Style, Travel

how to stay healthy during vacation

May 28, 2018 • By

Black crop (similar here) | One Teaspoon shorts | Christelle X J.O.A. blazer | Mango slides (similar here and here) | Kate Spade earrings

Between work trips, family vacations, and Rob and I’s trip abroad, I have been traveling a lot this year, which has been so much fun! But one thing that I tend to sacrifice, and I’m sure I’m not alone on this, is my routine that keeps me healthy while I am at home. Whether I am just feeling indulgent or need the convenience of less nutrient-dense foods, health and fitness tend to fall by the wayside. However, over time I have found some useful tips that keep me kind of on track while I am away. *Kind of* are the key words here, as “kind of healthy” is the goal I aspire to whilst vacationing!

Pack Healthy Snacks

It starts with planning! If I know I am going to be in the car or on a plane for a significant amount of time, I make sure I am stocked with healthy snacks for the trip. My road trip go-to used to be peanut butter M&M and other gas station classics. But over the years I have learned that junk food binging and extensive sitting is a combination that always leaves me feeling gross. Now I make sure to pack favorites like clementines, bananas, dried mango and roasted chickpeas.

If Possible, Stay Somewhere with a Kitchen

I clearly love Airbnb for many reasons (exhibit A and B) but one of the main benefits of choosing an apartment or condo over a hotel is having access to a kitchen. Dining out is one of my biggest thrills in life, but if I do it too much I begin to feel worn down and lethargic. Being able to cook my own meals is imperative for balancing out indulgent meals with clean, nutrient-rich options while on vacation.

Use MindBody to Find Local Workouts

If I go too long without a decent workout, my back starts to ache and my body gets so stiff and tight. AND it’s just that much harder to get back into the grove when we return home. I use the MindBody app to find low-intensity workouts like yoga or pilates to keep me active while away, as well as swim and take long walks.

Balance Alcohol with Water

Easier said than done, and I have major room for improvement on this while away and at home, but it really makes such a big difference! No one likes spending a day of their trip in bed with a hangover and it is a big strain on your body. By staying hydrated, you reduce that risk and reenergize your body so you can party longer!

Check your Mindset

Being on vacation and outside of your normal routine naturally creates an indulgent mindset, and that’s okay! At home, I would never eat two chocolate chip cookies for breakfast, and I know that, so I gave myself grace when I slipped up in Florida. Recognize that realistically you won’t (and probably shouldn’t!) be 100% on your health game while you’re vacationing.


Style

polka dot dress, a short love story

May 21, 2018 • By

Nine Britton dress via Stitch Fix | Zara flats | Kate Spade frilled hoop earrings | Karen Walker sunglasses

Lately, I find myself gravitating towards all prints preppy, and this dress is no different. I’ve had a handful of polka dot pieces in the past, but none as cute as this! The second I put it on, I fell in love. Typically, a low cut silhouette that doesn’t accommodate a bra is a big ol’ NO from me, but the unexpectedly supportive (& adorable) front tie, summery linen, and delicate shoulder pleats just worked, a delightful surprise! The only problem? The dress was a tad long for my liking. This is clearly not the case anymore. I took the dress to my trusty tailor for a hem, who didn’t object when I kept saying “Maybe just a little shorter? Hmm, I don’t know, it still feels long.” WHY DIDN’T SHE STOP ME? What a fool I was. Now a slight lift of the arms or a bend forward completely exposes all things that should be left unexposed. This dress is my summer fling — much too short and slightly inappropriate.

Is it better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all? I am not so sure.


Travel

our parisian apartment and how i find the coolest airbnbs

May 9, 2018 • By

Oh my GOSH, our Airbnb in Paris was unbelievable. On the inside, the design was adorable. It had a mix of tile, hexagonal terra cotta, and hardwood floors, an eclectic blend mid-century and rustic furniture, lovely fire places, and plants galore. Location wise, we stayed in the 11th arrondissement, roughly adjacent to the 3rd and 4th. The apartment was situated across from a church, whose bells chimed charmingly every hour and really set the tone for a romantic stay. On the first night, we woke up to discover it had snowed overnight, and on the last night, we stood on the balcony admiring a rainbow after a short rain. Magic right?

I love finding unique and affordable places to stay on Airbnb. When we went to Hawaii last year, we stayed in a yurt in the middle of the rainforest. We walked along meditation trails and played with a dog named Mango. In New Orleans, we found the cutest kitchy shotgun house walking distance from Frenchman’s Street (Bourbon Street’s older, less blackout brother). And we have plans to lock down an insane house for us and our family to stay at during our wedding next summer. Stay tuned on that one!

Not to pat myself on the back, but I think I am pretty damn good at finding drool-worthy Airbnbs on a budget. There are a few tactics I always use when I am searching through Airbnb. Truly, they are not anything ground-breaking. More like small tweaks to your search that will help you find what you are looking for.

Instead of filtering by the number of guests, filter by the number of bedrooms.

This can be found in the advanced filters. When you are traveling with friends or family, it is helpful to do this to ensure there is enough space for everyone and people are not piled on top of each other! This also eliminates any “common space” beds – no one wants to sleep on a futon whilst vacationing.

Map view, always.

Don’t get burnt by falling in love with the perfect space only to find out it is located a 30-minute bus ride from the center of town. It is more important to be close, especially during an extended stay! This view also lets you see what might be nearby the pricier neighborhoods without spending the big bucks.

Increase your price filter.

Many locations have varied pricing depending on the time of year. Once you find the place you like, try a few dates to see when would be the most budget-efficient time to stay and cross-reference with possible flights!

Have a back-up.

Especially if you’re not able to Instant Book. I have had several bookings fall through, and it helps to have a backup plan, even more so if you have already booked airfare.

What do you think? Are these totally common sense or will they help you next time you peruse Airbnb?


Style, Travel

10 things: london edition

May 6, 2018 • By

Reformation dress | Abercrombie turtleneck | Zara boots (similar)

ASOS dress | Zara heels | Brixton hat | Vintage coat| Sezane bag | FIRKIN (fake as hell Birkin)

It’s a doubleheader, folks! I know it is incredibly tardy, but I want to share my trip to Europe, if only for my own sake of revisiting the memories down the line. London in particular far surpassed my expectations. We found better flights to Europe by going to London first, so when I was planning, the city was really more of a launching pad to Paris. However, we had an absolutely unforgettable time during our short 3-day stay. To be quite honest, we didn’t really do that much aside from eat and drink. But that is the best part about traveling, no? Here are some of the highlights of the trip!

  1. Of course, the number one memory from the trip is that Rob and I got engaged! I am going to save the story for another day, but it was so magic!
  2. I mentioned before that we were staying at The Hoxton Shoreditch, and I am so glad we did. The space was so hip, the service was great, and the location was walking distance to so many cool shops and eateries.
  3. After some plans got canceled on the first night, we stumbled upon a little restaurant called The Merchants Tavern and spent hours chatting with the bartender, eating cheese and olives, and trying new cocktails.
  4. At the end of that night, we headed back to The Hox to end the night, and as we were walking up, I asked someone for a cigarette (terrible for health, fantastic for starting conversations). We ended up making a slew of new English friends! We finished out the night at their table learning about lives, comparing cultural vernaculars, and complaining about the political idiocracies going on in each of our countries.
  5. The next day we were admittedly hungover and jetlagged, so we ordered room service (3 meals for 2, if I’m being honest) and lounged in the hotel room for a few hours. That’s what vacation is all about, right?
  6. When we finally dragged ourselves out of bed, we went to the Victoria & Albert Museum. While most people ogled the art, I was drooling over the sheer mass of marble that filled the entire building! It was breathtaking. I highly recommend visiting the V&A if you ever get the chance.
  7. That evening, we headed to sketch., the ever Instagrammed restaurant that is what girly girl dreams are made of. The food was good, but no one goes for the food. It’s the experience that attracts the crowd! Every detail is thought out, from the David Shrigley art adorning the walls, to the 60’s inspired uniforms that all the girls wore. I couldn’t get over how stylized everything was!
  8. On the third day, we had tickets to see Book of Mormon, a musical comedy about two Mormon missionaries who travel to Africa. It was equal parts disturbing and hilarious — we were crying tears of laughter. But be warned, this is not the musical for the light of heart.
  9. That night, we found a late night pub to drink local beer and eat a traditional English bar meal of fish and chips. Not the most exciting highlight, but it was a truly exceptional meal!
  10. It snowed! On our final morning, we woke up to a fresh blanket of freshly fallen snow. Could you ask for a dreamier departure?


Style

banana peal neal

May 4, 2018 • By

On Madison: Zara blazer (similar) | Pistola jeans via Stitch Fix (similar) | Bamba bikini top | Zara heels | Brixton hat (similar) | Sezane bag | Vintage scarf

On Lauren: Madewell jacket | Free People set | Vintage necklaces | Zara slingbacks | Madewell clutch (similar)

 

YALL. One of my best fashion friends just launched her blog, and it has got everything you would want and need.

Adorably charming mishaps and anecdotes ✓
Killer style and a personality to match ✓
Fruit of the phallic variety ✓

Lauren and I go way back to a time where life was responsibility-free and an average Wednesday afternoon was spent driving too fast on back country roads with the convertible top down jamming to Dashboard Confessional or poolside baking in the sun with a Modelo and beer salt in hand. Now we’re impersonating adulthood with grown-up jobs and grown-up lives, swapping momager tales and devising plots to trick our boyfriends into marrying us (success).

For her second post, she describes the moment we met and interviewed me on all things style, life, and Bravo. Head over to Banana Peel Neal to get the scoop!