Happy New Year! I have a really good feeling about this year, and I’ve heard the same from so many of you. Whether you typically make resolutions, have a “word” for the year, or set intentions (my personal favorite), one of my favorite ways to bring it all to life is through a vision board. I get a lot of questions on how I make my vision boards, so I wanted to outline it in detail here. Even if you haven’t made one for the year yet, it’s not too late! The January 1 hard date wasn’t really resonating with me this year to start the new year, so this is your reminder that the new year starts when you’re ready! I’m a big believer that you start making small changes and take action on any day of the year towards your dreams.

Why You Should Make a Vision Board

There are so many different ways to set and track goals. There’s really no right or wrong way as long as you find a method that works for you. What I love about vision boards is they can be as specific or general as you want them to be. There’s also something so soothing and motivating about a visual representation of your dreams that you can look at everyday (or as often as you want to).

I like to set mine as my phone or laptop background. This is so I can be reminded everyday of what I’m working towards. When I look back at my vision board at the end of the year (you can also do monthly or quarterly ones) I’m always shocked as how many of my goals seem to come true. Plus, they’re also fun to make and a great solo activity or something to do with friends.

How to Make a Vision Board

I usually start by writing down my goals for the year, bucketing them into different categories (mine are usually personal, relationships, health & wellness, and financial). You can get as granular here as you want – I try to have at least 2-3 per category, with a mix of achievable goals and BIG dreams. The key here is to really go big – in my opinion big goals are critical to your vision of what you want your year to look like. It never hurts to put it out there in the universe!

Then, you can go physical or digital – I always use Pinterest and find images that align with my specific goals, or just generally fit the vibe of what I’m feeling or looking for. Again, you can be as granular here as you want – it helps to have each image tie back to one of your goals, but they can also just be photos that make you feel inspired or motivated.

Once I have my images chosen, I use Canva to create a blank template and drop in the photos one by one, rearranging them until I’m happy with how it looks. I usually make one vision board for my entire year, this year I opted to make a different collage for each of my yearly intentions. There are no rules 🙂

And that’s it! From there, you can set it to your phone or computer background (you may need to crop or resize your image).

Happy vision board making, and be sure to share yours with me – I’d love to see what your goals and intentions are for the year. Wishing everyone a happy new year filled with joy, love, and good health! xx

This year has been all about self-care for me, in many different shapes and forms. One way I like to practice self care is to elevate some of my basics or everyday items with versions that feel more special or luxurious. With the end of the year and holiday season coming up rapidly I wanted to share some of my favorite everyday luxuries that I’ve found to really elevate my daily life. These are some (small) ways I’ve made everyday rituals and activities feel more luxe, wherever I am in the world.

Elevated Versions of Products I Love

Candles

Might be the most basic and obvious thing. However, I love a bougie candle to instantly brighten up any room (and my mood). Candles make great gifts, for friends & family or even for yourself. I really don’t think you can ever have too many. My favorites are by Voluspa. They have so many scent options and have a clean coconut wax blend I’m obsessed with and love burning in my own. I have so many scents and sizes scattered throughout my own. However, my current favorite is the Hearth Size (makes such a fantastic holiday gift!) which is a decorative statement piece on its own.

Flowers – Products I Love

I started buying fresh flowers from the farmer’s market this year. I do this whenever I could make the weekly market, and needless to say. I’m now obsessed with having fresh florals in the house. On the weeks I can’t get to a farmer’s market, I also love having “eternity” florals from Venus et Fleur in my home. These not only look and smell incredible, they are also a gorgeous decorative centerpiece that can be used anywhere in your home. The craziest part is these flowers stay pristine for a year (and with proper care, even longer). I get so many compliments on my arrangements . They are pricey, but really so worth it when you factor in how long they last for. They have an instant WOW factor that elevate any room instantly.

Pajamas

This past year is the first time I truly invested in quality pajamas. By that I mean cute matching sets that I wanted to wear to bed instead of a ratty mismatched t-shirt and short combo. Nothing wrong with this at all, but I figured my 30’s were a good time to find some appropriate sleepwear. I love how luxurious washable silk feels and how easy it is to care for. And, for printed matching sets you can’t go wrong with Show Me Your Mumu.

Cozy throw blankets

A cozy throw blanket makes your home feel so much more luxurious. My favorites are by Barefoot Dreams. I have several and love having them in all of the different rooms in the house. I have them when I want to watch TV, lay on the couch, or even travel with them or take them outside. They’re machine washable which makes them really easy to clean and I don’t feel guilty bringing them out with me. If the price tag feels a bit steep, keep an eye out on Nordstrom Rack. I’ve scored several for 50% there! Also, I have an Apparis faux fur throw I’m obsessed with. It feels so incredibly soft and thick, and looks gorgeous wherever you put it.

Glassware – if you’re like me and have to be drinking a minimum of 3 different beverages at any given time, updating your glassware at home is the easiest way to feel ~fancy~ without spending too much at once. I love these clear mugs for my coffee and tea, and while these ripple glasses are a little pricey, I love the aesthetic they bring to any home. Also a big fan of collecting glassware at flea markets or when you travel, whatever your vibe is you’ll be able to find glassware that fits.

What are your favorite products to elevate your everyday life? xx

Lexus NX 350 F Sport

Last month, we drove up the coast for a quick weekend trip to celebrate our friends getting married in Carmel. We’ve stopped in Carmel-by-The-Sea before on our way to Big Sur but had never stayed overnight. As you may already know, we love a roadtrip and staycation! We were in the process of getting ready for our extended fall travel away from home and my car happened to be in the shop – thankfully, Lexus was able to save the day. More on this below, along with my guide to Carmel-by-the-Sea.

exterior of a cafe

Driving the Lexus NX 350 F Sport

As mentioned above, Lexus was kind enough to partner with us again for the weekend. This time, we tested a crossover SUV (NX 350 F Sport) and it made for such a fun and smooth ride up the coast. We drove 5+ hours each way between Carmel and LA and were comfortable the entire trip. We were honestly impressed with the safety features and overall experience with the car. It’s also the perfect size for us and the stage we are in right now – it felt roomy and spacious (I have a tendency to overpack or leave a lot of stuff in my car) but not too bulky to navigate and drive.

Carmel-by-The-Sea Guide with Lexus

Cafe interior
woman who was driving the Lexus NX 350 F Sport

Where to Stay

Carmel-by-the-Sea is a very small, walkable town. You won’t find big chain resorts in the main town, but rather lots of cozy bed & breakfast inns. We stayed at The Hideaway on a recommendation from our friend who is local, and really appreciated the recently renovated, more modern rooms (that are also dog friendly!). Our room didn’t have air conditioning and California was in the midst of a heat wave, but generally the weather in Carmel is temperate enough that you won’t need air conditioning. When we asked the front desk, they mentioned most places in town won’t have air conditioning.

If you’re looking for a bigger resort or luxury experience, nearby Big Sur has the incredible resorts Ventana and Post Ranch Inn (we loved our stay at Ventana!). For this trip, we really loved the intimate atmosphere close to the water in Carmel.

What to Do

If you’re familiar at all with the Coastal Grandmother trend, Carmel-by-the-Sea is one of the ULTIMATE Coastal Grandmother towns. You really want to slow down and fully embrace the lifestyle. We were fairly busy with wedding festivities, but here is what my ideal day in Carmel looks like:

Wake up and get coffee and pastries from Rise + Roam.

Walk to the beach with your coffee – or go for a run!

Have brunch at Stationaery.

Go shopping in town, visit art galleries, or do a wine tasting in town (we loved Caraccioli – they do a fab sparkling flight).

Have dinner at La Bicyclette – our favorite!

If you have an extra day or two, be sure to hop in the car and drive to Big Sur for a hike, or visit the Monterey Aquarium. There’s also tons of hiking and beautiful beaches near Carmel if you prefer to stay in the area.

Have you ever been to Carmel-by-the-Sea?

By far my most asked question around our extended trip to Europe. Hi, from Milan at the moment! It has been around our dog. Specifically, how we traveled to Europe with him. I’ve gotten this question so many times. It warms my heart to see how many of you consider your furry best friends to truly be part of the family! I wanted to share our exact process and steps we took to bring Puppers with us to Europe.

How to Travel With Your Dog Internationally

When we were planning to stay in Europe for an extended period of time (several months vs. the usual week or two we go away for), we knew we couldn’t leave him behind. The thought of leaving him with a sitter or our family was honestly unfathomable. So, I immediately began researching how we could safely and legally bring him along. Before I started my research, my initial thinking was this has to be practically impossible. But when we were in Italy for our wedding back in June, my interest was piqued when I saw a dog get off our flight in Rome from the states. I knew it was possible, I just wasn’t sure how difficult it would be.

Thankfully, depending on where you are traveling to (requirements vary by country), traveling with a pet is fairly straightforward. Before I go into depth on how we brought Puppers and what we had to do in order to bring him, I do want to caveat that travel can be extremely stressful on dogs – as it is for humans! I really wouldn’t recommend it if you are flying a long distance for a short period of time. Also, if you are going to be switching up locations constantly.

The only reason we brought our dog is because we were planning on being away for almost 3 months.

We were only visiting 3 separate countries and would be staying in 1 place for a long time. In general we tried to avoid hopping around too many cities and countries in our itinerary. Every travel day has been long, even the days between cities in the same country. I’ve felt it in my body (hello, 30’s?!) and noticed it in Puppers as well. His energy levels are definitely lower and he needs more rest, quiet, and sleep after a long travel day. Dogs are just like us, and they get jet lagged too! I know it’s so, so tempting to bring your pets with you everywhere. However, keep this in mind when you’re deciding whether or not to travel with them.

couple with their dog sharing how to Travel With Your Dog

How We Brought Our Dog to Europe

Before booking any tickets, the first thing we did was look up the entry requirements for the countries we were planning on visiting. I had heard horror stories about dogs having to be quarantined when they arrived. I knew I wanted to avoid that at all costs. Thankfully, most European countries have fairly straightforward requirements. The exception of UK, Ireland, Finland, Malta, and Norway – these are little trickier with deworming.

The countries we planned to visit all had the same requirements for the dog to be able to travel:

  • A health certificate for each country the dog will be visiting
  • Microchip
  • Up to date rabies vaccination

Some countries may also require additional vaccinations, test results for lab tests, or import permits. Again, this varies by country. Be sure to check the site above for each country’s requirements. Also, speak to your vet about traveling internationally with your pet. If your pet is microchipped and up to date on their vaccinations, then you can go ahead and schedule the health check with your vet. This is necessary in order to get the health certificate.

Next, when booking your flights, you will need to call the airline. Let them know you plan to bring a pet with you. The options for pets to travel are either in cabin or in cargo. If you have a service animal, these rules won’t apply to you. Most airlines will have a size or weight limit for pets that are allowed in the cabin. If your pet is above the limit, they will have to go in the cargo area of the plane, unless they are a trained service animal (emotional support animals don’t count, sorry!).

Pets in cabin are also only allowed in certain cabin classes, depending on the airline.

For example – we flew Air France, and they do not allow pets in all cabins. Most airlines won’t allow pets in business class, so you will have to book an economy or premium economy ticket. You will have to call the airline to reserve a spot for your pet (there are limits to how many pets can be on board a flight) and pay the fee, which will vary by airline. I believe we paid around $125 for one way from LA to Paris.

Once you have your pet’s “seat” reserved on your flight, this is the part that gets a little tricky. Your vet should be able to walk you through this, but you will need the health certificate dated no more than 10 days before your flight departs. The best way to coordinate this is to schedule the pet’s health check 10 days before your flight, and then work with your vet to make sure you have all of the documents needed to submit the health certificate.

You will have to pre pay an overnight or express shipping label so the vet can then submit the paperwork on your behalf, and you will be able to have the finalized health certificates overnighted to you. Of course, all of this is contingent on your pet being in good health and deemed “healthy” to fly by your vet.

Once you have all of the paperwork and admin done, you’re ready to fly with your pet! Again, please be sure to conduct your own research and speak to your vet, as requirements may change, and do vary by country.

How to Manage an International Flight with a Pet

The paperwork to get Puppers approved to come to Europe was the easy part. It took a bit of organization and diligence, but overall the process was straightforward (our vets in West Hollywood were also incredibly helpful!). However, the long flight was our biggest concern.

This is how we managed the trip from LA to Europe.

  • We didn’t feed Puppers the morning of our flight, and took him a long walk in the morning to make sure he went to the bathroom. Then, once we were at the airport we found the pet relief area (most/all airports should have this) and spent a good amount of time there before the flight.
  • Once we were on the flight, we gave (with the permission of our vet) a very mild sedative to relax him and help keep him calm during the flight.
  • Unfortunately, unless you have a service animal your pet has to be fully in their carrier under the seat for the entirety of the flight. This was really hard and sad, we checked in on him often and he was sleeping and just hanging out for the entire flight. But trust me, this was the worst part of the trip. I HIGHLY recommend investing in a high quality, comfortable pet carrier. I did a ton of research before our flight, this is the BEST carrier we found by far. We love this carrier because it’s super stealth and sleek. You can’t even tell there’s a dog inside. The padding is super comfortable for a dog to lay on, and the mesh allows them to see through while still being in a cocoon-like environment. If you’re going to splurge on anything, splurge on this carrier!!
  • As soon as we landed and made it through customs, the very first thing we did was let him out of his carrier to stretch his legs, and give him lots of water, food, and treats.

How Much Does It Cost to Travel With Your Pet Internationally?

Another factor that might weigh into your decision to travel with your pet internationally is the cost and all of the expenses tied to traveling with a pet. Here are just a few of the expenses we encountered when bringing our dog to Europe. This does not include his daily expenses or what it has cost to have him traveling with us.

Pet Fee for Flight to and from Europe (round trip) – $250

Vet Health Check for Health Certificates – $100

International Health Certificate – $195

3 Countries Health Certificate – $120 ($40/country)

Overnight Shipping Label – $40

Total: $665

There are also additional fees for every additional flight we take (although this fee is much less once you’re in Europe – we’ve paid between $40-$80 per flight here), as well as any hotel fees that come with bringing a dog. We’ve gotten pretty lucky booking dog friendly Airbnbs and finding hotels that have low/no pet fees, but these can add up quickly! Make sure to do research on where you can stay with a pet abroad.

Our Experience Traveling With a Dog Through Europe

One final note – I thought living in LA, we were already living in the most dog friendly place. But Europe (so far only France and Italy) has been so much more dog friendly, I honestly couldn’t believe it! Puppers has been allowed almost everywhere – no questions asked. Restaurants (indoor and outdoor), stores, the metro, beach clubs in Puglia – so far he has been welcome most places and treated so, so well. The French and Italians love dogs, they bring them everywhere.

The one time we were given a look was when we took him to a grocery store in Puglia. Even then they asked us to carry him vs. letting him walk around on his own. There are also some parks in Paris and beaches in Puglia that were no dogs allowed. Overall, Europe has been significantly more dog friendly than the US so far. It is another reason why we’re so happy we brought him along!

It truly has been the trip of a lifetime. As such, it’s even more memorable and meaningful we were able to bring our dog along. I’m really grateful we were able to do it safely. Any minor inconveniences that we’ve encountered from having a pet while traveling have been entirely eclipsed by the joy it’s brought us simultaneously and the memories we’ve made that we’ll cherish forever.

Let me know if I missed anything, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any more questions on what it’s been like to travel with our dog. xx

It’s almost September, and wedding season is still going strong. We got home from the most beautiful wedding in Northern California. Also, have another wedding to attend in a couple of weeks to round out this wedding season. 2022 saw a record number of weddings in recent history. And, it appears the wedding rush won’t be slowing down anytime soon!

Fall 2022 Wedding Guest Dresses

As a guest, the number one question is usually around what to wear and how to interpret the dress code. I really loved the dress I wore this past weekend. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten so many compliments on a dress I’ve worn as a guest. It also comes in white for my future brides to be! I wanted to share some of my tips for wedding guest attire and favorite wedding guest dress picks for any upcoming fall weddings.

woman wearing floral Fall 2022 Wedding Guest Dresses
woman in the fields wearing Fall 2022 Wedding Guest Dresses

What to Wear to a Fall Wedding

What to wear to a fall wedding depends on two factors – the wedding location and dress code. In many parts of the country (and around the world), early fall is some of the best weather of the year. Days are often still warm (but not blisteringly hot like the summertime) and evenings are briskly cool. Regarding wedding attire – you can get away with long sleeved cocktail or formal dresses. You can also choose darker gem hues in the fall. Always make sure to check the weather and wedding dress code that is typically found on the invitation or wedding website.

Cocktail / Semi-Formal Attire

Cocktail or semi-formal wedding events are slightly less formal. You can get away with shorter dresses or even a jumpsuit. I’ve included some of my favorite cocktail and semi formal wedding guest dresses below. I usually buy my dresses from Revolve (thank you, 2 day shipping!) or Reformation (they have the best selection!), but also love to look for a good deal. For fall I love darker florals, long sleeved dresses, and jewel/autumn tones (think: sage, plum, burnt orange, navy, hunter green).

Black Tie / Formal Attire

For black tie or formal dress code weddings, I would stick to a similar color palette. This will vary though based on where the wedding is and the weather of the current locale! Also, make sure to choose a floor length dress. I love these options below!

If you aren’t looking to buy a dress, my go-tos for renting are either Rent the Runway or Fashionpass. Make sure to reserve your dresses with time to spare. I’ve noticed the most popular styles are often booked months in advance.

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