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post #24 - F5: Charleston Edition (Guest Post)

26 July 2013

Friday Five from Charleston, SC!

I'm sad, but excited, to present my very last guest post! Sad, because I've had so much fun reading the awesome posts that my friends have put together. But, EXCITED, because in just a few more days, I'll be DONE with my summer-demon, the Bar Exam. 

This week, I asked one of my most stylish, fun, and genuine friends to do my Friday Five from Charleston, SC. 

When MBC asked me to do a guest blog post for her I was absolutely terrified really excited.   But after some wine debate I hope that I have come up with a Five on Friday that you can all enjoy!  This week’s theme: Give Back.  I have included a few things you can do for yourself and a few things you can do to give back to your community!

1.     AA BB CC – what?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past year or so you’ve heard about the newest beauty product on the scene – BB Cream.  I have been a Bare Minerals girl for as long as I can remember but as the summer was upon us I wanted something light, simple, and on the go.   While perusing the BB creams I stumbled across the Tarte BB tinted treatment – and with a little coercing from a wonderful sales associate I decided to give it a try. The product claims to work as a primer, moisturizer, light coverage foundation, anti-aging treatment, pore minimizer, AND sunscreen all rolled into one!  Despite my initial reservations I am pleased to report this product is everything it claims to be and more! I have been using this product religiously all summer and couldn't be more ecstatic with my results. This is a great product to protect your skin during those bright summer months. If you’re looking for a make up makeover, check it out!

{{You can purchase this beauty right HERE at Sephora}}

 2.  Nail Glow

After three years of graduate school and countless manis, polish purchases and color changes I was COMPLETELY DEVASTATED when I found out I was no longer allowed to wear my new favorite polish colors when I started my very first Big Girl Job (I work in health care). This week marks my 1 year anniversary at my job and it certainly been an adjustment. As fate would have it, I started working with a new patient (LM) and she shared my upset.  LM recommended that I try this new product by Christian Dior – “Nail Glow”.  LM informed me the product was like a manicure in a jar – ie, it makes the whites of your nails whiter and the pinks of your nails pinker.  After wearing the product for one full week and countless hand washes and glove-wearing my nails look excellent (without chipping)!  They feel stronger and I have even had several people ask if I actually got a manicure over the weekend. The product doesn’t require a top coat or a base coat and still gives you that “Ijustpapmeredmyself” look and feel. It is a worthy investment.   

{{You can purchase this wonder-polish right HERE at Sephora}}

3.     Views on the Move!
Put some pep in your step!  If the next few pictures aren’t evidence enough – I’m a sucker for a sunset.  I’m not always motivated to exercise, but this view makes it a little easier. Get out and find an area in your town that has great scenery and see what kind of fitness inspiration you can find for yourself!  Here are a few of my favorite views from some of my recent attempts to exercise runs.  What are some of your favorite places to get fit?
{{Charleston Harbor at Sunrise}}

{{Battery at Sunset}}

{{Battery at sunset, round two!}}

{{Colonial Lake – on my route home. My favorite picture of all time!}}

{{Ravenel Bridge!}}

4.     Buy Local, Be Local
One of the many things that I love about living in Charleston is the Farmer’s Market that is held every Saturday from April through December in historic Marion Square. The square is filled with fresh produce from local farmers, fresh handmade pastas, fresh juices and smoothies, iced coffee, food trucks, local artists, local musicians, and specialty food stands.  Last summer I made it almost every Saturday and was able to grab lunch at one of my three favorite food trucks: 1) Outta My Huevos 2) Roti Rolls and 3) Charleston Crepe Company – it was difficult to just name three as there are a million new tasty options each week.   Purchasing a few items here each week is a great way to support your local community!  Find out more local Charleston business you can support HERE!  How do you support your local business owners?

{{Overall picture of a small portion of the Farmer’s Market.}}

{{Some of the yummy produce Marion Square has to offer.}}

{{Menu Options from the Outta My Huevos and Roti Rolls food trucks! Check. Them. Out.}}

5.     Be The Match
A few months ago the Be The Match became a big part of my life.  This amazing organization regulates the National Bone Marrow Donor Program – an organization that helps match individuals with life-threatening blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma with their donor match. Once a match occurs the patient is able to receive a life-saving transplant.  Every FOUR minutes some one is diagnosed with a blood cancer – that adds about to about 360 people a day. By signing up to be a part of this organization YOU could make a huge difference for someone you’ve never even met.  Adding your name to the Registry is super simple…you don’t even have to leave your house! Click HERE to register online. A kit will be mailed to your house – follow the instructions and mail the kit back in a pre-labeled envelope. Easy-peasy, zero cost to you, and absolutely no needles involved.  According to Be The Match there are about 7,500 people in need of a match at any given time. There is about a 0.2% chance that you will be a match for someone, so spread the word and pay it forward!

I hope you all enjoyed my guest post! Are you feeling motivated yet?
xoxo - SK

A HUGE thank you to Sarah for this fantastic guest post! I can't wait to throw down with this little lady in just one week! 

Another HUGE thank you to all of you for supporting me in so many ways in my studies in the past few weeks - your texts, calls, packages, food, encouragement and prayers have helped me get through each day! Keep me in your prayers at the beginning of next week...and pray for mine and my classmates' safety on Wednesday when we finish ;-)

Don't forget to follow me on Blogger, BlogLovin, Facebook, & Instagram to stay updated with Makeshift Margs! I can't wait to start posting again next week!


post #23 - Creating a Dream Home on a Nightmare Budget (Guest Post)

23 July 2013

Creating a Dream Home on a Nightmare Budget

Today, I asked my friend Sable to give my readers some decorating tips. She never ceases to amaze me with some of the cutest apartment decor in town, and is definitely a lady-lawyer with some great taste!

I was so honored when Morgan asked me to do a guest post while she is studying away for the Bar Exam. I met Morgan when I was her mentor on her first day of law school orientation and cannot believe that she is already taking the bar - time really does fly!  I am moving to a new apartment in a very short time and have been slowly collecting décor to make my new place look like some of my favorite Pinterest photos, but sadly that can be very expensive.  Over the last couple of months I have learned some great tricks to create the home of your dreams on a budget. I thought I would share some of my favorites with you all!

1.  Used Coffee Table Books

I LOVE coffee table books. I actually think I’m a bit of a hoarder, but sadly those hardback jewels do not come cheap.  While perusing Amazon one day a few years ago I decided to click on the used link. I was shocked at how affordable the used books were and how many options there were, so I took a leap of faith and made a purchase of a book in “very good” condition.  When the book arrived it was in “very good” condition, if not like new, and I had saved at least 80% of the cover price. I have been buying used when I can ever since.  I like to use Amazon because it pulls from many different websites and gives you the condition. As a general rule I usually only purchase “very good” and “like new” - I’m not sure what they would look like beyond that.  So, next time you are looking for a coffee table book (or any book for that matter) click the Amazon used button and hope your luck is as good as mine has been!

These are just some of my used coffee table books on my TV Stand / Bookcase (Target clearance $99.00)!

2.  TJ Maxx is your BEST friend

My very favorite place to shop for home décor these days is TJ Maxx.  Unlike it’s stylish counterpart, Home Goods, most people do not go to TJ Maxx when they are decorating their homes. But, more often than not, TJ Maxx has the very same products as Home Goods, but at cheaper prices and much less picked over.  TJ Maxx home shopping does take some effort though - sometimes there will be nothing you like and sometimes there will be tons of things.

TJ Maxx restocks 3 to 5 times during the week and does clearance markdowns on Wednesdays.  While I have been shopping for my new apartment I have been going to TJ Maxx at least once a week to look through their home department and at the new clearance markdowns. Shopping that often is hard work, but someone has to do it!  

Another perk of TJ Maxx is that they do layaway on everything except large furniture.  I know layaway sounds old fashioned, but if there is something you love that costs a bit extra, but you want to pay for it in cash, they only require a 10% down payment and give you a month to pay for it and pick it up!

These are some of my favorite budget finds!  The tray, candle, coral and elephant all came from TJ Maxx!  In the previous pictures from my bookcase the owls and the coral were both TJ Maxx clearance!  

3.  One Man’s Trash Really is Another Man’s Treasure  

Second-time-around furniture stores are a gold mine for the home. I don’t mean antique stores, I mean actual consignment shops.  If you go to an “antique store” you are going to pay the price for an antique; but, the average person who decides to sell some of their furniture is more likely to take it to a consignment store, especially if they don’t know the value! Another perk of furniture consignment shops is that the longer the furniture stays, the lower the price goes. If you are willing to wait, the deal can keep getting better and better!

This bar cart is my all time favorite consignment store purchase.  I think it is very similar to the ones that are all over Pinterest and in magazines, but at just around $100.00, the price tag is much better!

4.  A Coat of Paint Can Fix Almost Anything

Even better than finding a great deal is repurposing something you already have with a can of spray paint!  If you don’t like black, white or whatever the color might be, a coat of primer and a coat of spray paint can fix it up in an instant!  

The best time to get spray paint is when it is 30% or 50% off at Hobby Lobby. When it goes to 50% off I stock up on my favorite metallic colors - but if you need to buy a can and it is not on sale, you can always pull up a 40% off Hobby Lobby coupon on the internet or even on your cell phone in the store and get your instant discount!

A word to the wise - humidity is NOT your friend when spray painting! Scrubbing gold paint off of your legs and arms before a dinner out is not easy!

This coffee table is now the focal point of my Living Room, but for about 10 years it sat outside on my parents’ deck!  A good washing and a few coats of metallic gold paint made it comparable to a similar one I wanted from a room featured in House Beautiful!

I hope my tips will help you in future decorating ventures and that you enjoyed my guest post. I know Morgan can’t wait to be done with the bar and back to blogging!

A HUGE thank you to Sable! This post makes me so excited to get back to decorating our house. I hope some of her skill will rub off on me!

Don't forget to follow Makeshift Margaritas on BlogLovin, Facebook, Instagram, & Blogger!


post #22 - F5: Nashville Edition (Guest Post)

19 July 2013

Five on Friday from Nashville!

For my Friday Five today, I asked one of my college roomies and BFFs to post all the way from Tennessee! Hope y'all love reading about some Nashville favorites as much as I did!

Hello loyal MM readers. I was very excited when Morgan asked me to be a guest blogger, but also a little nervous. I couldn’t think of a thing to talk about. Then, I remembered, I live near one of the most entertaining cities in the South East!

I’ll give you a little background. I moved to Tennessee with my husband who is currently stationed at Fort Campbell. We visit Nashville frequently and even did a surprise party for him in the city when he came home from Afghanistan. We quickly fell in love with Nashville.

I know vacations can get pricey fast, so here are some of my favorite (cheap) places to visit in Nashville. 

1. Favorite Bar- Paradise Park Trailer Resort

From the outside, this bar looks like your average dive. On the inside, however, it is set up like a trailer park. Yes, you read that right. This is a trailer park themed bar.  I mean, how could you go wrong with live music, a pontoon and astro turf carpet? This is one of my favorite bars on Broadway. They have cheep beer ($6.00 a pitcher), awesome music, and a great environment. You definitely need to keep an open mind when visiting PPTR, but you are sure to have a great time.

{Trey, Channing, Clayton, Me, Mary Bradlee and Chris at Paradise Park}
2. Favorite Restaurant- Demo’s Steak & Spaghetti House
My favorite restaurant in Nashville has to be Demo’s. My husband and I stumbled upon this little gem while driving through downtown. The line to go into the restaurant wrapped all the way around the corner. I knew that meant it must be good. In fact, I could eat here at least once a week and be one happy girl.

Demos is known for their spaghetti (my favorite) and steaks. You can get a huge bowl of spaghetti, a basket of breadsticks and a salad for $8.19 plus tax.

I personally cannot visit Demos and not stuff myself with some of their yummy cherry delight (about $3 for a big pan). Make sure you bring some Spelnda, as all of their tea is sweetened with syrup. Not my favorite!

3. Favorite Breakfast- Pancake Pantry

I know what you’re thinking, “Could food really be worth standing in this line for?” The line is actually worse than it seems, but the answer is still YES! The Pancake Pantry is a Nashville staple, and I was eager to try it on our last visit. We waited in line for almost two hours and when we finished eating, we had only been sitting for about 20 minutes. They are super fast, but the food is amazing. I ordered the omelet, which was more like an egg with all of the extras on top. This came with three (yes, three) huge pancakes. My husband and a few of our friends ordered the specialty, sweet potato pancakes with a cinnamon cream sauce. There are no words to describe this meal! 

4. Favorite Hotel- Opryland Hotel


The Opryland Hotel is like no other hotel I have ever stayed in. I imagine it is something like the mega-hotels in Vegas. Even if you do not stay here (as it can be pricey), I would recommend at least stopping by to check it out. Make sure you plan on spending a few hours. The hotel has at least 15 restaurants, over 2,800 rooms, 9-acres of indoor gardens, waterfalls and an indoor river. Just like most places in Nashville, there is always live entertainment. The hotel itself offers plenty of entertainment, but it is within walking distance of Opry Mills Mall and The Grand Ole Opry. My favorite time to visit Opryland would have to be Christmas. They decorate the entire hotel in true Nashville fashion.  

5. Favorite Tour- Nashville Pedal Tavern

As I mentioned before, we recently had a surprise weekend for my husband when he returned from Afghanistan. I was able to book a 2.5 hour tour on the Nashville Pedal Tavern during the day on Saturday. We had just enough people (16) to fill an entire trolley with one person acting as the bartender in the middle. 
We quickly learned there were a few seats that did not require pedaling and at the first stop made sure to switch spots. It was probably one of the most fun things I have done in Nashville so far. You can get out at different stops and go into bars with discounts, or do like we did and stay on the trolley and drink what you brought with you. It was well worth the $25.00.
  {My husband on the front of the trolley}
I hope you enjoyed and have the chance to visit Nashville soon. My next stop is Nashville favorite, Blue Bird Café. That is if I can ever get a reservation! Do you have any Nashville favorites?  
Thanks so much to Anna for guest posting! This made me even more sad (if that is humanly possible) to have missed her hubby's homecoming celebrations! Are you ready to visit Nashville yet? I sure am!

Don't forget to follow me on Blog Lovin, Instagram, Facebook, and Blogger! Counting the days until I'll be blogging again --- August 1 can't come soon enough!

Until next time!!

post #21: Easy Kitchen Cabinet Makeover (Guest Post)

16 July 2013

Easy Kitchen Cabinet Makeover - from Dog House Diaries!

Today, I asked my friend Aubrey (and her special helpers/fur babies, Rupert & Emma) at Dog House Diaries for some tips on house flipping! 

Hi MM Readers!  I am so excited to share with you an easy way to totally revamp your kitchen in one weekend.  We are currently flipping a 1970s home and introducing it to this millennium!

The kitchen started in pretty rough shape.  We have a lot to tackle and a good bit left to do, but for today, we will focus on the cabinets.

{Cream dingy- colored cabinets with rusted hinges! Yuck!}

Tools you will need for this project:
1.       Electric Drill
2.       Rostoleum Brushed Nickel Spray Paint (or whatever color you choose)
3.       Primer-Sealer (1 can for the amount of cabinets shown)
4.       Semi-Gloss white paint (1 can for the amount of cabinets shown)
5.       Sponge roller
6.       Angled paint brush

Our first step was to remove all the cabinets from the wall and remove all the hinges from the cabinets.  Be sure to keep all of your screws so you can use the same ones to put everything back together. 

We used two cans of Rustoleum Brushed Nickel spray paint to paint all of the cabinet hardware.  You can also use a metal spay primer if your hinges are extremely rusted.   The brushed nickel color gave the hinges a nice modern twist.

Then we began painting the cabinets.  You will want to do a layer of primer-sealer.  We chose Killz brand.  Paint one side at a time.  I decided to start with the back side first since you want your last coat to be on the front of the cabinets so you have a lower risk of imperfections.

To paint, I found using a small sponge roller is most effective.  You will also want to use an angled paint brush to cut in on any grooves you may have on your cabinet doors. 

You will need to give the cabinets at least 2-4 hours to dry on each side.  Once you have primed both sides of the cabinet, you are ready to paint the top coat! 

We chose a white semi-gloss that is stain and smudge proof which is perfect for kitchen cabinets.  We chose Behr paint because you want to go with something high quality since you come in contact with your kitchen cabinets a minimum of twice a day every day.  That is a ton of wear! So don’t skimp on paint.
Once we finished painting the top coat on the cabinets and they were completely dry, we were ready to reattach the spray-painted hardware. 

For finishing touches, I went along with a q-tip and a bit of spray-paint in a cup to touch up the screw heads to match the new hardware.

And Voila!

I hope these easy steps will help you get motivated to give your kitchen a quick and easy facelift!  Next up for us is replacing the countertops and backsplash.  To learn more about us and our project, visit

Xoxo (Hugs and Licks)

Thanks so much to Aubrey, Rupert, & Emma (& Jayson, of course!)... Aubrey is one of my sweetest, most creative, and genuine friends, and Rupert & Emma are two precious pups! I'm so excited that she started a blog and can't wait to see all of her great ideas! Don't forget to check it out - I know you'll love her and her sweet family as much as I do!

Follow Makeshift Margaritas on Facebook, Blog Lovin, Blogger, and Instagram to stay updated!
Next up, we'll be traveling all the way to Nashville, TN for our Friday Five!

Xoxo - MBC

post #20 - F5: iPad Stand, Cucumber Basil Sorbet, Ginger Cilantro Margaritas, Monogrammed Wreath, The Great Gatsby

12 July 2013

Five on Friday - Pinterest Edition

Goooooood morning everyone! Hope your weeks have been great. Sadly, this is my last post until AUGUST! I'm getting super pumped for the guest posts I have lined up for the next few weeks. I can't wait for y'all to read them!

I've done nothing but study this week. Like, nothing. It has been so hard balancing studying and being on Royal Baby watch! It's so hard to decide which is more important. I also had this problem while studying this spring and personally attempting to catch the Marathon Bomber from my own home using only internet photos for two days straight. While I thought I was sure to find a lead, luckily, the actual police beat me to it.

All I can think about lately are my upcoming travels and all the things I want to do after the bar exam. DIY, baking, and house decorating are up there on the list, thankya much Pinterest. Since my week has been super uninteresting (unless you want to read a post entirely about Sugar Free Red Bull, Highlighters, and fun phone apps involving multiple choice questions), I'm hitting you up with 5 things I can't wait to do in August, Pinterest style...

1. This iPad stand for cooking in the kitchen (once we get an iPad, that is)

2. Cucumber Basil Sorbet
(hanging on to the little bit of summer I have left)

3. Ginger Cilantro Margaritas

4. Monogrammed Wreath DIY
(because every house should have one of these. and i've been maybe riding around with a wreath in the back of my car to make this since May oops)

5. Read Books That Are Actually Good
So many lists of books, where to begin! After essentially not reading for pleasure for 3 years (with the exception of a few honeymoon books last summer), my list has piled up. And since I'm a firm believer of reading a book before seeing a movie, that means my movies have piled up too. I'm pretty sure I'm the only person on the planet who has yet to read or watch Hunger Games. This book will be an almost immediate purchase in August. Maybe even a car ride-to-Alabama or plane ride-to-Vegas read? 
Once I can check the books I've been waiting to read off my list, I am going to try some of these recommendations: 20 Books to Read In Your 20's.
Are there any books that I have to read, pronto? I'd love any recommendations!

Don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin, Blogger, and Facebook! You don't want to miss these fun guest posts! ;-)

That's all, my people! See ya on the SUNNY SIDE! And I promise --- I'll be much sunnier in August :-)


post #19 - F5: Seabrook Island, Black Orchid Candle, Toothpick Jeans, Drinks, & Coffee!

05 July 2013

Friday Favorites for July 5!

Happy July 5th everyone! I hope that you are all recovering from fun Independence Day celebrations and that this morning isn't too rough! I'll have to admit - this was my lamest 4th of July yet. After all, it's 7am and I'm up and at em. (WHAT.) But you can bet that I'll be celebrating double time next year! Favorites this week...

1. Seabrook Island, SC
Seabrook has a special place in my heart, as it's where Jo and I got engaged, over a year and a half ago. (wow!!) This weekend trip will be a little more low key than our engagement weekend, but I am super excited to go back and relive the memories. We'll be leaving when he gets off work today and I'll be taking some of Saturday off from studying (please keep your gasps to a minimum). This time, we get to celebrate his sister's birthday! To say I'm ready for sun, sand, and a drink in hand is an understatement!

(Milly's last trip to Seabrook!)

(Engagement! Can we do it again this year? When I can wear real, non-gym clothes?)


2. Scentsational Black Orchid Natural Soy Candle
I picked one of these up at TJ Maxx last year, and it is my favorite candle EVER. I looked frequently and couldn't find another one anywhere. Not long ago, I was in Marshalls and the heavens opened - one was sitting on the shelf. This candle seriously smells divine and lasts forever! If you ever see it. I've been burning it nonstop this week and it's veryyyy yummy.

3. JCrew Toothpick Jeans
It's been a rainy summer. Lots of pants. Not so many shorts. Believe me when I say, over the years, I've tried a lot of jeans. Most of the designers you can think of. These jeans are probably my favorite pair that I have ever owned. They fit like a glove, and are soft and actually comfortable. These have been making appearances a little too often. Including once at least twice this week.
(dark wash. love. next i'll be hopefully getting a lighter wash, so I can actually wear them actuallyallthetime)

4. This drink of April's!
I saw this post on A. Liz Adventures and had to give it a try. My love for St. Germain has blossomed over the summer, and this drink hit the spot! I made a few small changes so I could work with what I had on hand, but this cocktail tasted like candy and put me right to sleep and was delicious!

1 part St. Germain
1.5 parts 99 Whipped Schnapps
2.5 parts club soda
Pinch of mint leaves
Lavender sprig

I've been drinking a lot of coffee lately. Like, a lot. Jo is a big coffee drinker, too. I've never been so glad that we decided to make a coffee bar at our new rental house! We have a small kitchen, so this was the perfect solution to keep all of our coffee supplies. I got a lot of Pinterest inspiration, and am so happy with how ours turned out. I still plan to decorate this and fine tune it more, but it's working for now. I can't wait until we purchase a house and can actually paint the wall behind it, but love the utility of this set up!

(we keep this in the office...right where it belongs.)

I got inspiration from some of these...

I also have some super super super exciting news this week. For the next few weeks, I'll be spending too much time studying. I've decided to take a break from blogging because 1) I don't have time, and 2) I'm not doing anything interesting enough for you to want to read anyway. But, I have asked a few of my most stylish, creative, and awesome friends to fill in for me. I'll be having two guest posts a week, running from mid July until the beginning of August. I can't wait to see what these ladies have to say and get some advice on decorating, products, and more! Is there anything you'd like to see blogged about? Leave a comment!

Don't forget to follow me on Instagram, Bloglovin, Blogger, and Facebook!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Love Thai Food? Check out my post about Basil in Columbia, SC here!