Friday, July 15, 2016

Sale Alert :: Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

It's finally that time of year! Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale is always one of my favorites and a great chance to snag fabulous finds at a discount. I had a really hard time narrowing it down to a few pieces, but here are the items I've purchased so far:

Trouve Mixed Media Tank: loved the back on this double-layer top

Spanx Jean-ish Leggings: I'm excited to try these jeggings! Normally I'm not a huge fan, but it can be so hard to find a good pair of jeans to wear with booties #thestruggleisreal

Trina Turk Bandeau: I'm really big on mixing and matching swimwear, I loved the back on this bandeau and it will be easy to wear with any solid colored bottoms!

Zella Sports Bra: another item with an amazing back!

Zella Live In Leggings: I bought these last year during the sale, and literally lived in them all winter! My old pair has some holes in it thanks to our cats, so I made sure to grab another since you can't beat the price!

Here are some other items I have in my cart but haven't hit purchase on yet...:

Happy Shopping!

Xo C

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sale Alert :: Burberry

I've literally been waiting months for Burberry to finally have a sale so I could snag these boots! No joke - I checked about every day... I've been dying to find a nice pair of black booties with gold detail after wearing the hell out of a pair I found at Primark (that definitely won't be making it another season). Well, the Sale is here! Head on over to Burberry to snag some great items at over 30% off :)

Black Buckle Detail Leather Ankle Boots - Image 1

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Beauty Favorites :: Fresh

I decided this year I needed to do an overhaul of my skincare routine. First step, get rid of the mish-mosh of products I was using - I had about two of everything and all from different brands... Second step, find a product line to stick with. I chose Fresh because I had used their Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream in the past and loved it. I mistakenly switched to another brand and wasn't happy, so it was time to go back to an old favorite. I went to my local store in Boston to meet with a consultant to make sure I got everything I needed for my skin type. I have normal to dry skin (something I just learned a few months ago after a much need facial); so although the Lotus Face Cream worked well for me, to achieve even better results I was pointed in the direction of the Soy and Black Tea products. For my nighttime routine, I now start with the Soy Face Cleanser, which I apply with my fingers and then use my new Clarisonic Mia Fit to really get a deep clean (review to come later!). The cleanser is super light with an almost gel-like texture, it forms a little bit of a lather and doesn't have much of a fragrance. It does pretty well on its own, even with eye makeup, but I noticed a huge difference when using the Clarisonic. A few times a week I will also use the Soy Face Exfoliant after cleansing, which is also pretty light and has really gentle microbeads. I find both of these products work really well and leave my skin feeling fresh but not dried out!
After washing my face, I use the Black Tea Age-Delay Cream and the Black Tea Eye Concentrate. The cream has a really thick texture but goes on smoothly and is very hydrating. I make sure to do my whole face and neck - one piece of beauty advice I had learned from an elderly coworker that went to a beauty school was to always moisturize your face and never forget your neck! She said I'd thank her once I got older :) I then apply the eye concentrate which is a thin, almost gel-like lotion and a little goes a very long way! I can definitely feel the difference these products have made when I wake up in the morning.
My morning skin routine is pretty simple, after putting in my contacts I add a layer of moisturizer before putting on my makeup. One thing the Lotus Cream lacked was SPF, so I was happy when the consultant recommended the Black Tea Age-Delay Lotion because it has SPF 20! It's a very light-weight lotion and is easy to apply. I like the pump on this bottle because it dispenses just the right amount to cover my face and neck. And after testing the SPF in the hot Florida sun this past week I can attest it does the job really well and lasts all day!
And of course, I couldn't leave the store without grabbing a new lip gloss color... as I've written about before, I'm obsessed with Fresh's lip care line! Their Lip Treatment is a must-have in my purse, but I also really love their Lip Shines. I picked up the Tulip color for this Spring/Summer, but also love their Neutral Lip Shine. The Shines are great to layer over the Treatment to help keep your lips super hydrated. Ever since I discovered these products I have yet to have any more chapped lips! 
What does your skin care routine look like? Any key products you can't live without?

Xo C

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Travel Guide :: Napa & Sonoma, California

After a little bit of a hectic month, I'm back! I traveled out to California at the beginning of the month and since then I feel like things have been nonstop. Same thing happened last year around this time, I had to go to Napa for a work conference, so decided to take advantage of the trip and go out a few days early and bring my husband, Brian, with me. We had such an amazing time and would love to go back soon! There are so many wineries I would love to visit again and so many we didn't get to see.

Brian & I at Kunde Family Winery
Where to Stay:
We were lucky to split our time between two hotels, one in Napa and one in Sonoma. It was nice to be in two different places and experience the surrounding wineries. Something I didn't realize about wine country is how BIG it is! If you can, I would recommend staying in two different areas if you want to experience a variety of wineries all over the different regions. Even though our two hotels really weren't all that far apart, it was nice to switch it up. You can check out maps of Napa Valley and Sonoma County; we based our days on the wineries we wanted to visit and tried to group by areas that were close together.

River Terrace Inn, Napa: This boutique hotel was just perfect for the first few days of our trip. It is within walking distance of downtown Napa and the Oxbow Market (see info below!). The rooms are beautifully decorated with a rustic theme. We had a room with a deck overlooking the river, it was the perfect spot to hang out and relax with a glass of wine! They also have a nice patio and host wine tastings in the early evening.

Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn: I've always enjoyed staying at Fairmonts and this one was really beautifully done and not far from downtown Sonoma. The rooms are a little small but nice, and the staff was outstanding - we got some great recommendations on things to do and places to eat. They also have a great pool area.

Private Tour at Alexander Valley Vineyards
What to Do:
So many wineries and so little time! As mentioned above, we tried to plan our days around the wineries we wanted to visit and what areas they were in. We decided to go North the first full day, and stay closer to the hotel the other days. Here are the wineries we visited:
- Kunde (Kenwood): We did the Mountain Top Tasting at Kunde and it was the highlight of our trip! (see first picture above) If I could only recommend one thing this would be it, there is so much to see (and taste) on the tour and you can't beat the great view.
- Markham (St. Helena): Beautiful winery with a nice, open tasting room and a great staff. We received some great tips here!
- Castello de Amorosa (Calistoga): This winery seems touristy, but we were pleasantly surprised! Their tastings are a little expensive (and you can’t split one between two people like you can at others), but I would recommend buying at least one Reserve tasting (it's worth it!).
- Kendall Jackson (Fulton): I originally didn't want to go to one of the bigger wineries, but they had a lot of nice reserve wines you can't get anywhere else.
- Gloria Ferrer (Sonoma): Nice selection of sparkling wines. You can also get small plates of local cheeses here which we really enjoyed.
- Sebastiani Winery (Sonoma): We were fans of Sebastiani before our trip, so it was only fitting to visit their winery! We had a wonderful private tour, they have a lot of unique wine barrel carvings.
- Hanzell Vineyards (Sonoma): Beautiful little vineyard with a small selection of great wines, by appointment only.
- Rodney Strong (Healdsburg): Nice selection of red wines, we really liked the ones they had from their Brother's Vineyard.
- Alexander Valley Vineyards (Healdsburg): A very nice small vineyard with a great tour. We got to go through their wine caves and taste wine straight from the barrel! (see picture above)
- Mayo Family Winery (Glen Ellen): We came here on a weeknight and had the tasting room to ourselves, so we got to learn so much about how to properly taste wines here!

Other wineries we wanted to visit but didn't have the time:
- Domaine Carneros Winery
- V. Sattui
- Stonestreet
- Medlock Ames
- Chalk Hill Rd
- Scribe
- VJB Winery (great prosecco & pizza)
Conference Dinner in the wine caves at Benzinger Family Winery
Where to Eat:
- Oxbow Public Market: We loved this place! I swear we were here at least twice a day! There is such a great variety of foods, so we usually stopped for breakfast and then for a snack later in the day. This is definitely a do-not-miss!
- The Model Bakery: Best breakfast sandwiches. 'Nuff said.
- Hog Island Oyster Company: We love oysters! Being from the East Coast we don't see a wide variety of West Coast oysters, so we loved grabbing drinks and a variety of oysters at this bar as a quick bite (their sandwiches and soup also looked great). Plus it's in the Oxbow Public Market!
- Long Meadow Ranch Winery & Farmstead: We really loved this restaurant, they had so many good items on their menu: short rib gnocchi, ribs, mac and cheese, etc... and their French 75 was pretty delicious! They also have a nice outdoor patio with a fireplace that is just perfect to relax and enjoy a cocktail. Oh, and don't forget dessert :)
- The Girl & The Fig: Nice little restaurant in downtown Sonoma. If you ask for recommendations this one will probably get mentioned.
- Norman Rose: Right in downtown Napa, they had some great burgers.
- In-N-Out: I mean, when in Rome... :)
- French Laundry: I didn't know about this restaurant until closer to our trip so I didn't have time to make reservations, but it's fairly well known (just wasn't to me until too late!) and people rave about it.

French 75 at Long Meadow Ranch
- Ship wine home! It's so hard to go to all these vineyards and not buy some bottles. We bought a shipping box that could hold 12 bottles and picked out our favorite wine from each vineyard to ship home. At the end of the trip we dropped it off at a UPS, super easy!
- Wait to join a wine club. Almost every vineyard we visited has a wine club. We grabbed some info on each one and made notes, it's easier to access which one fits best once you have experienced all the vineyards and have time to think about which you really liked.
- Reach out to your favorite wineries ahead of time. If you know there is a winery you really want to visit, shoot them an email and see if they offer any special tours or tastings. We were really lucky and used my parents wine distributor to help us book appointments. (Yup, my parent's are such big winos they have their own contact that gets them cases, haha).
- Check out the Culinary School. My parents ate here and said it was one of the best meals they've ever had.
- Bring some antiacids, all that wine can do a number on the stomach, especially if you're drinking more wine than eating food!
- Be prepared to want to go back to see all the wineries you couldn't fit in!

Xo C

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Sale Alert :: Nordstrom

If you didn't already know, Nordstrom is having a huge sale (up to 40%) that goes until Sunday (Feb 21st)! I decided to check this sale out in person and picked up this Bernardo coat, I couldn't resist it at 50% off! I only had one really warm jacket for winter (that wasn't a snowboarding coat), so this will be a great addition I can rotate in.

Here are just a small handfull of other great items from the sale. Go check the rest of the sale items out on Nordstrom!

Nordstrom Sale

Xo C

Monday, February 15, 2016

Essentials :: Winter Boots

Living in Boston, I spend a lot of my winter in snow boots. Especially last winter - I couldn't wait to put my boots away! This winter seems to be a different story, my rain boots are definitely getting a little more wear than usual... But anyways, I always try to have a variety of snow gear that I can rotate so I don't get tired of wearing the same things all the time (and to also keep me sane!).

My boots of choice are the Helly Hansen Garibaldi Snow Boots . Helly Hansen is a favorite brand of mine, these boots are super warm as well as stylish (for a snow boot, haha). I also love this color.
A New England staple is LL Bean's Bean Boots. I'm embarrassed to say I do not own a pair, yet! I'm waiting for the flannel-lined boots to come back in stock. And if you already didn't hear, these are highly coveted during the winter season and often are back-ordered (best bet is to order them in the early Fall otherwise you may not get them until Spring...)
Women's L.L.Bean Boots, 8"Women's L.L.Bean Boots, 8"Women's L.L.Bean Boots, 8"
Another great option is Hunter Boots. These are a good investment because you can wear them all year-round. For winter, all you need to do is get a fun pair of thick socks or Hunter even sells fleece socks that fit in their boots. I have a pair like the ones below, they also have a tall version.

Me last year in Antartica, er I mean Boston... 

Do you have a favorite pair of winter boots?

Xo C

Monday, February 8, 2016

Travel Guide :: Killington, Vermont

There is nothing better than winter weekends in Vermont! I've been going to Killington since I was a kid and just visited this past weekend. There is so much I love about going North in the winter, but most of all I love being outdoors and enjoying the snow. Whether you're a skier or snowboarder, Killington is one of the best places on the East Coast you can go.

(if you couldn't tell, Brian and I love Burton!)
Where to Stay: Killington Grand Resort Hotel
I've been going here since they opened their doors. They have the best amenities, such as an outdoor heated pool and hot tubs, sauna, steam room, spa, restaurant and lots of cozy fireplaces! They also offer a free shuttle service (or what we like to call the drunk bus, haha) to just about anywhere you'd like to go on the main road. And best of all the resort is at the base of the mountain so you can walk right over to the lifts!

What to Do: Hit the slopes! There is a reason why Killington is called 'The Beast,' it's enormous! Killington has 7 peaks, so there are tons of trails and it's a great mountain for all levels. I've been going to this mountain for over 15 years and haven't gotten tired of it! Make sure you stop at one of the waffle cabins or at the Peak Lodge!
If you aren't a skier or snowboarder, there are a ton of other things to do in the area. If you want to experience some other outdoor activities you can go snowmobiling, snowshoeing, snow-tubing, sleigh rides, take a ride on the Beast alpine coaster, mountain biking and so much more!

On the days where it's just way too cold to even be outside, one of my favorite indoor activities is to visit Long Trail Brewery. They also have an outdoor firepit if you want to sit outside. Or you can take a trip to some of the other towns in Vermont. Killington is close to Woodstock (45 min drive) which is a cute, little town that has some good restaurants and quaint shops.

It's also easy to do a day trip to Burlington (another great Vermont town!). It's only about 2 hours away and there are a bunch of fun craft breweries, great restaurants, and the Ben & Jerry's factory is along the way in Waterbury. I spent an afternoon in Waterbury this past trip and had a pretty amazing lunch at Prohibition Pig (their burgers with duck fat fries are to die for!) and we had a great time sampling different VT craft beers at The Reservoir - like beers from The Alchemist (any beer fan will have heard about the coveted Heady Topper), Hill Farmstead (best brewery in the world) and Lawson's (have to try Sip of Sunshine!). I mean, you can't go to VT and not sample some craft beers!

Where to Eat: If you stay around Killington there are a lot of great places to eat.
- Outback Pizza: Great for a laid back night of good pizza, cold drinks and live music. What more could you ask for!
- The Garlic: If you want something a little more upscale, The Garlic has great food and drinks. I'm pretty sure you can smell the roasted garlic from the road!
- Sugar and Spice: A little further down the hill, but they have the best breakfast! It's in a rustic sugar house where they still run the operation on the lower level. Thier signature pancakes are so, so good!
- Prestons: This is the new restaurant at the Killington Grand. I have yet to eat here but loved the old restaurant and the new menu looks amazing. It was packed while we were there, I'm bummed we didn't get to try it!

Other Tips: 
- You can buy a gondola pass to go up the Peak Lodge, so you can enjoy the food and view without having to ski back down the mountain.
- If you're looking for some nightlife, the Pickle Barrel is the place to be. Although be prepared for a pricey cover.
- Vermont is also beautiful to visit in the summer. I have yet to visit during the warmer months as I'm usually down by the beach, but it's on my to-do list!

What's your favorite winter getaway?

Xo C

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Valentine's Day

Love it or hate it, Valentine's Day is right around the corner. I personally like the holiday and I don't think it's just for couples, it's a great day to spread the love to everyone we care about! Plus, it gives me a reason to decorate the house with some pink and red, and it's the perfect excuse to binge on chocolate.

Here are some of my Valentine's Day finds!

I always love Crate + Barrel's holiday section. I actually picked up these heart kitchen towels to add some festive color to our kitchen, the heart vase is a beautiful way to showcase flowers, this adorable mug would be great for hot cocoa (with Bailey's of course, ha) and the ice mold/wine chiller is perfect to put some rose petals in with a bottle of champagne!
Set of 2 Valentine Heart Dish TowelsHeart Vase
If you're looking for some outfit inspiration - I like this casual heart sweater paired with skinny jeans for a cozy evening with your loved ones.

Or for a night out, this dress and fringe booties would be perfect together!

For a more subtle Valentine's Day look, it's easy to add a fun accessory. Clair V has a wide variety of colors of their fold over clutch (I actually have the leopard print one, shocking right!), this Kate Spade bangle is also perfect and a good staple piece (I <3 the saying on the inside!), or for something a little more flashy I love this David Yurman Heart Necklace.


And if food is the way to your heart, there are so many great options :) One of my personal favorites is chocolate covered oreos, yum! Which you could even make them yourself if you're feeling crafty. I've also tried Shari's Berries and they are super delicious! If chocolate isn't a favorite (I won't judge) than Sugarfina has a lot of great sweet options - Gilt actually has a deal right now for them! 
"Cheers to Us" Champagne Bears
Hope you have a lovely Valentine's Day, love it or hate it <3

Xo C


Sunday, January 31, 2016

Beauty Lifesaver :: Fresh Sugar Lip Balm

I always feel like winter makes everything SO dry! My skin and face, my hair and scalp, my nose and lips, ugh! I've found some pretty good solutions, but the best by far is Fresh products, specifically their Sugar line. The Sugar Lip Treatment is something I could never live without. No joke, I'm addicted. At $22+ a pop most people would say that is absurdly expensive for a 'chapstick' - but this is no ordinary lip balm, it's a miracle worker.

I keep their original version in just about all of my bags and at my desk at work. Yes, that means I have multiple $22 chapsticks in places that I could easily lose them. But let me tell you, when you have a small little miracle worker, you just don't misplace it; I've yet to lose one ::knock on wood::

I also have the advanced therapy lip treatment which I keep in my nightstand. I put it on at night before I go to sleep and my lips wake up feeling so magnificent in the morning! Sometimes I will also use it on any other dry skin - like when you blow your nose so much in the winter it gets super dry and cracked, Sugar will fix it! 

There are also a ton of different shades if you want something a little more fun; the Sugar line also includes lip gloss (love!), lip polish, and a face polish (dying to try!). 

What's your beauty lifesaver that you could never live without?

Xo C