My earliest memory of MTV was in a random hotel in a random country I can’t even recall (I was that young), and a pale man with a mustache was singing about being a “scat man.” I want to say I was in Turkey, traveling with my then-young parents, who were really into the MTV channel so we could listen to music while we packed. I had no clue what a “scat man” was–I thought it was something bad + scary–but I was intrigued that this channel was only singing and dancing (a music video), all. day. long. As I got older (teenage years) I watched the channel transform into a music slash reality show channel, but still found it somewhat nostalgic and continued to watch. Now, almost 10 years past being a “teenager,” I am so far removed from the music-less and all reality channel that I was pretty confused how I was attending an award show about music videos (did they still exist?). Regardless, I enjoyed dressing up for the VMAS and hitting some parties in my home city, Hollywoodland.
Is there anything more refreshing than watermelon or mint? How about them together?! When I’m gifted with a large half of a watermelon, naturally, I am going to make watermelon juice. If you haven’t already become a proud owner of the Magic Bullet, I strongly suggest acquiring one for individual-sized drinks, smoothies, etc. It’s perfect for on-the-whim type of snacks (such as this one). Add a teeny bit of ice, fill with watermelon chunks, top with ripped mint and blend!
Aside from discovering that the clearest, bluest, warmest, calmest, most beautiful water I’ve ever been in exists around the US Virgin Islands, I have a few other pointers for any of you planning a trip the St. John (and 1 little pointer on St. Thomas). I spent a total of 7 nights there, which I felt to be the right amount even when traveling all the way from Los Angeles, and managed to make the most out of my time. Here is what I learned on this magical trip:
- I like to snorkel (drunk). Trunk Bay was hand-down the best beach on the island, with an added bonus of an easy to reach snorkeling area.
- Don’t rent a car to “explore.” We rented a Jeep one day and found the roads far too treacherous with not enough to see. The best beaches were a $5 cab away from our resort (The Westin).
- You must LOVE seafood to enjoy the food. I do love seafood but was ultimately disappointed in the cuisine, as the quality wasn’t up to my standards, and the produce was weak. I was pretty burned out on fish tacos and sea bass by the 3rd day.
- Only drink Painkillers or Voodoo Juice. The native drink on the island (recipe coming to the blog soon) is rum-based and absolutely delicious! Just think: tropical rums, coconut cream, pineapple, nutmeg. All you need to know.
- There are lizards EVERYWHERE. I hate them. They were roaming all around the hotel, the beaches, restaurants. Not sure if I’m the only one that doesn’t enjoy the slithery creatures but I’m warning you.
- The sun is exponentially stronger and the water exponentially saltier. Wear sunscreen on every part of your body. I was lucky enough to come home with blisters and what seems to be sweat blisters. Yuck.
- Beware of the “invisible sand fleas.” Yeah, they exist. While their bite is much more tolerable than that of a mosquito, they still itch like a mother******!
- Prepare for random rain showers. We were blessed with fabulous weather except for a quick 20 minute rain shower that left as quickly as it came.
- There is absolutely NO nightlife. Most of the restaurants have a similar vibe (very casual) about them and it appeared that people would linger there to continue drinking after dinner. We were pretty much in bed by 9:00pm each night. Guess you could say I’m very well rested.
- St. Thomas, while it doesn’t compare to St. John, had better food. Havana Blue prepared some of the best seafood stew over “dirty rice,” which was served much like paella, and was outstanding.
There’s nothing sadder than coming home from vacation (when you’re actually ready to come home) and then developing a mean case of Vacation Blues. After a blissful week on the island of St. John I was ready to join the real world (and my puppies) again, but quickly realized upon arriving back, that I was mentally still on the island. It was struggle to head directly back to work the following morning. I mean, why are we not always starting our days with beach-side breakfasts and fresh juice? Leisurely reading the paper while deciding it’s time to begin the day…ahhh….see what I mean?
The last night on the island was spent aboard a sweet sail boat that took us out at sunset to sip champagne and mingle barefoot with fellow vacationers. It was something I would typically steer clear of (as you know I hate touristy activities) but felt as thought our last night needed to be commemorated with something special. And so, we packed my new favorite weekender and hit the sea. As the wind blew our hair just right (or so it felt, the pictures say otherwise), and my dress blew up countless times, it was truly a night to remember.
When in paradise, do as the natives do. Show some skin, embrace the salty air, and wear a hat. Nothing beats sun-kissed skin, beach waves, and a fresh face. I just wish I could look this carefree while not on vacation. I have been experiencing some of the tropical storms running through the Virgin Islands on and off but overall I have absolutely no complaints. You can find me laying on a beach with an island drink in hand catching up on some overdue reading. See you next week!
I’m wearing: elle a dress // panama hat
Many people wonder how I work at home and get anything done. It’s not an unusual question, considering I have 2 insanely cute dogs to distract me (or bark during my conference calls), among other distracting variables that could potentially sabotage my business. Since I work in a creative field (as a creative consultant) it is pretty crucial for me to follow a structure to ensure that I am not only being productive, but in an environment that I can flourish and enjoy my work. Below are some of my tips that keep me focused and overall getting my job done:
- Wake up at the same time Monday-Friday. For me, that’s 7:00am.
- Every morning get dressed as if you’re heading to “the office.” This will set the tone for your day. I’m not going to lie and say I haven’t worked in pajamas a few times, but trust me, my fully dressed (and slightly made-up) days are much more productive.
- Invest in a good coffee machine (or juicer). I used to get lost for the day while making my morning coffee run to Starbucks. Too many distractions can occur during this crucial time of the day (8:00am-3:00pm are my most productive hours).
- Eat lunch between 12:00pm-1:30pm. It’s ok to leave the house for a power lunch if it’s for business.
- Have a solid home-office set up. Love your space and be comfortable.
- Keep healthy snacks (or check out my Skinny Snacks) in the house to avoid finding excuses to leave the house for a quick bite.
- Allow yourself a quick 20-30 minute break when necessary. When working on large projects I take a short break to re-compose my thoughts and evaluate my work.
- Prioritize! Sure, a hike, shopping trip, or pool day may sound grand (and possible when working from home), but is all your work done? Working from home does have the perk of ‘when your work is done you’re done’, but make sure you’re actually done before stopping.
- Force yourself to leave the house after a work day to network, attend events, socialize, etc. When you’re cooped up in the house all day you can get kind of lonely and sometimes disconnected. However, it is much easier to just stay home and avoid important functions (again, been there).
- Changing your work mindset to your ‘at home’ mindset can be tricky, but realize you need to limit your work day. I’m guilty of working well into the nights–bringing my work days close to 10-12 hours easily–but it is important to exist outside of your work mode. A glass of wine helps.
It wouldn’t be a real vacation if I didn’t plan my packing list via the blog and then realize (the night before my trip) that I am not quite prepared with all of these fabulous goodies. So, in other words, this is my ideal packing list. While I do have the wardrobe all ready to go, it’s the little things that make packing (and the trip) fun. In other news, you can now scroll over the items above to learn the details of everything I wish I’m packing!
I think I need to get myself over to Columbia. I have this crazy obsession with crisp white clothing with a pop of turquoise (even if it’s just a wall for my blog pics) that I swear is all because I’ve watched one too many movies about an exotic/drug-filled life in Columbia! As my journey to pack the perfect suitcase for my vacation is coming to an end, I am happy to report there is not a shortage of summer looks still available to shop. This romper is a hybrid of the two things I love most in apparel: pants with a dress-y fit. I tend to gravitate towards loose-fitting dresses, but also love the tailored look of pants and this romper bundles both worlds into this one easy, breezy piece!
Danger! I’m a mere 4 days away from jet-setting away into paradise and you can probably find me frolicking around the city in close to nothing but a bathing suit and cover-up. This one (above) thankfully converts into a wrap dress (seen below) to help eliminate the stares that inevitably come my way when I walk down the street like this. On another note, don’t you just love a good Australian clothing line? They really seem to have a way with fit that encourages you to be in tip-top shape (and tan). The versatility of this wrap dress/cover-up really has me thinking that we need to give the Aussies more credit!
I’m wearing: Acacia Bronx one-piece // Somedays Lovin kimono dress // Gladiator sandals // Hat // Arm candy–stack all of these: Shashi Lilu bracelet ($22), Kate Spade Bangle ($58), Shahi Nugget bracelet ($36) // Arm party set
I have a bone to pick with The Bachelorette/Chris Harrison. After trying to kill an hour while The Bachelorette was airing, I finally tuned in around 9:00PM hoping to skip the commercials and unnecessary commentary and get to the good parts. I obviously knew Josh would be the winner, but it is always sweet to watch the actual proposal go down. Should we take a moment to be mean? How awful to be styled the day of your engagement–when really that sounds quite glorious–but end up in a tacky dress and even worse hairstyle?! For us girls who do not even have pictures of the proposal, you would think Andi would want to look good considering she knew what was about to happen, AND be on camera!
All my hate aside, when all my fast-forwarding finally caught up to the “live” show, I was stuck watching yet another awkward confrontation between Nick and Andi. Guess we now know that the Fantasy Suite dates really are what they sound like! Did anyone else detect Andi’s extreme insensitivity towards Nick, clearly a nod to make her fiance feel better about the fact that she slept with Nick?? Ouch.
Lastly, as previously mentioned, I don’t subject myself to watch 3 hours of so-bad-it’s-so-good TV to be left hanging. Why has the new Bachelor not been announced? Isn’t the whole point of watching that last, extra, drawn-out hour??? I just want my intuition to be confirmed that Chris (The Farmer) is, in fact, the next Bachelor. At least they finally called Andi out on her infamous frown that drove us all nuts all season!