Guest Post: Life with Lindsay

Hi everyone, I’m Lindsay! While Tess is off gallivanting around Spain (jealous!!), she was kind enough to let a few fellow bloggers take over her space – she’s so great!

Q: Tell us about yourself! Where are you from? What do you do? Where did you go to college? Give us a little bio.

I still live in the same town I grew up in just south of Boston. I followed the typical path: graduate from high school, go to college, get a job. Except the get a job part didn’t happen right away. I worked at a summer program right after graduation and realized I wanted nothing to do with my major so I just kind of… floated. Right now I’m working as a receptionist and it’s definitely not where I want to be, but for right now it’s okay.
A few of my favorite things are: BLOGGING (obviously), huge handbags and sunglasses, pretty much anything related to the summer, nail polish, giraffes, chocolate, ice cream, shopping, reading by the pool, and spending time with this guy:

(My Kevo – LOVE him)

I started my blog a little over a year ago and quickly came to love it. I’ve always enjoyed writing but hadn’t done it in a really long time so I felt sort of awkward at first. Sharing my life and thoughts with random people sounded like a good idea, but as soon as I actually started my blog I was finding it hard to come up with things to write about or even a way to write that felt like “me”. I’ve since decided that I don’t need to write about anything in particular (which is evident if you read any of my posts), I just love writing.

Q: What outfit of yours do you feel the absolute best in? (work clothes? gym clothes? daily uniform? sexy black dress) Can I dare you to include a photo?

This tends to change depending on the season. Lately I’ve been sporting something along the lines of this every weekend. I love to be comfortable, but not look like I just rolled out of bed.

Q: What is your worst vice?

Probably picking at any sort of zit/mark on my face. I am constantly touching my face, which is also most likely why I have such bad skin and break out a lot. It’s a terrible habit, but I can’t help it. Tiny red spot that might turn into a pimple? I pick it and make it 10 times worse than it would have been had I just left it alone. Thank goodness for makeup (MAC Studio Fix NC25 is my saving grace) otherwise I would be screwed!

Q: What is your favorite U.S. City and why?

I haven’t done a whole lot of traveling – I’m so boring. Therefore I would have to say my favorite city is really the only one I know: BOSTON. It’s a pretty city and with Kevin living there, I’ve grown to love it (even if I still can’t seem to find my way around).

Q: What is on your DVR right now?

Believe it or not, we don’t have DVR at my house. Crazy, I know. If we did have it though, I’m pretty sure there would be episodes of Say Yes to the Dress, Four Weddings, House Hunters, Glee, Pretty Little Liars, CSI and Law & Order SVU. I sort of like a little bit of everything.


5 [everyday] items that you can't live without.
  • Flat iron – I have frizzy/curly hair that has a mind of its own if there is even an ounce of humidity in the air. So a flat iron is key for me to make myself presentable – and BONUS (!) I just figured out how to curl my hair using it so its pretty much the greatest thing ever.
  • Mascara – My eyelashes are pretty much nonexistent so if I’m running late and only have time to put a little bit of makeup on, mascara it is. It was basically the only thing I wore in the way of makeup all throughout high school and to this day it is still my must-wear. I have yet to find a favorite though, so if you have one please let me know! I just buy what’s on sale or what looks like it will work miracles on my sparse/pathetic lashes.
  • Water bottle – This stays in my bag at all times and is probably one of the reasons why I feel the need to carry such a massive “suitcase”. I drink water 24/7 so if I realize I don’t have any water with me, I think I’m thirsty.
  •  Chapstick – Ohhh chapstick. Where do I even begin? If I don’t have it with me, I immediately feel like my lips are chapped (umm kind of just like when I don’t have any water with me) and need to put some on. True story: a few summers ago my friends and I went to the Vineyard for the day (that’s Martha’s Vineyard, for all you non-New Englanders) and as soon as we got on the ferry I realized I had left my chapstick in my friend’s car. Immediate panic ensued and the second we got off the ferry we had to make a pit stop in a grocery store so I could buy a new one. Yes, I’m that bad.
  • Phone – I hate that I have to add this to my list of “must-have items” but it’s true. I don’t even talk on the phone a lot, but I feel lost without it. Hopefully some of you feel the same way…?
Feel free to stop and say hello!


Guest Post: The Texas Transplant

Q: Tell us about yourself! Where are you from? What do you do? Where did you go to college? Give us a little bio.
I’m a Midwestern girl at heart.  I grew up in Ohio and Chicagoland, and then I went to a small liberal arts college (Hope College, home of the Flying Dutchmen) in Holland, Michigan.  I’ve lived in Austin, Texas, for almost 2 years now – talk about living in a different world!  (I’ll explain how I ended up in the Lone Star State in a bit.)  In college, I studied elementary education, and now I work in elementary special education.  Trust me, there is never a dull moment when you work with kids with Learning Disabilities, Autism, and behavioral/emotional disorders!  I really do love my job.  I love to cook and play with my KitchenAid mixer.  Lately I’ve also really gotten into photography, and I’m slowly learning how to use my fancy-pants camera and Photoshop.

I’m married to Jon, who is a Freakishly Tall Dutch Boy.  (He’s 6’6”.  I’m 5’3”.  Do the math.)  We met in college after he hit me in the face with a snowball.  (No joke.  That was literally my first impression of him.)  We got married on June 20, 2009, and then moved here to Austin so that he could pursue a Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of Texas.  (Hook ‘em!)  Jon is a sports fanatic, and is currently glowing because the NCAA tourney is on 24/7.

And then there’s this girl:  Miss Lady is a 5 or 6 year old Black Lab who we adopted from the Austin Humane Society not long after we moved here.  Lady’s interests include sleeping, being scared of people she doesn’t know, sleeping, eating Dingoes (and food in general), sleeping, giving kisses, sleeping, and playing at the creek.
Q: What outfit of yours do you feel the absolute best in? (work clothes? gym clothes? daily uniform? sexy black dress) Can I dare you to include a photo?
Right now, I’m really into wearing dresses to work because it’s so warm here.  I love that I can throw on a cute dress in the morning with a pair of sandals, and be good to go!!

Q: What is your worst vice?
Depends on who you ask!!  I would probably say it’s that I procrastinate and work best under pressure, but Jon would probably say that it’s my love of shopping!

Q: What is your favorite U.S. City and why?
Hmmm.  I guess I’m partial to all of the Midwest.  I lived in Chicago long enough that I love it, but I also love Grand Rapids, Michigan, because that’s where I spent so much of my time during college.  After moving to Austin though, we’re loving getting to explore all this city has to offer.  There’s so much going on here all the time!

Q: What is on your DVR right now?
Believe it or not, we are probably the only 20-somethings who don’t own a DVR!  We watch way more TV than we should already, but we especially love The Big Bang Theory and Castle.  We have both of them on DVD, and lately we’ve been watching a couple of old episodes of Castle a week.  (P.S.  If you haven’t seen Castle on ABC on Monday nights, you should!  It’s fantastic!!)


5 [everyday] items that you can't live without out.

  • My cell phone.  I got my first one as a freshman in high school because I rode the train to school and then had to walk through a fairly sketchy neighborhood…and I’ve had a phone attached to me ever since.
  • My planner from BlueSky.  It goes everywhere with me and helps me to keep track of my life and my to-do lists.
  •  My Garmin GPS.  My parents just got us one, and it’s so handy!  We use it to find directions or even to decide where we want to eat or shop.
  • Clorox Wipes.  This is the housewife in me doing the talking now.  We buy them in bulk at Costco.  I keep them under all the sinks in the apartment, and they are the single reason why our counters stay clean.
  • My FlipVideo camera.  I keep it in my purse, and it’s always handy for a quick video or even for something that I want to take a picture of.


Guest Post: Sincerely Shannon

Hello lovely readers! I am so excited to guest post today, although I’d much rather be in Spain like Tess! Let’s get to know each other!

Q: Where are you from? What do you do? Where did you go to college? Give us a little bio!

A: My name is Shannon and I write the blog “Sincerely Shannon.” I am a Furman University alum. For those of you who live up North, or just don’t know, it’s a private liberal arts college in South Carolina. It was a bit like going to school at a country club (a.k.a. not conducive to good study habits) but somehow I managed to graduate with a degree in both Studio Art and Communications Studies! I was a Young Life leader and a member of ADPi. For now home is in Greenville, SC- but my heart overseas in England where I went to high school and where my family lived for six years.  I started this blog to document my last year of college and then to keep up with all the new stuff that comes with graduating.  I am in the process of trying to find a new job, ideally something in special events/design. Stay tuned on my blog… I might be moving!

Q: What outfit of yours do you feel the absolute best in?
A: I love dressing up and in honor of the upcoming Carolina Cup I would say that I feel the absolute best in a fabulous summer dress and my Cup hat! This year Carolina Cup is the first weekend of April and I’m praying for a beautiful day like last year- is anyone planning on going? 

I’ve worn this French Connection frock the past two years and this year I have my eye on a couple dresses from ModCloth.com:
Q. What is your worst vice?
Candy… I have the biggest sweet tooth. My boyfriend is my enabler. He supplies me with Milk Duds, Twizzlers and Hot Tamales. Also Target. Can Target be a vice? Yes, I definitely think it can.

Q. What is your favorite U.S City and why?
Charleston, South Carolina for so many reasons!
It is absolutely beautiful- cobble stone streets, colorful historic homes with big verandas, delicious food, palmetto trees. Plus it’s where Peter and I celebrated our first Valentines Day together! It’s such a romantic city and I fall more in love with Peter when we walk around the markets, munching on pralines and relaxing by the waterfront, dreaming about owning this home on the battery: 

Q. What is on your DVR right now?
If I had one, it would be totally full! Modern Family, The Office, Grey’s Anatomy, Real Housewives of Orange County, Sister Wives, Say Yes to The Dress, DC Cupcakes, and reruns of Sex and the City and Friends. I think I maybe watch too much TV.

Here are a few of my favorite daily essentials:


  • My Mac book Pro laptop- I don’t know what I did before it!
  • Covergirl Lashblast Fusion- best mascara in my opinion! I get the smokey brown shade.
  • Starbucks drink of choice-an Iced Skinny Vanilla Latte. Quiet time alone at Starbucks is also an essential for me.
  •  DKNY Be Delicious is my favorite scent. It’s fresh and crisp.
  • Clinique Cream Eye Shadow- Sparkling Nude color. I’m obsessed with cream eye shadows!

While I can’t wait to hear all about Tess’ trip to Spain, I am excited to read all the other guest posts and hopefully find some new blogs to follow!



Guest Post: The Southland Life

Hi!  I’m so happy to be guest posting today for Tess!  I am super jealous that she is in SPAIN right now, while I’m stuck at work!  Can’t wait to see her pictures when she gets back!  Don’t forget to send us a postcard, Tess!  :)
So, back to business, I’m from The Southland Life.  I grew up on a farm in Madison, GA.  I went to school at UGA.  I’m a HUGE Georgia Bulldawg fan, and try to go to as many football games as possible!  My entire family went to UGA, except my husband, T, who is a diehard Auburn fan!  Can’t believe I fell for a Tiger/Eagle, whatever they are!  You will never catch me wearing orange, though!  Anyway, I’m an attorney, and I live in Savannah, GA.  T and I just got married this past August, so we are enjoying newlywed life!
Q: What outfit of yours do you feel the absolute best in? (work clothes? gym clothes? daily uniform? sexy black dress) Can I dare you to include a photo?
I would have to say I love a good sundress.  Of course, you can never go wrong with a good pair of jeans!   I wear a ton of black, too.
Easter 2009 – one of my favorite sundresses
Q: What is your worst vice?
Probably, worrying.  I’m a virgo, so maybe that has something to do with it?!?  I can only imagine how bad it will be once I have children – I think I worried my mother constantly!
Q: What is your favorite U.S. City and why?

This is a tough call!  There are so many fabulous places.  T and I went to Paris for our honeymoon, which was amazing.  But here in the US, I’d have to say either Athens, GA or Camden, ME!  If I were very, very rich, I’d have a house in both places.  There is no place finer in the land, than Athens on a gameday.  (Did you fellow Bulldawgs get my reference? So cheesy, I know JT and I went to Camden two years ago, while we were still dating.  I loved the quaintness of the town, the beautiful architecture, and the delicious food!
Camden, ME
This is in Freeport, ME – Spent lots of time and money at the LLBean Store!
My brother & I tailgating at a UGA game.
Q: What is on your DVR right now?
I’m sad to report we don’t have a DVR!  T is too cheap to upgrade J  But I never miss Greys, or Real Housewives.  My newest favorite show is Who Do You Think You Are on NBC!


5 [everyday] items that you can't live without out. 
A good book – I usually read a little bit each night.  It’s so nice to escape into a good book!  I just finished Water For Elephants and loved it!  Simply can’t wait to see the movie!
  • Netflix – Since my husband deprives me of DVR, this is a must.  And it’s a good deal!  Just saw Up in the Air with Clooney – Did anybody else think this was extremely depressing?!?
  • COFFEE(!) – My personal favorite brand is Cracker Barrel – I special order this stuff!  I’m addicted.
  • Blush and Lipstick – I can’t leave the house without some color.  And my mother says that everyone looks better wearing lipstick – she is RIGHT!

  •  Starburst – I have an extreme sweet tooth!  These are one of my favorite candies!

Thanks for reading.
Come introduce yourself at The Southland Life!


Efrantz: The Parsons Table

Howdy Tea Time With Tess readers! 

I'm so happy to stop by while Tess is enjoying her Spanish fiesta. I think I speak for all of us when I say, I am officially jealous. 

For those of you unfamiliar with my little blog, efrantz is a culmination of interior design and fashion inspirations according to me. Lately, I've been dreaming of a classic parsons table and all the possibilities this item holds. I'm sure you've seen these sleek, simple desks (and occasional console tables) that serve as a blank canvas for your space.
What does this mean for you? Purchasing a parsons table is a great decision, and it comes complete with about a billion of styling possibilities. With springtime approaching, I'm absolutely loving bright, girly accessories. 

These items scream feminine chic style. Like?

1) Vase of Fresh Flowers
6) Freshly sharpened pencils

When your style changes, just switch the flowers out for a more seasonal-appropriate choice, and adjust your color palate. What's the best place to purchase a parsons? Hands down, visit West Elm. Its the best price and quality I've seen, but always do your research before you make a final decision. You're hopefully going to have this item for quite some time. 

Good luck, everyone! Hopefully this has inspired you to create your own parsons inspired vignette at home. I will be! 

Thanks so much for having me, Tess :)


While I'm away....

....Other bloggers will play!

I wish I had some extra time to talk to you about how excited I am. How nervous I am. How stressed I've been. How much I wish Joel was coming on my trip. How much I can't wait to see my sister Hannah. How blessed I feel to be given this opportunity to travel....

.....but since I don't, I want to fill you in on what will go on here at Tea Time with Tess while I'm in Spain.

I have 6 wonderful bloggers scheduled to guest post for me while I'm gone.

I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity for my readers to get introduced to some of my favorite blogs, and the beautiful women behind them.

All next week, starting Monday, you will be introduced to some of the coolest chicks around. They'll tell you a little bit about themselves, their blog, and some of their must have items. I know you'll fall in love with them as much as I have.

Head over to their blog after their post and say hi, I promise you'll appreciate their friendship.


I leave tomorrow, and am SO excited and really flipping nervous because I'm not a fan of flying!! I'll see you when I return with lots of fun stories and great pictures of my adventure.

I will miss you all and hope that you have a wonderful next 12 days.

Until then....



Packing with a punch

In case you haven't been reading my posts (or tweets) lately, I'm leaving for Spain on Thursday! I'm starting to get pretty frazzled and anxious around here - but hopefully once I check everything off my long to-do list, I'll start to enjoy the adventure I'm about to take!

I have just started pulling a few things out of my closet - and my mom's - but I have yet to start the true packing process. My dad has already been on my case to ensure that my suitcase doesn't exceed the weight limit so I figured I'd do a little "packing" research to see what the experts say.

Here were the [most] useful tips I found:

1. Stuff your shoes with socks and electrical chargers. Make use of this space.

2. Lay our all of your outfits. Step back, and see what items you can use twice. Try and remove 5 items.

3. If you run out of space in your bag before you've packed everything, there's a way to get more in: Drop the bag on the floor a few times, then open it -- things will have settled, and you'll find extra room.

4.Roll up soft garments, such as underwear, T-shirts and wrinkle-free items, and place them in the bottom of the suitcase. Fold pants, dresses, skirts, etc. on top.

5.Your hairbrush can catch on clothes and snag them. Cover the head with a sock before stashing it in your suitcase.

6. Snake belts and scarves around the perimeter of the suitcase.

Here is hoping I can go from this:
to this:

What else have you done to save space, stay organized, and keep your suitcase under 50lbs?


Fab Friday


This week has flown by for me - and was all around rather enjoyable!

Tonight we're having friends over for some basketball and pizza, and then on Saturday we are going out to celebrate our 4 year anniversary!

Here are some OOTD's from this week:

Buisness in the front:

Party in the back!

Have a good weekend lovies!



Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Even though I'm 50% Irish (50% Italian), St. Patty's is not one of my favorite holidays.
First of all, I hate wearing the color green.
Second of all, almost every other holiday allows you to indulge in shopping or eating guilt free...not St. Patty's. Unless you feel like binging on soda bread - which I for one, don't.

Whether  you like to celebrate St. Patty's or you don't, I hope this Thursday is especially lucky for you.

I can tell you that here in Chicago, we are getting up to 65 degrees with sunshine - and that right there - is LUCK.


Dinner Time with Tess

Welcome to my newest feature! Joel and I are going to some of the best restaurants the Chicago has to offer and it's about time I start documenting them.

2956 N. Sheffield
Chicago, IL
seafood spot, decidedly simple: a cozy little “joint” with a friendly vibe, and inventive-yet-casual cuisine from the sea.  

Joel and I hit this place up on a Sunday night. Fish bar is casual and "hip" and is ideal for a Sunday or Thursday night.
The setting:

 First round of drinks:
Mine - #6 Pineapple and Joel's #5 Gin/Grapefruit 
Drinks in Mason Jars? Yes, please!

Appetizers: We both started with soup. I ordered the Lobster Bisque (which is made sans cream) and Joel ordered the gumbo (not pictured). I don't normally like gumbo, but Joel's was incredible. The bisque was just fine (I perfer mine with cream, obvio) so next time I'll go with the gumbo.

A nice feature at Fish Bar is if you haven't tried Clams or Oysters, they will give you one on the house. Both Joel and I have had Oysters before, and both are fans, but we decided to fib a little in order to try one.

They were amazing - and ya gotta love free food!

Next up was my favorite item of the night. Rock Shrimp [Dry] - you can order it 'wet' which meant the shrimp was tossed with the sauce, instead of the sauce coming out as a dip.
. The shrimp were lightly fried and came with a dipping sauce that was similar to a spicy mayo with cilantro topped with tobiko.

To Die For

We decided to go with beer for our next round of drinks. I went with a locally brewed (Goose Island Brewery) Matilda, while Joel went with Hades. 

I went with a seafood cobb salad. The salad had salmon, calamari, and lobster and was tossed with a lemon vingerette. It was a light, healthy choice and really filled me up. ($15.00) 

Joel went with the Lobster Roll. Which he said, "tasted like the ocean". *which apparently is a very good thing.
Good cuts of lobster on a toasted bun, tossed with a well seasoned mayo sauce
$18.00 mkt

Overall, both Joel and I had amazing meals. The food was stellar and the restaurant was nothing like Chicago has to offer. We will be back, no doubt.

Before you go, you need to be aware of a few things:
1. They do not accept reservations
2. You will likely wait if you go at peak hours
3. They only accept parties from 1 to 4 people
4. It is all bar seating so you end up sitting next to your guest.
5. The stools are pretty uncomfortable

Our dinner cost a total of $81.00 (without tip) and was one of the more unique dining experiences we've had in the city - there really isn't anything like this place in the city.

Overall rating: A-
(I rated with a minus, only because of the uncomfortable seating, otherwise totally an A/A+)