Instagram Roundup

February 28, 2015

I have been having so much fun with Instagram lately. Here are five recent photos of mine I wanted to share on the blog as well! (Psst: if you like them too, follow me @theblessedbrunette!)

Grabbed this fun vanilla latte on my trip to Charlotte at Not Just Coffee. It tasted even better than it looked!!

Snapped this beautiful painting at Evelyn Henson's studio during my interview with her for bSmartGuide.com 

This #TBT elicits some real nostalgia for warmer weather and days spent in Soho. I love going into Soho with my mom and sister for the day and of course, stopping at Laduree's Soho Tea House.
After working with Evelyn Henson on an article for bSmartGuide, she sent my friend Betsy and me these adorable mugs! We loved using them while watching the Bachelor on Monday. You can purchase similar mugs on Evelyn's website here.
What's a snow day without doughnuts?? I had such a relaxing lazy day yesterday and my friends and I sampled the newest Krispy Kreme flavor...none other than cookie dough! They did not disappoint.

Snow Much Fun #OOTD

February 27, 2015

Spring break is just around the corner, and I am experiencing some serious vacay envy as more and more of my friends share their plans to head to sunny islands and warmer weather.  I however, must embrace the cold as I prepare to head north to New Jersey in less than a week. 

Here in North Carolina, we got an abnormal amount of snow (and snow days!).  But as much as I am certainly not a fan of the cold, a little snow is nothing to complain about.  My friend Betsy and I took advantage of the wintry landscape and she was sweet enough to take some OOTD pictures for me.



The majority of my closet consists of neutrals and navys (with the occasional pop of neon pink; see: my nails). So this outfit is pretty typical for me, especially in the winter.


The key to sprucing up neutrals is always adding accessories; no outfit is complete without some fun baubles.


My trusty duck boots have been so key in surviving the snow! Dear LL Bean, ilysm. Like so much. 

Sweater | Wrap (this local boutique) | Pants (similar) | Socks | Boots 

Are y'all doing anything fun for spring break?


These are a few of my favorite pins!

February 24, 2015

In case you didn't already know, I am a Pinterest addict. Asking me my favorite board is like asking a mother who her favorite child is. However, a few things I've pinned recently have stood out in particular so I thought I'd share. (To clarify, I didn't take any of these pictures!) 

WARNING: DANGEROUS AMOUNTS OF CUTENESS AHEAD!

I'll settle for nothing less on my birthday this year.
Everything in this photo is oozing "adorable" (especially the little fluff ball!)

Peonies and Loren Hope >>>>

Pictures like this make me squeal over my upcoming free calligraphy class!

Just ordered a tissue paper garland for my dorm on Etsy--can't wait for it to arrive!

February Desktop Organizer

I know this is a little delayed being that February ends in a few days (it went by so quickly!) but I threw together this desktop organizer and figured I'd share it. I'll change out the calendar (and possibly the wallpaper), and get a March version up on the blog as soon as it March rolls around. Until then, enjoy the last few days of February!
Here is how my screen looks after I sorted things. Pro Tip: put a sticky on the "To Do List" box! 




Scarlet & Gold Calligraphy Class

February 23, 2015


If you follow me on Instagram, you've probably noticed my obsession with calligraphy...well, technically speaking, fake calligraphy. Yes, you heard that right. I'm a self-confessed handwriting fraud. My technique is far from proper, but it gets the job done (and still looks pretty cool if I do say so my self).

However, most recently I've become interested in learning to do calligraphy the real way.  I'm talking totally old-fashioned, nib and ink calligraphy. I've searched forever trying to find classes that teach this style calligraphy but they were all a little too pricy and I just couldn't bite the bullet.

But then something crazy happened. Scarlet & Gold (aka the cutest online source for notebooks, paper, phone cases, etc.) announced they are offering a free online calligraphy class. Handwriting connoisseurs rejoice!!

All you have to do is purchase a nib, pen holder and ink (which cost me all of $12 after shipping). You can purchase supplies at your local craft store or order them online from Paper & Ink Arts and get 5% off with code scarletgold.

For more information on the class, be sure to sign up for updates here (and purchase your supplies). I can't wait to share my work once I take the class. Let me know if you'll be taking it too-- I'd love to geek out about handwriting with you and exchange tips!



#ScriptureSunday

February 22, 2015

It can be easy to forget God's presence during hard times. However, there are so many situations, from middle school breakups to tragedy and everything in between, when God stands beside us and offers up his unwavering love.  The next time this week you are struggling through something, look to God to give you strength. With his love, you can conquer anything!  Happy Sunday!

PS- you can purchase this print on my Etsy for $6.50! 

Here's To A Brightly Decorated Life (and Meeting Evelyn Henson)

February 19, 2015


Happy Thursday everybody! I am so excited to share about my most recent venture with bSmartGuide.  As a blogger for bSmart, I decided to do a business spotlight on one of my favorite artists (and instagrammers!), Evelyn Henson!  Being that we both live in North Carolina, I arranged a trip to meet her for lunch followed by a mini-photoshoot in her studio. I was accompanied by my good friend (and photographer for the day) Betsy of The Sweet and Chic Prep.


For the full interview, please be sure to head over to bSmartGuide. You can also enter for a chance to win a "Take The Bull By The Horns" print via the Rafflecopter widget below!






10 Reasons (and Photographic Proof) You Should Catch the Next Flight to Ireland

February 8, 2015


While going through photos on my Macbook today, I realized that I never blogged about my trip to Ireland this summer. The pictures are truly too beautiful to keep all to myself so I figured I'd pull the "better late than never card" and post them today, six months late...


I'm about 70% Irish and my mom has cousins who live there which made visiting the "homeland" even cooler. Aside from my family, I brought along my best friend Paige and we embarked on the adventure of a lifetime!

Ireland is truly a one of a kind place and I believe everyone deserves a chance to visit at least once in their lifetime. I am blessed to be able to say I've been twice (the first time being when I was in middle school).

I'm so excited to share my photos from this wonderful vacation and share the beauty of Ireland with my beautiful readers!

1. The experience of landing in Ireland is unlike any other. The abundance of green land is the furthest thing from a myth. Seeing it from a bird's-eye-view was breathtaking!

2. You have an excuse to buy a new (obnoxiously bright) raincoat. It rains in Ireland a lot, but you'll get used to it. Who needs sun when you are rocking the brightest neon pink raincoat in the world?!


3. Castles, castles, and more castles. Ireland is home to over 30,000 castles (which is a heck of a lot considering Ireland is the same size as Indiana). Some are more famous than others, but they all have unique pasts. You'll feel like a princess 24/7.
#candid
3 of the seemingly infinite amount of castles we visited.
 From left, Aughnanure Castle, Ashford Castle and Dunguiare Castle
4. The Cliffs of Moher. There are few words to describe the beauty of the cliffs. Yes, they're a huge tourist attraction but they exceed the hype. I can say without a doubt that the Cliffs of Moher (which were in the town next to where I stayed while in Ireland last summer) are the most beautiful sight I've ever seen.
Our new friend the toothless accordion player and his adorable fur companion!

5. Ireland is full of charm. From the quaint cobblestone streets, to the centuries-old cottages and colorful buildings, there are endless charming finds throughout the country.
A bustling Galway street
The oldest cottage on the Aran Islands
The most difficult-to-find ice cream shop that's worth the miles of winding roads.

I found Prince Charming at Ashford Castle!
The cutest used book shop you ever saw.
6.  What do you get when you cross the Kentucky Derby with crowds of Kate Middleton look-a-likes? The Galway Races! They are held every summer and turn out masses of well-dressed people from around the UK. Who could resist the chance to feel royal for a day?

 
Why can't fascinators and bow hats be acceptable daily attire?
7. The Aran Islands are a group of three small beautiful islands just a ferry ride away from the mainland in which Gaelic is the native language. We visited Inis Mór for the day and had a blast exploring its rich history and rustic charm.
Standing under an awesome shipwreck
A horse-drawn carriage ride brought us down this beautiful road
#selfies4dayz
An "underground church"


8. Who says green is the only color in Ireland? One of the coolest parts about Ireland is the variety of colorful buildings and cottages, painted brightly to bring some cheer to the dreary climate.
Downtown Doolin


9. Not only are Irish people extremely friendly, but so are Irish animals! From cows, to dogs to the cliche sheep, I couldn't help but snap photos of any animal I came across! They were all just too adorable.

Cow kisses are the best kind of kisses
We named this dog Lucky and he followed us for an entire day
Lucky goes for a swim!
A Lucky look-a-like!!
Yes those are real dogs. #scute

I won.
10. The sunsets in Ireland were stellar. Words can't describe their beauty but these pictures (taken right outside of the house we were staying in) will give you an idea. 

The sunset's reflection onto our house.

My trip to Ireland was an unbeatable experience. If these pictures haven't convinced you yet, feel free to ask me questions about Ireland in the comments! If I don't know the answers, I have a lot of friends and family who will!  

Until then, I hope you enjoyed this long, slightly rambling blog post! Until next time, Sláinte!