Friday, July 11, 2014


Don't know if you've noticed but.... sneaks are totes in! 

For the last couple of years I've noticed white Converse sneaking into all sorts of blogs and outfits.  I've had the gray ones since college but found them hard to pair sometimes.  The white is genius!  They are so cute with everything.  Here are some of my favorite inspiration pics:
{Carly from C.Style}
She wear sneaks in so many ways and makes them adorable every time!

 {Emma from A Vintage Vice}

{Julie from Sincerely Jules}
Makin em look good with a "dressy" outfit!

Well...I was just about to take the "plunge" and invest a cool $50 when I spotted a new look on the horizon.


Yes, those skater shoes that kids wore in middle school.  They're back.  I first spotted them on an adorable mom of one of my students and thought, "Genius...why didn't I think of that?!".  Then I saw a version at Gap and then the real thang at J.Crew!  I bought the white and have been loving them!!!  I am also digging the checkerboard (as seen on previously mentioned mom).  What do you think?

{ 1 | 4 | 5 | 6}


Monday, July 07, 2014


So I recently posted my book recommendations based on what I have read as of late.  As promised, here is a list of books that are on my "to read" list. 

*again, book descriptions hail from Amazon

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann

Every year on 9/11, I read The Man Who Walked Between the Towers and this seems like a fictional extension of that true story.  My interest is peaked!

"In the dawning light of a late-summer morning, the people of lower Manhattan stand hushed, staring up in disbelief at the Twin Towers. It is August 1974, and a mysterious tightrope walker is running, dancing, leaping between the towers, suspended a quarter mile above the ground. In the streets below, a slew of ordinary lives become extraordinary in bestselling novelist Colum McCann’s stunningly intricate portrait of a city and its people."

Skippy Dies by Paul Murray

"Why does Skippy, a fourteen-year-old boy at Dublin’s venerable Seabrook College, end up dead on the floor of the local doughnut shop? Why Skippy dies and what happens next is the subject of this dazzling and uproarious novel, unraveling a mystery that links the boys of Seabrook College to their parents and teachers in ways nobody could have imagined. As the twenty-first century enters its teenage years, this is a breathtaking novel from a young writer who will come to define his generation."

Marie Antoinette's Head: The Royal Hairdresser, the Queen and the Revolution by Will Bashor

Is anyone else obsessed with Marie Antionette ever since Sofia Coppola's 2006 film?  Is it just me?

"For the better part of the queen’s reign, one man was entrusted with the sole responsibility of ensuring that her coiffure was at its most ostentatious best. Who was this minister of fashion who wielded such tremendous influence over the queen’s affairs? Marie Antoinette’s Head: The Royal Hairdresser, The Queen, and the Revolution charts the rise of Leonard Autie from humble origins as a country barber in the south of France to the inventor of the Pouf and premier hairdresser to Queen Marie-Antoinette."

The Vacationers by Emma Straub

"Here's the funny thing about family: there's no one you love more than your relatives, and yet they're also the people who push your buttons the most. Emma Straub has captured this dilemma in her pitch-perfect second novel The Vacationers. The Post family’s vacation to the Balearic island of Mallorca is one fraught with jealousy and quiet secrets. It's an anniversary for parents Franny and Jim, who are making amends for some rocky marital misgivings; their son Bobby and his much-maligned older girlfriend Carmen have a financial favor to ask; and high school-age daughter Sylvia has made it her mission to lose her virginity to her Spanish tutor."

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr thing with WWII.  What can I say?  {got this recommendation from Emily at Jones Design Company}

"Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge."

Has anyone read any of these?  I would love to hear your opinions!  If none of these interest you check out my Amazon Wish List for more options!


Tuesday, June 24, 2014


It happened so fast!  It came on strong and then I couldn't shake it...Panama (hat) Fever!  Is it contagious?

I am forever searching for a perfect hat.  I buy at least one new hat every year but never wear it more than a handful of times.  I sweat too much at the pool for a pretty hat and I when I put one on to wear around town, I feel silly.  Am I alone in this?

Anyways...right on cue I started eying the Panama Hat.  I first noticed Sarah of Classy Girls Wear Pearls rocking one last year and kept it in mind.  With a trip to Hawaii {eek!} coming up next month, I really wanted something that would travel easily, hide unkempt hair, and keep the sun off of my face.  Like when you're buying a new car, once I had this hat in mind, I saw it everywhere:

Sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

So I've done the leg (and google) work and here are my favorites:

1.  J.Crew | $58
2. Wallaroo | $40
This one has a drawstring on the inside of the brim so it has a fantastic fit
3.  Anthropologie | $48
4.  Forever 21 | $14.80
I "invested" in this one so that I'm only out a bit of money if I fall into my old patterns and don't wear it often.  
5.  J.Crew Factory | $34.50 (on sale $29.50)
6.  Michael Stars | $54
7. Christy's London via Nordstrom | $175

{FYI}  Surprisingly, the hats originated in Ecuador back in the 1600s and didn't show up in Panama until the 1700s.  They were shipped to Panama before continuing onto other ports, therefore earning their name.  They've been worn for various reasons throughout history so you know it's a classic investment.  If you're looking around, know that some websites will refer to them as a fedora and others call them ranchers.  Contrary to your classic fedora, a Panama Hat is often a bit taller on top and has a wider brim.  


Friday, June 20, 2014


Happy Friday!  Here are some things I've been loving!

Favorite Trend
white-on-white-on-white  Is anyone else loving this?  It makes it so easy to get dressed but it looks like you really had to plan!  My insta faves:
 {click for source}

Favorite New (to me) Handbag
For years I've been eying the Marc by Marc Jacobs Classic Q Hillier Hobo but just cannot justify the price tag.  I needed a new summer bag and found this Michael Kors number at Macy's and loved that it hit the high notes of the Marc Jacobs number and also fit in my budget!  My main requirement:  must be able to go on the shoulder and turn into a cross-body!

Favorite Easy Weeknight Meal
Made Real Simple's Post Sticker Salad this week and it satisfied both husband and myself!  I left out the bean sprouts but it was still fantastic.  Definitely on the rotation for our house!

 Favorite Tank on Repeat
If you are a Knoxvillian or Tennessean check out this store:  Nothing Too Fancy.  They have an adorable shop in Knoxville but you can order online too.  They are chockfull of cute vintage-looking graphic tees and they are so soft!  Even if you don't want a local goodie, check out their website.  There are non location specific items too:  USA tank, craft beer tee, Johnny Cash shirt to name a few. 


Thursday, June 19, 2014


As much as I dreaded summer reading when I was in school, the idea of someone handing me a list of pre-approved books for my choosing sounds great now.  So in that sentiment, I bring you part one of my Summer Reading List.  This list is compiled of books that I have read and enjoyed.  Part two will consist of books that are on my "To Read" list.

*all descriptions are borrowed from Amazon

War Brides by Helen Bryan

This is one of those great books that you spend the first part trying to figure out when and how all of the stories will come together.  Not to mention, it totally played into my infatuation with World War II.  If you like this, I highly recommend The Sisterhood, also by Helen Bryan.

"With war threatening to spread from Europe to England, the sleepy village of Crowmarsh Priors settles into a new sort of normal: Evacuees from London are billeted in local homes. Nightly air raids become grimly mundane. The tightening vice of rationing curtails every comfort. Men leave to fight and die. And five women forge an unlikely bond of friendship that will change their lives forever."

Serena by Ron Rash

This is being made into a movie with Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper!  If you live in the East Tennessee/North Carolina area, it's really interesting to hear about the history of the Smoky Mountain National Park. 

"The year is 1929, and newlyweds George and Serena Pemberton travel from Boston to the North Carolina mountains where they plan to create a timber empire. Although George has already lived in the camp long enough to father an illegitimate child, Serena is new to the mountains—but she soon shows herself to be the equal of any man, overseeing crews, hunting rattle-snakes, even saving her husband's life in the wilderness. Together this lord and lady of the woodlands ruthlessly kill or vanquish all who fall out of favor. Yet when Serena learns that she will never bear a child, she sets out to murder the son George fathered without her."

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

If you loved the twists and turns of Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl then you should absolutely ready this one or her other novel, Dark Places.  All three are scheduled to be made into movies and have enthralling stories with a dark twist.  

"Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family's Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly."

All But My Life: A Memoir by Gerda Weissmann Klein

Remember the aforementioned fascination with WWII?  This is a true story not meant for a weak stomach but it will absolutely move you to tears.

"All But My Life is the unforgettable story of Gerda Weissmann Klein's six-year ordeal as a victim of Nazi cruelty. From her comfortable home in Bielitz (present-day Bielsko) in Poland to her miraculous survival and her liberation by American troops--including the man who was to become her husband--in Volary, Czechoslovakia, in 1945, Gerda takes the reader on a terrifying journey."

Natchez Burning by Greg Iles

This is the first in an upcoming trilogy.  It is long (804 pages), with some gruesome descriptions, but is a fantastic thriller that keeps you guessing who the good guys really are.

"Raised in the historic southern splendor of Natchez, Mississippi, Penn Cage learned all he knows of honor and duty from his father, Dr. Tom Cage. But now the beloved family doctor and pillar of the community has been accused of murdering Viola Turner, the African-American nurse with whom he worked in the dark days of the 1960s. Once a crusading prosecutor, Penn is determined to save his father, but Tom, stubbornly invoking doctor-patient privilege, refuses to even speak in his own defense.  Penn's quest for the truth sends him deep into his father's past, where a sexually charged secret lies waiting to tear their family apart. More chilling, this long-buried sin is only a single thread in a conspiracy of greed and murder involving the vicious Double Eagles, an offshoot of the KKK controlled by some of the wealthiest and most powerful men in the state."

I realize most of these recommendations aren't exactly thoughtless, chick-lit, beach reads so if that's what you're in the mood for try:  Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close, The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty, and The Only & Only by Emily Giffin.  What have you read lately?  Please share!