back to basics

In the last couple of months there has been a shift in my life. I was so gung ho on getting my home perfect that I spent next to no time/money on items to wear. Now I'm starting to notice how worn (+ boring) my wardrobe has become. My focus now is on the basics + knowing what to invest in + what not to.

sandals | bracelet | purse | ring

Living in Chicago it is pretty silly to spend much money on shoes. I walk everywhere which I love but my shoes don't. Aside from snow boots + sneakers I really try not to spend much money on shoes. Those sandals above were under $20, fit like a glove, + look almost identical to options that cost 10x as much.

Jewelry is one of those mid-tier purchase items for me. I don't dress very flashy so I like my style to shine through in my jewelry. It's nice to treat yourself every once in a while but typically you can find unique pieces without breaking the bank. I couldn't pass up on these two items above. They are so  me. Bagatiba is another good option for cute, affordable jewelry that I just stumbled upon.

Now to the good stuff. I am so not a handbag girl. I have been using the same two bags for the last 2+ years. One was about $50 + the other was a gift card purchase so clearly this isn't an area I want to spend my money on. Maybe it's a recent promotion talking but now I'm starting to understand the value of a nicely made handbag. This is an item that gets so much use but doesn't wear down as easily. This bag is number one on my wishlist + I'm hoping to snag one next month when they restock.

As for clothes themselves, I still feel a bit stuck on that. So often I shop + I rarely see items I like but I think my focus should be fewer/better. I am definitely in that in between time. As Britney would say, "not a girl, not yet a woman". I blame that for this uncertainty.


oh my cenote

One of my favorite parts of Mexico was our trip to the cenote. For obvious reasons (it is an under water cave) I didn't have my camera with me so all I have have are my memories from that day. But thanks to the interwebs I can give you a bit of a peek at our visit to Cenote Dos Ojos.
One of the main reasons I wanted to make a stop in Tulum was so I could visit a cenote. What I didn't know was that there were so many to choose from. After asking a few people for recommendations Cenote Dos Ojos seemed to be the obvious front runner. We went the snorkel route but I'm sure scuba diving would have been amazing too. The whole thing took about two hours but it was a nice way to shake things up after days of laying by the pool/beach.


new kicks on the block

Past experiences have taught me that when getting fitted for running shoes by experts you are probably going to walk away with a somewhat ugly pair. And that's okay, because they will support your foot perfectly. Well ugly shoes know more. The shoe that not only fit me well but also fit the best turned out to be the prettiest too. Now I just need this know to melt so I can test out these blue beauts.


mexico || 2015

I like starting 2015 off with a strong travel game. Mexico isn't anything fancy but it's just about the nicest way to spend a week in February.

We got into Playa Del Carmen pretty late on Saturday so instead of going straight to our all-inclusive resort we decided to save some money by staying at a smaller hotel nearby. Coco Cabana was such an awesome place and totally exceeded my expectations. I would have been completely happy to stay there the whole time. The owners were so helpful. Plus, they have some pretty great wood oven pizza.

It's a bit hard to tell from the photo above but we got to stay in this adorable purple bungalow, palm roof + all. I couldn't get a good photo inside but it was round with a pitched ceiling + looked a bit like a yurt. The bathroom didn't have any doors so that was a bit weird but we only stayed at Coco Cabana for 12 hours before heading nearby to the Platinum Yucatan Princess.

The Platinum Yucatan Princess is an all-inclusive, adults only resort that just opened late last year. They had their shit together for being a newer hotel + there was also the benefit of it not being too crowded. Also, fun fact: adult only resorts mean it is okay to have not one but TWO porn channels. Talk about an upgrade!

Porn aside, it was a comfortable stay. The food was pretty okay but it was more than easy to maintain a piña colada in my hand at all times. The weather was pretty much perfect + we also got to experience the Super Bowl in a theater full of displaced gringos. That was a treat. This leg of the trip was definitely all about relaxation mode + soaking up some sun.

We also spent one evening making a trip to downtown Playa Del Carmen which was surprisingly large. It was one huge strip of souvenir shops, bars, + restaurants. I had a fun time exploring + people watching.

The last leg of our trip took us an hour south to Tulum. Tulum was meant for exploring but unfortunately we were hindered the first day due to a storm that came through. The view above is from our bed though so watching the storm come in was actually really cool + also provided a perfect backdrop for an afternoon nap. Vacations are for siestas, right?

We stayed at a nice little boutique hotel called Blue Sky Hotel. It was a little bit further from the Tulum hub than I anticipated but it was so great to be that close to the water. It had this cool little dock we could walk out on but the guard "dog" up top scared me a little bit.
Day two in Tulum we finally got to do some exploring. We wandered around downtown for breakfast + then made a stop at the Archaeological Site to see the Mayan ruins. Those were pretty neat + filled with iguanas.

After seeing the ruins we climbed down to the public beach to cool off for a bit.The water was so clear + nice here.

The last stop of the day was at the Cenote Dos Ojos where we snorkeled in the water caves. The photos below aren't of the Cenote Dos Ojos, but of Casa Cenote which was near our hotel. The water in these cenotes is so unbelievably pretty. I don't know if it's actually true or not but our guide said that these cenotes were made from meteors.

All + all, Mexico was a great trip + a very necessary escape from the Chicago winters. I would definitely go back + would love to explore parts of Tulum a bit more. One of my favorite parts of the trip was just observing. The colors + scenery were so different than what I typically see in Chicago so it was nice to just take that all in.

father john misty || chateau lobby #4 (in c for two virgins)