Friday, February 27, 2015

Take Me There: Staniel Cay, Bahamas

I have a serious case of wanderlust over here.  Maybe it's knowing that our little babe will be arriving at the end of the summer, and our lives will be forever changed.  No more taking off on a whim and jetting to wherever we want, no more extended trips to Europe, and definitely no more safaris in Africa.  I absolutely want to show our child the world & expose him/her to all different cultures, races & religions {and what a treat it would be to see all of this through the eyes of a child!}, however it will be quite a while before we're able to do this.

In the meantime, I'm planning a few smaller trips over the summer, including a babymoon!  I came across this amazing villa rental agency located in a small island in the Bahamas that has made me want to pack a weekend bag and say hellllooooo island life!  





Staniel Cay is a small island in a series of hundreds of smaller Bahamian islands known as the Exuma Cays.








 The villa rental agency Staniel Rents boasts 3 luxury villa rentals on this small island.  All are impeccably decorated with modern furnishings & top of the line appliances, and sit directly on the beach.


Check out the video below that I've probably watched a hundred times over the course of the last few days, and be prepared to start swooning!  {At 2:26 the video really gets good!}










Ughhh, seriously take me there asap.  That water!  Those pigs!  Who's coming with me?!


Happy Friday xx

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

5 Minute Makeup Routine

Most days you can find me loungin' around my house with the fresh faced "no makeup" look.  Unless we're going out to dinner or have an event to go attend, I really put minimal effort into my every day makeup routine.  I've always put a heavy emphasis on a proper skincare regimen thus eliminating the need for heavy daytime makeup.  In reality, if you have healthy glowing skin, natural barely there makeup that enhances your natural features is really all you need!  

Below is my minimal makeup routine that I wear every day & can be applied in under 5 minutes.  I swear by all of these products, having reviewed the majority of them on here in the past, and would whole heartedly recommend them to any of my girlfriends.






After applying my daily moisturizer, I apply Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream under my eyes and let that set in while I move on to my tinted moisturizer.  I've been using Estée Lauder DayWear Sheer Tint for years and love it for a really light amount of coverage.  It automatically color corrects to your unique skin tone, provides SPF 15 coverage and is perfect for a barely there look.  If I need a bit more coverage for days when I have any blemishes, or just want a more "finished look" I'll reach for my Jouer Matte Moisture Tint.  I reviewed this tinted moisturizer last year and still love it!  You can read my full review on it here.

After applying my tinted moisturizer, I sweep a light bronzer on my cheekbones and around the temples of my forehead using my Bobbi Brown Bronzer Brush.  I usually go back and forth between a few different bronzers, depending on how tan I am {right now it's non existent lol!} but more often than not, I use Jouer Mineral Powder Bronzer - lalalove this bronzer!

Next, I brighten up the dark circles under my eyes that I've been genetically gifted with using YSL Touche Éclat' and gently pat that in using my ring finger.  This is a miracle product, and I've been hooked on it for around 7 years so I highly, highly recommend this to anyone!  The color that I use is #2.5 Luminous Vanilla.

After brightening up my under eye area, I use Bobbi Brown No Smudge mascara.  I absolutely love it this mascara!  It's a long lasting, water proof mascara {perfect for the humid Miami weather}, and lengthens + thickens my lashes to no end!  This mascara can also be used in combination with any of your other favie mascaras, just layer No Smudge on at the end and it instantly makes it waterproof!  

Filling in my brows really seems to frame my face, and this is one step that I can't leave the house without doing.  As silly as that sounds, I don't feel like my face looks the same without doing this.  Anastasia makes a great brow filler powder {I use the color medium brown}, and this product has lasted me for almost 2 years!  If you're looking for a great brow product, I definitely would suggest checking this one out!

Lastly, I finish my look by lightly applying blush to the apples of my cheeks.  I use several different blushes and it just basically depends on my mood + what I'm wearing that day that determines which one I'll apply.  Some of my all time favorites are:


Mac Blushbaby {pictured} - this is a great matte beige pink blush.  Very natural looking.

Mac Warm Soul -  golden beige mineralized blush with a pearlized shimmer.  Looks great with everything!

Nars The Multiple in South Beach - pearlized, shimmering apricot.  Perfect with a tan!

Mac Melba - soft matte coral peach.  

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Nectar - gives a nice glow to your face.







Fill me in, chicas!  What are your favorite makeup products that you can't live without?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Trend To Love: Gladiator Sandals

Whether you love 'em or hate 'em, prepare to see them everywhere this upcoming summer.  Expected to be worn by all your favorite "It Girls" once the temperatures rise, gladiator sandals, along with the slide on sandal {think Birkenstock} are forecasted to be THE sandals of summer.  Be on the look out for eye catching hardware, gorgeous leather straps & ties {bonus if they're in suede - another big trend!}, and fun accents like tassels or fringe.

I have a hard time embracing the full length gladiator sandal.  I admire them on other girls, but have yet to find a pair that look amazing on me.  My calves are often too small, leaving the straps to gape & hang oddly around my legs, but I do, however, love the daintier versions that strap around the ankle.  My search for that perfect full length pair is to be continued...

 In the meantime, I've featured 5 sandals that are perfect for you to store away until the promise of warmer months, or to rock asap on your next island getaway! xx





Shop These Sandals:

One.  Splendid Crete Sandals {available in 3 colors here} //  Two.  Stuart Weitzman Gladiator Sandals {here, budget friendly option found here} //  Three.  Steve Madden Worldly Sandal {under $60 here} //  Four.  Zara Leather Roman Sandal {here} //  Five.  Isabel Marant Amy Wrap Around Sandal {available here}



Which sandal is your favorite?


Have a beautiful weekend friends!  Thanks so much for reading xx

 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Recently Wearing

Hi guys!  Thanks so much for hanging in there with me since I haven't been blogging much lately.  I still have been pretty sick and don't have much energy to do anything except lay around and watch marathon sessions of Downton Abbey {my new fave show!}.  My Dr. gave me a prescription for some anti nausea pills, but I'm trying to do things as natural as possible so I've only taken them a couple times when I'm DYING!  I'm really looking forward to getting some energy back, and hopefully moving past this awful sickness.

I posted my last "Recently Wearing" back in December, and you ladies seemed to really like it so I thought I'd post another version.  As I've said before, my style is all about mixing high & low end pieces.  I have absolutely no problem rocking my Birkin bag with a $30 dress!  After all, it's not the price of them item that matters, it's how it makes you look + feel :)  I also always try to link to more affordable options when possible for my babes on a budget.  Lets get started...




Wearing: The softest Bella Dahl Button Down {found here} //  Paige denim {old, similar here} //  Gianvito Rossi suede pumps {here, similar extremely affordable version here}



This Soft Joie knit is one of my absolute favorite items in my closet and I constantly get asked about it whenever I wear it! {available here} //   Citizens of Humanity jeans {here, similar budget friendly here} //  Givenchy boots {sold out in suede, similar here} //  Chanel purse {similar cute navy & gold purse here }



J.Crew cashmere tee {here} //  AG Jeans {found here} // Jimmy Choo pumps {here, similar less expensive version available here} //  Ray-Ban shades {available here}



Calypso St. Barth knit {here, similar fine knit alternative version here} //  BCBG Mason leggings {here} //  Ray-Ban's {found here color gold} //  Saint Laurent Sac de Jour



Soft Joie shift dress {old, also loving this dress} //  J.Crew denim jacket {old, but how cute is this H&M jacket?!} //  Dolce Vita sandals {found here} //  Hermes Birkin Bag





A lot of you have been asking me about maternity items.  I haven't purchased anything "maternity" yet, but have definitely been looking!  I'm SUPER bloated right now {which my Dr. told me is very common in the first trimester} and in the past couple weeks, I've started to see the beginnings of a small bump although Adam & I are the only ones who notice this.  I'm sure to everyone else I just look like I packed on the pounds over the holidays ;)  So for this reason flowy tops and shift dresses that hide the burrito bump are my best friends lately lol.  I haven't really done much shopping this past month just because I know I won't be able to enjoy anything I purchase for very long, but I have bought a few cute affordable flowy dresses that I think will work well throughout most of my pregnancy and I thought I'd share them with you.



I love that cute spring/summer dresses are finally making there way back to stores!  What have you ladies been purchasing lately?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

And Baby Makes Three (Plus 2 Pups)

In case you missed probably the weirdest baby announcement in history on my Instagram over the weekend, Adam & I are expecting a sweet little addition to our family in early September!  Initially, I wanted to wait until I was out of my first trimester to announce the good news, but we were in a pretty horrific car accident last week which really made me realize how precious life truly is.  This tiny little life inside of me already means the world to us and I just felt that it deserves to be celebrated not hidden away for a few more weeks until it's socially acceptable to announce it publicly.

I'm still in complete shock that I'm pregnant as you may remember from my post back in November that I've struggled with infertility issues for over a year & a half and was told that my chances of conceiving on my own were pretty slim.  We had actually scheduled to begin IVF when we got back from our Austria/Italy trip in January, but it wasn't necessary as I became pregnant naturally on my own!  Remember when I told you guys how I was SO sick while we were in Austria?  Well it's true that I was nauseous, vomiting & just feeling pretty crappy the whole time we were there.  On our last day in Salzburg, after Adam + our friends from Moscow urged me several times to take a pregnancy test, I finally took one {which was in German and we had to translate on Google to read the results!} and it was positive!  I honestly thought we translated it wrong, and didn't believe that it was true so when we went out to lunch that afternoon, I drank a ton of tea and went and bought 2 more tests and they were positive also!  In case your wondering, "schwanger" means pregnant in German :)

That next day we flew to Italy, and as soon as we got settled into our B&B, we immediately walked to the nearest pharmacy and bought another test....again it was positive.  We called our IVF doctor and explained everything to her and she told us that if we had taken 4 pregnancy tests and they were all positive than, "congratulations, you're pregnant!".  

Complete and utter shock you guys!  I definitely "feel" pregnant now.  I am 10 weeks pregnant and have been SO sick the entire time.  I've cooked a total of 2 meals over the course of the past month {my poor husband!} because the different smells from cooking send me straight to throw up...no bueno.  I hope to post "bumpdates" on here from time to time like some of my other favorite bloggers do, but for now I definitely don't have a bump, it's more like a hot bloated burrito bump mess lol! 

I'm really looking forward to the 2nd trimester, and hopefully starting to feel better soon.  I'm also really excited to start shopping for baby gear, nursery furniture, and maternity fashion!  

So to all my mama readers, lay it on me.  Any words of wisdom?  Any must-have baby products that I absolutely need?  I feel SO clueless in all of this!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Chewy, Chunky Blondies Recipe

Allow me to introduce you to Adams absolute favorite dessert that I make.  The recipe for these delicious bar cookies comes from one of my most loved cookbooks, "Baking From My Home To Yours" by Dorie Greenspan.  This has basically been my bible for baking since my brother gifted it to me for my birthday 9 years ago.  If you're on the market for a great cookbook that focuses on pies, tarts, cookies, cakes and everything in between, I highly suggest you look into this gem.

If you've never made blondies before, let me affirm that that are so easy to throw together and this version is d-a-n-g-e-r-o-u-s!  They are richly flavored with notes of chocolate, butterscotch, coconut flakes, and pecans for a bit of crunch.  Bet you can't eat just one!

Hope you like these as much as we do.





Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut


Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter a 9x13 inch baking pan and put it on a baking sheet.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt.  Set aside.

Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until smooth.  Add in both sugars and beat for another 3 minutes, or until well incorporated.  Next, add in the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition, then beat in the vanilla.  Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add in the dry ingredients, mixing until well combined.  

Using a rubber spatula, stir in the chips, nuts, and coconut.  Scrape the batter into the buttered pan and use the spatula to even the the top out.

Bake for around 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the blondies comes out clean & the blondies are starting to pull away from the sides of the pan.  The top should be a nice golden brown color.  Transfer the pan to a baking rack, run a knife around the edges, and allow to cool to room temperature before serving. 






Have a great day! xx


Monday, January 26, 2015

Vacation Diary Part Two: Tuscany

Good morning and welcome back from the weekend!  Today I wanted to share the other half of our vacation that was spent in Tuscany.  

After Austria, we hopped on a short 2.5 hour flight and arrived in Florence.  We then rented a car and headed straight out to the Val d'Orcia region of Tuscany.  Many of you might remember that this is the area where we were married in 2013.  This region is my absolute favorite place on earth and I was SO excited to be spending my birthday here.  Little did Adam & I know that we had both picked up a bad case of food poisoning {airplane salads = no bueno} and spent our first two days holed up in our bed & breakfast sicker than dogs.  As I had previously mentioned in my Austria Vacation Diary post, I was already under the weather and adding this into the mix + taking care of my sick husband {why are men SO much weaker than us?!} definitely wasn't an ideal vacation.  But the sickness passed pretty quick, and we were able to get a couple quality days of exploring this gorgeous region.



If you have never been to this region of Tuscany, I highly, highly suggest you add this to your bucket list.  Picture rolling emerald hills, 1,000 year old sleepy Tuscan villages, and world class wine + cheese.



Our chic bed & breakfast, located in Pienza, was converted from a former monastery where nuns lived for over 500 years.  I love how the owners were respectful to the original structure {original stone walls & some beams} but still modernized the space.



The charming village of Pienza is exactly what you'd envision a small Tuscan town to look like.






Adam & I stood in front of this gate and took our engagement pictures with Jose Villa almost 2 years ago...it was such a treat to revisit this.



We also visited our olive tree that we purchased the day after our wedding.  It's nestled right next to the vineyards of our favorite winery, Il Palazzone.  Even though we were still feeling a little queasy, we still indulged in some wine tasting + catching up with our favorite sommelier, Laura.



Each year, they send us the olive oil from our tree :)






I've always been in love with the character found in old doors.  If we ever build a house from the ground up, I want a HUGE front door like we see everywhere in Italy.






Wearing: Vince sweater/tunic {available here} //  Hue faux leather leggings {here} //  Isabel Marant Andrew booties {here}




A local cheese shop with the freshest cheeses you have ever tasted.



I could wander through these little streets for hours.



On my birthday we said goodbye to these gorgeous views, and headed to Florence.  Btw, in my opinion the true test of a marriage is renting a car in a foreign country.  We managed to only get lost once which resulted in me getting out of the car and walking {I can be a bit dramatic when we argue} ;)



We checked into the Portrait Firenze which is owned by the Ferragamo family.  The hotel was over the top luxurious.



Check out our stunning bathroom which featured all Salvatore Ferragamo bath products.  And yes, I definitely took a long soak in that tub!



Who needs cake on your birthday when you can have two scoops of gelato!?!






I have wanted this bag forever!!! 



We have visited Florence several times, and views like this never get old.



Shoe shopping in Aquazzura's beautiful boutique.



S-T-U-N-N-I-N-G





Where We Stayed



Florence - Portrait Firenze



Have a great week, and for my East Coast readers STAY WARM & SAFE in this big upcoming storm!! Thanks for reading xx


 

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