Monthly Archives: January 2018

First Miami Adventure

Hi, guys!

My husband and I just got home this morning from a short trip to Miami! We went down for his sister’s wedding, but since neither of us had been there before we made time to do some exploring!

We arrived on Thursday morning and had the rest of the day to check out the city. After having a quick lunch, we drove to Key Biscayne where we walked along the beach, climbed the Cape Florida Light lighthouse, saw an iguana fall from a tree (not kidding), and enjoyed some beautiful sunshine!

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I took this photo from the top of the lighthouse. I’m terrified of heights, so I snapped this quickly. Isn’t it beautiful, though?

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The Cape Florida Lighthouse (105 steps to the top!)

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After, we went and got ice cream at Azucar Ice Cream Company. They had a long list of different flavors; it was hard to choose one! I ended up getting Raspberry Sorbet while Robby had Dulche de Leche. Both were so creamy and delicious! If you’re ever in Miami, check this place out.

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That night, Robby’s sister and her now husband had some of his family over for dinner and we joined them. They’re such friendly people and we really enjoyed their company! They’re from the Dominican Republic and they welcomed us to stay with them if we ever travel down there. So nice!

Friday morning started off with some donuts from The Salty Donut! We ended up choosing maple bacon, flan, traditional glazed, cookies and cream, and classic chocolate glazed from their list of craft donuts. I didn’t try all of the ones we got, but the cookies and cream one was my favorite!

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After breakfast, Robby and I went to South Beach. The beach itself was pretty empty since the weather was in the 60s to low 70s, but it was still beautiful! We took a short walk before continuing on Ocean Drive, which was right next to the beach. There were bike riders, runners, and visitors enjoying the scenery and weather.

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One of my favorite things I saw was the Starlite Hotel, a 50’s-style hotel (I love the 50’s)

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There were more buildings that had the same style; I was in love!

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We ate lunch at a place called Joe’s Take Away, which is a more casual version of the restaurant Joe’s Stone Crab (they’re next door to each other). I got the Manhattan Clam Chowder and a small side of fries (which looked more like a large), and Robby had the Mahi-Mahi sandwich. Everything was delicious and fresh!

South Beach was my favorite part that we got to visit. I would love to go back there someday!

The wedding festivities began late that afternoon. Robby’s sister and her husband had a pretty non-traditional wedding. They were married at the courthouse in Coral Gables, followed by a family dinner at a restaurant called Grazianos.

The following day, Saturday, was the reception. It was held on the rooftop of a 14 story floor building, which provided a stunning view of the city! We spent the morning setting up tables, chairs, and decorations. Of course I don’t have any photos, but everything looked beautiful and setup went smoothly!

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Once we finished, we all went our separate ways to grab lunch and then get ready for the celebration. They probably had 80-85 people in attendance, but it was a fun crowd and everyone appeared to be having a great time! It was also nice because we got to hang out with some of Robby’s family who had attended our wedding in October, but we barely got to see or talk to them during it since we were all over the place.

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We weren’t in Miami for too long, but we still had a great time! I would definitely like to go back someday and do more exploring.

Has anyone else been to Miami? What do you like it about? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

Happy Penguin Awareness Day!

Happy Saturday! I hope you’re all having a nice weekend so far.

Other than it being Saturday, today is awesome because it’s Penguin Awareness Day! Penguins are my favorite animal in the whole world and have been for years (although I couldn’t tell you how that came to be). Whenever I go to the aquarium, I basically squeal like a small child upon seeing the penguins. I have yet to do a penguin encounter, but it’s a goal!

As I’ve mentioned before, Christmas is my favorite holiday. To top that off, Christmas is also when penguin decorations are seen the most and I absolutely love it. Plus, it seems like every Christmas I get at least one gift that has penguins on it.

(Look how stinkin’ cute!)

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To celebrate these adorable creatures, I thought I would share some penguin facts!

  • Indeed, penguins are birds, but they are unable to fly (they’re great swimmers, though!)
  • Penguins reside in the Southern Hemisphere; however, they may live in a tropical climate or in a colder region, depending on the species
  • Penguins are very vocal and communicate through different calls
  • The Emperor Penguin is the largest species
  • More than half of a penguin’s life is spent in the water, which is where they do all their hunting
  • Penguin chicks take up to three days to chip their way out of their shells
  • The main foods found in a penguin’s diet are krill, fish, and squid
  • Distinct markings and coloring help to distinguish between species
  • Penguins’ nesting colonies are called “rookeries”

Who else thinks penguins are just flat out awesome? What’s YOUR favorite animal?

A Little Bit of Spontaneity

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m typically not a spontaneous person. I like to have a plan for things before jumping in, especially when it comes to traveling of any sort.

My husband and I spontaneously planned a three-day weekend to Quebec in May with my best friend, Kassy, and her husband, Ian! We were talking about traveling and Ian was going through a list of the top 52 places to visit. Someone had suggested that one day, the four of us take a trip together since we never have before. Kassy had also mentioned that her and Ian wanted to travel somewhere to celebrate Ian receiving his master’s in May.

(I’m honestly not sure how Quebec fell into this thought process)

Before we knew it, Ian was perusing Airbnb to check prices. Within an hour, we had a place booked! We still have plenty of time to figure out what we’d like to do/see while in Quebec, but I’ve never booked a trip on the spot like that. I won’t lie, my anxiety-ridden self was quietly going, “Whoa, what!?” on the inside. However, Robby and I have been wanting to visit Canada (neither of us have before), and now we’ll finally get to explore one of its cities! Plus, we’ll be in good company!

Occasionally sprinkling a little spontaneity into your life if you’re more of a planner is okay. It’s something I definitely want to try more. Kassy even bought me a copy of Breathe magazine, and the first piece is on spontaneity and living in the moment (so fitting!). It explains how breaking away from your usual routine or norm can be exciting, empowering, and give you a new perspective. There’s even a small list of suggestions that allow you to include spontaneity into your daily schedule.

Robby and I have been thinking of trips to take this year, but Canada wasn’t on our radar. Now it is! Even though it wasn’t part of our travel plans, I’m really glad for our spontaneous decision to go with our friends. I can already tell it will be an awesome time!

Does anyone have their own stories of spontaneity? I’d love to hear about them! Let me know in the comments 🙂

Inspiration From a Former Navy Seal

Hi, everyone!

I wanted to share something that I found to be inspiring and thought some of you might take away a little inspiration as well.

I was perusing Amazon for a book (or two) to buy when I came across “Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World” by Admiral William H. McRaven. The title itself was intriguing, plus I saw that it received 4.5 out of 5 stars with over 1,000 reviews. I decided to check it out.

McRaven’s book is based off his 2014 commencement speech he gave at the University of Texas at Austin. The customer reviews on Amazon praise how the life lessons McRaven walks through, things he took away from his Navy Seal training, are applicable to anybody. With more curiosity, I decided to look up his speech on YouTube.

The first thing that stood out to me was McRaven’s comment on how the struggles we face, the life lessons to overcome those struggles, and how we can help change the world are universal; it doesn’t matter your background, gender, etc. This was something I had never thought of before, but I liked this perspective. It’s reassurance that we all have the ability to rise above and make a difference in other people’s lives and in the world.

McRaven continued to list out his ten lessons toward making a change. His first one was where the title of the book will make sense: making your bed every morning. You might be thinking, “How is making my bed going to make an impact?” McRaven shed light on this question: Although a small task, making your bed every morning leaves you with a sense of accomplishment. It leads you to completing your second task of the day. Then your third, fourth, and so on.

There are times when we might do our absolute best at something, but the outcome still doesn’t turn out as we had hoped. When that happens, just keep going. That’s how life is sometimes, but we can’t let it hold us back (or as McRaven put it: get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward).

One of McRaven’s lessons that I’ve been learning more and more is that failure will happen, but don’t be afraid of it. Failure is a part of life and though many of us might put it at the top of our list of what we fear most, we shouldn’t be afraid that it’s going to happen. We can embrace it and let it motivate us forward.

Another lesson that stood out to me was to be your very best in the darkest moments. When you feel like you’re in a dark place and it’s hard to think straight, or you feel stuck, find your inner strength to let it help you through those times.

A powerful lesson that McRaven discussed was to never give up. This is so easy to do, especially when things are tough. That doesn’t mean you throw in the towel though. If you want to change the world or make an impact, giving up isn’t the way to do so.

These obviously aren’t all ten, but McRaven’s lessons are great for anyone at any stage of life. I enjoyed listening to his speech and I would still like to get the book because it probably goes a little more into each of his lessons.

Has anyone else read his book or listened to the speech? What are your thoughts? What are other inspirational speeches you’ve heard? Let me know in the comments!