Hamilton in Chicago

My girlfriends Brittney, Emma, and I are MASSIVE fans of Hamilton. You’ve heard of the tiny musical called Hamilton right? *wink.*

We have been listening to the music, and coveting tickets for what feels liks years. Finally, the stars aligned and over coffee one morning we decided it was time to make our musical dreams come true.

We bought tickets for a Saturday matinée show, with plans to drive into Chicago in the morning, watch Hamilton, and then drive back home.

Such a special day, needs an equally special dress: The Marilyn Gal Meets Glam Collection dress.


It’s easy elegance, wraps you in its silky silhouette giving you instant 1940s glam. The material is light, flowy, and perfect from taking you from brunch, to a show, to out on the town.


I paired it with these easy sandals, and for an extra special vintage flair, my Great Grandmother’s handbag from the 1950s.

Chicago11Chicago12Chicago10Chicago13The details of the dress are breathtaking. Julia (Gal Meets Glam) absolutely nailed the look and feel of classic elegance. The dress doesn’t wear you, YOU wear the dress, and you instantly feel like the most interesting girl in the world!

Marilyn Gal Meets Glam Dress | Strappy Sandals | Purse (Vintage) 

I highly recommend looking at her collection and purchasing a dress. I know it’s definitely going to be a staple in this blogger’s wardrobe.

When we arrived, we started off with brunch at The Dearborn. If you’re ever in Chicago check out this restaurant. The food is amazing, the staff are wonderful, and the mimosa’s are to die for. It’s the perfect trifecta.

After stuffing ourselves to the brim, we walked around the city, and of course having our photo shoot fun.


I definitely feel like a fish in the right water when I am in a big city. Can you tell by my cheeser grins?!

Finally, the moment had arrived. We were giddy school girls, young, scrappy, hungry, and ready for the musical to blow us all away.


The Schuyler Sisters! WORK!


Not throwing away my shot!


In the room where it happened….I was left speechless. The show was everything I had ever hoped it would be. The cast was amazing (Shout out to George Washington!), the set was beautiful, the execution flawless, the tears were flowing; I was and still am stunned.

If you haven’t listened to the music, or if you are unfamiliar with the story of our founding father, Alexander Hamilton, I recommend you immediately educate yourself. You will be blown away, by the story and Lin- Manuel Miranda’s music.

*Pro tip- No matter where you see it, bring the tissues. You’ll thank me later!

Absolutely high on life, and with puffy eyes, we made our way to one last stop. Magnolia Bakery. They are famous for their banana pudding, and other treats. Dessert and coffee give me life. Can you tell?


What a perfect end to the perfect day. I love my ladies so much, and I can’t wait for our next adventure.

Have you seen Hamilton yet or do you have any tips on where I should go in Chicago next? Let me know your thoughts below!

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UnBelizable Ending

Do yourself a favor and book all your snorkeling trips with Island Dream Tours. Our first day we were laying out on our dock, we heard the speech of Kevin from Island Dream Tours, and Alyse and I knew we had to book a day trip with them. They were full until our last full day, we jumped on the opportunity and booked the ‘Chill Cruise’ and spoiler alert it was easily the best part of the trip.

The chill cruise included:

  • Food all day
  • Full bar
  • Snorkling at Hol Chan & Shark Ray Alley
  • Anchor at a Chill Spot to Relax

We gathered on the dock early Thursday morning to listen to Kevin speak about Belize. This is a country that runs on its tourism revenue. The country is simply not big enough for them to cultivate more exports. The ocean is how the people of this country make their living, both on the islands and on the mainland. However, there is a serious issue. The ocean and wildlife are not respected: Trash lines the beaches, seaweed lies in heaps at the edge of the water, the smells are nauseating, and now the Belizean government could begin off shore oil drilling.

This ‘quick fix’ would hardly be worth it, in terms of income and would destroy the reef, the wildlife, and the major tourism draw. We need to do something about this. Kevin encouraged us to take photos with the ‘No means no for oil drilling sign,’ and share on our social media.

So photos we took and share we did.

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Island Dreams didn’t just educate us about the dangers of oil drilling, feed us, and keep the booze flowing, they even had underwater camera for us to use! They uploaded them to a drop box and e-mailed us the link a week or so later, and the results were awesome.

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Shout out to Alyse for being the best photographer ever!

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She’s an actual mermaid!

L.L. Bean Rashguard | When I say you need these shirts, you really need these shirts! We wore these snorkeling a few times and NEVER burned on our backs. It’s a must for any tropical vacation.

After our amazing snorkeling visits in Hol Chan & Shark Ray alley (Which are a must if you are traveling to Belize) we enjoyed a relaxing cruise to our ‘Chill spot.’ Hence the name, the ‘Chill Cruise.’

We dropped anchor in a beautiful area, with clear waist deep water. I mean look at the color. How could you resist?

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We floated, swam, and drank in the warm water soaking in our last of the tropical sun.

I of course, could not resist a photo shoot in this fantastic vintage inspired bikini.

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High Waisted Bikini (AMAZING PRICE!) | Floppy Hat | Sunglasses

The light peachiness of the suit compliments your tan, making you positively radiate with a summer glow. The rouching of the bottoms hides any tummy problems, and the top pushes the girls up making you feel like Marilyn Monroe.

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Soon it was time to go, and we cruised back to the dock, with new friends in tow.

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If traveling has taught me anything, It’s that the world is an amazing place. How could you not smile? What traveling also brings is a responsibility to raise awareness and be a voice. No means no for oil drilling! We only have one planet, and we need to protect it. We are all humans and we all share this earth. Let’s be a voice and protect what we have to others may enjoy traveling for generations to come.

This bloggers advice for Belize?

  • Get a Rashguard shirt. You will thank me after a few days of snorkeling.
  • If you are not staying at a resort, be prepared for the reality of the dirty shore. The beaches are not usable, unless at a resort.
  • Bring cash! They accept USD, so bring it. Most places do accept major credit cards, but cash is so much easier.
  • Try and book your day adventures before hand, especially if you are going in tourist season (January- April).
  • Have I said sunscreen and after sun lotion yet? No! Well bring them! Sun bum is my personal favorite for both products.
  • If your staying on San Pedro, definitely book Island Dream Tours ‘Yolo’ Boat trips. The crew is fantastic, you are well taken care of, and it’s a BLAST. I would return to go on more trips with this company.

Overall it was an amazing vacation, with amazing people, and I will cherish it forever!

Have you ever been to Central America? If so, where? If you could go once place in Central America, where would you go?

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Belizean Mermaid

I want to be where the people are, I want to see, want to see them dancing!

There’s something magical about putting on a swimsuit. What adds to that magic? A tropical and breathtaking view. As you take in the beauty of the water,  you can almost feel your fins.  The sound of the water, calms you, and calls you to the sea.

Maybe it’s just me, but Gingham ALWAYS taps into my inner Disney princess.  This classic one piece surprises with a deliciously low back.

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Gingham Swimsuit | Hat | Sunglasses 

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What a view.

If there is one thing that Belize does right, it’s water, calling me home.

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Altun Ha, Belize

When my friend Alyse asked me if I wanted to go to Belize, I said YES. With that emphasis too.

If you’ve heard anything about the midwest this winter, it’s been awful. Cold, snow, ice, wind, and unrelenting. I was in need of the sun and good times with friends.

We arrived a Friday afternoon, hoped the water taxi to San Pedro, and found our hotel. After we got settled we just had to Instagram the sunset.

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Belize is a small but interesting country. A part of the ancient Mayan civilization the country has a few temples you can visit. We jumped at the chance to visit the ruins and chose a package that offered cave tubing as well.  “Inland and Sea Adventures” on San Pedro coordinated the trip for us. I would NOT recommend this company, except for this tour. They are extremely disorganized and frankly a little rude. HOWEVER, our tour guide, Nuri, was an absolute delight.

After a water taxi ride back to the mainland, we met Nuri at the port. A native to Belize City, he was not only extremely educated about Belize, but the Mayan civilization as well. He taught us all about the creole language on our way to Altun Ha.

I’m not going to lie, you need to book this through a tour company. The roads are quite rough, and this is a more accessible temple!  I mean if you are really adventurous and are an expert driver, maybe, but be prepared. It’s worse than Michigan roads, which is saying a lot.

Once we arrived, we eagerly hopped out of the truck ready to transport ourselves to the time of the Mayans.

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I of course, went full tourist….

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Since we were cave tubing in the afternoon, I opted for this cute one piece and my favorite pair of running shorts. The tennis shoes are also water shoes, and a MUST. They were $20 and amazingly comfortable while I trekked all over the ruins and eventually through the Mayan Underworld.

Water Shoes | Scalloped One Piece | Shorts | Hat

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The site was breathtaking. These structures are hundreds of years old, but the architecture is sophisticated.

It is believed this was a religious city, and yes this was a city, and it was BOOMING.

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Pretty cool right? Probably fragile right? Nope, we get to climb them!

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This is the main temple. It’s significance? Well not only is it the temple on the Belikin Beer logo (The official beer of Belize)


But it is in fact the temple where they discovered the biggest piece of carved jade in Mayan history.

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She’s a beauty, isn’t she? Want to see some spectacular views?

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Well, let’s go for a climb.

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These babies are my new favorite, and they do not look like regular doppy water shoes…uhhh unless your into that sort of thing. For me, I am a little more high maintance with my shoes and I want style and comfort.

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This is a replica of the jade head. As I am sure you read in the picture *eyebrow wiggle* it is priceless and kept locked away for obvious reasons.

After a few hours at the ruins, we hopped back in the car and drove to hell.

I did not get any pictures cave tubing as I did not want to ruin any of our electronics, but I can tell you it was a lot of fun! We literally trekked through the jungle, hauling our tubes and helmets, and stared the ‘Mayan Underworld’ in the face. An ancient giant cave, filled with fresh cold water, and ghostly shadows. Spooky right?

All in all, it was an amazing day trip. This bloggers advice?

  • Inland and Sea Adventures for ONLY this tour. Request Nuri, as he was amazing.
  • Wear your water shoes and swimsuit.
  • Bring an extra pair of clothes. You will get wet in the cave and it is not fun to sit in the van with soggy bottoms.
  • Sunscreen, sunscreen. That tropical sun is a killer and it was HOT at the ruins.

Have you ever been to ancienct ruins before? Let me know in the comments below!

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Linens in Lavender

When I saw an ad on Facebook for a Lavender Festival I immediately called my mom and said, “We’re going!”

An afternoon wandering around a Lavender farm full of artisan vendors, music, and lavender infused food and drinks? Yes, please.

The 15th Annual Michigan Lavender Fest is in Armada, Michigan. This festival was July 14- 16 weekend. The theme this year was ‘A Symphony of the Senses.” My mom and I woke up early and made the drive, giddy to see (and smell) all of the Lavender. The festival opened at 10 a.m. and I was very thankful we got there early. The crowds were already fairly large, but we didn’t mind.

This festival does have a $7 admission fee, but the parking is free and many vendors give free samples, along with demonstrations.

We headed in, and were tickled pink…er lavender…at all amazing floras.

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Fresh bundles were around every corner, scenting the summer breeze with their soothing smell. It was magical.

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On top of all the amazing soaps, scrubs and fresh flowers were the decadent treats. We gorged ourselves on lavender shortbread (incredible!), lavender sugar cookies, lavender lemonade, lavender ice cream, lavender granola, lavender balsamic vinegar, and lavender fudge. To say that I was a happy camper, is an understatement.

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Bellies full, we decided it was time to head to the ‘U-Pick’ Lavender farm. We hopped on the tracker anticipating fields of purple to waltz around in like a girl in the french country side. What we were met with was a small plot of land that had been fairly picked over…

My favorite quote of the day went something like this:

  • Me: “Oh…there it is.”
  • Mom: “Where?”
  • Me: “Right there, were those people are standing.”
  • Mom: “Where?”

I am going to be honest, this was fairly disappointing. However, that doesn’t mean we didn’t make the most of our time in that fragrant field. Like learning this cool factoid, did you know there are three types of lavender? I didn’t!

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The field may have been disappointing in person, but it sure did photograph well.

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This linen dress is my new summer favorite. It’s light, airy and long enough to romp around in and not have to worry about anything. Basically, I am buying it in every color.

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Dress — Sandals (similar) Sunglasses (similar)Earrings

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The ‘U- Pick’ field cost $5 for 25- 26 stems of lavender. My mom and I decided this was not a good deal, and made of most of our bundles of lavender for photos.

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Stocked to the brim with bunches of lavender, food, and other goodies we said our goodbyes to the fragrant farm and headed home.

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So, would I recommend this festival? Absolutely! It’s fun and you will leave feeling utterly relaxed after a day in the sun with lavender wafting through the breeze. However, don’t expect any giant fields, it’s truly only a plot.

If you are interested in learning more check out their website here: Michigan Lavender Festival. Some quick tips, get there early, bring a basket (especially if you want to buy bundles of lavender), and don’t forget the sunscreen! No need to worry about cash, the parking is free and all the vendors and the farm except credit cards.

I think this may be a new annual event for me. I am feeling lavender blue dilly dilly.

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Maxi’s at Magnolia

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Any fans of Fixer Upper and Chip & Joanne Gaines? Raise your hand.

*pssst….My hands are frantically waving in the air*

While in Fort Worth over the Fourth of July holiday, I decided that I absolutely had to make the drive down to Waco (only and hour and a half) to visit the mecca of HGTV. Yes, THE Magnolia Silos. I left before dawn in hopes to get there right at 7:30 a.m. when the bakery opens, slide through the line and make my through the rest of Magnolia. As I approached the destination with a maniacal laugh, praising myself that my evil plan had worked I noticed the line…oh boy.

Dazed, I made my way past the Cross Fit store in search of parking. Here is a tip, DO NOT pay the $10 the church and other stores are charging to park in their lots. There is free parking behind the cross fit building and it is owned by Magnolia.

Easily sliding into a spot, I grabbed my hat and clutch and made my way to The Silo lawn just as dawn broke.

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Quite scenic right?

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Another tip, if you are not used to the Texas heat you need to get to The Silos at 7:30 a.m. I was thankful I had a hat, maxi dress, and sunscreen on, it was roasting and it wasn’t the delicious bakery and coffee shop either, it was me! Make sure you are prepared. I can only imagine what it is like in the late morning/afternoon. Get there early, it is worth it to watch the sun come up over the peaks.

When in Rome, do as the Roman’s do. Sweet little dress right? Light, airy, but still sexy and sophisticated. It’s the perfect summer dress.

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Dress Hat (similar)Sandals (similar)

The bakery opens at 7:30 a.m. Monday to Saturday while the rest of the stores do not open until 9:00 a.m. Having took my fill of pictures, I planted myself in line ready to devour the infamous Silos Bakery cupcakes for breakfast.

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The line is quick-moving as you have to fill out these cards before you enter the actual store.

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After about a 45 minute wait, I placed my order, got my Banana Creme and Lavender Lemon Cupcake and headed out to the Magnolia Seed and Supply Garden. Here, I ate my cupcake (yes it was amazing) and waltzed around the flowers.

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Throughly sugared out, I headed toward the shining beckon of The Silos of course is the Magnolia Store.

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If I thought the line to the bakery was bad, you should have seen my face when I saw the line to this storefront. Do not despair the store is actually much larger than it appears and I only waited in this line for about 10 minutes.

There is so much to see and do in the store, I did not snap any pictures as I was busy shopping. However, this is a MUST if you are a fan of Joanne’s style and aesthetic. I snatched up a few things for my mom (and of course a few things for me) and decided to say adieu.

Stuffed with cupcakes and home goods I raced back to my car to escape the ever climbing temperature and growing crowds.

This is a must for any visit to Texas. It’s family friendly, beautiful, and one of a kind. I left feeling radiant! Don’t forget this bloggers tips: Free parking is available and get there early to beat the crowds and heat.

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