Monday, February 28, 2011

Destination Inspiration: Anguilla

Oh, Cap Jaluca, how you stole our hearts! Anguilla literally had the most gorgeous beaches we have EVER seen (and we've seen a few)....the water feels like bath water, and you can see your toes when you are walking around in the water! You can see the little fishies swimming by, and it is the BEST part of Anguilla!
I literally could pack up and live in the lobby, look at this place! Just simply gorgeous with a moroccan feel....

These are the on site restaurants Spice and Pimms, both amazing. But I must admit, we mostly do room service on our vacays. We always ate out and entertained a lot with our careers and so getting dressed up everynight for dinner felt like 'work' for us. So, we do private dining on our balcony A LOT. It's just our thing.
...the suites have been renovated (2009 and 2010) and are INSANE!! I mean, look at the private pool! Hello heaven....



THE FYI:
-we tend to go to the Caribbean during hurricane season because it is cheaper, so therefore, this trip was in September (prime hurricane season). The good news is we got a great rate on our room. The down side is that because it is the off season, most of the good eats in town, live music, shopping, etc. was literally closed down for the season. We are used to it, so it doesn't bother us.
-Cap Jaluca has an AMAZING library on site, and you can borrow as many books as you would like! There were literally thousands of books that people have donated from their stay, and if I would have known, I could have saved myself a TON of room in my suitcase!
-the hotel has free kayaks that you can take out for as long as you would like, great for really seeing the sting rays and all of the sea life, as the water is CRYSTAL CLEAR.
-if you call the concierge, you can have a dvd player delivered to your room, so we brought a few movies to watch (much cheaper than the 'on demand' rental at the hotel).
-I have to throw this in here for the fun of it, but this is where Brad Pitt and Jennifer Anniston broke up! They were staying here when the last shot of them together was taken...remember they were walking down the beach, he had his arm around her.....ironically, his tee shirt said TRASH...ha ha. Just a random tidbit. =)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Baby Must Have- hoppop Bato Baby Bath (6-24mo.)

So I am addicted to all things baby. Products, especially......(and my little hot mess, Kendall too!). My husband and I are big researchers and are always looking for something 'different' and 'better' out there on the market. The hoppop bathtub is one of those finds! When my daughter outgrew the 'baby' bathtub, I still wasn't quite ready to put her in the BIG tub, so began my search. Sure, we saw the inflatable duck tub from Target and ToysRUs, but I didn't like the fact that they tended to grow the tiniest bit of mold on them and that they weren't very easy to clean. Then I happened upon this tub from hoppop......WE LOVE LOVE LOVE it! We started using it when she was 5 months old and are still using it now (she is 12 mo.).




It is super easy to clean, has high enough of a surrounding so baby doesn't fall out or climb out, and its stinking adorable! It is made for ages 6-24 months and holds up to 50 lbs! The tub has a built in drain the bottom that you just unplug and it drains right into your large tub, no lifting it, no fuss, no muss (though it is SUPER light). It is also could be viewed as very 'green' in the sense that you don't have to use very much water, compared to filling up the whole tub- ok, that one might be a stretch, ha! It retails for about $50, but I am here to tell you that it is made VERY well and will hold up should you have more children in the future! I give it 5 stars.

The FYI:
hoppop Bato Baby Bath $49.99
Comes in lime green (my FAV!), pink and blue
You can purchase it here:
http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?sku=16829447&
http://www.amazon.com/Hoppop-Bato-Bath-Tub-Lime/dp/B00361B2CA

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I love a banquette!

And....a settee!





While in Mexico last week, I became INCREDIBLY inspired by this month's issue of House Beautiful. First of all, the title of the issue itself makes me giddy- The Power of Pink!! I ran across a page (pg 38) entitled 'I'm looking for a banquette.' It showed all of these really cool banquettes (of course they were a little pricey) and I thought about how I love to sit on them and that it was a really cool way to bring some color and texture to a kitchen or dining table. Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams (mgbwhome.com) have a REALLY cool banquette for ROUND tables that I love love love, but alas, it is $1710 (depending on the fabric grade)-- not in my budget! Another option is to build a banquette, depending on the layout of your breakfast nook of course. Serena from Serena and Lily (serenaandlily.com) reinvented the breakfast area in her kitchen with a built in banquette and then brought in color and texture with fun pillows!

I decided my kitchen table would look good with a banquette and thus began my search. I certainly didn't have to go far. Little did I remember, I had one right in my own house- I just wasn't using it at the table. I decided to mix my wooden and upholstered chairs to make it more interesting. Don't be afraid to mismatch your dining chairs! Here is a picture of the banquette in my kitchen- fun, huh?

THE FYI:
Banquette purchased at HomeGoods $99
Kitchen table from PotteryBarn Outlet $299
Filagree Dining chairs from PotteryBarn Outlet $99 each
Parsons chairs from HomeGoods $79 each
Drum Shade fixture from HomeGoods $39.99

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Destination Inspiration: Tulum, Mexico









So after a year long 'stay'cation here in the States, we finally were able to get back to our 'happy place' for a little much needed R&R...the little honeymoon villa #12 at Azulik in Tulum, Mexico (90 min south of Cancun). It was HEAVEN on earth!
NO ELECTRICITY = no distractions!! Arsenio brings your meals to you (and pitchers of margaritas) while you bask in the sun on your private deck overlooking the ocean. When the sun sets, your palapa is filled with candlelight and the sound of the ocean, as you fall asleep with the hug doors to the ocean open to the sea air and cool breeze. Watch the sunrise with a morning hot soak in the HUGE tree stump carved into a soaking tub on the deck! The little town is quite charming, boutiques, scuba diving adventures, etc.


The FYI:
-In my frequent travels, I have found that Dec, Jan, and Feb are the best months in Mexico: 70 ish during the day, 60 ish during the night (this obviously varies some)
-Honeymoon Villa only: High Season Rates $355/night, Holiday Season $395/night, Low Season $290/night
-High and Holiday Seasons are best since the hotel is open air concept
-www.azulik.com

Hotel tips:
-Book a massage on your private deck
-Order hot tea and breakfast to be delivered every morning at 7AM right as the sun is rising
-Bring a quilt, flashlight, booklight, and a cute 'mini' coleman lantern (batteries)
-Have your driver stop at Walmart in Cancun and pick up sunscreen and beach chairs (no getting up early to reserve if you have your own)
-Tip Arsenio (your server) and your housekeeper well and you will have the best service in town
-Ignore the naked people at Copal Resort next door if you head over for lunch- that's right people, this resort and the resort next door are clothing optional (although you can't see any of it from cabana #12, the private beach in view of this cabana is bathing suit required so it works out perfectly)
-Look for the 4th night free deal (it happens quite frequently)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dining Room Find!


I am a finder by nature. I know good stuff. Many things inspire me, fashion, design, travel.... and i wanna share! I thought I would start off with a fav finds from 2010- a blur of a year for me, but the best year of my life, as my baby girl Kendall arrived!

One day while living in Atlanta, I stumbled upon this random shade at a local boutique near my home in Virginia Highlands- Armour & Co. In the clearance bin I found what is now my dining room fixture- for $20! I hired an electrician here in Nashville and presto! Never underestimate a clearanced item you can repurpose!

THE FYI:
-crossback chairs ($16 each) and farm table ($995) from Southeastern Salvage
-parsons chairs ($50 each) from P.D's here in Nashville (been a fav spot for 10 years now!)
-Ethiopian Cross is from my travels to Kenya


INTERIOR PAINT COLORS

The living room, halls, kitchen and bonus room are painted Bark Mulch

The dining room is painted Wild Country

The master bedroom is painted Comfort Gray

The nursery, closets, bathrooms, gym and upstairs bedrooms are painted China Doll

The office is painted Pink Harmony