24 Hours in Kansas City

Last month, I got to make a quick trip up to Kansas City to visit my friend Claire (we met at summer orientation before our freshman year of college!) and we had such a blast! She runs an amazing food Instagram, @kcplates, and so we enjoyed some delicious meals and got to visit some fun spots around KC.

Kansas City is one of my favorite cities! I love the young, energetic vibe in juxtaposition with the history of the city. I know some on the coasts consider all midwest cities to be flyover territory, but KC really is a gem! I'll share what we did, as well as some other spots and activities on my list for my next visit to serve as a sort of guide if you end up there for a weekend!

tour at Convivial Production (ceramics made in Kansas City)
24 Hours in Kansas City | Convivial Production tour
24 Hours in Kansas City | Convivial Production
24 Hours in Kansas City | Convivial ceramics
Claire and I got to go on a tour of Convivial Production, an amazing small business that makes the most beautiful ceramic pieces. Their studio is in an old building in the West Bottoms, and I love how that area is being restored. We got to learn about their entire process, and then shop some samples and seconds. I came home with 3 pieces, but have many more on my list! PS, they also have a gorgeous Instagram.

24 Hours in Kansas City | Love, Lenore
24 Hours in Kansas City | Doughnut Lounge
Since we were already in the West Bottoms, we walked around for a bit, popping into stores and splitting this crazy good doughnut from Doughnut Lounge's truck.

24 Hours in Kansas City | Lunch at Rockhill Grille
24 Hours in Kansas City | Lunch at Rockhill Grille
We grabbed a late lunch at Rockhill Grille in the Crossroads Arts District, and the decor and food were equally great! This would be a gorgeous happy hour stop. 

formal dress from Lulu's
In the afternoon, instead of the usual site-seeing (I'll give some recommendations at the end of the post!) we photographed a bunch of blog content (Claire is a saint!) including this post from last month. This was photographed at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, which you must at least drive by if you're in town. It's stunning!

Anthropologie glassware
In the evening we walked around The Plaza, which is a gorgeous district with shopping and restaurants! My favorite time to visit is before Christmas, because there are Christmas lights on every building, and it's beautiful! Definitely stop in the Anthro there (glasses linked here!), as well as the Urban Outfitters, West Elm, H&M and Forever 21 (among others!).

I have no pictures to document, but we picked up Boru Ramen and at at Claire's adorable house while watching a movie! It was the perfect way to wind down after a busy day.

24 Hours in Kansas City | Love, Lenore
24 Hours in Kansas City | Monarch Coffee
The next morning we stopped into Monarch Coffee, which is a gorgeous coffee shop (super Instagram-able)! I had their chai latte and it's one of the best I've ever had.

24 Hours in Kansas City | brunch at The Oliver
24 Hours in Kansas City | brunch at The Oliver
We rounded up my quick 24-hour visit with brunch at The Oliver, which happens to be on The Plaza! We split the fried chicken bennie and the daybreaker omelette, and thoroughly enjoyed both dishes (as well as the mimosas!).

Other things to do + see + eat in KC (some I've been to, and some are on my list for next time)...

Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Kansas City Ballet
Dear Society Shop
Tyler Kingston Shop 
Easy Tiger Co.
Made in KC
River Market neighborhood
Kansas City Taco Company
Julep Cocktail Club
Goat Hill Coffee & Soda
West Bottoms antique stores 
Boulevard Brewing Company Tour + hang at their Beer Hall 
John's Greenhouse (the most eclectic greenhouse, but the prices are fantastic)

I hope you enjoyed this post, and that you can reference it if you're ever looking for things to do in KC! And don't forget to check out @kcplates for restaurant recommendations!


First outfit: sweater  |  jeans  |  loafers  |  hat  |  backpack
Second outfit: similar sweater  |  jeans  |  ankle boots

The $42 Jacket I'm Wearing Non-Stop

The $42 jacket I'm wearing non-stop
layered winter outfit
teddy jacket
When I got this $42 jacket I didn't get my hopes up, but I've been wearing this little guy so much the past few weeks! It's cozy and trendy, and I love the color. I've always hated to spend lots of money on coats and jackets, so I was happy to find this one for such a steal. I feel like it helps to make my winter outfits more interesting too!   

cute teddy jacket with distressed jeans
tan teddy coat
casual winter outfit with a teddy coat
teddy coat, mom jeans
jacket (c/o - wearing size small)  |  jeans (true to size)  |  ankle boots  |  similar tees here, here & here  |  hat  |  earrings

Trey and I laid low most of the weekend as we're both under the weather. I did get a few blog photos in and some photo editing done, but other than that I was honestly pretty lazy, which was so nice for a change! 

We watched the Golden Globes last night and I thought it was a great awards show. I loved all of the pointed references to gender biases and inequalities in Hollywood, the US and the world! It's definitely ridiculous that it's still as much of an issue as it is today. I especially loved when Debra Messing called out E! live on air for paying Catt Sadler far less than what her former male cohost makes (more on that here). It's time for a change, that's for sure! 

New Year, New Growth: My 2018 Resolutions

Hey gals, I took a quick blogging break, but I'm back and feeling SO ready for this new year! I have lots of content ideas, including more health & wellness content (yay or nay??), and I'm feeling really happy about it.

And now onto the topic of this post - my 2018 resolutions/goals! Perhaps new years resolutions are overdone, but I genuinely love the opportunity to set some fresh goals. Blogging them kind of creates some accountability for myself too!

Goal 1: to continue learning more about nutrition and eating clean
I find that the more I learn about nutrition the more healthy I want to eat! While I'm not completely giving up Taco Bell or pizza anytime soon, I've really cleaned up my act when it comes to food without feeling deprived. However, I absolutely have more to learn and can always do better! I think moderation is absolutely key, but when I'm equipped with more knowledge, the more I want to eat for nourishment. I'm not trying to lose weight, which takes a lot of pressure off. I just want to take care of my body by being as healthy as I can be! I've been reading this uh-mazing book, and this book is next on my reading list! I can also send you some great podcast episodes about healthy eating that have really benefited me - just holla at me!

Goal 2: to blog about what feels right
So, this seems like a given, but hear me out. I'm still obsessed with fashion and styling, but over the past few years my interests have grown and shifted to some degree, and if I'm being my authentic + best self it makes sense to reflect those interests here! So, in 2018 I plan to write about more personal topics (you guys seem to love those types of posts - yay!), and to add in more health & wellness tips + recipes! Wellness (mind, fitness + food) is becoming an increasingly important part of my life and I can't wait to share more with you. If you have any requests on those topics, please, please send them my way!! Oh, and of course I'll keep up the outfit and beauty posts!

Goal 3: to get stronger and leaner
I'm not about making goals to "get skinny" or "stop eating crap" because those aren't realistic or specific. But, I definitely want to continue to build on the progress I made in the last year in terms of getting fitter and stronger. I want to add in more weight and resistance training this year (nothing crazy!), and try a few new classes! I'm even thinking about tackling Kayla Itsines' Bikini Body Guide this spring or summer. I did it before my wedding, and it seriously works!

Goal 4: to get better at protecting my time
I am so, so bad at saying no. If someone needs help with something, I often drop things I had planned for myself, or mess up my own schedule to help. In a way, this is a good quality - I mean at least I'm not a jerk and do like to help people! But, I tend to overextend myself badly, and often don't get to do things that I had planned for myself (like blog photoshoots, time set aside to blog/edit photos, time to clean my house, workouts, etc.). This year I want to work toward a better balance. I still want to be willing to jump in and help with random things, but to also not feel guilty about saying no to something if I have time blocked off for just myself! In adulthood I've learned that some people don't respect others' time, and that it's okay to tell them "no." I just need to do it a little more often :)

similar sweaters here and here (mine was H&M)  |  jeans  |  phone case  |  ankle boots (the ones I'm wearing here are my old pair, but I now have the nearly identical linked pair and love them!) 

These photos were taken in Monarch Coffee in Kansas City! It's a gorgeous little spot if you're ever in the area. 

Thanks for stopping by, and Happy New Year! xx

2017 Highlights

You guys, thank you SO MUCH for following along this year! It's been a great one! It's truly been a pleasure to chat and connect with many of you throughout the year, and it means the world to me that you follow along and take the time to read, click links, leave comments, etc. I wanted to share this little look-back on the year, because it's been one worth celebrating for sure. 

  Visiting my Sister in Williamsburg, Virginia + DC with the Fam
In June we had a great visit to the east coast to visit my sister, who is a second year law student at William and Mary. We got to spend a few days in Williamsburg before heading to DC for a few days and had a great time with my family!

Nashville with Friends
In July we spent 5 or so days in Nashville with a group of friends and had an absolute blast! We rented an amazing AirBnB, went out on the town, cooked and played games together. It was a great summer trip!

A Quick Chicago Getaway with Trey
Trey and I drove up to Chicago for a one-night getaway to see J. Cole (our third J. Cole concert together!) and to explore the city! We fit in a lot in under 24 hours, but are definitely looking forward to going back and exploring more at some point. 

 Houston with Trey & my Fam for the Texas Bowl
We just got back from this quick trip on Thursday, and while Mizzou played poorly in the Texas Bowl and lost, we still had a great time and enjoyed seeing a new city.

And More...
In July Trey and I celebrated 3 years of being married!

Lulu turned 8 (6 of those have been with us!) and Russell turned 3 😌

Trey and I saw 4 big concerts this year: Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Chance the Rapper, and The Lumineers!

We've almost finished our master bathroom project, which was a complete gut-job. We're just waiting on trim, a couple of shelves, a door, and new towels + decor for it to be complete (don't worry, I'll do a blog post sometime in the next couple of months).

We got to visit my sister in Virginia, and she got to visit us in Missouri.

I got to go on fun visits and girls weekends with some amazing girlfriends. 

I stepped out of my comfort zone a bit and blogged more lifestyle and personal content this year, which led to some amazing conversations with you guys! 

I launched my photography business, which took off much quicker than I expected! I didn't plan to be so busy this fall, but it was a huge blessing, and I hope that 2018 brings me many more wonderful clients and exciting opportunities!

Most importantly, Trey's dad's cancer prognosis is looking really good now after a tough road, and he's making progress every week. We are so incredibly grateful! 💛


HAPPY NEW YEAR! Much love xoxo

What I've Learned About Myself This Year

burgundy dress
satin dress dressed down with ankle boots and a hat
low back satin dress
I love taking this week between Christmas and New Years to reflect on the year and on my personal growth. I already shared 10 things I did to streamline and improve my life this year, but in today's post I wanted to dive a little deeper into a few things I've learned about myself this year. When I was younger, I often struggled to accept myself and to feel at peace. Fortunately, throughout the past few years I've made huge gains (just a natural progression of life, right?) and I hope that I can encourage you on that path as well! 

burgundy satin dress
low back dress with a hat
cute winter date night dress

I'm a true introvert, and that's okay.
I know memes about being introverted have gotten trendy, but I've always been an introvert and I feel like this was the year that I truly became at peace with that. While I absolutely love hanging out with friends and family, and always choose to spend as much time with Trey as possible, I most definitely draw my energy and peace from quiet time alone. For awhile I felt like I couldn't be successful in my career while being an introvert, but that's simply not true...I just have to maintain that healthy balance. I know how to collaborate and network, but I also know when I've had enough and when it's time to work on something quietly on my own. In my personal life, Trey is extremely extroverted (as are all of my best friends), which to my benefit, keeps me on my toes and forces me to put myself "out there." I'm terrible about making plans, but they all know that and are great at it. However, they also understand and respect that sometimes I would love nothing more than a quiet night at home to recharge.

If you haven't already, I highly recommend taking this quiz and learning more about your Myers-Briggs personality type. It's helped me to learn and understand so much about myself! That I'm not a recluse or depressed - I just crave *some* alone time. That it's okay to not have a quick answer to everything, because by nature I need time to process details and then thoughtfully give my answer. That I'm never going to be the girl with the large group of girlfriends, but that's okay. Learning about my personality traits, and my strengths and weaknesses, has truly changed my life and brought me peace. I challenge you to do so too!

I'm not going to be stick skinny again, but I can and will be lean and healthy.
I opened up a bit about this topic in this post last spring, but a healthy body image has never come naturally to me. From a young age I obsessed over my weight and calorie intake, worked out to "be skinny" and avoided many healthy nutritious foods because they had "too many calories." It was a depressing way to live! 

I've made so much progress over the past few years, and as of this year I feel like I truly have a healthy mindset when it comes to my body. My goals are to eat nutritiously as much as possible (but to not beat myself up when I don't) and to workout for a healthy body (and to hopefully add years to my life). I of course still want to be thin within reason (and according to what's natural for my body), but I can truly say that my focus is to be lean and strong, not skinny. Do I still get annoyed at the size of my legs? For sure. But when I start going down that path I remind myself of years of wonderful memories from dancing, and that my muscle shows that I workout and have strong legs. I can't tell you how refreshing it is to have this healthier mindset. A huge goal of mine in 2018 is to increase my strength and muscle tone. I'm not afraid of it anymore!!

It truly doesn't matter if people will make fun of me or think what I'm doing is crazy.
I used to get soooo scared to post certain outfits, or to share more personal content (like this post!) for fear that people would judge me. I was scared to death to start my photography side hustle thinking that people would make fun of me and think I sucked. But then I just decided to get over it. The ladies I admire the most do their own thing.... wear what they want, post what they want, aren't scared to have opinions, aren't scared to create. You know what I mean. I realized this year that I want to be like that. Not scared, not second-guessing myself at every turn. And that if someone makes fun of me for something I post or for something I hustle at, that ultimately it reflects more on them than on me, and that I don't have to give a crap about what they say or think!           

dressing down a satin dress with a hat + boots
satin dress with a captain's hat
Dress c/o Lush Clothing (similar version by them here & here)  |  Hat  |  Ankle Boots  |  Bracelet (my favorite!)  |  Earrings are old from Target

Thank you so much for reading girls! It's truly been a great year with a lot of personal growth. It feels so good to be happier in my own skin.

PS - If (like me), you're cozy at home today and in the mood to online shop, today is the last day to get an extra 25% off sale items on Shopbop with the code JOY25! Also at Shopbop, I saw that one of my favorite brands has some gorgeous winter dresses right now if you have a winter wedding or event coming up (or are thinking ahead to Valentine's Day)!