Hilton Head Island Travel Diary: The iPhone Version

So if you aren’t following me on Instagram (which you should because sometimes it’s funny) you may not have known that I took a much needed vacation last week to Hilton Head Island. It’s one of my favorite places for a ton of different reasons. I love the atmosphere, the scenes, the fact that it is a quiet community and the food! So here are some of the highlights of my trip!

For the first time in almost four years we stayed on the South end of the island, right down the street from Coligny Beach. We were walking distance from food and shopping of any kind; and the most important, we were on beach front so we could easily walk to the beach at any given time during the day. It was so easy to have a relaxing vacation when everything was at your fingertips. Plus it didn’t hurt that according to the FitBit, we got well over 10,000 steps a day. Plus you could constantly hear the waves crashing which is the ultimate sound for relaxation.

Being so close to the beach and the fact that this was a much needed vacation was a no brainer that all day, every day I was at the beach. I loaded up on the SPF and literally chilled. The beach was quiet after Labor Day Weekend and even more quiet with the threat of a hurricane. But still I relaxed. And swam in the ocean. And played with sea creatures. I’ve got plenty of questions about this hat, the striped bathing suit and the kimono cover up; so they are all linked here!

Hat // Striped Bathing Suit // Kimono

Hilton Head Island is known for their world class golf courses and food. And well let’s just say I prefer food over the links. I have been waiting 5 whole years to try this place. They shut down for a week before Summer and it just so happens that’s always the week I visit. But it was worth the wait. Perfectly cooked cajun southern food. I had the etoufee and it was amazzzzzinggggg! If you visit Hilton Head, I suggest visiting Kenny B’s.

I found Java Burrito Company on Instagram and I am so glad that I did. It’s like a local Chipotle but for every meal and a full coffee bar inside. I had a breakfast bowl and iced dirty chai. Hands down one of the best decisions I made on that trip.

Ela’s is becoming a favorite on the island for me to visit. A little swanky, quiet, on the waterfront and the service and food is outstanding. We visiting the day before the evacuation was in order for Irma and they were still open. We had the place to ourselves and the service nor food suffered due to being understaffed or the island becoming a ghost town.

Marley’s Island Grill was a first for me, but not a last. Sooooooo good! A Caribbean take on local seafood. I got chorizo almond crusted scallops which may actually be one of the top 20 best meals of my life. So good.

There is just beauty and magic every where on the island. Maybe it’s because you are on vacation or island time. Whatever it is, it works. My soul feels a little more full after my visit there.

Happy Travels!

Traveling #OOTD

There is still time to get some last minute Summer traveling in, but I personally prefer to travel in the Fall. And it’s probably because I live in a tourist town where everyone flocks to it during the Fall time. Those beautiful leaves y’all! So I’m off to the beach for a week, vacay started Saturday and I have several other travel plans for the Fall (and escaping all those leaf lookers). And the weather is cooling off and let’s be real; I like to have the car feeling like Antarctica when I’m traveling even if I need to wrap up in something cozy due to it. So this look is perfect from going from somewhere chillier (or even traveling to somewhere chillier) to somewhere warmer. And it’s perfect for going from the car ride or flight to going straight to getting your vacation on.

I’ve said it before and million times over, but a t-shirt dress is the answer to all your styling problems. It’s simple, versatile and most of the times you can find them for extremely affordable prices. Plus it can carry you from season to season, or from somewhere chillier to warmer. I love this striped one I got at Target in the early Spring. It’s striped (duh), the perfect weight, comfy as all get out and can be worn super casual or dressed up. Plus it doesn’t get wrinkled as easy even after being in the car (or plane) for hours.

I paired it with a light weight cardigan for temperature changes and to just be comfy in the car. Plus if I get to hot, this cardigan will make a great pillow. Versatile pieces guys! With comfort being key, I paired this with some Converse shoes. It has a whole beachy casual vibe to it, but when I get to the island, if I need to make a quick change I can easily throw on some sandals and be ready to go.

Let’s not forget the big bag. Easy to carry all the important things like a phone charger, reading material, road trip snacks and anything I may want to change in to if I’m not heading to the villa first.

Ready to go! Make sure you all are following along on Instagram as I will really be documenting this much anticipated and much needed vacation.

Pawley’s Island Vacation Recap

Pawley's Island Vacation Recap 8-50 8-51 8-52 8-53 8-54 8-55 8-56 8-57 8-58 8-59 8-60 8-61

 

I went to Pawley’s Island last week for the last vacation of the summer! Located in the lowcountry of South Carolina I got to experience a lot of great food, the wonderful beach, golf and the nature surrounding the beach. This time I focused more on the experiences than documenting the time, so there isn’t a ton of pictures. All in all it was a good trip (besides all the rain storms) and can’t wait to head to the beach again.

What was your favorite thing you did this summer?.

Vacation Hair and Make Up

Vacation Hair and Make UpVacation Hair and Make UpVacation Hair and Make Up

When on vacation or traveling for that matter, I don’t put a lot of fuss in to my hair. I try to avoid using heat on it as much as possible, and when actually traveling to my destination I want my hair off my neck and out of my face. For either traveling or exploring a new city, a braided bun is the way to go for me. It keeps my hair out of my face and off my neck, plus it looks cute! There are a ton of tutorials on Youtube that you can get plenty of inspiration from.

Vacation Hair and Make UpVacation Hair and Make UpVacation Hair and Make Up

While traveling and also on vacation I like to keep my make up routine extremely simple. The change in humidity, bad eating and the use of spf really doesn’t do great with my skin so adding a lot of make up to that doesn’t help. If I’m wearing make up on vacation it’s a thin foundation that is matte like the Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless, blush like this Elf blush palette (that also makes great for packing), thin layer of eye shadow, and concealer. That’s all I really need to not look like death and to keep my face from breaking out.

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How To Pack A Hat In A Suitcase

Spring Suede

Hats are in trend right now with music festivals here and summer around the corner. But when you are heading on vacation, you first thought might be to forget the hat because it might loose it’s shape or get crushed all together. There is a really simply way for you to pack your hat, and for the hat to still be in perfect condition when you get to your destination.

How To Pack A Hat In A Suitcase

First pick out your hat! Whether it’s a fedora or floppy straw hat, make sure the hat itself will fit in the suitcase. The hat I’m packing is this gray wool hat from Forever 21!

How To Pack A Hat In A Suitcase

Then start by packing all of your heavier clothes. I put beach towels, denim and dresses in the bottom of my suitcase. If you are flying this is where your heavy shoes and styling products would need to go.

How To Pack A Hat In A Suitcase

Then I picked out a cardigan to stuff inside my hat. You could uses a vest, dress, or long sleeve shirts to fill up the inside of your hat.

How To Pack A Hat In A Suitcase

I then rolled the cardigan up and stuffed it inside my hat, making sure the shape of the hat was still in tact. If you put too much or something too big inside it could mess up the mold.

How To Pack A Hat In A Suitcase

Then place the opening down in the suitcase and begin to pack your lighter items around the hat until your suitcase is fully packed.

Interested in travel tips? Make sure you follow 30 Shades of Stephanie on Facebook; for the entire month of May at 7:00 pm there will be stylish traveling tips. Because who doesn’t love to travel in style?!.

Tips For Blogging On and About Your Vacation

How To Blog About Your Vacation

We all deserve a little R&R every now and again, but it’s hard to completely have a vacation when you are a blogger because let’s face it, the internet doesn’t take a vacation. So I have come up with some tips and blog post ideas for while you are away on vacation.

Pre-Schedule Social Media and Blog Posts

It’s really great to go on vacation and know you will not have to worry about editing, writing or posting. Most blogging platforms have the option to schedule posts in advance, Facebook allows business pages to schedule posts and there are other options for scheduling other social media platforms such as Sprout Social  or Hootsuite. This can take up some time before your vacation (and Sprout Social and Hootsuite cost) to get everything in order, but it will allow you to fully enjoy your vacation and essentially be social media free if you want to.

Set An Amount of Time For Social Media Per Day

If you are not wanting to invest in a scheduled social media project (a blog and Facebook are free) I would set a certain amount of time each day dedicated to social media. While on vacation I would limit this to about an hour per day, which gives you ample enough time to check and respond to e-mails, respond to your followers and actively post tidbits to social media. You may get up before everyone else and check out a new coffee shop and do this or do it before heading to bed. My main purpose on vacation is to relax and disconnect from daily tasks a little bit and connect with my surroundings and people around me.

Plan Posts About Your Vacation Prior to Going on Vacation 

I personally like to plan ahead of time, so when I know I’m going on vacation I have a general idea of what I want to share with my readers about vacation. Depending on how much you want to share of your vacation will of course determine what posts you will publish for your viewers. Here are a few ideas that would fit in with any type of blog:

  • Scenic Outfit Posts
    • This works great if you are a fashion blogger or lifestyle blogger because it’s a change of background from your typical scenery. It’s also a fun time to experiment with different looks that might not work for your hometown.
  • Photo Diary
    • If you don’t want to make numerous posts about your vacation, a photo diary works great because you can show some highlights from your trip with your readers. This also works great if you have left your camera at your hotel more times than not, by sharing some awesome photos captured that you as a person thought were worthy of taking.
  • Scenery Photos
    • This works great for people who are more private about their personal life. A reader can experience your vacation with you just by scenic pictures that don’t involve family or friends.
  • Food Posts
    • Generally on vacation you are trying different foods and dining in different places. Also you may be staying somewhere that has a kitchen and you are trying new recipes with different foods. Who doesn’t love food pictures?
  • City Guide
    • You may be going somewhere you visit often or fall in love with the place and think others should visit. Take your readers around this new destination pointing out your favorite things in the location and where your readers should go if they happen to visit.
  • Local Shopping
    • Show your readers local boutiques, grocery stores or markets. Generally you will be showing off something you got from your trip on either social media or your blog, and it’s great to share with your readers where something actually came from.

Don’t Fret if You Don’t Have Your Camera 24/7

This is the same concept of balancing your time with social media. It’s great to capture moments from your vacation, but if you don’t capture everything it’s ok. Enjoy the vacation. Some memories are left for you and whom you are on vacation with. Also if you leave you camera at the hotel, take a shot with your phone and upload it to social media then or at a later time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Road Trip Attire and I'm Heading To South Carolina

As some of you probably know, I am heading to the beach for a week (hence my posts from this week), and I’m leaving tomorrow!!! This past year (heck the past two years) have been trying and the rough part of school starts in a few short weeks; so if I must say so, the salty air and crashing waves are calling my name. I can not wait to relax, get some salt therapy from the ocean, do some beach shopping, over dose on seafood, act like a tourist and take in all of the low country and enjoy myself. I debated since June what to do as far as my blog for the week I’m on vacation, because let’s face it, I want to enjoy every last minute of this trip; so I finally decided not to neglect the blog for an entire week. Instead of doing a daily journal of my beach trip while I’m there (because it is extremely time consuming) I do have a whole week of fun things planned including a few guest posts!

I may not be as active on my social media platforms this up coming week but I may share a few surprises with you through Facebook, Instagram (@stephf52) and Twitter (@stephf52) so make sure you are following me on those (links will direct you to mine). I will begin some fun posts from my vacation starting on July 28th and already have some fun ideas of how to share my vacation with all of you that week. So stay tuned for some fun coming your way!!

Also make sure you follow Andrew Plyler Design on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter because I know he will be getting some awesome photography in while at the beach!

Road tripping can be very long and tiresome, be cramped in a car for hours on hours does not call for the best outfit. Ready for the 5-6 hour car ride, I’m just wearing some comfortable shorts, quirky t-shirt, my chucks, of course I need sunglasses, and am just throwing my hair up. This will ensure the ride will be as comfortable as it can be for sitting that long but also I would feel comfortable stopping for potty breaks, food and drink breaks, and gas station breaks. I’m carrying my favorite bag at the moment with me to the beach that I got from Target because it’s perfect to carry the necessities plus throwing in a sketchbook, notepad for blogging, and even a camera. I am beyond excited to be heading to the beach!!

Road Trip Attire and I'm Heading To South CarolinaRoad Trip Attire and I'm Heading To South CarolinaRoad Trip Attire and I'm Heading To South CarolinaRoad Trip Attire and I'm Heading To South Carolina

 

Photography by Andrew Plyler Design

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Road Trip Attire and I’m Heading To South Carolina

As some of you probably know, I am heading to the beach for a week (hence my posts from this week), and I’m leaving tomorrow!!! This past year (heck the past two years) have been trying and the rough part of school starts in a few short weeks; so if I must say so, the salty air and crashing waves are calling my name. I can not wait to relax, get some salt therapy from the ocean, do some beach shopping, over dose on seafood, act like a tourist and take in all of the low country and enjoy myself. I debated since June what to do as far as my blog for the week I’m on vacation, because let’s face it, I want to enjoy every last minute of this trip; so I finally decided not to neglect the blog for an entire week. Instead of doing a daily journal of my beach trip while I’m there (because it is extremely time consuming) I do have a whole week of fun things planned including a few guest posts!

I may not be as active on my social media platforms this up coming week but I may share a few surprises with you through Facebook, Instagram (@stephf52) and Twitter (@stephf52) so make sure you are following me on those (links will direct you to mine). I will begin some fun posts from my vacation starting on July 28th and already have some fun ideas of how to share my vacation with all of you that week. So stay tuned for some fun coming your way!!

Also make sure you follow Andrew Plyler Design on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter because I know he will be getting some awesome photography in while at the beach!

Road tripping can be very long and tiresome, be cramped in a car for hours on hours does not call for the best outfit. Ready for the 5-6 hour car ride, I’m just wearing some comfortable shorts, quirky t-shirt, my chucks, of course I need sunglasses, and am just throwing my hair up. This will ensure the ride will be as comfortable as it can be for sitting that long but also I would feel comfortable stopping for potty breaks, food and drink breaks, and gas station breaks. I’m carrying my favorite bag at the moment with me to the beach that I got from Target because it’s perfect to carry the necessities plus throwing in a sketchbook, notepad for blogging, and even a camera. I am beyond excited to be heading to the beach!!

Road Trip Attire and I'm Heading To South CarolinaRoad Trip Attire and I'm Heading To South CarolinaRoad Trip Attire and I'm Heading To South CarolinaRoad Trip Attire and I'm Heading To South Carolina

 

Photography by Andrew Plyler Design

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Casual Tourist Style

Casual Tourist Style

T-Shirt-Target // Shorts-DIY (check it out here) // Shoes-Chucks // Bag-Target // Sleeveless Cardigan-Target // Gold Number Necklace-Tom Design // Square Necklace-Mindy Mae’s Market // Bracelet- DIY // Sunglasses-Steve Madden via Marshalls

Ahhh, you’re on vacation and you want to take in all the place has to offer. But if your anything like me, I hate to look like an actual tourist doing it. There’s something about fanny packs (and I personally believe they will never be in style even if Chanel has one), a t-shirt from the actual city, and a camera around your neck that screams tourist. When checking out the city, I like to keep it very casual and comfy. I paired my DIY shorts with a white t-shirt,  my comfy Chucks (I know they are beat up but extremely comfy for all that walking and I plan on getting a new pair at the beach), a versatile, spacious and comfortable bag, sunnies and some dainty jewelry. I threw my hair up into a messy, curly, side bun; perfect for taming the frizz and curls from the beach. If I was out visiting some museums or checking out the city I would wear this and carry my sleeveless cardigan and a sparkly necklace that would transform my look into something a little extra for dinner or lunch at a local seafood joint!

Casual Tourist StyleCasual Tourist StyleCasual Tourist StyleCasual Tourist StyleCasual Tourist StyleCasual Tourist StyleCasual Tourist Style

Photography by Andrew Plyler Design

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1 Maxi, 3 Ways

Most of the times when you travel you don’t want to pack everything in your closet but you still want to look stylish. My solution is pack a basic dress that can be worn multiple ways. I picked this silky, black, strapless maxi dress I got from Ross: Dress for Less (it was a steal, 11.00) because it could be easily dressed up or down and is extremely comfortable. When I was deciding the outfits I decided the jewelry for these outfits would be the only jewelry I take so the pieces would have to work with other outfits as well as the cover up and shoes I added.

 

Casual/Laid Back Style

1 Maxi, 3 Ways1 Maxi, 3 Ways

 Necklace- Tom Design // Dress-Ross // Sandals-Kohls

For this look I am keeping it very casual chic and laid back. I simply paired the maxi with a dainty necklace and some sandals; i just through my hair up in a side bun. This would be perfect for a breakfast in the town you are visiting, checking out all the local shops, running to the local market or even taking a brisk walk around town. Sometimes when you are on vacation you don’t want to be all dolled up for some of the basic things so this is perfect!

Funky Artist/Rocker Chic

1 Maxi, 3 Ways1 Maxi, 3 Ways1 Maxi, 3 Ways1 Maxi, 3 Ways

Dress-Ross // Sleeveless Cardigan-Target // Sandals-Kohls // Fedora-Betsy Johnson via Marshalls //  Crystal Square Necklace-Mindy Mae’s Market // Colorful Statement Necklace- Wal-Mart (designer inspired) // Bracelet-Made by me

This look is all about personal style (add whatever you would like) but I love layering anything and adding a funky art twist to it. This cover up will add some extra warmth for a chilly beach day and the fedora will tame down the frizz. This outfit would be perfect for hitting up the local coffee shop, checking out the local art museums, or listen to a live band play in the town!

Dressed Up

1 Maxi, 3 Ways1 Maxi, 3 Ways1 Maxi, 3 Ways1 Maxi, 3 Ways1 Maxi, 3 Ways

 Dress-Ross // Wedges-Shoe Show // Clutch-Union // Gold Number Necklace-Tom Design // Statement Necklace-Wal-Mart (designer inspired) // Ring-Beach Boutique

For this outfit I added baubles, wedges, sentimental necklace, cocktail ring, and a clutch! I wore my hair down, natural for a more sexy beach look. This would be perfect for a romantic vacation dinner, dessert date, or after dinner drinks on a dock or pier overlooking the sunset!.