I don’t know about you BUT I am super excited for the weekend. I actually am starting a new job Monday which allows me to work from home + get out and network more with all of my favorite influencers, which is a dream come true AND I am also pumped for Mike + I’s upcoming trip to Florida for my birthday ♥ With so many exciting things happening I wanted to take a moment to stop + reflect back on how amazing 2017 was (and what an amazing start 2018 is off to)! One of my favorite moments of 2017? Visiting London twice! If you asked me in 2016 if I had any plans for international travel (let alone planned on visiting London), I would have said you were crazy. But here we are…a few weeks in to 2018 + I am sharing a look I shot at my dream photo location…the colorful houses in Notting Hill!
When I first visited London in September I wore this cape coat everywhere and when I went back in December for the holidays, this cape was still a staple for me! I feel like it is just so classy and I loved styling it over cozy sweaters to dress up an otherwise casual look.
This Louis Vuitton is another one I was lusting after for a while (it’s currently waitlist only) – it is actually considered a toiletry pouch but I love wearing it as a clutch. It is great to wear for a night out since it has tons of room and the LV signature monogram matches with everything!
Happy Monday ya’ll! I hope you all had a great weekend – I spent mine doing loads of laundry from London + getting some much needed beauty rest (traveling just takes the life out of me – anyone else have this struggle?) From unpacking, to cleaning, to some much needed self love (I got the best facial which you should check out on my instastory – the brand is from France + is beyond amazing!!) this weekend was pure bliss.
This look was shot while Mike + I were exploring Tower Bridge in London. While temps were a bit chilly, there was ONE day it wasn’t raining which made it a great day to wear this Shein cape. I loved this cape for London because it was easy to layer over a dress, blouse or sweater. For a gal that gets hot constantly (pretty sure I am 25 going on 60 in terms of menopause haha) it is the perfect piece to have in your wardrobe!
When traveling, packing pieces that are versatile is key. This black dress is great for a evening out or a casual day around town (plus with the various ways you can style it, it is a no brainer)!
Another versatile must have to always bring when traveling? Killer sunnies like these blue mirrored Raybans, they just go with everything – they will be in my carry on for Mike + I’s Florida trip to Disney next month!
I LOVE these black over the knee boots. I have been wearing them all winter…they were comfy to walk all around London in (and trust me, that is A LOT of walking haha) + they are chic to wear with any outfit!
They come in regular size + also wide width – perfect for if you have muscular calves like me haha 😛
My bag is the ever so coveted, Louis Vuitton Pouchette Metis…unfortunately it is still waitlist only but if you sign up, I assure you, it is WELL worth the wait!
So tell me, which winter trends have you been all about this season?
2017 was one hell of a year…from continuing to grow my career, to finding my partner in crime, to traveling across the pond to London + Paris, to getting my new dream car…it is safe to say 2017 was pretty damn amazing. Now what does 2018 have in store? Well I definitely can’t wait to find out – that’s for sure!!
I know the old routine goes…new year, new me + we make a whole bunch of New Year’s resolutions we often try our best to keep but occasionally don’t…(I am totally guilty of this haha)
So what are my New Year’s Resolutions + how do I plan on keeping them? Well you’ll just have to continue reading to see 😉
It is a NEW year and that means it is time to turn to a fresh page and write your book.
My story last year was 365 days filled with highs + lows. The lows were tough but the highs picked me up. I vowed to be happy + to do that it meant letting go of negative thoughts + energy and moving forward towards what makes me smile.
One of those things was to truly sit + think about what makes me happy…this leads me to New Year’s Resolution ONE that EVERYONE should get behind…
1. MAKE TIME FOR YOU
It may sound completely silly or pretty obvious but it is not. When I started off 2017 I was at a job that sucked my soul + left me with ZERO time to enjoy + experience life. I allowed my boss to get into my head and my heart…once I left that toxic environment I vowed to never ever let a job get in the way of taking time to care for me and my mental health. (for more on that story click here)
So how do you make time for yourself when you are hustling to make ends meet or achieve your goals?
Luckily, I have a few tips + tricks up my sleeve…
*Detox – now I don’t mean go on a juice cleanse (I mean if you can, do so by all means but I sure as hell can’t haha) I am referring to a digital detox, social detox, work detox etc. Simply unplug, unwind + relax.
After working at a place where I was harassed 24/7, I am lucky enough to have the ability to unplug on the weekends + focus on me – that means not answer work e-mails (unless urgent of course) + not worry about the office while I am cozy watching Netflix.
More + more on the weekends I have been logging off social media + not necessarily feeling the urge to post – if I am out doing something cool, ok maybe I will log on but otherwise a little break feels nice – I am learning to not feel ‘guilty‘ for not posting everyday, everyone needs a break, ya know?
*Treat Yourself – get a massage or a facial, relax in the jacuzzi, apply a face mask, whatever it is…indulge and take a moment to just be at peace. Nothing makes me happier than a face mask + some Dateline (I can be hauled up all weekend with just those two things haha)
I happen to find great deals on massages + facials + all spa experiences via Groupon (they truly have the best deals + it is a great way to find places in your local area + try them out for a fraction of the regular going rate!
Here are some of my favorite hair + face masks
2. GET ORGANIZED
This is a pretty common resolution but can mean various things…whether it is buying a planner + logging your goals for the year based on day, week, moth + quarter…or cleaning your office or home to feel a little less cluttered, getting organized at the beginning of the year is always a good idea.
*Declutter – I am no neat freak by any means but after the holidays (and a trip since I was in London for the holidays), I always like to clean up, put away the holiday decorations + get organized. Cleaning my place while watching South Park is one of my favorite things to do (how sad is that) haha but the smell of Lemon Pledge (hehe Family Guy reference) + Lysol makes me quite happy. Grab some clear bins from Home Depot + get packing! I organized my makeup, Poshmark merchandise + more in one weekend + felt great after it!
*Plan Ahead – Whether you are planning your new year workouts, when to travel or how to accomplish your dreams, a fresh new planner to start the new year is always a good idea! I like to have a few different planners – 1 for diet + workouts, 1 for my blog editorial calendar + goals and 1 for upcoming life events like travel, work functions etc. They are a easy way to visualize what is ahead + write notes etc to keep your plans aligned.
Here are some of my favorite planners
3. HAVE FUN
Ok ok, maybe this is cliche, but in 2018 I am a firm believer in FUN. Take that trip, try a new workout, learn a new hobby…whatever it is do it! You know why? Because there may not be another chance to do it in the future! My new policy for 2018 is to say YES.
*Say YES – This year say yes – you never know what it can lead to. Whether it is a new career opportunity, a new friend, a new experience etc. Those moments fill the pages of your 365day journal for 2018!
*Break the Mold – Or rather rules…hehe Now don’t go commit a crime, BUT rather don’t do the same old, same old…take a risk, even if it scares you – those challenges shape you into the bad ass person you will become. If I was tooafraid to leave NY, go on some dates, travel outside the country, I wouldn’t be the gal I am today nor would I have met Mike 😉
Time flies by so fast when it comes to the fall + the holiday season. Crazy to think Thanksgiving is just weeks away, followed by Black Friday shopping + prepping for holiday parties and gatherings! One of the most stressful parts of the holiday season is planning holiday parties. Whether it is an office party, a family gathering or a larger event, there is so much to do + so little time. Luckily, I am teaming up with BasicInvite.com today to share how easy it is the create custom holiday party invitations + photo cards with just a few simple clicks!
When it comes to throwing a great party, the invitation is pretty much the first impression of what is to come…the pressure is on, and what better way to do that than creating a custom theme or design that suits your style while having over 180 different colors to choose from along with various envelope designs + foil accents to add a little glitz + glam!
What I love about Basic Invite is that the site is easy to navigate + there is just so much room for creativity. With over 250 Christmas card and holiday card designs, you are bound to find something personal to you that will stand out amongst the typical store bought cards shared throughout the season.
Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers the ability to order a printed sample of their actual invitation so they can see exactly how it will print + feel (paper quality is key) before they have to place a final order. Now this is something I think is genius, nothing is worse than ordering something online (especially a bulk order of custom invitations or cards) + them not coming out as expected. By being able to order a sample, it makes the process seamless + guarantees satisfaction so every order is a happy order…one less thing to worry about this holiday season 😉
While I will be in London this holiday season, I am tempted to order holiday cards just because they are so pretty! From the chic fonts, to the creative details, Basic Invite has everything you need for spreading joy this season.
As if the amazing cards aren’t enough, Basic Invite also has an address capturing service which allows customers to simply share a link on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social platform to request their friends and family’s addresses which will be stored in the customer’s account + can then be selected during the design process so each individual card + envelope is customized. Basic Invite offers recipient address printing at no extra cost on all Christmas card orders! Woohoo! (The less I have to handwrite the better hehe…I have the sloppiest handwriting ever :p)
So can I just move in? That’s what I was saying the entire time I was exploring the ‘Reimagined‘ Miramonte Indian Wells Resort & Spa this week! From the delicious dishes specially curated by Chef Paul at the Citrus & Palm Restaurant, to the relaxing ‘rain massage’ at The Well Spa, to the amazing pool + comfy room…I felt like I was at an island oasis and the best part? It is only 2 hours away from LA and the hustle and bustle of the city!
Indian Wells is my favorite place to go to on the weekends when I want to just unwind + rejuvenate…finding the perfect place to do that is always a challenge but with the great amenities at the Miramonte, you will be in good hands.
When I arrived this adorable macaroon cactus was waiting for me in my room (if you know me, you know I love some macaroons – I am a slight Ladurée addict hehe). I love the thoughtful details a resort thinks about to make the guests’ stay that much better, this was a sweet way to start my trip before heading to a 6 course dinner at their newly renovated Citrus & Palm Restaurant.
From steak to seafood to delicious dessert, the Citrus & Palm Restaurant is a 5 star restaurant without having to leave the resort and when you are on vacation, that is exactly what you need…good food, good times + not leaving your oasis! What I thought was so cool about Chef Paul and the curated menu at the restaurant is that he incorporates citrus flavors from the resort grounds to include in the dishes. Also, all of the dishes are made with healthy ingredients making them that much more delicious because they don’t have the guilt factor you usually get when eating well when you are away 😉
Speaking of food, these are the yummy Lemon Panna Cotta Pancakes topped with berries that I had one morning thanks to the amazing room service at Miramonte. These pancakes are ones I am STILL dreaming over because they were so so good…like beyond delicious I kid you not 😉
After enjoying the delicious meals it was time to hit my favorite place…the spa!
The Well Spa was beyond relaxing and I tried out their ‘rain massage‘ which included aroma therapy and elixirs being dripped up and down my spine during the massage. The spa mixes holistic practices with relaxing moments making you feel like a new woman when you leave. The spa also has a eucalyptus steam room, a salt water pool and shaded cabanas making it the ultimate place to spend your day relaxing (which is exactly what I did following my massage).
After the spa I headed to the pool which had some of the cutest pool floats I ever did see! ICYMI – I am obsessed with pool floats and color so these beauties were the perfect touch for an afternoon swim!
Whether it is splashing around or laying out and working on your tan, Miramonte has everything you need for a peaceful getaway!
To celebrate one of my favorite days (because I LIVE for color), I am doing a much requested post about how I edit my Instagram + blog photos! From light + airy to bright + colorful, creating the perfect ‘feed‘ all comes down to what programs you are using to edit your photos, so I am rounding up some of my favorite apps along with what I use to snap the perfect ‘insta-worthy‘ photo!
First thing is first…my equipment!
For years (and pretty much ever since I started blogging) my go-to camera has been my Canon Rebel T2i (newest version T6 available HERE). It is a nifty camera that captures the perfect shots + is under $500! While the more expensive the camera, the better the features and sharper the image, I truly feel this is the PERFECT camera for anyone wanting to get amazing quality images without breaking the bank!
My lens of choice is the 50mm (under $150) and this helps achieve the ‘object in focus + background blurred‘ effect that so many bloggers have for their photos.
The rebel is able to capture video in addition to photography and you can always ‘up’ it’s game by swapping out lenses and programming.
I typically shoot a few times a week and upload directly onto my computer however if I need to post on the go, I use the Eyefi mobile memory card that connects to an app on your phone so all of the photos from the memory card sync directly onto your phone for instant editing and uploading! It is truly the best thing ever for a blogger on the go. Most cameras have built in wi-fi at this point but if your camera doesn’t, this is a great solution that is affordable (under $50).
Now that you snapped the perfect photo, it is time to get to the editing! Below is a roundup of some of my favorite programs I use both on my computer and on mobile to edit everything from my skin to lighting to color + more!
1.Lightroom – I use Lightroom on every single photo I take. It allows you to mass edit your photos + copy and paste settings so all of the photos in your collections are consistent. I typically upload all of my photos from my iPhone + camera into Lightroom, categorize them into various collections + then get to editing. Lightroom is packed with various ‘presets‘ that are pre established editing settings helping make editing photos easier. To get more curated presets for a certain aesthetic, see programs 3 + 4!
2.Photoshop – I mainly use Photoshop to remove unwanted objects from an image, create collages or make any more aggressive edits other than basic lighting, saturation + hue.
3.VSCO – This is one of the most common used editing apps. This app is available on your phone and also has presets to load into your Lightroom program. Whether you are brightening, fading, saturating or more, this app has everything you need to perfect your edits.
4.Dreamy Presets – I LOVE Dreamy Presets! For the past year, all of my photos have a Dreamy Preset edit on them. I love their Santorini and Barcelona preset collections. They are easy to download and add to your Lightroom program and they make editing photos so much easier. They save me time and make all of my photos stay consistent, just look at my feed below! Head over to their site + use code MISSYONMADISON at checkout for an extra discount!
iPhone apps 4 – 6 are perfect for those ‘finishing touches’…
5.Airbrush – I put every image I plan on posting on Instagram through Airbrush + simply hit the ‘magic wand‘ button. It instantly gives the photo an airbrushed effect + balances the color + lighting.
6.Facetune – The Facetune app is great for smoothing your skin, fixing those out of place hairs, removing blemishes etc.
7.Snapseed – I LOVE this app! So you know when you have a photo + only certain areas need retouching (whether it be removing shadows, adding brightness etc), well Snapseed is great for editing those hard to get areas without editing the entire photo. I use it on flatlays where the lighting may not be even, head shots where only certain spots need saturation (lips, eyes etc) + more.
PLANNING is KEY!
In order to plan out what my Instagram feed will look like, I use an app called Planoly. It is truly a lifesaver. It allows you to see what images work best with your feed, imports your current Instagram layout + even allows you to move around photos to assure it ‘flows’ (my boyfriend hates when I ask him a million times if my feed ‘flows‘ but hey now-a-days it plays a big role in growing your Instagram audience).
If there are other apps + programs you use I would love to hear about them!
Be sure to comment below + I will be sure to check them out ♥
To purchase + download my go-to programs + equipment, shop below!
Happy Weekend Loves ♥ One of my missions when arriving in London was to do a photoshoot with the classic red phone booths by Big Ben. The iconic London sites became my playground for the day as I went in tow with all of my outfits from place to place to capture the perfect outfit shots! In case you ever wondered the amount of work that goes into blogging, here is a little glimpse. Before heading to London I pre-planned every location I wanted to shoot at AND the outfit I wanted to wear at said location (although on social media it looks effortless, I will be the first to tell ya…there is plenty of effort involved haha :p). Since I am one who loves pops of color, red on red made perfect sense in my book 😉
This red coat was my immediate go-to throughout my London trip. I don’t know why, but I felt this red coat was just so London haha
Since I wanted all the red pieces to make a statement (and match the phone booth) I paired the coat with this black + white polka dot dress. It was a clearance find at Old Navy + it is perfect for work or play! It fits great + is flattering on all body types.
This little teddy bear was a surprise Mike packed in my outfit bag before I went out to shoot (talk about #relationshipgoals – yes I am such a mush haha). We got the teddy at the Tower Of London tour where we checked out the Queen’s Jewels + medieval castles which brought me back to my AP European History days in high school 😉
You can never go wrong with a red bag + shoes, they stand out + dress up any look – even for those that are on the more simple side when it comes to color.
I may have just gotten home a week ago, but I am already itching to go back – this city has become one of my favorites + I truly loved it. Luckily, I am heading back in December to spend Christmas + New Year’s in London with my boo ♥