This Magical Place called Mexico

After three months, I finally got around to posting these photos from our trip to Playa del Carmen and Tulum. If I find myself craving the beach or somewhere tropical, it's nice to know that Mexico is just a quick 2-hour plane ride from Houston. You might remember that my babymoon back in March of last year was in Cozumel. Well, since we love Mexico so much, we ended up returning for my post-baby vacation a year later. 

We stayed at the All-Inclusive Riu Tequila, which I highly recommend. It's one of several all-inclusives nestled in a resort community called Playacar. Beach access is literally across the street and shared with another Riu hotel.

We visited several cenotes, or swimming holes, on our drive down the main thoroughfare between Playa del Carmen and Tulum.

Okay, can anyone identify this creature? These guys were permanent residents of the resort.

After studying the Mayan culture in college, I finally got the chance to see the beautiful ruins in person. These are at the archaeological site in Tulum.

I could stare at this water all day.

Oops, we interrupted an intimate moment between these two iguanas.

Floating in the waters of Tulum's Gran Cenote.

This ceiling of this mystical cavern is covered with bats. Swimming underneath them was both thrilling and risky, as you never know when you might get some bat guano in the eye!

Wish we could have spent more time in Tulum to explore the cool roadside boutiques and eateries. I was steps away from Hartwood, but right when we got into the more popular area, I was overcome by food poisoning, or should I say bat guano poisoning. I accidentally swallowed a bit of the cenote water and felt the effects for the next two days.

Despite suffering the ill effects of swallowing cenote water, I had a wonderful trip. Because really how can you not enjoy yourself when the water is five shades of blue and the coconut is aplenty?


Minimal Dressing

 Top: Samuji Concy top // Jeans: A.P.C. Jean Moulant // Bag: A.P.C. // Sandals: G.H. Bass

One of the perks of having a blog is that I can actually see how my style has evolved throughout the years. I have stayed pretty true to dressing for comfort and a more laid-back lifestyle but as my life moves into its next phase as a mother and career woman, I definitely see my style becoming more minimal. I now go for classic pieces which I try to incorporate into my work wardrobe if possible. I have to dress business casual at my job, so versatility is key. On my days off, I like to build my wardrobe off a nice fitted pair of jeans. Each pair of jeans I pick have their own personality, which I believe can make the outfit if they fit well and you're comfortable in them. For example, I love these A.P.C. jeans because they have a stone washed vintage feel and a nice classic fit that doesn't seem too trendy.

Lately, my favorite brands for chic and classic clothing have been A.P.C. and Finnish design house, Samuji. Most of the items from the A.P.C. collections are timeless and can be mixed and matched. Samuji has a soft elegance that can be both casual or dressy, and each piece is subtly unique like the sheer Concy top with the padded neckline. As I work on paring down my closet, I try to shop more thoughtfully in hopes of building a wardrobe with staples that will allow me to focus on more important things, like spending time with family.


The Modern Tote Feat. Everlane's The Dipped Zip Tote

Since turning into a full-fledged mom, I've become a big fan of the tote bag. I've always liked totes for their easy accessibility, but even more so now that I have to carry baby gear wherever I go. Yes, there are diaper bags specially made to carry all your baby needs, but most of them scream "MOM" and are not as versatile as I'd like. Everlane recently came out with The Dipped Zip Tote which I was immediately drawn to for its size and shape. It comes in a black twill w/ black leather, a grey twill with black leather straps and a blue bottom, and they now have a natural twill w/ tan leather base. At the price point of $60, it was hard not to make the purchase. As you can see, I went with the grey with contrasting blue bottom. It's quite a handsome bag in person and can really carry a lot!

The bag was a little stiff when delivered, but after just one day, it started to develop a nice slouchiness while still
maintaining its structure.
Top // Ann Taylor Loft : Pants / / Joie : Shoes // Dolce Vita : Necklace // vintage : Bag // Everlane

Love this hanging interior pocket. I can find my keys and phone in a jiffy.

When I say it carries a lot, I mean it. It can fit all the baby essentials including several diapers, bibs, sippy cup, formula holders, etc. and still have room for my overfilled wallet and makeup bag without feeling heavy. I have also used this bag for work and it's perfect for documents (even a laptop or tablet). For size reference, it's 17" w x 13" h x 3" d with a strap drop of 10.5". These are the measurements from my bag which are slightly different from the website. The printed bottom is great for keeping the bag structured enough to stand on its own and makes it easy to clean. I'm also pleased that the twill is pretty heavy duty and not your average flimsy canvas making it much sturdier than any other tote I own. This is one of the best practical yet stylish purchases I have made recently.


Dream Closet Challenge by Compass

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As a fun challenge, I was asked by Compass, a new online real-estate platform, to design my dream closet. My current closet is in somewhat of a disarray, so I immediately gravitated to the sleek and minimal style of Norwegian artist, Nina Holst's, gorgeous walk-in as a starting point. I've always been intrigued by the idea of a capsule wardrobe and being able to maintain a space that would really test my discipline in purchases.

To offset the cold feel of an all white closet, I would bring in natural elements for that added warmth. For example, I would switch out the white Ikea dresser for the gorgeous wood-paneled statement piece by Team7.  All those compartments would make the perfect storage solution for hiding my knick knacks and sweaters. My dream closet would also be spacious enough to hang a couple of painted branch clothing racks inspired by the DIY-queen of minimalism, Love Aesthetics, for that boutique feel.
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No closet would be complete without accessories. I would bring in texture with a furry stool, add some classy bling with this brass and marble brush holder, and finally tie everything in with this modern abstract rug that doubles as an art piece.


Coffee (Mug) and Glasses

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I've been slowly amassing a ceramic collection starting with my love of tiny vintage bud vases to ceramics with faces. This mug by Tactile Matter is my latest acquisition and it does not disappoint. It's perfectly speckled and has a minimal '80s vibe which I dig. I discovered Kenesha's beautifully handcrafted ceramics via Instagram and seriously want all the pieces for my home. Her West Coast influences definitely shine through each piece in color and motif.

For those who share my love for all things cute, Atelier Stella is what got me started on the ceramic face kick. I have a couple of pieces from her collaboration with West Elm but have not pulled the trigger on her original works (shipping from England can cost a pretty penny!). Her ceramics are charming, highly covetable, and tend to sell out in minutes. You have to keep an eye on her Instagram for sale times and have a quick trigger finger if you want one of her sweet vases.

So check it out! I've got new glasses! Firmoo has come through again with this retro-inspired pair. Since being introduced to the site, I've been purchasing all my eyeglasses (and Bryan's glasses) from them. A complete set of glasses from the optometrist can get pricey, so this site is great for those with ever-changing prescriptions. I've tried several Home Trial Kits from popular eyewear sites and have found that the quality of Firmoo glasses have been equal or better than the glasses I have tried on and at half the cost. Plus, my prescription has always been spot on. If you have any issues with your purchase, the customer service is very responsive and will go above and beyond to make sure you're satisfied. Their newsletter updates me on their fresh inventory, so the selection is never boring. For all you newbies, you can get 15% off your first pair. Not a bad deal if you're in the search for affordable glasses!
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