Friday, July 15, 2016

LAST MONTH

Zara Stripe Swimsuit
/ Swimsuit - Zara / Sandals - Asos / Sunglasses - Ray-Ban / Bag - Shore Projects /

June is a blur!  I don't know if it was all of the travel, starting my new job, or the return of Pretty Little Liars (joking... sort of), but I'm not even sure where the month went.  I can't wait to share some Montreal travel tips and outfits with you guys!  I know I've been slacking, but the nice weather/concerts/holidays/pokemongo (yeah, I caved) makes it really hard to sit in front of a computer rather than be outside.  This is also why this Instagram round up is coming to you half way through July.  Hope everyone is having lots of summer fun times!  I'll be back to normal in September... maybe.

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Mont Royal Outfit
/ Top - Asos / Pants - Forever 21 (old, similar) /

Pattern Skirt White Top Outfit
/ Top - Asos / Skirt - Tobi / Sandals - DSW /

(See full post here)

Dainty Gold Necklaces
/ Top - Zara (similar) / Necklaces - Asos (here and here) /

H&M Pattern Top Outfit
/ Top - H&M (similar) / Jeans - J Brand / Flats - Zara (on sale!) /

Asos Brown Sandals
/ Top - Loft / Jeans - Forever 21 / Sandals - Asos /

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

SUMMER LACE DRESS

Lace Wedding Guest Dress
/ Dress - c/o Little Mistress / Heels - Audrey Brooke (similar) / Bag - Asos / Rings - c/o Bling Jewelry /

Ah yes... summer wedding season.  Tis' the season to get your florals on and have your wallets at the ready.  I've seen lots of rules about what to wear and what not to wear to summer weddings, and while I'm not partial to always paying attention to those rules (I feel like everyone should be able to wear what they want when they want), there are a few simple rules that I like to stick by when it comes to dressing for a summer wedding:

1. Don't upstage the bride. 

While I refer back to that whole 'everyone should be able to wear what they want when they want', there are limits.  I went to a wedding last year where one of the guests was wearing a floor length sequined gown.  I had to pick my jaw up off the ground when I saw her... and not in a good way (the mother of the bride also had on a floor length white gown, but don't get me started on that one).  This also goes along with that whole 'don't wear white to a wedding' rule.  Just don't.  You will have your day, but until then, let the bride have hers.

2. Modesty is the best policy.

You've been working hard on that summer body, and you want to show it off.  I'm with you.  Staying fit is hard work, and you should be able to show it off... but I wouldn't recommend doing so at a wedding.  It's always important to bear in mind that there will always be older folks at weddings, and wouldn't it just be better to not get those stares from them all night long?  While I'm all for wearing what you want, it is important to respect tradition and respect those around you.  Pick one feature to highlight (legs, chest, arms, etc.) and keep the rest more on the modest side.  In my opinion, simple understated dresses are usually the most chic anyways.  

3. Get on your dancing shoes (and dress).

Whenever I'm shopping for a dress or shoes to wear to a wedding, the first question I ask my self is "can I get down on the dance floor in this?".  If I try to wear something that I'm not comfortable in, my confidence takes a nose dive.  I just can't hide it.  It's no fun wondering if your bra or underwear is gonna make an appearance at some point in the night.  So, if I'm even questioning if something is too tight or too short, I just throw it straight into my mental 'no' pile. 

Simple rules, right?  I didn't want to get too lengthy into rules, because the most important thing is to do you and have fun!  And, to highlight an example of my ideal wedding guest dress, we have this winner from the Chloe Lewis Collection of Little Mistress.  I love the lace material and classic style.  It's simple, danceable in, and most importantly... not a floor length white/sequin gown.

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Summer Wedding Guest Dress
Summer Wedding Dressing
Blush Lace Dress Outfit
Summer Wedding Dress
Lace Skirt Black Heels
What to Wear to a Summer Wedding
Wedding Guest Dress
Lace Dress Outfit

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Photos: Jackie Giardina

Thursday, July 7, 2016

A MINI GUIDE TO DISNEY WORLD


Disney… where to begin?!  I’ve been wanting to write this guide for a while, but it seems that it’s much harder to write a guide about a place you’ve been to many times than it is to write about a place you've visited just for a week.  In Disney, there’s just so many things to cover, and so many different parks, and rides, shows, resorts, restaurants, bars… you get the picture.  

I’m lucky enough to travel to Disney World almost every year with my boyfriend’s family, and they are Disney veterans, they’ve been so many times.  They know the in’s and out’s of every park, restaurant, bar, etc. (see above).  And, I’ve been able to experience their ways and learn some things along the way.  Obviously, Disney has so many fun things going on that it’s particularly tricky to narrow things down.  So, this is not complete guide to Disney, but a selection of things that the Disney veterans and I like to do while we’re there.  Also, I highly recommend downloading the Disney Experience app before you go, which keeps track of all of your reservations, and you can book your fast passes in advance!

Mini Guide to Disney

Where to Stay

Animal Kingdom Lodge - You wake up to zebras and giraffes outside your window… need I say more?  It’s definitely an experience worth having.  When my younger cousins visit every summer, this is where they stay!

Old Key West - There’s not a whole lot going on at this resort, but the condos are really spacious and nice, so it’s great if you’re going to have a lot of people crammed into the same condo.

Saratoga Springs - We stayed here during our most recent trip, and it's a cute little resort with nice pool areas and a cute restaurant on site if you're looking for some cheaper eats during your trip.  

Yacht Club Resort - Has a cool boardwalk, great places to swim, it's right next to Epcot, and it's great spot to watch the Epcot fireworks.

Where to Eat/Drink

Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue - This may be my favorite thing we do in Disney.  The food is amazing (it's all of those feel good american classics like ribs, fried chicken and strawberry shortcake) and it's also an amazing show.  Singing, dancing, and laughs all around! 

Le Cellier Steakhouse in Epcot - The first two years in a row that I visited Epcot with my boyfriends family, we went here in the Canada section of Epcot for lunch/dinner during our day in Epcot.  The steaks are so perfect, and yes, they're even worth the $50 price tag.  

Biergarten Restaurant in Epcot - We went here during this past visit to Epcot, and I was really impressed with the food.  I wasn't exactly sure what would be offered (other than the classic schnitzel), and it was a buffet style lunch.  There were lots of options in the buffet and they were all delicious.  Plus, the beer is the best in Germany of course... 

Le Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie in Epcot - The best way to finish up your meals in Epcot?  With some French pastries for dessert!  While everyone else is ordering their beers or champagne in France, you will find me in the line for pastries.  I've tried the macaroons, chocolate mousse, chocolate eclair, and a few others and they've all been delicious.  Also yes, you need the champagne as well, you know... to round out the experience.

The Boathouse - This restaurant is located in Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney) and it's one of the newer ones on the block.  We ate here for our last meal in Disney this past trip, and the views are great and so is the food.

Be Our Guest in Magic Kingdom - We’ve eaten here for both breakfast and lunch on two separate trips and the experience is amazing every time.  The decor and atmosphere is gorgeous, and the desserts are no joke.  It's a must for Magic Kingdom!  

Yak & Yeti in Animal Kingdom - I'll be the first to admit, I'm not the biggest fan of Chinese food.  I much prefer Thai or Japanese for Asian cuisines, but I was pleasantly surprised with this place.  There were lots of options and they were all really good.  It's the best spot to eat for the day in Animal Kingdom! 

The Parks

Quick Disclaimer: I get motion sick, so I'm kind of a pansy when it comes to some of the larger roller coasters and such, but I also try to ride each ride at least once!  And, I know the favorites of the group I travel with, so I will be sure to mention those!

Magic Kingdom - The original and my favorite Disney park.  There's nothing like feeling like a kid again for the day, which includes eating lots of good food/candy/ice cream, running into your favorite characters, and going on all of the cheesy (but amazing) classic Disney rides.  Yes, I even made my boyfriend go on "It's a small world" with me my first time back, because I remembered it being my favorite ride as a kid... and it was a little silly but also amazing.  I can also handle all of the rides in Magic Kingdom, which may also contribute to it being my favorite park.  My favorite spots are Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor.

Animal Kingdom - My second favorite park, because... animal lover over here!  Any park that has some sort of wildlife involved is automatically a go to for me.  Lions, Tigers, and Gorillas!  Oh my!  The Kilimanjaro Safaris are a must-do, but it's better to get there in the morning when it's not scorching hot and the animals are more active.  My other favorite spots are Dinosaur, Kali River Rapids, and Flights of Wonder!

Epcot - Epcot is very close to beating Animal Kingdom as my second favorite park.  The food is amazing, the drinks are amazing, and well... good food and good drinks usually makes for a good time.  Usually we hit the attractions before we start exploring around the world, because the one time we made the mistake of doing the rides after, we had some close calls on Soarin' and almost had to leave a man behind in the park bathroom.  It made for a great story, but probably wasn't the best idea.   My favorite rides are Finding Nemo (because you end up in an aquarium after of course) and Soarin'.  I've already hit my favorite food spots above, but as far as drinks go, the beer in Germany, the champagne in France, and the margaritas in Mexico are my favorites.

Hollywood Studios - This past trip was my first time to Hollywood Studios, and of course it was fun, but since the rides are a little more intense, it wasn't my favorite.  But, for those of you that love roller coasters and such, this will probably be your favorite park.  Some of our group chose to do this park twice or even instead of Animal Kingdom, because of how much they love the rides.  Me?  Falling in an elevator is my biggest fear so Tower of Terror was out for me, and Rock n' Roller Coaster (a group favorite) has a little too much motion.  But, I did really love the entertainment at this park.  My favorite spots were the Great Movie Ride, Toy Story Mania!, and the Beauty and the Beast show.  Oh, and the churros.  

Where to Go (outside of the parks)

Splitsville Luxury Lanes - This bowling alley is so fun if you're looking for something to do one night after the parks.  It's located in Disney Springs and the food is really good as well if you're looking to do a dinner/bowling combo!

Jet Ski Adventure - While searching for a birthday present for my boyfriend back in March, I came across this tour.  I'm not the most familiar with jet skis (i've only been on one a handful of times) but this was such a great experience!  The jet skis were so much fun, the tour guide was great (we actually got a private tour because we were the only ones riding that day), and it was so cool to see the sites from the lagoon.  Definitely check it out if you're looking for something to do if you have a day off from the parks!

What to Wear in Disney
Strolling around Magic Kingdom in Mickey Ears of course (See my post about what to wear while your in Disney here)

Giraffe in Disney Animal Kingdom
The safari is a must-do in Animal Kingdom

Tangled in Magic Kingdom
The Tangled Village in Magic Kingdom (one of my favorite Disney movies!)

Epcot Flower Festival
Epcot decorated in the spring for the International Flower & Garden Festival

Germany in Epcot
Germany in Epcot - my favorite beer spot

Thursday, June 23, 2016

MAXI SKIRTS & SLITS

Maxi Skirt Outfit

/ Top - Topshop / Skirt - Brandy Melville (old, similar) / Heels - Zara / Bag - Glamorous via Asos / Watch - c/o Shore Projects / Necklace - Tatiana Katzoff / Rings - c/o Bling Jewelry /

This skirt has been a staple in my summer wardrobe for about three years now I think.  It's perfect for dressing up and dressing down, and it doesn't hurt that the fabric makes my legs feel like they are wrapped in something similar to a super soft baby blanket.  Also, there's just something exciting about a skirt with a slit.  Slits are like Scarlett Johansson with no makeup, surprising and effortlessly sexy.  Unfortunately, it seems that Brandy Melville doesn't find the skirt as impressive as I do, because I haven't been able to get ahold of another since.  C'mon Brandy.  Either way, I've rounded up some similar styles below!

Also, I'm heading to Montreal for a few days this weekend and I can't wait to explore and take in all of the French Canadian bagels and poutine!  Has anyone else visited Montreal?  I'd love some recommendations!

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Black Top Striped Skirt
Brown Croc Bag
Striped Maxi Skirt Outfit
Maxi Skirt Summer Style
Summer Style
Layered Gold Necklaces
Maxi Skirt Summer Outfit

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Photos: Jackie Giardina

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

SUMMER SKINCARE TIPS

Summer Skincare Tips

Hello to tank tops, swimsuits, shorts, and all of those other fun summer clothes!  The summer style transition is a pretty easy one, but the summer skin transition... not so much.  My summer skin is basically 20% blackheads, 5% freckles, and 75% oil.  That summer heat/humidity got your skin down (ex. oily, burnt, clogged, etc.)?  Winter skin is one battle, while summer skin is a whole other beast.  I've always had sensitive, combination (t-zone oiliness), acne prone skin, and while my skin has finally started to clear up *cue the happy dance*, I still have to keep up with a good skincare regimen during the summer.  Below are a few of my favorite products/tips to keep your skin happy and let that summer glow shine *pun intended*!

Use a Clay Face Mask Twice a Week

I try to use a clay face mask at least twice a week when I get out of the shower to clean out the pores and help with my oily t-zone.  I love this Clinique version (under $20) that's made for oil control, and this Avocado & Oatmeal mask (under $5!) to calm my sensitive skin, and I usually alternate between the two depending on what my skin is complaining about the most.

Get a Facial

Listen, I get it.  Facials aren't cheap.  I resisted getting facials for the longest time, but when I was a teenager and I was breaking out like crazy, I finally decided to take the plunge (with a little push from Mom).  I'm all about that budget life, but there's nothing that compares to a good facial.  Facials are like a combination of an amazing massage, amazing skin advice, and an amazing face cleaning that results in amazing skin.  Just a whole lot of amazingness.

Summer Skincare Tips
Summer Skincare Tips

I try to get facials every few months, based on what I can afford, but I tend to get them more during the summer when my skin gets a little more clogged by oil, make up, and lotions.  Recently, I tried the Signature Facial at the The Red Door at the Westchester Mall location and loved it.  My mom has been a few times on girls weekends with her friends, so I had been wanting to try the spa for a while.  I've gotten facials at a few different places over the years, but this is the first place that really had the whole spa experience.  The warm robe and cushy slippers that you're instructed to change into when you arrive are no joke.  To start, the esthetician gave me a mini consultation where we went over my concerns and any allergies I may have to any of the products, and then she cleansed my skin and performed extractions, and ended with a mask, and an amazing shoulder/arm massage.  I will definitely be back for more, and if you're ever struggling to find a gift for someone, they also do gift certificates!

Drink Lots of Water

This one goes without saying, and is probably the most repeated skincare tip I've ever heard, but it's just so so accurate.  The esthetician that performed my facial mentioned to me that my skin was dehydrated just by looking at it.  You wouldn't have thought this with the amount of oil that's on my face, but she was right.  Two things that help me drink more water throughout the day are a straw (I don't know why we drink more water when I'm using a straw but we do), and a water bottle that tells you when and how much water you should be drinking.  I love these bottles that measure out your daily water intake and how much you should be drinking per hour, and the motivational messages on them!

Lighten Up on the Make Up

Summer Skincare Tips

I don't think anyone is going to like this tip, but it doesn't necessarily mean what you think it means.  Yes, not putting on as much makeup will help your skin, but some of us (this girl included) just can't get used to using less, but it is possible to switch to lighter products without sacrificing coverage.  Bonus points for products that also have SPF since it is summer!  I'm a big fan of Estee Lauder Double Wear Light, as well as Make Up For Ever Pro Finish Multi-Use Powder Foundation.  The powder foundation is perfect for those lighter days over a little bit of concealer on any trouble spots.

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This post is in collaboration with The Red Door Spas, but love of facials and skincare are all my own