Thursday, July 30, 2015

Italia Bound

Free People Dress via Nordstrom Rack, Old Navy Clogs, Brixton Hat, c/o Limbo Jewelry Necklace

Photos by Chelsea Laine Francis

Y'all. When I saw this dress I knew it was the PERFECT dress to wear on my long travel day from Austin to Italy. I was so excited. I mean really, what better to travel in than a comfy maxi dress?? And then, the fact that this one basically belongs on me in Tuscany drinking wine overlooking the sunset with friends at some fabulous villa made it that much more perfect. It felt almost too good to be true... And then it was. What?? This story took a quick turn.

That's right. As I was putting it on for my shoot with Chelsea the zipper broke (see photo #5... that's not me practicing the sorority pose, I was actually covering up where it broke with my hand). I didn't have time before leaving to get it fixed so sadly this cutie will not be joining me on my trip. But alas, as Gloria Gaynor would say, I will survive and luckily I have the best dress ever that I've decided to wear in its place. Not a bad trade off if you ask me.

With that said, I'm off! Italy, here I come! Follow me over on instagram to keep up with all my adventures in real time. And of course, I'll still be updating the blog while I'm there. Ciao for now!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Keeping Things Interesting

Pink Gypsy Boutique Top, Urban Outfitters Bralette, H&M Shorts, Lotta from Stockholm Clogs, Vintage Coach Backpack, Brixton Hat, c/o Limbo Jewelry Earrings

Photos by Chelsea Laine Francis

It's SO hot in Austin right now and it's not going to be any cooler when I get to Florence in a couple days! I was thinking about how excited I am to start styling clothes for winter again because I love getting extra creative with layering and lots of accessories. But, since that's quite some time away I've had to figure out ways to keep things interesting with as little clothing as possible so I don't pass out from a heat stroke! I think this outfit is a great example of that. The lace up shorts have a cool suede texture (and bonus, are super comfy) and then for the top I added a different color bralette for some contrast. That's summer layering done right! And of course, I added a my signature hat, clogs and backpack. Boom. Cute and interesting, while still keeping cool in this extreme heat!

Even though I was wearing as little as possible without being in a bathing suit (or my birthday suit) I was still sweating my tush off during this shoot but somehow Chelsea manages to always make me look and feel good. I love working with this lady! She's such a joy and so so great at photography. If you're in the Austin area and are interested she's doing a bunch of mini-sessions next weekend and she actually has a few spots left. Go visit this page to find out more and sign up if you're wanting outfit photos, head shots or beautiful images just for the fun of it!

Friday, July 24, 2015

European Vacation 2015: My Kismet

Happy Friday friends! I've got a bit of a surprise about my trip that I haven't talked about yet. It involves Cinque Terre (so beautiful) and something else really amazing. Follow me on instagram to find out what it is very soon. I'm calling it my Kismet. I can't wait to share with you! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

10 Preparation Tips for Traveling Abroad

Whether you're going to Europe or South Africa. Whether you'll be traveling for a week or a couple months. I've put together a list of some helpful tips for any kind of international travel. Here are 10 preparation tips for traveling abroad!

1. Get a credit card
I promise I don't work for some sleazy credit card company that's trying to persuade you into a 30% interest rate and then before you know it one year down the road you find yourself in some serious debt! Really, I'm not. If you are a responsible human being and feel that you would be OK owning a credit card then this is for you. They are wonderful for gaining travel miles. So if you don't have one already and are wanting to do some traveling, get one now. I paid for a large part of my trip with points I've racked up over the last year. Do your research and decide which one would work best for you. I have the CapitalOne Venture card which I highly recommend.

2. Research rates on discount flight sites
Hipmunk and skyscanner will take flight prices from all over the web and show you the cheapest options. Also, within Europe, I've found that Ryanair and EasyJet have the best rates. And then you can use your points you've racked up on that credit card to pay for those cheap rates. I'm here to save you money, I swear.

3. Use airbnb
Yes. Yes. Yes. Airbnb is usually so much cheaper than staying in a hotel. You can rent out an entire home or, like me, you can stay with a host who will have so much valuable knowledge about the place you're visiting because they actually live there. They can tell you about all the "secret" cool spots you may not hear about otherwise!

4. Call your bank and you cell phone provider
Let them know you'll be traveling internationally. If you don't, your bank's fraud protection program will prevent you from accessing your funds and your phone won't work abroad if you don't switch to your provider's international plan. I have AT&T and their plan is $30 extra/month. And apparently if you are one of those lucky people who has T-Mobile they charge nothing additional for international phone usage!

5. Phone apps to download
This brings me to some helpful apps to download. Viber offers free calls, texts and picture sharing with anyone in the world and texting is free with WhatsApp. Just make sure you are connected to wifi when using your phone or you will get robbed with data overage charges! This article is also a great resource for other useful travel apps. 

6. Plan what you'll pack ahead
    Procrastination usually leads to feelings of stress. So, for longer trips try to start planning what to pack at least one week in advance. This will not only reduce your stress level but you'll end up noticing sooner the things you may not have that you still need to go get. And look at that, you planned ahead so you actually have the time to go get those things. Also, consider the weather and what activities you'll be doing. And one last thing. Try to plan a week's worth of outfits that will mix and match so you aren't just aimlessly choosing things from your closet that you probably won't end up wearing. Those 5 inch heels are cute, but will you really wear them on the cobblestone streets of Amsterdam? Probably not.

7. Bring a weekender bag
If you'll be abroad for a long period of time pack a good sized bag to take on weekend trips. Something easy you can just throw over your shoulder. You won't want to take your normal bag on a quick weekend trip if you don't have to! I love this classic black one from H&M, this black and white striped one and this colorful floral one (which is on major sale!).

8. Don't forget an adapter
This might be obvious but your plugs and their plugs are not the same. You'll need an adapter for things like your phone and laptop charger. I got mine at Marshall's. Also, no need to bring a blow dryer, straighter or curling iron. Most are not compatible with the higher voltage outlets in Europe. Unless you have ones that function on both voltages, like this dryer by Babyliss (which I have), leave them at home and just buy the international versions when you get to your destination.

9. Remember the essentials
Make sure you have all your scripts. This includes any medications you may be taking and other prescriptions (like contacts) that you probably won't have access to get refilled while away from home. Make-up, face wash, that special razor you like to use... Bring all that with you. Chances are you won't be able to find a lot of your favorite brands while abroad. Also, make copies of your license and Passport in case you loose them.

10. Stay Calm
Seriously. Planning a trip abroad is time-consuming and requires a lot of work. When you're looking up flights listen to your favorite playlist, burn that lavender scented candle, take a break and go exercise. Whatever it is you like to do to keep yourself calm (or calm yourself down), do that. It'll make the process much more enjoyable!

Let me know if you found these tips helpful. I really hope you did. And also any tips you have that I didn't cover please share them in the comments below. I'd love to read them! Happy travels!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Forever Dress

Once Bitten Dress, Lotta from Stockholm Clogs (similar), Vintage Coach Backpack via Charm School Vintage, Brixton Hat, Vanessa Mooney Necklace (similar)

You know that piece of clothing you love so much you never want to take it off and would be totally OK if it was the only thing you ever wore for the rest of forever? Well this is that piece for me. Everything about this dress is perfection. The soft textured fabric, the absolute perfect length, the stripes, the colors, the shape (not too sack-like, yet not too fitted) and THE POCKETS. I mean really, who doesn't LOVE a dress with pockets?? This little number is without a doubt headed to Europe with me next week. Speaking of my trip, I can't believe it's only a week away! Eeeeek. So much to finish up before I go. Good vibes are so welcome right now. I'm trying to stay CALM.