Monday, August 31, 2015

Fall Style Under $200... Nashville Shopping at Opry Mills

Shopping is my love language... there, I said it and yes, it feels better to get it out in the open, once and for all. Granted, I am a shopper that budgets and LOVES finding a great deal, which is why I find myself frequenting Opry Mills Mall whenever I get a chance to check out amazing clothes and accessories from favorite stores like JCrew Factory, H&M, Banana Republic Factory Store, Kate Spade NY Outlet, and Nine West Outlet, just to name a few. Interested in the full list of stores to shop at? You can find the store listings here.

When my friends at Opry Mills contacted me about collaborating on a feature for a Fall Fashion "Look for Less" post, I jumped at the opportunity... and then started plotting my shopping "plan" to make sure I got the most bang for my buck. My challenge was to pull a complete fall look together for under $200. Now I have to admit that the first thing that popped into my mind was "I've got this in the bag", however... due to the array of options at my disposal, I got a bit overwhelmed and had to step back, take a deep breath, and stay true to myself to assemble a cohesive look that would suit my everyday autumn style.




I was on the hunt for an outfit that that wears well for my daily routine which normally includes jeans, comfortable shoes, a casual top, and a jacket for brisk days as the temps start to get a little chilly this fall. 

My first purchase came from J Crew Factory, which is where I scooped up these brand new Dark Skinny Jeans. They are from the newly released denim line, which fits perfectly with a bit of stretch in them, yet flatter every curve so we leave the house feeling our best. Even better, they had a promotion going on for $25 off all jeans so I took them home for right at $60. I then added in this classic navy gingham button-up shirt, which was 40% off... so I was out the door at $108.15 with tax. Great layering pieces for a fall outfit that I can dress up or down for any occasion.






Next up, I needed to add some footwear to my ensemble... something that would work for fall and winter, but would make a great transitional pair of shoes for now as well. I hopped over to the Nine West Outlet and met a new favorite friend, these gray suede open toe booties. As a shorter girl, I love a good pair of wedges to add a little height and these are AMAZINGLY comfortable, too! Even better, they had a promo going on so these were an additional 20% off their outlet price, bringing them to just $26.44 with tax. Score for this budget savvy southern gal. 





For a light jacket, I stepped into the Old Navy Outlet and headed to the women's department where I picked up this perfectly on-trend Army Green Canvas Field Jacket. I loved the neutral color, the cinched waist, and the gold accents. This jacket tied the look together and I know it can go with so many staples from my closet. Lucky for me, I subscribe to their emails, so I had a coupon for 20% off my purchase, taking this goody down to $34.66 w/tax.






And because I had an extra $30.75, I knew I could add some accessories to the look to complete the challenge. I scooped up these tortoise shell sunglasses from Banana Republic Factory Store for a mere $11.01 with tax. Still money to spend?? Oh yes... finally, I walked down to Forever XX1 and found this blush tassled rhinestone statement necklace for $16.41.



Ready for my grand total? 
I scored a jacket, top, pair of jeans, pair of suede booties, sunglasses, and necklaces for $196.67... yes, with money to spare! Put me to the test and I will make it work! 




I love Opry Mills for so many reasons... they break down their stores by "wings" so fashion retailers are all in one area, children's stores are in a separate wing, and don't forget about the entertainment wing, featuring Dave and Buster's, Sun and Ski Sports, and Regal Cinemas, too [definitely a family favorite]. And this is a must when shopping with the kids so you're not having to run around the entire mall! Their mix of retail and outlet stores is the best in the area and I know each of us will leave happy after we visit.


Be sure to subscribe to receive the Opry Mills emails... the best way to stay in the know for savings and promotions, exciting local events, and the latest news. You can sign up on their website here.


You can find Opry Mills here:  Twitter || Facebook || Instagram


PHOTOS || Tausha Dickinson

FTC Disclosure: Thanks to Opry Mills for collaborating with me for this post. Though I received compensation for this blog feature, all purchases and content are on my own accord and reflect my personal opinion and style.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Monthly Lineup: August 2015

In the efforts to share with you more of the real stuff, life rambling, the products I use daily, what I'm reading, and everything occupying my mind, I have come up with "The Monthly Lineup"... a monthly show and tell dedicated to sharing a few snippets of things I'm loving/using/wanting/thinking about. First up, August... since we are almost over and done with already: 



WHAT I'M WEARING: Anything from Shop the Mill 
I've talked about my love of this local boutique before and I am pretty much obsessed with their collection of clothing and accessories... You can see their Instagram page here and they are in the process of putting the finishing touches on their website so shopping will be that much easier... ugh oh! Amazing prices and the best on-trend fashion with fantastic customer service... these sisters know how to rock it! 

I just finished this quick read the other night... let's just say it didn't take long to get me hooked on this thriller of a read... it reminds me a lot of the books by Gillian Flynn [Gone Girl, Sharp Objects, and Dark Places] in that each chapter is told by a different character and I loved every bit of it... a great read and one that you won't be able to put down! Next up, Big Little Lies by Lianne Moriarty

WHAT I'M THINKING: Vacation is Coming... Welcome to Miami! 
One week and counting until the Stoneking and Grunke couples take over the greatness that is Miami! I cannot wait... adult vacation time is always a fun excuse to play with your best friends and I'm so excited for this trip with just the four of us. Based on some AMAZING recommendations sent from a lot of friends, readers, and acquaintances, we have reservations all lined up for our big trip, too... Dinners at Barton G and STK Miami, brunch at The Delano Hotel, and other local eateries we've got to hit up for breakfast and lunches, too! Us girls are itching to get some shopping done, to relax on the beach, and to savor some quality time together!! And to top it off, we are staying at 1 Hotel South Beach which looks like heaven on earth. 

WHAT I'M CRAVING: Cobbler, any kind of cobbler... 
Can you tell I have fall on the brain?? I need to start sifting through my favorite fall recipes and pull out the winners so I can start my baking ASAP. Blackberry and apple are always a hit with the hubby and the kiddos, especially when you add in some vanilla ice cream on top! 

WHAT I'M LOVING: Fall Looks and Booties

I might have had to buy a second pair of my favorite booties from last year because I love them that much. Let's face it... when you find something you love, you should always buy two of them, right?!?! They are the most confy winter boots I've ever owned and they literally go with everything... plus my go-to wardrobe stylist picked them out the first time so I know we would approve :). Find them here
Also, all the warm, fuzzy sweaters, wraps, jackets, hats, and jeans are calling my name!! Give me a cup of something hot and I'll be good to go... fall fashion has to be one of my favorite seasons for playing dress up, while still being absolutely comfortable. 

WHAT I'M WATCHING: Parenthood on Netflix
Jeff and I finally gave in to the hoopla of Netflix... him being TV obsessed has been on it nonstop watching series after series, though I am a slow adapter to change it seems. I have started watching Parenthood after countless recommendations, though, and I can't lie, I am loving this family drama series already. A little less "reality" television is good for the soul. 


WHAT I'M PLANNING: Scheduling, Fall Family Fun, Quality over Quantity
Fall is swarming with so much on our calendar already so I am trying to really sit down and plan accordingly... how many football games to go to, how many festivals we "actually" need to attend, etc. Don't worry, there is plenty to plan... a baby shower, Christmas Village for Sugar Bit, and loads of holiday travel, too. I want to savor it all! I'm using my new found Tess Elle Creative Daily Planner to keep track of everything family-related and her Daily Pad to jot down daily to-dos so I can tackle them head on. 

Check back to next month to see what kept my attention in September! 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Girl's Night In Featuring Caposaldo Wines!

If you have read this little blog of mine for any length of time, you are well aware I have a love affair with cocktails and adult sips! And when my girls and I get together for a night in, we can't help but open a bottle [or two or three] of vino... girl time + wine = happiness. 


I invited my gals over last weekend to savor the goodness that is a recent new found fav in our house known as Caposaldo Wines


Especially during the summer, I'm looking for a night where there is no cooking or preparation required. Just wine, cheese, and a fun app or two. I'm a white wine and bubbly kind of girl, so I always have bottles on hand, ready for an impromptu girls' night in full of debriefing of our most recent events and schedules.

A little more about the brand: Caposaldo Wines blends a handcrafted, artisanal approach to winemaking with cutting-edge quality standards and techniques, so that it stands as a benchmark of iconic Italian wines, which translates to food-friendly and appealing flavors.

I brought home two varieties for us to sample, the Prosecco and Sweet Moscato bottles. We are always looking to try new wines so this was a perfect opportunity. The Sweet Sparkling Moscato is bright gold in color, and is a sweet wine with intense pear, peach, and spice aromas and flavors with vivacious bubbles. A PERFECT end-of-summer sparkling wine and great for entertaining. For those Prosecco lovers [like myself], I absolutely loved the taste of this varietal... fruit aromas of cirtus and green apple and a brut-style wine that has a fresh taste, as well. Both retail for $15.99 so they make impeccable gifts for dinner parties, birthday celebrations, or any other occasion where you're looking for a fun wine. 

Looking for other sparkling and still options that might stand out to do a taste test yourself?? Be sure to try their other bottles including Pinot Grigio, Chianti, Moscato IGT, Sweet Sparkling Red, Pink Merlot Moscato, and the Sparkling Peach Moscato. **These are available nationwide so they are easily accessible to everyone**


To add to the fun, I paired the wines with this tasty appetizer, which is one of my favorite things to prepare when we have girls' nights. It's easy to make with items I ALWAYS have in the pantry, and it's something we can all enjoy together! See recipe below: 

French Quarter Cheese
Ingredients


  • Two blocks of Cream Cheese [I use the light]
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of diced onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • crackers
Directions
Mix together cream cheese, garlic, and diced onion and shape into a disk and place on serving dish; then refrigerate for 5-10 minutes to "set". At the same time, mix together butter, pecans, mustard, Worcestershire, and brown sugar and place on stove top in a sauce pan on low heat... stir until butter is melted and items are thick and then pour on top of cream cheese. Refrigerate until serving!  Pair with your favorite cracker variety

This was TOO much fun and I hope you enjoyed it! 


FTC Disclosure: Thanks to Caposaldo Wines via One2One Network for sponsoring this blog feature. All opinions, text, and photos within this post are my own. 

Friday, August 21, 2015

five on friday

It's been quite a bit since I have joined in and linked up with my favorite blogging roundup so today I am doing just that, all in no particular order of course :)

ONE. Favorite Pins as of Late
It's late at night when I find myself browsing Pinterest these days... like when I am trying to unwind from a long day and need some mindless goodies to help me relax and decompress. Here are a few specifics from the design department I'm loving: 
this laundry room via arkansas life
this colorful PINK room via georgiana design
this relaxing retreat via andrea goldman design
this breakfast nook via lisa sherry interieurs

TWO. The Kindergarten Toolkit
I connected with a local Brentwood mom about a month or so ago when she reached out to me about her Kindergarten Toolkit. It's designed for kids ages 2 through 6 and it's a lesson booklet which focuses on 10 goals to know before Kindergarten. Each goal has 3-4 simple mini lessons so a parent, grandparent, nanny, or older sibling can have ideas on how to teach that specific concept. The back of the lesson book has supplemental pages the parents can make unlimited copies of for assessment and lesson use.  
Carrie created this toolkit to be used with multiple kids, so you only need to purchase one. It comes with four sets of flashcards: letters (upper and lower case), numbers (1-20) shapes/colors, 25 Kindergarten sight words, a whiteboard, and pen. 
As a mom and former Kindergarten teacher, Carrie knows a thing or two about education and starting them young and Caroline is really enjoying this toolkit...so much so that Carson has been taking an interest as of late, too! 
Interested in learning more? You can find her page on Facebook and follow her Instagram, where she posts ideas on how to use the Toolkit, different tips and tricks, etc.  
Carrie has graciously offered Hello! Happiness readers a 15% discount to use on their purchase as well... input code SAVE15 through 8/31/15. 




THREE. FUN AT THE FAIR
Tuesday night, Mimi and I gathered our little dolls and headed on an afternoon road trip to head east to the Wilson County Fair! They have enjoyed going each year and though we had to dodge some crazy weather, we made it out and enjoyed the night with yummy treats and sweets, loads of rides, and the best girls' night we've had in awhile. So much laughing and giggles and pure enjoyment from both CC and Nugget and a night Mimi and I won't soon forget! 










FOUR. Pineapple Love 
Pineapples sure do make for a happy fruit, wouldn't you agree? I can't lie... I am itching to go to Hawaii to tour the Dole factory and see them in their prime real estate, but I'll settle for $1 each at my grocery store this week instead. Since I brought it home, I've been finding all sorts of pineapple recipes to do some taste testing: Mango Pineapple Salsa, a Hawaiian Grilled Cheese, Pineapple Lemonade, and Pineapple Sunshine Cake all sound like winners to me!

FIVE. Proud to Be From Tennessee 
Talk about super soft, casual staple items for the wardrobe, AND supports another local business woman... sign me up! I met Jill via Little Bits Nashville for coffee a few weeks ago and we instantly connected. She is motivated and has so many creative thoughts that I wish I had half her talent... she started Little Bits recently and it's exploding all over Nashville. From stationery note cards to tea towels to Tennessee clothing for babies, kids, and adults, I am LOVING what she is bringing to Nashville! And they give back to some amazing organizations so when you support them you support our city, too. 




Thursday, August 20, 2015

Rainy Days... The Necessities

It's been a total rainy mess of a week here in Nashville and I can't lie, I am OVER the dreary days... you can't go outside and play, all I can think of is how much I would love a good nap, and my energy level and desire to workout goes completely down the drain. Shocking, right? Please tell me I am not alone?!?!?! 
Anyways, let's just say the Stonekings won't be moving to Seattle anytime soon, but I did do a roundup of rainy day necessities for items to keep you dry, covered, and happy nonetheless. 









What are your rainy day go-to essentials??

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