Saturday, January 11, 2020

Everything You Need to Know About NYE in Venice!

Venice is a crowd favorite for NYE fireworks in Europe and the show is definitely something to see. But it will take some planning if you're thinking of heading to the famous floating city for New Years. I spent NYE in Venice this year and after getting a great view of the fireworks and experiencing some amazing sights in the city I have put together my comprehensive guide for 3 days in Venice during NYE! I found some great information about attractions and top sightseeing spots in my DK travel guide "Top Ten European Cities".  I would definitely recommend this small and easy book for anyone planning to see multiple cities in Europe on the same trip! It makes information so easy to find in a pinch! 

Day 1
On my first day in the city I flew in and took an airport shuttle to the island. I then had to take a water taxi to my hotel near Basilica Saint Marco. The water taxi can definitely be expensive but it also doubles as a fun tour of the city! I arrived on the 30th the day before the fireworks. I checked into my hotel and then headed out to find some lunch because I love Italian food! I found pizza, pasta, and cannolies at a great restaurant right outside my hotel. Then I headed out to explore the city a bit. I walked down to St. Mark's square where the palace des Dosges and the basilica are located. I decided to visit the palace since the church was already closed in the evening. The palace stays open until 7pm and offers self guided tours where you can see the different room where the Venetian government operated. 

Day 2
On my second day I decided to get up early and take a water bus to the famous isalnd of Murano, where the glass museum is located. The waterbus is much cheaper than the taxi boats but it takes about an hour to get all the way to Murano. I spent a few hours on the small island and went to the glass museum which was open on NYE until 5pm! The palace and Basilica were also open on the 31st. The glass museum was definitely worth the trip and has amazing historical works of art made from glass dating back centuries. It also shows the process used to make Venetian glass which was super interesting to see! 
After returning to town I grabbed lunch at another amazing restaurant and then headed back to my hotel to get ready for dinner and the fireworks show. The fireworks don't start until 11:30pm but people usually start lining up around 10:30 or so. In Italy NYE is celebrated with a big feast and many restaurants will offer a special pre set menu with an array of gourmet options. However the price can range from 80-250 euros a plate and if you're planning on a big dinner you should definitely book in advance. If you're doing a more last minute trip like I was don't worry though! There are still many restaurants that have regular seating and plenty of space on NYE. I ended up at a cute little bistro situated right on the canal and ate a delicious plate of cheese raviolis while looking out at the water. I would recommend starting dinner around 7pm so that you have plenty of time to eat before making your way over to the square for fireworks. After dinner I wandered around and looked in a few boutiques for a bit before heading to the square. There was still plenty of space when I arrived. Venice gets pretty cold at night in January so depending on how good of a spot you want you may have to be prepared with warm clothes to stand outside for an hour before the fireworks actually start. 

Day 3
On my last full day in the city I decided to see the Basilica and checked out the major shopping streets in the city to do my souvenir shopping. Most of the major attractions are closed on New Years Day but the Basilica is still open. I even tried "Pasta to Go" and wandered along the canals eating my freshly made spaghetti from a carton. The trip was definitely a success and I found the city to be cery walkable which I enjoyed. Thanks for reading! 
Felice Anno Nuovo! 

Friday, January 3, 2020

Paris Travel Blog: Feminist Style in France

This Christmas I spent a week in Paris. The french capital city and the European capital of fashion, was full of unrest as French citizens have been organizing a massive strike throughout the month of December and at 30 days and counting this is the longest and most widespread strike in the history of France.
The beautiful boulevards were lit with sparkling lights and Christmas decorations adorned cafes and shop windows on the fashionable avenues around the city. I loved wandering through the old city streets and discovering new cafes and boutiques. I also made sure to stop by the many art museums including the Louvre and Musee Rodin. Since there were no metros and few city busses running due to the strike I had to Uber or walk everywhere. As I criss crossed the city going from the fashionable Saint Germain district to the historical Marais and all the way up to the bohemian Montmartre quarter I made sure to check out the styles in store windows as well as street fashions of the famously chic Parisian women. After a week in the city I started to notice a few trends.
One morning I was feeling particularly Parisian, and as I sat in my hotel lobby sipping a cafe au lait and reading my morning paper "Le Parisian" I spotted an article titled "Top words from 2019". The article covered words that represented the major events of the year and one in particular stood out to me "femicide" was listed in the article and defined as a form of gender based violence that has been on the rise around the world. The article stated that the word had been officially added to the French lexicon by the Academie Francaise (the regulating body that is in charge of the French language in France) this year. The article talked about the importance of giving a vocabulary to this discussion so that the problems can be named.
French feminism has always been a unique movement, and American feminists were often thought to be too severe in their attitudes and styles when it comes to the fight for social equality. But in recent years France has had to pass several laws criminalizing street harassment and cat calling because the problem has become so severe. In 2016 Maria Grazia Chiuri, the first female to be named Art Director of the famous and historical French fashion house Dior, made a statement in her runway debut with her "We should all be feminists" t-shirt.
The show coincided with the #metoo movement that swept across Twitter where women from around the world shared their stories of sexual harassment and assault.
The shirt became a cultural icon and was the most instagrammed moment of the show that season. Since then it's been spotted on several celebrities and social media stars in France and around the world and the message is clear. Feminism is not a bad word and it can take many forms.
On December 12th the #jaieteviolee hashtag was trending on Twitter in France where many women lamented the low conviction rate for perpetrators of sexual assault in France.
In Paris as the decade comes to a close the style on the street seemed to reflect this new attitude.The ever trendy young women of France have adopted the 90s grunge trend that has made a revival in the fashion world in recent years. They sport cargo pants or high waisted jeans and boots, and accessorize with heavy metal on belts and jewelry. Their fashion is on trend but even more than that it makes a statement. These women are going into the new decade with their eyes wide open. They know they will need to fight for their place and they are giving a voice to the struggle with their fashion statements.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

The Ultimate GiftGuide for the Travel Savvy Gal in Your Life!

This year is all about travel for me and I'm making it a mission to visit as many places as possible during my around the world adventure! In honor of all these travels I have decided to create a travel themed gift guide that includes all of my favorite travel products that are essential for a girl on the go!

1. Holland Valley Coffee
Every travel lover knows that between planes, trains, and long drives you're not getting much sleep on travel days no matter how comfortable the seats promise to be! That's why I love Holland Valley coffee because it is 50 percent stronger than other brands and makes waking up early after a long day of traveling that much easier!

2. Boscia Skincare Clear skin Mist
This refreshing mist is something I never leave home without because traveling can be really hard on your skin leaving it dry and tired! The clear skin mist is easy to spray on night or day and helps to keep any blemishes from cropping up as well as gives your skin a refreshing glow while you're on the go!

3. Joico Blondelife Shampoo and Conditioner
The Joico Blonde life haircare set is my favorite travel hair product because it always leaves my hair looking shiny, smooth, and easy to style!

4. Shiseido Under Eye Cream
This Shiseido under eye cream is a travel essential for me. I apply it day and night as part of my skincare routine no matter where I am because it keeps my eyes looking fresh the next morning and throughout the day no matter how little sleep I get! It reduces puffiness, under eye bags, and works to prevent wrinkles as well!

5. Boscia Skincare Konjac cleansing sponge
This facial cleansing sponge from Boscia is the perfect travel companion to make washing your face easy and fast. It doesn't require any additional soap because the natural cleansing ingredients are already infused in the sponge! Just wet it down, wash, and go!

6. Kollectin Jewelry Statement Pieces
My Kollectin jewelry statement pieces are a travel essential for me because they easily glam up any outfit and give me the option to change up my look without packing too many clothes! Adding a statement necklace or a set of bracelets can change my whole look so no one notices I'm wearing the same thing twice in one week! Of course that leaves more room in my suitcase for shoes which I always tend to overpack on! You can check out my current pieces available in my Kollectin boutique on the app now!

Check out any of these products and trust me your jet setting friends will love you forever after finding one of these items in their stocking this year! Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Meet Olivia Ooms the New Face of California Country

The California Country music scene has always been unique and Olivia Ooms is the singer who's decided to take the beach lifestyle to Nashville! With her latest hit "California Country" and her powerful vocals she is making a name for herself as a star on the rise. I got to speak with the singer about her inspirations, career, and her latest exciting news!
This girl really represents the best of both worlds bringing her California flare and love of classic country together to make her universally appealing hits. 
 While California has always been a popular destination for country artists to perform and inspires many household names, Ooms brings a personal touch to her music video shot in her hometown of Huntington Beach and up and down the California coast. She talked about the process for filming the video saying, "We knew the vibe we wanted to go with." She even told me one scene was shot at the cafe where she used to work. She also brought along her friends to film with her giving the music video an even more authentic California vibe. 
Ooms is set to perform at the annual California Country Christmas celebration at the Anaheim House of Blues this year on Wednesday December 18th. She told me she was very excited for the performance since the theme was 90s country music. This will be her second time performing at the annual event and this year several other up and coming names are on the line up including Honey County the band that made their breakout performance at Stagecoach this year. 
We also talked about some of Ooms's favorite musical inspirations which include Kacey Musgraves and Old Dominion. 
Ooms was excited about her many upcoming performances and we talked about her style and favorite things to wear on stage. 
She told me, "I'm always changing it up but I would describe my style as edgy. I wear lots of long skirts and flowy styles. I like a lot of variety because what I wear really depends on my mood. My everyday style includes lots of jeans and black boots." 
She added, "I would always wear my silver cross necklace on stage but recently it broke so I'm looking for a new one." 
So what's next for the breakout singer? She's just released a new song called "baggage" and revealed some really exciting news about her latest plans. 
She told me, "I'm moving to Nashville in 2020 so I'm really excited for that and to take the next step in my career." 
I talked with the singer about how she felt about the move and she said, "Huntington Beach turned me into the person I am today." 
We talked about her music and what inspired her the most and she said, "I tend to write a lot of emotional songs but California Country was different. I want to brand myself. I ended up writing it in my publicist's basement one night in 30 minutes it just came to me." 
Ooms is inspired to keep pursuing her dreams as a female artist in the country music industry. She told me, "There is definitely a lack of female representation on country radio and streaming services. It's incredible to see what's happening right now with the female singers. We work just as hard so it's great to see what's happening right now." 
I can't wait to see what happens in Nashville for this California country girl! 

Sunday, December 8, 2019

My 7 Day Travel Guide to Scotland

Scotland is a must see destination in Europe but the rugged northern countryside and spread out tourist attractions can make it difficult for newcomers to plan their trips. I knew Scotland was on my bucket list so that's why I decided to use the DK travel guide to plan my trip and fit in as much as possible during my week in the land of plaid!

Day 1

I arrived at the Edinburgh airport where I rented a car and drove the hour trip to my resort in the Trossachs national park. This beautiful resort was the perfect base for my stay because it is very central to lots of tourist attractions including castles, hikes, and cities. Plus, it is surrounded by the natural beauty of Loch Ard which is literally right across the street! 

Day 2

I headed up into the highlands out to my first castle which I found thanks to my travel guide. The Kilchurn castle in Kinlochard is an amazing place to visit if you are looking to get some views of the highlands without going too far off the beaten path. It was about a two hour drive from my resort and we had stunning views of the castle, mountains and loch in the background on the sunny day. The castle has all kinds of interesting history dating back to Medieval times that you can learn about on your visit!
Pro Tip: You do have to walk along a muddy path to actually get up close to the castle so remember to wear comfortable shoes! 

Day 3

I woke up early and headed out to Glasgow for the day. Instead of driving all the way to the city the locals suggested we drive to Stirling and take the train in to avoid the hassle of parking. This definitely worked out well since driving on the wrong side of the road was already tricky enough! Some of my favorite spots in Glasgow included the University Cloisters, the National Gallery of Art, and the Hidden Lane tea room! The hidden lane tea room is the perfect spot for lunch to get the true Glasgow experience. It is nestled away down a hidden lane in the city that opens up into a colorful courtyard where the tea room is located. They offer scones, flavored tea, and finger sandwhiches!

Day 4

After a busy day in the city I took a break and decided to explore some of the local hikes around the Trossachs as well as check out Loch Ard. I started my day off with a kyaking adventure to Eilean Dorn which is a small island in the middle of Loch Ard. The kayaking trip took about an hour altogether but the views from the island were amazing! In the afternoon I headed out to the Queen Victoria Park which has several easy hikes to explore the natural beauty of the Trossachs. I spent about an hour exploring the park and even hiked to a waterfall! 

Day 5

Edinburgh is definitely a can't miss stop in Scotland. I spent the whole day in the city and took a bus tour of all the highlights. The castle is one of the most amazing sights in the city and the neighborhood surrounding it is full of fun shops and restaurants to explore! I got a delicious dinner at the Castle at Arms pub before heading back to the train station. It was really hard to see everything in just one day and I will definitely be coming back to this fun city to see more!

Day 6

Aberfoyle is the cutest little Scottish village and is right next to the MacDonald Forrest Hills resort. I decided to take a day to explore the town and found out some really interesting facts! First I headed out to the Aberfoyle golf course and got some practice in since I couldn't visit Scotland without getting some golf in! The course is beautiful and was very quiet during the week so I had a great time! Then I headed back into town and stopped at Maggie's kitchen for a snack. They serve the most delicious scones with fresh cream as well as cookies and cupcakes! I met a local craft lady selling home made fairy figurines who told me about the legend of the fairy tree which is said to be located right in the woods outside the village! She gave me the directions for the hike you can take to the fairy tree and so I headed off to see it for myself! And there is an old oak in the woods decorated with ribbons and notes that people have left over the years! After that, I also stopped into the wool center where they have real live sheep and every kind of wool product you can imagine! It was definitely a nice day exploring the local sights!

Day 7

My DK travel tote with my Scotland guide inside! 

On my last day at the resort I planned to head to the famous Glen coe in the highlands for more hiking and amazing views. I got lucky and had great weather and didn't even need my jacket! It was about a 3 hour drive to Glencoe where we stopped into the visitors center to get a map guide of the best hiking spots. There are also some great views from the visitor center of the "three sisters" which are the three mountains in the glen. I decided to hike the devil's staircase which is about a two hour long hike in total along a narrow winding path up to the top of a hill with amazing views of the whole valley. I would definitely recommend this hike even for beginners as long as you are in shape!

Friday, October 18, 2019

Festival Update: Temecula Road Releases New Music and Plans Return to Stagecoach

Rising country music band Temecula Road has been busy working on their latest music since I last interviewed them at Stagecoach 2018 but they are back in a big way! The band has released 3 new songs this year and just debuted "Maybe Not" while their other two tracks have been rising to the top of the charts on Radio Disney Country. I am so excited to hear their latest music written by Dawson Anderson and produced by industry expert Andrew DeRoberts who's also worked with the Eli Young Band, Kip Moore and others. 

The band is so excited to release "Maybe Not" and shared their take on the newest hit.
“This song was actually written as a ballad, but after playing it on the road for over a year it took on a new life as a fun, flirty more up-tempo love song,” says Emma Salute. “If you had to describe it using only one emoji, it’d definitely be the winky face 😉,” says Maddie Salute. “It’s been one of our favorites for a long time and were really excited to share it with the world! It’s a new side of Temecula Road you haven’t heard yet,” says Dawson Anderson.

The band will be returning to the Stagecoach festival where they made a huge hit two years ago at California's largest country music festival. Stagecoach is a special venue for the band since they are native to the west coast. I can't wait to see the band's new music at the festival and catch up with them to hear about what they've been up to! 

Monday, September 30, 2019

The Ultimate London Beauty Experience: My Tilbury Transformation in Covent Garden

During my stay in London I made sure to hit all the most fashionable tourist spots because I didn't want to miss that famous London High Street look!
I also made a special stop at the famous Covent Gardens which is a market in London that's popular with many local fashion bloggers and full of chic stores and cute photo ops! I was invited to get my Tilbury Transformation at the Charlotte Tilbury London store in Covent Gardens and couldn't wait to check out the location! I already covered the opening of Charlotte Tilbury's very first LA store at the Grove this summer and was so excited to see what the original London boutique had in store for me! When I arrived at the shop I headed downstairs to the very royal looking beauty lounge and checked in for my make up appointment. My artist Billie was so friendly and helped me take some before and after pictures for you guys so you can see my transformation!

She started with the skincare routine to give my face a natural glow and then applied the new airbrush foundation that I have been dying to try! The foundation was super light but gave great coverage and stayed on all day! After finishing with my face she started working on my eyes and even let me try the brand new Starry Eyes pallette along with the Rose Gold cream eyeshadow.

 I love the Rose Gold cream color because it easily blends into the skin and stays shimmery all day long!

Finally we finished my look with a pop of color to match my outfit. This lipstick color is called "The Queen" and I am in love with this bright and bold shade! It matched my dress perfectly and definitely has a royal and sophisticated tone to it making it different from a traditional bright pink lip. Check out the amazing results below! I headed off to my afternoon tea looking and feeling very posh as the brits would say! I would definitely recommend stopping by the store for fans of the brand! I scheduled my transformation for right before my Pret a Portea reservation at the Berkeley hotel and I can definitely say that getting my makeup done by a Tilbury expert really made a difference! It saved me so much time and hassle getting ready and came out way better than anything I could've done at my hotel so I would definitely recommend making an appointment if you are on the go!

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Simply OC returns to Fashion Island with an Amazing line up of guest speakers

This year the annual Simply Fashion conference returned to Fashion Island with an amazing line up of experts across the fashion, beauty, and lifestyle spaces. The weekend kicked off with a fashion panel including Content Creator Cassydy Berliner, jewelry designer Gorjana Reidel, TV star Courtney Kerr, celebrity stylist Lo VonRumpf, designer Lindsay Albanese and TV personality Carly Steel. They talked about the latest industry trends and shared their advice with the audience. Next up was the beauty panel with appearances from blogger Christine Kong, TV star Courtney Kerr, celebrity makeup artist Joyce Bonelli, Founder of O Cosmetiques Olia Majd and Founder of GlowTopia Diana Madison. They shared some amazing make up tips! Finally the night ended with a digital marketing panel from .experts Glee Star Becca Tobin, Founder of Planoly Brandy Pham, Content Creator Quigley, model Rocky Barnes and Founder of Elevate My Brand Laurel Wintz. The audience got a special treat with the closing speech by Ashlee Simpson Ross who shared all about her take on fashion, fall and more! It was a great event filled with fun, networking, and expert advice! Not to mention all the great fashions! 

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The Ultimate Wellness Party Hosted by Completely Bare in Beverly Hills

The Completely Bare SummerHouse threw the ultimate weekend pool party high above Los Angeles on the hills of Mulholland Drive last weekend where I got to experience a full day of self care and wellness with a little partying mixed in too! The amazing day started off at the gorgeous BH mansion filled with fun photo ops perfect for showing off the priceless view from the house.

First, I got to take an exclusive yoga class focused on meditation techniques for self-empowerment and I even learned some new moves I can't wait to bring into my own practice.
Then after getting relaxed and centered the party continued with massages, brunch, and vitamin therapy provided by IV drip. I enjoyed the amazing lunch prepared by gourmet Chef Burke while lounging by the pool.
Photo Courtesy of Innovative PR
 I of course brought my swimsuit and took a dip to cool off before heading back to the festivities. It truly was a taste of the good life! The day continued with tunes from the DJ and celebrity guests such as Catt Sadler started to arrive for the afternoon panel. Guests enjoyed waxing and beauty treatments compliments of Completely Bare and we even got to make homemade lip scrubs with NCLA beauty! Mine was pink of course! 

The panel started at 3:30 and included Girlbosses from all areas of the entertainment industry who came to discuss cancel culture and give tips to aspiring content creators! Lily, Completely Bare’s marketing director, Amrit, an immensely successful self-made DJ and CEO, as well as podcast host, YouTuber and influencer Diana Madison and Claire of EQT music who organizes concerts and works with up and coming musicians. 
The panel was so inspiring filled with great career advice from women who weren't afraid to break the mold and are now ready to help the next generation of leaders. My favorite thing about the panel was how all of these women wanted to support up and comers and each of them spoke about the importance of sharing knowledge and advice with the next generation. The overall message seemed to be that when women stick together we are unstoppable! 
After hearing all the great advice and discussion about the latest marketing trends in the entertainment and influencer world I enjoyed the delicious bites and refreshments courtesy of chef Royce Burke, and H2Rose, Three Olives Vodka, Eric Philippe Champagne, and Gray Whale Gin
Photo Courtesy of Innovative PR
The night wrapped up with a glamorous sunset view and gift bags filled with goodies from Completely Bare!
 I am currently loving my on the go wax strips from Completely Bare that I can literally use anywhere! Check out my outfit details from the glam event below! 

Monday, August 19, 2019

My New Skincare Routine: How to Take Care of your Skin Using Cruelty Free and Natural Products

Skincare is so important and using the right products can really make a difference in your beauty routine as well! A great makeup routine starts with great skin and that is why I am loving the new line of Boscia skincare products. I discovered this cruelty free all natural brand at Beautycon LA this year and have been loving their line of cleansers, moisturizers, face masks, and more! I love that I can get that healthy glow after giving my skin a refresh with one of the charcoal purifying masks plus my make up goes on so much easier now too! I am breaking down my daily routine here and talking about my favorite products from the line!

Step 1

For my nighttime routine I start with the cleansing duo. I use the makeup breakup cleanser to wash off all the day's makeup and then I do a deep cleanse with the purifying cleansing gel leaving my skin feeling fresh and super clean!

Step 2

Then I like to finish off my night by applying the Clear Complexion moisturizer which I love because I can leave it on all night to work while I sleep and it renews my skin without causing acne so I wake up to a clear complexion!

Step 3

Finally I mist myself with the rose mist and witch hazel facial spray so I am all relaxed before going to sleep. It really makes me feel pampered even in my everyday routine!

Step 4

For my daytime routine I wear the Chia Seed moisturizer every morning to keep my skin hydrated and happy. I love starting the day off with moisturizer because it adds an extra glow to my complexion before applying my make up and works all day to keep my skin from drying out!

Step 5

I finish by applying the BB cream with spf 30 in the color Venice for my daily makeup. The cream rubs in to match my skintone perfectly and I absolutely LOVE that it has sunscreen included in the formula. It makes it so easy to take care of my skin and protect myself from the sun without adding an extra step to my routine!

Step 6

On days where I feel like my skin needs a little extra pampering I like to use the Mermaid Cryosea peel off mask which always leaves my skin feeling refreshed and renewed. I love pampering myself for 20 minutes with this mask just to feel relaxed sometimes!

If you are looking for some new products I would definitely recommend trying the Boscia line because the clean beauty and natural preservatives really make a difference in keeping your skin healthy! What does your skincare routine look like? Let me know in the comments below!