Welcome to MIAMI

Sometimes I feel as though in my head I am the same women now that I was in my 20s but then weeks like this past one come along and I realize just how much I have changed and dare I say it . .  Grown older.

As much as I love New England, the winters just are not my scene.  So I love a good chance to break free of the weighed-down parka in exchange for my now motherly bikini.

It was a week split between what I thought would be my cup of tea to pretty much a cup of tea.

Both hotels touted themselves to be “kid-friendly”, so with my rambunctious toddler in tow, we packed our suitcases and headed for the sunshine state.

The Ritz—Carlton Key Biscayne

Situated on a lovely stretch of sandy beach in a very quiet part of Miami, this hotel on the outside was everything I thought I disliked about a hotel.  Very uppity (aka high-end) and quiet with a view that was seemingly lacking.  I unfortunately did not partake much in our room’s balcony as I was not a fan of watching the comings and goings of cars down the street (aka resort view) but maybe that was my mistake.  I will say that it was clean, the staff all went above and beyond and I thoroughly enjoyed the locations quite nature.  It allowed for me to enjoy time with my son in the pool, on the beach and around the property without feeling like I would lose him easily or annoy the people next to me.  As a parent, it felt safe.  There was no concern for me losing him in a crowd, him being taken or anything like that.  My only concern was how many times I would have to chase after him before he fell and skinned his knee (which happened almost daily).

They do have a kid’s club, called Ritz Kids but unfortunately for me, my little man was a bit too young to partake in the daily adventures or decked out space but maybe next time.

The pool area has plenty of umbrellas and shady bits with an awesome walk in feature for your little ones to be able to wade in and play without fear of going right for the deep end.  They also have a plethora of toys and noodles for kids to play with that are all easily accessible to anyone.  A variety of sunscreen, after sun lotion and aloe vera are also available at the front station along with swim diapers should you need to forget yours.

My favorite part though is that, although I will probably be up at the crack of dawn with my son, I don’t need to rush to the pool area at the time to snag a seat by the pool.

For those without kids, they do have two separate pool areas, one for “adults only” and one Family Pool.

We didn’t venture off property here, but found their hotel restaurants to be just what we needed.

PROS:

  • Quiet nature
  • Friendly staff
  • Family-oriented amenities

 

Loew’s Miami Beach

Welcome to Miami! The hustle and bustle upon entering the front doors to this modern hotel were not the only difference between the two hotels of our trip.  While the wait to get to the check-in counter was long, a bit like Las Vegas, the staff at the start were all extra accommodating.  Upon checking in and finding out our room was already ready (yeah for my napping son), he was presented with a treasure chest of toys to select, from rubber duckies to fuzzy turtles to mini “dump-dumps”.

Like, The Ritz-Carlton, the Loews also has their own kids club, SOBE Kids.  Again, my little man was not old enough to partake in their activities, #wahwah. But I will admit that their club looked especially cool, complete with child-sized lifeguard station to club around on, evading corner with plenty of books and fun cushions to sit on.

Get your game face on when approaching the pool scene here because people get up at the crack of dawn (when the pool opens) to snag seats.  So maybe this is where having kids is a bonus because you are more than likely to be up at the time anyways.  So, you might as well make your way downstairs to secure some seats. Bonus here though is that like The Ritz, they also have a son area for the little ones to be able to walk in and splash around without going right for the deep end.  My little guy was having a blast throwing his rubber sea creature and splashing around.

I loved the modern look and feel of the Loews Miami Beach, especially when it was paired with the close proximity to Lincoln Road for some shopping and great food and drink.

PROS:

  • You have all that Miami Beach has to offer at your fingertips

I would love to know, where has your favorite family vacation been?

 

Traveling #MomBod – Tips and Tricks for Fitness On the Go

There was a time when travelling – anywhere – meant I would fall off the wagon.  It didn’t matter if I was heading back home by car, flying to my sister’s for a weekend of shenanigans or heading somewhere tropical for a getaway with my husband.  It was always the same – unhealthy snacks or airport food and the idea that I would pack my workout gear “just in case”.  That “just in case” never happened as they always came back home just as clean as when they left.  What I have learned since beginning my #mombod journey is that I don’t have to be perfect, I just have to keep moving forward.

What does this mean?

  • I have figured out what foods (or snacks) to pack in my carry-on
  • I have planned ahead and packed a healthy meal option in case one doesn’t exist for my breakfast or lunch at my destination
  • I have figured out what workouts can be done on-the-go
  • I have learned to make a plan for myself ahead of my travels so I’m not winging-it while away
  • I have learned if I do miss a workout that it’s not the end of the world, it’s not the end of my “diet” that I am creating a healthy lifestyle for myself and that perfection is not a requirement

 

What are my favorite / go-to flight snacks?

  • Banana / grapes / apple / orange – I’m not always great at getting my portion of fruits in on a normal day but these are great to travel with. I like to put them pre-packed in the fridge, ready to grab and go whenever your flight is.
  • Carrots with hummus – Snag yourself a couple of those pre-portioned hummus packs and some carrots. I also happen to enjoy sliced zucchini with hummus.
  • Pre-portioned nuts – almonds, cashews, pistachios, walnuts (all natural – i.e. – unsalted, not chocolate covered, etc.)
  • Single-serve string cheese

 

What are my go-to workouts?

  • With Beachbody On Demand, you can workout anywhere you can bring your iPhone – with or without Wi-Fi
  • Prior to leaving on my trip, I will make a game plan for what workouts I might like to do and I will make sure to download 5/6 of the workouts on the BOD app on my iPhone. This way if I have no access to Wi-Fi I am still covered.
  • I am currently doing Insanity Max: 30, which makes it easy for me to pre-plan as I will simply download the next 5/6 workouts on my calendar. With this fitness program, you don’t need weights or any other equipment it uses your bodyweight with cardio
  • Other go-to programs: 21 Day Fix Extreme – Pilates Fix Extreme uses a band which travels very easily; CIZE – who doesn’t love a good dance session, also without any fitness equipment.
  • With any of these programs, you need very little space, about your heights worth of floor space and you are good to go!

 

My other travel notes:

  • I like to have a look at potential meal / menu options. If we’re heading out to dinner at certain places, then I’ll have a look over the menu ahead of time and plan out what I will eat.  This way I don’t feel rushed when it comes time to order and end up picking something spur-of-the-moment that I’ll regret later.
  • I pack enough Shakeology single-serve packets for at least one a day, sometimes I plan for two, again just in case. I’ll typically have one for breakfast every day with some fruit so that I know that I am at the very least starting the day off with a serious dose of nutrition in my belly.  On vacation I will mix it with ice and water or with my recent travels to the UK, coffee!  No need for a blender or anything but my Shakeology cup.
  • In the last 10 months, I plan my days based on my son’s naps / nap schedule. His naps typically last an hour and a half – but you never know.  When we recently travelled to the UK, some days they were only 40 minutes, hence why I like to plan ahead.  This way I can make the most of my “free time”.  During nap #1 (aka his morning nap), I will use this time to get my 30-minute workout in and hopefully a shower.  This way I get my workout out of the way early, start my day with a boost of energy and can enjoy whatever comes our way!
  • If you want to stay on track I say have a plan. For me, I don’t plan to get up at a certain time in the morning as my son’s sleep can be unpredictable and for me getting enough sleep is important.  So, I plan my workouts around naps instead.  Whatever you do, make it a priority.
  • Do NOT get down on yourself if you miss a workout. That doesn’t constitute the end of your journey.  As long as you are moving forward that’s all that matters.

 

I’m not perfect and I won’t lie and tell you that I workout every single day and I eat healthy 100% of the time.  I enjoy a glass of wine just as much as the next gal.  I have simply learned that if I miss a workout or enjoy that glass of wine I am not derailing all of my efforts and remind myself this is a journey I am on.  I focus on eating healthy at least 80% of the time.  There will be bumps in the road.  It is how you move forward that matters.

I am always working to become better, stronger, healthier.  I am always working on being an amazing role model for my son.  I am always working on being a better wife to my husband.

Don’t be afraid of traveling.  Make a plan.  And remember that no matter what happens your journey to being healthier continues.