Why I like your city. Canaan Valley, WV 2014 Ed.

9.02.2014

*This post is inspired by my husband and I's favorite sports authority Deadspin's Drew Magary. He writes the infamous and utterly pee-worthy, "Why your team sucks" columns. In honor of today's post please enjoy "Why your team sucks 2014: Ravens" by Drew Magary. Why? Because I hate them.

The West Virginian state motto: "Wild and Wonderful" is truly bulls eye accurate. Large rolling hills, lush greenery, tall trees, lakes, and a bountiful supply of wild flowers make West Virginia pure eye candy to any fortunate visitor. West Virginia is also incredibly "wild".  WV is full of a robust wildlife(both animal and people alike). I am certain that you could not have a better time anywhere if you tried! Over the weekend, we saw snakes, hawks, very BIG spiders, turkey, deer(who proceeded to look at us like,"What you want"?), and a baby skunk. This is not counting the many dogs who greeted us at every turn from the local neighborhood. Everyone is just so darn friendly in WV!

Our family spent Labor Day weekend in the middle of nowhere called Canaan Valley in West Virginia. The "very real" intro photo gives you a teeny tiny idea of just how picturesque this area really is! We even got a visit from a local neighbor who generously dropped off some firewood for our weekend bonfires via his four-wheeled vehicle(that is apparently how everyone gets around locally). The cabin had a hot tub, fire pit, and was complete with an area to play horseshoes. Now that is what I call country luxury! Uncle Steve even found a vintage Schwinn bike and took it for a spin! Across the street from our cabin was a small private air strip, so we even got to check out a few planes taking off.

Despite the luxurious accommodations, we did take in mother nature first hand with some scenic hikes in the local Canaan Valley state park. A perfect area for hiking and skiing(during the winter months). The trails are picturesque, well marked, and highly trafficked. Moderate in difficulty. So many trails! A true hikers paradise.

 
If you find yourself waking up in Canaan Valley and are thirsting for caffeine look no further than Boom Town Java located in Davis, WV. It is hip, modern, a lovely scenic porch, music, AND a fenced in playground for the kiddos. Just awesome! Sip that Joe while your kids are fenced in. That is what I call wake-up perfection!

So, The next time you are looking for adventure, beauty, or a romantic getaway look no further then the bounty of West Virginia. One of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. Happy Trails!


Why I don't care for your city: South Beach 2014 Ed. #travel

8.28.2014

*This post is inspired by my husband and I's favorite sports authority Deadspin's Drew Magary. He writes the infamous and utterly pee-worthy, "Why your team sucks" columns. In honor of today's post please enjoy "Why your team sucks 2014: Miami Dolphins" by Drew Magary. 

Welcome to Miami. Prior to visiting South Beach, I had envisioned it as the Las Vegas of the South East. Visions of Will Smith's monster hit, "Welcome to Miami" playing through my head(click play for "false advertising" ambiance). My fantastical vision of hot bodies, celebrities, terrible plastic surgery, unmatched shopping, and world class dining experiences were "mouth a gapingly" obliterated. I have strolled in the exact location as "Big Willie Style" and somehow I feel utterly deceived. My husband and I did, however, have some fantastic meals! I will definitely give credit where credit is due, but South Beach is more like Baltimore by the ocean.

The Food is finger licking good in Miami. Yardbird is a must stop if you are in Miami. At Yardbird, you will find Southern staples of fried chicken with creative side dish compositions. The kale salad was smart and delicious. The mixed drinks are strong and the atmosphere is rustic, fresh, down home, and industrial. It feels like a trendy-southern joint. Perfectly suited to Miami. There is one other eatery that must be mentioned: CafĂ© Charlotte. A mix of Argentinian, Spanish, and Italian. Empanadas, skirt steak, and the house made ravioli were amazing! The atmosphere feels like Spain and the locals come in groves. You will not be disappointed at these eateries!

About the hobos. The hobos of South Beach are not afraid of any mere mortal. Soliciting is the Miami way of life. You are solicited for happy hour, rides, and by aggressive "no means yes" hobos. In fact, because "sweet-talking" any passing local or tourist is the Miami norm the hobos have to kick ass and take names. Otherwise, you would step on their unmentionables and keep on trucking. A truly fascinating hobo culture in South Beach.

The real letdown. My sweet la la land of Miami has been crushed. The shopping is ridiculously terrible. I went to more than three top-rated locations to include: The Miracle Mile, Collins Ave., and Ocean Drive. To hear the word "terrible" fall from my lips and onto this post crushes my soul in more ways than you can possibly imagine. Let me paint a Picasso for you. Miami's most predominant and supposedly most luxurious hot-spot shopping locations consist of a single Barney's of NY sandwiched between multiple 7-eleven's. Breath THAT in while watching penniless spiteful tweeners photographing themselves in front of "DASH". I may be poor, but at least I have my blue collar pride...dammit!

However, I did venture across a few boutique diamonds in the rough. These shops include Metta-loving Kindness(which is one of the only Eco clothing and accessory shops in Miami) and Roses and Dreams. Roses and Dreams is actually wafting of fresh roses when you walk in. They call themselves a French boutique, but I did note many Italian pieces in their clothing collections. Love it there.

In conclusion, I have truly learned my lesson about taking traveling advice from pop star music videos. Even if the always classy Will Smith is the involved aficionado. Peace out Miami.

Huge Skincando Giveaway! #AmericanMade

8.18.2014

*I was monetarily compensated to write this post. All words are my own.
WIN it all! Everything pictured. Pull up that jaw and enter below;-)

Skincando knows how to make effective all natural skincare. I am not just feeding you a marketing line*The sound of a fishing pool reeling*. I purchase Skincando products with my own monies, because I believe they are among the very best. This is coming from one picky Eco beauty aficionado. Today, I got some very exciting news from Sara Damelio(whom is the owner of Skincando). She is in the running to be a finalist for Martha Stewart's American Made Awards! How exciting is that!!!

Here's the deal. You help Skincando become a finalist by sharing the love and buzzing about her from Martha Stewart's American Made Awards page featuring Skincando. What do you get in return? Everything pictured. That's right the whole Combat-Ready line!
 
One winner will receive: CR Bar 4 oz., CR Lip Balm .15 oz., CR Bug Repellant 2.7 oz., CR Balm- travel .125 oz., CR Balm 2 oz., CR Balm 8 oz.

Good Luck and may Martha Stewart be with you!;) PS. Skincando is having a Friends + Family event going on now at skincando.com and everything is 20% off + free shipping.

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