Three Thrills by Thursday

While I absolutely adore traveling & celebrating so many awesome occasions with friends, not traveling this week has been pretty amazing. Now that my 2017 wedding season is over, I’ve been locking down some fun details for our own wedding! Instead of posting on #WeddingWednesday, I thought today’s post would be a little more wedding-centric.one.

While this is a little overdue & was mentioned last week. I found my wedding gown! While I had planned to shop in NYC, I scheduled an initial run while I was home in Cleveland & Brides By The Falls knocked it out of the park. While I won’t be sharing too many details on the blog until the big day, I’ll just say, it’s not at all what I expected but everything I ever wanted.

two.

I found this article about the Evolution of the Wedding Gown from Instyle. Turns out wedding gowns haven’t always been white!

three.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading about bridal traditions. While many aspects of our wedding will be traditional, we want to make sure every aspect feels very personal to Dave & I, for example, writing our own ceremony. This article about cultural traditions around the world is super interesting and makes me glad I’m not getting married in Jamaica!

bonus.

tomorrow, I’ll be sharing how I asked my bridesmaids to be a part of our wedding party! you don’t want to miss it!

Cheers

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Traveling Like a Pro

Traveling like a pro as actually a lot easier than it sounds. From my own experiences, I’ve compiled the list below that highlights a fewrules I follow when traveling to ensure my trip runs smoothly.

see? the first flight out can have it’s perks

Sign up to accrue airline miles. Even if you don’t exclusively fly the same airline every time, it’s a smart idea to signup every time you take a flight with a new airline. It’s free & a great way to get a free flight/ upgrade your seat.

Pack like a pro. Check out yesterday’s post on packing. No one likes to lug a heavy suitcase around.

First flight out. Many will fight me on this but it is my preference to always take an early flight out. Usually those flights have less of a chance of being delayed and if you happen to have a flight cancellation, it’s likely you’ll be able to jump on another flight later in the day.

Bottle of water + Snack. Whenever I travel, I usually keep at least one energy bar in my purse and one in my suitcase. Once I’m passed security, I always pick up a bottle of water. This stems from those horror stories I’ve heard about planes running out of water. I’ve thankfully never been on a flight like that, but it always eases my nerves knowing I have water & a snack, if needed.

Pre- TSA // Global Entry. If you travel a lot, I cannot express the need to have Pre-TSA & Global Entry enough. You don’t have to take anything out of your bag or remove your shoes to go through security. The application process was fairly simple. Fill out a form online & stop in for a quick interview. Again, American Express offers Pre-TSA as a cardholder perk.

Clean out your purse prior to takeoff. You don’t need those receipts or superfluous items in your bag. No one wants to be the one fishing through their bag at security looking for their ID.

Make yourself comfortable. If you’re gearing up for a long flight, donne a cute pair of leggings & cardigan. I love to swear a scarf or cozy wrap in case I get cold.

Airport Lounges. Check into what your airline or credit card may offer. I’m a Priority Pass holder which grants access to 1000 lounges worldwide. With American Express, I have access to Centurion Lounges, which always makes me get to the airport with plenty of time so I can relax prior to my flight.

via Centurion Lounge

Check your credit cards. As I’ve mentioned, Amex has a ton of great perks that go along with traveling but if you have an airline of preference, check into options with their credit cards. Often times, they’ll run specials such as gaining 60k miles when you spend so much in the first three months. Great option if you need to make a larger purchase, may as well gain those miles to use for flights! The credit card you already use may have great perks you’re unaware of.

Pack thoughtfully. This is a rule I swear by! Have you ever flown somewhere tropical in the dead of winter? When you land, your shorts and sundresses won’t save you from the cold. When I’m packing I’ll put anything I’ll need handy in the very top of my suitcase. Like a jacket or heavy sweater. That way, when I land, I can unzip the top and pull out my jacket or whatever I need. Quick & efficient when you don’t have to stop, unzip your entire suitcase and dig around.

What travel tips do you live by?

Cheers,

Packing Like a Pro

early morning flights require cozy jeans & a snuggly sweater

Over the past few years, my travel has increased quite a bit, which is perfectly ok with me. I love traveling and have learned there’s definitely an art in doing it well. For work or fun, I usually find myself on trips that last 3-5 days & if you can do it right, for that amount, you should never have to check a bag. See a few tips below for packing like a pro & ditching your checked luggage.

  1. Invest in good luggage. When I was shopping for a luggage set, there were a few specific things I was interested in. I wanted one piece to be suitable for carry on travel, I wanted it to be bright & recognizable ( ie: red) and I wanted to find a brand that was guaranteed (with warranty). I ended up with Victorinox which is ironically the brand my family of travelers has always used. These are other great brands that made the top of my list: Away (even charges your phone!) & Delsey.
  2. Make an itinerary/ packing list. If you have even a rough idea of what you’ll need to pack, it will eliminate most of the “just in case” outfits. For example, if you’re spending all day Saturday at a spa on your trip- no need to pack an outfit for Saturday during the day. If you know you’ll be outside in fall like temperature, pack a few items that can be layered.
  3. Channel the French. French women are notorious for keeping their chic closet’s tre simple with a few staple & iconic pieces. Pack simple pieces that transition from day to night, work well with other pieces you’re bringing or can be layered.
  4. Eliminate duplicates. If you’re staying in hotel, there’s a 99% chance you won’t need to pack your hair dryer (even though it pains me to leave my Drybar babe). Staying with your bestie for the weekend? She probably has a straightener/ curling iron and most of your shower essentials.
  5. Wear your largest pieces. If I’m packing my favorite wedges for the weekend, I’ll wear them to travel in. Winter coat? Carry it on with you. It could get chilly on the plane & if not, you can always stow in the overhead compartment. Taking your largest pieces out of your bag saves so much space for other necessities.
  6. Roll whatever clothing you can. I always roll my jeans, pajamas, cotton dresses anything that won’t wrinkle too badly, I find this to be a major space saver.
  7. Combine handbags. When carrying on a rolling bag, you’re still allotted one personal item. In this scenario, I usually pack a smaller purse and carry on a tote wth my purse inside + my book, iPad. For example, this past weekend, I took this tote as my “purse” but packed two smaller clutches for nights out.
  8. An extra bag. If I’m worried about purchases I’ll be making or know I may have a fuller bag on my return trip, I’ll pack a bag like this Lilly Pulitzer one. Folds completely flat & fits in those skinny front pockets. You can always pull that out, throw in your purse and a few other items and count it as your person item.
  9. Check the weather. Takes two seconds on your phone to know what Mother Nature will be up to at your destination. If you’re heading to a tropical beach vacation, you probably don’t need to pack more than one sweater or sweatshirt.
  10. Keep your toiletries bag packed & ready to go. If you’re carrying on, you know you have to keep your liquids small. I keep a toiletries bag ready & stocked to avoid any late runs to the CVS travel section. That way I never need to worry about what I have & can throw it in my bag the night before.

Hope this helps next time you find yourself packing up for a getaway!

Cheers

Friday: Busy Life Update

Happy Friday! So I haven’t fallen off the face of the planet..though it feels that way. The past two weeks have been absolute, yet perfect, chaos.

Two weeks ago kicked off the beginning of what we’ll refer to as “wedding season.” I use quotations because this year, my wedding season consists of four weddings, in three weeks. For me, all of which have been in Ohio (yay home!)

Marcella, my little in Kappa Alpha Theta & one of my dearest friends, was the first to kick off these wedding festivities with her now husband, Dan. Their wedding was absolutely stunning as all of us twelve bridesmaids wore gold Amsale gowns with hues of purples in our bouquet, groomsmen’s vests and reception colors.

 

<gorgeous suspended floral arrangement by HeatherLily>

Last weekend Dave & I had to divide and conquer two weddings. Dave attended our friends, John & Ashley’s wedding in beautiful Greenwich, Connecticut while I flew to Akron to be the Maid of Honor in Alex’s wedding. Alex & her husband Brandon said their I Do’s in the most beautiful church in downtown Akron, St. Bernards & at their reception, the dance floor kept going even after the music had stopped. What a celebration! I was even able to surprise her when my MOH speech ended with an Ice, Ice Baby personalized rap. Her face was TOTALLY worth it.

After Al’s wedding, I flew to LA for a quick work trip but managed to squeeze in a little “me” time. More to come on that next week. On the wedding front, I’m so happy to say everything is moving along swimmingly. I even found my wedding dress! It’s so true what they say, “when you know, you know.” I couldn’t have been happier to work with the lovely ladies of Brides by the Falls.

To wrap up wedding season, for my third and final wedding, I’m flying to Columbus this morning to celebrate my friend, Lauren, who I met dancing with Ashland Regional Ballet. Over the years, I’ve seen her in a lot of tutus but I cannot wait to see her in a wedding gown!

Lots of great travel content coming your way next week!

Cheers

Chicago Bachelorette

Last weekend was one of my very best friend’s bachelorette in Chicago. Planning a bachelorette in Chicago is similar to planning a bachelorette in NYC, there are SO many good places to go with such little time. Here are a few places we popped into this past weekend…

Friday

We stayed right on Michigan Ave so we popped into Eataly for a quick lunch & did a little shopping. We of course could visit Chicago without getting the bride some deep dish at Giordano’s before heading over to Second City to start off the night with a few laughs. I highly recommend almost any show at Second City, they have trained some of the most highly regarded comics. Later that night, we sang our hearts out at Howl at the Moon and shimmied down to Three Dots & A Dash to end the night.

Saturday

Kicked off the morning at Summer House which is a bright instagrammable little spot with incredible brunch. After, we took a nice walk to the beach & caught some sun on what may have been the most perfect beach day. Since we knew we’d have a late dinner, we grabbed some small bites at Pierrot Gourmet and sips at 3 Arts Cafe (inside Restoration Hardware) before heading to Polish & Pour for manis & prosecco! We played some hilarious games as we got ready for dinner at Girl & The Goat– which was absolutely delicious. The escargot ravioli was my favorite. Perhaps the highlight of the entire weekend was dancing the night away at Celeste’s Disco.

Sunday

After groggily waking up just hours after we had fallen into bed, we walked down to Beatrix for some nourishment. Everything from the lemon pancakes to the chilaquiles are delicious and sure to kick any hangover.

So hard to squeeze in all my Chicago favs in one weekend, I’m looking forward to another trip this fall!

Cheers,

Major Life Updates

June was quite a month for me.

I celebrated my twenty- eighth birthday just a day after my last post with a fun night out starting at one of my favorite restaurants in NYC, When We Were Young. The food, cocktails & company couldn’t be topped. Their signature drink, the While We Were Young, is as beautiful as it delicious.

I wore my favorite summer romper from Express.

A few days after my birthday, I started a new job that allows me to pursue my passions inside & outside the office. That being said, I’m happy to have some time back to keep content flowing across the pages of Bliss & Bellinis. Leaving my old job wasn’t the easiest. I enjoyed my clients, my boss & the people I worked with but job-wise, sometimes you have to look beyond the here & now and set yourself up to work in a space that you’re truly passionate about.

A few weeks after that, Dave & I headed home to Cleveland to celebrate my birthday with my best friends & family. Unbeknownst to me, Dave had bigger plans. While in Cleveland, Dave proposed at my very favorite place in the world and coincidentally where we had our first date, The Cleveland Museum of Art.

After a big glass of champagne, we went to meet up with my parents to celebrate. To my surprise, Dave, and our families, had arranged a surprise engagement party at my parent’s home with our closest friends and family… which all kicked off with what else but a bellini toast. I’m not afraid to admit it but I think my summer peaked early this year. Needless to say, I’m 100% OK with it.

In my downtime, I’ve been trying to spend as much time as I can at the club or on a sailboat, which was a perfect way to welcome the summer solstice.

As well as gallivanting around the city a little bit, too. Smorgasburg is one of my favorite activities. Recently, I FINALLY got to try the infamous Ramen Burger— which totally lived up to it’s reputation. Delicious. 

Trying to soak in as much East Coast sun as I can but I have a lot of upcoming travel to look forward to. On a totally unrelated note, is everyone gearing up for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale? I am counting down the days!

Cheers!

Viñales Itinerary

My excursion to Viñales was one for the books. Viñales was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site and is almost completely undisturbed beyond the city limits. Knowing there were so many activities we wanted to accomplish, we booked a private tour with Discover Viñales Tour Company. We were picked up by our driver early in the morning in Havana and departed for our two hour drive. Once in Viñales, we picked up our guide, Yaniel and headed toward the Indian Caves. We walked through the caves to the boat that guided us through the remaining cave. 

After the caves, we headed toward a tobacco field, sorting house and paid a visit to Rene, an expert tobacco farmers who’s been rolling organic cigars for over 50 years!

After the tobacco field tour, we had lunch at an organic farm overlooking the most picturesque valley. The meal was the freshest meal I’ve ever had, as we walked up the to the restaurant, we saw farmers pulling fresh vegetables from the ground. Talk about farm to table.

the view wasn’t too bad either

After lunch we visited the prehistoric mural and rode horses through the Silent Valley. 

I can’t recommend visiting Viñales enough and booking a tour with Yaniel through Discover Vinales. This city is the most undisturbed, beautiful area I’ve ever seen.

Cheers,