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California gurls
We’re unforgettable
Daisy dukes
Bikinis on top
Sun-kissed skin
So hot
We’ll melt your Popsicle
Ooh oh ooh
Ooh oh ooh…

Anyone else get Katy Perry stuck in their head when they think of California? The campy lyrics are on repeat in my head every time I think about my recent trip to California. Earlier this month I went to Los Angeles to shoot an Armenian wedding (my very first one!) and stayed in hip Santa Monica and Hollywood. Joining me on this West Coast adventure were all the flirty floral rompers and off-shoulder dresses I could dig up (scroll down to shop my looks)… you know, a girl’s gotta work on her suntan!

This is my third time in LA, but I still managed to check off something new on my bucket list – Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which is basically every fashion and lifestyle blogger’s dream to shoot at. Other memorable highlights of my trip included watching the new Wonder Woman movie at the historic Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, and strolling along Santa Monica Pier and Venice Beach… also, couch-surfing a night at a stranger’s house when I was left without accommodations at the last minute… leave a comment here and I’ll tell you all about it 😉

Once upon a time I almost moved to Cali. Like, it didn’t work out one week before I was scheduled to leave, that’s how close I was to calling the Golden State home. I love, love, love it here so much, maybe I’ll get back here one day in the future… until then, I’ll just be California dreamin’ of a place where the grass is really greener…

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Thanks to my amazing photographer friend, Adrian, for these gorgeous photos!
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portraits photos at museum van loon Amsterdampinthis

While it is well-known for its taboo tourist attractions, Amsterdam boasts so much more than cheap thrills. Think: romantic canals, vast flower fields, immaculate old-world gardens and museums steeped in Dutch history. I recently joined The Giant on his work trip in Germany sans kids, and we tagged on a few extra days in Amsterdam–a city which pleasantly surprised me with its old world charm but modern day hustle and bustle. (Hey Michael, can we move here, pretty please?) In every city we’ve traveled to, we’ve done a professional shoot to document our time, and this one by Chymo from Chymo & More Photography is nothing less than stellar. She is a film photographer with a fine art aesthetic–perfect for capturing the moody romance that is Amsterdam.

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People think I’m funny because I’m loud and blunt. But really, my better half is the one who will put you to tears. He’s quick witted, appropriately funny, and also very, very romantic in his own way even though I give him a hard time about not being passionate (reverse psychology, ya know). Chymo captured us perfectly–so many of these special moments were not posed, it was just the two of us connecting as we used to before kids.

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In the heart of Amsterdam’s Canal District lies Museum Van Loon, a wonderful house that was designed in the late 1600s by a Dutch architect named Adriaen Dortsman. In the cozy rooms, you will find portraits, perfectly preserved furniture, fine silverware and porcelain hailing from various centuries. I’m just in love with the colorful wallpaper prints in each room. Afterward, we roamed a bit in the lovely garden behind the house, followed by a little city walking.

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The highlight of our trip for me was visiting the tulip fields of Keukenhof. It’s been on my bucket list for ages, and now I can say I’ve done it with my love! Keukenhof is a spring park open for approximately eight weeks that showcases 7 million spring-flowering bulbs. Rows and rows and rows of tulips as far as the eye could see–I’m in love! It was perfect for twirling in my new Bliss Tulle mini skirt and lace top.

Scroll through and take a peek at our time in Amsterdam and let me know… would you go visit?

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bliss tulle Hayley skirt and Audrey lace toppinthis

Happy spring! If you’re an avid follower, then you know that I adore dresses and skirts. Anything flirty, feminine–and usually, the swingier the better. It’s been rainy and cold here in Chicago, but I finally caught a break to take a little twirl in this gorgeous blush pink Hayley tulle skirt courtesy of Bliss Tulle. Pair it with a romantic lace top (also from Bliss Tulle) and you’re all set for a daydream.

Just for fun, here’s a little-known fact about me: I always wanted to be a ballerina growing up. But that never happened, although I did become a competitive salsa dancer for a few years. I miss those dancing days SO MUCH!

I’ve worn several tulle skirts, but this Bliss Tulle skirt is hand constructed with the perfect amount of frothy layers… giving just the right “oomph” to your look. Stay tuned to see another pretty Bliss Tulle skirt which I packed to take with me to the tulip fields of Holland… and trust me that these skirts won’t fall flat and you’re guaranteed to feel like a dainty dancer. What do you think? Come take a twirl with me?

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For my 40th birthday, I wanted to celebrate by having a little solo time. So, I booked a trip to New York City, sans kids, sans Giant. And it was fabulous! I needed this getaway to refresh my soul and to live in the moment. I got to catch up with old and new friends over coffee, stayed in a gorgeous Upper West Side apartment (thanks, Cecilia!), snuck in family photo sessions with two of my favorite families from Chicago, saw a Broadway show, and oh hey, even met the gorgeous Caila Quinn for breakfast a couple times. No biggie. Of course, being the foodie that I am, I sought out all the delicious New York food, including breakfast at Balthazar, cronuts at Dominique Ansel Bakery, Charlie Bird for dinner… and much, much more. Check out my lookbook here for what I packed and wore for my New York trip, and scroll down for more detail shots! I can’t wait to come back in September–maybe next time I’ll pack flats with me!pinthis

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