Wednesday, March 25, 2015

February 2015 visit to Sanderling Resort

In mid-February, M and I enjoyed a lovely stay at Sanderling Resort on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We had previously stayed there six years ago during the same time of year... right before closing on our house, actually! The Sanderling was purchased by two companies in May 2012 from the resort's only previous owner. Since I had celebrated many holidays there as a kid, I definitely wanted to see the changes that had occurred thanks to the multi-million dollar renovations!

Good news: everything is still gorgeous. Even when it snows. Especially a Spa day overlooking the frozen-over Currituck Sound.

Bad news: too cold and windy for any beach walks, but nothing about the hotel for our stay was a problem.

First impressions from our stay: the logo of the Sanderling has been slightly altered and the resort utilizes the colors orange and white which definitely makes a cheerful statement! The resort is much more family-friendly now, with fire pits (nightly s'mores fixings left at your room each day), multiple outdoor pools on the ocean side, five dining establishments (some open only seasonally, varying from snack bar to formal dining), and fully renovated rooms. The spa is still a destination in itself, with luxurious spa suites, relaxation rooms, and a serene atmosphere. We had a great spa day there.

When we checked in we learned that two of the three buildings were closed for renovations, which was fine because there actually were only about 16 guests staying while we were there. We were upgraded (due to the availability being in the off-season), and happily went to check out the digs. Our room was gorgeous. It was spacious, with high-ceilings and modern touches while still feeling incredibly "homey." We had a balcony that overlooked the ocean above the dunes and the grounds below. In comparison to previous visits, I think the main issue for me was lighting. Our room this visit was brighter due to the color palette and light fixtures. Previously, rooms were a bit darker even though they were attractive and comfortable. We enjoyed being able to spend time in the room as well as the common areas (i.e. South Wing still has the fireplace downstairs and the gorgeous framed Hermes scarves).

If you're interested, the room is called a South Inn Oceanview King. We had a top level one on the corner.

Final thoughts? If you have Celiac disease, you'll be in heaven with the thoughtful touches and details... multiple dining choices on-property! Imagine someone bringing you a gluten-free roll without requesting it at the Lifesaving Station, or room service substituting said rolls in your eggs benedict order the remaining mornings of your stay. These gestures count! Celiacs know how hard that is so having ample options in one place is wonderful.

Families who live in Virginia? Make the drive to the Sanderling if you haven't been before. It's definitely an up-and-comer in the resort scene and well worth the trip with many fun sites and activities for little ones (even more so from Easter through Christmas).

Condé Nast Traveler rated Sanderling Resort #38 of the Top 50 Mainland US Hotels in their Readers' Choice Awards as well as placing the Resort on their Gold List. Travel + Leisure named it as one of the 500 Best Hotels in the World.

We certainly look forward to returning again soon!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Sponsored Post: Elements Beauty Shop review and Pinterest contest

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a "sponsored post." The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." All photos property of In Your Element Commerce and Elements Beauty Shop, excluding my embedded social media posts.

Hello to all of you! I'm so sorry I haven't posted much so far in 2015 (technically once, ouch). My life has been a comedy of errors lately. From my laptop dying to getting my first Mac ever (still trying to get the hang of it), from my neck going out twice to M getting the flu for 10+ days, the General Assembly session starting (and ending as of 10-ish last night), and mercifully a long trip to the OBX to try and get ourselves back into fighting shape... as you can see, the past six weeks really have been a chaotic mess! I'm very tech-aware but seriously the figuring out how to do certain blog-essential items on the Mac has been hilariously slow. Example 1: screen shots. Wow. That took about 30 minutes and 5 tries.

Back in early January, I was contacted by Elements Beauty Shop of Carytown RVA, to do a sponsored post. I was so excited and pleased to hear from them. First of all, let me point out that while they do have a physical location every item in store is available on their website, so those of you out-of-towner readers need to check them out!

I am a major advocate for the Shop Small, Shop Local movements. I have happily added Elements Beauty Shop to that list of businesses. The owners, Sherry and Jeanie, are eco-aware and sell items with no animal testing. Many of their products are also without parabens, phthalates, or sulfates. This niche market means they sell boutique-style or unique products that you may have never heard of or only read about in magazines. They also offer world-renowned luxury, organic, and beauty award winning products - so they have items for every price point. It's delightful to know that these brands are both sold in Richmond and available online from a woman-owned business!

Here are the lovely samples I picked up at their store in January:

As you can see in the still photo below, quite the #ElementsBeautyHaul to try out - which honestly took me to this week to finish up. I wanted to use them all up so I could really let you know what I think (reviews of each in another post, otherwise this one would never end!):

A photo posted by worthystyle (@worthystyle) on

My new favorites from this sample haul are:

For y'all, Elements Beauty Shop has a few excellent incentives - first, a Pinterest contest:

Check out my Pinterest Elements Beauty Shop wish list for the Pinterest contest here!

Secondly, a promo code! Go to and create an account here.

Once you set up your account and add to your cart, during the checkout process enter code: WorthyStyle and you will get 10% off your first online order. Plus they offer PayPal as an option (which I love). Unlike big box stores, you get free standard shipping for any order over $79 (some very limited exclusions), free samples with every order, GWP for every order over $75, AND you earn loyalty points for every logged-in online purchase! Those loyalty points give you a cash discount on your next order, as long as you place your orders while logged into your account!

Here is what I got from my first online order - which arrived on Thursday night. I cannot endorse this store more passionately! Everything was carefully packaged and glass items were carefully wrapped. Of course, having a 10% off promo code is wonderful and showing off my second #ElementsBeautyHaul to you all is fun as well. If you place an order and make a social media post #ElementsBeauty, #ElementsBeautyHaul, Elements Beauty Shop will make a drawing every month to award a person who posted that hashtag a $50 gift card. Just another incentive for those of you placing orders!:

I look forward to continuing to share more about this store with you all in future posts. If you are in the RVA area, please consider coming to our event at the Elements Beauty Shop in Carytown on Wednesday, March 11 from 5:30 - 7:30pm. Most importantly, thank you to Christina of Tiramisu for Breakfast for introducing me to Elements Beauty Shop! If you all haven't checked her blog out before, please do!

Friday, January 16, 2015

WorthyStyle x Modani living room design

Hey all! Long time no post. Wanted to share with you the fun Polyvore I dreamed up this evening. Kind-of like arts and crafts for tech aware people, yes? I could lose hours going on there and designing rooms and fun outfit combos. While you have seen my clothing and accessories related posts from Polyvore, this home decor set will be the first on WorthyStyle!

What do you think of my modern living room look? I've always loved modern architecture and style. In an ideal world, when I retire I will end up in some beautiful waterfront or desert locale with a gorgeous energy efficient modern home. Maybe even a passive solar one, like my parents place in the Blue Ridge Mountains...

At some point in the past few years I became a huge fan of the color gray - some of my favorite work wardrobe items are in that color and I love it in interior design, too. I decided that this room would look more moody with a gray interior paint and a very simple color palette. The black sofa is one of many Modani sells so check out their selection of modern sofas. I feel like while the couch is leather it's really quite family friendly and durable - perfect for any home for many years to come!

I'm absolutely obsessed with the floor lamp - such a mid century modern look to it. Also, I've seen jute rugs in interiors similar to this one, but now I'm not convinced I made the right choice here - what do you all think? Maybe a plain bamboo flooring would work better?

Do you ever dream up interior design looks on Polyvore - rather than endlessly Pinning items on Pinterest?

WorthyStyle x Modani modern living room

Modern lighting

Arm wall sconce

Pottery barn rug pad

White wall art

Leather sofa

Onyx furniture