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Miami Beach Weekend

Finally getting around to writing about our weekend trip to Miami Beach. WHAT A WEEKEND! If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that the weekend started off with a bang because Sam PROPOSED. I cannot wait for this next season of my life and to share it with Sam.

So obviously we had an absolute blast the entire weekend eating and drinking our way through Miami Beach. I would recommend every place we went to dinner, so here are the details:

Where We Stayed:
View of the pool from our room
The bathroom could not be ANY cuter
I was in blush pink heaven

We stayed at The Plymouth Hotel. This place is adorable. It’s a few blocks off the beach, has a gorgeous pool, the rooms are PERFECT (think pink, white, SO in right now), the staff was welcoming and recognized us when we walked in and out, and the sushi restaurant in the hotel was delicious. The location seemed perfect for us. Not crazy, close to tons of bars and restaurants. Highly recommend. You get two beach chairs every day at the beach included with your room, and you can rent an umbrella or cabana for the day. So even though the hotel is not directly on the water, we still had all the amenities of a hotel right on the beach.

Where We Ate:

Probably my second favorite part of the trip. (The proposal being my first favorite, of course.)

Chotto Matte

Chotto Matte – this place was INSANE. We had reservations the night we got there (the day we got engaged), and I wouldn’t have wanted to eat anywhere else. The next time we go back to Miami Beach, Sam and I already agreed we have to eat here. The décor is amazing, the service was impeccable, and the food was unlike anything we’ve ever had. Tapas style, Japanese-Peruvian style dishes. Menu tip – you will most likely have no idea what the food even is or where to begin. We (ok Sam) decided we should get the “Nikkei Sharing Menu II” and it was the best decision. All planned for you. They knew we got engaged because one of my sweet friends sent us champagne at dinner (so thoughtful!!) so for desert we had this huge platter with a sparkler. I seriously cannot say enough good things about this place.

Espanola Way

Dress

Havana 1957 – Sam was insistent on Cuban food during the trip. This place delivered. We went to the location on Espanola Way, which is a pedestrian street. All the restaurants had huge outdoor seating areas, it felt like we were in Europe. Highly recommend the Passion Fruit Mojito.

Prime Seafood – So we had intended to eat at Joe’s Stone Crab, but we got there at 6 and there was already a two hour wait (they don’t take reservations). We really wanted seafood and found this place. They gave great recommendations on what to order, huge portions, cool/fancy vibe, another great restaurant.

Where We Drank:

Sweet Liberty – three words: HAPPY HOUR OYSTERS. Yep, 95 cent oysters. delicious drinks. Cool bar. And just 2 blocks from the hotel we stayed at.

A La Folie Café – on Espanola Way, this was an adorable, quiet French bar. We got a drink here before getting dinner at Havana 1957.

What I Wore:

During the days, I pretty much just wore swimsuits and coverups. At night I wanted to dress it up a bit, so I used Rent the Runway. I recently decided to go with the Unlimited package where you get four items at one time and can swap items as often as you want. It allowed me to wear a new dress every night PLUS a pair of adorable Lele Sadoughi earrings. Will link items to purchase if interested.

Swimsuits:

Swimsuit; Sunglasses are Forever 21 (no longer on their website), similar ones ; Necklace

Swimsuit top; Swimsuit bottoms; Sunglasses; Headband

Coverups:

All these items are old, but shirt is from Forever 21 (sized up 2 sizes for the large fit), bag is H&M, sandals are Haviana from about a million years ago.

Also old, beach pants are from Forever 21 and tee is from Anthropologie; Headband

Nighttime:

Dress – I can’t find it for sale on any website, but they have it in different prints for purchase. I LOVED this dress; Necklaces

Dress; Shoes; Jacket; Bag; Earrings

 

We had an AMAZING weekend that was fun yet relaxing. We ate, we drank, we laid on the beach and by the pool. We started off engaged life pretty well if you ask me.

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The Maxi Dress I’m Transitioning from Summer to Fall

dress: H&M, bag: Anthropologie, earrings, sandals: old J. Crew, sunglasses: old H&M

Who else loves a maxi dress?? (me!) And who else is usually SWIMMING in one? (yep, also me) The idea of a maxi dress is just so effortless and can be fun and stylish, but for a while I gave up on them because they never seem to fit my 5’3″ frame. However, I stumbled upon this dress and could not pass it up!

I found this black and brown maxi dress while looking for my sister’s birthday present (don’t worry, I found her something equally as cute) at H&M. I saw it and the usual question I ask myself when I see something I like popped in my head: “where would I wear this?” Endless options crossed my mind like “to dinner! to church! summer and fall because look at these colors!” and finally “to the beach!” We had a trip planned to Charleston about 5 weeks away and I knew immediately that if this dress fit it would be perfect for Charleston. I already envisioned wearing it to brunch. So back to the dressing room I went. And maybe by a miracle, his dress fit perfectly! And even better, it was about $45. I couldn’t (shouldn’t) say no.

Now for my review of the dress: first, such a good price. The colors and pattern make this so easy to transition from summer to fall with a little jacket. It’s also super flowy, which added to the beachy, casual feel I was looking for. However, I will say the dress is not lined. Now for the price, I wouldn’t expect it to be. This was a positive in the hot Charleston summer heat, but I definitely recommend nude undergarments.

It’s perfect to wear alone with a simple sandal and gold hoops. And now that it’s starting to turn into fall, I am already planning how to change up the look with a jacket, maybe darker bag, and other shoes. A maxi dress can be the one of the easiest ways to create a simple yet stylish look! With a few accessories you look totally put together and it probably takes less than 2 minutes to get ready. That’s a win-win in my book.

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How to Rock a Blush Velvet Couch

If you’re like me, the moment you realize you have total freedom when decorating your apartment, the Instagram and Pinterest searches go CRAZY. I had very little of my own furniture when I moved into my apartment in Winston, so that was a little scary. I needed A LOT! (To put into perspective, I had a bed, a dresser, and a few decorating pieces. That was all.) So I hit up all the “cheaper” furniture and decorating stores you can think of. IKEA, Target, HomeGoods; I was there! So when it came to decorating the living area, I knew I wanted a blush pink couch.

Would you believe me if I told you almost everyone gave me backlash for this idea? Yep. My sister tried to tell me how impractical this idea was; my dad simply rolled his eyes and laughed because that’s just classic me wanting a pink couch. But I had quite the comeback, and it was this: “how many times in my life will I have no one else to think of when I’m decorating? There will probably never be another time when it’s my opinion alone that matters the most. No compromising on colors, size, comfort. Any of it! Just me!” and with that, everyone just smiled when I told them I was looking for a blush pink velvet couch.

T couch is small, the perfect size for just me and a friend. I love neutrals anyway, so I knew it would be easy to find simple accents to toss around and finish the space. So below I detailed the spaces in the room and how I u completed the look for a chic, girly feel.

Couch area: a throw is a MUST for me. I love blankets! This was a gift from the dearest people who I just adore as a moving present. I tossed a couple throw pillows I already had on the other end and love the simple yet fun pop that the Dalmatian pillow and faux fur bring!

Rug/coffee table area: I still wanted to mix some other colors into the space so that it wasn’t just pink. I already had the ginger jars and love the look of pink and blue. I found this rug online for such a good price. Looking back I think I could have gotten it slightly larger because it is a large open room, but I don’t think it looks bad (and this size was in my budget lol). I love the clear table, which was a HomeGoods find. It is glass so it is actually pretty heavy! I honestly don’t know how I got it from my car, into the building, and then into my apartment all by myself but I did. (GIRL POWER!) Right now I just have a simple coffee tablet book, ginger jar, and candle on the coffee table, but I also have a little gold and mirrored table tray that I love to bring out as well as several vases for when I’m feeling extra and need fresh flowers. It also a perfect space to throw something seasonal. The pouf adds a little bit of bohemian vibe. (It was also used when I couldn’t see my TV from the couch before I went to the ophthalmologist; so would drag it in front of the coffee table. Oops! Don’t worry now I have glasses.)

Side tables: the wooden side table is actually two separate tables. I like again the light and airy feel of the table. I didn’t need tons of storage so I loved the open feeling. I love coffee table books (maybe slightly addicted), so I stacked up two and put a more rounded/stout ginger jar and circular picture frame to offset the square and rectangular shapes. On the other end is a gold and marble topped round end table. I had several ginger jars from my previous apartment that I wanted to display here. So I stuck them underneath to fill the space in a little more, and again tossed a couple of fun coffee table books, candle, coasters, and one of those gold starburst/spiky things on top.

Wall: I love how floating shelves look so simple and clean. These I found on amazon. I already had most of the pictures, so I just got a couple of the bigger ones at Hobby Lobby and moved them all around until I found a look I liked. Now I do have to give a shout out to Sam here. I got these shelves just a little while after we met/started dating and the instructions said I needed power tools. Sam, being the handy man that he is and trying to look all cool and strong when we first met, came over and helped me install them. (Thanks Sam!)

So overall, I kept with a neutral theme of colors and fun textures to play up the pink velvet couch. I change things up for the seasons and holidays, which really isn’t as hard as you may think with a pink couch. I love how personal this area feels and how “me” it is. Does anyone else have something in their home/apartment that makes them feel so happy and personal?!

Leisure Clothes

I share a lot of outfits that are more for dinners, parties, drinks, etc. But if I’m not at work, honestly I wear leisure clothes probably 90% of the time! Especially in January when its colder out. So I’ve done a little round up of clothes I like to wear to run errands or lounge around in.

Pants:

I have these sweatpants. THEY. ARE. SO. SOFT. Seriously wear these on a day when you’re staying home on a cold or rainy day. On sale right now and come in a ton of colors. They run big. I usually wear an xs or s and have the xxs.

I wear these joggers just about every single day. Not kidding. Obsessed with them. #comfycute

Leggings:

These leggings have to be the softest leggings ever. I don’t have the full-length in black yet, but I want them. I have a camo print and a pretty blue color I got on sale. I have the black in the cropped length, however. Pricey for leggings but so worth it. Look for sales! (Although black will rarely, if ever, go on sale. You may find some other cute colors on sale.)

My girlfriend collective black leggings are what I’ve been wearing for years! They are about the closest feeling to the lulu aligns in terms of softness and not too compressing. They have so many colors now. Made ethically and out of recycled materials. I actually first got my pair when the company was launching a few years ago and they were GIVING OUT their leggings for free, just payed shipping. I still have the pair I got a few years ago, so they hold up well! Not to mention if you want workout clothes, their sports bras are so cute to make a matching set. (I’m eyeing the Topanga and Paloma styles.)  NOTE: I have to roll the bottom of the legging under because the full length is too long on me (I’m 5’3″).

Tops:

I saw this cropped sweatshirt on Lisa Allen of Salty Lashes and ordered immediately. #influenced I’ll probably wear it most with leggings and then shorts in the spring. (I LOVE shorts and long sleeves.) Wearing in the picture here.

I wear a lot of graphic tees when I’m just out running errands. Some are Butler tees (go dawgs!), and here are some others I like right now:

  • Be Kind Tee
  • Tie-dye is going to be very trendy this spring/summer!
  • Long sleeve tee
  • This whole Topeshop collection of tee’s with a few short sayings on them is very cute and simple
  •  A friend of mine makes these tanks and they are SO CUTE! (I have the “happy lil’ thang” tank). I want the “strong” next. Also great to wear as a work out tank or over a sports bra.

You can’t really go wrong with the define jacket from lululemon. It’s a great jacket to throw on over a tee or tank.

I also recommend a denim jacket once its warm enough. I’ll wear my joggers or leggings and then a denim jacket over a tee.

Shoes:

I got these for my birthday and LOVE them. I wear them all the time.

Always a classic tennis shoe. I’ve worn mine for years!

If it’s cold/snowy where you live, how cute are these!? And on sale right now. I haven’t had much need for cold weather wear yet this winter, but when it is cold I wear my classic Uggs all the time the run errands.

Exact Outfit in Picture:

Top, Leggings, Shoes, Bag

I LOVE getting dressed up, but in reality, this is what I wear most of the time. What’s your go-to outfit to run errands in?

How I Prep for a New Year

A new year is approaching, and with that is a sense of new beginnings. Although I don’t really like the term “resolution,” I do like to make a few goals for myself in the coming year. Anyone else?

So I did a little research to get a better sense of the whole “New Year’s Resolution” thing. According to my sources (google lol), it looks like making New Year’s Resolutions has been around since the Babylonians, some FOUR THOUSAND YEARS AGO. And the most common resolutions now adays?? You could probably guess most if not all of these: diet or exercise more, lose weight, save more and spend less, quit smoking, spend more time with family, learn a new skill or hobby, be less stress (I have to laugh at this one), get organized, travel more, read more, exercise more, and my personal favorite *drum roll please*: live life to the fullest.  I don’t mean to pick on anyone if this are some things you would normally make as a resolution. Really! I just need a little more direction than these general ideas. This can seem so general and directionless.

I think making new years resolutions is a bit “wishy-washy.” So I don’t call them resolutions. I prefer to make “goals” of ways that I can improve aspects of myself: physical, mental, spiritual, etc.

Last year, I wrote down a few goals in my planner. I didn’t have to be achieving my goal right away; I slowly work at them over weeks or months. Last year’s goals were:

  1. Read more books
  2. Pray every day (like really PRAY and talk to God for some time)
  3. Workout a minimum of 4 days/week
  4. Form healthful eating habits

Within these, I made some specifics or examples of where I wanted to see myself. This year, my goals seem to be a lot of the same. I don’t think that means I “failed” at my goals last year, but some were still a little hard. So here they are:

Goals for 2020:
  1. Stretch every day- an idea from Sam actually when we were stretching before a run and both realized it’s hard to touch our toes/felt very tight. This goal we are going to work on together. Whether just a few minutes of stretching or taking a yoga class, we want to stretch every day.
  2. Read at least 1 book per month – I did read more last year! Before last year, I didn’t really read much for pleasure because of being in school and taking my boards… everything I read was school/professional related! So 2019 was just a year to get back to reading more for myself. I didn’t read quite as much as I wanted, so I’m setting a more specific goal this year that I think if achievable. If it gets too easy, I’ll modify my goal later on.
  3. Grow in faith – pray daily and use a daily devotional. I just ordered this devotional. It’s recommended by both Chronicles of Frivolity and Lonestar Southern so I’m sure it’s good! Very excited to try something new to hopefully improve my spiritual life.
  4. Form healthy eating and workout habits. A few of the specifics under this category:
    1. Eat fewer processed foods
    2. Workout at least 4 days/week (this was a good goal last year for me. Some weeks it was hard to work out that much, once I was training for my half-marathon it was an easy goal. Four days a week is a good balance, personally.)
    3. Eat healthy portions
  5. Write more blog posts – I’ve sort of fallen off the writing portion of this whole “blog journey,” but I want to get better at it. It may start small with once a week but maybe I’ll really challenge myself to share even more. This will definitely be one of those goals that will change over the course of the year. So stay tuned!

Who else is ready for a new year?? What are your resolutions or goals?

Over-sized Sweater, Three Ways

There’s not much worse than having an item of clothing in your closet that you can only wear with one other thing! Or for only one occasion! So I try to only buy items I can wear with most of the items I already have in my closet. Additionally, I like to be able to dress up or dress down the piece. And to get a bargain on whatever that clothing item is?? Jackpot.

A few weeks back I shared on my Instagram stories that I found this Free People sweater for such a bargain at Marshall’s. (In case you missed it, it sells for $168 and I found it on clearance for $44.) I would’ve paid full price for it because I liked it that much!

A few reasons why I love it? In my opinion, an over-sized sweater is a versatile piece to begin with! It’s long; so it can be worn with leggings as well as other bottoms like pants and skirts. This sweater was a solid color, so I don’t have to worry about only wearing it with solids if it were a print. I love neutrals, and this sweater is a great brown color that will go with most of what I already have at home in my closet. So here are a few ways I would wear this sweater.

Casual (jeans)

I tucked the front of the long sweater into my light wash jeans for a casual, everyday look. A pair of tennis shoes and fun crossbody bag make this exactly something I would wear to run errands, meeting friends for lunch, or just a Saturday around town.

Shop: sweater (my color is last season that I found at Marshall’s), similar sweater, jeans, shoes

Fun but Relaxed (leather leggings)

For this look, I wanted something that would be cute for dinner or drinks but still very casual and comfy. As it gets colder, the comfier the better! I kept the sweater long because I was wearing the leggings. Maybe its just me but I feel so EXPOSED if I’m wearing leggings and my top doesn’t cover my bum and front side. I paired the look with some little black booties.

Shop: leggings (and similar), shoes

Dressy/Date Night (skirt)

This midi skirt is one of my favorite things right now. H&M seriously KILLS the midi skirt game for all you petite girls like me. Now I didn’t tuck my skirt into my skirt because I didn’t want an unflattering bulge with the slip skirt. So instead, I actually tucked my sweater into my bra. If this sounds crazy to you, that’s ok. I only just found out about it too. If you already know this trick, great! But it’s a thing,trust me. (maybe google it? I know that few influencers recently shared how they do, with video). I threw my hair in a little low bun; put on some simple heels, and then a little more jewelry and voila! The sweater is now going to date night or a fun party.

Shop: skirt, heels, sunglasses

Which is your favorite way to wear an oversized sweater?

Cheetah Print

Animal print! I’ve already touched on snakeskin booties (see post here), but now I’m having a moment with cheetah.

I’m more of a classic style kind of gal. And animal print has never been quite my thing. But it’s having a moment! And I’ve finally warmed up to wearing animal prints more. No, you probably won’t see me rocking a cheetah jump suit… But I’ve actually been finding animal print pieces that I love!

The easiest way to wear a trend without straying too far from your usual style is to wear the trend (especially if it’s a color or pattern) as an accessory. Shoes, purses, jewelry, and scarves are a GREAT way to incorporate a trendy piece like animal print. Here I found a pair of cheetah print heels that add the perfect little punch to this otherwise neutral outfit. 

Here’s a few cheetah print items I’m coveting:
  • This flowy dress is so cute.
  • I just bought this skirt! I love the pink.
  • This clutch is such a good price! the perfect little pop of cheetah print.
  • If I was to wear a leopard button down, it would be this one. And the way they style it on Tuckernuck is always so classy.
  • There’s something about a slingback pointed toe flat that never fails. These are so pretty (work-wear appropriate)
  • If I was a little bit bolder, I would buy these in a heartbeat! Still adding them to my wish list though.
  • For those messy hair days when you just throw your hair in a topknot and still want to look cute??? A headband it is. The “neutral” might be my favorite color, but I love them all.
  • This scarf is DEFINITELY going on my birthday/Christmas list.
  • Mare fall-appropriate scarf (and you can’t beat that price for something you may only wear a few times while it’s in style)
  • I love this coat!
My Outfit:

my shoes, similar shoes, jeans, bag, similar sweater

I’m so glad I’ve warmed up to cheetah print. I’ll definitely be wearing more this season! So what’s your favorite? Snakeskin or cheetah?

How I’m Strengthening My Nails

Some of you may remember a couple weeks back when I shared on my Instagram stories that my nails are getting very thin. Well first off, thank you to all of the suggestions/replies to my story! I really appreciate the feedback; it has helped so much. I also got quite a few people saying “same girl, help!” So I’m going to share what I’m doing in hopes that it may help some other people as well. I also think I will make another most in a few months to see if what I’m doing has really helped, so stay tuned.

I’ve done a little research (pharmacist here, remember?), and I summarized some of the key players for healthy nails.

First off: a few things to DO. The first is to be careful about water and chemicals around your nails; these things can weaken your nails. This means I’ll be using rubber gloves to clean more often and keeping a hand cream to keep my hands and nails moisturized. The next thing pretty much EVERY place I read suggested: use a soft nail file. Filing your nails actually weakens them.

And now for the important vitamins to have strong healthy nails (the part I wanted to mainly focus on for myself):

  1. BIOTIN BIOTIN BIOTIN. Literally everything I read mentioned biotin. Biotin is found in dairy products, salmon, nuts, avocado, and sweet potatoes. A biotin supplement is never a bad idea either. I already take a biotin supplement, but it was good to know that it must be pretty important, so I’ll keep up with part of my routine.
  2. Iron. Iron is most simply needed to provide your cells with oxygen. You need oxygen for healthy nails. Therefore, iron is important! Iron can be found in meats, but more so in red meats, dark leafy vegetables like spinach, beans, and fortified cereals.
    1. Also, your body absorbs iron better when consumed at the same meal as Vitamin C. AND vitamin C is important in the production of collagen, which is important for hair, skin, and nails. Think citrus fruits, tomatoes, and green veggies. So if you’re thinking of adding iron, don’t forget to look at Vitamin C.
  3. Magnesium. Magnesium’s main importance related to your nails is that it is involved in protein synthesis. Magnesium is found in whole wheat, eggs, dark leafy veggies, quinoa, and others.
  4. Protein. Nails are made of keratin, which is made of protein. Therefore, having enough protein in your diet is ESSENTIAL to having stronger nails. Protein is found in a lot of things, but most commonly you think of meat, fish, dairy, legumes, soy, and eggs.

There are several other vitamins and nutrients that help your nails, but I just wanted to summarize the ones I thought seemed the most important for my thin nails. This website was EXTREMELY helpful! https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamins-for-nails

So what am I actually doing to make these kinds of positive changes? Well first off, I bought the Nature’s Bounty Hair, Skin, & Nails Gummies. They have collagen, biotin, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E. The taste is pretty good. I’m going to keep taking my daily multi-vitamin and 10,000 mcg of biotin as well.

I did a pretty thorough review of the labels of foods in my apartment. And you know what? I think my diet could use a little improvement! I noticed I have essentially no or very little iron.  Now I did not go to the doctor or have blood work done, so I can’t know this for sure. But based on the vitamins I get from my multi vitamin and the food I eat on a regular basis, I would bet I am pretty low in iron. So I have made a conscious effort to eat more iron. Ways I’m doing this, you ask? Well before, I pretty much only kept romaine lettuce at home to make salads. Now I have the 50/50 spinach and spring mix.  I am trying to eat more red meat (beef tacos, hamburger helper because I am quite the chef haha,etc). Also, I used to drink a lot of orange juice when I was growing up but hardly ever have it anymore. So now I am keeping orange juice at home to have with some of my meals.

I am also trying to eat more protein. I’m a snacker; meaning I could eat snacks and appetizers all day every day instead of a sit down meal. This isn’t too good when I look at the amount of protein I probably eat. It’s also much easier for me to snack at work because I do not get breaks. Being at work from 7:30 am to 9 pm can be tough on my food choices, so I am trying to pack foods like Greek yogurt and healthier granola bars to eat throughout the day along with my sandwiches or small meals I eat while working. I am specifically eating more meals with meat. (not a vegetarian here, but I’m perfectly happy with a meatless pasta, pizza, flatbread, sandwiches, and so on!) I’m adding more chicken to my lunch salads and making eggs for breakfast a couple days a week. Overall, I am trying to just eat what most people would just consider “healthier.” To me, it means my eating is more balanced and conscious.

I still have not had my nails done in these last few weeks. I did purchase a few polishes to use at home right now and if I need to take these “breaks” in the future. I already know I’ll have my nails done again soon with some travel and the holidays coming up. I will keep you updated on this

Helpful websites:

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/14621-iron-rich-foods-and-anemia/management-and-treatment

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322272.php#types-of-iron

https://www.elle.com/uk/beauty/nails/a19686863/how-to-make-your-nails-grow-longer-stronger/

https://www.thehealthy.com/beauty/nail-care/how-to-make-your-nails-stronger/

Chicken Enchilada Soup

The temperatures have dropped so it was finally time for me to pull out the crock pot and make one of my favorite soups the other day! First, I’ll be completely honest. Cooking is something I am working on. I struggle with planning something in advance and taking the time to prepare it. Slowly but surely I will get better at this *I tell myself*. But that being said, I have never messed up this recipe, so there’s no way you could either! When I can successfully cook a meal that does not involve anything prepackaged, frozen, or half-way already done for me, this is a major win.

There’s so many things I love about this recipe. First off, it’s a Mexican inspired soup. (YUM!) Next, it’s made in the crock pot (or Instant Pot if you’re fancier/cooler than me haha). And it’s healthy. It’s paleo and gluten-free; so it’s a great option for almost anyone.

*Side note: I tried to eat more paleo meals for a while. My goal was about 50-60% of what I ate was paleo. Even this goal was unrealistic for me considering how much I love grains and dairy (honestly dairy is something I love to my core). But, oh well. This recipe is amazing even if you aren’t on a specific dietary plan.*

It only takes 30 minutes to prep. Easy-peesy! And you know how crock pot meals make your whole kitchen smell delicious?!?! This one is no exception.

Recipe: https://realsimplegood.com/crockpot-chicken-enchilada-soup/

I grabbed everything in a quick run to Trader Joe’s the day before. I used chicken broth instead of bone broth because it was cheaper, and it still turned out great! Oh and of course added a little bread on the side. I love dipping bread in soup.

I hope you enjoy! Please share if you have any other crock pot recipes you love. I want to try more crock pot recipes this fall and winter.

Flannel for Fall

What’s a few things that come to mind when I say fall style staples? Is flannel on that list? Well if it’s not, it should be! And if it is, let’s be besties.

Maybe it’s my Midwestern roots or that I tend to gravitate toward “classic” styles, but I love wearing flannel for fall and winter! Flannels can be worn under a sweater with just the collar and sleeves showing, worn open over a tee, or by itself. There are endless color options as well. And patterns? There’s plaid, gingham, checked… With all of these options, what’s not to love!?

I’ll most commonly wear my flannels with jeans. I like to tuck the middle front of my shirt in to my jeans (as seen in my photos) to elongate my legs. And once it starts to get REALLY cold, I’ll throw my flannel on under a sweater. Roll the sleeves of the sweater a bit to see the flannel at the ends and make sure your collar can be seen. If your sweater and flannel are a little long just put on some leggings and keep it comfy. Another option, that I don’t tend to do as often is throw on a flannel over a little graphic tee and keep it unbuttoned.This look adds layers but requires very little thinking. (Great for feeling put together!)

Some of my Flannel Picks Right Now:

  • I have this exact one from a couple seasons ago
  • Love these colors, and doesn’t button all the way down
  • Obsessed with the colors in this one and the over-sized top button. Boxier fit.
  • The little ruffle collar is so cute

Here I wore my Topshop flannel (old) with wide-leg jeans for a trendy touch. Dressed down with tennis shoes, or throw on some booties or heels for a dressier look. Wear a classic colored flannel with some brown riding boots and you’ll pull off the preppy look with ease! A flannel shirt is so versatile, there’s no way to go wrong.

Other Clothing Links

jeans, shoes, bag, necklace

Snakeskin Booties

If you’ve seen anything about trends for fall, you probably know that animal print is HUGE. Now I’m usually someone who prefers classic and simple pieces that I can mix and match with anything, but I also try to mix in some trends to keep my look young and fashionable. So here, I’m going to share with you one of the first fall trend pieces I purchased and CANNOT wait to start wearing!

Let’s take this back a couple of months. If you’re like me, you probably saw numerous bloggers/influencers shop the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale in July. As someone who loves fall and loves Nordstrom, I’m a die-hard follower of what goes on during this sale. This year, I purchased a couple of items that I can’t wait to start wearing. (Once the weather cooperates, you’ll start seeing these pieces.) But one item that I fell in love with were a pair of snakeskin booties… that probably 90% of the influencers I follow shared. However, I didn’t see the exact color of the booties online that these ladies kept linking. I knew if this trend was going to be big I’d easily be able to find some similar booties elsewhere. So I passed on the booties and began my hunt.

Oh and also important that I mention this: I generally do not like to spend a lot of money on “trendy” pieces that I may only wear for a year. That just doesn’t seem practical to me. I would rather spend more on items I can wear for years to come. And by “spend more,” it’s still what I would consider middle of the line at most, and I love a good deal! 🙂

So back to looking for these booties. BOY ARE THERE OPTIONS! I comprised a list of various snakeskin booties below that are pretty excellent finds. But before that, I’ll also give you a few of my tips on how I plan to wear this trend for fall:

  1. Neutral lovin’: Although snakeskin is a print, it’s still neutral colored. I have a lot (I mean A LOT) of black, white, cream, and camel colored pieces. I love an all neutral outfit! I’m going to pair these booties most often with dark skinny and wide leg jeans and a neutral top so that the booties are the statement piece.
  2. Go bold: Yes I love all neutrals, but I also think a bold colored sweater (also big for fall) and a little snakeskin will make a great statement.
  3. Wear them with a skirt or dress: I love how booties look with skirts and dresses. Go boho or ultra-girly. You’ll have no problem dressing up your booties with a little dress or skirt for a fun look. **Super Trend Alert: pair your booties with a skirt/dress that is midi length and you’ll have everyone asking you where you got your outfit.

My Picks for Snakeskin Booties

  • These Marc Fisher booties with snakeskin down the heel
  • These have a little shorter heel, and brown snakeskin
  • LOVE these little ones with a skinny heel
  • Skinny heel, great price, brown color. I might need to get these too!
  • I WANT THESE IN EVERY SINGLE COLOR (I’m not joking. I would buy them in every color if that was not super excessive)
  • My pair ! Super comfortable and good price
  • Same exact as mine but more sizes available

Are you going to get any snakeskin pieces for fall? 

Moonlight Madness 5K

As you may have seen from my previous fitness post, I’m training for a half marathon in November! I’m really getting into the training now with my long runs in the double digits, and I start speed work soon (which I’m completely dreading, btw). I don’t know if I’ve ever run a race WHILE training for another race, but I saw this 5K as a fun social opportunity with friends and a great way to see what kind of pace I can run right now. After the race there were food trucks, live music, and beer; basically making for a really fun night. The weather started to get the idea that it should be fall and it was a beautiful night to run!

Sam and his coworkers created a team that they let me be on. (Thanks guys!) We ended up placing third as a team out of 43! Pretty darn good if I do say so myself. I was also really happy with my personal time; I just broke 21 minutes; averaging less than 7 minutes a mile. Not too shabby for being in “distance training mode” and putting the speed back for the first time in a while. I finished as the third place woman overall, with the other two women within 20 seconds of me. I’m not upset about being so close to the other women because that means I was running with the best of the women there. I never run 5K’s so I was really proud of how well I competed. (I also heard one of these women runs 5K’s EVERY. SINGLE. WEEKEND. yeah…)

I have no more races planned until the half marathon, though. I’m using this 5K as an assessment point to see what I want to focus on as I continue training. I obviously have a little more distance to put in, but I’m really not too far off the race distance right now because I ran 11 miles on Sunday. I DO know that I want to really challenge myself in terms of pace for the half marathon. I’ll update you as I start speed work and tactics I try to use on normal and distance runs to improve this aspect of my race. I’m super thankful for a fun night to run and looking forward to seeing how this improves my half marathon!

*ALSO, funny story from the race:

When I was being presented my award, the gentleman had to ask me if I was 21… (The prize included a large bottle of beer) Someday I’ll be thankful for looking young I guess!

Shop my Look

shorts (I have them in multiple colors ❤ ); similar top, top, top; watch; shoes, jacket (my exact color was seasonal so they no longer make it)