Southern Kitchen

This post was sponsored by SouthernKitchen.com. All opinions my own.

I found a fantastic new-to-me resource that I think you all, my dear readers, will adore. Have you seen Southern Kitchen yet? Since Thanksgiving is right around the corner, I think it’s the perfect time for me to introduce you to Southern Kitchen and all of their wonderful recipes, stories, and kitchen items. From their site…

“We created Southern Kitchen to share the stories, recipes and heritage of Southern food and culture in today’s South; the South that praises locally-made, rejoices in diversity and revels in finding the perfect balance of traditional and modern. Everything Southern has a story, and many of those stories take place around the kitchen — whether that’s the actual kitchen, the porch kitchen or the backyard kitchen. Southern Kitchen is focused on delivering the best in eating, drinking and entertaining. We celebrate the chefs who are redefining what it means to ‘cook Southern.'”

When Southern Kitchen asked me to be one of their brand ambassadors, I jumped at the chance to bring you wonderful traditional holiday recipes like…

Deep-Fried Turkey

Bacon Cornbread Dressing

Pickled Cranberry Relish

I also thought you’d enjoy a few Southern-inspired recipes like…

Alabama White BBQ Sauce

Black Bottom Pie

Chipotle Shrimp Tacos

Not only do they have terrific Southern recipes, but they also have a fully stocked store where you can find all kinds of cook’s utensils. I am so pumped about the new mortar and pestle I just received from them. I’ve already used it to grind dried herbs when I made chili the other night, and the flavor was so much more intense. I love how grinding dried herbs unlocks the flavor!

If you love cooking Southern foods as much as I do, I encourage you to sign up for Southern Kitchen’s emails (to receive special deals, recipes, entertaining tips from Southern Kitchen). And lucky you… SouthernKitchen.com is giving all TheHillHangout.com readers $10 off of your first $50 order using the code WELCOME10. How fun is that?!?

I’m excited to partner with a brand that fits so well with my readers, as I know you will love seeing their recipes, shopping the store, and hearing stories from the wonderful chefs at SouthernKitchen.com.

Beginner’s Calligraphy

Calligraphy is an art that I have fallen in love with. I always have been interested in writing letters in different sizes, fonts, and styles. Calligraphy was one of the things I loved even before I knew about it. It is an art that we are seeing more often on cards, paintings, and envelopes. Whether you’re looking to teach a calligraphy class or just address your christmas cards, I’m here to help you get started. I’m starting Beginner’s Calligraphy so I thought we could learn together.

STEP 1. GET GOOD SUPPLIES

Beginner's Calligraphy from TheHillHangout.com

My mom got me these pens off of Amazon for Christmas. They are amazing! You have a lot of control with them (even if it doesn’t seem like it at first) and they come in 10 vibrant colors. They have the brush end that you use for what we’re doing, but they also have a small marker end that is perfect for addressing the street name on an envelope or changing up the fonts on a piece of art. For paper, I just used some scrap paper we had left over from when Patterson was learning to write her letters. It was the perfect size! It’s probably not what you’re supposed to use, but we already owned it so I’m going with it.

STEP 2. START PRACTICING

Beginner's Calligraphy from TheHillHangout.com

Calligraphy requires a lot of practice. It is hard at first, but I promise it’s not just you. Everyone struggles at times, and this is one of those times. The goal of this step is just to get a feel for how the pens write. When you bring the pen up, it should be a thinner line, and the down stroke should be thicker. Just zig-zag your heart away.

STEP 3. PRACTICE SOME MORE

Beginner's Calligraphy from TheHillHangout.com

You didn’t think I was going to let you off the hook with one line did you? Nope! Make lines and lines of zig-zags. Fill up pages and pages of them until you’re comfortable with the pen and you like how the lines are looking.

STEP 4. PRACTICE CIRCLES

Beginner's Calligraphy from TheHillHangout.com

Now that you’re comfortable with lines, we’ll start to do some circles. Many letters have circles in them, so this is a great thing to practice. Make sure to do just like the lines and fill up pages with Os. Get a smooth transition from the thick-to-thin lines before you move on. This is also a great time to practice writing letters over and over again.

STEP 5. START WRITING WORDS

Beginner's Calligraphy from TheHillHangout.com

At this point you’re probably getting pretty good with individual letters, but you haven’t started connecting them. The next step is to start writing words. You can do Bible verses, names of friends, random words you think of, anything! The goal of this step is to get comfortable with writing words.

STEP 6. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE

Beginner's Calligraphy from TheHillHangout.com

The only way you’re ever going to get any better at this skill is by practicing. You have to write words over and over to get them just the way you want them. In the picture above, I’ve used different fonts to add to the beauty of the verse. Calligraphy is a tedious task, but well worth it in the end.

I hope you’ve enjoyed Beginner’s Calligraphy with me today! I hope you learned something! I by all means am not a pro at this, but I gave ya what I got. If you’d like more tutorials on anything artsy, let me know in the comments and I’ll see what I can do! Thanks for reading today!
XOXO, Mary Anneliese

Beginner's Calligraphy from TheHillHangout.com

Summer Dresses for Teens

I don’t know about you, but summer is one of my favorite seasons! I love being out of school (that’s no surprise), and I love being able to go outside. I go to a lot of church events, baby showers, and meetings with my mom that require a little dressier appearance than shorts. I’ve put together some of my favorite summer dresses that’ll keep you cool and dressy this summer. Now I bring you Summer Dresses for Teens…

Summer Dresses for Teens from TheHillHangout.com

1. This cute find from Target is a great summer choice! It has pastel pinks and purples with bell sleeves and tassels. It would be a great option for any summer Sunday, especially if the morning is a little chilly.

Summer Dresses for Teens from TheHillHangout.com

2. I found this cutie at Lizard Thicket. It is a minty green dress with bright red floral accents. It is a great dress and the style of it is super trendy. If you’re looking for a bright and colorful dress, then ding-ding-ding! You’ve found one!

Summer Dresses for Teens from TheHillHangout.com

3. This dress from Altar’d State is a super fun pastel pink color. I love the detailed lace around the sleeves and down the middle. This one also looks like a great “spin-y dress” 😉 (As my cousin Kiley Page likes to call them)

Summer Dresses for Teens from TheHillHangout.com

4. This fun dress is bright blue with vibrant pink flowers. This dress is so cute that I got it for my Easter dress this spring. If you’d like to match with me this summer, you now know what to wear. I got this one at Lizard Thicket.

Summer Dresses for Teens from TheHillHangout.com

5. This pastel dress is a great one! It has white embroidery on it and little white puff-balls along the ruffled trim. It has the cold shoulder style which is super popular right now. I found this one at Francscas.

Summer Dresses for Teens from TheHillHangout.com

6. Anthropologie is one of my favorite stores and so when I saw this dress online, I snatched up the chance to show y’all. It is a little more of a casual look, but a great short sleeved dress that can look great all summer long. It’s a great dress that I would highly recommend.

Summer Dresses for Teens from TheHillHangout.com

7. I love this pink dress from Anthropologie! It is a soft pink color with a thick, white border around the bottom. If you want to keep things simple this summer, this one’s a good one.

Summer Dresses for Teens from TheHillHangout.com

8. This creme dress from Altar’d State is another cutie! It is light and bright and gets you in the mood for summer.

I hope this gives you an idea of something to wear this summer! If you like my fashion posts, be sure to let me know in the comments below! Also, don’t forget to follow our social channels @TheHillHangout.
XOXO, Mary Anneliese

Summer Dresses for Teens from TheHillHangout.com

prAna

**This post contains sponsored content. prAna provided the clothing featured in exchange for the post.**

For months after I went back to work, I spent most of my clothing budget trying to pump up my business wardrobe. Business suits. Comfortable heels. Classic accessories. You get the idea. But once that part of my wardrobe was pretty built up, I noticed that I had let my casual wardrobe slide. I had great clothes for the work week, but almost nothing to wear on weekends or when I was out and about. You know, the kind of clothes that are great to wear anywhere “from city streets to mountain peaks.” The kind that is comfortable and versatile, but also fashionable. If you are in the same boat as me – looking for great casual wear that is comfy enough to move around in but also cute enough to wear all day – let me introduce you to prAna.

All of prAna’s clothing is made of either organic cotton or of hemp, and many of them use recycled materials as well. prAna is a very planet-friendly clothing company. prAna’s ultimate goal is to make sustainable clothing accessible and important to everyone. I particularly love that they do not use any form of forced labor or child labor, and they pay fair wages to their overseas employees and voluntarily abide by an ethical code of conduct. They are super sustainability-minded, both in terms of the materials they use and the people they employ, so you can feel really good about the clothing you are wearing.

I love the poppy color of their organic cotton Jardin top, though it comes in several really great colors. I love it with jeans, and it would also be super cute with a pair of wide-legged linen pants for work or dinner out. But I would also totally throw this on with a pair of shorts, like the Tess shorts I’m wearing in the photo below. I’m wearing the gravel color, and these shorts are super comfy. They are made of organic cotton and can I get an amen for the 3% spandex that gives them a little bit of stretch?

I’m also a huge fan of a well-fitting pair of yoga pants for the weekend. Kind of like these Juniper pants.

My fave top to pair them with is the Liana sweater. I’m wearing it in moonrock, but it comes in two other great colors as well. I wear a tank under mine, which you can see below, and it is so lightweight that it provides just the right amount of coverage without being to hot for warm climates like mine. And the assymetrical hemline is very flattering!

If you want to join the #prAnaclub, they are graciously offering readers of The Hill Hangout a 15% discount on all purchases through June 16, 2017. Use code S17PCLUBAH. Let me know what you get!!

Summer Swimsuits for Teens

Summer is just around the corner, (Hallelujah!) so that means it’s swimsuit season!!! I don’t know about y’all, but I for one am super pumped that it’s here! Below I have linked some great swimsuits to help you get some cute finds. I decided just to look them up on the internet, because I am better as a soccer player, not a swimsuit model. 😊 So without further ado I bring you Summer Swimsuits for Teens…

Summer Swimsuits for Teens from TheHillHangout.com

1. This rust-colored top from Target is a great find! I actually bought this one a few weeks ago and love it! It is different than any other swimsuit I’ve had before because of the crochet fabric. It has a very durable feel, so this one will probably last a few years. It is really cute on and the color is amazing!!

Summer Swimsuits for Teens from TheHillHangout.com

2. Let’s face it, we all have those church camps that we go to that require a one-piece. It is so hard to find one-pieces that are actually cute! (can I get an Amen?) So, I thought I should include one so that you’d have an option when you need one. This cute one from Kingdom & State is a great option!

Summer Swimsuits for Teens from TheHillHangout.com

3. This floral beauty is from Cupshe and it is adorable! It is so bright and fun! I don’t know about y’all, but this one makes me want to go to the beach right now! I’m in love with the pink and purple color scheme and y’all, it’s $20!

Summer Swimsuits for Teens from TheHillHangout.com

4. Another great find at Altar’d State! This swim top reminds me of summer exactly! With the bright oranges, blues, and reds, how could you not love this one? Only the top is linked, but the matching bottoms are on their website as well.

Summer Swimsuits for Teens from TheHillHangout.com

5. This coral swimsuit is from Francesca’s. It is covered in turquoise leaves that will make you thing of palm trees all summer long! The matching bottoms are on the site as well.

Summer Swimsuits for Teens from TheHillHangout.com

6. I have another one from Cupshe! This one is a adorable floral-y print on a forest green backing. It is high necked, which is trending this year. It would be a great addition to anyone’s closet, and for $19! I’ll take it!

Summer Swimsuits for Teens from TheHillHangout.com

7. This swim top from American Eagle is so cute! It has a denim look, which is something I haven’t seen very much. It is a high-necked swimsuit which is super flattering on anyone! It has matching bottoms too, but only the top is linked.

Summer Swimsuits for Teens from TheHillHangout.com

8. I found a great one at Urban Outfitters! It is a simple top that would go great with any patterned bottoms you might have. They have it in 7 different colors, so you can match it with anything! I linked the white one because it is so versatile and could be worn with anything else already in your closet.

That wraps up our Summer Swimsuits for Teens! If you’d like to check out any of MY other fashion blog posts, you can click here or here. Stay tuned! We have more fashion suggestions to help get you ready for summer! Happy shopping!
XOXO, Mary Anneliese

Summer Swimsuits for Teens from TheHillHangout.com

Fashion Over Forty: Everyday Looks for Winter

Fashion Over Forty: Everyday Looks for Winter

Everyday clothes are my jam. If you know me in real life, you know this is how I look if I’m running errands, going out for dinner, attending Bunco or a Sunday school party, etc. These looks truly are my everyday clothes. For those of you who want to follow along, I bring you Fashion Over Forty: Everyday Looks for Winter. I’ll link to sources in case you want to purchase.

TunicSimilar ScarfSimilar JeansSimilar Leopard Clutch

Fashion Over Forty: Everyday Looks for Winter

White Piko TopJeansBooties – Scarf (Sold out, but similar here)

Fashion Over Forty: Everyday Looks for Winter

DressSimilar Gold Cuff BraceletSimilar Black Suede Boots

Fashion Over Forty: Everyday Looks for Winter

Heart of Dixie TeeRed ConverseLucy’s Lockets Cuff

Fashion Over Forty: Everyday Looks for Winter

Plaid Vest (Old Navy – sold out) – Gray Piko TopHunter Rain BootsSimilar Crossbody Bag

And while fashion is fun, the very best items you can put on everyday are kindness, humility, grace, truth, and the armor of God. Don’t know what I’m referring to? Take a look at Ephesians 6.

Uncommon Goods

Hi, friends! Just wanted to pop in quickly and let you know about a great new-to-me site I found. I love bringing you new and creative and inspiring companies with which to do business, and UncommonGoods.com fits that bill. UncommonGoods.com was started after founder Dave Bolotsky visited a Smithsonian Museum craft show in Washington D.C. and was captivated by the variety of unique handmade goods and the talented people behind them. He saw there was a significant public demand for beautiful design. At the same time, he realized that the artists working to make those pieces were often traveling great distances in order to sell their wares at the show. Inspired by his experience, Dave had a vision to create something that had never existed before—an online marketplace to connect makers and their creations with individuals looking for truly special goods, regardless of the physical distance between the maker and the shopper. Dave turned this idea into UncommonGoods.

While there is a lot to love about UncommonGoods, I especially like their collection of wedding gifts that can be personalized. Case in point, this Down the Aisle Print. How much fun to have this this personalized momento of your wedding reception hanging on your wall?

Uncommon Goods Review from TheHillHangout.com

These custom family pillows are also a great way to add a personal touch to your next wedding gift.

Uncommon Goods Review from TheHillHangout.com

They also have some really fun decor items for the home that I think you’ll love. Of course, I’m drawn to the quirky like this llama doormat. I mean, his name is Larry. How adorable is that?

Uncommon Goods Review from TheHillHangout.com

And this cinema lightbox is just as fun! Imagine all the cute comments you come up with!

Uncommon Goods Review from TheHillHangout.com

Are man gifts as hard for you as they are for me? Why are they so hard to buy for??? UncommonGoods actually has a terrific collection of gifts for men that would be perfect for anniversary, Father’s Day, or any occasion. These vintage blueprints of baseball stadiums (stadia???) are a one-of-a-kind gift.

Uncommon Goods Review from TheHillHangout.com

And for the man who has it all, a homemade gin kit could be lots of fun.

Uncommon Goods Review from TheHillHangout.com

Besides the awesome collection of goods from fantastic makers around the world, I particularly love UncommonGoods’ Better to Give program. With every purchase made, UncommonGoods will give $1 to one of their Better to Give partners – you choose the cause closest to your heart. To date, they have given away over $1 million to organizations that fight sexual violence, promote literacy, and respond to humanitarian crises.

Take a look around UncommonGoods and let me know what your favorite uncommon goods are!

Favorite Teen Fashion Stores

Shopping. It is something everyone has to do {unless you’re super crafty and can sew}. I like shopping to some extent, but when I look and look and don’t find anything, I get discouraged and tired. I thought it might be helpful for me to give y’all some of my favorite stores, so you can get some new ideas. Comment below some of your favorites so we can both get ideas!

Favorite Teen Fashion Stores by TheHillHangout.com

1. Altar’d State– Altar’d State is a really cute store! They have super trendy things and I just know y’all love them as much as I do.

2. H&M– This store is definitely hit or miss, but they always have so much content I buy something almost every time I go in there. They have great basics and I get ALL of my pants there. I’m not kidding.

3. Lizard Thicket– A new one of these just opened up a few moths ago near us and I’m in love!! They have great shirts and sweaters, and also great warm hats and headbands.

4. Forever 21– This store is hit or miss as well. I find a bunch of sweaters there that are really cute and I got a new pair of shoes from there that are ADORABLE!

5. Old Navy– I get at least half my wardrobe from Old Navy y’all. They have shorts and tops that are so darn cute. For the amount of clothes vs. the amount I spend there, it ends up being a steal!

6. Kinnucans– This store is so great! They have fantabulous t-shirts and athletic shorts. I get almost all of my t-shirts from there and if you know me well , you know that is a lot of shirts.

7. Target– I love target so much! It ends up being my go-to for swimsuits and I also find a lot of dresses in there as well.

8. American Eagle– I find trendy pieces here as well. I love their summer shorts, but they sometimes can be too short, so be careful. I love their summery tops too!

9. Gap Factory– You might be wondering why in the world I would prefer the Gap Factory Store over the normal Gap,so I’ll tell ya. The normal Gap seems to have an older and more professional generation of clothes and the Factory Store is more casual and I personally like it better. I get tops, pajama pants, and super cute socks here.

10. Nike– Nike isn’t really a fashion store like you’d think, but I do get a lot of stuff here. I get my tennis shoes of course, but I also like getting athletic shorts here as well as soccer cleats.

Thank you all so much for reading! I hope these stores gave y’all some ideas on where to shop for clothes! Don’t forget to tell me your favorite stores below!
XOXO, Mary Anneliese

Favorite Teen Fashion Stores by TheHillHangout.com

Favorite Sweaters for Winter

Down here in Alabama the winters are pretty mild. If we ever have a slight chance for snow or ice, all the schools, banks, and businesses close up shop. Most days we stay in the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s. I don’t get super cold during that weather, so most of the time a sweater will fit the occasion. Today, I’m here to tell you about some of my favorite sweater finds for winter. If you live somewhere cold, you might want to save these for a little warmer weather, but all our southern friends can use them daily.

Favorite Sweaters for Winter from TheHillHangout.com

1. This Khaki green sweatshirt form H&M is the perfect addition to anyone’s wardrobe. It’s plain, which makes it very versatile. You can wear it with a white, lace scarf, or just yoga pants for a day around the house. It’s also only $10!

Favorite Sweaters for Winter from TheHillHangout.com

2. This pullover sweater from Amazon is a fun dressier piece. It would be adorable with jeans and boots if you’re going out to dinner with some friends 🙂

Favorite Sweaters for Winter from TheHillHangout.com

3. This gray and white sweater from Altar’d State is darling! It’s a great neutral piece to add to your closet!

Favorite Sweaters for Winter from TheHillHangout.com

4. This sweater from Lizard Thicket is a good one! It has more of a loose fit and a cute metal snap button. It is great for when you’re running out the door and it was colder than you thought, so you have to run in and grab a sweater before you’re late!

Favorite Sweaters for Winter from TheHillHangout.com

5. This simple sweater from Charming Charlie is another excellent piece. It is two-toned, being white in the front and gray in the back panel. It has a scooped neckline in the back, which is tied together.

Favorite Sweaters for Winter from TheHillHangout.com

6. This sweater from Cupshe is adorable! It is super simple, and I see this being a great one to wear with yoga pants around the house or to the grocery store on a chilly day.

Thanks so much for reading today! I hope this helped to spark your imagination in your own closet. Check out 5 Winter Dresses for Teens for more from me. I’ll see y’all next week!
XOXO, Mary Anneliese

5 Winter Dresses for Teens

I personally love shopping for dresses! Even though I don’t wear a dress everyday, I love to have a handful of them in my closet. . They tend to be handy when it comes time for church, dinner with friends, weddings, or any other dressier occasion. Below I have styled for you some of my favorites from my closet and don’t worry, I’ve linked them so you can get them too.

5 Winter Dresses for Teens from TheHillHangout.com

1. This rust colored, lace dress came from Target and I was in love with it when I saw it! It is high-necked and sleveless, so I wore a sweater {similar} with it.// shoes // necklace {hand-made}

5 Winter Dresses for Teens from TheHillHangout.com

2. This navy blue dress is from Old Navy and is seriously the most versatile dress I’ve ever owned. Sadly, they are out of this color, but the gray is super cute too! It is so simple you can pair it with a cute necklace, sweater, vest, or even jeans or leggings. It is a little thicker than many knit dresses, which is great for chilly days.// shoes // necklace {similar}

5 Winter Dresses for Teens from TheHillHangout.com

3. This dress from Target is one of my new favorites!! I just got it a few days ago and I’m in love! It has tassels in the front and “laces up” at the top. This can also carry over into spring with the fun colors.// shoes // necklace {similar}

5 Winter Dresses for Teens from TheHillHangout.com

4. One trend going around right now is tie-dye. Not all tie-dye is cute, though, so you have to be careful when choosing a pattern. This pink and green dress came from amazon and is adorable! It’s sleveless, so I wore mine with a sweater. You can also pair this with jeans or leggings. // shoes // necklace {similar}

5 Winter Dresses for Teens from TheHillHangout.com

5. This small floral print dress from Old Navy is another favorite of mine. One I washed it, it shrank a little so beware. I wore it over a lace extender to make it a little longer. I’m wearing it here with short boots, but I also love this one with tall boots.// shoes // necklace

5 Winter Dresses for Teens from THeHillHangout.com

Thank you so much for reading! I hope this helped you create some ideas for your own closet. Make sure to come back next week for another fashion post from me.
XOXO, Mary Anneliese