Lifestyle

Back in Action

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It’s no news to y’all that SMC has been pretty bare all summer, and I’m so excited to announce that I’m officially back to blogging for good! But, I also feel the need to share with y’all a little bit of the story behind my break.

I started my blog a year and a half ago because I wasn’t feeling fulfilled in the “house wife life.” As much as I love my man, I felt that I was meant to do more and be more. In the time since I started blogging, I’ve gotten married to my husband, moved to a new house (and just found out we’re having to move again #rentallife), been given lots of opportunities in the fashion industry- including becoming the Charleston editor of Carolina STYLE Magazine, had my husband’s daughter and her 2 children move in with us, travelled to 6 different states & 8 countries, and went through a total hair makeover (enter the year of the ombré LOB). Sounds like a pretty great year and a half- am I right?! Or at least it should have been! But, instead of being able to fully enjoy all of the amazing things taking place in my life, I was constantly battling my own self and the strive for perfection.

Perfectionism is something that was instilled in me from a very young age. My mother didn’t mean any harm and always only wanted the best for me, but she also expected me to behave a certain way. Being the little people pleaser I was/am, I attempted to always exceed expectations. As I got older, these behavioral expectations from my mother evolved into me placing a high standard for myself in anything and everything I was doing. Then, in comes the teenage years and I was hit with the dreaded INSECURITIES that all of us women go through. Seriously though, are those not the worst?! I rebelled from my perfectionist ways and decided to give the opposite a try- doing everything I knew wasn’t right. This didn’t work either and just gave me more to beat myself up about later on in life. As if I needed anymore of that!! So finally, here I was in what seemed to be the perfect life, but something still wasn’t right. In fact, I could hear that inner battle even stronger than before. It goes a little something like this- “you aren’t good enough,” “you don’t deserve this,” “you aren’t pretty enough,” “you aren’t skinny enough,” “you just aren’t PERFECT enough”… sound familiar?!

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As women especially, we torture ourselves to try to meet these insane standards that society {and ourselves} has brainwashed us with. Whether it’s about your looks, career goals, being a great mom- we strive for this perfection that will never be attained. Because the reality is nobody is perfect- not me, not you, not Kendall Jenner & GiGi Hadid- nobody! We all have flaws and that is what makes us the special people that we are. I know we grow up hearing cliché phrases like this all of our lives, but it’s taken me a really long road to be able to say the words and truly mean them. In this war against myself, I’ve thrown away countless opportunities, strained relationships, wounded friendships and really just beat myself down. There were days this summer that I didn’t even want to get out of bed, and I didn’t. It was a really low time for me, but I feel like I had to get down to the darkest place to be able to make sense of all of this for my future.

This isn’t something that is easy for me to share (because ghasp! no perfectionist wants other people to know they’re not perfect!) and even writing this now I’m toying with the idea of just publishing an outfit post and pretending that my hiatus never happened. But, not only is this essential for me to move forward, but I felt the urge to share my experience with y’all. I have yet to perfect this whole “not being a perfectionist” thing, and I’m not here to give out advice on how to change your mindset, because I feel that’s going to be a different path for everyone. What I am here to do is let you know that you aren’t alone in these feelings. I know this is something that almost every single female goes through, whether it’s at 12 or 25 or 65, we all doubt ourselves and get down on ourselves at some point in life. And if me sharing my story helps to make even one person feel better and to know that they aren’t alone in their insecurities, then this post will be totally worth it. I know that as fashion bloggers we are constantly giving y’all the best version of ourselves, but the reality is we’re insanely flawed too! I don’t ever want anyone to look at my blog and get down on themselves or think that I am this perfect person. Southern Meets Chic is meant to inspire you to be YOU- whoever that may be!! This is a platform to empower women and for me to encourage you be the best version of yourself- flaws included!!

This summer has given me the necessary time to reflect and rejuvenate myself. I’m SO excited to be back to blogging and I’ve got so much fun stuff I’m excited to share with y’all! I know in the past SMC has been all about fashion, but I’m going to be bringing in more and more lifestyle posts as well. I would love to hear what kind of topics y’all are interested in!! Check back tomorrow morning for my first outfit post back- i’m kinda obsessed with the look! Also, be sure to follow me on social media [hit social above for links] as we head to SPAIN for my 25th birthday on Wednesday!! (insert 400 salsa betch emojis) Lastly, thank y’all for continuing to read, especially this rambling emotional post- although I wish these feelings on nobody, I do hope my words will help someone somewhere. XO

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Photos: Katie Capo of Catherine Ann Photography

 

Friday Five

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1. Girls– Okay, so I know I’m probably a little late to this party, but I felt the need to share in case any of you were still sans Lena Dunham in your life. I had bought her book, Not That Kind of Girl, a while ago on an Amazon spree, but {like many others} hadn’t gotten the chance to read it yet. Then, during a weekend long life crisis spent stressing over my life purpose, I discovered HBO’s Girls and life was okay again! Not only is Lena Dunham a literary genius full of charm and wit that has me girl crushing hard, but it’s the most relatable show I’ve ever watched. You can find a little of yourself in each of the female lead characters. I’m convinced it’s going to get me through the rest of my 20’s. Basically, if you haven’t seen it, you should probably spend your weekend binge watching!

2. Best Tote Ever– If you’re anything like me, you’ve got a million tote bags lying around your closet/entire house. But, they’re mostly Victoria’s Secret that you don’t actually want or the .99 cent grocery bag kind that you’re always forgetting to put in your car. Then, when you see a tote you actually want, it’s expensive and you feel guilty spending money on them because you’ve already got so many. Well, now’s the time to take those to Goodwill (and actually put them in your car, so you stop using plastic) because I’ve found the perfect tote bag and it’s on sale for under $30! Where does one find such an amazing deal? Target, of course!! These reversible bags are perfect for everything from the pool or beach to the farmer’s market and travel! Plus, at such a low cost, you can buy one for each of those activities!

3. H&M x CoachellaObviously, I {along with every girl in the U.S.} have been having intense Coachella F.O.M.O. I can’t be the only one who actually considered unfollowing people for the week, right?! But, I guess the next best thing is pretending you’re in the dessert by dressing the part, and H&M is here to help us out! They’ve put out a super affordable and every boho girl’s dream, Coachella themed collection to get us through all of our festival cravings. My favorite pieces are the imitation suede shorts (because I’m loving suede for spring), the adorable lace and fringe crop top (I love it in both the white and red), and of course, the “Desert Night” tank that’s perfectly suitable for lying around scrolling through everyone’s perf Coachella pics!

4. Perfect Spring Jacket– I have a serious love/hate relationship with spring weather and the only way to make it through is with a jacket that you can throw on when the chilly temps resurface! In comes Tobi to save the day and most importantly not break your budget, because the reality is you’ll really only wear something like this a few months out of the year. This vegan leather moto jacket in beautiful pastel colors is easy to wear over just about anything! I love it in the blue and lavender, but the blue is currently on sale for just $82!

5. Zinke Sale– Remember that bathing suit line that I told y’all about in a previous Friday Five post? The one with the adorable peplum one pieces and fab high waisted options?! Yeah, well, everything is now HALF OFF on their site with the code FRIENDS&FAMILY- yeah, you read that right, 50% off! I’m kind of dying inside right now and pretty sure that my summer suit wardrobe is about to be complete- and at half the cost!! Happy shopping!!

NYC Recap Part 2

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I’m so excited to share with y’all the next two parts of our NYC adventure!! The next few days were full of more touristy stops, finally some NYFW shows and of course, lots of yummy food!! I’m going to pick up the morning where we left off- another day devoted fully to being a major tourist. This was the day that we did the most walking aka the most freezing!!

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We still had our double decker red bus passes, so we took advantage of that and rode around the city all day. Our first stop was the 9/11 Memorial to see the new Freedom Tower. Even having zero connection to the 9/11 tragedies, seeing where the awful attack happened is a pretty moving experience. Just reading the names of the people who lost their lives on that day- someone’s mother, child, brother, father- so many people were effected by it and being there just really makes you realize how blessed you are.

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NYC Tip: Hunter boots are a terrible idea unless you have ridiculously good boot warmers and socks. I was legit googling “frost bite” by the end of the day!!

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Dinner this night was quite the experience!! Todd was quite proud of himself for snagging a reservation at one of the hottest sushi bars in NYC, Sushi Nakazawa. However, this isn’t traditional sushi rolls. The famous Chef Nakazawa has specially crafted a tasting menu based on the style of Edomae sushi, which is basically just raw fish and vinegar rice. Read: no cream cheese or spicy mayo to get past the raw fish aspect. The only item available on the menu is the Chef’s 20 piece tasting menu, oh and the 7 course sake pairing!IMG_9830 IMG_9833

It’s definitely not something for the faint of heart {or stomach} because many of the pieces have quite the interesting flavors and textures- I have to admit there were a few I struggled to get down (see above pics to guess what). This wasn’t our best meal in NYC by any means and I can’t say I would go back, but Sushi Nakazawa was a once in a lifetime experience and a unique evening spent with my love!

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The next day, we had no trouble with full on LOVING every bit of our meal at The Spotted Pig in West Village!! This was by far one of my favorite restaurants we went to on this trip and will definitely be returning every time I’m in the city! Warning: it’s a small little building that doesn’t take reservations, so plan to come early! We came right when they opened and had no problem getting a table, but by the time we left the line was around the corner.

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We started with the house made pickles and deviled eggs- aka a southern girl’s heaven!! And they certainly lived up to my southern taste buds as well. For the meal, we did our traditional order 2 entrees and split them both, because is there really any other way to do it when attempting to eat your way through one of the biggest cities in the world? The Spotted Pig is known for it’s burger served with roquefort and shoe string fries, so that was a given, and yes it was everything we expected and more. THEN, then there was THE SPECIAL!! Holy Cow I don’t think I’ve ever had such a delicious dish in my whole life. Yeah, you read that right, this was quite possibly the best dish I’ve ever eaten! What was it you might ask- cow’s tongue. Yep, cow’s tongue is the best food I’ve ever put on this tongue! Seriously though, the flavor was unreal!! Luckily, they served the meat on top of a crusty piece of bread that I could soak up all the juices with after I was finished. I really cannot even tell you how imperative it is that you go to The Spotted Pig if you’re in NYC!

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That night was spent walking through Macy’s (stressful) and then back to our hotel to get ready for the night. Our dinner that night was at Lavo, so that we could head over to the night club and see Afrojack afterwards. Dinner was surprisingly delicious for a restaurant/nightclub combo and the atmosphere was lively to say the least! Unfortunately, I couldn’t hang at the club because I had a 6 am wakeup the next morning, so I left the hubby there and went back to snuggle up and prepare for my first day of shows!!

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In comes my first day of NYFW shows!! On the schedule for today: Mongol and Nicole Miller!!

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Being my first NYFW show ever, Mongol could’ve sent the ugliest clothes down the runway and I still would have been in heaven!! But instead, it was a beautiful show with lots of jewel tones. I especially drooled over all of the beautiful colors in the dyed furs!! After 10 days in New York, this Charleston girl’s dying for a dyed fur (totally didn’t do that on purpose either).

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Although all the important stuff goes on around the runway, the media tent at NYFW is pretty killer too!! Hellooo E! Fashion Police set!! Unfortunately, I was never there at the same time as filming, but it was pretty cool to see the set up!

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Ran into Louise Roe and one of my favorite bloggers, Amber Fillerup of Barefoot Blonde. Ignore my borderline possessed face in this picture!! But, nobody does braids like this girl right here!! Plus, she’s got the sweets to go along with her style- she was actually an angel!!

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After the show that morning, I caught up with my {majorly hungover} hubby for a beautiful brunch at Sarabeth’s by Central Park. The food wasn’t anything really special, but it’s a New York staple and we just couldn’t miss it! Plus, it’s location right by Central Park is perfect for getting a little peek. Or, if it’s the time of year when you can actually walk around the city without freezing, you could take a nice post-brunch stroll. Needless to say, we didn’t go that route and instead went back to the hotel for a nice little between shows nap!

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My next show I attended was Nicole Miller, thanks to Belk!! I was ecstatic to be there and she didn’t let me down!! The show was beautiful and showed that my favorite cool weather color, hunter green, isn’t going anywhere for next season! I always love her designs and it was one of the few at NYFW, where I would actually wear everything she sent down the runway!

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Each night, we went to grab drinks at a cute bar before dinner. Tonight, was easily my favorite bar in NYC- Boom Boom Room. Located on the top of The Standard Hotel in The Meatpacking area, Boom Boom Room had wrap around views of the city and the classiest atmosphere and people watching. I mean, when you’re rubbing shoulders with Kelly Osbourne and Catt Sadler, you know you’re in the right place! Plus, their drinks were YUMMY!!

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Dinner that night was at a traditional New York steakhouse- Keen’s, and tradition sure didn’t disappoint!! Two young guys from London sat next to us and were there for the 2nd night in a row eating a portion of lamb chops each and splitting the porterhouse steak. Needless to say, I think my hubby was a little jealous that he wasn’t there with them instead of his filet eating wife! The steaks were perfectly cooked and seasoned, and we truly had no complaints about our meal. A true New York steak experience!!

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HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY FROM NYC!!! Our morning was spent sleeping in, drinking espresso and yes, eating drug store Valentine’s candy. Basically, it was perfect!!

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After a morning of total laziness, we headed out for a delicious brunch at 44 & X. This was the perfect cute little place to top off a wonderful morning with each other! You can’t tell from the picture, but it was snowing the most beautiful snow that day and you could watch it right out the big restaurant windows- ah just absolutely perfect! Bonus: their bloodies were the most horseradishy bloodies I’ve ever tasted!! (Insert worshiping hands emoji)

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Fortunately, I only had a presentation that day, so I was able to spend most of it relaxing with my Valentine!! But, the presentation I did have, Joseph Singh, was absolutely flawless and I was so glad that I went! I’m majorly coveting the grey and white long dresses!! Plus, I got to chat with some other fabulous Carolina fashion peeps at the event!!

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Thanks so much for reading my second part of our trip to NYC and my experience at my first NYFW!! I can’t wait to share with y’all the 3rd and look out for my only official “outfit post” from the trip tomorrow morning!! Happy Sunday Funday!!

Friday Five

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1. Zara Spring Shoes– Holy spring shoes jackpot!! I had never shopped Zara shoes before, but they are ON POINT this season!! I ordered 3 pairs this week (you can see my personal picks here, here and here) and not only were they all under $100 but I rush shipped them for only an extra $10 and they came instantly! This is the perfect way to play with spring trends without breaking the bank!

2. New Coffee Spot– I’ve officially found my new favorite away from home work space- Grind & Squeeze, a coffee shop, wine bar and smoothie and juice bar in one!! Um, can you say heaven?! Not only does this one stop shop basically have everything you could ever desire in one location, but they also have the most adorable little backyard patio! In this ridiculously beautiful spring weather I could’ve stayed out there all day!

3. Sabo Skirt– I’m always sketched out by the Facebook ads that pop up with insanely good deals on really cute stuff. But, after my awesome experience with Tobi (the site where you get half off basically every purchase- and no, it’s not a scam) I’ve started clicking more often! Today, I stumbled upon yet another awesome Aussie brand, Sabo Skirt. I have yet to try them but from the looks of it they’ve got some super on trend items for really low prices! I’m kind of obsessed with everything!

4. Brody Jenner’s Girlfriend– Yep, you read that right, but bear with me here! Kaitlynn Carter is a well traveled, educated and absolutely adorable girl with a pretty fabulous fashion sense!! I mean, look at this purple number– so perfect for spring! Well, she has just launched her new blog, Western Wild, last night! It’s got a lot of lifestyle, some travel and fashion- definitely a good one to add to your feed. She’s one to watch!!

5. Aldo Party– This Sunday at Aldo Shoes on King St. I will be hosting a sip and shop event from 6-8 pm! Atendees will receive 15% off during the event, plus giveaways throughout the evening! We will have some delish cupcakes from Cupcake Down South and champs to go with! Plus, I will be on hand to assist you with all your shopping needs- just in time to grab some last minute statement shoes for Charleston Fashion Week!

Friday Five

MKA1. Rocksbox– If you haven’t heard of Rocksbox, well then you must be living under a rock, because the craze the all over social media these days!! Basically, it’s a monthly subscription for jewelry. You pay $19 a month for a stylist to personalize a box of designer jewelry for you each month. You get it in the mail, wear it for a month and then send it back for your next box. Or, don’t send it back and get a great discount on pieces you love!! It’s basically the best monthly subscription I could possibly think of! In my first box, I received pieces from two of my favorites- Gorjana and Loren Hope!! Helllooo fabulousness!! If you like what you hear, sign up here and get your first month ON ME with code southernmeetschicxoxo and tag me to show me what Rocksbox pretties you scored!!

2. Book Suggestion– Loved Gone Girl?! Then, you won’t be able to put down author Gillian Flynn’s debut novel, Sharp Objects. Equally as well written and twisted, this murder mystery will keep you on the edge of your sit (or for me, bathtub) the entire book! Disclaimer: If the extent of your reading is Nicholas Sparks and PLL, then this probs isn’t the thing for you. But, if you like some effed up craziness in your books, then you’re in for a treat!

3. Jessie James Decker– Are you familiar with this Southern diva?! Between being wife to NFL hottie Eric Decker, mommy to a presh baby girl with another on the way AND continuing her passion of country music, this momma is a busy lady!! But, she still found time to help design a fab bikini line with Amore & Sorvente just in time for Spring Break!! A lot of her pieces are super {hot} mommy friendly like this one, but I’ve got my eye on another that will be great on us non-mommas too! My only dilemma is the gingham vs the floral?! Decisions, decisions!! OH and I almost forgot, they come in baby sizes too!! How freaking adorable?!

4. J. Crew Style Guide– For a stylist, this is heaven. Gayle Spannaus and Jenna Lyons killed it with every page in this catalogue. Every look, every detail- flawless!! For a shopper, this is hell, because you will want everything. I’m not sure whether I should apologize or you should thank me?

5. Insta Giveaway– I’ve teamed up with some awesome bloggers to bring y’all another BIG Insta giveaway, like $500 big!! So, head on over and follow me for details!! Good luck!!

Slack Saturday Six

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Okay guys, so I totally slacked on my Friday Five yesterday. But, seriously get over it, life happens! Plus, now you get an extra little tidbit with a Saturday Six!! Hope everyone had a great week and has a fabbb weekend!!

1. New Makeup Trick– Okay, so I swear I didn’t know this had become some huge internet phenomenon until I started googling for a video. My friend, Alden, recently told me about this trick that she knew from her time working at Pink Dot Beauty Bar and it has changed my life!! Thanks to those strong Italian genetics, I’ve suffered from dark eye circles my whole life. Putting a little red lipstick under my concealer has been the first thing to even come close to getting rid of those babies! I’ve been using Sephora brand lipstick in pure red and Clinique concealer in porcelain (which isn’t sold any longer, but your fav concealer will do) under my powder and a little RMS concealer on top for a brightening finish!

2. Style Crush– I’ve followed Russian It Girl, Miroslava Duma, on Insta for quite a while, but I really just needed to share with y’all my obsession! I mean the girl’s style is FLAWLESS!! Plus, between having worked for publishing houses such as Harper’s Bazaar and Condé Nast and founding her own online company, Buro 24/7, she’s kind of a business badass. Basically, she’s my hero and you need to spend a good 30 minutes of your life stalking her social media.

3. Must Have Spring Coat– I’ve really just been loving everything from Ted Baker lately, but this coat is actually the perfect coat for your transition to spring in these chilly temps! I’ve been a little in love with light blue coats all winter, but was never able to find the perfect one. This wool fabric will keep you warm, but the color and 3/4 sleeve will keep things fresh and light for spring.

4. SC Restaurants by County– Three clapping hand emojis to Charleston Food Bloggers for making this genius list of the best restaurants in South Carolina by county! The list is a perfect combination of hole in the wall diners and unexpected high end restaurants in small towns that is sure to get you through your next mini road trip. OR a great inspiration FOR your next road trip!

5. Victoria’s Secret Sale– Who doesn’t want to make a few VS Swim purchases before the summer time?! Especially after that swim special they had on the other night!! Does the bod come with it?! But, seriously now is the time to do your Victoria’s Secret buying. A. There’s a big sale going on right now and you can save up to $55 off of a $250 purchase, plus free shipping, plus in case you need a 6893th VS tote you can get one of those! and B. Everything is starting to get back ordered, so if you want your suits in time for spring break or with some even summer break, you need to act now!

6. This Video Makes Me Happy– It wouldn’t be a Friday Favs, okay whatever, Saturday Six, post without something to do with cute animals! This video of pups (and one cat) on the beach, is the perfect mood booster this weekend!! Plus, it’s in Australia so it’s totally giving me Summer fever!!

Friday Five- Valentine’s Edition

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Happy Friday the 13th/FRI-YAY/Valentine’s Eve/Day 2 of NYFW!!! Big day, huh?! Anyone else had a crazy Friday the 13th like I have? I won’t go into major detail, but my morning involved 13 degrees, giving a cab driver the wrong address, not realizing until he already left and being in the most impossible spot to find a cab (did I mention it was 13 degrees and I was dressed fashionably, not warmly). #firsttimenewyorker anyone?  Fortunately, I didn’t lose any extremities to frostbite and still made it to my show on time! Considering I’m here in New York, I’m not going to be bringing y’all a special Valentine’s outfit post (although, I will be posting next week about all of my NYFW looks). So, instead of my normal Friday Five post, I’m sharing with y’all 5 Valentine’s inspo outfits from bloggers I follow and love!! These looks are absolutely adorable y’all!! Everyone enjoy your Valentine’s Day tomorrow, whether it’s with your spouse or friends and family!! XO

1. Gal Meets Glam– Julia Engel does no wrong and this pretty little shoot with Chloé is no different! Like myself, she’s a major blush pink lover and this beautiful dress is blush pink heaven. I mean, she actually looks like she’s in heaven, right? And that bouquet of peonies *insert heart eyes emoji x 500*

2. Something Navy– Arielle knows exactly what she’s doing when it comes to dressing city chic! This red skirt number is perfect for a night on the town with your man or your girls! Plus, she’s THE best to follow for fitspiration..those legs!!

3. Hello Fashion Blog– This classic Valentine’s look from Christine is absolutely FLAWLESS. The red dress is sexy, but classy at the same time- perfect for a hot date! Bonus: she lists some great gift ideas for your guy and all under $50!

4. TopKnots and PolkaDots– This one just so happens to be from my pretty little bff miss Chloe Fusselman! Not only is she perfect and this shoot the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen, but her outfit is on point for a fun Valentine’s look! Could she not be Julia Engel’s (Gal Meets Glam) sister?!

5. Northern Lights- Southern Belles– Another blogger bestie of mine and the hottest momma I’ve ever seen, Tara Langdale, kills it with a Valentine’s casual look! Can you believe she’s hiding an almost 9 month baby bump in there?! In typical Tara fashion, she does the unexpected and pulls in a baby blue coat and it totally makes the outfit!

Also, feel free to take a little flashback moment and look through last year’s Valentine’s posts here, here and here – my how far this blog has come in just a year!! So fun to take a look back though!!

Friday Five

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Couldn’t be more excited for Friday this week!! #1 I worked last weekend & it’s been a loooongg {but also super awesome} week & #2 When Monday comes I’ll be headed to NYC!! Woohoo!! I hope all of y’all are enjoying your Friday as much as I am! Have a great weekend!! Now, onto the Friday Five!! (that was a lot of exclamation marks, wasn’t it?)

1. The New Android Commercial– Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m an iPhone girl all the way. But, if there’s anything that could get me to make the switch, it’s this commercial right here! My heart literally melts every time I see it! If this doesn’t brighten your day, then I don’t know what could.

2. Target Home SaleToday & tomorrow get 20% off rugs & free shipping. Plus, spend $75 or more on your home purchase & save 15%. Thennnn if you’re a Target Red Card holder (like the addict I am) you’ll save an additional 5%. This is PERFECT for me as I’ve been working on some major home upgrades!! I’ve been eying this rug for quite some time, so making my move!!

3. Currently Craving– Am I the only one who didn’t know that there was a Jeffrey Campbell for Free People collection?! Where have I been?! There are some fab styles in the whole collection, but my favorite is the Hierro Heel. They’re a super on trend style and don’t break the bank!! My only problem is, what color to buy?! I originally wanted the grey, but now they’ve got this fabulous light blue color that I’m kind of dying over! Decisions, decisions…

4. Pioneer Woman Breakfast Quesadillas– Okay, so I know I gave y’all a recipe last Friday {anyone try it by the way?} but when I saw this breakfast quesadilla from Pioneer Woman, I couldn’t resist sharing! First of all, Lee Drummond (The Pioneer Woman) is God- at least of the kitchen! She’s the only woman that I would not only allow, but praise my husband for cheating on me with. And then, I would hope she would move in so a Sister Wives type scenario could happen and she could be like the “cook wife.” Basically, everything I make of hers is amazing and I haven’t tried these amazing looking quesadillas, but I’m sure they’ll be no different. If they turn out as pretty as they are tasty, I’ll be sure to Insta a pic this Sunday!!

5. Bits of Lace– I’ve got a super exciting Valentine’s Day giveaway coming up for y’all tomorrow on Instagram!! Be sure to follow me at @southernmeetschic to get all the deets on how you can win something for you and maybeeee even your man, from Bits of Lace. Also, if you’re looking for something sexy to wear next weekend, be sure to check them out!! They’ve got some seriously HOT stuff!!

SMC Blogiversary

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Today, Southern Meets Chic officially turns one year old!! On one hand, it seems longer than a year because so much has happened, in life and with my blog. But, on another, it seems like a short amount of time because there’s so much further I want to go and so many more things I want to do. I never dreamed when I started my blog that in just one year I would be where I am now! My blog has opened doors and brought me opportunities that I might not have gotten otherwise. I’ve had the chance to work with countless local boutiques such as Trés Carmen Boutique, Gwynn’s, StyleDwell and Peyton William. Then there’s all of the amazing photographers I’ve gotten to shoot with, like the lovely ladies responsible for these perfect pictures, Shauntae and Laura of Amore Photography. There’s also Susan Lloyd Photography, Katie Capo of Catherine Ann Photography, Carissa Cady Photography and Terrence Edwards of Current Visuals. In September, I became the Charleston Market Editor for Carolina STYLE Magazine, which has brought me the opportunity to work with some extremely talented and amazing contributors on a daily basis! I’ve contributed to several other blogs such as Coastal Bride and Charleston Fashion Design. I’ve worked as a stylist or style assistant on some fabulous shoots with amazing teams and have another one of those coming up this week! Most recently, I’ve joined the Scarlet Plan & Design team as a Senior Bridal Stylist. And now, I’m getting ready to head to New York City for Fashion Week!! I am SO thankful to have all of these businesses and people in my life and to have been able to work creatively with each and every one of them! Additionally, I’ve made some of my absolute best friends through blogging!! The blogging community in Charleston is thriving and full of amazingly sweet and talented girls and women who all support each other in a fabulous way. Y’all are the BEST and i’m so blessed and happy to have met so many wonderful people with the same interests as me! Y’all know I love ya!!

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Let’s reminisce for a minute and look back to how Southern Meets Chic came about… It all started as my New Year’s 2014 resolution! I had followed so many bloggers for so long and always thought to myself how much I would enjoy doing that! Todd and I were engaged, and I hadn’t been working for a year or two. Having worked all my adult life, it was a bit of a struggle for me to not have something of my own to do. I love being home with my husband, but I needed something to do on my own to fulfill myself more. That’s when I got serious about starting a blog. I made it my New Year’s resolution and purchased my domain on January 2nd 2014. I was trying to get everything perfect (which now I realize will never be that way) before my first post. But, mother nature had another idea!! If you’re a Charleston local, you’ll remember the “Snowmageddon 2014” aka the small ice storm that you northerners would laugh at, but, we never get anything like this!! The streets were snowy and trees completely iced over, making a beautiful backdrop for my first shoot! I didn’t have that great of an outfit to blog, but I was determined to get pictures in this rare scenery. To this day, those lavender Hunter boots remain my most pinned picture on Pinterest! I started SMC not with a business in mind, but as a creative outlet for myself. I needed something to put my heart and soul into that was just a project for me! I had no idea that it would grow as quickly as it has and that y’all would actually be interested in what I’m wearing and my silly and sometimes run on writing. I’m so incredibly humbled by all of you and thankful to have readers that engage and stick with me, even through weeks of no posts!! I cannot thank y’all enough for the past year of support and following!! It’s been a truly magical year and none of this would’ve been possible without my readers!!

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Last, but certainly not least, I have to thank my husband, Todd. Not only is he obviously a huge part of my life, but he is an integral part of Southern Meets Chic! While I’ve had the opportunity to work with tons of fabulous photographers, the majority of my pictures are taken by him. No, he’s not a professional photographer, but yes, he’s read manuals and taken classes and practiced, just to be able to take better photos for me. I must say, he’s gotten pretty darn good! I’ve dragged him all over town to take blog pictures, with minimal complaints. He puts up with having to take outfit pics in public and not touching his food before I snap an Insta. Basically, he’s the most patient man on this earth and I am so beyond blessed to have him! This blog truly truly would not be possible without him, whether it’s taking photos or encouraging me to do new things and take new business approaches, he is a driving force behind SMC. And although he says he wants to start a blog about how your spouse shouldn’t start a blog, I’m convinced he’s pretty into it!! Seriously though babe, I couldn’t do this without you and I love you so very much!!

I just want to thank all of you again- the businesses and people I’ve been blessed to work with, my readers and my husband and family- down to my Grandmother who reads every single post, I wouldn’t be where I am without any of you and I am so thankful to have all of you in my life! XOXO

Photos: Amore Photography

Outfit 1: Top: Banana Republic | Skirt: H&M (similar here) | Shoes: Valentino | Necklace: J. Crew

Outfit 2: Top: Banana Republic | Pants: StyleDwell | Shoes: LuLu’s (similar here) | Necklace: J. Crew (similar here)

Friday Five

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1. Chloé Susanna Bootie Look-a-like– Have you been craving the celeb favorite, Chloé Susanna bootie, like I have, but don’t want to pay the crazy price?! Well, on a recent King St. shopping trip (read: pulling for photo shoots while making the occasional purchase for myself) I walked into Aldo and found her cousin- the Bugiano! For literally a teeny fraction of the price of the designer version, you can get the look for less. Plus, they’re on sale an additional half off right now! This means you can totally get the funky red pair too!

2. My Fitness Pal– Before this week I never would have written about this. A. Because I wasn’t into healthy anything (we’ll see how long this realistically lasts) and B. I assumed everyone already knew about this handy little app! But, throughout the week I’ve mentioned it to several people and they had no clue what I was talking about, so I decided I must share it with y’all too! It’s a super easy to use fitness ap (duh) that helps you log your food and counts your calories and nutritional value. Also, if you’ve got the iPhone 6 it will count how many steps you take a day and how many calories that has burned. It’s really nifty and a great way to help you stay accountable for what you’re putting in your body everyday! Oh, and it’s FREE!

3. Tavi Gevinson– This Refinery 29 article about this cool girl. I’m not sure how I’ve never seen her before, but I kind of want to be her. Okay, I do want to be her, or at least have her closet!! (insert wide eyed emoji)

4. My Favorite Football Recipe– Since the Super Bowl is coming up this Sunday, I figured it would only be appropriate to share with y’all my favorite game day recipe- bacon wrapped little smokies. Don’t listen to the comments on the recipe page saying they’re time consuming, just enlist a helper to assist in doing the bacon wrapping and your delicious snack will be ready in no time! I make these for tailgating during college football season and they’re often the first to go and my most requested! They’re by no means healthy though, so maybe wait to download My Fitness Pal til Monday!

5. Vacation Envy– Because, in the middle of winter, who doesn’t want to lust after warm weather and fruity cocktails? What better way to do so than checking out the resort Julia Engel of Gal Meets Glam, stayed in on her most recent trip to Antigua. This was her vacation from her vacation in St. Lucia. I mean seriously, the girl is everywhere! Instead of being jealous (like me), just grab a mai tai and flip through her Insta for a little Caribbean Friday pick me up!