Life Lately, Vol. 35

Happy Friday y’all! I’m excited to be hosting my brother and sister-in-law this weekend in Boston. It’s actually the first time they’ve visited since I moved here 5 years ago (mainly because we meet in Atlanta at least 4-5 times per year) and though it’s winter, we’ve got a fun weekend planned. As with all visitors, I’ll be showing them all that Boston has to offer – walking around the Boston Commons, exploring the North End, perusing shops on Newbury St & Beacon Hill and, of course, eating delicious fresh seafood & Italian!


my handsome grandpa


Remembering my grandfather…my Sido (Arabic for grandfather). Today would have been his 96th birthday. Even though we lost him almost two years ago, there is seriously not a day goes by that I don’t think about him. He was the most loving, generous, family-oriented, hard working man I know. A Purple Heart recipient during WWII and a very skilled Engineer for Lockheed Martin, he was incredibly proud of his wife, his children, his grandchildren and he always was there to lend us advice – on money, business, school, even relationships. I can’t even put into words how much he meant to me and how many valuable life lessons I learned from him. The world is, without a doubt, a better place because he was in it. I know he would be proud that I am now happily married to an outstanding man (who he met and “approved” of haha), that I’m following my dreams of travel (his passion also) and that I am working hard on my career (although I know he would want me to move back to Atlanta to be closer to family…one day!). In honor of him I’m baking his favorite- German chocolate cake. I made this for him on countless birthdays and, in fact, the last words I said to him in person were “get better soon so you can eat the homemade German chocolate cake I’m making you for your birthday”. Though he never made it to eat the cake, I will eat a piece today in his honor. Love and miss you, Sido!

This Week on South End Style:

An Alternative to the Bar Cart

5 Places I Want to Travel to Again

10 Valentine’s Day Ideas for Anyone

Life Lately, Vol. 34


My experience with Legacybox

Back during the holidays, my friends at Legacybox sent over their goods for us to try out. My parents have hundreds – maybe thousands – of pictures on slides (remember those, fellow kids of the 80s?!) that we were trying to consolidate. The hard part was that we didn’t have hours and hours to manually convert each slide, nor did we know how to do it! Talk about overwhelming…

Along came Legacybox & saved the day!


Y’all, this idea is genius! And seriously so easy. The large box comes empty, with instructions, labels for each item & shipping labels. It’s really that simple.


I gotta say, it was really fun going through all of our slides (we organized per year and put 20 slides in each ziplock bag & slapped a label on top), our old VHS videos & various other developed pictures, etc.


I was pleasantly surprised how much fit inside the box! We squeezed in about 8 VHS tapes and over 150 slides.


Fast forward about 4 weeks later and we received back our original items (which was really important to us), along with everything organized & uploaded onto DVDs and a USB. Now we are able to easily view all of our childhood photos & videos. Additionally, we have a backup copy on USB to keep in a safe place.

This whole process was very easy & user friendly. The folks at Legacybox kept me informed each step of the way with email updates and they were super responsive when I called with a few questions. All in all, I can’t recommend this enough. With Mothers Day coming up, what a fun gift this would be for the lady in your life! Pretty much every woman values photos, so help her get all of her memories organized!


You can purchase your Legacybox here.

This post was sponsored by Legacybox, but all opinions are my own.


Happy Thanksgiving y’all!

Wow, I have so much to be thankful for, where do I even begin? Aside from the (very fortunate) fact that I have a roof over my head, food on my plate and shoes on my feet…

…I’ve got a loving, supportive family who I live too far away from…


…amazing, loyal friends who have been there for me through thick & thin…


…and the two best roomies a girl could ask for…


Now go enjoy your loved ones, stuff your face, drink wine & shop til you drop this weekend. I’ll be taking a few days off to do just that….

Next week, Christmas countdown begins 😉


One of the biggest challenges about living in a brownstone/condo/urban city is space! No surprise here, but until you’re living in it, you really don’t appreciate how much each little foot counts. When I first moved from Atlanta to Boston, it took a loooooong time to adjust to these tiny living spaces….

How does one live in a 500sq ft home? Where are all the closets? Where will my shoes go? Why can’t I have more than 3 friends over at a time? What if I have out of town guests? What about the grill?

Like anything else in life, you adjust and adapt and make the best of it. Which brings me to my newest challenge: the “2 bedroom” homes that are essentially “1 bedroom + large closet”. I would love to be able to have an additional bedroom for a variety of reasons: (a) extra storage,  (b) more closet space, (b) real home office space, and (d) a place for out of town guests to stay. The problem is these rooms are so small that you can fit a double bed, at best. To me, I’d rather have a more disguised bed that flows well in the room to create a home office space. Enter the daybed.

Daybeds used to be limited to little kids rooms and your grandma’s sunroom, but they’ve come a long way since! When used in an appropriate way, a daybed can be a sophisticated, stylish solution to needing a bed in a small space. Here are some inspirational rooms to get your creative juices flowing:








Think a daybed may be the perfect solution for you? Shop them now:


What do you think?!

Wanderlust Wednesday: Nantucket

One of my favorite things about living in the Northeast is the abundance of charming seaside towns. We’ve got the North Shore, the South Shore, Rhode Island shore & more! Having spent a good amount of time on each (still on my list: Block Island!), one of my favorites is, without a doubt, Nantucket.


Everyone describes The Cape as an arm doing a bicep curl…Falmouth is by your shoulder & Provincetown is by your clenched fist….do you see it? Well, Nantucket, is a small island off the coast of elbow. From Boston, you can either fly (quick & easy) or drive to South Shore & catch the fast ferry (a bit longer, but usually less expensive). I’ve taken the ferry a few times and it’s pretty easy- you grab a drink, grab a seat & enjoy the view! 90 minutes later and you’re in Nantucket…the land of gorgeous shingled homes & the biggest, most beautiful hydrangeas you’ve ever seen!

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I promise that I’m not exaggerating when I say that every. single. house. looks like those!! They are just so spectacular, lush & picturesque— it never gets old!!

Ok so now that we’ve covered how to get there & what you will be seeing, lets talk about where to stay, what to do & what to eat!

Where to stay:

Unless you’re lucky enough to have a friend (or friend-of-a-friend) with a summer home down in Nantucket (anyone want to invite me?!), your best bet is to rent a home for the week/weekend (note: many summer rentals require full week rental) or a hotel room. My one word of advice? Book early! We booked in February and had very slim pickings for August. My recommendations:

VRBO or HomeAway for rentals

White Elephant Hotel

Nantucket Hotel & Resort

The Beachside *we stayed here- was great location & perfectly accommodating


What to do:

Fingers crossed you’ve got beautiful weather & there is plenty to do!

I suggest renting bikes (we used this company), hitting the downtown for some shopping, visiting the public beaches, & just exploring the island! For a really fun day, take the shuttle over to the Cisco Brewery and enjoy some great beer, live music & fun company <–we did this, best part of our trip!

PicMonkey Collage1

Where to eat:

As you can probably imagine, there are SO many delicious restaurants on the island! A few that really stood out to me- and I would highly recommend:

Galley Beach (go for sunset drinks & apps- you are literally sitting on a chair on the beach and the sunset is just spectacular!)

The Pearl– gotta get the wok fried lobstah!

Cru– Seafood/raw bar/on the water

Nautilus– Asian fusion/great bar

Provisions– cute spot to grab lunch

PicMonkey Collage

Whether it’s a romantic getaway with your significant other, a girls weekend, or a family trip…Nantucket is the place to be. I guarantee you will have a fabulous time!!! Enjoy!

5 Tips for Planning Your Next Caribbean Vacation

We are heading down to Puerto Rico for a little vacay in a couple of weeks and I cannot wait!       I don’t even remember the last time I saw legitimate sunshine, let alone a tropical beach. It’s been a looooong winter and this trip is much needed! Since I’ve never been to Puerto Rico, it was a fun trip to plan, with lots of research.


Here are 5 tips I learned that I want to share with you when planning a Caribbean vacation:

1. Know what vibe you want.

For this trip, we really wanted an adventurous, fun, outdoorsy trip. That immediately helped us narrow down our choices to Puerto Rico (surfing & rainforest), Belize (snorkeling & diving) or Bahamas (boating & swimming with dolphins). Considering I went to Bahamas for college Spring Break & the boyfriend loves to surf, PR was the easy choice. If you’re unsure, see this list for help.

PicMonkey Collage

2. Research the weather.

Now, this may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised. Between hurricane season, rainy season, smoldering hot season, seaweed season & buggy season, there’s a lot to consider. And let’s be honest, there’s no point in spending the time& money to go to the Caribbean if it’s raining, windy, or too hot to even enjoy being outside. A few helpful resources can be found here, here and here.

PicMonkey Collage

3. Consider flying options.

Luckily, living on the East Coast makes traveling to the Caribbean relatively simple; however, there are only a handful of places you can fly directly, without spending a fortune, including Cancun, Aruba, PR & Bermuda (see full list here).


4. Want all-inclusive? Research. Research. Research.

To me, these all-inclusive resorts are a double edge sword: sure, they’re inexpensive and convenient, but you’re also stuck in one location for the entire trip. You better bet your ass that if I’m stuck on a resort for 5 days, it’s going to have an infiniti pool(s), stellar service, amazing ocean views/access and *at minimum*, food & drink that is better-than-decent, and with options. It just breaks my heart to hear of stories about people who spent thousands on an all-inclusive, only to have a rock hard bed, shitty ocean “views” and an episode of food poisoning. So sad.

I’ve always found TripAdvisor, Fodors and Travel & Leisure to be quite reliable. Word of mouth is always a good idea for these types of trips also.

PicMonkey Collage

5. Don’t over plan!

Sure, you want to have flights & accommodations planned (be sure to check airbnb & vrbo if you want a non-hotel stay),but half of the fun is living in the moment! The Caribbean lifestyle is laid back, relaxed & adventurous. Talk to the locals. Immerse yourself in the culture. Explore. Most of all, have fun!


(The above was an AMAZING beach trip with my best college girl friends!)

 What’s your best travel tip for planning a Caribbean vacation?!

Classic & Simple Easter Tablescape

Easter is one of my favorite holidays- it signifies the beginning of Spring, the warm weather coming & of course, it’s always an excuse to eat delicious food while spending time with friends and family! For me, it’s time to break out the white linens, the carrot cake recipes (<– my mom makes the best one ever!), the Cadbury cream eggs & the fresh flowers! I put together a tablescape that won’t cost you too much, but will be sure to impress. You’ve probably already got some of these items laying around the house, so you can spend that extra money in your budget on more fresh flowers!


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