The 3 Caribbean Islands You Should Visit

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Parker and I were lucky enough to go on a Caribbean cruise with the entire Hackett clan. My mother-in-law Linda was nice enough to give us the trip for Christmas, so we have anxiously been waiting since then! The islands we visited were all so beautiful – yet so different from one another. Although I absolutely loved every minute, I had a few favorites along the way that I wanted to share.

Puerto Rico: It was my second time in Puerto Rico and the more time I spend there, the more I love it. The city of Old San Juan has colorful buildings and tiny cobblestone streets with a European feel. We spent a day exploring the old fort and finding the most divine burger place that puts mini fries ON your burger!

Dominica: A tiny, non-commercialized island. We made a surprise stop there and it might have been my favorite place. The island has waterfalls, hot springs, and volcanoes so there is a ton to see! It’s incredible to be walking through the jungle and feel like you are in Jurassic Park.

St. Maarten: I loved the Dutch and French influences on the island. This was definitely the most developed and affluent island. The shopping is great with little cafes that offer gelato and crepes. We spent most of our time at Maho Beach where planes land right behind you. Perfect photo op!

5 Ways to Make Your Color Last

 

aubrey nelson hair doneThere was a time about three years ago when we both had our natural hair color… a nice dark, mousy brown color. You know when you look at old pictures and cringe… I totally do that now! Wishing I had been a little more adventurous with my hair color. A bunch of our friends tried “hair painting” several years ago and loved the results. There is only one person in Utah who does hair painting and her name is Aubrey Nelson and she is a color genius. We have trusted her with our hair ever since because she creates gorgeous color that lasts! As if that’s not enough, she is also the sweetest person with a heart of gold. We’ve been trying to find ways to make color last longer since it can be a pricey habit. So, naturally, we went to Aubrey to find out how to make our color stay longer.

1. Stop washing your hair so often. Aubrey says you should wait at least 24 hours right after you dye your hair to wash it. She also suggests trying to go at least one or two days in between washing. It may take your hair a couple of months to get used to it, so make sure you have some dry shampoo handy to get you through the greasy days!

2. Use color safe shampoo. She says this is the most important note. If you don’t use color safe, every time you wash your hair, you will strip the color. Aubrey also suggests using a clarifying shampoo sparingly during the summer if you have a tendency to get that greenish tint from chlorine.

3. Use professional oil products. Aubrey says using moroccan or argan oil on your hair can be helpful in keeping the color moisturized and vibrant. Our favorite shampoo & conditioner combo is Oil Wonders Micro-oil Shampoo & Conditioner available at Ulta.

4. Put down the heat tools. Aubrey says that straighteners and curling irons are the most damaging products on hair because of their high temperature. If possible, only use these every other day. She also suggests blow drying your hair on medium heat rather than high heat.

5. Get your hair painted rather than foiled. The method allows hair to grow in natural looking so you can go longer in between appointments. We both usually go anywhere from three to five months in between appointments without any weird grow out. You can go to Aubrey’s website to learn more about the hair painting process. She is doing a lot of traveling across the country this summer teaching workshops, so make sure you are also following her on Instagram @ilovehairpainting to see her adventures!

Are there any other tips we’re missing?

How to Stop Fighting With Your Spouse in Bed

We both pretty much scored the jackpot when it comes to husbands. We have some pretty crazy sleep habits and they are the kind hearted people that have to deal with them.

CarilohaCollageHere are a couple of things we have learned since getting married and learning how to share a bed:

1. Make it comfortable. We grew up sleeping in twin beds til college, so anything bigger than that always feels huge. This is not the same for our husbands, who are both pretty tall. One thing they both agree on is the fewer pillows the better and comfy sheets are critical. We were both given bamboo sheets recently. They are a GAME CHANGER! So soft, yet silky and breathable all at the same time. Our girlfriends have been telling us about them for a while, we were a little skeptical because we didn’t understand the magic of bamboo. Now that Spring is here they are seriously perfect for warmer nights. They actually stay cool the entire night so you never wake up sweating, it’s gross but true! Ours are from Cariloha and we are obsessed.

2. Watch out for sleep walkers! Britt and I have been sleep walkers since we were young, crazy I know. Instead of growing out of it, we still sleep walk regularly. It usually involves getting in the shower, doing our hair & makeup, or eating breakfast in the middle of the night. It is extremely odd but a little bit hilarious too. I’m sure you can imagine how thrilled our husbands were to first find us eating breakfast at 2am or changing into our work clothes shortly after midnight :) Over the years we have found that stress and sleep deprivation are the main triggers. Now we try to control both of those things to avoid sleep walking in middle of the night and scaring our husbands to death.

3. Snoring=the sad realization that we are turning into our parents! A little nudge or in desperate times plugging each other’s noses work like a charm.

4. Cold feet. This is the number one reason to get married, so that you have someone to warm you up ha! I sometimes am guilty of putting my cold feet on Parker’s warm legs. Oops. He is a good sport and always warms me up, but I do need to reach for some socks more often!

5. Make the bed. We have a rule that whoever gets out of the bed last makes the bed. Since we are both more of early risers than our husbands – it works out perfectly.

What are the tips and tricks you use for staying happy in bed?

Twin Tested: Picattoo

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image via picattoo.com

We have found a weird, new product that is actually pretty fun. Picattoos allow you to turn any of your Instagram photos into temporary tattoos! All you have to do is choose 12 photos that you want printed and then they do the rest of the work for you. Each tattoo is printed on tattoo transfer paper, you then put a damp cloth on the paper and hold it tight against the skin for one minute. Remove the cloth, and voila! You have your very own personalized tattoo. Picattoo says that tattoos will last up to a week, although with some good scrubbing you can get them off much sooner. They offer free worldwide shipping. We were impressed with the print quality and think they would be fabulous for any party. One set of a dozen photos is $15 but if you use code PIC10 you get a discount!

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Just Ask: Jessica of Alice Lane Home Collection

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image via alicelanehome.com

We are starting a new series here on Twin Tested called “Just Ask” where we chat with women we admire and ask them a few questions. We adore Jessica from Alice Lane and decided to chat with her for our inaugural post! Over the past 10 years she has created a design and brand that is respected worldwide. If you haven’t ever been in the store or seen her work, check it out. Jessica is one of the most humble, down to earth, and helpful people around! Read more about her incredible story here.

We went to her with our top 3 design questions that have come up since we both got married because we all know decorating your house changes when you throw a boy into the mix!

Q: How do you successfully combine feminine and masculine looks?

A: Whenever you get something feminine, temper it with something masculine. For example, if you get something peachy then get something black to juxtapose it. Or if you buy a tufted headboard then go with straight angular nightstands to create balance. Then point it out to your husband so that he can see that you are incorporating straight, architectural pieces.

Q: How do you successfully create a bed that the two of you both will like the look and feel of?

A: Scale is important. Go big, not tiny, when it comes to the pillows. When you have 11, small, decorative pillows it starts to look knick knacky. Instead, lay 2 or 3 big Euro pillows across the bed with one smaller statement pillow in front.

Q: What is the best way for  couples to compromise?

A: Choose a livable look for your home. Something comfortable and usable. Make sure you can live with it day-to-day and your not just going to get things out when guests come over.

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Aerial Yoga vs. Mat Yoga

We have to admit something, we are lifelong yoga haters. The workout has never appealed to us and we always felt we needed to supplement with other workouts because yoga was too “easy”. We don’t believe in exercising with your hair down and not breaking a sweat during a workout. Well this year, we both made goals to become more flexible with stronger cores and it led us straight to yoga. Brooke has been practicing weekly with Parker and I have started taking yoga classes at Xcel fitness. We’re now totally fascinated by all the different yoga variations, so we decided to test Aerial yoga vs. Schole yoga. We went to Xcel fitness in Holladay where they offer both classes. So, let’s start with Aerial Yoga.

It gave me the exact same feeling as when I did this in elementary school:

Vintage-playground(photo here)

Things To Know About Aerial Yoga:

- You hang in a silk hammock

- You feel like you’re in Cirque du Soleil

- It’s great for people with back pain because it takes the pressure off (thanks to the whole antigravity thing)

- It releases compressed joints

- You spend a lot of time upside down, which we are hearing more and more is important to overall health (just be warned the blood rushing to your head thing is real, so at first you can only stay upside down for a short amount of time)

- The silks can hold a baby elephant, so we can all try it without being embarrassed we will break them

- It was so much fun! You don’t actually feel like you’re working out because your focusing so hard on staying in the silk!

This is Kacie Ballard, the amazing instructor!IMG_4084 FullSizeRender-7 FullSizeRender-8 FullSizeRender-9

Things to Know About Mat Yoga

- It’s 5,000 years old

- You get out of the workout what you put in

- You will increase flexibility by consistent practice

- You can do whatever you want in class. If you want to lay down and take a nap, no one will bug you.

- Micah Scholes created the Schole Yoga Program, which is described as: Intelligent sequencing and engaging music bring strength, flexibility, balance and cardio into perfect harmony. The result is an intense yet accessible workout mentally, physically, and emotionally. We love the huge yoga room that is usually kept above 90 degrees at Xcel Fitness.

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I posed in the middle of the gym because no one really needs to see me in downward dog. I’m wearing my new favorite workout gear from Cariloha. All of their clothes are made out of bamboo, which means they are super lightweight and kind of feel like you’re wearing nothing, which is perfect for yoga. There is a free yoga class every Friday at the Holladay Xcel Fitness location! It starts at 6:15 and is completely free. You do not need to be a member and it’s for all ages. They even have mats for you to use. We hope to see you there!

Girls Staycation at Hotel Monaco

This weekend we took a little breather from real life and gathered up a bunch of our best friends for a night together in SLC. The best thing about this group of girls is that they are all from different phases and places in our life, which made for some really fun conversations! We started our night at Settebello with some gelato (dessert first of course) and then had the delish pizza. Hotel Monaco was our destination of choice. The boutique hotel is gorgeous and right in middle of town. We had way too much fun and because there is way too much to write about I have bulleted out the highlights!

  • We got to stay in the penthouse suite on the 14th floor!!!
  • Monaco set us up with the most adorable Italian soda bar in our suite, aka best party idea ever, they were soooo yummy.
  • We were given our first selfie stick, oh my goodness bad idea! Hours of entertainment.
  • They have complimentary bikes at the hotel. Awesome! You can jet around downtown without having to worry about finding a parking spot.
  • All pets are welcome with no extra fees. If you don’t have one, they let you “rent” a goldfish for the night. So fun! (they gave us two that were twins!)
  • There is a complete yoga mat set in every room that is complimentary. Love this, especially because Parker and I have started doing yoga together once a week!
  • We stayed up way later than 10:30 pm which was impressive.
  • Students in interior design stop at the hotel frequently for field trips because the rooms are incredible, i.e. fur throws, geometric carpet prints, etc.
  • The hotel gave each of us girls a lush lip balm and cute nail polish, plus we all loved wearing the amazing animal print robes that come in every room!
  • We honestly laughed until we cried and our cheeks hurt. Girl’s nights are so good for the soul, thanks to all of our lovely friends for coming and making it such a fun night!

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Huge thank you to the Hotel Monaco for showing us such an incredible time! Yay for a successful girls night! xo

Travel Essentials

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To gear up for some fun trips in our future (Britt to LA and Brooke to the Caribbean) we have rounded up the latest and greatest products when it comes to travel. We have come a long way in our packing habits– I was a terrible overpacker and Britt was always forgetting things (as in forgot her entire toiletry bag one trip). We came across some awesome products that we have never seen before and want to share. Starting out with the Cup Case: a suitcase for your bras from The Container Store! How awesome is that? Now they won’t get smashed or misshapen on vacation. Lucky for us, they were so spacious for ours we can also fit a couple pairs of undies :)
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Next up is the Hanging Weekender Bag. I am obsessed with this! I finally just threw out my day-to-day grungy makeup bag and solely use this. The best part is you can hang it anywhere!
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And our final goodie from the Container Store is the Stripes Resort Washable Weekender. If you’re worried about going over the weight limit with your suitcase, you need this! It is super lightweight and can fit tons of stuff because of all the different compartments. If you are an OCD neat freak it is perfect for you! :)
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Get ready for cuteness overload, Ulta actually makes mini curling rods and flat irons specifically for travelling. If you know us, we are obsessed with anything mini! I think these can also be great for carrying in your purse for a last minute touch up, which we do almost every day at work. The detachable cords make them very easy to transport. Plus, they both heat up to 430 degrees in 10 seconds! They are half the size of a normal curling rod or flat iron and so worth $30!
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And this last item might be our very favorite. They are called Skyn Iceland Hydro Cooling Firming Eye Gels. You apply them under the eye and they feel heavenly – especially if you have just finished a red eye flight! We also love these after getting our eyelash extensions done. They are so refreshing and can be used anytime.
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Let us know what your travel must haves are! Here’s to a fabulous Spring travel season! Hope you have something fun planned.

Our Weekend Favorites

via Rifle Paper Co https://riflepaperco.com/shop/art-prints/marie-antoinette-illustrated-art-print/

Image via Rifle Paper Co

Here in Utah it is snowing and temperatures are dropping so we are planning on cuddling up with our husbands and staying indoors! Brooke is moving this weekend and has a few DIY projects in the works. If any of you have tips for using chalk paint – let us know!

Here are a few fun things we loved this week:

- Recipe for crab cakes: Brooke and I were lucky enough to go to a blogger event at Oakwood Homes showroom where we learned how to make these with chefs from Whole Foods. They just hit the spot and transport you to an East coast beach house! If we can make them, anyone can do it!

- Britt wrote the story of a power couple that lives in Huntsville and hosts music superstars like Lady Antebellum and Keith Urban in their home to write hit songs. Fascinating!

- Salt Lake Magazine’s article on local watch company Arvo. We love wearing their watches and always get compliments on them.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful day!

Salt Lake Magazine Feature

We are so flattered to be featured in the latest edition of Salt Lake magazine. We were legitimately surprised they wanted to talk to us, but it turned out to be such a fun experience! We met the reporter at the Rose Establishment in downtown Salt Lake City and did something we’re very good at… chatted about ourselves for a good hour. He somehow turned all of our mumbo jumbo into a really nice article. Then, we did a photo shoot at the station. Of course we’re wearing sparkles and sitting on the anchor desk… that just seemed like the right thing to do. Thanks to everyone at Salt Lake magazine for thinking of us, it really means a lot!

You can read the full article HERE (We love that the title of the article is “Stunt Double”

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SLMAG1SLMAG2(Brooke’s outfit: top & skirt from Anthropologie Brittany’s outfit: top from Anthropologie, skirt from Mindy Mae’s Market)

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