Tag Archives: siesta key

Sand Art

Before I begin this post I’d like to issue a disclaimer for my readers to the north.

Disclaimer: this post references 80-degree weather in November but is in no way intended to be a gloat, brag or the like. I braved enough winters in the Midwest to be empathetic during this time. Please accept my apologies for the unseasonably cold spike. Should you consider a trip to visit because of the following photos, I will not deter you. Seriously though. Come see us!

Do you remember when you were little and you would convince your mom, dad or aunt who happened to live in California to spend ridiculous amounts of money on colored sand art you would take home and display proudly next to the rock collection on your shelf?

I do.

And perhaps that’s the reason I took more than 20 photos this weekend of sand. But not just any sand. Sand art sand. The kind of sand art that takes 3 full days and a wee bit of elmer’s glue to complete. Don’t believe me? Check this out.

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Sand not your thing? Well if you come visit me I will treat you to a bag of the best mini donuts you’ve ever tasted. Sorry Illinois State Fair. Siesta Key mini donuts have just taken the lead for best donuts to be eaten in full sun while counting how many people you see without their shirts on.

siesta key crystal classic, sand sculptures, sand castles, siesta key beach, crystal classic, florida, vacation, margaritaville

 

Stay warm, Midwest!

30!

I’m thirty. 30 years old!

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Thirty! I did it. I finally passed the last milestone birthday that all of my friends passed nearly a year before me! Being the youngest of the group, I was used to being last in line for all age-related events. Last to drive at 16, last to do whatever a non-smoker is allowed to do at 18 and the last to legally drink at 21. Now don’t feel too bad for me. Looking back, I can see now that it actually worked out in my favor. I had cool friends to drive me to and from school, to book rental cars when we went on trips and to illustrate which liquor you should not make your best friend on your 21st birthday. Tequila maybe. Whiskey no way. I remember thinking that when they all turned thirty, I would still be 29. And how cool that would be to still be 29 when all your friends were old and thirty. turning 30, birthday, friends Well I realized about a year ago that it’s neither cool nor old. Thirty is not the old age I (and probably every other 24 year old who is reading this) thinks it is. There’s a shift that happens about the age of 26 or 27 where you suddenly realize that you are rapidly approaching the thirty year-old you thought was so old just a few years ago. I am now that thirty year-old that kids just out of college scoff at. Only I don’t feel very different than them. Minus pretty much all of these things. I stayed up until 2 a.m. this weekend. Only it was because my mom and sister’s flight got delayed, not because we wanted to hit up the late-night bar and watch the sun come up. I cannot tell you the last time I willingly stayed up that late. And I’m ok with that. As if last weekend’s surprise party wasn’t enough, my mom and sister came down to visit me in Florida this weekend to celebrate the official birthday. You don’t realize how loved you are until you live really far away and people go out of their way to make you feel special on your birthday. turning 30, birthday, friends   On Saturday, we headed down to St. Armands and Lido Beach. Lido Beach, St Armands, Florida, family, birthday   And on Sunday we spent most of the day at Siesta Key, followed by a sunset dinner along the beach on Anna Marie Island. beach, florida, family, birthday, swiss mountain dog, sunset, anna marie island, siesta key beach, florida, family, birthday, swiss mountain dog, sunset, anna marie island, siesta key   It was so nice to spend some quality time with just my mom and sister. If the next two-thirds of my life look anything like theirs, I can’t wait to get there. Thank you again for all the well-wishes over the weekend. I’m excited for the year ahead.

5 things I’ve learned about Florida

It’s Monday. At least I think it is. I honestly have no concept of days of the week anymore. I just opened 4 cabinet doors in at attempt to remember where I put our water glasses after staring at the spices for at least 30 seconds, completely confused as to why they were in my water glass cabinet. This whole concept of abundant cabinet space is still new to me.

new house tour, water glass cabinet, florida, kitchen

This morning I spent 45 minutes trying to locate my house keys only to realize they were in the pocket of my workout vest. Apparently I felt it necessary to put on a light vest to walk the dog on Saturday morning when the early morning temperature said 59 degrees. This whole concept of walking outside without a coat on is still new to me. Thinking I need a vest when it’s 59 degrees is also new to me and brings me to my first observation:

  1. Humidity hates me. Yes, summers in central Illinois and Chicago should have given me some tolerance for humid climates, but one can only prepare so much. Dad and I arrived ahead of a big storm here in Florida last week so the humidity was pretty high. Not only did I completely overdress on multiple occasions, but my hair began its growth to exponential volume. I know it’s doesn’t look huge here, but this was only day 3. I can assure you that it’s expanding as you read this. Ladies, if you are looking for a new volumizing product, look no further than my extra bedroom here at the new house. I’ll fix you up real good.
    hair and humidity, florida, monica bermuda hair,
  2. Water Spouts and Tornadoes are basically the same thing. And here I thought water spouts were just those things you tried to push your friend’s inner-tube over at Knight’s Action Park so they would flip over and get their hair wet? Dad and I had just left the beach at Siesta Key on Friday to head to the airport when I got a text from Matt asking if we were safe.
    siesta key storm, water spout, tornado, florida weather, I thought it was just his way of pouting because we were on the beach and he was at work, but apparently he was legitimately concerned. My bad. Yes I suppose it was a little windy, but I did not see any swirling of clouds while we were there. Murphy’s luck typically works in our favor and I guess this was no exception. Dad got to see the beach and flew out about an hour under sunny skies. My luck ran out a little without him as I drove through the storm on the way back home, but I was fortunate to just have to deal with heavy rain.
  3. Sundays are best spent at the beach. I’ve always been one to get my errands out-of-the-way on Saturday mornings, but yesterday solidified the fact that Sundays are probably going to be less than productive for us. We are less than 15 miles from what the signs say is the “#1 beach in the U.S. of A” so I have a feeling we will be spending a lot of time there. Come visit us. We’ll need an excuse to go people watch.
    siesta key beach, sarasota, florida, gulf,
  4. Dog parks here have grass. One of the main things we looked for in finding a house down here was either a large backyard or a dog park within walking distance. Kudos to Matt for finding a nearly brand new house with both. After living the cement life for the first year or so, Finn can hardly handle the life of luxury Florida is giving him. Not only does our park have grass but it has tubes to run through, fences to jump over and poles to weave in between. Or in Finn’s case, large objects to run into and trip over while chasing toys. We’ve been spending most of our time in the park, mostly out of my fear that he will get eaten by an alligator if he spends too much time in our backyard.
    central park, lakewood ranch, dog park, finn, palm trees,
  5. Eastern time rocks. I’m sure I’ll regret this statement in a month or so, but for now I’m absolutely loving the fact that we are 1 hour ahead of most of our family and friends. Not only do I get to justify sleeping in until 7:00 because it’s only 6:00 in Illinois, but I feel like I’m ahead of the game all day because I have an hour head-start compared to what I use to have. Just think about the possibilities. First one to wish someone a happy birthday, a chance to realize tickets for your favorite band go on sale that day and watching the Today Show in real-time. Groundbreaking stuff here, folks.
    sunrise, lakewood ranch, florida, backyard,
    Now I just have to remember the time difference when I call to wish my nephew congratulations on his first communion like 4 hours too early.

first communion, owen, sacramentHave a wonderful week!

 

 

 

 

It’s the best day of the year!

So what you’re telling me is you like big announcement posts? Judging by the explosion of hits my ‘we’re moving to Florida‘ announcement got yesterday I’d say you do. I don’t blame you. Announcements are exciting, dramatic and joyful.

How let down are you going to be then to be met with a plain old Tuesday blog post today?

April Fool’s?

Had I remembered that today was April Fool’s, oh let’s say yesterday, I may have postponed my announcement just to see how many of you believed me. Truth is we are moving and even a prank-loving girl like me knows misleading you that way is just…completely expected. Kind of like the rest of these overused Facebook jokes.

If I were going to do an April Fool’s joke related to our move, I would text Matt, who just landed in Bosnia on less than 3 hours of sleep, and tell him that I was reconsidering the house we are set to move into in Florida later this month. That I’d rather get a place on the water in Siesta Key and that I’m considering opening a yoga studio.

april fools joke, texts, iphone

#nailedit.

Well I would have nailed it if he hadn’t of gone all supportive on me and my fake attempt at a new life of zen.

An April Fool’s Tip: Know your target’s weaknesses. Trust is your weapon.

For more tips and to read more about my family’s history with this holiday, check out this post.

And while I do have one prank out of the way on this April Fool’s Day, I don’t feel like I’m at the top of my game. You see, I’m tired. I accompanied my cousins to the Bastille show last night at the Riviera and while they put on a great set, I was ever-so-cognizant of my increasing age throughout the night:

6:15 p.m.-This line is all kids. (you’re old)

Seriously though, everyone is either 17 or 50. (you’re old, they’re older)

6:30-I’ve never seen so many selfies in my whole life (you’re old)

6:45-Ok there’s a bar. That’s a good sign (I’m too tired to drink)

7:15-The opener hasn’t even come on and my feet hurt already (you’re old)

bastille, riviera theater, chicago

7:30- Everyone is snapchatting. Turns to cousins. Do you guys use SnapChat? They don’t. (whew, me neither)

8:30-OK that couple is totally in their late twenties. I’m good. (are you though?)

8:45- It’s official. I’m going to lose a little bit of hearing after this is over. Are those girls crying with joy right now? (they are)

9:30- They don’t seriously expect us to jump up and down do they? (they do)

9:50- These guys are good. I should add them to my Pandora. Do you guys use Pandora? (they don’t)

10:00- Great show. I can’t wait to get up for work tomorrow. (you’re old)

Have a good day. Stay alert my friends!

 

 

 

Somewhere Sunny and 75

lido beach florida, beach, winter vacation, sarasota

Give me a chance to explain before you swell up with hatred for anyone who is or has experienced this image in the last week or so. Last week I was right there with you. Scoffing at good ol’ Joe Nichols singing cheerfully about somewhere sunny and 75 when we were in the midst of our umpteenth inch of snowfall, just waiting on the next polar vortex to come our way. But I’ve seen the clear blue water with my own eyes, folks. I felt the warm sun on my super pale skin and I absorbed enough vitamin D to get through these next 6-8 inches of snow that are due today.   

Location: Coastal Florida.

Temp: Unseasonably warmer than 75.

Instead of cursing Joe Nichols and wallowing in my winter blues, I decided to do something about it. And while I wasn’t sure I would make it out at times after a few days of flight cancellations, I’m very grateful to have left Chicago and spent time in the Florida sun, even if it was only for approximately 72 hours.

bradenton florida riverwalk, winter vacation, simply social blog

On Saturday morning, I went for a long run along the river. At least I thought it would be a long run. The riverwalk ended about a mile later so I made my way back and circled some of the neighborhoods near our hotel for the last few miles. There was a farmer’s market just a few blocks away so I stopped in to browse the produce and, wait for it, puppies.

puppy adoption bradenton downtown farmers market

That’s right. A farmer’s market with puppies. As if the temps hadn’t already melted my heart, this little lady sure did. Had it not been for a flight back and a very large older brother, I’m pretty sure I would have walked away with more than just fresh oranges that morning. Just look at those eyes! If you’re in the area, check out Royal Pet Rescue to adopt a cutie just like this gal.

I miss her already.

Saturday afternoon we headed down to Sarasota. We hit up Lido Beach and nearby St. Armand’s Circle for a gorgeous sunset and dinner.

lido beach, sarasota florida, winter vacation, simply social blog

As the hours passed, a gorgeous fog rolled in from the gulf, making for an even prettier sunset.

lido beach, sarasota florida, winter vacation, simply social blog, lido beach sunset

We had a delicious meal at local restaurant, Columbia, where we sipped mojitos, snacked on tapas and filled ourselves to the max on a small serving of their 1905 salad.

columbia restaurant 1905 salad, lido key florida, dinner, simply social blog

This salad is no joke. And apparently neither was this couple.

9 puppies dining, simply social blog

9 puppies dining. 9! At first I felt sorry for the couple and their friend who had two gray ones of her own. I felt sorry for them until they started handing out business cards to everyone who stopped to ogle at their army of go-go-my-walking-pups. I pictured 13 more at home with the dog-nanny. These being the pack leaders, winning enough points to get them to the big show.

siesta key brunch, bonjour restaurant, florida, siesta key beach

On Sunday we had an early brunch at a local french spot in Siesta Key and then spent the day at what some say is the nicest beach in the U.S. It was gorgeous, the sand like flour. I can only assume it’s prettier than the one the day before because it didn’t have shells but we’re getting pretty picky now.

st. petersburg beach, florida, winter vacation, simply social blog, superbowl watch party

Sunday evening, we traveled up to St. Pete Beach to watch the Super Bowl with some friends. Can you believe this view? Please note I took more notice of it during the game than during the commercials. My inner ad geek goes crazy on Super Bowl Sunday.

I’ll be back tomorrow for a Workout Wednesday post, vacation-style. Until then, just look at the pictures and know that there’s an entire state who has no clue what kind of ridiculous weather us Midwesterners put up with all winter long. Either that or they know exactly what we put up with and think we are crazy.

Either way. Somewhere it’s sunny and 75.

I saw my shadow on Sunday

I’m sure you are too busy watching recaps from last nights Super Bowl to miss a blog post from me this morning but I wanted to check in regardless. And by watching recaps I mean the Bruno Mars halftime show and the Chevy bovine love story. Just stick with that. No one wants to repeat that mess of a game again anytime soon. Can I get an ‘Omaha!?’

After a few canceled flights due to, wait for it, wind in Chicago, I finally made it down to Florida late Friday. I’ll have a full recap later but for now ill just give you the obligatory iPhone photo dump of my winter weekend in the gulf.

I realized yesterday that seeing your shadow on Groundhog Day means more winter. I don’t know what I’ve been following these past 29 years but I completely disagree with this logic. If the sun is out on February 2nd, it’s a good thing. There’s hope people. We’re in this together.

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