Babymoon Travel Diary | Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Celebrating every milestone to the fullest is becoming more of a norm than a novelty these days. Me, being the perpetually extra person that I am, have absolutely no complaints about this new age of gender reveals, babymoons, and push presents! Waseem and I have traveled quite a bit since getting married four years ago but a dream babymoon was something I just had to have IRL. The era of just us was coming to an end and we needed one last hurrah before two became three.

Haha yes, I plagiarized myself & my Babymoon Essentials post (shh!) but I put my sentiments into words a little too perfectly there and I blame my new-mommy brain mush for being unwilling to write up a new intro.

Bora Bora has been on my bucketlist for years and I had my heart absolutely set on it being our babymoon destination – I refused to even think of a back-up. When I know what I want, I just have to have it! I wanted a relaxing, exotic, & obviously Zika-free vacation and I wanted to stay in an over-water bungalow. This pretty much narrowed it down to French Polynesia…

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Bali Travel Diary | Indonesia 2016

Last summer I had the pleasure of attending Institute of Code‘s 10 day coding retreat in Bali, Indonesia! Not only was it my first time properly exploring that side of the world, it was my first formal exposure to coding after 15+ years! I wrote up a super honest post last year How I made my #LifeGoals a Reality and talked about my journey with content creation — it all began with learning very basic coding in my 7th grade computer class. It was at this pivotal, young age I realized how important it is to be self-reliant. As much as I do need to hire someone to give my bloggy a little make-over, I like to have the option of doing it myself in the meantime while I’m being lazy :)

I was totally geeked, in every sense of the word, to discover Institute of Code! Not only did it get me excited to properly learn how to code, it ignited all of my wanderlust too! Talk about a two-fer!

I hated school. I hated school so much. It felt like prison – & I can confidently say that I wasn’t alone in feeling this way. This is where IOC’s philosophy really stood out to me, they don’t believe that hard work & enjoyment are mutually exclusive. Who says you have to be miserable in order to reach your full potential? If anything, shouldn’t it be the other way? Yes, yes it should! & it is. IOC is all about getting us into our flow state – “when they are inspired, motivated, supported and eager to learn, they can accomplish so much more than they would in a normal day.”

I had to steal that blurb right from their website because it is so true! I didn’t think I’d learn more than basics over the 10-day course but I learned, absorbed, & retained so much! Not only did the program provide everything we needed so we could just focus on learning to code (chef prepared meals, yoga, meditation, massages, etc), being around other like-minded individuals was super motivating and inspiring. When we weren’t in class we got to explore the beautiful island of Bali – sigh, which isn’t just any ol’ destination. Travel goals while you’re pursuing your life goals.. that’s what I’m talkin’ bout!

do recommend planning for an extra day or two (or more!) in Bali after your course though just in case you don’t get to check everything off of your bucket list during your stay! The outside activities & sight seeing seemed to be really dependent on the collective group’s interests. While I was very interested in checking out the cultural and historical sites on the island, most of my classmates were more into relaxing and hanging at the beach so I went off to explore on my own a couple days – totally worth it! Just something to keep in mind!

Within the past year, Institute of Code has expanded their course offerings and now also offer Digital Marketing & Blog Mentorship workshops!! FOMO!!! Kiersten of The Blonde Abroad is leading the Blog Mentorship workshop – she is such an inspiration to me as a content creator & globe trotter. I’ve followed her work for some time and actually met her while I was in Bali as she was coincidentally visiting at the same time. She not only knows how to create beautiful, compelling content.. but also clearly understands strategy as one of the most visible female travel bloggers! If I weren’t a million years pregnant, I’d attend her workshops this summer in a heartbeat! You can find deets on all the different courses IOC is currently holding on their website.

My vlog from the IOC villa is above if you haven’t checked it out yet! They have since gotten a new campus which blows the previous out of the water – check out their Instagram page for an updated look on everything they have to offer! And now…. on to my photos! :) Enjoy!

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Babymoon Essentials + Bora Bora Travelgram

In this world of social media and Pinterest, celebrating every milestone to the fullest is becoming more of a norm than a novelty. Me, being the perpetually extra person that I am, have absolutely no complaints about this new age of gender reveals, babymoons, and push presents! Waseem and I have traveled quite a bit since getting married four years ago but a dream babymoon was something I just had to have IRL. Waseem really is my best friend. One night it clicked in both of our heads that soon.. we won’t be able to spontaneously jump in the car at 1am for snacks or have random 90s dance parties for two in our living room (shhh.. the baby’s sleeping!). As much as we’ve wanted and prayed for this baby.. the era of just us is coming to an end. We just needed one last hurrah before two becomes three.

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Chanel 31 Rue Cambon, Paris + Unboxing

It’s always been on my bucketlist to purchase a Chanel in Paris so during our little weekend trip last week I asked my husband to choose a boutique while I finished getting dressed. A little googling led him to decide for us to visit the location at 31 rue Cambon, which happens to be the original Chanel boutique.. the flagship, the mothership! Coco Chanel even once lived in the apartment upstairs. We popped in less than an hour before closing and it was still pretty busy in there, lots of tourists buzzing around making their Chanel purchases. We waited in line for a few minutes before a kind woman grabbed us to help. I can’t say it enough that everyone working at this boutique was so friendly! Something I usually don’t experience at designer boutiques in the US and I seriously thought that attitude would be on ten in Paris. Thinking back though.. I made my first Louboutin purchase in Paris years ago and they were also much nicer than any Louboutin boutique I’ve been to at home (agh especially Chicago!). Maybe I just have great luck in Paris!

I came in with a good idea of what I was looking for, so it was a very quick process for her to pull options for me. I was looking for a wallet-on-chain in caviar leather or patent leather – in a neutral color. I narrowed it down to classic black with gold hardware and a nude le boy with what looked like champagne hardware.. it wasn’t quite gold or silver. Waseem wanted me to go with the boy but it’s so hard for me to stray from a black & gold combo, and I just love classic designs. It took me a couple years to even appreciate the newer le boy style & I even own one in a loud electric blue patent leather but… classics will always have my heart! My lambskin double flap gives me so much grief because I hate how soft the leather is so I was long overdue on something black & in caviar leather anyways.

All the other shoppers were sipping on champagne as they made their purchases but me being the child that I am enjoyed a cold can of pop while I checked out lol! From start to finish it was such a lovely experience shopping at Chanel Cambon and what is extra unique about this location is that they have exclusive packaging. Every boutique in the world uses black boxes/bags but the flagship location perfectly wraps everything in white! If you ever buy a pre-loved Chanel and it comes in its original white box, you’ll know it came from the iconic Cambon location. Very cool!

Don’t forget your passport so you can get a VAT refund when you leave Europe! I forgot mine but luckily I always have a scan of it handy on my phone and they were nice enough to accept that! Even without the tax refund, my WOC was cheaper in Paris than in the US; but with the tax refund it really was a great deal (about $1600 vs $2100+tax)! I kind of wish I splurged on something bigger.. ah well, next time! :)

Shop Pre-Loved Chanel WOCs:

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Ruched Off the Shoulder | Paris Style

Bonsoir from Paris!

Waseem‘s always wanted to spontaneously jet off for a weekend in Paris and we finally made it happen! After an intense several weeks for us both, a little detox is exactly what the doctor ordered.

I don’t know when I’ll get over off the shoulder tops, leggings, or all black haha but today’s outfit was so me! I got this ruched off the shoulder top for our trip and I’m seriously obsessed! It’s so flattering no matter how you’re feeling about your body (I spy a baby bump below!), plus the layers & textures give it such a high end feel that photographs flawlessly! I paired it with some liquid leggings and slipped on some comfy flats and I was good to go! All of my outfit details are at the bottom, enjoy!

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