December in Review 2019

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. This post of my December in Review is always my favorite to write each year. With December being such a cold month, I love highlighting all the fun things I did to experience the sparkle of the season. One unexpected gift I got was that I wasn't planning on putting up a Christmas but my neighbor left for vacation a week before Christmas and gave me her full size tree with lights!

Gift Guide for the Jetsetter

I like to think I’m somewhat of a stylish traveler myself with a pink suitcase and carefully planned travel outfit.  I've posted a few posts about my favorite travel accessories so I thought it time I post an updated list of my essentials for travel. I'm getting excited about my trip to Mexico and will be using all the pink items listed.  I'm setting some big travel goals for myself, I want to fly Qatar Airways Qsuites which has been rated the best business class product in the sky. They fly to 9 cities in the USA. Anyway, this gift guide should have something for every globetrotter on your list.

Taupe Sweater and Over The Knee Boots

I went to New York a couple weeks ago to see the fall leaves in Central Park. The yellow hued leaves didn't disappoint! I normally don't wear a neutral palette, but I loved the color taupe for a soft and neutral look.

LOFT Sweater Haul

The LOFT has so many beautiful sweaters for the season. And corduroy and velvet pants in many jewel tones. The LOFT continues to be one of my favorite clothing stores and doesn't disappoint with the current collection. Here are some great pieces to add to your cold weather collection that look chic. These cozy sweaters are currently 40% off.

Sephora Holiday Sale

It's that time of year again that you've been anxiously waiting for - Sephora's  fall sale! The whole store goes on sale three times a year and that is the only time I shop there. The rest of the year I am constantly building and editing my cart so it's ready to go when the sale is announced. On Nov. 7, VIB members get 15% off with the code HOLIDAYSAVE. Everyone else gets 10% off with the same code. One brand I won't be buying is Sunday Riley who was caught telling her employees to write fake reviews on Sephora's website for 2 years! Don't forget to look at the sale section of their website for products that are already discounted. 

Instagrammable Weekend in London

It's been 14 years since the last time I was in London, but one thing remained the same, the Tower Bridge was the first thing I wanted to see! Big Ben was under construction and will be so until sometime in 2020, as was the Palace of Westminster and Harrods so I didn't get pictures of any of them.  England isn't famous for its weather, but I got really lucky as it was 85F and sunny when I went at the end of August.  I always thought I was a Paris gal, but now I think I'm a London girl and can't wait to go back again soon! I was only in London for 2 days so I didn't have time for museums, tours, boat trips or shows. I just spent all day walking around viewing the sights and eating; averaging about 35K steps a day. I flew British Airways which only lets you select your seat 24 hours in advance, which means you better set an alarm on your phone because I tried 8 hours in advance and every window seat was gone.  Anyway, I have so many beautiful photos to show you!

Fall Outfit Ideas

Fall is officially here and I'm enjoying the crisp breezes, colorful leaves, and pumpkin flavored everything. Fall fashion is my favorite season because I like to play around with different layers and bring out all of my boots and cardigans as I have a capsule of sorts that I always wear.  Here are some staple items you'll need for your basic fall look.

Switching to Natural Deodorant

I decided to make the switch to natural deodorant. Seems like in the past few years natural deodorants have been all the craze with lots of people talking about it. See the aluminum toxins in regular deodorant have supposedly been linked to harmful diseases like breast cancer yet there is no real scientific evidence backing up that claim. However there has been accepted research that says that a plant-based diet decreases your risk of cancer. So when I saw everyone jumping on the natural deodorant bandwagon, but not changing their diet it seemed so disingenuous to me. Hence it seemed too trendy  so I resisted making the switch myself as I just wasn’t sold on the idea. Plus why switch to something healthier that the initial reviews said made you smell and be sweaty? 

Harvest Bronze clothes at Old Navy

I was trying to think of a word to describe this shade of orange then remembered that my living room is painted Benjamin Moore -Harvest Bronze and it's the same shade of orange. It's always been a favorite color of mine to wear yet a hard color to find. This season Old Navy has 30 pieces of clothing in this shade! Ranging from pants, to sweaters, blouses, tanks, shorts and dresses. Will you be rocking this color? I think it's a stunning color because you rarely see it on people so the color pops as it's unexpected.

Amsterdam City Guide

Movies on Netflix - 2019

I still have the DVD in the mail plan for $12 a month as do 4 million other people. I do this because when I see a commercial for a movie on TV, I can immediately put it in my netflix queue and get it in the mail just a few months later. When I tell my friends what movies I'm watching at home, they tell me it's not in the streaming plan. I do switch to the streaming plan for one month every summer to watch Orange is the New Black and Wentworth and see this for myself. I also have Hulu so I feel I have enough to watch and don't need netflix streaming or cable.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks 2019

It's that time of year again as there are some great finds at fabulous prices! I don't have a Nordstrom's credit card so I have to wait to shop the sale on Friday at 12:30pm EST. I've already heard that a lot of people with early access are complaining about their orders being cancelled days after ordering due to products being out of stock so I hope some restocking is happening.  I've found quite a few non-clothing items that are worth a look.

Closet Purge

I'm doing a massive closet purge! I've reached the point where I can't find things in my closet and literally have no room to add more one hanger to it. I was really cut throat in my selection of what pieces need to go, including my sentimental too small cocktail dresses. Because if I don't wear it anymore, why is it in my closet? You don't need to hang on to clothes for memories. So I ordered my 5th bag from Thredup. If you use my link we each get $10. Thredup is an online consignment store. They send you a huge plastic bag that you can fill with clothes with a pre-paid printed postage label on it to return. They will take pictures of your clothes and list them to sale on their site.  It's super easy and simple!

The Most Instagrammable Spots in Miami

Miami Beach is one of my favorite spots for a long weekend getaway! I think April is the best time to go, in March the nights are cool and the water cold. The summer is obviously too hot and humid, fall is hurricane season, hotel prices are sky high in December. Who doesn’t love a piece of the tropics in the US with palm trees, beach, and colorful backdrops. I went on my second Zumba cruise with a friend and we did a girls weekend in Miami before the cruise. We were joking around that when we reach our golden girl stage we should buy a condo together in Miami to have for the off season.

Summer Reading List 2019

If you're going through a reading slump a good tip I wanted to share is to pick a time of day that you will read. I get home from work at 5pm so I read 20 pages before I start dinner. That's my regular reading time, but will also read on the bicycle at the gym or on my kindle in bed. If you don't go out for lunch at work, you could find a private corner in your office to read then. Or if you go for a walk during your lunch break listen to a book on audible. I believe that when you add a reading time slot to your calendar, then it will happen. Here's a list of books I've read recently and enjoyed.

My Summer Skincare Routine

My skincare needs change once the weather gets hot and humid, my focus shifts to sun protection and beating skin pigmentation (melasma). I have normal skin so I don't use a moisturizer or face oils  during the summer. Here are both my morning and evening routines, most products were purchased at Sephora. I’m a Sephora junkie,  but I only shop during their 15% off sale 3x a year. I keep my cart full for months and only purchase during the sale. I use products until the bottle is empty so I don't need to purchase skin care products that often anyway. I think quality skincare products are an investment in your skin's health.

Friday Finds

Happy Friday! Who's excited for the long weekend? Here are some interesting finds I found this week:

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How I do my own dip powder nails

I’ve been painting my nails every week since middle school so I’m comfortable with the process. But my nails would always chip and break and I tried every nail strengthen out there and take vitamins but nothing helped. Then I started getting dip powder manicures and my nails never broke and grew so long! But I was paying $45 + tip + uber to get my nails done every 3 weeks and never really liked the salon experience so I quit after 6 months, took a break, started again and then quit again. I decided I could learn how to do this myself at home.  You can buy a cheap starter kit from amazon or buy everything individually like I did so my start up cost was $100. That included all the special files I needed, a soaking tray and my favorite OPI color – Lisbon wants Moor which the powder jar is $20. I love light pink nails in the summer time so I’m fine with just having one color for now.  I didn’t like the color when I first tried it in the regular polish but love it in Dip.

it's been awhile

I’ve been on a creative rut this year with my blog as  I’ve been struggling with not wanting to post just to post but more so when I actually have something specific to share. I have been devoting more time to Instagram and my photography verses creating content for my blog. I don’t want to quit my blog as it’s my online digital diary and I often reference it to find recipes I liked. When I started this blog in 2013 I was writing a new post a day, but now  I’m trying to be more mindful of what I’m putting out there and making sure it adds value. This blog will continue to be a place where I share things that I love.

Last December I was watching a countdown of what was trending in 2018 and goat yoga was on the list. That was something I've always wanted to do! I got close, I went to a goat farm and got to feed and hold one month old baby goats. I was super nervous but they told us they don't bite.  Did you know that a goat's eye has a 320-degree field of vision so he can see all around him. Their heart beat is slower than ours so if you hold one for an extended period of time it is very calming.

I'm excited about summer approaching as I have a lot of fun things lined up starting with a Caribbean wine festival in a couple weeks. I've been taking weekly salsa lessons consistently for six months now which has been so much fun! I have a trip to NYC scheduled and I'm planning to go to Europe at the end of the summer. 

8 Must Read Books of 2018

Did you know that Reese Witherspoon has her own bookclub? I've been reading most of her selections, you can find more reviews in this post. Last year I only read 15 books because social media has interfered with my reading time, but thanks to Reese I got a lot of good book recommendations. Here are my favorites from last year.