the big christmas gift guide

It’s time! Time to make that list and check it twice. If you find yourself coming up short in that department, or need a few ideas to give or receive, I hope you find this gift guide of personal favorites fun, inspiring, and helpful!

It’s time! Time to make that list and check it twice. If you find yourself coming up short in that department, or need a few ideas to give or receive, I hope you find this gift guide of personal favorites fun, inspiring, and helpful!

Filled with unique, fabulous gift ideas from brands and products I personally adore, you’ll find that this list includes treasures like cactus cocktail glasses, wall-worthy blue and white bowls, and even a coffee table book all about Queen Elizabeth. (I own it personally and can confirm, it’s a gem.)

Looking to keep costs low? Consider gifting my long-time favorite lip gloss in the color Merry Rose. After all, Chanel never disappoints! In the mood for a splurge? How about the dreamiest cowboy boots you’ve ever seen? And you know I take my cowboy boots seriously.

No matter what you’re after or what lady you’re shopping for, I’m crossing my fingers that you find it below. All the links are included at the bottom of the guide.

Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the pink circle… it means the gift is under $100!

P.S. I hope it goes without saying, but these Christmas gift ideas are in no way exclusive to the southern girl as the title might suggest. What can I say, I just love a good “on brand” moment!

the southern girl’s

gift guide

southern girl gift guide, mrs. alice, tablescape, grandmillennial style, monogrammed gift

 1. pink leopard pajamas // 2. travel mahjong cards // 3. personalized cosmetic bag // 4. mi golondrina candle // 5. monogrammed acrylic coasters // 6. chanel merry rose lip gloss // 7. pink mahjong mat // 8. pastel mahjong tiles // 9. elemis facial cleansing balm

10. glass bud vase // 11. gold frame // 12. cactus cocktail glasses // 13. monogrammed pickleball paddle case // 14. green pickleball paddle // 15. monogrammed dinner napkin // 16. gold confetti necklace // 17. turquoise beaded hoop earrings // 18. blue and white lotus bowl // 19. blue and green scalloped placemats

20. blue candle sticks with coordinating candles // 21. pastel cowboy boot scarf // 22. monogrammed blue stripe packing cubes // 23. personalized hair wrap // 24. blue and white cowboy boots // 25. her majesty coffee table book // 26. white bud vase // 27. grey cashmere wrap // 28. white pearl statement earrings // 29. monogrammed compartment duffle bag

30. sloppy joe collar 02 sweatshirt // 31. rattan beverage tub // 32. lily and bean crossbody bag // 33. chappy wrap blanket // 34. monogrammed shearling slippers // 35. personalized name phone case // 36. rattan pagoda decoration (more fabulous colors here) // 37. lafco candle // 38. tan and white block print napkins // 39. velvet and crystal bow earrings

40. illesteva pamela cat eye sunglasses // 41. black bow heels

Love from the Lonestar State,


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Charleston // reader recommendations

Friends, you were asked for recommendations, and you certainly delivered! Sharing all of the recommendations you sent in for our first trip to Charleston.

Charleston, here we come!

Friends, you were asked for recommendations, and you certainly delivered! I was thrilled to receive so many helpful tips, tricks, and recommendations for our quick visit to Charleston from so many of you over on Instagram. You’ve given me so much good insight, and I cannot possibly keep it all to myself!

So, as we make the trip over to Charleston for a little family getaway, I wanted to round up the most highly recommended spots to stay, shop, visit, and eat! The best part of this Charleston roundup is that this is a list that comes directly from you. Several of you shared that Charleston is your hometown, was once your home, and some of you even said it’s your favorite city you’ve ever visited.

Needless to say, Andrew, Padgitt, and I have been looking forward to experiencing everything Charleston has to offer, and all of your sweet help has only turned up the dial on our excitement!

Where to stay

  • The Dewberry // The most recommended hotel! Described as “quintessential Charleston.”
  • Post House // Both the hotel and their restaurant were said to be adorable and delicious.
  • The Charleston Place // Stunning hotel within walking distance to several things.
  • Hotel Bennett // Another highly recommended spot! Apparently, the rooms (and the bathtubs) are to die for.
  • Zero George // Said to be an “unreal” experience!
  • Emeline // Darling, located in a historic area, and within walking distance to so many things.
  • The Restoration // A unique hotel experience in the center of everything!
  • The Mills House Hotel // A historic, stylish, and “very pink” hotel!
  • The Ryder Hotel // Wonderful for downtown Charleston stays.

Where to shop and visit

  • King Street // This was the most mentioned spot! Great for shopping, several good restaurants, seeing “all things” Charleston, and great for families.
  • Shem Creek // Another fun spot for families, and also for seeing dolphins!
  • Pitt Street Bridge // Take a walk in the evening for a stunning sunset view.
  • Kiawah Island // A family-friendly spot, and also fun for riding bikes!
  • Under the Almond Trees // Several of you said this is an adorable baby boutique!
  • Sullivan’s Island // Great shopping and another fun spot to rent bikes!
  • Rainbow Row // Highly recommended spot to experience classic, historic Charleston.
  • The Battery // Another historic spot to check out. Especially the pineapple fountain for great photos.
  • Isle of Palms // Stunning beach views!
  • Magnolia Plantation and Gardens // Described as one of America’s most beautiful gardens!
  • Queen Street Grocery // A unique spot for stroller walking, and also known for their yummy crepes!

Where to sip and savor

  • Halls Chophouse // By far the most recommended restaurant by you all! Someone even mentioned they dream about this place, and several said that it was their favorite of all time. Wow!
  • Home Team BBQ // Another highly recommended spot. The Gamechanger drink and nachos are a must!
  • Lewis Barbecue // I hear this spot is similar to Texas BBQ, so as a Texas native, we might have to put it to the test!
  • Magnolias // This spot looks so darling! I was told to try both the banana pudding stuffed french toast and the fried green tomatoes. Yum!
  • 167 Raw Oyster Bar // This was the second most recommended spot, and I’m told that going early is key! Apparently the ceviche is life changing – sign me up!
  • Melfi’s // Incredible spot to get your Italian food fix!
  • Church and Union // The fried chicken is supposedly life changing here, say no more!
  • Leon’s Oyster Shop // Another great spot for fresh seafood, and I’m told that you can’t skip out on the ice cream! Kid friendly, too.
  • Husk Restaurant // A must go-to Southern food spot! I’m told to make reservations in advance.
  • Slightly North of Broad (S.N.O.B.) // An eclectic bistro that was highly recommended! They must stay busy too, because several of you mentioned that having a reservation is helpful.
  • The Obstinate Daughter // Known for amazing pizza, appetizers, and great cocktails!
  • Chez Nous // Several of you said this is such a charming spot! Book reservations in advance.
  • Citrus Club // This one is said to be a perfect view of the city! It’s the rooftop cocktail bar at The Dewberry, and it looks like so much fun.
  • Kaminsky’s Dessert Cafe // You all know me so well to recommend a yummy dessert spot! This one came in several times.
  • Carmella’s Cafe and Dessert Bar // Another recommended dessert spot that looks absolutely divine!

Charleston Inspiration

my dream packing list

Here are a few sunny pieces I’m eyeing that I think would be darling for a trip to Charleston. I have the long pink floral dress packed up and can’t wait to break it out, and you know I wouldn’t leave the house without my favorite amazon sunnies! Click directly on an image to shop. 

To say we’re excited for this little getaway would be an understatement! I can’t thank you all enough for all of the wonderful tips you’ve sent my way.

Did I leave anything off? What else should we know about visiting Charleston? Let me know in the comments below!



caps for a cause

Pink Stripe
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Khaki Stripe
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Gift Guide // Small Business Glossary

It’s taken me a bit longer than I anticipated to put this together, but today I am happy to share a gift guide that is very special to me!

It’s taken me a bit longer than I anticipated to put this together, but today I am happy to share a gift guide that is very special to me!

Here’s the best part: This roundup of small businesses was submitted by you, and several of them are businesses that you own and operate! To say I have the best community here might a huge understatement. Some of these small businesses were already ones I know and love, and others were new to me. Guys, I am so impressed with you. I think my Christmas wish list doubled in size after browsing through all the incredible products and services you all create – lookout, Andrew!

Even if you’ve already checked off everyone on your list, please take a moment to browse the small business glossary anyway. So many would be perfect for birthdays, treat yourself moments and other celebrations all year long!

Alright, I’ll try to scale back my “proud stage mom” self – lets’s dive in!




Goods & Services

If you have a small business and missed the chance to be included above, please leave a comment with the details of your small business below!



home sweet (finally) home // we are moving!

If you can’t tell from the title of today’s blog post… I have some big, big news to share!

If you can’t tell from the title of today’s blog post… I have some big, big news to share!

Andrew and I are absolutely giddy, emotional, and deeply grateful to share that after four years away, this summer we will be moving back to our hometown of Dallas, Texas. For good!

Over the past three and a half years, our little family has lived in three different states, all while navigating a global pandemic and adding members (Hi Flynn! Hi Padgitt!) along the way. The past few years have been an adventure, to say the least, holding both hills and valleys… plenty of fun and joy, and also the unique challenges that accompany the residency and fellowship journey. It feels surreal to nearly be at the finish line knowing that we will be heading “home” for good and without another move on the horizon. Thank you, Lord!

Andrew will complete his cornea fellowship in Ophthalmology this summer and has accepted a position in Dallas that will begin shortly thereafter. It was always our collective dream to one day move back to Dallas near both sides of our family and many friends, and we feel incredibly grateful that the Lord is leading us back to this special place!

And now for the second part of this update…

illustration by Evelyn Henson

A new (to us) home!

After Andrew’s job was solidified, it didn’t take long before we were casually browsing the Dallas real estate market, having no real plans to start seriously looking until the new year. On a fateful trip back home, however, that changed very quickly! We drove past a “for sale” sign that stopped us in our tracks and, long story short, ended up putting in an offer on a little 1950s ranch-style home just blocks away from both of our families. In a story that has no other explanation than being orchestrated by the Lord, our offer was accepted!

From the moment I stepped into this house, I knew it could be something very special. It was clear that it needed a bit of love, but all of the “big stuff” was there. The layout! The natural light! The yard! And best of all… all on a block that serendipitously houses a few friends and young families. I feel so lucky to have found an incredible contractor who is currently walking us through the renovation process and I’m already seeing it come together. (More on that, soon!)

I promise to share all of the fun details of our first home renovation project, and already can’t wait to take y’all along for this crazy ride. I am so thankful for those of you who have cheered me on throughout so many big life moments (graduating college, finding my first apartment, meeting Andrew, and so on and so forth), and couldn’t be more thrilled to step into this next chapter.

Luckily, we still have a few months to soak in the beauty of North Carolina. We have fallen in love with this state and as excited as I am to get back to Texas, I’m thankful for a bit more time here! So don’t worry, we’re not going anywhere yet.

But pretty soon, watch out. I’ll be signing off with “Love from the Lonestar State” again! :)



lights, camera…

Padgitt’s Baby Boy Nursery Reveal

Today, I’m thrilled to finally share Padgitt’s nursery with you! In this post, I’m sharing all of the details of his nursery and the special touches that make this room unique. I hope that his room inspires a nursery you might be working on!

Hello, hello friends! It’s been a bit quiet around Lonestar Southern as I adjust to all the new and change happening in our world right now. Between, you know, having a baby, moving to a new state, my sister’s wedding, and now heading into the holiday season, things have been a bit crazy. But in the best way, of course! The good news is that we’re becoming more and more settled every day, and we’re falling in love with our new home here in North Carolina!

It feels really wonderful to dip my toes back into the world of Lonestar Southern after stepping back to prioritize our new little family, and I’m excited to start bringing you fresh blog and email fun (yes, happy mail is coming your way soon!) now that I think I’ve settled into a sustainable pace. Sending love for all the encouragement and love you have sent my way in this crazy season we find ourselves in!

Awhile back, I shared my inspiration for Padgitt’s nursery. Today I’m excited to share how it all came to life! Talk about a full-circle moment. This post has been in the works for months, and I couldn’t be happier to share it with you today.


Baby Boy Nursery Reveal

baby boy nursery reveal with crib and glider

Even though Padgitt was only at our home in Florida for a few months before we moved, it was important to me to create a special space for those early moments with him. I’m so glad we did because his room ended up being the happiest space in our home.

I had a vision for a warm, inviting space accented with a bit of blue and green, and I’m so thrilled it turned out just as I’d imagined. Luckily, the walls were already a warm off-white. Instead of painting them or wallpapering, I decided to just embrace the shade, save some money and check off one more thing on the to-do list leaving them as-is! (So, I apologize for not having a paint color for you.)

baby boy nursery reveal with crib

crib // crib bedding (custom, but made with this fabric) // glider // ottoman // rug // side table // padgitt bros watercolor // curtains (color is cornflower) // acrylic frame // floor lamp (similar linked)

The most special thing in this nursery, apart from the little baby who lived in it, was the watercolor “Padgitt” artwork above his crib. My dear friend Emmy of Weatherly Paper made this for us. She is so talented, and I’m incredibly thankful to have made such a sweet, forever friend in Gainesville!

My dream was always to have a little boy and name him Padgitt, which is my maiden name. This special piece of art shows a glimpse of the family history behind the name. Way back when, Padgitt Bros Company was a maker and purveyor of leather goods and saddles. This watercolor artwork is a rendition of the original storefront that was located in downtown Dallas!

Padgitt will be able to keep this piece of art for a long time, and I’m excited for it to grow with him! I love our family history, and my hope is that Padgitt grows to love it, too.

baby boy nursery reveal with dresser, mirror, and lamps

Can you believe these lampshades were something that I DIY’d out of a shower curtain? I have to admit, I’m surprised they turned out as cute as they did! Using the material from this shower curtain and following this tutorial, along with a few hours hunched over on the floor of our living room, made it all happen. I also love the lamps themselves. They are certainly a timeless style that can live through future room updates.

baby boy nursery reveal lamps with DIY lamp shades

Side note, this little friend, Sophie, has been a great teether toy for Padgitt as he’s experienced the growing pains of developing teeth! If you have a teething baby or know someone with a baby on the way, Padgitt would highly recommend this toy.

baby boy nursery reveal with crib and custom art

Finding material to add a few custom pieces to this nursery definitely added a special touch! My mother actually introduced me to Danika Herrick, the artist behind this fabric, who has an incredible collection on Spoonflower. I love how the soft green ties in the dresser while the blue hues compliment the lampshade and curtain details.

baby boy nursery reveal with dresser, lamp, baskets, and curtains

dresser (paint color sherwin williams Recycled Glass) // mirror // baskets // lamps: DIY’d the shades using the material from this shower curtain and this tutorial // changing table // curtains // crib // chair

After having such a serene space, imagine my reaction when I saw that Padgitt’s room in North Carolina was painted bright blue by the previous tenants. To my surprise, it actually kind of works with everything we already have! I’m so glad that we were able to use all of this decor in his new space (with the exception of his sweet painting, which sadly we can’t nail into the wall of our rental home), and am so thankful for all of the memories being made here!

Love from North Carolina,


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my ikea pax wardrobe closet

My IKEA pax wardrobe is without a doubt one of my favorite things in my home. I’m excited to share all of the details with you today!

ikea pax wardrobe closet ideas
ikea pax wardrobe closet ideas
ikea pax wardrobe closet ideas
ikea pax wardrobe closet ideas
ikea pax wardrobe closet ideas

My IKEA pax wardrobe is without a doubt one of my favorite things in my home. After fruitlessly exploring different clothing storage options and ideas, I finally decided to “pull the trigger” on this affordable, build-your-own system and convert a spare bedroom into a “cloffice.” (Closet-office.) Let me tell you… I only regret that I didn’t do it sooner!

Before I finalized my own IKEA pax wardrobe design, I spent a tremendous amount of time scouring the web, Pinterest and Instagram for layout ideas and inspiration. After all, I wanted something beautiful but also perfectly functional for my space and needs.

The total cost of this IKEA pax wardrobe system was $1,120. While it was definitely an investment, it was an incredibly cost-effective purchase compared to other closet systems! I managed to save even more money by building the closet myself. (I love projects like this!) It did take me a couple of days, but if you’re looking for something easier, many cities offer the option to hire someone to install it for you via TaskRabbit.

I can honestly say I’m so delighted with what I came up with, and after living with this closet system for two years, am happy to recommend it fully.

If you’re considering installing an IKEA pax wardrobe in your own space, I hope these details are helpful!


build this ikea pax wardrobe


view my closet in the IKEA pax planner:

  1. click HERE
  2. select the “OPEN DESIGN” button in the top right corner
  3. insert this code: JDNJZW

links to my exact closet:


Pax Wardrobe Frame (2) // 39 3/8″ x 22 7/8″ x 92 7/8 “

Pax Wardrobe Frame (2) // 19 5/8″ x 22 7/8″ x 92 7/8 “

Komplement Drawer with Framed Front (3) // 39 3/8″ x 22 7/8 “

Komplement Pull-out Tray (3) // 39 3/8″ x 22 7/8 “

Komplement Pull-out Tray (8) // 19 5/8″ x 22 7/8 “

Komplement Shelf (4) // 39 3/8″ x 22 7/8 “

Komplement Clothes Rail (2)

Komplement Shelf (4) // 19 5/8″ x 22 7/8 “

Komplement Drawer Liner (3) // 35″ x 20 7/8 “

Komplement Shoe Insert (16) // 19 5/8″ x 13 3/4 “


extra features



One fun and easy hack to incorporate into your IKEA pax wardrobe is the use of these puck lights from Amazon! They are battery-operated, so the pro is that set-up is a breeze. No wires or electrical things to try to figure out! (And they can be operated via a remove!) The con is that replacing batteries for each light is time-consuming and, to be quite honest, a bit of a nuisance. But I loved cost-effective pizazz it added! Shop them here.

drawer pulls:

Another way to customize your IKEA pax wardrobe is by adding drawer pulls. I settled on these small acrylic pulls for the jewelry trays and these larger acrylic pulls for the larger drawers.

To design your own IKEA pax wardrobe system, click here!

Love from the Sunshine State,