Beach Bag Essentials

Although the official start of Summer is still a month away, I’ve always considered Memorial Day weekend the start of Summer.  So in preparation for the weekend ahead, I want to share my beach bag essentials!  I always have my beach bag on standby so I can scurry on up to the beach at a moments notice and these are my must-haves for any beach day.

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For as long as I can remember I have always used either a Billabong back pack or a Vineyard Vines tote as a beach bag.  However, this year I am buying myself a woven tote because it is much easier to dump the sand out of than a bag with pockets.  It is also way cuter! I have narrowed my choices down to the following three bags.  The Kayu St Tropez tote (above) which comes in a handful of great colors.

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This fun Sundry bag.

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Or this Giselle tote. Each one is so cute but I have yet to make up my mind!

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When it comes to beach towels, I am always trying to find a huge blanket style towel that actually will absorb water. The Beach People towels have been on my radar for a few years now and this guy is officially mine.  They make a variety of great towels in tons of patterns and colors – which makes it hard to only buy one!

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My other choice for a nice and big beach towel is Serena & Lily.  The aqua color is perfectly beachy and the size is great for sharing!

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Now, being born and raised by the beach has given me years to test out all of the tanning lotions out there and there are only two that I use – and swear by.  Bain de Soleil Orange Gelee has been an integral part of my tanning routine for years now and it is amazing.  This stuff not only helps you tan it also seems to prevent me from burning.  Of course, it only has SPF 4 in it, so if you have fair skin then I recommend using a much higher SPF.

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Maui Babe is my other favorite tanning lotion.  This one literally smells like coffee beans, which I love!  It does a great job of helping you achieve a dark tan.  The only complaint I have is that the color gets all over your swimsuit when you apply it.  The color washes out, but I would recommend the Bain de Soleil on the days that you are wearing a white swim suit!

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As much as I love a deep dark tan on my body, I never play around with my face and neck.  My sister always makes fun of me because by the end of the Summer by body is ten shades darker than my face. However, I am trying to protect my face and prevent any sun damage – which could lead to premature aging.  Neutrogena makes my favorite face sunscreen.  I have been using this for several years and not only does it work well, it also doesn’t make my skin break out. I also use their Ultra Sheer Stick for my lips.

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To provide additional protection and to help keep the sun out of my eyes, I found this perfect cotton sun hat from JCrew.  They have several great hat options – each for a great price!  I particularly love this hat because it is soft and made from cotton which won’t make my head itch.

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One thing that you will never catch me on the beach without, is a pair of sunglasses.  I typically like my Ray-Bans the best for the beach because they are polarized and sturdy.  However, I also love a cute pair of shades that match my bikini, so sometimes fashion out weighs practicality.

The most important item in my beach bag will always be my water.  I am honestly not a fan of the Swell water bottles because they don’t hold more than a bottle and a half of water.  I drink a ton of water each day – especially when I am out in the sun.  I recently discovered these awesome BKR water bottles which actually hold a liter of water.  The little spiked guy is so cool, but, at the moment, the spiked collection only comes in the 500mL size.  So for the time being I’ll stick to this pretty blue bottle and stay hydrated!

Two additional items that I keep in my beach bag at all times are It’s A 10 leave in conditioner and Off bug spray.  The conditioner helps prevent my hair from turning into dreadlocks and of course, the bug spray always comes in handy when the wind suddenly switches and sends the bugs right at you!

I know this was a long post, but these are truly the essentials when it comes to packing a bag for the beach.  Fingers crossed the weather is nice this Memorial Day weekend so I can grab my bag and head off to the beach!

XO

SALE OF THE YEAR!

I know I just posted about Bloomingdale’s sale which was amazing buuuutShopBop takes the cake with the ultimate sale. You get 20% off any purchase under $500 and 25% off any purchase over $500! This sale takes place twice a year, now and again in September.  During the last sale, I snagged my Stuart Weitzman Lowland boots for under $600!

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This go around, these Fendi sunglasses are coming home with me – sorry, Rob.

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I am also loving this Rebecca Minkoff crossbody bag. It’s the perfect size for going out and white is the perfect color for Summer.

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I bought a pair of One Teaspoon bandits a few weeks ago and absolutely love them! So I am most certainly getting these One Teaspoon Bonitas this go around.

This sale only lasts until midnight on April 14th so don’t drag your feet.  Now’s the time to get those pricier items you’ve been eyeing!

Also, I promise that tomorrow I won’t post about a sale!!

XO

Must Have Jackets for Spring

As much as I love Spring, I find it to be the most difficult season to dress for.  The weather can never seem to make up it’s mind and it’s constantly changing.  Just yesterday it was super chilly and windy and now it’s a beautiful sunny day!  The worst is when the weather drastically changes from morning to afternoon.  So to help combat this crazy weather, I have picked out a few of my favorite jackets that are perfect for this time of year.

At the top of my list is this BlankNYC suede moto jacket.  The blueish-grey is the perfect color for Spring and the suede is warm without being too heavy.  I tried it on at Nordstroms a few weeks ago and I recommend going up one size so you have room to layer underneath.  It also comes in a variety of great colors!  I personally love the grey because it goes with just about everything, including any color denim.

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Next on my list is this beautiful JCrew Collection leather jacket.  I am a lover of leather and this jacket is right up my alley.  While I am obsessed with my black leather jacket, this sand color is much more suited for Spring.  Just imagine how amazing it would look paired with your favorite white jeans or over a great Spring dress – so fabulous!

Speaking of white denim, this jacket is a must.  Paige makes some of my favorite jeans, so I can imagine this jacket is equally amazing.  Denim jackets are a classic wardrobe staple that everyone should have in their closet.  This white jacket can be worn on those warmer Spring days or even in the Summer – especially once you’ve acquired your Summer tan.

This J Brand jacket is my other favorite.  I already have a classic denim jacket but I love the details on this one – and, who says you can’t have two?  The released hem feature is one of the biggest trends this year.  It adds an extra pop of style to an otherwise basic pair of jeans or jacket.  It also isn’t too trendy, so it works for all ages!

Once the suede jacket makes it’s way to me I’ll post some pictures on my Instagram!

XO

Sandal Obsession: Schutz Edition

One day last Summer, I was sitting on the beach reading a copy of Elle magazine when I stumbled upon an ad for Schutz.  I had never heard of Schutz before, but the shoes in the ad were ahhhmazing.  I had been trying to find the perfect pair of shoes for an upcoming wedding and these shoes were exactly what I wanted.  I was honestly afraid that I would find them online only to discover that they would cost me upwards of $500.  Luckily, I was wrong.

I was shocked to find that they were only $190 – usually, I can never afford things I find in a magazine.  Once they arrived on my doorstep I practically lived in them for the rest of the summer.  Not only are they super cute, but also extremely well made. While I am used to buying sandals that fall apart after one season; these still look brand new, even after two months’ worth of daily wear and tear.

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So, naturally, I wanted another pair.  The Erlina sandal was at the top of my Schutz wish list and I picked them up as soon as I found them on Amazon.  If you have seen my Instagram page, then you already know that I wear them all the time.  The pale pink ones are next on my list. However, the Erlina is slowly selling out and I have a feeling they won’t be restocked. So, go buy them, NOW!

The Jolina sandal is my other favorite – probably because they look like the pink ones that I already have.  Since I love those so much, I figured I should get these as well – because, let’s face it, nothing matches a great tan like a beautiful pair of white sandals.

Schutz makes amazing booties, heels, sneakers, and flats too.  They are on the same quality level as Stuart Weitzman but for half the cost.  I highly recommend you check them out!!

XO

Hair Essentials

Ever since I was a child I have had an obsession with hair and fortunately, I was blessed with a (relatively) thick head of blonde hair. Unfortunately however, I come from a long line of women with fine hair whose styling capabilities end at using a blow dryer. So, I have spent my entire life teaching myself how to style my hair. I used to practice braiding on my American Girl doll, then I moved on to playing with my Aunt’s hair. It has not been easy learning how to tame my long mane, but I have finally cultivated the perfect combination of products and tools that give me a healthy and smooth head of hair.

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Over the years I have tried countless different combinations of shampoos and conditioners – ranging from $7 a bottle up to $80 a bottle. However, Living Proof, created by Jennifer Aniston, is my favorite. If you purchase it at Sephora or your local CVS, it costs about $30 a bottle, but you can get it for half the cost on Amazon. I use their Perfect Hair Day shampoo and their Timeless conditioner. It smells great and it keeps my hair healthy and smooth without weighing it down. Then, about once or twice a week I use my Phyto purple shampoo (not pictured since I am currently out) combined with my Aveda purple conditioner. This truly makes such a difference in maintaining my vibrant blonde color.

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Since my hair is so long, I have come to depend on leave-in conditioner. Before I discovered the Wet Brush, using a few spritz of It’s a 10 was the only way I could get a comb through my hair. It really is a miracle product – two to three spritz is all you need to detangle your hair. I spray it on right when I get out of the shower, and then I use my  Wet Brush to get out all the tangles.

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After that, I always throw my hair up in my Aquis hair towel. My mother introduced me to these years ago, and I highly recommend them. It doesn’t pull on your hair and hurt your neck like a traditional bath towel. Once I am ready to style my hair, I either use a few pumps of Kerastase elixir ultime, or a couple spritz of Satinique heat protector spray. I typically only use the Kerastase elixir in the Summer when my hair is constantly being fried by the sun. It helps to keep my hair soft and frizz free. The Satinique is my go to product for the rest of the year – if you dry and style your hair often, you should definitely use a heat protectant spray to prevent damage.

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T3 hands down has the best styling tools on the market. I have had this Featherweight blow dryer for seven years and it still works perfectly. I have never found another blow dryer that drys my hair so well. My mom tried to turn me onto the Harry Josh dryer, but it took twice as long to dry my hair and the air didn’t get nearly hot enough. I also have a T3 straightener and it works great!

I am trying to get my hands on their curling wand, too, since I have yet to find a curling iron or wand that can keep my hair curled for more than an hour. I achieved these curls with a Conair curling iron that I bought at the grocery store – but the curls always fall out by the time I leave the house. I also don’t love hair spray since it only seems to make my hair look and feel like straw.

Despite being a natural blonde, I do still get my hair colored. I just recently found a hair stylist who does Balayage and she did a fabulous job! It gives you more of a natural color without the streakiness that sometimes comes with standard highlights. I also didn’t have to sit under a dryer so my hair didn’t get as fried as it typically does with highlights. I am most certainly sticking with this balayage trend util something better comes along!

XO

Must Have Handbags for Spring!

While shoes are most certainly the most fun to shop for, handbags come in at a close second. I firmly believe you should have a variety of handbags to rotate between. However, I also believe that quality is the most important thing to look for in a bag. So obviously, depending on your budget, it may take a few years, or more, to finally build up a solid handbag collection. I have spent the past three years checking off my Louis Vuitton wish list – but obviously I am already looking for my next bag. Some people may not understand how I can justify spending so much money on a bag, but these bags last a lifetime. They also never go out of style and one day my future daughter will be grateful for my lack of self control!

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I bought my sister a small Burberry clutch a few years back, but since she wasn’t using it enough, I have been putting it to good use!  I keep it inside of my purse to hold all my knick knacks and when I need it for a clutch I just switch everything out.

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However, I am now looking for something with a bit more personality. So I have found a few bags, ranging in prices, that will be great for both Spring and Summer.

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This Kate Spade bag looks like it came right off of the Fendi runway and it’s currently on sale at ShopBop. Since I am currently trying to convince Rob that I deserve a new pair of Fendi sunnies, I think that a Fendi handbag will have to wait. So in the mean time, this pretty thing may just make its way into my closet.

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But then there is this adorable Zac Posen bag, which is just begging to come home with me. It is actually a ‘mini’ crossbody bag with a removable strap, so it doubles as a great evening bag. I am definitely into this floral trend that is happening right now – so feminine and chic.

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This Salar bag has a fun punk vibe and is most certainly a statement piece. This is also a ‘mini’ crossbody bag so it would be the perfect size for a night out.  This bag would bring the best amount of color and personality to any outfit – and it is unlike any other bag on the market at the moment.

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Now, if I had all the money in the world, this Valentino bag would already be in my closet. Valentino is one of my all time favorite designers, and this bag may just be the next big purchase that I convince a certain someone to buy me.

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Despite my unwavering love for Mr. Valentino, this Fendi bag is the most fabulous bag I have seen in a while. It just recently made its debut on the runway, and is currently only available for pre-order. The guitar strap and bag bug are each sold separately. This is most certainly out of my price range, but I am hoping my Fairy Fendi Godmother will deliver this beauty under my pillow!

I honestly love each of these bags and cannot decide which one I should bring home with me. Stay tuned to see which beauty I decide on!

XO

Denim & Leather are Better Together!

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Leather is one of those things I firmly believe everyone should have in their closet. Whether it is a jacket, a skirt, or a pair of pants, leather is always in style. These pants I am wearing are actually faux leather so they are a fraction of the cost of the real deal.  I have gotten more compliments on these pants than any other pants I own.  They work, as pictured above, for a casual day of running errands or for a fun night out on the town with a great pair of heels. I have yet to find an occasion for which they do not work!

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Another great staple piece that has never gone out of style is a denim jacket. You can wear it with anything (other than matching denim pants!) and it is light enough to wear as a part of your outfit – not just as outerwear.  I basically consider this jacket a blazer and I wear it to work all the time.

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While the jacket and pants are both great individual wardrobe staples, I love love love them together. It’s a fun twist on the classic “t-shirt and jeans” look.  Both the pants and the jacket work as a neutral, so you can still add a fun pop of color or a pattern to your look. My white top could easily be switched out for a bright red blouse or a graphic tee and the outfit would be just as cute. Leather and denim is always a classic and it works for everyone, no matter what you style may be. If leather pants are too far outside of your comfort zone, then pair a great leather jacket with your favorite jeans and you’ll look just as fabulous!

XO

Faux Leather Pants (Blank NYC) White Top (Madewell) Denim Jacket (JCrew) Gold Choker (Madewell) Gold Drop Necklace (JCrew – mine is sold out but I a linked a similar one) Wool Hat (mine was from Nordstroms and is sold out so I linked a similar one) Leopard Loafers (Tod’s) Sunglasses (Tory Burch)