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Hi belles! Every season we like to find a way to get to know you more, and to share our hearts. To dovetail with our current Cozy Fall focus, each of the Southern Weddings gals will be sharing our favorite ways to simplify and get cozy in our home lives over the next few months. We hope our ideas are helpful as you work to streamline and simplify your own lives for what matters most!

Photo by Blue Ribbon Vendor Katelyn James

Say howdy to: Nicole Yang, our Art Director

Favorite simple beauty routine or product: Lately, I’m more in love than ever with my blush, especially since I’ve been in the mood to simplify and have been on the outs with the rest of my makeup bag. I use Nars, and just a couple of swipes across my cheeks makes me feel more put together and my face a little brighter, even if I’m not wearing anything else. (Shout out to Nars — their blush is so pigmented that it lasts forever!) I’m also religious about my moisturizer in the fall so that my skin stays hydrated as the temperatures dip.

Favorite simple fall activity: Just as the days start to get cool and crisp, I love opening the windows, lighting a candle, and snuggling under a blanket to read for an afternoon. Also, if you’re a Gilmore Girls fan, there’s just something about GG and fall that just go together. I started rewatching it last week!

Favorite tech device/app/strategy that simplifies your life: Taylor and I started using AnyList when we moved in together so that we could make grocery lists and share them with each other. They sync with whoever you share your list with, and you can program it to automatically categorize your groceries into sections like produce, meats & seafood, dairy, and more. Plus, you can add notes to it, which I do often (“5 bananas: 3 yellow and 2 green” — I’m very specific about my fruits). It saves us so much time moving around the grocery store and meal-planning. I use it for everything now, including Christmas gift ideas and my bucket list.

Favorite morning routine that simplifies your life: I always sit down for breakfast and read my favorite blogs in the morning (it’s like the 2015 version of reading the newspaper!). That little bit of time to focus on things that get me fired up is like an extra jolt of energy to start off the day.

Favorite evening routine that simplifies your life: Washing the dishes, drying them, and putting them away. I sleep so much better knowing that our kitchen is clean and nothing’s waiting to be done in the morning. Plus, I have the exact same breakfast every morning, so knowing that my favorite mug is clean and everything is where it should be makes mornings go by smoothly.

Favorite trick for simplifying your schedule: I have to second Kristin on this one — meal planning, 1000%! The fall is Taylor’s and my busiest season — he’s working around the clock with the NC State Football team and I’m dedicated to making a magazine. There are many nights where we both come home at 9pm or later and don’t want to do anything. This year, we’ve been really strict about sticking to not just a meal schedule, but a meal prep schedule. We have a list on our fridge that tells us what we need to eat that night and what we need to make that night (to be used for tomorrow’s lunch or dinner, if we’re getting home late). It’s helped us feel like we’re still eating well-rounded meals in the middle of a crazy season.

Favorite simple weeknight recipe: Risotto! This is the easiest thing for us to make, and it’s so warm and comforting. We’ll just sauté some onions in a dutch oven, add whatever veggies happen to be in the fridge and a swish of wine, then add some arborio rice and broth and then let it sit on medium-low for for a little over a half hour, stirring occasionally. We have some designated “couch meals” that call for snuggling up on the couch while we eat, and this is one of them. (Pizzas are designated “floor foods” that always require a picnic blanket on the floor, and also a super-simple option for us.)

Favorite simple date: I have to admit, Taylor and I have been really bad about fall dates in the past. The way our work schedules match up mean that we only see each other after 9pm and before 8am, including weekends. This year, we’ve agreed to setting morning coffee dates on game days, which seem even cozier than evening dates for some reason!

Favorite simple way you love on your beau: This is so, so simple, but I greet him at the door with a smile and a kiss when he comes home. That might sound terribly old-fashioned, but I know it makes a world of difference after a long day at work. The last thing I want him to think when he comes home is that I’m not happy to see him because he worked late, or that I’m too tired or preoccupied to get up and hug him (especially when on most days, it feels like we haven’t seen each other in a week). Also, I cook and make lunches! It’s such a simple thing to set aside leftovers for lunch before making our dinner plates, but I know Taylor really appreciates that he can just grab a container of food to take the work in the morning, and that it’s going to be a balanced meal that will last him through the evening. He’s lucky I like him ;)

Next up: Marissa!

In case you missed a gal…
Emily’s simple favorites
Kristin’s simple favorites

Written with love by Southern Weddings
1 Comment
  1. avatar Stephanie Scholl reply

    Yes! Fall and Gilmore Girls totally go hand in hand!! And Nicole, I love your strict banana preferences :) So many good tips in here!

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July is already off to a wonderful start for the Southern Weddings gals and June was just as good. We packed the office and our lives with plenty of #SouthernDoin’s. Check out what we’ve been up to!

1. The Engage conference gave Emily her first chance to visit the Biltmore Estate. She saw the house from this vantage point on a Segway tour!

2. Summer is officially here! Kristin whipped up her first batch of homemade ice cream using fresh peaches from the farmer’s market.

3. One of the snack breaks at Engage involved mason jar sugar cookies (like these ones!). Emily said they were delicious!

4. We savored a delightful breakfast crafted by Chef Colin from Fearrington.

5. Thanks to technology, Marissa’s mama and her iPad, Marissa was able to see one of her best friends find her perfect dress!

6. A press lunch at the Umstead had us all full of delicious food, with many of the ingredients from their own farm!

7. I celebrate the start of summer with a picnic and movie in the park. The Big Mike’s food truck was there and I loved that the truck is actually a little red barn!

8. Kristin fell in love with the Eiffel tower during her trip to Paris and made up a thousand reasons each evening to stroll past and sit on the lawn, nibble on bread and cheese and watch it light up.

9. Emily and Lara had a fabulous time at Engage13 at the Biltmore Estate! This photo was snapped at the gala on the last night.

10. Marissa is making her #SouthernDoins work out west with a little creativity and a Georgia peach!

11. Gracie said “y’all” for the first time!!

12. Emily and John got to see the Zac Brown Band for the first time in Raleigh! Of course, Emily wore her cowboy boots :)

13. Marissa rocked her shirt from Sevenly. According to M, “It’s not only adorable, but the proceeds go to provide a service dog to a child in need. One of my favorite charities!”

14. A special friend dropped by the office with mini pecan pies, and Emily ate 75% of them herself.

15. I got crafty and decided to make my own piggy stamp!

16. I didn’t mind at all when I made a run to Whole Foods to pick up flowers for a Southern Weddings Shop photo shoot!

17. Following my suggestion, Kristin traveled to the Pont des Arts in Paris and left a lock and tossed the key into the river, following recent tradition to lock away love. “It seemed a perfect way to end a most lovely first anniversary holiday in the most magical city,” said Kristin.

18. Lara, Ari and Grace stopped by the Piggly Wiggly during their staycation!

Pick my peas, June was so good to us!

What did y’all do in June? What were the highlights of your month?

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
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With warm-weather days now in full effect, the Southern Weddings gals are taking to the outdoors and #SouthernDoins more than ever. Here’s what we’ve been up to in May, as told by our Instagrams.

1. Emily and I traveled down to the Hilton Head area of South Carolina for a photo shoot. The location was so beautiful, I never wanted to leave!

2. In doing some cleanup at my dad’s house, I found a ton of his old Kodachrome slides with scenes from Virginia in the 80s.

3. Emily traveled to Virginia for an SWV6 shoot, with her azalea co-pilot traveling safely in the passenger seat.

4. Kristin celebrated Memorial Day with an impromptu supper at her aunt and uncle’s house, which was properly dressed for the holiday!

5. We released brand new prints in Lara’s shop!

6. Marissa did her very best not to take this cute little guy home from the shelter. Even though it almost killed her.

7. I traveled down to Atlanta for my sister’s bachelorette weekend and was dying for some peaches as we passed Gaffney’s peach water tower.

8. Since Marissa couldn’t be home on Mother’s Day, she wore her grandmother’s locket with her mama’s photo inside as a sweet reminder of them both.

9. Emily snapped a scene from her and John’s recent day trip to Saxapahaw.


10. Emily spotted this wild clematis on an evening walk.

11. Our sweet tea office chalk art by our very own Emily! It’s so cute, we’re considering turning it into a piece for our shop.

12. Kristin spent the weekend at the South Carolina coast getting sun kissed and eating her weight in hush puppies

13. Lara and Ari brought Grace to Fridays on the Front Porch at the Carolina Inn for some dancin’ and bluegrass!

14. Marissa about died when she saw these adorable tiny cowboy boots her friend has for her baby.

15. Katie Stoops arrived for our shoot in Chapel Hill and snapped this adorable photo of Gracie afterward.

16. This is what happens when Kristin and Marissa have way-too-long Google Hangout meetings. They get silly!

17. Kristin planted her very first baby herb garden!

18. I traveled to the National Stationery Show in New York and loved meeting Natalie Chang in the Kate Spade booth!

What did y’all do in May? What were the highlights of your month?

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
1 Comment
  1. avatar Emily reply

    May was such a busy month! My very best friend got married right in the middle of it and looking back on all those pictures (and the Instagrams from other guests) brings me right back to all that joy and love. It is the best.

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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