Wednesday, January 25, 2017

2017 goals

Well, hello there!

I know, I've been meaning to post more. But honestly, I just wasn't feeling that inspired. And then I started planning out a post for next Monday and realized I hadn't even talked about my yearly goals yet! Oops...

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1. Organize, organize, organize. I definitely upped my organization game in 2016, but it's not at its peak. I've been loving using my planner to help keep my life organized, but my home organization isn't where I want it to be so this is one of my top priorities for the year. I just want everything to have a place so that my apartment always looks clean and in tip-top shape!

2. Journal all of my grateful and happy moments. Speaking of my planner, I've transitioned my Happy Planner into just that - a place where I write down something I'm grateful for or a happy moment that occurred that day. It could be something as small as "I went to Starbucks!", but I've found that it helps me be more appreciative each day.

3. Be more positive. This sort of goes along with #2, but I'm trying to be more positive in my daily life. I don't want to call myself a Negative Nancy or Pessimistic Peggy, but I'm not the peppiest or cheerful person out there. My tendency is to look at the negative first and I'm trying really, really hard to change that outlook. Writing down something that brought me a little bit of joy every day is certainly helping!

4. Read more. I shared my reading list this past fall as an incentive to get back into reading. I used to be someone who read every single day, but I really attribute that to having lived in the city and having to commute to work. Now that I live and work in NJ, I drive every where and it really cut down on that time I spent reading. I set up a goal to read 25 books this year and I'm currently on a roll! Look out for another reading list soon.

5. Lead a healthier life. I grouped exercise and eating healthier together because let's face it, they go hand in hand. Getting into shape and finding the right exercise routine is usually on everyone's list, but this year I'm really trying to commit to this. So far I've done pretty well. I've found an exercise that I LOVE, and it's actually made me want to eat better! Win-win.

6. Get enough sleep. Going to bed at 2 AM is my jam. Being a night owl is something I inherited from my mom, but I've realized that I cannot go to bed at 2 AM and wake up at 7 to go to work. I'm someone who needs 8 hours of sleep. I'm aiming for a bedtime of 10 or 11 PM each night. We'll see how this goes...

7. Wake up early - even on the weekends! If I go to bed in the early hours of the morning, I can end up sleeping til 10 or 11 or 12... It's awful. Really awful. Because then the day is half gone and I could have done so much in the morning. Ideally, I'd like to wake up at 5 or 6 AM on some weekdays so that I can get a good workout in {won't lie, has yet to happen} and 8 or 9 on the weekends {has happened}.

8. Spend less, save more money. This is another goal that I have every year. I'm trying really hard this year to save more money that I have in the past by doing the reverse 52-week money challenge in addition to my usual savings schedule. I also have plans on doing a few no-spend months throughout the year. Updates and tips to come!

9. Blog more! Holy crow, have I let my blog and YouTube fall to the wayside. A lot of times I feel so discouraged or uninspired, especially because I don't want to write and film all things fashion all the time. I've started keeping a notebook of ideas for blog posts and videos so I'm hoping to amp up the content in February!

10. Make time for friends. I am quite possibly one of the worst people at keeping in touch with people. I have a habit of never wanting to initiate the conversation {probably the only child/introvert tendencies in me} so now that I live in NJ and a lot of my friends live in the city or other states, I never make the first move to set up a time to visit. Also, I always hate feeling like I'm bothering someone. Is anyone else like this? Any tips on how to get over it?

To keep myself accountable this year, I'm planning on writing at least one blog post a month on how I'm getting on with my goals. I definitely threw myself into this at the start of the year so I'll let you know how it's going and whatever progress I make!

Friday, January 13, 2017

nye at club med punta cana

My parents and I took quite an exciting trip at the end of 2016. We left bright and early on December 26th and headed to the Dominican Republic to spend a week at Club Med. I've mentioned this previously, but in case you're new around these parts, my family has been vacationing at Club Med since I was in the 6th grade! I'm 27 now so clearly we're big fans...

Club Med Punta Cana is our most visited and our favorite resort of the five that we've been to. It holds a lot of great memories for us and has also changed quite a bit since our first visit. This year, we stayed in the newest area of the resort, the Zen Oasis. I vlogged while I was there just to show you some bits and pieces of the week, including the really fun New Year's Eve celebration!


Zen Oasis // The Zen Oasis is the adult-only area of the resort, meaning no one under the age of 18 is allowed to stay in the rooms or access any of the facilities. The rooms are quite spacious and have a contemporary and tropical vibe to them. Each room has a balcony/patio area and a daybed outside.

The pool is quite large and features a slightly longer than-Olympic sized area. There are chaise lounges directly in the pool and very comfortable cabanas that are perfect to read or nap in.

The Hibiscus bar overlooks the pool. With quite a large seating area, you can nosh on snacks and sandwiches throughout the afternoon while sipping on your beverage of choice. I recommend that watermelon water because it was delicious!

The Zen Oasis also has its own beach area! It's a quiet beach and separated from the regular beach area. The beds are comfortable and there's a lot of shade so you'll have a place to cool off in. It was pretty windy when we went and this area seemed to see the most wind. I would imagine it's different during the warmer months.

For reference, we've stayed in the Club Rooms, which are pretty basic and come with just the things you need. We've also stayed in the Tiara suites, and in my opinion, those are the best rooms. They also happen to be the biggest and the five star {or as Club Med phrases it, five trident} area of the resort.

Restaurants and Bars // My family and I aren't huge drinkers so we didn't frequent the bar much. They do have a different speciality drink each day and that is always fun to try. The Hibiscus Bar at the Zen Oasis offers a different drink of the day than the other bars at the resort.

My parents and I agree on this - the Hispaniola restaurant is the best of the three restaurants on site. The seating area is huge, but the floor has always been quite slippery. High heel wearers beware. It overlooks the ocean so the views are amazing during the day. The patio area is beautiful at night since you can see the stars so clearly, but another warning, it can get windy.

In general, the food is rarely ever bad at Club Med. Breakfast is great - carbs galore and fresh fruit juices. You'll typically see chips and guacamole {the best guac EVER} at lunch. Each night at the Hispaniola has a different theme. At the Samana, dinners tend to just be an international buffet. The Indigo Bar is located right on the beach and is new. It's a much nicer space now and is a table service rather than a buffet like the other two. Dinner reservations are required.

If there is one thing you need to have at Club Med, it's the white chocolate bread. OMG. It's amazing. We typically sneak some home in our luggage because it's so good. But for $10, you can reserve your own loaf at Reception and they'll have it for you when you leave!

Activities // The highlight of the resort is definitely CREACTIVE. Club Med teamed up with Cirque du Soleil for some very fun activities that is exclusive to Punta Cana. From the trapeze {this was always offered here} to face painting, acrobatic bungee to aerial silk tissue, there's something exciting to try. Unfortunately, I am too much of a scaredy-cat/I read a lot so I can't speak to how thrilling they are, but they looked really fun!

Other activities at the resort include kayaking, paddleboarding, windsurfing, archery, snorkeling, and many others. A lot of people, my family included, choose to visit and play some of the golf courses in the surrounding area. There are some excursions, like horseback riding and scuba diving, that will take you offsite.

*Note: This post is not sponsored. Club Med has no idea who I am. My family and I just really love the Club Med resorts we've visited so I wanted to share this one with you!

Monday, January 9, 2017

2016 favorites: beauty, fashion, and lifestyle

Happy New Year!

I'm still trying to get back into the swing of things after Christmas and then a super fun vacation in the Dominican Republic. I have plans for lots of new content this year here on my blog and on my YouTube channel, and I really hope you'll stick around to see it!

Since it is 2017, I had to share my favorite things from last year. I covered everything from makeup and haircare to food and fashion. I've linked to everything on my YouTube channel so make sure to head there for a full list!

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