Monday, December 24, 2018

childhood Christmas memories and traditions

Happy Christmas Eve! Today I wanted to share a few of my favorite childhood Christmas memories and traditions.

1. Eating Chinese takeout on Christmas Eve - My family has been doing this for as long as I can remember and I still do it today. It started because there are only so many meals in a row you can eat holiday food leftovers, so mix in some Chinese takeout leftovers and you're good! I'm excited because our favorite Chinese takeout in Dallas is just around the corner from our church so we'll go to Christmas Eve Mass and then pick up all the leftovers before heading home to eat and watch some Christmas movies.

2. Putting on the Christmas story plays with my siblings - I have two sisters and a brother and we'd put on a full production of the Christmas story (the Biblical one, not the Red Rider BB Gun one) each year when we were little. We'd play the parts, making my older sister play everything except for Mary, Joseph, and the Angel. The costumes were old dance costumes, bed sheets, and bath robes; we'd even use stuffed animals as props! We of course thought it was Broadway quality, but I'm sure we'd all die laughing if we saw a recording of it now.

3. The Christmas I didn't get anything on my list - When I was 6 years old I wrote a letter to Santa, put it in the mail, and then didn't get a single thing on my list. Okay so that sounds really harsh, and there's of course a good reason, but it was very traumatic to 6 year old me. My mom was 7 months pregnant that Christmas and I was not exactly excited about getting a baby sister. So instead of Santa bringing me those gifts they all came from my baby sister two months later. Instead under the Christmas tree I got the pink version of everything my older sister had asked for/gotten under the tree from Santa. My mom thought if the new baby gave me all the gifts I'd wanted I'd be more excited about her being born.

4. Reading The Best Christmas Pageant Ever - Growing up my mom would read this book to my siblings and I every year. This is such a classic story to me that I'm always surprised when more people have never read it. It's a great short read (about 75 pages) that's fun and endearing and really helps you remember the true meaning of Christmas. This year I borrowed a copy from my library and have been reading it a few pages a night to help put me in the Christmas spirit!

What's one of your favorite childhood Christmas memories?

Friday, December 14, 2018

2018 Gift Guide - Gifts $30 and under

When I started thinking about what holiday content I wanted to share on the blog I started by thinking of what holiday content I enjoy seeing from others. Gift Guides are the obvious go to for October through the end of the year, but if we're being honest those posts are the ones I'm least likely to open on other blogs. Now I'm not saying I never open gift guides, but I find most of them just don't appeal to me. Most feel like just a repeat of everything I could find by clicking the gifts section of Nordstrom and I think we're all smart enough to be able to do that without a linked gift guide. So after much thought I've decided to be much more selective in the gift guides I do publish this year and honestly today's may be the only one I publish.

Gifts $30 and under are my favorite gifts because they are so versatile. These can be for stocking stuffers, white elephant parties, coworkers or small just because. Most gifts in this category are a little frivolous but that's what make them so fun!

history of women mug - If I thought I had room for another coffee mug I would buy this one in a heart beat. I think coffee mugs are great gifts because they're available in such a wide variety of colors and prints and styles.
cow ornament - Ornaments are my favorite gift for someone I don't know well. Cute local boutiques have great options, but they're sometimes on the more expensive side. Department stores have great choices and are usually a great bargain!
glitter hour glass - There's no way you could open this and not smile! I think this would be such a fun gift for your favorite gal pal at work.
tumbler - Like ornaments, tumblers are some of my favorite gifts for people I don't know super well. Everyone needs to stay hydrated so this is a fun and practical gift.
peppermint bark - I can't stop won't stop eating peppermint bark. It is my holiday guilty pleasure and I thought this puppy paws version was extra cute!
earring supply kit - If you're trying to find a practical gift this is the one for you! It has a variety of earring backs and wires to help you make your favorite pair wearable again.
picture perfect picture frame - A framed photo is a great gift for someone when you know you want to give something meaningful, but maybe don't have a huge budget. This Kate Spade one is currently on sale and darling!
face mask set - This set is a great value; 4 masks for under $10! Add a bottle of wine or a candle and this is a super great gift for someone in need of a little self care and relaxation.
bubblebath - I love philosophy's holiday collection! These delicious scented bubble baths are such a  fun gift for any age

What are your favorite $30 and under gifts?

Monday, November 19, 2018

3 tips to furnishing a new home

7 months after moving into my apartment I've finally purchased and placed the last piece of furniture to furnish it! This post originally was on my calendar to publish back in the spring when I moved to Dallas, but life happened and things took longer than expected. Furnishing my apartment has been such a fun thing because this is the first time I've lived alone and had a place I needed to furnish. Both my rentals in Vail came furnished which was great there because I knew I didn't want to live in Colorado forever. When I made the decision to move I listed the few furnishings I'd picked up on Craigslist for sale meaning I was able to start with a fresh canvas here. These 3 tips for furnishing a new home are helpful wether you're starting from scratch or just updating what you already have!

1. Have a budget and stick to it - Furniture is an investment, but that doesn't mean it has to break the bank. When I started furnishing my apartment the first thing I did was sit and really think about how much I wanted to spend, because let's be real I have champagne taste on a beer budget. The next step was prioritizing the most important pieces of furniture to decide where to spend the bulk of my budget. I decided the most important pieces for me were the mattress and couch as these were two items I knew I'd want to take with me and use for years to come. I obviously hope to use my tv stand and kitchen stools in my next home, but those are items where the size of the space plays a big role. Just because something is over budget doesn't mean you can't have it. I fell in love with this beautiful white dresser and almost didn't get it because it was more than I'd wanted to spend on that piece. I ultimately decided no other dresser was going to compare and it was worth it to skim the budget from other pieces so I could have this one piece I'd fallen in love with.

2. Have a realistic timeline and don't feel rushed - Admittedly 7 months was a bit longer than my timeline to furnish my apartment, but for me it worked. I bought the big things (bed, couch, coffee table) early but waited until I found pieces that really fit my look for everything else. The last item I purchased was a side table for my living room; I had moved with a table that was a little too big for the space but it did the job until I found a table that was perfect. Resist the urge to buy everything at once unless you're really in love with what you're seeing. Also don't feel bad about purchasing things our of order. I was convinced I had to purchase all my furniture before fun things like lamps and pillows, but I almost missed out on the perfect table lamp from Homegoods because I hadn't bought all my furniture first. Luckily I came to my senses and after not being able to get it out of my head for a week they still had one in stock when I went back to the store.

3. Do your research - There are so many places to buy furniture the options can easily get overwhelming. I suggest starting in a physical store where you can see things in person and get a feel for the style you like. From there go to online retailers like Overstock and Wayfair and search around. These sites let you set your budget and colors to help filter down what you're seeing. Look for links at the bottom of the page to similar items; often times you'll find something similar and less expensive. And always make sure to read the reviews! People will tell you the quality, if the color matches what's shown online, and how difficult it was to put together.

What are your tips to furnishing a new home?

Monday, October 15, 2018

Texas State Fair Recap

This is the last week of the Texas State Fair and if you haven't been you need to get yourself over to Fair Park ASAP! Fun fact the first "vacation" my fiancé and I took was to Dallas for the State Fair, so it holds a special place in my heart. My office took an afternoon to explore the Fair and it was so nice to explore in the middle of the week when the crowds were lower. It was mostly school aged kids, so there were no lines for beers.

If you've never been to the Texas State Fair the main thing to know is that the food is the star. Sure there are games and rides and the car exhibit (a nice inside AC treat!), but the real reason to visit is to try the food. Every year there is a contest for the best new food, this year's winner was a cotton candy taco! Next year I really want to go to the big awards show when they chose and announce the winner, so I can taste all the nominated dishes. That sounds like a smart thing to do a month before getting in a wedding dress, right!? Today I wanted a few items I did get to try this year!

Fletchers Corny Dog - Honestly you didn't even go to the Texas State Fair if you don't get a corny dog. I think the most iconic photo is a Fletchers with Big Tex in the background. Why is this such a classic every year? Because Fletchers invited the corn dog at the Texas State Fair! These are found across the Fair, the stands at the front will have the longest lines, but if you work your way into the Mid-Way you'll find more stands.

Texas Twang-Kie - This was the only new food we tried this time and it did not disappoint. Sometimes the special fried foods are good, but also a little gross and not something you want more than a bite or two of, but that was not the case with this one. This is essentially cornbread shaped like a Twinkie with white chicken chili inside and cornbread "fries" with more chili for dipping. This was seriously so good and something I would order at a restaurant, not just a fair where I'm trying to eat weird fried foods. This one was hard to find, but it's in the back corner of the food hall.

Funnel Cake Ale - This beer is so fun, it's a little sweet and makes you feel like you're at a Fair! It's rimmed with powered sugar with makes it a little sticky, but a whole lot of fun. Look for this in the beer garden and in the second car showroom.

Fried Oreos - How do you make an Oreo better, fry it of course! What makes this so good is that by frying them they get a little melty and even more delicious than a regular Oreo. Find these at stands all around the Mid-Way area.

My fiancé and I are hoping to go back next weekend to enjoy it one more time, any foods we need to try? I'm a little curious about the fried cuban roll and the Orange You Glad we Fried It.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Recent Netflix Picks - Early Fall

Happy Monday friends! Except today doesn't feel like a Monday because I'm off work. I'm lucky that my office believes in a healthy work/life balance and we get 11 paid holidays a year in addition to our generous PTO and flexible schedule. I'm spending today running errands and doing house chores, basically everything I should have done this weekend when instead I was camped out on the couch watching Netflix and napping. Today I wanted to share a few of my recent Netflix picks in case you're like me and have the day off work and get to relax at home.

1. New York Minute - Rejoice, Mary-Kate and Ashley have finally made it to Netflix! This is my least favorite MK&A movie, but I'm hopeful one of my favorites (Our Lips are Sealed and Winning London) may be added soon! Mary-Kate and Ashley are high school twins who couldn't be more opposite. On the way into the city the sisters get accidentally mixed up in a criminal pirated good ring.

2. Steel Magnolias - I hadn't seen this classic in forever so I was so excited when in popped up in my suggested list. If you've never seen it so yourself a favor and watch it ASAP and then go hug your mom. A Southern classic about women and friendship and loss.

3. To all the Boys I've Loved Before - After hearing all the hype about this one I gave in and decided to watch and I was so happy I did! I was worried this one for feel too cheesy tween and not be enjoyable, but I think anyone who enjoys rom coms would like this one. Every time hopeless romantic Lara Jean has a new crush she writes them a love letter, which is great until the letters all get mailed.

4. So Undercover - I saw this one on a list of movies that were so bad they're good, and that's exactly how I'd describe it. Miley Cyrus is a PI who goes undercover in a sorority in New Orleans to try and protect one of the sisters. It was cheesy and pretty predictable, but it made me nostalgic for living in my sorority house.

5. GLOW - I finally finished season 2, and with the exception of one or two episodes I much preferred season 1. I am curious to see if they make a season 3, because this one set season 3 up for an interesting plot. A group of misfit females come together to create the new show Glamorous Ladies of Wresting set against the background of the 1980s.

Bonus! Last Man on Earth - If you have Hulu I highly suggest this one, just know it ends on a cliff hanger. A terrible virus has taken over the earth killing almost everyone; it follows the few survivors as they find each other and try to keep living as the last people on earth.

Looking for more Netflix recommendations? Check out these old watch lists here, here, and here. What are you watching on Netflix?

Friday, September 28, 2018

fall 2018 bucket list

Happy Fall Y'all! A week late, but it's really felt like fall the last few days. I'm still a summer girl at heart, but that crisp fall air sure is nice after months of HOT days. On Monday I shared the outcome of my summer bucket list, so today I thought it was only appropriate I share my fall bucket list.

1. Visit the pumpkin patch
2. Eat a corndog at the State Fair
3. Spend a Saturday binge watching college football
4. Bake a pie
5. Start selling on Poshmark again
6. Make homemade soup
7. Workout twice a week for two weeks straight
8. Watch a Halloween themed movie
9. Decorate my apartment for fall
10. Cook at home for a week
11. Visit a new town in Texas
12. Plan a fun date night out
13. Schedule an engagement photo shoot
14. Go to the eye doctor and dentist

What's on your fall 2018 bucket list?

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Wedding Wednesday : The Knot Experience

Today I'm excited to share my next Wedding Wednesday post! I think one of the hardest parts of wedding planning is making sure everyone who wants to be included is included in a way that fits the level they want to be involved. My fiancé obviously wants to be involved but not at the same level I'm involved in planning, enter The Knot Experience.

The Knot Experience is an impressive wedding planning experience. When I first bought tickets I thought it was a bridal show, but was pleasantly surprised to find it was different! They had table sets and decor for four different types of weddings, bohemian, modern, classic, and southern preppy. The idea was you walk around while sipping on cotton candy champaign cocktails and get inspiration from the different areas. They even had models wearing wedding dresses to match the themes. Then at the end you took a goody bag that included a listing of the vendors who made each area possible and could reach out to anyone that interested you. They also gave away common registry items, like a  KitchenAid Mixer, but we sadly didn't win any of those.

This was the perfect event to really start off our wedding planning because it was low pressure. There weren't vendors in your face trying to push products, instead everything was very relaxed. We could spend time just looking at the different elements of each area and talking about what we liked and didn't like. I have two wedding pinterest boards so I have a more concrete vision board of how I see our wedding, but this gave me a chance to see how my fiancé pictures our wedding.

If they're doing a Knot Experience in your town I highly recommend you attend. It was the perfect low pressure wedding planning afternoon! If nothing else you'll get fun instagram photos!

Monday, September 24, 2018

summer bucket list recap

With summer officially ending last week I thought it'd be fun to do a little recap of my summer bucket list. As a little heads up I did pretty terrible.

1. Make the perfect salad - Fail - I did eat more salads this summer than I did in the spring, but they were the same salad over and over

2. Make the perfect fruit salad - Fail - I don't think I ate fruit salad even once 

3. Make homemade popsicles - Fail - Again, I don't think I enjoyed a popsicle all summer

4. Get a stamp in my passport - Success! - I went to Canada for a 10 day work trip 

5. Visit a new town in Texas - Fail - The fiancé and I were both so busy with starting new jobs we didn't have time for weekend trips 

6. Get a tan - Fail - I think we only used the pool at my apartment once all summer

7. Go to a Rangers game - Fail - we thought about going a couple of times, but temperatures still in the high 90s at 7pm we always decided against it 

8. Win a round of mini golf - Success! I won a round of TopGolf on my birthday so I'm going to count it

9. Visit my parents - Success! We did this in August and it's when I got engaged! 

10. Work out three times a week for 3 weeks straight - Fail - all I have to say here is LOL 

11. Have a Harry Potter movie marathon - Fail - We watched a lot of Netflix this summer, but no Harry Potter

12. Try 3 new brunch restaurants - Success! - They weren't all brunch places but we did try a handful of new restaurants this summer

13. Finish furnishing my apartment - Success! - I still want a smaller side table for the living room and turn my larger one into a bar cart but I'd say I'm fully furnished 

14. Take the pup to the dog park - Fail - It was so hot this summer we just never wanted to have him outside for that long 

15. Go see Mamma Mia 2 - Success! - Went for my birthday and loved it! 

16. Start selling on Poshmark again - Fail - When I moved I donated a lot of things I had listed so I really don't have that much to list, but this is for sure going on my fall bucket list 

17. Be in bed by 9:30 every night for a week - Fail - Again, all I can say is LOL 

18. Eat birthday cake - Success! - After a mixup at the store my sweet (now) fiancé got me the most delicious chocolate and strawberry cake 

Did you make a summer bucket list? How'd you do? I'm working on putting together my fall bucket list, any ideas of what I should include?

Monday, September 17, 2018

Crazy Rich Asians the book vs the movie

Growing up we had a rule in my family, if the movie was based on a book you had to read the book before seeing the movie. Even though I'm now an adult and not living under my parents' roof I still try to stick to this rule. So when I saw they were making a Crazy Rich Asians movie I knew I had to read the book first. This one had been on my goodreads list for a couple of years and just never made it to the top of my list, but since reading the first book I'm totally hooked on the series. Today I thought it'd be fun to talk about some of the ways the book Crazy Rich Asians is different from the movie Crazy Rich Asians.

The Ending - Let's start with the most obvious way. If you read the book and saw the movie you know these two end in very different ways. Obviously the more happy ending of the movie is nice, but I'm curious to see how that different ending will play into a sequel as one of the best opening scenes in the China Rich Girlfriend books occurs because Nick is still not speaking to his mother.

The evilness of the Singapore girls - The movie shows that Rachel isn't welcome, but I think the book did a much better job of showing how very unwelcome she was. I'm glad they kept the dead fish part, but they left out so many other small ways the Singapore girls were just evil to Rachel.

The secretness of the Youngs - In the book the Youngs are so rich nobody has heard of them, unless they're equally as old money rich. This exclusiveness makes the Youngs seem rich on a totally different level. It's like how in the Great Gatsby, nobody really knows anything about Gatsby and that makes him seem more rich and important. In the book they mention that Astrid's family has bought all the news media in the country to keep them out of the papers, that's just next level rich.

Astrid's story - I love Astrid, probably because I picture her as a modern day Asian Audrey Hepburn. I thought they should have included more of her background and Michael's "affair". I'm about 100 pages into Rich People Problems and I really don't know how they're going to make this movie with so much of Astrid's story left out of the first movie.

And one part I'm very glad they kept the same, the opening scene! Buying a posh, expensive hotel because the front office management is racist is the perfect way to explain how truly crazy rich these families are.

Did you read Crazy Rich Asians and see the movie? Which did you prefer?

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Wedding Wednesday - silly ways I knew I'd found the one

I'm excited to share my first Wedding Wednesday post! This past week I started actually wedding planning and think we've selected a date and location! I wanted to just really enjoy the first month of being engaged before the stress of planning set in, but as we started to casually look around at venues we realized there were already some places booked for weekends we were considering over a year away! But once contracts are signed and deposits paid to lock down our date I think I'll be able to go back to just enjoying this engaged stage of life.

I thought it'd be fun to write my Wedding Wednesday post about the ways I knew I'd found the one. But I don't want to be an emotional mess right now and share all the sentimental things I plan to write my fiancé in a letter to be opened on our wedding day. I thought instead I'd share the silly ways I knew I'd found the one.

1. I started thinking of the perfect wedding hashtag
2. I became the needy one in the relationship
3. I started looking up school district ratings
4. I started looking up private school tuition
5. I made one of my 101 in 1001 goals to get married
6. I looked up twitter/instagram handles for my new married name
7. I googled things like "best honeymoon locations"
8. I started a "first dance" playlist on spotify
9. I started thinking of a wedding as "our day" and not just "my day"
10. I started researching wedding appropriate bible verses and songs
11. I made a secret wedding Pinterest board
12. I started an excel sheet for a guest list

If you're married or engaged, what silly way made you realize you'd found the one?

Monday, September 10, 2018

8 things to buy on sale that aren't the Lilly sale

While everyone and her cousin are busy shopping the Lilly Sale skip the stress and shop other sales, or shop while you're waiting at number 2437 in line. The Kendra Scott sale section has some seriously good buys right now! And the Nordstrom sale section a couple months after the anniversary sale always turns up some goodies. Annnd don't even get me started on the Sam Edelman sale at Nordstrom Rack.

Are you shopping the Lilly Sale? Score any great buys? I haven't been overly impressed with it the last few years and have decided the stress just isn't worth it anymore.

Monday, August 27, 2018

summer playlist

With summer quickly coming to a close I thought I'd share the songs I've been playing on repeat lately. I love a good playlist. After a busy day I love nothing more than to come home and put on some music and just sit; it's so much more relaxing than turning on the tv. I also feel like I'm way more productive with a playlist vs turning on the tv when it comes to cleaning or working on wedding research. Anyway here's my summer playlist to help you enjoy the last week of summer!

What was on your summer playlist?

Friday, August 24, 2018

Link Love

Happy Friday; three cheers for making it to the end of the week! Today I wanted to share some of the random things I've found online that have caught my attention lately. They're all super random and there's not much thought to any of them.

Al Roker has a new segment called COLD CUTS where he interviews stars while making classic sandwiches. This episode with Lance Bass is pure gold.

Have you seen this video of the dog who stole the frisbee with a go pro camera attached? I think it's impossible to watch and not smile.

The Money Diaries series from Refinery29 is easily one of my favorite things online. I hardly read any of the other articles they publish, but I can't get enough of this series. Each week there is a new person in a new city with a new budget and they detail what they spend in a week. Maybe it's because I'm nosey, but I just think they're fascinating.

Last year my boyfriend fiancé and I went to Disneyland, which you can read about here. My favorite attraction was the Tiki Room, and not just because it's home to DoleWhip and AC. I found this blog post all about the Tiki Room in Disneyland, Disneyworld, and beyond and loved learning all about it.

Did you see the drama about Rachel Lindsay of the Bachelorette being upset that people like Becca more than her? Basically Rachel is mad that people are happy Becca got a happy ending while we're all still a little upset that Rachel didn't give the final rose to Peter.

I'm obsessed with these junk food as gourmet food youtube videos from Bon Appetit where a pastry chef recreates childhood favorites as gourmet treats. It's really interesting because she breaks down the ingredients and is really scientific about it. The video linked above is for Oreos, but they're all super interesting.

What links have you loved lately?

Friday, August 17, 2018

Life Update - I'm engaged!

Last weekend while visiting my parents in Mississippi the most kind hearted and loving man asked me to be his wife! It was totally unexpected and happened in the most perfect way!

Originally I'd planned this post to also include how I'm excited to see the School of Rock musical and hopefully Crazy Rich Asians this week, but that just seemed like I was burying the lead too much. My heart is so full of love it's honestly hard to concentrate on anything else.

In general I've tried to keep my private life off this space, but I'm excited to transition into sharing this exciting life update. I don't plan on turning into a wedding blog but I do plan on sharing parts of the planning process in an effort to better document our love story.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

what I actually bought from the #NSale

I almost hate myself for publishing this post, but I honestly think it's super helpful to see posts of what normal (non fashion bloggers, just doing it for the clicks) girls have bought from the Nordstrom Sale. I'm not a card holder and was out of country when the sale went public so I didn't go crazy this year and only bought a few things. One major change this year for me is that I finally live close enough to a store to shop in person which is nice because I was able to see the quality of items before purchasing!

This dress is selling out fast, so if you're interested you need to jump on it ASAP! There are a variety of colors and prints, but I settled on this simple jade green shade because I think it's appropriate for a wide range of seasons.
I'm hoping these skinny pants are the same ones I bought in last year's sale and LOVED! I wore them almost every day last fall and was devastated when I couldn't find them in store after the sale.
I am so excited for this pink top! It's fleece and looks soo cozy! My office is super casual and has no dress code so I think this will be on repeat once the temperature drops this winter.
This ruffle sleeve top  was a total impulse buy and the only thing I think that may go back to the store. I ordered it online so we'll see how I feel about it once it's in and I try it on. I feel like I ordered something similar earlier this summer and the sleeve length was off.
I can not even describe how soft this blanket is, so I'll just say, do yourself a favor and order it. Now!
The only item I was super excited about from the original look-book was these earrings.  They're Kendra Scott, but I almost think they're unique to the sale because I couldn't find them on their website. They're the perfect size and very light weight. I've already worn them twice since buying them this weekend.

What'd you buy this year?

Monday, July 16, 2018

Current Movies Review

The other week I shared some things I'm currently enjoying on Netflix because it's just too hot to spend extended amounts of time outside. Today I thought it'd be fun to share some current movie reviews, because even though its hot outside sometimes you just need to get out of the house.

Before I share my reviews I want to give a quick note about the movie theater we visit here in Dallas, Alamo Drafthouse (the Lake Highlands location specifically). Y'all this is hands down the best movie theater I've ever been to. It's clean and affordable, evening tickets are $12 and they're less expensive before 6pm and only $5 on Tuesday! You purchase your tickets online and select your seats and proceed directly to your seat when you arrive, no need to wait in a line to pick up tickets. Once you're seated someone will come around to ensure you're in your correct seat and to take your initial order, they'll even pre-run your card so you just have to sign your check at the end. We usually get the bottomless popcorn ($7) and sodas ($4.5) and when we want refills all we have to do is fill out a little card and stick it up on your table for a waiter to come around. The seats recline and are very comfortable and roomy. We went to a different location and had issues with the group behind us so I filled out the email survey. A few days later I received an apology email from management and two complimentary tickets. Talk about great customer service!

Okay and now onto my current movies reviews!

Ant sized menu for Ant Man and the Wasp!

Ant Man and the Wasp - I was honestly surprised how much I enjoyed this one! Before I started dating my boyfriend I think I'd seen maybe one superhero movie, but now I've seen quite a few and this was probably in my top two favorites (I don't think anything will ever beat WonderWoman). I do think you need to see the first movie to understand this one, but as long as you've seen that I think this one is enjoyable for all. 4 out of 5 stars

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom - I had never seen a Jurassic Park movie until I watched the first Jurassic World a couple of nights before seeing this one and was never a big dinosaur fan growing up, so take that into account with this review. This was probably my least favorite of the recent movies we've seen. I thought it was a little too loud and violent. 2.5 out of 5 stars

Incredibles 2 - Okay so admittedly I didn't love the original Incredibles as much as everyone else, don't get me wrong I thought it was good, just not the best Pixar movie of all time. I thought this one was slightly better than the first. I thought the scenes of Mr Incredible being the stay at home dad and the challenges that come with that were the best part. 3 out of 5 stars

Ocean's 8 - I was so excited about this movie since I first heard about it because what's not to love about an all female leading cast in a great franchise. I think my favorite part is that Anne Hathaway's character is supposed to be so unlikable, because we all know she's the actress we most love to hate. I do think they missed a major opportunity by not having George Clooney make an appearance. 4 out of 5 stars

What current movie have you seen and loved? I'm anxiously awaiting Mamma Mia 2 later this month, anyone else!?

Monday, July 9, 2018

birthday wish list

My birthday is only three weeks away! I really feel like it snuck up on me this year. Honestly where has the first part of 2018 gone, weren't we just posting holiday 2017 gift guides? I wasn't going to post a birthday wish list, but my boyfriend has requested it. It's funny because when I first started blogging I'd post these wish list gift guides but also refused to share this space with anyone I actually knew. Now that I've shared this space it feels kinda weird to post a birthday wish list, but here we are!

DAL Baseball Cap (but in gray)

I just got a new iPhone (thanks mom and dad!) so there really isn't a ton I want or need this year. The other thing I want is a Sephora gift card because I'm dying to try that new Perk Hydrating Facial, but I honestly have no idea what I'd buy with it to get that complimentary service. What would you spend $75 on at Sephora right now?

Monday, June 25, 2018

Netflix Watch List

With the temps heating up it's time to add more inside activities into our lives. When I lived in Colorado I spent the most time watching Netflix when it was cold and snowy outside, but now that the temperature is regularly getting up to triple digits I think this is the best weather to enjoy some Netflix watching. Here's what I've been watching lately.

1. Mad Money - I watched this on a whim one night when I couldn't sleep and it was such a great pick! Three woman working for the Federal Reserve decide to band together and steal the old money set to be destroyed so new fresh money can be introduced into society. Yes it was predictable, but still very enjoyable.

2. Scandal - I've been watching Scandal since the end of season one, but my boyfriend has never seen it before now. It's really fun to go back and watch the character development from the beginning. The entire series is now available on Netflix so this is a great binge watch show.

3. Star Trek Enterprise - Okay so I'm not normally a star trek girl, but this is so good! My boyfriend was watching this one one day and I got hooked. I thought Star Trek was super nerdy, but really it's just about people and different cultures.

4. Coco - You already know how much I love this movie! The fact that it's now on Netflix is actually the best thing to happen to me this year. If you still haven't seen this one do yourself a favor and go watch it now.

5. Kimmy Schmidt - Fair warning, this is only a half, mini season; I was not prepared for only 6 episodes. I thought Jacqueline really shined in this season, which I loved because she's my favorite. I thought there was a lot lacking from the other characters but I'm going to blame that on the fact that there wasn't a full season for them to shine.

Next month I'm excited for Get Smart and all the Jurassic Park movies to be added. And as a heads up, leaving Netflix next month are some gems, including the Bring It On movies.

What's currently on your Netflix watch list?

Friday, June 22, 2018

summer 2018 bucket list

Three cheers for the official start of summer earlier this week! Summer is without a doubt my favorite season. As a fire sign (Leo baby right here) I thrive in the heat, and it doesn't hurt that my birthday is smack in the middle of summer! One of my biggest complaints about living in the mountains was the lack of a hot summer; everyone thought I was crazy, but I honestly missed triple digits days. We're on track for one of the hottest summers in recent memory here in Texas and I can't wait. The heat makes most people sleepy, but it makes me feel alive. Today I thought it'd be fun to share my summer 2018 bucket list.

1. Make the perfect salad
2. Make the perfect fruit salad
3. Make homemade popsicles
4. Get a stamp in my passport
5. Visit a new town in Texas
6. Get a tan
7. Go to a Rangers game
8. Win a round of mini golf
9. Visit my parents
10. Work out three times a week for 3 weeks straight
11. Have a Harry Potter movie marathon
12. Try 3 new brunch restaurants
13. Finish furnishing my apartment
14. Take the pup to the dog park
15. Go see Mamma Mia 2
16. Start selling on Poshmark again
17. Be in bed by 9:30 every night for a week
18. Eat birthday cake

What's on your summer 2018 bucket list?

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Life Lately

In general I try to stay away from these type posts because I feel like an over sharer in them. Like do you really care what's been going on in my life lately? Probably not. But I feel like I've been so MIA lately everywhere I could get away with this without feeling weird about it. So with no further ado, here is what's been happening in my life lately

I'm loving my job, but it's a little more stressful than I expected. I'm a meeting coordinator for an association so it's been really interesting to see events from a totally different side than my previous events job in Vail. But, my director put in his notice within my first 60 days which is challenging on its own. Combine that with the fact that we're about 4 weeks out from a major conference and its a huge stressful challenge. Luckily my manager is great so I know we'll get through this.

I'm also loving living in the same town as my boyfriend. Admittedly I was a tiny bit worried that being so close would be bad for our relationship. Prior to this we'd always been long distance and I am fiercely independent and love my "me time." But honestly this has been so so good! I love getting to see him and the pup every day. It's nice to just be able to sit on the couch after work and watch tv without someone having to drive 45 minutes each way or to spontaneously go to a Rangers game because its dollar dog night and tickets are cheap.

Part of what I love about living so close is that we're able to have routines. Every Sunday we go to church in the morning followed by lunch. We're having fun exploring all the delicious restaurants in Dallas. I love looking at the Dallas food instagram hashtags and discovering a new place to add to my list. Some of my favorite posts while I lived in Vail was sharing local spots and I'm hoping to start writing some posts sharing my new favorite Dallas spots.

While eating at all these exciting places has been fun it has certainly not been good for my health. Since moving to Dallas I've gained 8 pounds and that is not okay. While we eat out every Sunday lunch we're also trying to eat healthy during the week to make up for it. I've also realized eating at Sprinkles once a week is not the smartest idea. My brother is getting married next year and I'm using that as my inspiration to get healthy and fit.

And I think that just about does it. What's been going on in your life lately?

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

First Thoughts on the Bachelorette Guys

To say I was excited for this season of the Bachelorette to begin is an understatement. I was originally on the Arie fan train, but after what he did last season I think he's the scum between Chris Harrison's toes. I can't even bring myself to talk about what he did and how gross it was. So long story short, I'm excited to see Becca find the love she deserves! I think Becca is going to keep it real and not let herself get walked over. She has that mid-western no nonsense personality.

I haven't looked at any spoilers for this season, so I'm excited to watch Becca's love story unfold. Today I thought it'd be fun to give you my first thoughts on the Bachelorette guys.

Intro Videos 

Clay - too good to be true

Garrett - cute, but please for the love of God do not do that impression all season

Jordan - do you really want to be engaged to a model?

Lincoln - unmemorable

Joe - he's going to go far, maybe the next bachelor

Jean Blanc - does he just want to add Becca to his collection?

Colton - Very Cute! Please keep him around for a while

Limo Introductions 

Colton - Still so cute!

Grant - electrician, a man with a real job

Clay - reminds me of a puppy

Jean Blanc - hard pass

Connor - his pants look a little short, did he hit a growth spurt in the car?

Joe - weak intro, but I still like him

John - sweet story to throw in the grandparents

Leo - he has better hair than Becca

Jordan - He looks like a Ken doll

Rickey - glad he wore gray

Alex - literally couldn't tell you one thing about him

Nick - points for the costume, funny without being over the top

Mike - Arie cutout fell a little short

Garrett - Is he driving a mini van? Oh wait, that's actually really cute!  

Blake - seems to have an obsession with riding things

Lincoln - the cake guy! Now I'll remember him

Chase - all about the "chase" lol

Darius - I've got nothing

Ryan - banjoist, terrible job and terrible jacket

Christian - usually not a fan of former jobs, but former harlem globe trotter is legit

Some guy I literally know so little about I don't even know his name

Jason - middle school handshake, cool

Kamil - short pants and bad shoes and bad intro. He's a no for me

Jake - from State Farm! probably would have been a better intro

Trent - "I literally died" I'm a fan

Christian - good brows

David - I guess you can dress like a chicken when you're a venue capitalist

Chris - watched last season, never a fan of guys who are franchise fans. The gospel choir was legit though

Are you watching the Bachelorette this season? Who are your favorites?

Monday, May 21, 2018

2018 Book Review

At the beginning of the year I set a goal to read a book a month as part of my larger goal to read 30 new books for my 101 in 1001 list, and I'm happy to report that I'm currently on track. A couple of weekends ago I went and got my Dallas Public Library card so now I feel like I'm really a Dallas girl. Now that I've gotten my card and I'm feeling more settled I'm hoping to maybe be able to read more than one book a month. I love reading about what others are reading so today I thought I'd share by 2018 book reviews with you.

January - You Can Even by Kate the Wasp - I've long been a fan of Kate Hendrick's Kate the Wasp character, so her 7 chapter Ebook was a no-brainer once I got an Amazon Fire last Christmas. This is the perfect fast read when you need something to help get you over the "not in the mood to read" slump that happens when you've been spending too much time working on your Netflix list.
"After a devastating break-up, Kate sets out on a partly triumphant but mostly hilarious path to rebuild her life."

February - Chasing Harry Winston by Lauren Weisberger - I really, really wanted to like this one, but it just fell really flat. I think my biggest criticism was that I just didn't like the characters, it makes it really difficult to get through a book without someone to cheer for. This is the only book I would not recommend.
"A delicious novel about a trio of best friends in Manhattan who agree to change their lives in the most personal and dramatic way possible - and to do it within one calendar year."

March - Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid - This was one of the most interestingly written books I've found in a long time, almost like one of those choose your own adventure books from elementary school. My one criticism was that because of the way that each chapter was a different story it made it really confusing to stop in the middle of a chapter. But I really liked how even though both ends were completely different they were both happy endings.
"A breathtaking new novel about a young woman whose fate hinges on the choice she makes after bumping into an old flame; in alternating chapters, we see two possible scenarios unfold - with stunningly different results."

April - The Alice Network by Kate Quinn - This is my favorite of what I've rad so far this year. It tells the fictionalized true story of female spies during WWI France. I love historical fiction so the fact that this one was based on real people made it even more fascinating. And you have to love a story with strong female leads!
"A female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite perching for her cousin in 1947 - are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption."

May - The Gilded Years by Karin Tanabe  - I haven't technically finished this one yet, but it's so good I wanted to include it in my review for anyone looking for their next read. Again, this is based on a real story with a very strong female lead. You know this one is good because Reese Witherspoon has picked it up to turn into a movie!
"Historical novel based on the true story of Anita Hemmings, the first black student to attend Vassar, who successfully passed as white - until she let herself grow too attached to the wrong person."

What have you read lately and loved? I'm looking for my next read.

Monday, May 7, 2018

7 Mother's Day Gifts for the Last Minute Shopper

Mother's Day is less than a week away! If you haven't shopped for the most important woman in your life now is the time to do so. Full disclosure I'm actually only buying my mom a card this year. I'm going to visit her at the end of the month and that seems like a better gift than anything I could pick up at Nordstrom. But I've rounded up a few gifts that are perfect for mom if you're planning on gifting something you can put a bow on this year.

What are you getting your mom this year? If you're looking for something a little more personal, or you're reading this on Saturday be sure to check out this post with a DIY last minute gift idea.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Degas exhibit at the Denver Art Museum

The last thing I did in Colorado before moving was tour the Denver Art Museum. When I say last thing I'm not joking; I literally drove out of Denver after leaving the museum. Why did I decide this was such an important thing to do that I made this my last stop? Their special Degas exhibit. Edgar Degas is my favorite artist. So when I saw they had a special limited time exhibit I knew I had to go.

Degas: A Passion for Perfection was interesting even though I already knew a lot about Degas. Even though they didn't have my favorite piece they had a variety of pieces I'd never seen. When you think Degas you probably think ballerinas, but this exhibit also featured many of his early pieces featuring horses. They have it set up so you see his pieces in order from earliest to latest which made it easy to follow the different subjects.

If you have the chance I highly suggest you check out this special exhibit before it ends later this month. You have to buy a special timed ticket to enter the exhibit, but we didn't have any trouble getting them that morning. While you're at the museum I also suggest checking out the exhibit on fashion illustrations. It's much smaller and doesn't require a different ticket, but if you have any interest in fashion you'll find it if nothing else beautiful.

What's your favorite type of art?

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Howdy from Texas

Hey What's Up Hello! Still alive over here even though I've basically been silent on all social media. Moving to a new state and getting accustomed to a new job has really taken it out of me. I know I'm tired because I easily pass out on my air mattress every night. I've been in Dallas a little over a week now and with each day I'm even more convinced this was the right decision for me. Hopefully I'll get a real post up soon, but until then here are a few random thoughts (plus one embarrassing photo) from my first few days in the Lone Star State!

Did you really move to a new state if you don't get a photo by the welcome sign 

I have not seen a single bluebonnet, but I have seen a couple of cows on the side of the road.

I've only eaten Whataburger once since moving, which is funny because it wasn't unusual for me to eat it three or more times when the boy friend and I would be visiting.

It's been too cold to wear sandals and I am dying a little/ feel like I brought all the cold weather with me.

Driving in city traffic isn't so bad, but that's probably because I drive the opposite way of traffic to get to/from work.

Speaking of driving, I no longer need to use my gps to get to the mall or Home Goods #priorities

While online shopping (lol that I thought I'd stop that once I lived in civilization) I've only sent things to my old address once.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

top 5 reasons I'm excited to move to Dallas

I'm officially leaving Vail today and it is so bitter sweet. My goal was to keep it together and not ugly cry; so far so good! In all seriousness I am so excited for this new adventure. When I first started thinking about moving it seemed so far off and it's crazy it's actually here now. I know this is the right decision and I'm excited to start my life in a place I see myself forever. Here are the top 5 reasons I'm excited to move to Dallas!

1. No more driving over Vail Pass for the 3 Ts - Target, Taco Bell, and The Boyfriend (who's name also starts with T)

2. Closer to family - Maybe they'll actually agree to come visit me!

3.  The Food - TexMex, BBQ, Fried Food, Sweet Tea, what's not to love

4. Things to do - I can't wait for Rangers games, the State Fair, and days touring the arboretum

5. Lower Cost of Living - my dollar is going to go a lot further being I can actually afford to enjoy all the food and activities

Have you ever been to Dallas? What's your favorite thing about the city?

Monday, April 2, 2018

5 things I'm going to miss about Vail

My final few days in Vail are here and it's so weird. Today is my last day of work and I've already prepared everyone that I'll probably cry 15 times before the day is over. Big live changes make me emotional. I'm very excited for my next chapter, but closing the book on something so good is a little sad. What's the saying, "be thankful you have something that makes saying goodbye so hard"? Honestly I'm so thankful the last 2.5 years turned out as well as they did, because there was a lot that could have gone wrong along the way. Here are the 5 things I'm going to most miss about Vail. 

1. No traffic - One great thing about living in a small town is the lack of traffic. When you take the small town factor and combine it with the vacation town factor the traffic in Vail is extremely minimal. We complain about traffic if there are two cars in the roundabout. Honestly driving in a major city is one of the things giving me the most anxiety about moving. 

2. My Job - While I'm very excited for my new job I'm honestly really sad to be leaving my current job. A little part of me feels like I'm abandoning my team because I still feel like I have so much in me to contribute. When I first moved to Vail I had a goal of getting the experience to work in the events department because I thought it sounded glamorous and fun. It's not really glamorous, but it has been fun; over the last 9 months I've realized events really is my calling and I'll always hold a special place in my heart for the team that helped me realize that. 

3. Natural Beauty - Vail really is the most beautiful place. I'm blessed to have grown up in a beautiful place, but the beauty of the mountains is unlike anything I've ever experienced. There are some moments when something is so beautiful you have no doubts that surely this is God's finest masterpiece. You know how in elementary school you'd post your straight A report card on the fridge because you were so proud of it? If such a concept exists in heaven I have no doubt there's a picture of the Rocky Mountains on His fridge. 

4. Colorado Chill Vibe - I've had a love hate relationship with the chill vibe, but I think when I'm gone I'm going to miss it. Everything and everyone is so laid back in Vail; I tend to be a little high-strung and intense but I've really learned to mellow and relax in the last 2.5 years. It's funny because you think everything will be all fancy in Vail ( I mean our sidewalks are heated) but with the exception of a few tourists everyone is actually very laid back. I think I've worn a dress 5 times since I've lived here and literally haven't worn makeup to work once; live in Dallas will be totally different. 

The final thing I'm going to miss is harder to put into words, and certainly can't be condensed to a couple of words. Moving to Vail was really the first time I took a giant leap of faith in myself and struck out on my own. Yes I went to college 6 hours away from home, but it was on a campus where I had attended summer camps and already had tons of friends going in. In all my job interviews I kept referring to my time in Vail as my mountain adventure, and that's truly what the last 2.5 years have been, an adventure. I was totally unprepared to move to Vail and honestly if I'd given it more thought I probably would have talked myself out of it. But taking this giant leap and not just surviving, but truly thriving on my own is something I am so so proud of myself for doing. Everyday I'm reminded that I am capable and that that constant reminder is something I'm going to miss.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Out West Wednesday : The Final Post

The time has come for me to say goodbye to Vail and my mountain adventure. It's so crazy that two and a half years ago I wrote my first Out West Wednesday post and now they're coming to a close. I have absolutely loved every minute of my Colorado life, but honestly this winter has been really hard. I knew when it was time to leave I wanted it to be with good feelings and I just don't have it in me for another winter. I'm homesick for the South; that's probably something that will only make sense if you've ever moved across the county.

This time next week I'll be packing my jeep to move to Dallas, Texas! If you're a long time reader you might remember Dallas was one of the places I originally thought I wanted to live after college, so this move really feels like everything is coming full circle. I think I always knew I'd return to the South to make my forever home and now feels like the right time. I'm obviously sad to leave my dream job, and if we're being honest I'll probably cry 5 times on my last day, but I'm really excited about my new job and this new adventure.

If you follow me on instagram or twitter none of this is probably big news to you. I've hinted at my move a few times and even documented a little bit of my apartment search last week in Dallas. If you're not already, make sure to follow along with all my moving adventures!

Also if anyone has any good Dallas recommendations send them my way!

Monday, March 26, 2018

12 Easter Sundresses under $130

Happy Easter Week! Even though the official start of spring was days ago Easter has always been what I consider the start of spring. Obviously Easter is about Jesus dying for our sins, but on a way less serious note it's a holiday about sun dresses. So here are 12 sundresses under $130 perfect for Easter Sunday no matter if you're spending the day at church or boozy brunch or both!

Which is your favorite? I think mine is either the very last one or the red floral print. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

currently coveting : spring fashion

With spring officially starting this week I think it's finally time to put away the sweaters and boots (at least mentally) and start thinking about spring fashion! I love spring fashion because it's all about fun colors and prints, something I'm all about. I've never been a person who wears many neutrals, unless you count leopard print, so I love a season that embraces colors. Here are a few things I'd love to add to my closet this spring

I actually just bought those woven mules in black and now I think I need to add the brown ones to my closet too. While I'd love to own the lace midi everyone is sharing, I think this dress may be better because the last thing you want is to show up to an event in the same dress as 5 other girls.

What spring fashion items are you currently coveting?

Monday, March 19, 2018

march playlist

It's been a hot minute since I shared a current playlist so I thought I'd share what I'm currently listening to today. I've actually gotten a lot of use out of this playlist in the last couple of weeks and I think it's one of my better ones, even if it is a bit random.

What's on your March playlist?

Friday, March 16, 2018

5 favorite classic movies

I've always been a big fan of classic movies. Growing up TCM was more likely to be on the television than MTV. Do you remember the part in The Holiday when Arthur talks about how old movies were such better quality and took longer to make so only one came out at a time? That's how I feel all the time. New movies are entertaining, but nothing beats a classic movie. Here are 5 of my favorite classic movies.

1. Roman Holiday - My very favorite movie of all time! Audrey Hepburn at her utmost elegant and what really more people should associate her with instead of Breakfast at Tiffany's.

2. Bringing Up Baby - Cary Grant is one of my favorite classic movie actors and I think this is his best movie. Katherine Hepburn + Cary Grant + a leopard named Baby; what's not to love

3. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes - My favorite Marilyn Monroe movie. I love the songs, the costumes, and the ridiculousness of it.

4. Love Story - The first movie that made me cry. Love means never having to say you're sorry.

5. Bye Bye Birdie - This is just a fun, feel good movie you can't help but enjoy. You'll be entertained from start to end.

What's your favorite classic movie?