LIFESTYLE

4 Easy Ways To Wear the Silk Scarf

Ladies, the 50’s scarf is back and bigger than ever this spring and summer. The silk scarf is the number one accessory of the season! From endless hair accessories, wrapping it around your bag, and sprucing up your outfit game, a silk scarf is the ultimate versatile accessory of all time!

Here are a couple of classic ways to wear your new scarf!

  1. Headband

    With the scarf rolled, tie into a knot at the crown of your head and give yourself the cutest bunny ears. Rosie the Riveter just got a make-over!

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2. Around the neck

Roll your scarf diagonally, wrap once around your neck with the ends facing back, loop and tie loosely on one side. This is the perfect way to class up a blazer or dress.

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3. Bag Accessory

Tie it in a knot around the strap of your bag for the perfect pop pf color.

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4. Pony Tie

Tie it in a knot around your pony for a colorful hair accessory, sure to turns heads. If you're an entry level scarf wearer, try this easy look. Reach for a long, skinny silk scarf if you want to tie it in a bow.

You can even wrap this look around a bun for a fun look.

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Shop my favorite Silk Scarves

From my closet to yours, thanks for stopping by.

-Morrell

Candice Brown Photography

10 Reasons Why You Should Own a Red Dress

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Chicwish Dress | Similar Shoes | Tory Burch Bag | Karen Walker Sunglasses

Listen here ladies, EVERY woman should own a red dress and wear it… not just for times when you’re seeking romance. I know you’ve heard of the LBD (little black dress) for the times when you felt you have nothing to wear, but what about the LRD?

Here are 10 reasons why everyone needs a Red Dress!

  1. The red dress effect is real!

    “It’s a putative phenomenon in which people wearing red clothing, such as a red dress, are perceived to be more sexually appealing than they are when wearing other colors”

  2. The color red is associated with confidence, sexiness, and power!

    There is power in red. Nothing says girls boss like red!

  3. You can literally wear red in any season!

    There are not many colors that can do that! Wear it All. Year. Long.

4. It symbolizes love and romance.

Single? Rock it! Taken? Rock it!

5. It gets you noticed!

Whether it’s a leadership position at work or a romantic date night, you will always turn heads in red.

6. It’ s extremely versatile!

Wear red during in the day and night! Wear it to brunch with the girls in the morning, or at night for a night on the town.

7. Red is not just one shade.

There are deep reds, such as burgundy, and light shades of red, such as rose. Like they say, there is a shade of red for everyone.

7. You can really pump up the look with red lipstick!

As if you needed another reason to wear red lipstick?

8. Wearing Red changes your attitude.

When I put on red, I feel like I can conquer the world.

9. Red is luxe.

It just can’t be explained; red looks rich on its own. Cha-ching!

10. If you don’t own a red dress, you’re missing out!

Everyone needs a dose of the vivid, vivacious pulse of energy that will instantly engulf you when you put this on.

My gorgeous LRD is from Chicwish. I love the lace detailing which makes it more sweet than sexy-perfect for a fancy brunch. It’s the perfect combination of feminine and edgy. I am wearing a small.

From my closet to yours, thanks for stopping by.

-Morrell

Shop the Look

20 Ways to Kick the Winter Blues

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Here it is again. The Winter Blues are upon us. The stretch of time after Christmas that we always feel down and depressed throughout the remainder of the winter months. It makes for a nice Holiday Hangover, huh? Because these feelings always seemed to pop up around the same time every year, I started reading about this online. There is actually a thing called SAD- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

“This is a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons, typically starting in the late fall and early winter and going away during the spring and summer. Depressive episodes linked to the summer can occur, but are much less common than winter episodes of SAD.”

I first found these anxious/ sad feelings in college, especially before fall finals.  The stress of finals combined with cold, dreary, dark, weather is not a good combination. I was normally ok after finals until Christmas, but when Christmas was over, my mood plummeted. I guess it has a lot to do with the Holiday Hype being over- being around friends and family, presents, eating, all of it is over until the next year.  That’s not a good feeling. Then it gets worse. We have to resume our lives and go back to work. January also does not offer the best weather either. I feel like 80% of this month has already been cold, dark, dreary, and rainy days.

It’s not my favorite time of year; however, I know these feelings of sadness and anxiousness can be combated if we take the right approach this Winter.

Here are some things that have helped me fight the Winter Blues….

  1. Wear bright colors.

     I know there has to be some correlation between bright beautiful colors and your feelings. Making myself wearing some of my favorite bright colors have always helped me conquer the day.  

  2. Get some Vitamin D.

    There are not many sunny days in January, but when there is one, go outside and take a walk or just sit and soak it in.

  3. Take a walk.

    Breath in some fresh air and move your body. Walking also gives you time to relax and clear your head.

  4. Hang out with positive people.

     As easy as it may be to curl up alone with Netflix in bed, being around friends that support you will really do you well. I always feel better after I hang out with my friends and get things off my chest. Just to have someone listen will help tremendously.

  5. Exercising.

    I’m not going to lie, it’s sometimes really hard for me to exercise, especially when I am alone. When I need to blow off steam, walking works great for me, and Yoga has changed my life. If I don't have a yoga class scheduled, I will pull up a couple of stress relief yoga classes on Youtube.

  6. Play Music.

    Good upbeat music that I love always makes me feel better. I love sad slow songs but I try and stay away during these months.

  7. Help Others.

    One AMAZING thing about my job is I get to help students every day with their future. Giving back always makes you feel good inside. Volunteer at a shelter, or give your time to a school. I bet if you reach out to the right person,  they can use you in more ways than you know. Giving back really increases my overall life satisfaction.

  8. Eat Healthier.

    Did you know that some foods can actually affect your mood. Don’t eat crap foods like sweets.

  9. Brighten the environment.

    Letting the light in can really improve your mood. Pull back the curtains, open the blinds, let the light shine.

  10. Get up at a decent hour.

    For some reason, If I oversleep into 9 and 10 am on the weekends, I actually feel much worse. Sometimes I even feel more tired after sleeping in. Waking up earlier might feel bad at the time, but it will help you get your day started, and you feel more energized throughout the day.

  11. Get up, Get dressed.

    It’s easy to stay in my Pj’s all day, but getting up, putting on makeup, and fixing my hair, gives me a sense of readiness to conquer tasks on my to-do list.

  12. Clean-up and Clean-out.

    Cleaning is actually relaxing to me and kind-of therapeutic. This may not be the case for you, but I do know that if you spend a little time organizing an cleaning out that cluttered closet, it will make you feel much more relaxed and happier after the task is done. Clutter can make us anxious. Free yourself from the extras that you don't need. Donating some items will intensify your happiness.

  13. Get out of town.

    Sometimes just a change of scenery can do wonders. Book a mini weekend va-cay with your husband or friends.

  14. Take Long Hot Baths.

    With bath bombs, face masks, and a glass of wine to unwind.

  15. Try some essential oils.

    I’ve used some of these from Bed, Bath and Beyond.  Breathing in the relaxing oils will help you with the winter anxiousness and help foster healthy sleep.  

  16. Write.

    Writing in a journal is a helpful way to release tension. It doesn’t matter what you write about, just put down whatever comes to the tip of your pen.

  17. Practice Meditation.

    Not only full meditation, but just having a full hour of quiet time in the morning can help with your thoughts and mindfulness. I love the time in the morning when I’m alone and putting on my makeup. It the first time of the day when I can clear my thoughts, then think about how I can prepare for the day that lies ahead.

  18. Don’t spend a lot of time scrolling through Social Media.

    Social Media has made it, sometimes, hard be thankful for what you are and what you have. We now can instantly see intimately into each person’s life ..if shared...And everything is shared these days! Feeling down or sad about something is easy to do when you constantly compare yourself to others.No wonder many people may find themselves depressed.

  19. Visit your favorite places in town.

    Get out and get going. My favorite pace to visit in my town is one of my favorite coffee shops. It’s very comforting for me to visit there, grab an espresso and just chill. Maybe your place is the book store. Visiting things that are near and dear to your heart helps.

  20. Express Gratitude.

    This one is my absolute favorite. I  have learned that with Gratitude comes Happiness! To be grateful or not to be grateful for what we have, is our choice. Happiness is a choice. We are in charge of our lives and we can decide to live as we want. I look around at my family, my husband, we are alive and well and that’s just one thing to be thankful for. Just. Appreciate. Everything. Something that has helped in the past was writing down at least 3 things you’re grateful for every morning. Before long, you’ll have more things to appreciate that you can count. You’ll be more positive on a day to day basis and start exude a high frequency to the universe! Now is the time to interrupt your anxiety with gratitude, because today I AM THANKFUL!

Thanks for visiting and reading everyone. I really hope that this will help someone who is going through the Winter Blues.

From my closet to yours, thanks for stopping by.

-Morrell

Love God, Love People, Leave a Legacy

Hi everyone! Last weekend was a whirlwind! I was afforded the opportunity to speak at my church, Chatom United Methodist Church as the Lay Speaker for Laity Sunday.

I had a lot of people say they wish they could have heard my “sermon” so I decided to share it. I would love to read your comments and hear your thoughts. Please enjoy.

From my closest to yours, thanks for stopping by.

-Morrell

My 5th Year Mobile Fashion Week Experience

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As I look back on 5 years at Mobile Fashion Week, I am so honored to be a part of this event. Wow, I can’t believe I’ve been doing this blogging thing for 5 years now!  Not only has it given me the opportunity to dress in the most outrageous outfits, but it has also given me a network of some great contacts, and friends that will last a lifetime.

I can't believe the first year of Mobile Fashion Week I was one of the featured bloggers. That was one of my favorite years! I won a free place to stay in a hotel in downtown Mobile. I went to both shows on two nights and blogged all of the greatness.

This was the first year that I actually did not go out and purchase a dress.  As hard as that was, I had this beautiful dress sitting in my closet from a New Year's Eve prior that I never got to wear.  I thought it would be absolutely perfect to wear to the event. It's shiny, it’s loud, and it makes a statement. What more could you want for fashion show attire ? I've got many similar dresses linked at the bottom of this post.

Nonetheless, I’ve always had a fabulous time at Mobile Fashion Week and this year was no different. It always seems like each year gets better, and I can honestly say that this year was the BEST show I've ever been to.

I finally made a blogger bestie Christy from The Bay Blonde, and she was able to go with me to the show. I left Orange Beach around 2 pm. I  went to her house for some cocktails and catching up. Then we headed out to Fashion Week at the Fort. As always, we were treated like royalty with front row seats and VIP tickets.  We even got to the after party later on that night.

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Before the show started, I got to reconnect with all my friends including some of my favorite photographers, Frank Lee Roberts,  Jeff Byrd, and Larrah Melissa. Larrah was the very first photographer that I started working with as a fashion blogger. I got to reconnect with some of my designer friends, Megan from Mermania, and Brad from William Bradley.  Christy and I connected with a new blogger at our seats, Ember Langley who will be blogging from Paris this year. That was really cool.

I finally got to meet Sarah Levey from the Southern Atelier blog.  I’ve followed Sarah since the beginning, and I finally got to meet her in person. She was THE best dressed at Mobile Fashion Week. Her dress was by Destani Hoffman.  It was a stunner! Christy and I chowed down on mac and cheese and some heavy hors-d'oeuvres provided by Sylvia’s before the show. The drinks from Sylvia's were amazing as well.

Not to mention I got to see some brands that I've worked with in the past Maho Shades and Lotus Boutique. The teams from each of these businesses are so sweet, and I just love them so much.  Christy also introduced me to L + F Clothing Boutique.

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 Pictured below are some of my favorite looks from some of the shows.

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This look is from Sarah Elise. She's from Fairhope - my favorite place in the whole wide world. She's so young to be this good, only in her teens guys! This dress was stunningly beautiful. It reminded me of the French Country. Obsessed is the word! I just couldn't believe the detail in her work.  Sarah Elise Terral, you will go far! I LOVED your show!

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Mermania is always one of my favorite lines. You know I love swimsuits.  Maybe it is because I live at the beach I’m so drawn to her swimmies? Her work is absolutely amazing. I just wish I had the booty buns to wear the cheeky stuff.  I also love that she donates a portion of her profits to the manatees. Megan always slays Mobile Fashion Week. One of my most favorite swimsuits I’ve ever worn was one of her Periwinkle high-waisted two-piece suits.  Nobody can beat her swim line.

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And last but not least, I always have to say something about William Bradley.  We actually went to the same high school and grew up together. I just think it's so cool that two people from the same small, one red light town, have such a passion for fashion and who have just fought for their dreams. You may know him as Bradley, but I know him as Brad. Brad also runs the line Color Garb. He designs costumes for Color Guard teams across the nation. It's such a great business concept, and I wish him and Rodney nothing but the best on their endeavors and life.  

Bradley’s line at Mobile Fashion Week was out of this world.  It reminded me of old Hollywood glamour and Elizabeth Taylor, which both are style inspirations for me and my blog.


I really can't say enough about this venue. It was so beautiful with the buildings in the background and the night sky above us. It was absolutely amazing.

The show was incredible. The models were great.


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I want to thank everybody who made this night possible. I know a lot of work and planning went into this night.  Most importantly, I'd like to thank Richard McGill Hamilton for pulling off this amazing charity event, for always including me, and making me feel like blogger royalty.

The most important part of the night is that Mobile Fashion Week donates a portion of their profits to Camp Rap a Hope which helps kids with cancer. It's not just a fashion show, it's people coming to together for a cause- Fashion with a Cause! Fashion brings people together and that's what it’s all about.

From my closet to yours, Thanks for stopping by.

-Morrell

Shop Similar Dresses

Paws-itively Smart Food for your Pet: Purina ONE® SmartBlend

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PurinaONEPets #CollectiveBias

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Interested in trying the 28 day challenge? Hover over the photo to click through to Target to shop these products!

Hey guys! Exciting news, this month my Yorkie pup Oliver and I were honored to partner with Purina ONE! For the past couple of weeks, Oliver has been eating and loving his new Purina ONE SmartBlend Lamb & Rice Adult Dry Dog Food ! In the past, we have bought the True Instinct Formula with Real Turkey & Venison Dog Food from Purina ONE. I was highly impressed then, but now I see why this brand is incomparable!

Oliver is a senior dog. He is 11 years old, going on 12 in April. I’ve had him since the summer before my senior year in high school! He’s been with me through some really hard times, break-ups, tornados, college finals, and the list goes on and on... He was once my only college roommate. He’s taken care of me, so now it’s time for me to take care of him! I want to take the best steps to maintain his health for the remainder of his life.

Purina ONE products come in formulas for all life stages, so Oliver, with the help of his mom, took the 28 day challenge with Purina ONE SmartBlend Lamb & Rice Adult Dry Dog Food. Dogs can really see (literally) what a difference the 28 days can make! I can see the difference too! Did you know that eight out of ten dogs owners reported a visible difference after using this food for 28 days?

Here’s how our 28 day Purina ONE challenge went:

  • DAY 1+: WELCOME TO THE CLEAN BOWL CLUB

    • Starting with my dog’s first full bowl of Purina ONE, I could see more excitement around mealtime. It’s like he could already feel the tastiness after just one bowl. Thanks to the crunchy bites and tender, meaty morsels that help keep them coming back meal after meal. Oliver loves meal time even more now and spins circles when I get out this bag of food.

  • DAY 7+: ENERGY YOU CAN SEE

    • The SmartBlend of nutrition in every bag helps support your dog’s health. I could tell that Oliver had more energy and wanted to play more than often. He is so funny, because out of every bowl, he will eat all of the meaty bites first. I think they are his favorite! He eats more and plays more.

  • DAY 14+: HIGH DIGESTIBILITY

    • Purina ONE formulas are easy to digest and promote high nutrient absorption, so more nutrition goes to work inside your dog. (*excluding Healthy Weight Formula). Oliver somehow just seems like he feels better than before we started the challenge.

  • DAY 21+: BRIGHT EYES, HEALTHY SKIN & COAT

    • Supported by omega-6 fatty acids, vitamins & minerals, Oliver’s eyes are more clear and his coat is nice and silky. Oliver’s eyes were starting to get cloudy before Purina ONE. I am so glad we found this formula!

      By the end of the month, I could see extremely positive changes in his overall health! It was like my pup had found the fountain of youth!

      There were highly visible signs of healthiness I saw in Oliver after using Purina ONE, including bright eyes, healthy skin and coat, and much more energy. Not to mention healthy digestion. We had no problems with potty time after being on this food for just over 15 days.

      I think this food is wonderful for my senior pooch because EVERY ingredient has a purpose for his health!

TAKE THE PURINA ONE® 28-DAY CHALLENGE! You could see a difference in your dog in just 28 days when you make the switch to Purina ONE!

Where can I buy Purina ONE?

Oliver and I went shopping for Purina One at Target, one of my FAVORITE stores! The shopping experience was so fun. Who doesn’t love Target? I usually go there for one or two things and end up leaving with lots more! You know it’s true. I just love the fact that I can get my dog’s favorite food at my favorite store. Don’t worry there is also a Purina ONE SmartBlend for Cats too!

Lucky for my readers, you can start the 28 day challenge easily now because Target has some great deals and promotions going on right now!

  • 5% off + free shipping when you subscribe to Purina ONE® at Target

  • Sign up now to get a $3 off coupon and a personalized food recommendation for your pet

  • Print a coupon from 9/19-10-13: FREE $5 Target GiftCard™ with a Purina pet food, litter, and/or treats purchase of $25 or more on right now for Purina One!

AND

  • 9/23 - 9/29 - Buy 2 bags of Purina ONE® Dry Dog Food and get a $5 Target GiftCard

I know that Oliver and I will never be switching foods again. After the transformation I’ve witnessed in my dog, I know the high quality nutrition of Purina ONE will help support your dog's immune system for years to come! The results speak for itself. Purina ONE is dedicated to all of our pet’s lifelong potential. I don’t know about you, but I want my dog Oliver to live a healthy life as long as possible.

My dog Oliver is a Purina ONE Pet and your's can be one too!

From my closet to yours, thanks for stopping by!

-Morrell

CANDICE BROWN PHOTOGRAPHY

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Four Years of Mobile Fashion Week Looks

It’s that time a year again! FASHION WEEK is upon us. Since I was unable to attend NYFW last week, I am thrilled to be back at Mobile Fashion Week next weekend! On September 22nd, Mobile will take on it’s own Fashion Week by storm at the Fort of Colonial Mobile! I am so excited for the new venue! If you’re local or would love to make the drive (believe me, it’s worth it), head on over to their website and purchase your tickets for a fun night out with the girls! Heck, even bring the hubby! I dragged Lance to Birmingham Fashion Week one year, and he was actually really impressed. We had a good time.

What does my blog have to do with fashion shows you ask? Bloggers attend fashion shows to create awareness for new trends and new brands! We also can create buzz about the shows and build up anticipation. But fashion week for bloggers isn't just about going to shows, it’s about networking with the fashion industry; other bloggers, designers, marketers, and photographers, etc.

I have been so blessed to have attended and blogged about MOBFW for four years in a row. Here’s a look back at all my outfits from four years past.


Let’s go!

YEAR ONE

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YEAR TWO

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YEAR THREE

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What will I wear this year?

From my closet to yours, thanks for stopping by.

-Morrell

The Best Labor Day Party Idea

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My Macy's Picnic Set | Karen Walker Sunglasses | LOLEA 

End the summer on a high note with a Lolea Picnic!  It's a non-expensive and easy way to enjoy the day! A fun outdoor picnic is an easy party idea, which will help you stay relaxed while you entertain on your day off. 

 My favorite flavour for a summer spritzer is the Lolea Rose! I've even got my drinking it, and shes's a finicky wino. The Lolea brand has a sophisticated and stylish take on sangria made from Tempranillo grapes, hibiscus flower, and refreshing ginger natural flavours. The bottle is extra fashionable as well. Garnish with a hint of lemon, or better yet they recommend a hibiscus flower.  You can find Lolea Sangria and Rose at Fresh Market and Rouses. There are numbers 

Right now, Lolea is running a promotion on their website from now until Labor Day weekend. Use the code “LOLEAFREESHIPPING”  for free shipping. You might also want to try LOLEA organic N4 available on Lolea’s website! 

Thanks, Lolea for the delicious Rose and Sangria! My Labor Day picnic is now complete.

From my closet to yours, thanks for stopping by.

-Morrell

 

Shop Similar Picnic Sets

Why Everyone Needs the Target REDcard

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Because Target is like a casino, you lose track of time and money. So, I was very reluctant to open yet another store credit card in my name. They always get you with the points,  but here's the catch- with Target there's a debit card option! The Target REDcard does NOT have to be a credit card! However, there is a credit card option if that's more your style. Target offers both debit and credit cards.

 I can pay with the REDcard at Target stores or online and get 5% off EVERYTHING, EVERYTIME. With the Target REDcard debit option, I pay with the REDcard and then two days later it debits my personal banking account- just as if I were swiping my debit card in the first place... AND I get 5% off. I like this option because I don't have the chance to go crazy with a credit card, I get 5% off, and I budget out of my personal bank account. 

Also, by being a REDcard member, I get exclusive deals and early access. You can also combine your extra 5% off with the Cartwheel App! So use the Cartwheel App to save 5-50% on hundreds of items in stores & save an EXTRA 5% when you pay with your REDcard.

I even get a Starbucks discount! Let me repeat, Starbucks discount! I save 5% when I use my REDcard at any in-store Starbucks location. 

I can track all my purchases (even in-store & online ) through my REDcard account!

Benefits of the Target REDcard

  • 5% off EVERY purchase
  • Free shipping at Target.com (no minimum purchase)
  • 30 extra days for extended returns
  • Early access to select events, products and promotions 
  • REDcard holders can easily review past statements, check their debit card transaction history and manage their PIN through their online account.
  • Exclusive offers available only to REDcard holders-extras, including special items, gifts and offers 

I love my RED debit card and I use it all the time without having to use credit at Target! Click the link below and start saving, because who doesn't love Target?

From my closet to yours, thanks for stopping by.

-Morrell

The Home Organized

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Today, I'm doing something a little different. I found this amazing local Mobile, AL account on Instagram -The Home Organized! I was so intrigued by her work, I reached out and asked if she would be interested in doing a guest blog post on Morrell's Armoire! To much of my excitement, she was interested! It is my honor, and I would love to introduce to you, Clara, owner and founder of The Home Organized! Basically, she can come to your home and declutter your life! I appreciate organization and I think it's beautiful when done right. I love this business concept emphatically! I can't wait to call Clara when we start building my closet. She especially likes to work with busy moms. Talk about a #GirlBoss!

Please, welcome Clara to Morrell's Armoire!

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Hi dear friends! I am excited to be a guest blogger today for Morrell's Armoire. I absolutely adore Morrell, her style and everything she puts out there! It’s an honor to share with yall what I do in my little corner of the world and hope you enjoy this post. OK, so allow me to introduce myself.  My name is Clara and I am a home organizer in and around Mobile, Alabama. I am a Mom of two little boys and wife to a rock star of an accountant, Stephen.

If you aren't familiar with what a home organizer does, let me explain. My job is to come into my client's homes, help them edit the amount of clutter they have, organize it and set up maintainable and simple solutions. I help space plan, haul away trash, donations, & recycling on behalf of my clients as well as shop for products for their homes. Each client’s interior design is unique and I love coming alongside them to create fluidity and functionality from the exterior to those spaces behind closed doors.

I work in all areas of the home - from pantry & kitchens to closets, mudrooms, playrooms, garages and more. I really love working with families (especially busy Moms) and am super happy working in playrooms and closets. Seriously yall, I love closets. GIVE ME ALL THE CLOSETS!

I've had the privilege of working alongside some amazing clients and been honored to be a part of the One Room Challenge by HouseBeautiful and excited about partnering with Joe Vinson Builders/Caitlyn Waite Designs and Pottery Barn for the Parade of Homes in October. 

If you would like to know more or just curious about an organizers life – I would love for you to come to say hi and follow along @thehomeorganized_ , on Facebook at The Home Organized or see all my Services and blog on www.thehomeorganized.com.


Thanks again Morrell for allowing to be on your blog and I hope to see you soon!

Much love!!

Clara

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Blogging FAQ: Answering the Most Commonly Asked Questions about Blogging

                                                 Candice Brown Photography

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Hey everyone, over the past couple of weeks, I have had some readers reach out and ask me questions about blogging and how I got started. I thought I would share with you the most asked questions I get about Morrell's Armoire and Blogging. 

When did you start your blog?

I started my blog in the Summer of 2013 right after I graduated from Graduate School at the University of Alabama. I was interviewing for “big girl jobs” at a LOT of places after graduation.  It started it in the meantime of trying to find a real job.

 

Why did you start your blog?

In all seriousness, and if I’m being truthful with you, I started my blog because I wanted to be a real model and a lot of people told me I could never be a model because of my height.  They also said that I was too “Southern Belle” and maybe I should cut my hair and stop curling it. "Become more edgy!" These were the things that I loved about myself. I wanted to keep them.

I thought to myself, I’ll show them! After hours upon hours of researching, I fell in love with the idea of starting a fashion blog. I could be my own model!! After I spent more time researching other fashion blogs, I finally decided to just do it. I felt it was a great way to document my style. Not mention I have ALWAYS had a passion for clothes, fashion, dressing up….I’ve always wanted a reason to get dressed up.

I also just really wanted to help people with their style and confidence.  Morrell’s Armoire is now my "creative outlet fueled by my passion". Morrell’s Armoire has given me courage, creativity, and so much happiness. Sharing my style is now one of my favorite things to do! 

 

 How did you come up with your blog’s name?

 I called it Morrell’s Armoire because I wanted something that sounded classy and sophisticated. Armoire means closet, and in my eyes, it says closet in a romantic "Frenchy" way. I’ve always had an Armoire in my childhood room where I kept my most special things. My closet is my refuge and sanctuary. Every piece of clothing in my closet is like my own child. Each piece has a story and a memory. It’s so hard for me to let go of clothes. Read This.

Do you have any advice for choosing a blog name?

Make it your own! Make it something that describes yourself, but something easy to remember- short and sweet. Make it personal and meaningful. The name of your blog should reflect your blog's topic. A lot of people can’t remember the last part of my blog’s name because it’s a little hard to pronounce.  I’ve learned people have a hard time remembering it. That’s one thing I’ve learned thus far. about titles.

Don’t obsess over your blog name. A cool blog name is just one piece of the pie. An awesome blog title alone will not make you successful. It’s all about the content that you put into it day in and day out.

Don’t compare yourself to other bloggers. The more different your blog is, the better. That’s how you stand out.

 

Do you make money off your blog and can you make a living just from blogging?

YES! A lot of bloggers turn their blog into a small business and pay themselves a salary through their business finances. However, Morrell’s Armoire income is not enough for me to live off right now… solely. Lance and I are in the process of trying to build our forever home, you see.

I have been doing 2 jobs (blogging and working full-time in education) for about five years now, and I honestly haven’t been able to put enough time into my blog to make it my sole source of income. It’s great supplemental income for now. Plus, I love my full-time job as a Career Counselor! Moreover, I work for the state, and I’ve got reeeeeaaaaaaalllllllly good health insurance for Lance and me.  My full-time job offers retirement, excellent health insurance (vision, dental and cancer), and supplemental savings options. I know with the income that I make now off Morrell’s Armoire is not enough to support these benefits. If you work on your own, health insurance isn’t cheap! I just like the security of having these benefits. Knowing that my job will provide excellent health care to my family and future kids means a lot to me. You may be different and want to take a risk, which is fine. 

 Once I can make more than my full-time salary, I would consider solely blogging. I wouldn’t advise leaving your job unless you have financial support from a spouse or parents, or you can consistently replace your income every month with your blog.  You need to be able to pay your bills!

One cool thing about my full-time job is that I get six weeks off in the summer, so I get to spend a lot of time on my blog during the summer months. Summer months are  are busy for bloggers anyway…

I’ve always had a full-time job. I blog after work hours. It’s a lot. I get off work at 3:15 p.m. I then go to a coffee shop or home and write article, link up my outfits, or meet my friends and take pictures. Sometimes I blog on the weekends. I literally blog almost every minute of free time that I get, and I still have to balance my home and personal life. I just love to do it-share style. I have now kind of incorporated my love for fashion with my counseling job. I’ve starting the “Dress for Success Program at my schools. It helps young men and women learn how to dress professionally!

If you want to be a blogger because you think you’ll get free clothes, and free travel and it looks glamorous, that’s not going to be enough to keep you up and running. You have to have a serious passion for the subject your blogging about. I have never looked at my blog as  burden or  an“extra” job. It’s just a passion of mine and it keeps me going, going, going.

 

What are some way bloggers make money?

Here are some ways to make money off your blog:

  •   Advertising:  

Companies can pay to put their adds on my side. However, I do not have any paid adverting on my page now.

  • Brand Partnerships:

These are set up differently through each brand. Some PR Agencies are companies that will reach out to you. They are the middle man between the blogger and the brand. Before the campaign begins, they help both parties work out a deal that is beneficial for both parties.  I worked with PR agencies for my promotion with Goodies and Bone Fish Restaurant, just to name a few. Most PR companies I’ve worked with make sure that everything is running smoothly and the influencer is upholding their end of the contract. You can make a bad name for yourself in the industry if you don’t hold up your end of the deal.

  •   Affiliate links:

This is my favorote way! Most big online retailers are a part of an affiliate network within a company that is essentially the middleman between bloggers and retailers. There are a lot of affiliate companies like Shop style, Rekutin Marketing , Impact Radius, Amazon Affiliates but the main one most bloggers use is rewardStyleI honestly only use this program right now. It seems to be the best for me. RewardStyle is linked up with the most retailers. I have learned over the years that this company has really advocated for bloggers.

How does it work? 

The retailer or brand meets with rewardStyle to determine a percentage that the influencer or blogger will earn on any and every sale that is generated through links on their blog or social media channels. They track the activity of the links through cookies.  Affiliate links work by placing a cookie on your computer. A cookie is a tiny file that the website sends to your computer so next time you visit, they will know who you are already. Cookies stays active usually 30 days, but sometimes longer.

Please know that that there is never an additional fee charged to the shopper by the company that is then given to the bloggers. The company pays rewardStyle, then rewardStyle pays the blogger commission. It’s a win win situation. It’s kind of like a salesman getting a commission from selling a car, or shoes or whatever they may sell.  Shoppers like to know when there are affiliate links present, because they want control over who gets their commission.

Also note that you have to be approved by rewardStyle and have a Legit blog or social media blog. 

I do believe in and LOVE all the products that I post about. I don’t just post something to sell and potentially make money.

  •   Sell Memberships

Another option to make money is to sell memberships to exclusive spots of your website. For instance, a sports blog might charge $20 per month for users to gain access to their exclusive celeb interview board. If you are starting up, I probably would not charge a fee. This may be a turn off to readers.

  •  Sell Digital Products

Many bloggers create and sell their own digital products, like new crazed Instagram filters. Digital products are great because they don’t require inventory and can be distributed to quickly and easily. Another example is an e-book about how to grow your Instagram following or how to make a blog.

  • Sell Services

For instance, some brands have hied me for styling. I have helped Shades, Southern Shirt, and even Mobile Bay Bridal Magazine style photoshoots- all paid opportunities. 

Can you Contact Brands?

Although I haven’t had much time to do this in the past, it’s ok to reach out to PR agencies and brands for advertising deals.

Note: Have a Media Kit ready to present to the Agency. This a couple of pages that explains the focus of the blog, shows some of your media and photos, and it also presents your following count, your target market, and the demographics that follow you. I also have a page of what I usually charge for a partnership.

Who takes your photos?

The process of taking photos is  probably not what you think. It’s A LOT OF WORK.  I COULD NOT do it without my friends who are professional photographers,  my mom,  and occasionally my husband. I usually change clothes in my car, sweating profusely because the humidity is like 100000+ in South Alabama. I normally do about 3-4 outfits in a shooting. I ‘ll meeting my photographer friend at a location after my full-time work.

This is  a big undertaking. I have to plan out my outfits the night before. Pack it all up in my car. Re-do my hair and make-up. Unpack it and reorganize for the next time… It’s a never ending cycle…. But like I said, I love doing this and it’s a passion of mine, so I do not mind it at all. It doesn’t feel like work to me.

 My blog would literally not exist if it weren’t for my amazing photographer friends. I pay them with my own money when I can, and I give them product that I have received as payment when I can. These girls really don’t get enough credit. They are awesome! They are the bread and butter of Morrell’s Armoire! I wouldn’t be here if it were not for them.

Recently, I’ve been working a lot with Candice Brown Photography. We have become great friends! We don’t always meet up just for pictures, but we grab drinks, dinner… We even did a double date with our husbands! It was so fun! I can’t wait to do it again.

In the past, I’ve worked with Larrah Melissa when we lived in the same town.I've worked with a lot of other great photographers in the South Alabama Area! 

With my photographer friends, we uplift each other. We tag each other in our posts, and watch each of our businesses grow together.

Anytime I get a cool sponsorship, I always include my photographer. If I ever get sponsored on a cool trip, you better believe she will be coming with me. If I ever get “big” enough that I am making a substantial income off my blog, I will see that my photographer is taken care of as well.  She deserves it!

When my friends are not available, my mom is great… If it comes down to crunch time and no one is available, I make Lance take my pictures. Let’s just say we are still working on that, haha…. Lance is getting better. He does support me and that’s one of the many things I love about him. I feel guilty for asking my family most of the time, but hey it’s got to get done.


What camera does your photographer use?

Candice uses a Nikon d810.  She always tries to get everything just perfect in the initial picture.

 

What camera do you personally use?

Nikon Cool Pix

 What program do you use to edit your photos?

You may be shocked to know that when I alone edit my own pictures, I ONLY use IPhoto. That’s it… I’m keeping it as real as it gets. You can probably tell a difference from my photos and my photographers. Candice uses Photoshop, Lightroom, and Portraiture, but not all three on the same picture every time. About 90% of the time Candice uses just Lightroom.

 

Are all your clothes free?

No! I do get a lot of clothes and products to keep in exchange for a review post. So essentially, it’s not free. I must put in a lot of work for one post or review. However, the of the majority of my clothes that I blog about are bought with my own money.  

NOTE: I only post clothes and products that I love. If I do not like the product, I will not write about it and share it.

 

What is the coolest thing you have ever done with your blog?

I was on the cover of Mobile Bay Magazine in May 2015. That was pretty awesome and my favorite event so far. Fashion Show VIP status isn't bad either.

 

Did you pay someone to build your website?

 I have had two websites. The first one I made right out of college all by myself in 2013 ! I used Fatcow for hosting and I used the blogging templates offered by Fatcow. I am not at all Tech savy. It took me a while, but I figured it all out over the course of three days or so. It was not expensive. It costs about $250.00 a year to keep it up and running.

When I added on my store in 2017, I wanted to move to Squarespace for E-commerce. I paid my friend Alex Joganic to design my logos, and my new blog and commerce website through Squarespace.  He was awesome. He specializes in fronts and runs a couple of businesses himself.

There is no right or wrong answer to building your website. Just know that if you hire a professional, it can be anywhere from $600.00- $5,000.00 to design your website, depending on who you go with for designing. Find a friend that can cut you a nice deal!

 

Do you have an assistant?

I wish! I wish I had someone to just follow me around every single day with a camera, as weird as that sounds. It would make daily outfit documentation so much easier.

 

What is your advice about starting an online boutique/small business?

My end goal WAS to start my own online store, so I finally just did it and jumped right in…. My ideas and opinions on this have changed drastically since then.  I have learned so much about starting a small retail business.

This will have to be all included in another separate post because it is a lot to explain about how to start an online store…

Just few pieces of advice for right now—

1. The boutique world is oversaturated. You have to have a great following and niche to set yourself apart make your things sell. Turning your inventory over in a hurry is the key.

2. DO not let yourself have emotional attachment to what you sell. It’s not about what you think is cute. It’s about what other people are buying.

3. GET AN ACCOUNTANT.  There are a lot of tax rules about starting a business. TAXES SUCK!

PS I’m going to write a post soon about “How To Start an Online E-commerce Site” I will include everything I have learned-the good, bad and the ugly.

_____________

 

I think that about covers everything. I hope you enjoyed that and found it very helpful. That took me about 3 weeks to finish. Please reach out if you have anymore questions. I am happy to help in anyway.

From my closet to yours, thanks for stopping by.

Morrell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LOVE is a Four Legged Word

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 I have had my Yorkie, Oliver, for eleven years this past Aprill. He is like my child. He, no doubt, has a piece of my heart, and is a part of my family. I can't imagine life without him. Our dogs are so special. They can never be replaced.
We can learn so much from our dogs while they are present in our lives, and even more so after they are gone. If only people were more like dogs, the world would be a more better place!

DOGS:
1. Forgive and love unconditionally.

No matter your condition... No matter what you look like... No matter what you have ...
No matter what you have done in the past, they love you more than life itself. Loving
someone unconditionally is something very hard to do for humans. We hold grudges.
We are jealous beings. This world would be such a better place if everyone loved as
your dog does. Even, if you have just yelled at your dog, they still long for your love and
affection. Loving your enemies is something very hard to do. Do dogs even have any enemies?


2. Are loyal

Your dog will stand by your side no matter what. They will defend you in the toughest
situations to the very end. Just think about how being a more loyal and dependable
person will enrich your life... for you, your family and your friends.

3. Always greet happily you at the door.


4. Enjoy the journey.

Think about the times when you and your dog get in the car. They love to stick their
head out the window and smell the fresh air. They do not care where they're going.
They are just along for the ride. When we set our goals in life, we get so caught up in the
end result. We often forget about the journey. It's the good stuff in between the start and
finish that matters and influences us the most. We often forget to take the "in-between" into account. Live in the moment, not the future.

5. They drink lots of water.

Drinking lots of water is the first and best practice of good health.

6. Love and accept themselves.

Have you ever seen a dog that longed to have the fur of another dog.? They might
fight over toys here and there, but are they really envious of the other's things or
attributes? We get so caught up in trying to keep up with everyone else. We often forget
it's not about the "things" in life. The things that matter are love, good health, kindness,
friends, and family. How boring would life be if we were all alike? Love everything about
yourself, the good, bad and the ugly. The most important thing you can love is yourself, not material things.


7. Play everyday.

Playing opens your mind to new ideas, and creativity. Stop stressing about life, work
and how things are "supposed to be". Live in the moment and love the moment. Have fun! Laugh!

8. Are silent, sit close by and nuzzle us gently.

They LISTEN. They might not understand our words, but they are there for us in hard times.

9. Take pleasure in long walks.

Long walks are a great way to clear your mind. Take in every second of it-the sunshine, the nature, the brisk air. It's all a gift from God meant to be enjoyed.


10. Never pretend to be something that they're not.

I think it is so funny that my dog is such a "momma's boy".  Everyone that has met Oliver jokes about his attitude towards new people. I think it is amazing that he is not afraid to be who he really is, and has no shame curling up in my lap when he is scared, cold, or sleepy.

Just think what you could learn from your dog. As weird as it sounds, if we would really
change our ways to be more like our dogs, this world would be nothing short of impactful.

Dogs come into our lives for different reasons. Whether it is to teach us something about life, or to expand our hearts, dogs are heaven's gift to us. 

_____

The look I'm wearing in this post is from Amazon AGAIN.  I have this one in white, and then I went back and bought it in stripes. This dress is so light weight and cool! It's easy and breezy! I like the vintage feel. The best part is that this dress is ONLY $19.00!!! I also linked up vintage bikes that are like mine. I bought mine from Target two summers ago and bought the bike basket from Amazon (only 20$). 

I hope you enjoyed this post. 

From my closet to yours, thanks for stopping by.

-Morrell

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What's in my Beach Bag

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Ladies the summer months are upon us, and the beach seems to always be on our minds! Packing appropriately is crucial! Take it from this beach girl, here are the summer essentials that every girl needs in her beach bag.

1. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Lotion Sunscreen- The number one, most important item to carry to the beach- sunscreen! I used to not care at all about getting sunburned. I would roll my eyes at my mom when she would remind me. However, now that I'm in my twenties, I know the importance of protecting yourself from the sun. This Neutrogena sunscreen has UVA/UVB protection and hydration with a water-light, refreshing feel.  I can not stand greasy sun screen! This non-greasy sunscreen has a light, clean feel and layers invisibly under makeup. It's water-resistant sunscreen lotion with SPF 50 that leaves skin looking healthy and moisturized for up to eight hours without any greasy residue or white marks.

2. Sunglasses-  I am loving my new shades from Maho. Check out more frames at Nordstrom. These are another one of my favorites.

3. Garden and Gun Magazine- The Southerner's handbook. Lance just got us a new subscription for a year. Yippe! It keeps me entertained and bound to my Southern roots. 

4. A good book- Currently, I am finishing "You are a Badass" by Jen Sincero. It is becoming my new favorite book. It has given me a whole new world of confidence. I would highly recommend reading this, even if you don't need "self- help". It is such a life changer.

5. Not Your Mother's Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray - Having beach waves one the beach is a must and this small of this spray will make you feel like you're at the beach all day long.  

6. My Nikon Camera- Because you never know when you will have a blogging moment.

7. Sandals- A must! (See below for shopping) 

8. Do Not Disturb Beach Hat-  I love this one, and it's only 14$ from Amazon!

9. Morrell's Armoire Beach Bag- Buy it right here from my boutique. I am obsessed with its bright beachy colors. 

10. Evian Facial Spray- I love this product. I give myself a little spritz to the face when I get to hot It really cools me down. It also gives your skin back moisture a with a nice dewy look. 

11. Beachy Bracelets- To add a little pizazz to your beach look. These are from my shop. 

12. Watermelon Circle Towel- Change up your regular beach towel game. I love my watermelon circled shaped towel. It even has fringe.

13. Baby Lips Lip Balm-I love to have these lip balms in my bag because they has SPF 20 sunscreen, and last up to 8 hours of moisture. My lips do not feel dry if I wear this on the beach all day. It helps with lip renewal also.

Neutrogrena Sunscreen -Powered by BrandBacker

 

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How to Create the Perfect Southern Proposal

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Every summer I always think back to the day that Lance asked me to marry him. It was probably one of the best days of my life. We've been married 2 years now, and I've thought to myself, if any guy is looking for proposal ideas, this would be a great concept for a perfect southern proposal. 

The Back Story:

Although, we have known each other for almost 6 years. I met him when he was 21 and I was 19. My cousin introduced us one fall weekend when I was
home from college, and it's been a ride ever since. I remember being immediately attracted to him the first time I saw him-even with braces. Haha! It really was love at first site.

Lance played baseball and pitched for the South Alabama Jaguars. It was hard trying to maintain
a relationship when we both went to different colleges so far apart, but we never lost touch. He
got drafted to the Detroit Tigers his senior year. He had to move off, and I was sure we were doomed. We've had our ups and downs just like every couple. It was only in the spring of 2011 that Lance got a shoulder injury and had to move back home. That May was when we really decided to do things right, and we have been together ever since. I graduated from grad school in 2013 and Lance graduated from Law School in 2015. We both wanted to be out of school, and have a job before we tied the knot!

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The Proposal:

He and I would talk every now and then about proposals. I think he knew I had high expectations. But really, what girl doesn't want her proposal to be perfect and completely what she's dreamed about. Mine was just that!
You know the episode of Sex and the City where Carrie finds the ring Aiden has hidden and it is
just not "her". Probably one of the biggest decisions a guy has to make is finding the perfect ring
that fits her personality perfectly and cooking up the right proposal that describes your relationship with her perfectly. Mine was just that!

Over the 5 to 6 years that I've have known Lance, the number one place that we had spent the most time together was outdoors at his camp.

July 19 2014:

Lance really wanted to take me to Fairhope. Fairhope, Alabama is one of my favorite places in the
world. He took me shopping, we went and got coffee... all of the regular things I love to do in
this town. I of course, completely unknowing of the future events that he had planed, I demanded
that we swing by a couple of places and look at rings... again. He went right along with it. Later
that afternoon, we walked down to the Fairhope Pier and enjoyed the sunset. We ended the
evening eating at my favorite sushi place. I wanted to stay and watch a movie that I knew Lance
wanted to see as well. He made the comment to me that he really didn't feel like watching a
movie. I may or may not have made a big deal about leaving Fairhope. I for one never like to leave Fairhope. Finally, we were back off to Chatom, my home town.

Lance kept saying something about stopping by his camp before we went home. I didn't really
understand why we had to stop by his camp at this exact time, but I just went with it. I persisted
that we pick up my dog before we went. His excuse was that he had to check on a corn field his
dad had planted a while back. Doesn't that sound like fun? I have to admit, I was a little disinterested.

When we arrived at the gate, Lance realized that there was a note on the gate. At this time, I
wasn't paying much attention...that is until he came back to the truck and gave me the letter. The Letter was written to me from Lance.

It read..

"Hope you've had a great day. I'm sure you're wondering what's going on at this point. Truth is, I
wanted us to have a memorable day together to make up for lost time over the last few years.
Speaking of memorable, this property has produced a good bit of ours. How many memories do
you have out here? If you're having trouble remembering, search for more cards like this one as we ride into time."

So we rode. We went to SEVEN different spots around his property each location was decorated
with a white card. Every card took us back in time to a memory, including the location of our
first kiss! As the cards were winding down, and I knew we were about to arrive at the last
location, I started to get nervous. Surely he wasn't going to propose this night. I was expecting a winter proposal. We came back around the hollow that we had just passed a few moments
before. The first time we passed by, there was nothing but darkness. The second time we drove
by, a huge magnolia tree was light up like I have never seen before. Lights were everywhere. It felt like an enchanted forest.

~All I had was my iPhone to take pictures that night, and I'm telling you these picture do not do this setting justice. Lance and I recreated the scene for the engagement pictures.~

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My breathe was taken away. This tree literally looked like it came right out of Pinterest! As we
walked up to the tree, I remembered thinking this tree wasn't like this the first time we drove by,
and there's no way he did ALL THIS "just because" ... Something is bound to happen. We sat on a picnic blanket that he had so thoughtfully prepared. We talked a couple of minutes and finally I said jokingly, "Well if you wanted to propose to me, this would have been perfect" "Well you can check my pockets. I don't have a ring.," he said. I did, and there was nothing there. Ok, I have to admit, at that point I was a little let down. We talked some more. Lance surrendered some of his most intimate thoughts. We then realized this was the very tree we had carved our names in three years ago.
Lance asked me to come over to were our initials were tattered in the bark from years past. He proceeded to give me a very last card, which read...

"Morrell, Thank you so much for being you. Thank you for standing behind me and supporting me. Without you, there is no we. Don't you think it's time we become family? ...I do! So face me as I take a knee. Let me express my love before we carve the "B".

I was of course hysterically crying at the point. As I read his letter he grabbed a ring box out of
the tree and knelt to one knee. I of course said yes, he arose, and we kissed!
Later we drank champaign and carved the very last "B" in the tree.

It was absolutely beautiful!

Words can't describe how breathtaking this night was to me. I am so blessed to have a man that cares about me so much that he would go through all of the trouble in the world for this day. It was a prefect proposal!

I am so happy to share this moment with you! 

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Here's a couple of quick and easy steps to help guide you through the perfect southern proposal.

1. Keep the Element of Surprise-Never let let her know it's coming

2. Use a venue/setting that is meaningful to your girl- Lance used his land where we always spent time together and then noted each special spot. 

3. Set the Scene- Going over and beyond to make the scene perfect will make that moment that much more special. Lance lit up an entire magnolia tree with mason jars, lights, candles, and then placed a blanket and a some champagne underneath.

4. Tie in an everlasting element- We carved a "B" into our tree that will be there forever.

5. Love Notes- Lance had a small note for each spot we stopped. I will have those as a keepsake forever.

6.  Family or no Family- What is important to your lady? Would she prefer her parents and family be there? If so, then please invite them to the background when the engagement is taking place. If you're shooting for something much more intimate, let it just be you two alone. 

7. Drop to One Knee- this is the one that may seem cliché but trust me…it is necessary. Even non-traditional women will tell you this is a given. It's your easy chance to be charming and romantic.

8. Tell Her Why You Want to Marry Her- Lance told me while he was down on one knee, but I hardly remember any of it because of the excitement. Be ready to repeat yourself for years to  come. ; )

9. Have the appropriate drinks on hand for a true southern celebration- especially if you are inviting over guests afterwards for a surprise engagement party.

10. Last but not least, make sure you've asked her parents before you pop the question... like a true southern gentleman.

 

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From my closet to yours, Thanks for stopping by!

-Morrell

 

Source: How to Create the Perfect Southern ...

Sunday Brunch with LOLEA

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Good evening! This post is a little late tonight, but I had to take a long nap after this one. Just kidding! One thing I love more than shopping is... BRUNCH!  I had my wedding at 10 a.m. just so I could have a brunch reception with all the fixings. I love all things brunch including: waffles, pancakes, shrimp and grits, and bottomless mimosas!  Mimosas are great, but now I'm loving this new line of Sangria by LOLEA. Even better, they make a Sangria Rose! LOLEA just launched their Rose N5 this April. Rose all day is this summer's motto! I mixed my LOLEA Rose N5 with fresh oranges, apples, and grapes to add a fruity punch. This is such a fashionable Rose for a girls brunch. It's made with a blend of frizzante, with hibiscus flower and natural flavors. Don't forget to try the flavors N1-N3. The N1 is the most traditional Sangria- popular in Spain.   I also want to point out the gorgeous polka dotted bottle. It has a muselet - the wire cage that fits over the cork of a bottle to prevent the cork from emerging under the pressure of the carbonated contents. It keeps your drink fresh and sparkling if you do not finish the entire bottle. I'm saving my cute dotted LOLEA bottles for other occasions. You can find LOLEA in your nearest Fresh Market, Rouses, Whole Foods, or Piggly Wiggly. Bottoms up!

From my table to yours, thanks for stopping by.

-Morrell

Happy Howlidays

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Happy "Howlidays" from the Baxter's!

Since, last year was the year of our wedding, I sent out a wedding picture for our Christmas card that said "All is Married and Bright". So, this was our first year taking family Christmas photos. It has been a long crazy year with taking new jobs and moving twice, but we finally decided that this is where we want to grow our roots.

 We did our first family Christmas card by the old barn that sits on the land that our future home will be built.  I wanted a rustic and classy look but also very "Christmassy". I went with this festive plaid skirt and sweater from J. Crew.  The sweater is in stock but the skirt is unfortunately sold out for now. No fear, I've linked lots and lots of similars. It's easy to make the plaid skirt pop with a pair of red strappy heels! Well, got to run. There's lots of Christmas shopping to be done!

From my closet to yours, thanks for stopping by.

-Morrell

Candice Brown Photography

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It’s Not Just a Dress: Why My Clothes Are My Life

“Why do you have to have ALL your clothes there?” my Dad asked me last weekend. If you haven’t heard yet, Lance and I are moving back home! We are going to rent my parent’s beach house in the meantime before we can buy another house.  I have already moved down and started my new job, and Lance will follow in a week. I only brought less than a third of my wardrobe (as you can imagine, it’s huge). However, I’m planning on bringing my entire closet. Without much closet space at the beach house, my dad protests my decision to bring all my clothes. “Why can’t you just keep one season in storage,” he asks.  I insist that I have all my clothes with me. “But transitional wear is coming up! Right?” Maybe I’m being a little too difficult?

This discussion got me wondering. Why are my clothes so important to me? Why do I long for them to be with me?

When you think about it, they are really just pieces of cloth, just fabric and material. I know that we shouldn’t let material things come before God or become so important we can’t walk away from them. Here lately, I’ve tried to be more about the “experience” and not about “things”. When I look at something I really want, I remind myself, “You can’t take it with you when you’re gone.”

Though, besides the facts, my clothes are so much more to me than just the name brand, price tag, or the apparent statement.

They are memories. This might be why it’s admittedly hard for me to let go of most of them. I can look at any one of my garments in my closet and tell you the story behind each, even from years before.

…This was the dress that I wore on my first night out in college with my new sorority sisters.

…This is the dress that I wore when I saw my brother walk across the stage at the University of Georgia through facetime. I’ve never felt so proud.

… This is the skirt and top combination I wore in Spain (my first Europe trip) when I was anticipating 70-degree weather, but it was freezing cold. I would have rather worn my new outfit and be cold than to wear jeans that day. My pictures were perfect!

…This is the cream lace dress I wore when I received my Master’s Degree.

…This is the little black number I wore out for the first time after coming from a bad breakup.

…This is the gorgeous royal blue pea coat I wore to an outside date, and spent on it, my very last cent. I had to eat Ramen Noodles for weeks just so I could afford it. It was totally worth it.

…This is the dress I cried tears on when I found out my best friend was pregnant.

…This is the lace maxi dress I wore for my very first blog post 4 years ago.

…This is the classic black jacket my mother bought for me while shopping together on my 27th birthday. I will always cherish our mother daughter time.

…This is the blouse I wore when Lance proposed to me.

 

These clothes, these symbols of moments of my life, are my children. They are a collection of my life stories.  They are a timeline of memories that can be revisited every time I re-wear a piece. My clothes are tangible pieces of my life’s significance.

When I frequent an outfit, I am revisited by immense events from the past.

It’s not just a dress. It’s a feeling of that moment in time when you felt your very best-confident, smart, beautiful, courageous. In the eyes of a 20 something fashionista, clothes are a feeling… which can mark a moment in time forever.

With every new dress or garment, there is so much potential in your story. 

 

From my closet to yours, thanks for stopping by.

-Morrell

 

 

Source: It's Not Just a Dress

Advice For Wedding Dress Shopping

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The dress, your wedding dress, is the one you’ve been dreaming of your entire life. From the day I was old enough to know what being a bride entails, I was immedialty dreaming of my day and my dress. Thanks Disney. By being a fashion blogger, there may have been some big expectations surrounding my dress, but I stayed true to who I am, what I wanted, and I wouldn’t settle for less. Trying on your wedding dress is kinda of like finding your one true love. You will find qualities in them that you knew you wanted before you met, like the plunging back, sweetheart neckline, and vintage lace. Once you find the one that meet those qualities, and you try it on for the first time, it will just click. You will know, and the unexplainable feeling will just hit you like a bus... just like it did when you fell in love. I tried on twenty something gowns before I found “the one”. God help the girl who goes through twenty something boyfriends. 

Since finding the perfect dress is definitely a process, I want to share with you my experiences and forward some advice to the newly engaged.

Some advice I have for the Bride and Dress Shopping:

1. Sticking to one main theme makes it easier to weed out. Putting together alloptions can be
overwhelming. I knew I wanted an open back and those were mainly the dresses I tried on. With my my mother and grandmothers, being “Old South” the plunge couldn’t go too low. However, I wanted to see just how low it could go …with classy qualities of course. I think I pulled it off. Plunging back, mermaid cuts, princess silhouettes, lace, or even nude illusions-find what quality is most important to you and stick with it.

2. Don’t be afraid to step outide your comfort zone. Even if you thought you wanted a mermaid gown, try on at least one princess ball gown. You never know what the dress will look like on YOU. Plus you may even like different silhouettes once you try something different. I tried on a big beautiful princess gown, and I loved it. However, I still loved the vintage lace A-lines dresses better. Try on at least one outside your chosen silhouette just so you know. The funny story of this dress is that I never thought of having sleeves before I tried this one on. As I have always been strongly obsessed with old hollywood fashion, the sleeves nostalgically brought me to Grace Kelly and Kate Middleton. I never looked back.

3. All dresses look different on the hanger.

4. When dress shopping, many guests means many opinions. I am a people pleaser. I always want everyone else to be happy, but this my friends is a day that is about YOU and no one else. The dress should make YOU feel beautiful, amazing, and unstoppable. The first couple of times I went dress shopping, I only took my mom. I even went by myself one time. When I found three dresses I could not decide between, I brought only my three closest friends and family, including my mom. You do need a second opinion but only from the that one person who will be honest with you. You’ll need an honest, reliable companion to say, ‘I love it. But it’s just not "you".Bring the ones that will support your decision to look gorgeous. ;)


5. Buy your dress at least six months in advance, maybe even eight. Most gowns take at least six to eight months to come in because of the man power it takes for gorgeusosnes occur, unless you buy it off the rack. You'll most likely have three fittings to get your dress altered to fit you just right. Time it just right.


6. Don’t let a discount distract you from what you really want. I promise, it is worth it to spend a little more and have exactly what you want, than to spend a little less and not have exactly what you wanted for that day. Skim off others things for the reception that are less important. The dress is everything!


7. Stop pinning in the name of love! After you make your purchase put down the pinterst!
Once you purchase your dress, do not keeping looking. I put myself on a Pinterest and Bridal Magazines fast. Don’t even look back on that twenty thousand dollar gown you pinned that you knew was out of reach. You will begin to feel uneasy, become overwhelmed, and even doubt your purchase. After looking and looking, you can forget what you originnaly set out to find. Don’t let magazines, and pinterest confuse you. Trust yourself, and be confident in your decision.

Remember what it was like the first time you put it on, pure euphoria. I promise the morning of your wedding, that feeling will come back to you.

From my closet to yours, thanks for stopping by

-Morrell

 Candice Brown Photography

Why You Should Do a Wedding Photography After Session

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Wow! I looked up, and it is almost two months since I took the plunge. It goes by so fast. As
you may know, I decided on a morning wedding with a brunch for the reception. For our
day, I wanted something different and out of the ordinary. I am still so happy that I
decided to go with the ten o'clock ceremony and brunch. The breakfast food was
amazing, the music was perfect, and my guests were ready for their afternoon naps by
2 p.m. Plus, Lance and I got to eat a romantic dinner, just the two of us on our wedding night. That never happens, right? There was only one problem with this morning wedding.. We were a little rushed the morning of the wedding for pictures. I ended up getting my hair done at 4:45 a.m. and my pictures with my bridesmaids started at seven. Since I knew we would be in a
crunch for time, I decided to add on a "Morning After" photography package. Our
session wasn't exactly the "morning after", but it did take place after the wedding was
over.
I am extremely happy with these photos. I think that an After Photograpahy Session; is an excellent idea. Yes ladies, you can actually put on your wedding dress after the wedding. That reminds me, let me tell you why you should book an After Session...


1. You have an excuse to put on your wedding gown again.
Enough said.


2. You will not be stressed or nervous.
The wedding is over and all the pressure is lifted. You and your groom can really be
yourself, and you can really tell that in the pictures. You will be more relaxed knowing
that you have extra time. Wedding day is so special in itself, but you can take these
pictures without the extra butterflies and emotions. It's calm and relaxed. You won't be
worried about all the minute details either.


3. So what if your dress gets a little dirty?
That might have been the only thing I was worried about during my bridal sessions. In
those sessions, I stood still for the most part and my maid of honor carried my dress
everywhere and placed it very carefully on every surface. During the "morning after"
pictures I was able to move around more, and really get the shots I wanted without
worries of minor stains. I honestly kept my dress very clean, even with the setting we
were in.


4. The pictures can be taken in ANY kind of setting.
If you got married in your small home town but wanted a more metro vibe, you can have
that in your pictures. Any destination is possible. Plus, I'm sure your photographer would
love to get creative with the location.


5. Different times of the day are all options
Lighting is everything in a picture, so you can choose your favorite time of day with your
photographer. Sunrise, or sunset, it doesn't have to be the same time as your wedding.
I hope that was helpful. I love my After Session photos, and I can't wait to get them
framed. Your After Session is the perfect way to start your happily ever after...

From my wedding to yours, thanks for stopping by.

-Morrell

Aimee Reynolds Photography