GRAND HYATT BAHA MAR – NASSAU, BAHAMAS TRAVEL GUIDE

 

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Hi loves! I’m just gonna jump right into this post because it’s gonna be a long one! Let me preface this by saying Pete and I had never been to the Bahamas before this vacation. Pete planned this entire trip for our 10 year anniversary and surprised me this past Valentine’s Day with the news! (He can’t keep a secret for long lol). He did a ton of research on the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar and one of the firefighter’s on his shift actually had a trip planned there.

 

We had two flights, Cleveland to Charlotte and Charlotte to Nassau. It was only a total of 5 hours travel time! When we landed in the Bahamas, the weather was unbelievable (85 degrees and tons of sunshine!). We took a shuttle bus to the resort, which was a 15 minute ride from the airport.

 

 

I can’t even explain how in awe we were when we got to the resort. The details were impeccable, right down to the statutes, the tile floors, and the pictures that hung. It was incredibly gorgeous. And the staff went above and beyond the entire time we were there. When we walked inside the West Tower, we were greeted with tropical drinks at check-in and immediately upgraded to a large balcony ocean view suite since we were celebrating a special milestone.

 

 

THINGS TO DO:

The resort offers lots of things to do. Here is a list of what we did while there:

THE SANCTUARY – This was a one of a a kind hands-on experience with sea animals! We were able to feed and pet sharks, stingrays, and my absolute favorite, sea turtles. (We didn’t bring our phones in for this because we were too afraid we were going to drop them in the water!).  But I can’t even explain how completely amazing this was. Every single animal had a name, and there was even a stingray named Vinny!

ESPA – On our actual anniversary, we made appointments for Swedish massages. It was hands down the best massage I have ever had! The spa is exquisite. From fruit infused water, tea, champagne, a dry sauna, a steam sauna, infinity showers, and just the overall tranquility was impeccable!

POOLS – There are 8 different pools. Our favorite was Dean’s Blue Hole. It has waterfalls, a grotto with a big window to view the sea animals, and rock walls to jump into the pool, which Pete and I did several times! We felt like little kids.

CASINO – Pete and I aren’t huge gamblers, but we did play the penny slots. The casino is massive and stretches from the West Tower all the way to the East Tower. My favorite thing about the casino area was the chandeliers!

SHOPPING – There are several high-end shops inside the resort and some other smaller boutiques. Of course I had to go inside the Tiffany & Co. while we were there!

CABLE BEACH – The resort is right on Cable Beach. There’s a pier, water activities, and lounging in the sun with some delicious tropical drinks in coconuts! The water is crystal clear. We have never seen anything like it!

 

 

WHERE TO EAT:

There are a ton of restaurants located right on the resort. Some of them can be pretty costly, but some of our favorite ones were much more reasonable. Here are the ones we dined at:

KATSUYA – Pete and I are huge fans of Japanese, so this restaurant was right up our alley. We loved the creamy rock shrimp, filet tobanyaki and edamame!

3 TIDES – We went to this one the first night and were actually not that much impressed. I did get mussels which were so delicious, but the dessert wasn’t very good. However, the service was really great and the view was beautiful (we were right by the fountains and there ended up being a light show which was so cool!).

FILIA – Pete is Italian, so Italian cusine was a must! We ate here on our last night. The portions were so huge (per usual lol) and so, so yummy! We had chicken parmesan, caprese salad, which is my all time favorite salad, and grilled chicken paillard.

THE SWIMMING PIG – This restaurant is super reasonable. We had breakfast here and it’s kind of like a low-key sports bar. A big menu and more reasonably priced than the other restaurants. Perfect to grab a quick bite to eat.

 

Along with the restaurants above, we also ate at a lot of the outdoor bars and lounges by the pool, as well as the food trucks right in front of the beach. For our anniversary, we went to a restaurant outside of the resort called Sapodilla. We also went into downtown Nassau to eat at a spot all the locals would rave about called Frankie Gone Bananas. And it was definitely worth the hype. (I recommend the conch fritters!)

 

 

PEARL ISLAND ADVENTURE:

We decided to take an adventure to Pearl Island for our last day in the Bahamas. We booked the Beach Day experience. We took a cab to Margaritaville at Paradise Island where we boarded a boat that took us to Pearl Island. It was about a 15 minute boat ride. The island itself is literally out of a dream. We relaxed on the beach, did a guided snorkel tour, adventured into the lighthouse, ate a delicious Bahamian lunch, got a souvenir photo (all of this was included in the experience) and sipped some amazing tropical cocktails.

 

 

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All in all, our experience at this resort was a 100 on a scale of 1-10! Its’s the perfect place to relax and unwind, soak up the sun, and have some fun adventures while there. Pete and I are so anxious to go back that we are looking at taking the kids next fall! If any of you have questions about our travels to Baha Mar, feel free to comment on this post!

 

Xo, Brooke

 

 

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Travel

LOFT EXTRA 40% OFF SALE

 

I walked into the Loft this past week to do some browsing after a meeting I had. I typically don’t shop at the Loft (truth be told I think they’re kind of expensive!) but decided to give it a try. They currently have a ton of cute sale items at an extra 40% off. Some items are only $5!. I tried on a bunch of stuff from the sale rack including these tops. A lot of the items on sale could be seen as more for summer, but there are some really good basics that could be worn well into fall and winter, especially the tees and camis —- perfect for layering! Even the dresses I linked can be worn with denim jackets, cardigans, or other cute fall coats. I sorted everything I really like into categories below (because ya’ll know I LOVE organization).

 

What do you guys think of the Loft? I’m often looking for work attire and honestly struggle to find good places that have dress outfits that I like. I’d love to hear your favorite places to shop for work wear!

 

Hope you guys had an extra special weekend! Xo, Brooke

 

TOPS

 

 

BOTTOMS

 

 

DRESSES

 

Fashion

Current Makeup Products I’m Using

 

The past few weeks I’ve been looking for new makeup products to try out. Makeup is ever changing so every few months I like to head to Ulta or Sephora to browse recent beauty items. I actually use a lot of the same products, but when the season changes I try to spice it up!

 

MAC Prep + Prime Setting Spray

A great spray to set make up and give your face a dewy finish. I’ve used several other primers and setting sprays that feel thick and this one is very lightweight and refreshing!

 

Cover FX Perfect Setting Powder

The best powder I’ve ever used! It doesn’t go on cakey and it’s super smooth and helps my makeup stay put (unless it’s 90 degrees like today).

 

Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Bronzer

If you’ve been following me a while you know this is my #1 bronzer! It stays put and contours so nicely. I’m pretty pale so this adds some color and dimension.

 

Morphe 9C Jewel Crew Eyeshadow Palette

This is by far my favorite shadow palette for fall. The colors are rich and so gorgeous! Such a great steal for only $12!

 

Morphe Eyelid Primer

I just switched over to this primer. It’s lightweight yet really holds my eyeshadow well with no creasing.

 

NARS Blush

I normally just use bronzer but since using this blush I like adding some color to my cheeks! Super smooth and stays put.  I wear the Orgasm shade!

 

Morphe High Impact Highlighter

I used a liquid highlighter for a while but I felt like it didn’t really stay as long as a powder one, so this Morphe one is my new favorite. Extra is my go-to shade!

 

Essence I Love Extreme Crazy Volume Mascara

Ohhhh myyyy word ya’ll, this is the best mascara! It lengthens and separates so good and wait for it — it’s only $5!

 

NYX Professional Makeup Super Skinny Eye Marker

I picked this up on a whim and am actually not crazy about it! It goes on nice, but doesn’t stay as well as I’d hoped. The NYX Vinyl Liquid Liner is way better and stays so well.

 

Lorac Alter Ego Lip Gloss

I’ve used this gloss in the Beach Babe shade all summer and it’s the perfect nude to carry into the fall and winter!

 

 

Ulta is having a 21 Days of Beauty Sale so I have a feeling I’ll be stopping there several more times this month and Sephora extended their Labor Day Sale! So much makeup, such little time lol. Xo, Brooke

Fashion

Hair Products that Pack a Punch

 

You guys voted on my Instastories for some of my current go-to hair products so here we are! In the past, I was super cheap with what I would buy for my hair and didn’t really give it the time of day. Think White Rain hairspray, shampoo only (no conditioner — cringe), brushes that broke my follicles, I could go on and on! I’ve always had very thick hair, which is my family was actually pretty rare.

 

Over time, my hair got super thin and broke off a lot. Which I was so bummed about! (My thyroid has a lot to do with this. It’s under active so thinning hair is sadly a big side effect/symptom). I currently use this Biotin Shampoo to help it get stronger. I did a ton of research on what I could use to help get my hair thicker and healthier and the biotin got really great reviews! So far, so good.

 

Since my hair was becoming sparse, I purchased a clip in extension! (Truth be told I was feeling really self-conscious about how much hair I’ve lost in the last 6 months. This helps me feel better when I wear it!). This is the extension I purchased (in the dark brown to dark blonde.) I eventually want to get real hair extensions, but for now this is a good and really cheap alternative!

 

I love using any of the OGX Beauty products for my mane. They have my favorite hair spray here (all the OGX products are currently B1G1 40% off). The OGX products smell so good. I also love the root boosting spray which I feel makes a huge difference in my hair’s volume. I spray it on at the roots after I just wash my hair.  I use the Hydrate + Repair Argan Oil of Morocco Shampoo and Conditioner too.  I’ve always liked having two to three different shampoo and conditioner sets to switch it up every so often when I’m washing my hair.

 

To add texture, my go-to is the Aquage Sea Salt Texturizing Spray. I always feel like I’m at the beach when I use it! And last but not least, my all time favorite dry shampoo is Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo.  I’ve tried a ton of dry shampoos and they all ended up making my hair feel super matte and sticky. The Drybar is really light and the smell is to die for!

 

These are just some of my current favorite products. I’m definitely no hair expert, but I do love trying out new ones to test and see what works best with my hair. What are some of your must-have hair products? Comment and let me know!

 

XO, Brooke

 

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Fashion

My Top Favorite Books + Podcasts

OUTFIT DETAILS

Top: Amazon || Jeans: Express || Shoes: Target || Hat: Old (Similar Here)

Sunglasses: H&M || Earrings: Red Dress Boutique || Bag: LV Neverfull MM (Discounted here!)

 

 

Happy Tuesday sweets! One of my favorite things to do to wind down is read or listen to podcasts. I thought it would be fun to round up what I’ve read or listened to lately. Ya’ll know I love crime and mystery, so a lot of these will be in that genre!

 

 

TOP BOOKS:

Girl, Wash Your Face – I’m sure you’ve seen this title all over. And it’s because it’s uplifting, yet raw and real. One of the best books I’ve read.

Little Fires Everywhere – Took me a bit to get into this one, but it ended up being a really good book!

Behind Closed Doors – I couldn’t put this down and read it in 2 days! So many twists and turn.

A Man Called Ove  – I read this during a trip to Dallas. I remember being on the plane going home and crying at the the ending! Such a great read.

The Good Girl – So suspenseful! The ending was a big shock so it definitely had me reading it every chance I got!

 

 

TOP PODCASTS:

Up & Vanished – This one sucked me in! I listened to it for 4 straight hours one night after the kids went to bed. Such a great story.

Atlanta Monster – This one is from the producers of the previous one and is just as good!

Dirty John – Not one of my favorites, but it was interesting!

Missing & Murdered – Such a great podcast. You’ll want to keep listening as each episode ends.

Personal Best – Not crime related but very relatable and funny!

 

I’d love to hear some of the books or podcasts you’ve read/listened to and loved! I’m always looking for new ones so comment and give me some ideas!

 

Xo, Brooke

Fashion