A Love Letter to Croatia

This post is coming way too late. I planned on doing posts on my Croatia and Italy trip last Fall but just never got around to it. I'm finally putting together pics and recommendations on one of the best trips I've ever taken. I went with 4 friends and we spent 2 weeks traveling thru the two countries.

I don't know what to expect in Croatia. I've heard its a must see and that it is gorgeous but not much more than that. After our first day, I truly fell in love with Croatia! The country has everything I want in a European vacation destination: history, sights, incredible food and gorgeous views. 

We spent a week and visited 3 of Croatia's gorgeous cities: Dubrovnik, Split and Hvar.  It's hard to narrow down each city into just one post so I'm working on one for each. To keep the posts from becoming a book I'm narrowing it down to any notable sites, discoveries and places to eat.

I'm starting off this series with our first stop in Croatia, Dubrovnik. Many of the sites of Dubrovnik are pretty familiar to any Game of Thrones fans because many of the King's Landing locations are filmed in Dubrovnik. 

Dubrovnik is surrounded by mountains on 3 sides and the Adriatic Sea on the other. This has helped preserve the city from many of the wars this area of the world has scene. 


Walls of Dubrovnik - If you go to Dubrovnik you must walk the walls. Not only do you have gorgeous views but you are really walking on history. Parts of the walls are over 800 years old. A history nerd like me was in heaven.  You can take as long as you want to walk the walls but I would give yourself around 1.5 hours to fully enjoy it. If you go during the summer, get there early before its too hot.  

All Game of Thrones fans will want to pay special attention when they walk the walls because several scenes in "King's Landing" were filmed there.

Buza 1 or 2 - There are two cutouts or Buzas in the city walls and each of these lead to incredible views. Once you walk thru the cutout the only thing between you and the Adriatic Sea is the cliff you are on. One Buza has a nice bar with seats to enjoy the view. The other one is has a more relaxed vibe where you can get in the sea or layout on the cliff. We spent a whole afternoon enjoying the sun, the view, the water and a few beers.


I don't have a recommendation on exactly places to stay but I would recommend staying within the walls of the city. We rented an airbnb inside the walls and it was one of the best parts of Dubrovnik. Just be prepared to walk up and down lots of steps if you stay in the walls but its so worth it. The atmosphere is really incredible and it's unlike anywhere else I've ever stayed. 

One of the things I love about air bnbs is how it immerses you in the culture of wherever you are. In many cases to the host can recommend local spots. Our host told us about the Buzas and how to get to them easily.


Top of the mountain - Overall I don't have any specific recommendations for places to eat in Dubrovnik. But I would recommend taking the gondola ride to the top of the mountain to get the best views of the city and the Adriatic Sea. There is a beautiful restaurant at the top where you can have dinner (highly recommend getting a reservation) or a drink.

One of my girl friends and I decided to check out the views from above and have a glass of champagne. It was one of those moments that pictures don't do it justice so you snap a few and then just take in the moment. The champagne didn't hurt either!

Kara Krittenbrink

Favorite Podcasts

I've been a big fan of podcasts for awhile now. I like to listen to them on my way to work, on road trips and even when I'm cooking dinner. I cycle through many podcasts depending on my mood. Here are my current five favorites.

Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard - If you are anything like me then you love Dax Shephard and Kristen Bell. I follow them both on social media and love their realness and candor. Dax's podcast just started this year. Each episode he interviews a celebrity and wants to dig deep on what makes them who they are. Many are friends or celebrities that Dax has worked with. What I love most is the way he interviews the guests, it feels like a conversation to truly understand the person. Dax isn't afraid to use his life experiences, good and bad, to relate to his guests which makes for some of the most interesting celebrity interviews I've ever heard.

Stuff You Missed in History Class - For all of those that love a good history lesson, this is for you! This podcast features topics that are a little different from what you heard in your history lessons. Each episode stands on its own so you can pick and choose what topics you are interested in. This podcast has been on for a long time so there is a great back log to choose from.

Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness - Unless you are living under a rock, you have at least heard of the Queer Eye remake om Netflix. I love the show and can't get enough of each of the five stars. The grooming expert is Jonathan Van Ness and Getting Curious is his podcast. Each episode he brings up a new subject and talks to an expert in that field. May times they are answering a question. Some of the episodes are on heavy or serious topics but Jonathan's wit and humor bring levity to those subjects. 

U Up? - Dating can be a bit of a drag sometimes. This show tackles the ins and outs of dating in 2018 with a heavy dose of humor. The hosts are a comedian and one of the creators of the site www.betches.com. Each episode they have a different aspect of dating they discuss and also take reader questions. I love that there is both a male and female host so you see both perspectives. Even if you are married or in a long term relationship I guarantee you will relate to this podcast. 

Ladygang - I seriously get so excuted for Tuesdays because that's when another episdoo for the Ladygang drops. This podcast is like listening to 3 of your best friends chat at brunch. They don't hold back on their opinions which is quite refreshing. They interview celebs, authors, CEOS and many other influential people. This podcast has actually just been picked up by E! to become a TV show. 

Kara Krittenbrink

3 Steps to a Summer Glow

I will never pretend I'm a makeup expert but I do know what I like and what works for me. I like to keep my makeup simple and especially so in the Summer time. I don't like to wear foundation because the moment you go outside in this Oklahoma heat, it melts right off. While keeping most of my skin bare, I add 3 products to my skin to give me the Summer glow I crave. I first conceal dark circles and any excessive redness I have, then I follow the following steps.

Step 1. Starting with this cream stick bronzer, I put a line done the hollows of my cheeks and from temple to temple in an upside down "u" shape along my hairline. Then I blend the lines into my hairline with a damp beauty blender. Tip: Sometimes I'll add a bit to my neck if needed.

Step 2. Next I apply Nars Orgasm blush to the apples of my cheeks with a fluffy blush brush. Use a light hand to build up to your desires color.

Step 3. My favorite step is to add highlighter. Use the same damp beauty blender, pat the blender onto the highligher and then pat the blender onto your cheekbones. Build up the highlighter until you have as much as you want. I then use an eyeshadow brush and add the highlighter to my brow bone, inner corner of my eye and above my cupid's bow.

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Hoola Cream to Powder Quickie Contour Stick - Looking at the stick you may think the bronzer is too dark, but the colour is very blendable and buildabl. I find a cream bronzer looks more natural on my skin.

 Nars Orgasm - It's a cult favorite for a reason. It seriously looks good on everyone and gives you that fresh blushing look that is super natural. It's "you but better" and I don't think I'll find ever find a better blush.

Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder - One of the best highlighter's I've ever used. Matte radiance may seem like an oxymoron but it creates a soft glow. The powder is buildable so you can achieve whatever look you are going for. 

I've recommended my favorite bronzer and highlighter above but if you would like to try a few I recommend this Sephora Favorites Summer Glow Kit. For a little over $40 you can try out several best selling bronzers and highlighters. The samples are a good size and will last you quite awhile.

What is your favorite summer makeup look?
Kara Krittenbrink

A Special Piece from a Special Sale

Yesterday I posted some basics that are part of Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale (here). Besides basics I like to use this sale to get to splurge on a piece that I wouldn't normally buy. Whether its because of the price, style, color or fit this sale is a good time to try something out of your comfort zone. I've ordered this sweater! I'm excited to pair it with these leather leggings and booties for a fun night out or maybe even a date!

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If you have any weddings or events coming up now is a great time to pick up a dress for it. Self Portrait is one of my favorite brands for special occasion pieces (see this post). This lace dress can be worn now and in the fall and winter! Its on trend with the lace and sheer panel and arms. If you need something with a bit of sparkle, this number has a special mix of metallic and texture.

This coat has been really hard for me to pass up, the fur is such a special touch! 

Jumpsuits are one of my favorite pieces to buy. This one comes in a beautiful blush color but also in black, lilac and white. The white would be great for any brides!

A few years ago I bought a leather skirt similar to this one. It is the perfect mixture of ladylike and tough with the pleats and leather. I bought it thinking I would wear it occasionally but find myself putting it on all the time during the Fall and Winter. 
Kara Krittenbrink

More from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

I wanted to follow up my post from yesterday with more great items from the Anniversary Sale. Yesterday I posted my pics on the best sweaters and a random collection of some of my favorite items. One great way to take advantage of this sale is to stock up on some of the best basics for Fall. Jeans, Jackets, sweaters and boots are all staples  in most Fall wardrobes and below are some great ones that you can save money on.

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1. Slouchy Cardigan - This is the ultimate in weekend wear. Layer it over a basic tshirt and jeans or dress it up over a fitted dress and knee high boots.

2. Highlighter Palette - May not seem like a basic to some but highlighter is one of my favorite makeup items. I wear it everyday! This is one of my new favorite highlighters.

3 & 4. Knee High Boots - Boots are what I wear the majority of the time in the Fall and winter. Both of these pairs are dressy enough for work. A block heel will make this pair easy to walk in and comfortable. This slouchy pair is bit of a splurge but Stuart Weitzman is a high quality brand so this pair will last a long time. 

5. Button Up Skinny Jeans - My current favorite jean brand is Madewell. They fit my form and have just enough stretch to make them comfortable. The 10 inch rise is really flattering too. I like the button up detail on this pair. 

6. Denim Embroidered Shirt - A chambray shirt may be one of the most versatile pieces in my wardrobe. I love the update to this one with the embroidery. 

7. Waterproof Jacket -While I have some great heavy jackets, I need a lighter one for the fall. Barbour is a high quality brand so this jacket will be durable and a long term investment.

8. Leather Leggings - If you think leather leggings aren't a basic but try these on and you'll change your mind. These leggings instantly dress up any outfit you put them with. Switch out the jeans you plan on wearing with a sweater for an edgy alternative. The bonus is you'll be even more comfortable.

9. Suede Trench - This classic trench is a closet staple. I like the update in suede and it comes in a beautiful blush color too!

10. Funnel Neck Stripe Shirt - What is more classic than a stripe shirt? 

11. Convertible Crossbody Bag - Every year Tory Buch comes out with a version of this purse. It can be worn both as a crossbody or on your shoulder. I bought this purse 3 years ago during this sale and it is still my favorite purse to travel with!

12. Nike Training Tennis Shoe - A tennis shoe is for more than just this gym. This classic pair can take you from the gym to brunch afterwords.

13. Bow Slipper - I live in slippers when I'm home. UGG makes some of the most comfortable ones. These are also a great gift!

14. Pointy Toe Pumps - A classic shoe silhouette in the perfect height for work. 

Kara Krittenbrink

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

It's time for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!! If you have a card you can get early access to the sale and shop starting today! I'm going to be sharing some of my favorite pics from the sale here. The best part of this sale and what makes it a bit unique is that the sale items haven't come out yet and are for next season instead of being old items that are normally on sale. 

Keep checking back for more items!

What's in My Shopping Cart

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Kara Krittenbrink

Evening Skincare Update

As always skincare is a priority for me. It has been almost two years since I posted my skincare routine (here) so an update is long overdue. I'm going to start with my evening routine because it covers almost all the products I am currently using.


Micellar Water - I've been using Micellar water (read about it here) for over 3 years and it's still part of my routine. It is the first product I use in my routine. 

Enzyme Cleansing Gel - On days I've worked out, been outside a lot or just feel like I need a little extra cleansing I'll follow up the Micellar water with this cleanser. It contains AHAs and fruit enzymes that lightly dissolve dirt and build up and gently exfoliate. This cleanser won't dry out your skin or cause that tight feeling that some cleansers do.

Neogen Bio-Peel in Lemon - Twice a week I use these pads to exfoliate. What I like most about them is that they are both a physical exfoliator (the pads) and a chemical exfoliator. The serum contains lactic acid that breaks up and dissolve dirt and dead skin. The lemon adds a burst of vitamin C which brightens skin and lightens hyperpigmentation. I make sure and use these on my neck and skin as well.


I don't have a real issue with acne so I don't use a regular acne product in my routine. My main concerns are anti aging and skin brightness and that is what the products in this stage of my routine focus on.

Retin A- I have a prescription Retin A cream from my dermatologist. Retin A is one of the top products to fight fine lines and signs of aging. I use this 3 times a week except in the summer I only use it 1-2 times.

BeautyCounter Overnight Resurfacing Peel - This is a very new product that I've started using.  It has great reviews so I've just started using it. I will have a full review of this product soon! Right now I'm using it every other day when I don't use Retin A.

BeautyCouner No. 1 Facial Oil - This has to be my absolute favorite skincare product and it is good to the last drop. I did a full post on it here. I use it every night after Retin A or the Resurfacing Peel. I also use it in the morning before I put on makeup. I like to massage it into my skin and think it helps with puffiness.


The last step in my routine is to hydrate. I have a few different night creams I like to use depending on my skin needs that night.

Caviar Night Cream - This is an ultra rich night cream. For the times I need a big dose of moisture I turn to this one. I use it more often in the winter than any other time. A important tip is to make sure you use it on your neck as well.

BeautyCounter Countermatch Recovery Sleeping Cream - This night cream I use when my skin is in good shape and doesn't need extra moisture. It adapts to your skin and gives it what it needs. A little goes a long way so this jar lasts awhile.

Rodan + Fields Multi-Function Eye Cream - My last step in my routine is a night cream. This one I've used for years and really does a great job. It firms and smooths the skin around your eyes as well as moisturizes it.

For anyone without a skin care routine, this may seem like a lot of products. Start small with a good cleanser and moisturizer and then focus on one treatment product. Once you like those products you have a great basis for your skincare routine!

I'm working on a review of some of my favorite masks, stay tuned!
Kara Krittenbrink