During most of my twenties and when I first began blogging in 2009, I was infatuated with luxury handbags. I was a member of the Purse Forum and I would spend what seemed like hours scrolling through photos of gorgeous bags and reading their corresponding reviews. I couldn't afford one of my own, but hey...I could dream. I was also an equal opportunity brand lover, from YSL to Balenciaga, and of course Chanel. Always Chanel.

When I graduated from college in 2010, my mom gifted me with the very bag of my dreams - a Chanel classic jumbo flap in caviar leather. I was over the moon for weeks, but then reality set in and this incredible feeling of guilt took over. What had I really done to deserve such a beautiful bag? In my mind, absolutely nothing.

I discussed these feelings with my mom and she ultimately persuaded me to keep and enjoy it. The latter is still difficult. I keep it in its original box and dust bag, and I only carry it on occasion.

All of that to say that I no longer spend hours dreaming of designer bags. I don't keep up with the latest "it" bag of the moment, and I can easily walk by a Louis Vuitton without so much as a passing glance. Maybe my priorities have shifted, maybe I've just seen too many people carrying identical bags so they don't appear as special. I'm simply just not that interested anymore. Don't get me wrong, I'll always love a great handbag, and I'll always admire them on others. If you can and you want to, then treat yourself! But with so many more options now, I've come to realize that showy designer logos just don't make sense for my life and style. I'd rather invest in something else.

3 of my favorite bags

I now prefer bags from Sézane and Clare Vivier. The quality is beautiful, their textures and colors are luxurious, and I still feel like I'm carrying a designer bag. Revolve and Shopbop have a good range of lesser known brands at varying price points. If you're vegan, Sole Society offers some great vegan leather options. 

I'd really love to hear your thoughts on this! Do you crave designer bags, or are they at the very bottom of your wishlist?

Linking up with On The Daily Express and Straight A Style


In the blink of an eye, it's August!

We came back from Ohio last Wednesday, and the heat promptly greeted us in San Diego. I really thought the humidity in Ohio would get to me, but it was actually pretty mild in comparison to years past. August and September are by far the hottest months in Temecula, so like clockwork, this is the time where I have to start getting a little creative with my style and beauty routines. Nothing fussy, just simple, practical, breathable...you get the idea! When Summer's in full swing, it's hard to imagine getting too done up. Instead, I focus on dressing certain items in my closet down so that I look and feel more comfortable and relaxed.

I've worn this pretty pleated skirt countless times since I bought it last year, but this was the first time I dressed it down with flat sandals and a small straw bag. My inclination with skirts is usually to dress them up with heels, but there's no reason why I can't wear them with more casual accessories. I think it looks fresh for Summer, and then I have more opportunities to wear pieces that I save for specific events or occasions. I've recently seen a ton of my favorite style bloggers wearing basic t-shirts with beautiful skirts - whether the skirt is pleated like mine, a sophisticated midi length, or just any skirt you may already have in your closet that you neglect because it's considered a dressier piece. Pair it with a soft t-shirt, your favorite sandals or slip on sneakers, and a great bag and you have the perfect Summer outfit that you can wear almost anywhere! I knotted my tee in the back so I didn't have to tuck it in but whatever's comfortable for you is key. 

How do you dress down in the Summer? Linking up with Pink Sole


"Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road"
Jack Kerouac

To say that this month has been the best I've had all year would be a serious understatement. Our big road trip was the highlight, but spending more time at the beach has been a huge mood lifter as well. At this point, access to the ocean is the main reason Nate and I still live in California. When we've talked about moving, "but what about the beach?" always comes up and then we drop the subject entirely.

When we were on the road - sometimes for 8, 10 hours a day - I had a lot of time to reflect. Some thoughts were lighthearted (for example, why do I get better cell service in the middle of nowhere than I do at home in the suburbs?) while others (the meaning of life, marriage, children, etc.) went a bit deeper. I felt grateful that I was reconnecting with one of my closest friends in a way I never really have before. Nicole and I have been friends since high school, experienced a lot together, but you learn a ton about people when you're on the road. Her family made for ideal travel buddies! They drove separately, but we basically did a caravan with them most of the way. Nicole and her husband have two small twin boys. They are the sweetest kids, and it was really exciting to see things through their eyes. Since Nate and I aren't parents to humans (yet), I was slightly worried before the trip that plans wouldn't mesh but I was dead wrong. Instead, Nate became their "uncle", I found out I'm cool at collecting rocks, and Nettie wants to be chased around by little people every damn day now.

I kept a journal too. The things I wrote (verbatim) included:
I wish I felt like this at home -  freedom from routine...

The feeling like I can try new things and actually be good at them, or at the very least, enjoy myself.

While I genuinely love clothes and cosmetics, it's SO important to take a break from consumption. I love camping because there's something liberating about it. You realize how much "stuff" you really don't need.
Edit: I came home and wanted to throw everything away (a fleeting thought of course). Still, it's good to keep in mind as someone who blogs about clothes.

Forgive me, I legitimately wrote this after a few drinks late one night ----> F*%$ the #nsale!

You get the point. All this to say that we created memories that will last a lifetime. If you ever get the chance, take a drive and explore more of the country, whichever country you're reading this from :)

And with that, here is my monthly edit for July:

Shopping at the Revolve x Palms Casino pop-up shop while we were in Las Vegas. The store's selection is limited and it definitely caters to a more stereotypical "Vegas" clientele (think lots of form fitting dresses and skirts, crop tops) than I've come to expect from Revolve, but it was still worth a look! The store itself is visually stunning with an entire wall made of flowers. That in itself was worth the stop. I ended up buying this wave spray from the Ouai and I really love it.

Wearing my hair naturally, thanks to aforementioned salt spray and my tried and true John Frieda foam. I also got a fresh trim this month, which always feels amazing in the dead of Summer!

Excited to celebrate Nicole's 35th birthday at the river in Arizona in a couple weeks. God, mid-way through our thirties already!

Photographing Nettie every chance I get, especially with her adorable life vest on at the pool.

Working out with a personal trainer became a thing again this month. Nate has been taking morning group classes at a gym near our house, and he somehow convinced me to take private classes with a trainer for a few weeks. The plan is to get more comfortable with working out again, and then I'll begin taking the group classes with him. So far I'm sore as can be, but I feel more mentally focused overall.

Things I liked in July: E V E R Y T H I N G

Things I did not like in July: See Above
Okay, I'm sure I disliked some things in July but let's just keep the positive vibes flowing! If only for this month.

I hope you have a great weekend! I'm off to Ohio for a few days but I'll be back around this time next week.


The thing I love wearing most during the Summer are little lightweight dresses in various colors, silhouettes, and prints. They are just so easy to throw on and go, seemingly appropriate no matter the occasion. They're also just really feminine and pretty.

I ordered this red ruffly number while I was on the road in Utah, and it was waiting on my doorstep upon our return. It's unfortunately already sold out so I can't link it, but I've had some great luck with the boutique I bought it from and you should definitely check them out for similar dresses. The store originates in northern California so a lot of their pieces have that breezy bohemian feel. By the way, I'm not being sponsored by them! I found them on social media and immediately loved their selection of fun clothes, especially with hot Summer nights in mind. I try not to miss an opportunity to dress up a little.

 Considering it's almost August, we are officially in the thick of Summer, although our weather in SoCal sounds downright mild in comparison to what some of you may be experiencing back east! Nate and I leave for Ohio on Saturday, so I'll be joining in on the humid, sticky heat soon. It'll be a quick 5 day visit, but just enough time to enjoy family in another part of the country. I hope your Summer is going just as well! Honestly, mine has been incredible so far. More thoughts on it in my next post...

In the meantime, I'm linking up with On The Daily Express and Straight A Style 


I hope everyone enjoyed my little break from style and beauty talk as I shared my road trip experience. I'm still working on a wrap-up post to tie everything together because I still have so many thoughts! But until then, I'm excited to get back to it with this Daily Ritual t-shirt dress I've been wearing on repeat.

Before my road trip, I bought this easy t-shirt dress by the brand Daily Ritual. I originally saw it on my friend and fellow blogger Gina, and it just looked so incredibly comfortable! Perfect for long drives, travel days, running errands, grabbing coffee with a friend, as a swimsuit coverup - so many options!

It's one of those items that you'll constantly reach for. Wear it with some sandals now, pair it with a utility jacket or long cardigan come Fall. The fabric (rayon and spandex) is soft and stretchy, and it hugs curves without feeling constricting. An issue I've had in the past with t-shirt style dresses is that they were either too clingy, or they draped too loosely. This one strikes the ideal balance. I got my normal size medium and the fit is perfect. I rarely say that you guys need something I feature, but in this case, if you're searching for a versatile dress then look no further.

Before I go, I quickly wanted to share what I got from the Nordstrom anniversary sale this year. The clothes and shoes didn't tempt me too much, although I did get a Barefoot Dreams circle cardigan and I love it! It'll be awhile since I can wear it, but I've been curious about these cardigans for a couple years and I totally get the hype now that I have one. I got mine in the pearl shade which is a soft grey. The fit is true to size.

I was most excited about the Charlotte Tilbury products so I got both the Pillow Talk Lip Kit as well as the eyeshadow palette. I'm a huge CT fan but her products are quite expensive. I used all of them yesterday and am really happy with the colors and quality.

I know the sale feels overhyped, but I find it's best to tune out all of the noise and shop it on my own. Did you get anything from the sale? Have a great weekend and I'll see you here on Monday!


A look into my Summer road trip continues today with a recap of Wyoming. We planned this entire vacation to center around Wyoming, so I was extremely excited as we drove closer and closer. Every mile we traveled seemed more breathtaking than the last, and when we finally crossed over the state line I was blown away by its pure beauty.

I read somewhere this weekend that you haven't seen true beauty until you've visited Wyoming and I absolutely agree! There are so many bodies of water, and the sky is as blue as blue can be. The air is fresh and crisp, the trees and mountainsides a vibrant green. I'm a beach lover to the core, but the beauty of Wyoming is on a different level altogether. I think I almost could trade the ocean for all it has to offer.

We stayed at a spacious property owned by our friend's previous boss in Etna, Wyoming. It's a sleepy little town with spectacular views of the mountains, and it's located just a couple hours outside of Jackson and Yellowstone National Park.

Yellowstone National Park:

Yellowstone was a huge reason we wanted to go to Wyoming. It's a vast 3,500 square mile wilderness that takes hours to complete if you want to see everything. We managed to do quite a bit in about 8 hours, but I think we'd need one more day to hit each stop. It was beautiful weather, and aside from the thunderstorm that moved in as we were leaving the park, it was perfect for walking around. I wore jeans, my favorite new t-shirt, a utility jacket I layered around my waist, and tennis shoes. 

The drive in has gorgeous views of the rivers and Yellowstone lake. We got out of the car when we wanted to take a closer look. It's definitely not a drive to be rushed! A lot of these photos I took as Nate drove, I just hung my camera out of the window. We saw bison, antelope, and our friends even spotted a grisly bear! Don't worry, they were extra cautious and they did just fine...but don't go too close to the wildlife! It was really cool to see these animals in person though. 

One of my favorite things to see was the "Grand Canyon" of Yellowstone. It's really something, with the canyon opening up to reveal a massive waterfall and river below. I felt SO small.

You see the bison grazing just outside our car's window?! 

Old Faithful Geyser:

Our friends had been to Yellowstone twice before, but they had never made it to Old Faithful so that was high on our priority list. It's a cone geyser that erupts every 44 to 125 minutes. On the day we went, it erupted about every 90 minutes. We walked through the site, spotting beautiful teal colored hot springs along the way. And like clockwork, we were able to see Old Faithful erupt! There was a giant crowd that formed in a circle around the geyser, and I swear there were moments where you could hear a pin drop. We all waited with baited breath...My friend's twin boys were getting impatient, and we kind of were too, but I'm glad we stayed to watch mother nature perform her show!

Jackson Hole:

We didn't have much time to explore Jackson Hole after our long day at Yellowstone, but I loved it from what I saw! I wanted to shop the local boutiques because their merchandise looked so cute in the windows, but alas we got some pizza and called it a night! However, Jackson Hole is a great place to stay in if you want to fly into southern Wyoming. It's very popular with world-class skiers and celebrities (from what I was told by a local). 

Etna Wyoming:

We spent the 4th of July doing something very American - sitting by a pristine lake and fishing. It was my first attempt at fishing and I actually caught one! Unfortunately, it didn't quite make it to shore but I would have thrown it back anyway. This particular lake was about 30 miles from the property we stayed on, and it was so neat seeing how locals live. It's a beautiful place, that's for sure.

It was really hard to leave Wyoming, but I hope we can go back someday! It really is magical, especially if you love nature like I do. I would highly recommend adding it to your travel list!