Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Hawaiian Happiness

Hello friends or should I say ALOHA? We have been back from Hawaii for a week now and I'm finally done throwing a tantrum that vacation is over. The good news is I came back super tan. The bad news is the tan is almost gone since I spend my days in an office. UGH.

We spent six glorious days and nights in Maui and had a fantastic time. Everyone keeps asking me, "How was your trip?" and I keep saying, "If you like laying in the pool doing nothing all day followed by a delicious meal and getting in bed by 10:00pm, then it was GLORIOUS."

Lots of people have been asking me for recommendations for Maui so I thought I'd do a little recap + toss a whole bunch of pictures up here for your viewing enjoyment :)

WHERE TO STAY: Growing up my family always vacationed at the Grand Wailea and I am a very nostalgic person so I always stay there. That being said, the GW is smack in the middle of a row of hotels, all of which are beautiful - it just depends what you like! The Four Seasons and the Fairmont are right next door and the Andaz is just a few blocks away. We visited the Andaz a few times this trip and loved the vibe so maybe next time we'll try that! (Note: these are just Wailea hotels - there are plenty of gorgeous places to stay in Lahaina or on the other side of Maui, I just personally don't know much about them.)

I mean - come on. Look how gorgeous this place is! 

WHAT TO DO: Um, swim? Tan? Relax? No but seriously, there are actually a lot of fun things to do in Maui if you want to take a break from the pool or beach. Here are a few things we have done that I have loved:
- Maui Swap Meet - on Saturday mornings at the Maui Community College there is a little flea market/swap meet that's worth visiting. There's maybe 40-50 little booths total selling anything and everything from jewelry to delicious homemade jams and jellies to homemade popsicles to seashell necklaces to soaps to Hawaiian shirts and more. I bought a pink Hawaiian print bathrobe and Rami got to drink from a whole coconut. WIN WIN. 

- Snorkeling! Last year we went on a half-day excursion with Sail Trilogy and loved it. We got to snorkel in two different spots and saw tons of fish (no turtles, sadly) and even a dolphin! They feed you breakfast and lunch on the boat so it's worth the slightly steep price in my opinion.
- Shopping in Lahaina - Lahaina is a town about 40 minutes away from Wailea but it's a great place to spend an afternoon or evening. The little town has fun shops, great restaurants, and BEAUTIFUL sunsets!  

WHAT TO BRING: Please see this post for more information but I will list a couple more: a Swell bottle to drink by the pool (I mentioned this before but it is such a good idea I'm repeating myself), plenty of sunscreen (I THOUGHT I packed enough but since we are such pale Jews we ran out by day 5 and had to buy a tiny bottle at the hotel giftshop for $14.99 - I was THRILLED let me tell you), a pool noodle if that's your thing (it's mine), and nothing fancy. Really. I mean, pack a pair of wedges if that's your thing but everywhere we went the fanciest I ever saw anyone was a cute sundress and sandals. 

WHERE TO EAT: In typical Jordan MRSR fashion I took a ton of food pictures so I think I am going to do a separate blog post about delicious things to eat in Maui - so stay tuned for that! Here's a sneak peek :)

So! Maui is pretty great. If you get the chance, go. That pretty much sums it up :)

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Our Weekend in Houston, Y'all

I am delayed on this post. Oops. A few weeks ago we went to Houston!

Everyone knows of my deep love for Texas and their items that are deep-fried and their rodeo and their people who wear boots, but alas, that was not the reason for our visit this time. Three of my besties from college live there and one of them recently had a baby so it was time to pay a visit to the Lone Star State.

(Sidebar: we ACTUALLY were supposed to go last month over President's Day Weekend, but our flight was scheduled for the day that LA saw more rain than we've seen in goddamn YEARS, so that trip got canceled. I was not happy. It was not pretty. Don't take away my vacation plans, rain!)

Anyway, so this was our raincheck trip! We got in late Friday night and after a quick stop at Whataburger (Ram's first time, HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE?), we checked into our hotel (we shared a room with Gerrick and Daniel, who drove in from Dallas). I accidentally booked us at the Aloft Houston Downtown instead of the Aloft Houston Galleria - rookie move. My bad. But we were only staying there for sleeping so it was fine. I am mainly writing this down so I don't make that same mistake again.

Saturday morning our whole group (5 AEPhis + 4 husbands + 2 children + 1 baby + 1 special guest Lauren - missed you Linds!) trekked out to Pearland, Texas (pronounced "Pair-land" and not "Purl-lind" as I was rudely corrected) for some real Tejas BBQ. We waited in line at Killen's for about a half hour on the side of the freeway (#soTexas) until we got to the front of the line, where our rowdy crew of Jews proceeded to order more pig than you have ever seen in your life. Y'ALL, it was SO GOOD. Shout-out to the pulled pork and the burnt ends. And the fried mac & cheese. Oops. 

After lunch the ladies went off to the best store in the world, Kuhl Linscomb, where I celebrated the end of NO SHOPPING MARCH by spending $80 on greeting cards and lipstick and other nonsense. And then we headed off to a Houston pal's birthday party at the Karbach Brewery - I don't drink but it was a very cool place and despite Houston's humidity I remained calm and we all had a delightful time, complete with a very strange photoshoot. My friends are weird. Quick reminder that we are all in our thirties.

I don't really have words to describe dinner on Saturday night. Our whole group (including special guest Alyssa, my dear friend from college) had reservations at a new-ish Houston place, Underbelly, and it was MAYBE one of the most delicious meals I've eaten in recent memory??? We ordered tons and tons of things to share and it was so incredible I didn't even take a single picture. Ya'll will have to be satisfied with this slightly blurry photo of the restaurant sign. (See how I start saying y'all after two days in their company? Ridiculous.)

On Sunday we reunited at the Texas version of a New York Deli, Kenny & Ziggys (spoiler alert: LA's delis are better) and then marched around Nordstrom for a while - I bought two dresses and cuddled the baby so I was in fine spirits. And then before we knew it, we were off to the airport :( a too-quick trip! 

It was amazing seeing my friends - five out of the ten of us from college were together for most of the weekend, but I am already counting down to next month, when we ALL go to Philly for a wedding! We get to be together so soon!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Clear Eyes, Full Cart, Can't Lose

Hi, my name is Jordan, and I am a competitive shopper.

I love to shop no matter what. Throw in the words "special collection" or "limited quantity" or "sample sale" and my competitive nature comes out and I am IN IT TO WIN IT. 

Longtime readers of this blog will know that anytime Target does a collaboration with a brand, I tend to go a little nuts. I absolutely killed it during the Missoni for Target (remember?! I am laughing so hard re-reading this recap I wrote SIX YEARS AGO) and Lilly for Target collections - I have a very specific strategy that involves staying up late the night before until the items go live on the site, and then waking up early to go wait in line at my local Target and buy whatever else I may want in person. 

(Lilly for Target happened while I was on my blogging hiatus - I'll sum it up by saying I SPRINTED to the second floor to grab the home-goods I wanted, made it up the escalator FIRST, stole a cart from a frightened teenage associate wearing a red polo, and was out of there within 20 minutes with three sets of my beloved Lilly pompom napkins (and like a zillion dollars worth of other nonsense.)

So Victoria Beckham for Target hit stores yesterday and I was EMOTIONALLY READY. I made plans to go with my friend Natalie at 7:30am on Sunday morning (ugh) and sadly fell asleep before midnight on Saturday night BUT as luck would have it, the shopping gods smiled upon me and I coincidentally woke up at 5am. I rolled over to grab a pillow and in my sleepy haze it occurred to me that the collection was probably live - AND IT WAS! So I quietly got out my laptop and dropped like $380 while my darling husband slept innocently next to me, probably dreaming of a time when our credit card bill was not insane. And then I was too wired so I laid in bed excitedly until my alarm went off and it was time to shop again IN PERSON THIS TIME.

I'm glad I went in person but to be honest I got everything I really wanted online (I actually didn't buy THAT much but I bought everything I liked in 2 sizes since I didn't know if things would run big or small.) I did pick up a few things that didn't catch my eye online but looked super cute in store - namely, the black satin bomber with jeweled details and the navy sweater with lace appliques. And a girl came over to me and said she recognized me and read my blog, so that was fun! (Hi Sloan!)

I have a feeling by the time this post goes live, most of this stuff will be sold out, 
so I'm not including links - but it's worth it to go check!

Meanwhile, my friend Natalie is 6 months pregnant and she CLEANED UP with the baby clothes. She seriously bought one of everything and each outfit was cuter than the next. I fell in love with this little girls' dress and walked around for a few minutes debating whether or not I should attempt wearing the kids XL as a shirt, but alas, it was not meant to be :)

It seems each time Target does one of these collaborations, it gets better and more streamlined and less chaotic. There was an orderly line outside the store, no one ran when the doors opened, the rules were made clear to cut down on reselling (you could only buy two of each item in a particular size), and there were sales associates everywhere putting things back from fitting rooms so you could potentially grab your size if it wasn't available on the racks anymore. It was actually quite organized and an overall lovely shopping experience!

Each time I shop one of these Target collabs, I think to myself, "How will they ever top it again?" And yet they do. From Missoni to Lilly to VB, I have loved it all and I can't WAIT to see who they partner with next. Fingers crossed for Chanel for Target!? A girl can dream.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Beach Bags

I know yesterday I talked about what I plan on bringing along on vacation, but I saved a different fun roundup for today since I thought it deserved its own post - beach bags!

Listen folks, I am Jewish. I am perfectly content to lay in the sun for hours upon hours, but only if I have my water bottle, 2-3 magazines, a book, my Kindle, an array of sunscreens, moisturizers, and tanning lotions, a ponytail holder, chapstick, and sunglasses right next to me. Basically, I carry an arsenal down to the pool, and I need a cute bag to hold it all.

For the past few years, my go-to has been a Mara Hoffman beach tote - my sister and I each have one and we trade them back and forth. Unfortunately, Mara doesn't seem to be coming out with any new patterns or designs anymore, and so I am in the market for a new one.

Here are some of my favorites that I've found so far:

one (the tassel is removable!) / two (25% off right now) / three / four
five / six / seven (super cheap!)

As you can see, I like a BRIGHT bag. Bring on the color and pattern and pompoms and tassels, the more the merrier. Even if you're someone who doesn't typically wear such girlie things, this is an item where it can be fun to try something new.

I am leaning towards number six because it has a few things I like: the top fully zips and it also has a zippered pocket inside - perfect for my phone and the hotel key! I think the runner up is probably two (can't resist those pom poms) or four (very cool pattern).

It's already spring and summer is around the corner. Treat yourself to a new bag. You deserve it.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Hawaii, Here We Come

In just over a week Rami and I will be back in Hawaii and I CANNOT FREAKING WAIT.

We are actually going back to Maui - we were there six months ago for our two-year anniversary and had such a good time that when we were deciding where to go over spring break, it was kind of a no-brainer. (Rami works in education so we can really only travel on big trips during his spring break, winter break, and of course, summer.) 

So we are basically doing the exact same trip as we did in October and even though I love going to new places and having new adventures, I am so ready for a week of relaxation. When we were there in October we literally did nothing but lay in the sun and swim and eat ahi tuna for a week straight and really, what's better than that?

Here is what I am planning on bringing along with me this time!

ONE: UM, is this the world's cutest cover-up? I'm gonna have to go with yes.
TWO: For my nails, Essie Secret Story = the PERFECT hot pink + Essie Tart Deco = the best coral for my toes.
THREE: My go-to sunglasses - Karen Walker Superstars with mirrored lenses. I love the rose gold studs in the corners!
FOUR: A very cute and sassy ponytail holder with a built-in bow. I am torn between leopard and chambray - which usually means I will end up with both.
FIVE: My FAVORITE sandals of all time and they are from Target and SO comfortable and less than $20. Buy them immediately in both colors before they sell out. Trust me on this. SIX: A must for laying out in the sun? A Swell bottle! Fill it with ice water before you head down to the pool and it will keep you cool all day. Shoutout to my BFF who bought me this cute Gray Malin one for my birthday last year, but I love the leopard and rose gold ones too.
SEVEN: Not hating this bright floral bathing suit. Love the mesh boob situation. (Also here in plus)
EIGHT: Is it really a vacation if you don't bring along a fun pair of tassel earrings? No, no it is not.

Counting down the minutes til ALOHA!