As you may have seen in a recent travel post, this summer I was fortunate enough to take a trip with my family to The Florida Keys. One of my favorite parts of the vacation was our day trip to Key West, which was so much fun! To start, the actual drive down is gorgeous. I have seen it on many “things to do in your lifetime” lists and would recommend that you add it to yours. The famous Overseas Highway is how you actually get down to Key West. From our hotel in Key Largo, which is the northernmost Key, it took a little over two hours by car… and you need to do it by car. I promise that you won’t regret it. It’s a one road in and one road out kind of deal and the scenery will take your breath away. It literally feels like you are driving on water because the ocean surrounds the road. Amazing!
Since most of the family members we were with had been to Key West before, we first stopped at a few of their go-to’s including El Mason De Pepe, a Cuban bar and cigar shop, and Hogs Breath, a famous bar that has the yummiest drinks and a fun atmosphere. From there, we visited The Southernmost Point in the US and Mallory Square… two essentials on the island.
We spent most of our day sight-seeing and exploring what Key West has to offer, a lot of which is located on Duval Street. Downtown is filled with unique shops, bars, and restaurants. We went to Flying Monkey’s Saloon for frozen drinks, the original Margaritaville for lunch, and Sloppy Joe’s for a live band. Needless to say it was a good day on Duval!
Other notables from our Key West trip included US 1 Mile Marker 0 and the Key West Lighthouse, both historic and must-sees in their own special way. We ended the day with a beautiful sunset on the island as we drove away. Sunsets in Key West are a nightly celebration and likely the biggest must-see of them all.
Key West is truly one of those places you have got to see and experience for yourself. There is a rich history to tell about the island… everything from pirate ships to famous poets and lots of things in between. I know I will be back again to see some things that didn’t quite make our day trip itinerary. There is so much to do and see that you won’t be able to get to everything in one day, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try! If you get the chance to go, GO!!!
Have you ever been to Key West? Anything I missed? XOXO
Bad Moms: If you haven’t seen it yet, you need to!!! Even my husband loved it.. don’t tell him I told you 🙂 . I haven’t laughed so hard at a movie in a really long time.
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer: Super full coverage at an insanely affordable cost… what more could you ask for?!
Loreal Paris Brow Stylist Definer: I love the small tip on this applicator and that it comes in such a wide variety of shades. The product stays put all day and gives your brows a natural look.
Lularoe: My most recent obsession!!! I LOVE Lularoe. It is a clothing company that makes and sells adorable, comfy, and fun pieces all while empowering women and encouraging them to love their own bodies. Stay tuned for an upcoming post showcasing my most recent purchases.
Lose It!: I have used this app since the beginning of the year to manage my weight and have successfully kept off 24 pounds. If you’re looking to get fit I would highly recommend this app. I’ve used others in the past and this one is my favorite, XOXO.
I whipped this up tonight in order to use up a bunch of veggies that needed to get gone. My mother-in-law has a huge garden and lately I have been finding myself wanting to experiment with new and creative ways to gobble them up.
This summer cucumber salad is a no-brain recipe that tastes fresh and crisp. I think you’ll love it!
-2 large cucumbers
-8 roma tomatoes
-1/2 large yellow union
-10 fresh basil leaves
Seed the cucumbers and tomatoes, dice. Finely chop the onion and basil. Mix all ingredients together in bowl. Season with garlic salt and pepper. Chill several hours or overnight. Enjoy, XOXO!
Earlier this summer my husband, parents, and I traveled down to The Florida Keys for a family vacation and celebration of my father-in-law getting married. I’ve been to Florida a couple of times, but never to The Keys so this was a really exciting trip!
We stayed at Marina Del Mar on the island of Key Largo. Other family members and wedding guests stayed right across the marina at The Holiday Inn. The hotels were associated with each other so it was easy to jump back and forth throughout the week. Marina Del Mar had a lot of of the old school Keys feel while The Holiday Inn was a bit more updated, but both were great! Here is a panorama of our view from the room…
We had our fair share of seriously amazing food on the island. Each place we ate had a few things in common including water frontage, live music, and a relaxed feel. The first night we knew wanted one thing and one thing only… seafood! We found a super cute restaurant Snapper’s that gave us a great first taste of what would be many freshly caught meals that week. My favorite restaurant was Bayside Grille, which had a perfect mix of relaxing but upper scale feel to it. It was there that I caught my first glimpse of a Florida Keys sunset…
Our hotel was right in the middle of two restaurants, Skippers Dockside and Sharkey’s. We ate at both several times because of the charm and convenience. Skippers Dockside had a gorgeous deck and outside seating area equipped with lawn games and a few fire pits. Inside there were beautifully decorated seating areas and a fun bar. Sharkey’s was very casual. It was more of a party place and we sure did party! The group of men that were on the trip did some fishing on a charter boat and Sharkey’s fried it up for us. It was literally the best fish I’ve ever had! We also ate at The Pilot House Marina & Restaurant, a fun restaurant that had a glass bottom bar. And we couldn’t forget about dessert! Key Largo Chocolates was our go to ice cream stop throughout the week. It is a must stop for gourmet sweets, even if you’re just passing through.
The main attraction on Key Largo is John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. We spent a whole day here sun bathing, relaxing a bit, and snorkeling. It was a fun way to truly experience The Keys as most people spend their time in The Keys right on or in the water. If you ever do go snorkeling here, take Dramamine! We went out on a overcast day. The waves were high and my stomach was not happy with me. All in good fun, though.
And of course a vacation wouldn’t be complete without a little bit of shopping. Shell World and Florida Keys Gift Company were great souvenir stops, though they also had quite a bit of home decor and other fun treasures. Pink Junktique was a cute thrift and consignment shop filled with many girly finds.
A few last tidbits that you should know about Key Largo in case you ever do go… It is the oldest Key, closest to the main part of the state, so keep in mind that many things look a bit run down. The feel on Key Largo is very old school and classic. There is one main highway that goes straight through all of The Keys and we found that once you get off the main drag you will find many hidden treasures. Everywhere on the island is very relaxed so don’t pack anything too fancy. You’re much more likely to see people dressed in swimming suits and cover-ups than suits and ties. Lastly you absolutely have to get on the water! Everything is based on a marina, ocean, or lake. Get your booty on a jet ski, fishing boat, snorkel tour, or just take some time to swim around. You won’t regret it!
Keep an eye out for my upcoming post on the second main part of our vacation, Key West, XOXO.
4 cups fresh peaches, peeled and sliced
3 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In one bowl mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Place peaches in a greased 4-quart glass baking dish. Evenly sprinkle 1 cup sugar over the peaches. In another bowl, cream together the butter and remaining sugar. Stir in flour mixture a little at a time. Add the eggs and vanilla and be sure to mix all ingredients well. Lather the batter mixture over the peaches. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, XOXO.
Today I bring to you my very last Birchbox review, at least for now. Wondering why this will be the last? Keep reading for more details on why I chose to cancel my Birchbox subscription this month. But first a rundown of the products I received for the month of July…
I’m always happy to try out a new mascara and the Benefit They’re Real! Lengthening Mascara looks really great. Like I mentioned in my Ipsy Review this month, however, I won’t be actually trying any new mascaras until I can use up the billion (at least) that I have open right now. So this little guy will just have to get in line. My favorite product by far that I received in this box is the LOC Ultra-Gloss Lip Pencil. I got the color “Cupid’s Bow”, which is cool-toned hot pink that is oh-so perfect for summer. The formula is very creamy and long lasting and I just love it! I also got the Klorane Smoothing and Relaxing Patches with Soothing Cornflower, which will be great for a relaxing night in. I’m going to save these for a day that I’m looking for some rejuvination, since these combat dehydrated undereyes. I did get a chance to try the Davines This Is a Sea Salt Spray and while it smells amazing, it also gives your hair that lovely crunchy texture circa 1992 so I don’t know that I will continue to use it. Lastly I got the Avene Thermal Spring Water and really love the hydration it gives my face that I didn’t actually know my skin has been longing for in the summer months.
So why no more Birchbox? Well, for a few reasons…
For about a year now I have been getting at least 2-3 beauty boxes per month. As a result my sample collection is a little out of control for my liking! I have been stashing up tons of products and in general don’t like items laying around my house that don’t often get used. (I have more beauty bags, hair serums, and single eye shadows hanging out than I care to count.) So I knew something had to go. Birchbox has a stronger focus on haircare and skincare, which I do enjoy… by I like getting makeup better. Birchbox also recently got rid of their pretty amazing rewards system, which solidified my decision to cancel. So there you have it. I have enjoyed my subscription while it lasted but also know the importance of using up what I have, XOXO.
What samples did you love this month? Anyone else throwing their Birchbox subscription to the curb?