Shopbop Holiday Gift guides are live for the entire fam and all my favorite things are on sale! Here are my top picks for this month and the things to get for Black Friday Event! Take 20% off on orders $200+ with promo code SHOP20 till Nov 30th!
We just got back from a long weekend in the keys and we had just enough days to explore the tiny island off of Florida. We actually flew into Miami and took a yacht from there to key west (but if you’re sea sick I do not recommend, I was almost the entire time!). It takes about 7 hours via boat, but you can also drive an easy 3 hours to Key west from Miami as well. If you are not into either of those options, there is an airport in Key West you can fly directly into too. We were in town for a friends wedding, so it was a huge group of us that got to enjoy hanging out! Unfortunately Hurricane eta was headed our way on Sunday so we had to hightail it out of key west and fly home a day early. The weather the first couple of days was perfect in the mid 80s and sunny! Below is everything we loved about the island.
Where to Stay:
The Perry Key West Hotel: This hotel was the perfect spot right before you go into downtown key west on Stock Island. It is about 3 miles from Duval St (where all the restaurants/bars are) and it sits on a beautiful marina. We chose this location because this is also where all the wedding action was all weekend! You can see a map of the location here.
What we loved about the hotel: They have on site bikes, Vespas, and golf carts you can easily rent. There are two pools facing the Marina. The rooms have balconies, and we loved being on the ground floor to walk straight out to the pool. The food is amazing at their main restaurant Matt’s Stock Island!
Where to Eat:
Coffee/Croissants: Croissants de France, so good!
Breakfast/Brunch/Lunch: Banana Cafe, Blue Heaven (heard this place anytime actually), MoonDog Cafe, Two friends patio, Salute on the Beach, Thirsty Mermaid.
Snacks: Stop by the Raw Machine for Acai Bowl, or smoothies in coconuts!
Dinner: Santiagos, Cafe Sole, Latitudes
Dessert: Tip: Get Key lime Pie everywhere you go! Stop by Better than Sex, a dessert bar restaurant and I was told to not even have dinner before this the portions are huge and that good! We drove by it but didn’t have a night free to go. We also stopped by Wicked Lick Ice cream and loved it!
Bars: All of Duval St, they are all open till 4am.
What to do:
Water Activities: See all the ones the hotel has to offer here. I’d recommend renting a private sailing tour, going snorkeling, or renting jetskis! There are a few restaurants nearby that you can drink and also rent jetskis from as well.
Beach: There are several options but we heard Fort Zachary Taylor beach was the easiest to access, and Smathers Beach.
Shop/Day Drink: Head to Duval St and plan to walk/bar hop to all the spots!
Our first trip internationally after 7 months in the US did not disappoint! We headed to Playa Del Carmen Mexico through CheapCaribbean and two of our best friends for a little adults only getaway. We were very impressed with how smooth the process went from booking the trip, to the arrival, transportation, and to the hotel. Below are all the details to make sure your trip is just as smooth and sharing a discount code for travel at the end!
How to get there: We flew into Cancun airport. This is the main airport hub if you are visiting the east coast of Mexico. Playa Del Carmen is about an hour drive from Cancun, and Tulum is 2 hours. Highly recommend having prearranged transport with Amstar prior to arrival so everything is hassle free getting straight to your destination. We booked the Private Deluxe Transfer here! I can’t say enough good things about this experience, from waiting with a sign with our name on it, grabbing our luggage, to beverages waiting for us, and intense cleaning procedures, the team was amazing!
Paradisus all inclusive resort is the way to go! Paradisus is also a Trip Trust resort which means they are following industry guidelines for cleaning protocols! You can read all about it here! But basically they are taking cleaning to high extremes, every employee was wearing a mask and temperatures were checked before every meal on the property. When you arrive you pre-book all your meals & you don’t have to worry about paying for a thing anymore! It is a huge property with an adults only section and an entire area for families too! We stayed in a one bedroom Master Suite. My favorite part was this outdoor jacuzzi tub overlooking the swimming pools.
Below is info straight from the CheapCaribbean site on the resort so you know the exact things they have to offer:
“This is a Beachfront All-inclusive Resort with 910 lavish suites including 124 Swim-up Suites with direct access to the pool | 334 The Reserve Suites and four Presidential Suites | New Concept: THE RESERVE with dedicated areas for Everyone and for Adults Only | Two Sparkling free-form swimming pool with swim-up bar and pool side grill | Fitness center | YHI Spa ($) | El Zocalo, the heart of Paradisus Playa del Carmen, featuring 14 restaurants including “SAL”-Steak Cave ($) and 11 bars | A wide array of non-motorized land and watersports | Kids Zone with supervised activities for kids up to 12 years, playground with jungle gym and outdoor activities | New Waterpark and splash pad for the kids | Life-enriching Experiences | Pristine white sand beach | Day and night-time entertainment Paradisus Playa del Carmen is an all-inclusive luxury playground catering to adults and children alike. The resort is located along the Riviera Maya’s prestigious Playa del Carmen enclave on Mexico’s eastern shore renowned for pristine white sand beaches and turquoise waters, 45 minutes from Cancun International Airport (CUN).Just steps from extraordinary beaches & attractions: Playa del Carmen’s 5th Avenue, Xcaret, Akumal, Xel-ha, and Xplor. Our extensive features, options and services come with a Guest Experience Manager, or Concierge to help you navigate so you are free to roam and relax.”
Day trip to Tulum! Highly recommend checking this town out for a day or two! Tulum is another hour drive south from playa del carmen & we were able to get a taxi for 4 people for $80usd from the hotel! See my instagram for tips for that spot :).
Visit Cenotes: Popular ones include: Dos Ojos, Gran Cenote, Suyton
Thanks to CheapCaribbean and Paradisus Playa Del Carmen for having us! You can use code BECCA100on their site here: (Requirements: 6 night package, min double occupancy. Expires: 11/15. Travel window: now-Dec 2021)
Charleston was our first trip in over 6 months out of North Carolina since Covid hit! I was very hesitant at first to see what staying in a hotel would be like during a pandemic but the experience felt even safer than before with all the precautions in place. We actually flew over from Ocean Isle Beach NC with a few friends in a Saratoga plane. It was such a cool experience and only took 30 minutes! Otherwise I recommend driving if on the east coast, its just 3 hours from Wilmington NC, or flying into the Charleston Airport. If you’re traveling with the entire family, make sure to check out my last guide I did on Charleston here!
Here is my run down of things to do in a short weekend! As always, you can see the behind the scenes of our trip on the “Charleston” Highlight on my Instagram here!
Lets get straight to it, because you all know I am turning into a food blogger lately, and most of these places you need advanced reservations at least a few weeks before traveling!
only all the food in Charleston is amazing you really can’t go wrong.
WHAT TO DO:
Rainbow Row: One of the most Iconic photo spots in Downtown Charleston. Explore the streets, take in all the colorful walls, and hit up all the cute shops.
Bike Around- Hotel Emeline provides them complimentary if you are staying on the property, or you can rent nearby easily.
Take a Horse Carriage ride around town!
Visit all the Plantations/Museums (look into getting the Charleston VIP pass)
Take a pedal boat tour!
If traveling with children, visit the splash fountain in front of Harbour View Inn on a hot day.
Go on a Sailing tour (we did this years ago and it was epic)
WHERE TO STAY:(now that I have you ready to go!)
Hotel Emeline: The newest boutique hotel on the block in downtown Charleston. From the moment you walk into the hotel you can smell the aroma of Charleston (not kidding they even sell the scent at the gift shop). The hotel décor is so chic and very “instagramable”. The rooms have a vintage vibe and come with your own record player (say what!). We loved the fact the bikes were complimentary, the proximity to downtown, and the fact the best restaurants were on site! They also provide the cutest Mini Coopers (seen below) to stroll around the city too!
This month I wanted to highlight my favorite work out gear that I have in 3 different shades! You can find all shades currently in stock at shopbop here, so make sure to grab them while you can. I love wearing these outfits when traveling anywhere because it is so light weight and easy to throw pieces on or take them off if traveling to warmer weather 🙂
This month I wanted to share with you my top brands that are also the “most hearted” on Shopbop right now here. These are styles we have taken on trips around the world and still function great after several washes.
We finally got a Golf cart last weekend!! Ever since we bought our beach house last year in Ocean Isle Beach NC I had my heart set on eventually getting a golf cart. Ocean Isle Beach is known for his golf cart community lifestyle and everyone on the island typically has one for cruising the streets easily. The towns hosts a 4th of July Parade every year where they decorate everyone’s golf carts and line the streets for the kids! After researching a few companies over the last several months, we finally decided to go look at Golf Carts at Cary Cart Company’s newest location in Ocean Isle Beach! (6855 Beach Dr. SW #3 Ocean Isle Beach NC). The location is an easy 10 minute drive from Ocean Isle Beach on the way to Sunset Beach. We toured all the color options they had and decided to go with this Mint green one!
The exact Golf Cart we chose and features:
Model: Onward PTV, street legal Club Car Manufacturer
Local Service-(Offices in OIB, Bald Head Island, and Cary, NC) This was huge, if something happens to golf cart or the battery stops working etc, I wanted someone nearby to easily run over and fix the problem. Their team even brought it on a trailer and dropped the cart off at our house once purchased.
Cost: 48 months 0% financing! You heard that right. When I thought about waiting another year to get a golf cart, it just made since to go ahead and finance once since we would have 4 years to pay it off. They offer this deal for brand new golf carts. You can buy used ones as well, but the 0% won’t be available.
Custom Golf Carts: You can customize and make any type of golf cart if you don’t want a used one! They help you pick out the colors, features, seat size etc!
Family Owned: I love to support local small businesses expecially during this time and I love the fact the entire family works and operates at each location.
Rent or Buy: If you are just renting a beach place for the week, they also have that option available. Search their rentals here and the carts for sale here!
March 9th weekend feels like a century ago now when I try to recap my thoughts on my best friends Bachelorette party in Scottsdale, AZ. It was the weekend before the world went into pandemic mode. With everything going on in the world right now with COVID-19 virus, traveling in the future just doesn’t seem attainable. It is all temporary, so when we do get back to traveling regularly put this on your saved travel list! I would love to take you all back to sunny days when time stopped still for Nikki Sweeney, soon to be Nikki Cosden! Read below for everything you need to know to plan the perfect Bachelorette in Scottsdale, Arizona. (You can also read another recap of our trip over on Stag & Hen’s blog here!)
Best time to Visit: Spring time- Late February- April. Scottsdale has desert heat, so the summer time can get way too hot. Also March is spring training for baseball teams, so its the ideal time for bars/restaurants to be packed with fun. We went the first weekend in March and the weather is mid 80s!
How to get there: We flew into PHX airport, which takes about 20 minutes to drive into Scottsdale, AZ. I did see there was a smaller airport in Scottsdale you could potentially fly into as well.
Where to stay: What I loved about Scottsdale when researching was that the area is very affordable for bachelorette parties! We found many mansion style houses all around the area for pretty cheap prices! We chose to stay in Old Town area due to being close to all the bars and restaurants. We also wanted to stay at a property that came with full service concierge team and we found that with The Platinum Experience! We booked this exact house, it has 5 bedrooms, a pool + hot tub and fit 11 of us perfectly! The Platinum experience organized grocery delivery for us, early check in, a private chef, and answered any questions we had at all times. I would highly recommend booking a place in Scottsdale with a full team available to help with all necessities to take stress off the planning! Use code BOOKDIRECT10 to receive 10% the nightly rate on any of their properties here.
Our perfect Itinerary: I created this printable itinerary from a downloadable link from this etsy shop!
*Activities mentioned above: We absolutely loved booking the Pedal Bike tour with Arizona Party Bikes! We chose to do a sunset tour and it was the perfect amount of time to hit up all the happy hour spots in Old Town Scottsdale. You can easily book any time on their site, we chose to do a private tour since we had over 10+ people. I would suggest booking at least a month+ out for weekend pedal tours because it is Arizona’s top rated tour for parties! The driver played amazing music & it was BYOB! I can’t recommend this tour enough :). Thank you Arizona Party Bikes for kicking our weekend off right!