September 22, 2017

Lucerne, Switzerland Favorites + Where We Stayed

lucernelucerneHappy Friday friends! I’m back today to share more about the charming, colorful city of Lucerne, specifically where we stayed, ate, and explored. If you’re new around here and just catching up, be sure to check out my other Switzerland travel posts here and here. Now, let’s get started!

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 Lucerne is centrally located in Switzerland about an hour train ride from the Zurich airport. It’s situated on Lake Lucerne, but surrounded by the Swiss Alps in the distance. The River Reuss separates New and Old Town, with bridges connecting the two. The most famous being Chapel Bridge!

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The city is pretty much out of a story book, with it’s medieval architecture and colorful flowers lining the bridges and windowsills. Old Town especially is so quaint with cobblestone narrow streets, churches and clock towers, as well as cute restaurants situated along the river with views of Mt. Pilatus in the distance.

lucernelucernelucernelucernelucerneThese wooden covered bridges are lined with paintings that date back to the 1300s – definitely eerily beautiful

lucerneWe stayed at the Renaissance, Lucerne in New Town for two nights. I highly recommend this hotel and location! We were about a five minute walk to the train station and a few minutes from Old Town. The rooms were on the smaller side, but were super cute and exactly what we needed. Loved the painting of Lucerne behind our bed!

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The breakfast was also really really good. My favorite of our trip! I’m pretty sure that I ate the most delicious bread of my life on our first morning there which is saying a lot…

To make things even better, there was also a Bachmann bakery right across the street which quickly became one of our favorite spots. We grabbed pretzels, macaroons, and other pastries since we were on vacation after all 😉

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We spent hours getting lost in the streets of Lucerne. The city is SO clean and just so beautiful, we really enjoyed exploring!lucerneLucernelucerne

If you have time, check out the Musegg Wall which borders Old Town. It’s lined with watchtowers and apparently the views down on Lucerne are stunning. We ran out of time but I told Myles we’d be back 😉

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For dinner we ate pasta at La Barca and pizza at Da Ernesto, both along the River Reuss. The highlight of the meals was definitely the views! You can’t find this at home that’s for sure……lucerne lucerne lucerne lucerne

We also had brunch at Mill Feuille, a little cafe that serves traditional Swiss food and some other things that reminded me of home (think waffles, eggs, etc). This cafe is one of the more reasonably priced restaurants in Switzerland, which is a double win.

Make sure to ask for an English menu, since everything is in German (we were a little confused and the jet-lag didn’t help!) Also, order the ‘oven egg’-  a delicious egg in tomato sauce & grilled veggies with bread. I didn’t snap a picture but I promise it was simple and delicious.

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Places definitely close down early in Lucerne at night but that didn’t stop us. Our first night we found a little cafe tucked away off of a side street and sipped on a glass of the BEST Merlot. I wish I had gotten the name of the wine……still dreaming about it!

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Our second night we went to a rooftop bar at the Hotel Astoria which had incredible views. I loved seeing Lucerne all lit up from above <3

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While our time in Lucerne was brief, I feel like we still got to experience the charming city. If you’re heading to Switzerland, definitely consider stopping in Lucerne. It’s such a hidden gem <3

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Stay Tuned- Next I’ll be sharing about our stay in Wengen, Swtizerland. A mountain town tucked away in the heart of the Swiss Alps!

 

XOXO

 

 

September 20, 2017

Engagement Pictures + What I Wore

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Eeee!!!!! I’m so excited to share our engagement pictures with ya’ll today! Myles and I worked with the incredibly talented Alicia Lacey, and I could go on and on about how wonderful she is to work with. Seriously, she is the sweetest and her work is stunning!

Alicia is based in Washington D.C., so we were fortunate she was able to make the trip down to Virginia Beach for our sunset shoot. She’s welcoming a little one to the family very soon!

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Funny story. When I was in the VERY early stages of wedding planning, I first set out on finding a venue. I luckily stumbled upon the Mill at Fine Creek and one of the first blog posts I saw was shot by Alicia. Her pictures really stood out, and I immediately knew that 1. Not only did we need to have our wedding at the Mill but 2. We needed Alicia as our photographer.

I’m pretty sure I didn’t even look into any other venues or photographers at the point….. Myles will tell you, once I have my mind set on something, I’ll make it happen 😉

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engagement pictures engagement pictures

I immediately reached out to Alicia and luckily she was free the day of our wedding. We booked her ASAP and the rest is history. I knew instantly we’d be in good hands, and never doubted how our pictures would turn out (especially after seeing our engagement pictures now!)

I also really was at a loss of where to have our engagement session, so I asked Alicia if she had any ideas. Our only requirement was that we wanted to be somewhere near the water, since the beach is really special to both Myles and I. Alicia recommended First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach and mentioned that there was Spanish moss. Insert all the heart emojis. Once again I was sold…..

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We scheduled our session for late August and hoped for the best regarding weather. Weather in Virginia can be really questionable. One day it can be 70 and the next 100 degrees. Lucky for us, it was on the cooler side with overcast lighting. It was perfect, and I’m sure Myles appreciated the ‘cool’ weather since he was wearing a sport coat and pants!

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As for me, I really struggled with what exactly to wear. No pressure at all having a fashion blog right?! Ha! I knew that I wanted a more formal, classic look as well as a more casual, flowy look that would work well on the beach. I seriously looked for weeks to find the perfect dresses and thankfully found two about a week or so before our shoot. Talk about cutting it close!

The dress I chose above is a gorgeous Eliza J ivory sheath dress that was actually on sale! The quality is SO good ya’ll. I was so surprised! It has the cutest zipper detail on the back as well. For those who are looking for an ivory dress for any wedding related events (or just because!) I couldn’t recommend this one enough. It’s simple and classic, yet has gorgeous detailing. I also ordered the 3/4 length sleeve version to try on and it’s equally as stunning. In the end the short sleeve just fit me better.

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engagement pictures

engagement pictures engagement pictures

For my second dress, I went with a beautiful light blue Show Me Your Mumu maxi. This dress is what dreams are made of <3 It was EVERYTHING I was looking for and more. I really struggled to find this exact style. Everything I found was either strapless, halter, or spaghetti strap and I really wanted a little sleeve. As soon as I stumbled upon this maxi, I knew it was the one (despite the less than stellar reviews online).

Just a heads up, I did have to get the top altered. The reviews were correct in that it definitely is too low cut and loose up top. But that was no big deal, I simply took it to the tailor. They ended up raising the front, as well as sewing the V together so I had nothing to worry about on the day of our shoot!

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 As for shoes, I went very simple with two pairs I already had at home. As well as without shoes for some shots! My trusty Tory Burch Millers were perfect for the beach shots and super comfy. My Sam Edelman sky high sandals worked great for the Spanish moss shots. Although I will admit I struggled HARD walking throughout the trees in those. Thanks Myles and Alicia for being troopers since I was walking SLOW and sinking into the ground!

 

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For jewelry, I also kept that very simple. Less is more after all right?! I ended up wearing two Yurman bracelets, a Yurman ring that Myles gave me a few years ago, and of course my engagement ring 😉 I really wasn’t sure about necklaces, and just decided to go without. I’m really glad I did. The dresses ended up  speaking for themselves……

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As for hair and makeup, I made the last minute decision to try out Shine Blowdry Bar in Richmond. I was SO impressed! I’m really glad I decided to have both professionally done, since I’m by no means a beauty guru. Caitlyn at Shine worked her magic, and I felt so confident on the day of our shoot. Despite the sticky weather, my ‘waves’ held up for over 6 hours prior to the shoot which is very shocking for my thick hair. For those debating whether or not to get your hair and makeup done, I say GO for it! Not only is it one less thing to worry about, but it’s nice to be a little pampered for the special day.

And now that I’ve overwhelmed ya’ll with dozens of pictures, I think I’ll end this post before I sneak in a few more! I really can’t recommend our photographer Alicia enough for those in the VA/DC area. Now that I’ve seen our pictures, I’m even MORE excited for our wedding day.

I love you Myles and I can’t wait until 5/5/18 <3

XOXO

 

**For those who want to see even more pics, check out Alicia’s blog post here. She truely did capture Myles and I as a couple so perfectly! **
September 18, 2017

Mt. Pilatus, Switzerland

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As I mentioned in Thursday’s post, our adventure to Mt. Pilatus was a highlight of our trip and one I can’t stop raving about! When I initially decided on staying in Lucerne, I knew I wanted to do some sort of day trip to the surrounding mountains.

Luckily there were three main choices to chose from: Mt. Rigi, Mt. Titlis, and Mt. Pilatus. After WAY too much research I settled on Mt. Pilatus- mostly after seeing these pictures. Seriously, SO cool right?!

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Well I’m here today to share that this day trip was WAY worth the hype and by far exceeded my expectations. It was also really easy to navigate with our trusty Swiss Pass. With the pass, the trip is free and you don’t need to buy any tickets.

I’ll break it down for you in easy details below. There really is no need to buy any sort of group tour since you can do this on your own. I have faith in you 😉

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mt. pilatus

mt. pilatus

mt. pilatus

We decided to start the ‘Golden Round Trip’ with a boat ride on Lake Lucerne. The boat was docked next to the train station which was super convenient, and the ride took us to Alpnachstad about an hour away.

To avoid crowds, we left around 9:00 which ended up working out perfectly! The boat itself was pretty large and there were so many places to get picture perfect shots.

mt. pilatus*mt. pilatusIf you look hard enough, the little building up top is the summit! mt. pilatus mt. pilatusmt. pilatusJust check out these views of the snow capped Swiss Alps and Mt. Pilatus!mt. pilatus

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Once we docked in Alpnachstad, we boarded the world’s steepest cogwheel train to take us to the top….

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Oh my gosh ya’ll was this SO cool! It took about 30 minutes to get to the top, which quickly went by since the views were absolutely breathtaking. I’m still in awe that a train like this even exists……

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7,000 feet up!

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Once we got off the train, we explored the top for about a bit. There’s several places to eat, as well as a hotel. No idea how they even built that, the Swiss people are geniuses! We weren’t hungry for once since we’d had a huge breakfast earlier, so we decided to set out on the hike below not really knowing what to expect………

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Miles upon miles of beauty as far as the eye can see……..

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We even found someone to take our picture!

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So this is when things got dicey…….I had NO idea we’d be climbing grated stairs on the edge of this mountain. No joke, there was a complete drop the entire time. Long story short, I learned the hard way that I’m NOT a fan of stairs when we’re 7,000 feet up…….So just keep that in mind if you’re afraid of heights in the least bit.

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Death gripping the railing….

Thankfully Myles talked me out of turning around and I made it past the worst spots without having a complete panic attack. I wish I had gotten some pictures, but I think Myles got video? More to come… My legs were visibly shaking, but the views were worth it!

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After we completed the loop, I was more then ready for a glass of wine and a snack.

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We decided against the other loop to the highest point on Pilatus because…we’ll just take a look at the picture below. Brave, brave people…

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Pretty sure the ‘stairs’ were made of wood and dirt….Not happening!

Once I finally didn’t feel like my heart was beating out of my chest, we decided to do one more hike that looked a little less intimidating (flat with no stairs!)

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My favorite moments of the day (entire trip?) were here with the Swiss Alps in the distance. I really felt on top of the world! It was so quiet and peaceful, all we could hear were the jingling of the cow bells below. I can’t even believe this type of beauty even exists in the world…..

Needless to say, Myles and I were both in awe and spent some time sitting on a bench trying to take in everything <3 We even decided next time we visit we might attempt the hike below… Kidding!

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We even took some outfit pics along the edge that you might recognize 😉

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Gibson Top (similar) / Favorite stretchy jeans (the price is SO good and they literally have elastic in the band!) / Nikes (sold out, similar) / Favorite sunglasses

Myles and I pretty much had to drag ourselves down from Mt. Pilatus. I’m pretty sure we could have stayed up there ALL day.

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After a few hours on top of the world though, we decided to take the gondolas/cable cars down to Kreins. These run very frequently, so it’s easy to hop on, hop off. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves on this one…….

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Through the clouds we go!mt. pilatusmt. pilatusmt. pilatusHalf way point- the water is SO clean in Switzerland! I really wish I could have bottled it all up and taken it home.
mt. pilatus mt. pilatus mt. pilatus mt. pilatusOnce we made it to Kreins, it was a quick 10 min walk to the bus that brought us back to Lucerne. There’s signs, but pretty much you just have to follow the people and you will find the bus stop!

We got back a little after four and decided to rest a bit in our hotel before setting back out for the night. I think we both were just SO overwhelmed with our day adventure that we were exhausted. Overwhelmed in the best way possible just trying to soak up what we’d just done!

If there’s one piece of advice I can give you, it’s to put Mt. Pilatus on your bucket list, as well as Lucerne! You will NOT be disappointed 🙂

Stay tuned – Friday I’ll be sharing some of my favorite things we did in the town of Lucerne, as well as a review of our hotel.
XOXO

 

 

 

 

September 14, 2017

What I Wore to Dinner in Lucerne, Switzerland

Hello friends! Myles and I just got back from the trip of a lifetime, and I figured there was no better time then now to get back into blogging. There must be something about Europe that renewed my passion for taking pictures 🙂

Long story short, we spent 9 nights in Europe- 4 in Switzerland and 5 in Paris, France. I must have taken over 1,000 pictures and Myles must have filmed over 5 hours of video, which I’m hoping he’ll attempt to compile vlog style!

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This was our first trip to Europe and we really had the time of our lives. I wanted to share our adventure with those planning a trip of their own, since I really found travel blogs to be super helpful with planning. Myles will tell you that I spent hours upon hours talking and researching this trip months prior, but it was all worth it 😉.

I think the way I’m going to go about posting will be a few outfits mixed in with certain things we did each day, as well as some of our favorite places to eat/shop/explore along the way….

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The perfectionist in me was going to sit down and try to overanalyze how to document this all, but for once I’m just going to go with the flow and start posting- we’ll see where it goes. I really hope you enjoy!

Lucerne

Which takes me to our first day in Lucerne, Switzerland. We flew into Zurich from D.C. and unfortunately got a combined 2 hours of sleep between the two of us on the redeye. Needless to say we were exhausted when we arrived at 8 AM Swiss time. I’m convinced the adrenaline must have kept us going……

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After collecting our luggage, waiting through standard airport lines, and an hour or so train ride to Lucerne (which was SUPER easy, more to come on Swiss train travel in a later post), we finally made it to our hotel around 11:00. We were hoping we would be able to check in early, but that wasn’t the case. Since we had a few more hours to wait, we decided to explore Lucerne (which of course was no biggie!)

Lucerne

We ended up walking around New and Old Town Lucerne fueled by WAY too many cups of coffee/espresso before checking into our hotel at 3:00. After a quick 3 hour nap (hello jet lag) we were feeling a little more like ourselves and ready for dinner on the town!

Lucerne
Lucerne

Lucerne

Lucerne

Lucerne

I’m not sure if it was because it was Sunday, but it was SO quiet and nice walking around Lucerne. I felt like we had the town to ourselves in some areas! The restaurants along the River Reuss also had zero wait, so we picked an Italian place right next to the water with the most amazing views……

Lucerne

Lucerne

Lucerne

Myles and I both ordered pasta which hit the spot. We sipped on some much needed wine for about two hours while watching the sun set over Mt. Pilatus- it really was the most picturesque meal I’ve ever had ……

Also just to note, restaurants in Switzerland as a whole are definitely pretty pricey- so just be aware! Luckily I knew this ahead of time so the sticker shock wasn’t as bad…..but the views and the company more then made up for it 😉

Lucerne

Outfit Details:

Bell Sleeve Sweater  –on sale for $35 and feels like pajamas- snag this while you can!

 White Denim -my favorite pair under $65

Black Booties – Marc Fisher that are 70% off! Only available in a few sizes but they’re SO comfy. I love these MF as well that are on sale for $35!

Necklace – such a classic piece

Purse, Chanel- Dupes here and here that I love under $40!

 

Next up…..I’ll be sharing my favorite day of the trip. Stay tuned!!

 

XOXO

 

June 6, 2017

Let’s Catch Up: April/May

Happy Wednesday friends! Since I’ve been on a roll with the blog as of last week (see my travel posts from California here and here), I figured it was time to catch up on everything thats been going on lately!

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a post like this (January maybe?) so it’s totally overdue. The last two months were absolutely hectic, in all the best ways possible though. So I thought it would be fun to share what I’ve been up to via my iPhone pics. Some of these pics you might recognize from Instagram, but others never quite made it on there…..

Grab a cup of coffee because this is a long one, I hope you enjoy!

Catch Up

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Catch Up

My sister and I took a trip to Upper Shirley Vineyards towards the end of March. It was my first time visiting, and I couldn’t get over how beautiful it was! The food of course was delicious (hello ham biscuits <333), but the property itself was just lovely. For those who live in Richmond, this vineyard is just a short drive away and worth the trip! And for those planning a wedding…this place really is a dream!

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My sister’s homemade acai bowl <33333

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The first weekend in April, my friends and I met up for a MUCH needed girls day. We went to brunch at “Supper” (which is TO die for…please check out how big that biscuit is above!) and brewery hopped around Scotts Addition. Of course we all were twinning in white….

Catch Up

Catch Up

Catch Up

When Myles and I weren’t bouncing around all weekend, we were spending a lot of time with my sister and her boyfriends’ dogs. Dogsitting is literally the best of both worlds. Zeke especially is such a clown!

If you don’t already, be sure to follow me along on Insta – I’m always posting videos of these pups!  I especially can’t wait for our trip to the Outer Banks in 1.5 weeks. These two have no idea the fun they have ahead!

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We toured a few rehearsal dinner options and I think we finally found a winner.  More to come later this year once everything is finalized….

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Random- but I finally caved and purchased a Chanel classic flap bag from Snobswap. This has always been a dream bag of mine, so when I saw a used (but practically new) one on sale I took it as a sign (ha!) Needless to say I’m in love, and I can’t wait to carry this bag for years to come…..
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Cold Shoulder Top / Ripped Denim (on sale for $36!!! Use code SUMMER. I can’t get over the price for these) / Favorite Espadrilles (similar under $60)

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Hot Pink Bell Sleeve Dress ($55 and super flattering!)

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Myles and I made the trip to Atlanta one weekend in April for the most beautiful wedding! Everything from the hotel, to the rehearsal dinner, the ceremony, and reception was beyond perfect.

We’re so excited for the happy couple and so glad we got to celebrate them all weekend. I really wish I could share some of the pictures I took, but I’ll let the professional pictures speak for themselves. (I seriously can’t wait to see them!) Congrats to the Carrolls!

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While Myles was off hanging out with the groomsmen, I brunched with my bff from college. Hey Stro!

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Wedding #ootn: LOVE this dress! I can’t speak highly enough about it. The fit is true to size and it was super comfortable all night. Two thumbs up!

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The space was to die for!

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City views…..

Catch UpRoad trip #ootd- Free People Top (majorly on sale for $28- I own it in two colors!) / Favorite Denim / Miller Sandals

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Sneak peek of some of the crafting I’ve been up to 😉 More to come with a wedding update! BTW I told my mom this is the ONLY crafting I’m up for …. Michaels/Hobby Lobby/etc stress me out …. (I think I’ll stick with accounting….)

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April showers bring May flowers….

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Bow Flats (seriously how cute are these? only like $20! They also come in taupe, black & blush ) / Tie Sleeve Sweatshirt

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We celebrated Mother’s Day with a big brunch at my parents house. It’s always so nice to get everyone together. Of course the meal wasn’t complete without more fresh flowers and key lime pie 😉 Love you Mom!

Catch Up

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I took off work on a random Wednesday to celebrate my 28th birthday with my parents (in Lilly of course!) Our birthday lunch tradition at Brio might be one of my favorites (the salmon is SO good!) As always, my mom gave me the cutest gift-  how adorable are these signs?!

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Love my ‘new’ monogram Yeti from such sweet friends!

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Catch Up#ootn: Blush top ($42 and the perfect wardrobe staple. I own it in black as well) / White Denim (great quality for the price!) / Favorite Espadrilles (similar under $60)

No birthday’s complete without a birthday dinner 😉 Myles and I celebrated at one of my favorite restaurants, The Boathouse, and as always it didn’t disappoint.

I’m not going to lie, you might see my birthday outfit on repeat all spring/ summer….

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What dreams are made of…Hayley Paige <33333333

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And to continue on with the birthday celebrations…. My college bffs visited from ATL and DC for a weekend of catching up and wedding dress shopping! I can’t even explain how blessed I am for these girls in my life, as well as my mom and big sister <3

We had the best day full of champagne, dresses on dresses, lunch with views of the James, visiting the most gorgeous boutique I’ve ever seen (seriously, that chandelier deserves all the heart emojis), and of course pizza 😉 I’ll be sharing more on my dress shopping experience later….but all I can say is I’m pretty sure we found the one!!! The day honestly couldn’t have been more perfect- basically as cliche as that sounds. So thank ya’ll for making it so special!!! Can’t wait until 5/5/18

And last but not least, lately I’ve been addicted to Jcrew/Jcrew Factory…

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Top (sold out but love this one) / White Denim (great quality for the price!) / Favorite Espadrilles (similar under $60)

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Tie-Waist Tee / Striped Midi Skirt (even better, the waist is elastic!)

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I had to throw in some Lilly Pulitzer because it wouldn’t be spring without it 😉

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Tie- Waist Tee / White Shorts ($10!!!) I have these in a few colors / Nikes (similiar)

Well friends, I think that’s about it. I hope you enjoyed this post and I can’t wait to get back into the swing of blogging. I have so many fun things planned ahead that I want to share – including the rest of my California travel posts, a family beach trip this month, wedding updates (I’m thinking of doing these monthly?), more J Crew Factory finds (I definitely did some damage…), as well as a big trip Myles and I have planned for early September!!

It’s going to be a great summer and I can’t wait to have ya’ll along for the ride.

Thanks for reading <3

XOXO