The majority of you have probably never heard of Culebra, but it is a small island right off the coast of Puerto Rico. You may have heard of Flamenco Beach though and that is located on this island. Culebra is home to some of the prettiest views I have ever seen. I really enjoy traveling here because it is very calm and not overwhelmed with tourists. After Hurricane Maria, the people who live here did an amazing job cleaning up the aftermath and restoring Culebra back to its original beauty.
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In order to get to Culebra you must take a boat or a tiny plane (I prefer a plane since I get seasick). Plus, a plane ride allows you to see the beauty of both islands from the air. Once you are there, everyone gets around on Golf Carts or jeeps, but the golf carts are much more fun to me. We always rent our golfcart from Jerry’s Jeep Rental. Since Culebra is so small is is super easy to navigate around the island. There are so many beaches on all sides of Culebra, but Flamenco Beach is foresure the most popular.
That said, my personal favorite beach is Zoni Beach because it is more hidden than the others and takes a little longer to get so.There are typically very few people at Zoni and I feel like it is my own private beach. If you want to snorkel and see some marine life, then Melones and Tamarindo Beach are great for that. They are a little rocky so definitely bring swim shoes and a snorkel.
My family and I love to take a boat out about 20 minutes to the island of Culebrita. The views there are absolutely breathtaking. On Culebrita you can take a 15-20 minute light hike up to the top and see an old lighthouse. There are some goats and deer on the island that we will usually see on our hikes. On one end of the island there are also tide pools that are so much fun to swim in. The water is a gorgeous blue with burnt orange rocks around it. You must know the walk to get to the tide pools is rough and rocky so make sure to wear shoes of some sort, but it is well worth it. Tons of boats will gather on Culebrita on most weekends. The boaters will play in the water, snorkel around, and grill out for the day, every-time we have done this we have a blast. There is also a dive shop on the island of Culebra that has taken my brother out numerous times for those who want a little more than snorkeling.
Food & Drink Recommendations
Let me just start by saying everything on the island is very casual, sundresses or jean shorts are the way to go. Also most all of the restaurants are outside so it usually wise to bring bug spray especially during Summer.
El Eden: By far my favorite restaurant! The food is so unique and tasty. This is a place I highly recommend making reservations for because they are always busy. They have so many great things on the menu, but I would advise you to get the Zucchini pasta or Lobster Risotto, they are so good.
Dinghy Docks: This is a great spot to grab a drink and appetizer right on the water. There are tons of Tarpin in the water right off the dock so that’s always fun to see. We like to stop here and snack on some taquitos after a day at the beach before we head back to get ready for dinner.
Mamacitas: Another place on the water so it’s a fun place to go eat for a casual dinner. Their fish fingers are yummy! You can also stay right above in their guesthouse if you want to.
Susies: Here they have a great outdoor ambiance and it is one of the nicer restaurants on the island. Their steak and lobster is always served to perfection. They are a seasonal restaurant so definitely check to see if they’re open for your trip.
Vibra Verde: The absolute BEST place for breakfast or brunch! Every time we travel to Culebra I make sure to stop here. On this last trip I actually met the couple who owns this place and they were very down to earth. They have great açaí bowls, smoothies, eggs, and bagels.
Where To Stay
Club Seaborne: Our family of 14 just stayed here and had a good time. We each had rooms right next to each other and it is small enough to all feel close, but still have personal space. They serve breakfast and have a bar so it worked out for everyone.
Villas: Personally I enjoy renting a house or villa and staying there because there are many unique properties right on the water or hills with gorgeous views. However it is very hard to find a place that holds a lot of people so this is a better option for smaller groups.
Apartment living has me struggling. I love my apartment and my roommates, but the closet I live with is so small! It’s a sliding door with one rack and one shelf…tough life for a fashionista. It took a whole month and a lot of brainstorming to figure out just how to fit all my clothes and shoes in there. My space is very limited, but I made it work. Here’s some tips and tricks on how to make the most of space in a small room…
For a closet
I bought an extra hanging bar that hooks on to the main rack and gives you an extra row of of hanging clothes. It only takes up about 2/3 of the length of the top rack so it’s perfect to leave space for long clothes like pants or dresses.
Target or the container store has some great top shelf storage. I bought a 2 shelf shoe rack from target that I put on the top rack of my shelf and added a big box on top of that so I can utilize the tall closet space.
I had a hanger to hold all my belts and purses on the very side of my closet, but now with sweater season I needed to maximize that rack space. I put small command hooks on the side wall of my closet and have staggered my belts on the wall.
Thin cloth hangers are a must! I have transferred all of my hanging clothes to these kinds of hangers because they take up the least amount of space and they hold clothes way better than plastic.
The container store has great stackable’s for jewelry. I have a three tier tower and the first one is meant specifically for stud earrings. The next one I use for bracelets or chunkier earrings. The third tier is used for some more of my everyday earrings and some rings I don’t wear as often.
I found a cheap, tin hook wall decor at Hobby lobby. I was looking for any sort of wall arrow and planned on putting nails in it, but I came across this which already bad hooks so it worked out. I hang all of my necklaces on it because I can layer more than one without them getting tangled.
I have a tree stand that originally I had used for my bracelets, but as I get more bracelets I started to run out of room. I ended up taking my bracelets off and I put all my hoops on it and spread my rings out on the bottom of it.
I got a new display holder for my bracelets that is black (but comes in different colors), and is three tiered to hold all of them.
I don’t have enough space in my bedroom for a full length jewelry stand, but at home it is the best. I like it because it has a full length mirror on it and holds so much of my jewelry, but I added more command hooks on the inside door so that it fits more of my necklaces.
For the Bathroom
I have a slight obsession with trying new makeup or products. I have more stuff than I know what to do with, but it’s okay if you can make the space for it right? I have definitely learned how to utilize bathroom space.
Acrylic Makeup Holders are a life saver. I started with a basic topper and one layer under, but as I keep buying new makeup I had to buy more layers. This is why I love it though because you can just keep building on it. I get all of mine at the Container Store, but you can get them on Amazon too.
I like to see my everyday products that I use, cause sometimes when they’re stuffed in a drawer I cannot find anything! I recently got this 360 organizer and I love it because its customizable heights and where you want things to be. It also hold little things on the top so I put some of my everyday earrings or little things up there.
Rolling Carts are a must. I got mine at Target and I got little baskets from the Dollar Store that fit perfectly into the cart. I like to put the baskets in as little dividers that hold everything I need by categories (I tend to get OCD about this stuff). Without the basket my stuff will topple over and gets messy. But literally these carts hold so much and are a great way to organize and make more space.
Under my sink I keep my bath towels and some extra products. I use these two storage containers to stack all those extra products and some emergency kit stuff. My bottom one holds all the bandaids, cotton pads, and stuff like that. But I love them because they stack perfectly on each other and they are clear so I can still what is in each one.
I really love command hooks okay…I use the baby ones for everything! I put them on my bathroom wall to hold all my fun scrunchies or hair ties because if not I shove them in a drawer where I either forget about them or they take up too much room and force me to cram things in the drawer. I also used them on a blank wall next to me desk to hold my big hats because it looks so cute and you can’t even see the hook. It also allows the hats to keep their shape and not get ruined. If you still have an empty wall in your room or closet then they are great for holding long purses too.
Take a long bath or hot shower: This is the best way to relieve stress. I love to take a hot bath and keep lavender and peppermint scents around me. The key to helping relieve some of the stress is adding in a lavender or stress relief soap. I also love to put some essential oils in my bath. If I don’t have time for a long bath though, I’ll just hop in the shower and still use that same soap. Either way it is a great way to relax and take your mind off of things.
Play your favorite music: I have two different playlists for when I need to relieve some stress. One is a playlist of my favorite slower songs. I like to listen to those when I need to calm down or when I’m in the bath. My other playlist is some of my favorite upbeat, pop music. This is great for when you just need to dance it all out and get rid of that stress. Both are equally effective when it comes to getting rid of stress.
Take a break from technology (even if it’s for an hour or two): Sometimes I find my stress can come from when I get distracted on my phone or computer because I just lost track of time and wasted an hour doing nothing. I think taking a break from technology allows me to have some time for myself or others. Also, social media can tend to add stress because sometimes there are negative things on there or you can end up comparing yourself to others and so it’s good to disconnect from it for a little bit.
Treat yourself to something small: I find that making time for yourself can be so hard sometimes! It is super important to find that time for yourself and treat your self to small things here and there. Whether it’s splurging on Starbucks or a new pair of shoes, it is essential to keep yourself happy as well as others. However, I sometimes need to remind myself that I don’t need to “treat” myself everyday. Lol.
Go for a walk outside: This weather is the perfect time to take a walk. Walking is a great way to relieve some stress because it gets the blood flowing and I personally feel way better after a little exercise. By going outside and enjoying nature it can take your mind off of everything else. I like to take a scenic walk and enjoy the color change of the leaves right now.
Read a book (or any article):Distracting yourself in a book is such a good way to get your mind off of everything that is stressing you out. Books are great because you can get so intrigued and your mind is solely focused on the story. If you don’t have time for a book, articles are also a quick way to get your mind off of things. I like to pick something enjoyable like fashion or life articles, but you can choose anything you like.
Light a candle or use aromatherapy oils (lavender, chamomile):I am such a candle person. Personally, lighting any scent candle calms me down because I love smelling them around the house. Vanilla pumpkin scent is my current obsession because the smell of fall makes me so happy! But for many the smell of lavender or peppermint is proven to be very calming. For some people candles don’t work and they use essential oils. I love oils because you can use them in so many ways. I personally like to use them in a diffuser and keep that near my bed. Chamomile is a great one and it really seems to calm me down. You can get just about any scent in oils and I also love to use that when my immune system is getting run down.
Journal your feelings: This is something I have recently started doing. All my life so many people I know would journal everything and I never understood it until lately. I used to feel funny writing my feelings down, but now that I have started doing it more, I really enjoy it. It is a great way to get out any thoughts or feelings without having to share it with others. I am super personal about things and I do not like to share that stuff so I found journaling it all down has helped so much. I also like to journal about good things too. Goals, accomplishments, etc. I find that doing this can alter my mood thinking about all the goods things in my life. When I journal the bad things I’m stressing about and compare them to all the great things I jotted down, I find that everything in life really isn’t that bad right now and I’m over exaggerating about it all.
Bake something simple:Some people like to cook and some like to bake, but whatever you prefer it is a great way to take a step back from everything and do something enjoyable. Keeping track of ingredients and timers takes your mind of other stuff. Also, I highly recommend baking something with banana in it. The potassium in banana’s is a great stress reliever because potassium lowers your blood pressure, which tends to rise when you’re stressed.
Animal therapy:Dogs are my go to. Who can stay stressed when you’re petting a dog or cat or any other super cute animal! I love having dogs around because they also seem to know when you’re down and they are a great comfort. If you don’t have an animal, a great thing to do is volunteer at an animal shelter or even visit a friend who has one. Volunteering at the shelter is a great way to give back and help yourself at the same time. I personally love playing with the dogs at the shelter because they are the sweetest things in the world and I want to take them all home with me.
Make a list: If you know me then you know I am such a list/ planning kind of person. Making a list a great way to help get rid of stress. Make a list of everything you need to do and put it in order of importance. This way you can see what you need to and in what order. It’s also great because as you get those things done, you can cross them off and feel accomplished. Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed like I have too much to do and not enough time, but as soon I as start doing some of the things and crossing them off I realize it’s really not that bad.
Do it outside: I find that staying stuck inside all day can add to my stress. If you don’t have time to take a walk outside to get rid of that stress then take your stuff outside. If some of the tasks I need to do can be done outside then that’s where I’ll be. I love sitting on a porch listening to the wind or seeing the sunshine. Everything around me just feels better when I’m outside and it puts me in a better mood to get things done. It can be a nice refresher to go outside and get work done. With it being Fall right now it is the perfect time to sit outside and get work done.
September is upon us and I couldn’t be happier. The Summer to Fall transition is my favorite time of the year. It’s a nice change of weather, activities, and clothing. Here’s a list of my 10 favorite things about the month September!
September 29th is National Drink Coffee Day! This might be the best day of the year besides Christmas and my birthday. Coffee is the one thing that always keeps me going throughout the day and I can’t live without it. (also wish I was drinking my coffee with this view again)
Pumpkin Spice Latte season is back! Some of the best news you can hear in September. These drinks are my go to in the Fall, and I whole heartedly believe that there’s nothing better. They are only here for a couple months so get it while you can (or stock up in the kitchen)!
Fall is official on September 22, which means so many great changes. Leaves falling and weather getting colder! Fall is by far my favorite season it brings a calmness through the air that is so refreshing. The scenery of leaves changing color is one of my favorite views when driving.
All of this means that it is now acceptable to throw Fall stuff at everyone.My roommates keep telling me they walk in the house and fall smacks them in the face! Lol! I have gone to Bath and Body works to get my favorite Autumn and Pumpkin Spice candles and wall scents. Even my car air freshener has been replaced with Fall scents. Target is a great place to stop and get some Fall home accents that are inexpensive and a great touch to any room.
With Fall here that means it is time for a wardrobe change! Boots and sweaters are out and I am ecstatic. Sweaters are so cozy and cute to pair with any jeans, leggings, or jeggings. Heck, oversize the sweater and wear it as a dress with some cute over the knee boots.
Now that fall clothes are in that means Summer clothes are out. Just about every store has all the Summer clothes on major sale. It is a great time to stock up on basics and shoes that will always be in style. I just bought some great finds from Nordstrom all over 40% off! You can’t beat that.
Football season is finally back!War Eagle! I love football season so much because its a great way for everyone to come together on weekends and have a good time. I also love finding unique game-day outfits for each game. Another plus is that tailgate food is the best (especially as a college student).
Favorite fruit is in season…Apples! Apples are a healthy snack filler as well as a great sweet treat. Homemade apple pie is the best fall dessert ever. I’m a huge fan of apple anything for the most part especially sweetened. I always like to go to an Apple farm and pick my own as a fall festivity.
September 26 is National Pancake Day! Make your IHOP reservations now or be sure to stock up on ingredients. Chocolate chip pancakes are my favorite so you know I will be making them for breakfast and most likely be hitting up the free IHOP pancakes for dinner that night. So fluffy and satisfying this is my breakfast weakness.
New seasons bring a fresh change to everything in life. It’s a great time to clean out the house, especially the closet. My closet changes completely with this transition from Summer to Fall. You get a nice reality check, you can reevaluate yourself and goals to see how far you’ve come since the beginning of the year. It’s a good refresher to take a step back and enjoy the better things in life.
Fall is the best outfit season because you can wear clothes from every season. I love wearing big sweaters with some shorts or dresses with a jean jacket over it. Another great look is throwing a big sweater over a dress when it gets cooler. Also if you haven’t heard Nasty Gal is having a major sale of 50% off their entire site! I got so many simple dresses and jeans from them all at half price. This weather also means it’s booty season! Honestly you can get away wearing booty’s all year, but they look even better with Fall outfits. It’s still pretty warm to be wearing over the knee boots so booty’s do the job to finish a cute look.
This look is one of my favorites. The navy dress is from Nasty Gal…only $6. You seriously cannot top that. Dress it up or down with a jean jacket or sweater. Also these booty’s are so comfortable from Nordstrom and go with just about anything! Even better this jean jacket is on sale for under $50! I’m a huge fan of jean jackets especially this one because the patches on it really spice up a look.
Oh my gosh you guys! St. Barths is probably one of the best islands I’ve ever been to. My mom and I did a girls trip here for her birthday, so just a quick weekend getaway. This place is beyond gorgeous and so much fun. Whether you go for 3 day trip or a week, I promise you will love every second of it. The island is good for families, couples, or girls trips! It is a little bit on the pricey side of traveling, but it is worth every cent (or euro). I went the first weekend of July so it was their low season, but it was still fairly busy so I can’t imagine what their peak season is like. Here’s just a few of my recommendations for things if you wanna go!
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PLACES TO STAY
Pearl Beach Hotel This is where we stayed and I absolutely loved it! All of the staff is beyond friendly and welcoming. This boutique hotel used to be Tom Beach Hotel, but after the hurricane last year they redid the entire place and renovated everything. It is right on the beach, with free beach chairs included. There is a gorgeous open restaurant that is a part of the hotel with great food from breakfast to dinner. Any room you choose to stay in is no longer than a two minute walk from your door to the beach. They have a nice pool as well, but if you’re like me you will be at the beach instead. Also, right at the beach they offer snorkeling, to kite surfing, to surfing lessons.
Eden Rock St. Barths I have heard amazing things about this place!! Due to the hurricane this place had a lot of damage, so they decided to completely renovate every part of it. Unfortunately, that meant it wasn’t open when I went, but it is scheduled to reopen December 2018. Next time I go, I would love to stay here. It has beaches on both sides of it and a beautiful restaurant right on the water. It is a very unique hotel and I have never heard anything bad about it. Another plus, it is conveniently located right next to the renown Nikki Beach.
Hotel Christopher This place is perfect if you like to shop. It is located right in Gustavia which is where all the high end and boutique shops are found. Also, we found so many great restaurants in this town. This hotel looks super cute with a beautiful infinity pool and sadly, it wasn’t open when I went because of renovations from the hurricane. It is set to reopen around October of 2018 and I would love to try this place as well. Hotel Christopher has its own gorgeous restaurant and beach bar as well as a spa within the hotel if you enjoy relaxing that way.
Places to Eat
Okay, this might be my favorite part of the trip to talk about. If you know me, then you know I love food, specifically any food with truffle in it. I had truffle pasta or pizza at almost every meal. This island has some of the best food I have ever tasted. There are so many amazing places to eat, so I’ll just share with you some of my favorites and recommendations. You MUST MUST MUST make reservations ahead of time. Especially during peak season, you need to make reservations for any of these places for breakfast, lunch or dinner, way before you leave for your trip or you won’t get in. Nikki Beach is very popular on Sundays so I would make that reservations as far in advance as you can because you definitely want to experience it.
Bagatelle – This is my favorite restaurant in the world! Our table was right on the water in the bay and it was gorgeous. On top of that, their menu was amazing. I had a truffle elbow pasta with ham and let me tell ya…THE BEST MEAL EVER! They also had lobster and a truffle pizza that was out of this world. It is a nice setting and again everyone there was very friendly.
Nikki Beach- This place is a must. On Sundays especially, it is a total party. They have a super fun environment with a DJ playing his loud music, people dancing and the staff wears costumes to match different daily themes. When I went, it was a circus theme, so all of the staff was dressed up like members of a circus and having fun. Their food is also amazing. I highly recommend their sushi pizza. It sounds strange I know, but it’s not a normal pizza and it is super yummy.
Bonito- If you want a place with views, then this is the place to go. It overlooks the entire bay and is especially gorgeous at dusk. Also, they have super fun and creative drinks. There is nothing normal about the drinks they serve. They come in mini bathtubs with rubber ducks to being served like the rose in Beauty in the Beast with smoke. Their food for sure is loved by the taste buds. I particularly liked the ceviche and truffle mashed potatoes. As you can tell by now I am a truffle aficionado.
L’Isola- Italian all the way. I personally love me some good homemade Italian food and this place does just that. They have a great menu and good food. You can’t go wrong with Italian and this place met our expectations.
Shellona- I wasn’t able to make it here in our short time, but I have heard great things about this place. It is right on Shell Beach which is a very popular destination to hang out and enjoy some sun.
Bohemia- I loved this place! It is located right in the courtyard of Gustavia. Perfect for us because we could shop, then stop here to eat lunch and continue shopping. They had some great healthier options as well. Their avocado toast was amazing as was their zucchini pasta. The servers were very friendly and we enjoyed being outside in the heart of Gustavia.
THINGS TO DO
St. Bart’s is not a huge island so there are not a ton of activities, but it is super easy to make your own and have a great time.
Rent a car! My mom and I by no means are good at directions. LOL. The island is small enough though, that with the help of a simple map we were able to get to every part of the island and had a blast. We rented a cute, red Mini Cooper and put the top down to explore.
If you are there on a Sunday, you have to head to Nikki Beach. You can hang out at the restaurant or reserve a beach bed to bask in the sun. It’s a good way to have fun and just hang out on the beach.
Shopping! Shopping! Shopping! Pack lightly on your trip over so you have plenty of room in you’re luggage for all the goodies you will find. They have great shopping from high end Prada and Cartier to smaller boutiques that have a more local flare. It’s all in the heart of Gustavia and most enjoyable walking around.
St. Jean Beach is home of the Pearl Beach Hotel and the beach is something out of a travel magazine. The coolest part of it though is that the planes fly right in front of you as the airport is directly behind this beach. There are also people on this beach who offer water sport rentals and lessons, if that’s your fancy.
If you are down for some hiking this place offers a gorgeous hike, with an even better reward at the end. We did’t get to hike it, but everyone told us how amazing it is. You hike to the natural pools there and they are known as a “Washing Machine,” because the water is always turning. You can drive near the town of Columbier and hike over from there. We drove that way on our adventure and it is truly a picturesque drive. These pictures below were taken from the top of the mountain. The views were some of the finest on the island.
This was one of my favorite trips and a big reason why was because I got to spend it with my mom for her birthday. We had an unforgettable time and I hope to go back soon. If you ever have the opportunity to visit St. Barths, I would highly recommend it. Not many airlines fly to the island, but I would strongly encourage flying Tradewinds! I cannot begin to explain how amazing their service was on the roundtrip. On the flight home, my mom and I were lucky enough to have the plane to ourselves. The pilots and airline staff were all first class and the most accommodating that we have ever encountered.
I decided to give my hair a nice, healthy break this trip. I left all my heat tools at home and went a more natural route. It was way easier than I expected it to be too! Braids and buns were my go to, with a scarf tied into it. I am obsessing over scarves in my hair right now and it just adds a pop of color to any outfit, which I love. If you’re lost for inspiration, check out Pinterest. I was always scrolling through it looking for fun, new ways to wear my hair. There were lots of failed attempts at some braids, but I was able to find some easy to do styles as well.
During the day I preferred having my hair braided or pulled back, since I was in and out of the water or venturing around. This scarf is on sale for $8 and it’s not too big, making it perfect to tie at the end of braids! If you don’t like braids as much, it’s still perfect to tie up a pony as well! The dutch braid is my favorite because it is very easy to do, and also is a big braid, which I prefer. If you have thinner hair, remember to always pull out the braid a little so that it makes the braid look thicker. Another super easy look to do is a half up bun. I like to add a scarf around my bun because it helps keep the bun perky on the top of my head and also adds a nice touch to a simple outfit. For this look you can even french braid your hair back and then tie it into a bun once you reach the back of your head.
For dinner I usually tried to do something cute, but with my hair down. This look was actually so easy to do and only took three minutes, if that. Just twist back a small chunk of hair on each side and tie them in the middle. Do that again and then take both small pony tails and braid down. The key to keeping my hair somewhat straight with no heat was using tons of conditioner and brushing it while it air dried. My hair is also naturally on the straighter side which helps.
Shop my favorite scarves here! Just click on the picture to shop
My family and I are on an amazing sail trip through the Grenadines. It is my first time sailing from island to island and oh my gosh, it is amazing. Aside from the first day of seasickness. My favorite part of traveling to the beach and the islands is the excuse to get new swimsuits!! This trip was easy to pack for because it is all bathing suits and cover ups, no need for shoes!! However, I do like to accessorize even when in my bathing suits. Shopping for this trip I found that Forever 21 and Everything But Water have some of the best bathing suits for the Summertime. The two are on opposite price ends, however Everything But Water isn’t exceptionally high.
This cute maxi dress/ cover up is so comfy! I wore it all day exploring and traveling. Even though it is long, it keeps you cool in the heat because it is more open, especially with the leg slit in the front.
This bathing suit is seriously one of my new favorites! It’s from Forever 21 and I love it, especially for the beach because stripes are super in style right now. I got the jewelry from Bauble Bar (another hot brand right now). I love this piece as it goes with most everything to spice it up. Oh my gosh…This look is my new favorite. I have been obsessing over head bands and scarves lately and I absolutely love this nautical one paired with my all white bathing suit from Forever 21. Also, even though this top doesn’t have padding in it, you can’t tell because it is a thicker fabric.
You can shop all my looks here! Plus, most of the Forever 21 pieces are on sale!!!