Desert Vibes

Once again just slaying the blogging game over here. Coming in hot with a new post every 60 days. I’ve been in full throttle travel mode lately between a family vacation to the Jersey Shore, Arizona with the bestie, and upcoming trips to Denver and Chicago.

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I had to share a few quick details about my trip to AZ, though, because it truly exceeded my expectations. I’m very fortunate in that my best friend Cathy loves to travel as much as I do. She is also a major planner, so she takes care of all the details! We were looking for places that Southwest flies direct so we could squeeze in a quick vacay over a long weekend. When she first suggested Phoenix, I honestly was underwhelmed at the idea. But my desire to see a new place combined with reasonable prices (since no one wants to go to the desert in the summer) warmed me up to the idea!

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We flex into Phoenix late on a Thursday night. Our tentative itinerary was to hike Camelback Friday morning, drive to Sedona and spend the afternoon exploring there, then wake up early Saturday for a day trip to the Grand Canyon, and then drive back to Scottsdale Sunday for a spa and pool day.

We started our attempt to hike Camelback around 10am Friday morning in the blazing sun with temps already at 95 degrees and climbing. This was a big effing fail! We made it about 40 minutes in, only seeing people climbing down the mountain on our way up. It was pretty miserable. Luckily we were both smart enough to just call it, and head back down the trail before one of us passed out. On to Sedona, it was!

The drive into Sedona is full of jaw-dropping views. Honestly, the pictures don’t do it justice! We arrived at l’auberge de Sedona Resort & Spa, which is nestled down by a creek that runs through the town. The property is comprised of cottages and a lodge. It may sound quaint, but it’s a beautiful luxury resort. After our near heat stroke situation, we rewarded ourselves with lunch and a glass of bubbly al fresco on the shade covered deck that overlooks the creek.

As much as I wanted to see the Grand Canyon, we vetoed spending another 4 hours in the car and decided to spend the time taking in the views that Sedona had to offer. Saturday morning we redeemed ourselves and conquered a 5-mile hike with spectacular views and only 1 baby snake in our path.

That evening we took the Pink Jeep Adventure Tour. If you do one thing in Sedona- do this tour! It’s an off-roading experience that takes you up the mountain to places you could never reach in your own vehicle. There were several times that I thought our tour guide might be on a death mission and send us careening over the edge (but that’s part of the fun).  I was so glad we booked our tour at the end of the day, which coincided perfectly with the sunset. Our guide advised us not to watch the sunset itself, but watch how the colors of the rocks change with the setting sun (glowing deeper red as the sun drops).

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We wrapped up our last day at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia. Treating our sore muscles to a spa day. They even have a private pool just for spa guests, which you can use anytime during your spa day, which is a great deal if you’re not staying on property.

It was a quick 3 days, but it opened my eyes to how beautiful and magical the Southwest can be. It was a great lesson to get out of my vacation comfort zone (the beach), and enjoy others wonders our world has to offer!

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Sweet Summetime

Has it really been two months since I wrote a blog post? To quote Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

This weekend I went home to visit with my parents, and it was the perfect opportunity to slow down and take a breath. There’s something about driving into my hometown that I find instantly calming. Maybe it’s because we’re surrounded by fields of horses and hay bales, or maybe it’s because I know naps on the porch and home cooked meals are in my future,  but either way it’s one of my happy places. My other happy place is a beach, but that’s not as quick of a trip.

These pictures were shot in the field at the bottom of our street. There’s something about that twilight hour light that is truly magical. I am loving all things gingham this summer – seriously can’t stop, won’t stop! This dress is a lightweight cotton, which is perfect for these hot summer days. In spite of one of my guy friends claiming I looked like a milkmaid in this hat, I am fully embracing this look! I’ve been wearing this hat all over town, and I love that it offers extra sun protection for my face. I’m all about that wrinkle prevention ladies!

Shop my look, and other gingham favorites by clicking this picture!

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Eileen is fully embracing her role as a photographer. She even suggested I pose by this truck. Really went full throttle on the country vibes.

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Styling A Statement Piece

 

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I wore this jacket for Sunday Funday at Flying Axes! Just FYI ax throwing is way harder than it looks, but so so fun!

I recently subscribed to Rent the Runway Unlimited. This is their monthly subscription service, which allows you to order 4 pieces at a time and then swap out items all month long. I have several events coming up over the next few weeks, so I thought it would be worth it to have unlimited access to beautiful dresses. However, I had no idea RTR had such a fun collection of tops, jackets, rompers, and accessories. And no, this isn’t sponsored (#goals, though). Continue reading “Styling A Statement Piece”

Monday Must Haves – Beauty Edition

One of the things I love about traveling with friends is trying their beauty products. I have no shame in my game, and will ask to sample their stuff! Which is also why I’m a sucker for the check-out counter at Sephora.  Give me all the over-priced trial sizes!

I’d much rather try a small size of something or test out a friend’s product before purchasing the real deal #commitmentissues. There’s nothing worse than dropping money on a product to then discover you don’t really like it that much, and sending it to the product graveyard under your bathroom sink.

I’ve rounded up a few new beauty products that I have been loving lately.

 

My friend Kendall is a rep for BeautyCounter, and she gave me a sample of the Cleansing Balm when I was over drinking wine at her house last week. I love this stuff! You rub it in and can leave it on your skin while you go about your nightly routine or watch a show. Then before bed, you wipe it off and rinse, and your skin is left feeling silky soft and uber moisturized. I also tried the Brightening Face Oil while I was in Florida, and although I didn’t love the smell, I did like the glowing look it gave my skin! It was my first time trying a face oil, and it didn’t feel greasy or heavy as I would have expected.

Let’s talk about hair. I think we’re all pretty much living off dry shampoo these days. I’ve tried a ton, but this Bumble & Bumble Pret-a-Powder worked like magic. It’s a dry shampoo and volumizer in one. As opposed to spray versions that sometimes make my hair more greasy, the powder is much more absorbent and left my hair looking refreshed!

Finally, I have been using the Not Your Mother’s Double Take Dry Finish Texture Spray on days I curl my hair. It’s a hairspray and texturizer (clearly I have a thing for 2-1 products). I don’t know if there’s anything super special about this, but I kid you not, two people complimented my hair on the day I used this, so that’s pretty much all the endorsement I need.

What products are you loving? Let me know!

 

Travel Diary – South Florida

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A few weeks ago my friend Cathy called and asked me if I wanted to go to the Florida Derby, uhm yes!!! C blogs about her love of dogs, horses, fashion and wine over at Dog Lady, Horse Crazy. We joke that we share a brain because we’re pretty much always thinking the same thing. And we both share a love of travel and spontaneous trips! So when she asked me if I was free to fly down to the sunshine state, I couldn’t resist!

We stayed at The Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, FL. The resort was gorgeous, and our room had a stunning view of the bright white beaches and gorgeous teal waters of the Atlantic. Seriously the sound of the ocean and the sight of palm trees immediately put me in a stress free state of mind. The beach is definitely my happy place!

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Continue reading “Travel Diary – South Florida”

Under the Banyan Trees

Snow is falling again this morning in Kentucky, but a few weeks ago I was enjoying the ocean breezes and bright sunshine on the beach in Florida. I went to visit my parents who have been migrating south for the winter. They are staying near Boca Grande on Gasparilla Island, which is a quaint little island with some of the most beautiful homes and beaches I’ve ever seen.

We stopped to take these photos on Banyan Street, under these beautiful trees. It’s such a picturesque location. We were told that pretty much every weekend the street is shut down for a wedding under the trees.

I instantly fell in love with this dress when I saw it online, and had to order it! I don’t have anything like it in my closet, and loved the print and the ruffle details. The wrap front also makes for a very flattering fit. I could see myself wearing it to a summer wedding or day at Churchill this spring.

Tropic Dreams One Shoulder Dress by VICI.

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Travel Diary – Steamboat Springs

IMG_3288One of my very best friends moved to Steamboat Springs over a year ago, so it has been on my short list as a travel destination for a while now. Emily texted me in early January that she found a (relatively) cheap flight, and with that my New Year’s resolution to be more fiscally responsible quickly went out the window.

As a side note, though, have you tried Google Flights? That’s how Emily found our deal! It shows you a calendar of the cheapest dates to fly across any airline, so if you are flexible on your travel dates, I highly recommend it. You can track prices, and set fare alerts for destinations you’re interested in.

Steamboat is a quintessential small ski town! We were only there for 3 days, so skiing was our top priority. I grew up skiing in the Northeast, and am still amazed at how different it is to ski out west. I just kept commenting (like an idiot), how big the mountain was. But really, there were so many trails and such long runs!

Continue reading “Travel Diary – Steamboat Springs”