The other week, I was invited to a product launch event for Origins by Preen.me and it was so much fun! One of the items they are doing all the time in store is mini facials and they are free!! Heck yes!! I didn’t get one that day, but my friend Ashley did and she enjoyed it, plus she purchased a few products to help with her skin.


They were doing white tea readings, because the new Perfect World collection is made with white tea, and caricature sketches. Check mine out, I thought it was pretty cute!


I picked up a really nice gift set for my mom for Mother’s Day while I was there. Since my mom is a big beach lover, I got her the Soothing Essentials to help with any redness and to help hydrate after being out in the sun.


As I was looking at the products, I realized these had SPF in them and would be the perfect items to pack for my trip to St. John in a month!! So, for all of you struggling with packing for a trip to the beach, here are my essentials that I will be packing.



Protecting your skin from the sun is extremely important. I don’t want to age too quickly, or be at risk for skin cancer, so I always make sure to wear SPF on my body and on my face. The Age Defense Moisturizer and the Age Defense Eye Cream from the Perfect World collection both have SPF in them and are my number one item now when I am soaking up some sun. I also will be bringing their cleanser, toner, body wash, and moisturizer so that I can take care of my body from head to toe!! All of the Perfect World products smell so good too.



You need to protect your eyes when you are at the beach as well. The sun bouncing off the ocean makes everything so much brighter. I don’t like to bring a really expensive pair of sunglasses to the beach though, so I love A.J. Morgan Eye wear because they are all under $25. Here are a few pairs that I am currently loving, since mine are no longer available.



I like to have a towel, that is large enough to lay out on and pretty thick to dry me off really well. I had really been wanting one of the large soft Turkish beach towels, but they are normally around $50. However, I got these two at Nordstrom Rack for only $25 (now they have gone down to $19.97) and I am so excited to take them to St. John.



I like jelly sandals for the beach, because they wont get damaged by the sand, or water. They also dry off really well and heck you can even wear them in the water if you feel like there are too many shells hurting your feet. How cute are these Jack Rogers and ones with bows!! I have started creating quite a collection haha.



I don’t like to use my phone too much on the beach because it gets too hot and its hard to see the screen with how bright the sun is. I always bring a good book, so that I can sun tan and relax without feeling bored. Here is the last book that I read, which I thought was really good. I am a romance novel junkie. I still need to find a book for my beach trip.



I always bring a beach hat because I try to keep the sun off my face as much as possible. I found this hat when I was picking up some photos from Walmart and since it was less than $10 it was a great buy!! Plus I am going to spruce it up a bit and add sequin ribbon onto the wording and pom pom trip around the band.



Being a blogger, I am always on my phone and my Ipad. There have been so many times that my phone has died on me and that can be so frustrating if I then really need it. So, if I am going somewhere that I know a phone plug won’t be easily accessible, like the beach, I make sure to bring my portable charging bank.


Phones are an expensive piece of equipment. The last thing we want after a day at the beach, is to have to replace a smart phone because of sand, or water damage. I purchased one of these waterproof phone cases off Amazon and it has been so amazing for at the beach.



 Finally, you can’t forget your beach bag to put all of your beach essentials in. I have two that I use a lot. These are a couple years old from Payless, so I had to link something similar. These were less than $12 when I purchased them and I had to have both since I love both flamingos and pineapples haha. Here are three really cute ones from Francesca’s I am currently LOVING!!!

I hope this list helps you when you are packing for your beach trip! My perfect world is full of sunshine and laughter, not so much the sand part haha!! Remember the most important item is SPF and Origins has such amazing products that will hydrate and protect your skin. Whats your favorite beach essential?

*Disclosure: The Perfect World collection was gifted to me by Preen.me for attending the Origins product launch event, but all opinions are my own. 




Before winter fully set in we decided to take a short family trip to the beach. I decided Longboat Key in Sarasota would be a fabulous place to visit for a three day weekend, since it’s world famous and said to be one of the most beautiful beaches. It surely did live up to the hype, so I thought I would share my travel experience with all of you so you can see how wonderful The Resort at Longboat Key Club is for yourselves!

The Resort at Longboat Key Club is a breathtaking family-friendly luxurious beach vacation resort with 410 acres of lush landscaping, adjoined by 2 golf courses and a 9-mile path perfect for taking that romantic walk, or biking and taking in the scenery. Umm did I mention tennis? This is what got me the most excited because my whole family can enjoy that together. There are 20 courts, so if you enjoy this sport, you will have found heaven here! There are year round kids activities through Camp Loggerhead which means you can go get some adult time in at the pool, or spa while the kids are well occupied. A perfect staycation is just a drive away if you are a Florida local like myself. If you aren’t, it’s so simple to fly into a nearby airport and head on over for a wonderful trip.


I seriously feel like summer never ends whenever I set foot onto a Sarasota beach. With an average year round temperature of 75 degrees its a place you can go visit year round. There are so many things to do on the beach from lounging in chairs, or a cabana, to water activities. My kids really loved the pedalboards that were out on the beach and wore themselves out going up and down the strip of water in front of the resort.

Resort at Longboat Key Club Resort at Longboat Key Club

I also loved how there was very little waves, so we could enjoy wading in the water peacefully. The possibilities at the pool and beach are endless. Order a drink from the endless supply of waiters, play in the water, soak in the hot tub, take a stroll along the sand, or watch the wildlife. The sunset is beautiful along this stretch of beach as well!! You really could spend the entire time just soaking up the sun at the beach, but there are so many great activities that the Resort at Longboat Key offers.

Resort at Longboat Key

*Photography courtesy of The Resort at Longboat Key Club

Resort at Longboat Key Club Resort at Longboat Key Club Resort at Longboat Key Club

Swimsuit / Cover-up / Sunglasses / Sandals / Hat


When I go on vacation as a family I want to go somewhere that is also going to have things to entertain my children. I love spending time with them, but its also nice to get that date night dinner and know that your kids are being well taken care of and having fun with friends while you get a bit of relaxation. Unfortunately we missed the Sea Turtle nesting, but there were quite a few activities for watching wildlife, exploring, and learning a bit more about nature. I feel like the kids got to not only have fun, but received something educational out of it. They also have more intensive camps during the summer that include tennis, golf, and other sport activities.

The Resort at Longboat Key Club

*Photography courtesy of The Resort at Longboat Key Club


I did a major happy dance when I not only saw the tennis courts, but the café and shop. This is like it’s own resort in itself and boy did we have a good day there. We had no problem securing a couple of courts for the 6 of us and could rotate who was playing who. We could have even stayed there well into the evening since a quarter of their courts are lighted for playing at night. We didn’t take any lessons while we were there, but if we had been there for a week it definitely would have been in the game plan. There are water fountains all over and towels provided, so you really don’t have to worry about bringing much along. The Resort at Longboat Key Club is recognized as the #1 tennis resort in Florida, so if tennis is your jam, then this resort will surely leave you with lasting memories.

The Resort at Longboat Key Club

*Photography courtesy of The Resort at Longboat Key Club


The Resort at Longboat Key golf course has been consistently ranked as one of the country’s finest courses. It has also earned the “Best Places to Play” award from Golf Digest, and with 45 holes, it is a golf lovers dream. After you are done either improving your game with a lesson by an experienced PGA pro, or have completed a round on either one of the two sets of links, you can unwind at Spike ‘n Tees for cocktails and lunch. We didn’t play a round this trip, but my family is a group of avid golfers and would take advantage of this on a longer vacation.

*Video courtesy of The Resort at Longboat Key Club


I didn’t check out the spa on this trip, because we just had too many other things going on. However, on my next visit I will definitely be going and getting a massage, or mani/pedi. This is a great activity to do if you are there with your girlfriends, part of a bridal party, or if you want to be romantic and get a couples massage. They have different specials going on every month, so I would check that out before you visit. The wellness programs really intrigued me as well since they have quite a few options such as stress relief, better sleep, and balanced nutrition. You can not only physically relax, but mentally relax as well.


Resort at Longboat Key Club Resort at Longboat Key Club

I loved waking up every morning to a delicious room service breakfast that I could eat on my balcony over looking the ocean. It was so peaceful and relaxing. With the variety on the menu, you could really eat all three meals in your room if you really wanted to. I didn’t though haha, especially since I wanted to take advantage of trying out one, or more of the 6 other restaurants on site. They have it all from casual to elegant. My favorite dish was the Ratatouille that I ate at their upscale American style cuisine restaurant. Then one night we tried out the Portofino which is located on the marina with an outdoor Mediterranean terrace and Northern Italian dishes. This definitely felt like a journey to Italy.

The cocktail list was extensive between the craft cocktails and wines at the restaurants to the delicious frozen drinks at the pool and the beach. I definitely drank many Pina Coladas and my kids really enjoyed getting virgin frozen drinks after being in the hot sun. Everything we needed was only steps away from our room.

Resort at Longboat Key Club


There is some shopping on site at The Resort at Longboat Key. They have basic toiletries and beach items, plus a shop that boasts swimwear, golf attire, and tennis outfits. There is also an amazing tennis selection at the Tennis Pro shop!! My mother in law ended up purchasing me a gorgeous tennis bag that we saw there for Christmas.

Resort at Longboat Key Club

Dress/ Shoes / Clutch / Earrings

Five minutes away though is the renowned St. Armand’s Circle. This is the place to eat and shop till you drop. Tommy Bahama, Lilly Pulitzer, Everything But Water, and boutiques that carried designer items such as Trina Turk are just a few of the places you can find there. My favorite place was this really cool spice and tea shop called The Spice & Tea Exchange. There is also some great nightlife spots in St. Armand’s. We went to a Restaurant called 15 South who in the evening, turns the upstairs into a night club with a live band. We had so much fun dancing to live salsa music and the drink prices weren’t bad either. Then we went over to Daiquiri Deck and tried their strong frozen drinks which came in soooo many flavors. My favorite was the banana daiquiri, and I’m not sure if I will find another one as good as that, because goodness knows I have tried. So, I know I will make my way back over there just for that!!

 All in all it was a fabulously fun filled weekend. I wish we could have stayed longer, but we had to get back to work and life. I plan on going back next year though again!!

Resort at Longboat Key Club

Swimsuit – Victoria’s Secret

Peace out Resort at Longboat Key…you were a blast!!


Resort at Longboat Key Club


Who needs a bit of vacation time? Raise those hands ladies!! When you look back and think about the best nights out, and when you have had the most fun, 9 out of 10 times your girls have been with you. In our society, where we put our nose to the grind that 40 plus hours, or take care of children 24/7 (because you know that’s never ending), we desperately need that time with our girlfriends to remind us why “adulting” on weekdays is necessary, but how blowing off steam every so often is needed for our sanity. So every now and then you really need to take the time to go away for a girls weekend.

Girls need to blow off steam together, to dance, to have personal face time, to get dressed up, to remind each other that we are still sisters and soul mates, and to keep us true to ourselves.

Girls Weekend Day 1

We started off the Saturday with of course tons of coffee and a girly music hour filled trip from Orlando to Daytona.

Some of the songs we listened to were:

Justin Bieber Sorry

Selena Gomez Hands to Myself

Becky G Shower

Taylor Swift Bad Blood

Fifth Harmony Work from Home & Worth It

We then checked into our hotel, “The Plaza Resort and Spa”, which was so beautiful, and the staff were very pleasant and helpful. Our room was the perfect size for the four of us. It was very spacious, two queen beds, with a view of the beach off our balcony.

Plaza Resort and Spa Girls Weekend

*Photo Courtesy of Plaza Resort & Spa

Girls Weekend

We ate some lunch in our room and then packed up what we wanted to bring down to the beach and made the trek down to set up our spot. Now, when you get four women together, that means we end up over packing. We had everything we could need, which meant a heavy trip down to the beach. We were not lacking in tent, chairs, music, snacks, sunscreen, or alcohol.

Girls Weekend

Girls Weekend

Girls Weekend

Girls Weekend

Girls Weekend

Boutique Lace Cover up (Sz. Small) / Similar Upscale / Jack Roger Lauren Sandal – Natural (Sz. 7) / Quay Sugar & Spice SunglassesPineapple EarringsHermes Clic Clac Bracelet / Monogram Necklace / Kelly & Katie Metallic Floppy Hat (Similar) / Marysia Palm Springs Top / Marysia Palm Springs Bottom (Sz. Small)

Can you believe it took over 4 hours for the four of us to get ready? I do!!

Girls Weekend

Girls Weekend

Girls Weekend

Lovers + Friends Dress (Sz. Small) / Braided Lace up Sandals – Ross (Similar) (Sz. 7 )/ Chloe Drew Bag / Kendra Scott Danielle Earrings / Kendra Scott Ring / Broadway Impress Nails / Chloe Perfume / Blake Lively Red Lipstick

We ended up eating a late dinner so we checked out the “1888” restaurant at the hotel, which was on point! I swear whenever we have a girls weekend nobody ever is ready to eat dinner on time haha. It was quiet and the ambience was lovely, we also got special treatment since we were the only ones in the restaurant by this time.

Girls Weekend

Here’s what we ordered off the menu that was delicious.

 Rae & Myself shared:

Roasted Oysters with Pickled Radish, Carrots, and Smokey Butter

Atlantic Salmon with Mustard & Herb Crust and Goat Cheese Ravioli

w/ a side of Green Beans and Asparagus

Michelle & Brittany shared:

Cajun Chicken Fondue with Soft Pretzel Nuggets

and each had:

The Ocean – Blackened Salmon, Cilantro Lemon Aioli, Spinach,

Heirloom Tomato, Ciabatta w/ Parmesan Fries

Girls Weekend

According to Rae (left) “The Oysters tasted like ocean boogers.” Hahaha and then we heard the kitchen staff making ocean booger jokes the rest of the night.

Rae Left:

Black and White Chevron Dress – She bought it at Ross! / Similar / Studded T-Strap Pumps Ross / Similar  / Opal Jewelry set her fiance brought back from a Baazar in Afghanistan / Similar / Similar

Brittany Right:

No Boundaries Burn Out Muscle Tank – Peach Smoothie / Leather Look Leggings / Leather Tie Heels – Ross / Similar / Asos Bow Necklace

Then it was time to head off to the “509 Lounge” where my girlfriend Megan (who lives in Daytona), normally will go because her boyfriend works there. You can’t have a girls weekend without some great music and dancing.

“Girls night is important because you should never forget about your girl friends even when life gets busy. You need time with friends to be yourself and be goofy since life is too serious all the time.” – Megan Michetti

Girls Weekend

The music was upbeat and we all shared a few of these deliciously fruity bucket drinks called Voodoo Juice. It was a combo of 4 different flavored Cruzan Rums and some juice. Safe to say we had a great time filled with dancing, laughter, chatting, people watching and a safe two block walk back to the hotel.

Girls Weekend

“A girls getaway is important because life is too demanding and short, so its important to do something special with your girls. It makes new memories especially as we are getting older and are more likely to forget some of the older ones.” – Michelle Carpin (right)

Girls Weekend Day 2

We gathered everything up in the morning so we would be ready to check out and headed down to spend some time by the pool after breakfast. The Bloody Mary was amazing! It was spicy so I couldn’t even taste the vodka, which is exactly how I like it.

Girls Weekend

Girls Weekend

We spent some time together at the pool relaxing and then Rae left to go home and the rest of us headed down to the beach to complete the girls weekend with a bit more fun in the sun.

Girls Weekend

Girls Weekend

Sky Blue V Neck Pom Pom Cover Up (Sz. Small) / SheIn / Ray Ban SunglassesFlamingo Stud Earrings / Jack Roger Lauren Sandals – Natural (Sz. 7)

Girls Weekend

Big Mouth Flamingo Float / Similar Crop Bikini Top / Itsy Bikini Bottoms – Sea Foam

Girls Weekend

Bathing suit Victoria’s Secret / Similar Top / Similar Bottom

“A vacation with your girlfriends is time to put away the everyday mommy and let out the free spirited woman in yourself and re-strengthen the bond with your friends. It’s so you can build a stronger friendship and gain that bit of freedom so that you can com back home a better mommy.” – Brittany Arnold

We brought some fun floats to the beach so that we could have some fun bouncing around in the waves. After a bit more tanning, chatting, and listening to music we drove home back to reality. All in all it was a really great girls weekend and I can’t wait to do it again next year!

*Photography Credits: Rae Breda & Brittany Arnold

All opinions are my own and this post was not sponsored by the Hotel.