Metallic New Year’s Eve

(Sweater Link HERE . Silver Pants Link HERE . Earrings – Similar HERE)

Admittedly, my favorite holiday is Christmas (i luv bb Jesus) BUT my favorite party is a New Year’s Eve shindig. Something about saying “buh bye” to a full 12 months of the past feels somewhat righteous. And nothing fills us with hope like the resolutions that we’re definitely going to break keep this year. 

I love the sparkle, the confetti, and the forever fruitless optimism that this’ll be the year there’s someone to kiss as the ball drops… still waiting on that one. 

(Sweater Link HERE . Silver Pants Link HERE . Earrings – Similar HERE)

Nevertheless, this is the time to dress UP! I’m talking full metallic, full sparkle, I’ve done NYE a plethora of ways but my favorite kind of party is a house party, which means style is a bit different. For my “house NYE party” look, I’m keeping my metallic theme going with these silver culottes, grey Fairisle sweater, and fabulous (and cheap) rhinestone earrings. I can honestly say this is my favorite look to date! It’s comfy but still brings the glam, even at home. 

(Sweater Link HERE . Silver Pants Link HERE . Earrings – Similar HERE)

This grey sweater is oversized so make sure to size down if you want a more fitted look.  And the pants run large as well so choose your size accordingly. 

*SN: Some of my favorite sources for NYE party pieces: HM, Asos, Macy’s, Nordstrom 

Grocery List:

Grey Fairisle Sweater

Silver Pants

Rhinestone Earrings (sold out but similar here

Fashion Monday Minute

Monday Minute – Adding Metallic to your Wardrobe

Happy Monday and welcome to another Monday Minute! 

This week, I’ll be sharing some specific ways you can incorporate METALLIC into your wardrobe and there is never a better time to add a little shine to your everyday looks than the holidays! 

A lot of people shy away from a metallic because they might think that it’s too overpowering for everyday or not serious enough for work wear.  I’m here to tell you that you CAN add metallic to just about any outfit. That doesn’t mean you have to go for the tin man look but it doesn’t mean you can’t throw in some shiny details through accessories (like jewelry or a handbag), shoes, and if you’re feeling brave enough, a monochrome metallic gettup.  

This week, I’ll be sharing work wear, holiday wear, and accessories to show you just how simple and easy adding a little sparkle can be. 


Comfy Travel Clothes

Ah travel day… I love new adventures and seeing new places but I won’t say I love being stuck in a giant metal tube in the sky for hours on end.  That’s why when I fly or even when I drive long distances, I’m all about comfort.  

Now I’m not one of those people who’s going to fly in their pajamas.  If you’re one of those people, I’m not sorry for saying this but try harder.  We’re allllll in the same boat, or should I say plane.  

Now looking put together while traveling doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice comfort, which is why I’m all about that stretchy good good.  I’ve gathered several pieces I’m wearing while I travel now and things that are in my cart.  

What I’m wearing today…

(Shirt Link . Jumpsuit Link)

*A note on footwear: I usually wear a comfy sneakers and ALWAYS socks! Think about all the germs you pick up on an airport floor. Yeah. Socks. Always.

What I’ll probably be wearing in the future 😉

(Olive Jogger Link . Black Long Sleeve Link . Blue Jumpsuit Link)

(Purple Turtleneck Link . Two Tone Relaxed Tee Link . Zip Up Sweater Link)

If you enjoyed this post, make sure to check out the latest Monday Minute where I share what’s in my carry on bag that makes long flights feel like a breeze!

Lifestyle Monday Minute

Monday Minute – What’s in my carry on?

Monday Minute – What’s in my carry on?

December 2, 2019

Happy Monday and welcome to another episode of The Monday Minute!

This week, I’m leaving the east coast and headed to San Francisco!  While I’m not a frequent flyer, I DO want to make sure I’m prepared ahead of time to make flying as comfortable as possible. So I’m packing my carry on with things that make that cross country flight feel like just a hop, skip, and a jump. 

Grocery List:

  1. Portable Phone Charger
  2. Laptop + Charger 
  3. Noise Cancelling Headphones 
  4. Lip Moisturizer 
  5. Gum
  6. Hand Sanitizer 
  7. Honest Hazel Under Eye Gels
  8. Water Bottle
  9. Socks + Cardigan
  10. Latest Book I’m Reading

And it’s all packed up in my handy (very spacious) backpack. If there’s something you can’t travel without, comment below!

If you liked this Monday Minute, make sure to check out last weeks’ MM (pssst…you don’t have to wait for Small Business Saturday to #shopsmall all year!)


Date Night – Shop Small

(Dress / Clutch / Earrings: Sage and Sparrow)

We’re continuing our #shopsmall theme on the blog with this uh-mazing dress!  While I’ve styled it for a date night, it could easily be appropriate for a wedding, holiday party, or just a day when you’re really feeling yourself!  

It’s a common thought that to get a more formal dress, you have to spend big bucks at a large store.  Well this dress is a major reason to spend less and shop local! I love a balloon sleeve 8 days a week but combining that with a flowy wrap and a satin finish?! Dead. 

(Thank you Grits Cafe for location – make sure to visit when you’re passing through! The fritters are always A+)

I paired this plum dress with a snake print clutch (perfect for date night) and these FABulous leopard print pave hoop earrings.  Believe me when I tell you that these earrings catch allllll the light. For those special occasions, it’s okay to add a little shine.  If we can’t dress up for date night, shows, weddings, or the holidays, when can we?! 

*SN: I also love the name of this brand: “Mustard Seed”!  

And a little birdie told me that this dress also comes in a gorgeous marigold color and I.Cant.Wait. 

If you missed this weeks’ Monday Minute, make sure to check it out here.  We’re talking about the specific benefits of buying within your local community. 

I don’t know about y’all but I’m one of those people that sees a small town square and envisions boutiques and restaurants and mom-and-pop stores (think Stars Hollow for my GG ladies).  So when Sage and Sparrow popped up, I was thrilled to find that a total lady-boss was not only following her entrepreneurial dreams, but helping the ladies of middle Georgia dress well.   

So consider this your friendly reminder that there’s more to life than the convenience of Amazon prime (I know, I know… blasphemy!).  Make sure to shop SMALL and shop home for the holidays! 

Happy Small Shopping, Y’all!

Lifestyle Monday Minute

Monday Minute – Shop Small

The Monday Minute – November 25, 2019

Hi! And welcome to the first Monday Minute!

For our first MM, we’re talking about Shopping SMALL! This week is Thanksgiving which means good food and great shopping.  With Black Friday less than 5 days away, it can be tempting to shop at only large brand name stores. While those larger stores (like Target) are great for budget items, this year, I’m challenging myself to support my hometown by shopping at small businesses.  

For every $100 spent at a small business, $68 go right back into the community as opposed to less than half with large chain stores.  When you shop small, you support the family down the street and in turn, your entire town.  

So this year, instead of waking up and standing in those long lines, make sure you shop small and shop home for the holidays. 

Fashion Lifestyle

Thanksgiving Dress + Tablescape

(Dress: HM) *psssst: it’s under $30

Thanksgiving is basically the middle child of the holidays.  Halloween gets everyone ready for the season and Christmas is the real star but what about Thanksgiving?  It easily gets lost in the rush to get into holly jolly season. (I’ll admit, I have already started playing Christmas music.  Sue me.) 

But I think this year, I feel like it’s more important than ever to stop, look around us and realize that, as the Josh Groban (hawt) song says, “There’s so much to be thankful for.” 

I haven’t talked about my faith on here but it’s not a secret.  Christ, Jesus’ sacrifice, and our salvation through Him are my most cherished gifts.  My family and the support they’ve shown over this very long, tough year. My friends, who constantly challenge me but love me where I am.  The lessons I’ve learned (whether easily learned or hard fought). The new exciting, albeit scary, projects and adventures. And all the new people that have somehow, thankfully, found their way into my life in the past 12 months (you know who you are). 

Those are the things I am very, very thankful for.  

In addition to taking time to center myself and express gratitude to God, I also love getting to celebrate with my family!

**SN: I also think Friendsgiving is vitally important as we don’t celebrate our friendships near enough.  

I grew up gathering ideas from my mom’s “Southern Living” clippings and old magazines. So I always had this picture of what Thanksgiving should look like.  However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized it’s so much more than recreating an editorial picture. It’s who’s sharing that scene with you.

Now, that extremely sentimental sentence does NOT keep me from hard-core table-scaping and throwing on a great dress; it just puts it a little more into perspective.

The Dress

(Dress: HM)

This year, I wanted to highlight my favorite color: green!  I love the browns, reds, and oranges of the season but this year, I was feeling green.  This HM dress is actually perfect for the eating holiday as the belt can (and will) find itself off my body before I finish my first plate. In other words, this dress is FOOD BABY FRIENDLY! And comes in under $30! 

I recommend pairing this dress with tights and booties or knee highs.  Honestly, this baby will probably go over really well while you’re taking your post-meal nap and watching football on the couch. 

The Table

(sunflowers are my favorite, in case anyone is wondering…)

Tablescapes are one of my favorite things to put together:

  1. It’s has a predetermined purpose
  2. You’re challenged to layer within the small space

We’re not necessarily messy eaters, we’re just lazy cleaners.  So we usually opt for no table cloth but if you’re in the mood for some linen with your turkey, by all means, use a tablecloth.  Instead, we may use a runner or leave the table with just place mats.  

I like to mix materials to add depth to the place setting.  The base mat is a woven rope material topped with a gold charger for added warmth.  Then, I placed a patterned white plate underneath a small woodland plate. While you might be saying “Tess, that’s basically FOUR things at one setting!” You’d be right.  And I’d be right in saying, “It’s the holidays! I can have TEN plates at one setting if I want.” Live a little.  

We bust out the nice napkins for company (instead of just tearing off a piece of paper towel).  You don’t have to purchase napkin holders; in fact, I love the way a piece of thin twine or ribbon looks on top of a crisp white napkin.  I popped in a fresh sprig of rosemary to add texture and color. Not only does this create a little interest, it also makes your hands smell amazing! 

You can add any large pumpkin or centerpiece to your table to create a finished look. Or you could just leave that space empty for the bread basket… Honestly, probably a better option.  

The most important thing is that you’re able to fit all your guests around your table.  No one likes to be squished because you just had to add that ninth pumpkin or it “Wouldn’t be Thanksgiving.”  This is a casual holiday for most of us and while we enjoy the celebration, let’s treat is for what it really is: A time to begin reflecting on our blessings.  

I hope you and your family enjoy this wonderful time of year and that you feel the true meaning during this holiday season.  

Now let’s go eat!


Faux Leather Leggings

(Faux Leather Leggings: Target . Cardigan: Target)

The age old questions (jk it’s only been a few years) is “Are leggings pants?”  

Short answer: yes.  Yes, yes, and yes.  If they’re done right.  

PSA: I would like to take a moment and make an obvious statement: flesh colored leggings are absolutely not pants.  They are not even real clothes. They are an eyesore. Do not wear them. 

However, BLACK faux leather leggings continue to be a reoccurring piece year after year.  While I’ve avoided them in the past, I finally found a pair that are comfortable and flattering!  These faux leather leggings from Target are a good alternative to the Spanx leggings as they provide a similar look. 

And at $20 a pop, they’re a real contender against the more expensive options.  

(Faux Leather Leggings: Target . Cardigan: Target)

They’re movable (meaning you won’t have a Ross leather pants moment: S5:E11) and are a higher rise.  The one thing I would caution against is wearing them on a warm day.  Leather leggings are not made to be worn in hot temperatures. These particular leggings are thicker, which is a plus for insulation in the coming cold months.  

While I put a fuzzy cardigan over top, you could always style with a longer shirt, blazer, or tunic if you’re more conservative on showing the world what ya momma gave ya.  

If you enjoyed this post, check out my SWEATER GUIDE that you can easily pair with your faux leather leggings!


Cold Weather Boots

I’ll admit, while I have several *cough 65+* pairs of shoes, I’m rough on all of them, even the pretty ones.  In addition to my caveman-like approach to shoe treatment, the fall and winter weather is an extra dose of rough on footwear.  

However, there are a few styles that can stand both me and mother nature and I’ve shared my favorites below! 

(Bean Boot link here)

Coming in hot at #1 is my ride or die… the BEAN BOOT.  I’ve had my pair since freshman year of college and let’s just say that almost a decade later, they’re still in good shape.  They’re the perfect casual fall/winter bootie as they can withstand rain/dirt/mud/unsavory substances and look good while doing it! I tie mine around my ankle but you can lace them all the way up or do that twisty, curly thing (tbh, I don’t know what that’s about but I’ve seen other ladies do it.) I always pair mine with taller socks to add more of a layered look.  

The price tag is not as pretty as I’d like but they’ve more than paid for themselves over the years so I recommend you grab yourself a pair.  Also, L.L. Bean is awesome about offering promos and discounts to new customers or email list subscribers!

(Boot 1 Link . Boot 2 Link . Boot 3 Link)

Second on our list is for our workin’ ladies!  I’ll admit, winter work footwear presents a major challenge.  If you have any sort of walking commute, it’s even harder. BUT fear not!  I found these solid booties that pair well with dresses, skirts, and pants. These options are not only cute and super work appropriate, their pricetag is also real, real cute. 

A good low-heel black bootie should be a staple in everyone’s closet and these are perfect! They’re microsuede and comfy enough to take you all the way through your 8-5.

**SN: You CAN wear prints and patterns to work!  It’s 100% appropriate. These cheetah booties are awesome paired with a black turtleneck dress or pencil skirt as well as these snake boots. Both cheetah and snake are having major moments right now.

(Boot Link – same boot, two colors)

I also think it’s good to include a wedge for those more treacherous mornings (read: ice, snow, etc.) 

(Boot Link – same boot, three colors)

And on the eighth day, God created the sock boot.  I’ll admit, when sock boots first came out, I was a little nervous but once I tried them, I was HOOKED.  They’re incredibly comfortable and somehow turn a black bootie into a fashion statement. Trust me on this… you need a sock boot. 


And lest we forget, the trusty cowboy boot. In the South, we don’t wear cowboy boots because we’re about to go down to the lower 40 and round up our cows.  We wear them with dresses, skirts, jeans, shorts, and everything in between. And we wear them to football games, weddings, baby showers, and just to the backyard.  This is another shoe I recommend you invest a little money in. Not only will they last longer, they’ll look better and once they’re broken in, they’ll be your best friend.  I’ve had mine for well over a decade and because I took my time finding the right pair, they’re still one of my favorite shoes in my ever-growing shoe closet and I return to them time and time again.  


One Dress. Three Ways.

(Dress: Article& . Belt: Similar Here)

I LOooooooOOOve dresses.  I’d wear them all day, err day if I could.  So when I find one I really REALLY like (like this brown balloon sleeve sweater dress), I wear it as much as I can.  Not only is this dress extremely comfortable, it’s flattering and warm.  

I love it on its’ own but it’s super easy to throw on a cardigan or top layer to make it look like a whole new outfit.  This is a simple trick to perk up any older or tired dresses. All you need is a block color dress, a belt, and a cardi or jacket to add and voila!  New Outfit!

Let’s start with lewk 1.  I popped on a brown belt and a cheetah mule for the most simple look.  The dress is pretty substantial and can absolutely stand alone. I mean, give me a puff sleeve any day and I’m g2g.

(Dress: Article& . Belt: Similar Here)

Look 2: Very simple. Very easy.  I found this thin shawl and immediately saw it over this dress.  A shawl like this adds a little *oomph to a block color dress and can dress it up a little.  I paired this with a suede slouch boot and a tortoise belt.

(Dress: Article& . Shawl: DressUp . Belt: Similar Here)

Look 3: I love a good cheetah print.  I especially love it when it’s on a plush cardigan.  As the weather gradually turns colder, it’s nice to have heavy layers that not only add warmth but ~fashun~ as well. 

(Dress: Article& . Cardigan: HM)

Obviously, where you wear the dress determines how you wear it.  For work, I would wear it with a more structured piece or alone and add a more conservative shoe.  For weekends or more casual events, a slouchy boot or oversized cardigan would be perfect.  

**SN: While I always say comfort is key, I do recommend Spanx with this dress or others like it.  Instead of thinking about undergarments as a pain or constricting, think of them as just another layer of warmth on those colder days (bulk not included).

Grocery List:

Dress: Article&

Belt 1: Land’s End

Belt 2: Amazon

Shawl: DressUp

Cardigan: HM

If you enjoyed this post, make sure to check out THIS POST on one of my favorite fall trends: Men’s Wear!