So I was the first to touch down in Nassau and from the airport it was just a 30 minute ride across a bridge to get to Paradise Island. The beauty of staying on Paradise Island is that you can easily get back and forth to downtown Nassau if you want, simply by taking a taxi or by ferry. Once I pulled up to the Hotel RIU Palace Paradise Island I was ready to kick off my shoes and head straight to the beach. The RIU is an all-inclusive resort, so I was greeted in the lobby with a fresh cold glass of rum punch and at check-in was given a wristband and my room key.
The Hotel RIU Palace Paradise Island put us up in one of their corner suites overlooking both the beach and the pool. It was absolutely beautiful. The room was spacious and the view was breathtaking.
Of course I went straight for the closest mirror for a “straight-from-the-airport-hair-tied-chillin-with-no-makeup-on” selfie. #bloggersbelike #selfietime
After jumping on the bed like a little kid and throwing my swimsuit on, I was ready to head to the pool.
Because the Hotel RIU Palace Paradise Island is all inclusive, we ended up spending the majority of our time in the Bahamas right on the premises. There were cocktails, amazing food, poolside activities and more included.
By the second day, I was ready to hit the beach. Lexi and I got up early and headed down to soak up sun while waiting for Jessica to arrive.
Lexi and I had a blast on the beach. The local Bahamian men (Baha men? IDK) kept trying to take us on “private” jet ski rides. Needless to stay, we stayed on land.
The beach on the Hotel RIU Palace Paradise Island premises is absolutely beautiful. There are complimentary beach chairs and umbrellas as well for your use. And of course courtesy towels for hotel guests.
The next day we ventured next door to the Atlantis Resort to check out the on-site aquarium as well as the water park. I LOVE water parks so I was stoked.
Atlantis is absolutely beautiful. It definitely lives up to the hype. I remember watching commercials for the resort as a kid saying “Man I want to go there!” Finally had my chance and it was so totally worth it.
The girls and I saw all types of marine wildlife at Atlantis. They offer really cool activities like swimming with dolphins, snorkeling with stingrays, and more. Here we are at the aquarium fascinated by the sharks above head.
I was all like “Mama, I made it!” Absolutely loved Atlantis. After this point (obviously) I couldn’t take any more pics because we had to lock our phones away in lockers. I took a swim in one of their many pools, sailed down the lazy river, and hit three major water slides. So much fun and an unforgettable experience. If you’re headed to Paradise Island, you MUST visit Atlantis.
That about wraps up my weekend with the girls for our second Caribbean Crawl (Bahamas Edition). I had SO much fun and the best part is that my airfare to and from Nassau was really reasonably priced. I flew Jet Blue direct from JFK to Nassau and was able to score a great last-minute deal. For more travel tips, check out my post about My Dream Getaway Destinations & 3 Tips For Making Yours A Reality.
Have you ever been to the Bahamas? What were some of your must-see places to go and things to do? Leave me a comment!
#CaribbeanCrawl (Bahamas Edition) was sponsored in part by RIU Hotels and Motions Hair. All opinions expressed herein are my own and not those of the company.
It took me a while to get comfortable with posting pictures of myself in a bathing suit. Whether it was on my personal social media pages or right here on the blog, I’ve always been so self-conscious about baring it all in either a one-piece (with my thick thighs on display) or a two-piece (that literally shows every curve. But what I’ve found is that there are certain silhouettes that are super flattering for my body. And since figuring that out, I ONLY wear those types of suits. Here are some of my personal favorites:
1. The V-Neck One-Piece Suit
The reason a V-Neck suit works so well for me is mainly because of my bust. I have breasts that are large in proportion to the rest of my body, so the most flattering cuts for me are actually v-neck. I aim for suits that have support but still emphasize my assets. I’m also big on prints (obviously) so this suit from Joe Fresh was absolutely perfect. It has a belt to cinch me in at the waist as well, which is the key to appearing slimmer.
2. The High Waisted Two-Piece
High-waisted swimsuits are perfect for those of us who want to hide our midsection and instead accentuate the legs and a slim waist. I really love my legs and my best attributes are all about my waist, so the high-waisted suit is perfect. It gives a little retro chic while still working for many different body types and allowing you to be conservative where you need it most.
3. The Little Black Suit
When all else fails, go with a black suit! It’s slimming on every body type, it matches all accessories and it’s a swimsuit must-have, whether you opt for a two-piece or a one piece. The suit above is from Old Navy. I snagged it at least 2 years ago and it’s still going strong. Here I am wearing it on my recent trip to the Bahamas. This silhouette is perfect for my shape and the rouching on it hides imperfections. Win- win.
Have you blogged about your fave swimsuit recently? Join our linkup below! Also if you have questions about which swimsuit is best for you, hit me in the comments section!
Summer time is all about soaking up sun, spending quality time outdoors and getting away from home! As you guys know from my countless travel stories, I absolutely love to get away. There are a few items I never leave home without when I’m headed on an excursion that includes the beach.
Whether it’s close to home (I took baby Cadence on her first beach trip last weekend!) or far away (like my recent weekend trip to the Bahams), here are some tried & true beach getaway essentials I always pack:
When I only have space in my carry-on or beach bag for ONE hair product, I always opt for a great conditioner. You can use it to detangle your hair, to protect it before swimming and to restore it afterward. It’s also perfect for co-washes.
The best time to detangle your hair is right out of the water when it’s still damp. Dentangling on dry hair is a nightmare. This Tangle Teezer makes life way easier. It detangles without the breakage and gets my curls in order so quickly.
3. Lightweight Face Moisturizer
When going away on a beach getaway, you want to pack moisturizers that are light and easily absorbed. Humidity and high temperatures can leave your skin super oily. I love this Olay Fresh Effects Hydrating Gel. I wrote a post about it here. It’s great for summer and also comes in sample/travel size.
4. Lightweight Body Lotion
The same goes for body lotion. I opt for something light and easily absorbed. This Aveeno Daily Moisturizing lotion is a classic and easily absorbed. This also comes in travel size if you can’t fit the full size in your bag.
Pardon this commercial interruption. Cadence wanted to tell you guys to always pack your sunscreen. And never leave home without your babies. Can’t wait till she has her little passport so I can bring her on my international excursions. Sunscreen by Aveeno Baby.
5. CC Cream
I love two-in-one makeup products when headed beachside. Nothing too heavy. Tinted moisturizers, BB and CC creams are great if you want a light coverup after swim activities (I don’t wear this in the water). CoverFX CC Cream is my go-to. I blogged about it HERE and still going strong with this one.
6. Waterproof Eyeliner
Eyeliner is a great, easy way to highlight your beautiful eyes. And I’ve found that I can throw it on with a little lipgloss for a polished makeup look. Opt for a waterproof formula if you’re planning to swim. This Stila Cosmetics Stay All Day Waterproof formula is perfect.
7. Lip Gloss
Lip gloss is normally my go-to over full on lipstick for the beach. Unless I’m planning to chill beachside without actually swimming (which happens sometimes), I opt for a sheer gloss with a hint of color. These Stila lip gloss colors are my faves.
The Wildberry is a nice sheer pink for daytime and the Dazzleberry is a little more intense with a hint of sparkle for statement lip looks. Both colors available in the Stila Color Me Glossy Lip Set ($28.00)
8. Travel Size Sunscreen & Hand Sanitizer
If you’re spending any time in the sun, you need sunscreen. And if you’re leaving your house, ever, you need hand sanitizer. I have a complete list of sunscreens that I’ll touch on in another post, but if you’re on the go and missed a few essentials like these, head to your local pharmacy like Walgreens to pick them up. Just don’t head to the beach without them.
Shop My Beach Getaway Essentials Below:
What are some of your beauty essentials for a beach getaway? Did I miss anything?
This post was sponsored in part by Motions Hair. All opinions expressed herein are my own and not those of the company.
As you guys already know, anytime I head on a fun trip whether it’s to Palm Springs for Coachella, to Barbados for #CaribbeanCrawl or to South America for a week-long excursion in Ecuador, I come right back here and tell you guys all about it. Just this past weekend, I went on Part of #CaribbeanCrawl and spent a fun weekend in Paradise Island, Bahamas. Travel – both domestic and international- has been a passion of mine for years. Ever since I spent a semester of college abroad in Europe traveling to multiple countries, interacting with people from different cultures, eating food I’ve never tried, and shopping for unique items – travel has been a true passion of mine. I plan to visit as many places as possible before I leave this earth. You learn SO much from getting out of your comfort zone and experience new places, people and things.
With that said, I’m super excited to partner with Capital One’s #YesMiles campaign this summer. The campaign is all about saying “Yes” to those fun travel excursions you’ve been putting off, and taking those trips you’ve been dying to book but haven’t been able to. As much as I love fashion and beauty and all things pretty, travel is where I’ll always invest my money because shoes get old and clothes go out of style, but your travel experiences live with you forever. Capital One is making it easier for frequent travelers to get the most out of spending with their new Capital One Venture Rewards card. It allows you double the miles for every dollar you spend on the card and you can use your miles ANYWHERE and for ANYTHING related to travel. No blackout dates, no restrictions, no expirations. It’s kind of amazing.
My Dream Destination
As part of the #YesMiles campaign I was asked to share with you all what my next Dream Destination locale is. And undoubtedly that would be Thailand. I’ve been dreaming of visiting this beautifully immense Southeast Asian destination for years. Maybe it was after reading Eat, Pray,Love. Perhaps it was after seeing Cycle 6 of America’s Next Top Model and imagining myself swan-like atop an exotic elephant (don’t judge me). Or perhaps it was after having my first taste of Thai food and falling it love with it. I’m not sure when my obsession with Thailand began but it is at the top of my bucket list of destinations.
I really believe that everyone should have a dream destination. Some place on your vision board that you want to experience at least one time in your life. It may surprise you, but dream destinations are easier to get to than you think these days. With resources like travel booking websites, flight price calculators and even rewards cards like the Capital One Ventures card, you can really get to these places much easier than you think. Based on my personal experiences, here are three quick tips for getting to your personal dream destination:
3 Tips For Making Your Dream Destination A Reality
1. Travel in a Group!
The majority of my recent travel excursions (and the ones that were most memorable) were trips I took with my girlfriends. There’s nothing like a great group trip and the beauty of it is that not only do you share amazing experiences together, but you also SAVE by splitting costs for everything from accommodations to car rental fees to appetizers at a local restaurant! On Part 1 of the #CaribbeanCrawl in Barbados, I went with my three blogger friends Jessica of Glamazons Blog, Lexi of LexiWithTheCurls and Danielle of TheStyleandBeautyDoctor. Traveling in a group is a great way to save money and still get to your dream destination. Also, penthouse suites and 2-3 bedroom villas can easily be split and can cost you less than an individual hotel room. The more the merrier!
2. Book A Getaway (Flight + Hotel Together)
Booking both your flight and hotel through the same service definitely has its advantages price-wise. Jet Blue, for example has specific Getaways packages that can save you major bucks simply because you book the flight and hotel stay all in one. Simply plug in your destination and a host of flight and hotel deals will be available to you. Using a rewards card like the Capital One Venture Rewards Card give you the flexibility to book travel on any of these websites, whether it’s airline-specific like Jet Blue or general like Expedia.com. There’s no limit as far as the number of miles you must have to use your rewards, and what’s even better is that if you’re planning to travel internationally (outside the USA), there are no foreign transation fees. #winning
3. Check Last Minute Flight Deals
This weekend I went to Paradise Island, Bahamas and my flight was less than $400 round trip! I booked my flight super last minute (less than 2 weeks before traveling) and I was able to get a really amazing deal. If you’ve been dying to go to a Caribbean destination like Puerto Rico, the Bahamas or Mexico (for example) and you happen to have a little extra money in the bank one weekend – check flights! Don’t be scared to book last minute travel because often when airlines don’t sell out of a flight and have available seats, the prices drop down super low. This is especially true for times of the year when people typically don’t travel like March and September.
I hope these travel tips help! Stay tuned as I’ll be doing research on my dream destination – Thailand- and telling you guys all about what I plan to do when I make it there.
What’s your dream destination? What exotic place have you always wanted to travel to? Leave a comment below and let me know!
This post is sponsored by Capital One as part of their #YesMiles campaign program. All opinions expressed herein are my own and not those of the company.
So as you guys know, I’m a blogger through and through. I put my words, thoughts and experiences on (digital) paper and I show you guys via pictures everything I love in fashion, beauty, travel, fitness and more. I love doing this. Hence why I’ve been doing it consistently for 5 years and why my blog is so near and dear to me. It’s how I express myself and share my life with you all!
On the pink carpet at BeautyCon NYC
This life-sharing obviously takes many forms. Some share their experiences on blogs (like myself), others do so strictly on social media like Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Then there are a good percentage of people that share their lives on YouTube. The world of YouTube is immense and full of wonder. I was reminded of this when I attended the BeautyCon NYC Conference last month. I was invited by the organizers to attend and enjoy the festivities as it was the very first BeautyCon to land in New York City.
Attendees at BeautyCon NYC
BeautyCon NYC was huge! There were products and vendors, YouTube beauty & style stars at every corner, live Q&A’s and so much more. It was ALOT of fun and I met so many people.
And most all of them had found a knack for sharing their life and loves with the world via YouTube. So I started to think about how I share myself. And to be honest, blogging is nowhere near as invasive as being on YouTube. With video, people can see and hear and experience EVERYTHING about you. You can cut, clip and edit all day but you’re way more exposed to the world on video than you are in pictures.
But despite the lack of privacy, what I love about it is that you really feel like you can get to KNOW someone on there. I look at my favorite YouTubers almost like they are my good friends. And I know for many of you, it’s the same with bloggers.
I mean some of my best blogger friends, I met first online so I get it. But there’s definitely something special about seeing and hearing a person move across the screen that brings you a little deeper into their world.
So here are some reasons why I’m considering relaunching my YouTube channel:
1. My life goes WAY beyond fashion and beauty.
Although I tend to stick to those themes on LoveBrownSugar.com, now that I’ve just had a baby and I’m moving into a new chapter in my life, I have SO much more to share than just my love for clothes, makeup, shoes and the like. I do touch on a lot of those things here on the blog, but I definitely feel I would be able to give a closer glimpse into my world if I talked about it more often on a platform like YouTube.
2. I could use some new skills.
Now that I work on my blog full-time, I’m constantly being challenged with the importance of professional development. When you work at a company for someone else, it’s often integrated into your career path. Your job may offer on-site training, or scholarships for workshops, courses and even grants for full post-graduate degrees if you agree to work for the company. When you work for yourself, you are essentially responsible for your own professional development. And having the skill of communicating on camera as well as editing videos could really come in handy for someone like me.
3. I want to hear from you!
What I LOVE about YouTube (and incidentally what some people hate about it) is that your audience can directly connect to you so easily. The YouTube commenting system is super easy and seamless so I find that when I do post a YouTube video (the few times I have), I tend to get comments and questions right away, which is awesome! I love connecting with you guys on social media and I think YouTube would be another great platform to do that.
Anyway, it’s just something I’m thinking about as the blog is coming up on it’s 5 Year Anniversary. My dream is for LoveBrownSugar to continue to be a platform for discussions, discovery and encouragement for you all.
So, tell me your thoughts! Do you think I should consider relaunching my YouTube channel? Would you watch me rant & rave about fashion, beauty, baby and more? Let me know in the comments section.
When I posted about the Summer Protective Hairstyling Brunch the other week, I got a ton of comments from you guys on Instagram, Facebook, etc asking about where my playsuit was from. Well I figured I’d do a post about it. No better way to show you the look than with a LBS Chic post!
This particular playsuit is from Boohoo Plus. It’s the Kimbillie Floral Long Sleeve Playsuit ($50)and it’s a really great way for girls with curves to jump into the romper/playsuit trend. Though I love me a good romper/playsuit, it isn’t always easy to try this trend, especially if you’re self conscious about your midsection or your legs. The trick is choosing a forgiving fabric that isn’t too clingy and that gives you a little bit of breathing room. This piece does a great job of that.
Getting a playsuit in a neutral color is great, but there’s something special about an amazing print. Florals are my favorite, so when I saw this Boohoo Plus piece I jumped to it. Boohoo sent me this piece as well as a Carol Crossback Swing Dress and the Katie Woven Skort.
Boohoo Plus has a really dope collection of dresses, outerwear, tops and more for girls with curves. I fell in love with Boohoo.com a few years ago when I was first introduced to the site before their official US launch.
Ever since I realized that my twistouts, braidouts and overall natural hairstyles come out best on stretched hair, I began to educate myself on the best ways to stretch my hair without retaining heat damage. One method is to let my hair dry in braids and another method I use when I’m in a rush is blowing my hair out on low or cool heat settings. With this method, you really need to have a great hairdryer – one that allows for optimal control and also has different heat settings.
When RED by Kiss reached out to me about their newest product, I was instantly intrigued. Just last month, RED by Kiss introduced their new Handle-Less 1875W Hair Dryer to the market. I thought this was just genius.
One of the hardest parts about blowdrying my natural hair is being able to balance the dryer with the styling tools at the same time. The handle is ALWAYS in the way! And many times when I would try to hold just the nozzle portion of the hairdryer, it gets way too hot for me to handle after a while. Well, the RED by Kiss Handle-Less 1875W Hair Dryer accounts for all of that and makes it super easy to blow out your hair with precision and ease.
It comes with three attachments – a concentrated nozzle (for round and paddle brushes) and two Pik nozzles (which is BOMB because hairdryers these days don’t come with them anymore!) for curly girls who want to blow out their kinks easily.
I started my first trial of the dryer on wet freshly-shampooed hair. After applying some leave-in conditioner and oil I let the hair dry for a few minutes in chunky braids.
When I released the braids, my hair was slightly damp before I began to blowdry it.
The dryer was so easy to use. I literally could maneuver it the way my hairstylist normally maneuvers the dryer at the salon – it was great. This was literally the fastest I’ve ever gotten my hair straightened.
After just 15-20 minutes, my whole head was dried and blown out (and my fingers weren’t burning!). I used some serum to reduce the frizz but I definitely can contribute some of the sleekness to the ceramic tourmaline technology in the dryer. It helps reduce frizz and keeps your hair smooth longer.
That day, I had a long day of events and shoots, so I pinned my hair up into a pompadour – quick & easy and sophisticated. I just used a few hair pins to bring the hair up to my crown and hold the strands in place. This is a great style for blow-dried hair because your hair should still have some texture at the root. If it’s flat-ironed, my hair would be too fine for a style like this one.
I was first sent to the eye doctor for a checkup at the tender age of 5. I sat in that big black tall leather chair as the doc asked me to read letters off of a chart. Some of them I could see clearly and others I couldn’t. I did my best and at the end of it all, my mom told me I had this weird thing I couldn’t pronounce called “astigmatism”.
From that day forward I wore corrective lenses and my love/hate relationship with glasses began.
Watching this video from Glasses.com brought back all those memories, as the main character “Eleanor” gets her glasses as a child and they carry her through her world explorations and revelations as an adult. Take a look:
These days, glasses are more of a fashion statement than a faux pas. Back in my elementary school years, I was called everything from “four eyes” to “nerd” because of my little round spectacles.
Back then I had red round-shaped ones with a little string on the outside of them like a librarian, so they wouldn’t fall off or get lost. God forbid it was raining or humid, they would fog up so bad I couldn’t see! Sigh…the elementary school struggle.
Despite my disdain for having my eyesight issues so publicly displayed, I continued to wear them until I hit college. I spent my latter years of college wearing contacts instead of glasses but quickly went back to my love for spectacles once I left. By the time I graduated, spectacles were considered a fashion statement. The “nerd” trend was in, albeit 20 years later. Now I wear them while I’m working on the site. I instantly feel smarter (hah!)
Websites like Glasses.com make it so much easier for you to love your glasses and your overall look because they make the search to find a chic pair so easy. You can find a pair of spectacles that mesh perfectly with your personal style and make them uniquely you. They let you shop by your Face Shape, Spectacle Size, Color, anything you need. To find the perfect pair of specs head to Glasses.com and start your search. You won’t be dissapointed!
Have you ever worn glasses? How do your specs represent your style?
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Glasses.com through their partnership with POPSUGAR. While I was compensated by POPSUGAR to write a post about Glasses.com, all opinions expressed herein are my own and not those of the company.
I can’t believe it’s June already! 2014 is almost halfway complete and there is still SO MUCH I still have left to accomplish before the year ends. Unfortunately I got a late start on achieving my health/weight goals this year because of BabyBrownSugar. Instead of cutting down on calories and exercising more, I had to eat more (breastfeeding will do that to you) and stay in the house with a newborn for nearly 4 months. Sigh..not the best way to kick off my #operationsnapback.
This past Saturday I was invited by Ijeoma of KlassyKinks to sit on a panel for a really dope event called the Summer Protective Hairstyling Brunch. Sponsored by hair company Haute Klassy Kinks, the event was centered around ways for naturals to rock really dope protective styles during the summer. As someone who frequently does protective styles I was asked to weigh in and shed some light on my techniques.