Experience: Shash Dine Eco Retreat

“Please be a traveler, not a tourist. Try new things, meet new people, and look beyond what’s right in front of you. Those are the keys to understanding this amazing world we live in.” Andrew Zimmern

One of our favorite things about traveling the world is the ability to see how others live. We specifically love AirBnB for that reason; staying with locals, drinking and eating with them, chatting over conversations in half languages. When we set our to explore more of our own backyard (read: America) we knew we had to learn how the rest of the country lives, taking a break from our city-dwelling lives. We stayed in a TeePee in the Texan desert, in an old-as-the-nation colonial inn, and now on a Navajo farm at the Shash Dine Eco Retreat.

What it lacks for in electricity and running water it makes up for in authenticity, great views, and a cozy abode. We arrived just before sunset (as directed) so we could get settled before the night engulfed us. Greeted by the friendliest group of Great Pyrenees and our host, Baya we were given a small tour of the land and area that would be our home for the night. The sun set quickly but luckily we came prepared with camping lights, and the hut we stayed in had a solar light as well as plenty of candles to create a warm ambiance for us to enjoy our dinner to. Guided by the soft lights around us we played a few games of crazy eights and eventually brought out our telescope to get a good look at the night sky. Being so far from civilization and light pollution we were able to see so many stars. Like really, more stars than we have ever seen, white milky way dust filtering the sky and draping us in the humbling experience of how small we are in this universe.

After a perfect night’s sleep we arose bright and early for a sunrise hike to the ridge at the edge of the property; from there we could see for miles and miles noticing Lake Powell, Horseshoe Bend, and the canyons that are an extension of the Grand Canyon. It was the perfect place to take it all in; made even more perfect when… Z proposed to me! (IKNOWRIGHT)

We hiked back to our hut where we were greeted with a homemade Navajo breakfast of blue corn porridge, honey, watermelon, and herbal tea. Taking in the traditions of another culture (even while starry-eyed and in engagement-shock) was a humbling experience. We loved looking around the hut with its brochures for Navajo adventures or art inspiring me for some Indian jewelry for myself.
Before jetting off for the day’s adventure we wandered around the farm, saying hello to our favorite white dogs, the horses and the sheep.

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Garden of Eden

White after Labor Day is a dated faux pas. With global warming and rising temps creating longer summers, what reason is there not to wear white after a specific date? But also, what type of modern world are we living in if there are still rules to be followed about how to dress? Err go, break the old timey rules and usher in the new era of fashion; anything goes and style is better than fashion.

Club Monaco blouse (get it here)
Vintage trousers (similar here, here, and here)
Lidia May Ronni bag (get yours here!)
photos by May of Lidia May
this post is in partnership with Lidia May Bags

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Whatever, As If

Don’t let the title fool you into thinking  this post is about anything boring.

What they say about the Zion National Park is true; it is awe-inspiring, breathtaking, humbling… it makes you feel small, makes you feel grateful for this life you’ve been given.

After our one night in Vegas we set out early for southern Utah’s big National Park. We had plans to do The Narrows hike (a deep, canyon hike through about a foot of water for 5 hours- fun!) but with threats of an incoming storm we were left to hike second best – Angel’s Landing. Before the rains started we were already well on our way to a gorgeous hike.

Whatevs shirt via Marshalls (similar here)
Zion National Park hat via Huckberry (gets yours here!)

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Desert Flower

My first trip to Utah was a beautiful one. Labor Day turned out to be the perfect time; still warm and sunny, bustling with people but still with the characteristic friendly and welcoming locals. Despite wearing my hiking gear for most days I still knew I wanted to shoot some pretty fall looks among the once in a lifetime scenery. From the red rocks and canyons to the prairie-like valleys, this setting made for a beautiful drive on our roadtrip.

For Love and Lemons dress (on sale here!) (similar here)
Thrifted booties (similar here)
H&M hat (here) (similar here)

Can’t wait to see more of my trip?

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Creature of Habit

You know when there’s that one piece of clothing; you already have like 5 things just like it but you go shopping and ask your significant other, do I need this? And they fully support you and say “yes, you will get so much wear out of it!”. That’s me and soft gray dresses. I have my favorite 3/4 sleeve by Banana Republic, my daily summer tank dress, my fall sweater dress… I have a ton of cozy gray dresses but still felt the need for another. Because what could be better than throwing on a short sleeved cotton swing dress for an easy outfit? Nothing. Nothing is better, or easier. Even better is how great this dress will be come fall! Since it’s so simple it will literally go with like half my closet of layers.

Current Elliot dress (get it here!)
BCBGeneration Sandals (last seen here)
Bag (old) (similar here, here)

What’s your go-to style that you can’t get enough of?

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Monthly Musings Vol. 5

North and south ... the SE1 steams along the Vietnam coast.

Welcome to another month of my favorite reads! I started August on the beach for a family vacation; now I’m starting September on the go again — this time on a last minute Labor Day Weekend trip to the Grand Canyon! Be sure to follow along on InstaGram and Snapchat and check back soon for my posts about it.

In the meantime, here’s my favorite reads of the month, from wanderlust evoking lists to career advice and style musings.

  1. Obviously, I love to travel and there’s something magical about a train journey; I’d totally take any one of these trains! 5 more things for the bucket list!
  2. The Olympics were this month and with America being a reigning champion in most events it’s clear that the Olympic Fever is going to stick around a little longer this year. And when your favorite athlete came from a background like this, well isn’t that just the American Dream?
  3. This read had me taking style Q’s from the kiddos and totally missing that NYC feeling. You know, that feeling where anything goes sartorially and where no one judges you for your self expression? Yea, I miss that.
  4. I gave up caffeine a few months ago now and can’t believe how energized I feel. If you’re thinking about taking the plunge too I suggest you start with this read!
  5. Looking ahead to fall style and starting to curate my wardrobe. I can’t wait for all velvet err’thing.
  6. Speaking of looking ahead (far ahead) I found this Money Diaries about wedding planning absolutely fascinating. I am already so stressed for that part of my future.
  7. What to do when pups can’t get adopted? YOU HAVE A SLEEPOVER! Ohemgee guys I squealed (and maybe pms-cried) over this adorable read! Good thing they don’t have that in DC yet or I’d be owning a farm!


Wishlisting: (1) Moody and Velvet, yes please! Perfect for late Autumn eves. (2) The best tee for  the adventurer’s soul is right here. (3) Maybe it’s my freezing office, maybe it’s the impending fall, but I really really want to wrap myself in a cozy bell sleeved sweater until forever. (4) Fall bootie goals include ankle height and embellished; so glam! (5) Keeping with fall, it’s going to be pants weather again and I’m definitely needing some frayed hem denim; this under $50 pair is PERFECT!

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Summer Tendrils

I can’t believe September is just a few days away! I’m holding on to all that summer has given us; warm sunshine, beautiful flowers, great people and friends. Flouncy dresses with bare shoulders, cute sandals, and colorful bags. I don’t want to let this magical season slip away!

Club Monaco dress (on sale here)
Rebecca Minkoff Espadrilles (get yours here!)
Lidia May Ronni Tote (shop it here)

photos by May of Lidia May

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An Ode to Fitness

I wouldn’t classify myself as ADD; I am a focused kind of person who [generally] follows through with plans. If I say I want to do something, you best believe I mean it 100% (unless I have a sly, toothy grin on myself which basically means sarcasm). But I’m also the kind of person who gets bored easily. I enjoy having plenty of projects on my plate, juggling them all with minimal time to spare. Idle hands are the devil’s workshop…or something like that. Going to the same workout class time and time again gets boring to me. If I reach my goals, or the top of the class, where else is there for me to go? What more is there for me to learn? If I’m not feeling the burn, what is the workout doing for me?

When ClassPass initially reached out to me I was ecstatic. I had recently moved and my favorite Yoga studio was no longer half a block away. I was already past my goals in it and ready to try something new. I spent my first month trying Pure Barre but alas, I was working 60 hour weeks and writing a blog and contributing to other websites. I hate to say it but the timing just wasn’t right for me to be adding a workout regimen to my life.

Fast forward a year and I’m in a new job; I’ve gained a solid 5-7lbs from sitting for hours a day (not to mention free food). I’ve mastered a schedule that works for me with blogging and my article submissions so it was time to start working out again; it was time to join ClassPass again. I try my ol’ Ashtanga yoga again, and love it. But such a specialized class only happens once a week and I’m not always free that hour. So I decide to try something new.

Vinyasa yoga has become a relaxing Sunday Morning pre-brunch treat (it’s also right above one of my favorite vegan barbecue brunches in DC) and a Hot Vinyasa class is a great way to start my morning on days I need to be to the office early (the scheduling works perfectly those days!). But yoga only gets my body so far. I try 9Round kickboxing; after my first class I felt like I was going to die but in such a good way- #burnssogood . Getting my heart rate up is something kind of enjoyable, in small spurts, I find, so let’s try this whole SoulCycle trend! I tried SoulCycle twice before deeming it just too much for me (though my BF is a huge fan).

Now y’all know I’m a little bit of a traveler. I didn’t want to lose my workouts when I’d be in a new place and again ClassPass to the rescue. By setting up my Flex Location I’m able to book classes where I’m going to be. Weekend in North Carolina? You betcha I’ll be hitting up Cat Tilt Studio. Weekend home to New York? The fun of seeing friends can’t stop me from checking in to The Monster Cycle. We’re even planning a trip to Toronto and I’m already excited to check out what Canadian ClassPass has to offer!

What’s your favorite way to work out? Have you thought about trying ClassPass?

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Fashion Must Have: The Mini Bag

One rising trend is the mini bag, and such a fun trend it is! With the release of a smaller iPhone we clearly all need smaller purses to carry it in. There’s options out there for every style and price point, as I’ve linked to below!

When styling such a small statement piece you want to play with proportion. Donning minimalist lines in oversized shapes will really make your bag pop.

Peggy Hartanto dress (get it here)(similar here)
Public Desire shoes (on sale here)(previously worn here)
Forever21 bag (get it here)(similar)(similar)(similar)

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Hot Harbor

You know when you have the perfect outfit planned to a T? The perfect blend of grunge, femininity, and pre-fall style. Ready to shoot in a great location (if you’re not a blogger then skip this part), and then Mother Nature comes a-calling.

We had plans to visit the National Aquarium with Tanvi and her husband; I knew I wanted to wear something cool and comfortable that could easily be worn through fall. I got dressed and then looked at the weather; with a heat index of 110 degrees I ditched my denim jacket and Adidas Stan Smiths in favor of easy breezy Birkenstocks. That being said, please go forth with this short but sweet outfit post and just imagine it with different shoes. I beg of you, do not think that I thought this worked other than for the sake of saving myself from potentially sweaty feet.

Banana Republic basic Tee (get it here)
Thrifted dress (similar here, here)
Birkenstock sandals (shop them in other colors here!)
Sunglasses via ShopDitto (rent yours here for $24 a month!)
Vintage bag
Safety Pin necklace by Nissa Jewelry

But I digress, despite my sartorial inner-fiasco it was an amazing day. You all know I’m a huge animal lover so being able to see these creatures, pet sting rays and jellyfish (!!), and ogle at sharks was a perfect day in my books!

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