Shopping local – It may not be life changing for you, but it is for them.

So I just got back from visiting my San Marco shops. San Marco is an area of Jacksonville, Florida that has a small town vibe. The streets are lined with locally owned businesses, from gift and apparel boutiques to fine food and drink establishments. Some of these businesses have been in operation for 30+ years! I was chatting with one of the shop owners and we were discussing the nature of the industry. Covid seems to have put sales to a halt in most places, not to mention we are transitioning from Summer into Fall. Summer is usually slower, with everyone going on vacation, spending time with their kids and such, but summer of 2020 took the cake. It’s possibly picked up a little since a portion of our school age kids are back in school, but taking our normal reality into account and topping it off with Covid has surely made a difference. 

I’ve had similar discussions with many of my shop owners because everyone is going through the same drought. Anytime there is an election year there is a stigma that retail slows down. Well not only do we have to deal with the repercussions of Covid, but it’s also an election year! My discussion today was a little different and I think it needs to be noted especially for our upcoming generations.

First, our buying patterns have changed. The transition to shopping online has increased and the types of things we are buying now are changing. With the set up of virtual home offices and student work spaces, office essentials have been a huge necessity and most big box stores have had a significant surge due to the heavy buying of products such as printers and tablets. Since this virus started at the end of the school year, people are focusing more on “stay-cations” instead of traveling. This means boat sales and other activity driven purchases have had a surge. This also means that our normal pit stops for gifts and clothing have seen even less business than they normally would have in this heatwave. There are less birthday parties, weddings, and social gatherings in general so less gifts to buy. Some of these things have been postponed and some have just been cancelled.

Second, our independent retailers have had to adapt to getting more “social.” Many of these retailers have had to learn the ins and outs of social media and e-commerce in a heartbeat and they have adapted well to the changes. Many find it too overwhelming and have such a loyal customer base that they continue to depend on. Those that have adapted and grown will rise to the top because they have their loyal customer base, but have reached a new audience that will continue to benefit them when things normalize again. The millennial generation is a huge portion of this audience, and the target demographic that they need to reach in order to build back up again.

Finally, if online shopping wasn’t a competitor before, it certainly is now and this is making it even harder for the shops and restaurants in our community to make it. We can get store bought meals and groceries delivered to our doors and we can order anything else we are looking for online in a pinch. One thing that I’ve heard and have noticed from experience is if you actually take the time to look at your local boutique’s Facebook page or website, you’ll get your order faster from them than shopping on Amazon. Many stores and restaurants are doing local delivery, so why not give them the business instead? They feed their families this way and in turn they give back to your local economy. Many smaller apparel stores are allowing try on in their dressing rooms and have put extra cleaning practices into place to make it safe for you. I guarantee these stores aren’t very busy and you’re likely to be 10 feet away from any other individual that might be shopping. Also, why not help the environment a little. When you get a shipment, there are so many times that the packaging is so wasteful, not to mention pollution coming from these big delivery trucks. 

There is so much more that can be discussed, but I want you to take away the main point in this nutshell of a post. If you haven’t started, please support your local businesses and if you have started, please continue to do so! They offer personalized shopping experiences and more advice than a standard Amazon review. They bring products into their stores that are quality driven and unique and they spend countless hours doing this just for you! Many stores have gone into savings to stay afloat, some have closed, and some don’t know how long they can hold on.  Some haven’t been able to get any financial assistance, while many bigger corporations have received hundreds and thousands of dollars. 

For those who are shopping and have the income to support extra purchases, I hope you’ll take shopping local into consideration the next time you open up your browser to search for something. Support your friends and neighbors who have exactly what you need instead of buying from big box or big e-commerce. I guarantee they won’t notice the difference but you know who will! 

 

Showing Off on Social

My life looks like pure magic lately! It looks like everything is so fabulous lately, and really when I look at the big picture I hate to say it, because I don’t want to make you jealous, but it really is!!  I mean, I get to do soooo many fun things!!!

With that said, I have had some really bad days recently.

We were in a car crash on Easter and have been down to one car for about two weeks now because of several things going on with the insurance and the multiple vehicles involved. No, it wasn’t even our fault!

I am constantly playing catch up with work and I feel like I will never be completely caught up but am doing the best I can. To top that off, my laptop (which I just payed off after 2 years) just crashed. It has my entire life on it I feel like and doesn’t help work a bit. After compiling document after document to become more organized with work, I have no access.

As soon as I think I have it all kind of together my daughter gets sick. Do you know that a 10 month old sick baby girl needs more attention than a fine dining restaurant ridden with rodents? Well, now you do.

My debit card fell into the river after I bolted out of the car to check on my daughter after the crash. We all know how it feels when we have to change cards. You have to connect the dots and figure out everyone who deducts a payment for a bill. Sometimes it’s seriously a mystery and then you get a phone call or an email and ding ding ding, lights on!

Wait, so why do I think my life is so fabulous? Because it is!!! It took me a lot of time, grief, and growing up to realize it. My life is completely unreal and perfectly imperfect. Sometimes something hits me in the face and I impulsively want to scream out, but I make sure to become aware of my emotion and raise my gratitude towards God for my beautiful life. I have the most amazing husband who loves me to no end. I have a beautiful step-daughter who is probably one of the most grown up teenagers I’ve ever met and much much smarter than me. I have a baby girl that is incredible and lights up my life every day. Plus, the amazing family and friends that are near and far away bring so much positivity to my life. That, is what life is all about. The small things are pretty stupid in the grand scheme. It’s time to dumb the dumb things down.

Every time I look out at a crowd I think, “Wow.” Every one of us thinks we’re so important and we each have things and emotions and needs that we think are so important as well. Sometimes, you just have to step back and look at the big picture.

I notice that when I do, I’m nurtured with blessings that I didn’t even know were going to exist. Some of those blessings I share on social and some of them I keep for myself. Xo Julie Ann

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,
Bright copper kettles and….

 

Ohhh, you already know that song. Got it. Well here are a few of my favorite things this week (well, that I’m talking about this week. They are actually my favorite things all of the time and I want to share)!

The first one I’m going to talk about is Skinny & Company. I LOVE this brand. It is the only chemical free coconut oil on the market. It is not even comparable to your store bought organic brands (even your Whole Foods approved brands) because it is just that much better. A whopping 19% of the ingredients don’t even have to be listed on the labels of those brands. Do you want diesel fuel going on your skin or into your body? I don’t and that’s why I am a huge proponent of Skinny & Co. and want all of you coconut oil lovers to get on board with it. Not only do they make the cooking oil which has an added digestive enzyme in it, but they also have a beauty segment with balms and cleansers that have essential oils that serve a purpose. For instance the clarifying cleansing balm helps with skin issues like acne while the rejuvenating balm has anti-aging properties. Since this is such a high grade coconut oil your skin soaks it up and you can automatically notice a difference. Trust me and try it by clicking on my link below.

Coconut Oil – 16oz
from: Skinnyandcompany.com

My favorite products are the pure baby, peppermint oil pull, Coconut Oil (for cooking), Rejuvenating cleansing balm, and Lavender deodorant.

 

Next, if you’re expecting (a baby, that is) or still learning the ropes as a new mommy check out the Mellow Mama on youtube. Most of her philosophies on child rearing are right up my alley. I’ve watched her episodes from the beginning but I just recently binged on the ones I missed like the new season of Game of Thrones had just been released. She really embraces everything that being a mother is. She shows her vulnerable side and is strong at the same time. She chooses a path and sticks to it, even if people don’t agree with it.
With my daughter Cosette, I’ve chosen to do some things that I get weird looks for. It doesn’t matter though because I choose to do these things because she’s my only daughter and I only have this one chance to raise her. I want to do it in the smartest way possible. I used to think the only thing I was or am good at is being an actor, but now I know I’m good at being a mom too. I don’t judge anyone and their choices in raising their children. I believe that most of us do the very best we can. I’m not super strict as I believe some things are ok in moderation. I feel that if I were super strict that she would rebel later on. When I am strict, even though she’s only 8 months old, I explain to her why we are making a certain choice whether it has to do with food, trying to play with something that can hurt her, etc…
I want her to want to make healthy choices and good decisions. I believe that the more I teach Coco good values and how to live in a healthy and happy way that it will follow her into adulthood. It’s what I’ve tried to do in my own life before becoming a mom. I can’t change anyone’s opinion by writing it on facebook, I can lead by example and hope that someone learns from it.  The Mellow Mama puts a lot of things into perspective and often I find myself following her lead or thinking about something important that I’ve never taken into consideration. Oh and her real name is Kaitlyn! Follow her on instagram @themellowmama and click here to subscribe to her youtube channel.

Finally, this week I want to mention My Serenity Kids. Click here to check out their website. I learned about this brand of child friendly pouches on the Whole Mama’s podcast. Take a listen to that too if you have the time! Often I buy baby food from the store to keep in the diaper bag or to send with Coco when she’s at daycare or at her Grandparent’s and sometimes when I’m lazy and don’t have the best dinner prepared I’ll give her one too. Lately when I’m in a bind like that I just cut an avocado in half and that’s been the perfect solution. However after learning more about My Serenity Kids, I found that the amount of sugar that are in the baby pouches appropriate for Cosette’s age is unreal! Plus it’s hard to find any pure organic veggies or protien options. You’d expect that it would be easy but it’s not. The only way to give your child a healthy option is to puree it yourself or give her real foods when baby led weaning (which is what we are doing). Here is where My Serenity Kid saves the day. All of their combos are packed with protein, have no additional sugars, and are super baby/kid friendly. They are paleo approved and are the best option when you are in a pinch. They are now available in some Whole Foods markets, but if you go online and get a bundle there is a huge savings. Coco has tried all three flavors and loves them. They are grass fed and pastured meats mixed with organic veggies and healthy fats. Breast milk is the best milk and the most nutrient dense at this point for us (as we are willing and able – I know it’s not an option all of the time), but these are great options. Here is link to their about-us page so you can take a look yourself!

Soap Suds

It seems like bar soap has been on an upward trend. A lot of us ladies like our loofahs drenched in body washes, but most of us learned to bathe with bar soaps. Let’s face it, most bar soaps that you get from your local grocers or convenient stores dry out your skin and the ingredients aren’t that great for you either. Body washes seem like a better option because they don’t fall to the bathtub floor quite as easily and marketers make the packaging oh so pretty! Plus it’s easier to empty out those suds on our exfoliating poufs…

Which leads me to this…

Independent soap makers have it figured out and I’m going to share my top bars with you. If you want to suds up with nature’s ingredients while keeping your skin silky smooth and soft, then this is the way to go. I have no problem layering up my pouf with these luxuriously lathering bars either.

Below are five of my favorites!

Hand In Hand 

Clean Water Collection

Not only do they have great bar soaps, they are a company that gives back in more ways than one. First they make your skin feel lovely, but not only your skin, they nourish other people’s skin too!! They have two collections: The Clean Water Collection and the Espere Collection. For every product they sell in the Clean Water Collection, they donate a bar of soap and provide a month of clean water to a child in need.

For every product purchased in the Espere collection, they provide small business loans to entrepreneurs in underdeveloped countries so they can create jobs and provide sustainable incomes for families in their communities.


There are several different scents within the clean water collection which is where you’ll find the bar soaps. The newest scent is coral which is what I’ll show you in my vlog!

Free Reign Farm 

I am in love with this line and so is my man! Free Reign Farm is based in the Appalachian mountains of Tennessee and they have a goat farm. That’s right, this soap is handmade from goats milk and essential oils. It is super duper moisturizing and currently our go-to bar soap. This a great all natural alternative for skin that needs nourishment without additives. My personal favorite bar is the oatmeal and honeysuckle. My nose can’t  get enough of it and neither can my skin!

All of our goat milk soaps are made with the maximum amount of farm fresh goat milk per bar (36%), natural colors (herbs & clays), pure essential oils, non-GMO oils, and a true 1800’s base recipe…These goat milk soaps are great for sensitive and dry skin, better lather, longer lasting, and much more moisturizing.”


As a side note, one of the boutiques that carries this soap also carries their deodorant and the owner says its the best natural deodorant she has tried to date! If you’re looking for something supernatural..oh wait, super natural…you’ll want to dive in to this brand and try all of their products!

Soap & Paper Factory
This line is just absolutely aesthetically beautiful! 

Mission Grove Collection


Ahh, of course the packaging is pretty, but it’s what’s on the inside that counts! The girls at Soap & Paper factory are just like the brand they’ve crafted, beautiful on the inside and out. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know them and they are down to earth, warm loving souls, who create beauty wherever they go because of who they are (plus they are fun to drink tequila with). They are like the female soap making versions of Anthony Bourdain. Does that make sense to anyone but me? If not, it’s a compliment!

They are soaked up in the craftsmanship and deliver perfection. This unicorn brand (that was supposed to say unique, but unicorn works too) is the definition of quality and you can tell how much thought, creativity, passion and hard work goes into its creation. There are several collections in this line, so it should pretty much please anyone and everyone!

Farmacie Collection

My personal collection favorites are the new Mission Grove collection (which you may have also seen a picture of on my Instagram account) and the Farmacie collection. All these natural handmade soaps are made with Shea butter, essential oils, and love! You must check out their website so you can find a retailer near you!

Oh! And don’t  forget about their holiday collection (yes I started my sentence with “And” and you can get over it)! Some people like to burn this year round (and when I talk about some people I’m talking about me and everyone else that’s ever had the pleasure of smelling this).

A MUST for thr holidays

Roland Pine Collection

Pacifica


pacifica imagesWhile Pacifica make-up has been on an upward trend, let’s hope they hang on to some of the products they started with. Pacifica is an awesome cruelty-free line and one that can be safely used and worn by everyone because if it’s 100% vegan ingredients. I do wear their make-up, but we’ll talk about that on a different day! Their soaps are magnificent, which is a word I rarely use, but they so deserve it. The scents are fresh and each soap is infused with fresh ingredients and ground almond meal which is ideal for exfoliating without being too rough. Personally, my favorite soap is the Tuscon Blood Orange bar. This is one of the top scents in their line in all segments including candles and perfume.tuscan_blood_orange_natural_soapTokyo Milk
TOKYO MILK HEADER
This is yet another line with beautiful packaging, but once again it’s what’s inside that counts. Tokyo milk has delicious scents, creamy lathering capabilities, and are triple milled like many of these other brands. Triple milled means that the soaps are processed through the milling machine at least three times to push out any excess air and water making them more concentrated and long lasting. The Tokyo Milk bars are full of moisturizing Shea butter!

Here is another lesson for you since I’ve mentioned Shea butter before (and wanted to learn myself). Shea butter is a fat extracted from the nut of the African Shea Tree. It’s usually off white or ivory colored and is actually edible!! This doesn’t mean you should eat your soap, but when your mom says she’s going to wash your mouth out with it, don’t be nervous!

Tokyo Milk is a Margot Elena brand that has been around for quite some time. All of her brands are high quality, well constructed, and have a focus on fragrance. With each soap there are top and bottom fragrance notes. One of my favorite scents is the Tour Eiffel which has Linden, Honeyed Rose, Wisteria Petals, and White Musk (I love white musk!). You can see the image below.

TokyoMilk-soap-Tour-Eiffel

Tokyo Milk also has mini soaps, as seen below. These are so delightful, because any baby version of a product always is! They are made the same way and give you the ability to try out several different scents or give to someone else as a gift.

TKM-Collection-Header-shopby_minisoaps_2048x2048

Thanks for checking out these bars and my thoughts on them. Whichever one you choose for shower time, your skin will be grateful to be fed with such  nourishment. Happy shopping! Let me know if you try any of these out and what your thoughts are! Also, many of these brands may be in a local boutique near you. Always support your local business and shop small!

 

How to find your brand

As an actress, more than half of the job has to do with business and not talent. Lately I’ve been learning how to manage my business and market my brand. When I started thinking more and more about this, I decided that I would start incorporating my new practices into FitFabDelish. I have a day job and I manage that business just fine. I have built relationships and I work with some of the same customers over and over again while gaining new customers. There is no difference between that business and my independent businesses.

I created fitfabdelish for three reasons, all of which are in the name.

  • Fitness & Health
  • Fashion & Cool Products
  • Food & Drink

These three things are all things that I care about and have ALWAYS cared about! However, the true core of these three things is taking care of yourself in order to be a happier, healthier you. That’s my essence, not the three categories that I focus on. To create your blog and create your brand, you have to find something that you are passionate about and that you have fun talking about all of the time. Find something that’s FUN for you and you’ll find your niche. Fashion is huge right now, but if you enjoy reading books and going to cool local bookshops and coffee shops on the weekend instead of window shopping and retail, then fashion isn’t for you. It will get old and become hard to come up with content. The other part is all about figuring out your WHY. WHY do you want to teach people about these bookstores or introduce them to the new novels your reading. WHY do you want others to know about this unique lifestyle that you lead?

What is your essence? 


What makes you YOU? Why are you unique? Essence isn’t your experiences, it’s more about your expression or how you handle your experiences.

Have you ever asked a stranger what their first impression is of you? People still judge books by their cover, which means they are judging you that way too. We judge each other by what we’re wearing, whether we’re smiling or not, whether we pull out a fancy wallet from our bag at the grocery store, or whether we have a funky paper change purse to hold all of our valuables. People judge us by how we respond when someone asks, “How are you?” People also judge us  when we walk in front of another’s moving car in the parking lot. Do you wave to say thank you, or in apology? Do you walk with conviction and authority or move in embarrassed haste? There are so many questions.

Have you ever ran into someone that tells you what color your aura is? I’ve had three different people tell me that I have a blue aura and I really don’t know what that means, but I know they tell me that because they noticed something about me right away. That was them noticing my essence right off that bat.

Finding your brand has everything to do with finding your true essence. Find your passion and make it work for you. We all have something unique about ourselves. You may not even have a clue as to what it is. Ask ten people what they find special about you and I’ll bet you’ll get a similar answer most of the time. Take those special things and use them. It’s much easier to work with what we already have at hand, than trying to reinvent ourselves with what we think othwers will deem cool.

You are your brand. Embrace it and the rest will come! 

Thanks for reading! Please Follow my blog for updates and comment below if you have anything to add! 

Lucky Feather

This week I am going to tell you all about Lucky Feather. No, I’m not talking about a bird feather that’s meant to be a token of luck like a rabbit’s foot (which is kind of gross when you think about it. What if a rabbit was carrying around a human foot because he thought it was meant to bring him luck? Eww). I’m talking about a jewelry line!

Lucky Feather is the cutest jewelry and gift line filled with good energy and inspiration! This year marks the 10th anniversary of the brand, and what better time to talk about it than now, when they are in boutiques and gifts shops everywhere and spreading their beauty across the world. Every season, the lovely ladies at Lucky Feather design new pieces that are accommodating to all of the new fashion trends. Following the emoji addictions of the millennial generation and the huge audience of icon fanatics, each piece of jewelry accessorizes any outfit gorgeously.

Not only are they trendy and chic, but they are also inspirational. Many of the jewelry pieces come carded with beautiful words meant to inspire, show appreciation, give love, and so on. Other pieces have the words engraved right on them. I have a couple of examples of my favorites below.

One of the best things about this line is that it’s similar to a greeting card line, in that there is something for every occasion. Whether you are looking for something for a young lady on her birthday, a bridesmaid’s gift, a mother’s day moment, or a special memento “just because,” then you will be able to find it here. Oh yes, and there are even presents for your posh pets!

What makes this line so special is the women behind it. One of the reasons I pick some of the brands I talk about, is because I’m given the opportunity to meet the people who bring those brands alive. These ladies are changing the world, once piece of jewelry and a smile at a time. They are humble, loving, giving, and Lucky Feather is a true representation of who they are. Do yourself a favor and give someone the gift of Lucky Feather today! Click on the link above so you can browse all of these perfectly pretty pieces!

zpch-things_main

FabFitfun Fall Box

If you are a pinner of Pinterest, then you’ve probably seen ads for the FabFitFun seasonal boxes. I couldn’t help myself so I clicked on the link and before i knew it I bought into it. When Birchbox first came out, I got on that bandwagon too. I only stopped my subscription because I moved out west and was in money saving mode. Plus, I didn’t want to go through the hassle of changing my address multiple times because I didn’t know where I’d be living and for how long. It was so much fun to get a surprise box of goodies in the mail, so I thought I’d get back into the groove with FabFitFun. Besides, it kind of goes along with my whole blog, so I’m forming a partnership. They just don’t know it yet!

I received a summer box, which you’ll see a video of below. I won’t go over the items in detail since this is no longer available, but I will tell you that I absolutely love the yoga towel. That is one thing that I always wanted to buy at bikram yoga when I was in that phase, but I never wanted to spend the money on. Score!

 

I just received my Fall box two days ago and I was pretty happy with everything in it. The color craze is still in full effect, so the box is outlined with pretty pictures that you can color. I colored a few little things, but a coloring book also came in the box so I figured I’d spend more time on that when I’m watching the telly. Mindless coloring has to be better than mindless candy crush right? If I color as much as I play candy crush, I’ll probably be through with that book in a week. I should choose to turn OFF the telly and color for clarity instead!

The boxes always come with a fabfitfun magazine which goes through the specifics of each product in the box. I, like most girls I’m sure, threw the magazine on the ground and started tearing through the box to see what goodies I got. C’mon, I’d rather touch, feel, wear, and smell things than read about them!

img_1298
Ok, so after all of my excitement of going through the box, I really did flip and read through the magazine! Besides, if you don’t you might miss out on some great contests and giveaways!

The coolest thing about the Fall box, in my own personal opinion, is that six of the brands that I was gifted are founded by females! You go girls! I love to support my fellow female creatives and entrepreneurs. The other cool thing that you’ll find about FitFabFun, is that they pair with different charities. This Fall, they’ve paired with Pencil’s of Promise which focuses on quality education in underdeveloped countries and communities. They are all about progress. Please click here to find out more information!

A few fall favorites:

  • The created co. coffee mug – We don’t have any cute to go coffee mugs in my house, plus my boyfriend starts to hoard them. I know that I’ll never lose this one, unless he wants to completely be embarrassed! Good Morning Gorgeous!! I love it and have already taken 5 selfies with it.
  • Pure Cosmetics Nude Collection Eyeshadows – okay, so I have an urban decay Naked palette that is very similar and cost me a pretty penny. It’s my daily go to palette and I’m running out of my favorite colors. I should be nice and give this to someone less fortunate, but I’m hiding it under my pillow so no one takes it from me. Keep your eyes on the prize.
  • Toesox – If you’ve ever taken a barre class, pilates, or yoga you’ll want these in your bag. They are super cute, plus they keep you from sliding all around and keeping up your great form. Organic cotton, bpa free, and pretty. Check out their website by clicking here for different styles!

That’s all I’m going to share with you. You may get a few fresh looks from the video below, but if you want to get your hands on one of these fun boxes then get to googling…or just click here and get 10% off your first box!

FIT FAB HEALTH HACKS ON FACEBOOK

If you’ve been reading along with my blog you know that I’m in it to win it with team beachbody, whoop whoop! I currently have a free group on Facebook called Fit Fab Health Hacks. I wanted to give people a look in to what an accountability group looks like. In this group I also share information more frequently then I do in my blog posts (unless I’m doing a daily blog post on a specific program I am on). My goal is to start a 3 week group in September for anyone that wants to try one of the programs with me. The accountability group is what got me to stay on track. Last month I was so busy with work and traveling that I didn’t log in to my coach’s accountability group and I lost so much momentum. Last week I did a plyometrics workout that I’d been getting used to prior to taking off and I was so sore for an entire week! It takes so much hard work and dedication to stay on track and get to where you want to be. You can lose so much hard work by not habitually sticking to this lifestyle change.

My goal is to help others, but really when I help others I’m totally helping myself in return. If you are interested in joining my group, please comment with your Facebook user name and I will add you to it! Let’s do this together!

Also, I’m not sure if it’s for me, but Beachbody has a new program called Country Heat. I’m joining a group on 8/15. I am so uncoordinated, but I love country music and dancing so I am excited to try it out and see it’s results. I’ll be blogging about my progress and the program if you want to give it a try for the next round. Get out them cowboy boots girl!

cowboyboots

Miami Days

This week I have a conference with one of my favorite vendors, Tweezerman (which I’ll be doing a separate blog on later). I decided to come down to Miami beforehand because my best friend lives down here and we needed some girl time. Miami has so much to offer, and while living here wouldn’t be for me, I love visiting! I wanted to show you guys a couple of my favorite moments while down here. If you’re ever in the area, you might want to check out one of these options!

FIT

I got in Friday afternoon, so was really excited for a long, fun in the sun weekend. A few years ago I went on a NYE trip with my bestie Karissa and I got my PADI Open Water Diving certification. I’ve been wanting to dive so bad ever since but I don’t have any close friends where I live that are certified so haven’t made it a priority. Since I was visiting and she hadn’t been diving in Miami yet, she asked if I would be interested and I said YES! It turned out to be pretty overcast all weekend, but that wasn’t going to stop us. Her friend Angela had just gotten certified too and has been on several dives since doing so, and she joined us.

We went to Tarpoon Lagoon dive shop and they set us all up. It was $125 and that included all of our gear (wetsuit, two tanks, bcd, weights, mask, fins, etc). We also paid a little extra so an instructor could take us, which I was glad for since I hadn’t been in a while. I was actually a little nervous, but knew that once I put everything on and got in the water the first time that everything would come back to me and be just perfect.

We went on two dives. The first was Neptune Memorial Reef which was 45 feet deep. It is an artificial reef that resembles Atlantis. It’s also one of the largest manmade reefs ever created, which made it unique and made me want to sing Little Mermaid songs. There were small plaques with sentiments written on them and some were quite quirky.

The second site we dove was Billy’s Barge, which is a 50 foot dive. It was a pretty close drive from the Neptune dive site. It was better than the first dive in my opinion because the site was a little larger (or so it seemed), plus we were able to go through part of the barge which was kind of cool. The coolest thing I saw here was a black and white stingray and I wish I had a picture to show you! This site was quite colorful with all of the beautiful sea life.

For anyone interested in diving here, I have one suggestion. If you are on vacation try to go during the week. During the weekend there are more divers and snorkelers going out and it can get crowded. I found myself kicking others in the face often. Otherwise, just try to keep your distance and don’t follow too closely. It may aggravate the person in front of you!

FAB

On Sundays, we do brunch and we’ll get to the heart of that in the Delish segment. Brunch doesn’t just consist of eating and the large possibility of drinking. It also consists of window shopping and maybe actual shopping if stores are open on Sunday. After our brunch and between hip hang out spots, we walked by this little shop in Southbeach on Alton Rd. called Sparkle and Shine Darling and boyyy (I mean gurrrl) was it cute! They not only had great gifts, but there was a great representation of lines from Just Got 2 Have It (the showroom that I rep for) which I was really excited to see. This store had everything from sleeping masks, graphic tees, and stationary items to baby gifts, puppy presents, and Father’s Day finds! I wanted everything!

Clockwise from top left corner: Pinch Me Emergency Kits, TokyoMilk Dark New body souffles, Lucky Feather Necklaces, Fred& Friends cake topper candelabra, & Bling Sting Pepper Sprays & Ahh!-larms.

DELISH


If you’ve been to Miami, you know there are tons of great places to eat and new hot spots opening up all of the time. Luckily for me, my friends know where the best places are to dine, drink, and dish on the hot topics from their daily lives. We decided to have a girls day out and pick one of these hot spots for a bottomless brunch. My girlfriends (some old and some new) and I got dolled up and had a rooftop rendezvous at Juvia Miami on Lincoln Rd. This restaurant is drop dead gorgeous with a breathtaking view of Miami. I can see how the day and night time views must both be spectacular. The below photo doesn’t even give it justice!

We had the option of sitting inside or outside and since I was the guest for the weekend I got to choose, and I definitely chose outside. It wasn’t too hot and there was a nice breeze which added to the experience. The aesthetics of the restaurant were plush and inviting, providing luxury and elegance at an affordable price. The service was wonderful as well and matched the setting. Our server was very friendly and knowledgeable and the manager made our experience even better by being flexible with our needs.

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They come out with a new menu weekly featuring new fare from what I understand, and they do keep some of the guest favorites available. There is a prix fixed menu from which we all chose, but there was also an option to order bento boxes and other main entrees. We also each chose from their bottomless brunch option and drinking ensued. From the bottomless brunch we were able to order a Mimosa, Prosecco, Bloody Mary, White Pear Sangria, or a Bellini. I think there was one more option that I’m forgetting. Below are images from the 3 course meal I chose as well as images from other dishes that were served.

If you want to give this delish dining spot a try, I definitely suggest going for lunch because the prices are great. For the prix-fixed 3 course meal, the charge was $24.00 and for the bottomless brunch beverages the price was only $23.00. In Miami, especially at a hot spot like this, it is difficult to find such deal. I am giving Juvia a big thumbs up and will definitely cheers to that!

 

Overall, my trip to Miami was fantastic. Next time I’ll hope for sunnier weather and take advantage of the beach. Until then, Ciao Miami!

3 Day Refresh – Day 3 + Results!


I know I know, you’ve been waiting to see how Day 3 went and I haven’t posted!! I just wanted to keep you on the edge of your seats, that’s all.

Or…maybe I’m just hoping that you’ve been waiting anxiously…Either way here goes!

First of all I have to say that this cleanse has been fantastic. On Day 3 I was starting to crave foods that weren’t allowed on the cleanse – proteins for the most part, but it still wasn’t hard to pass up what my boyfriend was eating while I drank a shake and ate veggies.

Day 3 eats:

  • Breakfast: Chocolate Vegan Shakeology & half a banana. I decided to have these separately instead of blended together and it made me feel like I had more to eat.
  • Fiber Sweep – again with extra lemon juice. Everyone in our accountability group seemed to like the taste of this and I did too, but you still want to make sure to drink it pretty quickly so you don’t have any clumps.
  • Lunch: I had my vanilla fresh with strawberries (and had a few strawberries left over to eat) as well as two medium celery sticks with hummus. I loooove hummus!
  • Afternoon snack: I sauteed spinach in coconut oil and it was a super-good super-food!! I also made decaffeinated green tea and it was a nice little bonus.
  • Dinner: I had vanilla fresh again and added cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger to it. Vanilla fresh does kind of get old through the process, but this combo definitely made it better. I also made the cucumber tomato recipe that is provided in the 3 day refresh booklet and it was great. The serving was actually more than I needed and I was full halfway through, but I ate it all because I felt like I needed to stick to the cleanse to a T.

 

They say not to exert yourself too much during the refresh, but I’ve gotten so used to working out that I just had to. I did the Beachbody 21 day extreme leg workout and it was intense but not overly. I love this workout, but then again, I love working my legs. I think this also helped burn some extra calories and my legs were definitely a little sore on day 4.

Results:

I was so looking forward to waking up in the morning to see my results that I didn’t sleep very well. I measured myself and lost 1″ around my waist, 1″ around my hips, and 1/4″ around both of my thighs which amounts to 2.5″ in all!! I lost a pound (I have trouble losing weight, but I think that also has to do with building muscle) and I am very happy with the results!! I feel so good from the inside out and will hopefully maintain these results through the next 21 day round.

I think I will definitely do this again, probably after the July 4th holiday, so if you want to jump on board and try it, let me know!!!