Slap my hand for I have sinned! I have been promising this post for a few weeks now; but with the appearance of Hurricane Irma and my own two tiny hurricanes at home, well, blog stuff has gotten postponed. Alas though, I am currently here, sitting in front of my computer, tapping away at this thirsty keyboard, and bringing you the last ‘summer’ post of 2017 (well, because summer seems to always overstay its welcome in Miami).
It’s been a fun and busy summer, with some hiccups along the way (lice, anyone); but the Buccio family has taken full advantage of lazy days with no bedtimes; and, adventures where we could take them. We’ve cruised, we hit the beach, we did field trips to the museum and every indoor playground imaginable. We decorated cupcakes, did staycations, went to the movies, had countless play dates, celebrated 10 years of marriage, had too much fun back to school shopping, and visited family in NYC (thanks, Irma). Our tiny (albeit beautiful and loving) terrorist turned two and our number one girl officially became a Kindergartener. We came, we saw, we conquered summer.
On one of our last summer hurrahs, we were invited to experience the newly revamped Hotel Colonnade in Coral Gables (http://www.hotelcolonnade.com). I’ve often posted about the Hotel Colonnade because it holds a very special place in our hearts- we got married here! Our wedding reception was held in the iconic rotunda and boy, was it memorable (don’t ask me, ask the hotel, the guests, and the wedding planner)! It was a breathtaking setting of red roses and candle (like the red wedding minus the gory deaths), and we sang with the band (we may have broken a guiro), puppies were let loose on the dance floor, and someone (ahem, possibly the bride), ended up in the fountain. Sign of a good time! So when we were invited for a weekend staycation, we were thrilled! Not only were we going to relive some amazing memories, but we wanted to share them with our kids too.
The hotel has undergone an impressive face lift without sacrificing any of the historic and luxurious elements that make it special. Walk into the Hotel Colonnade now, and you are transported to a more modern, more hip boutique hotel in the heart of Coral Gables. You get the coolness and sophistication rolled in one; so, whether you’re a family of four or a couple of lovebirds looking for a chic getaway, its got you covered. The decor is eclectic and vibrant, with pops of color and unique architectural features that can be found on everything from bed pillows and lobby mirrors.
There were so many things we loved about the hotel; but one of my favorite things believe it or not, was breakfast at the Aragon Cafe. The cafe is so reminiscent of a European hotspot. We loved starting our day with the breakfast buffet and delicious pastries made fresh daily- chocolate muffins for the kids, guava and cheese pastries for us. It was a comfortable setting with cute sofas jazzed up with colorful pillows and mismatched chairs. It was a great spot to catch up on some leisurely reading- which we did (it wasn’t just for picture purposes)! Speaking of, the Hotel Colonnade team really knew how to make us feel extra welcome! If you saw my Instastories, I’m sure you caught some of the surprises they left for us in the room! We were so appreciative of them going the extra mile! A bottle of champagne for mom and dad, fashion magazines and a pool hat for mom, the most adorable dragon towel for our baby dragon, and a mermaid tail float for Maya. That’s what I call attention to detail!
Another favorite, especially for the kids, was the family suite! Talk about an upgrade! You really see the hotel’s transformation firsthand when you step into one of the rooms. Our room was two floors, with a bunk bed, a second bathroom, and a big screen TV for the kids on the second floor. As you can imagine, they were in HEAVEN. Mom and dad were able to have semi-privacy with our own bed and bathroom on the first floor and our own TV, where we watched whatever we wanted to watch (it’s the little things). Our room overlooked the hotel pool, with views of Miracle Mile. The hotel is walking distance to some great shops and restaurants (we made several trips to Barnes and Nobles with the kids). You can also take a trolley or jump on one of the hotel’s bikes available for guests to rent at no charge! Convenience is key, and the hotel makes it SO easy to explore everything the Gables has to offer. We actually kept it very local with dinner at the hotel’s ‘unofficial/official’ restaurant, House Kitchen and Bar (http://www.housekitchenbar.com), which is not only delicious and kid-friendly, but also happens to be a nightly hotspot with great music and a lively crowd; and, before dinner, we made sure to pop into the also upgraded and renovated hotel bar. It’s so chic with old photographs of the hotel, friendly bartenders, and a conversation friendly layout that makes it a great spot to grab a drink before hitting the town!
Have I sold you yet on a staycation at the Hotel Colonnade?! You gotta go!
Let’s not forget the pool! I’m more of a ‘laid back- lounge on a chaise- swim at my leisure- kind of girl- which basically means I don’t like loud pool parties with loud music, loud people, or raucous. Hanging at the Colonnade pool with the kids was DIVINE and fit the bill for my pool needs. They have pool noodles for the kids, sofas and chairs to lay out on, and though the pool is not huge, it serves its purpose! The only thing I would add is drink service at the pool. Nothing a cocktail can’t fix!
Our staycation at the Hotel Colonnade coincided with back to school shopping for Maya, so before hitting the hotel, we stopped at one of our favorite stores, TJ Maxx, and loaded up on some outfits and school supplies! Now, did you think that I wasn’t going to pick up something for myself at the Maxx?! It’s back to school shopping for me too, right?! I AM going to school with her, so it all makes sense. I thought it would be perfect to bring our outfits along to our staycation.
Maya loves picking out her clothes and though I like to give my input on things (because I’m a stage mom), I want her to be able to express herself and find things she loves (with mom’s approval, of course). She gets so excited when she finds something that she really likes and if it looks like anything I have in my closet, she freaks out. Twinsies! That’s what I love about big box stores like TJ Maxx, you find incredible deals at amazing prices. It’s guilt-free shopping! After browsing through the kids’ section, Maya picked out this navy blue and white Hello Kitty dress, because hello! It’s Hello Kitty! She loved the tutu skirt because its fun to twirl, she said, and she wants to wear it to a playdate with her school friends.
She also picked up this furry penguin notebook for school because that’s where she wants to write about her day and her feelings, she told me. That’s right girl, let those feelings out! Express yourself! There’s a budding writer inside of you.
It’s on to my look, kids! The obsession is real with this TJ Maxx wrap around dress; and, for $19.99 it was quite the steal! The color combination instantly caught my eye! The fuchsia with aqua just screams, POP POP POP! I’m all about versatility and what I love about this dress, is that I’ve worn it several times in different settings, with different shoes, makeup, and accessories. When I go shopping, I’m all about practicality. Long are the days of buying something and only wearing it once. Goodness, I think back at how much money I spent in my 20s buying a trend piece that I only wore one time. I would probably have a designer closet with all that wasted money. Nowadays, if I can’t wear something more than five times, it doesn’t go home with me. My dollars need to take me far!
This is one of those dresses. I’ve already worn it three times and no doubt I’ll be wearing it again, considering Miami is an endless summer. Guess what, though?! If I really wanted to take it into fall, all I have to do is throw on a leather jacket, some tights, some leather booties or heels, and I’m ready for pumpkin spice lattes!
I’ve really been into dresses with sneakers in the last year and it doesn’t look like I’ll be retiring that ‘ladylike ath-leisure’ vibe anytime soon. Case in point- I paired the dress with these insane Sam Edelman pom pom slip-ons I scored at the Maxx! Not a likely combination, but that’s whats fun about fashion- pairing the unexpected and making it work! Like a true Maxxinista, I scrounged through every shelf to find a size 6 in these beauties and I did!
You’re looking at a very satisfied fashionista.
No look is complete without the perfect shade of lipstick, and mine was begging for a hot pink pout! I couldn’t think of a more fashionable way to wrap up such a fun staycation!