Packing a Carry-on for Two Weeks in Italy

Packing a Carry-on for Two Weeks in Italy

Packing for two weeks in a carry-on? I never thought I’d be able to do it, but I finally did and it made our trip to Italy this fall so much better! From the ease of getting in and out of the airport and trains quickly to not fussing over what to wear each day, I cannot recommend packing light enough.

My husband and I had been planning a trip to Italy since 2019, but when the pandemic hit, our plans kept getting paused. We finally saw an opening for the trip this past Thanksgiving and jumped on the opportunity. We started our trip in Rome and went to Florence and Venice before coming home. We took trains to get everywhere and took a few day trips from Florence to explore vineyards, restaurants and the Tuscan countryside. Once we planned our trip, I knew packing lighter would make the trip a lot easier and more enjoyable for me and Will.

Maximizing your travel outfit will help immensely with your packing especially if you are traveling somewhere cold and need a thick jacket. I wore mine on the plane along with a heavy sweater and scarf. I had these clothes washed when we landed because I had been wearing them for about 24 hours and I planned to re-wear them for the flight home.

Since I planned out all of our activities and dinner reservations in advance, I knew what kind of clothes I would need for each day. From there, I picked a color scheme. This sounds a little odd, but by making sure my three pairs of shoes matched with everything I packed, I saved a ton of room in my suitcase!

I love traveling with the Bigger Carry-on from Away. I was able to comfortably fit all of these items and a few more I bought along the way. I found that rolling items like t-shirts and pajamas really saved a lot of room and my items weren’t too wrinkled once we landed.

Packing light was definitely more doable than I expected and made our trip so much more enjoyable. Jumping on and off of trains was a breeze and it wasn’t even that bad dragging my suitcase down cobblestone streets. I would highly recommend it for your next trip as well!

XO,

Brit

Sugar Bowl 2022 Outfit Inspo!

Sugar Bowl 2022 Outfit Inspo!

The Sugar Bowl is almost here and God willing, it will actually happen! I am so excited because my team, Ole Miss, will be playing Baylor in New Orleans this year for the Sugar Bowl and we have so many friends who will be in town to celebrate New Year’s Eve and the Sugar Bowl! It has been a few years since I’ve been to the Sugar Bowl, but it looks like we will have the most beautiful weather so I’m sharing my favorite looks whether you’re an Ole Miss Rebel or a Baylor Bear.

2015 Sugar Bowl Crew!

The last time we went to the Sugar Bowl the weather was freezing, but this year it is going to be in the 80s so I’m wearing this adorable Hunter Bell dress (I actually wore it for Christmas too!) with tennis shoes, a clear bag for the stadium and *maybe* a denim jacket to stay warm in the air conditioning.

Wearing my new Hunter Bell Dress on Christmas Day

Are you going to the Sugar Bowl this year?! Let me know who you’re cheering for and your favorite thing to do in NOLA!

Hotty Toddy,

BRIT

New Years Eve Outfits 2022

New Years Eve Outfits 2022

2022 is upon us! I absolutely love the excitement New Years Eve brings and I always look forward to planning a fun and festive outfit to celebrate in. After a chill at-home NYE last year, Will and I will be ringing in the new year in his hometown of New Orleans so I’m going all in with sequins, feathers and stars!

This year we will be going out for dinner with friends to celebrate so I will be wearing this Black Bodysuit, Black and Silver Sequin Midi Skirt, a Star Tiara and pairing it with my Disco Bag and Crystal Embellished Heels (which are $100 and identical to the Amina Muadi’s).

I hope you love all of these festive ensembles and I wish you all a safe, happy and healthy New Year!

XO,

Brit

Gifts for Him and Her

Gifts for Him and Her

The holiday season is here! I can’t quite wrap my head around the fact that it is nearly December, but it is and that means it is time to start your holiday shopping. I have started my gift guides for the season and am so excited to share them with y’all! Today, I am sharing my guides for him and her.

Let’s start with the ladies! I developed this guide at several different price points and I think these gifts are most applicable for your friends, sisters, sister-in-laws, moms, mother-in-laws, grandmothers, girlfriends, fiancés and wives.

I have been wanting experiences more than material things this year, but I still love great presentation. I think the *perfect* gift would be the Tuscany Marvel Book with a trip to Italy as a surprise inside of the book! I also love bundling cook books with kitchen tools. If you have a friend who loves to cook, you can’t go wrong with the New Defined Dish Cookbook, Meat Masher, a set of Spatulas and a chic Apron. If your friends already pre-ordered Alex’s new book, try out Big Macs and Burgundy. I would wrap all of this together and add this Have Yourself A Merry Margarita Ornament to the gift wrapping!

If you’re looking for some designer splurges, I always recommend the Louis Vuitton Neverfull (if you don’t have one, I use this every day!), I’m also eyeing these Chloe Geometric Sunglasses, Golden Goose Cowboy Boots and a Bottega Veneta Card Holder. If your girl is trendy, get her this Mint Green Nylon Prada Bag with Pouch. And if you have designer taste without the budget, get this Mini Kelly Dupe…It is less than $200 and looks *identical* to the real Hermes Mini Kelly.

Let’s all take a minute and admit that it is really hard to buy gifts for the men in our lives. With that said, I have learned a few tips about giving gifts to men over the years. For my dad, I know that a handwritten note is the absolute best gift I can give him, but outside of that, I’ve started paying attention to what my dad buys for himself. Mostly golf stuff and Peter Milar anything. So whether it is your dad, husband, brother or grandfather, look at what they buy themselves and maybe get them something they already have in another color or pattern. 

When I was telling my dad about the gift guides, he told me that when you’re thinking of a gift to get the men in your life, you should follow their hobby. So basically, if they’re a golfer or a car fanatic, look at that and then do some research on a great gift in that area. Also, pay attention to what they say they want. My husband and dad both want very few things in this world so whenever I hear them say, “oh wow! I want that!” I immediately make a note in my phone and save it for their birthday or Christmas. 

I hope these gift guides help in your holiday shopping journey and remember to buy things sooner than later as shipping has been taking FOREVER this fall!

XO,

BRIT

Christmas Guide: Amazon Gems Under $100

Christmas Guide: Amazon Gems Under $100

Can y’all believe we are shopping for Christmas and holiday gifts already?! I certainly can’t, but here we are. Last Christmas, Amazon saved me in terms of gift giving. Will has such a big family and buying gifts for everyone can be a challenge.

Amazon is great because they have something for everyone and at every price point. On top of that, they *normally* have the fastest, free delivery, which makes this busy holiday season so much easier. Here are a few of my favorite gifts under $100 from Amazon.

What are your favorite Amazon gifts to give?! Leave me a comment and let me know!

XO,

Brit

A Local’s Guide to Houston

A Local’s Guide to Houston

Someone once told me “Houston is a great place to live, but not the best place to visit.” Having lived there for six years, I totally get what they meant now. It took me about two years to get my bearings in Houston and once I did, I completely fell in love with the Bayou city. 

Unlike other major cities in Texas, Houston’s Charms aren’t that obvious at first glance. It doesn’t have a lot of natural beauty like Austin and it isn’t a cultural phenomenon like Dallas. But with a little digging and some good resources, I know you will see what a gem Houston is.

From incredible food to world-class museums and more shopping than you can imagine, Houston has everything you could ever need or want. Because Houston is technically larger than the state of Rhode Island, I’ve found the trick to enjoying the city is finding the neighborhood you like and going from there. 

The gorgeous oak trees that line Rice University.

Favorite Neighborhoods

Uptown

River Oaks

Rice Village/West University

The Museum District

Montrose

The Heights

The food in Houston is some of the best in the world. When I lived there, going out to eat was my favorite thing to do. Whether it was brunch with girlfriends, grabbing a bite to eat at the cafe after a day at the museum or a dinner out with my husband, there was no shortage of incredible and diverse restaurants to choose from.

Favorite Restaurants

Something I love about Houston is that they have BYOB restaurants. I haven’t quite tapped into that scene in Austin, but I live for BYOB spots. My No. 1 all time favorite restaurant in Houston is Huynh and it is BYOB. Since I’m a wino, I am SUPER picky about the wine I drink. Going to a BYOB restaurant is great because I can bring literally anything I want and enjoy it with fabulous food all at a reasonable price. 

Hole in the Walls/BYOBs:

Huynh

Giacomo’s

Himalaya 

Cooking Girl

In addition to my BYOB faves, I have a solid list of go-to places that I would be at on a regular basis. For dinner, I love Kata Robata (fancy sushi and IMO better than Uchi, Nobu and MF Sushi), Coltivare–you cannot beat the experience of Coltivare in Houston. It is a farm-to-table Italian restaurant in the Heights with its own garden. You can wait in the garden for your table (and have one of their famous gin and tonics), the food is incredible as well. Nobie’s is also fabulous for dinner. Their menu is always changing and the food is top-notch. The restaurant is so cozy so I love it for a date night or dinner with close friends.

I love B19 for a boozy brunch or dinner with my girlfriends and Bistro Menil is the absolute best for a salad, carafe of wine and a delicious dessert. The Menil Collection is a must-see while you’re in Houston too so you can knock out two birds with one stone with this one.

I also love Mala Sichuan and miss it dearly. If you’re looking for legit sichuan go to their China Town location, but if you want a hip vibe in town, check out their Montrose location. If you’re looking for a bougie Asian dining experience look no further than Le Colonial. I absolutely love everything about this place. From the decor, to the food, wine list and service, Le Colonial is hard to beat. I love it for brunch, a boozy lunch, dinner and late night… yes, the second floor of Le Colonial turns into a mild club scene at night and it is SO fun! Another fun dining experience with fantastic food is Armando’s. In my opinion, Armando’s has the best margaritas in town and while their food is flavorful, it doesn’t leave me feeling sick and way too full like other Mexican restaurants in town. On Thursday nights, Armando’s also turns into a dancing scene! It is the absolute best.

For sophisticated dining I always seem to go to State of Grace and La Table. Both restaurants are beautifully designed and in fabulous locations. I love the oyster happy hour at State of Grace, but really everything on the menu is incredible. La Table is truly French fine dining. The wine list is the best in Houston and I love all of their food. The service is also outstanding.

My go-to’s:

Coltivare

Kata Robata

Nobie’s

Brasserie 19

Hillstone

Le Colonial

Mala Sichuan

La Table

State of Grace

Bistro Menil

Armando’s

If you’re looking for a Fancy dining experience in Houston, there are so many world-class options to choose from. I added La Table on this list as well because it is a very upscale dining experience. 

Houston recently opened its first Michelin starred restaurant, Le Jardinier, at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH) and it is truly incredible. The decor is very European and the food, wine and cocktails are outstanding. Musaafer is also new on the food scene in Houston and if you like Indian food as much as I do, you will not want to miss this spot. In addition to incredible food, the decor and vibe of this restaurant are unparalleled. Bludorn *somewhat* recently opened in town and we love everything about it. It is more traditional, elevated American food with oysters, steak and a killer wine list.

Whenever Will and I were celebrating something special, we would try to go to BCN. This elegant spanish restaurant is phenomenal and so charming. It is very hard to get  a reservation so you will have to plan your visit far in advance, but it is totally worth it. 

If you’re looking for an over-the-top steak experience, Mastro’s and Doris Metropolitan are my favorites. Mastro’s is just a sceney experience with great cocktails food and people watching, but Doris Metropolitan is really for the foodies. I think the best steak I had in Houston was at Doris. 

Fancy Night Out

BCN

Le Jardinier

Bludorn

Mastro’s

La Table

Doris Metropolitan

Musaafer

Did you know we are standing in front of “Cloud Column” at the MFAH? This sculpture is the sister piece to Chicago’s iconic Bean sculpture. Having been to both, I would visit Cloud Column any day. No lines or massive crowds and The MFAH is simply the best.

The activities in Houston are endless, but I don’t think they are obvious to a first-time visitor. If you couldn’t tell from my extensive food list, eating should be a top priority if you’re in Houston. Make reservations in advance and do a fun food tour trying out as many places as you can. I cannot stress how incredible the museums in Houston are enough. Having visited museums around the world, I can honestly tell you that Houston has some of the best. The MFAH is remarkable in every way. It is an entire campus with multiple buildings that house different kinds of art, sculpture gardens, the Glassell School and incredible dining options. In addition to the MFAH, the Contemporary Arts Museum, Jung Center and the Houston Museum of Natural Science are fantastic. If you are with children, the Children’s Museum, the Health Museum and the Zoo are incredible as well.

Adjacent to the Museum District, is Rice Village (my old neighborhood) and Rice University. This is one of the most stunning campus’ in the U.S. as it is lined with century-old oak trees and gorgeous brick buildings. There is a walking track that runs the perimeter of the campus and is a perfect 3-mile loop. I used to walk the loop every morning for exercise and I miss it so much. While you’re doing the walk, you can stop to see James Turrell’s famed SkySpace (sunrises and sunsets are the best time to go) and when you’re done, you can pop into Rice Village for food, drinks and shopping.

If you’ve taken in enough culture for your visit, Athletic events are always fun to attend….Astros games are definitely my favorite. The shopping in Houston should also not be missed. The Galleria is incredible and has every store imaginable. I love the Saks Fifth Avenue and all of the restaurants around it most. Outside of the Galleria, Tootsie’s is fabulous and if there is one store you absolutely have to go to while in town, it’s Kuhl Linscomb. To say I’m obsessed with Kuhl Linscomb is an understatement so if you’re in town, please go!!

Fun Things to Do

Visit the museums

Walk around Rice University and see the James Turell SkySpace

Go to a game! Texans, Astros and Rockets games are the best

Go shopping! 

Do a food tour

I hope you all have the chance to visit Houston soon and that you love it as much as I do! If you have been, leave me a comment and tell me your favorite things about the city! Hope you all have the best weekend!

XO,

Brit

Shopbop Style Event is Live

Shopbop Style Event is Live

Shopbop’s bi-annual Style Event sale is now live! This sale is a tiered event and gives buyers up to 25 percent off of their purchase using the code STYLE based on how much they spend. The Style Event is a great time to stock up on fall and winter favorites, Christmas presents and swimsuits for next year.

This fall, I am obsessed with sweater dresses and shearling shoes. I also *cannot* recommend these green cargo pants enough. I bought them in August and have worn them at least 25 times since then. They are great for travel, going out to eat, running errands, literally whatever! I get so many compliments on them when I go out and they are so comfy.

I know many of us are still wearing lounge sets so this sale is a great time to restock on those. I’m obsessed with these black lounge pants and love this grey set. This sweatshirt robe also just moved up to the top of my Christmas wishlist. On the opposite side of the fashion spectrum from loungewear is swimwear and now is a great time to buy for next season. So many Hunza G styles sell out buy March so I scooped up this adorable mint green one for next season!

Happy shopping, friends!

XO,

Brit

Halloween Costumes that Aren’t Really Costumes

Halloween Costumes that Aren’t Really Costumes

Halloween is almost here! Although I love the holiday spirit and live for a good theme, I’m not all that crazy about over-the-top Halloween costumes. Maybe it’s the extreme promiscuity or the gore, but my favorite costumes are usually the ones that mimic a real life character.

For my last year of college, I went to one of our halloween parties as Ja’mie King. For those of you who don’t know, Ja’mie is one of the three characters Chris Lilley plays in the one season wonder, Summer Heights High. In addition to my *perfect* Ja’mie accent, I borrowed my roommate’s little sister’s school uniform to emulate Ja’mie’s jumper and threw on knee high socks and a blazer and it was literally the best costume I’ve ever done. My roomie went as Barbie and that was pretty iconic too.

Cinderella: Tiara, Black Choker, Blue Nap Dress, Glass Slippers
Frosted Animal Crackers: Pink or White Dress with Glued-on Pom Poms, Mouse Ears, Superga Sneakers
Audrey Hepburn: Eye Mask and Tuxedo Shirt Set, Black Heels
Peacock: Peacock Headpiece, Peacock Ombre Dress, Glass Slippers
Dorothy: Bows, Blue and White Sleeper Dress, Red Slip on Mules, Basket Bag

If you’re like me and *really* leaned into the nap/sleeper dress trend, why not make a costume out of it too? Pair this beautiful blue one with Amina Muadi dupe glass slippers for an effortless and comfortable Cinderella look. If perhaps you have a blue and white checkered dress, add a basket bag, bows and red slippers (maybe a puppy too) for a modest and chic Dorothy. On the sleepy chic train is also this iconic Audrey Hepburn look from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Amazon even sells a sleeping mask, earring and tuxedo shirt set from the movie…I’d pair it with these Manolo dupes for and easy and elegant Audrey look.

I also loved this creative crew I did Halloween with nearly a decade ago! I’m Mary Katherine Gallagher (Superstar) of course and then we’ve got Medusa, Bob Ross!! and the Morton’s Salt Girl. All of our costumes were from home and could be recreated so easily.

I can’t tell y’all what Will is being yet because it is SO good and pulled straight from real life. I think those are really the best costumes when you can take on someone’s voice and personality for the night and just have a ton of fun with it. What are you planning to be this year?!

XO,

Brit

Fall Date Night

Fall Date Night

Fall is finally here y’all!! The heat in Austin has been so overwhelming the past few weeks so when we woke up to weather in the 50s, Will and I decided to have date night at one of our favorite outdoor spots, Cosmic Coffee and Beer Garden. Although Cosmic has a gravel patio, I just knew I had to break in my favorite new shoes from Zara!

Y’all…these shoes are an absolute dream!! They are like Manolo Blahnik and Amina Muaddi had an affordable baby!

I didn’t expect this, but baby blue or powder blue has become my most worn shade this month and might be my favorite color for fall. Here’s what I threw together to pair with my shoes.

When a dinner turns into late night margarita walks!

Are you excited for cooler weather?! Leave me a comment and let me know which looks and colors you are loving for fall!

XO,

Brit

Fall Style Under $100

Fall Style Under $100

Fall is nearly here, y’all! During this time of transition, I’m loving lighter pieces in fall tones of sage, blue, tan and black. Just because we are changing seasons, doesn’t mean you need to break the bank with a new wardrobe. I’m sharing some of my favorite fall pieces that are all under $100.

Since I’m here in Austin, temperatures are still in the 80s and 90s. Because of this, I sticking to dresses made of light fabrics and pairing them back with everything from sandals to slides and boots. I have been wearing this sage green dress from H&M nonstop. I love it with a belt, my tan Hermès Oran slides and my nano Celine Belt Bag.

Mixing High and Low

As much as I love getting a good deal, I also love luxury. The fun thing about fall is that you can mix high fashion, luxury pieces with budget friendly items to create a polished and accessible look.

Living for this polka dot midi dress from H&M for fall. I paired it here with my favorite Gucci dupe slides and a classic black Louis Vuitton purse.

What styles have you been loving as we transition to fall?!

XO,

Brit