Month: August 2016

The Hampton Classic Horse Show 2016

Hampton Classic 2016

I am sad to say goodbye to August today. I know that the summer is not technically over yet, but for me, the Hampton Classic Horse Show signals that the end is near. This year the horse show runs from Sunday, August 28th to Sunday, September 4th. Visit the show’s website to check the schedule of upcoming events, if you plan on heading out that way!

Hampton Coffee

This past Sunday, I made it out to Bridgehampton for the opening day. The weather was perfect and I arrived at the show grounds from my house in near record time (under an hour!) — despite leaving almost 30 minutes later than planned. The traffic was so light that I even squeezed in a stop at Hampton Coffee’s brick and mortar location for an iced cappuccino and a chocolate croissant (if you are short on time, they have a mobile unit on the show grounds so you can still get your coffee fix on).

Hampton Classic 2016

Hampton Classic 2016

Hampton Classic 2016

Hampton Classic 2016

My morning was occupied watching various classes in the jumper ring (which is located next to a nice tent that just so happened to be open to the public that day). Despite the cooler temperature, sitting under the hot sun at a horse show will still leave you feeling as though you are baking. The tent was a welcome respite!

Hampton Classic 2016

After getting a break from the sun under the tent and watching a few rounds of classes in the morning, I hit the Boutique Gardens for a little shopping. Of course, my first stops were GiGi New York and Jack Rodgers. Fortunately for me, the prices on almost everything were a bit more than I wanted to spend, so my bank account got a reprieve.

Hampton Classic 2016

Hampton Classic 2016

Hampton Classic 2016

Hampton Classic 2016

Hampton Classic 2016

Hampton Classic 2016

I hung around the show grounds all day waiting for the $30,000 Boar’s Head Open Jumper Challenge to take place in the Grand Prix ring at 2:00 pm. The Grand Prix is my favorite ring to watch on the show grounds. The horses compete on a grass field and the jumps are usually high (and often ornate). Watching anything in the Grand Prix ring is nothing short of spectacular.

Hampton Classic 2016

Hampton Classic 2016

Unfortunately, because I had been at the show since 9 am, by 2:30 pm I felt like I was frying in the sun. No amount of sunscreen or a second iced cappuccino offered any relief, so I ventured home.

Now that I made it out to the Hampton Classic, I feel like my summer has ended and I am ready to start thinking about Fall!

Blogger Problems

Home Office

Help! Technology is failing me.

Last week, my first generation iPad kicked the bucket. I more than got my money’s worth from the device, but it was my lifeline. Despite having a home office and multiple gadgets that begin with the letter “i”, the iPad was my preferred machine. So learning that the Apple store no longer “supports” my beloved was a bitter pill to swallow. After resigning myself to the fact that I would indeed need a new iPad, I still have yet to open and set up said purchase. At least my desktop and I have grown closer….

To add insult to injury, some of you may have noticed that I have been MIA from commenting on your sites. The absence has not been by choice. My comments have not been registering on most sites that I’ve visited lately (although commenting with Disqus or on Blogger sites has been working fine). Don’t ask me how or why, but the long and short of it is that I’m not sure what to do or whom to contact about the problem. If you’ve missed seeing my comments or have a solution to this dilemma, please let me know how I can resolve this issue.

Status Update: As of yesterday, it looks like my comments have been appearing again. Here’s hoping it was just a minor glitch and that everything goes back to normal. But if you have an explanation, I’d still love to hear it!

Ah, the perils of being a blogger in the 21st Century!

*Image via PicLab Studio

Chillin’ with Chobani

Chobani Meze Dips

Can you believe the last weekend in August has come and gone? I know we still have Labor Day ahead, but the summer days are winding down quickly. Speaking of summer, if you have yet to plan a BBQ, now is the time. With Labor Day weekend on the horizon, why not get your friends and family together for one last hoorah? And don’t forget to include Chobani’s Mezé Dips — which will be the star of the show. For now, here are a few other essentials!

How to Throw a Delicious Party with Chobani

When it comes to summer, I’m all about food that is fun to make and fast to prepare (and clean-up that is even faster). My go-to summer dinner lately has been lobster quesadillas (you can get my recipe for the chicken version, here). I love preparing quesadillas because they are so easy and you can put in all of your favorite ingredients. They are always a crowd-pleaser.

Since no party would be complete without some pre-dinner snacks, let Chobani give you a hand!

Chobani Meze Dips

Yes, the people who make my favorite yogurt, and perhaps yours, too, (which in case you are wondering, I’m addicted to Chobani’s Greek Yogurt “flip”) have done it again. Chobani’s Mezé Dips are perfect for serving with appetizers at your next dinner party or just for keeping in the house for healthy late-night snacking. On my most recent shopping endeavor, I picked up the roasted red pepper flavor and have been nibbling on it ever since. It’s delicious on top of pretzel crisps, but would also pair nicely with crudités or any type of chip.

With any luck, I’ve given you the extra nudge you needed to send this summer off in style. For more tips, check out Chobani’s infographic to help you throw a delicious party!

*This post was in collaboration with Chobani. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Moonstone Magic: Edgy Meets Serenity

Moonstone Magic - Edgy Serenity 3

I love having a few simple yet elegant pieces of jewelry on hand for those times when you need a little bling to enhance your attire. So when Moonstone Magic reached out to me, I eagerly checked out their selection.

Moonstone Magic is an online retailer that offers a gorgeous collection of moonstone pendants, rings, earrings, and bracelets. It is believed that the moonstone gem is a source of strength and clarity. It can even help you tap into your inner female warrior!

One look at their site, and you’ll immediately be drawn in by their mesmerizing stones. The best part of the shopping experience (aside from browsing gorgeous jewelry, of course) is that their prices won’t break the bank. Moonstone Magic was born online and without the overhead associated with physical locations, they pass the savings on to customers. As a budget-savvy consumer, I appreciate that.

Moonstone Magic - Edgy Serenity

Let’s talk about the piece I picked. This was no easy decision, as I scoured the website and found more than one contender to feature. In the end, I decided on the Moonstone Magic Ring – Edgy Serenity. To me, it was the perfect mix between trendy and classic, and I liked the intricate metalwork around the setting.

When I received the ring (which came all the way from Bali), it arrived in a pretty little jewelry bag for safekeeping. Did I mention that Moonstone Magic ships worldwide for free?

Moonstone Magic - Edgy Serenity

Up close and in person, the moonstone in this ring is even more impressive: it changes color with the light. And the high setting complements the stone nicely. This is a beautiful ring to wear alone or mix with the rest of your collection.

Moonstone Magic - Edgy Serenity

If you are in the market for a moonstone piece, visit Moonstone Magic. You will be very pleased with their selection and craftsmanship.

*Ring courtesy of Moonstone Magic

Glowing Reviews

Laura Geller Luminous Essentials 3 Piece Highlighting Essentials

My favorite thing about summer is getting that sun-kissed glow. And when I can achieve it without having to lie under the hot sun, that’s even better.

Earlier in the summer I scored a three-piece highlighting kit from Laura Geller. It was my first purchase from the makeup brand, so I was excited to try the trial-sized illuminating products that were included in the collection.

Now that I have had plenty of time to incorporate each into my beauty routine, I’m ready to give you a breakdown of how the products performed…and let you know which one is my favorite and worthy of buying the full-sized version.

Laura Geller Luminous Essentials 3 Piece Highlighting Essentials

1. Baked Highlighter (French Vanilla): This compacted powder can be applied like an eyeshadow with either a soft brush or your fingers. While it gives a minimal glow, I found that it left a white powdery residue on my face rather than the golden hue I was expecting. Unfortunately, one hit to the floor and the compacted powder shattered into a million pieces — and is now more of a loose setting powder. While it still gets the job done, I much prefer the two other products in this set.

2. Easy Illuminating Stick (Etheral): I’ve long wanted to incorporate a highlighting stick into my beauty routine, and this one in Etheral is actually what sold me on the kit in the first place. The soft pink shade is perfect for every season and the stick applicator makes it virtually foolproof to apply. One swipe across the cheekbone and you are good to go! If you have sensitive skin, apply sparingly. A little goes a long way and too much can leave your face feeling greasy.

3. Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator (Gilded Honey): This highlighter is hands-down my favorite of the bunch. First off, the product itself is visually appealing, with a soft golden swirl and lots of shimmer to it. Don’t get discouraged by its tiny size relative to the price. This is another instance where you don’t need a lot to achieve the desired result. After sampling all three of the highlighters, this was the one I found myself using day-in and day-out. I used my regular bronzing brush and applied a small stroke along the tops of my cheekbones, the bridge of my nose, and on the cupid’s bow of my lips. If you are new to using highlighters and want just a hint of that summer sun-kissed glow, this is the product for you.

The best part about this kit is that you can use each product alone or combine them for a truly radiant look!

Snapshots from the Sunshine State

As I write this post, the temperature outside is 70 degrees — quite a difference from the hot and humid days I experienced last week in Jacksonville, Florida. Since I’ve been home, it feels like fall is starting to make a debut in these parts. I’ve also noticed that it is getting darker earlier (and that makes me sad). In an effort to delay the eventual end of summer, I’ve been going through my recent travel photos. Ah, what a difference a week makes.

Here are some snaps that make me think warm thoughts:

Morning coffee on the balcony

{Morning coffee on the balcony}

Had to try a cupcake from Sweets by Holly

{Had to try a cupcake from Sweets by Holly}

Can I stay here forever?

{Can I stay here…forever?}

Cooling off with a custard from Whit's

{Cooling off with a blended custard from Whit’s}

Farewell, Florida

{Farewell, Florida!}

Things Are Looking Rosy

Rose Gold Aviators from Nordstrom

I have been on a major sunglass kick lately. Prior to this summer, the only pair of sunglasses I owned were from Coach. I remember when I bought them as a college student they felt like a major splurge (and they were). But fast-forward ten years later, and I would say they were worth the money. Those sunglasses have seen me through college, traveled abroad with me, and have made countless appearances in my day-to-day life. They are a treasured possession by now and I feel naked if I leave the house without them.

In honor of my first real pair of grown-up sunglasses, I have decided to add to my collection. You may recall that I purchased a pair from Loft just a few short months ago — and they have been a welcome addition.

But when I was strolling through Nordstrom in Florida the other day (something I don’t get to do often at home because there isn’t a Nordstrom near me), I spotted a pair of sunglasses that I had to have. The rose gold aviators have been on my wish list for some time — so when I tried them on and saw the $12 price tag, I knew it was futile to resist purchasing them. I quickly scooped them up and noticed one thing almost immediately –- everything does look better when you’re looking out rose-colored glasses!

Monday Mantra: Be Open-Minded

Atlantic Beach, Florida

I’m back from Florida (and to my normal posting schedule this week). Last week was a whirlwind of new experiences for me — from driving two days down to Florida (which I highly recommend doing at least once in your life — you’ll even get to pass by the famous “South of the Border”), to exploring a new City, and finally feeling something I rarely feel when I travel…a desire to extend my stay (indefinitely?). While it’s good to get away, I’m usually excited to come home. But not this time. Have you ever been to Jacksonville? If you have, you know it is a beach lover’s and sun worshiper’s paradise!

I’ll be sharing more about my trip soon, but my time away reminded me of something that I often forget — the importance of being open-minded to new experiences. I like routine — I tend to go to the same places every summer, visit the same beaches, and head to the same events year after year. It’s easy to get complacent in the familiar, but it’s important to incorporate new adventures, which keep life interesting (and not to judge things and places before you see or try them in person). I knew little about Jacksonville before I visited last week. As a beach goer, I figured I would enjoy its proximity to the water. It’s located on the East Coast in Northern Florida, just a short drive over the border after Georgia. The one thing that struck me almost immediately was how friendly the people were and how much there was to do (I highly recommend the St. John’s Town Center, if you’re into shopping).

This trip has encouraged me to think of ways I can be more open-minded in my day-to-day life. Whether it’s a travel destination you never thought of visiting or a coffee shop that just opened that you’ve wanted to try, remember to be receptive to new excursions.

What are some ways that you practice open-mindedness in your own life?

Florida Fun

Hello again, from Florida! As I write this post, I’m sitting on what just may be the largest balcony I’ve ever seen, watching the palm trees gently blowing in the breeze. Not bad, right? It may be harder than I initially thought to leave and return to New York in just a couple of days. This time, my travel will consist of a short flight (and not an 18-hour car ride). One thing I learned during this trip is that the Florida sun doesn’t mess around. This sun worshiper was no match for the intense rays (actually, I didn’t even try laying out by the pool–it was just too hot). But I still squeezed in some summer rest and relaxation!

Here’s what I’ve been up to:

Welcome to Florida

{Welcome to Florida}


{Making friends with the locals}

Cinnamon Roll French Toast

{Cinnamon Roll French Toast at Mimi’s — A.K.A The best brunch…ever}

Florida Sunset

{Florida Sunset}

Palm Trees

{Palm trees at night}

I hope you have a great weekend. I’ll be back to my regular Monday to Friday posting schedule next week!

Sunny Summer Style

Mossimo Strapless Dress

After 18 hours in the car (and nine states and one District later), I have arrived in sunny Florida. If you’ve been following my journey on Instagram and Snapchat (@livinginsteil), you’ve probably seen all of the travel snaps I took along the way (don’t worry — more will be coming, soon).

Mossimo Strapless Dress

There was so much to do before I left New York that scheduling my posts this week never happened (#bloggerfail). So here I am, with an outfit post from Florida. To say it’s been hot and humid down here is an understatement. I wore one of my favorite summer dresses from Mossimo the other day in an effort to combat the heat. While I wish I could be lounging by the pool, my days have been filled with tons of errands. This simple strapless number, which is an oldie but goodie, was the perfect partner to beat the August humidity while still looking chic. Plus, the dress pairs nicely with my Sam Edelman sandals (which have gotten quite the workout since I purchased them). If you don’t have a simple strapless staple for summer, run to your nearest Target and check out Mossimo’s selection. This dress is so comfy that I recently bought a second one in a different print (but this one is still my favorite).

Mossimo Strapless Dress

{This chambray shirt from Mossimo is perfect for braving the AC!}

Mossimo Strapless Dress

Mossimo Strapless Dress

I’ll be back on Friday with new content. See you then!