latest & greatest vol. 96

It’s been the week of the collage post around here, and I just want to say thank you so much for hanging in there with me! Andrew and I are planning on shooting lots of fun looks this weekend, so rest assured I’ll have lots of outfit posts live soon.

What. A. Week.

House in demolition mode. Emotions all over the place due to the rainy, hot weather we’ve been having. It’s safe to say I’m so, so happy we’ve reached Friday!

It’s been the week of the collage post around here, and I just want to say thank you so much for hanging in there with me! Andrew and I are planning on shooting lots of fun looks this weekend, so rest assured I’ll have lots of outfit posts live soon.

In the meantime, you’ll find a few favorite “new arrivals” from the web this past week below! While all of these collages are usually clickable, you’ll be able to find the floral embroidered blouse here and the khaki stripe ballcap here. Other than that, you know the drill!

Enjoy!

FLORAL EMBROIDERED BLOUSE | PEARL EARRINGS | HEELED RIDING BOOTS | FLORAL HEADBAND | KHAKI STRIPE BASEBALL CAP | PEASANT TOP | FAUX LEATHER JACKET

I wanted to point out that J.Crew is having an amazing sale today. 50% off of shoes with the code shopnow! I recently purchased these boots, and they way exceeded my expectations. Perfectly classic, effortlessly flattering, I can’t wait to break them out! I’m also loving this two-tone pair and these over-the-knee boots.

 

J.Crew Shoe Sale

50% off with code SHOPNOW

 

With home updates still going on, Andrew and I will be laying low this weekend. I anticipate lots of cocktail-creating, hockey watching and fall snacking in our future! :) Can’t wait to see you all back here next week!

Love from the Sunshine State,

Kate

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our house update // a few things i’m loving

As I write this in a corner of my living room, my handyman and his crew are hard at work updating a few areas of our house. Eek!

As I write this in a corner of my living room, my handyman and his crew are hard at work updating a few areas of our house. Eek! If you missed the action over on Instagram Stories, I shared that Andrew and I are making a few cosmetic changes to our much-loved home… nothing crazy, but fun nonetheless!

This is my first home renovation-esque project of any sort, and wow… I’m realizing how quickly it can transform into something way bigger than you ever anticipated! I just had to text my mom saying “Talk me out of replacing our bathroom mirrors. I don’t need to do that too, right?!” (And sure enough, she talked me right back out of it. Although they would look amazing.)

Since this home-sweet-home isn’t long-term (we anticipate only being here a few more years before we move for Andrew’s eventual fellowship) I’m holding myself back from getting too carried away. So instead of major statements or any sort of structural changes, we’re keeping things neutral, affordable and re-sellable.

Some of you may remember me introducing Kerry Spears, a dear friend and fabulous interior designer here in Gainesville, last fall! Initially, we had big plans for her to decorate Andrew’s study and our dining room. When COVID19 hit, however, and more and more time passed, we realized that financially, it wasn’t the smartest move for Andrew and me to outfit a home we would be in for such a short time. I am so excited to still share the original plans she made for the space, however, so stay tuned for those!

Luckily, in today’s day-and-age, I’m realizing it’s entirely possible to give your home a facelift on a budget. Today, I wanted to share a general vision for where we’re going with these tweaks, and few products I’m using to do so!

 

home updates

 

guest bathroom ideas, ikat wallpaper, gold scallop mirror, monogrammed shower curtain

1. Keller Light Blue Ogee Wallpaper (also available here and here) 2. gold and lucite towel ring (similar linked, purchased on sale for $15 at Ballard Designs a few months ago) 3. gold scallop edged mirror 4. gold 2-prong vanity light 5. gold toilet paper holder (under $25 for a set of two) 6. white vanity with sink 7. gold towel rod (just $24.50) 8. gold and lucite drawer pull (just $3.59) 9. scalloped light fixture (under $100) 10. monogrammed piquet shower curtain (similar under $100 here) 11. scalloped flush light (under $100) 11. caitlin wilson side board

In a nutshell, what we’re really doing is taking down the dated wallpaper in our primary bathroom, upstairs guest bathroom and downstairs powder bathroom. That one action alone is going to totally update the look of our house, I think!

I would love to do fun wallpaper throughout, but since we’re sticking to a modest budget, I’ve reserved it for the downstairs powder bath since it’s a small room most guests will actually see! I initially had my heart set on this Shumacher Chenonceau paper in Aquamarine, but couldn’t stomach $1000 for one small bathroom. Oh trust me, I tried to justify it every which way, but simply couldn’t bring myself to it. Probably for the best. :)

I don’t even know how it happened, but as luck would have it I somehow came across this pale blue ikat wallpaper that had amazing reviews and, wait for it, was on sale for $13 a roll! I feel like I’ve stumbled onto the best-kept secret of all time. It arrives tomorrow and all I can say is I’m still doing a happy dance that I was able to wallpaper our downstairs bath for $100!

Once the wallpaper is down and everything is painted, all that’s really left to do is switch out some fixtures (like lighting for our primary bathroom, towel bars, etc) and replace our downstairs bathroom vanity and mirror. (We found this one at our local Home Depot last weekend, and plan on adding these drawer pulls and this faucet!)

We do have an amazing sideboard that the Caitlin Wilson team is so generously sending, but other than that, no major pieces! I really do prefer purchasing high-impact pieces you’ll get years and years of use out of (like this monogrammed shower curtain that I’m considering) but given our shorter-term situation, that really isn’t wisest. And honestly, it’s been so fun scouting out deals to make this all work!

They say it has to get worse before it gets better, and our house is a total testament to that right now. Tomorrow, I’ll jump on Instagram Stories to show you an updated look at the progress we’re making, and am already itching to get to the reveal!

Before I sign off, I also wanted to extend the biggest thank you ever to those of you who have responded to my conversation on Instagram Stories about “SAD,” seasonal affective disorder. While I certainly don’t know if I “have it, have it,” I do know that the incessantly rainy, hot and humid weather these past few weeks has really put a damper on my overall being. (If you’ve noticed a lack of outdoor outfit posts, that would be why!)

I can’t tell you what it means to read messages saying I’m not alone… because even though it seems like such a trivial thing, it has been pretty hard to navigate. Anyway, your messages have already put a pep back in my step, and I can’t thank you enough for it! In no time at all I know I’ll be feeling back to normal, with lots of fun, fall outfits and inspiration for you.

Love from the Sunshine State,

Kate

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caps for a cause

Pink Stripe
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Khaki Stripe
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13 cute planners you need to know about

I’m on the hunt for a new planner, and am excited to share a massive roundup of all of your favorite planner and agenda recommendations! Click through for 12 cute planners you need to know about.

Last week, I took to Instagram Stories to share a bit of a pickle I’ve recently found myself in. My long-time favorite planner designer, Sweet Caroline Designs, won’t be releasing a new planner this year. Cue the tears! I fell in love with the simplicity, joy, large size and southern charm of her planners and will be sad without one this year.

The good news is that y’all had thousands of recommendations to send in. Leave it to this community to have so many great ideas, as usual. I’ve spent the past few days combing through them and researching your favorites, and am excited to share a massive roundup of all of your favorite planner and agenda recommendations.

Let’s dive in, shall we?! Here are 13 cute planners you need to know about:

 

cute agendas and planners

 


 

The Simplified Planner

 

Customizable: No

 

The Simplified Planner was, by far, one of the most highly recommended agendas you sent in. I’ve actually been a fan of Emily Ley’s brand for years, but am yet to own one of her highly-acclaimed planners. Her “Simplified Planner” comes in both a daily and weekly format, with a handful of adorable cover options.

 

My Favorite: The Weekly Simplified Planner in Pink Pinstripe

 


 

Erin Condren

 

Customizable: Yes

 

Looking for a nearly completely customizable planner? Check out the Erin Condren LifePlanner. Not only can you change the exact colors on multiple cover options (down to the exact flower color, for example) you can also select from a few different interior layout options as well as date ranges. One reader did note that the front cover of hers comes off frequently… just something to keep in mind!

 

My Favorite: Colorblock LifePlanner with “horizontal” and “layers colorful” options

 


 

Lilly Pulitzer

 

Customizable: No

 

Seeing so many of you recommend the Lilly Pulitzer agenda made my heart happy. This was my very first and very favorite planner for years! (In fact, check out a fun throwback here!) I stopped using them one year because I couldn’t find a print I loved, but now I’m thinking about getting back on the bandwagon. The size options are fabulous (I love jumbo) and the layout is very simple, but always puts me in a good mood! P.S. I did some research and it looks like Lilly switched up the layout last year, but this year it’s back to the original format.

 

My Favorite: Jumbo 17-month agenda in Multi Unicorn of the Sea

 


 

Kate Spade

 

Customizable: No

 

For a fun and bold planner that isn’t quite so, well, Lilly Pulitzer, the Kate Spade 10-Month Planner offers a great mix of personality and functionality. My one complaint? I only wish there were a few more color options! Looking through the reviews, it looks like this year’s Kate Spade planner is smaller than in years past.

 

My Favorite: Scallop Mega 17-Month Planner

 


 

PLUM PAPER

 

Customizable: Yes

 

I had never heard of the Plum Paper Planner until last week, so a huge thank you for introducing me to this fun brand! Plum Paper planners allow you to customize everything from the cover to the layout… and even the text you want on your layout. There are lots of great “add on” options and three sizes to choose from.

 

My Favorite: Large Planner in Beloved Pink with “horizontal priorities” layout

 


 

Target // Blue Sky

 

Customizable: No

 

For an affordable and adorable option, check out a line many of you recommended… Blue Sky at Target! Starting at just $9.99, these cute planners come in an array of cover options. Apparently, many of you have used and loved this brand for years!

 

My Favorite: Academic Planner in Totem Pink

 


 

Rifle Paper Co.

 

Customizable: No

 

Turns out, the always-adorable Rifle Paper Co. makes oh-so-cute planners too! You can expect the same bright, whimsical artistry the line is known for as well as options in size, date-span and binding. The sticker page might just be my favorite part. :)

 

My Favorite: 17-Month Large Planner in Wild Garden.

 


 

Leatherology

 

Customizable: Cover

 

I, personally, like switching up my planner each year, but if you love all things timeless, classic and consistent, you might enjoy the Leatherology Modern 2021 Planner. (Check out all of their planner options here.) Granted, it is on the higher end of the price spectrum, but the beautiful leather cover can be monogrammed or hand painted and refilled year after year. So gorgeous, right?!

 

My Favorite: Modern 2021 Planner in Camel Leather with White and Blush hand painted monogram.

 


 

Day Designer

 

Customizable: No

 

Another new-to-me planner line? Day Designer, and let me just say, it is so well-branded and well-done. I’ve always leaned more towards a weekly, open layout, but the Daily Planner is making me rethink that. I actually love how their Daily Planner is laid out, and wish I had grabbed an Academic Year Daily Planner before so many sold out!

 

My Favorite: Academic Year Daily Planner in Enchanted Forest. (Currently sold out.)

 


 

Golden Coil

 

Customizable: Yes

 

Golden Coil was easily in the top three reader recommendations as well, and I can see why! These chic, beautifully-designed planners allow you to completely customize your agenda experience. The website is easy to navigate as you build your perfect planner, and I’m blown away by how gorgeous and simple the design options are. Could this be my replacement?!

 

My Favorite: Linen Petal Cover With Weekly, Double-Page Horizontal 1 Layout

 


 

NEELY & CHLOE

 

Customizable: Cover

 

A chic, monogrammed leather planner with an insert designed by Inslee? What’s not to love about this Neely & Chloe Day Planner! I have emailed the brand to see if they’ll be coming out with new planners for 2021, and will keep you updated on what I find. What a fun, chic option!

 


 

Papier

 

Customizable: Cover

 

The final planner recommendation I’m excited to share with you today is by Papier. You’ll love the huge assortment of chic colors and patterns, and the ability to add custom text to the cover. If you don’t want to wait until January, Papier offers an undated weekly planner as well. So many options, and at such a great price point!

 

My Favorite: Scallop Spine planner in Mid Dusty Blue

 


 

Whitney English

 

Customizable: No

 

I just updated this planner list from 12 to 13 thanks to longtime Lonestar Southern-reader, Monty! In the comments, she introduced me to Whitney English’s line of planners. I’ve been on her site for the past twenty minutes and am in love. First off, her planners are aesthetically stunning. Secondly, they’re organized in a way I’ve never seen before… with lots of room for notes! You’ll find a helpful walkthrough here. Fun fact, Whitney releases her 2021 planners tomorrow morning!

 

My Favorite: Academic Year Planner in Sonoma Light Grey (but the blue gingham she launches tomorrow is a close second!)

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

The Happy Planner. Appointed Daily Planner, Kikki.K, Lemome Planner, myAgenda Planner, Ivory Paper Co, The Christian Planner, Fringe Studios Planner, Evelyn Henson Planner, May Designs, Vera Bradley, Agendio, Paper Source

 


Who would have thought there would be so many wonderful planner options out there? I cannot thank all of you enough for your wonderful recommendations, and hope they’ve pointed you in the right direction if a new planner or agenda is something you’re searching for!

What am I going to choose? Sigh. I wish I knew. I still have a few months left with my Sweet Caroline Designs planner, so luckily I don’t have to make a decision immediately. But I am feeling most-drawn to Golden Coil, Papier, Day Designer and The Simplified Planner. What about you?

Love from the Sunshine State,

Kate

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lilly pulitzer after party sale 2020 // sneak peek!

Set those alarms, because one of my all-time favorite sales coming your way Monday morning, September 14th, at 8am ET, 7am CST!

I’ve been getting few messages sprinkled throughout the past few weeks inquiring about the Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale 2020. (Which, if you’re new around here, is a sale I’ve been blogging about for years!) Set those alarms, because one of my all-time favorite sales coming your way Monday morning, September 14th, at 8am ET, 7am CST!

Keep in mind that this year, the Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale will be online only. While some Lilly Pulitzer Signature Stores will be honoring the sale, Lilly Pulitzer-owned retail stores will not have any sale merchandise.

The Lilly team leaked a few sale styles to share with you, and the prices are fabulous. Check out my very favorite sneak peek pieces below!

click directly on a product to shop

 

LILLY PULITZER

 

after party sale sneak peek

 

 

 

 

If years of shopping the sale has taught me anything, it’s that:

A) There will be a long virtual wait time. I usually end up waiting about 45 minutes before getting “in” to the online sale. Nothing to fret about, just the way it is!

B) This is the best time to buy Lilly Pulitzer pieces.

Due to the always-high volume of Lilly lovers shopping this sale, things do sell out quickly. So, to make sure you’re able to shop as efficiently as possible, I recommend creating an account and adding your credit card information so you don’t have to take the time to fill that in. Those seconds can be precious!

Also, do keep in mind that purchases from the Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale 2020 are final sale. Make sure you know your Lilly Pulitzer sizing beforehand (they have a great “fit predictor” tool on their website) and think through what you truly want and will wear to avoid any impulse buys!

To make sure you have all the info on the Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale 2020, check out this blog post. It’s filled with lots of helpful Q&As regarding this fun event!

I, for one, cannot wait to shop this sale tomorrow morning. Since I’ve been shopping the After Party Sale for so many years, the night before always feels a bit like Christmas Eve! I can’t wait to see what this year’s sale will hold, and will update this post with the pieces I end up purchasing!

Let me know what you’re hoping to find! Happy shopping!

P.S. Lilly Pulitzer has the cutest pre-fall pieces out right now. How adorable is this tweed-inspired blazer cardigan? Check out a few more of my favorites below!

Love from the Sunshine State,

Kate

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lights, camera…

my favorite fall nail color

When cooler months roll around, pink, even a pale pink, feels a bit too bright. That’s why I’m excited to share my absolute favorite fall hue with you today, one that delivers in every way Fiji does, but in a autumn-appropriate manner. Friends, meet…

As much as I love color in nearly every aspect of my life, nail polish hues have never been something I’ve gone crazy with. In fact, as boring as it sounds, I’ve become loyal to a few select hues that both flatter my fair skin tone and blend in perfectly with endless ensembles and outfit combinations over the years.

That’s why I’m a nearly year-long Fiji by Essie lover. This pale pink hue is one I keep gravitating towards, as it creates an elegant, clean, bright, and pretty nail. I don’t know what it is, but it’s amazing on every skin tone and always leaves me delighted I decided on it.

But when cooler months roll around, pink, even a pale pink, feels a bit too bright. That’s why I’m excited to share my absolute favorite fall hue with you today, one that delivers in every way Fiji does, but in a autumn-appropriate manner. Friends, meet…

 

Mixtaupe

by Essie

I’ve actually been talking about this shade here and there since it’s debut back in the fall of 2017. But as I get more and more DMs about my nail colors, I figured this gem deserved a blog post of its own!

I stumbled upon it on a trip to Target and was pleasantly shocked at how it was the exact shade I didn’t know I needed. Since I’m naturally pale, beige and nude nail polishes often end up being darker than my skin tone… not necessarily a bad thing, but not the look I love, either.

In my experience, nail polish colors that are lighter than your skin tone are most flattering.

Mixtaupe by Essie delivers that subtle, nude, universally flattering color and if you haven’t tried it yet, I think you’re in for a wonderful surprise!

But here’s the bad news… it’s no longer available on the Essie website, which makes me think they’re no longer producing this perfect shade. I wouldn’t rely on your local nail salon to carry this color, either. Instead, grab it here or here while it’s still available and keep it on hand next time you head in for a manicure!

Here are a few inspiration photos so you can see Mixtaupe on.

sources: amazon, essie envy, the fashion court, nail that accent

Since it looks like I may need a new go-to fall hue soon, I’d love to know what your favorite polish colors are! Do you lean more towards light neutrals or bold accents?

Love from the Sunshine State,

Kate

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SHOP TODAY // Hats for Africa New Life

It’s finally here! Launch day for the hats I designed with Africa New Life are available for purchase, and 100% of the proceeds are going to support 5 incredible women through the Africa New Life vocational training program. Hip, hip, hooray!

It’s finally here! Launch day for the hats I designed with Africa New Life are available for purchase, and 100% of the proceeds are going to support 5 incredible women through the Africa New Life vocational training program. Hip, hip, hooray!

Click here to shop, or use the buttons below!

I’ll be processing and packing up these orders all week, and can’t wait to get these into your hands. Shipping is free! Don’t forget to share a photo wearing your hat tagging @LonestarSouthern and @AfricaNewLife so I can post it on my Instagram Stories!

Missed the announcement? Catch up on this cause, and why I’m hoping you’ll get involved with me, here!

And finally, if you’re looking to support these women but aren’t interested in a hat, don’t have the budget for a hat, or want to give more towards our goal, you can donate directly HERE. Any amount helps!

I can’t wait to keep you updated as we work towards our goal. Thank you SO much for jumping in!

Love from the Sunshine State,

Kate