New Orleans Travel Essentials

Though traveling is a blast, sometimes packing for big trips can be a bit nerve wracking. And as I'm sure many of you guessed by my post earlier this week, I'm heading down to New Orleans for one kick ass summer vacation before I head back to class at Point Park University! So, in light of getting ready for my vacation and packing (though I'm totally doing it at the last minute due to my crazy work schedule lately--yikes!) I figured I'd share all my travel essentials for my eight day trip with all of you. So let's pack our bags and get to exploring!

First Things First: What You Need at the Airport & For On Your Flight

Though most of these items are common sense, I personally am always a bit over prepared and always keep a check list of the important things I absolutely need to have handy when I arrive at the airport. So, think of this as your "traveling basics" check list, and make sure you definitely have ALL of these items before leaving your house!!

Checklist before departing:

-Plane ticket (duh, but you'd be surprised how many times I've had to turn around to grab my phone because I forgot it at my house)

-Liscense, I.D., or Passport

-Medical card (just in case!)

-Phone

-iPad, tablet, laptop, and other electronics

-Chargers for all electronics

-Camera & battery charger (yeah, this could go under electronics, but I'm a photographer let me have this one)

-Glasses or contacts (for those of you who are like me and are blind without them!)

-Sunglasses

-Reading material

No, I Didn't Wake Up Like This: Beauty Travel Essentials  

Let's be honest, not even Beyoncé wakes up flawless . And for many of us (myself included) the stress of traveling increases when we start to think: "Oh my god, they don't have my hair care routine in travel size, or my face wash, or--wait, no, they don't even have any brands I like in travel size!" Well, don't fret, (because if you're anything like me you didn't just think of picking up travel size containers to pack your essentials--thanks mum.) because next up is the complete list of anything you could possibly need for beauty and personal care while on vacation!

Beauty & Personal Hygiene Checklist:

-Travel sized bottles (found at Walmart)

-Travel sized mouth wash

-Travel sized toothpaste

-Toothbrush

-Face wash

-Any other face care products (in my case, I use Differin Gel)

-Face Moisturizer

-Chapstick

-Travel sized deodorant

-Travel sized sunscreen

-Travel sized body wash

-Shaving razor

-Travel sized body lotion

-Small bottle of perfume

-Pads, panty liners, and/or tampons

-Any medications (birth control, allergy medicine, etcetera)

-Hair dryer

-Hair straightener

-Brush

-Hair ties

-Foundation (My go to is bareMinerals original)

-Versatile eye shadow palette (My go to is Maybelline's City Minis Palette

-Mascara (My go to is CoverGirl Plumpify

-Eye liner (My go to is Revlon's basic black eyeliner pencil) 

-Blush (My go to is "My Rose" by Dior)

-Blending sponge (check out this one from RealTechniques, I love mine!) need link to article + product

-1-3 different shades of lipstick

-Travel kit of makeup brushes (check out this one from RealTechniques, it is my go too!) 

 Last But Not Least: Clothes For Vacation 

Even though I pretty much covered my top favorite outfits for vacation in my last Style Guide post, I figured I would throw in a few extra suggestions along with the ones I already made Monday! And I mean, this is a style blog after all, so what would this post be with out some fashion essentials?

Clothes & Accessories:

-8 pairs of bras and underwear (two strapless bras included in this!)

-2 sets of pajamas

-2 sets of workout clothes (sports bra, tank, and shorts sets)

-2 tee shirts

-2 camis

-4 pairs of shorts

-2-3 nice dresses (e.g. For a date night or a girls night out)

-1 maxi dress

-4 pairs of socks

-2 pairs of sandals

-1 pair of versatile comfy shoes

-1 pair of heels

-1 pair of sneakers (in my case running shoes)

-Large purse to travel (for on the plane-- need one? Check out my go to travel bag here!) 

-Small clutch or bag for evenings out or out exploring the city you are visiting (Need one? This one is my favorite from my sponsor SheIn

-SmartWatch, Apple Watch, Fitbit, or other fitness tracker (Need one? This is the one I have, and though it was a cheap buy, it works great and I love it! You can get others like it here.) 

-1 Dress watch

-1-3 different pairs of earrings

-1-3 different bracelets

-1-3 different necklaces

So, what are some of your main travel essentials when packing for a big trip? Let's chat about it in the comments below or you can tweet me at @StarkRavingChic! Want updates on my vacation in The Big Easy? Be sure to follow me and check my story on Instagram at @StarkRavingChic. Later babes, see you on the 27th with an outfit of the day once I'm back from vacation!

Xx, Bree

P.S. I am now a proud member of rewardStyle and LIKEtoKNOW.it! Meaning you can shop straight from my Instagram feed when you click here or here. Don't know what LIKEtoKNOW.it is all about? Learn more, here!

Summer Vacation Style Guide 2017

Though summer is quickly coming to a close, I have always taken my vacations towards the end of the season. I have always liked to think of it as a "last hoorah" of sorts before getting back to the grind in the fall. So for my vacation this year, I'm actually heading down to New Orleans for eight days (Yes, there will be a couple new travel posts in the near future folks!) and I figured what would be more fitting than to post some of my top outfit choices for summer vacation! And though I will be going back to my typical Style Guide posts come fall, today's will be a little different because I've decided to actually show you all some of the outfits I will be styling down in The Big Easy. 

Mixing Patterns

Love this top? See some other ways I styled it here!

Love this top? See some other ways I styled it here!

The first summer trend that I am excited to style on my vacation is the mixing of patterns. The reason I love this trend so much is because it leaves so much room for experimentation and is a fun and playful touch on casual outfits. The outfit I have on above would be absolutely perfect for sight seeing around New Orleans due to the fact these pieces are light weight and airy which is great for keeping you cool and of course comfy shoes are a must! 

(Outfit: Sunglasses by Tory Burch, Top from Fascino, Jewelry from Rocksbox, Shorts thifted from Red, White, and Blue Thrift Store, Bag by Yves Saint Laurent, Shoes by Michael Kors.) 

Ravishing Reds

Of course you can't take a trip to New Orleans without going to the infamous restaurant The Commander's Palace! For those of you who are unfamiliar with the swanky spot, it is an upscale eatery known for its creole fare, beautiful setting, and I can't help but mention that they serve 25 cent martinis during lunch--who would want to miss that?! Due to its elegant nature, The Commander's Palace requires its guests to dress in business to semi formal attire, so to hit this hot spot, I will be packing this lovely red shift dress and my Kate Spade heels. To style this piece I chose to pair it with gold chandelier earrings and a plain gold cuff.

(Outfit: Earrings from Fascino, Dress by Micheal Kors, Bracelet by Victoria's Secret, Heels by Kate Spade.)

Sea Side Stripes

This next outfit it yet another summer style trend, and that would be stripes! The reason I decided to take this lovely outfit from Ann Taylor with me is for one, these pants are so incredibly comfortable!! And considering they are all cotton, they're the perfect choice to stay cool in the Louisiana heat. I also just adore this blouse due to its ruffled collar, which as I'm sure you all know is also a big trend this season. To further style this adorable duo, I chose to pair it with this beautiful Kendra Scott necklace and this pretty cuff by SLATE.

(Outfit: Blouse, pants, and shoes are from Ann Taylor. Jewelry can be found at Rocksbox.)

Longer Lengths

As my long time readers know, I am absolutely crazy about maxi dresses! So its only natural that I would pack one to style on my vacation. The reason I love this gorgeous maxi dress so much is because I love its rich colors as well as its bold pattern. To style it, I chose to keep it simple with this sweet little SLATE cuff and some brown and white sandals.

(Outfit: Earrings from Forever 21, Dress thrifted at Red White and Blue Thrift Store, Shoes by Tommy Hilfiger.)

Great Graphic Tees

Love this top? See some other ways I styled it here!

Love this top? See some other ways I styled it here!

Since I don't plan on being dressed up for my entire vacation (though, I do love dressing up!) I also plan on taking a few casual outfits as well, just considering they are much more practical for things like sight seeing and strolling around Bourbon Street. And since we all know I have quite the collection of graphic tees, you bet I'll be packing some of my faves! For this cool and casual look I chose this adorable "Haute Mess" tee from SheIn, some simple denim shorts, and these adorable Micheal Kors slides! And to dress my tee up a little bit I added these Jenny Bird earrings, collar necklace, and cuff. 

(Outfit: Sunglasses by Oliver Goldsmith, Tee and Shorts from SheIn, Earrings, Collar Necklace and Cuff can be found at Rocksbox, Shoes by Micheal Kors.)

Attractively Active

Love this top? See some other ways I styled it here!

Love this top? See some other ways I styled it here!

If you've been reading my blog for awhile, I'm sure you know how much I hate going to the gym and working out--though that doesn't mean that I don't do it. So while I'm on vacation, I will still continue running and exercising as normal because I know it is good for me and though I don't necessarily like putting in the work, I do love the end result. And not to mention I love the athlesiure and sports style trends so it also makes for some fun styling!

(Outfit: Sports Bra and Jacket from SheIn, Shorts by Danskin, Shoes by Nike.)

Fierce In Florals

Love this dress? See some other ways I styled it here!

Love this dress? See some other ways I styled it here!

If you know anything about me you know that one thing I absolutely love is BRUNCH. And if you know anything about NOLA you know that it has some of the best brunch spots in the United States, if not in the world. So, this outfit choice is for just that! This adorable floral dress is simply perfect for grabbing some beignets and coffee at Cafe Du Monde before taking a nice morning stroll through the French Quarter. To style this piece I chose to pair it with this beautiful SLATE necklace, these pretty pink Kendra Scott Earrings, and this cute cuff, along with this adorable bag from SheIn.

(Outfit: Dress from Make Me Chic, Purse from SheIn, Shoes by Anne Klein, Necklace and Earrings from Rocksbox.)

Pretty Two Pieces

Love this outfit? See some other ways I styled it here!

Love this outfit? See some other ways I styled it here!

Last but not least, the final outfit I will be packing is this adorable two piece set from my sponsor SheIn! The reason I absolutely adore this outfit is because it is so chic and casual that you can wear it for just about any occasion. It is also light and airy so therefore keeping me comfy and cool while strolling around the streets of New Orleans. To style this cute set, I kept it simple with my trusty Chloe bag and some white and brown sandals.

(Outfit: Two Piece Set from SheIn, Bag by Chloe, Sandals by Tommy Hilfiger.)

 

So everybody, where are you off to on summer vacation and what will you be styling?! Let's chat about it in the comments below or you can tweet me about it at @StarkRavingChic! Have a darling vacation outfit you just need to show off? Feel free to tag me on Instagram or in your Instagram story at @StarkRavingChic. Later, dolls!

Xx, Bree

P.S. Psssssst! If you love the jewelry I styled in this post as much as I do, you can try Rocksbox for a whole month 100% FREE when you sign up using my promo code "starkravingchicxoxo". Don't know what Rocksbox is or how it works? You can learn more here!

Also, In case you haven't heard, I am now a proud member of rewardStyle and LIKEtoKNOW.it! Meaning you can shop straight from my Instagram feed when you click here or here. Don't know what LIKEtoKNOW.it is all about? Learn more, here!

#OOTD: Fit To Be Tied (Feat. SheIn + Rocksbox)

One of the many things I love about Pittsburgh is that though it is a small city, you can always find something to do. The Burgh is known for tons of fun events ranging from food festivals (We are known to have some of the best food and restaurants in the country after all!), live music, art crawls, and of course sports games. This weekend was no different, when Pittsburgh held its 40th annual Three Rivers Regatta, which was held at Point State Park. And of course after hearing about all the awesome activities going down at the regatta, you know I had to take sometime to check it out and be a tourist in my own city for the weekend.

Three Rivers Regatta 

As many of you know, I was born and raised in Pittsburgh and know the city like the back of my hand. From its hottest bars, coolest museums, and best places to grab breakfast, I've been to them all. So, it's quite surprising that I never actually attended The Three Rivers Regatta until this year! However, I have to say I'm so happy I decided to go this past weekend because it was quite the sight to see. Though I have to say watching the Red Bull Flugtag competition took the cake, seeing the mass amount of boats on the river as well as seeing the boat race was pretty sweet too. I also finally had the perfect opportunity to style my newest blouse from my sponsor, SheIn!

The reason I chose this outfit is because I felt that a laid back look was best for a weekend that would be spent downtown and among large crowds of people. This blouse was a prefect choice because not only is it light weight and kept me cool during the humid August weekend, it also is quite the interesting piece though its front looks a bit plain--but I'll get to that in a minute. I chose to pair this top with these highwaisted shorts that I received from SheIn last year (Unfortunately these specific shorts are out of stock but you can find similar ones here and here!), due to the fact I thought these shorts added a nice contrast to the outfit and balanced out the amount of skin I was showing. And lastly, I chose to pair this outfit with my trusty white Chuck Taylors because a girl has to be comfy while walking around the city!

As I mentioned earlier, though this blouse looks a bit plain from the front, the back is what makes this top so fun! The reason I love this blouse so much is along with its airy summer appearance, is because I am absolutely in love with tie back blouses. I just think this trend is such a great look for summer and though it keeps your look casual, it is also a bit daring and subtly sexy.

Though I have reviewed these shorts in the past, I feel as though they deserve an honorable mention in this post because they are so incredibly comfortable! Though all of my clothes from SheIn are pretty comfy, at first I was skeptical about these shorts because they are highwaisted, however much to my surprise, when I slipped them on, they weren't too tight and fit me just right! And have since become one of my favorite pair of shorts, they also go with a variety of different tops and come in handy for quite a few different looks, making them one of my most versatile pieces. 

Curious about my smart watch? You can check it out here!

Curious about my smart watch? You can check it out here!

Last but not least, I have to mention my bag from my sponsor, Sydney Love. I'm sure some of you may recognize it from a post earlier this year, but I just have to say it is the ultimate bag to take with you for a weekend full of fun. This bag isn't only fashionable, but it is also incredibly functional! I've actually started referring to it as my "Mary Poppins bag" because it fits anything and everything you could possibly need!

One Last Look

How have you explored your city this summer? Let's chat about it in the comments below or you can tweet me at @StarkRavingChic! Have a cool photo of a summer event you went to recently? I'd love to see it so feel free to tag me on Instagram at @StarkRavingChic. Later, babes.

Xx, Bree

P.S. Psssssst! If you love the jewelry I styled in this post as much as I do, you can try Rocksbox for a whole month 100% FREE when you sign up using my promo code "starkravingchicxoxo". Don't know what Rocksbox is or how it works? You can learn more here!

Also, I am now a proud member of rewardStyle and LIKEtoKNOW.it! Meaning you can shop straight from my Instagram feed when you click here or here. Don't know what LIKEtoKNOW.it is all about? Learn more, here!

Top 10 Style Picks: Summer 2017

Though summer is winding down (can you believe that it's already the end of July?!), I still think that it is totally fitting to share some of my favorite trends that have arose in summer 2017. From cool festival inspired looks, awesome athlesiure attire, and my personal favorite, the return of the crop top. Sure, this post is a little overdue, but as I always say, better late than never! And considering we still have over a month of summer left, there is still plenty of time for all of us to try out these fun and fearless trends for ourselves, not to mention start planning how to transition some of these cool looks for early fall. Now without any further to do, let's talk about my top ten style picks for summer 2017!

1. Sheer Delight

Shop these looks from my sponsor, SheIn. (And, a quick note to save you some cash: SheIn will be providing FREE shipping this weekend no matter the price of your order! So if you want to snag any of these looks, be sure to grab them this weekend, July 29th & July 30th!)

Shop these looks from my sponsor, SheIn. (And, a quick note to save you some cash: SheIn will be providing FREE shipping this weekend no matter the price of your order! So if you want to snag any of these looks, be sure to grab them this weekend, July 29th & July 30th!)

As I'm sure many of you can remember from a few of my past "outfit of the day" posts, I've been digging the sheer trend for quite some time now. So needless to say, I was ecstatic to see this this sweet spring look has stuck around for the summer. The reason I love this style trend is because it adds a subtle, but playful, sexiness to any look. Whether it be a simple sheer tee or a gorgeous summer dress, this trend is definitely for the girl with a more daring side.  

(Looks Left to Right: Graphic Patch Sheer Tee, Red Sheer Tee, Sheer Peacock Feather Patterned Dress, Green Sheer & Lace Dress.)

2. Think Pink

Shop these looks from my sponsor, Make Me Chic.

Shop these looks from my sponsor, Make Me Chic.

The next hot fashion trend this season is literally fifty shades of pink. Whether it be a dusty rose, pretty pastel, or shocking, I'm sure you've probably been seeing it in all forms where ever you may be shopping! The reason this trend is one of my top picks is though it is as simple as a color, I love that this trend embraces an airy romantic feel for the summer, as well as upholding a very feminine feel. This trend is absolutely perfect for the traditional "girly-girl".

(Looks Left to Right: Off the Shoulder Asymmetrical Blouse, Pleated Pink Pants, Pleated Pink Maxi Skirt, Hot Pink Shift Dress.)

3. Flower Power

Shop these looks from my sponsor, StyleWe.

Shop these looks from my sponsor, StyleWe.

Yes I know, in the words of Miranda Priestly, "Florals? Ground breaking." However, unlike the traditional florals we see around this time of year (think pinks, reds, and yellows), this summer the floral trend has become a bit more abstract. How so? Well as you can see above, summer of 2017 seems to be the year of more organic floral patterns instead of the cookie cutter patterns we've seen in years past, and I don't know about you but I think it is a very welcomed change. The other update I like to this traditional trend is the use of nontraditional colors as well as incorporating the trend into lace patterns, giving this classic look more depth than in the past.

(Looks Left to Right: Green & Blue Floral Blouse, Black & White Floral Shorts, Olive Floral Jumpsuit, Pink & Blue Floral Mini Dress.)

4. Awesome Accessories

Shop these jewelry pieces from my sponsor, Rocksbox. And you can find these sunglasses and more over at Make Me Chic.

Shop these jewelry pieces from my sponsor, Rocksbox. And you can find these sunglasses and more over at Make Me Chic.

Of course this list couldn't be completed with out accessories! And I have to say I'm thrilled by this years summer accessories due to their laid back nature and boho vibes. As you can see above, one huge trend this year is rose gold everything. From sunnies to bracelets you better believe you'll be seeing this color everywhere. Another cool trend is lots of beading and tassels, which is perfect for any girl who embraces her inner bohemian goddess. One last fun thing about 2017 summer accessories: The wrap bracelet is a huge must have this year, and the neat thing about this trend is not only can you style these babies as a traditional bracelet, you can also totally mix it up and wear it as an anklet, hooray of versatility, am I right? 

(Looks Left to Right: Red Tassel Earrings, Rose Gold Sunglasses, Layered Necklace, Wrap Bracelet.)

5. Just Swimmingly

Shop these looks from my sponsor, Light In The Box.

Shop these looks from my sponsor, Light In The Box.

I don't know about you guys, but one of my favorite things about summer is swimming! Which by default means I love swimsuit shopping. And I have to say, the swim trends this year are pretty awesome. This year when you hit the beach (or the local pool) you'll be seeing lost of straps, plunging necklines, illusive patterns, along with sporty looks. So, I think it's safe to say with all of these sweet swimwear trends in one season, everyone will be happy!

(Looks Left to Right: Royal Blue Bikini, Black & Nude Bikini, Floral Swimsuit, High waisted Bralette Bikini.)

6. Captivating Cover-Ups

Shop these looks from my sponsors, Make Me Chic, Light In The Box, SheIn, and StyleWe.

Shop these looks from my sponsors, Make Me Chic, Light In The Box, SheIn, and StyleWe.

Though this next category totally goes hand in hand with swimwear, I felt that it was only necessary to talk about cover-ups, simply because much like the robe trend we saw in the spring as well as the on going sheer trend, cover-ups are a must for your beach excursions. The reason I'm digging cover ups so much this year is because much like the swim trends this year, cover-ups pretty much have every type of girl's style in mind. From boho, to girly, to sporty, and classic, I'm sure all of you can agree that there's no losing here! And with so many options, it can even help us step out of our comfort zone, I personally am trying to hop on the sporty bandwagon this season. 

(Looks Left to Right: White Mesh Cover-Up, Black Lace Kimono Cover-Up, White Knit Cover-Up, Pink Lace Cover-Up.)

7. Easy, Breezy, Maxis

Shop these looks from my sponsors, SheIn and Make Me Chic. (Love the last look? Check out how I styled it, here!)

Shop these looks from my sponsors, SheIn and Make Me Chic. (Love the last look? Check out how I styled it, here!)

Ahhh, maxi dresses, A.K.A. my favorite type of dress. Though maxi dresses have been around the fashion scene for ages, they always seem to get lost in the background, however this year has changed all of that! Though I'm not sure why people have decided to trade in their traditional short length garments for longer lengths this season, I'm certainly not complaining about it. The best reason I can come up with is that much like myself, people have fallen in love with the feminine, bohemian vibe that these dresses have, not to mention, though they're long they are surprisingly cool, meaning they're the perfect choice for hot summer days. 

(Looks Left to Right: Blue Off The Shoulder Maxi Dress, Floral Maxi Dress, Orange Maxi Dress, Brown Tie-Dyed Maxi Dress.)

8. Crop Tops

Shop these looks from my sponsors, SheIn and Make Me Chic.

Shop these looks from my sponsors, SheIn and Make Me Chic.

Though it is a pretty simple look, this next trend is my favorite: the return of the crop top. I don't know if I love this look so much due to my 90s nostalgia or just because I genuinely think that crop tops are cute, but for the purpose of this article, we are going to go with my latter argument. The reason I love this summer trend so much is because crop tops are great casual wear and are a good way of keeping cool. They also have a laid back sexy vibe to them which makes them perfect for all kinds of summer activities ranging from heading to the amusement park or just spending a day exploring your favorite city.

(Looks Left to Right: Black Tie back Crop Top, Blue Bandanna Crop Top, Pink Cactus Print Crop Top, Red V-Neck Crop Top.) 

9. Just for Frills

Shop these looks from my sponsors, SheIn and Make Me Chic.

Shop these looks from my sponsors, SheIn and Make Me Chic.

This is yet another awesome spring trend that I was thrilled stuck around for the summer, because I absolutely loved styling it last spring. The reason why I love ruffled detailing  is because it has such a feminine and sweet look to it, and is perfect for so may occasions. For instance any of the pieces above would be suitable for the office and could also be dressed down for school or weekend activities, making these looks very versatile as well as a necessity in any girls closet. 

(Looks Left to Right: White Frilled Blouse, Mustard Tie Back Ruffled Blouse, Blue Ruffled Dress, Tan Ruffled Shorts.)

10. Kaleidoscope Colors

Shop these looks from my sponsor, StyleWe.

Shop these looks from my sponsor, StyleWe.

The last trend to close out the list is none other than the clashing of colors. Yes, that's right, clashing colors. Kind of sounds like a fashion "don't" right? Well surprisingly, this trend hit, and hit hard this year with some surprisingly pleasing results. The reason why I love this trend is because it brings something new to the table. Sure, we've mixed and matched colors and patterns in the past, but this year has taken that to a whole new level. This look is perfect for the girl who is bold and artistic. 

(Looks Left to Right: Floral Color Block Dress, White Patterned A-Line Dress, Pink Pineapple Dress, Geometric Print Dress.)

 

What are some of your favorite style trends this summer? I'd love to hear about them! So, let's chat in the comments below or you can tweet me at @StarkRavingChic. Rocking one of these awesome trends and just have to show it off? Feel free to tag me on Instagram or in your Instagram Story at @StarkRavingChic. Later, babes!

Xx, Bree

P.S. Psssssst! If you love the jewelry I styled in this post as much as I do, you can try Rocksbox for a whole month 100% FREE when you sign up using my promo code "starkravingchicxoxo". Don't know what Rocksbox is or how it works? You can learn more here!

Also, In case you haven't heard, I am a proud member of rewardStyle and LIKEtoKNOW.it! Meaning you can shop straight from my Instagram feed when you click here or here. Don't know what LIKEtoKNOW.it is all about? Learn more, here!