Friday, November 22, 2013



Miami With Kids

 I just love this city so much! Most parents might not think to add a city known for it's partying lifestyle and scantily dressed residents to the top of their family vacation list; but I think it's perfect! Miami screams fun with it's lively beaches, Latin flair, neon shops, Cuban cuisine, and family friendly attractions.  You may not be bar hopping every night, but believe me... kids do belong in sunny, festive Miami. =)

We decided to road trip to Miami since we don't live that far away and we hate leaving our Wrangler behind for beach trips. If you fly to Miami, renting a car is a must if you want to explore all of the different areas.

We stayed in Coral Gables at the pet friendly Hyatt and asked for a balcony room overlooking the pool. It was gorgeous and perfect in every way. The staff at the Hyatt are wonderful and put in 110% to make our stay comfortable. They provided an adorable crib with plush bedding, toddler snacks, and even dog treats and toys for Brooklyn. I highly recommend this hotel in Coral Gables. I feel that Coral Gables is more kid friendly then other areas of Miami but you will have to give up the beach front hotel and drive to see the Ocean. The Hyatt is walkable to The Miracle Mile where you can find shopping and dining options to make any mommy happy! ;)
We decided to have a date night and yes it can be done without a babysitter! We spent all day exploring Miami and had enough fun to tire our son out. When we got back to the hotel, we ordered Jax a meatball pizza from Pomodoros Pizza and he loved it!! They deliver to the hotel and I'm not going to lie, I had a little slice too and it was delicious. ;) After Jax went to bed, the hubby set up our balcony with candles and Champagne for our romantic date and picked up dinner from "The World's Most Famous Cuban Restaurant"  I had the Chicken and Yellow Rice and the hubby had the Ropa Vieja. The food was out of this world and just thinking about it right now makes my mouth water. The balcony comes in handy if you need a little time alone with your significant other and at least one meal without the kiddos around.

We visited all beach locations in Miami and our favorite beaches are 
*North Beach- If you want a quiet and clean beach with pristine water and easy, cheap parking, then this is your beach. We would come here in the late afternoons and let Jax play with his beach toys and go for walks up and down the beach.
*Miami Beach- Start your day on the boardwalk and go for a bike ride, take the scooters out, or just enjoy a family stroll enjoying the tropical paradise around you. You will not find food or shopping on this boardwalk, but there are a few bathroom stops along the way. If you are looking for food, there are tons of options in Miami Beach for all budgets and tastes. We loved La Sandwicherie located near the beach entrance... we ordered our sandwiches and salads to go and ate them on the beach under our beach tent. I highly recommend renting a Beach Tent for the kids; they can seek shelter from the hot sun, take a nap with the ocean wind cooling them off, and what is not fun about having your own little fort on the beach? We rented ours from Boucher Brothers Beach Rentals. They have decent pricing and will set everything up for you. 
*Lummus Park on South Beach- A gorgeous clean park stretching the length of Ocean Drive. South Beach can be extremely crazy, crowed, and overwhelming for a family with children. Lummus Park allows some breathing room from the crowd and is a mecca of outdoor activities. Families can roller blade, bike, play sand volleyball, shoot some hoops, or just relax with the family dog and people watch. Just be aware of horrible parking and the occasional topless sun bather. 

We spent a lot of time in Coconut Grove and I can't get enough of the sidewalk al fresco dining trend of  this charming little bayside village. The sidewalks are lively with decorated patio furniture and trees covered in lights. There are several fine dining restaurants to chose from; each having their own outdoor decor style. We dined at LULU in the Grove on these super comfy couches and shared tapas. Tapas are perfect for a light family sharing meal and for getting to try several things on the menu. It's my favorite! If you are not into tapas or want something on the budget friendly side, we  enjoyed El Taquito a few nights before. We were blown away at how yummy food can be at such a reasonable price! With authentic, made to order "magical" tacos; you will not be disappointed! Dining Al Fresco is always a must when traveling. It makes the kiddos feel that they are part of the city's energy while they people watch and engage in the lively atmosphere. If this doesn't work, it may be time to hand over the ol' iPhone to keep them entertained so you can finish those last few bites. ;-)

On our last day in Miami, we drove to an amazing palm tree nursery with miles and miles of every species of palm you could imagine. It looked like a tropical forest and I was in heaven! After hours of exploring, I picked out my favorite palms for our patio by the pool. If you wish to bring a little piece of Miami home with you, please stop by The Richard Lyons Nursery, but be careful... you might just bring a few friends back with you. 

Meet Salsa... our new outdoor roommate from Miami who hitched a ride north.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Breakfast Power Cookies

Breakfast Power Cookies~

Breakfast cookies claiming to be healthy have been flooding Pinterest this year. There are many versions and recipes out there that I have tried... some good and a few not so tasty. I really wanted to make my own batch for my son and I that tasted yummy enough for a toddler but was healthy enough for a busy mom lacking energy. These breakfast cookies are easy to make and fast to bake; both adults and children will love the taste, be full and satisfied, and will benefit from the many powerful health ingredients. Hail O Power Cookie!!!!! 
Breakfast Power Cookies

Check out more information on the wonderful benefits of the ingredients listed ...

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thanksgiving with Strut Your Stroller~

Last year Thanksgiving took on a whole new meaning of being thankful. We were living in a beach house in Long Beach, NY and Hurricane Sandy had completely destroyed the homes of our family and friends. We had been staying in a hotel three hours away in Connecticut for weeks when we finally got the ok from FEMA to move back. Everything that we owned on the first floor of the home was damaged and gone forever, but our family and friends were safe and healthy; that's all that mattered. My husband and I wanted to celebrate reasons to be thankful and decided to go all out for Thanksgiving in hopes of bringing holiday cheer to our loved ones in distress. It was a perfect holiday and I hope our cheery decor and recipes inspire you to flash that holiday spirit this year! Time to be thankful for what we have and where we are now.

Thanksgiving Table Setting

Mason Jars with twine
Straws from Shop Sweet LULU
Window Breakfast Nook with Pillows
Cappuccino Napkins from Target (last year)
Buckets filled with pumpkins and leaves from Pottery Barn

The husband decided he wanted to do the turkey this year. He deep fried it and it was amazing!! For the recipe Click here----> 


Pumpkin Pie Macaroons


Pumpkin Cheese Ball



I did send you to a recipe link that I have actually tried and it's wonderful! For this, I actually bought the Starbucks low fat Frappuccinos at Target, I washed and reused the bottles for the party. 

This was our menu for the night.
Get your own menus, place cards, and other printables

HERE ! !!!

 Because we wanted to go all out, we decided to make our favorite recipe ever!! This is seriously the best brisket you will ever eat! I make it every time I have special company over. Thank you Paula Deen!!






Friday, November 8, 2013

WANDERLUST WITH KIDS~ Escape with you can't escape


There are some days you just can't leave the house... the kids are sick, money is tight, laundry has to be done because you waited for months and now you are down to a pair of mismatched socks and a shirt that you are already recycled twice. Whatever the reason is... we have all been there. This week my toddler has a double ear infection and strep throat and let me tell you, it has not been pretty! Instead of watching tear by tear fall into my coffee cup and dreaming of being on a plane flying far, far away from home, I decided to make the best of our cabin fever situation. Jax and I went out to explore our very own home sweet home and we made what could have been a miserable week into a fun adventure. Right now we live in a high rise building in Midtown and without a yard we were left with rooftops, a parking garage, a dog walk, and lots of secret dungeons and caves in our hallways ;-)

Rainy Day Wanderlust

My toddler lead us to the pool and then he jumped in. I do not advise this with a sick kid. We live in an area that is still having pool weather and well ... my kid is more adventurous then most. There is no stopping this wild man. ;)

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