New Year Cheer

December 31, 2018

I’m not entirely sure what happened to 2018 or how I got here. It’s as if I somehow Marty McFly’d myself several months ahead because I swear it was just January & I was settling into life at home with my newborn daughter. Looking back, 2018 was a pretty great year - it kicked 2017’s ass, that’s for sure!

2018 was the year of some serious multitasking skills, what with trying to juggle motherhood, my usual office job, and my side hustle Second Star Co. & I think I did pretty well! Becoming a mom truly does change you (for the better, of course), but if there’s one thing that hasn’t wavered, it’s my love of travel. Even with a new baby, I still managed to take a few (several) trips this year: Nashville, St. Pete Beach, Disney World (three times!), Denver, & Memphis.

Winds in the East: Disneybounding at Garden View Tea Room

December 18, 2018

"Winds in the east,  | mist coming in | like something is brewin' | about to begin"

Mary Poppins is one of my (many) all time favorite movies. I remember watching it on VHS (yes, that dates me back a bit) when I was little and fawning over Mary's Jolly Holiday dress and the entire carousel scene. Clearly I was drawn to fashion as a child, somewhere between the ages of "dressing like a fairy princess" and "chicken fingers/mac&cheese diet" (honestly, not all that unlike my current self if we're being honest). So when I heard there was a Mary Poppins sequel, I was a bit skeptical at first. No one can live up to the epic performances of the dream team that is Julie Andrews & Dick Van Dyke, but after seeing the previews for Mary Poppins Returns, I think it may come close. We'll have to wait and see, but more on that later after I've seen it.

So in keeping with the MP theme since the movie is about to be released, today I'm sharing this fun dapper Mary look I did when I was at the Grand Floridian for afternoon tea. I may not be a literal fairy princess here, but I definitely felt like one.

Chattalocal: A Night In At The Inn

November 20, 2018

My go-to vacation (besides Disney) is usually somewhere tropical and involves a lot of frozen cocktails and copious amounts of guac. But living in landlocked TN, getaways like that involve a ton of planning & at least a full week off from work. Sometimes you need a getaway but you can’t fully get away so taking a mini staycation is the perfect solution to get that R&R fix.

When I travel, I like to switch up the usual hotel routine & go for an Airbnb, which can often be a much more personal experience. Don’t get me wrong - I absolutely love hotels & resorts, especially when there is an amazing pool involved (& we’ve already established I have a thing for hotel lobbies), but opting for an Airbnb instead can offer some pretty amazing & unique accommodations (think vintage airstreams, luxurious treehouses, & tiny homes in remote locations).

Easy Like Sunday Morning: Cherohala Skyway & Fall in Tennessee

November 14, 2018

If there's one thing I love about November, it's the stunning fall colors of nature (& feasting on Turkey Day. Ok, so 2 things). Fortunately for me, I live in a place with seasons (Imma let you finish, FL, but TN has the best sweater weather of all time), and I look forward to fall every year. But really, what girl doesn't?

Every year sometime around mid-September, we wait with bated breath for the first official day of fall. Eagerly clutching our pumpkin spice lattes while clad in a uniform of plaid, jewel tones, and scarves (if you don't own a blanket scarf, you're doing fall wrong), we trek out into the wilderness (or anywhere with a cluster of trees. The backyard? Sure, that looks wild enough) to take approximately 56 posts on Instagram devoted to the glorious fall season, while our husbands and boyfriends roll their eyes and silently judge us. But the real fun doesn't begin until the weather catches up and the autumn goddesses begin to paint the leaves in a stunning palette of red, gold, orange, and yellow. Living in the south, this temperature change usually doesn't occur until sometime early November - and even then, it could be 70° one day (3 days ago) and 51° the next (today)! But when it finally does, and those leaves erupt all over town in a burst of fiery-colored brilliance, you get out & enjoy it.

How About Them Apples: A Trip to Mercier Orchard

November 10, 2018

Continuing on the theme of fall before I am accosted with pre-Thanksgiving Christmas commercials, mall Santas everywhere, and the onslaught of holiday madness, I wanted to share something on my ultimate autumn bucket list. The season offers so many great activities, and one that has always topped the list for me is visiting an orchard (it's still apple-pickin' season, y'all!) One of the best places to do that (near Chattanooga, anyway), is Mercier Orchard. Even if you don't live that close, it's worth the drive. Trust me.

Located in Blue Ridge, GA and just a little over an hour and a half from Chattanooga, you'll find Mercier Orchard: "home of the best damn apples" (their unofficial slogan, coined by yours truly. Just now). Family owned and operated, this little farm has been gracing the world with apple goodness since 1943. We're talking a legit apple-lover's paradise: fried pies, apple cider (& their partner in crime, the apple cider donut), apple butter, apple jelly, apple fritters, apple wine....I think they also sell regular apples here too, but don't quote me on that (hopefully you felt the sarcasm in that one).

Good night, Sleeping Beauty: My Night Routine

November 8, 2018

*This post is sponsored by SmileBrilliant. All reviews and opinions expressed in this post are wholly my own.

For me, a strong night routine is essential for a good nights sleep - a queen needs her beauty rest after all! But sometimes the stress of the day has us wound too tight to let us sleep. There might be a million and one things left on your to-do list, but without taking care of yourself first, you won’t have the extra energy you need to tackle those ever-growing tasks.

Here’s my list of nightly rituals & tips that are sure to have you snoozing in no time, and leave you refreshed for the morning.

It's levi(O)sa, not levio(SA): Potterbounding at the Chattanooga Symphony

November 5, 2018

The Harry Potter books will always hold a special place in my heart. The very first book was given to me by my mother when it first came out (& is now very well loved in all its bent corner glory). She read the back cover and thought it sounded like something I’d enjoy: witches, wizards, magical creatures, and all that’s in between - yes please. I remember midnight book release parties & then later, the midnight movie premieres. Nights like that bubbled over with excitement and anticipation & I delighted in letting my geek flag fly. Harry Potter was such a big part of my childhood and has become steeped in nostalgia for me, some 20+ years later. 

When I heard the Chattanooga symphony was presenting a night filled with magic & Harry Potter music, my interest was instantly piqued. It wasn’t something my husband would be into (he’s not a Harry Potter fan. Siriusly. It’s a bit riddikulus), but lucky for me, I have (muggle) friends who revel in the HP universe (& are just as [in]sane as I am) who would jump at the chance to be a little closer to that magical world. My friend Sarah had an extra ticket, so together we planned a Potter-themed night out on the town (I solemnly swear we were up to no good). 

Hey Pumpkin: The Obligatory Pumpkin Patch Post

November 3, 2018

It may not be October anymore, but I’m not ready to trade in my pumpkins for poinsettias just yet! While everyone’s getting the Christmas mugs out & decking the halls (guys. It’s NOVEMBER!), I’m still reveling in this perfect fall weather & being your basic B* over here with my PSL, blanket scarves, and boots. 

My porch still has a pumpkin (& probably will for the next few weeks), and my Christmas mugs are safely tucked away at the back of our cabinet (where they will remain until after thanksgiving) - because you just can’t rush a good fall season, y’all.

Take Me To: Yacht Club

October 27, 2018

While in Disney, I had the opportunity to do a look for the next part in my Disney Resort series. I chose Disney's Yacht Club Resort for a few reasons. For one, I feel like Yacht Club is underrated and often gets overlooked a lot in favor of other deluxes like the Grand (which is of course magnificent in all its grandeur, there's no denying that) and needed some limelight love. Second, I had the perfect subtle Smee-meets-sailor Disneybound that lent itself perfectly to this resort (& lines up with the recent #fallintodisney style challenge - Disney sidekicks!), and if you've learned anything about me from reading through some of my prior posts, you know that girl loves to dress for the occasion, so Yacht Club & I were just meant to be.
The Yacht Club is inspired by 1800s era New England seaside resorts with some serious nautical flair. The lobby is filled with boat decor, maritime flags, and plenty of sailor swag (you know, anchors, globes, things like that!). But there's also an air of sophistication about it, brought to life with the dark leather couches and antique chandeliers. Lounging in hotel lobbies is kind of my thing, and the Yacht does not disappoint! There's plenty to do here, both during the day and at night.

A̶d̶v̶e̶n̶t̶u̶r̶e̶ Denver Is Out There: Part Deux

October 22, 2018

This trip was short, but I knew I wanted to pack in some adventures. So for my last 2 days in Denver, I made sure I jammed as many things in as I could, because who knows when I'd be back again (travel is much harder to coordinate when you have a baby)! The problem with Denver (& its surrounding cities) is that there is just so much to do, it's hard to narrow it down! 

The mountains were definitely on my list, but I started off the day with a tour of the Molly Brown Museum. Haven't heard of Molly Brown (where have you been!?)? You know the lady Kathy Bates played in Titanic? Yeah, that was a real person, and she was pretty fascinating! 

̶A̶d̶v̶e̶n̶t̶u̶r̶e̶ Denver Is Out There: Part Un

October 15, 2018

Or rather, this post should be more aptly titled, "Selfies, or it didn't happen." Or "How to be Basic: Solo Edition." Or "Everything I Photographed, I Learned From Instagram." I can keep going...

Mostly it's about how to spend a Denver morning by yourself. Hint: it involves avocado toast and beer. Beer? Yes, beer - because, were you even listening when I said "Denver"? (Fun fact: Denver brews more beer than any other city!) But let's backpedal here a minute. Why were you in Denver, Shell? Who was watching the baby? And more importantly, how much did you pack? (If you followed my Instagram posts leading up to my Disney trip, you will fully appreciate that reference.) Anyway, I was recently in the mile high city for my brother's wedding, and took full advantage of the quick trip while Barry was on baby duty (flying with a 9 month old? I'm not ready for that just yet). I landed a day before the wedding, so I had a little bit of time to do some exploring before showtime. 

Style & the City: Sex & the City Fashion Look Book

October 12, 2018

I've always been such a Sex & the City fan. I've seen all the seasons, own both movies, and I pretty much worship Carrie Bradshaw & her impeccable style. When I have a closet that rivals hers, complete with a floor-to-ceiling shelf full of designer shoes, I'll know I've made it, but I'm still playing little league over here, with my tiny shared closet and TJ Maxx finds - but that doesn't stop me from filling it with pieces that bring me happiness & a little SATC flair!

And since it's October, the month of dressing up as other characters, what better time to showcase some SATC style? I can identify with all of the characters on some level, and while Carrie Bradshaw is my style muse, I wanted to pay homage to 2 of my other favorite characters, Charlotte & Samantha (sorry, Miranda)!

Hey Mickey: A Mickey Disneybound Classic Look

October 2, 2018

It's that time of year again - one of my favorite fall (Instagram) traditions is participating in the Fall Into Disney Style Challenge. This is the 3rd year for the challenge, and hopefully the first time I might make it all the way through (I'll be happy if I make it through 2/3 of the prompts)! The rules are simple: there are none! You can get as creative as you want with the prompts and interpret them as you see fit (& don't forget to tag your photos with #fallintodisneystyle!)

I love seeing everyone's photos for this challenge, and it's just so much fun to participate in. If you're like me and don't live anywhere near the parks, this is a great way to feel that magic all month long. 

Castle Countdown: How to Get Hyped for your Disney Vacation

September 4, 2018

Big Bow Ears: Ears by Ray | Bag: Yours Truly! | Invitation Itinerary: Jasmine Victoria
Half the fun (for me) of a Disney trip is the months of planning that goes into it. My type A personality delights in typing itineraries & planning outfits. Trip planning builds anticipation and gives me something to look forward to & something to work towards. So naturally, every time I have an upcoming trip (15 days left!!!), the intense  planning must commence!

There are so many ways to get excited for a vacation: from everything to researching your destination to DIYing some magical accessories, here's my list of the top 10 11 ways to make it through that castle countdown.

A Trip Through The Hundred Acre Wood: Winnie-the-Pooh Exhibit at the High Museum of Art, ATL

August 28, 2018

Winnie-the-Pooh has always been ingrained in my childhood. Growing up, I had a collection of miniature books featuring all the classic Pooh characters, as well as the beloved hardcopy seen towards the end of this post. I had a Pooh plush as a kid, that I have since passed on to my own daughter, Lilly (I hope she loves him as much as I did). I had several Pooh VHS tapes, and I remember watching Welcome To Pooh Corner on Disney channel, back when they ran shows like Duck Tales & Gummi Bears. So when I heard there was a Pooh exhibit, I knew I had to check it out.

Disney In A Day: Tips when you only have 1 day at Disney

August 23, 2018

Sometimes Disney is a spur of the moment kind of thing. There have been so many times when my family & I have been in FL visiting grandparents or doing a beach vacation when we decide at the last minute to just breeze through Orlando & do Disney for a day (usually it's my idea, but my parents would never object. Disney blood runs in the fam). No planning, no advance reservations, nothing. You can totally stay on property last minute, too, and not break the bank.

If you've seen my previous posts, you know I've been flitting around Florida recently. On our last beach day, we decided to stop through Orlando & do Disney on our way out (it wasn't really on our way home, but best detour ever, right?).

Weekend Guide To: St. Pete Beach

August 20, 2018

Summer may be coming to an end, but there's really never a bad time for a beach trip. Personally, I like taking beach trips during every other season but summer. FL in July is absolutely sweltering, so I prefer to escape to the beach when it's freezing cold here in TN (but let's be honest - anything below 65 and I start to turn into a popsicle). But since July was the only time that worked out for this trip, it was either that or nothing - and I'm never one to turn down a beachy getaway!

I feel like St. Pete Beach is one of the lesser-known spots, especially if you stay in one of the neighboring beach towns like Treasure Island or Reddington. St. Pete Beach isn't swamped like Miami or Panama City, and offers a lot to do no matter who you're traveling with. This was our first family vacation (& Lilly's first beach vacation), so we knew going into it that it would be a slower paced trip. There was a lot of eating involved, which I'm totally fine with! :) So I've rounded up my list of must-do's if you're heading to the St. Petersburg area.

A Day at the Don: Exploring the Don Cesar in St. Pete Beach

August 4, 2018

It's no secret that my favorite destination vacation is Florida - it's basically my second home and I consider myself a bit of an honorary Floridian (is that a thing?). I have a lot of family that lives there, so I grew up spending spring breaks and summers in various Florida cities (namely Miami & Delray Beach), and for the most part, I've pretty much been allllllll over that state. One place I hadn't been was the St. Petersburg area, so we decided to take a mini-vacay and post up in St. Pete Beach for a long weekend.

I was looking forward to relaxing on the beach (well, as much relaxing as one can do with a 7 month old!), but I was also incredibly excited to check out the Don CeSar and knew it would be a stop on our list. How could I possibly resist a pink hotel?

Take Me To: The Grand Floridian

August 2, 2018

If there's one thing Disney knows how to do, it's a theme. From the south pacific vibes of the Polynesian to capturing the essence of an African wildlife reserve at Animal Kingdom Lodge, each of the resorts are themed so immersively that they transport you to another time & place. One of my favorite things to do (when I'm not going ropedrop-to-fireworks kind of hard at the parks) is explore the resorts and take in all they have to offer. For this series, I'll be collaborating with several different bloggers and Instagrammers & talking all about several of the different Disney properties. Each one offers so much to do throughout the day & into the night, and naturally, we'll be highlighting various looks for each, inspired by the resorts (because I also love a good theme)!

Our first stop in the resort hop is the Grand Floridian, covered by Lexie Brohl. Lexie runs both a YouTube channel and a blog (Breakfast at Disney! My Audrey-lovin' heart is obsessed with that!), and her look is all about melding whimsical style with soft femininity (think Cinderella meets Elle Woods). Pink is definitely the color of her soul - and for that, we're kindred spirits. She's put together a video highlighting her favorite parts of the Grand Floridian, as well as a look perfect for wandering the hotel.

Flower Gleam & Glow: A Trip to the Sunflower Fields of Chattanooga

July 22, 2018

While I'm really a sunshine state soul trapped in the confines of East Tennessee, I will admit that this state does have some truly natural beauty. You can't argue with the rolling hills, the sprawling mountain ranges, and the endless wildflower fields that stretch on & on. Being out in nature that awe inspiring can really, well, bring you down to earth! It's far too often I get distracted by everyday life, technology/social media, and the need to "keep up with the Joneses" if you will. Sometimes it's nice to just spend a day out in the real world (even so, still have to document it! I know, I know - kind of defeats the purpose it seems, doesn't it?)

Over the weekend the fam & I trekked out to the sunflower fields. One year ago, we were here for the first time, back when I was just a couple months into my pregnancy. This year, I decided to - of course - do a subtle Disneybound & get some cute family photos at the same time. Since we were going to a field of beautiful sunflowers, I felt Punzie was the obvious choice. Unfortunately, the heat had gotten to the sunflowers before we did, so a lot of them were, um, a bit parched to say the least - but beautiful nonetheless to see those sunflowers stretching on for miles in all directions!

Chattalocal: Cabana, ooh-na-na ft. the Westin Hotel

July 18, 2018

Sometimes you want to get away but can't really "get away" - you might be out of vacation time, have too many responsibilities close to home, or just can't swing that Bora Bora trip right now (or you know, like, ever.) That's where staycations come in. You get that feeling of vacation with a whole lot less commitment - and you'll probably save some green in the process (dolla dolla bills, y'all)!

Since I'm not fortunate enough to live somewhere that a staycation is the same thing as a vacation (I see you, white sand Florida beaches!), I rely on places in & around Chattanooga to give me a little bit of that R&R fix. If you're like me - where the nearest beach is just a hop, skip, & oh, a 6 hour car ride away (7-8 if you factor in rush hour downtown ATL traffic - my own personal hell), you know you can't just pack up & go on a whim. Staying local at a great hotel or bed&breakfast is the next best option!

Sugar Rush: Five Daughters Bakery in Nashville

July 14, 2018

It's no secret that homegirl loves sweets. I have zero qualms with being that person that legit eats cake for breakfast (donut sundae on the hubgrass at rope drop? Yes please!) and chases said breakfast with a grande peppermint mocha frappuccino, guilt free. Ok...tiny bit of guilt, but I ignore those voices because no one needs that kind of negativity in their life. So what better way to hail the almighty donut than with a sweet outfit post against an equally saccharine & delicious backdrop?

This particular donut mecca is 5 Daughters Bakery in Nashville, but they also have locations in Atlanta, Frnaklin, and in FL, along 30A. Not only was this place too cute to boot, but they had quite possibly the best donuts I have ever eaten (& I consider myself a bit of a sweets connoisseur). Besides being on top of their donut game, 5 Daughters also takes the cake (er...donut?) for cutest mural  - & we all know how much I love a good donut mural!

Red, White & Mickey: A July Fourth Pixie-dusted Look

July 1, 2018

July 4th is fast approaching, & if you're headed to WDW for the festivities, you're in for some pretty spectacular fireworks! No one does fireworks like Disney, & Independence Day is when the big guns come out in a patriotic salute to all nations, but mostly America (really though, just America).

Take your pick of 2 spectacular July 4th shows. Over at Magic Kingdom, you can catch the "Celebrate America" fireworks, which melds patriotic songs with classic Disney tunes, culminating in a surround sound 360° effect fireworks display. The other show happens at Epcot, which is "Heartbeat of Freedom." It starts out as regular Illuminations but I'm betting there are some extra patriotic surprises thrown in. You can catch the MK show on both July 3rd & 4th, but "Heartbeat of Freedom" is only on the 4th, so check out MK on the 3rd if you want to see both!

Other ways to get in that patriotic spirit include a visit to the Hall of Presidents, The Muppets Present: Great Moments in American History, Voices of Liberty, the American Adventure, & the Dapper Dans (decked out in their July 4th best). Indulge in some of the festive treats offered (dollars to donuts that Starbucks will have some kind of red, white & blue drink), & go for a long stroll down Main Street - because what's more pure Americana than that?! 
I'll be celebrating from TN & catching our local fireworks show, but that isn't going to stop me from reppin' that red, white & Mickey style!

The Rainbow Connection: How I Infuse Disney into my Everyday Wardrobe

June 30, 2018

"Someday we'll find it
The rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers, and me
All of us under its spell, we know that it's probably magic"

Fashion is a form a self-expression, and for someone who is just slightly obsessed with all things Disney (OK. A lot obsessed. I make no apologies!), combining the 2 is an obvious choice. Since I live 8 hours away from the nearest Disney park, I like to infuse a little piece of that magic into my everyday wardrobe. But we’re not talking full on princess gowns and literal costumes here (though going for a Target run in a glittering Belle ballgown would be quite a sight to see!). You can dress in Disney using even the subtlest of details – but I definitely will not judge you if you go full throttle Mickey, either!

Sprinkling your wardrobe with a little pixiedust can be as easy as putting pieces together in your favorite character’s color palette or accessorizing with a Disney inspired clutch or necklace. There are so many Disney products out there, it can be hard to pick & choose which pieces to add to your collection, but even if you don’t own an arsenal of Disney Dooney bags or 30 shirts with Mickey’s face plastered all over them, you can still easily (and more subtly) dress with Disney in mind.

Do It For The 'Gram: Most Instagrammable spot in Disney World

June 28, 2018

These days, social media is pretty heavily ingrained in modern society. Our generation is notorious for wanting (nay, needing) to document everything from the clothes we wear or places we travel, to the food we eat, and yes, sometimes we can be totally obnoxious about it, like making your husband wait before taking a bite out of that totally Instagram-worthy ice cream sundae, just so you can get the perfect shot (guilty). Instagram culture has become a way of life. Some people do it because they want to be #instafamous or to keep up with the Joneses, some do it because they want to educate or enlighten, and some people - like me - do it just because IT'S FUN. Even speaking to an audience that may only be a handful of people (is anyone reading this?), I still enjoy everything that goes into making an Instagram or blog post (hello, outfit planning!). I'm kind of just throwing my hat into the ring (er...out into the huge vaccuum of the internet) and seeing where it lands.

I've always had a love affair with photography. My weekends as a teenager were usually filled with DIY photoshoots, vintage clothes & costumes, and having adventures around town with my friends. I took photos because it was a creative outlet for me, a way to express who I was, what I was feeling, and stories I wanted to convey through the medium of photography. These days, I'm the one in front of the camera instead of behind it, and I take those stories and ideas and funnel them through Instagram and my blog. Combined with my love of Disney, it has become one of my favorite hobbies.

A Golden Afternoon: A Perfect Spring Look

June 24, 2018

"You can learn a lot of things from the flowers
For especially in the month of June
There's a wealth of happiness and romance
All in the golden afternoon"

Nothing screams summer like bold, vibrant colors, and with summer officially here (though in TN, it's been summer for approximately 2 months now), it's time to bust out the neons. I'm all about that hot pink life, so this open back number pulls double duty as a breezy/functional top, as well as being perfect for a casual-dressy night out (is that a thing? I just made it a thing.) I was headed out for tacos & cocktails, so I wanted to look put together, but still comfortable - you know, like I actually put some effort into it - unlike most days where my uniform is more top knots & sweats, or literally just pajamas: a little too comfortable for a night out on the town. Somehow I don't think sauntering into a trendy downtown bar in satin strawberry PJs would turn heads in quite the way I want.

Rooftop Hop: Rooftop Bar Hopping in Nashville

June 22, 2018

If cities were women, Chattanooga is a crunchy/outdoorsy back country roads kind of girl & Nashville is her trendy/hipster southern bell of an older sister. I definitely consider myself to fit more into the latter category & if given the choice between rock climbing/hiking/(insert various other outdoor activity here that requires sweating), I'd much rather post up at a brewery or restaurant & imbibe (hey, I'm outdoorsy! I drink my rosé on the patio like a classy dame!)

One thing Chattanooga lacks, but Nashville has an abundance of, is the quintessential rooftop bar. There's something about enjoying a strong cocktail with a side of city skyline that just makes you feel like the pinnacle of cool. Enter the rooftop lounge at the chic Bobby Hotel. First off, there's a pool. And a bus. And they are both on the roof (but the pool isn't ON the bus, because that would just be ludicrous, right? idea ever?) While the pool is reserved for guests of the hotel - which will set you back a measly $400/night but NBD - anyone is welcome to stop by the lounge for a drink (& play pretend that you're on vacation.)

Squeeze The Day: A Lemon Look to Love

June 16, 2018

Ah, sweet summertime - it invokes imagery of backyard barbecues, splashing around in the pool, & catching fireflies in the early evening - or at least once upon a time that's what summer meant. These days, it's more drive-thru BBQ, squeezing into the baby pool with Lilly, and getting eaten alive by mosquitoes. Summer may look a little different, but there's one thing that remains the same: the sundress.

A great sundress (or 20, in my case) is an essential piece of any wardrobe. You can never have too many & I tend to go for fun prints & bright colors (give me all the seersucker & neons!). When I came across this lemon print dress, I knew it would be perfect for daytripping in Nashville. I paired it with my favorite lace up wedges & a lemon clutch from Tartan+Twine to complete the look (because I'm never one to pass up a good theme).

Thirty, Flirty, & Thriving: A Colorful Birthday Look

June 13, 2018

Flashing back to when I first saw Thirteen Going On Thirty, I remember thinking, "30 is old!" & picturing myself as a 30 year old just felt weird. I could only see the general idea of it, blurry & out of focus. What would 30 be like? What would I have accomplished by then? 

If you asked 20 year old me what I envisioned for 30, she would have said something like: living a fabulous life in a fancy high rise apartment & making $BANK$. She'd have a wardrobe straight out of the pages of a fashion magazine & jetset around the world, all the while chronicling her adventures through photojournalism & gossiping about her adventures over mimosas & brunch. Girl needed to slow her roll because apparently she thought I was going to grow up to be Carrie Bradshaw.

A Most Peculiar Mademoiselle: Disneybounding as Belle in Nashville

June 6, 2018

Let's talk books! These days, it's hard for me to find the time to read. Between taking care of Lilly, and simultaneously working my 9-5 office job, plus keep up with my side business, Second Star Co. (& now adding a blog into the mix!), I stay pretty busy trying to maintain my status of #girlboss. But now that it's almost summer, that means vacation - and for me, vacation is synonymous with reading. Although the first day of summer isn't until mid June, and my mini beach vacation isn't until July, I've already got my summer reading list ready to go (& all my vacation outfits as well. Shout out to all my fellow outfit planners!) You know homegirl is counting down the days until I'm sitting pretty on a white sand beach with a strawberry daiquiri in one hand and a juicy novel in the other. 

But since I'm still a good 5-6 hours away from the closest beach, the next best place - and probably more obvious - for a photo sesh inspired by the written word is the stunning Nashville public library. Can you guess who this look was inspired by? Major side eye if you can't instantly tell...

First Things First: Explroing The Frist in Nashville

May 31, 2018

I consider myself to be an artistic person. Art was always my favorite subject in school, and you could often find me huddled in the back of the classroom, hunched over a sketchpad, my hands covered in ink stains. I used to live & breathe art: pages & pages of doodles all over my notebooks, moleskin journals filled up with mixed media collages, and countless word documents on my laptop of poems, prose, and short stories. During my junior year of high school (which feels like the stone age now!), I got really into photography. My mother ran an online vintage store (still does!), and I would often borrow her glamorous 1950s and 60s dresses and set off to some fabulous location in Memphis for a photo shoot - and thus began my love affair with fashion photography. I was way ahead of the curve on #OOTD back then! 

For someone who loves art, wandering around the galleries of an art museum (while dressed to the nines) sounds like a pretty perfect day. While Nashville doesn't have any fashion exhibits right now, they do have something equally as intriguing: the Nick Cave exhibit at the Frist.

Babes Who Brunch: Le Sel, Nashville

May 28, 2018

When your best friend lives 2 hours away in music city, daytripping is a must - and often! You'll be seeing a lot more of Nashville on here in the coming weeks. There's so much to see & do there, so I'll be covering some spots in a series of Nash-centered posts. 

Today's post is all about the most important meal of the day: brunch! We stopped in at Le Sel to indulge in some good food & of course the all-important photo sesh. Located in midtown, this trendy little restaurant has all the bells & whistles of a totally Instagram-worthy spot: plush pink booths, black & white striped floors, a pink neon "irresistible" sign & the cutest little bar area. The aesthetic was completely my taste, to a T.

The Cold Always Bothered Me Anyway: Disneybounding as Elsa

May 20, 2018

One of the bonuses of having family visit means free babysitting. Since Lilly would be in good hands, I took the rare opportunity to ditch my usual sweatpants uniform in favor of dressing up for date night, & I had the perfect dress I wanted to take out for a spin.

When I saw this ice blue maxi dress, I immediately thought of Elsa. The gauzy material was so light & flowy, perfect for a warm spring evening (because seriously, the cold really does bother me. I'm such a southern girl and I can NOT handle the cold). I didn't get any photos of the back (Instagram hubs was in a hurry to get to dinner), but it was completely open back with thin crisscrossed spaghetti straps, so just use your imagination.

The Jolliest Holiday: Making my Own Dapper Day in Chattanooga Part II

May 18, 2018

I remember watching Mary Poppins as a kid and oohing and aahing over the Jolly Holiday scene. I adored the bright colors of the carousel horses, the playfulness of the dancing penguins, and the catchy song that would get stuck in my head for hours. I remember thinking how pretty Mary looked in her Jolly Holiday finest and wished I could wear her signature red & white dress. Flash forward 15+ years, and my childhood dreams came true at Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party when Barry & I dressed as Bert & Mary. Our costumes were so good in fact, that we got in trouble for taking photos with some small children because we were "too legit" & people thought we were the OG characters instead of partygoers!

Having bounded as Mary already, I knew that I wanted to try Bert next. His outfit is just as fun, with its brightly colored stripe blazer in hues of red & orange with turquoise accents. Naturally, I wanted to put a dapper spin on it, so when I found this gem of a 1960s picnic dress, I immediately knew I had to genderbend disneybound as Bert.

T-teach Me How To Dapper: Dapper Day in Chattanooga, Part I

May 4, 2018

Let's talk Dapper Day! For those of you that don't know, Dapper Day is a bi-annual event held at Disneyland in CA, as well Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL, and celebrates the styles of yesteryear when people would actually dress up to go to the parks. There are usually several meet-ups going on at various locations throughout the parks, and no matter where you go, you'll find people dressed to the nines, snapping photos and grinning ear to ear. It's a pretty magical day!

I had my first taste of Dapper Day last spring. I was supposed to meet a friend down in FL for the weekend, but I got ghosted, and I was not about to let that ruin my mini-vacay! So on the morning of my first Dapper Day (on my first ever solo trip), I donned my Tinkerbell finest (I got told I looked like a princess by the sweetest little girl at the bus stop!), boarded a bus bound for Magic Kingdom, & hoped for the best. Dapper Day did not disappoint!

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