Saturday, November 29, 2014

Activewear That Lasts: Why I Love lucy

When it comes to activewear, I've got my few go-to brands that I can always rely on. Like that great friend you can count on in a pinch, these brands perform well, look great and holds up after many sweat-soaked workouts. And it's hard to beat the quality of a great brand like lucy. Notable for its bright orange signs and truly fabulous seasonal sales, lucy is a line that lasts. 

And my favorite part of the entire collection? Their bottoms. These are second to none. I have a pair of long pants, the Hatha Capri Leggings and a pair of shorter Ultimate X-training capris that are my favorite, favorite, favorite warm-weather capris. And that's saying somethings since I've got A LOT. The fabric is thick, durable and never sheer. My stuff I bought a few years ago looks just as good as my newer items. 

Those perfect core capris will make you look fabulous. I promise.

Lucy's perfect core capri is the stuff dreams are made of. The panels hold you in, lift you up and just smooth everything out. It's a little pricy, but worth it if you're looking for an investment piece. 

But right now, my current favorite item is the lucy Pocket Capri Legging. The design is so simple, that I can't believe other companies haven't thought of it before. The pocket on the side of the capri can hold an iPod, keys and whatever other essentials you might need. The seams are flattering and this was my go-to pair this past spring.  

Behold: The Holy Grail of capris, lucy's pocket capri. 

And now to the important part: here's how to save money on lucy. Another thing I adore about lucy is its sales. You'll almost never pay full-price retail if you time it just right.

First off, get on the company's mailing list. The company has seasonal sales where they cut prices pretty drastically. And if you can wait even longer, lucy puts its sale on sale so you can score even deeper discounts. You can try going to classes that lucy has sponsored or partnered with, as you'll sometimes get a discount on activewear. There's no guarantee, but it's worth a shot. Plus, you'll get a workout in too--an added bonus. 

If you're searching for an activewear line that you can count on, look no further than lucy. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Dedicated to My Chihuahuas

Seeing as half of the name of this blog refers to my beloved dogs, Autumn and Rocket, I thought I'd devote one post to them. Here's what you need to know: they're long-haired Chihuahua litter mates. Their birthday is Oct. 19, and I love them to pieces. Rocket is the shier one, but he's very affectionate once he trusts you. Although he's quiet, he's got a feisty side too. I named him "Rocket" because he's just as quick as one. 

Autumn looking sleepy and adorable.

Rocket looking cute too! 

Autumn loves being held and is very friendly. She's affectionate, and her favorite "sport" is cuddling. They're always excited to see me when I get home and make the best sleeping companions. They love going on walks and eating treats. But what dog doesn't? 

Here they are basking in the sunshine. Autumn's in the pink. Rocket is "naked." 

I can't imagine my life without them. I love you, Autumn and Rocket! If you want more pictures, check out their Instagram.  

Friday, November 21, 2014

Georgetown Cupcake is Magic

I love food. I always have. It's one of my true passions and in very ironic fashion, after I lost my job in 2011, I started interning with an editor who was running an Atlanta-based food magazine. That kick started my food writing career, and here I am. 

Since then, my love for food has really blossomed. I've been to food festivals in the Virgin Islands and have sat at chef's tables at some dynamite restaurants. But with all that traveling and eating all over the country, I've often found that some of my favorite treats are closet to home. And when it comes to local foods, Georgetown Cupcake is hard to top. This spot has come a long way from a tiny outpost in one of D.C.'s best neighborhoods. Yes, I have stood in that notoriously long line in the cold (thank you very much) to get one and think of it as a D.C.-area dweller's rite of passage. 

Dreamy cupcakes in a bright, pink box. Don't you love that tiny, bright heart on the red velvet cupcake?

Some say these are overrated, and although I have had a dry one, I think the frosting here can't be beat. It's sweet, but not overly sugar. And the Peanut Butter Fudge is out-of-this- world good. You can't go wrong with smooth, creamy peanut butter frosting and that rich chocolate cupcake base that's filled with (yes!) fudge. This treat impresses with each and every bite. 

Behold a birthday cake cupcake on the left and heaven-in-a-cupcake Peanut Butter Fudge on the right. 

So, next time you're near a Georgetown Cupcake, go in. If you get there early enough, you can even nab a free one. Every day, the company announces on its Twitter and Facebook pages the complimentary, "not-on-the-menu" offering. Check those pages before you head out and the clerks will hand one out for free if you ask for it by name. It really is that simple (and delicious). Here's to cupcakes! 

Friday, November 14, 2014

It's the Little Things: Luxurious Bath Products are a True Traveling Perk

One of the most underrated perks of traveling, in my oh-so humble opinion, is those tiny bath products. I've had great ones, and I've had my share of bad ones too. But let's focus on the positive aspects here. Finding out a hotel you love carries bath products that you also love is like winning the traveling lottery. Your bed is comfy, and your hair can smell great too. Here's a brief round up of some of my favorites.

I enjoyed the dynamic MALIN + GOETZ peppermint shampoo and cilantro hair conditioner at the Ace Hotel in Portland and 21c in Cincinnati. The peppermint just smelled so invigorating. The white bottles with the plain typography are just as cool as the Portland Ace Hotel itself. 

The peppermint shampoo will not disappoint. Promise.

The tiny Molton Brown products--served up at The Hermitage in Nashville and The Jefferson in Richmond--are a little more masculine than I usually go for, but just smell luxurious. So far my favorite scent is Indian Cress--a perfect, intoxicating blend of jasmine, honeysuckle and sandalwood.

When I see Molton Brown in my room, I know I've hit the travel jackpot.

Peter Thomas Roth makes a great masculine body wash and hair care products that you can find at the Hiltons in San Diego and Lexington. My favorite pick of this bunch is the Mega-Rich line that really does moisturize as it cleanses. 

And last, but certainly not least, is the Aveda Rosemary Mint Shampoo that you can find at the Goldener Hirsch Inn in Park City, Utah. If you happen to be in a mall with an Aveda store, be sure to pop in so you can get a whiff of this (try the tea too while you're at it). It's invigorating, sweet and one powerful combination. 

Sure, I could buy these on my own, but they're all out of my price range. And having them would take some of the fun out of traveling. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Parks You'll Love: Michigan's Sleeping Bear Dunes

Despite my personal Michigan heritage (my grandfather is from there), I actually had never visited the state until this past year. And it blew my away. Michigan is unpretentious, pure and just gorgeous. The tourism rep told me that the "state sells itself," and it does. I fell in love with the water and relatively flat landscapes almost instantly. But as with all trips, I'm left with strongest memories of just one place: Sleeping Bear Dunes.

Yes! This is a real photo. And it doesn't even do the place justice. 

As you might have guessed from the name, be prepared to see some gorgeous dunes at this park. There's one that's notable for how many people climb up it. The press group I was with didn't do that, but we did take in some of the majestic beauty the parks offers. Chances are, you won't be able to take in enough of the deep blue of Lake Michigan in addition to that pure white sand. We were only there for less than an hour, but it's a place I keep revisiting in my head again. If you're in Michigan and have the time, be sure to stop at Sleeping Bear Dunes.