What’s in my Bag – Mexico

What's in my Bag - Mexico

What’s In My Bag: Italy!

I’m in Italy! And it’s amazing!

I agonized for at least a month over what to pack – and ended up buying myself several new items in the process…don’t tell my husband! We’re here during that spring-summer between period, so that made it a little tougher to figure out what to bring.  And I really wanted to look pulled together – it’s Italy after all! But I DID NOT want to overpack and have to lug a heavy suitcase everywhere. So I plotted out most of my outfits in advance and tried to stick to items that go well with black so I could mix and match.

I thought I’d give you a peek inside my bag.  This isn’t everything, but it does include some of the newer things I purchased for myself with this trip in mind.

Italy Packing

Yellow Asos Skirt / Wayfarers / Loft Striped Dress / White Dress / Long Tall Sally Maxi Skirt / J.Crew Minnie Pants / J.Crew top / Birkenstocks / Vans / MICHAEL Michael Kors Sandals

P.S. I’ll be sure to share some pictures when we get back – or you can check out @mytalllife on Instagram for a few I’ve already been posting – but in the meantime, if you have any amazing packing tips or must-have items, let us know in the comments!

Great Camera Bags for Travel

Bryan and I have a trip to Italy planned for this summer! So excited.  I intend to take about a billion photos and definitely need a travel-ready camera bag.  While I have a great bag that works when I need to carry a lot of gear, it definitely isn’t going to work for travel.  My requirements are: fits a DSLR camera body w/lens, an extra lens and a wallet; looks more like a purse than a camera bag; and can be worn cross body.

Camera Bags for Travel

Clockwise from top left: Ona’s Brooklyn Bag, THEIT’s Bossi Bag, Ona’s Palma Bag, Lo & Sons’ Claremont, and Jo Tote’s Siena Bag.

4th of July at the Lake

Everyone looks forward to summer every year, and I look forward to summer because of all the time we get to spend at the lake!  The best weekend at our family’s lake house is the 4th of July!  It’s been described by a friend as her “favorite weekend of the year.”  She hasn’t missed a 4th of July at the lake since we met!

So what is so great about the lake on the 4th?  Family, friends, boat, games, hot weather, and an abundance of food!  This year, it’s a 4-day weekend!  Four days at the lake…greatness!

The Lake House


IMG_0730At night, these lights stay lit while we play cornhole, ladderball, bocce ball, and washers!  Stay tuned for a post on our yard-games!  It gets pretty intense!

SB_LakeWe’ve worked hard to make the lake house beautiful!

The Dogs

The dogs looooove the lake!  When our whole family brings their “children,” we end up with 6 large-sized dogs in one house. SIX!

photoIzzy is the All-American dog!

IMG_3855Libby loves her sticks…and the water.

IMG_0452 (1)Sugarbear enjoys surveying the land. So regal!

The Decorations

Here are a few decorations we put up this year to support ‘Merica!






The Food

I mentioned an abundance of food earlier.  That’s an understatement!  We are constantly trying new recipes to mix in with the old favorites!  No one can do 4th of July without corn on the cob, watermelon, and potato salad (which we will devour, of course), but here are a couple recipes we planned to try out this year along with a recipe for a family favorite: Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salad.

Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salad from My Tall Life (get ready, this is a good one!)


1 pkg. frozen corn, slightly thawed
2-3 Tbs. canola oil
1 onion, chopped
1 jalapeño, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup cilantro, chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbs salt
1 tsp cumin
6 Tbs fresh squeezed lime juice
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs canola oil
2 large avocados

What to Do:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Combine corn and 2-3 Tbs of canola oil, spread on 9×13 baking sheet.  Bake for 18-22 minutes, stirring occasionally (I usually do 7 minute increments, stirring in between).  Set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, combine salt, cumin, lime juice, remaining 2 Tbs oil, vinegar, and garlic.  Whisk together and set aside.

In a large bowl (preferable one that has a cover), mix all chopped vegetables including cooled corn.  Pour lime dressing over the vegetables and stir.  Add avocados immediately before serving.

This salad can be made 1-2 days in advance (but wait on the avocados)!

IMG_1810Just look at that yumminess!  Y’all will love it!

I hope everyone has a GREAT 4th of July!