Tag Archives: Mexico

shopping in playa del carmen white and blue dress

Shopping in Playa del Carmen

I’ve visited the Mayan Riviera for over 10 years, and throughout the years, I’ve seen Playa del Carmen grow from a charming town into a bustling city lined with international fashion brands, restaurants and fun clubs. Love it or hate it, the town has changed, but has always offered many great shopping opportunities. Here’s a little guide to shopping in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

shopping in playa del carmen

leather goods shopping in playa del carmen

If you’re looking for authentic Mexican crafts, ceramics and leather, there are many stores along Fifth Avenue. A lot of them, including Plaza la Fiesta have fixed prices if you don’t like bartering, and offer promotional deals on typical souvenirs as well. I prefer to go off into the side streets a couple blocks to look at leather bags and sandals. I picked up a beautiful leather bag when I went shopping in Playa del Carmen a couple years ago, and was able to negotiate a fair deal with the shop keeper.

mexican cats mexican embroidery shopping playa del carmen

I fell in love with these gorgeous tapestries, and while I don’t have much space in my apartment, the table runners, placemats, and pillows would look amazing for a balcony patio with a kitschy Mexican feel.

mexican woven blanket

mexican pottery skull

I ended up buying a woven blanket (Plaza La Fiesta only charged $7US!), and a neat little porcelain skull that can be used as a tea light lantern ($10US).

quinta alegria shopping quinta alegria forever 21 quinta alegria shopping mall pdc

La Quinta Alegria was completed a couple years ago, and offers mall shopping in Playa del Carmen. With brands like Nike, Victoria’s Secret and Forever 21, you can pick up wardrobe essentials in case your luggage went missing! I didn’t go shopping here, because I can shop all of these stores at home. It kind of makes me sad to think of all the old silver and craft storefronts that were cleared for this.

shopping in playa del carmen fifth

day of the dead tin skeletons

At the top of Fifth avenue is another outdoor mall. Great if you’re craving Krispy Kreme doughnuts, but a must-shop in this part is Plaza La Fiesta for Mexican souvenirs. Here, I’m outside the store front.

i am not a blogger tshirt pull and bear playa del carmen

Around the corner are stores like Zara, Bershka, Stradivarius, Pull & Bear and several other Inditex brand stores. I was kind of excited to shop in these stores because we don’t have all of them in Canada yet. Keep in mind though, that they do not accept US dollars, so I was out of luck! (I also left my VISA in my room, boo!) Insider tip – Bershka (think of it as Zara’s little sister), is rumoured to be coming to Yorkdale soon…

playa del carmen beach cobalt roofs mexican apartment playa del carmen mexico white beach dress seahorse fence chicwish white and blue dress

I always make a point to stop by the beach, where I took some photos. I fell in love with the awesome seahorse motif on this fence, as well as the gorgeous cream and cobalt blue apartments that matched my dress.

chicwish white ethereal dress gladiators playa del carmen white dress white embroidered sun dress

I’m wearing a white and blue embroidered dress c/o Chicwish, leather gladiator sandals from Athens, Urban Outfitters sunglasses, Coach crossbody bag and a St. Andrews Lady watch c/o Daniel Wellington.

Shop the post:

shopping in playa del carmen white and blue dress greek leather gladiators

This dress was light and airy, yet comfortable for an afternoon shopping in Playa del Carmen. My leather gladiators are from Greece and are so practical, but I saw plenty of leather sandals at the market I was tempted by!

the little teapot playa del carmen playa del carmen mexico playa del carmen playa playa del carmen church

The town also has some adorable restaurants (and even a tea shop), and a gorgeous square complete with performers and a stunning white church. I know that the next time I visit to go shopping in Playa del Carmen, there will be even more changes. I hope that development will stall a bit, to retain the authentic sellers. Otherwise, I will have to start shopping parallel to Fifth Avenue. I hope this guide to shopping in Playa del Carmen will help you hunt for souvenirs or to pick up some vacation wardrobe essentials. Happy shopping in paradise!

mangrove forest woven mexican backpack

Mangrove Forest

One of the neat features at the Mexican resort we stayed at last week was the mangrove forest leading the way to the beach. The forest protects the coast from erosion and hurricane damage, and provides a shady, tropical jungle atmosphere. I pulled together this casual look for an early morning walk along the beach and breakfast, and brought my woven Mexican backpack along to tote all my beach essentials.

mangroves american eagle top studded denim shorts ae top

I’m wearing an American Eagle top, studded denim shorts from Fitzroy Boutique, leather gladiator sandals from Athens, woven Mexican backpack from Playa del Carmen, Emma sunglasses from Urban Outfitters, St. Andrews watch c/o Daniel Wellington and Alex & Ani jewelry.

Shop the post:

mexican woven backpack

Instead of a beach bag, I love carrying this woven Mexican backpack. It keeps the sand out, and is light to sling around my shoulders. I find that it goes with everything and the print is a classic! I’m hoping to pick up another Mexican backpack on my next trip to Playa!

daniel wellington leather watch mangroves gladiators denim shorts

I loved walking through the mangrove forest on the way to the beach. You could hear birds singing and the cool humidity felt refreshing after a few hours out in the sun.

orange beach dress

Orange beach dress

One thing I love about going to the beach is being able to throw on a cute, colourful dress. I wore this orange beach dress on my vacation to Playa del Carmen Mexico. I paired it with fun fringed sandals and a Mexican backpack for an eclectic vacation outfit.

orange strapless dress mexican backpack fringe sandals orange hollister dress

My orange dress is from Hollister (similar here), my sandals are Minnetonka, my sunglasses are Prada and my back was purchased along 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen, but you can find a similar bag at Urban Outfitters.

turquoise jewelry beaded bracelet

 I also piled on the jewelry with some colourful pieces mixed in with gold.

mermaid ocean hair flip picture playa del carmen beach

The whole week I was on vacation, I never so much as dipped a toe into the (admittedly stunning) pool at my resort. How could I when there was this perfect stretch of white sand. My sister and I would spend hours walking up and down the beach, into Playa del Carmen, stopping for a swim or fruity drink along the way. I stayed at the Riu Palace Riviera Maya Hotel. And while the food left something to be desired, I loved that the hotel chain had several other hotels along the strip, so that you could hotel hop and grab a refreshment during a walk.

dog on the beach

I also love meeting the local dogs and playing fetch. I’m very jealous of that dog right now, playing in the sand while I’m writing this post under a wool blanket!

Looking back at these pictures of this orange beach dress make me want to embrace more colour, and bring out what tan I have left!

lavender pleats in paradise

Lavender Pleated Dress in Paradise

I know I talk about the weather a lot on my blog, but living in Canada can be tumultuous. Right now, it’s about -17C PLUS a windchill of -28C. That basically means insta-frostbite. While I can’t hide inside all day, I can daydream about summer days and palm trees. It might be a little masochistic to look back at pictures from my Christmas Mexico trip, but I wanted to share an outfit that brings back memories of the warm ocean breeze and sun.

lavender high low dress pleats purple chiffon dress

I’m wearing a chiffon pleated dress from Urban Outfitters, and gold sandals from Guess. The dress is breezy and pretty, with a sexy low back, sheer lace panel and a trendy high low hem, which shows off my legs, but covers my behind to prevent any “oops” moments if the wind picks up!

gold jewelry purple pleats gold lion bracelet gold lion bracelet and rings

Another focus of this look was the jewelry. I’m wearing a white and gold lion cuff c/o Persunmall, along with a knuckle chain ring from Forever 21, and my beautiful moon and star gold ring from Winners (similar here). I’m also wearing a spiked bracelet from Cocoa Jewelry (similar here) and my Michael Kors Tribeca watch.

purple pleated chiffon dress

purple pleated chiffon uo dress purple chiffon pleated dress lavender pleated high low dress

This dress would be perfect for attending a destination wedding as it’s formal and dressy, but still light to wear in the humid climate. I like how flowy and light this dress is, and I’ve fallen in love with the delicate crepe chiffon fabric and pretty lavender pastel colour. It has me dreaming of summer all over again…

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

May the fifth is Cinco de Mayo, which means it’s time to get together with friends, share a round of tequila shots and party! Contrary to popular belief, the holiday is mostly celebrated in the United States, to commemorate the battle of Puebla exactly 150 years ago.

I’m wearing a dress from American Apparel (I guess fittingly, considering the company is an advocate for helping Mexican immigrants find jobs in their factory in LA), jewellery from Forever XXI, and a pouch made in Mexico. The sombrero is just a souvenir.

I love these wrapper pouches. They are so kitschy and eclectic. My silver sombrero ring was just par for the course. I took these photos last December when I went to Puerto Morelos, Mexico.

Continue reading


Love, Peace, Happiness

Happy Valentine’s Day! In honour of the day of love, I wanted to share a special look shot on location in Puerto Morelos, a place I hold close to my heart. The clothes and accessories are some of my favourites as well, and in this cold, drab February weather, we could all use a little fantasy escape.

This dress makes me feel like a mermaid. The long, flawy ruffles and layered chiffon give the dress so much movement. The print is gorgeous for tropical weather, and echoes one of the largest spring trends: pastels. The maxi dress is from H&M’s Summer collection from last year, and is one of those killer pieces at an irresistible price that I will cherish forever.

I accessorized with gold filigree pieces to add to the boho vibe of the dress.

I would love to just chill in a cabana all day long with a good book and a margarita.

Dance is one of my greatest loves and passions in my life, and the beach and this flowy dress make me burst with energy!

Travel is starting to become one of my new passions in life, and I wanted to take this day to appreciate my family and friends who have made these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities possible. It means a lot that I have these people in my life who share life’s journeys with me.

What’s your passion?


Bathing Babe

I’ve always been inspired by pictures from the 1940s of gorgeous, curvy women lounging poolside in their maillots de bain. This look was inspired by retro synchronized swimmers, like Esther Williams, and it was the perfect opportunity to showcase a floral bathing cap that’s a blast from the past.

My bathing suit is a vintage piece by Yves Saint Laurent.  It’s one of my most cherished items in my closet, and I’m lucky enough to own it in black! (Thank you, mama!)

I love the plunging neckline and silkscreened belt adorning the waist.

I thought that the vintage coke bottle completed the look. In Mexico, most soft drinks come in the original curvy bottle, and I love it! My sunglasses are the Minimal Baroques from Prada.  They are my absolute favourite pair.

I think it would be amazing if more people would lounge out in retro bathing suits, and maybe bring synchronized swimming into the mainstream again…