All the Swimsuit Sales You Need Before Summer is Over!

 this post contains affiliate links

this post contains affiliate links

Summeri s pretty much flying by! We've only got a few more weeks of poolside lounging and beach hopping before it's time for Fall Fashion Week, sweater weather, and the leaves starting to change! If you aren't ready to let the season go, or just want to stock up on some new swimwear before it's too late, check out some of my favorites, all on sale! 

Bikinis

Cover Ups

One-Pieces

Pineapple Pool Float

And don't forget your pool float and accessories!

Floats

Let me know in the comments if you end up grabbing any new goodies before the season is over! 

3 Ways to See Flamingos in Aruba

How to Visit Flamingos in Aruba.jpeg

First things first – if you’ve never been to Aruba add it to your list immediately! The desert island is a quick 4 hour flight from NYC and is home to beautiful beaches, amazing food, and lots of rugged island terrain begging to be explored. You have probably seen lots of pictures of Aruba, and I bet some of the most iconic shots include flamingos on the beach. It’s one of the most well-known sites in Aruba, but there are a few things you need to know if you want to see the flamingo beach. I’ll be blogging more about the trip overall next week, but for now, here are 3 things you need to know if you want to see flamingos in Aruba!

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They are only on one private beach

‘Flamingo Island” as it is sometimes called, is actually Renaissance Private Island, a private island owned by the Renaissance Hotel. It’s a beautiful private island with 2 strips of beach, a restaurant, bar, spa cove, and private beach front cabanas you can rent for the day. The flamingos, all 6 of them, live on one strip of beach on the island. There are also baby flamingoes that live on the other side, but we were told they like to hide from visitors so we didn’t get to see them. 

 

Swimming with Flamingos in Aruba

Access to the island is kind of a pain

If you are determined to see the flamingos, you either need to be a guest of the hotel or purchase a day pass. I was with a group of 8 so we had a villa instead of hotel rooms, but I did debate booking a room for one night just so we could go to the private island. However only one other person wanted to join so it wouldn’t have been as cost-effective. The hotel also sells a limited number of day passes to non-hotel guests. Those will cost you $100, and since they are so limited you will need to be up in line at the crack of dawn to make sure you get one. The hotel staff starts selling them at 7, and they are gone within minutes! The concierge said that typically there is a line wrapped around the lobby, with the first people arriving at 5! Some of you might be early birds, but for me, getting up that early on a vacation is out of the question, especially since you have no real guarantee you will walk away with tickets.

But I did some further digging and found out that the only other way to access the island without being a hotel guest or having a day pass is to book a spa appointment! The hotel operates a full service spa, and a beach front cove on the island that offers a few different massage packages. Me and my friend booked a couples massage with lunch (it was cheaper than doing 2 individuals!) and that was our way to definitely get in without sacrificing sleep! We booked appointments for 11, and rolled up to the hotel to catch the ferry around 9:30. That gave us plenty of time to wander the island, get to know the flamingos and get some great shots, then enjoy a relaxing massage before lunch.

Flamingos in Aruba

It's pricey but worth it

The spa package set us back about $200 each, which is in line with what you’ll pay for spa treatments at a high end hotel spa, but still was A LOT to spend in one day on a trip. But I do have to say it was worth it! The massage was great, scenery beautiful, and seeing flamingos up close and personal IRL is really a unique experience. 

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If you go to Aruba, let me know if you visit the island, and how you get in! 

The Perfect Summer Pinknic

 Images by Misso LLC

Images by Misso LLC

Can you believe how fast summer is flying by! Here we are in mid-August already, the peak of summer. Fall (then winter of course) will be here before you know it. I've been having a blast and doing a ton of travel this summer, but I'm also trying to make sure to find time to enjoy downtime in the city. There is nothing more classic for summer in NY than a Central Park picnic! Thanks to the girls at Exclusively Social, I was able to attend an amazing blogger Pinknic! The décor was beautiful and bohemian, with everything in shades of pink. The team also had product sampling by Gilly's Organics, rainbow bagels from The Bagel Store, and of course, plenty of rosé! 

Girls Summer Picnic Ideas
Summer Picnic Ideas NYC
Perfect Summer Picnic
Rainbow Bagels

Since it was a blogger picnic we spent most of the day networking and taking advantage of photo opps, but there was plenty of time to soak up the sun and gorgeous scenery.

If you want to have a picnic with your squad you definitely don’t have to be this elaborate, but why not do it in style! If you want to keep it simple and stylish, just plan a color scheme and keep your blankets, décor and outfits in the same family. Grab a few bouquets of fresh or silk flowers and some healthy, refreshing treats because it has been BLAZING hot these days.

Blogger Picnic Central Park
All Pink Summer Picnic

Let me know how your fabulous summer picnics turn out! And shop my look below!

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The Instagrammers Guide to San Diego

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Back from a fabulous weekend in San Diego! It was my second time in the city and I fell even more in love. It's absolutely beautiful, with amazing food, stunning beaches, and super friendly people. What's not to love! I'm more of a travel blogger now than I was when I went a few years ago so obviously I wanted to hit up as many Instagram worthy spots. Priorities,  I know! If you want to make the most of your San Diego trip while also getting as much #content as possible, here are my go to spots in the city!

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Wander around North Park

North Park is to San Diego what Brooklyn is to NYC - cute, trendy, and getting more and more buzzy. Start with a healthy bite at Communal Coffee, a coffee shop that sells classic hipster fare lie bowls and vegan baked goods. They also share a space with Native Poppy, the cutest florist, and next door is Pigment an adorable shop featuring a giant pink wall, a build your own succulent station and plenty of other social media bait. 

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A few blocks way is Holy Matcha, or the place of my dreams! The decor is all pink and green, and the menu is full of beautiful and refreshing drinks and snacks. When I was there pretty much everyone was taking advantage of all the photo opps, and the staff didn't mind at all.

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After you've gotten a healthy bite, wander across the street to Hammond's Gourmet Ice Cream. All of their flavors are incredible, so get a tasting flight so you can sample them all! 

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Take the Ferry to Hotel del Coronado

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The Hotel del Coronado is a San Diego icon. It has a rich history, beautiful beach, and cute restaurants and bars with beachfront views.  If you are in a rush you can take a taxi or drive, but the ferry is also a great way to get to the island if you want to take in some views on the journey. 

Hang out in Pacific Beach

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Pacific Beach, or PB as the locals call it, is a laid-back surfer town near the beach. Grab an acai bowl from The Mad Beet to snack on while you catch some sun, and when you are ready to dig in, stop by Kono's, a low-key beach front restaurant serving breakfast all day.  

Explore the Old Town

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The Old Twn is the historic heart of San Diego. It was established in 1769 and was California's first settlement. There are lush gardens, great restaurants, and a charming, old world Mexican-American feel. 

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There is so much more to experience in San Diego, from Sunset Cliffs, to Balboa Park, and even day trips to Mexico. I only had a few days so had to choose carefully, but I will definitely be back to this charming city. Let me know your favorite places in San Diego for when I plan my next visit!

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At Home Hair Care with Yeluchi by Un-Ruly!

 This post is sponsored by Yeluchi by Un-Ruly. All opinions are my own

This post is sponsored by Yeluchi by Un-Ruly. All opinions are my own

This summer has been one of various hair styles for me! There has been the balayage color I did in Spring, then the Brazilian Blowout, the natural curls, and of course, various braided styles. I tend to rely on protective styles more in the winter, but braids are becoming a new go-to for summer. They are chic and stylish and let you hop out of bed with your hair done for weeks on end. What's not to love! 

I was researching hair braiders looking for a stylist and some inspiration for my next style when I found Yeluchi by Unruly.

Yeluchi is a at home hair styling service powered by Un-Ruly, the popular media hub dedicated to all things hair for Black women. They serve select areas of NYC and offer an array of services from various braided styles to weaves to blowouts. The Yeluchi team graciously comped my service for review, so check out my thoughts on the experience!

Booking

It was smooth and seamless! I already had ideas for the style I wanted and using the suggestions on their site I was easily able to select the appropriate service. You can also add links to images of what you want for reference so they know what you are looking for an can accurately match you to a stylist. I was hoping for an after work appointment but couldn't find one, so settled on a Sunday morning. I did ask my stylist if they offer evening appointments and she said they do, but they tend to fill up fast so you have to book early. For the sake of research I did some digging, randomly selecting various styles and neighborhoods and checking the calender on site through October. I found nothing later than 1pm. If you don't keep standard office hours during the week that's probably fine, but if you do, plan to keep your appointment for the weekend. 

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The Service

My stylist Roxy was prompt, friendly and professional! I had aleady prepped an area in my living room so she would have space on the table to set up, then tuned into my favorite YouTube channels while she got to work. The only issue we had was a technicality with the style I chose. The cornrows in the inspiration photo I sent were stitch cornrows, not regular ones. If you don't know the difference, here is an example of stitch vs regular! Both cute, just different details. 

They actually do not offer stitch braids, and Roxie let me know she told the company before taking the appointment but they didn't update me.  So I ended up with 6 regular cornrows that we then tied together into 1 chic bunch with gold thread. It was a little disappointing because the stitch effect was the main thing I wanted, and if they would have told me in advance they couldn't do it I would have just picked a totally different style. But I didn't have time to look for a new style in that moment, and also didn't even know if time or the amount of braiding hair I had purchased would allow. I let her practice a little just to see if she could try it, but it wasn't the exact look I had in mind. However I was still happy with the results and her technique, especially how she respected my edges! I also love that she didn't know I was blogging about the experience. Sometimes companies roll out the red carpet for bloggers and you never know if the experience you are getting is the treatment everyone gets. 

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Final Thoughts

Overall my style was cute, trendy and got me tons of compliments! She also braided carefully and attentively, checking in to make sure it wasn't too tight. You guys know it only takes 1 aggressive braider to permanently ruin your edges so I was very happy to feel like the health of my hair and scalp was priority. It's been about a week and a half since my appointment and the style still looks great. I expected to keep it for 2 to 2.5 weeks and I'm pretty much on track for that. I will probably take down the long threaded braid and wrap the cornrowed ends into a bun just to switch things up the last week. 

If you guys are curious about at home hair styling, definitely check out the services offered by Yeluchi! I'm already thinking about my next look for later in the summer!

3 Workouts You Need to Try This Summer!

Yoga on the Beach

Is it just me or is it getting harder and harder to stay in shape every year? IDK if it's my age, being in a relationship, my social life or what, but for some reason I keep gaining and losing the same 5 pounds! In an attempt to diversify my workouts and keep the body snatched, I've been checking out new workout classes in the city every so often to keep my muscles guessing, build strength and stamina, and of course not get bored doing the same workout all the time! Here is my review of some of the new classes I've tried and a few that are on my list to review as a fitness and lifestyle blogger. 

Brrrn

Hands down the coolest workout I've tried this year! The new studio has a series of workout classes that take place in cooler temperatures - 60 degrees, 55 degrees, and 45 degrees. Check out the descriptions of their classes and the Infrared Sauna and take advantage of the BOGO deal they have on site for new students! 

Aerial Hoop

I've been a fan of Body & Pole for years, frequenting their pole and other dance and cross-training fitness classes. I did take a few lyra, or aerial hoop classes and was terribly awkward, but I've been feeling like I might give it another go. It's extremely difficult, and also a challenge because I struggle with motion sickness, but it is on my list for this summer or Fall! 

Y7 Yoga

Hot yoga in the summer is no fun, but come Fall I love the steamy hot workouts. I've heard amazing things about Y7 and their hip-hop inspired yoga classes. And since a new location just opened closer to my office I'll be able to finally fit them into my regular workout flow. 

And since I have been working on getting into my yoga practice again, my partnership with Gaiam came at the perfect time! Gaiam asked me to be one of their Gaiam Gurus, and I am so psyched to be working with them. The clothes are super comfy and stylish and the equipment is both stylish and functional. Check out my picks of the month below! 

Let me know what workouts are your go-tos or new ones you want to try! 

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Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Haul!

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It's every fashion blogger's favorite time of year - the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! The annual sale is a great time to stock up on key pieces for Fall at great prices, before they go up in August. It's hard to think about sweaters and coats now, but if there are things you see that you love, click add to cart while you can! Sale inventory moves fast and the prices on whatever's left go up pretty sharrply after the sale is over. Here is everything on my list! I'm trying to be more financially responsible this year, so being more careful about spending, so I really shouldn't get EVERYTHING I want. But I will be thinking of things that can last multiple seasons, add some dynamite to my Fall wardrobe, and have the potential to be in heavy rotation.

Coats

I love a statement coat and they are becoming even more important since winter seems to last forever these days! From 70's inspired patent leather and leopard to cozy, classic, and white, I'm loving all of these and trying to narrow down which one or 2 I'll be buying! 

Skirts, Dresses & Jumpsuits

As you can see, I'm still feeling patent! And the 70's vibe! But I seriously love pajama inspired stripes and bold florals for Fall. Plus velvet is always a hit for the season!

Shoes & Accessories

I didn't see too many handbags I love, but plenty of shoes and classic accessories! I'm not really a hat person, but am living for this velvet cabbie hat, and the boots and booties in stock are all so good!

Let me know what you guys end up buying in the comments, and how you plan to style them for Fall! I've gotta start narrowing down my list before my babies sell out!

 

 

Best Period Ever! The Diva Cup vs Thinx Showdown

Summer Beach Days.jpg

Just a photo of me looking absolutely normal on the beach - as I'm surfing the crimson wave! Periods can be a total drag, especially during summer when all you want to do is live your best life, wear white and pastels, and ya know, lay on the beach all day. Since pads don't really align with that vision, I'm sharing about 2 of my go-tos for that time of the month - The Diva Cup and Thinx.

I reviewed The Diva Cup a while ago, but had some growing pains so put it down for awhile, but decided to give it another go. It took some practice and finesse, but I've gotten pretty decent at getting it in and out smoothly. Here's the good, bad, and downright ugly!

Good

It's safe, environmentally friendly, and has no toxic chemicals! Plus it requires you to get more familiar with your body, which some may count as a negative but I think is a perk. Another thing that most of you might hate but I don't really mind - the removal process. There is a stem, which you can trim to fit your body and make wearing it more comfortable, and the longer the stem the easier it is to pull out. However the long stem kept poking me when I walked, so  trimmed most of it off. That made the wear infinitely more comfortable, but a bit harder to get out since I have less to pull. To get it out you basically have to bear down a bit, as though you are delivering. So you use those muscles to push, while holding it by the base and pulling it out by the stem. It is a bit annoying, but I'm kind of welcoming the opportunity to warm up those muscles for when I need them, ya know! 

Bad

Their site says that most women only change it twice a day, but you should be aware of your flow and time how often you need to change it. Because of my fibroids,  my day 1 flow is red wedding heavy so I found myself changing it every 2 hours. That is about as often as I change a tampon on day 1, but those are way easier to remove and insert, so it really was a drag. If you have a lighter flow or save it for days toward the end of your cycle when the flow is less aggressive you may have more luck. 

Ugly

 DON'T DROP IT! 

Seriously don't! I take mine out sitting over the toilet just in case, because turning the bathroom into a crime scene is pretty much the worst that can happen when using the Diva Cup. 

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Another one of my go-to products are Thinx.  I've been using the period panties for years and they are basically my heros! I have 2 of pretty much every pair on the site, for day and night of each day of my cycle. On day 1 I wear them with a tampon or my Diva Cup as backup, but from day 2 on it's just me my Thinx, and freebleeding. 

Good

Honestly, they are kind of my favorite. They are soooo comfortable, and there is a shape for every day. The designs range from cute and sporty to downright sexy. The boyshort is absolutely life, and I can't wait to try the new bodysuit out. And now they are getting fancy with some new colors! 

Bad

There really is no yuck factor, until you have to wash them out. And even then, it's really only gross if you are squeamish. They do take some getting used to, and you'll be super paranoid wearing them the first time. But after you make it through one successful cycle you'll be hooked!  

Ugly

None really, you just have to know your flow. Only once did I come close to a situation, since my period started getting heavier when the fibroids grew in. Just be attentive to your body and use a backup if you aren't 100% sure, or if you plan on being out and about for a long day.

Have you guys tried either yet? Let me know your thoughts about Thinx, Diva Cups, tampons, pads, and all of the above! 

 

Summer Day Trip: Long Island's Lavender Farm

Summer Beauty Ideas

Nothing screams summer like a flower field! Of all the things I love about summer, mini escapes from the city are my fave. We took a little day trip out to Lavender By The Bay, a beautiful little lavender field in Long Island. 

Summer Hair and Makeup

The field starts to bloom in July and August, turning into a gorgeous sea of purple blooms. The English and French lavender bloom at different times in July and August, so check out their bloom tracker for an idea of when to visit. Try to time your visit as soon as they reach peak bloom because the farm does cut back the flowers as they  bloom, the field gets smaller and smaller.  And you don't want to miss out on views like this! 

Lavender by the Bay Farm
Lavender Field Day Trip
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After you've got your photo opps in, stop by the store for some dried lavender, cute little soaps and candles, and other pretty little souviners from the trip. You can also shop the goodies online if you can't make the trip. 

What are your fave spots to spend a day outside the city? Let me know in the comments, and shop the story below!

Vacation Countdown! The Beauty Routine to Get You Ready for Any Trip!

Garnier Facial Mist

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RAWellnessBeauty #July #CollectiveBias

Who loves summer weekends?! This season is the best season, especially when summer Fridays start and you can skip out of work early for fun with the squad! If you know you’ve got a weekend adventure coming up, here are a few steps to take the week before to make sure your skin stays glowing from head to toe!

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The first and most important step is keeping your skin clear! I wear makeup every day, and I do not skip a beat when it comes to cleansing. My first and final steps both include micellar water to make sure my makeup is thoroughly removed every day. Daylogic is Rite Aid’s Beauty Brand and their Micellar (pronounced my-sell-er) water is a combination of purified water; hydrating ingredients and low concentrations of molecules of mild surfactants that naturally group together to form microscopic spheres called micelles, which act like magnets for dirt and oil.  So it removes makeup, cleanses, and refreshes in one step! I use it with the Daylogic Premium Exfoliating Cotton Rounds to give my skin some gentle exfoliating action. The next step is to go in with my favorite face wash for an even deeper clean, especially when I’m wearing a lot of makeup. Then I give my skin a final swipe with the micellar water to make sure all the makeup and residue is clear!

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I also love giving my skin a refreshing spritz with the Garnier SkinActive Soothing Facial Mist. Just spray it on your face anytime your skins need to feel a little refreshed -  when you wake up, after a shower, right before you leave the house, or to refresh your makeup through the day! I especially love it after a long flight to refresh my skin or after gym or sauna for instant hydration.  You can even use it to moisten a blending sponge before applying foundation or concealer.

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Now onto the rest of your bod! You’ve got your skin refreshed, your bikini packed, but you cannot forget to wax!  Nad’s Body Wax Strips for Normal Skin are perfect for a quick at-home wax. Use as needed to get ready to hit the beach or pool in your favorite swimsuit. The Wax formula contains natural ingredients such as beeswax and calendula flower extracts and is suitable for all skin types. The strips are ready to use – just rub, peel & go!

Beach Essentials from Rite Aid
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If you want to add these products into your rotation, get them at Rite Aid! They’ve got a great wellness+beauty offer – get a total of up to $28 in coupons via printed brochure in select stores and Load2Card coupons on riteaid.com

Now all you need are a few extra cute outfits!

Going to the Max! How to Wear a Maxi Top

Floral Maxi Top Summer Outfit Ideas

How is July treating you guys? 

It's been super fun and super hot, but I'm trying to not get sucked into the overly casual uniform of shorts and tanks, even when you are dealing with 90 degree temps!  Trying to stay stylish and cool (literally) can be a challenge. I don't know if maxi tops are a big trend yet, but I saw a few when I was browsing Fashion Nova and was instantly intrigued. 

How to Wear a Maxi Top

A maxi dress type of silhouette, but with the ease of a crop top? It was basically two of my favorite fashion things combined!  

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If you aren't super into trends but still want to look current, a maxi top is a great way to walk the line. It has the same easy, breezy, casual chic vibe as a maxi dress, but the fact that it's a top makes it a little unexpected. 

I paired it with simple white denim shorts since they matched the white in the top. You can also style with jeans if you want to show less leg, or wide leg cropped pants to maximize the flowy vibe. But I definitely prefer them paired with heels! I felt like flats were way too casual and made me feel like the top was drowning me. If you are taller you may be able to rock flats, but as a petite style blogger, I need the height to make this look work. 

Let me know how you rock the trend! If you want to see more of my favorite looks, you can catch them first on my Instagram

And shop the story below! 

Everything You Need for the Best Summer ’18!

 This post is sponsored by  BabbleBoxx.com .

This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com.

Summer is the best season! The temps are high, days long and fun-filled, and everyone just has an amazing renewed energy to celebrate the new season! In collaboration with BabbleBoxx, I’m sharing a few of the essentials you need for the best summer ever!

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Summer is the season for iced tea, so of course we had to get a few bottles of Pure Leaf Tea House Collection! They are actually one of my go to iced tea brands so I was so happy to see this in my box. The Strawberry and Garden Mint is super refreshing and the Spiced Chai is perfectly balanced with the perfect amount of spice.
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This is a great drink to buy when you are out and about on a hot summer day and need a pick me up! And if you love at home mixology, I think either of these organic iced teas would go great in a bourbon based cocktail!

On the beauty and skincare front, they included the Beauty Water and Sheer Renewal Cream by Colleen Rothschild. I love a facial spritz for refreshing your skin on the fly and this will come in super handy after long days in the sun when your skin starts to look a hot mess. The team is also giving you guys 20% off all regular priced items with code BOXX20, so get to shopping!
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One of my favorite things this box were the Coobie Bras. They fit perfectly and are sooooo soft and comfy! They sent me a Lace Back Scoopneck in a soft pin and a nude Lace Bralette. There is also another discount I can share with you guys for these babies! Take 30% off any order between now and June 2019 with code BAB30
And this wasn't in the box because it would melt, but they sent coupons to get a free box of My/Mo Mochi ice cream. Have you ever had Mochi? It's ice cream wrapped up in a sweet rice dough, so it's pillowy and soft on the outside and full of rich creamy ice cream on the inside. It comes in 8 flavors, and I tried the mango! If you like mochi ice cream, check out their site for where to get yours!
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And since no summer box would be complete without some rosé, they threw in 2 bottles of Cavit! I love a nice chilled glass, and my boyfriend figured out how to make the most amazing frosé, so I'll be trying to copy his technique.

Let me know what you guys think of the products and if you buy any with those codes make sure to share your pics with me!

Summer Staycations: 3 Quick & Easy Road Trip Ideas from NYC

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As much as I love to travel, I kind of enjoy staying local in the summer. There are literally 1000 things to do every day, so it's nice to have time here to explore the options.  Plus you can always do a day trip! I love escaping the city for a quick day trip. If you don't have a ton of time off, or are getting a little bit of travel burnout from taking too many longer trips, check out some of these ideas for quick day trips you can take from the city! 

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Southampton

If you slacked on getting a rental and only have 1 day for the Hamptons, I suggest Southampton! It's a quick 2 hour drive, and has both a quaint town with great shops and restaurants and amazing beaches. Do yourself a favor and skip the popular Cooper's Beach and head to Road D Beach instead. It's just down the road but way less crowded, and parking in that area is free, while at Cooper's it's $40 a car! 

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North Fork

Wine country that's an hour and a half away? Sign me up! The best way to spend a day in North Fork is vineyard hopping. There are a ton of wineries in the region where you can taste to your heart's content. If you are heading that direction check out Lavender by the Bay. It's a beautiful little farm with English and French lavender that blooms in July & August. Check out their website for updates on what's in bloom! 

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The Catskills

If you are up for some scenic hikes, gorgeous views, and AMAZING food, check out the Catskills! It's about a 2.5 hour drive from the city, and the scenery is super pretty as you head north. Make sure to stop at Prospect at Scribners for lunch, and if you are thinking about an overnight, definitely stay there! I went in April and it was just incredible! 

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Let me know where you end up heading!

The 4th of July Sales You Need to Shop!

Rockaway Beach Sand and Surf

Well today is a scorcher! July is here and a heat wave has been sweeping the city, and there are no signs of it letting up. So the best way to spend your time is laying in front of the AC, shopping online obvi! The 4th of July is right around the corner and with it comes a slew of sales and deals, most of which are already starting now!  Check out my favorites below:

ASOS

Take an extra 10% off sale iems that are already up to 70% off!

Fashion Nova

My fave site always has great prices, but their sale section is now up to 90% off! Get to shopping and take advantage of their 1 Day Independence Slay sale with Free 1 Day Shipping!  

Macy's

Sooo many deals and discounts right now! They are offering 70% off clearance styles, 25% off your purchase when you donate $3 to support veterans and military families, and 70% off furniture and mattresses. Get to clicking!  

Bloomingdales

Bloomies is always awesome and has more of an elevated assortment than some others. This July 4th they are offering 30-50% off select items. I found goodies like Marc Jacobs crossbody bags, Stuart Weitzman slides and Rag & Bone denim all on sale. Browse through and let me know what you find! 

Moda Operandi

If you are feeling the luxe vibe, treat yourself to something lavish in the Moda Operandi sale. The discount is only 20% off, but that can go a long way towards the cost of a big ticket item!

Anthropologie

I love shopping Anthropologie sales! This time around take 25% off already discounted sale items. They've got loads of cute jewelry, accessories, and home decor on sale now, so take a look! 

Kendall + Kylie

If you are obsessed with the Kardashian Jenner crew, or just want to get their style, Kendall + Kylie are having a huge flash sale, with 70% all merch, and 15% off warehouse styles. 

Makeup 4 Ever

Cult favorite beauty brand Makeup Forever is offering 15% off purchases of $75 or more; 20% off $100 or more. I'm a huge fan of their HD foundation and primers, so will def be stocking up! 

Missha Cosmetics

30% off their entire assortment - yes please! Check out their semi-annual sale for amazing prices on all things beauty!

Let me know in the comments what you end up buying! And have a blast this July 4th!

Squad Goals! 3 Perks of Forming Your Blogger Squad

Blogger Girls in NYC

I’ve been blogging for a few years now and one of the best things about it, is well, other bloggers! Nothing beats building a sense of collaboration and community with beautiful, talented, creative women that share your goals and mission. I’ve been so fortunate to connect with an amazing blogger girl squad here in the city. Here are some of the things I love the most about them!

NYC Brooklyn Bridge Street Style

You have instant common ground

There are things that every blogger can relate to. We all have spent nights spent working on our sites and content calendars and weekends filled with styling sessions and photo shoots. Your friends may only see the glamourous parts, like you posting cute pictures and going to fun branded events. But the rest of us really get it! Even if you are in a different niche, you understand having a crazy schedule, feeling the pressure to always look amazing online, and trying to find ways to make your content stand out! 

You get to build a unique network

Whether you are looking for anything from photo shoot locations to tax advice, if you have a strong network of other bloggers you can definitely find the answers! I love being able to rely on my network to brainstorm ideas, troubleshoot issues only they would understand, and get inspired for projects I’m trying to tackle! 

You get to have fun and be productive

Imagine having all the fun with your friends, while simultaneously networking, strategizing, and sharing resources to support each other’s goals. That’s what having a blogger squad is like! For the perennial multitasker like me, being able to have fun with people who’s company I genuinely enjoy while keeping on top of growing my business is major! 

 Pin me for later!

Pin me for later!

If you are looking for connect with other bloggers in the city, try Meetup to find groups, or sliding into someone’s dm’s if you want to connect! 

 

 

How to Be Your Own #HairGoals with Prose Customized Hair Care

Summer Little Black Dress and Bamboo Bag

Let's be real - we are all on the quest to have the best hair possible. However you define your best hair is up to you - whether that be short and straight, long and bouncy or kinky curly. Great hair starts with health and I've been through HUNDREDS of products looking for the ones that would keep my curls hydrated, shiny and strong enough to resist breakage and maintain length.

I discovered Prose through Octoly, an influencer network and I was immediately intrigued. A fully customized hair care line based on your lifestyle and hair goals? Sign me up! I did their assessment online which asked a series of questions about my styling process, environmental conditions, and hair and scalp characteristics. 

My products arrived a week or 2 later with a detailed guide to the ingredients chosen and why they would be good for my hair. Some of the key ingredients were argan and jojoba oils for moisture, hyaluronic acid and collagen to repair and restore, and oat lipids and sunflower seed extract for color protection. My instructions are to shampoo and condition 2x a week, use the mask once a week, and 2x a month leave the mask on overnight for some ultimate hair rehab. 

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I noticed a difference right away and my hair has been getting even better with continued use. I mean take a look at these curls! 

Summer Style Little Black Dress

The shampoo cleansed without leaving my hair feeling stripped, and the conditioner and mask are rich, creamy and super hydrating. In short, it works wonders for my hair because it's made for my hair.

If you are interested in trying Prose check them out! And the only thing I can ask from the Prose team is to pretty please add in styling products! 

Summer Dressing Made Easy

Summer Style in Brooklyn

Tomorrow is the official first day of Summer! It’s one of my favorite times of year – the city is full of sunshine, the rooftops are poppin and the energy is over the top fun. Summer fashion calls for bold colors, fun patterns and interesting details. It’s way too hot to worry about what to wear, so I tend to stick to my formula for creating a standout look with ease. 

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It starts with a statement piece, like this skirt. I got this from SGTC Clothing, an amazing Instagram that let’s you shop authentic Nigerian pieces straight from the gram. Just scroll through their feed and DM them your picks to place an order. The team sent me this amazing color-block skirt, and it came in no time. The silhouette is fun and the print is unique and very on trend. 

To let the skirt shine, I paired it with a simple tube top from Fashion Nova. Have you shopped their site yet? If you haven’t you definitely need to take a look. They have everything from the wild, trendy, super sexy, and plenty of basics like this top or my go to jeans. 

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Then I took the rest of the look up a notch with the accessories! Bold statement earrings in a color palette that complimented the skirt were the perfect finishing touch, along with the Ark bag that I can’t live without, and a pair of can’t miss me neon sandals. 

Cult Gaia Bamboo Ark Bag
Street Style and Street Art in Brooklyn

Let me know what you think of this look, and shop the story below! 

4 Vacation Workout Tips You Need to Stay In Shape on the Road!

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As much as I love travel, there is one downside - struggling to stay on your health game! Temptation is everywhere, and between the dining out, sipping cocktails, and all the local goodies you have to sample. It's gotten harder and harder to stay in shape as I've gotten older, so I really have to find ways to stay balanced.

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When I travel for just a long weekend I usually skip the workouts just because you have less time to explore and it's really not a big deal if you only miss a few days in the gym. But on my recent trip to Spain was almost 10 days long, so I knew I needed to get in exercise at least 3 or 4 times on that trip! Here is how I was able to squeeze in my sweat sessions while on a long vacation!

1. Pick a hotel with a gym

A lot of hotels have fitness centers, so when you are starting your search, look for properties that have that as an amenity. Even if it isn't a fancy one with a lot of high-tech equipment, you can still get a quality workout session done. 

2. Use your room if you have to

If you end up at a hotel that doesn't have a gym,  you can still make do with what you've got! Download or print out free workouts that don't require equipment and get to work in your room. Remember, you can do push-ups and squats anywhere! I also usually travel with a pair of resistance bands, and here are some band-only exercises I love!  

3. Make fitness part of your itinerary

Go hiking, take a long walk through town, or check out a local fitness studio. If you prioritize staying in shape while on your journey, you will find a way to make it happen!

4. Don't be afraid to leave your friends

Not everyone will share your priorities or want to spend their time the way you do. If you are traveling in a group and you find yourself being the only one that wants to get a workout in, then go right ahead and do it! If you have group activities planned that you don't want to miss, get up earlier or plan which days will be your workout days and which will be off.  

Let me know if you care more about staying fit even when you are on the go, and how you accomplish that! And if you like my workout look, shop the story below!
 

The Perfect Summer Day & Perfect Summer Dress

Rose Garden Weekend NYBG

Summer in the city is finally here! It’s so nice coming back from a trip but keeping the vacation vibe going thanks to the amazing weather and summer fun! 

One of my favorite places in New York is the New York Botanical Garden. It’s full of a gorgeous collection of blooms and has great special exhibitions all year round. So as soon as summer Friday’s started, I hopped on the Metro-North and took a quick 20 minute train ride up to the garden for an afternoon of exploring. 

Summer Roses Full Bloom

Since it was Rose Garden weekend I was feeling garden party chic and decided to break out one of the dresses I picked up in Spain. This easy breezy cotton baby is so comfortable but has just a touch of romance and glamour. And it’s in the color that I can’t seem to let go of – millennial pink! This came from a tiny boutique in Mallorca, but check out similar styles you can purchase below. 

Rose garden summer style

Since gardens are definitely not the place for high-heels I decided to balance the floaty dress with a pair of fringe, Dolce Vita sandals. They are super stylish and comfy, and keep the summer vibe going strong. Plus the yellow and white fringe is an unexpected pairing with the soft, dusty pink dress.  

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What are your favorite ways to spend a summer day in the city? Let me know in the comments, and what you will be wearing! And follow me on Instagram @malikahkelly for more of my outfit posts! And would you believe I shot all the pics in this post myself? Check out more about my self-portrait photography tips

Selfie-Queen! How to Step Up Your Photography Game

You may have noticed something about my pics from my recent Spain trip. I was alone in most shots. Even though I was travelling in Mallorca with a few friends, neither of them were big on photos and I knew that neither of them would be down to play insta-wife for the week! Obviously, I still wanted great travel photos, but I didn't want to be the annoying brat and constantly pester my friends. And sometimes when you want something done you've got to do it yourself! So I came prepared to do a lot of my own photos to make sure I had content I would be happy with. If you have an upcoming trip coming up and you want to guarantee you'll get the photos you want, check out my tips below!

Self-Portrait-Photography-Tips

1. Pack the right goods!

I'm a huge fan of my tripod! It's lightweight and highly portable, but unfolds to a full 50 inches! I was nervous about it fitting in my suitcase since I only took a carry-on, but it wedged in perfectly and added basically no weight. I also shoot on a Canon G7X, which is compact but takes great photos and videos. The flip-up screen also comes in really handy when you are trying to take self-portraits, so you can see yourself in the screen at different angles. And when I'm shooting a lot of looks in the city, I often carry around a portable pop-up tent. I didn't travel with one of these, but a blogger friend of mine does so she can shoot extra looks when she is out and about and there are no public bathrooms to change in. 

2. Be Safe

Since you have to set-up your tripod and camera then run into the shot, you want to make sure you are shooting somewhere that you and your stuff will be safe. I took a lot of my photos around our resort, so it was restricted just to guests and staff. I would never pop-it out on a busy, main street where someone could grab it and run off! 

Poolside Summer Mornings

3. Get Up Earlier

If you want scenic pictures without a lot of people in the background, you have to start early in the morning. I started shooting these pool pics around 8am, so I could have it completely empty. As you can imagine, having a bunch of families and kids splashing around would have ruined the shot! It's also nicer to shoot when no one is watching you, especially if you can be a little shy or self-conscious. People will definitely look at you like you are either crazy or completely self-absorbed, but don't let them bring you down! 

Travel Self-Portrait

4. Have Fun and Get Creative

When you are in control of your shot, you can take more time and get more creative than your friends would if they were snapping you quickly. You can play with different lighting and angles, try shooting close-up and from a distance like in the photo above, and get the exact scenery and angles that you want in the shot. After all, it's your photo so have fun with it! 

Let me know your ideas on getting good travel pics, and check out more of my pics from the trip on Instagram, @malikahkelly!