Friday, February 17, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, everyone!! I'm happy that it's almost the weekend, but this has also been a really good week at home (very happy and productive!). I've been trying out some new products over the last couple of weeks that I really love, so I figured it was time for a new "Friday Favorites" post. Let me know if you have a new favorite product in the comments section!

Let's start with makeup first! I have been loving this new foundation from It Cosmetics. It's technically not a powder (it has a cream consistency), and it's infused with full coverage pigments and SPF 50+ UVA/UVB sunscreen. I know it's technically still winter, but this foundation will be brilliant in the spring and summer months when you want a little more coverage and more SPF! Each compact also comes with a sponge, so it's easy to throw in your purse and touch up your makeup on the go. I have been wearing the shade "medium" to match my skin after getting some sun last week in Mexico. It also stays matte and lasts all day long!! 

Some other makeup products that I've been loving (you may have seen these on my snapchat!) are from the First Aid Beauty line: these face wipes and this priming moisturizer. I love how they're both "tropical" themed - I took both of them to Mexico last week and both products are almost empty now!

Let's talk about the caffeine face wipes: I have been using them every morning when I wake up before I apply my makeup, and they work WONDERS for tired skin. The wipes remove excess oil, dirt, and any makeup leftover from washing your face the night before, and they contain caffeine from matcha green tea to literally revive your skin. They truly work. I am obsessed. 

 I also really like this coconut smoothie face primer because, um, doesn't it just sound awesome?!? It's a moisturizer and primer all in one. It feels lightweight, absorbs quickly and lasts all day. It makes your skin look glowy and plump. I have been using it every morning, with and without makeup.  

Alright this next one is my favorite but maybe I'm just a nerd :) I have been looking for a professional steamer for a while and after reading lots of reviews I finally ordered this pink one from Amazon (if you don't like pink, it also comes in other colors!!). I am constantly getting new clothes in and needing to steam them for photos, so this thing is AMAZING. It has a built-in hanging rack for your clothes and holds enough water for 1.5 hours of steaming! I bought the plastic steam head and not the metal one, because the reviews said the metal one gets really hot. I will never use an ironing board ever again. *Hands up emoji*

(Also if you're in the market for a portable steamer, my friend Krista got me this one and it's also amazing - I bring it on every trip!)


Okay next up, Tory Burch has really been killin' it with her spring line this year. I have bought several things from her line but these are two of my favorites! This crossbody bag is the perfect size and also the perfect neutral: it has two zippered compartments with plenty of room for my phone, keys, lipstick, etc. I wore it in this blog post if you want to see the size on my body. I'm head over heels in love with the design/shape and pretty much everything about it.

Secondly, these sandals. They're SO fun and fresh for spring! When you have them on, you can't tell that the bottoms are pink, and the pink/red logo really stands out. I wore them with jeans shorts and with an all white outfit in Mexico! 

And finalllllyyyyy, one of my favorite jewelry retailers is having their huge Semi-Annual Sale! These tassel earrings were my absolute favorite purchase last year, and they're marked down to $22 right now (plus they have a ton of other great markdowns). See everything on sale here.  

I'd love to hear your favorites from this week! Happy Friday everyone!


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Pom Pom Cover-up in Mexico

tassel tote (obsessed), also love this one

This is my last post from Tulum, I promise! (No really, I'm out of pictures haha) But I just had to share this pom pom coverup by the brand SUNDRESS. I have been a loyal fan of SUNDRESS for years now... they make the cutest cover-ups, all in fun colors and always adorned with pom poms or tassels. They are perfect for a beach vacation, or just for laying by the pool! (And they usually are conversation starters haha). You can check out all of the cover-ups HERE. :)

Thank you to everyone who left a kind comment on my resort review post yesterday! I really appreciated your comments, as I always strive to be honest with you guys! Switching topics to something completely random - have you guys read any good books lately?! I have been in a book slump lately - every book I've tried to start I just haven't been into. Let me know if you've read a good one recently!



Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Resort Review: Azulik in Tulum, Mexico

Good morning, everyone! A review on the hotel we stayed at during our visit to Tulum has been HIGHLY requested by y'all. I had so many emails, snapchat questions, comments, etc. so I'm putting together a full post on my review! This post is not sponsored by the resort, and I'm going to be very honest about some of our likes and dislikes. To be blunt, although it was definitely one of the prettiest locations I've ever had the chance to visit, we were actually pretty uncomfortable the whole time! I'm going to share some photos from my instagram first, so scroll down to the end of this post for the full review. 

First up, this picture was taken on our first morning at Azulik! Every balcony has a giant swing that you can swing on. 

frill off shoulder swimsuit, also comes in black HERE & comes in a two piece HERE

This is a partial beach view.... the room located to the left of me is the Honeymoon Suite (the best room in the entire resort!).

hot pink swimsuit top, also HERE // swimsuit bottoms, also HERE

Another beach view... the water was clear turquoise and beautiful. For the full blog post on this hot pink swimsuit, click HERE

This picture was taken at the entrance to the hotel. Azulik was built in the jungle and the entire resort reflects those "jungle" vibes! For a full blog post on this peplum dress, click HERE

MAC lipstick in "impassioned" // Baublebar pom earrings

This picture shows a better view of our back porch/balcony overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Imagine waking up to this every morning! There was a swinging bed, outdoor bath tub and a hammock on our balcony too. 

There's a really cool beach bar located on Azulik's beach. We loved the swings that lined up next to the bar. Every morning they made a fresh, unique smoothie concoction that was both healthy and delicious.

floral dress  // pom pom earrings

The swinging bed on our balcony! 

 blue embroidered romper // tassel earrings

First of all, how cute is this hat?! Secondly, you can see how fine and soft the sand is in this picture!

 "talk to the sand" straw hat // black bikini top // bottoms // tassel bracelets

My favorite bikini top from the trip, because it fit right in with the surroundings!

This was the bed in our room. It's a floating bed with a huge mosquito net, which really came in handy at night. You can't see from this picture, but there is a fan located at the very top of the bed that you could turn on at night to help keep cool.

 white off-the-shoulder top, similar HERE // jean shorts

Another balcony view one day when we ordered room service!

All of the rooms are connected by walkways that are two stories above ground. This was cool but we did find it a little dangerous - someone could easily slip or fall off the edge if they lost balance!

One of the coolest things - a giant hammock a couple of stories above the jungle!

 blue and white off-the-shoulder top // white shorts

Tulum is an hour's drive away from Playa del Carmen. We went into Playa one day for some shopping. They have really cute Mexican boutiques with blankets, tassels and scarves - and they also have some American stores like Forever 21 and Sephora.

straw tote (this holds a TON of stuff!) // Chloe wedges, dupes HERE & HERE
pom pom earrings, similar but less expensive HERE

Another view of the outdoor bath... it's easily big enough for two people! Also I'm a little obsessed with this swimsuit too :)

Marysia bikini top, also available in all sizes HERE // swim bottoms

During our trip to Tulum, we stayed at Azulik. We were initially drawn to this resort because of the AMAZING imagery we had seen online and on their instagram page. We read a ton of reviews before we booked - it's an eco-friendly hotel, with organic architecture made from it's surroundings. We knew beforehand that there was no television, A/C or showers (only bathtubs) and that wi-fi could only be found in the hotel's lobby. This didn't deter us though, instead we were really looking forward to relaxing and disconnecting from the world. In the end, though, we did not have an overall pleasurable experience at Azulik! My mom both agreed that if we were rating Azulik purely on looks, it would be a 10 out of 10 (I seriously can't stress enough how BEAUTIFUL this place is), however, by the end of the trip we were both so ready to come home and have the luxuries of wi-fi, good food, air conditioning and just the general feeling of cleanliness. You'll see what I mean... I'm going to go through some different categories below. 

Room: After looking at ton of photos online, we booked a Sky Villa, which is one of the rooms located on the upper floor of the resort. You really do feel like you could reach out and touch both the sky and the ocean! The actual room was amazing... it had all glass doors that you can shut and lock, and there were two doors that open up to the ocean so that you could get some wind and hear the ocean waves. The toilet was kept in a little hut inside the room (we used this to change clothes too). There was a small bath tub in the room that we used to bathe, and even a coconut shell so that you could pour water on yourself. One thing I didn't like: there were no drawers and no closet. We had a really hard time organizing our clothes and shoes because there was literally no place to put anything. I don't know how other people do it (maybe they keep stuff in their suitcase the whole time?), my mom and I had to use a couple corners of the room to fold and organize our clothes. There was no A/C in the room, but we didn't mind that (we visited St. Lucia last year and also had a room without A/C so we were used to that). February is a good time to go because it's not too hot! There was a fan located at the top of the bed that we turned on at night, and that really helped. Another thing we did not like about the room: no electric lights, just candlelight! In theory this sounded really cool, your entire room lit with candles at night. In reality, it made nighttime at Azulik really difficult. There were only six candles dispersed around the room and we could barely see ANYTHING at night. If you wanted to put on makeup for dinner, you were out of luck. I could barely get dressed by the candlelight, and washing my face was a nightmare.... I couldn't see well enough to take my makeup off all the way, and in the morning I would wake up with huge black mascara streaks all over my face. Not attractive!! 

The best thing about the room was definitely the balcony: we loved the floating bed, outdoor bath, swing, hammock and lounge chairs. The view from the balcony was truly the most amazing sight I have ever seen.... especially the sunrise above the Caribbean Sea.

Food: I have very mixed reviews on the food at Azulik. The resort is not all-inclusive, so you pay for each meal as you go. I don't know how to put it.... the food here was just kind of weird. Some of it was amazing, and some of it was terrible. There are three restaurants at Azulik: the beach bar, the Cenote Bar, and Kin Toh, a fairly new and very expensive tree house restaurant. The beach bar was great: they made delicious smoothies, alcoholic drinks and at night they served Thai food on the beach, which my mom and I LOVED (the Pad Thai we had was the best I've ever eaten!!). The Cenote Bar was where we ate breakfast and lunch. They had a very limited selection of food for breakfast, only a couple of options to choose from including a smoothie, yogurt bowl or eggs (these were good, and healthy!) but we really wanted more variety. I wanted waffles or pancakes sooo bad one morning, but they don't make them. We did not like the lunch food at ALL there... the menu was full of names we couldn't pronounce (which is fine - we were in a foreign country, after all). However we tried out a few of the dishes and they just weren't to my liking. We did eat at Kin Toh one night for dinner (the tree house restaurant). The atmosphere was simply amazing... you're eating dinner while looking out on the Mexican jungle! We had a 5-course dinner and they "surprised" us for each course. It was also weird, but it tasted good! One dish they brought out had baked fish with a frozen ball of coconut ice cream on top - they brought out a torch and torched the meal so that the ice cream would melt all over the fish. Sounds strange but it was very good! 

To be honest, my mom and I both agreed there wasn't enough variety in the food, and we just wish it had been better in general. I would have loved some guacamole, but they didn't even serve authentic Mexican food at the resort. My mom also got really, really sick one day that we were there. We weren't sure if it was from the food or maybe the ice, but it didn't make us feel better!

Beach: Azulik has a beautiful beach located right next to the resort. There are two kayaks that guests are free to use anytime they want, and lots of lounge chairs and small huts that you can lay on. The sand is soft and fine, and the water is crystal clear turquoise. Like I said before, the beach bar is really awesome and they will bring you drinks or whatever you want while you're laying on the beach! Two caveats: 1. The beach is very small, and you can't go on "beach walks" there because there is simply not enough beach, 2. The beach is a nude beach. We didn't participate (lol) but really didn't mind it - just be prepared when you go! 

Activities: There are some fun activities to do at Azulik! Every morning at 8 a.m. they have yoga on the beach, and there is an entire Maya Spa where they offer facials and massages. Also located on the beach there is a small booth where you can sign up for excursions. My mom and I REALLY wanted to go to the cenotes (natural lagoons where you can swim) and we signed up and paid for an excursion on our last day. HOWEVER! My mom ended up getting really sick on that day and we had to cancel - they didn't offer a refund since we had already paid. 

Transportation: We had Azulik arrange our transportation from the airport to the hotel and back. It was easier and less stressful for us this way, and we didn't want to have to find a taxi at the airport.  They used this taxi service (it may be cheaper to contact them directly!). It was a two hour drive from the Cancun airport to Azulik. 

Downsides: Unfortunately, there were quite a few other downsides to Azulik. I'm going to go through them one by one for those of you who are thinking of going or already have a trip booked!

*Mosquitos/bugs: Bring bug spray!! This place is covered in mosquitos and other bugs (we found a couple of spiders in our room). My mom and I both wore bug spray, but we ended up coming home covered in itchy, red bites. We both would go down to the outdoor lobby at night to work on our phones/computers and we think this is where most of the damage was done, lol. 
*Wi-fi: We knew ahead of time that there was no wi-fi in the rooms, and that we would have to go down to the outdoor lobby to get wi-fi. I had anticipated this, but the wi-fi connection was TERRIBLE in the lobby, which made it really hard to get work done on this trip! Keep in mind - I worked the entire time, putting up blog posts and social media posts every day. It would sometimes take up to an hour just to post one picture to instagram (much longer for blog posts). For most of the people that come to this resort, they are truly on vacation and this wouldn't be a problem at all. There was definitely a good enough connection to be able to send a quick text. 
*Cleanliness: Maids did come to clean the room every day, but both my mom and I both felt that we could never get "clean" here. I love to go take a shower right before bed and go to sleep feeling clean, but this was impossible at Azulik. We would put on sunscreen and bug spray throughout the day, then felt like it didn't come off in the bath all the way. The floor of our room also got dirty from sand particles.... they make you leave your shoes outside of your hut, so you are walking around with dirty feet in your room! I HATE going to bed feeling like my feet are dirty, so I would try to wash them off in the bath and then put on socks just to walk over to the bed. 
*Dangerous?: Okay this last point sounds kind of funny because I don't know how to word it! Both my mom and I thought that the walkways were a little precarious. There were a lot of steps and all of the walkways and rooms are stories above the ground. We agreed that it would be incredibly easy to have a misstep or lose your balance for a second, and fall a really long way. I also burned my finger really badly trying to light a candle one night. Of course, it was so dark that I couldn't even see my finger to know if it was okay, I had to wait until the morning. 

As you can see, there a some positives and negatives to Azulik. I am always, always honest with you guys, which is why I'm sharing the negatives and not just how amazing it is. The fact that this was a "work trip" and not just a vacation I think made it particularly hard... we woke up early and took photos nonstop for most of the day, and were exhausted by nighttime, so all of these small inconveniences added up pretty quickly. If you truly want to get away and connect with nature, then this place is for you! It is incredibly romantic, and I think if I had been there with my boyfriend (rather than on a work trip with my momma!) it would have been a completely different experience. 

Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments! Also check out my other hotel review of  Anse Chastanet in St. Lucia - it is BY FAR my favorite trip of all time. You can read the the entire review HERE.



Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A Day in Playa del Carmen

straw tote (this holds a TON of stuff!) // Chloe wedges, dupes HERE & HERE

I wore this look last week to visit Playa del Carmen for the day! My grandfather is staying in Playa for the entire month so we met up with him and did some shopping and got Mexican food. I wanted to wear something casual and breezy (since it was really hot) and this flowy off-the-shoulder top was the perfect choice. It's kind of long... I do have shorts underneath! My favorite part about this outfit is actually the straw tote. The reason I like it is because it's very packable - it folds completely flat and fit perfectly in my suitcase to travel to Mexico - however when you open it up, you realize that it can carry so much. This particular day in Playa del Carmen I carried an extra pair of shoes, my DSLR camera and some purchases I made while shopping. Woo!

Before I forget, happy Valentines Day everyone!!! I love this holiday because it's an excuse to dress in pink, am I right? ;) My boyfriend is taking me to Olive Garden tonight because I've been craving it ever since I got back from Mexico!! Our friends all make fun of us for going to Olive Garden for Valentine's Day but we don't care... we both love it :)



Monday, February 13, 2017

The Dress Every Girl Needs for Spring

Bardot dress, way cheaper than this designer version // Tory Burch crossbody bag
wedge sandals (obsessed) // Michele watch // David Yurman bracelet
MAC lipstick in "impassioned" // Baublebar pom earrings

This was my very very very favorite dress I wore in Tulum! It looks very similar to this designer version that was popular last summer, except it's a fifth of the price! The lace detail is so pretty in person and I love the poppy orange color (it automatically makes anyone look tan). I paired it with neutral accessories since the dress is so bright... I am especially loving this new neutral Tory Burch bag. It's going to be a very popular style this spring/summer, I love the color and shape...  it goes with SO MANY outfits, which is what I look for in a purse :)

I got home from Mexico over the weekend and am exhausted. Last night was the first night I had spent the night in my apartment in a week and a half! I spent most of the night cuddling with Winnie & George and cleaning (my apartment was a wreck) but then got in bed early! Do you guys ever feel weird when you get back from a trip?! I feel really out of sorts and anxious, and it usually takes me a couple days to get in the routine of being home again. But maybe I'm just weird! :)

Hope everyone had a great weekend!!