Friday, June 30, 2017

The Best and Easiest Ways to Stay Hydrated

I was a cheerleader all throughout my life. It was one of my passions growing up and I was JV and Varsity captain (#glorydays). As I entered high school, two weeks before school started, we had a series of workouts and practices called 'two-a-days'. 

Two-a-days were just that: 4 hour segments, twice a day. We'd arrive at our high school's track/field in the early morning, break to go home for lunch, and then return in the late afternoon for practice #2. Our schedule was somewhat similar with the football players who we'd share the field with. 

It was partially dreaded because of all of the workouts. Our lives were quite literally 'eat, sleep, cheer'. Even though the work was hard, that time during those 4 summers of my life hold some of my fondest memories. It was such a fun time to be with friends... we had such a camaraderie amongst us and other than cheerleading, not a care in the world. 

As this was always held in late August, it was hotter than you can imagine. And rumor always had it that the track/field was always 10 degrees hotter. 

As we worked out, our coaches made huge efforts to make sure we were hydrated by taking plenty of water breaks. I didn't even like sports drinks, but we were encouraged to have small cups here and there. It was not uncommon for girls to pass out due to heat/dehydration. 

I can remember coming home after a morning practice and being so exhausted that all I did was lay on the couch with chills (a sign of dehydration). I had to sip water the entire time to get myself back to a place where I could return to practice. Needless to say, after experiencing that, I've been pretty on top of staying hydrated regardless of the situation. 

During the summer months, it's so easy to become dehydrated... especially spending long hours laying out in the sun or doing activities like biking, hiking, swimming, etc. that quickly deplete your body of water. So, I've compiled a list of things for you to check off to make sure you are staying hydrated this summer (inside and out).

Drink Water
I mean this is common sense, right? Kind of, but I can't tell you how many times on just a 'regular day' where I haven't gotten enough water. To make sure I am drinking water, I keep a Tervis tumbler at my bedside (the big 24oz size) and keep that full at all times. I also have a Swell bottle that keeps liquids cold for 24 hours and does not spill if you throw it in a tote/handbag. I also keep disposable plastic water bottles in my fridge, just in case I am running out the door and don't have the extra 2 minutes to spare. That way I have no excuse not to have water by me at all times. 

Log Your Water Intake
Maybe you think you are drinking enough water, but I'd be willing to bet you are getting less than you may need. I use the app Waterlogged (free) and it sends me subtle reminders throughout the day to drink water. You can also log the ounces you are drinking, so you're able to keep track.

Just as you can be dehydrated on the inside, your body can also show signs of dehydration on the outside, too. Not to mention dry skin is not a good look. It can age you and intensify the look of your wrinkles. I moisturize my entire body after I get out of the shower each night and am sure to moisturize my face both morning and night and anytime after washing my face. 

I've been using the Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream and it is an anti-aging, moisturizing and plumping cream for your face and neck. I love trying new products, but was specifically intrigued by this cream due to the Good Housekeeping Institute study where scientists rigorously test products and evaluate them. The Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream was tested in a blind study against 10 prestige creams found in most department stores and the results are incredible. The cream measured 400% better in moisturization (after three hours) than a cream nearly 18 times its price, it increased moisture by 50% on average over a 24-hour period, and has niacinamide and hyaluronic acid to deeply hydrate and firm skin. 

I definitely recommend Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream because it truly keeps your skin moisturized, is light enough to wear under makeup, and doesn't make me break out at all. It is also very affordable. By keeping your face hydrated, you'll notice reduced appearance of lines and boosts in appearance of brightness and firmness.

Eat More Fruits and Vegetables 
I am obsessed with watermelon... it's so delicious. But it's also really great to snack on if you are feeling dehydrated since it contains mostly water. You can look up the water contents of fruits and vegetables very easily online. Some of the best options with the highest water content are: watermelon, strawberries, grapefruit, cantaloupe, cucumber, and lettuce. This also means that you can get hydration in while drinking your morning smoothie or fresh pressed juice. Another tip is to soak chia seeds in water- they can hold a ton of water and adding those into your smoothie can really help hydrate your body.

Avoid Dehydrating Drinks and Foods
These are things like processed foods, sodas, alcohol, etc. I love me some Taco Bell and a stiff g&t, don't get me wrong, but if you are eating and drinking these types of things, you should also be conscientious of your body's need for more water, too. 

Drink Water In the Morning
That hot water with lemon 'trend' is for good reason. There's a huge list of benefits from drinking hot water with lemon in the morning such as jump starting the digestive process, but it also forces you to get a solid 8+ ounces of water into you the moment you wake up. 

Are you working out? Doing a lot of walking? Biking to work? Spending time in a sauna? All of that causes our bodies to sweat and lose water. You need to focus on replenishing the water lost after exercise. Drink water, but you may want to drink some sort of sports drink or coconut water, etc. if your activity is long or you are losing a lot of sweat. While it contains sugar, sports drinks also contain sodium and carbohydrates that your body needs to retain water and to refuel your system.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Olay. The opinions and text are all mine.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Tuckernnuck in Georgetown, Washington, D.C.

Monica, Mary, Me

Back in May I headed down to D.C. for an event with Tuckernuck and Persifor. It actually worked out perfectly in regard to timing. One of my best friends, Lauren (in Snapchat photo above), lives in D.C. and was coming to Pittsburgh the following day for a wedding and was staying with me. So I went to D.C. on Thursday to stay with her and we drove back to Pittsburgh Friday morning!

I just love the D.C. area. If you are new to Summer Wind, I went to James Madison University in Virginia, so I visited D.C. a lot and so many of my college friends live in that area. My parents, sister and I also have a tradition of visiting around Christmastime. My dad lived in D.C. for a short while before meeting my mom and my aunt and uncle also lived in D.C. My parents got engaged in front of the Capital Christmas Tree, so it really does hold a special place in my heart. Any chance to visit is welcome in my book!

It was so much fun spending the evening at the Tuckernuck store. It's located in Georgetown and might be one of the most beautiful retail spaces ever. It's more of an experience than walking into your typical store. It's so beautifully decorated. The entire space reminds me of being on a sailboat by the water. It's refreshing and very carefully curated.

It was also really amazing to meet, Alex, the woman behind Persifor as well as all of the ladies who make Tuckernuck such a big success! Not to mention, it was lovely meeting some of you who live in the area and stopped by! I also met fellow bloggers, Monica and Mary who are local to the area. They both showed up in their Persifor best and Monica and I matched!

Besides the gorgeous, colorful prints, my favorite thing about Persifor is that the fabrics are so comfortable and don't wrinkle. The pieces are meant for an active, well-traveled lifestyle. They're easily packable and the fabric is so soft with stretch for a perfect fit. I wore the Capri Riviera Dress  which is definitely my favorite print of the season. The scooped ballet-style neckline is also very flattering. Persifor runs true to size, I am wearing a size small!

To say Tuckernuck is one of my favorite brands would be an understatement. I love each and every piece. Everything is carefully curated and I can't get enough! I check the site at least once a week to see all of the great pieces they add. To see my current favorites, scroll through the widget above.

After the event, Lauren and I headed to J. Paul's to grab a quick bite to eat and then headed back to her apartment to rest up. The next morning I woke up early, grabbed a Starbucks and headed to meet some Tuckernuck ladies for breakfast at the cutest little cafe, Kafe Leopold. If you are in D.C., definitely check this place out. It was hot and sunny, so we enjoyed breakfast out on their cute patio!

**Totally separate from today's post, tomorrow's Lately post is being moved to this Friday and regular Thursday scheduling will resume next week! Thanks for your flexibility and understanding, everyone!**

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

12 Hours In Boston

12 Hours In Boston
Last week, we were scheduled to return from Nantucket at 6:30pm after having a quick layover in Boston. Our ACK to BOS flight was delayed and then our BOS to PIT flight was cancelled. If you know me, I'm very much a planner. I'm type A and if I am going on a trip, I always research. I like to find out everything I can before doing pretty much anything and I love to make plans and reservations well in advance.

This was one of those life situations where you just kind of have to buckle up and go with the flow. We ended up landing in Boston at 6pm and then our flight out the next morning was at 6am. So we were literally only in the city for 12 hours! 

Peyton and I had never been to Boston before. It's always been on my list, but I've never really had 'reason' to go there before. So while we were bummed about our cancelled flight, we turned lemons into lemonade and made the best of exploring a new-to-us city! 

It was so weird to me not knowing anything about the city. At. All. I quickly texted my friend, Aly, who is from Boston and she gave me a quick little rundown. Then, I turned to Snapchat and all of you were SO helpful. I probably got 100 messages all with amazing recommendations. Thank you all so much for your help and guidance... I can't tell you how much we appreciated it. Needless to say, I am going to need to make a trip back, ASAP! 

omni parker house boston room

omni parker house boston

omni parker house boston in lilly pulitzer

So here is what we did... We first checked into our hotel, the Omni Parker House. I knew nothing about Boston hotels, but as soon as I saw 'Omni', I knew we would be in good hands. The location of the hotel is ideal. It's right in the middle of everything and we were able to walk everywhere we went right from our hotel. As soon as we walked in, we loved the gorgeous lobby with all of the old school wood paneling, beautiful chandeliers and gilded brass doors and elevators. We were so happy to be able to unload our luggage and freshen up a bit before hitting the pavement. 

One of the things I think that is really incredible about Boston is the rich history. It reminded me a lot of Philadelphia in regard to all of the older buildings and architecture. I later found out that our hotel, the Omni Parker House is the longest continuously operating hotel in the country. Within our hotel, there was a museum because of the role the property played in Boston's history. The restaurant, Parker House is where Parker House rolls and Boston Cream Pie were created and in 1953, it was the spot where JFK proposed to Jackie O.


quincy market boston
After we dropped off our things in our room, Peyton and I headed out towards Quincy Market. We quickly passed through the market. There were lots of little food booths and retail stores like Banana Republic, etc. The area was beautiful, but felt very touristy with so many people (it was crowded kind of like Times Square!!!). So we decided to head for the water. 

boston harbor

boston harbor

When we finally reached the water, we took a moment to soak it all in. The views were amazing with all of the boats docked in their slips. Not to mention, there were some live musicians, a lot of active people doing a zumba class in a well manicured field. I also loved the beautiful archways lit with twinkle lights that you can see in one of the photos above.

It was warm and sunny so it was the absolute perfect night to be out and about, and especially by the water! By this time, we had worked up an appetite. That's when I turned to Snapchat and asked for recommendations on where to eat. Almost all of you recommended eating in the North End area of the city, so we knew that must be the place to go!

north end boston

antico forno boston north end
We mazed through the North End, wandering around all over, until we found the few streets that are just lined with cute little Italian restaurants. Many of you suggested Giacomo's, Mamma Maria, Al Dente, Lucca, Taranta, and Coppa. A lot of the places recommended were too crowded to get into or we felt underdressed, so we came across (and a reader recommended) Antico Forno. Holy cow, was this place incredible. It's unassuming from the exterior and you walk inside and are greeted with the most wonderful smells which reminded me of the Sunday night pasta dinners we would have at my Italian grandmother's house when she was alive. We ordered a pizza and pasta to share. So good. I definitely recommend checking it out if you are in Boston! 

So many of you recommended Mike's Pastry but I also got a lot of recommendations for Modern Pastry. Many of you said that Mike's is too touristy and Modern Pastry is the real deal. Peyton and I don't really care for Cannoli's and the lines at both were outrageous (we were working with very limited time), so we decided to skip out on that, but next time, I definitely want to at least try a famous cannoli! 
sail boston tall ships 2017

sail boston tall ships 2017

sail boston tall ships 2017
After dinner, we headed to the Seaport District. Very conveniently, Sail Boston was going on. This is when tall ships (think Pirates of the Caribbean style) are on a transatlantic sailing trip and stop at various ports around the world. Boston is the only port that hosts the ships in the US and this was the first time in 17 years that they hosted the Parade of Sail. Peyton and I felt really lucky that we just happened upon this really cool event! 

We actually got to go on one of the ships from Peru (hence the embarrassing photo of me above). After Boston, one of the sailors said they were heading to Canada. The vessels were all huge and so beautifully lit up. Some of the ships had private parties on the decks and they looked like so much fun!

As soon as we got off the ship, it started to downpour and we realized we needed to get back to the Omni Parker House to get some sleep before our 4am wakeup call. We were hot, sweaty, and getting rained on... so needless to say, we were SO happy to return to a comfortable bed and fell asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillow. All-in-all, we only really had 4 hours to explore, but we felt like we got to see a lot... we ended up walking 16,000+ steps!! I can't wait to make a trip back because there is so much more to see and do! 

Monday, June 26, 2017

My Stay at 21 Broad Nantucket

My Stay At 21 Broad Nantucket
Dress (under $100)// Bag// Sandals

lark hotels 21 broad nantucket review
If you've been following along on social media, then you'll know I was on Nantucket last week with my friend, Peyton! Peyton and I have been friends since we were born because our dads grew up together/went to high school together. Our families go to the lake together each year and have traveled quite a bit to other fun places together (like the Caribbean) but this was the first trip where just Peyton and I went! We had been planning the trip for a while and were so excited when the time finally came for us to pack our bags!

I'll be doing full posts on what we did, what we ate, and what I wore, but today's is all about where we stayed. 

To get from Pittsburgh to Nantucket, we took a JetBlue flight to Boston then to Nantucket. It was pretty quick and painless! We arrived at our boutique hotel, 21 Broad, which was located right in town (a block from the Juice Bar!) and a quick 10 minute drive from the airport.

If you are unfamiliar with Nantucket, it's a very small island, so getting anywhere is pretty quick and easy, but I just loved being right in the heart of town and being able to walk absolutely everywhere. We walked to the beach, to dinners, to lighthouses, to shops... everything was well within our reach and I think that made everything even more fun! 

The exterior of 21 Broad is a historical Victorian Home which boasts 27 rooms and a gorgeous porch with rocking chairs to relax and people watch! 21 Broad is a Lark Hotel. I had stayed in a Lark Hotel last summer on Martha's Vineyard called Summercamp, so I knew 21 Broad would offer a wonderful stay! 

lark hotels 21 broad

Rachael Reider interior design nantucket
Unlike the historical exterior, the interior is bright, fresh, and modern. There were lots of white spaces with fun pops of bright colors. The interior design was done by Rachael Reider and no detail was left unnoticed. I especially loved the very subtle nautical touches throughout... and how fun are all of the different chairs?! 

Monogrammed Robe (also comes in navy)
Our room was on the second of three floors. It was spacious and offered a large closet, gorgeous bathroom, desk and sitting area as well as three large windows which were wonderful to enjoy all of the natural light! 

I loved that our bedroom had a Keurig, a Vitamin C shower, and all of the amenities you might need while traveling like fresh water bottles each day, an iron, a hair dryer, etc. I also loved that they had USB outlets... so necessary and always such a welcome touch! 

We had a king bed and I am pretty sure Peyton and I took the best nap of our lives on our first day there. We had been up since 4am so taking a nap before dinner was much needed and the bed was beyond comfortable. I wish I could have taken the bed home with me (and the pillows, too, such nice quality). 

One of my favorite parts of staying at 21 Broad were the lovely touches such as complimentary breakfast each morning and complimentary hot and iced coffee available 24/7. We SO enjoyed getting up early, grabbing a cup of coffee and some of their delicious breakfast offerings such as cinnamon rolls, toasts, scones, oatmeal, and more. 

We would bring it back up to our room and put on Netflix. Yes, the TV had Netflix where you could sign into your account. We loved sipping our coffee while watching Gilmore Girls and getting ready. 

Every evening, the fire would be lit out on the beautiful deck. So you could go out there and enjoy a cocktail before dinner or cozy up on your way back from dinner. We also LOVED the freshly baked chocolate chip cookies that they had in the afternoons and evenings. They were seriously the best chocolate chip cookies we have ever had.

All in all, our stay at 21 Broad was so relaxing and enjoyable. The staff was friendly and welcoming and we loved the location, amenities and decor. If you are planning a trip to Nantucket, I couldn't recommend 21 Broad more. I can't wait to go back!

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