2015 Best Nine Moments

We’re just hours away from ringing in the new year, so I better be quick! 

The new year gives us an opportunity to reset and start fresh, it’s an opportunity to create new goals and build upon the foundation of what we started. Each new year brings us new adventures and endless possibilities, and I can’t wait to see what 2016 will bring! But, before I move ahead and put my goals and bucket list items for the new year down on paper, I’m sharing my #2015bestnine moments here on the blog, so without further ado, here they are:

1. Mike and I got married! 

This goes without saying, this was one of the major highlights from 2015! It was such a remarkable weekend shared with our closest friends and family I wish we could do it all over again! 

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2. We traveled to Mexico for our Honeymoon

During our honeymoon we disconnected from society, traveled to the depths of Mexico and overcame my fear of heights, at least during the zip lining adventure (oh and an angel saved our honeymoon, read more about it here

Honeymoon - Mexico

3. Had  the most amazing trip to San Francisco

I fell in love with this beautiful city and felt like we ate our way through it, get the full recap of our San Francisco trip here

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4. Our nephew Liam made his debut into the world! 

I’ll never forget Liam’s birthday as he arrived on September 20, 2015, the day Mike and I celebrated 8 years together! 

Mike and Sianne with Liam

5. I taste-tested lots of recipes 🙂

Check out my favorites here, here and here

Mini Pumpkin Pie Recipe

6. Got to enjoy many family get togethers

Including weekend trips to Marco Island and Hutchinson Island with the entire family! 

Marco Island

7. Joined the movement of fabulous creatives through the Rising Tide Society

The biggest adventure you can ever take is to the live the life of your dreams

Make sure you surround yourself with like-mind peeps who are going to cheer you on! Read about my experience with the Rising Tide Society here

Rising Tide Society

8. Moved closer to my family 

We moved three times this year – yikes! But, regardless of the amount of times we had to pack boxes and rent a u-haul, we are back in South Florida near my family, a true blessing! 

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9. Took a class on modern calligraphy

This was so awesome, I highly recommend it to anyone who is into fonts and calligraphy like I am! Papel & Co. put together an amazing afternoon of learning in a beautiful setting! 

Modern Calligraphy

 

Alright, I better wrap this up and finish getting ready to ring in the new year. Happy New Year Friends, I wish you all a happy, healthy and safe 2016! And don’t forget, never quit your daydream 🙂

Sianne Signature

 

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San Francisco

While in San Francisco I fell in love, in love with the city, the food and the vibe! We had such a great experience, exploring and eating… I’m pretty sure it is safe to say we ate our way through this amazing city : )

We got very lucky while we were there with very little fog, it was beautiful, cool, fall weather, I mean what more could a girl ask for?!

San Fran Collage

While I was in this beautiful city I met up with an old friend from high school and fellow creative, Veronica from The Four Threads. We strolled around her neighborhood near the Golden Gate Bridge, did some afternoon exploring and catching up, sharing stories and sipping on wine.

Between Veronica’s recommendations and the suggestions of random people we would meet through UberPool, we got to experience San Francisco the way the locals do!

Since Mike was out here for two weeks for work, I flew out Wednesday to join him! He still had to go into the office on Thursday so I had the day to myself to explore and do my own thing, first up was Starbucks and blogging then yoga at Satori Yoga Studio:

Starbucks - Chai Tea Latte - San Francisco  Satori Yoga Studio

After a beautiful yoga class, I met up with Mike for lunch at Specialty’s Cafe & Bakery. The turkey sandwich was on point and the cookies were definitely worth every bite!

I quickly worked off lunch by walking 6 miles from the financial district to the Marina District near the Golden Gate Bridge! I took the scenic route up Chestnut near the shoreline, admiring all of the charming homes along the way.

Chestnut Street - San Francisco

Veronica and I sipped wine at the California Wine Merchant wine bar in the Marina District, it was cute, quaint and perfect for early afternoon bubbly.

We explored the Marina District by walking along the bay near the Golden Gate Bridge and Fort Mason Center, then moseyed on over to the Palace of Fine Arts.

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That night Mike and I headed to Ferry’s Building to eat dinner on the water at The Hog Island Oyster Company – this was a great date night location! Perfect view of the bay, delicious oysters and good vibes. The pork chops were also an excellent choice!

Hog Island Oyster Company

Hog Island Oyster Co - Porkchops

We capped off the night with our first stop at Ghiradelli’s, getting the most delicious sundaes! Ghiradelli Ice Cream Sundaes

The next morning we worked off all the sweets with a run over the Golden Gate!

Taking it slow, we grabbed some Starbucks, sipped our tea, walked along the bay and talked about our dreams. We decided to Uber to the Fort Mason Center instead of running from our hotel in Union Square, which was a great idea because it ended up being a 6-miler by the time we went over the bridge and back again.

On the way over we kept stopping to take pictures and take it all in, but on the way back we kicked it up and just ran back. If running over the bridge isn’t your thing, there were many people renting bikes from Blazing Saddles to experience the trip across the bay.

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To refuel we decided to visit Ferry’s Building again and grab lunch.

There are many little quick on-the-go shops to choose from. We taste tested various olive oils with fresh bread, macrons and decided to try Boccalone, a company who’s tagline is “Tasty Salted Pig Parts” !  It was so good!

Mike got the Sausage, Peppers and Onions sandwich with a salami cone appetizer, while I got the panini sandwich. Their Prosciutto was so delicious we ordered some to go, stopped by one of the bread shops in the building and took it to enjoy later!

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After some much needed rest from our morning run, we headed back to the Marina District to enjoy “Off the Grid” food truck rally near Fort Mason! I did mention how we ate our way through San Francisco, right?!

Off the Grid - Food Truck Rally

After eating more food at the rally, we walked up to Chestnut street and grabbed a few drinks at the Tipsy Pig.

The atmosphere and people at the bar were so laid back, we had an excellent time. We sat outside at a small table in the courtyard area, surrounded by overgrown vines, string lights and the sound of music filling in the already bustling area. We made friends with the people next to us, a group of intelligent technology guys who all worked for notable companies like Google and Twitter – it was so cool to be surrounded by young, vibrant professionals every where you turned!

The next morning we treated ourselves to amazing, glazed donuts!

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After lounging in the hotel room eating way too many of these light-weight, freshly made donuts, we made our way back over to Ferry’s Building, stopped by the Farmers Market and smelled the roses:

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Continuing on our journey of we walked along the piers from the Ferry Building all the way over to Fisherman’s Wharf. We ate crepes at Pier 39, watched the sea lions and caught the Ferry over to Tiberon Island.

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After leaving Tipsy Pig the other night we used UberPool, sharing a ride with a local. Once she found out we were from out of town she started listing off a few places to visit during our stay. Thus, leading us to Tiburon Island to enjoy lunch at Sam’s Cafe.

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After exploring this charming little town we headed back to San Francisco and decided to walk up to Ghiradelli Square for yet another sweet treat!

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We ended the night with a drink in hand watching watch the sunset from the 49th Floor of our hotel:

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By Sunday morning, Mike woke up with a sinus infection from running over the Golden Gate Bridge on Friday, so we slowed down, relaxed and opted out of our plans for the day. We found a travelers doctor, Jim Savage, MD who was great. He had immediate availability and got Mike the meds he needed to kick the infection before having to go back to work on Monday.

To stay out of the cooler weather, we decided to stay indoors, visiting Westfield Mall just off of Market Street. We did some window shopping, grabbed a bit to eat and laid low. If you’re looking for a quick, easy meal check out the food court at Westfield, they had lots of options to choose from, our favorite was Fire of Brazil! Delicious, great quality Brazilian steakhouse food that was easy on the wallet.

Ending my stay in San Francisco we hit up Ghiradelli’s one last time and hopped on the trolly for a photo op!

Ghiradelli Strawberry Shake

San Francisco Trolly - Union Square

I loved our trip to the bay city! So much good food and exploring during our time here. The energy of the city and the beauty of the architecture, hills and water were just a few of my favorite things about San Francisco!

If you’ve been to this beautiful city, what is your favorite thing to do? If you haven’t what do you want to add to the list?

Sianne Signature

 

 

On-the-Go Make-up Travel Essentials

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When you’re on the go, you want to make sure you have everything you need with you at all times. This year, I’ve been lucky enough to hit the road on a regular basis, traveling to Dallas and New New Jersey for work, visiting Mexico for our honeymoon (read more about that here), an impromptu weekend in San Francisco with the Mr. and trips back up to Jacksonville to visit family and friends – no wonder I’m starting to feel like a pro.

With all this travel my skin and body start to take a beating and I want to make sure I have everything I need with me to ensure minimal changes to my daily routine. Here are my travel must-haves that I can’t go without:

  1. Neutrogena Make-up Remover Cleansing Towelettes – this helps easily take off the make-up and prep clean my face without having to overdue the other cleansers.
  2. Clean & Clear Morning Burst Cleanser – I like this for a few reasons, it’s citrus scented wash helps wake me up in the mornings, especially on days like today where I the alarm was going off at 3am and because it doesn’t clog the pores and is gentle on my skin.
  3. Clean & Clear Deep Cleansing Astringent – this helps take that final layer of grime off my face, yuck! But exposing my skin to different climates and recycled air in the planes really takes a toll, this astringent helps.
  4. Benefit Cosmetics Total Moisturizer Facial Cream – perfect for when my skin starts to dry out, but most times I just use it under my eyes where the travel is most noticeable.
  5. Too Faced Primed & Poreless Face Primer – this is my personable preference as I think it helps minimize my pores and evens out the application of my foundation.
  6. MAC Studio Face and Body Foundation – this is seriously the perfect lightweight all over coverage I was looking for.
  7. Neutrogena SkinClearing Mineral Powder – I let the foundation dry a bit and then apply this powder to eliminate the dewy look. I like a matte finish and the powder helps me achieve that.
  8. Benefit Cosmetics Total Moisture Facial Cream
  9. Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion
  10. MAC Powder Blush and Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Bronzer Matte – the two of these products helps me achieve light contouring by applying the blush on my check bones and the bronzer higher up and near my temples.
  11. Maybelline Full & Soft Waterproof Mascara and Maybelline Define-A-Line Eyeliner – I like these waterproof eye products to create a natural lash that keeps me ready for anything the day throws my way.
  12. TRESemme Extra Firm Hold Hairspray – light hold to keep my look lasting throughout the day.
  13. Nail polish and nail file – I don’t like to go to far without my Essie polish in tow, making sure I always have a good looking manicure.

I know it seems like a lot, but these are my on-the-go essentials to make sure I have everything I need when I travel. I also carry a face and turbie twist hair towel to make getting ready easier. And I try really hard to keep my normal activity level the same by hitting the gym or doing yoga when I travel to keep my body in balance. Now excuse me, I have to finish unpacking from this weekend’s trip and get ready for the next one!

What are your essentials? I’d love to hear what’s on your list and add it to mine!

Sianne Signature

An Angel Saved Our Honeymoon

2015-04-15 18.31.39Evening Kayak in the Jungle during our Honeymoon 

To the family from Belize who gave a helping hand to these honeymooners, thank you. I truly hope this message gets back to you, because I could not thank you enough during the brief moment our paths crossed.

Mike and I decided we wanted to be in a remote location where distractions such as cellphones and TVs would not be an issue, after researching and searching many places we decided to stay at the Explorean Kohunlich near Chetumal, Mexico. This remote location was in the Jungle of the Yucatan Peninsula about 5 hours south of Cancun, not too far from the border of Belize.

After landing in Cancun and being on cloud 9 from the weekend’s festivities, we were ready to get our honeymoon started! Cancun airport was your typical tourist attraction, similar to getting off a cruise ship – drinks and people where there to welcome you to Mexico, with the natives ushering you along the way to get you to where you were going. Caught up in all the commotion and eager to get on the road to our resort, we bypassed many things and went straight to our rental car – missing out on the opportunity to exchange American dollars for pesos.

Still not realizing our mistake, we hit the road to start our adventure. Not too far south of Cancun we stopped for a bite to eat, we used our credit card, enjoyed our food and off we went. We knew our credit card would be okay outside of the US and so far so good, within the first couple of hours we used it twice without any issues, so we continued on our adventure, excited to be on this journey as husband and wife.

4 hours later, right outside the city of Chetumal, we were getting eager to see the resort and make it to our final destination, but before heading too far into the jungle and off the main path, we decided to stop for gas. Not thinking twice about where we were and our lack of pesos we simply told the gas attendant to fill up our tank. As we attempted to pay, fear set in – our credit card was not going through and we didn’t have enough cash to pay for the full tank – we were $15 US dollars short. Staying relatively calm in the beginning we started to barter (the best we could with the little Spanish I know) as a way to get out of our situation.

After much back and forth, and offering up Mike’s expensive watch for just the difference, we were at a lost of what to do next. The gas attendant told Mike to leave me at the gas station and drive to the next city to use the ATM at the bank… as you can imagine, no way were we going to split up in a foreign country – especially without a car or a phone! Urging us to talk to the manager as there was nothing the gas attendant could do, we started our plea all over again trying to reason with the manager. After being in this situation for about 45 minutes, Mike and I were both wearing thin. As we were trying to let the manager know about our situation, a lady from Belize appears out of nowhere. Literally nowhere – I have no idea where she came from, how much of the conversation she heard, but it was like she all of sudden just appeared, right there at the very moment we needed her the most.

Overhearing our conversation, she interrupts and says “Excuse me, am I understanding you correctly? Are you short money to pay for gas?” Completely shocked by someone who could speak fluent English, I said “yes, we are $15 short and our cards are not working here.” Without even hesitating or missing a beat, she simply said, “do you mind if I pay the difference?” I was and still am floored by this comment, at that very moment I was overwhelmed by Gods answer to my prayer that I started to cry. This woman came out of nowhere, just like an angel and answered my prayers.

As if that wasn’t enough she then walked over to Mike and I to talk to us a bit more, after realizing we were on our honeymoon and not wanting us to be in this situation again, she offered to give us 500 pesos. This was beyond generous and I didn’t want to accept the money. She insisted we take it and then gave us “extra” US cash they had from their vacation that they were heading back from. Not knowing at the time how much she handed me, I took the money sobbing because of her unbelievable generosity. I just couldn’t believe someone could be so kind to complete and utter strangers. Little did we know, she handed us $50o US dollars on top of the $500 pesos and the $15 US dollars for gas. Before this kind lady was able to explain our situation to her husband I was hugging this man tears running down my face thanking him and his family for their generosity.

If by some miracle this post makes it to the family in Belize, thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kindness. I still cry today, 4 months later when I share this story, because you truly where an angel and God’s presence was so strong in that moment.

At the time, this was such a scary situation to be in, but I am happy God gave me the opportunity to truly see him at work by sending an angel our way to save our honeymoon. And to that angel – thank you.

Sianne Signature