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How To Pack For A Beach Vacation: 5-4-3-2-1 Method

Over the past few years, I’ve done my fare share of packing guides and lists. They’re a ton of work to put together, but oh, so worth it.

Personally, I’ve always found a visual guide helpful when I’m putting together my own suitcase — no matter what the destination. When I can see the pieces all laid out on my desktop (vs. scattered across my bed, or scrawled on a notepad) it clearly becomes evident that I really don’t need all the stuff I originally thought I did. Combinations come together effortlessly and before I know it, I have 7 days worth of outfits at the ready.

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A Pittsburgh, PA Travel Guide (For Eating & Drinking)

pittsburgh travel guide header

Are you guys sleepy?

The Monday after SuperBowl is always a rough one — especially when you stay up to watch a nail-biter of a comeback game that goes into overtime! Tom Brady deserves every last blinged out bit of that ring #5. I personally think he should wear it on his thumb.

Game day aside, this weekend was quite the eventful one as Mr. THD and I were able to sneak away for 36-hours and check one of our travel to-dos off the list — Pittsburgh, PA. I’m not quite sure how many people out there have Pittsburgh on their bucket list, but perhaps this little guide can change that.

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Iceland Travel Guide


Nothing like starting out a new week with a new travel adventure, right?

We’re off again —  this time hitting up destination #2 of my 2017 wanderlust list. (Have you checked out my TULUM TRAVEL GUIDE yet?) I hope you packed your warmest coat and hat, because this spot is just a ‘bit’ chilly this time of year. Prepare yourselves for minimal sunlight, waist deep snow, beautiful landscapes, delicious food and some of the most unique accommodations you’ll find on this planet.

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Tulum Mexico Travel Guide


For those of you lucky enough to be home from work today — thank you, Dr. Martin Luther King — grab your coffee mug and your throw blanket and get comfortable. For those of you in the office… well, I feel ya’, girl. Take a minute from your busy schedule and use this post as your brief escape from that ever pressing to-do list.

Today we’re talking about our 2017 escape plan.

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The Thanksgiving Edit


I cannot believe Thanksgiving is less than 3 weeks away.

I may have told you this before, but Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday of the year. I love a day that can be spent in the comfort of your own home, eating food you love and spending time with those you love most.

No gifting obligations. No religious requirements. Just good food, good fun and good memories.

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Bermuda Weekend Guide

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It seems like everyone I know has a different take on traveling.

Some of us like to keep it fresh and exciting and visit a new destination every opportunity we get. Others, like the familiarity and comfort of finding a destination that can become their home away from home. I think that generally I’m somewhere in between — I have a long bucket list of places to explore, but occasionally I stumble upon a special destination that I can’t wait to return to.

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48 Hours In NYC

48 hours in NYC

Greeting from the Big Apple!

Each time I head back home to spend time with my family, I try to schedule a momcation of sorts. This brief getaway includes a solo 2-night stay at a hotel and no concrete plans to speak of. I generally end up spending much of the days on my own and meet up with friends, family, old colleagues, etc. for exercise, meals, drinks, coffee and general social meandering all over the city.

I won’t lie — it’s THE BEST.

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Restorative Properties


It’s funny how vacations seem like light years away and then they somehow creep up on you. Sadly, after all the planning and anticipation, all good things must come to an end. It’s currently Sunday night and I’m typing in bed after a morning of air travel and a busy afternoon of getting our lives back in order. Basically, I’m struggling to keep my eyes open and dreading the harsh reality that is Monday. Even all of the coffee is no match for this level of tired.

Vacation SIesta Key Florida Banana Republic pajamas

(BANANA REPUBLIC has the cutest and most comfortable PAJAMA SETS! Even though this pinstripe version is no longer available, you can still upgrade your sleepwear/loungewear situation with any of their soft knits and cotton poplins. They are seriously the SOFTEST!)

Rather than dwell on my growing list of to-dos and my heavy eyelids, let’s take a step back and focus on the happy. For my family, our happy place is called Siesta Key, FL. This past week has been all about family, fun, sun and of course, the amazing beach. Our kids got to spend their days and nights playing non-stop with their cousins and friends and we occasionally, got to sit back, relax and take in the view. Obviously, with a drink in hand.

Siesta Key Florida vacation quartz jewelry

Apparently, Siesta Key not only has one of the most beautiful beaches in the country; the fine, white sugar-sand is also known to have healing and restorative properties due to the high quartz (99.9%) content.

Siesta Key Florida Vacation beach sunset

No, seriously.

Quartz itself is believed to be a healing material that has the ability to conduct natural energy. As humans are scientifically determined to be mineral based (we’re made up of the same same stuff as the earth itself), it makes perfect sense that when we come into contact with quartz crystal the energy is transferred into our own bodies.  Well, isn’t that all sorts of weird?! There you go… your science lesson of the day.

Now, let’s get back to style…

quartz crystal jewelry

Coincidentally, quartz is also one of my absolute favorite elements for jewelry. It’s neutral in color, has a modern, yet organic vibe, looks beautiful paired with gold and generally meshes well with my overall aesthetic. It’s the perfect minimalist finishing touch to any of my outfits. You may recognize THIS NECKLACE? I’ve worn it a few times in previous posts, most recently HERE. It’s currently sold out, but the L.A. based Etsy designer, 443JEWELRY has so many other really cool quart pieces, it’s definitely worth taking a look!

Since purchasing my quartz necklace almost 2 years ago, I’ve noticed that raw cut crystals were becoming much more popular and widely available. After perusing the internet way longer than I’d like to admit, I’ve managed to narrow it down to a few of my personal favorites:

Healing and restorative talk aside, as nice as vacation is there is really no better place to be than home. Glad to be back, guys.

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39th Annual Cleveland International Film Festival & Giveaway!

Cleveland International Film Festival CIFF Giveaway 2015

All of a sudden, Cleveland is big time.

The upcoming Republican National Convention, the return of Lebron,  the inclusion of the city in The New York Times 52 PLACES TO GO IN 2015, not to mention coveted spots on the L.A. TIMES, FODOR’S TRAVEL, BUZZ FEED and TRAVEL & LEISURE MAGAZINE’S lists of top places to visit this year… it seems like not only is it getting hot in Cleveland (metaphorically speaking… the high of 19° today begs to differ), people are finally getting hot ON Cleveland!

To add further fuel to this excitement, the kick-off of the 39th ANNUAL CLEVELAND INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (CIFF) is rapidly approaching. Running March 18-29th, CIFF will be promoting “artistically and culturally significant film arts through education and exhibition to enrich the life of the community.”

39th Annual Cleveland International Film Festival CIFF

You might be asking yourself, “Ummmm… what does THAT mean exactly!?”

It means that CIFF will be presenting the newest and best films from around the world and doing one hell-of-a-job to ensure that the audience (a.k.a YOU!) learns something pretty cool along the way about: the film subject, other cultures, or even the personal experiences of the filmmakers, themselves.

Keep reading to find out how YOU can be a part of this year’s Cleveland International Film Festival!

The majority of the 350+ films will be screened at the Tower City Cinema, but CIFF will also be taking the show on the road, so to speak, and bringing the movie fun to 10+ neighborhood venues like the Beachland Ballroom, Cedar Lee Theatre, Chagrin Cinemas (Bainbridge), The Akron Art Museum and more!

To stir up excitement leading up the big event, CIFF coordinates FILM FEASTS– a series of parties, soirées, and social gatherings to celebrate all that is film and art in Cleveland.  CIFF Film (and other ARTS) Feasts, sponsored by Hyland Software, are a way to engage the community, cultivate new film buffs and celebrate the arts, all while promoting the upcoming Festival. Sounds like a good time, right?

Get Shorty is always one of the most popular Feast events, and this year the event takes place Thursday, January 29, at 7 p.m. at the historic CAPITOL THEATRE (1390 West 65th Street) in the Gordon Square Arts District. It will be here that YOU, as the guest, will play an important role in determining which films get screened at this year’s Festival. Here’s how it works: you will arrive looking all fancy-schmancy, you will be shown a selection of short films, you will cast your vote for each, and the top scorers will be screened at this year’s Festival.


Prior to the films, guests will gather next door at the ARCADE, where you can get your party on with cocktails and catering by Culinary Occasions. No question, you’ll need that liquid and hors d’oeuvre energy to fuel your intensive movie watching!

Get Shorty, like all Film Feasts, is open to the public. Tickets can be purchased at for $100 each, but for one lucky The Heart’s Delight reader this fun night out and memorable “Cleveland Experience” is FREE! I’m giving away 2 tickets for you and a guest to join in on a very special night for CIFF and Cleveland (Pssssst… I’ll be there too!). Simply enter below for your chance to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck… and let’s get entering!

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(P.S. If for whatever reason, the timing of the Get Shorty event doesn’t work with your busy schedule, there is also one final RED CARPET FILM FEAST scheduled for February 19th at the THE MUSIC SETTLEMENT’S BOP STOP, which will offer spirited conversation on all things Oscar with Plain Dealer Film Critic, Clint O’Connor and Cleveland Cinemas Marketing Director, Dave Huffman!)