Monday, June 18, 2018

TRAVELING TO EUROPE WITH FINNAIR

If you follow me on instagram and stories, you probably know J and I ventured to Europe last month. In eight days we visited 3 countries, flew on 6 planes, and rode on 2 trains - it was quite the whirlwind trip!

We were so excited to be invited to explore Finland and Zurich in depth with the Stopover program offered by Finnair, Finnair's flagship and largest airline.  The stopover program is so amazing because it allows you to explore another city while in route to your Europe destination for no additional charge!  We were traveling to Zurich, Switzerland, but first, we were able to make a quick detour to Helsinki, Finland for a quick night and had an entire day and a half to enjoy the city.  I'll take that over  layover any day!  Although our time in Helsinki was brief, we were able to fit so much into our time there.


Let me start from the beginning - because our airport here in Greenville is fairly small, we flew from GSP to Charlotte, Charlotte to JFK.  Once we made it to JFK, we felt like the trip finally started.  Finnair was so gracious to fly us to Europe in business class, as well as allow us access to the OneWorld Alliance Lounge at JFK.  We were able to enjoy a meal, a cocktail, and charge all of our devices in the lounge before even boarding the plane.  BUT, once we did - oh my gosh.  The business class accommodations were so amazing.  From being greeted with a goodie bag + warm towels and  food + beverage service throughout the flight to seats that fully reclined and private televisions - this girl was HAPPY.  Needless to say, I finished my steak, put Sex and the City on my TV, pulled my eye mask over my eyes and lived my best life on that 10 hour flight.  We woke up to breakfast and felt so refreshed + recharged for a full day of exploring Helsinki!



Helsinki was absolutely stunning this time of year.  The weather was beautiful, the locals were out and about, and the days were long.  (Sundown was around 11PM, which was so crazy for us!)  We checked into Helsinki's newest hotel, Hotel St. George, and it was so beautiful.  The rooms were all neutral with pops of blush, so to say I was in heaven would be an understatement.  After a quick moment to unpack + change clothes, we were off to meet our group and stuff our face with pizza.  We walked to a local favorite, Putte's Bar & Pizza, and indulged in huge slices of pizza + craft beer (or if you're me, rosè).  Next up, we met the team from Visit Finland who planned the most amazing itinerary for our quick 36 hour layover in Finland.


We explored the city all afternoon and were able to see so many of the beautiful backdrops that make Helsinki so unique.  The Allas Sea Pool was one of our first stops and had such an amazing view of the entire city.  Lounge chairs and couches filled this huge patio + rooftop that overlooked the water and everyone had a cocktail in hand enjoying the 80 degree weather.  (You know I live my best life on a rooftop, so we fit right in.)  My other favorite was this quaint, little cafe we stumbled upon called Cafe Regatta.  It's off the beaten path a bit, which I love, but we quickly noticed how popular it is because the line was out the door!  We stood in line for a few minutes waiting on the highly anticipated pastries + a mid-day pick me up cup of coffee and enjoyed them outside by the water.  The cafe itself was so teeny, but the food + service definitely lived up to our expectations!




Later that night, we walked across the street from our hotel to dinner at Werner.  They were so accommodating to fit all 30 of the people in our group on one side of the restaurant and met us with grapefruit spritzers in hand.  Is there any other way to be greeted?  From appetizers and small plates to dinner and dessert, we dined and chatted at the restaurant for over 3 hours.  Although we were a bit jet lagged, we had no idea it was so late because the sun was still out.  It was then we discovered that late sunset and knew we'd come to far to look back.  We decided to open another bottle of wine and stayed until dark, watching the sunset out the window and feeling so grateful for such a crazy, yet beautiful day.  Needless to say, once we got back to the hotel, we slept so well and woke up fresh on Finland time before taking off to Switzerland later that day!


I'll be sharing more about our next few days in Zurich (which happened to be our favorite part of the trip!) later this week, so stay tuned!

Thanks so much for stopping by, X.
M E G

Thank you to Finnair for partnering on this post and for making this southern girl feel so chic on the best flight of my life!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

NATURAL BEAUTY


Tank {similar} | Shorts | Bralette | Coffee Mug

Happy TGIT, babes - 

Today, I wanted to chat about/get your opinion on something that's been on my mind recently.  As most of you know, I'm a skincare fanatic and have a morning + nighttime routine that I rarely stray from.  I love focusing on the health of my skin, rather than all of the beauty products I could use to cover up the imperfections.  But, aside from just skincare or beauty, when it comes to all the 'extras' we as women do to pamper ourselves or make ourselves look better - are they all really worth it?

Off the top of my head:

Nails
Hair
False Lashes
Spray Tans
Botox
Injections
Waxing
Facials
...etc...
there are so many things that easily start to consume our daily lives and routines.

I started thinking about this recently when I got an email from a local salon asking if I would like to collaborate with them on eyelash extensions and share the process with you all.  I've never had false lashes and honestly haven't heard great things about them, but as I started to contemplate my reply, I thought to myself - man, how much is too much?

(Before I go any farther, please know that I have nothing against anyone who has false lashes, this salon, or anything else on this list!  I haven't gotten there yet, but that's definitely not the point of the post.  That specific question came to mind because I already do so many of the things on this list - the occasional spray tan, hair color + extensions, nails, and botox every few months.  So, NO judgment here whatsoever!)

The more I thought about all of those things we feel like we have to keep up, that are sometimes rough on our bodies, hair, and wallets, I started thinking how all I want is natural beauty.  
With no make up on - I want my face to be clean + glowing, my lashes to be thick and soft, my brows to be full and wild, my hair to be healthy + shiny.  Who wouldn't want all of those things?  The same mindset I have with my skincare routine, is the same mindset I want for everything.  I would rather invest my money on taking care of and enhancing my own natural features, rather than something I need to keep up every 4-6 weeks.  

We all have certain maintenance/upkeep things we've gotten used to and we'll continue to do - that's totally normal.  However, for at least the last month or so and most being longer, I've started using a few products that are clean and focus on enhancing naturally, so I thought I'd share them with you!

1. neuBROW
Since the new year, I haven't waxed, trimmed (or barely even tweezed) my eyebrows.  I got to the point where I felt they were too thin, too perfect, and sometimes even too 'drawn on' after makeup.  I stopped caring about perfection so much, started brushing my brows up each night before bed with a small brush like this, and about a month ago, started using newBrow to enhance growth.  I want fuller, thicker brows that are natural and after six months of letting them go wild, I feel like they look so much better!  I've only been using the neuBrow for almost a month (they say 6 weeks is when you can really start to tell a difference), but I'm loving it so far!  I can definitely tell it's made them longer and fuller in only 4 weeks.  Also, I use this product (in brown) to fill them in now, rather than a pencil that looks too perfect.

I'm going to be completely honest with you, I've thought about and wanted lip injections for a while now.  BUT, I'm too much of a baby to do it.  I love the look of fuller, pouty lips, and although this product doesn't necessarily do that, it definitely helps with the overall look of your lips.  Fine lines and dry lips are something I've struggled with (especially in the summer) so having a product that smoothes and moisturizes each night while I'm sleeping is so great.  It also gives your lips a really pretty shine, so when I have those 'no makeup' makeup days, I'll put this on throughout the day, too for running errands.  It's only $20 and I we can tell a major difference! (I get J to use it too, don't tell him I told you!)

3. neuLASH
I've used + talked about this product on here before, but I'm telling you - it works!!  I've even gotten my mom and many of my girlfriends addicted to it because the results are so obvious.  I recently ran out of my tube and didn't replace it until receiving that email about the lash extensions and hopped back on the neuLASH train.  Personally, I would rather have my own eyelashes look long + thick, rather than false lashes.  This product is expensive, but I will tell you that I only have to purchase it twice a year.  I only use the serum on my top eyelid (it made my bottom ones too long and I try to stay away from the spider look) and my mom actually only uses hers every other night to conserve the serum and still sees amazing results.  I'm telling you, it's worth it!

I initially purchased this product simply because I love the two bloggers who created it, Marianna Hewitt and Lauren Gores, but it truly is absolutely amazing.  The mask can be worn as a moisturizer or under your makeup as a primer and helps with puffiness, fine lines, and uneven texture.  For me, I like using this product at night before bed.  You don't even have to wash it off, you just sleep in it.  There's been so much hype around the product since it's release a couple of months ago, but my favorite part is that Marianna and Lauren haven't spent one dollar on marketing.  Beauty influencers, celebs, and ... well, me are all just chatting about it because it really is that great.  Also, Sephora just came out with their version of a 'verification product' meaning it's CLEAN beauty and I love that about this specific mask.

Using Hair Oil is somewhat new to me, but over the last 6-8 months I've added it into my haircare routine and I'm obsessed.  Initially, I thought that because I don't wash my hair often and it has enough 'oil' of it's own (dry shampoo day 6, party of ONE) that I didn't need to use a hair oil.  But, I quickly learned that this product is best used only on your ends to keep them healthy, shiny, and frizz-free.  Especially on the days I do wash my hair, my ends tend to be frizzy and sometimes look damaged.  One dime-sized pump of this magic and that's all gone.  (Ouai also makes a regular oil that I also have if you don't love the rose smell, but I do!)  You can also use this product on your skin when you get out of the shower or bath!

Especially this time of year when it's warm outside - you can usually find me in a swimsuit with no makeup, soaking up my Vitamin D for the day.  (Yes mom, with SPF on.)  I simply want beautiful, healthy, and most of all NATURAL beauty in everything from my complexion, hair + nails, skin, etc and these products are really helping me achieve that!

If there are any products you swear by for achieving a natural look, I'd love to know below!  Thank you so much for stopping by!  X.
M E G
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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

BLUSH FLOWERS + PALM LEAVES


Dress: Mango {only $50} | Tote: Poolside | Shoes: Revolve {less than $100!} | Earrings: Rachel Comey | Sunglasses: Gucci {dupe here} | Lips: Huda Beauty {Wifey}

I know, I know - this dress really belongs by the water (as do I), but I loved it so much I couldn't wait to wear it!  The blush flowers and dark green palm leaves speak right to my moody, feminine soul and the price point seriously cannot be beat.  If you have a warm weather trip in your future - one, YAY!  Two, you need this dress! (I'm wearing a size 2 for reference.)

Also, I have to quickly mention this tote because I'm obsessed with it.  The brand, Poolside, is new to me and I was a little concerned about spending $175 on a random bag, but I absolutely love it.  The quality is amazing and the entire line is SO cute.  (See more here)  Plus, I love that you can go straight from the pool/beach to dinner with just one bag!

I hope you all had a great weekend!  We were so busy the last week between 97 birthday celebrations (ok, not really, but it was a lot and I loved every second of it.) and a packed weekend, complete with a quick road trip.  My girlfriend Lily is in town for a few days and we have very few plans this week, so I'm hoping to get in the yard a bit and cook in a lot!

Thanks so much for stopping by - X.
M E G
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Thursday, June 7, 2018

THE FEMININE DRESS EVERY BLUSH LOVER NEEDS IN THEIR CLOSET


photos by my love, carrie elizabeth photography

Dress | Hat | Sunglasses {amazing dupe HERE}

It's no secret that I'm a blush lover - always have been, always will be.  Warm weather always sparks this reminder in me of why I love it so much.  Floral patterns, flowers blooming, and the sun shining always makes me gravitate towards the color more and more.  My closet is full of neutrals - black, white, camel, gray, army green, and blush pink.  I don't branch out often, but I feel like I have all of my basis pretty much covered.  

When I saw this dress launch by one of my favorite designers, it was a no-brainer I had to add it to my closet.  I wanted to shoot it on the beach, simply because my soul loves the feminine, whimsical vibe the dress puts off, but at home, I've already worn it to a wedding, a baby shower, date night, and church.  It's so versatile, so beautiful, and something I'll reach for for years to come.  And that, my friends, is what a closet full of neutral, classic, + feminine pieces is all about!

I wanted to take a moment to say thank you all SO much for the sweet birthday wishes yesterday!  Every social comment, direct message, and email made my entire day and I'm so grateful for each and every one of you.  For the past few months (close to a year, really) I've felt this slight disconnect from my style somewhat, my normal, and some days even my blog and it caused me to be a bit distant.  Over the last month or so, I've really focused on diving deep and trying to get to the root of those feelings.   What I came up with was simple.  I needed normalcy.  I thrive off of a routine + plans and between our move + traveling so often, I'd gotten so far away from that.  Since being back at home for almost a month, I already feel like myself more than I have in a while.  Back to posting more often, writing longer, more meaningful posts, styling shoots, sharing every day life at home with you, and simply being creative again.  I absolutely love what I do and I'm so beyond lucky to have a career that I'm so passionate about.  So, all of that to say - yesterday reminded me (and confirmed) that this community we've created is what I love so much.  Real life, meaningful content - at the end of the day, that's what it's all about.  You guys are the absolute best.  Thank you for loving me and this little space of the internet I created so many years ago!  XX.

M E G
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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

LITTLE BLACK BIRTHDAY DRESS


 T W E N T Y  N I N E .

Today's the day!  The last few years, I've made a tradition out of reflecting on the year behind me - what I've learned, bucket list things + places I've checked off my list, and what I hope the next year holds.  This time last year, J and I were waking up at Gurney's in Newport, RI and the words that came to mind were:

Whatever is good for your soul, do that. There's never a time you shouldn't pop champagne; celebrate everything. Always, always know the truth by the way it feels. Stay wild. Find the ones who bring out the magic in you and hold on tight. With everything, order a side of fries. Know when to put your hair up and call it a day. Escape as often as possible. Embrace uncertainty, you'll figure it out. Be obsessed with as many things as possible. You're stronger than you feel. Don't worry about washing your hair. Quality over quantity, in everything. Take as many bubble baths as you possibly can.

One year later and I still feel ALL of those things to my core.

The past year was unlike any other for us.  Between moving out of our first home, renovating the cottage, moving in + making our new house a home, all of the travel and new places we were able to explore, and the amazing friends + family who we've made countless memories with over the last year - I'm left with two words.  

Content and so grateful.  

Sometimes the word 'content' has a negative connotation in that it implies you're at a pause in life or stop growing or evolving, but content can't be confused with complacent.  I've recently been reminded just how beautiful it is to genuinely feel content.  In your relationship, in your home, and just in life in general.  I'm obsessed with everything about our little home and all I want to do is live in it.  Make memories in it.  Host endless get-togethers and parties.  Everything from coffee on the porch in the mornings to happy hours every evening.  Wake up every weekend and cook breakfast with J in our pajamas.  Eat dinner on that back deck while looking out to the backyard and seeing pups + chicks running around.  It's all just absolute perfection and I feel so incredibly blessed to reach a point in life where I feel such peace every day.  The older I get, I see how rare that is and I have no idea how I got so lucky, but I soak up every second of it.

Obviously, so much of that happiness centers around the amazing people I get to do life with every day.  And let me tell you, John Runion is an absolute godsend.  He's the best person I know and makes me want to be better every single day.  It doesn't matter if we have a house full of people or if it's just the two of us - we just sit around and laugh.  For hours.  Growing up, I saw that spark in very few relationships, and I wake up every single day feeling so grateful that I have it.  He allows me to wear my heart on my sleeve, loves that I feel things so hard, and simply lets me be me.  He makes a casual night-in feel magical, reminds me every single day how wildly capable + strong I am, and he finds the good in everything.  We're far from perfect and occasionally life is messy + knocks us off our feet, but we choose to celebrate life and all the chaos that comes with it - together.  

Last, but definitely not least, my amazing friends and family make up so much of my gratitude.  Literally all I long for when I'm traveling is what I like to call 'family dinners'.  Whether it's our immediate family or a table full of friends we consider family, I love those casual, easy nights that end up making the most beautiful memories.  I've learned that at the end of the day, surrounding yourself with people you love is all that really matters.  So I stay close to the people who get it.  And hold on tight, because they're everything to me.  I love hard and wouldn't have it any other way.

I'm so excited to see what 29 has in store and can't wait to share it all with you  - cheers to too much cake and champagne!  X.

(P.S. - shop my dress here!)
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