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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
Rice Village/West University
The Museum District
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
Fall is almost here, my loves! Even though it is 100 degrees outside in Austin today, the promise of cooler weather, sweaters and boots is here. Although it has been hard for me to get in the mindset for fall, I’m sharing my crushes as we transition into this new season.
If my wardrobe on our trip to Kohler was any indication, I will be wearing these green pants all day, every day for the foreseeable future. They look amazing and are incredibly comfortable. I’ve paired it here with my favorite H&M sweater set from last season and my new shearling Birkenstocks.
Since the temperatures in Austin will be toasty through November at the earliest, I’m focusing mostly on dresses in darker tones of green, rust, black and blue as the seasons change. Swapping out sandals for tennis shoes and mules is also a great way to transition in a warmer climate.
As promised, I will be styling my favorite shirt dress with tan boots this fall. I love this dress because you can use the buttons to make it a sexy look or leave it undone for a sophisticated casual look.
What colors and styles are you loving as we move from summer into fall? Leave me a comment and let me know!
Hailey Bieber isn’t the only one loving lavender this summer! As one of the season’s hottest colors, it comes as no surprise that we are all loving the pastel tones of purple too. “Millennial purple,” as it has been dubbed by Hola! Is encompassing of the hues from lilac to lavender and has been a staple in my spring and summer wardrobes this year.
One of my favorite purple pieces has been this mini dress from English Factory because of its color and light-weight cotton fabric. The ruffle detailing on it is so beautiful and this dress also just got marked down to under $60! My only complaint about this dress is that it is a bit short. I am 5’8″ and it is shorter than most dresses I am comfortable in. This is a common theme for English Factory dresses…I just wish they would make a “tall” version or add about two inches to their dresses!
In the summertime, I am a sucker for dresses. Living in Texas, the heat can be overwhelming so having a light-weight dress is the most comfortable thing for me to wear. This beautiful wildflower dress is a must-have and is less than $50! I’m also loving this lavender midi dress from Sea. It would be perfect for church, brunch or a romantic date night.
The Fourth of July is just one week away. To prepare for patriotic celebrations of all kinds, I’m sharing my favorite red, white and blue styles today. From the pool and the beach to a bbq or dinner with friends, I’ve got you covered.
I personally love wearing a beautiful dress for the fourth because not only are they incredibly cute, they are also great for a hot day. If you’re hitting the pool or the beach, order this red swimsuit and white tunic cover-up ASAP! They are currently on a major sale at J.Crew and with luck, you can have it by the fourth.
However you choose to celebrate this year, I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday!
Memorial Day is the unofficial beginning of summer in my mind and with these soaring temperatures in Austin the past few days, I’m officially declaring it summer a few days early. Luckily, with the summer heat comes easy breezy styles and lots of color so today I want to share the items I am loving and eyeing for the summer months ahead.
For the summer, I love transitioning to a new signature scent. Byredo’s Gypsy Water is a sultry, yet refreshing scent that is so beautiful during the summer months. I’m also switching my nail color to my favorite new shade of pink! I love this color because it is sheer, but a striking pink.
My favorite look for the summer is this linenset. I’ve paired it with my new handbag for the summer, my favorite Hermès sandals and of course my Celine dupe sunglasses. I love this set because it is sophisticated and so comfortable in the heat. Another handbag I’m dreaming of this summer is this little Goyard bucket bag. I think it is so chic and would be perfect for any occasion.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that I’m a big dress person. I love dresses because they are not only beautiful, but so easy to wear in the hot months of summer. I’m currently dying over this Palm Tree print maxi dress–how great would this be for a summer dinner? And I cannot wait to get the rainbow print maxi dress from Staud. The pink smocked maxi dress will be a staple for me and I’ll be wearing it everywhere from church to dinners and brunch with my friends. Of all the dresses, this blue and white maxi dress from Le Superbe will be my most worn this summer, I’m sure. Blue and white stripes are just my aesthetic.
If you’re hitting the beach soon, I can’t recommend this combo enough. While I love a swimsuit and matching pareo, I think pairing a solid one-piece with this gorgeous Agua by Agua Bendita Pareo would be stunning.
Which styles are you loving for the summer? 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.