Weekend Reading #45

Shirt: Brandy Melville {similar} // Pants: 12th Tribe // Shoes: Forever 21 // Necklace: Uncommon James

1. Where to donate all your old things.

2. These are the best healthy spots in NYC – definitely going to all of these!

3. This Venice house is seriously decor goals.

4. Honey, peach and brie panini?! Yes, please.

5. How to find cheap flights.

6. How to lose that stubborn belly fat.

7. Do you make your bed everyday? This is what it says about you.

8. These people are retiring as early as in their 30s. 

9. Sugar could be contributing to your anxiety.

10. Does your cellphone really need to be in “airplane mode” when you fly?

 

Dating Advice from Relationship Expert Carla Romo

dating advice

Is it just me or does dating in the 21st century suck? After a couple failed relationships I’m currently single and ready to mingle. But with that, I wanted to get some help and I know many of you probably do as well. That is why I reached out to my friend Carla Romo, a dating and relationship coach to ask her some questions. I also asked you guys on Instagram (follow me @esthercollins if you aren’t already) for your juicy dating questions for Carla to answer. So let’s get into it!

How do you know if someone is “the one”, especially if you are the type to question everything?
At the end of the day, it really depends on 2 things. 1. Your gut feeling. Even if you are not much of a spiritual person, if it feels intuitively off, then it probably is. If it feels right then it probably is. 2. You will know because they match what you want in a partner. This means sticking to your non-negotiables. If you find yourself making excuses for a characteristic that you find unacceptable then that’s a red flag. Lastly, questioning things is not a bad thing. Although, it is important to explore in depth why you are questioning it. I discuss a lot with my clients whether it’s fear that makes them question or a legitimate concern.
Is sex on the first date bad?
No. It is important to figure out what you feel comfortable with and then honor your boundaries around that. If you want to or you don’t want to have sex, follow it!
Everyone is flawed, but how do you know if you’re just seeing past their flaws or if you’re forcing it and just not compatible?
Are you painting the red flags green? What helps my clients is to write a very detailed list of their non-negotiables. Example: Must be financially stable, not have a history of cheating, etc. From there you can compare your list to this person’s flaws and see if you are justifying their behavior to fit around them.
Best ways to make long distance work?
Have a strong communication plan and end goal to be together. Communication is important and needs to be consistent. Discuss what each other’s expectations are around how you are going to communicate. Also, it is important to have a goal of when you plan to end the long distance. It’s ok if you don’t have an exact date but having an idea of how you will eventually be together is key.
Can your significant other have a best friend of the opposite sex without it getting awkward?
Yes, they can! Although it is important that you ask yourself why it feels awkward. If it’s because your partner is not respecting your boundaries then that is important. If you find it is your own insecurity then it creates an opportunity for you to grow within. Regardless, you should communicate any concerns with your partner and take ownership of your part in it.
I’m moving to a new city, what’s the best way to start dating and meet new guys?
Join fun coed groups or activities that interest you. It may feel a little uncomfortable but discomfort just means you’re growing. Don’t pass up an invite to your new friends birthday or dinner party. Putting yourself out there and meeting other like-minded people is a great way to get connected with new guys are date-worthy.
Carla Romo
There you guys have it! I hope some of these questions help you in this dating game, because it sure is helping me! If you guys have any other questions for Carla and would like another post, leave your questions in the comments below or you can DM me!
Carla also puts on amazing events where she gives out her great dating and relationship advice, for more information check out her site https://iamcarlaromo.com/.

Nashville Travel Guide

Nashville Travel Guide

Top: Blue Life // Shorts: Urban Outfitters // Shoes: Franco Sarto // Bag: Gucci

Ya’ll ready for this? Last weekend I took a trip to Nashville with my old college roommate, Erin. I had never been to Nashville but I heard so many good things so I was super excited to check it out. I LOVED Nashville! Honestly I could totally see myself living there (maybe in the future?). I can see why it’s been such a popular tourist destination recently and why a lot of millennials are moving there. There is so much to do yet it still has that southern charm.

WHERE TO STAY:

Airbnb: We got a place near Belmont University right near the 12 South district. I loved this area. Our Airbnb was super cute and was walkable to so many different shops and restaurants. If you’re going to get an Airbnb I highly recommend the 12 South area!

Thompson Hotel: If you’re wanting to be a bit bougie, stay at the Thompson hotel. I would love to stay here the next time I come. It’s in a great location in the Gulch and the hotel just has such a fun vibe.

WHERE TO EAT:

Bartaco: This was hands down my favorite meal of the trip. It was in the 12 South district. Now I’ll be honest, I’ve lived in LA the past 4 years so ya know Mexican is something I eat regularly. I honestly didn’t have high hopes for this place, but hot damn the tacos were AMAZING. Seriously I think these were some of the best tacos I’ve ever had. Plus they had a cute patio where I was able to bring Baggy.

Cafe Roze: I’m a huge fan of Kristin Cavallari so I had watched a video she did on her favorite Nashville spots and Cafe Roze was one of them. So I dragged Erin here in the rain. It’s in East Nashville which is a little out of the way from all the tourist spots but it’s worth it. I got the egg bowl and OH MY. It was 100x better than I thought it would be. I definitely want to try to recreate this bowl.

Koko’s Ice Cream: Another K. Cav suggestion was Koko’s. This was walking distance from Cafe Roze so we stopped by afterwards. They have all vegan coconut ice cream. SO GOOD. Erin was skeptical because she doesn’t normally like coconut ice cream but even she was a fan.

WHAT TO DO DURING THE DAY:

Uncommon James: If you’re a fan of Kristin Cavallari like I am, you have to go to Uncommon James in the Gulch. This was such a cute store and very instagrammable.

Murals: Nashville has so many amazing murals throughout the city. Some of them have huge lines so be prepared!

Dress: Faithfull The Brand

WHERE TO GO OUT AT NIGHT:

Broadway: Duh. This is probably the most touristy spot in Nashville. This is where you can find all the Honky Tonks, and a million bachelor and bachelorette parties running around. I’m normally not a huge live band at a bar girl, but I did enjoy going to Broadway. My favorite was the Jason Aldean bar because they had live music on one floor but a super fun DJ on the roof.

L.A. Jackson: This is the rooftop bar at the Thompson Hotel. Such a fun spot with great views of Nashville.

It was only a quick 3 day trip to Nashville, but we had so much fun. I honestly can’t wait to go back. If you guys have been to Nashville before I would love to hear what your favorite spots are to add to my list for next time!

Weekend Reading #44

1. What happens if you drink collagen for 21 days straight?

2. Ways to sleep better on a plane.

3. What to do in Nolita.

4. High serotonin filled foods to eat.

5. Why we shouldn’t bring our phones into the bathroom, I am guilty of this.

6. How to actually get 8 hours of sleep a night.

7. Coconut cream chia pudding, yes please.

8. What to know about preventative botox.

9. Meghan Markle’s wellness routine, sign me up.

10. All the NYFW popups open to the public.

 

Maui Travel Guide

Swimsuit: Onia // Shorts: Urban Outfitters // Shoes: Franco Sarto

A couple weeks ago, I was able to go to Maui for a few days to see my friends Tom and Ivette get married. They had the most beautiful ceremony at Gannons in Maui, overlooking the ocean. Since my friends were getting married, I was able to add a couple days to the trip and make it a fun vacation. I wanted to share with you guys some of my favorite places that you need to visit if you’re in Maui!

WHERE TO STAY

Days Inn – This was one of the cheapest hotel options on the island and the hotel itself isn’t the greatest. The rooms are SUPER small. However, it’s right on the ocean. The location in Kihei is great, you can walk or uber around. It’s nice because you can just walk right outside your room and be on the beach. There are also two restaurants right outside so if you want to grab a quick bite you can.

Four Seasons Maui – If you can afford this, stay here. The Four Seasons is huge and incredibly beautiful. Highly recommend if you can afford it!

AirBnb – Most of my friends got airbnb’s for this trip. They all said it was the most affordable option and a lot of them really enjoyed their stay. One of the Airbnb hosts even cooked some fresh banana bread for my friend!

WHERE TO EAT

Piko Cafe – Don’t be fooled by this little hole in the wall at a strip mall. Piko Cafe had THE BEST Loco Moco I had all trip, and trust that I tried quiet a few places. This is a local spot, our Uber driver was very impressed that we had actually heard about it. That’s when you know it’s good. Definitely come here for breakfast.

Kihei Caffe – Such a fun brunch spot. Go early because they always have a line, and for good reason. The food here is delish and they have so many options!

Thai Food by Pranee – If you do Road to Hana definitely stop here for lunch. OMG. Literally some of the best Thai Food I’ve ever had. And be forewarned, their spicy is SPICY.

WHAT TO DO

Four Seasons Maui Spa – I was able to get a lymphatic drainage massage oceanside on the first day of my trip. It was much needed and honestly one of the best massages I’ve ever gotten. Definitely pay the extra $20 for oceanside service. It’s so relaxing to hear the waves crashing as you drift off into relaxation.

Old Lahaina Luau – This was my second luau ever. I went to one in Oahu a couple of years ago. These are always super fun and a must see if you are visiting Hawaii. It’s great because it’s open bar, amazing buffet food and you get to see a show. Many locals told us the Old Lahaina Luau was the best on the island so I’m glad we were able to go.

Road to Hana – I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t really looking forward to doing this because I hate being in the car for long but I’m SO glad I did! Highly recommend renting a convertible for this trip. It’s such a beautiful drive and you get to see some amazing scenes of waterfalls and beaches such as the Black Sand and Red Sand beach.

Maui Travel Guide

Swimsuit: Onia {on sale!} // Shorts: Abercrombie {similar}

If you guys have been to Maui, I would love to hear what you did in the comments below!

Thistle Review

Thistle Review

Okay, I’m going to be straight up with you. When it comes to dieting, I suck at meal prep. I love to cook, but for some reason I have an aversion to cooking healthy meals all week long. So since I’m going to Hawaii for a wedding in a few days I decided to try two weeks of Thistle. Thistle is a meal delivery service based out of San Francisco. They provide healthy plant-based meals delivered straight to your door. For my first week I decided to get the lunch and dinner option + a latte and snack each day. The reason I didn’t get the breakfast is I normally don’t eat breakfast and I usually try to intermittent fast until lunch. (But question ya’ll: I recently heard intermittent fasting isn’t good for girls to do every day because of our hormones, anyone have any more info on this? Let me know in the comments below!)

Vegan meals are priced at $11.99 each if you get 5 delivery days. If you want meat in your meals it’s a couple dollars extra. Snacks and lattes were $6 each. Now onto the meal reviews.

The lattes each morning was really just a cold brew with their homemade almond milk. Okay, I’m going to be honest here; I didn’t love this. It didn’t taste as fresh to me. But I’m also not the biggest fan of cold brew. When they said it was a latte I was expecting an actual iced latte with espresso. So after my first week of lattes, I decided to take this off my meal plan for the next week.

The lunches were all salads, which I think is great. I love bringing a salad to work because it’s easy and you don’t have to heat it up. The salad options they have were all very unique and not the typical salads you would make at home. This made me feel a lot better about paying the $11.99 for the salad. It was basically like getting a salad from someplace like Sweetgreen. Overall, they were very tasty. My favorite salad that I got was Waldorf Salad with Tarragon Navy Beans – it was delish!

The dinners were all so unique. They were not just like your typical healthy salad meals. All of them required some heating up in a pan before eating. Some of the types of meals I got were Charred Scallion Sesame Veg and Bean Thread Noodle Bowl with Garlic Marinated Tofu and also the Sweet Potato and Lentil Bowl with Sweet Pepper Relish and Lemon-Herb Avocado Sauce. They were all pretty tasty and so unique in flavors.

The snacks varied each day as well. One day I got an almond hemp bar, another day I got hummus and veggies. The snacks were all tasty, but they were also similar to snacks I could put together myself. That is why for week 2 I decided to omit the snacks.

Overall, I really enjoyed the two weeks I used Thistle. Sadly, I only lost 1 pound using the meal service. But I did feel great eating healthy meals all week. I think this meal service is great for busy people who don’t have time to cook during the week or for those of you who just don’t like to cook. The meals itself were very unique and tasty and I would definitely get it again especially for lunch!

If you guys want to try Thistle and get 2 meals for free, use code: ESTHER180.

Weekend Reading #43

1. These foods help fight belly fat.

2. I need to go to these restaurants at the Almalfi coast!

3. Fun things to do this summer by yourself.

4. The best ways to manage stress.

5. Julia has THE CUTEST back patio for entertaining!

6. I love seeing house tours, including this one!

7. What’s the best way to remove body hair?

8. 5 basics that every girl should invest in.

9. Art hanging mistakes and how to avoid them.

10. Wedding guest outfits that make the bride cringe.

 

 

What I Got from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

nordstrom anniversary sale

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is going on from now until August 5th. I ended up caving and getting the Nordstrom credit card to shop the sale early (shopaholic problems!). I only received the two items in the picture above so far but I wanted to share with you the other items that I got in case you all were curious! Act fast if you want any of these because the items are selling out fast! There were a lot of items I wanted to get from the sale but they sadly sold out before I was able to get my hands on them.

Here are the items I got, along with a few extra I was eying! If you guys got anything from the anniversary sale, I would love to see! Let me know in the comments below or tag me on Insta! @esthercollins

 

How to Style a Bridal Hair Piece for Everyday

bridal hair piece

A couple weeks ago my friend Shirley reached out to me to tell me about a new company her mom and her just started. Shirley and I interned together at Burberry in NYC seven years ago, can you believe it?! I feel old. LOL. Anyways, when Shirley told me about her new ventures, I was so excited because I think it’s something you guys will love! Shirley’s new line is called Shirley and Audrey and they sell accessories for the modern bride. Now you might be thinking “Esther, I’m not getting married…”. Well girl, neither am I. But these items are so beautiful that you can wear them on your wedding day, or even just out to an event!

I got the hair wreath in Mary, and I wore it to a charity event I went to. I wore it like a headband and tied it in the back. It went so perfectly with what I was wearing and really elevated the outfit. Not to mention, I got tons of compliments on it! I think a hair wreath like this would be so perfect for any event where you need to dress up a little bit, or could even be used as a fancier “flower crown” for something like Coachella!

Whether you are a bride, or just a girl looking for some beautiful items to jazz up your hairdo, go check out Shirley and Audrey. Their quality is AMAZING and all the items are simply beautiful!

For Girls Who Brunch readers, Shirley was kind enough to offer 10% off anything on their website with code GWB10. Also, be sure to follow me on Instagram at @esthercollins because I will be giving away one of these hair wreaths there!

Summer Wish List

It’s officially summer! Summer is my favorite season, and what’s even better is summer clothing! I’ve really been wanting to revamp my wardrobe this summer. Do you ever just get tired of looking at the clothes in your closet? I feel like I want to throw everything out and start over, but let’s be realistic…I don’t have the budget for that LOL. That being said, a girl can dream. So if I could, these would be the items I would purchase to revamp my entire wardrobe.

Tops

Bottoms

Shoes

Accessories

 

What is on your wish list for summer? Let me know in the comments below!