Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sassy Belles

Upon hearing of the soon to be released “Sassy Belles” book, I was immediately intrigued by what the pages between the title had to offer. I am, after all, a belle myself. While the scent of magnolia made me instantly entranced by the main character Blake and her lifetime bestie, Vivi, it was the continual banter of sexy men, college football and a family lineage big enough to make the Kennedy’s blush that made me zip through this lovely read. 

                  To open, Beth Albright painted a frantic scene filled with death, female confusion and the love of former flames that encouraged rapid page turning in hopes of finding quick answers. Albright easily developed characters and provided a background that made me feel as if my best friend was sharing the story.   As the plot unfolded, character traits deepened and I was given a sense of understanding and involvement as best friends Blake and Vivi tried to get their lives back to the simplicity and contentment of when their friendship forged years before.

The joy of the southern lifestyle Albright created, along with the lifetime friendship any Belle could relate to, left me reaching for the phone to call my “Momma” and thinking about the quaint small towns like Tuscaloosa, Alabama that always provide an easy feeling of understanding and comfort- even when read in a fictional story. Albright brings a real life understanding of how love can fail but, how the strength of a southern backbone and love of a family is no match for the complexities those experiences might bring.

Blake and Vivi are a perfect depiction of the relationship of lifelong friends and the trust woman find and need in one another. Though Albright throws in plenty of unexpected surprises for these two, there is a reminder there’s nothing an ice cold Diet Coke, Sweet Tea or a fresh coat of lipstick can’t solve. Southern women are a force to be reckoned with and Beth Albright establishes this fact with ease. The Sassy Belles leaves me longing for more adventures and hopes that my antics are just as sexy and strong as these southern women.

                  Beth Albright’s Sassy Belles was the perfect read for a long weekend at the beach or that night in alone with a glass of vino. I rate this book at 4 ½ stars and can’t wait to dive into Albright’s future Sassy Belles novels set to debut in July and September.

To pre-order:

*Barnes & Noble:

Until next time, may your day be full of magnolias, bourbon and a little literary love!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Treat Yo'self

There's nothing like opening your inbox and finding a "Treat" inside. A few weeks ago, I was introduced to a new online greeting card brand called Treat. Being the snail mail obsessed gal that I am, I couldn't resist creating a few cards of my own!

Treat is an easy and innovative service that allows you to create custom cards that reflect your style. The Treat family stems from the Shutterfly, Tiny Prints and Wedding Paper Diva family and are passionate about stationary. Knowing Treat was a member of such a reliable card and photo service, I jumped right in. 

The Treat site is easy to navigate. Cards are categorized according to theme, recipient and occasion. I quickly decided to create cards for Mother's Day. After choosing a card for my Mom, I was lead to a pop-up that asked for my recipient's name, my name and my closing line. After filling in the information I was sent to a screen that allowed me to fully customize the inside of the card. Treat has multiple options for layouts - including photos and text. Aside from customizing layouts, Treat offers what seems to be nearly 75-100 fonts. (This definitely spoke to my paper geeky-ness.) After finishing the inside greeting, I was able to add a photo and customize the "memo" on the back of the card. 

I created personalized Mother's Day cards for my Mom and sister (a new mother) as well as a wedding card, congratulations card for my cousin's graduation and a birthday card. For all of you looking to attend a friend's wedding or family member's graduation, Treat offers the perfect way to give something a little more special than something pulled off the shelf. The best part about ordering from Treat is the fact that they will send your cards for you! In a hurry? Order online and ship the card to be received in just a couple of days. 

Cards came neatly packaged two days later in a colorful Treat envelope.
I sent my Mother's Day cards a few days early and my Mom and sister said they were the best cards they've ever received! Check out my creations from Treat cards and be sure to visit online to make your own custom cards for upcoming events. 

Cards sent to my Mom & Sister

Inside of my Sister's New Mom card.

Until next time, may your Mother's Day be full of Magnolias, Bourbon and a little treat for those you love!

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Silks of 139

Happy Derby weekend, y'all! I know the sun is shining brightly on my "Old Kentucky Home" this weekend! I wish I could be there but am spending a fabulous weekend in Carillon Beach, Florida for my dear friend's bachelorette party. Make sure you're Derby ready for the weekend and when in doubt, Julep out!

Talk Derby to Me!

Talk Derby to Me! by ssophisticate featuring a ruched dress

Until next time, may your day be full of roses, juleps and a photo finish!

My Old Kentucky Home via Churchill Downs

Thursday, May 2, 2013

App-solutely Necessary

If you're an SNL fan, you're no stranger to "Drunk Uncle." One of my favorite Drunk Uncle skits involves a rant about technology today:

Hysterical! While Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and blog apps are all highly used on my devices, I thought it would be fun to share with you some of my "not so well known" but favorite apps.

Bible- If you haven't downloaded this app, do it now. Bible has hundreds of  daily devotional plans to choose from with new ones added everyday. This app makes is simple to squeeze in time during those "unused minutes" in your day.  I have particularly enjoyed the seasonal plans and using the bookmark feature for saving important verses. You may have even seen me share my daily verse on Twitter. If you're looking for a way to have more time for your relationship with Christ, this is a must!

Photoshop Express- If you're an avid Instagrammer or just like to share great photos, this app is for you. The fact that this is free makes it a no-brainer. The features help you balance lighting, exposure, shadows and more to transform an average smart phone photo into something fabulous. 

Sky Scanner- I recently discovered this app and have to say, I will never book another flight without it. Sky Scanner surfs the current fares across all available online flights and shares them in a search-able list based on cost, departure and arrival times. The great thing about Sky Scanner is the ability to search nearby airports with the click of a button. Trying to determine which airport to fly in or out of, no problem. This app allows for multiple search windows at a time! if you are looking for reasonable airfares, Sky Scanner is for you.

TED Talks- If you haven't heard of TED Talks yet, TED is a global set of conferences ranging from technology, to entertainment and design that are broadcast via online video and mobile app. I've really enjoy searching the TED Talks app for interesting content on long drives or downtime. Think interesting stories 24-7. Let TED talks speak to your mind. It's fascinating.

Voxer- Hearing my friends voices is exactly what I need on long days. While I might not always have the time to devote to an entire phone conversation, Voxer let's me spend a minute or so of my time communicating walkie-talkie style with my friends. Essentially voice text messaging. Sometimes it is exactly what I need.

Lemon Wallet- Don't you hate when you might be filling out paperwork or need to quickly reference a card that might be in your wallet in the car or downstairs? Lemon Wallet is a secure visual of the front and back of cards you photograph and store in a "digital wallet." It's fabulous for those moments when all you have is your phone in hand.

It's crazy to think how many apps are still out here I haven't learned about! What are some of your favorite apps?

Until next time, may your day be full of magnolias, bourbon and life changing apps!