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Outfit linked here



PS all my vaca and other outfits are linked here


I can’t believe we’re already home from the amazing cruise on Norwegian! (we were on the getaway ship FYI.) First things first, this was my FIRST cruise, yes, and I was so nervous. I forgot we were going until the night before because I just didn’t want to stress about it. I also waited to pack until the night before. woof. Best believe I bought these Sea Bands (in case I got sea sick) and if you’re wondering what I was worried about, it was the possible storms, the ship splitting in half, and sinking… lolol. So logical. BUT I truly never felt scared on the ship at all. Only the flight home where we hit a ton of wind and the pilot didn’t say a word to make us feel better. We had a layover in DC so I thought we got hijacked and were going towards the White House. You see why I take anti depressants now? Lolol we’re all fine now though and I can’t wait to tell you about the cruise.



Things I learned: (there’s a lot)


  • I had no idea it was like a resort just on water.

  • Check in was interesting, it was just like getting on an airplane with security, metal detectors, bag screening, no liquids brought on board. It took maybe 30 minutes and they took our bags and put them in our room for us. (you can choose to take your own luggage but the rooms aren't ready yet so it sucks to walk around the boat with them) Rooms were ready around 4PM and we were able to get on as early as 12PM.

  • Norwegian Getaway is a great ship, it had a decent sized pool although it could have been bigger. I did miss having those huge pools at resorts but it was nice and intimate and easy to talk to people.

  • The NCL app was nice to have so you can see the activities for the day and the spa packages, etc.

  • The safety drill was something I did not expect. It’s mandatory, they tell you where to go, and you listen to a speech about safety and life vest demonstrations. I felt like I was in school haha.

  • You can use your key card to buy anything. We did get the drink package but they still ask you for the card each time you order.

  • I didn’t get sick but the ship didn’t move a ton at all. It just vibrated when the engines would start and you just felt that a bit. It felt nice to go to sleep because sometimes it rocked and it was like rocking you to sleep haha. I was most nervous of this because of sea sickness but I didn't get sick at all.

  • There is a Starbucks on the ship! You pay extra for that.

  • Colin pre ordered 25 bottles of water so it was in our room when we arrived. You do have to pay extra for those. Everything is just billed to your room and you check out later. He did it on the NCL website. You can upgrade your wifi there too.

  • He also made our dinner reservations before we got on the boat. (he found an email online that he contacted but he won't let me give it out haha but you may be able to do it on the NCL website too) We had 3 specialty restaurants included so we got Cagneys (the steak house, amazing salmon dish), Teppanyka (the hibachi restuarant), and La Cucina (the italian restaurant)- My favorite was definitely Wasabi though which was their sushi restaurant. It was an extra cost but some of the best sushi I’ve ever had. It is ‘freestyle dining’ so you can go anytime you want and the ship had a day long buffet! Idk when it closed but it was open late.


  • We paid extra for unlimited wifi but it went out for like 2-3 days, unfortunately. I meant to get a refund at the end of the trip but forgot -_-

  • There’s so many activities! I feel like way more than a resort. There’s so much to do and see. They had little bowling alleys, a club, water slides, ice bar, etc.

  • The spa was the best massage I’ve ever had. I did the Swedish massage and they had a free add on for a collagan eye mask.

  • They also had a gym on the ship and rock climbing.

  • I was surprised how much stuff is ‘extra’ on the boat. Like the arcade games, ziplining, ice bar, a few restaurants, etc. That you had to pay extra for.

  • Colin and his friends (we went with like 12 of them) bring their own straws because Norwegian among others have now stopped serving plastic straws. You can be good and bring a metal straw for yourself for pool drinks and bar drinks. The ship does give you a paper straw for smoothie consistency drinks though.

  • There were SO many people playing cards and games they brought on the shaded pool deck area.

  • We went out of New Orleans but since it was January, it was chilly on our first and last day. We will definitely do Miami next time.

  • They do charge you $15 a day and a person for gratuities so make sure you realize that when you book. We also brought a lot of tipping money and gave to everyone. We love to give back to workers in service because they were so nice and work so hard.

  • Most times the ‘deals’ or the $700 cruises you see are for inside rooms with no window. After this balcony experience I could never do otherwise. It was so nice to wake up to an ocean view each day.

  • In your price when you book, flights are included. Our flight home was not the best, we had a layover and got home at midnight so keep that in mind. They choose them for you and we called them to switch but we couldn't.

  • I don’t feel like this is the cheapest vacation you can take. I find cruises actually pretty pricy because if you do a balcony the price goes up a significant amount and then you also have options to do excursions at each port so there’s money flying out too. Plus you have to get yourself to the port whether it's Miami or New Orleans and best to arrive the night before so you also have to get a hotel.

  • My favorite thing to do at resorts in the Carribean is to sit on the beach and watch the sunset so the fact that we got this every single day was so great. It’s probably a big reason why I loved it so much- I just love the water and looking out at the ocean.

  • You can have add ons when you book. We did the open bar package, 3 speciality dining options, shore excursion credit, and internet package of 250 minutes per stateroom (although we then upgraded to unlimited minutes)



DAY 1: we arrived at the boat around 2PM, ship pushed off at around 5 PM, I ended up napping from 5-7 because I was tired but also nervous of sea sickness. I wore my sea bands before we even got on the ship and I took them off the next morning because I was fine. Col and I just went alone to Wasabi for dinner and it was sooo good. We got the surf and turf roll and rock n roll. SO good. We then walked around the ship and hung out at the club for a while. It’s called Bliss.




DAY 2: At Sea; Woke up, got breakfast at the Garden Cafe, the buffet on the 15th floor, and then went to the pool. I finally went to the infamous area Colin always takes a video and boomerang when he goes on cruises overlooking the ship. It was actually warm this day which is funny because on the way back to New Orleans it was freezing. We spent all day at the pool and also sunset- I think the moment I fell in love with cruising!! Haha and for dinner we went to Teppanyaki for hibachi with all 12 of us. So good!






DAY 3: Cozumel, Mexico; We got off the ship around 10AM and went to Playa Mia. We had purchased the excursion with the ship and it was a beach club with food and they had a bus for us to go there and back. The food was not the best but it did include unlimited drinks. I wish I had dranken more because Colin kept joking saying the ship is making money off of me since I wasn't drinking a lot but I would get so bloated from salty food that I was too ‘full’ to drink and put more into me. But if its sushi don’t think twice, I will put more of that into me. :) They did have this really cool pink building though and a little waterpark in the ocean. We went back on the bus and went to Margaritaville on the boat. Amazing nachos ugh! Then watched another sunset from bed this time relaxing and got ready for the night. We went to Cagneys steakhouse for dinner and it was so good! The salmon dish was great, the tomato soup was great, and the cheesecake was yummy! We then went to the top deck (spice H20) for the 80’s party and then ended the night at Bliss club like usual.



Outfit linked here



Cagneys below


Outfit linked here




DAY 4: Grand Cayman Island; There was actually an earthquake the day we were in Cozumel that hit just south of Cuba so we weren’t sure if we were going to be stopping in Cayman since they had some sinkholes etc. We did in fact stop there and it was my favorite port! I’ve been before but we went to Royal Palms Beach Club and it was such a fun upbeat music type place with a pool, restaurant and beach right there! We got our own taxi there and didn’t do any excursions through the ship. The poke bowl was also amazing that I had there. We rented the cabanas by the pool prior to leaving for the cruise. It was like $20 a person and then we opened a tab for drinks and food. This island doesnt have a port for the cruise ships so we had to tender to the ship which was cool. Once we got on the boat, I showered, napped, and we went to Spice H20 again and then bliss.


Suit linked here




DAY 5: Ocho Rios, Jamaica; We woke up in Jamaica and it was so pretty with all the mountains! We didn’t know what we were going to do until the morning, we decided to do blue hole, but on our own again, not with the ship. First we had breakfast at Garden Cafe. The taxi was $15 roundtrip to Blue Hole and then Blue Hole was $15 entrance fee. It was awesome! The guys were so helpful taking us through. We did have to buy water shoes when we arrived (they have people selling them there) and then I also bought a waterproof phone case. If you don’t want to buy it there, feel free to bring those items with you. They had lockers there to leave our stuff and then we started walking to the blue hole. It was definitely a workout to go through the whole thing because you have to swim to different parts of it and climb rocks to get to the top and then you can jump down to get back or you can walk down. Not lying my legs were so sore the next day! I’m so out of shape haha. They do have a photographer there and they show you all your pictures. We had around 60 pictures of our group and they told us it’d be $80 to purchase them all. We got them down to $50 and they wetransferred us the images that night. Our taxi then arrived (she said she’d come back in 1.5 hours) and then we went back to the port. Don’t forget to tip your tour guides for the blue hole! They were so grateful to us because we all tipped. There was a starbucks by the port so we went there, put our feet in the ocean, and then went back on the ship. We watched the sunset, got ready, went to Shanghai's Noodle Bar for dinner (it was so good- get so many orders of the pot stickers) and then went to Spice H20 for Latin night, and then Bliss. Ended the night at O’Sheehans since they’re open late and their wings are amazing.


outfit linked here


DAY 6: At Sea; We were at sea this day and I figured the next day would be colder because we were going north which was so true. Knew I had to get all my tanning out today! It ended up being a wild pool day, lots of dancing, and such a fun time. This night we went to La Cucina for dinner and the ravioli was so good. We then went to Spice H20 for the glow party and of course the best music night, it was drizzling! Haha. We then went to Bliss and called it a night kinda early.


Outfit linked here



DAY 7: At Sea; I got a massage at the spa and it was one of the best ever- seriously. I’m saying so many good things but I truly loved this cruise. We hung out by the hot tubs a bit but it was cold (like 63) so I didn't get in because I couldn't fathom getting out. I went to take a nap and then we went to Savor and Taste for dinner. In my pajamas :) You got to have balance on vacation! haha and it was so good again! Haha- all the food was great. The won tons were amazing, I got the salmon and then creme brulee was so good. We went to Bliss that night and then O’Sheehans.


Outfit linked here



Savor and Taste below


Day 8: We had to get off the ship by 9:30 AM. Went through customs to get off too, they just checked passport and bags.


Bye Bye Norwegian!!


And our next cruise is already booked for January 2021! This group does not mess around. We’re going with all the same people and I’m pissed Colin never invited me before until we got married!!!! :) We’ll be leaving from Miami and going to Puerto Plata (Dominican Republic), St. Thomas, Tortola (British Virgian Islands), & Great Stirrup Cay (Bahamas) - can’t wait!


Don't forget to follow me on instagram and check out my Amazon Page that lists all my favorites on there- clothing, bathing suits, beauty products and more. Also I post a bunch of videos on my youtube channel!


xoxo ela

Updated: Apr 14

Hi!!

I can't believe the house is all ripped up! (I also can't wait to look back on this post and see what (if anything) changes on our picks or styles of what we want since not everything is purchased yet) The demo happened so fast but I also felt like we were waiting forever for it to happen haha. They've now completed the demo and we're just waiting on the rest of the floors to get delivered and then acclimate to the temperature. That's one thing I didn't know was that you have to let the wood sit in your house 1-2 weeks to acclimate before installing. I'm hoping we can have all the floors installed and stained by February 17th the latest.


PS (I will share ALL vendors (contractors too) as soon as I vet them out for you to make sure they're great to work with and product is good.) I had SO many people come to give us quotes so I really do think I found some amazing prices.


Our painter has also started a bit (I showed some sneak peeks on my insta stories and vlog) He's taken all the doors to paint at his warehouse and then he's been at our house daily just prepping for window painting, ceilings and walls.


The next step will be the electrician coming and adding recessed lighting in a couple rooms and moving the recessed lighting in the kitchen. While that's happening the baseboards and door casings will be installed.


I still have to order a couple doors, baseboards (we're going to do 7 1/4) , casings, tile, among other things like faucet for the powder bath, sink, wallpaper etc. So much! I need the exact measurements for the baseboards etc so once I get that I'll order! We already have them picked out. Below is a quick iphone pic of them. I have already ordered a few things, furniture too and I've included those all below too.




FLOOR


The floor we chose is below. There were three options that my floor guy showed us based on photos we showed him but we went with (the one on the right) not the lightest and not the darkest. We're doing 5 inch white oak flooring that will be sanded and stained. Once I have more info on the stain color, I'll share it here.



Below was our original inspo and I feel like we're pretty close, maybe a little darker, but (some pieces will be lighter and some will be darker because that's just the nature of staining wood.) I was just afraid to go super light because IDK if that will be outdated soon. I see more people going in the middle route. (not too dark, not too light)



TILE


We did solidify our tiles for the laundry and powder bath from The Tile Shop (we're doing 2nd floor bathrooms in phase 2) We're doing this fan style for the laundry floor in grey, and the same for the powder bath but in white. I also want to do white grout for both and even though the laundry is a high traffic area, I'm just hoping the sealer is enough to keep the grout white and clean. The laundry backsplash will be this chevron carrara and I'm thinking to just do wallpaper in the bathroom. The kitchen backslpash will be Cloe in White by Bedrosians. They also sell it on Wayfair!





HEATED FLOORS


Last minute I decided to do heated floors for our laundry room and powder bath. We're going with the company WarmlyYours and I'm so excited, also they're from Lake Zurich in Illinois! They have an awesome touchscreen thermometer where you can change the temperature of it and I love being warm so you can only imagine how excited I am. I can just picture coming in from the pool into the AC but then onto warm tile (heart eyes)


CABINETS

We are doing inset shaker style cabinets in Dove White by Benjamin Moore color. (although the bottom drawers will not be shaker, they'll just be slab fronts.) I found this Polish guy, from IDK where (I truly can't remember) and he's amazing. The cabinets they he makes look so great and the paint comes out awesome on them so I'm so excited. We go in a couple weeks to his office to give our deposit and finalize the design. For the laundry cabinets we're probably going with a local shop that isn't custom for those. (I will share ALL vendors (contractors too) as soon as I vet them out for you to make sure they're great to work with and product is good.) Below is the rendering of the laundry cabinets, they'll be white, to the ceiling, and shaker style.

















A FEW BEFORE AND AFTERS





VIDEO


You can follow all our home reno youtube videos here!

All my home reno blog parts are also here

All the items I've already purchased below.

(the light switches are currently in my cart)


(If you're on a mobile then scroll up on the items and you'll see all of them)





Don't forget to follow me on instagram and check out my Amazon Page that lists all my favorites on there- clothing, bathing suits, beauty products and more. Also I post a bunch of videos on my youtube channel!

HAPPY SHOPPING!

xoxo ela

Updated: Jan 16

Hi!!

I feel like I haven't done this in a while! Hope you learn something new :) Here's my old one if you want to catch up.



1. I'm 100% polish- my parents grew up in Poland and my mom and dad moved here 30 some years ago. As kids we would go every 2-3 years to visit our family there. Now it’s a bit harder with work but we just went in 2018 and it was awesome. Polish was my first language so I do speak, write and read it but as the years go on and less practicing, it’s slowly dwindling but I will teach my kids everything I know. Best believe I’m going to make Polish their first language too! Colin will have to teach them English so it will be a competition of what kid speaks what language the most haha.


2. I’m 4’11 - I was always self conscious about it and would always wear heels out and then one day something clicked and I said f**k it and now I hate wearing heels hahah (you’ll read below how I’m always down for comfort now)


3. I met my husband at a bar in 2013 when I was 22. He is originally from Long Island in NY and he was visiting friends and I was out with my friends. We texted for a week, then it fizzled, and then in 2014 we started talking again, 2015 we were official, 2016 he moved here, 2017 he moved in with me and my parents in the suburbs, 2018 we got engaged, and 2019 we got married (in Chicago and Punta Cana) and bought a house. Ah how the years have flown!




4. I got a job as a model agent out of college. It happened because of an internship I had there- more info here how I landed that job. It seems surreal.


5. I now work as a talent manager at an ad agency - estimating talent costs for our commercials. We also book influencers and celebrities for our ads. I love it!


6.My favorite time of day is laying down and watching reality tv. Literally anything. Love 90 day fiance, all real housewives, even teen mom haha.


7. I love to sleep. Like looooove it.


8. I started my blog because I had really bad anxiety and needed an escape. There’s a whole big story about it but maybe one day I’ll write an article on it. Short story is it took my mind off the stuff I was worrying about and gave me something to focus on.


9. I studied fashion business in college. I went to Columbia in Chicago and decided 2nd semester of freshman year to do fashion.


10. I studied abroad in Florence Italy in 2012. I went alone and met the most amazing girls there who were all so driven. Gave me so much drive that….


11. I then went to do an internship in LA for the summer. I was going to make sure I’d be successful in life and I just dropped everything and went.


12. My favorite food is a cheeseburger and fries. Best is from Portillos.


13. I’m a true gemini- sometimes I'm outgoing and sometimes in shy. Definitely two personalities.


14. I love rooftops- could be because I'm short and I like to be elevated haha.


15. I went through a really rough stage with anxiety and now take medicine for it and love how I’m just a better version of myself. I truly don’t think I would have started a blog if it wasn't for the antidepressant because i used to care what people though of me and now, I do it because i love it and I don't care what anyone thinks.


16. When I was in between jobs, organizing my parents house was the most fulfilling thing- it made me feel in control when I wasn't in control of my next job. I’d love to work for neatmethod in another life haha


17. I wear sneakers every day (adidas stan smiths) i love to be comfortable and if i’m not shooting something for the blog/insta I’m always in sweats.


18. I always took so many photos and videos in high school and at h/s parties. I would then post them on facebook and tag all my friends… even the creepy ones i captured hahah. I always got messages to delete something haha


19. I love being photographed and filmed. I literally get goosebumps if someone takes my picture - i love it. Its so weird.


20. I love techno music and dj’s like Kygo and Calvin Harris. If theres chill music playing at a bar I literally get so sleepy. I live off the energy of upbeat music.


21. I idolized Britney Spears growing up and I still have such a love for her and I wish she didn't have to go through all the mental craziness that happened. If i ever met her I would die.


22. I love DIY’ing home projects but now that we’re renovating our home, I’m letting all the contractors do it since we set aside money for this. I DIY’d a lot of stuff at my parents house like painting the cabinets and countertops in their kitchen.


23. I’m very honest and will tell you what’s up. I open up and spill things to people that most people wouldn't. I’m very much an open book and sometimes my husbands like “why are you sharing that with all your followers” haha but I dont care! We live once and who cares is my motto.


24. I’m so organized and live by my icloud calendar. I send my husband invites on there like 5 times a day haha.


25. I love to travel and so does my husband- that’s why we stook together! Haha- we’ve been to cayman islands, spain twice, poland, italy, london, jamaica, miami, arizona, ny together and more to come!


What are some facts about you!? Comment below!

Don't forget to follow me on instagram and check out my Amazon Page that lists all my favorites on there- clothing, bathing suits, beauty products and more. Also I post a bunch of videos on my youtube channel!


xoxo ela

ABOUT

Hi, I'm Ela! I started this blog to share all my knowledge of fashion, home decor, travel and more. I previously worked as a men's model agent (see that post here) and now I work in advertising. Majoring in Fashion Business, I've always had a love towards fashion and love sharing about it. I get so excited getting pieces for a steal (my Polish background does that to me,) I love to travel anywhere and everywhere, and I love interior decor and turning something old into something beautiful and new.

 

From traveling, fashion, home decor, happiness and health, follow here to see more.

 

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