I feel like I’ve been traveling non-stop the past year and I wanted to truly share these items that I can’t travel without. I promise it makes traveling easier, more comfortable and keeps you organized!!
My FAVORITE is the My Charge, comes with an iPhone charger and USB, Also you simply plug into the wall to recharge. It’s a LITTLE pricey, but I’ll be honest…it’s been a lifesaver and super convenient.
A sound machine is a must for me. I can’t sleep with the TV on and I also can’t sleep in silence. This one is light weight & has over 5 settings.
Also – I bring slipper socks or slippers to the hotels because honestly I won’t walk barefoot on anyones floors. Not sure the last time bleach has been there and I’m not taking chances, LOL. Just a tip 😉
This blog post is sponsored by Macy’s. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Ralph Lauren’s “Romance” is the perfect scent for a romantic occasion. With Valentine’s Day coming up, gift yourself or your partner this gorgeous scent that is sure to bring out your sultry side! There’s nothing that makes me feel sexier than a gorgeous outfit and a beautiful scent to compliment it.
During Carl and I’s belated honeymoon to Aruba, I made sure to pack Ralph Lauren’s Romance fragrance along with me. The scent evokes notes of floral and citrus that smells romantic and of a special occasion, perfect for a honeymoon.
I first wore this perfume out to a nice dinner with Carl in Aruba. It made me feel sexy and fresh heading to beautiful beachside dinner. Sometimes, perfumes can be overpowering; but Ralph Lauren’s Romance is the perfect balance. The scent stayed on all night even by the salty sea water with the fish Carl and I ate for dinner. Not to mention, the bottle is gorgeous and the spritzer distributes the scent on your skin evenly. The large bottle ensures that you’ll be able to enjoy Ralph Lauren’s Romance on many dinner dates and romantic getaways.
Macy’s is my ultimate fragrance destination. With 250 different fragrances available to try, I love experimenting with the different scents and love that Macy’s even has a fragrance quiz online to help you discover your perfect scent that’s just right for you!
Spring break is just around the corner! It’s never too early to start shopping. Whether you’re going on spring break or just want to get a head start on summer shopping, Caroline and I linked all of our favorite swimsuits, cover ups, shoes, earrings and beach bags we know you will all love!
This post is sponsored by Aruba Tourism. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
From the moment we stepped off the plane, Carl and I knew we landed in paradise. Aruba’s 70 square miles of beach, desert-like landscape and Dutch inspired buildings made this little island the perfect destination for our long awaited honeymoon.
Aruba Tourism set Carl, Caroline, Caroline’s boyfriend Ben, and I up at Amsterdam Manor in Oranjestad. Upon arrival, we were greeted by the Dutch Colonial architecture and some rum punches! Like who would say no to Rum Punch?!? Not us! haha After a long day of travel, we immediately felt at home!
First, the staff at Amsterdam Manor were accommdating and lovely to work with. Manager Gerald had so many suggestions on where to eat, what to do and what to see and was so friendly and inviting! We took his advice for one of our last nights there which we will share in post 2!
Once we arrived, Caroline, Ben, Carl and I were taken to our separate rooms. Carl and I got the beautiful honeymoon suite of course and Caroline and Ben got the one bedroom suite. Both rooms were beautiful and featured a kitchenette (which is perfect if you wanted to cook in your room and save some money!) with a pullout sofa and private bedrooms. The honeymoon suite Carl and I stayed in had a large bathroom with a jacuzzi, which Carl couldn’t wait to dive into. I also loved the his and her sinks.
The rooms were spacious and perfect for families. It felt like home away from home. For larger families, there is also a two bedroom option.
Located right across the street from Eagle Beach, aka the best beach on the island according to locals, the location truly cannot be beat. Amsterdam Manor provides all guests with beach towel cards so that you can enjoy fresh towels, beach chairs and a cabana included with your stay.
The beach and lunch bar “Passions” had drinks of all kinds and some amazing lunch options. We had everything from coconut shrimp, fish tacos, even some pizza on the beach. I almost ate the whole pizza myself!
At night, the beach turns into a romantic oasis with linen tablecloths for dinner. You do need a reservation to enjoy the dinner on the beach. Carl and I dived in. We drank the best bottle of Merlot, surf n turf and Carl ordered a pork chop!
Needless to say, we definitely spent most of our time on the beach! I read a book a lot of the time, Carl hid in the shade and caught some zZzZZZzz’s.
We also enjoyed the breakfast buffet at Mango’s located on the resort! They had everything from fresh fruit, juices, an omelet bar and the normal favorite breakfast foods!
The food was delicious and there was something for everyone.
Pssst! On Thursday’s they have Manager’s happy hour which features $1.25 drinks at Mango’s bar! All the Managers come to meet and greet the guests and get to know everyone. There is live entertainment as well. We all got up and danced, even if we weren’t the best at salsa, we made it our own!
All in all, I would recommend Amsterdam Manor in Aruba to anyone coming to experience Aruba for the first or fourth time! We had such an incredible time. I didn’t want to leave, especially cause we came back home to 7 inches of snow. Also, the hospitality is unmatched and you can’t beat the location! Everyone always had a smile on their face, willing to answer any questions you have and also help you plan the most adventurous days.
My second blog post which is coming soon will go into details on all the fun adventures we did and also what to pack! Stay tuned!!
This post is sponsored by #Lancome, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Creating a Fun Bold Look with Lancome’s 3-in-1 eyes, cheek and lips! This post is sponsored by #Lancome, however all thoughts and opinions are my own. Lancôme has always been one of my favorite makeup brands. Their quality products seem to last all day and I always get compliments on my makeup whenever I’m wearing Lancôme!
I previously wrote about an easy day-to-day makeup look I created with Lancome’s 3-in-1 product and got so much positive feedback I decided to another fun look! The 3-in-1 cream-to-powder tint can be applied all over your face from eyes, cheeks and lips to give you a coveted afterglow effect with an oil-free color. This cushiony, soft texture glides seamlessly onto your skin providing a subtle flush of color or a buildable rush of color.
Before using the products, I first primed my skin with Lancôme’s prep and matte primer as I prefer my makeup looks to be mattified and this primer is perfect for that. One thing I love about the 3-in-1 cream-to-powder product is how “fool-proof” it is that you can use your fingers or your favorite shadow, blush or lip brush!
I first used the product on my eyes with shades Á La Mode and Éclat. Both of these colors were absolutely gorgeous on my eyes. The brown with pink-gold pearl notes in the Á La Mode mixed with the Éclat champagne with gold pearls made my eyes pop and accentuated the brown in my eyes. Forget anyone who says brown eyes don’t pop because these two colors proved them wrong!
For my cheeks, I used the shade Petit Bisou that is a light pink with purple pearls. I usually don’t wear blush but this is now my go to color as it matched perfectly with my olive skin tone. I used a blush brush for this look but you can also use your fingers to smooth the product onto the apples of your cheeks.
As for lips, I blended the Petit Bisou that I used on my cheeks with the Haute Couture shade that is a burgundy with blue undertones. The two colors blended seamlessly giving my lips a red-pinky glow that is perfect for fall! I again used a brush but you can use your fingers too! To finish off my look, I used Lancôme’s Fix it Forget it makeup setting spray and let me tell you it is my new favorite! It helped my makeup stay on all day long in the summer heat while I ran around finishing up errands before my wedding!
For just $22, you get a 3-in-1 product that helps you create a gorgeous look that you can blend together and experiment with their 10 different buildable shades with three matte, three sparkle and four metallic shades. I would 10/10 recommend Lancôme’s new 3-in-1 all over color eyes, lips and cheek exclusively on Lancome’s website! I linked everything above for you to shop.
Right before Christmas, Caroline and I decided we were both in need of a ‘staycation!’ We decided to head up 495 just about 45 minutes away from my home in Northern Virginia to stay at the Pod Hotel located right in the heart of Chinatown.
We wanted to try something different than the “usual” hotel, and after a few recommendations decided on the Pod Hotel located in Chinatown! The attractive price point of $100 a night for a queen size bedroom made this the most affordable yet luxurious option in the entire city.
The small sized rooms are perfect for those who want to explore the city and are just coming back to get ready for the day and to sleep! Caroline and I each got our own rooms for some extra space and would highly recommend doing so unless you’re traveling with a significant other.
After settling into our rooms, we headed downstairs to the Crimson Diner where we had some light bites before heading out to eat. Perfect for some photo ops, the décor was amazing as was the food! Caroline and I got some chips and pimento cheese dip, onion rings and I got a breakfast meal as it’s served all day long! I also used my 2-for-1 drink tickets provided upon check-in for us to get a cocktail with our appetizers before heading out for the night.
Following our run around the city, we headed downstairs to Pod’s Whiskey Bar which was not only huge but totally packed with city-goers. It seemed like the go-to spot for many locals and provided a cozy yet fun atmosphere, bumping to Spotify’s Hip-Hop 2000’s playlist which is now Caroline and I’s new work playlist!
The next morning, we used our free coffee and donut “tokens” to each get a caffeinated drink and a donut before heading home.
We had a great time at an awesome hotel and would highly recommend staying here! If you’re local or visiting to New York (Brooklyn, Manhattan) or Washington, D.C. any time soon and are looking to affordable options, definitely check out the Pod Hotel on your next stay!
This holiday season, I am always looking for affordable gifts for my friends and family that show how much I appreciate them. Personally, I think the gift of taking time to pamper yourself is the greatest gift of all. My favorite way to gift pampering and self care to others is Raw Sugar’s gift sets!
Available at Target, these gift sets are “packed with fruits, vitamins and love” and are perfect for anyone on your list this year. The best part is how many products are included for such a low price! I picked up some of Raw Sugar’s bath fizzies and sugar scrub with body wash gift sets from Target. Beautifully packaged, they’re perfect for anyone on your list who’s deserving of some pampering!
Made with “nature’s basics” of fruit, plants and wholesome vitamins, Raw Sugar’s products are cruelty-free and vegan friendly! I feel even better about gifting an all-natural product to my friends and family knowing that none of their ingredients include harmful chemicals or dye. Not to mention, they feel incredible on your skin. They’re also gorgeous in a nice, warm bubble bath with some of their bath fizzers!
If you’re struggling with choosing gifts for friends and family, head to your local Target and pick up some of Raw Sugar’s gift sets and give the gift of self care and pampering. Don’t forget to grab one for yourself too!
This post is sponsored by Pantene however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
When Pantene asked me to try out their new Pro-V Intense Rescue Shots, I was pumped. Imported from Brazil, this product has not hit stores in the U.S. yet but has been a staple in Brazilian hair care.
I have to admit, at first, I was a little skeptical. I was excited to try out a product before anyone else, but I rarely stray away from my usual hair care routine. But I could not be happier with the results from the Pantene Pro-V Intense Rescue Shots and can’t wait to make it a regular part of my hair care regimen!
The Pantene Pro-V Intense Rescue Shots are single-use and come in a pack of three. My hair had been extremely over-styled and over-processed the last few weeks between shoots and special events, it was in dire need for some salon-quality care. After shampooing my hair, I squeezed the entirety of the Pantene shot into my hands and massaged the conditioner-like formula into my hair from root to tip for 30 seconds, focusing on the troublesome spots like my split ends. After 30-seconds, I rinsed it out and that was it!
I wasn’t expecting to notice an immediate difference. I’ve tried so many hair-damage-eraser-type products that promised instant results but to no avail. But wow was I wrong!
I brushed out my hair like I usually do and let it air dry naturally. My hair was noticeably shinier, the normal elasticity in my hair was back and it truly looked like I had just come from a salon! It was smooth and not to mention smells amazing, even a day later.
So, how did Pantene do it? Their absorbing blend of Pro-Vitamin B5, strengthening lipids and natural glycerin target your hair’s damaged areas. Because the Pantene Pro-V Intense Rescue Shots act like a deep conditioner, I was worried using the whole “shot” would leave my hair greasy like other deep-conditioners I’ve tried, but Pantene formulated their Rescue Shots to prevent overdosing, so there’s no need to worry about putting in “too much!”
For the best results, Pantene recommends using their Pro-V Intense Rescue Shots once per week in place of conditioner.
Pantene’s Pro-V Intense Rescue Shots hit stores in the U.S. January 2019, but you can get your hands on this exclusive product right now at Walmart.com before it hits shelves in January – see here! I 10/10 would recommend you pick it up, I know I will!
This post is sponsored by Nordstrom. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
When it comes to gift giving, I have you covered! Nordstrom has something for everyone on your list with services available for assistance in picking that perfect gift across all price points so that every size budget can be accomodated!
I did a little shopping at Nordstrom online to show you some great gift options!
S’well Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle
S’well water bottles are the best gift for anyone, especially your active or on-the-go friends and family members! They come in a range of colors and fun designs that can suit any personality or style. I picked out the standard 17oz S’well in “Milky Way” and let me tell you that it is gorgeous! Click HERE to shop!
DIFF x Jessie James Decker Polarized Aviator Sunglasses
Sunglasses are also a great gift for anyone on your list. I love Jessie James Decker’s new line with DIFF and couldn’t wait to try them out, so I got these blue lens aviators for myself! These sunglasses are just one of the many brands that Nordstrom carries and they’re affordable! Click HERE to shop!
Cool Mist Cosmos Scentilizer Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser With essential oils all the rage right now, this beautiful diffuser not only looks pretty but will smell amazing in your home as well. This gift would be great for someone on your list who loves candles but may go through them quickly or likes to try all kinds of scents. Even better, there is a built-in timer with an automatic shut off capability so it’s worry free! Click HERE to shop!
Best Boyfriend Brushed Hacci Lounge Pants
Last but not least, these “boyfriend” sweatpants are the comfiest pair you will ever own. Perfect for someone who loves lounging around the house, these sweatpants come in a range of different colors. Click HERE to shop.
Nordstrom’s stress free shopping experience allows you to buy those last minute gifts at a moment’s notice. Their curbside pick up option, buy online and pick up in store option, style experts and gift boxing services all make gift giving stress free and easy! Hope you were able to get some new ideas and hope some great items from Nordstrom. #nordstrom @nordstrom
When it comes to the holidays, there are just so many people you feel you need to buy a gift for or treat this season. Whether it’s your boss, coworkers and of course, friends and family, Sephora inside JCPenney has the perfect gifts for family gift exchanges, office parties or secret Santas. I stopped by my local Sephora inside JCPenney to pick out my favorite gifts that I know your friends and family will love when you’re stumped on a gift to get them!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! I don’t know about you, but I love gift giving more than I like receiving gifts.
I love shopping at Sephora inside JCPenney all of the time, but even more so this time of year. There’s holiday music playing, everything is decorated so beautifully, and it really gets you into the spirit of giving!
Some of the items I picked out for my friends and family (maybe myself too hehe) included:
Fresh Destination Sugar Lip Balm Trio–$25 (this is an in-store exclusive!)
There’s nothing worse than chapped lips this time of year! This Sugar Lip Balm Trio by Fresh is the perfect solution for anyone who struggles with dry lips and they’re small enough to be perfect to put in anyone’s stocking! Use the store locator to find: https://chtp.co/SiJCPLocator
Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder–$38, mini for $23
This setting powder is hands down the best on the market! What’s great about it is that it’s perfect for any skin tone. No guessing their “shade.” This translucent setting powder is great for anyone who loves makeup on your list! Click HERE to shop!
Another product by Fresh that I love that also includes their sugar lip balm advanced therapy treatment is their “Frequent Flyer” set. This is the cutest gift idea for any of the wanderlust people on your list or who may have a trip coming up. I’m a huge fan of this cleanser since it removes dirt and makeup, but also leaves your skin feeling hydrated. The worst part about travelling is the airplane cabin that instantly dries out your face and this is the perfect solution. Click HERE to shop!
I’ve been dying to try Drunk Elephant’s products, and this is a perfect way to try out a new product without committing to purchasing the full size. This “daily dose of vitamins for your face” comes with their C-Firma Day Serum and their B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel and is perfect for the skincare junkie on your list! Click HERE to shop!
This is my favorite dry shampoo right now and the travel size is perfect for a stocking stuffer. The formula actually cleans your hair unlike other dry shampoos I’ve tried and I swear by it! Click HERE to shop!
Sephora Collection has some of the best beauty products and my personal favorite is their face wipes. They are so inexpensive at $7.50 and their different scents target various issues. I purchased the Rose cleansing wipes and the Papaya exfoliating wipes! These are perfect for stocking stuffers and you can have fun picking out and trying the different scents! Click HERE to shop!
Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hydrating Lip Gloss Stick, Shade “Mocha Choco-lata!”–$28 This is an in-store exclusive!
Marc Jacobs Beauty’s lip gloss has been my go-to lately. The colors are so pigmented and won’t dry out your lips with the added hydration. I love every shade I’ve tried from their Enamored collection, and loved the “Mocha Choco-lata!” shade when I saw it at Sephora inside JCPenney! Use this link to for the store locator: https://chtp.co/SiJCPLocator
Another Sephora Collection product that I love that comes in all kinds of scents and “flavors” are the lip balms. The packaging is so cute. I got the Almond and the Coconut ones and they both leave my lips feeling so nice and hydrated! Click HERE to shop.
You really can’t go wrong with a Beauty Blender for the makeup junkie on your list. $20 may seem expensive for a makeup sponge, but it’s worth every penny. There are also cute gift sets by Beauty Blender that you can find at Sephora inside JCPenney that give you more bang for your buck! Click HERE to shop! Gift sets: HERE.
Last but not least, this is my all-time favorite brow pencil. After all of the brow products I’ve tried over the last few years, this is still my favorite. Even all of the makeup artists I’ve worked with swear by this product, so it comes highly recommended! Click HERE to shop.
If you need help thinking of an idea for a gift from Sephora inside JCPenney, feel free to let me know. I’d be glad to help!
Xx, Tonya Michelle
This post is written in collaboration with Sephora inside JCPenney. #SephoraInJCP