June 27, 2014

Five Technology Tips

Happy Friday, friends! First I just want to announce the winner of my one year blogoversary...drum roll please! The winner of the giveaway is Rachel from Oh Simple Thoughts! Rachel, if you are reading this, I just sent you an email :) And for my readers, go check Rachel's blog out! She is pretty amazing and one of my daily reads.

I don't know about y'all but I am SO glad that my weekend begins in only a few hours. This past week has been so long and stressful. For instance, I don't know what I did to my neck recently but I am in so much pain and have to go back to the Doctor to get a second MRI next week (more on this one day), my mom is recovering from recent back surgery and Will has been working literally around the clock and we haven't seen much of each other. So I am really excited about sleeping in, relaxing and spending time with Will all weekend long! The only thing we might do is go see a movie on Saturday night but we shall see what we are in the mood to do!

But enough about that, I'm also excited to share a recent collaboration I did with the Dollar Shave Club, which is a new razor subscription service that delivers grooming products right to your door! When they reached out to me, I had only heard of them from Will, but never paid much attention to what they had to offer...that is until they sent me an email that included a link to this video to watch. Let's just say it was pretty funny and got my attention right away! And I might have shared it with too many people and have watched it over five times.

Although I would love to give you the 411 on this company, I am actually going to spend time going over five technology tips for those guys in our lives that we know who are technology impaired. You would be lying if you told me that you didn't know ONE guy who has a hard time understanding all things social media, the internet, how to search things on Google, etc!

Five Technology Tips for our Technology Impaired Men

ONE
Watch tutorial videos. There are SO many good ones out there to watch and are extremely helpful even for me. Youtube has been a great source to use, and even a simple Google search will come up with something for you to check out. 

TWO
Ask questions and practice, practice, practice. You can't master everything right away so don't give up! I've known a lot of guys (I won't name names) who get frustrated so easily and give up. But oh the pain that brings me when  you do that! So many good things can come out of patience fellas! For example, let's say you do a Google search on "Top Razors". I'm sure with that search a lot of results will come back, but you get frustrated because none of them are what you are really looking for...so you think! This is were you need to practice they way you search for things. In this scenario, I would recommend you being more specific, for instance, instead of searching for "Top Razors", you could do a more specific search on "Top Electric Razors for Men". See how a change of wording can bring you results that are more specific to what you are looking for? 

THREE
Have a cheat sheet handy. I have LOT'S of cheat sheets that I use on a regular basis! What to know how to save a copy of your Pinterest boards as a PDF? Go here. Don't know how, but want to learn how to shoot in manual mode with your camera? Check this cheat sheet out. There are so many ways to learn technology and cheat sheets help with making that process easier.  

FOUR
Think outside the box. Many you think there isn't anything handy you can get out of using technology or social media. But think again. Let's say you are trying to make a budget to use. Well, did you know that you can find so many different budget sheets and free program to use if only you search for them? Or maybe you are bored out of our mind and think there is nothing to do in the city that you live in...but with a simple search on the internet, you find out that your favorite band is playing at a venue near you! The options are endless when it comes to what you can do and find on the web.

FIVE
Have fun with it! Using technology and exploring social media can be fun! It doesn't have to be frustrating, even when it's confusing and seems difficult to master or understand. I remember telling my dad all about Pinterest when it first came around and showed him all the neat things I had found through using it. My dad seemed interested, so we set him up an account and before I knew it, he had caught on to what I had showed him and was following people, pinning things to his boards and doing his own searches! Yes, I've had a proud daughter moment or two through this experience with him.   

And those are my technology tips for the day! I hope you enjoyed them! If you are interested in learning more about the Dollar Shave Club, you can go here to read over the frequently asked questions, or here to read up on how this Company works!

June 26, 2014

One Kings Lane Reflect Your Style Campaign


One Kings Lane has been one of my favorite online home decor retailers for over a year now, offering unique pieces that can add life to any room and furniture that make great statement pieces. Last week, One Kings Lane reached out to me to participate in their Reflect Your Style campaign and I was excited to find out that the challenge was to design a vanity space centered around a statement mirror that I choose from a handful of other options.

For my vanity space, I wanted to create an area that was clean, simple, and had at least one fun accent piece like this chair. Something about the color and print combo of the chair drew me in and I really want it now! But back to the vanity itself...I personally haven't seen many table options that I love, so I decided to take two separate corner tables, put them together and create something that would work for me.

I also like to get my makeup and appliances out of view so I would most always have them stored away. However, I am all for having my bottles of perfume out for viewing along with a fresh vase of flowers and a lipstick or two. It is a vanity after all :) And helloooo! Check out the mirror! What girly girl wouldn't love the gold coloring and delicate bow detail? I'm swooning!

What kind of space do you like to get ready in? Be sure to check out the Home Decor Resource Guide and other options for wall mirrors that are just as stylish as the one I choose for some inspiration!

June 25, 2014

10 Summer Beach Essentials

Today is What You Wish Wednesday so be sure to link-up at the bottom of this post! 
And don't forget to enter my blogoversary giveaway
The winner will be announced Friday morning!
 Summer Beach Essentials



It's finally summer and I can't wait for trips to the beach, and for those weekends when I can't leave the city, you can still find me relaxing by the pool! I don't know about you, but I have a list of summer essentials that I can't go without and today I am partnering with Personal Creations on their Fun in the Sun project to bring you a list of my summer beach must haves.

ONE
A good pair of sunnies. I can't live without them and I have a pair with me at all times. I love how versatile sunglasses are and there are so many styles to choose from so you won't have to worry about finding a pair that you don't love. And they protect your eyes which I mean is kind of important ;-)

TWO
A sunhat. Another must in my opinion! For me, I have one floppy hat I wear 90% of the time, a handful of baseball caps and I just ordered this straw bucket hat that I can't wait to wear as soon as it arrives. And the nice thing about hats are that you can wear them off the beach too! Don't think they are limited to just the ocean side. I have a ton of friends who wear them casually all the time! Check them out here, here, here and here.

THREE
A Coverup comes in handy for a number of reasons. Let's say you are in a hurry to get somewhere. Well, they are quick and easy to throw on. Say your at the beach/pool and need to run to the store to pick up some snacks...with a coverup you don't have to worry about getting your regular clothes wet or dirty. There are so many reasons why I love coverups and think they are essential in the summer. And did I mention that they are so cute?!

FOUR
There is nothing better then a big ole' beach bag! In the summer, I fee like I am always toting around a bunch of stuff and want to have it all together. I carry everything from my Chapstick, sunscreen and phone charger to my planner, sunglasses and magazine. The bigger the summer bag, the better. All the more room to tote around a towel, an extra pair of sandals and maybe even a book, and water bottle. I am crushing over this Steve Madden and this over-sized Tory Burch tote.

FIVE
A swimsuit or five or six. Need I say more?

SIX
Sunscreen. I love the kind that comes in a spray so that my hands don't get all greasy and I like that I feel I am able to apply it more evenly. And remember, the higher the SPF the better! You want to make sure you are protecting your skin at all times, even when it's not summer. The sun shines pretty much all year long depending on where you live so it's vital that you take precaution as much as possible.

SEVEN
An iPad or book are always a must when I am spending time out by the pool or relaxing on the beach. Not only does it help pass the time but it's my favorite way to relax.

EIGHT
Sandals. They come in so many different colors and styles and keep feet from burning when walking on the sand if your at the beach. Sandals are also light weight and easy to style with outfits day or night.

NINE
A drink holder. I heard about these last summer and have yet to purchase one but think I will have to change that for this year! They seem so convenient and can even be customized and monogrammed! And plus, these make great gifts for friends and family and can be used for things other then holding your drinks...like your cellphone. Nothing wrong with getting creative! 

TEN
After finding this travel mat in the Fun in the Sun collection, I knew I had to add it to the list. I currently don't have anything I can use to sit on while enjoying an outdoor concert or picnicking and this waterproof, foam-padded has made it onto my to-purchase list! And the fact that it comes with a adjustable carrying strap and can be monogrammed seal the deal.

So I hope you enjoyed this post! What are some items that you find are a must? Be sure to check out Personal Creations on Pinterest in July to see my post and others featured on their "Summer Beach Essentials" board!


June 23, 2014

A Bald Head Island Wedding

Meet Kate. She is one of my best friends and someone I truly admire. A few days ago she was a Miss. waiting to become a Mrs. and is now happily married and getting ready to head off to Thailand for her honeymoon! Our friendship began in 2010, and has grown in so many wonderful ways. Fast forward to this past weekend when I had the honor of traveling down to Bald Head Island to take part in her wedding day and things couldn't have been more perfect. 

As I look back over the weekend, I can't help but smile when I think of Kate and her sweet husband Quint. These two are a one-of-a-kind couple; period. I remember standing up in front of them reading off some bible verses Saturday afternoon, looking back at the two of them as I spoke and couldn't help but feel God's presence in the room. And so this post is kind of a dedication to the newly wed couple and as a way for me to reflect on the importance of marriage. Over time, I've grown to agree that I want a marriage more beautiful than my wedding.
One of the things I love most about BHI is that you will not spot a single car on the island as they are not allowed. Your options of transportation while visiting include walking, taking a tram, renting a bicycle or riding around in a golf cart. This was a few of BHI from the ferry.
THIS is the Village Chapel that Kate and Quint got married in. Talk about breathtaking...
Once inside, you couldn't help but be in awe at the gorgeous views of the waterway, the stained glass windows and wooden beams. Although the space seems on the smaller side, it was a perfect fit.
After the wedding ceremony, all of the guest hopped onto golf carts and heading over to the BHI Club for the reception. No visit to the island is complete without a picture of Old Baldy.
Fun fact: Old Baldy is NC's oldest standing lighthouse!
The draping that hung outside over the dance floor really set the mood for the evening cocktail hour.
Quint and his precious mother had all the guest swooning with their mother-son dance.

Kate's dad gave one heartfelt speech before it was time for everyone to head inside for dinner. I can't imagine how hard it is for a parent to "give away" their child, but the bond that is held between me and my parents is one that I know will never be broken when that day comes for me!
Kate and Quint's wedding cake was not only delicious but beautifully created! My favorite part this go around wasn't the cake! Shocker? It was actually the wedding cake topper which was such a unique and perfect touch! No beach wedding is complete without starfish and anchors.
Every married couple should have a grand exist and theirs was no exception!
How adorable is the get-a-way golf cart they used after they left the reception?

All in all, another weekend has come and gone and I feel the next few months will consist of more and more weddings. It must be wedding season but I'm enjoying every last bit of it. 

June 20, 2014

Happy ONE YEAR blogoversary to me!

I can hardly believe that today marks one full year of Simply Sweet Melissa! I mean...time truly flies when you're doing what you enjoy :) I've stepped outside of my comfort zone, shared parts of my heart that were uncomfortable, celebrated the little things and made new friends. I've taken part in some fun sponsorship, and even shared some tips, tricks and other things I've found interesting. But before I move forward, I want to stop for a second and put the spotlight on YOU.

If I wanted to be short and sweet I would just say thank you, but i'd rather explain the reasons why I'm thankful. First, thank you for taking time out of your day to read my blog. I know how precious time is and to know that you spend some of your time with ME means so much. Secondly, thank you for following along with my life and for being such wonderful followers.

From the comments you've left, emails you've sent, and words of encouragement offered, all the way down to the blogging advice you've given me and the friendships that we have made, I am forever grateful. All of this is beyond what I ever thought would happen and i'm left speechless. I feel so loved and being part of this blogging world has been one of the best spur-of-the-moment decisions I have ever made! So thank you.

Simply Sweet Melissa's success is all because of you don't you see? You've helped me grow this blog into something I never saw possible. Without being inspired or even challenged, I don't think I would have ever continued blogging if you asked me. But blogging has opened up so many doors and I am no where near ready to see them close. I can't wait to see how much this little ole' blog grows over the next year and I'm even more excited to see how I bloom as an individual more then anything else.

So in honor of SSM's ONE year blogoversary, I wanted to bring you a giveaway to celebrate and as a way to say thank you one last time.
Blog inc. Blook /Blogging for Passion, Profit, and to Create Community.
Blog, Inc. was the first blogging book I ever read. I remember I was a few months into blogging and having a hard time trying to figure out how to drive traffic to my blog (aka grow my community), wondered how often I should blog and how the heck do I balance blogging with the rest of life's demands. This book answered all of those questions and more. I've highlighted and flagged more pages in this book then half the other books I own and I recently re-read it for a refresher on a few particular topics. I'm so excited for one lucky winner to win this book as part of my giveaway and know that it won't be a disappointment one bit. To read more about Blog, Inc. you can go here and even take a peek inside to see if it's up your alley.    
Down to Biz: The B Bar - Helpful e-books for bloggers and business women
If you haven't heard of The B Bar, I'm sorry. Good thing I am giving you the formal introduction! Back story: around this time last year, I started to follow The B Bar's blog which just so happened to be the same time that Simply Sweet Melissa was being created. I loved the gals (Meg and Victoria) behind The B Bar, and started to read their personal blogs (VMAC+Cheese and Meg Biram) first thing pretty much every morning. Talk about blogging inspiration and knowledge on all things Social Media! 

So fast forward to one morning when I was reading Victoria's blog in which she mentioned there was a free PDF book on their "menu" called The Importance of Permalinks. When I saw that it was free, I knew I had to download it immediately and see what there was to know about Permalinks. Short and sweet, easy to understand and packed full of other stuff, I realized I had a new obsession. That's when I knew I needed more and got my hands on 3 other items off the menu! Because you purchase these as PDFs, you can easily save them to your computer or even print them out which I have done. But my favorite part about these books being PDFs is mainly for the fact that you can click on the different websites/blogs that they mention and go to exactly what they are talking about. This is an added bonus to your purchase as a whole because your being introduced to more RESOURCES! And that's one thing I can't have enough of!

Whew wee! Y'all I just got myself worked up with excitement talking about all of this stuff and I can't wait to share my favorite bar purchases with you and heck, I may just even give the winner a third just because :) The giveaway is open until next Friday so enter, enter, enter and help me spread the word! a Rafflecopter giveaway

June 18, 2014

What You Wish Wednesday: BarkBox Edition

SimplySweetMelissa

I wish more people knew about BarkBox because it's been a lifesaver to Will and I. I had heard of BarkBox prior to my subscription, and recently explored their website and learned more about what they had to offer. Obviously BB has been a huge hit with Miller these first few rounds and I'm excited to share my knowledge of the company as a whole.

The best way for me to describe BarkBox is to first say it reminds me a lot of BirchBox but for dogs. I like to also tell people it's like a magazine subscription in which you can expect to have something show up in the mail once every month for as long as you would like them to arrive! Each box comes with four or more goodies, usually toys and treats, that have been picked out based on your dog's size (small, medium, large).  

One of the main reasons why I subscribed to BB was because 99% of the treats that are included are organic and pure in ingredient which has been ideal for Miller currently as we try to figure out why his liver enzymes are elevated. Another reason I subscribed was because of the reasonable prices that range from $18/month per box for a one year subscriptions to $29/month per box for one month. Talk about a steal!

Besides my love for low prices, surprise mail and healthy choices, giving back is equally important. BarkBox gives a portion of their proceeds towards helping doggies-in-need! You can learn more about this by checking out the following page.

All in all, Miller is one happy pup when his box arrives! We love BarkBox and all it has to offer for our furry friends :) Check them out and let me know what you and your pet think!

June 13, 2014

5 on Friday

Happy Friday, friends!

This afternoon Will and I will be heading to Will's youngest brother Noah's High School graduation! We are so proud of him and can't wait to celebrate with lot's of family and friends around. Crossing our fingers the rain will stay away for another day so that we can enjoy time together spent outdoors! What are your plans? A weekend of relaxing watching the World Cup maybe? Whatever you end up doing I hope it's wonderful.

Before going social media free for the weekend, I'd like to leave you with my 5 on Friday...because what Friday is complete without that (in the blogging world that is)?!

ONE
I'd like to say that for the most part, I manage my time wisely. However, there are those days and sometimes weeks that I just can't get my act together and feel like all I do with my time is worry about not utilizing it correctly. One thing that I did do with my time that was well worth it was coming across this post that Carly from College Prep did on Time Management. Not only does Carly break down a to-do list schedule of hers, but she really helps you figure out how to get things done...with the use of her real life examples of course! This is a must read.

TWO
Ever have the thought go through your head of "how do I make the most of all my social media accounts"? Well you are not alone! That thought crosses my mind regularly as I struggle to keep up with it all. Yes...social media is fun and a hobby I LOVE, but it does take a lot of time and commitment at maintaining it all wouldn't you agree? If you agree, then THE EVERYGIRL article called A Guide to Making the Most of Social Media is for you. I particularly got a lot out of the Pinterest and Twitter tips section. Check it out and let me know if you can think of any other tips that are worth knowing!

THREE
Y'all...have you heard of Larissa and Ian? If not, prepare for your world to be changed. These two are like no other. I can't even explain how present God is in these two and no matter how many times I watch this video, I always end up in prayer thanking God for all I have. Watch and learn about the tragic accident that almost separated them but by God's grace, were brought closer together.

FOUR
On another sentimental note, if you know me, you are probably aware that I am the only child and a daddy's little girl. I'm also a "homebody" and talk to my parents just about everyday. So when I go to Greensboro to visit with them, it's turned into a somewhat regular occurrence to drive down memory lane. Maybe it's my idea, but I think my parents really enjoy doing it too! Last time I was home we drove by the bar that was once called Logan's that my dad was the bartender at. It was also the place that they first met and where it all began.
From there we drove by the church that my parent's got married at and where they recited their vows and have for over 25ish years (give or take a few?) and have stood by the words they once spoke of "to have and to hold from this day forward".
And one of the spots that really hits home to me is the park that my Grandma (Dad's Mom) helped create. This park was right behind my grandparent's house and I remember when I was little making my way over to the tire swing and playing on all of the pieces of equipment for what felt like hours. I never got to meet my Grandma before she passed away, but being there at that park makes it feel like she never left.
FIVE
Want to know one of my favorite bloggers? Her name is Maegen and she blogs over at The Modern Tulip. I love Maeg because she is down-to-earth, oh so precious and so hilarious. And I love the fact that she writes about pretty much any and everything. So you'd never get bored reading her blog. And an added bonus...she writes tutorial posts that REALLY work and make sense! Check this post out on managing your image properties.

June 11, 2014

What You Wish Wednesday

SimplySweetMelissa
Hump Dayyyyy! Happy Wednesday everyone! It's time for another week of WYWW! If you are new to my blog or this is your first time hearing about WYWW, then fear not. Let me just give you a quick run down of what you can expect. What You Wish Wednesday is a no-fuss and super simple link-up were myself, Leslie, Nikki and Stasia welcome you to join us in sharing whatever you wish! It can be anything from your favorite posts, recipes, DIY projects, tips and tricks...whatever you please! The only things we request are that you grab the link-up button which can be found on my sidebar, add it to the bottom of your post, link-up whatever you wish and follow one of more of the hostesses!

Today I want to remind you all of a giveaway that I am helping co-host called Fullness of Joy which you can enter to win here. This giveaway is filled with some amazing items, and I'm going to share some information about them with you today! This giveaway will be live until this Friday June 13th so there is plenty of time for you to enter!

This Fullness of Joy giveaway includes the following:
"Give Me Jesus" Journal - This journal was created by the lovely Gretchen Saffles of Life Lived Beautifully. Gretchen's heart for Jesus is contagious this journal is a great tool, beautifully designed, and is designed to help guide you as you read Scripture, pray and start/end your day. And the fact that the journal's design is a watercolor is a bonus!
Val Marie Paper Prayer Journal - This journal is a 6 month, undated prayer journal. My blog friend Rachel has one and said she loves it. it It has different sections for each month, so you can create focus in your prayer time and really cry out in prayer for specific things! It is really small and can fit right in your purse or bag! 
She Reads Truth Study Pack (Ruth) - I am sure most of you have heard of She Reads Truth. This study pack is on the book of Ruth and includes two lovely scripture prints, two memory verse cards, and the study pack. This study begins Monday June 16th, so the winner will have the pack in time to start the study with everyone else! 

Well friends, good luck! Crossing my fingers and toes for each of you :) It's also my hope that you join me in this new Wednesday weekly link-up and fell free to share your thoughts or ideas with me at anytime! 
An InLinkz Link-up

June 9, 2014

Fullness of Joy Giveaway

Happy Monday, y'all! It's that time again...time for another giveaway and I'm so excited about this one! First, let me just say that this giveaway wouldn't have worked out without the help of some amazing blog friends! I am a fan of each of these ladies so go check them out when you get the chance. I promise you will fall in love with their blogs and their hearts!

This giveaway is filled with some amazing items, and would be great for YOU or as a gift to a friend or someone you know who is in need of a little pick me up! From the She Reads Truth Study Pack to the Give Me Jesus Journal and Val Marie Paper Prayer Journal, I am excited for the one who wins this amazing giveaway which will be live until this Friday June 13th. Oh and the She Reads Truth book of Ruth study starts up on June 16th which means the winner will be able to take part in the study...just in time! All entries will be verified so please play fair.

Good luck sweet friends! Crossing my fingers and toes for each of you :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

June 4, 2014

What You Wish Wednesday

Happy first week of June, friends! How is everyone doing? I'm happy that June is finally here and I'm ready to have a weekend were I don't have anything planned and can lounge by the pool all day long! Until then, here are a few things that I'm wishin' over lately.
Southern food. Biscuits the size of your hand. Home made recipes. I love them all and this past weekend I went to Greensboro to visit my family and went out to eat on Saturday and had breakfast for dinner and boy was it good. We enjoyed biscuits before our meals came out and when I saw how large the they were, I knew I had to document it! When Will saw the photo, he said that the biscuit was more like a loaf of bread and that couldn't be more true. Oh well! I ate the whole darn thing; crumbs and all!
Family is so important to me and while in Greensboro, I made sure to spend as much quality time with them as I could. And that included my parent's pups; Peanut and Coco! We enjoyed the sunshine and spent the whole weekend social media free! Not only was it refreshing but it was well worth it. I wouldn't trade time with family for anything.
 
I wrote a blog post awhile back (read it here) talking about being confident in your own skin. I remember the day I got photos taken and how much I loved my outfit and the floppy hat I wore. Something about hats in the summertime screams my name and I can't wait to wear them more often!
Oh and on the topic of talking about things related towards summer, I thought it was only appropriate to include this swimsuit! I really like the straps that you can take off or put on and the colors incorporated into the nylon material of the swimsuit. Now if only I had more time at the pool...

And that's all ladies and gents! I hope you have a great rest of the week and be sure to link-up with Leslie, Stasia and Nikki day for our WYWW link-up! Oh and let me know if you have any suggestions, thoughts or concerns too!
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