Did you know that Columbus, Ohio is the 3rd largest fashion capital in the U.S.? Not only that, it’s home to a lot of great local and non-local businesses you can shop at. I was raised to shop at sale racks and trips to the outlet malls always took precedent over the normal malls. As I got older, trips to outlet malls diminished as I took to online shopping. To be honest, I thought outlet malls basically had the same stuff I could get online during good sales, hence, why I haven’t been to an outlet mall in years.
Little did I know, the Tanger Outlets offer so much more than just a standard discount. Rewards points, coupon books, in-store sales etc., can get you deals that you wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else. The best part is that if you do find a better deal, they’ll match it!
Retailer wise, I love that they have a lot of the shops I typically go to. Gap, Express, Loft, Banana Republic, American Eagle, just to name a few. There are also stores that I wouldn’t typically shop at due to price such as Coach, Michael Kors etc., but given the deals Tanger offers I feel like I can actually treat myself to those retailers!
I had the best time perusing the shops at an event Tanger hosted for me and a lot of other local bloggers. I found the most amazing throw blanket, duster cardigan and blouses.
Let’s face it – cardigans are super cozy. I personally haven’t been into them for awhile, but I found a picture on Pinterest of a cardigan I was obsessed with and I spent months trying to find the exact one [or something similar that was still a decent price]. I’m typically an online shopper, and right when I gave up looking for my cardi, a little boutique I went into had exactly what I was looking for. A long, neutral duster cardigan with slits, pockets and soft material. I’ve worn it probably five times already.
Now, how to add a little sexiness to that cardi. Whether it’s chunky, thin and flowy, or straight up frumpy, adding something see-through will instantly add some va-va-voom. Lace, mesh, chiffon, there are so many fabrics that can add that peek-a-boo effect.
I styled my cardi with a black lace top and light gray bralette. I love how the contrasting color of the bralette makes the lace stand out even more. A nice pair of denim, sock booties, statement accessories and a bold lip completed my look.
I don’t know about you, but I’m already thinking about the transition from winter to spring. I love the non-humid, crisp days where all you need is a light jacket. Speaking of jackets, they are one of my favorite layering pieces during the cooler months. Now, what type of jackets should you stock your wardrobe with this spring? You can always count on WWD to round up the latest trends, and I’ve taken those trends and translated them into stylish under $100 spring jackets. The classic anorak with an added color pop, fringe, satin, sheeny and sheer are just a few trends you’ll see this spring.
As I write this I already wish I could teleport back. As you all know, I recently went on vacation to Tulum. It was such an amazing, active, local living-like vacation. Not only was the trip budget friendly [$1,800 for flights, transportation, stay, food, activities etc.], but it also had the same time zone as home [Ohio] so that was an added bonus. As with any trip, there are some things that may turn out meh [specifically food] and some things that turn out great. I’m going to share with you places I think you should visit if you ever decide to travel to Tulum.
We booked our flights into Cancun where we then took a private shuttle directly to our AirBnB. There are taxis but if you’re spending that kind of money take a private shuttle. There’s also a bus that leaves the airport that’s Super cheap, but I don’t like waiting so another reason why we took the shuttle.
We stayed in an AirBnB that was absolutely amazing. Our host, Vanda, was so helpful and very responsive to our texts when we had questions. The AirBnB came with two free bikes which were perfect because we biked everywhere. We had a kitchen, so it was nice to relax and make breakfast at home before we decided to adventure out to town or the beaches which were only a ten minute ride. There are plenty of beach front properties as well if you’d prefer to stay at one of those [Coco Tulum, Hip hotel]. Next time I visit, I definitely want to try beach front. It may not be as cheap, but from what I saw would be worth it!
Snaps from the AirBnb:
Now, on to places I think are noteworthy to visit..
There is a beach attached to a restaurant called Zamas. It was my favorite beach we visited because it had the least people [lol]. One side of the beach was a little rocky but the other was perfect for swimming once you got a little toasty from the sun.
Snaps from Zamas beach:
Paradise beach was of course busier, but bigger with whiter sand and better swimming water. It was absolutely gorgeous – I highly suggest visiting this one!
Snap from Paradise Beach:
This was my favorite part [obviously]. One of the perks of not staying at an all-inclusive is being able to eat alllll the food. However, a lot of the resorts have restaurants attached to them that the public can eat at, so I’m sure if you stay at a beach front resort the food is still bomb.
El Bacaro had some amazing Italian seafood and a Passionfruit Caipirinha that was to die for.
Raw Love bar had an atmosphere and chocolate cake that made me feel like I was on another planet.
BOA beach club was a hidden gem we didn’t think was a restaurant but was. The atmosphere was amazing, the calamari and steak dishes were delicious, and I’m not ordering a margarita anywhere else ever again.
Ojo de Agua had the best ribeye tacos I’m sure I’ll ever have in my lifetime.
What I loved about Tulum is that there was so much to do. Between biking/exploring town, checking out cenotes and adventuring to the ruins, I feel like we only did a quarter of what was out there.
The Ruins – this was probably my favorite place we visited. The energy you felt when you walked into the ruins was insane. It’s like a calm, peaceful quiet feeling even though there’s lot’s of people roaming about. The structures were not only beautiful, but the fact the whole town was on a cliff overlooking the ocean made it extraordinary. We didn’t book a tour, just paid for our tickets and went roaming about on our own. If you want a beach day in a unique spot, this place has one!
Snaps of the ruins:
The Gran Cenote was a must-see I read about before going on the trip. I’ll be totally honest with you – I was a little underwhelmed. There were a lot of people, the water wasn’t as clear or bright as I thought it would be, and it was really chilly in the water. If anything it just made me want to go on a full blown snorkel tour out in the ocean. I was kind of bummed it was how we spent our last day, but it was still a cool experience.
Snaps of the cenote:
The Mayan Clay Spa was a total #treatyoself during our stay. We took a cab there because me relaxed after a massage riding a bike = a likely crash. I chose this spa because it was affordable [especially for 90 minutes] and I was intrigued by the clay situation. They let you tell them where you’d like the clay which is nice. I had it all over my stomach, back, arms, face and hair. Once you’re done with the massage you go down into these showers to rinse off..you kind of feel exposed but it’s not so bad because you’re surrounded by bamboo and trees and all the goodness of nature. I highly suggest this as a cool relaxing experience.
Snaps of the spa:
We were in our AirBnb by 9pm watching Netflix and in bed by midnight so you might want to checkout trip advisor for this one [lol]. It worked out that we didn’t want to be out at night because it stormed pretty bad every night we were there. Be weary of rain. Cheers to being exhausted from all of the day exploring!
Okay everyone – let’s talk eye care. I’m not a huge makeup buff, but skincare I have a huge love/hate relationship with. I love being able to use products that help my natural skin feel and look it’s best, but finding those right products can be expensive and even sometimes not work well with your skin [i.e. hello $80 hives/breakouts].
I’m going to be completely transparent with you, one of the perks of blogging is that brands reach out to you to collaborate and sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. In my case, the brand VII Code reached out to me about their eye cream. Like every other brand, I do my research to make sure I like what I see at face value and ensure I like the product after testing. I agreed to work with them and they sent me their T2 3.0 eye cream I’ve been using for about a month now.
Why you should use eye cream
The skin around your eyes is much more delicate than the rest of your face, so it needs a different kind of product and attention. Rubbing, tugging, wiping, all of that can really strain and stretch the skin around your eyes, so, you not only need a cream because the skin around the eye is delicate, you need to be aware of how delicate you are with your eyes. When I apply eye cream, I dab a tiny bit on my ring finger then gently pat in quick motions under the eye, on the side and on the eyelid. Sometimes I bend over to get some blood/oxygen running to my head too!
Why I love VII Code T2
Reduced my dark circles and puffy eyes [I don’t have crows feet that bad yet, so I can’t speak to that].
Not sticky, sits well on days I need to use a little concealer [I don’t cake on the concealer, so I can’t speak to the ladies who wear a little more].
Derived from natural ingredients – I have sensitive skin, and in general try to use natural body, hair and skincare products – this cream doesn’t irritate my eyes at all!
A little goes a long way – I’ve been using the small 5ml jar [$99] and I think it will probably last me two months! I don’t mind paying for stuff that works because it’s hard to come by.
Works for any age – I started getting into skincare/anti-aging stuff when I was about 26. There’s no shame in starting early! I love how this product is gentle enough for someone my age  but powerful enough for someone older as well.
Who else had the day off work? I did and it was amazing. I’ve been sick lately, so it’s been nice to catch up on all things life. Here is the third look local blogger Rizelle from Tour in Style created for me. She naturally gravitates towards blushes and neutrals when dressing herself, so it was nice to see how her style translated to an outfit she created for me. I’ve never worn this combo before, so I loved it!
I’m still over here beating the sickness, but I have a feeling it’s close to running it’s course (crossing fingers). On another note, here is the second look Rizelle from Tour in Style created for me. You can never go wrong with a pair of flared jeans and faux fur. I can’t remember the last time I wore this bomber – another reason why someone else styling you with your own clothes is a great idea – you end up wearing an oldie but goodie!
I hope you had an amazing holiday and enjoyed some time off work – I know I did! One of the things I did on my days off was collaborate with another Columbus blogger, Rizelle from Tour in Style. She came up with the idea to style each other in three different looks using pieces from our closets. I’m always the one being asked for style advice, so someone else telling me what to wear sounded like an exciting experience. You never know what type of new outfit combinations can come out of your closet when someone else puts their eye on it. The first look she put together had a sophisticated glam vibe. This look could be worn to any type of special occasion whether it be for the office, date night or fancy dinner with friends. Having a go-to statement piece as well as timeless staples in your closet can easily help you put a look like this together.
Earrings will forever and always be the accessory I can’t live without. I wear them basically everyday. I have my go-to’s that I wear frequently and they tend to be on the daintier side. A pair I’ve recently added are these amazing starry sky ear jackets. The best part is that they’re under $20! I styled them with a holiday inspired look where I focused on combining different hues of pinks and reds. An embellished belt and the earrings added a festive touch.
If you’re in the market for new jewelry, Hapiness Boutique has amazing selections and at a great price! Use code VANESSARENAE to get 10% off your purchase [valid through January 19th].