Another year, another 365 days to make the most of those work vacation days you will be accruing! If you are anything like me then you are constantly planning your next destination in your head. Before 2017 even rolled around I had 3 trips fully planned and booked for the first few months of the year but another 5 countries that I couldn’t stop talking about and researching and that is ultimately how I came up with my list of the Top 5 Destinations for 2017.

Even though I know I won’t be able to make it to these places this year, if you can – DO IT!

1. Cuba

Cuba PC: travelmoodz

Now that travel restrictions for US residents have eased up – 2017 would be the perfect time to visit this beautiful island that is filled with clear blue water, white sand beaches and some of the most incredible (& vibrant) architecture. Cuba is a melting pop of cultures and anyone who I know that has visit speaks highly about how warm and welcoming they are to visitors. With round trip flights from Fort Lauderdale for $115, there’s no wonder why tourism is set to be at an all time high this year.

2. Egypt

egypt PC: tournavationmke

I’m sure some of you are like whatttt, Egypt? The Middle East?! nooo

YES! Egypt and FYI, it’s located in Africa. As an American, it’s so typical for us to feed into the media and where they think you should avoid. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be aware of your surroundings while traveling – that’s a must for anywhere in the world. It is so affordable to go to Egypt right now and you can even go with a tour group for 1/4th of the price of what it was 10 years ago. When visiting you can check out tons of ancient history, vast deserts and world-famous coral reef sites.

3. South Africa (Cape Town)

capetown PC: raddisonblue

Perfect weather, mountains, clear blue water and tons of tranquil gardens is one of the main reasons why so many people flock here from all over the world. If you’re adventurous, add shark cage diving to your must do list when visiting and do not forget about a safari tour.

4. Thailand

thailand PC: azamara

Thailand has been a popular destination for a long time, especially for budget travelers. Lush jungles, picture perfect beaches and cheap but delicious food are some of the top reasons why people visit. Ok, so you’re probably wondering how cheap Thailand actually is, right? Well for starters you can find a round trip ticket from the NYC area to Bangkok for about $600. Food from street vendors is said to cost about $1 and while you can absolutely chose to stay in a luxury resort – you can also stay in a beach front bungalow for as low as $20 per night.

5. Portugal

portugal PC: kny

 Portugal is my top European country to visit by 2018. It’s currently one of the safest countries in the world (says the WEF) so that is a little bit of a relief to hear when traveling abroad with the kiddies. It is rich in history and culture, has beautiful landscapes and incredible beach towns. They also say some of the best wine comes from Portugal so…. CHEERS to that!

Where are you traveling to in 2017?

LOreal-Infallible-Lip-Paints

L’Oreal just recently introduced their new line of Lip Paints and they consist of vibrant statement shades with a glossy finish. As one of my favorite drug store brands, when I saw these came out – I knew I had to get my hands on them to test them out.

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L to R: Nude Star, Fearless Fuchsia, Wild Rose, DIY Red, Violet Twist & Lilac Lust

How gorgeous are these shades? I truly love these lippies and while I tend to lean more towards a matte, these made me find my love again for a glossy finish.

While they normally retail for $9.99, I came across them for $8 at both Target, Harmon and Walmart.  What shades will you be picking up?

[While these products were compliments of L’Oreal, as always – all opinions are of my own.]

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 PC: Fodor’s

YES! You read that right. Both Newark & JFK airports are gearing up to offer Non Stop flights to Athens, Greece starting in just a few months. Now – I’m not one to really care about a connecting flight, especially if my final destination leads me to floating in the Aegean Sea. For my Honeymoon back in 2015 I connected in Berlin before arriving into Athens and with a total travel time of about 12 hours… I thought that was pretty great.

Let’s be honest though, nothing beats a Non-Stop flight so I’m super excited for this new route direct from my local airport which will land you in Athens in less than 10 hours. If you live in the Tri-State area, this is definitely the time to start planning for an island hopping adventure in beautiful Greece.

Here are some of the lowest non-stop fares per month I was able to find via Google Flights:

April – $665 RT from JFK

May – $729 RT from JFK

June – $868 RT from EWR / $880 RT from JFK

July – $1168 RT from EWR / $1030 from JFK

August – $919 RT from EWR / $979 from JFK

September – $669 RT from EWR / $732 RT from JFK

Still think the prices above are a little bit too high? No worries – Emirates has you guys covered. They announced yesterday that they will now be offering Non-Stop service from Newark to Athens for as low as $595 starting March 12th! Go check out their site to price out dates.

Every season a new “IT” trend comes around. If you know me, you know my love for fringe. I’ve literally been rocking the same style H&M fringe bag for a good 3 years #sorrynotsorry

When I saw that fringe hem was the new trend I shrieked in excitement and I went on a hunt to find the perfect pair. boohoo.com is one of my favorite websites. Over the holidays they had 60% off of everything and so I went on a little shopping spree. I ended up not only finding my perfect fringe hem denim but also a bunch of super cute tops – one specifically that paired perfected with them.

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 beauty

 Urban Deacay Naked Illuminated Trio, $21 – Naked Illuminated is a limited edition –  lightweight, baked powder with a sophisticated, microfine Naked shimmer. Each shade contains light-reflecting particles that give your skin a luminous look. Simply dust on this smooth, silky powder wherever you want to create an instant glow – for a radiant Naked look from head to toe.

Iluminage Eye Mask, $35 – This rejuvenating sleep mask covers your delicate eyes with advanced care to minimize wrinkles while you sleep. Beyond blocking all visual stimuli to quiet your mind and senses, this silky, soft, smart textile is carefully embedded with copper, derived from the well-known essential mineral. This technology is clinically proven to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles for smoother, younger-looking skin in as little as four weeks.

Aveda Balance Set, $79 – This set includes 7 mists with an authentic fusion of pure essential oils blended to balance the root chakra according to Ayurveda, the ancient healing art of India.

Philosophy Amazing Grace, $48 – Philosophy’s iconic amazingly clean, beautifully feminine fragrance comes wrapped holiday style, in limited-edition nutcracker packaging.

MAKE UP FOR EVER  Artist palette, $34 – This palette contains a selection of 3 perfectly matched Artist Shadow trios to create 3 easy and effortless looks and an educative leaflet. This is currently my favorite shadow palette! You can create so many looks as well as go from day to night instantly.

IT Cosmetics Brushes, $58 – Ahhhh and my love for IT Cosmetics continues.  This limited-edition set includes 5 full-size, ultra-plush brushes for face and eyes to cover all your makeup needs – plus a coordinating cosmetics case that doubles as your night-out clutch. It Cosmetics makes my favorite brushes so when I saw this set, I knew it had to make my gift guide. They are super soft and great quality. (P.S – go follow my Instagram @pearls_and_paris, I’m posting a giveaway for this exact brush set later today)

Kat Von D Mini Lipstick Set, $49 – I love this mini lipstick set! It includes 7 everlasting shades that are sure to make you stand out… and LAST! The set gives you the perfect spectrum of statement pops and everyday neutrals.

OPI Breakfast at Tiffany’s Duo, $22 – OPI has created this collection based on one of the most timeless movies to date – the Breakfast At Tiffany’s Collection which is inspired by the glamour filled hit film starring Audrey Hepburn. This set includes the polishes I Believe In Manicures (classic Tiffany Blue) and Black Dress Not Optional as well as a Cosmetic Bag.