Lifestyle + Travel

Currently Coveting

Decorating your home for Fall doesn't have to stress you out or make you cringe at the idea of having to buy SO MANY THINGS. I'm sure if you've been to any of your local home decor store's lately, you've seen the Fall takeover! It's so easy to feel like you need everything... including 100 velvet or plastic pumpkins. I'm not going to lie, I fall victim to the fall decor trap more times than I'd like to admit, but I'm okay with that! This post is for those of you who like the idea of adding a little Fall touch to your home, but you don't really want to over-do it. You can literally do a few small things to enhance your every day decor and transform your home into full on cozy fall mode. Here's five simple ways to add some fall coziness to your home this season!

Okay so did you really think I wasn't going to mention pumpkins? I feel like they just scream fall! You don't need a whole lot of them if you don't want them. Just add one or two on your porch or by your fireplace or even scatter different sizes of them on your dining room table like I did below.

I LOVE to watch leaves change colors during the Fall months! It's literally one of my favorite things about the season. Add some leaves in a vase to your kitchen or on your mantle for an easy fall look.

One of the easiest ways to switch out your decor is to change your pillows or just add to them! I LOVE fall pillows and you can find some super cute, inexpensive pillows pretty much in every store this time of year. Blankets are also an easy switch out. I'll let you guys in on a secret. On the photo below, my "blanket" is actually an oversized blanket scarf! :)

 I have "Happy Fall" type signs all over my house and most of them I actually got from the dollar store! There's so many fun sayings associated with fall and adding this touch to the wall instantly gives your home a fall boost. You can even DIY some of these!

This is the final touch you need for the fall coziness. Once you have your pumpkin and fall pillow, find you a pumpkin scented candle to seal the deal! My favorite place to buy some fall candles is Bath and Body Works and I am LOVING the sweet cinnamon pumpkin and pumpkin apple scents right now!

What are some things you do to add simple fall touches to your home?

Thank you so much for reading! xo

This post is in partnership with Gumption!. All opinions are my own.

Do you have Gumption? Or better yet.. do you know what it means to have Gumption? You may have never heard the word before and that’s okay! Today, I am going to talk about what Gumption is, how you can start to live with it, & about a company who encouraging us all to EMBODY IT!

First things first, what in the world is Gumption? Well, I’ll tell you!
Basically, a person with Gumption is a boss babe that doesn’t take no for an answer! You go after everything you want and don’t sit around waiting for something to happen. You take initiative, not because you’re not afraid, but because you’re going to be bold and have the audacity to take risks despite the outcome. Boyyyy do I wish I could wholeheartedly say I am full of Gumption! I’m not going to lie, I have been my own worst enemy more times than I would like to admit, but I acknowledge it and I am working on it and I promise I am getting there. I have days where I am FULL of Gumption. :-)

I am excited to be working with Gumption! because their mission is to “help inspire women to live this beautiful gift of life with Gumption” and I want to inspire you to do the same. So how does a shop inspire you? They do this in two ways. Number one, they sell items that embody the gumption spirit. You know that sweatshirt that feels good and says something that just makes you feel great about yourself? Or that super comfortable dress? YES. Things like that! Number two, they support amazing small businesses that are ran by women, aim to help people in need, that are ethically made in the U.S., and that may be super hard to find! I mean, can we say AMAZING COMPANY?! I love it so much!

Elements of A Lady Tee | Be Kind Sweatshirt | Rocky Necklace

So how can you live your life with Gumption? I'll give you THREE tips!

1. Do What Makes You Happy
2. Do What Scares You
3. Shop With Gumption! and Support Some Amazing Boss Babes

Thank you so much for reading! xo

Last month, my husband and I went on our very first cruise! I thought it was so interesting that neither one of us had ever been on a cruise before and so we were able to add this to our list of “firsts in travel” together. Our good friends invited us along on this cruise with them as they were celebrating their three year wedding anniversary. We LOVE celebrations and we LOVE traveling so of course we were delighted to receive this invite and immediately hopped aboard (pun intended).

So for our first experience, we went on a three day cruise to Nassau, Bahamas and I can honestly say we had a good time. I went into this with no expectations because I didn’t have any idea of what to expect. In the week’s leading up to the cruise, I’m pretty sure I texted my friend Britne about 25 times with bizarre questions because I wanted to be prepared and I had NO IDEA what this experience was going to be like. I will say that if we decide to cruise again, we definitely want to try a longer one because three days just does not allow for enough time to experience the destination. I am glad that we chose the three day cruise for our first experience though because I really thought I was going to get seasick and I was OVER prepared with medicine. Surprisingly, I didn’t get seasick at all, but if I had I would have wanted the time on the ship to be short, lol.

Anyway, I wanted to write this post to share some things that I learned about cruises just in case there’s someone out there like me who has never been on a cruise and doesn’t have a CLUE what to expect. I want you to be prepared! :-)

Don’t Get the WiFi
Unless you have to (which I don’t see why you would... you’re on vacation), don’t get the WiFi! My husband and I went back and forth on whether or not we would or not and I’m so glad we opted not to. It felt good to unplug even if just for a couple of days. I’m always on social media and he’s always working, so for both of us to be 100% present was priceless to me.

You Should Probably Splurge for the Balcony Room
My husband and I ended up getting the room with a window and it was kind of suite style because it was a king size bed and a couch so it made the room “roomier” and comfortable. The standard room is very small and although it is often the cheapest option, if you are even just a LITTLE claustrophobic, I wouldn’t do it. My husband really wanted to get the balcony room and I kind of talked him out of it because again, I thought I was going to get seasick, so we compromised on a window we could shut out, lol. I do wish however that we had got the balcony!

The Food was Actually Good!
I had low expectations for the cruise as a whole, but I had even lower expectations for the food and man was I wrong! I enjoyed the majority of my meals and y’all do know that food is included on the cruise, right? (I didn’t know beforehand lol) So you can eat and eat until your heart is content and you shouldn’t be disappointed by the food! My favorites were the taco bowls (my friend hyped these up to no disappointment) and the burgers!

There’s Always Something to Do
At every point of the day on a cruise, you can find SOMETHING to get into. They have shows, a casino, games, crafts, the pool, THE BAR, seriously.. it’s extremely hard to get bored. They even give you a schedule each day letting you know what will be going on the following day.

It’s Okay to Overpack, but You Won’t Need It
I am an over-packer by nature. It’s just what I do because I always want to be prepared for every single scenario that could come up. However, on a cruise, if you’re lucky it’s just going to be hot.  So being in a bathing suit all day every day is okay! Now, you do have to wear real clothing to dinner and the cruise we were on had a “formal night”, but don’t think that means ball gowns.. although some people went there! I’ll probably always overpack, but it felt good to be comfortable!

Drink ALL the Pina Coladas and Margaritas!
If you saw me on this cruise, I'm pretty sure I ALWAYS had a drink in my hand and that is more than okay on a cruise! There's amazing workers every where you go ready to take your drink order and I'm honestly not mad at it at all. My husband's drink of choice was the rum punch, but I think I drank more Pina Coladas!

The Ship Never Sleeps
Like mentioned above, there’s always something to do so expect things to be happening ALL NIGHT LONG. One thing that was annoying was people loud in the hallway at all hours of the night, but it’s to be expected I guess. I have to find the floor with the older crowd next time, haha.

All in all, I’d say our first cruise experience was a good one. There’s some things that my husband and I both agree we would do differently if/when we decide to cruise again. I honestly think I am just more in favor of flying to a destination and then spending all of my trip time exploring that place, but I do feel that if we had done a longer cruise, our experience may have been better. I’m definitely wanting to try it again for a longer time!

Have you ever been on a cruise? I’d love to hear about your experience!

Thank you so much for reading! Xo

College days, how they swiftly pass.
Literally some of the BEST days of my life. If I close my eyes long enough, I can easily be transported back to my first day as a college freshman back in 2009. I was SO nervous, but at the same time I was super excited for this new chapter in my life. When we pulled up at the University of Tennessee Knoxville at South Carrick Hall, I was literally a BALL of excitement, nervousness, anxiousness, and everything!I felt so small at this HUGE university, but I also felt so adult and so ready to conquer any and everything. No one could tell me anything! I quickly learned that although college was fun and I was making some lifetime memories and friends, I did not have everything figured out and I had a LOT to learn.

I thought this post was important to write because I was once a college freshman, I have a little cousin who's a freshman in college now, and I know that many women could use some advice as they start this whirlwind of an amazing journey. So hey, beautiful girls! By now, college should be somewhat in full swing, so I wanted to pop into your freshman year and give you some words of advice from a girl who's been in your shoes. First things first, I want you to know that it is OKAY to be nervous and unsure of what your life will become. College is what you make it, so study hard, make new friends, take a deep breath and enjoy the ride.

Six Tips for Freshmen Women in Their First Year of College
1. Don't Let Yourself Fall Behind
So I wanted to start this list off with this important tip. It is SO EASY to want to hit every single party and social gathering that is happening on campus. Then SLEEP and miss that class that you'll be "fine to just catch up on notes and reading", but don't do it. Yes, go out and party, but after you have a hold on your priorities. You'll be glad when you're not cramming for that major exam.

2. Learn It's Okay to Say NO
This kind of goes with the first one. Peer pressure may have been difficult in high school, but it can be ten times more challenging in college. Choose your own path. If something is tugging at you and you're not feeling it, say no. It may feel like the "lame" thing to do at the time, but in the long run it won't matter. There will be PLENTY opportunities to say yes, so be strong and say no sometimes.

3. FORGIVE.. For You
If someone does something that upsets you, learn to forgive them... now before you're older and a little more stuck in your ways. Forgiveness is never for the other person, but it is always for you and your own peace of mind. You don't have to forgive and forget, but forgive and then move forward with your much happier life!

4. Don't Let Being Homesick Consume You
I remember being homesick quite often my first year of college and it is SO EASY to want to go home on the weekends. Especially if you live close enough that couple hours will get you home, it'll be so tempting to hit the highway every weekend. Don't do it. Most great memories are made on the weekends. Instead, have regular face-times, phone calls, and Facebook chatting with friends and family back home. Then, get out on campus and interact with new friends.

5. Be Patient With Yourself
If you have no idea what you want to major in or find yourself not making new friends right away, IT IS OKAY. Be patient with yourself and know that each college experience is unique. Take your time to figure out what truly interests you and take your time to find true friendships. Know you're not alone and everything will be okay!

6. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
When it comes to being safe, be aware. Gone are the days that you're out walking with your parents and staring into your phone without looking up to cross the street. Pay attention where ever you are to your surroundings.

Let's keep it going! What's some advice or tips you received going into college? Leave them in the comments below.

Thank you so much for reading! xo
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