A few weeks ago, you probably saw on social media, that Darian and I ventured west for a bit. We flew into Las Vegas then drove up through parts of Arizona and Utah, making a pit stop in a small town called Moab. Now, you may be familiar with this little town due to its popular hiking trails and national parks. I, on the other hand, was slightly new to this area and was not really sure what to expect upon my arrival.
I have to say, I have truly stepped out of my comfort zone this summer and worn some serious color. I am sure you can attest to this if you have been around for a while because I was always pretty good at sticking to my neutrals. I don't know what has gotten in to me, but I have felt so inspired to break out the colorful pieces...and I love it!
There are times when my mind is seriously blown at the creative things in this world. I mean, think about it. People had to take the time to invent something in order for us to use it. Their mind drafted up an image of a space or an object that, at the time, probably sounded crazy to everyone else around them because no one had ever SEEN it. Isn't it crazy how much we truly depend on our sight? Without being able to see, feel or touch something we panic at the thought of taking the leap. But the reality is, without that leap and without that faith, no one will be able to experience our thoughts for themselves.
I think most of you know this about me, but I am blind as a bat. Seriously, CANNOT see. Unfortunately, I started to realize this on the tennis court when that little yellow ball would be pretty fuzzy on the other side of the net...and I do not mean physically. Once I started losing matches due to my inability to see, I finally admitted defeat and went to the eye doctor. Now, I was about 12 years old when all of this went down (5th grade?), so you can imagine, I was TRAUMATIZED at the thought of getting glasses. I had just started at a new school, I was about to get braces, I mean...pretty much my world was ending. SO, with that being said, I opted for contacts. And from that point on, I very rarely wore my glasses in public. In fact, most people didn't even know my eyes were bad. Until lately.
I am sure it is quite obvious by now, but I love to travel. I find so much joy in experiencing other cultures and am constantly searching for the next adventure. From little weekend trips, to oversees adventures, no matter where we are going, I absolutely love the journey. One of my favorite things to do when I am on a trip is to find either a local coffee shop, or local bar and just have a seat. (The bars are always fun because the bartender is easy access for conversation!) Once I have taken my place at the table, booth or bar stool, I then like to find the local (or..the bartender) and say hello. From there, you have the potential for magic. From stories about the bar, to visions of the town, the locals love to talk about home. And why shouldn't they?!? So be there and be the one to listen. I have met so many amazing people on the road when we simply stop and sit. And these conversations truly make the journey that much more fun!
So lets talk about that comfort zone for a second. You know, that area that you tend to hang in until you are pretty much drug out into that awkward space...yeah that one. We all love our comfort zone. I mean, why leave it? Why take ourselves out of something we are used to and put ourselves into a situation that makes our hands start to sweat? I will go ahead and answer these questions from my perspective...I probably wouldn't leave. I am guilty. I am guilty of pitching my tent in my comfort zone. And y'all...it is a comfortable tent.
GIRL BOSS. We have all heard the term. Some might be annoyed by it, some probably have a coffee mug or two with these words in bold letters. It is definitely a common thing in today's society. But how do you truly define the term? Is it simply for those who are literal bosses? Women who run their own companies and manage a staff of people who work FOR them? Or do you apply the term to your best friend who you pretty much think is just the coolest person on the planet? Well, I think it can go either way. Let me talk to my girl bosses out there for a minute (yep, that means you).
It is official guys...summer is here! It has been SO hot (almost unbearable) here in Louisiana but I am actually okay with it! You know, summertime means a lot of things for me that I love...1) my birthday, 2) pool time and 3) VACATION! How can I complain?? No but seriously, there are just some things I love to do in the summer so I figured I would round up some of my favs and share them here!
Whenever I am traveling, I try to pack pretty light. I know, I know, everyone says that. But really, it makes things much easier when I do not have to stress about my luggage being overweight at the airport. We've all been there. Anyways, for my warmer trips, I have learned that there is one thing that helps lighten my load...the romper. Think about it. If I can plan three outfits being a romper, that eliminates three items right there? Instead of three tops and three bottoms, I just have my three rompers. And not only does this style create space in my suitcase, but they are also easy to wear in the HEAT! In most cases at least. So with that being said, the romper has become a summer staple for me. With our upcoming travels, I know I will be spending a lot of my time this summer in my different rompers, so I have rounded up some of my favorites here!
Are you spontaneous? If I called you right now and said lets go to Italy, would you do it? I know for myself, I would probably have to sit on it for a few days. You know…there are finances, there is airfare. Things we have to think about right? Well, I am kind of over it. I am over the stress. Over the worry. It just seems pointless to me. I am ready for a little more spontaneity. Ready to live on the edge a little. Because if I fail then I will learn from my mistakes, but if I fly...it will be glorious.
So let's talk about why I really went to California. Yes to se my girls. Yes to see cool places and take cool pics. Yes to the blog thing. BUT, the trip originally came to be when we were discussing the Hillsong Colour Conference. Four those of you who are not familiar, Hillsong is a church in Australia that has probably one of the most well-known worship teams with some of the most well-known worship songs in their repertoire. I grew up in my church at home listening to, and singing their music because it wasn't just church music...it was worship, which I love. Anyways, back to my story. This conference, put on my Bobbie Houston (one of the head pastors of Hillsong Church), was two days dedicated to women who love Jesus. And y'all, when I tell you this place was full of these women, it was so full. Women from all over. Different races, different backgrounds, different stories. But we were all there for the same thing. To share in our love for Jesus. To worship. To repent. To grow. And it was unlike any other.
Before we ventured to Charleston, I had been following several places that I knew I wanted to try. One of those was The Darling Oyster Bar on King Street. When we first arrived, Paula was giving me a mini tour (and taking me to get food...duh) which is when she first pointed out this spot. Not only is the inside of this place the cutest, but it sits on the perfect corner of King Street! I felt so many good, Charleston vibes here that I had to have a little photo shoot! My teal Free People dress fit in perfectly so needless to say...I felt "darling."
So truth be told, I have wanted a pair of overalls for a long time...BUT I have been so afraid to commit. Honestly, I feel like I look very awkward in them. It is like my body isn't the right shape or something. Seriously, I have only found a few pairs that have really caught my eye, but this Free People pair was different. I LOVE these overalls. I love how they fit. I love how the feel. I love the wide leg. I love the low neckline in the front. They really might be the perfect pair of overalls. Yep, I said it.
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.
If you have been following me on social media, then you probably saw that I was in Charleston recently for a girls weekend. Paula, Kendall, Chandler and I met up in Chucktown because it had been far too long since our last weekend together. If you remember, the four of us met via Instagram and spent a weekend together in New Orleans back in December. That weekend, I was able to play hostess and show them around one of my favorite cities, but this time, it was Paula's turn. Paula, the South Carolina native, went to college in Charleston so she said from the beginning that she couldn't wait to show us around the Holy City. So there we were. Four girls, back together. But this time, experiencing one of the most charming cities I've ever been to...Charleston.
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?
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!
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!
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!
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.