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Moorea travel diary

I don't know exactly when, but several years ago, I decided that I needed to do something big for my 40th birthday, and that something was a trip to Bora Bora, which I'd always wanted to visit. Really, I just wanted to stay in one of those overwater bungalows and wake up every morning and jump right into that warm, aquamarine water. For years, I'd invite everyone who showed even the slightest amount of interst on my trip (which I referred to as #BoraBora2018), so when it came time to actually plan it, I think 20 or 30 people were initially on the invite. Of course, not everyone could make it—we ended up with eight people, which was the perfect number—and after some research, I discovered Bora Bora was rather expensive and I felt uncomfortable asking everybody to spend that much money to celebrate my birthday, so we made some slight modifications to the plan, electing to spend a week all together in Moorea, another island in French Polynesia (my boyfriend and I then went on to Bora Bora, just the two of us, but more on that later). The trip was everything I had hoped for and more. Here's everything we did, saw, ate, and more.

What to wear in Bora Bora

That may have been the most humble-braggy (or just braggy) blog title I've written to date, but I went to Bora Bora last week for my 40th birthday, and I'm just going to own it. The trip was years in the making, and I can't wait to show and tell you all about it in my very first travel diary post, coming later this week. But in the meantime, this very special outfit post is coming to you from the St. Regis Bora Bora, where we spent four way-too-short days in paradise. My daytime uniform was bikinis, sunglasses, and flip-flops, but by night, I was all about a simple sundress and barely-there sandals.

What to wear to the ballet

Last month, I was out with friends who I hadn't seen in awhile and one asked me how blogging was going. I said great and that I love creating Cheryl Shops, so I hope you, dear reader, enjoy perusing it. She then asked me if brands are sending me clothes to wear. My answer was not yet—but if you're a brand and you're reading this and would like to work with me, please check out my Contact page! Anyway, since nearly everything I wear here is something I've bought for myself, I wanted to create an outfit post featuring pieces that I've already worn in other posts. I was so happy with the result, I wore it to the San Francisco Ballet a few weeks ago. Here's how it all came together.

I got eyelash extensions and I LOVE them

Of all the things I've been blessed with in life, thick hair has not been one of them. This includes my eyelashes. I've tried every mascara and lash serum (I have a favorite, but more on that later) and while I've had some success, nothing ever gives me the lashes I want—think Audrey Hepburn, not Kim Kardashian. I've even tried false lashes, both the strip and cluster kind, and I am completely inept that those. So for my upcoming birthday, I decided to treat myself to a set of lash extensions. I was a little apprehensive—I've heard the lashes start falling out right away, and I was slightly worried I'd come out looking like, well, a Kardashian—but I decided to take a chance, and I'm so happy I did.

What to wear in Napa in winter

It's been cold in San Francisco. Really cold. Like, record-breaking, close-to-freezing cold. I know those of you who don't live in California may be playing the world's tiniest violin right now, but considering we're used to pretty consistent temperatures that take a slight dip in the winter, the weather lately has been a bit alarming. Case in point: it's usually about 10 degrees warmer in Napa than in the city (and even more in the summer), so I when I left my house last weekend in a thick, long sweater and scarf, I thought I'd be nice and cozy up in wine country. And while it was rather sunny—the weird thing about California is that the skies are oddly crystal clear when it's this cold—it was windy, and I spent most of the day wrapped in blankets, fighting off the chill. So before I get into my outfit, I should add a disclaimer that if you are going to Napa in the winter, you should add a warm coat to a look like this. But if the weather were totally ideal...

Get her look: Sienna Miller

I've been a fan of her style for years, so I was delighted to see that this week's most-saved look on my Outfit ideas for ageless style Pinterest board was a photo of Sienna Miller strolling down the street and looking chic as always. And thus we have a very special celebrity edition of get the look, this time called get her look! 

What to wear in Mexico

When I'm in the city, which is most of the time, I stick to blazers, tees, jeans...most of what you see here on my outfit posts. It's a uniform of sorts, and it works. When I'm on vacation, however, I go full-on boho: embroidery, tassels, fringe...the whole nine yards. I have a bunch of hippie tops and dresses, and they linger in my closet for most of the year, except when I'm vacation, when I break them out like European trust-fund brat on a yacht in Ibiza. I love my vacation alter ego (she also lets her hair go au naturel, i.e. curly) because it's fun to play around with a totally different style of dressing than what I'm used to.

Why Essie Gel Couture is the best nail polish ever

I am a big weirdo, because I don't like to get my nails done. There are a few exceptions—Ten Over Ten in NYC being one of them—but I tend to feel incredibly awkward, I'm not sure if I'm supposed to make conversation, and I am really OCD about the disinfection of tools (here's a story that will scare the crap out of you). Most importantly, I think I do a better job on my own nails—I file them in the exact shape I want, and if I get a chip, I can fix it easily myself. And, to point out the obvious, it saves a lot of money! But because I do my nails myself, I've never had a gel manicure (and also, to be honest, they seem a little scary and potentially toxic to me). I know there are at-home kits you can invest in, but still, that seems like too much work. But one day I decided to buy a bottle of Essie Gel Couture polish and my nails have never been the same since.

What to wear with a leopard coat

As I mentioned back in December, I've been looking for a leopard-print coat for what feels like forever, and this is a problem of my own making, because I'm very, very picky about my leopard prints. I also didn't want a faux-fur coat (I already have one, and it's rarely cold enough in California to warrant it), which really narrows one's options. I'd had my eye on a particular Ganni coat as a contender, and when it went on sale at Net-a-Porter, I jumped on it. And I'm so glad I did, because I've been wearing it pretty much nonstop. For those of you who don't believe leopard is a neutral, I'm going to try my best to convince you.

Get the look: dark camel coat

I know the rest of the country is getting snow dumped on them at the moment, but it's been 70 and sunny for the last week in Northern California, and all of a sudden, spring is here. So it feels a little weird to still be posting winter looks, but then again, this cozy-looking outfit was my most-repinned style of the last few weeks on my outfit ideas for ageless style Pinterest board, so here we are.  And it is a great look—it reminds me of a butterscotch sundae, which is a compliment, because butterscotch is delicious. Let's call this one winter's just desserts.

What to wear on Valentine's Day

This is the time of year when my Instagram feed gets flooded with red and pink dresses for Valentine's Day. Now, I am all about red dresses—and so are men, if that's who you're really dressing for—but they just seem a bit obvious to me. And can you imagine walking into a restaurant on Valentine's Day (that is, if you choose not to follow my hygge plan!) and every woman is wearing a red dress? That would be just a bit awkward. So for those of you who wish to move to the beat of your own drummer, here's my take on sexy dressing for Valentine's Day.

Valentine's Day gift guide

Valentine's Day gifts have always been a little weird and unnecessary to me, unless you want to get me a Chanel bag, in which case, I prefer the medium lambskin in black with gold hardware. Anyhoo, I like the spirit of Valentine's Day, in that you should spend some quality time with your sweetie, but the "holiday" can also be awkward, especially when you're seated next to a couple that fights or barely talks throughout a three-course dinner. I also hate being forced to have an overpriced three-course meal with bad service, so I tend to stay home for Valentine's Day. Thus, in the spirit of Hygge, here are some gifts that the two of you can enjoy together...at home.

What to wear with a colorful maxi dress

I've found the things in my closet that get the most compliments are often the things I was most on the fence about buying. Case in point: this dress. It sat in my bag at Net-a-Porter for over a week, until it went on sale again and I decided to pull the trigger. Even when it arrived, I was like, "Whoa! Is this cute? Is this ugly?" I went back and forth about it. I asked my boo what he thought and after a long pause, he said, "It's very colorful." I still am not totally sure about it, and I wasn't Sunday morning when I first wore it, but after getting several compliment's from my boo's friends—who are very into vintage cars and, by proxy, into design—I realized that, of course, it's one of those boundary-pushing pieces. It may be polarizing, but I love it. So, without further ado...

How to make money by selling your old clothes

Decluttering is a big New Year's resolution for a lot of folks, and while it's not one for me personally this year, I made a big push a few years ago after reading the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo (and yes, it is indeed life-changing, so I'd recommend reading it if you haven't already). That said, I am constantly getting rid of clothes—with a name like Cheryl Shops, it goes with the territory—and while donating them all to charity is by far the most noble option, I prefer to donate cash and instead sell my gently-used clothes and accessories…so I can by new ones. Here are my favorite ways to do it.