Graduation Dresses with Lauren James

It's bittersweet to say that graduation season is upon us. It seems like it was just last month that I graduated high school and closed that chapter of my life. Graduation is such an exciting time full of celebrating all the accomplishments of the last four years and the anticipation of the next four.

This time last year I picked up my cap and gown and took some final pictures before the graduation ceremony that would come just a few weeks later. I remember the constant conversation with my friends about finding the perfect dress that would not clash with the forest green color of our robe. The general census: white was best.

This is all personal preference, of course, but I don't think you can go wrong with a white graduation dress. It is so elegant and timeless, and there are plenty of options from which to choose. One of my favorite places to look for white dresses is Lauren James. With a plethora of styles and cuts, the dresses are feminine and classic with a modern twist. I wore this style in the pictures below, and love the summery feel of the seersucker fabric with the fit and flare design. The bow on the back is a fun addition, too!

While these pictures are from last year, Lauren James offers the same dress this year, too!

Where do you like to shop for white dresses?



Favorite Memories of Freshman Year

In just a few short weeks, my goodbyes will have been said, my room will be packed up, and I will be heading back to Chicago for the summer. It seems absolutely crazy that my freshman year is almost over. I remember events from August and September that feel like they happened just the other day. It feels impossible that this year is ending so soon.

They say time flies when you're having fun, and this certainly is the case for my freshman year. As I look at the past year, I think back to the amazing memories made with people I have grown so close to over such a short time. It is hard to sum up all that has happened, but I wanted to take today's post to share some of my most memorable moments of the past year. Here's a look back at my favorite memories (in no particular order): 

Big/Little Reveal 
I think this night will be one of my favorite memories of college. Meeting my big sister Emma in my sorority was one of the biggest blessings of the year. Amazingly, we became fast friends just a few weeks before big/little reveal. The week leading up to reveal, she, her big and grandbig tricked me into believing that I was not going to be in their "family." But, when I saw Emma holding a sign saying, "Welcome home, Kathleen," I was so happy and don't think I have ever run so quickly to hug someone. I am so thankful to be in such a close-knit family full of successful, kindhearted and talented women. These girls have become my closest friends and quite literally my "home away from home." Whether it is sitting at Dairy Queen for hours and talking or watching endless episodes of Gilmore Girls, many of my favorite memories from the year have been with this great group of friends.

Capstone Agency & CreateAthon
Applying for Capstone Agency during the fall was one of the best decisions I made this year. Capstone Agency is the student-run integrated marketing communications firm here on campus, and for the past year I have worked as a digital associate for my team's client. I love this real world experience and the opportunity to work alongside such dedicated and passionate students. One of my favorite memories with Capstone Agency was the 24 hour marketing pro bono marathon we did to produce work for local nonprofits. It was a blast to work for an outstanding client, stay up late with new friends, and watch the sunrise from the top of the communications building. I have grown so much this past year in Capstone Agency and can't wait to see what next year brings.

Football Season 
You may be rolling your eyes to hear me rave about Alabama football, but experiencing a season full of (almost) all wins and an overtime National Championship win created memorable gamedays and a fun school environment. From watching the opening game against FSU to attending the National Championship parade, each game consisted of a full stomach of southern food, long days of tailgating on the Quad, and watching the games with my closest friends.  

Room 105
I ended up switching rooms between first and second semester. My best friend Julia's roommate transferred after first semester, so I moved downstairs in my building to live with my her. Living with my best friend means there is never a dull moment of the day. From conquering overflowing toilets to Disney sing-a-longs, being in the same room as Julia meant I was always laughing and always had someone to talk to after a long day. The endless small moments of fun made this semester fly by, and I am so thankful she will be living next door to me next year so our shenanigans will still be in full swing.

Industry Immersion Trip
Looking for some adventure and wanting to explore a future career, I applied for an Industry Immersion trip offered by the communications school at UA. I was so nervous getting on the plane, but spending the week in New York City was one of the highlights of my year. I fell in love with the city, became such close friends with the other students on the trip, and learned more than I could imagine about the communication field and what it's like to work in New York. The trip opened my eyes to the career possibilities in this field and provided networking opportunities with UA alum. I have also wanted to go to New York for years, so being able to be a tourist and explore the beautiful city was unforgettable. 

There are countless other amazing moments from the semester, but these experiences shaped my year into a positive one where I grew on both a personal and professional level. I couldn't be more thankful for the people that came into my life this year and the doors that opened for me to get involved on campus. Here's to hoping that sophomore year tops this one!

What are your favorite memories of this past year?



Easter Weekend in New Orleans

Last weekend left me with a full heart and a full stomach of beignets after spending the weekend in New Orleans with my family. Conveniently, my younger brother's spring break ended with Easter weekend, so my parents and brother ended their spring break road trip by swinging by Tuscaloosa on Thursday afternoon to pick me up and head down to New Orleans. After a busy week full of tests and meetings, I was so excited for a little getaway!

Having never been to New Orleans, I was thrilled for the opportunity to explore a new city. We arrived late Thursday night and my brother and I slept in on Friday before exploring the French Quarter. Starting the day with beignets at Cafe du Monde, the day was sure to be fun. I have never had beignets before, but I walked away from breakfast stuffed from the fried dough delights and wanting to return as soon as I had more room in my stomach.

We enjoyed spending Friday strolling around the French Quarter. I loved seeing the beautiful St. Louis Cathedral, snacking while sitting on a balcony with flower boxes, and walking through the lively streets. The weather was so pleasant and it was the perfect day to just stroll through the city.

Friday night, my family and I ate at Antoine's Restaurant. The restaurant dates back to 1840 and has a rich history filled with famous visitors. The meal was one of the best I've ever had and it was followed by a tour of the property where our waiter described the various uses of each room and the history of the family-owned restaurant. The dinner was such a filling and fascinating experience that was definitely one of the highlights of the trip for me!

After sleeping so well because of the delicious meal, we spent Saturday exploring the Garden District of New Orleans. I loved how this area was different from the French Quarter and offered a contrasting experience. With brightly colored houses and southern charm on every corner, this neighborhood was my cup of tea. My mom and I split off from my dad and brother for a bit and we had the best time taking pictures and exploring such a cute area. 

Our last night spent in New Orleans consisted of heavy appetizers at a restaurant where we could watch Loyola in the Final Four basketball game followed by walking around the French Quarter. It was fun to see this area all lit up at night. Always one with a sweet tooth, my mom and I suggested we find a place for dessert. One aspect of New Orleans I loved the most was the open air restaurants. We savored dessert at a restaurant where where the exterior walls were filled with floor to ceiling French doors that were open so you could enjoy the fresh air, warm weather and street music. It was the perfect way to end the evening.

On Easter morning, we went back to Cafe du Monde for one last taste of beignets. New Orleans was quite the cast of characters on Easter. We missed the parade, but saw a handful of bunnies and more than one Elvis. I enjoyed hearing Easter hymns coming from St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Park as the line stretched out the door of the church. The sun was shining on this sweet southern city and it was the perfect Easter morning. After enjoying every bite of the beignets, we headed back to the hotel to pack up and head back to Tuscaloosa.

I didn't quite expect to love New Orleans as much as I did, but it was the perfect holiday weekend getaway filled with southern charm and delicious food. I am so thankful I was able to spend the weekend with my family and had the chance to explore this new city!

Have you ever been to New Orleans?


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