Printed Maxi Skirt


photos by Bill Payne 

As much as I love the shorts and tank top combo, I can't wear it everyday of summer. I originally bought this skirt for my trip to India (which you can read more about here), and since then it has become one of my favorite pieces. This light and breezy outfit is perfect for those 100+ degree days that seem to be a pretty regular occurrence lately. I love the bold print paired with a simple navy tee and sandals. Perfect for a summer day! How do you cope with the summer heat and still incorporate your personal style? 




Remember a few months ago when I was dreaming about going back to Paris? Well, my dream came true! I don't think there is a place I love more than this city. My family jam packed so many laughs, metro rides, beautiful sites, and even more beautiful memories into our five days in Paris, and I am so excited to share them! We arrived late in the afternoon on Sunday, and my brother and I explored our neighborhood in search of crepes. We managed to get so lost, but thanks so a nice florist (who also gave us the prettiest fresh peonies!), we found a crepe stand! Could there be a more perfect way to kick off our time in Paris?

To start our first full day in Paris, we headed to the Notre Dame Cathedral. After taking in the beautiful sights, we decided to go walk around Luxembourg Gardens. Wow. What a perfect, flowery place in the middle of the city! We found a sunny spot to sit and may have fallen asleep for a few minutes. A little ice cream break woke us up, and we made our way to the Eiffel Tower. When you first get a glimpse, you can't help but stand in awe for a minute. Somehow this giant metal structure is absolutely beautiful. We braved the crowds, pickpockets, and crazy wind to go to the top and witness the most magical views of the Paris. It was a beautiful, sunny, and busy first day in my favorite city. 

We ventured out of Paris for the day and made our way to Giverny to see Monet's Garden! We decided to use Fat Tire Bike Tours which was amazing. The tour included the train ride to Giverny, a picnic, a beautiful bike ride through the French countryside, a tour of Monet's Garden, and the ride back to Paris. Our day in Giverny was one of my favorite memories from our trip two years ago, and this time was no different. I can't even describe how delicious our little picnic on the riverbank of the Seine was, how beautiful Monet's Garden was, or how awesome our tour guide was! 

On our fourth day, my dad and brother headed to La Mans to watch the car races while my mom and I headed to our favorite part of Paris!  Le Marais is so quintessentially Paris, has the cutest cafes, and the best shopping in my opinion. The best purchase of the day was definitely a vintage Louis Vuitton tote that I seriously plan on using every day for the rest of my life! When I saw it tucked on a shelf I was so excited, and then when I saw the price tag I got really excited. Apparently designer labels are way more affordable in Paris than in the states...yay! Later that day, my mom and I met with Shannon! We met on the Champs Elysees for dinner, macarons from Ladurée, and a climb to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. None of us had ever been to the top, and it was incredible! We ended the day with amazing views of Paris, yummy macarons, and a gorgeous sunset with great people. I couldn't ask for more! 

We started our last day with a perfect almond-choclate croissant from Boulangerie Julien (my favorite bakery in Paris!) before heading to Montmartre. This part of Paris is so beautiful, so unique, and home to the Moulin Rouge and Sacré Coeur. My absolute favorite part of Montmartre, though, is the square where literally hundreds of artists set up with their easels to paint and sell their work. I can't think of a more perfect souvenir to take home than a little canvas from Montmartre. After that, we took the Metro to Musée d'Orsay. It was incredible to see such beautiful pieces of art and honestly just as wonderful to escape the heat for a bit! We ended our day with a river cruise along the Siene. The bank of the river at sunset is so beautiful. It felt like the whole city had found a spot along the river to picnic and celebrate the night. There could not have been a better ending to our five days in the City of Light. 



My two favorite Ben's: the brother and the clock! 

Outfit Details: top//jacket//pants//sandals//sun glasses 

The parks in this city were the most beautiful I'd ever seen. It felt like there was one on every corner! 

The Tower Bridge, not the London Bridge, as we were surprised to learn! Please tell me that I'm not the only person who thought this was called London Bridge all my life?! 

On the lawn of Westminster Abbey (aka where Will and Kate got married aka my mom and I were freaking out aka this called for an impromptu photo shoot). 

Hands down my favorite shoes for traveling. I picked these Tory Burch espadrille sandals up before our trip, and could not recommend them enough! I walked around all day and my feet weren't sore at all. 

I'm not sure if it was the jet lag or just the sheer amount of things we did in such little time, but London was an absolute whirlwind. Two days went by in the blink of an eye, and it was definitely one of those cities I would be perfectly happy coming back and spending weeks in. Since it was our first time there, seeing all the touristy sites was a must. Our first day, we arrived around noon and decided to walk all the way from the top of Hyde Park to Buckingham Palace, which was a great way to get a feel for the city. Day two was our busy day. In order to see all the sites, we hopped on the double decker site seeing bus! I know its so touristy, but whenever I'm in a new city, the first thing I want to do is hop on one of those obnoxious busses! Doing that was perfect for us because we saw all the important sites like the Tower Bridge, Big Ben, the London Eye, and Westminster Abbey, but still had the freedom to get on and off at the different stops around the city when we wanted to venture out. Speaking of that, story time! On the flight to London, my family sat by the nicest guy from London. He made us a hand drawn map of all the best things to do and see. Thanks to him, we ventured into Hyde Park, The Breakfast Club, and a 600 year old pub, which ended up being our favorite places! Thanks to our friend on the plane, I feel like we were able to jam the best sites, restaurants, and experiences of London into our two day stay. Next stop, Paris! 

PS- If you're ever in the UK, go to Millie's Cookies and order the Toffee Chocolate, it may be the best decision of your life. Not kidding, it was the most insanely delicious cookie I've ever had! 


Graduation Party Snap Shots

So. Much. Bruin. Pride. 

The cutest candy bar. The candy and hanging photos doubled as decorations and party favors.

The dessert table. Homemade chocolate cupcakes and lemon cake with a pretty peony on top! 

So happy that my favorite little Junior Cheerleader came to the party! 

Speech time. Some of the most special moments of the day were when loved ones shared memories throughout the years and dreams and prayers for my future. Cue the tears! 

More speeches, more sweet memories, more tears, more hugs.

Outfit details: dress//shoes (similar)//necklace//bracelet//earrings

What a perfect graduation celebration. Last Saturday, my family threw the most thoughtful, creative, beautiful, and fun party I could have ever dreamed of. And the best part? It was all a surprise until the day of the party! Since both my high school and university colors are the same, most of my house/backyard was turned blue and gold. And I loved it! With my wonderful mother in charge, each of my family members handled a different aspect of the party. From the photo map to the cake to the festive flowers- they did it all! Their love and thoughtfulness came through each detail, and the day was full of so many smiles, laughs, and even a few (happy) tears! It meant the world to me to be surrounded by so many people I love to celebrate this milestone. 

I’ve never seen centerpieces with so much school spirit! 

All of the places I’ve been. The world map was such a special touch tho the party, and I have a feeling it might be coming with me to college! 

So much love for my mama's beautiful spirit and the sweet words she said to me this day. 

Sweet Little Lauren helped me open presents! 

Cousin love! 


I'm a Graduate!


All of the girls in my class had a grad cap decorating party after our last day of school. We made such fun memories and all of our caps turned out so cute! If you'd want to see a DIY post, let me know!

Performing Carrie Underwood's Whenever You Remember with two of my best friends, Taylor and Bailey. You can watch our graduation song here. :) 

What I wore: dress//shoes//necklace (similar)//bracelet 

Prepare for photo overload in the next few days! There has been so much excitement and change in my life in the past week, the biggest being my high school graduation. Graduation Day itself was a complete whirlwind. From delivering my Salutatorian Address, singing, being shocking to learn that I'd won a scholarship, to actually walking across the stage and receiving my diploma, I was too overwhelmed to soak it all in at once. In fact, it's just now setting in that I'm a high school graduate. I am no longer a student at Faith Christian High School. I am an incoming freshman at UCLA. And that is insane. I have been so incredibly blessed to go to my small school where my class felt more like a family. Saying goodbye to my FCHS family evoked so many happy and sad emotions! As excited as I am for college (Go Bruins!), I think it will be a huge adjustment to not see each teacher, classmate, and mentor every day. They truly changed my life and made high school so memorable. And I cannot even put into words the love I have for my parents and brother. They have been my inspiration, motivation, encouragers, and best friends through this crazy ride!