Month: June 2014

Fun night at Style Bar Day Spa

I had the privilege of being pampered with my friend Michelle Eastman at the Style Bar Day Spa, which bills itself as a full-service luxury day spa and salon in the heart of Palm Beach (2875 S. Ocean Blvd, Palm Beach, 561-585-9788). Allow me to sing the praises of this little gem… the staff members are super-friendly, and as I saw first-hand– they do quality work!

In the spirit of full disclosure, yes, as a beauty blogger I did get spoiled with a free pedicure and chair massage. Of course that does make me predisposed to love this salon! But no, I would not write this positive review blog about it if I were not truly impressed with the facilities and level of expertise here. 
 BLISS!!!
Adorable spa sleep mask and OPI nail polish cookies
Soothing decor, welcoming atmosphere
With a lovely hairstylist and Ilene, who gave Michelle her “secret celebrity special” manicure
Apparently an A-list celeb from New York (whose name Ilene refused to divulge) used to get this manicure from her!
Michelle’s nails are looking polished and pretty! Mademoiselle Essie polish
I loved my amazing pedicure, and it’s lasted more than a week already
Cutesy bath products
 Michelle shows off her new mani with her chosen Essie polish– they have TONS of shades of Essie and OPI
The hair stylists showed off their talents

I did book a future massage session with Heidi, the therapist who worked the knots out of my shoulders in the chair. Her touch was like magic! I also had a blowdry/consultation with Marta from Poland (shown in photo above), who gave me advice about doing an ombre set of highlights on my hair. 
In short, I thought this place was a good choice for anything fun like a bachelorette, spa night with girlfriends– or even just treat yourself to some great TLC.
Love the staff! Thank y’all for pampering us!!!
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“I’d rather be snorkeling!” Blue Heron Bridge snorkel on 6-9-14, with a manatee, octopus and eel

My awesome friend Carli Segelson, who works for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, is my snorkel buddy. We go ALL THE TIME and she’s about as obsessed with snorkeling as I am… so I wasn’t surprised Monday during the work day when she kept texting me that she was definitely going snorkeling after work. It doesn’t take much for me to be tempted to go, so I did– and I’m SO GLAD we went!

All photos, and flag usage (safety first!), courtesy Carli Segelson πŸ˜‰ 

It was the first late-day snorkel I’ve ever done, since high tide was around 6:23pm and that’s about the exact time we entered the water on Monday, June 9, 2014. Visibility was great and temperature was fine, although a bit chilly entering. We swam straight out at the Blue Heron Bridge underwater snorkel trail at Phil Foster Park in Riviera Beach. The first thing I saw when I dove down to look at a small fish was an OCTOPUS! It was adorable!

This is so obviously my new Facebook cover photo!
The little critter was so friendly! Coming out to say hello!

We also saw a flounder, of course the giant starfish and a small, interesting starfish I had never seen before, and a school of huge parrotfish, which is absolutely my favorite thing to see fish-wise. When I see that, I feel like I’m snorkeling in the Keys. πŸ™‚ The school had one dark-capped parrotfish, which is a navy-colored one. 
Can you see the flounder?
Needlefish… the bridge has tons of them and barracuda
 I always enjoy the queens
Somebody remind me what these are called? But spot the tiny porkfish
This spotted eel was super-cool!

In a GRAND FINALE of the evening, I saw a manatee! I started squealing for Carli, who didn’t hear me since she was submerged, but she saw it on her own and started taking photos. Here’s one! 
MANATEE!!!
It swam right by me, like 5-10 feet away! This is the SECOND TIME I have happened upon a manatee in the snorkel trail area. Click HERE to watch a video of the first time I ever saw a manatee there. I was the first to spot it that time, too, and I called over the divers who took the video of it. Gotta share the dive love!
I absolutely love this magical spot, and I’m blessed to be able to free dive here all the time. πŸ™‚ #HappyHappyJoyJoy
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New CruzTube video: Natural Nude Summer Lips — new favorite lip combo for summer!

I dedicate this CruzTube video (click HERE TO WATCH) with special thanks to Farrah Reyna, my beautiful mentor who so graciously mailed me a surprise– 12 MAC Cosmetics empties, so that I could get two free lip products through the Back to MAC Program.  #EcoFriendlyBeauty #GoGreen #Recycling

Products mentioned: 
MAC Lip Pencil in Staunchly Stylish
This combo lasts for a super-long time, and it achieves the elusive “your lips, but better” neutral look you want. It’s not too heavy, and it doesn’t feel sticky, which is perfect for the summer heat. Pair it with a smoky or natural eye look– it works with everything!
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2014 Philippine Summer Festival by the Philippine American Society of Palm Beach County

I’ve been volunteering doing PR for the Philippine American Society of Palm Beach County, and I was thrilled that the event was so successful yesterday– with more than 1,000 attendees!

Click HERE to watch my CruzTube 1-minute video of the 2014 festival! I’m now officially on the Board of Directors, and so is Nathan as my husband, LOL.

With my new friend, Angelica, who is wearing a traditional Filipino formal gown.
Look at Nathan, wearing his Filipino flag shirt! πŸ™‚ #FilipinoPride

Here’s some of the details from my post-event press info:

“A crowd of more than 1,000 people attended the 15th annual Philippine Summer Festival at the South Florida Fairgrounds on June 7, 2014. The Filipino national anthem, a heritage clothing parade, authentic cuisine and traditional children’s games demonstrated the country’s culture. The festival was dedicated to the Filipinos who were affected by Typhoon Haiyan, and the opening ceremonies included a moment of silence for the 6,200 victims who lost their lives in the devastating storm.

The proceeds from the Philippine Summer Festival gate fee will go to ongoing typhoon relief and financial aid scholarships. Filipinos around the world will celebrate the country’s Independence Day five days after the festival on June 12, 2014. This year’s festival also gave recognition to this important part of the Philippines’ history. To date, PAS has collectively donated more than $25,000 to typhoon victims.”

Costume parade and one of the Filipino booths with authentic goods for sale

A Filipino priest held mass before the opening ceremony

Food was amazing!
Although I don’t love halo halo (a dessert), I love dinuguan– a pork dish that’s one of my favorites.

Traditional Filipino children’s games/activities

Talented Filipino musicians sang a mix of American songs, and songs in Tagalog (native language)

Local students received financial scholarships, which portions of the gate proceeds funded


So grateful for the coverage by the Palm Beach PostWPBF 25 News, and CBS 12 News
Click HERE to read the Palm Beach Post article!
For more information about the Philippine American Society of Palm Beach County, a non-profit organization, follow them here on Facebook or visit their website here.
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Jupiter Inlet Colony, Snorkeling at the Blue Heron Bridge in Riviera Beach

What a fabulous Florida day I had the privilege of experiencing today! Next week marks TWO YEARS that my husband Nathan and I have lived in the Sunshine State. WE LOVE IT!!!

Today for work, I interviewed the mayor of the Jupiter Inlet Colony, Dr. Dan Comerford, along with his wife, Kathie. The Comerfords are long-standing board members with the zoo I work for, and I’m working on a video where board members discuss the zoo’s history. Ms. Kathie used to go on WPTV with animals back in the day!

Kathie Comerford and her toucan, Tootsy

After the interview, Ms. Kathie graciously treated me to lunch at the Lighthouse Diner in Jupiter, which recently re-opened for business. It was a landmark back in its day, nestled across the street from the actual Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse. Then we went to the Jupiter Inlet Colony Beach Club!
#LighthouseDinerSelfie
So fun and retro, right?!

Crazy-delicious avocado salad with shrimp and avocado dressing

Throwback feel to the layout, and delicious yumminess on display

We took a joyride in her canary-yellow Porsche

Beach Club

The photos on the beach club’s walls were taken by Ms. Kathie

Obsessed with the underwater photography!

Second-floor view of the ocean and Jupiter Inlet

The water was sooo clear! I could see a parrotfish straight through the crystal-clear surface

After work, I met up with Nathan, and we went to the Blue Heron Bridge at Phil Foster Park for some snorkeling. High tide was late in the afternoon, and we arrived just in time to experience the BEST VISIBILITY we have ever seen there! And we snorkel there tons, like at least a couple of times a month.

We think the cloudless sky helped contribute to the clarity

Sorry my underwater camera is not really meant to be underwater, I just got a waterproof case for my CoolPix cam and you can tell it doesn’t work that well

Love the queen angelfish

Nathan found litter in the water– a La Croix box with those plastic six-pack rings, which can be FATAL to marine life! He took it all out of the water, saying, “I’m doing my part.” 

Proud my husband is protecting wildlife!

We saw a huge stingray (we always see at least one ray, whether it be common or spotted eagle or round fantail), but it swam away too fast for me to get a photo. However, this stingray here was so calm and let me get up close to her many times to snap photos, and even capture this video. I named her “Tricia” after the stingray we met in April in Turks & Caicos– you can read about that trip in this blog post.

I was testing waterproof makeup, and am sorry to report that all of it failed except the waterproof mascara, Mega Plump by Maybelline. Oh, well. 
Lovely snorkel mask indentation in my forehead

To wrap up the great day, we hit up Clematis Street in Downtown, known as the “historical heart of West Palm Beach.” Some bill it as the “hottest street in Florida,” but anyone who’s ever been to Miami knows that’s not necessarily true, LOL. πŸ˜‰ Still, we dined at Off The Hookah, and the food was sooo delicious! They recently revamped their menu. I highly recommend the ahi tuna appetizer!

We walked along the waterfront pier after it all, where we ended up chatting and making friends with a family from the Bahamas and a couple from New Zealand. Interesting conversations ensued. Then I snapped this pic to commemorate the West Palm Beach night skyline… a beautiful way to end a fabulous Florida day.

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“Founder’s Day” at the Flagler Museum, AKA Whitehall

On my lunch break today, I crammed in a quick visit to the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum in Palm Beach, FL. This National Historic Landmark celebrated its “Founder’s Day,” which allows visitors to enter for free, instead of the usual $18 cost.

Straight from the website:
In March 30, 1902, a story in the New York Herald described Whitehall, the Palm Beach home of Henry Flagler as, “More wonderful than any palace in Europe, grander and more magnificent than any other private dwelling in the world…”Flagler built the 75-room, 100,000-square-foot Gilded Age mansion, Whitehall, as a wedding present for his wife, Mary Lily Kenan Flagler. The couple used the home as a winter retreat from 1902 until Flagler’s death in 1913, establishing the Palm Beach season for the wealthy of the Gilded Age.

Henry Flagler, founder of Standard Oil, is a huge figure here in Palm Beach County. From Wikipedia:
He was also a key figure in the development of the Atlantic coast of Florida and founder of what became the Florida East Coast Railway. He is known as the father of Miami, Florida, and founded the city of Palm Beach.

I do think the Flagler Museum is worth a trip, although typically I’m not into museums or history. It was most certainly opulent! The word that came to mind when I walked up to the impressive building was “GRAND.”

Instead of writing a lot about it, I just recommend that you go yourself, even paying the full admission price. I do think it’s a good idea to take a tour, and take your time there, instead of rushing through it in 45 minutes like I did (a challenging thing to do with the large crowds– but I managed!).

Flagler front selfie πŸ˜‰

How beautiful is this place?!

Front entry gate, and the layout map

Front door and a big ol’ portrait of Henry Flagler himself

Amazing entryway — the Grand Hall

Hello, I’m an organist, HIRE ME! LOL πŸ˜‰
So you know I was all about the pipe organ in the Music Room!
The Flaglers used to have an organist live at the house,
to have music whenever!
Secret staircase! I love secret passageways after reading the “House of Dies Drear”
and I think this may be the FIRST secret passageway I’ve ever seen in my life πŸ˜‰

Grand Ballroom and the Courtyard

Moving up to the 2nd floor– the Green Room (a guest room)

Colonial Chamber (largest guest room)

I like pink, therefore I liked the Pink Room (guest room)

Old-fashioned toilet makes you appreciate what we have now…
and some clothing, complete with shoes below

Love the large Master Bathroom

An up-and-down panoramic photo walking down the second-floor staircase

Lovely view of the Intracoastal Waterway from a 2nd floor room, the Lace Exhibit

Hopefully you can make it out there and check out the interesting historical artifacts and rooms one day! πŸ™‚ 
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