Spring Wish List: Needs

Happy Thursday friends!

I've mentioned it a lot lately, but I am giddy for spring...and spring shopping! After very little shopping all fall and winter, I am dying for some fun bright, new pieces for the warmer weather.

That being said, between now having a car payment, being a bridesmaid in two upcoming weddings, and heading to the Southern C Summit next month, I am definitely having to stick to a budget! I decided to divide my spring wish list this year into two categories: Needs & Wants. This way I can prioritize my shopping and stick to a budget! Today I am sharing my Spring Needs with you!

New Tan Wedges

Y'all know I've been dreaming about these Tory Burch wedges for over a year now. I'm hoping for a Friends & Family sale in April, but I have found 2 similar pairs, at much lower, price points, too (here and here). I am debating if I should get one of those pairs instead? If I do that, I'll be able to justify buying something (or maybe even a few things) off my wants list. What do y'all think?

Light Blazer

Blazers have never really been my thing. I love them on others, but feel like they just never quite work on my body. I have a black blazer that I think I've only worn once all fall and winter. That being said, with warmer temperatures coming, I have a feeling I'll be wearing sleeveless dresses more frequently, and having a great light blazer will be necessary to wear with those dresses for important meetings, or in cold spaces! I am really loving some of J. Crew's sleek options, particularly this one. I think they would make for a more flattering fit on me. 

New Nude Heels

I've had my current nude heels for over 5 years now, and it's safe to say, they've seen better days! My current pair are Franco Sarto with a round toe, slight platform, and matte leather. I love them and really like this similar Franco Sarto pair! I bought mine for a bargain at Marshall's. I'll likely look there again, but have found some other great pairs online, in case their selection isn't up to par. AND, if I'm really going to call this a "wish" list, I'll admit that the L.K. Bennetts are the pair I really want!

What are your current wardrobe needs?

Have you done any spring shopping lately?

I'll have a more fun wish list post coming soon with my spring wants!

Have a great day!


Book Review: My Year with Eleanor

Happy Tuesday, my Easter chickies!

I hope you had a great holiday with the ones you love.

Today I am happy to share our most recent book club selection, My Year with Eleanor.

After two heavy books (here and here), we all agreed that a light and shorter book was in order.

When this month's host sent out a poll with a few book suggestions, I actually didn't vote for My Year with Eleanor. I'm not a big nonfiction person, but I'm so glad that it won out. It read more like a novel and was a really enjoyable read.

Noelle Hancock, tells the story of her 29th year. Shortly before her 29th birthday, while on vacation, Noelle's life is turned upside down when she gets laid off from her New York City job. While searching for other options, she finds herself inspired by the Eleanor Roosevelt quote "Do one thing every day that scares you." That quote is the birth of her "year of fear." She sets out to face a fear every day in her 29th year. Some are big fears and others are small. Noelle's story is delightful to read because she is so open, funny, and real. There were several points where I thought "That's exactly how I feel." Throughout the memoir, she also interweaves Eleanor Roosevelt quotes and bits of her biography, which I really enjoyed. 

Since finishing last week, I've really been thinking about what my fears are, and how I can face them in the coming months. While I can't take a year off from work to face a fear every day, I can focus on a few things in the near future to foster personal growth. I have three in mind:

Small Talk & Networking
Whenever I take Myers & Briggs or similar personality tests, I always am categorized as an extrovert. I personally, however, disagree with that label a bit. I would call myself more of a social introvert. I love connecting with others and have a busy, social calendar. Public speaking in front of a large crowd doesn't scare me in the least. I'm great in an interview. That being said, however, being around and interacting with lots of people, particularly in a less structured environment, exhausts me. I enjoy it, but in moderation. Often after a busy weekend, I feel the need to recharge my batteries alone or with just Bryce. With the introvert classification, also comes my tendency to have a small group of very close friends and to enjoy deep conversation over small talk. Over the last year, however, I've been to many different networking and work events that require just that: small talk! I often feel intimidated to go up to an unfamiliar person or group and introduce myself or start a conversation. Each time it gets a little easier, and I think that my next opportunity to strengthen this social muscle will be at the Southern C Summit in April. I am going to make it a point to take risks and put myself out there during the conference. After all, the whole motto and purpose of the conference is to "CONNECT, COLLABORATE, and CREATE" so I plan to embrace it!

Failure & Not Being Perfect
I'm pretty sure this isn't the first time I've said this on the blog, and it probably won't be the last: I'm a perfectionist. I'm fortunate to be not only smart, but to have grown up in an environment that allowed my abilities and talents to flourish. "Success" tends to come easily for me. When I set my mind to something, more often than not, it comes to fruition. The flip side of that, however, is that failure or imperfection can be really scary. I sometimes won't engage in the activity, simply because it is something I know isn't a strength. This is something that Noelle wrote a lot about in the book. A great, albeit silly, example is dancing. I love to dance, but let's just say that rhythm and moves are not my strong suit. Typically at weddings or social gatherings, I wait until later in the night to hit the dance floor. Once people have loosened up with a few drinks and the floor is crowded. I love to sneak somewhere in the middle where I can dance my heart out, without being easily seen. My cousin's wedding is coming up in just over a month, though, and as a member of the bridal party, I'll be among the first on the very uncrowded dance floor. It's not going to be easy, and usually my nerves in situations like these lead me to dance even more awkwardly, but I'm going to do my best to grin and bear it...and not care about what others think of me!

Uncertainty & The Unknown
Finally, with my perfectionism, also comes my Type A tendencies. I'm highly organized and a planner. Spontaneity is fun for me, in small doses. When it comes to the big stuff, though, I like to know what to expect. I sometimes even feel anxious when things don't feel planned out to my standards. I boldly faced this fear this past summer when I resigned from teaching without a new job. Lots of tears were shed during that month while I job searched and worried that I might not have made the right choice. One of my very best girlfriends, Angela put it best, however, when she said "Allie, you can continue teaching and guarantee you'll be unhappy for another year OR you can leave teaching and take a chance at being happy." While the unknown is scary, it's what makes life interesting. Facing those fears and taking a leap of faith this past summer was among the best choices of my life. Right now, I'm facing some future uncertainty, as well. We have a new CEO that started just a week before me. He's in the process of making changes and restructuring things a bit. I'll be reporting a new supervisor starting Monday and am not sure what my role and day to day work is going to look like moving ahead. I'm determined to take this time of uncertainty, though, and grow from it. I plan to learn as much as I can from this new person and adapt to the changes. I've also shared that sometimes I have a hard time accepting that my life isn't progressing according to the rate or timeline that I have hoped or expected. I am working to be grateful for the here and now and to embrace that life doesn't follow a strict path, which is what makes it so beautiful.

Have you had to face fears during your life?

What fears seem to hold you back?

I also could have added a fear of snakes to that list, but, don't really think facing that fear is necessary!

Have a great day!


Five on Friday

TGIF readers!

This week has been a fun, but busy one and I am glad that Friday is here!

Today I'm linking up with the Five on Friday ladies, April, Christina, and Natasha.

Happy Birthday Bryce!

Today Bryce is 29! I can't believe that when we met nearly 5 years ago, I was just 22 and he was just 24....and now the big 3-0 is right around the corner! Bryce has taught me so much and enriched my life in so many ways. Who knew Bradford watermelons or bees could be so interesting!? I can't imagine a better partner in life and can't wait to see what this next year has in store!


I recently heard that Southern Proper had launched a women's line. Initially, I assumed that they had come out with tee shirts and accessories for women, but boy was I pleasantly surprised when I took a look! The line contains feminine, preppy, and distinctly Southern pieces to outfit ladies from head to toe! I especially love the Chambray Dessie Skirt and Striped Caroline Flats pictured above!


Have y'all seen Garden & Gun's version of March Madness? They are pitting Southern College towns against each other. Charlottesville, the home of my alma mater the University of Virginia is currently up against our biggest rival's town of Blacksburg, Virginia to make it to the Final 4! Other towns still in the running are Oxford, MS vs. Tuscaloosa, AL; Fayetteville, AK vs. Baton Rouge, LA; and Athens, GA vs. Clemson, SC. I'm still bitter that my all time favorite BBQ Rodney Scott's didn't make it further in G&G's BBQ Bracket last year, so I'm hoping that Cville will pull through this year, and at the very least, beat out Blacksburg!

The perfect boyfriend jeans!

I first mentioned in this Five on Friday post that I had been on the hunt for a pair of boyfriend jeans since the fall. I love the casual, relaxed look of them, but am not a huge fan of distressing....which posed a challenge during my search. That being said, I discovered these "Josefina" Boyfriend Jeans about a month ago and had been stalking them for a sale. Last week, Nordstrom was price-matching and I was able to order them on sale and use a gift card! They came in on Wednesday and I LOVE them! They are a great faded wash with just a little bit of distressing. They do run slightly large, so order one size down. I am a 4/6 and usually a 28 in Sevens, but ordered a 27 in these! They're no longer reduced at Nordstrom, but on sale and still available in a few sizes for 50% off here!

A Friday funny!

In honor of Easter and time spent with family this weekend, I couldn't resist this eCard. Happy Friyay!

What's on your radar lately?

Have a great weekend!


The Blowout Bar

Happy Hump Day readers!

I am so excited that the spring weather is coming back!

Today I am sharing the highlight of my cousin's bachelorette weekend with you. When sending out the weekend itinerary, the Maid of Honor, Sarah, listed a "Surprise Activity" for Saturday afternoon. The suspense was killing me, and at book club the night before, all my friends and I were speculating on what the activity would be. That being said, I was ecstatic when Sarah announced that we were getting blowouts. SO fun!

Sarah had reserved the Blowout Bar DC for 2 hours for us that afternoon. We were all excited to get dolled up for our night out!

We were greeted with champagne.

The decor inside was perfectly girlie! Lilac walls and chandeliers really set the tone!

After sipping on some bubbly, we started taking turns rotating through. The bride went first, and I did my best to serve as paparazzi. 

The experience started with shampoo and relaxing scalp massage.

Once in the chair, you were able to select which hairstyle you'd like from their menu. Callee, the bride, and I both went with "The Grace," glamorous, loose curls.

All the staff were so  nice and accommodating! The owner ran out of peach champagne, a favorite of the group, and went to the store, returning with not only more champagne, but also delicious brownie bites! They played fun, pump up music, and even had Magic Mike playing on the TV, perfect for a bachelorette.

Callee and I both loved our loose curls, but knew that with our fine hair they would not last throughout the night. The stylist was sweet enough to give us both a touch up, with tighter curls that would make it!

After styling all 10 of us, we snapped a quick group picture before heading home to get ready for the night! 

Have you ever gotten a blowout?

What have been some of your favorite activities during bachelorette weekends?

Have a great day!


Easter Inspiration

Happy Monday readers!

Did y'all have a good weekend?

We spent the weekend at the river and had a really  nice time, but the weekend seemed to go by entirely too fast! I did not want to get out of bed this morning!

I'm so glad that Spring is officially here (even if it did bring cold weather!) and can't believe that Easter is less than a week away. My family tends to keep Easter pretty low key and have brunch reservations lined up. That being said, it's fun to plan a pretend Easter brunch and I couldn't resist sharing some inspiration with y'all today!

What are your Easter plans?

Have a great day!


Seeing Green

Happy Thursday leprechauns!

Wow, what a week! Is it Friday yet?!? Is it just me or has this week really dragged on?

Bryce has been out of town all week and got in late last night, so I am especially excited for the weekend and time with him.

In honor of St. Patrick's Day today, I thought I would round up some of my favorite green interiors. Y'all know decorating is one of my hobbies and passions, so I thought this would be a fun break from my usual green posts. I'm still swooning over this dress that I mentioned in last year's St. Patrick's day post (here), though!

So without further adieu, let's take a look at some green eye candy.

Are you a fan of green in decor?

It is an accent color throughout our home and I'm dying to paint our dining room a crisp apple green; so these pictures have me feeling giddy!

To add some pops of green in your home, shop below:

Have a great St. Patrick's Day!


Five Years

Happy Tuesday, readers!

Please excuse my blog absence last week. I had the flu and barely even opened my computer all week. I'm now back to the grind, and other than a slight lingering cough, am well. Thank goodness. It was my first time having the flu in 10 years and really knocked me down!

Today I am posting with exciting news...today my blog turns 5! I can't believe all the ways that writing this little blog has enriched my life! I have met amazing people because of blogging and have learned so much.

This is such a special place for me and I appreciate all of you for following along.

I thought in honor of 5 years, it would be fun to fill out the same survey that I did in my very first "Welcome!!" post (read here). In some ways, I am so similar to who I was 5 years ago, and many answers have remained the same. In other ways, I have grown and changed. I appreciate each and every one of you that have joined me in this journey so far! Can't wait to see what the next 5 years bring for both me and Alexandra Bee Blog.

How about some doughnuts to celebrate?

Hopefully you've picked up on this from reading the blog, but my first name is Alexandra, and I go by Allie as a nickname.
Yes, my middle name is Bennett after Barbara Bennett, my mother's godmother.
Anyone else mourning the loss of Downton Abbey? I last cried watching the second to last episode of Downton Abbey when Mary visited Matthew's grave.
Yes, my handwriting is a quick mix of print "teacher handwriting" and cursive.
Yes, I have a gratitude journal I keep by my bed. I did a really good job of recording what I was grateful for at bedtime each night early last year. I need to start opening it up and writing in it again! It was a great way to wind down and end even the worst days on a happy note.
I wouldn't say I'm a sarcastic person, but definitely can be at times depending on the situation and who I am with.
I would totally bungee jump! I'm actually a bit of a daredevil, and on a similar daring note, my dad and I are planning to go skydiving this spring!
Cinnamon Toast Crunch, but I can't remember the last time I had it! During the week, I eat Rice Chex each  morning on the way to work.
Most of my shoes don't have laces, but when I do wear my tennis shoes or duck boots, I never untie them when taking them off.
Yes, I'd like to think I've overcome a lot...and have overcome even more since writing that 5 years ago.
My favorite ice cream is a Richmond classic, Gelati Celesti and Bryce and I regularly treat ourselves to it in the summer at Boyer's Ice Cream & Coffee that's right around the corner from our house. I usually get a cup that has half Cookie Dough and half Oreo. When they have Cinnamon, I swap that out for the Oreo. Their ice cream is the best ever...a delicious mix between gelato and ice cream.
Pink, of course!
I can be judgmental at times. I'll still say that's one of my biggest flaws, but I also tend to be a worrier and over-analyzer. Overall the analytical side to my personality is a positive, but it can get me in trouble sometimes.
My Grandpa Rex. I still miss him so much to this day and hate that he and Bryce never had the chance to meet. They have so much in common and I know my grandpa would be so happy for me to have found Bryce.
I am wearing black and white printed ankle pants with my black patent leather Revas. I don't wear black a lot, but I'm laughing right now, because when I wrote this 5 years ago, I was wearing a black printed jersey dress!
The sound of my typing.
Crayola Tickled Pink
I'd have to say baby smell...particularly babies right after a bath!
I spoke to Bryce briefly earlier today. What's even crazier to think about is when I wrote this 5 years ago, I hadn't even met Bryce yet!
Nope, I, knock on wood, have perfect vision. I wouldn't mind having a pair of cute reading glasses, though.
Oh goodness, this is a tough one. I have expanded my palate SO much in the last five years. When I first wrote this I listed mac-n-cheese, chicken parmesan, and crabcakes. Those are still all favorites, but I would definitely now add scallops, roasted asparagus, and anything with truffle oil to the list.
I love a good scary, thriller style movie, but would say I'm more often drawn to a happy ending these days.
Summer for sure. I am always the happiest in the summertime.
That's a tough one, but I do feel that there are few things a good hug can't fix.
Tiramisu and ice cream are still two definite favorites, but since discovering cookie dough stuffed rice krispies, I have to say they might take the lead. Get the recipe for those here.
I just finished Beach Town by Mary Kay Andrews. I'd been doing a lot of heavy reading for my book club lately, and this was a great quick, escape read while sick with the flu. I've got My Year with Eleanor: A Memoir, this month's book club selection, on hold at the library now and am going to pick it up after work.
The Bachelor Season Finale...crazily enough that was the same answer as 5 years ago! I'm trying to remember who the bachelor was that year. That year, I was an RA and hosted my RA friends within my association for the finale. Last night, I was also with good friends, so that's a win-win in my book.
If you've read my blog for a while, you know I'm terrible at picking favorites. Though this probably wouldn't be my very favorite sound, all I can think about right now is Widespread Panic radio on Pandora. Last night, I jammed out while getting ready for The Bachelor. Some of my favorites that came on last night were Shakedown Street, Atlantic City, and Soulshine.
Homburg, Germany is still the answer. I'm dying to trek across the globe again, though, and visit Italy!
I wrote compassion 5 years ago, which I do think is true, but also sounds so pretentious, haha! I honestly can't think of any special "talents" per se. I'm really good with kids!? I guess it's a good thing I never was a pageant girl!
I was born on November 28, 1988 in Richmond, Virginia...the same place that I still call home today!

Have a great day and thanks for making these 5 years of Alexandra Bee Blog such a joy!


Five on Friday

Happy Friday chicas!

I hope you've had a great week!

I have the joy of blogging from bed this morning. This afternoon we're leaving for my cousin's DC bachelorette. I had planned to take a half day, but didn't have anything on my calendar for work today, so decided to take some extra "me" time.

Today I'm linking up with the sweet Five on Friday ladies!


Tomorrow night we're doing the typical black dresses and heels bachelorette look. I don't wear a lot of black and wasn't really feeling any of the few dresses I do have. I was thinking a black romper would be fun, but also didn't want to go out and splurge for what will already be a fun, but expensive weekend. The other day, I decided to pop into Francesca's thinking they might have something to fit the bill that wouldn't break the bank. Boy am I glad I did! I am IN LOVE with this romper that was only $44! I am going to pair it with black tights, these booties, this necklace, and this clutch (on sale with code BIGEVENT16). I am thinking it will look great in the summertime with wedges too! Be sure to follow along on our bachelorette adventures on Instagram this weekend!

Crazy Spam Comment

Those of y'all that have blogs of your own, know that spam comes through every now and then. A big red flag, is usually when you get a new comment on a really old post. I just have to share one that was left on this post earlier this week. I already marked it as spam, so  you won't see it in the comments section now, but it is too crazy not to share! Do people actually buy this mumbo jumbo?

Sara Platt Design

I recently stumbled upon Sara Platt Design's instagram through Jana Bek Design (the lady behind those fabulous brushstroke lamps). To me there is nothing quite like finding a good design account to follow and I am enjoying all her interiors eye candy. The space above is perfection! Anyone else good in the interiors world I should be following?


Remember these babies? I first mentioned them in my Spring Wish List post LAST YEAR? I love them, want them, need them. I only ever buy Tory Burch shoes on sale, though. And last year, while teaching, I rarely was at my desk; so by the time  I opened the sale email, my size was long gone. I continued to scour the internet looking for them months and months later, never to have any luck. My old tan wedges were ruined 2 summers ago in wet grass at a wedding and I made them last through last summer but now I'm in the market for a replacement pair and these coveted wedges are back. What's a girl to do? Splurge? Wait for a sale and risk missing out again?

Spring Tablescape Idea

I'm so ready for spring, especially all the flowers in our yard blooming! Tulips, irises, peonies, and more! I came across this picture on Pinterest and think it is the cutest idea for a spring shower!

What's on your mind lately?

Have any fun weekend plans?

Have a great day!
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Happy Hump Day readers!

Today I'm linking up with Catalyn from Confessions of a Northern Belle. I recently found her blog and am enjoying reading about her life in Georgia as a mama and teacher.

I've always loved confession style posts, where bloggers get real about what's on their minds, the good, bad, and ugly.

No judgment, please!

I confess, I'm on the warpath today. I haven't been sleeping well lately. Something must be bothering my "unconscious" because I've been having all sorts of dreams involving conflicts with friends and family. Bryce has woken me up the past 2 nights, coming upstairs long after I've gone to bed and disrupting my sleep. I may have bit his head off just a tad this morning. Girlfriend needs some sleep.

I first mentioned on Instagram here I've started the Running for Weight Loss app. I've done it for just over 2 weeks now and am feeling really proud of myself. The app provides a guide for interval training, logs your routes, mileage, and calories. I've really been enjoying it. I'm quite Type A and a perfectionist, so I like looking at my logs and seeing how I'm improving my speed. I just started having to do sprints during the workout, and not gonna lie- they're kicking my butt!

On another note, I confess our diet has kinda fallen to the wayside. I will say that we are definitely cooking more which is a huge plus, and when we do cook, we tend to follow the diet. We also have cut out most drinking during the weeks to cut calories. If you read Monday's post, you'll see that this weekend was a complete and utter diet fail.

All that being said, I need to get my booty in gear, because I confess I am really nervous about my bridesmaid's dress for my cousin's wedding not fitting. I know bridesmaid's dresses run really small, but at the shop based on my measurements they recommended a SIZE FOURTEEN! I wear mostly 4s and 6s, y'all. I ended up ordering a 12, because when looking at the measurements the 12 was the better choice according to all measurements except my waist. It should be arriving this month and the wedding is still 2 months away, so at least I have some time to whittle it down some.

I confess, I follow the Beaufort Bonnet Company on Instagram just to get my daily baby fix...and regularly send Bryce screenshots of cute babies.

Speaking of weddings and babies, I confess sometimes I feel like my life just isn't progressing fast enough. I'm definitely not ready for a baby at this moment, but I do have baby fever and as more friends get married and have babies, I'm wishing I was a bit closer to those steps. It's hard not to play the comparison game.

I confess, I think a major spring shopping spree might be coming. I've cut way back on my shopping the last 6 months or so. It's been a good way to save money, but also to get creative with the wardrobe I already have. Now that the weather is warming up and I'm gearing up for all sorts of fun spring and summer events, I'm dying for some fresh new pieces.

I confess, I might be pulling the old high school Spark Notes trick at book club tomorrow night...which makes me feel like a complete failure as book club founder. We've been reading The Secret History and I just can't get into it. For one, it's very weird and it's also really long. It's not that I'm not enjoying it, but I also just haven't been dying to pick it up at nights. I'm going to do my best to read as much as I can tonight and might even go home to read tomorrow at lunchtime. Wish me luck.

What are some of your confessions of late?

Do you relate with anything I shared?

Have a great day!