5.22.2015

what i wore: on the beach


I had to include that last one because Brandon was taking these pictures and he was killing me! I can't remember what he was doing, but I apparently found it hilarious because there are like 20 pictures just like this one. Outfit details below! Happy Memorial Day weekend!!

top  |  jacket  |  shorts  |  clutch (on sale!)  |  sunglasses (almost identical)  |  horn necklace  |  shoes

5.21.2015

remember these?

The shoes I have on in the post below are a classic must-have shoe. I really believe that. The Stuart Weitzman Nudistsong Patent Ankle-Strap Sandal... They make your legs look longer and go with literally anything. The patent allows them to be dressed up, but you could wear them casually, as well. All of these reasons make them such a cult classic favorite, I guess.


Point is, there is a Neiman Marcus promotion today for $100 your purchase of $400 or more, and these shoes are not excluded from the sale! The only things excluded are beauty and very high end designers. So back to these shoes ... they are $398, so add something super cheap to your order to get it over $400 and then bam, you can take $100 off. If only I had this deal when purchasing them... sigh. Well now you know. 

Use code JUST4U to take $100 off today only! 

it only happens twice per year

The Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale just started yesterday! There's basically a million things in the sale (no really), so I've narrowed down a few highlights below. Have fun shopping these amazing deals!

clothes + shoes









accessories 

5.20.2015

current beauty favorites


I've been wearing the heck out of the bareMinerals Complexion Rescue. I was shade #3, but have moved up to shade #6 now that I have more color on my skin. When applied the right way, this product gives the most gorgeous, lightweight coverage that feels excellent on the skin. Like, a not-wearing-any-makeup kind of excellent. I've applied it many different ways and this is how I like it best: Apply the first layer with fingers, like a moisturizer. Apply the second layer with the smoothing face brush—I swear it makes all the difference to do it this way! 

If you're looking for an eyebrow pencil, I have found the holy grail—Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil. I know the price may seem scary at first, but there's .014oz inside, as opposed to the Anastasia Brow Wiz, for example, which only has .003oz for just about $10 less. What makes this so great is the shape of the pencil, it's kind of angled, which gives a great shape to the brows. Then again, you can use the thin side to fill in small, individual hairs. The product also has a waxy feel to it, so it helps hold brows in place. Not to mention, the packaging is ultra sleek ...and smart, too. One end has a brush for taming brows and blending the color, while the other end allows you to twist up the product. I use the shade Blonde, which I love because it's not orangey at all.

The bareMinerals Pop-of-Passion Lip Oil Balms are so, so good. They give a beautiful stain of color that can be built up or sheered out, while leaving the lightest shine to the lips. They also feel just as moisturizing as a lip balm because they are packed full of passion fruit seed oil and vitamin E. My favorite shades are Tangerine Pop, an orangey coral, and Punch Pop, a watermelon shade. I even used these as blush when we were on our BVI vacation.

I've been all about simple eyeshadow looks lately and Charlotte Tilbury's Luxury Palette in Golden Goddess definitely fits the bill. The colors are beautiful and everything I need for a classic eye look in just one palette. I reviewed this and more CT products here, if you want to check that out.

The Colleen Rothschild Radiant Cleansing Balm is the newest product I've added to my skincare routine and I already can't get enough of it. Just scoop the tiniest bit into your clean hands and massage all over the skin, makeup still on and all. The product warms up in your hands and starts to melt away your makeup. Then, take a warm, wet muslin cloth (one comes with it!) and press it into your skin. With a gentle swipe, it removes my makeup and leaves my skin feeling clean, soft, and almost a little glowy! Not to mention, the fragrance is perfection, the packaging is gorgeous, and it feels so luxurious to use.


5.18.2015

what i wore: floral and breezy


Not really sure I could count on one hand all the reasons I love this Megan Park dress. It makes you feel super feminine—it's one of those dresses you just love to put on. Well, that's how I feel, at least. The print is floral without being too "sweet" and the best part is I'm sure you could eat whatever you want at whatever dinner party you choose to wear this dress because it's not going to cling to your skin. #winner

I got this dress from Mosaic and although it's sold out, I was told that it most likely can be ordered if you call the boutique at 843-374-0377! There's also the same kaftan in another print here. If you're unfamiliar with Mosaic, let me tell you why you need to know about it. My friend, Leah, opened up this boutique just over two years ago and her success is simply a reflection of the kind of person she is—genuine, hard working, and painstakingly fashionable. And her style shows in the curated collection of pieces in her boutique. It's a different kind of selection than what you'll find elsewhere & I think you'll all love it. The boutique is located in Lake City, SC, but they ship anywhere in the US for free. Here's the spring lookbook. Check it out because it's amazing.

outfit details:
dress     |     necklace is old, but this one would look amazing with this dress, as would this bracelet!     |     bag     |     heels: here and a few sizes left here!     |     glasses







5.13.2015

what i wore: neon pink ruffles


dress  |  shoes (on sale!)  |  clutch (on sale, too!)  |  earrings  |  necklace  |  bracelet (similar herehere, here, here)



5.12.2015

look what i found



serving suggestions


There's a lot to love about a good tray. I've got at least one in every single room in our house. Think about it... You can serve food or drinks on trays. Or display one on a table just for it's smokin' good looks. You can use them as catchalls for makeup, jewelry, or whatever your heart fancies. The bottom line? You can't go wrong with a pretty tray. 

Here are some I love.



one  |  two  |  three  |  four  |  five  |  six  |  seven  |  eight



5.11.2015

what i wore: poppy red


This dress just makes me feel good. It's by Cynthia Rowley and is called the Exaggerated Flounce Dress. It's is such a pretty poppy red color, but it comes in other colors and a long-sleeved version, too!. My favorite part is the way it moves—it's fun and feminine. Definitely a new favorite, but be warned, it runs very small! I am normally a 2 or sometimes a 4 in dresses, but had to size up to a 6 in this one. There are a couple select sizes on major sale here!

I paired it with these awesome heels that I've gone on and on about. They are still on sale under $40!

The clutch is by J. Crew and is on sale from $98 to $56 with code SALETREAT. Oh, and the right hand ring (a sweet anniversary surprise from B!) & two bracelets are Vahan.

We took these photos at Scrub Island before heading to our anniversary dinner. The views from the hotel are absolutely incredible and this "golden hour" time of day really showcased it all so well.



p.s. If you missed my blog sale this weekend, here ya go.

5.09.2015

blog sale

$5 flat rate shipping on everything, whether you buy one item or ten — it's always $5.
10% discount if you buy three or more things in one transaction.
Email me at holycitychic@gmail.com if interested. First to pay via Paypal gets the item!
All sales final.

If you feel a price is too high, feel free to make an offer!

Joie "Portia" Dress, Size 2, Worn only a couple times
Was $330 (ish), Asking $95

See LOTS more by clicking "Read More" below! 

5.08.2015

weekly roundup


How is it already Friday? This week has flown by for me. Probably because I've been in catch up mode since we got back from our trip and I'm still not caught up. Hope you all have fun momma's day plans made and have wonderful weather for it, too! Here are this week's worthy links:
  • I am all about clear sunglasses right now and can't stop looking at these.
  • Thinking about making this cake this weekend, but I'm going to need some major encouragement to pull out all those ingredients.
  • Loving these tips.
  • This has to be the best smelling candle ever. 
  • Ordered this jumpsuit. It might be crazy looking on me, but I love the print, so we'll see.
  • Talk about some fun bracelets: this set, these tassel bracelets, this one, and this one. Ok, and this necklace, too.
  • Wish I would have had this tote on our trip to the BVI! 
  • In case you need some recommendations for summer reading... here ya go.
  • I just came across an amazing brand that has the concept of "donating by color." They make gorgeous leather handbags and they donate to various charities depending on what color bag you buy. For example, this stunning ivory crossbody supports the Lung Cancer Alliance. I love this.



5.07.2015

scrub island and the british virgin islands // a review


Brandon and I planned our trip to the British Virgin Islands pretty late in the game. One night after dinner we were like, "Let's book a trip somewhere." And so we did. Where? That was the easy part. We've been wanting to visit the British Virgin Islands for quite a while due to the white fluffy sand, gorgeous turquoise water, and stunning island landscapes. All in all, the location seemed like a good mix of relaxation and fun. Choosing where exactly to stay in the BVI was the hard part. For a fairly small group of islands, there are a lot of lodging choices—many people stay on sail boats (BVI is the sailing capital of the Caribbean)...also, there are tons of resorts and plenty of awesome home rentals, too. 

I narrowed it down to a few favorite resorts and did some major research on each one. Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina prevailed. The location is great, the view is spectacular, there are a lot of activities at the resort, and it's also home to a marina where beautiful yachts are docked, so we knew the scenery would be full of eye candy. 


Traveling there kind of was a buzz kill. I felt awful on the plane (but that's a whole other story) and we had to take three of them to get there ...and a ferry! (Kind of—more on that later.) Our third plane of the day was a little 9-seater. Yikes. I called ahead of time to set up seat assignments—not knowing it was so small—and the representative started laughing and said, "Ma'am, we only fit nine people on our planes, we choose the seating based on your weight when you check in for your flight." Goodness gracious. I should have known at that point that when we took this little plane from Puerto Rico to BVI, they would put me in the co-pilot seat! If that pilot went down, it was going to be up to me to save the day. Or at least that's what I kept telling myself. But when we flew over the gorgeous islands in the tiny plane, I started to forget all about the pain of "getting there." 

I digress. Let's get back to the point or else this review could last forever. That's the hard part (and why I've waited a week) in writing this—there's SO MUCH to talk about. I don't know where to start and where to end, so I'm going to break this up into categories.

Scrub Island Resort & Marina     || 

The resort had someone waiting for us at the airport to drive us to the ferry dock, which was a whole half a mile away. Scrub offers a complimentary 10 minute ferry to and from Trellis Bay, where the airport is. While at the dock waiting for the ferry, our plane friends, who were invited to stay at Necker Island as personal friends of Sir Richard Branson, were getting picked up on a private boat and asked if we wanted a ride to our resort on "Dickie's boat." Um, is that even a question?! 

Upon arrival, the resort had someone that met us out on the dock to collect our luggage. There was also someone waiting with two cold glasses of rum punch. Off to a smashing start! 



There is a lot to do on Scrub Island. To name a few things... there are three beaches (one in plain sight, one only accessible via kayak, and one hidden about a mile away), two pools with swim up bars, a big hot tub, a water slide, a water trampoline, water activities like paddle boards and kayaks, and two restaurants, Caravela and Tierra! Tierra! The food was delicious. Ah, and I can't forget about the amazing retreat that is Ixora Spa, which features luxurious L'occitane products, and sits beautifully on top of a hill overlooking the gorgeous water views.


Our highlights at Scrub Island     ||

Breakfast. Brandon and I woke up with the sun almost every day and started our mornings around 7:30am at breakfast on the outdoor balcony at Caravela. We are not even big breakfast food lovers (I'd much prefer cold leftover pizza to bacon and eggs), but this was easily a highlight of our trip. It allowed us to enjoy the soft lighting and peaceful sounds of the mornings, while getting our plan together for the day. The food was absolutely amazing. Possibly the best breakfast I've ever had, with the only exception I can think of being Halls Gospel Brunch. The service was slow for breakfast and all meals, really. We weren't looking for a quick in & out meal, but it almost just felt like the servers were disinterested. One example: We would stand at the hostess stand while waiting to be seated, and just get stares for a few minutes until the servers finished polishing the glasses or silverware. I hate to say anything negative (this is the only bad thing!), but I'm being real here. It's probably just a different culture and by the end of our trip, it's something we actually found humorous. And plus, one bite into those nutty banana pancakes and all was forgiven. I mean honestly, I didn't even know pancakes had the potential to be so good.


North Beach. I mentioned there are three beaches at Scrub (possible more, I guess, but we saw three) and this one was our favorite. The resort will have someone drive you down to this beach, but we preferred to make the mile-ish walk there because the incredible views were better taken in on foot. Once at the beach, we noticed there is a full-service beach bar with every fruity concoction you can imagine and a full lunch menu. There's also a pool and private tiki-hut cabanas spread along the beautiful, private beach. We scooped up one of these huts and happily made an afternoon out of it—twice. 

That's North Beach behind me in the photo below ...and that was North Beach in these photos.


Ixora Spa. Brandon didn't partake, but I happily marched myself up to the Ixora Spa and had an Immortelle Secret of Brightness Facial, which is meant to smooth & renew damaged skin. This was appropriate for me since the sun had already kissed my face a little too much. For that reason, the esthetician skipped the scrubs and basically did an hour long facial massage, along with a few soothing masks. This took place in a lovely open-air treatment room overlooking the water, with the wind casting into the room and peaceful music in the background. Y'all, it was what dreams are made of.


Dive BVI. On Scrub, there is a dive shop called Dive BVI that has a huge activities menu. They not only provide diving lessons and scuba trips, but they also have sightseeing excursions and snorkel trips. Brandon and I went on the "Island Hopper," which was a BLAST. The boat picked us up at Scrub and took us snorkeling at an incredible reef on Norman Island, then to Willy T's, an infamous boat that is anchored in a cove at Norman, for lunch and drinks, then to Soggy Dollar Bar for some original Painkillers and fun in the sun. I can't describe how great of a time we had on this day trip. We even met some awesome people on the boat that we met up with later on during our trip for happy hour at Saba Rock.


Water Sports. We paddle boarded a few times and went kayaking to Honeymoon Beach one morning. It was so nice to have all of this available right at the resort whenever we wanted it. We also jumped on the water trampoline and Brandon did an epic fall off of it that I caught on video. I literally die laughing when I even just think about it (He won't let me share it.).


Highlights OFF of Scrub Island     ||

Origin. This is a fantastic sushi restaurant in the heart of Road Town, Tortola. It doesn't look like much from the outside, but it's a nice blend of cozy and trendy in the inside. The tables were all full and we didn't have a reservation (noted!), so we sat at the bar. This ended up being a real treat because we were able to chit chat with the wonderful bartender who is from Australia. The sushi was phenomenal and I don't throw that around too lightly because I've been spoiled by sushi at O-Ku, which is the freshest I've ever tasted. They incorporate a lot of local fruits and veggies into the sushi at Origin. Highly recommend.


CocoMaya Restaurant. Guys, this place is BVI heaven. The service was the best we experienced throughout our whole trip and they even treated us to champagne since it happened to be our two year anniversary that day. Side note: We had no idea this place was so trendy and nice, so we rolled up in our beach clothes since we had been exploring the island all day! (Most places in BVI are very casual, which I learned very quickly after arriving with really dressy clothes for dinners and realizing I had no place to really wear them.) We asked the hostess if we were okay to eat there and she said it was totally fine, but I did feel a bit embarrassed when it got darker and people started rolling in in their finest resort-wear. But to sum this place up, it's a chic restaurant and lounge right on the beach, complete with incredible decor and fire pits on the beach. Their food is Asian and Latin fusion. They have a great sushi menu, but since we had just had that a few days prior at Origin, we chose a handful of tapas items and split the pad thai, which was the best I've ever had, by the way.


Saba Rock. The views from Saba Rock were some of my favorites. It's basically its own little island, surrounded by beautiful sights. One side was full of sailboats and the other was a completely clear view of the Eustatia Sound.  You can even see Necker Island from here. I'd recommend heading over around 4pm to enjoy the views and catching the happy hour specials, which are $4 drinks, if I'm not mistaken. The menu looked incredible (hello, lobster tacos!), but we didn't stay to eat since this is the night we went to CocoMaya. Oh, at 5pm they feed the tarpon, which is pretty entertaining. For being such a small little place, it felt like it's own little world. We loved it.


Willy T's. This legendary bar and restaurant floats in The Bight at Norman Island (it's a 100ft. long boat). People jump off the second story of the boat and into the water. I did and, of course, lost an earring. I suppose there are worse things I could've lost! 


The Soggy Dollar Bar. Well, this is just a given. The Soggy Dollar Bar got it's name appropriately enough because patrons anchor their boats out in the bay and swim up to the beach, so they are paying with "soggy dollars." This is definitely a party spot and a ton of fun. If you go, you've got to get a Painkiller—this is where they originated. 

I met a blog reader there! (Hi, Seldon!)


Mahogany Car Rental. I know it sounds silly to mention a car rental service, but these guys were above and beyond. We emailed them one night after hours asking for a car the next morning at 9am, not thinking we would actually hear anything back. They emailed us back (after hours, mind you) about an hour later, asked where we wanted the car to be delivered, and said it would be there—no problem! Sure enough, the next morning at 9am, there was a friendly representative named Puck who was waiting for us with the car at the Virgin Gorda ferry dock—right where we needed it. We spent $50 on a cute little car that took us around the island all day—and it only cost $9 to fill back up! We had such a fun time exploring the roads and seeing lots of sights on our own time. 


The Baths at Virgin Gorda. This was one of the coolest things I've ever seen. The Baths are a very unusual formation of giant volcanic boulders. The way they are positioned creates natural tunnels and pools that open up to the sea. It's pretty amazing.


Final Thoughts     ||

The British Virgin Islands might be my favorite place I've seen in the world so far, rather than home of course. I would go back tomorrow if I could. We liked it so much that Brandon and I discussed living there for a year, but I know that will probably never happen. The only downfall I found is that it's a little complicated getting from island to island (vs. one big island where you can drive around anywhere you want to go). There are ferries, but it was sometimes a pain to have to comply with the ferry schedule. If only there were water taxis just waiting around everywhere to take you wherever you want to go! That said, we were completely fine getting around for the six days we were there, but any longer and it could have gotten annoying.


In comparison to St. Lucia (because I've been asked how this trip compared to our honeymoon)... this was a completely different type of vacation. I went into this trip without a single plan made because I thought it would be similar to St. Lucia, where we just laid around and relaxed the whole time. Wrong! We were so active on this trip because there is so much more to do in the BVIs. The water, to me, is more beautiful than in St. Lucia because it's a lighter blue and you can see through it more. The sand in the BVI is also much more light in color and fluffy, while it's coarser, darker, and hotter in St. Lucia. St. Lucia has a very tropical/rain forest climate, so it rained there every day...if even for only a few minutes. It's much drier in the BVIs during this time of year, so we didn't see rain once (although it did rain one night while we were sleeping). The views in St. Lucia (at least the views we had of the Pitons) were much more majestic than what we saw on this trip. I remember having my jaw literally drop when we walked into our room at Jade Mountain in St. Lucia and I definitely didn't get that same feeling at Scrub Island/BVI. So if you're going on a trip for pure relaxation, incredible views, and a rainforest type of scenery, I'd recommend St. Lucia hands down (especially staying at Jade Mountain, which was a total dream!). However, if you're looking to do any water sports, have more of an "island hopper" type of experience with incredible places to eat and drink, and enjoy some sandy-toed days, I'd recommend the British Virgin Islands. They are both insanely beautiful places and have made for some special and happy memories for us.


...and if you're planning a trip to the British Virgin Islands, I'd 100% recommend staying at Scrub Island. I don't think we could have asked for a better getaway and I'm already dying to go back.


 
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