One-Piece Swimsuits for Your Next Beach Vacation

BEACHWEAR DETAILS:

Swimsuit: Forever 21 [similar] | Cover-Up: Forever 21 [similar] | Sunglasses: LOFT [similar]

One-piece swimsuits have become really popular over the past few years and are my go-to style of swimwear for lounging poolside or relaxing on the beach. There are so many different cuts and styles to choose from (e.g., bandeau, cut-out, ruched, halter, solid vs. pattern, etc.) and they’re virtually flattering on all body types. So to follow up on my last travel post and get you ready for swimsuit season, today I’m sharing some of my favorite one-piece swimsuits to pack on your next beach vacation!

Bright Colors and Floral Print One-Pieces

Blue One-Pieces

Red One-Pieces

Black One-Pieces

Leopard Print One-Pieces

White One-Pieces

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Our Beach Vacation and Your Travel Guide to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

With spring break travel at its peak, I can’t help but reminisce about palm trees, clear blue skies and one of our favorite beach destinations, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico!  In this post, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite photos from two previous trips, an overview of Cabo, where we stayed as well as a few recommendations on where to eat, sleep and play.

Cabo San Lucas is located on the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula and about a 4.5 hour direct flight from Chicago.  John and I first visited Cabo in 2011 for his 30th birthday, a second time in 2017 (the majority of this post has been sitting in draft since then), and most recently, I traveled to Cabo last summer for a bachelorette party (read all about The Ultimate Bachelorette Party in Cabo here).  Although we’ve had our fair share of trips to Mexico including Playa Del Carmen, Riviera Maya, Akumal, Puerto Vallarta and Cancun (read all about our Destination Wedding at Secrets the Vine Cancun here), Cabo is one of my favorite beach destinations in Mexico for sun, sand and margaritas.The two times I traveled with John, we stayed at the newly renovated and contemporary, ME by MELIÃ, an adults-only property located on Medano Beach (Playa el Médano), the only swimmable beach in Cabo.  We chose this hotel because of it’s location and atmosphere.  The ME overlooks Cabo’s popular landmark, El Arco (The Arch) at Land’s End, a distinctive rock formation where the Pacific Ocean becomes the Gulf of California and is walking distance from shops, bars, nightclubs, restaurants and the marina.  The weekdays are fairly quiet and relaxing at the hotel, but you can expect high-energy, a fun vibe, house music and a large crowd on the weekends when the main pool area turns into a beach club known as Blue Merlin Ibiza (formerly known as Nikki Beach).

**Fun Fact** The week of John’s birthday in 2011, Tiesto, one of my favorite DJs back in the day, was spinning live at our hotel so we lucked out with a “free” concert off of our hotel room’s balcony.

**Note** In 2014, Hurricane Odile slammed the Baja California Peninsula and ripped through Cabo causing severe destruction and irreparable damage and so our hotel went through a complete renovation.  The four photos above are of the pool area from our first visit in 2011 and the photos below are of the hotel now.

If you’ve ever traveled to Mexico then you know there are a ton of all-inclusive resorts to choose from, but ME isn’t one of them.  Staying at an all-inclusive resort definitely has its perks.  The resorts are large and you never have to leave the property, they have a variety of restaurants on site, nightly entertainment and your room, meals and beverages are all bundled into a package when you pay up front making you feel as if everything is “free” when you arrive on your vacation.

Although we’ve stayed at all-inclusive resorts in the past and have had wonderful experiences, we chose ME because of it’s prime location and smaller boutique size.  Since ME is NOT all-inclusive, dining at the hotel could get very expensive.  Cocktails can cost between $8-$12 and a small bottle of FIJI water is around $4.  They only have two restaurants on site; the Blue Merlin Ibiza Restaurant which offers Mediterranean cuisine with Asian influences (the sushi and ceviche is so fresh and delicious) and The Deck which is located in front of the hotel by the beach and is open for breakfast and lunch, in addition to room service options.  In my opinion, you end up paying about the same as you would at an all-inclusive resort without feeling confined to your resort, forcing you to venture out and try new places. 

Cabo is a fairly safe town (we walked into town every night) and when you walk out on to the beach and turn right out of the hotel, you’ll hit plenty of great and inexpensive restaurants for breakfast, lunch or dinner helping keep your costs low if you choose to forgo the all-inclusive route.

 Restaurants on Medano Beach:

  • Mango Deck Restaurante Bar & Beach Club– Lively atmosphere with loud music and an MC who hosts a variety of contests.  The service was excellent and our dinner for four which included quesadillas, nachos, swordfish, margaritas and beer came out to about $160.
  • The Office on the Beach– Ocean front restaurant with tables in the sand, colorful linens and tiki torches.  It’s only a few doors down and a MUST for anyone visiting Cabo.  The food, beverages (the margaritas are just oh-so tasty) and service are excellent.  It’s pricey and you’ll need reservations ahead of time, but it’s worth visiting.  They’re open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • SUR Beach House– A contemporary and modern restaurant with patio seating, amazing views and a tasty menu (I ate lunch here twice last summer).  Located right next door to ME.
  • The Sandbar– Located two doors down from ME and where we had breakfast a few times.  I believe our entire meal including drinks came out to about $30 for four guests.  They also offer 80-min. full body massages on the top deck for only $45 as well as different excursions and activities including wave runners, parasailing, horseback riding on the beach, ATVs, etc. (prices have probably gone up, but make sure to negotiate on the excursions).

Hotels on Medano Beach:

A Few Other Hotels in Cabo:

  • Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas– A beautiful all-inclusive option located on the far end of Medano Beach (tides are rough on this part of the beach so you can’t swim in the ocean).
  • Secrets Puerto Los Cabos Golf & Spa Resort– Adults-only, all-inclusive option, but far away from everything. We’ve stayed at several Secrets properties and they don’t disappoint.
  • Breathless– Chic, adults-only hotel overlooking the marina; same hotel chain as Secrets.  My sister-in-law and her husband stayed here last year and they loved it.
  • Grand Solmar Lands End Resort– A favorite and the go-to resort for blogger, Olivia Rink (see her post here).
  • Vidanta– A brand new, luxury, all-inclusive resort in Los Cabos.  Kind of far out and the home of OMNIA Day Club (you can see photos and read about my experience at OMNIA from a previous post here).

As I mentioned above, ME is walking distance and less than a 5 min. cab ride from downtown Cabo and the marina which accommodates luxury yacht owners and guests with the highest quality services and amenities including entertainment, shopping and a variety of restaurants from Japanese, Asian Fusion, Italian, Mexican and American to choose from.

A Few Restaurant Recommendations:

  • Chamuyo– Argentinian steak house known for their beef ribs and flank steak with outdoor seating in a romantic setting.  The service, cuisine and wine were excellent and the bottom line was roughly $300 for five guests.  Just walk down ME’s driveway and it’ll be across the street.
  • Edith’s– Sister restaurant of The Office with great seafood and steak options.  The girls and I were supposed to have dinner here one night last summer, but we made some last minute changes and didn’t make it.
  • Nick-San– Gourmet Japanese and Mexican fusion restaurant with tasty sushi, modern decor and great ambiance.  We ate here on our first trip to Cabo and I remember it being a little pricey.  There are two locations: one in the marina and the other location is at the Shoppes at Palmilla (not familiar with this location).

The marina is steps away from a two block stretch of Cabo’s vibrant nightlife that caters to both young and old with your pick of bars and clubs to conclude your evening. 

My Top Bar & Nightclub Picks:

  • Mandala– A fun nightclub with locations in all the major Mexico destinations.  I would highly recommend reserving a table on the weekends because it gets packed (the ceiling is covered in disco balls).
  • Nowhere Bar– Located in the marina with a small dance floor and outdoor seating; good place to kick off the night with 90s throwbacks.
  • Cabo Wabo– A touristy spot with a live band.
  • Squid Roe-Another fun touristy spot.

**Travel Tip** Bottle service in Mexico is a lot cheaper than in any major cities in the US so it’s well worth it at places like Mandala.  The staff always takes good care of you and will treat you like a VIP.  Again, everything is centrally located so you’ll have plenty of places to choose from!

Make sure to check back at a later date for my Complete Travel Guide to Mexico including all the destinations in Mexico we’ve been to, the best months to visit, what to pack and a full list of hotels and resorts to choose from.  Thanks for stopping by.

xo

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8 Simple Ways to Transition your Winter Wardrobe into Spring

OUTFIT DETAILS

Coat: Old Navy [similar] | Sweater: B.P. | Denim: LOFT | Belt: Express | Sunglasses: Quay| Handbag: YSL [similar] | Booties: Nine West

It’s the first week of March which means we’re two weeks away from spring, more sunshine and warmer weather! Also, we “spring forward” this weekend for daylight savings so even though we might “lose” an hour of sleep, we gain that extra hour of natural daylight! I don’t know about you, but for me, having the extra hour of daylight after being cooped up in an office all day will be a welcome change.

Now that we’re slowly transitioning into spring, it’s also a good time to refresh our wardrobe for the warmer months ahead so today I’m sharing 8 simple ways to help you transition your winter wardrobe into spring!

  • Add color to your wardrobe. This is probably one of the easiest ways to add a touch of spring to your outfits. I tend to wear a lot of dark colors in the winter months so swapping out black for some brighter hues and soft pastels can make a huge difference. 
  • Wear neutral tones. If you’re not a big fan of bright colors and prefer to play it safe, wearing light, neutral tones in cream, beige, tan and white is a great alternative. Neutral tones are classic and timeless that are worn year-round so invest in pieces in neutral tones that can easily transition from season to season.
  • Swap out heavy winter coats for light weight jackets and blazers (e.g. moto in denim, suede or leather, utility, quilted and trench coats). My outerwear collection has grown quite a bit over the years since coats and jackets are one of my favorite articles of clothing to shop for. If you don’t already, I’d suggest investing in one of each as a staple piece to add to your wardrobe.
  • Swap out winter and faux-fur boots for ankle booties, sneakers, pumps and flats. Now that the snow has melted (in some parts of the country), it’s time to step up your shoe game this spring so wear those new block heel booties or platform sneakers you’ve been itching to wear.

**Side Note** If you live in the Midwestern or Northeastern regions, you may not able to put away your OTK (over-the-knee) or knee high boots just yet so pair them with a floral mini dress and a leather jacket for a flirty and edgy look for spring.

  • Dress in layers and mix textures.  As I mentioned above, depending on where you live, the weather this time of year can be unpredictable. It’s warm one day and cold the next so utilize different pieces in your closet for layering. Wear a chunky knit sweater in a brighter hue with a leather skirt and a cami underneath, pair lightweight joggers or trousers with a blouse and sweater, throw on your favorite cardigan over a long sleeve tee and jeans or opt for a leather jacket with a maxi or lace dress for a night out.
  • Add floral print and striped patterns. Floral print is ultra feminine and stripes always remind me of warmer days so swapping out solid colors for bold prints and patterns is another way to refresh your wardrobe for the warmer months.

**Side Note** Animal print is one of my favorite prints in the fall and winter months, but it’s here to stay for spring so don’t be afraid to mix and match your favorite leopard top with a pair of light colored denim or trousers.

  • Accessorize with silk and lightweight scarves, kimonos, baseball caps, panama hats and light colored jewelry and handbags. Accessorizing can make a casual and basic outfit more dressy and stylish so for the warmer months, opt for chiffon or silk scarves, add a floral kimono over a long sleeve tee or throw on a baseball cap or fedora with jeans, a tee shirt and your favorite moto jacket.
  • Wear light colored denim, corduroy, trouser and chino pants. I have over seven pairs of black denim in my closet that are my go-to in the winter months in addition to a few dark gray or dark indigo wash so if you tend to wear a lot of dark colors in the fall and winter, opt for a lighter wash, colored or white denim/pants for spring.

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35 Years Young and 35 Life Lessons I’d Tell My Younger Self

OUTFIT DETAILS

Jumpsuit: Express | Heels: Sam Edelman | Bracelet: Express [similar] | Earrings: Express

And just like that…I’m thirty-five (going on five because I couldn’t pass up the obligatory birthday/balloons photo op.) and officially in my mid-thirties! Yikes. Time flies when you’re having fun, doesn’t it?! In all honesty though, birthdays and turning another year older do not scare me. As the saying goes, “Do not regret getting older. It is a privilege denied to many.” I have so much to be thankful and grateful for and each year only gets better so cheers to another year older, wiser and happier!

In honor of my 35th birthday, I wanted to share 35 life lessons and/or life quotes (in no particular order) that I would tell my younger self that I’ve learned over the years and some that I practice today which have helped me have a more positive outlook on life and be happier in general. What are some of your favorite life quotes and/or life lessons you’ve learned over the years?

  1. You’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea..and that’s OK. Invest your time and energy into the people who invest in you.
  2. While you have to plan for the future, you should live for today. Take that trip you’ve always wanted to take. Splurge on that handbag you’ve had your eye on for a while. Call in sick and spend your day in bed watching your favorite shows. Leave work early and meet your friends for happy hour or make it home in time for dinner with your family.
  3. Make sure to save for a rainy day because you never know what can happen. Believe it or not, I’m still learning how to save and need to keep working at it because I know how important it is to save. Nothing in life is guaranteed. That job you have now may not be there tomorrow and your family may not be able bail you out. So while it’s important to live for today, be smart about it.
  4. Life really is short. At any moment, our life can be taken from us so cherish those moments you have with the people you care most about. Remind those you care about how much you love them and hug them just a little tighter.
  5. Your high school years are not the best years of your life. I promise.
  6. Don’t focus so much on “being popular” and getting people to like you. Get them to respect you.
  7. Don’t chase those boys/girls (or anyone for that matter) in high school and in your early 20s. Focus on YOU! You have so much to learn about yourself from the time you’re 16 to 25 and so forth. You’ll continue to grow and evolve and what you think you want in your 20s might not be the same as what you want in your 30s.
  8. “Stay true to yourself, yet always be open to learn.”
  9. Not everyone you talk to or hang out with is going to be your best friend or has your best interest at heart. That too is OK. It takes time to develop trust and meaningful relationships so save your secrets for the select few.
  10. Collect memories, not things. The memories you make always outweigh the benefits and shelf life of that new accessory or gadget collecting dust.
  11. Don’t give up on your dreams and do what you’re most passionate about, but be realistic. If you’ve never played basketball a day in your life and can’t dribble a basketball, you’re probably not going to make it to the NBA. I know. Bummer. Just like my 5’6 average frame will probably never get me that Victoria’s Secret modeling contract, but who’s to say I can’t/won’t attend the show as a guest one day?
  12. Take risks and don’t be afraid of the unknown. It will all work out even if it takes you longer to get there. And if it doesn’t, you can always start over. If you’ve always wanted to live abroad and you have nothing major tying you down, go do it! You can always come back. If you’ve always wanted to open up your own bakery, bake away and offer to cater your friend’s next party! One of my biggest regrets is changing my major in college from broadcast journalism to marketing communications because I thought it would be “easier” or “safe” in the event I wouldn’t make it as a journalist. I gave up because of fear of the unknown. Here I am, years later, finally following my passion of writing even if it’s just as a hobby, but at least I’m doing what it is I’ve always enjoyed doing, in one way or another.
  13. Don’t pick a job or career based solely on the bottom line and what will give you short term results. You may have to work harder, work longer hours and make less in the beginning working a job you actually enjoy or you just might end up working a dead-end job with no potential to grow wishing you were doing something else.
  14. Don’t wish. Do. If you’re not happy with your current situation, whether it be financial, your career, your relationship, etc., you need to take control of your circumstances and change what you want to change. You can come up with any excuse in the book as to why you can’t do something or don’t want to, but in the end, it really is up to you.
  15. Spend time with your family. Call your parents, siblings, grandparents, aunt, cousin, etc. as often as you can. Take time out of your schedule and visit them. Your family loves you unconditionally and you don’t want to have any regrets. They won’t always be there (see #4).
  16. Show up. If a close friend or a relative invites you to something, it means a lot to them for you to be there so make the effort. This is something I always pride myself in doing and I know it’s never gone unnoticed.
  17. Be punctual and respect people’s time. This is something I’ve struggled with forever!!! I’m usually always running 5-10 min. late and while my friends and family have accepted it for the most part, everyone’s time is valuable so do your best to be there..on time!
  18. Develop deep and meaningful relationships, not surface ones. While it’s fun to have people to go out and party with, it’s more important to know you can count on said people to pick you up if you’re stranded, hold your hair back when you’re sick, are loyal and are there for you in a time of need (see #1 and #9).
  19. Be the kind of friend you’re looking for. If you’re a good friend to others, you’ll almost always get the same in return. However if you feel it’s always one sided, then it might be time to re-evaluate that relationship.
  20. Maintain the friendships you have when you’re in different stages in life. One friend might be having babies, one friend might busy growing her/his career, one may be traveling the world, but a simple text, phone call or email reaching out to them to check in every once in a while goes a long way and will help keep that line of communication open for a lasting friendship. “Everyone has a friend during each stage of life. But if you’re lucky, you’ll have the same friend in all stages of life.” (So lucky to have a few of these gems.)
  21. No one is ever “too busy.” You make time for those you want to make time for and/or things you want to do. Of course life happens and you may not be able to talk as much as you used to, but don’t forget the people who were there for you and made time for you when you needed it. People will come and go and that’s alright. Those who make the effort to stay in your life are worth keeping around.
  22. Don’t be self serving or only do things for others with the expectation of wanting something in return. People will see right though you and you’ll be awfully disappointed.
  23. Do something kind on a random day for a complete stranger. Help that elderly couple cross the street. Buy that homeless person you see often a meal. Volunteer your time. Whether it’s an hour a week, an hour a month or a couple times a year, help someone in need just because.
  24. Smile and say: “Hello!” to the complete stranger who catches your eye. You never know who you might meet or if they’re you’re soul mate.
  25. Don’t hold a grudge. I know for me at least, it takes more effort staying angry and holding onto resentment than forgiving someone. You free yourself by being able to move on and accepting that apology you may never receive. As that famous song goes, “Let it Go!!”
  26. Forgive and forget. When someone apologizes and you’ve addressed the issue already whether it be with a spouse, a relative or a friend, you owe it to the both of you to not bring it up again and not hold their past transgressions from 5 year ago against them. We all make mistakes.
  27. Having “better” clothes or making more money than someone doesn’t make you better than them. Neither does your job title. Sowwy. Most people don’t care and people who matter, won’t remember where you purchased your blouse from or the company you worked for. You should strive to be remembered for the kind of person you are. Stay humble.
  28. “People will forget what you’ve said, people will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” This one hits home. Good or bad, I can definitely say I’ve had situations where I still remember how someone has made me feel.
  29. Go to the movies, see a play, watch a musical or go to a concert in your free time.
  30. Travel alone at least once. It really is liberating.
  31. The world doesn’t owe you anything and neither do the people in it.
  32. Don’t cheat your way through life. It’s so much more rewarding knowing you accomplished something on your own through hard work and determination over being handed something.
  33. “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Don’t compare your life to anyone else’s. Work at your own pace and you’ll get there when you get there.
  34. Success has a different meaning to everyone. Don’t measure someone else’s success based on what it means to you.
  35. Follow your heart and trust that your gut is always right!

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[Photography credit]: Gaby Abboud of Gabmaster Photography

Hair & Makeup: Daniela Kosta

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

OUTFIT DETAILS

Jumpsuit: Lulus [similar] | Strappy Heels: Sam Edelman | Cuff: Express | Earrings: Express | Lipstick: Yves Saint Laurent (Rouge Per Couture)

Happy Valentine’s Day!! For those of you who celebrate this annual holiday and day of romance, I hope your day was just a little extra special and filled with love as I hope it is every day! What does everyone have planned? We decided last minute to go out for some sushi tonight so I’m really looking forward to that!

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I wanted to share my favorite jumpsuit that I bought just before Vegas last summer! It’s definitely one of my favorite pieces. Red is one of my favorite colors and is always a great color option when you want to stand out. Red is a bold and intense color associated with strength, power, passion, love, romance and desire which is why it is the predominant color associated with Valentine’s Day. According to science, red enhances men’s attraction towards women. So ladies, if you’re single and ready to mingle or want to turn up the heat with your significant other, don’t be afraid to add this bold and sexy color to your wardrobe.

This red hot number was an online purchase from Lulus last summer which has since sold out, but I’ve found several similar options for you and if you’re looking for a black jumpsuit, you can see my previous post here! xx

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[Photography credit]: Gaby Abboud of Gabmaster Photography

Hair & Makeup: Daniela Kosta

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