Following up on my last post that had all mesh styles for your Halloween look with another themed-post. As mentioned many times before, I definitely not a big fan of dressing up in a costume. I’d rather just toss on a black top that I can wear again on a ‘regular day’ and maybe (key word: maybe) throw on some bunny ears and some heavy makeup. Call me boring but I just can’t get into it, guys! I do love me some Hocus Pocus, PSLs, and pumpkin patch action though!
I created a poll on Instagram (I LOVE the new poll feature) to find out if you guys like dressing up on Halloween or if it’s just me. The results were pretty much split down the middle between ‘JUST GIMME A MASK’ and ‘I GO ALL OUT’. So that prompted me to curate a quick guide for the anti-costume, lazy girl. Any of these tops, tees, masks, and lipsticks are just the right amount of effort that someone like me can fathom putting into Halloween without being totally lame!
To be completely honest, I’m not super into the costume aspect of it. I feel like there’s 2 sides of the spectrum when it comes to Halloween. You’re either a “Halloween person”…or you’re just not. I am the latter.
Fun fact: When I was in college, I tried to make a candy-themed Katy Perry “California Girls” costume and it lit-er-ally fell apart at a frat house. I had to change into one of my guy friend’s shorts and t-shirt and was left wearing just tacky remnants of the costume. Mens clothing + a pink wig + stilletos = major costume FAIL. That was it for me.
With that being said, for those of you who aren’t into costumes either and plan to do some serious Halloween YouTube makeup instead, I gathered my favorite mesh tops and dresses for you. Mesh is perfect for Halloween in my opinion. Plus, you can totally wear these styles after the fact.
Morning, guys. I am so excited to share this recipe with you all and by the sound of it, I think my IG friends are too!
These are truly to-die. And who knew you could BAKE donuts in a mini muffin pan?? I assumed they’d be much drier than your standard donut shop fried donut but nope, just as good. If not better. Can we also talk about how easy these are to make… It’s one of those recipes where once you have the ingredients and spices, then they only take 15 minutes max.
I have a feeling I’ll be making these donut holes more than once this fall!
Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, all spice, and cloves in a bowl
In a separate bowl, mix egg, buttermilk, and vanilla extract
Pour liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir
Add pumpkin puree and melted butter
Fill muffin tin
Bake for 10 minutes
After the donuts cool, roll in butter then cinnamon/sugar mixture
Be sure to let me know if you make these so we can drool over them together. Also — share your donut recipes with me, please! Now that I know that I can make them without frying oil, I am ready for round 2.
I’m off to a birthday party soon then I’ll be shooting another fall recipe later today.
I had you guys ask me anything on my last blog post & IG Story! I sifted through my emails and DMs and figured I’d start with a few questions and save some for next time! So let’s get right to it…
Question: “Help us adult.”
Guys. So many of you asked for adulting 101 advice. When Josh read that he laughed! And I couldn’t help but laugh too. TBH, I am the busiest I’ve ever been right now and my life is typically a bit of a hot mess. I’m almost always running out the door (and eating breakfast in the car), I never have groceries, I’ve had low air in my tire for 3 months, and I missed the deadline to pay my last credit card statement this past month. There are so many things to remember and keep up with, am I right!? **First world problems** So while you can see that I clearly don’t live a perfectly organized “adult” life, I’ve definitely learned a lot since moving into my own apartment last May. To each their own, but I highly recommend living solo for at least a year.
Question: “What’s your favorite store in Pittsburgh?/Where do you like to shop?/Where do you get all of your clothes?”
I am a huge online shopper. I have actually grown to kind of hate malls. On rare occasions, I will be in the mood for a good mall-splurge and I’ll leave with a big yellow bag from Forever 21, 5/25 VS undies, and fall-scented Bath & Body Works candles. My favorite online shopping destinations: Urban Outfitters, ASOS, Missguided, REVOLVE, Amazon. Oh and I just finished a project with Kristi Boutique in Aspinwall and it is so, so adorable. Be sure to stop if you’re in the area.
Question: “What do you use for black spots — the spots we have on our nose for example?”
I’m not sure what this person meant exactly but I’ve been using Rosehip Oil for over 4-5 weeks now and it is supposed to help with hyperpigmentation. Exfoliating on a consistent basis helps to reduce my pore size too!
Question: “What is your go-to curling iron/How do you get your beach waves so perfect”
I use this 1-1.5 inch curling wand. Super affordable and I’ve had it for years! I never curl my ends and I always curl away from my face.
Question: “How do you find time to balance your blog with your full time job?”
I’m still trying to figure that one out. I definitely would love to put out more content on a more consistent basis but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. My best advice would be to plan ahead. Keep an organized planner. It always helps me to keep a running list of blog topics in my notepad that come to me at random times (like before falling asleep or when I’m in line at the grocery store). It’s also very important to shut off every now and then to focus on relationships, friendships, family, and yourself. A girl can only do so much!
Question: “I read your blog post about how you shave your face. I’ve had Tinkle razors in my closet for months and I just haven’t had the balls to go ahead and do it. Do you really think it makes a huge difference?”
I wouldn’t say that its a huge game-changer but I will say that I like it a lot and would recommend trying it! Some reasons why I am a fan of female face shaving: exfoliates, better product absorption, smoother skin. Read my full blog post here for more details.
Question: “What filters do you use?”
VSCO P5 at different strengths. I use Photoshop if I really need to brighten or adjust the coloring of a photo.
Question: “What is the best way to build a greater following?”
Post, post, post. Be consistent. Figure out your niche. Stick to 1 writing style. Don’t worry about numbers. Don’t post too many sponsored posts — you don’t want your blog and social platforms to become a giant advertisement — people will notice, I promise. Be PATIENT! Your following will grow organically if you stay true to yourself. You can find more blogging tips here.
Question: “What is your favorite season for fashion?”
Fall, hands down. I live for oversized sweaters, leather, and denim.
I’ve been brainstorming the idea of doing a little Q&A for a while now so I figured tonight would be the perfect night to get the ball rolling! My brain is pretty much mush today because A. it’s Monday and B. it’s that time of month. Yup. *insert dead skeleton emoji*
So with that being said, I really do think it’s important to open up to you guys every once in a while so that we can connect, relate, and get to know each other. If you know me outside of Balance & Chaos, you know that I prefer to keep much of my life super private. My friends and family usually have to pry information out of me so this should be both challenging and fun for me!
But without further ado, I want you guys to ask me ANYTHING. It doesn’t have to be blogging related. It can just be about life, food, relationships, beauty, random curiosities, friends… you get it! Shoot me an email, leave me a message at the end of this post, DM me, or comment on any of my latest Instagram posts!! Do it.
P.S. how good is this white denim lace up jacket? I’m all about it.
P.S.S. who else is soooo excited for This Is Us Season 2 to start?!?!? Can’t wait for the waterworks!
And maybe a bazillion of other influencers’ favorite topic as well. In a world full of skincare recommendations coming at us left and right, how ever do we choose our so-called “holy grail” products?
To be quite honest, I do and I don’t.
I am not married to just one product or regimen. I like to jump around from cleanser to cleanser and switch it up from time to time. With that being said, I still definitely have my favorites.
I get a lot of DMs and emails asking me what I would recommend as far as a skincare routine. In this case, I always recommend the same products and the same tips and tricks that I KNOW work for me. Before I go through the process, keep in mind that I’d categorize my skin as normal with little sensitivity. So here we go!
+ After pat-drying, I always apply a moisturizer (this is typically a product that I switch it up with but if I had to recommend just one, I’ve always been huge fan of Fresh Youth Preserve)
+ At night, I’ve been using organic Rosehip Oil religiously which is supposedly great for moisture, treating hyperpigmentation, and evening out/brightening skin tone (I’ve only been using Rosehip Oil for 4 or so weeks so I don’t want to speak too soon but I will follow up!)
+Micro-needling helps to boost the body’s supply of collagen which can tighten the skin and minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. I use this exact one.
+ Female face shaving. Yep! It helps to exfoliate and remove dead skin which leaves the face super smooth and soft. I use these Tinkle razors (DON’T try to use a regular razor)
+ Sleeping with a SILK pillowcase supposedly is great for anti-aging! This is new to me but you know I had to try it! After doing some research it kind of makes sense: “Cotton scratches and tugs on skin and grabs and twists hair, resulting in visible premature stretching, sleep creases, damaged hair, and bed-head by morning. Slip silk is so gentle, it allows skin and hair to glide across the surface—protecting and hydrating skin, reducing split ends, and ensuring a longer-lasting blow out”. I’m all about maintenance so this is all me.
I’m always looking for new skincare tips. Leave your best ones below!
Hope everyone is having a decent Monday. The first day of the work week isn’t always the easiest but sometimes I try to look at it “glass half full” and treat Monday as my day to reset and restart. I started my day with coffee and a scoop of Collagen Peptides(read why I drink collagen here) a HIIT workout from the Tone It Up Series, and a solid, protein-packed breakfast from Pittsburgh Fresh(…more on that later). I’m feeling pretty good to say the least and I’m looking forward to tackling my next on-going task/goal:
DE-CLUTTERING MY LIFE.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I live in fairly small apartment with little storage space and the amount of “stuff” that I own can be a bit overwhelming at times. However, there is no one to blame but myself for that.
Just a brief visual inside my 2 small closets: There are shoe boxes, clothing items, photography equipment, poster boards, and other miscellaneous items strategically stacked and “jenga-ed” so that it’s all out of view. My drawers: a hot mess. As for my bathroom closet: there are far too many beauty products to even begin to name. And my kitchen pantry: I have about 20 mugs and dozens of health supplements/seeds/weird powders that I forget that I even have.
For the most part, I’m a very clean person and I can’t stand the sight of clutter. However, I like quick fixes so this is why my closets, pantries, and drawers take the hit. If you walked into my apartment and didn’t open any doors, you would probably classify me as type A. However, these short-cut habits result in a veryyyyy disorganized life behind the scenes.
That’s what brought me to my reasoning for the urgent need to de-clutter everything. My goal is to purge my life and closet of anything that is completely unnecessary and set limits on my mentality for future purchases. To be completely candid, as a blogger, I’m constantly receiving packages and goodies. I am by no means complaining but I realize that this is just part of my problem and why I tend to feel overwhelmed by what I have. If you’ve noticed, I’ve been trying to host giveaways more frequently in attempt to both rid myself of excess and give back to you guys! WIN, WIN, right?!
Here are 5 reasons why I think de-cluttering is beneficial…
$$$$$$$$$ – This one is simple. Less “treat yo self” = more free money. While I strongly support moments of self-rewarding indulgent behavior, I could probably tone that attitude down a bit. Saving money now will pay off in the long run.
Purging has taught me to be mindful of what I have. Through this process, I’ve become more aware of what I have (who knew that cute skirt was in the back of my closet??), what I need, and what’s important. It’s easy to lose track of material items when you’ve hoarded so much in a lifetime. When deciding what I want to keep and what I should pitch, I try to keep in mind my solid daily routine. What are the products that I actually use? Are there any supplements that were a one-and-done thing? Do I actually need that trendy jacket that I’ll probably only use for a shoot?
A cleaner space and a cleaner mind. Like I’ve already mentioned, if my apartment isn’t in tip top shape, I kind of mentally can’t function. This sounds crazy, but I can’t relax on the couch if I know I have dishes to do or a pile of clothes in my bedroom. So for me, less stuff means less to clean and organize which means less maintenance which means less to worry about.
While I’m sure there are a dozen more reasons why simplifying is beneficial, I wont over-state the obvious. Thus far, I’ve donated 3 big bags of clothing to Goodwill. If I hadn’t worn it in 6 months, I tossed it into the bag. I’m working on my kitchen pantry after this blog post is published then my next endeavor is the bathroom (DUN, DUN, DUN — how will I ever simplify?!) I realize that this is will be an on-going lifestyle change but it definitely needs to happen in order to start fresh.
What tips do you have that help to keep your expenses and living space in line?
I’m sporting this metallic orange skirt with a plain tee and simple white tennis to keep it veryyyy low key. Wearing sneakers and skirts or dresses has become an obvious pattern here on B&C, don’t you think? Remember this maxi skirt + muscle tee look from earlier in the summer? And most recently I paired a cute gingham mini-dress + sneaks on B&C too. I’m actually wondering myself when this trend will fade. It makes picking shoes so easy!
Anyway, how are you guys spending your holiday? I have had no obligations the entire weekend which has been awesome. This summer has been hectic so I am loving this long lazy weekend.
So obviously there are some great Labor Day Weekend sales going on right now that I must share! I’ll link my top picks from a few different sales below.
P.S. Don’t miss my GIVEAWAY with Vital Proteins on my Instagram. I’m giving away Collagen Peptides, Vanilla Collagen, and a Collagen mug OR Marine Collagen, Collagen Beauty Water, and a water bottle to TWO WINNERS. Read why I drink VP Collagenhere.
Have a great weekend!
extra 30% off sale (applied at checkout) – limited time only
These are especially good if you’re trying to keep it on the lighter side but are craving some Italian goodness. And they are easy to make. I barely have time to cook these days (which is so sad!) so I’m into anything that is fast, healthy, and delicious. There’s nothing like a fresh caprese salad in the summertime.
balsamic glaze drizzle
balsamic vinegar drizzle
salt & pepper
Find more Skinni-Mini recipes just like this one here.
This is a sponsored post in partnership with Spindrift® and Her Campus Media. All words and opinions are my own.
Happy Monday everyone! I hope you guys had an awesome weekend. I worked both Friday & Saturday so my Sunday was too short but well-spent catching up on some content deadlines, brunching, a family picnic, and watching the latest episode of Power. Two things to touch on… 1. have you guys tried First Watch? Why have I not been there before?! Josh is such a fan of their avocado toast and I loved my cold brew and BLT eggs benny. ALSO – THE MILLIONAIRE’S BACON?! SO GOOD. Next time I want to try their Insta-famous A.M. Superfoods Bowl. Ok and 2. Does anyone else watch Power? It’s seriously such an aggressive, violent show but veryyy addicting to watch. Goodbye Sunday night Kardashians.
But let’s get to the point of the blog post.
Summer is winding down but that doesn’t mean my taste buds are. I crave refreshing, light, fruity flavors at all times of the year and I like to get my fix with Spindrift® sparkling water. To be honest, I don’t really like regular sodas so water has always been my one and only go-to drink of choice. But as of lately, I’ve really been into sparkling water to spice things up a bit. Do you guys remember when I used one of the Spindrift® flavors in an old cocktail recipe about a year ago (2 Ingredient Spiked Summer Seltzer)? Too good and too easy, right? I love that Spindrift®is bubbly (but not too bubbly!) and only made with sparkling water and real fruit. That’s it!
While I love to drink these as are and by themselves, if I’m feeling fancy, I like to mix and match flavors and add a few garnishes. Here’s just one my favorite ways to make a mocktail with Spindrift®:
one half parts Cucumber Spindrift
one half parts Lemon Spindrift
I get my Spindrift® at my local Trader Joe’s. Find out where you can get your hands on some here.
P.S. Stay tuned for the cutest Instagram giveaway with this brand!
This post has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SavorFallFlavors #CollectiveBias
August is here and you know what that means…
FALL IS COMIN’ IN HOT… and it’s approaching quickly! By this time of the year, I start to crave all of those cuddly, cozy fall feels. Think lots of leather (YES), oversized sweaters (more room for carb overload!), crisp mornings, and… *drum roll*… pumpkin flavored everything! I say that proudly, knowing that I am “that girl”.
To be honest, I wish seasonal flavored coffees were available to indulge in year round. But maybe that’s why they taste so dang good when that time of year rolls around!
So I have a PSA for all of you coffee-sipping addicts out there…
If you want something really delicious to start your day, then you have got to try the Starbucks® Pumpkin Spice Caffè Latte K-Cup® pods. Talk about a party in your mouth! This limited-time only Starbucks® drink goes down so smoothly and it’s spiced just perfectly. The best thing about these K-Cups® are that they can be purchased at Giant Eagle. That means FALL comes to ME right in my own home! No need to splurge on specialty drinks every morning.
I have a family-famous homemade Banana Bread recipe that my mom taught me to make that goes amazing with the Starbucks® Pumpkin Spice Caffè Latte! Here’s the recipe:
1/2 stick of butter
1 and 1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups sifted all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (about 2 medium)
Cream butter then gradually add sugar and beat until fluffy
Beat in eggs one at a time
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
Add dry mixture to creamed mixture, alternating with sour cream
Add bananas to mixture until everything blended
Grease pan and bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes
How do you guys like to start your morning? Is anyone else dependent on caffeine like I am? My routine is pretty standardized, but you can be sure that I’ll be sipping my Starbucks® Pumpkin Spice Caffè Lattes every morning during the fall season!
Be sure to check your local grocery stores for this veryy delicious coffee drink!
Hey guys! Does anyone know where July went?! I feel like it was just a minute ago that I was sitting on my butt drinking mojitos in Paradise. CRAZY.
But anyway, I’m here today to talk about BLOGGING. I get emails quite frequently asking me how/why I got started so I thought it’d be helpful to curate a little list of tips and tricks that I’ve learned along the way. While I’m still learning the game myself, I think I’ve got some good starter advice for anyone who is thinking of heading down this path.
+ First things first, think long and hard about what you want to name your blog. This is so important. Think of it as a first impression. Does this name represent you and your brand? Do you want your your blog name to be long and wordy or do you prefer it to be short and simple? Does it sound neutral, edgy or feminine? What will people envision or expect to find when they read your blog name? For example, if you want to start a fashion blog but plan to incorporate recipe posts, then maybe you shouldn’t include any fashion specific wordage. This is definitely something that I wish I would have put more thought into when I first started blogging. I remember sitting down with my sister and just picking a random, catchy name. Or so I THOUGHT it was catchy at the time. The Domestic Diva Diaries was my first born blog name. I kept the name for about a year until I realized that it totally did NOT represent me or the direction of my brand. Re-branding after a whole year of creating an image under a different name wasn’t easy but I’m so glad that I did. Side note: some of my friends still call me “The DDD”. LOL!!
+ Find your voice. Will you be funny or serious? Informative or to the point? Will you use hashtags and emojis? Be consistent with how you voice yourself on your blog and social platforms. This is a way for your readers to get to know you and your personality. Most importantly, be YOU!
+ Be consistent. This is to be said for mostly every aspect of blogging. But what I’m referring to here is to post content consistently. I must admit, this is so much easier said than done. A lot of aspiring bloggers don’t realize how much time and effort is put into keeping up with a blog and it’s social platforms so BEWARE! But think about your posting schedule before you start. Will you post twice a week? Once a week? Whatever it is that you choose, stick with it! You want your readers to catch on to when they can expect new content. You can’t drop off for a few weeks then toss up a post and expect people to read it. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that and your analytics will prove that to you.
+ Tighten up on your photography skills. People want to see aesthetically appealing images so learn as much as you can. Take a class if need be. Pinterest has awesome articles that you can use to try to teach yourself. Invest in good lighting as well as a good camera if funds allow. I use these soft boxes, this camera, and this tripod. With the right lighting and filter, iPhone pictures don’t come out so bad either so all of the fancy stuff is not always necessary to become successful. I still have so much I want to learn when it comes to photography so I can’t offer much advice but I can tell you that your photos are KEY!
+ Plan, plan, plan!!! I must admit, I am the definition of the phrase ‘procrastination at its finest’. Planning has never been my strongest suit and has caused me a lot of stress with juggling jobs and hitting deadlines. But I’ve gotten better! If you can plan ahead by making lists or dedicating certain days/times to doing X,Y, and Z then you will be way better off in the long run.
+ Make sure your blog posts are valuable to your readers. As much as you’d like to think your followers just want to see pictures of you in your latest #OOTD, they really don’t. While it works for some, I think it makes the most sense to include something that is of value within each blog post for your readers. That could be advice, a recipe, a relatable story, a playlist, or something more informative. You don’t want your readers to leave your site feeling like its all about you! Because how boring is that.
I had a ton of fun with the swim styles that I picked out for summer 2017. Maybe too much fun. **looks at credit card statement** I shared most of my bathing suits and coverups on my Instagram feed and story during my trip to the Dominican back in June. I receieved a bunch of DMs asking where I got everything from so I thought it’d be helpful to share my favorite pieces but ALL UNDER $30! By this point in the summer, most stores transition to fall and you can really luck out on some great deals! So without further ado, here are my very affordable and discounted swimwear picks:
Keeping a dewy, bronzed glow in the summertime months is easy. But maintaining that sun-kissed look year round is (very sadly) impossible in Pittsburgh. They say that “pale is in”, but I am certainly no Amanda Seyfried sooooo that doesn’t really work well for me. With that being said, I’m listing all of my favorite tanning, bronzing, and highlighting beauty products that I’ve used and loved over the years!
Of all of the self tanners that I’ve tried, Vita Liberata is my absolute favorite. I love how easy it is to apply with the application mit without looking orange and streaky. It dries super fast and doesn’t leave you sticky and smelly either!
Another favorite from the Vita Liberata collection. You don’t need to use the mit with this lotion but I always make sure to wash my hands after applying it. I like to use this particular product on a more regular basis than the mousse.
Two thumbs up for this e.l.f palette!! It sat in my drawer for the longest time but once I used it I was reaaaaal into it! I have the color set ‘St. Lucia’ and love the peach toned blush! It looks gorg on top of a tan.
I got so much heat via Instagram DM from my too-honest friends when I posted these “summer” popsicles in-the-making wearing a full blown winter outfit. It’s called air conditioning, people! I’m always freezing cold. Ask any of my family members (or Josh — who wants to kill me for setting the thermostat to 90 degrees).
Side note: that sweatshirt is super comfy and on sale so you’re actually welcome!
I ALSO got made fun of by Josh (shocker!) for looking like a (so-called) “potato bug” in my airport jumpsuit. Needless to say, I was more than satisfied when he overheard a random woman in the security line compliment me on my potato bug onesie! Shout out to that random woman!
…But I digress.
I could definitely go for one of these creamy pops right about now. Thanks to Fork Knife Swoon for the major recipe inspo! These are to-die!
1 lb strawberries
2-3 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1.5 cups full fat coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Drizzle strawberries with balsamic and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes (let them cool)
Add roasted strawberries and 1/4 cup of maple syrup and blend (should have small chunks)
In a separate bowl, whisk coconut milk (or any dairy of choice), vanilla, and other 1/4 maple syrup
layer popsicles and freeze (I purchased these molds online)
The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale has started and it’s reaaaal good. To be honest, I almost passed up posting about the #Nsale because I felt like you guys were already seeing it all over your social feeds. And I didn’t want to add to the annoyance. But by popular demand, most of you requested to see my finds/deals/favorites when I asked on Instagram! So here we are!!
**Note: my wet, ratty hair in these photos because, naturally, it’s always down pouring in the Burgh**
Myrtle Beach can’t come soon enough.
Today I’m wearing these destroyed denim longer-length shorts. Yes– LONG SHORTS. Can I get an AMEN?! Do you guys remember how freaking MINIATURE shorts were about a decade ago? I mean how did we ever even fit 1 single leg into those baby Hollister shorts?! Do they still make those? Or am I just 27 and old?
Regardless, thank god for the high-waisted trend and these long shorts because I am so not a fan of showing cheeks.
Now on to why I’m throwing in the towel when it comes to hair extensions.
Or maybe I should rephrase. I’m not “allowing” myself to get hair extensions again. And my hair stylist promised me that she wouldn’t let me either!
Sure, I loved them, and they gave me a boost of confidence! Because what’s better than long, luscious, curls? But there’s also a money and maintenance component that comes along with having fake hair. After having them for a total of about 3 years, here’s my take on hair extensions:
the beachy, loose curl look is easy to achieve
they didn’t damage my hair and my hair actually grew while I had them in
they’re super fun to have while you’re still living at home (…and aren’t broke)
they’re so, so pretty (unless your hair stylist doesn’t know how to blend them)
they are time consuming — I always had to curl them (I thought mine looked bad if I kept them straight)
they took a good chunk out of my wallet over the months and years
they are most certainly NOT practical when you have other bills to pay
it took me about 7 years to dry my hair every time I washed it
I started to feel too “fake” (to each their own, though!)
I’m aiming for more simplicity and practicality in my late twenties. Josh keeps messing with me now that I had my 27th birthday that I’m no longer in my early or mid twenties (insert shifty-eyed emoji). WE’LL SEE HOW THE NEW AND IMPROVED ADULTING PLAN GOES!!
**looks in closet and sees 30 pairs of black heels**
I’m FINALLY getting around to recapping my trip to Punta Cana with Josh! The resort that we stayed at, The Barcelo Bavaro Grand Resort, was nothing short of FABULOUS. I can’t believe it’s over.
*Cue: real tears*
The grounds at The Barcelo Bavaro were so lush and beautiful (much “greener” than resorts in Mexico in my opinion). The Barcelo Bavaro Beach was so blue, clear, and calm. This particular resort was pretty big but most of the nightlife, restaurants, and events were centrally located near the main lobby so that made it feel a bit smaller. We only used the shuttle once during our stay because everything was fairly walk-able. We were sweaty, buzzed, and tired that day…lol. The adults only area was only a quick 5 minute walk from us which had a separate buffet, different pool bars, and there were no kiddos running around. Be sure to hit up La Piña in the adults area for a frozen cocktail served in real pineapples or coconuts. Naturally, I had to get my hands on one.
So I’m just going to dive right in and highlight some things we did during our stay and what we loved about The Barcelo Bavaro! …which was just about everything!
Disclosure: While I paid for this travel, many of the services provided were complimentary. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that support Balance & Chaos!
We had access to the gorgeous spa for 45 minutes every day during our week long stay. The spa had it’s own private outdoor infinity pool with massage jets. The indoor area was super cool. It had 2 saunas (wet and dry), cold and hot tubs, and 4 different “showers”. For example there was a “Scottish Shower” and “Turkish Shower” — each which had it’s own automated system that alternated hot and cold water sprays. I need to research this because I found it super interesting! Josh and I had no clue what these showers were but we each jumped into separate ones and of course I got sprayed right in the face with cold water. Awesome!
We were lucky enough to experience a morning beach massage on the beach. The little hut that they led us to for the massage was quiet, cool, and breezy. I’m getting chills thinking about the sound of the seashell curtain during the massage! There is literally nothing better than getting up after a massage and feeling like you just DIED. And when I say “died” I mean that in a the best way possible. Our massage was followed by a bottle of chilled champagne so you can imagine we were feeling reallyyyyy good by 10:00am!
We only did 1 excursion while we were on the trip. There was a ton to do at the resort so I don’t like to speed up my vacation with too many off-resort ventures. We picked Scape Park, where you can basically customize your excursion once you get there. Of all the activities, we chose to zip-line and check out Hoyo Azul. Okay, if you know me, you know I am not “A ZIPLINER”. But shout out to Josh for forcing me out of my comfort zone and allowing me to have near death experience memories! Just like last year when I rode on the back of his jet-ski in the ocean! Alright, I’m just kidding! It was definitely safe and we had an awesome time zip-lining. I can’t believe the one line was 1/2 a mile! I totally recommend this excursion if you’re in Punta Cana.
Let me just say that I am still dreaming of the cappuccinos that they served there! You could get them anywhere but the main lobby bar made them the best with a little cinnamon sugar garnish on top of the froth.
As far as the a la carte dinners, we REALLY enjoyed Kyoto (Japanese hibachi and sushi), La Fuente (Spanish), La Dolce Vita (Italian), and La Comedie (French). You need a reservation for any of the a la carte restaurants.
The buffet is pretty much open at all hours and we preferred to eat at the one over in the adults only section. We found that this one was way more appetizing for a quick breakfast or lunch. We didn’t find out until the end of the trip but there’s a buffet at El Coral which is located right on the beach with great views of the ocean.
For breakfast one morning, we went to Hole 19 which sits on the golf course. You don’t need reservations for this restaurant which made it easy. I don’t think many people knew about Hole 19 since it’s isolated from the other dining options!
The resort had so much to do that I’m sure we missed half of the activities! Each day, there was a board that listed what was going at what time. There’s no way we could have done everything that was offered but it was nice to have so many options
Of course, there were nightly shows in the big, open-aired theater. The entertainment was actually impressive. Many of the resorts that I’ve been to have shows but they are super cheesy and plain old bad! But not at The Barcelo Bavaro. We loved the Michael Jackson performance and the circus.
The disco opened at 11:00pm every night but we were usually ready for sleep at this hour. I know, we are lame. The mixture of sun and mojitos really got to us, ya know? There was also a casino, sports bar, golf course, mini golf course, bowling alley, and water park on the resort!
Overall, we LOVED The Barcelo Bavaro Grand Resort and would recommend it to anyone. My mom is a travel agent and would loveeeee to help you book your next trip so be sure to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org (her name is Kathi and you can tell her you read my blog post!) Or you can always, at anytime, shoot me an email at email@example.com if you have any questions or comments. I love hearing from you guys!
Follow the resort on Instagram here (they are always uploading dreamyyyy IG stories)