Current Vibes

June 28, 2017

FOCUS. I think I need the word tattooed somewhere very visible on my body. Like maybe my face, neck, or right hand. Don't worry (mom and dad), I'm not going to do it. But I could reallllly use the visual as a constant reminder to just....focus. Focus and execute. If anyone has a better way to achieve this that doesn't require inking my body any more than I have or taking narcotics, please let me know. (vibes, vibes, vibes after the jump)

1. DREAMING // VENUS ET FLEUR: I don’t care if this makes me seem tacky, white roses are my favorite flower. I know…can you BELIEVE I’m not a slave to peonies?! Nope. I love buying them fresh but have looked into buying some faux arrangements so that I’m never without the classic beauties in my home. But really good faux flowers (the ones that actually pass as real) are expensive as hell so I generally just treat myself once a month or so to grouping of stems for my dining table. I’m not sure how – being the rose lover I am – I have just become familiar with the insanity that is Venus ET Fleur but I am obsessed. The husband and wife team who started the company had super high standards in mind and the desire to revolutionized the online floral buying experience. Well…they did. Because not only are their roses arranged in Parisian-inspired gift boxes and to the specifications of each customer, but the roses last for up to a year. I can’t. What is this sorcery you ask? Roses from Ecuador combined with a proprietary treatment. The arrangements come with a high price tag but when you consider the cost of arrangements that die…they’re kind of worth it. At least any rose-loving person like me would think so! My birthday is in October – and it’s a big one – so family, if you’re reading this, maybe just pencil these eternity arrangements as a potential gift? White box + white roses = floral dream made.

2. EYEING // COLLECTOR’S LIBRARY: Have y’all seen the beach house from heaven that is Coral House? The Harbour Island, Bahamas home was recently completed by Chassity Evans (of Look Linger Love) and her family and it’s available for rent on VRBO! All that makes me sound like a super stalker, but Chassity has been sharing the renovation and design project for Coral House on her blog for a while now and the home tour she posted at the beginning of the month is just as dreamy as I imagined it would be…from the happy coral exterior, fresh and welcoming interiors, and thoughtful decor elements and art, it pure beach bliss. One detail I really loved was the “Beach Library” in the family room area. The shelves of Macmillan Collector’s Library books make such a coordinated statement with the aqua hue that divides the top half of each classic title. I’ve stayed in many a beach house with books for borrowing but this is by far the most visually appealing set of stories I’ve seen! Such a cute look. A few titles I wouldn’t mind having: this, this, this, this, this, and this.

3. WANTING // LID TINT: I swear, every time I get an email from VIOLET GREY I want every single item in it. The beauty retailer has a way of making everything they carry (and stamp with “The Violet Code”) seem life changing – or at the very least, amazing and worthy of trying. A few weeks ago they sent an email about Jillian Dempsey and her lid tints. Who and what? How did I not know about this Hollywood makeup artist (yes, she’s married to Patrick Dempsey) and her namesake line of eye products? Thanks again, VIOLET GREY! Seriously, if you haven’t signed up for their emails yet, do it. Anyway…Jillian created these things called Lid Tints and VIOLET GREY says they are an amazing must-have, so therefore I need one (or two). Ok, that was a little extreme – I’m into the idea of using a Lid Tint because they’re different than any other eye thing I have. What they are is a sheer cream that give a dewy appearance and light wash of color. I needed to see this product in action so I found this little tutorial Jillian did. Helpful. And pretty! Love the dewy look! The tints can be worn alone or layered over power eye shadows…but I have no idea how to use eyeshadow (despite the fact that I own tons of it) and I’m dying to try the “Dew” Lid Tint to get a dewy look without any color…perfect for summer, no?

4. SISTER MATCHING // MA SOEUR TEE: Sally and I do this thing were we like to buy matching “sister” things. Sweatshirts, t-shirts, jewelry. All a great excuse to purchase when we say they’re special sister items. Do other sisters have this justification process? It’s really a great excuse when “treat yo self” isn’t enough to pull the trigger on frivolous items. I recently spotted the Maison du Soir x goop collab – and the “ma soeur” embroidered tee – and immediately sent it to Sally with a “sister shirts??!!?” note. Sally and I love white t-shirts and having ones stitched with “ma soeur”- which is French for “my sister” – is all the reasoning we need to scoop up the splurge. Don’t have a sister? Then this “bae” shirt is for you. Maison du Soir is a beautiful sleepwear brand (and I can speak to how wonderful their pieces are from personal use!) but these tees are too cute not to wear in public 24/7.

5. CARRYING // DONNI HANDLETTE: Maybe Donni Charm got tired of tying their cotton scarves onto various baskets, bags, and totes that didn’t belong to them because the brand designed their own woven bag – compete with cotton gingham wrapped handles. Super smart considering how big basket bags and totes are this season. If you don’t have yourself said woven straw bag (and I do not) then perhaps a Donni Handlette or Donni Handle is ideal for your summer bag needs! I personally love the smaller size of the Handlette…but I’m having a hard time deciding if I want the handles with navy gingham & black gingham handles or navy gingham & sky gingham. Big life decision, I know. (Leaning toward the black + navy since that’s a fave color combo of mine)

6. SCENTING // WITH AERA: My dogs are my life. And my type-A personality has become much more relaxed as I’ve learned to live with pet hair, a couch that constantly gets trampled, toys that litter my floors, etc. But one thing I cannot and will not tolerate is having a home that smells like dogs live there. You know when you walk into someone’s house and it smells like a pet store? Ya, no, I can’t. My main way of making this possible is with lots of cleaning (vacuuming, dusting, sheet washing, etc.) and lighting candles for a few hours a day. What I came to realize very quickly was that candles (at least the kind I like to burn) are not cheap. They also vary in throw capabilities (some scents don’t permeate a room at all, some are too strong), contain degrees of un-nautral chemicals, and certain kinds can release harmful soot when burned (say NO to any with paraffin!). Not to mention the dust (and pet hair) mine seem to accumulate when not in use and the anxiety of making sure nothing catches on fire (dogs have a way of topping things). But, I’m not a Febreze person or a plug-in something plastic to your outlet person or even a diffuser person. I had no idea there was an answer to scenting my home without candles that didn’t compromise my fragrance palate or aesthetics…it’s called Aera and it’s chaining the concept of home scenting with really amazing technology. I won’t go into a crazy amount of detail (you can checkout the website for that) but the device lets you choose one of eight fragrances (my current fave is “poetry”) each made from pure ingredients, and a smartphone app allows you to schedule, monitor, and calibrate scent levels. I wasn’t sure a “device” could replace my candle habit but I love having Aera and a continuous light scent that I don’t have to worry about turning on or off. Pretty cool right?

7. CONTOURING // KKW: I really love makeup. I like trying it, buying it, applying it (even though I don’t know what I’m doing it), and how I feel wearing it. But I’ve never gotten into contouring. There are several reasons for this: 1) it seems like I would be adding so. much. more. makeup to my face, 2) it seems very easy to screw-up and/or look overly noticeable, 3) the idea of changing how my face looks (ex: thinner nose) seems…un-natural. All these thoughts aside, I’m a big fan of how people look with said contouring. When it’s done well/correctly. Perfect example: Kim Kardashian West. Say what you want, feel how you feel, but I think Kim (and the rest of the Kurdish/Jenner girl clan) has a way of wearing makeup that just makes me feel like I’m doing it all wrong but I’m too intimidated to follow suit and achieve a goddess makeup look on my own. Kim must have heard all this before – or at the very least saw a money-making venture to be had – and came out with her own makeup line, KKW Beauty. The first product was obviously a crème contour kit. Angels sang, tears of joy were shed, then the light, medium, dark and deep dark kits were released on June 21st and immediately sold out. No…I didn’t get my hands on a light kit. I’m not that fast-acting and I wanted to see some reviews of how the kits worked on “real” faces before slapping down $48 for a three-piece kit (dual ended contour stick with two shades, dual ended highlighter stick with matte and shimmer, and dual ended sponge and blending brush). I’m intrigued and doing lots of You Tube video watching as I wait for a re-stock.

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Using The SNOO

June 22, 2017

I briefly mentioned in yesterday's post how our most used baby item is our SNOO bassinet. We've been using the SNOO Smart Sleeper by Happiest Baby since our first night home from the hospital and have used it every night since. At $1,160 I realize that this is a high ticket item, but I thought I knew after just one night - and I definitely know after seven straight weeks of using it, that it's worth its weight in gold at this point. The SNOO was one of the first things my husband and I decided on when we were deciding what we needed for the baby and I was so excited about all the features that I shared it in this post before we even had our baby. I had high hopes, and the reviews were incredible, but you never really know how something's going to work till you use it consistently. And while I'm going to go into more detail, but I could honestly sum up this whole post in two words: IT WORKS.

This may be info that everyone already knows, but as newborns are still learning to piece together their sleep cycles, they often stir or fuss between cycles but aren’t actually fully awake….their bodies are still learning to stay asleep as they pass from the deep sleep to light sleep. The SNOO responds to these cues of wakefulness by increasing its rocking motion and the level of the white noise to rock the baby back to sleep. As a result of this, we as parents are able to sleep for longer stretches of time and aren’t having to get up and check on the baby or soothe them with every little sound we hear. Right now, my husband and I are getting a good 6 hour stretch of sleep each night with a 7 week old…and that’s something I find pretty amazing! I fully attribute this to the SNOO. *Note: I could go into WAY too much detail about how the SNOO responds to fussing, movement and cries – along with how the SNOO app works – but this FAQs page is so much more informative than I could ever be!

Aside from the nice, long stretch of sleep we’ve been gifted thanks to the Smart Sleeper, I also feel like my anxiety is at such ease each night knowing that the SNOO ensures the recommended safest sleeping circumstances. The SNOO Sacks (they come in small, medium, and large) safely swaddle your baby’s arms and zip around their legs, and also have wings attached to each side of the body that clip into the sides of the SNOO so that there is no possible way your baby can roll over from their back. Sounds complicated but it’s not. This no-roll feature alone gives me such piece of mind each night – it’s stressful being a new mom and putting your baby down each night! I am also a firm believer that babies sleep so.much.better in a swaddle because of their startle reflex that often times wakes them. I like that the SNOO Sleep Sacks are “hip safe,” which is important with a new baby. The sacks are also partially mesh so that there isn’t a concern for overheating – another worry with sleeping babies. *Note: the blanket on the side of the bassinet is just there because we often hang blankets on the side of the SNOO to grab and use during the day. We do NOT use any blankets at night with the SNOO – we only use the Sleep Sacks!

Aesthetically, the SNOO is beautiful and minimalistic and doesn’t look like any other baby item in our home. I should caveat that we love all our other baby gear and gadgets – and I’ll share those in another post – but the SNOO is just so pretty it looks like a real piece of furniture. The best part about the design (aside from how nice it looks) is that it’s lightweight enough that I am easily able to move it from its spot against a wall in our bedroom to my bedside each night (I personally like having it by my bedside so that I can peek in there periodically if I do hear anything and its so much easier to access for early morning feedings). Even with it being light enough for me to lift and move easily, it’s very sturdy and I like that I can lean on it and not feel like it will give with my weight. I only wish that we could bring it with us when we travel in a few weeks!

Between it’s incredibly technology which is attributing to a better night’s sleep for both us and the baby, the peace of mind we get from the safety aspect, and it’s ridiculous good looks (Zoolander, anyone?!) I truly cannot sing enough praises for the SNOO.

*Last Note (I promise): the dress I’m wearing is one I wore with a bump (here) and I’m still obsessed with it (it’s not maternity but can totally be worn while pregnant). Anyway, it’s on sale here, here, and here!

Pieces From The Post

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Current Vibes

June 21, 2017

Now that it's Wednesday, that means the weekend is near, which also means that our mamasita is coming to town. It's hard to believe that it has already been several weeks since she was last here. She is such a huge help whenever she's in town visiting but has been even more of godsend in the weeks right after we brought the baby home - cooking us meals, running errands, helping with laundry and cleaning the house...I would be totally lying if I said I didn't miss her daily helping hands. A lot. I have completely let things like the idea of cooking dinner go, but I am trying to forgive myself and remind myself that a new baby needs to be my #1 focus. My mom and I have big plans to cook a bunch of meals while she is here and freeze them to help ease up on my dreaded dinner anxiety at the end of each day. (aside from the excitement over our mama's upcoming visit, read on for what I'm excited about this week)

1. SANDAL HUNTING // O&J SUNDAY SANDAL:  Olive and June is the prettiest, West Coast nail salon you ever did see that practically warrants a trip to the LA area just to be experienced. Their latest endeavor is one that everyone can partake in, no matter your location. The Saturday Sandal was made in collaboration with shoe designer Charlotte Stone and is pure genius. At just $65, the simple Napa leather lace up sandals are really all you would need to get you through the summer months. They would go with absolutely everything and can be tied in different ways, so you never feel like you’re wearing the same sandal. The best part? You can wear them after a pedicure without worrying about ruining your toes – which I always manage to do!

2. FASTING // SOCIAL MEDIA: Social media – and how much I consume it – is definitely something giving me pause lately. Now that I have a baby I’m wanting to enjoy each and every moment as they come, and doing it by being present, not by capturing those moments on my phone…then posting them. This article was intriguing in the idea of re-creating a healthier relationship with social media. I think that the urge to share/post has become so natural – almost to the point of the extreme – and likewise consuming the posted content can be addicting. I like the idea in the article of physically logging out of your accounts before bed to almost remind yourself the next day that you’re taking a break for the duration of the day. This is a little hard given that we have a blog and part of our content creation falls instep with posting to social media channels, but I would love to follow that advice or find another way to take steps away from my phone/social media and closer to enjoying and investing in the “now.”

3. WANTING // DAILY HARVEST: While nursing a baby, you need an extra 500 calories a day, but often times it seems hard to get those extra calories in a healthy format that isn’t just a fig bar or a piece of toast. All eating can often times seem to be done in a rush or hours after the actual meal is generally eaten. I find myself forgetting to eat breakfast a lot because I feed him in bed in the morning and then he ends up falling asleep on me or we’ll both take a nap and then by the time we feed again it’s nearly 11am and I haven’t eaten breakfast. Whoops. This is why when I read about Daily Harvest I was intrigued. Started by a busy New York mom who found herself being strapped for time too, Daily Harvest delivers yummy and healthy foods straight to your freezer. The company tapped into a new kind of frozen technology and are making quite the name for themselves. Although frozen, the nutritional quality is just as good if not better. Since I’m constantly craving a smoothie or acai bowl, I’m thinking of trying the smoothies first. Each smoothie is anywhere from $6.99 to $7.99 a cup, which is really the same price as the local juice bar, just more convenient.

4. SALE SHOPPING // DONDOLO: Truth be told, these days I would much rather buy baby clothes than clothes for myself. Maybe that’s because I live in workout clothes? Either way, I don’t hate it! Dondolo is one of those children’s lines where its hard to resist every.single.thing they do. What’s even more than their darling clothing, is Dondolo’s business model and their Mom Empowerment Program. The clothing is all stitched by hand by single mothers in Colombia and proceeds from the sales through Dondolo provide articles of clothing to children in Colombia. After meeting the women in Cartanega, the company decided they wanted to do more and established their Mom Empowerment Program. Through the program, they chose 5 women who demonstrated an ambition and desire to do more for themselves and their families. The program teaches them life lessons and skills that can help them to earn a living wage – all increasing their self esteem and chance at a better future for their families. While purchasing pretty baby clothes can at times seem maybe frivolous and even unnecessary to some, when doing it at Dondolo, you truly are giving back to people in need and there is no better feeling. Currently, Dondolo is having their Summer warehouse sale and the prices are amazing! SO many sweet things. Right now I have thisthisthis, and this in my cart. With how hot it is here, bubbles are perfect for babies, even going into the fall. We also LOVE their Pima Cotton zip up footie jammies.

5. SWIPING // URSA MAJOR WIPES: While in the hospital before/during/after my delivery, there was a good 36 hours where I literally could not get out of bed. In desperation, I asked Molly if she would bring up some of my husband’s Ursa Major cleansing wipes so that I could have a chance at washing my face. Now that we’re home and on borrowed time, I find myself reaching for these wipes more and more – especially at night. Until now, I had never been a cleanse with a wipe kind of girl, but I’m not mad at it. And, I feel good knowing that Ursa Major’s products are natural. This line is all my husband uses for his skincare and I’m often stealing products of his or buying my own. My other latest obsession? Their Brighten Up Vitamin C Serum which I swear has changed my skin’s tone.

6. DOCKING // DOCKaTOT: Dock a Tot: If there is one baby item that we use more than anything else in our house (aside from the Snoo every night), it would be the Dock a Tot. Truth be told, I wasn’t sure if we would actually use a Dock a Tot since we weren’t planning on doing the co-sleeping thing, but a friend offered to let me borrow hers and it’s been a game changer ever since. So much so that I’m thinking we should just get one of our own we love it so much. Even though we don’t partake in co-sleeping, we find ourselves using the Dock a Tot ALL of the time. In the early mornings after nursing I will lay him in it to nap next to me while I take a nap myself or am working on the computer. We do the same thing in bed at night and lay him between us for some tummy time in the Dock before we transfer him to the Snoo. I’ve used it in the bathroom to lay his towel down in and wrap him up after a bath or in the bathroom while I am showering. We can easily (with just a handle) carry it to the couch or other rooms of the house. I even think it would be a life saver to have on our beach trip next month for him to nap in or hang around the house in. As much as I love all of our gadgets that vibrate or move, I wanted to be sure he wasn’t always sleeping in something like that so that the eventual crib transition wouldn’t be too painful. The Dock a Tot is also nice and cozy with its protective sides as it was made to mimic the womb with its snug fit. Recently, the company has come out with a travel bag(genius!) and a toy arch, both of which I feel like we would use a lot.

7. SWIMMING // KARLA COLLETTO: I’ve had Karla Colletto on my “to blog about” list for a few weeks now and ironically enough, when I went into our local Everything But Water store in search of my first one piece, I ended up leaving with one of hers – this one! I probably haven’t worn a one piece in 20 years, but being almost 7 weeks post-baby and with a beach trip in a month, it is highly necessary! Luckily, Karla Colletto makes shopping for a one piece practically painless because each suit is better than the next and super flattering, too. Feminine, pretty details like ric-rac trimbrightly-colored eyelets, or liberty-esque floral prints stand out without being over powering. I already have my eye on this one or this before we leave for the beach.

1. Olive & June Saturday Sandals ($65) // 2. "Intermittent Social Media Fasting" via The Atlantic, image via // 3. Daily Harvest // 4. Dondolo Warehouse Sale, Pocket Bubble ($70 → $16), Hampton Bubble ($60 → $15) // 5. Ursa Major Essential Face Wipes ($24-$45) (also here, here, here and on Amazon!) // 6. DockATot, image via ($165+) (also here, here and on Amazon!) // 7. Karla Colette Swim (also here, here, here, and on Amazon!)

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Summer Grilling with La Vaquita Queso

June 15, 2017

Summer. The days are longer. The great outdoors is calling. The backyard grills are...grilling. Despite Dallas feeling like the surface of the sun (re: hot. so very hot) Sally and I have been in full outdoor mode. The arrival of a new stroller (he loves it!) and gorgeous outdoor furniture (showing it off in all its glory soon!) have both contributed to our desire to be outside. But it's really the craving to fire up the grill and cook some delicious summer-inspired food that has us most excited about the new season. I don't always dine with Sally and her husband but when I do, we usually try to cook something. The tricky part is agreeing what to make. One type of cuisine we can always agree on is Mexican - even better if the recipes allow us to doctor the dish to be our own.

This past week I had it in my mind that a family taco night needed to happen. I told Sally and Robert that all I needed them for was the grilling and eating - that I would take care of the rest. I'm not typically the one to take the reins but they've been so busy with the arrival of sweet baby and after finding this recipe on Skinny Taste (a go-to recipe source for my whole family) I felt happy and confident to make taco night a reality!

 

True confession: it was the inclusion of Cotija cheese in this taco recipe that caught my attention while I was perusing options. Past posts (here and here) have revealed my affinity for La Vaquita’s Queso Fresco – a really light, creamy, delicious cheese that’s a perfect pairing for Mexican, Tex-Mex and other styles of cuisine – but I haven’t really shared how much I love Cotija. Like all of the La Vaquita cheeses, the Cotija is super fresh and made to reflect the authentic, traditional flavors of Hispanic cuisine. But where the Queso Fresco is mild and bright in taste, Cotija is salty and bold. Due to its aged process and firm texture that can be grated or crumbled, it’s earned the nickname “the parmesan of Mexico.” It’s a great salty addition to savory dishes and packs a great flavorful punch!

Grilled Chicken Tacos with Lettuce Slaw, Avocado and Cotija Cheese: Like I said, this recipe found on Skinny Taste originally jumped at me because of the Cotija cheese. Maybe all the sun I’ve been getting has made me crave some salt? Either way, I was excited to try it out. Because I wanted the taco night to really have options for a “build your own” taco experience, I added the Queso Fresco and some salsa options to the mix. The extra cheese might make the recipe a little less “skinny” but it definitely adds to the delicious factor!

Chicken Ingredients:

  • 14 oz (4 thin sliced) boneless chicken breast cutlets
  • 1 1/4 tsp seasoned salt (I used Lawry’s Season Salt)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp lime juice (I ended up using more lime juice – about 3 teaspoons)

Taco and Slaw Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups (4 oz) shredded romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 cup (1 medium) vine ripe tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 loose cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup thin sliced red onion
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • pinch fresh black pepper
  • 8 corn tortillas (I also used flour)
  • crumbled La Vaquita Cotija
  • crumbled La Vaquita Queso Fresco
  • 1 sliced (5 oz) ripe avocado
  • 1/2 jalapeño, sliced
  • 4 lime wedges, for serving

Directions:

  1. Season chicken with seasoned salt, olive oil and lime juice and marinate for at least an hour.
  2. Heat an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan on medium-high heat.
  3. Oil the grates and grill about 2 minutes. Turn and cook an additional 1 minute, or until cooked through. Set aside on a cutting board and slice into thin strips. (Note: we used a Green Egg for grilling the chicken so our timing was a little different than the Skinny Taste recipe!)
  4. While the chicken is cooking, in a large work bowl mix the lettuce, tomato, cilantro, onions, olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  5. On the grill heat tortillas, turning till they slightly char, about 1 1/2 minutes on each side. (Note: we skipped this step!)
  6. Design your taco. Add chicken, lettuce slaw, avocado and top with cotija or queso fresco cheese (or both!), salsa, jalapeño, and/or fresh lime.

Quick Mexican Brown Rice: Because I didn’t want the tacos to be lonely, I found this recipe (also via Skinny Taste) and figured it would be a perfect side dish. I’ve never made my own Mexican rice so I was a little worried that I’d be in over my head but it really was a very easy recipe to follow.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups frozen or cooked (unseasoned) brown rice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 medium plum tomatoes, small dice
  • 1 jalapeño, seeds and membrane removed, minced (I only used half of a large jalapeño!)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • lime wedges, for serving
  • chopped cilantro (I added some to the mixture and put some leafs on top as a garnish)

Directions:

  1. Cook rice according to package directions. Set aside.
  2.  Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  When hot, add the onions, tomatoes and jalapeno and sauté until just tender, about 2-3 minutes.  Add garlic and sauté for another minute.
  3. Add the tomato paste, cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper.  Stir to evenly coat the vegetables.  Add the cooked rice, stir, and cook for 1 minute or until heated through. Serve with cilantro and lime wedges on the side.

Family taco night was a huge success! The recipes were super easy and packed with flavor and the La Vaquita cheeses were the perfect topping for both the tacos and rice. Summer – while largely being about sun and fun – is really a family sort of season and I feel like we kicked things off in the right way with our homemade meal. There’s just not many things that feel better than eating good food and clinking cold beers with the people you love…even if it does kind of feel like you’re sitting on the surface of the sun while doing it!

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Current Vibes

June 14, 2017

The Bachelorette wasn't on this week and I feel like my whole week as been off as a result. Luckily, I have the The Real Housewives of New York to ground me back into my schedule. As a single lady who also happens to be a major homebody and creature of habit, my TV programming is of the upmost importance. Insane? Absolutely. I know I need to get out more. My only redemption is that I read every night before bed. (ignore me, and just check out todays vibes!)

1. DREAMING // LAKE AUSTIN SPA: If you haven’t heard of Lake Austin Spa that may be because you don’t live in Texas. But Sally and I have been hearing about the beautiful retreat for years and after telling our mom tales of the resort and the relaxation, activities, food, and beauty that abound we have it in our minds that a mother-daughter girls trip needs to happen. This past week I was clicking around goop (a somewhat infrequent practice since the site has a tendency to make me feel like a lazy, unhealthy, bum) and was surprised to see Lake Austin Spa as a story on the “DO” page. The write up made the spa seem even more magical and I could totally visualize myself kayaking and doing water yoga on the Colorado River and strolling the grounds in a robe on my way to a massage. Stumbling upon the write-up was just the jolt I needed to make this girls trip go from a dream to reality…the planning has begun!

2. LOVING // MI GOLONDRINA NEWNESS: Y’all have heard me gush about my sweet bestie Cristina and her beautiful business Mi Golondrina on more than one occasion. I can’t help it! Not only is she the most thoughtful friend (a feat that always amazes me given how busy she is) but the creativity and love she puts into every new design in her collection never fails to inspire me. Recently, Cristina and some of her team went to Tulum to style and shoot images of the latest and greatest (and colorful!) Mi Golondrina pieces. I can’t get over how gorgeous the images are…each time I visit the Mi Go website and Instagram and see the photos taken by Kelsey Wilson (so talented!) I’m mesmerized. Safe to say, the Tulum images have made me want nearly every piece in the New Arrivals section. I’m also super inspired to style my Tuxedo Shirt and off-the-shoulder top from the Romántico collection with long skirts this summer after seeing them styled that way!

3. READING // CHERRY BOMBE NO. 9: Since spring/summer 2013, I’ve been buying and reading the biannual Cherry Bombe magazines. The colorful stack (each issue has a different colored spine) sits in a special spot and just seeing the collection makes me happy. If you’re new to the party, Cherry Bombe is a publication that “celebrates women and food.” Each issue – spring/summer and fall/winter – has a different cover girl (from Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner to Karlie Kloss and Chrissy Teigen) and is full recipes, stories, and lifestyle goodness that oozes style and substance. I was very excited to see Martha Steward on the cover of the recently released Issue No. 9…past issues have included OG figures like Ina Garten (Issue No. 4) but there hasn’t been a lady which such a hallmarked legacy front and center since Ruth Reichl was on Issue No. 3. Each issue has a name and this one is aptly called “Good Things.” I just ordered my copy and can’t wait to sink my teeth into it.

4. BRONZING // HOOLA LITE: Sally called out W3LL PEOPLE’s Bio Bronzer Powder in her Current Vibes post last week so I felt like I needed to highlight my current bronzer of choice this week. If you haven’t figured it out already, Sally is the sister who uses more clean/non-toxic/ natural beauty and skincare products. I’m more into finding products I love – regardless of their ingredients. Though she’s converted me in several areas (detergents and cleaning products being one) I have a hard time parting with the makeup I love. For years, Benefit’s Hoola Bronzer has been among a makeup bag must for me. And I’m not the only one…it’s a cult classic! From reading the thousands of reviews on Sephora to seeing Emily Weiss tout it as her go-to – it’s easy to understand why people love it. For one, it’s a matte finish without any shimmer, making it great as an all-over powder or for contouring action. Second, it’s a warm brown but not such an aggressively dark shade that a first application will overwhelm (obviously you could build up the hue to look like a crazy tan person if you want). Third, the sturdy little paper compact kind of allows it to be thrown around and withstand wear and tear without hurting the powder (I’ve only cracked one of the dozens I’ve bought over the years). There’s a lot to love. But Benefit must have decided that the Hoola formula was just a little too dark for certain skin tones or certain times of year (you know, when you’re pale AF in the middle of February) so they introduced Hoola Lite. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a lighter shade version of Hoola. Ideal for those who have a fair complexion or seek an even more natural-looking bronze. I’ve already bought my box of Hoola Lite – and it’s very nice – though it’s not getting as much action as my regular Hoola since the original shade seems to match my “tanned” skin better right now (currently tanned with this self tanner from head to toe), I know that the Lite version will be my best friend come fall/winter when my ghostly completion needs just a whisper of bronze-ness.

5. ORDERING // TRIANGL: Pool season! Vacation season! ‘Tis the season for swimsuits…and if you’re me, that means bikinis. I already splurged on this top and bottom in early spring and while I feel like the purchase was worth it, I’m wanting to add another bikini or two without having as much wallet hurt. TRIANGL has always been on my radar but their current new arrivals are such an unexpected departure from the neoprene styles they’ve previously offered that I was caught off guard…and totally in love with the simple, clean designs done in smocked French Jacquard, traditional nylon/spandex, and Italian Velvet. While I don’t know which offering I’ll end up with (though the Lorie is really speaking to me), I do know that the $79-89 price tag for both a bikini top and bottom won’t hurt as much when I finally checkout!

6: INSPIRED BY // LR SUMMER: Do I even need to go into detail with this? Probably not. With every new season, I include Loeffler Randall’s latest collection in a Current Vibes post. My obsession runs deep. And how can it not when Jessie and her team continually churn out new styles (the Coco is killing me), textiles (woven indigo and anemone embroidery?!), embellishments (rhinestones!), and textures (shearing in the summer – no one else could make it work). The summer collection is slaying me but I’m absolutely not surprised. I could literally live in the mood boards that usher in each seasonal collection and use them as a personal lifestyle guide, they inspire me so much!

7. EDITING // GRAY MALIN’S FAVE FILTERS: There’s nothing I appreciate more than when talented people share some tricks and tips relevant to their trade. Given the competitive atmosphere that surrounds many professions, it’s always refreshing when thoughtful and helpful information is divulged. Famed photographer Gray Malin and his blog posts on iPhone editing techniques are an ideal case in point. In the past he’s shared his iPhone editing tips and Favorite iPhone Photo Editing Apps – most recently (as of two days ago – I’m really on the up and up) he’s posted his 5 Favorite Photo Filters. If you’re someone who just can’t deal with all the options in VSCO and love white and bright photos (like me!) then you’ll love learning which filters Gray uses most. So. Helpful.

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