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Black Friday Sales You Won’t Want to Miss

Posted on: November 24th, 2016 by Leah No Comments

I have a confession to make. I hate holiday shopping.  The long lines, abundance of shoppers, and packed parking lots instantly turns me into the Grinch.  Lucky for us, we live in the Florida Keys, far far away from those crazy shopping malls packed with overzealous holiday bargain hunters.

Our shopping options consist of beautiful boutiques expertly curated with everything on your shopping list. For a pleasant shopping experience this holiday season, take a look below at a few Florida Keys boutiques offering Black Friday and Small Business Saturday sales you won’t want to miss.

Banyan Tree Boutique in Islamorada is offering 50% off all sale clothing, jewelry and gifts.

DK’s Style Hut and DK’s Beach Boutique in Marathon will be offering 25% off everything in both stores.

D-Luxe Boutique in Islamorada is offering 25% off new arrivals and 50% off the rest of the store.

Islamorada Mercantile will be offering a sale and special deals on their colorful, easy to wear dresses and beautiful Vera Bradley Bags.

Vera Bradley bags are on sale at Islamorada Mercantile

Vera Bradley bags are on sale at Islamorada Mercantile

Miss Monroe Boutique and uCumbe at Village Square at Trading Post in Islamorada will be having their 3rd annual Black Friday weekend sale Friday – Sunday with 25% off everything in both stores plus door buster deals.

Wild Lily Boutique in Islamorada is having their annual tent sale on Black Friday continuing to small business Saturday with extra incentives for American Express cardholders.

Zero Dress Code Boutique in Islamorada will be offering an early bird tent sale on Black Friday starting at 8 a.m.

Once you’ve shopped at your favorite local boutiques, for Black Friday or Small Business Saturday, the next best shopping experience happens on Cyber Monday, November 28.  You can shop from your home while wearing pajamas and drinking wine.  Frankly, I don’t know of a better shopping experience than this.

Happy holiday shopping!

 

New Store Opening in Islamorada

Posted on: November 16th, 2016 by Leah No Comments

Sue Wright’s talent is in bringing her ideas to life. Whether its designing handbags from vintage fabrics or crafting handmade paper mâché Christmas sculptures from copper wire and reclaimed tissue paper, she has always had the ability to create beautiful things.

A gardener by profession, Sue worked as an estate gardener at The Garden Concierge in the Boston area before moving to Islamorada and taking on the position of resident Gardner at the Village Square at Trading Post.

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On November 18, Sue will open a new shop with living art called Boo Kee Sue Botanics.  The shop will be located at the Village Square at Trading Post and will join the other shops and restaurants in residence including uCumbe, Miss Monroe Boutique, Bad Boy Burritos and Good Girl Juice & Café.  Here she will sell ready to go garden items that are easy to maintain with prices that start at just $40.

Her passion is in transforming a space with something living in every room. Working with a variety of design aesthetics, she specializes in creations that enhance and beautify areas of your home and garden.

In her shop you’ll find Kokedama which are a Japanese moss ball string gardens and stag horn growing on cork bark.  Everything in her store is unique, perfect for gifts or beautifying your own space.  And for those of you not blessed with a green thumb, everything is very easy to maintain.

In addition to her container designs for sale, she’ll also be providing custom work and specialized plantings for clients.  Many of her designs will also be available for rentals for special events.

Be sure to stop by the opening of Boo Kee Sue Botanics on November 18, with regular hours from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Tuesday – Saturday.  For more information, go to BooKeeSue.com.

 

 

The Dress Code

Posted on: September 26th, 2016 by Leah No Comments

We live in a really awesome place.  Not just because of the beautiful weather or the amazing water in our backyard…we live in an amazing place because of the wonderful people who live here.  The Florida Keys are one of the only places I’ve ever lived that embrace and welcome new people with open arms. Maybe its because so many of us have come from different places and made the Keys our home, or maybe its because we’re the best small town in America, whatever the reason, I believe the people are what make this place so special.

One of the ways the Florida Keys locals are so amazing is our support of one another and our causes.  During “season” there is a fundraiser or event for a different organization or nonprofit every weekend.  And we help fundraise, donate silent auction items and buy tickets to attend these events without batting an eyelash.  Below are a few tips to help you dress stylishly for each dress code while supporting worthy causes.

Zero Dress Code

Formal Gown from Zero Dress Code Boutique in Islamorada

Black Tie or Formal – This is the most formal of dress codes and is common for most Gala’s or Ball’s such as the Mariners Hospital Bougainvillea Ball on Saturday, January 28 – so save the date!  If you see that in the title, it may be an indicator that it is a more formal event. For men, black tie means dark colored suits or tuxes with white shirts, a tie or bow-tie and dress shoes. For women, a floor-length evening gown or knee-length cocktail dress is appropriate. Pair it with fine jewelry and sparkly heels for a sophisticated look.  Go to baptisthealth.net for more information.

Purple Jewels perfect for the Purple Pumpkin Gala from Zero Dress Code boutique

Purple Jewels perfect for the Purple Pumpkin Gala from Zero Dress Code boutique

Purple Tie – On Saturday, October 1, the Purple Pumpkin Gala benefiting Rett Syndrome will take place at the Islander Resort.  Hosted by Michelle and Travis Bennett in honor of their daughter who has Rett Syndrome, this beautiful night will provide much needed awareness for Rett Syndrome while raising money for this worthy cause.  Enjoy dinner, live and silent auctions, live music and dancing on the beach. For this unique dress code, wear cocktail attire appropriate for the beach.  Leave your heels at home and instead opt for a floor length, midi-length or cocktail dress with sandals such as a metallic color or rhinestone embellished pair.  For men, tuxes, suits and cocktail attire are appropriate but consider your footwear as it will be on the beach.  If you can work in the color purple, all the better. 100% of proceeds from this event go to support research for Rett Syndrome.  Go to rettsyndrome.org/purplepumpkingala for more information.

Cocktail Attire – For cocktail parties such as the Habitat for Humanity of the Upper Keys Annual Cocktail Party held every year on the first Friday of March, the dress code is cocktail attire.  That means short dresses for women and sport coats, or dress shirts with slacks for men.  Instead of throwing on your LBD, opt for a dress in a fun color or pair your LBD with bright heels to refresh your look.  Go to HabitatUpperKeys.org for more information.

Key Casual – The majority of the events in the Florida Keys all have one thing in common, the Keys Casual dress code.  Women typically wear dresses or skirts with sandals as this works for our weather year round.  For men the rule is, if you’d wear it fishing, don’t wear it to an event.  Instead, men should wear leather sandals or loafers with flat front shorts or pants and a short sleeve polo, short sleeved collared button down dress shirt or Oxford long-sleeved button down shirts. Anything made by Tommy Bahama is the perfect Keys Casual attire.  Save the date for the 5th Annual Aquatic Crawl on Saturday, November 5 at the Ron Levy Aquatic Center at Founders Park and the Island Dolphin Care Annual Fundraiser on Saturday, November 19th.  Keys Casual will be ideal for both of these special events as you celebrate with your Florida Keys friends and neighbors.

 

 

Back-to-School Tax Free Weekend August 5-7

Posted on: August 1st, 2016 by Leah No Comments

Amid the flurry of lobster mini-season and lobster opening weekend, back-to-school season is in full swing. The sales tax free weekend begins August 5-7 which is the perfect time to outfit your kids and check off their school supply list.  During the sales tax free weekend, no Florida sales tax will be collected on clothing, footwear, and certain accessories selling for $60 or less per item and on school supplies selling for $15 or less per item.  Below are a few tips to help you take advantage of this 3-day sales tax holiday.

Reversible Tote Bag will be offered BOGO at Miss Monroe Boutique over the sales tax free holiday!

Reversible Tote Bag will be offered BOGO at Miss Monroe Boutique over the sales tax free holiday!

Make a List

Start with a list of all the school supplies you need for each child as well as a list of wardrobe essentials each child will need for school. Don’t forget to add a few items for yourself on the list.  After all, you deserve something new as well.

Stock Up On Basics

Basics are the building blocks of every wardrobe.  Wardrobe staples such as jeans, black heels, white tees, sandals, shorts, underwear, and little black dresses are often the pieces that are worn the most and therefore may need to be updated or replaced on a yearly basis.

Think Ahead

If you’re buying clothing for kids, remember to buy not only for right now but also for the size they’ll be in a few months.  There is no need for them to wear pants that resemble clam diggers just because they had a growth spurt.

Take Advantage of Sales

Many stores are offering additional sales during the sales tax free weekend including:

  • The Banyan Tree Boutique in Islamorada is offering 25% off all clothing during this time.
  • D-Luxe Boutique in Islamorada is offering 15% off purchases over $25 and 25% off purchases over $100.
  • Miss Monroe Boutique in Islamorada is offering a buy one get one deal on their reversible tote bags. Available in 10 colors, these are the perfect backpack alternative for high school girls.
  • Wild Lilly Boutique in Islamorada will be offering 25% off all items in store.

Give Back

Now through the end of August, United Way of the Florida Keys will be collecting school supplies to distribute to 8,000 students in Monroe County. As you’re shopping for your own kid’s school supplies, consider buying a few extra notebooks, pencils, crayons, binders, or backpacks for a child in need. There are a number of convenient drop-off locations throughout the Keys including Wells Fargo Banks, Mariners Hospital, Key Largo Chamber of Commerce and Amara Cay in Islamorada.  Go to KeysUnitedWay.org for more information and additional drop-off locations.

Happy Shopping!

What Should I Pack for a Weekend Getaway?

Posted on: July 18th, 2016 by Leah No Comments

Satisfy your wanderlust this summer with a weekend getaway.  Whether you’ll be taking a road trip down the Overseas Highway to Key West or heading to Disney with the kids, embrace your inner explorer by getting dirty, dressed up and lost and found.

A Romantic Beach Vacation with your Significant Other

Having the right clothes for your weekend are as important as planning your activities once you arrive at your destination. For a romantic beach retreat, you’ll need great sunglasses, a wide sun hat, sexy little swim suits, chic cover-ups, breezy bohemian dresses, day-to-night shorts, beach bag, embellished sandals, and a clutch and wedges for evenings.  Also, don’t forget the sunscreen.  Head to Morada Pure at 81547 Old Highway in Islamorada for an array of natural skincare products and sunscreens that are non-toxic, fragrance free, non-irritating, and protective without the greasiness.

To the City with Your Girlfriends

Floral Black and White Romper from Banyan Tree in Islamorada

Floral Black and White Romper from Banyan Tree in Islamorada

If you’re heading to the city with your girlfriends, be sure to pack versatile pieces that can easily take you from day-to-night.  A flirty romper like this black and white floral option from Banyan Tree Boutique in Islamorada at 81197 Overseas Highway could easily be worn with sandals and bold jewelry while out shopping during the day.  Then for a fun night on the town, pair it with heels and a metallic clutch.  Packing a few versatile pieces will give you lots of options for impromptu activities while also reducing the amount of clothes you’ll need to pack.  Smaller luggage is ideal when also packing a cooler full of champagne.

Girls weekend must-haves: camera, day-to-night shorts or romper, gorgeous heels, chic dresses, beaded and embellished clutches, and lots of accessories so you can mix and match your looks.

To Disney with Your Kids

Although packing light is always recommended, when traveling with your kids this is a bit easier said than done.  A weekend at Disney with your kids will leave you dirty, dusty, spilled on and sweaty which means your clothes will likely only get one wear before needing a clean.  Either pack laundry detergent, utilize the hotel’s laundry service, or be sure to pack a few extra outfits. Traveling with small kids is like the movie Neighbors where new parents Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne plan their first baby outing and after gathering everything they need including the diaper bag, breast pump, “extra onesie in case she craps herself”, baby swing, jumperoo, and cooler they fall asleep by the front door never even making it out of the house.

Luckily, Disney’s got a lot to offer in terms of things to do so hopefully you won’t have to pack too much for a weekend of fun.  A trip with your kids is all about comfort.  Be sure to pack comfy walking shoes, hats, a backpack for snacks, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, shorts and tanks, and a lightweight dress for dinners.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend getaway.  And just remember, if you forget something, you can always go shopping!  Bon voyage!

Athleisure

Posted on: June 6th, 2016 by Leah No Comments

Athleisure is the latest buzzword in fashion.  The trend of wearing athletic wear for activities beyond the gym has been growing since Lululemon and luxury designers realized more women were wanting function and comfort in their wardrobe.

Sporty-chic skorts will take you from pool to lunch with performance fabrics made to dry quickly.  Gretchen Scott skort available at Islamorada Mercantile.

Sporty-chic skorts will take you from pool to lunch with performance fabrics made to dry quickly. Gretchen Scott skort available at Islamorada Mercantile.

Who knew wearing yoga pants all day was “on-trend”. Since becoming a mom eight months ago, yoga pants have become my lifeline.  They can take the brunt of baby spit up, sticky fingers and keeping up with an active crawler. Even before pregnancy and the arrival of baby, I would arrive home from work, pour myself a glass of wine and slip into some yoga pants. I thought this was the norm and apparently now it is.

But just because athleisure is accepted, doesn’t mean there aren’t dos and don’ts to be aware of.  Below are some guidelines for when and how to wear it.

Get the Fit Right

With performance wear becoming everyday wear, it’s even more important that the apparel fit you well.  There is no reason to reveal everything by wearing clothing that is too tight.  Now that you’ll be wearing it to the grocery store, the soccer field and the coffee shop, be sure the backside of your pants aren’t transparent.

A few years ago, my sister informed me that my butt was visible in a pair of pants I’d been wearing on my morning walks.  I hope to save you all from that feeling of realizing you’ve been mooning the entire neighborhood.  I had to find a new route just to walk my dog from the shame of exposing my derrière every time I bent over to pick up dog poop.  The rule when buying athletic pants is to bend over in front of the mirror while trying them on.  If you can see your underwear, don’t buy them.

Mix Function and Fashion

The benefit of athleisure gaining in popularity is you are no longer restricted to plain black active wear.  Athletic apparel now includes designer leggings, cashmere sweats and layering pieces in a variety of colors, patterns, and detailing.  In the Florida Keys, look for versatile pieces that can take you from beach to bar.

  • Rash guards and swim shirts are made for water but with sporty cuts and flattering designs you’ll want to wear them everywhere. Pair them with shorts or a skirt for a day-to-night look.
  • Skorts are another type of active wear that will provide comfort and versatility. Look for a pair with performance fabric for quick drying, odor resisting and moisture wicking.  You can wear a skort from pool or ocean to lunch and drinks, perfect for the Florida Keys.
  • Look for sporty-chic apparel with mesh details. Mesh is no longer reserved for men’s gym shorts.  You’ll now find mesh details on everything from pencil skirts and tanks to handbags and stilettos.

Where to Wear It

Many designer brands are now blurring the lines between active and everyday fashions. But, just because it looks like everyday apparel, doesn’t mean it should be worn to events and places that require more formal clothing. Unless you work at a gym, workout gear is never appropriate for the office.  As comfortable as stretchy pants are, none of your colleagues want to know you that well.  In addition, formal events such as weddings and funerals should be given the respect they deserve with attire matching the occasion and request of the host.

 

 

 

 

 

The Future’s So Bright…I Gotta Wear Shades

Posted on: April 12th, 2016 by Leah No Comments

In the Florida Keys, sunglasses are a fashion accessory worn daily.   It’s also an accessory that you can never have enough of.  All that wear makes them easy to lose, scratch, and break making sunglasses a purchase made multiple times throughout year.  According to the market research group NPD, women spent 1.85 billion on sunglasses from June 2014 to June 2015.  That’s a lot of eyewear. To help you find the most flattering shades for your summer wardrobe, take a look below at some tips before your next purchase.

Jimmy Choo round sunglasses with small cat eye shape and leather snake skin accent on temple available at Tropical Optical.

Jimmy Choo round sunglasses with small cat eye shape and leather snake skin accent on temple available at Tropical Optical.

Shape

Sunglasses come in many shapes but are not a one-size-fits-all accessory.  The first step in finding your most flattering frames starts with analyzing the shape of your face.

Round: A round face is widest across the cheekbones. Rectangular and geometric shapes will help elongate your face.

Styles to try: oversized, rectangular, cat eye

Square: If your face is square with a strong jaw, wide forehead and wide cheekbones, soften your features with rimless shades or curvier frames.

Styles to try: Aviators, round, cat eye

Heart: If you have a broad brow and narrow chin, try a style that is wider on the top than the bottom.  Shapes that are extend past the width of your face will complement you.

Styles to try: rectangular, aviators, sport, retro square

Oval: Oval shaped faces are longer than they are wide. This face shape allows for more flexibility letting you wear pretty much any style you want.

Styles to try: rectangular, oversized, round

Tint

We all know how important sun protection is for our skin but have you thought about protecting your eyes?  Sunglasses are not just a fashion accessory; they are also meant to protect your eyes.  Make sure the pair you wear provide 98 to 100 percent UVA and UVB protection. If the label reads “UV absorbing” or “blocks most UV light”, you are not providing enough sun protection for your eyes.

Gradient – These ombre tinted shades are perfect for combating overhead rays during peek daylight hours.

Mirrored – These lenses boast increased protection by blocking out more light than other tints.

Polarized – If you spend a lot of time on the water or outdoors, these are perfect for you as they reduce glare.

Tinted – Darker hues are best for bright and sunny weather like we have in the Florida Keys.

Color

Whether you are all about classic black or prefer leopard print with gold embellishments, the range of color and patterns available for your shades are endless.  So if you find a pair you love, better buy two. Make that three – one in each color of course.

Look for your next pair of sunglasses at Tropical Optical at 81933 Overseas Highway in Islamorada for the latest selection of designer eyewear.

What to Pack for a Summer Getaway

Posted on: May 4th, 2015 by Leah No Comments

Whether you’re jet setting this summer or planning a staycation, having the right clothes for your getaway are as important as planning your activities once you arrive at your destination. Great sunglasses, cute swim suits, a good read, camera, and sunscreen are just a few must-have items to pack. But for a stylish summer vacation, you may also want to think about adding a few new on-trend pieces that will take your vacation from boring to fabulous.

Tropical Prints

Believe it or not, Hawaiian shirts and all things tropical are considered hip and on-trend. While enjoying their moment in the sun, these bold botanical prints are appearing in black and white fauna, vintage inspired palm tree prints, and bright tropical hues. Try paring a tropical piece with other neutrals or be bold and wear it from head-to-toe. These kitschy prints will elevate your style in a serious way. Find beautiful on-trend tropical printed dresses starting at $35 at Miss Monroe Boutique located at 81868 Overseas Highway in Islamorada at the Village Square at Trading Post.

Tropical Printed Dress from Miss Monroe

Tropical Printed Dress from Miss Monroe

Day-to-Night Shorts

When traveling, it’s important to pack versatile pieces that you can easily wear from day-to-night. Not only will this help reduce the amount of luggage you need to take, but it will also give you additional options for your vacation wardrobe. A bright pair of shorts in a fun color or print are perfect for your day activities worn with a tank and a pair of sandals. Wear those same shorts for night by pairing them with a flirty top, bold jewelry and a pair of wedge heels. Day-to-Night shorts are available at D-Luxe Boutique located at 80925 Overseas Highway in Islamorada starting at $15.

Day-to-Night Shorts from D-Luxe Boutique

Day-to-Night Shorts from D-Luxe Boutique

Colorful Hats

Nothing says fabulous like a big and colorful summer hat. Not only will this provide some additional shade for your face and shoulders while lounging poolside, but it will also give your beachside attire a stylish twist. Find a large variety of summer hats at Island Trendz Boutique starting at $45 located within the new Amara Cay Resort in Islamorada at 80001 Overseas Highway.

Bright Hats from Island Trendz Boutique

Bright Hats from Island Trendz Boutique

Sizzling Summer Fashion Show

See more must-have summer fashions on Thursday, May 14th at The Village Square at the Trading Post’s 2nd annual Sizzling Summer Fashion Show featuring summer fashions from Miss Monroe Boutique, D-Luxe Boutique, One Sun Project Bikinis and Island Trendz Boutique. The event will start at 6 p.m. with the fashion show starting at 7:30 p.m. and will include an Oo-tray mobile bar, Bad Boy Burrito taco bar, photo booth, and free giveaways. Tickets are available for $20 at Miss Monroe or D-Luxe Boutique. This is a great opportunity to see some beautiful summer fashions perfect for your summer getaway and your Florida Keys wardrobe. Hope to see you there!

Sizzling Summer

Resolve for Healthier Skin

Posted on: February 6th, 2015 by Leah No Comments

Healthy living is consistently among American’s most popular New Year’s resolutions. However, according to a recent Forbes article, only 8% of American’s who make New Year’s Resolutions actually achieve them.

So whether you’re just getting started on your New Year’s resolution or need some motivation to get back into it. Here are a few things you can do to take better care of yourself.

Reduce Stress

Stress is virtually unavoidable but how you deal with stress can impact your health.   If you turn to comfort food or a bottle of wine to help relieve stress, you could be adding pounds to your waistline negatively affecting your health goals. Instead, call a friend – stay connected while also talking about what’s bothering you. Slow down – If work has you going at an unsustainable speed, slow down and focus on just one item to help you accomplish a few small tasks. Laugh – A good laugh lowers stress and boosts endorphins to lighten your mood so tune into your favorite comedian for a quick and natural boost. Get moving – Exercise can greatly reduce stress while also helping the brain release feel-good chemicals. So try a walk after work or over your lunch hour for a better way to reduce your stress.

Take Care of Your Skin

Did you know that the largest organ in your body is your skin. We Floridian’s need to especially pay attention to the care of our skin given the amount of sun exposure we receive on a daily basis. Resolve to wear sunscreen daily. Find a daily moisturizer that also has an SPF for easy application and use it on your entire face and neck. Make sure to also apply to your ears, hands and nose – all high risk areas for skin cancer. Another tip: keep a small container of sun block in your purse or car for those unplanned occasions when you find yourself spending time outdoors.

Go Natural

The skin care and beauty industry is very unregulated leaving each of us personally responsible to review what we put on our skin. Reading beauty product ingredients is as important as reading food labels to find out what is in the products you are using. Morada Pure, a new skincare store located at 81681 Old Highway in Islamorada, has taken on the hard work for you by deciphering hard to read beauty ingredients and has curated a store filled with a selection of natural skincare, beauty, and cosmetic products that are healthy, non-toxic, highly effective, and cruelty free.

When looking at all the products you are currently using on your skin, it can feel a bit overwhelming. So start small and make a change on a few of the products you use daily such as your facial cleansers and lotions to get you started on a healthier skin regime.

The founder of Morada Pure, Tiffany Minock, is a Licensed Esthetician and International Beauty Therapist on the PURE principles and philosophy of fresh, healthy, and true skincare. Tiffany recommends these top three products to get you started on a healthier skin regime.

Tiffany Minock, owner of Morada Pure

Tiffany Minock, owner of Morada Pure

 

  1. Natural Fine Herbal Face Cleanser by Farmaesthetics – $38 Voted the #1 facial cleanser by FaceParlour.com and also named by Parenting.com as 1 of only 3 cleansers they’d recommend using on a child. This facial cleanser is excellent on all skin types and washes away impurities and excess oil without ever changing the skin’s natural ph balance.

  2. Hydrating Accelerator by Josh Rosebrook – $32 Proper hydration is the #1 priority for healthy skin.  Insufficient hydration results in dry, flaky skin that is more prone to wrinkling and skin disorders. Drinking water is essential.  But remember that water has to go through your entire body before getting to your skin.  Which is why a hydrating accelerator is an important part of your daily skin regime. Use before applying your moisturizer for a refreshing, fresh, blast of dermal nutrition.

  3. Antioxidant Facial Serum by Laurel – $80 This ideal moisturizer for all skin types is full of skin nourishing plants high in antioxidants, making this the ideal anti-aging serum. Made from whole plant blend to stimulate collagen production, reduce sun damage, and encourage healthy cell reproduction. This facial serum is loaded with whole plant antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and EFAs.

soap

Organic Lavender and Rosemary Peppermint Liquid Castile Soap

Morada Pure also offers their own branded organic liquid castile soap made from olive oil and naturally scented with organic lavender and organic rosemary peppermint. They also offer a refill program to help eliminate the billions of pounds of one time use of plastic container waste. Use their amazing castile soap for body, bath, all purpose cleaning, fruit and veggie rinse, and dog washing.

Stop by Morada Pure for an array of natural and toxic free products ranging from $5 to $80 including deodorant, face products, eye treatments, makeup remover, shampoo, hairspray, bug spray and sun screen, to name a few.

Reach for your goals to accomplish a healthier and happier you in 2015!

 

Gift Guide for the Men in your Life

Posted on: December 22nd, 2014 by Leah No Comments

Figuring out what to buy the men in your life is no easy task. Especially if your dad, husband and brothers are the type that seem to already have everything. To me, men always seem a bit more difficult to buy for. Then too, it may be because the perfect handbag wouldn’t exactly knock their socks off.  This year, instead of buying him another fishing lure or cooler, consider one of these man-worthy gifts.

It’s the season to sparkle

Most women swoon over little blue boxes wrapped in tiny white bows. They call their girlfriends to gab over what could possibly be inside the obvious jewelry box. Small boxes can be equally as exciting for men. Plus, they’ll never guess that the gift is even for them. Blue Marlin Jewelry in Islamorada offers beautiful jewelry for men including men’s watches and cuff links. So if you have a guy who likes to get dressed up, consider buying him something to sparkle in.

Stop into to Blue Marlin Jewelry’s new location at 81549 Old Highway in Islamorada, open Monday through Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sundays 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Capture Memories

A GoPro is the perfect gift for the adventurous men in your life. These small, lightweight cameras are wearable and mountable to shoot action photos and videos for a lifetime of memories. If you have a sportsman or outdoorsman in your family, the GoPro is a great gift to help them film their next big catch or back country adventure. Starting at $299, GoPros are available at Divers Direct located at 535 Greene Street in Key West. Open Monday – Thursday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

For the Adventurous

Help your guy try something he’s always wanted to do by buying him lessons to try wakeboarding or kiteboarding. Keys Cable and the oTHErside Adventure Park is the Southernmost cable wake park in the United States offering rentals, coaching and passes to try these fun pastimes. This experience is also one the whole family can enjoy.   Open 7 days a week from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Located on Grassy Key, call (305) 414-8245 for rates or appointments.

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Green Egg

The best gift I have ever given my husband was a Green Egg for his 40th birthday. He was dying to buy a Green Egg and after our old grill rusted out, I splurged for this funny looking ceramic grill, roaster, smoker, and baker extraordinaire. The reason it has been the best gift, is that it truly is the gift that keeps on giving. Beyond the normal steaks and burgers, he’s made smoked ham injected with pure maple syrup, brisket, leg of lamb, smoked turkey, BBQ chicken, chicken wings, fire roasted pizza, smoked BBQ ribs and the list goes on. The aroma coming from our house has the neighbors mouths watering and has turned my husband into the cook in the family. I now just get to watch with a glass of wine in hand. Although I’m starting to get concerned that he may run off and join the BBQ competition circuit, these chef-like meals has made us into quite the foodies and cooking together has been fun.

Forest Tek Lumber located at 88521 Overseas Highway in Tavernier carries Green Egg’s starting at $799. They’ll deliver and if you’d like more than just the base the Egg sits in, they also make custom tables for all your grilling needs.

And don’t forget the gifts that don’t cost a thing. Plan to watch the sunset together while enjoying his favorite bottle of wine. Give him a kind compliment or note to let him know how much you love him. Or provide a helping hand to do a chore he normally does alone.

No matter the gift, large or small, it’s the thought that counts.   Happy Holidays.