Where to start?

Are you wondering what fabulous (no wi-fi) island  I moved to for the last…ohhhhh…maybe almost 2 months? Hopefully you will forgive me, life is pretty fantastic and we have a lot to catch up on.

June and July kicked off the summer; a Napa trip  on the tail end of a work San Fran trip plus 4th of July weekend at my childhood beach, New Smyrna.



August started with a trip to San Francisco for work and an induction into the Whiskey Wednesday club.

Cheers to having colleagues and cousins you love as best friends.


Then we had the most relaxing and perfect week-long vacation with family at a gorgeous rental house in Islamorada. We spent our time boating, fishing, lobstering, hanging out in the pool, cooking delicious food, paddle boarding, and drinking lots of Sangria.


After the keys, we spent a quick night at home in Miami and I finally went to Hakkasan. I know, I know! It seriously makes no sense that I hadn’t been! I’m Asian cuisine obsessed. We did the Miami Spice menu plus dim sum and it was incredible.



The next morning we jumped on a flight to Los Angeles, where we lived for 4 years, and hadn’t been back in 3! What!? I’m still not sure how that happened, but it did and I couldn’t have been more excited to finally fly back for a long weekend. It didn’t hurt that we got free upgrades to 1st class and an ocean front suite when we checked in.


We stayed at the Beach House in Hermosa Beach and rode beach cruisers along the Strand to our old neighborhood, Manhattan Beach. I really missed the Pacific Ocean breeze, the buzz of bikers and runners along the Strand, our MB friends, and all of our old local hang outs (the circuit) and restaurants.

To top off the most relaxing vacation ever, on the first night Peter and I walked down to the ocean by the Manhattan Beach Pier after finishing dinner at The Strand Houseand he asked me to marry him! 

Afterwards we walked around Manhattan Beach, reminiscing and talking about the future all at the same time. We met up with friends for celebratory champagne at the Shade Hotel and ended up making it a late night full of stories and laughter. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the future!

It was such a memorable, romantic and unforgettable weekend with my love and great friends. Now it’s time to plan our wedding! Woo hoo!


Labor Day weekend we flew to Boulder, CO to see my best friend who I’ve known since I was 5 years old, Nicole, get married and become Mrs. Hugus at Lonehawk Farm. We also had the chance to have brunch at Foolish Craig’s and catch up with my cousin Trace. It was an intimate, love-filled weekend with old friends and family that I never wanted to end.

nicole's wedding


Somehow we even squeezed in the new Bimini Superfast Cruise in Miami during UM’s bye week. Gorgeous sand crystal clear water and a bit of gambling, made for a great day cruise.


In between it all, work has been busy and great as always. This weekend we are headed to Orlando to check out wedding venues and spend time with my Dad and sister.

Now you know why I’ve been missing in action, well at least on my blog. I have actually been cooking during all this craziness and I have some great new recipes and tips to share with you soon.

I’m also dying to know, what did you do all summer? Tell me, tell me!

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keely marie

Sunny San Francisco


Holy gorgeous weather SF! I’m flying back to Miami from a San Francisco work trip today and I can’t even put the gorgeous the weather into words. Just look at that! Not a cloud in the sky and 70 degrees.

My week was mostly all worky work work, but I was able to fit in:

Sunday brunch at Mission Beach Cafe

relaxing in Dolores Park

and a delicious home cooked meal with lots of wine at my cousin Taylor’s house.

I feel pretty spoiled that I get to visit such a great city for work so often. I’ve been traveling there for work for the past 5 years.

Have you been to San Francisco? What are you favorite restaurants and things to do?



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::: keelymarie :::



48 hours lost in Venice in pictures

I have such fond memories of Venice.

One second you are in the hustle and bustle of tourists and shops and the next you turn down a small alley to find a quiet restaurant tucked into a courtyard waiting for you.

Continue reading “48 hours lost in Venice in pictures”

One Week in Paris ::: (Ooh La La)

::: view of Paris from the Eiffel Tower at night :::

One week in Paris was just enough time to decide that I could live there. I’ve already mentioned a few of my favorite things from the trip here, but there really wasn’t much that I didn’t absolutely love. I even purchased my own perfect shade of YSL red while walking around Champs-Élysées. What’s Paris without perfect red lips?

::: side street in the Latin Quarter :::

Below are my “Must Sees” while in Paris. Enjoy!

Eiffel Tower: Of course. We viewed it first from the Batobus (water taxi) and then went up one evening. Long lines in the summer months, but you can book an appointment on the Eiffel Tower website ahead of time.

::: at the Eiffel Tower :::

::: Eiffel Tower :::

Palace du Luxembourg: We planned to walk around Saint Germain des Pres because some friends said it was their favorite area. This was a “must see” there. The gardens are sprawling and magnificent. Take a picnic and lounge for the day if you have time. There’s a cute little pond where kids can rent sailboats to watch float around.

::: Palace du Luxembourg :::

::: small sailboats at Jardin du Luxembourg :::

::: afternoon stroll through Jardin du Luxembourg :::

Moulin Rouge: We didn’t plan to go to Moulin Rouge so we didn’t book ahead (which is necessary it was 100% booked when we got to Paris). I did want to see the Montmartre area of Paris though, so when the hotel found a spot for us due to a cancellation we went for it. The side shows are better than the cabaret (I’m comparing it to Crazy Horse Paris in Vegas), but it was worth it seeing a Paris staple. After we stumbled upon a humble bar two doors down with a live band playing American music that kept us dancing until close.

::: Moulin Rouge :::

Arc du Triomphe / Champs-Élysées: From where we were staying it was a quick walk to the Place de la Concorde end of the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. I enjoyed walking and shopping up one side of the Avenue, touring the Arc du Triomphe (and walking up all 284 stairs), and back via the other side. The top of the Arc has a great view of the city.

::: Arc du Triomphe :::

Les Catacombes: This was the best surprise of our trip. I read about Les Catacombes, but no description or picture can do it justice. In the touristy months be prepared to wait more than an hour and a half, but it will be worth it. Descend a spiral staircase 80 steps into the ground to find the bones and skulls of 6 million Parisians, placed there circa 1786.

::: Les Catacombes :::

::: 6 million Parisians :::

::: Underground in Les Catacombes…Scary! :::

Food: Croissants, croissants, more croissants, french onion soup, escargot, cappuccinos, and crepes. I’ve never had so much cheese in my life! Nabuchodonosor is perfect for authentic French and the servers speak just enough English. As an escape from all the bread and cheese, we ate at Buddha Bar which I recommend for a fun ambience and great Asian food.  The rest of the week we sat at random cafes along the way while meandering each day, most were very good.

::: Escargot, French Onion, and of course a Cappuccino :::

Drinks: Our first night we made a beginner’s mistake, too much drinking day 1 of vacation. We met some friends who recommended the Hemingway Bar at the Ritz and four shots (30 Euros! a piece) later we decided it was novel seeing the place, but not really worth the price… or the hangover! On a tamer night we visited Harry’s New York Bar where we enjoyed unique aperitifs, mine with champagne (surprise?) and absinthe. Come with convo ammo as there’s no music.

::: Mixologists at Harry’s New York Bar :::

Paris from the Seine: Whether you take a champagne cruise, dinner cruise, or just take the Batobus you should absolutely see Paris from the Seine. You’ll see many of the major sights from the water and after a long day of walking around it’s nice to relax and take in the romance of Paris. We opted for the champagne cruise (surprise again?).

::: Cathedrale Notre Dame de Paris :::

::: TIPS :::

  • For the Louvre, buy your tickets at the Tourism office on Rue des Pyramids then walk over and use a special entrance  for no line
  • In summer months it stays light until around 10:30 pm (which made for some really long and incredible days!). Plan to get to the Eiffel Tower in time to see it in the daylight and sparkling at night-time.
  • Great shopping on Rue St. Honore (splurge: Goyard scarf)
  • Just get lost, but have a map. I  brought the Lonely Planet Paris Encounter book and it offered up great suggestions
::: keelymarie :::

J’aime Paris ::: A few of my favorite things (so far)

Paris has been absolutely wonderful so far. I have so rarely traveled in Europe for anything other than work, so being able to wander and get lost among les Parisiens has been a dream.

I plan to blog some specific stand-outs from our Europe trip, but here’s an amuse bouche from Paris until then.

A few of my favorites things about Paris (so far)….

::: the macarons :::

They are everywhere in Paris! No really they are everywhere – they even have them at the McDonald’s (so I read while googling them today). In Paris macarons seem like the current cupcake fetish of the US, but to me these are so much better. Near where we are staying, a few blocks from The Louvre, there are tons of chocolate and macaron stores (Michel Cluizel, Ladurée , Pierre Hermé) that are very boutique and designer-esque. Ohhhhhh the colors (of the rainbow), the sizes (mostly bite size but some larger size), the flavors (unlimited), the textures (outside: light & airy, then crumbly/ inside: custard, fruit gel, or ganache)…I’m in love.

We’ve had a large-sized chocolate macaron (to die for, you can see it above), a box of many from Michel Cluizel (seen above: interesting flavors like rose (!), pistachio, strawberry, almond milk), and the hotel we are at brings up an afternoon snack everyday that’s typically some type of macaron. Hoping the stairs at the Arc de Triomphe yesterday helped burn some of them off…

::: the gardens and parks :::

Paris teems with beautiful areas to sit and contemplate life, relax, or read a book. I love turning a corner and running into a park full of people lounging, dancing, sunning, reading, making-out… you name it. Above is the Jardin des Tuileries next to the Louvre. I could live here on a sunny day.

Below is Place de Vosges, the oldest square in Paris (built by Henri IV in 1612), which I stumbled upon while roaming around Le Marais. Sorry Miami, Bayfront Park just doesn’t cut it in comparison.

::: the shopping :::

Maybe it’s just me and I have a terrible terrible problem, but I can’t seem to find a way not to end up shopping here. Damn you Peter for having to work this week! {he wouldn’t entertain it often} Fun fact: This week is Haute Couture week  in Paris so I’ve seen some women walking around looking straight off the runway.

Shopping in Paris is definitely too expensive and yes my money gets me almost nothing, but it is still incredible. There’s Goyard on Rue Saint Honore for those who are tired of Louis Vuitton, at least 2 Chanel stores in walking distance from my hotel (maybe 3, I’ve gotten lost a few times), and Colette is probably the coolest place I’ve ever been shopping.

I wasn’t as impressed with the stores on Champs Elysses as I thought I would be, but it was still a fun walk as it’s the “grandest” shopping street I have ever seen. To be honest I have been pretty good, but probably only because we are going to Italy next!

::: the history all over the city:::

This week I keep saying “I think I could live here,” one of the reasons being that Paris is so wildly rich in history in comparison to anywhere I have ever lived. You can feel it all around you and every corner you turn is a monument, an important building, or piece of history. I am sure it gets old as a Parisian, but to me it makes things feel more alive.

The city has been kept so clean and “new looking” that I don’t miss the modern looks that I typically love. It does remind be a bit of Montreal, as I thought it would, but it of course takes it to a whole different level. I was very touristy and bought the Lonely Planet Paris Walking Tour App for my iphone and have taken time each day to tour the different arrondissements. Here are some of my favorite shots so far.

Arc de Triomphe
Place Vendôme
Statue of King Louis XIII at Place des Vosges
Hôtel de Sens
The opulently architected Paris Opera building
Église Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis (1641)
inside Église Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis

Au revoir for now! Attempting to stay away from my computer until this vacay is over on the 18th.

::: keelymarie :::