Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Independence Day Outdoor Party

Let me first apologize for not getting a post up yesterday! I had planned to share this post with you on Monday, but I have not been feeling well for the past few days so it is just now finally making it up! I am feeling a better today, I'm not sure if I just have bad allergies or a little sickness, but either way I am ready to take on today! 

I am so excited for the 4th of July, can't you tell? lol So today I wanted to share a few cute little finds for an outdoor party! I love cookouts and outdoor parties! They are more laid back but you can still decorate with fun decor/entertaining pieces! Plus, I think we can agree that anything cooked on the grill is better than it being cooked any other way! I promise there will be an outfit post coming soon!


What are your plans for the 4th of July?

Friday, June 26, 2015

Friday Five: Home Chat, Kitchen Essentials

As you know, Jay and I are beginning the process of building a home! I am so excited and can't wait to start working on it! We are still currently getting all of our permits, which can be quite the headache, but I am still driving of interior [and exterior] design, appliances and of course decor items!

Since I like to keep Friday Five's about my week, kind of like a "What has been on my mind / What I have been doing / What I am loving" type of deal. I thought that this week I would share some home inspiration and "Wish Listed" items! I am trying to do as much research as possible and try to shop for small things early, and along the way! Hopefully by the time we move it we will at least have a a few things!

This Dining Room and Kitchen Tour from the Fashionable Hostess is a must see! So gorgeous! I can't wait to see her new home!

Image via Crate and Barrel Website

I would like for our regular dinner plates, that we will use daily, to be plain white. I feel like these just look cleaner and simpler that way! I am really liking these from Crate and Barrel, however I want to check out the true quality before I buy. This page on the Barefoot Contessa website is very helpful!

Washer shown here. Image via Samsung Website

This week I have kind of [I'm not quite certain yet] fallen in love with these new Samsung Washer and Dryers! Jay would like to have a top load, and my mom also recommend them, even though they are a little old fashioned. Hey, if they work, they work!

Image via West Elm Website
I saw this rug at West Elm a few weeks ago, and slowly fell in love with it! Now I keep seeing it everywhere, literally Instagram is killing me! I love how it is is so soft, but still isn't like crazy shag or something!

Image via Williams-Sonoma Website
I'm not exactly sure why, but for some reason, I am so excited doubt buying a Kitchen Aid mixer! I rarely ever use my moms, I just use the small electric hand mixer, but I have just been so obsessed lately! I love this one, with the glass bowl. I really like the champagne and toffee color, but for some reason I feel like it would be better to just have black or white. What are your thoughts?
Plus they are currently on sale at Williams-Sonoma!

I hope that you have enjoyed getting to see a few items that have been occupying my mind lately! I am just so excited, I can't hold it all in! I hope that you have a great weekend. I am off to try to knock out a paper, but have no drive to get it done! Wish me luck!

What are you favorite/must- have kitchen essentials?!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

July 4th Blueberry Crumble Parfait Recipe

I don't know about you, but I am getting really excited about the 4th of July! I feel like sometimes it's easy to "over-do" holiday colors- like too much orange and black or red and green. But, I just can't see to be able to get enough red, white and blue! I feel so blessed to live in such a wonderful country and what can I say, Independence Day is the best summer holiday [in my opinion]! 

With that in mind, I wanted to share a few fun posts with you since the holiday is almost here [eeeeekk]! You can see my 4th of July Outfit Inspiration post (here) and I will have at least one outfit post coming soon! However, today is all about my sweet tooth! I am such a sucker for a good fruit pizza, but I feel like they have been a little over done for the 4th, so I decided to go for a parfait style dessert! I tweaked a favorite family recipe from The Blue Willow Inn Cookbook and added some strawberries! It is super easy, fun and of course delicious. I hope you enjoy!

Let's get started with the recipe..

1 cup all-purpose flour. I used whole wheat flour and it tastes just as great!
1 stick butter; room temperature 
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine all crust ingredients [ flour, butter, brown sugar, and pecans] in a bowl. I find that using your hands works best, that way you can really combine everything. Once combined, spray a 9 x 13 x 2 inch baking dish and press the ingredients into the bottom. Bake for 15- 20 mins until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

*While the crust is in the oven, mix up cream layer and blueberry sauce. 

Cream Layer
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese; room temperature
1 (8 ounce) container refrigerated whipped topping
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Mix all cream ingredients [cream cheese, whipped topping, sugar, and vanilla extract] together in a bowl. Refrigerate until all layers are ready to assemble.

I like to press down the layers so I can fit more in the glass! 

Blueberry Sauce 
1 quart blueberries
2 heaping teaspoons cornstarch 
1/4 cup sugar

In a saucepan combine blueberry sauce ingredients [blueberries, cornstarch, and sugar] and just a little bit of water. Cook over medium heat and stir until thick. Allow to cool/refrigerate.

Once all layers have cooled down, select a glass of your choice [of course you know I used a champagne flute] and begin to layer the dessert! You can put the layers in any order you would like, however I chose to layer mine as such:
 (1) crust layer
(2) cream layer
(3) blueberry sauce
(4) strawberries 
Repeat until the glass is full. In order to achieve the best appearance, top off the class with the cream layer and add a few strawberries or crust crumbles! 

Now, it's time to get a spoon and dig in! 

If you decide to try this recipe out, please take a picture and tag me! 

What is your go-to recipe for summer cookouts?!


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Shopbop Sale: Extra 25% of Sale Items

There is only 2 days left to shop the Shopbop sale! Use the code"25more" to get 25%+ off on all sale items! They have so many cute things, for both summer and the colder months. These are just a few of my favorite picks from the sale. How cute is this pink ruffle dress

Are you shopping this sale?


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

5 Summer Beauty Tips

Since it is now officially summer, and currently blaming hot in VA, I feel the need to call attention to summer beauty swaps! We all love our flip flops, swimsuits, sunglass and floppy/baseball hats, but we can't forget about summer beauty products. No matter the time of the year, I am always game to talk beauty [but you probably know that by now, right?! lol], but each season has it's trends and
"must have" products.

3 rules of summer beauty: 1. Moisturize [moisturize, moisturize], 2. Use sun protection, and 3. Use as little product as possible.

I'm sure that you are just as obsessed with hot pink lipstick as I am [however I feel like it never looks that good on me] so I went ahead and left that off of the list, however I figured that was a given.

5 Summer Beauty Tips:

Lighten it up
The most important tip that I can give you for summer beauty is to "lighten it up." No matter what it  is, whether it is eyeliner, perfume, hair product, foundation or anything else, just lighten it up! Use a lighter scented fragrance, such as something that is more floral and clean feeling. I also like to go lighter on the eyeliner. I am not really into heavy eyeliner, but I especially don't like it in the summer! Try to use as little products as possible, that way it hopefully won't slide off of your face like a pancake [sometimes my sunglasses slide off of my face if my makeup is too heavy] and we never want that! So no matter the product, just try to keep the color, feel and scent light!

Use a Tinted Moisturizer or BB Cream instead of Foundation
I just purchased by first Tinted Moisturizer a few weeks ago [this one] and I have to say that I am already in love! At first, I wasn't sure since I am used to much more coverage, but now I am completely loving it! Wearing sunscreen is so important all times of the year, but especially during the summer. Some foundations don't have sunscreen, but most tinted moisturizers do. So even if you need more coverage, just add a little bit of foundation over top of your tinter moisturizer.

Waterproof Products are Friend's
During the warmer months, when we tend to sweat profusely much more and going swimming more often, waterproof beauty products come in handy! Whether it is eyeshadow, mascara, eyeliner, or brow products, waterproof is always a good idea! Even if you aren't planning on going to the pool or beach, sweating from the heat can cause makeup to run and nobody wants mascara in there eyes #ouchie. I love these waterproof eyeshadows from MUFE.

Choose Cream Products of Powder
The warm weather can often cause powder products to look cakey or distorted on the face. So opting for cream products not only makes for a better application, and lasting quality, but also for a more natural look. I think that in the summer, natural beauty is key.

Care for your Hair

The sun, although very beautiful, can be extremely damaging to many things including our hair and skin. Some companies have produced sunscreen for your hair, I have yet to try one, that are supposed to protect your hair from the sun! However, if you aren't into that you can always wear a hat to not only protect your hair from the damaging sun rays, but to protect your hair color as eel, if you have color treated hair. Also, it would be a good idea to think about adding a hydrating mask into your hair care routine [if you don't already] in order to ensure you replenish your hair's moisture and help make it more healthy!

I hope that you find these tips helpful and try them out! I will be trying to add in some quick (5) tip posts into my blog, please let me know if you like them! If you have any requests, for tips, just let me know :) I will link some of my favorite summer beauty products below, so be sure to check those out!


What is your favorite summer beauty product?

Monday, June 22, 2015

4th of July Outfit Inspiration

4th of July is one of my favorite summer holiday's! I love the chance to celebrate my country and my freedom, both of which I am very thankful for. Also, 4th of July is the perfect occasion to wear nautical stripes, which are actually one of my favorite summer styles, that are timeless!

Today, I put together an inspiration group for the 4th! I will also have a few other 4th of July related post up this week and next! So keep an eye out! I hope you are having a great start to the week!

What are you planning for the 4th?

Friday, June 19, 2015

Friday Five: Pretty Palms, Sales, Nantucket + More

I just love the potted palm from school! I snapped this pic just before class the other day! How gorgeous is my campus?! #nevertoomanybricks

Wishing I was at a pool today! 

Image via AD
Loving this gorgeous Nantucket home Mackenzie Horan shared on her website this week! See that post here and the original post from Architectural Digest here!

Yesterday I shared all of my favorite summer bags from the Tory Burch Sale! I really love the fish one in the top left corner! 

Ok, I am simply in love with this Mara Hoffman dress and it's on SALE (here) ! Give me one reason not to buy it?!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Do you have any big plans for this weekend?!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Sale: Tory Burch Summer Bags

Happy Almost Friday!

This week has just been a headache. It just seems like I have not actually been able to accomplish anything, but I know things will get better, and I actually did get some things accomplished! I should be thankful right? Anyways, I hope you have had a great week and hopefully this post makes it a little better! 

I was shopping around on the Tory Burch website and found that they have quite a few cute summer bags on sale! #musictomyears A couple of summers ago I purchased a Tory Burch beach bag, and I am just not in love with it anymore. I have been considering purchasing a new one, but I'm not sure if I will. I need to see my current one first! But, I just love all of these summer bags and cosmetic pouches.

I mean how cute is that back pack [blue version here]?

I didn't have a post planned for today, since this week has been so hectic, but I just had to share these cute options with you! I will be back tomorrow morning with my Friday Five [see last week's here]!


Have you found any good summer sales this week? 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Happy Birthday Jay!

This week is going by so quick, and it is completely leaving me in the dust! I have been behind on so many things and not performing as I should. I am sorry for the lack of post's, but yesterday was Jay's birthday and school has been keeping me busy.

Today I am going to share with you what I had planned to share yesterday, which is a little bit about Jay. If you have read my blog for any amount of time, I'm sure you already know that he is my boyfriend and my camera man [he is the best]! Jay is so wonderful and I feel that since I share a good part of my life, at least I hope so, on my blog, it is necessary to share a little bit about Jay.

He is basically all over my Instagram account, what can I say I post what I love, and makes an appearance on the blog every now and then. However, he is the mastermind behind basically all of my pictures. He is such a natural and can pretty much master anything he put's his mind to. Jay is so patient and I am so blessed to have him in my life!

I had planned on doing an interview with him, and asking a few questions, but I figured I could just share a few neat things about Jay!

Jay is unbelievably kind. He amazes me everyday at just how kind, thoughtful, considerate and caring [+ so much more] he is. Jay is my superhero and balances out my grumpiness. lol.

Jay is a Firefighter. I have mentioned this a few times, but Jay is both a volunteer and paid firefighter [+ he owns his own lawn care business], he is quite the busy bee. He is such a hard worker and is a huge inspiration to me.

Jay just turned 24 yesterday June 16th, he is three years older than me. We started dating in August of 2008, I was going into my freshman year in high school and he was entering his senior year in high school! We have been together for almost 7 years and I cannot explain in words the impact that Jay has made on my life. He always encourages me and believes in me. He helps me to believe in my self when I tend to doubt. 

Jay loves the beach and his boat. He is definitely an outdoors guys and loves to be around the water. I think it is safe to say that the Bahamas is probably his favorite place on earth, thus far. He loves to snorkel, swim and walk down the beach. He loves the locals and just has a loving heart towards people and animals. He was kind of forced into the animal part, because I'm an animal lover, but now I think he is one too! 

Jay has the best personality that I could imagine anyone having. He is funny, intelligent, and compassionate. He is one of a kind. 

I feel so blessed to have Jay in my life and that he allows me to be a part of his! This post is just a little glimpse into the part of Jay that I see and that hopefully you will grow to know as I continue blogging! Maybe I can get him to share some post on my blog, if you would like to see that? He can share landscaping tips and tricks! [that would be fun!

Shouldn't he be a model? lol

I hope that you enjoyed getting to know Jay a little more! Also, how cute are these Minion cupcakes? I'm pretty proud for not being a great baker! 

I hope you are having a great week! I will be back soon with a another post!

Monday, June 15, 2015

5 Tips for Improving your Workspace

*All photos take by Jay Parlett
Getting motivated is usually a struggle for me. I have had to accept the facts, I need a little push! But, by using these few tips I am able to get things done and enjoy myself while doing so! 

My workspace/desk is not completely the way I want it yet, there is still some decorating to do, but I am hoping to share the space when it is finished [if you want to see it]! I love pretty stationary and desk accessories and use them to help motivate me. Also, I love spending hours on Pinterest hunting out new ideas! So today I wanted to share a few of my tips for getting the most productivity out of your of my workspace. Whether I am studying for school/doing homework, blogging or emailing, I want my time spent at my desk to be productive and enjoyable! 

Everything has a place
Keep everything organized and in it's place. When everything has a home, and stays where it should, you can easily find everything you need and as a result work more efficiently. I like to have acrylic divers in my desk drawers to separate everything and keep it organized. My monogram pencil holder [from Design Darling]  houses all of my favorite pens!

Open spaces help clear your mind
In order to increase efficiency, and for me just not have a panic moment, keep the workspace clean is a must. Clear and clean workspace helps to clear the mind and allow for new and creative ideas! Although I need a little push to keep things organized and clean, I go crazy if they aren't. I have to have a clean space, I basically can't function without it.

Decorate with things that inspire you
Of course, us girly girls need our decor pieces. Too many "knick-knacks" can be dangerous, but I feel there is definitely a need for personalization in your workspace. Monogram accessories and always go and Kate Spade makes the best desk necessities. By having cute work supplies, I am more inspired to spend more time working. Adding a cute lamp or a nice little storage box are great ways to enhance your workspace and make it look cute as well!

Write it down
As I have become more experienced, and with the help of Jay, I have found how helpful making lists are! I write any and everything down that I need to remember, or even just random ideas. It is so helpful and I am able to actually get more done because I just loving checking things off of my to-do list! Plus, getting personalized stationary is the best! 

Comfort is Key
While having cute decor and accessories inspire me to work harder, comfort is key. Being comfortable is necessary for productivity. It is important to have a comfortable chair, good lighting and a reasonable temperature. Keep in mind that functionality is important as well. Cute desk accessories, such as a stapler, should be fully functional and work well. Looking nice is great, but if something does not perform he function it is supposed to it will only decrease productivity! 

Finding a good balance is important!
Some of my favorite workspace accessory shops/brands:
Rachel George [a must!]
Design Darling [a must!]

I hope that you have find these tips helpful! What are your must have's for your workspace?


Friday, June 12, 2015

Friday Five: Instagram Lately

Happy Friday!

I can't believe it is already Friday again, and I'm not complaining! I have been looking forward to the weekend all week, I mean who hasn't? Anyways, this week's five is a roundup of some of my recent Instagram posts. 
 A little snack & my favorite bag! 
One of favorite bracelet stacks + Hubert's Lemonade!

VA saw quite a bit of rain last week, it was like a preview of fall. So comfy sweaters, jeans and Hunter boots were required.

I love this little Tory Bruch umbrella that Jay got for me a few years ago! Of course Bean Boots were present!

I have been on the struggle bus this week with getting things done and cleaning things that need some tidying. However, I was able to clean up/ organize my bedside table. How beautiful are these blooms from The Fresh Market?

I am super excited for my new website to be finished and can't wait to share it with you! I have been brainstorming for up coming posts and would love to know any ideas that you have! Is there anything particular you would like to see? Email me at themissmorganlife01@gmail.com so we can talk about ideas!

What were the highlights of your week? I hope you have a great weekend!