Christmas is quickly approaching and shopping for gifts has begun. But there’s always someone on your list that’s hard to shop for. Don’t get caught up in stressing over what to get them, or spending hours searching for ideas. I’ve already done that part for you! I created these guides to help inspire gift ideas for everyone on your Christmas list. Whether you’re looking for gifts for your mom or looking for your tech or beauty obsessed friend, these Christmas gift guides have got you covered. They are organized by person and by category to make it easier to find the guide you’re looking for.
A word you never want to hear related to you. You just went to your dentist and were told you that you need to get your wisdom teeth removed. They gave you a referral to an oral surgeon for the procedure. You’re scared, unsure and anxious. Surgery?! What does that mean for you? Is it painful? How long does it take to recover? In this post I will discuss my personal experience with getting my wisdom teeth removed. I had so many questions and so much anxiety – I researched for weeks before my procedure. I wanted to know everything I could to be prepared. My hope is that my experience can help you and reassure you going into your surgery. Here is everything you need to know before and after wisdom teeth surgery.
It’s the last few days before your procedure and you’re wondering what you can eat afterwards. If you’re thinking “I need to know what to eat after wisdom teeth surgery” this list was made just for you. The first few days you will only be able to have soft foods that you can swallow without chewing. Think soup, yogurt, milkshakes, etc. I’ve found a few excellent options that helped me get through the days after my surgery. So I’m sharing them here with you with the hope that they can help you too. You’ll want to get your groceries a few days before your procedure to make sure you’re prepared. Once you are home after your surgery, you should not be driving to get food for 3-4 days.
Florida vacation anyone?
You hear people talk about Florida all the time and how they’re ready to go back as soon as they get back from vacation. (guilty!) Everyone talks about how Florida has the best beaches in the US with soft white sand and clear blue water. Or how they had the best time at a theme park in Orlando, taking a boat ride on the water or partying in Miami. But have you ever been to Key Largo before? You know the Beach Boys song 🎶 “Key Largo, Montego, baby why don’t we go…” 🎶 Yeah, that one. It is on my bucket list to go to every place mentioned in the Kokomo song and Key Largo, Florida happens to be the first. Particularly the Playa Largo Resort. Aruba, Jamaica, Bermuda, Bahamas, Montego and Kokomo I’m comin’ for you! Whew what a list!
If you are unfamiliar with Florida, Key Largo is located approximately halfway between Miami and Key West along the Florida Keys strip. Think of the southern right tip of Florida and then go even further south on a tiny strip of islands. That’s where you’ll find Key Largo. On such a narrow strip of land, there is only one main highway to get you around the Keys. Say goodbye to any wishes of shortcuts or alternative routes!
Here is an interactive map with Key Largo outlined in red to give you a visual idea of where it is.
Key Largo is more laid back and slower-paced than most popular Florida cities. The 30A stretch along northern Florida is known for the beautiful white sand beaches and family-friendly beach destination vacations. This includes everything from Pensacola, Destin, Rosemary Beach to Panama City Beach. Orlando is mainly known for Universal and Disney theme parks and one of my favorites, the Gaylord Palms Resort. (I have a guide for that resort too! Check it out here). And of course Miami is known for it’s party scene and the iconic Ocean Drive and South Beach with colorful lifeguard posts. Then you have Key Largo which is known more for being luxurious and relaxing with a bit of adventure.
I went to Key Largo for the first time recently and had a wonderful time. How can you not love Florida beach towns, right?! It was a quick trip for a wedding which was being held at the most popular resort in Key Largo, Florida – the Playa Largo Resort & Spa Autograph Collection. Think soft white sand and turquoise blue waters, drinks along the water, and blissfully swinging in a hammock among the palm trees. We did not stay in a room at the hotel due to the room prices, but we did get to experience the rest of the resort. And now I want to share it all with you.
Let me show you around the dreamy tropical Playa Largo Resort starting with the
Lobby & Outdoor Terrace
As soon as you enter the lobby you are greeted by a central fountain, swinging chairs and an upscale jazzy bar. You immediately feel like you’re in a luxury resort awaiting your relaxing beach vacation because well, you are! The aesthetic is light and natural with a casual/cozy feel. You’ll feel welcomed by the calming neutral cream tones and brown and white accents. In addition, the white woven egg chairs add a fun and beachy vibe and a neat place to chill and relax indoors.
Through the other door of the lobby you enter a beautiful outdoor terrace with seating overlooking the resort pool. Here you will find various seating arrangements and tables for eating or relaxing. This area is very spacious and is perfect for savoring a meal with a view or enjoying the outdoors with a little shade. The views of the pool and the ocean from here are unbeatable. Enjoy the views while being a few steps away from the air conditioned lobby.
Head back inside, down the winding stairs and outside to the entrance to the…
The resort pool was one of my favorite places at Playa Largo. The pool is spacious enough for plenty of people to enjoy but still have their space. Along the edges are ledges where you can sit without getting all the way into the water. The palm trees around the outside add slight cover from the sun along the edge of the pool. Also Cabanas are available at an extra cost which include additional lounge chairs outside the tent. However pool chairs are limited so get to the pool early to save a seat. Seats nearer to the pool are a safer bet. Some people are very particular about their chairs and may ask you to move if you are sitting in seats that they reserved (yes, this happened to us).
To the left of the pool is the Sandbar where you can order cocktails and poolside snacks. In particular, the strawberry daiquiri was to die for! (More on this below). They serve a variety of foods and drinks for munching poolside. On another note, since you are in south Florida you will see a variety of lizards and iguanas around the resort. This includes small lizards running across the ground to large iguanas climbing up the palm trees. Therefore be aware if you are afraid of lizards! One of our friends tried chasing and catching a lizard which he then got called out for. In other words, do not try to catch lizards.
After walking through the pool area, you will come out onto the resort…
Outside the pool area is a span of sandy areas along the water, held back by concrete walls. This is referred to as the beach. While the sand does not flow directly into the water as it would at a normal beach, it is still nice to be able to put your feet in the sand and enjoy the ocean views. Stairs along the edge allow easy access into the water. In addition, The water along the beach is shallow making it perfect for a little walk without getting too wet. You can also swim and snorkel if you go out a bit further into the water. Moreover, watersports such as kayaking, paddle boarding and snorkeling are offered at an additional cost at the resort. You’ll find beach chairs lined in the sand along the water for that sand-in-your-toes experience you look forward to at the beach.
My favorite part of the beach would have to be the hammocks. Between the pool and the ocean are these chic round hammock sets underneath the palm trees. Getting into one and getting adjusted was a bit difficult. But once comfortably inside, the relaxation factor was phenomenal. Just close your eyes and relax while listening to the calming ocean breeze and the local birds chirping. Tall palm trees offer just enough shade for comfort. You will also find a few shorter trees along the beach that provide excellent protection from the sun. Because of this you will find small twigs and pieces of bark mixed in the sand when walking on the beach. Be careful not to step on anything and hurt your feet.
Just to the right of the beach is one of Playa Largo Resort’s…
Restaurants & Bars
Whether you want a beachside snack or a classic indoor meal, Playa Largo has a few options for food and drinks. Since our food was provided at the wedding, we did not get to experience the indoor restaurant La Marea. However we had drinks from Sandbar and enjoyed an open bar outside Sol by the Sea, the beachside restaurant shown below. In addition to beachside dining there are also raised chairs and tables out in the water for an elevated dining experience at Sol by the Sea. You can find menus for all of the restaurant at this link.
If outdoor dining isn’t your desire or the Florida heat is too hot to handle head inside to La Marea. Located on the lower level right outside the lobby, La Marea offers both indoor and outdoor seating. Here you’ll be able to order breakfast or dinner while enjoying an inviting contemporary atmosphere. The menu includes traditional Mediterranean foods with a twist – think pizza, pasta and breads. Prices range from approximately $10-30 per menu item. Breakfast is about $15-20, appetizers are around $10 and dinner entrees range from $22-30.
Looking for a more social environment to get food and drinks? Head to Las Olas ceviche lounge right off to the side of the main lobby. This jazzy bar has more warm orange and brown tones. Here you’ll find couches and lounge chairs arranged to encourage socializing and a comfortable posh lounging experience. The Las Olas menu is Peruvian inspired with specialties of fish, citrus flavors and spices. Cocktails run $14-17 a piece and entrees are $16-25 each. Looking for a nightlife setting? Las Olas is a classic upscale bar and lounge. On the other hand Sol by the Sea is a more relaxed outdoor setting with drinks on the beach.
Last but certainly not least, how could I forget about the…
Ok, let’s talk about the drinks at the resort. Since we came for a wedding most of the alcohol was provided (woohoo)! We tried a couple drinks at our own expense as well as the ones we were given. This beautiful bright pink cocktail was a close second to the strawberry daiquiri I mentioned a bit ago. The bride and groom’s specialty drink – a dragonfruit mojito! Because it was so beautiful, I almost didn’t want to drink it. I’m so glad I did though because it was delicious. Since it was a cocktail from the wedding, I am unsure if it is available at the restaurants/bars, but it never hurts to ask!
As mentioned earlier, the strawberry daiquiri from Sandbar was spectacular! You could not even taste the alcohol which is dangerous! The daiquiri was so darn good, I could’ve had a few – I mean just look how happy I was. But I stuck with just one. It’s the kind of drink that tastes like blended fruit juice – you wouldn’t even know there was alcohol in it. Gosh, I’m still thinking about it now. it was that good. If I ever go back, I certainly know what I’ll be getting. 🍹 Here’s the talked-about drink… I can taste it now! Most cocktails run $14 each no matter where you order them from at the resort.
Lastly, Sol by the Sea offers a casual outdoor setting for sipping drinks on the beach. The string lights hanging above give you a serene feeling illuminating the beach for a laid-back yet exciting night of drinks and socializing. This is where we enjoyed an open bar and a reunion with friends the night before the wedding. And off to the side you’ll find steps into the shallow water to dip your feet in the warm water. The open air and open space right along the water is incomparable.
And that completes the tour of the Playa Largo Resort!
What would be your favorite part of the Playa Largo Resort? Let me know in the comments. If you loved this post, please share on Pinterest, Facebook and other social networks.
Each photo has a brief decription. Hover your mouse over each photo to read the caption.
Where we stayed – Carillon Beach Resort Inn
Here are the 2020 Christmas Gift Guides!
Whew, what a year! 2020 has already been crazy enough, so I’ve created these guides to help alieviate additional stress of finding Christmas gift ideas. I’ve organized them by who you’re shopping for and by price point. You’ll find guides for men and women, for the foodie friend and your furry friend, and gifts under $55, $25, and splurges.
You can click on each photo to shop everything in the guide. All items on these guides can be easily purchased through the free LikeToKnow.it app or through my Arbonne small business site! If you’d like some help navigating and shopping these guides, check out the LTK Day 2020 Guide.
Gifts for Her – Mom, Bestie, Sister, Friend
These gifts are perfect for any ladies in your life. If you want something fun for girls night, popular beauty finds, or something cozy this is the guide for you! These slippers, the intial necklace and the checkered tote are on my Christmas list this year! And this Kendra Scott necklace is my favorite everyday necklace and comes in so many colors!
All items under $50 plus one splurge item
Gifts for Her (Arbonne) – Mom, Bestie, Sister, Friend
For my clean, safe, cruelty-free, non-toxic beauty and nutrition lovers. I have so many good things to say about Arbonne the list would be endless! Arbonne offers clean, safe and toxin-free options for skincare, makeup, body care, hair care, nutrition and everyday needs such as deodorant. Instead of purchasing potentially toxic items from bix box stores like Target, ULTA or Sephora, purchase the clean and safe Arbonne equivalent. They cost about the same price as these stores but you know your product will be made with clean, safe and non-toxic ingredients.
Items $56 and under*
Gift for Him – Boyfriend, Husband, Dad, Brother
This guide is for the men in your life – the ones that are hard to shop for! I created this guide with the help of Andrew based on items he currently has and loves, plus a few items I would get for him. His favorites are the Banana Republic Luxury Touch Performance Polos, Nike slides, Xbox controller (of course) and his new Galaxy Smartwatch.
Most items $60 or under
Gift for Him (Arbonne) – Boyfriend, Husband, Dad, Brother
Clean, safe and non-toxic sports nutrition and men’s body care options from Arbonne. Arbonne carries a ton of nutritional supplements such as Pre-workout, BCAA’s and protein powder. There is also men’s 3-in-1 body/hair wash, shave cream and aftershave. All products are guaranteed to be clean and toxin-free.
Items $56 and under*
Gifts for Him or Her – For the cook, host/hostess, food lover
Do you know someone who loves to cook, or is a major foodie? Here I’ve pulled together a variety of fun items sure to be appreciated by anyone who loves to cook, host, or just loves food in general (that’s all of us, right? 😜) These would also make great gifts for a host or hostess.
All items $45 and under
Gifts for Him or Her – Silly, humorous gifts for fun
If you’re looking for something fun and unique, these are the gifts for you. I’m loving these fun holiday coasters and silly apron for the cook, and all the fun mugs and cups for the hot chocolate and coffee this winter!
All items $35 and under
Gifts for Her – Under $55
This gift guide is for items $55 and under. The Dior J’Adore Beautifying Body Milk is the most incredible scent ever, and the neck and back massager is a lifesaver! And I just ordered this gorgeous green velvet dress which will definitely be on repeat this holiday season.
All items $55 or under
Gifts for Her – Under $25
Need some gift ideas that are super affordable? I’ve got you! All of these gifts are $25 or less for those of us who are shoping on a budget this year (definitely me). I have these star earrings and they are one of my FAVS! You can wear them with the stars or just as hoops. And I use my Flair Pens every day in my agenda. So good!
All items $25 or under
Gifts for Him or Her – Small Business gift ideas
This holiday season it’s so important to shop small and support small businesses! In this guide I’ve put together some of my favorite finds from Etsy for both him and her. This men’s golf tee made me laugh for a straight ten minutes when I saw it. And for the ladies, gift her a beautiful set of handmade hair scrunchies from my personal Etsy shop or handmade earrings with gorgeous natural elements from
my sister’s shop
TRAVEL GUIDE: What to pack for a North Carolina road trip
It’s August 2020 and we are still in the midst of residual COVID-19 restrictions and limitations on travel. But it has been 9 months since Andrew and I have done any sort of major “traveling” (3 months since the beach), and we’re dying to go somewhere. So him and I are taking a mini road trip to Asheville, North Carolina and the Blue Ridge Mountains! Asheville is only about 3 1/2 hours away from us, but we still want to be fully prepared for the road trip no matter how small. So I created a checklist of everything I want and need to bring for the trip to make sure I don’t miss anything on the way out! I organized my checklist into categories so that I don’t mix anything up or overlook anything.
This is what I’m packing for the trip, by category:
The first category is items needed for the car and the road trip there and back. This includes items like towels, face masks, hand sanitizer, a phone charger, drink cooler, and snacks. We are traveling while some COVID-19 restrictions are still in place, so masks and sanitizer are definite musts! And don’t forget to bring some water and snacks for the road to satisfy little feelings of hunger and thirst.
- Towels for wiping off dirt from shoes after hiking
- Phone car charger
- Drink cooler to keep drinks cold before hiking
- Seat cushion for added comfort for the car ride
- Cloth and disposable masks
- Hand sanitizer
- Snacks for the road
SHOP THE LIST:
For the Mountains
The next category is items needed for hiking and walking trails in the mountains. This list includes items like bug spray and sunscreen, electrolyte drinks, snack bars, an adjustable phone tripod, and a portable phone charger (because we’ll be taking so many pics!) If you are legitimately hiking and climbing off-trail, you will need special hiking boots/shoes and your climbing gear. For us, we will be walking pre-made trails.
I’m bringing my Vital Proteins Performance Recovery drinks and Collagen Bars for added protein and energy. You can save $10 off a $25+ purchase with this coupon. That’s perfect for ordering these drinks and bars together!
- Bug spray
- Vital Proteins Recover Drinks – hydration, electrolytes, and protein to keep you going
- Vital Proteins Collagen Bars
- Snack/energy bars
- Phone lanyard (see “Travel Tip” below)
- Running shoes
- Tripod & remote for taking photos together
- Portable phone charger
- Hat for protecting against ticks
SHOP THE LIST:
Travel Tip: If you’re paranoid about accidentally dropping your phone off the side of the mountain like me, you can create a makeshift lanyard to hold it. Instead of paying $12+ for a phone lanyard, you can create one yourself for only $5! All you need is a phone ring stand and a detachable purse strap. If you don’t already have one, purchase a ring for the back of your phone. I found this phone ring stand as a set of two for $4.95! Next, find a detachable purse strap from one of your bags you own. Attach the strap to the ring on the phone and viola! You have a homemade phone lanyard!
The third section of the checklist is clothes! My favorite part! And also the most time consuming part to figure out. Haha. This section includes all of the pieces I am bringing for photos in addition to the normal clothing items I would be bringing. I’m not going to lie… it took me many hours over the span of a couple days to look up pieces and photo settings before I finall decided on which pieces I wanted.
These are all of the pieces I am bringing:
SHOP THESE PIECES:
And Last but definitely not least is the general section of the checklist. This includes very important items such a prescription meds, first-aid/band-aids, toiletries, and heat protection spray. These are items that you would normally take with you no matter where you’re traveling. The necessity items.
- Prescriptions medicines
- Ibuprofen for headaches
- Daily vitamins
- Heat protection spray
- Gum for preventing bad mask breath
- Folder with info and tickets
- Black puffer jacket
SHOP THE LIST:
And this completes my “what to pack for a road trip” checklist. I hope that this categorized checklist made packing for your next trip a little easier! Let me know what YOU would pack in the comments below.
This is a guide to everything you need to know for LTK Day 2020 on July 19th. In this LTK Day 2020 guide you will find information on what LikeToKnow.it is, how to use the app, how to participate in the sale, and tons of finds from participating retailers for you to shop.
What is LikeToKnow.it?
LikeToKnow.it (LTK.it) is a completely free social media shopping app. You can use it to search for specific products and follow your favorite bloggers to see what they’re sharing. Influencers and bloggers use LikeToKnow.it to link products that they share in their posts for people to purchase. LikeToKnow.it posts can be shopped by viewing them in the app, or by going to the specific “liketk.it/” link provided in the post caption.
Many LikeToKnow.it posts will have the LTK.it symbol in the bottom left corner of the image like in this image. It can be either black or white. This little symbol lets the viewer know that they can shop items from that post on the LikeToKnow.it app or through the special link. You are also able to screenshot images with the symbol to save them in the app (must be enabled within the app). You can easily shop my looks by visiting my Shop My Instagram page.
Influencers who use the LikeToKnow.it app receive a very small commission on items that are purchased through their links. The commission typically ranges from 5-12% per item. So on a $30 dress from Target, the influencer would earn $1.68 in commission for leading the buyer to that item. While it seems like a small amount, it is very important to the influencer – all the small amounts add up to a reasonable amount over time. For some bloggers and influencers, this is a main source of income for them. That is why it is so important to shop through their LTK.it profile or link so they receive credit for the item(s). Trust me, the blogger or influencer will greatly appreciate you helping them out if you were inspired by an item from their post!
How Do I use LikeToKnow.it?
LikeToKnow.it is super easy to use! I created this walk-through guide video for you that explains how to use the app:
What is LTK Day and How Do I Participate?
LTK Day is a special one day only sale that happens exclusively through the LikeToKnow.it app. It’s a great time to get deals on some of your favorite brands! This year it will be happening on Sunday July 19th, 2020. Participating retailers offer special discounts that are only available if you shop through the LikeToKnow.it app. The discounts from these retailers are given exclusively through the app and are not available outside of LikeToKnow.it. These are the participating retailers for LTK Day 2020 and their special discounts they are offering to LikeToKnow.it users.
My favorite retailers this year are Abercrombie & Fitch, Forever 21, Nasty Gal, Tarte, and Victoria Emerson. I went through and saved my favorite items from each of these retailers to save you time on the 19th so you can do more shopping than searching! I’ve shared all my favorites below including tie dye, loungewear, summer-to-fall transition pieces, dresses, skirts, shoes, accessories, makeup/cosmetics, and skincare. (whew!)
How do I participate?
Influencers have been provided with these helpful photos that explain the steps to participate. It’s super easy! Just download the LikeToKnow.it app, create an account, and shop through the app on July 19th. Posts with participating LTK Day items will be marked with a special red “LTK Day” banner on the upper right side to indicate they are part of the sale. Click on a participating LTK Day post and scroll to the bottom to find the products you can purchase. Click on the item and click “Shop Now” to be taken to the item to make your purchase!
Shop The LTK Day Sale
I searched through over 100 pages to find you the best pieces from the sale. I’m sharing my favorites here below by category so you can easily find what you’re looking for, or get inspired. Each photo is linked to the post with those items, so you can click on the photos to be redirected to my LikeToKnow.it profile to shop. ENJOY YOUR SHOPPING!
I hope this guide was helpful and informative! Be sure to check my LikeToKnow.it profile throughout the day to see new posts! I will be posting finds throughout the day on the 19th.
You’ve probably seen them all over Instagram during the COVID-19 pandemic. Grid photo collages with multiple different people holding up signs to write a message. But you were never invited to be part of one. Or you simply liked the idea and wanted to create on all by yourself. Well you’re in luck because I’ve created this easy-to-understand guide on how to create a text grid photo collage. Be prepared to dedicate a whole day to this. It may take awhile, but the result is so worth it!
This video below gives basic instructions on how to create your collage with photos and videos for visual support. If you’d like more in-depth instructions, read below.
Here is an in-depth guide with added details, tips, and guidance.
Decide what your phrase is going to be divide it into individual words/squares.
It’s okay to have more than one word in a box if it makes the most sense that way. For example, I did my grid as a thank you to workers during COVID-19 and one of my boxes was “USPS/FedEx/UPS” because it made the most sense to group them together. You can also extend your phrase over multiple boxes or rows. You don’t have to have a complete thought in every row.
Use Microsoft Word or Google Docs to type the word(s) for each square on separate pages.
Use landscape orientation and increase the top margin to help center the text (drag the top margin bar down so the text sits lower on the page). Select a bold or thick font so it can be easily read. I recommend using a font size between 180-210 depending on the font. I used Microsoft Word with the font Imprint MT Shadow ranging between 150-210 font size, depending on the phrase.
You will likely have to do some minor formatting such as condensing font and changing font size to fit the page. For some pages I had to condense the character spacing in the font to make it fit on one line.
Once your phrase is made, print the pages.