Good Omens

Nutshell: Amazon. 6 Episodes. Michael Sheen, dark satire, hilarious and so smart. If you are easily offended (particularly over religion) don’t watch it, but you would be missing out.

CB Rating: 8.9

Based on the book “The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch”, (written by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett) the show starts modern day with the demon Crowley (David Tennant) and the angel Aziraphale (Michael Sheen), who have been friends, literally since the beginning of time. You see they met at the beginning of life on Earth and were sent here to be the eyes on the ground for their respective sides. They start to grow accustomed to life on Earth, and therefore want to stop Armageddon instead of pushing it forward as they were assigned to do.

With so many obstacles and characters in their way. This show is brilliant. The premise is genius, and the acting from Michael Sheen, David Tennant and special appearances by John Hamm and others takes it over the top.

Watch it on: Amazon Prime

Starting: Michael Sheen, David Tennant, John Hamm

Trailer: Click HERE

Baby Teeth

He lost his tooth today.  There he was sitting in my favorite super hero pajama that he still sometimes wears even though the pants don’t even reach his ankles anymore and his shirt doesn’t cover his belly.  One second he was dipping his pancake in syrup (he’s a dipper- don’t judge), and the next he was saying “my sharp tooth fell out”.  

My baby lost his tooth today.  Just typing that sent me down a rabbit hole of emotions.  Each day is filled with monotonous tasks, redundant arguments over homework or bed time.  Motherhood is such a bloody battle between wanting to freeze time and wanting to put them to bed.  Then something small, like when your baby, your last baby, loses his tooth. You realize that somewhere between wrestling them into pajamas, driving them to soccer practice, helping glue a school project they are all growing up.  The growth is so subtle, so tiny, that if you blink you will miss it- but it’s there. 

It felt like a small stab to my gut.  That tooth was just a little bit of my baby falling out, and being replaced by a permanent big boy tooth.  He is slowly but surely getting bigger.  

Would you judge me for keeping this tooth hidden away deep in my jewelery box? Forever? Creepy? 

Are these the little moments that prepare you to let them go for real down the line? 

Hurricane Dorian Relief

If you’ve ever had the high honor of visiting any island in the Bahamas, then you know. You know that these islands are filled with a high frequency of peace. Naturally the terrain just culminates in something majestic.

If you have been to the Bahamas, you know there is no debate, the water here is beyond reproach. It is the most beautiful shade of turquoise and it stretches beyond what your eye can see, and it is perfectly transparent. Simply said the Bahamas is a creation that could only be done by a higher being.

If you have been to the Bahamas, you have met some of the faces that fill these islands. They are always there to greet you. Happy to talk about what is going on in the island, the fishing, the ocean, the food. They carry a knowing smile, as if they have figured out that the key to life is not so much about material things, but about breathing in sea air and enjoying life for what really matters.

Last week Florida was put on high alert that a “catastrophic” category 5 hurricane was on track to slam into the east coast of our state. I regret that while we were kept safe, Hurricane Dorian parked over these magical islands for 24 hours. Relentless. Ripping roofs off homes and businesses. Flooding other parts of the islands, forcing people out of their homes on flotation devices, and even submerging parts of the island completely.

The images of these islands, or what is left of them are haunting. We have to move. Here is a list of some of the businesses and volunteer movements that are already gathering supplies and taking action. Get involved however you can. Whether it be volunteering at one of these centers to organize supplies, dropping off the hurricane supplies you have at your home, or even just buying some of the supplies off the Amazon wish lists.

Monetary Donations

The Bahamas

The island of the Bahamas has set up a website that you can access where you can make a monetary donation, check for supply lists, and get relief updates. Check it out HERE

Island of the Bahamas Hurricane Relief Homepage


Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean has pledged $1 Million to Bahamas relief, and has also set up the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) to provide disaster relief to the Bahamas, and has promised to match all donated funds up to $500,000. You can make a donation HERE

United Way

United Way is working around the clock and has partnered up with many local businesses to provide drop off locations.

Volunteers are what they are really looking for to help sort and pack the supplies they are receiving. If you want to VOLUNTEER you can do so through their website HERE

To donate to their efforts in the Bahamas you can do so HERE

Drop Off Locations and Amazon Wishlist for Supplies

Any and all donations are welcome. However in this situation, it is important to check for what the requests are being made by the official government of the Bahamas or the organization you are choosing to donate to. It prevents any waste, and allows for efficiency in organizing.

Stick to lists provided by the government of the Bahamas or the organizations themselves when donating goods. Rescue workers don’t want supplies to go to waste.

Official Items Being Requested [* indicates extreme need]

As stated above, it is important to check the lists for what items are being requested, and what is also considered urgent. These are local organizations that are currently collecting supplies and have partnered with the proper Bahamian authorities to deliver supplies. Check the due dates, as some of these deliveries are taking place within the next few days!

Miami Dade Cares

Miami-Dade County is spearheading relief efforts for the residents of the Bahamas, where various islands have been hit hard by Hurricane Dorian’s devastating strength. We are moving quickly and counting on our community’s generosity to receive and deliver critical supplies requested by Bahamian government officials.

You can also buy supplies from Miami-Dade County’s Amazon wish list and items will be delivered to the Miami-Dade County Fairgrounds drop-off location.

They still need volunteers at any location from 9 AM-9PM until further notice but you must RSVP to do so click HERE:

Drop Off Locations for Donations:

RAV Bahamas Relief Fund

RAV has been working with the Miami Dade Fire Department as they are at capacity for donations, so please if possible redirect your donations directly to them, you can also find their Amazon Wishlist HERE

Update: They are filling containers and doing another run to the Bahamas in the next couple of weeks. At this time they do not need volunteers, but any and all donations still make a difference.

Drop Off Location: 8040 SW 69th Avenue

Water

  • Purified Water
  • Canned Goods
  • First Aid Items
  • Blankets/Sleeping Bags
  • Portable Generators
  • Plastic Tarpaulin
  • Debris Removal Tools
  • Portable Outdoor Lamps
  • Water Purification Kits
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries- Paricularly D
  • Medical Supplies
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Pampers, Baby Wipes, Baby Formula
  • Sanitary Napkins
  • Basic Hygiene Kits
  • Wood
  • Chainsaws
  • Can Openers *
  • Gas Containers
  • Trash Bags
  • Sunscreen

Global Empowerment Mission

Is the official bstrong (for all my Housewives fans that is Bethenny’s charity) disaster relief charity and they are getting directly involved in supplying relief to the Bahamas. You can click HERE to donate directly or you can drop off the requested supplies at

Update: Still collecting

Miami: Sacred Space Warehouse: 340 NE 59th Terrace

Broward: American Horse Trails Ranch: 4828 SW 198 Terrace

Palm Beach: Smith,Gaskill & Shenkman PA 11891 US Hwy 1

Any Barry’s Bootcamp Miami Locations

BahamasStrong

Operated by the City of Miami, is collecting hurricane relief supplies for affected areas in the Bahamas.

They are requesting:

  • Water
  • Canned goods
  • Can openers
  • Mosquito spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Diapers
  • Baby formula
  • First aid items
  • Flashlight
  • Batteries
  • Small generators

Drop Off Locations:

  • Greater St. Paul AME Church: 3680 Thomas Ave
  • Christ Episcopal Church: 3475 William Ave

Fire Station dropoff times are from 8:30 AM to 7:00 PM

  • Fire Station 1: 144 N.E. 5 ST
  • Fire Station 2: 1901 N. MIAMI AVE
  • Fire Station 3: 1103 NW 7 ST
  • Fire Station 4: 1105 SW 2 AVE
  • Fire Station 5: 1200 NW 20 ST
  • Fire Station 6: 701 NW 36 ST
  • Fire Station 7: 314 BEACOM BLVD
  • Fire Station 8: 2975 OAK AVE
  • Fire Station 9: 69 NE 62 ST
  • Fire Station 10: 4101 NW 7 ST
  • Fire Station 11: 5920 W. FLAGLER ST
  • Fire Station 12: 1455 NW 46 ST
  • Fire Station 13: 990 NE 79 ST
  • Fire Station 14: 2119 S.W. 19 ST
  • MRC Building: 444 SW 2 AVE

Bahamas Relief

Update: Still collecting any and all supplies, but especially clothes for XL and products and toiletries for the elderly. A plane is leaving today but there is another one going out next week.

Supplies Needed:

  • Purified Water
  • Canned Goods
  • First Aid Items: bandaids, antibacterial ointments
  • Blankets/Sleeping Bags
  • Portable Generators
  • Plastic Tarpaulin
  • Debris Removal Tools
  • Masking Tape
  • Power Strips
  • Portable Outdoor Lamps
  • Water Purification Kits
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries- Paricularly D
  • Medical Supplies
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Pampers, Baby Wipes, Baby Formula
  • Feminine Hygiene Products
  • Basic Hygiene Kits: shampoo, conditioner, soap, mouthwash, tooth brush, tooth paste, shaving cream, razors
  • Wood
  • Chainsaws
  • Can Openers *
  • Gas Containers
  • Trash Bags
  • Sunscreen
  • Clothing in all sizes
  • ***XL Large clothing

Drop Off Locations sponsored by ISHINE 365

The Plymouth Miami: 318 21st Street Miami Beach

The Citadel: 8325 NE 2nd Avenue

The Core Group

The Core Group is collecting monetary donations for relief efforts they are making to the Bahamas next week. They are currently only accepting monetary donations and those cane be made HERE.

Sea Hunter along with UNITS of Miami and Mena Travel

Sea Hunter will be running a UNITS Container filled with supplies they are requesting tarps, batteries, flash lights, any toiletries, generators, medicines for adults and children, first aid kits, clothing and construction.

Location: 3907 SW 67 Avenue

Update: 9/18/18: no longer collecting

Menin Hospitality along with the Bahamas Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Requesting:

  • Purified Water
  • Water Containers
  • First Aid Items
  • Portable Generators
  • Plastic Tarpaulin
  • Debris Removal Tools
  • Portable Outdoor Lamps
  • Water Purification Kits
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries- Paricularly D
  • Portable Radios
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Pampers, Baby Wipes, Baby Formula
  • Sanitary Napkins
  • Deodorant, Toothbrush/Tooth paste, Soap

Drop Off Location: Bodega 1220 16th Street Miami Beach, FL

Update: No longer collecting

Surviving Weekly 38 {7.19.19}

Ole From Spain
It has been more than a while since I’ve sent out a newsletter.  There was so much going on between end of the year and a few projects I have been working on.  I have missed you all.  

One of the bigger things going on was preparing for our big summer trip to Spain.  My husband and I had always talked about living in another city for a while, and we finally decided this was the summer to do it.  So I am currently writing to you with my hair blowed out, in a cute little dress, in an adorable little coffee shop in Madrid as I sip on espresso and eat tapas.  I’m kidding.  I’m just in Spain- nothing else has changed.  I’m wearing workout clothes, drinking coffee from a mug and my hair is a bun.  

We have been here for two weeks, and been through it all:Jet Lag Stomach BugsTantrumsOne child didn’t like something at a restaurant and threw up, on her plate, (we obviously had to leave a ridiculous tip)One child farted so loud and big that he showed me Sharts are a real thing
It doesn’t matter the continent- raising kids is always fun.  We even had an unexpected birds and bees conversation yesterday in the park which you can find on my Instagram Story.  

In all seriousness, it’s been amazing to be here.  My husband and I had never been to Madrid.  Being able to come for this amount of time, and share it with our kids has been nothing short of magical.  

I have gotten a few questions about the who, what, how of this entire trip.  I have answered most of the questions HERE on the blog. 

However there is plenty to get to below including Mariah Carey and Meth Gators. 

Thank you for sticking around and reading! 

xx
Cristina 

In My Feelings 

This summer’s internet challenges are kind of, hmmm how do I say this? SO LAME! Are we out of ideas?  Last summer we at least were able to watch everyone do catchy dance moves.  This summer we have people kicking off bottle caps and aging themselves with an app.    

What am  I talking about?
Bottle Cap Challenge: I admit I was intrigued briefly when I first I saw John Mayer sloppily kick a bottle cap off a bottle on Instagram, but he’s kind of out there and clearly still drinking vodka out of a plastic bottle (which I am super judging).  Then Kendall Jenner did it and the internet exploded: 

How it Started: Apparently Farabi Davletchin, a taekwondo instructor, posted a video on Instagram doing the move and challenged Connor McGregor (MMA champ) Jason Statham and Jackie Chen.  Unfortunately for all of us Jackie Chen has not responded.  Here is the original video: 

That was it.  You see? Underwhelming.  One is supposed to do a slow-mo video of themselves kicking a bottle cap off a bottle.  It has led to some mildly entertaining content.  Check out some of my favorites: Blake Shelton, Ryan Reynolds and Mariah Carey

Speaking of Mariah Carey we are moving onto…
Face App Challenge is having our feeds filled with our friends, influencers, and celebrities alike showing us how they will look when they age.  

I’m not particularly vain, but why is this a thing? Not just that, you want to see yourself at around 85 I can almost understand it BUT why share it?  How does this involve Mariah you may be wondering? 

Yes Mimi!! Check out other celebrities and see MImi break it down again HERE.

Forget the notion that over 100 million people sharing their aging faces is kind of weird there are actual security concerns. 

Forbes reported that because of this challenge Face Tune App (which is a Russian company) has collected over 150 million different faces, which may actually prove to be dangerous for your security.  As the app does have permission to access other photos and even your location.  A way to protect yourself is to change permissions, either delete the app, or go to app settings on your iPhone or Android and change what data tools are allowed to access.  Click HERE for the article. 

So I will end where I started, can we please bring back simple challenges like dancing on the street or dumping iced buckets over our heads?  Or if we are going to face tune ourselves can we do it in reverse? Ain’t nobody got time to be seeing my face covered in wrinkles. I pay a lot of money to make that impossible. 

Standouts of the Week 

Emmy Nominations were announced this week, and Game of Thrones was the leader with 32 nominations including one for Kit Harrington for Best Lead Actor.  Shout out to Moira Rose for her first Emmy Nomination for Schitt’s Creek (see TV Addict update) Full list of nominations HERE.  Anyone want to invite me over to watch?

Summer Movies It may be hard to believe, but there are other movies coming out this summer besides the live action remake of The Lion King.  I found this list from Polygon that breaks it all down along with release dates.  Check it out HERE.

But While we are Talking About the Lion King… Can we talk about Beyonce and Blue Ivy at the premiers?! See it HERE– I want to say it’s so adorable but with that many diamonds adorable just doesn’t seem appropriate. 

Beyonce has clearly been the big draw on this movie- I mean I just heard her and Donald Glover sing “Can you Feel the Love Tonight” and I was covered in goosebumps (catch a glimpse of that HERE).  Say what you want but Queen B is life. 

Don’t believe me? Watch Seth Rogan explain it to Jimmy Kimmel HERE right around the 2:35 mark- the woman gets an ovation for being alive. That entire interview is also pretty hilarious (BTW).  I leave you with Beyonce’s new Spirit video, which she made with Blue, and is inspired by Africa. 

In Case You Were Sleeping Well At Night, I Bring you Meth Gators! I am not sure why this has to be said, but stop flushing your Meth down the toilet as the gators are going to get it.  I feel that is is always implied however, nothing surprises me anymore.  Check it out HERE.

TV Addict Update  

As we have established, time and time again, I watch too much TV.  Here in Spain, it’s been a little more difficult for me to live up to my TV Addict reputation.  I’m working on cracking my VPN in the mean time,

What’s on my list to watch next?  The Hills Reboot- judge away but the second I touch back on US soil- it’s on.
Have a suggestion? Let me know

Fleabag – (Amazon Prime) It’s on Season 2 and comes highly recommended by most trusted TV source who would like to remain anonymous (for now).  About a lady who just can’t seem to get her life together.  I heard season 1 was a little slow but Season 2 picks up big time.  

Schitt’s Creek: I don’t know where I had been.  Moira Rose is my spirit animal and I can listen to Alexis tell stories about how she had been tied up and kidnapped by a Saudi Prince all day.  You all tried to tell me and I didn’t listen- and for that I am sorry. When I’m wrong- I say it, and I was wrong.  This show is so funny and I would absolutely suggest you RUN to go catch up on Netflix.  

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee:  Back for its 11th Season today!, Jerry Seinfeld is riding with Eddie Murphy, Seth Rogan, Jamie Foxx and more.  I wouldn’t say go back and watch every single episode of this series (but you could and you would love it) just pick your favorite comedians if you want, and it’s just so light and hilarious at times.  Great for a pick me up. 

More Summer TV: Orange is the New Black (July 26 Netflix), Stranger Things (Season 3 is out on Netflix), Younger (Season 6, TV Land),  Big Little Lies (Season 2 just finished HBO), When They See Us (Netflix), and Veronica Mars is back! (July 26 Hulu)

Summer 2019 Internet Challenges are LameAF- There I said it.

This summer’s internet challenges are kind of, hmmm how do I say this? SO LAME! Are we out of ideas?  Last summer we at least were able to watch everyone do catchy dance moves.  This summer we have people kicking off bottle caps and aging themselves with an app.    

What am  I talking about?
Bottle Cap Challenge: I admit I was intrigued briefly when I first I saw John Mayer sloppily kick a bottle cap off a bottle on Instagram, but he’s kind of out there and clearly still drinking vodka out of a plastic bottle (which I am super judging).  Then Kendall Jenner did it and the internet exploded: 

How it Started: Apparently Farabi Davletchin, a taekwondo instructor, posted a video on Instagram doing the move and challenged Connor McGregor (MMA champ) Jason Statham and Jackie Chen.  Unfortunately for all of us Jackie Chen has not responded.  Here is the original video: 

That was it.  You see? Underwhelming.  One is supposed to do a slow-mo video of themselves kicking a bottle cap off a bottle.  It has led to some mildly entertaining content.  Check out some of my favorites: Blake Shelton, Ryan Reynolds and Mariah Carey

Speaking of Mariah Carey we are moving onto…
Face App Challenge is having our feeds filled with our friends, influencers, and celebrities alike showing us how they will look when they age.  

I’m not particularly vain, but why is this a thing? Not just that, you want to see yourself at around 85 I can almost understand it BUT why share it?  How does this involve Mariah you may be wondering? 

Yes Mimi!! On top of the idea that over 100 million people sharing their aging faces is kind of weird there are actual security concerns. 

Forbes reported that because of this challenge Face Tune App has collected over 150 million different faces, which may actually prove to be dangerous. for your security.  As the app does have permission to access other photos and even your location.  A way to protect yourself is to change permissions, either delete the app, or go to app settings on your iPhone or Android and change what data tools are allowed to access.  Click HERE for the article. 

So I will end where I started, can we please bring back simple challenges like dancing on the street or dumping iced buckets over our heads?  Or if we are going to face tune ourselves can we do it in reverse? Ain’t nobody got time to be seeing my face covered in wrinkles. I pay a lot of money to make that impossible. 

Family Trip to Madrid

My husband, Bobby, doesn’t know this, but a couple of years ago he lost his official vote in helping plan what our family does for vacation.  He shouldn’t be surprised, considering the last time he proposed and planned a vacation, THIS happened: 

However, this year, was the year he found redemption.  Since our oldest, Blake, was a baby (almost 9 years) we have been talking about (dreaming about) spending a summer somewhere else and just living life there.  We would talk about it incessantly in private, discussing what would make for the perfect scenario. What cities could work? What scenarios wouldn’t work at all? How old would the kids have to be?  Some of the fundamental conclusions we came to were: 

  • Time: For us it had to be at least two weeks up to one month.  We want to be in another city and really get the feel for what it’s like to live there and we felt this time period would accomplish that.  
  • Kids Age: We wanted our youngest, Tristan, to be at least 4-5.  We wanted to be able to send the kids to camp. We feel more comfortable sending the kids to a new environment knowing they will be able to clearly communicate what had gone on in the day.  Also didn’t want them to be so young that they would forget this experience entirely.
  • Language: the first time we do this (we hope for more), it had to be a place we felt comfortable speaking the language.  English is preferred but it could be Spanish, as we are both fluentish. We definitely wanted to be able to handle any situation that arose. [This really helped us narrow it down.]
  • Camp: There had to be a camp that all three kids could attend and wasn’t too pricey.  I wanted to live somewhere else, not referee my children all day in another city.
  • Work: I can write from anywhere, but Bobby.  Luckily he had started a business that allows him to work remotely from anywhere.  
  • Location:  After an RV I realized real quick that city life, is the life for me. Also we wanted to be able to have access to great food, grocery stores, gyms, and culture.  No offense to smaller cities, but a girl’s gotta eat.

Back to Bobby’s Redemption Story.  This past January, Bobby came home and had found the key to making all of our discussions and dreams come true.  He found a camp the kids could attend in Madrid. This hits two of our requirements.   After all the talks and all of the day-dreaming, it was time to put up. We had never been to Madrid, were we really going to do this? Hell yes! So we booked it! 

It was one of those things that I was so excited for, but also could not believe was happening.  We had three kids, our lives are chaos personified, how was this going to work?  How would our kids take the news?

Our kids were not thrilled. Blake is already old enough to say things like “you’re making me leave my friends for the whole summer?”

Dylan was saying things like “But I don’t want to learn Spanish on my vacation!”

Tristan’s concerns were along the lines of, “how many toys can I bring? But won’t the toys that stay behind miss me?”

We had a few big talks leading up to the departure. Easing nerves about taking such a long flight (their first), about how long we were going to be away, and how it is ok to feel sad or that they are going to miss their friends and family. If you are considering a trip like this, I would definitely have a plan about how to talk to them about it and give them space to express their concerns. As much as this was our dream, we definitely wanted it to be something they could be excited about as well.

It’s hard to believe that we are 14 days into this incredible adventure. The kids transitioned so well! Tristan however has asked to FaceTime his toys, and asks how I think his Colossal T-Rex is doing almost every day.

I’m so happy to share with you some of the details of how we made this happen: 

Camp

We are in Madrid for 4 weeks, and decided to send the kids for the last 3 weeks we would be here.  We spent the first week battling jet lag, and spending time together being tourists. This also let the kids get used to this new city and way of life before sending them to meet all these new people.  The first day they were nervous, but the teachers were all so sweet and patient. My kids literally ran to camp on Day 2 they were so excited to go back. 

The camp we found for the kids is called LAE Kids. It’s run by a lovely woman, Natasha, and she helped guide us through the process.   It’s a family based camp where the emphasis is on fun, immersive Spanish and getting messy whenever possible.   The children are a mix of nationalities from all around the world. We decided on a language camp, because for being children of Cuban descent, our kids could barely string together a sentence in Spanish.  This camp appealed even more because besides learning Spanish, the kids would meet different kids from all over, and do different activities like science experiments, art, and more daily.  

Apartment

After finding the camp, we researched the best areas to stay in Madrid.   Then we took that list and tried to find a place on Air BNB that was walking distance to the camp but still in a good neighborhood.  

The camp also had a relocation department. They recommended a few apartments, but saved us with their extremely helpful advice, FIND AN APARTMENT THAT HAS AC.  I would also suggest an apartment with a washing machine.  

There were some great options (another perk to bigger city).  In a long term rental you also get better pricing, and are able to negotiate somewhat with the owner.  Our rental so far has been amazing. The location is fairly central, and walking distance to a lot of great food and to Parque Retiro which is a park similar to Central Park in New York, and covered in trees making it about 10 degrees cooler than the rest of the city.  

Transportation and Getting Around

A lot of walking is done in this city.  I mean having lived here for two weeks, and seeing the amount of bread that is fed to you at each meal, I get it.  Cigarettes and walking seem to be huge here. Diet of champions. 

  • Walking is a great easy way to get around the city.  For the most part you can find a great restaurant, pharmacy, supermarket, fruit stand, or really anything within walking distance.  If you want to start venturing out, there are so many options here.  
  • Taxi: There are taxi lanes on most major streets, and it has not been difficult at all to grab one when you need it.  They do accept credit cards. 
  • Uber: Uber works and is just around the same price as the taxis. 
  • Subway: we have been using the subway almost daily and the kids love it.  They are in excellent condition, and I would dare even say clean. We had one mishap where we ended up going the wrong way (for a long time), but besides that it’s been really straight-forward and easy to get around with. 

Nantucket Family Vacation

Nantucket is exactly what you see in the pictures. It’s quaint, idyllic, and serene.  There are flowers growing in every corner, each coordinated and hand picked to match the color of the front door.  Each home is made from the same wood which eventually grays, giving each it’s own shape but same nautical aesthetic.  All the homes display a clever name that tends to have something to do with the island or the island’s vibe. There are warm smiles, cool air, and wine flowing

Nantucket is one of those towns that you don’t find litter.  You know what I mean? It is Disney caliber landscaping and upkeep but without any of the crowds.   The island is magical.  It’s as if you arrive on the island, your collar suddenly pops up, you’re drinking wine all day, and saying things like “fabulous darling”.  Ok, that’s just me. Everything minus the popped collar. It just ain’t my style.

I had only heard about Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket growing up.  I would read about it in books or a headline about the Kennedys. I had never been, as Miamians don’t typically go north for the summer. When our best friends invited us to go, I didn’t see how we could pass up the opportunity.  Shout out to our best friends who are the best humans, and truly know how to vacation.

This summer was our second experience in this magical town.  Both trips were jam packed with amazing spots for both families or just some adult time. If you are on the fence about visiting, I would definitely say bucket list worthy.  It’s a little piece of history, but perfectly mixed with modern luxury. Here are a couple of suggestions from a wine guzzling, mom of 3, and self-proclaimed foodie, and keep we did most all of this with our kids:

Galley Beach:  this beach side restaurant is one of my absolute favorite places. You can grab a drink before you dinner reservation, and watch the sunset.  If you have never seen a sun set in Nantucket, this would be the place. Of all the sunsets I have ever seen, I have never quite seen the sky look so picturesque.  Shades of pink and purple fill the sky as you finish your first cocktail, and head in for dinner after all your selfies (obviously). The food here is delicious, and changes seasonally.  They currently accept reservations 28 days in advance. Check it out HERE.    

Children’s Beach: a small sandy beach off the marina with a huge playground attached.  The best part? There is also a huge grass area with picnic tables so you can sit on the grass as you watch your kids run around and not get full of sand [unless you’re one of those parents that like to play with your kids on the playground- no judgement].  There’s a little shop where you can get snacks or you can bring your own. 

Something Natural: A little house, set on a beautiful green open space, and makes the most insane sandwiches.  Think daily fresh baked bread, freshly cut meat, and the best pasta salad- hands down. You can eat there or pick it up to go (take it to Children’s Beach for a picnic).  We have tried a few of the menu sandwiches, and the specials they have daily.  All delicious.  I also dream about their pasta salad, and may take down a container solo at least 3 times each trip.  There is space for the kids to run around, and even a beautiful trail you can take over a lilypond if you’re up to walk off all the bread.

Critter Cruise:  an hour long excursion on the Monomoy where you and the kids capture different kinds of sea creatures and fish, and learn about each before releasing it back into the harbor.  The kids absolutely loved this cruise and the staff and captain were wonderful and were so patient as they taught the kids about each animal. Check it out HERE.          

Jettie’s Beach: Jettie’s is a family favorite.  It’s a casual beach bar and grill on the beach with a mustard, aqua combination out of your Nantucket dreams.  You can have a delicious lobster roll, Bloody Mary and then just spend your afternoon laying on the sand by the water.  We have also been lucky enough to spend a sunset here with a bottle of rose and that afternoon did not suck. An absolute must.

Juice Bar: homemade waffle cones are not something I take lightly.   They have so many different flavors of ice cream, plus cookies and smoothies for those who don’t like ice cream (or soul).  It is worth the line that goes around the block.

Cisco Brewery: Beer and rose on tap, food stands, and live music what else do you need? My daughter would say a Ring Toss, and guess what?! They have one.  We have spent a couple afternoons here, and each time had to drag the kids away screaming and crying to stay.  The vibe is chill and easy.  You can grab some locally sourced seafood or some quesadillas at another stand and just take in the music.  It’s an easy uber ride away.  

The White Elephant: Another Nantucket staple.  It is set on the marina with a beautiful grass area.  In season they set out corn hole and the kids can play and walk around the greenery as you eat and obviously, DRINK.  The food here is not the best on the island, but it does have a great ambiance. There is an aggressively large white elephant here by the water, and if you don’t take a picture by it- did you even go?  

Maria Mitchell Association:  It is a small quaint aquarium, filled with the animals that you found on the Critter Cruise.  It’s just a couple of small tanks, and two rooms with some fish tanks and microscopes, but it has a great staff and the kids get a real hands on experience.  Your paid entrance also brings with it access to Nantucket’s First House Tour and the other museums in town. Across the street there is a coffee place called, The Handlebar Cafe, and it has the most delicious iced coffee and a secret garden for the kids to check out.

 

Bike Ride: To be clear, I did not take a bike ride.  Exercising on vacation is not a thing I have traditionally done.  However my husband and our friend went and rented bikes at, Young’s Bicycle Shop, and took a 14 mile trip down the island.  Even caught some sea turtles on one of the beaches they went to. They used a great app called The Strava App, to help guide them through.

Walk Through Town: This place is so lovely, that you could have a lovely day just by walking through all the cobble stone streets and going in and out of all the shops.  There are no big chains, just small mom and pop stores that have been there for years or newer stores with locally sourced items. My husband picked up a Nantucket Red Sweater at Murray’s.  The kids loved Nantucket Bookworks, and there is a toy store called The Toy Boat that is charming and fun for them to wander around.  Here I am pretending I like to walk around town.

A Few More Restaurants:

The Nautilus: One of the most delicious meals I’ve had in a while.  You can only make a reservation for this one day of, and you do it by standing in line around 11 and hoping you get a seat.  Sounds like a huge pain in the ass, it is, but totally worth it.  The half chicken was so good one of us actually licked the sauce of the plate, and the wine list was also 100%.  This place becomes a little more of a scene with music and people crowding around the bar.  I would not suggest going with kids.

Cru: A gorgeous modern nautical restaurant theme restaurant on the marina.  The food here was out of this world, for both brunch and dinner.  It’s a little sophisticated but still kid friendly (at least for brunch).  The oysters were so fresh, and the fish and chips were stellar. For reservations click HERE

American Seasoning: it’s an older more classic restaurant just outside of the main square. The menu is a little more rustic than the other restaurants we ate at, but delicious.   

Slip 14: Casual spot located off the marina.  Very kid friendly.  The clam chowder was so good, I wouldn’t share it with my husband.  Also the calamari was a sneaky delicious treat. 

Greydon House: a hotel in the middle of town that has been modernized and is absolutely beautiful.  

Windowsills and Corners:  a few of my favorite corners of Nantucket

Lodging:

Both times we visited, we stayed in the home our friends rented for the week. Information available upon request.

There were the loveliest chicest hotels that you could look into if you would prefer:

The White Elephant, The Galley, The Nantucket Hotel, Greydon House, Harborview Nantucket, The Beachside on Nantucket, The Wauwinet, Cliffside Beachclub and more.

Murder Mystery- Killed Me

Nutshell: Netflix.  Jen Aniston.  Adam Sandler. Rachel Green. Billy Madison.  Murder Mystery.  Dark Comedy.  Light and Hilarious.  Good for everyone.  1 hour and 37 minutes.

CB Rating: 8.2

Murder Mystery killed me, get it (I’m hilarious).  Netflix has taken out the big guns.  They pulled in the late 90’s rom-com dream team, Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler and brought us a ridiculous play on the classic murder mystery.  

I had already seen these two together in Just Go With It, (which for those who haven’t seen it- low key hilarious) so I knew what they were capable of.  The storyline had me feeling a little iffy about it:

“On a long-awaited trip to Europe, a New York City cop and his hairdresser wife scramble to solve a baffling murder aboard a billionaire’s yacht”

Right? It sounds a little cliche, and a little been there done that.  I mean even Saved By the Bell had a murder mystery episode.   What it leaves out is how hard they go into the genre. It’s like they took the game Clue, multiplied it to the point of absurdity- and it really works.  The characters are stereotypical and ludicrous. The story keeps moving and Jen {I can call her that} and Sandler just hit it out of the park.

It’s a great one to put on when you want to unwind and laugh for an hour and a half.  

Watch it on Netflix

Starring: Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler

Written By: James Vanderbilt

Trailer: Click HERE

A Million Little Things

Nutshell: Worth Watching.  1 hour. Cable Drama.  Solid cast. Semi-predictable.  Still enjoyable.  Mystery.

My original prediction from the newsletter when it first aired:

A Million Little Things: The life of a group of friends post one of their friends taking his life.  It’s just as sad as it sounds.  I feel like it’s ABC’s answer to This is Us only with an even more depressing plot if possible.  Look people liked this one, and there is something that happens in the Pilot that kind of traps you into the next one.  This show will either surprise everyone and be incredible or be the absolute biggest piece of shit ever. #tbd #stillgoingtowatch (ABC and Hulu)

I really thought this show was going to be the biggest turd.  How could ABC successfully pull off an almost tit for tat of This Is Us? They did it.  Something about Ron Livingston that I love to hate.  Is it that he broke up with Carrie on a post-it? Definitely.

Here Ron plays a guy named Jonathan Dixon, who has just taken his life.  The show centers around his widow, family and group of friends as they deal with the impossible.   Sounds completely and utterly predictable.  There are moments that are.  However the cast is great, and the stories kind of grab you.  It’s in the same category as The Parenthood and This Is Us.

The show got such good traction and reviews, ABC even gave it a better day and time slot as it will air on Thursdays, 9 PM starting in September.  Catch up on Hulu.

Cast: Ron Livingston (Office Space, Sex and the City [eyeroll]), Romany Malco (40 Year Old Virgin, Weeds), Stephanie Szostack (Devil Wears Prada), and more unfamiliar but lovable faces

Trailer: Click HERE

What If (Netflix) The Plot Twist From Hell

Nutshell: Netlfix.  1 Hour Episodes.  Drama.  Holy Renee Zellweger.  Don’t recommend to all or most.

This show had all the right parts.  A frozen faced Renee Wellger, a hot dude, a likable main actress and a seemingly sexy plot.  For those who didn’t catch the preview that Netflix was literally shoving down your throat, it’s about a rich powerful woman, Anne (Renee), offering an ungodly amount of money for one night with Lisa’s husband, Sean (token hot guy).

If it all sounds familiar, it’s because it does.  We have all seen how this plays out, because we all saw Indecent Proposal.  However there was an unexpected twist- that honestly flopped.  It’s not worth watching the entire season to get to it.  However if you’re like me, you will anyway.  It has that right amount of drama and trashy intrigue that is hard to resist.  You were warned.

Starring: Renee Zellweger, Jane Levy, Blake Jenner

Trailer: Click HERE