Packing for Rome

I’ve mentioned before that I love planning outfits for vacations, and I have a feeling that my honeymoon will be my favorite trip to pack for yet! Since we’re going to be doing a pretty big variety of activities–from walking around the city, to visiting churches, to going on boat trips, I’m doing my best to plan extra strategically. When packing for a long trip, a few tips I like to keep in mind are to pack in a similar color scheme (or one that can be easily mixed and matched), and to bring pieces that can be worn in multiple ways. I also always come up with specific outfits before the trip so that I can see any holes in my packing list–I hate getting to my destination and coming up with the perfect look for the day, only to find that a belt or necklace that would complete it is back at home!

Packing for Rome

Fingers crossed, the temperature in Rome will be perfect when we’re there–warm, but not too humid yet. My goal is to look polished, spring-appropriate, and chic, while still being comfortable enough for lots of walking and time outside. When I sifted through some of the looks I’ve gathered for inspiration, a few themes were readily apparent: ladylike dresses, button down shirts, and of course, lots of stripes.

ladylike dressesVogue, Ivory Lane

button downsVogue, Gal Meets Glam

stripesKelly Golightly, The Fresh Exchange

With that in mind, here are a few pieces that I own and will be packing, or have put on my wish list!

Rome packing list

Chambray shirtdress, straw hatstriped dresswhite button down, blue linen skirt, lace shift dresswayfarer sunglasses, leather sandals, leather flatscuff braceletgold sandals

Stay tuned for my packing list and inspiration for the second week of our trip (in Lake Como!) next! :)

Our Honeymoon! Where We’re Going

I’ve had a countdown till our wedding on my phone for months, but you know what I forget about sometimes? The fact that the very next day, Dave and I are headed off for our honeymoon!! I am GIDDY with excitement about where we’re going–we share a passion for Europe, so we knew immediately that we wanted to take this opportunity to go on a trip there. We toyed with the idea of going back to Austria, where we met, but decided to mix it up a little with another place that is super meaningful to us. Even though we officially met in Austria, the first night we ever really hung out was on a school trip to Rome. Some friends and I had gone to Cinque Terre while most of our class was in Rome, but we met up with everyone on the last night before we all headed to Assisi. A bunch of us spent the night running around the city until 4 A.M., and as you may have guessed, my future husband  was one of those people :) So, for our honeymoon, we’re so excited to be going back to Italy!!

We’re leaving the day after our wedding, flying into Milan (saving us a ton of money), and then hopping on a train to Rome. We have great memories of riding trains across Europe together during our semester abroad, so it seems like a fitting way to start the journey of our marriage. We’ll be spending a week in Rome, and since we’ve both been there a handful of times before, our plan is to revisit our favorite spots, wander aimlessly down the cobblestone streets, and eat lots and lots of pasta :) And of course, see the Pope!

rome-carin-olsson-4rome-carin-olsson-2rome-carin-olsson-3rome-carin-olsson-6All photos by the talented Carin Olsson of Paris in Four Months, via this, this, and this post

After a week in Rome, we’ll be going to a new place for both of us: Lake Como. Y’all…just look at these pictures. It seems so magical! We were originally thinking of going to the Amalfi Coast, but with our flights and schedule, Lake Como made more sense, and I’m excited to go somewhere that’s a bit less tourist-y. For this leg of our trip, we’re renting an AirBNB apartment, and we’re planning to relax, do tons of exploring, cook up meals in our little kitchen with farmer’s market goodies, and drink wine on our porch. I. Cannot. Wait. :)

lake como 4lake como 1lake como 5Photos by Claire Graham via Style Me Pretty Living

To get my mind off of the ice and cold we’re experiencing this week, I’ve started brainstorming what to pack for our two-week trip. I love planning travel outfits and will be sharing some of my inspiration next week–stay tuned!

Have you ever been to either of these places? I’d love to hear any recommendations–from pizzerias, to gelato shops, to cute streets to walk down! :)

Five Looks: Casual Valentine’s Day

As much as I love Valentine’s Day, the idea of putting on a cocktail dress in the cold and then fighting the crowds at a restaurant is less than appealing. Instead, my kind of Valentine’s Day date is casual, fun, and inexpensive, but still special. Even a pretty ordinary activity can turn into a memorable date if you treat it like one, so plan ahead, keep your phones put away, and get a little dressed up. :) Here are five looks that would be perfect for a low-key date tomorrow!

The Everygirl Gal Meets Glam Refinery 29 Make Life Easier Design DarlingThe Everygirl, Gal Meets Glam, Refinery 29, Make Life Easier, Design Darling

I love that all of these outfits are cozy and seasonal, but still festive, thanks to a few purposeful pops of pink (from blush to salmon to hot pink). Looking for something to do in one of these cute outfits? Here are a few ideas:

1. Cook together. Bonus points for choosing a recipe from a cookbook instead of the internet and shopping for ingredients together.

2. Play tourist in your own city. Look up the top attractions in your city on Trip Advisor or and check a few off of your list.

3. Instead of going out for dinner, get up early and meet for breakfast! I love this idea–being out and about early on a weekend morning is so peaceful, and it would be such a sweet way to start the day.

4. Take a day trip. Pick a small town or attraction within an hour of where you live and go exploring.

5. Snuggle up in a bookstore. Get lattes, sit close, and flip through magazines or books together. I love doing this in the travel section and dreaming about future trips!

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends! What are your plans for tomorrow? Dave won’t tell me anything about what we’re doing (except that he’s cooking dinner–yay!), so I’m excited to see what he has up his sleeve!

February Inspirations

At a work dinner last year, my coworkers and I played a little game, answering the question “If someone was a holiday, what would they be?” It’s fun–try it! When it came to me, there was little hesitation–Valentine’s Day was the unanimous decision, and I’d have to agree. I’ve always loved February 14, whether I was single and baking pink-frosted cupcakes for my friends, or now, excitedly anticipating a surprise date with my fiancé. The abundance of love letters, sweet treats, and things that are pink (all of which fall into my favorite things category) make getting through this late winter month so much more bearable!

February inspirations

Wear: As soon as January ends, I start craving spring like crazy–and while in most places I’ve lived, I haven’t had to wait much longer for warmer days, that’s not quite the case in North Carolina! I’m bridging the gap between the need to stay warm and my desire for spring by living in cozy sweaters paired with pastels (these earrings and this nail polish are my current staples). (Photo: Helena La Petite)

Eat: This is more of a “I wish I was eating” because pizza is on the no-fly list until I’m on my honeymoon! Wouldn’t this heart-shaped pizza from How Sweet It Is be perfect for a cozy Valentine’s Day dinner in?

Live: I love this picture because at first glance, it looks like a really girly kitchen, but if you cover up the candy pink blooms, it’s perfectly neutral! I’ll definitely be bringing this little trick into Dave and I’s future married apartment. (Photo: Our House)

Decorate: When it comes to decorating for February 14, I like to keep it simple and sweet: a heart garland, an arrangement of mismatched pink blooms, and a bowl of Hershey kisses in a glass bowl. Done and done! (Photo: Lauren Kinsey via Wedding Chicks)

Celebrate: My high school girlfriends and I used to throw an annual Valentine’s Day party, and every year, I get a little nostalgic for our girly gatherings. This party on Camille Styles is chock-full of “Galentine’s Day” inspiration. (Photo: Christie Graham)

Buy: West Elm makes my favorite coffee mugs, and when they come out with their Valentine’s Day mugs every year, I make sure to snap up a few to add to my collection!

Your turn! What are you wearing/eating/decorating with/celebrating/buying this month?

February Goals

I have been having a bit of a hard time setting my goals for this month. With our long engagement, I’ve had lots of time to procrastinate a little when it came to our wedding, but now that it’s three months away, I’m starting to feel the pressure. Don’t get me wrong, it’s all good things and I’m so happy to be doing it! But it does mean that some of my personal goals are being put on the back burner. I believe wholeheartedly in enjoying your engagement and putting the number one focus on growing in your relationship and your relationships with God, but sometimes, you have to put “plan our wedding!” next on the list, and that is not a bad thing! Therefore, I’m keeping my personal goal list short and sweet this month, based on the things that matter most, and diving into wedding to-dos as well (which you can read about here).

blush-centerpieceFlowers I arranged at work with the help of my wedding florist!

February goals

  • Prayer journal at least three times a week
  • Go to Confession and a Holy Hour with Dave
  • Reread Love and Responsibility
  • Complete the Tone It Up Love Your Body series and start their Bridal Edition
  • Run 40 miles (I finished January at 35, my highest mileage month ever!)
  • Clean out my closet and donate/sell items I no longer wear (left over from January)
  • Celebrate Valentine’s Day!