Tuesday, January 16, 2018

WORKOUT MUST-HAVES FOR 2018



Since the New Year, I've been getting back into my groove of working out (in some capacity) six days a week.  Like anyone, new athletic clothes + workout gear get me motivated, so after purchasing this exact outfit a few days ago, I thought I would share my current workout must-haves with you!  

For starters, this line by Morgan Stewart is one of my favorites!  You don't have any of the weird lines like some activewear brands give you and the material is super comfortable.  I never mind paying a bit more for my workout clothes if those two things are checked off the list!  Next, I always love to have a pair of headphones and a few beauty favorites in my bag - I use renewal oil each morning when I wake up, which is typically right before I work out.  I also love this lip treatment for keeping your lips moisturized while breathing heavily + as always, my favorite deodorant.  Socks, comfortable sneakers, and a hat are always my go-to, especially for outdoor workouts.  And lastly, one of my personal resolutions was to add collagen into my daily routine, so I just ordered Vital Protein and I'm really excited to start incorporating it into my post-workout smoothie or bowl.  I'll definitely let you know how I like it!

Thanks so much for stopping by, x.

Monday, January 15, 2018

CLASSIC + FEMININE // PERFECT TRENCH



Trench: Burberry {perfect dupe here & comes in black + blush} | Top: Sézane | Denim: Paige {current favorites} | Boots: Stuart Weitzman {also love these} | Sunglasses: Céline | Handbag: Valentino | Belt: Gucci | Lips: NARS 'Under Arrest' {new for Spring + available soon!}

When it comes to classic, investment pieces for my closet, I always opt for neutral + feminine.  I've had this trench for a couple of years now and it never lets me down.  A good trench is perfect for layering, or even being the statement piece of your outfit.  Even if you're in black from head-to-toe, a neutral trench can totally make your outfit.  Also, I'm obsessed with these Paige jeans right now!  The flare at the bottom isn't too much and the fit is absolutely perfect.  So comfortable + chic!  

I hope you all had a great weekend!  My best friend came into town on Thursday and her little brother's wedding (aka, my little brother) was on Saturday night.  Between the rehearsal, brunch, decorating their wedding night suite, and the wedding, we had such a busy, but beautiful weekend surrounded by our family + friends.  I took a few days off from social media, put my phone away for the most part, and was present for each and every moment and it felt so great.  Totally necessary sometimes!  Oh and I can't forget - the chickens!!  My best friend brought them on Thursday from Charleston and they are so cute.  We're already so in love with them!  

Thanks so much for stopping by, x.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

HOW TO INCORPORATE VINTAGE PIECES INTO YOUR HOME

One of our favorite ways to spend a Saturday morning is getting lost in antique shops.  Many years ago, J's grandparents used to own an antique store so he grew up surrounded by antique furniture and vintage pieces his entire life.  Like most people, I grew up around them and could appreciate antiques, but never really knew the time period in which things were from or the significance behind them.  When J and I met and got married shortly after (at 20 and 21) we didn't have a lot of money, so most of our furniture at the time was hand-me-downs from family.  However, we were SO happy with what we had and it was then that I became obsessed with blending vintage pieces with our every day decor.  Actually, the bed + dresser in our guest bedroom (these photos are from our old house) is from an old barn we rummaged through one day and sanded + stained once we got it home.  It was made in the early 1920's and we're absolutely obsessed with it!  Aside from furniture, here are a few (fairly) inexpensive things you can be on the lookout for while antiquing that will instantly make your space feel cozy and inviting!

1. Vintage Dough Bowls  - This is one of my newest obsessions!  I found this bowl while antiquing last week and immediately grabbed it.  Mine is from the early 1800's which just makes my whole life.  The hands that have touched this bowl, the dough that has been made in it, and the stories it could tell seriously amaze me.  I'm using this one in my kitchen for fresh produce currently, but of course we will put it to good use if we're ever making homemade bread.  I also love the longer ones and want one of those next!  They're so perfect for bathroom storage to hold linens, at the foot of the bed resting on a bench, etc.  The possibilities are endless and the amount of character these vintage bowls add to your space is like nothing else.  Dough bowls typically cost around $50-$150, depending on their size and age.  Mine is a little on the larger size, so it was around $145, but worth every penny for this gem!

2. Vintage Bottles as Vases - this is one of my favorite (and cheapest) ways to add a few vintage pieces to a centerpiece.  Typically, vintage bottles range anywhere from $4-$20, with the exception of novelty collectors items.  (I think these two I picked up from an antique shop were $6 and $9.  The terra-cotta vase is from Anthro and on sale, here.)  Between vintage bottles, jars, and medicine bottles, you can have quite the collection for not a lot of investment.  These look great in pairs, especially on exposed shelves, window seals, front porches, or coffee tables.

3. Vintage Pillows - Without a doubt, I need to go to pillow rehab.  I have such a pillow obsession, it's not even funny.  When we moved our things into storage last year, we had EIGHT trash bags full of pillows.  Hello, my name is Megan and I have a problem.  But seriously, I love adding texture + patterns to a room simply by pulling out + fluffing a few pillows.  My favorite vintage pillows to find are ticking (these can even be new, but have an old, vintage vibe to them) and grain sack.  This number, grain sack pillow that I found on etsy a couple of years ago was an actual grain sack from the 1940's.  I have no idea what the sack was used for, but I love how old it is.  Depending on how old the pillow/grain sack cover is, the prices can vary, but this specific one was around $40.  I paired it with this cozy pillow I just picked up from Anthro (see, problem!) for the benches in our entry way and they're the perfect pair!

4. Vintage Milk Glass - For me, milk glass is hit or miss, but when it's good - it's GOOD.  A lot of the milk glass you see in antique shops or on etsy looks super cheesy and not even old, just tacky.  But, my favorite is the hobnail!  My in-laws just got me this set for Christmas (it also has a matching pitcher) and we love it.  Some milk glass is very expensive and I'm not totally sure why, but your typical set or serving piece is going to be in the $20-$40 range.  The small glasses are perfect for morning juice or milk and add so much character to a tablescape.  We also have a few milk glass bowls + plates that are so pretty to incorporate with your china when hosting!

5. Vintage Cutting Boards - Can't get enough.  That's all I have to say about these.  Really though, I could rummage through crates of these old cutting boards for days!  Just like the dough bowls, they have so much character.  I love finding them on etsy from France, simply because I imagine they're from an amazing french bakery where all my bread and butter dreams would come true.  (Yet another problem of mine.)  These boards can range anywhere from $50-$250, depending on their size and age.  Typically, I use these more for kitchen decor than functional use, but I do have a couple that we'll use every so often.  Usually, I think they're perfect the way they are and I like to leave them that way!


6. Vintage Baskets - Since our chickens are coming later this week (PAUSE, if you don't know this story - J has talked me into getting 4 chickens for our backyard.  I've been talking about it on instastories, but we have a decent size space in-between our privacy fence and where our backyard ends, so we have a coop and everything set up back there.  As much as I hesitated to finally say yes, I'm actually VERY excited about them and can't wait for them to arrive on Thursday!) I'll be using vintage egg baskets like this quite often.  We should have anywhere from 2-4 eggs a day while our hens are laying and I can't wait to collect them from day to day in this cute, little basket!  I even have an egg stamp on order that says 'the lovely cottage' - LOSER, I know.  We also have a vintage oyster basket that I absolutely love.  (I totally forgot to snap a photo of it, but I'll get one for you soon!)  I ordered it off of Etsy a year or so ago and it holds extra pillows in our bedroom (back to the pillow problem).  The egg baskets range anywhere from $10-$25 (I think mine was $12?) and the oyster baskets are a bit more.  I paid a pretty penny, again, because I wanted it to be from France (french oysters just sound more amazing), and I believe it was around $140.  The best part is, no two are the same and they're pieces you'll have + love for years to come!

If you aren't into rummaging through an old antique store, I've scouted out the best, vintage pieces from each category for you below!  Etsy is such a great place to find rare pieces - I literally check the site every week to see if there are any new {old} things I can't live without.  (By the way, this post is in no way sponsored, just a genuiene love of mine that I've never shared much about!)
I promise, adding a couple or all of these vintage pieces to your home will add so much warmth + character to your space!  If you love home decor posts like this one, let me know in the comments below or by DM'ing/emailing me.  I have so many vintage things around @thelovelycottage that we love and I could make this into multiple posts or a series!

Thanks so much for stopping by, x.

Monday, January 8, 2018

BASIC LOUNGEWEAR YOUR CLOSET WILL THANK YOU FOR


When it comes to dressing casual, yet still looking chic, I am ALL about it.  Whether we're cooking in or going to a friends house for dinner, running errands, or whatever it may be - this type of look is always what I go to grab out of my closet.  Sometimes we get caught up in purchasing the 'eye-catching' pieces, but they're not always realistic or versatile.  For me, I would much rather spend that money on basic pieces that I'm going to constantly gravitate towards on a daily basis.  Sometimes loungewear (sweatpants specifically) gets a bad rap, but if you invest in the right pieces + know how to style them, they're just as chic as anything else in your closet!  Here are FIVE of my favorite, must-have casual looks!

Fitted White Tee {SUCH a staple - I actually have 3 of these because the price is amazing and I wear them constantly!}


 Cardigan | Tank | Bralette | Leggings

 Cashmere Sweater {best cashmere for the price!} | Sweatpants {I have these in 4 colors and wear them weekly - they're the BEST} | Sneakers

I hope you all have a great week!  I was hoping to get a ton of content shot for the blog over the weekend, but unfortunately J has been in the bed, sick with the flu, since Friday afternoon.  I've been nursing him back to health to the best of my ability, while keeping my distance in hopes I don't get it!  I've spent a lot of time in front of the fire, watching 'It's Complicated' 5+ times (obsessed), and cuddling with our sweet pups.  However, I'll still have a lot of great posts to share this week (including home decor) so stay tuned!

Thanks so much for stopping by, x.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

LOVELY-LATELY // @MEGANRUNIONMCR



{ jacket | denim | tee | handbag | sneakers | hat }


{ top | jacket | pants | handbag {dupe} | boots }

{ oil {favorite product of 2017} }


 { jacket | leggings | boots | handbag {dupe} | necklace | hat }

TGIT, babes!  It's been a while since I've rounded up my latest instagram posts, so I wanted to share all of the details/links with you!  Also, if you're interested in seeing more home decor, rather than outfits, be sure to follow along on our new home account, @thelovelycottage!

Thanks so much for stopping by, x.
-Meg

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

GOODBYE 2017, HELLO 2018

Sweater | Leggings | Boots | Handbag {dupe} | Hat {similar} | Lips

I hope you all had a beautiful Christmas + New Year!  After a crazy few months following moving into @thelovelycottage and a super busy holiday season, I was so grateful to take a couple of weeks off and spend quality time with my friends + family.  The holidays are always the perfect time for me to be present, shift my focus, and reflect on the year in the rearview mirror.  

I posted a quote the other day on my stories that I love so much - 'You don't need to be perfect to inspire others.  Let people get inspired by how you deal with your imperfection.'  I've never been the type of person that has to try to be real, that's always been something that has felt natural + normal to me.  However, I do have to make much more of an effort to share that realness with you.  It's easy to get caught up in separating my blog life from my real, day to day life, but in 2018, I want to bring much more to the table in sharing the messy, the ugly, and the downright truth with you.  And I want this to be the place it happens.  Getting back to why I started, what sets me apart, and diving deeper.  With that said, I wanted to share a few highs and lows with you guys, as well as follow up on the resolutions I set last year around this time!

High: Obviously first and foremost has to be moving into our new {old} house.  Looking back to this time last year, we had to be out of our home by January 13th and had no idea what the next few months would look like.  We  sold our house in 24 hours, rented a storage unit by the month, and literally threw our entire life into it.  It took me a while to admit this, even to myself, but I was scared sh*tless.  And so was J, but luckily there were few times he let me in on that - because then I really would've been freaking out.  I like to think that at least one of us has it together at all times...
Anyway, fast forward seven months later to August 18th and we moved in feeling so incredibly thankful.  Just the two four of us again - boxes unpacked, cooking in our own kitchen, and knowing the hard part is officially over.

Low: With all of that said, those seven months were quite the test.  I'd always heard people say 'if you can build a house together, you can get through anything together' and we found that to be true.  Although our project was on a slightly smaller scale, the toll it took on us personally and as a couple was just HARD some days.  Everything from the constant phone calls with our builder and decision making to the monetary commitment, it was definitely a new 'normal' for us.  There were days where we really struggled with questioning if we made the right decision and if we were ever going to actually live in this house that we were working so hard to make perfect.
The bad news - it was the longest seven months of my life.  The good news - it was by far the best decision and we're so in love with our cozy, little cottage.

High: Travel.  During our crazy year of figuring all of that out, we were afraid our love for travel + wanderlust was going to come to a screeching halt.  However, somehow we pulled it off and made a few amazing trips happen.  We kicked off the year in DC, got to visit a few of our favorite cities like New York, Charleston, Los Angeles, Nashville, and Reynolds Plantation multiple times, as well as a few new ones like Riviera Maya, 30A, Newport, and Curaçao.  23 flights and a few road trips later - the magic that happened in 2017 are memories + experiences we'll never forget.

Low: On a personal level, I had a couple of 'knock you off your feet' moments this past year that were really hard to get up from.  I've said this many times before, but when I love, I love hard - and inevitably feel things really hard.  It's something I've learned to embrace rather than shy away from.  My relationships and the people I surround myself with mean everything to me.  The older I get, that group of people has become so close knit and I love that.  Having go-to girlfriends that you love, trust, and would do anything for (and having that reciprocated) is something that simply cannot be replaced.  This year, I had to really evaluate those people in my life, push feelings aside, and trust my gut.  I learned that sometimes - relationships result in unfortunate realizations and that's one of the hardest things in life to confront.  I had an amazing, intense, whirlwind friendship with one of my closest friends that sadly, had to come to an end.  It just wasn't one of those things that was easy to let go of.  When circumstances are out of your control, you simply have to know the truth by the way it feels and trust the character instilled in you.  After countless thoughts + prayers, it's one of the most difficult decisions J and I have ever had to make, but we wouldn't take anything for the life lessons it taught us.  At the end of the day, I'm grateful for the journey - knowing that I grew so much through it and I'm stronger because of it.  

High: I learned how to best take care of myself.  Everything from finding my 28-year old groove in working out, to a skincare routine I actually see results from, and making my health a priority with bi-annual check ups, regulating medicines, + reducing/healing the appearance of both of my scars.  Aside from my body, I've also learned how to take care of my mind.  Different ways to de-stress and what works well for me when feeling overwhelmed.  Some days that looks like focusing on chores around the house in order to have peace of mind, other days it looks like knocking out a ton of work in the office and staying un-plugged the rest of the evening.  Either way, taking care of my mind + body in my 20's is something that has become not only necessary, but enjoyable.  I'm excited about the fact that learning + doing these things now will better myself in the long run!

Last, but definitely not least - following up on my 2017 resolutions:

Give myself grace. (I'm better at this now than I ever have been, so I'm considering that a win.)
Always seek adventure. (Done and done.)
Don't get caught up in the small stuff. (Easier said than done, but I definitely don't sweat the small stuff.)
Never let my inbox get over 50 emails. Whew, deep breaths. (Yeeeaahhh, definitely didn't do this one.)
Go to three concerts. (Check, check, check! Miranda Lambert, LANY, and best of all - Country Christmas!)
Show my friends so much love. (Something I'll always do my best at.)
Go to the water at least once a month.  It's simply good for my soul. (I went 12 times for sure, so surely that evens out to once a month, right?)
Wash my hair.  Just in general. (See FAIL - verb, to be unsuccessful in achieving one's goal.)
Always see the glass half full and encourage others. (Most days this was true!)
Take care of my skin. (Religiously.)
Run.  (Yeah right.)

As for 2018, I've decided to give myself even more grace and not set too many high expectations.  Haha.  Seriously though, my goals are to enjoy the little things, embrace fearlessness, celebrate everything, be bold, be present, and be better than I was yesterday.  Taking it back to the basics for 2018 and couldn't be happier about it.  I love you all - thanks so much for reading + supporting all of these years and I'm so excited for what's to come!  

Cheers to 2018!!

x.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

MENSWEAR // WHAT J WANTS FOR CHRISTMAS



When it comes to gifts for J, I always focus on investment, staple pieces he'll love for years to come.  Because he's a banker, he wears a suit every single day.  Things like cufflinks, a dapper tie, and cold weather accessories like gloves + a scarf are the perfect addition to his business attire.  Aside from that, a great pair of boots are his go-to on the weekends.  I love, love, love these Saint Laurent boots and J says they're the most comfortable pair of shoes he owns!  And last, but not least - you can't go wrong with a new scent for the man in your life!  The Bleu by Chanel smells so amazing!  Nordstrom is always my go-to for purchasing all gifts, but especially for John.  They carry all of his favorite brands + offer free shipping + returns.  Now time to wrap all of this up and block J from seeing this post until after Christmas!!

I hope you're all having a great week so far!  I'm in Charlotte today spending the day with my babe, McKenna Bleu, and then it's back to holiday craziness!

Thanks so much for stopping by, x.
Thanks to Nordstrom for partnering on this post!
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