August 13, 2016


    California Road Trip: Day 2

    Happy Monday friends! I'm back today to share the second day of our California road trip. Be sure to check out day one here if you missed out.

    Myles and I woke up bright and early since we had a lot of miles to cover from Newport Beach to Pismo Beach (estimated about 4 hours of drive time). I brought out my DSLR for the first time on this day too, so be prepared for lots of pictures ūüėČ

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    Lace Up Sweater ($27) / Jean Shorts / Sandals

    When I started planning our road trip, I wanted to make sure that we weren't in the car for extended periods of time. My goal was to stop and stretch our legs/take a break every 1-2 hours. That's how I stumbled upon our first stop- Point Dume State Park. This park is about 1.5 hours north of Newport Beach in Malibu. It was a little tricky to find since it's nestled between neighborhoods- but was well worth it! This stop also gave us our first glimpse into the scenery we had ahead of us for the next few days (rocky cliffs, big waves, and surfers galore!) Also, how gorgeous are the yellow flowers everywhere?!

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    *Obligatory stop at In-N-Out in Ventura Beach*

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    Our next stop of the day was in Santa Barbara. We spent a good two hours walking around this charming town on the water. Myles and I both agreed we have to stay here next time we're in Cali (specifically the Hotel Milo above, I was so in love with this quaint hotel and the flowers everywhere!!!)

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    *One of my favorite shots from the trip*

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    As it seemed to go with most of our trip, the morning started out pretty foggy but slowly cleared to sunny skies later in the day. I highly recommend stopping in Santa Barbara if you're in the area. There's so much to do, and I felt like we just brushed the surface. Next time I'd LOVE to eat on the pier or even take a boat out!

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    We'd originally planned to continue on Route 1 all the way to our next stop, but at the last minute decided to head towards the mountains instead. This random detour took us through the Santa Ynez Valley which was incredibly beautiful - although the roads were super windy/I thought we were going over the mountain, lol. We stopped at the lookout point above and just took in the views...

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    A little under an hour later we'd arrived in Slovang, the cutest little Danish village. The town definitely seemed out of place and like we were stepping back in time. There were tons of shops, wineries, restaurants...but naturally we stopped for pretzels and candy.  I highly recommend this stop on the way to Pismo Beach - it really only adds about 15 minutes to the trip and I'd never seen anything like it!

    About an hour later we finally arrived at our destination - The Cliffs Resort at Pismo Beach .....

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    After checking into our gorgeous room (hello fireplace!!!), we set out to explore the property. The hotel sits right on the edge of a cliff, but there are walking paths along as well as a path to the beach below.

    Also, Pismo Beach is a great place to stay for those wanting to drive along the Big Sur. It's pretty much the starting point if you're heading north. The area isn't too commercialized- basically the perfect place for a relaxing night/weekend away (I definitely could have used another night here!)

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    *Loved this!*

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    Myles and I parked ourselves on a little patio and watched the sunset over the mountains before getting ready for dinner. It was simply perfect, and as always the pictures don't even do the landscape justice.

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    Dinner outfit brought to you by Show Me Your Mumu: Black Maxi (about $50), Kimono (similar on sale), Wedges

    We had the most incredible dinner at the hotel restaurant- Marisol. It was such a cozy spot with dim lights, ocean views, and of course delicious food. Myles and I feasted on calamari, sea bass (my newest favorite), steak (his favorite!), and creme brulee to celebrate officially getting married one year from that day!

    Overall, Day 2 was absolutely perfect and I couldn't think of a better way to kick off the one year count down until we say 'I DO!'

    Until next time. Thanks for reading-


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    California Road Trip - Day 1

    Hello friends- long time no chat! I wish I had a better reason for going MIA other than the fact that 'life' has been crazy (in all the best ways!)  I've really just been enjoying time with my family, friends, and wedding planning. Seriously, how is it already June?

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    So going along with the title of this post,¬†Myles and just got back from our long awaited roadtrip up the California coast a few weeks ago. I'd been looking forward to this trip for months (...literally six but who's counting ūüėČ ) and was so pumped when the day was finally here! I also felt really inspired to whip out my DSLR and put it to use after weeks of not being behind the lens. Needless to say it felt so GOOD to be back.

    We enjoyed our trip so much that I really wanted to share what we did/where we stayed with ya'll. When I set out on planning our trip, I definitely turned to blogs, instagram, google, etc to help map out our itinerary. It was somewhat overwhelming. So I figured why not do a day by day travel blog style to help anyone planning a trip of their own! If anything, I hope ya'll can enjoy the beautiful pictures- California is truly spectacular <3

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    In typical accountant style, I mapped out our plans day by day on a nice little spreadsheet (Myles got a kick out of this). This was just a 'rough' itinerary of things that we hoped to see/do and we definitely strayed from plans - but that's the fun in road trips right? We also booked all of our hotels up front, so we didn't have to worry about where we were staying every night.

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    Five Day California Roadtrip Overview:

    Venice Beach, Santa Monica, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach

    Point Dumes, Santa Barbara, Slovang, Pismo Beach

     San Simeon, Paso Robles, Monterey

    Point Lobos, Big Sur, Carmel

    Santa Cruz, Henry Cowell Redwoods Park

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    So without further adieu...let's get started (apologies in advance for picture overload)

    Myles and I decided to take a late flight out on Wednesday after work, which seemed like a good idea at the time but we didn't get to LAX until after 11:00 pm (2 AM east coast time!) Needless to say we were exhausted, but pumped for the trip ahead. We picked up our rental car and headed straight to the hotel to catch up on sleep. Since we were only going to be at the hotel for less than 10 hours, we stayed close to the airport using one of our free Marriott nights (win!)

    Surprisingly, we both woke up really early and headed out to start our day. Myles has been to California a few times, but really wanted to see Muscle Beach on the Venice Beach boardwalk. It definitely wasn't what either of us expected, but was pretty cool to see in person. Plus we were both excited to finally see the Pacific Ocean (despite how cold it was!) 

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    Random, but I've never seen a public parking lot this before where they stack cars- kind of cool!

    Next stop was Santa Monica, which was just down the road. We parked at the pier and walked around for about an hour or so. Such a cool spot and I told Myles next time we need to ride the ferris wheel ūüėČ

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    As soon as we left Santa Monica, the clouds finally parted and the sun came out! I noticed in California the weather can change so quickly. One minute it's foggy/cloudy and the next it's blue skies.

    I'm not going to lie, our next stop in Huntington Beach was one I had been looking forward to for way too long- Lemonade! I'd heard so many good things about this California chain and couldn't wait to try it for myself. Seriously, check out the menu - it's too die for.

    As expected, Lemonade didn't disappoint and of course the lemonade itself was delicious (I had watermelon rosemary). For those visiting Cali- add this to your list of must eats NOW!

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    *seared tuna, curried cauliflower, and sugar snap peas/edamame*

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    *Don't mind me, but I'll sit here and eat Lemonade all day every day*

    After lunch, we walked around Huntington Beach and the pier for about an hour soaking in the sun (note to self, sunscreen is a must even when it;s only like 60 degrees...) We both decided that next time we visit Cali, we want to stay in Huntington Beach for a night. There were so many nice restaurants on the water and cute shops.... definitely could have used more time here.

    Also how gorgeous is the water and crystal clear blue skies?!?

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    *I love the palm tree lined streets!!*

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    *Finally found someone to take our pic!*

    We seriously could have spent a few more hours walking around exploring Huntington Beach, but we had to head to our next stop about 30 min south - Newport Beach!

    Before checking into our hotel, we explored a little bit of the Balboa Peninsula and both agreed that we could stay here for a night (notice a theme, ha?!) This area was way more secluded/less touristy and up our alley. The houses were so cute and the little waterways that connected to the mainland we're really cool too.

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    At this point it was about 4 PM and we were exhausted from a day full of activities, so we decided to head to our hotel - The Newport Beach Marriott Bayview. Checking in was painless, and we were so excited to find out we were upgraded to a balcony room with a view!

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    A round of naps and a few selfies later and we were off to the Balboa Resort for drinks on the water. Myles had stayed here before and raved about the resort/location so I was so excited to check it out! Needless to say it didn't disappoint....

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    *This Lilly dress might be my new favorite! Also if you follow along on my Insta, I've probably worn these shoes 50x (not even joking). They're SO good and so comfy! Worth the splurge*

    After a round of drinks, it was time for Myles' favorite part of the trip (slightly kidding..haha). We headed to Fashion Island to pick up my very early birthday present. This mall is incredible first of all- it blows all of the outdoor malls in RVA to shame! Honestly, I'm glad I don't live nearby!

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    After our shopping adventure, we finally decided on dinner at Red O Restaurant near the mall. It seriously was the cutest restaurant ever (hence the above snap, lol!) and I'm bummed I didn't take any pics - which normally means I devoured my food! We enjoyed margs, chips/salsa, and fajitas. All and all a perfect night cap to an amazing Day 1 in California.

    Phew- Well I hope ya'll enjoyed my first Cali recap. I really loved our plans for the first day. I felt like we weren't too rushed and saw a lot. However, I definitely would have liked to add another night in either Huntington or Newport Beach. But if you can take one thing away from this it would be to eat at Lemonade if you're in the area!!!

    Thanks for reading!



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    Outer Banks + Two Looks I Love (under $25)

    Hello friends! How is everyone's summer going? Can you believe the 'official' start of summer was yesterday.....Time sure is flying by (please slow down, ok ok you can fly by when I'm at work only ūüôā )

    Tonight I wanted to pop in and share with you some pictures from my families trip to Avon, North Carolina last week (aka the Outer Banks). My family, along with two of the cutest pups, spent seven nights by the ocean enjoying tons of delicious food, lots of sunshine, and hours floating in the pool. This trip is my favorite trip of the year, and it did not disappoint. I would be lying if I said that I wasn't feeling the post vacation blues hard this week, but looking back at these pictures and all of the memories is well as schemingly planning another trip to the beach in the near future!

    I figured I would let the pictures speak for themselves on this one. I really enjoyed testing out my new lens and think it made a HUGE difference in the quality of my shots.

    PS- if you scroll to the bottom widget I'm sharing links to two of my favorite outfits (a white off the shoulder dress for $25 and a gorgeous blue pom pom romper for $15). Enjoy!

    On the way to the Farmer's Market....









    Loved the little details in our house.....








    Everyone enjoyed a good sunset on the deck - especially Lucy Dog <3






    Followed by more beach walks.....







    And more relaxing, delicious meals, and brew....













    Oyster feast with the family on our second to last night....I found a live CRAB in my oyster - is that good luck??








    Lots of outtake group shots on the Avon pier post feasting!






    One of my favorite rompers - only $15! 


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    ADORE this dress (despite the windy night!) - only $25 <3





    What I wore...

    The beach will forever have my always, thank you so much for reading!


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    Dear St. Pete Part 2 + Lilly Pulitzer Favorties


    Hello friends! Today I'm picking up where I left off with my recap of our trip to St Pete (see part 1 here).

    So let's dive in!

    Sunday:  We woke up bright and early again and hit up Starbucks on our way to downtown St. Pete. Obviously, it was necessary to buy a new cup for my iced coffee (it matched my romper!).....And how gorgeous are those flowers <333



    After chugging our iced coffees, we were ready for some more exploring. One thing I love about St Pete are the walking trails! There are so many parks (especially along the water) that you really could walk for days....

    We met up with Myles' brother for brunch at 400 Beach Seafood - which was amazing! No pictures, but I definitely had at least 4+ plates piled high with¬†crab legs, steamed shrimp, fruit, and key lime pie. This definitely reminded me of brunching on the Georgetown waterfront, but in Florida ūüôā






    After way too much food, which is always the case with brunch buffets, we made the trek to Ft De Soto beach to check out the ocean. Ft De Soto is often voted one of America's best beaches and I can see why! It's simply gorgeous - for a $5 entry fee you have access to miles upon miles of white sandy beaches. There are plenty of secluded spots throughout as well.... I have a feeling this will be one of our favorite spots for years to come...





    As with all vacations, the day was really flying by and we had plans to make it to Tampa by early evening. We said goodbye to the beach and headed back to the hotel to freshen up a bit for our night out.

    First stop, Hyde Park. I'd heard about this area and it's seriously so cute. We walked around the shops for a bit and picked up some obligatory 'birthday' cupcakes from Sprinkles (salted carmel is my fave!)

    The rest of the night was spent driving along Bay Shore Boulevard, exploring downtown Tampa (such a clean city!), sunset happy hour on the bay, and another seafood feast complete with more key lime pie.












    Monday: As sad as I was for our vacation to come to an end, I was pumped to have another afternoon of exploring before our late flight back to RVA. We spent the morning driving along the beach road, stopping at a few of the beach towns along the way. Luckily, we discovered Indian Rocks Beach and OMG ya'll I have never seen such gorgeous blue water. It truly reminded me of the Bahamas/Caribbean- miles upon miles of white sandy beach, calm waters, and few people in sight- now this is paradise....


    "27 for 27 years!"


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    After a nice beach walk, we headed to the lunch spot that we had grown to love in such a short time - Critters! It was only fitting to have our farewell lunch there...







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    And that my friends is it! We had such an amazing trip, and really grew to love St. Pete and Florida in general. We loved our time there so much that we immediately booked a return trip - in JULY!- I can't wait to return, and may or may not be counting down the days.....

    Also, I really wore a lot of Lilly Pulitzer on this trip (most of which was from past seasons) so I figured I'd share a few pieces I'm currently. Nothing screams summer like Lilly in my opinion.... If I can recommend one item, it would be the dusk dress! I'm eyeing the one below <3

    Thanks for reading!




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    Dear St. Pete

    Where to even begin - Thinking back on our four short days in St. Pete makes me nostalgic for the warm salty air, clear waters, and white sandy beaches (a little dramatic I know....). St Pete is one of the most beautiful places I have been. It really is hard to describe the area - downtown is a gorgeous clean city on the waterfront with tons of restaurants and shops lining the Tampa Bay, and just 15 minutes west are miles upon miles of some of the most gorgeous beaches in the United States. I instantly fell in love...

    Myles and I took a late flight after work Friday and landed in Tampa around midnight. We really had no itnerary for this trip, other than to explore the area (no plans sometimes are the best of plans). After picking up our rental car and arriving at our hotel, we crashed hard...


    This bag is a must have for travel! Even better, purchase one and receive $50 to shop later! 


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    Saturday we woke up bright and early ready for the day ahead. Myles and I walked around the area for a good 1.5 hours before picking up Starbucks (venti - cold brew is my newest addiction!) and packing up the rental. We ended up driving to downtown St. Pete first and exploring the area...... After a lot more walking we found our way to Sea Critters restaurant near St Pete beach and OMG this place was incredible. Not only was the seafood amazing (the best fresh shrimp <3), but it was right on the water - you can park your boat at the dock which is so cool and totally on my bucket list!


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    Dress (size down!) / Crossbody / Miller Sandals /Bracelet and Necklace






    After eating way too much seafood, we decided to take a walk along St. Pete beach which was just across the street. The weather seriously couldn't have been more perfect.....

    At this point we were tired (so much walking...) so we went back to the hotel to relax a bit and take a dip in the pool before getting ready for dinner! Once again, we had zero plans, other than to catch the sunset ..... We got dressed up (so much Lilly to chose from <3) and headed back to the beach to watch the sun go down. The sunset over the gulf that night was one of the most beautiful I have ever seen - I'll let the pictures speak for themselves....














    Stay tuned for part 2....



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