VINTAGE FLORAL DRESS AT NAPOLEON HOUSE

VINTAGE FLORAL DRESS AT NAPOLEON HOUSE

A few days ago I came home from my trip to New Orleans, this trip was a last minute one, since our flight to the Virgin Islands was canceled. Anything last minute is really hard for me because I am a big planner and try to research everything before I go somewhere.Therefore, when we arrived, I was feeling a bit nervous and completely at a loss of what to do first. I knew we wanted to go to the French Quarter, so we decided to wing it, get out a map, and walk there.

VINTAGE FLORAL DRESS AT NAPOLEON HOUSE VINTAGE FLORAL DRESS AT NAPOLEON HOUSE VINTAGE FLORAL DRESS AT NAPOLEON HOUSE

While we were sitting in the Cathedral in the French Quarter hungry, I found a restaurant on Yelp with great reviews. No one was really listening and I don’t think anyone knew what they were in the mood for so we just walked in the direction towards where I said the place was. The hilarious part is that they all pointed out the restaurant that I chose before any of us knew it was Napoleon House. But, I looked down when we walked through the doorway, saw Napoleon House and definitely gave an I told you so.

VINTAGE FLORAL DRESS AT NAPOLEON HOUSE

The food was divine at Napoleon House! We ate there twice! The first day I had an Avocado Stuffed with Shrimp Salad and the second time I had Roast Beef and Gouda Sandwich on Crusty Bread with a delicious Potato Salad on the side. Our fabulous bartender Mario made not only a delicious Italian Cream Soda (mine was peach flavored), but also a really refreshing cocktail with Pimms and lemonade. Then the General Manager, Chris, gave us a complete tour of the building. The Napoleon House happens to be one of the few landmarks in New Orleans and a favorite of tourists and locals alike. Most people aren’t allowed to go out on the balcony and it made me a bit nervous, but since he let us, I ventured out!

VINTAGE FLORAL DRESS AT NAPOLEON HOUSE VINTAGE FLORAL DRESS AT NAPOLEON HOUSE VINTAGE FLORAL DRESS AT NAPOLEON HOUSE VINTAGE FLORAL DRESS AT NAPOLEON HOUSE

This is the dress I wore on our second trip back to Napoleon House. I thought that this beautiful old building was the perfect backdrop for my vintage looking floral dress! Can you believe that this dress is less than $20 from Romwe!

VINTAGE FLORAL DRESS AT NAPOLEON HOUSE VINTAGE FLORAL DRESS AT NAPOLEON HOUSE VINTAGE FLORAL DRESS AT NAPOLEON HOUSE VINTAGE FLORAL DRESS AT NAPOLEON HOUSE VINTAGE FLORAL DRESS AT NAPOLEON HOUSE VINTAGE FLORAL DRESS AT NAPOLEON HOUSE VINTAGE FLORAL DRESS AT NAPOLEON HOUSE VINTAGE FLORAL DRESS AT NAPOLEON HOUSE VINTAGE FLORAL DRESS AT NAPOLEON HOUSE VINTAGE FLORAL DRESS AT NAPOLEON HOUSE VINTAGE FLORAL DRESS AT NAPOLEON HOUSE VINTAGE FLORAL DRESS AT NAPOLEON HOUSE

Floral Dress | Shoes | Hat | Purse Large

Sunglasses $9.99 | Bracelet | Ring | Necklace

Earrings by Lola Trixx

FINANCIAL TIP

Here a few trips for traveling on a budget that I wanted to share with you! Our trip was very last minute and we had already shelled out a few thousand dollars for our original trip. Therefore, New Orleans had to be kept low cost.

  1. DO NOT FLY SPIRIT AIR TO SAVE MONEY! Haha, ok no that’s not really my first tip, but really don’t fly with them. They canceled our flight and we had to dispute the charges with our bank, they were awful. My suggestion is not to fly with a cheaper airline to save money and to actually book your flight directly through the airline. My Mom used to work for a few airlines and my Step Dad is a freight pilot, they say fly Delta, of Jet Blue and pinch pennies elsewhere.
  2. Use rewards programs like Marriot Rewards, or Hilton Honors to book your hotel. You can get the BEST rates that way, even better than military discounts, or AAA. Many times they have what they call “off site” hotels that are still owned by them. We stayed at an Embassy Suites which had two rooms and since it was two couples we were able to split it.
  3. Look up restaurants on google and yelp to check the reviews, menu, and pricing. We ate at restaurants that were at a max of “$$”, which is mid range. Food and alcohol can eat into a huge portion of your budget, so also try to get a hotel that includes a free breakfast.
  4. Walk, walk, and walk some more. Transportation can really add up and if you rent a car you have to add in gas and parking. We used Uber some and even rode a trolley once while in New Orleans, but mostly we walked, so pack a pair of walking shoes whenever you travel.

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I hope you enjoyed this post and my new favorite dress!! New Orleans wasn’t my favorite place to visit, but Napoleon House was truly worth the trip!! Do you have a favorite place in New Orleans, or a favorite trip you have been on?

*Romwe sent me this dress for free, but all opinions are my own. 

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VINTAGE FLORAL DRESS AT NAPOLEON HOUSE

 

HOW TO PACK FOR A SUMMER VACATION + A VERA BRADLEY GIVEAWAY

PACK SUMMER VACATION VERA BRADLEY

Happy Tuesday fashionistas! In one week, I will be heading off on my summer vacation woot woot! I am an avid over packer and I really am not a fan of this chore haha, therefore I wanted to save your brain and your suitcase and assist you with some packing tips! When the manager at my local Vera Bradley reached out to me about collaborating, I knew this would be a great time to share with you some of the amazing products they have to help you with your traveling needs!

PACK SUMMER VACATION VERA BRADLEY

*This post is in collaboration with Vera Bradley and these products were gifted for me to review, but all opinions expressed here are my own. 

First thing first, is your carry-on luggage. This should really contain the items that you consider to be most essential and would need within the first 24 hours of your trip. Sometimes luggage gets delayed, or lost and you don’t want to be left stranded without your most needed items.

PACK SUMMER VACATION VERA BRADLEY

Here are few tips when packing your carry on:

  • Make sure to pack all of your most valuable items in your carry-on, including jewelry, cameras, and designer bags.
  • Pack a change of clothes (including underwear!) just in case your checked bag gets lost (knock on wood).
  • For a beach vacation, make sure to pack a bathing suit and travel sunscreen, this way you aren’t forced to buy these items for a higher price when you reach your destination.
  • Some other important items – chargers, meds, headphones, a book and anything you will need to be comfortable on the plane!

PACK SUMMER VACATION VERA BRADLEY

Here’s a quick look into my carry-on…on the right side, I pack my most valuable items including jewelry and a few pairs of my sandals. I use the Vera Bradley Travel Jewelry Organizer – inside it has two large and four small clear pockets, plus two additional elastic slip pockets, and one padded ring strap.

PACK SUMMER VACATION VERA BRADLEY

Other items I pack in my carry-on include:

  • My Specter Wireless Headphones, so I can listen to music, or movies on the plane.
  • My Canon T4i camera and my action camera, for taking blog photos and getting any fun video while traveling.
  • Straw clutches and my Vera Bradley Straw Beach Tote.
  • An extra bikini
  • All of my sunglasses (This pair is my fave because they are prescription)
  • A change of clothing (plus bra & underwear)
  • Essential makeup & toiletries under 3 oz each
  • Chargers for all of my equipment
  • My iPad Mini and laptop

Bathrooms when you travel, are not always set up to easily set out all of your toiletries. This is where a Hanging Organizer comes in handy! I make sure to find travel size toiletries, or to get some small containers to put some of my favorite beauty and skin care products into, this frees up way more space and then you can also pack them into your carry on! Remember the TSA size items need to be 3 oz, or less.

PACK SUMMER VACATION VERA BRADLEY

Makeup is a whole other ball game as well! I only like to bring whats necessary when traveling, but that includes makeup and brushes!! The great thing about the Vera Bradley travel collection, is that they have different cosmetics cases based off of what you need. I picked the Large Blush & Brush Makeup Case, which has pockets to hold all of my makeup and spots for my brushes as well, this way I can keep everything together in one case.

PACK SUMMER VACATION VERA BRADLEY PACK SUMMER VACATION VERA BRADLEY PACK SUMMER VACATION VERA BRADLEY

I am so in love with this bright tropical pattern, which is perfect for summer!!

Moving onto checked baggage! I always attempt to pack way more than I should into my checked luggage… lately I have been weighing it ahead of time to make sure its under 50 lbs! When planning out my clothing for a trip, it really is a big help for me to create an excel spreadsheet. I create outfits by day and try to decide which pieces I can wear more than once and what accessories will go with the different outfits. Then I lay everything out on my bed to help me get a visual of the outfits and so that I don’t forget anything!

PACK SUMMER VACATION VERA BRADLEY

Since I always need to figure out ways to fit more clothing in my suitcase (already told you I had over packer problems haha) these awesome Vera Bradley Expandable Packing Cubes have been a god send. The Medium Cube is great for thin materials like tops and light weight dresses. The Large Cube is what you would use for thicker items like jeans, jackets, and heavier dresses. The best way to use these, are to unzip them completely and then roll all of your clothing and pack it tightly. Zip the cube closed and then zip the second zipper compressing all the clothing inside to at least half of the original size. This will really help you stay more organized and then you can use these to put the dirty clothing in during your trip. Here’s what I was able to fit inside the two packing cubes: 1 dress, 4 cover ups, 1 jeans, 1 skirt, 4 shorts, and 8 tops (plus there was still room for more).

Here are a few tips for your checked bag:
  • Lay out your outfits on your bed before you pack them so you can make sure you have everything
  • If you’re packing purses/bags, fill them up! I like to put purses inside of purses to save space and help them keep their shape.
  • Pack the majority of your toiletries & makeup in your checked luggage, because there is no size limit
  • Use balled up tissue paper to help shoes keep their shape.
  • Pack multiple swimsuits because you don’t want to have to wait around for one to dry.
  • Also, do not pack delicate straw hats! I always carry mine onto the plane with me.
Today is the last day of the Vera Bradley Memorial Day Sale as well!! Select patterns are 50% off online only, so head on over and check it out before it ends!!

PACK SUMMER VACATION VERA BRADLEY
Last, but not least…come and hang out with me at an in store event at Vera Bradley in the Orlando Mall at Millenia on June 17th if you are in the area! The event will take place from 1-3 p.m. and during this time you will be able to take an extra 15% off your purchases when you shop in store, or call in to shop! I have an additional coupon for you to use as well for $30 off a purchase of $125, or more, so if you would like one leave a comment and I will get that to you!! There will also be a giveaway during this awesome event!! Vera Bradley will be giving one lucky winner a pair of Flip Flops in the color Rhumba and this really cute Straw Beach Wristlet, which is great for summer! These are two items that you want for your next beach trip! Side note, if you can’t make it into the store call (407) 354-4495 and you can get entered into the giveaway remotely plus you can still take advantage of the one day sale. 
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Cheers to a fabulous week!!
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PACK SUMMER VACATION VERA BRADLEY

TRAVEL GUIDE: ST. PETE, FLORIDA & THE VINOY RENAISSANCE

TRAVEL ST. PETE FLORIDA RENAISSANCE VINOY

Over the past two months, I have had the luxury of taking two mini vacays to St. Petersburg, Florida. They really felt more like stay-cations because St. Pete is only about two hours from where I live in Orlando. It’s incredibly beautiful there and its a nice weekend escape to visit somewhere new. Both times while I was there, I stayed at The Vinoy Renaissance Hotel. One thing you need to know about me, is that I am in love with the 1920’s. So, when I found out that there was not only a pink hotel in downtown St. Pete (hello favorite color right here), but that it was built in the 1920’s and still styled after that era, I knew that I needed to stay there.

TRAVEL ST. PETE FLORIDA RENAISSANCE VINOY

When I first arrived, I was in awe of how gorgeous the entrance architecture was. You are immediately greeted by the valet staff who help you get service and direct you to check in.

TRAVEL ST. PETE FLORIDA RENAISSANCE VINOY

ROOMS

The first thing I did was go check into my room. The bellman brought all of my belongings up there, which was very nice to not have to worry about that myself. On my first visit, I stayed in the tower side with views of the bay. I had a balcony room and it was very nice to be able to eat breakfast outside and watch the sun set. On my second visit, I stayed in the original part of the hotel in a regular guest room and both of the rooms were huge. They are also under going renovations which will be complete by November this year. After those are all finished, it will be like a brand new hotel and even more luxurious than it already is.

TRAVEL ST. PETE FLORIDA RENAISSANCE VINOY
Photo Credit: Lil Rae of Sun Photography

TRAVEL ST. PETE FLORIDA RENAISSANCE VINOY

The bathroom is stocked with quite a few goodies including Aveda products. They also have a great hair dryer in the room, so no need to pack one of those. Who doesn’t love saving suitcase room! There isn’t any turn down service in the evenings, but I enjoy my privacy anyways. There is also so much space in the bathroom also for all of your toiletries and for sharing with whomever you are traveling with.

FOOD

There are three great food options while staying at the Vinoy! If you are looking for something a bit more casual then my suggestion would be Alfresco’s which is a great lunch spot and right by the pool!

TRAVEL ST. PETE FLORIDA RENAISSANCE VINOY TRAVEL ST. PETE FLORIDA RENAISSANCE VINOY

If you are looking for the bar with the best old fashioned, or a more upscale dining scene, then I suggest you mosey on over to Marchand’s. This gorgeous Mediterranean decorated restaurant has a fabulous brunch, and great ambiance. The service here is really incredible. Our bar tender one night finagled getting me milk and cookies at almost midnight haha. Finally, for us slow risers, or late night snackers there is room service!! I ordered room service every morning, during my first stay at the Vinoy.

TRAVEL ST. PETE FLORIDA RENAISSANCE VINOY

AMENITIES

The Renaissance Vinoy has some wonderful amenities to try if you visit. I am an avid tennis player and an every so often golfer haha. My dad and I went out and tested out both facilities on my first trip and they are really lovely.

The tennis courts are right on site with the hotel and easy to book. You simply call the pro shop and request a court for the time that you need and then bring your equipment. They also have a pro shop, if you need anything.

TRAVEL ST. PETE FLORIDA RENAISSANCE VINOY
Photo Credit: Lil Rae of Sun Photography

The golf course isn’t right on site, but they have a van that will take you back and forth. I also had a lesson with a golf pro to help prepare me for playing the nine holes. You can play either 9, or 18 holes, plus there is a range. The pro shop has a huge selection of merchandise and there is a clubhouse restaurant and bar on site for lunch, or a drink after you have finished your round.

TRAVEL ST. PETE FLORIDA RENAISSANCE VINOY
Photo Credit: Lil Rae of Sun Photography

(You can see my post about my sunglasses here!)

The pool isn’t anything super spectacular at the moment, but there is great service and once the renovations are completed, it will be much nicer. I didn’t use it myself, but my kids really enjoyed it.

TRAVEL ST. PETE FLORIDA RENAISSANCE VINOY

On my second visit, I needed my nails done for the wedding that I was attending. It was so easy for me to quickly set up a last minute appointment at the Spa and I was even given a glass of champagne upon arrival. I really loved the service that I received there because everyone was so friendly. They have many different treatments that you can receive at the spa and I would love to try something else out when I visit next.

SERVICE

The Renaissance Vinoy has a lot of great services for their guests. One of the best ones is the free wifi around the lobby, pool, and many other areas of the hotel outside your room. This was really great for me because I could do some of my blog work while I was soaking in the different aspects of the hotel.

TRAVEL ST. PETE FLORIDA RENAISSANCE VINOY

The lobby is a beautiful place to relax, or work. They also have free snacks and drinks every day. I loved going down there and getting free candy and delicious fresh fruit punch!

TRAVEL ST. PETE FLORIDA RENAISSANCE VINOY

The hotel offers a short free tour as well, so that you can learn all about the history of the hotel and see all the things that the hotel has to offer! They still have the original silverware and china in a glass case in one end of the lobby, and there is some beautiful glass art including a gorgeous chandelier by Chihuly.

TRAVEL ST. PETE FLORIDA RENAISSANCE VINOY TRAVEL ST. PETE FLORIDA RENAISSANCE VINOY TRAVEL ST. PETE FLORIDA RENAISSANCE VINOY

Right outside the Vinoy there is very convenient public transportation on the Trolley. Part of the route right near the hotel is free and to most areas its only $0.50. We rode this around anywhere that we didn’t feel like walking.

TRAVEL ST. PETE FLORIDA RENAISSANCE VINOY
Photo Credit: Lil Rae of Sun Photography

The Vinoy Renaissance is a major hot spot for weddings and events. We took some fun photos out in the tea garden where there is a great view of one of the towers and where most weddings are held.

TRAVEL ST. PETE FLORIDA RENAISSANCE VINOY
Photo Credit: Lil Rae of Sun Photography

You can see more photos from that collaboration shoot here!

RESTAURANTS & SHOPS

Here are some really yummy restaurants nearby that you should really try!!

Bodega on Central – This is a great spot for Cubans & Frescas.

Lemon Grass Thai – This is where my best friend Rae and I had dinner one night. We took a taxi there, but then a scenic walk back to the hotel.

The Birchwood & Canopy – This is a hotel, restaurant, and bar all wrapped into one location. We ate dinner downstairs at the Birchwood, which has a fresh farm to table type menu. Then upstairs on the roof is the Canopy, which is a bar with great views of the marina.

Fresco’s Waterfront Bistro – This is a great breakfast spot to sit and watch the boats in the marina. My dad and I had breakfast here one day and the Nutella crepes are divine!!

Along Central Ave there are tons of art shops and boutiques as well. Its a great spot to go for a stroll.

CULTURAL HOT SPOTS

TRAVEL ST. PETE FLORIDA RENAISSANCE VINOY

There are two great museums walking distance from the Vinoy in downtown St. Pete. One is the Museum of Fine Art, which we didn’t visit, but we did pass by. Then, there is the Dali Museum. This was a great spot to take the kids, learn a bit of history and soak up the cultural and colorful vibes. Check out the photos below for a few things that we got to see!

TRAVEL ST. PETE FLORIDA RENAISSANCE VINOY TRAVEL ST. PETE FLORIDA RENAISSANCE VINOY TRAVEL ST. PETE FLORIDA RENAISSANCE VINOY TRAVEL ST. PETE FLORIDA RENAISSANCE VINOY TRAVEL ST. PETE FLORIDA RENAISSANCE VINOY

There is so much Street Art around St. Pete as well. You should really use this map and make yourself a little tour for photos. My suggestion though is to go during golden hour since its hard to plan for how the sun will hit the walls in the different locations.

TRAVEL ST. PETE FLORIDA RENAISSANCE VINOY

I hope you enjoyed this journey into my exploration of St. Pete and The Vinoy Renaissance Hotel. If you decide to visit St. Pete, then I hope you keep these suggestions in mind. You will very much enjoy the town of St. Petersburg, FL and the Vinoy Renaissance Hotel.

*I was gifted free services in exchange for social media advertising, but all opinions expressed here are my own. 

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