Coffee Conversations

Hello and Happy Friday! I woke up to the sun shining, which is the first time that's happened all week! We've had a rainy start to the Fall season...although, I've been enjoying it. Gloomy, rainy weather means I want to just stay inside, which means I've been getting a lot done this week.

I started a new book this week, We Were The Lucky Ones. It's a different read than I normally go for, but it's very good from the beginning. I love that it's inspired by a true story, too. I'm only a few chapters in, but if the rest of the book is anything like the start, I know I'll love it all.

My parents are coming into town this weekend for a visit! My mom has already been here, but this will be the first time my dad is seeing our new home! I'm excited to spend a few days with them doing some fun things, like visiting wineries and going to some good restaurants.

I popped into Target yesterday to pick up a couple of things and, of course, walked out with things I didn't need. However, I did find this great pocket tee! Depending on your sizing, you can go up a size for a more relaxed fit, which I did. At just $8, I may need a couple more!

We got a new HomeSense store nearby - I am so excited! HomeSense is part of the TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, etc. family, so it's full of really great finds at great prices. I went in yesterday for their Grand Opening, just to check it out, and am looking forward to going back when it's a little less crazy!

If you're in the market for a good, fitted henley top for the colder months, this is a great one! The fit is just right.

Below I'm answering some of the "ask me anything" questions that came in via Instagram!

Q&A
Do you and Mike ever have an argument and if so...about what?
While I'm not going to get into the nitty gritty of our disagreements, rest assured that they do happen. 9 times out of 10 it is as a result of one or both of us not communicating fully or effectively with the other. We try our best to address the issue/hurt/misunderstanding as quickly as possible and have a conversation about it -- that doesn't alway happen, but we try!

Do you feel any pressure to have kids/start a "family"?
I loved this question because I've never been asked before! In short, no, we don't feel any pressure. Although the kid question is probably my most frequently asked question. We both have older siblings that have multiple kids and have seen firsthand how much a game-changer a child is! We are both really enjoying this time in our lives and feel that we'd like to soak in our freedom and "just us" time before taking that next step. We're on the same page as far as "timing" goes and will continue operating under that "plan" unless something changes. All that said, we trust in the Lord's timing above all and believe that He is in control of if/when it will happen!

Favorite part of your new house and something you can't wait to change?
Our family room! We have a fireplace (my dream!) that is flanked by doors and windows on either side, so a ton of natural light flows into the room throughout the day. Second answer: our giant bathtub. I love a good bath! In our last place, the only tub we had was a child-sized tub with a water temperature limit, so I would get cold pretty fast in there. The tub in our master here is really big and the water gets nice and hot, so I've been enjoying it!

When we bought this house we knew that the two big things we wanted to change were the kitchen and the master bath, and that is still true! While both are perfectly functional and could stay just as they are, they're dated and just not our style. We have some exciting ideas/plans for both rooms, so I can't wait to share more once we start the process!

Do you use an eyelash primer?
I use the L'Oreal Voluminous Primer and really like it!

Lots of decor items get dusty so fast! Do you have a cleaning person? How do you keep up?
Admittedly, I'm not the best at staying on top of dust! I'm more of a clean-as-I-go person, so I don't dust as often as a I should! Once I month I'll do a deep clean - wipe down every surface, dust, etc. We have two cleaning people - myself and my husband ;)

Your favorite place to shop for basics - tees, etc.?
Old Navy, H&M and ASOS.

Have a great weekend!

Saturday Style

It just so happened that on the first official day of fall, we entered into true fall weather in Virginia! It was low 70's and rainy all weekend, which meant that all I wanted to wear was cozy knits. I love a pair of faux leather leggings because they instantly elevate a casual outfit to make it a little bit fancier and more interesting. So excited that I can start wearing outfits like these regularly!

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H&M Knit Sweater | Spanx Faux Leather Leggings | SoleSociety Hingi Satchel | Amazon Fashion Chelsea Boots | Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink in Dreamer | EA Raya Ear Jackets | Messy Bun


Coffee Conversations


Welcome to a special Saturday edition of Coffee Conversations! It was a busy week, but in a good way! It was the first week in a long time that I had a 5-day, typical work week. It felt really good to get back into the swing of things and work on all things EA and fall content for the blog.

Today is the first official day of Fall, did y'hear?! Fall is my favorite season, by far, so I'm happy!

I finally decided to go with the PAX closet system from IKEA. It's slated to be delivered Monday, so I can't wait to get it up in the loft and have some real storage for my clothes. This will definitely be my largest IKEA piece I will have put together, so I'm anticipating needing the help of wine and a calming soundtrack ;) I drew inspiration for which pieces to get from photos like this.

Did you see that there's a new season of Serial? I credit season 1 with opening me up to the world of podcasts, so I was excited to see that they're turning out yet another one! I listen to podcasts pretty much all day long - when I'm working, doing chores, driving, etc.

Did you catch my Old Navy try-on and styling post? So many great things for the upcoming season!

I've made the switch to dark, moody nails for the season and this one is my go-to of the moment.

I'm craving banana bread, so I may need to make it this week! I love this recipe.

I've got a bookshelf in our living room that needs to be styled, so I'm planning on working on that this weekend! I'm tossing around the idea of going for a monochromatic look, something like this. I have quite a few trinkets and decorative things, so I need to gather them all and decide which ones I want to use for sure, which will set the tone for the rest of it.

Have a great weekend!

Posts from this week:
Going Natural with Native Deodorant
Old Navy Haul + Styling 

Old Navy Haul + Styling

I popped into the mall earlier this week to do a return and decided to walk through Old Navy. Unsurprisingly, there were a lot of cute things that caught my eye! I brought a pile of perfect-for-fall pieces into the dressing room and walked out with a few. I thought it would be fun and helpful to show you not only what I picked out, but how I plan to style it for the upcoming season. What I love about the things I found is that they're all so versatile, so the styling of each piece is just one idea that I have for it! The options are kind of endless, which is a great problem to have. 

First up is this ah-mazing striped sweater coat. I'm a sucker for a heavy cardigan that can double as outerwear like this. Not only is it super cozy and comfortable to wear, but I love that I can use it as a part of my outfit. I don't have to put together a cute outfit just to cover over it with a jacket - the cardigan functions as it! The options with this one truly are endless, but my first idea was to pair it over my favorite fitted dress with a pair of booties. I love a monochromatic look and I like that the sweater makes the rest of the outfit a bit more approachable for daytime.
SHOP THE LOOK:
Cardigan (wearing an XS) | Dress | Similar Booties | Necklace | Lipstick



The next thing I found is this near-perfect dupe for this well-loved cardigan from last year. It's super soft, has a great fit and is quite a bit easier on the wallet than the other one. I wear cardigans like this pretty much all fall and winter, so I know I'll get a ton of use out of it. I just paired it with a simple tee, medium wash jeans and cute booties for an everyday look.
SHOP THE LOOK:


One hole in my fall/winter wardrobe was a classic boyfriend cardigan with buttons. I like the detailing that buttons add and didn't have anything in my closet like this! It's a great transitional cardigan because it's on the more lightweight side, so it's a good option paired with a feminine cami, cutoff shorts and booties.
SHOP THE LOOK:


It happened to be a gloomy, rainy day when I went into the store, so naturally my eye was drawn to this parka. Aside from the beautiful shade of green, what I really like about it is how thin it is. It's the perfect option for a warm or even hot day when you need a top layer - either for sun protection or from a light rain. Plus, it looks cute styled with a classic tee, some faux leather leggings and rain boots!
SHOP THE LOOK:


My final purchase was this bomber jacket, which I waffled on! I always love how they look on other people, but wasn't sure I could or would pull it off. I'm still a little on the fence, but since it's black and pretty basic, I think it will mix into my closet easily. I like it as outerwear with an athleisure outfit, like with a tank, leggings and sneakers.
SHOP THE LOOK:

Going Natural with Native Deodorant


With each passing year, I find myself growing more cognizant of how I treat my body - what I feed it, how I use it, and what I put on it. I'm really disciplined about wearing SPF, I try my best to choose healthy options when it comes to food, and I listen to my body when it needs rest or otherwise. I'm always looking for ways to improve and make better choices - one of those being deodorant. Once I learned about how much junk was in the regular deodorant I had used for years, I quickly started doing research about the best natural deodorant on the market. Native was the clear front-runner in the research I did, so I ordered one of their classic scents, Coconut & Vanilla.


I was pleasantly surprised when it arrived on my doorstep - it smells amazing and goes on smooth. I had read that there is typically a two-week "detox" period once you start using the deodorant. Your body needs to rid itself of the harmful aluminum and chemicals from the former product, so I was prepared for that. I gave it about a month's trial, to see if it really would work. To my delight, it does! My underarms feel smoother (thanks to the coconut oil in Native!), cleaner and I'm still odorless and wet-free!


I apply my deodorant every day or after every shower. It lasts through tough workouts, stressful work days and everything in between. I love that I can feel good about what I'm using and that it smells great, too! I don't feel like I'm sacrificing anything for a better, healthier product.


Native Deodorant is made without aluminum, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and more! I've been using the Coconut & Vanilla scent for months now and love it, but am going to give the Lavender & Rose scent a try, too. Their other classic scents include Cucumber & Mint and an Unscented version. After Mike saw that I made the switch to natural, he wanted to, also! I got him the Citrus & Herbal Musk scent, which is amazing.

If you've considered making the switch to natural deodorant, give Native a try! It's a simple, but important shift to make in order to take just a little better care of your body.


Cardigan | Pants | Slippers | Rug | Sofa | Blanket 

SHOP MY NATIVE PICKS:


Thanks to Native for partnering on this post!

Coffee Conversations


Hello and Happy Friday! We've got a full house over here with my mom, sister and the little ones. My mom came to help me decorate our house and my sister came to escape the potential danger of Hurricane Florence in Raleigh. We're keeping an eye on the storm and thinking of everyone in its path.

EA is having a fall sale this weekend - 20% off everything with code HELLOFALL, including these ear jackets, this trinket dish set, and this cute mug!

I've been living in this fleece the last few gloomy, chilly mornings that we've had. This perfect cami is available for 20% off this weekend!

We finally got our Article couches delivered this week and we LOVE them. We went with the Sven and Burrard and love them both. Had a great experience with delivery and am pleasantly surprised with the quality! Having not been able to see them in person before purchasing, I was a bit skeptical of the whole thing but am glad that we got them!

Season 2 of Up & Vanished has started - are you listening?! Mike and I listened to season 1 together and really liked it, so I'm happy that it's back.

We've made some good progress decorating the last couple of days - curtain rods have been hung, mirrors and art have been put up, a shoe storage solution has been installed. I'm happy with the progress and can't wait to share next week when there's a little less going on around here!

I've shared these sneakers before but am continually impressed with how comfortable and wearable they are, so I thought I'd share again if you're in the market!

Have a great weekend! (Those that are in the path of Florence - stay safe!)


Multi-color Manicure


Have you seen the multi-color manicure trend around? I'm usually pretty simple when it comes to choosing a nail color - I gear towards the light pinks, greys, and occasional navy or near-black. I don't like have naked nails, so I've found that the best way to get to the most out of my manicure is to go with a color that I know I'll like across days, not just in the moment I'm picking out my polish.

Anyway, when I saw this multi-color manicure trend, I decided to give it a try! It's a bit out of my comfort zone, but since I chose all subtle, neutral and complementary colors, I actually loved it!

Colors I Used: Essie Gel Couture Pre-Show Jitters, First Impression, and It-Pearl (no longer available, but Sheer Fantasy or Lace Me Up would be a great stand-in!)


If you want to try it but not really sure where to start, I recommend either sticking with the same color family or going for the light-dark spectrum. You could do all shades of grey or pink. Or do one like this, choosing a light, medium, and darker shade that complement one another. 

It's a fun way to change things up a bit while still sticking within your nail color comfort zone! 

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Closet Staples with a Twist





You guys know I'm a staples girl through and through. Give me a closet full of denim, v-neck tees and cardigans and I will be happy forever. Sometimes it's nice to change things up a little bit, though. Like adding in a pair of sophisticate pointed toe flats or swapping my tee for a feminine camisole.

I love a look like this for a Friday night out with Mike or a Saturday afternoon with friends. It's simple enough that I don't have to fuss over it, but has elements that make it feel a little special. Plus, it's completely neutral in color, which I love the most!

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Abercrombie Camisole | Madewell Rivington Cardigan (similar) | Madewell 9-Inch High Rise Jeans | Vince Darlington Flats | Kate Spade Shoulder Bag (similar) | Quay Australia Sunglasses | EA Star Ear Jackets | EA Crystal Bar Necklace | EA Luxe Moon Necklace


A Beauty Sale You Don't Want To Miss!


ULTA Beauty's 21 Days of Beauty Sale is happening right now - have you shopped it yet? For the first 21 days of this month, select products will be majorly discounted for one day only! You can check the calendar here to see which beauty steals will be available on which days. They always have a great selection of higher-end beauty products during this event, so it's a perfect time to pull the trigger on something you've been eyeing. 


When I first looked at the calendar, today was one of the days that popped out to me first - it features two beauty products that I think should be in everyone's makeup drawer. The first is really good brushes. I've been a fan of it Cosmetics for awhile now (I love their CC Cream and under eye concealer), so when I saw that their brushes were included in the event, I was pleasantly surprised! Coming from a girl who was using cheap, drugstore brushes for way too long, let me tell you that having great brushes makes a huge difference in makeup application. Not only does the makeup apply smoother and more natural looking, but you will end up using less product overtime because you won't be experiencing a ton of fallout that you can get from cheaper brushes. 


Today only, you can shop the it Cosmetics Velvet Luxe Brush Collection at 50% off! These brushes are super soft and dense, so makeup application is a dream. I picked up the Bronzer Brush #319 and the Buffing Foundation Brush #301. I went for brushes that I know I'll use on a very regular basis - foundation and bronzer are always a part of my makeup routine!


The other item I bought is the bareMinerals Mineral Veil Finishing Powder. About a year or so ago, I added a finishing powder into my regular makeup routine and I'll never look back. Once I've applied all my makeup, I go in with a big fluffy brush and apply the powder all over my face. It helps to lock-in my makeup for the day, reducing oil production and creasing from happening. My skin tends more towards the oily side, so a finishing powder is a game changer for me! I love that it goes on translucent, so it doesn't change the look of my makeup. Plus, it feels super soft on my skin.


There are a few types of the Mineral Veil - original, with SPF 25, hydrating, illuminating, and tinted. The other two featured items in the sale today are Exuviance skincare and MAC Girls Eyeshadow Palettes!

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This post is sponsored by ULTA Beauty. All opinions are my own.

Coffee Conversations


Happy Friday! This weekend is the first in our new house (we were out of town over the holiday weekend), so I'm looking forward to being able to tackle some more projects. We've got a light fixture to install, some furniture to rearrange, and plenty of little menial tasks to complete. I'm not a person that does well with unfinished projects, no matter how large or small. The incompleteness will occupy my mind and make it difficult to do just about anything else. I'm finding that I'm needing to show myself a lot of grace with this home - it's not all going to be done overnight and it will be a process and that's okay. I've hesitated on inviting our friends over to see it because it's not a finished product yet, but if I wait until that moment, it will be 2020 😅 So, I'm choosing to give myself some grace and take a step back, realizing that it will all get done in time but I need to enjoy it until then.

I started reading When Breath Becomes Air over the holiday weekend. I've actually had it in my kindle library for well over a year but kept bypassing it for other options. I wanted a change from my regular mystery/thriller type book, so I finally started it! I'm in the very beginning, but am enjoying it so far.

Ulta has their 21 Days of Beauty Sale going on right now - it's a great time to get really good makeup at a discount! Each day there are a couple different products that are discounted, so you can check out the calendar to see which days you should shop.

EA Fall Surprise Box is now available for purchase! There's limited quantities, so get one while you can. You can also shop the Mornin' Pumpkin mug I've been using!

Have you picked up this perfect layering cami yet? I've already worn the white a few times and am planning on wearing the black today! It's a great option for under a cardigan or jacket.

•••
I'm starting a new series here on Coffee Conversations where I answer your questions from Instagram Stories. They can be about anything and everything! I'll be taking questions each Thursday and then choosing several to answer here!

Q&A:

Hands down - favorite US city you've visited?
Man, this is a tough one! My gut reaction is to say Charleston, SC. We've been there a few times and I always enjoy our time there. It's got the charm of the lowcountry with the energy of the city and it's just so dang beautiful. Very, very close behind that would be Seattle, WA. We went last Spring and both fell in love with it. It's the most beautiful place I've seen in the states.

Will you ever get a dog?
Never say never, but as of right now, probably never 😉 I grew up with dogs and enjoy being around them, but they can be a lot of work. We just may be a "cats only" family!

How many homes did you look at before deciding on, "the one"?
We looked at probably over 100 online listings for homes -- I felt like we were constantly checking Zillow, Realtor.com, and every other home buying site every day for new listings. I'd guess we walked through maybe 8-10 before finding this one. The home-buying process can be difficult, disheartening, and frustrating at times (like when you aren't finding what you want!), but it's all worth it when you find the one you love!

What are some of your must-have fall wardrobe pieces?
I just shared a post this week with my Autumn Style Guide, which includes the items I would list here! A great pair of denim, comfortable knits, a vest for layering, cute booties, and long cardigans come to my mind first.

What would you label your style as?
If I had to describe it in three words, I'd say: casual, comfortable, and approachable. I like wearing things that I feel good in, which is usually jeans and a tee shirt. I occasionally like to mix it up with a feminine top or edgy shoes, but generally stick with a pretty accessible collection of pieces.

How are you and Mike the most similar & how are you two so different from each other?
In a lot of ways, we are very different. He's laid-back, I'm more high strung. I'm very organized and Type A, he's a bit messier and scattered. The list goes on. We're both similar in that we prefer to be in the background - neither of us like a lot of attention or to be in the spotlight. We have a similar sense of humor and enjoy the same activities. The most important thing we have in common is that we share a relationship with the Lord.

Working from home, what does your average day look like?
Every day is a little different, to be honest. Since I work from home and work for myself, I choose to do all of my errands during the workday. Truly, one of the best perks of my job since I don't have to go to the grocery store on Sunday with everybody else! I like to wake up early, in the 7 o'clock hour, and start working right away. Depending on what the day requires from me, I'll either spend the majority of it at my desk or I'll be all over the house shooting product photos, photos for Instagram, processing orders, etc. I love the variety that I get day to day!

Do you make the candles for Elisabeth Ashlie yourself, or outsource?
I make them myself! It started on a whim last Fall when I wanted to make some candles for Christmas gifts. I wasn't intending to add them to the product assortment for EA, but once I had all the supplies and saw how much I enjoyed the process, I figured I'd test out the waters with selling them. I love choosing new scent blends and seeing you enjoy the end result of my labor! (Our fall collection is no available, you can shop them here!)

Have a great weekend!

Autumn Style Guide

It is still very much summer in Northern Virginia right now. We've been in the 80's and 90's for what feels like forever, although it doesn't feel like it's lasted nearly as long as the many Chicago Winters I lived through! I've always loved the Fall season - everything about it. The smells, the colors, the crispness in the air and the opportunity to wear sweaters and jeans everyday. If I had to pick a favorite outfit of all time, it would be a pair of jeans, a tee and a cardigan. While I'm not necessarily wishing Summer away (because I know I'll miss the warmth come November), I am very much looking forward to the cool down that will come late September/October. I'm excited to transition my wardrobe into cooler weather and go back to my neutral-loving ways! 

Here's what I'm looking at for that transitional time between Summer and Fall:

Transitional Top - I love the idea of a top that is made of cold weather material (thermal), but is made for warmer temps with the short sleeves! I love tops like this that you can wear a lightweight jacket over for the mornings and evenings, but be warm enough in just this during mid-day.

Lightweight Knit - I won't be able to wear any heavy knits anytime soon, so open, breathable knits will be my friend! I like a sweater like this to throw over a simple tee with jeans or to wear with shorts. It's a good option when there's a slight chill in the air, but you don't want to wear a jacket.

Feminine Camisole - For date night, I like to wear a flowy camisole like this with an open cardigan or moto jacket. A piece like this is great for layering over top so that you can still see the detailing.

Pointed Toe Flats - For when sandal season is over, but you're not quite ready for boots! I love a pointed toe to instantly add a refining touch to a simple outfit.

Lightweight Scarf - I've always been a scarf lover, but especially around the pre-Fall time of year. It's a good option when you don't want to wear a jacket, but need a little something extra to keep you warm. I wore a scarf nearly everyday when we were in London earlier this Summer, when it was in the high 60's/low 70's.

Medium Wash Jeans - I'd argue that this is a closet staple no matter the time of year, but jeans are a definite must for Autumn. I like a medium wash because they can feel a little more casual than a super dark wash, but can still be dressed up with a pair of wedge booties and pretty top.

Slip-on Sneakers - Potentially my favorite part of cold weather is being able to wear sneakers and not have excessively hot feet! I love a slip-on sneaker like this to pair with jeans and a tee or leggings and a long sweater.

Neutral Tote Bag - I always opt for a larger purse once the Summer is over. You can't go wrong with a pretty grey bag!

Duster Cardigan - I love a cardigan like this with a cami and shorts or jeans. They're also great for layering on top of a Summer dress when you need an extra layer.

Midi Dress - A midi dress is a good option when you want a little more coverage, but don't want to wear pants. I love to pair a dress like this with a jean jacket and tie a small knot at the bottom for a fun detail.

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