Best-Kept South Texas Secret

I’m sitting here in Harlingen, Texas at the Harlingen Airport while people rush to their flight around me and I’m thinking about how much the world needs to know about the best-kept secret in Texas!

I visited The Valley, the furthest South in Texas you can go before you reach Mexico, on April 6th weekend this past Spring. Let me tell you why I adore this place, why you have to visit, and all the surprisingly unknown treasures of this area.

My friends, Lolly & Lars, have always told me about how great The Valley was since I was young, but we never got to visit or explore the area much, until now. This weekend she flew me out for a quick girls’ getaway.  By the way, Lolly is a TREASURE TROVE of information on The Valley and I keep begging her to start a blog! (Update: SHE DID! I’ll give you all her info down below.) In the meantime, let me tell you just how charming, fun and INEXPENSIVE this little destination truly is!

HOW TO GET THERE

Lolly flew me down via Southwest Airlines, but you can also drive the 10-12 hours from DFW, depending on how fast you drive! I’ve made that road trip plenty of times with my family as we would vacation in Veracruz, Mexico every year. It’s a straight shot down I-35 S to US-77 coming from Dallas and there are plenty of cool stops all along the way, you can even detour through Austin and San Antonio, Texas if you wanted to.

Back to the flight, Southwest was in-and-out per the usual. The staff is always attentive and passionate, their free snacks and drinks are a nice touch, and the warm smiles from the staff and passengers make you feel all the more welcome. The flight I was on had a quick drop off in Austin and those going on to Harlingen were able to stay on the plane, which was so nice. All of the passengers staying on were able to move up to the front and secure our new positions before the newcomers came aboard. The remaining hour flight went by so smoothly and in the blink of an eye, we were in Harlingen, Texas.

If you’re ever looking to go to a legit Texas beach, the closest airport to South Padre Island is Harlingen so you’ll want to fly into that airport.  There are direct flights that go back and forth but they usually travel at night and from what I could tell, most of them had a 1-hour layover. No biggie.

P.S. You will fall in love with The Valley’s adorable international airport. It’s so tropical and homey. It’s small, too…in and out!

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For all you visual learners out there, I made this map to give you an idea of where everything is in conjunction with the airport:

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WHERE I STAYED

I stayed in Port Isabel since Lolly has a darling condo there. It’s spectacular and nestled right in the heart of Port Isabel. We walked to our favorite little breakfast spot, Isabel’s Cafe. Ohhhhh man, as big as yo face, breakfast burritos between $2.50-$4.00 along with other delicious Mexican specialties no more than $7.00. Isabel’s is a MUST and a family could eat there every day and not break the bank at all.

Although the weather was a little dreary that weekend, it was still so nice to be on the coast. It rained a couple of times but other than that, we enjoyed the days without the hot sun beating down on us. Here’s a view from the outdoor patio:

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The best part about our Port Isabel location is that we are only a short drive away from SPI and can literally be on the beach in less than 10 minutes, causeway included.

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND AKA SPI

Again, the days were a bit cloudy but as you can see in my selfie, the sun made an appearance and blessed us with her beautiful rays!! 

SPI’s beach is stunning and the city keeps it trash free and immaculate. The sand is soft, the water is warm, and you can just order just about anything food or drink related from anywhere right on the beach. #convenience

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Of course, we ordered beach food and guess what it was…img_1334

NomNomNom. Give me allllll the shrimp this place has to offer. It is the absolute best.

Note: You can tell in the picture that Lolly has on a light jacket. If you go in April, carry one just in case the weather turns rainy. It’s not cold, but the cloudy skies mixed with rain can make you feel chilly.

WHAT I ATE

There are a few places to eat here that are a MUST. These would include: Dirty Al’s {pictured below}, Tequila Sunrise, Louie’s Backyard {all-you-can-eat seafood buffet, we’re talking crab cakes, legs, the whole nine yards!} and Blackbeards’.

For those of you that know me, you know I am a HUGE fan of Seafood, my entire family is. With my Dad being from Veracruz, a state in Mexico near the Gulf of Mexico, we were raised on yummy foods like shrimp, lobster, crab legs, oysters. You name it, we love it. However, in recent years, I break out in hives from shellfish intake. I just have to be a little more cautious now, but some things are worth a breakout. Not really, but kinda. 🙂

Confession: my diet downfall is fried food. Not the typical sweet or salty most people crave, just gimme good ol’, deep southern fried ANYTHING. If you’re in the same boat {pun intended}, SPI will be your own personal heaven. If it’s not, there are plenty of baked and pan seared seafood options just for you! I personally just couldn’t see past all the yummy fried goodness. My advice: This is not a super diet friendly place, although I did notice the island now has a Tropical Smoothie Cafe,  just eat what your heart desires while you’re there and go on a detox when you get back 😉 #Balance

Here are a few pics while at Dirty Al’s:

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These platters MELTED in my mouth and because we are right by the ocean, you can imagine how tasty and fresh the fish and shrimp are. My mouth is watering just writing this…#takemeback.

WHY I THINK THIS IS A BEST-KEPT SECRET

OK…the moment you’ve all been waiting for. SPI is incredible but what makes this trip even sweeter is the fact that you get to drive about 45 minutes to ANOTHER COUNTRY. That’s right, only 45 minutes and you’re in the great country of M E X I C O #Roots.

The city we headed to is Nuevo Progreso. To get to this little gem of a town, I recommend typing “Nuevo Progreso Crossing” into Google Maps and follow the directions for the Progreso International Bridge.

Once you get close, you will see a parking lot on your right. You’ll be able to park there and walk a short 2 minutes across the bridge {like the man I captured below}. To cross the border you’ll pay 50 cents {yes, actual coins}, and VIVA MEXICO!!!

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Nuevo Progreso, Tamaulipas, Mexico

Now the real fun begins! And don’t worry, it won’t break the bank. You can enjoy things like $12 US pedicures, deeeeeeeeply discounted massages, chiropractic work, dental work {I had my teeth cleaned last time and it was literally $25 US}, and of course, T A C O S…

Ya’ll already know I was posting to my Insta story non stop!!
@charitysantibanez

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These taco plates were all of $4 US. Ahhhhhhhmazing! The service is really great too, since they thrive on tourist’s business. The US dollar goes so far in Mexico, these businesses want American customers for that reason and I felt so rich while I was there. I also felt like I was blessing these people just trying to make a living here. 🙂 One of the best parts is, you don’t have to exchange your currency. They accept US cash and larger stores such as dental offices, doctor offices, and supermarkets accept credit and debit cards. So don’t worry about having to fiddle with exchange rates and all that. Another HUGE plus!

Next stop, the nail salon. I don’t remember the exact name of the place, but look for the girls in the purple smocks. These ladies are amazing at what they do and wear 6-inch heels while doing it! 🙂 They will hook you up with a wonderful, relaxing pedi that’ll only set ya back 12 buckaroos! Hello!!!!! You can even enjoy a margarita while you’re getting pampered. I passed, but a lot of people seemed to enjoy them 😉

On the back wall of the salon, there was a display where they had Louis Vuitton, YSL, Burberry and other designer purses for sale. I actually bought a knockoff Chanel bag that looked vintage for only $60! Compared to $3,000, that’s pretty incredible. Of course, it’s not real but hey, I can get the look for thousands less and it’s a gorgeous bag. Thank you, Progreso 😉 Just another one of the many things I adore about this place.

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After receiving our fresh, feet fades, it was time to shop! I typically try to find cute trendy jewelry, little gifts for my niece and nephew, Mexican candy, hammocks, reusable Frida Kahlo bags, serape’s AKA Mexican Blankets, you know, nandy pandy stuff. Don’t think you have to go far to shop, the streets you are walking are rows and rows of vendors selling all items from Ray Ban sunglasses, watches, hats, toys, you name it, they have it and if they don’t, Julio down the street DOES!

Here’s a street view of what the shops look like. I love how authentic Nuevo Progreso is and that I can get those Mexican vibes without having to travel deep into the country.

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Of course, we had a photo shoot to end a wonderful and tiring day of eating, shopping and enjoying the Mexican country.

All in all, it was a perfect, relaxing, and fun day and you can tell in this pic as we were getting ready to cross the border! I walked across donning my new Serape {perfect for picnics, concerts or covering up during rain which is what I was doing here} and my Frida Kahlo bag {perfect for reusable anything}! Mexican, much? I loved every minute of it. 

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As you can see, this destination truly is one of the best-kept secrets in Texas. If you didn’t know about this hidden treasure before, I’m glad I was able to introduce you to it and that you book your next trip here. It’s amazing how inexpensive and culturally invigorating is it to travel here. I see myself traveling here quite a bit when Raymond and I have kiddos and we want to share the rich, Mexican culture with them without having to travel so far into Mexico. I know they will love it and enjoy all it has to offer.

Safety Tip: Although Progreso is a safe, kid-friendly place by day, it is Mexico and that means at night, it gets a little crazy. My tip is to leave by 3 or 4:00 PM. We arrived there around 10 AM that morning so we had PLENTY of time to do everything we needed to do in 6 hours. You’re not walking far at all. I don’t even remember walking in even 1/2 a mile past the border. Everything is conveniently located as soon as you cross.

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As promised: My friend, Lolly is seriously a GURU when it comes to the Valley. So much so, that she started her very own blog, KissYoMama Travel Blog. Follow her and I promise she will keep you entertained and fascinated by not only the Valley, but her many travel adventures including a trip to Cape Cod, Africa she took last year-WOW!!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kissyomamatravelblog/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kissyomamatravelblog/

Website: https://kissyomama.blog/

I hope you enjoyed this one of many travel blogs. I plan to do a lot this year after we traveled sooooo much last year. There are too many good trips not to share them all with you. That is my goal. I still have Europe to finish for you. However, I will say, Texas has always been my favorite place to explore. I mean, hello, we are a ginormous state and we have so much to offer our residents. Explore it all and don’t forget to #NeverStopExploring.

Much Love, Loves!

Charity

P.S I have some crazy, exciting news coming your way. 2018 will be the best year yet. We are only 6 months through and we’ve got a lot of weeks to go, places to go; people to meet, love on and care for! Let’s make those sweet memories one day at a time! 😉

Gucci Dupes under $25

Gucci Dupes under $25

Why pay $995 when you can order these babies and get the same look for more than a fraction of the cost!

I first saw these as I, per the usual, breezed through the aisles of Targ {don’t we all} helping a friend shop for shoes. My friend and I immediately had to have them {she was a little apprehensive 😬 but I told her she could rock them}! And she did! And so did I! 🤓

These loafers also come without the fur and is a more traditional slide-in loafer. Also a great choice.

As you can see, I’ve been LIVING in these all fall/winter season! I totally recommend them and the price point can’t be beat.

BOTTOM LINE: you need them.

Even as Spring approaches, I’ll be pairing these with cute dresses, skirts, denim, and even to the pool! The fur is super resilient and I really did wear these to a friend’s pool, because TX was behind on the cold weather memo for more than a minute this fall 🙄.

Shop my fur loafers here $24.99 | Shop my loafers minus the fur here :: come in black and silver {love them!} and are currently on sale!

Much love, loves!

Charity

P.S did you notice I changed a few things in the site? Let me know if you like it or not?! 😘

Black Friday Guide

Black Friday Guide

Gone are the days of standing in line at 3am to get a head start on the best deals of the year! Thankfully retailers have become smarter and allow us to show from the comfort of our homes {with our favorite movie rolling in the background, I’m currently watching The Holiday, of course}! SO here goes a few of my fave sales currently going on NOW so take advantage. Some of my previous purchases are marked down as well and will be pictured below, ready to shop!

NORDSTROM | Extra 20% off selected sale items | My faves are below, just screenshot the pics below via the liketoknow it app or on my Shop My Instagram and you will see EVERYTHING. Just tag me in a comment below or comment on Instagram if you need any help!  This sale is BIG. We’re talking Ray Bans 20% off BIG! Now’s the time if you’ve been wanting a pair. Believe me, they never go on sale like this.

NORDSTROM RACK | Take an EXTRA 30% off Clearance items + Free Shipping | The OTK {over the knee} boots I wore all around Europe ship for free now. Price is already 20% off, so comfy and classy! Get them here  but hurry, limited sizes available!

ZARA | Take 30% off entire site| My silver platform sneakers are apart of this click here!

ASOS | 30% off everything EPIC30

H&M |Get 20% off + Free Shipping with code 1662 until 11/26 | a few of my personal faves…camo sweater  and everyday sweater

TARGET | Spend $50 today & get an email coupon good for 20% off a future. Target purchase 11/28–12/10. PLUS, I noticed 30% off some items I already have including that amazing blazer. Get it here and see pic below for a mind refresher…I wear it ALL THE TIME!

Not to run errands with my sis, just for fun, since I’ve shopped for all my things online. Phew! No BF craziness here! Enjoy the long weekend and lookout here and my IG posts with more sale updates!

Much love, loves!

Charity

Daniel Wellington | Fall Release: The Classic Petite Ashfield {discount code}

Daniel Wellington | Fall Release: The Classic Petite Ashfield {discount code}

I don’t think Daniel Wellington produces a bad watch. I really don’t. They are the epitome of classy style that can be worn as arm candy on a daily basis.

And their latest, is no exception. Earlier this Fall, they released the Classic Petite Ashfield watch. Now, you may remember my other IG posts about my DW Classic Black Sheffield watch with the gorgeous, black leather band. How this one differs is that it has a mesh band instead of a leather one which makes it easy to style with dressier items such as ball gowns, LBD’s (Little Black Dresses), dressy casual attire for work or while enjoying a nice cup of french press at your local coffee shop, as pictured! 🙂

I have enjoyed this watch so much and I know you will to! I am constantly getting compliments on it and find myself wearing it on a DAILY BASIS. Definitely my GO TO WATCH 😉 and since I already have the cuff, it pairs perfectly, if I do say so myself!

Now for the part you have all been waiting for…enjoy 15% off of my watch or whatever you find to your liking on their website HERE using code CHARITY15 | That’s right, anything off their website…15% off your entire order {insert surprise face emoji} until November 8th. So share this with ya friends, even men too!

you deserve it babes!

Much Love, Loves,

Charity

 

Silver Platform Sneakers

Silver Platform Sneakers

So as you know, Raymond and I have been getting ready for our DREAM VACATION–E U R O P E ! We celebrated 5 years in August and have since been to Cabo, San Francisco and NOW- E U R O P E !! I can’t say it enough! Ugh, I can’t wait!

So in prep for all the walking, i’ve been on the search for some amazing sneaks and boots (boots coming soon, you’re gonna love them).  So without further adieu, here’s how I styled them this past Saturday when I went to the fair. Yes, the TX State Fair, they are that comfy. Don’t let the platform part fool you, these babies are C to tha O to tha M F Y ! 

Here’s the link to get them: ZARA Silver Platform Sneakers || Get the rest of my outfit by going to my Shop page HERE  😉

I hope everyone is having an incredible Fall! I’m sorry it’s been awhile since I’ve cranked out a blog but i’m learning to manage time better and would love it yall would let me know what you’d like to see next!

Much Love, Loves,

Charity

P.S Give me so many tips and tricks while in London, Paris, Barcelona and Madrid!!!!!! T-Minus 15 dayssss!!!

Sseko | Wear this Brand. Send a Girl to College.

Sseko | Wear this Brand. Send a Girl to College.

Sseko is a brand like no other. When you buy clothes, shoes, oversized luggage bags, do you ever dream of those funds actually going to help someone. Much less actually help an impoverished woman go to college! But at Sseko {pronounced Say-ko} that’s exactly what happens and I couldn’t be more excited to share this brand with you…see more of their story here. The videos are so inspiring!

You see…I am all about empowering women in every way I possibly can. With this brand, we have the perfect opportunity to help just by purchasing from their very wide selection. Have you seen their leather bags?? Obsessed is an understatement! I am already wanting one for Fall!!! Check them out here! I have a discount code at the bottom so keep reading and share with your friends 😉

Ssekos are perfect pool side!
SSEKO POOL DAYS FOR DAYS.

Did you see my unveiling on IG stories? If not, watch this. I love how they package each pair of sandals!

This could not be ore amazing…

So if after you read this and you’re like me and want everything on their website, “lucky for you {that’s what I like!} I have a DISCOUNT CODE! Enter ‘LOVECHARITY’ for 15% off at checkout and start shopping here because it’s only valid through the end of August. Hello Fall Style! Check out how I styled them…

Sseko White Gold Crossover Slides are my jam!
Bella loves Mommy in her Ssekos!

I’ll be updating outfits with these loves on as I go so be sure to check back here and on IG.  + Shop my EXACT sandals here!

Much Love, Loves!

Charity S.

btw, today is mine and Raymond’s 5th ANNIVERSARY!!!! Cabo is NEXT week!!!! Woohoo!

C I T Y L I N E | Best kept secret in Dallas “burbs” 

C I T Y L I N E | Best kept secret in Dallas “burbs” 

Happy almost Summer, loves! As I sit here writing, I’m thinking back on my first evening I ever spent at Cityline. I had a friend in from out-of-town and wanted to take her somewhere fun and away from all the places I see on a daily basis, without having to drive into Dallas {it was a Friday evening and I didn’t feel like fighting traffic}. One key fact about me: I am NOT a creature of habit. In fact, I despise doing the same thing all the time. I gotta change it up a lot. HOWEVER, when I find a place that has cool vibes, I can’t help myself.

CITYLINE does this for me and has one of the coolest vibes I’ve seen this side of I-635 in a while.

Raymond and I lived in Downtown Dallas right after we were married and got spoiled by all the eclectic {non-chain} places to go eat and hang out in the Downtown/Uptown/Deep Ellum neighborhoods. When we moved back to the “burbs” we were like, chain restaurants galore and hardly any health conscious places. As I mentioned before, I’m not a creature of habit and quite honestly, chains aren’t my cup of tea. I like supporting local when possible and I definitely like good food. So we found ourselves tearing up the highways to hit up our spots in D-town. Y’all have seen my Instagram, ya girl can eat 😉

First Night at Cityline | 12.22.16

So last year I kept noticing the “State Farm building” started putting up restaurant signs off President George Bush Highway and a few of them I recognized such as Coal Vines, Tom + Chee and I thought to myself, their going to build this place up now that State Farm people are here. It’s going to be a little State Farm world. I mean , come on, that’s a lot of employees! Little did I know, it was going to turn into this amazing place that I would go to every chance I got!

Now, Cityline is huge. I had actually gone to Phase 1 back in the last Summer because Ray and I heard there was a Taco Diner there-OUR FAVE, yes i know it’s a chain but the atmosphere is cool and that green sauce they serve I could DRINK! So we went there and realized there was a Whole Foods, Pei Wei, Luna Market, Starbucks, and even a Mod Market {which is a yummy farm-to-table restaurant that serves up a lush American fare–think homestyle healthy}!

Phase 2 is more sit down, sit back and relax type restaurants. A little higher end type places for business meetings, night out on the town type places but still a very reasonable price. I’ve been to pretty much that entire strip and here’s where my adventures have led me to eat and experience thus far…

TRICKY FISH | SEAFOOD Tricky fish serves up some of the best cajun seafood Raymond and I have ever eaten and the price point can’t be beaten! Hello, raw oysters on the half-shell for $12.99 in Dallas?? NOT kidding! Plus, delicious gumbo even our Louisiana cajuns loved!

TOP POT | DOUGHNUTS & COFFEE

Top Pot had yummy coffee but their doughnuts weren’t anything to write home about and the variety wasn’t there either. I will definitely try them out again because it had just opened when I went so give it a try for sure, even if you just have a Cup o’ Joe!

FERNANDO’S | MEXICAN 

The friendly staff and food just can’t be beat. I’m also a huge hot sauce eater/drinker and I love that they serve 4 completely different sauces with the delicious, crisp chips. Spicy and non-spicy! I can’t believe I haven’t taken more photos than this but it seems their food just finds it’s way to my mouth before I can click a camera! I only have this one of the shrimp cocktail which was full of big gulf shrimp and took me back to my Veracruz, Mexico, my dad’s home state. Veracruz is known for their seafood and I have JUST the tastebuds to scope it out!

EDOKO | SUSHI 

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Steak & Mushroom | California Roll with Snow Crab | Green Hulk Roll

Fried Green Ice Cream 

GOOD UNION | URBAN BBQ

Now you all know my love for my “babies” AKA my nephew, Packy Butt and neice, Pressy Butt, I spoil these angels rotten! I brought them to Cityline’s LIVE MUSIC SERIES that’s still going on, by the way, and we had a blast! Just look at this flatlay I captured of them eating at my favorite BBQ spot! This was Union’s Happy Hour, $2 tacos, $4 brisket nachos…ummm, yea, you need to go!

We saved our picnic table which was right outside the restaurant and ran back and forth between it and the green lawn. A lot of people actually grabbed food and at on the lawn with picnic blankets but I didn’t think that far ahead and a picnic table was good enough for me 😉

yea…the picnic table didn’t last long, they lost their appetites quick when they realized I was going to let them run around wild! #auntlife

I mean really…she’s the Good Union model! Handkerchief and all!

We LOVED the LIVE MUSIC and ambiance of the night. He was incredible and interacted with the audience a lot! Even took requests!

And of course, I treated them to Red Mango | NESTLE Toll House Cafe afterwards where you can literally get fro-yo, fresh squeezed juices, ice cream, ice cream cake and coffee {good coffee} all in the same place. They have so much and it’s ALL YUMMY!

I definitely recommend CITYLINE to take kids to when they have these outdoor events. It’s safe, fun and you can get enjoy the evening as well as enjoy watching the kiddos play. Just be sure to treat them to a sweet treat afterwards 😉

CITYLINE is also fun to spend…

SATUR-YAY | AFTERNOONS 

We came out to meet friends for a afternoon lunch and enjoyed the fresh weather! There’s so many places to sit and walk around afterwards. 

I am still experiencing the place myself but what I’ve seen so far, I love! Raymond and I will be doing a hotel stay at the ALOFT HOTEL when it’s finished being built next month! Again, if you’re from the Dallas area, this is a great place to come for you next date night or just a new, fresh hangout spot with friends.

Click this link for all the current specials each retail spot has to offer.

Until next time…

Much Love, Loves

Charity

xxoo

P.S Look out for Pt. 2

Lou & Grey Spring Collection 2017 | In-Store Event 

Lou & Grey Spring Collection 2017 | In-Store Event 

IN MARCH, I had hosted my third event I have done with Lou & Grey and every time their latest collection amazes me. I’m honored to do these events and be there to meet and greet fellow fashion goers.

One of the neatest things about Lou & Grey is the fabric and material all of their clothes are made of! Buttery soft doesn’t even begin to describe it! You will love in their clothes. They have a SignatureSoft Collection but quite honestly I think all of their apparel is Signature Soft!

So without further adieu, here are my TOP PICKS for Spring 2017 from L&G plus details for every look and why I chose it! NOTE: A LOT OF THESE ITEMS ARE NOW ON SALE AND WILL BE LINKED BELOW FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE 😉

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PICK 1

If you walked into L&G, you would never think they have jumpsuits but if you take a look back at my earlier stuff with them, you’ll see I always choose the most unique jumpsuits and rompers out there! And who would have ever known because they pride themselves on being more of a casual, lifestyle, weekender brand but this just gives me an even deeper love for them.

Check out this gorgeous, sheen and totally bad {in a good way} jumpsuit! You can tell here I am 100% feeling myself and loving the way it falls on my body. I was so excited to wear it to Raymond and I’s bf’s upcoming wedding soiree. I pranced all around that store in it as my first pick! It’s so sophisticated yet can be worn casual with a pair of sneakers as well 😉 I also love enjoy that we get to take a break from the traditional Spring color scheme and add some pastels over a deeper, luscious hunter green base.

Literally, a fave and don’t even get me started on how it’s an off-the-shoulder…I don’t need to say another word about it other than the words GET.IT.HERE and it’s under $100!! WOOT WOOT! Not sure how long so get it quick! 😉

Shop my Jumpsuit HERE

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PICK 2

Like Fall, Spring is ALL ABOUT LAYERING. It’s chilly in the morning, warm in the afternoon then it drops back down to the 50s/60s. That hot and cold craziness sparked this next triple threat pick: DRESS, WHITE SWEATER & GREY SWEATER | I could live in this ensemble and paired with the sneakers gave it an even more comfy, cozy style. This is a brunch, weekend away, kids soccer game, movies with babes, mall walking, window shopping outfit that is extremely versatile. As a stylist, I always get the question: What do I wear on the weekends?? This is a great example:

Shop this look HERE , HERE, HERE and get these adorable tennies, HERE

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PICK 3

Does a utility jacket EVER go out of style, I think not! This jacket provides the perfect warmth, all year ’round and just the right amount of chic to make any outfit look cool! I love the zippers and strings which makes it more “utility” like. Not to mention, because it’s L&G, it’s buttery soft per usual 😉

Now to these jeans…I know, I know, 10 years ago, these would have been considered “mom jeans” but hey, the mom jeans are in, ladies! Add a high-waisted detail to them and BAM, this girl felt herself in these jeans and they added a feminine touch to the whole outfit! SO effortless! TIP: Pair them with your favorite sandals {heel or no heel} or tennis shoes to make these more casual!

Shop JEANS, JACKET , TOP & SHOES (ON SALE NOW)

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PICK 4

This L&G Spring pick was a no brainer. This top allowed for the perfect scream for Spring with the pops of light blue and orange and felt luscious on!

SHOP THIS LOOK | TOP  | SHORTS {available in 24 & 30 only, they run a little big} I’ve linked SIMILAR SHORTS {available in ALL sizes}| SHOES | CUTE BABY SISTER…but you can’t shop for her, she’s taken! Haha 😉

SHOP THIS LOOK | TOP  | SHORTS {available in 24 & 30 only, they run a little big} I’ve linked SIMILAR SHORTS {available in ALL sizes}| SHOES | CUTE BABY SISTER…but you can’t shop for her, she’s taken! Haha 😉

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PICK 5

Baby from Dirty Dancing much? I literally felt like her walking around with this adorable outfit on. This top is super breathable and so are these chambray shorts-SHEER comfort and so Springy! Talk about the perfect beach OOTD!

SHOP THIS LOOK| TOP {be sure to size down-runs a little big, i’m wearing an XS in all tops}| SHORTS | SHOES 

SHOP THIS LOOK| TOP {be sure to size down-runs a little big, i’m wearing an XS in all tops}| SHORTS | SHOES 

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|| PHOTOGRAPHY | @KSYPATEL ||

Don’t forget to share this post with your friends and feel free to ask questions on any of the items I’ve linked! It’s always all for YOU!

MUCH LOVE, LOVES,

Charity

 Banana Republic | Spring Collection 2017

 Banana Republic | Spring Collection 2017

A couple of weeks ago I had the amazing opportunity to be the face of Banana Republic’s Spring Styling event in Frisco, TX. WHAT AN HONOR! The in-store event was a way to share the Spring Collection with everyone through my eyes and style shoppers that came in.

As I do before all my events, I go try on {which is so much fun} and pick out my personal favorites to share! If you follow me on IG stories, you saw me in the dressing room, snapping away!

Shop ALL my looks HERE!

I’ll be honest with you, I hadn’t been to Banana in a minute mainly because my lifestyle doesn’t call for business attire on the regular. When I think of Banana, I don’t think of casual wear, I think, work wear. However, there are times that I do need more of a business look and what I loved most about Banana’s Spring collection are all the colors they incorporate into office attire. For the record, they have luscious tees and incredible denim and black skinnies that fit wonderfully. Not to mention the classic dresses! Since this event’s main promoting was for pants, I passed on the dresses but I’ve linked my faves from the collection HERE!

When you think office, business or dressy casual attire, you think cheesy patterns, black and white. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good black and white outfit and most times you see me, you can bet i’ll be in both but Spring and Fall call for warm or bright pops of color! Just look at how fun these pants are!

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I almost didn’t try them on but decided with this denim blouse I needed to and just look at the outcome! ALL OUT C H I C !Something really cool about this look is the fact that when I picked it up I didn’t realize that it  wasn’t a trench until I walked out of the dressing room and the Manager of the store said that she loved how I styled it as an over the shoulder jacket because it was a DRESS! One word: VERSATILE

I love pieces you can do so much with! You get your money’s worth, for sure!

This off the shoulder blouse had me at HELLO!

You can NEVER over ACCESSORIZE.

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BANANA REPUBLIC PRIVATE STYLING EVENT | 2.23.17

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img_0136Of course my Momma and sweet family (niece, Preslyn Crystal is shown with her) came to support and SHOP! We raise ’em right!

My gorgeous friends, Bethany (left) and Kristi (right) modeled how different body types looked in this blouse that was definitely the hit of the night!

Going out to model this look!

Making new friends!

How CHIC is this pin striped blouse??? Esp with these pants! They reminded me of my dad so much! I’m his twin anyways and i felt like him in these so much! The blue color is great and these pants are comfy as all get out!Yallllll, these heels are FAB! Banana peeps call them the 12-hour heels because you are supposed to last 12 hours in them-it’s no lie. They really do. I bought them! img_0130And that’s a WRAP!

Shop ALL the looks HERE

Much Love, Loves,

Charity

Photography | Kristi Patel {IG @ksypatel}

P.S. Did you notice my hair? @rachel.rush is a queen!

A special thank you to the Banana Republic staff at Stonebriar Centre in Frisco, TX. Manager, Morgan Nobles, I appreciate your leadership. You have a great team!

| Lily Claire | The Handbag that Gives Back 

| Lily Claire | The Handbag that Gives Back 

It all began with this bag…

I’ll tell you more about this classy bag in just a few secs…

One of my very favorite things about being a blogger are the people you meet along the way. I became familiar with the Lily Claire handbag early 2016 when #NarrowCollective and I did a giveaway.  I was able to meet with the owner, Lisa Sooter one evening at her Dallas home to hear her love for the brand and how it got started. Read more about the company from Lisa’s heart here.

What I love most about this brand besides the fact that their bags are extremely chic, modern AND the best quality {they are hand made here in the USA}. VERY WELL MADE!

I chose the Chestnut & White bucket bag {get my exact one HERE}. I love how versatile it is and how much it holds! I love having all my camera gear, phone and all my purse essentials! Hey, a girl’s gotta have her gloss! Not only is this bag one-of-a-kind, it’s also made of authentic cow skin and the best smelling leather you’ve ever smelled. It’s seriously dreamy and goes with so much.

Check out my poses with this doll of a bag:

Phewww…that was a fun photoshoot! All pics were taken by my one and only love, Raymond! ❤️️ We went away to Austin for a weekend and it served as the perfect weekender! Either styles are great for travel. Which brings me to the next one I chose AND to the story that I started before…

Remember how I told you in the beginning how it started with JUST ONE BAG!?!

Well, if you didn’t click on the link to the website to ready the full story, here’s the gist in her own words:

“It started with a bag that I loved and carried for over a decade. A bag that became my go to bag for every day and for travel. A bag that was so functional and lightweight and classic that I carried it in every season and for every reason. A bag that traveled with me for business and for pleasure, in the U.S. and internationally. A bag that my male colleagues were so fond of they named it the “carpet bag”. I loved my carpet bag and so did everyone else. People stopped me on the street to ask about it. They stopped me in malls, in foreign countries, at the hairdresser, at the coffee shop, on airplanes—EVERYWHERE.”

How amazing is that? She goes on to say what her passion for making these bags is…

“From the start it was always to be a business that wanted to make money only to give it away. God was clear that the reason for Lily Claire was to give away 100% of its profits to wherever He directed.”

Lily Claire’s profit’s are currently going to the charity {not me, heehee}, Child to Child USA. They provide education, food and clothing to children in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. Check them out HERE. I mean, for real, who doesn’t want to have an amazing bag while you help out children in a third- world country!

Get the Classic Lily Here {you won’t regret it, in fact, you’ll thank me!}

F I N A L | T H O U G H T S :

I LOVE carrying both of these bags because of the story that goes along with it. When people ask me {like they did Lisa, I get so many compliments on these bags} I feel great about myself and what it represents.

I also love that Lily and Claire are Lisa’s daughters and the names behind this adorable brand. You know I know about keepin’ it all in the family! 😉

Stay tuned to Lily Claire’s new and improved website, coming soon! But shop away and share this story with all your peeps. Let’s make 2017 their year to help out more kids than ever!

Much love, loves,

Charity

xxoo