Updated: Aug 22, 2018

my dad has spent his adult life traveling to montana to fish on the madison river.  for as long as i can remember he'd leave for a week every summer to go to this magical place called montana.  honestly, i've always wanted to go see this place because in my mind montana was a whole bunch of nothing for a long time.  (and actually, it still is a whole bunch of nothing)... BUT it wasn't until my parents booked flights for our family to spend a week together in my dad's favorite place that i realized that montana is freaking beautiful.  

luckily where we were staying on the madison we were only a few hours away from yellowstone national park in wyoming which is where the magic truly is.  i know we joke about wyoming being this estranged random state but guys... wyoming will blow your mind. i've never seen anything so beautiful and breath-taking.  

our little trip has inspired me to rethink how i want to live my life.  i want to live a life where i not only find beauty in the day-to-day but i also seek out things that God put on this planet for us to look and be in awe of.  because y'all... i've never seen anything so unreally beautiful.

my highlights: 

calcite springs

just past tower falls there is a small turnout parking lot for the calcite springs.  we stopped here for just a "park and peek" as i like to call it.  so worth it.  this view was spectacular and the colors were unreal.  it looks like a painting in real life.  stop at tower falls and hike down to the falls FOR SURE but do not miss this small roadside stop off.

lamar valley

during the summer this is where the bison like to hang out.  if i had been staying in the park i would have headed up much earlier than we did because apparently you can see wolves in the hills every morning – how insane is that?!  but please, remember to be careful with the bison.  there will most likely be a park ranger wherever bison.  hot tip: call the ranger station and ask there will bison have been spotted instead of driving around for hours like we did.

roosevelt lodge

this would for sure be my lodging of choice if i were to stay in the park other than setting up camp.  this place feels so authentically yellowstone because its very rustic but still has plenty of amenities.  it would be great for a couple of friends in need of some affordable lodging.  you can get a bunk room for like $95/night.  

mammoth hot springs

i knew that i had to see these hot springs.  i'd seen pictures online and i knew it was going to blow my mind.  you walk up to them and the first thing you think is "is this a set at disneyland?" because its so unreal.  the whole mammoth area is a little confusing to me because its like a town and we didn't spend much time there.  if theres anything you can't miss its these hot springs though.  the colors are insane and it makes you think "wow this earth is literally insane what the heck?!"

geysers and hot springs

we stopped at a couple that were mostly over populated with tourists – which makes a lot of sense.  these geysers literally blow your mind.  at one point i even questioned if they were real because they had a "showing time" for the old faithful geyser... but i guess thats why its called old faithful!  the grand prismatic was beautiful but i wish we had hiked up into the hills to see it from above (there's a trail for that!).  don't miss out on the hot springs at the west thumb either... a bit of a drive but you get to go over the continental divide twice on the way which is prrreeeetty cool!

grand canyon of yellowstone

do. not. miss. this.  hike down to the south falls to see literal tons of water falling over a mountain side right in front of your eyes.  stop off at inspiration and artist points to see a view of the falls/river from far away.  whatever you do... do not miss seeing this canyon from every point of interest that you can.  the colors of the water and rocks and everything will have you feeling all the feels.  

I'd recommend packing lunches and snacks as i was not very impressed with the food inside the park - that being said, i did not each much of it anyways.  the food at the old faithful in was average at best.  it makes sense since its in the middle of nowhere.  but i did appreciate that most places had gluten-free and vegan options marked on every menu.

i also highly recommend hitting up the gift shops in the park because i've never been to a national park with such a good selection of souvenirs.  i probably went a little overboard on the patches and enamel pins!

** for your reference, the north loop was where my jaw spent most of its time on the floor - the southern loop felt much more touristy and amusement park-like **

With a bag of unused iron-on letters and a surplus of white t-shirts I bought at The Goodwill, I sat at the dining room table of our rental house and found the word "rad," ironed it onto an old H&M tee, posted a photo on Instagram and the rest is history.

I flew back to Savannah to visit some friends who were still in school working on their senior thesis collections. I saw how stressed they were and remembered how stressed I was the year before. The concept of rest is so important to me because I know that without it I'm not able to do anything to my best abilities. So, I went to the super market and craft store and bought wine, food, craft supplies and threw my friends a little party to give their minds a break. I cooked a big, healthy dinner and had all the girls iron-on something inspirational onto a white tee. It wasn't until a few bottles of wine were had that my friends really got into the cheesy idea I had. By the end of the night we were dancing and having a good time in our matching t-shirts and when we went out to a bar we looked like a tacky bachelorette party! My idea was truly successful.

But then I flew home with a whole bag of extra letters like Js and Xs and Qs that no one has used.

I sat at the dining table of the rental house I was living in at the time and found the word "rad" amongst the random array of letters. I took one of the white tees I had boughten at The Goodwill and ironed away. I didn't really think much of it and wore the tee casually because I thought it was funny and "rad" is a word that pops up frequently in my vocabulary.

During the crazy wildflower season of Spring 2017 I set out to see as many wildflower fields as I could. At the poppy fields of Lake Elsinor I snapped a picture of me in my newly made "rad" tee and posted it on Instagram. Almost immediately I got comments and DMs asking me where I had gotten the t-shirt and knew I was onto something. Within the next week I bought myself some screen printing supplies and ordered a ton of blank t-shirts and set out to fulfill all the orders my friends (real-life and internet-friends) had made. The first batch of 50 sold out in a week so I kept it up and kept making them. Almost a year later this is now what I do with all of my free time. Making these quirky tees saved me from the worst creative rut I'd ever been in. It helped me keep making even though I didn't want to and it showed me that people actually believe in the things I make and bring into the world and honestly, that's super cool.

My gals at June & Hudson, a line based out of Los Angeles, sent me the most lovely golden holiday dress that I want to wear to every event.

How I styled it

This dress essentially speaks for itself. With its soft neckline and even more elegant sleeve/bodice situation, this dress needs little-to-no accessories. I let my hair do its own thing — but that's not much of a surprise — and kept my makeup really simple and bronze. I threw on my favorite pair of Nisolo Sofia Slip Ons and felt like it was all I really needed. (Side note: I highly recommend this pair of shoes and this company. I do high recommend staying true to size or sizing up. I wear and 8.5/9 and chose the 8.5 but wish I had chosen the 9 in the long run.)

I wore this dress to a friend's Christmas cocktail party with a fun cream sweater and lace up sandals (since its never below 60º during the holidays here in Los Angeles). I love throwing a top or sweater over dresses because its like getting a two-in-one deal with the dress. Alone its a dress but when you put on a sweater or any type of top on top of it, it become a skirt!