Memorial Day: Must Haves + Must Try

When it comes to being patriotic, I'll jump at any chance to sport a little red, white and blue. USA themed pre-games and parties at school? Definitely not staying in for those. Holidays with patriotism at the roots? You already know I'm planning my red, white and blue outfit and thinking of recipes of the same scheme. So, with Memorial Day on Monday and this weekend being the holiday weekend to celebrate,  I am so excited to kick off summer with a patriotic picnic with some of my favorite people.

If you're thinking of doing something similar to celebrate, I've rounded up some fun patriotic apparel and accessories, as well as yummy recipes to try!

To try...

To buy...

How are you spending Memorial Day?


3 Sandals You Need This Summer + A GIVEAWAY

I have been purchasing way too many shoes lately. Things are getting out of hand... but at the same time, I don't really have a problem justifying new shoe purchases at the beginning of the summer. I always wear down my shoes so much that new pairs are a bit necessary when the new season comes along. My favorite summer shoes? Oh, I'm so glad you're curious. It just so happens that I am sharing my favorites today, and you have the chance to win one of them at the bottom of the post!
1. Leather Ankle Strap // I had a tan pair similar to these that I got last year and wore so much that I had to take them to the cobbler not once, but twice to get the soles redone. I am so glad that I discovered and purchased this navy sandal with tassels for this summer for another classic, simple sandal to add in my wardrobe. I have already worn them a handful of times and I love how well-made they feel on my feet. So comfortable, and the tassels in the back really do make them extra fun. (They come in 5 colors)

2. Espadrille Wedges // Come to think of it, I don't know if I have a pair of wedges in my wardrobe that I really love right now! I think wedges are a perfect summery way to complete an outfit for dinner, and a fun brunch or event with friends or family. I am a huge fan of this pair in particular... I love espadrilles and I think the wedge espadrilles are so cute. I might just have to snag them at under $100.

3. Palm Beach Sandals // I know most of you reading are huge fans of Jack Rogers, and I was too up until this fall when my tried and true silver Jack's broke at the toe and I had to toss them out. To be fair, I had bought those sandals in eighth grade (five years ago!) and it was definitely past their time... But, when Palm Beach Sandals reached out to me about their identical sandals, I was intrigued! I have been wearing around my sandals for a few weeks now and I am happy to claim that they are amazing quality, and their styles are just as fabulous.

...and one lucky winner can win her choice of a pair of Palm Beach Sandals by entering the giveaway running from today up until the end of next Tuesday, May 30. (Shop all of Palm Beach Sandals right here) Use the widget below to enter, and check out my Instagram post going up this afternoon for an extra entry!

Good luck! What are your summer sandal essentials?


Off-Shoulder Ruffle Dress

Okay, so I know I said it's been 40's and rainy since I've been home, but if you're new around here you might not be completely aware yet that I'm kind of a big complainer ;) Last week before the weather went downhill, it was actually pretty hot (like, almost 90 degrees! A big deal for Wisconsin in May!) and sunny. I wore this off-shoulder ruffle dress, which is only $15 (also love this embroidered version, and this maxi version) one afternoon and paired it with my new silver Palm Beach Sandals. (Stay tuned, there may or may not be a giveaway coming soon to a blog near you ;)

dress // sandals c/o // earrings c/o (similar here and here) // watch (this year's version)


Life Update

It's been a whirlwind week since I've been home from school. In reality I haven't done much, but in principle I have had so much on my plate and my stress level hasn't seemed to go down at all! Let me fill you all in. It's been a while since I've posted... sorry for the unexpected break!

I had originally planned to spend the two weeks leading up to Memorial Day after finals in Long Island and the Hamptons with my family, but plans fell through and I ended up booking a last-minute second flight home just about a week before finals. I flew home about a week ago (Monday the 15th) and decided to use the opportunity to surprise Jack for his birthday the next day, Tuesday the 16th. Because of the surprise, I was super vague on social media and the blog. Sorry about that!

All day Tuesday I was so excited about surprising Jack that I couldn't even do anything. I didn't want to leave my house because I was so paranoid that someone would see me somewhere and just somehow I would ruin the surprise (overdramatic, I know). I ended up surprising Jack when he went to get ice cream that night with Caroline, and I am so proud to say he was completely shocked! He had no idea what was coming and it was really funny to see his reaction.

On Wednesday Jack and I spent the day together going on a hike and just hanging out because we hadn't seen each other since he came to visit in March. I also hung out with Caroline again on Wednesday night because we have this tradition every summer to spend as much time as possible watching E! and hanging out on her pink couches blogging. It's seriously the best and absolutely, without a doubt, my favorite way to spend summer nights. I know it sounds lame, but it's the ~little things~ in the summertime; am I right?!

Thursday I hung out with my other best friend, coincidentally named Caroline too (we went to Miami together for spring break), and Friday I had cocktails with my mom and some of her friends and then hung out with my other best friend, Elizabeth, when she got home from school Friday night. It's so crazy how all of my best friends and favorite "home" people are finally in the same place for the next three months!

A big part of heading back from Lehigh has, of course, been unpacking from school. I Snapchatted/Instagram storied a bit of my moving out process, and I shared some more details here. In short, I had eight giant boxes delivered to my house that arrived on Thursday. I have actually finished unpacking everything, and I have slowly but surely been adding things to my Poshmark that I am cleaning out of my closet. (Shop them here!! & make any offers... I just want them to find a home!)

Yesterday I spent a little time working on an internship application for a position that I would be so excited about. But, if it doesn't work out, I am still planning to do retail and that job starts at the end of the month! Until the official start of that, it's all up in the air depending on if the internship works out. Today was church and brunch with my mom and now a relaxing afternoon!

What's new with you?! I'm just happy to be out of school and home for summer, even if it's been 40 degrees and rainy! Happy weekend!


This Week's Top 10: Life Updates (Done with Freshman Year!)

1. HELLO! I apologize for being MIA the last two days on the blog... I had exams on both Wednesday and yesterday, making extra time to blog a little hard to find.

2. In light of finals week: I only have one left on Monday morning, and then I am out of here! So crazy that the year is already over. I spent the entire day after my final yesterday packing up my room, and I really did not realize just how much stuff I have. Ugh, so overwhelming. Just a little over a year ago it was decision day, and here is what I wish I had known back then.

3. ...on the bright side, Jack is the cutest and he had flowers delivered to me to get me through finals! Love him.

4. Today my dad is coming to Lehigh to help me move out, which is seriously so nice because I have no idea what I would do if I had to tackle all of this by myself! Tonight after we finish up with the dorm situation we are going to head to New York to have dinner and spend the night in the city, because why not?!

5. If you watched my Instagram story yesterday, you know that I am in love with my new crocodile embossed lace-up flats and tassel sandals. There is a 99% chance that I am wearing one or the other today :)

6. I am also in love with my new phone case (!!!) and all of these other cute phone cases that I blogged about here.

7. Today when my dad comes we are going to get brunch at my favorite spot off campus (if you follow me on Insta/Snapchat, you might know that I am referring to Blue Sky Cafe!) But... brunch + Rhode Island = my ultimate recipe for happiness. Read about 7 spots for brunch in RI (I can vouch for #1!)

8. Okay, so brunch today, but as soon as I get out of school I need to be healthy for summer. This salad recipe looks delicious and incredibly refreshing.

9. Random obsession of the week: my friend Brooke's vlogs. You have to check her out; she is the coolest. Would you guys want to see vlogs this summer? Let me know!

10. Mother's Day is Sunday! If you need a last-minute idea, you just might find something sweet in my Mother's Day gift guide post here. I so wish I could be home to celebrate with my mom, but I will see her soon enough and celebrate then!