Everyday Emily

Southern Fashion, Beauty, and Lifestyle Blog

Menu Monday | July 15-21, 2019


Hey there! Long time no talk. To be totally honest, I've been slacking with this little hobby of mine, but to get back into the swing of things, I thought I'd start with a good 'ole Menu Monday post! I've been trying a lot harder lately to stick to my monthly grocery budget and try new meals to cook. A few weeks ago, I got so inspired watching Kristin Stepp's "What's for dinner?" YouTube videos, so I've incorporated a few things I saw her make on her channel. Let me know in the comments what's on your menu this week!

Monday: Rotisserie chicken, Instant Pot baked potatoes, green beans
Tuesday: Burgers, air fryer french fries (just got my air fryer, and I can't wait to make these!), carrots and yogurt ranch dip
Wednesday: Crack chicken casserole, salad
Thursday: Mississippi Chicken in the crockpot, salad, mashed potatoes
Friday: Dinner with Family - We usually eat with family one night out of the week
Saturday: Eat Out
Sunday: Leftovers

Customizable Invitations with Basic Invite


I've long been a fan of paper goods. There's just something about fresh, crisp stationary on high-quality paper that can't be beaten. One of my other side gigs is a portrait and wedding photography business, so I'm no stranger to beautiful wedding invitations. Having invitations that perfectly match your style and needs is essential to a well-planned and beautiful wedding.



You may remember about this time last year, I worked with Basic Invite to bring you beautiful, customizable graduation announcements. With wedding season in full swing, I thought it would be helpful to share all about their gorgeous wedding suites for all my brides out there!


What's to love about Basic Invite?

  1. They offer almost unlimited color options! You can match your invites perfectly to whatever your dream wedding colors might be, and they offer instant previews so you can make sure your cards are EXACTLY as you want them to be. Good luck finding this on any other wedding stationery websites! 
  2. You can order custom sample wedding invitations to see exactly what your invite will look like before you ever place that large order. This means no surprises or mistakes (aka no need to be Bridezilla!). 
  3. They offer over 40 different colors of envelopes - who doesn't love options?! 
  4. You can choose from over 1,000 wedding invitation sets. Whether it be a save-the-date or a wedding program, Basic Invite has you covered.
  5. Use their free address collection service to request your addresses and get free envelope printing. It's that easy! 
  6. Utilize their free personal wedding websites
  7. Need the perfect wedding favor? Basic Invite has over 90 designed wedding coaster looks that can be personalized. Check out these beautiful calla lily coaster wedding favors

I recently received some samples of a variety of different stationery from Basic Invite, and I can attest to the beautiful designs offered in so many colors! I love how high quality their products are, and I would highly recommend checking out Basic Invite for all of your wedding invitation and stationery needs.


Follow Basic Invite: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

A Thrifter's Guide to Goodwill


Top: Goodwill! 

One of my favorite things to do is go thrift shopping. In fact, I'm not ashamed to admit that I visit my local Goodwill probably at least 3 times a week. I don't remember exactly when I picked up the hobby as I have shopped thrift stores for years and years, but it wasn't until the past year and a half that I started regularly going to collect items for my house. I started a new job in January that's located just a few minutes from a Goodwill close to a wealthier part of town. I go the majority of days on my lunch break to get out of the office and do something that I really enjoy doing. I've gotten a LOT of really nice clothing from that specific Goodwill, and updating my wardrobe with thrifted pieces makes me so happy!

I've learned so much over the past year or so about thrifting. A lot of people aren't opposed to buying things from the thrift shop. They simply just don't have the time and/or patience to dig through the racks, know what brands to look for, and keep track of items they need or want but don't want to spend a bunch of money on! I'm going to break down everything I know to make thrifting easier for you today, and I hope it inspires you to get out and visit your local thrift store. My favorite part is that you never know what you might find! 

A Thrifter's Guide to Goodwill

No. 1 - Don't give up if you have days where you find nothing. I have them all the time, and while they can be a bummer, don't let it stop you. Part of thrifting is the thrill of the hunt - it's all dependent on what people are donating, so good finds are mostly pure luck and consistent searching.


No. 2 - Know your brands.  This comes somewhat naturally for me, because I've always been a brand girl. I love keeping up with the best places to get nice things, but that doesn't mean I have to pay full price for items from my favorite stores. For instance, I know I pretty much love everything that Loft has ever made, so I always keep an eye out for that. I also will frequently take the time while I'm in Goodwill to Google the brand if I'm unfamiliar with it. I recently found a cute cardigan from Goodwill, and I looked up the brand and was so excited to find it was sold at Anthropolgie.



No. 3 - Take a browse through every section! Even if you wear a size Medium, look through every size to see if you find anything you like. There might be a gem in the wrong place, or you might find a top in a different size that fits you perfectly. You don't know if you don't look!


No. 4 - Don't get sucked into the overpriced new Target goods. This is a hard one for me because I love Target - who doesn't?! But my Goodwill overprices their NWT items from Target, and it drives me crazy. You could probably get those items at Target for cheaper, so don't let them fool you. I will say that my Goodwill prices their brand new Target clothing items the same as they do their other clothing, so in that case, I would say it's a good deal! 

No. 5 - Keep a list of items on your phone that you're looking for. I have a running list on my phone of items I've been wanting to find for my house at a thrift store. Whether it be a new vintage pyrex, the perfect basket, or a cute throw blanket, keep a list so you can go into the thrift store focused on the items you want.

No 6. - Try things on! I can't stress how important this is. As with any brand, clothes can look good on the hanger, but at Goodwill, its' easier to see rips, snags, and stains when it's on your body. Just today I found the cutest JCrew army green field jacket that I wanted to buy, but it wasn't until I had it on that I saw some grease stains on the sleeve. My Goodwill has a decent return policy, but avoid the hassle and just try things on.

No. 7. - Do NOT buy thrifted items just because they're cheap. This is a hard one for me that I've had to learn through the process. Just because you find something cute at the thrift store does not mean you need to buy it. My goal is not to accumulate a bunch of clutter that I got for a good price. Only buy meaningful items that will serve you a purpose in your home! Unless it's milk glass. If I see milk glass and I don't have that specific piece, I buy it! :) It's a weak spot.

No. 8 - Shop out of season. You'd be surprised how many adorable winter pieces you'll find at the thrift store in the summer. This is shopping smart. People are naturally going to be looking for summer clothes when it's hot, so there will be more gems in the winter clothes section. Don't forget to look for them and save them for the next season! I have been wanting a fur vest for a while now, and just a few weeks ago I found the cutest fur vest that would retail for at least $50 at my local Goodwill. Such a great find!


No. 9 - Look to Pinterest for inspiration, but try to find it cheaper. I do this all the time. For instance, I recently saw this picture on Pinterest, and I would love to have this little arrangement in my kitchen. I know for sure I can find baskets, jars, and wood utensils at the thrift store. Just today, I picked up two wooden spoons to start my collection to recreate this look. You don't have to shop Williams Sonoma all the time, just to get the look you love on Pinterest!




So there you have it - a regular thrifter's guide to Goodwill. I hope you'll give thrifting a try, and be sure to stay tuned for a thrift hall 

Easy Summer Dresses



We live in a hot and humid climate, so summer dresses are a necessity. They're the perfect way to stay cool but still stylish. I'm all about that in this southern heat. I picked up this little ruffle sleeve daisy t-shirt dress at Old Navy last month for less than $20! Below I've linked a few other options that would be perfect for summer.

Menu Monday (a day late!)


Happy Tuesday! Obviously, I'm a day late to"Menu Monday." I'm trying to be really intentional about planning out our meals for the week. I am following my friend Jessica's series where she shares her inspiring Menu Monday posts on her blog. Be sure to check out her menu, and let me know what you are cooking this week in the comments!

Monday: Lasagna & Salad

Tuesday: Eat Out

Wednesday: Beef and Cheese Enchiladas

Thursday: Burgers and Roasted Potatoes

Friday: Grilled Chicken & Greek Salads

Saturday: Chicken, Broccoli, Rice Casserole

Sunday: Roasted Pork Loin & Potatoes; veggies

Blue Light Readers


Chances are you spend a lot of time looking at either a computer screen or your phone each day. I recently purchased a pair of blue light glasses to help protect my eyes from all the screen time I get each day, and I'm so glad I did. Blue light glasses help keep your eyes relaxed when looking at the screen. There are hundreds of different types of blue light glasses out there, but I wanted to share my all-time favorite pair today. They're currently on sale for about $20!


This post is not sponsored, and I bought these blue light readers with my own money. They were 100% worth every penny! The reason I love this specific pair is that the lenses are not heavily tinted yellow like the other blue light glasses that I tried. I also love that they're super cute, and don't look bulky or weird if I wear them to a meeting at work. I highly recommend getting a pair!




Narrow Hallway Makeover | Home Update


One of my goals in the past few months was to finish up our hallway makeover. I definitely had to look to Pinterest for inspiration. I found the majority of my inspiration from this hallway makeover, and I think it turned out pretty similarly! Our hallway is typical of an old brick ranch in that it's quite narrow. All of the bedrooms & bathrooms in our house are located down this hallway, so it's mostly broken up by a lot of doors. If you're sitting in our den (where we spend the majority of our time), you can see a portion of the hallway, and I knew I wanted that spot to be decorated in a way that's simple but eye-catching. I also knew I had to be careful as far as decor went because it would be really easy to overdo it in such a small space.

Unfortunately, I don't have any super great "before" photos, but I went back through the photos that were posted when they listed our house on the market, and you can definitely get an idea of what it looked like through the doorway in the photo from the previous owner below. It was basically wallpapered on the top half and painted a cream color on the bottom half. They had two large oval mirrors in the hallway, and that was about the only decor they had. Throw in a very outdated light fixture, and you have a small space in desperate need of an update.



First things first... the light fixture. It was U-G-L-Y. I opted for this $32 frosted schoolhouse light fixture from Amazon, and I'm quite pleased with how it turned out.

I wanted to bring some life back to the otherwise very neutral hallway with my runner rug. We have a lot of navy and other blue tones throughout our house, so this affordable navy patterned rug is perfect.


I wanted to display my husband's landscape photography somewhere in our house, and I decided that the end of our hallway was the perfect spot. I did this gallery wall by purchasing 6 black frames from the dollar tree for (you guessed it) just $1! I ordered matting off of Amazon, and I couldn't be happier with how this turned out! It looks a lot more expensive than it actually was!  I just framed various photographs that Kyle has taken of places we've been. It's a really special spot, and I'm glad it's in a place we pass by so often!

Northern Lights from our Alaskan Cruise, one of the bridges in Pittsburgh, and Ceasar's Head


I knew I wanted a large chalkboard in our hallway, so I picked this one up from Hobby Lobby and it does the trick! Speaking of Hobby Lobby, I also got this wood bead photo garland (only $10 right now!) from there as well. I added some photos that I already had printed out from our wedding.



Lastly, I picked up a chair at Goodwill for a few dollars and spray painted it this blue/grey color. I rotate out the pillows I keep on this chair, but this one from Goodwill is so cute in this corner.


There you have it - our first home update is way long overdue. I can't wait to share more, and I hope you'll let me know what you think!

Life Lately


I recently noticed how much I am prone to go through phases. I'm the type of person who loves something one day but can be on to something else the next. I fall for fads and trends all too easily.  Lately, I've been into all sorts of things, so I thought today I'd share a little bit about what I've been up to.

March was a pretty busy month for me. I didn't have a lot of free weekends, but it was also a really good month. We celebrated our third anniversary, I took a trip to Charleston to visit my parents which was great, and I spent time with my family here in GVL. My sister and I went to a Lauren Daigle concert & a Kelly Clarkson concert (hello, free tickets!), so that was a lot of fun and I enjoyed getting to spend some time with her!

Have you ever heard of the blog/YouTube channel called Farmhouse on Boone? If you haven't, I highly recommend checking it out. Lisa writes all about her natural and simple living and baking from scratch. I've already learned so many cool things from following along with her blog posts and YouTube. She's well-known for her sourdough baking, so a few weeks ago, I decided to try to start a sourdough starter! Lisa has several different recipes that use sourdough starter, and I found the process pretty fascinating. I'm currently letting some sourdough rise, so we'll see how take 2 of my whole wheat sourdough bread turns out (the first was a flop, and apparently sourdough baking can be a bit tricky). Update: It worked the second time! 


I haven't mentioned it much on this blog, but I've also been really into thrifting! Probably since a few months before we bought our home, I've been visiting the thrift store on an all too regular basis (really, the stock guy knows me by name). I've found some really great finds, and I've loved decorating my house and updating my wardrobe on a budget. I plan to share a post soon on all of my recent thrift finds.

We are heading to Kiawah Island this weekend for a mini vacay with Kyle's family, and I can't wait! I absolutely LOVE Kiawah, and I know it will be so much fun.

I hope you're having the best Monday, and I will talk to you again soon!




Read, Listened, Watched | February & March 2019


I missed February's "Read, Listened, Watched" post, so today I'm combining both February and March to share all the things I've been watching, reading, and listening to!  If you're on the market for a new podcast, show, or book, maybe give one of these a try, and let me know what you've been reading, watching, and listening to in the comments so I can give them a try!

Listened:
  • Serial Season 3 
    • I'm a huge fan of true crime podcasts. I was obsessed with Serial Season 1, thought Season 2 was just okay, and didn't even realize there was a Season 3 until earlier this year. It's definitely a different format than the others and I've only really listened to a few episodes, but it's worth a listen!
  • If you count concerts, I went to a Lauren Daigle concert in March, and I absolutely loved it. She has the most beautiful voice and sings such meaningful songs. I love her music.

Watched 
  • Crazy Rich Asians 
    • I thought this movie was pretty cute. I love a good romantic comedy, and if you're the same, I'd give it a watch. 
  • The Good Doctor 
    • This is my favorite show right now. I get so excited when a new episode comes out. I love the combination of personal drama + medical cases. It's just a good show... Watch it.
  • Scrubs
    • We like doctor shows if you haven't gathered. We loved House, The Good Doctor, and Scrubs. Scrubs is like the Office of doctor shoes. If you need a light-hearted show to watch, I do enjoy this one. 
Read: 
  • Gracelaced 
    • This book is beautifully illustrated and while I haven't read nearly as much as I should have, I've heard great things about this devotional and want to keep reading! 
  • Things We Know By Heart
    • My sister-in-law let me borrow this almost 2 years ago... Yeah, I'm that bad at reading. For our anniversary, we spent some time at the spa so I gave it another go. It's a super easy read and really sweet. I can't wait to finish it! 

A Day in Asheville, NC


I've declared this to be the year of weekend getaways. Last year, we had some awesome trips planned - a week in Alaska and a week at Kiawah Island as well as two quick trips to Pittsburgh, PA! We don't have any big trips planned this year, but we have several quick/weekend trips that I am really looking forward to! So far in 2019, we spent a weekend in Gatlinburg, and a few weekends ago we took a day trip up to Asheville, NC to celebrate our anniversary.

We've spent all 3 of our anniversaries so far in Asheville. It's a little over an hour from Greenville where we live, and sometimes it's just nice to be in a different city than what you're usually used to. We spent several hours of our day visiting the Grove Park Inn Spa, which is absolutely amazing if you ever have the opportunity to go. Unfortunately, you can't have any electronics to take photos inside the spa, but you just need to go to see how amazing it is for yourself!


The Grove Park Inn is nestled in the mountains, and it is absolutely beautiful! After we spent some time there, we headed to downtown Asheville for our dinner reservations at Strada Italiano. If you love Italian food, it's absolutely delicious. The atmosphere is casual, and the food was in a moderate price range. We started with the Arancini - probably the best part of the meal! The sauce it was served with was to die for! Kyle ordered the lasagna, and I had the Sunday Gravy. We both really enjoyed it.



We finished off our day trip with some ice cream from the French Broad Chocolate Lounge - another Asheville favorite.

Where are your favorite places to take day trips? We need suggestions since it's the year of weekend getaways after all!


Spring Cleaning Essentials


Do you do your spring cleaning every year? I can't say that I do one big deep clean each year, but I do my very best to stay on top of the cleaning around our house. Life, of course, gets busy, and sometimes I just plain forget to clean certain things. In fact, I just looked at a window sill the other day and noticed a lot of dust that accumulated. I definitely have some places in my house that need a little extra attention this spring, and nothing makes cleaning better than having some quality cleaning products that smell good, work well, and are clean and safe to use.

I have been using Method and Mrs. Meyers cleaning products for some time now, and I don't plan to stop! I love all of the fun seasonal scents that they bring out, and for very little extra cost, you're able to use high-quality cleaning products with fewer chemicals and junk that you'll find in others. I thought I would break down some of my favorite cleaning products and what I use them for. If you're not one to enjoy cleaning or just can't seem to stay on top of it, I'd encourage you to check out a cleaning schedule (check Pinterest) that breaks down common household tasks into separate days, so you're only spending a short amount of time each day on cleaning.

All of these products were purchased by me from Grove Collaborative. If you haven't heard about Grove Collaborative, it is an auto-replenishment service for natural cleaning products. You can read all about their service here. They often run really amazing deals. In fact, if you use this link, you'll get a 5-piece gift set and $10 off your first purchase! If you're like me and you love saving money, you will definitely want to use that!


The Mrs. Meyers dish soap is great for getting dishes clean. It's gentle on your hands, and it comes in so many amazing scents! 





I love to have my bathrooms and kitchen stocked with these Mrs. Meyers hand soaps. My favorite scent is Rosemary, but there are so many great ones to choose from! 


I use this cream cleaner to deep clean my kitchen sink. Think of it as a more natural kind of SoftScrub!


The Method Antibac cleaner is my favorite for wiping down my kitchen counters. When it comes to raw meats, I don't mess around, so having this anti-bacterial spray is a lifesaver!


I got this spray bottle from Grove as a free gift, and I mix up my Thieves concentrate (another great cleaning product) to make a cleansing spray in this bottle. 


I hope this post motivates you to try new products to keep your home clean and safe! Don't forget to use this link to get a  5-piece gift set and $10 off your first purchase.