48 Hours in Milwaukee

Kimpton Journeyman Hotel Review

I recently came back from another trip to Milwaukee! I’ve been there several times for work and on most occasions we are in and out of meetings all day so there isn’t much time to explore. However my most recent trip I had a little bit of extra time, so got to take advantage! Milwaukee may not be the most obvious choice for a domestic vacation, especially not in the Midwest. However I’ve found that it has a certain charm, an impressive food scene, and lots of trendy boutique hotels popping up that promise a stay you won’t forget. Check out a few of my tips for how to spend some time there!

48 Hours In Milwaukee Travel Tips

Where to Stay in Milwaukee

I’ve stayed at both the Iron Horse Hotel and the Kimpton Journeyman and both are amazing! They are stylish, comfortable, trendy, and in prime locations. Stay at the Kimpton if you don’t want to miss out on your IHG rewards and access to the unforgettable rooftop with a tabletop fireplace.

Blue Bat Milwaukee
Rooftop Cocktails Kimpton Journeyman

Restaurants to Try in Milwuakee

Both Iron Horse and Kimpton have fabulous restaurants! Make sure to stop in for drinks and dinner no matter where you end up staying. I also paid a visit to Blue Bat Kitchen and Tequilaria, a taco and tequila bar a few blocks from the Kimpton. The fish taco and salmon bowl were amazing and the margaritas strong and cheap, just like I like them!

Kimpton Journeyman Hotel Review
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What to Do in Milwaukee

Just being honest, the winters can be brutal! It was so cold even when I had time to get out I just couldn’t stand the weather. If you go in a less frigid time of year, the riverwalk is supposed to be a great place to explore, and there are plenty of brewery tours if you are into the beer scene. You can also explore the Historic Third Ward, which has a fun, artsy, vibe and lots of beautiful architecture. And don’t forget to wander through the Milwaukee Public Market for shopping, snacking and of course, drinking.

If you do bring any one thing back, definitely make it the cheese! Seriously! I picked up a few bricks of cheddar at the airport and it was to die for! if you have time grab it at one of the markets for something that will probably be even better.

That’s it for now, or at least until my next trip!





Is Rent the Runway Unlimited Worth It?

rent the runway gown rental

Ever wonder how bloggers seem to have an endless assortment of designer clothes and accessories for the perfect #ootd or glam night out? Well the secret isn’t necessarily an unlimited budget! Rent the Runway has been one of my go to sources for formal events or weddings for years, but I recently decided to give an unlimited membership a try. I was gifted a code for a free month after attending one of their events at WeWork, so decided to give it a test run in December. My schedule was pretty full between holiday parties, photo shoots, and traveling to Art Basel. I definitely needed a collection of Instagram worthy looks at my disposal but was absolutely not going run up my credit card bill for the gram. Here are some of the looks I rented and my thoughts on whether or not Rent the Runway Unlimited is worth it, and getting the most out of your membership!

rent the runway unlimited review

Rent the Runway Unlimited isn’t technically unlimited! You can have 4 items out at a time, and you are encouraged to return multiple items in one shipment to reduce the environmental impact. However you can swap out items as often as you want! The processing time is super fast - usually my items were received the next day and I could order my next round. And if you order before 2pm and ship to store they usually arrive the same day. For the looks below, I ordered them a few days before I had my holiday shoot scheduled and shipped them back when I was done.

Holiday Looks from Rent the Runway
Holiday Gowns from Rent the Runway

The membership also came in super handy before my trips to Savannah and Miami. All my summer clothes were packed away for the season, so renting was a perfect option. Here are some of the fun looks I rented for travel to warm weather destinations.

Miami Art Basel Outfit Ideas
Yellow Dress on the Beach
Outfit Ideas for Savannah Travel
Orange Ruffle Dress

Plus they have more than just formalwear and fancy dresses! I rented this statement coat because I was bored with my winter rotation, and this casual sweatshirt for weekend brunch.

Star Print Faux Fur Coat Rent the Runway
CaliYork Sweatshirt Rent the Runway

So is Rent the Runway Unlimited worth it? I say yes if you are someone who goes to a lot of events on a regular basis, or if you are a blogger and always need fun items to shoot! It’s also great to activate your membership during busy times, like for wedding season or during the holidays when you have a lot of parties. Then you can freeze or cancel for the months when your schedule is lighter and you don’t need to rent as much.

Let me know if you try it, and here are links to the items I had in rotation!

How to Get an Unlimited Wardrobe




The Best Statement Coats to Shop on Sale!

Printed Statement Coat

What was that? Couldn’t hear you over the volume of this coat! Seriously - how loud is this jacket? It’s completely over the top and I love it. I always like to have a few statement coats in rotation for the season. After all, when it’s freezing cold outside your coat is the first thing people see, so why not make it a good one?

Even though it’s January and we are all completely over winter, now is a great time to buy a new coat. You’ll still get weeks of wear out of it, and everything is on sale! And since you won’t have worn it to death it will still feel fresh next year when you pull it out again. If you are in the market or just looking for a deal on a super fashionable new item, check out some of my favorite statement coats all on sale now! Prices range from pretty luxe to under $50, so there is something for every budget.

Shop the trend below and let me know your faves!

Printed Statement Coats on Sale Now

Yellow Faux Fur Statement Coat
Faux Fur Coat Trend

Faux Fur Statement Coats on Sale Now

Shiny Statement Coats on Sale Now!

statement coats for winter

New Year New Look: My New Healthy Hair Routine for 2019

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

South Beach Miami Beaches
Summer in Mami South Beach
Summer Style in Miami

How is the first week of 2019 treating you? Hopefully you are recovered from plenty of time spent ringing in the New Year, and are ready to start the new year with a bang! This time of year is great for reflecting on all the changes the previous year, diving into your goals, and trying something new. I’m not particularly one for New Years Resolutions, but I did set one that I’m going to try to keep – take better care of my hair! It may sound shallow compared to people that are setting career, fitness and other big life goals. But self-care is important, and it goes for both the inside and out. I have to admit that I was not the best to my hair in 2018!

I experimented with color and a chemical treatment, and did way more straightening than I used to. By the end of the year my strands were, dry, frizzy, full of breakage and desperately needing some TLC. I decided that I’m going to dedicate the first half of 2019 to restoring the health and strength of my hair. Part of that journey means lots of protective styling to give my hair the break it needs. Protective styling breaks are essential for naturally kinky textures since our hair tends to be drier, more coarse and prone to damage from frequent manipulation. So you will see me wearing lots more protective styles like braids and wigs, which still allow for flexibility and fun with your hair, but they keep your natural hair safe from damage causing elements. I also found some new star products that so far have been a hero for my hair! 

Hover over the image below to start shopping the products!

Biotera Natural Origin Collection features seven color-safe products that gently restore beauty and radiance, delivering the honest-to-goodness healthy hair you need to achieve salon perfection. The products feature up to 97% naturally derived ingredients, offering a high quality alternative to some premium products for a fraction of the cost. 

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I’ve been using the NURTURE Conditioner and Masque, which is perfect for dry hair. It’s enriched with nourishing Coconut Oil and Honey and smells just delicious! I alternate the NURTURE line with the RESTORE strengthening line, which repairs damaged hair. It’s enriched with nutrient-rich Goji Berry and Chia Extract, and all their products are free from silicones, sulfates, parabens and dyes. They also use biodegradable formulas and 100% recyclable packaging, so you can care for your hair and the Earth at the same time. Here’s a quick tutorial on my new healthy hair routine and how I’m saving my strands without compromising my style! 

Sunday’s are wash day so I start by gently detangling my hair using the Biotera Nuture Conditioner. I separate my curls into small sections and using just a little bit of my homemade spritz (aloe vera juice & rosewater) and a lot of the conditioner, I gently finger detangle each section. I do not use a comb or any styling tools, just my fingers and a lot of patience. Then I pop on a plastic cap and let that sit for a bit, mostly just to give my arms a break! Then shampoo and follow with a deep conditioning mask. I alternate between the Nuture and Restore Masques to balance moisturization and strengthening. As far as styling, I’m keeping that super simple! My hair hangs out in braids or twists and during the week I play with fun hair accessories, headwraps, or wigs so I always look cute and stylish. The routine is easy, simple, and keeping my hair healthy. 

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When shopping for my hair/ beauty essentials, like my Biotera products or fun hair accessories to style with, Sally Beauty is the place to start. Look for Biotera next time you are there, and learn more about the brand and product line on their site!

Let me know what your 2019 resolutions are, for beauty, hair, health or whatever! 

Secret Weapons for Healthy Hair

How to Mix Prints and Make it Work!

Print Mixing Tutorial
How to Mix Prints in Fashion
Snakeskin Print Maxi Dress
Print Mixing Fashion Trend

It’s my first post of 2019! I realized I haven’t done an outfit post in quite some time, so wanted to kick off my content for the new year with one of my favorite topics - fashion trends and how to wear them.

Hope you guys are recovering nicely from the New Year’s Eve festivities and are ready to jump into the new year. If you made any 2019 style resolutions, why not start kicking them off? I love experimenting with trends, and mixing prints has always been one of my favorites. It can be a tricky look to pull off, but when done correctly makes your look unforgettable.

There are a few things to know when mixing prints to keep from looking crazy. One thing to remember is to keep the color families similar and not too bold. Mixing both prints and colors can put you in the doing too much zone, and you want to keep it chic and stylish. I also prefer to keep the prints in a similar size/scale for balance. In the look above, I paired a grey snakeskin maxi dress from Zara with a vintage blue plaid coat. The grey and blue play nicely together and both prints aren’t too big or too small, so they work well when paired. Keep the rest of the look clean to let your prints stand out. I went for classic, minimal jewelry and simple black booties with a chunky heel.

Let me know how you feel about the print mixing trend, and shop the look below!

Print Mixing How To Guide
Print Dresses Style Tips

3 Lessons I Learned in 2018

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It's the last day of 2018! Before I get glammed up to party the night away,  I wanted to take some time to reflect on the year, the progress I have made, and the challenges and goals I'm laying forth for myself in 2019. I've never been one for resolutions, but I am excited about some major changes on the horizon that I hope will make my life as enriched as it was in 2018. Here are some of the things I've learned and moments I'm most proud of this year. 

3 Lessons Learned in 2019

I started to harness my own creativity

Being a content creator is fun, yet challenging. When I first started,  I relied heavily on professional photographers to create content,  but this year I pivoted and took most of my content creation into my own hands. I got better at composition, editing, art direction and location scouting. I'm going to plan a whole post about my new content strategy and why I work with pros less,  but right now I'm relishing in knowing that I challenged myself creatively and can get even better as I grow in 2019


I learned to reprioritize my finances,  and stick to it

I've known for awhile that I need to save more,  but more fun things always got in the way.  There was always a trip I wanted to take, a group dinner I wanted to go on, something I wanted to buy. I'm fortunate enough to be financially stable and have enough disposable income to live comfortably but I realized I was being far too comfortable and not saving enough.  My emergency fund had been steady, but not growing and my 2019 life plans will require some serious spending on things that are absolutely worth it. I spent the last few months of 2018 making sacrifices to catch up - automating more of my savings, cutting back on dinners out and saying no to A LOT of travel. It was hard but it's time to start adulting and really getting serious about saving for my future. 2019 may end up being the year of no when it comes to travel and social plans, and I'm starting to get ok with that. 

I tried to be more body positive and learned it didn't work for me

My body has changed a lot the past few years but I noticed it even more in 2018. Since this was the year of body positivity, I tried to embrace being a few pounds bigger and not being perfectly toned.  The change was surely a combination of getting older, travelling more, spending time and sharing meals with the bf, and spending less money on my fancy boutique fitness classes. I went back and forth with feeling confident and insecure, dieting aggressively to drop pounds quickly, then of course putting them back on as soon as I started eating more normal. I told myself I was still in great shape and that being a little curvier for several good reasons was fine,  but I really never believed it. Some people do believe you should never worry about your looks,  but I've always thought that if you don’t like something about yourself you should change it. So I will be recommitting to the body I want to get back and taking healthy but disciplined steps to get there. 


Let me know what you guys learned in 2018 and what you hope to accomplish in the year to come.  Wishing you all the happiest New Year!

2019 goal setting



Holiday Glam Hair with Schwarzkopf® Keratin Color

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #KeratinAtTarget #CreateYourStyle #CollectiveBias

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Who is ready to get holiday glam?! I love taking every opportunity to dress up, beat the face, and go over the top with my hair. Since I love to switch up my look a lot without compromising the health of my hair, I tend to wear a lot of wigs and extensions this time of year. I alternate between synthetic and human hair wigs, depending on the style and of course my budget, and I found some AMAZING wig deals on Black Friday so I got a few more to add to the rotation. One of my favorite wigs that I found was a little darker than I liked, so I wanted to try to add some dimension to the color as well. I tried the Schwarzkopf® Color Ultime® last year, turning an old blonde wig a vibrant auburn, so this time turned to Schwarzkopf® Keratin Color from Target! 

Brazilian Remy 360 Lace Wigs are usually super expensive because they have so much lace they can be parted in any direction, or even worn in an updo or high ponytail, but this one was only $137! Similar styles can actually go for over $400, so definitely a steal. However, all wigs need some customization to fit your face, wear naturally, and get the perfect color, so here are a few steps I took to perfecting this wig. 

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I always start by trimming all the lace off the wig, then deciding where I want to part it. Since this is a 360 lace wig, I can change the part whenever I want, but for now, I’m starting with a side part. Carefully tweeze out some of the hairs along the part to make it look extra defined, and along the hairline to thin the edges out for a natural look. Most wigs have a very straight, almost boxy hairline which is completely unnatural! Everyone has a little thinning along their hairline and edges, so plucking out those extra hairs will make it look so much more natural. It’s not really an exact science, just follow your natural hairline and how your hair falls and try to mimic that. Like I said earlier, this particular wig was a little darker than I liked, so I wanted to try to add some dimension to the color as well.

Schwarzkopf® Keratin Color formula has a cutting-edge anti-breakage technology with K-BOND PLEX™ to repair the hair structure and leave your hair looking healthy and strong. And if you invest in a wig you want it to last, choosing the right color system matters! I especially liked that it included a Pre-Color Serum, which conditions the hair before coloring for a more even color result from root to tip. The K-BOND PLEX™ salon inspired anti-breakage technology will ensure great color plus shiny, healthy looking hair! I chose to do balayage style highlights in the shade Light Golden Brown. I didn’t want to color the whole wig one shade but was hoping for a subtle medium to chocolate brown highlights that would add dimension. Please note, you can ONLY dye a high-quality human hair wig, not a synthetic! The color will not take and if it’s not a Remy wig the results won’t be optimal.

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To start, secure the wig to a Styrofoam head using bobby pins and apply the pre-color serum, then section off the hair. I did 6 sections so I could see exactly where I was applying the color and make sure all the highlights were even. Then just mix the Color Crème into the bottle containing the developer, give it a good shake, and try not to be alarmed by the strange color it may turn. 

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Then moving quickly, I applied a bit of the color to small pieces of hair, starting about an inch away from the roots. The nozzle tip applicator was super easy to work with, and it took about 25 to 30 minutes to do the full head of balayage on the wig. Since I knew it would take a while to apply, I went with a safer shade instead of one of the bright blondes and worked across in horizontal sections, so each layer of hair would have even color. I was nervous that if I went with a brighter shade the bottom would be fully processed before I made it to the top then it would just look completely uneven and crazy. 

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Total processing time for the section I started with was about 45 minutes and for the last section, I made sure to give it the recommended 30 minutes before rinsing and following with the K-BOND PLEX™ conditioner. I just applied a little bit of moisturizing curl crème then let the wig lay flat on a towel to dry. Avoid putting a wet wig back on the Styrofoam head to dry because that can actually stretch out the cap! And here she is after!

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In the morning, I put it on over a wig cap, and secured it with a tiny bit of a super strong hold gel. The wig comes with combs but I prefer not to use them because they pull on my hair and are pretty uncomfortable, but the last thing you want is your wig slipping off. Glue is a great alternative to uncomfortable clips and wig tape that can destroy your hairline or the risk of losing your wig to a strong gust of wind. 

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And here’s the final look! Even though the color is super subtle, I love how smooth and shiny it was. In retrospect, I could have gone with one of the lighter shades for a bolder look, and if you are starting on super dark hair you may want to try going lighter than you think you need to for color that really pops.

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If you want to try Schwarzkopf® Keratin Color, or any of their other brands (got2b®, GLISS®, Smooth ‘n Shine®, got2b® Color & Color Ultime®) the best place to get it is at your local Target! They make shopping super convenient and they’ve got a great promo between 12/16-12/29 for buy 4 get a $5 gift card for Schwarzkopf Hair!  And stay tuned for their new product that will be released soon! I can’t share details yet, but it’s designed to work on all hair textures, plus it's moisturizing & deeply nourishing.

Let me know if you guys try it and what color you go for! I would love to see your results! 

3 Must Try Beauty Trends for New Years Eve

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How is everyone recovering from Christmas? Hopefully you unwrapped lots of amazing presents and had a blast celebrating with friends and family. And now that Christmas is over, its time to focus on getting ready for New Years! I feel like everyone has mixed feelings about New Years Eve - whether it’s worth celebrating or just a waste of energy, if you should go out or do a low key house party, etc. Personally I’m down for either a glam night out or staying in with friends watching the ball drop, just depends on what the squad and bae want to do.

This year I will be doing something pretty exciting, and have the perfect look all picked out! I just need to figure out how to beat the face! Since New Year’s is a holiday where you can really go all out with your look, here are some beauty trends I’ve been thinking about trying for the last party of 2018.

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Glitter Lips Beauty Trend

Glittery eyes have been over and done! Even though they are still beautiful, the newest way to wear glitter is on the lips! Give your pout some bling with a kit from Stay Golden, the brand behind the glittery lips blowing up your Instagram feed! It may not be the best look for a dinner party, but judging from reviews you can make it through a night of drinking without losing your shine.

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Colorful Graphic Winged Eyeliner

Winged eyeliner is such a classic look, so put a fun spin on it! Get dramatic with the length and width of your line, add a splash of color, or even play with contrasting colors to add depth and dimension. Granted, I have NEVER been able to master a good cat eye, but practice makes perfect. You can also work with stencils or tools like the Beauty Blender Liner Designer, and use concealer to clean up and even out your lines.

Rainbow Unicorn Highlighter

Colorful Highlighter

I first tried purple highlighter at Afropunk and I am sold! The look was fresh and unique, but not as scary and Halloween ish as it sounds. I’ve used a pale shimmer from Anastasia Beverly Hills and am currently loving the Fenty Beauty Killawatt Foil Freestyle Highlighter in all colors but especially Mimosa Sunrise/Sangria Sunset.

Let me know what look you end up trying for New Years! And shop the story below!



Must Try Beauty Trends

Keeping that Glow! Get Unready with Me and Aveeno MaxGlow!

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

Miceller Water Cleansing Routine

Hope you all are ready for Christmas! I’m sure you will be spending the next few days grabbing last minute gifts, finishing decorating and wrapping everything, and if you are hosting,  prepping for the big party. Crazy stressful right? It’s so hard to juggle everything this time of year, stay balanced, and not lose your mind in the process. Plus the holiday season also demands that you always look glam and put together, which just adds another level of pressure! As much as I enjoy hair, makeup, and fun outfits, sometimes you just NEED a bare face and sweat pants. One way I stay sane and squeeze in self-care is to find an off night, or even an early evening, where I stay home and show my skin some extra TLC. Here are a few steps I take to get unready and pamper myself during the stressful holiday season. 

Skin Care Routine with Miceller Water

Hover over the image above for product information and to purcahase at CVS

Aveeno Positively Radiant Beauty Products

The first thing to go is whatever sparkly, tight, layered thing I had on, kick off the heels and cozy up in a warm, fluffy bathrobe. Sometimes I’ll treat my hair to an overnight oil treatment for extra moisture, sleeping with it covered by a plastic cap and satin bonnet.

Then it’s time to get all the holiday makeup off! I’ve been using the Aveeno Positively Radiant Micellar Gel Cleanser. I love micellar cleansers as a first step in my getting unready routine, since they gently remove makeup without stripping the skin. Aveeno’s Positively Radiant Micellar Gel Cleanser is formulated with a moisture-rich soy and kiwi complex and it  helps skin feel hydrated, soft, and enhances your skin’s natural radiance. More than just a cleansing and moisturizing routine The AVEENO® POSITIVELY RADIANT® Collection is designed to enhance your natural radiance and give you a lit-from-within glow. Each soy enriched product targets tone and texture.

I also love using face masks, and do one at least once or twice a week. When you don’t have time to put one on then sit and wait, sleeping masks are perfect. Who wouldn’t want to put one on before bed and wake up glowing?

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Aveeno’s Maxglow No Mess Sleep Mask is a new one I’ve been testing out. This nighttime face mask helps even skin tone and texture for soft, luminous skin when you wake. Plus the tube includes a paddle applicator so that your hands stay clean for an easy, mess-free application. Then just rinse off in the morning for radiant, glowing skin. Don’t worry about it making a mess when you sleep, the mask will stay on your face and not end up all over your pillows. After I apply it, I like to tuck myself in, turn that phone on silent and spend some time reading or just reflecting on my day.  I think it’s important to unplug and not spend the last moments of your day staring at a phone screen.

 Since this time of year doesn’t allow much time for personal shopping, the most convenient beauty destination to pick up these products is your local CVS. CVS is actually one of the largest beauty retailers in the United States, so it makes staying on top of your beauty needs easier than ever. Make sure you check out the AVEENO® POSITIVELY RADIANT® Collection  if you want to enhance your natural radiance and give you a lit-from-within glow.  

And since saving money around the holidays is essential, make sure you take advantage of the Buy One Get 50% off Select Aveeno at CVS until 12/30. Wishing you all a happy, glowing holiday! 
Holiday Season Beauty and Skin Care Guide


2019 Travel Bucket List - 4 Can't Miss Destinations

2019 Travel Destinations
travel tips for 2019

Something highly unusual is happening for me right now. It’s almost the end of December, and I seriously have ZERO 2019 trips planned at this point. This time last year I had 4 trips planned between February and May, so this is definitely not my style! Granted, I did say I was going to prioritize my savings in an aggressive way, so cutting back on leisure travel is a big part of it. But I’m still completely itching to hop on a plane to somewhere for a few days! Hopefully I’ll drum up some business that takes me somewhere exciting, but in the meantime I’m fantasizing about a few places that are hot on my list this year.  Fingers crossed I make it to a few of these!

 

Bordeaux, France Wine Country

I love spending time in Europe in Spring and summer, and have been lucky enough to explore a lot of the continent. I’ve been to several cities in France, from Paris to the South, but have always skipped over wine country. I’ve been pretty inspired to go since one of my old friends bought a GORGEOUS villa there! It’s the Domaine de Montvert by Sitawi-Bottone in Saint Emilion Bordeaux wine country. It’s unbelievably charming and big enough for a family or group of friends. Bordeaux is supposed to be one of the most stunning regions in France, and since I already have the perfect place to stay in mind, I need to start planning a trip

 

Sri Lanka Beaches

 

Another region that has been on my radar all year is Sri Lanka. It’s quite a trip, but the scenery looks so stunning and it’s supposed to be pretty affordable once you are on the ground. 

 

All Over California

 

In 2018 I said I wanted to do more domestic travel, and I’ve had a blast in several new cities in the US. I went to Cali a few times this year, mostly for business, and every time I went I wished I had more time there. So in 2019 I owe myself a true California vacation experience – no work, just beaches, scenery and exploring!

 

Zanzibar, Tanzania

I’ve been ready for another trip to Africa since my incredible journey to South Africa a few years ago. Zanzibar has been calling me loud and clear, so WHEN I can afford that long-haul sure to be pricey flight I will be on my way. 

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Let me know what is on your travel bucket list for next year any beyond, and shop this story below!

 

 

 

 

6 Ways to Practice Self-Care During the Holidays

Cozy At Home Holiday Season

Is anyone else starting to feel the holiday stress? I’ve had a CRAZY couple of weeks between travel, my day job, wrapping up holiday campaigns, securing new business for Q1, and my social life, which these days includes catching up with friends and prepping to host this Christmas. I have a post planned for managing it all without losing it, so look out for that next month, because I’m seriously trying to figure it out! November and December are pretty much the time where we are all going out more, spending more, eating more (and usually less healthy stuff) and sleeping less.

My friends always say I am pretty good about taking care of myself, and being selfish when need be, so I’m trying to remind myself of how I do that. Self-care is pretty buzzy these days, but it’s crucial to stay balanced and centered. When it feels like the world is pulling you a hundred different directions, you need to find time to take care of yourself. I’m not sure about “having it all” but here are a few ways I practice self-care during the holiday season.

Self Care Guide

 

Stay on top of your daily routine

We all have little things we do to start and end our day, but when schedules get crazy it’s hard to let that fall to the wayside. But don’t! When you get out of your flow that only makes things more intense, and it’s harder to get back into it once you’ve been off for awhile. 

 

Know when to say no

Yes there are holiday parties every night, or friends or loved ones who want to catch up for dinner, or trips you could go, etc. It’s hard to RSVP no, but sometimes you just have to take care of yourself. Sleep in instead of going to brunch, catch a workout you love instead of a boozy night out, or just lay around in your coziest PJs as long as you need to. I have had days where getting out of bed was physically not an option, so I cancelled my day and took the time needed to rest. The next day I was infinitely better, and ready to get back on track. When you need to hit pause, just do it! Your loved ones will understand. 

 

Don’t give into FOMO

Millennials are plagued by FOMO! However I’ve realized that when you need to skip social plans to take care of yourself or prioritize your to-do list, the fear of missing out can easily fade away. Just remember that you chose to be exactly where you are for reasons that were important to you. Plus, if you were out doing whatever it was that’s in the back of your mind you’d be having FOMO about missing your couch! 

 

Take time for your health

Sometimes self-care means laying at home, taking a hot bath or indulging in some of your favorite comfort foods and a glass (or half-a bottle) of wine. Other times it means putting in work to get reenergized and ready to take on the challenges. One of the main ways I stay sane is my regular workouts. I get in at least 3, but usually 4 or 5 a week! No matter how busy I am or how gross the weather is, because I know that workout time is an investment in myself, my health, and my body. Of course there are days where dragging myself to the gym is the last thing I want to do, but when I get there I never regret it. But if I skip a workout I always have regret the next day. So whether it’s fitness, meditation, or just some gentle stretching while YouTube is on in the background, find something that will be your thing and make time for it on a regular basis. 

 

Respect your budget 

November and December are also times where there is increased pressure to spend, on shopping, gifts, and socializing. By October I pretty much know how much I’m going to spend between holiday shopping, stuff for myself, entertaining costs, and socializing. Then I FIRMLY stick to those numbers, and am never shy about saying I need to prioritize my budget when saying no to things. Keeping up with the Joneses needs to be a thing of the past and anyone in your life who cares about you would not pressure you to spend frivolously.  There should be absolutely no stigma about living within your means!

 

Protect Your Sleep

I can’t stress this enough! Protect your sleep as vigorously as you may need to, It is paramount to your overall health and well-being. I always make an effort to be in bed unwinding about 30 minutes before I need to actually be falling asleep. That means the alarm is set, phone silenced, and I’m reading a good book and finishing my nightcap (usually a bourbon neat – I’m not a tea person). If you can’t stand the thought of fully silencing your phone, at least dim your screen and turn on the blue-light fliter, which is easier on the eyes before you go to bed. 

 

Let me know how you guys practice self-care through the craziness this time of year!

All the Art Basel Events You Can Actually Get Into!

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I’m on my way to another Art Basel Miami! I pretty much go every year, mostly because I love the art but also because it’s a great excuse to get somewhere warm when NY is freezing cold. If you are planning on attending but not sure what to do when you get down there, here are a bunch of options. These events are all open to the public so you can buy tickets and have an amazing time on the scene, even if your VIP pass went missing AGAIN!

Art Basel Miami Art Fairs

Obviously if you are in town for Art Basel you need to see some art. All of the fairs are open to the public and you can buy tickets online. You also MUST pass through Wynwood and explore the incredible street art all over the neighborhood. I’m leaving links to my favorites below. If you plan on attending let me know in the comments and maybe we’ll bump into each other!

The Official Art Basel

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Pulse

Art Miami

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Art Basel Parties & Events

Part of the fun of Art Basel Miami is the parties and events. Here are a few that are open to the public that you can buy tickets to. I will probably check some of these out myself.

Pigment International

Style Fashion Week Presents Fashion Basel

Pulse Young Collectors Cocktail

Art Basel Miami Hot Spots

And while you are in between shows and events, pop into these hot spots to grab a drink or app, and of course, see and be seen!

The Edition Hotel

Freehand Miami

News Cafe

The Standard Hotel

The 1 Hotel

If you’ve got time and patience, check out Eventbrite for hundreds of other events as well! The options really are endless. And if you can squeeze in some beach time. I know I’ll need it before flying back to frigid NYC!

Miami Art Basel Guide


Holiday Gift Guide Part 1 - Gifts Under $100 for Everyone on Your List!

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Have you started your holiday shopping yet? If you are an early bird you probably already started around Black Friday! I don’t shop a ton to be honest, but I like to keep my list pretty curated and personal. Massive sales are great when you want to just buy random cute stuff at a great price then decide who gets what later on, but I try to take a more personalized approach. Here are some items from brands I love at every day affordable prices. Most are actually closer to the $50 mark, but since I snuck in a few higher priced items, consider this your ultimate Under $100 Gift Guide! 

Gifts for the Beauty Lover that are Under $100

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These are some of my favorite products that you’ve seen me posting about all year. Tula’s skin care system has really changed my skin and their Starter Kits are an easy and affordable way to try them out. Love Beauty & Planet has a full range of products that are perfect for the beauty lover in your life that is also eco-friendly. Shop them at Target & Ulta! And dpHue’s ACV rinse will work wonders on all hair types!

And since beauty starts within don’t forget the vitamins! Olly has a great assortment of easy to chew gummies, including everything from a classic multi vitamin to specialized ones for skin, energy, and hair. Also CND makes an amazing assortment of polish for the manicure lover in your life. Grab a few at RiteAid and wrap them up pretty for the perfect affordable gift. And I’m loving all the gift sets at Sephora, but this TooFaced Christmas Tree set is just the cutest! TooFaced is one of my go-to makeup brands so you pretty much can’t go wrong with anything from their line.

Home and Decor Gifts Under $100

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Everyone knows someone who is more or less a homebody, so give them stuff they can cozy up with all winter long! A bottle of Veuve Clicquot is always a winning option, or if they love at home cocktails, a fancy set of bitters or syrups will be perfect. Foodie gifts are also always fun, like this DIY Cheese Making Kit from Williams Sonoma. Candles are always another holiday favorite, and Anecdote Candles not only are high quality and smell great, the names are all super millenial friendly. I’m currently burning Adulting and Bottomless Mimosas, and adding Swipe Right to cart. Or go for something super cozy like a warm, fluffy personalized bathrobe or chunky throw blanket.

Gifts for the Fashionista Under $100

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Shopping for your fashion forward friends is always a challenge, but here are some of my favorites from brands I love! Clarks has a great assortment of boots on sale at Zappos and Pretty Little Thing is one of my go-to sites for affordable on trend items for any occasion. I also recently discovered Violet & Brooks, who make an assortment of gorgeous jewelry. They also donate 5% of net profits to Covenant House, so this is a great choice if you want to give a gift that gives back. And you guys have seen me post about Upbra on several occasions, but they really make the bra that is the perfect finishing touch for any look. And if one of Mum’s Handmade amazing knit sweaters are out of price range, they also make adorable beanies that are a fraction of the price. And if you love the dress I’m wearing in the pic above, definitely check out LA Made Clothing! That one is actually $106, so just over $100 but it was too good not to include here! Most of their items are way less than that and the range includes fun dresses and more casual items.

Holiday Gifts Under $100 for the Boys

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Even though I’m more of the whisky drinker in the relationship, a bourbon or spirit set is a classic gift for the guys on your list. And if you want to give a gift that you can also enjoy, the Manscaping Set is right up your alley! Or gift the Scotch & Porter Beard Collection to keep his scruff, well, less scruffy. Even though Jack Black is a men’s brand, this lip balm is hands down one of my faves and makes a great stocking stuffer. And this Thule backpack is one you’ve also seen me rocking, but all their products are unisex, affordable, and highly functional! And because the Little Blue Box isn’t only for the girls, give your man something Tiffany! These collar stays weren’t the only thing under $100! Think beer mugs, crystal whisky tumblers, and if you can spend up to $175 you’ll find money clips, tie bars, luggage tags and wallets.

Hope these tips help and happy shopping! And stay tuned for part 2 of my gift guide if you are looking for experiences you can gift.

All that Glitters! Bringing the Sparkle for this Holiday Season!

Holiday Dressing Ideas
Holiday Glam Beauty Ideas
Holiday Hair and Beauty
Holiday Season in NYC

Sequins? For holiday? Groundbreaking!

Obviously we all know the holiday season is the time for glitz and glamour and to bring all your sparkle, but seriously! Why not bring ALL THE SPARKLE! It’s the only time of year you can get away with dressing this obnoxiously, so don’t worry about being restrained. Go all out now and save your basics for January. Blazer dresses were a major trend for Fall, and I’m still loving it now!  Mixing two trends can be frowned upon, this one somehow combines the blazer dress trend and the holiday sequins trend and makes it work.  I got it from Rent the Runway, which is my hero this time of year because my Unlimited membership keeps me covered for all the events and parties that pop up. If you have been on the fence about membership, I’ll be posting more about it in a few weeks, but depending on your social schedule this month you should consider taking advantage!

But back to this dress! It’s definitely one to keep all eyes on you, and I love the loose silhouette. It hides all the sins from holiday eating and you can dance all night in it. I paired it with a pair of thigh high boots because it’s just too chilly for tights and heels these days, but if it were just a bit warmer it would look great with high heeled booties as well.  I finished the look with equally glam makeup – a soft smoky eye and deep red lip.

If you are still looking for the perfect standout dresses for whatever your holiday season may bring, shop some of my faves below!

How to Dress for the Holidays

Let me know what you guys have planned to celebrate the season and what you end up wearing to each. And if you want more tips for holiday makeup, check out this post here!

Power Dressing: The Red Plaid Jacket

I love styling statement pieces. One piece can really take your look to the next level in just one step! It can be an amazing dress, standout shoes or even jewelry. The options are really endless, but this time of year, jackets are the way to go. That’s the first thing most people see in the winter, so why not make it your statement piece? Plus having the perfect topper makes styling the rest of the look way easier.

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This red plaid blazer is from Zara and was an instant must-have. Doesn’t it give you major vintage Chanel vibes? The fabric is nice and rich, giving it that super expensive vibe, but it was such a steal. I especially love the frayed edge detailing that makes it extra unique. Plus it’s my favorite color so even more irresistible. I paired it with skinny jeans and equally bold red booties because why not make a statement head to toe? And minus the bag, this whole look was under $250! But since I got this amazing vintage Louis Vuitton I have been wearing it on repeat.

This exact style is sold out, but shop similar and the rest of the story below!

Red Jacket Style Tips

And let me know what you think about the video above! I didn’t plan on using it on the blog so didn’t have a wide crop when I shot it. But if you guys think I should post more videos here let me know! I have a few more coming this month, and can start doing wide and square crops if you like them!


Cyber Week Sales You Can't Miss

Cyber Week Shopping Tips

Happy Thanksgiving guys! I’m getting ready to start stuffing my face, but before I do, I had to share some can’t miss deals you need to start shopping. This is the best time of year to save big on everything from holiday presents, your favorite things to stock up on, and even travel deals for your next vacation! If you are ready to do some serious shopping, here are my favorite sales for Cyber Week!

Fashion Sales and Deals

BB Dakota

Take 50% off Fall 2018 Black Styles starting Friday, 11/23, and starting Monday, 11/26 shop Fall 2018 Outerwear at 50% off. Use code THANKS50 at checkout for both!

Fashion Nova

How’s up to 80% site wide sound? Get some amazing discounts on already affordable items with code BLACK40.

Topshop

Take up to 50% off selected lines, prices already marked down on site!

Revolve

Influencer fave Revolve is also having 50% off select items! Some stuff can still be a bit pricey, so if you are anything like me, sort by price before diving in!

Nordstrom

Black Friday is the best time to shop Nordstrom, maybe even better than the Anniversary Sale! They are offering up to 60% off across categories, including Women’s, Men’s Kid’s and Home!

Cyber Week Beauty Sales

Beauty and Skincare Sales

Nars

One of my go to brands is having a 20% off sitewide sale, including exclusives you won’t see anywhere else! This is the only time of year Nars offers discounts, so stock up while you can!

Ulta

A slew of Black Friday deals, from $10 mascaras $15 palettes, and 40% off beauty faves from Anastasia Beverly Hills!

Sephora

They just wrapped their VIB Sale, but are still offering up to 50% off items in their Beauty Sale section! Take a look, especially if you missed out on the VIB discounts!

Hum Nutrition

My go-to vitamin brand for pretty much anything is offering 50% off site wide with code HUMDAY18. I take about 6 of their vitamins on a daily basis so will be stocking up on my faves!

DevaCurl

Give your strands some TLC with Devacurl! I love their product line and they are currently offering Buy 2 get 1 Free on select products. Not the best deal, but they are pretty pricey and don’t discount often, so take what you can get!

Cyber Week Shopping Sales


Holiday Travel Deals and Steal

Delta

Yes airlines have sales too! Delta is hands-down one of the best and on their limited edition Black Friday sale International Flights are on sale in a big way! I’ve seen fares from several major US cities to European destinations like Paris, Portugal, and the UK. Get to browsing and be prepared to get creative with your dates!

Priceline

The discount travel site is offering a slew of Black Friday hotel discounts for email subscribers, with Express Deal coupons for up to 50% in savings on hotels. Get on their email list so you don’t miss out!

Cathay Pacific

A flight to Asia for $600! Yes please. Cathay Pacific’s Black Friday sale is on, with up to 60% off flights to several Asian destinations.

IHG Hotels

IHG Hotel group is offering 25% off the best available rates on over 5,000 properties in their network, plus additional perks and bonus points for loyalty members. So if you aren’t planning a vacation, now is a good time to start!

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Let me know what you guys are most excited about buying!

3 Savannah Travel Tips You Need Now!

Savannah Travel Guide
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Forsyth Park Savannah
Savannah Travel Ideas

Happy to be back home from a lovely weekend in Savannah! I’m making so much progress on my goal to do more domestic travel this year, and I can only say I wish I made it to Savannah sooner. It was my first time exploring the city, and I got a beautiful couple of days to experience the charm, beauty, and incredible food. We kept our itinerary light, even though there is so much to experience there. You could spend over a week here easily, just taking it all in! Here are just a few highlights of the trip!

Eat and Drink Everything

Some cities can be hit or miss with the restaurant scene, but not Savannah. I didn’t even have one single mediocre meal in town. Definitely do breakfast at 2 Cracked Eggs, brunch or lunch at Cafe M, and dine at 700 Drayton or The Olde Pink House. Plus there is no open-container law in Savannah so feel free to take your drinks around town with you.

Skip Plantations, Explore the Parks

We made it a point to avoid any plantations or related tours. As a woman of color it was not something I felt motivated to see, even though there are SO MANY options if you are into that. The parks and streets of Savannah are just as gorgeous and I didn’t feel like I missed anything by avoiding them.

Enjoy the Shopping (or Browsing)

Downtown Savannah has the cutest collection of local boutiques, antique shops, and mom and pop stores. I’m not big on souvenir shopping, but loved wandering in and out of the charming shops exploring all the little goodies.

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Let me know if you visit this charming city! And if you are in town and want some professional shots to commemorate your trip, check out Destiny Creations Photography. I decided to leave my tripod at home, save my Insta-Hubby the trouble, and partner with a pro instead, and I’m loving the results!

#ManiMonday! Nailing it with CND™ VINYLUX™

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

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Who is ready for Monday? I love to spend my Sunday relaxing, planning out my outfits for the week, and doing some at home beauty treatments. One of my favorite self-care Sunday treatments is an at home manicure. When my nails aren’t done I feel like the rest of my life just isn’t together. Dramatic, I know, but I can’t help it! You can’t be a boss babe with a chipped mani. I discovered CND™ VINYLUX™ Long Wear Polish at my local Rite-Aid and it’s become my secret weapon for the perfect mani that lasts all week. It’s a super easy and convenient 2-step application.

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Just apply two thin coats of the all-in-one base and color CND™ VINYLUX™ Long Wear Polish, then one coat of CND™ VINYLUX™ Long Wear Top Coat for a gel-like finish. No base coat necessary! And in about 8 minutes your nails are perfectly dry with a shiny, high-gloss finish. It really gives you a gel-like look that you can remove just as easily a traditional nail polish. Plus it’s the first-ever, long-wear polish infused with Vitamin E, Keratin & Jojoba oil to keep your nails nourished and healthy.

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This week I’m rocking Wildfire and Butterfly Queen, a bold red and glittery fuchsia that make the perfect combo. Next week who knows! If you aren’t a pro at nail art or complicated designs, an accent nail is the perfect way to spice it up.

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I love buying nail polish at Rite Aid because the Nail Bar has the best selection of colors and polishes, and they always have amazing deals. Be on the lookout for CND™ VINYLUX™ Long Wear Polishes NEW to Rite Aid stores. These polishes can be found in the Nail Bar or Wall Display with a brand new look!"And for a limited time only, visit your local Rite Aid store and buy 2 CND™ VINYLUX™ products to receive $4 Bonus Cash at Rite Aid. Valid 10/28/18-12/1/18 in-store only.

Let me now what colors you test out and how much you love it!

Nail the Trend! How to Rock Head to Toe Velvet

Who has a crush on velvet?

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Me, obviously! I can't get enough of the lush fabric, especially when it comes in a lush jewel tone. I got an amazing burgundy velvet jumpsuit from Pretty Little Thing a few weeks ago and have been scouting and shopping for more since then!

I was instantly obsessed with this velvet suit from Zara. Talk about a winning combo! There is something soft and drapey about the pants and jacket, lending a sophisticated pajama vibe to the look. I styled it with a statement belt instead of the coordinating sash that came with the jacket. It adds a little bit of a boss lady feel to the finished look. You could layer a stylish bralette underneath the jacket and let it peek out a bit, or just wrap it tight and go like I did! Just don't forget to add heels!

If a full body velvet look is too much for your taste, you can always style the pieces separately. The jacket would look fab with jeans or a simple black dress,  and you can easily pair the pants with a cozy knit sweater or classic white blouse. Velvet mini skirts or dresses are also adorable with tights and flat loafers. Shop this look and some of my favorite velvet pieces below!


And let me know in the comments if you'd like to see more videos on the blog! I typically share them on Instagram but can definitely post more here as well!



3 Ways to Travel More in 2019!

San Diego Beaches

What are the things that keep you from traveling more? For most people it’s a combination of financial resources or not having people to travel with. Since this was requested in my last Instagram story survey, I’m sharing a few of my tips for affordable travel on your own!

Holy Matcha San Diego

 Save for It

In addition to my main savings account, I regularly stash away my coins in a travel fund. I’m never saving for a specific trip or destination, more just making sure I always have funds set aside for when the opportunity arises. I use a savings app called Digit which skims your checking account and quietly transfers small amounts of money into a separate bank account. The transfers are usually small -$5 here, $10 there and they include overdraft protection just in case one of their withdrawals accidentally causes you to into the negative.  I’ve saved thousands of dollars in the years I’ve been using them! Since transfers back to your back account typically only take a day, when I book a trip on my credit card I can immediately transfer money from my Digit account to pay it off.  I also loosely follow a great tip I read in one of R29’s Money Diaries – pop $20 a week into an envelope that you keep in a secure location in your apartment. At the end of the year that’s $1000! So when you see a super-cheap fare sale to an amazing destination, you can jump on it!

Old City San Diego
Aruba Renaissance Island

 Try a Travel Group

Instagram travel groups are pretty much everywhere, from Travel Noire to Sisters and Suitcases. If you don’t have a group of friends you can travel with but don’t necessarily want to go alone those are a great option, albeit not the most affordable. I do think it’s worth paying a bit extra since they are conveniently organized and include some great experiences, but there are also a ton of travel groups on Meetup that organize different trips, and usually have get togethers in their city so you can get to know the squad before hopping on a plane with them. 

 

Mallorca Spain

Choose Your Destination Differently

You may have your heart set on an adventure with your squad in Thailand or somewhere far-flung and exotic, but if you are on a budget and going solo you need to think about destinations that make sense for you. Think about destinations you’d like to visit and how you would spend your days there. If you’d be happy to lay on the beach with a good book, cocktail and seaside massage, the Caribbean or even Southern California would be perfect! If you are an art buff and love museum and gallery hopping, there are plenty of affordable cities that are art nerd friendly, like Philadelphia in the US and London abroad. It’s not the cheapest, but fare sales are plentiful if you are flexible on timing and all the museums are free. Start trip planning not by thinking about the destination, but activities you would like to do and would be comfortable doing alone. I made a New Year’s Resolution to do more domestic travel this year, and I’ve been enjoying fun little weekends to classic destinations like Savannah and random spots like Hawley, PA.  

 

And now that you’ve found your dream solo-trip, this post has everything you need to make sure you still get amazing travel photos! Also let me know in the comments or on Instagram if there are other topics you’d like to see me cover! 

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