I’ve spent quite a bit of time traveling around and seeing Florida’s beaches. Last weekend I visited Daytona Beach for the first time. I wasn’t expecting too much given that I’m a Gulf Coast snob and prefer their beaches. However, Daytona surprised me in a good way! The beach was much nicer than what I was expecting.

What is there to do in Daytona Beach?

Daytona_BeachMy first comment/suggestion is to partake in some of the unique restaurants in the area. We ate at one called Crabby Joes and had a really nice lunch. While the food is pretty much what you would get at a TGI Fridays or anywhere that serves seafood, the view is spectacular. It sits on a pier and you can literally see the waves crashing beneath you through the small spaces between the floor boards. If you sit at a high top table you’ll be able to feel the pier move slightly.

Second, the beach is a little different than what I have experienced at other beaches. People park their cars on the beach. Convenient if you left something behind however, not so environmentally friendly or people friendly for that matter. Cars are driving by as you lay on the beach. Possibly dangerous if you have kids that just like to take off for some random place on the beach and you can’t chase them down fast enough. It makes for great people watching though!

Third, the water was a nice temperature and color. We had a nice time wading in the water and acting like idiots. Not quite the Gulf Coast, but a nice compromise for Daytona_Beachthose who live closer to the Atlantic side. There’s decent surfing and great waves for the inevitable boogie board loving kid. If only TSA would have let me bring mine!

For those who are looking to go where the crowds aren’t, don’t head to the beach until mid afternoon when people start to leave. The sun is still out and strong you just won’t have all the people.

Fourth, while we didn’t do any water sports there were plenty of places to go and do them if you wanted to. Go in any tourist place and there will be brochures and coupons galore! Jet skiing and parasailing are big hits down there.

Finally, if you’re looking for a place that has a fun atmosphere where anything goes and the only thing you have to do is enjoy yourself, then this beach is for you. Generally, people are pretty friendly and are actively seeking the relaxed, fun lifestyle that most of Florida revolves around. My first trip to this tropical state was at age 12 and since then I haven’t been able to get my mind off it. Seriously, take some time and come enjoy this state. It has so much to offer!

Daytona_Beach

Me and my friends Emma and Christina!

Is there anything in Daytona I missed out on? Any other beaches I should check out? Comment below and share with friends!

~Liz


Harrod
I have an addiction to cute coffee mugs and a few of the ones I found at Harrod’s online have only accelerated this love. Unfortunately the British based retail store charges too much for international shipping otherwise I would have bought all of these darling mugs for my collection in my kitchen.
Do you have a favorite place to buy coffee mugs? Comment below!
~Liz

Quick and Refreshing Small Meals

Right now I’m trying to eat 6 small meals a day (like the French do!). It just seems better for my metabolism and my stomach simply cannot accommodate much more than the size of my fist. What I’m also finding with this routine is that 82210ca0612c0299f931f9e1582f9c82certain things I simply can’t digest well and they make me feel crappy and sluggish. For example, fettucini alfredo is not the best thing to eat for that boost of energy you need in the afternoon. Shocking isn’t it? Not so much.

For each of my small meals I like to mix and match what I eat. Right now, I’m loving iced coffee and greek yogurt for my breakfast. My lunch usually includes a small salad using baby spinach, strawberries, and walnuts for protein. Around 2pm I enjoy some ae1e7ff047beb48f9d5e164385ad2d0dmixed fruit like pineapple and kiwi. By 4pm I like to pop a small bag of sea salt and lime popcorn. This is nice to have around because I like to snack on things and mindlessly put them in my mouth.

For dinner I try to eat something with a bit more substance such as a sandwich (a favorite sandwich recipe of mine coming soon!) I don’t load on meats and cheeses or use thick bread. Sandwich thins are usually what I like to use for this. I really am not the type to enjoy a huge heavy dinner like meat and potatoes. I just can’t eat it all! Finally, for an evening snack I like to dip pretzels in a frozen yogurt of some kind.

Grocery List

If you would like to try something like this I’m including a little grocery list for your next trip to the store! Feel free to add anything you like in the comments below!

-Pineapple, strawberries, kiwi, grapes

-Greek yogurt (or a low calorie yogurt instead)

-Spinach or another kind of greens

-Walnuts, almonds

-Low calorie popcorn (smaller bag is better)

-Sandwich thins

-Turkey, gouda cheese (my favorite kind)

-Bottled iced coffee (I’ve found yummy ones in the grocery store that are non fat!)

-Pretzels

-Frozen yogurt

~Liz

 


Macaron

After arriving in Florida on Saturday my boyfriend took me to a little place in Winter Park called Le Macaron. When we walked in, we were greeted by the smell of fresh baked pastries and men with French accents. There were several flavors of macaroons to choose from but my flavors of choice were lavender, vanilla, caramel, blueberry, and raspberry. Upon ordering my little treats I began talking with the gents that worked at Macaroonsthe store about how they make the macaroons. I was surprised to discover that they don’t make them at the store but they are flown in from Paris weekly to assure quality and consistency in their pastries. A little secret they let me in on about the famous Lauduree macaroons surprised me even more- Lauduree’s macaroons are made in Belgium, not Paris! Regardless of this little tidbit, I still have a hankering to try them! Apparently they have a location in Miami and one in New York. I mentioned a trip to NYC to my bestie and fellow blogger Lindsey, and she seems to be just as excited as I am about a possible trip!

Do you like macaroons? Know of any good places to get these pastries? Comment below!

Macaroons

My Macaroons!

~Liz

 


1545787_10203348857948079_1388859174_nSometimes the only thing a girl needs is her mom. And I am no exception to this. Of course, a girl needs her dad too, but often enough I find that mom is the only thing that will do. During my growing up years I didn’t quite realize what a blessing it is to have a mom (because not everyone does). After I went away to college it became more apparent how much I needed her. She’s my best friend, sometimes worst enemy, but always the most important lady I know. Here are 6 things that I love about her.

1. The way she makes our house smell so good

Have you ever walked into someone’s home and noticed how good it smelled? Coming home from school I got to experience it quite often. She always had a candle of some sort burning. Usually it was something with cinnamon in it. During the fall, she always has something burning that smells like pumpkin.

2. Home cooked meals

Its becoming increasingly rare for people to have home cooked meals on a regular basis. My mom is an amazing cook (though she doesn’t think so). Recently, she’s been trying a few new recipes out from Food Network’s Ina Garten. Several of them have quickly become family favorites. If however, we do not like it, we joke that at least its made with love!

3. Her sense of humor

I’ve been around moms (and dads) who literally have no sense of humor when it comes to what their kids or their kids’ friends are saying. You know this type I’m sure, they take everything literally! In my home we always joke around and act goofy. It really throws some people off how we act around each other. Teasing is an everyday occurrence and no one is off limits.

4. Her hugs

Warm and inviting, need I say more?

5. How she still comes to my room to say good night

Hopefully most children had the experience of bed time stories and good night hugs. While we don’t have ‘story time’ anymore, mom still comes to my room to say good night and give me a hug. This may sound childish to some of you but for me, its the most comforting thing in the world.

6. She always knows when something is wrong

I don’t have to say anything and she knows. The best part is she will stop whatever she’s doing and help me figure out my problems. It may take hours but she doesn’t give up!

Thanks mom for being the best parent a kid could have! I really was blessed to be your daughter!

~Liz


Vera_BradleyI absolutely hate paying airlines to check my luggage. I paid enough for my flight as it is, do I really have to pay to take my stuff with me too? Apparently the answer is yes. Well, this time around I’ve found a way around that. Tomorrow I head to the land of tourism and sunshine for vacation. I’m spending a week in Orlando, FL visiting my boyfriend and a few friends. One of the hardest things about packing for a vacation is knowing what activities you’ll be doing while you’re there. I’ve packed outfits that can work for many different events and be dressed up or down. Read on to see what I packed!

Florida Bound!

1. Bottoms

I packed mostly white shorts/capris because they will match anything! I also packed some Cute_Shortsjean shorts for a more casual look and athletic shorts for days that may require athletic clothes. All of these are very versatile and allow me to change the look of my outfit without changing everything.

2. Tops

Cute_TopsI picked things that can work for both day and night. The black and white striped top can be worn with white shorts or capris. The light purple top is 3/4 length sleeve and a very light fabric and can be worn with white/jean shorts and dressed up or down for day or evening activities. The silver tank top is best for evenings out and looks particularly good with the white capris. The white tank top works with any combination of shorts. The coral top is also 3/4 length and light fabric and once again can be worn with any combination of shorts (except for the athletic shorts) and dressed up or down with the right accessories! Finally, the yellow top is a tank and looks best with the white shorts and capris.

3. Dresses

The coral dress is mid length and 3/4 length sleeve and looks great with nude pumps or flats. It can be worn for day and Little_Black_Dressnight depending the accessories and shoes.  The black lace dress is one shoulder and also looks nice with the same nude pumps.

4. Accessories

I brought with me a pearl necklace and matching earrings (seriously, what doesn’t look Jewelry_Accessoriesgood with pearls?) I also brought a large statement necklace that pairs well with almost every outfit. Additionally, I brought dangly earrings in blue to work with both coral pieces in my wardrobe. The multi colored earrings will also work with any of the outfits I brought. Finally, to add a nautical touch to my casual outfits, I brought navy blue anchor earrings.

Also, not pictured is my cross body Coach bag (for days when I don’t want a big bag to carry), navy blue Sperrys, nude pumps, and silver sparkly strappy sandals. The Sperrys are great for my casual outfits (I’m also wearing them on the plane to reduce weight in my carry on) while the pumps and sandals are nice for a dressed up look or brunch with the girls 😉

5. Little extras

Obviously bring your underwear, socks, bras blah, blah, blah. Don’t forget your bikini too! I bought mine in a magenta color that can be mixed with my navy bikini pieces. For this trip, I don’t want to add a lot of weight to my luggage (25 pound limit!) so I’m only bringing the magenta bikini. Also, don’t forget your flat iron or curler. Be aware of weight limits so you may have to choose between them (yikes, you can do this!)

Bonus: I’m bringing my laptop, make up, and Vogue in my tote bag (yes, it does fit under the stupid seat in front of me madam flight attendant!) Most airlines allow you the carry on to be stowed overhead and a laptop bag/large purse to go underneath the seat in front of you.

As for my outfit tomorrow, I’m sporting a navy blue tank top underneath a mint colored hoodie with those white shorts I mentioned earlier.

Am I missing anything? Any things you might take with you? Let me know in a comment below!

~Liz