bright spring dress

Happy almost Friday!

This girl is happy since we touched down in home sweet Texas last night, and because today I’m getting to share this bright spring dress from PinkBlush with you for some sunny wardrobe inspiration!

bright spring dress

How fun is this floral number? At first, I wasn’t sure if I could pull off the eye catching color, but I completely fell in love with it! The chiffon fabric is so breathable and soft.

These gorgeous florals also had me real life *heart eyes* from the second I opened up my PinkBlush package. Perfect as we set out to embrace this spring season!

bright spring dress

bright spring dress

I knew this would be the perfect piece for brunch with my Style Collective blogger gals! This past weekend, we met up at The Hampton Social – a gorgeous Chicago spot that sweeps you away to the fancy beach house mindset. Bloodys and rose are a must!

bright spring dress

I’ve been so fortunate to meet amazing ladies within the SC community of fashion and lifestyle bloggers. Having a girl tribe where you feel supported and encouraged to succeed at your passions and goals is so important! These friends are exactly that – and we’re just a few of the SC sisters in the Midwest.

If you’re interested in joining this nationwide network, click here to learn more!

bright spring dress

bright spring dress

My PinkBlush dress fit the scene perfectly. To give it a little more shape, I added a black belt around my waist that coordinated with my booties. Gold accessories and my new favorite lip color finished off the look!

I also have to talk about how good it felt to embrace the sunshine and show some leg! This Chicago winter has had us bundled up, but this dress gave me the perfect excuse to break away from the jeans.

Ok, let’s be honest though…it was still a little chilly, so I highly recommend adding a light, long-sleeved piece (bell sleeves at that!) like this one to your closet as we change seasons! I know by swapping in leggings and boots, or sandals and a high bun, this is a dress I’ll be able to rock all year around.

bright spring dress

bright spring dress

bright spring dress

Dress | Booties (similar)| Belt (similar) | Lip Whip

(P.S. Sad to report this donut shop was sold out when we arrived…will report back once we try.)

It was so much fun to partner up with PinkBlush and bring you some bright inspiration for your spring wardrobe! This trendy online boutique is stocked with an amazing selection of looks, from stripes to florals to solids. They even have a section for sweet mamas-to-be!

Want the chance to win a $50 PinkBlush giftcard?? Head on over to my Instagram and find out how to enter for the one I’m giving away.

Days By Day

Thanks to PinkBlush for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.

All photos taken and owned by Benavides Photography (Thanks, E!). In Chi and need a photographer? Send a note his way!

Austin Bachelorette

This post is long overdue, but one of my favorite weekends ever can’t go undocumented.

Over Labor Day Weekend, all my girls had me feeling like the luckiest bride-to-be as we spent three glorious days soaking up the sun and dancing the nights away for my Austin Bachelorette Party.

I had tossed a couple ideas around for a Bachelorette Bash, but in the end, where else but my favorite place in the Lonestar State would be better?? Most of us were already familiar with ATX from college, or having lived in Texas, which made it a bit easier to organize.

The last big push for Austin was that Eric also wanted to have his Bachelor Party there. If we both went over a holiday weekend, we could knock a few wedding to-dos off our list and the whole wedding party could hang out.

Austin Bachelorette

I was really set on everyone meeting before our big day. I wanted us to all feel like a solid group of friends that could immediately have a good time together at our wedding – not have to do the meet-and-greet stage first – there’d be no time!

All that being said, I could not have imagined a more perfect party with my best friends.  I felt so lucky that all my favorite people were in one house for a whole weekend.

Here’s all the shenanigans we were up to –

FRIYAY // Grilling & Gaming

I knew Friday night everyone would be getting in and likely exhausted from a long week. We didn’t want the night to go to waste though, so all the ladies made their way to the guys’ Airbnb for grilling and games. Turned out the grill was so dirty it would’ve been dangerous to use, so all burgers, chicken, and copious amounts of tater tots were made inside.

SATURDAY // Boats + Margs + Get Dowwwn

One of my top three favorite moments from the weekend was definitely boating for a few hours on Lake Austin. The weather was awesome – we were so lucky the predicted storms scooted away. Morgan was our captain. I claimed myself her first mate because I helped anchor a boat for a first time and felt like a champ.

We danced to a killer playlist and played around with all the fun floaties – including these amazing can flamingos.

Austin Bachelorette

Austin Bachelorette

Austin Bachelorette

For dinner, we grabbed food at Gloria’s on Sixth Street. They’ve got the best bean dip, delicious margaritas, and we’d be able to walk to all the bars. Some of my dearest friends from school joined our crew, and I just remember being so happy looking around at everyone who had come to celebrate with me.

The rest of the night was one big dance party. We wore glow stick bracelets and necklaces to bring even more good vibes and were treated like VIPs the second we stepped out of Gloria’s. Free champagne? Fancy priority seating with cushion benches? Yes and yes. I even got to strut to Bey’s Crazy in Love so I felt complete. We ran into the boys towards the end of the night and everyone was movin’ and groovin’.

Austin Bachelorette

SUNDAY // Brunch, Laziness, & More Dancing

After sleeping in, we were off to do what else but brunch, because obviously everyone knows I’m obsessed. Bacon is one of my favorite places in Austin and I think they might have some of the best chicken & waffles ever!

Austin Bachelorette

That afternoon, we spent being lazy at the house. I’m so glad we had time throughout the weekend with no plans to just be lazy. I highly recommend for any Bachelorette Party, all that sun and dancing really gets ya!

During this time we did a mad lib all about E & I (that Becca actually wrote – it’s fantastic) and a lingerie shower. So fun! Those girls spoil me, it’s ridiculous.

Austin Bachelorette

We eventually went to meet the boys to watch some UT football, and then finished off the weekend at Rainey Street. Rainey is a street of cute little houses turned bars that each have a unique vibe. One of my favorites, Icenhauer’s, had gotten a big wooden stage where we spent most of our night dancing to a wide variety of jams.

So to sum up the weekend – basically give me waffles, a dance floor, and my favorite humans and I’m on cloud nine!

Austin Bachelorette

Thanks to our wedding party for making us feel like the luckiest couple. We love y’all. Can’t wait to reunite in 11 DAYS.

Days By Day

Texas Lovin

A few weeks ago, Eric and I were in for a real treat when we headed home for a jam-packed weekend of Texas Lovin’. Our sweet family and best friends had not planned one, but two different showers to celebrate our big day.

Talk about E and I feeling spoiled and oh-so-thankful.

That being said, I wanted to share these details because they killed it at the planning and figured they might bring some inspiration for other future events in the works!

The first big event of the weekend was the brunch bridal shower my two college roommates, and now bridesmaids, threw in Austin. The spread of breakfast food hit the jackpot, and the decor was perfection. I loved that we used Morgan’s current home in Austin as the location – it brings back memories of the space we all shared and created the coziest setting!

Texas Lovin

Texas Lovin

Reuniting with so many of the sweet girls that shaped my four years at school was of course the best. We ate a copious amount of donut holes, sipped on fresh mimosas, and laughed at some silly stories and scandalous gifts.

We also spent a significant amount of time trying to capture the ridiculous poses, which had us asking who the heck let us be adults?

Texas Lovin

Texas Lovin

Post-Austin, Eric and I popped over to Hondo, Texas for the sweet wedding of two friends that give us such a good example of what a God-centered marriage looks like. What a treat to celebrate Kelley & Kade. It’s crazy this was the last wedding we’d be attending before our own…*internal screams*!

Texas Lovin

We wrapped up the weekend with a wedding shower in Dallas. You guys, I’m getting to join an incredible family that loves me so well. Getting to gather with both Eric and I’s loved ones is always a treat! I was so glad he was there with me to experience it all this time around.

P.S. – I got asked about this dress a lot…it was $13.99 on clearance at Target. Are we surprised?? No, because Target is the best.

Texas Lovin

Texas Lovin

The shower took place at Neighbor’s Casual Kitchen – it was the cutest space. Woods and metals everywhere, my favorite. A variety of finger foods had everyone munchin’, and there was even a photo booth set up outside.

The cake and sugar cookies were to die for. Can you believe how perfect these Texas and Paris themed treats were?!

Texas Lovin

Texas Lovin

We played a shower game called He Said, She Said that had E and I holding up signs to indicate which statement represented us best. Here I am giving him sass as usual, because he was saying something ridiculous.

Texas Lovin

Texas Lovin

A hugeeee thank you to all of those involved with our wedding festivities this summer – we feel incredibly blessed thinking about all the love and support we have received.

Next on our radar…Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties over Labor Day Weekend, and of course continuing the countdown to husband + wife – 89 days to go!!

Texas Lovin

Days By Day

madison wisconsin

Last weekend, Eric and I decided to take advantage of the long holiday weekend by planning a road trip to Madison, Wisconsin to do what we do best – adventure, travel, and be ridiculous together.

All week we asked friends and co-workers who went to the University of Wisconsin for their must-dos and favorite spots. I always check out other blogs and Trip Advisor for recommendations too.

We had such a fun time and felt like we covered an awesome spread of stuff, so I wanted to put together a quick travel guide of spots I recommend if you ever find yourself in Madison or are nearby in need of a mini-vacay!

What To Eat

Dane County Farmers’ Market // This huge market is amazing! Tables are set up all along the perimeter of Wisconsin’s capital square, with foot traffic heading all in one direction. Eric and I stuffed our faces with more cheese samples than I thought possible.

Everyone said this was a must-do, and I 100% see why. Fun Fact: This is the largest producers-only farmer’s market in the country – meaning those who made created the product are standing behind the table.

madison wisconsin

madison wisconsin

madison wisconsin

Stella’s Hot & Spicy Cheesy Bread // OMG. This stuff is outta this world. A huge loaf of the softest, most flavorful and delicious smelling cheese bread…that Eric and I may or may not have eaten as our meal for the entire day just between us too. You cannot go to Madison and not try this treat.

madison wisconsin

madison wisconsin

Old Fashioned’s Cheese Curds // Like I said, we ate a lot of bread and cheese – but don’t worry, we semi-redeem ourselves with a hike (more below). This restaurant was listed as a top place to grab some of these famous bites. The other food was probably just okay, but totally worth the visit for the curds.

Marigold Kitchen // Such a killer brunch spot, friends.  Loved the order at the counter, then pick your spot, oh-so-relaxed vibes. You could most definitely taste fresh ingredients and there were wild flowers on every table. The limitless coffee from Colectivo was sooooo good!

madison wisconsin

Colectivo // Same coffee mentioned above, we went to their two beautiful locations around town over the course of our stay! Great teas, coffee, bakery, and café type foods. We picked up breakfast here on our way out.

The Daily Scoop // Another must – directly linked to The Terrace below! The University of Wisconsin agriculture students actually make this ice cream and it is SO YUM. Like some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had without a doubt. I got strawberry and mint chocolate chip, even the scoops looked beautiful.

madison wisconsin

What To Do

Tour the Capital // Easy to do right after the  market! Anyone can walk in and look around. You can even go to the very top observation deck. The state mammal and university mascot, the badger, is sculpted above the Supreme Court door, and that made me really happy. Then, you can stroll down State Street and hop shops all the way to the University at the other end of downtown.

madison wisconsin

madison wisconsin

University of Wisconsin // We didn’t do much on campus, but we did walk around and snap a few photos! It seemed to have so much history and there were some beautiful buildings. I stomped around pretending to be alumni J.J. Watt, my NFL crush/our favorite Houston Texan’s player.

madison wisconsin

THE TERRACE // This was our favorite spot in town. A big terrace filled with friends and families enjoying beers, brats, and scoops in the sun. There’s the prettiest view of the lake! Saturday afternoon there was a DJ, and Sunday when State Street seemed like a ghost town, the Terrace was poppin’. Make sure to try the famous brew only sold in Wisconsin – Spotted Cow. Bonus: you can rent boardgames to play!

madison wisconsin

madison wisconsin

Where to Venture Outside of Town

Wollersheim Winery & Distillery // I was really hoping to tour a winery over the holiday since there are so many throughout the Midwest! Wollersheim is family-owned and has received several awards. The winery tour, including a tasting, is just $5! Additional tastings also just $5. Can’t beat that. (3o min. away)

madison wisconsin

madison wisconsin

madison wisconsin

Devil’s Lake & State Park // Eric really wanted to get in some nature time, so this was perfect and just a half hour from the winery. There were lots of people out on the huge web of trails, grilling along the water, and playing in the lake. We hiked about 2.5 miles – burning some cheese calories I hope! (1 hour away)

madison wisconsin

IMG_9516

Whew, that was a pretty packed list, folks! Hope this inspires you to visit to this sweet little college town, and eat your weight in all their delicious treats.

Did I miss something? Fill me in with a comment!

Days By Day

birthday

It’s always the worst when blogging has to take a back seat, but these last few weeks have just been one busy pow wow and I’ve wanted to be 100% present in all of it. From work picking up with new opportunities, to best friends visiting, to planning wedding festivities – right up to birthday celebrations around town for my favorite human – it’s been crazy and wonderful.

That being said, I want to get back in the swing of things, and figured what better day than today – when I get to celebrate this handsome future husband of mine being born. Happy Birthday, love! This photo is one Feather & Twine took during our engagement session and it nearly kills me. Those looks and that smile – I’m a lucky lady!

birthday

We declared this weekend one of birthday shenanigans and romped around Chi for new adventures, starting with brunch of course. Saturday morning Eric and I ventured to Pomp & Circumstance. I’d been wanting to check this place out forever and had heard their Bloody Mary was on point.

This trendy Old Town spot did not disappoint. Eric and I shared the chilaquiles and Pomp croissant breakfast sandwich. Oh, and the drinks were indeed delicious! We left perfectly happy and ventured into the streets right outside to check out the Old Town Art Fair.

birthday

birthday

birthday

Post-brunch and fair, we dropped by Macy’s to get Eric a much needed new pair of everyday shoes and then made our way to the Chicago Blues Fest. Fun fact – it’s the largest free blues festival in the world! It takes place in Grant park, so the city gets to serve as the most perfect backdrop.

Only challenge to navigate? It was somehow 93 degrees so we were making bee lines for a spot in the shade. That didn’t hold us back though, this fest was a ton of fun.

birthday

birthday

birthday

Sunday brought another cool opportunity. Friends were going sailing on Lake Michigan to watch The America’s Cup, which was being held on fresh water for the first time right here in ChiTown! This weekend long event consisted of different sailing races among countries to determine qualifiers for the final event in Bermuda one year from now.

birthday

birthday

birthday

IMG_8808

It was so awesome to see the city from a whole new perspective – the beautiful blue waters we’re usually looking out to! The cup was really cool. I’m still not sure of all the technology  behind it, but those big racing sailboats for each country get enough wind underneath that it actually looks like they are flying just above the water.

Needless to say, we had a great weekend checking new things off our list and celebrating Eric! He is truly the best, kindest, most loving, brilliant, funny, and wonderful human, and deserves every bit of it and more.

E, I love you a whole bunch! I have loved celebrating the last four birthdays with you, and I hope this next year is the best yet. Cheers to you, love.

birthday

Well, friends, hope it’s a fantastic week! Tonight we’re off to eat tapas and sangria with our Chicago pals to spoil this guy some more, and in a few days I make my way back to the Lonestar State. Wahoo!

Days By Day