Tuesday, July 17, 2018

CLOSET STAPLES + STATEMENT PIECES


Top: Privacy Please | Denim: FRAME | Shoes: Vince | Clutch: Barneys New York | Sunglasses: Gucci {dupe here} | Necklaces: Monica Vinader + Vintage Chanel | Cashmere Wrap: Nordstrom {sale!} | Pinky Ring: Anine Bing

When it comes to creating the perfect balance of closet staples and statement pieces in your closet, I live by one rule: neutral.  Don't get me wrong, this does NOT mean your closet has to look like mine.  If you love color, you can most definitely incorporate those pieces into your closet, but when it comes to what to invest in - stick to the basics.  As you know, my closet is pretty minimal, but I don't need a ton of options because almost everything I have can be worn together.  (I'm working on a blog post about all of this in more detail!)  However, when 85% of your closet is filled with neutral basics and closet staples, you have to invest in a few statement pieces that will instantly add a fun pop when you need it.  This clutch is exactly that!  

I was waiting on another clear bag to arrive (after being on preorder for 3 months!) when I saw this clutch, but had to pull the trigger anyways.  I'm obsessed with the pearl detail + it's oversized so it actually holds a lot.  I knew I would grab it constantly over the next few months, from tanks + denim, to oversized sweaters + booties.  When you can style a statement pieces in any season - that's when you know it's a good investment.  (And this clutch looks SO designer, but the price point is pretty great!) The same can be sad for statement jewelry, hats, scarfs, etc!

All of that to say, make sure your closet flows.  When it does, it's so easy to mix + match basics and investment pieces/statement pieces.  Again, it doesn't always mean neutral - it's whatever works for you.  My girlfriend McKenna is all about hot pink, baby bleu's (see what I did there?), and bright colors, but she tends to keep her accessories and definitely her investment pieces neutral so they will work with anything she throws on.  In additional, your style changes and evolves as you get older and in different seasons in life, so making sure you have a good timeless, neutral base to build on + add to is everything!

Thanks so much for stopping by, XX.
M E G
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Monday, July 16, 2018

5 EASY TIPS FOR HOSTING A SUMMER DINNER PARTY


Happy Monday, babes - 

I hope you all had a beautiful weekend!  As most of you know, we entertain A LOT.  Whether it's just a couple of friends over for dinner or a big Summer soiree, it's nice to have the details planned ahead of time so you can actually enjoy the party, rather than simply hosting it.  Here are my 5 tips for entertaining at home this Summer:

NO. ONE /
BACKGROUND MUSIC.
When your guests walk in, make sure the first thing they feel is comfortable.  Light a few candles around the entry way, make sure the surrounding lamps are on, and have easy music playing in the background.  For us, we love turning on a James Arthur or James Bay vinyl on our record player.  It's soothing and instantly gives our entry way a cozy, vintage vibe that we love.

NO. TWO /
HAVE A DRINK READY.
No matter what it is, fresh lemonade or a cocktail, always have a drink ready to hand your guests within the first few minutes of walking in the door.  Like us, most of our friends drink cocktails in the summertime, so we usually have a few things sitting on the bar, ready to go.  Our favorites usually consist of vodka and tequila (I'm a vodka girl, J Run is a tequila lover), San Pellegrino, POM (pomegranate juice) or grapefruit juice, and fresh lime.  Having options covers all your basis and makes it easy to go back and forth to refill their glass.  Or, if you're not into liquor, have a rosè bar!  We usually go to Trader Joe's and stock up on 5-6 bottles for next to nothing (their prices are amazing) and not only do your guests have options, it's really pretty on your bar, too! #summerwater

NO. THREE /
GRILL OUT.
We use our grill almost every night during the Summer + Fall, but it's especially helpful when entertaining.  When the weather is warm and the drinks are flowing, more often than not, we want to be outside.  Rather than staying in the kitchen to finish dinner, you can be outside with your guests - multitasking.  J loves to grill and loves the company outside while doing so even more.  We were so intentional about making our backyard private, comfortable, and perfect for happy hours!

NO. FOUR /
THROW IT ALL ON THE TABLE.
Once dinner is officially ready, use your favorite serving pieces to throw it all on the table.  Having easy access to the food to fill and refill your plates without having to get up or go in a different room is so helpful.  It also makes your guests feel even more comfortable to get seconds when it's right in front of them.  Plus, who doesn't love a table full of food?  I know it makes my 'it's complicated' heart happy!  Also, fill a pitcher or carafe with extra water (or simply a bottle of SP like us!) to refill drinks at the table, too!

NO. FIVE / 
CLEAN UP AFTER.
It's often tempting to collect plates and start cleaning up while you're guests are still there.  But, collect them and leave them in the kitchen!  As much as you may want to knock it out, it will take the same amount of time after your guests leave and allows you to continue hanging out, rather than turning into the maid.  I rarely let guests help us clean up, simply because I know J and I can knock out in 10-15 minutes after they leave.  I would much rather start a game, have another cocktail, or make a fire in the back than hiding away in the kitchen doing dishes while friends are still over!

Thanks so much for stopping by, XX.
M E G

Friday, July 13, 2018

MASTER BEDROOM REVEAL // THE LOVELY COTTAGE

Happy Friday, babes - 

I hope you all had a great week!  I feel like this was one of those weeks where I intentionally made no plans and ended up having something every night anyways.  After the 4th being so crazy and hosting a lot that week, I intended on slowing down a bit, but that never seems to happen - annnnd I secretly love it.  Even last night, we had my in-law's and some of their best friends over for dinner to celebrate my father in law's birthday!  I always look at it this way - the more people that fill our home on a daily basis, simply creates endless memories.  We've only been in this house for almost a year and I'm already SO emotionally connected to it because so many amazing things have happened here.  I honestly believe it's my calling to gather friends + family around our table and just simply love them.  

Whew - that got deep really quick!  I was just typing away and it turned into my calling in life! :)  Haha, anyways, I'm so excited to share our master bedroom with you all!  A few things are still a work in progress (what isn't though, right?) and we're still planning to do a full home tour that will show you much more.  Until then, I wanted to go ahead and share a few of our favorite details with you!






As most of you probably know by now, when we initially found @thelovelycottage it was a 2 bedroom, 1 bath home.  Although it was old and needed a lot of work, we immediately fell in love with everything about the house - the charm + character specifically.  However, we knew it wasn't big enough for us to invest in long term unless we renovated and added on to the existing house.  We love a small, cozy home so we definitely wanted to keep the integrity of the house the same, but simply add a little more space.  So, after many meetings and a lot of prayer, we decided to go for it!  In total, we added on a laundry room, master closet, master bedroom, and master bath.  (As well as a hallway to the master suite + deck in the back.)  

Our bedroom is without a doubt my favorite part of our home.  I remember the first morning we slept here overnight and I woke up with the biggest smile on my face.  Nothing was on the walls, boxes were everywhere, and I think we slept with one blanket on our bed, but as I woke up and looked around - I was so proud of what we created.  It took 8 months and more prayers than I can count to get here and all I felt was grateful - and I still feel that same exact way today.

From the beginning stages of renovations, we knew this room was going to be a bit larger than the others.  We not only wanted to sleep in this space, we wanted to live in it.  From day one, I had three things on my list - tons of windows, a fireplace, and a big bathtub.  While J and I were designing the room with our contractor, he fought us a bit on a few of those things.  "A full wall of windows leaves no room for furniture" he said.  My response "I don't want furniture, I want natural light."  We didn't have that much furniture anyways because our old bedroom was so small, so we were able to compromise and reposition the room in a way that allowed for the necessities.  A bed, two nightstands, one small chest, and a big, WHITE couch in front of the fireplace.  Now, that's what I meant by live in this space.  I could just envision us curling up on that couch in front of the fire on a cold morning with coffee in hand.

That being said, we have 8 beautiful windows that fill this space and the light that pours in each day is everything.  I wouldn't trade it for anything!  It also gives the room such a 'grand' feel when you walk in and can see straight into the backyard.  (We have curtains, but our neighbors are really far behind us and definitely can't see in.  Plus in the summertime, there are a ton of trees that block the view of our home so currently from our bedroom you see nothing but greenery that serves as the best privacy!  Well that, and chickens. :)

Once the windows were in, the fireplace was taped out, and the sheetrock was up, we were able to start thinking more about interior design.  After deciding to go with cathedral ceilings (also one of my favorite decisions), we knew we wanted it to simply feel cozy and comfortable.  More times than not, all white spaces feel stiff and unlivable, but we had every intention of creating the opposite.  We painted the walls white, stained the floors dark, hung a huge (neutral) chandelier from the ceiling, installed a big marble fireplace with a rustic mantle (a tree limb from a tree that was on this property for years, but we had to take down for the addition), and the bones of the room were done!

From there, we knew the decor would bring all the cozy.  My decor style has always been neutral, french farmhouse, with a lot of texture, while keeping everything minimalistic.  We layered two rugs in front of the fireplace, hung long, linen curtains from each window, brought in THE white couch, and layered our bed with all white.  (I've always loved an all white bed!)

In a few of the photos above, you'll see our mattress that I have to take a moment and talk about.  Our friends over at Christeli (here in Greenville) were kind enough to gift us this mattress and it is everything.  We're literally obsessed with it and it makes this space even harder to leave!  We chose to go with the 'Madeline' for our new King size bed and it's absolutely amazing.  If you're in the market for a new mattress, I wouldn't look any further - their prices are great, the cloud topper it comes with is just that - like sleeping on a cloud, and their delivery was flawless.

On that note, since our bedroom is larger, we knew we needed to upgrade to a King bed.  We've always had a queen and although we loved how cozy it was, it simply didn't work well for our space. One of my very favorite decor stores, Celadon, in Charleston (and online!) and absolutely stunning.  Their store is HUGE and has so many amazing pieces of furniture + endless decor.  While we were there a few months ago, I found this matte black, farmhouse style bed that I instantly fell in love with.  With our room being mostly white, I loved the thought of the black rails making a statement and I also really wanted a footboard.  Done and done!  Plus, our last bed was upholstered and although beautiful, SO expensive.  This bed is not only beautiful, but such a great price point.  It completely makes our space and layered with the cloud mattress + all white fluff - let's just say I have a really hard time waking up in the mornings these days!

We added antique his + hers nightstands, a few lamps that really make the space cozy after dark, and a little greenery (we have three fiddles in here that love their lives with all of this light!) and this space was officially complete.  Although it's an addition to the house and a bit larger than the other rooms, the house flows so well from front to back by keeping the bones of the home consistent.  

It was quite the labor of love not having a place to call home for 8 months while we renovated, but I would do it again in a second.  Being able to look around and know we picked out every single detail and made every decision is such so fulfilling.  We've poured so much of ourselves into this house - labor, time, money, and most of all love and we are so happy here.

We'll be sharing more in the next few weeks, so be sure to follow along with us on instagram - @thelovelycottage!  Thanks so much for stopping by!  X.
M E G

SOURCES:
Paint Color: Polar Bear by BEHR
Floor Stain: Ebony
Mattress: 'Madeline' by Christeli c/o
Chandelier: Pottery Barn (on sale!)
Couch: Pottery Barn
Blanket: Hermes
Chest: Restoration Hardware
Nightstands: Family Antiques
Nightstand Lamps: Pottery Barn
Nightstand Frames: Framebridge c/o
Nightstand Jewelry Box: West Elm
Horse Print: Minted c/o
Bedding: Pottery Barn
Accent Pillows: Etsy
Full Length Mirror: CB2
Rugs: Anthopologie + Wayfair
Fireplace Chairs: Restoration Hardware
Curtain Rods: Restoration Hardware
Curtains: Restoration Hardware
Barn Door: Team Runion

MY LOUNGEWEAR:
Silk Shorts | Tank | Cardigan (on sale) | Glasses: Celine

Thursday, July 12, 2018

NORDSTROM ANNIVERSARY PRESALE / 2018


It's that time of year again - my favorite sale of the year!!  By now, I figured everyone is fully aware (probably too aware, considering every single blogger you follow will probably be promoting this sale for the next couple of weeks) of what the Nordstrom sale is and why it's pretty amazing.  It's the perfect time of year to stock up on a few fall must-haves, beauty favorites, and a cozy things for the home.  Today kicks off the pre-sale portion of the anniversary sale, so if you have a Nordstrom card - today is your day!  I've switched things up a bit this year and categorized them differently, so below you'll see:

for the home 
beauty must-haves
closet staple favorites
shoes + handbags
from basic to chic
fall necessities

with all of my picks numbered + linked below!  As most of you know, I'm not super trendy and would much rather invest in brands/pieces I truly love.  With that said, I won't be posting EVERY single $30 dress, cardigan, or pair of booties the sale has to offer.  Although everyone is different and I'm sure a lot of those things are great prices/brands, there will be a lot of the sale that I don't post, and definitely won't promote.  I want every single thing on this blog to be a genuine reflection of my personal style and things I absolutely love.  So, up front and honest - always - I'm not worried about the commission or making a sale, I'm simply posting what I love, products and brands I already own and can't get enough of, and what I'm purchasing from the sale today!

SO HERE GOES NOTHIN' -



ONE / TWO / THREE / FOUR / FIVE

SIX / SEVEN / EIGHT / NINE / TEN



ONE / TWO / THREE / FOUR / FIVE

SIX / SEVEN / EIGHT / NINE / TEN






ONE / TWO / THREE / FOUR / FIVE

SIX / SEVEN / EIGHT / NINE / TEN



ONE / TWO / THREE / FOUR / FIVE

SIX / SEVEN / EIGHT / NINE / TEN



ONE / TWO / THREE / FOUR / FIVE

SIX / SEVEN / EIGHT / NINE / TEN


I'll continue to share my favorites over the next few days, so stay tuned!  Also, tomorrow is our big MASTER BEDROOM REVEAL, so be sure to check back here first thing!

Thanks so much for stopping by, X.
M E G

Monday, July 9, 2018

SKINCARE FAVORITES WITH FARMACY



As most of you know, I'm quite the skincare junkie.  I've always had really dry skin, so I constantly gravitate towards masks, moisturizers, serums, and eye creams.  I was recently introduced to Farmacy Skincare and immediately fell in love with their farm-to-skin formula.  When they asked if they could send me a few of their best selling products and new favorites, I couldn't say yes fast enough.  Their products are clean, locally grown in the US, and they ensure their key ingredients are cultivated in a way that's good for the planet.  Farmacy is paraben free, mineral oil free, cruelty free, synthetic fragrance free, and phthalate free.  Even their packaging is made from raw materials and recyclable!  100% the real deal.

Read more about their processformulas here!

After trying a handful of their products, I was instantly hooked to their honey products.  The Honey Drop Lightweight Mask was by far my number one favorite.  I loved it so much I used it on my entire body!  It was perfect for my dry skin and didn't leave me feeling oily or greasy.  I've been intentional about using it on my really dry areas like knees, elbows, + chest and it's made such a difference.  Combined with the Honey Potion Mask used once of twice a week, it's a match made in heaven.  Lastly, the Honey Savior Salve is everything!!  I've been keeping it in my handbag for using on my dry cuticles + lips and it is SO good.  (Sidenote, can't go without saying how much I genuinely love the SPF, too!  So great for keeping in your beach bag and safe for kids, too!)

If you're into clean beauty + skincare, you will LOVE Farmacy - the price point is amazing and you can feel good about what you're putting on your body + the brand you're supporting!

Thanks so much for stopping by, X.
M E G

Thanks to Farmacy for partnering on this post!  All opinions are my own.
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