I was super blessed to visit Santorini twice in 2016! Once in April, & again in September. With the two trips being so close together during the same travel season, I felt like such a pro the second time around! It was great to see the difference in busy-ness from the beginning of the season to the end as well, my preference? Beginning! When we visited in April the tourist season was just starting, many properties weren’t even open yet, and it wasn’t crowded at all! During Labor Day weekend though? Oia was sooo crowded and congested, I can’t even imagine how it is in the middle of the summer. Just something to keep in mind while you’re planning your trips! The weather was definitely warmer in September but I’m not huge into swimming anyways so April didn’t bother me. I hate getting my hair wet lol!
We stayed at Santorini Secret Suites & Spa and got the true cavernous cycladic experience. Such a gorgeous and photogenic property *heart eyes* – I have a full hotel feature HERE.
Enjoy the photos! It was a quick visit so this is just a photo diary, all of my outfit details are at the bottom btw!
If you’re looking for a full travel guide of Santorini, be sure to check out my in-depth post from last spring! xo
Happy Fri-Yay!! Another long overdue 2016 travel diary today… Istanbul! Waseem & I traveled to Greece and Turkey last spring for our third wedding anniversary. All of my Greece posts went up in a somewhat timely fashion but I really dragged my feet with sorting through my photos from Istanbul. I feel like I’ve mentioned it so many times already but I got so sick in Greece that our few days in Turkey were such a delirious blur. I slept almost the entire time and barely got to sightsee so TBH looking at these photos makes me a little sad too! I’ve always wanted to visit Istanbul and while I’m so happy to have visited, I do really wish I was able to soak it up a little more! We did get to check off two of our top sights to see though – The Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia.
Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet was so generous in hosting us and we really couldn’t have picked a better location! Sultanahmet is the heart of old Istanbul and many of the major attractions are all here and in walking distance. The cobblestone roads were so charming and it must have been a little off season when we went (maybe?!) because nothing seemed to be crowded. It was very quiet & serene, we loved just strolling.
The Four Seasons is actually a century-old former jail! Who would think something like that would be converted into a luxury hotel?! The jailhouse was the first in Istanbul and was built in Turkish neoclassical style and underwent redevelopment in the 90s to preserve its history and architecture. The property now has 65 hotel rooms and suites with a gorgeous landscaped courtyard filled with flowers where we had breakfast every morning. The courtyard used to be the jail’s exercise yard, what a serious makeover! I love visiting places with tons of rich history, the property has so much character making our experience all the more unique.
We checked in at night and there was a yummy platter waiting for us (Waseem gobbled up all the Turkish delights!); we room service’d some tea for my throat and I went right to sleep. I woke up to such a lovely view of the Blue Mosque right from our balcony in the morning! You’ll see everything I’m describing in the photos below :)
Happy Monday!! I wanted to do a super pink look for Valentine’s day instead of my usual red-lip look and I’m so in love with how this tutorial turned out! It’s so overly girly and with so much pink I would have thought it’d look clownish but I think the final look is so cute and feminine. Very Legally Blonde :) I pulled out some of my favorite pink products and I think everything went together really well, hope you guys love it! I really want to do a coral/peachy Valentine’s look next – what do you think? Too springy or just a little different for Vday? Lemme know!
Maui is one of my husband & my favorite destinations in the world. Our first trip in 2014 was our most enjoyable vacation we’ve ever taken & we’ve been dreaming of visiting again ever since! Since moving to LA almost two years ago, we’ve been looking for any excuse to go since it’s such a short flight from here and we finally pulled the trigger for a quick weekend getaway in October for my 30th birthday. This post is SO long overdue but I got pregnant soon after and life has been a whirlwind ever since! Before our lives get flipped completely upside down in 2017 (in the best way possible!), I’m making it a point to backtrack and get all of my remaining 2016 travels up on the blog! *ahem* Can’t fall behind while I’m brainstorming babymoon destinations! ;)
We stayed in the southwest side of the island during both visits – Kihei during our first trip and Wailea this past October. Kihei is a working/beach town so this time around I wanted a more luxurious experience in the gorgeous resort community of Wailea – just south of Kihei. Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea was so generous to host us for my birthday and it was such a wonderful quick trip! I’ve stayed at Four Seasons Resorts around the world and this is the first hotel I’ve experienced with staff that will remember your name every time!
They were undergoing some renovations during our stay and they let us know beforehand that there might be some noise but we honestly didn’t see or hear a thing. I do believe that their renovations are now complete anyways! The friendly staff welcomed us with tropical drinks and fresh leis before we were quickly transferred to our ocean-view room – where we had even more treats waiting for us! We had a huge fruit and cheese platter that we seriously munched on all weekend lol at one point we were scooping cheese with more cheese it was so good haha!
Since our trip this time was for such a short weekend, we stayed at the resort most of our time (aside from one Road to Hana day of course!). The property is huge and restaurants are so good so if you’re not in the mood to explore the island, there is more than enough to do at the hotel! We had my birthday dinner at Ferraro’s and the food was amazing of course but what I loved most was the atmosphere. It’s located outside and oceanfront so the temperature, sounds, and fresh air are so relaxing! It was already past sunset by the time we made it down for dinner but even without the views, I was loving all the fresh Hawaiian air and the sounds of crashing waves.
The beach and reef are spectacular so even though the Four Seasons has amazing pools, you have to take the couple steps down to the beach. We spent our first afternoon strolling along the shore and playing in the water. The next day we loved our time at the adults-only pool and lounging in our cabana. The friendly service was so quick and the drinks were awesome!
I might be one of the few people in this day & age that doesn’t enjoy shopping online as much as I love going in-store. I love to roam aisles and peruse. If you’re an in-person shopper like myself, I have an app for you!
I discovered the shopkick app about a month ago while I was doing some holiday shopping & it’s a great way to rack up points…. err, kicks! When you shop, you get kicks that you can redeem at some of your favorite retailers. My gift card of choice? Starbucks of course!
You can earn kicks in many different ways… browsing content and watching videos in the app, walking into stores, using a linked credit card for purchases, scanning items in store or your receipts, or by inviting friends! So easy peasy!
I was at Target last month racking up kicks & I picked up some awesome Sally Hansen Color Therapy polishes. I’m in love! I wear pale pink or white on my nails 99% of the time so I love trying new products and formulas! I picked up the color “Well, well, well” and its my current favorite! This polish is uniquely infused with argan oil and doesn’t need a base coat so the oil complex can directly contact your bare nails! Combined with Sally Hansen Color Therapy Top Coat.. & it’s perfect! I suffer from extremely dry skin, especially my cuticles (especially x2 now that it’s winter too!) so finishing off with Sally Hansen Color Therapy Nail & Cuticle Oil kept me so comfortable this past holiday season. I like to keep this elixir in my purse and reapply as needed!