updates around the house

Oh, hey guys! I shared lots of home updates when we moved in and painted the whole inside (remember? here, here, here, here). Then I shared posts here and there (like this, this, and this one) of some new decor items I added in... but then it got quiet around here on the home-front. I finally have a few more things to share!

Our living room. We had our TV on a little sideboard, which ultimately was just too small—not that our TV is that large at all. It looked awkward to me. Then I added a little gallery wall over the TV to try and draw some visual interest around it, but then that just kind of got even more awkward. I knew we really needed some sort of media console to anchor the room. 

This is what it looked like before. Not completely awful, but "a jumbled mess of awkwardness," are the words I would use to describe this.

So the search was on to find a new home for our TV. I shopped around at some of my favorite local furniture/decor shops, but wasn't able to find just what we needed. I wanted something that had a weathered look to it, but nothing white—we have enough of that. Nothing dark wood either... it's a small space and I wanted to keep it bright, plus we have a lot of dark wood elsewhere throughout the house.

Our last idea we had after many unsuccessful shopping trips around town was to check out Haverty's. Sure enough, the perfect piece was right at the front. It's called the Hampton Place.

It's amazing how big furniture that takes up a lot of space can make a room feel so much larger. 

I mentioned on instagram that I got a Lulie Wallace painting. This is where it lives... right above our bar.

I don't know, this is random, but I included this photo anyway. I put this weathered bowl on our otherwise very formal dining room table, just to give it a nice balance of formal + casual. 

We also spray painted these guest room lamps orange. It's a fun change. This is how they looked before.

The last update I have is our porches! I mentioned Brandon painted them haint blue. I love the result... here's a little peek.


what i wore: coral + cheetah

This top is by Marie Oliver, an awesome company I was recently introduced to that specializes in gorgeous, high-end silks in bright colors and bold prints. The first thing that caught my eye about the tunic I'm wearing was the coral shade, which happens to be my fave. Gotta say, it's probably the best feeling piece of clothing I own. I love it because it's 100% silk, but it's not that soft & fragile, flimsy silk that you've got to be so careful with. This top feels heavy but soft & buttery, if that makes sense ...and I love that. 

See these handmade bracelets below? They are by Lisa Stewart Jewelry and I looove them. It's the Ashford Cuff and the Classic Hammered Bangles—both plated in gold. The prices are so reasonable considering each piece is thoughtfully made and done with such high quality. To make that even better, here is a coupon code to save 20% off the entire site: HCC20

These shoes are 50% off at Shopbop right now! I am normally an 8.5 (sometimes a 9) and took a 9 in these, just for size reference. I love them because they give that loafer vibe, but obviously are open-toed, so they are well-suited for warm weather. 

shorts: Club Monaco and on major sale, but there are only a few sizes left so these are similar. So are these. (and these are so cute!)
bag: Prada
bracelets: Lisa Stewart, here and here
ring: Vahan (similar here and here)
necklaces: shorter ones are Layered and Long, cross one is Jennifer Zeuner
polish: fingernails are OPI and toenails are Sephora Formula X (pyrotechnic)


weekly roundup

How to create the perfect mermaid waves
I just discovered a new (to me) shoe designer and am obsessed. 
The perfect way to make a cat lady's heart melt. 
If you are wanting to start a blog, this is a great place to start
I wish I could track down where to buy this Ines Atelier leather jacket. Sometimes black leather makes me feel too "biker chic" and this color is just as versatile (It's my favorite color!). 
Ever wonder what Lauren Conrad keeps in her makeup bag? (She uses my favorite brow pencil!) 
Really thinking about buying these chairs off of craigslist. I'm all about the bamboo look lately. I could see the cushions recovered with a white fabric. I think they would be perfect with our round, distressed table. Do I buy the table too, or just the chairs? We could keep the table in our attic for now and then use it in our next house ...maybe on a screen in porch or in a sunroom? But then my round, distressed table would be chair-less again! And do we really need three dining tables? I hate to miss out on a set. ahh!! (Oh, there's a bamboo sale going on at Joss & Main right now.) 
This is such a good storage idea for kids
Still some things on my blog sale! Check it out of if you want. :) 
The cutest dress for summer.
Today is a somber day in Charleston as the life of Senator Pinckney is celebrated. President Obama, the First Lady, and the Vice President are in town for the service and Obama is giving the eulogy. Many of the other eight lives that were taken from us have already been laid to rest. Please say a prayer with me for these families and for our Charleston community as a whole.


an afternoon with j. mclaughlin

Oh, hello! I realized I never shared photos of a lovely afternoon I had with some pretty awesome Charleston bloggers. J. McLaughlin, along with the wonderful Annie Reeves, hosted us for some nibbles, a little shopping, a lot of mingling, and then an awesome lunch at Park Cafe. If only every Thursday were that great...

The beach tote shown below is the one I mentioned in Monday's post! Isn't it cute? I love that it's water repellent. 

J. McLaughlin's King Street store is dreamy. I especially couldn't get over the flower arrangement with the limes—ah! If you're out and about in Charleston, stop in at 212 King. Don't worry, you can shop online, too.

Also, I listed some new things on my blog sale. Oh, and finally... these beautiful photos are by the very talented Julie Livingston. 


what goes around...

comes around ...and then it goes on sale.

This Tbags dress was $180 and is now $94 with code 25MORE. I am wearing a small. (original post here)

And this A.L.C top? It was $235 and is now $141. It's hard to tell from this photo, but it has a little fringe detail at the bottom. It's the cutest. I am wearing a size 8 - I think it runs small! (original post here)

There are tons of other things newly added to this Shopbop sale. The best part is you can take an extra 25% off sale items with code 25MORE. Here are my picks!

on my mind

Who has tried The Laundress household cleaning products? I met the lovely ladies who created the company at The Southern C Summit and immediately felt the urge to shell out for their clothing detergent. It's supposed to be better for your clothes than dry cleaning.... and much better for the environment, too. I could get on board with that, just wondering if any of you have tried it? Worth it?

I haven't said anything about this on here before, but my mom has been very sick for the past year. I just never really felt good about bringing it up, but it's definitely something that has weighed heavy on my heart... seeing her struggling has been tough. She has Ulcerative Colitis and has had a lot of bumps in the road resulting in many hospital stays, work disability, etc. The reason I'm suddenly bringing this up today is because I often forget how great of a network I have with all of you. She is having to change out her treatment from Remicade to Humira, we think. Has anyone had an experience with Humira or a family member who has been on it? Just curious what the overall consensus is on the drug. Googling anything medical-related can be scary. 

These shoes are precious.

"Life is about trusting your feelings, taking chances, finding happiness, learning from the past, and realizing everything changes." I really love this quote.

I have a super hard time eating healthy. I know if I could just stick with it for a couple weeks, it would seem second nature. I really want to do another Suja Fresh Start Program. I've definitely been better with my eating since I did mine, but I still need to majorly improve. The thought of grilled chicken and veggies almost makes me rather starve. I would love to know of any savory, healthy recipes you may have!

Brandon is currently painting our porch ceilings haint blue (we are using "Piazza Blue" by Sherwin Williams). Blue porch ceilings are a tradition in the south. Way back when, people believed this blue/green shade (called "haint") kept evil spirits from entering their homes. These days, it's just a nod to the old tradition. This is what a haint blue porch ceiling looks like... now if only I can get that porch, too. #goals

Speaking of our southern culture, I've never been so proud to be a Charleston girl. The way our city and entire state has come together in an embracing spirit after such a terrible massacre is moving, to say the least. Please continue to pray with me for those nine families and all of those affected. This is Charleston.

I'm probably going to be loading more things on my blog sale later this week—maybe later today, actually. So be on the lookout. I am just so over looking at things I don't use. I've been throwing things out like crazy around here and have donation piles all over the place. I am taking a bunch of clothes to goodwill tomorrow, but there are some things I would like to sell...things I've only worn lightly or not at all—so check back on that blog sale soon! (It's under the "shop" tab at the top.)

I really want to start a candle company. I know this sounds random, but I have thought of this a lot lately. I hate to say it out loud because it most likely will never happen, but who knows. I think it would be fun. I love luxurious candles. It's my favorite indulgence and I can never have enough. They just bring about an inviting atmosphere. When you think about it, candles are lit on special occasions—when you have company over, when you're wanting to feel cozy, or maybe in a romantic setting. I love that a candle kind of goes along with these happy occasions. This one is my newest favorite. The smell is better than anything I could ever imagine.

Does anyone follow someone on Snapchat that is absolutely hilarious? I am so into snapchat these days (I like watching other people's stories more than I like making my own). Every night, Brandon and I lay down in bed and watch snap stories...it's just kind of a nightly ritual before we go to sleep. I would love to follow some funny peeps! Do share. :)

This is totally random and not an affiliate link or anything, but you honestly should visit RugsUSA.com. They have 75% off sales all the time, like right now, but ending today. I am obsessed with their jute and sisal rugs! (It's what we have in our living and dining rooms.)

Lastly, does anyone have any blog post recommendations? Someone recently asked for a post highlighting my favorite travel accessories, so I'm planning on that one soon. :)

I just really want a doughnut!


5 Favorite Beach Day Essentials

Happy Summer—officially! It's a million degrees here and so the only time I'm found outside is if I am at the beach or out on the boat, or at least that's what I wish. So to kick off summer and to celebrate the heat, I thought I'd share some summer necessities for before, during, and after a day in the sun. I shared my beach bag necessities last year and after looking back at it, I definitely still stand behind everything I mentioned, but a few things have changed. Like the Coola sunscreen. I love it and still think it's worth all of it's expensive pennies, but I definitely have a more budget friendly favorite this year. 

1. Neutrogena Beach Defense Sunscreen: Guys, this stuff smells so good. It absorbs quickly, is water repellent, and is under $8. It's undoubtedly my favorite drugstore sunscreen.

2. First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream: I always love to apply this to my skin after a day in the sun. It's the oddest consistency—almost feels like Cool Whip, but it's more hydrating than the richest creams. (Don't you hate that sticky feeling after applying a heavy cream? Yeah, this does not do that at all.) It has colloidal oatmeal, shea butter, soothing eucalyptus oil, ceramides, licorice root, feverfew, and white tea—which, together, hydrates skin while defending it from free radical damage. 

3. Vince Camuto Knotted Band Hat: I took this hat on our BVI vacation and wore it all the time ...every single day, actually. I kind of have a big head, so most hats that look all cute on other people look odd on me! This one fits so well and I'm obsessed with the shape because it's not a fedora, but not a large brimmed straw hat either. It's perfectly in between. The fact that it's under $20 doesn't hurt, either. You can see me wearing it here.

4. J. McLaughlin Sailor Tote: I went to an event at Charleston's J. McLaughlin store and the attendees were given these totes as gifts with our initials monogrammed on the front in orange thread—so incredibly generous! Well, I love this tote and have gladly used it as my beach bag since then. The reason I love it so much is because it looks like a canvas tote, but it's actually a nylon sailcloth, which repels water, making it perfect for the beach. 

5. Wet Brush Earth Collection Bamboo Brush: I mentioned the Wet Brush in my post last year and I've used it every single day since then, except I've upgraded to this wooden edition. It's gorgeous! I don't use it only on wet hair, but also when my hair is just really, really tangly (like at the beach). It brushes through all those knots without breaking my hair. #lifesaver

Worth mentioning... I still stand behind these rubber Tory Burch flip flops—they are my favorite for beach days! 

In summary, this guy and I have the same exact thoughts about this Carolina heat. 


what i wore: wild pants


pants: just added to blog sale if anyone wants 'em!     |     top: similar     |     short necklace 
horn necklace     |     heels (under $40!)     |     bag     |     bracelets: vahan (ring is, too) and david yurman           earrings: similar (30% off!)


things i like

Isn't this romper so cute? Until Saturday, you can take 30% off of it and off of everything else you'd like to purchase at J. Crew. It has been so long since I've looked through all their new stuff, so I spent some time last night picking out my favorite pieces. Gotta say, I'm pretty partial to this blazer in autumn bluegrass, these shorts in aztec rust, and although they are excluded from the promo, aren't these pineapple ice trays the cutest thing?



It was a picture perfect weekend in Charleston as far as weather goes, but hot—boy was it hot. We are dealing with almost 100 degree temperatures already, which is a little alarming to me since it's still early-ish June. I have been in a continuing education class for real estate for the past two weeks, which ended this past Thursday. Since I was so relieved for that to be over, I elected for my weekend to start right then and there. Brandon happened to be away for business that night, so my longtime best friend came into town to stay with me. Pretty good deal. 

We met up with another of our best friends for dinner at Edmund's Oast. Every time I go there I love it more and more. We sat outside under the pavilion and enjoyed a beautiful charcuterie board, a couple small plates, and um, two desserts. 

Afterwards, we had some wine at 492, which I would say is the newest restaurant on upper King Street, but then again, I can never keep up with what's new because new places pop up out of nowhere every month. The decor at 492 is stun.ning. I've heard great things about the food, so I'm dying to go back to try it out. The patio is darling. I think we could have stayed out there for a lot longer just chit chatting, but we pretty much shut the place down, so we had to go. By the way, I wore a silk tunic by Marie Oliver, an amazing new company I was just introduced to. More on that later.

On Friday, Crystal and I tried out another new-to-me restaurant, Cory's Grilled Cheese. Y'all. I can't even. (Charleston peeps, was this a food truck before?) It's a no frills kind of place, but it's all that you could ever need because the food is so darn good. There are classic grilled cheeses, build-your-own, and then there's a menu of grilled cheeses like you've never imagined. And dessert grilled cheeses! I LOVE GRILLED CHEESE. (I had to say that since I just said "grilled cheese" three times in one sentence.) I had a grilled pimento cheese with bacon and tomatoes, which is kind of a simple southern staple. I wish I would've saved a photo of it, but you may have seen it if you follow me on Snapchat (meg.stokes).

We then spent the afternoon with our toes in the sand at Folly Beach and if you ask me, one of the best things about being there during the day are the food trucks! We hit up the Juice Joint for a "Beach Bum" smoothie on the way home. It was so, so good.

My Friday night and Saturday were pretty much ruined due to the new season of Orange is the New Black being released on Netflix. Anybody kind of disappointed? I just felt like nothing happened this season until the very end! Brandon and I grabbed some dinner on Saturday night, but yeah... I pretty much was bound to the house and watched the whole season within those two days. Netflix sure can mess up an entire day. Or two, in my case.

We went out on the river on Sunday and took the boat to Morris Island. It was such a pretty day and being on the water was just what I needed. 

Hope you all had happy weekends, too! Sorry posts were scattered the past couple of weeks. The classes I took just took up so much time and when I came home, I had to catch up on my "day job" stuff. I'll catch ya tomorrow, though! 


your face will thank you this summer...

What started off with just a little touch of spring cleaning—you know, cleaning out the junk drawer and casually organizing the pantry with color coded bins ("casually")—is ending in a mad dash to toss every unnecessary thing out of my life. Seriously, you should see my closet. I think I have about a third of the clothes I used to. Old magazines and papers didn't stand a chance. And the same goes for my makeup and skincare. I've just felt the biggest urge to simplify everything around me.

On that note, I've been gravitating more and more towards multi-purpose products. I was introduced to the Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield a few months ago and was immediately intrigued by the promises it makes. It's an anti-aging treatment, a primer, and a broad spectrum SPF 30 ...all in one pretty little bottle. 

So let's start off with the basics. It's 1oz and $65, but you use it only in the mornings, so it'll last a while. The formula packs a punch with powerful ingredients... here are the main ones that make this product so special: (I'm taking the following straight from Sephora's website, by the way.)
  • Mushroom Peptides: Fights visible signs of aging to help restore youthful-looking firmness, elasticity, and skin resilience. 
  • Soft-focus Complex: Smooths skin and blurs imperfections for improved tone and texture to create an ideal canvas for makeup application. 
  • Barley, Sunflower, and Cucumber Extracts: Enhances skin's ability to retain moisture.
  • Murasol: An advanced level of sun damage defense that preserves a glowing, youthful-looking complexion by providing skin with protection against both broad spectrum UV rays and free-radicals. This proprietary blend of powerful antioxidants defends against UV damage by penetrating skin’s top layers and creating a protective barrier of encapsulated free radical neutralizers.
Sounds pretty amazing... I know. Also worth mentioning (or in some cases, re-mentioning):
  • This product is clear, so this isn't going to alter the look of your natural skin color, so you can totally wear it alone if you don't wear makeup. 
  • The "special Murad recipe" in this is a blend of hydrators, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatories. 
  • It has an invisible SPF 30 protection.
My first impressions? 
When I first started using this, I got a little carried away with everything I thought this product did. I definitely thought it was a moisturizer, as well. Let's just say that it is not. To make a long story (or a few days of dry, irritated skin, rather) short, I'll stress the importance of wearing moisturizer underneath of this. (Unless it's tinted moisturizer, then wear that on top, but I would recommend wearing a little regular moisturizer underneath, too, unless you're just super oily.) 

How do I use it? 
Just like a primer. I clean my face, tone, apply serum & moisturizer ...all as normal. Then apply Invisiblur. I finish off with my regular makeup application. 

Final thoughts?
This is a new staple of mine. The most noticeable thing I love about it is the extra staying power it gives my makeup. I have a scary oily t-zone in the summer and I swear this is keeping that under control...and it's keeping my makeup right where I want it. I'm also a big, giant fan of the SPF protection. I get the worst dark spots on my skin and I truly believe that this has helped fade them. Not only that, but the SPF is helping to prevent future dark spots and of course, to prevent sun damage in general. As for the claim of "blurring" imperfections, I honestly do believe that it does a good job of this. It fills in pores and makes my skin's texture look a little bit more soft-focus. I can't speak much yet to the anti-aging benefits in terms of reduced wrinkles and fine lines, but according to Murad, 71% of those tested saw improvements in these areas (for whatever those tests are worth, at least). 

I'd highly recommend this product if you struggle with applying a good sunscreen every day... if you need a primer to keep your makeup from melting... or if you have large pores and/or acne scarring that needs "blurring"... especially if you don't use any sort of anti-aging treatment in your skincare routine. This would be a great place to start!

Where to buy? You can buy the Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield from Sephora or Murad. This is not a sponsored post. Although Murad did send this product to me, they did not ask me to write a review and they have no prior notice that I chose to write one! 


recent aquisitions: coffee table books

I have a huge love for coffee table books and thought I'd share some new ones I just added to my collection. I totally judge a coffee table book by it's cover and to be dead honest, I don't always care as much about what's in the inside. They're pretty much used as decorations, but it's always nice when there's pretty things to see on the inside, too. These four fit the bill! 

Gypset Living by Julia Chaplin:

Luxury Redefined by Ryan Korban:

Polaroids by Diego Uchitel:

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