2019 Valentine’s Day Gifts

My husband and I don’t usually do Valentine’s Day gifts – my birthday is four days beforehand and over the years we’ve opted for travel rather than things for gifts (although he does send beautiful flowers!). But that’s not to say you shouldn’t do regular gifts, as it’s always nice to receive one from someone special in your life, especially if it’s something you’ll use and love.

Whether you’re asking your significant other for something you’ve had your eye on or giving your bestie a treat, here’s a list of my favorite Valentine’s Day gifts of the year. These all make great gifts for any occasion!

Valentine's Day Gifts

1. Flowers that last a year. I had no idea these existed until a coworker got them a few years ago. They’re not cheap, but I do like the concept behind them – these real roses are pretty, come in several sizes and will last up to a year. They also come in smaller & bigger options.

2. A cozy cashmere wrap scarfA couple of my coworkers also have these and swear by them. This is definitely an investment piece, but is such high quality that you can go ahead and get rid of other blanket scarves once you get your hands on one of these. They also come in lots of different colors, so ask for one you’ll wear often. Select colors are on sale here and here.

3. A nice neutral, leather bag or wallet. I have this carryall bag and love it because it isn’t too big but still fits a ton and has a cross-body strap. This brand is one you can count on lasting – the leather is good quality and they keep costs down by selling direct-to-consumer. Their zip-up wallets are also great picks. Everything comes in several colors of leather, but I’m partial to the stone or blush colors because they go with everything.

4. A fresh pair of (rose) sneaks or slides. My husband and I are sneaker lovers, so they make for good gifts in our household. I personally think that rose pink is becoming a neutral – it goes with everything – and I love when that extends into my footwear. I love these sneakers and these slides.

5. Dainty gold jewelry. I’ve been into layering simple gold jewelry and these are pretty easy to pick out for someone else without much guidance. My favorite places to shop for these pieces are Missoma, Mejuri and Gorjana (linked some of my favorites, which more as you scroll the images below!).

6. Book a weekend getaway and accessorize with a suitcase or other travel supplies. You can’t go wrong with a nice suitcase (love this rose gold option) – Delsey sent me their hard shell suitcases last year and they were so great we ordered another set for my husband soon after. Other ideas: a leather passport wallet (less expensive version here) or a travel set with a silk pillow and eye mask. The cashmere travel wrap mentioned above also fits into this category.

7. Nice candles & spa-like skincare products. I’ll never be disappointed if someone gets me a good quality candle. This brand is one of my favorites and they have pretty rose gold sets right now (another here). But I’m also into soy candles like these, which are also rose gold. This set is filled with clean skincare products like a hydrating rose mist, lip conditioner and body polish.

*This post contains affiliate links.*

Friday Faves – 2.1.19

It’s frigid out, so of course that means it’s the start of February. All we’re missing is the gigantic snowstorm that typically hits around my birthday mid-month. But good news: the Pats are in the Super Bowl, so that should make for a nice Sunday Funday.

January was off to a great start over here on the blog, but then got a bit derailed toward the end of the month. My new baby nephew came a few weeks early (all good, yay!) and I traveled to Colorado for a friend’s wedding (beautiful!), followed by a last-minute work trip. I’m ready for some February hibernation and getting back to a routine. Plus the continuation of my KonMari clean-out.

Anyway, here are my Friday Faves – links I’ve read, products I’m eyeing and more. What are you loving right now?

Friday-Faves-Target-Vases

Image via Target – shop the blue & white vase here

 

In my quest for clean beauty, looking to try out a few BeautyCounter products. Which are your favorite?

Also listened to an interesting podcast with Miranda Kerr about her Kora Organics line and also need to try it out.

Way behind on my yearly photo books and think I need to switch over to Artifact Uprising after seeing this post.

My husband sent me this post on how to KonMari your technology as a not-so-subtle hint that my phone has way too many unread emails on it. On a related note, I did use her folding technique as I packed for a trip and it really helped! Watch this video to see how you’re supposed to pack a suitcase.

I’ve never used an interior designer but am trying to make updates around the house. If you’re considering working with one, this post on how to get the most out of it will help. Also, has anyone used Havenly?

Read about a few female founders and their morning hacks for starting the day off right.

Stayed at the cutest boutique hotel in Denver last weekend, The Maven, which is right in the Union Square area with lots of restaurants. More to come on that.

Obsessed with home decor at Target right now, including all things blue and white – this striped vase, these flowers/vase and this soy candle. I have them all on display together in this gold tray on my coffee table.

Very into this article about Millennials being the burnout generation. I can totally relate.

Bachelor fans: loving Kaitlyn and Jason’s new romance, but also felt sad for Shawn on this podcast.

Have my eye on this affordable gold ring for everyday wear.

Love this Serena and Lily rattan chair – it’s under $100!

Best Amazon Finds of 2018

I’m not sure what I did before Amazon Prime. It’s become my go-to for everything from dog food and kitchen gadgets, to jewelry, travel essentials and gifts. No more going to miscellaneous stores or waiting a long time for orders to come in – it’s 2 days with a click of a button. I looked back at alllll of my purchases over the past year to give you my best Amazon finds of 2018.

Tt was hard to top 2017’s Dash egg cooker or this compact spiralizer, but this year’s picks included several significant purchases for one reason or another. Whether it was changing the way I pack for travel or accessorizing with trendy, inexpensive pieces, Amazon did it all.

If you’re on the hunt for a good gift for a guy in your life, I highly recommend a Yeti cooler. And while I didn’t list out baby and toddler gifts below, I also purchased little board book sets for several of the nuggets in my life (here & here).

Here are my top picks in no particular order, which I love for all different reasons.

2018 Best of Amazon

Self-Care & Beauty:

1. Acupuncture MatIf you’re curious about what acupuncture can do for you but aren’t into needles or committing to appointments, try this super affordable acupuncture mat. Lay on it for 20+ minutes a day and relax – promise it doesn’t hurt.

[Read more…]

Fairmont Kea Lani Resort in Wailea, Maui, Hawaii

Seriously, why do I have to live so far away from Hawaii?! I’ve now been to Hawaii twice – both times visiting the beautiful island of Maui, which I love so very much. I have two full travel guides for Maui coming soon – one for Wailea and another for Kapalua, but today I’m starting off with a full overview of one of my all-time favorite hotels, the Fairmont Kea Lani. And if you’re planning a multi-island trip and heading to Kauai, be sure to check out my travel guides for Princeville (north side) and Poipu (south side). My Princeville guide is actually my most popular blog post ever, just saying!

Given the experience we had at the Fairmont Kea Lani, it comes as no surprise that this year, U.S. News Travel the resort received awards for Best Maui Hotels and Best Hawai’i Hotel. This resort was one of the main reasons we came back to Wailea. A few years ago the resort went through a $70 million renovation and let me tell you, it’s pretty incredible. One of my favorite things about it is that the entire property is made up of suites and villas, so you literally can’t go wrong with any room. Read on for lots more about our experience at the Fairmont!

Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui, Hawaii

What to Do

One of the things I love most about Hawaii is that it’s a tropical paradise while also offering lots to do to stay active. My husband isn’t one to spend a week sitting still on the beach {though I definitely could & he is getting better at it!}, so we like to have activities while we’re on vacation. And it’s always nice to do a few things that qualify as a workout to avoid getting completely off track. Plus when you’re in a place like Hawaii, anything outdoors is enjoyable!

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Floral Tank in Palm Springs

A few weeks ago, I was out in Palm Springs celebrating my mom’s birthday. We had a great long weekend exploring – hiking, eating and relaxing – away from the cold New England weather. More to come on my Palm Springs recommendations in an upcoming travel post, but in the meantime, I wanted to share an outfit I wore while I was there – mainly because I love the tank top and it’s on sale for $9.99 and available in all sizes. We got a taste of warm weather for two days last week and I cannot wait for spring to finally be here to stay!

This floral tank top is nice and lightweight and perfect for either wearing on its own with shorts or jeans or using as a layer underneath something like a jean or leather jacket. I love how flowy it is because it’s a loose-fitting top while still being flattering. I also picked up these sunglasses and cross body bag before the trip and they’ll both be staples in my spring wardrobe (& beyond!).

Floral Tank Top in Palm Springs

Shop the Look:

Tank Top ($9.99!)Similar Shorts ($35!)

Sunglasses (under $100)

Bag (also black, blush & blue; larger version here)

Sandals (also black & similar in gold)

Floral Tank Top in Palm Springs

Floral Tank Top in Palm Springs

Travel Guide: Kauai, Hawaii – Poipu

It’s finally time for part two of my Hawaii travel guide. In case you missed it, the first post covered where to stay, along with what to see, eat and do on the North shore of Kauai, in Princeville. The entire island of Kauai is the perfect place to get away and relax with beautiful scenery all around. Today I’m taking you to the South shore of the island, to the town of Poipu.

Travel Guide: Poipu, Kauai, Hawaii

Where to Stay:

We loved the Grand Hyatt Kauai, which is located right in Poipu on the water. The property is basically right on Shipwreck Beach, but since the surf was so strong, we found ourselves posted up by one of the many pools. My favorite was the salt water lagoon that overlooked the ocean, and there are also freshwater “river pools,” complete with a 150+ foot waterslide that I may have gone on about 100 times. The scenery on the Grand Hyatt property is beautiful and you truly feel like you’re in a Hawaiian paradise.

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Amalfi Coast Style

Next up on my Italy posts is a round-up of a few looks you may have seen sneak peeks of on my Instagram while I was traveling. I wore the three outfits below during my stay in Positano and Capri on the Amalfi Coast. The weather wasn’t as warm as I was hoping, but on the last day we finally got some signs of summer (and had to buy bathing suits from a local shop because we didn’t even bring them after seeing the forecast!).

Whether you’re abroad or here in New England, I love this time of year because you can really take advantage of layering looks to take you from day to night. Shop these three looks using the links below or on Insta (@dailykatyblog) with ShopStyle!

Amalfi Coast Style on DailyKaty.com

Shop the Look:

Shirt / Jeans {under $40!} / Sandals {also in black & yellow}

Bag {my go-to for travel – lays flat in your suitcase!}

Amalfi Coast Style on DailyKaty.com

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Travel Guide: Kauai, Hawaii – Princeville

I’ve been wanting to share my trip to Hawaii with you all for so long and am finally getting around to doing it! Back in October, my husband and I celebrated our second anniversary with a trip to Maui and Kauai, Hawaii… and it was amazing. Why can’t Hawaii be closer to New England?! The way of life and people were so happy, the sun was shining and it was pure bliss.

I have lots to share so am breaking up my travel guide into four separate posts, two for Kauai and two for Maui, as we stayed on two different parts of each island to get a full experience. They were all beautiful and perfect in their own way, but all very different! I honestly can’t pick a favorite. But I’ll kick things off with Princeville (aka the north shore) of Kauai.

Travel Guide: Princeville, Kauai, HI

 

Kauai in general is pretty casual, and much quieter and developed than Maui (someone described it to us as Maui 20 years ago). And while it’s beautiful, it does rain pretty frequently, even if just for a few minutes on and off throughout the day. It rained one day while we were there and while I was initially bummed, it made for full, picturesque waterfalls along the Napali coast. I loved every second of our stay on Kauai and can’t wait until the day I can go back! Read on for tips on where to stay, what to do and what to eat.

Where to Stay:

The ultimate hotel experience is the St. Regis Princeville. It came highly recommended from friends who had been there before and it did not disappoint one bit. In fact, I never wanted to leave. I was so happy that we stayed there for three nights instead of two, which we did at the other resorts. We had an ocean view room, which I personally think is worth it because the view is incredible and you’re set down low near the pool and beach. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves, but my days in Princeville were spent in a beach chair with a cocktail and magazine in hand and I’d do anything to go back.

Travel Guide of Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii - Shown here: St. Regis Princeville

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Italy Travel Pinspiration

Around this time each year, the cold weather starts setting in, my husband and I go into winter hibernation and we start planning out vacations for the year. Aside from a few weekend trips here and there, we have our eyes on Italy for spring and Aruba for the fall. And now that we’ve made it that far, it’s time to start mapping out our Italy trip {cue the hours of Google searching, pinning, Tripadvisor-ing, etc.}.

To get things started, we got some tips from colleagues and friends – and then I went right on over to Pinterest to start visualizing potential destinations. Today I’m sharing some of what I found – if only we could do it all in one trip! Use the links below each photo for more info and recommendations on each location (and credits to the pics!). And if you have any suggested Italy itineraries, must-see attractions, restaurants, etc., please let me know in the comments!

1. Tuscany

Tuscany, Italy

“Tuscany, Italy: Siena, Chianti and Pisa” on A Spicy Perspective

2. Florence

Florence, Italy

“The Sights of Florence, Italy… A Photo Diary [Part 1]” on Hand Luggage Only

3. Rome

Rome, Italy

“Rome & Naples, Italy” on A Couple Cooks

4. Naples

Naples, Italy

“Bucket List Luxury Travel Destinations” on Arizona Foothills Magazine

5. Sardinia

Sardinia, Italy

“11 Places to Visit on a Trip to Sardinia (and Italy) and Why!” on Hand Luggage Only

6. Capri

Capri, Amalfi Coast, Italy

“Amalfi Coast: Positano, Capri, & Ravello, Italy” on A Couple Cooks

7. Positano

Positano, Italy

“Best of Positano, Italy – Shhhh, Don’t Tell” on Traveling Chic

8. Venice

Venice, Italy

“Secret Venice” on From My Dining Table

9. Milan

Milan, Italy

“Top 5 Reasons to Visit Milan: Exploring Italy’s Fashion Capital” on Make My Trip

10. Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre, Italy

“The Complete Guide to Visiting Cinque Terre in Italy!” on Hand Luggage Only

Beach Travel Style Essentials

Life was apparently really busy after we got back from our amazing trip to Hawaii (more to come on that in my upcoming travel guides!), and now all of a sudden a month flew by and the holidays and almost winter are here. The temps aren’t too bad yet here in New England, but I’m still dreaming of Hawaii and plotting our next warm-weather getaway.

Whether you have a trip booked or are lucky enough to live where the sun is always shining, today’s post includes some of my beach destination essentials, including cover ups, sunglasses, bikinis and my favorite sunscreen (yes, it’s possible to have a favorite).  Shop the items in the pics using the links below (minus those palm trees – you’ll have to head to Maui for those)!

Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii
Views at the Grand Hyatt Kauai - shop the romper in the post on DailyKaty.com

Taking it all in at the Grand Hyatt Kauai‘s beach in Poipu… Loving that my P.J. Salvage romper is not only perfect for lounging around at home, but also makes a great beach cover up because of its super soft, lightweight material.

P.J. Salvage Wanderlust Challe Romper (c/o)

Enjoying drinks at the Grand Hyatt Kauai - shop the romper in the post on DailyKaty.com

Enjoying a post-beach/pool drink on the deck at sunset. Other than when I was in just a bikini on a beach chair or in the water, I wore this romper from morning to night! The sun sets early at this time of year in Hawaii, we we stayed in our bathing suits for it almost every night.

Bikini Essentials for Beach Travel - Shop them on DailyKaty.com

Just a few of my favorite bikinis I brought along with me (all c/o)… Each one of these is perfect in their own way: the leopard print Malai bikini has literally the best fitting bottoms I’ve ever tried (size up for this one – top and bottom run small). I love the colors and crocheting in the blue WET Swimwear bikini. And Mi-Ola bikinis are perfect if you’re active, whether you’re surfing or jumping off a boat for a swim, because the bottoms have gripper elastic to hold them on.

LeopardMalai Neon Leopard Bandeau Bikini from Cabana Chic Swimwear

Blue: WET Swimwear Faith Top & Bottoms

Pink: Mi-Ola Reversible Wrap Top & Double String Bottoms

Cruising along the Napili Coast in Kauai - shop this romper and sunglasses in today's post on DailyKaty.com

Cruising along the Napili Coast by boat in Kauai… This romper is super lightweight and comfortable over a bikini and now I’m wishing I got it in all of the patterns!

Romper (on sale!) / c/o Woodzee Sunglasses

c/o Mi-Ola Reversible Wrap Top & Double String Bottoms

Waiting for sunset at the St. Regis Princeville in Kauai, Hawaii - shop this romper and sunglasses in today's post on DailyKaty.com

Waiting for sunset and toasting to an amazing trip at the St. Regis Princeville in Kauai! You can see the low back of the romper here, which I love, along with the wrapped back on the Mi-Ola bikini. And this resort is a must for sunsets, views and basically everything else.

Best sunscreen around - learn more at DailyKaty.com

My favorite sunscreens - which I never thought I’d say – but these smell so good and don’t leave your skin all oily and gross! The spray sunscreen is my favorite because it smells like pina colada. And the face sunscreen is lightweight, dries quickly and is refreshing with its cucumber scent.

Coola Sport Continuous Spray SPF 30,

Face Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30,

Mineral Sport Sunscreen SPF 35+ and

Liplux Sport Lip Treatment SPF 30 (all c/o)

Sunset at the Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea, Hawaii - shop this romper on DailyKaty.com

Another day, another cover up worn for sunset on the beach… This time at the Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea, Maui. If only I could end every day like this!

Fringe Cover Up (sold out – similar here + here)

 

What are your favorite beach travel style essentials? Let us know in the comments below! And come back over to the blog – and Fit and Fab Living – to read more about my trip to Maui and Kauai, as well as lots more about hotel recommendations, sights to see, etc. Stay tuned!