Around Here


Life has felt so full lately, a perfect balance of travel and rest and productivity and fun and a lot of really good time with people I love, especially James. We've had friends visit from out of town, hosted barbecues in our backyard (in February!), treated ourselves to foot massages, and tried new restaurants (like Filament, Afrah, Unleavened Kitchen, and Motor Sisters Ice Cream). We went to a monster truck rally (beyond hilarious and entertaining), took Coach on approximately 204,237 walks, cleaned out our closets, and binge-watched House of Cards. We've launched individual passion projects (a podcast for me - stay tuned! - and grilling for him), booked an anniversary trip (to Seattle to visit Karli & Nick + to Florida to lay on the beach!), bought a new couch, and taken lots of naps. I spent a weekend in Boulder with my best friends from college, and I celebrated my beautiful bestie, Laura's, bachelorette weekend in Austin, one of my very favorite places. Tomorrow I head to Florida for the second annual adult spring break, this time with Kyla and our sweet mommas. This year feels like it's flying by, and while there have definitely been hard days, when I look back at the past few weeks it's easy to remember how very blessed we are.

Image via Kate Arends / Wit & Delight

Birthday Surprises


I have been basking in my 30th birthday celebrations for nearly three weeks now, reveling in the thoughtfulness of my loved ones, all of whom made me feel so incredibly special on my big day. First of all, I have to announce that the $30 for 30 campaign raised $2,500 - I am so blown away! Thank you, thank you to those who gave to Touch A Life - your gift means the world to me and to the amazing children in our care. My birthday party itself was an absolute joy. Kyla and Laura planned a gorgeous evening that started with Mambo taxis, chips, and guacamole at Mi Cocina, where we sat in a special secretive bar area on the top floor of the restaurant. When I walked in, I was so stunned to see my mom there - she had flown in from Chicago just to celebrate my birthday! I was so excited. Isn't that such an amazing gesture? It meant so much!

After noshing on beverages and snacks, we made our way over to Rise for soups, soufflés, and Champagne. We got to sit in the most gorgeous part of the restaurant, a cove of sorts surrounded by birch trees encircled in sparkly white lights. I looked around the table in awe as I thanked God for the amazing women who have become my home team here in Dallas. I felt so blessed.

The girls presented me with the most thoughtful gift - a darling clutch filled with 30 letters from 30 special people in my life. I struggled not to cry as I thanked them for this amazing gesture. Since birthdays should last all month long (right?!), I have been reading one letter every day, and I am seriously overwhelmed by the kind things my loved ones have written.

On my actual birthday, the 3rd, Mom joined me at the ESPA at the Joule Hotel, which was the perfect birthday treat. I hadn't been to the spa since my bachelorette party and I had been dying to go back, and the whole day was made so much better with my mom in tow! We had coffee and donuts at Weekend Coffee before spending four blissful hours at the spa, indulging in our treatments, our bento box lunches, and the complimentary shortbread cookies that seemed to continually reappear at our sides. It was dreamy.

That night we spent a low-key evening in with James and the pups, noshing on pizza and drinking wine and reflecting on the whole whirlwind celebration. Loved ones near and far made me feel so incredibly spoiled; it was almost difficult to take it in. I couldn't have asked for a better way to enter my 30s. Cheers to an amazing year ahead!

Countdown to 30


I absolutely cannot believe that my 30th birthday is next week. Next week! Honestly, I have no qualms about leaving my 20s and entering into my 30s. I feel so grateful for the life I've led so far and for all of the goodness that has occurred in my 20s - graduating from college, landing my dream job, moving to Dallas, getting married, becoming a puppy mama, traveling the world.

Admittedly, there have been seriously hard times and I've made plenty of mistakes throughout this past decade, but overall I look back upon my 20s so, so fondly. I learned and grew and stretched. I prayed and played and worked; I cooked and read and ran. I cried and laughed and hopped on planes and took road trips. I made memories and photo books and the very best friends. I am excitedly anticipating my 30s, as I expect that amidst life's inevitable hardship and sorrow, there will be endless amounts of joy, newness, richness, and beauty - and for that, I am grateful.

On a lighter note, I am beyond thrilled and honored that my girlfriends are throwing me a birthday dinner here in Dallas next week. They created and mailed out the gorgeous invitation pictured above - isn't it fabulous? I feel so known & loved, and I can't wait to celebrate with so many of my favorite women on the planet!

Read Between the Lines


We're back from Lake Tulloch, and suffice it to say, heading back to the office yesterday after our amazing weekend was brutal. It's always tough to be cooped up inside after a normal weekend, but it's especially difficult after a holiday, isn't it?

Reuniting with the puppies made everything better, as usual, and fortunately I had an impromptu get-together with Laura and Korena that seriously boosted my mood. Through various outlets of social media, we all learned that the new paper shop in town, Read Between the Lines, was hosting an event at their store last night. I had been wanting to check out this new spot for several weeks and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so. Fortuitously, Laura & Korena both expressed interest in going when we all connected over e-mail, so we planned to meet there after work. The event was in full swing when we arrived, and we helped ourselves to refreshing ginger beer cocktails and mini Sprinkles cupcakes. Everything in the store was 20% off (!!!) so we browsed and snagged several gifts for friends (okay, and for ourselves). I wanted everything in the store. Not only is the shop itself so beautifully curated but the stationery, prints, and gifts available for sale are so dreamy as well.

The best part was getting to explore Read Between the Lines with two of my favorite gals. It was definitely a pick-me-up, an unexpected blip of joy in the midst of my post-Lake Tulloch self-wallowing, and it was such a treat to explore a darling new shop in town. I can't wait to go back and stock up on more paper goods!

Village Baking Co. Boulangerie


Mom & Dad came to visit a few weekends ago, and on Saturday morning Mom & I snuck away to Village Baking Co. Boulangerie to reward ourselves for completing a super-sweaty Bikram yoga class. We had discovered the original outpost a few years earlier, but since then the company expanded and built a boulangerie on the other side of town. We determined that this new-to-us expansion was reason enough to justify a visit, so we made our way over to lower Greenville Avenue, where there's been a revival of restaurants over the last couple of years. Situated in between several new eateries is Village Baking Co. Boulangerie, inviting with its darling patio and the wafting aromas of baked goods and coffee. The interior decor is just as you'd imagine a classic French bakery to be, with white-washed walls and gorgeous pastries glistening behind glass cases.

After debating between several scrumptious-looking options, Mom and I ordered a pretzel croissant, a lemon tart, and a pistachio éclair, all of which were just heavenly. We drank almond milk lattes and savored our treats, our environment, and our time with each other. It was the perfect way to spend a Saturday morning.