Wedding Photos from the Falls

Our wedding photos came in! I’m so excited to share them so that my friends, family, and you beautiful readers can see them. We had an amazing time in Seattle, and will be sharing a travel guide soon, for those of you that have asked. Our reception is this Saturday, so we will be sharing pictures from that as well.

First Book Review!

Happy Fourth of July!!

I hope everyone is having a fantastic holiday. I will be spending my afternoon by the pool reading a new book, and packing later for our vacation.

If you ask anyone that knows me what my favorite hobby is (besides styling outfits), they’ll tell you it’s reading. I am always on the hunt for a fantastic new book or author, and usually plow through more than 50 new books a year. What can I say, I adore it! 

Because of this, I usually have a lot of people asking me what books I recommend for them to read next. So I thought I’d start doing reviews and book recommendations once a month for those of you that may be on the hunt for something new. And, if you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

Recently Read:

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

What should be a cozy and fun-filled weekend deep in the English countryside takes a sinister turn in Ruth Ware’s suspenseful, compulsive, and darkly twisted psychological thriller.

Leonora, known to some as Lee and others as Nora, is a reclusive crime writer, unwilling to leave her “nest” of an apartment unless it is absolutely necessary. When a friend she hasn’t seen or spoken to in years unexpectedly invites Nora (Lee?) to a weekend away in an eerie glass house deep in the English countryside, she reluctantly agrees to make the trip. Forty-eight hours later, she wakes up in a hospital bed injured but alive, with the knowledge that someone is dead. Wondering not “what happened?” but “what have I done?”, Nora (Lee?) tries to piece together the events of the past weekend. Working to uncover secrets, reveal motives, and find answers, Nora (Lee?) must revisit parts of herself that she would much rather leave buried where they belong: in the past.

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

In this tightly wound, enthralling story reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s works, Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. The sky is clear, the waters calm, and the veneered, select guests jovial as the exclusive cruise ship, the Aurora, begins her voyage in the picturesque North Sea. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a dark and terrifying nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for—and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong…

With surprising twists, spine-tingling turns, and a setting that proves as uncomfortably claustrophobic as it is eerily beautiful, Ruth Ware offers up another taut and intense read in The Woman in Cabin 10—one that will leave even the most sure-footed reader restlessly uneasy long after the last page is turned.

Coming soon: The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

On a cool June morning, a woman is walking her dog in the idyllic coastal village of Salten along a tidal estuary known as the Reach. Before she can stop him, the dog charges into the water to retrieve what first appears to be a wayward stick, but to her horror, turns out to be something much more sinister…

The next morning, three women in and around London—Fatima, Thea, and Isabel—receive the text they had always hoped would NEVER come, from the fourth in their formerly inseparable clique, Kate, that says only, “I need you.”

The four girls were best friends at Salten, a second rate boarding school set near the cliffs of the English Channel. Each different in their own way, the four became inseparable and were notorious for playing the Lying Game, telling lies at every turn to both fellow boarders and faculty, with varying states of serious and flippant nature that were disturbing enough to ensure that everyone steered clear of them. The myriad and complicated rules of the game are strict: no lying to each other—ever. Bail on the lie when it becomes clear it is about to be found out. But their little game had consequences, and the girls were all expelled in their final year of school under mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of the school’s eccentric art teacher, Ambrose (who also happens to be Kate’s father).

Atmospheric, twisty, and with just the right amount of chill that will keep you wrong-footed—which has now become Ruth Ware’s signature style—The Lying Game is sure to be her next big bestseller. 

We leave on vacation tomorrow morning, so if anyone has an kindle book suggestions I’d love to hear them! It’s going to be a long plane ride 🙂

Babes Who Brunch

Happy Sunday, I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend!

I was busy spending time enjoying the record warmth, since the temps in Boston hit 70 degrees- in February! Unheard of. But boy, was it a nice change. All of the snow melted off our lawn in two days, and this morning all I could see was green everywhere. It definitely helped lift up my spirits, just in time to see some friends.

One Sunday a month, the girls and I get together to have brunch. It’s something we all really look forward to, and gives us a chance to catch up on each others lives. I started the day off with some morning yoga, before meeting up with the girls at our favorite brunch spot.

screen-shot-2017-02-08-at-7-25-28-pmA  Raspberry Bellini and a mimosa later, and I was happier than a clam. I finished off my food with coffee and a coconut macaron, and sat around chatting with the ladies. I’ve known these women since elementary school, and I always take any chance I have to get together with them.

On a side note- how gorgeous is this bottle?! I think it’s the prettiest bottle of rosé I’ve ever seen. It has a pink glass stopper, and the bottom is a carved glass rose. And the best part is, it’s under $20! It’s definitely one of my favorites, and I highly recommend it.

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Look how beautiful the bottom is!

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I’m definitely repurposing this bottle in my home once it’s empty.

If you want to check out what I wore to brunch (and read something a little embarrassing), click here!

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Travel Bucket List

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all having an amazing Sunday so far. It’s a little bit grayish and overcast here, and as much as I’d love to go for a walk, I don’t feel like getting caught in the rain!

So today, as I relax on my couch and avoid laundry, I want to share with you my travel bucket list. It is nowhere near a complete compilation of places I’d like to go, only because it’s a project I like to keep working and expanding upon.

As D and I travel to more and more places, I’ll always come back to update this list with new travel ideas or to finally check off a destination (such a good feeling!) I put my top three reasons for each destination under each picture, so be sure to let me know what you think! This is in no particular order, FYI 🙂

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1.  Borobudur- the largest Buddhist temple in the world. It would be incredible to be able to visit this feat of architecture and watch the sunrise from the top.

2. The incredible beaches and people. I’ve heard from friends that the locals are very friendly and welcoming to visitors, which is something we look for when traveling. They are very proud of their history, culture and more, and I would love to be able to speak with them about their daily lives (all while lounging on one of those gorgeous beaches!)

3. The wildlife. I’m a HUGE animal lover, and would love to visit some of the sanctuaries to see and help care for some of the animals, like orangutans, tigers, and more. This also applies to Thailand as well (see below).

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1. The beautiful temples and gorgeous landscape. I would love to explore the jungles, the national park, and the ruins of Jakarta.

2. The incredible, authentic Thai food

3. It’s a super affordable country to visit if you’re on a budget and want to explore some of the Asian countries.

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1.  Rome. I want to visit the city so badly; the beautiful mix of modern architecture and historical ruins puts it high on my list. History means a lot to us, and getting the chance to walk where so many famous historical figures have walked before would be an unbelievable experience.

2. The food. I don’t think I need to expand on this further, haha!

3. The Almafi Coast + Tuscany. From the rolling, picture perfect hills in Tuscany to the colorful coast, these are two of my must-visits in Italy.

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1. The food. (I think I see a recurring theme here, haha)

2. The nightlife experience in another country. Greeks love to party, and when you’re on the islands you’re never far from a beach bar or nightclubs.

3. The views + the history. I want to see the gorgeous houses, the flowers, the coast, everything. And there are a lot of historical properties in Greece that I would love to visit. I adore Greek mythology and would love to immerse myself in it first hand.

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1. My top reason for visiting France is because of my heritage

2. The food, specifically the macarons, fresh baguettes, and the hot chocolate at Angelina’s.

3. The city of Paris. From the Eiffel Tower to the lock bridge, the Louvre to the Arc de Triomphe, there are so many museums and monuments that we are dying to see. Lucky for us, we get to cross this off the list come July! And side note, I desperately want to visit Disneyland Paris, because I am clearly a child 😉

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1. The breathtaking architecture. Romanesque chapels, Gothic cathedrals, Baroque palaces, gardens, and unique Cubist architecture make it a place with no parallel in the world.

2. The music; found everywhere, it can satisfy lovers of classical, rock, pop, or any other genre.

3. The Charles Bridge. It’s a 1700 foot long bridge constructed medieval style. During the day, it’s always crowded with vendors, street artists, musicians, and entertainers.

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1. The extreme environment variation. There are deserts in Australia, tropical forests, beaches, and you can even go skiing! It’s hard to picture all of this packed into one place but it is, and would be incredible to see.

2. The kangaroos and other wildlife.

3. It’s a surfer’s paradise, and something I’ve always wanted to try! Australia seems as good a place as any to learn.

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1. Beaches, beaches, beaches. I love islands, and I love the beach. Plop me down in the sand with a drink, and good book, and a snack and I’ll be the happiest girl in the world.

2. Fantastic coral reefs for snorkeling.

3. Another Caribbean paradise. I love the Caribbean, and I plan on visiting as many islands as I can here!

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1. Aurora Borealis. The northern lights would be so amazing to see, and pictures just don’t do it justice I’m sure. I had a friend go here who loved it, but unfortunately didn’t get a chance to view the lights before she left.

2. Oslo, Norway’s capital and metropolis. Full of modern architecture, chic cafés, the best nightlife and great museums. Recently, the city’s skyline was updated and now looks more modern than ever.

3. They have really interesting rock formations. Ok, this one sounds a bit weird, I know, but I love nature (especially hiking) and the rock formations would make a cool trip. Just look up Trolltunga and Kjerag and you’ll see what I mean!

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1. Green, green, green. So the sky is overcast and grey a lot- who cares? This just means that the vegetation in Ireland is a gorgeous, bright green that I definitely don’t see back home.

2. I’m a 1/4 Irish, and like France, would love to follow up on my heritage and just explore where some of my family is from.

3. The castles. I love castles and would love the chance to visit some in Ireland, ruined and still standing. Makes for incredible photographs!

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1. The Swiss alps. Those mountains. That view. The rolling green hills. Picture perfect!

2. The waterfalls are some of the best and highest in Europe.

3. SWISS CHOCOLATE.

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1. The amazing coffee and espresso is some of the best you’ll find in Europe, and usually cheaper.

2. Lisbon is the second oldest city in Europe, and is a trendy, bustling hot spot for stunning architecture, nightlife, and beach days.

3. The food.

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1. Sweden is one of the most creative countries in the world. Art is a big part of my life, and there are many museums that I would like to visit.

2. The nature and the wildlife. You’ll find flourishing forests, wild flower fields, lakes, mountains & hills wherever you go. It’s also  very common to bump into Moose, deer, rabbits and various birds, but Sweden also has other predators like bear, wolves, lynx and wolverines.

3. The fashion (of course!) It’s easy to find clothes of great quality that are inexpensive, and Swedes are said to be some of the most fashionable people in the world.

 

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1. The glacier tours look stunning.

2. Blue Lagoon spa. What’s not to love about crystal-blue, geothermal water that hovers between 98 and 102 degrees year-round with views of spectacular, snow-covered lava rocks in every direction?

3. The culinary adventure. So many interesting foods to try and Icelandic cuisine certainly doesn’t disappoint! Shark? Maybe…

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1. The countryside looks amazing. Sprawling estates, gardens, and more, I would love to explore the countryside and see the villages old and new.

2. London. Buckingham Palace and Big Ben are just some of the monuments I would love to visit.

3. Harry Potter. Let me geek out for a second…one of my absolute favorite book series takes place in England, and London even has a Harry Potter hotel! I would love to visit some of the available sets and see props from the movies.

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1. Just look at that picture. White sand, crystal clear water, and coral reefs.

2. The over-the-water bungalows with glass floors. Holy. Crap. So cool!

3. The marine life.

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1. Same reason as the Maldives, Bora Bora also has overwater bungalows with glass floors and an incredible view of the marine life.

2. Seclusion. Private, romantic (and expensive) Bora Bora is a great place to getaway from everyday life and just relax.

3. The views just do not compare anywhere else. Sure, Hawaii might look similar and is also stunning, but nothing quite compares to the French Polynesian islands.

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1.  The island is half French and half Dutch. The French side is known as Saint Martin, the Dutch as Sint Maarten. Yet, they are the same island! You get to experience both cultures in one. And another huge selling point for me is they still accept US currency. Sometimes its too much of a pain in the behind to convert cash!

2. The entire island is tax free, which means shopping, shopping, and more shopping! It’s also arguably one of the safest Caribbean islands to explore, so I wouldn’t be hesitant to leave the resort.

3. The views, the beaches, and the clear bottom kayaks. Makes an awesome daytime excursion! Saint Bart’s is also only a 40 minute ferry ride away and it has one of the most picturesque harbors in the world.

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1. The rice terrace fields are unlike anything I’ve ever seen. I could stare at them in pictures for hours! So green and so beautiful, it’s something I would love the opportunity to see in person.

2. I love Vietnamese food and would love to try it fresh and 100% authentic.

3. Breathtaking landscapes. Between the rice terraces, mountains, hills, and beaches, Vietnam has a large variety of terrain that makes exploring fun.

 

All of these destinations look absolutely stunning, and I can’t wait to visit each and every one of them! There are so many reasons I would love to go to these places, and if anyone has ever been before, I would love some “must-do’s” or “must-see’s”!

What’s on your bucket list?

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Surprise Birthday Bash…

I am so beyond excited! Yesterday was one of the best days ever…so far. Like, top 10 best days of my life kind of day!

I woke up and was surprised by my fiancé with a verrryyyy early birthday gift (my birthday is in November, FYI): he’s taking me on a winter getaway to….

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Saint Maarten!!

I was literally so surprised I almost fell off the bed. He booked the trip super early when he found a fantastic early-booking deal at a luxe, adults-only, all-inclusive hotel in paradise. This resort has won several prestigious awards, and is highly-rated among travelers as a must-stay. And since Saint Maarten is high on my list of places to travel; I guess I’ll  be able to finally cross this off of my bucket list (along with Seattle and Paris in July)! We will be heading there in November a few days after Thanksgiving, and I cannot wait. (You can read more about my travel bucket list here).

Just look at this beautiful place!

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I’m completely and utterly obsessed.

2017 has been shaping up to be a downright remarkable, busy year. I feel so extremely lucky and blessed to be where I am right now, and that I have so much to look forward to. We’ve been saving up so much to be able to travel now that school is over, and I couldn’t be more thrilled that we are finally getting the opportunities to do so. Thank goodness my company is rather lax on vacation time!

In the next few months I’ll be sharing my vacation packing wish-list for this trip, so be sure to check back!

Has anyone else been to St. Maarten already? What did you think?

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*All photos were taken with permission from the hotel website.

Vacation in La Romana

Hi everyone! I apologize for the lack of posts lately; I’ve been on vacation and wasn’t able to access my blog while away. Today, D and I spent a solid 2 hours in Target while I browsed up and down my favorite aisles: stationary and office decor. I love to switch things up once in a while with my decorating, so I tend to buy pieces that are very versatile and timeless. I had been thinking about re-decorating my office space for a while (really, just a corner of our bedroom) into something that will inspire me and make me happy. I haven’t hung any of my pictures up yet, but here are some photos of my new space!

(sorry for the photo quality, I’m in need of a new camera!)

Having a clean, cute space not only helps me feel more productive, but it makes me happier and always eager to use it. I decided to channel my inner girly girl (who am I kidding, I’m always girly!) and stick with a white, blush, and gold theme.

But you didn’t come here to read about my office 😉

So on that note, here are some pictures from our beautiful, relaxing vacation in La Romana:

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We spent the week on this beautiful, luxury, adults only resort and I have to say I came back more relaxed than I’ve been in a long time! I think I spent the whole vacation parked on a lounge chair either on the beach or by the pool, with a cocktail, a good book, and my camera. And with the person I love also by my side, well, I wouldn’t have it any other way!

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We really lucked out with the weather- August is hurricane season, and it only rained once the entire time we were there. Look how dark the sky got around 2 PM…it was crazy! So sunny and hot and five minutes later this terrible storm came rolling in. Luckily it only lasted a couple hours, and we were back out by the pool after dinner .

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Mandatory selfie on the beach!

img_0110img_0108img_0188img_0170Our lovely (and delish) dinner by the Caribbean sea. The sunsets here were jaw-dropping; I could never capture it properly on my phone; none of the pictures had the same beautiful colors. At least I managed to get a few decent ones!

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If anyone is interested on the name of the hotel and reviews on where we stayed, please let me know in the comments!

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Bar Harbor

bh1For the past three summers, D and I have spent a week vacationing up north in Bar Harbor. This beautiful, quaint island town just embodies the nostalgic feelings of summer. We were right by the ocean, and woke up every morning to head into town to explore the little specialty shops. I myself was mostly excited to eat the foods Maine is most known for: their lobsters and blueberry beer. Not far down the street from us was a little winery, next door to a fisherman’s wharf that delivered lobster and clam dinners right to you!

This year is the first time that we are unable to visit, and we are both very sad. There are so many things to do there, from shopping to kayaking, whale-watching, and spa treatments, that we never get bored. And, each time we visit, we discover something new! There is a free shuttle service that takes you all over the island, all times of the day and night, so we were able to get around without having to rent a car. This was more than convenient when we went into town, as parking is extremely rare to find, and costs a lot!

Some of my absolute favorite places to visit in the town were the Thirsty Whale, a gorgeous old tavern with the best seafood in town, the Chocolate Emporium, where we took home quite a bit of handmade candies and fudge, and the Opera House (which I am missing a picture of, for some reason) an incredible, open front original coffee house with old-fashioned board games, fun coffee flavors, and fresh, adorable pastries.

To reminisce over our past several visits, I’ve posted some of the photos we’ve taken over the years! Have you ever been to Bar Harbor? What’s your favorite thing to do when you visit? I’d love to hear from you!

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