Show Your Nails Some Love This Winter

Wednesday, January 28, 2015 | Stamp in My Passport| , | 8 Comments

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Winter can wreak havoc on your nails and hands. Although I do not have to deal with the elements as much in the sunshine state, I still find that no matter how much lotion I apply my hands are always dry. During the winter, I use foot cream on my hands at night to keep them extra-moisturized throughout the day. I also always use a cuticle oil once a week to keep them from cracking.

Need some extra help keeping your hands and nails looking their best without constant visits to the salon? Julep has a step-by-step tutorial with their best winter nail-care tips.

In true Donna and Tom fashion, you should #treatyoself with regular at-home manis. There is something about Sunday nights, anticipating a new week, that makes me want to paint my nails. At least they will look good while I am typing away all day on the keyboard, Starbucks cup by my side. 

Save the flamingo pink and aqua polishes for summer vacation and embrace rich jewel tones for winter. I've been obsessed with pale pink and mauve polishes recently, partly because they help elongate my short fingers. Julep has a gorgeous line of winter polishes, perfect for making all of your Elsa dreams come true. 

Or if bright nails are the one thing that can help you forget about the negative temperature outdoors, then just go with it. It's always summer somewhere, right?

My Starter Story

Monday, January 26, 2015 | Stamp in My Passport| | 17 Comments

Monday, January 26, 2015

I'm coming up on one year of living in my first post-grad apartment, which is hard to believe. New York City based real estate platform Urban Compass reached out and invited me to be a part of their Starter Stories series. Urban Compass is a real estate platform that connects folks searching for apartments with the neighborhood that matches their personality and taste for finding NYC apartments. I wish there was a similar service in Tallahassee; it would have made finding an area of town I want to live in so much easier.

After I landed a job in town, I had two weeks to find an apartment, purchase furniture and move from Valdosta. I scoured the Internet, took apartment photos with a grain of salt and booked appointments for a Saturday afternoon. One was partially-subsidized housing which was still over my budget, one was beautifully renovated but in a horrible neighborhood, which left the third option looking like the stand-alone winner. 

Although it's small, it's my own (Here is what it looked like before I moved in.) I've enjoyed the past year making it feel lived in. All of the prints I collected while I was studying abroad now have permanent homes on my walls. From the Paris scenes, to my DIY world map, to the maps of Paris and London metro, it's not hard to guess where my interests lie. 

Also, since it's sunny and 70 practically year round in Florida, a porch/patio of some size was a must. It's practically an extension of my living room and makes me forget that I can vacuum the entire space without unplugging it.

Here is to another year of slowly continuing to make this space my own.  What did you enjoy most about your first apartment? 

Reintroducing Tourist in Your Hometown Series

Thursday, January 22, 2015 | Stamp in My Passport| | 21 Comments

Thursday, January 22, 2015

I'm so excited to announce that I'm bring back the Tourist In Your Hometown guest post series. Last year, bloggers from the east coast to the west coast, from metropolitan areas to quaint towns shared their favorite things to see and do in their own backyards.

The idea for the series first came to my mind right after graduation when I was unemployed and didn't have money for road trips every other weekend. It's about being content with where you are in this moment and realizing that there are fun things to do (and sometimes more importantly, eat) no matter where you are.

I've been in Tallahassee for almost a year and I've begun to slip into the rut of going to the same places and doing the same things all the time. I'm looking forward to working on my own post.

Beyond being a fun exercise for the bloggers who participated, it was helpful for those who live in or around the same area as ideas of those times when you say you have nothing to do. Even if you don't live in the area, the posts and guides for when you're traveling.

This is where you come in. Do you absolutely love your town and want to share its hidden gems? Or do you need an excuse to learn about all that your neighborhood has to offer? Let me know in the comments below if you are interested in contributing and include your current city.

Sponsor Spotlight Q&A: Bree West

Tuesday, January 20, 2015 | Stamp in My Passport| | Be the first to comment!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

I am so excited to introduce this month's Jetsetter sponsor, Bree of Bree West. She is a fellow young professional blogging to find a creative outlet and constantly finding ways to see the world. You can follow along with her adventures on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Stop by and say hello! 

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your blog. 
I'm a 24 year old, travel obsessed postgrad fumbling my way through my first corporate job and trying to figure out exactly what I want to be when I grow up. bree west started as a creative outlet when I first started my job and has grown into a community of people going through similar challenges we face as young professionals! I write about travel, fashion, work-life balance, and pretty much everything in between.

How do you balance your wanderlust with your postgrad work schedule/budget?

I don't know if balance is a great word for it honestly ha! I have a tendency to prioritize my wanderlust (not always the best/smartest plan) I feel like I'm at an age and place in my life where this is the time to see as much of the world as I can. With that said budget definitely plays a major role a my entry level job doesn't necessarily allow me to jet off to Dubai at a moments notice, I try to limit myself to 2 international trips a year and one domestic trip a month! 

Any trips on the horizon or on your wishlist?

Yes!! Several, actually. I'm heading back to Charleston (which has become one of my favorite destinations in the world) and a few other really exciting ones that I can't quite tell you about them yet. Definitely follow along to hear about them as I can announce more details! 

I loved your post about reasons why you should travel alone! What moments from those trips stand out the most to you?

Thanks so much!! From my last solo trip to Iceland I was walking back to the hotel after spending the day at the Blue Lagoon and I all of a sudden became incredibly overwhelmed. I stopped and took a few minutes to look around and try and absorb all of the beauty that was surrounding me, I felt so insignificant and inspired. That was a big turning point for me in my life, I have a lot of really exciting things on the horizon because of those few moments in Iceland! There's something about traveling alone that forces you to reflect and really think about your life and what is and isn't working.

How do you take your tea/coffee/latte?

I love hot tea, any kind really it doesn't matter. Every once in a while at this time of year I'll have a skinny peppermint mocha latte!

If you could have lunch with one person, who would it be and why?

Jinna Yang. Lately she has been motivating me to live a life that I have been dreaming of for years. Her philosophy on life is seriously inspiring and I love following her adventures.


Saturday, January 17, 2015 | Stamp in My Passport| | 6 Comments

Saturday, January 17, 2015

For those of you who started the year off great with your resolution to be more active, but your resolve is waning, treat yourself with new workout gear. New clothes and accessories always make an activity more exciting.

Speaking of being more healthy in 2015, I really want to try this 3-day juice cleanse to start off right. I love that on top of the three smoothies per day to drink, you can eat as many raw fruits and veggies as you like, plus black coffee to avoid those pesky caffeine headaches.

How did I miss these colorful streets in Paris? Guess I'll just have to go back. 

But in the meantime, I will settle for a return trip to Savannah for a dose of pure Southern charm.

I've mentioned it before, but Casey's blog gives me so many ideas about my upcoming trip to Germany and Austria! Other than the Sound of Music tour, I had very little idea of what else Salzburg had to offer. Now I do and I'm even more excited.

In case I ever decide to save the $15,000 required for a cruise to Antarctica, I'm glad I know Natalie would be up for the adventure as well. Being able to see penguins and icebergs up close (hopefully without having a Titanic experience) would be an experience to last a lifetime. Plus, at that price I wouldn't be able to do it more than once anyways.

Posts from this week:
30 before 30 list recap
My favorite Instagram accounts for a daily dose of Paris
Book Review: The Tea Rose

Friday Favorites: Paris

Friday, January 16, 2015 | Stamp in My Passport| , , | 10 Comments

Friday, January 16, 2015

It's been almost three years since this city stole my heart. This time of year, and especially in light of all the tragedy that has taken place, I always enjoy reminiscing. And thanks to Instagram, I can pretend for just a little while that I am once again strolling down the boulevards, baguette in hand. My bank account is most thankful for this; without it, who knows how many transatlantic flights I would have booked by now just for a quick visit?

Here are a few of my favorite accounts to follow for my daily dose of all things parisienne: beautiful buildings, cafe, ornate doors, flowers, pastries, the breathtaking skylines...I could go on for days.

30 Before 30: Checking In On My Birthday

Thursday, January 15, 2015 | Stamp in My Passport| | 6 Comments

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Last year I made a 30 before 30 list. Although some of the items may be lofty goals, I still have seven years to complete them all. Some are realistic, like completing a 30-day challenge of some sorts, while others may depend on outside circumstances, such as Coldplay still touring. Over the past year, I've settled on a beauty routine, purchased furniture with no assembly required and took a cooking class.

Many are in the works, such as visiting a city I've never been to, learning another language, getting more comfortable with my DSLR and hosting a dinner party (I have a fondue pot which is not worth breaking out for just a couple of people.)

And still others are simple tasks to save for a rainy day. Here's to another year of crossing still more items off of my mini-bucket list of sorts! 

Looking back at the list makes me laugh a little at what I thought were going to be priorities in my life in the upcoming years. I went to zero concerts this past year so there was no potential to get front row tickets, hang out at a festival or see Coldplay. It's just not something that I wish to put a lot of my money towards. Plus, Tallahassee is not much of a tour destination for many of the bands I listen to.

What items would be on your 30 before 30 list?

1. Host a dinner party.
2. Buy a home.
3. Send 100 handwritten notes.
4. Visit a city I've never been to.
5. Find (and stick to) an actual beauty routine.
6. Purchase furniture with no assembly required. (aka not from Ikea or Target)
7. Watch all of AFI's 100 Greatest Movies
8. Compile all of my favorite recipes into a cookbook.
9. Invest in a quality handbag.
10. Visit another continent besides North America and Europe.
11. Pay off my student loans.
12. Learn how to use chopsticks.
13. Experience Christmas in New York.
14. Learn another language. 
15. Get front row tickets to a concert. 
16. Adopt a pet. 
17. Own something from Tiffany & Co.
18. Take cooking classes.
19. Take a trip on the next flight out of town.
20. Start a journal and finish it. 
21. Practice photography. 
22. Open an online business.
23. Participate (and complete) a 30-day challenge.
24. Plant a vegetable garden. And not let it die.
25. Be on a first name basis with a barista. (bonus if they memorize my order)
26. Attend a Coldplay concert.
27. Participate in a 365 photo project.
28. Pay it forward.
29. Attend a music festival.
30. Create my own font.

Book Review: The Tea Rose

Monday, January 12, 2015 | Stamp in My Passport| , | 8 Comments

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly is a story of how there is no way to go but up once you have lost everything in your life. The heroine, Fiona Finnegan, grew up in London's East End at the end of the 1800s during the heyday of the Ripper. Try as hard as they might, her family barely made ends meet. The only thing that keeps her going is the plan to one day open her own shop with her best friend/sweetheart, Joe.

Tragedy upon tragedy pile up on top of Fiona and she finds herself completely alone. With nothing tying her to her old life in the East End, she travels to America with some cash she "stumbles upon" to start afresh working for her uncle.

The tides do begin to turn for Fiona and her determination and perseverance begin to pay off. After her father's suspicious death at the hand of his employer, Burton Tea, Fiona is bound and determined to seek her own form of justice to avenge his death.

Tea is all Fiona has ever known. Packing tea, drinking tea and constantly smelling tea as it came in by the docks. She puts her knowledge to good use and becomes the most influential tea merchant in America.

I won't give the rest of the story away, but it was such a wonderful read and was a page turner. The twists and turns will have you on the edge of your seat and once you are about three-quarters of the way through, be sure you have enough time to finish it in one sitting. 

It's the first in a trilogy; the other two books are told from other character's perspectives. In all but one circumstance, The Tea Rose leaves you with a feeling of closure.

Sarah of Sky Envy

Tell us a little bit about yourself/blog. 

My name is Sarah and I blog over at Sky Envy. Having lived in 10 zip codes and been to 18 countries in the last 4 years, I consider myself as a traveler and a nomad. My blog is a collection of photos and stories of my travels and nomadic life. 

Do you make New Year's resolutions or goals? If so, what are yours for 2015?

I don't believe in New Year's resolutions as it has been hard to keep them. I do believe in making goals for yourself. Mine are very easy - drink more water, sleep more, explore more of my own backyard and travel as much as I can.

What is the favorite book you've been reading? 

I haven't started reading it yet but I just got a copy of How To Be a Parisian Wherever You Are. I think I should add Reading more as one of my goals. :)

If you could have lunch with anyone, who would it be? 

First person that comes to mind right now is to have lunch with Jessica Stein of Tulla Vintage. She is a fashion blogger yes, but she is more of a traveler and a great photographer in my own opinion. I would like to just chat with her about her experiences with past travels. Her photos and travels are continuously inspiring me to get myself out there.

Follow along: Bloglovin | Instagram | Facebook

What you should be reading: Sail Away | Cusco | Eze

Christina of Route Bliss

Tell us a little bit about yourself/blog. 

I'm Christina, the girl behind the scenes at Route Bliss. I'm a 30-something single wannabe vagabond whose practicality and realist side keeps her planted in East Texas. By weekday I write lots of reports at my job as well as daydream frequently where I want to travel to next, ways to motivate myself to getting fit for health and happiness's sake, and experimenting in the kitchen to make my favorite not so healthy foods healthier. I also like to take lots of photos of pretty things, furry critters (aka canines and felines), and beautiful destinations.

Do you make New Year's resolutions or goals? If so, what are yours for 2015?

Intentions and plans yes, resolutions, nope. I have a lot of intentions and plans for 2015 that all tie into my one little word for 2015, cultivate.

What is the favorite book you've been reading? 

At the moment I'm between books, everything's been just an 'okay' read lately, nothing that stands out as a favorite!

If you could have lunch with anyone, who would it be? 

Right now, John Muir and Ansel Adams ... in doing trip research and planning for this summer, these two men keep popping up + I love Ansel's photography.

What you should be reading: 

The Great Christmas Exchange 2014

Wednesday, January 7, 2015 | Stamp in My Passport| | 8 Comments

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

In 2013, I was a little over zealous with the Christmas exchanges, so much so that I became on a first name basis with the postal workers. This year, I decided to pick one and go all in. I can't thank Elizabeth and Samantha enough for all of the work they put into organizing The Great Christmas Exchange.

I drew Kindle who blogs over at Willow White, who is way more crafty than I could ever be (seriously, I have the scar from a run-in with a hot glue gun to prove it). As I was scrolling through her wishlist, I came across a quote print from one of my favorite hymns, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing and knew that one of us had to have it. What better way than to start the new year off right than with motivation and comfort? And also, who doesn't need a Sugar Paper for Target planner? 

My secret santa is still a secret. If you are reading this post, thank you so much for the Starbucks tumbler! I literally take it with me everywhere  and it keeps the ice in my drink cold from morning until lunch and then again until I go home. You summed me up in a nutshell in your sweet note: "Harness your inner Loreli Gilmore and soak up as much coffee this Christmas as you can!"

I love blogging secret santas because I not only get to shop for Christmas gifts, but I get to know fellow bloggers so well (and put my sleuthing skills to good use finding the perfect gifts.)

2015 Reading List Part 1

Monday, January 5, 2015 | Stamp in My Passport| | 14 Comments

Monday, January 5, 2015

Before my love for Netflix, I had a love for books. I was that kid always reading for the spare 10 minutes in class, the one checking out more books than they could carry from the library and the one who fell asleep with book on chest.

One of my goals for 2015 is to read at least 24 books. That's two a month, which I would like to think is very doable. The best part is that I have a list of 24 ready to go so there is no excuse of "I don't have anything to read" which leads to aimless browsing on Amazon.

I've always enjoyed Amy Poheler's strong, indepent female characters in her comedies and as a reflection of her life, so I cannot wait to dive into her storytelling. 

True story, up until the past few years I had read every single John Grisham novel and was always thankful that my life did not play out like one of his Southern courtroom dramas. As an author who typically publishes a book every year, I might have some more catching up to do. 

I began reading The Tea Rose this weekend and I'm already hooked. Any novel that starts off with a murder in 17th century East London is bound to catch my attention. Also it's the first in a series, and as a person who is always a little sad when I turn the last page of a book, I love knowing that the story continues.

Several years ago I read The Namesake by Lahiri, and The Lowland has been on my "To Read" list since it was published in 2013. It is the tale of two very different brothers growing up in a neighborhood of Calcutta during the 1960s, a time of political rebellion. 

Have any of you read these books? Any comments? I can't wait to continue to share my list with you throughout the year :)

Coffee Talk

Saturday, January 3, 2015 | Stamp in My Passport| | 8 Comments

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Cheers to a new year, everyone! Some say that the way you spend Jan. 1 is a reflection of what you will be doing all year. In that case, I'll be sleeping in, working out, doing laundry and watching FSU lose all year (three out of four wouldn't be too bad.) What about you? 

Bree shares some great tips to start the year off right from organizing your digital files to purging your closet and more.

I took a trip down memory lane at the Louvre. There is little chance that you will be able to appreciate every artwork in the museum, but if you are planning a visit there, make a list of all the works you want to see so you don't get overwhelmed by the size (or end up walking in circles through the medieval Virgin Mary portraits.)

Dress up your entryway with this personalized welcome mat.

My trip to Germany and Austria is getting closer and closer! I'm combing through all of Casey's posts from her trips though the area, especially her visit to Munich.

Thank you Buzzfeed for proving that the NYE miracle from The O.C. when Ryan makes it from Newport Beach to L.A. before midnight to meet Marissa is impossible.

This Taylor Swift mashup is amazing and even garnered T-Swift's approval.