Southern Blondie

Personalized Gift Cards for Persnickety People


'Tis the holiday season as we all are aware and every time I turn around I see another holiday gift list. I have a love/hate relationship with them. If I had to guess, no one really wants another coffee mug... So I started to think of what I would want if I was going to give me a present, and because sometimes I am a bit ... persnickety, my mind immediately went to gift cards, but more personalized. 

So this is my list of personalized gift cards to get for persnickety people. 

The Book Reader

It's always a goal of mine to read a book a month. Seems easy enough... sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail. A few months ago I signed up for Book of the Month club. Each month they email you with five new selections of books, you pick one of the five, and they ship it to you! 

Now, the best part is that it's a great gift! You can give a 3-month subscription for $44.97 which is a good deal, but if you use this link you can save 30% off a 3-month subscription and get a free tote. 

That's $30, for three months and a free tote! Great gift for that book lover in your life.  

The Busy Fashion Lover 

For the person in your life who loves fashion and shopping, but is always complaining about never having anything to wear, get them a personal stylist. A personal stylist with Trunk Club. I share my love for Trunk Club a lot because it's so great for someone who loves clothes but just doesn't have the time to shop or doesn't know how to get out of their own clothing rut. 

The best part is is that you can give any amount you want! Go check it out here

The Makeup Lover

If you're a makeup lover and have had your makeup professionally done, then you know there is nothing else like it. As someone who loves makeup, I LOVE learning new tricks and techniques. My suggestions for this is giving a makeup lover in your life a gift card to Sephora for $50. This way, they can get a makeover and be able to pay for the $50 required product. 

Seriously. I love my own idea right now. 

The Workout Girl 


Working out is like therapy for me. I can take a step back from the world, clear my head and feel centered when it's over. My workouts usually consist of HIIT training and cardio, but I LOVE workout classes. So if someone in your life loves working out, think about getting them a gift card to a new class like PurreBarre, or a spinning class. Oh! A pilates class is one of my favorites! If they are already a member of a gym then consider a few personal training classes where they can work on their form. Every year I do a few personal training sessions just to switch it up. 

The Travel Enthusiast 

If you have a travel lover in your life 🙋🏼 think about a giving miles through your travel lovers favorite airline. This ensures that they will do something for themselves and plan a trip. 


The TV Lover

I will always watch Dolly if she's on tv. 
If you have a tv/movie lover in your life then I have a few ideas... 
1. A Gift card to Netflix. (YES THIS IS A THING) 
2. iTunes Giftcard (BC hello movies) 
3. Move theater tickets 

Those are all good ideas for the person in your life who enjoys a little downtime watching shows or movies. (Also, easy.) 

That is my list. You have a little bit for everyone. A gift card doesn't have to be boring, or lame, it can be personalized and with meaning. So think about the person in your life who doesn't 'need' anything else but you still want to get them something personalized that they will love. 

I'll take one of each, please. 


November Trunk Club Review


It's Trunk Club time! If you haven't seen my posts before here's a little recap: 

Trunk Club, owned by Nordstrom, is a personalized clothing service that delivers clothing, accessories, and shoes to your door in a cute box. There is a new, initial styling fee of $25 that goes towards the cost of any item you may buy from the trunk. 

After you signup, you're assigned a personalized stylist. This is the best part to me - you have your own stylist who will chat with you via the Trunk Club app, online, phone or email. My favorite way to talk to my stylist is via the app. Your stylist will ask you a bunch of questions of your style, what you're looking for and what events are coming up.


This time I told my stylist I was interested in sweater dresses, black sweaters, and pink sweaters. Julia (my stylist) DELIVERED. 

Black sweaters have to be one of my favorite things to wear, and this one was no different. I really liked this Madewell sweater because it was a little more interesting than just plain black. 

This sweater is so classic to me - when I first pulled it out of the trunk I was skeptical, but when I put it on I really, really liked it. 

It's a little preppy, but in a good way. 

The first thing I noticed about this top was how it was so well made. I've never bought from Treasure&Bond but this shirt is really, really nice. Honestly, I have a couple of tops like it but I'm thinking about tossing them for this one. 

BLANKNYC 'Easy Rider' Faux Leather Moto Jacket - $98 

I love leather. I love leather pants. I love leather jackets. I love leather details. This jacket is another jacket that was really well made - very impressed. 

In real life this dress is gray, in this photo, it's a little green. (Blame the current terrible lighting in this new house.) If you're looking for a roomy sweater dress this is it. 

My style doesn't usually consist of a lot of patterns but something about this top makes me happy. Maybe my love of black and white, or maybe it reminds me of an updated, modern version of a sweater my grandmother wore but it just makes me smile. 

I put on this sweater to show my boyfriend and he told me I looked like Steve Jobs. 

Compliment accepted. 

Big sweaters are the best for a lazy, yet put together look. Is that an oxymoron? 

Again. I love a sweater dress especially a winter white one. In real life, this is much whiter than it looks in the picture. 


Trunk Club is still my absolute favorite clothing service. As someone who loves to shop but tends to buy some of the same things over and over again, I love receiving a box of clothes to try on in my own home. 

There is a cost of $25 to receive a trunk, but honestly, it's worth it to me. I'm able to speak to someone about what I like/need/want, she sends me 10 items in the mail that I have five days to try on. The $25 is a convenience fee that I will happily pay. 

Also, if you buy anything then the $25 is just credited to your total. Win-win. 

If you're thinking about signing up, please use my referral link. Trust me, this is the best clothing service out there. 

Trunk Club Referral Link:  


A Few of my Favorite Philosophy Beauty Things


My friends... You all know how much I love Philosophy beauty products. It's an obsession I've had since Oprah first mentioned them on her favorite things list YEARS and YEARS ago. Anytime I try something new I tell all my friends when they need to try it too. Purity facial wash, renewed hope in a jar, the retinal cream, it's all amazing and if you came to my house and opened up my bathroom drawers and cabinets you'd see them full of Philosphy products. 

Of course there are other products from other brands in my bathroom, that's life, but the majority of my beauty products are Philosophy... because I truly LOVE them.

Before you're thinking, "Oh great, another sponsored blog post from a blogger." This is NOT sponosred. All opinions are mine. Philosphy doesn't even know I'm writing this post. I annouced last year that I am a Philosophy #BeautyBeliever and I still am, however, that's not paid. That's just me loving their stuff and writing reviews of new and fun products. (BTW, check out my #BeautyBeliever reviews on Facebook: CLICK HERE)

The holidays are upon us and I know a lot of people who have started holiday shopping. It's time to think about one of these Philosophy Holiday Gift Sets for your mom/sister/aunt/cousin/girlfiend/favorite person/daughter/neice or YOU.

Let's go through my favorites... 

Loveswept Holiday Collection

You guys. There's no better way to describe how Loveswept smells but with one word. Sexy. When I worked at Dillard's in college I worked in the fragrance department and layering your scent is a real thing. You will want to layer yourself in Loveswept because it's delicious. 

This perfume is sexy. It's romantic. It's my new favorite. This giftset on is $57 for the holidays and it's worth every penny. 

Perfect gift for anyone who loves perfume. 

Fresh Cream Gift Set

OK - This gift is perfect for two reasons. It's a great gift at $32 and it has SO MANY GOOD SMELLING THINGS. This is the perfect gift for anyone who loves shower beauty products. Between the scrub to the body wash, it's an amazing start to your morning. Once you apply the cream you're set for a day of soft skin. 

Renewed Hope for the Holidays

If you don't get this set for anyone than yourself then you're doing the holidays wrong. I use renewed hope in a jar every. single. day. I also use renewed hope in a jar night every. single. night. You cannot go wrong with this giftset or the price. 

Honestly, it's probably better to just buy two of these because the value is amazing. 

If you know you have someone in your life who loves beauty but like things on the simpler side, then try giving them these products. 
1. Amazing Grace body lotion
2. Purity Facial wash 

If you give your family/friends/special people either one of these products you will become their favorite person in the world. 

Why am I sharing my love letter about Philosophy? Because I truly believe in this company and its products. As always, you can find these giftsets at Sephora, Ulta, Nordstrom, etc, but honestly I like shopping directly from because if you signup for their emails they always send you a promo code or specials. I mean, if you can order something and get something else for free, why not? 



A House Tour & Update


When is the moment that a house becomes a home? When you sign away your life or when you put all of your things on the shelves? Either way, this house is starting to feel like home. Not in the way living in an apartment did - more like this is a place I will knowingly be living in for a long period of time. No more six-month leases because I'm afraid to commit. 

Oh, I have committed...

We're getting there in terms of being unpacked - there are plenty of boxes in the garage that haven't been touched but who can worry about those boxes today when there are more fun things to figure out.

Like paint. 

Before I had even bought the house I had decided on paint colors... that's a stupid decision to make by the way because then you move into the house and you realize that the paint colors are WAY TOO DARK because you were never in the house at night and there IS TERRIBLE LIGHTING EVERYWHERE. 

Of course, if you're anything like me you slap some paint on each wall and then just leave it there for two weeks because you are now paralyzed in decision-making fear regarding paint colors. 

These were my original two choices. 

Yes, they are similar, no I am not going with either one because the room needs a much lighter color. 

'Tis my life. 

Some rooms are coming along nicely - the master bedroom is one of them. Everything here was from the apartment except for the rug and the pillow. You can't see the rug here but it's really pretty. 

It looks more like this. 

The screened-in porch is probably one of my favorite places in this house. It's peaceful, big, lots of seating, and THERE ARE NO BUGS. 

The dining area is going to need some work. I plan on painting the fireplace, adding a mantel, finding a rug, re-doing the cushions on the table, and working on getting some additional lighting for this space. 

It's why the lamp is in the corner. 

But the shelves. The shelves are 'getting' there because it's actually hard to decorate shelves when you realized 1) you don't have enough shelf decorating things 2) the things you do have you don't like. 

That's a small preview of progress. Over the weekend I visited my local Sherwin Williams where I think the guy working was so exhausted with my questions he just gave me one of those large color paint things. 

Terrible decision by you Mr. Sherwin Williams paint man because now I will only have more questions regarding undertones and priming. 

More house to come - though I might just do one update post a week so I can get back to blogging about cooking and shopping. We'll see. 

xx, M

New Neighbor Welcome Gift


Hi! I am back after a mini-break from blogging. All of the packing, moving, unpacking, rearranging, organizing, and generally try to keep life together while I can't find socks has kept me busy the past couple of weeks but it's back to blogging as usual now. 

I can't tell you how much I love this new house - because I don't think there are words. After living in an apartment for SIX years it's like a brand new world living in a house again. This is the first time in 11 years I haven't lived in an apartment. There is a big back yard, an office, a big kitchen, and a fireplace. Do you want to see a home tour? There are a lot of things I want to change but I can do an before & after. 

First things first - I pinterested REALLY hard to say hello to our new neighbors. This idea wasn't mine... Mrs. Happy from shared it earlier this spring. So, I took her downloadable template and then just edited to make the second sheet. 

I mean - how could you not think I was a great neighbor if you saw something so cute. 

Let's hope that my neighbors don't expect something this cute every holiday or occasion. That's a lot to live up to.

On the second page I just said who we were, which house was ours, and included our numbers. It's good to know your neighbors, for better or for worse they are who will be living beside you for a long period of time. Also, if they see something that looks fishy, I'd like for them to know who to call to ask.

I went to Walmart to grab these bags for $0.33! The popcorn was about 12 bags to a box for a few dollars. After buying some white ribbon this project was about $15. 

Two bags of popcorn per sack. 

Just one hole punch at the top of the bag. 

Tie the hello pages with some white ribbon at the top! 

Done! This was such an easy and cute Pinterest find! 

Now, the question is... did they work? They did! Since deliverying them last week I've met four of my neighbors. One set of neighbors brought some cookies, one came over to talk about the neighborhood and one brought me a puppy. 

Well, someone had lost a puppy so she thought it was mine and brought it over so it wasn't technically a gift of a puppy...

For $15 and about an hour or two of time (depending on delivery) it was totally worth it! 

Here's the Pinterest inspiraition: HERE & HERE
Here's the download: HERE

Stay tuned for more house updates! 
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