While you were out

If you’ve noticed it’s been a bit quiet around here lately, it’s because I’ve been on vacation! Even though it was only a weekend + 2 days, since my job requires me to be available + “on” at all times it was actually a full 4 days off of work. Magical! This is mostly going to be a vacation-gush post but I gave three new products a try while I was away so read on…

Plane Steph looks like this:

Plane Essentials Leopard is a Neutral

Kate Spade glasses (all the better to read my Kobo with – thanks to all of you for your book recommendations!), a cozy leopard print scarf (buy this one at Indigo) + a ginormous bottle of Evian. My family made mega-fun of me for it, but I arrived hydrated and happy. While I remembered to bring water, I forgot to bring along hand cream and ended up having to shell out $26 for the only cream in duty free.

I got my sun (+ food + drink) on in Miami Beach. Like our last family trip there, we stayed at Loews Miami Beach and it was every bit as gorgeous as I remembered it. The views from our rooms:

Loews Miami Beach Sunrise photo 3

Magical, right? Those orange umbrellas you’re seeing are the private SOAK cabanas – more on those later. We spent all day Sunday on the beach. If you’re ever at Loews, make sure to get the Frozen Pink Lemonade. It’s delicious and refreshing and comes with a paper straw.

photo 5 copy 2

Just looking at it makes me happy. What you see below is me pre-burn:


After a day on the beach, I looked like this:

Sunburn + Valentino

Yes, I applied so so so much sunscreen. To this day we’re not quite sure what went down other than I obviously missed a spot and spent the next few days paying for it. I’m still dealing with tight-feeling and painful skin, so I was so glad to come home to a product I was sent earlier this summer but never had a reason to try – Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration After Sun Moisturizer. It smells delish and actually cools your skin as you apply it. My burns required something more serious in the beginning, but this would be great for your average too-much-time-in-the-sun redness.

Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration

But I digress… did I mention we ate a lot of food while we were there? The food at Loews is phenomenal. From the delicious buffalo mozzarella + tomato + pesto panini with the kind of fries you dream about that we had upon arrival to the Nutella-stuffed French toast served with roasted banana compote that had my Instagram feed blowing up, it was worth every calorie.

photo 4 photo 4 copy 3


Oh, did I mention my brother ate fried chicken for breakfast? The buffet was great.

Loews Miami Beach Fried Chickenphoto 4 copy 2

About those private cabanas I was talking about before: Loews Miami Beach Hotel has private SOAK cabanas that you can rent for the day, 9 AM – 6 PM. These SOAK cabanas are quite the experience – you get your own private little cabana that includes a private washroom, enclosed area for outdoor massages + privacy, a dedicated Loews hotel staff, a flatscreen TV + iHome, upper deck + a bunch of cozy chairs to sun on. They’ll also come around and mist you with Evian + tanning oil (yes, I have photos. Yes, Dad would kill me if I posted them) and will bring by deliciousness like fruit skewers and fruit-infused waters.

photo 5 copy photo 5 copy 3 photo 4 copy Loews Miami Beach Cabana

The upper deck looks like this. My parents being nerdy. Yes, they knew they were going to be on the internet. I later caught my mom creeping my Twitter on her iPad to see if the photos had been posted. Hi, Mom (and Mom’s friends who read this and keep her up to date)!

photo 3 copy

If you’re staying at Loews and feel like a splurge, the SOAK Cabana experience is definitely it. Our attendant for the day was Ernesta and she was so lovely and really made the experience feel luxe and fun. I wish I’d gotten to hang out outside a bit more – unfortunately I spent most of the day huddled in the shade due to the horrendous burn you saw above. Youch.

I have two more things to share with you before I let you go.

1. I saw a guy in lame shorts. He rocked them.

photo 3 copy 2

2. The week before I left I got a sneak peek at Benefit’s latest offerings: Gimme Brow + Rockateur

Benefit Gimme Brow and Rockateur

Full reviews coming soon, but these were vacation essentials in the biggest of ways. Gimme brow fills in and defines your brows in an nearly-magical way (it picks up on sparse hairs and “volumizes” them, filling in the spots with believable brow “hair”) while Rockateur is a rose gold box powder blush. It instantly amps up your glow. Gimme Brow + Eyelash Curler + Rockateur + Fresh Sugar Lip Balm = all you need for beach day glam.

That’s all for now! I know I’ll be creeping this post daily to bring me back to sun + surf. Feel free to join me in a little staycation.