Photo Cred: Le Banana

I’m going to be honest here. I’ve never been married and I’ve never had children… but I’m not quite sure I could ever be more excited about something than I was about going to the Museum of Ice Cream in Miami.

For the past few years, I have lustily stalked every blogger who had ever gone to the Museum, and eventually just accepted the fact that I would never go to the pastel playland that was MOIC. That being said, when the pop up location in my own backyard was announced, you KNOW I set my alarm for 8 a.m. to wake up and buy tickets for myself and my Instagram boyfriend.

As the fateful day came closer, my workload got heavier and heavier. Come the Friday before my big visit, I realized something terrible: I HAD NOTHING TO WEAR. For busty, curvy gals like myself… curating a cute outfit is not just a matter of sifting through my closet. With my body type, I am constantly seeking the perfect medium between either side of my doppelgänger spectrum… one side being Jessica Rabbit, the other being Spongebob. I had 20 minutes in Target to make it work, and I actually found a super cute blush bomber that I was able to pair with a simple white tee, black jeans and my mom’s shoes, as per usual.

Now, with the perfect outfit and the perfect date… I was ready to hit the Museum! Here’s a walk through of everything I experienced.

Entrance Area 

As soon as you walk into the Museum, you’re greeted by lots of fun ice cream facts! As you walk and read and work your way to the Sprinkle Pool (!!!), you get to chat with an ice cream fortune teller, and mine was in full glam (which I was living for).

You keep moving towards the door and, at least for me, the anticipation buiiiiilds. SO CLOSE TO THE INFAMOUS SPRINKLE POOL. They read us some rules, including don’t tinkle in the sprinkles (@Kyle), and then they finally let us in.

THE Sprinkle Pool

I took my shoes off and hopped right in! What you don’t know before going in is that you only have 30 seconds to enjoy this pool of colorful plastic. The “Sprinkle Lifeguard” kept giving time warnings, but my beloved Kyle was in the zone focusing the camera. The clock kept ticking and the picture opportunities kept slipping further and further away. I called for Kyle, but he was STILL deep in focus (pun intended). This was an activity I later described as “fiddle farting around.” Eventually, our time came and went and I got only this blurry iPhone memory from the Sprinkle Pool.

I stayed true to the theme of the Museum and came dangerously close to a meltdown, but then I remembered I was a grown woman lol… plus, there was still a lot of Museum to explore! Cone’t stop, won’t stop.

BUNNS Shop

Next stop: The BUNNS Shop! This Museum isn’t necessarily the most keto friendly outing, so I wasn’t able to eat the delicious samples they gave throughout. However, they did serve an awesome cinnamon bun frosty that Kyle loved! And we did, in fact, have to shake our buns to get some. 🍑

Balloon Illusion 

This was a cute touch. What was NOT cute was the angle at which this picture had to be taken to look like you were holding the balloons. Let’s just say those pics of me got “lost”…

Ice Cream Fans 

This floor was so cute! Lots of cutie cones with little fans… aka the only floor with circulating air. I cannot believe they store ice cream at this place… I was SWEAT.ING.

As you can see, I obviously didn’t get a good pic here, but highlight on fleek so it’s whatever. 🌟

Cherries and Ba-Nae-Naes 

It was like the Hunger Games in here. One room, two swings, 19 children in holographic fanny packs all antsy to get their little butts onto the fruit swings.

Plot twist, children: I am just like you, but older and wiser. I, too, wanted to get my little butt onto a fruit swing, but the years behind me have given me the skills to get there before YOU.

So yeah… got these pics before the kiddos. Felt equally as proud as I did petty.

Diamond Room 

Kyle and I had to physically get on our knees and crawl into this little tiny room, which only fit 1-2 people at a time. It was pretty awesome in here! Although, just like the rest of the place, it was SO HOT. Proof below.

Melted Ice Cream

Another room, another sample! Here in the melted ice cream room, everyone was given a carton of melted ice cream, which Kyle slurped down like it was fresh water on a deserted island.

There was also a board where you could spell out your favorite “flavor” and take a pic. I desperately wanted to put “ginger,” but all of the Gs were broken. 😰

Sandcastle Room + Sculture Room 

I didn’t spend much time in these rooms, but those who did got to build their own sandcastle and/or sculpture! Plus, there was pink glitter sand, gummy samples for Kyle and a psychedelic wall. That’s all I need to be happy!

Play Room + Rooftop

This was my FAVORITE! As soon as you get to this floor, you get key lime ice cream cones to set the scene for a true tropical Miami experience. There were ping pong tables inside, and outside you could hoola hoop, hang out or even try your hand at shuffleboard!

I literally got photobombed by a rainbow. I mean??????? #MAGICAL

Popsicle Wall

This was the last stop before the gift shop and exit. 😭 But definitely a great one! This popsicle backdrop made for the perfect pic with my boo. Can’t post though… sorry friends, need to have SOMETHING locked and loaded for V Day, and Kyle is typically always behind the camera. 💁🏼

Overall, I had such a great time at the Museum of Ice Cream. I definitely hyped it up a lot, but it did not disappoint. Unfortunately, all tickets to Miami and their next stop, San Fran, have been sold out, but be on the lookout for the new LA location if you’re going to be on the west coast!

If you got to go, what was your favorite part? If you didn’t, what do you wish you got to do? LMK in the comments below! ⬇️

I’m in love. Not with a person… but with a place. And that place is Vermont.

A few months ago, I was invited to travel to Vermont to judge the Miss Vermont USA and Miss Vermont Teen USA beauty pageant. Would I ever pass up that opportunity? Heck to the no! That being said, I immediately upgraded from my NYC blizzard emergency purchase (a faux fur lined 3x Apple Bottom Jeans coat) to a super cute coat from Target’s Who What Wear collection. I was READY for the cold… and to perform my God given talent of being judgmental. (JKkKk)

I flew into Burlington, VT  with my mom and stepdad as we decided to turn my judging gig into a family vacay! Burlington is gorgeous. If you’ve ever wanted to be on the set of a Hallmark Christmas movie – just skip the acting lessons and fly to Vermont. Burlington literally looks like it’s fake.

We checked into our hotel, got a good night’s sleep and woke up early to hit the town. Now, keep in mind, two days before this trip I went crazy and decided to get bangs from my love Austin at Blend Beauty Lounge. This was a great idea until I landed in Vermont and the wind blew my bangs straight up, Something About Mary style. Obv, my first (very necessary) stop was Urban Outfitters to get a hat to keep those babies tame.

We visited so many amazing local shops in Burlington. Vermont is ALL about shopping local. We bought some gorgeous crystals, picked out goodies at local boutiques and ate delicious cupcakes at My Little Cupcake bakery. That’s right… this wasn’t a keto weekend, it was a cheat-o weekend.

Side note: Now, I’m no fashion blogger or even a fashionista, but I got so many compliments and questions about this look! That being said, here are the look details for my first day in VT: hat from UO, glasses from Ray-Ban, coat + turtleneck from Target, plain black leggings from who knows where and boots from Steve Madden. 

After a gorgeous day in Burlington, it was time for me to do the glam thing and judge my first beauty pageant! We picked up our bestie, photographer Carlos Velez, from the airport and we drove two hours to Stowe.

We had a few hours in the morning before I had to head over to judge interview for the Teen and Miss girls. So, of course, we made a b-line to the adorable Cold Hollow Cider Mill. It was there that I ate a life-changing hot dog and drank the best hot apple cider.

I got this cute pic sipping my cider, which Carlos took while kneeling in a bush of ginormous burrs that we then had to extract from his person LOLLL. No one can say he’s not dedicated to his craft.

It was then that my judging duties began. I headed over to lunch at the Stoweflake Mountain Resort where we were staying, then drove over with my fellow judges to the Stowe Mountain Lodge for interviews. Let me just say – this was no easy job. I interviewed aspiring heart surgeons, professional sky divers and prima ballerinas… I mean, these girls were the bomb.COM.

The next day, before prelims, I got to do a little more exploring… but only because I had to go into town to stock up on medicine to fight off what I would later find out was bronchitis.

However: bright side. Because of my sickness (and dire need for meds), I got to see more of the beautiful Stowe with my mama.

Prelims went great, but my next big gig was finals! The show was amazing, and my fellow judges and I picked some serious #GirlBosses.

For their on-stage questions, they had to choose a judge’s name out of a fish bowl to decide whose question they would get. Luckily for me, I got chosen TWICE, and had to hold in my incessant coughs through two paragraphs of reading on the mic in front of an audience. I survived… but did get teased endlessly by my ~rattlesnake~ mother who kept calling me Marilyn Monroe because of the rasp.

We were pretty hungry after the pageant, but the three restaurants in Stowe obviously close at 7 p.m. 😅 We decided to call down to the front desk and ask if they had Uber Eats. The answer was no, so we asked if they at least had Uber. What were we told? “Yeah we do, but it’s cold so she’s probably not out right now.”

SHE. He said SHE. They literally have ONE Uber driver, and it is an elderly lady who won’t go out in the cold. Vermont… I love you.

The next day, my mom and I glammed the beautiful new queens and shot with Carlos! Of course, using allllll Victoria Duke Beauty!

We didn’t have much time to do anymore exploring, but we had one very important stop to make. That’s right: BEN AND FREAKING JERRY’S HEADQUARTERS BB!!!! When you don’t eat carbs or sugar and you have a cheat-o weekend in the same state as Ben and Jerry’s HQ, you don’t leave without at LEAST three scoops. This was the best ever.

Vermont was magical from start to finish, despite the fact that this Florida gal’s exposure to cold and wind chill led to many plane rides like this. Thanx u bronchitis.

Even though it’s only been two months since our visit, my fam bam and I are already planning our next trip! There is seriously something about this place that I can’t describe, and there was so much I didn’t get to do that I’m ready to cross off my list soon, like skydiving with the beautiful Miss Vermont USA… who does THIS for a living.

If you’ve been to Vermont and have any suggestions, pleaseee comment below! I’ll take any ideas I can get. ❤️

It’s officially 2018 and I’m comin’ in HOT! Figuratively, that is. However, if my resolutions go according to plan, I’ll be leaving hotter… literally. 💁🏼

Now, it’s day 3 of 2018. If you’ve made it this far with your resolutions, kudos to you — you’ve gotten farther than most! If you’re procrastinating and STILL haven’t even made them, giiiirlllll (or boyyyy), it’s time to get it together. This book is only 365 pages, and the first chapter will be over before you know it.

I know it’s hard being introspective and real with yourself, especially when that introspection leads to 12 whole months of accountability. That’s why I decided to make it easier on myself this year by posing a different question: “What are my areas of opportunity?” rather than “What is wrong with me that I need to fix?” Because nothing is wrong. I’m a good person with a good heart and I treat others the way I want to be treated. However, there is always room for improvement. And that’s how I came up with the five resolutions below!

However, a destination is useless without directions — so I created a little roadmap for all of my resolutions to make sure I can turn them into results! As Taylor Swift would say, “…ready for it?”

Become an essentialist. 

A few people in my circle have talked about turning to minimalism in 2018. I totally respect that, but I’m tragically extra. And I know it’s not in my best interest sometimes. That’s why I’m following some great advice my mom gave me: become an essentialist. This means I don’t have to completely abandon my extra ways, but rather only be extra with the essentials. Stuff I actually need, not just stuff I want. This will also help me save some dough!

How I’ll Do It: Eat out less, avoid eye contact with the dollar bin at Target + NO MORE NOTEBOOKS. I buy so many notebooks guys, it’s sick. You’d think I’m handwriting the Bible with a literal commandment from God if you could see the amount of notebooks I buy and the intensity in which I shop for them. I need to chill.

Be good to my body. 

I kicked this one off in 2017 with my keto diet and weight loss. However, sometimes I feel like I’m cutting corners. I always drink more coffee than I do water, I find myself ignoring my FitBit’s pushy little messages and I let the days without working out fade into weeks. I’d like to really, truly be good to my body, because ~you only get one~ y’all!

How I’ll Do It: Drink more water, hit my FitBit step goal every day (add me, friends) and exercise with my girl Kenzie at least 3 times per week. Kenzie makes me sweat from pores I didn’t even know I had.

Do the most. 

Adult mode: ENGAGED. This year, I think that I’m finally semi in the swing of doing life. That being said, I want to get into more of a routine, and I want that routine to be super productive. I want to do the most, so I can be the most.

How I’ll Do It: Wake up earlier. That’s it. It’s the only solution, and I have racked my brain for literally every other possible solution… but that’s it. Ugh. In 2018, I will bite the bullet and wake up earlier to get my ish done, because I’ve got a lot of ISH. And I want to make my bed every morning. I feel like that is such a positive way to set the stage for a great day.

Socialize… Not Just On Social. 

I am your stereotypical introverted extrovert, who anyone would easily describe as the most outgoing person they know. But things aren’t always as they seem. My first choice of fun on a Friday night would be staying at home doing anything but socializing. And it would my second choice. And third. Really… the act of actually going out or hanging with friends is the last thing on my mind. Not because I hate seeing my friends, not because I hate doing fun things, but because that’s just how I’m wired. Plus, something that has always contributed to that is being self conscious. I can’t go anywhere without hating my hair, staring at my under eye circles or changing my outfit 20 times to hide my boobs. I’m not kidding when I literally always feel like I look an old golden retriever. Pic below for reference.

But I want to put that behind me. The past two months I’ve had so much fun reconnecting with my best friends that live all over the country. These experiences have taught me to forget about how I feel and what people may think of me… and just let the good times roll. I want to be social IRL, not just on social media.

How I’ll Do It: Say yes to coffee dates. Text my friends first. Make spontaneous plans. Don’t let outfits or bad hair days hold me back.

Cross the finish line. 

This is the big boy, and the one that means the most to me. As I’ve mentioned, I said “see ya never” to 40 pounds of fat in 2017. In 2018, it’s my time to cross the finish line and lose my last 20 pounds! I do often get frustrated that I’m not there yet. But then, on Sunday night/Monday morning, I thought about how I started 2017 vs. how I started this year. I’m a different person. Then I thought, if I keep on keepin’ on, imagine where I’ll be when I start 2019! With power and persistence, I’m going to get to my goal. I especially want to get there (or close) by April, when I’ll be saying peace out to America for a few weeks to celebrate my birthday and my mom’s birthday in Europe! We’ll be in Paris, Italy and Greece… and I fully plan on wearing a bathing suit in front of actual living, breathing humans for what may be the first time in 10 years. LEHHHGO!

How I’ll Do It: I’ve already said a million times I’ll be training with Kenzie, but I’m also excited to really focus on my diet and get into major fat burning mode. For Christmas I got Ketogenic Girl’s 28 Day Keto Challenge Meal Plan, which I’m sooo excited about! I start Monday, 1/8, once I come back to South Florida from a wedding this weekend! Follow along on my mom and I’s keto Instagram page to see my progress.

Now, like I said, this book is only 365 pages… and tomorrow you’re turning another page! If you haven’t already, ask yourself, “What are my areas of opportunity?”  When you have your answer, I want to hear it! Comment below. ❤️ And If we share any of the same resolutions… always feel free to DM me on Instagram. #GirlGang members need to stick together. Let’s go after those goals aggressively!

*walking into 2017 liiiiike*

I’m officially the girl who cried “more blog posts.”

But this year, I mean it. New posts, every. single. week. IT’S HAPPENING. And how can I promise that? Because it’s one of my 2018 resolutions, and clearly I absolutely CRUSH my resolutions. Here’s a little recap of the goals I had for 2017, and how I kicked them in the peach emoji. 🍑

Be the best me I can be. ✔️

Okay, I’m officially the opposite of humble bragging here. I’m full on bragging, with as little humility as possible.

I went into 2017 eating like I was filming one of those slow-mo black and white montages they play at the beginning of every Biggest Loser season. By February, I was living my best life like I was on the dang Ranch! Jillian Michaels, wya?! With unwavering support from my mama, I started a ketogenic lifestyle that I am so obsessed with. I feel amazing, look so much better (!!!!) and finally feel in control of my life. In March, I started training with one of my favorite people, Kenzie, who inspires me always and makes me feel like anything is possible. Thanks to help from my peeps, including my boyfriend who ALWAYS lets me pick the restaurant so I can get something keto that I love, I’m flaunting into the new year 40 pounds down! YAS QUEEN! It’s both lit and fit.

Do more of what sets my soul on fire. ✔️

At the end of 2016, I left my job at Zimmerman Advertising. It was so incredibly bittersweet. I left behind a place I love, filled with so many people I love. I got my start at Zimmerman as a baby intern in 2014, and it was there that I realized my love for social media and was given the opportunity to let it grow. I am forever thankful to Z for those experiences, and I will never forget the people who paved my path. Love you all! ❤️

That being said, it was my time to go. My mom’s makeup line and makeup school were growing at a pace that demanded much more of my time and energy, so I joined full time to do the glam thing! And I absolutely love it. I love every second I get to spend slaying and playing with my mama and our amazing #GlamFam!

Now, while I do love this role, I am still furiously passionate about social marketing. So, when I was presented with an opportunity to also work remotely for one of the top agencies in the world… of course I took it! Throughout 2017 I have been able to work as a social copywriter and strategist for SapientRazorfish on accounts like Trojan Condoms, Batiste Dry Shampoo, The Fresh Market and ASICS Global. It’s so freaking awesome. I can work from anywhere in the world, 9/10 times in a nightgown.

The work I do with Academy of Glam, Victoria Duke Beauty and SapientRazorfish… it sets my soul on fire.

Explore. ✔️

I think I took this one a little too seriously because I am so exhausted from a crazy year of traveling and never saying no to adventures. I had the pleasure of working (and playing) all over the country in Atlanta, Vermont, D.C., Vegas, Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tampa Ohio, Texas, New York and Chicago… to name a few. I got to meet so many beautiful people, explore different cities and states and make memories with my people. Blog posts to come on all of the things I got to see and do!

For the love of God, BUDGET. ✔️

So I found a loophole for this one. I didn’t necessarily “budget,” but instead I just decided to work my tail off and make more money! Genius, right? However, I also did start saving a lot more, just without strict guidelines, and I was able to save up and pay in full to get Lasik! Best decision I have ever made!! 10/10 would recommend – I loved my surgery at Millennium Laser Eye Center. I’m planning on continuing down the super savings path in 2018 because I have big plans for the new year, so I want to make sure I’m financially ready to make them happen.

Get a dog. ✔️

Need I say more? This babe is the love and light of my life.

2016, I was just surviving. Barely LOL. 2017 was all about thriving. 2018? 2018 is all about crossing the finish line and living my absolute best life.

I’ll be spending my New Year’s Eve working on my vision board (v exciting), so stay tuned for all of my 2018 resolutions next week! In the meantime, I want to know yours! Give me some inspo in the comments below.

That awkward moment when your last post was apologizing for not posting in awhile…

Yeah, I dropped the ball there. I’m sorrrrryyy, I just have not had a spare moment. I’ve been working on some pretty big projects – including ME. Weird, I know, but I can explain. *DISCLAIMER* This is about to get real, y’all.

It’s 1:22 a.m. on a Sunday night, and I have been unsuccessfully trying to fall asleep for four hours. Pretty typical for me, but usually I just play on my phone until my eyes can’t stay open. This time is different… I can’t sleep because I can’t stop thinking about something I’m really passionate about: my “diet.”

LOL I know, embarrassing. But, like I said, one of my biggest projects of 2017 has been ME (receipts for reference). Mainly because I wanted to say, “I’m doin’ me,” but also because I really wanted to improve mentally and physically.

Food has always been a crutch for me, and especially towards the end 0f 2016, I was not living my healthiest life. I was gaining weight, eating to appease every emotion I had and creating an unhealthy lifestyle that led to me to not looking or feeling my best. I was always tired, always looked sick and just never fully felt present. That being said, I wanted a change.

Like everyone else in the world, I created my resolutions and was super excited about the idea of them, but the execution was lacking. However, by mid-February, I was ready to give it a go and work on becoming my best me. Now, I am no stranger to diets. You name it, I’ve tried it: HCG, Atkins, South Beach, Quick Weight Loss, Weight Watchers, Ideal Protein…. you get the idea. The last “diet” I had been on was Quick Weight Loss, which is a diet program where you get a list of the exact amounts of food you can eat, and you buy their high sugar snacks, measure things all day, journal your food and basically cry yourself to sleep every night. I did that diet for a month (with not one cheat meal) and was exercising two times per week. I lost 30 pounds. HELLO!

Within the next few months, once I had gotten more comfortable with myself and a bit happier with my body, I started eating the same old things I was eating before. See, the diet was great while I was on it, but by allowing myself to start incorporating my old habits back into my routine, I found myself right back where I was. I had gained the 30 pounds back… and then some. LORDT.

Now, back to mid-February. I felt defeated. I felt ugly. I felt disappointed in myself, and I felt like I had disappointed those around me. I was nervous to go on this journey again, but most importantly, I was nervous that I would end up in the same spot I was in.

Thankfully, I had a beautiful little angel on my side who goes by the name of Victoria Duke. My mama. This woman is the reason I am loving life and learning to love myself. After tons of research, my mom discovered what is called the ketogenic diet, and she knew that it was what would take us to the next level.

Essentially, the ketogenic diet is this: high fat, mild protein and low carb. High fat? No carbs?! Whaaaa? Let me explain. Pay attention – there will be a quiz later.

When you’re eating low carb, the body produces ketones in the liver to be used as energy. On the flip side, when you eat something high in carbs, your body will produce glucose and insulin.

When you’re eating lots of carbs and the glucose is being used as a primary energy, your fats are not needed and are therefore stored. Typically on a normal, higher carbohydrate diet, the body will use glucose as the main form of energy. By lowering the intake of carbs, the body is induced into a state known as ketosis. During this state, we produce ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fats in the liver.

Yeah, you read that right. Your body literally breaks down fat. ‼️‼️‼️

I know what you’re probably thinking…

  • But, what does “high fat even mean?”
    • Well, high fat means exactly what you think. Grass fed butter, coconut oil, fatty meats, etc.
  • How do you exist without carbs?! I love pasta!!
    • TRUST ME… once you go keto, you never go cheat-o. LOL jk, I’ve had my moments, but I feel so sick when I do. Eventually, the cravings fade and all you know is how amazing you feel without sugar and carbs.
  • What do you even eat?
    • So much! Steak, sushi, Chipotle, Bulletproof coffee… yep, I feel another blog post coming on!

And, of course, since everyone is a doctor/dietician, I get variations of, “you should watch out for your cholesterol,” or, “that can’t be good for your heart, fat is so bad for you.” Wrong! Fat is a threat to cholesterol or your heart when it is paired with sugar. Alone, it does much more good than it does harm!

Okay, I’ve gotten a bit off track, but you get the idea. My mom introduced me to the idea of ketogenic, and what I loved the most is that it is not a “diet” in the typical sense of the word. I did not need another diet. Ketogenic is a lifestyle. You don’t starve, you can sustain it and it makes differences both inside and out. We started in mid-February, and I did not have one morsel of a cheat meal until my birthday on April 8th. That morning, I woke up and weighed myself to see I had lost 20 pounds of pure fat. The best birthday gift I could have asked for!

Enjoying lots of b-day carbs to celebrate! Not pictured: sugar crash.

When I look at progress pics, I see two different people. Both are beautiful, and there is nothing wrong with a little more meat on your bones. But looking past that, the girl just starting out felt sick and so exhausted, which totally showed. Looking in the mirror, I see a girl who is more confident and feels healthy from the inside out. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m still working on the whole confidence thing. I still cry in dressing rooms and cancel plans because I feel gross. *BLOGGERS: THEY’RE JUST LIKE US!* However, it’s comforting to know that I’m getting there.

With the insane support from my mom on the nutrition and inspiration side, and workouts with my friend and trainer that kicked butt (s/o to Kenzie 💪🏻), I’ve been able to get into a healthy lifestyle that I really, truly love… not one that I can only do for a month, not one that is a quick fix, but something that has and will continue to change my life forever.

This was 23 pounds down in Vegas. I wish you guys knew how much I was feelin’ myself here, which literally NEVER happens.

It’s June 5th, and I’ve lost five more pounds, so I’m 25 down! Keto loss is a bit slower because it’s pure fat, but I’m totally cool with that. I’ve learned that it’s more important to keep chipping away than it is to get a quick result, because the quicker it goes, the quicker it can come back. Plus… my five day stint in Vegas didn’t help (#BuffetVibes).

I will keep you guys updated on my progress, and if you have any questions at all about anything keto, make sure to comment below! I love talking about it, and would love to share this amazing lifestyle with you guys. Thanks for the support… even when I take long breaks. 💕