The right belt can totally make an entire look, sometimes I don’t even opt for any other accessories. B-Low the Belt makes my favorites season after season. These belts are on trend, edgy, and go with everything. Most importantly, they won’t break the bank.
The Barcelona belt is my all time favorite, but their most recognizable style might be the Bri-Bri. Naturally, I had to scoop up some new styles this season.
My current favorite is this incredible corset belt. Corset belts and built in corset styles have been trending for several seasons now, but the look isn’t letting up anytime soon.
This season, a corset belt is an easy piece to add to your closet that you can wear with almost anything. I promise it’ll make it look like you tried much harder to get dressed than you did.
Styling A Lace Up Corset Belt:
My favorite way to wear a corset belt at the moment is over a slouchy, slightly oversized sweater dress. You can also wear it over a t-shirt, t-shirt dress, slip dress, or over a high-waisted skirt – it’s surprisingly versatile! I didn’t think it was a trend or look that I was going to incorporate into my wardrobe, but I changed my mind after seeing this style from B-Low the Belt. And of course, a corset style is always flattering on every body type as it accentuates your waist and can create the illusion of curves. This is definitely a look I will be repeating all season.
I also picked up some other styles from B-Low the Belt for fall and have been loving them over denim and dresses. What are your thoughts on corset belts?
Gearing up for a long-haul flight? Whether it’s for work or play, traveling can be exhausting. And let’s face it, for the majority of travelers, unless you’re in business class, flying can be seriously uncomfortable. When I worked in consulting, I traveled every week. I was flying to and from my client site every Monday and Thursday – sometimes from coast to coast. During that time, I became very familiar with making long haul travel as efficient and comfortable as possible. I learned how to navigate airports, hotels, and the world of credit card points and travel loyalty programs.
Although I switched jobs a few years back and no longer travel for work, I still make a point to travel as often as I can – now for fun! Traveling can bring out the worst in anyone (dealing with delays and other cranky people doesn’t make for the best experience), but I always try to keep my cool and make the flight itself as comfortable as possible. I’m fortunate that I’m relatively petite so I don’t have too many issues with the seats, but even then long-haul flights can leave me feeling depleted and less than 100%. Over the years, I’ve developed a bit of a “travel pack” – a set of items I consider to be my long haul flight essentials that I seriously will not get on a flight without.
But first, a few general rules of thumb I always follow when I travel.
Tips for long flights:
+ Drink water!! And then drink some more water.
Flying dehydrates your skin and body like crazy. Ever notice how sometimes your digestive system gets all funky after flying? It’s partially because we become so dehydrated during our flights, making it more difficult for food to digest and move through our systems. I try to drink at least a cup (8 ounces) of water for every hour I’m on a plane, but truthfully the more the better. Splurge on a 1L bottle of water at the airport or bring your own refillable bottle. If there’s one thing I always do on planes, it’s drink a TON of water. I’ll usually choose the aisle seat too so I’m not that annoying person that keeps getting up to use the bathroom ; ).
+ Avoid eating plane food.
As a general rule of thumb, I won’t eat the food on planes. Airplane food is loaded with sodium and preservatives, not to mention your taste buds are totally different at a higher altitude (meaning you can’t taste food the same way you do normally, hence why plane food has so much sh*t in it to make it taste palatable in the sky). Also, fasting during long haul flights supposedly helps with jetlag. Sometimes I’ll bring my own snacks but usually I just try to wait until I land to eat. Same goes for alcohol – 9 times out of 10, I won’t drink on a plane.
+ Dress comfortably.
Or at least pack a change of clothes for the plane. It is so worth it. Sometimes I’ll grab the slippers from my hotel room and wear them on the plane. The more comfortably dressed you are, the easier it will be to fall asleep – that’s my rationale at least!
+ Bring your own entertainment.
The last thing you want to be on a long haul flight is bored. You can hope for the best on the in flight entertainment (which I will admit usually occupies me for the majority of the flight), but it doesn’t hurt to pre load some movies or shows on your laptop or tablet, download all of your favorite music from Spotify, and bring a book or two. You know, options.
Then of course, you want to be Mary Poppins with everything that’s in your bag. Noise cancelling headphones, a water bottle, and a toothbrush aside, here are some of the things you will always find packed with me on a long haul flight.
Sleeping on planes can be hard. A luxurious silk eye mask helps. Keep out distractions with headphones and this luxe eye mask. You might even forget where you are and temporarily drift off into a peaceful state of sleep…
Back when I lived in Chicago, I relied on this stuff to get me through the crazy cold winters and the nasty dry and chapped hands that came with them. The formula is super thick and hydrating – one of the best hand creams I’ve come across ever. Also, yay for Sephora carrying Kiehl’s now!
Forget the strange looks you’ll get from your seatmates, your thirsty skin will soak up a sheet mask and thank you for it. There’s no better way to fight dry skin and fake looking fresh and wide awake (and pretend you’re at a spa and not on a plane) than with a sheet mask. Opt for a hydrating, soothing mask to calm your skin down.
The last thing you want is to get sick on a long flight. Lack of sleep can weaken your immune system, so even if you don’t normally take any vitamins or supplements, consider bringing some along when you travel. Call it a placebo effect or not, but I notice a tremendous difference in my ability to fend off the beginning stages of a cold or illness when I take vitamin C. I’ll down a couple Emergen-C packets in a day and with proper rest and nutrition, it’s usually enough to nip a cold in the bud.
In the same vein of staying hydrated, I usually try to drink a cup or two of tea on a flight. No matter what I’m wearing, I ALWAYS find myself super cold on planes. Hot water helps (you could even bring your own lemon to make hot lemon water), but a couple herbal tea packets of your choice will usually come in handy at some point during your trip.
I’ve shared my love for Glossier before and I’m doing it again now. This balm is so reliable, comes in different tints and flavors, and is like vaseline on crack. SUPER hydrating, keeps your lips and any other dry parts of your face or body moisturized, and travels well.
Yes, Evian facial spray is a little bougie. But flying just sucks all of the moisture out of the body, you know? Between the altitude, time change, and any food/alcohol you may consume on the flight, your body is screaming for water inside and out! After you’ve chugged all the water you can handle, refresh your skin with a super hydrating face mist. You’ll feel better instantly and look more awake. Try to avoid heavy makeup on planes (you wouldn’t go to sleep normally with a face full of makeup on, would you?) and opt for an au naturale, dewy glow from this face mist instead. Bonus: it comes in a travel friendly size (less than 3 oz!) so you can bring it on the plane in your carry on.
What are your long haul travel tips and essentials? I’ll take any advice and recommendations I can get to make the journey a little easier and more comfortable : ).
Happy Monday! How was everyone’s weekend? Some of the highlights of mine included shopping for autumnal decorations for the apartment (really into fall right now if you can’t tell) and taking an insane 90 minute dance class that was a total blast. I’m not the best dancer at ALL, but I couldn’t help but feel 1. exhausted and 2. grateful after taking the class. Why grateful? Because gratitude is something that has been on my mind a lot lately. I’m trying to journal more as part of my daily routine, one part which consists of writing down what you are grateful for.
There are so many surprising benefits to journaling – cultivating self awareness, boosting creativity, helping with memory, and keeping track of goals. Of course, all habits take time to build. One habit I heard time after time to add to my routine is journaling.
Here’s why and how you should keep a gratitude journal:
Journaling is an incredibly personal activity that looks very different for everyone. How much and what I write depends largely on my mood and current emotional and mental state. My boyfriend suggested The Five Minute Journal as a way to ease into journaling. I love this journal because it is clean and organized, and already has the various sections I need to fill in every day laid out for me. Oh, and it only takes five minutes a day (sometimes less!).
My favorite part to fill out everyday is the section on gratitude. I’d like to think that I don’t take things for granted and focus only on my problems, but the truth is ever since I started practicing gratitude on a daily basis, I’ve noticed a shift in my mentality and mindset. It’s so easy to do – there’s no right or wrong answer, it’s just what you’re grateful for that day, in the moment.
It doesn’t have to consist of the most profound thoughts you’ve ever had. But the simple act of writing down three things a day you’re grateful for can help improve your overall well being and happiness. Think about how often we compare ourselves to others or take what we have for granted. Oftentimes it isn’t until something unfortunate happens or we see something in the world that triggers certain emotions that we stop to appreciate what we have.
So yesterday, the three things I chose to be grateful for were looked something like this:
Having the physical ability to run and move freely for 90 minutes.
Surrounding myself with people that lift me up and inspire me – especially good friends, which can be hard to find.
A weekend to myself with my dog that allowed us to bond and spend lots of time together.
Today, I am grateful for:
New beginnings at work – a new opportunity to learn and grow.
Having a platform that allows me to reach others with my message and connect with them in ways I never thought would be possible.
Coffee. Because it’s Monday.
Practicing gratitude allows you to focus on the positive in your life, realize even the negative is not always so bad, and that there’s always more to be grateful for. Each new day is a new opportunity to reflect. I’m so happy I started this exercise and have found it has really helped me approach every day more positively. Even when I’m having a bad day, stopping for five minutes to think of three things I’m grateful for allows me to pause.
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” < one of my favorite quotes, and so true!
And yes, I know it’s officially fall – but it still feels like summer and I’m holding onto every last sun soaked day I can. Wearing a two piece set by one of my all time favorite brands, Spell.
Hosting or attending an event this weekend? Not sure what to make or bring? Every hostess knows an appetizer board is not only a real crowd pleaser, it’s also ridiculously simple and requires no actual cooking. If you’re short on time or not the best in the kitchen, there’s no easier way to trick your guests into thinking you’re domestic AF than by making the perfect cheese board. Learning how to make the perfect cheese board is easier than you think, trust me.
Cheese and charcuterie or raw vegetables (crudités if you want to be fancy) artfully arranged on a board look impressive and require very little prep time. Not to mention, your guests will most likely love it (and devour it). It’s a win-win for everyone and a must have at your next gathering. Whether you’re hosting or attending a party, a cheese board is an easy way to contribute while doing minimal work. Which in my book, is a huge win!
If you follow me on Instagram, you might already know I have been LOVING cheese/charcuterie/crudité boards lately and making them at every chance I get. They are a staple whenever we have people over at our apartment – it’s easy to see why when you learn how easy they are to prep and assemble, and how much our visitors love them!
Here’s how to make the perfect cheese board
+ First, decide what’s going on it. Are you sticking to strictly cheese? Is a cheese and charcuterie board? Or maybe you’re adding some raw vegetables? The general rule of thumb for a cheese board is 3 different types – one hard, one soft, one goat. In my opinion, this is a rule that is meant to be broken! I usually like to have a soft cheese (brie, camembert), a hard cheese (gruyere, comte), and a spreadable goat cheese (Trader Joe’s has amazing goat cheese logs!). But I also like to include a good cheddar, gouda, or something different that comes recommended to me. Be sure to experiment to figure out what types of cheeses you like and want on your plate.
+ Are you adding meat? If so, hit up your local deli counter for different cuts of cured meats. If you’re feeling adventurous, consider adding a pâté or mousse.
+ For your vegetarian/vegan friends – did you know there is actually VEGAN cheese? If you live in LA I highly recommend Vromage for your vegan cheeses. These nut-base cheeses are made in house by the owner who happens to be the sweetest man, and they honestly taste closer to real cheese than anything I’ve had before. Go there!!! Otherwise, if you want to include your vegan friends on the action, consider adding crudité and fresh fruits.
+ Examples of raw vegetables for a crudité plate: zucchini and squash (sliced long and thin), carrots, mini tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, radish. The possibilities are endless! Don’t forget the dips – homemade or store bought are both great. We usually have a hummus (vegan option) and tzatziki (non vegan option) on hand.
+ Think of extras to add – fruit, jams, and different flavors. Think outside the box! It’s your board to play with – add whatever flavors you think work well with the ingredients you have on hand. Honey, fig jam, and various mustards tend to be popular for cheese and charcuterie plates. For fruits, I like to add grapes, apple or pear slices, figs, berries, or apricots. I always keep some dried fruits and nuts in my pantry as well.
+ Don’t forget the bread and crackers! You can never go wrong with a baguette or whatever small crackers you of your choosing. Long breadsticks are a nice touch as well!
+ Make sure you have the right board on hand. Consider how large your gathering is and how many people are attending and choose the size of the board you use based on that. I bought a beautiful long marble board from William Sonoma – initially I thought it would be too large but it has been the perfect size for everything I’ve made so far!
+ Assembly is everything! You could just throw everything on the board and call it a day, but what’s the fun in that? Take some time to visualize a pattern and arrange all of the ingredients on the board in a visually pleasing and cohesive way.
+ Enjoy the fruits of your labor! I love appetizer boards not only because of the easy assembly, but because they are tasty and relatively healthy appetizer options (especially if you have lots of fruits and vegetables highlighted!).
+ Always keep extra ingredients on hand – make sure veggies are pre sliced so they are ready to go!
+ Be sure to provide serving plates, napkins, and the appropriate cutlery. Cheese knives are not necessary but add a fun touch (they make a great hostess gift as well!)
Doesn’t hurt to have some wine on hand either ; ).
Fall is officially here! Despite seeing pumpkin flavored everything for the past month , it hasn’t felt like “fall” until this week. So with that said, I am finally thinking about dressing for fall. If you’re feeling lazy like I am, the easiest thing to do is throw on a sweater dress and call it a (fall) day. Actually wearing a giant sweater as a dress as we speak… (if you buy a sweater in a large enough size it doubles as a dress, right?)
Besides being stupid easy, sweater dresses are beyond cozy – duh. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been spending more time recently lounging around, reading a book on the couch or online shopping from bed. As soon as the weather starts cooling down I’m like a bear, I instantly go into hibernation mode. Nothing sounds better than a glass of wine and something on the TV – lately I’ve been watching The Deuce and my boyfriend and I just started the 18 hour PBS Vietnam War Documentary. If you’re into documentaries or history at all I highly recommend – so, so fascinating!! Anyway, if you’re going to be laying around, you might as well be comfortable.
I’m a firm believer that cheap sweaters = itchy fabric = no no. So I tend to go for quality pieces that you’ll wear for years to come. See below for my favorite sweater dress picks of the season. Throw on your favorite pair of booties and snuggle up in one of these cozy pieces – you’ll be ready for any autumnal activity of your choice!
Here are my top 5 sweater dress picks (in my cart right now).