Category Archives: Travel

Orlando: An Insider’s Guide

Today I’m super excited to be guest posting for Rachel from How Bout Some Cake while she’s away in Maui (so jealous)! She asked me to post an insider’s guide to Orlando so I rounded up a few of my favorite things to do, eat and see. Head on over to her blog to check out the post and let me know what you think. Don’t forget to tell her I sent you and make sure to stick around to check out her blog!

PS- I had a ton of fun coming up with this guide and think I might continue doing it as a travel series on the blog whenever I visit somewhere new. What do you think?

20 before 25: #1 Go on a Cruise

Our welcome sign to Nassau, The Bahamas

When I first started writing this post, I was going to give a play by play of everything John and I did while on our cruise to the Bahamas, but after mulling it over for a bit I decided it’d be way more fun to list out what made me enjoy this mini getaway so much. I’m also super excited to have crossed #1 off my 20 before 25 list!

Making our way into the port in Nassau

Our cruise ship docked in Nassau

Being around someone you have fun with no matter what.One of the things I love most about being with John is that I have just as much fun snorkeling in a coral reef with him as I do sitting at home in our PJs watching TV. He makes everything so fun and is such a joy to be around. The cruise was no exception! Sure we both had to deal with sea sickness and we missed the fancy dinner and didn’t get to sport our new outfits, but we made the most of our vacation. We also focused on the most important thing: having fun and enjoying each other’s company.

John and I on the ship while making our way to the port

Trying new things. Neither John or I had ever snorkeled before and I kind of started to panic inside when the time actually came to do it. I was terrified of seeing a shark, swallowing salt water, or having a hard time breathing through the snorkel tube. I found myself stalling when it was time to get in the water until John finally just got up and started walking down the stairs, forcing me to follow. Once I got in the water it was so fun doing something new and exciting that I’d never done before. I stuck my face in the water and was greeted by a school of tropical fish. I managed to swallow some salt water but hey, it made things a little more exciting and I washed the taste out with some delicious rum punch afterwards.

John in his snorkel gear, unlimited rum punch after

The importance of a little R&R. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life so a cruise was the perfect getaway. Focusing on nothing besides drinking, eating and relaxing really gave my body the recharge it needed. It also made it incredibly hard to go back to work on Tuesday!

Staying positive.The seas were rough during our whole cruise which unfortunately led to the captain canceling our second day in the Bahamas. We were looking forward to a lazy day on the beach at Royal Caribbean’s private island but instead ended up with a day at sea. It would have been easy to whine and complain and be angry, but instead John and I headed for the pool and relaxed together determined to enjoy the day anyway. We got to watch a belly flop contest, drink out of a pineapple, listen to a great Calypso band and see a pre dinner show, all things we probably wouldn’t have gotten to experience otherwise.

Relaxing by the pool during our unplanned day at sea

Drinking out of a pineapple (there were a few refills…)

Food (and drink). There was never a shortage of either on the boat! There was also an ice cream machine (which we visited daily) and the buffet food was great. When we got to the Bahamas we tried conch fritters and for some reason thought we could drink these gigantic tropical drinks without getting too drunk for dinner. We were totally wrong (and poor John took a drunken fall in the bathroom resulting in a seriously bruised nose). Being surrounded by so much food and drink on a daily basis was definitely a dream come true.

My first drink on the island!

Conch fritters

Our giant drinks from Senor Frogs

Our vacation definitely had its challenges (like my sea sickness and John’s bathroom fall) but I wouldn’t have had it any other way – okay I would have taken John’s injury out of the mix! It was great to spend quality time with John and to unplug from life for a few days. PS – the fact that these pictures are up here is a miracle. I accidentally sent our point and shoot camera through the dryer after the cruise (which we used to take most of the pictures you see here) and it got totally fried. Lucky for us, the SD card remained intact and our pictures lived to tell the tale! Also, a huge thanks to the ladies who helped out with vacation week last week!

What are your favorite things about vacation?

Guest Post: A Staycation Smoothie

Today Alyssa from The Glossy Life is guest posting and I couldn’t be more excited to have her! Shortly after finding each other’s blogs, we became super fast blogging buddies and I never miss a post from her. If you haven’t checked her out yet, definitely hop over to her blog for some tasty recipes and loads of fashion inspiration!

Hi twenty-something readers! I’m Alyssa, stopping over from The Glossy Life while Steph is on vacation with her guy (lucky lady!).

I have to admit, when I first heard she was sailing off to the tropics, I was a little jealous. OK–I’m still a little jealous, but two things have been helping me get by. One: the fact that we can check back in a week and see all of the gorgeous pictures she takes throughout her trip (seriously, the girl is so talented) and two: simply faking that I’m on vacation, too.

As a little girl, I was notorious for packing up my beach bag, donning my bathing suit and shades, and catching some rays. In my living room. In the dead of winter (see below if you don’t believe me!).

I’ve since graduated to more “adult” forms island-hopping; namely, this smoothie. It’s funny how a simple drink or meal can transport you, and this does just that. Make it, and you’ll feel like you’re on the pool deck of your own private cruise ship. You should know, in this fantasy, Ryan Gossling is slathering you with sunscreen and complimenting you on your bikini bod. Hey, girl–dream big.

The best thing about this is it’s customizable to whichever fruits you prefer. I’ve made mine with the ingredients that evoke the most “tropical” feel–coconut is obviously a must!

You’ll need:

½ cup frozen mango
½ cup pineapple
½ cup strawberries
¼ cup low-fat Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons agave
Coconut milk as needed

Simply combine all your ingredients in a blender, adding the coconut milk as needed (I like my smoothies really thick, so I don’t use much. It’s completely preference!). If you get really brave, add a handful of kale or spinach (my choice). I guarantee, with all the tropical fruits, you won’t even be able to taste it!

Serving suggestion: Drink slow (prevents brain-freeze, duh), while burning this candle and listening to this song (raise your hand if you’re having MK & Ashley flashbacks). Enjoy!

Guest Post: Maximizing your Travel Wardrobe

Guest posting today is Rachel from Life Unsweetened. I love reading Rachel’s blog for a number of reasons, among them being her excellent fashion sense and well-written lifestyle posts. Today she’ll be showing you how to maximize your travel wardrobe by transitioning a few essential pieces from day to night. If you’re not following her already I hope you’ll pop over to her blog to check it out!

Packing for vacations can be brutal. It’s even worse when you’re a female who likes clothes and shoes. The key to effectively packing for a vacation is to bring a few key pieces that you can wear a couple times. You’d be amazed at how many ways you can style that little black dress during a week with the right shoes, accessories, cover-ups and more.

I’ve chosen three wardrobe necessities that you may take on vacation with you (keep in mind, this may change depending on where your vacation is, what the temperature is like and what activities you will be doing). I’ll show you easy ways to transition your outfits from day to night- saving you tons of room in your suitcase and still allowing you to look your best.

Look 1

vacation outfits

A solid color dress (like this pretty green one) can easily be dressed up or down. For day time, I’d pair it with a pretty scarf, some floral earrings, a pair of colorful and comfortable sandals and a straw tote. This would be great for sight-seeing, walking along the boardwalk or relaxing at brunch. For night, add a black blazer for the chilly breezes, a statement necklace for some va-va-voom, a pair of nude heels to add height, and a simple clutch to carry your i.d. and lipgloss.

Look 2

day to night outfit

There’s always that one day on vacation where it’s too cold to wear shorts or your bikini, and that’s where a pair of colored skinny jeans come into play. For daytime events like a trip to a museum or a day of shopping, pair them with blacks for a sophisticated look. A black peplum top, standard flats, the same small bag as before, and a pretty jeweled necklace are the way to go. For night, put on a slinky and glittery tank top, a pair of hoop earrings, a chunky bracelet and those nude heels for a romantic dinner or night out on the town. Be bold with colors- on this look, I made the day look more conservative, but mixed yellow and blue for the night.

Look 3

summer vacation outfits

Although not everyone may dare to pull off the crop top in their normal life, when you’re on vacation, it’s a must! For a day at the beach, protect yourself from the sun with a cute hat, wear your favorite worn-in denim jean shorts, break out the boho bangles and wear a pair of comfortable sandals. For nighttime, dress up this plain top with a leather skirt, some metal-inspired jewelry (studs and necklace) for some edge and the nude heels (they go with almost everything!)

Guest Post: Your Must-Pack Beauty Essentials

Today I am thrilled to introduce you to the lovely Maria who blogs over at kitchen/closet/heart. If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to check out her blog. Her blog definitely lives up to it’s name and is full of tasty recipes, amazing fashion and beauty tips and, of course, plenty of posts about love that come from the heart. As her contribution to twenty-something travel week, Maria will be showing you her essential beauty products for travel. Enjoy!

So, you’re stealing away for a trip? Lucky you! While vacations are always a relaxing break away from the hustle-and-bustle of every day life, packing for them can be a total headache. What do you mean I can’t bring 12 tubes of lipsticks and my entire skincare regimen? Are you insane?! Don’t worry, dollies. With a little smart packing, you can be beautiful without parting with your favorite looks. Here’s what I like to bring along when I’m going out of town:

  1. Oribe Dry Texturizing Shampoo: Do you hear that? It’s an angelic choir singing the hallelujah chorus because Oribe’s dry shampoo is a miracle. It’s perfect for those moments when you don’t have time for a full shampoo-and-style session. Plus, it comes in this travel-friendly size. You can have your cake and eat it too!
  2. Trish McEvoy Luxe Moisture Balm SPF 15: I don’t understand how anyone a) doesn’t moisturize daily and b) leaves the house without a lick of SPF on their face. It’s so important to keep yourself hydrated and protected, especially when you’re out in the sun on your vacay. Trish McEvoy’s moisture balm comes in a handy dispenser, so you have no excuse to not slather it on.
  3. NARS American Dream Eye Shadow Palette: Ever reach into your makeup bag and think “Damn, I wish I would have brought that shadow shade.” Not anymore! NARS’ palette has a color for every situation under the sun, including a chocolate brown that can be used as an eyeliner.
  4. Becca Mini Brush Set: Leave all your brushes at home. Seriously, they take up so much space and you always wind up forgetting one. This brush set from beck has every brush you could ever need. And when I’m not traveling, I keep it in my purse and leave the big guys at home.
  5. Lancôme La vie set belle body lotion: While a rollerball of your favorite perfume is a travel essential, my perfume doesn’t come in one (step your game up, Lancôme!) If your fragrance is also anti-rollerball, pack the body lotion instead. You’ll get your scent without lugging the big bottle around.
  6. YSL Rouge Pur Couture in Le Orange: A bold lip is always a good look, but it can be tough to choose which one to take along. YSL’s Le Orange hue looks just as good for a day of shopping as it does for a romantic dinner with your honey. Swipe it on for a pulled-together look that’s easy to pull off.

What are your travel essentials?