Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
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The Nordstrom Anniversary #nsale has officially begun! This sale is unique because it includes brand new items (AKA a lot of things for Fall). I highly recommend getting your 'staple' items during this time. It's an awesome time to buy your jacket for fall, some boots/booties, and jeans. It's also a great time to pull the trigger on any splurge items that you've been eyeing since some items that don't typically go on sale will be marked down. I also like to hit up the beauty products that I've been eyeing, especially the more expensive tools that hardly ever go on sale!

Dates

The sale ends for everyone on August 5th.

How to Shop

Since Nordstrom is free shipping and free returns and these items sell out fast, I highly recommend ordering online and then returning whatever you don't want once you receive it. That way, you won't run the risk of them selling out or not carrying items that you want in store. Plus, you won't have to fight the crowds! You can also buy items online and then pick them up in your store if that's your thang. Just click on an image below and it will bring you directly to the item to shop it. Then, just add it to your cart and checkout normally. Just make sure to not let things sit in your cart for a while because these items will sell out fast! I broke everything down by category below so just click on the arrows to scroll through each category. 

Outerwear

Shoes

Clothing

Accessories

Beauty

Pants

Athleisure & Loungewear

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Home

I know that I've mentioned this before but if I could redecorate my apartment once a year I would be a happy camper! I LOVE home decor! The home section of the Nsale is calling my name. Even if you aren't redecorating, there are so many cute decor pieces that can just be little touches. It's nice to have a little refresh on a space but its REALLY nice to do so while items are on sale. Click on an image below to shop it!

Ibiza Travel Guide
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Ibiza has a strong reputation in the U.S. as being a party destination. While that reputation is definitely rooted in a lot of truth (it has some of the best beach clubs and nightclubs in the world), it also has SO much more to offer! In fact, I did not party once while I was there. I experienced a different "side" of Ibiza...one that was really romantic and filled with SO much natural beauty. It wasn't that we didn't want to check out a beach club, it was just that we had so much that we wanted to do within our 4 days there and ran out of time to do it all. I think as a result of the "route" that we took in our travels there, we only saw (okay, heard) a handful of Americans during our 4.5 days on the island. It felt less touristy here than the other places that we went as a result as well. We rented a car and explored as much as we could during our time there...dirt roads and all. I could have easily spent another week there!

Every spot that we saw was so different! There were gigantic rock formations that made me tear up on numerous occasions but also lush greenery everywhere. It had the Spanish feel from the mainland to it but with an island vibe. It was relaxed but bustling with culture. One cove would be quiet and peaceful, a restaurant would have chill "tropical house" music and then the streets of Old Town would be buzzing with a contagious energy. The cobblestone streets of Old Town were so full of character and looked like they were straight out of Game of Thrones! The island has SO much to offer!

Ibiza has a strong "hippie" culture, which makes for a really cool vacation experience. We took an awesome yoga class, wandered the hippie market, and saw the cutest kids in dreadlocks playing on the beach! It was an amazing destination for a vegetarian, like myself, because there were vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options on almost every menu. There were healthy and unique things to try everywhere we went and I loved it. Overall, Ibiza had my favorite restaurants of our entire trip. This "score" is based on an overall combination of food (non-healthy items as well, including the best cheesecake I've ever had) + killer atmosphere. 

The boat trip that we did to Formentera was one of my favorite (potentially my favorite) day of our entire trip! The water was so clear and the views were spectacular! It was one of those days that felt almost like I was floating above the boat looking down at what was going on because it felt like a dream. A dream that I will never forget. 

Here are some of my top recommendations of what to do in Ibiza. Of course, I learned a lot more than this along the way and I have plenty of tips and tricks for a visit to the island for all of my clients! Plus, I am able to set any of my clients up with some great amenities at these hotels but also some other favorites on the island! You can get started with planning your next adventure as a Cozy Traveler client by filling out this contact form or by emailing me at Carly.Robinson@Smartflyer.com

STAY

Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay:

Added Amenities When Booking With Me:

Complimentary buffet breakfast

Early check in/late check out upon availibility

Room upgrade upon availibility

Seven Pines Resort Ibiza: This is a brand new hotel that's about to be fully opened and is in line to be amazing!

Inquire with me for added amenities since its a brand new property!

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DINE

  1. Amante: Amazing food in an INCREDIBLE atmosphere! Amante is set in a cove with magnificent rock formations on either side of you. It is perfect for a romantic dinner! Just make sure to show up while it is still light out to fully appreciate the view! The cheesecake with passionfruit glaze will change your life. 
  2. Aiyanna: A cool bohemian outdoor "lounge" vibe with great views. This place feels like the epitome of Ibiza and is so enjoyable that you could happily spend a whole day there. Sit back on your comfortable couch with a cocktail, listen to the music, take in the view of the clear water in the cove in front of you and enjoy the healthy, light and creative fare. This is a perfect place for lunch and for taking endless photos!
  3. La Granja: If you're looking for a truly unique dining experience, you must go to La Granja! This farmhouse hosts a rustic, outdoor restaurant with chandeliers that sway in the wind. The property is gorgeous and completely serene. It feels like you are in the middle of nowhere while you sip your wine and enjoy course after course. They encourage you to explore the farm and see where a lot of the food that they served you grew. All of the ingredients are so fresh and the creations are truly art. The menu is set and all members of you party must select either the vegetarian menu or the menu with meat. Make sure to make your reservation ahead of time since they only keep the ingredients that they need for the day on hand. 
  4. La Oliva: It's so fun to dine in Old Town while you listen to the street performers and feel so much of the charm. Make sure to grab a table outside in the "street." 
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PLAY

Formentera Boat Trip: You can't go to Ibiza without visiting the small neighboring island, Formentera! Formentera is the smallest of the Balearic Islands but it definitely can hold its own in terms of natural beauty! The water is crystal clear, the yachts are everywhere, and each area is distinct. Hop off the boat for lunch with a view. Reach out to me at carly.robinson@smartflyer.com to help you charter the perfect boat for your day trip! 

Explore Coves: There are so many unique coves all along the island! Rent a car or let me set up a tour for you to see the ones that peak your interest! I have a map with descriptions of each cove so that you can pick out the ones that you want to prioritize!

Sunset view of Es Vedrà: Es Vedrà is truly breathtaking! This uninhabited rock island stands 400 metres high and is opposite Cala d'Hort and can be easily seen from a couple of famous viewpoints. Es Vedrà is the center of many mythical stories and legends. The most common is that it is the third most magnetic spot on Earth! It provides the perfect backdrop for a sunset but even if you can't make it during sunset hours, make sure that you go at some point! 

Hippy Market: There are a few famous hippy markets on the island. Hippy culture is deeply rooted in Ibiza and many modern day hippies sell the goods that they create at these markets. Make sure to check the days that the various markets are open so that you can find one that works with your schedule. 

Clubs: Of course, Ibiza is known for it's beach clubs and night clubs! Some of the most popular nightclubs are Pacha and Amnesia. Beach clubs are also wildly popular! A few favorites on the island are Experimental Beach Club, Beachhouse, Cotton Beach Club, and Cala Bassa. 

Visit Old Town: Wander the "streets" with some gelato in your hand. Listen to the live music, pop in some shops and soak in the old world feel. 

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HOW TO BOOK

For help booking your trip to Ibiza, or any other destination, shoot me an email at carly.robinson@smartflyer.com! You can also fill out the contact form on my website. I can help you plan a customized itinerary and help get you added amenities at resorts. I pride myself in matching my clients with the best accomodations and activities to match their style and needs! 

Shop The Post

Amazon Prime Day 2018
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Who else is fully reliant on Amazon Prime?! I frequently say that I'm grateful that I'm injured in this day and age where I can at least get SO much delivered to my door. I get 99% of our household items and groceries delivered and its such a game changer. Without Amazon, I'd probably be lost. If you don't have a Prime membership, you can do a trial and still take advantage of all of the sales! It's like a second Black Friday going on in July so you want to hop on any items that you want immediately. I could seriously link a million items that I'm passionate about but I narrowed down my top picks. I also included a couple of wishlist items like the air fryer, sous cooker and instant pot. If you buy one thing from this list though, make it the vacuum because it will change.your.life. It is so lightweight and easy to maneuver (even with all of my injuries). It fits in the most annoying and hard to reach spots. It's a total game changer and its embarrassing how passionate I am about a vacuum but hey, #adulthood. 

My Picks

First Year Of Marriage Reflections
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Today is Jay and my one year wedding anniversary! I thought that it would be a good time to reflect on our first year of marriage and share a few thoughts with you guys as well so here it goes...

Our first year of marriage was filled with tons of great memories! We laughed a lot (so glad I married my number 1 comedic fan even if he doesn't want to admit it). He cheered me on as I started a new career (and really has been my partner through that venture has well) and I supported him through all of his big endeavors. Our first anniversary trip was one for the freaking books. Having 2 weeks straight with him, exploring this world, experiencing new things and all of that with him is the most treasured thing of all. We did a lot of fun things, like that, this past year that create those bigger memories that we'll always remember but we also had plenty of "regular" memories that I will always treasure. Memories from this time in our lives when it was only the 2 of us, making pancakes on a Sunday morning in our little apartment while listening to music. I crave more slow mornings with him, where we skip on plans and timelines and responsibilities because doing nothing with him is my favorite thing of all. 

Unfortunately, this past year was also filled with plenty of hard times. This Fall and Winter were pretty brutal for me since I was feeling really ill while changing medications (like really ill) and I had a procedure for my back, which involved another recovery. We also faced personal things with our families. Even through the bad times, we were together. I'd be up all night feeling like sh** but Jay would be in bed beside me holding my hand. I couldn't get off the couch but we lit candles and binged watched GOT and made a cozy night out of it. We comforted one another through tears and laughed the hardest at one another's jokes during the happier moments...and that is marriage. He is my rock. He is most steady force in my life and it is my greatest honor to be his in return. 

I used to wonder if marriage would be different. I mean, we've lived together in this home for almost 4 years now so we've been doing the whole co-habitating thing for a while now. I also think that we've had a sense of security in our relationship from a young age because of all that we've gone through together following my accident. We've walked through some dark times together and have always rode it out as a team (and Jay has always been the most supportive partner) so I think that there has always been a strong sense of "forever" and "in sickness and in health." 

However, I have noticed that there are things that feel different about being married. Mainly, I've felt like we are a family unit more so than ever. I feel like we are The Robinsons and that we created our own little family of 2 the day that we got married. I don't really know how to describe it because I always felt like he was my family but now it feels solidified and even more so like its him and I taking on the world. I wear his last name with pride and it makes me embarrassingly giddy to think about how we are The Robinsons and Mr. and Mrs. Robinson. I know that changing your last name isn't for everyone and its really not about the name so I respect that decision (identifying as Carly Robinson on my own feels stranger than The Robinsons). Marriage has created this new sense of belonging to one another. The day that we kissed for the first time was the start of 'us' but the day that we said our vows was the start of our family.

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I also was surprised at my reaction to seeing him wear a wedding ring...I mean it's just a piece of jewelry so I don't get what the big deal when I actually think about it but I can't help it. I think that it's insanely hot to see him wearing his wedding band. He looks like such a MAN and then I realize that he's MY man and that really gets me. I sound like such a pathetic girl for admitting that but it's true, there's just something about it. 

Jay is the flint that sparks the lighter and the fuel that holds the flame for me. Marriage (from what I gather thus far) is exciting and fun but it's the constant fuel that holds the flame that matters. It's the slow Sunday mornings and the holding of one another's hands through the tough nights that matter the most. I'll take all of the laughs and travel any day though!

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What's In My Suitcase
Photo by my mom turned client, Rachel Ellentuck Photography

Before I leave for my anniversary trip in Europe, I thought that it would be good to link all of the items that I'm bringing in one place! What I packed isn't necessarily specific to this trip either. This post includes some of my favorite travel items for every trip! I broke it into categories of what I'm wearing (clothing and accessories separately), what's in my beach bag, whats in my toiletry bag, my travel 'must haves,' and Jay's clothing (yes, Mr. Cozy's suitcase items also made the post)!

I always make sure that I go through my toiletries for the trip a few weeks in advance and take inventory of what I have versus what I need so that I have plenty of time to order everything online. I love having mini versions of my favorite products and I found the best place to purchase miniature versions of them over the years. I always keep a toiletry bag packed with all of my items so that I don't have to pack it before I go away each time but for a longer trip like this, I really need to make sure I had enough of each item. I'm also particular about what kind of sunscreen I use (so many kinds make me break out or feel so greasy, etc) so I made sure to stock up on my favorite kinds to bring (all linked under the In my Beach Bag section). I think that this and the 'travel must have' categories are ones that you won't want to miss! Plus, if you see any photos on Instagram you'll be able to find all of the looks (that are still currently for sale) in one place!

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Clothing

Accessories

In my Toiletry Bag

Travel Must Haves

In my Beach Bag

Jay's Outfits

One Year Anniversary Trip
Photos by Rachel Ellentuck Photograph who I recently sent to Santorini!

Exciting News:

We are leaving tomorrow for our One Year Anniversary trip!! Yes, our anniversary isn't until July 15th but we have our good friends' wedding that weekend (SO EXCITED), so we are going a little bit early! We decided that we need to prioritize taking one big trip, just the two of us, a year and definitely want to check some travel bucket list items off before we have kids. We figured that our first anniversary would be the perfect time to do so..I mean, is there any better gift than travel?! We only got each other a pair of sneakers for our birthdays, skipped big holiday presents and aren't doing anniversary gifts because THIS is the best gift that we can imagine giving one another...time alone together exploring the world! I'm hoping that it will feel like a honeymoon part 2. The happiest that I've ever been were on our trip to St. Lucia when we got engaged and our honeymoon in French Polynesia so I'm out to create memories like that!

Where:

-4 nights in Ibiza 

-4 nights in Santorini

-4 nights in Mykonos

-2 nights in Lake Como

We haven't been back to Europe in 7 years together (I went back once without him) so I'm so excited! I studied abroad in Rome and Jay studied abroad in Barcelona so we are each really pumped to go back to Spain and Italy. We went to Corfu, Greece during our time in Europe together but neither of us felt like we had a true Greecian experience (we stayed at some sketch hotel for college kids and didn't leave the resort haha) and are really looking forward to going to Greece as well!

We really fell in love all across Europe and it holds SUCH a special place in my heart, in our hearts. We were only together for like 6 months before we left for abroad (you can imagine the tears before we seperated...we went to visit each other's parents' houses "one last night before we left" 3 times haha). We would meet up in destinations across Europe on many weekends and it was a freaking fairytale. We'd wander and get lost together (we get lost A LOT because we're both directionally challenged but when you're exploring a city it seems fun for once haha), eat way too much food, feel like such grown ups as we shared hotel rooms and hostels (not as nice of hotels as we'll stay at now, that's for sure haha), create itineraries, and see sights until our feet ached. We went abroad "not dating" in order to not feel like we "missed out" on the experience of studying abroad but it was a joke because we were in a full blown relationship (via BBM on our blackberries) and living out this amazing romance during our travels. It was this thing that we said but wasn't actually true because he was my full blown boyfriend who I knew would be my husband one day. Regardless, he "officially" asked me to be his girlfriend at the Trevi fountain in Rome one night. During a different trip in Venice, we said I love you to one another for the first time. Of course, we knew that we were in love long before that, but it's fun to have that destination hold the spot in our hearts a little extra. 

NEEDLESS TO SAY, I'M SO EXCITED TO GO BACK THERE NOW THAT HE IS MY HUSBAND!

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The Cozy Traveler:

We are also making this partly a business trip for the Cozy Traveler and are going to do a lot of research for clients! We are moving hotels a lot in order to experience different properties first hand. We are also doing site tours of various hotels in each destination so that I can see as much as possible first hand. We are also trying to do specific activities that I know are popular for clients to book in order to truly experience each destination first hand so that I am able to speak to it. My partnerships and network really enable me to speak confidently on a destination, regardless of whether or not I have been there but I think that seeing these places first hand will only help build my knowledge! 

I've been planning a lot of honeymoons and I think that these destinations would make for amazing honeymoons! I know that Ibiza and Mykonos are known as party destinations, but particularly Ibiza has SO much more to offer! I can't even drink for medical reasons and I am SO excited because there is so much natural beauty on the island. Obviously, I will keep you guys posted on my thoughts on this after I return.

I will be doing full travel diaries after I return with where to stay, where to eat, what to do and all of that for each destination. Of course, never hesitate to reach out to me at carly.robinson@smartflyer.com for help planning your next vacation! You can learn more about my role as a luxury travel advisor with Smartflyer on my website! You can also fill out the contact form on my website to get in touch about your next adventure. 

Make sure to follow along on my Cozy_Traveler Instagram account as well as Cozy_Curator because I will be posting lots of stories and Instagram photos from our adventures! Now that I am a travel advisor, I am going to be much better about posting photos and videos and keeping you guys in the loop while I am away. 

Bon Voyage:

I've been really burying my head in the sand and just going crazy banging out work the past few weeks that I haven't gotten the chance to breath. I really want to get my work done and my clients in a great place before I leave for my trip so that I can really feel like a vacation (minus the work that I do seeing properties, etc). Jay and I haven't been spending enough QT together because we've been so busy and I'm SO looking forward to eliminating distractions and being truly present with my favorite person on Earth. 

Wedding Video

The Wedding Video

Our one year wedding anniversary is a month from today and we finally got our wedding video so I thought that it would be the perfect time to share it! This will be the first of my wedding day posts. I haven’t been able to do them until now because I haven’t had my digital images from the wedding day. Apparently, in my contract with the photographer, it stated that I would only have access to the digital images once my album was ordered and FINISHED. I guess they do this so that you don’t print your own images but it seems crazy that I can’t get them until the album is completed, even though I paid for  and ordered it monthssss ago. Anyway, it’s something to look out for in your contract because I had no idea about this rule until the wedding was over. Once I get the pictures, I’ll be continuing the wedding day blog posts! I plan on giving any and all advice that I can think of, sharing all of our day of details and invitation suite, and walking you through the amazing day!

The video is the perfect thing to show first anyway because it makes you feel like you are really there on the day! I know that video is something that people cut from the budget first and I have to say that I think that it should actually be one of the last things that you cut. That’s just my personal opinion, based on my experience and having 20/20 hindsight. Watching it is the closest that I can come to reliving my wedding day over and over again! I’m so grateful to have it as a time capsule of sorts. When I’ve had hard days, I’ve pulled it up and watched it (along with smelling the essential oil that I bought in Bora Bora haha) and it brings me to my happy place! Jay and I also received all of the raw footage from our wedding (it was just automatically a part of the package) and it was fun to watch that! We had it waiting for us when we returned from our honeymoon so it was nice to have something to immediately watch. Its cool because you see parts of the day that you missed since you can’t be everywhere at every moment with every person.  Plus, the dancing scenes are THE BEST and our friends and family crush it. In full disclosure, the first time we watched it, I just loathed myself so much that all I could focus on was hating my voice, watching myself cry, and all that but then we immediately rewatched it and I was able to get over myself and enjoy it. I’m the most grateful to have our ceremony, first look, speeches and first dance captured. There were also a lot of special moments that I’m glad we have on the raw footage that didn’t make the trailer, like Jay crying opening my gift (he HATES that part and I LOVE it haha). I kept a journal throughout our engagement and wrote him notes during milestones throughout it, reasons I wanted to marry him, song lyrics, and things like that. It was long so he only read some of it on camera but watching his face change as he scanned the words is something that stuck with me. People have asked if we were able to select the clips that were included in the trailer and we were not, which was fine. The editors selected the clips and voice overs and compiled it all but we were able to select the songs.

I've always considered watching wedding videos a hobby of mine so its so fun to get to share my own! After my accident, I would lay awake all night in pain and go down a tunnel of watching random people's wedding views and crying as I felt the love that these strangers on the internet were showing. Jay always says, "you love love" and it's true. I am a romantic at heart so wedding videos are my jam.

The Where

We got married at Bonnet Island Estate, which is located on the bay, right as you’re coming onto Long Beach Island over the causeway. I’ve been going to LBI my whole life and in 1999 my parents built a house there. They named the house Tranquility (it was featured on the map of the island in our invitation suite, which I will include in one of the upcoming blog posts)! I thought that it was so embarrassing that my parents put up a sign outside the house calling it Tranquility as a kid but I quickly grew an appreciation for it. It truly is my happy place and my home where I feel the most Tranquil. Nine winters ago, Jay and I had our first little getaway alone at the house and it quickly became his happy place as well! The fact that he LOVES it down there so much makes me love him even more. We have had so many memories down there, both good and bad (I recover down here from most of my surgeries) throughout our relationship. The first time that our families met was 8 summers ago down in LBI and we have continued to spend time down there, all together, every year since. It was also fun to go down to LBI with our parents throughout our engagement to do wedding planning tasks and create all of those new memories. My (and Jay's) friends and I also share SO many memories from down here (some of my bridesmaids and I have been coming down here together since we were 3 years old)! We had too many party weekends down here (throwback to after prom), a million slumber parties as kids, sorority pledge class “reunions,” couples weekends and more down here with friends so it was suiting to have the biggest party of our lives here. Yes, my parents are the most generous creatures on Earth! Needless to say, it was a special destination to celebrate our love, officially blend our two families and party with our friends.

The owners built Bonnet Island Estate when I was a kid and as I watched it get built from the ground up, I would always say, “I want to get married there when I’m grown up”. I can confidently say that the majority of plans that we have in life don’t actually end up happening the way that they thought they would...it’s a reality I’ve faced many times and constantly have to work on making peace with. The fact that this dream came true is something that I will forever be grateful for! I’m so insanely thankful towards my parents for making that childhood dream of mine come true and to my groom for being even more than I could have fantasized about! Luckily, Jay was/is totally obsessed with it as well so it was easy. Of course, as a kid I didn’t know that I would hate the carpet so much haha. But the reality is no venue is perfect (I hated the decor inside, the barn where we got married was way too small and didn’t have AC, I disliked the table and chairs, and the list goes on). However, I LOVE it there so much, to the point that it felt like a second home. I genuinely miss it and can’t wait to go back there this summer and every year to just walk around and hang out. It just felt right. We plan on going back every summer to hang out (the people that work there are super encouraging of that). We rented out the estate for the night as well, which was PERFECT. We were able to get ready there in the morning in the salon (the guys had a separate hang out area), do a first look by the dune grass, take photos on the property, have rest time (I needed to get out of my dress and lay down in bed before the ceremony so I was glad there were beds on site), have the guests arrive via shuttle from the hotel and then go straight to the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception. Then, we had an after party (with food from The Chicken or The Egg aka CHEG brought in) on the deck and our families plus some bridesmaids and groomsmen were able to sleep over. We woke up the next morning and went back onto the deck for brunch with everyone, which included our favorite doughnuts from Ferraras Bakery and breakfast from the Cheg. I love that it was a ‘one stop shop’ and that it was so seamless. It was also great to be able to just walk (or in my case take the elevator up one flight haha) upstairs and go to sleep in the bridal suite.

The Basics

We had 197 of our friends and family members filling up that property with so much love. Our ceremony was in a little barn on site., with doors that opened on one side to the bay and to a garden on the other side. The entire venue is set on the bay with marshland in view. That’s why our wedding hashtag was #CarlyAndJayByTheBay!

Jay’s sister, Renee, was our officiant and it was SO special to have someone so close to us marry us. We didn’t include any religion in the ceremony (I’m Jewish and Jay is Christian but neither of us identify strongly with our religions), so we just created the ceremony along with Renee, from scratch based on what felt the most ‘us’. It was very personal and we both cried a lot during it (but my ugly crying face is the one they chose to show more in the video haha). I will do a blog post all about creating a non-traditional wedding ceremony but I already wrote one for Style Me Pretty that you can find here as well!

Attire

My dress was made by Inbal Dror and purchased at Mark Ingram Atelier in Manhattan. I actually went there specifically for this dress because I had seen it online and nothing else that I was finding while dress shopping was measuring up in my head. It’s funny because I had a lot of self doubt when I purchased it because I pulled money from other areas of the budget to cover it and it felt selfish. However, it ended up being one of the decisions that I was the happiest and most confident about. The alterations were not easy though. Apparently I have a really short torso and they couldn’t alter it short enough to not show my butt crack so I eventually had to find underwear that was close to my skin color (not an easy task) to wear under the sheer mesh backing of the dress, among other things. It’s supposed to be ‘made to measure’ but we had to change a lot but it all worked out in the end! Jay LOVED it, which made/makes me really freaking happy. He still talks about it and every time he does I’m like “tell me more”! I felt like myself in it, just a better version haha. I bought little block kitten heels but only wore them during the ceremony and first look. Besides that, even during photos and our first dance, I wore white Nike ID running sneakers that said “Jay’s Bride” on the back of them. I wanted to wear cooler/trendier sneakers, but they just weren’t as comfortable for my joints and I needed anything that would help my endurance in getting through the day. Going into it, I was self conscious about it (I mean, everyone looks better in heels, period), but so many people were coming up to me saying how hilarious and awesome it was that I was wearing running shoes and they were relatively hidden by my dress. That is, until Jay stepped on and broke my bustle after our first dance aka 5 minutes into the reception haha. The bridal attendant tried to sew it but after 20 minutes of missing my reception, I begged for her to just let me go and held my train the rest of the night. I’m SO glad that I wore the running sneakers because the wedding day was truly equivalent to running 2 marathons on my body and I needed all of the help that I could get!

Jay’s suit was from Suit Supply in Soho. I was really happy for him that he got to have a cool, special experience when buying his wedding outfit as well! Everyone that worked there was so helpful and cool. The place looked like it was straight out of GQ and everything was such nice quality. I thought that the suit was the perfect shade of grey for our summer wedding. We steered away from linen because it wrinkles really easily and didn’t feel as dressy. His tie (and the groomsmen’s ties) along with his suspenders were from Tie Bar. He wore navy suede shoes from Zappos. His boutonniere had a ranunculus and a succulent. In my completely unbiased opinion, he could not have looked like a more handsome or studly groom! I will forever have the image his amazing smiling, eyes staring into mine with tears in them, looking extra blue from all of our beautiful surroundings. Lucky is an understatement! 

All of the bridesmaids wore Joanna August dresses. I told them the color (AKA Into The Mystic, which I thought was perfect for the venue) and they picked whichever style they wanted out of 60 or so choices. I think that they all looked BEAUTIFUL and that the dresses complimented the guy’s outfits perfectly. 95 percent of them chose wrap dresses, which was helpful during alteration time because they could adjust the tightness on their own and only worry about getting the hemline altered. We gifted them their earrings, robes from Plum Pretty Sugar (not shown) and hair appointments.

The groomsmen rented suits from Black Tux, which worked out really well. It was really inexpensive and easy because you just send in all of your measurements online. Only one guy had a problem with the fit when it arrived (that I know of haha) and sent it back but received the replacement in time. We gifted all of the groomsmen their Navy suede Sam Edelman shoes and their Tie Bar ties. Their suits were slightly darker than Jay's but Jay's suit had some of the darker color in it. I thought that it was a nice contrast while matching seamlessly. 

Unfortunately, the ring bearer and flower girl aren’t in the video and it was the one thing that we were both really upset about after seeing the video. We are really close with them (they’re Jay’s sister and brother in law/best man’s kids). I asked the editors to swap out a clip from the ceremony (and gave them specific timing of a clip to swap out that timed up perfectly for an even swap) in order to include them walking down the aisle but they wouldn’t do it. You’ll see how freaking adorable they looked once we get the photos though! I bought the ring bearer’s outfit from Janie and Jack and the flower girl’s dress from BHLDN. He was 1.5 years old so I picked his whole outfit for him and I LOVED it, especially the little starfish boutonniere and straw fedora. Our niece is older so I showed her 15 or so choices for dresses and let her pick which one she wanted to wear. She (deservingly) felt like the other bride and looked SO beautiful in it! I had the florist make her a little flower crown with silver dollar eucalyptus, which I think looked so sweet.

The flowers were all done by A Touch of Elegance and I think that they did an awesome job! Some of the colors weren’t what I would have hoped for (I don’t like peach, its too close to enemy aka orange haha) but with flowers, its hard because they’re natural things that grow from the Earth, obviously. I was in love with the idea of doing a mini flower wall to rest on the mantle in the ceremony and then get moved to behind our sweetheart table love seat for the reception. I would have loved to have some peonies but it was too late in the season for my florist to get them but I love garden roses so much so I’m glad that we were able to incorporate them! My parents surprised me with some flowers and eucalyptus on the archway in our ceremony, which I had wanted but didn’t end up ordering because it would have brought us over budget. It was such a sweet gesture and made me cry 1/100390 times on the day. I am going to include details on the centerpieces, cocktail hour flowers and all of those details once we get the photos.

We booked the Nick Campbell Band through Hank Lane music and loved them so much! They were really fun and energetic and so talented. Hank Lane is a really professional, amazing company. So many of my friends have used them and I’ve been impressed every time. They match you with a band that fits your style and budget and I think that they did a great job pairing us with the Nick Campbell Band. My favorite musician of all time is Dave Matthews band and our song has always been Crush so we decided to dance to Crush for our first dance. The band did DMB justice and were just so fun throughout the whole night!

More details to come in future posts but for now, click play on this video and join us in reliving the greatest day of my life! https://vimeo.com/248187006

 

Forever 21 Summer Finds
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I seriously hate Forever 21's name so much that it deters me from shopping there haha. Well, that and having to shift through 10000 crappy pieces to find a good one. Luckily for you guys, I did all of the digging already and am only presenting the gold. A couple of these dresses I've had since last summer and I wash them all the time (because I wear them so frequently) and they've held up fine (I hang dry them). It's great to have some inexpensive options for summer to add to your wardrobe. I even found a dupe 'save' version of the free people, which maxi dress that I wore in Malibu! There are only 6 items here because I only wanted to show you guys winners!

Shop My Outfit

Wedding Guest Dresses for Summer
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Wedding season has officially kicked off. I'm going to my first wedding of the season this upcoming weekend! I rounded up all of my favorite dresses here in case you also have summer weddings or events. All of these dresses are under $300, most of them are much less than $300. I broke it down into two categories, long dresses and cocktail length dresses. As always, hover over an image to see the price and click on the image to shop it. 

Long Dresses

Cocktail Length Dresses

Malibu Travel Guide
El Matador State Beach
Some of the grounds at Malibu Wine Safari--a great activity for the bachelorette party I was on!
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It's hard to visit Malibu and not fall in love with the views from every cliff, cute restaurants and slower pace right outside the city of busy Los Angeles. It has a relaxed feel that is still chic enough to attract celebrities and other socialites who work in LA. It's on the quieter side so it provides the perfect escape from busy life. The cliff side views of the ocean make it easy to see why people are willing to spend what they do in order to live there. It's laid back-surfer town feel and sweeping views are hard to beat! 

Here are my recommendations for where to stay, where to eat, and what to do! Reach out to me to plan your next trip to Malibu (or anywhere!) via email at carly.robinson@smartflyer.com. You can also visit the Cozy Traveler website to learn more about how the process works and fill out this contact form to get in touch. 

Malibu Farms Cafe
El Matador State Beach

Stay

Malibu Beach Inn: Perched right above the beach, you can hear the waves crash from your room. It has a laid back, simple aesthetic with a small hint of coastal decor. Great restaurants are really close and the beach is right at the hotel so the location can't be beat. Still, the rooms are quiet and it provides for a relaxing getaway. In line with that, there is of course a spa! There are 47 rooms, all super serene!

Added Amenities When Booking With Me:

  • $80 breakfast credit per day, per room to be used in dining room, room service or beach
  • $100 USD equivalent Resort or Hotel credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Upgrade upon arrival, subject to availability
  • King Pier View or Queen Ocean View categories will receive an automatic upgrade at time of booking

Nobu Ryokan: As in the hotel that houses the restaurant that every celebrity & their mother (okay, maybe just the Kardashian's mother) is posting on Instagram. This hotel has Japanese inspired decor that is simple and sleek enough to work beautifully in this beach town. It is located right next to Malibu Beach Inn, with tons of restaurants and the beach right there as well. If you somehow get tired of the beach, you can hang out in the garden by the fireplace as well. It is a small property with only 16 guest rooms. Eating sushi there is almost a requirement! 

Added Amenities When Booking With Me:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Two eggs, Bacon and Apple Pear Salad Breakfast for two daily for duration of the stay
  • $100 USD equivalent Resort or Hotel credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

The Ranch MalibuIf you're not necessarily looking to explore the area and just want a retreat in a beautiful destination, then definitely consider The Ranch Malibu! Its a luxury fitness retreat in a stunning place. The Ranch offers three acclaimed results-oriented, fitness and wellness programs, each designed to recalibrate the mind and body through an intense fitness and wellness regimen paired with a highly structured nutritional diet. This is not your typical spa or resort vacation. This luxury boot camp is dedicated to improving the quality of one's life by improving their health.

Added Amenities When Booking With Me:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily full breakfast, for up to two in room guests (Given the nature of our program, all meals and snacks are included in the fee and guests are served a set menu for the week.)
  • Choice of one of the following services: additional daily massage, acupuncture, chiropractic treatment or cholesterol testing.
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi (in bedroom only)

Villa Rentals: Did you know that travel agents can book villas (aka nice houses)?! Malibu has a ton of amazing rentals that can fit your needs. These are perfect for large group gatherings with friends or multi generational family vacations!

Malibu Farms Restaurant (I went to the cafe)
Malibu Farms Restaurant

Dine

  1. Malibu Farms: The cutest seaside atmosphere with wooden chandeliers that sway in the wind. There are two Malibu Farms eateries located on the pier right next to each other, the more casual cafe and the restaurant. Both have a relaxed vibe that beg to be photographed. A diverse menu with some healthy, fresh options and of course frose. Malibu Farm Restaurant accepts reservations for dinner but besides that it's first come first serve. 
  2. Nobu: See and be seen! This restaurant is where Hollywood and Malibu collide. Sushi fans also rejoice! It's locate above the beach with great views of the ocean so even if you go for cocktails and skip the meal, its worth it. Make a reservation ahead of time. 
  3. Cafe Habana: Corn and cuban is how they describe their cuisine and no one's mad about it. The menu features all of your tex-mex favorites that are all simple and done well. The atmosphere is laid back but romantic with hanging lights and greenery. 
  4. Geoffreys: The go-to white tablecloth, upscale spot in Malibu. With international cuisine with coastal views its a perfect spot for a romantic dinner. 
  5. Malibu Seafood Cafe: They make fast-food seafood a cool thing. Their line proves this to be true. If you look good seafood in a super casual atmosphere, this spot is for you. Just walk up and order at the window!
  6. Malibu Burger Co: They've got all of the classic burger options as well as plant based choices with vegan cheese and various bowls. 
  7. Taverna Tony: Tzatziki anyone?! Taverna Tony serves Greek food with live Greek Music. If you're looking for it to be livelier, head there on a weekend night. 
  8. Calamigos Beach Club Restaurant: A five acre ranch with mid century decor located along the beach. It's a little further off the beaten path but you won't mind once your toes hit the sand for the beach bar! 
Some of the grounds at Malibu Wine Safari
Stanley the giraffe loved the bachelorette party girls

Play

Malibu Wine Safari: A completely unique experience in a stunning atmosphere. You can choose from different tour options but the combination of getting to see the safari animals and do wine tasting is hard to beat. You get to feed animals (the friendly ones), see some others, and taste red and white wines that they grow in their on site vineyards. Feeding Stanley the giraffe is definitely a highlight! The property is huge and has such gorgeous views of rolling mountains and cool rock formations. The tour guides are super friendly and witty. Just make sure to get a ticket in advance and show up with plenty of time before your tour start time to check in. 

Malibu Wines: The sister property to Malibu Wine Safari, where you can go to keep drinking your favorite wine that you tasted via shuttle after the safari. It's definitely off the beaten path but you can go there just for wine tasting as well. They have live music some evenings and a food truck that frequently comes on site. 

El Matador State Beach: Talk about a stunning place! Being at El Matador feels like being in Portugal or some far away place. The cliffs are massive and stunning and the rock formations that jut out of no where are so cool. Grab a blanket and head down the long and steep path to the sand, it's so worth it! 

Hike: There are lots of well known hikes in Malibu that each have special qualities. Solstice Canyon hike is a popular one with different levels of difficulty. Check out the perrenial waterfall, as long as water is actually flowing from it (sometimes it gets dried out). Tuna Canyon Park and Charmlee Wilderness Park are some other frequently hiked spots, to name a few. 

Nicholas Canyon Beach: A classic beach along a pretty U shaped section. Park at the lot up top (you need to pay) and then climb down the stairs to the put your toes in the sand. This is a great spot to surf!

Surf: Speaking of surfing, if you are talented enough then you won't want to miss out on surfing in this iconic destination. Some of the most popular surfing spots are Zuma Beach, Nicholas Canyon Beach, Surfrider Beach, Topanga Beach, Topanga Beach and County Line. 

Point Dume State Beach: A boardwalk, a beach, and sea lions all gather in this spot. It is a nature preserve that is located along a coastal bluff. Ascend the trail to the sand dune and take in the incredible views.  

Feeding the animals at Malibu Wine Safari was equal parts amazing and gross haha

 

Drink

Moonshadows: Seaside spot with great views! Perfect for a day drink and some grub.

Rosenthal Wine: Wine bar in a cute outdoor space. They have events, including live music so make sure to check out their calendar. 

Nobu: This spot has made this list a lot but there aren't many nightlife places in Malibu and this is a good one to grab a drink. Be warned that even they don't stay open late. 

Our safari vehicle!
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Mexican Street Corn
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Grilling season has begun! Yay! I love grilling up on our rooftop or on our patio. It's great to be able to incorporate some of my summer 'go-to's into my meal planning because I feel like I exhausted all of my winter regulars. I love some fresh corn on the cob when its grilled...doesn't it taste like summer?! This Mexican Street Corn recipe elevates corn on the cob in the best way. I usually use some guacamole on our burgers/veggie burgers to tie in the Mexican theme in an easy way. Whenever I see cojita cheese at the grocery store in the summer, I buy it so that I can make this awesome recipe!

Ingredients:

6 ears of corn, husked

1 cup plain greek yogurt (you can use half sour cream and half mayonnaise as a substitution if you want it richer)

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon chili poweder

2 tablespoons lime juice

1/2 cup cojita cheese, crumbled

1/4 cup cilantro, minced

Directions:

Heat grill so it reaches 400 degrees or so

In a bowl, whisk together the greek yogurt, garlic, chili powder and lime juice

Grill the corn until the edges start to brown a little (approximately 3 minutes on each side)

Using a brush, coat the corn with the yogurt mixture

Top with crumbled cojita cheese and cilantro

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