23 by 28 progress


photo via Unsplash
It has been two months since I set out to tackle my list of 23 by 28 and I don't feel like I'm doing half bad. I know, I know, *toot toot* goes my little horn.

Except for #18, pay no attention to that. I've been enjoying short little runs outside again, but when I say short, I mean short. 

Here's how things have been stacking up as of late:

1. Make a shorter list

2. Give this little blog the redesign she deserves. Thanks to my extremely supportive family,  Ashley over at The Blog Salon is hard at work to give 26 and Not Counting a fresh new look! I'm so grateful to be surrounded by people who understand how much this little space of the internet means to me and I'm beyond excited to share the finished product with you guys!

3. Migrate the blog to Wordpress. Ashley is also going to be making this a reality as well. I'm a little nervous to learn a new platform, but I know the possibilities are endless and that alone excites me.

4. Launch a new blog column

5. Get a few head shots taken 

6. Buy a house with my partner in crime, Pete. This hasn't even been on the back-burner, it's been off the stove. 

7. Learn calligraphy. This is going to make me sound extremely incompetent, but for the sake of being real, I'm going to say it anyways. I purchased the materials I need in order to teach myself (hopefully) calligraphy, but I can't for the life of me get ink to stay in the nib. I swear I make half of a stroke and then it's dry as a bone and I'm tearing through the tissue-like paper. If you are a pro, I would love your suggestions on how to get started!

8. Build a wardrobe without breaking the piggy bank. This is a work in progress, but I'm happy with what I've started. Take a peep at a few of the pieces I added for fall.

9. Run three half marathons and PR in a 5k. One half marathon down.

10. Take a road trip. I told you all that I ventured to Table Rock for a bachelorette weekend on the lake and it was too much fun.

11. Purge our apartment of all the items we no longer use/need and donate the good stuff. We're getting there. We just donated a ginormous box of miscellaneous items that we no longer use and we're slowly but surely making our way through the closet area. 

12. (Continue to) read more. So far I've read #GIRLBOSS and Lean In. You can read my thoughts on #GIRLBOSS here. Next up, Dream Year by Ben Arment. Are you sensing a theme yet? :)

13. Take a yoga class I talked about my very first yoga experience a few months back.

14. Start or join a book club Our first #BookClubBlogger meet up was a great time and I'm really looking forward to the next discussion in October. Want to join us? Learn more about how it works here.

15. Lose 5 more pounds and build some noticeable muscle mass. 

16. Attend a running club

17. Venture outside of my comfort zone and start taking more risks (both big and small) 

18. Run/walk/jog/elliptical my way through 1,000 miles Miles logged: 68

19. Cook dinner at home every week night for a month

20. Visit the Louisburg Cider Mill

21. Go an entire month without pop (soda or coke for all you non-mid-westerners) I think I'm going to attempt this in October. I don't drink pop everyday, but I am a sucker for ordering them when we go out to eat. That and Sonic happy hour drinks. I'm going to need a serious accountability partner for this!

22. Start an address book

23. Write a letter to myself to be opened on my 28th birthday

Are you working on something special at the moment? I would love to hear down in the comments!

p/s Pete and I are off to Chicago this am! Follow along with our adventures on Instagram and Twitter and enjoy the fabulous weekend!

Four easy DIY projects for the home


four easy diys for the home

There is something about fall that makes me want to buy out Home Depot and put my amateur crafting skills to use. Anyone else? I've been keeping a running list of DIY projects that didn't immediately scare me off with too many steps or a list of materials a mile long and these are the ones that fit the bill.

First up, the DIY Marble Tray by Amanda of Hammer and Heels Blog. Seemingly easy and super chic. I'll be sure to let you know how it goes over on Instagram!

I also want to tackle the DIY Leather and Brass Teardrop Hanging Planter by Mandi of Vintage Revivals, the DIY Gold Rimmed Faux Marble Coasters by Erin of House of Earnest and the DIY Painted Votives by For the Makers at some point, but let's not get too ahead of ourselves here.

Do you DIY? What are some of your favorite projects to date?

I'll see you back here on Friday with an update on my list of 23 by 28!

How to style a bar cart


Hi guys! The lovely Katie of Twin Stripe Blog is taking over today so that I can enjoy my last day in Chicago! Enjoy :)

how to style a bar cart

Hi everyone! My name is Katie and I blog over at the lifestyle blog, Twin Stripe. Jess asked me to share a few bar cart styling tips with you today. I hope these tips are helpful as you style your own bar.

The day I walked into a large furniture showroom at High Point Market and met Roxy of Society Social was the day I fell in love with the bar cart. High Point Market is one of the largest furniture shows in the U.S. and it happens to be in my backyard. Roxy shared her love of design and entertaining with me and I was sold. Last March Chad and I finally decided to take the plunge and ordered the Worth bar cart in gold.

bar cart styling essentials
Did you know that you can pin these images and save them for later? Simply hover over the image and click the "pin it" button in the top left hand corner!
I love stocking my bar cart and styling it for different seasons or events. Here are my day-to-day bar cart essentials:
  • Liquor – Many bar cart guides will give you very specific recommendations, but I just stock my bar cart with what my husband and I like to drink. If we have guests coming over, I try to make a signature cocktail and have a variety of other drinks on hand. 
  • Glassware – I believe you can never have too much glassware. I have two different sets of vintage glassware on my bar cart, rocks glasses and coupes.
  • Fun straws – Straws add color to any bar cart and are great for parties and stir sticks.
  • Fresh flowers – Adding a few fresh blooms to a bar cart can totally turn it around.  
  • Candles – Like flowers, I love candles too. I always have one on the bar to fresh the space up if needed. 
  • Mixers – I recommend keeping mixers in your house for a perfect cocktail. Currently, I have a White Whale old fashion mixer on the bar. To use, you just need to add one part White Whale and one part liquor. My favorite is Skinny Dipper – it’s a less sugary version of a margarita. Chad and I always have sparkling and tonic water in the fridge.
  • Cocktail napkins – Pretty napkins are essential to make sure no one makes too big of a mess of your home. A friend missed a napkin, be sure to grab one for her!
how to style a bar cart

styling a bar cart for your home

Styling can be difficult, but if you keep it simple, your bar cart will look like you hired a professional.
  • Give each item on your bar cart enough space. If you have too much on your cart, it will just end up looking cluttered.
  •  Place your glassware, accessories or liquor on a tray to keep it organized. I created the above tray with this tutorial from Society Social.
  • As I mentioned earlier, fresh flowers can take it to the next level.
  • You do not need to display every bottle of liquor you own. I put extras on the bottom or keep them in the pantry until they are needed.
  • Pick an item or two that you wouldn’t typically keep on the bar and style it into the d├ęcor.
  •  Once you style the entire bar, take one item away so it's not cluttered.  
fun glasses + straws for a bar cart

Do you have a bar or bar cart at home? What are your essentials?

Thanks to Jess for having me! Be sure to stop by the blog, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for more Twin Stripe!
A huge thank you to Katie for showing us how it's done when it comes to bar cart styling! I can't wait to get one of my own and fill it with all of the goodies she listed above.

Shop the items below for all of your bar cart styling needs!

5 tips to help you stay active on vacation


5 tips to help you stay active on vacation

Hello there! I'm not usually this chipper on Monday mornings, but Pete and I are heading to the Windy City on Friday and I'm like a kid waiting for Christmas morning. He's never been before and I'm so excited to explore the city with him! 

While I'm looking forward to indulging in the best eats the city has to offer, it's no fun coming home from vacation feeling bloated and miserable with regret. I really enjoy being active in my everyday life and that goes for mini vacations as well.

So, what can you do?! Below are a few things I plan to implement on our weekend getaway.

- If your destination for dinner, sight seeing, etc. is nearby - walk! It's a great way to absorb all the sights and sounds of the city, plus is saves money on cab fares. #doublewin

- If you're interested in trying a new workout, this is a great time to do it. Maybe there's an awesome trapeze class or a certain type of yoga studio that they don't have back home. Contact the studio beforehand to see if they give a complimentary class to newbies! I've found that most places are more than willing to let you give them a try for the low low price of on the house.

- Pop into the gym at the hotel for a quick 20 minutes on the treadmill to get the blood flowing. Not staying in a hotel? Give  your morning run route a serious revamp and head into the great outdoors!

- Venture outside for a group activity like paddle-boarding! I'm crossing my fingers it's warm enough to get out on the water while we're in Chicago, but I don't own a wet suit and I'm not trying to catch pneumonia either - we shall see.

- Lastly, if there's a pool, tread water like there's no tomorrow. It will burn off all those cals from the fruity drink you have sitting by the edge of the water ;)

What do you do to stay active while on vacation?

p/s I know this completely contradicts everything I just said above, but life is all about balance. I’m now taking recommendations on the best donut shop in Chicago. MayaErin and Sarah, I'll be seeing you gals real soon!

Linking up with Life of Meg

Weekly Rounds Vo. 3


radiate positivity

Happy Friday, my friends! I'm just going to cut right to the chase with a little round up of the things I found to be inspiring, witty and just plain good this week.

- Elizabeth mentioned Jess Lively's post in "What to do when good and bad things happen at the same time" and I knew I needed to read the full thing. The post really struck a cord with me and I feel like this has pretty much been my life lately. I'm extremely guilty of using the word "but." However, I'm making a conscious decision to stop sabotaging the positives that are taking place in my life, even if things aren't peachy keen across the board. 

Bethaney is hilarious and she tells it like is is. But not in that, "wow, that girl scares me type of way." She basically says what we're all thinking. (side note: her new intern over on The Social Robot seems to be as equally witty. I'll be tuning in.)

- After much debate, this floral shirtdress is on it's way to me. I got it for a great price using a discount code (no shame). I'm crossing my fingers it fits/looks half as cute on me as it does on Liz because it would be perfect for our trip next week.

- Annie's Charleston City Guide over on The Collaboreat has me wanting to plan a trip to the East Coast asap. Who's down?!

- bSmart nails it with the questions in their most recent interview with The College Prepster

- It was all about fitness on the blog this week! Need ab inspiration? Or maybe tips on what not to do before you run a half marathon? I've got you covered.

It's time to kick off the weekend with good friends and good drinks. Cheers!
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