Six Days In Paradise

There are not enough nice words in the world to describe my trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico. Everything about it fell into place — from our incredible presidential suite to our plans for the week — and I don’t remember the last time I felt so relaxed. That said, there were some things I couldn’t have lived without, and I feel I should share those packing tips with you (and anyone else looking for an easy, fun experience). And, of course, I have several suggestions on things to do and places to see…

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A little snacking, a little shopping

This weekend was surprisingly hugely successful in terms of shopping. While the intention was to stay at home and do all my work for the next two weeks, instead I ate at all my favorite restaurants, shopped at my two favorite places, and enjoyed the company of my many favorite people.

Starting with the food, here are some fabulous recommendations for anyone touring Litchfield County:

1. Max a Mia: Jake (boyfriend) and I come here for special occasions when we can afford to splurge a little. Between the incredible garlic bread, delectable and sizable entrees (try the stone pies and pasta dishes!), and Bocci Ball dessert…it’s totally worth it. This time, though, I went with my parents and enjoyed a nice, long, paid-for dinner. Love.

2. The Village Restaurant: Owned by local couple Greg and Denise Raap, The Village boasts the title of “Best Neighborhood Restaurant” by CT Magazine and has earned a stellar recommendation by Zagat. The prices are completely reasonable, especially if ordering off the “Pub Menu,” and you can’t beat the atmosphere. Good for your wallet, your stomach, and your attitude.

3. Cugino’s: This was actually an accidental find after Jake and I started searching for a new “night out” restaurant. As college students, our wallets are only so deep and eating gets expensive. Cugino’s has an excellent early bird menu; select entrees $12.99 from 3-6 p.m. Yum.

Now onto the shopping…

So pretty!

I had a field day at Marshall’s, Anthropologie and the flea market this weekend. Having recently discovered the Marshalls chain had a location in affluent West Hartford, I spent one afternoon moseying through the store and picking my favorite items…like this Philosophy Purity one-step facial cleanser for $9.99. This was especially exciting since I’ve been looking for something to replace my usual Clinique Liquid Facial Soap; three years of use has made my skin slightly resistant.

Also, remember how excited I was when I discovered my love for Lollia? Well at Anthropologie, I picked up a clearance bottle of this perfumed shower gel! It’s comparable to something made by Fresh, but the price tag is slightly more reasonable at a mere $9.99. And it smells SO GOOD. I think they also had it in No. 21: Calm, but I preferred the scent of the former. If you have an Anthro nearby: Go. Immediately. Right now. Or else risk missing out on one of the best products I have ever purchased.

(EDIT: Lollia soaps and shower gels are also available on sale via the Anthropologie web site!)

I wrapped up my weekend by spending a few hours with Jake’s mom at the local flea market. And by “local,” I mean “an hour away.” Regardless, I picked up this questionably sold bottle of Burberry Brit for $16. I’d been eyeing it for almost a year and never felt the need to spend the $75 it previously costs. Oh-so-cheap and oh-so-yummy. Win-win.

Must-Haves for Collegiate Interns

After day 4 on the job, I’ve come up with a brief list of must-haves for any collegiate intern. Specifically, these must-haves are all tote-friend to make your internship experience a tiny bit easier.

1. A Day-to-Day Planner/Notebook:

My planner is my best friend. Seriously. I can keep track of assignments, hours, miscellaneous notes (email addresses, etc.), and anything else I need throughout each day or each week. My favorite is this Lilly Pulitzer Agenda. It comes complete with tabs, sections for notes and contacts, a hardcover, and an elastic bookmark.

2. Laptop:

I know, I know, lugging around your laptop can be a pain. But your boss will appreciate that you can bring it to meetings, in addition to the fact that it makes your work space portable. Since the computers in this office tend to be a tad temperamental, I can’t even express to you how much easier it has made my life to have my Macbook around when I need the internet. If you’re worried about scratches or damage from traveling, pick up one of these durable and inexpensive covers or cases!

3. Lip Stain:

After a long day at the office, lip stick comes off after eating, talking, sweating, and licking envelopes. The same goes for lip gloss, and we all know we could do without the stickiness. But I will absolutely swear by Tarte’s Lipsurgence Lip Tint and Fresh’s Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment (with SPF 15). Personally, I prefer the Tarte stain in Joy, and the Sugar tint in Sugar Rosé. They’re long-lasting, moisturizing, and the colors are perfect for the summer!

4. Comfortable, Stylish Flats:

Now when I say flats, I don’t necessarily mean flats. I just mean any kind of everyday shoe you can wear without pain or blisters. Personally, I’m a big fan of J.Crew’s ballet flats (you can find them in a beautiful turquoise on sale here). Or if you’re looking for something a little less pricey, try these fabulous DV knockoffs from Target. They come in four fabulous colors for a fraction of the price. I purchased two pairs last week, in mint and black, and I’m in love. My best recommendation for convenience and style? Cityslips. They’re foldable, adorable, affordable, and the case turns into a tote.

5. Hand Sanitizer

It sounds silly, but think about how many surfaces you touch throughout the day. Especially as an intern who’s responsible for delivering paperwork, making copies, answering phones, organizing closets, what have you, it’s reassuring to know that you’re avoiding all the bacteria that comes with it. Not to mention that during the colder months, you’re much less likely to contract that cold going around the office. Pick up a couple of these Bath & Body Works PocketBacs. They’re transportation-friendly, available in dozens of scents, and constantly on a “5 for $5” sale.

If you have any questions, recommendations for additions to the list, or simply any comments, feel free to share!

I’ll be posting the list of DOs and DO NOTs later this week. Until then…