As helpful as our technology is in keeping us connected to the world, we can so easily misplace or lose our phone, iPads, Kindles, etc. I like to find fun, functional and unique cases for my accessories that help differentiate mine from others’. My iPhone 6 case can be found here which I liked because of how colorful and inviting it appears, but is also fun because it’s designed to stick to surfaces like glass/mirrors. For those of you who create videos or take a lot of selfies, this case can be helpful for you (this, this and this one are also fun designs that also stick). My marbled Kindle case is the Finite smartshell case (found on Amazon.com). Agate coasters were found at TJ Maxx (old, but almost exact pattern found here, but this is a more affordable option).
My love for stripes is no secret, and this striped Trina Turk Camellias dress is just perfect for date night (currently sold out, but can rent here). I also love this or this similar short sleeve option, but for under $100 I like this, this or this option. Bag, Gucci (found here).
My lace bell sleeve top is by Nicholas, can rent here. I love lace tops for summer because they add such a beautiful detail to a plain white top. Similar, cheaper options found here and here. I also love tank top options like this and this for the extra hot summer days. When choosing the right lace top for summer, the weight of the fabrics can vary a lot from light to heavy (thin to thick) whereas a lighter material would be good for day and a heavier, thicker top would be great for night. Lace tops add such a perfect romantic detail to your outfit and I’m also loving this season’s off-shoulder style like this and this one.
Black scallop-hem shorts, J. Crew. Small ark bag, Cult Gaia found here. For more white lace top options under $100, see below:
I’m loving this comfortable, breezy white lace maxi skirt from Astr which is just perfect for hot summer days. It not only has beautiful lace details along them line, but also pockets. It is lined, so isn’t very see-through unless you like to wear bright color undergarments despite wearing white. I am 5’2″ and it hits my ankles, which is just perfect for me. This skirt also runs true to size, I’m wearing a S comfortably with a little room to spare and probably could have gone XS but didn’t want to push it. Metallic navy t-shirt, old from J. Crew (similar plain navy option found here or similar metallic option found here). Red sandals, found here.
I recently (finally!) made it to Palm Springs, California which was on my bucket list. I had a few people ask in confusion what exactly was there to see- but for those who have been there, know that it is just a beautiful place. I love a good change in scenery and the sand, desert and mix of palm trees and cactus was just so interesting to me as well as of course, the popular windmills! Despite others’ confusion with my pick, I didn’t let that slow me down from getting there and would encourage all of you to fulfill your dreams. I also believe it makes life not only more interesting, but also more fulfilling and rewarding to create and accomplish your goals and dreams. So below, are my tips on how I make my goals more realistic and attainable:
Set 6-month goals: These are short-term goals that are more easily accomplished over a weekend or day trip, and will tend to be the least expensive. In terms of a location distance, I typically consider this less than 5-6 hours away at the most and somewhere I can drive to after work and make it there by midnight. This allows me enough time to enjoy the weekend and be back by Monday morning. These may include going to the ‘top rated’ restaurant in town, gathering all your family for a get-together or weekend trip, or going to an amusement park. If a flight is involved, I typically consider this under 2 hours so that you could fly out either on a Friday night after work or first thing Saturday morning where you won’t miss much from the day.
Set 1-year goals: These are goals that will require some planning, usually due to cost and/or distance. This goal may include flying (and taking a trip) to the other side of the country. As someone who works a 9-5 life, I consider these trips over a 2-hour flight since it may require more than a couple days off from work to allow enough time to sightsee. For me, I would love to travel long-distance and see Japan or return to Italy and this may be considered more of a 1-3 year time bracket. In terms of cost and planning, I like to work towards something (aside from working hard to pay off student loans- which should be #1 goal) meaning that working towards a fun goal like a vacation really helps push me to save even more. For example when I went to Italy last year (my ultimate bucket list item), I started cleaning out my closet and selling items I really didn’t wear (ever) anymore and also gave up the expensive coffee-on-the-go habit. The Starbucks drink may be cute and tasty, but it’s typically just not worth it and quickly adds up at the end of the month ($$$). Last year, my work required me to be in a different location most days so it was easier to buy lunch out, but I started packing lunches to save. These seem like small and negligible costs, but they really do add up. Every time I considered making a purchase, I would ask myself if it was worth it because I could use that to pay for something towards Italy. I know some people would say that vacations are frivolous and costly (and sure, they can be) but for my personal well-being and happiness, I feel that they really restore you and allow you to restart and refresh. I also feel that life is short and unfortunate circumstances happen, so there is no better time than now.
Set 5+ year goals: These goals may include buying a house, having children, or taking a longer trip (2+ weeks). This might include a big family trip where it can be very hard to quickly coordinate so many individual work schedules and this would allow the time for it. I still encourage everyone to have had any and all loans paid off by this time before proceeding with a house or major trip. These goals are easily pushed off, but they are something to think about and remind yourself of every few months. As we all know, time goes by much faster than you think and this will creep upon you more quickly than you will imagine.
I hope these tips help and are simply how I personally break down my bucket list to make it more achievable. This of course may vary for you, but I wish and hope that all of you accomplish yours! I also recommend reviewing your bucket list every 6 months or after you accomplish one goal because your priorities may change.
I finally made it to one of my bucket list destinations- Palm Springs, California so when I spotted this palm tree skirt I knew it would be just perfect for my trip. Cheaper skirt alternatives with a palm print can be found here and here. I love wearing skirts when traveling because they can be breezy and comfortable but also easy to pack. My gold metallic linen t-shirt is old from J. Crew, but an almost identical version in a V-neck can be found here. Sandals by DV (found here). Alba hat, Cult Gaia. Bag, Gucci (found here).
This linen skirt can be paired with multiple tops to take it from day to night and is so comfortable. It runs true to size and is available in other colors like black, red, or pink. I’m loving this ruffle top for under $40, which runs true to size. My sandals can be found here and are comfortable for walking all day for those who just won’t wear sneakers when exploring. They also fit well for those who have wider feet. Black handbag, Le Parmentier (found here). Hat, Cult Gaia.
I’ve recently started wearing hats more now that it’s officially summer and with my dark hair, I really need some additional shading from the summer sun. This hat from Cult Gaia is my absolute favorite with the light pink ribbon trim adding just the right amount of feminine detail. I don’t usually spend more than $40 for hats, but this hat is such a higher quality that it held up during my travels. I’ve lost a few hats to wrinkling and loose threads, that I decided to give a more expensive hat a try for once hoping that it would hold up longer. When traveling, I usually wear long pants due to the air conditioning and the airplanes are always too cold for my comfort. I love these soft skinny jeans for less than $60 and are just the perfect length for my petite height (no hemming involved for once!). My lace tank is old, but similar options for under $60 found here, here, and here. I’m still loving these sandals for only $23, which are still comfortable and are my go-to daily sandal.
I am all about multi-function pieces and I like to bring a carry-on bag that can easily convert from a backpack to a cross body. My backpack is old and from Last Call Neiman Marcus, but similar options can be found here, here, here and here. Handbag is by Le Parmentier and was last seen here.
For more about my Le Parmentier handbag for those who love budget luxury pieces, visit this post.
For the girl who appreciates a good luxury handbag, I recently found this satchel bag from the brand Le Parmentier which I am loving. What I appreciate most is that this bag is well under $200 and both looks and feels like a much pricier bag. Over the years, my bags were getting larger and larger until it was getting out of hand and impractical, so I started downsizing to just the right size to carry reasonable items (wallet, small notebook, phone, makeup). I also threw this tropical scarf on as a fun, colorful accessory. I never understood why people added a scarf onto a bag other than for style, but it’s truly multifunctional if you need a last minute addition to a plain outfit or a quick headband on those hot summer days.
My olive linen skirt can be found here for only $35 and runs true to size (I’m wearing a size 2 with a little room for comfort). See below for more colors in my comfortable linen skirt. With my short height, I tend to lean toward skirts that have an interesting detail or tie waist to create a waist line. I’m still loving pearl sandals, mine are from Zara and just recently restocked (last seen here). My rose feather ring is from Pandora.
For those who aren’t able to globe trot all summer or who are looking for more wearable pieces, navy and stripes are great options that can take you from work to happy hour or even church to Sunday brunch. I recently traveled to Washington D.C. for a short 24 hours, but made sure to pack navy and stripes pieces with me like this navy tailored dress from Tory Burch (less expensive option found here). I also packed a long sleeve t-shirt striped navy dress (old, but similar found here or here). My cream espadrille J. Crew Factory wedges are so comfortable for doing a lot of walking in a small heel (only if you have to!). These are sold out, but I also love this similar pair in navy. Wedges are a great option if you know you’ll be doing a lot of walking because they give you much more stability (I’m a short gal, so I love the extra height!). Tip: When looking for wedges, also look for one with a round toe, which will be more comfortable. My convertible wicker tote is from Zara and sold out, but they recently released one in pink (last seen here) for less than $60.