Cancun

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Cancun, you took my breath away.

For those who have never been to Cancun, I would definitely recommend visiting. The first time I visited Cancun was when I was a baby, so obviously I wasn’t able to appreciate it.

This time around we took a family trip, which was amazing! It’s always nice spending time with family, especially with my nieces. We stayed at the Oasis Resort, which is perfect for a family trip. If you’re not traveling with kids or family, I would suggest to stay somewhere else because this resort was very kid friendly. Nothing wrong with that but if that’s not your cup of tea, then definitely would suggest to stay at a different hotel.

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Day 1: Straight from the plane, we went to the beautiful Isla Mujeres, where we took a boat ride around the island and into town to have lunch. We then went snorkeling and my nieces were able to swim with sharks (I was terrified to be honest).

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Day 2: We spent the entire day at Xcaret, which was incredible. We visited the Xcaret park, where we saw flamingos, parrots, baby quails, fish of all kind, turtles, you name it. We had lunch right by the beach, then ended the night watching one of their amazing shows. Long day but so worth it.

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Day 3: Our third day was very relaxing. We decided to just hang by the pool and beach. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to Chichen Itza (original plans for day 3) because day 2 really wore us all out. So having a more chill day was definitely in order.

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It was a very fun and very short trip for both George and I, but it was totally worth it.

Hope you enjoy my vlog. Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel and give this video a thumbs up. Also, be sure to follow me on Instagram to see where I’m headed to next.. (hint hint… it’s Mexico again). 😉

xo

How to Juggle Blog Life and Real Life

 

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How to Juggle Blog Life and Real Life….

Really wish I could say “OMG, it’s SOOO easy. All you have to do is this, this, and that!”  Wish it were as easy as snapping my fingers. That would honestly be amazing and make my life easier, LOL.

Balancing work and play isn’t that easy but you have to always keep in mind to find a happy medium, especially with family and friends.

How to Juggle Blog Life and Real Life

This is how I juggle both my blog life and really life, that have actually helped me stay sane….

  • I try to get all my work done before George gets home from work, so that I can be present and give him my full attention.
  • I always work my schedule around his. On his days off, I will make sure to clear my schedule, whether it’s skipping events (unless it’s a campaign) or scheduling my meetings and appointments on days he’s working.
  • I make sure my blog and social media content is scheduled and done at the beginning of the week so that it is less stressful when I’m trying to do real life things outside of blogging.
  • When I get campaigns while I’m traveling with George, I like to get them out of the way by shooting all content early in the morning, so that we can enjoy the rest of the day, and enjoy each other’s company.
  • I often meet with my blogger friends to shoot content together so that when I’m spending time with family and friends, I don’t bother them for a photo.
  • I always make a list of things I need to get done. What’s important and what can wait. Prioritizing is key.

Sure, things come up and don’t always work out the way you expect them to, but what I’ve learned is having a plan is VERY helpful, and makes your life so much easier.

Besides, happy hubby, happy….

Wait, I don’t think that’s how it goes. 😉

xo

Wedding Tips, The Do’s and Don’ts and What I’ve Learned

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If you’re reading this, then we are officially in Puerto Vallarta celebrating our 1 year wedding anniversary (cue the music/happy tears) woohoo!

Shut the front door?! Is this real life? Are we really celebrating our 1 year as husband and wife already? Where did the time go? WTF? OMG! This is CRAZY!… Pretty much what is happening inside my head right now as I’m drafting this post.

Wow, omg, where do I even begin… ummmm, let’s see. There’s just so much that is running through my head right now.

I recently watched my wedding video and went through my camera roll, and watched all the snapchat stories/videos our friends and family sent us. Not going to lie, I got a little teary eyed. The reason why I decided to draft a post around the topic: Wedding Tips, The Do’s and Don’ts and What I’ve Learned, is because so many thoughts were running through my head from what I would’ve done differently, the what ifs, if only – to the should’ve could’ve would’ve. I mean, obviously none of this really matters now and regardless, I have no regrets. BUT, I definitely wanted to share my thoughts on a few points in hopes this would somehow help a bride-to-be.

So here it is…

  • DO: Hire a wedding planner. I would’ve been lost without my dear friend/wedding planner Evelyn (@harlowplanning). She was seriously my wedding god-mother/therapist/EVERYTHING.
  • DON’T: This is where things get pricey because you steer away from what a wedding means, and start spending money on shit things you really don’t need just to please your guest. BIG Mistake. HUGE (in my Vivian voice from Pretty Woman)!
  • DO: Instead of gifts, have your guest contribute to your honeymoon. Create a honeymoon fund website. Obviously, this only applies to couples who already live together and don’t need housewarming gifts.
  • DON’T: Keep your wedding favors simple. Ask yourself, would you realistically use this (xyz) if it was gifted to you? Is it a waste of money? The majority of your guest end up leaving the favors behind, so try to get something that is practical to use or something fun/unique. I mean, there’s just so many wine openers a person can own, amirite or amirite?
  • DO: Make sure you hire a really good photographer and videographer. These two are probably the most important of them all and where I would put extra $$ because these are the memories you’ll forever have.  You can never re-do your wedding if you end up being disappointed with your photos and video. And make sure you give them inspiration to look at for the big day. You must be very specific as to what you want them to capture because once the moment is gone and has passed, it’s too late to recreate.
  • DON’T: Please, I repeat, please don’t be a bridezilla. I wasn’t quite a bridezilla, only probably during the time we were planning my bridal shower because I’m very particular aka like to have full control of everything so letting go of some of the responsibilities and pass them down to my bridesmaids was tough. Honestly if I knew then what I know now, then I would’ve been more chill about it, but that’s the thing, you won’t know until you experience it.
  • DO: Make sure you have a good DJ. Music is everything.
  • DO: Create a hashtag and a snapchat filter for your guest to use on social media.
  • DO: Photo Booths are so much fun so I would highly recommend having one at your wedding.
  • DO/DON’T: Do have an open bar (maybe just during cocktail hour), but don’t keep it open all night. Although you want everyone to have a good time, you also don’t want everyone do be s** faced at your wedding, ya know what I’m saying?
  • DO: Write your own wedding vows. I think it’s so special and more meaningful when couples do this.
  • If you’re planning a big wedding but are on a budget, still expect to pay a pretty large amount, because let’s be real, a wedding is so expensive even if you try to cut corners (I tried) or DIY your entire wedding (yup tried this, too). I don’t care what anyone says, it’s expensive planning a wedding. period. the end.
  • This is a no-brainer, but make sure you have an inspiration board or a vision of how you want your wedding to be. Create a Pinterest account if you don’t already have one. If you have no direction, then good lawd! You in trouble… just kidding! But seriously, it’s a MUST.
  • Remember, this is YOUR big day and the wedding should be filled with nothing but love and happiness. The importance of a wedding is that you (the bride and groom) are gathered around the people you love most, and are there to celebrate YOU. Often people forget the true meaning of a marriage. It is not a big party to host your friends and family. It is a time for your friends and family to join YOU to celebrate YOU, and your love together as a couple.

The most stressful part was the guest list. My gosh, I cannot even tell you how stressful this was. Who do we invite? Is it rude if we don’t give them a plus one? I mean, they’re not married so not giving them a plus one is fine, right? My wedding planner did say that 10-15% of your guest won’t show up even if they RSVP’d. When she told me this, I said “Yeah right! All of my guest who RSVP’d will show up.” But she was right. Which leads to the most expensive part of a wedding: the food. This was also a tough one to decide what food.

My wedding planner also did say that you end up losing friends along the way. Psshhhh, I laughed and rolled my eyes. Thought she was crazy, out of her mind. Again, she was right about this one, too. It’s unfortunate that this was true and that it happened, but like they say, “some people are only meant to be in your heart, not in your life.”

If I could re-do my wedding all over again, what changes would I make? Hmmm… I would do a destination wedding for sure. The original plan was to get married in Palm Springs or Hawaii. I knew I wanted a outdoor garden themed wedding, and don’t get me wrong, the location I had my wedding at fulfilled my garden-theme expectations/dreams, but I would definitely change the venue even if it were held again locally. Also, I probably would’ve had a second dress. I did, however have interchangeable sleeves for my dress – one for the ceremony and one for the reception.

Gosh, I’ve learned so much during and after planing my wedding. It was stressful, quite possibly one of the most nerve-wracking things I’ve ever had to plan. Just thinking about it makes me feel like I need a drank. LOL!

I feel like I covered everything, unless I think of anything else, I’ll be sure to share on Instagram stories (@melrodstyle). If you’re interested to see more about my wedding, then head over to Instagram and type in our wedding hashtag #MandGtobe.

I really hope this information was somewhat helpful for some of you, and as always if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment down below or DM on instagram.

Stay tuned for next week’s post where I share a few fun facts about George and I, along with a fun video. 🙂

In case you missed last year’s video right before our wedding, here it is again.

Ok, now where was I?… Oh, yes soaking up the sun.

Excuse me señor, can I get another margarita, for favor?! Gracias. 

xo

Packing Tips for a Summer Getaway

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As I am just a few hours away from taking off to Puerto Vallarta, still not packed not even a little bit. DON’T PANIC., decided I’d share what I usually pack when I’m headed somewhere warmer.

Packing Tips for a Summer Getaway.

Here are a just a few tips of what I like to pack…

  • I always try on every single piece of item that I plan to bring with me. Trust me, this prevents from over packing. So much easier and less stressful.
  • Pack basics white and black tees and tank tops. These are perfect for day to night outfits, and they make great layering pieces.
  • Pack a few sandals and one pair of sneakers. You really only need 2-3 pairs of shoes plus a pair of flip flops. Honestly, I never pack heels anymore because I noticed every time I do bring heels with me, I never end up wearing them. Lesson learned.
  • Swimsuits, obvi. I always like to bring one for each day. I like to pack one-piece swimsuits as well because you can use them as tops paired with shorts.
  • At last three pairs of shorts and one denim skirt. These double as swimsuit cover ups, too.
  • Pack 1-2 maxi dresses. Dresses are always a must because they’re perfect for either day time or night time.
  • One to two pairs of sunglasses. I always pack cheapy sunnies, just in case they get lost.
  • Bring at least one statement piece of jewelry. For me, I’m really into earrings so I’m definitely packing statement earrings and dainty layered necklaces.
  • If you’re married, I suggest leaving your wedding rings at home. Both George and I never travel anywhere internationally with our rings. You just never know if they get lost or stolen.
  • Pack your beauty products in one bag away from any of your tech accessories, such as chargers, batteries, camera, etc…
  • Don’t forget hair ties and bobby pins, especially if you’re planning to travel somewhere humid.
  • Bring dry shampoo, and anything you need to protect your hair from the heat. HOT MESS HAIR, I DO CARE.
  • Don’t forget sunscreen.
  • Pack little to no makeup. I never pack a lot of makeup because I don’t like to wear makeup while I’m out laying by the pool or the beach. I keep it very minimal. Instead, I pack a tinted moisturizer, anything that already has sunscreen. Pack at least one neutral and one pop of color lipstick, and bring a bronzer.
  • Either carry your hat(s) with you on the plane or pack upside down in your suitcase. Fill it up with either swimsuits, undergarments or socks, and fold/roll your clothes and pack around your hat to secure your hat from moving or bending around. This will help from damaging your hats.
  • Bring a tote bag to serve as a carry-on. It’ll double as a beach bag as well. Also, you really only need one day bag (cross body or backpack) and one clutch for the evening.
  • Pack neutral color clothing. If you want to add a pop of color to your outfits, accessories and shoes are always the way to go. My go-to colors are always neutrals, but I like playing with colors with my shoes and jewelry.

I hope these packing tips are helpful!

Happy traveling, and happy Cinco de Mayo!

xo

SHOP MY FAVORITES:

Lulus Vacation Dresses in Tulum

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Sponsored by Lulus

You guys, Lulus has done it again! No one can argue that when it comes to finding the best vacation dresses, Lulus vacation shop has you covered. They nail it every season.

From mini, to maxi and everything in between, their dresses were perfect for my trip to Tulum. Their huge assortment made it so difficult to narrow down my selections because there are so many cute dresses to choose from.

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Look #1: Red Striped Dress, SunglassesFlatform Espadrille Sandals

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I decided to go with an off the shoulder mini dress (I love anything off the shoulder), a strappy maxi dress and flowy button-down midi dress. I love that these dresses were perfect for a day out on the beach as well as for dinner with the girls. They also doubled as bikini cover-ups, which is a win win!

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Look #2: Royal Blue Print Midi Dress, Rhinestone Statement NecklaceFlatform Espadrille Sandals

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Look #3: Coral Pink Print Maxi Dress, Aviator Sunglasses, Crochet Fringe Bag, Slide Sandals

If you’re looking for vacation dresses or the best dresses in general, I highly suggest checking out Lulus vacation dresses.

xo

Glamping with Pets

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Glamping with Pets

The tree house that filled my Instagram DM’s with the most asked question “Where is this place?!”

The anticipation is over, you guys. Here is all you need to know about our home-away-from-home getaway.

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George and I had been wanting to go glamping… Well, I wanted to go glamping. He wanted to go camping. I stumbled upon this gem online, and instantly fell in love. I mean, can you blame me?! This lovely safari tent cabin is located on a secluded ranch near warner springs – about a two hour drive from LA.  It was the perfect place for a quick getaway.

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Wine with a view… I could’ve stayed in here for hours.

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Best way to wake up every morning.

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The best part about this camp site was that they allow pets. We brought our girl Marley, and she had a blast!

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She was beyond spoiled during this trip.

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During our stay, we visit a few vineyards, which allowed us to bring Marley with us, so it was a perfect “Marley and Us” trip. 🙂

Click here for more information.

xo

Girlfriends Who Easter

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I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love to brunch. Brunch is such a delightful affair. The workweek is over, and it’s all about enjoying your time off. Plus, there’s food, which is obviously the most exciting part.

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This week is all about Easter, so Sunday brunch with girlfriends seemed fitting. I invited my two favorite blogger gals Enocha of Locks and Trinkets and Elizabeth of A Keene Sense of Style to brunch at Manuela – a relaxed and informal atmosphere. Right up my alley. Manuela brings southern charm to the Arts District with their locally-grown produce, and a variety of vintage furniture throughout the restaurant. It was a gorgeous place to take photos. Besides, what’s a blogger brunch without taking a million photos before eating, right?! 😉

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No better way to celebrate the holiday than gathered with your best gals over a delicious meal and yummy lattes. Sounds like the perfect way to end the weekend.

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I decided to switch things up this Easter. Instead of a pastel color, I opted for a metallic-shimmery lacquer – Worth A Pretty Penne. It has a slight rose-tinted silvery-copper tone that has quickly made its way to my top favorite colors this season.

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photos: Stefanie M Mariee

I hope your Easter is filled with nothing but good memories. Whether you’re meeting up with friends or spending it with your family, the most important thing is to be surrounded by those who mean the world to you.

 

Happy Easter!

xo

Home Sweet Home

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If you know me you know that I am constantly decorating my home. Whether it’s moving rugs around from one room to another (George is going to kill me one day), or moving accents pieces around.

Warning: Major photo overload. You have been warned.

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I decided to share bits and pieces of my living room to my dining table area… that we have yet to properly have dinner on BTW (shrugging my shoulders). It’s still a work in progress – I say this only because I’m probably going to rearrange things again tomorrow. I’m just never satisfied, lol.

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By the way, how cute is my cactus candle?! I’m currently obsessed with it.

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Hope you enjoyed my little-long tour of my home. I’ve listed all items below to shop and check out.

H&M Washed Linen Duvet Cover Set in Grey and Dotted Duvet Cover Set

Pillows: Loloi Rugs, here, here and here

H&M Glass Vase and Metal Tray

H&M Metal Tea Light Holder

H&M Tall Candlestick Holder and Small Candlestick Holder 

H&M Metal Tray with Rim

Dining Table Rug: Rugs USA

Dining Table Wicker Accent Chairs: Target

Dining Table Stool: Home Goods

H&M Metal Magazine Rack

H&M Round Metal Mirror

Bar Cart: Home Goods

Cactus Candle: Wik Studios

Fringe Throw: Salvage Dior

xo

Hauser Wirth and Schimmel

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photos: Stefanie M Mariee

I went to see the Jason Rhodes installation at the Hauser With and Schimmel, and it was amazing!

xo

SHOP THE LOOK:

Blazer (similar) | Sweater Dress (similar) | Bag | Boots

How I Started My Blog + Blog Tips

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I cannot believe my blog is turning 7 this year (insert clapping hands emoji here).

I decided to share how I started MelRodStyle in today’s post, plus share a few blog tips.

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HOW I STARTED MY BLOG:

I always knew I wanted to do something with fashion.  I went to FIDM and worked in the fashion industry. I remember working in a showroom, and how much clothing I would be gifted. I seriously played dress-up all day and put looks together. Ugh, I loved it, but there was no way of me showing these outfits, other than to George or Boo Boo Kitty (true story). There had to be some way I could share my outfits with my friends – I thought. Mind you, social media didn’t really exist.

Then one day, I was sitting in my car looking over a FIDM newsletter I received in the mail, and came across a blogger. It immediately caught my attention, and went online to find out more about this whole blogger thing. That’s when I stumbled upon a few other bloggers, like Cupcakes and Cashmere, Fashion Toast, Sincerely Jules, The Blonde Salad. I knew right then and there that this was it. This was the platform I needed to be on. I could share my outfits. It was perfect. I was so excited, you have no idea!

And just like that, on June 15, 2010, my blog was born. Not a clue in the world as to what I was doing. I was just going with it. My blog was mainly focused on OOTDs and DIYs. Also, my blog was once called Modanista Junkie. Moda is Fashion in Spanish. I thought I was being clever by making up a word (sigh… don’t ask). That quickly changed. Thought MelRodStyle was more fitting, since everyone called me Mel or MelRod anyway.

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BLOG TIPS:

How to start a blog? Just start.

If you’re new to this blogging world, then guess what, you’re already ahead of the game because any fashion/beauty blogger that began their blog around or before 2007-2010 will  agree with me that they had no clue what they were doing and didn’t realize that blogging would be what it is today. All you newbies out there get to see all our trials and errors.

Don’t try to perfect every little detail on your website. Just buy the domain, and start creating amazing content. Make sure you have good quality images though. It’s all about the lens.

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BRAND COLLABORATIONS:

Advice to brands: Send straight-to-the-point emails. Make it short and sweet.

Make sure you know the blogger you are reaching out to. I cannot tell you how many emails I receive that read: “Dear Melanie, we’ve been huge fans of your blog for several years now”…. Well if that was the case, then you’d know my name is not Melanie. Also, don’t send out “Dear Blogger” emails (insert eye rolling emoji here).

I created my blog as a hobby. Never in a million years did I think it would be what it is today. I thought I would have my blog as a hobby and continue to work a 9-5 job until I was able to pursue my own business (shoe line and open my own store). Things are so different now. I get to be my own boss. I get to make what I thought was just a hobby a career. Is this real life?

There has been several times where Brands don’t feel that they should pay influencers. My favorite is when they reach out to me to offer content to share on my blog, and provide a list of requirements, and tell me they do not have a budget for this collaboration. Now what do I get out of this? Nothing. What do they get out of it? Free advertisement. Brand exposure.

I think it’s very important for companies to know that some of us bloggers make a living out of this. And although it’s nice to receive free gifts, gifts are not going to pay the bills, unfortunately. Bloggers provide a service just like any other company does, like a spa, a hair salon, the list goes on.

I work with many PR agencies that loan me styles to shoot, however; there is always a mutual agreement of some sort, plus I have amazing relationships with most of these companies.

Is it ok to promote brands for product in trade? Sure, why not. Is it rude to say no? Absolutely not. It is up to you how you wish to proceed with every partnership. Whether it’s kindly declining or agreeing to their terms. I do both gifting terms and paid, depending on the collaboration.

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photos: Stefanie M Mariee

BUT BLOGGING IS EASY… WHAT? LIKE IT’S HARD?!

Insert laughing emoji here, here and HERE!!! What people do not understand is that blogging isn’t that simple. There’s a lot that goes into creating content. You don’t just grab a camera, point and shoot. You have to pay attention to your surroundings, your backgrounds, the lighting, the angles, and most importantly that your outfits are on point (or whatever you’re shooting is amazing). There is so much work that is put into creating content.

DO I LOVE BLOGGING?

OMG, yes! It’s so much fun. I love what I do. I love creating content, meeting new people, making new friends, and of course having your support.

You have no idea how blessed and thankful I am for having you all by my side on this crazy-fun journey of mine. Somebody pinch me.

 

xo

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