Vacation Planning

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If you've been around me at all in the last month,  you've heard about one thing: our vacation! We booked another week-long cruise in May {read about our last adventure here}, and I cannot wait. I really really like cruising. For us, it just works. It's all-inclusiveness + the sheer amount of activities and entertainment make it a no-brainer, especially since not everyone can't be out in the sun as much as I can.

We're going on a Western Caribbean cruise on Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas, and will be stopping in Haiti, Jamaica, and Mexico. I like going in May because it's super warm, but not blisteringly hot just yet, and we shouldn't have to worry about any hurricanes either. If you've been on this boat or done this itinerary before, let me know some of your favorite can't miss spots or activities!

There's always a bunch of "what to pack" lists for cruises that are like, way too much stuff. I'm more concerned with the wardrobe for the week of course, so I threw together a quick list of my faves. 

1 & 2. Cute one pieces & shorts: Great for excursions and exploring your stops. No worrying about things becoming untied or slipping down when doing the various activities (Pink Ruffle Suit here) (Blue Off the Shoulder Suit here). I like pairing them with some cute shorts to create a cohesive look. Of course a cover up or caftan work as well, but sometimes with all the walking/climbing/etc., it's nice to have shorts.

I still love a good bikini for tanning, and usually find a great selection at Target. 

3. A Beach Bag: Mine is huge and monogrammed, but I saw this palm one at Belk this past weekend and loved the waterproof material as well as the exterior pockets! I use my beach bag to carry all my important stuff on and off the boat: meds, passport, wallet, etc. and then I reduce and put the beach towel in it when we are at our various destinations.  I use this in place of my traditional handbag and and camera bag for the week. 

4. Beach Towel Clips: It's windy on these giant ships. I've never brought the clips before, but I'm going to this time. I hate trying to lay out by the pool and the wind keeps whipping the towel into me the entire time. 

5. Fun Maxi Dress: This is the time to bring out all the fun summer wear, and a great palm print maxi like this one is perfect for the environment and the more formal nights. There's a ton of really cute palm/flamingo/lemon/fruit themed pieces out there this year, and vacation is the best time to wear something printed and fun!

6. Sunhat: No brainer, but it's hot and sunny whether you're on the boat or exploring the destination. These fun sunhats were all the rage last summer, and I've found these dupes for less than $20 with lots of fun sayings on them like "Alcohol You Later" and "Do Not Disturb." 

7. Sunnies: Same with the hat, you need sunglasses on a cruise. Why not get a fun colored pair like some pink tinted aviators?!

8. Clutch with Shoulder Strap: So I  gifted white monogrammed bags like these to my bridesmaids, and got one for myself with my new monogram too, and it turned out to be the most handy thing I had on the last cruise. It's the right size and weight to hold your cruise ship pass, wallet/money, lip gloss, and phone. It looks nice at dinners as a clutch, and is easy to carry throughout the ship without lugging around the whole giant beach bag. I just slip it inside the beach bag with my wallet and passport to get started, and then pull it out when needed throughout the week. 

Pinch Proof | All Things Green

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It's the time of year where all things in Dublin, Ga., begin turning green! With green bows on mailboxes and shamrocks on doors, there's more than enough green to go around. I rounded up a quick list of a few of my favorite green {and gold!} St. Patrick's things to wear throughout the month of March and into spring.

Of course I love the Charleston Rice Beads green necklace and bracelet combo. These are two great pieces to add a touch of green to any outfit; I particularly like adding it over a black dress or a white top with navy pants. Dainty gold shamrock studs don't scream green, but are definitely festive, and would look so cute with the lime gingham Collyn Raye top with white jeans.

This jade monogrammed clutch is on major sale {50% off!}, and is another piece that can be added to a non-green outfit to make it St. Pats appropriate, just like the cashmere poncho. And finally, who doesn't need some green tassel earrings. These look just like the ones from Baublebar but are only $10 and come in so many colors.  Plus, Prime, so go get a pair or two!

Erin Go Bragh! 

Merry Mardi Gras + Rent the Runway Review

Happy Mardi Gras!

Definitely not one of my "normal holidays" but after all the fun a few weeks ago, it may need to become one. Some of CJM's friends from pharmacy school are from Biloxi, Mississippi, and are super involved in their local Mardi Gras celebrations. They invited us to come to this year's coronation ball as Jacob was being crowned Duke and his brother king of their krewe.

Having never done Mardi Gras before, all I knew was that it was fancy...lots of sparkles and sequins. Que Rent the Runway. I thought I had a dress to wear, but I just wasn't loving it on Wednesday night; mind you, we were flying out before 9:00 a.m. on Friday. I didn't really have a lot of time to find a back up formal gown. So at about midnight, I decided to look into Rent the Runway, and I'm so glad that I did!

I packed my original dress {because a girl can never have too many options, right?} and hoped that my gowns would be at the hotel by Friday evening. So the cool thing about RTR is that you get three dresses with your order: you pick your favorite dress in the size you think you need, as well as another size {larger or smaller depending on reviews, measurements, etc.}, as well as a singular "back up" dress. For my favorite dress, I picked a gold fully-sequined Badgley Mischka dress in my size and a size up, and then a metallic cut-out Adianna Papell gown as the back up.

With the time change and our early flight, we arrived at our hotel at 10:00 a.m., and surprisingly not only was our room ready and they let us check in early, but my RTR package had arrived as well! The gowns came on gold hangers in a fabric garment bag that folds in half and zips up for shipping. I ended up wearing the back up RTR dress for a couple of reasons.

The sequin gown was strapless and really heavy, and would have scratched under my arms really badly. Plus the two dresses were totally different color golds and the one that fit me best was a really brassy gold instead of the more champagne color like the other size. Plus, the Adrianna Papell gown was so comfortable! It was an amazing almost t-shirt material but had a fab metallic sheen to it. The straps and cut-outs were comfortable and fit me just perfectly, and the slit wasn't too high. Some sparkly shoes and jewelry really set it off right.

I ended up flying home with the dresses folded up as my carry on because I'm paranoid and wanted to drop it off at UPS myself and not leave it with the hotel staff, just in case. But yes, I will definitely Rent the Runway again! It makes so much sense...I spent less than I would have on any kind of appropriate dress for that type of an event, that I never would have worn again. Plus, it saves me room in my closet which I definitely need!