I'm a title. Click here to edit me.
6 Best Brunch Spots in South Tampa
What is it about the weekends that we live for oh so much? Is it the free time? The chance to do yard work? I know... it's that I can finally wash, sort and fold the crusty dirty clothes overflowing out of the hamper. Who are we kidding!? The weekends are for time with our friends and family, preferably eating well and day drinking. Does it still count as just a cheat day if it lasts all weekend? Pass the Imodium I feel bad choices coming on. To make your answer to the age old question "where should we eat?" easier, we've compiled a list for you! 1. Daily Eats - South Howard Ave, South Tampa If you've interacted with me over the past 8 months, you'd know I'm addicted to the Thai Peanut Bowl. Who ever told me Daily Eats does take out orders... I love you, however my bank account & tummy do not. The wait time on a weekend can be anywhere from 15 minutes - 90 minutes. But it is very worth it, as are the apple mimosas! Pro Tip: Request outdoor seating since it can be loud inside. If it isn't too crowded, ask for the very back table, it's in the corner at the end of the wrap around porch. It's pretty much the unofficial VIP table and without a doubt, the best and most private seat in the house. 2. Mama's Kitchen - South Dale Mabry HWY, South Tampa This small family owned restaurant is more on the breakfasty brunch side of the list. Stay with me. Imagine you have a boat day planned. Okay, got it? Stop picturing yourself on a yatch... We gotta be realistic here, a sensible 24 footer will do. You know you'll need to have a hardy breakfast to start the day off right...Momma's Kitchen is the place to be! Quality, large portioned home cooked specials daily! On the weekends there is usually a line out the door, having said that the wait time isn't too long. 3. Cask Social - South Howard Ave, South Tampa No, your eyes are not deceiving you. There is a Popsicle in that prosecco. POPSICLE FREAKING PROSECCO GUYS! I love the drink selection at Cask, even more so I love the fat kid food selection. The Bavarian Pretzel is always deliciously warm and typically disappears within 10 minutes at a table of four. The best way to describe the bulk of the Cask menu: trendy southern food. There is ample seating inside but the patio seating is much more fun with no shortage of people watching and yard games like corn hole and giant Jenga. 4. Love's Artifacts Bar and Grille - South Macdill Ave, South Tampa The walls of Love's is decorated with "artifacts" that have been gifted by regulars & locals. On Sundays for $25 you can enjoy an all you can eat brunch buffet and UNLIMITED bloody marys and mimosas. Yes...UNLIMITED! I'll wait while you schedule your Uber for this Sunday. 5. Oxford Exchange - Kennedy Boulevard, South Tampa You can't make a list of brunch spots and not include Oxford Exchange...you just cant! If you eat at OE and don't eat in the atrium room, you're doing it wrong. The gorgeous aesthetic is matched by the tasteful menu options. Be sure to make a reservation a day ahead since OE has been extremely popular since its opening in September 2012. Open Table is a super quick way to make reservations, check availability and glance over menus. 6. New World Brewery - 8th Street, Ybor City Okay okay, I know this isn't in South Tampa but I had to include this little gem! Live music, self serve buffet, home brewed beer and paying for your food by the weight of your plate makes this 'hole in the wall' one of my absolute favorites.
7 Best Date Night Spots in Tampa
We've all been there....the struggle of picking a restaurant for date night. Him: "Where should we go eat?" Her: "I don't care, just pick something." Him: *suggests restaurant* Her: "No. Just list places and I'll pick something." Per usual the Suarez's are here to save the day by bringing you a collection of tampa date night spots (and extras) that are tony & chelsea approved! Noms Cru Cellars | 2506 S MacDill Ave Our Usual Bill: $30-$50 Our Go-To Orders: Short Ribs, Fig & Prosciutto Flatbread, Farmers Platter If a sleek wine bar serving cheeses, cured meats & small plates with a dark ambiance is your scene, this is your spot. Cru is relaxed, romantic and classy with a low key vibe. Plus their buttery chardonnay leaves me feeling extra frisky. CineBistro | 1609 W Swann Ave Our Usual Bill: $30-$80 (Depends if we do dinner & movie) Our Go-To Orders: Popcorn Chicken, Pan Seared Atlantic Salmon, Crispy Chicken Bowl Nothing ruins a movie date night like children yelling or teens sucking face in the seats next to you. Am I right or am I right? While ticket prices are (on average) $6.00 more than normal movie theater prices, it's worth it. We don't dine-in every time but when we do the food is always palatable. Soho Sushi | 3218 W Kennedy Blvd Our Usual Bill: $25-$35 Our Go-To Orders: Steam Buns, California Roll, Garlic Edamame When my sister urged me to try the steam buns* at Soho Sushi, I took note. It wasn't until she said "I want a framed picture of steam buns on my nightstand", that I realized the phenomenon that is steam buns. For the past three weeks, I've suggested we go to Soho Sushi at least 8 times, because damn it I want steam buns! Parking is sometimes a disaster at Soho Sushi but it's such a South Tampa staple we'll look past that. Thankfully most businesses surrounding it are closed during their nightly rush and recently I've noticed they have provided valet. *Depending on the restaurant steam buns may also be referred to as stinky buns or sticky buns. Kona Grill | 4134 W Boy Scout Blvd Our Usual Bill: $20-$40 Our Go-To Orders: Moscow Mules, Red Sangria, California Roll, Potstickers, Chicken Satay Thanks to Kona Grill's frugal couple friendly Happy Hour menu our date nights don't break the bank! Don't you hate when you get excited about the happy hour menu only to have the server tell you, "Oh, I'm sorry happy hour ended 3.8 seconds ago.". Literally the worst. At Kona, If you sit at the bar or outside you can order off of the Happy Hour menu until they close. Half off Moscow Mules and potstickers and all we have to do is sit outside? COUNT US IN. Berns Steakhouse | 1208 S Howard Ave Our Usual Bill: Eating in the Bar $30-$60, Dining Room & Dessert Room $100-$200 Our Go-To Orders: Steak Sandwiches, Duck Confit, Chicken Bern, Filet, Sobert, Bananas Foster Trying to be '#Fancy' for your Instagram aesthetic but you only have $60 in your checking account? Totally not speaking from personal experience or anything. Hopefully my fellow South Tampians don't disown me for letting out this secret but.....the Berns Steakhouse has the best steak sandwiches that are only $10. Last time I went it wasn't on the menu so it's kind of like a 'secret menu item', how cool do you feel right now that you know a Berns secret menu item? Eddie V's Prime seafood | 4400 W Boy Scout Blvd Our Usual Bill: $95-$200 Our Go-To Orders: Filet, Brussels Sprouts, Au Gratin Cheddar Potatoes, Potstickers, TarTare of Pacific Ahi Tuna, Parmesan Sole, Crème Brûlée Eddie V's is our favorite spot whether we are at the bar with a few delicious apps or sitting in the dining room for a 5 course meal. I have LOVED every single thing I've eating at EV. I dislike seafood, however I love their sole and ahi tuna. The service is exceptional, from the valet to the bartenders. Every time we go somehow they out do themselves by ensuring our dining experience is better than the last. stay in date nights | Your own Couch! Our Usual Bill: $20 Our Go-To Orders: Pizza, Outback curb-side, or whatever is available on UberEats or Postmates. I understand that we may sound like lazy sacks of poop by admitting our favorite place to be together is on our couch...but it's true stop judging us! Stay in date nights are honestly the best. At #SuarezSanctuary pants are optional and ever meal comes with a free side of bulldog cuddles. Take out/delivery and streaming movies through apps like Hulu and Popcorn Time via our AppleTV is the formula for a perfect date night. Threads francesca's | Locations in hyde park, brandon, westshore plaza, Citrus Park My Usual Damage: $30-$50 Honestly, I can't trust myself in Francesca's. For this reason, I haven't been in over 5 months. Once or twice a year I will spend about $400-$600 on versatile pieces I can dress up or dress down. Francesca's ALWAYS has what I'm looking for when it comes to day to day clothing. This is the only place I will buy jeans now! The Hyde Park location may be the smallest of the bunch, however they are a higher ranking store; They restock faster and always have a better selection of inventory. sweet southern chic Boutique | 4219 W Bay to Bay Blvd My Usual Damage: $40-$80 Sweet Southern Chic is my spot when I'm in need of a fierce outfit for a more upscale date night. Like an anniversary or birthday when I'm trying to get super frisky in the car ride home. SSCBT is husband friendly with ample seating and refreshments available. Take a gander at their Instagram (@sschictb) and you'll witness the flawlessness that is their inventory and their sassy/gorgeous model Abby Kieffer. Transportation Tampa Party Buses Uber is great don't get me wrong, but you know what isn't great? Pretty much everything about the "Uber experience". 1. Please don't talk to me. I don't need to know about how you're your own boss or the details of your relationship. 2. Why am I having to tell you where to go? Doesn't the Uber app do that for you? 3. Aren't there vehicle requirements? Your crusty 2003 CRV is about to fall apart. Sure, you could drive yourself, but who wants to worry about cost of valet, parking availability, and picking up your car the morning after if you drink too much. I'm getting anxious just thinking about it. Transportation plays a major role in the overall success of your night and sets the tone whether you realize it or not! When you choose to go with a transportation service such as a limousine, party bus or car rental, these inconveniences and the awkwardness of ride share apps are swept aside. My favorite part is that you aren't limited to only one destination for your date night as you would be with a ride share app or taxi. Most importantly, you're be able to solely focus on your significant other, and THAT my friends, is what date night is all about! Limousines offer many features that are sure to enhance your date night! Just a few are bluetooth streaming capabilities, neon lighting for ambience, comfortable leather seating, spacious interiors, and TV's. Thanks to an on board professional chauffeur, you'll have top notch suggestions for your 'next stop' in case you happen to fall short on your itinerary. After utilizing Tampa Bay Transportation for one date night, you'll want to make it a regular occurrence!
A Lazy Girls Guide To Weight Loss
'Oh my God, what's your secret?'. Let's be real, if I had a dollar for every time I've been asked this question I wouldn't be working 11 hour days. Over the last 9 years my weight has been some what of a roller coaster and May of last year was one of my higher points on the scale. My downfall is a toxic mixture of laziness and late night binge snacking. Unfortunately my addictive personality doesn't translate to working out consistently, somehow there is always an excuse. One thing I can do however is stick to a lifestyle change. Notice how I didn't say diet? Diets are garbage, they're temporary, and if you lose weight fast you'll gain it all back even faster. Losing weight is about changing your lifestyle, there is no secret diet or magical waist trainer that will make your tummy flat and give you an ass even J.Lo would be envious of. Consistency is key. If I would have taken my own advice and been very consistent I would've been writing this 5 months ago instead of a year later. I've realized that I am sensitive to dairy and gluten. No, I'm not one of those people who wants to be trendy and say they have an allergy to gluten. I can assure you, I will be on the toilet for at least an hour right after consuming either. At this point I should buy stock in Poo-Pourri since I'm basically single handedly keeping them in business. In May I changed my eating habits to a modified Keto lifestyle. Instead of focusing on tracking fat intake and net carbs, I mainly consume meat and veggies. If I want a snack I'll usually go for a piece of fruit or nuts all while staying away from processed foods. It's really simple, don't eat pasta, bread, fast food or soda. Keep in mind I love pasta, AND I MEAN I REALLY LOVE PASTA. I'll treat myself now and then but over all I stay away. I didn't start working out more until recently, I do squats and crunches at home. I also have 5 pound weights at my desk which I lift when I'm on the phone at work. I understand it's hard to find time to be active, as silly as it sounds I do 50 squats while brushing my teeth, both morning and night. I have started doing crunches before I go to bed and when I wake up as well. These small changes have made a huge difference, and will continue too. To help curb the bottomless pit that is my late night appetite I take The Ultimate Beauty Body Formula by BikiniBOD. I started taking this randomly about 4 months ago, and love it. I am an affiliate with BikiniBOD, originally because I'm obsessed with their self tanning mousse and I will promote it from time to time. Honestly, dietary supplements scare the crap out of me and make me feel like I'm dying. I'm not exaggerating, roughly 13 years ago I took Hydroxycut and was convinced I was having a heart attack. It was a very sweaty experience and not cute in the least. Since taking it, I've noticed my nails growing much faster/stronger under my acrylics, and my hair has grown longer, faster, and seems thicker. My sister in law asks me if I'm wearing extensions every single time I see her. I can always count on her saying " Thats ALL your hair??", at least once when we hangout. Use code "BBCHELSEA" at checkout for 10% off your purchase of any BikiniBOD products. The supplements come with a 28 day workout plan as well. Consult with your doctor and all that good stuff before changing your lifestyle or taking supplements. Before: May 2018, 145 pounds After: January 2019, 124 pounds Please be kind, it took copious amounts of courage for me to woman up and publish this post. I struggle with body dysmorphia and want to help others. I am no where close to where I want to be, my new goal is to gain muscle and be much more toned than I am now by July. Below are a few 'Pro Tips' that have helped me. You got this, now stop making excuses. In two months you'll wish you'd have started today. -Always take progression pictures in the morning. -Instead of focusing on the number on the scale, take measurements. -Have healthy snacks in your desk. -Cook with coconut oil. -Drink a bottle of water before bed and in the morning. -Get your workout over with in the morning. -Don't have unhealthy food in your house and you won't eat unhealthy food! -Take vitamins and/or supplements. *Consult with you doctor before changing your eating habits or workout routine. *The tips that I've shared have worked for me, I can not guarantee it will work for you as well. *As previously stated I am an affiliate with BikiniBOD and I do earn a small commission when my coupon code is used. If you don't want to use it, then don't.
A Weekenders Guide: Charleston, South Carolina
Did you know that Charleston, South Carolina is ranked as the #2 location for destination weddings? It's true! I have been to Charleston three times now, Tony has been with me two of those trips. You know the drill, below is a list of our "Tips & To-Do's" for any type of Charleston adventure. Tips: WALK EVERYWHERE- I am a huge advocate of walking as your mode of transportation when traveling to new places. This will ensure you'll be able to take all of the pictures you want, appreciate the architecture and maybe find a restaurant/shop or two that you wouldn't have seen if you're speeding by in an Uber. AirBnB vs. Hotel- There are many 4+ star hotels in Historic Charleston, and there are also many AirBnB rentals that are usually $100 or cheaper a night. When choosing your accommodations be sure to look up the address and verify that it is closer to King Street, Market Street and/or Meeting Street. Staying close by these roadways will ensure you'll be in walking distance to mostly everything. For our most recent trip we stayed in the cutest AirBnB. It was a little bit further than walking distance from where we wanted to be, but as long as you're south of the Septima Clark Parkway you're golden! The rental we stayed in, appropriately named The Sun Nook, was a private room located on the bottom floor of a traditional Charlestonian two story duplex. Who can argue with $72 a night? Plus her two cats gave us all of the cuddles. On average our Uber fare from Market + Meeting Street was only $7.00 Plan your night out accordingly- If you ever find yourself wandering the streets of Historic Charleston at 3:00 am, it will be post-apocalypticly quiet. Not that I would know from personal experience...I've never walked barefoot back to the Charleston Place hotel with my friend Kelsey at 4:00am I don't know what you're talking about. Charleston is a Historic City, that being said, mostly all of the bars close at 1:00-2:00am. To-Do's: Restaurants Halls Chophouse: Halls is my second favorite restaurant when it comes to dining experience. Havana Blue in St. Thomas is #1, which you may remember from the honeymoon blog post. Don't act like you didn't read that one I know you did. If you're itching for a delicious cooked-to-perfection steak, excellent service and an excuse to get dolled up, this is your spot. Not that you need an excuse to wear false lashes and heels, do your thing girl! Personally, I love their duck, it is the best I have ever had. Halls is booked at least a month in advance, which is the reason why I've only been once. The Rarebit: Unfortunately, we didn't get to have lunch at the Rarebit last time we were in Charleston and I am still mad about it two months later. Just thinking about their chicken and waffles makes my mouth water. They serve breakfast all day and on weekends you can guarantee there will be a line out the door prior to opening. If waiting in lines for food isn't your style, trust me its worth it, you can always indulge in their happy hour Tuesdays through Fridays from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. They have Moscow mules for $5. FIVE DOLLARS Y'ALL. Anson Restuarant: Every couple has their special getaway spot they run off to for a weekend away, Charleston has always been that for my aunt and uncle. So when they suggested we go to Anson with them one night I knew we'd be in good hands. The dim dining room was illuminated by Moravian star pendants. Yes I just googled "star shaped glass lights" to get the actual name of them. The drinks are strong and the booths are private. We were checked on a few times by the personable general manager who you would have thought was my dads long lost brother they way they were cracking jokes at one another. Activities & Attractions The Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon: If you're going to any type of historic tour I suggest the dungeon tour of the customs building. Not only will you learn the history behind the building itself but you'll leave with a plethora of Charleston knowledge. It is definitely worth the $10.00. Charleston City Market: Personally, I do not enjoy walking through the market, but that's mainly due to my strong distaste for being in close quarters with slow moving people. Tony actually gets annoyed with me because I race through the market as fast as I can. Having said that, there are some pretty cool booths especially the few photographers that sell their vibrant canvas prints showcasing breathtaking spots in Historic Charleston. There is also a flag vendor who we buy flags from every time we go since he always has such a large selection in varying sizes. USS Yorktown: I know what you're thinking....and you're right, I didn't want to go on a tour of an aircraft carrier. I dislike guided tours just as much as the next person, so I was way too excited once we boarded and realized it wasn't a guides tour, it was more of a free for all. Tony and I explored through every level of the ship and it was AWESOME. The Battery: Imagine a street on the river front lined with breathtaking Historic mansions some being three or four stories high. Every time we visit Charleston we make a point to walk through Waterfront Park and continue on to East Battery admiring the architecture along the way.
A Weekenders Guide: San Francisco, California
On this edition of the Weekenders Guide we'll be adventuring to San Francisco, California. We've laid out some tips and to-do's to ensure every trip to the foggy city is a great one! Tips: 1. Walk everywhere and get a cable/street car pass. If you really want to experience the city, this is the way to do it. The city of San Francisco is only 46.87 mi². That's pretty small, compared to other cities like New York which is 304.6 mi², Tampa measuring at 175.3 mi² and Miami at 55.25 mi². 2. Always check the weather forecast. ALWAYS. San Fran can be foggy and cold one day and sweaty the next. California as a whole seems very confused when it comes to the weather. 3. Don't waste space in your bag by packing 3 pairs of heels. All of the hills will not be kind to your ankles or your favorite pair of 5'' Jessica Simpson nude pumps. 4. Bring your FitBit. It's always fun seeing how many steps you took in walk-able cities. To-Do's: Alcatraz: As "touristy" as you may think it is...it's amazing. Not only is visiting one of the most infamous island penitentiaries a great history lesson but the views and landscaping on the island are gorgeous. We did the audio tour but didn't opt in for one of the guided tours since being in a group of slow moving, fanny pack wearing people is our version of Hell. For those who don't know, there is a dilapidated base ball field within the walls of Alcatraz and as expected... Tony had to run the bases. Toast Eatery: Two words: Nutella. Pancakes. The servers at toast were very nice and the food was even better. By far some of the best breakfast food I've had in a long time. JUST LOOK AT IT! Giants Game: AT&T Park is on the bay, and its gorgeous. Yes, I am a woman and I am describing a baseball stadium as gorgeous! Our seats were in the bleacher section behind left field and were only about $30 a piece. After almost every game there is a fireworks show. Bring a blanket/something padded to sit on, other wise your tush will be hurting by the top of the second inning. Fort Point: Nestled under the south side of the Golden Gate Bridge lies Fort Point. It was built over 150 years ago to protect the bay area from foreign attack. While we were exploring the building I lost Tony for about 30 minutes, until he popped out of a stairwell and scared the crap out of me. Literally I let out a little toot, it was mortifying. The walk down to Fort Point makes for very Instagram-worthy pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge and the mountainous landscape beyond. Fishermans Warf & Piers: Between Piers 7 & 9 is the Waterfront Restaurant which serves up some amazing dishes and romantic views of the Bay Bridge. Pier 39 is the famous of piles upon piles of sunbathing sea-lions. Not long after the Loma Prieta earthquake hit San Francisco in October of 1989, a few barking sea lions became regulars on Pier 39's K-Dock. By the beginning of 1990 the chubby pinnipeds were arriving in hoards. Yep I just used the word pinniped...which means earless seal. I need to have my own animal planet show, think Sex and the City meets Samantha Brown mixed with Steve Irwin minus the khahi outfit, yikes. Napa Valley: The scenic drive from San Fran to Napa takes roughly an hour. I wish we would have spent more time "winery hopping", but our time in Napa was limited since we were there attending a wedding. V. Sattui Winery was the picturesque setting of the nuptials. I'll tell ya, nothing makes me feel classier than watching the sunset overlooking a vineyard while sipping on/resisting the urge to chug a glass of buttery chardonnay.
Dressing like a HBIC on a BAB budget
If I had to make a list of things that make me feel like a HBIC (Head Bitch In Charge), wearing 'bomb-ass work clothes' and having 'a fresh set of claws' would be at the very top. No matter what industry you're in, if you're in an office setting, I firmly believe you will perform better if you feel good. Don't act like you haven't heard the saying "look good, feel good, do good". Upgrading your wear-to-work attire doesn't have to leave you overdrawn if you know where to look. I may not need to be on a BAB budget (Broke Ass Bitch budget) anymore but why waste money on clothes that are 2-3 times the cost? Let's start with shoes. Since I am about 3 feet tall I wear heels to work nearly every day. If I am wearing flats there is a 500% chance my toe nails look absolutely horrendous. In my early 20's I would wear 4.5 inch stiletto pumps to work... I know, I know. Now that I'm pushing 30 and value my ankles I've traded in my Jessica Simpson Parisah Platform Pumps for the A New Day Ema High Block Heel Pumps from Target. They come in five different colors, all of which I have, and they are unbelievably comfortable. I've had the black pair for over two and a half years now and of all the colors I wear them the most. They've held up very well, however I have heard they are BOGO right now so I will be picking up another pair in black this weekend. Only $29.99 for a perfect pair of heels that will last almost three years? Do yourself (and your feets) a favor and go get 'em. I was on the search for a leopard print pair but the only ones available at target were either out of stock in my size or too short of a heel (this gal does not vibe with those kitten heels). Thankfully, my gorgeous HBIC cousin, Courtney, owns an online boutique based in Charleston. Needless to say, I am very excited to receive my STELLA Leopard Heels from Ivy Rowe. Now to the meat of this fashion burger. I love Fashion Nova... like A LOT. Don't get me wrong some of their clothes are the quality of tissue paper, but thats why I'm here! I've got your back and I'm here to share the best of the best with you. First and foremost you can usually always find a 30%-80% off promo code, don't let those "SALE ENDS IN 5 SECONDS' emails fool you. There is always a sale. Knot Your Girl Pants -$29.99 I wore these today paired with a black bodysuit and they sit perfectly between my hips and waist while lifting my tush. The compliments were flowing before I even stepped in the building. They come in a variety of colors and you bet your booty that I am going to get a few more! Victoria High Waisted Dress Pants- $29.99 THESE ARE EVERYTHING. Stretchy? Check. Slims the tummy region? Check. Comes in legit every color a woman can think of? Big ole CHECK! I have these in dark green (pictured) and black... and you guessed it I'll be getting many more. One thing that stinks is Fashion Nova clearly assumed only women with 6 foot long legs would purchase these. On the bright side, I'm pretty handy with a needle since I had to hem them myself before work. My Nana and Martha Stewart would be so proud. Drop of a Dime Midi Dress- $29.99 There is something about the neckline of this dress, it does magical things. I have this in mustard (pictured) and eggplant. The next time I decide to place an order at 2am after 2 very full glasses of wine I'll get it in black too since its one of my favorites. I have the irrational rule that if I love a piece of clothing and it also comes in black, I have to buy it in black too. Does that make any sense? Not at all, but I'm sure most of you fabulous souls reading this are nodding your heads along with me and justifying my crazy reasoning. Suited For You Tweed Set- $79.99 Calling all classy bitches, this tweed set is for you. Every time I slip into this skirt and blazer I feel like an expensive bread winning wife. Shower me in Chanel and meet me for brunch girl we all need to wear more tweed. After The Weekend Tank Top- $15.00 This tank is super soft and perfect for sweatier months, which is every month in Florida. I can wear it under a blazer and still be comfortable. It falls perfectly on the ladies and doesn't show an unprofessional amount of cleavage. Wear it untucked with jeans or with pencil skirts for work, either way, lets agree that we need it in every color. Melinda Body Sculpting Midi Dress- $29.99 When I saw the name of this dress I sarcastically thought "yeah..OKAY.". BUT YOU GUYS!! It hugs in all the right places and really does make me look like I was hand carved by Michaelangelo himself. Here are even more of my favorites, the searchable names are in the captions. Happy Shopping My Fellow HBICs!!
Home Decor Hack: Metallic Paints
A few months ago I was on the hunt for an oversized mirror with a pretty frame......for under $100. I found one at Marshalls for $45.00 but the frame was a bong water grey color. MICHAELS CRAFT STORE TO THE RESCUE! These metallic paints are about $10.00 and they are the bomb. See all available colors Here. I lined the edges of the mirror with painters tape and painted the frame. I also went rogue and painted other things in my office such as this mermaid that was once a doodoo brown rust color, now she's fabulous. I am about to paint EVERYTHING in our house, including Tony and our bulldog.
Home Decor Hacks: Faux Window
I am the kind of woman that needs symmetry. Nothing makes me happier than a spacious master bedroom with two perfectly spaced windows on the far wall. Our master bedroom is pretty far from that. We love our home, don't get me wrong, but the master bedroom setup gave me anxiety from day one. Along the furthest wall there is one window, and no it is not centered. We had a pull down black out shade on it for about 4 months, which reminded me of a dorm room. The only solution would be a faux window. All the pinterest pictures I scrolled past looked so.....cheap. If anyone could make it look good it'd be me. I've been living a fabulous life on a budget for years! I told Tony we needed curtains, and we headed to the mothership, IKEA. 1. Measure the window: - Distance from the wall - Width - Distance from the ceiling to top of the window - Distance from the ceiling to the top of the curtain rod 2. Hang rod & curtain 3. Measure out where the faux window and hang the rod & curtain accordingly. No one has ever guessed that it's a faux window and personally I am super happy with how it came out!
Home Decor Hacks: Deals & Steals
After buying a home you may be asking yourself "How do I make my home look nice despite being broke?". On this installment of Home Decor Hacks we'll be going over deals I've recently taken advantage of! Michaels Craft Store Find chargers under $2.00 that will perfectly accentuate your table setting here. Wayfair.com Stay with me, $400 may be alot of moneys but when it comes to panel beds with tufted headboards thats a STEAL. Find this headboard and MANY more like it Here. A set of matted framed photos adds a touch of class to any room. Pay no attention to the fact that some of the photos are side ways.... I'm stupid and ordered most of them in the wrong orientation. Seven frames for $41.99, buy them Here. Marshalls | TJmaxx | HomeGoods When shopping for fake flowers the key is to feel the petals. All of the faux plants we have can easily pass for real ones and were all under $15 Mud Pie Monograms , monograms and initials everywhere! Click Here to get a fabulous set of 4 clothes napkins for $17.00 . Groupon Canvas prints are expensive AF, but not when you buy them on Groupon!
Honeymooning in St. Thomas
Before checking into the Margaritaville Vacation Club by Wyndham in Saint Thomas we were greeted with delicious margarita's topped with overly salted rims. Two "bell boys" dressed in khaki shorts and breathable cotton blue shirts drove us with our luggage in tow to our room via golf cart. Our room was an over-sized studio with a contemporary yet tropical bathroom, amble closet space, and a breezy yet private terrace. Tony and I have a routine for planning ahead when it comes to our vacation activities, or lack there of. We do not plan anything ahead of time other than the obvious, flight, hotel and transportation. The first day usually isn't a full day as half of it is typically spent traveling. We unpack, look over whatever tourist guide pamphlet they have our room, and if we aren't feeling like sloths at this point we will explore a bit of the resort, hotel, complex... you get the point. This plan hasn't failed us yet and definitely didn't on this trip either! After getting a loosey goosey idea of what we wanted to do each day I looked up reviews on each vendor/business on Tripadvisor and called to make reservations. Tripadvisor should be everyone's best friend. It's basically a personal assistant when you're traveling, hell, I even use it locally! Look at your phone right now... do you have the app downloaded? If so, I knew I'd like you! If not, do it now and YOU'RE WELCOME. Here is a little play by play of each day along with pictures. None of these photos have been edited, other than the one at Coki Beach of Tonys back and the one of me in the water at Magens Bay and all we did was increase the saturation a tad bit. My point in making that clear is to ensure you can understand just how gorgeous St. Thomas is. Day 1: Later that evening we found ourselves on a hammock overlooking Water Bay. Literally it's called Water Bay....not very creative, I know. There were only about 20 other guests since the resort had just opened a few short months before. This amped up the perfectly quiet and relaxed vibe. We explored the pool area and were scared a few times by dog sized iguanas before heading back to our room. Day 2: The receptionist was kind enough to inform us about an amazing beach around the corner from the resort. We were expecting a beach full of fat tourists in ill fitting one pieces with snorkel mask stamped faces and sandy cheeks. Picture the sunburned character from Lilo & Stitch, the one who was always in the background eating ice cream...that guy was the definition of vacation goals. What we found....was simply amazing. The entrance to Coki Beach is lined with shanty beach bars and restaurants, their backs all facing the road. Through a low hanging canopy of mangrove trees we found a tucked away sandy strip of paradise. We dragged two lounge chairs to the edge of the crystal blue water and ordered a bucket full of Carib. To the surprise of many, Tony and I are lightweights. My wonderful husband has rightfully earned the nickname "Two Beer Tony". We got to the point that our selfies were quite hilarious to look back on. 0 of the 17 I took that day were instagram-worthy. I was obnoxiously wide mouth laughing in all of them and Tony's eyes were never open. I'm contemplating making a coffee table book of all of our intoxicated vacation selfies...watch out Kim K. Day 3: If you ever have the chance to visit St. John, renting a Jeep to explore the island is a must! The ferry ride between the two islands was fairly cheap and quick. Mostly all of the island is a national park. The winding roads are sprinkled with natives, and by natives I mean deer, cows, goats and donkeys. I named one of the donkeys Doug, he came straight up to my window for cuddles. We drove up the coast of the island and stopped at almost every beach, our favorite was Francis Bay Beach. When we got back to St. Thomas and into the hotel, we saw about 20 giant birds in the lobby. We didn't really question it since they let me hold some of them and take pictures. This one was super sassy. Day 4: Quite possibly the most popular beach in St. Thomas is Magens Bay. This is usually where all of the tourist from the cruise lines lather on their SPF 500 and peddle around wearing their mickey mouse mesh water shoes. The previously mentioned Lilo & Stitch character would fit right in. For some reason they all stay closer to the entrance of the beach, by the flipper rentals and overpriced concession stands. Tony and I kept walking all the way to the end of the beach. It was as if we had the beach to ourselves since the closest person to us was about 100 feet away. He even carved our initials into a tree by where we were sitting. How 'Nicholas Sparks novel turned movie' is that?? I remember saying over and over again, "I'm never leaving." Day 5: With the GoPro strapped on and secured, we headed to Tree Limin' Extreme Zip Lining on the opposite end of the island. The group we were in consisted of couples from all over the US, by the end of the tour we were all laughing and making fun of each other. Being paired up with people you don't know on excursions reminds me of those dreaded mandatory team building outings at work that you debate 'scheduling' a doctors appointment for. Then you go and end up hating that bitch Debbie from billing just a little less. At each high rise stand between the zip lines there was a plaque with a fun fact about the island and a question with multiple choice answers, at the next stand was the answer. We surprisingly learned quite a bit about the islands history. The views from the beaches on St. Thomas are stunning, but the view from the top is absolutely breathtaking. At the highest point we could see all of Megans Bay. We thought we were super cool with our bandanas on the rest of the day. We are pretty low maintenance when it comes to food. We love hole-in-the-wall places while traveling since it feels as though you're eating like the locals would. On every trip we go on we make a point to splurge on one nice dinner, usually at the end of the trip. There are a few nice restaurants on the island, but there was only one I was interested in. You see, our hotel faced the east, as everyone knows the sun sets in the west. I mean mostly everyone, if you didn't know that please get your life together. Situated on Morningstar Bay, nestled beside the Frenchman's Reef Marriott Beach Resort is Havana Blue. Hands down one of the nicest and most romantic dining experiences I have had. And pardon my language but we have been to some fancy ass establishments. The view seemed too perfect, as though my eyes couldn't believe a scene this beautiful was reality. Skirt steaks and lobster tails accompanied by brussel sprouts, risotto and far too much chardonnay had us in an elated and very tipsy food coma. I'll be honest I almost threw up on the way back to the hotel, BUT I didn't and that, my friends, is what really counts.
House How To: DIY Veggie Garden
Before starting your journey to a luscious vegetable garden be sure to research which plants are "in season". Learn from my mistakes. For example, I planted tomato seeds in the beginning of June not realizing the prime season for tomato's is during cooler months. Tomato's require ALOT of water, thankfully it hasn't been horribly hot since it rains nearly every day between 2:00pm-6:00pm. Thank the lord for those Florida summer showers am I right? To ensure your green thumb experience goes as smoothly as possible here's a list of materials you'll need and mediocre instructions: Materials & Instructions: 1. Garden Box: Home depot has a plethora of garden box kits, which are all overpriced. This is what held me back from starting my garden project for two months. When in doubt ALWAYS check Amazon! I found this over-sized garden box for $68.04. It was super quick to assemble, and by that I mean it was super quick for Tony to assemble since I was absolutely no help. 2. Weed Barrier: Lay down the weed barrier, place the garden box over it and cut the excess around the edges. Apparently this is an important step since it prevents weeds from growing under and into your garden box/soil. Be sure to get the little steaks that help keep it from flopping all around, they're usually sold next to the rolls are landscaping fabric. 3. Soil: Did y'all know there are about 30 different kinds of soil at Home Depot?! All of them serve different purposes; Soil for flowers in the ground, soil for potted plants, soil for edible plants, soil for burying bodies, SO MANY CHOICES. Being the free spirit that I am, I grabbed 3 bags of whatever soil had the word "garden" on it. Once again, thank goodness for Mr. Attention To Detail, Tony helped me understand we needed to get the right soil if I wanted my garden to actually grow. In reality, he got annoyed that I was rushing and picking up random things, he made me put it all back and actually look up everything I needed. We started out with four bags. I had to go back and get four more bags an hour later. 4. Seeds/plants: I chose to buy seeds instead of plants since the seed packets were only $0.50. I also knew it would be much more rewarding if I started my garden from seeds rather than young plants. On the back of mostly all seed packets it says when they are in season, how much sun they need, how long they take to grow, and sowing instructions. Don't be impulsive like I was by poking random holes in the soil and dumping 3-4 seeds in each. We got tomatos, carrots, red and yellow bell peppers, brussel sprouts, green beans, asparagus, and PUMPKINS. HERE are some progression pics of our garden!! The side of our shed above the garden is the perfect home for the moss 'T & C' from our wedding. All we need now are the little brace things to hold up stocks of the green beans and tomatos so they wont look like the need viagra. I might have overdone it with the pumpkins....
House How To: Hiding Your Ugly A/C Unit
There's nothing quite like enjoying your backyard on a breezy summer afternoon. Which there's no such thing as in Florida...I've had swamp ass for the past three months. Birds chirping, rustling oak leaves and the loud humming of your A/C unit. Not only does the sight of our A/C unit kill my outdoor livin' vibe, but the noise it exudes does not mesh well with my 'Summer 17' Spotify playlist. By hiding your A/C unit you can up the aesthetic of your space and also muffle mood killing noise! Materials: 1 bag of Quickrete 1 post hole digger 2 inch Nails Nail gun/hammer Stain of your choice Wood: This part is really dependent on how high your AC unit is, if yours is higher than ours you'll need longer posts. If yours are longer than ours then you'll need more pieces for the panels. BUT for the blogs sake I'll keep it specific to our project. 3 Wood posts Instructions: 1. Dig holes where you want the posts to stand- far enough away from the unit to let it breathe, we only used 3 posts to ensure that if we needed to access our unit for service we would be able to easily. 2. Pour Quickrete into holes 3. Place posts into holes, don't do anything else until Quickrete has dried enough for posts to be secured. 4. Nail wood panels horizontally between the posts as shown in the pictures below 5. Stain the wood (optional)