This getaway was much needed after what feels like an endless quarantine. Mikey and I have been taking a couple small staycations in LA during the Summer. It was nice to go somewhere further out of the city for a change. It’s been a good year or two since we were in Santa Barbara. This time around I clearly saw it’s beauty and fell in love with the area even more – I literally googled homes in SB and well, budget exceeded! I’ll just keep it as my got-to for getaways.
Since the last time I was there, it’s grown a lot. I saw so many more restaurants and shops. We came out for 2 nights and stayed at a cutesy beach front hotel: Mar Monte Hotel. They just did some upgrades and the rooms + hotel gives you Spanish Mediterranean vibes. Our balcony had a beach view which we loved waking up to every morning and watching the sunsets by evening. The hotel has an outdoor restaurant bar by the pool called Cafe Lido. Mike and I swung by for their happy hour and enjoyed Mediterranean-style small plates and cocktails. We then walked over to the beach for some dessert and coffee by the waves – it was perfect!
One of my favorite things about our hotel were the bikes and it’s prime location. It was so nice to bike ride by the beach and 10 minutes to restaurants and shops. One of the best ways for me to experience a place with Mikey is by bike riding – it’s so much fun! Here are a list of places we went to during our getaway + places I’d like to go see next time I’m in Santa Barbara:
Brunch: Goat Tree. I’ve been here once before with Mikey and their lemon ricotta pancakes are my jam! It’s part of the Hotel Californian and a cute place to eat brunch in the outdoors.
Dinner: Santo Mezcal. They have a nice outdoor patio area on State St. I’m really picky when it comes to Mexican food, mainly because I have a very high (spicy food) tolerance and expect it to meet those standards. On that note, my crab enchiladas were very tasty, aside from me asking our waiter “to bring me his spiciest salsa” (almost every Mexican restaurant has a secret hot sauce that’s off the menu) the waiters usually know what I mean! I used it to give my enchiladas a little kick! Aside from my spicy demands, everything was spot on. The Ceviche Verde was a perfect choice for a shared plate and Pan de Elote dessert was my favorite!
Drinks by the beach: Flor De Maiz. This place was recommended to us by a friend. I was recommended to try the Margarita Tamarindo Con Chile. It was a bit pricey but well worth it!! It was nice sitting outdoors with views of the beach. Side note: you have to order some food aside from drinks, which Mikey and I didn’t know and had to force a small plate into us after having brunch.
Bike Ride and go to the beach to catch the Sun and Sunsets – this is how we spent most of our time!
Up next…I’d love to go to super boujee Miramar Beach Bar and Malibu Farm$$ on our next Santa Barbara trip. SB has become one of my new favorite places for a beach-side getaway. Hope this lil guide will be helpful when you plan a trip out there!
When it comes to time management, especially a few years back, I would have been the first to say – “ I can use some improvement on this!” – big time. I’m a very organized person but when it comes to managing my time, especially with running my own business + trying to balance personal life, it can get challenging. From when I started my business to now, I’ve come a long way.
Being self-employed, you don’t have a regular 9-5 schedule. Business owners, like myself, typically work non-stop and have more complex schedules. Either you fit in the 9-5 or self-employed category, we all have to also squeeze in life stuff to the clock: relationships, exercise, making dinners, the never-ending list goes on. It’s taken me time to finally be at a good place where I feel so much more improved and satisfied with my time management. I can still use a little work and improvement on this topic, but I’m definitely a lot better NOW than I was THEN, and I owe it to these 5 tips.
PLAN AHEAD. You don’t want to wake up without a plan for the day. The night before dot down what you need to accomplish the next day. This will give you a clear visual and will clear your head. On the morning of, have a look at your task list, and highlight your top 3-5 that are the most important. Be sure to work on those when you’re most productive.
DO LESS. This is one that has taken me a while to understand. I used to focus on trying to do everything on my list, instead of focusing on one task at a time. By concentrating on one thing at a time, I was able to create more value and go through my tasks more efficiently.
STOP BEING PERFECT. This is another one that is a work in progress for me. When you’re a perfectionist, nothing will ever be good enough so you keep going back to that task and find yourself not being productive. Perfect does not exist. All you can do is your best and move on.
CHANGE YOUR SCHEDULE. I’ll admit, I’m not an early 5am morning person. I truly envy those who can do that. It’s ok if you’re not an early riser like myself. People have productivity and creative juices running at different times. For me, I’ve started to work on getting up an hour earlier. I used to work all hours of my day so I changed that and started to treat myself as a 9-5 person. So by 6pm (latest), I’m done with work. Anything after 6pm, is dedicated to personal life. I’ve accepted unfinished tasks, and have become ok with finishing them the next day. Unless, I have a major deadline, I’ll sometimes, work at night. Changing up your schedule is necessary when you feel burnt out and feel unproductive.
WEAR A WATCH. By wearing a watch on your arm, you get to set times, alerts, and keep track of tasks throughout the day. It puts you on check. I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited about wanting to wear a watch daily, since getting my G-SHOCK Women timepiece. The transparent rose gold is a perfect arm accessory. It adds a subtle splash of color to my style and fits right in with my lifestyle. I love that it’s casual yet stylish and versatile. My favorite part about it is that it comes with a stopwatch and daily alarms. I get to time my tasks, workouts, and weekends out. Aesthetic and productivity is my kind of combination. If you’d like more details about my watch, you can visit gshock.com
This post was sponsored by Casio G-SHOCK Women. All opinions are my own.
It’s been a good while since I’ve done a skincare post on here. The reason being because I’m always rotating my products around. I felt that I would have to periodically update this, which made me come to the conclusion – why not!?
As you can see, I’ve titled this “Skincare April 2020.” I figured that I can do skincare updates here on the blog every few months or so, and title them with the month + year so that you’re able to browse on here easily and know what the latest is.
When it comes to my skincare product rotation, I like to be subtle and gradual, not be drastic with it – this tends to work for my sensitive skin. I like to stick to products for at least 3 months unless something is not working for me or my skin doesn’t respond well to a product. For example, I’ll rotate for 3 months 2 different cleansers, 2 different exfoliators, 3 eye creams, etc. I’ll use Cleanser #1 one day, then Cleanser #2 the next day, and repeat. As long as it’s consistent, it works for me. I’ll bring in a new product to my routine to try out and X out another (the one that was the least effective for me or if I ran out of something, or whatever the reason is). This a good subtle rotation and flow for me. On another note, there are products and brands that I use for a year or more.
I’m not a skin expert but working with brands and attending events, I get to learn and be educated about their latest products and launches. One of my duties, is to be that middle person between the brand and my readers/community, and inform you about the latest. I basically get to be your guinea pig who tests these products out for you. It’s my pleasure to do so and I enjoy sharing my experiences.
I come from a female dominant family who are in the beauty industry and they’ve taught me the importance of skincare since day one. I was certainly their very own guinea pig as a teenager. When they were going to beauty school or just starting out in their new positions, they’d test out everything from new eyebrow waxes, hair dyes, and skincare treatments. I recall having my first chemical peel at age 17 by my aesthetician aunt. I’ve certainly learned my do’s and dont’s at an early age, thanks to them. This is just a brief background on my humbled beauty/skincare beginnings and how it all began for me. I would need a whole other blog post dedicated to this topic. I’ll save that for another time.
We all want to look youthful and radiant, that is the ultimate goal. I can only share what works for me and my personal stories. Do keep in mind that everyones skin works differently; therefore, product performance and results can differ. We won’t really know until we try them out for ourselves. To give you more details about my skin type, I have combo-skin and my concerns are mostly with pores and dryness. I also have sensitive skin too so I typically try to steer away from fragrances. Lastly, I’m also always trying my best to naturally reverse wrinkles that will appear with time. Interestingly and just a little off topic here but – the way I feel about age is how most of us feel about genders, races, etc. – why does it matter? Unless, you see gravity, and wrinkles take a toll or if I’m being ID’d then well, you’ll know! One of these days, I’ll reveal it. For now, I’d like to keep it unknown and add a little mystery. Let’s just say, when I do reveal my age to people, their eyeballs pop out and they are in total disbelief, thinking I was an 18 yr old (c’mon that’s a little far-fetched but I’ve been told that) then I get embarrassed and regret telling them. It’s definitely a compliment being told you look younger than what you are but I’ve always felt (since a teenager) – why does age matter? As long as you’re happy, healthy, and skin is thriving – that’s all that matters.
I hope that these skincare posts will be of some guidance in discovering new products and will help improve your skin. Vice-versa, feel free to share with me about products that you’re personally loving and that I should try out + potentially include in my next product list.
These are the current skincare products I’m using as of April 2020 (also known as Quarantine/Lockdown month):
Mike and I have been finding ourselves constantly saying, ” we need new cookware!” We both do a lot of cooking from home and get really good use of it. It was on my to-do list for a while but I kept pushing this task to the back burner. Then, quarantine + lockdown happened, and as a result, gave us more time.
I found myself online for a good hour or two, researching away. This task was more challenging than what I thought. A few things I was looking for in our next cookware set: non-toxic, quality, and aesthetic appeal – without breaking the bank. The search went on, I even looked up well known and the best of the best in cookware, but surprisingly found tons of bad reviews. Some of the bad reviews with images, were just hard to avoid. I was trying to find a brand with a majority of good reviews.
Finally, I can’t recall which key words I typed into google, but I came across Caraway. This post is, in fact, not sponsored. I’m genuinely excited about this brand and my cookware set. Personally, I wish someone would’ve spared me 1-2 hours of research so that’s how this article came about. I wanted to share about this brand that I’m loving in my kitchen and think you will too. First thing that caught my eye was how aesthetically appealing the cookware set looked in the images. Once I clicked on their site and as it was loading, I was hoping and crossing my fingers, that the quality was as good as it looked and that the reviews would satisfy me. By this point, I was getting very close to giving up on my search. As soon as I arrived on their site, I was happy with everything I was seeing and reading. This brand was check marking everything I was looking for. I saw more good reviews than bad (the one or two bad reviews gave it 3 out of 5 stars – which is not that bad), the quality looked promising, and I loved that it was non-toxic, non-stick, and eco-friendly. To top it off, the price was just right for the cookware set and all it offered.
Mike and I were looking forward to our new cookware, especially during quarantine. When we got our package, the packaging and just everything was presentable and perfect (it comes with both table top and wall organizers for the pans and lids). I got my cookware set in the cream color. It comes in different color options. The cream color was my option as it goes well with my home tones. We’ve been using our set for a good week now and have zero complaints so far. The ceramic is smooth and nice to cook on. It came with a welcome guide on how to best use the cookware and tips on how to maintain the longevity of it. Quick tip: don’t use medal utensils as it scratches the ceramic surface, make sure to use wood or silicone utensils. Another tip, is to not wash it straight away when it’s hot. Wait for it to cool off. Lastly, just one other big tip, don’t put the stove on high, because the cookware heats up fast and stays hot for a long period of time. Keep it on low to medium.
The set they offer is the perfect kitchen collection. The only complaint I have is, I wish this brand offered a wider range of cookware and kitchen utensils because I wanted to buy more from them. Aside from that, this is a brand I’m excited to share about + happy to have found a cookware set that is healthy and works. For more on the brand, you can go here: Caraway.
I got engaged in Santorini, Greece! Never would I have dreamt this. I got engaged almost 2 years ago, Summer 2018. I’m finally sharing our engagement story.
Some of you may know, Mike and I met in New York (you can read my post about how we met: here). In short, he’s from Australia and I’m from California. We did the long distance thing and then Mike eventually did the wild thing you see in movies, and moved out here for me! It took about 8 years for us to get engaged; however, we have our unique story. Those 8 years felt more like 4 years. In the beginning of our relationship, we didn’t always see each other, since he was from way down under, so we were back and forth traveling to see each other every 3 months or so. However, we did connect via online (FaceTime, emails, FB, IG, etc) – we were distant but felt very connected. Point being, people would normally think, “wow that’s a long time,” but for us, it sure didn’t feel like that.
I also was not one to push an engagement or marriage. I wanted this to come naturally from Mike. Of course, we had conversations about wanting to get married. We knew we were each others one. I told him, I wanted him to propose to me, when it came from him. I mean, the guy moving from Australia for me and starting a whole new life in Los Angeles – was enough and better than an engagement, if you ask me. Diamond in the rough.
I also was not one who really dreamt about my dream wedding. I wasn’t very girl-like in that way. I just wanted to find a dreamy man. With time, as we grew up more, we talked more and more about our future – marriage, kids, house, etc. Mike eventually would bring up conversations about the kinds of rings I loved. This was when I knew – it was coming. He took me to go get my finger measured. I learned I don’t have the most attractive fingers and they’re not very graceful. We went early on in the year to try rings on and I also sent him images of my favorites – I knew I wanted my ring to be Gold – since we met at Gold Bar in NY. Plus, I’m a gold jewelry kind of girl!
We started to plan for our Summer trip. It was a month long trip throughout Europe. This was not a cheap trip so I didn’t really think he would propose to me. I knew an engagement was coming but I didn’t know when exactly. I thought, it can be on my birthday, Christmas, some other random day. Our Summer trip was a possibility to me, but I wasn’t too sure. There was a moment in Spain, when I thought, I’m going to test him. I needed to get my nails done, since I didn’t have time back in Los Angeles. I told him, “do you think I should get my nails done or nah?” He responsed with a shoulder shrug, and “if you want, up to you.” I thought, knowing Mike, this is a NO. Typically, Mike is not that discreet and can’t hide surprises, but this time, he did a pretty good job at it.
We had spent time in Spain (Barcelona + Ibiza), we then made our way to Greece (Mykonos) and then Santorini! It was here where he popped the big question. We stayed at this very romantic boutique hotel, overlooking the ocean and magical sunsets. It was the most romantic place we stayed at during our trip, or ever really! It was situated in the outer skirts of Santorini with natural beauty all around. At this point, I still didn’t suspect anything. It was on our second day there in Santorini, Mike said he was taking me to lunch in town. The day started out perfect. We had an amazing lunch, walked around the town, did some shopping, took photos, and then headed back to our hotel.
Before going to our room, Mike suggested we should grab a drink at the bar. I got an Aperol Spritz, and he grabbed the bags and said he was going to the reception because they were switching us to their best room. I mean, all the rooms were breathtaking but this was their biggest suite. I was like, “Ok!” I’ll chill out here by the pool, with my cocktail and phone. Then, I realized 20 minutes had gone by. Then I started to get a little antsy and impatient. I texted Mike, “all good!?” he then said “Yes, almost!” then I started to think hmmm, why hasn’t he came back though? Few minutes later, the sweet hotel manager, came out and said, “Ms. Reiken, come this was please.” “Ms. Reiken” I thought? Then, I started to get a thrill of excitement through my body, and shakiness in my voice. I told him, “Ok, what about my Aperol” talk about nerves. I felt like, is this happening!? As I followed him, I asked, “Where’s Mikey?’ and he said “umm, just follow me this way, you’ll see.” He led me through the door and I couldn’t believe my eyes.
This is a video of the place we got engaged at:
My eyes saw the dreamiest ocean and sunset view. On the floor, there were rose pedals and candles trailing up to a beautiful dinner set-up. Mike was standing tall with a bouquet of flowers in his hands. An array of emotions came over me as I sat down. I was awkward, nervous, happy, excited, surprised. Mike began his introduction talking about us. I wish I remembered word for word what he said, I was in the clouds, I just recall him saying “I LOVE you, I love you” followed by him going down on one knee, with my golden shinning ring, and asking me the big 4 words – “Will you marry me!?” I happily stood up and said YES of course. I was still in a dream, when a couple minutes past, and then it hit me. The tears came pouring down my eyes and we just couldn’t stop holding each other with the excitement that just happened. It took me a few minutes and some tight hugs later for me to catch up with the dream that just happened!
We then celebrated with wine, the view, jumping into the pool! Oh and the food! We finally went back to the food we barely touched and ate while watching the sunset. We then called our parents and told them the news.
Mike had a secret little hidden camera. He didn’t get enough time to set it up properly, so we didn’t get much of us in frame, but here’s a snippet of him proposing:
This is an event in my life, I’ll always remember. I gotta give credit to Mikey, he did a phenomenal job. I was just so impressed and he exceeded my wildest dreams. Santorini will forever be a part of our love story. We can’t wait to go back again and create more memories. Opa!
This has been a blog post I’ve had in the back burner for a few years. One of the questions I get asked often, is how I started my blog. Being the perfectionist and detail-oriented freak I am, I felt like this would be a long one for me because of all I had to share about my journey. I thought I’d have to put together visuals on visuals and a very wordy post to paint a picture of who I was before my blog. I wanted to make this specific post right, especially because I guess you can say I take pride in my journey and how I became a blogger. Years later, I’ve learned to kick that “perfectionist” wall down and just go for it! So here I am. Don’t worry, this won’t be a 10 page story post, I’ll keep it as short as possible and to the point.
Before “blogger” was a thing, I had a passion and hobby for what a blogger does. In my earlier days, I used to take photos with my disposal + polaroid cameras and put them in photo albums (talk about old school). I don’t use this word very often but I was OBSESSED with taking photos of my daily outfits, my blue eyeshadow + glittery eyes, and “in the moment” poses. I did this as a creative expression and to physically have something I can look back at when I’d get older. I wanted to look back at my outfits and lifestyle. At this point, there wasn’t really a career option for this nor had the role ‘Blogger’ or Instagram/FB been born yet. There may have been other forms of blogging at the time, but not the kind we know of today in social media, fashion, beauty, etc. The career I wanted to pursue was music and film. I wanted to be the next pop-star (Britney Spears or Jlo) and an actress.
A few years after high school, I moved to Los Angeles to go to school and to pursue a career in music + acting. I was very focused in going to school, auditions, and writing music. By this time, blogging started to establish itself. At this stage, I wasn’t too familiar with it nor really into Facebook. I was so focused in my studies and career. I booked small roles in indie films, commercials, and created an EP. My 6 song bilingual album (it was half in Spanish and the other half in English) was one of my most profound pieces of work. Til this day, I take so much pride in it! It took me two years to complete. The songs were pretty awesome, in my opinion, and I still can’t believe I did that.
I got to perform my music around California, Vancouver, and started to prepare for a small tour I was working on. Additionally, I got some Spanish radio play, came out on the cover of a local magazine – things were looking bright. I cannot forget to mention, I art directed music videos to two of my songs. You can view them below – one of the videos is for my Spanish song called Electricidad (my favorite song I wrote) and my English song B.A.D (Beautiful and Dangerous). This is such a throwback, this was baby ME! Ahh can’t believe I’m finally sharing these old creations of mine. These are videos I will forever look back at. They were a part of me and my personal + creative growth.
I had so much love for music + acting and was so sure of what I wanted to be and had a clear vision of what I wanted my future to look like. The interesting thing is, I was so focused on this idea of being a pop star since childhood, that I disregarded other interests of mine. During all this – the training, making of my album, my performing, auditions – I would always find a creative outlet through taking photos. I would take photos of myself for my music, acting, and for FB + IG (beginning of IG days). Although, at this point, I was still not very active on IG or very familiar with blogging.
A year after performing around California at festivals, schools, and events, I started to lack heart, energy and love for what I was pursuing. It was during this time, right when I was working on booking a small tour, that I started to shift and stretch as a person. I wasn’t as excited to perform anymore. I almost didn’t want to accept that because of all the hard work I had put in to this point. Acting and music was very rewarding but it was also not consistent for me. The audition life and hustle was becoming too much for me. On top of that, I was still going to school during all this, and working at a part time job. It just became way too stressful and unhealthy for me. This was when I decided I had to make a change. I decided to stop pursing music and acting.
Soon after, Mike and I took a trip to Australia. This was where I had a major life moment to myself. This trip allowed me to reflect and figure out my next move. I was browsing more and more through Instagram and seeing bloggers posting outfit photos and lifestyle stuff. I remember thinking – have I been living under a rock!? How have I not been using this app and posting photos more frequently! I love creating content, styling, putting outfits together, sharing beauty and lifestyle – this felt so me because it was always me. It was exciting me. I want to say this was still at the beginning of blogger/influencer sprout, but not too new.
When I got back to Los Angeles, I was excited to make a start on this, while going to business school and working in marketing at a startup company. As I was venturing into these new fields, I again began to feel a sense of intense stress and a lack of happiness. Here I was balancing full-time school, a part-time job that felt like a full time job, and a new passion + business I was excited about and trying to squeeze in to my tight rest-less schedule. I remember going to work and daydreaming about my blogging. I was literally watching the clock so I can race home and well, work some more. I just wasn’t happy at my job anymore. I knew I had to make another big decision and quit my job to pursue blogging full-time.
With my savings and Mike’s support, I was able to give my full focus to blogging and creating content. It was during this time when I came up with my slogan “Live it, Love it, Wear It” and go figure – named my blog Live Love Wear It. I wanted my blog to mean something and represent what I want out of life. Giving my 100% attention to this, I was able to hustle like I wanted to and give more love to my blog + Instagram. I’ve grown so much since that first morning I woke up, as my own boss, with a cup of coffee and a notebook in hand, to begin this exciting new journey as a full-time blogger. I am still growing and only hope to continue doing so. I’m excited to continue inspiring through putting outfits together, sharing about skincare and makeup, my lifestyle, personal stories, and more. I love connecting on here and on my social platforms. It is my goal to continue adding value in some way.
This is how I started my blog. I basically was blogging since my teenage days without knowing it. It was a love, a passion, and hobby, that evolved into a business. I’m happy I get to do what I love for work. It certainly keeps me on my toes, but I look forward to it every morning, like that first morning, without a clue on what I was doing, when I first began.
When it comes to Valentine’s Day, Mike and I usually like to keep it casual and not make it that big of a deal. We’ve had times where we’ve had fun day trips to the beach, picnics, have gone on a Malibu Safari hike, and other times where we’ve stayed in and had dinners at home. As extra cheesey as this may sound, everyday does feel like Valentine’s with Mikey, so we don’t typically care to do an extravagant dinner at an extravagant restaurant with extravagant gifts, on this particular day. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s just not my style. We like to keep it light and casual as we know it can also be over-hyped and over-priced. This year, we decided to do something spontaneous and go on a getaway to Sonoma and Napa Valley.
We’ve always wanted to travel there and it so happened we decided to go right around Valentine’s Day. To be honest, it couldn’t have been more perfect and romantic, especially for our first time. The getaway was supposed to be mainly for us to step away from our busy day to day routines, go work on a few wedding related emails together, and finalize our wedding venue + date over a glass of wine, with zero distractions. Little did we know, we’d be having a little too much fun out there and well, let’s just say, our plans went out the window. Although, this didn’t get done on our trip, it did refresh and inspire us to get this done, as soon as we got home.
Both Sonoma and Napa Valley were more than what I expected. If you know me, you know I love a good road trip. Driving there was 6 hours from Los Angeles and I enjoyed every minute of it. Going back home, was a different story. Don’t even want to start a new paragraph on that 10 hour drive home. Did I mention, we checked out and embarked on this endless drive back home on actual Valentine’s Day? We basically had Inn N Out for our dinner, which was the best food option in the middle of nowhere – talk about a casual Valentine’s Day right!? However, it’s all good because looking back, it was an adventure, and I love adventures. Aside from that, everything else was perfect and worth every mile to the vineyards.
Mike and I got to experience a little bit of both (Sonoma and Napa Valley) – they’re approx. a 25-30 min drive away from each other. I would recommend to explore both places, if you can! We were out there for 3 days. Based on my experience, just by a notch, if I were to compare the two areas, I would have to say I loved and enjoyed Sonoma more than Napa Valley (just by a notch!). Not to say, I can change my mind, next time I go again. For this trip, I felt like Sonoma left a greater impression on me and stood out the most. Here’s why – I felt like it was less commercialized, more boutique-y, more home-y, had better dinner experiences, and most importantly, I fell in love with one of the wineries out there, that I can call my favorite, as of yet! This winery was recommended to us by a friend who frequents the area and gave us a guide that Mike and I were very happy and satisfied with – from where to eat to wine tasting. This is a guide that I will be sharing with you guys. This is a list curated thanks to the suggestions of our friend, locals we spoke with, and other friends – which made our experience, a memorable one.
Where we stayed at:
Let’s begin with, where we stayed at! This was actually a place I personally discovered and came across. I found it through one of the travel newsletters I’m subscribed to. We stayed at Olea Hotel. It’s located in Sonoma, near a cute little town of restaurants and surrounded by Olive trees. I loved that it was a boutique hotel with lots of greenery all around and near boutique wineries. My favorite part of the hotel was their brunch, comfy bed sheets, olive tree views, and bathroom floors!! The bathroom floors were heated. I get cold easily, especially in the mornings, and I loved walking to the restroom to get ready, it was very therapeutic in a way. It’s a feature that went a long way for me. For brunch, every morning, Mike and I would wake up excited to try out their menu. They had something different, daily. Their food was gourmet, pre-set, well presented, delicious, and unique – something you don’t often see in hotels. We also got a couples massage at out hotel, they used their homemade essentials body oils on us, which left both Mike and I on cloud 9! I also had the best sleep on their beds. Needless to say, we were very happy with our stay.
Sonoma Wineries we went to:
*Scribe Winery – my favorite one on this list. From the moment we drove up the driveway, I can see that it was going to be magical. The aesthetic was spot on (my vibe), the view, the light bites, of course the wine, it was all so perfect and romantic. We were welcomed with roses in the entry way – bonus!! I basically wanted to get married there. I actually inquired, but they don’t host weddings there, at the moment, due to restrictions and licensing, etc. We already have a place we want to get married at, but we asked more for the fun of it and out of curiosity. It’s just so dreamy and photo-esque. Put this one down as your MUST GO TO!
*VJB Cellars – This wine tasting venue is an Italian Style. Lots of Italian blends (which Mike and I love). They had a deli with cheese, jams, and meats. I felt like I was back in Italy!
*Benziger Family Winery – This winery has a long family history. It is a huge estate that you can tour. They have animals and pretty gardens. All their wines are sustainable, organic, or biodynamic.
*Imagery Estate Winery – Everyone was very friendly here. It has a nice and relaxing outdoor area where you can hang and sip on wine under the sun. This is the sister winery of Benziger. We left with quite a few wine bottles – so many good varietals.
Napa Valley Wineries we went to:
*Domaine Carneros – this was a French inspired mansion. Looked like a castle! They’re known for their sparkling wines. I loved their enclosed outdoor area, it had the perfect lighting coming through (for those selfie pics) and a beautiful sunset view.
*Darioush – This is another beautiful, photo-worthy winery. It’s something out of Italy. They have an amazing Cabernet Sauvignon. This one’s on the pricier side, to buy a bottle. If you buy a bottle or not, either way, their wine tasting is amazing to experience.
*V. Sattui Winery – I loved their cheeseboards and artisan deli. They have picturesque picnic grounds and a cool indoor gold room. Their homemade desserts were also amazing!
Where we ate at in Sonoma:
*El Dorado Kitchen – This restaurant is located in the main square in downtown Sonoma, inside a chic boutique hotel dining room. Mike had the seafood paella and I had their amazing mushroom risotto. It was an overall good vibe!
*The Fig Cafe – This is a gem of a restaurant tucked away in a quieter area, Glen Ellen. This place was near our hotel. It’s a place to go to for brunch or a leisure dinner. You can also bring a wine that they don’t carrie, as there are no corkage fees. Also, I loved their crispy risotto cake!
*The girl and the fig – This one can get busy and would recommend booking a reservation. They have an amazing brunch and dinner menu. I would recommend the White Chocolate & Fig Bread pudding – drooling as I write this. They also have cute outdoor garden patio seating.
Where we ate at in Napa Valley:
*CA’MOMI – Great spot for Italian and pizza! It’s situated in downtown Napa, with plenty of bars around to go to after. Think Italian flavors and California grown organic ingredients.
*Allegria – This is another Italian spot. We were craving those Italian flavors on this trip. It’s located also in downtown Napa. This is more of a formal dining ambiance with relaxing Italian music and candle-lit dinners.
*Sky & Vine rooftop bar – This place had quite the ambiance and panoramic valley views. It’s located in the Archer Hotel. They have fireplace spots where you can enjoy elevated bar bites and drinks from afternoon to sunset. On certain days, they have live music.
Hope this little guide will be helpful on your next Sonoma or Napa Valley trip! Can’t wait to visit this place again! Mike wants to do a whole week next time we go. I agree.
I have to start by saying – David’s Bridal has the cutest bridal gifts I’ve seen! I recently explored their site to find gift ideas for my bachelorette. Although I’m several month’s away, I wanted to make a head start and search for gift ideas to surprise the girls on my bachelorette.
My bachelorette will be one big celebration in … Vegas! I decided I would like to go the good’ol classic Vegas route. What’s not to love – they have the nice hotels, fun pool parties, shows, and …ok, I literally just looked up at my T.V. and what is playing? The Hangover movie!! I’m absolutely not kidding! Mike randomly put it on without knowing I’m doing a blog post talking some what about my bachelorette. Well, this must mean adventure awaits and perhaps good luck on blackjack – the only game I know how to play! Going back to my bachelorette, I want this moment to be fun, all about us girls, good words of wisdom, and celebrating our bond. These women play an important role in my life, so I plan on welcoming them with a gift bag each, to show them my love and appreciation for showing up.
David’s Bridal made this so easy for me and I found the perfect pieces they’ll love. The gifts categories were precisely organized and easy for me to navigate. After wanting almost everything, I narrowed it down to my top three: personalized tote bags, calligraphy stemless travel tumblers, and robes with their first name initial. I had to get myself one of each as well! What made these items extra cute and special, were that they were personalized with their names. Plus, who doesn’t love a good robe with their initial? We will most certainly be getting ready together coordinated in our robes and waking up the next morning talking over coffee with good laughs about the day and night before. Moments I love! By the way, I also found a cute and humorous bridal survival kit that I had to get for myself for a good laugh. Most importantly, I had to get myself the “Bride to Be” sash – no doubt, I’ve got to represent!
I’m very excited to experience my bachelorette with the girls! I’ve always seen groups of them in Vegas celebrating the soon-to-be-wed girl with champagnes and now it will soon be my turn. These gift bags will be the perfect start to this fun trip – Viva Las Vegas!
I don’t want this to come across as another cliche list of goals kind of post, or like a spare of the moment New Year goals that will go forgotten with time. I’m doing this post as more of a challenge for myself. This is an important year for me with a wedding and other big life moments I’m hoping to achieve. I want to look back at this and see how far I’ve come, come December or 2021. I want to test myself and revisit this post to see what I’ve accomplished – from text to action. I’m a firm believer that there’s not a set rule as to when to set goals and re-focus your attention. This can be done in March, mid-year, whichever day! In fact, I think it’s good practice to do this more often than once. However, I do find somewhere between that end of the year and new year, it’s an exciting time to re-focus and re-list priorities. We are given a long holiday break after all – so why not use the time wisely!
I have three things I need to focus on this year, aside from the obvious – keeping healthy, exercise, etc. Last year these were goals I was “hoping for”, but this year is the year I’m serious about executing them and not taking them lightly like in the previous year. They are 3 big things in life that I’m excited for and want to achieve with ease, love, and stress-free. I’m going into this with an understanding that it will take some time and there will be some bad days. However, knowing there will also be some amazing and rewarding days!
Here we go:
1. Launch my second business – LIVE LOVE WEAR IT. Over the past year, I put this goal of mine, on hold. I’ve been focusing on my first business, all while trying to eat healthy, workout, maintain relationships, the life list goes on. It’s been on my agenda for quite some time. I really want to take this pending goal of mine into fruition. This 2nd business idea of mine is something I’ve actually thought of for a couple years now. I’ve started a business plan and have dotted down my steps to achieve this, it’s a good start! I can’t really say much just yet, but I want this 2nd business of mine to be your go-to for all your fashion, beauty, travel, lifestyle, and well-recommended product needs. This will not just be about me, rather about you. All I can say is, not to sound like a typical blogger, but really, subscribe to my newsletter. This is what this new business will entail. You’re gonna love it and will want to have Live Love Wear It as part of your inbox – that is my mission, to add value to you.
2. Own my first home. Mike and I have began the convo on this one, last year. We really love where we live at currently. I gotta say, the apartment life has been good, especially living central to everything and walking distance to places we love. Living in the city, with amazing city views we are fortunate to have, has us very comfortable. We are ready to get out of our comfort zone and begin a new chapter in our lives – becoming home owners. We are at a point where we are outgrowing our apartment and need more space. I mean, I need a room dedicated to my closet and beauty- kidding not kidding? My point is, we need extra space + I’d love a backyard so I can one day have a dog…and kiddos! The near future is definitely on the mind. Also, you know it’s time when you’re saving tons of photos on IG on interior decor and before and afters of homes. The home-buying itch is real! I can’t wait to home decor my home one day, and make it into a place where it feels like a vacation everyday – basically I wanna make it my very own oasis so I can be even more of a home-body!
3. Destination Wedding. This is the year Mike and I are planning to get married! We are very excited for this, especially because we are so close to finalizing the destination and venue. We were going back and forth last year trying to decide on the destination which was giving me major decision fatigue. We now have a better idea and clearer picture of what we’re wanting for our day, which makes us feel so much more confident in our planning and so ready to send our “Save the Dates.” We would like for our destination wedding to be a fun and memorable celebration of our love with our friends and family. It will take some time and planning this year, which will naturally be a big focus for me. I just can’t wait for it to unfold and see it all come together.
I never really thought this moment would actually happen but I went to NYFW! Of course, I’ve put thought into going to this big fashion event in New York, especially when it came around to February’s and September’s IG feed, but I wasn’t really sure if I’d actually go. I had mixed feelings about it and wasn’t exactly sure if it would be for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love my fashion! Although I consider my fashion to be casual and achievable, mixed in with higher end pieces, I do consider it more on the casual side. NYFW is more high-end and can be a bit abstract compared to everyday-wear.
I’ve had conversations with several blogger colleagues who’ve been to this event, and they’ve expressed how it can get quite hectic and tiring. To be honest, that did not sound very appealing to me. On the other hand, they’ve also told me about the positives. I’ve heard that it’s fun, a great way to meet people, see the latest collections and trends in fashion, and more. These positives were encouraging for me. I deep down knew that I had to experience it, at least once, to really judge for myself. I knew that if I’d go, I’d go under my terms, which included: 1.) have a fun time (not feel the need to have to attend every show and event), 2. go for the sole purpose of supporting and watching the shows (not for the attention). I’ve heard that it can be a bit about “being seen” and not really about “seeing the shows,” so I wanted to make sure my intentions were for the right reasons.
This all happened last minute for me. Typically, a blogger/influencer prepares ahead of time for this big event. I’d say, at least 3 months in advance. With this in mind, I booked and literally decided to go 2 weeks before NYFW! Talk about spontaneity! In short, Mike had to go out to NY for work, which was during the week long event. I found my moment and decided to tag along! Additionally, we wanted to have a mini-getaway, so it made it even more perfect. I was fortunate to get invited to a couple events and few shows, considering it was all last minute. I went towards the last leg of NYFW so I didn’t get to go to the earlier shows; however, I’m very grateful for the ones I got to attend and felt like I got a good taste of it.
To my surprise, I had a pretty good time! I was so entertained and inspired by the designer’s shows. I went there with fresh and curious eyes. Being there in person, was even more exciting! I’ve seen it in the movies, magazines, and IG – so it was definitely a moment for me. As expected, there were those people in which you can tell are clearly there to be seen and those with a self-entitlement sort of attitude. Quite honestly, it was all very entertaining for me to see. It was fun being an observer while sipping cocktails, what can I say!
What made my whole NYFW experience even more special, I have to add, was making it not just about the events, rather getting to hang with Mike in between. After all, we went to NY also for a mini getaway. We went to cool hotel bars, had the best food, had coffee-dates, romantic walks, visited central park, and even got to revisit the place that brought us together. All this made my experience extra special, relaxed, and effortless. I just love NY city and so far the times I’ve been, have been literally, magical!
Oh and finally, can’t forget my NYFW looks! All 3 of my looks were by Lucy Paris. You can scroll down to see them. I recently discovered this designer and immediately knew – this was it! All the pieces I tried on, just felt right and very me. I’d have to say from the three looks, my favorite was surprisingly the red dress. Red is typically not my color, but this dress was an exception!
Although this was just a taste of NYFW for me, I would totally go again! I’ve learned that I can still be me, wear what I love, and stay true to myself and style. I would hope that if the opportunity came again, it would be a little more planned out so I can also get to see the earlier shows. I would also remember to do what I did on the first time – to have fun, do things in NY not related to fashion week, and go for the shows!