Can anyone else believe we’ve made it this far into quarantine?! I’m not sure about you, but I definitely wasn’t of the mindset that we’d be in this situation for the long … long … LONG haul.
Well … as a community, we do what we have to do to keep everyone safe, healthy, and well!
REAL TALK: How’s your boredom going? Looking for different and creative activities you can still do to support from a safe, outdoor, social distance that supports our local neighbors!
Read on …
Virtual Live Stream Music Nights While we all miss visiting our local watering hole, attending weddings and the like to see our friends, enjoy live music, and escape from this ‘new reality,’ there are still ways to tune in and support your favorite musicians.
Check out my personal favorite list of bands to tune into below! Whether you choose to tune in via Facebook, Instagram, Twitch, LiveX and more, nothing quite beats a cool summer evening while jamming out to live tunes:
Pop Up Events Supporting the Local Community Let’s be real . . . it’s been hard. Not only emotionally, but also finally – for both businesses with storefronts and those without. Because I’ve noticed a number of new folks on here, allow my to introduce myself and my personal situation –
I’m the wife of a local bar & restaurant owner in the historic Federal Hill section of downtown Baltimore, MD. Every year, we look forward to the days of filling the bar with energetic fans, festive gear, and fun promotions during the NFL season; however, it’s looking unfavorable that we’ll even have that this year.
But, we also realize we’re not the only ones struggling through these turbulent times – we’re all in this together. As a result, meet our #SmallBusinessSunday series!
Each Sunday, we’ll be partnering with a different, Baltimore-based, small business to host a pop-up event in our location, helping to drive their brand exposure, boost customer engagement and overall promote local, Baltimore partnerships.
August is already slated to be T-A-S-T-Y !! Check out the awesome upcoming pop-up schedule at Don’t Know Tavernfor August below:
A Local Boutique Favorite I’ll be honest – one thing I’ve always wished for is owning my own clothing & accessory boutique. BUT – I’d be amiss if I said I had ANY idea how to run one!
While there’s a few great shops in my neighborhood, one I never get tired of visiting again and again is Pandora’s Box Boutique. It’s a quaint, female, black-owned Federal Hill boutique on E. Cross St. that ALWAYS has unique finds. Trust me when I say it’s not your typical store that offers the same trinkets and brands as their competitors. Pandora sources their items from all over – – France, Spain, local small business vendors, and more! My favorite purchases range from crop tops fashioned from pure silk sourced in Indonesia, to one-of-a-kind handmade jewelry finds, to hilarious cards for every occasion, to candles made from the Baltimore-famous KSM Candle and Co. in Hampden, MD.
Black Business Fridays The Downtown Partnership of Baltimore presents Black Business Fridays in Center Plaza right near the Inner Harbor. It’s an awesome celebration of African American culture and enterprise with music, entertainment, and a showcase of black makers, retailers, and restaurants.
The event is free and open to all, but registration is required to ensure proper social distancing. While you must wear a mask, the first 100 guests get an extra special treat: a FREE cocktail by Cane Collective!
Alright, so likely a weird topic to break my blog radio silence recently, haha. But let’s be honest ladies … undies are one item that tend to outwear themselves and aren’t always on my “top of radar” item for prioritizing to replace with cute newbies.
Ditch those old panties and set yourself up with a fun, new and sexy styles each month. My subscription is only $15 and I receive (2) handpicked pairs of undies just for me! Is it weird to say I really, truly and actually look forward to getting my new surprises each month?!
BootayBag is a passion project by real women FOR real women. I absolutely love that it was built on the premise of fixing the challenge of affordability and convenience associated with the underwear selection and purchasing process.
Maybe it’s just me … but, I’m not really the first in line to pay $20 per pair of cute undies.
AND – THEY. GIVE. BACK. I love that BootayBag gives back to women in need. Let’s take a pause and make a toast for women supporting women!FUN FACT: Underwear is the most requested and least donated clothing item at women’s shelters. BootayBag holds partnerships with The Undies Project, Period Kits, and other local organizations to donate thousands of pairs to women in need on behalf of all of us.
How it Works:
First, you select which membership you want. You can expect to get one, two, or four pairs of undies based on your subscription.
Second, select your size.
And finally, select your style from your preference of Mix it Up (combination), Never Thong or Always Thong. If you choose to receive all four pairs each month you will get both, the Never Thong and Always Thong bag. If you choose to receive the Matching Set you will get the monthly featured bralette, along with one matching pair of undies. The best part is that you can see previews of the each month’s undies on Instagram, Facebook and their website.
I’ve had my subscription for about six months now and I have yet to be disappointed with anything I’ve received. Everything is great quality, super soft, comfortable fabric and comes in the cutest patterns!
Not to mention, there’s the convenient option to skip, change, and add more to your monthly bag in their customer portal whenever you want.
PLUS – On the search for a cute matching or complimentary bralette?! They have those too! Check out the “Shop the Extras” section where you can purchase items, at a discounted price, that are from current or previous monthly subscriptions.
If you’re like me… the biggest thing I hate to do … ever … in the whole wide world … is cleaning the shower!!!
I can’t pinpoint what exactly it is that I can’t stand, but I would say it’s a combination of… the disgusting soap scum, the time, my back hurting from leaning into the awkward angles of the tub, my arms aching from the relentlessly scrubbing, my head throbbing from inhaling bleach fumes from the time it took me to clean the shower … the list goes on!
This obnoxious and annoying chore typically takes me anywhere from 45 minutes, PLUS. How about you?!
Well… if you’re still following and on the same page, I’m here to saveeee. yourrrr. lifeee. with the most incredible life hack that not only eliminates headaches, but also preserves time, effort and allows you to opt for safer and more gentle alternatives that work just as effectively!
What You’ll Need:
Visit Your Local Dollar Store. I got all the ingredients I needed for under $5! I visited my local Dollar General and purchased a broom, gallon sized bucket and soap (make sure it’s a degreaser if you don’t actually use Dawn). No need for anything sophisticated or fancy outside of those three items. These items are going to do the work for you!
Run your bath to the hottest water. Fill your gallon sized bucket with hot water from the faucet in prep for step three.
Apply your Dawn to your shower walls and bath tub base. Don’t overload it! A little Dawn goes a long way! I did a few horizontal, parallel lines around the perimeter of the shower..
Dip your broom into the hot water. Then, leverage the wide base of the broom to start scrubbing the walls and base of your tub with the broom bristles. Not only do you cover MUCH more surface area with the broom base, but you avoid back pain and intense scrubbing!
Let sit. It doesn’t take long – Dawn is a powerful, yet gentle product. I waited about 5 minutes, continuing to gently scrub the surfaces with the broom bristles.
Rinse! Once again, run your shower at the hottest temperature to assist with cleaning and rinsing the walls. This part is the TRUE miracle! Surfaces that used to take me hours to scrub literally melted away in minutes!!!
This whole process took me about 15 minutes to arrive at a fully fresh & clean shower! Literally amazed myself!!!
Give it a try! Let me know how it goes, and if you have other super awesome life hacks similar to this one.
Comment below once you’ve tried it out and let me know what you think!
It’s been a mere 16 days since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the recent Coronavirus as a global pandemic. It’s shifted lives, businesses and general daily practices to a new level of ‘normal.’ As much as I like to joke and use more informal lingo on my page, it’s serious business when we consider that vast majority of our U.S. and global population awaits puzzled as news and updates are provided on an ad hoc basis.
Those that know me personally, know my hubby owns and operates a local bar & restaurant in the historic Federal Hill neighborhood of Baltimore, MD. It’s been a tough learning experience for us, and equally as tough, if not even more impactful for our fellow hospitality friends.
I encourage those reading to do what you can to support those striving to maintain an income – whether it be via moral support [ [ check in on those you love! ] ] , or financially if your situation allows.
In this entry, I’m providing a number of fun and creative ways you can support local!
Live Music Streaming
Musicians alike, have been severely impacted by government mandates to suppressed gathering, closed bars and restaurants, postponed weddings, and the like. In response, and frankly not a surprise from these innovative folks, a number have launched live music streaming initiatives to not only engage with their fans, but also provide a positive and uplifting activity for those being responsible and bunkering down in their homes.
Shout out to local cocktail enthusiast, bartender and DJ pioneer herself, Abby Hopper, who led the charge in setting up the Baltimore Tip Jar for enabling patrons to continue support of their favorite bartenders! You can access a full listing of Venmo handles for individuals employed by the hospitality industry that have been impacted by the recent economic change. Various campaign initiatives have been circulating – from dedicating (2) tips a day to (2) random bar staff on the list, to a variety of other ideas and cadences.
3. Home Cooked Meals & Drinks To-Go
If there’s anything learned through the transition of working from an office to home atmospheres, it’s that it’s been [ [ T O U G H ] ] to keep up with the expectation of providing dinner and general meal prep with no breaks in what’s now non-stop home life. In response, a number of restaurants have stepped up to provide more creative means of their offerings to go for continued enjoyment at home:
Is offering their famous house and spicy guavarita mixes! You can stop by their location at 1032 Light Street and pick up your favorite. The house sour mix is just $10 for a 28 oz size that makes about (7) margaritas. The spicy guavarita ( ( my favorite! ) ) also comes in the 28 oz size, and includes tequila for just $35! UMMM… YUM!! And, you’re welcome for this Friday celebration tidbit!
Let’s be honest – working from home, PLUS grocery shopping, PLUSmeal prepping/planning, PLUS cleaning the house, PLUS dog walking, PLUS homeschooling kids that have been suspended for yet another month before returning to school… can be ROUGH. Don’t Know Tavern is offering a different pre-prepared platter daily on special that serves 2-4 for just $20! Just pop it in the oven for 15-20. While demand fluctuates, availability is driven by preorder/demand, so be sure to call to reserve yours in advance!
4. New Swag!
HUGE shout out to Matt Berry, who has helped SO many local businesses advertise NEW t-shirts via the Baltimore Neighbors page. You can find a slew of bars/restaurants to support including:
NOTE: For every t-shirt purchased, Matt is generously donating $10 BACK to that business throughout the shutdown!
5. Bar Madness
First off, let me give the biggest shout out of this entire post to @bmorebetches, who over the past few days, have quite nearly, [ [ shut. down. instagram. ] ] They’ve owned the social media game in the Federal Hill, Fells Point, Canton, and other surrounding neighborhood network – some comments reigning in from across the country! All orchestrated by their setting up a March Madness-like bracket of 16 local bars and basing round advancements off of tagged business comments! Have you been following your favorite bar through the brackets?! If you’re looking for a little fun & local competition, tune into their page to see who ‘takes all/wins all’ in their ‘BAR MADNESS’ competition here.Next up: the final championship round!
P.S. Throw in a vote for Don’t Know Tavern if you can, haha 😉
Anddddddd, that’s a wrap! I’ll be sure to monitor and post new ideas and ways to support in the coming weeks.
Happy Saturday, folks! With Valentine’s less than a week away, it’s still not too late you get your outfit details on point! I put together this sassy & sultry combo that is super fitting for your plans next weekend (or any weekend rendezvous 😜) – whether with your special someone or with your favorite gals! And, who doesn’t love a quality, statement leather jacket?! My top is a ridiculously soft velvet, with cold shoulder style sleeves and plummeting deep-v in the front from Yumi Kim.
Now… JEANS! Ive tried possibly hundreds upon hundreds of jeans at varying price points and my preference never falters. These jeans are from my all time favorite, and often surprise to others – American Eagle! The fit, length (I typically actually buy the short!) overall comfort (appreciate pants I can actually move and confidently bend over in 🤣) and price point have yet to be beat in my book.
And lastly, all outfits need that signature piece that makes an ensemble – this flipping amazing faux leather studded jacket find !!! Made by Pistola, I thought this cropped moto jacket totallyyyyy made the look. There’s a cute little accent belt to it too that I used when it was zippered up. TBH – I felt somewhere between fashion icon and bad to the bone motorcycle babe, haha!
I received a TON of compliments on this one – snag it while you can!!
Are you counting down the days?! Only 8 days remain until Cupid’s renowned holiday: Valentine’s Day!
Now the REAL question… what. to. wear.
Whether going out to dinner or looking for a cute option to wear into the office, I found this super cozy and soft, monogrammed heart pullover from a fun company I love – I Love Jewelry, (no joke – that’s actually the name!) that I have a “Monthly Monobox” subscription to.
I’m a B-I-G fan of anything monogrammed. Heck, I would put it on my car if I could!! LOL, well… maybe not my CAR, but practicallyyyy anything else I own. I have pajamas, scarves, hats, gloves, boots, you name it – ALL from I Love Jewelry. Their items are adorable and quality! I first subscribed to their Monobox when it was released a little over two years ago and still own majority of the items! Their “Monobox Subscription” option is only $22 and each month, you get one monogrammed item + TWO coordinating goodies! BUT – if you visit their subscription page, you’ll find a few other super fun options if you’re not quite ready to commit to the monthly monogram overload, haha!
While it’s a little late to subscribe for the February box (spoiler alert: I got this in mine!), you can still snag this festive heart patterned pullover for just $28 in time for V-Day 💖💗💕
P.S. for those less thrilled about the personalization, you can also totally opt-out of the monogramming for the shirt and get it without the customization too 🙌🏼👍🏼💖
In the coming days, I have a more sultry outfit combo for the later evening date night and single ladies! 😉
With Super Bowl on the horizon and top of mind, and I would be lying if I didn’t say I was a little… well… let’s say… DEVASTATED that our beloved Baltimore Ravens aren’t in the running, as anyone who knows me, knows I #BleedPurple 😉
All things aside, Super Bowl means my five FAVORITE “F” words: friends, fun, football, food and … FASHION! Okay, so maybe I added that last one, but you’re not showing up to your friend’s super bowl party naked … am I right? (Let’s hope so, but who am I to judge?)
Between the cooking, beyond the commercials, amongst the beer, wine and cocktails, I’m always on the hunt for a cute and cozy outfit for casually hanging and cheering.
This outfit is by far one of my favorite combos to date and totally makes me feel like I’m screaming ‘fall football’ all day day long! Plus, I’m a sucker for a stylish pair of overalls!
Personally, I’m a little short for these overalls in particular (I’m 5’4″), so I added these comfy blush pink sneaker wedges and the length was absolutely perfect.
Visit my SHOP page to get direct links to all these awesome finds via my LIKEtoKNOWit!
P.S. are flares still a thing? I’m totally feeling them… let me know your thoughts and if you would rock this outfit!
WEEK 2 of keeping up with my weekly cadence of sharing some sort of truth about myself/my thoughts each week! Hoping some of y’all follow, read or comment along the way ☺️🌸🙏🏼
So, here we go!
This statement couldn’t be truer. There are days when all is right with the world – the sun? Shining bright! The warm breeze? Softly blowing! (Not the kind where your hair is out of control though, the kind when it’s photo shoot worthy) Your skin? Glistening! Your hair? On point! Everything seems to be going exactly your way!
And, then … well, THEN there are the other days. The days you just can’t seem to catch a break. The days when traffic jams last forever, the days when you step head-first into the ONLY rain puddle, the days when you realize the meeting you thought you had time to prepare for tomorrow is actually in 20 minutes, the days when you get a ticket for the yellow/red light you ran, the days when you forgot it’s pajama day at school for your kids and they’re the only ones in normal clothes …
These are the days you need them most – the people that make you feel like sunshine. Too often in my life did I try to keep friendships, relationships, career moves, and the like that, quite frankly, weren’t the best or always the healthiest for me. But, I couldn’t see it. I always wanted to be everything, to everyone, all the time – even those who didn’t encourage or support me to be the greatest version of myself in return.
Whether you think it or not right now, it’s true – everyone needs a littleeeee bit of sunshine. When you surround yourself with those who support you, care about your success and thrive when you thrive, those are the keepers! It’s simple really – a day without sunshine is, you know, night 🤪. Stay close to them. Support them. Love them. Encourage them like they have you. And most importantly, remember to spread the sunshine – it makes the world go round ☀️😎💖💗💕🌎✨💫
This past New Year’s Eve, we decided to celebrate a little ‘less’ traditionally: we planned a trip to Ambergris Caye, Belize!!
Some of you may know this trip was our second time visiting Belize; our first adventure being on our honeymoon! Throughout our first visit, we realized quickly we loved the country, the scenery, the water, and especially the people and culture so much so that we simply couldn’t get enough. We knew we wanted (and needed) to go back and, after this most recent trip, we still haven’t gotten our fill!
If you’re looking for a new spot to add to your travel bucket list, please do yourself the favor in adding this gorgeous destination to your vision board. While it’s relatively affordable and easier to get to than other exotic options, there are a few tips and pieces of advice I’m sharing here to get the smoothest experience out of your travel, and start building your list of MUST sees!!
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Southwest flies here! This makes booking travel super easy and fairly affordable to most. Even better – get yourself a Southwest credit card! I was able to hook us up with free flights using points from my everyday purchases. While I haven’t been able to find a direct flight via any airline just yet, most layovers are a mere hour or so.
Arriving Checklist: – You’ll fly into the mainland (BZE airport). From there, you will have needed to arrange travel in advance for getting from the mainland to the island, Mon! Options are by air or by sea. OPTION 1: There’s a water ferry that transports guests to the island for about $40-$50/way, but PSA: it does take a little over 2 hours from point A to point B, not including the time it takes to get to the boat port from the airport. OPTION 2: Personally, our preference is to save a few extra pennies and splurge for the puddle jumper plane to and from San Pedro. Thankfully, there are only (2) airline options, so it makes your decision easy between Tropic Air & Maya Island Air. While this option is a tad more expensive alternative, est. $170/pp/way, you’re there in only 20 minutes, and you get to see the gorgeous clearwater views on your final stretch.
– Once you’ve landed on the island, there isn’t much, if any, public transit available. You will want to pre-schedule some variation of pickup of yourself and your luggage with your resort/staying accommodations from the San Pedro airport.
FUN FACT: There are little to no cars on the island! The most common method of transportation is via gas-powered golf carts, which you’ll want to be sure you reserve in advance for getting around town/around the island. Last visit, we used Sam’s Golf Cart Rentals and couldn’t have had a better experience! They even were super flexible with us in extending our golf cart rental at the last second for a few additional days. 🙂
YOU’VE ARRIVED! …. now what?
While everyone has different vacation agendas, here’s a list of my favorite spots compiled from both visits! While there’s still a ton to see on this little gem of an island, I sure my list barely even scratches the surface in regards to unique finds 😉 I hope to be able to update and/or add a new entry the next time we make it back. The island is full of new business development, so there’s always new shops and concepts emerging as well as restaurants popping up. If you happen to stumble on a favorite or two, please comment at the bottom of this article so I can keep adding to my “MUST-see list” !!
Estel’s Dine By the Sea THE breakfast spot in Ambergris Caye! It’s downtown on Front Street/right on the beach front. You’ll want to arrive early, or earlier than starvation mode as this spot is always packed, but the food is 100% worth the wait!
Crocs Sunset Sports Bar In town during football season? This is the coolest spot to post up for any sports game watching on the island. If you’re sweet to the staff, they’ll ensure the game you’re there to watch is streamed on the nearest TV to your seat 😉 PLUS – don’t miss the stunning views of the lagoon side of the island at sunset!
Matachica – Mambo Restaurant Incredible dinner spot on the Matachica Resort! While it’s a little further out from town – think 20 minutes or so of golf cart riding, it’s worth the hike. You may want to head this direction before the sun sets though, as this restaurant is well past where the more formal road paving ends and there’s limited lighted streets. You can’t go wrong with the menu! It’s MUCH larger and filled with more seafood options when you arrive in person versus what’s noted on their site. We enjoyed the authentic Italian bruschetta, tenderloin carpaccio, calamari fritti, and spicy gazpacho from the app section! I don’t see the fresh seafood entrees we went with on here, but everything we had was mouth watering.
Secret Beach – Maruba Beach Klub We actually missed going to this spot the first time we made it to Ambergris Caye and man was I bummed once we did made it!! It’s quite a drive (about 4 mi north of the downtown bridge, and then west another 3.5 mi), but a really unique area filled with restaurants, beach chairs, bars, massage and pedicure options – IN THE WATER! (does it get any better than that?!), colorful swings, local shops and more. P.S. While it’s called ‘secret beach,’ it’s far from a secret anymore, as it’s likely one of the most touristy spots on the island, but totally worth the visit 😉 Maruba Beach Klub was my favorite place we saw with great service, yummy drinks, tasty food, and comfy adjustable lounge chairs for posting up in right on the water . Although we really wanted to make it back a second day to explore the other spots!!
Rain Rooftop Restaurant Beautiful view! We spent our New Year’s Eve dinner here, before heading down town and enjoyed the vibrant decor, live music and friendly staff. Also a really great location, as part of The Grand Caribe Resort – you don’t have to go far!
PUR Boutique Cabanas & Taco Bar Loved this little gem! Really great tacos! PUR Boutique Cabanas is new since we last had been to Ambergris Caye. A cozy & tranquil spot just south of The Grand Caribe resort, this boutique hotel is adorned with 6 queen & king suites – some even with their own private plunge pools! While we didn’t stay here (maybe next time!), we enjoyed dinner al fresco adjacent the multicolor LED lit pool. They had both vegan, low-card and gluten free options available!
Carambo Restaurant & Bar THIS. PLACE. WAS. THE. BOMB. !!! We had no idea what we were getting into at Carambo. We stumbled on this as a local recommendation by one of the bartenders we befriended at Crocs Sunset Bar and it absolutely was NOT one to miss.
The decor and family heritage made me feel similarly to if I had stepped into an island version of the legacy Tio Pepe Baltimore restaurant. After being greeted by our server, we were prompted escorted outside – yes, outside – to pick out our dinner!
Lining the front of the restaurant was an open, market-like spread of all the fresh caught seafood you could imagine: lobster tail, shrimp, red snapper, yellow snapper, scallops… enough to make your stomach full just by looking at the spread!! How to order you ask? By simply walking with your server down the line to hand pick exactly what you’d like prepared on your plate to perfection! Seriously one of the coolest spots we’ve found to date on the island!!
Palapa Bar Into night life? Palapa bar is a fun, happening spot in the center of downtown in you’re looking for a little post-sunset fun! While most places tend to wind down earlier on the island (think 9-10PM), this is a great option for keeping the fun going. There’s typically a live DJ every night and a lively crowd. If you visit during the day, they have inner tubes tied by the dock that you can float on in the crystal clear water while you enjoy your snacks and bevvies 🙂 PPSSSTT… there’s also a buy 1, get one FREE drink coupon on their website!
I think that wraps it up!
Got questions? Reach out to me! I have even more photos over on my instagram and ove connecting with my readers!