Happy Friday, beautiful friends!! I am so excited for this weekend and for the fact that I finally have this bag!! I have been dreaming of buying a woven Bottega Veneta bag since last summer, but just couldn’t bring myself to spend more than $3,000!! on one. Luckily, I found a similar style on Amazon for 1 percent of the price of the real thing!! That’s right, this stunner is only $34! It comes in a bunch of colors, but I like this off-white color for summer.
This bag pairs perfectly with my new Banjanan dress that I’m wearing out for dinner tonight with my hubs! I am obsessed with this emerging brand. Caroline Weller, the founder and designer, worked on the design teams of Calvin Klein and J. Crew before moving to India and creating the bright, bold and beautiful, Banjanan. I’m wearing the Iris dress tonight and it is dreamy to say the least!
I think we all know by now that it is important to vote (major election year!!) so why not remind others in a cute way with this adorable Tory Burch T-shirt? I love it and plan to wear it even beyond the presidential election in November. I’m sure you’ve all seen this amazing lavender dress, by now, but if you haven’t, make sure you get one! It is the ultimate summer dress and SO feminine, I just love it!
I am also living for sets this year and I am so in love with the leopard print set by Ganni!! It is precious together or separately. I would definitely wear a white t-shirt with the shorts or black skinny jeans with the top. I would also love to pair it with these Chanel slides! Speaking of sets…who else loves a classic pajama set?! I sure do! I love this floral set by Ann Taylor and I love the price even more…it’s under $30!! Would be great for yourself or as a gift for a loved one.
It’s that time of year again…just a month late! The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is almost here!! Growing up in Salt Lake, Nordstrom was the main store we would shop at and I have such fun memories of getting fall clothes and fun things from this same when I was a little girl.
Today, I’m sharing a sneak peek of my favorite items from the sale this year. The sale opens to the public on August 19th and you can shop earlier based on the status of your Nordstrom card level.
Each year for the sale there are a few things I stock up on. First and foremost, the Kiehl’s body lotion. This is my ABSOLUTE favorite lotion and I use it every day. It is regularly priced at $78 a bottle which can be a little expensive, but on the sale, it is marked down to $49. I usually buy three or four bottles and they last me an entire year until the next sale. I love this lotion because it is not filled when heavy scents or perfumes and has a beautiful texture. I hate watery lotions and overly-heavy creams and this Kiehl’s lotion has the perfect consistency of moisture. I also look forward to stocking up on my favorite bra during the sale…I wear the Calvin Klein t-shirt bra in nude every day and during the sale they are marked down to $26 during this sale. The Anniversary Sale is also a great time to buy yourself some new slippers! I love wearing slippers around the house and Ugg always puts out a great pair during this sale. This year I’m loving this great orange pair and for under $60, they a great deal! I know Christmas is a long time away, but maybe grab a few extra pairs for your mom and sisters, I think slippers are fabulous gifts to give!
I am so excited to see my favorite hoops on the sale this year!! I wear these all the time and people think they are real! They are normally $60, but during the sale they are marked down to $34.90. Make sure you get yourself the gold and silver because I promise you, you’ll be wearing these non-stop. If you’re in the market for an anniversary gift or maybe a push present, the Bon Levy diamond eternity band is an amazing choice!! It is beautiful and $1400 off during the sale! I’m also VERY into these crystal Dior sunglasses, how chic are they?!
I’m loving the clothes on this year’s sale as well. I bought the blue and white version of this ATM dress a few years ago and I wear it all the time. It’s machine washable and so easy to wear to the pool, on the plane, to lunch, to the grocery store…literally to whatever. Make sure you don’t let this one pass you up!
I also LOVE these pink Alo Leggings and Free People Tank Top…they would be so cute for yoga or a walk. I always size down for Alo because it runs big compared to Lululemon. And we can’t pass up on these adorable Roberta Roller Rabbit Pajamas… I would recommend getting an extra set for your sister or bestie too…they are sure to be loved by all!
What are your favorites from the sale?! Stay tuned over the next few weeks as I continue to share my favorites!!
Moda Operandi, the premier online retailer bringing trunk shows into the 21st century is having one of their biggest sales of the year! Some of the most-loved styles from this year are now 75 percent off.
This is one of my favorite sales from the whole year because Moda has some of the best and most unique designer pieces online. In my opinion, their selections are heads above their competition. The only problem for me is that sometimes their prices are too…so whenever they have a sale, I am all over it!
Happy shopping, loves!! Leave me a comment and let me know what you end up getting!!
Coronavirus fears continue to keep American travelers stateside this summer rather than traveling abroad. Luckily, within the United States there are plenty of destinations that will make you think you’re in another country and you don’t have to use a passport to get there. One of my personal favorites is Carmel, California.
Known for its dramatic rocky coastline and world-class golf, vacationing in Carmel can make you feel like you have been transported to a village in the Irish or English countryside rather than the central California coast. From fairytale cottages to French bakeries, this town oozes charm and offers the perfect vacation for people of all ages and interests.
My dad and husband are big golfers so anytime I am in Carmel, I’m usually tagging along on one of their golf trips. I love tagging along because on the days I do choose to golf, I get to take in some of the most amazing views in the entire world and many of the courses in the area are walking only, so I get a great workout in as well.
My husband’s favorite golf course in the area and the one that he dreams about on a regular basis is the Cypress Point Club. This golf course is private and very old school which is really cool to see. Carts are not allowed and you are accompanied by a caddy when you play. Most of the caddies at the club have been there for more than 30 years and they know every turn of the course like the back of their hands so it is really fun to play with them. Aside from the outstanding golf, the views on this course are INSANE. The iconic cypress trees that the course is known for line the greens and you can hear the Pacific Ocean breaking on the rocks just feet from you. You might even meet a seal or two when you play.
Other outstanding golf courses in the area are of course, Pebble Beach, Pasatiempo, Spanish Bay and Spyglass. My husband is an engineer so he is really drawn to the design of these courses and has told me so much about them. One of his icons, Alister Mackenzie, designed Cypress Point and Pasatiempo. These courses are as beautiful as they are challenging, but they make for a wonderful experience. One of my favorite things to do is meet my husband at the Tap Room at Pebble Beach for lunch after he’s done playing golf for the day. There’s something just so fabulous about having a glass of wine and a juicy cheeseburger in the classic mahogany bar.
If you’re planning to stay in Carmel, I like to start my days walking along the beach and then popping up to Ocean Avenue for a bite to eat and some shopping. Keep in mind that it is never really warm in this part of California so even though it is a beautiful, sandy beach, you likely won’t be swimming. I usually bring lots of layers when I’m in Carmel because the mornings and evenings are cool and the afternoons are warm. I also love seeing the “Fairy Tale Cottages.” Hugh Comstock designed a series of Fairy Tale cottages in town that are so idealic, they make you think you are at Disneyland. They have walking tours available and this is something you don’t want to miss!
If you’re interested in getting out of Carmel for the day, taking the stunning 17-mile drive to Monterey, should be a top priority. This windy road will take you to one of the world’s most fabulous aquariums. The aquarium is located on Cannery Row…I don’t know about you, but I had to read the book Cannery Row in middle school and all I can say is that A LOT has changed on Cannery Row since that book was written, but it is really fun to explore and great for kids.
The dining options in Carmel are fabulous and will make you feel like you are definitely not in the U.S. My family and I love La Bicyclette and no trip to Carmel is complete without stopping there. This French bistro has wonderful food, service and a wine selection in an incredible environment. Lafayette Bakery is also a must stop for my francophiles out there.
Carmel is not a big town so there are not a ton of places to stay. I highly recommend booking a house to stay in if you are in a group, but if you prefer hotels there are some wonderful little gems in the area. I did include the Post Ranch Inn on my list because it is so amazing. It is about an hour away, but it is one of the best hotels in the world and I dream of staying there one day.
For my hotel selections IN the area, I love L’Auberge Carmel. You can’t beat the location and it is a romantic, charming and luxurious spot. The Lodge at Pebble Beach and the Inn at Spanish Bay are obvious choices for the golfers out there. Bernardus Lodge and the Hyatt Carmel Highlands are luxurious and modern, but not in town. The Mission Ranch in is a great option for those not trying to break the bank on a hotel.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip to Carmel-by-the-sea with me! Leave me a comment and let me know where you’re traveling or dreaming of traveling to this summer!
Some of my all time favorite items (including my swimsuit pictured above) are included in this sale and they have been marked down to such incredible prices, but don’t wait, these pieces will go fast!!
I hope you enjoy my selections and that you’re able to find some goodies on this sale! Happy shopping, loves!!
Y’all…..this dress is giving me ALL of the Juliet vibes and I plan to live in it for the rest of this summer!! Did anyone else dream of being Claire Danes opposite *LEO* in the 90s version of Romeo + Juliet?! Because I did and this dress is getting me closer to that dream. I have a feeling this will sell out quickly so make sure you scoop it up while you can!
I don’t know if you’re in the market for a new hand or body soap, but let me tell you about the Raw Sugar Living soaps. I discovered them a couple of weeks ago at Target and am now completely obsessed. At first I just tried the Watermelon + Mint hand soap because the bottle looked really cool and it was priced well ($4.99 compared to the $12.95 hand soap I buy at Williams-Sonoma) and I am so glad I gave it a shot! The Raw Sugar soaps are not tested on animals and they are sulfate and paraben free. The Watermelon + Mint flavor literally smells like a jolly rancher when I was my hands, it’s amazing! Since I liked the hand soap so much, I decided to buy the body wash too and I love it! As I’ve gotten older, I have developed an allergy to sulfates and it has been challenging to find a sulfate-free body wash that actually cleans your body well and is not $30 or $40. At $6.99, the Raw Sugar body wash is fresh, chemical-free and cleans well with a beautiful summery scent.
I hope everyone has an incredible weekend and that you love my picks this week!
Gyms around the country have begun to reopen as coronavirus cases continue to rise. My gym, Equinox Austin reopened on June 1st and although I was skeptical about going back at first, I have to say that I feel incredibly safe when I am there.
Before the pandemic, I would work out four to five times a week and not having the option to go to the gym during lockdown was challenging for me. The classes at Equinox are taught by some of the most talented and inspiring people who not only motivate you to take your workout to another level, but they also make you leave feeling better mentally and physically.
I have been a member at Equinox since 2015 and I have always been impressed with their level of cleanliness and small class sizes, but now in the time of COVID, they have taken their standards to another level. In May, ahead of the gym’s post-lockdown re-opening, I had to read and sign what seemed like dozens of pages of new guidelines. Before each visit I make now, I have to read and sign a shortened health declaration before I am allowed inside.
The new rules at Equinox require members to make appointments to visit the gym–whether you’re going for a group fitness class, a personal training session or just to use an elliptical, you must schedule your visit in advance. Once in the gym, members and staff are required to wear face masks until they are working out. A member of the Equinox staff also checks everyone’s temperature at the door…anyone with over a 100 degree temperature will not be allowed in the gym.
Since going back to the gym, I have only attended group fitness classes and I have loved how much Equinox is respecting spacing, safety and cleanliness. In rooms that can fit up to 40, classes have been limited to under 15 people. All of the spots in the classes are spaced at least six feet apart and cleaned equipment is set out for each guest. Equinox has also shortened class times to allow more time in between classes for a deep cleaning of the studios. During class, instructors do not walk around the class, they stay at the front of the room to maintain social distancing standards.
Since June, I have not seen crowds of people and the equipment looks very clean in the main parts of the gym. There are also sanitizing stations in several locations around Equinox. To maintain cleanliness standards, Equinox is not providing their iconic chilled eucalyptus towels, which I kind of live for, but they do offer clean towels in plastic bags upon arrival.
One other heartbreaking change at the gym is that the steam room has been closed since the reopening. I used to use the steam room two or three times a week before coronavirus because of the many benefits steam can offer for skin and health, but it was also just so relaxing. Social distancing is a top priority in the bathroom as well. Sinks, bathroom stalls and showers are being rotated to maximize spacing and to make sure they aren’t being over-used.
Have you gone back to the gym yet? I hope these insights help with your decision making on whether to go back into the gym or not. If you have any questions I have not answered in this post, please leave me a comment and let me know!
Looking for a cool summer escape to beat the heat? This week we are heading to the beautiful mountain town of Aspen! Aspen is one of my absolute favorite places to go anytime of year, but it is so wonderful in the summer.
While Aspen is traditionally known for its famous slopes, the summer months are my favorite. Whether you’re looking for an active vacation or one geared toward relaxation, Aspen has everything for you.
Getting to Aspen is fairly easy. There is an airport in town with flights from a number of cities. If the Aspen airport doesn’t work for you, the Denver International Airport is just a quick three-hour drive away. Once you get into town, you’ll definitely need to start with a good meal. I love going to Ajax Tavern for my first stop. There is nothing better than having mussels, truffle fries and a bottle of white wine at the base of Aspen mountain to start your trip off on the right foot.
The coolest thing about Aspen to me is that it is a relatively small mountain town and it has all of the good parts of major cities–the best restaurants, the best shopping, the best hotels and spas…the list goes on. In addition to glamorous creature comforts, Aspen also has extensive mountain activities to occupy guests. One of my favorite things to do when I’m in town is to take a bike ride from town out to Woody Creek Tavern for lunch. It’s about seven miles from town to Woody Creek Tavern, which is kind of an eclectic spot with a Mexican/American menu. It is super laid back and loved by locals.
The activities in Aspen are endless and whether you are single, in a couple, a family or traveling with your girlfriends, you will not have a though time finding things to do. Hiking is an obvious choice in the summer and the Maroon Bells trail is arguably the most iconic hike people take in Aspen. River rafting in the summer is also really fun if you’re looking for a rush. As I mentioned before, the shopping in Aspen is AMAZING. From the shops downtown to the Aspen Saturday Market, there is so much fun stuff to buy. To fit in with the Western-chic vibe, many visitors stop at Kemo Sabe upon arrival to get a specially fitted hat for their Aspen adventures. I’m not a big night club person, but the night clubs in Aspen are TOO fun to pass up. Whether you’re at Escobar, Bootsy Bellows or Belly Up, you are sure to have the best time and you might even dance with a celeb!
Of course on your trip to Aspen you will need an amazing place to stay! Renting a house is always a wonderful option, but if you’re looking for a hotel, there are SO many incredible hotels to choose from. If you’re looking to stay in the heart of downtown Aspen, The St. Regis, The Hotel Jerome, The Little Nell and the W Aspen are the best, in my opinion. These hotels are regularly ranked among the top in the world and for good reason. They are luxurious, unique and offer incredible experiences. If you’re more interested in being in Snowmass (six miles from downtown Aspen) The Viceroy and the Limelight are also fabulous properties.
Are you visiting Aspen this summer? Leave me a comment and let me know where your favorite summer vacation spots are!
This Sunday I am cooking one of my favorite dishes! Chicken Encilantrada…I got this recipe from one of my best friends. Her mother made it growing up in Laredo, Texas and they shared it with me. It is truly one of the most delicious Mexican dishes I have ever had!
Chicken Encilantrada is the perfect meal to make on a Sunday because it takes a few hours to prepare and it is perfect to serve for your friends and family. If you’re not cooking for a group, the leftovers heat up well and you can enjoy them for a few days. My friend told me the name “Encilantrada” comes from cilantro and this delicious green sauce seeps into the chicken making the most wonderful, savory flavors.
Boil the whole chicken with bay leaf, peppercorns, carrot, garlic and some onion in a large pot. Cover all ingredients with chicken broth and water and boil for 30-45 minutes.
In another pot, boil tomatillos and jalapeño in water until they’re soft and cooked through.
Add the cooked/drained tomatillos and jalapeño to blender with a chunk of raw onion, handful of cilantro, garlic cloves, cumin, salsa verde, knorr chicken bouillon, a little broth and mix until smooth. At the end of the blending process, add a little olive oil to the mixture and blend once more.
Once the chicken is cooked and cooled, shred it.
Add the blended sauce to a sauce pan and warm it through.
Add the cooked chicken to the sauce and toss to combine.
You can serve Chicken Encilantrada in tortillas for tacos or on top of rice and beans for a lighter version. I hope you enjoy this meal as much as my husband and I do and that you all have a beautiful Sunday! Happy cooking!
Happy Friday, loves!! I am loving this weekend because there are so many amazing sales happening!! And right now, my FAVORITE dress of the summer is currently on sale and still available in a few sizes!! Use the code SUMMER on the J.crew website to get an extra 40 percent off of this showstopper of a dress.
We’re all wearing face masks when we go out now so why not get a really cute one? I love all things pastel so of course I am loving the new Stoney Clover pastel masks with these fun beads! Stoney Clover is also making clear cases for masks which are definitely an upgrade from the ziplock bags I’ve been carrying my masks around in!
Times have been tough and I’ve noticed people are giving more gifts than usual to cheer friends and loved ones up. If you’re looking to do something like that and needing some inspiration, these are a few of my favorite gifts lately. I just randomly found the Bliss Jelly Glow Peel the other day at Target and I don’t normally experiment with drugstore skin care, but I caved in…I just love all things pink… and I’m so glad I gave this a shot! At $10, this peel has not irritated my face, but rather has truly made it glow! It is so easy to use too. You just rub it on in a circular motion after you wash your face and it takes away all of your dead skin–it is fabulous and I’m sure you and your friends will love it! Candles are also a great gift option, who doesn’t love candles?! The Fornasetti Candles are a little pricey, but smell great and really make a statement. I also just LOVE these lemon cocktail napkins…get a set of these, a nice bottle of vodka and a sparkling French lemonade and you’ve got yourself a beautiful and summery hostess gift!
I hope you loved my picks this week and I hope everyone has a SAFE and HEALTHY weekend!