Before visiting Charleston, I thought it would be a beautiful city based on the photos I had seen from other Charleston based bloggers. Let me just say, it’s even more beautiful than I had imagined it to be. It’s so clear that the owners of each home take pride in the care & look of their property & gardens. Just visiting this city has inspired me to step up my game, put in the work, & take pride in my home. In this post I want to share with you all the spaces that gave me major home & garden inspiration in Charleston which I plan on bringing to my home.
Each home in this charming city had its own unique color palette. The houses were painted most commonly in dreamy pastels with doors & shutters painted in colors to perfectly compliment it. There were interesting windows, impressive porches or piazzas – what native Charleston people like to call them, & gardens instead of yards. Each home told a story & had a personality of its own.
This got me thinking. What story does my home tell? Does it give a good & lasting impression? Is it warm & inviting? This year, I want to write a story for my home by putting in work to then let the house do the talking. The colors, the textures, the right amount of whimsy & structure, the sweet city of Charleston has totally inspired me to incorporate these lovely traits into my home right here in RVA.
I could talk about the gardens in Charleston for days! What a dream! You can tell how much thought & care goes into each home’s personal garden. First of all, the window boxes were to die for. They were bursting with the most stunning blooms, in colors that complimented the vibe of the house. I also fell in love with the way they used vines to line steps, grow in a pattern to decorate the side of a house, or to add the perfect amount of texture to a home, making it feel alive. Another garden detail I loved was their use of pots. We saw this when we were on our honeymoon in Italy (see here: 1/2/3), but the way they group pots together & use them to fill & decorate every space is just beautiful. I already know this will be an obsession of mine this season!
Being the dreamer that I am, I’ve recently dreamed some big dreams for our home garden (thanks to Monty Don!). I would love to have an arch of climbing roses to dress our front door & flowers in bloom during each season around the property. Another goal I have for our garden is to create a cozy space for us to sit outside & enjoy the nice weather. How lovely would it be to have a couch outside for Ben & I to cuddle up on or to entertain guest with? I also have a dream to build a back porch (or piazza) under a pergola someday.
One final garden dream I have is to have a garden full of blooms, kind of like a small scale farm. I would not only fill my home with the blooms, but give them to friends & put together flower arrangements either for a side gig or just for fun. Flowers just make me so happy.
Richmond is finally starting to bloom! Yay! You all know that I love to wear florals year-round, but over the past few months I’ve been super into stars & moons. Feeling those celestial vibes. When I found this tulle star number (which is actually a dress!) for $30, I just couldn’t wait to wear it. Originally this dress was floor length, but the amazing thing about tulle is that it’s so easy to cut & customize it just for you & your body. I decided I wanted more of a tea length style so I could get the maximum wear out of it. Obsessed with how it turned out.
When planning this post, I originally thought I wanted to do more of a fancy, glam look, but decided to go a different route. I find this look quite casual, care-free, & really fun to wear. My wrap top (similar here) was past down by a friend & is in a totally unexpected color for me, paired with a fun pale blue heel, blue shades, a patterned headband, & a bold lip. Of course, my favorite light wash denim jacket makes the whole look a bit more spring-y. I couldn’t help but smile in this fun outfit under this lovely blooming tree with the sun shining on my face.
End Of Winter Boost
I wanted to take a minute to share a bit of encouragement with you. Each & every one of us are experiencing different seasons of life. Just like the winter we are in is coming to a close, so will each season of life we face. If you are in a trying season right now, be encouraged & know that this “winter” won’t last forever. A new season is right around the corner, so don’t lose hope. Keep your head up, wear something fun to lift your spirits, & keep on keeping on.
If you are in a joyful season, soak it up! Take a second to capture that moment in time & be grateful for the season you’re in. Whatever season of life you’re facing right now, be bold & courageous. Don’t let what’s happening around you crush your confidence or squash your dreams. You are fierce, beautiful, & your future is limitless. So live that way & why not dress that way too, & encourage those around you to do the same!
Typically, we think the perfect date night look features the one & only little black dress. For this playful & casual Valentine’s Day look, I want to re-imagine that look for a fun daytime outfit. Instead of black, I chose a navy dress. Navy is a classic color that has a much more daytime appropriate feel. I highly recommend adding a little navy dress into your wardrobe if you don’t have one already. This dress is probably the most worn dress I own! The playful & casual Valentine wears her LND. Let’s see how she accessorizes this look & what kind of date she wears this look to.
The playful & casual Valentine wears her LND layered over a sweet high neck cream top. She is cutesy & is not afraid of a little cheese, so she comes prepared with homemade valentines in her clear purse for both decor & to give to her valentine. Pink statement earrings are a must & she finds the perfect pink lipstick to match. She knows her navy kitty flats will be cute & comfortable as well as a great conversational piece.
This outfit can be worn to many different kinds of dates. I imagine these love birds wandering through an old book store where they each find books that spark their interests & let their imaginations run wild. They exchange valentines & blush at each other’s sweet & cheesy words to one another. Then they spend hours in their favorite coffee shop reading their new books, holding hands, & sipping on warm cortados.
I’m bringing out my favorite spring pastels a bit earlier than usual. Warm pastel layers are absolutely perfect for this time of year. This look features feminine pastels, pearls, florals, & sparkles all combined into one dreamy outfit.
We came across this sweet pastel house that matched my outfit perfectly. It was totally meant to be! I felt like a pastel princesses outside my cute little castle. But in all honesty…how adorable is that house & when can I move in?!
When branching out & mixing different colors together, I’ve found one easy way to ensure success. Take this look for example. See the colors in my floral bag? They are also seen throughout my entire outfit. Find a bag, scarf, shoe, or accessory that has a print or design which mixes different colors, & let it be your guide to choosing the rest of your look.
Building Your Winter Pastel Wardrobe
I’m so drawn to this mint color at the moment. Not to mention, it compliments my favorite shade of pastel pink beautifully. Having warm knits in feminine pastels shades are so helpful when putting together outfits in late winter & early spring. Make sure they are not too long or oversized so they can be worn with both jeans & high waisted skirts.
Pink Tulle Skirt
My pink tulle skirt is the most beautiful & quintessentially feminine staple in my wardrobe. I mean, even Carrie Bradshaw wore it! A piece like this is so versatile & easy to wear. I am also a ballerina in real life, so twirling around in a tutu is one of my very favorite things to do. A skirt like this brings me so much joy. This pastel pink goes with just about every single color as well, so it should fit into any wardrobe with ease.
I’m typically a gold girl through & through, but I’m just loving the way silver pairs with pastels. My silver sparkly Mary Janes (similar here) have been worn so much recently. Mixing them with outfits that feature my beloved pastel pieces are my absolutely favorite way to wear them. Whether you like silver or not, a pair of sparkly shoes & a tulle skirt are just a match made in heaven.
Affordable Ways To Stay On Trend
An easy & fairly inexpensive way to be on trend this spring/summer is by wearing fun headbands. I’m totally obsessing over this trend. Brands are coming out with so many different varieties & styles of headbands, making it so easy to find the best fit for your wardrobe & your budget. Styles I’m loving include embellished (like my pearl one worn in this post), scarf print headbands like this one, & knotted or floral headbands.
Faux Fur Coats & Jackets
Faux fur pieces can get really expensive. If you love the look of items like this, but aren’t able to invest in ones on the current market, look around in your local Goodwill stores. I’ve found 2 of my faux fur coats & jackets at Goodwill (see them on the blog here & here). Another way to add them to your wardrobe requires a little bit of patience. Look for out of season sales. These faux fur pieces are timeless, & won’t be going out of style, so buying them during the off season & waiting for next winter is a safe option. I post a lot of sale updates & my favorite affordable pieces over on my Facebook page, so don’t forget to follow me there for out of season sales & ways to save your money.
Create Your Own Fairytale
Need your own princess moment? Find ways to spark joy & build confidence in your own life. Maybe start a dream journal! Dream big! Seek the beauty around you & be the princess of your life. Create your own fairytale, & build your wardrobe to match.
As 2018 comes to an end, I can’t help but look back & reflect on all of the amazing moments from this year. For one, I got married & went on the dreamiest honeymoon EVER! Also, I turned 27 & have never felt truly me than at this point in my life. I’ve learned a lot, created a lot, & dreamed a lot this year. I’m walking into 2019 full of creativity & courage. 2018 taught me that I can literally do anything I set out to do, & you can too! Dream big, & let nothing stand in your way!
As we jump into 2019 head first, let’s take a look back on the outfits of 2018. Click on the photo to check out the blog post that look is featured in. I would love to hear which looks were your favorites from this year, so don’t forget to comment below telling me which ones you loved!
Don’t forget to leave your favorite look in the comments below! xx
Twenty-six was a great year. I got engaged & married, travelled to Italy, performed some of my favorite roles in my dancing career, & achieved so many of my blogging goals I had set out to accomplish. Now, I’m twenty-seven, & I can’t wait to see what this year brings. But before I look ahead, I’ve been doing some reflecting & thinking about some of the things I’ve learned about myself & about life in these past 27 years. In fact, I’ve thought of 27 things I’ve learned in my 27 years.
1. Give yourself a break
I’ve realized that as much as I try & pretend to be wonder woman, I am not. I require scheduled down time for relaxing & recharging. Over the years I’ve learned that this does not make me weak, but when I listen to my body & take a break every once in a while, I come back stronger & better than before.
2. Travel changes you
There’s something so special about experiencing the way other people live, interact, eat, dress, etc. in person. I think experiencing the fact that there are just so many different ways to live your life, & wondering in what ways would I be different if I had grown up in a place like this, have the power to change the way you think about the world you live in. Also, once you start traveling, you just crave more! I want to see everything!
3. Let things go
There are things in life, either good or bad, that can have a tendency to hold us back. Let go of the past. Don’t look back. Learn to love the present you’re in.
4. Expect the best of people
Instead of assuming that what someone said was meant to be rude to you, or that their intentions for doing something were not very nice, expect that they meant well by what they did or said. Especially when it comes to text messages! Sometimes it’s so hard to know what the person is trying to say through texts. Let your first reaction be expecting the best of them & seeing the good rather than jumping into that pessimistic mindset.
5. Say what you need to say
Communication is KEY to any relationship. If there is something on your mind, say it. It’s so much better to say what is on your heart in a loving way, than to let things boil up inside you until you get angry. Of course, take their feelings into account, but then say what you need to say.
6. Pick your battles
Several years ago, I sat on an airplane next to the sweetest older couple. They had been married for a long time, & told me that their biggest advice on marriage is to pick your battles. I think this lesson goes right along with saying what you need to say & also letting things go. There are times when it’s good to bring things up & to talk through the hard things in life, but it’s also wise to know when to let go. Learn which battles are worth fighting.
7. Eating healthy matters
I had a freak foot injury a few years ago that really served as a wake up call for my health. I wasn’t eating ANY vegetables! During my recovery, I worked with my PT a lot about regaining my strength & preventing things like this from happening in the future. In doing this, we dug deep into my nutrition that was clearly lacking. Since then I’ve discovered there are some vegetables that I like & making green smoothies at home has totally changed my life. I feel stronger & better than ever.
8. I don’t like drinking a lot
I’ve learned that I don’t really like drinking alcohol that much. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good margarita or a glass of wine, but I typically will only have one & that’s my limit. I don’t like the feeling of being tipsy or drunk, so I just don’t let it happen. Just my personal preference & something I’ve learned over time.
9. You can create your own confidence
This one is huge, you guys! Confidence is not something you’re born with or something that is given to you, but it’s something you create! Choose confidence even if it’s only outward confidence at first & you’re shaking with fear internally. Work on it. Cultivate it. Believe in yourself!
10. Make sleep a priority
I used to literally hate sleeping. One because bedtime is when my anxiety would like to spike, but two because I just felt like it was such a waste of time. I would have much rather been spending time with people I loved or getting ahead on this or that. Now, I truly value sleep. It’s when my body gets to heal from the wear & tear of the day, & when my brain gets to recharge to be even more productive the next day. I just know that I always do better with 8 hours of sleep so I’ve made an effort to make that happen most nights.
11. Pets enrich your life
I’ve always loved cats, but I’ve never considered myself an animal person until the past couple of years. Now we have two cats & a dog & they bring just so joy & love into our home. They are best at giving you love on those bad days when you need it most.
12. You reap what you sow
This one’s pretty self-explanatory, but dreaming big & then actually accomplishing those dreams takes a whole lot of work, but it’s worth it. Learn to love the work.
13. Treat yourself
Let yourself save for something special just for you. Whether it’s that new dress or bag you’ve been wanting, getting your nails done, or choosing to spend money on good skincare. Treat yourself. You only get one life to live so live it well. You deserve it.
14. Surround yourself with good people
I heard once that you are a combination of the 5 closest people in your life at any one moment. If that’s true, (which seems pretty likely if you stop & think about it) choosing to surround yourself with good people is so important. Find friends that make you a better person & who are there with you no matter what. (Just listened to this podcast & could totally relate to it!*)
15. Nothing can crush your dreams
You are the creator & caretaker of your of dreams. Nothing & no one can crush them besides yourself. Work hard to make those dreams a reality in your life, no matter what anyone else says.
16. Music is healing
Music moves people. It is not bound by gender, color, race, culture, or religion. Music has truly been a healing force in my life. Whether it’s because of the lyrics of songwriters like Audrey Assad or Taylor Swift, or just that melody that can get stuck in your head & transport you to another place, there is power in music.
17. I love grilled cheese sandwiches
You guys, this has been my very favorite food pretty much since day one. I don’t think that’s changing any time soon.
18. Even if everyone tells you you can’t, you can
I have heard countless stories of this being true in other people’s life, but never believed it until it happened to me. The number of people who told me I would never be a professional dancer would shock you. Yet here I am, a professional dancer, & I’ve been thriving in my career for 6 years now. Get out there & prove them wrong!
19. You you only need 1
There are so many ways that I’ve found this phrase applicable to my life. One is simply for shooting photos for Instagram. You only need one good one, am I right?! But on a more serious note, you only need one person to say yes, or one door to open for something major to happen. It takes one person believing in you to change the course of your life.
20. Writing things down is powerful
I never open my journal knowing what I’m about to write. I just start writing & soon it starts to reveal my deepest thoughts, feelings, & fears. Writing my fears helps me conquer them. I develop a game plan & use key words throughout my day to help me put my fears to bed. If you’ve never tried this, I highly recommend it.
21. It’s ok to say no
Funny enough, I’ve actually grown to love saying no. I love taking time for me, to either stay ahead or just get some extra relaxation time. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to spend time with friends & be there for them & what’s going on in their lives, but saying no is actually so good for you. Plus, it’s good to feel confident about saying no sometimes. You be you.
22. Kindness is never overrated
I’m learning that it’s always a good time to go above & beyond for those around you. You never know what something as small as a smile or a helpful hand can mean to someone else.
23. Nurture your dreams
I’m a BIG time dreamer. So I know that when it comes to dreams, they take extra time, love, & care. Think about ways you can create a nurturing environment for your dreams to thrive in.
24. Wear the dress
If you’re ever wondering, “Is this too much?” or “Am I going to be overdressed?” I say, “Who cares?!” Wear the freaking dress! Just do it & own it.
25. Some days require pizza parties
Ben & I are huge fans of what we call “pizza parties” otherwise known as pizza for dinner. We know that pizza parties are required for celebrations, when we need some cheering up, & especially to ring in the weekend. Together, we always can find an excuse for a good ole pizza party.
26. Be proud of who you are & what you’ve accomplished
I’m finding this more & more important as each year passes. First of all, making an effort in the present to be the kind of person to be proud of, but being aware of your accomplishments no matter how big or small they may be is so important.
27. I always have room for dessert
No matter what I’ve eaten for dinner, or how much of it I ate, I somehow always have room for dessert. It’s like my stomach has a special compartment just for dessert! Especially ice cream! Oh my word, ice cream is actually the best thing ever.