JULY / life, liberty, & the pursuit of happiness

+ July was a super chill month for me, a trip home in the middle, notwithstanding! I felt like I was able to get things done that I've been meaning to do forever, like get new tires & clean my car, sort some drawers in my room, etc.
+ Also three cheers for being in the heart of Summer and loving it! I've been soaking up pool time, eating and drinking on patios, cut-offs, kayaking, theme parks, lots of ice cream, and allll that Summer-y goodness.
+ After #26DaysofPriya last month, I was actually really excited to kick off #26DaysofNOTPriya. The whole point of this was to NOT be self-serving, but I had forgotten about how good it feels to do nice things for other people. I've written a lot of cards and otherwise surprised people with all kinds of gifts, big and small (facials & almond butter packets.) And I decided to do 26 things rather than 26 consecutive days so I'm still finishing up.
+ On August 31st I'm going to Italy (!!) so the biggest thing I have coming around the corner is this cleanse I've decided to do for the month of August. I'm cutting out gluten, dairy, and alcohol. You'll notice sugar is not included because I have a mega-sweet tooth. This is really more about practicing some discipline, for once, and less about losing weight or looking a certain way for my trip (though, to be fair, I do want to be feeling great before I'm in a swimsuit for a week.) And I am SURE I will keep you posted.

+ I wrote a love letter to my live-in pieces for Summer, established blogging as my hobby (and I don't care who knows it!), and brought my Bridesmaid 101 series back to discuss bridal showers.
+ I was excited to try LipSense for the first time, this accidentally tennis-inspired outfit is one of my favorites I've ever blogged, I came clean with my hat secret, wore a pink miniskirt in Charleston, and did a super Summer-y shoot with my friend Miles!
bbg meals IN THE KITCHEN: One of my small goals was to make 4 recipes from my Bikini Body Guide book. Check!
+ Lamb Tagine | Lamb is my favorite, this was doable, delicious and filling- it lasted me a week.
+ Fudgy Brownies | I spent $$ buying all these healthy ingredients (like coconut sugar!) and these were great!
+ Quinoa Chicken Pilaf | An easy, healthier spin on a traditional pilaf. Don't skimp on those cranberries!
+ Ginger Peach Overnight Oats | This is such a simple, hearty breakfast that tastes even better after TWO nights.

ON THE WISHLIST: Somebody gimme a medal, because I went a month without shopping! What I wish I bought:
Old Navy white Rockstar jeans | I already know I love these & I hate the white pants I have & I need them for an exciting upcoming collab (I got a beautiful top sent to me and only these will do!)
novelty one-piece | This is the one piece (ha ha) that I am allowing myself to buy for my upcoming trip to Italy. Really my dream is to own a gorgeous Mara Hoffman swimsuit, but in the meantime, there are so many fun options out there, especially by Private Party (think of the 'grams!)
UntitledON MY FACE: Ok, I went a month without buying clothes/shoes. I did buy a lot of makeup. Oops! [Clockwise-ish]
+ NYX Angel Veil Primer | My beauty newb self previously thought primer was only for making make-up last. The vloggers (ok I also watched a LOT of YouTube this month) taught me otherwise- it also makes your foundation go on/look better. Primers are expensive, but this NYX one is a drugstore gem for good reason- works great & only $15!
+ Too Faced palette | Steph turned me on to this! Eyeshadow can be tricky, but this palette has all the matte shades you'll ever need as a base for any look. I've been using this daily since I got it! See what it looks like inside, below!
+ Too Faced Highlighter | I wanted to share one product I've actually been disappointed by- I had to get my hands on this highlighter (the packaging!) but honestly I love my $5 Wet n Wild highlighters WAY more! I don't know if it's the shade or the brush I'm using or what, but this just doesn't work for me.
+ Real Techniques brushes | One thing that was actually (lol) on my list this month was to upgrade my brushes a bit. I know a lot of people love the Real Techniques brushes, so I picked up the Eye Shade + Blend duo (^ this bigger one is a DREAM for blending eyeshadow!) and since I'm always on the hunt for the perfect contour brush, I got the Flawless Base set solely for ^ this brush, which has actually made a world of difference in my contouring skills.
+ NYX lipstick in Thalia | Because sometimes you need an MLBB that's NOT matte, you know? This is pretty close!
+ Wet n Wild blush in Pearlescent Pink | Everybody loves the Wet n Wild blushes- however, I think the shade I had previously (Apri-Cot In The Middle) was a little light for me. All it took was a different shade for me to be hooked!

Farewell, Starlight! - Francis and the Lights | I know this is old news but I can't stop listening to this fun, dancy, album. Listen to: It's Alright 2 Cry, May I Have This Dance, Friends. 
Ocean - Parekh & Singh | Thanks to my lil bro Tuppy, who introduced them to me! Guys, Indian Indie is a THING that exists. This entire album is totally dreamy. Listen to: I Love You Baby, I Love You Doll, Newbury Street. 
Lust for Life - Lana Del Rey | Alternate title: How Lana Got Her Groove Back. I was so excited for this album because I'm a huge LDR fan, and her last album, Honeymoon, left something to be desired. Well, she's BAAACK doing what Lana does best: making you love and hate your life at the same time, making you remember "my boyfriend's back, and he's cooler than ever" and making even the most mundane trips "back to work or the coffee shop" so glamorous. This album is fantastic. Listen to: first of all, the single, LOVE, if you haven't, my second favorite so far is Summer Bummer (ft. ASAP Rocky, they are buds and I LOVE IT.) "Who's doper than this bitch," indeed. This is my soundtrack for the rest of Summer 2017.

P.S. Let's connect on Spotify (it's a NO JUDGEMENT zone!)
+ Ozone Falls | (Pictured above!) Just under 2 hours outside of Nashville in Crab Orchard, TN (cute!) You can “hike” just over half a mile down to the falls & a great swimming hole (perfect for toting a picnic!)
+ kayaking the Harpeth | I went kayaking twice this month- once in TN and once in CA (very different experiences!) Kayaking is probably the best Summer activity Middle TN has to offer- there are several rivers just a few hours drive from Nashville! The closest being the Harpeth, & there are several kayaking excursion companies that make it SO easy (even if you’re outdoor-averse, promise!) 

+ Lulu | This is my FAVORITE new place in Nashville for a few reasons: the branding/decor (I’m getting like…Scandinavian beach vibes?), the food (affordable and simple- sandwiches, a gingersnap that brought me back to life one morning), and a FREE SOFT-SERVE MACHINE (yeah, how is this even possible.)
+ Fort Louise | In my neighborhood! I went opening week and loved it! The food was delicious (I was so pleasantly surprised by fried deviled eggs), the service was so so great, and it’s in an old house which couldn’t look cooler. 
+ Slim & Husky's | I was really excited to try out this place, and if the pizza can be beat, the experience definitely cannot! I love that three childhood friend’s opened it in their neighborhood (Buchanan Art’s District, which was new to me) I love that Fresh Prince was projected on the wall, I loved the 90’s hip-hop that was playing, I LOVED the hip-hop lyric inspired affirmations painted all over the bathroom, and yeah I loved the pizza. 

I would love to hear about your favorite eats, drinks, buys, reads, listens, or adventures, in Nashville (or wherever you live!) from July! Share with me below!!

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