May 18, 2017 |

Formal Nights with Princess Cruises

We’re definitely guilty of indulging in a pajama day on the weekends or opting for a cozy night in, but there’s something to be said about how you feel when you dress up and pull yourself together. Like many we were completely obsessed with Mad Men, and part of the reason why we tuned in each week, aside from how incredibly bad ass Donald Draper was, had to do with the focus on fashion. Dates, parties, baseball games, even flying on plane…people used to simply dress up more for the occasion. READ MORE

February 27, 2016 |

At Sea with Princess Cruises

New Darlings - At SeaNEW DARLINGS - AT SEA
Three days out of our seven-day cruise with Princess Cruises were spent at sea. Sea days were so different from days at port. When docking and arriving at a new location, we were so eager to get ready, grab our bags, and explore off the ship. Days at sea were a bit more relaxed, and definitely embodied the whole “come back new” philosophy of Princess.  Can anyone say spa day?! We took full advantage of sleeping in, ordering room service, and checking out everything the ship had to offer, without a schedule in place. Here’s a little glimpse into our days at sea… READ MORE

February 2, 2016 |

Princess Cays: Bahamas

New Darlings BahamasNew Darlings - BahamasNew Darlings - BahamasNew Darlings - BahamasNew Darlings - BahamasNew Darlings - BahamasNew Darlings - BahamasNew Darlings - BahamasNew Darlings BahamasNew Darlings - BahamasNew Darlings - BahamasNew Darlings BahamasSo 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. 😉

His: Urban Outfitters swimsuit and tee (similar) | Ray-Ban sunglasses | Rainbow sandals

Hers: swimsuit c/o Kore Swim | hat and tote c/o Vitamin A | Urban Outfitters poncho (similar) | sunglasses and sandals c/o Madewell

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June 8, 2017 |

Scandinavian Cruise: Pt. II Berlin, Germany

We were going to wrap up the second half of our Scandinavian cruise (Tallinn, Stockholm, Berlin, St. Petersburg and Helsinki) in a blog post today, but after going through the photos we realized we took a ton in Berlin. From coffee shops to iconic landmarks, I guess we really enjoyed ourselves there! Click “read more” to see our photo journal from Berlin. READ MORE

June 1, 2017 |

Scandinavian Cruise Pt. I

A few weeks ago we embarked on a two week cruise on the Regal Princess through Scandinavia, which began in Copenhagen. We were super excited to be reunited with some of our favorite blogger pals and explore new parts of the world we didn’t have the opportunity to visit before. We’ve said it in the past, but cruising really is the best way to see so many different places so quickly. It’s like a crash course in each country and although we sometimes (okay, most of the time) felt like we didn’t get to see enough of each place at every port, it really gave us an idea of what cities we wanted to go back to and plan a longer stay. READ MORE

August 2, 2016 |

48 Hours in Florence, Pisa + Rome

NewDarlings-Italy2016-RomeNewDarlings-Italy2016NewDarlings-Italy2016Express shirt | bag c/o ONA

We had two short days in Florence, Pisa, and Rome, but they were probably two of our favorite days traveling together. Visiting Italy has always been on our dream list of places to visit, so we really couldn’t believe we there. The ship docked in Livorno and we drove to Pisa to see the famous Leaning Tower in the Square of Miracles.  This place felt like an ancient amusement park with all the medieval architecture and crowds.  People stood on fences, trying to get the perfect photo “holding up” the tower. It was really fun to see and kind of surprising just how much the tower actually leaned. After, we made our way to Florence for just a few short hours to grab lunch and shop around.  Florence was breathtaking.  It’s really difficult not to sound cheesy or cliché when describing our time there, but if you’ve ever been, you’ll know what we mean.

NewDarlings-Italy2016NewDarlings - Italy Travel GuideNew Darlings - Florence ItalyNewDarlings-Italy New Darlings - Italy Travel GuideZara dress | loafers (similar) c/o Seychelles | J.Crew tote (similar)
NewDarlings-Italy Travel Guide

We met up with a friend for lunch, who had already snagged a spot waiting on line outside of at All’Antico Vinaio.  We’ve heard so many amazing things about this place, but didn’t really know what to expect.  Well 20 minutes later, we found ourselves indulging in some of the biggest sandwiches 5 euros could buy you, sitting just outside the shop, with fresh mozzarella and tomatoes dripping on our shoes. It was absolutely perfect. We walked through the Historic Center taking in all the sites, stopping at the Duomo which towered over us. We didn’t get to climb to the top of the cathedral, but if we were to go back we’d love to check out Café at the Oblate Library.  The views look incredible!

NewDarlings-Italy2016-GelatoNewDarlings-Italy2016denim jacket (now on sale!) c/o Madewell | Moscott sunglasses (similar) | Estee Lauder lipstick in “Defiant Coral”

On the morning of our last day on the cruise, we gathered in one of the ship’s restaurants with all the new people we had met, shared stories with, and grew to love.  It was our last day together, and it was pretty crazy to think we would be saying goodbye (well, more like “so long”) to this group of people that felt more like long lost friends, in just a few hours. With bags on our shoulders and cups of coffees in hand we all wobbled off the ship, wheeling our luggage behind us, to the bus that was waiting for us at the port.  We all loaded on, told the driver our stops, and drove in to Vatican City for our last excursion together. We chatted about our favorite parts of the 7-day trip, what are plans were after our day in Rome, and where would all be flying out to next.

NewDarlings-Italy2016NewDarlings-Italy2016New Darlings - Ice-cream in Rome ItalyLike a bunch of sardines we all packed ourselves into the Vatican Museum for a tour before heading to the Sistine Chapel.  Pulling up to the museum was quite a sight to see; lines wraps around the building and crowds of people stopped on the street to snap photos.  If we weren’t with a group like this, we’re not too sure if we would have been able to visit and experience Vatican City in this special way, without getting too overwhelmed.  (This was the debarking tour we signed up for.) We really wish we took more photos, especially while in the Sistine Chapel, but they were very strict about photography.  The artwork was unlike anything we’ve every seen before, and by the end of our tour we had a few kinks in our necks from looking up at the intricate paintings on the ceilings the whole time.  We immediately fell in love with the 3-D painting effect, troupe l’ceil, which creates the illusion of shadows making paintings look like sculptures.  They definitely fooled us a few times, especially when one of us didn’t have their glasses on. 😉

NewDarlings-Italy2016NewDarlings-Italy2016bag c/o Everyone | jacket c/o Bridge and Burn | Topman shirt (similar) | Levi’s denim
NewDarlings-Italy2016-RomeNew Darlings in ItalyNewDarlings-Italy Travel Guide

After our tour we checked into our hotel where we refreshened up for the evening and then quickly headed out to explore the city.  By this point we were starting to feel the affects of so many days of travel with a jam-packed itinerary, but we quickly reminded ourselves that trips like this are only once in a lifetime and we only had one day in Rome, so off we went! We grabbed a quick bite to eat at Taverna Rossini (Margherita pie and cacio e pepe, which is officially our new favorite pasta dish! So tasty!), which was right down the street from our hotel, before heading to the Spanish Steps. We decided to walk there, (take in the sunshine, and fresh air along the way) and were pleasantly surprised to find ourselves strolling through Villa Borghese on our way there. The architecture and artwork in Europe is truly breathtaking, but this park was unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.  Imagine children singing songs and playing games in the shade under huge trees, adults dancing and playing music in the street, roller blading competitions resulting in some of the loudest cheers from crowds nearby, and couples riding twin bicycles with the biggest smiles on their faces.  This place was full of life and love and the energy was completely captivating. People there really know how to have a good time and enjoy life — they’re doing it right!

NewDarlings-Italy2016NewDarlings - Pisa, ItalyNewDarlings in Rome Italy

 After an intense cab ride with the sweetest older driver, who wasn’t really sure where we were trying to get to, but did his best to wind in and out of the narrow cobblestone streets, we arrived at our dinner spot for the night: Alfredo e Ada. It is a traditional Roman restaurant that was recommended to us on Instagram, and boy oh boy was it worth the search! Around the Colosseum there are so many restaurants aimed at tourists, which are super convenient, but we wanted to really experience an authentic meal that was somewhere the locals may eat.  The intimate and homey atmosphere, was truly perfect for our last night in Europe. The dim lighting, the waitress who recited us the entire menu from memory, some red wine, and complimentary dessert.  Next to our table, on the wall hung an old calendar from November 2004…the year we started dating.  Maybe it was simply a coincidence, but as we shared some of our favorite stories from over the years and our dreams for the future, we couldn’t help but feel as though we were right where we were meant to be.

You can see more from our Mediterranean Cruise here and more travel posts here.
Lourmarin + Aix-en Provence, France | Portofino, Italy | Exploring Spain

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This post was made in partnership with Princess Cruises. As always all thoughts and opinions are our own.

August 1, 2016 |

Portofino, Italy

New Darlings in Portofino, Italy - Travel StyleNew Darlings in Portofino, Italy - Travel StyleNew Darlings in Portofino, Italy - Travel StyleNew Darlings in Portofino, Italy - Travel StyleNew Darlings in Portofino, Italy - Travel StyleNew Darlings in Portofino, Italy - Travel StyleNordstrom denim jacket | jeans c/o Dstld Denim | Topman shirt | bag c/o Everlane | shoes c/o Nisolo (on sale!) | Ray-Ban sunglasses
NewDarlings-Italy2016New Darlings in Portofino, Italy - Travel StyleNew Darlings in Portofino, Italy - Travel StyleJ.Crew bag (similar here and here)| jeans, shoes (similar), top (similar) c/o Madewell | hat c/o Yellow 108
New Darlings in Portofino, Italy - Travel StyleNew Darlings in Portofino, Italy - Travel Style - Black Fedora - Sweater TankNew Darlings in Portofino, Italy -Colorful SteetsNew Darlings in Portofino, Italy - Travel Style - Black Fedora - J.Crew Crossbody BagNew Darlings in Portofino, Italy - Travel StyleNew Darlings in Portofino, Italy

We’re not really sure how our trip to Italy was already two months ago (what?!), but to say we miss our time there would be an understatement. At least we left with hundreds of photos, a ton of memories, and some new good friends.  We only had a few days in Italy, but we think it was our favorite place we visited.  There’s no denying France and Spain were incredibly beautiful and captivating, but there was something about Italy that completely made our hearts melt.

Actually getting to Portofino could be considered a bit tricky, but thankfully the Princess Cruises team had everything mapped out for us, which made it super simple and stress free. Our ship docked in Genoa, and then we took a bus to Santa Margherita, where we boarded a motorboat to beautiful Portofino.  The short boat ride there was a treat in itself and once we arrived we instantly felt as though we had stepped onto a movie set. The buildings were incredibly colorful nestled right on the crystal clear water, with yachts and sailboats coming in and out of port. We spent the day roaming around the cobblestone streets with Olivia and Blake, who were really just the sweetest people ever!! This has to be one of our favorite things about traveling — meeting new, kind, and inspiring people. (Thanks for the group shot, by the way! 😉 ) We can’t wait to visit Texas one of these days and spend some time with them! We filled our bellies with an insane amount of pizza and gelato at Da I Gemelli, watching the boats go by, and sharing stories about our families back home.  It’s was a cute little restaurant conveniently located right where the boats docked.  We couldn’t help but feel like we were living in a postcard.

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This post was made in partnership with Princess Cruises. As always all thoughts and opinions are our own.


July 7, 2016 |

Lourmarin + Aix-en Provence, France

NewDarlings-FranceNewDarlings-France-12NewDarlings-FranceNewDarlings-FranceNewDarlings-FranceNew Darlings - France - Travel BlogWe still can’t believe its been a month since we’ve been back from our European trip with Princess Cruises. Thinking back, the whole trip still feels like a dream and we’re already talking about going back, especially to France! We only spent one day there, but it was enough to completely suck us in and we can see ourselves spending a few weeks there to explore the entire country.  We’ve been saying that for quite a while now, but one of these days we’re hoping to make it a reality!

Click “Read More” to see more from from our trip….

June 20, 2016 |

Exploring Spain

New Darlings - SpainNew Darlings - SpainNew Darlings - SpainSpain! Where do we begin?! We’ve been back from our Mediterranean Cruise with Princess for a little over two weeks now and thinking back on it still feels like a dream. This was a trip we didn’t think we would take till much later on in our lives, so we’re still a little in shock about it all. We keep thinking, “Did that all really just happen?!” Our adventure began in Sitges, Spain…a charming little town about 40 minutes outside of Barcelona. We stayed there for the night before embarking on the ship the next day. Upon arriving at our hotel, we quickly freshened up from our 12 hour flight, thankfully caught a second wind (which was probably more like a third or forth one at that point) and hopped on a bus to Barcelona. We only had 24 hours in the city so we wanted to soak up as much as we could.

Read on to hear about some of our favorite places and see more photos from of our time in
Sitges, Barcelona, Cartagena, Marbella & Puerto Banus!

May 26, 2016 |

Away we go!

New Darlings - Away Luggage - Packing for EuropeNew Darlings - Packing for Europe with AwayWell, we would never have guessed it but we’re becoming quite the cruisers. 😉 We’re off again with Princess cruises on a Mediterranean cruise through Europe. We are over the moon excited, as visiting Europe has been a dream of ours for as long as we could remember. (Dancing under the stars in Rome, was one of the things we wrote on the “Before I Die…” wall in San Diego a while back. It may sound corny, but it’s true.) We will be stopping in Spain, Great Britain, France, and Italy. We can’t wait! We leave Phoenix today and head to Philly where we will catch our connecting flight to Barcelona. When speaking about the trip and our port of call in Barcelona to friends and family, this song from the Vicky Cristina Barcelona soundtrack kept popping into our heads and playing over and over. Man, if only all the music from Woody Allen’s films could be playing as we stroll through the streets in Europe. We joked about creating a playlist to listen to while exploring each city.  It’s a rather romanticized way to imagine the trip, but we can’t help but feel like it would be the optimal way to experience these places for the first time together. 😉

New Darlings - Away Luggage - Packing for EuropeWith each new trip, comes a little more knowledge on how to pack smarter for time away from home. We packed early this time (we know we couldn’t believe it ourselves), and boy did it make things easier. Packing light is always something we’ve aspired to do, but somehow is harder than it sounds. We used to begin packing and before we knew it, we had multiple pairs of shoes, random accessories, and bulky items. We’ll be on an 8-day cruise and then stopping in New York to visit some friends and family before heading back to Phoenix, so wanted to make sure we kept our luggage to a minimum while still bringing all the essentials. Here’s a few tips and tricks we’ve picked up for packing lately…

New Darlings - Packing for Europe with AwayNew Darlings - Packing for Europe with AwayLUGGAGE
It’s been a while since we’ve updated our luggage and we are so happy we finally got our hands on these new carry-ons from Away. We’ve been lusting after them for a while, and now we are pretty excited to take them for a spin! (When you start swooning over things like luggage, a shiny washer and dryer, and hey — maybe even a new cutting board, that doesn’t mean you’re getting old, right? 😉 ) Anyway, packing smart should to start with the actual luggage. These are pretty light, which is a major plus when lifting them up in the plane’s overhead compartment and have several different compartments to keep everything from intimates to shoes, to even dirty laundry all separate and in their place. This makes our maybe-just-a-little-too-neat (borderline anal) personalities very happy.  They have four wheels and swivel in every direction, which is a major step up from our old carry-ons. It may sound like an obvious feature to look for when choosing a carry-on, but we’ve been distracted in the past with cute duffles, only to get through security feeling like our arms were gonna fall off. Lastly and maybe one of our favorite features, they have built-in chargers and USB ports. Can you say, “game changer”?


New Darlings - Packing for Europe with AwayPACK VERSATILE ITEMS
Packing versatile items has been so helpful when traveling. It may take a little longer to mentally organize outfits and what pieces can go with what, but in the end we feel like this saves so much space and time. Packing versatile bottoms like black or dark blue denim that can be casual for day and dressed up for dinner at night is always a must in our luggage. For pieces that are more specific like a dress or jumpsuit, change up your shoes and accessories to go from day to night. We found ourselves doing this several times on our last cruise, even though we packed multiple outfits. Done packing? Now think about what you can take out of your luggage. Unless you absolutely love the water, one bathing suit will work just fine. We used to pack multiple, but we would find ourselves going to the pool or beach once a day for a quick dip (sometimes every other day) when traveling. Cruises have formal dinner nights and different events going on daily. Packing one pair of heels for multiple dinners, and one suit with different shirt and tie options has been helpful on saving room. For the most part, it’s pretty casual and we’ll be walking around a ton, so lightweight cotton tops and comfy shoes are what we’ll be reaching for most days.

Click through below to see what we’re packing for our Mediterranean Cruise:


New Darlings - Packing for Europe with AwayORGANIZING YOUR SUITCASE: LAYERING + ROLLING
Start with laying your shoes and bulky items on the bottom of your suitcase, then begin rolling your clothes and layering them on top. We’ve heard of the rolling technique for years and it seems like kind of a given, but we didn’t start doing it until recently and now we don’t know what took us so long. Rolling cotton tops, pants, and skirts takes up so much less space than regular folding. Plus, you can get in all those little spots in your luggage that feel like wasted space. Tissue paper has also been helpful for more delicate materials and dressier items. Wrapping and rolling the garment in tissue paper helps it from getting wrinkled during travel. It may feel like an extra step, but anything that saves us time from ironing or a dry-cleaning room service bill is fine with us! When possible, bring sweaters, jackets and hats with you on the flight. You’ll save room, keep your hat from getting squashed in your luggage, and a cozy layering piece with you in case you get cold on while traveling.


What are some of your tips and tricks for traveling?

Follow along with us on instagram the next few days as we explore Europe! Can’t wait to check out the cruise ship and all the beautiful cities!

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