Work Wear | Pink Blazer & Chloe Bag

This pink blazer is certainly a statement piece! I wasn't sure if I would be comfortable wearing such a bold piece to the office, but I loved this blazer so much that I knew I wanted to get it and step out of my work wear comfort zone. I am so glad I did as I get stopped and asked about the blazer every time I wear it.

I think the key to making this blazer (or any other bold colored blazer) appropriate for a day at the office is keeping the rest of your look classic. To do this for this outfit, I went with a white button down blouse, my go-to skinny dress pants, and black patent heels. My blazer is an old J Crew one, but I have linked up a very similar one from Boden. I actually have the Boden blazer in the bright yellow shade and love the quality of it - it is a heavy material and his tailored beautifully.

Of course I can't not talk about this gorgeous bag. The Celine Drew is an iconic bag and I love this grey-beige shade. I thought it was a really interesting complement to the hot pink. I've linked up the Celine Drew, but also a quality dupe version if you want the look of this bag without the designer price tag. I might add the dupe version of this bag in black to my closet!

Alright guys! That's it for me. Hopefully this bold pink blazer has brightened up your Monday (... I swear Mondays are easier when you wear bright clothes. Try it!) Let's take this work week by storm ladies! Have a great one!

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linking up with: hello monday // mix it mondays // creative mondays // #howifall

Travel | Aruba - Where to Eat & Where to Shop

I couldn't talk about Aruba without talking about the food! Aruba has some of the best restaurants in the Caribbean. There are so many great choices, and I wanted to share with you my personal favorites. To round-out my review of my recent Aruba trip, I thought in this post I would also share with you my favorite place to shop, and share some last few photos from my trip.

 Best Restaurants in Aruba:

As mentioned, Aruba is known for it's incredible selection of great restaurants. Narrowing it down to just a few favorites was certainly tough, but four that I absolutely love are:

1) Pinchos Grill & Bar

Pinchos is a beautiful restaurant on the water. The views are incredible and, as you can see, there is even a swing by the bar area. The atmosphere is perfect for a night out - it is a fancier restaurant, but still with a relaxed Caribbean vibe. It was actually voted the most romantic restaurant in the Caribbean a couple of years ago! (Next time I need to bring my guy!)

Sitting at your table with the breeze blowing through (hopefully with one of their delicious cocktails in hand) you can't help but feel relaxed. Speaking of cocktails, Pinchos makes what is now my new favorite drink - a champagne mojito. You absolutely need to try this drink! Another highly recommend one would be the Aruba Aribe!

As far as the food, the seafood dishes are top notch and there is a ton of variety. My mother who I went with is a vegetarian and they were also able to make a custom vegetarian main for her, which she loved! I had the special of the day which was a seafood trio including the local wahoo fish, lobster and shrimp. It was delicious!

If you follow me on instagram, you hopefully saw my instastories of this restaurant. This is hands down the coolest restaurant I have ever been. Indoors is filled with twinkle lights and has a super hip bar area, and outside - as you can see above - is literally in the water. There are a number of these water tables and we were lucky enough to get one for our dinner. If you want to secure a water's edge table be sure to book in advance and note that they only have seatings for these tables at 5pm. 

My mom was not nearly as enthusiastic as I was about the idea of eating with her feet in the sand with waves lapping up. However, she was quite the convert once we arrived and experienced it. It is definitely an experience worth having!

Sadly, the food was not as good as expected, especially given the prices. I would say the food at Pincho's was far better, but I still recommend checking out the flying fishbone for the experience. 

The West Deck is the most casual of my top 4 restaurants, as well as the most affordable. The food here is so good that even with all of the amazing restaurants to try out in Aruba, we went to the West Deck twice during the week because we wanted nothing more than to get the Caribbean Rice and Fried Funchi dishes again! 

I highly recommend stopping at the West Deck at least once during your stay. As you can probably assume from the above the side dishes were the biggest hit for my mother and I. Instead of ordering full meals we ordered a ton of appetizers and side dishes to share. In addition to the funchi and Carribean rice, I would highly recommend the plantains! 

Screaming Eagle has been voted by a number of publications as the top restaurant in Aruba. While I am not sure I would call it the absolute best (it's a tie between all four of these restaurants!) it was definitely incredible. It is the priciest of the 4 on this list, so be prepared for that. That said however, they routinely have 40% off wine bottle nights - so plan ahead to go then! 

The menu is more European than the other options on this list, which all focus more on local Caribbean cuisine. Screaming Eagle is a nice change for a mid-week meal if you are staying in Aruba for a week or more. We ordered appetizers, main courses and desserts and after every course we talked about how impressed we were! The dessert though was definitely the best part, in my opinion. I had the La Tazza Famosa - which was a mug made of chocolate filled with liquor, white chocolate mousse and orange sorbet. Just typing that is making me miss it haha. 

Best Place to Shop:

If you are looking to do some clothing shopping, I cannot recommend enough that you go to D Shop.

The store isn't particularly cheap (dresses around $100, shoes around $70, handbags around $50) but the styles are gorgeous. What I loved is that so many of the pieces were inspired by designer collections. To be clear, these are not dupes of designer pieces, but rather brands who have taken inspiration from designer collections.

There were so many pieces inspired by Gucci - with Gucci style ribbon and bows, red and green accents, etc. There were also a number of gorgeous print wrap dresses that are clear nods to Diane Von Furstenberg ones.

I snapped two photos of clothing racks just to give you sense of the prints I am talking about. Check them out:

I could have spent a fortune in this store and cannot wait to go back on my next trip! I now know that I need to leave room in my suitcase to allow me to buy a bunch of clothes! (... You should have seen me trying to fit three pairs of high heels into my carry-on suitcase for the flight home... it was not pretty haha)

I hope you enjoyed this post and let me know in the comments below if you have any questions! Thank you to Pinchos & The West Deck for their collaboration in this post. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.

linking up with: friday favorites // FFF // WW // welcome to the weekend

Travel | Aruba - Must-See's & Must-Do's

I can safely say that Aruba is one of my favorite travel destinations. The island is beautiful, the people are friendly, and the restaurants and activities are some of the best in the Caribbean. Having returned from my trip to Aruba a couple of days ago, I wanted to give you some suggestions of the best restaurants, activities and hidden gems in Aruba.

 But first; on a personal note: I have actually been going to Aruba since I was 7 years old. My grandfather has a timeshare there, and so as a kid, I went quite frequently. My parents even let me and my best friend travel to Aruba by ourselves (to meet my grandparents staying there) when we were ten years old. Once I was in high school (...and then my undergrad degree... and then my master's... and then law school) I wasn't able to take the time away to visit this magical island.

This trip was my first trip to Aruba in nearly 20 years. It was a very personal trip for me because it was the first time I have been since my grandmother passed away last year (read more about my relationship with her / what a fashionista she was) It was really interesting because a number of people remembered her and asked about her. Even the owner of her favorite restaurant in town remembered her fondly and gave his condolences. She certainly had a big personality and it was great to meet with people who knew her. 

Best Way To Get Around Aruba:

Okay, on to the good stuff! First up: when you get to Aruba go to Budget rent a car to pick up a car for the duration of your trip. Aruba has so much to explore that you will want your own vehicle to get around to restaurants and beaches in different neighbourhoods. Budget is right across from the airport- when you walk out the door it is about 15 feet directly ahead of you - so it is ideal for convenience! 

Driving around Aruba is actually quite easy. Most tourist type things are very well marked and your GPS map will work easily in Aruba. Just be sure you are prepared for a LOT of roundabouts (This country LOVES its roundabouts) 

Best Unconventional Thing To Do:

In a world of sand, sun and pina coladas it is nice to find something to do that is a bit different. I cannot recommend highly enough the yoga & pilates classes at Manchebo beach resort. They have both morning and evening classes (I did the morning classes 5 out of the 7 days I was there!) and they are such a great way to unwind and feel healthy during your vacation. The classes are held, as you can see in the photos below, in the most gorgeous outdoor spot overlooking the beach. 

On a similar note - the outdoor restaurant at Manchebo, Ike's, has amazing healthy breakfasts which I would recommend grabbing after your yoga/pilates class! The chia pudding is so delicious, and an absolute must try! 

Best Beaches:

Let's be honest, you can't really go wrong with any beach in Aruba. Aruba is lucky enough to have crystal clear water and fine, white sand beaches. That said; there are different perks to different spots. 

If you're interested in snorkeling, two of the best beaches are Boca Catalina and Baby Beach. Baby beach is usually quite busy, but definitely worth checking out. Boca Catalina is very small, but has great snorkeling to see fish. It's not a reef sight so you get different fish than you would in other locations. I also like that Boca Catalina is easily accessible and very close to the low-rise hotel area.

 If you want great views, and don't mind people, Eagle beach is fantastic. This is the beach I spent most of my time at- simply because it is right out front of where I was staying. 

Places to Visit:

The Aloe Museum/Factory is definitely worth a visit when you need a break from the beach (or when it rains!) Free guided tours (that last about 15 minutes) run every 15 minutes and are a great way to learn a little bit about One of Aruba's biggest exports and a great little Aruban company. The gift shop at the end is SO good. Get at least two tubes of the sugar scrub cubes - You'll thank me later!
The California lighthouse is also worth a visit. It is a great way to get a sense of the geography of the island.

That is all for today; stay tuned for Friday's post for more! On Friday I'll be covering the best places to eat (so many restaurant reviews), as well the #1 place to shop and the "most instagramable places"

Thank you so much to Budget Rent-a-Car Aruba & Manchebo Resort & Spa for collaborating on this post. As always, all reviews and opinions are my own.

Weekend Wear | Eliza J Bell Sleeve Dress

One of my favorite unexpected combinations for fall is blush pink and rose gold. When I received this gorgeous Eliza J dress I knew immediately that I wanted to wear rose gold with it! I think this outfit would be great for a date night or even a holiday party as we move towards the end of fall and into the holiday season. 

The sleeves on this dress are, clearly, the real showstopper here. They are so breathtaking! I have been loving the statement sleeve trend for a while and have a number of shirts with bell or ruffle sleeves. This dress definitely has the most dramatic sleeves though and they make such a statement when you move. Something about them just makes you feel so elegant when you walk.

I also love the neckline of this Eliza J dress - some V Necks are just too deep for me to feel comfortable in. This V hits at just the right point on your chest to be flattering and not too low cut. Huge fan over here!! 

In other news, I am officially back from vacation!! I am feeling so rested and ready to get back to work tomorrow. That said, I will definitely be needing a lot of coffee this week to help adjust my body to not napping on the beach throughout the day haha.

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Sephora Sale: Everyday Must-Haves & My Top Picks

Happy Friday guys!! In response to my instagram story polls last week you mentioned that you'd like to see more beauty posts here on LLB. With today being the start of the Sephora VIB Sale, I figured today was the perfect chance to do a beauty post. First things first:

What is the Sephora VIB Sale?

The Sephora VIB Sale is a sale that runs from today; November 10th until November 15th.  Sephora VIB members (the second tier of Sephora's membership program) get 20% off all items with the code 20forVIB. Beauty Insiders (which anyone can be - just sign up to be a Sephora member if you aren't!) get 15% percent off with the code INSIDER15.

What Makes This Sephora Round-Up Different Than Every Other Bloggers: 

Knowing that you (my awesome readers) want more beauty content means I want to give it to you! I do however want to remain true to my general theme of fashion/beauty/lifestyle inspiration for young working women. So, in honor of that, I wanted to focus my Sephora sale post today on the items at Sephora that are perfect for women to wear to work. Makeup that is office appropriate that lasts throughout the day! I've rounded my personal favorite every day items up in the widget below.

To learn more about these products and WHY they are the best - head on over to my instagram stories! I will be posting first thing this morning videos of me before and after each of these everyday items so you can see how they look in real life and hear me talk about their strengths and weaknesses, before you buy them! If you miss the 24 hour window for these stories, I will also be posting them on Facebook later in the day, so head over there to check them out.

Quickly here, I'll just say that all of these products are my work day staples because they look natural AND they last all day without smudging. The Estee Lauder double wear foundation I cannot say enough good things about. I have tried so many other foundations over the years (literally dozens) and I return to this one every time because the coverage cannot be beat!

Everyday Must-Haves:

I also wanted to share a bit more Sephora sale content with you all, so below are two more widgets. 

First up is a widget of all the items in my cart - my personal must-try items. You'll notice the first three items are St. Tropez products. I was gifted the St. Tropez bronzing face mask and tried it when I arrived in Aruba. This was the first St. Tropez product I used and I LOVED it! I have always been so hesitant with self tanners; worried about looking either orange or just too dark. The St. Tropez face mask though came out as a perfect light tan, so I am officially hooked and ready to try out more of their body tanning products. I've linked up the classic bronzer but also one I am really intrigued by - the 4 in 1 bronzer which also moisturizes, firms and tones. Definitely ordering this one today!

Since the holidays are fast approaching, next up is a widget of my favorite items for gifting! There are so many cute sets at hugely discounted prices that would be great as Christmas gifts for friends, sisters, etc. The mini nail polish "advent calendar" would be such a great gift for others; but also for yourself haha! Happy shopping everyone!!

Top Items I Want:

Gift Ideas:

linking up with: WW  // fabulous friday // FFF

Work Wear | Who What Wear Collection

This gorgeous faux wrap skirt will be making an appearance in my wear-to-work wardrobe over and over again this fall and winter. I am so in love with this style! It's trendy, but the length and pattern are work appropriate. This skirt is from the Who What Wear Collection at Target so it's also super affordable! (Ps. If you missed my post reviewing Who What Wear & A New Day items from Target this fall, be sure to check that out!)

The one thing I will say about this skirt though is to size down. I bought a size 6 but after wearing it for these photos I definitely wish I bought a size 4. The waist needs to be quite snug, otherwise when you tie the faux tie at the front, the waistline gets bunched up. I'm still going to be wearing this skirt (clearly!) but if you're ordering one, do yourself a favor and size down 1 size from your usual!  

In addition to this amazing skirt, I'm wearing ankle boots with pink bow clips because a) I love updating shoes/boots by adding shoe clips and b) because there is a tiny bit of pink in the pattern of the skirt and I wanted to bring that out with the pink bows. If you don't own any shoe clips yet, I highly recommend you get some! They are such a great way to update an old pair of shoes. My favorite place for shoe clips is Aldo - these pink bows are from there, and I also have square rhinestone shoe clips that make your shoes look like a Manolo Blahnik dupe!  

Other than the pop of pink with the bows, I wanted to keep the rest of the outfit black, so I went with my favorite sweater from Zara, black frame glasses and my black faux crocodile Chanel clutch.

I am still away on vacation in Aruba, so I better head back to the beach! I hope you all have a great day. As always, let me know in the comments below if you have any questions about any of the items I'm wearing! 

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linking up with: thursday fashion files // spotlight 
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