Travel List: Where I Want to Go in 2018

Best vacation destinationsI didn’t travel much internationally until my mid-20s…I know, shocking! My biggest regret in college was not studying abroad – I feel like I really missed a huge opportunity to explore during a time where life was more simple and carefree. I’ve been trying to catch up on all the missed travel time the last few years.

Just a couple months after Leo and I started dating, he insisted we do a quick Euro trip for my 25th birthday. It was our first trip together, so it could have gone TERRIBLY. Luckily, sh*t didn’t hit the fan. I mean, here we are 5 years later! Ha. We flew to London for a long weekend – I believe our trip was 5 days – and managed to squeeze in 24 hours in Paris on my actual birthday. I’ll never forget coming up the stairs of the Parisian subway and seeing the streets of Paris for the first time. I was completely mind blown. As jet lagged as I was that entire trip, my adrenaline kept me going!

My 25th birthday trip was one of many international trips to come. I’m so grateful that over the last five years, I’ve been able to travel internationally at least twice a year. I’ve been to Greece (from Athens to Mykonos, Milos, Crete & so many other islands) several times, Rome, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Dubai, Cusco (where I hiked the Inca trail).

Here’s what’s next on my list, both national & international! If you have been to any of these places, I’d love to hear your recommendations! Please share in the comments 🙂tokyoThis one has been on my list for a couple of years now. I have yet to go to Asia – my mom did an Asia tour a few years back and she really inspired me to go. We’ve had a few friends visit Tokyo recently, and I’ve only heard amazing things. The food is supposed to be spectacular, and there is so much to see and do. I’m hoping to go for about 10 days, and (maybe) even make time for a side trip to Kyoto.

You may not know this about me, but I’m into hiking. Not like full blown camping for two weeks in the wilderness level, but I do dig a day hike here and there! There is something to be said about disconnecting from the world and being one with nature. You feel this sense of purpose and energy coming out of it. There’s nothing like it. I did Zion National Park with my mom about four years ago, and have been itching to go back to see the other parks in Utah & Arizona. Particularly places like Grand Staircase-Escalante and the Grand Canyon (Leo’s never been!). We’d do a quick pit stop in Phoenix, which is one of Leo’s favorite places to eat (he’s big on Tex-Mex!).

Ahhhh Italy. I got a taste of it when we went to Rome about three years ago. We went around Christmastime and stayed for four days after Amsterdam. I think it’s one of the most beautiful cities I’ve been to. They’ve done such an incredible job preserving the historical buildings and streets, it’s the perfect mix of new & old. And…the FOOD. We look back at pics from that trip and both of us look so puffy from loading up on carbs and wine – too funny. Bloated with huge smiles on our faces. I’ve been pushing for a summer Italy trip, fingers crossed it happens soon! I’m hoping to go along the Amalfi Coast & do a couple of side trips – Capri is definitely on the list!

Roads trips are so nostalgic for me. We used to do them all the time growing up, and I haven’t done a proper one in YEARS. It’s so relaxing to drive for hours on end when the scenery is right. When I was about 10, we drove down the California coast from San Francisco to LA, making stops along the way. We had our little minivan (I got dibs on the backseat) – where by brother and I made makeshift beds and loaded up on books and music for hours on end. That trip holds a special place in my heart, and I’d love to do it again now that I’m all grown up.my favorite trips

3 Ways to Spruce up an Old Sweater (or New Ways to Wear a Cardigan!)

Sweater: SUPER old, similar here | Pants: Cos, similar here | Sunglasses: Le Specs | Hoop Earrings: Forever 21, similar here | Belt: Vintage Donna Karan, similar hereShoes: Got these YEARS ago, splurge version here, more affordable ones here | Turtleneck bodysuit: Pretty Little Thing | Bag: Saint Laurent | LipstickGlossier, Generation G in Leo

Ahh I’ve been MIA and I’m sorry. I was in New Orleans last week and it basically took the entire weekend to recover. NOLA is a crazy but incredible place! I was pleasantly surprised with how beautiful it was, and all the food was just out of this world. My weekend in recovery mode pushed into my blogging time, so I’ve been behind for the last week. Catching up on this three day weekend!

Our weather in Chicago has been so unpredictable lately – it goes from 15 degrees to 40. It’s tough trying to coordinate outfit shoots! #bloggerlife. On a chillier day last week, I wore this Irish sweater my mom bought me years ago as a replacement for the one I wore repeatedly as a kid. My mom and I had matching Irish cable knit sweaters – it was pretty adorable. Before this outing, I hadn’t worn this thing outside of the house, because well, it isn’t the most stylish piece in my closet. BUT, with a few tweaks, I gave this sweater a new life (& got so many complements too!). A few new ways to wear a cardigan –

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An Easy Tiramisu Recipe (Leo’s Fav!)

An Easy Tiramisu Recipe (Leo’s Fav!)

If you’ve been following my little blog for a bit, you know that I RARELY post recipes, mainly because I don’t cook that often (thanks to Leo being a rock star cook). BUT, desserts are my area of expertise, and there a couple I make on the regular (these pumpkin squares being one of them). Leo just so happens to love tiramisu, so it’s a dessert I’ve added to my rotation the last couple years. I typically make it for him for special occasions, so I figured with Valentine’s Day coming up, I’ll share with you my go-to easy tiramisu recipe!

Tiramisu is simple in theory, but it’s tough to get the right balance of everything (and making the custard can be tricky!). It took a few tries to get this recipe just right, so don’t be too hard on yourself if it doesn’t come out perfect! It will still be tasty, I promise.

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What to Wear on a Date: Winter Edition

Blazer: Vintage, similar here | Skirt: Vintage, similar here | Sunglasses: Le SpecsHoop Earrings: Forever 21, similar here (I also just bought these and can’t wait to get them!) | Shoes: 8 from Yoox, similar here | Ankle Socks: ASOS | Bag: Saint Laurent | Lipstick: Glossier, Generation G in Leo

Okay, so after you’ve dated someone for 5 years, you don’t really “dress up” for date nights anymore. Sad but true…or maybe it’s just me?! Dressed up as in wearing heels of some sort, which is a rarity for me. It also could just be because I’m 30 now and am too practical to trudge around in the 5 inch heels I used to wear back in my club days (yes, I went through a clubbing phase, and I loved every minute of it #dontjudge). Anyway, with all that said, it’s a nice change of pace to put on a pair of heels and dress up on occasion. With Valentine’s Day just next week, my crystal ball says it’s happening soon for me.

For all the single ladies out there, and all the lovebirds going out to dinner next week, I challenge you (& myself!) to elevate your next date night outfit. And don’t worry, I’ll help you out a little bit! What to wear on a date, the winter edition –

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Unique Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas: For Him & For Her

Unique Valentine's Day Gift IdeasI’m not sure how I feel about Valentine’s Day, even after all of these years. I feel like it’s kind of overrated, but I will never say no to another holiday of gifts & nice dinner. Leo and I usually keep it low key, exchanging small gifts and enjoying a night out together. Sounds like we’re doing the same this year, but the restaurant will be a surprise! Don’t worry, it will be all over my Insta story, I’m sure.

When it comes to Valentine’s Day, gifts can be tough because most of us have exhausted our gift options from the holidays. It’s so temping to just do the standard flowers/jewelry/cologne type of gift. Those are great too, don’t get me wrong, but it’s refreshing to break away from the norm. That’s why I’ve pulled together unique Valentine’s Day gift guides for him & for her…don’t worry, there are a few of the staple gifts peppered in too!

PS – If you’re in Chicago, here are some of my favorite dinner spots for Valentine’s Day!

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas for her

 

  1. Vinter’s Daughter Botanical Serum: Every single beauty editor has been raving about this serum, so I’m sure the lady in your life is fully aware of it.
  2. Jin Soon Heirloom Nail Polish: The perfect winter pick-me-up, a metallic nail in the prettiest deep teal.
  3. A Vintage Belt: Because nothing shows that you care more than a killer vintage find! This one is Donna Karan, very similar to the black one I have.
  4. Santal 26 Candle: A candle she’ll never buy for herself – this one is my all time favorite for the house.
  5. Flowers for Dreams: My go-to for flower delivery in Chicago. All locally sourced, seasonal flowers, from a company with an inspiring backstory.
  6. Resin Hoop Earrings: She’ll be ahead of her spring accessory game with these gorgeous hoops.
  7. Rituals Energy Bubble Bath: For that moment she wants to take a luxurious bubble bath. With the scent of rose & honey, it couldn’t be more soothing.
  8. Byredo Gyspy Water: A fresh scent that changes notes throughout the course of the day. It smells different on everyone, but consistently amazing.
  9. Frango Chocolate: For the chocolate lover, these are the perfect pop of mint and milk chocolate. I grew up eating these on the regular, and my eyes still light up when I see a box.

Valentine's Day Gifts for Him

  1. Truff Truffle Hot Sauce: Perfect if he likes his food both truffly and spicy.
  2. Simple Habit Subscription: For the man that’s always on the go, and could use some down time. I’ve been using this app to meditate and it’s life-changing.
  3. Taft Boots: Chic and functional boots for him to wear from the office to date night.
  4. Fat Electrician Cologne: Leo bought this a few months ago, and I can’t get enough of the woody/sweet combo.
  5. Mack Weldon Ace Sweats: Sweatpants that can be worn both inside & outside of the house.
  6. Rugged & Dapper Cleanser: Because men don’t prioritize skincare like women do! This all-in-one cleanser is one of the top rated men’s cleansers out there.
  7. Sheec Boat Socks: Leo swears by these boat socks – he claims they never fall off and they last forever.
  8. Fjallraven Yupik Parka: A stylish, unique parka that he can rock the rest of winter. I especially like all of the pockets!
  9. Frank & Oak Leather Weekender Bag: I bought this for Leo over Christmas and it was a big hit. The leather is soft yet durable, and its perfect for travel because it can pass as a personal item.

How to Style an Oversized Sweater

Sweater: H&M, similar here | Denim: Vintage, similar here | White Button Down: Zara, similar here | Puffer Coat: Andrew Marc, similar hereSilver Boots: IROWatch: Larsson & Jennings | BagDanse Lente | Earrings: Mignonne Gavigan

It’s that time of year when I’m wearing sweaters on a daily basis, and quite frankly, I’m getting bored with my outfits. I mean, sweater & jeans on a daily basis does get stale after a while. At the same time, it’s too damn cold to wear anything else! So, what’s the solution?!

Well, I’ve been experimenting with different ways to elevate my chunky knits…and I’m ready to share how to style an oversized sweater in a whole new way. Let’s get out of our comfort zones! Hopefully, these tips will help you rock your sweaters in a whole new way (unless you’re ahead of the game, in which case, please share your tips!). PS – There’s a VIDEO below where you can see this look in action 🙂

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The January Ten

The January Ten

January is a slow time around these parts. We’re all just trying to get through the winter! Leo and I have been on somewhat of a health kick – trying to eat out less, cook more (he does more of the cooking, tbh), and get back into our fitness groove.

Let’s just say I’m ready for February – it means we’re just that much closer to spring. The older I get, the more this weather gets to me. My anxiety has been at an all time high these past few weeks – but thanks to a little meditation and a regular exercise routine, I’m feeling more like myself again. Things are looking up from here!

On a lighter note, here is this month’s installment of the favorite ten. Ten things I’m loving this month –

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How to Dress Down a Fur Coat

How to Dress Down a Fur Coat

Fur Coat: Vintage, similar here | Trousers: Vintage Ralph Lauren, similar here | Combat Boots: Zara | Sunglasses: Le Specs | Bag: Vintage Gucci, similar here

Last year around this time, I was on a serious hunt for a vintage fur. I came by this one on our trip to LA – it was a steal. Probably because NO ONE is shopping for furs in LA ha. For a long time, I was struggling to wear it…I felt overdressed and extra. I mean, it will always be extra (let’s be real), but it doesn’t have to be saved just for nights out. I’ve been experimenting with different ways to wear it, and it’s come out of the closet a few times the last few weeks. In terms of warmth, it puts my down puffer to shame…and it’s way more chic! My pointers on how to dress down a fur coat –

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My Fitness Routine (& Workouts I’m Loving Lately)

My Fitness Routine (& Workouts I’m Loving Lately)

I’ve been working out regularly since I was in college. I swam in freshman/sophomore year of high school, but wasn’t one for sports otherwise. I have somewhat of an athletic build, with zero athletic ability – ha! I started with machines in college – elliptical, treadmill, weight machines. After school, I started taking classes at the local fitness club. I was working in the suburbs and living at home, so it just made sense.

Once I moved to the city, I had to start from scratch. I didn’t know where to go, what to do. I stopped working out for nearly 6 months during that transition…and then I discovered CrossFit. Yes, I was a CrossFitter…for four years! I wasn’t competing or taking myself too seriously, I was just looking for a quick & tough workout. I found both of these things on top of an awesome community that I never experienced before. People held me accountable for not going to the gym, motivated me to better, and I found myself working out more than ever. I was in the best shape I’d ever been.

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My Tips on How to Wear Monochrome

My Tips on How to Wear Monochrome

Trench Coat: Vintage, similar here | Leather Blazer: Vintage, similar here | Corduroy Pants: ModCloth, also similar here |Turtleneck: Frank & Oak, similar here | Boots: IRO | EarringsMignonne GaviganBag: Vintage Gucci, similar here

Ahhh monochrome. I remember my aunt rocked monochrome hard in the 90s (I recall a very similar outfit to this one, in fact!), and I used to crack up every time she showed up in burgundy head to toe. Annnd now here I am. Joke’s on me! ha. I’ve been leaning heavy towards monochrome ever since NYFW in the fall. I even wore another burgundy monochrome look in Paris!

It’s easy, simple, and chic. You probably have a monochrome outfit in your closet right now! Well, now is the time to rock that thing. Own it! After feeling out the trend for several months now, I have a few tips on how to wear monochrome, based on what’s worked for me.

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