36 Hours Of Independence

This post is in partnership with Visit Independence (learn more here). All opinions and images are my own. #visitindepmo #COIInfluencerWeekend2019

I spent last weekend exploring Independence, a Missouri city about 3 1/2 hours from St. Louis. It’s a city so rich with history and culture that I had to share about the experience. Follow along to spend 36 hours in Independence with me.

36 Hours of Independence

Friday

1. 6:00 p.m. Check in to the Hilton Garden Inn.

Visit Independence

Independence offers accommodations to meet every traveler’s needs, from quaint Bed and Breakfast spots to swanky Airbnb homes. I chose to stay in a hotel.

Visit Independence

2. 8:30 p.m. Get your brew on at 3 Trails Brewing Company.

Visit Independence

Catch a live band, mingle with locals, and find out why this brewing company won national attention for its Westward Wit.

Saturday

3. 10:00 a.m. Satisfy your sweet tooth at Clinton’s Soda Fountain.

Visit Independence

This shop oozes with history. The building dates back to the 1800s. I hear that a young Harry Truman worked in the building when it was a pharmacy and also a previous soda shop. Today, visitors stop by for the sundaes. Check out the one my husband enjoyed.

4. 11:0o a.m. Steal a photo op at the #LoveTheSquare mural.

5. 11:15 a.m. Dig into the interesting history of the 1859 Jail and Marshal’s Home Museum.

This museum is the earliest structure still standing on its original site in the Independence Square area.

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6. 12:00 p.m. Grab lunch at the homey El Pico Restaurant.

Visit Independence

Burritos, fajitas, tacos, whatever you have a taste for, El Pico will satisfy your appetite. As a vegan, I was so appreciative of the staff’s awareness of ingredients and options suitable for my specialized diet.

7. 1:30 p.m. Truman Library

Did you know that Harry Truman, the 33rd president of the United States, was from Independence? And, Independence is home to his presidential library.

Visit Independence

8. 3:oo p.m. Soak up the opulence of Vaile Mansion.

Visit Independence

Explore this 13-room mansion built in 1881. You will be blown away by the Victorian architecture. Be sure to note the hours because it closes fairly early at 4 p.m.

Visit Independence

9. 8:00 p.m. Dinner at Ophelia’s

Enjoy the atmosphere and ecclectic menu at Opehelia’s restaurant.

Visit Independence

10. 6:00 a.m. Hit the road again!

Thank you to Visit Independence for having me!

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10 Thoughtful, Fabulous Gifts For Your Traveling Friend

Exploring the world this holiday season? Know a friend who’s traveling? The travel gifts in this holiday gift guide were carefully selected to make life on the road easier, all while being super stylish. They’d make any jet-setting gal happy while on the move.

Travel Gifts

1. S’well water bottle

Can you tell I really like S’well bottles? In addition to keeping cold beverages cold for 24 hours and hot ones hot for 12 hours, the triple insulated walls never condense. So, it won’t mess up your bag while traveling.

2. Passport holder

This holder will keep any passport protected. As an added bonus, it’s super artsy with its floral motif. How gorgeous is the watercolor design?

3. Compact Umbrella

As someone who grew up in the tropics, I expect rain at any moment. This compact umbrella makes it easy to be ready for rain no matter where you are in the world.

4. Wireless earphones

Powerbeats are great for training. They’re perfect for travel as well because they’re compact, noise reducing, and can stand up to all kinds of conditions (from sweat to snow).

5. Cosmetic bags

Help her keep her essentials, from makeup to toiletries, organized while traveling with this stylish set of bags.

6. Luggage tags

These luggage tags are bright, personalized (choose her initial), and flexible. They’ll make it easy for her to spot her luggage on any baggage carousel.

7. Travel jewelry case

This small travel jewelry box makes it easy and safe to travel with your favorite fine jewelry. It’ll fit right in your carryon luggage or personal item when flying.

8. Tech Case

This pricey little number is a favorite by Meghan Markle. I totally understand why, though, because it combines a hand-crafted leather wallet with a sleek and powerful power bank with multi-cable and a 32GB memory stick. It’ll keep your devices powered and your travel essentials organized.

9. Packing cubes

Think you’re a packing genius? Packing cubes will take your luggage organization skills to the next level. This set of 3 makes it easy to get started.

10. Scarf

A scarf is a must while traveling because it can be multifunctional. This gorgeous DVF style will take functional to new fashion heights.

What to Wear to an All-White Party in the Summer

One of the biggest all-white parties went down during my trip to St. Kitts. I spent some time choosing an outfit because the party was on a beach in extremely hot weather. I wanted something, then, that captured my style but was breezy, lightweight, and beach appropriate. Nordstrom came through for me when I found today’s featured dress. It was the perfect base for my all white party style.

all white party style

Dress ($59) | Sandals | Sunglasses

This white dress with its lace-trimmed ruffles and breezy silhouette is such a cool summer dress. It actually features cold-shoulder sleeves, but I prefer to wear the sleeves dropped, essentially making the dress a halter style. But, it’s great to have the option for restyling.

Since the dress has such a beautiful, ethereal vibe, I kept all other accessories simple. My J.Crew Metallic Lace Up Sandals were an ideal addition. They’re strappy and comfortable. The soft gold color goes with everything too. I reached for these sandals so often on my trip.

I prefer oversized, thick-frame sunglasses (see here). My usual frames, however, didn’t quite complement the delicate feel of this all white party style. So, I found these Miu Miu pilot sunnies in Nordstrom Rack for a steal. They fit the look much better.

By the way, this was my first vacation with the new short cut. Life is so much easier with this short hair, y’all!

Location: St. Kitts Marriott Resort

These Round Towels are Guaranteed to be Your Coolest Beach Accessory

Come round! Want to stand it out in style at the beach? Choose a round towel. Circle towels are trumping over the classic rectangular profile because they’re super stylish and stand out. But, there’s more. Round towels offer a sizable surface, more so than classic ones, which make them ideal for sharing with friends. Because of the overall cool look, round towels are also multipurpose. You can take it to your next outdoor concert or picnic in the park. I wanted a new one for my trip home and quickly discovered that circle towels are not made equally. These styles, though, have been Economy of Style approved.

Round Towels

My circle towel ($20.69) | My swimsuit ($39.99)

Round Towels (Click images to shop)



For more of my vacation style essentials, check out these posts.

How to Make a St. Louis Staycation the Best Ever

When my homegirl Danyelle of The Cubicle Chick told me that she was rounding up the #STLChicks for a St. Louis staycation at Marriott St. Louis Grand, I got on board immediately. Danyelle hosts the best events. They’re fun, educational, and they connect you with the right people at the right time. It was actually her blog conference 5 years ago, my first blog conference, that pushed me to approach blogging seriously.

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So, I packed up my favorite weekender bag, tossed on a comfy outfit, and headed downtown last weekend. I knew the trip would be a great opportunity for connecting with fellow influencers. And, I knew we would have a blast the entire time. What I didn’t anticipate was feeling completely transported in my own city, in a hotel so near to my house. But, I did. Today, I’m reflecting on the crucial things that made this St. Louis staycation such an enjoyable trip.

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1. Choose a hotel that suits your style. Aesthetics matter to me. And, the Marriott St. Louis Grand is a fashionable gal’s haven. First, it’s housed in a beautiful historic building with an exterior that’s pleasing to the eye and also perfect for outfit photos. Second, the hotel’s redesigned interior is modern and minimalist and swanky, all at the same time.

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2. Choose a location that excites you. St. Louis city is a defining touchstone in every image I share on this blog. What can I say? I’m a city gal. And, the Marriot St. Louis Grand is nestled in the heart of downtown St Louis. I simply stepped outside into the following dreamy cityscape.

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And, here’s the view from my room on the 18th floor:

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3. Choose a hotel that has all the amenities to satisfy the needs of your trip. This recent getaway was a girl’s trip organized around a special networking event for influencers hosted by Danyelle. That event, which drew about 20 local bloggers, took place in one of the Marriott St. Louis Grand’s private dining rooms. We had bites. We had drinks. We had all the elements necessary for a good time. The following morning, the #STLChicks ended our trip with a special breakfast.

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4. Choose fellow travelers who inspire you. On this trip, I had the absolute pleasure of spending the weekend with fellow digital-savvy influencers. We talked about goals. We shared knowledge. We encouraged each other. We made magic together.

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By the way, if you’re not already following these women, get to know them:

Danyelle Little of The Cubicle Chick

Angel Watkins of Angel Watkins

Shaquan Grove of Coach Shaquan

Brandy Butler of Brandy Butler Online

Winnie Caldwell of The Wire Hanger by Winnie

Lakesha Brown of Uncommon Chick

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Disclosure: This trip was hosted by Marriott St. Louis Grand. Our accommodations were provided free of charge for review purposes. All of the opinions and ideas are my own.