Monday, February 29, 2016

Month of Love: Grain & Dot

Happy Leap Day, y'all!
For my final Month of Love giveaway, I'm so excited to have Brittany here today to share all about her small business, Grain and Dot!  She has also been kind enough to give away $50 to her Etsy shop!

Hello Borrowed Heaven readers!  My shop came about through a passion for typography, design, quirky quotes, and making people smile.  Grain & Dot was officially “born” in January of 2013, but as BrittanyH Designs, a little Etsy shop that allowed me to keep my creative juices flowing and to keep me from feeling the monotony of my temporary job as a graphic designer at an office supply store in small town Montana.  
Later that year, after moving to Denver and pouring my heart and soul into freelancing for various studios and companies in the area, so too grew my desire to grow my own business!  In July of 2014, BrittanyH Designs received a grown up new name, Grain & Dot, and branding to match.  
As a little girl, my joy came from coloring, crafting, and scrapbooking. When it came time to choose my profession, graphic design hit all the marks. I am entirely passionate about what I do and I want to share it with everyone. My goal is to help others adorn their walls with unique art without breaking the bank as well as help others share their feelings through cards as uniquely up front and honest as they are. 
Grain & Dot is an evolving dream with more prints, decor, and cards added every week. Be sure to check back as my dream and shop continue to grow!  For custom prints and illustrations, visit my Etsy shop and for more graphic design offerings, check out my website.  

Thanks so much, Brittany!  To go along with my love for 30 Rock (at the top of this post), Brittany sent me my FAVORITE Liz Lemon quote for our bedroom.
The quality of the paper and printing are fantastic, and I am so pleased with her work.  Now it's your turn, enter below for a chance to win a $50 gift shop to Brittany's amazing Etsy shop - good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Every Girl Needs It: Rocksbox

Thank you to the Rocksbox Instagram Influencer Program for the complimentary products below.  All opinions are my own. 
I always struggle with buying jewelry on my own.  It can be so expensive, and I tend to gravitate towards neutral items that I can wear with lots of different outfits instead of wild statement pieces that will only go with one of two things in my closet.  So, as you can imagine, my jewelry collection can get boring.  Here's where Rocksbox, a constantly rotating jewelry box filled with designer pieces, comes in.

For a monthly fee, you receive a box of three personally curated designer jewelry pieces to keep for as long as you want.  You can wear the same items all month or mail them back after a wear or two to receive a full new set of jewelry.  Make a wish list with pieces you'd like to receive or be surprised by Rocksbox's team of stylists.  Each month you participate, you even get $10 to spend on any of the pieces you'd like to buy and keep.  Plus, Insiders get their own super-low pricing on items, anywhere from $10 to $20 lower than retail!

Did this entice you to give it a try?  How about a free month of jewelry?  Yes!  Use code megdtaylorxoxo at checkout to get one free month of Rocksbox service.  You know you want to!
Alright, now let's see what I received in my first pretty little coral-wrapped box...
Not going to lie, when I opened up the tissue paper and saw the minty Kendra Scott bag on the bottom of my box, I was pretty excited.  I hadn't heard of of the other two designers: Elise M or Sophie Harper before, but then again, I can probably only name 3 jewelry designers - haha!
What I loved was how well the three pieces that Sheila curated for me went together.  The amethyst stones in the earrings and necklace were very similar, and all 3 had a beautiful dainty and feminine gold design.
While I was initially excited for the KS earrings, surprisingly, my favorite piece in this whole set was the ring.  I loved the way it looked and will definitely be requesting more rings from Rocksbox.  There's another reason to try Rocksbox - I found something I didn't even know I liked!
Since this was my first Rocksbox, I decided not to purchase anything right away, so after wearing everything a couple of times, I packaged the pieces back up, put them in the pre-paid and labeled envelope, and brought it to the post office.  I was so impressed that it took less than a week from the time when I shipped my original set back to receive a new one in the mail; I handed the envelope to the post office on Tuesday, and by the following Monday, there was a whole new set waiting for me!
  • Have you tried Rocksbox?  If not, use megdtaylorxoxo for a free month!
  • Do you have a favorite jewelry designer?

Monday, February 22, 2016

Month of Love: CaseApp

Happy Monday! Can you believe that this is our last full week of February? I'm excited to be back for another Month of Love giveaway, and because it's a leap year, there will actually be a final giveaway next Monday, so even more fun for y'all!

For today, I have an awesome company you've probably heard of before across the blogosphere, CaseApp! A custom electronics case and skin shop, they have something for all of your devices. As a Samsung Galaxy user, I was so excited to find a huge array of designs for my usually hard-to-shop-for smart phone. What's really cool is that if you can't find something you like from their pre-made prints and patterns (which I highly doubt!) or if you'd like something even more personal, you can use our own photo to make a completely personalized custom iPhone case or custom laptop skin. 
CaseApp has been kind enough to offer a $40 gift code to their online shop for one lucky reader. Enter with the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this post!

Here's what I chose: Black White Gold Samsung case and Ananas Comosus Macbook skin. The print quality is crisp and very true to their website photos and durability has been great over the last couple of weeks.
Even if you are not lucky to win this great prize, I highly suggest you give CaseApp a try. To entice you even further, you can use MYBORROWED20 for 20% off all orders through February 28th!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I received these items in exchange for an honest review and to share with my readers through the above giveaway.

5 Safety Tips For Wintertime Running

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #LoveDoveFruits #CollectiveBias 
Charleston has a lot of fantastic outdoorsy groups, especially for running.  To prep for my most recent half marathon, it was fun to change up my training by getting pushed by a supportive group of fellow runners instead of always running by myself. What's a better way to make a good first impression in my group than with chocolate?!  To spread a little love, I made these fun goodie bags for my running buddies with my favorite tips for staying safe during wintertime running and new DOVE® Chocolate Fruit & Nut.
While I love that I can run all year round in South Carolina, it can definitely present some challenges because many nights when I come from work, it's almost, if not already, dark. 

Here are the ways I stay safe during winter training: 
1. Wear bright clothing. 
2. Add glow-in-the-dark necklaces and bracelets to your sneakers and yourself. 
3. Lose the headphones and listen to music out loud so you’re more aware of your surroundings. 
4. Always run against the flow of traffic. Know what’s coming towards you! 
5. Run in groups when you can.
Now, to make the goodie bags, all you need is colored paper, scissors, snack-sized bags, and DOVE® Dark Chocolate Raspberry & Honey Roasted Almond:
1. Print these tips (or your own favorites) on some fun colored paper.
2. Cut them into strips to fit inside snack-sized resealable bags
3. Add in a handful of DOVE® Dark Chocolate Raspberry & Honey Roasted Almond as a post-run treat.
4. Bring them to your next fun run!
I'm absolutely in love with these new DOVE® Chocolate Fruit & Nut. Available right now at Walmart, they're a delicious snack, perfect to reward myself after a good run. All month, you can find them in a special display at your local store - look for it! 
On my most recent trip, I also picked up the DOVE® Dark Chocolate Strawberry & Cocoa Almond and DOVE® Dark Chocolate Cherries varieties in addition to the Raspberry and Almond I used for my new running friends. They all combine the wellness benefits of dark chocolate with fruits and nuts while satisfying my craving for something sweet! 
Have you tried any DOVE® Chocolate Fruit & Nut products? If not, here's a link to download a coupon to try it for yourself!  

Friday, February 19, 2016

Five on Friday: Playing Catch Up

Happy Friday, everyone!  I feel like it's been forever since I did a real update or a Weekend Recap, so I thought I'd share more than just my week in today's Five on Friday.  Here's what we've been up to recently...

Valentine's Day: You know how the first anniversary is supposed to be a "paper" gift?  Well, we've decided to continue that trend all year, and instead of buying gifts for each other this year for Valentine's, we headed up to Columbia last week for a Gamecocks women's basketball game again our UConn Huskies!  What a cool arena Colonial Life is!  The game was sold out, and we were two of probably like 20 UConn fans in the whole place - haha.  We had a great time.

Blogging for Books: This has become one of my absolute favorite things!  Recently, I've been choosing cookbooks, but this time, I decided to switch it up and get an adult coloring book: Cats in Paris.  It did not disappoint!  The whole book was a fantastic combination of the typical elaborate shapes and designs you'd see in a regular adult coloring books, paired with scenes of Paris filled with hidden cats.  If you're a cat lover (like me), I definitely suggest this book for a relaxing afternoon!

Charleston Blog Society: Since the new year, I've attended a couple of fun events hosted by the founder and my favorite lady, Gillian.  After attending the Mixology Tour (here's my recap!), it was perfect that Cocktail Club hosted a happy hour for CBS, and I had a chance to go back and eat more of their bacon fat popcorn - yum!  The most recent event was a styled shoot at the Gadsden House, a beautiful historic event venue.  With rentals from EventHaus, paper goods from The Silver Starfish, desserts from Swank, bubbly from One Hope Wine and the Cocktail Bandits, I had so much fun taking photos of Gillian's wonderful styling with my new camera lens.

Kate Spade surprise sale: Y'all, this one got me.  Oy vay.  Unfortunately, neither of these items are still available, but the Sawyer Street Colorblock bag (similar to this) is huge and will be perfect for the Southern C Summit this spring.  Mike actually picked out the Riverside Street passport holder (similarly spotted), and now I just want to go on a trip - haha!

Celebrating: Well, our Panthers didn't win the Super Bowl (I'm getting over it slowly), but we did have fun watching them get there.  Plus, everyone and everywhere was decked out in their blue and white - even my love, Krispy Kreme!  There has been so much excitement lately around here, and it's been fantastic!

I hope y'all have a fantastic weekend!  Don't forget to enter here to win a gift card from Kate Fern Design, and come back Monday to see what next week's "Month of Love" giveaway will be!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Shaking It Up: Charleston Mixology Tour

One of my absolute favorite things about Charleston is how many different places there are to eat and drink.  I've heard some crazy stat that you could go out to dinner every single night and not have to repeat a restaurant for over two years - wow!  Even though I've only been living here for a year and a half, I still find myself getting in ruts when it comes to where to go out.  I've found my favorite happy hours, sushi spots, Mexican joints, and fancy restaurants, where I know the food and drinks are good, so it's hard to try something new.  Here's where Charleston Culinary Tours is the perfect solution: they host different food and drink-themed tours all over town, and each tour brings you to three or four restaurants and bars to sample different courses from their menus.  A couple of weeks ago, Mike and I went on the Mixology Tour.

After having tried the Upper King Street Culinary Tour and Distillery Tour, the Mixology Tour seemed like the perfect next step for our love of local spots and alcohol!  The one and a half hour tour stopped at three watering holes where we had the chance to meet the mixologists who are crafting Charleston's most exciting and delicious drinks.  After discussing the art and craft of mixing cocktails and gaining insight into how Charleston's mixologists are embracing traditional techniques and combining them with new and innovative ingredients, we had the opportunity to sample specialty craft cocktails at each of the three locations.  In between locations, our guide also taught us a lot about Charleston's cocktail culture and how it relates to the history of the city.
We met our tour guide, Guilds, at our first stop, Prohibition, which was one of the stops on the original culinary tour we took.  Over the last year, we've been back a few times for drinks and appetizers and absolutely love this spot.  Since we'd been there before, bartender Ian asked us to each give him two of our favorite drinks from their award winning "hooch" menu.  With Mike's favorite Moscow Mule and Bacon Maple Old Fashioned and my Strawberry Smash and Cloister in mind, Ian concocted us a fantastic drink made with vodka, allspice liqueur, Dubonnet, and orange bitters - his new-age take on a classic Manhattan.
After finishing off our drinks, we headed out down King Street towards our next location.  Along the way, Guilds told us a few fun facts about the area and each building's history.  Arriving at The Cocktail Club, we climbed the stairs up to their main bar where we were greeted with their amazing bacon fat popcorn.  Sounds weird and delicious, right?! The combination of buttery, sweet, and spicy is one-of-a-kind.  At the bar, we also met Brett who made our second cocktail of the night: a Brown Derby.  With fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, honey, and bourbon, this drink definitely warmed us up and was a great compliment to the popcorn.
Our last stop only required a walk back down the steps and across the street to the Republic.  After hearing that we already enjoyed vodka and bourbon, Wayne decided on The Last Word, an old fashioned cocktail with gin, chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, and lime juice.  This was my favorite drink of the night, mostly because I never would have thought to order something like this on my own!  Since the tour ended here, we decided to stick around and tried a few of their appetizers, sushi rolls, and other cocktails - all were delicious.

My favorite aspect of the tour was the opportunity to meet and learn from different mixologists.  These Mixology tours are done early enough in the evenings that the bars are not at capacity and the bartenders really have time to talk to each of us on the tour.  The mixologists we met each have a different technique and style when creating a cocktail. We had a chance to taste a lot of the ingredients that went into each cocktail to understand the complex flavors of each drink.

Mike and I received complimentary admission to the Charleston Culinary Tours Mixology Tour through Eskimo Advertising in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own. 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Month of Love: Katie Fern Studio

Good morning and happy Monday!  I hope many of you are still enjoying your long weekend and haven't eaten too much chocolate after Valentine's Day yesterday.  Today I am popping in quickly to share this week's giveaway for the Month of Love!  Katie's Etsy shop, Katie Fern Design, has quickly become one of my favorites with her amazing hand-lettered prints.  It helps, too, that we definitely share a love of fantastic tv: hello, 30 Rock and Parks & Rec!
When I saw her print with one of my favorite Liz Lemon quotes, I knew I had to have it!
Katie has been kind enough to give away $25 to Katie Fern Design AND offer 15% off anything in her shop with the code HEAVEN through February 29th.  Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I received these prints in exchange for an honest review and to share with my readers through a giveaway.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Weeknight Meal Planning

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.  All opinions are mine alone. #FrozenRewards #CollectiveBias
With Valentine's Day around the corner, there are some people who are excited for the candy, flowers, and jewelry, while others who pretend this holiday "created by the card companies" doesn't exist.  I don't think that I really side with either camp, but I do like the idea of Valentine's Day, if only to restore the time my husband and I spend together.  We make sure that February 14th is just about the two of us, but more importantly, we remind ourselves that each and every day we should be making our time commitment to each other just as important.
We're both so busy, and sometimes it's hard to even carve out an hour or two at night to enjoy a nice meal together.  Well, I've found the best solution: our meal planning board.  Hanging in our kitchen, our board has each meal for the week clipped to the day that we'll be enjoying it.  For nights we know we'll be home early from work with all the time in the world, we plan elaborate meals or dinners out around town, while other days that we know we'll be busy with kickball or tennis, we think more practically and plan a quicker (and usually much less expensive option) like PF Chang's or Bertolli frozen meals.

All you need to create your own board is: a piece of canvas, some fabric, clothespins, card stock, a small basket (like an unused berry basket) and glue.
1. Cover the canvas with your fabric and glue it down.
2. Cut 7 small squares of card stock and write the days of the week on them.  Glue these to 7 clothespins.
3. Arrange the 7 clothespin by the day of the week, and glue them to the canvas.  Let all of this dry flat before hanging it on a wall.
4. Finally, brainstorm all of your favorite meals and write them on cut up strips of card stock.  Keep all of your meals handy by gluing the berry basket to the front.  We also keep blank strips of paper and a permanent marker in the basket in case we try new recipes and find new favorites, too!
Once your meals are set each Sunday, it's easy to shop and plan for the week!  Our favorite grocery store is definitely Publix.  Right now, they are having a fantastic deal when you buy ConAgra frozen foods (like Bertolli and PF Chang's) at your local store.
With each $30 purchase of participating foods, Publix shoppers will receive a $10 store gift card.  You can purchase up to $150 in products to receive $50 in gift cards.  Such an amazing value!  You could even win an additional gift card (up to $200 in value) by enrolling in Frozen Rewards Club by March 21st.  Click this link to head to the Frozen Rewards Club to register for the program.
With less time spent cooking, there is more time to talk about our day, play cards, and relax.
  • What's your favorite easy weeknight meal?
  • Have your tried any PF Chang's meals before?

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Coming to Charleston: Southern C Summit

Yesterday, I focused on everything that I'll be doing travel-wise in 2016, and today I'm happy to be sharing about an exciting adventure I'm preparing for in my own city later this year: The Southern C Summit!
I am so excited to be attending this conference for the first time this year!  Established in 2013, The Southern Coterie started this conference filled with networking opportunities and educational sessions for bloggers, business owners, and social media junkies.  This will be the third and final year that the conference is taking place in Charleston as it plans to move to another city in 2017.  Past locations have included Nashville, TN and Athens, GA.
(This and all photos below were taken at the 2015 event and are property of The Southern Coterie)
It will be a jam-packed 3 days in April with tons of workshops, brunches, sessions, and opportunities to network with other professionals!  I am most looking forward to the "From Blogger to Brand" session with a few of my favorite bloggers: Look, Linger, LoveThe StripeHouse of Harper, and Sequins and Stripes.  What I absolutely love about TCS, which is different from other conferences, is the accessibility to the presenters.  These amazing entrepreneurs will also be attending the conference with us!
My goals at Southern C include meeting new bloggers and potential sponsors from the Charleston area and beyond as well as learning as much as I can to continue to grow my social influence on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest!  I've started prepping for the conference by ordering new business cards, and thanks to Macy for my new notebooks.  Now, all I need are a few new outfits!  If you're interested in joining me, registration is taking place now, and you can sign up online today!
  • Have you ever attended a blog conference before?  If so, what tips do you have for me?
  • Will I see you at Southern C this year?
Thank you to the Southern C Summit for subsidizing my attendance to the conference in exchange for promotion of the event.
Design Poppiness Designs