travel

A Homestead Christmas

If you’ve been following along with us for a while, you know that The Homestead is my most favorite place.  (If you are a new TCP follower, I got married there a year and a half ago and have been vacationing there for most of my life).  Last year when John and I went in December we recognized how absolutely magical it can be at Christmastime and lucky for us we were able to convince my parents to spend the holiday itself there this year.

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30A Getaway

*As Seen on The Crystal Press

FL14Ever since I was a little girl, we have been vacationing in the panhandle on the beautiful Gulf Coast of Florida. My grandad lived there for as long as I can remember and all of my best memories are from riding bikes in the summer, beach-ing for hours with my sister and best friend, Anna, every summer.  It has been a few years since I had spent the week down there, and boy, it was just as great as I remember it. It was really awesome for our family to be able to cut out a few days of our busy schedules to have a mini-reunion of sorts.  It also was a time for celebration, as my sister, Caroline, recently got engaged and we are in the throws of all of the planning! Another special part of the trip was being able to share this special place and loads of memories with my husband, John. (more…)

Four Seasons New York

*As seen on The Crystal PressIf our Snapchat during NYFW wasn’t evidence enough, let me remind you that one of our favorite parts about New York Fashion Week (yes we are still talking about it) was our stay at the Four Season Hotel. You know when you just get a “feeling” about a place? Well our feeling about the Four Seasons happened before we stepped foot out of our arriving cab. Before we knew we were there, the most elegant man opened our taxi door and said “Welcome to the Four Seasons New York, ladies” and the feeling hit us like that of the best kind of love affair.

Beware when it comes to asking Catherine or I about our love affair with the Four Seasons because we will just go on and on and on. For example, we are convinced the staff at the Four Seasons in New York possess super powers. These fine people have the art of anticipation down to a t. They knew what we wanted before we even knew what we wanted. You can imagine how this talent made room service a dream. On the same note, we left flowers out of water in our room absentmindedly and returned to our room with the flowers in a vase! And the walk in closets? Amazing. Our clothes have never been happier and that is a fact.

Among the craziness and exhaustion of NYFW, we found ourselves looking forward to getting back to this blissful hotel for mental and physical relaxation (and we are looking forward to getting back to this hotel soon!) Enoy our photo journal below and if you have the opportunity to visit this hotel,The Crystal Press highly recommends it. You will fall in love immediately, just like we did.
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TCP does NYFW: FW 2016

* As seen on The Crystal Press

We could give you a play by play of our NYFW adventures, but we have way too many photos for that. Instead, we want to provide you guys with some NYFW hacks that we wish someone would have told us before The Crystal Press attended their first fashion show. Our advice is by no means profound but after many attempts at Google on this topic, we figured we should share what we learned at NYFW FW 2016. Click read more to see photos from our NYFW adventures and to read The Crystal Press’ NYFW hacks for the newbies out there just like us! IMG_0144

Rule number one, don’t be intimidated by that fabulous girl sitting next to you. Strike up a conversation because, how do you think you are supposed to achieve your #squadgoals? Shout out to Simplee Audree Kate in this photo for making our squad goals a reality!

DSC_0960DSC_0856DSC_0871DSC_08462. Shows rarely start on time aka we are convinced this is where the term fashionably late came from. If you have an assigned seat at the runway show you are attending, do not break your heel running to the show like Catherine did. We both nearly keeled over with panic attacks when we were walking into Tadashi Shoji 5 minutes late. To our pleasant surprise, the seating was still more than half empty. If you are assigned standing room at a show, arriving early/on time is beneficial to make sure you are admitted into the show. Keep this in mind when you are trekking from show to show!
IMG_0145IMG_0146IMG_0147IMG_0148IMG_6007-1DSC_0954DSC_09283. Rap music and runways are the best combination. We couldn’t help but bust a move at the Milly F/W 2016 Show. Being next to Lennon and Maisey Stella from Nashville didn’t hurt either.
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4. Everyone you see during NYFW looks phenomenal from head to toe. That being said,  book a blowout and/or look at the NYFW website for salons that are sponsoring fashion week. Book the appointment in advance so that you can be sure to fit in properly into your schedule! First show usually begins at 10, so an early in the morning appointment will always fit your fashion week schedule if you are wary to commit to something during the day! Worst comes to worst, if your makeup is in desperate need of a touch-up – head to a department store to brighten up. Special thanks to our friends at Shopstyle Social House for the makeup touch-ups and blowouts!

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4. Lots of designers will go back and forth between putting on presentations and runway shows at fashion week. If you are double booked, keep in mind that runway shows are much shorter than presentations which usually run for about an hour! DSC_1203DSC_1259

5. REMEMBER TO EAT, feed yo brain for all of those networking parties! Remembering to eat sounds like common sense now but it is easy to forget amongst fashion week craziness!  Here are some of our favorite spots. DSC_1672DSC_1701IMG_0124IMG_1611-1-e1456168172607-768x768

6. Expect to freeze your tush off at the FW fashion shows. Be prepared to make the choice between fashion and bundling up more than once a day. Fashion photogs are everywhere looking to get the perfect street style shot so sacrificing warmth in the name of fashion is a common thing!IMG_6115-1IMG_2006-e1456150870679-768x768IMG_2009-e1456150844764-768x768IMG_2011-e1456150822676-768x768IMG_2026-e1456150555533-768x768Jenny Packham FW 2016DSC_1720

7. Last but not least, we recommend that you splurge on a hotel. When you are running around like a crazy person all day long, it is so rejuventating to come back to a comfy + clean hotel room with amenities that do all of the thinking for you. We split our time between The Westhouse NYC and The Four Seasons. Westhouse provides breakfast and happy hour daily which was absolutely crucial. The Four Seasons is a vacation in and of itself. We can’t say enough nice things about The Four Seasons New York. (a full post on our partnership with them is coming up soon!)

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Christmas at The Homestead

*As seen on The Crystal Press.Homestead ResortWe’ve said it a few times already this Christmas season, and are going to reiterate the “treat yourself” mantra with this pre-Christmas getaway to the Homestead. This is one of our very favorite places, considering its where I got married this summer. There’s just something about Hot Springs, VA and the Virginia Mountains that are always so welcoming. It was my first time here during the holidays and it was a truly magical stay.  From the gigantic tree in the Great Hall to the Gingerbread replica of the resort, everything was was just so Christmassy despite the 60 degree weather.

Here’s a little photo diary of my stay this time – complete with Holiday decor, the beauty of the resort and our fantastic corner room with a view 🙂 We definitely recommend adding our favorite little mountain retreat to your holiday agenda next year! Its never to early to start planning.
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*as seen on The Crystal Press*

If you’ve been following along with me for the past few months it comes as no surprise to you that I got married in July. We have finally received the most gorgeous photos fromJ&D Photography and wanted to share some of them with you! It was so must fun having Cath along for the ride with me from the beginning. She helped me articulate my vision for the perfect day and helped to make that vision a reality.

I wore the dress that my mother and grandmother both wore and had it restored by our family friend, Jahee Kwon. She did the most fantastic job. I could go on and on about all of the details but I will let the photos speak for themselves and share some tidbits when I think necessary 🙂 reb_joh_wed_0000164blue manolosreb_joh_wed_00000013reb_joh_wed_00002942reb_joh_wed_00005086
The bridesmaids got ready in a little Ralph Lauren Number, I wore the Wildfox Couture Bride Robe (which I still wear on the reg) and of course we drank Veuve Clicquot.

reb_joh_wed_0000718reb_joh_wed_00007714reb_joh_wed_0000841My bridesmaids all wore different gowns in the ivory / champagne tone, as you can see, and when they all put them on on wedding day, it was exactly as I had envisioned it! Catherine wore the Reformation Isabel dress and looked stunning.

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Our friend James Wilson of Sons of Bill officiated the ceremony and did the most amazing job. His homily was the most poignant, perfect message for our day.

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I changed into a silk camisole & the most wonderful tulle skirt from BHDLN and stepped out of my Manolos and into some silver Miu Miu slides for easy dancin’!! I know everyone says their wedding day was the best day of their lives but it is just SO true. Shout out to all our friends for the best party I’ve ever been to. Head over to J&D Photo for more fun pix if this wasn’t already enough.

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*As Seen on The Crystal Press*

It may feel a little backwards to post about my honeymoon before we share the details from the wedding, but I just couldn’t wait to recap our amazing 5 days in Jamaica! We stayed at Couples Swept Away in Negril and it was the perfect all-inclusive but not rage-y beach vibe that we wanted. One of their slogans is “somewhere between isolation and vacation” and that pretty much hits the nail on the head. The variety of restaurants and bars was ideal for us as we sat on the beach all day every-day but also wanted to have upscale dining options. Okay maybe not all-day everyday, but close! We did get out on a snorkeling trip (gorgeous!) and of course couldn’t miss the catamaran booze cruise.  I have to admit that relaxation was goal #1 but I couldn’t quiteeee turn off my blogging brain so I made sure to have John snap some of my favorite honeymoon pieces.

IMG_1376IMG_1377when you get to the beach & your room isn’t ready, you pack your Louis with your coverup, take a few selfies and enjoy the afternoon sun.

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I pretty much wore this lemlem number everyday! It is literally the perfect cover-up and didn’t suffocate me on the extremely hot Negril afternoons. I discovered lemlem at Roan in Richmond and love the handwoven fabrics – made in Ethiopia.

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yep, we were that couple with the personalized tumblers. BUT they are seriously a game-changer because the bartenders make each drink in your own cup!

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Honeymoon reads, featured throughout the post:
The Page Turner: Greg Iles, The Bone Tree
The Girly Beach Read: Elin Hilderbrand, The Matchmaker
The National Book Award Finalist: Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven

IMG_1380IMG_1374I had been eyeing this WildFox Couture suit for a while and finally took the plunge a few days before we left for Jamaica when I snagged it from Nellie George in Richmond. I based the rest of my honeymoon vibe off of it because, well, how could I not? Those Flamingos! Unfortunately, this one is sold out now but all of their swimwear is pretty much perfect so you can find one that fits your personality!
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this high-waisted clover canyon suit w the teeny weeny top was a must for the trip! (& of course a selfie after your husband takes a picture that doesn’t really do the suit justice)

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afternoon Caribbean storms call for wet hair, bare feat & wearing this Taj by Sabrina cover-up as a dress to pre-dinner cocktails.

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On our last night we had to splurge for the Romantic Dinner on the Beach. It was a gorgeous night, the food was to die for (lobster and beef tenderloin) and the company wasn’t too bad either 🙂 dinner on the beachjamaica mr crystal press
We are so happy to have Johnny (aka Mr. Crystal Press) join our little blog family!

lava store – pacaya volcano

During my trip to Guatemala we hiked up to see the Pacaya Volcano. This volcano erupted in May 2010 causing many locals to lose their homes and livelihoods. Out of this disruption and despair, the Lava Store was born.  In order to regenerate their economy and gain back some of what they lost,  two passionate men looked to artisans in the community who started to make jewelry from the lava produced by the eruption & coconut shells. The stuff is amazing!!!! The Lava Store is located on the volcano and is full of many little treasures! John and I picked up a few pieces and were truly inspired by the story, So I wanted to pass it along!  You can read more about it HERE & you can even order jewelry there as well. It’s a truly special cause. Here are some photos of the volcano, the store & our jewelry!!

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the store is down that path in the distance!

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these silver & lava earrings are my new go-to!

 

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John loves his volcano bracelet!

 

again, my new favorite earrings!

see more photos from the Guatemala trip HERE! So many inspiring places, people & stories – not to mention the most beautiful views.

 

 

Guatemala Photo Journal

I had the pleasure of traveling with 15 high schoolers & my fiance to the beautiful country of Guatemala. We explored the streets of Antigua during Semana Santa (Holy Week), climbed in an active volcano, worked with children in the tiny lake town of Tzununa and witnessed some of the most incredible views.  Because I could only take a small suitcase & we would be hiking, hauling rocks & working my wardrobe options were extremely limited. However, I think I managed to make it work. Shoutout to the Gap for the perfect basics that kept me outfitted for 10 days!  I put together this photo journal with some of my favorite views & outfit highlights of the trip

Blogged while listening to Sons of Bill – Lost in the Cosmos 

Antigua, Guatemala – Casa Popenoe
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IMG_2108Bella Luxx Sweater Maxi Tank Dress. Madewell Long Sleeve Tee (similar here).  Kenny K straw fedora (similar here).  Munro Smoking Slippers (similar here).

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under the avocado tree, la la la laaa

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Pacaya Volcano – the most stunning thing I have seen! (thx Gap for the hiking threads)

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epping a Kora Rae tee & my favorite old Rebecca Taylor skirt on the streets of Antigua.

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where I go, the Free People Alana Robe goes also. Specifically the wine shop, the streets during Semana Santa and also the INCREDIBLE Hotel Casa Santo Domingo. Next time I go to Antigua, I will DEF stay there.

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The coffee from Fernando’s Kaffee was a staple EVERY morning! And of course we brought some home with us. Talk about nectar of the gods!

The second part of our journey started at Lomas de Tzununa.  We spent the most glorious Easter day here. From the beautiful sunrise to the fresh squeezed juice to relaxing by the pool. This place was truly heaven on earth.  We continued on to work with the school children of Tzununa in the days following. Stay tuned for more about the work that Maria, the proprietor of Lomas, is doing in the community there.

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IMG_2213IMG_2211IMG_2222IMG_2224This DVF jumper & Free People bralette (similar here) were my go-to threads after a long day in the sun!

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Until next time, Lomas!! (ps. that Consuela bag was the perfect travel companion).

The last place we stayed was Hotel Jardines del Lago. We definitely took advantage of the hammocks & luscious gardens during our down time. Will DEF go back here one day.

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AGAIN, the Alana Robe! With French Connection Pants (similar here), Gap V-Neck Linen White Tee,  Chloe Aviator Sunnies (similar here) and assorted Alex & Ani bangles.

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Hit the jackpot with the handmade jewelry in panajachel!!

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The terrain in Guatemala was incredibly beautiful and I cannot wait to go back. But more importantly I am looking forward to working with Maria and the group helping to build the Library for the Tzununa Community to promote education in under developed areas!

(shoutout to my amazing fiance John for taking all the photos!)