Hilton New York Fashion District – Can I Just Move In?

Version 2

I hadn’t been to New York City in yearssssss. And I missed it. This time, however, I didn’t want to crash on a friend’s sofa. I wanted to stay in a swanky hotel in the middle of an area that was surrounded by lots of good shops and restaurants. I wanted to be close to where The Makeup Show NYC was going to be and I really wanted a hotel that had a really good room service menu.

Version 2

Don’t judge me, man. I’m fancy. I LOVE room service.

My girl Courtney and I settled on staying at the Hilton New York Fashion District for several reasons; one being that it was listed as an option on The Makeup Show NYC website. And also, Courtney said that she had never had a bad experience at a Hilton. Same here. 

And so we checked in. It really only got better from there.

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My Blacklane Experience

Blacklane

Flying. I’m hitting the airport at least a half dozen times each year. It was about double pre-kids and now that I’ve got two babes in tow, it’ll be quite a while before I travel with both. Have you ever seen parents with more than one kid in the airport? Everyone is flustered. I’m not ready for it yet but when the time hits, I will definitely be using Blacklane.

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5 Toddler-Friendly Road Trip Activities

This post is sponsored by Chevrolet Traverse.

5 Toddler-Friendly Road Trip Activities

It’s alllll about traveling with toddlers. Which, by the way, is no easy feat. It’s not for the faint of heart and really only seasoned parents should attempt this. You know I’m kidding, right? As parents, sometimes NOT traveling isn’t an option so if you’re going to do it with a wiggly, impatient kind-of-crazy, toddler, you should at least be prepared, right? July is the IT time for many Americans who are looking to road trip – since we love traveling, we are no exception. Truth be told, I wish we were cruising around in a Chevrolet Traverse, but until then, we’re happy to get around any we can. Geared up, of course!

For parents of toddlers and preschoolers, it is essential to keep the littles entertained every step of the way during the trip. Happy kids means happy and safe drivers. We do more flying than driving (and you would too if your kid talked as much as mine does) but, when we do hit the road, we’re carrying the following with us.

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Celebrating Summer (and other occasions) with a Coke

​Man, lemme tell you..it doesn’t even feel like summer JUST started. Remember, I’m in Florida. We are summer. We complain when it gets lower than 70 degrees outside and we complain when it’s hotter than 90 degrees outside. Yet we chose this life.Summer means spending more time outside soaking up Vitamin D (safely, of course) and spending time with friends and family. For the record, I did very little working out to prepare for this summer but whatever. You will still find me in a pool or beach somewhere; pudgy tummy and all. 
 
Beach
 
Summer also means celebrating Esposo’s birthday! 
 
Toasting
 

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Tips for Visiting Fort San Cristóbal in San Juan, Puerto Rico

I majored in Africana Studies when I was in college. Somewhere between my Journalism classes and Spanish minor classes, I fell in love with all things African and African American. I’m a American but I’m Black yet I had very little knowledge about Africa, the continent, the diaspora and how they impacted our world back then and today. I am still fascinated by history and so when it was suggested that we visit Fort San Cristóbal while vacationing in San Juan, Puerto Rico, I was ready to go!

Fort in Puerto Rico

Fort San Cristóbal

Truthfully, I’m proud that my pregnant butt managed to climb all of those stairs and slopes in that heat. The view was worth it and I was grateful to have experienced that with my family.

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Vacationing and Baby Baking

Mannnnn, you guys. 

I am soooo here for a stress-free life. I want to live it daily. I yearn for it. I crave it. But truthfully, I only get it when I’m on an exotic island, staying in a hotel and breathing beach air daily. So yeah. Our family vacation was in Puerto Rico this year and we had a blast.

Beach at Puerto Rico

EB didn’t want to leave the water or the pool and Esposo and I loved having so many helping hands assist with toddler duties. We were so excited to get away on a date but uh, we took a nap instead. Which was probably better than a date. Just sayin’. Good sleep is a GOOD thing. I would have also loved to take a ton of pictures of the property to come back and do a thorough post on it but geez, guys…I was a true bum in Puerto Rico. And I’m soooo okay with that! But I did take soooooome pictures.

20 Weeks Pregnant - Baby #2

I know, right? From the woman that was all like Isn’t 1 kid enough? and from the mother who never once in her life had baby fever comes a baking fetus. Isn’t life hilarious? I have to find the humor and joy in it all. Here I am still shocked that I’m a parent of 1 and I’m about to be parent of 2. Someone hold me.

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The 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage – Mini Compact Car Love

2015 Mitsubishi Mirage

When I purchased my first car, I was a single gal. I had gotten my first real job, was living in an apartment with my best friend and was living that young, free and single life as a fresh transplant to Orlando, Florida. When my car from college died, I wasn’t trying to get something brand new with car payments that would kill my monthly budget. So I got what I could afford and I’ve been lovin’ that baby ever since. She’s on her last leg now and THIS YEAR I haaaave to get a new car. 

Enter the Mitsubishi Mirage. 

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Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas

Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas

This inclusive post will talk about everyyyyy aspect of my experience aboard Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas. It really is hard to write an entire post about such a massive vessel, but hey – I’m an overachiever and will attempt this. To make things easier, I’ll break everything up in categories? Sound good?

The reason for the trip…

Each year, a group of bloggers take a fun trip. It really is that simple. The idea was brought about by the ridiculously talented blogger behind MomDot.com (hey Trish hey!) and she wanted to have a “different” kind of blogger conference. Something fun, lighthearted and just…simple. And so Brandcation was born. Each Brandcation is held in a different city and with a different theme. The hashtag for this trip was #SeasTheDay and I don’t think that could have been more fitting.

Royal Caribbean Liberty and Brilliance

Wait, so you got on a ship with 39 other bloggers? Did you know any of them?

Well, I knew 2 but I didn’t really know anyone else. Pretty adventurous, huh? But hey…after you go to college and live in the dorms with strangers, you can pretty much do anything. And after I left the trip, I had a ton of new friends and bloggers to follow. It turned out better than expected.

What’s so great about Royal Caribbean? And this boat…how big is it?

First of all, it’s a ship. Or a vessel, if you want to be fancy. Having been on several cruises and with this being my first Royal Caribbean cruise, I will say that this is the BEST cruise line everrrrrr. Liberty of the Seas is the 2nd largest vessel in the world. Here are her specs…

Ship Information

  • 154,407 gross register tonnage
  • 1,112 feet long
  • 185 feet wide
  • 28 feet draft
  • 21.6 knots cruising speed
  • 15 passenger decks
  • 14 passenger elevators
  • 4 bow thrusters
  • 3,634 guests (double occupancy)
  • 4,375 guests (total)
  • 1,360 crew (International)

Staterooms

  • Total: 1,817
  • Ocean View: 1,084 (842 with balconies)
  • Interior: 733 (172 Promenade View)
  • Staterooms with third/fourth berths: 855
  • Wheelchair accessible staterooms: 32

What was the food like?

This is probably #1 question I get when those who have never taken a cruise before find out that I love cruises. And I get it. People are particular about their food. As they should be. Do know that your food is prepared in bulk when you’re aboard a cruise. Cruise lines aren’t just preparing a few salads at ones. They are preparing dozens and dozens of salads for lunch at around 6 in the morning.

Royal Caribbean kitchen

It is a smooth operation and having toured a cruise kitchen, I can assure you that the chefs and food handlers take all safety precautions. Food selections are diverse and my vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free conscious eaters will be happy to know that Royal Caribbean caters to you, too.

Royal Caribbean food

Every meal I had came with veggies. I also liked the many different dining options. You could get free room service, munch on pizza at the pizzeria, dine at Johnny Rockets, have a fancy meal in the main dining room or eat buffet style.

Royal Caribbean dining room

Whatever you’re feeling, Royal Caribbean makes sure that you have good eats. And around the clock!

Sooo, how small are the rooms?

Good question. Compared to the rooms that I’ve stayed in before, my room was massive! My roommate and I had plenty of space to move around. Royal Caribbean provided ample amount of storage space, which is appreciated when you’re away from home for 5 days.

Royal Caribbean room

The beds? Ridiculously comfortable and while small, the 3-piece bathroom was still easy to manuver around in. But here’s some advice, if you plan on cruising any time soon, pleeeease do yourself a favor and get a room with a balcony. The extra money is worth it because you won’t feel as claustrophic and you get views like this every evening…

Royal Caribbean on the water

Royal Caribbean sunset

What is there to do?

You’re kidding, right? There is SO much to do and I didn’t find any “bored” moments while aboard Liberty of the Seas. I’ll let the pictures speak…

Royal Caribbean rock climbing

Royal Caribbean golf

Royal Caribbean waves

Royal Caribbean pool

…the rock climbing wall, nine-hole mini golf course and FlowRider surf simulator doesn’t even touch the surface of what there is to do aboard the Liberty of the Seas. There’s…

  • DreamWorks Experience (including parades and meeting characters!)
  • VitalitySpa & FitnessCenter
  • Three Pools
  • Six Whirlpools
  • Sports Court
  • Nine-hole Miniature Golf Course
  • Ice Skating Rink
  • Jogging Path
  • Outdoor Movie Screen
  • Video Arcade
  • Boutiques
  • Art & Photo Gallery
  • Medical Center
  • Royal Caribbean Online Internet Center

And the shows…

Royal Caribbean shows

OMG, the shows rocked my socks. I saw 3 shoes and when I tell you that the performances were amazing, I’m not joking. The singing, the dancing, the little wow factors…they still resonate with me. There are also 22 bars and clubs and while I didn’t hit any of the clubs (I was too busy enjoying the shows), I heard the music was thumpin’ and the drinks were good.

A pretty fly by post of should a big ship, I know, but I wanted to give you folks an idea of what it was like to cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas. For more information about the ship and to find out even more details about what you can expect, visit their site here.

Disclosure: Through Brandcation, I received a press trip to travel on and explore Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas. I was not paid to write this post and all opinions are my own.