By the time you read this post, I’ll be en route to NYC with 2 kids in tow.
Yes, it’s THAT time…
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.
(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.
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.
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…
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.
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.”
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 www.clevelandfilm.org 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:
Good luck… and let’s get entering!
(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!)
Last night my husband and I had a very deep and meaningful conversation about how we loathe packing. Actually, I stated that while I loathe packing, I despise UN-packing even more if that’s possible? Since we became a family of four, I’ve switched up our packing routine and now ship our baggage in advance of any flight we take. It’s so freeing to be able to cruise through the airport with literally nothing to hold onto aside from our kids’ hands, my tote and the obligatory grande non-fat latte (once I clear security). Since airlines have started charging for checked bags, UPS ground shipping works out to cost almost the same amount as the dreaded baggage-check fee… but the convenience is simply immeasurable.
The downside to advance shipping is that you sort of have to be on your packing and organizational game to get it right. You have to be willing to part with items that may be clutch in your everyday life for a few extra days. You also have to be a little more thoughtful when putting together your bag because every ounce of extra weight will cost you extra fees. Details, details, details.
So in the spirit of one of the most travelled holiday weekends of the year, I’ve put together a list of some of the most important things I cannot travel without. Whether you’re travelling across the ocean, across the country, or even across city lines, hopefully this list will inspire YOU as you get your bags together.
This warmest, softest VINCE OVERSIZED SWEATER (I own it in black) comes with me anytime I travel. In case you were wondering, the oversized silhouette is good camouflage for any Thanksgiving meal sins you’re planning on committing. Another piece of pie? Yes, please.
A portable charger for your electronics is always a good idea. Outlets are in high demand in airports and you don’t want to be left stranded in transit with no juice. This MOPHIE CHARGER ensures that the iPad(s) stay fired up and the kiddos stay entertained.
Delicate gold necklaces for layering have replaced any statement necklaces I used to travel with. So dainty, feminine and LIGHT to travel with! The necklace party is the new arm party and these pretties are the party VIPs. Whether for BALANCE, or for a special WISH over the holidays, you really can’t go wrong with DOGEARED.
A bright scarf instantly brings color to a washed out complexion… hey, those airport fluorescent lights do you no favors! I love this oversized version from MADEWELL. So cozy.
A good quality flat iron is my new McGuyver tool. Whether to remove a cowlick or to give myself a headful of soft beachy waves, I’m obsessed with my CHI!
Dry shampoo… because sometimes, it’s just easier than washing your hair and starting from scratch! This OSCAR BLANDI product lives up to it’s “invisible” name and leaves behind nothing but refreshed hair and a clean floral scent.
Denim with a little stretch is crucial for spending long hours in a plane/train/automobile, or at the Thanksgiving dinner table! The extra bit of spandex also allows the jeans to maintain their shape after multiple wears. I recently discovered MOTHER JEANS and have been keeping mine in constant rotation.
Neutral booties to dress up or dress down help keep your load light and your looks chic. I love the little wedge on this COLE HAAN version, which currently happen to be on sale!
A neutral makeup palette is one of the best travel companions you can have. Rather than drag along a big ‘ole makeup bag, this sleek BOBBI BROWN set contains most of the essentials you’ll need for your trip.
Travel makeup brushes are a key accessory when heading out of town. Leave those big, fluffy brushes at home and try this compact SEPHORA set out instead.
Apparently, Mother Nature decided that it’s Winter. We must comply. A CLASSIC BARBOUR COAT has been a cold-weather mainstay for decades.
No packing list is complete without your iPad and KATE SPADE COVER to protect your tablet from getting crushed the 12th time your kids have dropped it. I love the sassy winking eye on this one!
What’s on YOUR packing list this Thanksgiving holiday?
Not exactly a pleasurable experience for most people. Unless you’re Beyonce, of course, and have a private jet, team of hired help and are enrobed in only the finest of luxury cashmeres from head-to-toe, while sippin’ on your perfectly chilled glass of champagne and poppin’ Nobu-prepared sushi in your mouth, as you fade off into the clouds. Bey, you do you, girl. But back to us, regular folk…
Currently, my travel experience consists of hauling a stuffed-to-the-brims carry-on tote filled with assorted snacks (and bribery tools), first aid remedies, toys, books, and the mandatory iPhones/iPads for all! I feel like Oprah when we finally get into our seats and I start handing out the assorted technology- “YOU get an iPad, and YOU get an iPad, and YOU get an iPad!” Hey, travelling with young children is survival of the fittest time: no judgement.
This bag I speak of must be large, must be lightweight, must be functional, and obviously, must be stylish. I also encourage purchasing pieces that you can use in-flight and beyond. For example, once emptied of the 30 lbs of supplies, my tote then doubles as my daytime handbag for the rest of my trip. Bonus.
If totes and convertible bags are not exactly your thing, I cannot recommend a backpack enough. After years of mocking my husband’s obsession of travelling with a backpack, I’m eating my words and full-on endorsing the trend. You can check out my best backpack picks HERE.
Wishing you all safe (and stress free) travels!
Here’s today’s confession: as much as my life is openly documented on social media, I actually hate taking pictures.
I always sort of feel goofy in photographs and I’m always more interested/distracted in what’s going on around me to physically stop, set up and start photographing. Entire vacations have past and all I have to show for them is one or two photos that we reluctantly took, just to say we did it. This past week was different though. Whether it was the gorgeous surroundings, the lack of children, or just me finally getting over my self consciousness about being a “tourist,” I made a serious effort to really enjoy my surroundings and capture fleeting moments that may never be repeated. So let’s begin…
Not a bad view to take in during a morning walk…
First stop: SILVERADO VINEYARDS.
We were lucky enough to get a private 4×4 tour of the property and the ultimate wine tasting experience- under an oak tree in the middle of the vineyard.
Vineyard #2: DOMAINE CHANDON, for the prerequisite bubbles.
CAKEBREAD is the perfect stop if you’re a foodie. They’re food and wine pairing was delicious!
Interested in a little change of scenery? How about the caves of DEL DOTTO. A word of advice… do NOT touch the cave walls. That’s not stone you see below. That’s all 100+ year old green MOLD! It was perhaps the most foul thing I have ever felt in my life. Lesson learned.
The design fiend in me loved the SWANSON VINEYARDS SIP SHOPPE. Such a cute little space with great wines and a whole lot of style. Designed by Jack Spade (Kate Spade’s hubby) and under ownership by the Swanson Family (of TV dinner legend), it was the perfect place for a photo opportunity and who are we kidding… MORE WINE.
The town of Yountville is filled with rotating art installations, like these cute little guys.
While my gentleman of a husband was hauling through downtown San Francisco traffic to return our rental car, I was treated to a little coffee break by the MANDARIN ORIENTAL as I waited for our room to be ready. It’s a rough life.
Our view by day.
… and our view by night.
Scenes from the farmer’s market at the FERRY BUILDING… I could have spent hours wandering through the stalls.
Some of the most beautiful grapes I’ve ever seen.
It was so nice to have a day or two to just wander without a schedule or plan. Before dinner in Hayes Valley (BAR JULES– check it out!), we wandered into this place. No marked name, no pretense, and the optimal spot for people watching entertainment. Very San Francisco.
Couldn’t leave San Francisco without a visit to the Painted Ladies and Alamo Square Park! Uncle Jesse and the Tanners would have been proud. What can I say, I’m a child of the 80’s!
…and that’s a wrap!
Hope you all have a great day. I’ve got some unpacking to attend to!