The Ultimate Spring Break Beach Vacation Packing List

It’s March now, which means that spring break is right around the corner. Last year, some of my girlfriends and I took a trip down to St. Augustine, Florida, where we spent a glorious 6 days relaxing on the beach, indulging in great food, and exploring the city.

When it came time to pack last year, I was kind of at a loss. What’s important? What isn’t? And as a chronic overpacker, I stuffed my carry-on-sized suitcase to the brim and hoped for the best.

While I’m not heading back to the sun and the surf this spring break (although stay tuned to see where I will be headed), I wanted to share my tips and tricks on what you need and what you don’t for the ultimate spring break beach vacation.

I’ll be detailing my top 10 items below, and attaching a full packing checklist at the bottom full of everything you’ll need. Let’s dive right in!

1. Swimsuit(s)

If you’re on a beach vacation, this should be a no-brainer. You can probably get away with just one bathing suit if you won’t be swimming every day, but if you will be, pack multiple: because believe me, putting back on a damp or sandy swimsuit is no fun.

2. Sundress

Going out to dinner, walking around town, or even just hanging around the beach house- a flowy sundress is a must! They’re super versatile and can be used for several different outings.

3. Light jacket

Hopefully your trip is sunny and warm, but if mother nature doesn’t favor you and you’re struggling to soak in those rays a light jacket will be your best friend. Beach weather can change on a dime and a light jacket will make sure you don’t get too cold.

4. Sunglasses

The ocean glare can be super bright, so always pack sunglasses to protect your eyes while you’re lounging in the sand. You really only need one pair, but they don’t take up a lot of space, so you can pack multiple if you would like!

5. Multi-purpose sandals

If you’re traveling with a big group or flying with a carry-on, luggage space is limited. Luckily, most beach clothing doesn’t take up a lot of room, but picking pairs of shoes that are super versatile can really help maximize your luggage space. Sandals that you can wear out to grab lunch or to a bar later in the night serve double duty and help you have more space in your luggage for other things!

6. Cover-up

Depending on the area you’re in, you might be privy to restaurants or bars right on the beach. Packing a cover-up ensures you’ll be able to go in and grab a drink or bite to eat during your beach day!

7. Shorts

Probably no explanation necessary, right? Pack a couple pairs of shorts and you’ll be ready for anything you have planned, from a beach day to lunch downtown.

8. Multi-purpose tops

Much like with sandals, packing tops that can go from day to night will really save you space in your luggage. Flowy tank tops and bandeaus are your best bet!

9. Scrunchies/bandanas

Down by the ocean can get pretty windy, so prepare to hold your hair back with scrunchies or bandanas! Anything that helps keep your hair out of your face will be essential.

10. Sneakers

If you’re in a beach town with things to do other than hang out in the sand, you’ll want a cute and comfy pair of sneakers to walk around in! I wore mine out to a local farmer’s market and coffee shop.

And that’s my top 10! Here’s a full list of everything you’ll need:

Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments, and have a great time on your vacation!

-K

P.S. Heading to St. Augustine or somewhere similar? Check out my recap posts from spring break 2019 to see what we did on our trip!

Seas the Day | Low Tides, Good Vibes | The Oldest City in America | How We Roll | Girls Just Wanna Have Sun

8 Things I Wish I Knew When I First Started Blogging

One year ago today I created my blog, and one year ago tomorrow I launched it. I’ve come a long way from my first few posts, taken with a makeshift tripod propped up on my bed in my bedroom. What a year it has been, and I’m thrilled that Selfies & OOTDs has continually given me a platform to create content and share what I love.

If you want a good laugh, go back to February 2019 and see what my first few posts looked like. (Yeah. Pretty amateur.) Luckily, I’ve matured in more ways than one, and I’ve learned a ton about blogging, social media marketing, and content creation in the process. Here’s 8 things I wish someone had told me when I first started blogging:

1. For the best shots, have no shame

When I first started, I took all my #OOTD shots against the door in my bedroom. Aside from the fact that I didn’t have a real tripod, I was also self-conscious about people seeing me pose and wait for the self timer to go off. When I got my tripod this summer, the game completely changed, and after a few outings of taking my pictures in public I was no longer fazed. This let me have way more creativity with my poses (and it meant you could actually see my feet!

2. Even lighting is the best lighting

I thought the wall by my window was giving me good natural light, but it really wasn’t. The best lighting I’ve found is when I’m outside, in the shade. That way no one part of my face is in the shadows and none of the lighting is too harsh. But more on that in a bit…

3. Early bird gets the worm

Remember what I said about even lighting in the shade? That’s why I take almost all my pictures in the morning, preferably before 9 a.m. This gives me optimal choices for locations in terms of where is still shady, as the sun has just barely come up over the horizon. I also like the mornings because it lets me take pictures when my makeup and hair are freshly done.

4. No one can tell how cold it was when they look at the picture

When you’re getting up early in the winter, you know what that means… It’s going to be cold outside. Luckily, no one can tell how much your toes were freezing when you took the shot as long as the end result is cute- and I find that the pictures I took on the coldest days end up being my favs.

5. Hashtags are everything

About 4 months in to my blogging journey and I had only hit 80 followers. What gives? Answer: not using the tools Instagram was handing me in order to reach a larger audience! I used to feel squeamish about hashtags, but once I started using them I never looked back. It’s never been so easy for me to find and engage with like-minded individuals!

6. Engage and be engaging!

Like I just said, the purpose of Instagram is to engage with others. You will see such a difference in what you get out of it if you give it as well! Tell that girl you like her outfit, comment on your favorite brand’s post- there’s tons of people just like you out there waiting to connect!

7. Content planning saves lives (or at least, your feed)

I’ll admit it, I fell off the wagon somewhere between September and December. School caught up to me, and suddenly I was posting less and less just because I wasn’t prepared with a plan. I implemented a content calendar for the start of 2020, and it’s already working wonders. Consistency is key, however frequently that means for you!

8. Don’t be afraid to call yourself what you are

When I first started out, I felt weird calling myself a blogger. I felt like that was just a title reserved for influencers and people with way more followers than me… but I soon realized that it’s not the number of followers you have or the number of likes you get: if you have a blog, you’re a blogger, and you shouldn’t be afraid to call yourself one. (Shout-out to my dad who always tells people I’m a blogger if we’re out doing a restaurant review in public. It’s hella validating!!)

So excited what February 2020 – February 2021 has in store for me. I hope you’ll stick around, because there’s more where that came from!

-K

P.S. Thanks to Nompton Social for letting me come in before opening and take pictures with your murals today- you’re seriously the best!

The Aussie Grind

I’ve never had the chance to go to Australia, but I got to taste a little bit of it this weekend at The Aussie Grind in Frisco! My dad and I are always looking for new quirky breakfast spots to try, so when we found out about a new Australian-style brunch place that had just opened near our house, we knew we needed to check it out.

My dad and I both like coffee, so we decided to try a flat white– a style of coffee that originated in Australia. Since The Aussie Grind is authentically Australian (the owners moved to Texas from Australia in 2018), we knew that this was the perfect place to put flat white coffee to the test.

Verdict: it was so tasty! The presentation was beautiful and it tasted good, too. Since I’m used to sweet coffee, I made it about halfway through before adding sugar packets in. (Oops!)

I soon found out that Australian food is similar to American food, but with a twist. Being who I am, I decided to get the Avo Smash– a proclaimed “staple” on their menu. I thought it was super interesting that they served the avocado toast on sourdough bread. I’m used to eating my avocado toast on plain white bread, so the sourdough definitely elevated it a bit. I might have to get some sourdough at Trader Joe’s once I get back to Austin and try to make Avo Smash at home! Also, I’m not sure what they did to those scrambled eggs, but they were amazing– seriously some of the best eggs I’ve ever had.

By the time we left, I was riding a super strong caffeine/sugar high from that flat white coffee. The Aussie Grind has tons of other interesting options on their menu, so I want to come back next time I’m in town and see what else they have to offer! I tried my dad’s Breakfast Gnocchi, and that was top-tier as well. The Hotcakes intrigue me, but might be best saved for a day when dessert-for-breakfast sounds appealing (it’s pancakes served with cotton candy and vanilla ice cream!)

If you’re in the Frisco area looking for a fresh take on American brunch food, I highly recommend The Aussie Grind. They’re only open for breakfast and lunch, though, so plan to go early!

-K

The Erin Condren Flagship Store

I’m an agenda girl at heart. Being able to plan out my days and clearly see all my to-dos in one place is what basically keeps me from bursting into flames, especially during the school year. So when I found out that the Erin Condren flagship store is located in Austin, I knew I had to pay it a visit! I’m a Lilly Pulitzer agenda fan, personally, but I was still excited to go visit a store thats sole mission is selling agendas and helping people get their life in order.

When I first arrived at The Domain, I was surprised at how easy it was to find the Erin Condren location. It’s at the corner of an intersection, so its beautiful, colorful mural isn’t easy to miss.

For me, stepping inside a planner store was like stepping into my own personal heaven. Colorful and chic, I felt inspired just being in that space. You can see almost everything from the front entrance, so that’s where I stayed for a while, taking it all in.

Like I said, I’m not an Erin Condren agenda-user, but I was still interested in checking out the products and seeing agenda layouts different from the one I primarily use. Something I like about Erin Condren’s philosophy is how customizable everything is. In-store and online, customers can choose the layout, cover, and coil that speak the most to them. I think the ability you have to make your agenda completely unique to you is pretty cool!

Beyond the actual agendas, the flagship store also had agenda accessories galore. I was immediately drawn in by the pens. It seemed like they had pens in every color and style imaginable! If I’m ever needing a specific shade for my color-coding needs, I know where I’ll head first, because this place has them all.

As if the pens weren’t enough, they also have an entire wall dedicated exclusively to agenda accessories. From sticky notes, to stickers, to stamps, they really thought of it all. If I’m being honest, I didn’t stay and study this section too hard, solely because I knew I would leave with oodles of accessories and a hurt bank account if I did.

This store seriously has it all. While I can’t personally vouch for the agendas themselves, I can recommend that if you need any agenda accessories, this is the place to be. Especially if you’re into a bright, colorful aesthetic!

Do you have a favorite agenda brand? I love scoping out new layouts and styles of agendas, so if you have a brand that you live by, let me know!

-K

Las Palomas Restaurant

I’m a huge fan of Mexican food, so I knew being in Austin for the summer would allow me to eat a lot of it. Although I didn’t eat any for the first few weeks of my stay, I recently ventured out to Las Palomas Restaurant on Bee Cave, conveniently located only a few miles from my house.

I chose to sit outside because the evening had cooled down significantly, and I’m so glad I did! The outdoor patio is beautiful, and paired with a gentle breeze and a frozen margarita, I wasn’t hot at all.

It was just past 6 when I arrived, so I ordered a happy hour $5 frozen margarita. I usually prefer my margaritas to have a fruity flavoring (like strawberry,) but the classic one was great, too! The food came out super fast, they had barely set the chips and salsa out before the food came out, as well. I had high hopes for Austin Mexican cuisine, and Las Palomas exceeded them. My tacos were so good (the had queso INSIDE of them!)

To finish up, I indulged in a sopaipilla. I haven’t had one in so long, and it was so tasty. The ice cream and cinnamon on top made it absolutely to die for! I should definitely splurge and get dessert at Mexican restaurants more often.

Overall, Las Palomas was a really nice and authentic Mexican restaurant, perfect for a nice dinner out! Also, I found out that las palomas is Spanish for “the pigeons,” which I love. If I wasn’t planning on coming back before, I definitely will now that I know it’s named after one of my favorite birds!

I’m having so much fun trying new places in Austin. Stay tuned for more restaurant visits as the summer continues!

-K

Tacodeli Grand Opening

If you followed along with my Instagram story on Monday, then you saw that downtown Austin recently had a Tacodeli grand opening! Since Tacodeli is one of bread & Butter‘s clients, I got to join in on the fun and finally experience these supposedly magnificent tacos for the first time.

I’ve always been a Torchy’s fan, so the bar was set pretty high. Would Tacodeli be able to measure up?

Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: Oh. My. God. These were seriously the best breakfast tacos I’ve ever had. I’m seriously in love with breakfast food and like to eat it whenever I get the chance, so that’s pretty high praise coming from me. I seriously can’t recommend these enough! The only downer is that they only serve their breakfast tacos until 11 a.m. on weekdays, and I would probably rather have them for lunch. Well, that and that the closest Tacodeli to Norman is in Plano!

The fun didn’t end with free tacos! As part of the PR team, I was recruited to be a model for Tacodeli’s social media. They gave me a Tacodeli shirt (which I was allowed to keep) and guided me through posing with a plate of delicious tacos. The smile on my face is genuine, I kept giggling because they had me hold and alter this pose so long!

Click here to see Tacodeli’s Instagram post, AKA what was basically my modeling debut.

Overall, it was such a fun morning! I’m craving some more breakfast tacos just writing this, so I know I’ll be back soon. If you missed my Instagram story on Monday, you can catch up with the highlight in my bio called “b&b life”!

-K

A Night Out on SoCo

I had some friends come in town this weekend, so I decided that we should spend the evening exploring the South Congress district! I had heard a lot about SoCo but never actually been, so I figured this was the perfect opportunity.

We started out the night at Home Slice Pizza. The NY style pizza was just what I needed to get the evening started, it was quick, and really good, too!

After dinner, we decided to start wandering around and explore a little bit. SoCo is a super funky district with a lot of interesting stores, so I really liked seeing all of what the boutiques had to offer. My favorite part was probably this sign I found outside one of the stores we went into. (Sorry, Hannah B!)

As we continued exploring and window shopping, we found the flagship Kendra Scott store! I didn’t want to submit my two guy friends to the torture of watching me browse an expensive jewelry store, so I didn’t go inside. But now that I know where it is, I’ll definitely be coming back!

Despite being around 8 p.m., it was still sweltering hot. When I found a little food truck that sold ice cream pops, I bought one ASAP. I had to eat it real quick before it melted, but luckily the hot weather put me in the mood and I didn’t mind the brain freeze. (Side note: I think that was my first time trying strawberry ice cream, and it was really good!)

We finished up the night at Güero’s Taco Bar. Since I paid for parking, I got each of the boys to buy me a drink (I definitely profited, I think.) I’m a sucker for a frozen margarita (or really, frozen alcoholic beverages in general) so I really enjoyed these! There was fun live music for us to listen to as we sat out on the back patio.

Such a fun night! I’ll definitely be coming back to browse more stores and do a little more than just window shopping. Can’t wait to keep exploring more fun neighborhoods in Austin this summer!

-K

P.S. Like my #OOTD? You can find the details here!

My 2019-2020 Lilly Pulitzer Agenda

If you know me IRL, then you probably know all about my obsession with agendas, specifically the Lilly Pulitzer ones. I’ve been an avid agenda user since third grade, when Frisco ISD gave out free ones to all the students to use. Eventually, Frisco ISD stopped handing out free agendas, but my love for organization remained. I meandered through a few different agenda styles throughout the years before eventually landing on the Lilly Pulitzer ones.

I had been a Lilly fan for a little while, but hadn’t actually owned a Lilly agenda until my senior year of high school. I loved the bright colors and watercolor aesthetic that each agenda page had. I soon took my agenda game to the next level, and started using colored pens to further organize my life. As someone tackling their senior year of high school and about to embark on their freshman year of college, color coding was a game changer.

Lilly agendas have served me extremely well throughout my entire college career. I considered switching to another agenda brand this year for my senior year, but just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I’m so used to the Lilly layout and structure and don’t want to risk throwing myself off for my fourth year of college.

Senior year of high school, and freshman/sophomore years of college
Junior and senior years of college

This is my fifth Lilly agenda now, so I’ve accumulated quite a collection! I don’t have them all with me in Austin right now, but luckily I had a picture of the first three still on my phone so you can see the evolution through the years.

I can’t wait to start putting information in and getting my agenda ready for the 2019-2020 school year! For me, getting a new agenda is basically like Christmas and is one of my favorite days of the year.

This year, I chose the large agenda in the print multi flordita.

-K

The Buc-ee’s Experience

If you’ve ever driven on a Texas highway for an extended period of time, you’ve probably seen a billboard for Buc-ee’s. This gas station chain is all over Texas, and has even started expanding into other states. But I almost feel bad for calling Buc-ee’s a gas station. It’s even too nice to just be called a rest stop. Buc-ee’s is truly an experience.

When you walk up to a Buc-ee’s for a first time, you may initially wonder where am I? What have I just stumbled upon? Is this a gas station, or a Walmart? It’s easy to go into a state of shock just rolling up to Buc-ee’s, but the sense of amazement probably won’t go away when you walk inside.

Just inside Buc-ee’s doors, you’re greeted with a huge table with the latest Buc-ee’s gear, usually themed to match an upcoming holiday. Buc-ee’s has somewhat of a cult following, and some superfans even make it a point to grab a new shirt with Buc-ee the Beaver‘s face on it every time they come.

Past the entrance and heaps of Buc-ee’s t-shirts, you’ll find their hot food stations. Buc-ee’s specializes in BBQ, but also has a bakery and serves things like kolaches as well. If you have a sweet tooth, make sure to pick up some of their homemade fudge or cake balls while you’re here.

For being a rest stop, Buc-ee’s is actually a great place to shop for gifts, especially during the holiday season. If you have a Buc-ee’s enthusaist on your shopping list, there’s things like Buc-ee’s plush toys, towels, magnets, blankets, bottle openers, and more. For more more casual Buc-ee’s fans, you can find something in their home goods department, instead.

(Fun fact: The Pride of Oklahoma visited a Buc-ee’s on the way to the Sugar Bowl back in 2016. On the stop during the return trip, we were scolded over the intercom for turning all of the Texas Longhorns items upside down, and were asked not to do that again. We did anyways.)

Buc-ee’s has a huge selection of candy and snacks to choose from, if you pulled up with a sweet tooth. From their own brand of candies, to commonplace brands, they’re sure to have whatever goodie you’re looking for.

I love Buc-ee’s and look forward to stopping whenever I travel through Texas. My personal favorite snacks to cop are a cherry ICEE and some glazed almonds, but I like trying new things, too. They have such a great selection that those with an adventurous palate could probably try something new every time you stopped and never repeat a snack!

-K

A Surprise Visitor

This weekend, my mom and sister came down to Austin to visit me for the long weekend! It had only been a week since I had seen them (and I’ll be seeing them next weekend, too,) but they wanted to come see me, and who am I to say no? I was expecting just my mom and Macy, but when I came down to the kitchen I was delighted to find out they brought my dog Chloe, too!

With a puppy in tow, we had to go to lunch somewhere that was dog-friendly. After some light research, we decided on Abel’s on the Lake, a restaurant on the banks of Lake Austin. The view and the food was great, and we had a great time (even Chloe, who is notoriously scared of new places and new people.)

We still had some free time in Austin before Macy and my mom had to head back to Frisco, so we decided to do some exploring and see some of the more iconic Austin photography sites! I’m hoping to do a compilation post of Austin’s most recognizable murals during my time here, so I’m really glad we were able to find this one while we were out.

It was scorching hot outside, so we didn’t stay out long. Macy, my mom, and Chloe all came up to my room with me to come see my new space. Chloe loved running around all the extra space and didn’t chew anything up (we were so proud!) To cool off, we played a few rounds of card games and BINGO before they had to hit the road.

I’m so glad they were able to come see me this weekend! I’ll be back in Frisco for a visit soon, but I appreciate the 8 hours of driving they did to come see me just for an afternoon. I anticipate more visitors over the course of the summer, and I’m looking forward to showing them more Austin sights as I make this city my own!

-K