Well, Hello There Summer!

I’d like to welcome my Arkansas intern, Danielle, to the blog today!  She has some great tips to keep you busy and active with your friends this summer…check them out!

(Photo courtesy of Danielle- Taken at Devil’s Den State Park in Arkansas)

It’s finally summer! The long awaited day when you are done with high school is finally here, but what to do with yourselves now? How to make this last summer with your friends at home count before leaving for college? Luckily, there are tons of fun outdoor activities that you can do to get your exercise in, get your tan on and enjoy time with your friends.

1. Go to the lake.

This is a great way for you to enjoy your own personal version of the beach if you, like me, do not live remotely close to the ocean. Plus, you can do so many different activities at the lake that you are sure to never get bored. You can go boating, if you or a friend has a boat. If you don’t, you can rent a kayak or a canoe and take to the water, getting a great workout in along the way. You can start a beach volleyball game. Go walking, biking or hiking on the trails around the lake. You see where this is going…so.many.activities!

2. Go to a baseball game.

Whether you live near a minor league, a major league, or an intramural league, going to a baseball game can be tons of fun! If you’re lucky, you can even plan your night at the game just right so you can hit up dollar hotdog night, in which case, go ahead and have a few because there is nothing like a hotdog at a ballpark!

3. Go to a snow cone stand.

While this is not necessarily an activity where you are getting a lot of exercise or exploring the outdoors, it is delicious! There is nothing like a sweet (and a little sour) snow cone on a hot summer day.  Traveling to Oahu this summer?!  Hit up Michelle’s favorite spot Matsumoto Shaved Ice on Oahu.  They make snow cones the way they should be made, with ice cream at the bottom!  People from around the world seek out this shaved ice stand while in Oahu!  Expect the line to be going out the door and around the corner.

4. Go floating.

Take a day trip with some of your friends to a river, rent a raft, and just enjoy each others company (and the incredible scenery) while floating down a river! Plus, there’s no doubt you’ll get super tan after spending a day on the river.

5. Go hiking.

(Photo courtesy of Danielle- Taken at Stairway to Heaven in Oahu)

Most state parks have incredible areas for hiking. This is a great way to spend a day with friends, so put on your hiking shoes, pack a lunch, grab that camera and head to your nearest state park for a day of great hiking!
The summertime is a great time to get outdoors (now that the weather is finally bearable!) and get active. This will be a summer to remember. A lot of changes are coming just around the bend, so take the time to get out there and spend some good, quality time with your closest friends!  -Danielle, Arkansas Intern

The Color Run

In May I had the chance to check something off my bucket list!  I ran the Color Run!!!!  It was amazing!  I have to say, it was the most fun I’ve ever had at a race!  They don’t call it the “Happiest 5k on the Planet” for just any reason.  We had zumba to warm up, beach balls volleying at the start line, many color stations set up along the route, and some pretty good music to keep you pumped up along the way.  Here’s a photo of me running through the orange color station…and yes, that is my little one that looks like a colored jazzercise queen from the 80’s running next to me.  I’m pretty sure I got the coolest mom ever award that day.

Check out the Color Run website and see if there is an upcoming run in a city near you. SIGN UP! Grab your friends and create a team to run…creating a team will even score you a discount at registration! You will have an amazing time. And the party at the finish line alone is worth it–color packets flying everywhere and music pumping sound waves through your body…heck, they even had the crowd of over 500 doing the Harlem Shake!  Like they say, happiest 5k on the planet!

Stay Fearless,

Graduation Outfits

Graduation day is right around the corner!!!  Senioritis is in FULL SWING!  Do you have the perfect graduation outfit yet?  My Iowa intern, Taylor, pieced together some graduation outfit ideas…and the perfect Grad Night outfits as well.  Here we go…just click on the images to see where you can find the items.

Outfits for Graduation

Keepin’ It Classy.

This outfit gives you a sleek and cute look! The dress is plain and simple which makes it a more comfortable attire.  And it’s simplicity gives it a timeless look so you don’t look back on your graduation pictures and CRINGE at the trendy outfit you chose!  Add pearls to the dress to accent the simplistic look on graduation day!  You may also like a dress similar to this with pockets so you have a place to hide your phone and favorite lip gloss.  Another suggestion would be to find a simple dress like this in your school colors!  Pair with your favorite heels and be a class act!



Make a Statement.

This outfit is a fun summer dress! You also may go with a floral or other printed dress to show your excitement for summer after graduation! A solid nude color high heel looks great paired with this outfit.  And don’t be afraid to wear flats…heels+walking on the football field don’t necessarily work the best!  Pair this flirty dress with a bracelet, like the silver charm bracelet shown here!

Top Outfit Ideas for Grad Night!

Work Smarter, Not Harder.

Keep it simple and comfy, girls!  Find your favorite pair of skinny jeans, T-shirt, and converse to have a fun and comfortable grad night with your friends!


Sport College Attire.
It’s never too early to show your college spirit!  For Grad Night, you may also want to wear a T-shirt of the college you will be attending in the fall!

Best Dressed Award.
For those of you that wouldn’t dare sacrifice style during Grad Night, you can always dress it up a bit. For a more stylish look, try a colorful pair of skinny jeans, a tank top with a light jean jacket, and boots!


Bottom line, be comfortable.  There is nothing worse than seeing someone trying to walk the stage at graduation in painful shoes!  Keep it classy…you’ll thank me in 20 years!  And have fun!  Show off some of your personality!

Stay Fearless,

la mia vita avventurosa

So I’ve had a little secret, and it’s time I share it.

There are times in life where you are presented with a forked road.

That moment in life where you know, depending on the path you choose, it will alter the course of your life FOREVER.

There is the safe path–a path where you pretty much know the direction the current will take you.  And then there is the path of the unknown–potentially packaged with a little anxiety, yet it has the potential to reap the biggest personal rewards.  And this time, my family has chosen the path of the unknown.  Let’s face it, I believe the path of the unknown can bring about some of your largest personal growth and most amazing life experiences.

We were presented an amazing opportunity that we just couldn’t say no to.  And let’s face it, I want to EXPERIENCE life!

Drumroll please………….(go ahead, tap your fingers on the table, you know you want to)…………….

This summer, we will be moving to Italy for 3 years!

We feel incredibly blessed to be given this opportunity, and I can’t wait to embrace the culture, the people, everything that living in Europe has to offer…and let’s face it, THE FOOD!  We are in the midst of selling our boat, selling our vehicles, shipping our household goods, packing our suitcases, and we will jump on a plane this summer!  We are flying over with just our suitcases, our cat, and each other…with no address to our name.  We will stay at a hotel until we find our perfect little place.  Let’s face it, that’s half of the adventure, yes?!  We will be living in Northern Italy…right in between Verona and Venice, 30-40 minutes from each.  Vicenza will be home.  And we plan to travel until we have no more room for passport stamps!

So make sure you follow my Facebook Page to follow my latest blog posts because I want to take you all on this journey with me!!  I have full intention of pedaling my bike to nearby cafes and blogging my little heart out to you all!

On the business side of things, I will continue to fly back to the States while living abroad to photograph all you Smart Girls that are graduating on a VERY LIMITED basis!  I plan to take this time to travel, write, and blog.  So Class of 2014, email me if you want to get your city on my travel plans for my Smart Girl Intensive!  My Smart Girl Intensive isn’t just about your senior pictures…it’s a whole day worth of fun and discovering ways to embrace your true beauty with your senior pictures as the grand finale at the end of the day!

SO.  It’s time for me to go organize some more closets, pull items for donations, and get ready for this move!  Until then, get ready…because you’re coming on this little adventure with me! 😉

Stay Fearless,

Summer Leap Lists

The key to experiencing life to the fullest is to be intentional about it.

Summer is right around the corner, can you feel it?!  And this means it’s time to start thinking of all the things you want to do this summer!  It’s time to commit to making this a summer full of new adventures and personal growth.

Yes…that is me zip-lining in Whistler, B.C.  I was a little nervous going into the tour, but by the end of the day, they had to yank the harness off of me because I wanted to keep going!

Here is what is at the top of our Leap Lists this summer!

Danielle, Arkansas Intern:  Go camping with friends!

Kathrine, Texas Intern: Learn how to Latin dance!

Taylor, Iowa Intern: Learn how to water ski!

Me: 4th of July fireworks in Washington D.C.  It doesn’t get much more patriotic than that, right?!

What do you want to experience this summer?!  Share with me on Facebook or Twitter!!!  Let’s inspire each other to live life to the fullest.


M O N T H L Y   G O S S I P   C O L U M N