Monthly Archives: June 2016

Honeymoon in Curacao

paradise


 

 


 


There are two type of peoples on vacation; the “do-ers” and the “chill-ers.” I almost always fall into the first category.  I am a planner! Therefore I do extensive research and pack in as much as humanly possible in the time I have. This method is great in that I get to see a ton in a short period of time, but this method also ensures exhaustion and I ultimately need a vacation from my vacation.

When planning our Honeymoon my new husband we wanted a “chill” vacation to recover from the stresses of wedding planning. I swear we looked into all 196 countries in the world, or at least it felt that way.  We finally settled on the Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao.  Just off the coast of Venezuela.  With gorgeous white sandy beaches and turquoise water, we found our own little piece of paradise.

view

The view from our room.

Curacao Marriott Beach Resort & Emerald Casino

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Our beach at Curacao Marriott Beach Resort & Emerald Casino

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Private path to the beach

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Our first night in Curacao.

After about 3 days of relaxing by the pool, reading, drinking pina coladas, trying to make a baby, swimming, snorkeling, and napping, I started to feel restless.  Like I said, I am a do-er.  So we took a very expensive cab ride to the capital city of Willemstad and spent the day just wondering around , checking out their markets, amazed at the largess of coming and going cruise ships, & taking in a little graffiti art.

curacao

http://www.caribbeanislands.com/curacao/

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Market in Willemstad

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We then spent another day lounging on the beach, snorkeling, reading, drinking pina-colada, and trying to make a baby.

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Pina Colada with a little Blue Curacao

POOLSIDE POOLSIDE1 beach

At some point each day I’d find my way to the resorts little cafe and get a chocolate croissant.  For weeks afterward I had the thought, today would be so much better with a chocolate croissant and a pina colada!

YUM

daily chocolate croissant

lovebirds

Wanting to see more of the Island, we got brave and rented a car.  I was especially freaked out when I realized It was my first time driving in a foreign country. Its a good thing cars work just about the same everywhere. With map in hand my hubby took his position in the co-pilot seat and we headed out.

aroundtheisland roadtrip roadtrip1

I t wasn’t long before I got caught up trying to take it all in, didn’t follow Juice’s directions exactly, took the wrong turn, and consequently ended up on a very lonely dirt road in the middle of nowhere.  The experience was both frightening and exciting at the same time.  After a few hushed, muffled curses from Juice, some intense scrutiny of the map, and what seemed like an eternity we made it back on to a PAVED road to Westpunt.  I like to look back on this adventure as a relationship building exercise.

Westpunt

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Cliffs of Westpunt

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High on the cliffs of Wespunt we had lunch with a goat we shared our first meal with a goat.

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Flamingoo-Area-21

We even came across a flamingo sanctuary on our way back to our hotel.

Being the doer that I am, we were lucky to have our own local tour guide for a day. My friend Matt’s mom actually lived in Curacao for many years and knew all the cool local places to take us. Mary was a total riot, she took us to a local grocery store for goodies and beer, we went snorkeling at a couple beaches and we got to check out this crazy cool fort.

Fort Beekenburg, built in 1703…is a surprisingly stout structure.

snorkle

Curacao was the first place I have ever snorkeled.

fort2 fort1 fort3 FORT4 PARADISE4 PARADISE6 fort

I will never forget the Dutch Carribean island of Curacao.  It was the perfect compromise for both the “do-er” and “chiller” our every relationship.  My hubby had days of white sandy beaches and reading, I had that and  heavenly chocolate croissants, pina- coladas, and enough adventures to keep from going stir crazy.  40 weeks later we were both blessed with the cutest little honeymoon baby. Given all of this, Curacao will always hold a special place in my heart, it was our own little tropical dream come true.

xoxosarah

My favorite new cake trend: Drip Drizzle Cakes

Some call it a drip cake, others a drizzle cake.  I like to call it a drip drizzle cake, I must be conjuring up my inner Snoop Dog. Whatever its name, I am completely obsessed with this hot new cake trend.

I mean, whats not to love, you take an already amazing cake and then drip drizzle your way to beyond amazing. The best part of these gorgeous drip drizzle cakes is all the crazy toppings; donuts, Japanese pocky, bon bons, macarons, flowers, lollipops, fruit, marshmallow, meringue, cookies, truffles, candy, or mini bottles of Jack, the possibilities are endless.
new cake trend drip drizzle cakes

1.  Mudgeemade
2.  Sugar by J Cakes
3.  Fork to Belly
4.  Sugaretal
5.  LifeofPieAmsterdam
6.  Cakes by Cliff
7.  Dessert Stomach
8.  Lapechefraiche
I’m definitely going to have a drip drizzle cake for my upcoming 35th birthday.  Now how to pick a design?!

xoxosarah

Daring Greatly

My internal battle between wanting to play it safe and wanting to live a creative life is a long one.

My first recollection came in Junior High. I wanted to be a writer and so I joined the journalist staff.  But very quickly I realized that I did not want my writing critiqued and so I changed my mind.

In college, I wanted to be an interior designer. A History of Furniture is still one of my favorite college courses of all time. As enthralling as lecture time was, when it came to my personal designs being critiqued, I hated it and ultimately fled. My defense was always “how can something with no right answer, be wrong?”

In most areas of life I handled criticism pretty well. Professionally I used the only time I ever got fired, the worst criticism imaginable, to grow and become a better version of myself. On a personal level if a friend or lover criticized me, I often mulled it over in my head, dissecting how much truth there was in it. Discarding the useless bits but holding on to the true parts, using them to try to do better.

But creatively I just couldn’t take it. So I settled for the least creative degree imaginable in Information System Security. A degree that 8 years later, I have never used.

Over the years, as my passion for baking, crafting, scrap-booking, party planning, decorating, writing, & photography developed, I noticed that they all have a common thread of making things beautiful. I also noticed just how happy I am when creating.  So after years of the same internal question “what do I want to be when I grow up?” I found a home in Living Darling, an outlet for all of my creative passions.

Working on Living Darling has been exciting and joyful . But it has also been overwhelming. The learning curve is immense and I have so little free time between work and family life.

Unsurprisingly, my imagination went wild, taking on the form of various hero lifestyle bloggers and designers that I admire, each of them questioning things like my authenticity, uniqueness, and style.

With each blog post I swept these fears aside and kept moving forward but unfortunately they persisted. Slowly chipping away at my motivation and excitement. Until last week when I stumbled upon a forum devoted to bashing one of my favorite bloggers.

It was shocking and confusing. But like most figurative train wrecks, it was hard to look away.  I spent a couple of hours reading through 6 years of post, searching for a truth that I had maybe missed after all these years of admiration. I kept trying to reconcile my version of her blog with this one.  Was I wrong to love her work? Was she really such a monster?  I went back to her blog and her Instagram and then back to these horrible comments. I finally realized that it came down to jealousy. Jealousy of her success, of the picturesque life she has curated, of her hustle.

I spent days thinking about this forum, shocked that one of my favorite blogs could inspire so many vitrolic comments.  Then I remembered this quote by Theodore Roosevelt

daringgreatlyquoteAll at once I felt a huge flood of relief at the inevitability of criticism.   We live in a world full of critics and a vastness of diverse opinions. There is no escaping someone who thinks they could do it better.

The horrible things I found on that forum were being said about a highly creative, successful, talented blogger and will most likely be said about anyone who puts themselves out there in the arena.

In hind sight, I wish I had developed a thick skin early on and accepted that criticism has its place.  That while being vulnerable to criticism sucks, there are much worse places to be like those “cold and timid” sidelines.

From now on I plan on throwing myself out into the arena and I can only hope that one day I will have done that enough that people will take the time to critique my work.   Whether I know victory or defeat, here is to daring greatly.

xoxosarah