I found this oldie but goodie while organizing my closet this weekend. I purchased this mint green pleated dress from Forever 21 at least six years ago and haven’t worn it for so many years. The mint green color and the flowy pleats make it the perfect summer dress. One of the best things about organizing your closet is finding old time favorites you’ve forgotten about! See similar mint green dresses (but longer versions) here, here, and here.
I have been loving this eyelash & lip printed t-shirt from Shein. For my first order on the site, I purchased five items and this was one of the two that had pretty good quality. The T is made of 65% cotton, 30% polyester, and 5% spandex. The material is not the most comfortable (I normally like 100% cotton t-shirts) but it’s not scratchy or uncomfortable and it’s great value for $11!
My favorite purchase this year is this round bag from a website called Ever Handmade. The website offers genuine leather bags at affordable prices. I came across this bag while randomly browsing online and fell in love with the shape, the color with a slight gradient, and the $99 price point. The leather is a beautiful smooth leather that has held up pretty well. No visible scratches or markings yet. The bag can be handheld or carried over-the-shoulder using the adjustable shoulder strap. The carrying capacity is limited due to its shape; I can normally carry my iPhone 6s plus, card case, key pouch, and small sunscreen when I travel. One downside is it can be hard to get into, you will need to unzip the bag completely (~70%) to be able to grab anything. On the plus side, it is a great travel bag if pickpocketing is a concern. Definitely love and highly recommend this bag!
The Celine Nano Luggage is one of my all-time favorites because of its design and functionality. The Luggage is a no stranger to anyone who is into designer handbags. When Phoebe Philo introduced the robot-looking tote in 2010, it became an instant hit and 7 years later, it is still going strong. If you are looking to buy this bag or debating between the sizes, leathers, or colors then hopefully this review will be helpful!
Before we get into the review on the Nano Luggage, I want to quickly write about the four different sizes for the Luggage.
Luggage Sizes: Nano, Micro, Mini or Phantom
One of the hardest decisions when you want to purchase the Luggage tote is deciding on which size you want. All the sizes have different use cases and you might want to have one of each but unfortunately that is unrealistic. Here are my personal views on the sizes:
- Nano (8” x 8” x 4” / $2,700+) – The nano is a perfect weekend and travel bag. It is a hassle free bag that you can toss over your shoulder so you can focus on enjoying your weekend and having fun. It is also lightweight and surprisingly roomy so you can generally fit everything you need. (Note it is the only size that comes with a shoulder strap)
- Micro (10” x 10” x 6” / $2,900+) – The micro would be a perfect work bag, the size is just right so it is not too heavy but big enough to fit everything you would need for work (if you don’t lug around big folders and laptops).
- Mini (12” x 12” x 7” / $3,100+) – The mini was the first size that was introduced and is also a great work bag if you need the extra room. It is also a great travel bag due to its bigger carrying capacity. The downsides are: it will get heavy and mini tends to lose its shape more easily than the micro or the nano.
- Phantom (12” x 11” x 9” / $3,400+) – The phantom is the largest Luggage and the most unique in my opinion. I love the extra wide wings and the long braided tassel. I also love the effortless vibe the phantom throws off. The only problem is if you have a small frame, the phantom can look overwhelming. Plus, this will be the heaviest bags out of the four.
Between these four sizes, I didn’t consider the mini and phantom because they are way too big for my 5’2” frame and I really shy away from heavy top handle bags. I debated for a while between the micro and the nano. Originally I was set on the micro size but ultimate I picked the nano because of the shoulder strap and my general preference for smaller bags. (Although I do still want the micro in souris….)
Okay now onto the full Nano Luggage review.
Structure – Inside & Outside
The Nano Luggage is simple yet complicated at the same time. It’s simple because the bag is literally a square tote with two top handles, one shoulder strap, and one small zipper compartment on the outside. Then the inside is just one large open compartment with one slot for your cards and a top zipper to close the bag. It’s complicated because of the recognizable “face” on the front and the “curves” on the back.
It took me some time but ultimately I fell in love with the look of the Nano Luggage. Even though the bag is ubiquitous; the design is very unique relative to other handbags on the market. Usually the smaller the bag the more “dressy” it looks; however, the nano is one of the smaller casual bags. As much as I love the look, it is the functionality of this bag that won me over and makes it one of my all time favorites.
The nano looks small, but you shouldn’t be fooled because it actually fits a decent amount. As a weekend bag, I usually carry my iPhone 6S Plus, card case, full sunglass case, and a small makeup bag. It has enough room to carry around all my essentials comfortably. It also prevents me from lugging around things that might be “nice to have” but I will likely not use. The middle compartment is also not so big that you have to “fish” for your belongings. Everything is easily reachable and organized =)
I love this blouse from Asos for various reasons:
- First and foremost, the combination of a “typical” blouse in the front with a unique open, tie detail in the back
- The longer sleeves provide better sun protection
- The loose fit is comfortable in the hot weather
- The material is 100% polyester but it doesn’t feel cheap, the fabric actually feels pretty nice
Sadly, there are only a couple of sizes left for this blouse on Asos, hopefully they will re-stock this affordable piece soon!
Next up are these Aquazzura Spin Me Around sandals. I have been wanting these sandals for a while and once I saw them for 50% off on the Aquazzura website, I decided to purchase them. Here are my thoughts after a couple of wears:
- Great low-block sandal (50mm) that is perfect for the summer
- The suede material is super comfortable and does not rub against my feet
- The only uncomfortable part is my pinky toe get slightly pinched after walking around for a while; it’s weird because the front strap is not tight at all, there are plenty of room for my toes. Hopefully this is the “breaking-in” process and soon I won’t have this pinky toe pinching problem
- I love the simple black sandal with the little gold straps across the ankle. However, I wished the gold straps were a little lower on the ankle so it is more flattering for short legs
Viñales, located in the Pinar del Río province of Cuba, is beautiful and a must-visit destination if you travel to Cuba. We booked a day trip to Viñales to explore the lush tobacco plantations and to see a different side of Cuba. The day trip cost 67 CUC (~$75 USD) per person; we booked it through a local agency located in the lobby of Hotel Iberostar near Parque Central.
The drive was ~2 hours on a comfortable, air-conditioned bus. The tour guide was very pleasant and knowledgeable. She shared information about Cuba (i.e., the island, people, school, healthcare, etc.) then Pinar del Rio and Viñales. The tour was given in both Spanish and English and stoped at el Cuevo del Indio, a tobacco plantation, the Mural del la Prehistoria, and a lookout point near Hotel Los Jazmines.
The first stop was at Cuevo del Indio, a cave that Guanajatabey Indians used to reside in. The cave was rediscovered in 1920 and is definitely a hot tourist destination, we had to wait ~15 minutes before we could go inside. I would highly recommend trying the freshly squeeze sugar cane juice (with or without alcohol) for 2 CUC. It was so delicious!
The cave was lit inside and the walk was around 10 minutes, it wasn’t strenuous and definitely a good activity if you have little kids. At the end of our walk, we took a small boat ride in the underground river back out. I liked this cave and enjoyed gawking at the beautiful rock formations. If I had more time, I would have also liked to explore the Gran Caverna de Santo Tomas, the largest cave system in Cuba.
Our second stop was at a tobacco planation. Unfortunately, it wasn’t tobacco season so we didn’t see fields of tobacco plants (tobacco is usually planted in October / November and harvested a couple months later). We did go inside a thatched barn where the farmer passed around tobacco seeds and rolled a cigar in front of us. Once the plants are harvests, they will be dried and fermented inside these thatched barns. We explored the farmer’s home, had some coffee and then purchased some cigars. Cigars come in a pack for 10 for 10 CUC. Tobacco farmers in Cuba have to sell 90% of their tobacco to the government, the remaining 10% they can keep and sell.