All of mommy’s and baby’s needs in one box

All of mommy’s and baby’s needs in one box

Every new mom knows how exhausting life is after you just had a baby. And by exhausting I really mean, it’s absolute craziness! Before I had my first-born son, I had no idea what was coming for me. Sure, I had heard a lot about sleeping a little less with a newborn but figured it couldn’t be too bad.

While I was pregnant people often gave me the advice “Sleep when the baby sleeps” to which I sarcastically responded in my head: “oh yeah? And then I do laundry when the baby does laundry?” You will notice that you will not have a lot of time for yourself or to do anything including basic functions such as showering and eating. But you know what? I am here to tell you that it will be o.k. This will pass and holding your bundle of joy in your arms will be the best thing in the world. However, you do want to make sure beforehand that you are well-prepared and as comfortable as possible while getting to know your little sunshine so you can focus on bonding with each other. Unfortunately, I was not that well prepared nor did I buy the most useful items, e.g. I had bought a ton of cute little baby tuxedos which ended being completely pointless as I didn’t even take the baby out of the house for the first couple of weeks. I should have focused on buying useful items for me and the baby but was just overwhelmed and unsure. But it doesn’t have to that way! I wish I would have discovered baby and sunshine subscription boxes earlier. They personalize the highest quality items for you and your baby. They carefully handpick every item tailored to mommy’s and baby’s needs.

Premium quality pajamas from Baby and Sunshine

The hospital bag – what to pack? 

The question what to pack in the hospital bag was a major mission in my third trimester. I probably spent weeks packing of stressing about everything I thought I would need. I ended up taking a bunch of things that ended up being completely useless such as shirts and dresses not fit for nursing. Thankfully, the staff at Baby and Sunshine are experienced professionals who know exactly what mommy and baby need. They will handpick high quality onesies for your baby, a comfy and pretty outfit for you so you have one less thing to stress about. Moreover, you will get comfy socks for mommy and baby which is very important since hospitals tend to be extremely chilly. They will also add nursing bras and tanks that will make it easier to breastfeed. Also, if you let them know your due date beforehand, Baby and Sunshine will ship out a “hospital essentials” box a month before so that you would have most of what you will need to go to the hospital to give birth. Trust me – you will appreciate having someone else care of the content of your hospital bag so you have one less thing to worry about.

At home with the baby – what now?

Once parents are home with their newborn baby, they are usually overfilled with joy but also with fear about doing everything right especially if it is their first child. One thing all parents want to do is to create a peaceful environment for their little ones to grow healthy and happily. Since mommy will have a lot on her plate, from feeding to changing diapers all under a lack of sleep, it is important to make sure that she is taken care of as well. The subscription boxes include comfy nursing pillows that make sure that mommy can bond with her little one in the most comfortable position avoid any back pains or other discomforts. Clearly, nursing pillows have a lot of advantages since you can use them later for tummy time and other developmental stages such as sitting up. The boxes also include high quality swaddles so your little one feels cozy for the many little naps he’ll take throughout the day and night.

The mommy tummy 

Let’s talk about something most women do not like to talk about. The so-called mommy tummy! I had the unrealistic expectation that I would bounce right back after giving birth and was quite surprised that I almost looked as pregnant as before for the first couple of days after giving birth. As a matter of fact, it will actually take a while for the uterus and hence the belly to shrink back. However, a good post-partum belly binder can help expedite that process. Baby and Sunshine offers and amazing 3-piece belly binder that will help flatten the belly and get a better posture. Like I mentioned before, unfortunately Baby and Sunshine was not around when I gave birth. But I do have one of their waist trainers and wear it every day. It is one of the most comfortable and effective waist trainers from all the ones I have tried.

Already gave birth but your child is still less than two years old?

If you are like me and you already had your baby and think: “What a shame I didn’t know about these subscription boxes earlier!”, don’t worry! Baby and Sunshine has A LOT in store for moms of babies from 0 to 24 months old. As a matter of fact, I have only received my first box recently. And I can with all honesty say that all the items are extraordinarily beautiful and high quality. All baby items are made out of the comfiest baby fabrics such as organic cotton, bamboo, cashmere, wool, and more. Having a personalized box delivered right to your door will save you a lot of time that you can spend with your baby instead. Moreover, most of these items are only available for Baby and Sunshine subscription holders. You can choose between a box only for mom, one only for baby, or one for both.  I received the Superbox for Mommy and Baby. I loved the fact that they sent sanitizing wipes with every item. Keep reading for the contents of my box.

Here is what was in my box:

For Mommy:

Shape fitting leggings: These yoga pants look amazing. They shape your legs very nicely and are extremely comfortable at the same time.

Cover-Up: They also sent me a beautiful white cover-up that I was able to were during our large beach vacation since it is very loose fitting.

Waist Trainer: I already spoke highly about my latex waist trainer with steel bones in one of the previous paragraphs. I love that this one is not too thick and bends with you. I sometimes wear it all day and forget to take it off. That’s how comfortable it is.

For Baby:

Sleep Sack: This ultra soft 3-layer bamboo baby sleep sack is a lot softer and higher quality than the regular sleep sacks you can buy. Even though my son is already 2 years old, he loves his sleep sacks. He doesn’t like blankets and just kicks them off. Thankfully, this sleep sack is fairly big and keeps him warm throughout the night.

Hooded Towel: This plush bamboo hooded baby towel has two ears which makes my son look too cute when wearing it. On top of it, the fabric is very soft.

Cute and soft hooded towel from Baby and Sunshine

Very comfy pajamas: Very cute and soft 2 piece pajamas that say “I’m the apple of my father’s eye and the center of my mother’s heart.” The material feels so nice that I turned this into his “special occasion PJ’s.”

Onesie: Very cute kimono onesie that says “Let’s Go” is made out of bamboo.

Diaper Caddie: I also got a beautiful diaper caddie bag. In my opinion, you can never have enough of these so you can carry the baby’s items from one room to the other for bath time.

I think you got an idea about how enthusiastic I am about my subscription. And in all in honesty, what’s not to like? With the subscripton box you get

  • Exclusive access to premium items for mom and baby that are only available for Baby and Sunshine subscriptions
  • A personalized box customized for your needs delivered right to your doorsteps
  • You can choose if you want monthly or less frequent deliveries
  • You can have them send you your hospital bag contents in a bag so you have more time with your precious bundle of joy
  • Never worry again about what gifts to bring for a new or expectant mom
  • You can cancel at anytime
  • All of this will save you a lot if time and money!

If you would like to order a box or know someone you would like to order one for subscribe HERE.

New exciting Baby and Sunshine website and collabs with mom-owned small businesses

New exciting Baby and Sunshine website and collabs with mom-owned small businesses

Last week, we already covered all the awesomeness that Baby and Sunshine subscription boxes have to offer. But it is getting even better! We are so excited to give you some exciting news. First of all, the Baby and Sunshine website comes in a brand-new design. It is much easier to navigate and you can order special holiday boxes. Check out all the awesome new improvements here. Our second exciting announcement is….drumroll…. Baby and Sunshine partnered up with two mommy entrepreneurs and will from now on offer their products as well! The collabs with Happy Momma Merch and Adry’s Boutique allows Baby and Sunshine to offer their customers even more premium items while at the same time supporting mom-owned small businesses.

Meet the founder of Happy Momma Merch

About Happy Momma Merch:

Happy Momma Merch is a brand-new and mom-owned online apparel business. When the founder had her first baby, she could not fathom leaving her child behind to go back to work. Many moms face this dilemma but are left with no other choice than to go back to work due to financial reasons. However, this mom rolled up her sleeves and found a different solution. Like a true bad-ass, she educated herself on how to open her own online apparel shop. This is how Happy Momma Merch was founded. This momma creates the vast majority of her merchandise from scratch at home. You can find the cutest merch in her online shop! There is a collection with empowering Tees and hoodies for mommies and even an autism awareness line. Furthermore, she creates hilarious and cute matching outfits for mom and baby. Since this line is all about being inclusive, there is also a whole line of Daddy and baby matching shirts. My husband loves to match with our son and he was so excited to scroll through all the items. There is a lot more for the whole family and for all occasions. You should check out her Halloween merch and in order your cute outfits just in time: https://happymommamerch.com/

Mama Bird shirt from Happy Momma Merch

Subscribers can find her adorably cute teethers in their upcoming Baby and Sunshine subscription boxes! Check it out HERE.

Teether from Happy Momma Merch

About Adry’s Boutique:

Adriana, a military wife and mom of both – boy and girl – is very passionate about designing clothes and accessories for small children. She handmakes adorable boy shorts, also called bummies, for all occasions in all kinds of creative designs. She also designs skirted bummies for girls and matching bummies and headbands. Moreover, she specializes in making bows. And every girl mom knows that a bow is a must-have especially in the first couple of years. These bows and headbands are available in all sorts of styles: Sherpa headband, twisted headband, bows on clip or on nylon, pony bows, stretchy wrap bows, and even baby turban hats. These are available for newborns to toddlers. She will also do special orders such as burp cloths or bandana bibs. You will have the right apparel for your kiddos in every season, e.g. Halloween, Valentine’s day, Football season, and a lot more. My favorite items are the matching stars and stripes bummies and bows which are just the perfect outfit for every U.S. holiday. You can find her on Facebook under https://www.facebook.com/AdrysBowtique/. Customers can make special requests when it comes to fabric and matching items. The great news is that subscribers of Baby and Sunshine can find matching Mom Headbands + Baby Girl Bows, OR matching Mom Headbands + Baby Boy Bummies in their upcoming Sunshine subscription boxes. Baby and Sunshine is very excited about this collab with the mom-owned small business Adry’s Boutique.

Adorable bow from Adry’s Boutique

By subscribing to our boxes, customers are able to:

– Support mom and pop small businesses

– Find wonderful handmade items

– Receive a variety of high-quality premium essentials

– Get all this and always at a very fair price

– Update their personalization survey before every delivery (you will get an email reminder) in case sizes have changed

 – Get a great surprise delivered to your doorstep every single month

– Have exclusive access to mom and baby items that are not available in stores

– Have someone else take care of your hospital bag or baby shower gift

– Get free shipping within the U.S.

Bummie from Adry’s Boutique

Baby and Sunshine’s 2020 Giveaway

As mentioned above, Baby and Sunshine is a business that cares a lot about moms and their well-being. We all know that 2020 has not been the easiest year in general and must have been particularly challenging for moms with small babies. In order to give back to the community, Baby and Sunshine would love to give a free Super Box to a struggling mom. Do you know a mom with a new baby (0-24 months) affected by one of 2020’s disasters? If you do, you can still nominate them under this link. The contest is still going on until 9/30/2020.

Make sure to check out Baby and Sunshine website in a brand-new look to find out more about our subscription boxes, giveaways, and find some pictures and testimonials from existing customers. Baby and Sunshine is so very excited to be supporting momma-owned small businesses! It is the company’s long-term goal to work with as much of these businesses as possible and support mompreneurs (and of course, Dadpreneurs as well).

The roughest day of my life

The roughest day of my life

When I first found out I was pregnant with my first child in September 2017, I was overjoyed and at the same time I really didn’t know what to expect. But I wasn’t too worried. I figured the mom instinct would kick in naturally and I would learn everything by doing. Also,  I pretty much had the “perfect pregnancy.” By that I mean, I was completely healthy the entire time with barely any morning sickness. I gained the exact amount of weight you were supposed to gain, the baby developed and measured as it was supposed to be. It was almost like clockwork. Nonetheless, to make it all perfect, I decided to educate myself as much as could to ensure that everything would be a 100% and I wouldn’t have to worry about anything!

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The final countdown

I took TWO childbirth classes that consisted of several lessons just to make sure I would be fully prepared. I learned a ton of things about sitting bouncy balls when you’re in labor, bringing esoteric oils to the delivery room and to chill out once the contractions kick in and not run to the hospital right away. The latter was actually a helpful advice. When the day finally came at 38 weeks and a few days pregnant (a baby is considered full-term after 38 weeks of pregnancy), I was still working from home all day and did two conference calls all while having contractions until I decided to make my way to the hospital after rush hour traffic. The delivery went smoothly and quickly.

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Reality is kicking in

When my son David was finally born, things were surreal. I remember they had my husband go to the nursery with the baby which is a common practice. My husband had told me they informed him that the baby tested Coombs positive which meant they the baby and I have different blood types. I still didn’t think anything bad. After all, I hadn’t heard of it in any of my classes, so I can’t be a big deal, right? Granted, those first 48 hours after giving birth are just complete insanity but I still felt things were under control. I did notice though that the nurses were being very on top of me about feeding him every 2 hours. I didn’t understand the urgency since I never heard of that. I thought babies would wake up whenever they feel hungry. At one point, I fell asleep for 3 hours while the baby was asleep and the nurse was frantic when she realized. From then on, they checked on me every two hours almost like I was in the military so I started to realize that something was off. Before I delivered, I swore to myself I wouldn’t give him any formula and I would exclusively breastfeed him (everyone is a perfect parent before they actually have kids). But things were different now. I started to understand that he had very high bilirubin levels (which basically means he had jaundice) and the only way for him to get rid off of it was to pee and poop it out. After birth a woman’s body produces only produces colostrum – breast milk does not come in after a few days after. Colostrum is a very thick substance but it has a lot of nutrients; therefore, small quantities are enough to nourish a newborn at the beginning. However, I was worried if it was enough given the condition he was in. I made the call to supplement with formula so his body can get rid of the bilirubin.

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Nothing had prepared me for that!

The day I was released was the day when all came crashing. After two nights of staying at the hospital, the OB determined in the morning that I am good to go home and signed my release order. They would run the baby’s final bilirubin level tests in the afternoon and if they were fine, then we could go come together with the baby. IF! I had my last visitors stop by to bring me lunch that day. The nurse kept coming to my room but left when she saw there were people there. I immediately started getting a bad feeling in my stomach. I couldn’t wait to hear what they would tell me but got so worried at the same time. When the hospital’s pediatrician came, she gave us the news: his bilirubin levels were still too high and the baby would have to stay in the hospital for light therapy until he gets better. Alone. Without us! My world broke apart. Nothing had prepared me for that! I had never even heard about this in spite of taking all these classes. My eyes started filling with tears. My husband who held my hand teared up, too. I couldn’t help but wonder if I could have done anything different to avoid it. I felt so guilty and started blaming myself. By that time, the pediatrician had come over to me to console me. I asked her: “could I have done anything different? It’s my fault, right, because I didn’t feed him for three hours one time? I shouldn’t have given him formula…” I kept beating myself up! She assured me that it wasn’t my fault at all and that these things are very common. Again, why weren’t they talking about this in the birth preparedness classes instead of bouncy balls that I never even used? I couldn’t shake off the feeling that it was my fault. Every single person working that day who had helped me during my stay (nurses, lactation consultants, etc.) all came to my room to try to cheer me up and to confirm it wasn’t anything I did. They all were so compassionate and felt bad for me. We still did not want to face reality that we would have to leave our newborn baby at the hospital. Our world came crashing down. It felt so incredibly empty to leave the hospital with all the flowers, gift basket and arrangements that were sent to us but WITHOUT the baby. That was not what I imagined it to be. I imaged me leaving the hospital happily taking a pic with the baby in an outfit I had picked for him like I had seen so my families do before. That was the saddest car ride we had experienced in our life. Even though we had just “met” the baby two days earlier, it felt like a huge part of us was missing. It kept hitting us throughout the evening. At night when I walked by, my husband looked at me and said to me in the saddest voice “Oh, you’re not pregnant anymore.” Psychologically, it was unbearable for him to see me without my pregnant belly but with no baby at home either.

 

The longest day

We visited the baby that night and I was on a mission to pump every two hours to make sure my breast milk would come in ASAP so I can feed him. There were people that told me that I should see it positively since I would be able to rest that night. They were completely wrong. I did not sleep at all that night. I called them at 5 am to see how he was doing. We went there all day the next day and stayed with him during visitation hours. It felt so absurd to me to call to see how my baby is doing and to have hours where I can visit my baby. It was so hard seeing my baby in the incubator and only being able to touch him through the glass. I felt like Dumbo’s mom in that scene where they locked her up and she was only able to touch her baby with her trunk through the bars of the cage. But on the other hand, this experience was a bonding experience and the first real challenge for our little family. They left him in the nursery with the healthy newborn babies (and not on the NICU side) . All day we would witness new proud Dads walking in with their babies which was a beautiful experience.

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The verdict…

At night, they took another “fate determining” bilirubin test to see where his levels were at. We were so nervous because the results would determine if we could take him home or he would stay another night(s) which would have been devastating for us. They finally came with the results: his levels had dropped! We would take him home FINALLY!!!  We had to stay outside the nursery for their shift change between 6 pm and 7 pm so I used that time to freshen up! These 72 hours were absolutely nerve-wrecking. We got our happy ending! I ended up getting my “taking the baby home” picture and this car ride with him was a much happier one. He gained weight quickly in the first weeks and all his tests after were fine. He has developed perfectly without any issues. He is turning 18 months now and is such a happy and healthy baby! See for yourself!

 

Note: I am fully aware that there are parents who have to leave their preemie babies in the NICU for weeks and months. My experience probably does not seem like a big deal compared to what they have gone through. I am not writing this for pity and neither am I claiming this is the worst thing that can happen to someone. I am writing this hoping I can help parents with the same experience or even more importantly, that I can make parents-to-be aware that this could happen so they aren’t caught by surprise like I was. I wish I would have learned anything about this beforehand and hope this will be included in child birthing classes in the future.

 

 

Review Teamiblends

Review Teamiblends

Hi Everyone,

I am so excited to be back to this Blog and share more posts with you!

Today, I would like to review a product that has been an asset for me as a mom: Teami’s all natural teas!

When I first heard of them and saw them all over Instagram, I wasn’t sure if their products are legit. So I tried it for myself. I had a few people reach out to me asking me how I like them so I decided to record this short review. To summarize my findings:

  1. their skinny tea and colon tea have helped me reduce bloat, get rid of the “mommy-tummy” and have a flat stomach like before baby.
  2. their little tumbler makes my life as a working mom easier as you can prepare the tea quickly in the morning and take it on-the go.
  3. their detox which is a combo of the skinny tea and the colon tea is a great way to get started.
  4. the green tea in it gives you a ton of energy!
  5. If you would like to try them out, click on this link for 25% off: www.teamiblends.com/discount/BELLAB25

Watch my review here:

My Teami Review

I apologize for all the distractions in the background. I just wanted to do a quick review but I ended up finding it kind of funny so I left them.

Let me know how you liked your tea-xperience!

 

Welcome Back!

Welcome Back!

Hi Everyone! I started this blog about 2 years ago in order to share my love for Miami with other people. I mainly reviewed some of the cool and fun places I found in the 305. I was inspired to start this blog since many friends and acquaintances who saw my social media posts started asking me about where I find all these unique places so I thought those tips would be useful to other people as well. But then things changed. I got pregnant in Fall 2017 and my focus switched from finding new restaurants to researching strollers and all sorts of baby gear (a science in itself, I can tell you). So, I abandoned my first baby – the blog – to center all my attention around my human baby. I did however, acquire a lot of new knowledge about being a mom in Miami. Now, that my little one is almost turning 1.5 months, we have done plenty of exploring Miami together with him. So I decided to combine my new areas of interest. So this is officially, the re-launch of my blog , formerly known as Miami Mi Amor

WELCOME TO “THE MIAMI MAMI!”

I will still share locations and things to do in South Florida and beyond but will focus a little more on experiences for the whole family especially families of little ones. One thing I learned as new parent is: no parent has any freaking clue what they are doing! However, I learned a thing or two and I keep learning so I decided to continue this blog and share my mom tips while at the same time writing about Miami. I have met a lot of fellow Mompreneurs, Momfluencers and Mombloggers who have been a big asset to my life so I am hoping to share all the tips and things to do with you the same way that they have shared them with me.

So I am back now hopefully for good! Below I am sharing a few pictures of my son and I to introduce ourselves a little bit. David is 17 months old and an extremely happy and funny baby. He loves our dog Daisy and our cat Mickey. He is also a big fan of Mickey Mouse and Puppy Dog Palms. My name is Bella. I love the beach and Spanish music. Nice to meet all of you!  If you like to see more of us follow me on Instagram: Isabelita305

Drop a comment if you like. I am looking forward to reading them!

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Things to do this Valentine’s Day ❤️

Things to do this Valentine’s Day ❤️

Love is in the air! Ahh, the day of lovers is coming up. Loved by many, dreaded by others. I personally like that day a lot. I even liked it when I was single. There’s nothing wrong with being happy for others and also, let’s not forget that it’s also the day of friendship. Since I’ve been with my husband, we have made a point of making this day special no matter how tired or busy we are. Life passes by to quickly and sometimes it’s nice that these days remind us to celebrate and appreciate each other.

If you’re single or not, here are a few tips on what to do in the 305 this VDay:

1. Cupid’s Undie Run – run for a good cause in your underwear

Every year on the Saturday before Valentine’s Day there’s a run in Wynwood, well it’s it’s more a party with a 1mile-ish run/walk in the middle. All the proceeds go to research of Neurofibromatosis. You don’t have to necessarily wear underwear- you can get creative and dress up as a unicorn, in a tutu, whatever floats your boat. It’s not too late to register.

2. Valentine’s Day Concert at the Deering Estate

Go to the annual Valentine’s Day concert at the Deering Estate and have a romantic picnick.

3. “Heart Strings” – Valentine’s Day Concert by Alhambra Quartet

Or if you like concerts but indoors, you can head to the Coral Gables museum for a classical concert, wine and chocolates.

4. CityPlace Doral Latin Jazz Concert

Another option: you like concerts but you want to have the option to dine in a restaurant or catch a movie. Head to CityPlace Doral for their free Latin Jazz Concert.

5. Have a romantic dinner in MiMo

If you don’t like concerts and rather want to have a romantic dinner, I have two great suggestions for you and they’re both in the same street.

Soyka has an amazing atmosphere and doesn’t get too packed. Ask to be seated in their little patio area – super romantic and makes you feel like you’re somewhere in Southern Europe.

Café Roval

The atmosphere is breathtaking and so romantic. It feels like you are in an enchanted zen garden. The food is Mediterranean. See pictures of their beautiful outdoor space.

Lots of love

Things To Do in Key West

Things To Do in Key West

I know, I know … this blog is supposed to be all about Miami and this is already my second post about a different Floridian city. BUT, in my defense, Key West is almost every Miamian’s favorite stomping ground especially if you like to party. So I figured it can’t hurt to give some tips in case you’re ever planning a little weekend getaway.

1.Food

You want to start the day right so you’re perfectly nourished for a day full of adventure. My favorite breakfast place is Camille’s Restaurant. Super cute place! When I visited Key West! I went there every morning. They have this French toast with a key lime pie sauce and coconut shaves – oohhhmmaahhgggaahhd! They also have good whole wheat pancakes for those who like it “healthy”, good benedicts and strong brunch drinks. It’s a typical diner type of place with American coffee and refills. Can only recommend!

My favorite place for dinner is Louie’s Backyard. They have the most spectacular view and amazing food. Serving sizes are rather small so you get to try a lot of different things. Their drink and mixology menu is also phenomenal. Don’t miss out on this great experience!

Dessert! Don’t have a sweet tooth? Doesn’t matter! You’ll definitely have to check out Better Than Sex. Not sure if it’s better than sex but this place is pretty dope.

We went there on a spontaneous date night. There was a bit of a wait. The place has a sexy vibe to it with dark lighting and pictures that create a kinky ambiance. What I like is that you sit next to each other as opposed to facing each other. We had the “Sex Appeal” drink which is a moscato with a white chocolate rim and pink sugar. It’s good but super duper sweet. We had the “Better than Sex” dessert which according to their menu is the Master Chef Winner 2009. Its a bread pudding turned into a cake turned into a brownie. It comes with white chocolate mouse that has a chocolate writing saying “sex” on it. We also had the “Peanut Butter Perversion” which is a peanut butter silk pie in top of a chocolate chip cookie dough crust. Fun fact: all the prices end in 69.

2. Drink

It’s safe to say that you can pretty much have a drink everywhere in Key West. Drinking is literally the point of going to the Keys. Any place on Duval Street will have an extensive drink menu. If you like frozen drinks, I’d recommend Flying Monkey.

3. Stay

Here’s the thing about Key West. Hotels are rather pricey but you don’t get a lot of bang for buck. For some sort of luxury experience most people will recommend to stay at Casa Marina. My favorite place is The Reach Resort. It is also an Astoria property just like Casa Marina but usually a tad less expensive. They have a beautiful beach (most properties in Key West don’t have a beach) with relaxing hammocks and a great pool. Furthermore, the hotel is right next to my aforementioned favorite restaurant Louie’s Backyard.

4. Activities

(1) There are so many things to do but one of your must-do’s is clearly to check out the “Southernmost Point” that is 90 miles away from Cuba. There will be a small line to take a pic but then you can check it off your bucket list.

(2) Visit the Hemingway House. It’s definitely interesting to see where the genius worked and vacationed. Moreover, the six-toed cats that you’ll find all over the place are adorable.

(3) Rent a jet-ski! Total fun experience. We did it at the beach if the Reach Resort and I can highly recommend them. The instructors are very knowledgeable and you’ll get half an hour of freestyle time.

(4) Rent a scooter! It’s a fun way to get around. And you really don’t want to worry about parking too much during your vacation.

5. Party

I can only repeat myself: Key West is a party place. You can go down on Duval Street and you’ll see there are options everywhere. One must-see or better a cannot-be-unseen. Visit Garden of Eden. It’s a clothing optional rooftop bar off of Duval Street. That’s all I’m going to say. The rest I leave to your imagination.

If you have any great tips on what to do in Key West, drop it in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!

Spotlight on Homestead

Spotlight on Homestead

A lot of times, my friends ask me “How do you find all these places?” Or “I’ve lived in Miami my whole life and I’ve never even heard about some of the places you go to.” The thing is: I love everything Miami and by that I mean everything. I even like to explore not so common areas. You’d be surprised what you can find when you get out of your usual neighborhood. Today I’m reviewing Homestead. Off the beaten path far South, a lot of people dismiss going there entirely. But there’s a lot you can do.

1. Burr’s Berry Farm

Since some of the fruits they offer are seasonal, they are only open half of the year. Check their website before you go. At the entrance there is a stand where you can buy drinks, Hot Dogs and salsas. In the inside there is a big strawberry picking field. Last year they had a harvest festival and pumpkin patch in Fall. They offered a cute tractor ride as well.

2. Knaus Berry Farm

This place is only open half of the year (check the website before you go) since they offer seasonal items but when they’re open they are extremely popular. They are mainly a strawberry picking farm but what attracts all the people is their delicious homemade cinnamon rolls. There is always a huge line for their bakery. I didn’t know there are two different lines for the bakery and milkshakes. Otherwise, I would have gotten my sugar level up with one of their delicious strawberry milkshakes first. But I waited in the crazy cinnamon bun line in the plain sun and almost fainted when it was my turn. The staff was really nice and sat me down inside and gave me water. Pro tip: get a milkshake first for your wait in the bakery line and wear a hat!

3. Robert is here

Robert is here is a fruit stand in Homestead founded decades ago by a guy called – you guessed it – Robert. Nowadays, this place sells a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. They have amazing homemade banana bread, salsa and guacamole. They are famous for their milkshakes. That’s why there’s always a huge line. My favorite is the Key Lime Milkshake. They make milkshakes with ice-cream and without. Moreover, they offer many other homemade items such as honey and barbecue sauces. In the back you’ll find a petting zoo with a donkey, cows, rabbit and other animals.

4. Shiver’s Bar-B-Q

If all the goodies from the fruit stands and Berry farms in Homestead don’t fill you up, I highly recommend this place. They have amazing barbecue food and their pulled meat sandwiches are finger-licking good!

5. Wat Buddharangsi Buddhist Temple of Miami

Did you know that there is a real Buddhist temple in Homestead? The temple is beautiful and the monks and people working there are very friendly. They welcome everyone and give classes in English and in Spanish. They have a little garden with statues and a small playground. Not your typical Miami experience but worth your while if you happen to be in the area.

6. Coral Castle

Admittedly, it’s a very short experience and not cheap (about $18 bucks) but the story behind it is incredible. This short guy built this place for a woman that he was crazily in love with. He moved these giant coral rocks without any machines and no one knows how he did it. The woman had left him and his plan was to win her back. He had everything planned it even a sweetheart table and an uncomfortable chair for his mother-in-law so she wouldn’t stay for too long. They offer tours where they explain everything. You can’t fill an entire day but with all the restaurants, fruit stands and berry farms around there, you’ll find plenty to do!

If you check out any of these places or have other recommendations, leave a comment. In the meantime, check out my Instagram

Hole in the Wall

Hole in the Wall

Even though these places are already known amongst Miami’s food lovers, there are still different from the norm and have their own charm which makes them special. Check out my three favorites for a romantic date night that makes you feel like you’re in a completely different place.

  1. Casabe 305 Bistro

It’s been a while since I went (Miami Spice last year) but I can’t believe I haven’t reviewed this place yet since I usually recommend it to everyone. Let me start by saying I love the concept of the hole in the wall hidden gem places. Without Yelp, I would have probably just driven by a thousand times. It’s located on Coral Way close to The Roads. We were at an event in the area and went for a spontaneous Friday date night. You’re stepping into a little villa and the whole time you have the feeling you’re in someone’s house (in a good way). The decorations are really cute. I love inventive kitchen with smaller dishes to try. Everything we had was great (see pics). The experience alone was well worth 5 stars.

o (4)oo (5)o (3)o (2)o (1)

 

2. La Fresa Francesa

“Qué bola, mon ami?” A French place in Hialeah??? – that was my friends’ reaction when I first posted about this place. Granted, when you hear Hialeah you think less of Croissant and café au lait and more of cubanazo, pan con bistec and cafecito. But it’s exotic factor is what makes this place so special! It’s in a little shopping place by Okechobee but once you step inside, you feel like you’re in a café in Paris. When I went there they had a Yelp check-in special where you get a free Bellini. But even if they don’t have that anymore, the peach champagne deliciousness is well worth the money. We had the spicy salad with smoked salmon, the Croque Madame and the meatballs. We ordered some espressi with their dessert special, a homemade cheesecake. They have a little store attached to the restaurant where we bought some glasses. The owner was super friendly as well. We’ll definitely be back. Au revoir!

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Croque Madame Sandwich

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Sauteed Fingerling Potatoes

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Arugula Napoleon Salad with Smoked Salmon

o (3)
Bellinis

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Cheesecake

3. Soya E Pomodoro

I love this place. It makes you feel like you’re in the middle of Italy but you’re in the heart of Downtown Miami (and by heart, I mean the dirtiest part). The decorations are really cute. I went here for lunch a few times and we spent one of my birthdays there. It was very romantic and they had a live jazz band. The staff was very friendly and brought me a dessert with a candle. Food overall was great – from pasta to fish to salads. I highly recommend going there.

If you like my food recommendations, follow my Instagram account MiamiMiAmor

Some Miami faves

Some Miami faves

I recently started my Instagram account – username: miamimiamorblog – and as you can see, I’m a big time foodie. I love trying out new places and have been posting on my personal accounts for years. Friends always keep asking me for recommendations so I thought I’d write about some of my Miami Dade favorite restaurants.

1. Hillstone

One of my favorite restaurants in Miami. The veggie burger has this yummy soy glaze that makes you crave it after – even as a meat lover. I also love the Thai Tuna Roll with macadamia nuts and Coconut Shrimp Roll. The best sushi in town!

2. Mariposa

Mariposa is located inside Neiman Marcus in the beautiful outdoor mall Merrick Village. The first time we came here was for the Miami Spice lunch which I highly recommend. You’ll definitely get your money’s worth. For $23 you’re getting a 3-course meal. Normally, this price would only cover one dish or not even. Upfront they serve their delicious signature bread and a little broth to open your appetite. I had the baked avocado, salmon and Panna Cotta. Everything was yummy! But I do have to say that I sometimes envy my husband because he doesn’t care about calories at all. And let’s be honest, it’s mostly the fatty mcfat food that tastes great. He had the sweet potato tater tots, Croque Monsieur and Sundae with Cookies. His food was off the chain! And I strongly believe that calories don’t count if you eat them off your husband’s plate. We returned during regular lunch hour but I have to say the weekend menu is my favorite. I will definitely be back for that.

3. Sugarcane

“A table isn’t the best place to receive quick service, so the bar is where I go.”(sung in Ed Sheehan voice). I hadn’t been to Sugarcane in a while but we happened to be shopping in Midtown and decided to go for a spontaneous date night. They told us there would be a 35 minute wait so we went ahead and sat at the bar. That was the best decision we could have made. Our bartender Sean went above and beyond to make us happy. We had a few drinks: the Strawberry Balsamic, Spice of Love and Guayaba Dream Slush. Spice of Love was my favorite because I really like jalapeño drinks. The strawberry balsamic tastes different than I thought – I would have expected some spiked drinking vinegar but it was rather sweet. The latter seemed like a Seven Eleven slushie creation by a Cuban abuela. We had some wings, the dates wrapped in bacon (boy oh boy were they good!), ducks and waffles and the crunchy tuna roll. For dessert, we had the Nutella Sunday which was uh-mazing! It had ice-cream, little brownie pieces and Cracker Jack popcorn. Perfect mix! If it were for my hubby, he would give 1000 stars and come back right away. I deducted one because I wasn’t too impressed with the sushi but will sure come back and give those five stars a chance.

4. Makoto

Located right outside the beautiful Bay Harbor shops, Makoto is the perfect exclusive lunch spot! After I heard so many good things, I went first time for Miami Spice. But we all know that Miami Spice doesn’t fill you up so I went back. First and foremost: the Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice – ohhhmaahhgerd. So addicting! Serving sizes are fairly small but it’s definitely worth the price!

This are just a few of my favorites. I will be posting more. Keep following me on my blog and on instagram under miamimiamorblog!