Miami Florida | A First Timer's Perspective

One of my favorite things about travel is getting to experience different cultures. And last weekend when my husband and I visited Miami, Florida for the first time, we had the privilege of experiencing a new culture. We had previously been to Orlando on many different vacations, but we never headed a few hours south of there to Miami. I wanted to write this post because in many ways Miami was very different from what I had pictured. Since we had been to Orlando, I pictured Miami being extremely similar (with the exception of Disney World of course), the only thing I thought would differ was that I thought it would just be a bit more beachy. I also want to preface this by saying, I am a Colorado girl, born and raised here in Colorado, so my perspective on Miami is slightly different for the fact that Denver and Miami and very different. Not one is better than the other, simply different.

First off, I was right about my assumption that Miami would be "beachy". The beaches in Miami, well at least the one we went to in South Beach, was absolutely stunning! The water in Miami is bright blue and extremely clear. When you get into the water it feels like a warm bath tub, it felt amazing (this was in July). The sand is smooth and the sun is so hot. The water reminded me of Mexico, since it was so warm and the color was so vivid. On these beaches, get ready to see some skin... lots and lots of skin lol. Miami loves it's "cheeky" bikinis. There were thong bikinis everywhere we looked in South Beach. So, needless to say, I'm not sure if Miami is the very best option for a family vacation with kiddos. I didn't mind it, but I sure wouldn't want my kids to see all of it. Actually, the beach we went to happened to be a topless beach. Or at least there were a few tops off, so I just assumed it was called a topless beach. Let's just say Miami is filled with people who are young, wild and free. 

While being in Miami, my husband and I kept saying "I feel like I am in a different country" or "This does not feel like America". Miami has a huge cultural influence from Cuba. Cuba is only about an hour long flight away from Miami and many people from Cuba or parts of Central America move to Miami. The food in Miami is heavily influenced by Cuban food, and let me just say it is delicious. We tried Cuban bread and ate a lot of plantains, and yes of course we tried Cuban coffee while we were there. It was all delicious. Just about everywhere you go in Miami serves a Cuban sandwich, even the Subway restaurants in Miami serve a Cuban. It was such a treat to experience Cuban food and coffee for the very first time. That is one of my all time favorite parts of travel, I enjoy trying new foods and discovering what people from different parts of the world eat. It gets me out of my "food bubble". 

Another thing we noticed while in Miami was the language difference. Spanish seemed to be the main language there, which was another reason it felt like a different country to us. A friend of ours who lives in Miami told us that if you don't speak Spanish and are trying to get a job in Miami, you basically have no shot at getting hired. I can understand why, it seemed like more people spoke Spanish than English there. Just about every Uber driver we had spoke only Spanish and most of the people working at our hotel (Hilton) spoke only Spanish. 

Overall I loved Miami a lot. It is absolutely stunning and is such a great place for a beach getaway. Next time I go back I want to experience a bit more of the culture, I want to try more of the top local restaurants, and I would like to spend more time soaking up the sun. This isn't somewhere I will ever bring my kids, since it has a party vibe, but it'd be a great spot for a husband/wife vacation. The best part in my opinion is that you get to immerse yourself into a new and exciting culture without having to leave the U.S. (if of course you live here). Can't wait to go back!




European Vacation Outfit Inspiration | Featuring PinkBlush & Mizzen+Main

european vacation

If you've read my blog for a while or have followed me on social media, then you already know I am totally addicted and obsessed with travel. I absolutely love the feeling of discovering a new city, state, country... seeing, tasting and trying things for the first time is so thrilling to me. This summer my husband and I are embarking on a huge adventure, and spending a month in Europe! I am beyond excited for this trip. We will get to explore Amsterdam for the very first time, and we will be going back to Italy to visit Rome, Tropea and Sicily for the second time but also experiencing a few more Italian destinations for the first time! To hear more about that trip click HERE.  Or follow me on Instagram for a ton of fabulous photos from the trip.

I know for a lot of people, especially my generation,  pride themselves of not only packing like a "backpacker" but looking like one too. What I mean is I know a lot of people think it's not possible or maybe not practical to look nice on a trip like this one. Here's the thing... Yes, I love to travel. But I also value cute outfits, great style and feeling fabulous in what I wear. When I travel, especially on trips like this, I love finding a balance between style and comfort. I truly believe both men and women can achieve style and comfort at the same time while traveling. Don't worry, I would never be caught dead walking the cobble stone streets of Rome in 5-inch stilettos.  

After dozens of vacations and trips, I feel confident that I know what to wear and what not to wear on a trip. In this post I am going to bring you some outfit inspiration for a European vacation during the summer months! In Europe you will find many different climates, so of course it will depend on where exactly you are traveling to. On our trip we will be in Amsterdam and Italy. Amsterdam and southern Italy are two very different climates; Amsterdam is cooler and southern Italy is far more hot and humid. It's important to pack clothes that can be worn in many different temperatures. I'll need to pack a sweater or jacket for Amsterdam ( just in case). 

Let's start with women. My all time favorite thing to pack for a trip that is during the summer months... DRESSES! I love that most dresses are so versatile. You can dress them up, dress them down. They are comfortable yet classy. Depending on the dress of course. The dress pictured below is the perfect example of a dress I would (and will for this trip) bring to Europe. This navy and white hi-lo dress from PinkBlush is my favorite dress in my closet at the moment, which is saying a lot because I own quite a few dresses that I love. The soft material allows you to be super comfy all day. I could see me wearing this both day and night. You can wear it with simple sandals for sight seeing and exploring during the day, and then dress it up with wedges for a nice dinner at night. Another great thing about packing dresses like this one is that they do not take up much room in your bag. Read more on my packing tips here. In the photos below I've paired the dress with a big straw hat that I bought at a darling store in Tropea, Italy. Crossbody bags like this one pictured are great for travel. I personally love finding a bag that will match many outfits so that I don't need to pack more than one bag. Packing versatile accessories that can match many outfits is key to saving space while packing for a trip of this length.  If you are looking for new dresses for the summer or for a special trip, check out PinkBlush, they have an amazing selection and I love their prices! I am definitely going to be a repeat customer for them. 

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Like I said before, my husband and I have a huge Europe trip planned for August. Most of our trip will be spent in Italy. Italy in August is extremely hot and humid. Last time we went was for our honeymoon and we suddenly realized what real heat is, not the "Colorado heat" we were used to. Nick has been bugging me the last few months about these dress shirts he had heard of that are basically sweat proof. He said he wanted them for our trip so that he can still look professional but stay cool at the same time, overheating is not on our to-do list while there. Another reason he wanted these shirts was because they are wrinkle free. When you pack a dress shirt for a trip, usually you get to your destination with a shirt that you need to iron for thirty minutes, and that can be frustrating - taking time away from what you could be experiencing out in your destination. The brand he was bugging me about was Mizzen + Main, so of course when I had the opportunity to collaborate with them I got SO excited!! This to me is the best men's brand on the market today. Genuinely! Being a wife that does the laundry, dry cleaning, ironing, etc., I have to say this shirt is a dream. Most of his other dress shirts I have to dry clean, which takes time and money. This shirt they sent us I have already washed a few times and when I hang dry it it is so wrinkle free, and it keeps its form. That makes my life so simple!! Plus, Nick (my husband) loves these shirts, he probably won't be buying any other shirt brand in the near future and for our trip he is going to exclusively be wearing Mizzen + Main shirts. The reasons why (in his words) - "With these shirts you don't have to iron them, they stay wrinkle free, and they stay cool no matter hot it is. I had heard about the shirts and always wanted to try one, and they don't disappoint when it comes to comfort and convenience." Also at home  when he is doing meetings all day he can sit outside and still feel comfortable in the sun. We are so excited to purchase a few more of these dress shirts for our trip to Europe, and honestly for every trip we have. They make traveling and looking classy and professional so simple. 

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I hope this post helped give you some inspiration on what to pack for your next summer trip or adventure. I sure do love travel, and when you have the right apparel it just makes your experience that much more enjoyable. Thanks for reading!