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Mel's Life: #Italy

Last month, I took an epic eight day trip to Italy. After traveling to Australia, the eight hours from New York to Rome was a piece of cake. We spent our first couple of days in a spacious Airbnb in Vatican City. I cannot even lie about how geeked I was to throw open the shutters to our Airbnb and look out on to the bustling streets below. I absolutely adored the charm of the world's smallest country. Each morning, I woke up early to walk the cobblestone streets on the hunt for a cappuccino and soak in the city's vibe.

Coincidentally my friend was in town the same time as I and we grabbed a drink at a quaint little bar that served up some killer cocktails and roamed (haha) around the city until 3 am. I am not sure how I managed to avoid a ridiculous hangover the next day but I am pretty sure it was due to the excitement of being in Italy. On our last night before we left for Amalfi we went to Life Ristorante and had a killer meal. I was literally dancing in my seat the entire time I was eating. This was probably THE best meal I had the entire trip and trust I ate a lot of good food.

We took the train to Amalfi after a couple of days in Rome. It was a scenic route to Salerno and I enjoyed looking at lush green landscape as we zipped by on the fast train. In Amalfi we stayed at awesome rental property that was perched on what felt like Mount Kilimanjaro. Imagine five girls struggling with overstuffed suitcases climbing what seemed to be the staircase to heaven celebrating reaching the top only to get to the gate of our villa to discover there were more stairs (OMG). However, the view from the top made it all worth it.

Our first day in Amalfi we took a tour of one of the many Lemon gardens. It was pretty cool to see and hear about the famous lemons of the Amalfi Coast and of course taste the Limoncello. For lunch we dined on the pizza we all deserved and have been waiting on for all of our lives. Seriously...it was amazing!

The next day we took a day cruise up the coast to Capri. This was hands down my favorite activity of the trip. Nothing makes me happier than being on a boat sipping on something sparkling. The views were unreal and the crew on our boat kept the bubbles flowing freely (a little too freely lol). We stopped at the Emerald Grotto before heading into Capri.

I ended up losing my Amex because... I am me but luckily it was near the end of our trip. The next day we headed back to Rome for one last hurrah. We went to the Colosseum which was a 10 minute walk from our Airbnb. Then we spent the remainder of the day touring the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel.

Overall I enjoyed my time in Rome and Amalfi. I will definitely be back. This was one of the most relaxing vacations that I have been on.

Yum: #SipandSnack with SkinnyPop

Summer is winding down but that does not mean that we can't still treat ourselves. I tend to gravitate to lightweight snacks during the summer months. There is nothing worse than being hit with after meal fatigue in 90 degree weather (ugh)! However, I do LOVE a summer cocktail. SkinnyPop has created a great popped and paired tasting menu, that pairs five delicious popcorn flavors with a refreshing summer cocktail. My personal summer go to has been the Moscow Mule paired with the SkinnyPop's original popcorn. It is the perfect snack for flipping through magazines on my balcony in the evenings.

Mel's Life: #TurksandCaicos

For the big 3-0 my best gal pals decided to take a trip Providenciales or Provo as it is commonly referred to by the Turks and Caicos Islanders. We stayed at Villa del Mar located in the popular Grace Bay area. I must say the staff at Villa del Mar were so kind and put up with our shenanigans (Joseline voice) with a smile on their faces. The same can be said for the locals we encountered on our trip. Everyone was super nice, for a second we thought we were being duped. Talk about east coast cynicism lol.

What you really want to hear about is the beach, I know. It did not disappoint. Grace Bay is stunning!!!! The water is so clear that it resembles the gleam of diamonds sparkling in the sun. I could honestly stare at the ocean forever, and I practically did. I spent a lot of the time at the beach curled up under a beach umbrella either reading or catching some beach side zzz's. My absolute favorite part of the trip however, was the chartered catamaran. We sailed to near by Iguana island. The island gets its name because its occupied by several scary looking Iguanas. The trip was so magical that I forgot my hatred for reptiles lol.

I will say the island is EXPENSIVE so if you are headed down to Turks do not be shocked by the prices. I recommend bringing your own libations and snacks. Also, renting a car and buying some groceries unless you want to eat resort food everyday ($$$). Speaking of resort food, the best meal of the trip was at Bay Bistro, where we had a beautiful sunset dinner on the beach. Chef Clive, served delicious meals that we all raved about on our way back to the hotel.

I will definitely be visiting the island again.


Father's Day was this past Sunday, and I am grateful for my Dad every single day.  After all he is where I get my love of science and nature from. I never really thought about my dad's style until I was inspired by Bonobos. My Dad's style has gone unnoticed because I am typically raiding my mom's closet for awesomeness and praying she doesn't notice (lol).

I would describe my dad's style as comfortable and functional. My dad is very much a jeans and shirt type of guy but can mix things up when he is going out. That's why the chinos at Bonobos are perfect for him and any man who needs a multi-functional wardrobe. After all, who doesn't need a wardrobe that can do both?! Dad can easily pair the chinos with a pair of sneakers for an insta-casual look or  trade the sneakers for a pair of loafers for a dressier night time look.

Next time I am searching for wardrobe gems I might have to take a peak into my Dad's closet. Cheers to dad style! 

Mel's Life: #Sydney

Three or four years ago, I would have never imagined I'd step foot in Sydney let alone Australia but that is where I found myself in February. I was already familiar with Sydney's airport after spending an eight hour layover there. With two of those hours spent trying to access an elusive Nando's that turned out to be located outside of the gates. Any who...I had one mission and one mission only the minute we stepped foot outside the airport and that was the BONDI BEACH! We dropped our bags off at the hotel and suited up immediately. Bondi is super gorgeous but the water was a tad bit too cold and rough for my liking. However, I didn't mind the coolness of the water after soaking up the sun. Australian heat is no joke lol. After the beach we went to a cute roof top restaurant near the beach and later grabbed gelato while taking in the sunset. Not a bad why to end your first day in Aussieland.

The next day we decided to purchase an iventure card to see the cities main attractions. We decided on the flexi 5 pass, which gave us access to 5 different attractions. We made it to the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Aquarium, Zoo, the Sydney Museum, and the Queen Victoria Building.  Where do I even begin?! The Opera house is absolutely stunning. This was my wow...I'm really in Australia moment lol. I wish we could have seen a show but the next concert wasn't for hours and we were sun beaten.

Our hotel was located across the street from the Queen Victoria building...Jesus was a fence around my wallet and I managed not risk it all shopping at this gorgeous mall. After all I needed to drop money where it counted on Food! We stayed at Sydney Hilton and the later the Marriott. I would recommend staying at either hotel. The Hilton had an interesting speakeasy with a great craft cocktail list. Speaking of cocktail bars, we absolutely loved Eau De Vie, a 20's style cocktail bar. It reminded me of DC, I guess that's part of the reason I enjoyed it so much.

Overall, I enjoyed my time in Sydney and I would totally make another trip. Although, the next time I head down under I definitely want to check out Melbourne, Brisbane, and Tasmania.