Thursday, July 28, 2011

{Reality Check}

I tend to prefer reading women's magazines in hard copy rather than online (it seems some sites are so heavily populated with graphics and headlines that I want to avoid sending myself into a visual tailspin) but I recently viewed and came across an interesting tag line that read: "Could you go a week without your phone or the internet and feel happy?"

Is this your reaction to a loss in "connection"?

According to a survey (Glamour, please) "more than half of respondents said they felt upset when they were denied access to the Internet; and, 40 percent said they felt lonely." Source.  Now, I can understand that if I were to go without using my phone for a few days, I might feel a bit weird...but would I go as far as to compare being sans phone to "quitting smoking or drinking" or "having my hand chopped off?" I don't think so. Let's get a grip.

It may be time for a time-out...

Ladies (and gents), I really hope we have more going on in our lives that we don't feel lonely without the internet or phone. I get it, we live in a society driven by the notion that we are available 24/7 thanks to advancements in technology. (Even I have been recently craving an iPad.) I've said it to my boss many times before and I'll say it again: Put the blackberry (or insert your phone here) down! Life will go on whether you answer that email now or in the morning, whether you update your Facebook pictures tonight or in a week, whether you keep up with your Twitter account or whether you answer every comment on your blog page or not.

There aren't words.

A year ago, I realized the ridiculous amount of time I spent on my Facebook account so I deactivated it. For 3 months. It was positively delightful and I read several books, spent more time outdoors and didn't miss it for a second (pinky swear). I learned, during that time, how much I had relied on Facebook for remembering birthdays, upcoming events & being updated on people's lives. It helped me to remember that just because technology is convenient, it doesn't suffice for verbally wishing someone a happy birthday or meeting a friend over coffee vs. an online chat.

Remember to make time to go outside & play!

Yes, it is awesome to have an instant connection with others right at your fingertips...but it does not make us happy. It makes us available, but it should not make us dependent.

So my answer to you, Glamour, is yes...

I can go for a week (or more!) without my phone or internet and still be completely happy. (In fact, I will be doing that this weekend while away in the mountains.) And I sincerely hope all of you readers can too.

Images via Google

Sunday, July 24, 2011

{Detail Yourself}

It seems this summer is all about accessorizing; from bangles to hair wraps, I am totally digging the accentuation of a particular piece of jewelry or eyewear to make an outfit pop. Especially when traveling during the warmer months, it is quite efficient to stick to a small range of clothing (tank tops, skirts, maxi dresses) and make your outfits go the extra mile with a variety of accessories. I remember traveling Europe with a very limited wardrobe supply; what helped make those items of clothing not feel overused or appear the same in every photo wasn't just mixing and matching, but also adding lightweight scarves or jewelry accents. If you're looking to stick to a carry-on bag for your next trip or need a closet refresh, think about adding these simple accessories rather than more apparel:

Wear bangles (or a cuff bracelet) for a bit of shine
(Make yourself jingle with a little color)

Add a bright belt to a top or dress to mix it up
(Loose fitting & comfy is best)

Don a head scarf to spice up your hair
(Who said scarves are only meant to be worn around your neck?)

Keep the time (and your style) with a classy wristwatch
(My favorite outlet find [so far] in 2011!)

Make a statement with an over-sized ring
(A glamorous ring can go a long way)

Protect your eyes with a pair of glasses that compliment you
(Always a wardrobe staple)

Show off your nails with a vibrant color
(These lacquers are f-a-b-u-l-o-u-s)

Sometimes, it's all in the details...

Images via Google

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

{The Little Things}

Sometimes I have to remind myself to be thankful for the little things in life. It is easy (especially in this country) to quickly forget to count our blessings when we are constantly trying to keep up with a fast-paced culture. There is always more we want, expect and feel that we need. This week, I am just happy to reflect on having a nice weekend away at the beach. Thankfully, there was plenty of sunbathing, eating, laughing and R&R! Just what my little heart desired...

Watching the sun set over the bay...

I certainly can appreciate spontaneity and acknowledge that "getting away" every now & then is something I treasure. Reason or no reason, it's nice to make an effort to spend time least while young and with less responsibilities! However, it's also good to be reminded how simple things, such as sitting on the back porch with a glass of vino, can be just as lovely. It's not always about the big things, but the little things that make life a bit sweeter...

This Week's Little Things

My daily cups of tea

Surprises! Especially handmade cards!

The perfect gift to hold other little treasures!!!

Natural snack bars!

Looking forward to Fall collections...

Getting a go shorter or not to go shorter?

And last but not least...

Who doesn't want to come home to this face?!

La vita é bella

Images courtesy of © 2011 Chateau de Victoria

Thursday, July 14, 2011

{Life's A Beach}

It appears my lucky stars are aligning because I practically gave up on the idea of going to the beach earlier this summer, only to be making my third trip this month in just a few hours! See, my sweetheart and I are celebrating our 5 year dating anniversary this weekend (no biggie!) and slacked on planning a getaway...but we both decided we should at least make it to the shore! Of course, our hot air balloon ride was my [little] contribution, but it will be nice to get some R&R together at the ocean.

Beach Weekend Must Haves

I am looking forward to having some fun & reflecting on the past several years with my sweetheart. It is amazing how much we have grown, both as a couple and as individuals. We have been through so much together; every year of our relationship has been unique and presented its own set of challenges and blessings. There is so much I could say about the past 5 years, but I think it's best to appreciate the team we have become. No matter what the future brings, I'm glad I found the most genuine friend I could have asked for in these past several years.

Now I leave you with these morsels I'm looking forward to:

Image courtesy of © 2011 Chateau de Victoria

Image courtesy of © 2011 Chateau de Victoria

C'est la vie!

Remaining Images via Google

Friday, July 8, 2011

{Sweet Summertime}

Hello, lovies! It has been a semi-busy week getting back into work mode after a nice, long weekend at the just doesn't feel like summer until you spend time in the sun & sand! Of course, none of us remembered to take pictures to capture the delish homemade meals, adult concoctions or fun on the shore, but it was quite a relaxing weekend. A few of us even tried paddle boarding; a lot of fun but quite difficult when going against the tide & wind!

A little exercise while getting your tan on...
...I think I'll wait for this kind of water next time!

How cute!

Of course, being in the sun for several days (despite a lot of sunscreen) often leaves my skin dry and, recently, with a few darker skin spots. I blogged here about my experience with tanning and the effects from unprotected sun exposure. Recently, one of those effects is darker spots that seem to surface during the prime summer months. Some sources say cocoa butter or lemon juice help lighten the skin, but I am debating whether or not to try out this recommended product:

If you have any other suggestions, let me know! It is hard to stay out of the sun, as there is so much to do outdoors! I am pretty much always in let's-go-on-vacation mode due to the fact I am permanently infected with the travel bug, but it has become increasingly difficult to plan for a getaway with a summer filled with all kinds of events! That's okay though, because the longer I wait to book a trip, the more vacation days I accrue...which means more time to do this:

Wine touring in Napa Valley, CA

Waterfall jumping in the Dominican Republic

Visiting Machu Picchu in Peru

Walking the Great Wall of China

Snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef

So many fun possibilities to look forward to!

Images via Google