5 New Year's Eve Looks to Inspire You in 2020

December 31, 2019

New Year's Eve is one of my favorite holidays simply because I love getting dressed up, and NYE is a chance to get really dressed up. It's a respite from my usual momiform of whatever tshirt I pulled from my PJ drawer and a pair of (really) stretchy "jeans." Depending on your plans, you may be getting black-tie ready (are those opera gloves I spy?) or just opting for that classic Gatsby New Year's vibe (feather boa: required). One rule of thumb though that most people follow is to wear anything shiny, sparkly, or covered in sequins. The goal is to basically look like a human disco ball (if I can blind someone with my sparkles, I have succeeded in my outfit endeavor).

I've put together a few New Year's looks for inspiration. Chances are, I'll probably be home well before midnight (like, 7:30pm. Hello toddler mom life!), but that won't stop me from wearing a metallic gold sweater and a shiny clutch (minimum effort while still looking like I tried). 

Top 5 Spots in Chattanooga to Celebrate New Year's Eve (bring it on 2020!)

December 29, 2019

Christmas may be over, but it’s not time to put away the sequins & sparkles just yet because New Year’s Eve is upon us! So much has happened in the past year, and I can’t believe we’re closing the book on 2019 already. 

So for today’s post, I just wanted to share a fun & sparkly NYE look, and countdown the ways you can celebrate NYE this year – whether you’re local to Chattanooga or off in some faraway dreamland (if you’re reading this from the comfort of a beachfront condo balcony, just know that I hate you. Just kidding. But really, I kind of hate you, as I write this from dreary & cold TN). 

Smiling’s My Favorite: At Home Teeth Whitening - Does it Work?

December 19, 2019

*Disclaimer: I was gifted a Smile Brilliant teeth whitening kit in exchange for my honest opinion.

Buddy had it right: smiling is fun! But to be completely honest, it hasn’t always been my favorite. I’m a bit self conscious about my smile because one of my front teeth is recessed & my smile is not perfect. I also drink a LOT of coffee and enjoy indulging in a glass (ok, bottle..) of a really bold cab sav. So over the years, it’s like brightness dial for my teeth has been turned way down. Add that to already crooked teeth, and it’s a recipe for close-lipped smiles forever...or so I thought.

Making Spirits Bright: Cocktail Crawls, Christmas Cheer & All Things Chattanoogan

December 2, 2019

It's December, darlings, and that means we're decking the halls, making spirits bright, and basically living our best holiday lives right now. Chattanooga doesn't skimp on the Christmas cheer, either! I'm here to tell you alllllll about the fun activities and not-to-be-missed stops along the way right here in the Scenic City. From pop-up Christmas bars & boozy hot chocolate to where to find the best tree displays, I'm rounding up some of my favorite things to do this holiday season. 

To kickoff the festivities, my girls and I donned our gayest apparel and made things pretty freaking shiny & bright when we got together for a cocktail crawl (a new annual tradition I decided to start). It's essentially the glam version of a Santa pub crawl...but with sequins & a bit more class. I'm by no means above dressing like Buddy the Elf and venturing out into the 40 degree weather to down beers with 500 other Santas and Buddies, but we wanted something a little more sophisticated to kick off the new tradition.

I Love Me: Self Care Steps for Your Well-being

November 18, 2019

I'm a big fan of self care - it's really just routine maintenance for your soul. It helps keep up your energy (& recharge it when you're feeling low) and can improve your overall mental health (as well as your physical, depending on what type of self care you practice). Stress can do some weird and intense things to the body (panic attacks? Yup. I know from experience), so every now and then, I have to unplug & unwind.

As a mom, I'm on 24/7. I wear a lot of hats, and at any given time, I have at a minimum, 10 balls in the air (excuse all my cliche metaphors here, but you get the point). I'm a mom, a wife, a friend, work a full time office job, and I run 2 side businesses (an Etsy shop & my blog). Sometimes, it feels like my world is crashing down around me in slow motion when bad things happen all at once. Other times, I get so busy trying to do so many things at once that I just get completely & utterly drained. Like now for instance. It's been a few weeks since my last blog post - and you know what? That's perfectly ok, because I took some much needed me-time, and a bit of a blogging break to recharge.

There are so many ways to practice self care, and everyone's routine will look a little different. So today, I just wanted to share my personal methods, as well as some of my tips & ideas for self care.

Witch, Please: A Look Back at Some of my Favorite Pop Culture Witches

October 25, 2019

Witchy culture is currently undergoing a bit of a revival and has become pretty prevalent in current pop culture. There have been so many TV shows and movies in the past few years featuring witches, and for that reason (& because I'm obsessed with so many of these shows), I decided October was the perfect time to blog about it.

From the idyllic to the iconic, I'm rounding up some of my favorite pop culture witches & where to find them.

9¾ Places in Chattanooga Muggles can find the Magic of Harry Potter

October 22, 2019

Like Harry Potter? Check out even more Harry Potter themed posts here!
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Last updated: 7/31/20
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I'm one of those people that loves to find the magic in everyday life. I'm also an avid Harry Potter fan (Harry Potter basically was 50% of my childhood. The other 50%? Well, it may have been heavily influenced by a certain cartoon mouse). I devoured all of the Potter books growing up, was at every one of the movie premiers, and even a few of the midnight book release parties (back when that was still a thing). I've been to The Wizarding World at Universal a couple of times, and it is one of those places that is completely immersive and magical.

While I don't live in Orlando or London (um, or anywhere even remotely close to the U.K.), I am lucky enough to live in a city that has quite a few spots that invoke that wizarding world and London vibe. And if you're planning a visit during October, you're in for an extra special treat, as Chattanooga is home to a fantastic annual Harry Potter themed event that is truly riddikulus (so keep reading)!

Ready to have your mind obliterated? Alright, let's dive in!

I Put A Spell On You: Favorite Movies for the Halloween Season

October 17, 2019

I'm a big fan of Halloween, but one thing I don't do is horror films. I do enjoy a good thriller/spooky film with a twist (like The Skeleton Key or The Others), but things like Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Blair Witch Project just don't do it for me. I can do without all the blood/guts and terrifying demons that may or may not be living in my house thankyouverymuch (if you want to know what it feels like to be awake for 48 hours straight, go watch Paranormal Activity. You have been warned). I'm much more into the fun & whimsical aspect of Halloween: dressing up, stuffing my face with candy, and anything related to Hocus Pocus. Much like so many others, it's my favorite movie to watch this time of year. It's such a classic, and it really sets the mood for the whole month.

I decided to put together a fall look inspired by the Sanderson sisters and round up some of my favorite (lighter) Halloween movies for the spooky season (so if you're looking for something that will scare you to the core, this isn't it.  #booFelicia).

Not Another Basic Blog Post: Just Kidding. It Totally Is.

October 15, 2019

I love fall (said every female ever). I’m a girl, I’m a millennial, I drink a ton of Starbucks: so yes, fall is deeply embedded in my DNA (my blood type is pumpkin spice). So I decided to fully commit to it & be as ridiculous as possible to bring you some fresh (but still totally overdone) basic fall girl content.

Hold on to your chunky sweaters - it’s about to get REAL (basic) up in here. I give you: the basic fall girl starter pack. Your fall challenge for the duration of this post is to drink every time I say "basic" or "pumpkin." Drink double for "pumpkin spice latte" (warning: this post will get you drunk).

You Best Start Believing in Ghost Stories. You're In One: Texarkana Recap

October 10, 2019

It's October and thus the "official" start of spooky season, though some of us have been celebrating since the end of August (hey, if it can be Christmas in July at Hobby Lobby, I can celebrate Halloween in August)! Since October is the month of all things macabre, I thought I'd kick it off with a recap of my experience in Texarkana, which is quite literally, a ghost town.

The Wilderness Must Be Explored: A Sunrise Hike with Experience Chattanooga

October 8, 2019

Disclaimer: This post is in collaboration with Experience Chattanooga. We received a discounted hike in exchange for exposure, but all thoughts and honest opinions are my own.

You don’t just visit Chattanooga. You  e x p e r i e n c e  it!

This little-big town has grown exponentially since I came here in 2006. There are so many new things popping up every day - restaurants, shops, hotels, & so many activities unique only to Chattanooga that quickly rise to the top of any Nooga must-do list. One of these must-dos is Experience Chattanooga, a company that offers small group guided hiking tours to places you may otherwise only dream of seeing, right here in the scenic city.

Experience Chattanooga offers a variety of tours that range in price from $65 to $175. They have everything from sunrise and sunset hikes to waterfall tours and scenic mountain hikes, and even a tour that includes paddle boarding (HA! Now that would be a hilarious blog post. Shell tries paddle boarding = hilarity ensues)! And if you're super indecisive and have enough trouble picking where to go for dinner (like me), then they even have a "Dealer's Choice" tour, and they will personally curate an experience for you, based on the weather, day of the week, and your interests.

8 Must Do's at Animal Kingdom

September 26, 2019

Ok, I'll admit it. Animal Kingdom used to be my least favorite park (emphasis on the past tense there). I just felt like there wasn't as much there as some of the other parks. I'm still a Magic Kingdom girl through-and-through but Animal Kingdom has definitely grown on me. Maybe it's the fact that I'm a little older, a little wiser, and a lot more observant. 

Animal Kingdom is one of those parks that has so many hidden gems, underrated attractions, & epic photo spots. I used to be able to fly through the park in just a couple of hours, but now, I could probably spend (close to) a full day there if I wanted to - and still probably not see & do everything it has to offer. So that's why I wanted to jump in here & tell you guys the best way (in my opinion) to tour Animal Kingdom & share with you how I spent my day there.

You Stay Weird, Austin: The Good, The Bad, & The Super Weird

September 24, 2019

"Uh, but Shell? This mural is in Dallas." Yeah I know - hold your cattle. I'm getting to that.
Ok, buckle up because this one is going to be a long one. But there's lots of pictures, so stay with me here. Got your coffee (or beer, or wine)? Alright, good.

So Barry & I had a chance to take a vacation just the two of us while Lilly stayed with grandma & grandpa & got spoiled all week. Since my parents live in Memphis, we needed something within driving distance, so we settled on Austin, TX. We'd never been and I had heard really cool things about the city. Dallas was only about 6(ish) hours from Memphis, so we headed out to make a stopover there for a night first, before continuing on the extra 2 hours down to Austin.

But my mind was blown. Everything I thought I knew about Texas was wrong.

Carbo-loading for Dummies: Bread Service at Sanaa

September 19, 2019

Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of my favorite Disney resorts for numerous reasons: unique cuisine, stunning architecture & theming, and rooms with a serious view overlooking the African savanna (well, Disney's version of it anyway). Although I've only stayed at AK Lodge once, there is a hidden gem of a restaurant here (or maybe by now, not-so-hidden) that I just had to write about, and that is Sanaa.

Animal Kingdom Lodge is split into 2 sections: the main, larger building, Jambo House, and its smaller counterpart, Kidani Village, which is where Sanaa is located. It can be a bit tricky to get to because of this reason, but luckily our Uber driver knew where she was going and probably understands directional cues like when the GPS says in a polite British accent "turn northwest in a quarter of a mile" (really? Just say left or right at the McDonalds!). 

I desperately wanted to try the Indian-style bread service that I was hearing so much about (Sanaa, you had me at carbs), but had never gotten around to trying it - mostly because my husband wasn't a fan of Boma (the restaurant over at Jambo House. Clearly he didn't fully appreciate the out-of-body experience that is eating a zebra dome), so convincing him to give Sanaa a try was futile. Luckily, my bestie Britney was more than up for the challenge, and had already given me the rundown of her love affair with naan bread. Plus, she was 110% down for Disneybounding with me. We were doing this.

Resting Brunch Face: Wine Bar George Disney Springs Review

September 16, 2019

*Disclaimer: This post is a collaboration with Wine Bar George. I was hosted in exchange for a full review. All thoughts & honest opinions are my own, based on my experience. 

Disney Springs is one of those places that I always have to make time for when I'm taking a trip to Walt Disney World. There's so much to do there that I could honestly spend an entire day just shopping, eating (& drinking!), and enjoying the various entertainment throughout Disney Springs. But one of the places I had been wanting to try for a while was Wine Bar George.

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to grab some brunch with my friends Kristen & Megan at Wine Bar George. I was really excited the weeks leading up to this because, well, did you hear me say BRUNCH + DISNEY? Basically if you say those words 3 times fast in a mirror, I will appear with mouse ears and a froscato (fro-what?? Keep reading). I'm so here for this.

Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale Hacks

September 6, 2019

It’s that time of year again: the After Party Sale is upon us! Which also means there are approximately 8.5 million blog posts about how to shop the sale & this year I’m in that bunch! Y’all have probably read most of these tips, but I’m hoping there’s a few in here that you haven’t heard of before. So let’s jump in!

Staycation, All I Ever Wanted: Westin Chattanooga Hotel Review

August 29, 2019

carry on luggage downtown Westin Chattanooga West Village

*Disclaimer: This post is a collaboration with Westin Chattanooga and Goldygates Photography. I received a complimentary stay, but all thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are solely my own and based on my personal experience. Majority of these photos were taken by Bridget of Goldygates Photography (contact her for shoot bookings).

There’s something so luxurious and glamorous about staying at a nice hotel. I want to feel like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, or Eloise at the Plaza (literally complete opposite ends of the spectrum there, but you get my point). I just want to feel like I’m a VIP for the night. I want to eat breakfast in bed, drink champagne in the bathtub, and wear one of those fancy hotel robes while doing absolutely nothing (downtime is a luxury you don't get when you have a toddler).

I love to travel, but since I work a full time office job, I don’t get infinite amounts of time off (unfortunately, we can’t all be Samantha Brown & travel the world on Travel Channel’s dime). So when I need a getaway but I can’t really get (too far) away, I opt for a staycation. Chattanooga has plenty of options for a weekend getaway, but the Westin has always been at the top of my list of hotels to experience. Recently, I was invited for a mini-getaway, and brought along some girlfriends to join in on the fun to live the suite life with me (yes, I went there).

Tampa Recap

August 20, 2019

While we were in FL, we drove over to Tampa for another daytrip because we like to pack our days with lots of activities & break up the trip with various destinations. While we enjoy laying beachside for hours on end with the soothing sounds of Brian Wilson’s voice singing Kokomo on repeat (& yes, I realize this probably some people’s personal hell. Namely, Brian Wilson), there is only so much beachin’ a near two year old can handle. Keeping her growing mind & busy hands occupied (with something other than fistfuls of sand intended for eating - see my previous post), was imperative to our survival as a vacationing family of 3. But, as Filch would say, we needed to have our wits about us, so coffee was required.

Treasure Island & Clearwater, FL: Things to See & Do

August 15, 2019

Treasure Island Florida

Like travel? Check out all of my travel related posts here!

Have you heard of Treasure Island, FL? Yeah, me either - until our Airbnb travels led us to a little beachfront condo right in the heart of Treasure Island. It's conveniently located between St. Pete Beach and Indian Shores, and not too much further from Clearwater, so it offered beachfront property without the pricetag of more densely populated areas. So we packed up the car and away we went for our first official weeklong beach vacation.

Our condo was actually in a converted motel and while the room itself was nothing special, those fire sunsets right in our backyard were truly spectacular. Plus there was a tiki bar & they had a mermaid cocktail, so I was all in.

St. Petersburg In A Day: What to See & Do

August 12, 2019

I've been all over Florida (& to Disney/Orlando more times than I can count!), but one city that my husband & I both fell in love with is St. Petersburg. We daytripped during our weeklong stay in Clearwater Beach, since it wasn't far from where we were. One thing that struck me when we were visiting was how eclectic the city seemed - it had a really cool vibe to it, and tons of murals and art everywhere we looked!

If you're looking for something other than the usual theme park or beach day, St. Pete is definitely worth the drive over to spend the day. We were able to see & do so much in just the several hours we spent here (& we even got a late start to our morning because we had to drive an hour back to our hotel for some important baby items we had left), so it's 100% do-able in a few hours, depending on just how much you want to see/do.

Mermaids Have More Fun: A Subculture Coffee Date in West Palm

August 8, 2019

Mermaids Cove Lilly Pulitzer Hollie tunic

While I was in Palm Beach, I was lucky enough to meet up with my Disney bestie, Kristen. We met over social media years ago, finally met in person back in 2018 on a Disney girls trip, and basically had a total Step Brothers moment - you know, where you meet someone & just instantly become best friends? She had a beautiful baby girl earlier this year, so she's been rockin' the #momboss label for a while now, but I was so happy she was able to carve out some time to meet up with me when I was in town for the Pink Retreat. I couldn't be that close & not see her, you know? Plus, mommin' is hard, y'all, and I know girlfriend needed a break. So good friends + brunch + iced coffee?? Um, yes please. We will never say no to that!

Kristen is from the area so naturally knows where not only all the ace brunch spots are, but where all the cute instagrammable walls are, too. It was a bonus that the place she picked had both: Subculture Coffee.

The SheIn Dress You Need In Your Closet

August 5, 2019

I love color, fun, and whimsy. It's not only part of my aesthetic, it's just who I am. I have no qualms about being that girl who's wearing Minnie Mouse ears on a coffee run, slipping into rose gold sneakers for a walk around the block, or way overdressing for the grocery store. Fashion should be fun, and for me, that equates to bright colors, flirty styles, and anything reminiscent of candy & cake. So when I found this dress on SheIn for only $17, it instantly went into my cart.

Carryon Culture: 5 tips to hack your travel like a PRO!

July 31, 2019

5 tips to hack your travel and pack like a pro

Me on any given day at home: yoga pants (or anything with stretch), tshirt pulled from the laundry basket, ratty flip flops, & hair up in a messy topknot. Total effort: 10 minutes.

Me on vacation: A perfectly curated colorful outfit complete with a fun bag, statement earrings, fancy shoes, an actual hairdo, and full-face makeup (with lashes). Total effort: 1 hour.. minimum, plus the other 500+ I put into to actually planning all said vacation outfits.

Who else can relate? Like I’ve said before, I’m a planner, so it shouldn’t come as (much) of a surprise to know that I curate my vacay outfits prior to a trip (usually months ahead I’ll start thinking about what I want to wear. That’s half the fun for me!) and then the day before, I’ll lay out each look and take a quick photo to actually remember what I packed & what I had paired all together. Obsessive? Maybe. Proven method? Absolutely! And guess what? Those 500+ outfits all get packed into ONE. TINY. CARRY-ON.

The Belk Denim Lab Experience

July 27, 2019

*Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Belk. I received compensation, but all thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are solely my own and based on my personal experience.

It's almost August, and that means fall is on its way (I can literally smell the pumpkin spice lattes), and with fall comes back-to-school season and all the shopping that goes with it! Lilly is still a few years out from starting preschool, but that didn't stop us from doing a little pre-back-to-school shopping (ha, like we even need a reason)!

I know it's hard to think about cozy sweaters, knit scarves, and all the fall things when it's literally pushing 100 outside, but I like to get a jump on the upcoming season's fashion, and for me, that means denim (I practically live in jeans come fall & winter). In celebration of back-to-school season and all the new denim hitting stores for fall, Belk rolled out a brand new experience, the Denim Lab, to really allow customers to dial up their style. 

Beauty & the Bestie: An Evening at the Nashville Symphony

July 26, 2019

I'm so excited for you to be my guest and let me tell you all about the beast of a time I had at such a beautiful Nashville event recently! Ok, ok. I'll dispense with the cheesy wordplay (but there's nothing wrong with fanning the flames...a little) :)

So a couple of weekends ago, my bestie, Britney, surprised me for my birthday with tickets to the Nashville Symphony. But this wasn't just your average concert - this was Beauty and the Beast in Concert, meaning, a live orchestra would perform the enitre score of the classic 1991 Disney film in real time, as the movie played overhead (dialogue included). If you saw this post, you already know that any event involving music + movies is an instant win in my book. But adding Disney into the mix? That is literally the perfect evening.

So B & I had a date night, and it was magical.

Pink Retreat Series: Saturday & Sunday, Days 2 & 3

July 22, 2019

Psssst! This post is part of a series - click here to catch up on all the Pink Retreat recaps!

Welcome back to my next (& final!) post about my experience in Palm Beach at the Pink Retreat! Because I hadn't signed up for any extra activities beyond the walking tour, days 2 & 3 were a little more laid back for me. On the itinerary, day 2 had the option of sunrise yoga and a couple of painting classes. I opted out of painting (no way anything else was going to fit in my carryon anyway) but I wanted to get in on the yoga action (I heard there were mimosas!). Unfortunately, by the time I has registered for the Pink Retreat, all of the yoga spots had been filled (oh well, looks like it would have to be mimosas on my own by the pool instead. Not such a bad compromise after all). That left some extra time in my day to play around with.

Going into the trip, I knew I had to squeeze in some beach/pool/relaxation time (you can't go to FL without heading to the beach at least once!), and since we had gotten all of our shopping done on day 1, we had a hefty chunk of time left, and I'm so glad it worked out that way!

Pink Retreat Series: Friday, Day 1

July 18, 2019

Hey! Did you know this is part of a series? You can check out the other Pink Retreat posts here!

Sorry not sorry for all of the Pink Retreat spam coming your way. I'm finally getting around to editing the 2.5 million photos I took while in Palm Beach so get ready for an onslaught of colorful content coming your way! (Don't know what the Pink Retreat is? Check out the official website here!)

I'm going to jump right into it here. The itinerary for the Pink Retreat in Palm Beach sounded like so much fun! Even before itineraries were released, I knew this was a weekend I had to attend & would have so much FOMO if I didn't. One thing to know about the itinerary is that several of the events require signing up for and are "extra" like the walking tour, paint nights, and sunrise yoga. All run anywhere from $15-25 give or take and you can sign up for as many or as little as you like (but spots are limited & fill up fast, so plan accordingly). I signed up for the Friday walking tour and that was it, and honestly, it worked out perfect that way.

Pink Retreat Series: In The Beginning - an interview with Tosha Williams

July 15, 2019

c/o Lilly Pulitzer
Hey! Did you know this is part of a series? You can check out the other Pink Retreat posts here!

I can't believe it's been almost 3 weeks now since the Pink Retreat, and I still have so much to share and discuss! I'm going to kick off the rundown of my experience at #TPR by giving you guys a little background & inside look at how this weekend even came to be, including an interview with none other than the creator herself, Tosha Williams!

For those that don't know who she is or haven't been to a Pink Retreat (yet!), Tosha is the one who made this entire event possible. The Pink Retreat is her brainchild, born out of obviously a love for the Lilly Pulitzer brand, but also for the sisterhood that bonds its fans together.

Pink Retreat Series: Colony Hotel Review

July 6, 2019

Did you know this is part of a series? You can check out the other Pink Retreat posts here!

Hi friends! I'm so excited to share the first post in my Palm Beach/Pink Retreat series from my recent trip. There is so much to discuss & share, so I'm splitting up the trip into several different posts. Up first is a full review of where we stayed: the Colony Hotel!

Palm Beach has plenty of options for accommodations, but only one clear (& obvious) choice for us. As a preferred hotel & kind of home-base for all things Pink Retreat (read more about #TPR here & lots more to come, so stay tuned), we knew we wanted to stay right in the action.

"Oh my God, you look like the Fourth of July!"

July 4, 2019

Happy 4th of July, friends! We all get to be out of office today thanks to living in the land of the free because of the brave, so let's party like it's 1776! Ok, ok, enough with the overused sayings. Today I'm just showcasing a little bit of my own personal July 4th style by giving some new life to a dress that has been hiding in my closet, and I felt it was time for it to come out & play.

Lilly Pulitzer has several really cute patriotic prints, but I don't own any of those (I mean really, when else would I wear a shift printed with fireworks?) so ya girl had to work with what she's got!

Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay: My Favorite Casual Florida Look

June 30, 2019

When the temperatures hit the 90s and the humidity is nearing 100% (or at least what feels like it), I want to be as breezy and cool as possible. So when we were in Florida (when am I not in FL these days?), I packed a lot of rompers, sundresses, and sleeveless tops to be sure I didn't suffocate in my clothes. There's nothing worse than walking around with a tshirt plastered to your torso and boob sweat slowly sliding down your chest. The "just fell in a pool with my clothes on" look doesn't really work for me.

So one night when we were headed out for a nice seafood dinner on the waterfront, I put together this casual date night look, featuring my favorite romper. I wanted to be comfortable, but still cute (& attempted to not be a sweaty hot mess; not an easy feat in FL heat!), instead of my usual mom uniform of sticky-finger, baby-food covered tee + yoga pants combo.

Magic At Any Age: A Magical Unicorn Photoshoot

June 13, 2019

“Growing old is inevitable. Growing up is optional.”

I’ve just crossed the threshold of 31. Yup, I’ve already transcended my 20s & am now traversing my way through my 30s, but I swear I don’t feel a day over 22 (insert other Taylor Swift song here). So what better way to celebrate my 31st birthday than by channeling my inner fairy princess? I had the opportunity to attend the most magical event that was essentially the manifestation of my childhood fantasies come to life & it had my inner 6 year old self fangirling so hard. Excuse me for quoting Taylor Swift, but that day was a fairytale...literally. 

But first, a little backstory. Fairytales have always resonated with me. I remember as a kid I would walk to the public library almost every weekend & wander the stacks (hello Belle complex), almost always checking out books about fairytales, princesses, fairylore & basically anything fantasy. I devoured the Harry Potter series (like most now-grownups my age), grew up on Disney culture, & wore out the Little Princess movie until the VHS tape broke. I got very competitive at Pretty Pretty Princess (we were all vying for that plastic bejeweled crown), played dress up in anything & everything tulle, and had a rather active imagination when it came to playing “make believe” (this was before the renaissance of modern day technology like the internet & iPhones - back when you actually had to use your imagination to have fun).

National Donut Day

June 7, 2019

Let’s talk donuts. Is it a dessert? A breakfast treat? A substitute for dinner? (I’m going to go with all of the above.) No matter how you look at it, you have to admit, donuts are pretty delicious (unless you’re one of those weird types that doesn’t like them; in which case, you probably just haven’t had the right kind of donuts yet. Come see me; we’ll chat). They are also pretty cute, so it’s no wonder that you can find these sweet treats in all kinds of merchandise these days. I’m a sucker for anything donut…

Pink Prep & Print Picks (say that 5 times fast)

June 5, 2019

Hey! Did you know this is part of a series? You can check out the other Pink Retreat posts here!

Did you know that June 21st, the first day of summer, is also National Wear Your Lilly Day? The countdown is on! I’m so excited to be celebrating this year by not only sporting my favorite Lilly look, but also with a girls getaway to Palm Beach for the Pink Retreat! This will be the 2nd year for the Pink Retreat, but a first for me (GASP! A trip to somewhere other than Disney!? Spoiler alert: keep reading…). I had so much FOMO last year, watching everyone’s stories from that weekend. However, I had more pressing matters to tend to (mom duty calls), so I was not able to make it, but I promised myself I would make it happen for 2019 and here we are!

That's a Wrap: A Festive Sarasota Vacation Look

June 2, 2019

Summer is almost here, and I’m ready for it! I love bold, bright colors and fun prints & patterns; plus, I am not one to shy away from a statement piece (oversized earrings are a must). Summer is also the perfect time to get crazy with all those colors and styles (because a tropical pineapple skirt in November might be a bit strange in TN, just sayin’). 

The G̶r̶e̶a̶t̶e̶s̶t̶ Longest Post on Earth: Touring the Sarasota Ringling Museum

May 24, 2019

The circus has always been one of those magical experiences for me, shrouded in wonder and a little bit of mystery, and I liked to imagine what it would be like to be a part of it all. I wanted to wear the glamorous costumes (I think that's where my love of fashion initially stemmed from), see the world (a new city or town every few days would quench my wandering spirit), and get up close & personal with animals that can literally bite your head off (it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise then that I went to school for biology, with the initial goal of moving into the animal husbandry field. The coolest job I ever had was taking care of the jaguars one summer at the Chattanooga zoo). In fact, it left such an impression on me, that I actually applied for an elephant trainer internship with Ringling Bros. my senior year of college (I made it to the 3rd round of interviews). It's kind of crazy to think how different my life would be had that panned out.

But then life happened (ie. the highway robbery that is student loan interest rates) and I let go of my childhood dreams in order to pay the bills. A part of it definitely still lingers, and I'm still amazed by all things circus. So naturally, a visit to the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, FL was a must-do for me.

Take Me To: Polynesian Village

May 19, 2019

If you asked me to rate my top 5 resorts, Polynesian Village is 100% in the top 5, battling it out with the Grand Floridian for the coveted number 1 spot. Although I have yet to stay here, I’ve visited numerous times. The Polynesian is such a fun resort to explore and has so much to offer, and in my opinion, it has some of the coolest architecture and design out of all of the Disney resorts. 

It’s themed around the South Pacific and tiki culture, a popular trend back in the mid 20th century, and you know my vintage loving heart is so into that. If you like tiki/Hawaiian themes and mid-century modern design, you will fully appreciate this resort.

Time for a little smackerel: Dapper Day Part Deux

May 14, 2019

Day 2 was at Epcot. We all did Pooh characters (well, we were all supposed to – Barry threw in the towel mid-morning on day 2, but he gets an A for effort & being a good sport). I went as Rabbit and Lilly had a Piglet theme going on. I had initially planned to wear this vintage square dance dress for my Tea Party outfit, but then I found the striped dress instead so I had to make other plans for this cute little yellow number. The more I looked at it, the more Rabbit came to mind, with the way the white ruffles ran down the middle. Rabbit is a character I had never bounded as before, so I thought, sure, why not!

We're All Mad Here! Dapper Day - Part Un

May 11, 2019

Let’s talk Dapper Day. If you’ve been following my blog for a while (or have seen any of my recent IG posts), you probably know I get super excited when anyone mentions Dapper Day. It combines 2 of my favorite things: vintage + Disney, and it’s basically like the Olympics of vintage fashion. 

If you are just showing up to this party and are hearing Charlie Brown’s wa-wa voice thing every time I mention Dapper Day, allow me to give you the super short Cliff Notes version: it’s a bi-annual unofficial weekend celebrated at both Disneyland in CA & out at WDW in FL (spring & fall) that pays homage to the Disney days of yesteryear – meaning, everyone gets dressed up for the parks like they would have done if this were the 1950s. No, no, we’re not talking all poodle skirts/bobby socks & Pink Ladies jackets (though a Grease-inspired Disney getup would be super adorable…hmmmm), but think more along the lines of circle skirts, patio dresses, and an endless sea of bowties & crinolines, though it’s not decade specific – you could see anything from 20s inspired looks to a hippie Rapunzel. 

You can learn a lot of things from the flowers: Flower & Garden Festival Review

May 8, 2019

Spring is one of my favorite times to visit Disney because it means that the Flower & Garden festival is in full swing bloom. This year, the festival runs from March 6th to June 3rd, so there's still plenty of time to enjoy this festival. There are so many beautiful topiaries scattered around Epcot, including some new ones this year, like Miss Piggy and the gang from Toy Story (separate topiaries - though that would be interesting if it was a mashup!) 

Epcot is such a gorgeous park to begin with, but seeing it literally in living color with flowers blooming everywhere? Count me in because this must be what heaven looks like.

Chattalocal: Tea for Three

April 22, 2019

Happy Monday, friends! I thought I would share my Easter brunch look from yesterday and give y'all an inside look at one of the local tearooms here in Chattanooga. We spent our Easter at Mountain Oaks Tea Room, which is actually inside an old converted courthouse from 1913. Today, the venue is actually much more than just a tea room & hosts plenty of events, including weddings. They were offering a special Easter tea, so we couldn't resist. Surprisingly, this was all my husband's (last minute) idea and I was 100% on board (maybe I can get him to do the Grand Floridian tea with me, after all)!

Take Me To: Boardwalk

March 25, 2019

It's officially spring break, y'all! Unfortunately, that means absolutely nothing to me. Zero, zip, zilch, nada - because I work full time (for teax season, anyway) for a CPA firm and am essentially chained to my desk from mid-January to April 15th. But that doesn't stop me from planning my next three Disney trips! Clearly I'm taking full advantage of the remaining 6.5 months of my annual pass.

When I was a kid, we often went to Disney as a family during spring break. Though I would NOT recommend it now (crazy busy), I do have some fond memories of those trips, and one of my favorite memories is when we would resort hop to the Boardwalk, rent a surrey bike (which I would then not pedal, heheh), and stuff my face with sweet treats. Boardwalk is such a unique resort, so obviously it had to have a sport in my resort-hop-series. 

You’ve Got A Friend In Me: Disneybounding in Toy Story Land

March 2, 2019

By now you’ve probably heard that Toy Story 4 will be releasing soon, & if you’re like me who literally grew up with Andy & the gang, you’re probably pretty excited! So what better way to celebrate all of the epicness that is Toy Story than with a little toy themed post? (All about that timing!)

It’s no secret that I enjoy a good Disneybound, so when I was at Disney & was going to be checking out Toy Story land for the first time, I knew I had to do go all out. So my friends & I all decided to bound as various characters from the films.

To All the Girls I've Loved Before: Galentines Gift Guide

February 9, 2019

Valentines Day is almost here & if you're anything like me (procrastinator. HOLLA!), you still haven't done any prep, unless you count stuffing your face with chocolate as Valentines prepping. So here I am, putting together a gift guide while simultaneously online shopping and compiling all the things I'm going to run out & buy, wrap up in pretty paper, and then top it all off with some sort of super fancy DIY'ed bow (ie. future Pinterest fail. Stay tuned). But we've already discussed that I'm a natural born procrastinator, so we all know none of that will happen. It will go something more like this: Amazon Prime 2 days before V-day + dollar store gift bags...but you know, with the ribbon curl, because I'm classy like that. Take that Pinterest!

So for those of you who plan to go all Martha Stuart on me with your annoyingly perfect handcrafted gifts with the elaborate too-cute-to-open wrapping paper, stop right here. I love you & your chunky hand-knitted vegan certified-organic wool scarf, but sometimes a girl just wants wine and a badass pair of sunglasses. So for those of you, like moi, who need some ideas as a jumping off point for what you plan to Amazon Prime last minute, here's a gift guide to get you going. I'll be over here sipping my rosé and silently judging the rest of you (mostly because I'm jealous I can't Martha Stuart my way through this holiday, too).

Valentines Wrist Candy

February 7, 2019

Hello, February! I am so ready for all of the pink/red color combos and copious amounts of sugar that this month will bring (chocolate & champagne counts as a balanced breakfast right?). With Valentines Day coming up, I wanted to kick off the month with a little V-day inspired look and a giveaway (so keep reading to find out more!). I've partnered with JORD watches to showcase how you can style a watch with any outfit perfect for the month of love.

This look was inspired by my new favorite timepiece, the Sier Arcadia Rose Gold & White Marble Watch. I don't always wear watches, but when I do, I love to style them alongside some other fun wrist candy & get a little arm party going on (totally unintentionally channeling the most interesting man in the world right there). Wearing a classic style watch can really up the sophistication factor for any outfit - you just have to find one that matches your taste & vibe.

For this look, I wanted an outfit with some duality - something I could wear to brunch & coffee with gal pals in the A.M. (well, like 11:30. Ya girl does not do mornings well), but then turn right around & wear for a night out with the hubs.

Underneath the Lovely London Sky: A Mary Poppins Disneybound Look

January 31, 2019

When I first heard that Mary Poppins was getting a revival, my initial reaction was pure skepticism. But once I saw the trailers, I was intrigued. After I saw the film, I was hooked. I left the theater still humming the songs from the film, bought the soundtrack a few days later, and have listened to it on a loop in my car on several occasions.

Let’s rewind a little: Mary Poppins returns is not a “remake.” It’s an entirely different plot than that of it’s predecessor & takes place in the 30s, when the Banks children are all grown up. While there are similarities (& a few Easter eggs & nods to the original), its a completely standalone film that still embodies the spirit & whimsy of the original. 

Take Me To: Beach Club

January 15, 2019

It's been a hot minute since I've released the next post in my "Take Me To" resort series. So what better way to kick off getting back into the swing of things than by starting in January for the new year? I'll be keeping attempting to keep these more regular by adding a resort post once a month. Since it's January & most of us are covered in snow, ice, or just plain frigid cold weather (unless you're lucky enough to live somewhere that has summer year round - hello Florida friends!), it seems like the perfect month for a Beach Club post. 

While I'm over here covered in 2 sweaters, a coat, boots, and leggings under jeans, I'm swooning over the thought of being poolside right now, somewhere warm & sunny - like the Disney's Beach Club Resort. I asked my good friend Joanna to style a look around this resort & do a guest post. She has some great vintage style and eye for details, and pulled together an adorable look, perfectly set to her surroundings. The following is what she had to say about this beautiful resort.

Chattalocal: White (mochas) after Labor Day at Provisions Coffee

January 10, 2019

If you know anything at all about me or have ever even glanced at my Instagram, you know I pretty much have a cup of coffee permanently glued to my hand at all times. No really. I’m like Mary Poppins & can pull a venti iced white mocha on command from the depths of my handbag. So naturally if there is a new spot in town for coffee, I am all about it. 

Recently I checked out the new Edwin hotel (read more here) & discovered the cutest new little coffee shop - Provisions. The name evokes (in my 90s-childhood brain) imagery of the Oregon Trail game, where players could purchase supplies & food for the long treacherous journey (there are 2 types of people in this world: those who ford the river & those who take the ferry across). I feel like Provisions is definitely the former because coffee is very much a “you can do this!” kind of drink (unlike tequila, which sometime says the same thing, but is FULL OF LIES).

Chattalocal: Breakfast Date at the Edwin

January 7, 2019

It’s no secret I’m a bit of a connoisseur of hotel lobbies. Fun fact: the trend dates back to my college days, when I would frequent the Read House (pre-renovation - this was years ago) with my best friend & we would sip Starbucks on the red velvet sofa & chat for hours. I just love visiting hotels to marvel at the unique decor & style, check out new eateries, & basically pretend I’m one of those super wealthy celebrities that lives on the top floor. It gives me a bit of a wanderlust feeling, being able to stroll through like a wannabe-guest, coffee in hand, & just take it all in.

So when my friend Sarah wanted to get together, I suggested breakfast at the new Edwin Hotel downtown, located at the south end of the Walnut Street Bridge. The Edwin derives it’s namesake from Edwin Thatcher, the architect of the iconic Walnut Street Bridge & the interior was designed specifically for Chattanooga. Everything in this hotel is unique - from the restaurant & Whiskey Thief rooftop bar, to the library & cozy chill spaces spread throughout the hotel. Crystal chandeliers? Fur ottomans? Blue crushed velvet dome chairs?! Someone please come decorate my house like this!

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