Life Lately, Vol. 6

The past couple of weeks have been quite busy, but full of so much excitement and several changes. It's crazy how much can happen in just a small amount of time, especially as the year winds down. A few weeks ago I finally took the steps toward becoming an official resident of Washington, DC. While I've lived in the District for almost 6 years, I haven't had to change my residency due to working for a Tennessee Member of Congress. Since leaving Capitol Hill, I had a certain amount of time to get my residency changed. It was definitely a bittersweet moment. I've been a citizen of Tennessee for 27 years. While I'm sad to give up my Tennessee citizenship (and a vote that actually counts lol), it will always be home sweet home to me. Nonetheless, I'm excited for a new chapter as a Washingtonian!!

For Thanksgiving my family and I drove down to Huntsville, Alabama to celebrate the holiday with my entire extended family. This is the first time in almost a decade that the entire Royster clan was together for a holiday, all under one roof. It was so good to see everyone, and see my grandparents.

I'm still loving my job at the US Chamber of Commerce. The past few months have been really exciting, and I'm starting to take on even more responsibility at work. Hopefully within the next few weeks I'll get to transition to a new position within my team, and start working on some even bigger projects for the new year. Through work I've received the opportunity to travel to new places such as Jacksonville and San Diego, and I participated in our Small Business Saturday campaign. You probably saw all the photos on Instagram and Twitter. I'm so lucky to work for such a wonderful organization, and can't wait to see what the new year brings.

While out in San Diego I dipped my toes in the Pacific Ocean for the first time! The farthest west I had ever been prior to this trip was Denver, so I was ecstatic to cross this item off my bucket list before closing out 2017.

Before flying out to California, I cheered on the Clemson Tigers at the ACC Football Championship. This was my first time attending another division championship game. I love my VOLS y'all, but there hasn't been much to cheer for this season unfortunately, ha. So it has been nice having another team to root for this fall. We're now looking forward to watching the playoff game on New Years Day vs. Alabama!

After back-to-back-to-back travels, I'm excited to be back in DC to celebrate the Christmas season. I have several happy hours, Christmas cocktails, and holiday events coming up. Last I looked, I have two evenings free over the next month. So it's going to be a whirlwind couple of weeks!

One thing I've always wanted to do is spend a weekend in New York City during the Christmas season. A few weeks ago, Corey and I were chatting about what we wanted to do for Christmas gifts. In lieu of presents, we decided to plan a trip to the Big Apple and use our "gift money" to create some new memories. We love traveling!! We're training up to the city this Saturday, and will be there Saturday, Sunday and most of the day Monday. This will be Corey's first time in the city (can you believe that?!), so I can't wait to share one of my favorite places with him! We have a rather lengthy itinerary, but let me know if you have any favorite holiday spots in the city!

See, I told you... a lot has happened the past few weeks! As the year winds down, I'm currently working on my goals and hopes for the new year. One being the future of this blog. I've gone back and forth with ideas for how I want to move forward with Primp and Proper. I've had this site for almost four years now, and have been able to do so many wonderful things because of it. It's not something that I want to give up or move on from just yet, but at the same time I want to make sure the time I'm putting in is time well spent. I also want to make sure I'm bringing valuable content to you all. So I'll be taking the next few weeks to get things in order, and will pop back on here a few more times before the year ends. Till then, enjoy the holidays and fun celebrations! Merry Christmas, friends!

Tree Details
Tree is from Hayneedle (c/o) | Ribbon, Stockings and Tree Skirt are from Homegoods
Ornaments are from Target, Hotel Del Coronado, and most are old


Cyber Monday Deals

I'm sure many of you are shopped out at this point, or have taken advantage of the numerous sales over the weekend. But for those of you who haven't, here is a comprehensive guide for some of the web's best sales today. Click on any of the stores below, and you'll be automatically redirected to shop their Cyber Monday sale. Happy shopping!

Adrianna Papell: 30% off sitewide!

Amazon: Cyber Monday deals are here!!

Ann Taylor: 50% off everything + FREE shipping with code BESTMONDAY

Anthropologie: 20% off full price items + FREE shipping on orders over $100. Discount reflected at checkout.

Athleta: 20% off your entire purchase with code REFRESH

Banana Republic: 50% off everything - no exclusions (discount applied at checkout)

BaubleBar: 35% off everything with code CYBER35

Draper James: 25% off your purchase + FREE shipping with code MERRY

Emily Ley: up to 40% off everything!

Express: 50% off everything + FREE shipping on any order

Gigi New York: enjoy up to 35% off sitewide + FREE shipping, with their buy more, save more event!

J.Crew: 40% off your purchase + an extra 10% off your purchase till Monday at noon ET + FREE shipping (online only) with code SHOPFAST

J.Crew Factory: 60% off everything (prices as marked) + an extra 50% off clearance + FREE shipping with code CYBER

Julie Vos: buy more, save more! See details in graphic below.

Kate Spade: 40% off sale items + 30% off full-priced items with code MOREJOY

Kendra Scott: 20% off everything with code YELLOW20 + FREE ground shipping on all orders

LOFT: 50% off everything + FREE shipping on all orders with code CLICK

Madewell: 25% off your entire purchase with code DONTSTRESS

Magnolia Market: spend $50 get $15 off with code 15OFF

Minted: 25% off everything with code CM2017

Moon and Lola: 30% off sitewide with code CYBERMONDAY

Nordstrom: Extra 20% off select sale items

Rent the Runway: 25% off rentals of $100 or more, including Unlimited with code PARTYON

Sole Society: 30% off everything!!

Talbots: FREE shipping (no minimum) + 50% off your first item + 40% off everything else (discount applied in cart)

Target: save 15% online only! Up to 40% off home decor and furniture, 30% off women's boots, save $300 on a Canon camera bundle, and more!

Tory Burch: 30% off your purchase of $250 or more with code THANKS

Tuckernuck: 20% off sitewide + 25% off orders over $500 + 30% off orders over $1000. Use code GONUTS -- Free shipping + Free returns

Waiting on Martha: 30% off everything!! Use code CYBER30

Williams Sonoma: It's their buy more, save more event!


Friendsgiving with HoneyBaked Ham

To me, the holidays are about traditions. Traditions that you grew up doing year after year with your parents, siblings, and extended family members. Since moving away from Tennessee, I've found myself reflecting more and more each year on those traditions I grew up with. If I can find a way to keep them going here in DC, it makes me feel close to home and close to my family. Even though they're nine hours away. I'm still a few years off from having my own family, so I try to find a way to incorporate a few of the traditions I grew up with, with my friends here in DC right now. 

One of my favorite traditions growing up was always having HoneyBaked Ham for the holidays. 

For as long as I can remember, we've never had a traditional turkey or home cooked protein. My mom makes the best sides to accompany a massive bone-in ham from HoneyBaked Ham. She'll reserve our ham a week or so in advance, and my dad will pick it up on his way home from work the day before. To me, it's not the holidays without HoneyBaked Ham. 

I decided last minute this year to have a few friends over for a mini Friendsgiving and afternoon of watching football. Another tradition I enjoy. Eating a Thanksgiving meal and watching football. It's the Southerners in us I guess, ha. 

To make things easy, Corey and I drove out to HoneyBaked Ham in Falls Church, Virginia. About a 25-minute drive from the city. It was super easy! We just walked in, chose our ham and sides, and checked out. There's all different sizes of hams to choose from. You can purchase based on weight and how many guests you anticipate to feed. 

When it comes to hosting friends for a meal, I'd rather put the focus on table decor and spending time with my guests. Nothing is worse than hosting a gathering and being so wrapped up in the kitchen that you can't enjoy your company. Thanks to HoneyBaked Ham, I was able to throw all the sides in the oven at the same time (same temp and cooking time), and catch up with everyone over a glass of wine. Only work from my end was taking the items out of the oven and putting them into dishes for the table. Their hams are ready-to-serve, so I already had it setup as the centerpiece of my fall tabelscape. 

If you don't live near a HoneyBaked Ham location, you can also order your meal online and have it shipped to you!! Makes hosting your holiday meal even easier!

And one quick tip, HoneyBaked Ham is perfect for leftovers!! My favorite post Thanksgiving meal, is when my mom takes Hawaiian Rolls, cuts them in half and layers with ham, mustard, provolone and cheddar cheese, and diced onions. Put the tops back on and set in a casserole dish. Pour over a stick of melted butter mixed with poppy seeds. Throw in the oven on 375 for 20-25 minutes, and you have the perfect post holiday lunch. Serve with homemade pickles and your favorite potato chips! 

Thank you to HoneyBaked Ham for sponsoring this post. Opinions and photos are my own. 
Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Primp and Proper going. 


Olive Green Skirt Two Ways

It's no secret by looking at my closet what one of my favorite colors for fall is. Olive Green has long been a staple in my wardrobe. It's a classic fall color, and pairs well with a lot of colors and patterns. Recently I picked up this midi skirt from Amazon and this modern buttoned skirt from LOFT [which is 40% off]. I wore both of these pieces a few months back when I visited Richmond; the midi skirt for Sunday brunch and the mini skirt for touring around the city. I wanted to share both looks with y'all today, showcasing how I styled each one for two very different situations.

Midi Skirt | For the longest time I couldn't make up my mind on how I felt about midi skirts. I am only 5'6, with shorter legs and a longer torso. So I wasn't sure if they were right for my figure. But after much convincing from friends, and learning how to properly style them, I caved. I found this particular one on Amazon Fashion. I was shocked at the quality for the price. For Sunday brunch, I paired the skirt with a striped tee and nude heels. The heels gave me height and the striped top drew attention away from the length of the skirt. Since this look, I've also paired the skirt with a cream sweater and nude flats, as well as a gold sweater with embellishments on the sleeve.

Modern Buttoned Skirt | I love the black button details on this skirt. I paired it with a white lace sweater, and have since paired it with a black lace top, cream sweater and black blouse. I love how versatile it is.


Enjoyable Ride to Virginia Wine Country

One of my favorite fall activities is heading out to Virginia Wine Country. Find the perfect fall afternoon, grab a few close friends, and make the short drive to any of the area wineries or breweries. It really is a great way to enjoy the season and get out of the city for a bit.

A few weekends ago, Jenn, myself and our boyfriends drove out to Bluemont Vineyard. One of my favorites. We of course knew we'd be partaking in a few glasses of wine, so we opted for the safest travel option: a car service. We coordinated our trip with DCAcar Service. A few months ago I booked the car, shared the pick-up location and address for the winery, and then DCAcar Service took it from there. The day of our trip, we received a text message from our driver, Zack, letting us know he had arrived. He was early too! We met him outside where he greeted us from outside the car, sign with my full name in hand. LOVED that little detail. Zack was extremely friendly, courteous, and knew the best route to the winery. We made it there in no time! We had the most enjoyable ride out to Virginia, and not having to worry with driving ourselves really allowed us to relax and enjoy the day.

I definitely recommend working with a car service for a trip to the wineries. It was so nice knowing we didn't have to fool with finding our way out there, or worry that someone had to drive us home after drinking. Such a great piece of mind. I always feel bad for the person who has to drive for trips like this. They can't really concentrate on the conversation, or really enjoy the day. So we loved that DCAcar Service took that part off our hands.

If you're in the DMV (DC, Maryland or Virginia) area, DCAcar Service also does quick pick-ups and drop-offs to local airports (Reagan, BWI and Dulles), events, and day trips. Honestly, having that piece of mind that someone will arrive on time, be friendly and get you where you need to go on time (which is big in DC!), is important! I can't recommend them (and Zack) enough!

Thank you to DCAcar Service for our complimentary ride to Bluemont. We appreciate your hospitality! All photos and opinions are my own. 


Hello November!

Alright y'all... real talk.

I wrote this post a few times before deleting each version and starting anew. Why? Because each of the drafts were just a jumbled up mess of what was on my mind. Lots of rambling. Lots of explanations and apologies for my lack of consistency with blogging this year. Not what y'all want to read, ha! So let's just break it down into more of a quick check-in, shall we?

Life has been a whirlwind this year. In a good way. One of my main goals for this year was to focus on spending more time offline, being present and focusing on myself. Yep, call me selfish. But it's like the saying goes, "you must first know yourself before you can know others." I never understood the statement, but sought to figure it out in 2017. And update... I have. Because of that, new doors started opening... a new job, new apartment, new relationships, new adventures and new challenges. This has been one of my best years yet, and I'm excited to see what 2018 has in store.

While there are only a handful of weeks left in this year, I really want to buckle down and make the most of them. I'm excited for the fun that's coming up this holiday season. Friendsgivings, decorating my apartment for Christmas, travels to hopefully Charlotte and New York City, putting up my Christmas tree [side note: last year I was moving during the holidays, so I didn't get to decorate or put up my tree. So this year, I'm all in. Sorry Corey, ha], attending holiday parties, getting gussied up for New Years Eve, and more! I hope to share as much of this fun with y'all as I can, both on here and over on Instagram.

To kick things off, I have a few outfit posts coming up next week, a winery trip recap going LIVE tomorrow morning, and some Thanksgiving related content coming in the next few weeks. Speaking of the holidays... is there anything in particular you want to see? I'll be posting a few gift guides and shopping related posts, but would love to hear what YOU want to read. Let me know by leaving a comment below.

Have a great day, y'all!


Maple & Pine at The Quirk Hotel

One of my favorite things about living in the nation's capital is that there are so many places to visit within a half-day drive or less. Cities like Richmond, where I recently traveled for a girls getaway with my friends Jenn and Laura. I had yet to visit Virginia's capital in the 5+ years I've lived in DC, so when we got an invitation to come down and explore the city, we happily accepted.

Nearly everyone we asked recommended that we stop in The Quirk Hotel while in town. Not only to see its charming decor and have a drink at the Q Rooftop Bar, but for the restaurant it welcomes you with in the main lobby, Maple & Pine.

Maple & Pine boasts a bright and airy atmosphere, with an almost Mad Men era decor that Elle Woods would appreciate.

The designer of the space found a way to make even the pops of pink gender neutral; rich wood floors, black wrought iron finishes, and white marble tables with accented furniture fill the room.

Equally as impressive, the food does a good job of complimenting the atmosphere. A menu comprised of vibrant and colorful dishes that are both visually appealing and fulfilling.

We started our Saturday morning brunch with a round of mimosas and an off the menu dish, Cheddar Cheese Grits with a Poached Egg and Pork Belly. Surprisingly enough, this was my first time trying a poached egg. Not sure why it took me so long to try one, but I'm hooked. I can't stop eating Eggs Benedict ever since (but that's for another post, ha!).

For our entrees, Jenn and I couldn't make up our minds between the French Toast or the Virginia Ham and Gruyere Cheese Sandwich. So, we opted for both and to share. Both dishes were delicious, but the Gruyere sandwich was arguably my favorite of the two.

To round out our meal we were greeted with a trifecta of desserts: Vanilla Almond Cake with Macerated Blueberries and Lavender Ice Cream, Local Peaches Marinated in Grand Marnier with Peach Sorbet, and Chocolate Ganache with an Amaretto Cookie and Coffee Ice Cream. Bet you can't guess which one was my favorite, ha!

From the atmosphere to the decor, to the presentation and the taste, Maple & Pine fulfilled all of my expectations. I happily recommend a visit next time you're in town. And if a full meal doesn't quite fit into the schedule, The Quirk Hotel offers a fast service coffee and pastry stand near the entrance. The chocolate croissants looked heavenly, and I can definitely say the Chai Tea Latte was one of the best I've ever had.

If you're in town only for a night, grab a spot at the bar for pre-dinner cocktails or head up to the roof for after dinner fun. No matter what you're looking for, The Quirk Hotel offers many opportunities to fill your time during your visit to Richmond, Virginia! Enjoy, y'all!

Thank you to The Quirk Hotel and Maple & Pine for having us. A portion of our meal was comped. 
All photos and opinions are my own.