10.08.2014

Honeymoon Sneak Peek








Salzburg, Austria      

My photography business, bethpriddy.com, is booming! I'm so busy I can't keep my head straight so apologies for the lack of posts here.

The honeymoon came and went and it was AMAZING. Sadly, I haven't had a chance to sit down and edit most of the photos I snapped while abroad, but wanted to share a little something for the time being. Here's a shot of Salzburg, Austria-- the prettiest city in the land. I fell in love instantly and can't wait to see more someday!

Stay tuned for updates on my recent RIP IX reads:

Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes was CRAZY good. Loved it.

Making headway on The Haunting of Hill House even if I didn't finish it in time to participate with everyone in the readalong.

And hopefully getting to Tana French's The Secret Place before Halloween. Oh, and The Shining too.



What are you reading/doing/loving? I'd love to hear! 



9.16.2014

Seasonal Reads with the RIP IX Challenge

Every year a large number of readers in the blogging community get together and read seasonal, spooky reads to celebrate Autumn and Halloween. Because it's my absolute favorite season, and reading event, and because I just love to read, I'm committing for the 4th year in a row and urge you to do the same!

So what is it, exactly...





Pick a book/movie from the following genres:
Mystery.
Suspense.
Thriller.
Dark Fantasy.
Gothic.
Horror.
Supernatural.
Or anything sufficiently moody that shares a kinship with the above.

That is what embodies the stories, written and visual, that we celebrate with the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril event.

As time has wound on this event has been honed down to two simple rules:

1. Have fun reading (and watching).
2. Share that fun with others.

My reading list (fingers crossed):
 
1) The Shining - Stephen King (I'll be attempting the novel and the movie!)
2) Broken Monsters - Lauren Beukes
3) The Secret Place - Tana French
4) The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson (The Estella Society is hosting a readalong.)



  So.. what will you be reading??




8.27.2014

Summer Vibes All Year Long




Sighs... By the time I return from my honeymoon, the local pools and beaches will be closed to the public. If that isn't THE sign that summer is over, I don't know what is.

And I'll admit I'm a little bummed in about a hundred ways... The winter was too long. The spring too short. The summer too rainy and cool. I could go on and on and on. I love the summer because I love the activities that accompany its presence. Picnics in the park, drinks on the patio, beach hangs by the lake... It's glorious and the opposite of winter and snow and cold and being trapped in my house. It's also the time of year that my skin glows! Really glows. I know a lot of this is probably in my head, but just a touch of sun and I'm bronze-kissed and glowing. I obviously don't condone bouts of tanning or any other type of activity asking for sun damage, but a little bit of sun on my skin after a long, dark winter is a blessing. Despite the layers of SPF, I still end up a bit bronzed and feel like a million dollars. So I made a vow that I'd find something to hold on to this magical dewey glow with beauty products through the winter to keep my spirits up. Even if I'm not sun-kissed, I'm getting scents of coconut with my scrub, dewey skin with my body oil, and well-rested eyes with my cream. It's a win and a sure way to beat the winter blues.

BODY: Goe Oil

This stuff is AMAZING. It's completely natural - plants, fruits and flowers! Plus, because it's a concentrated oil/butter, a little goes a LONG way. (I justify its price point because 1) it's natural, and 2) lasts forever!) It has the softest floral scent that warms me up just rubbing it on.

EYES: Shiseido Bio-Performance Super Corrective Eye Cream

Everyone I asked seemed to recommend this cream for the eyes when I was desperate to find something that would help with dryness around the eye and those darned dark circles. Admittedly, I hesitated for quite sometime because of the price tag, but am happy to report that it's worth every dollar! Allergies caused my eyes to appear worn out, dry, and flaky. Nightmare! I'm not kidding when I say I go out with this stuff on instead of makeup because it instantly makes me look doe-eyed and dewey. Plus, my dark circles have almost disappeared! Win.

HAIR: Poppy Austin 100% Argan Oil

Because my hair is pretty fine it appears damaged with the slightest provocation. In an attempt to stop dyeing my hair, I recently visited a salon and had an ombre look applied in order to allow the root growth to happen without looking horrific. However, this tiny bit of bleach really killed it despite the fact that I rarely blow dry or use hot tools on my hair. The stylist recommended 100% argan oil to be applied lightly on my ends after every shower to keep them hydrated and healthy. I went with Poppy Austin instead of the more well-known names because they're a small business and it's organic. Fragrance is nutty and glides on. I use it on my ends and when I need to tame fly-aways. Oh, that SHINE!

FACE: Triple Oxygen Facial In A Box by Bliss

Holy hell! I got acquainted with the triple oxygen kit a couple of years ago when I read a post on Design Sponge and none other than THE Grace Bonney was talking about how she LOVED the stuff. While I did like it, the price point was a little high for what it offered so I gradually let it slip off the radar. BUT during a restock trip to Sephora, I noticed these little packs for $12 dollars sitting near the check-out (that's where they always get me). I decided to nab one and give it a go. OH MY! I love it. The pack offers two facials making it perfect for travel, and gives you an opportunity to try the goods without investing an arm and leg. (Note: Users should avoid being out in the sun for extended periods of time after use). Great for gift-giving or for pampering yourself! Think GLOW!

LEGS: Secret of the Island Salt Scrub

Funny story: I found this at a restaurant at a beach in Florida when I was visiting with my girlfriends. We fell in love with it, I purchased a mason jar full of it, and dropped the damn thing trying to open it in the shower. It shattered. I screamed. J came to the rescue. Thinking about it a year later, I was longing for a salt scrub I knew would leave me moisturized but also take me back to those long beach days. I couldn't remember the scent I loved most, so I went with the five mini-jar deal, to sample some I knew I hadn't tried before. The stuff lasts a while so it's a great way to stock up, plus you can travel with them!! Big win. With scents like coconut, bamboo and grapefruit, and hawaiian ginger, I couldn't resist. The only sad bit is that they're not completely natural, and while I love the feeling of my legs after use and the fantastic smell, I'd love to find an alternative that is.

That's it. I'll be glowing all the way into January! Or February... Or March... (you get the point)


 What are you favorite skin care routines? 






8.11.2014

A Honeymoon: Munich and Paris

Remember when I wrote about having a wedding? And getting a dress for that wedding? And then deciding against a wedding and just going to England instead? But then announcing that we got married in Chicago without telling anyone so then the England thing was like whhhaaa?!?

Yep. We obviously have an issue with committing to things. Not to one another, mind you, but it's complicated. So we scratched England. Look, I LOVE London. LOVE it, but I've been numerous times so I needed to see something different. J hasn't been to Europe and was game for anything so we decided on another route. I promise you'll actually see pictures from these destinations because we've already booked the trip and there's no possibility of backing out. So. Here goes..

Destination One: Munich, Germany

J's only request was that we see a castle. Yep. So I thought Schloss Neuschwanstein would be easily accessible from Munich, and would give me a glimpse of Bavaria, a win-win for us both. I don't really know anything about the city but plan to learn as much as possible during our short visit. Sure, I'm also looking forward to beers as large as my head and pastries in equal quantity, but it isn't just the food I'm looking forward to.

Munich





I've always wanted to see Germany, and while Munich wasn't really on my radar, it allows us to see Bavaria and visit nearby Salzburg, Austria, without much difficulty. I tried hard to refrain from packing too much in, as I was inclined to do on this trip because it'd been so long since going overseas, but decided that four days seemed like enough time to explore Munich, take a day trip to Austria, and not feel like we'd missed too  much. Plus, I'm always up for future trips once we've found favorites!

Salzburg



Destination Two: Paris, France

I'm aware that Paris is THE honeymoon destination, and probably a little cliche for this particular trip, but I was so taken with a few posts from some of favorite bloggers on the sights of Paris that I became obsessed and convinced that we had to go NOW. We're also huge fans of historical adventures so Paris was a no-brainer. I'll hold off on pictures because images of Paris are practically everywhere (and I know you just can't wait to see mine). Besides Versailles, we haven't planned any trips outside of the city. I realized quickly that five days was barely enough time to fit it all in after looking at the different neighborhoods and museums. I guess that means future trips?

So... in a couple of weeks, J and I will be headed on our first European adventure together and I just can't wait.

Visited these areas before and want to share places we shouldn't miss? Share with everyone in the comments section!


All images used with permission from Entouriste.  


7.17.2014

On the Road: Wildsam Detroit Guide Launch

If a Wildsam field guide is absent from your library, you're doing something wrong. Seriously. Readers beware: you might develop a new obsession. #truth

It's not just the design aesthetic that makes these guides so special; no, it's the content between the binding that blow all other city guide books out of the water. I'm sorry, Lonely Planet, but these are infinitely cooler. In addition to the best places to eat, shop, see, and do, each guide offers a history of the city through clips of almanacs from decades past, and spotlights individuals in the community who evince its culture.

When I heard about the Detroit guide launch at a fancy USA-made watch retailer, I decided why not take a day trip, see the city, get a new copy, and meet the creator. It was pretty incredible.


Detroit as seen from Windsor, Ontario 

I'll admit I didn't know what to expect visiting Detroit. I purposely waited to buy the guide at the event and didn't do too much research because I knew I wanted to drive into Canada (my first visit), to get the best view of Detroit, and wouldn't have too much time. Everyone you talk to, it seems, will warn you of the dangers of the Motor City and display shock when you announce you plan to visit. Yes, issues of bankruptcy and high crime rates cause anyone to cringe, but it's a city on the mend with many hidden gems that are worth exploring. Plus, practicing safe travel always goes a long way. 

Honestly, Detroit itself was much like any other large city in the midwest: aging architecture, odd roundabouts, and history for miles. I loved it. Just driving by Comerica Park gave me chills. While I didn't get to see very much, I plan to make a nice weekend trip up sometime, Wildsam guide in hand.

Shinola, a Detroit-based, USA-made leather goods retailer, hosted the event and gave guests an opportunity to mingle, take in the finery of tanned leather watch bands and handsome bicycles, and meet the makers. 


One of each, please! 






For my literary friends: The Wildsam name was inspired by the novel East of Eden by Steinbeck.




The most memorable experience outside of meeting Taylor Bruce, the founder of the Wildsam project, was meeting Naomi Long Madgett. The 91-year-old, long-time Detroit resident, and poet laureate, had much to share during our brief conversation.

She loves Detroit (originally from Virginia) and has lived in the same house for 53 years. She explained to me the ways in which refrigerators used to be kept in the homes-- built-in, with motors powering them in the basement. Her brother, and confidante, was one of the distinguished Tuskegee Airmen during WWII and survived a POW camp. I can only imagine the changes she's seen in the city's landscape. If it weren't for her interview in the guide, I would never have heard her story, learned about her powerful work; it was truly an honor.

Wildsam doesn't simply suggest the best things to see and do, but also celebrates the diverse and beautiful individuals who inhabit a city, who make the city, who bring it alive. It's a refreshing look at travel and I'm embracing it completely.


*Wildsam currently only features cities in the United States (Austin, San Francisco, Nashville, and Detroit at present); however, a recent partnership with JCrew produced London neighborhood guides, so keep an eye out. **Not a sponsored post.


So, what are you waiting for? Support small business and grab a copy today!


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