Colorado Springs in 48 Hours

Mountain life is not for me…or so I thought! If I could have it my way, I would live by or on the beach 365 days a year.

When I arrived at Denver airport after a 4 hour flight from New York City, I wasn’t thrilled by the idea of Colorado. The only other time I’ve ever visited was a weekend in Denver nearly 10 years prior for a friend’s 21st birthday, during the height of the Winter. I’m the furthest thing from a “snow” person and don’t care for skiing, so you can imagine why I was underwhelmed.

Despite that, we arrived around midnight and stayed in Denver overnight since it was so late. I would highly suggest doing the same thing if you’re too tired to drive! We rented a car from the Denver airport and drove directly to Colorado Springs the next morning, which is about an hour and 15 minutes from Denver without traffic.
The wedding we went to was on a Sunday night so we flew in late on a Thursday and did a lot of exploring within the 48 hours leading up to the wedding. Based on our time in the Springs, here is my compiled list of the must see and do activities you should most definitely add to your list if you’re limited to 48 hours. Note that these are Summer recommendations ONLY as my time here was in late August. The weather is very pleasant during this time of year and was a perfect 75-80 degrees every day.

DAY 1
Visit Garden of the Gods Park

image 5Garden of the Gods Park should be your first stop in Colorado Springs. The park is located at the bottom of Pike’s Peak mountain and does not require any hiking to see the beautiful natural rock formations. There are multiple parking lots in various areas of the park, but I would suggest parking in the main lot. It’s free parking, free entry and there are public bathrooms that are pretty clean if you have to go!

You can walk through the park at your leisure and take as many photos as you’d like. There are a couple of areas where you can climb up on the rocks and others where you cannot as noted by many signs. You can hike, horseback ride and rock climb in the park and you might even get lucky enough to see some wild deer like we did!

Take a photo with Balanced Rock
balanced rock3.jpgWhen you go to exit Garden of the Gods Park, follow the signs to Balanced Rock. You will definitely know when you see it!
This stunning natural beauty is 290 million years old and weights 1.4 million pounds. There is parking right in front where you can get out and climb up the rock. Be sure to take photo with it to send to your friends! This rock is giant and a photo with it will showcase the rock’s massive scale.
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Spent time at the Air Force Academy
Open to the public and completely free, all you need to enter the park is a valid ID before driving through the security entrance. Unfortunately we were pressed for time so we only have a quick 15 minutes to drive up to Cadet Chapel and explore the inside. The campus is absolutely beautiful, even if you decide to just drive around it for a bit.

DAY 2
Drive up to the summit of Pike’s Peak

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Start your day with a drive up of Pike’s Peak, the highest peak within the front range of the Rocky Mountains. Pike’s Peak is 14,000 feet above sea level and is 1 of 54 massive mountains in the state of Colorado. Make sure to have a FULL tank of gas before you go up the mountain and note that it costs $15 per person to drive up.
In all honestly, I’m a little afraid of heights so be prepared that it could be a little scary. There are not guardrails all the way around up so be sure you pay attention to the roads and signs.
Fun fact: When you get to the part of the mountain where the treelike ends (the timber line) you are 2/3rds of the way up the mountain. The trees immediately stop due to the lack of oxygen at the top of the mountain due to the elevation height!

When we visited, there was quite bit of construction at the top of the mountain because they are building a new visitor center. In addition, the cog railway no longer runs to the top of the mountain but was pretty cool to take photos with.

A little advice and a couple of important tips:
1. Make sure you purchase donuts in the gift shop! These special donuts are only made at the top of Pike’s Peak because the dough can only rise around 14,000 feet elevation at the top of the mountain.
2. Make sure you bring a jacket as it can be pretty chilly at the top, even during the Summer. Luckily it was a perfect 70 degrees at the top of the mountain when we visited but can drop into 30s and 40s depending on what time of day you visit, especially in the morning.
3. Wear sneakers. I made the mistake of wearing sandals and had a hard time taking photos close to the edge of the mountain in fear of falling. My sandal had no grip so I slid a couple of times and decided it was best to just take photos further away. (probably a smart choice anyways!)

Hike up the Manitou Spring InclineThis hike is not for the faint of heart. Make sure you are in excellent health before committing to going all the way up. I had been a part of an intense work out class before doing this hike and it was still extremely hard. If you have knee, back or health problems in general, I would strongly advise you not do this hike!
The incline is 2,744 steps and you gain 2,000 feet of elevation within a mile which makes it that much more difficult to breathe. It takes the average person 2 hours just to go up which means it also takes 2 hours to get down, should you choose to go down the way you came up. The other option of going down is a 4 mile hike down Barr Trail which I would highly suggest doing because it’s absolutely beautiful and the views are stunning. It’s also a lot easier than going down the 2,744 stairs you just climbed!Make sure you well hydrated before you leave the parking lot and bring plenty of water with you to drink while you climb. In all reality, this hike is equivalent to being on a stair master for however long it takes you to complete it! FEEL THE BURN!!
Also note that parking is $10 per vehicle and that it’s only good for 4 hours. There is a gift and coffee shop by the parking lot with restrooms which I would suggest using before you start your hike.

Hike Barr Trail
If hiking up 2,744 stairs is too intimidating or challenging for you, but you still want a great hike with stunning mountain views, Barr Trail is for you. There is a separate parking lot just passed the incline lot where you can begin your hike. Go as far up as you’d like (or can) but just know the trail ends after 13 miles at the summit of Pike’s Peak!

Explore Downtown Manitou Springs
Manitou Springs is the cutest little town! There are a ton of restaurants, coffee shops, gift boutiques and ice cream shops. Parking is pretty cheap and it’s best to park and walk around. I would highly suggest dropping by Good Karma for a coffee (their nutty Carmel latte is incredible!) and/or dropping by Border Burger’s for a tasty hamburger.

Antelope Canyon Tours

My love affair with Antelope Canyon began when I was 12 years old. My family would travel to Las Vegas every Summer for a long weekend so naturally, since I was well below the age of 21, I had to find age appropriate activities to preoccupy my time. Second to pool time, shopping was clearly the answer! My younger cousins and I would spend hours walking the strip, popping into store after store with the end all be all typically being Caesar’s Palace where our favorite shops were. I remember being bored out of my mind as we stumbled across a photography gallery that stuck out to me among many of the retail stores: Peter Lik Gallery. I’ve always had a huge interest in art and photography so decided to pop inside.

I’ll never forget the first time I laid eyes on a photograph of Antelope Canyon. The way the light and vibrant colors danced throughout the smooth walls of the canyon completely mesmerized me. It looked absolutely breathtaking and like nothing I had ever seen before! I marveled at that fact that this was a real place and one that not many people had actually explored. After speaking with the gallery manager about what Antelope Canyon was and where it was located, I promised myself that one day I would visit this natural beauty in person.
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Antelope Canyon is the most photographed slot canyon in the world and was discovered only 24 years ago, in 1994. The land owners didn’t even know it existed until their herd of sheep disappeared one day and they were found seeking shelter inside the canyon. Located 118 feet below ground, Antelope Canyon earned it’s name from the antelope that  once called it home. Antelope Canyon was naturally formed by the erosion of sandstone from flash floods and rainwater that would run down from the top, picking up sand and rushing through it’s narrow passageways. How cool is that?!
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There is an Upper Canyon and a Lower Canyon. I chose to tour the Lower Canyon as it is typically less crowded. Each day, the canyon only allows 4,000 people max to tour and they turn away an estimated 2,500 people who have not booked reservations in advance. There are two main tour companies that run tours at Lower Antelope Canyon each day: Ken’s Tours and Dixie Ellis, both of which have fantastic reviews. I toured with Ken’s Tours which was a really great experience. The tour was $50 a person and lasted about an hour and a half. We had a total of about 40 or 50 people on the tour which was a bit overwhelming. If you’re looking to get photos of the canyon without people, it’s pretty difficult so I would suggest being at the very back of the line! If you want great photos, make sure to tour between 10am and noon where the light hits just above the canyon. I hope I can convince you to add this to your bucket list of incredible places. I promise it won’t disappoint!
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Barbados Animal Wildlife Reserve

If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I have a very special place in my heart for animals! When I researched top activities in Barbados, I found that there is an Animal Wildlife Reserve on the island where animals roam free and you can see wild green monkeys. I had to check it out for myself! Upon pulling up to the parking lot, we were greeted by incredible banana leaf fields, countless rows of stunning palm trees and beautiful lush, tropical plants.
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There were three green monkeys near the ticket counter when we arrived and after paying the entrance fee, we were given chopped up sweet potatoes to feed them. Six more monkeys joined us shortly after they realized food was present, including a couple baby ones.
I was absolutely amazed at how gentle and sweet the monkeys were that I wanted to take one home with me! They each had their own personality and many times they would hold my hand (or a finger) while eating directly out of my hand.
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We entered the grounds and started our journey walking small brick pathways throughout the reserve. There were tons of large tortoise which were easy to spot and although they’re known for being slow, they actually move pretty fast. While I was taking photos, one almost walked directly over my foot! Walking a little deeper, we discovered a mother deer feeding her baby!
Screen Shot 2018-03-04 at 1.18.09 PMScreen Shot 2018-03-04 at 1.20.06 PMScreen Shot 2018-03-04 at 1.28.36 PMContinuing further into the reserve, we spotted a rabbit cage filled with beautiful white rabbits and a large male mare rabbit. There were also three large peacocks, one of which  opened their tail so you could see it’s gorgeous feathers! It was absolutely beautiful. It was really cool to see so many different animals living together within such a small space!
Screen Shot 2018-03-04 at 12.29.49 PMScreen Shot 2018-03-04 at 1.21.15 PMScreen Shot 2018-03-04 at 12.40.13 PMScreen Shot 2018-03-04 at 12.32.39 PMI’m not a huge fan of snakes (hence the lack of photos on this one!) but there is also a separate area where you view several species of snakes in glass tanks along with a separate iguana cage. A reserve employee took a couple of the snakes out and allowed guests to hold them which was pretty cool if you’re into that. Next to the snakes were all types of tropical caged birds as well as a separate pool of caymans.
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If you love animals as much as I do or want to see green monkeys up close and personal, I would highly suggest coming to visit the reserve during your stay in Barbados! Admission costs $30 BDS ($15 USD) for adults and $15 BDS ($7.50 USD) for children. Hours are from 10am to 5pm and it is recommended that you are there around 2pm as this is the animal feeding time so you are more likely to see many of the animals at this time. It was truly a magical experience and feeding the monkeys was definitely an experience to remember. It was so much better than viewing animals behind bars at the zoo!
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Screen Shot 2018-03-04 at 1.20.44 PMSHOP MY STYLE:
Moonlight Gypsy Shop Earrings $14
Moonlight Gypsy Shop Embroidered Straw Cherry Bag $30
Forever 21 Selfie Leslie Smocked Top $35
One Teaspoon Denim Cut Off Shorts $98

10 Ways to Increase Self Love & Happiness

Photo Feb 23, 8 10 37 AMIf there’s one thing I take to heart, it’s the fact that we should always be working towards being the best version of ourselves we can possibly be. Life isn’t easy. I have days when I wonder what I’m doing with my life and days where I don’t feel like getting out of bed. Other days I feel extremely accomplished, empowered and ready to take on the day!

It’s hard living in a world where we are constantly bombarded with advertisements telling us we’re not good enough, we aren’t pretty enough and that we need to buy things in order to be something we’re not. Our comparison of ourselves to photoshopped magazine covers, supermodels and celebrities over time can lead to insecurity, self doubt and ultimately self sabotage which is extremely unhealthy. It’s hard to be happy with yourself and the world around you if you’re not comfortable with who you and what you look like. I promise YOU ARE PERFECT JUST THE WAY YOU ARE!

So how can you increase self love & happiness on a daily basis? Grab a journal and a pen!

#1 Ask yourself “What are 3 things I’m grateful for?” and write them down.

Gratitude is so important to be thankful with what you have in your life right NOW. It’s easy to get caught up with what we want for our future but those thoughts lead us away from the present moment.

It could be as simple as the gift of sight or the fact that the sun is shining today. Whether you’re grateful for a friend, a family member or a pet, we are so fortunate to have access to fresh water, nutritious food and have a roof over our head. There are many people in the world struggling each day to attain these three basic necessities.
In order to achieve daily happiness, we need to train ourselves to be happy with what we have in our life NOW because focusing on things we don’t have ultimately leads to unhappiness.
#2 Ask yourself “How do I want to feel today?” and write it down.
The first thing many of us do when we wake up is check our social media, open our email or turn on the news.
Make it a best practice to explore how you’re feeling instead, then decide how you actually WANT to feel. Setting intentions on how you want to feel first thing in the morning allows us to think positively about the day ahead. Any time you start feeling differently throughout the day, think back to the intentions you’ve set and align your mind to stay on track.
#3 Ask yourself “What are 3 things I love about myself?” and write them down.
This is my favorite exercise because it’s the most challenging one for me. It’s 100% ok to struggle with answering this question because we don’t take enough time to really appreciate our gifts, talents and beauty on a regular basis.
Really dig deep. What DO you love about yourself??
This can be physical attributes including the color of your eyes, your perfect manicure or the fact that your hair looks killer today.
It could also be your optimistic attitude, the fact that you’re an awesome cook or that you love your ability to save $100 each week. Whatever it is, it’s important to love the little things about yourself!
#4 Ask yourself “What do I want to accomplish today?” and write it down.
Did you know you are 80% more likely to accomplish a goal if you write it down? Goal setting is something I’m very passionate about. More about that HERE!
Life is short and we tend to stop chasing our dreams that older we get. We let other things take priority and forget to put ourselves first. It’s so important to create goals and stick to them! I keep a weekly planner that I update regularly and create daily tasks of what I want to accomplish or learn in order to help hold myself accountable.
We should accomplish at least ONE thing each day to help us feel like we’re moving forward in life. It could be booking a cycling class you’ve always wanted to try, attending a photography class to finally learn how to use your camera or booking a trip you’ve been wanting to take. The smallest of tasks can help you feel like you’re working towards something and constantly learning or growing. The more you do it, the better you’ll feel about your life purpose and direction, ultimately leading to increased happiness and self love.
#5 Choose a ‘Quote of the day’ & write it down.
The quote I choose largely depends on how I answer the above questions. You’ll tend to notice a theme in how you answer them based on how you’re feeling. I typically go to Google or Pinterest to search for a quote that speaks to me. When I find one I love, I simply jot it down and take 2 minutes to reflect on what it means to me before starting my day. Doing this provides feelings of empowerment, confidence and optimism.
#6 Write down the following & repeat them out loud to yourself in the mirror:
I am Beautiful.
I am Confident.
I am Unique.
I am Fearless.
I am Loved.
I am Amazing.
I am Perfect just the way I am.
We become our thoughts and what we tell ourselves each day. Writing down and repeating affirmations while looking in the mirror help us to see and speak to ourselves in a positive light. You’ll be surprised how much you actually start believing what you tell yourself every day if you do it consistently. We should ALWAYS be feeding our minds positive thoughts! The moment you consciously recognize a negative thought, dismiss it immediately and replace it with a positive one.
#7 Spoil yourself once a week!
Buy yourself a bouquet of fresh flowers, indulge in a cupcake at your favorite bakery or treat yourself to that pair of shoes you can’t stop thinking about. It’s important to treat yourself even when you’re on a tight budget. Something as small as a $3 cupcake a week can’t hurt and is a great way to treat yourself because you deserve it!
#8 Meditate
Meditation is SO good for the body and mind. Not only does it allow you to relax and remove yourself from a state of anxiety or stress, but it can help you look inwardly to reflect on your emotions and feelings. Sometimes it also uncovers issues or problems you didn’t even realize were there! Other times it can help heal your spirit and rejuvenate your soul. The more you meditate, the more you work on yourself. The more you work on yourself, the happier you will be! My favorite app is the CALM meditation app. It helps you reduce anxiety, sleep better and feel happier. I love it because it offers 10 minute meditations focused on different attributes including happiness, gratitude, calmness, stress, self-esteem and more. Give it a try! It’s honestly life changing.
#9 Take a break from social media
It’s so easy to get caught up in the “reality” of our peers or celebrities. Try to remember that MOSTLY everything you see on TV or on social media is NOT REAL LIFE. My instagram may be filled with beach photos and exotic vacations but I actually live in NYC and have a full time job just like most people! Yes, I get exhausted & have days where I don’t want to go to the gym or cook dinner but I’m a normal person and don’t go around jet setting the world.
Its easy to compare our lives to other people but truthfully we should only be comparing ourselves to where we were yesterday!
#10 Complete 1 small act of kindness a day
Buy a co-worker a coffee, give a homeless person your left overs, compliment a complete stranger. If you can consciously seek opportunities to complete a small act of kindness each day, you will begin to feel more humble and giving, thus opening yourself up for more self love and happiness.
I hope this helps you babes as much as it’s helped me. Let me know in the comments what you do to increase self love and happiness!
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#OOTD: The casual romper + the SECRET to living the life of your dreams

CHEERS TO 2108 BABES! I hope everyone is sticking to their New Year resolutions and looking forward to an incredible journey ahead. 2018 is going to be THE BEST YEAR YET! One of my absolute favorite quotes that radiates positive vibes in regards to new beginnings and moving forward that I want to share with you is “The only time you should ever look back is to see how far you’ve come.”
If I could sum up my 2017 in one photo, the photo below would be the one. A moment of stillness. A moment of reflection. A moment in time of manifesting how I want my life to look moving forward while appreciating my life behind me. This snapshot represents my realization of what I am capable of accomplishing and who I am destined to be. How powerful and insanely beautiful is that??

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Do you take time for yourself to reflect? Do you take time to think about what you want? Do you take time to ASK the universe for what you want? Do you take time to map out the direction you want to move while taking into consideration your deepest hopes, desires and dreams? Life is about being the greatest version of yourself you can possibly be. It’s about creating who you WANT to be, NOT “discovering” who you are supposed to be. We’re only a week into the new year…it’s not too late to take time for yourself RIGHT NOW. So go grab a journal and a pen so you can start taking notes on how to life the best life imaginable!

The funny thing about life is that sometimes the people around you wont understand your journey or what the hell you’re doing. The beautiful thing about that though, is they simply don’t need to because it’s not THEIR journey. You and ONLY YOU are responsible for what you do with your life and there is absolutely no need to answer to anyone else. How else will you gain fulfillment if you don’t go after what YOU want?
I truly believe that everything in life happens for a reason. Each chapter serves a purpose. So if any of you babes are struggling to get where you want to be or have absolutely no idea what direction you should be moving, JUST KEEP GOING. I know it’s easier said than done but the truth is, no one has ALL the answers even if it looks like they do. And you don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward…you just have to take the next small step!

ruins 3I’ve never really opened up about my personal life on my blog before, so for the sake of it being 2018, there’s a first time for everything! It was a really interesting year for me. I left sunny, warm Los Angeles after 14 months to move back to freezing cold New York City in the dead of winter for the sake of making my romantic relationship work and to support the person I love most in his career. That same person encouraged me to chase my dreams by launching my own online store, Moonlight Gypsy, which is something I had always wanted. I started blogging shortly after to support the launch of my store which quickly became the creative outlet in my life I had absolutely NO idea I had been missing all these years! It wasn’t until I traveled to BEAUTIFUL Turks & Caicos that I really began my journey of getting back into photography. I minored in photography in college but hadn’t picked up my DSLR in literally 8 years. It felt really damn good!
I started a new job at Victoria’s Secret.com and couldn’t be happier continuing to work in digital eCommerce fashion.

Throughout the Summer I partnered with Kristin @ThePetitePearProject to shoot content for our blogs together. We shot some awesome photos all around NYC and I quickly realized I needed direction on how to actually monetize my blog. I had run across @PangeaDreams blogger retreats on instagram which are led by successful instagram influencers who teach you how to grow your social media presence and make money through brand and hotel collaborations. When I signed up to join Pangea Dreams in Tulum, Mexico I honestly had no idea what to expect. Little did I know, the retreat helped me realize I was on the right path but the best part was connecting with other like minded blogger babes that have similar goals as me.
(My blog post about my entire experience can be found HERE along with a 10% off promo code!)

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…which brings me back to the lovely photo I mentioned above of me sitting alone on a giant cliff overlooking the Caribbean: the best representation of the most rewarding year of my life yet.
For me, 2017 was the first year in my 29 years where I feel like I finally figured out WHO I am and WHO I want to be moving forward. I realize now that anything is possible as long as you constantly remind yourself that nothing stands in your way unless you let it. You are your own cheerleader OR Debbie downer. It’s simply up to YOU to decide how you want your life to look and ultimately up to YOU to get there.
So what’s the SECRET to actually getting where you want to be?? You have to master the art of goal setting!

GOAL SETTING
Did you know if you write down your goals on paper you are 80% more likely to ACHIEVE those goals? How amazing is that??
Our biggest hopes and dreams in life are NOT accomplished overnight. It takes HARD work, dedication and staying motivated each and every day. Goal selling is the one thing you can do to get organized and focused so you’re making daily and weekly progress towards getting what you want. One baby step in the right direction is better than no steps at all and the key is to set small,  MEASURABLE and SPECIFIC tasks to achieve those goals EACH WEEK.
Do you realize that spending 2 hours a day working towards a goal = 730 hours a YEAR = 30 full days (aka an ENTIRE month)?!

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I’m choosing to share my personal goals for 2018 with you babes because I’m hoping it will help you brainstorm ideas of your own and inspire you to live the life you’ve always imagined. Hopefully it will encourage you to think about different ways to work towards toward achieving everything in your wildest dreams or at least spark some ideas!

MY 2018 PERSONAL GOALS
1. BE ORGANIZED.
Utilize a weekly planner! Every Monday I am dedicating time to create a “to-do” list for the week and hold myself accountable for what needs to get done starting with my biggest priorities. If I don’t get everything done, I re-add those “to-do” tasks to the following week.
2. STAY FOCUSED. 
Every day of the week I am choosing a specific category to spend 2 hours of my time focusing on after work. Remember that 2 hours a day = 730 hours A YEAR = an entire month! Tuesdays: Instagram strategy. Wednesday: Website updates. Thursday: Pinterest focus & inspiration.  Friday: Upcoming travel planning. Saturday: Blog focus. Sunday: Brand and hotel collaborations.
3. NETWORK. 
Research and attend blogger/influencer events in NYC to network with other travel babes! I am challenging myself to meet up with one NYC blogger babes OR while traveling once a month.
5. EXPAND CREATIVE THINKING.
Two specific goals in this realm for me include a photography class to become an expert with my DSLR camera, take a light room class to learn new editing skills and eventually learn how to shoot and edit video content! Skillshare.com anyone??
6. STICK TO A FITNESS A ROUTINE.
I struggle with staying in a consistent gym routine. (Which is ridiculous because my gym is only 32 floors below me so I have NO excuses!) After a long day at work and 2 hours of working on my website or blog each day I never really feel like going to the gym. I am holding myself accountable to do a 30 minute workout MINIMUM 4 days a week.
7. SET ASIDE TIME FOR YOURSELF.
I am challenging myself each morning to journal 3 things I am grateful for and 3 things I love about myself while setting positive intentions for the day. I’m not a morning person so I know I’ll never be able to wake up early enough before work to meditate. (Clearly needs to be a goal for 2019!) BUT I am setting a goal to meditate on the weekends at home so I can at least get it in twice a week.
8. STICK TO A HOLISTIC DIET.
After being diagnosed with Grave’s Disease (hyperthyroidism), Epstein barr (chronic mono) and lyme disease this Summer, I was put on a holistic diet plan to cut out all dairy, all refined sugar, corn, gluten (aka most carbs) and high sugar fruits (aka my FAVORITE ones). My doctor also recommended that I stick to organic fruits and veggies, organic lean meats, grass fed beef and no fish other than wild caught Alaskan salmon. Crazy right? Throughout the process I found that I have a gluten sensitivity and am also sensitive to acidic foods and coffee (YIKES…my fav!!) I have no problem sticking to eating healthy throughout the week due to intense weekly meal prepping but I am allowing myself ONE cheat meal a week!! (In all seriousness though, who would ever think of tortilla chips and tacos as a cheat meal?!)

My biggest and most challenging goal of 2018 is to be more present and appreciate the moment. “Life is a journey, not a destination.” My favorite quote of all time, probably because this is something that I personally struggle with more than anything else in life. I’m a dreamer at heart and some days I sit in my office chair at work blinding staring at my computer screen wondering what the hell I’m doing with my life or dreaming about my next vacation adventure. I guess you could call it WANDERLUST but I know I’m not the only one who does that…And no one should ever feel bad for feeling this way. It’s part of our human nature.
Ultimately life is also a journey of figuring out who you WANT to be and I accept that right now I am not quite where I want to be. It’s just important to define what that person looks like and actively pave a clear road of how to get yourself there. This year I will make it my mantra to be present and enjoy the moment. “Because the greatest part of a road trip isn’t arriving at your destination, It’s all the wild stuff that happens along the way.”

So…Where do you see yourself this time next year? In 3 years? What about in 5?
Would you think more about it each day if you knew you only had 365 days left to live on this beautiful planet? How would you live your life differently than you do right now?

The time is NOW. What are you waiting for??

SHOP MY LOOK:
Shein Floral Romper $15
MoonlightGypsy Straw Bow Hat $28
Moonlight Gypsy Straw Basket Bag $120
Moonlight Gypsy Fringe Earrings $14
Converse High Tops Sneakers $55

#OOTD: Luxe Velvet & Flirty Florals

VWThere are moments when I’m shopping and I run across a GORGEOUS floral print I can’t pass up! Does this happen to anyone else???
This Summer I wrote a blog post on how to style two piece sets featuring my favorite floral Free People outfit I practically lived in ALL SUMMER. The skort bottoms (shorts that look like a skirt) were my go-to piece to mix and match the entire season. I paired these bottoms with all kinds of tops in my closet – graphic tees, my favorite chambray denim shirt, crop tops and bralettes. This skort was more than necessary for super hot days in NYC and is an absolute staple in my closet for vacation, just like my trip to Mexico in November. The best part about two piece sets is that they’re basically a two in one because you can wear the matching top with denim cut offs or jeans but you can also wear the entire look together.
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For those of you that don’t know, I work in site merchandising for Victoria’s Secret. This Fall we introduced a gorgeous luxe velvet bralette that I’ve been layering under sweaters because it’s the comfiest thing EVER and it’s also so beautifully designed with chantilly lace and a cut out back detail that’s to die for. It comes in 4 colors and it’s also a steal for only $34.50!!
Style details are at the bottom of this blog post!
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Bralettes are one of my go to staple closet pieces, not just for Summer but for Fall and Winter months as well. They’re so easy to wear out as outwear with denim cut off shorts when it’s hot as hell outside but during colder months they’re super easy to layer. I love pairing this velvet lace bralette under off shoulder sweaters for peek-a-boo lace and also under my favorite flannel tee on days I don’t feel like wearing a bra. (Which happens more often than not!)
Photo Feb 23, 9 21 44 AM_previewMARGThis was definitely one of my favorite Mexico vacay looks (with my favorite accessory being a margarita of course!)

#OOTD: Seeing Stripes

I wrote a blog post back in Summer about one of my FAVORITE Summer trends: Two piece sets! So you can imagine how excited I was when I saw how warm it was going to be during my trip to Mexico in November and realized I could wear them again. (Despite the 40 degree weather in NYC…aka all of my shorts and sets shoved in a suitcase under my bed for the next 6 months).
I was ecstatic when I found this adorable two piece set from SheIn for only $13! The shorts are high waisted with a ruffle detail at the bottom and the top is breathable with a functional tie in the front. The fabric is so light weight and soft, PERFECT for the beach and for exploring the main hotel strip and market in Tulum, Mexico! I’m pretty sure I managed to get coconut gelato all over my #ootd via the second photo in front of this cute little turquoise tuk tuk. Regardless, it was SO WORTH IT!
Happy shopping babes!
kasa hammockSHOP MY STYLE:
SheIn Plunging Bow Tie Two Way Top & Ruffle Short Set $13
Moonlight Gypsy Flower Bomb Sunglasses $20
Moonlight Gypsy Straw Basket Tassel Circle Bag $105
Tkees ‘Foundations’ Flip Flop $50

tuk tukSHOP MY STYLE:
SheIn Plunging Bow Tie Two Way Top & Ruffle Short Set $13
Moonlight Gypsy Pom Pom Beach Tote $48
Moonlight Gypsy Fringe Earrings $14
Maaji Swimwear Headband
JustFab Juhlia Pom Pom Lace Up Sandals $19.95

cancun.jpg

Fall 2017 Footwear Trends

bootieAccessories are EVERYTHING!! Whether it’s jewelry, hair accessories, footwear, or handbags, I love the beauty of being able to throw on accessories to complete any look and love that they can easily change the way an outfit looks altogether.

If there’s one accessory category that I could never live without, it’s definitely SHOES!! Ladies, you know what I mean. Guys just don’t understand and they probably never will. If I had to guess, I would bet that our love for shoes is most likely equivalent to a mans love for football. So while he’s watching sports, you can find me shopping for shoes! 😉

That said, today I’m sharing some of the most popular Fall footwear trends at the moment that will take you from a day at the office to a night out. The best part? Majority of the styles I’m sharing are under $100! Looking cute doesn’t have to break the bank babes! A lot of these looks are similar to high end designer brands that would normally cost you hundreds of dollars. I’ve also included some functional cold weather options under $200 that will keep you warm and cozy since Winter is right around the corner!

LOAFERS
Loafers and mules are my favorite for the office! Not only are they super comfy (most have cushion for comfort) but there are so many options you can play with including velvet, fur, metallics and embroidery. My latest obsession are these adorable Steve Madden ‘Kaden’ loafers in velvet with fur because they’re a really cute version of the popular fur Gucci loafers for a tenth of the price!!
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1. Topshop LUNA Bow Loafers $48
2. B.P. Kali Loafers from Nordstrom $59.95
3. Cape Robbin Embroidered Velvet Mules $34.99
4. Sole Society ‘Cammila’ Pointy Toe Loafers $79.95
5. Steve Madden ‘Kaden’ Velvet Fur Mules $89.95

OTK Boots
If you don’t own a pair of over the knee boots yet, BUY THEM NOW! You can thank me later. Not only will they keep you warmer than ankle boots as the temp starts dropping, but they offer an extra layer of warmth. I style my flat OTK boots with pants or leggings and a chunky sweater during the day and style my heeled OTK boots with a crop top, leather jacket and skirt when I’m going out on the weekends. My favorite thing about them is that they make me taller due to the height which is good since I’m only 5’3″!
otk
1. JustFab ‘Tibbie’ Over The Knee Velvet Heeled Boots $74.95 but $42.95 for VIP members!
2. JustFab ‘Tibbie’ Embroidered Over The Knee Heeled Boots $74.95 but $42.95 for VIP members!
3. Marc Fisher Humor Over The Knee Boot at Macy’s $129 on sale for $64.50!
4. JustFab ‘Gale’ Over The Knee Peep Toe Boots $75.95 but $42.95 for VIP members!
5. JustFab ‘Kinsley’ Over The Knee Heeled Boots $84.95 but $46.95 for VIP members!

BOOTIES
Booties booties booties!!! I literally live in booties during the Fall. They’re so easy to throw on and you can easily change the look of any outfit with a pair. I’ve been rocking these JustFab star booties since the beginning of Fall and decided that my next purchase is going to be a brocade printed pair like these Nasty Gal booties ($4) for Holiday parties!
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1. JustFab ‘Jacinta’ Velvet Star Booties $59.95 ($39.95 for VIP members!)
2. Go Jane Precious Pearls Faux Suede Booties $33
3. Guess ‘Amary’ Patent Booties $
4. Nasty Gal Brocade Booties $70
5. JustFab ‘Jacinta’ Embroidered Booties $59.95 ($39.95 for VIP members!)

SNEAKERS
Living in NYC requires that you own good (and fashionable) sneaks! My walk to and from work is 20 minutes each way so the functionality and comfort is a huge factor for me. My favorites for Fall are these rose gold converse high tops (#1) and anything with velvet or fur!
COLD WEATHER
It’s finally hitting 40 degrees this week in NYC so in the back of my mind I know WINTER IS COMING!!! I swear by Sorel brand ANYTHING if you’re looking for a cute pair of snow boots and recommend Sperry boots if you’re just looking for a waterproof pair. Both brands offer a really great assortment of all weather functional options and I promise you they’re worth spending the extra $$ on.

I ran across these super cute stripe EMU Australia slippers at Free People last week and am majorly obsessed! I would actually wear them outside during Summer. My go to for running errands or lounging around my apartment during the winter are these cozy Ugg slippers (#5) or anything Ugg in general. Even if they’re not considered as ‘cool’ as they used to be, they keep me warm and that’s all that matters when it’s almost zero degrees outside!

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1. Sorel ‘Joan of Arc’ Winter Boots $179.95
2. Emu Australia ‘Wrenlette’ Slippers $59.95
3. JustFab ‘Winter’s Coming’ Fuzzies $59.95 ($44.95 for VIP members!)
4. Sperry ‘Syren’ Gulf Duck Boots at DSW $99.99
5. Ugg Alena Suede Slippers $120

Happy shoe shopping babes! I hope you have enough room in your closet for all these cuties!!

Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice

Field 1
OCTOBER. The official kick off to the BEST time of year…the Holidays!
This is my favorite Fall month because it means apple picking, pumpkin patches and flannel, but mainly because it’s a nice reminder I won’t need a puffer coat for another few weeks. October makes the cooler weather bearable for me knowing that pumpkin spice lattes are finally back at Starbucks and family time is coming up in November and December!
Field 2
In the spirit of welcoming Fall, my boyfriend Ben and I took a weekend trip to Lititz, Pennsylvania to visit his family and meet their adorable new puppy, Leia! (If you follow me on Instagram you have definitely seen her on my Insta stories!)
Lititz is an cute, little town in the heart of Amish country with horses and farms for MILES. I love getting out of New York City to visit here because it reminds me how small I am compared to the giant world we live in and also how simple life really is. And trust me, you tend to forget when you live somewhere like Manhattan!
Railroad Tracks
We had beautiful weather so decided to explore Cherry Crest Adventure Farm where there are a ton of fun Fall activities for families including a giant pumpkin patch, a corn maze, petting zoo, apple shooting (out of huge cannons!), paint ball, go carts, sports activities and more. My favorite things about our trip to Cherry Crest were getting to pick my own pumpkins (the cutest ones most suitable for coffee table decor of course) and their AMAZING homemade Apple Cider Donuts!!
Pumpkin Picking Sunset
Pumpkins
Pumpkin Picking Sunset 2
Apple Cider Donuts
My favorite little coffee shop on main street in downtown Lititz is Dosie Dough Bakery. They have some yummy homemade bread, sandwiches and bakery treats including gluten free options just for me! I cant wait to go back for Thanksgiving. Thinking I might do a shoot to show you guys more of what this cute little town has to offer!

SHOP MY STYLE:
Moonlight Gypsy Hat $24
Free People Trapeze Slip Dress $88
SheIn Floral Bomber Jacket $13
Brandy Melville Dress
JustFab Tapestry Booties
Kendra Scott “Sophia” Drop Earrings $50


Hay
Dosie Dough Coffee
Bran Door

Chicago Weekend Fun

Ahhh Fall weddings. Last weekend I had the pleasure of a attending a beautiful wedding in the suburbs of Chicago in a cute little town called Saint Charles.
Having been to Chicago once before, I was somewhat familiar with all that downtown has to offer but hadn’t spent more than 24 hours there and wanted to take advantage of being back. I flew in Thursday night so I could spend Friday exploring downtown and brunch Saturday morning before my hour drive to Saint Charles.
Whether you’re in Chicago for a wedding or a weekend getaway, here is a compilation of sites to see and some of the best restaurants, treats and cocktail lounges you can easily hit in 48 hours!

SITE SEEING

Cloud Gate
Located in the heart of downtown Chicago in Millennium Park, Cloud Gate is a giant reflective sculpture dubbed ‘The Bean’ because of it’s bean shape. This massive work of art was inspired by liquid mercury and weighs 110 tons! It’s famously one of the most photographed landmarks in downtown due to its reflection of the Chicago skyline.
In addition to the bean, there are a ton of activities and additional things to see in Millennium Park.
The Bean
Navy Pier
One of my favorite areas of downtown Chicago is Navy pier on Lake Michigan. Open year round, this 3,300 foot pier offers a lot of fun activities including a giant ferris wheel, a children’s museum, AMC movie theater, Shakespeare theater, beer garden, shopping center, indoor eating hall and more!
See more info here.
Navy Pier
Architecture Boat Tour
Although it was highly recommended and one of the most popular activities in Chicago, I didn’t have time for an architecture boat tour but will mostly definitely do this next time I visit! Cruise along the Chicago River for a live tour and learn about Chicago’s historic landmarks, hidden gems and how the skyscraper was invented. You can even go on a sunset dinner boat tour!
Get tickets here.

Willis Tower

Formally known as the Sears Tower, Willis Tower is 110 stories high and you can ride an elevator all the way to the top to view the Chicago skyline through glass walls and floor enclosures for MILES. I’m terrified of heights so this wasn’t on my list of things to do, however, tickets start at only $22 and it looks pretty cool.
Get tickets here.

Chicago Theater
The Chicago theater is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city so of course I had to get a photo in front of it!
View upcoming comedy and music shows at Chicago Theater here.
Chicago Theater

The River Walk

One thing that makes downtown Chicago unbelievable beautiful is the Chicago River that feeds into Lake Michigan. It runs throughout different parts of downtown with the river walk being a pedestrian walk way lined with restaurants, bridges, fishing piers and boat docks. You can easily walk this path while you’re out sight seeing.
River WalkThe Flamingo Wall
Located at 601 N Wells street, I was blown away by this huge work of art and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take a photo in front of a giant pink flamingo! I have a special place in my heart for anything pink so naturally I was convinced this wall was placed here just for me. =)
If you’re looking for more murals in Chicago, check out this Guide to Chicago murals.Flamingo WallLake Front Trail (Lake Michigan)
If you walk East of Millennium Park, you will eventually run into Lake Front Trail, a paved walking path along Lake Michigan. It was a PERFECT October day and I was stunned to see how blue the water was! Living in NYC, it was refreshing that such a peaceful and beautiful view was such a short walk from the hustle and bustle of the city.Lake Michigan

Magnificent Mile
Although it’s not technically not a site to see, Magnificent Mile is the premier shopping destination in downtown Chicago full of upscale stores, beautiful hotels and cool restaurants. You will most likely run into it at some point while you’re out exploring the city but should definitely check it out!

DINING & DRINKS

If the words ‘Rose all day’ exist in your vocabulary, you HAVE to brunch at the Hampton social! Classic brunch options, a raw bar, lobster rolls and fish tacos are staples on their menu. You cant go wrong with anything you order.
After site seeing for several hours, I was craving something sweet and definitely needed an afternoon pick me up. I sadly have a gluten intolerance so Stan’s donuts was perfect because they offer gluten free and even vegan donuts! They also have the most delicious cold brew coffee which paired nicely with my GF blueberry and chocolate donuts. (DO NUT judge me for ordering 2!!) Stan’s was a sweet excuse to rest my feet before venturing out for more site seeing.
Stans Donuts

Deep Dish Pizza at Giordano’s
Chicago is famously known as the original creator of deep dish pizza. Even among the locals, Giordano’s is the most famous pizza place in the city. I was excited to know they have gluten free thin crust pizza as well!
Pizza
Dinner at Avec or Girl & The Goat

Noted as two of the most popular restaurants in Chicago, I would suggest dining at one or both of these places.

Tiki Cocktails at Three Dots & A Dash 
This was my ultimate favorite find in downtown Chicago! I stumbled upon this place as a last minute ‘google maps’ find and it was a memorable experience to say the least. A back alleyway with a lit tiki torch is the entrance to this speakeasy tiki bar and the ambiance takes you to a tropical paradise with a menu full of mai tais and tropical cocktails. I was literally OBSESSED! Not to mention, each cocktail is served in their own unique glass.
tiki
SHOP MY STYLE:Look #1 (Cloud Gate)
SheIn Jumpsuit $13
Moonlight Gypsy Miami Sunglasses $16
Zara Faux Suede Biker Jacket $89.90
SheIn Velvet Bow Bag $11
Steve Madden Heeled Sandals $49.95
Kendra Scott Sophia Drop Earrings $50

Look #2: (Navy Pier)
Moonlight Gypsy Embroidered Flower Boho Sweater $48
Zara Pink Mid-Rise Skinny Jeans $39.90
Moonlight Gypsy Miami Sunglasses $16
Moonlight Gypsy Velvet Quilted Shoulder Bag $50
SheIn Flat Boots $60
Kendra Scott Sophia Drop Earrings $50