One year ago today, on the day I’m posting this, we were still on cloud 9 from our amazing wedding day & were on our way to Italy for our honeymoon. I can’t believe it’s already been a year! This year has been full of change, growth, adventure, dream chasing, & endless laughter. I can’t wait to see what this year has in store for us.
We celebrated our anniversary this past weekend. One evening was particularly special so I made sure to document it so I would never forget.
Our At Home Date Night
Setting The Mood
While Ben went out to get supplies, I proceeded to cover our table with wedding & Italy memorabilia. All the lemon things, the tiles that spell our last name we got on our honeymoon, the bowls & utensils that remind us of Italy, the candle we lit in Italy to bring back & flood our senses with memories upon lighting, a bottle of wine from our wedding, a bottle of limoncello, & our wedding album, guestbook, & my present to Ben, were all placed on the table. I then changed into the outfit I wore on our first evening in Italy & put on some Italian music in the background. Finally, I sprayed a bit of my wedding fragrance that I love so much & it took me right back.
Our Paper Anniversary
Over the past month, while Ben has been at work in the evenings, I’ve been sneakily working on a scrapbook full of memories from our first year. I’m so happy with how it turned out & he was so surprised! I included a few special bits from our wedding like love letters & the tag from my dress, etc., tickets, tiles, & sweet photos from our honeymoon, plus so many amazing memories we’ve made here in our home this past year. I know we will love looking back on this for years to come.
While we were in Italy, we took an amazing cooking class. What better way to celebrate our first anniversary than by making a great Italian dinner from scratch together. We found the recipe we used in Italy & decided to make homemade gnocchi with red sauce. This process was so fun & definitely a fun one to do together. Grating the potatoes, making the dough, cutting the individual pieces then pressing them with a fork, this is definitely not a quick meal to make. We had so much fun singing along to the Italian music, drinking wine from our wedding, & eating Italian bread with red sauce & mozzarella that we didn’t even care how long it took.
Thank you so much for all of your warm wishes on our anniversary. You all are just the sweetest & I love being able to share bits of our life with you.
For the past week, this sale has only been open to Nordstrom card holders, but now it’s finally open to everyone! Things in the sale always sell out SO fast, but if there is an item you particularly love, keep an eye on it because the frequently restock well loved items in the sale.
Yesterday, I went in my local Nordstrom & did a dressing room try on for you guys. Sometimes, it’s just better seeing the items on someone you know rather than on a model or on a rack. I tried on quite a few pieces & linked other items within the sale that I would style each piece with. Most of these items are for the upcoming fall season. It’s coming up quick (even though it’s still super hot!), so now is the perfect time to shop those essential items your wardrobe really needs. Towards the bottom, I also shared some beauty & home favorites that are included in the sale as well!
This peachy-pink sweater is oh-so-soft! I love the fit as well. It’s not too tight but not oversized either. For the skirt, I love a good plaid print in the fall. Such a feminine cut, perfect for work. This can be dressed up with heels, but I’m really feeling these sweet, scalloped flats.
I was not expecting to fall so hard for this dress! It’s stretchy, but firm so it holds everything in. The material is thick, almost sweater-like, perfect to keep you warm on chilly nights. Plus, the skirt is SO flattering. You could even wear this into the winter with this emerald faux fur jacket & these gorgeous lace heels.
The cutest & softest roll neck sweater I’ve tried on in a while. Once again, the colors are just perfection & the length pairs great with skinny jeans. Throw a good trench coat over your shoulders & you’re good to go.
I’ll admit, pullovers like this are not the most fun thing to purchase, but I’m always glad I have them. This one has nice snap details & I love the unique color. Something like this is great to have to go on walks outside, to wear on holiday with family, & to wear to fall bonfires. Pair this with skinny jeans or leggings & a pair of cute Hunter boots.
Whenever I travel somewhere new, I like to document the things I saw, the things I love, the places I recommend going, etc. This spring, someone recommended to me that I should document those same things about the city I call home, Richmond, VA. What a great idea?! So today I’m sharing my 48 hours in Richmond guide. Get ready for a weekend of all of my favorite things in this amazing city.
Where To Stay
I recommend staying at the loveliest hotel in RVA, the Quirk Hotel. It’s located downtown & has a beautiful aesthetic with pink as their primary color. The lobby has incredible high arched ceilings & beautiful furnishings including their iconic pink velvet couch.
Grab A Quick Snack
After arriving in Richmond after your trip, I would stop by Lift Coffee Shop & Cafe for a quick bite to eat. They have great coffee & sandwiches, but my favorite thing to order is their peanut butter & banana smoothie. I typically don’t go for this kind of smoothie, but their’s is just so good. Richmond is also know for it’s many murals & Lift has a very fitting mural of a pair of wings right outside, perfect for a good photo opt.
Check Out The Neighborhood
Next, you might want to stretch your legs a bit & take a stroll around the neighborhood. Right down the street from the hotel, are a few really cute shops you could visit. Mod & Soul has some really cool, very Richmond style pieces including clothes, candles, little bits & bobs all at affordable prices. Then right next door is the dreamiest little store called Verdalina, which has stunning garments, accessories, & beauty products that are super high quality at a more luxury price. Perfect to find a great keepsake to remember your trip by.
If these shops are a bit too feminine if you’re traveling with mixed company, there is a great little bookstore across the street, a men’s store called Ledbury, & a great ice cream shop called Charm School.
In The Evening
Richmond is such a foodie city, & there are countless amazing restaurants available for you to try. (see my full favorites list below) One of my very favorite restaurants downtown would have to be Wong Gonzalez. This is an Asian/Mexican fusion restaurant that just gets it so right. For appetizers, I love the tequila shrimp & the fiesta bites & my go-to entree is the Gonzi’s Stir Fry Skillet. Ben also really loves the Asian BBQ Pork Tacos. Fun fact: there is a special events room upstairs called Beauty & Grace, & there is a life-size picture of me on the wall!
Don’t let the fun stop after dinner! Grab a fun cocktail either at Quirk’s scenic rooftop bar or head over to Switch, Richmond’s newest pop-up bar. This place is so cool because it completely changes themes every 6-8 weeks. When I went recently, the top floor was Alice & Wonderland themed & then once you “go down the rabbit hole”, the downstairs took you back in time to the 90s. They have delicious specialty cocktails that carry out the theme of the room you’re in. A super cool spot & you never know what you’re gonna walk into.
Time For Breakfast
My all time favorite spot for breakfast in this city is Can Can Brasserie. When our families come into town, they cannot go home without a visit to Can Can because of it’s authentic Parisian atmosphere. When you walk inside, you truly feel like you could be in Paris! I love going during their coffee house hours for delicious pastries & amazing coffee.
After breakfast, I recommend taking a stroll down Carytown. This is a favorite spot to visit in Richmond because of it’s cute shops & restaurants. Some of my favorite shops in Carytown include, Mongrel – the perfect place to find a gift for ANYONE!, Bygones – a vintage store with fabulous dresses & accessories (you’ll want everything!), Sugar + Twine – a great spot for a mid-day coffee pick me up (don’t leave without trying their cheddar biscuits!), Creme de la Creme – they have beautiful dishes, candles, party goods, & home decor that are all swoon worthy, & Ginger Thai – my favorite Thai food in the city.
Next, Choose An Afternoon Activity
Head over to the Museum District & check out the Virginia Museum Of Fine Arts. This museum is really top notch with incredible exhibits inside, a great cafe, & stunning gardens outside. One of my favorite spots to come to get inspired & feel that sense of awe when looking at truly magnificent art.
After going through the museum, take a bit of time to stroll down the streets in the Fan District. The houses are so quaint & colorful & each have their own unique personality.
Visit Maymont Park! This is one of my favorite locations for photoshoots because you truly feel like you are not in the city anymore. The gardens & the landscaping are just incredible. Walk through the Italian gardens, then through the Japanese gardens & find yourself perfectly at peace in this tranquil space. If the weather is nice, pack a lunch & have a picnic under the huge trees or inside one of the many gazebos on site.
Eat dinner in The Fan tonight. Try Kuba Kuba for amazing Cuban style food (Everyone here loves that place! Don’t forget to try their fried plantains!), or Beauvine Burger Concept for a fun atmosphere, great burgers, & I highly recommend their frosé which has elderflower liquor in it.
If you are a cake lover, or even a wine lover, you should go to Shyndigz. This place sells the best cake in the city & you can order it by the slice! Such a cute spot & very Instagram worthy.
Let’s head in a different direction this time & go to Hot Diggity Donuts. This place is small but the service is great & the donuts are made right in front of you when you order them. They are served hot & every single flavor is a win! I recommend trying their cappuccinos as well. They are perfectly petite as they should be.
One Last Thing
Before heading back home, you cannot leave the River City without visiting the James River! I suggest heading towards Brown’s Island & explore the area by this majestic river. There is also a bridge you can walk across the entire river, or at least half-way to get a great photo.
Lately, I’ve been craving some beautiful & inspiring scenery. Traveling can be so life-giving, & since I’m staying in Richmond this summer, I’ve been determined to find that same feeling right here at home. There are so many beautiful things that surround us daily & I feel so lucky to live in such a cool city. But regardless of where we live, I’ll bet that if we make it our mission to open our eyes to seek the beauty around us, we just might find it. First stop, visiting a butterfly garden!
When it comes to exploring new places, my favorite travel companion is of course, Ben. Luckily, he had a day off when it wasn’t too terribly hot & it wasn’t raining, so we took a day date to the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens. Our first priority on this trip was to see their “Butterflies LIVE” exhibit, but we also spent hours roaming through the colorful & incredible gardens.
The butterfly garden was totally magical! I saw some of the biggest & brightly colored butterflies I have ever seen. Occasionally, they would land on us which was just one of the coolest things ever! We just stood there, watching, in complete awe of these whimsical creatures flying about, eating, & exploring the garden around them. I was giddy! Since around April I had been wanting to come & experience this place, & it exceeded my expectations for sure.
Dressed For The Occasion
Chicwish very kindly gifted me this dress (which I picked out) & even before receiving it, I knew this was the dress I wanted to wear upon visiting the butterfly garden. It was even better in person & I fell in love (see my initial try on here). The whimsical botanical print is to die for along with the sweet buttons & feminine ruffles, this dress is too cute for words. These earrings matched this dress PERFECTLY!
I decided to go all out with the prints to carry on with my whimsical theme. This cute polka dot scarf tied in a bow on a floral bag…because sometimes more is more!
Halfway through our day trip, Ben & I sat on a bench & we realized that our looks were totally coordinated & were on theme with our surroundings! No doubt, he’s the man of my dreams!
Let’s be honest, we’ve all made bad decisions while shopping. Whether it’s spending too much on something, or buying something we don’t need or really even like, we’ve all been there. In an effort to stop making bad shopping decisions, I’ve put some new rules into practice to help make me a smart(er) shopper. Smart shopping means having more money in your bank account & a clear & curated wardrobe making putting outfits together a breeze.
First things first, before you go shopping, you first have to know what you actually have. I recommend going through your closet & taking a bit of inventory on the things you currently own. Having a good idea of what you already have will help you tremendously when trying to be a smarter shopper. This will help choose pieces that will fit seamlessly into your wardrobe.
Next is the fun part. It’s time to get inspired! I like to get my outfit inspiration from a few places: fashion blogs, Instagram, Pinterest, & my newest favorite, the LikeToKnow.it app, but you choose what inspires you the most. When you find an image or item that you like, save it, pin it, or screenshot it immediately to come back to when you’re about to shop.
Finding images other places can be fun & inspiring, indeed, but let me tell you why using the LikeToKnow.it app might be the smartest decision when it comes to shopping. On this free app, you can follow fashion bloggers & influencers & see the exact items you’re inspired by right then & there. Not only can you see how much things cost, but you can also save items you love to wishlists within the app to come back to later! I’ve spent many hours doing this recently, because so many bloggers have been sharing amazing affordable options. You can also find all of my looks & exclusive content by following me (felixandflora) in the app.
You’re almost ready to go shopping! All you need to do now is make a list of items your wardrobe needs. Maybe that’s a classic trench coat, a LND, a pair of denim culottes, espadrilles, or some new accessories. Create your list of items & be specific. Think about the colors you want to look for that will go well with other items in your wardrobe. Knowing these specific details will make you a much smarter shopper. Now let’s go!
We’re Finally Shopping! Now What?
When you’re out shopping or even shopping online, & you find a piece you’re considering buying, it’s time for the interrogation process. Here are some questions to ask yourself: Is this the right color for my wardrobe? Will it flatter my body? & most importantly: Does this go with at least 2-3 other pieces in my wardrobe? If you can only think of one way to wear it with your current wardrobe, ditch it. You need versatile pieces that will ensure you’re making a smart decision by choosing to invest your money in them. If the pieces pass the interrogation, yippee! You’ve just added another lovely item into your wardrobe!
Immediately upon arriving home or receiving your items in the mail, TRY THEM ON! Not just alone, try them on with different pieces in your wardrobe & accessories. If you can’t make at least 2-3 different looks with them, send them back! Never be afraid to return items. In fact, the smartest shoppers return things frequently, because they only want to keep items in their wardrobes that bring them joy, inspiration, & versatility.
I knew I needed to take the next step in my blogging & content creating, but I couldn’t figure out exactly what that looked like. My husband must have been reading my mind when he suggested that I take over our office in order to create more possibilities for my business. He is the biggest supporter of my dreams. I am one lucky lady! After that conversation, I spent the next few weeks dreaming up what is now my beauty room! This space has already been so great for my blog & my creativity. I can’t wait to see all the possibilities that arise because of this dreamy space.
The two biggest purchases necessary to complete my beauty room were my large mirror & my wooden wardrobe. I researched these pieces for quite some time searching for the best deals. My mirror was a must-have item so that I could share more try-ons & ootd pics more regularly. I found some really great offers on Wayfair & ended up purchasing mine during their semi-annual sale which saved me quite a bit of money. This wardrobe was perfect for my beauty room not only because of it’s amazing price, but for how sturdy it is. I love that it’s made of wood rather than metal giving it a more cozy vibe. The shelves on the side are great for extra storage as well as displaying some of my favorite accessories.
Other great pieces I’ve added to this room are my sheer curtains. They still let a lot of natural light in which I love & tie up in a bow for a romantic & feminine touch. My white floating shelf is now home to some of my daily beauty products, but it’s also great for shooting shelfies. I added some new art to the room like this whimsical blue & white piece that is currently on sale! Finding creative ways to hang & display things added my own personal touch on this room. It’s so me & I love love love it!
Room To Grow
This room is “finished” for now, but I already have ideas for the future! I want to paint the long wooden cubes white & cover the top with a really lovely botanical print like this one. Also, I want to add more plants to the room. There can never be enough! I’m really picky about rugs, but when I find the right one, I think a nice rug with navy accents in it & an emerald green pouf chair would go perfectly in my secret garden in the future.