So if you know me, then you know I love the beach. Truly, I am happiest when I am in a swimsuit, with my toes in the sand, sun bearing down on me. I was born in July so I have always sworn that is why I am such a beach bum. My mom never missed a day laying out when she was pregnant with me, then I spent nearly every summer at the beach growing up. I mean, it was ingrained in me to love the salty air. And boy do I love it. So recently, we ventured to Palm Beach for a few days to attend my friends wedding. Thankfully, I was able to spend a few short minutes in my bathing suit, and took full advantage of it. As I am now planning summer excursions though, I have found myself doing a lot of swimwear shopping and thought this would be the perfect time to do a little round up for you here! Keep reading to see some of my favorites right now, as well as other styles I love!
I am sure it was no secret, but one of the things I LOVED about Charleston was the abundance of PINK WALLS. If you are a dedicated follower on Instagram, then you know...I have a thing for pink walls. It is so true. I literally drive around and search for them. Is that terrible? I mean, what has my life come to? But it is the truth...and I am all about being truthful. Anyways, Charleston was full of charming side streets and beautiful buildings, but when I would find a good pink wall, you can bet I had to stop of a photo op. Nope, no shame in my game.
One of my biggest issues (and probably my only one) with living in the south, is that I really wish this weather was more consistent. As of late, I have been in a heavy sweater, shorts, a swimsuit, back to a heavy jacket. What the heck? I really do not get why it is so up and down but I guess that comes with the territory when you live somewhere that doesn't have true seasons? I definitely jumped the gun when I put my sweaters/heavy jackets away a couple of weeks ago. Bad idea because when I woke up yesterday morning to 45 degree temperatures, I really needed that coat. I can definitely tell that I am ready for those warmer temps but I guess my swimsuit is no good when it is still so cold? So to the warmer weather somewhere out there...Louisiana welcomes you whenever you are ready.
So, you may have seen on Instagram, but this past weekend we were in Palm Beach, Florida for my friend's wedding. It was my first time in Palm Beach, and I truly LOVED it! The restaurants, shopping, the beach...it was all beautiful. I am thinking I need to take another weekend to go back to visit (hint if anyone wants to collab!) because I would LOVE more time there! While we were only there for two days, JL and I were able to do a pretty good bit. We spent time at The Breakers Resort, which is STUNNING, where we had a couples massage for our anniversary. (Thanks babe!) And we ate some real Italian food. Then of course we took pictures. That is JL's favorite part. Not really, but we did get up early to go down by Worth Avenue and I LOVED that area! The shops are adorable and the street is lined perfectly with all of your shopping desires. Then to top it off, it dead ends into the beach. Perfect right?
Four years. I cannot believe we have been married for four years. It is crazy. Crazy to think that it was four years ago that I was planning our wedding, fitting my dress and preparing my vows. Crazy to think because it seems like it was just yesterday, but also feels SO long ago. But it is true. It has been four years since we said "I do." And I have to say it has been fun. I won't lie, it hasn't always been easy. People weren't lying when they said marriage was hard. It definitely is. I have definitely had my moments. Some where Jon Luke probably wanted to strangle me and walk out the door. Some where he thought I was being unreasonable. Some where he had had enough. And visa versa. There have been moments I have been terrified. I have been confused. I have felt that it was never going to get better. But we are making it. Making the most of this crazy adventure. And having fun.
I can remember a day when I used to follow the "fashion rules" hard core. I was terrified to wear white after labor day, brown and black could not be worn together, and there was no such thing as a spring bootie. Well thankfully I have opened my mind to some new thoughts because I honestly do not know what I would have done this weekend in Charleston. Truth be told, I finally started to go easy on myself in college because I had a pair of white jeans that I loved. So naturally, when the weather was warm enough, my white jeans were out. Now though, not only have a busted out white jeans, but ya girl wore white shoes AND a white leather jacket this past weekend in Charleston. I could not be happier about that decision and you know I am not going to wait another month to break them out again!
Growing up, I always admired my mom’s fashion. She was brave in her choices, and wore things I never saw myself wearing. For example, her Levi’s. My mom had this pair of Levi’s that I always LOVED…on her. They were not what my friends were wearing so I definitely couldn’t take that risk, but boy did my mom make them look good. They sat high on her waist (you know the hip-hugger was big for my generation at that time) and they had holes in them that were perfectly placed at her knees. I always admired how these jeans hugged her curves without being skin-tight. This was a time when the skinny jean wasn’t quite a thing yet, and the boyfriend fit was not even on our radar. So when the hip-hugger, tight fit, long jeans were “in”; my mom wore a slightly looser fit pair of Levi’s that I was JEALOUS of! I always loved seeing her wear them. But that was just it. I loved them on her…until now.
What do you think it means to be fearless? Someone who will jump out of airplanes? Or maybe someone who can walk through a haunted house without skipping a beat? Or maybe someone who is battling cancer but continues to put on a brave face so that no one knows anything is wrong? What is it that truly makes someone FEARLESS? Well, if you are trying to think of one right answer, I don't think there is one. I think FEARLESS could be seen in a variety of ways. And I think we can be fearless in some areas, but extremely fearful in others. Take me for example. Will I jump out of an airplane? Yep, done that. Will I travel around the world? Yep, done that too. Will I walk through a haunted house? Absolutely not. Am I afraid to put myself out there and tell people how I really feel? Yep, most of the time.
With Valentine's Day so close (literally tomorrow!) I obviously had to take a second to talk about it. Sorry there was no gift guide this year but I just had to take a step back. And truth be told, Jon Luke and I are not doing a big Valentine's Day. Our anniversary is right around the corner, so we decided to put our eggs in to that basket...and I am pretty excited about it. Anyways, I figured there were a lot of gift guides out there so I was just going to keep it true to what we are actually doing this year. And what is that? Date night at my favorite sushi spot. Yep, all I want this year is some edamame and spicy tuna. And if you guys know us, you know that this is a slight sacrifice for Jon Luke. I know he loves me when he agrees to go eat sushi with me. (I mean, true love.) Me? I could eat it just about everyday. I know. That is weird right? But seriously, I LOVE sushi. And JL...it is not his cup of tea. He will definitely eat it, but it takes some begging. Except on Valentine's Day. It was a simple, "can we get sushi for date night?" followed by, "whatever you want babe." Score. Like I said, I know he loves me.
If you follow me on social media then you saw my friend Candace was in the bayou last weekend. After some much needed time a part, she decided to make the trip which meant I got to show her around the homestead. TI absolutely love when I get to show people around my stomping grounds. I am not really sure what it is, but I literally get giddy when giving tours around my hometown! It's like "here's my favorite coffee spot, here's my favorite restaurant..." ALL MY FAVS! Anyways, of course we ventured to New Orleans for the day (I mean why not?) because when in Louisiana!
Basic. I like to think that I am anything but BASIC. While I love "basics" or a "basic" color scheme, that doesn't mean I have to BE basic. Right? Right. Why would I confine myself to being basic? As cheesy as it sounds, my parents told me to always be extraordinary, and until the recent years of my life, I never understood what that meant exactly. Growing up, extraordinary was someone that I simply couldn't be. Those people saved lives. They walked on the moon. They won championships. Extraordinary people just weren't me. I was ordinary, I was basic. But why couldn't I be extraordinary? What was holding me back? Myself. I was the one who was limiting myself. I thought I was basic, therefore in my mind I couldn't be anything more. Well, I am here to tell you that I don't want to be basic. I want to be extraordinary. I don't have to save lives on the operating table, nor do I need to walk on the moon. But being some that takes chances and makes the most of life...that counts. I want to be someone that outsiders look at and say, "she's doing something." I want my kids to one day look at me and say "mom, you made the most of life." I want me parents to look at me and say "she's more than we dreamed she would be." I am vowing to not be basic. I am vowing to not restrict myself anymore. Because really, there is a difference in loving the basics and being BASIC. And basic is not what I want to be.
A few months ago I discovered a brand that I have fallen in love with. Autumn Cashmere stole my heart with this beautiful cape (see here) and now I will be honest...there is a slight addiction. Their products are not only beautiful in quality, but the variety of styles will leave you speechless as you shop their line! From over-sized sweaters to capes, they definitely have you covered in the knitwear department. They recently launched their new line and naturally is was nothing short of FABULOUS! There were so many sweaters I wanted to add to my collection but for now, I started with this navy number...all because of the BOW.
Happy hump day! I cannot believe it is already Wednesday. I mean, where does the week go? I feel like I wake up dreading Monday, then all of a sudden it is Friday. I guess I shouldn't be complaining right?!? Right. Anyways...I want to take a second to talk about patience. I will be the first to admit, mine is lacking. BUT I will say, I am working on it. I think I have always had an issue with my patience level (my parents can attest), but over the last few years it has become extremely evident to me that the issue is real. For one, marriage will make you aware. In good ways and in bad, there are times when JL and I both see our patience tested. We have different personalities, we handle situations differently...so we have to be patient with one another as we continue to figure it out. Two, being on your own financially will wake you up. This alone made me realize I have no patience because I simply couldn't afford to do everything right now. Whether I am re-decorating, working on a project, or shopping, when I get an idea in my head, I want it done. Yeah well, if your bank account won't allow it then PATIENCE is key. Yep dad, I am learning. Anyways with all of this being said, this week my patience level has been brought to my attention. I have tried to do a lot, be a lot, spend a lot...and then I got sick. My body gave in. It is tired of holding me up by a thread. And honestly I don't blame it. It has actually been nice to slow down. To stop and have my quiet time in the morning. To come home and sit on the couch. Isn't it crazy that it took an illness to make me stop? The Lord said, "if you won't listen and slow down then I am going to make sure you do." Heard you loud and clear. But truthfully, maybe the patience thing isn't so bad? Maybe I don't have to do it all right this second. There is time, so things don't need to be rushed. I just need to sit back, relax, and enjoy.
Have you been to Nashville? If you haven't made the trip yet...you should. Pick a date, put it on your calendar and go enjoy. I am sure you have heard people say it is lively and fun, but seriously, Nashville is LIFE. I visited for the first time around last Thanksgiving before we ventured to Gatlinburg for the holiday. I quickly fell in love with all that Nashville had to offer...from the honky-tonks on Broadway to the quaint restaurants in 12South. I truly loved it all. I felt like everywhere I turned there was such an exciting energy! I know it sounds weird but my creative juices flow like crazy when we are there and I always love to go back for a visit! Just recently I was able to make a (super) quick trip to Tennessee and was beyond excited. (Even a day in Nashville is worth it!) So naturally I hit up some of my favorite spots and snapped a few pictures (duh!) but it was the perfect fix for now!
So let's get real for a second. Your girl has WAY too much stuff. I was sitting in our guest room the other day (which serves as a second closet for me) and I was so overwhelmed looking at all the junk I have. I mean, (everyone take note) I am admitting that I need to do a deep clean. Like, DEEP. So I am committing. This weekend is the time. I am going to part ways with things. Throw stuff away. Donate items. Sell things. Basically whatever I have to do to get my house in somewhat of an organized state before my company comes in town next weekend (shout out Candace!). I mean it's just time y'all. So here I am, putting it in writing. You can hold me accountable but come next week, I should be able to report back about the purge. Stay tuned!
So last week we had a huge FREEZE in Louisiana. Like, roads closed, businesses closed, everyone stay inside kind of freeze. And it was COLD. But by Sunday, it was about 70 degrees and we were in short sleeves. Crazy. Well now, the temps have dropped again (although not quite as bad) so I am back in my cozy sweaters. I will be honest, our guest room looks like a tornado tore through it because I have sweaters and coats all over the bed! I don't want to go through all the trouble of putting them up/taking them back out when it is freezing one day then hot the next! I am just confused in the fashion department right now I guess. The truth is through, I better enjoy it while I can because I know in a few months, I will be complaining about the heat and humidity!
So typically, our winters in Louisiana are not that bad. Of course this week we were hit with an ice storm so we are all bundled up right now, but is most cases, I can get away with a casual dress and boots during the winter. And I love that. Being able to pair my boots with a cute dress and not freeze my tail off is one of the many reasons I have committed my life to the south. It is funny to think that I wanted to live in a New York for grad school. I didn't end up doing it because I got married, BUT I really wanted to live in New York City for a year to say I did it. Now thinking about it, I think I would have died. Seriously, yesterday and today we have had record lows in Louisiana and I have not wanted to leave my house! Could you imagine if I lived in New York and had to endure blizzards on the reg??? Yeah, probably not my cup of tea. So with all of that being said, I enjoy VISITING cold places and wearing the clothes for a couple of days, but I will stick to my flirty dresses and boots if I have a choice!
I have to say, I am not much of a cold weather person. I am that girl who loves the first two weeks of fall because I can wear my boots for a minute but then I am kind of over it. I will admit, I like to be in my bathing suit by the pool in all honesty. And I was doing JUST THAT in the Bahamas this past weekend, so all felt right in the world until I came home. I made it back to Louisiana and apparently Mother Nature thought it would be funny to welcome me back with some snow. Yep. You read it right...it is about to snow here in Louisiana. So you know what that means? I am ready to put my sweat pants on, make some soup and curl up on the couch. If I had a working fire place, it would be raging so I will have to light all my candles instead. Hope you all stay warm out there!
A mere two weeks in to the New Year and I am tired people. How is that possible? I feel like I do my best to rest and have time to myself but it feels like I can never catch up. But lately, it has been mostly about that. Just catching up. I have tried to recover from our Argentina trip, do (several loads of) laundry, clean the house, plan content, and get ready for upcoming travels. I know I do this to myself so please do not mistake this for complaining. I love my life and I am so thankful we are able to do the things we do. I just need to rest a little more!
With the New Year upon us, that means new goals for this girl. If you read my recent post where I shared some of my goals for 2018, then you saw that one of my main goals is to travel more this year. I love seeing the world and exploring new places, so now (one week in to the New Year) I am making it happen! Booking flights, planning adventures...yep, I am going places people. Literally. I cannot wait to see what all 2018 has in store and am excited to start crossing some of my destinations off of my list!
What do you think of when you hear the word INTENT? What initially comes to your mind? For me, for whatever reason, I think of passion. There seems to be a difference in just doing something to do it, and doing something with intent. When there is intent behind it, there is more of a drive; a true desire to complete the task. Right? I decided to Google the definition of the word INTENT and these were some of the answers I got from the world wide web:
Happy New Year!! Can you believe it is 2018??? I know I can’t but I am definitely excited for this new year! This past year brought some beautiful, yet challenging, moments with it but for the most part was one for the books. JL and I were fortunate enough to see more of the world together, which I will always cherish. If you remember, we traveled with this family to Alaska back in the summer. This trip was so much fun, not only because we were venturing through a new place, but because I was able to watch his family venture. They live in a small town so things that I take for granted while traveling, meant so much to them, creating good reminders for me. We also added Lake Tahoe to the list recently, as a new skiing spot. Typically in years past, we have skied in Winter Park, Colorado, but I have to say, Lake Tahoe was BEAUTIFUL. And of course we made several trips to the beach because, what would summer be without the beach?
What is your favorite thing about Christmas time? Is it the music, the decoration, the gifts...what is it that makes your heart leap with joy? I could go on for days about why I love this time of year, but there is one thing that stands out more than anything else...the act of giving.
In the spirit of Christmas, I'm still working on gift guides! For this one though, I have a helper...and he's pretty great. Both Jon Luke and I worked together to put together this "Gift Guide for Him," because naturally, he needed to have a say in what you should get your guy for Christmas. But whether it's for your special someone, your brother, your dad or your best friend, keep reading to see some great gift ideas for him! Jon Luke might even make his writing debut here!
So I have to say, I have recently fallen back into my guilty pleasure...Gossip Girl. Yep, I can admit it. I have a true addiction to the show and am starting my third time through watching it. When the show actually aired on television I was not a die hard fan. I don't even think I watched at all. It wasn't until about five years ago, while I was living with my sister-in-law in Auburn, that I decided to tune in on Netflix. I had a feeling that I would fall in love with the story line, due to the fact that I love New York, but I never really understood just how much I would love it. Maybe it was because of my love of NY or maybe it was this life that I was living through the characters on screen. I am not sure what it was, but I quickly channeled my inner Serena van der Woodsen from all things fashion, to travel, to that New York lifestyle and I LOVED it.
As we get closer to Christmas, I can always feel my stress level rising. It is subtle, but it is like my heart beats a little bit faster during the holidays. I went to the doctor yesterday and the nurse said my blood pressure was a little high (not unusually high, I double checked) and asked me, "do you have a lot going on right now, or are you stressed?" AM. I. STRESSED. That is the question that I CONSTANTLY ask myself. Usually the answer is yes. To be quite honest, I stress myself out all the time and sometimes for no reason. It is crazy but I can't help it! SO for this holiday season, I am doing my best to get rid of the STRESS. I want to be easy-going. I want to have time for myself and Jon Luke. I want to RELAX. And this is how I am going to do that.
With the holidays pretty much here, we have several parties and events that we will have to attend over the next few weeks. I love dressing up for the holidays but eventually I get tired of the typical "Christmas dress." With that being said, I found this burgundy set from Theory and knew it would be perfect to mix in to my holiday wardrobe options. The deep burgundy is perfect and I love the high-waisted style of the pants! The other great thing about this look is that I can wear it work also! So it was pretty much a win-win for me. I've already worn it to a rehearsal dinner this wedding season but am planning on wearing it several more times in the future!
Happy Friday everyone! We did it, y'all. We made it to the end of the week and to DAY FIVE of Gracefully Taylored's Five Days of Fitness! Today, I want to tell you all about my Kayla Itsines BBG workout. I jumped on the Kayla train about three years ago and do not regret it one bit. I had seen her/her client's results on her Instagram account and always thought, "WOW! This is amazing," so I bought in to the craze. I bought the original Bikini Body Guide workout (before the App came out) and did the twelve weeks guide. Y'all...I saw serious results. Now I can buy the 12-24 week PDF or I can keep using the App but I love this workout!
For as long as I can remember, I have always been intrigued by boxing. I tried kick boxing classes throughout high school and college but never stuck with it until recently. About a year ago, I decided I wanted to add to my everyday workout routine. Apparently I had some anger built up because I decided that I just wanted to hit things, which made me look in to boxing again. I found a local gym and decided on personal training sessions so that I could get the most out of my time in the ring. Y'all, I have to say...I LOVE IT. I have become even more interested in the sport of boxing because there is so much more to it than I thought! From foot placement to which punch to throw next, you do actually have to think about what you are doing. And while I am not planning on getting in the ring for a true fight anytime soon, I do love the act of "training" for something. My coach keeps me motivated, I feel confident, and it really is a great stress reliever!
So I have to say that one of my favorite things to do fitness wise is to just go on a run. For whatever reason, I find it so peaceful. This is my time. My time to worship, my time to reflect, my time to think. Just my time to be with myself, no distractions...just running. Truthfully, I was not much of a runner until I graduated from college. My first year of graduate school I decided I wanted to run a half marathon. And not only did I want to run a half marathon, but I wanted to run it in San Francisco. Yep...hills. This meant I needed to train. A LOT. It was really during this time that I realized how much I loved running. I spent a lot of time running the plains of Auburn and truly loved every minute of it. So now I like to find route, but I also just like to go. Just run. And see where I end up, and how far I can go.