brand spotlight // emily mccarthy

Hey, friends! Today I thought it would be fun to introduce a new series to Lonestar Southern… Brand Spotlight! I’m so thrilled to kick things off with a brand I’ve admired ever since my college days, Emily McCarthy. Hide your wallets, you’re going to love her!

Hey, friends! Today I thought it would be fun to introduce a new series to Lonestar Southern… Brand Spotlight!

Over the past few months, I’ve come across countless new-to-me brands that I feel deserve an introduction here in this colorful corner of the internet. Something tells me you’re going to love these lines as much as I do!

I’m so thrilled to kick things off with a brand I’ve admired ever since my college days, Emily McCarthy! Let me start off by saying this… hide. your. wallets. Over the past few years, I’ve watched her business transform from monogram design to an all-encompassing, one-stop-shop for all things feminine, fun and personalized.

Whether you’re looking for a perfect wedding gift, something for a recent graduate or some entertaining pieces for your own home, you’re going to love the massive, amazing selection offered by Emily McCarthy. What’s even better is that I find all of her items to be exceptionally well-priced. I wish I could just live in her store!

Check out a few of my favorite pieces below. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to link everything for an easy click through, so use the links underneath this collage to shop specific products!

monogrammed scarves | monogrammed to-go cups | gold bug napkin rings | ginger jar robe | monogrammed cheese board | flamingo punch bowl | monogrammed champagne glass | monogrammed note pad | personalized koozies | colorful canteens | personalized plates | pink check throw | monogrammed pillows | oyster ice bucket | pink colorful scarf | monogrammed wine glass | lemon pajamas | pink striped vacation cups

I mean… don’t you just die?! I’m wanting to order either the monogrammed scarf or the pink multicolored scarf for my honeymoon, and can’t decide which. Also, don’t you think these monogrammed to-go cups are an absolute necessity?

I’m so excited to introduce Emily McCarthy to you today. You can find her gorgeous site here, and her colorful Instagram page here!

I have a few more new-to-me brands I can’t wait to introduce y’all to soon. If you have any brands you’d love to see featured, I’m all ears!

Love from Texas,

Kate

two sandals i’m wearing non-stop this summer

When it comes to spring and summer style, you’ll almost always find me in one of two pairs of shoes… a pair of strappy sandals, or a pair of fabulous summer wedges!

When it comes to spring and summer style, you’ll almost always find me in one of two pairs of shoes… a pair of strappy sandals, or a pair of fabulous summer wedges!

Between these two staples, I can cover just about every summer festivity in the books. This year, I found my two pairs of go-to-shoes at my favorite shoe department ever, Nordstrom!

Here’s the best part… they’re both under $100, comfortable, and oh-so-versatile. Let’s dive in, shall we?!

my summer shoe staples

Pair No. One // Steve Madden Susana Espadrille Wedge Sandal

WEDGES steve madden susana espadrille wedges | TOP smocked top | SKIRT smocked skirt | EARRINGS kendra scott pepper hoop earrings | SUNGLASSES heart-shaped sunglasses

Behold… the perfect summer wedge! First and foremost, let’s talk about the scallop detailing. So adorable, right? And subtle enough that you can wear these wedges with any ensemble.

I’m super picky when it comes to wedge “proportions,” and love that this pair gets the heel and platform height just right. There’s nothing more classic (or more perfect for summer) than a traditional espadrille!

Finally, I’m happy to report that these babes are so comfortable! The platform beneath the toe, the ankle strap, and the width of the material across the ball of the foot all make this wedge super secure and perfect for sporting all summer long.

The Steve Madden Susana Espadrille Wedge fits true to size, is currently available in all sizes and comes in tan as well as black. I can’t wait to wear these all season long, and well into fall, y’all. The faux suede makes them a great transition piece from summer to autumn!

You can grab them at the Nordstrom shoe department here!

Pair No. Two // Soludos Madrid Sandal

SANDALS soludos madrid sandals | TOP smocked top | JEANS rag & bone jeans | EARRINGS kendra scott pepper hoop earrings | SUNGLASSES heart-shaped sunglasses

Since sandals are everywhere this season, I’ve had the flexibility to be super picky in finding my go-to summer pair! When I spotted these Madrid Sandals by Soludos, I was instantly sold.

Gold has always been my absolute favorite sandal shade, but I’ve always found it difficult to find the perfect iteration of it! When the hue is just right, a gold sandal is instantly flattering and effortlessly versatile. This pair checks off all those boxes, and then some!

Since there are so many slide sandal styles out this season, I was thrilled to come across an actual strappy pair. The combination of the toe strap, diagonal braid across the foot and ankle strap make this sandal such a flattering and elongating style. It looks adorable paired with everything from jeans to dresses!

Again, a main priority for me, comfort level., is 100% there with this cute sandal. I’d say the first time you put them on, you notice the toe strap… but not in a bad way. After that initial wear, you forget it’s even there!

The Soludos Madrid Sandal fits true to size, is currently available in all sizes and comes in gold as well as tan. I’m trying to decide if I should splurge on the tan as well for the honeymoon… it’s so perfect!

My sister tried to steal them from me this weekend, so you know they’re good. You’ll find them at the Nordstrom shoe department, here!

A fabulous pair (or two) of go-to summer sandals is essential, and I’m so happy to have found these at Nordstrom! Don’t forget, shipping and returns are always free, which makes shoe hunting so much better. See all of their adorable new styles here!

Love from Texas,

Kate

Thank you, Nordstrom, for sponsoring this post.

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wedding wednesday no. 27 // choosing my bridesmaid dresses with bella bridesmaids

Even though wedding planning gets a bad rap for being stressful (ok, fine… it does get a bit stressful from time to time), there have been so many fun pieces to it. Undoubtedly, one of the most fun parts of the entire wedding planning process thus far has been picking…

Even though wedding planning gets a bad rap for being stressful (ok, fine… it does get a bit stressful from time to time), there have been so many fun pieces to it. Undoubtedly, one of the most fun parts of the entire wedding planning process thus far has been picking out my bridesmaid dresses!

As long as I can remember, my mom, sister and I have dreamed, schemed and plotted about bridesmaid dress selections even more than wedding dresses. Isn’t that funny? The consensus we reached years ago? The three of us would make the decision together when the time came!

So a few months ago, the three of us made our way to Bella Bridesmaids Dallas to begin the hunt. And oh what fun we had!

If there’s one thing I’ve been in my life, it’s a bridesmaid. As of today, we’re up to five times and counting! And through those experiences, I learned one very important thing: Bella Bridesmaids makes the entire experience an easy, fun process. I learned firsthand as a bridesmaid how seamless the experience is using Bella Bridesmaids, so when it came to my own wedding, I knew exactly where to shop for my bridal party!

Today, I’m so excited to share the Bella Bridesmaids experience with you. Like I said above, the Bella team has made this part of wedding planning such a wonderful, easy experience, and this is coming from the perspective of both a bridesmaid and a bride!

1.Booking an Appointment

A few months ago, my mother, sister and I made an appointment at the Bella Bridesmaids showroom here in Dallas, Texas. Fun fact: there are over fifty Bella Bridesmaids locations all over the country! I used this page to find the one closest to me and book an appointment. We set a date and headed off to begin the hunt!

Since my sister is my maid of honor, I wanted her opinion first and foremost. So, the three of us made a girls day out of it! For once, I got to sit and relax while my sister tried on every gown under the sun! :) I think the photos below give a good hint as to how much fun we had!

2.Selecting Options

When it came to pulling dresses, the options were absolutely endless! Whatever the style, whatever the color, whatever the material… the Bella Bridesmaids showroom has it all. Our consultants were the sweetest and asked all about my vision and color scheme to get an idea of what I was looking for. In no time they had pulled tons of gorgeous options! I love that I wasn’t limited to one designer, one color palette or one size range.

I also spent time wandering through the gorgeous, colorful racks and found a few favorites of my own. Talk about inspiration! The huge array of colors was seriously jaw-dropping. I didn’t realize there were so many bridesmaid dress styles out there!

3.Time to Try On

After rounding up a gorgeous selections of options, we sent Steele into the dressing room to try the dresses all on!

Our consultants were so helpful in pinning each dress to Steele’s figure, explaining differences in materials and answering all of the questions we had about each style. One of my main priorities was for every single one of my bridesmaids to feel beautiful and comfortable in the dress, and thanks to the wonderful Bella team, we had plenty to choose from that checked off that important box!

Scroll below for a few of our favorites!

DESIGNER Theia // STYLE Jodie

DESIGNER Dessy Group for Bella Bridesmaids // STYLE BB123

DESIGNER Dessy Group for Bella Bridesmaids // STYLE BB116

DESIGNER Dessy Group for Bella Bridesmaids // STYLE BB124

DESIGNER Jenny Yoo // STYLE Rochelle

4.Creating my Virtual Showroom

We had so much fun that the time flew bye. Before I knew it, we had decided on a dress that both myself, my sister and my mom just adored!

The next step? Looping in all of my bridesmaids! While this normally would give anyone a headache (so many sizes and people and payments to coordinate), this process is one of the main reasons I am so thankful for the Bella Bridesmaids experience.

Bella Bridesmaids has an amazing program called the “Virtual Showroom,” which basically acts as an extension of the in-store experience. Your bridesmaids are able to log on, see the bridesmaid dress style, keep track of deadlines and place their order… no matter what city they live in!

Our consultants set this up in a flash, and were able to add all twelve of my girls to the Virtual Showroom just like that! This was especially helpful for me, as my bridesmaids live all across the country. From San Fransisco to Chicago to Washington D.C. and beyond. The great news is that there is a Bella Bridesmaids location in each of the cities my girls are in, which made fittings and shipping a breeze!

My girls all received emails inviting them to the showroom, which provided further information on sizing information, ordering deadlines and payment information. All of my bridesmaids were able to stop into their local Bella bridesmaids location to get fitted for free, then place their order online!

I was able to track all of this via the Virtual Showroom, which gave me so much peace of mind. When all of the dresses arrived, the Bella Bridemaids team made sure each girl received hers and kept me updated on every step!

The Bella Bridesmaids Experience

At the beginning of April, the Bella Bridesmaids team called to let me know that my dresses had arrived. A whole month early! Needless to say, I was shocked in the best way! My girls all have their dresses now, and I’m giddy to see them on in person.

The whole process, start to finish, was so easy. There are a lot of logistics involved when ordering dresses for such a large group, and the Bella Bridesmaids team made sure every step was incredibly smooth. As a bride, I loved knowing all of my girls were being taken care of!

Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I’ve also experienced Bella Bridesmaids from the perspective of a bridesmaid. My sweet friend Amanda used Bella Bridesmaids for her bridesmaid dresses, and I had the easiest time with it all!

From the free fitting at my Dallas location to the deadline reminders to simple payment portal, Bella Bridesmaids made the ordering experience a breeze. Amanda chose the After Six style 6783 in the color Larkspur and all of us bridesmaids absolutely loved dancing the night away in it this weekend!

I mean it when I say the Bella Bridesmaids experience is the best when it comes to finding beautiful gowns for all of your girls. All of my friends have loved the process thus far, and I am so thankful for that!

I can’t wait to show you the style we decided on after the wedding, so stay tuned to see all of my girls in their Bella dresses! And if you’re a bride to be, click here to find the Bella Bridesmaids showroom closest to you! It might just be the best decision you make while wedding planning.

Love from Texas,

Kate

a fun mother’s day idea

As an early Mother’s Day gift, I took my mama to the Color Bar at our local Kendra Scott store! And y’all, we ended up having the best time.

MY TOP last fling before the ring top | NECKLACE kendra scott jaxon necklace | HOOP EARRINGS kendra scott hoop earrings | JEANS flying monkey white jeans | WEDGES white wedges | BAG barrington tote | MY COLOR BAR EARRINGS sheila earrings | MOM’S COLOR BAR EARRINGS cynthia earrings

I have a feeling I’m not the only daughter who has heard “I don’t want anything!” time and time again when questioning my mother for gift ideas. Mother… God bless ’em! How is it possible that the thing they always want more than any gift is more time with us?!

This year, I was especially stumped on what to give my mother for Mother’s Day. I didn’t want to give yet another gift that ended up getting neglected!

That’s when I had a lightbulb moment. The past couple of months, my mother has gotten into quite the habit of “borrowing” a few of my Kendra Scott pieces. Her reasoning? Not knowing which set of earrings she wants. It only made sense, in her opinion, to try all of mine out (naturally) before purchasing a pair for herself!

On one hand, you can’t blame her. There are so many beautiful color and style options at Kendra Scott that it’s hard to choose just one!

But it’s high time she had her very own pair of Kendra Scott earrings, don’t you agree? So, as an early Mother’s Day gift, I took her to the Color Bar at our local Kendra Scott store!

Y’all, we ended up having the best time. I’ve been a Kendra Scott connoisseur for years, but I’ve never designed a piece at the Color Bar! The experience was too much fun, from selecting our earring styles, to playing with different color options, and finally trying our hand at setting each stone!

Mom decided on the Cynthia Earring with Clear Crystal stones, and then helped me pick out the Sheila Earring, which we set with a White Pearl stone on top and Turquoise Magnesite stones along the border.

I’ll always cherish these earrings, not just because they’re stunning, but because I got to create them with my mom!

So take it from me, if you’re looking for such a beautiful gift for your sweet mama, plan a date at the Kendra Scott Color Bar! Make an afternoon of it and grab brunch beforehand or a glass of rosé afterward. Something tells me she’s going to love that special time with you even more than the earrings themselves… and that’s saying a lot!

Don’t have a Kendra Scott store near bye? You can also customize pieces online here! Don’t forget to use the code LONESTAR for 20% off your purchase over $100!

I’d love to know what you have planned for Mother’s Day! Let me know in the comments below!

Love from Texas,

Kate

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wedding wednesday no. 26 // a wedding vendor i can’t wait to share with y’all (literally)

Want to know an embarrassing secret? Oh, y’all. My freshman year of college, I used to spend hours watching wedding videos.

Want to know an embarrassing secret? Oh, y’all. My freshman year of college, I used to spend hours watching wedding videos.

No, I was nowhere near getting married. No, I didn’t have any friends who were planning a wedding. No, it wasn’t normal, ok? I just have always loved weddings, and watching all that dancing, all those smiles, all the beautiful dresses, all the romance… what can I say, watching let me experience all the fun, even though I wasn’t there!

(My freshman year roommate, Livy, can corroborate my story. I made her watch more than a few with me.)

So this past fall, when Andrew proposed and it was no longer completely odd for me to spend so much time watching stranger’s wedding videos, I found myself falling into that old, happy habit. Let me tell you, there are worse ways to spend time!

Needless to say, when it came to prioritizing what we wanted for our wedding day, I knew having a wedding videographer was a non-negotiable.

If there’s one thing I’ve heard again and again over this season of engagement, it’s to “soak it all in.” “It flies bye!” “It goes by way too fast!”

I know it’s all true… the day will come and go far too quickly and I’m already gearing up to take in every single second. But this is one day of my life that I want to be able to relive a million times over, and Andrew and I both decided a wedding videographer would be the perfect way to do that!

Now, when it came to actually deciding on a wedding vendor, I started with my first tip in this blog post… I interviewed my married friends!

Do you remember the wedding of my best friend, Julie, to Andrew’s best friend, Tim? Let me just tell you… it was a night to remember. (I wrote all about it here!) And when Julie shared the wedding video just a few weeks later, I couldn’t stop watching it. It felt like reliving the night again!

Take a look to see what I mean. (See if you can spot Andrew tying the grooms bowtie and me catching Julie’s bouquet!)

Video by Summer Films

Here’s what I couldn’t believe. From getting ready with all of the bridesmaids to dancing the night away at the reception, I honestly didn’t remember a videographer even being at the wedding.

When I asked Julie about the team she used, Summer Films, she only had glowing things to say, especially noting Summer’s “calming presence” on the day-of. I guess that would explain why I didn’t even notice Summer and her team being there… they were so discreet and completely blended in!

Needless to say, I was absolutely thrilled when I emailed Summer and she ended up being available for our date! I’ll be honest, the wedding videography realm is one I know nothing about, and Summer was able to talk me through all of the details and pricing information so that I didn’t have a single question left.

What I loved even more about our phone call, however, was her infectious joy that practically radiated through the phone. We immediately connected on our love for the Lord and our aim to glorify Him on the wedding day, and I hung up the phone smiling from ear to ear! I had hints beforehand, but I immediately knew that was who I wanted to be around on such an important day.

So today, I’m thrilled to introduce you to Summer and her amazing team at Summer Films! (Her About Me section will put a smile on your face!) I’m even more excited to announce that I will be sharing the Summer Films video of Andrew’s and my wedding day!!!

Y’all have walked through this season with me from start to finish, and I am absolutely giddy to be able to share such a special occasion with y’all. Just like I used to feel watching random wedding videos in college, I hope it makes you feel like you were there!

Love from Texas,

Kate

april showers and may flowers

I know it’s a cliche, but April was especially rainy here in Dallas this year. Did anyone else feel this way? A week into May, however, and I’m cautiously optimistic that the dies have finally turned. Crossing my fingers for sunny skies ahead!

TOP smocked off-the-shoulder-top (also in black) | SHOES white slides (SO comfortable, dying to get them in silver) | BAG circle handle bag (sold out, similar linked) | JEANS white skinny jeans (sold out, similar linked) | EARRINGS pearl studs

I know it’s a cliche, but April was especially rainy here in Dallas this year. Did anyone else feel this way? A week into May, however, and I’m cautiously optimistic that the dies have finally turned. Crossing my fingers for sunny skies ahead!

Along with the sunny skies, the month of May seems to also have brought Dallas the most beautiful flowers! I ran into these gorgeous bright pink blooms on the way to happy hour with a friend last week and had to stop. Let me tell you… they smell even more lovely than they look.

I was dressed in my favorite spring color scheme, white, and believe it or not, I found it all at Walmart! I have been loving their TEXTILE line as of late. Lots of classic, feminine pieces… the vast majority of which are under $50! Another element of the TEXTILE line I’m loving is the size range. Everything from XS-XXXL!

This smocked off-the-shoulder top is one of those pieces and is a fun way to bring a bold statement silhouette into your wardrobe. I am all about smocked details this season, and love how the roomy, blousy bottom half creates a fun contrasts the neckline!

I also want to tell y’all about these shoes. Oh my word… the most comfortable sandals I’ve purchased this season! They come in five other colors (I’m dying for the silver) and currently have eight 5-star reviews. At under $30, they’re a pair you need for all the spring and summer fun you have planned!

I’m wishing all of you a wonderful week filled with more of this happy weather and lots of spring blooms. Thanks for kicking it off with me!

Love from Texas,

Kate

Thank you, Walmart, for sponsoring this post.

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