’m wearing the Peggy Bracelets, and wore them to see one of my high school friends get married just last weekend. It was a reminder to embrace the moments we have together, however fleeting they may be.

I received this bracelet as part of a partnership with Elaine Turner. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog!

One Room Challenge –
Master Bedroom: Week 1

October 5, 2017

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you’ll likely know that I don’t have a shred of interior design savvy in my body. My mom is one of the best people I know who can bring a room together and, unfortunately, I didn’t inherit that trait from her.

When we moved into our new house last November, moving from a 1400 sq. ft. apartment to a 2100 sq. ft. house and having to undertake the challenge of pulling it all together into a cohesive look was quite the task. With the help of my mom and husband, we have been mostly successful in setting up the entire house. Only a few rooms remain, and one of them is a room we use every day: the master bedroom.

Thankfully, many of my blog friends have undertaken the One Room Challenge in the past, so I decided this year was MY YEAR. (If you aren’t familiar with the challenge, hop on over to Calling It Home and learn more.) So, over the next six Thursdays, I’ll update you on what progress has been made.

Let’s jump right in! Here’s what the room looks like currently:

The bedroom set we have currently, we bought in 2014 from Ashley Furniture. We don’t have plans to replace it anytime soon. I also just bought this bedding set after getting some inspiration from Pinterest. Prior to that we had just a plain white down comforter with *gasp* no fancy pillows. I’m still trying to convince my husband that the additional six pillows on the bed do serve a purpose, but I think that’s going to take a while.

My current inspiration on Pinterest can be found by visiting my “master bedroom” board. Here are a few of my biggest inspirational photos:

(Pinterest link)


(Pinterest link)

(Pinterest link)

The biggest things that need to happen in our current room are paint, curtains, maybe something above the headboard, lamps on each nightstand, and decorative items on the walls.

Stay tuned for the next updates coming next Thursday!

2017 Fall Bucket List

October 4, 2017

Every year, Nick and I have grand plans of having the quintessential autumn experience. We talk about making the trip to Columbia for the annual State Fair for rides and elephant ears, carving spooky pumpkins and picking apples on a crisp fall morning. Unfortunately, most of that never happens. This year, I’m putting our plans out in the universe in hopes that it will help these plans actually come to fruition.

Here’s what’s on our list this year:

1. Go to the State Fair

State fairs, or fairs in general, is a typical October outing for anyone. When I was younger, we would go to the Piedmont Interstate Fair in Spartanburg once or twice a year and ride rides, eat candy apples, and check out the blue ribbon winners for everything from paintings to canned vegetables. Nick and I have only ever been to the State Fair in Columbia once but we want to go again this year. It reminds me a lot of the Rodeo in Houston, with the carnival foods and rides. I love seeing all of the animals too! This year, the South Carolina State Fair runs from Oct. 11-22, and they have great concerts like Chris Young, Brothers Osborne, and ZZ Top.

2. Have a Halloween party

Back in the day, my family used to have some killer Halloween parties. We would get all dressed up, set up the garage with a black light and crank up the tunes. My dad and uncle would even chase us around the woods behind our house for a “haunted hike.” This year, Nick and I are having our own adult Halloween party and I’m already counting down the days!

3. Watch Hocus Pocus on Halloween

This is a tradition that happens almost every year. It’s not Halloween without Hocus Pocus! Luckily, Freeform is doing a Hocus Pocus marathon on Halloween starting at noon. YES!!

4. Go to an apple orchard

Another family tradition that I had as a kid was visiting the local apple orchard to pick apples, have a picnic, and eventually select our pumpkin for the porch. I have so many great memories as a kid visiting the apple farm, but unfortunately they closed the local farm down two years ago. There’s another farm about 25 minutes from our house now, and they’re having a fall festival later on in October. They also brew cider (that’s a thing right?) and it’s so good! My mouth is watering for the apple cider donuts…

5. Make pumpkin bread

This is a fairly simple task that I hope I can make time for in the next few weeks. I saw someone (I cannot for the life of me remember who it was) who made chocolate chip pumpkin bread on Instastories and I’m thinking that may be just the ticket…

6. Pick out the perfect couples costume

Going back to #2, Nick and I are in desperate need of a good costume idea for the party! I suggested Han and Leia since he is such a big Star Wars fan, but I think he wants to do something else… stay tuned for updates.

7. Carve pumpkins

The first time I ever carved a pumpkin was two years ago and we actually did a darn good job! Now that we actually have a porch to display them on, I hope we can come up with something impressive.

8. Complete a successful “Shocktober”

For the past 3 or 4 years, Nick and I have made it a mission to watch at least one scary movie every might in October. So far this year, we’re 3 for 3! Nick wrote an entire blog post about our annual movie-watching experience, so hop on over and read more!

9. Greet Trick’r’Treaters

This is by far my favorite part of Halloween! Now that we live in a neighborhood with a lot of kids, I’m hoping for a busy Halloween night. No raisins here, we’re handing out the good stuff… and saving a few for ourselves!

What’s on your fall bucket list this year? Share in the comments!