Montego Bay, Jamaica

My hubby and I just came back from a tropical paradise vacation in Montego Bay, Jamaica!!! Neither of us had ever been to the island and neither of us had ever taken time away from the Wisconsin winter to visit the beach… so we thought what better time than the present?! It was worth every penny.

We stayed at an all inclusive resort, Sunscape Splash. This was perfect for us because it was on the lower end of the budget but was a serious bang for our buck. It was an incredible resort for a four night trip.

Our first morning waking up in Montego Bay we decided we needed a little adventure. We booked a taxi from our resort to The Hip Strip, which was an adventure indeed. The Hip Strip is a busy street filled with shops, vendors, food, and tours. This was the perfect souvenir stop and we had fun experiencing the hubbub of downtown.

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Toward the end of The Hip Strip is Margaritaville. This place was a blast! The view was incredible, the drinks were yummy, and the energy was unreal even in the mid-morning. While it was a bit on the touristy side, my husband and I were able to find a little spot all to ourselves to enjoy our surroundings. The water was a gorgeous aqua color when the sun came out and the view of the mountains instantly stole my heart.

Another adventure, and definitely the stand out of our trip, was an excursion to Chukka Good Hope. This was unlike anything either of us had ever experienced. First of all, the ride there was an experience in and of itself. We had a bus driver who pointed out sights throughout the two hour trip to Falmouth all the while playing Bob Marley and making me slightly nervous driving up through the mountains on tiny unpaved roads. I don’t know about you, but I love learning the ins and outs of an area I visit so this was a highlight of the trip for one. Once we got to Good Hope, that’s when the real fun began. It was one flat rate to build your own adventure throughout the day. We opted for dune buggies, floating down the Martha Brae river, a tour of the estate, lunch, and rum tasting. My personal favorite was the estate tour because of the view. I’ve never been to a jungle, mountain-filled area so this blew my mind.

 

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It was such a great trip. We really needed some time away and everything about our time in Jamaica was just easy. Along with these few adventures, we definitely spent a fair amount of time soaking up the sun at the resort with tropical drinks in our hands. It was nice to get out and have some fun but also sit back and relax.

We decided that some day we will go back to Jamaica to check out Negril and Ocho Rios, since those areas seem to offer different things. Prior to our trip we had heard mixed reviews about Montego Bay, but our trip was amazing. Not a single complaint. So if you are looking for some adventure with beautiful surroundings I would highly recommend a trip to Montego Bay, Jamaica!!!

Packers Hall of Fame – Green Bay, WI

You may not know this by simply reading my (very girly) blog, but I love me some Green Bay footbal!!! Being a Packers fan is a way of life where I live. Football Sundays are a time to celebrate with family, friends, and food. The green and gold blood runs pretty deep.

So I have to show a little of my Wisconsin pride and share my experience at the new Packers hall of fame. If you admire Aaron Rodgers, live in the Midwest, or are looking for some extreme football history then you absolutely need to check this place out. It is both interactive and informative. You could spend a whole day there or just a few hours. It is a serious must for Packer fans everywhere. GO PACK GO!

New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc

I feel so fortunate to live in Wisconsin, where this type of lake view is not all that hard to come by. This weekend I enjoy a new-to-me Sauvignon Blanc on the pontoon boat… It was a match made in heaven. The bottle said “enjoy in the sunshine” and I took that as a direct order.

This wine has sharp acidity with strong flavors of green fruits, which is common for the lower island region of New Zealand because of the cooler climate. It is tart and light with no oak presence. The color is pale and the sweetness dry. I enjoyed this wine quite a bit. It was perfect for a little sun and a lot of relaxation, XOXO.

Wisconsin White Blend

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This wine is near and dear to my heart because it is one that we served at our wedding. Part of why we picked it is because this wine is a good option for both sweet and dry white wine lovers. It has the perfect compromise between sweet summer pineapple and dry tart apple. I’m also from Wisconsin, so love to support Cedarcreek as a local winery in my area.

Wine & Painting

Hi everyone, I hope that you are loving your weekend and not feeling the “Sunday blues” too hard this evening. I spent some of my Saturday sipping wine and painting with friends (no complaints here) and wanted to share some thoughts I have on the wine & paint experience. I’ve been to three different studios in the Southern Wisconsin area, each of which offer a little something different with the same idea behind it all. If you love wine and can hold a paint brush, I would recommend any of these studios. I can’t pick a favorite (don’t make me!), they are all great options.

So here are my thoughts… XOXO.

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Splash Studio

Location: Milwaukee

Thoughts: This was my first ever wine & paint experience so I had no idea what to expect. I came here for my friend’s bachelorette party and the six of us participated in a larger group paint event. The party-type atmosphere was my favorite part! They play upbeat music and the whole place was singing, dancing, and laughing. It definitely feels more like you’re at a bar. This is a bigger studio and it was packed when we went. Beware that because the instructor-to-student ratio is so small, they won’t hesitate to move on if you don’t keep up.

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PaintBar

Location: Delafield

Thoughts: I loved my first wine & paint experience so much that I bought my mom a gift card for Christmas to try it out herself… and then I went with :). The class included the two of us and one other painter. There was a lot of opportunity for more one-on-one time with the instructor, who was very willing to help make the piece look the best it could. The instructor took their time to make sure we were able to follow along. This was also more of an intimate setting in a super cute location. The mellow atmosphere was perfect for going with my mom on a weeknight.

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Artful Escapes

Location: Madison

Thoughts: My friend’s husband planned a surprise girl’s day out to celebrate her birthday and this was our first stop of the day. He signed the eight of us up for a private event. This was a medium-sized studio. My friend got to pick her favorite painting and our awesome instructor really made us all feel comfortable and relaxed. There was staff assistance available for questions and their help was welcomed by all of us. They did a really nice job of teaching us easy, specific techniques to make our masterpieces look… well pretty good.

Art in Bloom – Milwaukee, WI

This weekend I went to Art in Bloom in Milwaukee with my mom and it was amazing! (I am an art appreciator and she has a small business in floral arranging, so it was a perfect match.) If you are unfamiliar, the event works like this… The museum picks about 40-50 art pieces to showcase. The pieces are randomly assigned to floral designers, who must use the piece for inspiration to create a floral arrangement. The arrangements are showcased for a few days and at the end a panel votes on a number of categories.

Guided tours were offered through the museum, as the pieces  are scattered around and matched up together. The tour-guide provided tidbits of information about the pieces and artists, which gave an extra added meaning to the experience. My favorite is below…

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If you ever get the chance to go to this event, I hope you take advantage of it! It’s my understanding that it happens at art museums across the nation, so be sure to check out the area nearest to you, XOXO.

The Starlite Lounge – La Crosse, WI

This weekend my husband, his sister, and I took a mini road trip to La Crosse to visit my sister-in-law and her boyfriend. We spent the majority of our time walking around downtown trying out different bars and restaurants.

My favorite stop was The Starlite Lounge. You have to check out their website to get the full effect. It was like walking back in time to just about the cutest martini bar ever straight up out of the 1970’s. They even offer a weekend happy hour so the drinks were both cute and cheap!

It was a super fun weekend filled with great company, perfect weather, and yummy drinks. I would definitely recommend making this stop if you ever get the chance, XOXO.