One Swainky Couple: May 2017

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Lip Sense Love: GIVEAWAY

K: When Lip Sense distributor Natalie approached me on Instagram, I didn't even know what Lip Sense was. I quickly learned that it's a fabulous product that gives you kissable lips for hours, without the color fading away or peeling off. As a lipstick lover, I was immediately sold. Everlasting color without reapplication? It's every girl's dream. Not only that, but there's also a great benefit for guys as well. I chose the color "Apple Cider" and was pleasantly surprised to find that it was a very natural color for my lips.

Friday, May 26, 2017

How to Save for a Special Date Night + What to Wear

K: Brandon and I love to make a date night feel special. We've mentioned before how we rarely go to the movies or just out to dinner; instead, we prefer dates that hold more meaning. Unfortunately, the dates that hold more meaning can also mean that they're more expensive. For a newlywed couple, or any young couple starting off, it's hard to justify shelling out a lot of cash for your weekly date night. We've put together a few helpful tips for you to ensure that you can save up for a special date night.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Your Summer Reading List

As an English teacher, it's no surprise that I'm an avid reader and always have been. I grew up going to the library regularly and poured through books faster than I could check them out. I primarily teach the classics in the classroom. This usually means that when I get home, I'm often tired of analyzing Shakespeare or Orwell; instead, I usually reach for something a little lighter in the evenings. Brandon and I both prefer to unwind by reading before bed. We try to do twenty to thirty minutes a night with some evenings being better than others. I've read some incredible books lately and wanted to share them with you as a summer reading list. Since I have summers off, I find that it's my best time for reading. I try to get through one new book every two weeks. Here's what I've read lately and what I'd recommend for your library. For all the guys, many of these are great for you as well. Or, scroll to the end to check out Brandon's preference on magazines:

Monday, May 22, 2017

Our Casual Summer Uniform + 20% Off

K: With just two more weeks of school, I'm getting ready to embrace my summer uniform. For me, I tend to live in dresses during the summer; however, when I found these denim shorts and the softest t shirt ever, I felt casual and relaxed in an outfit that was perfect for running errands. I know that I'll be living in bright colors, denim shorts, and fun accessories like this pom pom scarf for cooler evenings or indoors with blasting AC. I'm excited to share 20% off anything from the adorable boutique Pearls and Rocks. They have so many fun accessories like these tassel earrings or this turquoise bracelet. I had my heart set on the colorful pom poms but would love to know your favorite pick from the site. Just use the code SWAINKYFAMILY at checkout to receive 20% off your order + free shipping on any order over $30.

Friday, May 19, 2017

How To Plan A Picnic Date

K: Brandon and I have been wanting to do a picnic date for a very long time. There's something irresistible about well-thought out snacks and wine at a quiet park or green span. This adorable little basket from Pottery Barn is perfect for the occasion and I imagine we'll be getting some use out of it this summer! This is such a simple date activity for any couple during the spring and summer months. We've listed a few picnic necessities below to ensure a lovely afternoon for you and your guy! 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

10 Beauty Products You Can BOTH Use

As girls, we often forget that many of our beauty products not only work on us, but on our guys as well. Some guys are at a loss on what to use for maintenance/upkeep, but we've rounded up our favorite ten products that both Brandon and I use on a regular basis. It's nice sharing some of these products between the two of us because not only does it cut down costs (no one should have to buy two brands of hairspray or body wash), but it also makes it easier to travel. On our past trip to Charleston, I knew that Brandon was bringing the big bottle of hairspray while I packed our Jergens Instant Tanning Lotion. If you're not already sharing a few products, give it a try and let us know what you think or if you already use any of these:

Monday, May 15, 2017

A Summer Pool Date with Adore Me

K: When Adore Me approached us about compiling an ideal "summer date" post, we were thrilled to put our spin on it. Living in Texas means hot summers with temperatures over 100 degrees as our daily norm. Brandon and I discovered that during the summer, we have to have water around us if we're outside, for both Tara and ourselves. It's very difficult for us to do any activity without someplace to cool off in. Luckily, we live very close to my parents and their beautiful pool. We expect to be mooching off it pretty consistently this summer with a margarita in hand. Creating a pool day for you and your guy is probably one of the easiest date ideas you can have. Grab a great swimsuit, some sunscreen, and your cutest cover-up for an afternoon of sun. We opted for frozen margaritas as our drink of choice but lemonade or popsicles are just as refreshing. What are your pool day necessities?

Friday, May 12, 2017

A Recap of Our Trip: Charleston, SC

I think that Charleston will forever have a place in my heart. Brandon and I were able to spend four days in the charming city, exploring all that it has to offer. Confederate jasmine was in bloom during our time in the city, making everything smell and look amazing. We had several spots that we did not want to miss during our stay and I've rounded up our favorites in a concise city guide. If you're headed to Charleston anytime soon, we'd highly recommend these options. And, in case you missed it, check out our post on 5 Mistakes We Made in Charleston (and how you can avoid them). Leave a comment below and let us know which spot looks the best to you!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

5 Mistakes We Made In Charleston (And How You Can Avoid Them)

1. We Weren't Prepared for Walking

Charleston is very much a walking city. Once you arrive downtown, everything seems to be within a few minutes of each other. While this obviously contributes to travel ease and accessibility, I personally did not come prepared with the right shoes. In our Friday post, I highlighted my colorful Toms which were great for an evening; however, they really only worked with that one outfit, leaving me with improper shoes for the majority of the trip. Additionally, some of the streets are cobblestone and even flats were difficult to manage at times. My feet were so sore by the end of our trip!

How To Avoid This: Bring a comfortable, chic pair of shoes for daytime. Leave your heels behind and make sure to have a lot of options like a good neutral that will go with multiple outfits. I've linked several great options below for you to shop.

2. We Didn't Make Reservations

The one reservation we had ahead of time was at the famous restaurant Husk. We got a 9:15 PM slot and we thanked our lucky stars for that. Once Brandon arrived for work, he quickly realized that every restaurant is good and every restaurant is crowded. By the time we went to make other reservations, the only time slots they had were either really early (hello, 4:15) or really late. We opted for the early slots and actually ended up skipping lunch every day because of this. While I wouldn't really consider this a true "mistake", if you're looking to eat three square meals a day, you'll definitely want to make reservations well before you arrive.

How To Avoid This: Use something like Open Table and secure your reservations ahead of time. Also, keep a lookout for our post on Friday where we highlight the best restaurants we ate at.

3. We Only Had One Plantation Tour

Hands down, my favorite part of the trip was our tour of Magnolia Plantation. We took a tour of the historical home where we learned about its rich history through a vivacious tour guide. Afterwards, we walked around the grounds exploring old oak trees, bridges, and wandered through the gardens. You can see our full post here. I regret only taking one plantation tour because they are so well done and interesting. I highly recommend looking into others if you're staying for a while.

How To Avoid This: Book a second tour at a place like Boone Hall Plantation

4. We Didn't Stay At 86 Cannon

One of my biggest regrets from our trip is not staying at the Charming boutique hotel of 86 Cannon. I knew about this new hotel before we went; however, it was completely booked for our specific weekend. We stopped by the charming spot one afternoon and actually ended up running into the owner. He was gracious enough to give us a private tour, showcasing the living spaces for guests, the dreamy porch where wine and cheese is served, the breakfast area, and the library. 86 Cannon also has free parking for guests and charming bikes for you to take out during your stay. If we go back to Charleston, I'd stay at 86 Cannon in a heartbeat.

How To Avoid This: Book it early to ensure your room!

5. We Went During the "Busy" Season

It seemed as though everyone and their mother decided to go to Charleston when we did. Before we went, I kept seeing bloggers who went, articles written on the city, and travel guides posted. I would definitely say that Charleston's busy season is spring. This was nice in the sense that everything was in bloom and they hadn't reached scorching summer temperatures yet. The downside of this was that tourism was at a high point and the streets were really crowded. It was difficult to find parking and all restaurants and shops were packed with people. I know that this can't really be avoided, but we had no idea it would be that way.

How To Avoid This: Book a trip for fall, if possible. If you are going in the springtime, try to travel by bike if possible and get up early to avoid the crowds.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Magnolia Plantation

K: Magnolia Plantation was easily my favorite part of our Charleston trip. We arrived to a winding road, shaded by massive oak trees and dripping Spanish moss. At the end of the drive was a surprisingly small plantation with gorgeous landscape surrounding it. Brandon and I took a tour of the historic home and walked the grounds, snapping pictures left and right. Although the day was sticky and hot, we were armed with iced tea in hand and excitement at the amazing history of the home.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Walking the Streets of Charleston

K: Our trip to Charleston was nothing short of magical. I grew up in Georgia and consider myself to be well-versed in Southern customs so this trip felt a little like home to me in a lot of ways. Stepping into Charleston was like stepping back into time. Rich with history from the Civil War, it seemed as though each new street held secrets of the past and a dreamy ambiance that Brandon and I fell in love with. My favorite part of our evenings was getting lost in the winding streets, admiring the colorful colonial homes, and snapping photos on beautiful front porches.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Bell Sleeves and Birds in Charleston

K: We are back from charming Charleston and ready to share the first round of photos with you. While these pictures are not the "epitome" of Charleston that you're used to seeing (i.e. colorful Southern homes), we were happy to get a few on our way out of town at Colonial Lake, just for a change of scenery. We'll have the typical Charleston pictures coming out Friday and the rest of next week. 

Monday, May 1, 2017

Tips for Creating the Ultimate Girls Brunch

K: My sister kept her bachelorette party low key with a simple girls brunch and lingerie shower. I have to give complete credit to my amazing mother who manages to make entertaining look effortless all the time. She's been hosting ever since I can remember. I've learned all my tricks and tips from her and I'm here to share them with you today. Take notes because she truly is the best!