Photography: Bentley Waters Photography | Destination: New Orleans, LA | Hotel: Le Méridien
I spent last weekend exploring a new destination, New Orleans (The Big Easy), with old friends. Being a party town, I knew for weeks that this fun, girly, trapeze dress was coming with me. What I didn’t know was how comfortable it would be when chowing down on dinner at Sylvain (yum, those scallops) and sipping our way up Frenchman Street. Being so flowy, it’s totally forgiving and who doesn’t love that by night’s end? Besides, wearing a multi-colored dress is just smart in New Orleans so you’re sure to match any Mardi Gras beads tossed around your neck. This geometric trapeze dress was shot on the sleek staircase in the modern lobby of our hotel. Thanks, Le Méridien, for the perfect setting.
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I’ve been on a kick lately to spruce up the house. I figure, if I absolutely love my living space then I’ll relish in my time at home instead of counting the days until the next departure. I’ll put the suitcase down and enjoy the view. The only problem? I haven’t found much decor I’m into…until now. Minted, the online marketplace for independent designers (and the creators of gorgeous foiled holiday cards), has a huge selection of limited edition Minted art and custom photo art with my name all over it. I’m in love with these 12 pieces because they remind me of where I’ve been, help me appreciate where I am, push me towards where I want to go, and even tell me how to get there.
Where I’ve Been & Where I Am
1. London Skyline by Kelsey McNatt – London has a special place in my heart. It’s the first place I traveled to internationally with my family. It was also my home for 5 months when studying abroad in college. It’s here that I truly fell in love with travel.
2. Abstract Triangles by Paper Dahlia – This Minted art print instantly reminds me of sparkling turquoise swimming pools so often around me in Miami. One look at this and I’ll definitely stop and appreciate the beauty right here at home.
3. Lines by Lucrecia – This photograph draws me in and takes me back to my fast-paced fashion days in Manhattan when I would stare straight up the tall skyscrapers just to see the sky. However, the colorful shot was taken in Paris, another city I love.
4. Mom Love by Sara Hicks Malone – My two little boys are my everything and this simple heart design over a shot of us together and the caption, “you are my everything,” truly would be everything to me. I adore it.
5. How Do I Love Thee? by fatfatin – Sadly, I still haven’t gotten our wedding photos on the wall. This unique design, among others, will finally get me to cross this off the to-do list and help me surround myself with pictures of my wonderful husband when I can’t be by his side.
6. Florida Map Filled by GeekInk Design – I’ve been looking for a Florida print for some time with zero luck. Most just seem to be the expected flamingo or art deco shot. But this gold foil Florida Map is perfection.
Where I Want To Go & How To Get There
7. Vacancy by Jennifer Little – You won’t catch me in an old, run down hotel, but I might be outside photographing the cool vintage hotel sign. This one reminds me of the Jersey Shore where my husband and I spent our early summers together. I hope to head back one day with our kids.
8. Hummingbird by Sara Shashani – Whether it’s with my career, my life long goals, or just my wardrobe, I think it’s important to be true to yourself and dare to spread your wings and fly. Hanging this hummingbird in my home, would remind me of that daily. If I’m lucky, I’ll do it with grace and style like this gorgeous bird.
9. Tiles by Chasity Smith – Going to Africa for a photographic safari is #1 on my Dream Vacation List and this Minted art print helps me visualize myself there, with a giant giraffe nearby.
10. Prism Diamond by Paper Monkey Press – Staring at this huge rock everyday would inspire me to work harder than ever to get to that giant gem. And by that I don’t mean a 10 carat diamond, though I’m fond of those too. I mean, the gems beyond my biggest dreams and past the furthest goals. If you reach for the asher cut stars, you’ll land among the clouds.
11. A Helpful Reminder by Annie Clark – This one just makes me laugh. Endless times I’ve heard this from my husband and have said it to myself as I dash out the door. Focus, prioritization, and organization are essential in my daily success. And it all starts with Keys Wallet Phone…which are all too often difficult to find in this house. A helpful reminder never hurt anyone.
12. Upside by Alexandra Nazari – Maybe it’s because I’m surrounded by palm trees, but this upside down palm tree shot is so refreshing. It reminds me to look at things from a different point of view and to get a lot more creative with my own photography.
Be sure to check out the entire fabulous art collection at Minted.com. And if you’re a Bride-to-Be, don’t miss their new Wedding Invitation Collection. I’m loving the foiled pressed invites for black tie weddings and unique styles like Anchor Tattoo Love, Roll of the Dice, New York Skyline, and Papel Picado Wedding Invitations for fun destination weddings on the shore, in Vegas, in NYC, and in Mexico.
Sponsored by Minted
Since 2015 seems to be flying by, I’ve created my own Spring To-Do List so life is experienced to the fullest this beautiful season!
Embrace the floral trend
I’m not the girly, floral type, but with chic, feminine, and edgy looks like this spring playsuit by Keepsake, I’m fully embracing the floral trend with both arms.
Egg Hunt & Bunny Cake
This Sunday, you’ll find me hunting eggs and eating my annual homemade (ok, well, home-decorated) bunny cake. My little boys wouldn’t let Easter go by without either one.
With views like we have in Miami, sailing is always on my to-do list. Sadly, I don’t take advantage of it much. This season, I want to get my butt on a boat and go sailing before the summer sun attacks.
Shop the 38 stores on the Miami Racked 38 List
Shopping, anyone? Make that window shopping with most of the prices in shops on Miami’s 38 Essential Shopping Experiences List, Spring 2015. Still, my pulse literally races when seeing amazing designer duds, or what I explain to the hubs as “wearable art”, in person. So, I’ll be hitting all 38 of these.
Strawberry & Fresh Flower picking with the kiddos
Burr’s Berry Farm doesn’t disappoint the kiddos with strawberry fields forever…and milkshakes to refresh yourself after u-pick. Plus, you get to pick your own fresh flowers out of the ground! I’m hooked.
Discover A New City With Old Friends
Obvi, I love travel. But discovering a new city is my favorite and adding old friends to the trip is the ultimate joy for me. This month, I head to New Orleans for the first time to celebrate a friend’s birthday. Beignets and Bourbon Street, here I come.
Pastel Polish, Please
Splash At A Waterpark
Now that the water’s warming up, we are adding Splash at a Waterpark to the Spring to-do list. Since my kids are preschoolers, we look for waterparks that are toddler-friendly like Jacob’s Aquatic Center in Key Largo. Discovered this gem last summer and we’ll be back ASAP.
Hit Coyo Taco & Wynwood ArtWalk
Somehow, I always miss these Second Saturday Wynwood ArtWalks in Miami. This season, it’s happening…with a yummy Coyo Taco in hand.
All Floridians should have the beach on their Spring to-do list. Everyone in the Sunshine State is within driving distance, the temperature is perfection this season (sunny & 82 today), and you’ll beat the crowds before summer.
The Annual Disney World Trip
Though Disney is spectacular over the holiday season (I suggest the week after Thanksgiving weekend for the shortest lines), Disney in Spring is wonderful too. The weather is warm enough for a delicous Dole Whip and crisp enough to not sweat through your entire outfit 5 minutes into the park. Plus, Epcot has their incredible International Flower & Garden festival.
Sunsets with the Hubby
Is there anything more romantic than watching the sunset with your love? Not in my book. Head to the west coast of Florida one crisp evening to catch this stunning view before it slips into the horizon.
Finalize Summer Vacation
I’m usually a bit of a last minute travel planner, I must admit. So, our Summer Vacation Plans are still up in the air. NC? CO? The Bahamas? Wherever I head, if I want to take advantage of those fares and even have a shot at a hotel room or summer house, the time is now to finalize my summer vacation.
Improve My Golf Score
I plan on improving my golf score this season…MINI golf that is. It’s a major spring to-do list item in my family with fun mini-golf courses in Florida like Castle Golf in Ft. Myers where you can win a prize if you get a hole-in-one and play a second round for less than 2 bucks.
What’s on your Spring To-Do List?
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Help your kids put their most fashionable foot forward for their next visit to the Sunshine State with this Chic Kids Travel Gear for Spring Break in Florida.
Bright Florida Tees
Florida inspired tees (think flamingos & sun, surf, sand) will get kids even more excited about Spring Break in the Sunshine State. Choose bright colors to keep kids cool and to achieve a picture-perfect look on the white sand, sailing the turquoise water, or relaxing beneath the palms.
Kid-Tough Digital Camera
Inspire their artistic side (and free up your smart phone) by encouraging kids take their own vaca photos with the Fisher-Price Kid-Tough digital camera. It has a playback screen, practically bounces off the ground after a drop, and, storing over 2,000 pictures, will take as many selfies as they like.
Florida fashion has sometimes been described as bright and loud. Some wear it well and some, well, miss the fashion mark. The chicest way for your kids embrace this FL style (because you might not dare) is with fun sunnies in loud prints like stripes and polka dots or in electric colors like neon pink and sunshine yellow.
Color Me Asher Vans
With so many theme parks and attractions in Florida, kiddos need to be ready in a flash and, sorry to say, will sometimes have to take off those flips. Slip-on Color Me Asher Vans make for a quick change and a great kid activity as each pair, butterflies or sharks, is colorable.
Rash Guards & Printed Trunks
Rash guards are on trend for girls in 2015. Hallelujah! It saves sunscreen application time and prevents kiddo complaints. Choose this neon orange suit which also covers the floral & ruffle trends seen at Swim Week. For little surfer dudes, bright, printed trunks are in style like the orange lobster pair with contrasting blue drawstring from Carter’s.
Splashing in the saltwater and chlorine is on every kid’s itinerary, so goggles are a must. Have them make a statement with these uber-chic kids swim goggles – Bling2O’s heart-shaped rhinestone pairs or reflective spiked pairs.
Silly Pool Floats
Whether you choose the sprinkled donut or the ice cream sandwich, your kids will be the talk of the deep end and make fast friends with silly pool floats by Big Mouth Toys, seen in endless Instagram shots and at trendy hotel pools everywhere.
Kidz Gear White Headphones
Kidz Gear Headphones are a kid (and parent) favorite as they’re comfy, lightweight, volume-limiting, and adjustable. The limited edition white pair look fresh and are a necessity for Spring Break in Florida…especially if it will save you from listening to “Uptown Funk” again.
Hip Florida kids are all about Havaianas. This flip flop brand won’t disappoint with a classic fit and ever-changing prints from the coolest geometrics to the irresistible Frozen & Cars pairs.
Zinka Colored Sunblock
This blast from the past, Zinka Colored Sunblock, may be new to your kid but is just as much fun as it used to be. And with a merciless Florida sun, you’ll want to double coat the spots that tend to burn (foreheads, noses, ears and cheeks). Choose a color that compliments their swimwear and then get creative with hearts, arrows, and mustaches.
Snapper Rock Fedora Hats
For a little extra sun protection on their face, and a lot more style, add a Snapper Rock Fedora Hat with UPF 50+ protection and striped trim to their beach look. In the evening, have your beach boy throw it on with a button down, bright shorts, and Sperry Topsiders and he’ll easily be the best dressed kid in town.
Gauzy Dresses and Guayaberas
Florida is hot year round so keep clothing lightweight. Choose gauzy dresses for girls and short sleeve Guayaberas with twill shorts for boys. They’ll look like locals and be appropriately dressed for almost any restaurant since “casual” is the most popular dress code in Florida.
These adorable Italian scooter Diggin Skootcases are the perfect Florida travel accessory where Vespas are a popular method of transportation. These ride-on suitcases help kids get some energy out while you’re waiting for luggage and help scoot along all that chic kid travel gear you just packed for their vacation.
Still need the perfect Spring Break Florida hotel for you and your jet set junior? Take your pick:
The Fabulous Crowd: They will definitely appreciate your kid’s chic travel gear at the Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa. This luxurious oceanfront hotel offers one & two bedroom condos with fully equipped kitchens, fantastic dining nearby, and Rapids Waterpark & Loggerhead Marinelife Center minutes away for the kids.
Coasters & Characters: For theme parks galore, rest your head at Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center, the Kissimmee hotel that’s less than 2 miles from Disney World and has a water park with four slides, a multi-level tree house playground, and active lagoon on property.
Laid Back Island Vibe: Check into the Key Largo Bay Marriott Beach Resort, just an hour away from Miami, to relax at the waterfront resort’s private beach or tiki bar, swim with the dolphins, or sail on a glass bottom boat in the Gulf of Mexico.
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I’ve stashed away the suitcase and have stayed put for the last month. And, of course, it’s making me itch. But all that will change next week when I head to the west coast of FL for a little Spring Break escape. In the meantime, I’ve been hanging with the kiddos, working on a “Chic Kids Travel Gear” piece for Marriott (more to come soon), celebrating my husband’s work at the Miami Film Festival, and just enjoying the South Florida “winter” weather in these Miami day & night looks.
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Hope you’re enjoying Miami Day & Night too…or that you’re headed somewhere warm very soon! Happy Spring Break!
I recently headed to Pinecrest Gardens, a top Miami attraction, to…honestly, entertain the out-of-town in-laws and my kiddos at the same time. Lucky me, I happened upon the latest sculpture exhibit by Philip Haas, The Four Seasons, part of the Pinecrest Gardens Art In The Gardens series. The four fifteen-foot-tall fiberglass painted sculptures stopped me in my tracks. The size, the detail, the originality, the irony of showing this exhibit in a city that has ONE season. It’s breath-taking and unique art that shouldn’t be missed. Did it inspire me to create my own veggie, twig, and leaf sculptures for dinner? Well, no. I’m best at making reservations. But, it did bring out my artistic side and inspire me to capture the beautiful grounds and art through photography and maybe even pose for one shot in the Miami sun. My own Art In The Gardens. Take advantage of the unbelievable “winter” weather we’re having now and The Four Seasons exhibit by Philip Haas before it’s gone from Pinecrest Gardens in April.
Oh, and about entertaining the fam? 100%. How could the kids not be happy with a petting zoo, playground, and splash pad all in one park. And the in-laws? They were in awe not only of the art, but also of the lush garden property with never-ending palms, tropical plants, and orchids practically in our backyard. Oh yeah, and stunning banyan trees like this.
Former NYC fashion industry girl, forever traveler, foodie at heart, and now Mom in Miami. My blog, Arrive Chic, covers the style I find in everyday life both on the road and at home, often with my two energetic little boys in tow.
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