Sightseeing in Palm Beach | Aruba

Aruba holds a special place in my heart because it is the first vacation I’ve taken in 21 months since I was going through some major changes in my life.  For those of you who “know know” me, know that I usually don’t wait that long to hop on a plane.  To say I was ready to board a plane and hit a beach sipping Pina Coladas is an understatement.  I was in search of my happy place.  Bon Bini Aruba!

Referred to as, “One Happy Island,” Aruba has been on my travel list for quite some time now.  With perfect weather all year round, very little rain and no hurricanes, it’s understandable why Aruba is known as “One Happy Island.”  The locals here seem happy with life and love living in Aruba, and the tourists keep coming back year after year to vacation in Aruba.  Timeshares are quite popular on the island and everyone I spoke with mentioned Aruba is one of the safest islands to visit. 


Situated just 12 degrees north of the equator, the sun rays in Aruba are extremely strong so the higher the SPF, the better.  The water here is a very pretty greenish blue color, more so in the shade of green.  Having said that, I will say the best water I have experienced so far in the Caribbean was in Turks and Caicos where the water was a perfect shade of turquoise blue and you could literally see your feet in 3 feet of water.  Unlike Turks and Caicos, in Aruba, you can’t see your feet in 3 feet of water.  Gotta be honest, right!  Regardless, Aruba water is still very, very pretty, and after Turks it is probably the next best water in the Caribbean.


In terms of cost, the USD is widely accepted on the island and most resorts are relatively affordable and family-friendly.  Taxis are reasonable with a standard fixed rate.  Most cabs charge $9 to get from point A to point B, so a ride from Palm Beach to the capital, Orjanestad, will run you about $9, but so will a ride that is half that time.  Taxi fare to the airport is $25.  Tip is generally 10% for taxi drivers and waiters.


Speaking of waiters, the food in Aruba can be quite pricey.  At most romantic, slightly more upscale restaurants with a view, a piece of fish will run you anywhere from $30-$45.  Grouper seems to be quite popular on the island and it is highly recommended at most restaurants.  For you non-fish eaters, there is usually one chicken dish and steak dish on the menu, however for the vegetarians, I barely came across any veggie items on most menus.  With that said, I’m sure most places will cater to vegetarians.  Desserts are usually about $10 and cocktails are about $12.  Additionally, every cuisine is easily available on the island, you name it, they have it - Mexican, American, Japanese, and even Indian. There is something for everyone.  I highly recommend visiting Aruba if you haven’t yet been, you will leave happy!PalmBeachAruba



Friday’s Favorites : Fashion & Beauty

As you know I recently travelled to Aruba, so naturally I did a little summer/beach shopping before I left.  One favorite purchase is the Banana Republic Drapey Pants in Black Moss, they are almost like an olive green.  These pants are so versatile, you can dress them up or down, wear them with pumps or flats.  Another favorite is this pair of Denim Short Shorts from Express.  It's my first pair of really short shorts and I’m hooked!  Next week is all about Aruba, stay tuned!
 
summer & beach favorites

Friday’s Favorites : Trader Joe’s

So I have a funny story for you guys.  On my last Trader Joe’s post I mentioned how I love their Organic Olive Oil Popcorn.  I’ve been munching on those a couple times a week.  For the past 4 days the tooth on my upper right was hurting, I was convinced my tooth shifted.  I made an appointment with the dentist ASAP because I can’t handle tooth pain.  My dentist took an x-ray and there was no cavity.  She was baffled and refused to add a filling to my tooth not knowing what the root cause was.  And I was sitting there thinking I can’t go home with this pain in my mouth, and she’s gonna bill me without solving my problem.  She started flossing around my tooth and nothing.  She then made 3 knots on the floss, that’s right, 3 knots since the back teeth tend to have bigger gaps between each tooth.  She proceeded to floss around my tooth, and out comes a piece of something.  GROSS, I know!!!  And she said, “It’s popcorn.  Have you been eating popcorn?”  Well yes, yes I have Doctor.  She said this happens more than you know.  My mouth feels so much better today, and incase you were wondering, yes, I do floss, but who knew you had to make 3 knots to get those back suckers out.  So as of now, no more popcorn for me.

1. Trader Joe’s Thai Yellow Curry Sauce
I had high hopes for this Thai Yellow Curry Sauce.  I know some people love it, but I wasn’t too crazy about it.  It’s not bad, but it’s not great either.  1/4 cup is 100 calories, 7 grams of fat, and only 1 gram of protein, so I suppose it’s a good thing I wasn’t a fan.  I sautéed some veggies with tofu and poured the yellow curry sauce all over along with some water, and then served it up with quinoa.  Okay.DSC_0103

Friday’s Favorites : Beauty

As the weather changes, my moisturizers change too.  Regardless of winter or summer, my skin tends to flake and peel.  Based on my skin type, I find that drugstore brands don’t work quite as well for me as they appear to just sit on my face, the exception is CeraVe Facial SPF 30 moisturizer that my dermatologist recommended.
 
At the moment my moisturizer of choice is Kiehl’s Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Cream SPF 30.  I love how this stuff absorbs into my skin, takes care of my dryness, is spf 30 and is a Kiehl’s product.  Clinique Youth Surge SPF 15 is another favorite when I’m feeling a little less dry, works well on those humid, cloudy days.  And when in doubt, I keep coming back to Bobbi Brown’s Protective Face Lotion which is lightweight and works exceptionally well during the spring and summer months.  The remaining products seen below have served me well over the last couple years, and I really like Clinique’s Dramatically Different Lotion for night time use a few times a week.
Moisturizers

Friday's Favorites : Grocery & Gourmet

1. Simply Organic Spices 
As my old spices are finishing up, I am going organic on most of my spices, especially spices like turmeric which contain anti-cancerous properties.  I love the Simply Organic jars and you can find this brand at Whole Foods and most other health food grocery stores.  { Tumeric | Cumin | Cinnamon | Garlic Powder | Rosemary | Paprika } 


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