So we’ve been cruisin’ the Caribbean for the last two days, and we’re slowly starting to get the hang of cruise life. It now seems pretty obvious as to why so many people opt for cruises for their vacations. It simply takes the guess work of out of everything…the restaurants, shows, excursions, the list goes on. Everything is here.
Our first stop on the cruise was at Princess Cays in the Bahamas. It was the perfect start to this adventure, with a laid back atmosphere on a private beach. We opted for a little bungalow by the shore and fell into total relaxation mode complete with a picnic lunch. We kicked back and vegged out in the shade, under an umbrella, watching the paddle boaters and snorkelers in the water. We couldn’t help but think back to our honeymoon in Mexico… We’re not what you would necessarily call “beach people”, but we can never resist good food and the sound of the ocean. It was a bit cloudy, but everyone has been so friendly and the views are so beautiful, that it was impossible for a few clouds to bring us down. Today we’ll be at sea, while we make our way over to St. Thomas. We’ll be spending the day exploring the ship a bit more, and making a trip (or two) over to the pastry shop to satisfy our sweet tooth. 😉
We recently got the opportunity to partner with Princess Cruises on a 7-day trip to the Caribbean. We haven’t been on a cruise since we were very little, so we’ve been excited about the idea of spending a week at sea.
Like most people, when we thought about vacation, we thought about what we were going to pack. Casual wear, formal nights, pool and beachwear…cruise packing seemed a bit more intimating than we’re used to, but we broke it down into a few basic pieces that we think we’ll be pretty versatile while aboard the ship.
We figured we’ll be spending most of our time in casual wear during the day, relaxing and checking out everything the ship has to offer. Basic tees, denim shorts, and easy slip on shoes are key. Loving these by Nisolo. We fell in love with their company on our trip to Nashville, and we’ve been hooked ever since. We also brought along a light jacket (his and hers) just incase it gets chilly at night.
We love dressing up, but don’t get to take advantage of these dressy nights as much as we may like. We have two formal nights and a few semi-formal dinners. For the formal nights, we thought we’d keep it simple with a classic black suit and little black dress.
This had to be the easiest part of packing…swim suits, flip-flops and a coverup. Found this little dress last minute, which doubles perfectly as daywear and an easy coverup, while out exploring the islands.
We wanted to keep packing to a minimum so we didn’t bring too much. This Madewellbackpackand our trusty ONAcamera bagare perfect for holding everything while we’re out sight seeing and exploring during our stops at each port. We also packed a sunhat, sunglasses (his and hers), and big straw bag to hold all the essentials (bugspray, sunblock –SPF 70+ over here!, and water bottles) for days relaxing on the beach.
We are so excited to start our cruise tomorrow! It’s been way too long since we had a vacation, and with all the craziness that 2016 has already brought us, we are thinking it’s coming at a perfect time. Follow along with us on Snapchat (@newdarlings) for constant updates from our trip!
A few weeks ago we planned a surprise trip to NY to visit friends and family. A relative of ours was sick for quite some time, battling cancer for several years. Over the last few months her condition had escalated. We wanted to be there and spend some time together with family. We had planned the trip, flights were in place, secret pick ups from the airport were arranged, and we couldn’t be more excited to see everyone. Five days before we were set to leave AZ, we got a call from the east coast that our loved one had passed. Those next few days were a whirlwind of emotions.
We hurried to move our flights up, finished some projects we had been working on over here, and got things in order for the trip. We took the red eye Tuesday night, arrived in NY on Wednesday morning at 6am, and attended funeral services by 9am. We felt like walking zombies with full hearts and cold hands. The first few days were rough, but being in a house full of our closest family and friends was so comforting.
We visited some of our old favorite places on Long Island and a few new ones too, before the big snow storm Jonas hit. We spent some time in Huntington Village and Long Beach, getting our coffee and macaron fix. Some places worth checking out are: Southdown Coffee, Kiss My Cake, and Gentle Brew.
The day before the storm we went to a local grocery we used to frequent when we lived there, to pick up a few things, and it was a mad house! We forgot how crazy everyone would get before a snow storm…stocking up on groceries, especially bread and milk. 😉 Saturday we were snowed in so we spent the day playing in the snow with our nephews, making paninis, and cozying up with some Netflix. If you follow along with us on snapchat, you also might have seen a pretty intense Pluto and Mr. Potato hide-and-seek session with the kids. Haha It was nice to just take it easy and relax together with everyone. We caught up with a few friends over lunch the next day at a local pizza place.
After the snow was cleaned up a little, we headed into the city for some good coffee at Happy Bones, shopping in SoHo, and lunch at The Butcher’s Daughter. So good — get the green juice. That night we took the train into Brooklyn to meet with our friends from Bridge & Burn who were in town for a trade show. It’s no secret we’ve been fans of their company for quite a while now. We have partnered together quite a bit over the last year, so it was nice to put a face to the name after all this time. We can’t wait to go visit these guys in Portland soon! We had such a fun dinner full of good conversation and a lot of laughs at Maison Premiere. (If you’re a seafood lover — definitely check it out!)
We spent our last day on Long Island with family and then a quick lunch in Long Beach with Steffy and her husband Matt. It was so great meeting after being friends on social media and chatting for so long. It’s amazing how instagram and blogging has connected us with some of the sweetest people. It’s nice to know we have two new friends on LI when we go to visit.
We got back into town early this morning. Given the circumstances, we tried to make the most of the trip and stay surrounded by our family and friends. It was definitely hard to say goodbye to everyone, but it feels good to settle in to our home again for the next few days. In just two short days we’ll be packing our bags again and heading on a Caribbean cruise! We can’t wait! We’ll be snapping a lot on the trip. In the mean time, be sure to follow along with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for more updates and photos!
Every season I like to switch up my hair routine a bit, especially during the winter months. The cold air is harsh, the damp weather causes frizz, and it could feel like one bad hair day after another, where you continuously find yourself reaching for a hat. Now a days there are so many hair products at our fingertips…oils, mousses, sprays, the list goes on. It’s hard to tell which ones are actually necessary and/or actually work. We shared a few of our hair favorites a while back, but with the new year upon us, it felt appropriate to share an updated list of our go-tos that come in handy with the change of season, as well as a few “holy grail” products too.
My hair is super curly naturally, which means to get loose curls like I usually style, a lot of heat is applied to my hair. First, I blow dry it straight, then curl my hair with a large curling wand. All the heat isn’t the best thing for my hair, but over time I’ve found a few go-to products and treatments that still keep it shiny and healthy.
To start, I only wash my hair every two days. This is for two reasons…one: I am a tad bit too lazy to blow dry and style it everyday, and two: the more you shampoo your hair, you strip away the healthy oils from your scalp. In between washes I use a dry shampoo. I just spray a little bit on my roots before bed and in the morning for a little refresher. Before blow drying and styling, I add a few drops of Moroccanoil Treatment, which is infused with argan oil, to the ends of my hair to fight off any split ends and add shine. I’ve discovered the benefits of argan oil in general. Pure Argan Oilhas been a great multi-purpose product during the winter months. You can use it on your face, hands, and legs too.
Next I add a dime sized amount of Moroccanoil thickening lotion to the roots of my hair. This has been one of my favorite volumizing products…it smells so good and a little bit goes a long way! My hair has gotten a little thinner over the years and this definitely helps with making it look full.
Once a week I like to do a hair mask, to reverse any damage from styling. This hydrating mask is always a good go-to. I leave it on for about 20 minutes while I fold laundry or watch a quick episode on Netflix. Rob loves it too. Can anyone say, “hair mask party?!” 😉 When it’s time to rinse I use cool water to seal the cuticle and avoid any frizz.
We love spending time outside…there’s no doubt about that. When we lived in New York, being stuck inside through the cold winter months was tough. We’d stay inside admiring the freshly fallen snow and then run from our house to our cars bundled up like Randy from A Christmas Story. It’s a totally different story in Arizona and we take full advantage. One of our favorite things to do during these Phoenix winters is take our bikes out for a ride. The weather is pretty lovely…with temperatures anywhere from 45-70 degrees, which is the perfect sweater weather for these native east coasters. While we do love our home, it is so important that we get out and explore the town. We finally upgraded our wheels thanks to Brooklyn Bicycle Co. and have been getting out more, riding to coffee shops, our friends houses, and just out in the morning for a little exercise.
It’s been a while since we’ve hopped on a bike. We’re not gonna lie — when we picked these babies up, it was a little shaky pedaling home. We had a good laugh about it and once our bodies caught up with our memories it was smooth riding. We opted for three speed bikes, because although the desert can be mountainous, we knew we would be riding mostly on trails and around the neighborhood. The Driggs 3 and Willow 3 have been perfect for casual riding and bike life has made us think a little bit more about how we get dressed each morning. Heels are swapped out for boots or oxfords, and an easy to carry backpack or cross body is needed to store the essentials: wallet, phone, chapstick…you catch our drift. Jeans,a long sleeve top, and a cozy sweater have been great in this weather, but the Willow has a nice step through frame which will be perfect for riding in sundresses when the weather gets warmer. A watch is a great must have accessory while biking. Sometimes we forget to put one on in the morning, but it’s a lot easier to glance over to your left while riding, than fiddling around, trying to take out your phone. Timex is always our favorite for casual timepieces. Here are our go-tos that have been on rotation lately: his and hers. Last but not least, don’t forget some shades before heading out the door!
We are so honored to have our apartment featured on Domino Mag’s website today. Back in October we met up with Michael Wiltbank, photographer and photo editor for Domino, and shared a bit of our home with him, our design process, and what we love about Arizona.
Read more about it and check out the photos over on Domino’s website: here.
A new year means new goals, new routines, and perfecting some old ones too. We’ve never been ones for new years resolutions, but as we get older we like to set new goals to keep ourselves healthy and happy. We mentioned a bit in our end of the year recap how we had each privately written down goals for the new year, but didn’t share them with each other. Although we have still kept our lists private, there is one big goal we both agree on and are working on together…keeping our bodies healthy and rested. It may sound like an obvious one, but with day to day routines, it’s easy to forget to take a breather or eat right. We’ve modified our weekly routine a bit to ensure we get everything done that needs to get done that day, while also having a little quiet time.
Here’s a few changes we’ve made so far:
-MEAL PLANNING/PREPPING: This is something we have been wanting to do for a long time now. A friend of ours is so good at this; every Sunday he does all of his food shopping for the week and preps several meals. This consists of making a big pot of brown rice, chopping veggies and storing them in individual containers, cooking a batch of chicken for the week, and so on. It’s so admirable and something that we’re slowly getting the hang of. We’ve been pinning easy and healthy recipes onpinterest and have been making it a point to cook at home more, no matter how late it may be. If you follow along with us on snapchat, chances are you’ve seen a few late night dinners on there. 😉
-MAKE TIME FOR A QUIET MORNING: A few months ago we made an active decision to make time for a calm morning before starting our day. We are so glad to have this be something we look forward to each morning. We won’t lie, it’s not always pleasant when the alarm sounds earlier than we actually need to be up, but knowing that we have that extra time to unwind, get ready, and make a good breakfast has been worth it. We recently added Pique tea to our morning routine and have been hooked. Being big tea lovers, we were excited to learn about their new tea crystals, which are made from organic loose leaves, brewed, and then distilled. Our favorites so far are the English breakfast and Jasmine teas. Add a blueberry scone, a good book, and Chet Baker spinning in the background, and you’re good to go.
-BE MORE ACTIVE: This may sound like another obvious one, but since we’ve made the transition from a 9-5 to working from home, we spend a lot more time in front of the computer, so we haven’t been working out as much as we used to. We recently got bikes and have been riding around our neighborhood on the weekends, which has been such a treat. We’ve also starting hiking with friends on Saturday mornings, which has been a great motivator, and also a nice way to catch up with some people we don’t get to see during the week. South Mountain is always a great local trail to check out.
What are some of your goals for the new year? Do you have any weekly or morning routines?
We both share a love for fashion and clothing, there’s no denying that. Every morning we share the same routine of picking out what to wear, mixing and matching pieces, bouncing ideas off one another. Most days, we keep it pretty simple with classic pieces you can’t go wrong with. We often find ourselves exchanging stories and sharing memories of things we used to wear years ago, which leaves us with stomach cramps from laughing so hard. We all had the embarrassing class photo with that outfit your mom insisted you wore, or that funny holiday card with some crazy outfit that matched your siblings. We’ve had our fair share of ridicilous outfits and hairstyles over the years, but one that never seems to go out of style is a classic piece from Lacoste. Growing up we had the classic polo shirts (for him) and tennis dresses (for her), which felt like such summer staples in New York. It’s easy to remember that proud feeling when putting it on. As a kid, you always have that one shirt or dress, that just made you feel “cool”. Haha. It’s nice to think that today we can still incorporate similar pieces into our wardrobe, that just get better with age.
We can’t believe another year has come and gone already. 2015 was easily one of our best years yet and we’re so grateful for all the experiences and opportunities that have come our way. This past year was completely unpredictable and we never imagined we would be where we are now, being able to do so many of the things we love, together. It was a year full of love, new friends, new experiences, and many travels.
In 2015 we…
…kicked off the new year with a trip to San Diego and took in the views at La Jolla!
…hosted events at West Elm with their amazing team: an etsy pop-up shop with local makers, and another with the ASPCA for a fun holiday photoshoot with families and their pets. (We may have caught puppy fever that night!)
…spent Easter weekend up in Flagstaff with good friends, hiking, making s`mores, and playing too many board games. There’s never enough time spent up there.
…celebrated our 2 year wedding anniversary!
…moved into a new apartment and redecorated our living room. (Can’t wait to share more of our space!)
…visited friends and family in New York and were in our good friends’ wedding party!
…explored Palm Springs for a weekend.
…hosted a Fall Fashion event at Madewell.
…continued our pumpkin picking and pumpkin carving tradition.
…dressed up as skeletons for Halloween and did our best monster mash at our friends’ Matt and Leah’s party.
…roadtripped from Arizona to Nashvilleand made some amazing new friends, while falling in love with the city.
…finally met up with our friends Tessa and Joe in Little Rock. (We can’t wait to come back and visit guys!)
…visited Grand Rapids for Art Prize and learned all about the local community in MI.
…hosted a fun holiday party at our place with some amazing Phoenix folks, laughed too hard, took so many photos and ate many tasty treats.
…put together a holiday Toy Drive with our friend Ashley from The Shine Project and some amazing local vendors. It was such a special night spent making blankets and creating Christmas for a local school here in our community.
The other day, after we packed up all the Christmas decorations, we each sat down and wrote out a few goals for the new year. We’re not ones for resolutions but had so much fun looking back on 2015 together, that we got pretty excited for the year to come. We each jotted down a few things (while shielding our papers from each other like school kids taking an exam), folded up our lists, and tucked them away in a drawer. On new years day next year, we hope to open the lists, read them to each other, see what we’ve accomplished, and hopefully have a few laughs. It’s going to be really hard not to peek, but a fun treat for next year. 😉
Thank you to everyone for supporting us and following along with us through this crazy and exciting year. It really has been such a memorable one and we can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store for us!
It feels like it was just October, and we were yearning for the holiday season to be among us. Now, we can’t believe we have already packed away all of our holiday decor, except for a few pine scented candles or two, and the season is coming to an end. December was filled with so many great memories… parties, cozy movie nights, and cookie making. Here’s a few favorite photos from the month we never got around to sharing.
Following tradition, we decorated our apartment the day after Thanksgiving like we always do, and blasted some of our favorite holiday tunes. The house always feels so cozy full of all the red and green holiday accents.
Earlier this month we had a bunch of our friends over for a little party to kick off the holiday season. The night was full of tasty food, drinks and good friends. It’s amazing how close we’ve become with people in this Phoenix community and were over the moon with all the laughs and good conversation that filled the night. Can’t wait to do it all over again next year!
Urban Outfitters sweater | J.Crew tie | Urban Outfitters dress | Madewell scarf
Big thanks to our friend Cheyanne, who snapped some photos for us this night. Even though some people are missing from the photo and it took several tries, so so glad we somehow managed to get a group shot in. So many amazing people in one place — as corny as it may sound, this night was the best Christmas gift we could ask for!
Leading up to Christmas we love to check out as much Christmas decor as possible and browse all the holiday displays in some of our favorite shops. Berridge Nursery and Camelback Flowershop always have some of the prettiest wreaths and garland around.
We are Robert and Christina: husband and wife, photo takers, adventurers and best friends. We like to laugh too hard, dance all night, and explore together. Here is a little glimpse into our lives in sunny Phoenix, Arizona.