Boho Fashion on a Budget

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When I say I love vintage fashion, I mean I truly love styles that have been passed down from each decade. Each decade exudes a certain feeling, an attitude if you will. Some days I feel like wearing a very tailored dress (50’s-60’s style) with a fitted waist, hair in a bun, and accessorizing with black pumps and cat eye sunglasses to match. And some days I want to be a little more laid back with a (late 60- 70’s) Boho kind of feel. Flare jeans, a floppy hat, messy hair in a braid, and some leather jewelry to complete the look. Whatever fashion I wear, it’s going to be something that stays in my closet for quite a few seasons and something that was on sale. Case in point, this cute little one shoulder blouse was from H&M for….wait for it…$6! Yep, $6 dollars. Find it here. The hat was also a steal from Walmart online for $9 last fall. And these amazing handmade leather earrings are perfect for fall and can be found at Brinley & Co. Happy shopping!

Vintage Gal’s Guide to Savannah

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If I could describe Savannah Georgia in one word, it would be charming. Cobblestone streets shadowed by mossy oak trees, the smell of southern cookin’ at every turn, the historic character proudly displayed by the architecture and the unique finds inside are all interwoven with Southern Charm. It’s like walking back in time when life was simpler and slower paced.

My husband and I share a love for all things vintage and recently spent a weekend in this charming town for our anniversary. There’s just something in that sweet Savannah air that makes you check out of your worries, your social media accounts, and invest your attention in the one you’re with. So it makes for a perfect getaway with your special someone.

Where to Stay

Since we were going for our anniversary, we picked a place that was a little…swanky, in a good way. The Bohemian Hotel is located downtown by the River. It’s puts you within walking distance to lots of great restaurants and shops. We parked our car in the hotel and didn’t pick it up until we were headed home (when you stay downtown, there’s really no need to drive anywhere. Just pack comfy shoes). The atmosphere was what I would call Gatsby-ish. Rich colors, lots of fabrics and textures, mood lighting…swanky.

It also has one of the hottest spots in Savannah. Rocks on the Roof gives a great view of the river and is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a drink. If that’s not the ambiance you’re looking for there are lots of historic Bed and Breakfasts (on the list for our next trip), and more traditional hotels downtown. Tip: If you’re celebrating something special, be sure to let the Hotel know. We were pleasantly surprised with a card and a bottle of champagne after returning from dinner, so sweet.

Where To Eat in Savannah

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B. Matthews (Breakfast/Brunch)

So onto the good stuff, the FOOD! Please oh please do not go while on a diet. You’ll break my southern heart and miss out on some delicious food- detox when you get home. Let’s start with the most important meal of the day, breakfast. After all, a girl can’t shop on an empty stomach. B Matthews Eatery was the perfect breakfast/brunch spot. Vintage lighting, original hardwood floors, exposed brick, and just another example of how much character this charming town has. I highly recommend the Bay Street Scramble. It’s basically every good breakfast food (eggs, potatoes, bacon, veggies, and of course, a southern melt in yo’ mouth biscuit). Don’t worry, if you choose to walk around Savannah (instead of drive) you’ll walk off plenty of those carbs.

The Lady and Sons aka Paula Dean’s (Lunch)

No trip to Savannah is complete without visiting The Lady and Sons. It’s southern food at its best. The popular favorite is the serve yourself buffet where you can load (and re-load)your plate on southern staples like fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and okra, just to name a few, and don’t forget the sweet tea. If you can, try to save room for dessert (the banana pudding did not disappoint).

The Olde Pink House (Dinner)

This is a perfect “date night” restaurant. It’s set in Savannah’s only 18th century mansion. Flickering candlelight, antique paintings, and white linens all reminiscent of times past when dinner was more than just a meal, it was an experience. The almond crusted fish was A-mazing! I’m generally not a fish person, but that’s the magic in Southern cooking, even the healthy options taste deliciously unhealthy. We went in January during a cold front so we enjoyed our dinner by the fireplace with a nice glass of Merlot. The perfect anniversary dinner. The Olde Pink House will be a staple for our future trips to Savannah.

Lulus Chocolate Bar (Dessert)

No trip is complete without dessert. When asking the locals where to go for dessert, their answers were all the same Lulu’s Chocolate Bar. So we almost froze our Floridian tushies off walking there in freezing temps, but when we made it, it was delicious. They have sweets for everyone, the chocolate lover (that’s me), the crème brulee taster (the hubs) and even the gluten free guys and gals. They also have sweets with a little kick (hence the Bar part of the name). Due to its popularity you may have to wait, but it’s worth it.

Where to Shop

No trip (in my humble opinion) is complete without a little shopping. The streets of Savannah are full of all types of shopping: big name brands, local gift shops, and wonderful antique and thrift stores. Since we can visit Gap anytime, we spend the majority of our time at vintage stores.

The Paris Market

If you like unique items, you know those pieces that tell a story and are loaded with character, I  think you’ll love this gem on West Broughton Street. In one corner you may find handmade Parisian soaps and vintage candy brands you haven’t seen since you were a kid (candy cigarettes anyone?)   The next corner may be an assortment of original European drawings across from grab bags of vintage jewelry. I could go on and on. It’s basically the coolest conglomerate of vintage and unique finds from around the world, nestled sweetly in Savannah. This is also the perfect spot to rest your tired tootsies and recover with a caramel macaroon in one hand and a French press coffee in the other. And don’t forget to walk downstairs for inspiring displays of antique furniture, lighting and more. The Paris Market is really a one of a kind and I can hardly wait to go back!

Civvies 

Located on East Broughton Street is the hippest vintage fashion store I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting. I wandered there by mistake on my first trip to Savannah years ago and I’m so glad I did. Civvies has a plethora of vintage clothes. From the 20’s and beyond their racks are full of fashions from flappers to flower childs, they cover it all. Kudos for my husband who endearingly stood around while I spent quite some time trying on one decade after another. I was a bit giddy to have found such a cool place. I ended up buying this black little number that I cant wait to wear. I’m thinking it will be perfect for a Mad Men themed party or even just a retro date night look. Just below Civvies is also a great thrift store with unique pieces and reasonable prices, definitely worth a look.

So there you have it, my favorite stops in Savannah. I hope you get to visit one day and fall in love with her sweet, southern charm. ~Amy

Tragedy, Tents, And Superheroes

It happened again. It starts out a normal day, I’m awoken by sweet little voices (one crying for his milk, the other asking for oatmeal). I grab my much needed coffee and turn on CNN. The “breaking news” headline hits like a ton of bricks. I almost have to remind myself how to breathe. Another shooting, another terrorist attack, another horrible loss of life.

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As a mom, not only do I need to process this tragedy, I also need to set an emotional foundation to help my child process these types of horrific events in the future. My four year old little guy lives in a world filled with super heroes, and one day I must find a way to tell him about the reality of villains….Finish the rest of the story at St Augustine Moms blog by clicking here.

DIY Gel Nails Manicure

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In case you haven’t heard, gel nails are the new go to for manicures that have the strength of Xena the Warrior Princess (anybody?). The problem is finding a polish that wont harm your nails and fill the room with toxic fumes. Hello Deborah Lippmann Gel Polish . With ingredients like Biotin, Green Tea, and Evening Primrose, this formula gives nails strength and durability without adding the 7 toxic chemicals found in most gel formulas. So if you’re looking for a great polish to give yourself a DIY manicure at home, check them out. My peaches and cream nails are still peachy after two weeks! ~

Natural Lip Scrub: Bambu Earth

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So I’m the girl who is never more than two steps away from a tube of chapstick. I apply and reapply religiously and go through more bottles than I care to count. So when Bambu Earth asked me to try one of their all natural lip scrubs, I was happy to do so. Oddly enough, when it arrived my lips were worse than usual. We’re talking dry, cracked, not so pretty lips. A tiny dab of their lemon lavender sugar scrub and about 30 seconds of gentle exfoliation and my lips were like new. I couldn’t have been happier with the results. I especially loved how moisturized they were after I rinsed the scrib off. I haven’t had to use chapstick in two days! Seriously, if you suffer from dry, chapped lips, try taking off the dead skin instead of just layering chapstick on it. And if you want to know more about this scrub, click here.

A few benefits of exfoliating your lips:

*Reveals younger looking skin

*Helps skin retain moisture longer

*Helps remove spots and discoloration

*Helps lipstick stay on longer

Here’s to soft, younger looking lips-xo Amy

 

 

 

Escape To Banff Springs Canada

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Where We Stayed: Fairmont Banff

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It’s no surprise that I have a love for vintage. So when I first saw the peak of this 125 year old “Castle in the Rockies”, I fell in love. Nestled between picturesque mountains and pines sits a castle that’s the closest thing to Hogwarts that I’ve ever seen (please excuse the Harry Potter reference) I think I could’ve seen Harry himself and not have been surprised. I digress…

The inside of the castle stays true to the outward history. Vintage style lighting, antique artwork, original penny tiles in bathrooms, and stained glass windows all reminiscent of a time past. The dining spaces and ballrooms were majestic and could have doubled for a Downton Abbey set. Whether I was having coffee in the morning, or enjoying dinner and dancing in the ballroom, I constantly got lost in scenery surrounding me. It truly is a place that pictures alone don’t do justice. Click here to explore more of the Castle.

What We Did: Walk, Hike, Ski, Dogsled, & Afternoon Tea 

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Before we set out on our adventure in the Rockies we knew we wanted to be outside as much as possible (assuming this Fl. gal didn’t turn into ice). Our first day we walked around the premises and into town. A short walk that’s easily doable in sensible shoes (I found that out the hard way. Darn those pretty, pointy boots).

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Town offers plenty of shopping and food options. If  you realize you need more warm clothes, another souvenir, or just want a cup of coffee and some Wi-Fi, this quaint town has you covered.  On your way to town you can stop by a small, but beautiful waterfall near the hotel.

Now onto adventure. Our first adventure was going on an ice hike in Johnston Canyon where you can see frozen waterfalls

Johnston Canyon Ice Walk

. We booked through Discover Banff Tours and loved our guide! They made it easy with pick and drop off from our hotel door, supplied cleats and poles, and even gave us hot chocolate and cookies during a much needed mid-hike break. Even for a girl coming from the flat land of Florida, it wasn’t too tough of a hike. Although I wouldn’t recommend trying it in tennis shoes…we witnessed this and the slips looked painful. The views were breathtaking and the blue ice is really spectacular to see in person.

Skiing

Now onto Skiing. I’ve been skiing before, but I’ve never tried my skills against the slopes in Canada. So when we asked guest services about which ski slope to try out, they suggested Sunshine Village for first timers in the Canadian Rockies.Sadly our day wasn’t the clearest with constant snowfall, but it was still fun and we just stuck to the greens and accidently one blue. Because of the poor visibility, we took full advantage of the coffee and burger stops on the slopes.

Dogsledding

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Our last adventure was probably my favorite. I even booked it weeks before we left (I’m typically not that proactive person). We went dogsledding! It. Was. Amazing! I’m going to be honest, when the guide at Snowy Owl Tours started giving us the do’s and dont’s along with commands for the dogs, I started getting nervous. I could just picture these strong dogs running away with me, while I’m yelling the wrong command. Thankfully, as soon as you start “driving” you realize that these dogs are extremely smart and know their path. You just guide a little here and there. So much respect for these beautiful animals. Snowy Owl also makes it easy on out of towners and offers pick up and drop off so you don’t get lost in the mountains.

Afternoon Tea

Amidst our episodes of outdoor adventure, we decided to spend an afternoon inside and enjoy what Fairmont Banff had to offer. My husband and I share a love for tea and tiny sandwiches, so sipping tea while enojoying a mountain view sounded like a perfect way to spend our day. Tip: Plan on skipping lunch that day. You will fill up on the many 3 course options. After a wonderful description of all the loose teas, we each had our own warm teapot to enjoy while sampling the other sweet and scrumptious treats.

After teatime we had a few hours to spare before our next adventure and I knew I needed to fit in at least one visit to the award winning Willow Springs Spa. For tips on making the most out of the spa with a limited budget and time, read my previous post here.

Where To Eat: Pub, Hotel, Brewery, Saloon

If I’m being honest, food excites me almost as much as adventure, almost. For our first night we wanted somewhere close (still getting over jetlag and not wanting to dress up). We were given a recommendation from someone who works at the hotel (always a good idea to ask a local) for the Waldhaus Pub and so we wandered down just a few steps away from the hotel-

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I thought of Lord Of The Rings when I saw this pub. The atmosphere was very laid back and casual. And if you’re wanting something a bit more fancy and quiet, right above the pub is the Waldhaus Restaurant. I highly recommend the Cider Beer and the Pot Pie- comfort food at its best.

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Another scrumptious option for Hotel Dining is the Castello Ristorante . Beautiful views, great wine and Italian fare, and an intimate setting. Perfect for a night you feel like dressing up a bit and enjoying a slower pace.

Another winning option that was suggested by our guide for the ice hike was Banff Ave. Brewing Co. .

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We stopped by after our hike so we were chomping at the bits for…carbs (if I’m being honest). The fish and chips were delcisious, and their in house brewed beer did not disappoint.

Last but not least, if you’re looking for a place to shake the dust off your boots, Wild Bill’s has you covered. They have all the bells and whistles expected of a popular saloon. Bull riding, Karaoke, dancing, and of course, a full bar, and of course people watching is always fun too. A popular place in town to just let loose.

So there you have it. Historical Banff Springs Canada is a place filled with spectacular views, scrumptious food, and plenty of opportunities to explore the great outdoors and welcome some adventure into your life. I sincerely hope you get a chance to visit one day and make your own memories.

Sensitive Baby Favorites: Goodbye Eczema and Diaper Rash.

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Sadly one of the things I’ve genetically gifted my little bundle of joy with is sensitive skin. His back, his scalp, his bum, all super sensitive. So I take special care in trying to find products that protect and heal his sweet skin.

Let’s Talk Eczema

One of the worst things I’ve ever dealt with is eczema. So as soon as I saw those pesky bumps on his skin I knew exactly what it was. Sidenote:  I’m a strong believer that eczema can be a sign that your body doesn’t like something it’s being exposed to, internally or externally. So we are watching things like what he eats (allergy testing soon) and what he’s exposed to (lotions, detergents, etc.). We are also careful to not wash his skin too much and strip it of moisture and his natural skin barrier. An addition to our arsenal is this ointment by Shea Moisture. With ingredients like Chamomile (anti-inflammatory) and argan oil (super rich in Vit. E) it helps calm and heal his patches. You can find it here.

Let’s Talk Diapers

If you’ve ever researched the ingredients in most brands of diapers, you know that they can be full of harsh chemicals and fragrances. This is a definite NO for babies with sensitive skin. Tip- if you’re little one is having constant issues with diaper rash, try switching to a diaper with less chemicals. I like Seventh Generation Diapers. They are free of chlorine, fragrances, petroleum, and they fit my little guy really well. You can find them here.

Diaper Rash Rescue

Maybe your little one is teething -bless you. Or maybe they caught the latest stomach bug, lucky you. Whatever the cause, diaper rash sucks and you want to get rid of it ASAP! A few tips I’ve learned along the way- if possible, try the BRAT diet to slow down the poop cycle and give their skin time to heal. Also, when wipes are just too painful for them, a simple wash in the tub or sink can be less painful for them. And for the brave mamas out there, let their little bums breathe-no really, skin heals faster when it has a chance to breathe. Lastly, this diaper rash ointment by Burt’s Bees is my new favorite. I’ve heard of a lot of brands that work fast, but I’ve never been thrilled with their ingredients. This little tube is packed with ZINC and almond oil, which makes a great barrier to protect the skin while it heals. I’ve found this many places -Publix, Target, but you can also purchase directly from Burt himself –here.

Good luck Mamas, and good job!