Saturday, March 17, 2018

Shopping at Good To Be!

Hi All!! Hope you've had a great week!  Today I want to talk a bit about Instagram.  I love instagram, love that its mainly about sharing life via pictures.  I love taking pictures, and I actually feel that I missed my calling.  I should have studied to become a photographer, but anyway, this is why I enjoy using Instagram so much!

A new reason I love Instagram is discovering small shops from all over the country.  I really do enjoy shopping-it is my therapy :)  Recently, I've enjoyed shopping from smaller shops that I've discovered in Instagram.  YouTube also helps, as it did with this particular shop.  I've been following AlexandMichael on youtube and instagram for over a year now, and when they announced that they were opening up an online shop, I was very curious.  Curious to see if there would actually be items that I'd like and could afford - LOL.

My first purchase was right before my Cancun vacation and it was this beautiful, embroided cover up, The Seaside CoverUp.  I'm also very, very happy it arrived right before I left so I was able to use it on our trip.

The packaging was very cute!!

The cover up was absolutely beautiful!

I'm 5'2" and got it in the S/M size. It fit perfectly! 

The colors matched all of my bathing suits too - I really loved this cover up!

Since this purchase, I have bought from them on 2 other occasions.  Right after we returned from Cancun, I ordered the Eva Cream Sweater and the Paris Gray Cami.  My most recent order was the Emma White Top and the Nova Peach Jacket.  I can't wait for this new order to come in!

So far, everything I have purchased has been shipped fast, arrived with no problems, reasonably priced, good quality and has fit perfectly.  

I highly recommend for you to check out Good To Be.  The choices of clothing are very cute, I really do think there is something for everyone.

What are some of your favorite small business online shops?

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Travel Tuesday~Florida trip planning

So in another month we’ll be on our way back to Florida for our annual family vacation.  My main reason for going to Florida is to visit my family: dad, stepmom, stepsisters, uncle, aunt, grandmother & grandfather.  That’s a lot of people to make time for, but I always make it work.

My dilemma is that although I enjoy just sitting around talking to my grandparents,my kids & hubby get bored.  I don’t blame them, after all this is supposed to be our vacation.  Therefore, I always try to find things we can do that we will all enjoy & still give me time at home with my family.

In past years, we just make daily trips to the beach, take a drive to Orlando just for the day and/or visit local amusement parks like the Miami Seaquarium.

This year, I’m looking at either visiting either Key West or St. Augustine.  I’ve been to both as a child but I’ve never been there as an adult & my hubby & kids have never been there at all.  The idea of going to Key West is great because I’ll get a taste of history, culture & beach time all in one trip.  The only thing is that it’ll be Spring when we go so I’m not sure how great the beaches will be.  I’m sure they’ll be fine, but I can’t help but wonder if maybe St. Augustine will be the better choice.  I remember going here & there was so much history to take in.  I loved it all!  Bad part is that st. Augustine is a bit farther than Key West!! Oh the decisions!

So, now the research & comparisons begin!

Key West?

St. Augustine?

In the next couple of weeks I’ll be researching & listing all the things we can do at each location. Hopefully this will help me make a decision!

I would love to hear what you all think.  If you’ve been to these places, what are your suggestions on family activities?

Any must dos?

Saturday, March 10, 2018

My First Louis Vuitton Purchase!

Finally the weekend - its been a hectic few weeks at work so the weekends are a breath of fresh air!  I really need these breaks from work.  As much as work frustrates me, I can't be too down on it since it is my livelihood.  Without my job, I wouldn't have the money for my necessities and my occasional treats or splurges.  This is where my most recent purchase comes in.

I've had a long time love of all Louis Vuitton handbags.  I would have a huge collection of LV handbags if it weren't for the fact that they are soooooo expensive.  I waited and waited many years, and this Christmas I saved some Christmas money to buy myself something.  I had also discovered this site that sells pre-loved designer items.  The site is Fashionphile and let me tell you, it is amazing.

Fashionphile has everything and their descriptions are accurate.  You can sell your fashion items to them or purchase from them.  So I started searching for my first LV bag.  I love many other designers, but I knew that my first purchase had to be the LV Speedy 35.  I searched and searched and finally found my bag.  It was made in 2011 and the condition was listed as Very Good - the lock was included but no key.  The other thing I loved was that it was available for layaway. The pictures on the post was the actual bag and it zoomed in at any imperfections.  So, I put it on layaway.

Once I finished paying for it, it shipped right away.  I received it a few days later and I was so excited to open it up!!

Great packaging!

The bag didn't have the LV dust bag, but Fashionphile included their own.

And here she is!! Gorgeous!!

I got it a few weeks ago and tried it out but I didn't like how slouchy it gets with my stuff inside.  I was also having second thoughts because I started feeling that it was too big.  
I heard about purse organizers and found this one on Etsy, so I bought it!

It fit perfectly into my Speedy and today I used it for the first time & I totally love it.  No more regrets - I love the bag, the size of the bag and the insert really helps.  My things are nicely organized so they are easy to find and the bag doesn't get slouchy at the bottom.

Did I mention how much I love the bag?

I am a handbag enthusiast!  I love them all, all designers even non-designers.  If it's a style & color that catches my eye, I want it.  For a few years, I focused on Michael Kors - still at the very top of my list.  Anytime there is a sale, I just have to have one! I probably have around 4-5 bags in my collection from Michael Kors, and then there are a few others that I've owned for many, many years.  Coach, Nine West, Ann Klein, Jessica Simpson, Le Sport Sac

Even though my mind is now making a list of other Louis Vuitton handbags I want, and trying to decide which one will be my next purchase - I will always keep an eye out for these other brands and my all time fave: Michael Kors.

Do you like Louis Vuitton?  Which style is your favorite?

What other designer handbags do you like?

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Travel Tuesday: Mexico Getaway~Temptations Cancun

Let me start with, I would've never booked a stay at this resort had I planned this getaway.  My hubby has taken over our "adult Only" getaways and this was his choice.  He found a great deal and he liked the freedom that came along with staying at this resort.

Our Valentine's Day getaway was at Temptation Resort in Cancun, Mexico.  We were there for 3 nights, it is an all-inclusive, adult-only, topless optional "playground for adults", which caters to couples living a certain lifestyle.  No judgments. Of course, you don't have to be part of this lifestyle to stay here and have a great time, just don't be shocked by the things you see.

We flew out of JFK on Saturday morning, arrived in Mexico and had to deal with almost 2 hours in customs.  Not good Mexico.  This part of the trip was the worst.  The customs kiosks went down and there was a mob of people trying to find what line to get on. It took some time to identify the line, but finally, we were in a line and it was moving.  Once we went through customs we walked towards the exit where there were plenty of people to help.  One lady approached us and asked if we had transportation and when we told her the name of our shuttle, Super Shuttle, she directed us towards their stand.  There they asked for our name and resort, confirmed their information and called our driver.  They offered us cold water while we waited which was great because it sure was hot!

Once we were moving, it took about 20 minutes to get to our resort.  This was our first time visiting Mexico and we were so surprised to see so many Volkswagens, LOL.  Our cars are VWs so seeing so many VW's and models we didn't know existed was interesting.  When we arrived everyone was great.  The guys came right out to grab our luggage, a lady with an ipad approached us to welcome us and direct us to the check-in counter.  She said that she would actually be our contact for any questions or help we needed throughout our stay.  During check-in, another lady came by to offer us a drink (all-inclusive is awesome).  Since we were early, our room wasn't ready yet so they held our luggage and gave us our bracelets, which we were supposed to keep on for the entire stay, and told us we can explore the resort, have lunch, or change and enjoy the beach & pool.  We went down to eat at Rain, the international buffet.  We had some pasta with meatballs, broccoli & dessert - cake, tres leche cake and a flan.  These were small servings so we tried 3 different ones.  When we were done eating it was still early so we went upstairs to look down at what was going on at the Sexy Pool.  No pictures are allowed at this pool, to respect other's privacy.  This is definitely the party pool.  They would host games, there is great music playing and the best part was the swim up bar!

We were finally able to get to our room so we wasted no time in changing and heading down to the pool.  But first, some pictures...

This TV was our best friend!  We used it every morning to order room service.

The room was very cool....lots of colors, very modern looking

definitely showing the sexy time theme this resort has going on...

Our room didn't have a tub, but the shower was huge!! I loved the rainfall shower.

There is a toilet on the other side of that door :)

This is the view from our balcony..

Here is the view right outside our door. Not bad at all!

So we went down to enjoy the pool & get some sun.  Ran into some old friends, talked a bit and after a few hours and drinks went back to our room to get ready for dinner.

We decided to try Sea Flirt tonight.  Since its all-inclusive, what's the worst that could happen?  We don't like dinner so we can go somewhere else.  This resort has 7 restaurants, 6 of which you can just walk in, no reservations required.

We started with appetizers...
Caprese turnover(stuffed with mozzarella cheese, tomato & basil) for me,

Peruvian ceviche(lemon marinated grouper with corn kernels & sweet potato chips) for hubby...

For the main course, I ordered the Crusted Shrimp - it was coconut crusted shrimp over vegetable spaghetti and a mango sauce on the side

Hubby ordered the Peruvian Anticucho (beef filet skewers, marinated in aji chili & cumin, with a baked potato & sauteed grains)

I don't remember the names of the desserts & couldn't find them online but hubby ordered a chocolate cake and I ordered a creme brulee.

Everything was delicious - we were not disappointed and we left there very satisfied.  During our walk back to our room, I was able to take this photo of the sexy pool since it was closed.

We went back to our room to change for the neon party.  Temptations Resort hosts theme parties every night and they are held at Bash, the outdoor nightclub.  I have to admit, these were fun and the outfits you see are both shocking and entertaining.  Again - no judgments, you can wear as much or as little clothes as you want!

The next morning we were up kind of early so we went to the gym first.  My leg had cramped up the day before while I was in the pool so I couldn't run but I did walk for 30 minutes while hubby ran.

After our run we went back to our room and ordered room service.  We ordered the American breakfast plus pancakes and a yogurt parfait.  There was so much food & everything was so good!

After breakfast, we got into our swimsuits and headed to the beach.

The beach was not impressive, I was actually a little disappointed.  It was small, we got our chairs to lay out but when it got too hot we went for a swim.  The beach had a lot of rocks going into the water - it was painful.  Once you are in, the ground is smoother but the water isn't deep.  We had to sit in order to have the water go up to our chest and there were parts that felt oily.
It was ok - but after a while, we packed up and went to have lunch. 
Today we wanted Mexican for lunch so we went to Amores.

Hubby ordered chicken fajitas and I ordered the quesadillas.
It was good, not the best but it was good.

After lunch, we decided to go to the pool.  Yesterday we went to the sexy pool which can get a bit crazy, so today we went to the quiet pool.  We were there for a few minutes when we realized that we had access to the rooftop pool and it wouldn't be open the next day.  So we packed up again and went up there.

What can I say about the rooftop? It was beautiful!! The view, the chairs - they were like pods, so so comfortable!  There is a bar, a hot tub and a pool which we definitely used.
The waitresses were also great.  They would come around to ask if we wanted drinks or food.  I enjoyed a few drinks before jumping in the pool.  It was a great afternoon.

The time came to get ready for dinner.  This night we were going for Italian, my fave :)

Romanza is the Italian restaurant and we didn't have to make reservations but we had a 20 minute wait.  We waited by the bar, I enjoyed a glass of wine while we were there. 
When we were finally seated, I couldn't decide on what to eat.  Everything looked like it would taste great.

I don't remember the exact names for everything we ate but we started with appetizers - I ordered arancini, then I ordered leek & potato soup(pictured below).

Hubby had minestrone.

I had this pasta that came with a red & white sauce.

Hubby had lasagna.  Everything here was great too!  It all looked good and tasted great.

Now it was time to get ready for the theme party - pajama party. Hubby's pajamas were comfy & mine were more on the sexy side.  Another fun night filled with drinks & dancing and more crazy outfits!

The next morning we had booked a Catamaran cruise to Isla de Mujeres.  We had to check in by 9AM, so it was an early morning for us.  Hubby wakes up at the crack of dawn, so he went to the gym but by the time I woke up we only had time to order room service, get dressed and head out the door.
We checked in for the catamaran cruise and waited to be called.  The wait was only a few minutes, soon we were on our way.

We grabbed a spot all the way in front - we had the BEST ride here!

The plan on this cruise was snorkeling, 2 hours at Isla Mujeres to do whatever we wanted and then lunch at a local place in Isla Mujeres.

First stop was snorkeling.  Now we've never snorkeled, so I was a bit scared.  The captain even said if you are not a strong swimmer, don't do it.  Was he joking?  I'm not sure if it was a joke or not, but this added to my anxiety.  I put on my fins, hubby jumped in first and as I stood there thinking about jumping in, hubby told me to just turn around because I wasn't going to like it. Hahahahahahaha!!

He knows me very well.  He came back on board & told me the current was very strong.  I would've panicked!  So, we stayed on board and drank!  My nerves were already a mess, but I went back to where we were, drank & tried to relax while soaking up the sun.

After snorkeling, we moved on to the island.  Here we were able to rent a golf cart to go around the island on our own.  I really wanted to go see the ruins so the golf cart was a must.

Loved that my maps app was working on my phone while we were there, LOL.

Had to stop here for pics and some icecream that a guy with a cart was selling on the side of the road.

We arrived at the ruins, but we had to pay to actually walk this path below and from where we were, it didn't seem worth it.  So we didn't pay, just checked it out from here and walked around the area.

Got back in our cart to drive back & go shopping.

After some shopping & 2 tequila shots, we were back on the catamaran to head to lunch.

This place was nice.  It was buffet style, so we ate, had another fruity drink and then grabbed a kayak.

The area was roped off so we couldn't go far.  We went around the area once and then got off to go swimming.

The beach here wasn't great either.  Lots of rocks and seaweed, but it really felt great to be in the ocean.

Back to the catamaran, the entertainment was great on the ride back!  Views, sun, music, beer, rum punch & tequila!!

Here's a video of our day at Isla de Mujeres:

When we got back to the resort we showered and headed to dinner - but first, a picture of a boat all lit up!  We really enjoy the views.

Dinner tonight was at Flame.  This is a sectioned off part of Rain, the buffet place.  Flame is supposed to be all about the steak so that's what we had.  My only complaint was that the baked potato was too I got a second one.

Now, this morning was our last day here, but our flight was later in the afternoon so we were going to enjoy the beach before packing.

My photographer, LOL <3

One last look at our resort.....

One last look at the lobby

We left our luggage with the luggage handlers to hold until it was time for us to leave and we went back to Amores for lunch.  This time we also tried the buffet.

Hubby ordered a steak fajita

and I ordered a pizza - which wasn't great.  I think this was the only thing I ate this entire trip that I didn't like.

Dessert was awesome - the tres leche was really, really good.

I tried to check out the sites during our drive back to the airport, but there wasn't much.  Just lots of traffic!

this is the hardest part...waiting! Especially when you are feeling under the weather.  

and we're off!

And just like that, we are back home.

Not sure why, but I started feeling sick our last day in Cancun and only got worse that night.  Had to call out sick from work the next day, which sucked because I really didn't want to waste a day.  But, I spent the day in bed and it really helped.  The cold, or whatever I had, lasted another 3-4 days but I was getting better every day.

Overall, Cancun was great.  I definitely want to go back with the kids and take another trip with just hubby but stay at a different resort.  Nothing against Temptations, but I like to experience different hotels everytime I travel.  
This doesn't mean I wouldn't ever stay at Temptations again.  I would go back in a couple years, plus they have resorts in other countries that I would be curious to check out.  I enjoyed the feeling of not being judged, being able to go topless if I wanted and nobody was disrespectful or judgemental.  I've never felt comfortable in a bikini, but here I felt perfectly fine.  I even went topless a few times, which is extremely surprising because this isn't something I would normally do.  The atmosphere really helps in making you feel comfortable.  I saw so many body types, women of different ages and all were just having fun and not worrying about how they looked.  One thing that I should note, is you will see things that may surprise & shock you.  Sexual activity in public is not allowed, but if you sit out on your balcony long enough, you will see it happening in other balconies.  

So, if you are over 21 and interested in visiting a place that will not judge you, you can relax, enjoy the sun, beach & pool, eat, drink and party till your heart's content, then go check out Temptation Cancun!  You won't regret it!

Shopping at Good To Be!

Hi All!! Hope you've had a great week!  Today I want to talk a bit about Instagram.  I love instagram, love that its mainly about...