Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Guest Post :: Tip For Safely Moving Home Furniture

 I always feel like a New Year is a good time to make change of any kind. One thing I feel like is the most popular to change, especially right now, is to redecorate and move a few things around, or even move to a new house. As we all know, furniture can be heavy, and Laurun Kline is guest posting over on the blog and sharing a few tip on how to safely move furniture! 

The process of moving houses is already stressful in itself. But if you add the challenge of physically moving the furniture from one place to another, it gets even more vexing. They are certainly time-consuming and exhausting but still doable if you are determined. Here are some tips you can use so you can safely move your home furniture. 

Equip yourself

Furniture removalists Melbourne typically advise do-it-yourselfers to equip themselves with the proper tools before moving. Some of the most helpful equipment you can get are straps, dollies, and gliders. These are especially helpful for large and heavy furniture that you can’t simply pick up and move. You can create a make-shift ramp with some plywood and rope if necessary. 

Plan first

Even simply moving your furniture will require some planning to make sure you do it as efficiently as possible. Furniture removalists Melbourne also do this before going to your house and moving things. First, you need to measure your furniture to see if they can easily fit through any hallways and doorways. Then, declutter the path through which you and other people will walk through as you bring your furniture outside your house. Moreover, decide on which furniture will move out first and last. 

Furniture pads

Furniture foot pads are handy for heavy furniture like couches, tables, and chairs. They make it easy to move furniture around and also help prevent damage on the floors. Another type of furniture pads is a wrap or padding. They act like blankets that cover fragile furniture to avoid damage. They are cheap but they are significantly helpful during the moving process.

Pack them properly

If you’re moving disassembled furniture, make sure to pack them properly. Use bubble wrap, styrofoam, and duct tapes to ensure they are secure during the move. Don’t forget to label them properly, too so you can easily locate the parts once you’re assembling them again at your new place. Moreover, you can take pictures of the furniture before you take them apart so you’ll remember which parts go together. 

Hire professional furniture removalists

If you want to save yourself time and physical stress from prepping and moving your furnitureto your new home, hiring furniture removalists Melbourne will do the trick. They are professionals who are highly trained and reliable. Thus, you are ensured that your prized belongings are in good hands. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Stay Cozy

 I always feel like January is such weird slash blah month. We’re coming off the high of being able to decorate for three big holidays, and it just makes the day after New Year’s Day a hard come down; The only big thing to look forward to is Valentine’s Day and Spring. Personal, I vote that we have officially make January twinkle light season. I mean is there anything more beautiful than white twinkle lights against a snowy background? They just seem to make every more cheerful this time of year. 

It has been so cold where I live that all I have wanted to do is stay in and watch a movie or read a book under a cozy blanket with a fire crackling in the background. I feel like with everything that is still going on {payers and fingers crossed for things to improve soon} I feel like the overarching theme this winter is going to be ‘cozy at home’, so I thought I would share a few of my favorite cozy items. 

 

One//Free People Oasis Tunic

I feel like Free People Sweater are so easy to dismiss because you automatically think of J. Crew, Tuckernuck, Anthropologie, etc. but Free People sweater are honestly my favorite of them all. They are just so soft and warm and so easy to wear with a pair of leggings and I particular love this one!

 

Two// Girl Scout Cookies

One of the best pieces so far in 2021 is that Girl Scout cookies can now be purchased online! I will definitely be stocking up on a few boxes. 

 

Three// Williams Sonoma Hot Chocolate Quick Bread Mix

What is winter with hot chocolate or hot chocolate flavored deserts? Williams Sonoma breads, hot chocolates, and premixes always turn out amazingly well.

 

Four// Sarah Flint Fireside House Shoe

Love how Sarah Flint has managed to make staying at home stylish with their Fireside House Shoe. The design and lining is just amazing and so comfortable! Click here or use code: SARAHFLINT-BALAURENK at checkout to receive $50 off your first Sarah Flint purchase.

 

Five// Roller Rabbit Hearts PJ Set

I purchased a pair of these at the end of last year and they are the ultimate bedtime luxury. I love have the fabric has a silky texture to it and the fact that they don’t wrinkle or twist during the night.

 

Six// Gray Malin At The Parker Playing Card Set

Gray Malin prints always so beautiful and the fact that they are now on playing cards…how could one resist?

 

Seven// UGG Laila Bow Fleece Lined Socks 

These aren’t socks that you would want to necessarily wear with shoes, but they are so great to just wear around the house. Let’s not forget to mention that the lining is just heaven. 

 

Eight// How The Wind Blows Puzzle

I feel like puzzles are trending in a strong way right now and this one is just so adorable and so classic

 

Nine// Autumn Quilt Sock

Now, these are great socks to wear around the house and out. I always love the fun sock designs that KJP manages to come up with and this print is just so classic.

 

Ten// J. Crew Ribbed Beanie with Faux-Fur Pom-Pom

Of course a beanie has to be included when the word cozy come into play. J. Crew has such a cute selection, and I especially love the ivory color

 

Eleven// UGG Miranda Robe

I’m not normally a robe person, but this one is fantastic

 

Twelve// Apparis Brandy Blanket

In my personal opinion you can never have too many throws, especially when the color is blush

 

Thirteen// Lush Bath Bomb

I find myself just needing to relaxing and decompressing more and more. Everything that is going on and the new just seems to be anxiety inducing, and sometimes a bath complete with bath bomb is just the ticket. 

 

Fourteen// L.L. Bean Boots

I need to get another pair of these… don’t ask how, but I managed to replace mine a few years ago and they are just the best thing to wear when you have to brave the elements.

 

Fifteen// LuluLemon Align Pant 28”

These are probably my most favorite LuluLemon leggings. They have the perfect amount of give to them and are great to wear to either a workout class or just with a sweater to run a few errands or stay at home.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Top 20 Of 2020

 2020…where to start {I will be doing reflection on 2020 in a future post to dive a little deeper}, it was a lot. I can honestly say that 2020 was the most difficult year of my life. It would have been a tough year personally regardless, but 2020 just really sent everything into mental overdrive, for everyone, I’m sure. 

Despite, struggling through the year and at some point, finally accepting that there are just certain things in life that can’t be controlled, there were actually a few good things about 2020. More time with close family and friends, reconnect with old friends, time to take up new hobbies, watch a few extra shows, read a few extra books, spend plenty of time with you furry friends, work on yourself, etc.  And there were some great Netflix shows, clothes, songs, and books that came out in 2020! Here are my top 20 of 2020!

One// Mi Golondrina Dress

I have fallen completely in love with this clothing line. The hand-stitched embroidery on each piece of clothing is basically wearable art. Mi Golondrina is still considered a store that falls under the ‘shop small’ category, and what better time to support a small company than now? Pssst… the Soledad Short Dress is one of my favorite Mi Golondrina pieces 

 

Two// Opi Big Apple Red Nail Polish

It has been a good few numbers of years since I have actually paid attention to the name of nail polish colors. I usually just go into a nail salon, select a color in preparation for a mani/pedi. At the start of lockdown I desperately missed those… Over the years I have turned into a red nail polish person. It’s just such a classic look and goes with pretty much everything. From having to buy nail polish, for the first time in years I actually have a favorite polish color! Big Apple Red!

 

Three// The Queen’s Gambit

I had to watch two full episodes before I was fully sucked into this series, but it is just so well done with such an interesting storyline. If you haven’t watched this show yet, I highly recommend it! The two episodes are a little weird, but after that the series is just fantastic.


Four// Sarah Flint Natalie Flats

I was invited to be a Brand Ambassador for Sarah Flint back in the fall and I honestly cannot say enough positive things about this company. Even after my time as an ambassador for them is up I will be a loyal costumer for them. All of their shoes are just so beautifully made and are such great quality. The Natalie Flats are overall my person favorite. They are so classic, go with pretty much everything, and can be dressed up or down! Use code SARAHFLINT-BALAURENK at checkout to receive $50 off your first Sarah Flint order

 

Five// Ina Garten Chicken Piccata

This is honestly one of my favorite Ina Garten Recipes to make, and it is pretty easy to pull off as well. During the summer months I like to serve the chicken piccata atop a bed of greens with some freshly grated parmesan cheese. And for those chilly winter night it taste so good set on top of some pasta covered in tomato sauce and cheese. 

Six// The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah

Call me crazy, and maybe it is because of the age I was, but back in the early 2000’s I read Firefly Lane and I wasn’t a huge fan of it {I need to give it another chance}… Fast forward to January 2018 – after hearing so many amazing reviews of The Nightingale I give Hannah another go and her writing for that book was completely amazing! The Great Alone was one of the first books I read for 2019 and different store, but the write and storyline and the character were just fantastic. Strongly recommend this book!

 

Seven// Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing BB Gel

I’m just going to say it – I am not usually a big fan of Clinique products. I feel like a lot of their creams are a little too greasy for me and their lipsticks never seem to stay on very long. I saw this product used in an Instagram video and thought I’d give it a try and I am so glad I did! It is so easy to apply, very lightweight, extremely moisturizing, and it really does color match to you skin. It’s honestly probably my favorite beauty product of 2020.

 

Eight// Tuckernuck Tan Stripe Florence Dress

I love the texture of the fabric and the flow. It’s the perfect dress: can be worn in the summer, be a transitional piece for the fall with a navy top pulled over it, and can be pulled out again for the spring. In my opinion, it is a wardrobe must have. 

 

Nine// Supalonely

Starting back in April I began walking/running a ton. It’s a way for me to keep my sanity. Supalonely was a song that would come on Pandora all the time I just love it. It is such a fun song, and the tune oddly matches a running pace

 

Ten// Audible

For years I was so opposed to listening to books on Audio, but since I was going on soooo many walks I thought I would give it a try, and now I like it better than listening to music. Audible is such a great service too. With the membership I have {I think it is just the basic free membership} you get one free book of your choice each month and Audible has so many great books that are available for download that are included with any membership

 

Eleven// Tom Hanks Narrating The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett

I have been meaning to read They Dutch for the longest time, and when a friend told me that Tom Hanks I was the narrator I downloaded it right away. I can honestly say that if I had just read this book, it would not have been the same experience. Tom Hanks does an amazing of telling this story and keeping the listener/reader actively engaged in the book. Even if you read the physical version of this book. I highly recommend downloading the audio, Tom Hanks just adds a little extra something. 

 

Twelve// Tuckernuck Dove Fair Isel Wren Sweater

I am such a sucker for a Fair Isle sweater.., but than again, who isn’t? This is one of my favorite sweater of all times. I love sleeves, color, and the fact that the sweater is long enough to wear with either pants or leggings.

Thirteen// Ina Garten Fried Chicken Sandwich

Who can resist a fried chicken sandwich? Not me! Any recipe that Ina Garten comes up with is basically garneted to be amazing. This one does take a little time, but so worth it! 

 

Fourteen// Lulu Lemon YouTube Yoga Video

I haven’t been to a Yoga class since like the first week of March and I miss them so much, especially hot yoga. Until covid I had never really tried an at home workout video, but there are so many great options out there, and this one is a free YouTube video! I was completely in the dark that Lulu Lemon has a YouTube channel complete with workout videos. This is my favorite yoga workout that I have tried of theirs and I love this instructor.

 

Fifteen// Say So, by Doja Cat

I heard this song so much back in the spring, and now it is officially one of my favorite songs, ever. It’s just so bouncy and happy, and I think it’s safe to say that we could all use a little bounce of happiness in our lives.

 

Sixteen// Anything Blue

Going into 2020 I thought it was going to be the best year yet. It was just such a pleasing number sequence to look at, I had a few big things on the horizon, and blue was the color of the year, I mean what could go wrong… a lot, apparently. I feel like some force pored gas on everything and tossed a lite match over their shoulder. But I still love the color blue!

 

Seventeen// The Girl in the Blue Coat, by Monica Hesse

I think this book actually falls under the Young Adult category, but it is so well written, loved the main character, and the storyline. The author just did such a great job of pulling the reader in – I was really invested in the outcome of the book and the emotional journey of a few of the characters.

 

Eighteen// Emily in Paris

Netflix was pretty on point this year with the show they came out with. Emily in Paris is just such a great distraction, the main character is adorable, and it’s set in Paris – need I say more? If you need an escape I highly recommend this show.

 

Nineteen// Sanctuary Pants

I bough my first pair of these at Anthropologie and now I am just in love with them. Technically a pant, but feel like leggings… I’m going to call that a win. They come in solid colors and fun plaid and hounds tooth prints 

 

Twenty// Louis Vuitton Neverfull

I have wanted one of these bags for years, and years, and years. I had a really rough and disappointing start to 2020 so I justified the purchase and finally treated myself to a Louis Vuitton Neverfull bag and I am completely head over heels in love with this tote. 

 

What Are Some of Your Favorites From 2020?

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Sarah Flint Semi-Annual Sale

 Back in the fall I started working with Sarah Flint as a Brand Ambassador and I have fallen completely in love with everything single thing able this company. From the fact that they are women owned and operated, to their designs, the fit of their shoes, how their shoes are so comfortable you can literally wear them all day long, all the way down to the beautiful packaging of the sapphire blue shoe with a Sarah Flint logo beautiful placed on the side of each shoe box, and topped with a coordinating blue ribbon with ‘Walk Like A Woman’ printed on it. Each design and detail is so carefully thought out and is reflected in each corner of this company.  

Sarah Flint’s Semi-Annual Sale is currently underway till Sunday, January 10th. There are so many beautiful styles and designs included in this sale, and all the shoes included in this sale are up to 40% off! In case you need a few suggestions the Perfect Emma, Natalie, and Bennett are a few of my personal favorites. And incase you fall in love with a pair of Sarah Flint shoes that are not included in the sale you can either click here or use code SARAHFLINT-LAURENK at checkout to receive $50 off your first regular-priced Sarah Flint purchase. 

 

Below are a few of my person favorite shoes that are included in the Semi-Annual Sale!

Perfect Emma in Black Velvet

Natalie in Black Velvet

Ilene x Gravati

Perfect Pump 85 in Pansy Floral Jacquard

Bennett in Pansy Floral Jacquard

Perfect Zip Bootie 30 in Olive Crosta

Bennett in Garden Floral Jacquard

Perfect Emma in Rust Suede

Perfect Pump 85 in Cabernet Suede


Don’t forget, Sale ends Sunday Night, January 10th! Don’t miss out on the chance to treat yourself and save up to 40% on a beautiful pair of Sarah Flint Shoes!



Friday, January 8, 2021

My Instagram Account Was Hacked & How I Got It Back

 Wednesday morning I woke up, unplugged my phone from its charger, got back in bed {because goodness knows it has been way too cold}, unlocked my phone, and opened up my Instagram app, which I always stay logged into on my phone, only to discover I was not logged in… I clicked on my account to log back in, and was alerted that the wrong password was saved to my phone. I then tried to manually type in my account username and password, and again, I was alerted that it was the wrong login information. I proceeded to go through the “forgot password” process and when I put in the email associated with the account I was alerted that it was the incorrect email. I then tried my phone number, and again, was alerted that the number I had enter was not the correct number associated with the account. A sense of panic started to rise within…

After attempting to login to my Instagram a couple more times, I moved to my email and started scrolling in search of any emails from Instagram that would have alerted me to any changes made to the account. Lo and behold, at 3:38am Wednesday morning, I had my first email from Instagram to notify me of a new login from a device I don’t usually use, a second email to notify me that the phone number associated with my account had been removed, a third email to alert me that the email associated with my account had been changed, and a final email from Instagram at 3:39am Wednesday morning to inform me that my username had been changed from atouchofsoutherngrace to atouchofoutheiuongoui. Then right above the four emails from Instagram was an email from the person who hacked my account threatening to delete my Instagram account if I didn’t pay them $300.

By this time I was in total panic mode. Here was this Instagram account that I have had for seven years, have built such a wonderful community of followers, acts as an extension of my blog, contributes to some of my income, and so many memories are attached to many of the pictures on the account. Then this hacker comes in, changes all my information within the span of a minute, and I am locked out of my account and cannot reset anything. I was completely devastated, felt so helpless, and had no clue what to do about the situation. I wish I could tell you that I knew how this person gained access to my Instagram, but I have no idea. I hadn’t received any suspicious emails or messages, and haven’t clicked on any suspicious links. I can, however, tell you what to do if you are hacked, how to get your account back in less than two days, and hopefully how to prevent this from happening to you. 

 

First thing first, don’t go to twitter in a panic and send a tweet out asking for help. Doing this only acts as a beacon for other hackers to take advantage of you. I got directed to so many different accounts that could “help” and all of them were obviously spammers. 

 

After I finished crying, I started researching via the Instagram help center and everything I came across on reporting a hacked account I reached a dead end because so much of my information had been altered on my account. So, when that didn’t work, I reached out to a few Instagram friends to see if they have ever encountered a similar experience and what steps they took. In the mean time my dad started researching YouTube to see if there were any ‘what to' videos out there. By the end of all the research I tried two tactics, and thankfully had my Instagram account a day and a half later. I’m not sure which one worked so I’m sharing them both.

 

 Before I explain them though, just know that you have to preform both of these actions multiple times. Instagram is so hard to get ahold of and you have to let them know that you are serious about regaining control of your account/need your account back, and preforming these actions multiple times reflects that and eventually grabs the attention of the Instagram help center.

One Instagram friend had a similar experience a few years ago and pointed me in the direction of messaging Facebook business. Facebook and Instagram are two in the same now, and luckily, I have my Facebook business page and Instagram hooked up to each other so I was able to message Facebook business. When I sent Facebook Business a message I was sent through a series of prompts and at the end I was able to state what the issue was with my Instagram account. Once I sent the message I received an automatic response back saying, “We’re sharing your issue with our support team. If they can provide you with more assistance, they’ll reach out to you”. I preformed this action about four times. {Again, persistence is key when trying to contact Instagram}. 


The second tactic I used was reporting my account had been hacked via an Instagram form. I probably submitted this form about thirty times, literally. Here is how you can submit the Instagram form alerting them to the fact that your account has been hacked and request support. 

Step 1: Using your mobile app, make sure you are logged out of all your Instagram accounts. Then go to main login in page and click on “Forgot password?”

Step 2: Click on “Phone” and enter the phone number that is actually/should be associated with your account {even if it has been removed or altered}. Then click on “Need more help?”

Step 3: Located at the very bottom of the page, click on “I can’t access this email or phone number” 

Step 4: On your request support form enter the email used to create the account and enter a contact email. Then select either “Company or brand account” or “personal account with photos of me” {I alternated between the two each time I filled out the form}. Finally select “My account was hacked” and at the very bottom of the page click on “Request Support”.


*** Remember, you need to fill this form out multiple times to be effective 

 

I eventually receive an email from Facebook/Instagram with the instructions to send them a photo while I held up a piece of paper with a code, my name, and user name written on it as proof of my identity and owner of the account. A few hours later I received a second email containing a link that allowed me back into my account and I was able to reset all my information and password. 

 

As far as Instagram hacking prevention goes, I would suggest that you turn on “Two-Factor Authentication” {this can be found by going to your settings and selecting “Security”}. I would also recommend downloading an Authentication app.  The only other advice I would give, which I didn’t think to, is if your account is hacked get your friends, family members, and followers {if they can be contacted} to report your account in an attempt to get your account disabled. This prevents the hacker from having further access to your account. I also learned in my research that a disabled Instagram account can always be recovered, but recovering a deleted Instagram account depends on the roll of the dice. My account was actually deleted by the person who hacked my account and I am so fortunate that Instagram was able to recover everything on my account. 

 

Below I have attached a YouTube video that was the most helpful to me during this whole process  

Monday, January 4, 2021

Lilly Pulitzer Sale

 In my opinion, everyone could use a splash of color right about now to get them the last few months of winter. Lilly Pulitzer does not host a sale very often, but when they do, it is completely amazing! 

The one thing I love about a Lilly Print is that you can literally hang onto a Lilly shift dress for years, and with some, even decades. So, whenever a Lilly sale is underway I always try to buy at least one classic printed shift dress, and then a few other items, because the sale deals are so amazing!

Ailani Shift Dress

Franci High Collar Dress

Mercede Scallop Stretch Dress

Christin Off-The-Shoulder Sweater

Noella Puffer Vest

Tatum Fringe Hem Cardigan

Luxletic Ocean Trail Short

33’ Beach Mid Rise Linen Palazzo Pant

Kailene Bikini

Largo T-Strap Gold Sandal