A Blue Jean Skirt in Bandera

As many of you know if you read my “Texas Travel Diary; Week 1” post (read it now here), I recently returned from a two week trip to Texas.  While I was there I spent a few days in a super small town about an hour and a half outside of San Antonio called Bandera, otherwise known as the “Cowboy Capital of the World.”  I stayed at my grandparents’ house there and they have the most picturesque well on their yellow grassy property, so I had took advantage of that and shoot a quick fashion post for y’all!  Today I’m sharing that outfit, enjoy!

On the way to Bandera after our stay in the JW Marriot San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa, we stopped at a huge mall called La Cantera and I picked up the perfect denim skirt at Forever 21 for just $12.00, score!  It’s not too short but not awkwardly long, it’s not too tight but not too loose, it’s the perfect medium wash (is that a thing?) denim, and has the cutest bronze buttons down the front!  I styled this fabulous find with a cute white embroidered top from H&M (I bought it last year but I’ve linked a couple similar tops below!), gold Jack Rogers sandals, a fun pair of purple stacked tassel earrings from E. Taylor Designs for a pop of color, and some simple white and gold jewelry.  I hope you love this look as much as I do!

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top (similar here and here) // skirt // sandals // necklace // earrings // beaded bracelets (here and here) // MantraBand // Giving Key bangle // cross bracelet (similar) // watch (similar) // ring

Thanks for reading!

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The earrings from E. Taylor Designs as well as the beaded bracelets from Sashka Co. featured in this post were sent to me in exchange for a feature in my blog.  However, all opinions are honest and my own.  I don’t feature products I don’t truly love!

Texas Travel Diary 2017; Week 2

Today I’m finally getting around to sharing the second of this year’s Texas travel diaries with you!  I decided to split them up since I spent two weeks there this year and I figured that one post would be overwhelmingly long, plus this way I got to make two videos!  If you still haven’t read my “Texas Travel Diary 2017; Week 1” post, be sure to check it out here (the video’s pretty good if I do say so myself).  Our second week in Texas was filled with long car rides to some fun cities and more time with extended family, making it super fun!  In this post I have recapped each day, inserted highlight pictures, and like I said, created a video that you can watch below.  I recommend you watch the video in HD by clicking the HD button in the bottom right corner of the video.  I also linked some of the locations mentioned so you can check them out for yourself if you’re planning trip to Texas.  Enjoy!

This video was created using iMovie.  All of the underwater/beach clips were taken with a FujiFilm FinePix XP120 and all the rest of the clips were taken with a Canon EOS Rebel T6 and a EF-S 18-55mm lens.  The background song is “Higher Ground” by ODESZA featuring Naomi Wild.

Monday

Once we moved all of our bags from my paternal grandmother’s car to my maternal grandmother’s car around 2:00 p.m., we rode to a Baskin Robbins to surprise my cousin, Julia, at work!  She was totally shocked and it was super fun.  After we ate our ice cream, my grandmother drove my sister and I to her house.  I adore my grandmother’s house, it’s the one my mother and uncle lived in while they were in high school!  My grandfather passed away three years ago, so returning to that house is always fun but really bittersweet.  We chose our rooms, put a few of our things away, freshened up, and hopped in the car around 6:00 p.m. to head to my all time favorite restaurant in San Antonio; Alamo Cafe!  While Alamo Cafe certainly isn’t the most authentic Mexican food restaurant in San Antonio, it’s absolutely delicious and the freshly made, warm, flour tortillas brought to the table as if they were a basket of rolls will always keep me coming back.  I had my usual there, a basic chicken and cheese quesadilla.  After we finished eating, we drove to downtown where we made a quick stop in a gift shop before exploring the Riverwalk.  I always love going to the Riverwalk, even though I’ve walked it several times over the past ten years.  We rode a riverboat (which is also something I’ve definitely done my fair share of times) and took a few photos before it got pretty dark and we decided it was time to return to our grandmother’s house around 9:00 p.m.  When we got home around 9:30 p.m. we showered and got ready for bed.

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Tuesday

Tuesday morning we slept in until around 10:00 a.m.  When we all woke up, we quickly slipped on some shoes and ran out the door to drive through Taco Cabana to pick up some breakfast tacos (they’re the best!).  We ended up ordering a dozen so we could save some for later in the day.  I chose a few simple egg, cheese, and bacon tacos on flour tortillas, they’ve always been my favorite!  When we got home with our box of tacos we ate a couple then got dressed for the day.  We decided to return to La Cantera (yes, for the third time total in this trip to Texas) and our grandmother gave my sister and I each some money to buy some back to school pieces with.  Once we were shopped out, we ate at the shopping center’s Grimaldi’s, which has some of the best pizza.  We ordered a half pepperoni and half meatball and pepperoni pizza and it was delicious.  After we finished eating, we rode back to our grandmother’s house to pack an overnight bag.  Around 6:45 p.m. we left the house to pick our mother up from the airport before heading to Dallas for my tour of Southern Methodist University the following morning.  The drive is about five hours long, so we finished our box of breakfast tacos, played Uno, caught up with our mother, and took some good naps before arriving at our hotel in Dallas around 1:00 a.m.  Once we checked into our room we quickly got ready for bed and went to sleep.

Wednesday

My mother, grandmother, sister (Channing), and I woke up at 7:45 a.m. to begin getting ready for my tour of Southern Methodist University at 10 a.m.  After getting dressed and getting ready, I went to the hotel lobby with Channing to get a quick bite for breakfast.  After we’d eaten, we went back upstairs and waited until our mother was ready to depart for SMU around 9:45 a.m.  I won’t go to into depth on the tour, but the campus was absolutely beautiful.  The information sessions I attended answered almost all of my questions and made even more excited about SMU as a college option!  We had a little free time between sessions to grab lunch at la Madeleine French Bakery & Café on campus and run into the bookstore to purchase a tee shirt around noon.  After lunch, I had a tour of Meadows School of the Arts, where the Fashion Media baccalaureate program I’m specifically interested in is housed.  After the tour of Meadows, we got back in the car to start the five-hour drive home to San Antonio.  We stopped around 5:00 p.m. for dinner at Luby’s where I had fried chicken, a roll, and some broccoli and we ended up getting home around 9:00 p.m.  When we got home I showered and quickly went to bed because I was absolutely exhausted from all the walking around I did that day.

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Thursday

I accidentally slept in until around 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, so when I finally got up I quickly had some cereal then got ready for the day.  My grandmother is a photographer and she knows we share that interest, so she took me with her to tour a local photo lab around 1:00 p.m.  After the tour, my mother and grandmother had to get a few things done at the bank so Channing and I tagged along.  By the time they finished up at the bank, we were all really hungry for a late lunch, so we stopped by Whataburger around 3:30 p.m. before going home.  I just had a plain cheeseburger and shared some fries with my sister.  I know it’s terrible for you but I honestly think Whataburger is much better than any other burger chain.  After “lunch,” we went back to my grandmother’s house to get ready to go to my younger cousin, Cate’s, birthday party (she’s Channing’s age).  I hadn’t seen Cate in a year and I hadn’t seen her on her birthday in several years so it was really neat to spend part of the special day with her.  All of her family that was in town went to a barbecue restaurant in San Antonio called Two Bros. BBQ Market around 7:30 p.m.  That was my second time eating there and I think it’s super good (coming from someone who doesn’t normally like barbecue).  I had a smoked turkey sandwich and the best banana pudding for dessert.  After dinner, Channing and I went back to Cate’s house and spent the night.  Around 10:00 p.m. Cate’s older sister, Julia (about my age) came home from work and I had the chance to hang out with her for a while until we went to bed.  I always love catching up with Julia, we’ve always been super close.

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Friday

Our grandmother picked up Channing and I from our cousins’ house around 8:00 a.m. and we went straight to Taco Cabana.  There we picked up another dozen tacos to eat for breakfast and save for the long car ride to the beach.  We went back to our grandmother’s house to quickly pack for the beach then helped her load the car.  When my older brother, Ricky, arrived (he lives in San Antonio too!) around 12 p.m., we (Channing, Ricky, our mother, and our grandmother) all piled into our grandmother’s car and drove four hours to Rockport.  When we finally got to Rockport around 4 p.m., we settled into our rooms at the Lighthouse Inn.  This was our second year staying at the Lighthouse and we love it!  The location is awesome because it’s not far from the beach and within walking distance of quite a few good restaurants, including the one we went to Friday night, Charlotte Plummers.  My grandmother has been taking my mother and uncle to the Rockport beach since they were kids and Charlotte Plummers was always part of the trip, so it’s still a tradition to eat there every year.  While we waited for our food, Channing and I went outside and took a few pictures on the docks next to the restaurant (be on the lookout for an outfit post from that night soon!).  When we returned to the table, I had the shrimp brochette appetizer as a meal.  After we finished eating, we walked across the street to a Rockport gift shop called TG’s where we looked at tee shirts and souvenirs before hopping back in the car and driving to the beach to take some family pictures.  Once we were satisfied by the quantity and quality of the pictures we’d taken, we drove back to the hotel where we showered and went to bed.

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Saturday

My sister and I woke up around 8:30 a.m. and quickly got dressed in bathing suits and coverups and walked downstairs to eat the hotel breakfast.  I wore my Jadelynn Brooke “Beach Bound” tee with some athletic shorts as a coverup and I loved it.  Get your “Beach Bound” tee here and receive a 15% discount with my code “FLHS”!  I love the Lighthouse Inn’s breakfast like no other, not only is it an awesome buffet but there are Texas shaped waffles.  Yes, you read that right, TEXAS SHAPED WAFFLES!  Two of my favorite things combined that make for one yummy breakfast.  After breakfast, we went back upstairs to our room to pack our beach bags and finish getting ready for the day.  Around 10:00 a.m. my family hopped in my grandma’s car and we went to my favorite boutique in Rockport, The Bay Window!  This boutique is the absolute cutest, girliest store I’ve ever seen and I’ve made sure to make a stop there for the past three years.  I picked out an adorable top that I’ve decided will make for the perfect first day of school outfit!  After we checked out at The Bay Window, we went to a couple shell shops where my sister, mother, and I picked out our traditional anklets.  Once we’d visited two of our long time favorite shell shops, we finally went to the beach!  We got there around 1:30 p.m., so we bought lunch and snow cones from some food trucks in the beach’s parking lot.  I ordered a grilled cheese from a cookout food truck and my usual grape snow cone.  After eating, we finally made our way to the sand and sea.  We stayed at the beach until 4:00 p.m. then drove back to the hotel to start getting ready for dinner.  My mom really wanted seafood, so we asked some people around the hotel lobby for a recommendation and after hearing “Capt. Benny’s” a few times we decided to give it a try.  While the location was conveniently close to the hotel, the food wasn’t really anything too special and we waited over an hour for it despite the fact that the restaurant wasn’t that busy at all.  I wasn’t really in the mood for any of the seafood they had on the menu so I just had a cheeseburger and fries.  After dinner we returned to the hotel and went to sleep.

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Sunday

We woke up at 8:00 a.m. and got dressed to go eat the hotel breakfast.  I had another Texas shaped waffle (big surprise) then went back upstairs to the room to pack my belongings.  As my mother finished packing and getting ready, my sister and I helped our grandmother and brother load the car.  We left for San Antonio around 10:00 a.m. and when we arrived at the airport around 2:00 p.m. we walked her to security and hugged her goodbye.  After leaving my mother, we went to Alamo Cafe for a late lunch around 3:00 p.m.  I had a chicken and cheese quesadilla along with way too many plain tortillas and boy did it hit the spot.  When we finished eating we went back home with my grandmother and took our bags back to our rooms.  A few hours later my brother’s fiancé came over and we all went to the Pearl Brewery.  The Pearl Brewery is really neat because it used to be a brewery but now it’s home to hundreds of apartments, over a dozen restaurants and cafes, and lots of small businesses.  We walked around and just explored for a bit before having ice cream at Lick around 6:00 p.m.  I love Lick because it has the coolest flavors, like Peanut Butter and Jelly, Kale, etc.  I had the Texas Sheet Cake ice cream in a waffle cone and it was delicious!  After ice cream we went back to my grandmother’s house and my brother and girlfriend left.  When we got home I showered and went to bed.

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Monday

I woke up around 9:00 a.m. and had some cereal for breakfast before I began getting ready for the day.  Around 12:00 p.m. my brother came over again and my grandmother took the three of us (my brother, sister, and I) to El Mercado, the authentic Mexican Market Square in San Antonio.  I believe this was my third time going to El Mercado and I always love it, there’s so many beautiful, handmade art and clothing pieces.  Plus, there are a few awesome Mexican restaurants and churro stands (my brother, sister and I each had one and they were awesome)!  My grandmother was so sweet to purchase a beautiful traditional red tunic with embroidered flowers on it, I’m so excited to share how I style it with y’all!  We left the markets around 3:00 p.m. and my grandmother dropped me off at the Baskin Robbins my cousin Julia works at.  Julia finished working at 3:30 p.m. and took me to one of her favorite coffee places, Local Coffee, for a little coffee date.  In all honesty I don’t even like coffee so I just got a hot chocolate but it was super good!  After we finished our drinks, Julia drove me back to my grandmother’s house.  From there, my grandmother took my brother, sister, and I out to dinner Paesanos, an Italian restaurant that my grandfather used to love.  Monday was actually the three year anniversary of my grandfather’s death, so this dinner was very special for us.  Many of the waiters at the restaurant remember my grandfather and were super sweet to us.  I had the ravioli de formaggio con polpette di vitello (cheese ravioli with veal meatballs) and it was amazing.  After dinner my grandmother drove us all home and we said goodbye to our brother one last time.  We finished packing and doing some last minute laundry before going to bed.

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Tuesday

We woke up around 6:00 a.m. to eat my grandmother’s delicious eggs and bacon and quickly get ready to leave for the airport around 7:00 a.m.  We arrived at the airport around 7:30 a.m. and after we’d checked our bags and picked out some souvenirs for our little brother in an airport gift shop, Channing and I sat with our grandmother in a waiting area until 9:00 a.m.  We then hugged our grandmother goodbye and went through security.  Our flight boarded around 9:30 a.m. and we had a pleasant trip home.  I wore one of my favorite Jadelynn Brooke tees and a matching pair of Jadelynn Brooke athletic shorts for the plane ride and it was the perfect comfy ensemble!  Shop my tee here and my shorts here 15% off with my code “FLHS”!

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Thanks for reading!  Make sure you’re following me on Instagram @apocketfuloffaith and check my travel hashtag  #farawaywithfaith, to keep up with my future adventures in real time!

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The shirts and shorts from Jadelynn Brooke featured in this post were sent to me in exchange for a feature in my blog.  However, all opinions are honest and my own.  I don’t feature products I don’t truly love!

Backpack Shopping Guide

Since I began preschool, the piece of school supplies I have always been most excited about has been my backpack.  I feel like, next to clothes, it’s one of the best ways to express yourself at school.  While I haven’t chosen an exciting one with Hannah Montana or overwhelming floral patterns on it recently, nor have I purchased a new one every year like I used to back then, I still love my backpack and think that having the perfect one is an important component of walking into school confidently on the first day.  Today I’m sharing my third Back to School post this year; a backpack shopping guide!  Read the rest of my Back to School posts here!  This post features a few of my current favorite backpacks being sold online to help guarantee that you pick a trusty book bag that gives you that same boost of confidence and reassurance mine always gives me.  Each image of a backpack contains the link to the product’s online listing, so just click on one you like to shop!  You can also click on the underlined name of the brand to shop all of that brand’s backpacks.  Enjoy!

Jadelynn Brooke

Yes, I am an ambassador for Jadelynn Brooke and no, I’m not receiving any kind of compensation for mentioning their backpacks, I just love them!  Jadelynn Brooke backpacks come in a few adorable patterns (my favorite is pictured on the far left) and have all of the necessary functional features including a zip pocket and two side mesh pockets on the outside, two interior neoprene pockets (one sized for a 15 inch laptop and the other sized for a tablet), a water repellent exterior, a sturdy handle, and padded adjustable shoulder straps.  I actually have one of Jadelynn Brooke’s older backpacks and I love using it to travel, I can only imagine that the quality has improved since mine was released a year ago!  Plus, you can get yours 15% off with my code “FLHS” and you will receive a free Jadelynn Brooke water bottle, keychain, & some stickers with your purchase of a backpack!

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The North Face

My last two backpacks have been North Face Borealis and I love them.  My first one lasted three school years and a trip to Colorado, and even though it’s a little beat up now I still plan on using it for travel!  The first one pictured below is actually the one I got for this school year!  I love North Face backpacks because they’re built for hiking, so they’re super durable and have tons of pockets (including a padded, fleece-lined one that fits a 15 inch laptop) and zippered compartments to hold everything you could possibly need to take to school, plus the back area and shoulder straps are lined with memory foam!  Not to mention, there’s a plethora of color combinations and patterns!  A few of my favorite North Face Borealis backpacks for this school year are pictured (and linked) below.

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Madeline & Company

Madeline & Company was founded by Madeline, who at the time was just a rising senior in high school unable to find the perfect backpack that was both stylish and functional.  She started a small online business selling the backpacks she’d designed that were roomy enough to fit all of her books and super cute.  Now, two years later, she still has the business running with the help of her family and just released a second line of slimmer backpacks!  I don’t have one of these myself but I wish I did!  The classic design features an inspirational saying on the back of the backpack, navy and white stripe interior lining, an easy to clean faux leather base, a durable polyester exterior, a padded laptop sleeve, padded shoulder straps and back panel, interior zippered pocket, two exterior side pockets (perfect for water bottles), and an exterior zippered pocket.

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Patagonia

Just like North Face backpacks, Patagonia backpacks were originally created for hikers so they’re built to be spacious and durable, it’s just a plus that they happen to have some really cute colors!  My personal favorite styles from Patagonia are the Refugio Backpack 26L and the Chacabuco Backpack 28L, both of which include padded laptop sleeves, two water bottle pockets, “ultra soft” mesh back panels and shoulder straps, and multiple zipper compartments.  I’ve never had a Patagonia backpack but I have friends who’ve had them for years and love them.

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Thanks for reading!  Let me know what other Back to School posts you’d like to see in the coming weeks!

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Scripture Sunday Vol. 15

Happy Sunday friends!  I’m so happy to be sharing my fifteenth “Scripture Sunday” post with you today.  I’ve loved writing them for y’all every other week and I hope you’ve loved reading them too!  I’m just going to jump into the post, but as always I want to throw out the reminder that if the Christian religion offends you in any way you are more than welcome to keep scrolling through my blog and find a style post that you’d prefer to read.  Now, let’s get started!

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Today’s Verse:

Proverbs 11:27; Whoever seeks good finds favor, but evil comes to one who searches for it.

I’m not sure about when y’all are going back to school, but I return this Thursday, August 17th.  I’m going to be a junior and yes, I do know what they say, “junior year is the hardest.”  I’m pretty frightened to be starting such a crucial year to my college applications, but I’m also a bit excited for a new school year of possibilities and opportunity.

One thing I’m really not excited about, however, is seeing some of those people I’ve been happy to avoid all summer.  Those that have been a little less than kind to me in the past, those that I’ve hit rough patches with at some point this summer, etc.  I think it’s pretty fair to say this isn’t all that strange for a high schooler, but I don’t think it’s a good thing either.  I try not to judge people but sometimes it just seems as if my everyone at school is doing something bad or saying something bad about someone else and I’m just tired of it.

As I’ve tried to come up with a way to get past this before the school year begins, I found Proverbs 11:27.  The verse says “Whoever seeks good finds favor, but evil comes to one who searches for it.”  What I take away from this is the idea that if I go around school just waiting for someone to “wrong me” or do something I wouldn’t think of as right, I’ll see it a lot more.  However, if I begin to look at everyone the way God looks at us, I’ll be able to see the good in everyone I pass by in the hallways and sit next to in class.  I want to stop seeing people as fake, mean, etc. and start seeing them as children of God, made perfectly in His image.  I’m beginning to pray more for those I’m not too fond of and to only think of positive responses to things I hear or see about my peers.  I’m doing my best to stop searching for the bad and start opening my eyes to the good.

As you start school, stop yourself whenever you think those negative thoughts about others, even those that you might think are justified.  Start thinking “child of God” before thinking anything else of someone.  Everyone is worth loving and there’s no need to look for reasons to hate them instead.

Thanks for reading!  Have a blessed week.

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Texas Travel Diary 2017; Week 1

Each summer, my immediate family travels back to Texas for a week or so to visit the extended family that my we left behind when we made the move to the Carolinas a little over ten years ago.  I absolutely adore the state of Texas and am always thrilled to fly back and explore!  This year my younger sister and I had the privilege of flying independently and spending two weeks in Texas; one mostly in Bandera with my father’s parents and one mostly in San Antonio with my mother’s mom.  Today I’m so excited to be sharing the happenings of our first week in Texas with our father’s side of the family!  I have recapped each day, inserted highlight pictures, and created a video which you can watch below.  I recommend you watch the video in HD by clicking the HD button in the bottom right corner of the video.  I also linked some of the locations mentioned so you can check them out for yourself if you’re planning trip to Texas.  This week was a blast and I hope you can feel that in today’s post!  Enjoy!

This video was created using iMovie.  All of the underwater/pool clips were taken with a FujiFilm FinePix XP120 and all the rest of the clips were taken with a Canon EOS Rebel T6 and a EF-S 18-55mm lens.  The background song is “Love on Me” by Galantis & Hook N Sling.

Tuesday

My dad drove my sister (Channing) and I to the Charlotte airport 12:45 p.m. for our 2:54 p.m. flight into San Antonio.  After seeing that Channing and I made it safely through security, my dad waved goodbye and drove home.  Given that we fly at least once a year,  Channing and I are fairly accustomed to airports and flew independently without much stress.  This was actually really fun for us!  When we arrived in San Antonio, our grandparents surprised us at baggage claim by bringing our cousins, Frances and Reagan (both a year or two younger than me) to the airport to pick us up.  Channing and I were super happy to see everyone.  After getting our luggage, our grandparents surprised us again by taking us to the JW Marriot San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa instead of straight to Bandera as we’d expected.  After checking in, we went to our rooms.  The four of us, Reagan, Frances, Channing, and I, shared a room with two queen sized beds that connected to our grandparents’.  We had so much fun in this room (lots of girl talk and watching The Office) and found that it (along with the bathroom) was definitely spacious enough for four teenage girls to share.  Once we were settled into our room, we went out to eat at Cibolo Moon.  There we caught up while eating a delicious buffet of classic southern food.  On the way back to our rooms after dinner we had a brief exploration of the resort’s water park.  We found a s’more table and fire pit in an area behind one of the slides and gladly took advantage of the opportunity to make one.  We became super excited for the day ahead then went back to our rooms and showered before going to bed.

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Wednesday

We woke up around 10:00 a.m. to our grandmother bringing in some muffins she bought at a nearby Target for breakfast.  After scarfing down the muffins, we quickly changed into bathing suits and coverups before heading to the resort’s water park around 11:00 a.m.  The water park is home to a few slides, which my cousins and I had a blast riding.  One slide enclosed you in a metal tube before the floor dropped out from under you and you were suddenly riding a plastic slide.  Another slide had a super steep drop.  Another slide allowed you to ride in two person tubes.  When we got hungry around noon, we ordered lunch in our pool chairs.  I then had an amazing grilled chicken sandwich with french fries and a virgin piña colada.  Around 3:00 p.m., after tanning, swimming in the pool, riding all the slides, and taking a trip around the lazy river, my cousins, sister, and I decided to head back to the room to watch some television and get ready for a fairly nice dinner.  The four of us had fun giving each other fashion advice, sharing jewelry, and doing each other’s hair and makeup before heading off to dinner at Cibolo Moon again.  After dinner, my cousins, sister, and I walked onto the golf course to take some pictures as the sun set.  I even shot an outfit post, be on the lookout for that in the near future!  Once we felt we all had adequate pictures together and individually, we headed back to our room to put on comfortable clothes and hang out before going to bed.

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Thursday

Thursday morning we woke up around 8:00 a.m. and quickly packed our bags and got ready before walking over to the Starbucks in the resort with our grandmother.  After we finished enjoying our favorite sugary coffee drinks, we walked back to the room to double check that we hadn’t left anything before loading the car.  From the resort, we went to La Cantera.  La Cantera is a huge outdoor shopping center in San Antonio packed with tons of popular stores including Kendra Scott, Nordstrom, J.Crew, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Zara, Forever 21, and more.  We window shopped for a while then satisfied our hunger around noon with pasta at the Cheesecake Factory.  After lunch, we left for our grandparents’ house in Bandera.  We made a couple stops along the way to visit Reagan’s horse at the stables and pick up our grandmother’s dogs from where they were being boarded during our little resort vacation.  When we got to our grandparents’ house, we spent a couple hours settling in, hanging out, and taking pictures (including some for a blog post!) before dinner.  After dinner, my cousins taught my sister and I how to play Uno (I know, it’s crazy I never knew how to play before!) and we played a three hour game (yes, you read that right, a three hour round).  When we finally finished the Uno game, we showered and went to bed.

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Friday

Friday morning my sister and Reagan woke Frances and I up around 10:00 a.m.  We ate some amazing homemade banana bread made by my grandmother for breakfast then played a couple rounds of Uno (both games took small fractions of the time the previous night’s game consumed) before going swimming in our grandparents’ pool.  Around 1:00 p.m. our grandmother brought out some spaghetti and we took a pool break to eat.  We continued to swim until around 4:00 p.m. when we got out to shower and get ready for a casual dinner at our Aunt Megan’s house.  When we got to her house around 6:00 p.m. we reconnected with her sons (our younger boy cousins) Campbell, Keller, and McCrae.  An hour or so after we arrived our Uncle Chip brought our other cousin, Madelyn (about my age), home from cheer camp.  We were all super excited to see her!  We had delicious tacos for dinner then went outside and explored our aunt and uncle’s little ranch.  Around 8:00 p.m. we went back to our grandparents’ house.  When we got home we showered and got ready for bed.

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Saturday

Saturday morning I was the last one awake at 11:00 a.m. (oops) and quickly had some banana bread before we all started tidying up our rooms and packing our suitcases.  Around 1:00 p.m. my cousins, sister, and I loaded into our grandmother’s car and we drove to Dairy Queen where we met Madelyn and Aunt Megan for lunch.  I ate a grilled chicken sandwich and a Reese’s Cup Blizzard.  After lunch, Madelyn joined us in our grandmother’s car and we stopped by the nearest Redbox on the way home to pick out a couple movies.  After deciding on Split and Nerve, we got back in the car and rode back to our grandparents’ house.  There my cousins, sister, and I all piled on the couch and watched Split together.  I’d already seen the movie, so it was funny to see my cousins’ initial reactions to it!  After the movie ended, we gathered our nightly essentials and favorite outfits into duffel bags and headed to Reagan’s family’s renovated old fashioned school house in Hondo.  The school house has been turned into the cutest little guest house and it was so much fun to sleep over in!  When we got to the house we had a pizza dinner with Reagan’s parents, Aunt Brooke and Uncle Miles, and our grandparents before changing into our cutest outfits and hopping on Reagan’s golf cart.  We rode Reagan’s golf cart to a beautiful field on their property where a couple of her older horses roamed.  There we took a few cute pictures as the sun set before getting back on the golf cart and going for a faster ride over the property.  Once we rode back to the old school house, a few of us took quick showers and changed into comfortable clothes before we all sat down to watch Nerve together (side note; I loved this movie).  Shortly after the movie ended we all went to sleep.

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Sunday

Sunday morning my cousins and sister woke me up around 10:45 a.m. to join them in the school house kitchen and eat some cinnamon rolls that Aunt Brooke had come in and made.  After breakfast, we just hung out and watched television then packed up our stuff and rode back to our grandparents’ house.  We spent a couple hours having sandwich lunches, packing up our stuff, and cleaning up our rooms at our grandparents’ house before heading to Aunt Megan’s house for a sleepover.  We swam in the pool for a couple hours before coming in for a taco dinner.  After dinner we showered and watched Hot Pursuit together then went to bed.

Monday

We woke up around 8:00 a.m. to quickly get ready and eat some cinnamon rolls for breakfast before heading to La Cantera.  We got to La Cantera around 10:00 a.m. and looked around until we met up with most of our aunts, uncles, and boy cousins at Whiskey Cake for lunch.  Whiskey Cake honestly has a really odd menu but the chicken sandwich I got was really good!  After lunch we shopped around a little more before we met up with my grandmother on my mother’s side in the parking lot and moved all of Channing and I’s luggage to her car.  This is what I consider the separation of my two weeks in Texas, so I’m going to stop this recap here!

Thanks for reading!  Make sure you’re following me on Instagram, @apocketfuloffaith, and checking my travel hashtag, #farawaywithfaith, to keep up with my travels in real time!  Be on the lookout for my Texas week two travel diary which should be on the blog in the next week or so!

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Back to School Lookbook 2017

It’s crazy to think that I put together my first “Back to School Lookbook” post two years ago, yet here I am sharing another one today!  This one is always my favorite Back to School post to write each year, even though creating it usually requires me spending hours outside in the 80-90 (if not higher) degree heat taking pictures while wearing jeans.  If you’re interested in reading my last two “Back to School Lookbook” posts, you can find them here and here.  Now, enough with that sentimental blip, let’s get on with the post!

Showing off new clothing pieces is without a doubt one of my favorite parts of going back to school.  However, I often struggle with styling my new clothes in a way that I would deem “first week worthy.”  Hopefully the three looks in today’s post will help you find fun, creative ways to style the new pieces you’ve picked up this summer and rethink the way you style some of the basic closet staples you’ve been working with for years.  This is the second post in this year’s Back to School series, so be sure to check out my last Back to School themed post, “10 Things I Wish I Realized Before Sophomore Year of High School,” here if you haven’t already.  Okay okay, let’s look at these outfits already!

Comfortable and Casual

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This look is probably the most basic of the three I’m sharing today.  I styled a simple, soft striped tank with a tan cardigan, rolled up jeans, and a trendy pair of Nikes for a comfortable yet trendy look.  I accessorized with a few simple bracelets, my Kate Spade watch, Kendra Scott Danielle earrings, and a pearl necklace layered with a choker.  I adore this fun turquoise, rose gold, and white braided choker from Beach Bum Beads!  They’re an Instagram business, so you can check out their Instagram @beachbumbeads here and place an order with them through direct message.  This look would be super easy to recreate; layer a soft, comfy cardigan over a simple top with some jeans and sneakers (Converse, New Balances, Adidas Superstars, and Vans would all look great, just to name a few!).

top (similar) // cardigan (similar) // jeans // sneakers // choker (direct message the Instagram account linked to order and let them know I sent you!) // three pearl necklace // earrings // beaded bracelets (here and here) // MantraBand // Giving Key bangle // cross bracelet (similar) // watch (similar) // ring

A Light Sweater and A Denim Skirt

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If you read my “Trend Tracking” post on denim skirts (linked here), you already know that I love them.  I love this maroon one because it sticks to the trend but the color makes it a little more unique.  I wore it with a light v-neck sweater from H&M half tucked in along with my favorite pair of faux leather lace up sandals from Target.  I accessorized the look with some simple white and gold bracelets, a gold Kate Spade watch, thin gold hoop earrings, and a green beaded choker from Gia Designs.  I love this choker and definitely recommend checking Gia Designs out here for more nice looking yet inexpensive jewelry pieces.  Gia Designs is another Instagram business, so you can check out their Instagram @gia.designs here and place an order with them through direct message.  This look can be recreated with any denim skirt, a light sweater (you don’t want anything too thick yet, it’s still pretty hot out!), and a pair of lace up sandals.

sweater (no longer available in orange) // skirt // sandals // choker (custom order; direct message a picture of the choker from this post to @gia.designs on Instagram here to order it yourself!) // hoop earrings // beaded bracelets (here and here) // MantraBand // Giving Key bangle // cross bracelet (similar) // watch (similar) // ring

An Unbuttoned Button Down Over A Simple Dress

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Honestly I think this outfit has to be my favorite, it’s so simple and cute!  You could easily recreate this look yourself by throwing an unbuttoned flannel, oxford, or chambray button down (like the one I’m wearing) over a simple solid colored dress.  I’m wearing a plain black tank dress from Old Navy (that I must mention is so soft) with super flattering loose peplum-esque stitching a little above the waistline.  I paired that dress with an open chambray button down (also from Old Navy) and classic gold Jack Rogers sandals for an easy yet put together look.  I accessorized with a gold Kate Spade watch, some simple white and gold bracelets, Kendra Scott Danielle earrings, and a Kendra Scott Elisa pendant necklace layered with a fun turquoise bar necklace from Lexas Chic Boutique.  Lexas Chic Boutique has a ton of fun jewelry pieces, be sure to check them out here and use my code “FAITH15” for 15% off

dress (similar) // button down (similar) // sandals // turquoise bar necklace // pendant necklace // earrings // beaded bracelets (here and here) // MantraBand // Giving Key bangle // cross bracelet (similar) // watch (similar) // ring

Thanks for reading!  I hope this post has helped you gather some inspiration for your back to school looks!  Let me know in the comments which look of these three looks was your favorite!

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The chokers from Beach Bum Beads and Gia Designs as well as the necklace from Lexas Chic Boutique and the beaded bracelets from Sashka Co. featured in this post were sent to me in exchange for a feature in my blog.  However, all opinions are honest and my own.  I don’t feature products I don’t truly love!