It is ready! The second issue of “The Graceful Guide”! As I said when we first launched this beauty, I am going to release a new guide each quarter. So January, April, July, October, then December for the holidays! I have come to love this sweet project so much and was so happy to hear that you all loved the first issue. It makes me smile when you all love it as much as I do!
And cue the Taylor Swift…”Welcome to New York.” When I saw this, I say it with the most sincerity, but New York has literally always been on my mind. When I was in high school, my dad and I started going every year at Christmas. It did not take long at all for me to fall in love. Fun Fact: I wanted to go to graduate school there. I was close but I decided to get married instead haha But seriously, New York has always held such a special place in my heart. The city, the lights and the people...all of it gives me the feels. It is one of my favorite things to take people to New York for their first time, but every time I go I end up finding new places...which is the beauty of it! You can go to New York every month and do something COMPLETELY different. Just get lost in the hustle and wander.
It is finally here! The first ever issue of The Graceful Guide! Y’all, this has been a dream of mine for a while. Over a year ago after I wrote The Graceful Guide to Alaska, I started dreaming about this project. I can remember completing that guide and thinking, “man this would be a cool idea for a fancy newsletter…” And so it began. I have dreamt up ideas of how it would work, how often I would create new issues, what they would include…you name it, I thought about it. But it was there that this idea came to a halt: in my thoughts. While I had these big dreams and big plans, I also had a voice in the back of my head telling me it was a dumb idea. That no one cared. No one would read it. I was not good at graphic design. I am not “big enough” for that yet. So per the usual…I let the voices win.
I have to say, I think one of my favorite places in the world might be Napa Valley. I’ve made the trip twice now and both times were pretty magical. It is funny though, the two times I have been were during the exact same time of year so I have only seen Napa in the fall (late October to be specific). But y’all, the fall in Napa…it is perfect. When you hear people talk about the California weather and how good it is, I know I often roll my eyes (probably with jealousy) because in my head I am thinking, “it can’t really be that good.” Well it is. The weather is perfect, the leaves are changing and the wine is endless. My kind of place.
Have you ever traveled somewhere that just blew your mind? For real, when you got there you stopped and said, “it just doesn’t make sense.” Well that was me at Antelope Canyon. I had scoured pictures all over the internet to try to grasp what all I was going to see, but those small images on Google did not do this place justice. AT ALL. From the moment we entered the canyon, I was speechless. I stood in AWE of the canyon walls that towered over me, radiating these blush and orange hues. It truly was one of the most magical places I have ever experienced…and I would return in a heartbeat.
Can you believe it is almost October? Where has the time gone…I mean for real. Well, with October being RIGHT around the corner, I figured it was time for me to sit down and crank out a blog post. I won’t lie to you all, the inspiration has been lacking lately. I am not sure if it is just the weather and feeling like I cannot truly embrace fall? Or maybe I am itching to go somewhere? I am not sure BUT I’m going to power through and wanted to tell you all about some of my favorite FALL TRENDS today!
If you follow me on social media then you know that I recently returned from a wonderful trip to Greece. If you have been following for a while, then you also know that the hubs and I actually went to Greece for the first time two years ago, and that this recent trip was our second go-round. Well, with that being said, I figured it was about time to give you all a little Graceful Guide for all things Greece...or at least how I know it.
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.