Must-Have Polka Dot Pieces for Spring and Summer

OUTFIT DETAILS

Jumpsuit: Showpo [similar & here] | Heels: Sam Edelman | Bangles: Kate Spade & here | Sunglasses: Quay

Who’s got the hots for polka dots?!  This darling dotty pattern is trending this season and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it.  Polka dots first gained popularity when they came into fashion in the 1920s and is a trend that has stood the test of time.  There are so many different styles to choose from and ways to rock this timeless and cheerful print so today I’m sharing my favorite polka dot pieces you should add to your wardrobe today!

Blouses

Camis

Dresses

Jumpsuits/Rompers

Skirts

Shoes

Swimsuits

Photography Credit: Christopher Anthony at St. Anthony Productions

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5 Ways to Celebrate Your Wedding Anniversary

Happy Friday! Today is a special day because John and I are celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary! Time sure does fly when you’re having fun. To commemorate 5 years of wedded bliss, I’m sharing 5 ways to celebrate your wedding anniversary!

1. Watch your wedding video and look through your wedding album. Each year on our wedding anniversary we watch our wedding video and reminisce about our wedding week in Mexico. Being able to relive those happy memories and feelings together is a simple way to ignite your love for one another and is a tradition you can share with your kids one day. You can read all about our destination wedding here and watch our video below.

2. Spend the day together and seek new experiences and activities. Try a cooking or painting class, go to a wine tasting or host one at your house, go to a baseball game, a concert or see a comedy show. Another alternative is to pick a sport that one of you loves like horseback riding, golf or baseball and spend the day on a golf course or at the batting cages. One year I surprised John with a private helicopter tour over Chicago on NYE which happened to be our dating anniversary and it was a memorable experience for the both of us. For our second wedding anniversary we treated ourselves to a Spa Day followed by dinner afterward. To keep it exciting, you can alternate who picks the activity each year and this is a fun way to cross things off your bucket list.

3. Take an anniversary trip. John and I have taken many trips together over the years and we both agree that sharing experiences and creating new memories outweigh traditional gifts. Instead of spending money on things, we “gift” each other trips whenever we can for our anniversary or birthdays. For our 1st wedding anniversary we spent a long weekend in San Francisco with a day trip to Napa Valley and last year we traveled to Italy for two weeks (read all about it here). This year we are going to Naples, FL over Memorial Day Weekend. Saving for an anniversary trip each year or every few years for those milestone anniversaries is a great way to start incorporating more travel into your life.

4. If a getaway or vacation isn’t in your budget, opt for a “staycation” in your own city. Go sightseeing during the day, visit a museum, do some shopping and then rent a hotel room for the night. You can order room service and binge watch your favorite movies in your hotel room and the hotel staff is always happy and willing to accommodate any special requests. Just inform them upon your arrival that it’s your anniversary and have a bottle of champagne and strawberries sent up to your room for that extra romantic touch.

5. Organize an anniversary photo shoot together. Hire a professional photographer, get your makeup done and get some professional photos taken for the fun of it. John and I didn’t get an engagement session in before our wedding, but we did a winter photo shoot the following year when we traveled to Park City which happened to be the town our wedding photographer is from. It was a unique experience and we were able to use those photos for our holiday cards later that year.

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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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