Everyday Emily

Southern Fashion, Beauty, and Lifestyle Blog

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!




An Easy 5-Step Guide to Starting a Blog

how to start a blog in no time five step guide to starting a blog everyday emily blog fashion beauty lifestyle

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!