Friday, July 26


Without a doubt, one of my favorite holidays is the Fourth of July. I love grilling out, summertime, and fireworks, so it's an obvious match. It's always been a holiday that I spend with my family and friends, and I have so many fond memories of watching the parade, greased watermelon and coin dives at the pool, and scrambling to make it to the big pine tree in front of Memorial Stadium to watch the fireworks. I also love the Fourth due to growing up going to our country club's 3rd of July party which is always a guaranteed good time of fireworks, live music, and non stop dancing. Being in Hilton Head and Atlanta for the past 4 summers, I've missed out on these good times at home (although I always made up for it - not to worry) but this year, my five best friends and I finally managed to get to Champaign for the holiday. It. Was. The. Best. Since the Fourth falls on a Friday next year, I think we are going to have to make a repeat performance.

 We all got into Champaign by Wednesday so we didn't miss the 3rd party. So much fun being with our families and family friends!

A highlight of the night might have been when the band finished playing (last song was questionable) and we broke out in Camp Tecumseh flag pole songs. Completely normal. And no night in Champaign is complete without a stop to Steak N Shake, which we totally did. Double steakburger, please!

For the Fourth, we drove down to Southern Illinois to spend a couple days at the Sullivan's lake house on Lake of Egypt. It was so relaxing and just what I needed for a mid-summer vacation!

Years ago, Kaitlyn and I stayed up till 3:00 AM to finish a clock puzzle. We didn't see it anywhere in the house (completed puzzles typically get framed) until we played some beer pong and Kaitlyn started screaming. It was such a joyous moment!

We were also lucky that more family friends from Champaign were at the lake at the same time, so we had a great time having happy hours with them and playing on the water trampoline with the kids. Eight year olds at heart, I'm telling you!

It was such a great extended weekend and holiday - but I'm definitely ready for another vacay soon. Luckily I'm heading to Hilton Head with my family in 2 short weeks. Cannot wait!

On more happy news, it's Friday!! I have a few fun plans for the weekend and I hope you all do too! 
Hooray weekend!

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Tuesday, July 23


I've always been a dress girl, but recently I have really been getting into separates - skirts or shorts paired with a great top and accessories. These Forever 21 shorts are too cute - and such a deal! They would be perfect to throw on for a dinner with friends, going out, or running errands. Next pay check I think I'll have to get this first pair... and maybe the second!

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Monday, July 22


Whew. The past month has been a whirlwind. Actually, I think things got crazy in May and never quite slowed down. Steeplechase, home for tennis NCAA's, Memorial Day weekend, CMA Fest, the Glander's Wedding, New York City, and home for the 4th of July... yep, my weekends have been packed and the weekdays haven't been much slower with work, moving into a new house, kickball games, and happy hours. Don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining one bit! It has been wonderful, but I have sort of, really neglected this little blog. I can honestly say that I have missed blogging and sharing new finds and life with everyone following. So here's the first life update: my trip to New York. Warning: There are a LOT of pictures. Apologies for the long post in advance :)

My amazingly talented sister Jane spent the summer in NYC interning with Tibi, so naturally I had to make a visit to see her. This was my first time visiting the Big Apple and I was so excited. Jane worked Friday morning, so I spent most of my time wandering around - which I think is truly the best way to see New York.

Beautiful view of the city, overlooking the Hudson. Seriously couldn't get enough of this view.

When Jane got off work we went to get a late lunch at an adorable little restaurant called Jack's Wife Freda. It was delicious - I had a steak sandwich with garlic butter and Jane had a burger. I definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone in NYC!

Of course we had to get a beer to celebrate being together in the city!

After lunch we wandered around a couple stores, and then decided to take the train to Central Park - probably one of the most touristy things we did all weekend. That park is enormous. We didn't even make it through a quarter of it; partly because we worried about getting lost, and partly because my feet were dying from walking all day... not something that happens in Nashville!

Does this look familiar to anyone? Yep, pretty sure that a million movie scenes have been filmed here... I was just pretending I was Blake Lively in Gossip Girl... if only.

Friday night brought drinks at a cute wine bar in the West Village, then dinner at Rosemary's in Greenwich Village - such an amazing little Italian restaurant. The night was made even better because my dear friend from Indiana, Catherine Fee, met up with us. We shared a bottle of wine, each ordered the Orecchiette pasta dish, which was so delicious, and shared an awesome appetizer of essentially cheese bread, but way better than anything you could think of! Rosemary's has its own garden on the roof, which is where all of the herbs and produce comes from. So cool, right?!

I have a major thing about ambiance in restaurants, and Rosemary's definitely had it going on with all of the white lights. Take me back?!

The next day Jane and I went to Brooklyn to go to the flea market and Smorgasboard. I loved it. 

We basically spent all day in Brooklyn, meeting up with a good friend from home for afternoon beers on a rooftop bar. Saturday night we went to The Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking District so that I could see the sunset with an awesome view. Let me tell you - it did not disappoint. Absolutely gorgeous.

On Sunday morning we brunched at Pastis, then walked around Meatpacking District on the High Line. The High Line is an old elevated train rail (think the El in Chicago) that has been converted into a 1 mile park. After that we wandered some more, stopped at Magnolia Bakery (yum) and a few more stores before I had to navigate my way through the subway and Penn Station to go to Newark and fly home. It was sad leaving the Big Apple, and Jane of course!

I knew I would like New York, but I didn't think I would love it as much as I did. Maybe it was being with my sister, maybe it was eating delicious meals, maybe it was the fact that we didn't do anything touristy and I truly felt like I was living there. Maybe all of the above! What I do know is I had a fabulous time and will be making many a trip back once Jane (hopefully) moves there permanently.

Happy Monday!

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