What’s in my Travel Tote?

What’s in my Travel Tote?

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and LIFEWTR. All opinions are mine alone. #ThirstInspiration #CollectiveBias

I don’t know about you guys, but when I travel, I always feel dehydrated and completely thrown off. With so many upcoming trips planned (London, Charleston, The Hamptons, Miami, Jamaica – to name a few), I want to make a vow to be prepared this time around. As such, I’m excited to partner with LIFEWTR, which is easily available at any 7-Eleven and has quickly become my new best friend.

I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but water intake really does work wonders (just ask my trainer, he’s been making me consume so much). It restores my body, refreshes my mind, quenches my curiosity and even enables self-expression. All of this from water? Yup! Aside from having the coolest packaging, LIFEWTR is purified, pH-balanced water, with electrolytes for taste.

Enough about my obsession with water consumption – let’s get to the fun part. So you may be wondering, what exactly goes into my travel tote bag? I’ve listed my go-to items below for your enjoyment. Hopefully, you can use this as a little “pack list” for yourself before you hit the road for your next trip or grab a cab to the airport.

    • LIFEWTR: This is my #1 must-have. When I’m traveling to the airport, I love to drink a full water bottle during my commute. This way, once I’m on the plane, I’m already feeling hydrated. If I’m just heading somewhere via train/car, I’m still sure to pack a bottle in my travel tote. Either way, I love to arrive at my destination feeling nice and hydrated.
    • Headphones: If I forgot to pack my headphones, I literally want to rip my hair out. Traveling without headphones is the worst. I listen to music and get excited for my new adventure.
    • A Sleep Mask: I’m really sensitive to light and need to sleep in the pitch black, so if I have any hope of catching some Zzz’s, I need my sleep mask.
    • Magazines: Nothing screams travel time like a trashy weekly magazine. As if I don’t follow pop culture enough, sometimes I just need a little good ol’ paper copy to hold on to vs. looking at my phone.
    • A Snack: Clearly, I like to be prepared here. This means making sure I have a stash of healthy snacks in case I go hungry (the horror). I like to keep almonds in a plastic baggy because they’re easy, nutritious and filling.

Like me, I hope you make a vow to make water consumption a priority during your travels. As always, feel free to leave me any questions in the comments!

 

Travel Diary: London (My Recommendations & the Most Instagram Worthy Spots)

Travel Diary: London (My Recommendations & the Most Instagram Worthy Spots)

It is easy enough to do a quick Google search to identify what to see in London – watch the Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace, ride the London Eye, see Big Ben & the Parliament, visit Harrods, etc. But if you’re like me, you don’t want to just see the “main attractions” when you’re visiting a new city. You want to see the hidden gems and get a true sense of what it’s like to live in another place.

Since I had the opportunity to spend an extended period of time in London, I was able to really get a feel for the culture. Aside from seeing the main tourist attractions, I got to see nearly every part of the city. As such, I’ve compiled a list of not only my favorite restaurants and recommendations, but the most Instagram worthy spots around the city.


RESTAURANTS & CAFES

SKETCH

While this destination for food, drinks, art & music screams Millennial Pink, it’s actually been around for quite some time. The quirky, 18th-century townhouse tea room transforms into a cocktail lounge every evening. It’s no wonder this place is a celebrity & influencer hotspot. I had seen Sketch all over social media and was unsure what to expect because we all know places can sometimes be overrated. However, this did not disappoint. In fact, visiting Sketch was one of my most memorable experiences while in London. The afternoon tea serves up an assortment of delectable treats, such as caviar and quail egg, an assortment of tea sandwiches, pastries and the most delicious scones with jam.

Millennial Pink AF 🥂✨#Cheers #Cheerio #champagne

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CLOS MAGGIORE

This modern French restaurant features a flower-filled conservatory and log fire. Be sure to make a reservation in advance so you get seated in the most scenic back room. As you could imagine, the French cuisine is rich (but in the best way possible) and served by a slew of professional staffers. Plus, the wine menu is extremely notable – with something for everyone. I’d recommend ordering the duck – duh!

MASSIMO RESTAURANT & BAR

While I was staying at the Corinthia Hotel, I decided to dine within at upscale Italian eatery, Massimo. The space has opulent art deco décor and serves seasonal dishes. Each and every meal was absolutely exquisite. From the charcuterie board and bread basket starters to the delicious main meals and wine – this place did not disappoint. After dinner, you can stay within the hotel and head to BASSOON BAR, an elegant, relaxed hotel bar with black and cream decor, for classic cocktails and live lounge music. The young man singing was absolutely amazing!

The love of a #family is #life’s greatest #blessing.

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AUBAINE SELFRIDGES

Another French favorite! This all-day bistro is a modern, light-filled space with exposed pipes, tiled floors and gorgeous purple flower decoration. If you’re looking for a restaurant near Bond Street, look no further. This spot is in the midst of the luxury shoe department in Selfridges. Aubaine is perfect for those who wish to shop and lunch. Sounds perfect if you ask me!

PEGGY PORSCHEN

By now you know I love pink, so Peggy Porschen is no exception. This pink, chic bakery features creative cupcakes, fancy cakes and other sweet treats, plus tea and champagne. What else could a girl want? This spot is notorious for “flatlay” photos and exterior snapshots. I had the chance to shoot here with a London-based photographer and came across a few other people trying to snap a photo as well. It’s too pretty to pass up!

Spring has sprung at the Peggy Porschen Parlour! #pretty #flowers @dickinsondoris #greatcakes #coffee #cupcakes #peggyporschen

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CLERKWELL GRIND

This restaurant is located in an old warehouse building in Clerkenwell, which is cool within itself. The cobalt blue and pink décor makes for the perfect photo. Plus, the food is delicious – serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Club Bar portion is open late night and offers an assortment of dinks as well.


MUST-SEE LOCATIONS

BYWATER STREET, CHELSEA

In the heart of Chelsea is Bywater Street, a small little alcove lined with colorful houses and a cobblestone street. Among this area you can find “Brownstone” style houses ranging in soft colors like baby pink, soft yellow and light blue. This is the perfect spot to capture a photo or to just take a leisurely stroll. What I was most impressed by was the amount of homeowners that I noticed coming and going while I posed for photos. The street may appear secluded, but everyone was out and about.

This side street is goals. #London #TravelPublyssity

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WESTMINSTER

This area is an obvious must-see. Here, you can see how strikingly beautiful the Parliament Building and Big Ben are. Plus, the London Eye makes for a great backdrop for any photo. If you have the time, you can even purchase a ticket and ride the London Eye to get 360 views of the entire city. As if that’s not enough, pop into an infamous red photo booth for a signature London-esque picture.

The view from that day of the boat trip on the river Thames 🛥

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NOTTING HILL

This affluent district in West London is extremely picturesque with buildings featuring colorful hues and beautiful architecture. Arrive early in the morning to avoid big crowds so you can get the perfect shot.  Denbigh Terrace road, just off Portabello road is recommended.

CHERRY BLOSSOM AVENUE IN GREENWICH PARK

If you’re visiting London in the springtime, be sure to stop by this beautiful treasure. The avenue leading up to the Ranger’s House is covered by a slew of cherry trees, which leave remnants of beautiful pink petals all over the ground. If you’re lucky enough to see this beautiful sight, you’ll understand why it’s made the list.


SHOPS

LIBERTY LONDON

This place is a must-see London staple. Liberty is a department store on Great Marlborough Street in the West End of London. The store sells an array of luxury goods including clothing, cosmetics and fragrances, jewelry, accessories, homeware, furniture, stationery and gifts. The spot is famous for its floral and graphic prints, which are sold at the store. Plus, you’ll notice the outside of the shop, including its lovely flower display, is often showcased on social media.

I’ve taken this exact same photo every time I’ve been in London 😂🙈 #jetsetjrs #london #libertylondon

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FORTNUM & MASON

Aside from Tiffany & Co, I’ve never seen a store use turquoise packaging – until now. This department store in Piccadilly is unlike anywhere I’ve ever been. Within, you can find an assortment of gourmet chocolate truffles, biscuits and teas, as well as an array of décor like teapots, serving dishes and linens.

Hello, London. #GoodMorning #RiseAndShine #ThisIsLondon #Piccadilly #Fortnums | FortnumAndMason.com

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HARRODS

I couldn’t leave out this famous luxury department store. While it’s unlikely you’ll be shopping for home furnishings or high-end décor while traveling, you can head to the “souvenir” floor to purchase some affordable keepsakes such as ornaments, scarves and trinkets.

Hope you enjoyed this guide! Any questions? Let me know!

Travel Diary: Tulum, Mexico

Travel Diary: Tulum, Mexico

I have to be honest, Tulum wasn’t really on my radar long before I decided to pack my bags and partake on a 6-day trip. A friend of mine recently had visited and her pictures were just so beautiful that I knew I needed to check it out for myself. I followed in her footsteps and booked a stay at Coco Tulum, an “eco-chic” hotel that features an old style cabaña village on the beach.

Upon arrival, the staff was just so pleasant and wonderful. On my initial walk to my “hut”, where I’d be staying for the next 5 nights, I was immediately drawn to the beauty of Tulum/the resort. My room was literally a few steps from the beautiful turquoise ocean and each hut has its own hammock and little patio for taking in the views.

My favorite part was the hotel beach club, which has the most beautiful white and light turquoise aesthetic.  Also in the hotel was this amazing Italian restaurant, Juanita Diavola, which churns out fresh pizzas from a brick oven. They also serve non-Italian options like smoothies, fresh juices and fish.

While my hotel stay was as magical as could be, what I also loved about Tulum was how free you were to roam around the town.  My friends and I found ourselves walking right into other hotels to enjoy their amenities like their beaches or restaurants. Everyone was so chill that they never asked questions and happily made your stay an enjoyable one. Below, I’m going to list some of my must see places in Tulum!

Hotels (for day trips + lunch)

  • Coco Tulum (where I stayed); If you’re not staying here, at least walk to the beach club for lunch to take in the beautiful views and delicious food.
  • Ziggy’s; We stumbled upon this place during a walk on the beach and decided to go back for dinner one night. The food was amazing (get the tuna nachos) and the ambiance was beautiful! There was a live band and fire pit.
  • Papaya Playa Project; A must see! We walked here one day (what felt like a mile-long walk, if not further) and we were so happy we did! The beach is beautiful, but what I really loved was the outdoor seating during lunch time. There was live music and amazing fajitas.
  • Zamas; The New York Times recommended this colorful hotel. While we didn’t stay long and just passed through, I love the energy and colorful environment. I’d recommend going for drinks/lunch.

Restaurants

  • Juanita Diavola (restaurant in Coco Tulum)
  • Gitano; My favorite restaurant by far! While most of Tulum is low key, this place is fun! The atmosphere is beautiful (think lights and disco balls draped under lush trees) and the food was delicious too!
  • Hartwood; I’m kicking myself because we actually didn’t even make it to Hartwood (we tried, but it’s closed on Monday’s so keep that in mind). However, I’d still recommend it because EVERYONE you talk to will tell you it’s the best restaurant in Tulum.
  • Celti; This is located in the heart of town (will need to take a cab) and is true authentic Mexican. You feel like you’re dining at grandmas house.
  • Mateos; The best taco joint in town! Go for drinks and a good time.
  • La Zebra; We didn’t make it, but people go here for salsa lessons and dancing!

Things to do

  • Chichen Itza (Mayan Ruins); A must see! These are considered 1 of the 7 “new” wonders of the world. Recommendation: we didn’t get a tour guide and instead just read up on everything prior to going. We were able to walk through in about 1 hour vs. being stuck on a 2 hour tour. We arranged a car from the hotel for around $250 USD (for four people) that took us to the ruins and cenotes.
  • Cenotes; These are a natural pit, or sinkhole, resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath. The natural mineral water is amazing for your skin, plus they are BEAUTIFUL. We went to the Cenote Kil Il (which is one of the most scenic ones). I’d recommend it!
  • Shop; There are hidden shops throughout the strip of land parallel to the beach (where all the restaurants are). The shops could be a bit pricey, so for the authentic stuff head into the center of town (you’ll need a cab to bring you).
  • Yoga on the beach; Coco Tulum offers private sessions for $20 a head
  • Massages; You can walk along the beach to find one

 

Summer Must Have Products from Hawaiian Tropic

*Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Hawaiian Tropic as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review. 
HT

It’s officially July and my month-long Montauk share house has kicked off! It’s been amazing to escape the city on the weekends to hit the beach with friends. There’s about 20 of us sharing the house we rented (don’t worry, we’re not all there at the same time), so as you could imagine, we’re always trying to figure out who packed what. Between beach necessities to shower essentials to clothing, we’re always trying to share things so we can to lessen our travel load.

 

One thing that I especially try to coordinate sharing with my friends is beauty products and hair tools. Why would we all bring a blow dryer, when we can just use one? The same goes for heavy beauty products like lotion, hairspray and sunscreen. That said, I’ve been in charge of bringing the sunscreen and I have to say – I finally found a favorite line from Hawaiian Tropic.

 

The new Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Weightless Lotion Sunscreen SPF 30 is a-m-a-z-i-n-g. Seriously. The breathable formula has a light, airsoft texture for protection you barely feel. I especially love this because I hate being sticky on the beach. This formula left my skin feeling so smooth. Plus, the hydrating ribbons of luxurious silk protein and shea butter provide up to 12 hours of moisturization. It comes in UVA and UVB SPF 15 and 30. I went with SPF 30!

 

Even with protective sunscreen, being out in the sun all day definitely takes a toll on your skin. That’s why I’ve always been a fan of using after sun lotion to hydrate my skin after a day in the sun. The Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch Ultra Radiance After Sun Moisturizer is one of the first after sun lotions that soothes, softens and leaves skin radiant – hence why I’m a fan. Like the sunscreen, the formula features shea butter, plus mango extract to leave skin feeling pampered and noticeably soft and luminous. You can check out the brand Facebook page to learn more!

 

Ps. Even my favorite girl Shay Mitchell is obsessed (but not as obsessed as I am with her). She’s going to be featuring the sunscreen in 7 episodes of her YouTube series, Shaycation, so you must check it out!

 

 

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How to Master the Perfect Staycation

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You don’t need to purchase a pricey plane ticket or reserve a room in a 5-star hotel to feel like you’re on vacation. In fact, you can stay put in your city of choice and still have what feels like a long getaway.

Recently, my friends and I did just that. We planted our roots at my friend’s parent’s apartment here in NYC for a two-night stay away.  It was the perfect setting to make us feel like we were somewhere different vs. in one of our own familiar apartments.

We stocked up on rosé, played our favorite summer tunes, whipped out the board game ‘Headbandz’ and had some quality girl time. Below, find my tips for mastering the best staycation yet.

  • All About the Activities – What do you enjoy doing with your friends? Binge watching friends, laying out in the sun working on your tan, playing board games? Whatever it may be, find it and make sure you make the time for it.
  • Yes Way, Rosé – Our drink of choice was rosé (we sipped on Summer in a Bottle Rosé 2015 & Miraval Rosé 2014), but choose your poison and stock up. It’s not a girl’s trip without a few cheesy toasts and endless laughs.
  • Build the Perfect Playlist – This is a must have! Music sets the tone for the day/night, so choose wisely when building out your perfect playlist. Our staycation theme song was ‘Capsize’ by FRENSHIP.
  • Less is MORE – Seriously! Don’t over-pack and don’t overthink. Wear what you’re comfortable in and leave your anxiety triggers at the door. This weekend is all about relaxing!
  • Capture Each Moment – As much as I’d love to tell you to “unplug” 24/7, you should still make time to capture each moment. These are the memories you’ll be able to look back on years down the road.

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