Monday, March 2, 2015

Hey I'm Going to The Dominican Republic

*Every once in a while I'll get an e-mail from a friend, like hey I'm going to (Paris, Puerto Rico, NYC ect.) what do you recommend, so I think I'm going to try to turn these e-mails into some sort of organized list of suggestions/ideas for their trip...and yours too, so here is another installment in the...
Some things to know...
I should probably check out Santo Domingo, Samana, or Puerto Plata (I’ve only heard that Punta Cana is the Cancun of DR so I’m good on that) before writing this as I’ve only ever been to Cabarete a tiny little town on the north side of the island just east of Puerto Plata. BUT I spent a whole week there so clearly I’m an expert on all things Dominican Republic, so let’s get started.
Where to Stay
Santo Dominigo, and in particular the Zona Colonial is next on my list, and the amount of time I’ve wasted trolling Air B&B looking at adorable apartment rentals with an ocean view is embarrassing. I’m sure you could pick any of those places and have the best vacay ever, but for our very first trip we chose Cabarete for the surfing…and since neither my husband nor I had ever even seen a surfboard in person we settled on Swell Surf Camp. You can read all the glowing reviews on their site, and on Facebook but I just have to add that staying here really made our trip a unique experience. Amazing communal, traditional, Dominican meals, surf instructors who felt like buddies, the best pool ever, and meeting guests from all over the world was so so fun.
What to Do
With a morning surf lesson, then breakfast, then an afternoon surf lesson, then dinner around 8 at the main table; it may sound like there isn’t enough time in the day to do much else…but we still felt like the days were never ending (in a good way) full of lounging around the pool with drinks, walking into town, shopping, and the most important…enjoying a never ending luxurious lunch on the beach.
Kite Beach is the main beach in Cabarete, and like the name suggests it’s one of the top beaches in the world for kite boarding. It’s incredibly entertaining to kill a few hours watching the pros get serious air, and the newbies lose their boards and control of their kites. It’s also great for swimming too but just head to the east end OR watch out.  Cabarete is a small completely walkable town (although if you like’ there are TONS of scooter taxis offering rides for just a few pesos) Everything seems to center around the beach, including the night life which gets started around 10 when tables are cleared to make room for DJs and dancing and of course the drinks just keep flowing…with sunrise surf sessions I can’t say I’m an expert in the nightlife.

Eat Drink and Be Merry
there are tons of options for eating lunch or dinner right on the beach, you can pretty much just start at one end and walk down looking at the menus and seeing the specials. Mojito Bar at happy hour (which seems to run from 10am-10pm) will get you 2 mojotos for about $4 usd, and the food is cheap and excellent, all fresh ingredients super vegetarian friendly and huge portions plus you can't beat the view.  You may also pass by Gorditos Fresh Mex and Yamazato Sosua which are both in the same strip mall off the main road and write them off as weird strip mall fast food, but that would be a huge mistake.  Gorditos has the most MOST delicious baja style mahi mahi fish tacos that I've ever eaten, and the sushi at Yamazato is pretty fantastic. Did I already say cheap? Seriously food and drinks in DR are cheap cheap cheap.

While most in the service industry speak English, the official language is SPANISH so please memorize the following: 
Hola and say it every time you walk into a place, Gracias when you leave or you know...just to say thanks, and lo siento and no one will ever be rude to you
busco-I'm looking for
yo quería-I would like
cuánto cuesta- how much does it cost 

and it might not be a bad idea to read up on Sanky Pankys
feliz viaje, have an awesome time!! 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Birthday Scents

Honestly my birthday has never smelled better. My husband and my bestie gifted me two amazing scents and I've been wearing them ever since. The notes in B. Balenciaga sound a bit strange, but trust me they melt into a really rich layered unique yet classic at the same time scent, and Roses De Chloe is so simple yet so good! It smells like spring/summer and I'd say if you love Stella, you'll love the softer fresher version of rose and amber. I highly recommend checking these out next time you're in Sephora.

Friday, February 20, 2015


I've been seeing striking shades of magenta here and there on pinterest and spring runways. After these deep freeze temps I'm ready for a touch of spring, so I picked up Revlon's HD lipstick in Orchid and it's pretty dead on. SUPER bold and a bit edgier than red. eh voila...COME ON SPRING.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Closet Envy

So my birthday is fast approaching and all I want this year is a new closet. I want to be able to throw open some mirrored french doors and see allllll my clothes/shoes/jewelry. That's it...not asking for much.
(and maybe some perfume too)

Saturday, January 31, 2015

12 Days until TULUM

We booked this trip over Thanksgiving, and it felt like it would never get here, BUT here we are, about to take off in just a few weeks.  I've blogged about this area before, but this will be the first time staying in Tulum, and I am SO excited.  The trick to making a long weekend trip feel relaxing instead of rushed and stressful is PACK NOTHING, seriously just a few bikinis (the white and navy polkadot one was on sale for $5 at H&M awhile back) a sun dress, maybe a cover up, some sunnies, and I'm looking forward to busting out my blush avarca wannabes. I also like to throw in a scent to wear the whole time...When I get back it always reminds me of my trip. I plan on shoving everything into a little carry on! While everyone's waiting for their luggage, I'll be half way to the beach!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hey I'm Going to Detroit

*Every once in a while I'll get an e-mail from a friend, like hey I'm going to (Paris, Puerto Rico, NYC ect.) what do you recommend, so I think I'm going to try to turn these e-mails into some sort of organized list of suggestions/ideas for their trip...and yours too, so here is another installment in the...
Some things to know...
Detroit is has way more to offer than the doom and gloom that's on the news and while there are plenty of abandon houses, and swaths of dark creepy city, there are other areas that are experiencing a revival.
Where to Stay
There is an abundance of gorgeous brick lofts on Air B&B clustered around Midtown/Cass Corridor, and South West/Mexican Town that are pretty inexpensive (this is my favorite). There are also really posh hotels like Book Cadillac, or Motor City if you’re feeling fancy.
What to Do
If you want to shop check out: John King Books which is one of the most impressive rare and used book stores in the country.  If you’re an avid record collector then Detroit is your city and Hello Records is your spot.  I personally like shops like City Bird, and Nest for etsy esq handmade in Detroit items and while you’re there you can walk around the corner and get a pizza and beer at Motor City Brewing Works. If thrifting is more your style, I will say Michigan thrifts never disappoint.  An absolute must must MUST see is the Diego Rivera Court at the Detroit Institute of Art, The Motown Museum, The Heidelberg Project, the amazingly art deco Guardian Building, The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the historic mansions in the Boston Edison neighborhood, and lastly, The Dequinder Cut, which like the Highline in NYC, and the Bloomingdale Trail in Chicago is a former railroad line which has been converted into a walking/biking path.
Eat Drink and Be Merry
So I already mentioned Motor City Brewing up there, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. I'm pleasantly surprised each time I visit Detroit to find more and more places opening.
For drinks you have some options.  If you're looking for something laid back try: UFO factory, The Lagar House, Bronx Bar...really there are no shortage of laid back dive-y bars. BUT If you need to toast something special or craft cocktails are more your thing then head to: Two James, or Sugar House.  The restaurants that are on my list are: Detroit Institute of Bagels the best (but maybe only?) bagel place in town (I can also count on running into friends Saturday or Sunday morning before my long haul back to Chicago, which is always a plus) Ottava Via a new Italian place with an excellent wine list, Speaking of wine there's City Winery, Slows of course if you're craving BBQ, Gold Cash Gold, if you don't mind a wait... as it's brand new, Johnny Noodle King, Katoi at two James has excellent Thai (some of these I still need to test it out, but friends who live in Detroit have nothing but good things to say). If you're craving Polish or Bangladeshi cuisine, take a little excursion to Hamtramck...and...finally, the Middle Eastern food is NOT to be missed seriously if you are just driving through this is the #1 thing I would suggest, so take that detour to Dearborn and get yourself a fatoosh salad, a mujadara sandwich, and probably a side of hummus/babaganoush/tabbouleh... maybe a beet/carrot/apple juice too.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015





  These are all in heavy rotation on the ipad right now, plus Elle Decor and Dwell on Zinio
What are you paging through? Any good fashion/style e-magazines? let me know

** click on covers to view**