2012-Looking Back & Moving Forward

Reflecting on 2012 I realize that it has been a fabulous, at times trying, but over-all successful year both for the blog and personally. Looking back at a lot of my earlier posts (which you are not allowed to judge me for!!!) makes me want to cringe (Was I suffering a temporary loss of sight when I put that outfit on?!? Did a 2 year old take these pictures?! Ummm did I actually think the things I said were funny???!!), but it also makes me happy to see how far I’ve come, how much I’ve learned and how much the blog has grown. Thank you all so much for reading along & for all of your continued support! It means the absolute world to me! I hope you enjoy the highlights (of Food, Fashion, Fun, Travel & DIY Projects) that I’ve put together below. As for 2013, I have lots of fun projects in the works, but I would also love to hear if there are things you would like to see more of, or if you have any suggestions. Please let me know in the comments.

Most importantly, cheers to an even better 2013!

food collage 2

Double-Nutella Donuts//Butternut-Leek Ravioli//Blood Orange Donuts//Perfect Steak Dinner//Cookie Bowls//Reuben Wonton Bites//An old favorite//1st Happy Hour Drink//Nicoise Salad//Healthy Pasta Salad//Celebrating the Olympics//The stickiest thing I’ve ever made//Seasoned Oyster Crackers//Ho-Ho Cake//Not your average meatballs//A new way to cook pizza// Cheesy Waffles//A classic winter beverage

Fashion

Flannel & Fur//Face Lift//It’s my birthday//Not my usual look//Santorini Striped//Chanel in Paris//A new favorite Color combo in a new favorite city//Show Clothes//Blueberry Picking//Concrete Jungle//Pink & Pleated//Wild Thing//Denim Double//Double Striped//Up To My Neck//Classics//Holiday Attire  

Fashion

 

Barbados  Barbados pt 1//Barbados pt 2//Barbados pt 3

Santorini

Santorini//A Santorini Happy Hour//Santorini Activities//Santorini Food

Paris France

       Shopping In Paris//A Parisian Happy Hour//Parisian Activities//Parisian Food//The French Countryside

DIY projects

                   DIY Cupcake Bouquet//DIY Terrarium//DIY Letters//DIY Ombre Cut-Offs

Fun

 A Birthday//A new blog series//

Special photos captured in a special place//

My first Video

Barbados-Part 3

Here’s the 3rd and final part of our travels in Barbados. But first, just in case you missed them, check out Part 1 and Part 2.

Today I wanted to write about the restaurants and activities we did on our second trip. While we made sure to revisit our favorites, we also switched it up and did the things we didn’t get to the first time around.

Food

Because we stayed in St. Lawrence Gap, we were lucky enough to be surrounded by great restaurants.

Harlequin- This brightly decorated restaurant was literally right next door to our hotel (bonus) and we were able to sit outside to enjoy some yummy Bajan cuisine. One dish not to miss is their Pina Colada Cheesecake!

Cafe Sol- After days of exploring or beaching it, we usually ended up here for some refreshing cocktails &  yummy snacks or mid-day lunch breaks. They also have great 2 for 1 drink specials every day. The Blue Lagoon, Chi Chi, and Passionfruit Mojitos were our favorites.

Oistins Fish Fry- This is a MUST DO! So Cheap, so much authentic Bajan food, lots of fresh fish, dancing, entertainment and relaxing with the locals.We were only able to go on a week night, but apparently Friday night is the night to go (make sure to go early!). Basically there are about 20 different fish stands/restaurants in a square.  You choose one to go to (they seemed to mostly have the same thing at the same prices, but we chose Pat’s Place), you order your fish( (tuna, swordfish, marlin, mahi-mahi, flying fish and they also have chicken),tell them how you want it prepared (blackened,grilled,fried) and pick your sides (fries,coleslaw,and make sure to try the macaroni pie). Within about 20 minutes you’ll be enjoying a plateful of food, smothered with their special hot sauce, and drinking and ice-cold beer and all for less than $30 (for 2 people, each getting 2 types of fish).

The Round House- A little hard to get to but so worth it. It is definitely the best place to eat when you are traveling around Bathsheba. The Breadfruit Chips are amazing and don’t leave without trying their Bajan Coconut Pie!

Fun

The Animal Flower Cave- This cave is full of beautiful “animal flowers” aka sea anemones, although at the time we went most of them were “sleeping”. Still it’s a pretty spectacular view of the most northern point of the island.

Catamaran tours/snorkeling- Our first trip we went out with Tiami (a tour that included lunch, drinks & relaxing) and the second time we went with our hotel. Both times were unforgettable & something I highly recommend doing. Swimming with turtles is unreal!

Just a few other random things we saw in nature-

One of the millions of these little guys we saw literally everywhere!

There are so many fruit trees all over the island. Above, is a breadfruit tree and a banana tree.

We saw these monkeys by Crane Beach, but they too could be found throughout the island. How cute are they?! I wish I could have taken one home (the Mr. and I did not see eye-to-eye on this….I have no idea why!).

 

Hope you guys enjoyed reading about our trips to Barbados. Have any of you ever visited and what was your favorite thing you enjoyed?

 

 

Barbados-Part 2

In case you didn’t want to travel to Barbados after part one (seen here), looking at these hotels & beaches should definitely make you want skip work & pack your suit case!

 

Lodging

There are so many great options for lodging while staying in Barbados. If you’re looking for more luxury, relaxing, golfing, high-end shopping & restaurants stay on the west coast. For more touristy, going out at night & more affordable vacation the southern portion of the island is your best bet. And if you’re going to Barbados to hit the waves, make sure you stay up north. We have stayed at the following-

The Amaryllis- Very friendly staff, beautiful pools & beaches, a great central location on the southern part of the island, and they give you rum punch when you check in! The only thing we weren’t crazy about was the menu, but with so many great options close by it didn’t really matter.

The South Gap Hotel- If you like the nightlife, this is the hotel to stay at, as it is in the heart of St.Lawrence Gap.   You are surrounded by great restaurants and bars and you certainly can’t beat the view out the back. The downfalls-you had to walk about 5 minutes down the road to get to the beach & the food at the hotel was limited (although this doesn’t matter much because of your location). One thing we really loved about staying here was having a grocery store & convenience store within walking distance. Our favorite thing to do when traveling (and a great way to save money) is to buy some local food and have picnic meals. Here we grabbed some fresh fruit, coconut bread (a must try!), and cheese that made for a great balcony breakfast every morning.

Mango Bay- By far the most luxurious hotel we stayed at located in the sought after area of St.James. Wonderful food, drinks, and nightly entertainment.   The beach was smaller but the pool was massive & the offered lots of complimentary activities, like glass bottom boat tours.

Beaches

When it comes to the beaches, each coast has it’s own distinct beaches (kind of like the hotels). For calmer, more relaxing water that’s great for snorkeling and lounging head to the west coast. The east coast has the rough waters of the Atlantic making it ideal for surfers, but not safe for swimming. The north tends to be pretty rocky and the southern beaches are a mix of  what both the east and west coasts has to offer. Our favorite beaches include-

West-Mullins, Paynes Bay, Brighton Beach

South- Accra Beach, Miami Beach, Dover Beach, Worthing Beach & the South Coast Boardwalk is great for a stroll

East-Cattlewash, Bathsheba (pictured above)

South-East- Foul Bay (best to stay at the northern end), Bottoms Bay, and our absolute favorite, Crane Beach (pictured below)

 

Stay tuned for Barbados, Part 3.

Barbados-Part 1

With all the traveling we do, I don’t always remember to post about our trips. I figured now was as good a time as any to play catch up in the travel category so over the next month you will see lots of posts on this subject.

 

Barbados-Part 1

Barbados is an absolutely gorgeous island with amazing food, yummy rum punch, beautiful beaches, very affordable activities, super friendly people and did I mention the rum punch?! It also holds a special place in my heart as it is where I got engaged :) This is a partial recap of our first visit to the island.

Food

The Tides- Maybe I’m biased because this is where I was proposed to, but I think this is the best restaurant on the island (and the only one we made sure to go back to on our 2nd trip to Barbados). With a dining area set among lush tropical plants and almost directly on the beach ( it’s hard to tell in the picture above but the oceans right on the other side of those bushes), a very kind and attentive staff, and a wonderful chef, what’s not to love? Picking favorite dishes here is hard because everything is amazing, but we loved the Crispy Crab & Prawn Cakes, the Risotto, Thai Jumbo Shrimp Curry, the Monkfish, the Tuna seared rare (pictured below) Little Sticky Toffee Pudding, The Trio of Creme Brulees and the Mars & Oreo Cheesecake is to die for!

Brown Sugar- This was our second favorite restaurant. In the midst of their tropical water gardens, dine on authentic delicious, home-made Bajan cuisine. Favorites include: Cou Cou & Flying Fish, Spiced Fish Filet, Curried Coconut Shrimp,and definitely don’t forget the Warm Paw Paw (Papaya) Pie.

Champers, The Cliff, and Pisce’s are other delicious options for peaceful, romantic dining right on the water.

 

To-Do

Orchid World- Again, I may be biased on this because I love orchids, but if I could live in this flowery paradise I would. Absolutely stunning!

Harrison’s Cave- If you need an activity to cool you off from the heat make sure to check out this spectacular cave in the northern part of the island.

Harbour Lights- A fun all night activity, including music, dancing, and performances from locals, a traditional fish fry, free drinks and most importantly a rum buried treasure hunt (yes,you get to dig up bottles of rum!).

Mount Gay Rum- Do I even need to tell you why you should be going here? Ya, that’s what I thought…

Other things to check out include Barbados Wildlife Reserve, Grenade Hall Forest, Flower Forest, Hunte’s Gardens, and zip lining.

Stay tuned for part 2, in which I’ll talk about lodging & the best beaches.