Turmeric Hummus Buddah Bowl
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I'm always looking for healthy dinner recipes to mix it up. I also like recipes that I can easily use the leftovers for lunches. All about killing 2 birds with one stone! In fact, I killed 3 birds because I also used some of the roasted veggies in a Mexican salad the following night. Technically, I killed zero birds because this meal is vegan! The turmeric hummus is an awesome way to add some turmeric into my dinner in a way that makes sense. I started taking a turmeric supplement daily because its supposed to help with inflammation (I also take flaxseed oil supplement for this reason and try to eat a lot of flaxseed as well). However, I try to work it into my diet as well. I even doubled the hummus recipe and froze half of it, which I don't think was necessary in hind sight because it was so easy to make. I had turmeric hummus at a farm in Ibiza this summer and its amazing how quickly tastes can transport you back to a moment in time so that was a nice plus as well! 

Turmeric Hummus

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (15.5 oz) of chickpeas (drained but WITH LIQUID RESERVED)
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 2 T reserved liquid from chickpea can
  • 1 T tahini
  • 2/3 t turmeric
  • 1/4 t nutmeg
  • 1 large clove of garlic

Directions:

Drain the chickpeas but preserve the liquid and set it aside

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Blend for longer if you want it thinner and more whipped. 

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Buddah Bowls (Yields 4-6 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1  bunch of pencil asparagus
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 3 zucchini
  • 4 Japanese eggplants
  • 1 bag (4 cups) of shredded brussel sprouts
  • 4 cups of shredded kale
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil
  • 2 t dried garlic
  • 2 t dried lemon zest
  • 2 t black pepper
  • 1 t salt

Directions:

Cut the sweet potatoes, Japanese eggplant and zucchini into long 1/2 inch strips

Cut the onion into rings

Sautee the brussel sprouts with a little bit of olive oil and a combination of the seasonings over medium heat until they start to brown

While the brussel sprouts are cooking, coat the other vegetables in avocado oil and season them

Place the sweet potatoes, Japanese eggplant, zucchini, asparagus and onion on a hot grill and cook until they begin to brown a little bit

While the vegetables are grilling, place the shredded brussel sprouts and kale in the bottom of your bowl

Top the salad base with all of the roasted vegetables and the hummus and enjoy!

 

 

 

Santorini Travel Guide
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Santorini is SUCH a unique destination! I don't think there is anything like it on Earth. I was a little worried that it was going to be overrated. I feel like my Instagram feed is constantly filled with photos of the white houses cascading along the cliffside and I kept feeling like "well, I guess I'll be sort of immune to the beauty at this point." Let me tell you, that was far from the truth! Arriving there and seeing it all, I had water in my eyes and a happiness in my heart that you can never get from photos alone. There is such a high that you experience when you arrive in a new destination for the first time. We planned on not going out to dinner the first night in order to give my back a break after the travel and yet I was busting at the seams to get out and explore Oia. I was so glad that we went out while we were still feeling so electric from the beauty of this new place. It was fun to feel the energy while walking those streets and seeing the view in the pure daylight, golden hour, sunset, and nighttime. I feel like this place has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember. We went to Greece almost 8 years ago to Corfu and it left me even more disappointed in the fact that I didn't experience Santorini because I was SO close to it. Its an expensive destination so we couldn't swing it then but I'm so grateful that I got to now. It stole a piece of my heart for forever! I would happily go back tomorrow! 

The amazing thing about Santorini is that it is a RELAXING destination that is also in a unique place with culture as well. Its perfect for when you need to relax and recharge but also want to experience something different than a beach. I could have easily stayed at my hotel every day and lounged by the pool with the incredible view and been happy! This also makes it a very romantic destination, which is great for honeymooners. The beaches and water are not what you go there for. Instead, you go for the unique and breathtaking views, exploring walkways and town, and eating Baklava! This also makes the hotel that you stay at VERY important! Its such a huge part of the destination so you want to make sure that you stay somewhere that you love and has amazing service!

There are a TON of small properties and areas within Santorini so its a complex area to plan a vacation. Its important to find the right hotel for you and I'm here to help! There are also SO many insider tips for these activities and restaurants alone. There are also a lot of weird things that I took note of like the best seats (and how to get them) at the pool, the best spots to watch a sunset (in multiple towns), the ideal times of day to go out and take photos and avoid the crowds, the best way to stack your itinerary, transportation tips, great photographers for photo sessions, what to order at certain restaurants and so much more! For help booking your next trip, email me at Carly.Robinson@smartflyer.com or fill out my contact form. 

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Stay

Canaves Oia: There are multiple different properties so let me help match you with the best option for you and your needs!

Added amenities when booking with me:

Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability

Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability

American champagne buffet breakfast or room service breakfast daily for up to two in room guests

$100 USD equivalent Food & Beverage credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)

Complimentary Wi-Fi

Grace Santorini:

Added amenities when booking with me:

Upgrade at time of arrival, subject to availability

Complimentary full breakfast for two daily for duration of the stay served in our restaurant

Complimentary one-way private airport transfers

A complimentary private yoga class for up to two people, per room, once during stay

Early Check-in/Late Check-out, subject to availability

Complimentary Wi-Fi

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Dine

  1. Pitogyros: The gyros here are amazing! Going there one time just won't be enough and you'll find yourself waiting in line day after day for these. There's even a vegetarian gyro option. Make sure the get the backlava, it'll be the best one that you have in Greece! 
  2. Metaxi Mas: A perfect spot for a nice dinner but in a laid back outdoor space. 
  3. Ammoudi Fish Tavern: Fresh, locally caught fish in a casual atmosphere. Make sure to go for sunset so you can take in this little fishing village during the prettiest time of day.
  4. Avocado Restaurant: Its a bummer to go to dinner somewhere without the spectacular views but the food at Avocado is really good and there are healthier options than most other places in the area. 
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Play

Catamaran Tour

Winery visit(s)

Photography Session

Explore Oia

Private dinner at your hotel

Hike

How To Book

For help booking your next trip, email me at Carly.Robinson@smartflyer.com or fill out my contact form. Santorini is a tourist destination, which means that people often get 'sucked into' tourist traps, bad tours, mediocre restaurants, and so much more. There are so many hotels and so many different room types at each hotel so its important to find the best match for YOU! I'd love to serve as your travel advisor and help you plan your next adventure to this beautiful destination! 

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Ibiza Video

If pictures can speak a thousand words then videos can speak a million. However, there is nothing that pictures or videos (or at least the ones that I can take) can do to give these places justice. Like I said, Ibiza was such an unexpectedly romantic destination! I'm so glad that we went there as our first stop on our anniversary trip #CarlyandJayByTheMediterraneanSea. You can read my Ibiza guide here. Stay tuned for a video from Greece and Lake Como to come as well! 

Shop Our Outfits

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!

Added Amenities When Booking With Me:

$100 voucher for all F&B outlets or Spa

Individual farewell gift

Wifi

Early check in/late check out (subject to availibility) 

Upgrade upon availibility

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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! 

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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!

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