Friday, April 27, 2012

my faves


while mike and i are away enjoying our jamaican vacation...i'll give you a little view into what our first experience was like at the holiday inn sunspree resort.


here are a few of my favorite pictures from jamaica:






i can't wait to share our second trip with you!  stay tuned!
 
=) andrea

Thursday, April 26, 2012

flowers!


while mike and i are away enjoying our jamaican vacation...i'll give you a little view into what our first experience was like at the holiday inn sunspree resort.


the flowers are so beautiful and vibrant!






=) andrea

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

holiday inn sunspree resort


while mike and i are away enjoying our jamaican vacation...i'll give you a little view into what our first experience was like at the holiday inn sunspree resort.


so the resort we go to is terrific.  i cannot say enough about it.  but, i can say that there are some very picky people out there.  if you go to trip advisor and look up the holiday inn sunspree resort in montego bay, beware that the reviews make it sound like you're going to the bates motel!  (trust me, it's nothing like that!)

is it a five star resort?  nope.  but it is all-inclusive, it has two lovely pools (one for adults only), several restaurants with yummy food, the beach is pretty nice, the snorkeling is fun, and it suits mike and i perfectly.  it's relaxing and the staff members are always kind.  our room has a bed, a bathroom, a safe, and a tv...all stuff that helps us feel more at home.


so, if you're looking for a budget-friendly, all-inclusive vacation, this is a great place...and it's terrific for families because there are a lot of activities for kids supervised by great staff members with a lot of enthusiasm for keeping them entertained.


here's a look at the resort.  you can find more on the website here.






















doesn't it look terrific?!  


=) andrea

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

snorkeling!


while mike and i are away enjoying our jamaican vacation...i'll give you a little view into what our first experience was like at the holiday inn sunspree resort.


one of our favorite things to do was snorkeling, which i'm sure we'll do again!


a really nice lady that was at the resort actually gave us her disposable underwater camera that she had brought with her.  she was leaving the next day and hadn't used it and wanted us to have it.  so sweet, right?!  we didn't get the best pictures ever, but it was awesome to have!








 =) andrea

Monday, April 23, 2012

sunday yumday!


while mike and i are away enjoying our jamaican vacation...i'll give you a little view into what our first experience was like at the holiday inn sunspree resort.


one of the things i loved eating in jamaica was ackee with festival dumplings.  it was served as an appetizer at the restaurants and it was delicious.

ackee is the national fruit of jamaica; it's related to the soapberry family and is a fruit-bearing tree.  the ackee fruit, however, isn't really fruit-like.  the texture reminds me of the consistency of avocado, and after it is cooked, ackee can be mashed up and served in a similar way as guacamole as a dip, or it's also served with saltfish, which i have never had, but look forward to trying.

check out a few ackee dishes i found on the friendly interweb:  (yes, it does look a like scrambled eggs!)  my favorite way to eat ackee is with festival (fest-i-vaal), which are like fried dumplings.


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i know it looks a little strange, but trust me, it's yummy!

in the usa, you can only get canned prepared ackee because unripe ackee can be poisonous.  the fda first approved importing ackee in 2005.  read more about it here.

have you tried any local items while traveling?  i love trying new things and i'm so glad i tried ackee...and this will come as no surprise to you, mike didn't like it!

maybe i'll try ackee and saltfish this time!


=) andrea

Saturday, April 21, 2012

welcome to jamaica mon



while mike and i are away enjoying our jamaican vacation...i'll give you a little view into what our first experience was like at the holiday inn sunspree resort.


when mike and i arrived in jamaica for the first time two years ago, we were out-of-our-minds excited.  we walked out of the airport and immediately felt a sense of calm...we were in paradise.

we arrived at our resort and were greeted by rum punches.  our room wasn't ready right away, so we wandered around to get acclimated to our home for the next week...



we felt right at home!

=) andrea

Friday, April 20, 2012

friday philosophy


sometimes i come across a quote that bears some kind of significance and i want to share it with you dear readers.  sometimes it's based on where i am in life or a certain event, sometimes a quote just reminds me of a friend, or sometimes it makes me think.  it's called 'friday philosophy' and i'm gonna keep it up weekly. (or try to!)


today's friday philosophy is officially brought to you by the sweet sound of vacation!

i'm very much looking forward to the quality time mike and i will have with each other for the next week...relaxing, exploring, and just enjoying each others' company without the stresses of every day life.  (my dear bff will be taking care of our fur babies, who are beside themselves knowing we're going away.  the suitcases are always a scary dead giveaway for the poor kitties.)

the sun will be shining (i hope)...the weather will be sweet (fingers crossed)...and it certainly makes me want to move my dancing feet!  i'm excited for the reggae sound...the relaxing atmosphere...the beautiful ocean...the delicious cocktails...

to feel renewed and refreshed...

i'll be thinking of all you dear readers and will miss posting next week, but you'll still have a few goodies to look at.  =)

sending you irie vibes...


...don't worry...'bout a thing...'cause every little thing is gonna be alright...


=) andrea

Thursday, April 19, 2012

craft time!


michelle and i got together the other night to create a little craft for her upcoming cinco de mayo party.  (you know what makes the party even better?  it's on my birthday!!!)

so with all the inspiration in the world from pinterest, we decided we would make this:

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isn't that super cute and festive?!  drink umbrellas are quite cheap at the party store, and the only other thing you need is a styrofoam circle.  (the wreath made above used a grapevine wreath and hot glue, but styrofoam seemed easier to us.)  

because of the ease of making this cute craft, i didn't photograph the steps.  but i'll give you them here explicitly.

1.  open drink umbrellas.  (this may actually be the hardest step.  they are fragile, so be gentle.)

2.  stick the end of the umbrella into the styrofoam wreath.

3.  repeat until the wreath is full.  (it may take some creativity in placement and how open they are.)


pretty cute and easy, right?!

and totally festive for a birthday cinco de mayo party!

instagram makes it even more pretty...



do you have plans for cinco de mayo?  i'll be celebrating in style...with a drink umbrella, of course!

=) andrea

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

girls cruise: day three




when i first started thinking about this cruise and blogging about it, i thought i’d get it all in one post…well, it’s taken me awhile to write/type my thoughts and go through my pictures to come up with a story appropriate for the interwebs.  (appropriate?  what do you mean?  were there moments of our time away that weren’t interweb appropriate?!?!  i’ll never tell.  haha.)  so, i’ve decided to do it in three parts, one for each day we were on the boat!
 

day three:  (see day one here and day two here)

the next day, or same day, whatever….that day, sunday, were at sea all day.  we spent the day poolside and started the day off right.


we spent all day poolside on the lido deck.  the sun was shining and we just relaxed and chit-chatted all day.





after showering and getting ready for dinner we went to jordan and ed’s room down the hall to have a drink before our meal.  they had a room with a balcony that was totally awesome.  our room was tiny and had barely enough room for the three of us to function.  the guys’ room was like a regular hotel room!  they had a jet tub in the bathroom, a walk-in closet, and plenty of room to walk around and get ready without being on top of each other.  plus, the balcony!  such a nice quiet place to enjoy without everyone else on the boat.  while hanging with jordan and ed, we met their other roommate friend, sam (like girl sam) and enjoyed a couple cocktails before heading out to the pride dining room.

we brought the bottle of cupcake chardonnay that i had brought on board with me to enjoy during dinner. 


michelle was the bravest and got crab cakes and sushi.  i got a salad and for dinner i had steak that, once again, was cooked perfectly!  after dinner we, again, ordered cappuccinos, but no dessert.  (don’t ask me what we were thinking.  we must have been really full and just not feeling it.  ordinarily, i’d at least try something.  next time – i’ll get dessert.  even if i only have a bite!)

that evening we spent a few minutes in the casino.  i blew $40 in a slot machine, but i had a blast while doing it!  a couple times i was up, but you know, you always just keep going til it’s gone…unless you win big.  which i didn’t.

we met up with sam, jordan, and ed and once again, spent the evening at illusions night club. 


we had some cocktails and danced the night away.  we once again made it quite a late night and didn’t crawl into bed until 3:30am!  but this towel monkey from jana was waiting for us in our room:


the next morning was rough.  we were pretty exhausted, dehydrated, hungover, and at that point, quite ready to just get home.  we docked in miami and waited until it was our time to disembark the ship.  we went through customs quickly and got on a shuttle to the airport in fort lauderdale.  

when we made it to the airport we decided to check out a gift shop to find something for renee and michelle’s children.  renee’s daughter bella, who is almost three, had made a request:  a pink barbie.   seriously?  renee thought...but...

as luck would have it, hudson news carried quite a collection of toys in their shop…including…a barbie, decked out in pink!  and michelle got kevin a little stuffed animal and a keychain with his name that flashed on it.

their gifts were going to be a success.

our trip was a success.

and we absolutely, without a doubt, cannot wait to go again!

it was so much fun.  the pool and the beach were relaxing.  the weather was fabulous.  the food was delicious.  the experience was so much fun and the trip was actually quite budget-friendly.  we all highly recommend cruising and are looking forward to planning another one.

have you ever been on a cruise?  what was your favorite part?  least favorite part?  did you feel sea-sick?  i didn't...until i got off the boat.  then i felt like i was on a boat for several days.  but i think it was exacerbated by my dehydration and hangover!  oops.  at least i only got lost once.


if you have any questions about our experience, please just ask!

=) andrea
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