Monday, May 26, 2014

Punta Cana 2014: Vacation in Review

You may have noticed a recent blogging hiatus from me, and that is because Tyler and I went to the Dominican for a week with some friends!! :) I am back and refreshed and wanted to share a recap of our trip with you!

We went to the resort Majestic Colonial in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. The all-inclusive where we stayed was only about a 20-25 minute drive from the airport. The resort was beautiful and the beaches... oh those beaches... they were amazing!! I could have sat in a beach chair and stared at that water all day, it was so blue and so great! While we were there we also enjoyed a catamaran trip one day complete with swimming with nurse sharks and sting rays as well as snorkeling.

Pros to the trip: 

  • Like I mentioned above, the greenery, resort and beaches were awesome!
  • We got to go a lot of relaxing, sitting by the ocean, sitting by the beach, swimming, etc.--- we really enjoyed our time that we got to spend with our friends!
  • I finished a book!!
  • All of our flights were on time and event-less! Good flying!!
  • We loved our catamaran/nurse sharks and sting rays/snorkel trip! Totally worth it!!
Cons to the trip:
  • The drinks were just "alright", I definitely think they were better the times that I have traveled to Mexico
  • Along with the drinks, I would say the same about the food. I thought the food was pretty decent but my husband's stomach was upset almost the whole trip because of either the food or the drink and on the last day mine was too! :( The time we traveled to Mexico we really didn't get sick.
  • The service at the resort was not as friendly and outgoing as we have experienced on previous trips.
  • This time around we had a lot of people trying to get us to buy something or trying to "hustle" us out of our money. Every day there was constantly people walking the beach trying to sell you something and people trying to get you to buy more excursions from them.
  • The airport in Punta Cana was SUPER frustrating: no organization, chaos, and this lady was yelling over the loudspeaker the whole hour and half that we had to sit and wait for our flight. Also, when we got there the lady checking your passports was on her Facebook and talking with others. I don't even think she looked at the information on my passport! On the way out, 7 different people kept looking at it that it got to be annoying. (It did not feel extra safe that they checked it that many times, just a nuisance). 

**Just a few tips for those traveling to Punta Cana: 
  • When you arrive, you need to pay a "tourist fee" which is $10 per person (cash, so make sure you have that on hand!!)
  • If you plan on doing a lot of excursions and stuff off the resort, bring cash. Everyone wanted your cash and not a card transaction. This was different from previous times we traveled and we don't like to bring a lot of cash so we were having to use their ATM which gave us Dominican pesos!
  • Make sure you let your bank and credit card carriers know you will be traveling out of the country so that you will not be denied transactions if you need to gain access to money!
All in all, we had a great trip. It was very relaxing and we loved the time we got to spend with our close friends. We had a lot of fun with them! 

Thanks for stopping by today! 
Sorry about the hiatus, I am going to try to get back in the swing of things 
now that we are back from vacation! 

If you have any questions about traveling to the Dominican (Punta Cana) and would like to ask me, email me or leave a comment below! I would love to try to help!!

**As always, I try my hardest to respond to your comments via email! 
I love hearing from you!!!! :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Skillet Chicken Parmesan

Skillet Chicken Parmesan

What you need:
  • 4 small/medium chicken breasts
  • 1 jar of sauce of your choice: marinara, tomato w/ basil, etc.
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese 
  • 4 fresh mozzarella cheese slices (or shredded if you don't have slices)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • pasta of your choice (egg noodles, ziti, etc.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of basil and oregano
  • can of diced tomatoes-- optional, depending on your sauce!

Make it:
  • Cook pasta according to directions.
  • Heat oil in skillet and chicken. Season to  your taste (salt, pepper, oregano, basil, garlic).  Cook only until just brown on and each side and remove from pan.
  • Let pan cool for a couple minutes and then add your sauce to the pan, being careful not to splash yourself since the pan will still be kind of hot.
  • Add parmesan to pan and stir well. Then add chicken, getting the chicken nice and nestled in the sauce.
  • Simmer chicken in sauce on med/high for approx. 10-15 minutes longer making sure that the chicken is done inside.
  • Place cheese slices or shredded cheese on top of the chicken and place pan under broiler, melting and broiling cheese.
  • Serve chicken over noodles.

Check out the link ups for some great recipes!

Full Time Mama

Thanks for stopping by!
Have a nice day!!


Monday, May 12, 2014

Weekend Recap: Carrell/Sheeter Wedding

This weekend was my college roommate's wedding was this weekend and we had a BLAST!!! The weather could not have been more perfect and everything was absolutely gorgeous. I am so happy for my two friends!

Friday of course was rehearsal and Saturday the wedding. Sunday we stopped at Tyler's parents house  for Mother's Day where we hung out and then had some dinner.

The bridesmaids at the wedding wore wrap dresses... it is one dress that is able to be tied numerous ways! An example of some styles tied on myself are shown below. My plan is to have a blog posting with a tutorial on how to tie your own dress! It is such an awesome piece to have in your closet because it is like a new dress each time!

Hope you had a great weekend!!!
Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Looks Lately

Sunday Funday!! In case you are not a follower on my Instagram (I do post outfits pretty regularly on there) I decided to post them on here with outfit details. I have been slacking so there are quite a few outfits posted on here! Outfits range from casual, post-work out errand running, date night outfits and everything in between.

Tee: Target || Cardigan: Target || Jeans: Aeropostle || Sandals: American Eagle || 
Necklace: Our World Boutique

 Sweatshirt: originally Target brand but bought from Instagram shop (@myfabulouscloset1) || 
Jeans: Old Navy Rockstar Jeans || Flats: Target || Necklace: Our World Boutique

 Top: (old) || Jeans: Old Navy Rockstar Jeans || Flats: Flourish Boutique || 
Necklace: Purple Peridot || Bracelets: Old Navy

 Top: H&M || Jeans: Old Navy Rockstar (colored) jeans || Scarf: Target || Flats: Old Navy

 Sweater: Walmart || Jeans: Old Navy Rockstar Jeans || Flats: Target || Necklace: Purple Peridot

Chambray: Kohl's || Pants: Forever 21 || Flats: Charlotte Russe || Necklace: Our World Boutique

 Tee: J. Crew || Jeans: Dickies for Sears || Shoes: TJ Maxx

                                                           Top: Flourish Boutique || Jeans: Old Navy Rockstar Jeans
 || Wedges: DSW

 Top: Kohl's || Workout pants: Dick's Sporting Goods || 
Shoes: TJ Maxx || Zip up: Target

Cardigan: Target || Tank top: Meijer stores || Jeans: Old Navy Rockstar (blue, colored) pants || 
Shoes: Walmart || Necklace: Our World Boutique

Cardigan: (old) || Tank: Old Navy || Pants: Charlotte Russe || Necklace: Purple Peridot || 
Bracelet: Francesca's || Flats: Charlotte Russe

Thanks so much for stopping by! If you have any questions about any of these outfits shown here or more information on where to find something let me know!

Have a great week!!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Five on Friday: Bridesmaid Essentials

Whew, Friday you are VERY welcomed!!
It's been a run-your-tail-off kind of week and I am ready for some fun!
This weekend is my college roommate's wedding and I am super excited to celebrate!!!

In honor, I have put together a list of 5 important items to have as a bridesmaid.

1. The dress, shoes, and accessories!
           ~These babies are what it is all about: do NOT forget the dress!!!!

(image source)

2. An emergency bridal kit
          ~Containing items such as: band aids, gum, kleenex, tampons, tide to go, bobby pins, mini hairspray, tape, etc.)
(image source)

3. A clutch
          ~To keep possible said emergency items as well as your lip gloss, phone and other goodies (including your I.D!)

(image source)

4. Comfy shoes
         ~For when the ceremony and the pictures are over and you are ready to dance!!

(image source)

5. Camera
        ~Whether it be your phone or an actual camera, you might want to snap some shots of the day that are unique to your experience and perception.

(image source)

Linking up with:

The Grits Blog

Have a great weekend!!
See you back on Monday for a recap of the wedding festivities!

Thanks for stopping by, xoxo

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Tuesday Recipe Link + Healthy Snacks!!

Hump Day is right around the corner! ;)

Hi there!! I know you are stopping by because I usually provide you with some week night meal inspiration on Tuesdays and I REALLY wanted to do that this week but I do not think it was meant to be! I wanted to make some Chicken Alfredo Pizza for you but I realized today that I forgot to get Alfredo sauce when I was at the store the other day so I quickly ran out to get some only to come back and find that my pizza dough was expired. So, I threw the towel in and decided a recipe was not happening this week. If you would still like to check out the recipe I was going off you can find it here.

I still wanted to provide some inspiration for you though so I thought I would share some new snacks that I have recently tried that are a healthy alternative to the munchies!

(image source)

First, have you tried this new popcorn: Boom Chicka Pop?? A friend brought this light snack along on a road trip and I could not stop eating it!! Omg, it is AMAZING! It is low in calories and comes quite a few varieties! (Flavors: Sea Salt, a sweet & salty Kettle Corn version, a lightly sweet Kettle Corn version, White Cheddar, AND my friend just texted me that she found a Chicago style one with caramel and cheddar!!!) I have the best luck finding the most varieties at Target actually!!!

(image source)

Speaking of which: Target's grocery section has really been killing it for me! I have found some great varieties of things there and some really yummy food. I recently discovered a White Bean Hummus there and it is SO good! Now, I like hummus and usually buy the Sabra kind from Meijer and my husband doesn't really care for it. I bought this White Bean one to try out and he really liked it!! It goes great with veggies, pretzels, tortilla chips or pita chips.

(image source)

Lastly, I have been getting in to supplementing a light meal or a snack with a smoothie (especially breakfast) and have really been liking it. My favorite one that I make is a Peanut Butter Banana smoothie. Here is what I put in it:

  • 1-1 1/2 cups of ice
  • 1 banana (or you can put less ice and use a frozen banana)
  • 2-3 large spoonfuls of peanut butter
  • 1 small dash (1 tsp) of vanilla
  • 1- 1 1/2 scoops of chocolate protein powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • 2 cups of Silk Milk with Protein & Fiber
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
Blend well and Enjoy!! This usually makes 2 pretty decent size smoothies so you can put less or more in to accommodate what you need. It tastes like a dessert!! :)

Still linking up with these fabulous ladies today! 
Check out the link up for some great recipes!

Full Time Mama

(Martinis and Bikinis and Green Fashionista)

What is your favorite go-to snack?!?
Do you have healthy alternatives to your snacking?

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Weekend Recap: Happy May 2014

This weekend was full of randomness but good times spent with good friends and family!
Here is the recap!

Friday night: We went out to eat with some friends at this yummy restaurant: Blue Water Grill. It was kind of a cloudy day/night, but it sits right on the water and I am sure its a great spot in the summer time!

Saturday: Tyler was on call for his PICC line job and was pretty busy so I cleaned up around the house and have my closet-room ALMOST complete; just needs the curtains hung! (I have been working on turning one of our spare bedrooms in to a giant closet for ME!! I will post the pictures once it is all complete! :) ) Saturday night I got together with some friends from work to say "see ya next time" to one of our co-workers who is leaving to start med school!

**sneak peek of the closet:

Sunday: Grand Rapids has four museums and on Sunday they had a "Museums Free 4 All" day, where you could visit each museum for free and enjoy some fun activities. My sister-in-law and brother came up and we took my niece to the Children's museum, she loved it!!

Dateless in Dallas

Hope you had a good weekend!!!
Thanks for stopping by!