Summer is on its way, y’all! There are so many things I love about summer, but my favorite is probably all of the beautiful dresses I get to wear during the season. This year I’m more excited than usual because I can actually go out and wear my dresses in public now that COVID restrictions are relaxing.
When I’m shopping for summer dresses, I love getting them for a good price because in the Texas heat, you can sweat through them quickly. Here’s a round up of my favorite summer dresses for under $100!
Which dress is your favorite? Leave me a comment and let me know!
As the world opens back up, I feel like I have been traveling, eating and drinking alcohol so much more than I have for the past 14 months. Although it has been great to see friends and family again and get back to the things we used to do, the recent over-indulgences have left me feeling bloated, tired and achey. To reset myself, I decided to eliminate alcohol, coffee, gluten and processed foods for one week.
One of my all time favorite things in life is a piece of peanut butter toast in the morning. I love sourdough bread, but I decided to swap gluten for protein this week so for breakfast, I alternated between my favorite yogurt bowl: Fage O% Milk Fat yogurt, Kind Granola, cinnamon and local honey and eggs with freshly made salsa.
For lunch I mixed it up by making a smoothie or ordering from Sweet Green or Chipotle and I decided to get the most creative with my dinners for the week. I didn’t realize it, but Will and I normally eat quite a bit of gluten so it was a bit of a challenge to eliminate that for a week of meals. Since I never know what our weekends will bring, I only plan meals Monday through Thursday night, here’s a look at what I made for the week!
Monday Dinner: The Defined Dish Mushroom Lettuce Cups. Will and I absolutely LOVED this recipe. It was so easy to cook (and clean up) and it was surprising filling. I had three and I lost count of how many Will had..maybe seven? I’d highly recommend these if you’re wanting to eat clean or eliminate meat and fish.
Tuesday Dinner: Taco Salad Night! I think this was my favorite meal of the week. For our taco salad, I used chopped romaine lettuce, taco meat (2 lbs. ground beef cooked with half of a diced white onion, salt, pepper, 1 tbsp. chili powder, 1tsp. ground cumin, 1 tsp. oregano), shredded cheese and black olives. Instead of using salad dressing which can be highly processed, I got a freshly made salsa from Central Market and topped the salad with my homemade guacamole (3 avocados, half of a diced white onion, 1 diced jalapeño, 1 tbsp. Maldon salt, 1/2 of a lime squeezed and topped with chopped cilantro.)
We also loved this meal and I served it as a “build your own taco salad” so I got to make mine exactly how I wanted and Will got to do the same for his. Super easy to make, filling and very healthy.
Wednesday Dinner: The Defined Dish’s Mongolian Chicken with a carrot ginger spring salad. I’ve always loved Mongolian Beef, but had never heard about Mongolian Chicken until I saw it from the Defined Dish. As with all of Alex’s meals, it was amazing and SO easy to clean up…another one of her one pot wonders.
Because Will and I normally have some sort of a starch with our meals, I just made more chicken than I normally would and more salad to make sure we were both full and it worked out perfectly.
Thursday Dinner: Broccoli with grilled chicken and homemade Alfredo sauce. By Thursday, I was ready for some comfort food so rather than making my favorite fettuccine Alfredo, I swapped the noodles for broccoli. I never use store-bought Alfredo sauce and I’m not saying my homemade sauce is light, but it is not heavily processed.
To make the sauce, heat 1/2 stick of butter in a sauté pan over low heat and add in 1 cup of heavy whipping cream–let simmer for five minutes. Slowly whisk in 1 and 1/2 cups of freshly grated parmesan cheese. Finally add in 2 tbsp. chopped Italian Parsley, 2 cloves of chopped garlic and salt and pepper to taste.
By the end of the week, I felt refreshed, my skin looked clear and dewey and I lost three pounds. How have you stayed healthy as life gets back to normal? Leave me a comment and let me know!
It seems that weddings are back in full swing which means you’ll need a refresh on your wedding guest attire. After more than a year of cancelled weddings and delayed engagements, it is so exciting to think about celebrating with loved ones and having weddings again.
A major wedding trend I’m seeing for this summer is the destination wedding, which I love! I’m all for traditional weddings, but destination weddings allow you and your guests let your hair down a bit more and you all get to enjoy a vacation together. For a destination wedding, I like to wear fun, elevated maxi dresses…here are a few I would wear if I were going.
Another wedding trend for this summer will be intimate daytime weddings held outdoors. For this occasion, I think wearing a beautiful sun dress is the best option. I love sticking to pastels for weddings, but since it’s summertime, maybe throw in a subtle pop of neon too.
For a more traditional wedding, I think the most popular dress code is cocktail attire. I can’t even remember the last time I wore a cocktail dress so it was so fun to look through cocktail dresses today. Here are a few I would wear for a wedding this summer.
Now for black tie…if you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that I loathe reading “black tie” on an invitation. Not because I don’t love getting dressed up, but because it is often misinterpreted. Nine times out of 10 when you are invited to a black tie wedding, most of the female guests are just dressed in really nice cocktail dresses and you show up in a gown and feel like a fool. BUT for the one time out of ten that guests are actually in gowns, I live for that wedding and I am here for it.
Just as an aside to all brides…please don’t say you are having a black tie wedding if it isn’t super formal! It is really confusing to guests and pretty unnecessary. So if your wedding starts before 6 p.m. or isn’t a formal seated dinner, consider putting “elevated cocktail” as your dress code.
Now back to ACTUAL black tie or white tie wedding guest dresses…. here are a few of my favorites that I would love to wear this summer! Let’s start with this beautiful blush number by Katie May. I love Katie May because her dresses are made well, look amazing and come at an even better price point. If you’re wanting to spend a bit more, I also love formal dresses by Chiara Boni La Petite Robe. They come at a moderate price point and look amazing on all body types. Now, if you’re wanting to SPLURGE…take a look at this citrus inspired gown by Oscar de la Renta!! I mean, it is the dress of my dreams. If I had been invited to a fancy wedding on the Amalfi Coast in Italy this summer, I would definitely be showing up in this.
Are you going to any weddings this spring or summer? Which dress code is your favorite?
Zara is currently killing it with their spring collection. I went to the Domain the other day with one of my girlfriends to do some spring shopping so we went to Zara and Oh. My. Goodness. We were blown away with how good their new styles are!!
Because of COVID-19, fitting rooms are closed to customers so I had to buy everything that I wanted to try on and now have 30 days to return the items I don’t want. So here’s what I went home with!
Without trying on the midi dresses, I kind of already knew that I would love them because I am a midi dress queen and also because the colors were SO lovely. Can you get better than mint green, bubble gum pink and white for spring and summer dresses?! The white ribbed midi dress I actually bought last summer and wore it everywhere so I was so happy to see that they brought it back this year. It is only $17 and looks just like my James Perse dresses. The flowy white midi dress is going to be a staple for me this summer because of how chic and comfortable it is. I am also just in love with the mint green and pink midi dresses too. When I wore them last weekend, I paired them with the Tan Wrap Sandals and got tons of compliments everywhere we went.
Now the more challenging part of the try-on process came with the mini dresses! For reference, I am 5’8″ so I don’t really wear a lot of mini dresses, but the jungle print and floral dress were just too cute for me to pass on.
In the end, I decided to keep the two white midi dresses, the mint green and the pink midi dresses and the tan wrap sandals. I returned the sporty green sandals, the relaxed green pants and the two mini dresses. Do you think I made the right choices?
Leave me a comment and let me know what you’ve been loving at Zara lately!
Austin has been my home for a year now. When we moved in March of 2020, the world seemed to be crumbling around us and it took me a while to get acquainted with the city. But now, a little more than a year since we moved, I feel like I’m fully at home here and want to share my favorite parts of the city with all of you.
If you’ve been following me for a while or follow my Instagram account, you’ll know that I’m a pretty big foodie. So it’s only fitting that I start off this list by talking about my favorite restaurants in Austin. I broke this one up into two categories–my favorite places for brunch and lunch and another one for my favorite dinners in Austin. I did this because Austin is very vibey. I usually enjoy places with great patios more during the daytime and a sophisticated interior for the evening. So here we go!
Whether you’re visiting Austin for a quick weekend or live here full time, you’ll want to check these brunch/lunch spots out. I personally live for a Saturday brunch or long, bougie lunch during the week and Austin has the dreamiest restaurants that were basically made to do just that. First things first, Clark’s is my Mecca. I live for everything about Clark’s. In my eyes, they can do no wrong–even though most of their seating is now in their parking lot and it backs up to king of a noisy street, I just love it! Order yourself a bottle of wine, oysters and some shoestring fries and just enjoy your day! Truly the best.
I also love Josephine House and Aba for lunch and brunch. I will say that Josephine House is more of a vibe place for me than great food, but it is lovely and so nice for a girls brunch. Now Aba is a totally different story. They have the best patio in Austin, in my opinion, and incredible food! If you go, make sure you’re sitting outside and order some cocktails, the lamb ragu hummus, the whipped feta and the hamachi.
When it comes to dinner, I live for these three spots. They are totally different cuisine wise and by occasion. If you’re looking for a good, somewhat casual dinner, I would definitely recommend Launderette. Located in the up-and-coming East Austin, this spot is very hip and the food makes me feel like I’m hanging out in the south of France. When we go, I order the Brussel Sprouts, whole fish and french fries.
If you’re looking for an upscale, cosmopolitan Mexican restaurant, look no further than ATX Cocina. Our friends took us for the first time when we were preparing to move to Austin and we go back all the time now! In addition to having the coolest interior, they also have incredible cocktails, an impressive wine list and AMAZING food! We always get the chips and guac (duh), the octopus, the queso fundido and the pork tomahawk.
For special occasions and VERY romantic date nights, you have to go to Jeffrey’s. The Austin staple is located in Old Clarksville (the cutest neighborhood in Austin) and has the most sophisticated and cozy interior of any restaurant in town. If you can, ask to be seated in one of the booth enclaves. Pre-pandemic, Jeffrey’s was known for their martini cart–where they would make you a martini table side. I can say even without the cart, the martinis are incredible and not to be missed. Once your mini-time is over, take a look at their impressive wine list (we love the Châteauneuf-du Pape and Frog’s Leap) and literally anything on the menu. The steaks are SO good and the sides and starters don’t disappoint either. Jeffrey’s is the nicest restaurant in Austin and probably the most expensive too. If you’re looking to save some money, but have a great experience, go on a Sunday night when their entire wine list is half off!!
Thank the lord Austin is such an active town so I have a chance to walk off all of the food I eat here! When we moved to Austin last March, pretty much the only thing that was open was the trail around Town Lake and I pretty much went every day. The Trail Foundation made a huge effort to make the trail safe to all during the pandemic and it was such a solace for me. I still walk it regularly now with Charlie and we also love to go paddle boarding on the lake! It is such a fun workout and you and your significant other/friends can pack a picnic on the water by connecting your boards and floating together.
Although we have lived in Texas for more than seven years, we never really explored anything outside of Houston and Dallas until we moved to Austin. We have barely scratched the surface when it comes to visiting all of the Lone Star state, but we have totally fallen in love with the Texas Hill Country and wineries. The best part is that most of these within an hour of Austin so we can do a quick day trip or have a nice weekend away. Our favorite places in the Hill Country so far are Round Top, Dripping Springs and Fredericksburg.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my Austin Favorites! What are your favorite things to do in Austin? Leave me a comment and let me know!
Mother’s Day is just around the corner! May 9th, to be exact, which is only three weeks away. Not to worry though, I’ve got gift suggestions to celebrate all of the mamas in your life from your mom to your grandma, sisters and friends.
For the beauty lovers in your life, you can’t go wrong with the CE Ferulic serum from Skinceuticals. It is definitely a splurge and I have yet to meet a woman who hasn’t loved it, which makes it THE perfect gift to get for your baby mama! If they already have that and have dry skin, treat them to the La Mer Moisturizing cream. This moisturizer is so luxurious and will be such a pleasant surprise. If you’re looking for a fabulous perfume, I always recommend the Jo Malone fragrances. My personal favorite is Earl Grey and Cucumber because it is light, refreshing and reminds me of the spa. Fragrances can often be personal so a helpful tip to find the right scent for the mamas in your life is to look at what they already have. Just take a picture of their perfume bottle and buy them a new one…I know it will be much appreciated!
I know my mom loves pajamas so I always get her a new pair for Mother’s Day and this year will be no different. I absolutely love this beautiful floral pajama set from Nordstrom. If your mom is like mine and loves the cozy things in life, I’m sure she would also love a Barefoot Dreams blanket or a pair of the ultra light-weight Eva Birkenstocks that will be perfect for running around in this summer.
To help get the ladies in your life ready for summer, I know I would *LOVE* to get a matching swimsuit and pareo from Agua by Agua Bendita! It is a total splurge, but so beautiful!! I also love the mommy and me Mark and Graham straw beach totes. These make the perfect gift because you can customize the colors and add a monogram which is a thoughtful touch. If you’re traveling this summer, I’d suggest getting the MZ Wallace Large tote or the crossbody bag as a gift because these are truly the best bags to travel with and are so stylish. Speaking of travel, every girl needs a great pair of shoes to run around in and I think Veja’s are the best everyday sneaker, check out this all white pair for the summer.
Happy Monday, friends!! I am so excited because this week is starting off with one of my favorite sales of the year…the Shopbop sale!! I love this sale because depending on how much you spend, you can save up to 25 percent off of the most beautiful clothes, shoes and accessories!! Here are some of my favorites 🙂
Whether you’re looking to stock up on spring and summer styles or classics you’ve been waiting to splurge on, the Shopbop sale is the perfect time to do it. For the sale, you can save 15 percent when you spend $200+, 20 percent when you spend $500+ and 25 percent when you spend $800+ by using the code STYLE.
Who else has been buying the majority of their things from Amazon lately? From coffee to clothes, I buy so much more than I ever thought I would from the online superstore because it is just SO easy, cheap and cute.
Lets start with talking about this printed wrap dress…It is so cute and less than $30!! I have worn it around the house, to the beach and dinner and have gotten so many compliments on it! I know it will be a staple for me this spring and summer.
If you’re looking to update your spring shoe collection, you don’t want to miss out on these tan bow flip flops. They are perfect for the beach, running around and could even be shower shoes for the gym or dorm room as they are entirely waterproof.
If you’ve been following along for a while, you’ll know that I gave up coffee a few years ago to help ease my acid reflux. But over the last year, I have been treating myself to an occasional Blue Bottle iced coffee. I usually buy these little cans at Central Market, but you can also get them at Whole Foods or on Amazon. They are just the best. I serve mine with whole milk and over ice in this BPA-free tumbler and then usually head out for a long walk with Charlie.
I needed a book for our beach trip and I saw Stephanie Covington, of A Life Well Saved, recommended In Five Years by Rebecca Serle. It is SO good and I have almost finished it in just a few days! Highly recommend this if you’re looking for a light summer read.
What have you been loving from Amazon lately?! Leave me a comment and let me know!
We are heading back to one of my favorite places…Watercolor, Florida!! As many of you know, we love Watercolor and have been going there A LOT over the past year. I have been visiting this area for about a decade and my husband and his family have been going for pretty much his whole life. To get ready for my trip, I’m sharing my packing list!
This trip to Watercolor is even more exciting than usual because we’re not only going to enjoy the beach, but we also get to celebrate Easter with our friends at the Chapel at Seaside which is going to be so special.
For those of you who don’t know, Watercolor and Seaside are two communities that back up to one another along the iconic stretch of the beachside highway known as 30A. You can distinguish where you are in this area by the architecture. Seaside is known for having almost dollhouse looking homes painted in pinks, yellows, blues, greens and white and Watercolor is filled with larger homes mostly painted in whites, blues and greens. All of these towns are connected with bike paths so you never have to drive anywhere which I love.
The weather along the Florida panhandle is gorgeous during the month of April and it’s usually a lot less busy than spring break and the summer. Since the vibe in the area is casual chic, I’m packing mostly dresses and pastel-colored swimsuits. I never go to the beach without packing a few sunhats…I live for my Eugenia Kim hat and it is just amazing, but it is kind of a hassle to pack. If you’re flying or don’t want to deal with bringing a big hat, check out this foldable one I found for less than $10. I use it way more than my other hats and I get so many compliments on it.
Have you been to Watercolor or anywhere on 30A? What are your favorite things to do in the area?
Makeup has always been a hassle for me–something I hate having to put on, but also necessary to keep me looking somewhat put together. When I swapped my foundation for tinted sunscreen a few years ago, I felt like I could actually enjoy my day while wearing “makeup.” I add a few more elements to my five-minute makeup routine, check it out below!
Before I apply my makeup, I do my full skincare routine. Once that is all done, I start by applying the tinted sunscreen on my face and neck…I just use my hands to apply it. Next, I put on under eye concealer. I have been using the Giorgio Armani Power Fabric Concealer in Shade 2. I cannot say enough good things about this concealer. I have dark circles and this concealer really makes them disappear. I apply the concealer using the wand it comes with and then I blend it using a Blending Sponge.
Next, I apply the bronzer. I love the Hoola Benefit Bronzer because it acts as a bronzer and contouring kit all in one. I use the brush the bronzer comes with to bronze and contour my face. Then, I apply another layer of concealer and finally, I add the Blush. I really love the blushes by Bobbi Brown because they don’t irritate my skin and I think they come in the most beautiful colors. To blend all of the makeup I use the large Luxie brush and I just love it.
I really only wear mascara for holidays and major events (even during a non-pandemic year) so I didn’t include it in this routine. From beginning to end, it should take you only five minutes to apply. It will leave you looking fresh-faced and dewy for the whole day!