‘‘Tis the Month of Love

Are you counting down the days?! Only 8 days remain until Cupid’s renowned holiday: Valentine’s Day!

Now the REAL question… what. to. wear.

Whether going out to dinner or looking for a cute option to wear into the office, I found this super cozy and soft, monogrammed heart pullover from a fun company I love – I Love Jewelry, (no joke – that’s actually the name!) that I have a “Monthly Monobox” subscription to.

I’m a B-I-G fan of anything monogrammed. Heck, I would put it on my car if I could!! LOL, well… maybe not my CAR, but practicallyyyy anything else I own. I have pajamas, scarves, hats, gloves, boots, you name it – ALL from I Love Jewelry. Their items are adorable and quality! I first subscribed to their Monobox when it was released a little over two years ago and still own majority of the items! Their “Monobox Subscription” option is only $22 and each month, you get one monogrammed item + TWO coordinating goodies!
BUT – if you visit their subscription page, you’ll find a few other super fun options if you’re not quite ready to commit to the monthly monogram overload, haha!

While it’s a little late to subscribe for the February box (spoiler alert: I got this in mine!), you can still snag this festive heart patterned pullover for just $28 in time for V-Day 💖💗💕

P.S. for those less thrilled about the personalization, you can also totally opt-out of the monogramming for the shirt and get it without the customization too 🙌🏼👍🏼💖

In the coming days, I have a more sultry outfit combo for the later evening date night and single ladies! 😉

Stay tuned!

Talk soon,
xoxox
Brittany

Cheery & Charming’s Traveler’s Guide: 10 MUST See Places When Visiting San Juan, Puerto Rico

Well, well, well . . . Puerto Rico – like other islands we’ve had the blessing to visit, was absolutely beautiful. The sunsets were stunning, the food was amazing and the culture of Old San Juan was priceless! I wish we had the time to visit all the reco’s we received before visiting, but with a jam-packed, short four days, I’m posting my personal, favorite finds here:  

1. Serafini Beach Hotel
This spot was absolutely STUNNING. Talk about feeling like you’re on the edge of the ocean – a quaintly designed infinity pool, waves crashing and live jams. I was super bummed to have stumbled here on our last day, as we weren’t able to take full advantage of the amenities, but the staff was warm, welcoming and nice enough to hold onto our luggage while we explored during our last day – even with not having stayed there!

2. Cochina Abierta 
Umm… YUM. That’s all I have to say. Although, to be transparent that it was definitely more on the pricey side of the meal options we had while in San Juan, it was worth it for sure. Wanting to try everything on the menu, the four of us went family style, which also made it feel like we got a lot more ‘bang for our buck.’ They have a seasonal, farm-to-table menu, but in the event you see any repeats, here we the table favs!

– Croquettes filled with porcini mushrooms, truffle oil & tomato chutney
– Octopous causa over a bed of purple potatoes, black olive “crema,” & hibiscus pickled quail egg
– Fresh local catch ceviche seasoned with chiles, cucumber & tropical fruits
– Goat cheese and ortica leaf ravioli over charred tomatoes Passata, parmesean cheese & roasted pine nuts
– And accompaniments Gratin of creamy yucca and cauliflower + Ember roasted veggies


… is your mouth watering yet?!

3. Tacos & Tequila by Patron – inside the Condado Vanderbuilt Hotel
Yet ANOTHER breathtaking spot. This gem, located inside the Condado Vanderbuilt Hotel is another space we stumbled on during our last day that I wish we had more time to enjoy. The views were incredible and they had multiple areas to lounge in the ocean-side, shallow infinity pools & hot tubs.
But, one thing we WERE able to enjoy were the giant margaritas and delicious tacos! I had (2) crispy fish tacos and (1) pork belly taco – some had (3) of all different kinds! It was fun that you can order all three the same, or mix and match what’s on the menu.

4. Alambique Beach Lounge – NEXT DOOR: “For Lifeguards Only”
The day we visited Isla Verde Beach, we were in search of… you guessed it… even MORE tacos! While the Alambique Beach Lounge was hopping, we decided to try the smaller, more intimate spot to the side of it called “For Lifeguards ONLY,” and SO happy we did! In recapping our trip, this place, hands-down, had the BEST fish tacos we had the entire time we were there. The staff made you feel like family as they graciously served you tacos OVERFLOWING with goods and crisped to perfection. Deliciouso!!

5. Piu Bello Gelato & Restaurant
Being a firm believer that you can’t let any vacation go without the local ice cream and/or gelato, Piu Bello was great! We ended up having a great chat with the owner, who coincidentally used to live in Baltimore! What a small world!! Oh, and the gelato was delightful. I mean, who doesn’t like a sprinkle cone?!

6. La Placita de Santurce
Definitely a must see! This is the “party-scene” of San Juan – a full “block-like” plaza square of everything you could imagine having in one spot:
music, dancing, clubs, some food, nightlife, fine dining and casual bars and restaurants alike. While we were there on a Wednesday, it wasn’t quite as “hopping” (which was honestly sort of nice), but it was cool to pop around a number of spots without having to jump back into an uber or cab.

7. Barrachina 
Eeeee! One of my favorites!! Barrachina is most well-known for a traditional Spanish bartender Don Ramon Portas Mingot, who in 1963, created what became one of the world’s most famous drinks: the Piña Colada.  With the reputation of 50 years in the business, they certainly did not disappoint. Look at that beaut!

8. Isla Verde Beach 
While we had a beautiful view and beach where we stayed, at Condado Del Mar, I think everyone agrees that you shouldn’t spend an entire vacation in one spot. SO, this is my top beach pick for the places we were able to make it to during our time in San Juan. There are a number of beach bars, convenient to the beach so you can grab a quick bite to eat, without losing too much beach time. Plus, it’s always fun to immerse yourself in more of the local culture – everyone we encountered here was friendly and welcoming. Then again.. who wouldn’t be on a nice day at the beach? 🙂

9. Fortaleza Street – Old San Juan
A bustling street in Old San Juan full of shops and boutiques! I really can’t place enough emphasis on the true, authentic sense of San Juan’s culture you receive by visiting here. From handmade treasures to uniquely manufactured Puerto Rican finds, there’s an array sights for everyone to see – including my favorite – Fortaleza street, which is lined with parasoles! And, depending on when you visit, they’re always different colors, so no visit is ever the same.

10. Di Zucchero
And, finally… DiZucchero! This was our first night’s dinner adventure and WHAT an adventure it was – CHECK. OUT. THAT. FISH. Located across from the San Juan Condado Mariott, this final “must see” could very well be listed first. The food was incredible, the drinks amazing (they’re know for their fresh squeezed/crushed daiquiris) and our server was the best! It was a great kick off to our trip, and an awesome way to close out this post 🙂

And that’s a WRAP! I hope you enjoyed scrolling through my reco’s and feel compelled to share some of yours!

Until next time…

xoxo
Brittany

NAILS: One Thing You Can Get In Shape Without Exercise

Back in the day, I was THAT girl with the French, fake, acrylic tips. While they may have looked completely flawless to strangers, one thing’s for sure that I grew to quickly hate was how broken, brittle and quite honestly, painful my fingernails had become. I couldn’t bare to show them in public not ‘done,’ (they looked horribly paper thin) and they had been so grinned down that they physically hurt. OUCH!!

Fast forward, I decided to revamp my nails. First, by going cold turkey on the whole ‘getting my nails done,’ and second, I started researching healthier ways to keep my nails strong and happy. That’s when I found gel nails! Gel nails have a more natural look with a glossy finish. And, unlike acrylics, if the nails are primed correctly, there is no damage to the nail bed! I absolutely love Gel nails. I’ve had them and kept up with them since I’ve been about 20/21 and have the healthiest nails I’ve ever had since.

However, gel nails are also more flexible than acrylic nails. And let me tell you . . . I’m no delicate daisy when it comes to my nails. One thing I found most frustrating was that if I was rough on them, they chipped and sometimes broke; many times unreasonably early from the last time I had them done at a salon. I found myself having to check-in or have them re-done every 2 weeks, which wore on me over time. I found myself not making the time to get them done, doing DIY removal myself (which P.S. is the WORST for your nails) and just plain allowing them to look less than average for what I was paying out of pocket. #byeeemoney

Most recently, a dear friend of mine told me about her love for the trendy SNS, or “Dip Powder,” nails. Being skeptical, I naturally had a MILLION questions. Taking the leap, I decided to try it out for myself! Here’s my verdict:

  • The process was pretty upfront and simple. I don’t know why I was so nervous – then, again I’m nervous with anything new! The nail tech primed my nails, just as if I was having a standard gel manicure done – which I really appreciated! No abrasive grinding or shaving – just simple cuticle trim up, shaping and buffing before the powder application began. This part I found most intriguing! It’s like an art! She carefully painted an adhesive on each nail before dipping individually into the colored powder of my choice. And – my favorite part – NO UV rays!! She continued with three layers of powder before finishing out with a final shaping, buff, and –layered top coat, which took only 2 minutes to air dry with no fan.
  • This new manicure lasts longer than gel polish and doesn’t use UV light. The dip powder treatments have lasted me a month on average versus gel, which typically lasts me few weeks.
  • Many have asked me if it’s “thick” or “too fake” feeling: it’s definitely something to keep in mind as I’ve heard some women experience/feel this way. But, if you do your research, and mention it to your nail tech upon arrival, I’ve had experience with techs who have been very careful to paint the adhesive on in staggered layers away from the cuticle. This way, it grows out smoothly and naturally. Not with a huge ridge, similar to what you’re probably envisioning from acrylic nails.
  • Of course, the thing that makes gel or dip powder more desirable is how well they stay on. BUT – remember the small drawback that anything intended to last thing long will resultantly be rather difficult to remove. In my best advice – DO NOT do yourself/at HOME!!
  • The removal process is crucial. Getting the polish properly removed is just as important as the application. In my experience, most issues occur and and stem from attempts at a DIY home removal. OUCH!! It is always safest to go back to your salon and have a licensed professional remove/update any product for you.

All in all, I love the new process! It saves me time, money and lasts significantly longer, no matter how much I beat them up. As with any nail applique, remember to take care of your nails by taking breaks. Having anything on your nail for an extended length of time without proper removal and rejuvenation can be harmful, whether it be acrylic, gel, or powder.

What’s your typical nail routine? I’d love to hear! As well as your thoughts on dip powder if you’ve tried, or are planning to try?!

Talk soon!

Xoxox
Brittany

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If You’re Struggling, You’re Progressing

If you’ve arrived here today, WELCOME!! Today, I’ll be promoting my NEWEST & BIGGEST challenges for January. Every New Year, I like to take on a fresh new challenge, hopefully healthy, and ideally something that will push me to be a better version of me. Plus, I need a way to keep myself distracted from my #1 of the 2 challenges I’ll be tackling:

  1. No drinking for the month of January
  2. A Keto Lifestyle

That’s right folks, I said NOOOO drinking. Are. You. Kidding Me. Relaxxxxx, it’s not as hard as it seems! For those that are close to me, know I LOVE my W.I.N.E., but after the hustle and bustle of the holidays it’s a great time to kick start getting back on the right fitness track. And, what better way than to keep myself distracted by learning an entirely new diet/eating régime!?

I’ve officially been doing Keto for (1) whole week. And to be honest, I’m SUPER impressed with myself! No cheating, just straight up Keto. It was super tough at first – I was one of the few to experience what they call “the Keto flu” known as the period when your body learns to transition over from using carbohydrates for energy to using fat for energy. It. Was. Rough. I could barely move from the couch.

BUT – don’t let that deter you! The way I feel now, there’s no turning back. I have even more energy than I ever have before (I barely even need coffee anymore in the AM) and I feel super focused, motivated and driven at work!

Outside of the traditional cheese, avocado, no-prep needed snacks, I’m going to take you along in my journey of cooking, baking, prepping and taste testing (and trust me – those who know me know I am NO COOK), in the world of Keto recipes.

Keep scrolling for a sneak peek into this week’s (easiest EVER) prepped snack menu:

Keto Cheese Crisps

Ingredients:

  • Cheddar Cheese Slices

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Arrange Cheddar cheese in 24 small squares on the prepared baking sheets. (I folded each slice into quarters)
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Cool for 5 to 10 minutes before removing from baking sheets.
  4. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts:

Per Serving: 60 calories; 3.0 g fat; 6.0 g protein; 0.0 net carbs
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Pizza Keto Chips

(Pepperoni and cheese are great keto snacks. To turn them into a chip, is absolutely brilliant. A simple recipe that the kids are absolutely going to love without question. It is impossible to eat just one.)

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz Pepperoni
  • 5 ¼ Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Take out some cookie sheets. You may need 2-3.
  2. Arrange pepperoni’s – don’t worry, they’re not going to expand like cookies. They can be close together!
  3. Bake them for about 5 minutes until they are semi-crispy and the grease is coming out of them. If they move out of place just arrange them back together.
  4. Sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake for another 3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and a little crisp.
  5. Lay the chips onto paper towels to soak up any excess grease.
  6. Let sit for 3-4 minutes to cool off and crisp up even more.
  7. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts:

Per Serving: 61.3 calories; 5.3 g fat; 3.0 g protein; 0.2 net carbs
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No-Bake Keto Peanut Butter Balls

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 100% Bakers Chocolate Bar
    (For dark chocolate lovers, you can use a 100% bakers chocolate bar. It is extremely bitter, but when used in these peanut butter balls, they’re perfect, as they pair with the sweet and salty peanut butter filling)
  • 2 Cups Smooth Peanut Butter
  • ¾ Cup Coconut Flour
  • ½ Cup Sticky Sweetener of Choice
    (The sticky sweetener is necessary to not only add a tad of sweetness but also to help the dough have a soft and chewy texture. Unfortunately, using a granulated sweetener will not yield the same result. The article I found suggested using a monk fruit sweetened maple syrup, which is 100% sugar free, keto-approved and low carb. Since I couldn’t find this, I used the next closest, sugar-free, low carb syrup)

Directions:

  1. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine all your ingredients, except for chocolate bar, and mix until fully combined. If the batter is too thick and crumbly, add some liquid (water or milk) slowly until a thick, formable batter remains.
  3. Using your hands, form small balls and place on the lined plate or tray. Freeze for 10 minutes.
  4. While the peanut butter balls are firming up, melt your sugar-free chocolate bar. Remove the peanut butter protein balls from the freezer and dip each ball in the melted chocolate until completely covered. Repeat until all the balls are covered in chocolate.
  5. Refrigerate for 20 minutes, or until the chocolate coating has firmed up.

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I hope you all enjoyed my first Keto recipe spill!
Check back for more as I continue eating my way through Keto!

 

xoxo
Brittany

A Birthday Getaway to Napa Valley

It’s been a week since we returned from Napa and I can’t tell you how much I’m still missing it everyday!

Let’s be honest – – who wouldn’t want to ring in their birthday with a 5-day span, consisting of waking up and eating your body weight in cheese & wine?!

. . . Just me?

Alrite then…. 🙂

To me, there was no place quite like it – incredible views, breathtaking landscapes, endless rolling hills, relaxing spas, delectable pairings & tastings on every corner, indescribable restaurants with wine lists longer than I’ve ever seen, consisting of wine types I’d never even heard of, and the list goes on…

Day 1 of our trip (was my birthday – WOO HOO!!!) began with a first quick stop at Rodney Strong Vineyards and a tour, tasting and pairing at J Vineyards & Winery.

First plus – they’re right next to each other. And, when I say “right next to each other,” I don’t mean the Napa version of, “right next to each other, which we learned could mean quite literally 40+ minutes apart – haha! These two are about a 2-3 minute walk from tasting room door to tasting room door. Could it get much easier than that?!

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We learned all about Judy Jordan, the founder of J Vineyards & Winery, and her road to fruition in the world of sparkling wines, beginning at just 25 years old !!! Can you even imagine starting your own winery and vineyard at 25 years old…? Insanity. We had a wonderful wine ambassador & tour guide named Taylor who guided us through the storytelling of all the successes and challenges July encountered – including losing her entire crop in her early years due to flooding from the Russian River Valley. Judy had to start. all. over. from. scratch. BUT – check out the photos below to see the beauty that exists today!

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I love wine.

I love touring the uniquely built facilities, filled to the ceilings with wine varieties that will be aged well beyond even some folks’ lifetimes.

I love learning the intricacy and process behind each carefully crafted ‘wine-recipe.’

I love the warmth and intimacy a bottle of wine brings to friends who enjoy it together.

I love the complicated analysis of stressing the vines juuuuust the right amount, in time for harvesting in order to get more boldness and flavor from the fruit.

It’s literally the coolest thing to me!

Moving on from our tour at J, we ventured out to Healdsburg to explore a private tour of MacMurray Estate Vineyards! Traditionally not open to the public, I felt extra special as we had the privilege of walking their gorgeous 284-acre ranch, in the heart of the Russian River Valley. And, super cool – we were also able to tour the home on-site, previously owned by a once movie legend – Fred MacMurray! The home has since been pristinely restored to the state it was when he and his family lived there. I felt like I stepped back in time 60 years – old school refrigerator and all!

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Leading to the most incredible part of our day – a tasting atop the highest hill at the vineyard, overlooking the entire winery and Russian River Valley.

What. An. Incredible. Day.

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BUT – – it doesn’t end there! Birthday dinner was still in store!

Having stayed in the quaint surrounding of Sonoma Square, where, “It’s sweet to be slow,” we had the convenience of a leisurely stroll through the park to the 21-year-famous, farm-to-table, longtime favorite – the girl & the fig. They had an awesome, seasonal menu with vegetables and herbs from their very own farm right in Sonoma! Rated one of the top ten best restaurants in the United States by Bon Appetit, I’ll end here on saying I truly felt like the most special, most spoiled, and luckiest birthday girl in town.

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However… our adventure didn’t end here. Can you believe this was  O N E  D A Y ?!

Stay tuned for more following our journey of eating and drinking our way through Napa!

xoxo
Brittany

P.S. Here’s a video of all the fun in action 🙂

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I Visited Peloton in NYC and This Is What Happened

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BUBBLELIME high wait yoga pant legging //  move with you womens workout tank

<< PELOTON: cheese so hard. >>

Let’s be real in saying that the conference I attended wasn’t the only awesome part of being up in NYC this week. It WAS NYC, of course!! And, what more could you want?! I spent my time gallivanting NYC streets, delighting in boutique shops, sipping fun cocktails along the way and snapping the occasional Times Square/Rockefeller Center selfie… but, my personal favoriteeeee …

I MADE IT TO THE PELOTON NYC STUDIO for my very first IN STUDIO CLASS. EVER. !!!!

From the second I walked in the door, they made me feel like I belonged there – – as if I was family and had been there at least eight times in the past month.

I was quickly given my shoes, assigned a bike (IN THE FRONT ROW, of course) and guided to the I.N.C.R.E.D.I.B.L.E. locker room, filled with every toiletry you could ever imagine you’d ever need – haha! FOR REAL though. Not to mention, I felt especially spoiled and delighted that both water and a towel were prearranged for me, upon arrival at my bike in the studio! Like – –  WOW, Peloton fam !!!

My class with Alex Toussaint made me sweat more than ever before and I loved all the members’ excitement of having a “real-life ‘in-home rider’ (their phrase, not mine LOL) in their class” Hahaha I didn’t even know that was a “thing.”

My trip ended with crashing my amazing NYC cousin’s bachelor pad and grabbing a quick bite of sush with him before I jumped back on the steam engine, headed to the good ol’ 410.

P.S. …. I might have indulged in a little photo shoot fun while I was waiting for him to get out of work…. hahaha a bored girl’s gotta do, what a bored girl’s gotta do!

I swear his Corgi pup, Joe, took the photos !!!

<<see the video below>>

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<< keep your face always to the sunshine and shadows will follow behind you >>

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<< a little quality reading on ‘how to stay alive in the woods’ >>

An Empire State of Mind

CheeryandCharming_NYC_EmpireStateBuilding1What. A. Trip! Just getting back from an awesomely inspiring and motivational annual M2M (Marketing to Moms) Conference in NYC and I couldn’t be more wiped – physically, mentally and emotionally.

From the first day, I knew I was in for an incredible learning experience. With a focus on finding  new, relevant and compelling ways to connect with moms today, I was surrounded by strong, independent, driven Moms. While you may be thinking…  marketing to Moms… what….?

Let me share a few fun facts from my findings.
Did you know…

U.S. moms control 85% of household purchases.

U.S. moms spending power is $2.4 trillion.

U.S. moms annually spend over $25,000 per toddler and $13,000 per child.

Moms are the primary source of income in 40% of US households, and 67% of those moms are single.

Moms are the decision maker. Period. And, the most interesting part… they will ALWAYS buy; not necessarily out of want or desire, but ALWAYS, always, always out of need.

And the REAL kicker…

83% of new moms are Millennials.

Eighty-three-p-p-percent. That’s REAL power. As a Millennial myself, I soaked up everything like a sponge. It truly felt like each carefully crafted speaker’s presentation specifically spoke to me and my generation.

I was in awe, to say the least. The very impressive generation of business leaders & speakers ranged from the founder and inventor of the Owlet Baby Care Monitor, a innovative sock-like device that tracks baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels while they sleep (seriously – – how cool?!?), to the co-founder of Dear Mom Oregon wine,  to the co-founder of STATE bags (which have partnered with JayZ, Beyonce and Obama – – JUST to name a few…), a special, heart-strung keynote from Save the Children and more.

Truly an incredible and amazing forum to learn about not only the evolution of women, but also the progression of traditional marketing, and the evolved marketing trends to incredible women – – the decision makers; the powerhouses; the movers and shakers of today’s world.

By no means do I intend this to be some sort of stereotypical post, but let’s be real in saying – – take a moment to think of your Momma. Then… try looking me in the face and telling me she isn’t a real-life boss lady that doesn’t take no for an answer and kicks some serious tail on the regular.

Not only did I walk away with a fresh, newfound wealth of knowledge and perspectives, but also with these the mindset that if there’s anything I learned, or had reinforced from the strong, relentless, fearless female leaders who spoke, it’s similar to what I’ve always preached: Be authentic. Be genuine. Be resourceful. Never, ever take yourself too seriously, and most importantly… be YOU. 

Your creativity, your thoughts, your dreams, your beliefs and YOUR innovation is real. It’s valued and it’s one-of-a-kind. It’s unique. And it belongs to YOU. Own it. Always, always remember that YOU can do anything – – with the right mindset.

#AnEmpireStateOfMind

xoxox chat soon!
Brittany

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<< check out the i love meetings cups !! >>

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<< fun fact: Manhattans are my favoriteeeee cocktail >>

 

Pretty in Pink

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Everything is all right when you’re wearing pink. At least to me, as that’s my favorite color! You know those crazies that color coordinate their closets? Suuuuper weird…

NERD ALERT – I’m unfortunately, but shamelessly one of them. EEEK! If you step into my closet, you find a section of blue about yehhh big, a section of green even smaller, a few bits and pieces of yellow, but the sections of black and white overtake the space, led by… the main contender… and rockstar… the PINK section!! Something about it just seems to make me, and everyone around me happy. 🙂

I found this lovely pop of color at Lord and Taylor where it’s 40% OFF! But, when I went to link out to it for y’all, I noticed they’re not selling the hot pink any longer 🙁 .
SO, I’m linking to it here! PLUS – it’s 54% OFF at Bluefly! Steal it before that color is gone! Whatever color you decide – how cute are the little el-BOWS?! 😉

SHOP THE POST:
// cece hot pink blouse // white ae jeans // blenders sunglasses // gucci belt // tory burch moccasins // michael kors crossbody

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The Cutest Spot in Port Covington Has Arrived!

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This weekend was a sunny one in Baltimore – hallelujah!!! It’s felt like it’s rained literally every day the past few weeks, so when the sunshine peeked out, I. WAS. AFTER. IT !!!

Plus, it breaks my heart when my poor little pups are cooped up day after day with miserable rain (I mean, seriously – look at those faces), so I always try to make it a priority to get them out and moving too when the weather breaks.

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Like any typical day, you can find me constantly scrolling through Instagram, perusing for new outfits on sale, trendy coffee/wine/pup photos, orrrrr new adventures, fitness routines and places to try. Pretty much as #basic as it gets for this girl. BUT – through all my scrolling, stumbled on a post from SouthBmore.com promoting South Point’s opening in Port Covington. Clicking on their profile, I quickly noticed their Grand Opening party scheduled for August 11th, but that they also were opening early!

It’s a quick assumption on next steps – snagged the pups and jumped in the car (it’s a less than 5-minute drive from our home in Federal Hill), arriving to find barely any folks there. Selfishlyyyyy… it couldn’t have been more perfect! This peaceful, outdoor, waterfront, industrial pop-up oasis offered an array of drinks (AVA Grace Vineyards Rosé and Pinot Grigio among my favorites 🙂 ), AND yummy barbecue food truck-like delights.

PLUS – any outdoor venue that’s pup friendly is a WIN-WIN in my book 😉

If you haven’t checked it out yet, be sure to take a look at their website. While it’s a public park, open 7-days/week, the extra special goodies (food & drink) are only open Thursdays, Friday & Saturdays as of now.

Can’t wait to spend many more Saturday afternoons here to come.
Scroll for all the awesome photo deets!!
Know of other awesome spots I should check out? Comment below!
Cheers!
xoxo
Brittany

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All That Jazz Bachelorette-ing in Chicago

Finally catching up after this past whirlwind of bachelorette activities for one of my lovely besties. And – when I say whirlwind… I mean WHIRLWIND. They weren’t kidding when they nicknamed Chicago “the windy city.” Let’s be honest – I immediately gave up hope of having anywhere near picture perfect hair for the weekend and quickly welcomed my female blowout – literally.

// these blenders alumni queen shades are only $25 !!! //

Kicking off the festivities with a bright and shiny 8AM flight, we hit the town upon arrival. First stop – FOOD. Courtesy of our concierge, we were directed to a quaint little spot – Mercadito! Locals raved about their award winning tacos, signature guacamole, killer margaritas and cozy, ethnic atmosphere. Not to mention their expansive mezcal list!! The food was to DIE for and reasonably priced for the mega-Mexican portions you receive!

Psst – my entire outfit is from Amazon! Scroll down for deets & links!

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Afterwards, like any typical tourists, we raced to Millennium Park to see Cloud Gate, or as most may more popularly know it – The Bean. This 110-ton egg-shaped sculpture is forged of a continuous smooth surface of highly polished stainless steel plates, which reflect Chicago’s famous skyline and the clouds above. After endless selfies and groups shots, we ventured home to clean up for dinner at 312 Chicago.

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// white scoopneck crop top // pin stripe highwaisted tie shorts // free people faded denim jacket //

312 Chicago was… incredible! Priding itself on its house made pastas and fresh seafood, they also had an extensive wine list with highlighted Rose options (my favorite!) and extraordinarily welcoming staff and atmosphere. I opted for their Ippoglosso, or Roasted Halibut, that came beautifully decorated with cauliflower puree, watercress, red onion, fava beans, roasted cauliflower, pancetta, and olive oil. YUM!! The portions were perfect and left each of us ladies with pleasantly filled tummies.

Fast forward  – I can’t even tell you the last time I went clubbing, but we had A BALL at ROOF atop The Wit hotel, where we stayed. Pop the bubbly, cause this beautiful lady is getting married in t-minus 36 days !!! There was dancing, cheersing, dancing and even more cheersing the night away. The staff made it a truly incredible and amazing night for all of us and our bride-to be!

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// navy blue embroidered dress //

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P.S. The theme of the night was navy dresses (as that’s our bride-to-be’s favorite color). I literally panicked because I own nothing navy!! BUT – found this adorbs little satiny number on Amazon – even came with Prime delivery!

Saturday morning! Rise and… shine?! I dressed in my Saturday pool party best, only to look out the window and see… rain. Rain, rain and more rain. But, that didn’t stop our positive outlook and high expectations for fun. This was a bachelorette party, after all! We ventured off to Shore Club Chicago for cabana brunch! While the rain hindered the cabana festivities slightly, this place made us feel like true celebs! Not to mention, there’s definitellyyyy something in the shrimp in Chicago – they. were. GIANORMOUS!!

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P.S. my best kept secret of awesome monogrammed items! I received this lovely little number in my monthly Monobox subscription with i love jewelry! It’s only $21.95/month and you get one personalized, monogrammed item + TWO fabulous surprise items! Check it out here!

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Saturday day was the first time we actually got to go out and explore – with NO jackets and NO umbrellas! It was a beautiful day exploring the Chicago Riverwalk, visiting City Winery, having dinner at The Hampton Social, and subsequent bar hopping all around The Chicago Loop to end the trip.

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Alright y’all… this post has been long enough (serious props to you if you made it this far !!) … thanks for checking it out 😉
Keep on keepin it real, Chicago. I know us girls had a blast !!!

Talk soon!
xoxo
Brittany

SHOP THE POST:
// white scoopneck crop top // pin stripe highwaisted tie shorts // free people faded denim jacket // navy blue embroidered dress //