All About Beautycon

As a die-hard beauty junkie, Beautycon is like a national holiday for me. I was so excited to attend the show, I started strategizing my look and schedule for the day weeks in advance! The day started with a custom makeover at Sephora, where I got this amazing makeup to go along with my unicorn inspired pink wig.

This is honestly one of my favorite beauty looks! I am living for the glitter eyeshadow, sculpted brows, and matte blush lip. And of course, the look wasn’t complete without some major lashes and the Violet Voss Eye Believe in Unicorns Trio fit the bill. I went with the fullest, most dramatic pair in the kit, because, as my MUA said, “go big or go home!”

I met up with my squad at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, where we spent the afternoon exploring the Beautycon activations, and of course taking advantage of the many colorful backdrops for pics and Boomerangs!

Beauty con Street Art Graphics

One of my favorite setups was by Milk Makeup, which had a live casting and photo shoots by Milk Studios photographers, all for the chance to be the next face of Milk. And Instagram favorite brand Pretty Little Thing was giving away a 2-piece lounge wear set if you signed up for emails. Though I didn’t wait in line to meet her, I saw the stunning Gabrielle Union doing interviews and press for her new, appropriately named line, Flawless. And a TON of Instagram and YouTube beauty stars were there, doing meet and greets with fans, and promoting their new lines or collaborations. There were also a lot of beauty brands I hadn’t heard of, so it was a great opportunity to learn about new products and beauty lines to try out. Overall it was a jam-packed fun filled day, and my shoulder is still aching from hauling around a bag of samples.

Beautycon Emoji Smile

If you are in the LA area, the next event is in August, or next May back in NYC! 

The 10 Necessities for Summer Travel

Shen Summer Mood Board

You guys have seen me posting about Cuba lately, and I've already got most of my outfits planned for that trip. But just 2 weeks after that I'll be packing my bags and heading off too Hawaii! I've been debating what to pack for that trip as we flesh out our itinerary and was so inspired by the new summer arrivals on Shein.com. Everything is super affordable and really cute. 

Check out my wish list below and help me narrow it down! 

Leaf Print Sexy Bikini Set

Letter Print Round Beach Blanket

Pink Pearl Coin Bangles

Ripped Appliques Raw Hem Denim Shorts

Bardot Neckline Tassel Trim Dress

Placement Print Split Side Maxi Dress

Pom Pom Embellished Sandals

Clear Frame Mirror Lens Sunglasses

Bardot Pineapple Print Top

Bow Detail Straw Fedora

And if any of you have been to Hawaii leave me your travel tips in the comments! 

The Only Print You Need This Summer

Gingham Summer Dress Park

Gingham is the ultimate summer print. It screams “take me a to a picnic” in a fun, flirty voice, and is always cute and stylish. I love the retro vibes of this dress, with the ruffle detail and full midi-length skirt. I’m not gonna lie, I felt totally 50’s in this look! Plus the fabric is super light and flowy, perfect for days when the temperatures start to rise. It totally nails the cold-shoulder trend, which I’ve been on the fence about, but love how it was executed on this dress.

Gingham Dress Summer Park

This adorable number is from Shein, one of my favorite sites for contemporary, Instagram ready fast fashion. The brand was wonderful enough to collaborate with me on this post, and settling on this dress was such a tough decision! Everything on that site is cute, affordable, and has been on-point in terms of quality. But when I saw this one on their site and social media feed, I knew it was for me.

It came with a wide, matching printed belt which I didn’t wear today, but love that I can throw it on a few other pieces already in rotation. Plus the dress conveniently doesn’t have belt loops, so you can easily style it without a belt. I paired it with one of my favorite bags - this bright orange python Sergio Rossi for a pop of color. 

Orange Leather Python Bag

I've worn it for fun brunch days in the city, and also broke it out for a road trip up to the Storm King Art Center in the Hudson Valley.  The open air museum is full of unique art installations and the grounds are gorgeous this time of year. Plus the best part of being in the Hudson Valley – the wineries dotting the countryside! No trip up there is complete without a stop at a vineyard or two for a tasting and to pick up some bottles that are usually not distributed anywhere else.

Just don’t forget your stylish sundress and comfy flats! Shein has more than enough options to get you through all your favorite seasonal activities in style!

The 1 Dress You Need for Summer

Images by Brandon Luckain

Images by Brandon Luckain

Bold prints and patterns are my summer go tos. The warm sunny weather makes me want to pull out a palette of bright colors and borderline obnoxious prints. Even though I love patterns, I dont usually go for horizontal stripes, especially not in such a bold color palette. But for some reason this Mara Hoffman multicolored striped maxi dress was calling me. And hey, it was from Rent the Runway so no commitment required! I took advantage of one of their specials to rent a few styles for a weekend so decided to experiment a bit. 

The dress fit perfectly and even though I was worried about it being too long,  the length was just right! I styled it with a pair of cobalt blue lace up sandals to bring out the hue in the dress. 

Highline-NYC-Views

And in case you haven't noticed from my Instagram, I also tend to gravitate to silhouettes with low cut backs. The back of this dress is super flattering and the pretty little knot is the best detail.  

If you are curious about trying a new style or spicing up your look, renting is a great low cost way to experiment with fashion. It gives you access to hundreds of options and pretty much guarantees you'll never have buyers remorse. And New York girls,  just think of the closet space you'll free up! 

Highland Portrait Summer New York

What trends are you most excited to try this summer? 

How to Get Fit the Fashionable Way

January may be the official start of fitness season, but the weeks before Memorial Day mean it's time to kick it into high gear! Even though I work out regularly year round, I still think of this time as the opportunity to reassess my fitness goals and progress since the start of the year  I think I have a workout formula that is working for me so I’ll be sticking to it, just stocking up on cute workout gear to show off the body I’m sculpting!  Here are some of my favorite workouts and what to wear to each of them.

Cycling

I usually loathe cardio but consider it a necessary evil, so try to get it in by cycling. I love the high energy and intensity of the workout. Whether it’s at a trendy studio or your local gym, slip into a moisture wicking tank and cropped leggings and get ready to sweat!

Cross-Training

I have yet to try Crossfit but it’s on my list this year. Until I finally take the plunge, I make it a point to get into a cross-training class at my gym. The workout blends strength training and cardio drills for an intense full body workout. My go to look is capri leggings, colorful sports bra with light, breezy tank layered on top and my classic Nike cross-trainers.

Pole Dancing

There is no better way to work your legs, arms, core, back and glutes, while at the same time building flexibility. I’ve been a regular at Body & Pole for some time, and their classes have help me get amazing results and have more fun in the process than any other workout. Most pole classes require a lot of exposed skin to help you grip the pole, so short shorts and a good sports bra are necessary.

Boxing

Sculpt your arms and core while releasing stress and feeling like a bad ass? Sign me up! It’s no wonder boxing is a favorite workout of some of today’s top stars and supermodels like Gigi Hadid . When I hit the studio, I opt for a sports bra, cropped tank, and boxing shorts, plus wrist wraps for extra protection.

Yoga

Flexibility is my second biggest fitness goal this year. I spend at least 10 minutes stretching after each workout and I do a longer 30-45 minute stretch and foam roll session at home weekly. I am also committing to doing yoga at least once a week to keep all the muscles I’m building long and lean.  I like loose fitting lightweight harem style pants since they are nice and breezy but fit tighter around the ankle so they don’t fly around too much. Pair them with the Nike studio wraps that keep your feet from slipping as you sweat.

What workouts are your favorite? Any ideas I should add to my list?

Perfect Pops of Color

Images by Steven Elliott

Images by Steven Elliott

Back with another work to weekend look! Office dressing gets a little more complicated during the summer months. You have to make sure to be stylish and appropriate, but also need to consider the crazy New York heat, insane air conditioning on the subway and in the office, plus the sometimes unbearable humidity that comes into play. 

I tend to rely on dresses more and more, mostly out of convenience, because some days it just gets too hot to deal. One-piece dressing just makes life infinitely easier! I love the classic lines and pop color of this BB Dakota shift dress from Nordstrom. It's simple and elegant, but the light breezy crepe is perfect for summer days. Plus the 3 quarter sleeves and boat neck keep you from freezing half to death when the AC is blasting. 

Gold and coral are a color combination made in heaven! I paired the dress with these chunky block heels from Steve Madden. I love crackly metallic upper and the block heel makes them an easy choice for walking around the city. With a stack of bangles and my Jord watch, I'm ready to slay the office dressing game. 

This dress is office friendly, but would also be perfect for a weekend brunch or dinner out with friends. I would even rock it with sneakers or flats for a more sporty look. And if coral isn't your color it comes in a few other hues, including black, plum, and navy. 

What are some of your favorite pieces that take you from work to weekend? Let me know where you love to shop and what you're buying for summer!

Looks You Need: The White Floral Kimono

Images by Milli Stephania

Images by Milli Stephania

I'm officially in the swing of late Spring dressing! The weather is warm but not obnoxiously hot, and the days are long, sunny, and beautiful. So what do I wear for these perfect days in the city?

KImono portrait spring

I love a good maxi dress.  The long, flowing silhouette is perfect for making a statement in a more low key way. Today's look is by Privacy Please, one of my favorite brands that I usually buy on Revolve, but I actually rented this from Rent the Runway. I've been slacking on pulling out my spring summer clothes and haven't shopped for the new season yet, so decided to take advantage of an RTR special - rent one get 2 free! I didn't have anything planned when I decided to rent, but you can be sure I filled my calendar before these dresses arrived! 

highline nyc portrait

It's a nice, weighty fabric that feels super luxe, and the delicate floral print gives it a nice romantic vibe. It was a little too loose and low cut in the bust, which seemed like a recipe for disaster, so I layered a blush lace bralette underneath. 

camel suede booties

Since the weather is still too weird for open toes and I wanted to ground the floaty nature of the dress, I paired it with block heel suede ankle boots from Steve Madden. 

And even if you aren't a big renter, get on the Rent the Runway email list so you don't miss their amazing deals. They have a great mix of special occasion and stylish every day options, so you can slay every event from cocktail parties to Sunday brunch. Stay tuned for how I rocked the other dresses I rented in that amazing buy one get 2 deal!

How to Nail the Embroidery Trend DIY Style

Images by Julius July

Images by Julius July

Check out my current obsession!

Embroidered and patchwork detailing has been a major trend this season, but the prices on some of these pieces have been a major turn off. So when I found this oversized white denim trucker jacket at Beacon's Closet, I was all over it! I loved it plain, but it was begging for a makeover!

I was so hyped to DIY this baby, I forgot to take before pics, but it's pretty much a classic white jacket, little bit baggy, kind of like an old school Levi's boyfriend jacket. After endless analysis over the array of patches at MJ Trim, I settled on these large scale rose patches. They were kind of old Victorian romantic meets tattoo parlor, and I loved the combination. It ended up being cheaper to buy a few of the large patches and cut them to size instead of buying all small to medium sized ones. 

DIY Patchwork Embroidered Jacket MJ Trim

At home I trimmed and laid them out until I found a pattern I liked. I arranged them on the jacket, safety pinning them in place to get a good look at the layout before ironing them on. When I was ready to commit, I unpinned them one at a time then firmly pressed into place with an extra hot iron. 

Lower East Side Street Art Murals

And ta da! The final look came out pretty perfect! I got premium patches, so this total look cost me about $70, but that's still way cheaper than a comparable style will cost at retail, and it only took about 30 minutes of work to get it done! My last DIY jacket was a total bust, but I am so happy with these results I may try my hand at another makeover!  

The Top Giving Me Major Summer Vibes

Images by Steven Elliott

Images by Steven Elliott

So who is in vacation mode?

The spring summer weather is definitely starting to put me in the mood for another trip. It's the time of year where all you want to do is brunch outdoors, wander the streets of New York snacking on whatever treat is trending in the moment, and taking pics with your squad.

Cha Cha Matcha Street Style Soho

This shirt pretty much sums up my mood right now. This Free People palm print shirt screams vacation vibes. The silky, flowy fabric and fun tropical print are the perfect combination. This shirt was enough of a statement piece, so I let it do the talking, pairing it with simple skinny jeans and sneaks, and simple accessories. The perfect finishing touch was my Jord watch, which is becoming one of my fave Spring accessories.

Jord Wood Watch Spring Acessories

In case you missed it, I'm partnering with the brand to help one lucky winner get a watch of their own! If you haven't already entered the giveaway, you only have until the 28th to do so. Make sure you enter now for the chance to win a credit for one of these amazing watches! And the best part - everyone who enters gets a $25 consolation prize. So what are you waiting for? Enter now! 

What are your favorite ways to spend Spring weekends in the city? And any exciting trips coming up? I'll be revealing my next 2 destinations soon so make sure you stay tuned to my Instagram to find out!

My Updated Anti-Aging Beauty Routine

Anti Aging Natural Makeup Beauty Look

Not telling how old I am because #noneofyourbusiness, but its definitely the time in my life where I’m starting to appreciate anti-aging skin care. Obviously the earlier you start an anti-aging regimen the better, but my skin still is on the oily, acne prone side and a lot of anti-aging ingredients revolve around moisture. It’s been a challenge to find products that are a good fit and address both my skin care concerns.

I was so excited to be able to partner with Christie Brinkley Authentic Skincare! Just take a look at how amazing she looks and tell me you wouldn’t be convinced to do pretty much anything she said to age like that! Here are the products I’ve been testing the past 2 weeks and my initial thoughts.

Thermal Detox Warming Cleansing Mask

I always do a mask once a week, and this one is a really nice cleansing one that feels much more gentle than some of my go-to formulas. The treatment is heat-enhanced so warms when in contact with water to purify skin and enhance radiance. You are supposed to apply it to dry skin, but mine was slightly damp, so I got the warming benefits up front and again when I started rinsing it off. It leaves my skin feeling nice and refreshed, and definitely more balanced after a few uses.

Refocus Eye Undereye Treatment

This serum basically does everything you’d want an eye treatment to do – reduce fine lines & wrinkles, firm and smooth the skin, and brighten up the area. The serum is loaded with a Bio-Copper Complex, which is designed to naturally build collagen and elastin. I definitely noticed my under-eye area was brighter after the first week or use, and no puffiness either.  I hope with continued use it will keep the crows feet at bay!

Complete Clarity Facial Cleansing Wash

This cleanser is lightweight, and barely suds, but it’s been a great 2nd step in my cleansing process. I still start with coconut oil to remove most of my makeup, just because wipes usually irritate my skin and cleanser alone doesn’t cut it! It leaves my skin feeling really clean and refresh, but without that tight, stripped feeling I get after using most clarifying formulas. This is definitely a new favorite. 

Make sure you check out all the products in Christie Brinkley's skincare line, and let me know your faves! 

3 Key Pieces for Work to Weekend Styling

Images by Thomas Graff 

Images by Thomas Graff 

Working in fashion means creativity and a bit of envelope pushing is expected. You can come to work ready to slay, but still need to keep your office environment and culture in mind. Here are some of my essential work pieces that go from office to cocktails to weekend fun with just some creative styling. 

Culottes

I wear these flowy cropped pants pretty much any chance I get! Whether in white crepe or denim, they fit with all my trendy Spring tops and Fall sweaters. I also have a pair I'm obsessed with in the It shade Millenial Pink. Pair them with a blouse and heels for work then a cropped top or bodysuit and flatforms for the weekend. 

Shoulder Detailed Tops

Off the shoulder was a huge trend last year and is still going strong. For a more covered up look, go for the cold shoulder styles, instead of a full on off shoulder look. If you can pull this style off at the office, go for a longer, looser fit to balance the exposed skin, and pair it with a more tailored bottom for a less casual look.  Then feel free to rock more cropped styles or pair them with denim shorts and sandals. If you're office is more conservative, just throw a blazer or cardigan on top until you walk out of work for happy hour. 

Bodysuits

Yes I adore them, and yes you can wear them to work. I love how they create a smooth finish when worn with pants or pencil skirts, so you never have to fuss around to keep things tucked in. Plus plenty of bodysuits are now cut and detailed to look like a blouse, so they have a more office friendly vibe. Just save the more open ones, like my cat-collar number for weekends or date night!

What are your go-to pieces for work to weekend? 

Spring Things and a Jord Watch Giveaway!

Images by Steven Elliott

Images by Steven Elliott

I'm all smiles today, and this will hopefully be my mood the next few months! It feels like winter is finally over, the streets of New York are bustling with revitalized energy. It's time for all day brunching in outdoor cafes, picnics in the park, and of course, shopping the loads of cute Spring clothes hitting the shelves. 

The off the shoulder trend is still going strong this season, so when  saw this gorgeous Free People top at Nordstrom, I had to have it! I love the delicate lace, and it's just sheer enough to hint at sexy.  Pair it with a flowy skirt, skinny jeans, or denim culottes like I did for  perfect look for days out in the city! 

Soho Spring Street Style Jord Watches

Gold shimmery blocked heels, oversized tassel earrings, and a vacation inspired embroidered clutch finish the look. 

Spring Accessories Jord Watches

And how amazing is this watch! Jord's watches have been majorly trending on Instagram, so when I was invited to collaborate with the brand I couldn't say no! This style is the Frankie in Zebrawood and Champagne and will pretty much go with all my Spring looks. I love how it is the perfect combination of classic and trendy. If you are dying to get your hands on one, I partnered with the brand for a giveaway!

Just enter here for the chance to win a $100 site credit for a Jord watch of your own! Let me know when you do, I'll be share to stalk you on social to see if you win! Only one person will win the $100, but everyone who enters gets a $25 consolation prize code! The contest ends April 30th, so make sure to enter now

Spring in Soho Street Style

Let me know your favorite ways to spend Spring days in your city, and of course, what you'll be wearing! 

And make sure to enter the Jord watch giveaway before April 30th! 

What I'm Buying in the Sephora VIB sale!

Me being a Sephora junkie

Me being a Sephora junkie

You guys know I obsess over all things beauty. I love a beat face and the only thing I'm  OCD about is my skin care routine. I stock up on favorite products 2 times a year, during the magical time known as the Sephora VIB sale. Sephora NEVER has sales, except for these time periods, so now is the time to stock up and save, or try products you've been curious about while they are discounted Here's what I'll be adding to cart this week when the sale kicks off! 

The T.L.C Sukari Babyfacial

This peel has been a cult favorite among beauty editors since it launched! It's constantly flying off the shelves, so this is the product I'll be going after most aggressively! I scored a sample of in one of the Sephora weekly special deluxe sample giveaways and I have to say it is worth the hype. The tiny tube I got gave me about 3 uses, and my skin was noticeably brighter and tighter. It does sting a little so if you have dry or sensitive skin, use with caution, but this has potential to be a holy grail for my oily skin, so I want to see what effect it will have after continued use.  

 

An Eyeshadow Palette

I'm pretty desperately in need for a go-to palette, and after some considered research I've narrowed it down to either the Too Faced Natural Love or the Anastasia Modern Renaissance. I love the deep, dramatic wines and burgundies of the Modern Renaissance, but the Too Faced palette has so many more colors, and the soft pinks and champagne shimmers are so romantic! I'm really torn and def don't need both so help me decide! 

 

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

I'm an eyelash lover, but hands down this is the best mascara on the market! For days when a full strip is too much, this really beefs up your natural lashes, but is soft enough that it doesn't make them stiff or brittle, even after layering on several coats. 

A Face Primer

Primer is a must! Especially for oily skin, especially in summer! I've been testing several new formulas and have narrowed it down to these two. The Mineral Veil leaves a soft, natural finish, while the Nars formula is more smooth and matte. I love both, but am thinking Nars may be a better fit for the humid New York summers. Or I'll just buy smaller versions of both of them. 

 

The Maison Margiela Replica Discovery Set

I love the entire Margiela Replica line, so this set is right up my alley! Each tube is travel friendly and the scents can be worn individually or layered for a unique scent. I'm super picky about my fragrances, but am excited about adding these to my limited collection.

If you are a Sephora VIB make sure to shop the sale when it opens to get first dibs on your fave products!  

On Fashion and Freedom

Images by John HIbionada

Images by John HIbionada

If someone asks what I'm passionate about, fashion will surely be in my top 5. It's been my job for nearly a decade, but has been so much more to me than just a career path. A lot of people say that their interest in fashion came from looking for way to express themselves, but for me it was more about control. I wanted to be able to shape the way people saw me, and I learned young how easily that perception can be swayed based only on what you are wearing. With the right outfit, I could be a girly girl, an athlete, a bombshell, or a nerd - all personality traits that coexist within me. 

The Reformation Talulah Dress

The Reformation Talulah Dress

We all know people are judged by first impression, however wrong that may be. Fashion is transformative and if you read this blog or follow me on Instagram, you know that I'm not loyal to any one look. You have seen me rock Adidas sweats one day, bold colored silk dresses on others. Fashion gives you the freedom to do so. And while they can be all over the place, you can connect the dots between most of my looks and determine some elements of my signature style. 

I'm a glamour girl at heart, if this look doesn't give it away. Some of the hottest trends these days all revolve around casual basics that I love, like bodysuits and athletic inspired pieces. But don't you just miss dressing up sometimes? It's so much fun, and everyone should be reminded of how good it feels.  So yes, I put on this gown, and makeup and wore this big wavy hair because glamour isn't dead. And because sometimes we need to be reminded of how magical fashion can be.

And I added a shearling vest because this New York almost Spring/winter not over weather is weird! I may be all about the glamour, but I'm not about freezing my ass off. 

Are there any super glamorous items on your Spring shopping list? If not on the shopping list, I hope you add some!

How to Get Paid to Go on an Island Vacation

The US Virgin Islands are like paradise on earth. Pristine beaches, top notch cuisine and a host of land and sea activities, all within easy reach and direct flights. Plus there are no language barriers to consider and you don’t even need a passport. You’d never expect a place like this to have to pay tourists to visit, but that is exactly what’s happening in 2017! The US Virgin Islands are celebrating their Centennial, the  100th anniversary of the US taking control of the islands from Denmark. To honor that history, the islands are offering visitors who travel there in 2017 $300, just to enjoy a vacation! Spend a few days exploring the islands amazing beaches, hiking, and trying some of the many water sports or island adventures.

Of course there are some strings attached to the amazing deal. You can’t spend the money anywhere you like. The goal is to get travelers to learn about the islands’ rich culture and history, not just get wasted on the beach from drinking too much rum punch. So you can use your $300 credit for eco-tours, museums, kayaking adventures, culinary tours, or other cultural activities. This actually helps you have a more dynamic island vacation, and some culturally rich experiences in between partying and poolside lounging.

So how do you actually get the deal? Just book your trip for 3 or more nights on the official tourism site, VisitUSVI.com. You’ll just have to book by October 31st for travel between January 2nd and December 31st 2017, and stay at one of the participating hotels. The list includes everything from sprawling 5 star properties to charming bed and breakfasts, so there will be an option for every travel style! Once you book, the tourism board will send you $300 in paper vouchers that you use just like cash at any of the participating hotels or tour vendors. You can time your trip to catch one of the many celebratory events, such as Transfer Day on March 31st, when the islands were officially ceded to the US. Or just imagine spending Christmas or Thanksgiving in Caribbean fashion. There are 3 islands to choose from, so stay on one and explore the others. Just book sooner than later. Even though the deadline isn’t until October, the more people hear about the deal and rush to book, the more expensive flights and hotels will get!

Full list of hotels

St. Crois:

·       The Buccaneer

·       Caravelle Hotel & Casino

·       Chenay Bay Beach Resort

·       Club Comanche Hotel

·       Divi Carina Bay Resort & Casino

·       Holger Danske Hotel

·       Mt. Victory Camp

·       Renaissance Carambola Beach Resort

·       The Palms at Pelican Cove

·       Tamarind Reef Resort

·       Sand Castle on the Beach

 St. John:

·       Caneel Bay Resort

·       Coconut Coast Villas

·       Concordia Eco-Resort

·       Star Villas

·       The Westin St. John Resort

St. Thomas:

·       At Home in the Tropics

·       Bellavista Bed & Breakfast

·       Bolongo Bay Beach Resort

·       Frenchman’s Reef Marriott Resort

·       Galleon House

·       The Green Iguana Hotel

·       Lindbergh Bay Hotel & Villas

·       Secret Harbour Beach Resort

·       Two Sandals Bed & Breakfast

·       VI Campgrounds

·       Windward Passage Hotel

Hope I'll see you there! 

Style Essentials Reinvented

Images by Maurice Jones

Images by Maurice Jones

Fashionistas like me tend to get carried away. We obsess over bold colors, wild patterns, and all kinds of embellishments. I love standout pieces as much as the next fashion lover, but sometimes the things that catch my eye the most are clean and simple. Sometimes a style challenge can focus on reinventing your basics, not just going for the loudest, most high energy pieces.

For this look, I wanted to combine simple classic pieces that were the perfect mix of sporty and sexy. These high waisted skinny jeans are quickly becoming my go to pair. They are super comfortable but the way they fit is perfect for showing off my curves. Sometimes I like to balance tight bottoms with a flowy shirt, but since I've been killing it at the gym getting in shape for my vacation, I have been more inclined to show off. I doubled down on the fitted factor, pairing the jeans with this amazing, sleek bodysuit from Tobi. Bodysuits are my everything, especially in Spring and Summer. They keep everything smooth and in place, and can make even the most simple outfit extra cool and sexy. This style is in classic black, but the cat-collar and low back give it va-va-voom vibes! 

The best part? This style features snap closures so you can easily take care of business without having to fully undress! Just be careful and wear a bit of fashion tape to keep everything in place! I definitely felt like a good gust of wind would have caused a major wardrobe malfunction! 

How do you spice up your wardrobe essentials? Let me know how you keep your style fresh by playing with classic items! And special thanks to the Tobi team for collaborating with me on this post. Make sure to shop this style and some amazing other options on Tobi.com! 

How to Spend Spring in NYC

Image by Thomas Graff

Image by Thomas Graff

Spring is in the air! I was majorly depressed when I came back from Cartagena to cold, rainy New York. However the weather has gotten so much warmer in the past few days, and it's finally getting me excited about the change of the season. Spring in New York is so much fun. Everyone starts to come out of their winter hibernation, rooftops and gardens start to open, and all the open spaces beckon for you to hang out and enjoy the sun. Here are some of my can't miss activities this season!

Cherry Blossom Heaven at Brooklyn Botanical Garden

While most people are obsessed with the Sakura Matsuri festival that happens April 29th-30th, I avoid that weekend like the plague. The crowds and lines make the experience completely exhausting. If you want to check out the gorgeous pink blooms in all their glory, go any other time that week when the experience will be far more enjoyable. 

Tribeca Film Festival April 19th-April 30th

If you're a movie buff you can't miss Tribeca. Splurge on tickets to the buzzy premieres, or go the budget friendly route and hit up the $10 matinees. 

Frieze Art Fair May 5th-May 7th

You guys know I'm an art lover. The Frieze Art Fair takes over Randall's Island, with over 100 galleries exhibiting. The work plus amazing views of the city skyline are not to be missed.

Smorgasbord April 8th-October

The weekend foodie fair opens in April and runs all summer! In the spirit of maintaining my diet and not wasting my workouts, I've been avoiding events that require me to eat and drink all day. But I will make an exception at least once for Smorgasbord. 

What are your favorite ways to spend Spring weekends in the city?

Traveling in Style: My Cartagena Lookbook

I'm fresh off the heels of an incredible vacation! I already shared my travel tips and must-do activities in the city, but just as important, is what you wear for each. I had so many amazing pictures from my short trip that I wanted to do one all about my lookbook. 

Day 1

Hanging on the balcony of our villa in my Tobi Come Together Shift Dress

Hanging on the balcony of our villa in my Tobi Come Together Shift Dress

For exploring the city after flying in, I changed into this comfortable, chic sundress from Tobi. It was perfect for wandering around the beautiful streets of Cartagena. The fabric is soft and breezy and the lace-up detail is a great finishing touch.

Day 2 

Ice cream and head wraps are hot weather essentials

Ice cream and head wraps are hot weather essentials

After getting messy at El Totumo, I wanted to clean up but stay comfortable. I opted for a pair of vintage jean shorts and blush lace-up bodysuit. Since my hair was too much of a mess to deal with after the mud, I gave it a quick rinse and tied on a colorful head wrap, then adding a pair of fringe earrings for a look just screamed summer vacay. 

Day 3

Cartagena Private Boat White Party

Today was the day we decided to party it up on a private boat we chartered to explore the Rosario Islands. Some of the girls and I decided to make it a white party, so I rocked the Gigi neoprene bikini from Triangl. I'm obsessed with their bikinis! They fit well, look super luxe but are pretty inexpensive, and it came with a really cute neoprene drawstring bag that doubled as my backpack for the day. 

Day 4

Getting lost in the city in my Tobi Carlie Skater Dress

Getting lost in the city in my Tobi Carlie Skater Dress

Cartagena is such a bright, vibrant city, so this lilac skater dress from Tobi was a perfect fit for an afternoon walking around town taking pics with the squad. The temperature was 85-90 degrees each day, so something short, breezy, and open was exactly what I needed. It was such a beautiful dress I kept the rest of the look simple, just fringe earrings and a fishtail braid to keep my hair out of my way.

And if you noticed, yes I did wear the same gold flatforms every day! I despise checking luggage so picked footwear that was comfortable enough for walking around in and would work with all my other outfits. 

Let me know what are your go-to items for vacation and how you style them! And thank you to Tobi for collaborating with me on this post! 

Everyone Should Go to Cartagena

Time moves slower in Cartagena. The sun starts bearing down on you in glorious fashion by 10am, and would almost be unbearable if the city's streets weren't so beautiful.  Each day can be filled with leisurely strolls around the walled city,  boat trips to neighboring islands, or sampling the street food from the brightly colored food carts dotting the streets. I spent 4 days here, and it easily felt like 2 weeks. But I was never bored! Here are some of my trip highlights that I highly recommend you add to your Cartagena itinerary. Visiting this city should be considered a mandatory activity. 

Streets of Cartagena

Get lost 

My crew and I spent plenty of time wandering the streets aimlessly, stopping to sample arepas or fresh fruit or pose for selfies among the countless brightly colored walls. Every turn we stumbled upon something striking, either a gorgeous street with bold purple flowers spilling from every balcony or a sprawling, stunning plaza. You may have an itinerary of set things you want to see,  but be sure to leave room to discover. 

Shopping in Cartagena

Plan to shop, but not in markets

While there are hundreds of vendors selling crafts on the streets, I was most impressed by the stuff I saw in boutiques. Everything from swimwear to high end costume jewelry  to jarred salsa, and of course coffee was begging for room in my suitcase. There are even amazing galleries with work from talented artists that can easily unstretch a canvas for you to bring a piece home.  If you really want to bring back souvenirs that impress avoid the knick knacks and go for food, fashion or art.

Colombian Ceviche

Sample street food and fine dining

My food experience was hit or miss, but the best meals were at buzzy, fine dining establishments, home made or off the street. Everything mid tier was kind of meh. Have one splurgy meal at a place with a leading chef. And if you are staying in a house or villa like we did,  consider hiring a chef. The woman who cleaned the house made a fabulous breakfast daily, with arepas, tostones, eggs, sausage, fruit and fresh squeezed juice. We also bought in Chef Maria Delgado from Caffe Lunatico for a cooking class and private dinner for my birthday. Those meals were the most memorable along, with the insane street cart empanadas. 

Cartagena Private Boat

If you want to rent a boat, private is the way to go

I was lucky enough to be traveling with a group of 8 so renting our own boat was actually half the cost of the group tours, per person. And we had unlimited freedom over the stops we wanted to make, how long we stayed at each, and very important things like bringing on your own booze and music on board. However even if it's only 3 or 4 of you it's still worth considering - tours averaged  $175 to $200 each but boats can be rented for as little as $500-600 per day. 

El Totumo Mud Volcano Cartagena

Go to El Totumo 

Its touristy, messy, slightly smelly, and downright weird, but was still one of the highlights of my trip. The experience is really like no other and a great way to bond with your travel buddies as you slosh around like sea creatures. 

If you've been to Cartagena, let me know what I missed or left out of this post! And if it's not already a destination on your list, make sure you add it! If you are thinking about customizing a Cartagena itinerary or one for another destination, get in touch

Because Bodycon Dresses Never Get Old

Images by Thomas Graff

Images by Thomas Graff

Say what you want about body con dresses, but I never got over this silhouette. I'm pretty petite but still have some curves and I love figure flattering dresses that show off my frame. Volume is a huge trend this season, but I've been going hard in my sweat sessions and deserve to show off the results! 

I picked up this dress while I was wandering through Lord & Taylor killing time between leaving work and meeting friends for dinner. It's actually from Kendall & Kylie's line, which however you may feel about those sisters, some of the items in their collection are actually pretty cute! I immediately liked the high neck and neutral color, and the black panels on the outside are perfect for making you appear slimmer. The nude tone pretty much a perfect match for my skin tone which amps up the naked vibes and sex appeal. To tone it down, I layered one of my favorite jackets over it, a black honeycomb knit bomber from Ivy Park

The bomber also had another function - covering up the weird boob triangles on the dress. I'm not sure why they thought those were a good feature to include, and they actually don't look too bad on the pictures online. But once I tried the dress on they were definitely not doing me any favors. 

To finish the look, I paired the dress with my badass Jimmy Choo leather booties, but this might go well with sneakers for a low-key sporty vibe. I get nervous about rocking super tight dresses without heels because I'm so short, but I love the idea of it, so may try it out next time I feel like experimenting. 

What are your go-to silhouettes for Spring? Are you going to be sticking to body con styles or getting on the high volume bandwagon?