As much as I love the color red, it has never flattered my complexion. I’ll sneak in the occasional red nail polish or red lip, but that’s usually as far as it goes. So I’ve been trying to incorporate some options that fall close on the spectrum, like burgundy, blush, or in this case, burnt orange. These shades tend to complement more skin tones, and because they’re more muted, they can be worn casually without making a bold statement. The warm hue makes this romper perfect for summer, and, with a jacket and ankle boots, a great transition into fall.
As you probably already know, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is happening now through August 3rd. While there are some incredible deals available (some of which I’ve included below), I thought it would be fun to highlight a few other brands’ sales that aren’t so widely known, starting with a few items from outfits I’ve worn on the blog.
(from left to right, top to bottom)
1. These sandals are some of the most comfortable heels I own, and they’re currently 55% off. (See original post here).
2. I love the versatility of this denim pencil skirt. It’s been perfect for spring and summer, and I’m excited to transition it into cooler weather with some ankle boots and sweaters come the fall. It’s now available here and herefor 30% off. (See original post here).
3. Unfortunately this dress is no longer available in this cream color, but these colors are just as beautiful. (See original post here).
4. Madewell has become my trusted retailer for reliable, affordable tees, which is why I own this one in three different colors. (See original post here).
5. I know I’ll be reaching for these classic levi’s shorts again and again, so I recently invested in a second pair, now that they’re 40% off. (See original post here).
6. I wore this dress with these heels together during spring, and I think the combination would work even better come the fall. (See original post here).
7 & 8. These boots have been a staple for me during fall and winter, so owning them in multiple colors was a must. (See original posts here and here).
This Lemon Rosemary Yogurt Cake just may be one of my favorites to date. I was introduced to it when my roommate made it a few weeks ago. I loved it so much that I insisted she share the recipe with me because I knew it was one of those recipes I’d want to make for years to come. It’s satisfyingly sweet, but the lemon and rosemary give it the perfect balance of tart and savory that keep the cake from tasting too rich. I could finish it in a few sittings, but if you can exhibit more self-control, I think it’s even better after it’s been sitting out a few days.
It’s amazing how long it’s taken me to find a pair of denim cutoffs that I love. I have these that I wear often, but I wanted some that looked more classic. I was beginning to think they existed only for those lucky few who score a vintage pair at a thrift shop, but I finally stumbled across this pair that met all of my requirements. The mild distressing and wash are exactly what I was looking for, and they have the same vintage feel of the signature Levis from the ’80s, but even better because they’re brand new. I wore this outfit over the July 4th weekend, and I loved how the stripes, denim and sneakers came together for a classic All-American look that was perfect for the occasion.
P.S. – I’m giving one lucky reader the chance to win their very own Daniel Wellington watch (identical to the watch seen above)! To enter:
Each follow counts as one entry. To complete your entry, leave a comment below, along with a way for me to contact you. One winner will be selected at random and contacted on Tuesday, 7/21/15. Good luck!!
I came across a recipe for zucchini fritters a few weeks back, and was so blown away by how good they were, that I’ve been making them weekly ever since. So after an indulgent Fourth of July weekend filled with heavy barbecue, drinking and rich desserts, it was time to get back to a more healthy routine. Though the original recipe was fine, I made a few tweaks to make it even healthier, without sacrificing the buttery flavor that I loved. These fritters have become my go-to for a quick and healthy snack lately, and since they’re so easy to make, I wanted to share the recipe:
2 large zucchini
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup wheat flour
2 green onions, chopped
1tsp freshly chopped dill
1 tsp sea salt (or Kosher salt)
1/2 tsp garlic salt
2 tbsp olive oil for frying
1. Trim ends off zucchini and grate over large holes using a boxed grater (or hand held grater). Place in colander with 1 tsp of salt and allow to sit for 20 minutes. Drain zucchini to remove as much liquid as possible so your fritters will be crispy when fried (I use a spatula to press the zucchini down against the colander).
2. Transfer grated zucchini to a large bowl and add egg, flour, diced green onions, chopped dill, and garlic salt. Stir until combined.
3. Heat oil in skillet on medium heat. Scoop 1/4 cup size mounds into the pan and pat down mixture with spatula. Cook about 4-5 minutes on each side, or until the outsides are lightly browned.
4. Allow to cool a couple of minutes on a paper towel and sprinkle with more salt if desired. Top with a dollop of greek yogurt and garnish with dill.
When I think of pleated shorts, a stuffy, preppy image often comes to mind, but this pair strikes the perfect balance between laid back and chic. The slouchy fit gives the shorts a relaxed vibe, while the pleats offer a more polished feel. One of my favorite tricks for looking put together when I don’t feel like putting forth much effort, is to wear matching colors for a monochromatic look. It elevates a basic outfit into a not so basic one, especially when done in a classic, neutral hue like this soft sage green combo.
Though it’s hardly a hidden paradise now that bloggers, hipsters and celebrities alike are flocking there, Tulum remains a little gem located on the east coast of the Yucatán peninsula. Because of its close proximity to the equator, it’s far more tropical than other parts of Mexico, and with that comes beautiful white sand beaches and clear blue water. Yet despite its growing popularity, it still feels refreshing secluded and charmingly rustic. For this reason, I wouldn’t recommend it as a destination for the high-maintenance traveler, but in my opinion, that’s exactly what makes Tulum so special. I finally had the chance to see what the hype was about, and my only regret is that I couldn’t stay longer. If you’re considering a visit, (and you should), be sure to check out the travel guide below for tips on navigating the city.
What to do:
Swim in the cenotes (natural freshwater swimming holes formed by the collapse of limestone rock). We chose Cenote Dos Ojos based on proximity, but from what I hear, you can’t really go wrong with any of the cenotes.
Visit Sian Ka’an, a biosphere reserve with wetlands, lagoons and lots of interesting wildlife. We weren’t able to fit a visit into our schedule this time, but the tours get rave reviews.
Take a tour of the Mayan ruins that date back to the 13th century. Directly below the ruins is a beautiful beach that’s open to the public, so bring your bathing suit and a beach towel. (Tip: To avoid crowds, arrive as soon as the ruins open (8am) because large buses filled with tour groups will start crowding the area after 9-10am).
Take a yoga class – If you consider yourself a yogi, then you’ve come to the right place. Most hotels offer classes, but there are plenty of facilities within Tulum that cater to yoga retreats, etc.
Shop in Tulum centro (the main part of town). The streets are lined with affordable shops that sell leather goods, Mexican blankets and hammocks, embroidered dresses, jewelry, and much more. (Tip: most vendors are willing to bargain, so don’t feel obligated to pay the initial asking price).
Where to eat:
Hartwood – If you’re a foodie traveling to Tulum, then you likely already know about Hartwood. It was started by two American chefs from New York, and has gained the attention of food critics all over. Hartwood is an eco-friendly restaurant (operating only with electricity generated by solar panels), and all of the food is cooked over a wood-fire oven. I had read incredible things about Hartwood beforehand, and it did not disappoint. We had the ensalada de jicama to start, followed by the platillo de pulpo (grilled octopus), and costillas al agave (pork ribs that literally fall off the bone). And the fresh cocktails we enjoyed with our meal with were just as delicious. We topped our dinner off with cinnamon ice cream for dessert. (Warning: The line gets long quickly, so stop by in the afternoon when they open at 3pm to make a reservation for that evening. Doing this enabled us to walk right in at our reservation time).
Posada Margherita – A shabby chic beachside restaurant that’s known for their fresh juices, made-to-order pasta, and authentic seafood. Everything from the complimentary baked focaccia and cheeses were noteworthy, but the tomato basil and vegetable pastas were a favorite. We actually ordered so much food on our second visit, that the servers had to borrow the empty table next to us to accommodate all of our plates (true story). The food alone is enough to keep you coming back, but the ambiance is just as special, especially at nighttime when the restaurant is illuminated only by flickering candles.
Juanita Diavola – A rustic pizzeria with fresh pasta and wood fired pizza. We shared the caprese salad and margherita pizza, both of which were very good.
Ziggy’s Beach – Ziggy’s Beach is connected to The Beach Tulum hotel (where we stayed), so we enjoyed many of our meals there. The breakfasts were probably our favorite, but I loved stopping by for guacamole and fresh coconut water in the afternoons. The tuna nachos and organic beet and goat cheese salad were also delicious.
Gitano – Best known for their tasty mezcal cocktails, with food that’s said to be just as promising. We didn’t get the chance to dine here, but we did peek through during the day and thought it looked adorable (see bottom right photo from collage above).
El Tábano – I had read great things about El Tábano, specifically the poblano pepper crepes, which, although were very tasty, didn’t live up the hype in our opinion. We also ordered the shrimp tacos and ceviche, both of which satisfied our lunch cravings.
Street food – Admittedly, some of the best Mexican food we ate were some tacos from street vendors in town.
Where to stay:
After thorough research on hotels in the area, we settled on The Beach Tulum, a charming boutique hotel with 20 rooms (all of which are beachfront). Since this was my first time visiting, I can only really speak for our hotel, but we were very happy with our choice and would love to go back again. The vibe is laid back, yet elegant, and all of the staff were extremely warm and welcoming. We found the most competitive rate through Orbitz, and booked a Deluxe Room, which included a private terrace with a hammock, couch, table and chairs that opened right up to the beach. The rate also includes free wifi (often intermittent depending on the wind) and a complimentary breakfast each morning from Ziggy’s Restaurant (which is also available for room service upon request). Unlike many of the hotels in the area, The Beach Tulum provides air conditioning from 5pm -9am, but the ocean breeze and ceiling fan help keep the room cool during off hours.
Other hotels that looked lovely as we passed by: Coqui Coqui (if you’re looking to splurge), Ahau Tulum, and Ana Y Jose, among many others.
How to get around:
Upon arrival to Cancún International Airport, you’ll have the option to rent a car or take a taxi down to Tulum (about 80 miles from CUN). We didn’t want the responsibility of having a car (which turned out to be the right decision for us since taxis are so readily available in Tulum), so we booked round trip transportation to and from the airport through SuperShuttle. Most hotels are happy to book transportation if needed, but we found that the price for SuperShuttle matched the price that our hotel was offering (about $200 usd).
Tulum is relatively small in size, so we alternated between walking, biking and taking taxis. We found the taxi drivers to be very friendly.
Language: Spanish is is the main language spoken in Tulum, but most of the locals speak English fairly well.
Currency: The Mexican Peso is the local currency in Tulum. Some places will accept credit cards, but be sure to keep plenty of cash on hand, as many places are cash only. US dollars are accepted at most places, but pesos will have a better exchange rate. Tipping is optional (if you feel inclined to tip, no more than 10% is customary).
Climate/Best time to visit: Rainy season begins in June and lasts through October, while dry season runs December through April. Temperatures average around 28° C (82° F), with strong humidity throughout the year. (Tip: Most of the hotels and restaurants are open-air, so I would advise against visiting during rainy season. We arrived in mid June and were met with a heavy wind and rain storm for the first few days that was no joke).
What to pack: One of the things I loved most about Tulum was how casual it was. The blogger in me packed some impractical items that I didn’t end up using, so the less is more saying really holds true in this case. Some things I would recommend packing: bathing suits, hats, breathable clothing, minimal makeup, comfortable shoes, sunblock, bug repellant for mosquitos (thank me later), and a flashlight (the roads are very dark at night, so we used the flashlights on our iPhones to light the way).
Arrive early: Tulum is filled with tourist activities, so when visiting these popular sites (cenotes, ruins, etc.), it’s best to arrive as early as possible to avoid the crowds.
The first few days of our recent trip to Tulum were met with heavy winds and rain, which meant being stuck in our hotel room with minimal wifi. Needless to say, we got a little stir crazy, so when the sun finally came out, we took full advantage of the weather and spent the first sunny day exploring the surrounding area by foot. One of the things we had hoped to find on our walk was a highly rated Italian restaurant called Posada Margherita. I had read about it before our trip, but the idea of Italian food from Mexico seemed questionable. The decor alone was worth the visit, and after one bite of their fresh made pastas, I was totally sold. I wore this comfortable denim dress with sandals, which was perfect for our spontaneous lunch with a rustic beachside vibe.
Dress: American Eagle (see bottom of post for similar options), Chambray button down: Similar here, Sandals: Mia Cruise, Purse: Forever21, Sunglasses: Similar here, Bangles: Madewell
I had been eyeing embroidered dresses for a while, but a planned trip to Mexico gave me the incentive to get serious about my hunt. I ordered a few different styles online, both pricey and cheap, and surprisingly, the affordable ones ended up being my favorites. Not to mention, the loose and breezy fit of this one became a lifesaver in dealing with the intense humidity of Tulum. I wore it into town here, and then to dinner, which led to nearly falling asleep in it because it’s just that comfortable.
I stumbled across Cleobella a few months ago while scrolling through my Instagram feed, and was so excited because their designs were exactly what I pictured myself wearing on a recent trip to Tulum. Not only do they do incredible things with fringe, embroidery and crochet detailing, but all of their designs are handmade and produced by local artisans in Bali, Indonesia, so each piece feels unique and special. What initially caught my eye were their bright Mexicana clutches and wallets, but the aesthetic behind their clothing is just as impressive. Tulum’s dress code is very casual, but because our last night included a reservation at Hartwood, one of Tulum’s trendiest restaurants, I decided to get a little more dressed up, while still retaining the laid back bohemian feel that’s so prevalent along the Yucatan coast.