3.21.24

Five Days in Cancun, Mexico

In late February, my sisters escaped the chilly Mid-Atlantic winter and headed down to Cancun, Mexico, for a five-day, four night beach vacation. Last year, we took a similar trip to Cap Cana, Dominican Republic, which is truly one of the best vacations I’ve ever had, so needless to say we were very excited. While we definitely enjoyed our trip — I mean, it’s hard to complain when you’re drinking a margarita overlooking the Caribbean — we were not thrilled with where we stayed, Hyatt Zilara Cancun, and would not recommend staying there. Because of that, I am going to keep this recap of our time south of the border short and sweet — but one thing I do want to underscore is that despite our ‘meh’ accommodations, I absolutely love going to Mexico. I was lucky enough to go to Oaxaca, Mexico last fall, and was excited to return less than six months later. It’s beautiful, with delicious food and gracious, welcoming people; so, I do not want my review of our all-inclusive hotel to be representative of my thoughts of the country.

Originally, we were going to go to Jamaica, but because the US State Department raised the country’s warning level to Level Three, we pivoted our plans to Cancun, Mexico, given it was free to change our flights on Southwest and we could still cancel and change our hotel. Because we shifted plans about six weeks before the trip, we were somewhat limited in where we could stay given some places and/or room types were sold out — but that being said, we still had very high hopes for the Hyatt Zilara given the reviews online were very positive. And, there definitely were some great parts about the resort — we were greeted with a cold towel and glass of champagne upon arrival, our room had a stunning view of the ocean that we could enjoy from a spacious balcony, the pool and the beach were gorgeous and very clean (no seaweed, either!), the hibachi experience was delicious + the chef was the most talented I’ve ever seen, and the staff truly went above and beyond to ensure we had an incredible trip, especially our bartenders at the swim up bar. Read more “Five Days in Cancun, Mexico”

2.5.24

Another Faux Bamboo Vintage Dresser – This Time in Navy!

Last year, one of my goals was to “finish” my apartment. I put the word finish in quotes as I think my home will never truly be done as I am always re-organizing and re-styling, but what I essentially was getting at by that goal was ensuring that I had all major pieces of furniture and that there were no empty walls. As such, over the 2022 into 2023 holidays, I spent some time shopping for another dresser for my bedroom. I was already using the vintage faux bamboo dresser I had lacquered in green, but was craving more store space for off-season clothing and accessories. There was also a perfect spot for a dresser underneath a painting of Greece I had hanging in my room.

Originally, I was leaning towards something like this. But after thinking about my space more, I realized that loved having vintage furniture around — not only because it’s great quality, but because it adds so much character to my space. As such, I decided I wanted to add another faux bamboo vintage dresser to my collection. I ordered my first vintage dresser through Resplendent Crow, and my second one through DEG Furniture Designs via Chairish. While I was ultimately pleased with both purchases, I really wanted to give my business to Hibiscus House this go-around — I’d followed them on Instagram for years, and my friend had an awesome shopping experience with them, so I had a personal recommendation to vouch for their quality and customer service.

After having purchased three vintage dressers from three different vendors, I can say that hands down, the best experience I had — by far — was with Hibiscus House, and I would not hesitate to buy vintage furniture again from them in the future.

Not only was the quality of the work the best — I could tell they used high-end lacquer and my piece arrived with no chips or scratches — they were also the most communicative throughout the process, letting me know via text when my piece was being lacquered, curing, and, eventually, en route to me. When you’re making a huge investment, having that extra level of customer service just gives you peace of mind that your money is being well spent. As such, if you’re in the market for vintage furniture, I can’t recommend Hibiscus House — a small, woman-owned business — enough!

(If you’re looking for a similar dresser, I’ve linked some below or you can view some here — and definitely make sure to check back to Hibiscus House often as they get new inventory often!)
Read more “Another Faux Bamboo Vintage Dresser – This Time in Navy!”

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1.11.24 1

The Best Things I Bought in 2023 + My Oura Ring Review

Though I recently shared about how I want to be more thoughtful about using what I have already, I always love reading about what other people have found to be their best buys from the past year. As such, I wanted to share my best buys from 2023 and overview why I love each item so much.

If you’re curious, you can read past year’s posts on this topic, too: 2022 (for what it’s worth, I still constantly reach for everything I shared on this list!), 2021, 2020, 20182017, 2016, and, if I had written a similar post in 2015, it’d be about this. I accidentally let this series lag in 2019!

MY OURA RING REVIEW —

Before I dive into my other best buys of the year, I wanted to spend some time overviewing why I love my Oura ring and why it’s hands down the best thing I bought in 2023. (You can use my Oura ring referral link here to get $40 off! I highly recommend doing the size kit, more on that below.)

For some context, I purchased an Apple Watch in summer 2021 as walking had become one of my favorite pastimes in the pandemic and I wanted a better way to track my steps and log my accompanying exercise at Soul Cycle and OrangeTheory. I wore my watch during the day — usually until I had closed all my rings — and then charged it overnight. I really liked my Apple Watch, but can have obsessive tendencies when it comes to meeting health goals. On the days I didn’t close my rings, I would beat myself up and almost viewed it as a moral failing. While I also liked having the ability to get notifications on the watch — it came in handy, for instance, if you were waiting on a text to let you know your table at a restaurant was ready — it started to become a little intrusive, even though I really only had text notifications set up. And, lastly, while I found some Apple Watch bands I loved, overall, the look was a little bit “spy kid.”

So, all that to say, overall, I liked my Apple Watch, but I was open to exploring other wearable tech that met my personal needs more. I also was very interested in getting sleep data — and while you can wear your Apple Watch at night to do this, I personally just couldn’t imagine sleeping in mine on a regular basis. So in late May, after researching and being convinced by a few friends that showed me their Oura app and the resulting data, I decided to order myself one.

Read more “The Best Things I Bought in 2023 + My Oura Ring Review”

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