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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!

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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Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, our Cozy Fall theme is about encouraging you to do what makes the most sense for you and your life as it is right now. And hopefully, over the few months we’re spending together, we’ll all move a few steps from wherever we’re starting toward the lives and relationships we hope to have.

Photo by Blue Ribbon Vendor Carolina Lima

We’re tackling this cozy-ifying and focusing-on-what-matters mission from all angles, including tips from our team, easy fall recipes (coming soon!), and today, a date night challenge. The twist? YOU get to decide the “rules” of the challenge. For some of us, date nights are creative, purposeful, and always on the calendar. For others (ahem, the Thomas household), “date nights,” in the sense that creative things get planned and enjoyed, do not really exist. So, start from where you are and challenge yourself to take one small step this season! A few suggestions…

— block out one night a week that’s TV free (that’s what I’ll be doing!)
— on the other hand, choose a new series to watch together
— prepare and eat dinner together at home one night a week
— try a new cuisine every time you eat dinner out this fall
— only eat out at new-to-you restaurants
— get outside and do something active together once a week

Whatever challenge you choose shouldn’t be complicated or expensive. Instead, make it one that will bring you and your significant other closer together, something that will help you quiet the distractions and focus on each other.

Are you with us? I’d love to hear what sorts of challenges y’all are dreaming up! Comment below with your ideas–we could all use the inspiration! :)

emily Written with love by Emily
1 Comment
  1. avatar Rachel Nordgren reply

    Oh, I love the idea of trying new cuisine every time you eat out! What a great way to explore your town and broaden your culinary horizons!

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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Cozy Fall Giveaways Sneak Peek

by in Main on

The heart behind our Cozy Fall theme is this: we want to help you simplify in order to make room for what matters most. That means that whatever life season you’re in–getting back into the college grind, balancing your full-time job with wedding planning, or making a magazine (ahem :))–you can still make room for the important things, like spending quality time with loved ones and soaking in the joys of fall. And we want to help you do just that! That’s why we decided to team up with some of our favorite brands, all of which share our heart for Cozy Fall, to give away goodies we carefully selected to help you simplify, decorate, or just get a little cozier. Here’s a peek at some of the items that we’ll be sharing:

Pictured clockwise from top left, you’ll find Palm Beach Lately, Edoughble, ExVoto Vintage, State Traditions, Everyday Occasions, Ticket Chocolate, White’s Mercantile, Sur La Table, Essie, and Plum Pretty Sugar. And this is just a preview–there’s even more that we’ll be revealing as the weeks go by!

To enter, just use the #CozyFallYall hashtag on your Instagram pictures of fun fall activities, cozy date nights, and seasonal joys. We’ll be randomly selecting a winner every Friday and announcing their prize on Instagram at 1:00 P.M. EST! Please note, posts must be relevant to the hashtag in order to be in the running :)

We can’t wait to see your Cozy Fall!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Ashton Dreyer reply

    That GA hat is precious!

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!

Reply to: