Our trip to Isla Mujeres last month was so random. I had some time off work that I didn’t want to waste so the first flight I usually search is SFO –> CAN (Cancun). Flights were cheap-ish so we booked! We forgot it’s the busy season on the island and there weren’t many hotels/Airbnb/VRBOs left. Pickings were SLIM. We just went all out and booked at Hotel Secreto, which was so peaceful and exactly what we wanted. It was very private and had the best staff! We couldn’t have asked for better weather and we crammed as much as we could into 5 days. As many times as we’ve been to the island, it was hard to believe how busy it actually was… totally different vibe but fun nonetheless. I get tons of questions about this little piece of paradise so I might post a Q&A about getting to the island, why it’s the best vacation, where to eat, etc. It’s truly our favorite place in the world. Check out my first travel VLOG at the very bottom of the post!
HELLO THERE! I’m honestly trying to remember the last pair of denim I’ve purchased that weren’t straight from Old Navy and I can’t even. These High Rise Rockstars have quickly become my new favorites. They’re thick and distressed in the right places and you cannot beat the price! I’m loving the neckerchief trend at the moment but it was 77 degrees over the weekend while I shot these photos so tied to the bag it went!
My TOP spring picks:
Thank you to Old Navy for sponsoring this post.
Wine clubs. Oh, wine clubs. Some are better than others but Scribe Winery does a fantastic job at their club. About every three months, we get notices from all of our wine clubs about picking up our wine vs. shipping it out. It’s too convenient to head up to Napa for a day to collect all of our goodies vs. paying to have wine shipped to our house. I’d rather spend that money on a rental car + trying a new restaurant.
Scribe throws a “pick up party” for members to get together every three or so months. Members are able to pick up their wine, drink (Scribe’s Rosé is killer this year!) and eat together which is always a good time. This time around, Scribe collaborated with a BBQ restaurant from Nashville (!!!) Pat from Martin’s BBQ smoked whole hogs overnight for pork sandwiches for the masses. A taste of home was much enjoyed with a bottle of rosé!
This embroidered dress from My Kind Of Lovely is so cozy and flattering. I can’t stop buying anything embroidered and hope this trend stays around for a while because there are so many great pieces out there right now. I’m super into this dress as it can be a summer dress but also can transition into a fall dress as well with the girly bell sleeves.
I cannot get over this white fedora by Janessa Leone. I was reluctant to wear it the first couple of times due to makeup smudges and life in general. This bad boy has flown off my head in Napa and after chasing it down through a vineyard, I can say it is a winner! Easy to wipe clean and the most comfortable hat I own. Also perfect to keep all my crazy hair in one place during this San Francisco wind we’ve been getting. Whoever calls Chicago the “Windy City” hasn’t lived in SF.
One of my favorite things about San Francisco is the amount of unique shopping options available. Whether you’re strolling down Valencia, Hayes or Fillmore; there are more than enough boutiques to pick up items that you know you won’t be seeing on every girl in town. They’re all so different and to dieeeee for. I picked this tunic up at a new (to me) boutique, Elizabeth Charles, on Fillmore Street. This Lemlem Tunic is handwoven by artisans in Ethiopia. So cool! This classic on trend boutique carries my current favorite sunglass brand Le Specs (THESE are amazing), Janessa Leone hats (tried on this one and fell in love with the metal accent), Self Portrait dresses (the perfect dresses for any weddings you’re attending this summer!) plus loads more.
Pop by the shop at 2056 Fillmore Street tomorrow between 5-8PM to browse their new collection + sip on a little champagne.
I’ve been seriously lusting over bright spring time items for a few weeks now. San Francisco’s two day “winter” hasn’t helped my obsession either. I’m leaving for Mexico in 65 days (who’s counting?) and have my eye on these goodies! I remember seeing this Free People dress last season in red but it wasn’t my color. It’s a bit of a splurge but the blue is so beautiful and flattering! I’ve already gotten this MINKPINK swimsuit and cannot wait to rock it! And what do I love more than a vanilla cone? Nothing.
I truly cannot say enough wonderful things about Create + Cultivate. Being a newer conference, I expected some possible hiccups along the way. Nope. Everything was so perfect. The check-in process was a breeze, the breakfast and lunch were delicious, the never-ending Hermanos coffee ended up being much needed and the decor was a dream. A literal dream. Hanging plants, shabby chic furniture, pop up booths galore! The 12 hour day was long but sadly went by so fast. The entire day was perfectly planned out for learning, breaks, networking and more coffee. Oh, and did I mention the gift bag? I’m such a sucker for a well thought about gift bag. My best friend asked me mid day if I’d consider going to the next Create + Cultivate. That is an absolute yes!
I came to Dallas solo, hoping I would meet new friends and gain knowledge about the blogging world + business in general. My business degree is great but there is something special about learning first hand from women who have been inspiring you for years. Between the panel discussions and the mentor sessions, I left feeling so refreshed and ready to tackle 2016.
For those who missed it, here are a shortened version of what I took away from the weekend:
-Composition is key
-Captions matter (an emoji isn’t going to cut it)
-Have a set direction
-Gear content toward your most popular images
-Be creative every single day
Personally, I had a lot of questions about this topic. The panel covered several questions you should ask yourself before committing to a collaboration along with questions you should feel comfortable asking the brand. This is your business too so don’t be afraid to ask them to clear up any grey area.
When your blog has a certain look and the product your collaborating with doesn’t fit your aesthetics but you know it’s a great fit, turn it into art. Maybe a creative flatlay? Think outside the box for a not so “beautiful” product.
Matt Crump (@mattcrump / follow him, his feed is fun!) said one of the biggest ways he has gotten screwed in the past is not negotiating that he has final say in the caption on social media (ie, a company once made him put a link in an Instagram caption which wasn’t active -yikes!) Always have final say on what you’re captioning on your social platforms.
-Always stay true to yourself
-Will your audience love it?
-Doesn’t fit your brand but pays well? Skip it
-Establish that the company wants what you can do
-Portray the product honestly
-Are you able to have a say into the final edits?
-Will they let you use your creative vision?
-The general consensus was you need them.
-No hash tag is a missed opportunity
-Use relevant hash tags (look at the ones being viewed)
-Pay attention to the constant changing with Instagram’s analytics
The Art of the Pitch:
Pitching your brand to someone was another area I had a list of questions about. The ladies on this panel all agreed that some brands will buy into your passion vs. only your skills. Always highlight your good parts. Also, to know what deal you need and don’t be afraid to ask for it. The company isn’t going to make a bad deal for themselves and will take care of their own. No one offers you their best deal first. Be upfront with them and ask!
Before you pitch your idea to a company you’re interested in working with:
-Know their brand
-Know your brand
-Highlight what you’re best at
-Know entire market, not only your blog
Hillary Kerr & Katherine Power, Founders of Who What Wear
Those are the secrets I’m giving away. Thanks for letting me nerd out on this post and I hope to see you at the next Create + Cultivate!
Notting Hill is definitely more than just the location for a famous movie. Although I can’t lie and say that didn’t have anything to do with us wanting to check out the neighborhood. For all curious minds, The Travel Book Company in the film doesn’t exist. Whomp whomp.
Only having one full day in London, I knew I wanted to head to Notting Hill first thing. Unfortunately we got there a little too early as the Portobello Road Market wasn’t even set up yet. Portobello Market runs the two mile length of Portobello Road. It was such a bummer we didn’t have more time. We did stumble upon the Portobello Green Market which is London’s leading Vintage Fashion and Antiques Market. It was full of bargain vintage clothing, retro style furniture, vinyl and jewelry.
The colorful house lined streets and independent antique shops make this area one of a kind. We saw a lot of cyclist in the area which seemed to be a popular way to explore Notting Hill’s cobblestone streets and nearby Holland Park, Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. Looking forward to exploring more next trip and starting the day a little later.
It has been a LONG time since I’ve checked out of a hotel and couldn’t think of one single fault. We stayed at the smallest Airbnb EVER in London before we arrived to Amsterdam. I booked it and thought it would be “fun” and “cute.” I was so wrong. There literally wasn’t even room to lay our luggage down. This post might be a glorified Yelp review or a love affair with INK Hotel but either way, it was a magical stay.
The hotel is located in the former home of the Dutch newspaper ‘De Tijd’, a place where stories were written and ultimately brought to life in “ink.” We loved the amusing and well appointed wallpaper; the more of the city we saw, the more the wallpaper made sense. The entrance is unique, and the bar and restaurant are both comfortable and stylish. The bar served Veuve Clicquot as their house champagne. Any friend of Veuve is a friend of mine! The rooms were gorgeous and more importantly, comfortable beyond belief. The bathroom in the room was everything I hope my personal bathroom will look like one day. Five days at the INK Hotel was not enough and we will definitely be staying there on our next trip to Amsterdam!