Just for Fun…

Starting the week on a Tuesday put me in a really good mood…until I remembered I’m working a medical conference by myself over the weekend. Send help! #storyofmylife

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Still, sleeping in on a Monday always gives me something to smile about. Just like this entire look. It is a FEEL good ‘fit!

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What you’re wearing can really transform your mood. At least that has always been true for me. If I like what I’ve got on, it makes everything better. If I hate what I’m wearing, we’re in for a LONG night.

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This “fall in Florida” transition look (cruelest joke ever–fall in Florida) made me feel somewhat playful and a lot lighter, and it definitely shows.

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What also might show are maybe some sweat stains 😐 It was 90 degrees and full humidity the day Nina and I shot this. Despite all of that, I was still jumping around and smiling full force. Because that’s how much I’m feeling all of these pieces.

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Let’s break it down really quick: camo shirt jacket, perfect for warmer climates. Army green dress, totally trending and looks good with sneakers and heels. Cat-eye aviators, still crushing on these SO hard. Light gold hoops, won’t hurt your ears, but will show up in your hair. And last but not least, these blink-and-you’ll-miss-it iridescent gold tennis shoes (similar here)? They are not boring white, but they are understated, and maybe sold out 😐 if you can find a pair in-store, snag them!

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Safe to say I’ll be reworking these pieces throughout my fall wardrobe. Because they put me in a good mood. And I need all the good moods I can get nowadays! 😉

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XX Hannah

Nina Grace Photography

St. Pete Staycation

We are so fortunate in Florida to have some really beautiful beaches and resorts “within reach”…and some of my favorites just happen to be pink (how perfect is that?) 😉

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The Vinoy Renaissance in St. Petersburg is one of the those fabulous, pink resorts that always seems to capture my heart. Located on the bay in downtown St. Pete, it is a short 30 minute drive from Tampa, but can really feel worlds away if you let it!

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Although we technically only spent the day here, it was just enough time to let go and get caught up with two of my best friends. We used to do weekend trips to Palm Beach (I’m ready to go back whenever y’all are!), but it seems like everyone’s schedules are more jam-packed than ever. These days are few and far between now, so it makes me treasure the time we get to spend together that much more.

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The hotel is currently undergoing some major renovations, but the pool has already been completed, and it is such a fun spot to spend a sunny day at. There are gorgeous water views, plenty of pool boys to bring your drinks, and very generous pink lounges (you can see that three girls easily fit on just two chairs)… I mean, what more can a gal ask for?!

I have an idea… 😉 We really wanted to take advantage of everything the hotel had to offer, so we booked spa treatments that just happened to coordinate with the summer rain showers we experience almost every afternoon. The timing was honestly perfect. After a few pool drinks, lots of laughs, and plenty of sun (it doesn’t take long here), we gladly headed into the cool, dark day spa and let the real relaxation begin.

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I was WAY overdue for a massage (driving everyday can do a number on you), so I opted for a custom Moroccanoil massage, which was a full-body with some deep-tissue focused specifically on my areas of concern. I’ve used Moroccanoil for years on my hair and skin and LOVE the unique woodsy, slightly chocolate-ly scent that the oil has. It warms up in your hands and having someone rub it all over my body was truly a treat! I didn’t even mind some of it getting in my hair 🙂 I would highly recommend this treatment, especially after drying your skin out in the sun and pool.

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After our spa sesh, we had worked up an appetite, and headed over to Paul’s Landing for a late lunch. It is one of several restaurant options on-site, but by far the tastiest and best view! I ordered the fish of the day, blackened red-snapper (my fave <3), and I can honestly say that it was some of the best snapper I’ve had here in Florida. I find all too often–even in some of the nicer restaurants–that my fish is overcooked. I was really impressed with my dish and the decor was adorable, a win-win in my book.

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It was still raining while we ate, so we had to head back to the spa and enjoy the jacuzzi, sauna and steam rooms (bummer)! Although it was a designated ‘quiet area,’ we had the entire place to ourselves, so we may have been a little louder than is considered appropriate. The spa has yet to undergo renovations, but it does the trick, and it was the best way to escape the thunderstorms.

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Unfortunately, all good things have to come to an end, and we decided around 5:30 we should probably wrap things up. One of my favorite features of the Vinoy–and definitely the best way to end any day there–is the veranda. Sitting in the rocking chairs or at the bar (yes, there’s a full-service bar that also dishes out food) and taking in some last minute views of the harbor is the way to go.

I can honestly say our “staycation” was truly a day for mind, body, and soul, and was desperately needed. My abs seriously hurt from laughing (or maybe from actually working out again… we’ll never know)! We are already planning our next “day-cation” and hoping it lives up to the experience we had here at the Vinoy!

Special to the Vinoy Concierge for letting us hang around all day 😉

XX Hannah

Molly’s swimsuit: Aerie
Stephi’s swimsuit: L*Space
My swimsuit: Inamorata

Simple for Summer…

It has been more than a little quiet around here, but I am not apologizing 😉  Sometimes you need a break. Sometimes you want to lay low. And sometimes its too hot to move…AKA summertime in the South (this includes Mississippi in July…just AWFUL).

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One of the benefits of living in Florida is knowing that you can experience the perfect ‘beach weather’ here on any given day. I myself have voluntarily gotten in the Gulf over Christmas break (I’ll admit, it was a little chilly). But there’s something *special* about July and August here, despite football season and pumpkin spice everything making their annual comeback. 90 degrees and full humidity doesn’t feel fall to me 😐

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This is when that whole ‘less is more’ approach starts to make sense. Less clothing and less makeup for summer is a no-brainer. However, I might finally be realizing the less time I spend ‘fixing’ myself or picking out the “perfect outfit” (which I do know by now is a rareity), the more time I have to spend with friends and family. The light bulb is burning bright, y’all!

I do think I’ll always enjoy taking my time to get dressed for a night out, trying on multiple different outfits to find the right one, and combining three lip-glosses (#teamgloss, always) to get the perfect shade. Getting ready–when I’m not rushed–is actually a way for me relax, as odd as it may sound. I guess you could say I perform under pressure! 😉

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I know one day my ‘me-time’ might not be just mine anymore. Which makes it even more special! #singlewithnokidsperks 🙂 Regardless, I don’t see my love for clothing, makeup, and beauty products fading anytime soon. But I am finding that my personal style is becoming more simple, for summer and beyond. The same is going for my beauty routine, too. Whatever is effective and effortless, I’m all for! And dare I say natural, as well? (Who am I becoming?)

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I am excited to embrace a more simplistic style for now (and if I’m really lucky, maybe some fall-ish fashions sooner rather than later). I think this outfit embodies the less-is-more, minimalist trend, but is still feminine and fun. It can be paired with so many different accessories and is truly a “throw and go” for wherever your weekend might take you. It makes it easy to focus more on the present and worry less about what you’re wearing, without sacrificing style! ❤

Hope y’all have a nice, long Labor Day weekend! Special thanks to one of my fave spots in Tampa, On Swann, for letting me hang out for the afternoon.

xx Hannah
Dress: Michael by Michael Kors (available in multiple colors / patterns, mine is currently on major sale!)
Bag: Givenchy 
Shoes: Steve Madden 
Sunglasses: Prada
Photography: Grace Studio

Shrimp & Grits

I haven’t posted in a hot minute (moving, traveling, and crazy work weeks will do that to you). But I finally got the chance to make a real good mess in my new kitchen and wanted to share the recipe and my tabletop accessories with y’all.

I love to cook and set a table, even if it’s a tiny table (like the one I’ve got now). In my last apartment, my kitchen was more like a closet, and I had not made a fun meal in months. I wanted my first dinner in my new place to be extra special. I knew I’d need a little backup from some of my favorite foods from home to achieve that.

One of my most loved chefs and restauranteurs, John Currence, has some incredible spots in Oxford, but Big Bad Breakfast and City Grocery always take the cake for me. It would have been a disservice to him and myself to make his famous Shrimp and Grits recipe without his tasty Tabasco-cured bacon, which was created just for BBB, as we all lovingly call it. Thankfully, they can ship it anywhere in the world within a day or so. It is melt in your mouth good!

I also have a girlfriend that hand-makes and packages her own stone-ground corn grits. She’s available in gourmet stores and restaurants around the nation, but there was something about buying her product at a store at home that felt right! I am still doing keto, but of course I had to sample the Delta Grind grits to make sure they tasted right 😏 Once I started, it was hard to stop… they are that yummy!

If you can’t get your hands on these brands, that’s okay. Use your favorites instead! This recipe is meant to be simple and I think great for weeknight cooking. Its also perfect to make when you are having company, because it doesn’t require a ton of skill. As long as you don’t burn the bacon or the grits (which could technically both be made ahead of time), it’s pretty hard to mess up. The end result is a spicy, warm, and comforting dish that will definitely leave you nice and full.

I went casual with my table because I felt like it matched the meal. Shrimp and grits is certainly not fancy, but it is still pretty, and it’s got everything you need right there in the bowl. In fact, you only really need a pot and a pan to make this entire meal. It makes me love this dish even more 😍 (I HATE cleanup)

A link to the recipe for City Grocery’s Shrimp and Grits is posted below, as well as links to the items I used for my table. Traditionally they serve it with spicy corn muffins and lots of butter (nom nom). If you try out this meal, let me know how it goes!

**To stay in ketosis, I substituted a pre-made (read: microwaveable) cauliflower Parmesan risotto for the spicy cheddar/parm grits for myself. Unfortunately, it was no close second. Next time, I may try to recreate the grits using cauliflower 🙃**

Table is from Pier1, dishes , wine glasses , and small votive holders are from Crate & Barrel, chargers, napkins and napkin rings (now sold out– may be able to find them in-store) are from Pottery Barn, tortoise glasses and ice bucket are Impulse!, and bamboo silverware is vintage.

Link to recipe: http://joelmcneece.com/2016/05/23/city-grocerys-shrimp-grits/

And last but not least, a very special shout out to Liz at BBB for getting this bacon to me on time! XX Hannah

Searching for Something

Today’s post is about the joys of moving, among other things. I should be a pro at it now, because I seem to subject myself to it more often than most. If you didn’t know already, I am a certified gypsy!

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My friends and family know that I’m usually on the move once every year/ couple of years. It’s no secret! Is this ideal? Absolutely not. Would I like to find a place that feels like home? Of course. Does it make for a great excuse to do a closet-clean out? YES! For whatever reason, despite all of the stress it causes, I keep changing it up.

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My mom was recently in town for a girls weekend / pre-packing party and she asked me something that really made me stop and think. She asked me what I was looking for. She said that it seems like I’m always searching for something, but what it is, she isn’t sure. And she didn’t know if I would find it here in Florida.

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I’ve been thinking about that conversation for days now. What am I looking for? I don’t know. Or maybe I do, and I just don’t want to give it life 😐 What I do know is that I’ve always been an extremely curious person, somewhat of a ‘free spirit,’ someone who longs to travel and have experiences in different places, wanting a life that is full of moments both good and bad: perspective, I suppose you could call it.

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I’ve fallen in love with both people and places, had my heart and trust broken, felt abandoned, lonely, and sad. But I’ve also had extreme highs: made irreplaceable memories with friends, seen places that are achingly beautiful, and taken chances that paid off in the end. I can’t say I regret much, even though there are things I’m proud that I did and things I’m not so proud of. You live and you learn.

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Despite the ups and downs (these past couple of years have been the definition of a roller-coaster ride), I try to remain positive. No matter how many times I feel like I could give up on a few things, there’s some sort of hope that makes me hang on to them. At the end of the day, I don’t think I could fully appreciate one without the other. It is sort of a romantic way of looking at life, but for me, it holds true.

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I’m hoping that whatever I’m looking for will stop me in my tracks sooner rather than later (if you’re out there, this is your sign!) I’m open to it now, I swear! 🙂 And I think the curious part of me–the part that likes to live in the moment, be present, meet new people, learn new things, see new places, indulge in spontaneity, and live out these so-called ‘life experiences’–will always exist. And that’s not a bad thing.

But in what I’m sure is a relief to my parents (and some of my friends), I am starting to realize those experiences don’t have to define you; you can define your own life, all by considering what YOU really want out of it.

Be honest with yourself; when is the last time you were honest with yourself? It’s a tough one to answer, but I’m finding it more of a necessity now than ever.

As for what I’m looking for, I truthfully am still figuring it out. It’s now a goal of mine this year to answer that question. So let me think on that for a bit (while having a little fun) and I’ll get back with you! 😉

XX Hannah

Jumpsuit: Finders Keepers

Earrings are older, sold-out, but can find the same or similar online: J.Crew 

Bag: Zara, also appears to be sold-out, but can find similar: Cult Gaia

Shoes: Schutz, also appear to be sold-out, but similar style here (and on sale!): Schutz

Date Night Dressing

Let’s get real: dating is complicated (most of the time). Other times, it feels effortless and actually worth getting all dolled up for. Here are some tips that I use to help make my date nights easier and more enjoyable!

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Tip number one: have a go-to dress on hand. I personally love this silky sundress. With slits on every side, it is def date-night ready (and sensible in the Florida heat!). However, I think its perfectly balanced, with a little leg to keep things interesting, and square neck to keep things in check. It is perfect to show off your figure while still being somewhat demure 😉

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This particular dress is tried and true–I actually wore it out recently and never felt over or under-dressed. It is sultry and sleek, yes. But more importantly, it is not so restricting that you can’t concentrate on what is going on around you. And you are there to focus on another person, after all.

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One of the worst things is being on a date and thinking about what you’re wearing instead of the person in front of you (unless they’re boring or rude, in which fashion is naturally more interesting). 🙂 So if you are wearing something new, always make sure to do a trial run before the actual date. That way you know if you are really comfortable in it, or if straps need adjusting, etc.

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A borrowed style tip from our beloved royals–and a trick that gives you lots of options–is to carry a clutch or top-handle bag with you. I almost always do this mainly because I want a fun accessory (like this vintage bamboo bag) that shows a bit of personality. But in reality, it gives you something to do with your hands, whether your nervous or just like something to have and to hold!

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Side note: I’m usually not huge on PDA when just getting to know someone. Of course, this all depends. However, if you happen to have a date that is just not getting the hint, you can take matters into your own hands (literally) with your clutch! 😉 You’re welcome!

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But if you do hit it off and are feeling the love, a smaller bag is easier to manage with one hand. It’s a win-win in my opinion!

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Whether it never stood a chance or it goes really well (lol- let’s hope for the latter), dating is always an interesting experiment experience :’)

Shoes are Steve Madden, earrings are Ettika, necklace is CAM jewelry from Canvas Fashion Gallery in St. Pete.
XX Hannah

Pink & Polka Dots

I have a soft spot for polka dots (pun intended)!

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I noticed that this pattern is slowly creeping its way into my wardrobe. And I’m not mad about it.

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I love the classic black and and white, but I am also obsessing over tan and cream versions. It’s so Pretty Woman chic (Julia Roberts is forever goals).

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This top is frilly and fun, perfect for my girls weekend in Miami!

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One of my best girlfriends from home (Mississippi) is flying in for the weekend. My other BFF and I are scooping her up from the airport and having a little road trip down to the Magic City!

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One of my FAVORITE parts of these weekend getaways is actually the drive. Being trapped in the car with my besties is my fave 😉 We get time to catch up with no distractions (except for maybe some jam sessions). It is priceless!

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Living in Florida certainly has its perks: like being able to run off to some beautiful cities and beaches for 5 star staycations.

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But I do miss my friends and family at home more and more with each passing year, and lately I’ve been a little homesick.

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Thankfully, this trip literally could not have come at a better time. These girls have been in my life for 10 and 20 plus years, so they are friends that have become family. That I can cheers to!

Hope everyone has a fun weekend! I know I will 🙂

XX Hannah

Accessory breakdown: Sunnies are Le Specs, earrings are Bauble Bar, bracelet is Hermès, bag is Milly, shoes are Target 😉