Friday, May 26, 2017

My Chic Week: May 19-25

Happy Friday y'all! This week was my first full week of summer as my last day of class was a week ago today and I was lucky enough to not have any exams to take. The family I nanny for was out of town this week as well so I really had the week off so my week was full of fun plans and, of course, lots of Pure Barre classes.

With it being Memorial Day weekend, this weekend is a busy one as I have a pool party this afternoon as well as one of my best friend's graduation parties tonight and my cousins are coming into town tomorrow. Of course, I'll be sharing more in next week's My Chic Week post (be sure to catch up on my entire "My Chic Week" series here) but for now, let's catch up on this week!


Friday was my last day of high school, which is so crazy haha! Hard to believe it's already been a week! We had super short classes in the morning before an awards ceremony and then lunch. My grade watched our senior video during lunch, which was so fun as it really wrapped up the last four years of high school.

After lunch, we had yearbook signing and then a bubble soccer tournament where everyone pretty much signed yearbooks. I nannied for a few hours Friday afternoon and we went to Starbucks for a cake pop (for the 4 year old I nanny) and coffee (for me!) to celebrate my last day of school!

I shared this photo from my senior pictures on Friday to celebrate my last day of class- it's definitely one of my favorites!
After a busy last few weeks of school, I had a lot of errands and random things like that to catch up on so after sleeping in and going to a barre class, I ran a few errands, including ordering some monogramed stationary for graduation (did you read yesterday's post all about thank you notes?) and picking up graduation presents for friends.

I wore these darling J. Crew striped leggings that I got during my trip to Chicago on Saturday and they are so comfortable and cute- perfect for barre class and running errands. I wore them with my Jacks because you only need sticky socks for barre!


My mom and I went to church Saturday night before heading back home to watch the Preakness with the rest of my family.

Sunday was a pretty laid back day as I caught up on blog related items and went to another barre class. My sister's birthday was on Friday but we wound up celebrating on Sunday as a family as she had friends over on her birthday so we had a yummy dinner and then had cake to celebrate.


Monday was my first official day of summer and I didn't have too much going on so I used it as a day to catch up on the blog and a few other things that I ignored in the last few weeks of school. I was able to sleep in a little bit before making myself breakfast and then working on some blog work (including catching up on my Bloglovin' feed). I went to my favorite noon Pure Barre class and then went to Whole Foods afterwards for a quick lunch. I couldn't resist picking up some gorgeous flowers while I was at Whole Foods and then I had one other errand to run before heading home.



I wound up picking my brother up from school Monday afternoon, which was honestly kind of weird doing that while being finished with classes. My mom and I walked the dogs in the afternoon and I worked on Tuesday's blog post before showering and watching the Bachelor.

Tuesday morning, I was up somewhat early (7, which is early for summer haha!) so I could eat breakfast before going to a Pure Barre class.


My friend Renee of Gimme Glamour and I grabbed lunch on Tuesday and it was so much fun catching up with her as it had been a few months since we last caught up. The weather was pretty miserable all day but we had such a fun time!

Tuesday's OOTD: old Lilly tee ⎢J. Crew shortssimilar Hunter rain boots

I babysat for a few hours on Tuesday night, which was a lot of fun as we went out for pizza and got frozen yogurt afterwards!

Wednesday morning started a bit on the early side as I had a doctor's appointment in the morning. Nothing too exciting haha!

I originally had plans to go to one of my favorite coffee shops in the city with one of my friends but she wound up having to work at the last minute so we had to reschedule our plans. This wound up working for me as I was able to go to a barre class at noon and then get some things for the blog done before going to pick my brother up from school.

My top is old from Beyond Yoga but I got these Lululemon leggings for my birthday and love them!

I also signed up for housing for this fall on Wednesday, which was so nerve-racking. Thankfully, it was relatively easy and my roommate and I got a room in our first choice dorm, which makes me so much more excited for this fall!

In honor of signing up for housing and picking my room, I shared a throwback to my bedroom redesign that I shared on the blog last summer on Instagram. I'm so excited to decor my dorm and, of course, share it with y'all!

I received this face cleanser and face scrub as samples from Sephora but I really love them so far! I linked the full-size version as I know I will definitely be buying the face scrub once I run out!

My mom and I went shopping at Southpark Mall yesterday and, of course, our first stop was Lilly Pulitzer to shop their Splash into Summer event. My mom and I both got some really cute pieces and the gifts with purchases were too cute to pass up!

Thursday's OOTD: my top and skort are old Lilly but these Tory Burch Millers are my go-to in the spring and summer!






After shopping at Lilly, I headed over to Nordstrom while my mom looked in another store as the Nordstrom in Southpark just started carrying Reese Witherspoon's Draper James line. I've followed the brand since the start but this was my first time seeing their pieces in person and let me tell y'all, they're gorgeous! I had a Nordstrom gift card from my birthday so I decided to buy this top and I cannot wait to wear it!


I've been saving up for a while and I made a big purchase yesterday: a Louis Vuitton Speedy! I've been wanting this bag for years but I have been saving for a while so I could purchase it as a graduation gift to myself. I'm low key obsessed and will be planning to share a more in depth post of why I decided to buy a Speedy!




My mom and I then went to California Pizza Kitchen for lunch and then went to one more store before heading back home.

After picking my brother up from school, I went to Pure Barre. It's my studio's anniversary this week and yesterday was 80's Day so I sported a very neon outfit to class haha. If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen me saying that my class only had five people in it, which made it a bit more interesting haha!


On my Radar:

1. Lilly Pulitzer's Splash into Summer event is still going on and ends on Sunday night! The gift with purchases this year are so cute and this event is always so fun to shop in store. I shared my current Lilly Pulitzer favorites in Tuesday's post in preparation for the event so definitely check that out if you haven't already!

2. Even though I'm far from being a full-time blogger, I thought Julia's post on her daily schedule as a full-time blogger was so interesting!

3. Obsessed with all of the pictures from Pippa Middleton's wedding- I seriously love her wedding dress!

4. My friend Annaliese shared a personal post on her blog on Monday and I loved how honest and well-written it was!

5. My Tory Burch Minnie Flats are on sale- such a good deal as I wear mine all the time and they're so comfy


Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Thank You Note Etiquette

With graduation season in full swing, I figured that I would share a blog post that would be pretty relevant to everyone graduating: thank you notes! I admittedly both love sending and receiving thank you notes (I actually wrote my Common App essay about it haha!) but I definitely think they are so important when receiving gifts.

I always remember my mom having my siblings and I write lots and lots of thank you notes for Christmas and birthdays when we were younger and even though I wasn't a fan of it then, the habit definitely stuck.

image via my Instagram

Who should I write a thank you note to?
For graduation, I would say to write thank you notes for those who send you a graduation gift (no matter the size) as well as those who traveled a long distance to attend your graduation or graduation party. Obviously, you don't need to send a thank you note for everyone who attended your graduation party but if a relative travels across the country to attend, I think it would be appropriate to send them a thank you note (if you weren't writing them one already for giving you a gift- in that case, send one thank you note!).

When should I send a thank you note?
I would say as quickly as possible. Obviously you don't want to wait too long to send it but I think a few weeks after the event (so your graduation or graduation party) is good. If you know it will take you longer to send a card, maybe send a quick email to thank the person and then send a physical thank you card afterwards.

What should I write in the thank you note?
I, personally, like to start off by addressing who the card is going to (Dear ____) and then thanking them for the gift. You could just write "Thank You" or something along those lines but I love writing exactly what they gave me (so "Thank you so much for the check/adorable monogrammed towels/gift card you gave me for graduation" rather than a simple thank you). Then I will typically write what I will plan to use the gift the gave me for ("I can't wait to use the adorable coffee mug you gave me to bring coffee to class with me in the fall") and if I was able to see them in person, I will add a memory from the event or etc. Obviously, you can add more or less depending on who the card is for but that is typically my "formula" for thank you notes!

How formal should a thank you note be?
This depends on your relationship with whoever you're sending a thank you note to. If you know the person well (like a friend or your grandmother, for example), be personal and use nicknames or inside jokes. If the thank you note is for someone you don't know that well personally (a friend of a friend who gave you a gift, etc.), I would be a bit more formal but still be "you". For addressing the note, I would definitely refer to the person as how you refer to them in real life. If you call your best friend's mom Mrs.*last name here*, call her that but if you call her Mrs. *first name here*, I would go with that!

Do you have any other Thank You Note Etiquette? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

How to Plan for a Productive Day

One of my favorite types of posts to both put on Chic in Carolina for y'all and to read on other blogs is posts sharing tips on how to get your life together and make everything run smoother. I know personally that life can get pretty busy and little tips that don't take up too much time but make your day easier are always helpful.

Today, I decided to share a few tips to help you achieve a more productive day. You know the type of day where every item on your to-do list is crossed off, you have time to relax, and you don't wind up going to bed late as a result of crossing every item off of your to do list? Even though I love those days (and you probably do too), they don't happen everyday for obvious reasons but these tips will help in getting closer to that super productive day.

image via my Instagram

Wake up earlier
I know what you're thinking with this one but hear me out on it. I have a love-hate relationship with sleeping in as I absolutely love waking up later and getting more sleep but don't love that once I'm up and ready to go for the day, it's already lunchtime. Set your alarm for a hour earlier than you usually do to allow yourself more time to get things done in the morning and to get the ball rolling earlier.

Write down everything you need to do on your to-do list
And I mean everything haha! Write everything you need to do, whether it's texting someone back, chores you need to do, errands to run, shower, etc. Writing everything down helps me realize what I need to be doing and to be more productive. And you don't have to cross everything off of this list everyday as whatever you don't finish can be moved to the next day's to-do list.

Don't over schedule yourself
Look at your agenda or calendar and really think about how you're filling each day. Since it's summertime and I have a lot more free time than I'm used to, my calendar has been filling up more as well. Even though this isn't a bad thing by any means, don't overcommit yourself as if you're running from your workout class to lunch to a coffee catchup with a friend to work or wherever, you won't have a lot of time to be productive. One solution I've found to this is that if I do have a super busy day or couple of days, I'll dedicate a full day to working on the blog, running errands, and catching up on my to-do list. This way, I can live my life and have fun (which is super important too!) but I won't fall behind either.

Prioritize what's important to you
Sometimes we have to do the not-so fun things in life but it's so important to prioritize what's important to you and then work around that. Maybe it's going to a workout class at a particular time or dinner at home with family or watching the Bachelorette at 8. Prioritize whatever it is and then work the rest of your to-do list around it. This helps me be more productive as I'm more focused on whatever I'm doing and I also have a bit more motivation to get everything done.

Start your day with a cup of coffee and your agenda
I definitely want to start doing this more often but in the morning, grab your agenda and your coffee and just look at what you have going on that day or week and then update with new events or appointments. Knowing what I have going on that day helps me manage my time a lot better (rather than being in the middle of something and then realizing I have barre class in 5 minutes) and be more organized as well.

Start and end your day with a clean space
I work better in a clean space. I've talked about this before on Chic in Carolina but a clean space with a lack of physical clutter helps me focus more on whatever I'm doing. That being said, tidying up both in the morning and then before bed helps with productivity as you don't have to spend time during the day tidying up. I typically make sure my room is clean before heading out in the morning, whether it's to work or to barre or to lunch with a friend, so that when I come home later, I'm ready to work on the blog and get things done. I also love tidying up again right before bed so I can wake up to a clean space the next morning.

Stop Multi-tasking
Multi-tasking seems like an easy solution to getting more done in the same amount of time. "I can fold laundry while working on tomorrow's blog post and watching HGTV!" All this does is allow you to become distracted and not put your full effort into the task you're doing. Focus on one thing at a time. When you're blogging, focus only on the post. When you're eating, don't try to post on Instagram. When you're hanging out with friends, give them your full attention. This helps you be more productive as when you're working, you're fully focused on the task at hand and also to have more well-balanced life as well.


Any other tips? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Lilly Pulitzer Splash Into Summer GWP Event

Even though this week is my first week of summer and it feels like the weekend, the long weekend ahead is super exciting! Even more exciting? Lilly Pulitzer's Splash into Summer event is this weekend and it's your chance to get super cute gifts with purchase and some fun new summer clothes!

Lilly only does a few big Gift with Purchase events a year and if you shop in store, each store throws a party to celebrate with treats and, sometimes, live music. The event runs this Thursday through Sunday but you can also pre-order both online (with code FIRSTSPLASH) and in-store. I'm planning on heading to my local Lilly store this week to shop and I'm so excited (be sure to read about the event last year here!). The gifts are always great so I'm sharing some of my favorite Lilly pieces that would be perfect to order this weekend from the event. Splash into Summer is the perfect time to stock up on pieces for summer festivities as I know I will be shopping for pieces that I can wear to graduation parties in the next few weeks and then on vacation throughout the summer!

Off-the-Shoulder Top- This off-the-shoulder top is a bit trendier than what I typically gravitate towards but I think it's so cute! I love the blue and white color scheme and the pom poms are such a fun detail. This top would look so cute with a pair of shorts or white pants!

Scalloped Shorts- Lilly shorts are always a go-to of mine during the summer months as they're so easy to style and wear! These scalloped ones are so cute and the print is stunning as well! 

Swing Dress- How cute would this dress be for a Memorial Day Weekend barbecue or the Fourth of July? Swing dresses like this one are so easy to wear during the summer as you throw it one with a pair of sandals and you're ready to go! 

Halter Neck Shift Dress- I think this shift dress would be perfect for your summer beach trip as it looks so easy to wear. The colors are gorgeous and I love how the neckline makes it different from other shift dresses you may have in your closet.

T-shirt Dress- I love easy dresses for everyday wear during the summer as they're so versatile from running errands, grabbing lunch with friends, or going shopping. This dress looks perfect for a go-to everyday dress and I also love that it's a bit longer than a typical t-shirt dress.

Shift Dress- This dress is stunning! It would be perfect for attending a graduation or graduation parties as it is so pretty yet so classy at the same time.

T-shirt- Sometimes you just need the essentials and this fun t-shirt would look so cute with a pair of white chino shorts for a fun, everyday look!

Scalloped Skort- This scalloped skort may be one of my favorite recent Lilly pieces. The print is stunning (low key reminds me of You Gotta Regatta) and would look cute with a simple tank top or even an oxford top!

Will you be shopping the Splash into Summer Promotion this weekend? Let me know in the comments!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Second Semester of Senior Year Reflection

Happy Monday y'all! Today is a bit more exciting than typical Mondays because it is my first official day of summer! My last day of class was on Friday and I managed to exempt out of all of my exams so summer has officially begun for me. It's been nice to spend the weekend relaxing and organizing rather than doing homework but I can't believe that senior year (or classes at least) is officially over.

I shared a reflection on the first quarter of senior year and then the first semester of senior year so I figured that I would wrap things up with another reflection post.


Senior year as a whole was interesting as I went from being ready to go to college that second to wishing high school wouldn't end. I talked about that feeling in my last few reflection posts but it definitely sunk in second semester. I've gone to school with some of my classmates for 10 years and it is definitely weird to think that this fall, my grade will be spread out across the country. I know I'll miss aspects of high school and my friends but I'm ready for a new chapter and to start college this fall.

Many of my friendships have changed since freshman year and some of my struggles this semester included accepting that change. Freshman and sophomore year, my friends and I called age 16 the "year of change" and even though a lot of those changes did happen junior year, they still affected my senior year. This has been both good and bad as I've gotten to become better friends with some people while I have drifted away from people I called friends earlier in high school.

Senior year has the reputation of being easy with not a lot of homework, which I hoped would come true in second semester. I did have a lighter workload most days but others I was slammed with projects and a million things to do. I'm a bit of a perfectionist as well (if you haven't noticed already haha) so I wasn't exactly one to let things go and let there be zeroes in the grade book haha.

I talked about this last week but second semester was exciting as I finally made the big decision to go to Clemson in March. The first part of second semester was busy with last minute college tours and my last few notifications but I was so relieved and excited when I decided that I will be attending Clemson this fall! I'm so excited to be a Tiger and lots of exciting things are happening: I have my roommate, I'm signing up for housing this week, and orientation is quickly approaching. It's also been so fun to find out where all of my friends and classmates are going to school throughout the past few months.

Since I'll be heading off to school this fall and will be living in South Carolina, I've been trying to focus on spending lots of time with my friends and family while I'm still living at home. Even though the dinner at home with family or just hanging out with friends doesn't seem super memorable now, I know I will be glad to have this time when I'm 2.5 hours away this fall.

Are you a senior this year? Let me know in the comments!

Friday, May 19, 2017

My Chic Week: May 12- 18

Happy Friday y'all! Today is a particularly exciting day because it's my last day of high school, which is crazy! Even though I've been counting down to this day all year, I can't believe it's actually here and I know it will be a bit of an emotional one, especially since we're watching our senior video during lunch! I will definitely catch y'all up on all of today's festivities next week but for now, let's catch up about last week!


Last Friday, thankfully, wasn't too crazy during the school day and I worked that afternoon as well. Nothing too exciting other than attempting how much stuff was too much for one night while packing for my trip to Chicago the next day.


On Saturday, my dad and I took a quick trip to Chicago as an early graduation gift. I shared everything we did and all of my pictures in Tuesday's blog post (so definitely check that out!) but wanted to share a few more of my favorites again.



Sunday morning, we were up bright and early to catch our flight and head back home to Charlotte. I shared the following picture in Tuesday's post as well but while we were landing, we were able to get some pretty good views of the Queen City. The photo, of course, doesn't do it justice but I figured I would share it anyways ;)


Sunday, of course, was Mother's Day so my family and I spent some quality time together celebrating my sweet mother. The weather was gorgeous so we were able to hang out by the pool before eating dinner!

love this picture of my mom and I from Easter this year! (lilly shift + similar sunglasses + watch + similar purse)

Sunday night, we did our Senior Prank, which was honestly so much fun. Most of my grade came and we managed to come up with a fairly elaborate prank and accomplish it within 2 hours. I took a few more pictures than this but these are the ones that don't reveal too much about my school or other people in them haha. One of the things we did was fill a baby pool up with water in the main commons of our school and fill it with fish!



Monday was Senior Skip Day at my school and I had a rather laid back day, which was nice after a busy weekend. I slept in, went to a barre class, ran some errands, worked on my blog posts for the week, and was able to get ahead on a few things as well!

Tuesday morning was our Senior Scholarship Breakfast so we all wore our college shirts and ate a yummy Panera breakfast before school began. This week has been so nice as it's been full of fun memories with my grade, which is perfect with graduation quickly approaching.

I had my last essay of the year for AP Lang due on Tuesday night so I worked on that throughout the day and then also nannied in the afternoon.

Since this is my last week of class, I've had quite a few assignments to work on and turn in this week, making things a bit more busy. On both Wednesday and Thursday, I had meetings for Service Committee and NHS, which is so bittersweet as I know my time in those organizations has come to a close. I also nannied both days in the afternoon.


On my Radar:

1. SUMMER! As I mentioned earlier, today is my last day of class so other than an exam I may have to take (keep your fingers crossed for me haha), it's officially summer. I've been slacking off a bit on being active on social media lately since the end of senior year was so busy but be sure to follow along on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest as I plan on being more active since I now have more time to spend on them (especially on Instagram + Instagram stories!).

2. Loved Caroline's recap of the Kentucky Derby!

3. All the #HouseGoals right here

4. Love this adorable outfit with navy and white stripes on Annaliese, plus the background is stunning!

5. Have y'all seen that Reese Witherspoon's Draper James line is now at Nordstrom? My favorites are this tunic, this top, this printed tee, and this dress!

6. My friend Amy wrote a letter to her college after graduating last weekend, which I thought was such a cute post!

7. Obsessed with Shannon's new blog design- it's way too pretty!


Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Final Exams Study Tips

Summer is just around the corner and that means everyone's favorite week of the year is too: finals. Even though I'm a senior and I can exempt out of most of my finals, I may still have to take a final next week so I'm right in the boat of prepping for that. Finals may not be the most fun time of the year but, thankfully, after you finish them, summer is all yours, which is the perfect motivation.

After four years of taking high school finals, I figured that I would share my tips & tricks to share with y'all to help you finish out the semester strong.


image via from my bedroom redesign reveal last summer

Get enough sleep
Students typically don't associate sleep with finals week but it's so important in doing your best on the test. Even if it means sacrificing a bit of study time, be sure to get to bed somewhat early.

Study in order of the schedule of your exams
My school sets up exam week in that you have (or should have) two exams everyday. I find it really helpful to first study for whatever exam you have first and then study for the second exam as it is obviously going to be before the other exam. In terms of looking at exam week as a whole, I would prioritize studying for those first exams to ensure I'm properly prepared.

Be prepared the day of
On the day of an exam, I always make sure to double-check I have everything I need for the exam: pencils, pens, erasers, calculator (for math), a sweatshirt, etc. I also make sure I have a few extra pencils and pens to ensure that I don't run into any additional issues during the test. Being prepared helps to decrease stress as you won't be running around trying to find a number two pencil two minutes before the test starts.

Make a study guide
Some classes will require that you make a study guide but if they don't, make one anyways. Write down key concepts, equations to know, summaries of the chapter, problems from old quizzes or tests, etc. Writing everything down serves as another way of studying information and a study guide gives you something to review as well.

Take advantage of in-class review sessions
Most of my teachers review with us before exams and it's so important to pay attention and participate during these. Most of the time (in my experience), the teacher will include information that will be on the test and even if it's not identical, it's helpful in terms of recalling information.

Study with friends
Whether this means heading to Panera to all study together or working through a pile of flash cards with a friend, making studying more of a social activity makes it a bit more enjoyable. Studying with friends also may help in remembering forgotten information, "do you remember, how to do this??" and can help in working out tricky review problems.

Eat breakfast the day of
Don't let yourself get hungry in the middle of the test because that's so distracting for yourself. Be sure to eat a yummy breakfast the morning of!

Don't stress too much
I know it may not seem this way now, but it's just one test. It's healthy to stress but don't stress too much. If you find yourself getting too stressed, take a break and relax. You will thank yourself later and you will probably do better on your test since you won't be freaking out about it.

Utilize resources
Watch videos if you forget how about a particular topic in the course. Use quizlet. There's so many resources out there to help you and finals is the perfect time to use those to save time and energy.


Do you have any other tips for final exams? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Nobody's Perfect

One thing that constantly comes to mind while reading other blogs or looking at someone else's Instagram is, "omg, her life looks perfect". It's been said that our Instagrams are our highlight reel of our lives while the behind-the-scenes are still hidden away but how often do we believe that? Not very often.


Instagram and blogging often glamorizes all of our lives. The struggles we all face are hidden away behind pictures that make you believe the girl behind the Instagram is a fabulous jet-setter who doesn't have a care in the world, a college student who always has it together, or a fashionista who always looks great. When you look only at that aspect of someone, it's so easy to feel like you don't measure up.

Despite how often we update our social media, we purposely leave the messy parts of life out. You know what I'm talking about: the moment when you're almost late to school and you run frantically down the hallway trying to avoid a tardy. Or when your hair is in a bun because you haven't washed it in a few days. Or when you stay up late doing calculus homework and are two minutes away from tearing out your hair. Or when you're dealing with friend drama. You get the idea.

I read Emily Ley's Grace, Not Perfection over the weekend while traveling and it really struck the cord with me that life is supposed to be messy and imperfect. Yes, a messy life can be frustrating. It doesn't come with all of the Instagram follows and the "oh my gosh, you're goals" comments. But it's pretty rewarding at the same time.

The low moments make the highs feel even higher and isn't that better than a perfect life where you never hit the lows but never hit the highs? And trust me, everyone experiences those low moments where things don't go your way but those aren't documented on blogs or social media like the highs are.

I've fallen into the trap of looking for perfection so many times. I'm a perfectionist and it's so easy to compare what you're going through to what others display about their lives, usually on social media. Despite what my blog or Instagram may show you, I'm far from perfect too. I don't always walk out the door looking perfectly put together or know what I'm doing 100% of the time. The pressure to be perfect is real and in all honesty, nobody's perfect.

This post is bit more wordy and random than usual but it's so important to think about (especially the next time you're wearing workout clothes again with messy hair wondering how everyone else has the time to have it all be "together").

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Chicago Recap

If you follow along on Instagram or Twitter, you know that last weekend I was in Chicago for a quick visit. My dad surprised me with the trip as an early graduation present and we had such a fun time. We arrived early Saturday and left Sunday morning, so it was a quick trip but I have so many pictures that I figured that I would do a recap post rather than include in Friday's My Chic Week post.

We had an early morning flight on Saturday so we could spend more time in the city, which meant I had to get up at 5 AM. It, thankfully, wasn't too bad and we grabbed Starbucks at the airport, which helped a lot too.

The flight itself wasn't bad at all- I picked up Emily Ley's Grace, Not Perfection for the trip so between reading that and watching Gossip Girl, the trip was so quick.


Once we got to Chicago, we checked into the hotel, dropped off our bags, and then headed down to the Bean. I've seen so many Instagrams of the Bean that I wanted to go and, of course, get a picture. It was a pretty easy walk to the Bean from our hotel and we stopped at the bridge overlooking the water, which is right next to the Trump building as well.

This was the view from the hotel room- so pretty!


My dad was a bit skeptical about what the Bean was but it was so much fun to see in person. It is a very touristy part of Chicago but it was a lot of fun to take lots of pictures and selfies in front of it.






After seeing the Bean, we walked back up the Magnificent Mile and did a little shopping before brunch. My family always loves visiting Dylan's Candy Bar when we are in New York so my dad and I were surprised and excited to see that they have a Chicago location. We picked out lots of candy and then hung out at the hotel for a bit.

We had brunch at the Signature Room at the Hancock Building, which was incredible. The views were absolutely stunning and the food was amazing too. They had a buffet full of delicious foods and desserts and you can choose an entree as well. My dad and I both had the Fried Chicken and Waffles, which was so good.




After eating way too much, we decided to do a bit of shopping. Our first stop was Tory Burch, where I tried on and loved this beautiful dress. Unfortunately, the only size they had in the store was a bit too small and it's sold out online. Still super cute though!


We then went to Kate Spade where I found this dress that I decided to wear for my Baccalaureate Mass next month. The sales girls in Kate Spade were so sweet and it was so fun shopping there.

I also wanted to shop at Vineyard Vines and I found a few pieces that I knew I had to try on. The store was so cute and even though there was a line for the dressing rooms, it went by quickly. I wound up purchasing this dress as I thought it would be so cute for grad parties and then for my trip to Kiawah in June.

top ⎢dress


After shopping at Vineyard Vines, we walked around for a while before stopping into Kendra Scott. I didn't wind up buying anything there but I did run into Megan of Bowtiful Life. She was so nice and it was fun to meet her "in person" after reading her blog for so long. J. Crew was in the same area as Kendra Scott so I decided to stop in there as well. I was so excited to discover that the Chicago store carries the J. Crew x New Balance collection since my local J. Crew doesn't carry it. I bought these adorable striped cropped leggings and I've already worn them haha. We decided to go to Nordstrom as our last store of the day since it was close to the hotel. The Chicago Nordstrom is ginormous so we only walked around for a few minutes since there was so much to look at and so many people there haha.

We then headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner and relax a little bit after walking so much (I seriously walked 20,000 steps according to my Fitbit).

We had dinner at Lawry's, which definitely was an experience to say the least. Our food was pretty good but the experience overall was just pretty interesting. The menu is pretty limited so if you're a picky eater like I am, this probably isn't the best restaurant for you. Even though this wasn't our favorite restaurant of the trip, my dad and I laugh looking back on it.

Since we had another early flight the next morning, we went to bed fairly early on Saturday night, which was definitely a good call.

We were up bright and early to head back to Charlotte so while I packed, my dad went to get coffee from the lobby. We took an Uber to the airport and then hung out for a bit as we had some extra time before boarding began.


The flight was thankfully another easy one and we were back in Charlotte before we knew it. We had some pretty incredible views of Charlotte as we landed, which was fun to see as typically I don't get to see a good skyline view flying back into Charlotte.



Have you been to Chicago before? What was your favorite part of visiting? Let me know in the comments!