Friday, April 18, 2014

TULUM: Last Sunset



sweater ILY Couture c/o // dress Rory Beca c/o [last worn here]

Sigh, the last night of our trip was a sad one. We had essentially convinced ourselves that we were residents of Tulum and just were going to live there forever. [Since we couldn't... I decided to just never stop Instagramming or Blogging about it. Sorry!] I have travel anxiety [of course] so I packed up everything early before heading to the beach for a sunset walk. Tulum Beach in the evening is truly something wonderful. Everything begins to blend together and the most beautiful blues, purples, and grays appear. Kite surfers whip past while cute couples saunter barefoot to dinner and literally everyone is just happy. It's no wonder this place is so popular!

We had spent the entire trip enjoying & celebrating our engagement, but I really do think it sunk in on this night. We were about to head back to our regular lives and for some reason, that made everything a reality. I am pretty sure that I wouldn't have even needed an airplane the next morning... I could have floated on home on a cloud. Really painfully cheesy but basically accurate.

This weekend, I'll do a post with easy references to the best hotels, restaurants, and activities. And then everyone should book a trip, or better yet- meet us there!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

TULUM: Top Knots & Margaritas





sunglasses Cor Surf // dress L*Space Swim c/o [on sale!] // sandals Target [available in silver here] // swim top Target

When I started thinking about packing for Tulum, I realized that the fog of San Francisco had totally blinded me from what cool "resort wear" was. I had NO clue where to look for cute swim suits or coverups. Like, do you just wear jeans or...

Luckily, through Twitter, I discovered L*SPACE by Monica Wise. AND... I was instantly ready to relocate to the beach. If you haven't noticed, I picked up a few cute bikinis from the brand [here & here]. Just putting this cute coverup on had me dreaming of opening up a bikini shop in Mexico. It's super lightweight and the prettiest shade of pink. It's the perfect piece for the hot humid weather of Tulum.

We traveled down the coast a little further to check in at our third hotel. It had the most beautiful walkway through thick plants and fountains and cute little cabins before you get to the bar- which had a totally magical view. AND, dare I say, Om Tulum has the strongest margaritas on the beach.

The water pressure in Tulum isn't ideal... so by about day 6 my hair started to dreadlock. Sometimes the wind and saltwater really worked in my favor... other times, it just became a matted mess & the top knot won. Just think of dry shampoo, but instead of shampoo it's a handful of salt & sand. Très chic!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

TULUM: Dreamy




dress Forever 21 [old, so I'm sharing a few similar options below] // sunglasses vintage // location Tulum Bay

One of my favorite things about our time in Tulum is that we didn't really need to have a plan... ever. Considering so much of our life in the city is defined by our Google Calendars, it was refreshing to just indulge in each and every moment. I'll admit, this took a lot of practice for me. I love to plan my meals like 4 days in advance. It took about 48 hours before I stopped being fidgety and trying to control everything... but once I got in the habit of living one hour at a time, I wondered how I ever lived any other way.

After a few days of exploring cenotes [defined as a "a natural pit or sinkhole resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath], drinking margs, and/or laying on the beach without moving for as long as humanly possibly, we decided to get gussied up for dinner. Before we walked over, we headed up to our new hotel's terrace. We had an unforgettable view in every direction and watched the sun set over the jungle. In a word, it was dreamy. 

We had dinner at the Papaya Playa Project. It's part of the Design Hotels group, so the grounds are absolutely breathtaking. We hope to stay here a night or two next trip! Our food had a lot of unique flavors and was really delicious- we definitely recommend it! Don't get the cocktail called "PPP" though. It's basically a thick fruit mush with diced cucumber. After a long day in the sun, you need some liquid, you know?? Also, if you're just going for dinner, bring a flashlight! It's easy to get lost amongst the cabins on the way to the restaurant. 

Maybe what I love most about Tulum is that it's as low-maintenance as you could imagine. I packed a few necklaces and bracelets, but they stayed forgotten in my suitcase the entire trip. You only need a few breezy dresses, a chambray or cardigan in case the wind picks up at night, and one pair of sandals. At some point, you start to forget that clothing matters and just grab whatever is dry! My bold & bright patterned dresses helped me feel chic yet took zero effort. The best! 

Shop my favorite Tulum-worthy dresses here:

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

TULUM: A Day in Town


dress Forever 21 // sunglasses Free People // flip flops Old Navy // bag Kate Landry [old] // mosquito bites c/o Tulum ;)
[Sorry for the lower quality images. We didn't bring the big camera with us on this day!]

These images were snapped on DAY TWO of our Tulum adventure. I guess we should call this post TWOlum? [It's important to note that I didn't snap what I wore each day of the trip... but I will be doing a recap of all restaurants, excursions, hotels, etc... at the end of the week.] 

We woke up extra early to watch the sunrise, and... Tim asked me to marry him! I, between smiles and tears, said yes as quickly as I could. The happiest moment of my life!! It's safe to say we'll be returning to Mezzanine each year to celebrate! [Yes, there are far more details that accompany that story... but we're opting to keep it between close friends & family. We like to think in a world where I put a majority of my life online, that some things are still just a little sacred.]

After breakfast [and mimosas- a rare find in Tulum!] at the hotel, we met up with Willie and ventured into town. Willie is really familiar with the area AND speaks Spanish, so it was nice to have him there to give us the lay of the land. He showed us where the banks, pharmacies [where you get the best deal on sunscreen], bakeries, and souvenir shops were, AND he helped us order our lunch. ;) In Tulum, a lot of the locals do speak English. However, we really tried our best to only speak English when 100% necessary, and learned as much as we could each day. We wanted to be polite and respectful!

The town is not quite what I imagined, yet in the same sense- it's exactly what I'd imagined. The shops and restaurants are in a cluster right along the main highway. I guess I thought they'd be nestled into a quieter street? You'll find beautiful wares for sale [still kicking myself we didn't pick out a blanket] and a lot of open air bars & kitchens. We stopped for celebratory margaritas and lunch- but I don't remember the name of the place. It wasn't too noteworthy, but I have heard that Antojitos La Chiapaneca is amazing.

We ended the day with a few too many Coco Locos at Mateo's. Coco Loco = fresh coconut with rum. YUM. We also had dinner at Zamas. The food was just alright, but the live music was AMAZING. If anything, you should go for good tunes & a drink or two. Don't forget the bug spray!

PS. There is still time to enter the Better World Books giveaway!! We'll be starting Book Club soon & you don't want to miss the boat!!

Monday, April 14, 2014

TULUM: Shorts Weather


top Anthropologie [old] // shorts Seafolly via surfdome c/o // sunglasses Free People // location Mezzanine 

I am so excited to finally be sharing our Tulum trip! This week, I'll be showing what I wore, where we stayed [we like to move around, so we stayed at three different hotels], and dishing out recommendations left & right in a recap at the end of the week. I might be biased, but this destination is the most magical place. From the views to the people, it is such a wonderful, special town and I couldn't recommend a visit more.

It's a long, long story for another day... but we actually ended up arriving in Tulum a day later than we had planned. Needless to say, our first evening at this beautiful hotel resulted in a 7PM bedtime. Not before having one of the best meals of our lives, however. The restaurant at Mezzanine is THE best Thai food I've ever had. I know, it seems strange- Thai food in Mexico- but this dinner is my top recommendation!

The next day, we enjoyed sunrise coffee, laying out on the private sun beds, swimming in the Caribbean, and treating ourselves to 2-for-1 margaritas. Our friend Willie was also in Tulum, so he came and met up with us for drinks & dinner. I wore these adorable shorts that I got from Surfdome and paired them with a breezy blouse that I got at an Anthro sale years ago. [PS: Surfdome is a great resource if you have any fun trips planned- or you're just lucky enough to live someplace tropical. My shorts are waterproof so they're a stylish alternative to the traditional masculine board shorts. You can get them here!]

As the sun began to set, we realized we couldn't pass up one more swim in the ocean. We ran down to the water and bobbed in the waves while the sun set over the jungle. It was so beautiful and a memory I'll always remember! [Lucky for me, the saltwater worked wonders in my hair and I embraced my natural waves all week long.] We headed to dinner at Mateo's and cheersed to Tulum. Little did I know it was my last night as a "single" girl... ;)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

High Point Market Recap!

Last weekend, I had the privilege of joining my Rue Magazine girls at High Point Market in North Carolina. For those who don't know, High Point is basically fashion week for furniture. We get to tour furniture showrooms all day and look at all of the gorgeous new products and interior trends. Dream job, right??

Since I spent so much time Instagramming {for both my account AND Rue's}, I wanted to share my favorite snaps from the trip: 

It was so much fun, and really reaffirmed my love for the industry! If you have any questions about any specific pictures, leave a comment below & I'll reply with info. 

Also, don't forget to enter the Better World Books giveaway!! We'll be starting Book Club soon & you don't want to miss the boat!!

PS. Be sure to check back on Monday. Next week is TULUM WEEK! I'll be recapping what I wore, our favorite places, and why we're pretty sure it's the best place on earth. Stay tuned!

Friday, April 11, 2014

NEW SERIES: Book Club



I am so excited to announce a new series on Leopard and Lavender. Book Club! One of my New Year's resolutions was to read more. I feel that more and more, I'll reach for a book but before I event make it through chapter one... I'm on Instagram, Pinterest, OR watching a Real Housewives marathon. Ugh! Enter my new favorite website, Better World Books. Better World Books is a for profit social enterprise. They collect AND sell books online, and match each purchase with a donation- book for book! Each sale generates $$ for literacy initiatives.  Since the company began in 2003, they've raised over $16 million for libraries and literacy, donated over 12 million books; re-used or recycled over 120 million books AND achieved 44,000 tons of carbon offsets through carbon balanced shipping.  Think of Better World Books as a library that helps people's minds AND the planet. So, why wouldn't we start reading more... right?

So, with the help of Better World Books, I will be starting my very own book club here on the blog! I'll choose different books, ask questions and open discussions, and get all of us reading more and on the computer less. First up?? Where'd You Go Bernadette.
To get the club going, Better World Books is generously donating 4 books for 4 lucky readers to win! Entry details are below, and I'll announce the winners next Friday! [Don't worry... if you don't win, they'll be extending a 10% discount code so you can read along too! Once the winners have been announced, I'll share more details on the club!] Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

[image credit: unknown. if you know the source, please let me know so I can properly credit!]

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Back to Blonde: Population Salon




jacket vintage // tee Splendid // jeans Citizens of Humanity // boots Dolce Vita // sunglasses Free People

OK. I'll admit it. I have a huge problem addiction habit and I always switch my hair color. Blonde, brunette, blonde, brunette, blonde... It's been going on since I was an 18 year old salon receptionist in college. When I met Tim, I was blonderexic and loved visiting my stylist every 5 weeks for another rendezvous with a bottle of bleach. Then, I moved to San Francisco and had a total beauty breakdown. I hated how my light locks looked in the foggy climate. Impulsively, I went to a salon around the corner and said "make it as dark as you can." The woman was pretty rude and overcharged me [by about $200], yet I was so exhausted that I just wrote her a check and lived on as a brunette... a brunette full of regrets. I mean... full disclosure- I loved it for like 2 weeks. Then I realized how long it was going to take to get back to blonde [not to mention the cost], and I was pretty distraught. UGHHHH you guys. It's a hard life to be this indecisive! I just wanted to be closer to my natural, blondish hue WITHOUT the maintenance that used to come with it.

So of course, the process back to blonde began ever-so-slowly. It sucks when your favorite stylist in the world lives in a different state! Julia recommended I visit Population... which conveniently is in my neighborhood. A few months ago, I visited her stylist [Richard] and he did an amazing job- giving my hair the total refresh it needed. I couldn't believe I hadn't been before and felt stupid about my earlier expensive foray into brunetteville. I felt even more stupid, because as it turns out- Tim is friends with the owner [Brian] and his beautiful wife [Carolina]. So, I made a second appointment with Brian last week and basically could faint I love my hair so much. Brian just 'got it.' He knew the shades that would work with my skin tone, he toned it perfectly, the cut is everything. SIGH. So happy to be back to a good place with my hair. I solemnly swear I will never go back to brunette again.

Also, let's just take a moment to talk about this coat. I scooped it up at Goodwill on Fillmore St. for $20. A 3/4 sleeve coat is ESSENTIAL for San Francisco's finicky weather. Best find ever.

PS... Brian's wife Carolina just started her own amazing blog, MOTHRS. Add it to your reader NOW.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

NAPA FAVORITE: Bardessono

I've been busy compiling all of our photos from Tulum, and can't wait to write all about our travels there. However, before we head south of the border... I wanted to share a local gem first. Back in February, Tim & I went to Bardessono for a little birthday escape.

Bardessono is a luxury boutique hotel in Yountville, CA. Located right on Napa Valley’s most popular strip of tasting rooms & restaurants, it truly offers the best that wine country has to offer. We only went for a day trip, but were so intrigued by the unique architecture [a perfect marriage of rustic & modern] that we toured a guestroom as well. [SPOILER ALERT: We'll definitely be back for an overnight stay!] Each room has a beautiful bathtub, an area to offer in-room spa treatments, and a gorgeous private patio. A personal pet peeve? I hate having to share space when traveling. You cram in a car or the narrow seats of a plane to arrive at your destination. The last thing you want to do [or at least, the last thing that I want to do] is share even more space once you arrive at your destination. At Bardessono, the guestrooms are comfortable and private- you’d never have to leave! However, if you do… there’s so much surrounding the area that you don’t want to miss.




As a birthday gift to Tim, we got massages in the spa. We both really loved the experience and can’t wait to go back! Once we were nice and relaxed, we wandered over to their restaurant, Lucy. Lunch there was absolutely amazing! One cool thing about this property is that they have onsite gardens, which provide a lot of ingredients for the restaurant. [In fact, they’re the only LEED certified hotel in California- so sustainability is at the heart of all that they do.] We each made sure to order something that would include garden-fresh ingredients. I had the burger, of course, and Tim had the short rib sandwich. YOU GUYS. SO good. This is definitely our new lunch spot north of the Golden Gate Bridge. [TIP: For dessert, they created a special concoction that was a modern interpretation of “ants on a log.” Celery flavored ice cream, peanut butter cookies, and California raisins. Ask for this and let it change your life.]



After lunch, we wandered up to the rooftop pool, champagne in hand. We didn’t think to bring swimsuits, but it was a beautiful sunny day and we really enjoyed relaxing on the sun beds. Since there are only 62 guestrooms- I doubt you ever really have to worry about an overcrowded pool.


Basically, this spot really wedged its way into my list of Napa favorites. I just so appreciate spots that combine luxury with sustainability, offer serious comfort and privacy, AND have a great location to boot. You can walk or bike to all of the Napa hotspots and taste//drink all the delicious wine your heart desires. When you’re ready to head back to the city, you can stroll across the street to Bouchon and stock up on pastries for the drive back. I personally ate about 19 macarons. 


Here are a few of my favorite iPhone snaps from the day:






Thank you so much to Bardessono for having us. We can't wait to go back!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

We're Engaged!!


Saturday, March 22: We're engaged!!!

This photo was snapped a few moments after & I'll never forget how I felt. Can't wait to share more about our amazing trip to Tulum and this incredible, exciting time in our lives. I've never been happier!! Eek!!