Where to Eat in Traverse City, Michigan

Traverse City Beach

I was recently asked where we were headed next. My answer…No where! And I was excited about it! This weather is what Michiganders endure 6 months of winter for! It is finally going to be beach weather and we have some of the best beaches and beach towns (I may be a bit biased.) Okay, so I’m not exactly going to stay put. Truthfully, I am going to take every opportunity to hit up the lakeshore and road trip it up north. We just had our very own family tradition of our “unofficial first weekend of summer” in Traverse City. Here is where we ate: Continue reading Where to Eat in Traverse City, Michigan

Island Travel Interviews- Indonesia, Take 1

Hello again! This week is exciting!!! We are going to a part of the world we haven’t visited yet… Indonesia! Thankfully, Chantell from Travel For Your Life and Rain from Words and Wanderlust are here to provide some insight and lovely pictures. Let begin our journey in Bali… Continue reading Island Travel Interviews- Indonesia, Take 1

Where to Stay in Denver: Hotel Teatro

Hotel Teatro Denver Colorado

I cannot stay enough good things about Hotel Teatro. We usually go for the larger hotels (you know, the hotels with the massive Christmas trees in their lobbies in December) but will without a doubt stay at Hotel Teatro on all future trips to Denver. The staff was incredibly friendly, helpful, and professional while still providing a relaxed and calm environment. The location was also very convenient, especially if you plan to take advantage of Larimer Square’s decadent restaurant scene (which we did and you can read about here), walk to Union Station, head out to a Colorado Rockies game, or enjoy a performance at the Denver Center for Performing Arts. You can also walk to mostly mainstream shopping on the 16th Street Mall or boutiques in Larimer Square. But back to the hotel… Continue reading Where to Stay in Denver: Hotel Teatro

Island Travel Interviews- Caribbean, Take 5

Hi all! This week, I’ve decided to take us back to the Caribbean. I just can’t seem to stay away! This time, we’ll be visiting Curacao with Margarita from Downshifting PRO and St. Lucia with Christina and Adam from Our Sweet Adventures.

Since we are fresh off of the beautiful buildings in Hvar, Croatia, from a couple of weeks ago, let’s continue the trend with gorgeous Curacao. (If you missed the post on Hvar, you can catch up here.)

What is Your Name and Blog Name/URL?

Margarita Ibbott from DownshiftingPRO – FAMILY + TRAVEL + LIFE

Which Island Will You Be Talking About and Why Did You Choose This Island?

Curacao – Part of the ABC Caribbean Islands (Aruba, Bonair & Curacao). I was in Curacao in December and I was charmed by the beauty of the beaches. This was my first solo trip and I would recommend it highly as it was very safe.

How Many Days Would You Recommend Staying on This Island?
One week would be good but 10 days may be better if you want to switch resorts as I did. Well worth the packing and moving around!

What was Your Favorite Thing About/Memory From Your Trip to This Island?
My favourite part of the Island was Kenapa Grandi Beach. About a 60-75 minutes from Willemstad (the capital of Curacao), it is easy to get to and has amenities. It was beautiful, not crowed and pristine.

Caribbean Island Travel Curacao
Photo Credit- Margarita Ibbott @Downshifting PRO

What is Your “Can’t Miss” Activity on the Island? What activities/opportunities does this island provide?
You can do anything you want: sail, jetski, golf, go to clubs, dine out, go to museums. It has it all. That being said, I would not miss a photo tour of Willemstad. The colourful buildings and interesting architecture provides wonderful photo opps! I would not miss the Kura Hulanda Musem which features the history of slavery in the Caribbean.

Best Restaurant/Place to Eat?
My favourite restaurant was Jaanchi’s it is a local place off the beaten path but the owner is a character. Jaanchi gifts you with a souvenir (a small cloth pouch) and he asks you to buy a lottery ticket and send him a portion of the winnings- when you win of course! It was charming and funny but I think he was serious 😉

Photo Credit- Margarita Ibbot @Downshifting PRO

What Surprised You About this Island?
It’s size. It is very manageable and you can easily drive tip to tip in about 2 + hours but you are going to want to stop and take in some of the views, have so great food and lounge on a beach or two (or three).

Any Travel Advice for those considering this island as a destination (e.g., where to stay, ease of getting there, how best to get around, language, money)?

It is best to rent a car. Driving is very easy and safe and the roads are fairly good. Just download the Curacao Google map to your phone or tablet beforehand. You can get to different places fairly easily with a car. Why rent a car? Taxis have a monopoly on transportation (so no hotel shuttles to/from the airport) and they can be pricey!

I have two different stays to suggest: If you want a private, European-style of hotel stay at the more remote Papagayo Hotel and Beach Resort. It has a wonderful beach, great restaurant and is just lovely but out of the downtown area. If you want to stay right in town, I preferred the Renaissance Resort and Casino. Attached to the RIF Fort (an entertainment district located in an old fort), you have access to restaurants, bars, boutiques and daily entertainment is right beside the hotel. The breakfast buffet was to die for!

Although the currency is the Antilles Gilder, you can also pay with American dollars just about anywhere that you go. I also used my credit card easily and the exchange was reasonable. I did not bother converting to Gilders, I just tipped any service personnel in American dollars.

Photo Credit- Margarita Ibbott @Downshifting PRO

There were a few unique museums that I would strongly recommend: Kura Hulanda is an entire historical district that has been lovingly restored. It has a lovely hotel (that I would also recommend), a small restaurant area, and the Kura Hulanda Museum. It is a historical and cultural museum that documents the slave trade and its importance to Curacao. There are very interesting artifacts and it is curated magnificently.

I also had a quick visit to the oldest Synagogue in the northern hemisphere. The curator was a wonderful woman that showed me both the museums and the synagogue (the floor is sand, one of only a handful of synagogues that have this feature).

If my readers want to hear more about your island, do you have a link to your full article?

I have a series of posts. The links are within my answers to both the blog, YouTube videos and Trip Advisor reviews.


I have heard such wonderful things about St. Lucia but have never been. I’m excited to learn more about this fabulous island from Christina and Adam.

What is Your Name and Blog Name/URL?
Christina and Adam of Our Sweet Adventures

Which Island Will You Be Talking About and Why Did You Choose This Island?
Saint Lucia. We picked this island for our honeymoon because it had everything we wanted – seclusion, great beaches, lots of adventurous activities, and a low chance of getting hit by hurricanes (we went during hurricane season).

How Many Days Would You Recommend Staying on This Island?
At least 5 – 6 nights. Allotting for travel time/adjusting, one day of pure relaxation, and the rest for exploring.

Caribbean Island Travel St. Lucia
Photo Credit- Our Sweet Adventures

What Is Your Favorite Thing About/Memory From Your Trip to This Island?

There are too many to choose from! Hiking the Gros Piton was a favorite moment because we knocked off two things on our bucket list in one day. When we reached the top, not only did we have incredible views, but we hiked the highest point of the island and were as high as the clouds! Feeling the clouds touch our skins was an amazing feeling.

“Can’t Miss” Activity on the Island? What activities/opportunities does this island provide?

Definitely the mud bath at Sulphur Springs. Spreading mud on each other for our honeymoon was a lot of fun. Then we washed the mud off in the hot springs. When we got out we looked 12 years younger!
Other activities to do at Saint Lucia are:
Jungle Biking
Botanical Garden Tour
Zip lining through the jungle

Best Restaurant/Place to Eat?
We ate at Jade Mountain Club everyday because we had an all-inclusive program with the Jade Mountain Resort. The food was incredible and prepared by a James Beard Award winning chef. Some of our favorite dishes were: fresh ceviche, nutella french toast, seared scallops with coconut rice and Saint Lucian tiramisu.

Caribbean Island Travel St. Lucia
Photo Credit- Our Sweet Adventures

What Surprised You About this Island?
The locals would work all their life then retire to become a police officer or firefighter because there was very little crime and fire. In fact, we saw a police officer in uniform at a bar….drinking beer!

Caribbean Island Travel St. Lucia
Photo Credit- Our Sweet Adventures

Any Travel Advice for those considering this island as a destination (e.g., where to stay, ease of getting there, how best to get around, language, money)?

Definitely stay at a resort that is all-inclusive, offers transportation, and includes excursions in the package. This is an island for both relaxation and a lot of adventure. The common language is English. The currency used is Eastern Caribbean Dollar, but USD is readily accepted throughout the island. Credit cards are acceptable, but in more local areas it is best to bring cash just in case.

If my readers want to hear more about your island, do you have a link to your full article? 

Yes, of course! We would love to gain more readers and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask us in the comments or contact page.


Many thanks to Downshifting PRO and Our Sweet Adventures!

Want to save this for later? Here is the pin…

Caribbean Island Travel
Photo Credit- Pixabay

** Please note that this post may contain affiliate links meaning that, at no cost to you, I may receive some compensation if you click and purchase. Thank you!



Travel Capsule- Spring Styles

I have been intrigued with the Capsule Wardrobe concept for some time. While not all the way there yet, I figured that a TRAVEL capsule wardrobe was a good place to begin. I was also thrilled to collaborate with local business, Lee and Birch. Store manager, Elizabeth, met with me and helped guide me in selecting 11 pieces that could be combined to create so many different outfit combinations. She was fabulous, as has been all of the staff when I have shopped there on previous occasions. If you are local, stop in. (They also have locations in Rockford, Michigan and Grand Haven, Michigan.) If you aren’t local, you can still check them out online at www.leeandbirch.com.

Spring Travel Capsule Wardrobe

Here are the pieces we chose and a bit about each outfit. Oh, and as a side note, there is a lot me in this post- sorry! Fortunately, one of my good friends was taking the photos, which was also handy and hilarious and included statements such as “that’s a fake smile- let’s do another one” and “here, wear my bracelet- you need a little sparkle.” ❤️ 

Spring Travel Capsule Wardrobe

We decided on a tank for piece #1 of the capsule. Spring is unpredictable, but you do get those warm (sometimes even hot) days. I’m not that fun or spicy (as a flight attendance once called me- I’m the opposite), but this tank is just the right amount of fun for me. Elizabeth also recommended some cropped Paige jeans. The are great and do not stretch out, which is perfect for travel because, let’s face it, there isn’t ever a washer or dryer around when you need it. 

#1: Saturday, Please Stay Tank– https://leeandbirch.com/products/saturday-please-stay-tank

#2: Paige Jeans– https://leeandbirch.com/products/verdugo-crop-edie

Spring Travel Capsule Wardrobe

This would actually be a great outfit for the plane too- just add a trendy jacket and you are good to go.

#3: Roper Jacket- In Store Exclusive (stop in or call for details)

Spring Travel Capsule Wardrobe

Or, if you want to be even more stylish, you could pair a white tee with this beautiful kimono. A white tee is a risk (that’s what Shout wipes are for) but also a staple in a Spring Capsule wardrobe. And this kimono…well…just look at it. 

Maybe the mornings are chilly and the afternoons warm up. Then, you can easily swap the jeans for these silky, soft, and stylish shorts. If I didn’t live in Michigan where it can rain on Monday, snow on Tuesday, and be in the 70’s by Saturday in the springtime, I would live in these shorts.

#4: White Tee– https://leeandbirch.com/collections/tops/T-Shirt

#5: Kimono- https://leeandbirch.com/products/monarch-carmen

#6: Ruffle Shorts– https://leeandbirch.com/products/ruffle-waist-short

Spring Travel Capsule Wardrobe

If it’s a little chillier or you don’t trust yourself traveling with white, this shirt is another option to pair with the kimono. Not only does it pair well with the jeans and kimono but it is full of surprises, making it casual enough for site seeing but fun enough for dinner, too. The neckline and sleeve length make this shirt a classic choice. But then there are the slits up the side. They lay over each other but with movement, glide open, giving you the option to put a basic camisole underneath or perhaps something fancier or nothing at all if you are really trying to keep the capsule minimal. 

#7: Baseball Tee– https://leeandbirch.com/collections/tops/T-Shirt

Spring Travel Capsule Wardrobe

While we are talking dinner, it’s always good to be prepared for a nicer night out. Herein comes this LBD. It is light enough that it is perfect for the spring and summer months (and won’t take up any room in the suitcase). Even if you aren’t going anywhere, you may want to check this one out.

#8: LBD- https://leeandbirch.com/collections/dresses-skirts/Dress 

Spring Travel Capsule Wardrobe

What about going to museums or meeting friends for lunch? We have you covered there too. This dress is perfect and, as with most outfits, can be dressed up or down depending on shoe and jewelry choice. The bottom is a wrap. Before you count yourself out because wraps are usually a little irritating, there is a built in skirt/slip underneath, so you can move freely without constantly adjusting. Genius. You could also throw the jean jacket on (in the following picture) if it is cold or you are worried about the air conditioning (as I always am).

#9: Hester Dress- https://leeandbirch.com/products/hester-dress

Spring Travel Capsule Wardrobe


Planning to spend a day shopping or checking out art galleries? There is an ensemble for that too. This ruched skirt is very comfortable and easy to take a stroll in. Again, it can be paired with the White Tee from above and this jean jacket. Done and Done.

#10: Ruched Skirt- https://leeandbirch.com/products/ruched-skirt

#11Jean Jacket- https://leeandbirch.com/products/maddox-jacket-sunwashed

Many thanks to Lee and Birch for this collaboration! Here is a pin in case you feel like shopping later this week or passing the info along to husbands and children for Mother’s Day. 


Spring Travel Capsule Wardrobe

**This is not a sponsored post or ad. I am not receiving anything from Lee and Birch, aside from having a fun Wednesday and receiving guidance putting this capsule together. 


Where to Eat in Denver

I was recently able to check a box on my Bucket List (if you missed it, here is the complete-ish list) as we headed out to Colorado. My husband and I spent 4 days in this city with a beautiful backdrop of mountains. We spent all of our time in the city, although next time, I would like to head for the mountains just to try something new. My husband was able to join me for dinner a few nights, and it was wonderful. We actually had a conversation over dinner instead of wrestling kids back to the table. We did not have a bad meal… In fact, we had several downright delicious dinners. Warning: the majority of our favorite foods and shopping occurred in Larimer Square. It was only about 3 blocks from our hotel, but I would have walked miles if needed to get to this fabulous little corner of Denver. Colorful flags fly in the wind over the street while the sun casts square shadows on the warm pavement below and strings and strings of lights crisscross over the road. It really does feel magical. And the restaurants…

Where to Eat in Denver

Corridor 44- Corridor 44 is a restaurant in Larimer Square and the menu looks fabulous. We took advantage of the happy hour. The champagne cocktail list is impressive. It appeared as though many of the drinks were traditional but rather than add club soda, bubbly was substituted. Yes- you read that correctly.  I don’t even like champagne (yes, you read that correctly, too), but I loved this restaurant.

Dining and Drinking in DenverDining and Drinking in Denver

Cru- Well, we couldn’t go on a trip and not end up at chain, albeit a very quaint and fancy one with only four additional city locations… Sooooo… that doesn’t really count, right?! Regardless, the dinner was delicious and we enjoyed the small sitting area outside on the square. I would highly recommend the Scottish Salmon. We also shared a Shiraz flight that was fabulous.

Osteria Marco- Yes, another fantastic restaurant in the same square. When we walked in, I was immediately impressed with the tiled hostess station. Because it was rainy, we ate in the restaurant downstairs flanked by bottles and bottles of wine on all sides. The food was again amazing. Seriously, some of the best. You can choose from full meals, panini, and pizza.

Where to Eat in DenverWhere to Eat in Denver

Terminal Bar- We did leave Larimer Square one afternoon to check out Union Station. The building itself was incredibly impressive. It is a working train station complete with restaurants, benches, work tables, a book store, a flower stand, and a hotel. The scene is well worth checking out. We ate at the Terminal Bar and again were impressed. The craft beer selection in Denver is amazing and we had fun trying a couple new brews. (Side note: we are not wine snobs- not even close. However, when it comes to beer… we admittedly are. When you are from Beer City, USA, you tend to get spoiled with good beer without even knowing it. Denver crafters, you also do a nice job- we were impressed.)

Dining in Denver


Hotel Teatro- I cannot say enough good things about this hotel (and will say even more in a separate post, so stay tuned), but for now, I will stick to the food. We sat outside and had the most wonderful charcuterie while watching all of the people going home from work or going out to eat or doing whatever you do on a weekday at 5:30pm in Denver. Inside, the restaurant and bar are beautifully decorated. While we didn’t eat a meal at the Nickel (which is regrettable), I did pop inside to take a picture and noticed a delicious-looking Bloody Mary bar. Next time…

Where to Eat in Denver

Dining and Drinking in Denver

Want to save this for the next time you dine and drink in Denver? Here’s a pin 🙂

Where to Eat in Denver

**This post may contain affiliate links meaning that, at no cost to you, I may receive some compensation. Thank you!