15 Things to do in San Diego + Hampton by Hilton Giveaway

August 22, 2016   


This summer I've been all about traveling and exploring, from visiting Greece to Mexico to even some staycations.  One thing I've realized though, is that you don't have to travel too far or plan a 2 week vacation to unwind and decompress. One of my favorite trips this summer was my weekend getaway to San Diego as a Hampton by Hilton Seekender. As you know, I partnered with them as part of their Ultimate Seekender team. What is a 'Seekender' you might ask? Well, Seekenders are those that take advantage of weekends to spontaneously enjoy new experiences, with travel being at the top of the list. With a few days of summer left and Labor Day right around the corner, I really encourage you to travel and make the most of it. Let out your inner Seekender!

San Diego definitely tops my list as 'The Perfect U.S. Summer Destination.'  When Hampton by Hilton asked me where in the U.S. I wanted to go, my priority was finding a city that was family-friendly and somewhere that Andy would have a great time.  After doing some research, I found that San Diego had actually been named the #1 city for families. There's just so much to do and we had a blast!


I've been sharing my San Diego guide over the past several weeks here the blog, but I thought I'd also share a quick list of things to do in San Diego.  Oh and did I mention the weather is just amazing.

1. Visit the San Diego Zoo (and the Safari Park Zoo if you have time)
2. Watch the sea lions at La Jolla Cove
3. Go kayaking in La Jolla  Cove
4. Take a ferry to Coronado Island
5. Visit Legoland
6. Spend the day in Balboa Park (and check out the museums)
7. Visit the Gaslamp District
8. Check out the USS Midway Museum
9. Go hiking at Torrey Pines
10. Eat some Mexican food
11. Go to the beach
12. Catch the sunset
13. Check out Filippis Pizza in Little Italy
14. Ride in a hot air ballon



We stayed at the Hampton by Hilton in Mission Valley, which was perfectly situated to everything on this list (literally like 15 minutes away from everything).  Plus you can't beat their free daily hot breakfast and comfy beds!

GIVEAWAY 

If you also live for the weekends to adventure and travel then you could also win big! Share your Seekender-inspired summer photos on Instagram using the hashtag #SoySeekender for a chance to win a last hurrah of the summer weekend escape.

You'll Win:

4-day/3-night trip for two to any Hampton by Hilton hotel in the U.S. with airfare included!




This post is brought to you in partnership with Hampton by Hilton. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that make Viva Fashion possible. 






Steal her Look: Izabel Goulart

August 19, 2016   


Victoria's Secret model, Izabel Goulart was spotted wearing these black ripped jeans paired with a white silk blouse and nude heels. We love how she adds a pop of color with this purple satchel. Here's where you can steal her look:

White Blouse, H&M, $12
Ripped Jeans, H&M, $12
Nude Pumps, Bloomingdale's, $138
Lauren Ralph Lauren Bag, Dillard's, $138


VF Travels: Athens Quick Travel Guide

August 17, 2016   


Last, but not least, on my Greece travel guide is Athens! This was the last stop of our trip (in which we also visited Mykonos and Santorini).  We decided to leave Athens for last, so we could catch our flight back to the states the next day without being in a rush.  Although Athens is completely different from the islands, you really can't leave Greece without experiencing the mainland.  It's filled with so much history and culture (and not to mention the shopping is much better there too).

Here are some must sees and do's while you're there:

Where to Stay: We stayed at the Electra Palace Hotel which was perfectly situated ....just a short cab ride away from all the attractions.

*Also wanted to mention that to get to Athens we took a flight from Santorini to Athens through Aegean Air

Things to Do:

Visit the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum.  It's absolutely breathtaking and one of the most characteristic monuments of the ancient Greek civilization.  Be sure to wear comfortable shoes because you'll be doing a lot of walking. Oh and don't forget your sunscreen!

If you have time, also check out the Panathenaic Stadium. It hosted the first Olympic Games of the modern era and is the only stadium in the world built entirely of marble.

Wander the streets of Plaka, which is filled with a variety of touristy shops. For more high-end shopping you can also check out the boutiques located in Voukourestiou. While I was there I finally treated myself to my LOVE Cartier bracelet that I had been wanting to buy for such a long time.

Where to Eat: 

Dionysos by the Acropolis- Grab some lunch at the Dionysos by the Acropolis restaurant (located right in front of the Acropolis). It's perfect for fueling up before making the trek up to the monument.

Spondi- For our last dinner in Greece we decided to visit Spondi, a Two Michelin Star restaurant (for my Top Chef fans haha). The restaurant itself is very romantic. It offers mediterranean cuisine with heavy french influences. You can also choose from the menu or from their prix fixe menu (which is what we did). It's a bit of a splurge,  but it's well worth it.











Lunch at the Dionysos by the Acropolis

Dinner at Spondi in Athens 


Overall, one day is a good amount of time to really explore Athens. I hope these guides have helped! You can also check out my previous guides to Santorini and Mykonos.


Have you been to Greece before? I'd love to go back to Santorini one day!






Tips for Back-to-School Shopping + $150 Gift Card Giveaway!

August 16, 2016   


Is it just me, but has this summer seriously flown by? Andy will be starting pre-school in just two weeks---he's getting so big.  I'm not gonna lie, part of me is kind of looking forward to it haha (I'll have more "me-time" in the mornings). This year, I got a head start on back-to-school shopping thanks to Sawgrass Mills, one of the largest outlet shopping centers in the U.S. I was so excited when they reached out wanting to partner on this post.  In just one trip I finished all of Andy's back-to-school shopping (which is something very rare for this procrastinator).

Here are a few tips for all of my fellow parents getting ready for back-to-school season:



Tip #1 Pick up a Map- Save some time by picking up a map and decide which stores you want to hit first. It also helps to have a clear idea on the things you need. For example, although Andy wears a uniform to school, I knew I wanted to pick-up some more stylish navy and khaki trousers (instead of the ones offered at his uniform store) and then I simply pair it with his uniform shirt.

I LOVE that Sawgrass Mills has a Janie & Jack AND a J.Crew outlet store (which has CrewCuts for kids). These are the stores I usually hit up first. I picked up some amazing basics like the trousers I was looking for.

Pro Tip: If you need extra help, Sawgrass Mills also has a Guest Services Center that provides general information and they also offer Free Wi-Fi. 




Tip #2 Try to hit the mall in the morning- I usually like to avoid big crowds by going shopping in the morning (typically after breakfast so Andy isn't cranky haha).  If you can, also try to go during the week (instead of the weekend). Typically Tuesdays and Wednesdays are some of the quietist days to shop.

Tip #3 Take Advantage of Coupons and Deals- The great thing about outlet stores, is that you are getting pretty sweet deals as it is, but why not take advantage of coupons and special deals. Be sure to check out this complete list of special back-to-school shopping deals from Sawgrass Mills.

Tip #4 Valet Park- We all know how stressful finding parking can be at the mall. It can be like finding water in the desert, which is why I suggest valet parking if you can. It's definitely worth it, especially if you're going to be doing some heavy-duty shopping.




Tip #5 Take a Break - When shopping with kids, it's important to also take breaks. I like to plan to have lunch at the mall and then set some time for Andy to run around and play.

So there you have it folks, what are some of your back-to-school shopping tips? I'd love to know.


GIVEAWAY

We're also giving away a $150 Gift Card to Sawgrass Mills to one lucky reader to help with your back-to-school shopping! To enter, simply follow Viva Fashion on Instagram (@VivaFashion) and leave a comment on this back-to-school post. We will be announcing the winner on Thursday, August 18, 2016. **Please note, that Sawgrass Mills is based in Sunrise, Florida and can only be used in stores (not online).





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Steal her Look: Kate Upton

August 12, 2016   



I've been doing a lot of traveling lately for work and one thing I'm always on the lookout for is that perfect traveling outfit. We love this look from Kate Upton! It's comfortable, yet chic and looks put together. Here's where you can steal her look. 


Silk Blouse, The Outnet, $146
Ripped Skinny Jeans, H&M, $39
White Sneakers, Keds, $29
Zac Zac Posen Bag, Zappos, $395


Video: Back to School Fashion

August 9, 2016   

Yesterday I was back on Univision's Despierta America sharing some back-to-school fashion with Kohl's.  Here's a clip of the segment in case you'd like to check it out.  




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