Monday, July 24, 2017

Black & White Stripes In Austin

The Austin photo overload has officially begun! I took so many pictures while I was in Austin last week (enough to fill up a 16 GB memory card... whoops) and I'm so excited to share them with y'all. I'm putting together an Austin travel guide which should be up later this week, but for now, I wanted to share one of my favorite outfits I wore on this trip.

Standing on the steps of the Texas Tower, the main building on campus 
At the doors of Texas French bread... how cute and colorful are they?
The yummiest veggie sandwich with an amazing avocado sauce
A really pretty blue door at the architecture building
Finishing off the day with a chocolate cheescake cupcake (try saying that three times fast)

Found a cute mural on The Drag!
Visiting the Alpha Delta Pi house (my mom's sorority when she was in college)
Striped Top (only $13!) // White Shorts // Sandals // Earrings // Monogram Necklace // Nail Polish

When I stumbled across this black and white striped top while browsing on SheIn's website, it was love at first sight. I was a little bit hesitant about buying it, since I've heard mixed reviews about the website, but this top was too fun to not buy (and you really can't beat the price!). It's definitely not the best quality, but I think it's so cute and makes such a statement with the gingham sleeves. I paired it with some white shorts and white sandals for a more summery look, but I also think this top would look so classy and sophisticated with black jeans and black flats when fall rolls around.

I wore this ensemble while exploring the University of Texas campus. It was so hot and my family was practically dying of heat, but it was so cool to get to see my potential future home. I've always been a UT fan and I really enjoyed walking around campus, shopping along The Drag (a street with a bunch of shops and restaurants), touring a couple dorms, and eating lunch on campus! We ate at a place called Texas French Bread that was so aesthetically pleasing (I hate using that phrase but it's the best way to describe the cafe) and finished off the day by enjoying cupcakes at the cutest little cupcakery called Polkadots Cupcakes!

This day was our busiest one, so I felt like I should make an entire blog post devoted to it, but check back later this week to see a full recap of my trip!

Have you ever been to Austin? What did you do & see while there?

Friday, July 21, 2017

Link Love Vol. 24

Happy Friday, friends! I've spent the past week exploring the city of Austin, and to say it's been fun would be a major understatement. We managed to do and see so much over the course of five days, and of course I've taken so many amazing pictures that I can't wait to share with y'all!

If I had to sum up my week in one picture, this would be it... I've had four cupcakes in the past five days!
As for now, I'm back again today with another volume of Link Love, where I share my favorite blog posts & articles that have been floating around the Internet. Since I've been travelling, I haven't had a ton of time to be online, but I have had a few minutes to catch up on everything while my family takes quick breaks in the hotel. Keep on reading to see the links I've been loving!

1 // Dorothy's friends provide an interesting perspective on the life of a blogger

2 // I'm definitely not the most artistic person out there, but this DIY painted vase looks fairly easy and is too cute to not attempt!

3 // I think I've linked these in a post before, but the week before we left, I made these cookie butter bars that were so good!

4 // Want to excel at work? Stop saying these seven things ASAP.

5 // Isabella's experience of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro sounds so incredible, and her pictures are equally breathtaking!

6 // As someone who has an affinity for all things pink, I loved this article about all the places to find Millennial Pink in Los Angeles!

7 // I'm always looking for new hashtags to add to my Instagram posts, so of course I bookmarked Madison's ultimate hashtag guide!

8 // Speaking of Instagram... I've been posting a ton lately so you should go follow me here!

9 // After reading this post on how + why to have a signature nail polish, I've been thinking a lot about my signature color. I've always loved Fiesta, but right now I'm wearing Bikini So Teeny and loving it!

10 // Palm Beach is one of my favorite places ever, and Katie's pictures from her trip there were stunning!

11 // Lake Tahoe is another one of my favorite places ever, so of course I loved Sami's Tahoe travel guide!

12 // Also on the subject of travel, I've been obsessed with Greece lately, and I love all of these pictures of the Greek islands!

13 // Did you hear about the infamous summer bucket list girl? We should all strive to be like her...

14 // I hate myself for mentioning the NSale (I'm sick of hearing about it) but I loved Kate's detailed post on the sale. It was too informative and thorough to not share!

Leave any of your latest blog posts or links you've been loving in a comment below - I could always use more reading material!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

What's In My Carry On Backpack

I don't think that I could survive going on vacations without bringing a carry on backpack. Regardless of whether I'm going on a road trip or an airplane flight, I always make sure to bring a backpack full of my travel essentials. Today I've partnered up with Cayleigh from CNPrepster to show y'all what we keep in our carry on bags. We're both currently on vacation, and even though I road tripped to my destination, I still brought this very backpack full of all these essentials. I'm in Austin for the week, and it's been so much fun so far. I can't wait for y'all to see all the fun pictures!

I've used this backpack as a carry on bag for a couple years now. It was my school backpack a few years ago, but I've since then retired it and I take it with me on trips now. It's the perfect size and I love all of the pockets it comes with!

Laptop + Cord // The nice thing about my backpack is that it has a sleeve just for my laptop, so I can easily slide it in there. I always make sure to bring my laptop and all of my technology chargers so that I can catch up on emails & blog posts if I have a couple spare minutes while on vacation.

Phone // Because how else could I download an entire season of The Office on Netflix to watch while travelling? My phone is in my pocket most of the time, but if I'm not using it, I keep it in the little front pocket.

Headphones // I love to listen to music or watch Netflix when traveling, so headphones are a must! My dad let me try these noise cancelling headphones a while back, and they've been on my wishlist ever since. For now, I just use some earbuds I bought at Target, and they do the job just fine!

A Good Book // A good book is a must-have for me! I always bring whatever book I'm currently reading with me, so I can open it in the car or on the plane. I just bought Grace Over Perfection (I'm a little late to the trend... whoops) and I'm so excited to read it! I've been saving it for this trip so I haven't started it yet, but I'll let y'all know how it is.

Snacks // It's never a good idea to travel without some food to have just in case you need it! Kind bars are my go-to snack because they're healthy, delicious, and are extremely convenient for taking on the go!

Chapstick // My lips get chapped so often, especially when I travel! I always keep a thing or two of lip balm on me just in case my lips get dry and cracked while traveling.

Wallet // I always bring my wallet and purse in my carry-on, because you never know when you might need it!

Swell Bottle // My Swell water bottle is my favorite water bottle ever. I always bring it with me when I travel because it keeps my water cold and I don't have to worry about buying water when we stop at a gas station. I also bring it with me whenever I fly on an airplane, because you can fill it up after you go through security and have plenty of water to drink on the plane.

I also always bring my camera bag with me. In it, I keep my camera, my lens, a battery charger, an extra SD card, and a lens cloth. I also added my Polaroid camera in it this time so I could take some Polaroids while in Austin.

I know my carry on essentials aren't anything out of the ordinary. but I hope you still found this post helpful! Make sure you go check out Cayleigh's post - she's super sweet and I know you'll love her blog!

What are your carry-on essentials? Let me know by leaving a comment below!

Monday, July 17, 2017

10 Summer Essentials Every Girl Must Own

I think summer is my favorite season when it comes to fashion. There's just something about summer clothes that I adore - whether it's the effortless look of a cute coverup thrown on over a swimsuit, an off-the-shoulder top paired with white jeans and lace-up sandals, or simply a casual outfit consisting of a t-shirt, shorts, and sunglasses, I'm all for summer fashion! Today I'm sharing ten of my must-have summer fashion essentials - I seriously don't know how I'd get through the summer without these staples in my wardrobe.

T-Shirts // Do I even have to explain this one?? I wear t-shirts almost every day during the summer. If I'm just running errands or relaxing at home, I see no reason to get even remotely dressed up, so I usually just throw on a t-shirt. My favorites are from Jadelynn Brooke and Lauren James - they have so many cute options!

Comfy Shoes // Last fall, I scored these Steve Madden sandals that look exactly like Birkenstocks, except I bought them for only $5! Best. Purchase. Ever. I wear them every day, and they are so comfortable. The quality isn't as great as authentic Birkenstocks, but you get what you pay for, so I'm not complaining! I know a lot of girls love Chacos, too. I personally don't own a pair, but they look really comfy!

Lilly Dress // Lilly Pulitzer just screams "summer," so it makes sense that their dresses are a staple in my summer wardrobe. I haven't bought one recently (but I have my eye on this romper!); however I own quite a few from previous years that definitely get their use during warmer months.

Denim Shorts // A good pair of denim shorts is everything. You can dress them down with a t-shirt, wear them with a cute top for a more put-together look, throw them on over your swimsuit... the possibilities are endless! I bought this pair from Kohl's last summer, and I wear them two or three times a week - it's a problem.

Nice Sandals // A good quality pair of sandals is so versatile in any girl's summer wardrobe. My favorites are my Jack Rogers, these sandals from Chinese Laundry, and my Steve Madden lace-up sandals (similar here).

Athletic Shorts // Because what else would you wear with the aforementioned oversized t-shirts and comfy shoes? Whether your athletic shorts are from Nike, Lululemon, Under Armour, or anywhere else, it goes without saying that they are a must-have for summer!

White Jeans // While it may seem like a bad idea to wear jeans in the summer heat, I promise you, white jeans are a summer staple for sure. They're perfect for cooler summer nights, such as if you're going to a nice dinner and don't feel like wearing a dress. They look so classy and sophisticated and can be worn so many different ways.

A Good Swimsuit // You can't go through summer without the perfect swimsuit - it's just not an option. I like Target's selection because they're not ridiculously overpriced like most swimsuits. Right now, I have my eye on this embroidered one and this striped one, and I bought this tie dye one a couple months ago.

Cute Tops // On days when you want to look a little more presentable, cute tops are a necessity! Off the shoulder tops, peplum tops, embroidered tops, and ruffle tops are all huge trends this season. Two of my favorite summer tops that I own are this lemon printed one, featured here, and this gingham one, featured here.

Sunglasses // I bought my first pair of sunglasses at the beginning of the year, and I don't know how I've survived without them before this! I only have one pair, since I wear prescription sunglasses and they are quite pricey, but I wear them on a daily basis and absolutely love them.

What are your summer must-haves? Let me know by leaving a comment below!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Life Lately Vol. 24

Happy Friday! I leave on Sunday to go to Austin for the week, so I'm spending today and tomorrow packing and preparing blog posts & YouTube videos that have to go up next week. I'm so excited to go to Austin - my mom and I have been planning this trip for a while now and I know it's going to be so fun! I can't wait for y'all to see pictures!

While I'm excited for Austin, I've enjoyed spending the last few weeks at home. Staycations are actually so much fun - keep reading to see everything I've been doing lately!

Planning For Austin // As I mentioned earlier, my mom and I have been doing a lot of planning for Austin lately! We have everything nailed down for the most part, but we're still looking for a couple things to add to our itinerary, so if you have any recommendations, leave a comment below!

Pool Days // It's been so hot in Texas lately, so of course I've been spending as much time swimming as possible. I love just floating around in my donut float - it's so relaxing!

San Antonio // I wrote a whole post about my weekend in San Antonio, but it was so much fun so I thought I'd mention it again! My family drove down to San Antonio for the 4th of July weekend, and we stayed at the most beautiful resort. Click here to read the entire blog post and see everything we did.

Six Flags // A couple weeks ago, my dad and I went to Six Flags for the day. I hadn't been in a couple years, and I loved riding roller coasters and walking around with my dad. We also got ice cream - I had cake batter and it was soooo good.

Shopping // I'm sure this is no surprise, but my favorite thing to do in the summer is go shopping. I love walking around and popping into my favorite stores. I do this so often that the ladies at my local Francesca's know my name by now, haha. I recently posted a summer haul on my YouTube channel, so if you want to see what I've purchased recently, just click here!

Donuts // At the beginning of summer, I picked up a donut pan at Sur La Table so I could try to make donuts. I used this recipe for chocolate donuts the other day, and they turned really well! I will definitely be making more donuts in the future.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale // Since every single blogger wrote posts on the huge sale that's currently circling the Internet, I didn't feel the need to write a post of my own, but I thought I'd quickly share a few of my favorite items. I don't have a Nordstrom credit card, so I'm waiting until the sale opens up to the public, and I'm crossing my fingers that this top, this scarf, & these boots don't sell out.

What have you been up to lately? Let me know by leaving a comment below!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

What It's Like To Be A Jadelynn Brooke Ambassador + Tips On How To Become One

Being a Jadelynn Brooke Ambassador is one of the most incredible opportunities my blog and Instagram have brought me. It's allowed me to meet and work with so many talented other bloggers, and the sisters are so sweet and so much fun to work with! I became an ambassador last fall, and I've really enjoyed repping Jadelynn Brooke this past year!

Since applications are currently open again, I thought I'd share my experience as a rep with y'all and my tips for becoming a rep. If you're on the fence about whether to apply or not, you definitely should! It's an amazing opportunity and so much fun.


Jadelynn Brooke is a preppy t-shirt company owned by three girls, Jade, Lexi Lynn, & Brooke. The company is based in Austin, and has an emphasis on living a happy, bright life. I love Jadelynn Brooke for multiple reasons: the relationship the sisters have, their positive messages, and of course, their cute clothing! All three girls are so close-knit, despite living in different areas and going to different colleges. They have so much love for each other, and it really shows. Since I have two sisters, I can really see myself in these girls and imagine what my relationship with my sisters will be like when I'm older. I also love all of their positive messages they convey through their company. Not only do their clothes have cute messages on the backs, but if you scroll through their social media accounts you will instantly smile and feel a little happier! They incorporate lots of Bible verses and inspirational quotes into their brand, which is why I love them so much! Lastly, I think they have so many cute clothes - I practically live in their t-shirts and shorts, and this dress has become a summer staple of mine.

Originally from this post

After filling out the application process, you will get an email a few weeks later letting you know if you were accepted or not. If you're accepted, the girls will send you a survey to fill out. In this survey, you select your sizes for t-shirts and other clothing items, and you also let them know details about your personal style such as your favorite colors, what designs of theirs are your favorites, etc. This helps them get to know you better so they have a good idea of what items to send you in your packages.

If I remember correctly, you get three packages a semester. The first package you get is usually the biggest. The contents of each package vary, but most boxes usually have t-shirts for you to wear and stickers for you to hand out to your friends and followers. I've also gotten other things in boxes, such as a sleep shirt, a pair of shorts, and a dress (featured here). Each box contains a sweet, thoughtful note from the girls, too.

The Jadelynn Brooke girls have a few requirements that you have to follow as a rep. The main one is to post on Instagram once every two weeks (although I think they upped the requirement to once a week this year) and they request that you tag them in your pictures and use certain hashtags. They also request that you include in your bio the fact that you're an ambassador for them, follow them on their social media accounts, and create a Jadelynn Brooke Pinterest board. Personally, I think that these requirements are completely reasonable and nothing too crazy for them to ask of you. After all, your job is to promote their products!

When you receive your first box, you will also receive a 15% off discount code to give to your friends, family, and followers. (Of course, you can also use it yourself!). Your main job as a rep is to share this discount code with the world so more people will buy goodies from Jadelynn Brooke.

My entry in the Jadelynn Brooke Halloween contest!
From time to time, the girls will also host rep contests. Last year, they did a Halloween one and an Easter one. All you have to do is post a picture wearing a certain item and use a certain hashtag, and the winner gets a Jadelynn Brooke gift card. I didn't win either contest, but it was still fun participating in them and I loved getting to see everyone's posts!

Originally from this post
// MY TIPS //

My biggest tip when filling out the application is to just be yourself. The girls want to get to know you, so don't be afraid to let your personality shine! When answering the questions in the application, be authentic and honest. Let them know what activities you're involved in at school, tell them the reasons why you want to be an ambassador, and be detailed!

Another tip I have is to post pictures of their products on Instagram, if you already own any products. The girls will be looking at your social media profiles, and if they see that you've recently posted a picture of their products, it will let them know that you truly love their brand and are truly passionate about it. (If you don't have any of their products, don't worry! Most reps don't own any Jadelynn Brooke products before applying.)


I asked y'all on Instagram if you had any questions for me to answer!

What's your favorite part about being a rep? I honestly loved it all, but one of my favorite parts about being a rep is the community. All of the other reps are so sweet and I loved getting to know them during the past year. I did a giveaway with a bunch of reps last December, and it was so fun getting to know the other girls.

Was being a rep as much fun as you thought it would be? Honestly, it was a lot more fun than I'd expected. I'd repped for other companies before, but the Jadelynn Brooke girls run their rep program with so much thought and consideration that it makes being a rep so fun!

Was there anything you didn't like about being a rep? While I enjoyed it all, sometimes it was hard to post once every two weeks if I didn't have a ton of time to take pictures that month. I am a little worried about being to post every week this semester, but I feel certain that I can do a good job of promoting their products!

My friends Faith & Samantha have also done blog posts in the past on their rep experiences, so I've linked them here and here so you can get multiple points of view. Being a rep allowed me to get to know them better, and they are both so sweet and good friends of mine now!

I hope this post encouraged you to apply to be a rep and gave you some tips on how to fill out the application. Best of luck to all the girls applying!

If you have any more questions or anything you want to know before filling out the application, just leave a comment below and I'll be happy to answer it!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

A Long Weekend In San Antonio

This past weekend, I went on a trip unlike any other trip I'd ever been on. My family drove down to San Antonio for the weekend, and we stayed at the most beautiful resort ever. The resort had so much to do that we didn't end up leaving at all (except to eat dinner!) I had so much fun and took a ton of pictures, so I put them all together in an incredibly long blog post for y'all.

We left on Friday afternoon, made it there Friday night, and returned on Tuesday afternoon. For dinner on Friday, I picked out this place called Eggspectation, simply because I have an affinity for bad puns. I got the lobster and shrimp pasta, and YUM. The pasta was slightly spicy and had the perfect amount of seafood in it. I also had a bite of my dad's flatbread which was also really good! We stayed at a Hyatt House that night, and then woke up early the next day to start the adventures. 

 Top // Shorts // Necklace // Bracelet

On Saturday, we visited my cousin at her camp and stopped at the James Avery in Kerville before we headed to the resort where we would be staying. For those of you who didn't know, I'm a huge fan of James Avery! I have earrings, a ring, necklaces, and a charm bracelet, that I wear on a daily basis from there. 99% of my silver jewelry comes from James Avery... you get the point. Whenever my family stops in Kerrville, we always go by the James Avery headquarters! Not only is it so cool to see where they make the jewelry, the whole place is incredibly scenic and makes for some great pictures. I get a new charm for my bracelet each time I go, and this year I got the camera charm!

On our way from Kerrville to San Antonio, I climbed Enchanted Rock with my dad and sister. My dad had really wanted to do this, and it was so much fun. The hike wasn't too hard (we did it midday so it was quite hot though) and the view from the top was absolutely incredible! I'm dying to go back someday and watch the sunrise or sunset from the top - how cool would that be??

After Enchanted Rock, we finally made it to the hotel... and we didn't leave for over 24 hours. We stayed at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort, and it was by far the prettiest hotel I've ever stayed in - just look at it! I fell in love with the sky blue accents on the white stone building, the flowering plants everywhere... everything was truly picture perfect. There was so much to do at the resort - we biked up and down the property, went swimming, played tennis and golf, and so much more! I felt like I was at Wii Sports Resort the whole time, and I didn't want to leave.

The resort had a big bike rack where you could grab a bike and ride it through the trails, and it immediately became my go-to mode of transportation. It was so convienent to be able to go from the golf course to the pool just like that, and it made me really want a cruiser like this one after spending a few days riding around.

Now, for the part you've all been waiting for... THE FOOD!

We ate at so many good restaurants throughout the trip, and I recommend all of them! Since all we basically did from Saturday evening to Monday evening was stay at the hotel, I thought I'd devote this section of the post to the food that we ate while staying at the Hyatt.

The Hyatt had an absolutely amazing breakfast buffet that we took advantage of each morning. Fresh fruit, pastries, eggs, an omlette station, a pancake station, you name it, and the Hyatt had it. They also had a menu that you could order off of, so the first morning, I tried my first ever acai bowl! It was okay, but I don't think I've been missing out on anything so far. Anyway, the next morning I decided to have the buffet, and ate to my heart's content. My sister also got chocolate chip pancakes both mornings, and they were delicious!

On Saturday, we ate at the restaurant at the resort, called Antler Lodge. I had some sort of pasta with a butternut squash sauce and tons of veggies dispersed throughout - it was quite tasty!

For whatever unknown reason, my sister does not like Mexican food, so we set out on Sunday night to find some Italian food to appease her. We finally settled on a place (I can't remember the name of it, sorry!), and oh my gosh. Best. Pesto. Ever. It doesn't look that pretty from the picture, but my pesto pasta was heavenly and I enjoyed every bite. My dad also got a wedge salad (shown in the first picture) and while I'm not a huge salad fan, it was definitely the prettiest salad I've ever seen!

On Monday afternoon, we migrated to the next hotel that we were staying at, the JW Marriott. They had a huge water park that I really enjoyed, but I preferred the Hyatt to the Marriott. Both hotels were really nice, though! We spent most of Monday afternoon at the water park, then headed to dinner!

Ironically, my favorite restaurant of the trip was the one where I didn't end up eating my dinner. On Monday, we went to a place called La Fogata. Before I even looked at the menu, the restaurant was already one of my all time favorites, simply based on the decor. I loved all of the neon lights, the casual patio vibes, everything. I ordered a stuffed poblano pepper with pomegranates and pecans that sounded amazing, but I didn't realize that it had ground beef in it (which I don't eat) so I ended up eating the sauce off the top of the pepper (BEST. SAUCE. EVER) and eating my sister's cheese enchilada that she didn't like (which was actually really good). I also had a bite of my dad's meal and all around the food was good, so I ended up feeling very full and happy despite my mishap.

On Tuesday morning, we woke up early to enjoy the water park before we left. We got in the car to head back to Dallas around noon, and stopped for lunch before our departure.

We ate at a family-owned Italian place that had lots of locations in both San Antonio and Dallas. I had the spinach lasagna, and while it was good, it wasn't anything spectacular. I was still pleased with my meal, though!

On our drive back to Dallas, we stopped to visit some family that we hadn't seen in a while, and it was really nice to catch up. After that, it was back on the road!

When we made it back to the Dallas/Fort Worth area, we had dinner at a restaurant called HG Sply Co that I absolutely fell in love with. It was the most "me" restaurant ever - everything was super healthy and they had lots of healthy foods like quinoa, cauliflower, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, black beans, you get the idea. I had the hardest time choosing what to get and I will definitely be heading back!

After dinner, we watched fireworks from the rooftop of a parking garage, and when driving home, we stopped to watch even more. I think we ended up seeing five or six different shows, which was really cool!

Overall, it was an incredibly fun weekend and I really enjoyed relaxing & eating a bunch of yummy food. Thanks for following along!

Have you ever been to San Antonio? What did you do while there? I'm always looking for more travel recommendations!