Red Carter

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During Red Carter’s Go Sun Yourself program, I was lucky enough to be chosen to as a winner of this GORGEOUS swimsuit and a pair of shorts (not pictured in this post). I first found out about Red Carter through Instagram and I am so glad that I did. That’s the best part of blogging and social media: discovering new brands and making connections that I never would have otherwise.

I love this swimsuit because of the amazing cutouts on the top and bottom. The top wraps around twice and ties in the back, creating a cutout on the ribs, underneath the cups. On the bottom, there’s cutouts on the hips. I find that the cutouts to add a unique and sexy touch to the bathing suit while still leaving something to the imagination. It’s much easier to make a one-piece sexy, but not too much; however, it’s hard to make it work on a bikini. On top of the awesome cutouts on the bikini, I love the material and the pink snakeskin print. Overall, great bikini and I look forward to making Red Carter purchases in the future!

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Twenty Five

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I celebrated my 25th birthday this past weekend with a long weekend in LBI with my parents, my boyfriend, and my boyfriend’s parents. It was very low key and relaxing, which was really what I needed. The weather was absolutely beautiful all weekend long, so we really lucked out! I haven’t spent my birthday with my family in a few years now, since I usually always have plans, and it was really nice to just have family time at the beach. Not to mention, I was spoiled with some really nice gifts! I really could not have asked for a better way to spend my 25th birthday :)

I went out to dinner Saturday night at my favorite restaurant on the island, Raimondo’s (highly recommend if you’re ever in LBI- the food is amazing!). I wanted to wear something pretty, but not too fancy, since it is the beach and people tend to dress down a bit. I decided on this floral Yumi Kim dress I ordered a couple weeks back from RueLaLa and to dress it down a little bit, I paired it with a pair of black wedges. I didn’t want to wear anything that would take away from the gorgeous floral pattern and front slit of this dress, so I kept the jewelry simple with just my Burberry watch and a delicate necklace that my mom bought me a few years ago. I’m looking forward to wearing this dress again and seeing the different ways I can dress it up and down!

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Dress: Yumi Kim (similar) | Wedges: Charles David
Watch: Burberry (similar)

  

Look for Less: Taylor Swift

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So people seem to either love or hate T. Swift. I fall somewhere in between there. However, one thing you have to admit is that since T. Swift moved to NYC, she has developed a pretty amazing sense of style. I saw this picture online and I knew I had to find the same look for less. This is such a great outfit because you can either dress it up with some heels, like Taylor did here, or go for a more casual look with wedges or flats. See below for Taylor’s look details, as well as some more affordable options.

elizabeth-and-james-woodrow-shorts-thumb202768Elizabeth & James: $110.25

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Elizabeth & James: $189

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ASOS: $46.00

ralph-lauren-metal-plastic-cats-eye-sunglasses-thumb202653Ralph Lauren: $200
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Serapian: $1058


Look For Less

boohoo Boohoo: $40

F21 Forever 21: $8.90
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New Look: $5.56
target
Target: $39.99
topshop
Top Shop: $30

  

MDW 2015

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This Memorial Day weekend, and every one for the past 4 years, I went to LBI with my boyfriend and his family. For those who have not been to Long Beach Island, NJ, you are surely missing out. My boyfriend’s family has a house there, so we are fortunate enough to have a free beachy vacation spot that we can visit whenever we’d like. I love LBI because I always can count on a weekend/week of complete relaxation and contentment.

This past weekend it was a bit too chilly for tanning on the beach, but we did get to go for a little bit and the rest of the time we spent just relaxing and spending time with family. It was just what I needed for a little recharge since work has really been bogging me down lately.

I wore this outfit to dinner on Saturday night at my favorite restaurant on the island, Raimondo’s (I highly suggest it to anyone who visits or vacations in LBI). These J Brand jeans are the PERFECT pair of white denim, in my opinion. I was searching for months to find a pair of distressed white jeans that 1) weren’t see-through and 2) weren’t so tight they looked like I was wearing spandex and I decided to take a chance and ordered this J Brand pair from Bloomie’s in hopes that they would work out. SO glad I did because they are exactly WHAT I’ve been looking for. Prepare to see these on repeat over the next few months because I’m in love.

I paired the jeans with this loose fitting purple top, with a cutout back, that I bought at the end of the summer last year at this super cute boutique on the island, Tula the Boutique (I opt for looser fitting tops or dresses when I plan on stuffing my face). I love the light purple with the white, so summery. I put on some nude heels and added a statement necklace and chunky bracelet to bring it all together.

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Top: Sis Sis (similar) | Necklace: Francesca’s Collection (similar)
Jeans: J Brand | Sandals: Michael Kors (similar)

  

Brush Strokes

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I found this dress on Instagram. I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and I saw a fellow fashion blogger I follow wearing a super cute top. I saw that @shopthemint was tagged in the caption of the photo. I had never heard of the brand/store before, so I clicked on it to see what else Shop The Mint had to offer. I saw this dress on their Instagram feed and INSTANTLY fell in love. The clothes and accessories on shopthemint.com (The Mint Julep Boutique) are all so cute and so affordable! Even better, when you sign up for their “Special Perks,” you get $10 off your first purchase! I couldn’t say no to this dress after that.

I had just ordered this Furla mini bag from Macy’s this same week I found the dress and could not wait to pair the two together. I decided Mother’s Day dinner was the perfect day to break them both out for the first time. I paired the dress and bag with a pair of white wedges on the gorgeous 85 degree day we had here in New York. I got tons of compliments on this dress all day and I was so happy to tell everyone about shopthemint.com because they are amazing. I love love love this dress. The pattern is gorgeous and the colors all blend together so well. The faux wrap and bunching on the bottom of the dress is also the perfect touch to make this dress absolutely unique. I’m looking forward to purchasing more clothing from The Mint Julep Boutique in the near future!

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Dress: The Mint Julep Boutique
Bag: Furla | Wedges: Enzo Angiolini
Bangles: Alex and Ani

  

Splurge, Spend, Steal: Ankle Tie Flats

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Lace up flats are very in right now and I am absolutely loving the trend. The Aquazzura Christy and Belgravia flats are to die for. But let’s face it: we can’t all afford these gorgeous Aquazurra flats. That’s why I’ve come up with Splurge, Spend, and Steal options to make the ankle tie flats an option for everyone, no matter what your budget is!

The Belgravia

Splurge

 Aquazzura Belgravia

Aquazzura: $695

Spend

JC Shay
Jeffrey Campbell: $130

Steal

Mod Cloth

ModCloth: $34.99

The Christy

Splurge

Aquazzura Christy
Aquazzura: $675

Spend
Stuart Weitzman

Stuart Weitzman: $385

Steal

YesStyle
YesStyle: $27.90

  

Throwback Thursday: The Pierre NYC

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Today’s throwback Thursday is from about 3 years ago. My boyfriend and I both love New York City (me enough to live there, my boyfriend not so much) and love to spend the night there as often as we can. About 3 years ago for my boyfriend’s birthday, I surprised him with an overnight stay at The Pierre hotel in NYC and what a treat it was for both of us! The Pierre is part of the Leading Hotels of the World. It has a classically elegant style and the service is absolutely outstanding. I cannot say enough good things about this hotel.

Upon arrival, we received a room upgrade, which gave us a partial view of Central Park (if you know NYC hotels, you know this is a big deal). Our room was quite spacious, containing a corridor leading to our bed and desk, multiple closets, a kitchenette, and a large bathroom with a separate bath and shower. The bed in our room was so comfortable, I never wanted to get out of it. I also loved the sophisticated decor at The Pierre.

The Central Park location is one of my favorites because there are so many great restaurants in this area. For my boyfriend’s birthday, I chose to go to Jean-Georges. In my opinion, Jean-Georges Vongerichten can do no wrong. I love all of his restaurants and I am so glad he opened The Inn at Pound Ridge just 20 minutes from me! Our experience at Jean-Georges was an amazing one. All of the food was incredibly the delicious and the service was impeccable. At one point I spilled a little something on my dress and before I could even react, someone was handing me a shout wipe to take care of it! I mean, how perfect is that? The staff at Jean-Georges understand the needs of the customer and that is just as important at a restaurant as having delicious food, in my opinion. My favorite part of the meal was the little cookies and chocolates you get to take home with you. It’s the little details that really make it a wonderful experience and Jean-Georges has all the little details covered.

The last part of this trip I want to discuss is the gorgeous dress  wore. I found this dress at Barney’s Warehouse and I absolutely could not let it go. I love everything about this dress. From the silk material (so comfortable!) to the beautiful open back style to the bright royal blue, this dress is just perfection. I paired it with dangly, sparkly earrings and colorful BCBG sandals.

See below for photos of all the details of this trip.

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Throwback Thursday: Aruba!

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I went to Aruba back in 2011 with my boyfriend. It was our first real vacation together, other than weekend trips to LBI or our work trip to Orlando, FL together. I still vividly remember the whole trip, not just because it was our first vacation together, but because Aruba is one of my favorite places and I cannot wait to go back! I was trying to think of a  post for this week and I have been itching to travel lately, so naturally I felt like I needed a travel post! And what better to post about than one of my favorite trips?

I stayed at the Hyatt Regency Aruba and I highly recommend this resort to anyone looking to visit the island. While it is not all

inclusive (which can make for a very expensive trip because drinks and food add up REAL quick!), the hotel and beach are absolutely beautiful and the service is great! A big selling point: they have waiters/waitresses who bring your drinks directly to you while you lay in your lounge chair at the beach. What more do you need?

One of my favorite parts of the hotel is the gorgeous landscape. The stonework mixed with the tropical plant life and ponds with swans is just breathtaking! These are the details that are overlooked at many resorts, as they feel that being located on or adjacent to a beach is sufficient. While that may be sufficient to bring people for a first visit, it is the attention to detail in other aspects, such as the landscaping and other property details, that keep people coming back. That is why the Hyatt is worth the additional cost you pay compared to an all-inclusive in Aruba.

Another awesome thing about the Hyatt Regency Aruba is that there is also a casino and spa on-site. You honestly don’t even need to leave the resort if you don’t want to. However, if you do want to go off the resort, the hotel is located within walking distance of several shops and restaurants, so you don’t even have to worry about taxis to explore the island a little bit.

Aside from the amazing details of out hotel, Aruba is just a really great island to vacation. It is much more Americanized than other Caribbean islands I have visited (which has its pros and cons), which I found nice because it makes it easier to explore. The weather is also perfect. The rain showers, if there are any, last for a minimal amount of time, allowing you to not miss a single beach day while you’re there. The sunsets are out of the world (see pictures below) and the water temperature could not be better.

Here are some of the many pictures I took on my trip to Aruba, which still don’t even do the island or hotel or trip justice!

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Splurge vs Steal: Hilary Duff

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Hilary Duff has been a long-time girl crush of mine. I loved her back in the Lizzie McGuire days when I was younger and I still love her just as much now. She just seems like one of those celebrities that never let the fame go to her head and she was able to stay normal through it all. So naturally, with my love for her, I follow Hilary Duff on social media, in magazines, and through the internet, etc. I came across this outfit and I thought it was such a classic look that could work for anyone on any budget, so I figured it would be a perfect Splurge vs Steal blog post. I personally think this outfit would make a super cute date night outfit.

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Splurge

Splurge

Sandal- Top Left: Saint Laurent Snakeskin (sold out) $1,095
Sandal- Top Right: Saint Laurent Black $795
Skirt: Jonathan Simkhai $315
Top: Proenza Schouler $690


Steal

Steal

Top: Leith $24
Skirt: Vince Camuto $69
Sandal: Kurt Geiger $147.39

  

Showing Some Skin

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Spring is finally here! The weather here in New York has warmed up to 50s and 60s and I am absolutely loving it. This shoot was done last weekend (busy week so I’m FINALLY just getting around to posting), so there’s still a bit of snow in the background, but mostly all of the snow has melted now!

The beginning of spring is always a great time for fashion, in my opinion, because you can mix so many pieces from different seasons. You can wear booties with t-shirts and open toe shoes with sweaters; it’s just wonderful to not be confined to articles of clothing that will keep me warmest!

For this shoot I wore a sweater with jeans and pumps, which may sound like a winter outfit; however, the best part of this sweater is the gorgeous open back. I am in love with backless and low back pieces. I just think that showing your back is a subtle way to show some skin without being overly sexy. I fell in love with Sanctuary Clothing sweater as soon as I saw it. I was browsing around Marshall’s a few weeks ago because I had some gift cards that still needed to be spent and I came across this sweater as I was going through the racks of clothing and I just knew I had to have it. I will definitely be getting a lot of use out of it.

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Pumps: Nine West (similar) | Sunnies: Jessica Simpson (similar)
Bag: BCBGMaxazria (similar here and here)