A Month in the Life

May 1, 2018

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I'm baaaaaaack! (There's really no way to say that without picturing a scene in a horror film, is there?).

After a bit of a hiatus from blogging, I've finally returned feeling more refreshed, inspired and excited to write than I may have been the day I started this blog (fun fact: back when I created it in 2015, it was called "The Stela" - a combination of my and my sister Gabriela's names).

That being said, I'm thrilled to share my revamped site, "Lady and Rebel." After years of blogging under names that never quite fit, I felt I needed to make a change that reflected how I feel as a woman and how many women in this day and age often feel themselves. I wanted to create a name that I felt would encourage, inspire and excite readers, and one that I could build a community around. After days of brainstorming and never feeling like I hit the nail on the head, Lady and Rebel came to me while I was parking my car in front of a coffee shop to meet my best friend, Jess, for a productive blogging day (she just revamped hers, too! Check out LabelMeJess.com). Moral of the story: coffee is sacred.

All that said, I'm kicking Lady and Rebel off with a new "A Month in the Life" post, sharing thirteen things I'm loving and looking forward to this month.

1. Sweetbitter

I'm still in the process of reading Sweetbitter, a novel about a 22-year-old who leaves her rural town for NYC and finds herself enthralled by a life of sex, drugs and self-discovery after scoring a job at a popular restaurant. The writing alone is spectacular - author Stephanie Danler's words consistently reflect the sensuality of food and taste - but what has me really excited is the fact that the novel has been adapted for a TV series on Starz! From the looks of the trailer, it seems as though the show will stay true to the story, in which case: I'm in. Read the novel this week, then set your DVR for May 6 (and don't forget the food!).

2. Gal Meets Glam Collection

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Julia Hengel of the Charleston-based style blog Gal Meets Glam recently launched a collection consisting solely of feminine dresses, and while most of them aren't my style, there are a select few that I've got my eye on - mainly Tyler in navy, Isabella (perfect for a Mother's Day brunch!) and Carly. Not sure if I'd wear the Rose, but in light blue, it's giving me major Allie Hamilton vibes.

3. Royal Wedding 2018

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I wasn't one of the millions of people who stayed up/woke up incredibly early to watch Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding a few years back; however, considering Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding falls on my 26th birthday, I knew I had to find a way to weave the two together. The morning of May 19, my friends, sister, mom and I will be waking up on air mattresses sprawled across my apartment living room floor to watch the royal wedding together. We'll be wearing silky pajamas and pearl necklaces, drinking English breakfast tea and eating iconic English food while crushing on Harry (and Meghan!), and trying to figure out what the Queen is thinking about an American in the Royal Family ...

4. Pack Up + Go

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Anyone else feel like they're half spontaneous floater, half planner? Sometimes the combination can make planning a trip complicated. Enter Pack Up + Go. I came across an ad for them on Facebook and was instantly intrigued. Here's how it works: you fill out a survey and the company plans and prepares a 3-day trip for you based on your answers. The catch? You don't know where you're being sent. A few days before your trip, you'll receive a designated place to go with a date and time. Once that moment rolls around and you're at the location, you open your envelope and figure out where you're going. Now, who's signing up with me?

5. I Am Fy (Art Prints and More)

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I can't recall how I came across Fy, an online shop based in the U.K. that sells art prints, bags, jewelry and more, but let's just say I came across this piece at a time when I really needed it, and that pretty much sold me (hello, serendipity). I'm happy to report that it arrived exactly when and how I expected it to. I already have a full wish list on the site and plan to purchase more prints to finally complete my gallery wall.

6. Kacey Musgraves - Golden Hour

Confession: I literally cried the first time I heard Kacey Musgraves' hit song "Merry Go Round" - not because it reminded me of my home or family (I'm relieved to say it doesn't), but because the lyrics were so poetic and beautiful. I instantly admired her after hearing that song and was opening up Spotify the second I heard songs from her new album Golden Hour were available for streaming. One part sass, and another part sweet and sentimental, it's the same Kacey Musgraves we all fell in girl-crush-love with years ago.

7. Armchair Expert Podcast

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I would pay to watch most couples I know interview one another, so when I found out actor Dax Shepard started a podcast, Armchair Expert, and interviewed his wife, actress Kristen Bell, for the first episode, I knew I'd be hooked. It was a long episode (roughly two hours) and yet I still found myself happily listening along the entire time, laughing and agreeing with them as if they were in the car with me. There are now several more episodes available featuring interviews with other "big names," including Ashton Kutcher, Jimmy Kimmel and Ellen Degeneres, and so far, they've all been entertaining and interesting.

8. Opalhouse at Target

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If I got locked inside a Target overnight, I'd not only be fine, I'd be happy. Opalhouse is the latest of Target's home lines and it's true what the articles say - it's straight out of Anthropology and a dream come true for anyone seeking a bohemian-chic home. I'm still trying to decide which of the brand's three collections - Canyon Sunrise, Indochic and Mallorca - is my favorite.

9. Instant Immersion

In Venice as part of my high school Europe trip, 2009

After booking a spontaneous trip to Paris, Jess was talking about how she wanted to learn French and it reminded me that I had a French language program sitting in the back of my closet. I told her I'd let her borrow it and as I was going to grab it, I remembered I had an Italian one, too. Inspired by her interest in learning a new language, I decided to pop the Italian CD in my car while driving home to South Florida this past weekend and was surprised by how much I was able to get through in just one hour! For being relatively inexpensive (compared to programs like Rosetta Stone) it definitely seems to do the trick.

10. Spacells

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After an incredible massage at Spavia, I noticed a funky honeycomb-looking facial scubbing tool called Spacells near the checkout counter. I asked the employee about it and she shared that her team swears by it. Always a sucker for a skincare recommendation, I decided to purchase it and after using it just once, I found myself texting my sister and mom encouraging them to buy it off Amazon. It left my skin looking radiant, minimized the appearance of my pores tremendously and made my skin feel softer than it's felt in over a decade. I'm asking for the bath mitt for my birthday.

11. A Quiet Place

While some of my friends will beg to differ (lookin' at you, Erin) I thought A Quiet Place was sincerely worth the hype. As if John Krasinski and Emily Blunt aren't a strong enough reason to buy a ticket, the premise is truly unique and different from any other horror film I've ever seen. It's stressful and even heartbreaking, but the acting and directing are fantastic; I promise you'll want to keep watching. I couldn't stop thinking about it for days.

*On the topic of movies, I'm going to see I Feel Pretty tonight, and I'm way too excited. #AmySchumerforPrez

12. Martha of Miami

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Growing up in a Cuban family, Cuban bread + cafe con leche were the ultimate iconic duo [*insert "Name a More Iconic Duo. I'll Wait" caption here*]. When I saw a fellow Orlando blogger wearing this Cuban Bred hat, which features a design replicating that of a Cuban bread bag, I knew I'd be wearing it in the near future. It arrives this weekend, and I can't wait to rep my roots. The designer, fellow Cubana Martha of Miami, designs tees, tanks, hats, accessories, household items and more - all showcasing her Latino pride.

13. Alyssa's Cookies

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I'm one of those people who always swears I'm done grocery shopping as I approach the checkout line, but when something catches my eye near the register, I'm suddenly tossing an unnecessary item into my cart. Usually, I regret the irresponsible last-minute addition to my cart, but after taking home Alyssa's Cookies, they went from checkout line temptation to the top of my grocery list. Not only are they delicious, they're healthy: the oatmeal bites are gluten free, dairy free, non-GMO, high fiber, low net carb and sweetened only with chicory root fiber, which means no added sugar. So. Damn. Good.

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