Fashion

Review of Pioneer Woman BBQ sauce!

Growing up in the South it is mandatory to love BBQ, and my family certainly does! Living in S. Carolina I have always loved mustard based sauces, but my husband grew up closer to the N. Carolina line in Myrtle Beach, so he tends to gravitate toward vinegar based sauces.

Our kids have fallen right in line and are developing their own love of barbeque. Claire Cooper really loves pulled pork BBQ that we often order from a local restaurant, and any chicken cooked with BBQ sauce. Noah prefers pork and brisket over chicken. Both kids, however, seem to like red sauces-both tomato and vinegar based over a Carolina gold.

I was recently asked to try Ree Drummond’s new line of BBQ sauces, and was given the Apple Brown Sugar flavor. The sauce comes in a glass jar similar in size and shape to one that you would find salsa in. The sauce is thick and aromatic, the minute you open the jar you can smell the brown sugar and spices. I was pleasantly surprised upon spooning some sauce onto a plate to find actual chunks of apple!

So far we have used this sauce in two ways. The first was simple. If you have young kids, my guess is that chicken nuggets are as routine in your house as they are in mine. So instead of ketchup or Polynesian sauce smuggled from chikfila, I gave the girls a ramaken of the Apple Brown Sugar BBQ sauce to dip their nuggets in!

The second thing I’ve cooked using the sauce is a BBQ chicken quesadilla. I’ve included a video below to show you how I cooked it, and Noah’s review of her lunch!

Overall, this BBQ sauce has been a bit at our house. For my personal taste it may be a little too sweet, but it’s absolutely perfect for the kids, and for people like my mom who can’t handle any spice. I’m looking forward to trying another one of Ree’s new sauces, it’s Honey Habanero, and I think it will have just the kick in looking for!

XOXO,

Layne

*I was given this sauce complimentary in exchange for my honest review of the product.

Fashion

Spring Trend Showcase feat. The Ivy Boutique

Embroidered dress by Sister Mary $66

Y’all, I could not possibly be more excited for Spring. Don’t get me wrong, I love cold weather, it’s got its benefits: you sweat less, you can eat more because you’re covered up, boots, boots, and boots. Spring and Summer are just so much happier for me! Sunshine on your skin, and bright cheery colors! Earlier this week I visited The Ivy Boutique in Evans, GA (that’s just a part of Augusta, GA for you non-locals) and they graciously let me try on a ton of stuff that I now get to share with you! I’m excited to show y’all some Spring trends, these outfits are seriously delicious!

Easter is approaching quickly, so everyone will be looking for the perfect white dress. I absolutely love this dress for multiple reasons. First, the detail work is amazing, from the eyelet-lace design down to the scallop hem! Second, this style dress is going to flatter so many different body types and ages! Whether you’re petite or curvy, 19 or 45, you can rock this dress!

Details on dress to come soon!

This was such a comfortable outfit! The white tee is actually slightly oversized and slouchy, but I was able to easily tuck it into the shorts. It would go great with a denim skirt, or even leggings, too! The shorts are light, airy, and feel silky soft. (If you wanted to purchase these shorts and are in between sizes then I would suggest sizing up.)

White tee by Z Supply $32, shorts by Sadie and Sage $48

Y’all, this dress is my color. Hot pink…fuchsia…whatever you call it… I LOVE it, and it is super on trend for Spring this year. This dress is so classic, the ruffle on the sleeves gives it a playful touch, and it is SUPER affordable! I paired it with bright beaded statement earrings, and cork heels. A dress like this could be worn just about anywhere, and is a great day to night transition piece!

Named Zebra dress $48, earrings $26, shoes by Sam Edelman $110

Here is another shade of fuchsia! This strapless, wide leg, jumpsuit had me feeling fab-u-lous! It was breezy, the top didn’t slip down as I moved about, and it’s less than $65!

Shoes are Sam Edelman cork and gold heels $110, earrings are $22
Jumpsuit by Tyche $62

White denim will always be a Spring favorite of fashion instas. It will also always be lust after by moms of young kids who know wearing white is just asking for dirty little hands to be wiped all over you. Alas, I loved my time in the store when I was able to rock these white denim skinnies, if only for a few minutes. This button-front chambray tank needs to be in everyone’s closet right now. It is a wardrobe staple, and can be styled a million different ways. My favorite part of this outfit, though, are the swoonworthy leather platform sandals. I die. Also… I gotsta have ’em! You are going to see platforms all over the place for Spring-they have been a widely forecasted trend.

Chambray tank by Naked Zebra $38, platform sandals by Matisse $118

Who doesn’t love a big hat? Where I live we are weeks away from the Masters Tournament, Aiken Steeplechase, and the Carolina Cup-all events where hats are not just fashionable, but very useful to shield you from the sun and heat. This hat is super versatile since it isn’t too fancy. It could easily be worn to the race and then used all Summer long at the beach or pool!

Hat $20, woven earrings Betsy Pittard $38

Here is another option that would be great for Easter or Aiken Steeplechase! This linen-blend dress is super classy. Class class class! The fringe hem gives the classic piece some youthful flare, and paired with a chunky necklace it is an outfit worth photographing!

Dress by Lost April $58, hat $20, clutch $48

Another fashionista favorite that is going to be everywhere this Spring are linen dresses like the one I’m wearing below!

Dress by THML $62
Earrings $22

Which Spring trends are you excited about? I always love to hear from you! If you decide that you need any of these pieces in your life you can save 10% by mentioning that you saw it here on BusyBeingBossy! xoxo, Layne

Fashion

These are a few of my favorite things… In my closet!

Now that you’ve seen inside my closet, I thought I’d share with you some of the items in it that I’m currently obsessed with!

I’m not sure how the weather has been lately where you live, but here in South Carolina and Georgia we’ve had some crummy days. I love listening to the rain, but getting out in it, not so much! On wet days I often don some rain boots over a pair of skinny jeans. I have a pair of the basic dark green Hunter rain boots, but not too long ago I decided I needed some color in my life. So I bought these swoon-worthy glossy blue Hunter rain boots to brighten up those gloomy days!

Wearing a bright pair of rain boots can change your entire day! Click on the photo to shop Hunter boots on Amazon!

Something that I’m obsessed with right now is jumpsuits. There are several styles of clothing that I just can’t pull off with my body type (I have a small waist but carry weight in my thighs and hips), I’m happy to say that’s not the case with jumpsuits! I feel amazing when I’m wearing a cute jumpsuit! Here are three of my faves…

This Garnet colored jumpsuit is perfect for a date night or event! You can even throw a black blazer on over it!
Chambray and polka dots are going to be perfect when the weather warms up!
I snagged this darling Free People jumpsuit from Final Cut Augusta for only $12.50!

If you’ve followed me on Instagram for any amount of time, then you know that I’m a HUGE Lilly Pulitzer lover. I snagged two of these adorable bangles a few months ago during Lilly’s big After Party Sale.

For the longest time I refused to wear statement earrings. My ears were pierced when I was three years old and over time my piercings stretched, so heavy earrings really weren’t possible without looking horrible! Lucky for me I found these awesome and inexpensive stickers that go on the back of your ear lobe before you put on your earrings and act as a new hole when the earring pierces through! It sounds complicated, but it’s so simple, and has allowed me to start wearing some fabulous earrings like these from a local boutique, Anna Kate’s Collection….

Click on this picture to see the ear lobe patches!

The last item in going to share with you is this amazing peplum tankini top! This was another sweet score from Final Cut Augusta ($7.50 😲)!! I can’t wait to pair it with high – waist navy bikini bottoms that I got from J. Crew!

I hope y’all loved seeing some of my favorite clothes! XOXO, Layne

Fashion, Personal

A look into my closet…

There are a few spaces that are sacred to women… our purse, our bed, and for some our closet. I have to admit, that I’m usually pretty abusive to my closet. Often as I’m trying to find an outfit to wear I try on multiple things and the rejected pieces end up tossed on the floor or draped over my clothes hamper. I’m also super guilty of doing the laundry, folding the clean clothes, and then leaving them in a pile to be put away for over a week. I don’t know why hanging the clothes up seems so daunting, but it’s that last step that I dread.  I think a lot of my fellow Mama’s can probably relate.

A few months ago I realized my closet needed a total makeover. I have a decent sized space, nothing excessive, but since we built our current home I was able to get more space than if we purchased an older home where closets can be super small. I consulted with multiple experts (my girlfriends), did some Pinterest searching, and came up with a plan. As I walk you through my process, you’ll see I added a ton of links to help you if you realize that I’m a genius and you need these things! 😉

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Who watches Schitt’s Creek? Don’t you just LOVE my shirt?

 

The first thing I decided to do was to put everything on the same (or same color) hangers. I opted for white plastic- realistically this fit my budget and lifestyle. I’ve used felt before, but saw it rubbing off on certain materials, and I didn’t even consider wood-because what am I, made of money?!  White plastic it is! All of my pants are on the same style hanger, all tops on another, and then my outerwear and dresses on another.

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The next step I took was to decide what I wanted to keep in my closet. For example, did I want to keep all of my clothes hanging at the same time, or only the current season? If I were to store certain items would I want them close by, or could they be packed away and put in our storage room? Ultimately I decided to keep most things out and hanging, or at least easily accessible. South Carolina weather is absolutely nuts, one day it can be 78 degrees and the next 45 so keeping both tanks and sweaters handy is a must. I purchased these over-sized woven storage cubes from Target and some basic cardboard gift tags to use as labels. The labels are helpful, but also pleasing to the eye. My off-season items, or things that I didn’t use regularly I put in these baskets and stored on my top shelf.

 

Once I had decided what would stay out and what I would be putting away, I was able to begin the organization process. The end result were clothing items sorted by description (tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear) and then “subcatagories” (tops: tanks, short sleeve, button-ups, long sleeves, sweaters), and finally arranged by color in the manner of ROYGBV.

I decided to utilize one of my shelves as a jewelry counter. I purchased adorable hooks from Marshall’s and using Command velcro strips secured them to the back wall of the shelf to serve as necklace holders. Also at Marshall’s I purchased very pretty rose-champagne colored jewelry trays and a cute mirror. The rest of my shelves store my shoes. To maximize space, I installed a very thin curtain rod at the top of one shelf so that I could hang my high-heels and still have space to store other shoes underneath them. This also allows me to see all of my options without having to go digging for the perfect pair! A very inexpensive, but effective trick that I started doing years ago to help with storing boots, and keeping them in tip-top shape is to cut up a foam pool noodle into the correct portions, and use the noodle to prop up the shafts of the taller boots. I could go on, but I already hear this sounding dirty in my head, so I’ll just show you a picture!

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Also, here is a shot that gives you a little glimpse of my jewelry and shoes!

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If you study the pictures you can also see that I purchased shelf dividers and used them to help store some of my graphic tees, wire baskets for my swimsuits, as well as wire baskets underneath my bottom shelf that hold socks, hosiery, etc. In the corner I have a small 3 shelf unit that I purchased for only $40 at Home Goods (score!), although the shelves are more like bins- I keep my sneakers in one bin, sandals in another, and hats in the third. On top of this useful piece of furniture I lay out my sunglasses for display. The last little touch I added was to put Command hooks on the outside of my built-in shelving so that I could hang things like bras I wear frequently and my robes.

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Listen, it’s not fancy and I shopped on a budget, but by organizing what I have and making the best use of the space I was able to create something much more aesthetically pleasing than the average Joe’s closet. What do you think? I would love to hear some of your organizational tips, or even help you if you’re struggling with ideas to beautify your closet space!

In my next post, I’m going to share with y’all a few snaps of my current favorite items in my closet, and why I love them! Till then… XOXO, Layne

Personal

Barefoot, Braless, and barely hanging on…

One morning last year during school drop-off for my oldest child I found myself extremely amused by the overall feeling of disarray in my life at that given moment. Disarray actually seems like a kind word for describing my morning drives to the Elementary school and through the car line. I feel like “sucking at life” is probably more accurate. You see, each morning I go to battle. Despite it being the exact same every weekday morning, I am never quite prepared for the brutal pain that lay ahead of me each morning at 6am when my alarm goes off. I know that there will be yelling, whining, and I can guarantee that there will be tears. Whether those are the actions of the child, or myself usually varies from day to day. Getting a 6 year old (now 7) out of bed, fed, dressed, teeth brushed, hair brushed, out the door with her lunch and book bag IS NOT for the faint of heart. It is WAR.

After battle I stagger to my Mom-mobile stinking of morning breath because I prioritized her hygiene over mine for the sake of time. To help set the scene let me paint a picture for you, of what you would see were you to take in my appearance head-to-toe on these morning drives. My hair is disheveled as if it were indicative of the hard fought win, but really it’s because I woke up that way, I’m in some form of mismatched jammies-no bra (my “headlights” are on high beams because, well, they pretty much stay that way), I’ve got an energy drink in one hand, and no shoes on my feet. I look eerily similar to how I looked most mornings 15 years ago, except that I don’t reek of booze and I had way less fun the night before. <sigh> Such is life.

I have a group of girl friends that are all in a video chat group together and most mornings, someone pops on between 7 to 7:30am to start the conversation rolling for the day. The early morning chats are usually between those of us with school-aged kids, and almost always for the purpose of swapping war stories, or entertaining each other with the new level of suckage that we our kids have reached.

Side note: I seriously think that a parent probably never hates their kid more than they do on any given school morning. Maybe on long car rides, but it’s probably a toss-up. 

I’m one of the “lucky” moms in our chat group because I have the shortest drive to the school, about .3 miles. However, being on the PTO board puts me at extremely high risk of someone needing to chat with me at my car. My daughter has also inherited my stellar memory, so she is constantly forgetting her shit that I then have to race home to get and run inside to the front office. For some women these situations would be reason enough to wear real clothes during morning drop-off, or at least throw on a bra, but not me. At seven in the morning I couldn’t give a crap less about stuff like that. My one goal is getting back into my cozy bed as quickly as possible, and things like brushing my teeth, or putting on shoes are only going to slow me down.

As I mentioned, though, I do reflect some mornings, on the train wreck that I resemble and all of the worst possible scenarios that could arise while I am in this condition. It was during one of these moments of reflection while on video chat with my fellow soldiers that I came up with the realization that I was the complete embodiment of a classic country song. A song, that only one of my kind was fit to write. A song that would be called “Barefoot, Braless, and Barely Hanging On”.

The song has a few lines, and I’ve fiddle with a chorus, but it is still a work in progress. I’ll add it to the pile of things I don’t have time to give my full attention to. I have some things I would like to say before my lap top battery runs out, so here goes:

If you made your child cry this morning by brushing their hair…… I see you.

If your child’s hair is in mats and tangles because they chose not to wash it when they showered the night before and you’re pretty sure there are chunks of food in it from breakfast two days ago…… I see you.

If you’d rather your kid’s principal see your saggy boobs, and hard nipples glaring through your pajama top than exert the effort needed to put a bra on….. I see you.

If the breakfast you made for your child was a pack of fruit snacks that they ate in the car on the way to school…… I see you.

If there is a split second each morning that you find yourself wanting to run over the mom that is walking her child into school in a cute outfit and full face of make-up…. I feel you.

6 am, 7am, even 8am (in my opinion) is too early to be held accountable for your actions. Emotions run high that early in the morning, things are said and done that you have to live with… just know, Mama, you. are. not. alone. I SEE YOU, unfortunately so does everyone else in the school parking lot- but don’t worry your messy little head about it for one second. You are the star of your own country song, and the day can only get better from here.

nene

xoxo, Layne

Fashion

Oh hey, Target!

Did y’all know that Target was having an amazing sale right now? In addition to men’s clothing, movies, and patio furniture – they have also marked down a ton of Home items!

If you’re like me, you’re a sucker for the target Home section!

Tonight I bought the absolute sweetest Rhinoceros cookie jar! Currently it isn’t part of the sale, but my bestie gave me a gift card this weekend, and I just had to have it!

I also found a unicorn piggy bank for my youngest that was on clearance. Santa had brought her one but she accidentally dropped and broke it carrying it up to her room that day.

Right now in addition to great clearance mark downs and cute rhino cookie jars, Target has all lighting and wall decor on sale! There is just a ton of deals right now to take advantage of! Click the image below to shop through my link! xoxo, Layne

*The links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.*

Uncategorized

Anna Kate’s Collection

I live in the cutest town right on the border of Georgia and South Carolina, across the river from Augusta which is home to the Masters. I’ve lived in North Augusta, SC for about 8 years now and absolutely love it. In the sweet little downtown area, tucked behind our favorite dance studio, you’ll find Anna Kate’s Collection. AK’s is a darling boutique run by Lesli Bolick, a fellow Southern mama, and friend of mine.

I met Lesli through a fitness class she was teaching (did I mention she is multi-talented). I had purchased from her store before so we would chat often about new items that would be coming in. One day she told me that she was going to be starting a Brand Rep program. I offered my help, not just as a model, but also assisting her with developing the program. In my previous life, which is how I refer to life before being a stay at home mom, I did sales, marketing, and public relations – so I was familiar with a lot of the work that needed to be done. This was my first time being a brand rep, though, and I did not anticipate how much fun it would be! I’m such a girly girl when it comes to fashion, and I’m an expert-level shopper (just ask my budget, wherever it went). Trying on clothes and jewelry multiple times in a week is like having mini girl’s shopping trips! Often there are multiple reps at the store together which is super fun. Even when I’m there alone, Lesli and I have a great time! True story: I always leave something behind. I end up having to race back to the store a few minutes later because I’ve gotten a ways down the road and realized I’m missing whatever it is. Lesli gets a kick out of it.

Reps get to shop at a discount, which is obviously the draw. You can find yourself in trouble, though, when everything is so fabulous that you buy the majority of what you try on! At that point the discount can become irrelevant (I’m sure I put that budget somewhere…)!

Repping for AK’s has helped me with confidence issues that I’ve had in the past, and helped me feel comfortable in my skin. It’s also allowed me to increase my social media presence, and I’ve made a lot of new friends that way. My daughters have also had the opportunity to model for the store a few times, and they loved it! Here are a few of my favorite outfits that I’ve modeled, and a few that are currently in-stock! If you’d like to see all of the cute stuff that Anna Kate’s Collection offers then you should definitely follow them on Instagram-that’s the best way to see their newest items before they go on the website! Don’t forget to use my code:Stalvey10 for 10% off when you shop!

xoxo, Layne

Click this photo to go the AK website!

Uncategorized

Waiting for Happy Mail

I’ve found that there’s always a little bit of a coming down period after celebrations and parties. There’s the warm feeling of happiness from newly made memories mixed with a melancholy emptiness because it’s over.

This is how I feel when the Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale ends.

This “coming down” period, however, is nothing compared to the anxious, annoyed, desperate yearning that soon takes hold as you wait for your order to arrive. Shoppers are told up front that the wait could be as long as 4-6 weeks, but you’re not thinking about that while you’re shopping! While you load your suitcase (LP’s version of a cart) all you can think about is getting what you want in your size before some other Lilly-wearing beyotch virtually steals it from you.

Me shopping the APS online.

No, it’s not until your order is confirmed, and you’ve concocted your plan for explaining the astronomical charge to your husband, that you have the realization. You might have to wait 4-6 weeks?!?! Oh, the horror!!!

Y’all, every day when I check my mail I have butterflies in my stomach and unintentionally hold my breath as I open the mailbox hoping to see that beautiful hot pink package. Are any of you feeling the way I’m feeling right now?

Were you able to snag all of the things you wanted? I shopped in-store early, but also online. Here’s a sneak peak at some of my scores!

I just love Lilly! Everything is so happy! Today I leave you with some words of wisdom from the queen, herself.

xoxo, Layne

P.S. I hope your happy mail arrives soon!

Fashion

That dress, though.

I’ve already discussed my favorite underwear so it seems like a natural progression to talk about favorite outfits. Sure, I have certain colors I gravitate to, there are brands that I love, and cuts that are flattering, but what about the perfect outfit?

Have you ever found yourself scrolling through your Facebook memories lamenting over how well-rested and thin you used to be, when you scroll to a picture, and think “Dayum. That was a great outfit!”

Maybe you are sitting on your bed watching Below Deck reruns and folding week-old laundry, when suddenly something you see or hear triggers a memory of a night long ago. As you cringe thinking about the poor choices you made that night, you also smile because you remember how banging you looked in that dress, and you weren’t just feeling yourself – everyone else thought so, too.

I have a few that I can think of…

Junior prom. Just typing those words makes me nostalgic. I attended with my high school beau, best friend, and her date. A few months before I had been in Atlanta for my birthday and found the absolute perfect prom dress. It wasn’t a full gown, which was a slight risk. This was the early 2000’s and wearing short dresses to prom was not “in” again yet. She was a chocolate brown chiffon, halter-style dress from BCBG. I wore gold and bronze stilettos, my hair was pinned up perfectly, and my tan was on point. I looked goooood.

Senior prom was an epic dress, too. I had started dating someone after prom dates were asked, so he and I went with other people. My date was a dream boat that I had been crushing on since 8th grade, we were just good buddies, but it was super perfect. It felt like a culmination of sorts – very appropriate given that we were about to graduate. That year the name of the game was Elie Tahari and the color was candy apple red. Ahhh, I just die! She was a full length, sports car red, silk dress with a pleated square neck. She was magical.

In college one night several girlfriends and I were getting ready together to go to a frat party where I knew I’d see an ex. I borrowed my friend, Angela’s, dress to wear. It was just a simple black and white halter sundress, but it was a half size too small, and made my boobs look AH-mazing. My hair curled just right with my Aussie “scrunch” spray (you know exactly what I’m talking about) and my makeup was just right.

(On a side note: I’m excited to see all of the girls in the above picture this weekend! We will be showering the beauty in the middle with her eyes closed, and getting ready to welcome baby girl Wyatt into the world!)

I hope all of you can close your eyes tonight when you are laying in your bed and have sweet, sweet dreams about your most fave outfits, and how FINE you looked in them. Then channel that epic energy, wake up, and be a boss tomorrow as you tackle whatever lies before you! xoxo, Layne

Personal

Netflix and Chill

I remember years ago my grandmother telling me that on Friday nights she and my grandfather would have friends over for cocktails and they would play cards, or dance, drink their alcohol, and chain smoke cigarettes. She made sure I knew that the kids were home while all this was going on. She was a badass.

Growing up, my own parents were “Parrotheads”. If this is an unfamiliar term to you, a Parrothead is the name for die-hard Jimmy Buffet fans. So, my parents spent weekends watching some of Jimmy’s protégés play in dive bars and getting drunk with other middle-aged, Hawaiian shirt clad lushes.

Now that I’m married I feel like I’m socially lacking in comparison to the generations that went before me. The wildest parties we throw involve inviting two other couples over for Game Night, and we’re definitely not waistin’ away again in Margaritaville.

Netflix and Chill is what the kids these days use as code for pretending to watch a movie, but really doing hanky panky. Netflix and Chill is also what my weekend evenings typically consist of with and without the hanky panky part.

Shall I set the scene?

Picture a living room… nice open concept that connects with a beautiful kitchen and breakfast room, built-ins flank a floor-to-ceiling brick fireplace, and double French doors open into a sunroom that’s being used as a playroom. You think, “these people might have nice taste,” but you can’t quite tell with all of the crap laying around everywhere. There are a total of seven different blankets littering the sectional, a child’s sock in the middle of the floor, 3 juice cups (all empty, but not clean) are sitting in different obscure places around the room, you spot a single puzzle piece peeking out from under an oversized upholstered chair, and you’re unsure what the original fabric color was on the swanky high-back dining chairs, because now they’re stain colored. A husband and wife come traipsing down the stairs, just a few minutes apart, after putting their two kiddos to bed, a job in which they divide and conquer. Both collapse onto opposite ends of the blanket-covered couch and turn to face one another. The couple is tired, full of stories from the week that they could share with one another, but don’t because they are simply “over it”, one much more interested in “snuggling” than the other (who knows exactly where that road leads). The air full of tension from things unsaid, and moves not made, the husband whispers those 4 special words, you know the ones, “What should we watch?”

Aaaaaannnddd that’s it! That’s our entire Friday night. Usually we settle on a show pretty quickly and watch a few episodes before he switches the channel over to sports and I retire to a hot bath.

Please tell me that we aren’t the only 32-year-olds that are this lame. Please.