Everyday Emily

Southern Fashion, Beauty, and Lifestyle Blog

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. 



3 Years Married


I started this blog just a few months before our first anniversary, so I haven't shared many photos or talked much about our wedding day. Since today we celebrate our 3-year anniversary, I thought I'd share a look back at March 12, 2016!

I was not much into wedding planning. I was either in school and/or working my first full-time job throughout our engagement. If it weren't for my mom and other family members, I'm not sure if we would have had a wedding at all! I'm so thankful for everything that everyone did to make it such a special day!

One thing I am 100% glad my parents invested in was a videographer. I had looked around to find one, but if you have ever planned a wedding, you know videography is expensive. My friend Ashley had mentioned that she had a friend who was a videographer, but he had never done a wedding before. Long story short, we went out on a leap of faith and booked him, and I'm SO so happy we did. My wedding highlight video is so special to me, and I'll always watch it over and over again.


Our photographer Christa from Christa Renee Photography did such a good job capturing all of the memories from our special day. From capturing the moment I told my mom my veil was made from her wedding gown and veil to family photos, to our final getaway, March 12, 2016 will always be one of my most favorite days!



 













 XOXO,

Emily





An Easy 5-Step Guide to Starting a Blog

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In the past week, I had a few people reach out to me asking me questions about starting a blog. I almost feel like a fraud to be handing out advice on blogging when I only have a handful of followers compared to other bloggers, but I know that comparison is the thief of joy. I've been running this website for about 2 years now, and I have learned a lot along the way. If I am able to help someone else through this journey, then I definitely want to seize that opportunity! So, if you've been thinking about starting a blog, I hope this easy guide will help you get yours up and running in no time to be able to start sharing your own amazing and unique content!

I also need to add that my technology advice comes backed by my very tech-savvy husband. I love being married to a cyber-security computer man, but he doesn't just do the work for me. It is nice though to be able to reference a computer expert, and I hope the tips he gives me will help you too along the way!

Let's get to it - an easy guide to starting a blog:

Step 1: Choose a name & decide the type of content you want to post.
  • This might seem simple, but it's probably the hardest part! I say the second part loosely because frankly, I blog about whatever I want. Really, you can change your blog name down the road. In fact, I feel a name change coming on for myself, so don't let this step stop you. I would, however, be wary of choosing a name that boxes you into one topic if you plan on sharing a variety of topics down the road. For example, if my blog was named "Everyday Beauty" it would look a little odd to be sharing my travel adventure. Have fun with it, and if you're at a total loss, you can't go wrong with just using your name! 
Step 2: Choose your blogging platform
  • This is where that whole "techy husband thing" comes in quite handy. Blogger vs. Wordpress - everyone has their own opinion on this. I was convinced that I needed to use Wordpress to be a good blogger. From the very beginning, my husband Kyle insisted I just stick with Blogger. Blogger is a free platform owned by Google, and while less customizable than Wordpress, it is very user-friendly and quick and easy to set up. After my grumbling about needing to use Wordpress, my husband set me up a site to play around with. I tried and tried to get it how I wanted it, but it was pretty confusing and I didn't have the patience to work with Wordpress. That's definitely not to say that I won't ever use Wordpress, but my husband highly recommends if you're just starting out (i.e. not making a substantial amount of money from blogging), Blogger will work just fine. 
Step 3: Purchase a domain name and/or blogger template (nice, but not necessary).

  • I purchased my domain name for $12 a year through the Blogger platform. You could also use Go Daddy or something like that as well! Purchasing a domain name basically means my website will show as www.everydayemilyblog.com vs. www.everydayemilyblog.blogspot.com. To me, it just looks more professional. Purchasing a Blogger template is another thing I did from the get go. I bought my current template from Georgia Lou Studios for somewhere around $30, but it looks like she now offers them for around $20! You can definitely find them cheaper on Etsy as well. Setting them up can be a bit tricky, so that's something to keep in mind. But if I can do it, you totally can. Reference a tech-savvy friend if you get stuck! 
Step 4: Establish a library of high-quality photos to get you started.

  • This is a really important step. I include an image in almost every blog post I write. Whether you're using a free stock photo, a purchased stock photo, or an image you took yourself, be sure to have quality images to accompany your written content and attract your reader.

Step 5: Start blogging! 

  • I think so many people overthink this step. There are so many people that say they want to start a blog, but they don't know what they'd write about. I'm not an expert on any of the topics I share, but the truth is, even if you're covering a topic that's been covered 100 times before, you have your own unique take on things and can add your style to make it unique and worth reading. My best advice is to just start writing and posting. You'll only get better from there! 
I hope this 5-step guide to starting a blog is helpful, and as always, drop any questions in the comments! 

Healthy Snickerdoodle Recipe Review

courtney toliver gurthrie healthy snickerdoodle review everyday emily blog

I have a terrible sweet tooth, and it gets the best of me on most days. I need to keep healthier treats on hand to reach for when the munchies kick in. I've been following Cortney Toliver on Instagram for probably the past year or so. She posts on a variety of topics include modest fashion and living a healthy lifestyle. She often shares her healthy recipes on her Instagram stories, and the other day she shared this healthy snickerdoodle recipe!


I happened to have all of the ingredients on hand, so I decided to take a stab at making these cookies this evening! They're incredibly easy to make, and while they definitely aren't as good as the sugar-laden real deal, they make a fabulous healthier alternative! You'll only need a few staple ingredients to whip these cookies up in 5 minutes or less. In no time, you'll be enjoying some delicious healthy snickerdoodles as an evening snack.

While I definitely burnt the bottom of mine, I found these to be delicious! I actually think if I made them again, I'd swap out the maple syrup for honey and the coconut sugar for monk fruit sweetener.

If you give Courtney's healthier snickerdoodles a try, let me know what you think!

XOXO,

Emily

My Evening Routine | cariPRO Electric Toothbrush

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Do you look forward to your evening routine? I don't always love taking off my makeup or brushing my teeth, but it has to be done, so why not make it a bit more enjoyable? I've established an evening routine that is both quick and effective, and it takes very little time at the end of a tiring day. My most recent addition to my evening routine is my cariPro Electric Toothbrush by SmileBrilliant, and I am so excited to share my love for this fancy toothbrush with you today!

electric toothbrush smile brilliant greenville sc blogger lifestyle beauty product review


electric toothbrush smile brilliant greenville sc blogger lifestyle beauty product review

The perfect start to an evening routine is brushing your teeth. Now here's the deal... I hate going to the dentist, and I get so anxious to find out if I'm gonna hear the dreaded "cavity" while sitting under those bright lights. We all know it's best to brush our teeth twice a day, and religiously doing this step before bed is vital to your teeth and gum health! In the past, I've mainly only used a standard toothbrush, and I tend to be a really hard brusher. Having an electric toothbrush that does the work for me is perfect for my sensitive teeth.

electric toothbrush smile brilliant greenville sc blogger lifestyle beauty product review

electric toothbrush smile brilliant greenville sc blogger lifestyle beauty product review

I absolutely love that this toothbrush has so many different settings. Each brushing mode is designed to operate for two minutes, with brief pauses between every 30-second burst. That brief pause tells you to move to a different quadrant of the mouth!  I typically run mine on the sensitive setting for nightly brushing. Whether you want to ensure you're taking measures to whiten your teeth or you just want to keep your gums healthy, the cariPRO Electric Toothbrush has you covered. Whiter teeth can bring you much confidence, so this is the perfect step to take each day!

electric toothbrush smile brilliant greenville sc blogger lifestyle beauty product review

Want to know the best part of all? It's quite affordable compared to other electric toothbrushes on the market, and once you have the toothbrush, you can just purchase the replacement heads! My friends at SmileBrilliant are giving a cariPRO Electric Toothbrush away to one of YOU! Just visit this link to enter, and be sure t use the code everydayemilyblogtb20 for 20% off a cariPRO toothbrush! I cant to see who wins!

Back to the evening routine...

I don't always diffuse essential oils before bed, but when I do, I LOVE it. I love diffusing my Young Living lavender oil throughout the night, but I recently, ran out and need to order more. I've been using my peppermint oil instead, and I also enjoy that scent!

electric toothbrush smile brilliant greenville sc blogger lifestyle beauty product review

I typically use makeup wipes to take off my eye makeup. I currently am using these Simple Kind to Skin Cleansing Facial Wipes, but I typically purchase the Walmart brand to save money. I find that makeup wipes are really effective at taking my mascara and eyeliner off before I go in with micellar water!

electric toothbrush smile brilliant greenville sc blogger lifestyle beauty product review

I love applying this Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water to a cotton round to remove any makeup I might have left on my face. I will say that I don't wear foundation or makeup that might require a little bit more to remove, so if you only wear a light amount of makeup each day, this is such an easy way to remove!

electric toothbrush smile brilliant greenville sc blogger lifestyle beauty product review

electric toothbrush smile brilliant greenville sc blogger lifestyle beauty product review night routine

electric toothbrush smile brilliant greenville sc blogger lifestyle beauty product review night routine

We all know skincare is important, but the truth is, I'm not going to apply 59 steps on a daily basis. I have regularly been using both the night cream and the eye cream from ACURE the past month, and I've really enjoyed them! ACURE is a better-for-your-skin brand, and both are quite affordable and the night cream is nice and moisturizing without feeling super sticky on my skin.

electric toothbrush smile brilliant greenville sc blogger lifestyle beauty product review night routine

electric toothbrush smile brilliant greenville sc blogger lifestyle beauty product review night routine

electric toothbrush smile brilliant greenville sc blogger lifestyle beauty product review night routine

Last, but not least, I like to apply this Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask before bed. It smells delicious, and it seriously moisturizes my lips!

electric toothbrush smile brilliant greenville sc blogger lifestyle beauty product review night routine

electric toothbrush smile brilliant greenville sc blogger lifestyle beauty product review night routine

That's all for my easy evening routine, and don't forget to enter the giveaway to win your very own cariPRO toothbrush! I know you will love it as much as I do!

XOXO,

Emily electric toothbrush reviews