Lavender Dress

Photos by Deeana Kourtney Photography

eShakti dress c/o | Baublebar for Target earrings c/o | DSW heeled sandals | Similar bag | Loft sunglasses

I am so excited to be styling another piece from eShakti on the blog today! I first worked with them way back in 2014 styling this skirt, and again in 2016 styling this dress. eShakti allows you to customize every style just for you. From creating a skirt with a shorter hem, adding sleeves to a sleeveless dress, to choosing a different neckline on a top, the options are endless! The styles are very classic, some vintage inspired, and all fairly affordable! In this dress, I only chose to make the length above the knee, entered my measurements, and they got it just right! However I would recommend a different sleeve option. While the rest of the dress fits me perfectly, the sleeves are quite tight where they gather at my elbows. But regardless, it is still so much fun to wear. The lavender print, bow tie detailing, flowy skirt, and the pockets make for one great summer dress!

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Memorial Day Weekend Sales

It's one of my favorite shopping times of the year, Memorial Day Weekend! I'll be doing some traveling this year, so I'm not sure how much shopping I will be doing myself. But I typically find some of the best deals during these sales, so I have rounded up some of the best right here!

Anthropologie- extra 40% off sale
Ann Taylor- 40% off with code "SOREADY"
Banana Republic- 40% off
Bloomingdales-20-25% off
Baublebar- up to 70% off
Express- up to 50% off
J. Crew- 40% off everything
J. Crew Factory- 50% off everything
Loft- 40% off everything
Kate Spade- extra 30% off sale with code "GREATFIND"
Madewell- 20% off dresses with code "TWIRL"
Neiman Marcus Last Call- up to 40% off
Nordstrom- half yearly sale, up to 40% off
Old Navy- 50% off all tees, tanks, shorts and dresses and 30% off all dresses
Ralph Lauren- extra 30% off sale styles
Saks Off Fifth- extra 20% off select styles
Sole Society- up to 60% off
Urban Outfitters- up to 50% off

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Navy Floral Active Set + 1 Week of Early Morning Workouts

Ellie Activewear set c/o | Nikes

How cute is this set from Ellie Activewear?! The navy floral is just the perfect choice for me. If you have not heard of Ellie Activewear before, it is a subscription service where you pick one of three activewear sets of a top, sports bra, and leggings, every month for $39!

I also wanted to share some thoughts I have had throughout the week switching my evening workout schedule to early mornings. I decided last week that I wanted to give it a try, just to see how it goes.  I ran a poll on Insta stories and Twitter, and I got some really encouraging replies from readers and friends! I usually workout sometime after work before 7pm or so. I sometimes feel like I don't have much time in the evening after a workout, some nights eating dinner close to 9pm. I also typically feel rushed in the morning, mostly because I just have trouble getting out of bed. To the point that I get for ready for work in about 20 minutes. So I wanted to see if I feel more ready for the day if I workout in the morning, and wondered how I would use my time in the evening that is usually spent going to a workout. I have always been such a night owl, so the sleeping schedule was the main thing I was worried about. I typically go to sleep a little before midnight and wake up at about 7:15am, to be at work by 8:30am. I don't think I made much progress with it in my first week, but I'll get there!

The first Monday, I started out with a 5:30am barre class. I was shocked that getting out of bed that early was fairly easy. I think I was mostly motivated by the $20 no-show fee I would have been charged if I fell back asleep....whatever works right? I was done with class at 6:20am, which is about an hour earlier than I typically even wake up! I felt great after class, and even went into work early. After work, I spent some time at the pool and cooked dinner with my boyfriend. I felt a lot more productive during the day, but I was very tired by about 10pm. The next day, I went to a 5:45am hot yoga class. I managed to shower (and wash my hair, which I never have time to dry in the morning) by the time I am usually just waking up. However, I was very tired that day going into work. Wednesday morning, I planned on just working out in my apartment gym, but I did not really get enough sleep, so I decided to rest. I did still wake up a little earlier, ate breakfast and drank more water than I normally would. I typically eat some breakfast at my desk after I get into work, and drink coffee before water. So I think that one morning showed me I could create some healthier habits by simply waking up a little earlier.

Thursday morning, I got back to it with a 5:45am aerial class. I definitely did not sleep enough, but having some cold brew coffee waiting for me in my car definitely helped me feel alert getting into work! And like the other days, I was very tired about 10pm again. Throughout the week I was still going to bed around 11, which I know is not the best idea. But I didn't really notice it until Friday morning, I went to a 6am barre class.  I felt great through the morning but reallyy wanted to take a nap in the afternoon. However throughout the week, I felt like I got a lot more done after work in the evenings. I even cleaned my apartment one evening, I never feel like I have time to do that during the week!

The following Monday, I went to another 5:45am class, and I think after the first week, it felt more normal. Similar to other days, I was a little tired going into work. But I wasn't very tired during the day at all. And after work, I was able to take some outfit photos. I have photo shoot days for outfit posts once every few weeks. When I worked out in the evenings, I would either skip a workout on photo days, or do a later class like 7:30pm. So it was nice to still be able to get a workout in and get blog work done, and not have to chose between them. Lastly, I went to a 6am HIIT class yesterday. I felt very productive during work but tired right when I got home. But overall, I like the new schedule so far and plan to continue!

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Racing Check for the All Star Race with Toyota

I have teamed up with Toyota to drive the brand new 2018 Camry for a week, which has been so much fun! I also went to the NASCAR All Star Race with the Toyota team last weekend!

I loved driving this car, there are just so many great features. First off, I think it is a very pretty car, I drove the silver exterior and black interior model. It had so many high-tech safety features, like lane assist that makes a sound when the car drifts without a turn signal, smart cruise control that speeds up or slows down after you set a following distance to the car in front of you, back up camera, and more!

I have always driven a sedan, and I thought the Camry handled so well and was very easy to drive! I also have never had the best parking skills, so I found the the sensors and backup camera very helpful.

The gas mileage is really efficient. I thought the fuel gauge was not even moving when I drove it around Charlotte to work, fitness classes, errands, etc. for the first few days. It was not until I drove it to the speedway in Concord (about 30 minutes from the city) that I even used a decent amount of gas.

Another really cool feature to the car is the keyless entry. I have a bad habit of losing my keys at the bottom of my bag to get into my car. But these Toyota keys only need to be with you to open the door, and even start the car!

This Camry also has an incredible sound system, and you can control the radio station, make a call, play music from your phone, and more, with voice activation. I don't even want to go back to driving my regular car!

Photos by Deeana Kourtney Photography

Outfit details:
I wore this outfit (but with flats) for a day at the racetrack for the All Star Race
J. Crew gingham bell sleeve top | James Jeans white denim c/o | Similar wedges | Prada sunglasses

Although I have lived in North Carolina my entire life, and Charlotte for almost 2 years now, I had never been to a NASCAR race before. After spending a day on the track with the Toyota team for the All Star Race, I just might be a new fan! We started the day with "hot laps" in the pacer cars used in the race, which were all Toyota Camrys, similar to the one I had been driving. The drivers took a few of us around the track at 130mph like they were just casually driving down the street.

We later went out to the Toyota Fan Zone and learned about how they use their space at the speedway as a marketing opportunity. My full time job is in marketing, so I thought it was so interesting to learn about their different offerings and how they measured the effectiveness of certain activations. One of the activations was this car above, that is a half of a Toyota Camry pacer car and half of a Toyota Camry stock car put together! We also had a meet and greet with driver Kyle Busch, who drove one of the Camrys in the race just a few hours later.

After spending some time in the Toyota suite to watch the qualifying rounds, our group went back down the track to watch the driver introductions and first few laps of the All Star Race. Fun fact, I went to high school with one of the drivers. I have watched parts of some races on TV with my brother, but it is a very different experience in person! It was so exciting, and being right in front of it shows just how fast the cars are going. Which is a whole lot faster than it looks on-screen!

Photos by Uncle Jut

Big thanks to the Toyota team for letting me borrow your amazing car, and experience a behind-the-scenes look at a tradition that has been in Charlotte for over 30 years!

As always, thanks for reading!

Gingham Bow Back Dress

Photos by Deeana Kourtney Photography

Gingham dress c/o | Similar wedges | Baublebar for Target earrings c/o | Prada sunglasses | Similar pink bag

After posting this dress on Instagram several times, it is finally making it to the blog! My closet is not so slowly building a section of only gingham...I think it just makes any piece more fun. Of course the fluted sleeves and bow detailing on the back of this dress helps a little too! I wore this to the Girl Tribe pop-up shopping event recently, and got quite a few compliments on it. I think the fit is a little small in length. Which works great for my short self, because a lot of dresses and skirts are too long on me. But it fits very loose to the body, so I would avoid wearing it on a windy day!

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May Finds Under $50

Orange blossom dress ($21) | Pearl sandals ($35) | Straw hat ($18) | Cut-out one piece swimsuit ($40) | Blue floral dress ($13) | Gingham bikini ($18) | Tassel cover-up ($23) | Straw bag ($44)

Time for another Finds Under $50! I'm rounding some early summer picks like this floral dress that is actually coming soon to the blog. I love the print, and found it in-store for only $10! I am also loving this orange blossom print dress, the style is similar to one of my favorite Lilly Pulitzer dresses but much more affordable. Now that my pool is open for the season I have been looking for a new coverup. I think this one with the tassel detailing may be a great option!

Thanks for reading!

Watercolor Leggings + Fitness Routine Update

Rep Active Art "Heather" leggings | J. Crew Sport top | Nikes

This post is not sponsored, but I really wanted to share these watercolor leggings from Rep Active Art. Artist Ruth Penton prints beautiful watercolors onto activewear! I won an Instagram giveaway on their account, and I have been wearing these leggings on repeat since they came in the mail. They are a great high-waist fit and the fabric is both compressing and moisture wicking. I have gotten several compliments on them at a few different fitness classes!

I also have been switching up my workout routine from evenings to mornings this week. You may have already seen I have been posting about it on my Instagram stories as it has been going along. I plan to share more about it next week after I have done it for a full week. I started with a 5:30am barre class on Monday and a 5:45am yoga class on Tuesday. So far, I have really liked not feeling rushed in the morning (I usually wake up just an hour before I need to be at work), and the extra time in the evening!

Thanks for reading!