I honestly have absolutely nothing of interest to write in this introduction. I'm blaming the heat for feeling braindead, blaming the anxiety for looking for a new place to rent for keeping me up at night, and blaming my boring life for not providing any recent excitement or antidotes that I can spin into some cute fluff for this paragraph. (vibes right below!)
1. VACATIONING // HOTEL SAN CRISTÓBAL BAJA: Liz Lambert is a Texas boutique hotel wizard/goddess. Her projects across Austin, Marfa and San Antonio provide authentic stay experiences that are all different but all infused with this same well-crafted and perfectly effortless spirit. It’s hard to explain the aesthetic that is Liz if you haven’t visited one of the hotels but you can get an idea of what she and team Bunkhouse is about via their website. Liz’s latest project is her first outside of Texas and no surprise, it’s getting a ton of buzz. “Named in honor of Saint Christopher, patron of travelers, surfers, sailors and protector during long journeys, Hotel San Cristóbal sits on the beach on the southwestern edge of the Baja peninsula in Todos Santos, Mexico. Positioned along the Tropic of Cancer and framed by the Sierra de la Laguna mountains, Punta Lobos, and the Pacific Ocean, there is something about the quality of light here in this convergence of nature.” How dreamy and soulful does that sound? Like all Liz Lambert hotels, Hotel San Cristóbal is designed to reflect the culture and vibe of the location and the property and 32 rooms feel distinctly Mexican-inspired though there’s no “theme” or gimmicky elements. Thoughtful, done well but not overdone, and attention paid to all the right details – these are the hallmarks of Liz Labert’s hotels. All I can say is this: I wanna stay at Hotel San Cristóbal.
2. DATING? // BRACKET: This isn’t something I’m vibing (aka liking) – it’s more something that I just want to talk about. If you’re happily married just skip over all this and get to the nail polish that is No. 3. If you’re dating you can keep reading if you want and just know that I feel your pain. Bracket Dating is a recently launched app for singles. Unlike Tinder, Bumble and the like, this one is not about swiping. It’s based on a tournament style bracket (yes, you read that correctly). Each day a user gets matched with 16 others based on profile preferences. Then head-to-head eliminations go throughout the day to eliminate matches on the bracket till you end up with one winner. Then you can chat with your “winner.” Or if you “win” on someone else’s bracket you can talk to that user. Apparently the elimination process is based on fun questions that reveal personality and cut through the awkward back and forth banter that can happen on other apps. But the competition part is what gives me pause…dating is kind of already hard enough. Play at your own risk!
3. PAINTING // MADEMOISELLE: As much as I like getting pampered, I stopped getting gel manicures almost a year ago and prefer to paint my own nails. I’ve gotten really good at the prep work and have a super steady hand for painting. My only issue was spending all the time doing said painting – base coat, two coats of color, top coat – only to have the polish chip or peel away from the edges of my nails after a few days. Huge problems, right!?! I thought lighter shades would be better than the dark hues I favor but most of what I tried was super streaky (the coats never looked even) and the chipping within days of painting persisted and drove me nuts. In my attempt to find a non-streaky pale/barely there color I scooped up a bottle of Essie Mademoiselle (love that most Walgreens and CVS now carry Essie). I loved it with two coats and wasn’t even that bothered with the predictable chips showed up because the pale pinky nude made it not so noticeable. But then one day I didn’t have time to do a second coat followed by my usual Essie Gel-Setter Top Coat (which is amazing and SO shiny) and I went a few days without finishing the job. Glad I did because I realized that one coat of Mademoiselle on top of my Essie First Base Coat miraculously resulting in NO chipping. None. For like a week plus. No pealing or cracking either. The time I spend doing my nail painting ritual has been significantly cut down (praise) and my nails look happy and healthy. Holy grail found? Highly suggest trying this combo if you hate naked nails, but don’t have the time or patience to wait for four coats to try!
4. BABY BAGGING // MANSUR GAVRIEL: Bigger isn’t always better. Case in point with Masur Gabriel’s Baby Bucket Bag. Less than 5 inches tall and 3 inches wide, it’s a very petite purse and significantly smaller than Mansur’s original Bucket Bag, Mini Bucket, and Mini Mini Bucket. In case you missed it, they kind of kill the whole bucket bag situation in a big way (the style was what launched their fanatic fan following). The best part of the Baby Bucket – aside from being so tiny and adorable – is that the vegetable tanned leather options are $195 and the calf coated leather versions are $225. Those prices may seem outrageous for a bag that might only fit your cellphone, a lipstick and a credit card but for Mansur Gavriel it’s downright cheap.
5. COILING // INVISIBOBBLE: Have y’all seen the latest hair-tie craze? Move over elastic knotted versions that were hot for years and enter plastic coils. I 100% scoffed at these things the first time I saw them. Even after Sally started wearing them I was still skeptical. But when I asked Sal for a hair-tie while sitting in the scorching heat on the 4th of July and she handed me one of these hair invisibobble hair rings I had no choice but to give it a go. It worked! My hair is straight and fine but I have a lot of it and it gets very heavy when in a pony tail or bun. I finally just gave Sally the coil back so I could get a set of my own (hello pink)…$8 for three isn’t horrible considering that they really don’t leave kinks. One coil wrapped twice around a low bun was perfect. Three times wrapped for a pony tail is great too. I can’t wear them when working out (heavy hair + movement is too much) but they’re fantastic to have on hand for all other times.
6. NOTING // NOBLE 31: Two sets of sisters = four Texas women on a mission to make great clothes and support great charities. It’s not all the time that you see a start-up clothing brand and immediately want to buy one of everything but Noble 31 has totally knocked my socks off with their small collection of tops. There are seven styles and…I want one of each. Loving that these ladies are focusing on quality and not quantity with their first assortment – each style has a unique shape that’s familiar but slightly different and completely wearable. I’m crazy for the frayed, unfinished hems and only single-color options! Of course my two favorites (the Madison and Lolo) are sold out in the white denim…here’s to hoping for a re-stock!
7. LOVING // PEARL JEANS: Denim and pearls make for quite the pairing. I’ve been seeing denim jeans, jackets and the like embellish with pearls of all sizes and colors for the past year and I have to say, I’m loving the trend. But…a lot of what I see doesn’t seem totally practical. I’m the freak who looks at these jean creations and thinks, “How do I wash those?” “What if the pearls fall off from all my knee bending activity?” and “Will my dogs just see these baubles and try to bite them off?” I love the look but I would want to feel able to wear the look – you know? The Pilcro denim + pearl pieces at Anthropologie are all things I feel like I could actually wear and enjoy and not overly stress out about. There’s the denim jacket (which is fantastic) and two pairs of jeans – high-rise skinny with pearls by the front pockets and boyfriend cutoffs with pearls by the hem. What I like about the pearl embellishment on all three is the cluster spread arrangement of pearls. It’s deliberate but concentrated…not too over the top or too all over the garment (which lessens my many aforementioned types of questions). The skinny jeans are my favorite. I truly can’t believe they’re priced at $158 (jeans today are usually way more $$$ and these have pearls!) and I’m dying to try them. Picturing with a white t-shirt per my typical daily uniform.