What to Pack for an All-Inclusive Beach Vacation

What to pack for a beach vacation

After months of research and planning your dream beach vacation, it’s time to pack.  Packing can be stressful for some if it’s your first time going on an all- inclusive vacation, and since baggage fees can be outrageously expensive, I’m going to share What to Pack for an All-Inclusive Beach Vacation.

What are my credentials you may ask? I just got back from my dream vacation from Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. And friends… I may or may not have over packed just a bit, so I have some tips on what to take with you and what you can leave at home!

Sunscreen

You’re going to the beach, in a tropical location, close to the Equator… yes, you’re going to burn!! Trust me, even if your brown like me… You WILL burn. I suggest if you’re a spray sunscreen person taking 3 of the biggest bottles you can find (For 2 people, families take 6) You will need to reapply every 2 hours because the sun is so concentrated.

Note:  Sunscreen is expensive at the resort. I’m talking anywhere between $25 – $40 for a small bottle. Don’t let them take advantage of your misfortune… take a lot of sunscreen!

Swimsuits

Guys, you’ll be good with 1-2.

Ladies, I’d say no less than 2, but I suggest 3 for a 5 day stay, 4 for a 7-10 stay.  Remember, it’s HOT so you are going to sweat like no-one’s business. Also, it’s nice to always have a dry suit on hand for times when you’re going in-between activities and the pool/beach.

Cover up’s

Honestly, I lived in my cover up’s on vacation. We didn’t do many activities other than hanging out by the beach/pool and eating! I took 3 cover up’s and that was perfect! It’s was so easy to just throw one on a head to the buffet for lunch!

Note: take some that look like a dress, some resorts, restaurants have a dress code. 

Hat

Remember the sun in intense, y’all. Do yourself and your face a favor and take a hat. I took a fedora style hat and it was perfect to shield my face, eyes, and ears from the sun.

Sunglasses

I’m a little obsessive about my eye and the sun because my eyes are very light-sensitive. I took 3 pair of sunglasses. I wanted to be sure I would have backups for when I lost a pair. Note: try to take them off intermittently so you don’t end up with a sunglasses tan line… this may or may not have happened to me. 🙂 Thanks you, Jesus, for concealer!

Tumbler

I thought my husband was nuts when he came home with two giant non-breakable cups with a lid from Target, but I have to say, it was quite genius! The resorts provide the smallest cups, so you either have to drink up buttercup [to have a cold drink]  and spend all your time getting refills, or buy a tumbler and solve all of your problems. It will keep your drink cold and you won’t have to get drinks every 5 minutes!

Shoes

With many great dinner restaurants, nightly entertainment, and nightclubs, chances are you’re going to need some fancy footwear. I would suggest taking 2 pair of heels; nude and black and keep your shoes in mind when picking your ” nighttime clothing.”

During the day I wore flip-flops like these. They were light, easy to slip on, and compact, but sturdy enough to walk far distances.

Note: I would also take a pair of sneaker if you plan to workout or go on any adventurous excursions.

Guys: Flip flops, sneakers, boat shoes and a pair of dress shoes if you want to be fancy!

Dress Clothes

Nightlife at an all- inclusive resort is where it’s at.  The resort almost comes alive and you see soooo many people, they have entertainment, happy hour and so much more.  Some restaurants have a dress code that applies to men. I know, rude! So take these tips into consideration when packing for a man.

Guys take 1-2 pair of long pants like slacks or khaki’s,  pair of “fashion” denim jeans, 2 dress shirts and a few polos.

Ladies, pack a dress for every night will be perfect! I wore shorter, skater style dresses because it’s still warm at night. I picked mine up at Forever21 and Charlotte Russe.

Miscellaneous

Most likely you’ll be going out of the country for you All- inclusive beach vacation. Many things will be different than what you’re probably used to. So I would recommend taking a few different stomach medications like Pepto Bismol pills, Imodium AD, Tums, and a pain reliever.

Also, grab a small bottle of bug spray just in case you’re prone to bug bites, like me. Remember, you’re going to another country so you want to protect yourself against any illnesses due to bug bites.

Note: ask your resort representative if they spray for bugs. Our resort did!

 

There you are! I hope you learned something and feel a little more at ease about What to Pack for an All-Inclusive Beach Vacation. Now it’s time to get packed & pumped about your dream vacay!!

Bon Voyage!!!

DIY Pumpkin Spice Coffee

 

 

 

“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Pure Via®, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #PureViaSweet http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Diy pumpkin Spice Latte

If there is one thing I must have everyday… It’s coffee.  I’m a huge coffee drinker and I can’t start my day without it,  I’m just not productive until I’ve had my first cup. I know I’m not alone in this, so Today I’m going to share my DIY Pumpkin Spice Coffee!

I like treating myself to a fancy coffee shop coffee every once in a while, but most of the time I like to make them at home.  One reason, I like to make it at home is because I can control the ingredients.  I believe that you can get the same taste without the insane amounts of sugar. Recently, I’ve been using the Pure Via Stevia in my morning coffee and I love it! I can’t find the difference in taste, but I know I’m not getting all the calories. Win!

Last week I  headed to my local Walmart to pick up the Pure Via 40 count Packets, along with a few other ingredients to create this yummy coffee.   For someone who is conscious of their sugar intake, these packets make it easy to use at home as well as on the go! I love throwing a few in my purse for when I’m out and a natural sugar alternative isn’t available.

In order to make this DIY Pumpkin Spice Coffee, you’re going to first start with a simple and easy Pumpkin Spice Simple Syrup.  Traditionally, you would make this with sugar. However, since I’m a fan of stevia, I’m using Pure Via. It’s a natural alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners, not only is it natural, but it tastes delicious, too!

 

DIY Pumpkin Spice Simple Syrup

DIY Pumpkin Spice Coffee
Author: 
Recipe type: Simple Pumpkin Syrup
Cuisine: Drinks
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tsp. Pure Pumpkin Puree
  • ¼ cup of water
  • 6 Pure Via Packets
  • A Dash of Pumpkin Spice
  • A Dash of Cinnamon
  • Fat Free Whipped Topping
Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan, bring ¼ cup of water up to a slight ripple. Add 2 tsp. Pure Pumpkin Puree, 6 packets of Pure Via, add Pumpkin Spice and Cinnamon. Reduce to low, and let the mixture cook until the syrup becomes thick.
  2. Turn heat off and add the mixture to your freshly brewed cup of coffee!

 

 

pure via
Pumpkin Spice Simple Syrup

Skinny pumpkin spice syrup2

After your DIY Pumpkin Spice Simple Syrup is done, start by brewing a fresh cup of coffee, pour  your simple syrup into your coffee. At this point you can add a splash of milk, creamer, or whatever you prefer. I skipped the creamer all together. I added low-fat whipped topping to the top of my coffee, added a some pumpkin pie spice to the top for some added flavor… And just to be fancy!!!

This DIY Pumpkin Spice Coffee is so delicious. The pumpkin syrup adds just the right amount of pumpkin flavor without being too overpowering, and the whipped topping add that touch of cream to your drink. This recipe is so simple and guilt free.

DIY Pumpkin Spice Skinny Latte

If you haven’t already tried the Pure Via 40ct Packets, I would highly recommend you give them a try. Pure Via is a great natural, non-gmo, zero calorie alternative to sugar. If you would like to check it out for yourself, you can print off a . 55 coupon (while supplies last) and give them a try.

Oh, and what’s better than a natural sugar alternative? Oh, I would say FREE music might be better. You can also take advantage of a FREE song download and a cookbook from Jewel.

Also check Pure Via out on Facebook and Twitter

I also love to make an Iced Coffee version, too! After your coffee cools, pour your coffee over ice,  add the Simple Pumpkin Syrup, add your creamer of choice and follow up with the whipped topping and pumpkin pie spice!

Iced Pumpkin Spice Coffee

Best Vanilla Buttercream Icing Recipe

Easy Buttercream Icing Recipe

 

Best Vanilla Buttercream Icing Recipe

A few weeks ago, I shared the DIY Rosette cake I made for my daughter for her birthday. Since then that post has gotten so many pins and I’ve gotten so many questions about the icing. So, Today I’m going to share the Best Vanilla Buttercream Icing Recipe.

For me, Icing is a big deal. I don’t have it often so when I do – I want it to be buttercream. I don’t whip cream icing at all! Store bought cakes and icing are ok, but there is just something about making your own and putting some homemade love into it.

Am I right?

This recipe is super easy and you only need a few ingredients! Let me just warn you people are going to only want you to make cakes from now on because of this icing. Yes, it’s that good. This recipe will make enough icing to ice one 9 inch round cake with rosette-like what I made. Ps if you prefer Chocolate Buttercream Icing I’ve got an AMAZING recipe for that, too!

Let’s go over the ingredients.


Buttercream Icing Ingredients

1 2 lb. Bag of confectioners sugar (4 cups in total)

2 sticks of unsalted butter  (* No, margarine will not work. It will be a hot mess)

4 TBSP. Heavy Whipping Cream

1 tsp. Vanilla

To get started you’re going to set you butter out and let it come to room temperature. Next, you’re going to  start out by creaming your softened unsalted butter and vanilla.  You are going to start by adding a 1/2 cup of confectioner sugar in at a time (if you add more the sugar will make a HUGE mess). Cream this together until that butter and sugar is mixed and smooth. Once it’s smooth, add 1 TBSP of heavy whipping cream and another half cup of sugar.

Easy Buttercream Icing

The Best Easy Buttercream Icing

At this point you should have 2 sticks of butter, 1 cup of confectioners sugar and 1 TBSP of Heavy whipping cream. You will continue to add the ingredients as stated above until all ingredients are combined.  If you feel like your icing is too thick, add heavy whipping cream 1 TBSP at a time. If you feel like it’s thin, add confectioners sugar a 1/2 cup at a time.

Buttercream Icing using real butter

This is the consistency of the icing. It’s perfect for any cake decorating projects. Make sure you refrigerate the cake after or any leftovers.

Simple Buttercream Icing

 

This icing is the perfect basic, simple Vanilla Buttercream Icing. This recipe can be easily altered by removing the vanilla extract and adding your favorite flavor. Don’t say I didn’t warn you when you become in charge of all the family cakes!

Leave a comment below telling me what icing recipe you would like to see next!

 

 

5 Chores for a 8-9 year old

Chores for 8-9 year olds

I believe doing chore is essential to your child’s growth. It teaches responsibility and work ethic at a young age. As a child, I had chores. I believe,  It instilled some of the values I have today as an adult. Now that I’m a mom, I have passed these teachings down to my children. My girls each have a list of chores they do on a weekly basis. I thought I would share a list of 5 Chores for a 8-9 year old with you today.

Breanna is my oldest. She just turned 9 and it’s time to really start teaching her about work ethic. So we gave a list of simple chores that she is responsible for. We expect her to keep track of what has and hasn’t done for the week. And she is expected to do these chores without being told.

5 Chores for a 8-9 year old

Empty and Fill the dishwasher (Daily: anything sharp is left for adults)

Empty Bathroom Trash  (once a week or as needed)

Vacuum the Kitchen floor (weekly or as needed)

Vacuum the Bathroom Floor (weekly)

Put away hanging and folded laundry (daily)

I know to some this could seem like it a lot, but these things take her less than 30 minutes to do. So, she still has plenty of time to be a kid. And let’s be honest, it helps her mama out a lot and she loves to be helpful. She is normally really good about getting these things done, but we are working on just doing them without being told. Hey, she’s 9 I don’t expect her to remember everything.

We have a 6 year old, too. So soon I will be writing a post on 5 Chores for 6-7 year olds so stay tuned for that.

Do your kids do chores? If so, what chores do they do? Leave your answers in the comments below.

How to make a DIY Rosette Cake

How to make a Rosette Cake  tutorial

Yesterday was my oldest daughters ninth birthday. Of course, we needed a cake. Last year, Breanna decided she wanted me to make her a cake and apparently it’s become a new tradition. Rosette Cakes are a big deal on pinterest and I love the way they look.  So, I got my craft on and made a Rosette Cake for Breanna’s birthday. Naturally, I took some pictures of the process because that’s what I do. And today I’m going to show you How to make a DIY Rosette Cake.

I started off by making a two box cakes in a 9 inch pan. You can make these whatever size you want, just be sure to follow the directions on the box. After letting your cakes cool, take them out of the pan and set them on a cooling rack to let them cool completely.

Camo Cake

After letting them cool.  You will want to give your cake a crumb coat to fill in the cracks and to lightly ice the top to insure you won’t see the cracks through the rosettes.

How to ice a cake

How to dirty ice a cake

Next, you are going to start icing your cake. You will need a piping bag and a Walton 2D tip.  Starting at the bottom of your cake, squeeze a dot of icing to create the center. Then  in a counter-clockwise motion around the center of the rosette. Do this same motion around the entire cake to create a beautiful simple rosette cake.

I topped my cake with fresh flowers, but you can continue this process until you reach the top of your cake.

How to ice a pink rosette cake

 

 

Rosette Cake

 

I hope you enjoyed this post. I have created a pinnable image to save the post for later.

 

 

Rosette Cake