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!
Do you ever get the itch to jump on a plane and go somewhere? This happens to me ALL THE TIME. As I was uploading the pictures for this post and thinking about New York, I started thinking that I wanted to go somewhere cold. Then I started thinking about snow. Then about skiing. Then I started thinking about weekends we have available so I could plan another trip. I swear I think it is an addiction because that took all of ten minutes! Now, I have found flights, a hotel and made a plan for another getaway...I guess I just need to convince Jon Luke. Wish me luck!
While Darian and I were in New York, we decided to walk over to Brooklyn one day. Yep, we walked the entire bridge, and early morning too BUT it was so much fun! That morning light on the bridge was well worth the early wake up call (stay tuned for those pics soon!), and we were able to enjoy some time over in the Brooklyn/Dumbo area. Once we made it across, we had a pit stop at the 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge and y'all, that place was beautiful! We grabbed a coffee (I changed clothes) and we were back at it! This view of the city was from the rooftop bar at the 1 Hotel and I was in love. But Brooklyn itself is such a gem and I loved seeing the city! And I have to say, I think one of my favorite things about this adventure was finally seeing (and riding!) Jane's Carousel!
I definitely have a case on the Monday blues. I spent this past weekend at home in Dallas and it is always hard for me to leave home. Just being able to go back and see my family and friends, eat my favorite foods and relax...I just love it. BUT, I cannot stay forever (insert sad emoji) so I am back at it and ready for the work week ahead. I finally have a weekend where I do not have anything big planned so I can just chill and get caught up on everything. I will definitely be shooting and planning a lot of upcoming content so stay tuned! I hope your Monday has been great and that you have the best week!
So I am about to get real here for a second. I have a confession to make. This girl…struggles with self doubt A LOT. Yep. It’s weird right? I put myself out there on social media daily and I question it just about every time. Was it the right image? Was it the right time? Whatever it is, typically I am wondering whether or not it will be ‘liked’. And y’all…the struggle is real. When I doubt things on the blog, it carries into my day-to-day work life. When I doubt things at work, it carries into the blogging part of my life. Then I am stressed when I get home and it carries into my personal life. It is hard! Serious struggle. WELL, this week, I tried to kick that self doubt in the face. And I feel like I kind of succeeded. This week I took a chance on something that was a little bit out of my comfort zone. When I made this decision, the little self doubt troll was screaming in my ear and saying I was not good enough. They wouldn't like me. I should just stop trying. And you know what…I shut him down. (As best I could anyway.) I went forward with my task and now…I feel good about it. No matter what the outcome, I took the chance and believed in myself so with that, I say cheers to the weekend and to kicking that self doubt in the face.
Fall is definitely one of my favorite seasons but it is funny because I rarely get fall weather where I live. I love cozy sweaters and over-the-knee boots just as much as the next person, but you know...sometimes it is WAY to hot in Louisiana. This sweater though, I found it at Anthropologie before our New York trip and I had to have it. I love the off the shoulder look and the ruffle adds the perfect touch! The colors are classic and go with just about anything so I will be wearing this sweater a lot, no matter how cool in gets in Louisiana!
Right after I graduated, I started working a "big girl" job. I vividly remember thinking, "well...now I need appropriate work clothes," on the day I accepted that position. Thankfully, I did not work a big corporate job that required dressy business clothes all the time, BUT me being who I am, I wanted to look appropriate and respectful. It was right around this time that I purchased my first suit. I do still have it, and I do still wear it, but it is funny now because I have truly come to love suits. I wear my blazers ALL the time, and the perfect pencil skirt or trouser goes far at my current job. I have learned how to feel confident in different styles and love wearing them outside of the work place even! Lately, my eye has been drawn to the pant suit, and this one from Mango is absolutely perfect.
A few weeks ago, Darian and I ventured down to New Orleans for the weekend. We just needed some girl time really but then it turned in to some blog time haha (I am SO thankful for Darian!). But anyways, we had a BLAST roaming around The Big Easy. It is funny because when I first moved to Louisiana, I had my thoughts about New Orleans. Initially I think partying and the French Quarter and Mardi Gras and well...you know the drill. You think about what you see on television right? Well I quickly learned I was wrong. The longer we lived in Baton Rouge, the more we made our way down to New Orleans as something different to do. I learned that there are SO many sides of New Orleans. Yes the French Quarter is there and yes it can be crazy. But Magazine Street is just as exciting. Uptown has super cute restaurants. The Warehouse District is perfect for a night out. Really, we started going to New Orleans and would never even go to the quarter because there is THAT much to do.
An honest Monday for you, but something that has been on my mind lately is my inability to say 'no.' When I tell you I over-commit myself to things, I really do. And while I pride myself on this "being able to do it all" bit...I really can't (oh how it hurts to say it out loud). On the outside I look all find and dandy but really I get home to Jon Luke, complain about a headache and just want to get in bed. I am EXHAUSTED. It has taken time (and I am still guilty of not completely letting go of things) but I want to take a step back. I want to be able to take a break, be proud of the things I did accomplish and RELAX. And honestly...there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. It is okay to take stuff off your plate, because at the end of the day, there are still things you need to feed in order to feel refreshed. It may be dedicated time with Jon Luke, or just quiet time for myself, but either way I want to be able to fully invest in things, while still feeding myself.
So, I love a good maxi dress. For whatever reason, when I am shopping for dresses, I start with the maxi selection. It is funny though because I rarely commit to them. I feel like I have less opportunities to wear them I guess? I am not sure but I do always start there and end up with something else. With that being said, when we were prepping for our recent beach trip, I knew I wanted a good maxi to take with me. This was a weekend for JL and I to relax and have date nights, so I wanted to feel pretty...which meant starting with a maxi dress.
It is funny, but my friends say that 'blush' is my statement color. And I have never been much of a pink person, but I would say I have to agree. There is something about a subtle blush tone that I absolutely adore. From dresses to sweaters, I cannot get enough. Currently I am shopping for a trip to New York and I have yet to purchase one thing blush which is SHOCKING! (And I really think I need to change that!) Anyways, I do truly love wearing blush, especially at the beach. So for our recent trip to 30A, this dress was perfect.
There are some places in this world that I could get lost in forever. Obviously I am a huge fan of Greece and Italy, but I recently discovered a little area called 30A. Yes, I just visited this quiet little strip for the first time during our Labor Day holiday, but I fell in love. I cannot get over how cute each little town was, and am crazy about both Rosemary Beach and Alys Beach. The white buildings, quaint coffee shops and cobble stone like streets stole my heart in Alys Beach and I already want to go back!
Well better late than never right?? I am FINALLY getting around to posting some of my favorite pictures from our trip to Florida back in June (insert the slap your face emoji). We took a day and decided to go sailing and it was SO much fun! I really is hard to disappoint me when there is sunshine and ocean air, but this really was a fun experience. Jon Luke and I have sailed before when we went to Greece last year, but this adventure in Florida was fun because we had the boat to ourselves and my dad was with us! Going back through these images definitely has me excited four our last beach rendezvous this weekend...I am just praying for good weather!
Two weeks ago Darian and I took a weekend and went down to New Orleans to do some work and spend some time together. It was the perfect mix of shooting content for the blog, eating good food and exploring New Orleans honestly. We roamed for sure! (Stay tuned for a Graceful Guide to New Orleans!) BUT, while we were there, we were lucky enough to stay at the Catahoula Hotel off Union Street and y'all...it was AMAZING. From the staff to the decor, this place was no joke. I was a fan of this little spot before actually spending time there, but now I am already the planning the next time I can go back and stay!
If you have been following along on social media, then you probably saw my recent trip to Alaska. My husband, his parents, sister, aunt, uncle and cousin (yep the entire fam) ventured through the Alaskan frontier for about ten days. Y'all, it was magical. There was so much beauty surrounding us, I had moments where I simply stood in awe. Our memories were ones that will last a life time and I promise we will have enough pictures to remember every moment. I wanted to provide you guys with some helpful tips in case you ever plan your own Alaskan adventure so keep reading to see more of our favorite stops!
I have been fortunate enough to experience some exciting things during these 27 years I've been around. From skydiving to sailing the Mediterranean Sea in Greece, I have a list going that I cannot complain about. Recently during our trip to Alaska, I added a good bit to that list and I have to say this experience was one of my absolute favorites. Dog sledding on a glacier...BUCKET LIST. So we flew in to Anchorage, Alaska, then drove to Seward the next day. We were SO fortunate to have BEAUTIFUL weather (like crystal clear skies) so it was hard not to love Seward. Once we arrived, we walked around town and had lunch (I will go in to more detail later when I post the full guide to Alaska), but then it was time for our first excursion...a helicopter ride to a glacier where we went dog sledding. Yep you read it correctly. I mean, pure magic. Just check out these pictures.
When I think of the beach, I think of white linen. First, it is soft and lightweight so it's perfect for the humidity. Second, I love how I the white looks against my skin when I have a tan! But in all seriousness, linen is a go-to for me on our beach trips. This linen option from Reformation was an immediate YES when I saw it. I love the off-the-shoulder look and everything about the fit. It was perfect for the little picture session JL and I had (yes I made him) and then for the night out!
When life hands you a trip to the beach, you should bring your flamingo? Am I right?? Well I did just last on our trip to the beach a few weeks ago and we had a blast. Honestly I felt like a little kid again playing on our float in the ocean!
My heart longs for adventure. I know that sounds so cheesy but it truly does. When I am able to go experience new places I am the happiest person ever. If you follow me on social media, you know that I recently went on a West Texas Road Trip with some gal pals. Well, on our way back to Dallas, we decided to take a slight detour up to New Mexico to visit the White Sands National Monument. We had seen it in pictures and were so close when we were in El Paso, so we could not pass on the opportunity to stop. Now, when I say White Sands, you might think, why would you want to go see sand in the middle of no where? Well you keep looking through these pictures and I promise you will see why.
In keeping with the holiday theme, now I bring you stripes after I brought you the stars. But really these past few days (weeks really) have been so great and I have loved being able to enjoy summer. Starting with our trip to the beach a few weeks ago, I have been all about salty hair and tan lines. Since we've been home, we've been to a Garth Brooks concert, grilled out by the pool all day and watched fireworks for the Fourth of July. Definitely has my summer senses on overload but I am loving every minute of it! I am thinking I need another beach trip here soon...any takers?
So when we were in Florida, Darian and I lucked out on the pink situation. If you have followed me a little bit now, you have probably noticed that I am drawn to blush and use it a lot in my feed/website. Well, during our trip to Florida, we visited The Don CeSar Hotel in St. Petersburg first which is A PINK HOTEL. I about died. After stopping there we wanted a good local cup of coffee so we made a pit stop at Intermezzo Coffee and Cocktails. These pink chairs were the first thing that greeted us when we walked in the door and I was literally in heaven.
I have said it before and I will say it again...the beach is my happy place. I love spending time walking along the shore line and digging my toes in the sand. I know, I sound like a cheesy "my ideal first date" kind, but seriously, I am not sure that there is anything that makes me happier. This past weekend, we were lucky enough to head down to Florida to see some of my family and relax for a few days and I took advantage of every moment I had to be by the water (or on it). Like I said, I love to be beachin' it when I can!
The other night a friend of mine texted me and simply asked where I was off to next. Now I haven't talked to her in a while, and I have not told her of any upcoming travels, so I was confused as to how she knew. When I responded to her question with an innocent, "what do you mean?", her response made me laugh. She (very kindheartedly) said, "well you two are always somewhere new when I open Instagram, so it has become a guessing game for me!" Hahaha really?!? My travels are a guessing game? Well, then I sat down and really thought about it and I have been going a lot. Nothing huge, but I have definitely been on the go. With that being said, I am actually packing for a little getaway to the beach this weekend (I promise I stay home!) so I thought it would be the perfect time to share my travel must haves.
I am sure you have seen on the world of social media, but recently I took a girls trip to Marfa, Texas. I know...if you are reading this then you probably follow me on some form of social media and have probably been OVERLOADED with these pictures. Well, I do apologize BUT the trip was really just that amazing. While our time in Marfa was short, we definitely made the most of it. Talking with locals, visiting the hot spots and eating the good stuff, that is what it is all about right? YES! It is. This is why I love traveling because before my trip to Marfa, you may have though it was merely a blip on the map. And you were wrong. That precious little town is more than a blip. Way more. And I am going to tell you why.
So, we pretty much planned our trip to Marfa around this little Prada store. We had seen it in pictures and read up on its history, but we definitely wanted to see if for ourselves. I will tell you, it did not disappoint. It is funny because, no it is not an actual functioning store, but it looks as close to one as possible. A free standing building in the middle of no where, with real shoes and handbags inside?!? It's literally the perfect photo opportunity!
As someone who has always been active, I like to find different ways to stay fit physically. I run, I do circuit work, I take barre classes, but these can all seem routine at times. I have found that being outside in the fresh air is something my body loves so I have come to enjoy hiking activities. While we do not have a ton of places to hike in Louisiana, we do have good trails/nature walks which are also enjoyable. But while we were in West Texas, we decided to spend time in Big Bend National Park and the views were worth every second of the hike!
A little wind and the open road...I am all about it. One of my favorite things during our trip to Marfa was just stopping and taking in the views and the area around us. Many would say they were not admirable but me? I loved it. That open space, desert vibe was absolutely perfect and made me miss Texas that much more.
When we were planning our trip to Marfa, we knew we wanted to stay at El Cosmico (stay tuned for more on that when I do my "Guide to Marfa" post). While there were multiple things that drew us to this space, one of the things we loved were the tepees. I mean, how often is it that you get to stay in a tepee?? Not often in my life haha. Anyway, not only were they super fun for our little weekend getaway, they also served as the perfect backdrop for our southwest style!
As someone who is constantly on the search for new trends, I am always looking for good places to shop. While the mall is (most of the time) a frequent stop of mine and online shopping is convenient, I also LOVE the local boutiques around town. One in particular is Rodeo Boutique. Trust me, if you live in the Baton Rouge area, you need to stop by. They have such a great selection and cater to so many different styles! No matter what your go-to is, you can usually always find something at Rodeo!