Visiting Venice- Our Last Stop in Italy

Of all the cities we had on our list of possibilities as we planned our trip to Italy, Venice seemed like one we just couldn't pass up. It's one of those places that you have to visit if you get the chance, and I'm so glad we did. It did not disappoint! 

We took a train from Parma to Venice, and it was only a couple of hours travel time. I did not mind the train rides at all because they gave me the chance to see so much of Italy. We passed by vineyards and small towns, farms and industrial areas. I'll never get over how old everything seemedI don't think they have built anything new there in a hundred years! And it's all so beautiful too!

To get to Venice, the train has to travel over a long section of tracks that is on the water. After crossing a stretch of ocean, we pulled into the main train station in Venice. When we got off the train, we immediately smelled the waterand the cigarette smoke (it was really windy). We walked through the station, and it was such a breathtaking sight as the station opened up to the outside. In front of the station is the main "road," which is really a canal. It was such a sight to see, but it was also pretty windy and chilly, so we wanted to get on our way to where we were staying. We pulled up our Google Maps (Internet was a bit spotty) and tried to figure out how to get to our hotel. 
We bought boat tickets and boarded the public water taxi (like you see above) and started down the canal. I can't even describe how beautiful it was. Every building was a work of art. The colors, the age, the details, the architecture. I was in heaven.

Visiting Parma- Our Trip and Tips

As small business owners, our lives are always about work. But after our conference in Milan, I decided we needed a few days of fun. We of course continued to talk work throughout the rest of the trip, but because we were free and having fun, a lot of great ideas came to be. 
When I was planning the trip, deciding where to go after Milan was the hardest part. We were done there on Thursday, but we needed to be back in Milan for our flights home by Sunday morning. So we didn't have a lot of time. Knowing what we do now, I wish we would have flown home out of a different city so that we didn't have to travel back to Milan. That return trip to the city was a waste a time, but it worked out fine in the end. 
I really wanted to visit Florence or Rome or Tuscany, but from what I'd read, all of those cities need a three- or four-day stay each to do them justice. We only had two days to fill, but I wanted to make the most of them and fit in two more stops. So I researched and found two cities that I thought we could squeeze into the last half of our trip: Parma and Venice. 

We took a train to Parma from Milan, and I think it was just over an hour ride. I say think because I fell asleep on the train, so for me it was really quick. But we got to our hotel in the evening on Thursday, and we were beat. We ordered room service and went to bed. 

Our Trip and Tips for Visiting Milan in February

We're back!

We've been back for a few weeks now, and it's even been long enough for me to start wondering if it was all a dream. :) It wasn't. But it really was such a dreamy trip. When we booked our flights for Italy it felt surreal, but boarding our plane is when it started to really set in. 

This is real. We really are going to Italy. Alone. No kids. 

And nothing could have prepared me for such a trip.

We flew out of Kansas City, and our first flight was to Newark. We arrived there in the evening and switched planes to board our international flight. The first flight was just a few hours long, and we passed the time with the books and magazines we had purchased. I dug into Joanna Gaines' book, and things went great. I did have some flight anxiety each time we boarded a plane and took off. I don't exactly trust flying, and with being away from the kids, my nervousness was heightened. However, of course, each flight went just fine. 

Easter Dress Tradition



This month is just flying by and it feels so strange be more than halfway through the month! Didn't we just get back from our trip? How has it been three weeks?! I am still drafting up posts about our trip. I'm trying to compile pictures and stories and tips about traveling to Milan, Parma and Venice which means the posts are time consuming to put together, but they are still coming! 

Meanwhile, Easter is right around the corner! If your childhood was anything like mine- one thing I always looked forward to about Easter was getting a new dress. Of course Christ and the resurrection and candy and the Easter bunny were in there too, but my grandma would always make or buy me a new dress for Christmas and for Easter. 

Even as an adult I can't shake that habit. I love looking for a new dress or skirt for Easter and finding matching ties or shirts or something for my boys. One of these days I might even get a girl to dress up with, but for now I can coordinate my little guys and still enjoy it quite a bit. This dress is a little too black for Easter, although I love it and it worked beautifully for our trip. (Plus its a LBD closet staple!) Recently I stumbled upon and shopped Jessa Kae's dresses.  I grabbed this one and this one. She has so many fun Easter-y dress options. I've also found quite a few pastel or cream colored options for you below. 

Do you do new clothes for Easter? Do you head to church in them? Do family pics in them? What traditions do you have?


Sailor Stripes and Spring Shopping


There are several constants in my closet, and one of those is definitely stripes. I wear stripes year-round, but for some reason spring seems to be a particularly "stripe-y" season. I have an entire section of my closet dedicated to stripes, and it's got striped tops in almost every colorred, mustard, olive, black, and more! And our Nickel & Suede striped tee is one I wear constantly!

When we were in Venice one of our to-do items was to take a gondola ride, and I was very pleased when I found that the gondoliers really do wear stripesand sing! They were already handsome guys, but the stripes really made them even more so! When I saw this striped lace-up top at Old Navy last month, it just spoke to me. Something about the red, the rope, and the stripes felt so nautical and spring-like that it immediately fell into my cart. I love pairing this shade of red-orange with olive during March and April as well as with camel, white, and blue.

I've had several of you ask about spring shopping suggestions, and this top (only $14 right now) and this jacket (under $50 option) are high on my list. I've also linked a few other things below that I'm loving right now. 

I hope you are having a great week! We're preparing to launch our N&S spring collection next Monday, so life is definitely busy, but it's also great and fun and exciting!


Casual Basics


You guys. It's literally been a week since I sat down at my computer. I've been working non-stop from my phone, but nothing that requires more than three words or voice texting has been happening on the internet for me. I've been dying to share pics from our trip and you, know blog in general, but when things get busy for Nickel & Suede or for my family, the internet has to be the thing that gives. We just wrapped up our Spring photo shoot for Nickel & Suede and although that is a big relief, the work doesn't end there. Thankfully I have a lot of great help that I rely on constantly. So just a few updates...

- Our first N&S releases for Spring are coming on March 20. Nothing like starting the First Day of Spring off with a bang right? You'll love the pretty colors and patterns we have coming, not to mention the styling we've done for this season!

- I'll be having a closet sale on my closet IG account @onelittlemommascloset tomorrow. It will be done auction style so you don't have to be there when it starts- just hop on sometime tomorrow to see if you NEED anything. I'm selling a lot of Spring and basic items in sizes 2, 4, XS, S, and shoe sizes 8 or 8.5. 

- I've had Spring clothes on the mind now that I'm back from my "gray and black required" Italy trip. I haven't really made any new purchases though because every single top seems to be off-the-shoulder in one way or another. I did buy these and these jeans. And I'm still loving these shoes. But I'll keep you posted as I find things. The basics I'm wearing in today's post are my current go-tos.

That's it. Gotta go make soup for dinner and get kids off the bus. I hope you're having a great week!

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