Here’s a feature I like to call “Blogger Expectation Versus Reality.” Expectation: when Stag and I visited Hawaii back in January, I had all these grand aspirations of having the most glorious, effortless and chic photo shoots, of me draped so elegantly on the sand or over a rock during sunrise and sunset. Probably 10 pounds thinner, too. And with Blake Lively’s face. Reality: our sunrise photos barely worked (complete with me changing outfits on rocks in public), and we nearly missed the sunset every time. Cue the tears. Feelings of failure. Washed away with margaritas and tacos on the beach. Sunsets in Hawaii are by definition the epitome of glam, right?
If you’ve read our Oahu travel guide, you know that Oahu’s sunsets are unreal. And absolutely worth making a special effort for if you ever travel to Hawaii. You can see our picks for where to go for the best sunsets and sunrises on the post.
Because we were limited by travel without our own car, we decided to do our sunrise and sunset photo shoots at Ko’Olina, the area where our hotel is located. Luckily, Ko’Olina is on the West Coast, perfect for sunsets. We were so excited to get that very dramatic purple-pink-blue swirl effect that only comes with a proper melt-in-the-sky sunset you get on islands like these.
Unfortunately, we did learn the hard way that that amazing, must-stop-for-a-photo sunset sky only happens for about 5 minutes. And of course, I just had to have that second pina colada by the pool (#vacationpriorities, people) and then we were scrambling to capture it on time.
Knowing this Hawaii trip was probably a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, before we left I had scrambled to find some cute summer dresses for some photo shoots. As readers will know, I really don’t do dresses and often struggle to find ones that flatter my body shape.
And trust me when I say, I’ve never ever owned — let alone have been able to pull off – a flowing, rather shapeless dress. I love the way they look on, you know, 6’2″ lithe models and all. But 5’5″ wobbly-bits me? Not a chance. However, this Vila dress was a game changer.
You know those shapeless dresses that just make you look like a house? Nope, not this one. It drapes in just the right way to flatter, is thick enough to avoid feeling flimsy, and it shows enough skin to make you feel like summer is here. I just wish I had warn this when I got that terrible farmer’s tan-meets-bad-SPF-application thing I’ve got goin’ on here…
Stag got me this pineapple print makeup bag for Christmas (with my suggestion…), and I just love it. Technically it’s not even a clutch; it’s a makeup bag. But this thing is so darn pretty that I had to use it as a nighttime clutch. Multi-tasking products are your Traveling Best Friends, so a toiletry bag-turned-clutch for evenings is a winner in my book.