Checking in to say hi and let you know we are well and safe! We’ve had an eventful week with a roller coaster of emotions with the Hurricane. We are thankful that our area in Tampa Bay is ok with minimal damage but heartbroken about the destruction and damage that has occurred in other areas of Florida.
We experienced a lot of wind and rain however we did not have to evacuate based on our area and zone. My in-laws evacuated as they are very close to the water so they packed up essentials and spent a few days with us until it was safe for them to return to their home.
We lost power as expected for several days but there were so many power trucks throughout Florida to help we were out of power for only 3 days.
Devastated to see the damage from Hurricane Ian in other parts of Florida. We were in Fort Myers a few months ago and it is heart breaking to see the entire area has been destroyed. They are a little over 2 hours south from where we are. We are making donations to the Florida Disaster Fund. Seeing the damage it will most likely take them years to rebuild.
Ollie and Kitty are both doing well. Ollie is now 8 months old and we think he is nearly full grown at 17.4 pounds! They both bring us so much happiness.
Thank you for all of you who messaged me to check in. Feeling blessed and lucky.
I’m back with a packing roundup! We took a week off for a mini getaway to Key West. It’s been five years since we’ve visited and this trip we took my in-laws with us. We took the Key West Express from Fort Meyers this time. Overall it was crazy hot and humid during our time but we still had a lot of fun! It was a relaxing trip, we did a lot of walking.
A quick look at the hotel we stayed at. Andrew and I booked a 2 bedroom cottage at The Capitana Key West. It’s one of the newer hotels and we really liked it! Super clean, nice modern design, daily housekeeping, cute pool and lounge area. It is 2 miles outside of downtown so you will definitely need a car or golf cart of some sort as it’s too hot to walk that far. Here’s a quick look. If you want to see the inside, I did a mini room tour on Instagram I’ll post below.
For packing Andrew and I packed up 3 Away Bigger Carry-Ons (there was a size limit for luggage on the ferry). I still really love these suitcases and highly recommend them. The Bigger Carry-On is the perfect size to pack essentials for an extended weekend getaway. I also really love their Packing Cubes – both Andrew and I use these. For longer trips we have and like the Medium Suitcase. Their Accessories selection is pretty good these days too! I bought Andrew the Large Toiletry Case and he approves of the design, material and quality!
What I packed below (each item is clickable to take you directly to shop the item):
I didn’t manage to get photos of every outfit I wore but here are a few snapshots.
I’ve never received so many questions as I have about shoes! Here are the highlights on sizing and comfort:
Tory Burch Double T Sport Slide is one of most comfortable sandals I’ve tried. I’ve owned this pair for a couple years now (also seen here and here). They’ve held up really well even though I’m not the most careful with my feet. While it doesn’t have arch support there’s a cushion in the sole which makes them really comfortable on the feet. They run true to size (I’m a 6.5 in most sandals). Comfort is 10 out of 10.
Ancient Greek Sandals Eleftheria Sandal are a recent splurge and I love the minimalist look. They’re very sturdy and I like that they stay on the feet. The straps are not adjustable so it was pure luck that they fit me perfectly. I wish the straps were adjustable though – it seems like having a perfect fit isn’t always going to happen since everyone has different widths for feet, ankles, toes etc. Comfort is 8.5 out of 10 for me. These come in whole sizes and the Size 7 works perfectly for me.
Chloe Woody Slide Sandals are ones I think are super cute, but comfort is a level 7 out of 10 for me. They’re not painful but they’re also not ones I want to walk around all day in. These come in whole sizes only and I wear these in a 37.
Veja Venturi Sneakers are cute for that chunky sneaker trend and I find them very comfortable. They’re very comfortable to walk in around all day. Sizing reviews seem to be mixed (it may depend on color). For these I wear them in a US 6/ EUR37.fendi
Fendi Feel Slides were a splurge and I love them. They’re very comfortable and I had no issues (no break in period). There is a slight arch support inside and the sole has some beveled edges to hug the feet (so there’s no sliding around inside). Even with sweaty feet they stayed on. Sizing is big and wide. I have narrowish feet so I took these in a Size 36. I could have probably gone down to a 35.5 but the 36 is very comfortable. I would recommend going a 1/2 down from your regular size or buy from a retailer that has a good return policy.
For beauty packing I packed up products in 2 different cases this time. For skincare and haircare I splurged on the Louis Vuitton Nice BB Case and love it. I just bought it so I’ve only been able to use it once on this trip. I’ll be able to share more thoughts as we travel more! Packing Reel sharing what fits inside below.
For makeup I packed everything in the Calpak Mini Cosmetic Case. This had been sitting in my online shopping cart for many months. I finally decided to order it in Caramel and love it. Super roomy even though it’s the “mini” version. There’s a bigger option available too!
I don’t always pack hair tools but with the humidity in the Keys I wasn’t going to take any chances on the hotel dryer. I packed up the T3 Micro Aireluxe and the ghd Platinum+ Styler. Both were great! I will probably switch up the dryer for a different one next time (this one took up a lot of room) but will 100% travel with the hair straightener. It’s perfect to smooth out the hair in the morning.
Last thing I wanted to highlight is how I pack my jewelry. I usually wear my necklaces while traveling since I haven’t found a travel case that works for chains (they always end up getting tangled). But for everything else the Mejuri Travel Case is perfect to store rings, three pairs or earrings and thicker chains. It’s also available in black.
Have you been traveling this summer? We have been itching to travel more but Ollie is not yet ready to go with us (hopefully soon). He’s been in puppy training the past 2 weeks so the timing worked out for us to have someone watch/train him this time. We really wanted to bring him but we’re glad we did not (it was too hot and the ferry ride was too long for him!). He’s learning so much! If you’ve traveled this summer let me know where!
If you want to see the places we visited you can check out my Key West highlights on Instagram @beautylookbook.
We took a few days off for a much-needed getaway in Miami! We always have fun in South Beach and love the beaches, great shopping and food. I’m already planning our next trip and hopefully we will be able to stay longer next time! Here were the highlights!
Where We Stayed
Andrew picked out our hotel this trip and he booked us a room at The Goodtime Hotel. We absolutely loved it! We stayed in one of the Queen Ocean View rooms and it was so cute. On the small side, but rooms have a well thought out floor plan and we loved the location. It was further south from the hotels we’ve usually stayed in and it was perfect. Less traffic, not as busy and perfect walking distance to the beach and restaurants we love. Parking is expensive but we luckily found a garage right next to the hotel for a lower rate.
This was probably one of my favorite hotels in Miami! They do have a cute common area they call the “Library” for guest to relax or work. Their restaurant is by the pool called Strawberry Moon and it was delicious.
Other hotels we’ve stayed include Royal Palm, Loews Miami, The Edition South Beach, East Miami and a few other smaller boutique hotels. I really loved the Edition Hotel and would love to go back (but it’s on the pricey side). East Miami is gorgeous but located in Brickell (downtown) so it’s farther from the beach. Both Andrew and I have had a great experience at each one. We try to pick a different one each time, but we both agreed hands down we’d go back to The Goodtime Hotel again.
What I Packed
We both packed our Away Carry-On suitcases (I packed the Original Carry-On in Blush, Andrew packed the Bigger Carry-On in White) plus a travel bag for each of us. Andrew still uses his Everywhere Bag and it’s held up so well over the years. I used the Weekender (larger, discontinued). If you’re looking for luggage I still highly recommend Away. If you click on my PACKING tag you’ll see reviews of multiple sizes, what I packed on past trips and what I recommend for travel.
You can tap each icon to shop what I packed
For beauty I brought 4 pouches/bags. I like to have multiple cases to keep things separated and organized for easy access. I packed the Daily Edited Clear Travel Case (pale pink) to carry makeup (mine is the older design, review here). I also usually bring an empty cosmetic pouch or case with me so I can use it during the trip on-the-go and packed one of The Daily Edited Small Cosmetic Cases.
I’m still a lover of Truffle bags as well. I was finally able to use the Clarity Jumbo Train Case* they gifted me last year and it was perfect for my skincare and hair care. I packed a lot of skincare, sunscreen, cleansers and my own Oribe Shampoo and Conditioner*. Everytime I skip bringing my own hair care I always regret it. This trip I didn’t bring my own hair dryer and it’s something I’ll never do again. I’ve been spoiled with my Dyson and sometimes I don’t fully appreciate it until I have to use something else. I never want to be without it.
For makeup brushes I usually grab my favorites and throw them into one of the Truffle Clarity Jetsets. I bought this one myself the first year we moved to Florida back in 2017 and it’s held up so well.
There is so much to explore food-wise in Miami and I have a long list of places to try. With so many people visiting Florida, Miami has become busier compared to our last two visits. I did not make reservations because last year we didn’t need any. This trip all of the places on my list were fully booked. We still had a lot of fun and tried some new eats!
Our must-visits are always Joe’s Stone Crab (I love the crab cakes and chocolate chip angel food cake, it comes with a side of the most amazing chocolate mousse), the Salty Donut and Zak the Baker.
We also tried Strawberry Moon for breakfast (loved), Sorbillo for pizza (was pretty good, but will try a different pizza place next time), Joey’s in Wynwood (love) and Big Pink (super fun diner place).
We try to go to at least one museum or exhibit each time we’re in town. The Van Gogh Immersive Exhibit is still in Miami and if they have an exhibit in your city I highly recommend checking it out! It takes about an hour depending and I loved how they brought a lot of his paintings to life in an immersive experience.
We also love relaxing at the beach or pool. It doesn’t feel like a vacation without beach time! There’s so much fun people watching! While our hotel wasn’t on the beach, they did have a designated beach area with umbrellas and lounge chairs. Depending on how busy it is you can sometimes rent umbrellas and chairs even if you’re not staying at the hotel.
I could spend days shopping and window shopping but a lot of the malls are spread out, so I try to pick just 1 or 2 areas to explore. We went to the Miami Design District and I splurged on some wishlist items I had from Loewe including the Mini Puzzle Bag (also available at places like Neimans, Net-a-Porter and Nordstrom), the new shine lipsticks from Hermes and a new pair of sandals.
Do you have any Miami favorites? Would love to hear recommendations on hotels or places to eat if you have any!
We spent a few days in Miami for a mini getaway and I thought I’d share a roundup of what we did, where we stayed and a few of our favorite places! We booked a trip for my 40th birthday and stayed at The Miami Beach Edition. It’s been on my list for years and we love it – it’s beautiful! Everything was super clean, they good service and good restaurants in the hotel. We ate breakfast at the Market Edition one of the mornings and loved it! The entire hotel is scented in a custom scent for them made by Le Labo. We made sure to stop by the spa before we left to stock up and buy some of the shower gels, candles and more so we could take the scent home with us!
I packed a ton of shorts and tank tops with a few dresses and sandals. I brought several pairs I brought with me but the entire trip I mainly wore my new Tory Burch Double T Sport Slides (run true to size) – they’re super comfortable with no break in needed! The one must-have for beach life are the Eric Javits hats. I have the Hamptons style in a number of colors and love how well they stay on and protect my face from the sun. The tops are woven in a way that truly protects your head and scalp by blocking 95% of UVA and UVB rays. They are quite the splurge but I’ve gotten so much wear out of them.
Items in collage below are clickable to shop! These are the things I packed:
(click on items in carousel to take you directly to each shop page)
We try to explore different areas each time we go to Miami but we’ve found so many good places we find that we’re often drawn back to our favorites. Below trying on some things at Celine.
The shopping is so good in Miami! My favorite spots are a bit spread apart so I try and limit my visits to a few places each time. The Miami Design District was also on my list and I splurged on some of my wishlist items from Celine and Loewe. So many pretty things there ! (Haul will be posted on IGTV or Stories this week.) The pretty Loewe store below.
I’ve saved the best for last! The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens has been on my list for years and this is the first time I planned in advance and ordered tickets. I’m not sure if this is always the case but tickets are sold online only right now. We saw them turn away visitors at the booth who did not have tickets. While some areas in Florida (and maybe where you are too) no longer require masks, some do. This was one of them, even outdoors. The place is beautiful! I highly recommend visiting. A number of areas were undergoing renovations so there were some places we did not get to see. Both Andrew and I thought the estate was beautiful! 10 acres of gardens, water fountains, and a two-story building (second story was closed during our visit).
If you’re planning a trip to Miami you can click on my FLORIDA Travel tag to see what we’ve done and where we have stayed in the past. There is so much to do and see. We love it and always can’t wait to go back to see more! We still haven’t made it to other areas like Palm Beach which is on our list.
A number of you have messaged me about your upcoming Florida travel plans asking for recommendations on what to see and where to stay for the West Coast of Florida. We live in the Tampa Bay side which covers a wide area, more specifically we are in the beach area in St. Petersburg. I will try to put together an updated guide for St. Pete, Clearwater, Bradenton and Sarasota. A lot has changed since I did my post 3 years ago!
I’m hosting a giveaway for an eGift card to The Daily Edited! They make some of my favorite travel cases so I’m going to giveaway a $200 eGift Card to one reader. Not sponsored or affiliated. Open to anyone 18 years and older. All you have to do is enter through the rafflecopter widget below. Complete at least THREE of the entry steps but the more you complete the more entries you get. Giveaway will run through May 21, 2021 11:59 PM EST. I’ll select one winner through the widget and contact them via email. Winner has 72 hours to respond and confirm via email or another winner will be selected in their place.
Away Travel Minis are back again! The minis are usually available during the holidays but they’ve brought them back. For those who missed out on previous launches you’ve asked me to alert you if they are back and they are now! These are my favorite miniature travel-sized cases perfect for quick trips, long vacations, inflight essentials, for the beach, for my gym bag etc. Basically great to carry anything you want protected from the hard shell exterior.
They currently retail for $45 each and are available in the individual empty cases. I’ve done quite a few reviews in the past. If you want to see what I can fit inside you can find previous posts by clicking on my Packing Tag.
I’m so excited to share the news that the Away Minis are back for the holiday! Individual minis launch on their website Away Travel and in their stores today (with more holiday goodness launching very soon). I’ve gifted these every year they’ve launched and they are always well received – even by the picky ones! These are my favorite cases to travel with and I also carry them to the beach and to the gym. The hard exterior is perfect to protect things from getting squished in your bag or luggage (like sunglasses and squeeze tubes).
The 2019 edition has a couple of updates to the design. The size and dimension are the same with an open interior and mesh pocket on one side. This year they’ve added a small hook on the top front to attach a key ring and on the inside they’ve added another elastic band for those who want something extra to hold products in place. They are available in 9 Core Colors, Aluminum and a few limited-edition shades as well.
Double zip, zipper matches the polycarbonate shell, new ring attachment at top this year:
On the nails is Chanel Le Vernis in Richness from the holiday collection (review soon)
The Away Minis measure 7″ x 5″ x 3″ and come with a double-zip closure. They’re small but I can fit quite a bit inside! I always get questions about TSA restrictions and liquids. I’ve never had any issues but I usually put everything into a quart size bag at home first to make sure I’m not over the limit.
What I travel with varies depending on season. We’re getting ready for some holiday travel before the end of the year so I’m starting to put together a packing list. Some things I’ll probably check like face wash, moisturizer, etc. But for reference to get an idea of what you can fit, this is what I can fit inside mine:
His and hers travel favorites, Andrew is partial to Kiehl’s and Jack Black for skincare:
If you haven’t checked out their products recently they just launched their Luminous Collection for holiday. They have new colors of luggage, everywhere bags and a few more accessories. In addition many of you have asked about the pink nylon Everywhere Bag that I have from last year. There’s a pink leather version available right now if you’ve been holding out for pink!
This post is about the minis but I always get questions about Away products so I thought I’d do an FAQ. I’ve reviewed Away luggage in several posts over the years. Simply click on my PACKING travel tag to see what I’ve packed on previous trips. Top questions I receive about their products:
Which size do I recommend?
I’m usually a carry-on traveler and typically travel within the US. I prefer the bigger carry on because it will fit in the overhead bins (except for the smaller commuter flight planes).
On one of our trips last year we used the Medium and loved it. I feel like now I’ll always travel with the Medium.
To find out if it will fit on your airline there’s a helpful FAQ section on the Away website. Measurements include the wheels which is super helpful.
What are the stand outs about their luggage over other brands?
The design is streamlined and well made. The wheels have 360 spinners which makes it SO easy to maneuver upright, at an angle, to rotate etc. The handle is designed well so it doesn’t take up a lot of room on the inside. You can still fit a lot in between the handle bars. Quality is also excellent.
Does it get scratched? How do the light colors hold up?
If you check it, it’s only a matter of time before you get scratches. Both Andrew and I have checked ours (even the carry on size sometimes). They hold up pretty well! The scuff marks can be cleaned up with warm water and a Magic Eraser.
How does the Everywhere Bag compare to other travel totes?
It’s thoughtfully designed with REALLY good pockets for easy access and separation. It’s easy to carry on the shoulder even when full. I’m 5’3″ and I am an over packer but was able to carry it without any issue. It is easy to sling over the handle of your suitcase as well. Andrew has one in black leather and likes his too. He was 100% convinced it wasn’t going to be better than his briefcase which he also uses for travel to carry his laptop and electronics. After one use he’s a convert.
Snapshot of previous minis in action from past travels:
Away Minis launch individually today. Available in 9 core colors, Aluminum and 5 limited-edition colors. Starting at $45 each.
Be sure to follow @away on Instagram or sign up for their newsletter for new launch alerts. There are more things launching for holiday gifting very soon! For now individual minis are available in all of their core colors on the AwayTravel.com.
The cutest Away Mini Travel Cases are back for a limited time! I’ve been writing about these since 2016 and am completely obsessed. The minis are typically launch only during the holiday season and sell out very quickly – if you missed out here’s another peek at them. They retail for $35 each just for the case itself and right now come in the core colors. These are hard zip cases with a mesh pouch in the interior and measure approximately 7″ x 5″ x 3″ – they’re nice to store things you don’t want to get smushed when traveling like small hair brushes, sunglasses, beauty essentials etc. You can find them right now online at AwayTravel.com (under their Gifts and Extras section).
The cases are versatile for a wide range of things. I don’t just use these for travel. I use them for weekend day trips, going to the beach, etc. They’re nice and compact and perfect for carrying inflight essentials. If I’m flying to be safe I put all my liquids I’m carrying on the plane into a quart size zip loc back before putting them into the hard case to make sure it will be within the quart size limit. Pulling one image from the archives below:
A peek at past trips when I brought my Away mini with me. Also shown on a shelfie and with other things for scale. They’re pretty sturdy and easy to clean on the outside – just use a Magic Eraser and warm water and it cleans up perfectly!
A number of you asked me how the Away Mini compares to the Truffle Jetset Clarity Case. They’re both excellent for travel – it just depends on your packing style and preference. The benefit of the Away Mini is that it has a hard shell so it will protect things better than a leather zip pouch. However the Truffle Jetset is a little bigger around and shorter in depth so you can fit longer things.
I’ve traveled with both on numerous occasions. Each one has their benefits for carrying on the plane or for travel. I do think the Away Mini is more budget friendly and they make really cute gifts. I’ve bought one for so many of my friends and family. It makes me so happy to hear and see how they use them for even just everyday things. My brother keeps his everyday essentials (like contact solution, etc.) in the Away case in his backpack. Some of you have told me you keep your essential travel documents like passport or other papers inside for easy access when you travel.
They just came back in stock for a limited time. If you have these on your wishlist I recommend buying soon! I just ordered a few more colors to stock up for gifts. For now they’re available just with the case alone. I’m hoping they’ll also bring them back during the holiday with sets like they have in the past!
The Away Mini is available only at Away Travel online and in their free-standing stores.