Mexico Vacation: Outfits 

Hello! We just got back from an amazing trip to Cancun. I have had several questions about outfits and swim suits so I wanted to link them up for you guys to shop directly. I’m also working on another posts about our trip overall, specifically the resort. So, be on the lookout for that if you’re interested in the details! Definitely the most asked about item was this suit! It’s from ASOS and it’s only $32! It’s so flattering. I always have ladies asking where I get these types of swimsuits. I always always buy them from ASOS.  They’re affordable and have the biggest selection of this style.

Swimsuit: ASOS (the pink is currently sold out but its comes in lots of other colors if you scroll to the bottom or just type in “gathered waistband swimsuit”. I really want the green! Hat: I got mine at Stella Rae’s in Norman but I found the exact same hat online here

 

Next was this dress! It’s also from ASOS. It’s my favorite thing I wore on vacation. It felt so tropical. It’s only $36!


Dress: ASOS Shoes: Dolce Vita Clutch: White Elephant Design

 

This next dress is also from, you guessed it, ASOS. Is anyone noticing a pattern here?
Dress: ASOS

Next is the marigold top. This night was super windy so the pictures really don’t do it justice!


Top: ASOS Shorts: American Eagle

 

My last dress of the trip was actually not from ASOS, shocker there. I got it from Dillard’s for my birthday. I love that it’s long sleeve, there’s also a cute opening in the back. 

Dress: Free People Sandals: Tory Burch
I hope this round up was helpful for you all! Let me know if you have any questions.

Florida Vacation

I am itching to get to the beach soon. Last summer Billy and I traveled to Florida and loved it. So I wanted to put all of that info in a post for anyone wanting to plan a trip!

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Where we stayed

I haven’t traveled to Florida since I was younger so I was kind of clueless as to where to stay. I was first interested in Key West, but I waited last minute to book the trip so the hotel/flight bundles were pretty pricey. I just started researching Florida beaches and became interested in the Rosemary Beach area. However, the only hotel in Rosemary Beach was over $300 per night. So I did a little more digging. I used Expedia to book the trip. I’ve never used Expedia for anything before, but it was so simple. I just searched around the Panama City Beach/Rosemary Beach area. The first hotel it brought up is the Carillon Beach Resort Inn. After browsing through the pics and room prices, I was sold! The check in process was flawless and the room was gorgeous. It was more of a condo than hotel room. The inn overlooks a lake, and is about 0.4 miles from the beautiful beach. The inn provides shuttle to and from the beach. But it’s a short and gorgeous walk if you prefer to walk. We had zero complaints about the stay and the resort. The pools were gorgeous and 90% of the time we had them all to ourselves. The inn is nestled into this little village with bricked roads and outdoor lights strung between buildings. There are adorable little shops and a cafe.

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What we ate/drank 

Unlike the all-inclusive resorts I’ve been to before, this one didn’t provide food/drink. One thing I really wanted was a swim up bar or beachside restaurant at our resort, but I think that’s the only thing we didn’t have. There was a small cafe in our resort, but nothing pool or beachside. However, it ended up being no big deal. There’s a grocery store right across from the resort, so we bought beer and sandwiches for beach days. Every restaurant we tried was delicious! My favorite was Runaway Bar and Grill. This is about a 5-10 mile drive from the resort, but totally worth it. Their margaritas and crab cakes had me weak in the knees. Seriously, so good. Not only is the food great, but Runaway is a beachside restaurant with a huge patio and bar, so we sat on the patio and watched the sunset. I didn’t get a picture of the crab cakes because it was almost dark once we were seated, but if you look this place up on Yelp, you’ll quickly see what I’m talking about! Here’s a view from dinner that night.image

Another one of our favorites La Cocina Mexican Grill, is located at Rosemary Beach. Again, about a 5-10 minute drive from the resort. We went on a Sunday evening, it wasn’t too busy. Service and food were both great, again, another wonderful marg. One day we took a day trip to Seaside, FL. This is a beach town about 10 miles from our resort, known for it’s food trucks. Not only do they have delicious food trucks, but they also have 32 oz mimosas to go, which is amazing. We ate at the grilled cheese foodtruck, Meltdown on 30A. IT WAS AMAZING. What is better than gourmet grilled cheese and mimosas? Nothing. Of all the food we ate, this place had me wanting to go back for more. Unfortunately, we didn’t try this until our last day there, so we didn’t get the chance to go back. Next time, it will be my first stop!

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What we did

So our first full day there, we just hung out on the beach at our resort, Carillon Beach. I was blown away by how gorgeous and secluded it was. There was maybe 10 people as far as you could see in both directions on this beach. We rented beach chairs and an umbrella. I really wasn’t sure how that worked, but it was super easy. A company there puts out and sets up the chairs and umbrellas every morning. When you’re on your way to the beach, you just give them a call and they show up on a 4 wheeler, move your chairs and umbrellas to the location of your choice on the beach, and that’s it. I got the phone number from the information packet the resort gave us when we checked in. The first day we went to the beach around 4 p.m., it was super windy and the water was pretty rough. The next day, it was completely calm.

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Day trip to Rosemary

In my research, I was always drawn to Rosemary Beach, but had a difficult time finding a hotel room there. That have an gorgeous, somewhat pricey hotel, and lots of beach houses. So if you don’t want to pay $300-$500 per night, I don’t suggest staying there. However, it’s a quick drive from Carillon. So we took a day trip there. One of the most popular restaurants I found in my research is Crabby Steve’s. Steve’s is a beachside bar and grill. It has THE best atmosphere. They have blackberry pina coladas and fresh shrimp, I knew we had to try it. So we went to Rosemary with one thing on our mind, Crabby Steve’s. However, Rosemary Beach turned out to be quite the challenge. While it’s beautiful, and totally worth the hassle, it was not the easiest place to get to or get around. First off, Crabby Steve’s is connected to a gated resort in Rosemary, therefore is only accessible by PRIVATE beach or that resort. So we know we have to find public parking, and find a public beach access walkover. These both proved to be super challenging.  I pulled out the map on my phone, zoomed in around Rosemary Beach and found what looked like a beach walkover. So we drove around, trying to find parking for probably 30 minutes. Could NOT find a spot anywhere. We ended up parking in front of a private home, pretty sure we could have been towed but there were no signs. After the parking fiasco, we walked down to what I thought was the public beach access, only to find it’s private and LOCKED. You had a to have a code to get in. Luckily, we passed a sweet dad and son who gave us the code. Once we were on the beach, we had to walk about .5 miles in the sand to find Crabby Steve’s. Once you get to Crabby Steve and you’re all sweaty and out of breath, you have to climb about 5 flights of steep stairs. BUT, when you get to the top, it’s so worth it. The drinks were the best we had the whole trip, the seafood is SO fresh and delicious. The server treated us like old friends she hadn’t seen in a while. One side note, the actual beach at Rosemary Beach is just as crowded as the town. Beach chair after beach chair, basically stacked upon one another. So if you’re looking for a more peaceful visit to the beach, I would recommend staying at Carillon Beach.

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Overall, it was a wonderful trip. Beautiful and relaxing, it was just what the doctor ordered. Comment below if you have any questions!

 

 

Packing Tips for a Fall Getaway

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(photo by Dusty Demerson at dustydemerson.com)

So, if you didn’t already know (I’ve been tweeting about it since May) Billy and I have decided to take a fall vacation to the mountains this year. The beach is wonderful, but I was so busy with grad school this summer, it didn’t make sense for us to take a summer vacation, hence the fall getaway. If you know me, you know I love the mountains. I love the beauty and the magic of a mountain town. I love the nature and while I’m not a big “outdoorsy” type in Oklahoma, take me to the mountains and I transform into this crazy mountain woman who just wants to hike and be at one with nature. It sounds crazy and a little out of character, but it’s true.

We’re traveling to our favorite little mountain town, Crested Butte. I hope to see the beautiful fall foliage, snuggle up with a coffee on crisp mountain mornings, and explore with Bill all day. Crested Butte is an adorable and eclectic mountain village. Although I’ve been traveling there since the age of 4, I’m always challenged when it comes to packing for the trip. The weather there, while amazing, tends to be all over the place. You can start out the morning at 40 degrees, eat lunch when it’s 75 degrees, then end the day with 30 degrees and snow. It’s a lot like Oklahoma’s bipolar weather, but in a more enjoyable, less annoying way.

So I wanted to share some tips on packing for this type of place. The average high temp in September there, is 67 degrees. This type of weather always stumps me in general. If it’s sunny and 67, that’s completely different than if it’s 67, cloudy, with winds out of the north. Is a light jacket too much? Will you be warm enough if you don’t wear one? And shoes? Don’t even get me started with the dilemma which is trying to figure out what shoes are appropriate for this weather.

Not only is the weather challenging to pack for, I always feel as if I want to dress to fit in, wherever I’m going. You’re not going to go to class dressed in a mini skirt and stilettos, just as you wouldn’t hit up a club in Nike shorts and an XL tee. (I mean, I’d be lying if I said I haven’t bummed it up at a bar before, but it’s not typically something you do). Typically, you tend to dress in a way that is appropriate and acceptable for the environment you’re in. Which is something I always try to keep in mind while packing for vacation. You don’t want to look like you’re trying too hard to be something you’re not. While I’m not a mountain woman, there is a small piece of me inside who can be, so I try to find a balance between my personal style and the style that is the accepted norm in whatever place I’m traveling to.

So while keeping all of this in mind, I’ve come to a couple of conclusions and tips I want to share, along with a few pieces I decided to pack.

1. Ditch the normal, every day shoes you would wear in Oklahoma, for something more durable and transitional. I always over-pack, especially when it comes to shoes. So this year, I’m trying to pack shoes that can go with any outfit I take, while also being practical. While flip flops might be completely practical for Oklahoma right now, they’re probably not the best choice to take to the mountains. Even flats aren’t all that practical. Since we are only going to be in Crested Butte for a few days, I’m only packing 2 pairs of shoes. I assume during the day we will be exploring, hiking, riding, climbing, so I will definitely be packing a pair of shoes conducive to that kind of activity. Hiking boots, comfortable walking shoes, even Chacos, any of these would be appropriate. Crested Butte is a really laid back place. Sometimes, my style isn’t quite so laid back. So for evening time, I’m trying to pack things that are fashionable, without looking too dressed up. The cool thing about Colorado style, is that it looks effortless. When I think about effortless style, the first thing that comes to mind is a cool, versatile pair of booties with a small heel. So booties will be my second pair of shoes.

2. Be mindful of what you’ll be doing once you get there. I usually like to pack a ton of cute outfits, but spend 90% of my time in hiking shoes and yoga pants. One great thing about CB is, if you happen to be starving after playing in the mountains all day, and don’t want to spend the time going back to your condo and changing out of your hiking gear before dinner, that’s totally okay! No one will judge you. There will be locals and tourists alike dressed up really nice, as well as dressed super casual in the clothes they’ve been exploring in all day. Both are equally appropriate and accepted. How awesome is that?!

3. Do your research! Search hashtags on Instagram, look up cool places to dine on Urbanspoon, check out the weather, the more you know about your destination, the easier it will be to pack. There is such a wide variety of people and things to do in CB, it’s awesome. If you’re the person who likes to be super leisurely on vacation, sleep till noon, sip a chai latte, read a book, browse among local shops and eateries, well then crested butte is perfect for that. If you’re an adrenaline junkie who is into kayaking, mountain climbing, and biking, they’ve got that too! If you’re like me, and you like a little bit of both, then you’ve found your perfect vacation destination. (Disclaimer: I swear I’m not working for a travel agency, I just think you should have a full understanding of the place you’re traveling to, it really helps when it comes to deciding your itinerary and packing.)

4. Layer like crazy. Layering is such an awesome thing when it comes to packing. When I was young and my dad carried my bags, I would bring a multitude of different outerwear options. Now, that I’m a grown up and I carry my own bags, I’m trying to cut down on the amount I take. Back in the day I would pack 5 different jackets. Maybe a leather jacket, a pea coat, a north face jacket, a trench coat, and a puffer jacket. I was so ridiculous. This year, I will pack one heavier coat, just in case a cold front happens to move through while we’re there. But the rest of my warmth will come from layering. Sweaters and vests are a great way to do that. It’s likely I won’t even pack a light jacket. For example, I will take one chambray shirt, one sweater than can wore over the chambray shirt, as well as a vest that can be wore over the sweater, over the chambray shirt. That way, I have more outfit options to mix and match with, and there aren’t a ton of bulky jackets and coats taking up room my suitcase.
5. Keep a general theme. (It will hopefully lead to less overpacking) Don’t pack 5 outfits that all require different shoes, scarves, hats, and jewelry. If you tend to wear more black and grey, pack those colors, and pack accessories that you can wear with black and grey. I always pack gold and silver jewelry options. But not this time. I’m laying out all of the outfits I’m taking, and taking jewelry only if it can be worn with all of the outfits.

So in general, the best advice I can give is to research and get to know the place you’re vacationing to. This gives you some insight on weather and what you’ll be doing there, which helps you in choosing what to pack. I can’t wait to hit the road!

What are your favorite packing tips?