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Packing for SXSW with Cafe Bustelo

March 16, 2017

Getting ready to hit the road again this month, but this time Natalie and I aren’t going too far. Just back to one of our favorite American cities, Austin, Texas. We will be there to support Cafe Bustelo, who is one of the sponsors of the Outdoor Stage at Lady Bird Lake from March 16-18th. This stage is one of the biggest stages at SXSW.

Cafe Bustelo activation hours:
 Thursday, March 16th: 4-10pm
Friday, March 17th: 4-10pm
Saturday, March 18th: 11am-7pm

For access to this stage, you just have to sign-up for a wrist band HERE.

Natalie and I will be hanging out at the Cafe Bustelo tent during SXSW on Friday, the 17th in the evening. Make sure to stop by during the above times March 16-18th to take advantage of the charging stations, free Cafe Bustelo samples, photo booth and tons of other games and giveaways. Nat and I will also be showing you our favorites from the bands performing that day at the Outdoor Stage. We’ll also be giving you a peek into our favorite things to do when we are in Austin, Texas. The food, the music, the people . . . SXSW is one of the most crazy and fun weeks in Austin, so get ready! 

SXSW is probably the easiest music festival to pack for. Mostly because Austin is so chill, and the scene is much more laid back than Coachella. Not to mention, the weather is always reliably warm. It’s always sunny in Austin. Denim and lots more of denim. Easy little dresses under denim jackets. Western hats, why not?! Boots. Sunglasses are always key, of course. My trusty camera. Natalie and I are also packing our Cafe Bustelo for the road because we are always up early and to bed late during SXSW. There’s so much to see and do, it nearly seems impossible to fit everything in . . . but somehow we always manage to do so. 

Hope to see some of you in Austin. Once again, sign-up HERE to get access to the SXSW Outdoor Stage. It’s going to be a good time, ya’ll.  

Thank you to Cafe Bustelo for sponsoring this post.

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On Mexico Time with Cluse

March 4, 2017


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All watches featured in this post are by CLUSE
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When you have a whole lot of time to not worry about time . . . then you know that you are in Mexico. But that was exactly the best part of our trip . . . the fact that we had all the time in the world. And no perfect time than when time itself seems to magically become endless, to put on a CLUSE watch and keep track of how slow the days really pass by . . . and how much you want it to keep staying that way. We officially found out how much of a perfect beach side accessory the watch really is. Cluse watches, minimal and practical in design, yet bold and bright (if one desires) in colors, fit right in with the aesthetics of Mexico (and our bikinis). I brought two colors to Mexico to mix and match under the Tulum sun. My CLUSE Minuit Gold in White/Mustard was playful and gave me that summer feeling to take around with me on my wrist. It added exactly the kind of pop of color and sensibility one expects to have in a place as laid back and fun loving as Tulum. My CLUSE La Roche Gold in Black Marble/Black style is sophisticated and sleek, with just a slight touch of masculinity. It streamlined the golds and heavy patterns that I sometimes like to wear to the beach. My CLUSE watches balanced one another out, just like how Tulum balanced out my racing mind leftover from NYC with the peaceful tides of the current situation. My watch was a reminder that I had no need to rush. Anytime was the best sort of time. 

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Feminine Meets Sporty with Timberland

March 2, 2017

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Look 1 – Black & metallic dotted dress with the Timberland Mayliss 6″ sneaker in black 

Look 2 – Denim mini dress with the Timberland Killington chukka in white

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Sneakers are a part of my DNA. I’ve always been the tallest one in the room, so flat shoes, and especially sneakers, kept me feeling more like I fit in. Today, I have no issues with being tall at all, but sneakers are still on my feet. The thing is that I wear them differently more often than not nowadays, leaning more towards the feminine side with skirts and dresses, as opposed to something paired with pants. I love to feel feminine, even more so today in my late twenties. I think it’s a part of growing up . . . growing into oneself in a way. But never do I want to look or feel too done up (or should I say prissy). You’ll find maybe one or two pairs of heels higher than 3 or 4 inches on my shoe shelf . . . and my feet have been thanking me greatly for it. Sneakers are my best friend through and through. During the days of the past when I wanted to feel not so tall, to the present days when I want to be comfortable, but without sacrificing looking feminine. Timberland lets me be a comfortable girl, and that’s the best thing. Here are two ways that I wear sporty shoes by Timberland in a feminine way. What’s better than having the best of both worlds? I hope they inspire you to do the same. 

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Exploring Mexico with Teva

February 26, 2017

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All sandals feature are by TEVA
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There is something super special about Mexico. Escapism to the max. Being half Mexican on my Dad’s side, Tulum and Mayokoba for me was such a treat. And especially since I never had the chance before to really explore the country outside of right across the California-Mexico border when I was a teenager. And let me tell you, those experiences were a far cry from what we got to see, smell, taste and hear on the Caribbean coast of this magical country. Natalie and I set flew out from NYC to meet our friends Kiara and Cara who were coming from Vancouver. East coast and west coast colliding on the tropical Caribbean coast. We were planning this trip for what felt like ages . . . so the feeling of finally getting on that plane . . . not to mention stepping onto Mexican soil for the first time in a long time . . . was a huge sigh of relief. Already, Tevas on our feet, the first thing on our list was tacos. Our driver from the airport to Tulum knew the perfect spot for chicken tacos. We only had two each, but we regretted not getting four each. They were THAT GOOD. And so simple. Already, we knew we had reached paradise. 

Our first night in Tulum was spent glamping at Joy Tulum. The property was a simple and modest setting with a touch of quirkiness that felt just the right amount of bohemian. Our bungalow tents had lots of charm despite the bare necessities. But that was really all we needed for our first night in Tulum. And we were only a short bike ride away from the main part of town, where we enjoyed a dinner at Hartwood, a well known restaurant that has been all the rage in Tulum. Oh, did I forget to mention how trendy Tulum is? I heard a lot about how it boomed in the past five years, but the reality of that statement doesn’t really hit until you actually walk down the main street of Tulum. Just a warning, you more likely than not may run into someone you know if you are from a big city. Not that that is a bad thing or anything. It’s just a good way to describe the social scene. But don’t get me wrong, Tulum can be anything you want it to be. And especially if you are really trying to escape someplace like NYC, as was the case for Nat and I. We picked and chose our hang out and sightseeing spots and endeavors wisely, making sure to leave room for as much local culture and food as we could. And enjoying the most simple of things like sunsets and the more quiet parts of the beaches away from the $600 a night eco-chic hotels. 

Cenote Cristal was the cenote we decided to visit during our stay in Tulum. It isn’t the most popular of cenotes, but we realized we were biking in the opposite direction of the popular cenote, Cenote Dos Ojos, and just said F it, let’s check this one out. And turned out to be really lovely and spacious, and not too overcrowded at all. There was a fun wooden plank that made for the perfect jumping spot. We even got Natalie to jump in even though she is usually the scaredy cat of the group! After our long bike ride, this spot turned out to be the exact sort of break we needed. And we were refreshed to get back on our bikes again to explore the main part of town from there. 

Great stop for breakfast:

Burrito Amor
Av. Tulum S/N
77760 Tulum, Quintana Roo
The breakfast burrito with cheese and chard (Mexican version of spinach) . . . is one of the best things in the world! Note: make sure you know which hot sauce is which. It’s always the least expected one that is the most spicy!

Restaurant Tunich
Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila, Km. 5.5
77780 Tulum, Quintana Roo
This place is killer for fresh made smoothies and juices to start your mornings off right. The owner is Canadian and super friendly, and he adopted a stray kitten that was found hanging around. I had a veggie omelet and green juice here and it was super tasteful. 

Our next two nights were spent at a fabulous (and I cannot stress the word fabulous) Airbnb, one of the last 10% of Airbnbs available at the time. Tulum is in high season right now, people! The area was a bit off the beaten path, in a newly developed area of wonderfully architected condos, called Aldea Zama Artiacondos. We were super impressed by the service at our Airbnb, how peaceful and chic it was, and how accessible it was to all the parts of Tulum we wanted to see. We could get to everything by bike in less than 20 minutes max. Equipped with a little dip pool in the front, we felt right at home and so, so comfortable. We almost contemplated staying another night because it was so perfect. 

Other highlights of Tulum:

The vegetarian mushroom tacos at Papaya Playa Project. They were just snacks on the menu, but the serving size was a massive meal. We were so hungry and chowed down so hard, but they were the best vegetarian tacos ever made. Highly recommended!

Michaeladas and margaritas at The Beach Tulum Hotel. The white hammocks near the bar area is such a great lounge spot. And it’s never too crowded. Also, the swing chairs at the bar are super cute. This place is upscale for sure, but super laid back. Perfect for hanging out during the day for a drink. And the people working on the property are so, so welcoming. 

Early morning bike ride to the Tulum Mayan Ruins. But beware of tourists. We made the mistake of leaving an hour too late, and hit tourist central. The bad outfits and shoes made the experience of the Ruins far less elegant, but still the history and architecture and story behind this place is quite phenomenal. Plus the view of the beach from the cliffside is sooo picturesque on a sunny day. I made sure to keep on iguana watch. They are massive!! 

Our last two days in Mexico was spent at the Fairmont Mayakoba resort, which was part of our relaxation and TLC portion of our trip. The deep tissue massage that we were welcomed with was the biggest treat after all our long bike rides around Tulum. But what was special about this place in particular was the land that the property was built on, which is mostly limestone which has been eroded to expose cenotes, caves and underground rivers. The hotel made sure to craft this eroded limestone to keep the majority of the nature surrounding the hotel in tact, creating canals that run through the property so hotel stayers can be able to go around and see how nature takes its course all around them. The most important thing at Fairmont Mayakoba is balance. The land, the water, the animals that live on the property . . . all exist in balance with one another because of the careful care of the Fairmont staff. What a mind blowing thing to know, that in a place as fancy and fabulous  as this hotel, one can still be right in the middle of nature’s course, and actually be an important part of its sustainability cycle. The boat tour around the property was a mini biology class that opened my eyes up to the beauty of Mexico and its natural wonders. 

That’s about it for Tulum and Mayakoba for now, but definitely more pictures to come soon . . . Thanks to Teva for keeping our feet safe and ready to conquer each day. Styling our Tevas during our trip was the best way to be creative on the beach. Hope we inspire you to add Tevas to your upcoming spring and summer wardrobes. 

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