I’m very excited to bring this very requested post to you. It was very important for me to research and try out new brands that I haven’t previously tried before. It’s incredible to see how many more swimsuit options there are now. Here are all of the suits + brands featured in my stories and some other suggestions in case you need more. Without further ado, let’s go swimming!
I’ve recently had the chance to try Away luggage to see if it lived up to all of the hype. My first trip with it was a trip to Europe. I challenged myself to only packing The Bigger Carry On (with ejectable battery) for 12 days. To see more about what I packed, you can check out this blog post here.
In a recent poll on my IG stories, I collected all of your questions about the bag and here are my honest opinions. Full disclosure, Away was kind enough to gift me the luggage but this post is not sponsored whatsoever. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
To view full product details on The Bigger Carry On, please check them out here.
QUESTIONS + ANSWERS
What size do you have?
The Bigger Carry On with the ejectable battery in Navy.
I also have The Bigger Carry On with the ejectable battery in Green and The Everywhere Bag in Navy. This size perfectly fits in standard airplanes. I had no issues fitting it in the overhead bin. The Bigger Carry-On is made to fit the standard that airlines actually use—the sizer. And the sizer can fit slightly bigger bags.
Featured and Details: Durable polycarbonate shell- Ejectable battery that charges your phone - TSA-approved combination lock - 360° spinner wheels - Interior compression system - Hidden laundry bag Exterior measurements 22.7” x 14.7” x 9.6” Interior measurements 21” x 14.5” Weight 7.8 lbs Capacity 47.9L
Does it hold everything you need? Or smaller than normal?
It may seem smaller than a normal size bag but it really does fit a lot. The bag zips in half, so you have one compartment for clothing, the other for side for toiletries, shoes, etc. I was honestly shocked by how much I could fit into the bag.
Best way to pack thing into it? How much stuff can you get in it? How many days?
In case you missed it, I shared how I packed for 12 days in Europe during the winter in a blog post here. The best way to pack (in my opinion) is to roll your items and use packing cubes. The packing cubes really help squish things down to maximize your space. I also highly recommend this flat toiletry bag. As a chronic over-packer, I was surprised to see how efficiently I was able to pack for this long trip. It’s definitely doable.
Is it easy to carry on to planes?
Very much so. I really like how sleek it is and balanced. With some of my other rolling bags, it gets top heavy and often falls over. The handle is conveniently placed so that the weight is distributed evenly. The size is perfect and fits seamlessly in the overhead bin with zero issues.
Is the handle sturdy? Easy to pull/turn? Is it rolling well?
Yes to all. I was very skeptical because I previously had the Travelpro Platinum Magna 2 and the wheels are incredible. Although these wheels aren’t as heavy duty as my other bag, it still held up really well and glided nicely. Sometimes it’s a little difficult to wheel on carpet, but so was my other bag. I’ve been pulling the Away bag through all scenarios, down stairs, through city streets and I’ve been impressed by how sturdy it is.
Durability? How is wear and tear? Scratches? Does outside get damaged?
It’s extremely durable. When you receive the bag, it comes with a self-cleaning kit which I haven’t used yet even though I maybe should. It
What is the texture like? Does it scrape hands?
The outside of the bag is a durable polycarbonate shell, which makes it waterproof and easy to clean. It’s porous and hard but not rough, if that makes sense. I’ve had no issues with scraping or rough textures against my skin.
How’s the battery feature? Love it or is it too complicated?
To be honest, I was actually nervous that it was going to be complicated but it’s SO simple. You just pop it out, charge it before your trip and push it back in. I usually carry this portable charger on me at all times but I’ve used this one quite a few times when my other one died. I think it’s a feature worth having, it absolutely doesn’t hurt.
Comparison on what you used before and the compartments?
As previously mentioned, I used this bag. The main difference in the compartments is that my old one was just one large compartment. The Away bag is evenly split into two. I prefer the Away bag because it’s easier to access things while you’re traveling. You don’t need to dig to the bottom, if that makes sense. I loved the functionality and customer service of my Travelpro, but I didn’t love the look of it.
What makes it different/ worth the splurge?
So just as a friendly reminder, I am not an Away partner, I am not being paid to promote this whatsoever. Aside from the bag being extremely functional, it’s sleek. I like how fashionable AND functional this bag is. The design is extremely smart and thought through. For so long, I’ve had bags that were functional but didn’t always look cool/ sleek. This is the first bag that I’ve found that offers both.
SHOP THESE LOOKS:
If you caught my “Let’s Get Caught Up” post on Monday, you’d know that I’ve been traveling a lot. This week, I modeled two days in Miami and then I flew across country for another modeling job in San Francisco this weekend. I knew with this week’s try on, I would have to get a little creative considering I only was able to travel with a carry on for six days.
Therefore, you voted on my stories that you were interested in me dabbling into my beauty and skincare routines. I’ve decided to share my skincare routine, keeping up with my skin while traveling and my travel kit! A bunch of you were requesting my makeup routine- that is coming soon but I wanted to focus on skincare first. You can’t have a gorgeous face of makeup until you have your skin down first!
Let’s begin with skin
I discovered Drunk Elephant less than four months ago and I’ve been amazed by the results. I’ve always had pretty decent skin, I identify as “combination sensitive,” with an oily T-zone and the occasional hormonal breakout. Ever since I started using these Drunk Elephant products, I literally get stopped in the street by strangers to tell me I have beautiful skin. The first product that made me a believer was the Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil- but we’ll get to that shortly.
I then tone the skin with this gentle, alcohol-free toner and a cotton square—it has purifying chamomile and linden extracts—to remove every last trace of cleanser, leaving skin pH balanced, de-stressed, and spa-refreshed. If you use a toner, you should NEVER feel dry or tightness after.
I recently started using this duo in the morning and I definitely feel like my skin has been brighter. I also started adding Di-Bronzi into one of serums to give my face that “sunkissed glow.” My face is actually 3-4 shades darker than the rest of my body because I never tan my face so this helps me even my color out.
My skin is now primed and prepped to put on makeup or just breathe for the day.
It is SO important to wash your face from the day, whether you wear makeup or not. I usually use the same cleanser from the morning but then I also use a Neutrogena makeup removing wipe to make sure I get everything. If I’m feeling ambitious, I will also tone and throw T.L.C. Framboos™ Glycolic Night Serum on. At the very least, I ALWAYS remember to put on this Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil. I was super skeptical about oils because of my combination skin but I seriously wake up GLOWING! It’s magical.
If you’re interested to try Drunk Elephant products but are a little unsure of the price tag, these sample kits are a great way to try the brand without having to commit to each of the items. If you’re going to splurge on one though, I’d highly recommend giving the oil a try. It seriously works on every skin type, my skin hasn’t been the same since.
Here is my favorite travel case for beauty products, it hold EVERYTHING in a way that you can actually see!
Are you loving this beauty content? What products are you interested in trying? Leave your feedback below!
This week’s Try On Confidential decision to feature Rent The Runway was fueled around this pretty red dress that I wore to my Sonoma trip last week. I’ve seriously never received so many messages about a dress before, I knew I needed to feature it this week. I’ve been a longtime Rent the Runway fan, using it as my go-to for special events. It’s so easy- they send you the items with a pre-paid UPS label and you send back the worn clothes when you’re done with them. Ship them back and they take care of cleaning the items too! Stay tuned for my IG stories to see more about the process.
They’ve recently launched their Unlimited program where you can rent 4 items on rotation and swap them as often as you’d like for $159 a month. It is the smarter, better, more thrilling way to access the fall fashion of your dreams without the typical drawbacks of seasonal transition - shopping trips, closet restocking, unpredictable weather and, worst of all- overspending. I told them I was doing this and they were kind enough to offer my readers an exclusive code for 40% off your first month of membership (cancel anytime btw)!
Use “CARALYNPERK40” for 40% off, sign up here!
Here are the four items I was able to rent, I rented with the intentions of my Sonoma trip and an upcoming wedding! Check out my stories to see how these items look on + what sizes I wore. As always, the links are all shoppable- you can shop these items directly from this page!
As I’m sure many of you saw on my Instagram account last week, I was invited, along with some other amazing bloggers, to join the Sonoma County Vintners as we celebrated Sonoma County Wine month. The purpose of the trip was to take a deep dive into Sonoma County’s history of wine making and experience all that the region has to offer. I can honestly say that I have a whole new appreciation and respect for wine and winemakers after this trip, I’m excited to show you a glimpse of my time there!
Traveling to Sonoma was quite a long trip, but everything went very smoothly! I went from Buffalo to Chicago, Chicago to San Francisco, San Francisco to Sonoma. The Sonoma airport was so small yet efficient. It was about 10 minutes from our hotel in Healdsburg, we stayed at the H2 Hotel which was adorable! I had the chance to experience this with four other incredible bloggers: Ashley Robertson, Erika Altes, Kathleen Barnes, Sira Kante and Chrissy of Harlowe James - be sure to follow them too!
Our first full day in Sonoma County started at Frei Brothers Winery. This winery is truly a historic landmark as they have been in Sonoma County for over a century. We had the the pleasure of taking an open-air Jeep tour throughout the grounds which was incredible. One of my favorite moments of the trip while at the Frei Brothers Winery was learning about how falcons and their trainers are brought in to watch over the vineyard. When grapes are ripe, they are incredibly tasty which makes them targets for all types of creatures. Falcons are natural born hunters and are used to keep these unwanted creatures away. I was incredibly moved by this because in 2018, you’d think we’d have all of this crazy technology but they were thoughtful enough to revert back to nature!
After we wrapped our tour we were treated to grape stomping. Used in traditional winemaking before machinery, grapes were crushed by having barefoot participants repeatedly stomp on them in large buckets to release their juices and begin fermentation. We were provided shoes but opted for a more authentic experience…
By this point we worked up an appetite and we were welcomed to a Farm to Table lunch with local chef Gia Passalaqua, fresh pizzas from the outdoor wood oven and the most beautiful charcuterie display I’ve ever seen! I have more photos of this on my phone than I’m willing to admit. There were a number of Frei Brothers wines that paired perfectly with this spread! My favorite was definitely the Chardonnay.
Later that evening, we were welcomed to MacMurray Estate Vineyards by Kate MacMurray and she shared the history behind the impressive property. We then retreated to the barn and mixed our own blend of Pinot Noir. The Sonoma County wine region is very large and the tastes of grapes can vary. We tried five different Pinot Noirs from Sonoma County and were able to create our own bottle and cork it and bring it home with us.
Later in the evening, we were welcomed by Bear Flag Wines for an epic dinner. We met winemaker Aaron Piotter and enjoyed a feast under the dazzling canopy of the Sonoma sky. Sonoma weather is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced- known for it’s hot days and cool evenings - we were well prepared with blankets and heaters for our meal outside. No meal is complete without dessert - we had bear-shaped homemade graham crackers for Bear Flag Wine s’mores by a rumbling campfire.
Day two began exploring Francis Ford Coppola Winery’s 2018 harvest in their vineyards with their on site viticulturist. We tasted their Zinfandel grapes that were about to be picked within the next week or so! Once we learned a little bit more about the property, we were invited to a formal tasting of Coppola wines. I was really excited to learn about all of the different types of wine they offer- at many different price points.
Tasting definitely works up an appetite, so on the second day we went outside to meet Francis Ford Coppola Winery’s Chef Tim Bodell for a “garden to table” luncheon using fresh fruits and vegetables from the winery’s garden- which we were able to pick ourselves! We definitely enjoyed the fruits of our labor.
After lunch we were welcomed to the Coppola Winery’s iconic pool, complete with our own cabana. After a few hours in the sun, we went back to our hotel, freshened up a bit and went back for an intimate Italian dinner. The next day, I headed back home to Buffalo.
We experienced A LOT in our short time in Sonoma but I will forever remember my time there. I was so moved by the passion that the community has for creating wine, I will definitely be purchasing Sonoma County wine- knowing all that has gone into it makes it taste THAT much better. If you are contemplating a trip out to Sonoma, DO IT! The people, the wine, the food- it’s incredible. Would you visit Sonoma? Leave any of your comments or questions below!
Shop my Sonoma looks below:
While it sounds exciting, planning the trip of a lifetime can be a stressful task in top of planning a wedding. We tossed around ideas of exotic locations, touring the Amalfi Coast or sailing Santorini, but when it came down to it our love for relaxing in the warm Caribbean sun made for an easy decision.
Not quick to raise his hand for wedding related tasks, Brian volunteered to lead the search for the perfect Caribbean honeymoon spot. We knew wanted something off the beaten path but also all-inclusive. After writing checks the last six months, the last thing we wanted to was pull out our wallets daily. Unfortunately, outside of the usual spots like Cancun, Jamaica, and the Dominican, the concept of “all-inclusive” isn’t all to wide spread.
Nevertheless, the Eastern Caribbean island of Antigua has always been on our radar. Boasting 365 white sandy beaches (one for each day!) and offering some of the most beautiful resorts in the world, it quickly moved to the top of the list. The only problem was that outside of your typical Sandals resort, Antigua wasn't home to many all inclusive resorts that fit our vibe. That was until we stumbled upon Cocobay Resort! We were immediately drawn to Cocobay through their beautifully curated Instagram account. Without hesitation we reached out and booked a 10 day trip in one of their Premium Waterfront Suites.
We were lucky enough to be able to leave for our honeymoon two days after our wedding. After a quick stop in NYC we were off on a quick four hour direct flight to Antigua. Upon arrival, the online images of Cocobay’s immediately came to life. With its colorful collection of pastel cottages, white sandy beaches, and turquoise water we immediately fell in love with our surroundings.
Upon entering our Premium Waterfront Suite we were instantly relaxed by its spacious interior and one of the best oceanfront views either of us have ever seen. The view was complemented by the cottage private balcony fully equipped with a hammock, daybed, and our very own private plunge pool. Being able to enjoy coffee and cocktails in this private and intimate setting was a highlight of our trip!
Cocobay offered two main swimming pools along with a main bar/clubhouse and food was served at their restaurant, Rafters. Being veterans of the all inclusive life we were a bit skeptical of only having one restaurant to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, however Cocobay exceeded our expectations. We looked forward to the dinner menu daily and frequently indulged in menu items such as beef tenderloin and spiny lobster. There were also plenty of food options off the resort that were easily accessible via hotel arranged transportation. Luckily for Cocobay guests, the grounds also is home to Sheer Rocks, voted the #1 restaurant in the Caribbean in 2018. We frequently visited Sheer Rocks for cocktails and one night for dinner for a culinary experience we will sure never forget.
Where Cocobay really won us over though was through their warm and welcoming staff. From the moment we arrived and we were personally greeted by hotel manager O’Neil Richards, we felt the staff’s personal dedication to making sure our trip was a trip of a lifetime, and they certainly succeeded!
While we are sad that the wedding journey has come to an end, we are happy we can look back on not only the wedding, but also our honeymoon with no regrets. Thanks to Cocobay we were able to unwind and recharge -together- in one of the most picturesque settings on earth. If you are looking to do the same I recommend checking them out. We surely hope to return one day!
Questions about planning a honeymoon, anniversary trip, or couples getaway? Leave them below!