One of my bucket list trips has always been to visit the Maldives so last year my family and I decided to take a dream vacation there. The Maldives are a series of 26 ring-shaped atolls, which are made up of more than 1,000 coral islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean, southwest of Sri Lanka and India. Because it is such a long journey to paradise, we made a stop in Dubai for two days to break up the trip and enjoyed both destinations. This tropical getaway is literally like heaven on earth and known for its powder white-sand beaches, fabulous snorkeling and luxurious resorts.
GETTING THERE: We flew Emirates Airline from LA to Dubai which took us 16 hours on a direct flight. I highly recommend this airline if you are making a long trip as the service and food are top notch. Once we arrived in Dubai, we took a five hour connecting flight to Male, the capital of the Maldives. Once we landed, we were greeted by the staff at the COMO Maalifushi hotel where they escorted us to their sea plane taking us to the island where the hotel was located (this flight was one hour). This is a very long trip from anywhere in the U.S. so I suggest you plan to visit some other nearby countries like Sri Lanka and India while there. Or, you can make a pit stop in Dubai or Hong Kong to break up the trip.
STAY: For this trip, we used the American Express Concierge Service for the first time. They recommended several properties and after researching all of them, we decided to go with the COMO Maalifushi Hotel. My husband and I had stayed at one of the COMO hotels when we were visiting Thailand on our honeymoon and had so many fond memories of this hotel group. This particular luxury property is known for its beautiful architecture, over-water villas, tropical greenery and cobalt lagoon. The COMO Maalifushi has a minimalist, spa like vibe throughout the property and offers the best in fresh organic food, spa treatments, yoga, water activities, and more. The staff is very friendly and pays extra attention to every detail that includes folding your clothing. The guests at the hotel were an international mix of sophisticated Europeans and Americans. Although Islam is official religion of the Maldives, women are able to wear whatever they want at the hotel but should be dressed appropriately when in the Male airport.
DINE: There are a few restaurants on property that take inspiration from the region’s fresh, tropical produce and abundant seafood. The food is light yet flavorful. Tai was the one restaurant on the property besides the main hotel restaurant serving the freshest sushi. There is also a shark pit in the center of the restaurant where you can feed the sharks!
EXPLORE: We took a private island tour where we went to another nearby island, had a delicious picnic, and enjoyed some of the best snorkeling anywhere. The hotel offers the opportunity to swim with the whale sharks at night but they never came out while we were there. :( Whale sharks are the largest fish species in the sea--they are 18-32 feet long and weigh up to 47,000 pounds. If you are lucky, you can snorkel next to some! I would suggest visiting the Maldives soon due to the bleaching of many of the coral reefs there. We went snorkeling every day and saw many stingrays, sharks and the most colorful tropical fish. Also, I could not get over the size of the fruit bats flying around--they are quite large but harmless.
ESSENTIALS: When packing for this kind of beach vacation, think light. I always pack easy flowy dresses that can take you from day to night and one light sweater or wrap. I suggest checking out Nudz Beachwear for so many great dress options. Make sure to bring a straw hat, beach bag from Poolside, sunglasses, a couple pairs of sandals and a great sunscreen. An underwater camera is a must-have as you will be mesmerized by all of the sea life. It's a great time to deep condition your hair because of all the salt water from swimming and the sun. Remember to pack a super moisturizing face cream and face oil. Leave any fancy jewelry at home and opt for a few delicate gold pieces that you can leave on the entire trip. Bring a great self-tanning cream like Vita Liberata to boost your tan while away so you look sun-kissed ready at all times!
I hope you get a chance one day to visit this incredible part of the world!
IRO is my go-to designer for Parisian chic wardrobe finds! Now that it's between seasons, you can snag some of their best pieces at great discounted prices! I was able to personally score so many amazing items so thought I would share the love and put together a shopping boutique of my absolute faves (this dress included).
I combed through the internet to find the best pieces on sale so click on them directly to shop before they sell out!
Have fun shopping!
With Galentine's Day around the corner on February 13th, it's a great time to look for that perfect gift and honor the Glow Girls in your life! Data from Pinterest shows that searches for "Galentine's Day Ideas" saw a 1780% year-on-year increase in 2017. I know I usually do a Valentine's Gift guide but since it's the year of the woman, I've decided to put together a girls only gift guide for those special ladies in your life. Here are my top 10 picks below.
1. New favorite fragrance: I discovered The Sage Lifestyle brand at the Indie Beauty Expo and love their Sage Onyx Roller Ball perfume. The light fragrance is an intoxicating blend of black coconut, vanilla, amber and tobacco. Plus, the roll-on bottle is so easy to use and perfect for girls on the go!
2. Beautifully curated gift boxes: Simone LeBlanc creates the most beautiful and elegant luxury gift boxes. My favorites for G-Day are the Lilly Basket (limited edition) and The Selenite Rose Ritual Bundle which is known for its peaceful, calming effects.
3. Roses with a long life (one year): Every girl loves the gift of flowers, especially if they last for an entire year. Le Fleur Bouquets have the most beautiful and luxurious arrangements and their roses come in a variety of colors.
4. Cutest and coziest PJs: The softest PJs you will ever own is one of the best gifts you can buy for a friend. You can never go wrong with a pair of pajamas by PJ Salvage with so many fab prints and styles to chose from. I love this star set which includes a hoodie and a bottom.
5. Bracelets with a mantra: I love the gorgeous beaded bracelets from Wish Beads and their purpose to help empower women create the lives they wish for. Each bracelet comes with a small piece of paper where you write down your life intentions and store them inside. These unique positivity bracelets inspire the wearer to take action.
Continue reading down and shop carousel below!
6. Crystals: I recently had an epic Intuitive Healing Session with intuitive healer and medium Amanda Daniels at Flight of the Heart where she had the most gorgeous collection of crystals in her space. These Love Crystals make a great gift for a spiritual friend and include Rose Quartz, Selenite, Rhodochrosite, Garnet, Emerald, Rhodonite, Amethyst, Carnelian. All crystals have been cleared under three nights of the full moon and charged with extra healing energies by Amanda.
7. Elegant and Versatile Clutch: I'm a huge fan of Clare V handbags and this clutch is a great piece to have as a chic wardrobe accessory. The shimmery stars are a fun and it's the perfect size to throw your phone, credit card and lipstick in for a night out with the girls!
8. Good Reads: These books will be appreciated and help enhance your girlfriends lifestyle! My newly published faves:
How To Get Sh*t Done by productivity and self-improvement guru Erin Falconer. The basic premise of the book is "why women need to stop doing everything so they can achieve everything."
The Dinner Plan by food veterans and former editors at Saveur, Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion. This book contains simple and delicious weeknight recipes and strategies for every schedule.
Judgement Detox by #1 New York Times best-selling author and spiritual motivational speaker, Gabrielle Bernstein. This book wants you to "release the beliefs that hold you back from living a better life."
9. Best phone Accessory: The Bandolier hands free crossbody iPhone case is the ultimate statement in chic utility where fashion meets function. This red one is perfect for the Galentine's Day and will add a pop of color to any outfit.
10. Glow Buddha Necklace: I own and love this great layering piece by Franne Golde. The amber beaded necklace is hand knotted and the Buddah pendant hand carved in real Swarovski Crystal. Gift your friend this pretty necklace so they can add a bit of sparkle to their wardrobe. Use my code "MM15" for 15% off your purchase!
Happy Galentine's Day!
Happy February Glow Girls! It's been one month since we made our New Years Resolutions but did we stick to them? No worries if you didn’t--you can start by implementing some of my favorite lifestyle hacks now. Read on for my top 10 tips to become a happier, healthier version of yourself.
1. DIET DAYS: Try a new eating plan to help lose a few extra pounds. Eating clean will make you feel better and get stronger! Whole 30 and the Akasha Center Food Cleanse are two of the safest and most effective diet plans.
2. FIND YOUR STUDIO: Purchase a Class Pass to try different exercise programs to find the ones that fit your lifestyle. You can go to multiple studios for great prices and at the same time try different types of exercise classes.
3. LOOK GOOD, FEEL GOOD: Motivate yourself to work out by sporting some new fashionable activewear. This helps me get in the right mindset to exercise and I also feel good wearing them straight to lunch. For the trendiest, most unique styles shop at Carbon38, Bandier and Sweat NSK. Get 15% off with discount code glow15 for all purchases from Sweat NSK.
5. CLEANER BEAUTY: Use organic and clean beauty products that are safe and effective. Some favorites include my new Olie X Melissa Meyers RoseGlow drops, and the make-up and skin care lines by Beautycounter and SAPPHO.
6. GOOD ENERGY: Keep your home healthy, fragrant and toxic-free. I use my Essential Oil Diffuser every day in my home office and love the lavender scent. Also try using this saging kit to clear out the negative energy from your space.
7. LISTEN: Tune in to audio books and self-help podcasts. My favorite audio books include The 5 Second Rule, Spark Joy and Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. For podcasts, I recommend Happier with Gretchen Rubin and The Marie Forleo Podcast.
10. SOAK IT UP: Treat yourself to a weekly bath ritual that includes lighting beautifully scented organic candles by Sanari. Try adding lavender bath salts by Suzi's Lavender and soothing bath oil by ESPA, two of my bath time favorites.
Keep glowing and enjoy reaching your happier, healthier self!
Happy Monday Glow Girls! Essie launched the prettiest taupe nail polish as part of their 2017 Fall collection. This perfect new neutral goes on opaque and does not streak like many of the latte or white shades do. I found it to be very chip resistant too! If you can't find it at your favorite nail salon, just buy and bring!
This sophisticated shade looks super clean, works with any outfit and can be your go-to color for all seasons!