My LA trip roundup! Sofitel, Girl Boss Rally and MORE!

I went back to Cali, Cali… It was my first time back in around 7 years. I honestly am such an East Coast girl. I live for NYC. I think you’re either ONE or the OTHER – anyone else think that? I was in the LA area for a total of 5 days and I had a great time attending the Girl Boss Rally, I stayed at the Sofitel in Beverly Hills and also got to see my friend Nina who I met while living in Miami!

Ps, how cute is this luggage? It’s from Gabbiano Luggage!

Let”s dive into my trip! – I landed and got to the hotel around 7pm and was exhausted from traveling from NYC directly to LA. I order room service that night and passed out right after. I woke up around 6:30 am with a view of the Hollywood Hills and ordered room service for breakfast before I headed off to the Girls Boss Rally!

The breakfast was literally gone in less than 5 mins, It was beyond delicious and the hash browns and eggs were perfectly cooked. I’m actually craving this while typing.

I headed to the girl boss rally which was what I flew out for! I’ve been a huge fan of Sophia Amoruso for years. Not only is she my role model, she was the reason I was so inspired to quit my job and follow my dreams. If you haven’t picked up her “Girl Boss” book, you need to. I’ve read it twice and I will probably read it again every few months. It’s a great refresher on things you might already know but kinda put on the shelf.

The Rally was filled with so many inspiring women from business owners and entrepreneurs – huge walls filled with quotes that just excited you while walking by. I had to stop and take a photo in front of this one — START YOUR OWN SHIT. I am proud to say, I started my own. Listening to these incredible women and their stories made me cry, laugh, and feel so inspired. To be honest — it was the best trip I’ve ever taken, the best convention I’ve ever been to. They have them yearly in NYC and LA. I will 100% be attending the next NY one — I’m poaching the website already haha.

I was so nervous to introduce myself, but honestly one of my good friends told me earlier in that week that I basically need to cut the shit and do it. Never be shy or intimidated by anyone. I was so glad I spoke with her for a few minutes and got a photo. I walked away feeling so glad I was able to share with her how much of an impact she’s had in my life. I might of cried when I walked away as well, haha. BUT happy tears — for anyone reading this and wondering if they should follow their dreams or do something they are shy to do….DO IT.

After the GIRL BOSS RALLY I jumped in a Lyft and headed over to see Nina! Nina was one of my best friends in Miami and GOD only know how much I miss her. I left Miami and moved to Northern Virginia and she moved from Miami to LA. She’s a full time makeup artist and she’s KILLING it, here is here Instagram account: @NinasMakeup

We did a makeup youtube video together, headed to lunch and played catch up! It was amazing to see her again! Nina – I love you girl!

I also had the chance to stop by Rodeo Drive, meet my fellow blogger friend Missy (known as @missyonmadison) which I was super excited to finally meet her in person!

We did a little bit of a photoshoot, we had a late lunch at 208 Rodeo Resturant and enjoyed the view. If you are local to that area I highly recommend the surf and turf! We both ate it so fast…DELICIOUS!! I would die to have this right now.

I had a lot of early nights in LA. Can’t lie, theres nothing better than relaxing in bed early while you’re on a vacation. At least at this point in my life I’m totally ok with it. So that being said I went home and crashed after this. haha.

The next few days was filled with a few meetings and photoshoots. I really didn’t do that much while in LA because I wanted and needed to relax. I spent more time with Nina and met a few other blogger friends whom I’ve adored for years but never got to meet. I met up with Cassydy and Candice!

Missy and I ended up meeting again for dinner together at Cattle & Claw — it’s located inside my hotel; Sofitel. We were on a lobster roll trend so we stuck with it! haha. Their drinks, atmosphere and food was incredible. (Open on in D.C. please!)

Overall, I loved my trip. I’m still an East Coast Girl but it was a whole different feel than I get when I go to NYC. I enjoyed my stay at Sofitel (the beds are so comfortable, also the bathroom is spacious which is a must!) I had a blast seeing my new and old friends and I ate some killer food. I hope they next time you’re in LA or looking for a new place to eat or stay you reference this post!

xx, Tonya Michelle

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My experience with Soapbox Soaps x Clean The World x Delta Hotels in Orlando!

This trip was sponsored by Soapbox Soaps and Delta Hotels for their exciting new partnership. I have SO much information to tell you guys, it’s amazing what they are doing. Being part of it for only two days had such an effect on me. Soapbox Soaps also works with Clean The World which is an incredible idea – just WAIT til you learn more below.

I’ll first give you a look at the new face Delta Hotel decor got! You’ll die — I wanted to stick everything in my suitcase, yes I even mean the couches and chairs. What I appreciate about Delta Hotel is that they LISTENED to the feedback on what their customers want from them. Simple Made Perfect.

You get the bare MAXIMUM: Free Wifi – Streamlined Service – Free Bottled Water – Full Service Fitness Center – A Room That Works and Concept Bar! You can view their YouTube video HERE to give you a better idea on why you need to stay at a Delta Hotel if you haven’t yet. — I know I had a blast.

The ambience they created is amazing. Just look how how bright, energetic and welcoming the lobby feels. Whether you need to take a seat to wait on a friend, read a book, head to the bar to grab a drink, maybe even a snack, OR head to the pool?! You have those options.

I also love how they have an area for the children to play outside next to the pool, so if your children aren’t old enough or ready for the pool they have their own spot!

The full service fitness center is something I appreciate! I know if Carl was with me for this trip he would of been in there. A lot of people still want to maintain their routine even while traveling or on vacation, so this is perfect.


Being able to meet Global Brand Manager Gregory Durrer was incredible. Not only is he total business goals, he’s down to earth and easy to talk to. I appreciated getting to know him over those two days and was blessed to be part of this trip.

The staff at Delta Hotel in Orlando was also incredible, everyone had a smile on their face and made you feel at home. This is a statement I can say is true, even before we had our dinner  with everyone, I roamed around and was treated great by the bellmen, customer service staff and the bartender!

So now, I want to dive into why Soapbox Soaps and Delta Hotels have teamed up to make such an amazing impact on our communities and also world wide.

Just like every hotel, when you go into your bathroom you find the mini bottles of shampoo, conditioner, soap and lotion and usually a couple bars of soap. Did you know that even if you don’t use them, they get thrown away? Which then get dumbed into landfills….yep. Right into our Earth. Now with Soapbox Soaps teaming up with Clean The World and Delta Hotels…this isn’t happening anymore. Below you will see what happens, it’s about to blow your mind and this is only the HALF of it.

Below you can see how there are special dividers for each category. While we were there they had some volunteers during their Spring Break diving into help. If you’re in the Orlando area you can contact Clean The World to donate your time as well. Trust me, it’s worth a trip.

Everything you see below are the collections from the hotels! Used and New! They get dumped into categories, cleaned, sanitized and guess what?!? Then able to be packaged up and handed out to those who need them.

They also collect bars of soap…as you can see blurred out in the background in one of my photos below is thousands of used and new bars of soap. What am I holding in my hand? The finished product! Take the old, used, and even new…melt it down, clean it, sanitize it and create something we can use. #CleanTheWorld

I was so blessed to meet a new friend on this trip! This is a photo of Ni’Kesia and I before we started digging in and making over 1,000 hygiene kits with the rest of the team. (Ps, follow her- she’s a killer writer and blogger: www.instagram.com/kesi_p )

If you stay at any Delta Hotel you will be able to experience the real feeling of giving back by simply using those travel sized products in your room! How? Well, let me tell you! Below you will see how the bottle has a code, that code let’s you see where the other item was donated. No joke! You can really see where it went.  Simply head to Soapboxsoaps.com and type in your code to find out where! Also by purchasing any Soapbox Soap products either online or in stores like Walgreens, Target and more. Be part of a bigger picture by using products that care and give back.

Also meeting David Simnick the CEO and Co-Founder of Soapbox soaps was a blessing! He is someone who not only will motivate you to make a change, his energy is contagious. You can tell how much he believes and loves what he does. Thank you David for letting me be a small part of something so big. I will forever be a supporter of Soapbox Soaps!

I highly recommend you try some of their products, I purchased one of their sets online today. I will be doing another review here shortly so stay tuned. I know I loved these minis so I’m thrilled and excited to get my hands on more!

I hope this inspires you to do something on your own to do your part. Whether it’s something big or something small, everything counts. I know I will be doing more!

Follow Along on Social!

Soapbox Soaps: WebsiteInstagramFacebook

Clean The World: WebsiteInstagramFacebook

Delta Hotels: WebsiteInstagramFacebook

xx, Tonya Michelle

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Inside my stay at NYFW week with Innside by Melia.

Not only is NYC one of my favorite cities EVER — I love finding new chic and incredible places to stay that won’t break the bank. Innside by Melia is a must stay hotel — I can’t wait to share my thoughts below with you. If you’re headed to the Big Apple anytime soon, make SURE you stay here and if you’ve already booked somewhere — at least stop by for lunch, dinner or drinks at the restaurant located in the heart of the lobby. #WorkTripping

I was so excited to grab my room key and start my stay! I was a little early to check in, so I grabbed lunch at the bar and a much needed drink. Can we talk about how cute the bar is?  **warning: Don’t go behind their bar, haha**

Even in the cold temps you can enjoy their “outside” seating, it’s closed in and heaters are above! At night, this area is so romantic — a great date night or even fun atmosphere to grab drinks before heading out for a fun evening. I noticed a lot of people just came to the hotel to enjoy this area. That says a lot!

There is also their gorgeous dining area on the lower level of the hotel. You can enjoy a delicious brunch here as well. Can we also take a minute to appreciate the art? Stunning right? It looked like to be made out of artificial grass. Stunning!!

Woo Hoo!! I got my room key — time for some fun…

Does anyone else love putting on the comfy hotel robe and jump in bed? Innside by Melia had two robes and two pairs of slippers in the room. Luckily, I only needed one of each but having more is always great! I mean, doesn’t this look fun?!

Not only was the hotel lobby, restaurant and bar very clean and chic…the rooms are too. I can only image how hard it is to keep these rooms up to date, clean and on point. They did a killer job. I felt like I was at home in my own space, it didn’t feel like anyone else ever stayed in the room before me.

I stayed in the King View room — two huge floor to ceiling windows, a king sized bed, a work desk and chair, enough room for all three suitcases I brought and more. The build in was my favorite – it had a place to hang all my outfits, store my shoes below, a safe and extra space for my bags, accessories and makeup. I can appreciate when a room is designed to help you stay organized and it doesn’t make you feel crowded.

The bathroom was a decent size as well. I’m all about good water pressure it comes to taking a shower, anyone else?!! No complaints here with their shower. There was a huge drawer under the sink for more storage for hair products, makeup and hair tools! Win-win!

You can see behind me in this photo the storage I was speaking of! Also there is a cute mini fridge built in as well. All waters, juice and sodas are complimentary. Yassss!!! It always bothers me when my room doesn’t have water in stock.

Just some of the other great things they have to offer:

Located in Chelsea and in convenient proximity to NoMad, Garment District, Greenwich Village and Union Square.

Walking distance to famous New York City landmarks such as the Empire State Building, Madison Square Garden, the iconic Flatiron Building, Madison Square Park, and Times Square.

Modern, spacious rooms perfect for business and leisure travelers.

Unique suites with terraces featuring breathtaking views of the Empire State Building.

2 Meeting Rooms with capacity for up to 70 persons total

Fitness Center with outdoor terrace. (Talk about a view!)

I can’t wait to stay again with the Innside. It’s time to kick your feet up, enjoy an amazing stay and not break the bank during your stay. Trust me — you’ll love it!!

 

xx, Tonya Michelle

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Give the Gift of Finding for Under $30!!!

 

 

I just found one of the most clever items that I’ve ever seen. We all have that one person in our life that is constantly miss placing things. Maybe it’s you?! I know I’m always looking for where I left my keys or my wallet. Or maybe you just want to have extra security on one of your personal items. Well, for under $30 you can easily solve all the above!!

I have partnered up with TILE to give the gift of FINDING. – What’s TILE

TILE can be used for so many different reasons. As I mentioned above, I am the person who is always forgetting where I put my keys and my wallet. I have now attached the TILE to my key chain so this problem won’t cost me anymore time out of my day!

My boyfriend has gotten back into photography and it’s one his favorite items. When we travel we now attach TILE to the camera strap. It’s a great and easy way to track where the camera is and to make sure when it’s in our luggage, it’s not going somewhere it’s not supposed to.

It also comes in 4 different designs.

I’m in love with the “Classy” look with the gold trim.

That one is MINE! The other two will be surprises for loved one this Christmas!

                

 

How It Works:

Find lost items with your phone. If your Tile is within the 100-foot Bluetooth range, it will play a loud tune until you find it.

Can’t find your phone? Double press your Tiles to make it ring, even if it’s on silent.

Keep your tile app running in the background and it will remember the last place and time you had your item.

The Tile app connects you to the world’s largest lost-and-found community, where friends and strangers work together using the Tile app to find everything that matters.

It’s incredible how technology can help us solve the daily issues we have with misplacing items. Bluetooth technology is our friend!

Click here to find out more about their holiday gift ideas, the technology behind it and to purchase.

xx, Tonya Michelle

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Get Travel Ready with Samsonite Luggage!

Travel season is all year ’round! I’ve been traveling so much in the last two months that I need a vacation from my “vacations”. I have traveled from NYC- PITT-TOKYO-DC-PITT-NYC and now LA next week. Yes, that’s only in the last 8 weeks. I have been lucky enough to have luggage that keeps up with my jet setting and gives me the ability to travel in style! 

I am in love with my Samsonite luggage. My NEW Stryde Glider has SOLD out on their website but I did find it on another website and it’s 30% currently!! Direct link to purchase is HERE. It comes in two colors; Slate Blue (the one I have) and Charcoal.

Just to give you an idea on how much this suitcase can hold in a Woman’s world….when I flew over to Tokyo I brought 13 outfits, 5 pairs of shoes and 3 handbags. TRUE STORY. Maybe I’m a good packer? Maybe it’s the suitcase? I’m going with both, haha.

Product Details:

  • Exterior dimensions: 24.25″ x 24.2″ x 13.5″ (includes wheels)
  • Packing dimensions; 23.7″ x 22.25″ x 13″
  • Interior: multiple-pocket system with lining pockets, breathable mesh pockets and wet-pack pockets; double cross-straps; vertical mesh pocket

A few of other suitcases that my better half has his eyes on and would also be great for traveling:

SAMSONITE CENTRIC 28″ SPINNER

Comes in 5 colors.

It’s currently 25% off right now with code “SAVE25” – Direct link to purchase: HERE.

This deal is MIND blowing, I had to check twice. You can get this  SAMSONITE CENTRIC 3 PIECE SET for under $230!!! The normal price is almost $650. It’s a weekend deal, so don’t wait! Direct link to purchase is HERE. It also comes in 5 different colors.

I also travel with my laptop, it’s a necessity for me. With that being said, I needed a new bag that had a laptop comparment but also room to carry my normal purse necessities.

I picked out the SAMSONITE ZALIA ORGANIZED BAILHANDLE. Which does both of things and also has a SmartSleeve™ which is perfect. SmartSleeve™ is a feature where you can connect your bag to your suitcase. You don’t have to carry it or even watch it fall off when you’re strolling through the airport with your suitcase. Trying to balance your bag is no longer needed or an issue!

A few other great options they have and that I have on my “wish list”:

SAMSONITE KARISSA BIZ BACKPACK

SAMSONITE KARISSA BACKPACK 2 POCKETS

It’s currently 25% off and direct link to purchase is HERE.

I can’t wait for all the new places I get to travel coming up in 2018! It’s a blessing to be able to travel and I’m thankful for Samsonite for keeping my life packed up and organized while I do it.

xx, Tonya Michelle

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Carl and I Took A Gaylord National Harbor Resort Staycation!

Carl and I had the BEST staycation last weekend at the Gaylord National Harbor Resort. Sometimes you just need to pack a bag and take a trip. Even if it’s only 45 mins away! Who else agrees?! *Raises Hand*

I first want to share this amazing view to you. Inside the Gaylord National is incredible. You have a “mini town” like feel inside with this view — I wanted to pack another bag and stay longer. Our room had a balcony with a chair, a great place to sit in the morning and watch the sunrise.

Below you can see the “mini town” feel I was speaking of. They have restaurants and a coffee bar you can enjoy without having to leave! Harbor Marketplace, The Cocoa Bean, Belvedere Lobby Bar, Pose Rooftop Lounge, National Pastime Sports Bar And Grill (We stopped here for apps before exploring the National Harbor), Pienza Marketplace (we had breakfast here), Old Hickory Steakhouse.

Our room was cozy and had such a nice home feel to it. I loved how spacious the room was, Carl is 6’4″ — he needs it, haha. We walked in and we had to force ourselves to go explore. The tv’s have Netflix — Don’t threaten us with a good time. We almost stayed in at 4pm and turned it on…but we didn’t! We went exploring to the Capital Wheel!

All dressed up for our night out! (He’s acting like he doesn’t like his photo taken…haha)

We walked hand and hand (cute as ever –right?) down to the Capital Wheel! It’s the first time for both of us to ride the wheel and I was beyond nervous. I’m afraid of heights and of course he was fine. It took me 2-3 times around at first to relax. After that, I was in awe of the view. We lucked out and perfectly planned our ride. Sunset!!!

 

It was like going on a first date all over again. Sometimes you have to act that way. Do spontaneous trips, stay-cations or date nights! We really had a great time on the Capital Wheel. Add it to your list of things to do when you’re in the area or if you’re local!

That smile is a smile of conquering my fear of heights!! I’m so glad I gave it shot, the view is incredible and I’m proud of doing something I normally would be too afraid to do.

After the Capital Wheel adventure we walked on over to do a little shopping. Stopped at the PEEPS store as well as Charming Charlie’s to kill some time before dinner at The Walrus – Oyster & Ale House. Dinner at The Walrus was mouth watering! Below I’ll share our dinner with you, but beware — You might be hungry after this portion of my post.

(Photo above is a great shot during the day! I got it from their website, wanted to give a better idea of how open and the atmosphere can be killer during lunch, happy hour or evening!)

We decided to start with some appetizers! Crispy Calamari for Carl, I had Shrimp and Hushpuppies! I was lucky to get any good photos during this meal. We both couldn’t wait to dive into the food. Everything looked AMAZING, it tasted even fresher than we thought it would. The Shrimp was my favorite, I usually love peel -n- eat shrimp when it’s boiled and hot. I was wondering how I would like this since it’s on ice. They spice the shrimp, go over it quickly with a flame to sear the top and then ice it. Honestly — It was better than anything I’ve had! Again, so glad to try something new.

We then ordered our main courses, let’s just say I love food and my eyes are always bigger than my stomach. ha-ha. I ordered the Bell & Evans Half Roasted Chicken, it takes 25 mins to slow cook but we had our wine refilled and didn’t mind waiting for the meal! It’s a herb citrus marinade, sautéed curly spinach, roasted fingerlings, red wine butter chicken gravy. YUMMMMYYYY!!

Carl got the Land & Sea! Half pound Shenandoah Valley ribeye, Maryland jumbo lump crab cake with butter sauce, grilled broccolini, mashed potatoes. He didn’t talk much when it came out so you know he was happy. He ate all of his meal and then half of mine! ha-ha.

I was SO FULL at this moment but if you’re anything like me, there is ALWAYS room for desert – right? I decided to go for the homemade apple pie and ice cream. It’s made to order. You guys, it was incredible, I mean …. Just look at it:

I will NOT be showing an after photo – we went to town! haha. I’m so thankful to The Walrus for hosting us. We had an incredible dinner and we truly enjoyed the atmosphere. We’ve been talking about when we will go next! We heard on Mondays they have the best fried chicken anyone could ever ask for. We’re gonna have to put that to the test here soon!

We headed back to the room after dinner to find a bottle of wine, cheese and crackers waiting for us. We decided to stay in, enjoy those and watch Stranger Things 2!!! (We binge watched and finished the next day haha) The next morning we woke up and had walked downstairs to enjoy the breakfast buffet at Pienza.

 

 

 

 

We explored the Relâche Spa & Salon after breakfast!

It was time to get pampered before heading back home.

I got a 80 minute facial and Carl got a 60 min massage. We both needed some extra love after our crazy schedules lately with work. Make sure to always take time for yourself and also as a couple.

They have a gorgeous couple massage room — we will def be having this next time. Look at that view!!

Also you can enjoy their separate Men’s & Women’s Lounges with tea, water and light snacks. A steam room and pool which you can see below. We def should of planned for more time there. We will be making sure that happens next time.

Their spa offers different lines of products, you can even purchase! Which is nice to be able to try certain products during your facial first and then decide which you love to bring home.

The service list they offer is impressive; Body scrub, Body wrap, Couple’s Massage, Eye Treatments, Facials, Foot bath, Hair & scalp treatments, Kids Services, Lip Treatments, Makeup Services, Manicures/pedicures, Massage lessons, Massages, Men’s services, Paraffin hand treatments and Waxing! You can truly go there and get all your needs handled.

We left our stay at the Gaylord National Harbor feeling refreshed and closer. Whether you’re in town for a conference, vacation or even live here I highly recommend you spend your time there. They treat you like royalty and all the options they have between restaurants and things to do in the area is incredible. It’s convenient and accessible! Always remember, take time for yourself and enjoy it.

Thank you to the Gaylord National Harbor for hosting us during our stay, you made it such a wonderful experience for the both of us. Thank you also to The Walrus – our dinner was delicious. You both forever has a customer in us and we can’t wait to come back.

Follow along on social media:

Gaylord National: FacebookInstagramTwitterWebsite

National Harbor: Facebook– Instagram – TwitterWebsite

The Walrus Oyster & Ale: FacebookInstagramTwitterWebsite 

xx, Tonya Michelle

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How To Dress Up A Bodysuit + Enter to win $1000 to Nordstrom!

One of my favorite outfits from Tokyo last month is the one I’m about to share! I’m a sucker for a fun and easy bodysuit to pair. Whether it’s with leggings, jeans or dress pants — It’s a fun way to show your attitude and sexiness off! I don’t care if you’re a size 2 or size 18 — rock a bodysuit with a passion. (Also — after reading, make sure to scroll to the bottom to enter to win $1000 to Nordstrom!!!)

I linked some of my favorite bodysuits and they are all 50% OFF! Use code GET50

Sadly my pants can’t be linked — I bought these in Tokyo and I regret not buying every color! I did find some similar pieces and linked them below. These are great for work, brunch with the girls or even a night out on the town. I would wear them anywhere!

I linked above some of my favorite booties – I’m all about making a statement. If you’re not into the crazy patterns and colors like I am below are some great everyday ones!

These gold booties are EVERYTHING. I wear them all the time, so much I’m thinking of getting another pair once I wear these out. haha Anyone else do that?

xx, Tonya Michelle

’tis the season to give back!
I’ve teamed up with an amazing group of bloggers
to give YOU a chance to win:
a $1,000 Nordstrom Gift Card, to make your holidays just a little bit sweeter!

Simply enter below by completing the rafflecopter.
You’ll receive one entry per completion.
This giveaway is open internationally and runs until end of day 11/20.
Winner will be announced here. Good Luck!

*this giveaway is in no way sponsored by Nordstrom.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Day 1 Shu Uemura Art Of Hair x Gallery Of Style Tokyorama

I was honored to travel to Tokyo with Shu Uemura Art of Hair for their Gallery Of Style Tokyorama finalist contest. I’ve been trying to figure out how to put into words this amazing experience. Can I be honest? It’s hard! Learning about Shu Uemura, meeting with the team & the finalists, exploring Tokyo was incredible. Below I will go through some of my favorite moments, products and explain a little background about the legend himself on DAY 1! Day 2 and 3 will be separate blog posts – more in depth on the Gallery Of Style completion and their designs, so keep your eye out and enjoy!!!!

Waking up this view didn’t get old. Tokyo reminds me of NYC but bigger and calmer. haha – Not kidding. I only heard one horn being blown during our entire stay. Can’t lie, I appreciated it.

Day 1: We toured the city, 100% acted like tourist and we had a blast. Below you will find our photos from the Senso-Ji Temple, Ueno Toshogu Autumn Dahlia Garden and us enjoying sukiyaki!!

The entrance to the Ueno Toshogu Autumn Dahlia Garden, one of our favorite places! It was such a gorgeous experience. Some of the dahlias were taller than me, no joke!! I wish I could of taken some with me.

Had to stop and take a stunning photo of a few Shu Uemura products! The morning we left for our day I used cleansing oil shampoo gentle radiance cleanser for normal hair and scalp and after blow drying, I added a dime size of their essence absolute nourishing protective oil. I then used my straightener and my hair stayed straight ALL day. No joke. I got so much feedback and questions when I posted on my insta-stories. It’s true. I’m officially hooked. You need to add this to your “must have” list for hair products. Trust me! Nothing worse than your hair curling or getting frizzy when you’re trying to have silky smooth hair.

We then started to walk to the Senso-Ji Temple. When we first arrived it wasn’t busy and I was able to truly just take a minute to appreciate my surroundings. I even called my grandma (3am EST) and luckily she was awake! I was able to share some of this experience with her which was a great feeling.

It’s almost like playing “Wheres Waldo?” but “Wheres Tonya?” — it was packed within 5 mins! People of all cultures and backgrounds swarmed the area, taking photos, all wanting to feel the history. Being around so much culture and history made me realize how small we each are in such a bigger picture. It’s life changing.

By now we’re all starving and sukiyaki is calling our name! Luckily, Carl and I aren’t strangers to this. Our neighbors made it for us before and we loved it. Below you can view the process and after. Yum!

Day 1 was amazing — as you can see. We had a blast enjoying Tokyo. Day 2 and 3 will be coming this week on my blog. Stay tuned for some amazing hair creations and my top 5 products!!!

Mr. Shu Uemura himself, the legend.

“Mr. Shu Uemura is recognized around the world as a true master of contemporary beauty. He took a revolutionary path to polarize the art of makeup. With an unwavering passion, he has built a global brand synonymous with artistic expression, purity and quality. In August 2007, Shu Uemura Art of Hair was launched in the United States, expanding Mr. Shu Uemura’s mastery of beauty from face to now include hair. Today, Mr. Shu Uemura’s unique vision of eastern beauty combined with the sophistication of western glamour continues to inspire professionals around the globe.”  – Shu Uemura The Art of Hair 

Top 10 Shu Uemura haircare products – click HERE.

xx, Tonya Michelle

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How to transition your favorite skirt from Summer into Fall.

You can easily take your favorite skirt from an earlier season, pair with some tights and you can rock it all year ’round! It’s a great way to not only be able to enjoy one of your favorite pieces of your wardrobe but to even save from having to buy another item! Don’t get me wrong, I am all about finding great deals and adding new staple pieces in your closet, but also re-using items. Don’t forget how much we waste and throw out, re-use or even donate. What item you might be over, someone else might be looking for! Just my 2-cents for the day!!

With that being said! I found this skirt at Macy’s Backstage — it’s part of Macy’s but a separate sections where they discount items to move them out of the store. If you haven’t checked if they have one at your local Macy’s you can click HERE to find out. It’s an amazing way to find a great deal.

I was gifted a few items from my local store and this suede skirt and these booties were two of the items I could leave without!! This skirt is out of stock but I have linked some great trendy skirts below. You could wear them to work with tights or skip the tights for date night or a night out with the girls!

I always buy 4-5 pair of tights for the Fall/Winter season and wear them out! I’ve linked some great affordable ones below. Black is usually my go-to color but this season I think I might add a red, grey and olive pair to my collection. I’ve been leaning towards the bolder side these last few months. (As if you couldn’t tell with some of my #ootds – haha)

I hit the jackpot when I found these booties by GUESS at Macy’s Backstage. They were marked down from $135 to under $30!!!!! I was like “Yep, coming home with mama!” – Also they have great support. I was shocked to be honest. Didn’t know how painful it would be to break them in. I’ve noticed with all the GUESS shoes I’ve purchased, they have all been conformable. Good job Guess, high five to you for not killing my feet. Below I’ve linked some similar styles that I love and they are actually on sale as well. Click any of the photos below to shop and find out the sale price!

Can’t go wrong with a good classic GUCCI. Linked below are some of my favorites including the one I’m wearing. Different colors can be seen by clicking the photos below.

Sunnies — for me, it’s a way for myself not to get busted for rolling my eyes. lol Anyone else? Can’t be just me. Linked below are some great pairs for a reasonable price! (First two pairs use TONYA15 for 15% off)

Last but not least is this gorgeous top! I love when I can get away without having to accessorize as much, I know total excuse but it’s true. This top seals the deal for me! A peek-a-boo cut out in the neck which makes a choker. Thank you and you’re welcome. haha Direct link is below, also comes in 4 colors and I’m wearing a small! I also linked some of my favorite others from their “top” section!

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you got an idea how to turn one of your earlier seasoned pieces into something you can rock for Fall or Winter! xx, Tonya Michelle

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Yotel Hotel – My first NYC Stay!

Where do I even begin? I can’t even explain how I’m 31 and have never been to New York City! But, I had an amazing first time and I don’t think it could have gone any better. Not only did I get to meet my blogger bestie Adaleta (click HERE for her Instagram) for the first time in person, we also got to stay at Yotel Hotel! Yotel Hotel is thee cutest hotels I’ve ever stayed in. Below I will share with you why I truly LOVED my stay and was so blessed to have them host us!

The first thing you notice when you pull up is this YOTEL sign lit up in purple, at night you can see if from every corner of the block. (Thank goodness — I couldn’t get lost “follow the purple lights”) Soon as you walk in the hotel front lobby is gorgeous! It’s CLEAN ( Being in NY, I have no idea how they keep it so spotless) and there are computer to check into if you haven’t used their app already. (I plan ahead and used their app! It’s called Yotel in the app store.)

Customer Service is ON point!

There are friendly faces greeting you when you first walk in, asking if you need any assistance. Youssef was someone Adaleta and I had the pleasure to speak with a few times, he was amazing. Always had a smile on his face, helped us with our bags and kept them for us the day we checked out while we went and grabbed lunch.

I appreciate no matter how many questions I asked the staff, they were always willing to help and always had a smile on their face. They could of been slammed with people but they kept their cool, and to me, thats everything!

Every time I grabbed the elevator for level 4, which is their main lobby and when the doors opened, I was in love…with every piece of decor. (Please feel free to ship to my home!)  Just look at this!!! 

Everything had such flair, it’s own special place and they mixed and matched different styles. It was done beautifully. I still want this daisy stool for my office!!

Adaleta and myself had a few meals at the hotel when we needed something quick and didn’t feel like putting real clothes on. Below you’ll find their outdoor patio and how we got down and grubbed.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking — That IS a beer pong table! haha This outdoor space is a HIT. People who don’t even stay here come to hangout when the night life starts. They have a full bar outside as well as a food menu. I had tried their burger/fries and also their brunch — both were delicious! I’m such a foodie and was very pleased with everything. You’re welcome for adding a food photo & nowwww you’re hungry!

Our room/cabins were so cute and had the best view! I can’t complain waking up the hustle and bustle of NYC. Not only is it gorgeous, its so motivating. The floor to ceiling windows and the bed was motorized where you can lay flat or sit up straight. I also need one of those sent home too. haha!

I stayed on the 20th floor and Adaleta was above me on the 22nd. We both had gorgeous views!!! You can view mine below, and yes…Rocking my Steeler slippers like a champ.

I must admit, I kept my windows open every night so I could see the city lit up at night. I feel asleep to it and woke up to it. I fell so in love with NYC in the week I stayed and I’m counting down the days until I can go back to Yotel and visit where I’ve always belonged!

I adore how this is downtown Manhattan but NOT in the middle of Times Square. Every place that Adaleta and myself needed to be was 15-20 mins in one direction or another. It was easy for us to get around and theres a bunch of places within walking distance. Chase Bank, Dry Bar, Fed Ex, a lot of different restaurants and coffees shops. (There is a coffee shop inside the hotel on level 4. They have everything you’d want and small treats!) Location is key when choosing a hotel and we were both very pleased with their location.

Let’s get back to how much fun Adaleta and I had together here at Yotel. We had brunch Sunday morning together before our photoshoot! We even had a mimosa, well she did and mine…actually she knocked mine over. haha

Our brunch was delicious! She went for the burger after I told her how amazing mine was earlier in the week and I got the steak and eggs! I know just uploading this photo made my mouth water. Yotel, please send some to VA! K, thanks!

If you’re looking for a new place to stay for your next New York City trip, I highly recommend you check out Yotel Hotel and enjoy every aspect they have for you. It’s more than a hotel, it truly feels like a home away from home. Couldn’t be happier with my 6 days there. Yotel also has hotels all over the US and internationally as well. Where’s you next vacation? Take a look HERE and see if Yotel is there! I promise, you’ll have a blast and won’t be let down. Hotels need to feel more than just a room to stay in, Yotel created an atmosphere you’ll want to spend time in. This makes all the difference!

Thank you Yotel Hotel in NYC for letting Adaleta and I have the time of our lives here in New York for Fashion Week. It was a vacation we will never forget. 

 xx, Tonya Michelle

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