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Quick Shop Guide: My Universal Studios Trip Must Haves

25 May

My last post on our Universal Studio’s Orlando trip pretty much just covered all the fun we got ourselves into on the trip (find it here). I also wanted to throw together some of those items that made my life so much easier… which brings me to this quick shop guide. This can work for a theme park trip of your own, or really any sort of travel where you will be doing a bunch of walking and don’t want to haul a bunch of crap.

#1 Comfy Shoes
Duh. Right? Obviously if you are going to be running around all day long you are going to need comfortable shoes to get through the day. Everyone has their own comfort level though… so here is what worked for me:

Source: DSW.com

 

For water ride days: Skechers Reggae Haystack Sport Sandal, $40
I’ve had a pair of Tevas for more than 20 years and was planning to take them with me…but I couldn’t find them when I was packing. So, I made a quick trip to DSW and grabbed this exact pair of ‘sport sandals’ for $40. I was nervous breaking them in on days where I’d be walking 7 – 10 miles, but they were GREAT and super comfortable to wear. They also had a little arch support because the foot bed had a ‘flexible and shock absorbing rubber traction sole’. All in all, I was very happy with both the price point and the comfort of these.

For regular days: Toms Classic Slip-On, $30
I have a bunch of pairs of Toms, so I brought some with me knowing that I’d probably end up ruining them. They actually still looked great at the end of the week, so a big win for Toms! I find Tom’s classic slip-on’s very comfy, but they don’t offer a ton of support if you need it. I like how they look good with skirts, dresses, shorts and jeans and are super lightweight and breathable. If you are new to Toms, I suggest going by Nordstrom Rack and picking a cheap pair instead of buying them full price elsewhere.

#2 A Smaller Purse Situation
Running around the park, I wanted to be as hands-free as possible but still needed to carry around a few things. On water ride days, I left my cellphone in the room (which is why I don’t have any pictures) and used just a fanny pack. On regular days, I used a little cross-body bag that fit my iPhone, chapstick, SPF and my mini wallet. Our travel agent provided us with our lanyards, which we used for our room key, park ticket and express passes.

Source: fitletic.com

 

Fanny Pack: Fitletic Bold Runners Pouch, $27
I bought a fitletic running belt years ago and use it to hold my phone, license and keys when I go out for runs. It’s great because it is waterproof, comfortable and kind of cute. If I were buying one specifically for the theme parks, I would chose a larger version like the one I linked to. It’s $27 and has two pouches to separate your phone from your other stuff. Genius!

Cross-Body Purse: Cross-Body Bag with Tassel from Amazon, $21.95
I bought mine at South Moon Under last fall and use it ALL THE TIME. Mine is no longer in stock, but I found a cool one on Amazon for $22 that comes in 6 different colors.

Source: Amazon.com

 

Mini Wallet: MEKU wallet, $9
In order to pare down my stuff enough to fit it into a fanny pack or mini cross-body bag, I had to take my wallet down to the bare basics. This mini wallet is perfect for traveling and I’ve had it for over a year now. It’s only $9 and totally worth it!

#3 FREE Water All Day, Every Day

Source: Amazon.com

 

Water Bottle: Brita Sport Water Filter Bottle, $7
When you are running around a theme park all day in 90 degree heat, you need to be sure to keep yourself hydrated. Universal Studios sells cups that you can use to refill sodas all day, but we were trying to keep the calories under control. I’d much rather splurge on a marshmallow milkshake than soda all day! You can buy bottled water, but that also adds up when you have three thirsty people walking in the heat. I’ve had this Brita Sport Water Filter bottle for a few years and it’s great. It filters the water for you and also has a hook where you can attach a carabineer (to then hook on your husband’s belt loop…). Everywhere in the park will give you free ice and water, so we kept hydrated for a grand total of $0.

Disclaimer: This post contains ShopStyle and Amazon affiliate links. This means that clicking on a link may help me earn a small commission at no cost to you.

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Brit + Co x Target: Metal Stamp a Necklace Kit

16 May

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ve heard me talk about Brit + Co before. I was a part of the Brit + Co-Op when they had one and also had the opportunity to meet Brit herself a few years ago.

When I saw the Brit + Co was partnering with Target to launch a line of craft kits, I was super excited. I love how the company makes cool craft sets for grownups and couldn’t wait to see what kinds of kits they would offer. I reached out to Brit and she was nice enough to send me one to try:

That’s right, they sent it over with cute little puff-balls inside. Adorable!

The kit they sent me is the Brit + Co Metal Stamp a Necklace Kit and retails at Target for $24.99. The kit contains: 2 necklace chains, 2 gold bar pendants, stampers, stamping block, hammer, practice piece, tape, pliers, and instructions.

I started out by practicing my stamping skills on the practice piece and I highly recommend lots of practice before you try it on the gold bar pendant.

Here is my practice piece:

Once I felt confident I wasn’t going to ruin the final necklace (spoiler: I totally ruined my first one), I taped my gold piece down to the stamping block.

I wanted to line my letters up to the right, so I started with the last letter and worked my way backwards. As I mentioned, I ruined my first one…I accidentally held the “e” backwards. So, my recommendation is to stamp a letter on the practice piece and then go ahead and stamp that final letter once you know it’s perfect.

This is my second try:

Once I completed “Joules” with no mistakes, I used the included set of pliers to open the jump rings and slide them into the pre-drilled holes in the bar. I really love the way it turned out and I’m kicking myself for ruining the other one, because I want to make like a million of these now!

The cool thing is that now I have the equipment I need to make as many necklaces as I want. All I need is some more stamping blanks and chains. I found some assorted blanks on Amazon and also on etsy, so I’m going to have to re-stock up soon to keep stamping. I’m also thinking I want to try a cute project like stamping a spoon (I found a cute tutorial here).

What word or name would you stamp on your necklace?

 

Disclaimer: Brit + Co provided me with a kit for no charge. All thoughts, comments and mistakes on stamping letters backwards are all mine. This post contains ShopStyle affiliate links. This means that clicking on a link may help me earn a small commission at no cost to you.

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Red Door Spa: Eyes Wide Open Eyeshadow Trios

28 Apr

{Disclaimer: I am a Red Door Spa #GalSquad Ambassador and receive products & services at no cost.}

This month’s Red Door Spa ambassador product was a fun surprise: their new Eyes Wide Open eye shadow trio and Lasting Impressions mascara. They sent me two different palettes to try out, Oh So Pink and Not So Nude.


Have you ever wanted to see a video of me first thing in the morning when I haven’t brushed my hair or put my contacts in? You’re welcome.

 

Reader Bonus:
The Red Door Spa has partnered with BeeRoll and they are looking for videos of how you enjoy the spa or Elizabeth Arden products. Here is how to play along: download the BeeRoll app in the Apple App store; find the Red Door campaigns in the app and film the requested shots; select your best shots and submit it. If you participate, your videos may be edited by pros and posted on the Red Door Spa’s social media. In return, you will get a 50% discount on any spa or salon service once you upload the required shots.

So what do you think… more videos or never, ever again?

 

Disclaimer: I am a Red Door Spa #GalSquad Ambassador and receive products and services at no cost.

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Reviewing Trunk Club: Theme Park Style

24 Apr

I mentioned last week that we are gearing up for a super awesome family trip to Universal Studios Orlando. Well, before I start planning out my packing list, I thought it would be fun to get a themed Trunk from my stylist, Dana. I asked her for items that would work for doing a ton of walking around the theme parks. I told her that it’s really hard for me to find shorts, so I’d love to see some athaleisure items, casual dresses, comfy but cute tops, and some flat sandals.

She immediately sent over a Trunk, and it was not a winner. I actually didn’t even photograph it because there were a bunch of fit issues and only one item was a ‘maybe’. I sent it all back and we had some great emailed conversations about why each item didn’t work and what I was looking for. She put together a whole new Trunk and sent it out within a couple days!

Want to see what she sent?

Sources: (1) Jersey Faux Wrap Dress by Felicity and Coco, (2) ‘City Mix’ Layered Look Tee by Sanctuary, (3) Skinny Cargo Pants by Wit & Wisdom, (4) Gigi Sandal by Sam Edelman, (5) Sarto by Franco Sarto Park Ankle Strap Sandal, (6) Embroidered Sleeveless Shift Dress by Caslon, (7) Drop the Armhole Tank by Zella, (8) Twisty Turn Tee by Zella, (9) Impulse High Waist Midi Leggings by Zella, (10) Twisty Turn Tee by Zella, (11) Modal Jersey V-Neck by Halogen, (12) A-Line Knit Midi Skirt by Caslon, (13) NIC+ZOE Denim Days Tie Waist Dress, (14) NIC+ZOE Sungrove Maxi Dress, (15) Balloon Bomber by Free People.

If you’re new to my Trunk Club reveals (you can find them all here), I don’t typically photograph every single one of the items. With 15 items and a couple different outfits, it would just get to be way too much if I showed them all. When the Trunk first arrives, I usually go through it and narrow down my choices to a pile of my favorites.

This month I decided to do something a little different and show you a couple different ‘outfit face-off’s’ from the Trunk:

1 + 5 vs 6 + 5

For this comparison, let’s look at the faux wrap jersey dress compared to the embroidered shift dress. For someone with a less curvy body type, the shift dress would be totally effortlessly gorgeous on them. However, with my curves the wrap dress shows off my figure in a much nicer way. The shift dress just kind of skims over everything, so all my curves kind of turn into a huge blob. I tried a belt to cinch in the waist, but it just didn’t look right. The jersey dress though, is very comfortable and I can totally see throwing it on for a random summer weekend day of running errands or going out to lunch. It does have spaghetti straps though, which makes for an annoying bra situation.

8 + 3 + 5 vs 10 + 3 + 5

I mentioned that I like my casual tops to be more flowy so that I can do a little half-tuck into my bottoms and hide any type of burrito baby I may have going on. My stylist sent me over this adorable “twisty turn tee” in two sizes and two colors for me to try. The gray version is a size Large and the black top is an Extra Large. I tried them both on with the skinny cargo pants for a casual look that I can wear to Universal Studios or on any typical weekend at home. The cool thing about these tops is that you can wear the twist in the front or the back, so they are super versatile.

After trying them both (they are sooooo soft), I prefer the smaller size for a sleeker look. Of course, I also prefer black, so I may have to send them both back and have my stylist order me a black in a Large. As for the cargo pants, I love the fit of these and that they are a lighter fabric than jeans, but still heavy enough to hide any lumps or bumps. I can see me wearing these on our trip for a cool evening walk to dinner, on a weekend at home (they are super stretchy) or even on an upcoming work trip to San Francisco for exploring after my conference.

10 + 9 vs 11 + 12 + 5

Both of these outfits are like wearing pajamas, so I decided to put them in a face-off against each other. The first outfit of a plain black tee and striped skirt is super comfortable, but looks more dressed up. I like the pattern mix on the side of the skirt and the length is great too. I would totally throw this on with a swimsuit or graphic tee shirt for our upcoming trip, or just wear it all summer long. Oh and for those of you who are thinking, ‘dude, you can totally buy a similar skirt for $20 at Old Navy,’ I hear you. I really do. However, I am so sick of buying the cheaper version of stuff only to have it look faded, pilled and worn within a couple wearings. This skirt by Caslon is made out of super soft fabric that will actually hold up, and I’m okay paying a little more for that.

For the second outfit, I paired the black twisty turn tee with the Zella high waist leggings for a comfy-casual look. I absolutely love these leggings and the cool ankle detail. The high waist also sucks everything in and makes my midsection look much flatter than real life. With that being said, I’m not really a ‘wear leggings out of the house’ person, unless I’m working out. They do make my butt look really good though, so maybe I should buy them just so I can feel like a sassy beast while lounging on the couch?

Remix from my Closet

When buying new items, I like to mix them in with stuff I already own to see if I’ll be able to get enough wear out of them to justify the purchase. I tried the cargo pants with one of my favorite graphic tee shirts. I also tried the striped skirt with a Harry Potter tee shirt that I will definitely be wearing on our trip. What do you think?

Trunk Finalists
Okay, so if you’ve been playing along that leaves me with the following favorites from this Trunk:

#1. Jersey Faux Wrap Dress by Felicity and Coco, $88
#3. Skinny Cargo Pants by Wit & Wisdom, $68
#8. Twisty Turn Tee by Zella, $49
#9. Impulse High Waist Midi Leggings by Zella, $65
#12. A-Line Knit Midi Skirt by Caslon, $49

My budget doesn’t allow for me to buy everything I like and honestly my closet doesn’t really need everything either. I’m leaning towards definitely getting the cargo pants, but then it gets hard to make decisions. I really like the jersey skirt and also the twisty turn tee. The dress is also pretty and the leggings make my butt look good… however out of the choices, these would probably get the least wear. Help me decide what to buy!

If you want to have Dana style a Trunk for you — and you totally should because she’s awesome —  I have her linked to my referral code here:  https://www.trunkclub.com/invite/QZFJ33 (Please note: if you use my referral link it will cost you nothing extra and it earns me a small amount to go towards items in my next Trunk).

4/25/17 Update: Thank you all so much for your feedback here, on Facebook and on Instagram! I decided to purchase the cargo pants and the striped skirt for now. I may also go back and get the twisty turn tee and dress… but I’m going to hold off until I unpack my summer clothes!

 

{Psssst… if you like my clothing box company reviews, here is a handy-dandy list of the ones I’ve tried: Stitch Fix, Trendsend, The Ms. Collection, DailyLook Elite and Wantable’s Fitness Edit}

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored by Trunk Club, I pay for any clothing I purchase with my own hard-earned money. If you enjoyed my review and decide to try Trunk Club for yourself, the biggest compliment you can give me is by using my referral link. Thank you to anyone who chooses to click through and support my shopping addiction! This post contains ShopStyle affiliate links. This means that clicking on a link may help me earn a small commission at no cost to you.

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