The summer of 2014, before our junior year of high school Juvol came into the retail store where I was working. He was wearing a Layton High Football t-shirt & I asked him all the basic questions about high school. You know, just trying to practice good customer service. I found out that we went to the same high school & that we were the same age in school. I didn't see him again until October of that year. I saw him in the computer lab & recognized him from the store earlier in the summer. We exchanged greetings & that was it. Then in December of 2014 our mutual friend set us up on our first date & the rest is history.
We dated the rest of our junior & senior year. I cheered him on during football, rugby & wrestling seasons. He cheered me on as he survived two drill team seasons & celebrated my DECA victories with me. We had the best & biggest group of mutual friends. Every weekend was so much fun. Juvol & I both loved to dance & always took every opportunity to break it down on the dance floor. In 2016 after graduation Juvol served a two year mission in New Zealand for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I traveled & attended one semester of college at Utah State University. After my first semester I also served a mission for our church in the Eastern Caribbean. When I finished my mission I worked hard & enrolled in school again. Juvol returned home in October 2018. A few days after he came home I went over to his house. We sat on his couch & just talked for two hours. We swapped stories & experiences & I just felt the most peaceful feeling. Not a head over heels, school girl kind of love but a deep, mature love that just made my heart so happy.
Juvol is the kindest, most Christlike man I've ever met. He would give the shirt off his back to any stranger on the street. Seriously. He is thoughtful, gentle & patient. He has a quick wit & killer good looks. He loves Jesus Christ & is an amazing example to me. We balance each other so well & I love that we are able to have fun doing the simplest things.
Juvol first took me to dinner at the sushi restaurant where we had our first real sit down date. After dinner, he then took me to a beautiful park in our hometown. The park is across the street from the high school we both attended. We were both super involved with extracurriculars in school & many events were held in this park. The football field he played on & I danced on is across the street. One of our first dates was feeding the ducks at the duck pond. We would have little picnics on the grass for cheap dates there too. I was positive he was proposing that night somewhere in the park but then he took a little detour that totally threw me off.
In one section of the park, the city sets up hundreds of holiday lights. Juvol & I have always loved driving through the lights belting our our favorite Christmas songs. All the trees are wrapped with lights, pretty lighted archways & hundreds of mechanical animals all lit up in lights. I thought we were going to get out of the car, walk around the lights & our families would be waiting for us under one of the arch ways but I was wrong. We stayed in the car & drove around the lights.
Then we parked the car by the pond at the park, got out and walked along the path that goes through the park. As we walked we talked about all the little memories we have there. We got to the bridge that goes over the river & the whole bridge & following path was lit up with luminaries and rose petals. The luminary path lead to a gazebo that had rose petals & lit lanterns in it. As we got to the gazebo I noticed the prettiest bouquet of flowers. The low lit lanterns in the gazebo were perfect. There was just enough light to see each other, yet it was dark, private & intimate. After he proposed & we did our cry, hug, laugh, kiss thing, then we walked back down the path & I said, "wait, are there people here?" I thought it would be my mom & maybe my little sister. He held my hand up & screamed "SHE SAID YES!" & a roar of family members started cheering. I was so surprised & touched that all our family would come, wait & hide in the dark in the FREEZING 20 degree cold weather. It was all so perfect! The set up was beautiful. I loved our private, intimate moment & then I loved being surprised by our family. Juvol & our families worked together to make the night so beautiful. It was perfect.
Now we are about a month out from our wedding & it has been the craziest experience. I love Juvol so much & I am so excited to marry him on June 21st!
To see pictures from our proposal, check out this link: https://howtheyasked.com/alexis-and-juvol/
Engagement Photos taken at the Great Salt Lake
by Kylee Olivia Photography
My favorite season has always been fall because I love being able to layer. I always feel so much more put together. I'm so excited this 90's trend (an undershirt & tank top) has stuck around for a while. Peekaboo Chic has the best undershirts because they only go half way down your torso. They are perfect for summer so you can have that layered look without actually having to wear more clothing. Check out this tee & more options HERE!!
Are you tired of investing in good swimwear only for it to fade & barely get you through the summer?? I've teamed up with Rad Swim to bring you my favorite tips for keeping my swimwear looking amazing for YEARS! Good swimwear in an investment & to make them last as long as possible, it's important to care for them properly.
Rad Swim says, "for suit care, our suits require only hand rinsing in cool water after each use and hanging to dry. We discourage using detergents, washers, and dryers! All of these things can potentially ruin the suit." I totally agree! This is how my mom taught me to wash my swimsuits when I was little. I ring them out in the sink & hang them to dry.
Shape your Suits
This is a tip you can use for swimwear as well as your bras. Especially if they have padding. After you wash out your swimwear & ring all the water out, smooth out the fabric, shape the padding & hang them to dry. Try to avoid any wrinkles. This will help the suit look nice the next time you go to wear it & will give the padding of your suit extra life. Avoid the dryer at ALL costs.
Machine Wash with Caution
I get it, some people mentally need to wash their suits. Sometimes it's even necessary depending on how much chlorine is in the pool or how gross the water is. You might even spill something on the suit & you have to wash it. If you trust your washer's "hand wash" setting you can wash your suit in the washer with a tiny bit of detergent & hang to dry. If not, you can fill your sink or a small bucket with water & add a tablespoon of detergent. Rinse all the soap out & hang to dry.
If you are anything like me, you DO NOT have time to get glam every morning. I could definitely make more time to get ready but the truth is that I just love my bed way too much to not get every once of sleep I can get. Over the years between having 15 minutes to get ready after early morning cheer or drill team practice, serving a mission, to having a 8-5 job & being a student, I have picked up a few little hacks for looking chic & glam in 20 minutes or less.
Up Do Glam
Don't underestimate the power of an updo. My go-to's are a sleek low bun, or a high messy bun with a hair scarf. Experiment & find out what look you love most.
It's amazing how the tiniest details make the biggest difference. Accessories can transform your look! I recommend having a classic pair of silver earrings, gold earrings, a few dainty rings & some dainty short necklaces or chokers. Throwing on these pieces as you run out the door will help polish your look.
Pick your Power Color
Find your power color!! Mine is black or bright red. I love the way I look in these colors & that helps me feel good!! What color do you have most in your closet? Or what color do you feel most confident in? Those are a few good questions you can ask yourself to start you in the right direction.
Contour & Highlight
I always feel better with a little bit of bronzer!! Applying it in the right way will help you GLOW!! If you don't wear bronzer, go buy some & watch some YouTube tutorials. I promise, you'll never be the same!! I love wearing a little bit of shimmery highlight on my cheekbones & under my eyes. It helps your skin look healthy & when lightly applied under your eyes, it helps hide dark circles. I've been doing it since 6th grade NO JOKE. That was even before highlight was a thing. I would brush a little bit of ivory eyeshadow in my face & BAM, transformed.
I have oily skin so I have usually been shy with my moisturizer in the morning before I apply my makeup. However, I have started to apply THIS moisturizer before I do my makeup & it has made all the difference in how my skin looks under my makeup.
Having your nails done just makes you feel like you've got your life together. Dip powder nails have been my recent obsession. I can go over a month with my nails still looking FLYYYY! However if you don't have the time or money to go to the nail salon, invest in a light & gel polishes. I've been doing my own gel nails since I was in high school & it is amazing!
Daily Routines & Affirmations
Your mind will believe what you tell it to. SO BE YOUR BIGGEST HYPE GIRL!!! Look up affirmations you need to hear on Google such as "body positive affirmations", "productivity affirmations", and so forth. I promise you will be able to feel the difference!
I hope you enjoyed these tips! Let me know what you think in the comments!
No significant other? No problem. Here are some things you can do to have the best Valentine's Day yet!
For your Future Self
Spend some time doing things to help our your future self. My mom always tells me, "Do it for your future self!" Things like laundry, tidying up your space, making your bed. Spend a day reducing stress in your life & home with these little tasks. It's all in your attitude. If you think "I can't believe I'm cleaning on Valentine's Day" you are going to hate your life. However if you change your outlook & do it FOR YOU because you can, not because you have to, it will make the night so relaxing and enjoyable.
Mind, Body, Soul
Spend the day doing things for your mind, body & soul. For me this would look like watching a documentary on something I'm passionate about (mind), going to the gym (body), & having a set hour for personal worship (soul).
Spa Night at Home
Take time to do the parts of your selfcare routine that often get neglected. This might me doing your eyebrows, doing your nails, taking a bath, doing a face mask, whatever it is make sure you RELAX.
Plan a Girls Night
Put all your girl gang in a group message & plan a girls night. Go to dinner, see a movie, it doesn't even have to be a big deal. Just plan something & go live a little!!
Be "Extra" for Once
What ever "extra" means to you, GO DO IT!!! Splurge on something. Get all glam & go dancing. Book a massage or a mani/pedi. Do something that you normally wouldn't do. You work hard! Treat yourself.
I hope these ideas are helpful for you this Valentine's season. Let me know what idea you like best & if you have any ideas to add to the list!!
SNEAKER QUEENS!! I have a few tips for ya! I always get questions about my shoes, especially when it comes to sneakers. Here are my favorite tricks:
If you have smaller feet (size 7 & down), shop in the kids section! The shoes are just as cool & the price tags are even cooler. To my gals with bigger feet, shop in the men’s clearance section!! Without fail I always find a steal of a deal when I do this. If you are buying the shoes to actually work out in, make sure they are your size. However if you are just buying them to wear around town you can size up, as long as they don’t look ridiculous. I wear a size 9 in women’s but can usually get away with a size 10 or 10.5 in mens!!
Shop the Outlets
Outlets are the perfect place to buy marked down sneakers. My most unique shoes have been purchased at outlets. Sometimes if there is a small mistake on the shoe they will go straight to the outlets before even hitting the shelves. I once got a brand new pair of white, high top Chuck Taylors at an Outlet in San Diego for $15 because the logo was printed on a little crooked. At first glance you can't even tell but they couldn't sell them full price in a typical store.
Ross, TJ Maxx, Marshall's... WHAT AMAZING PLACES!! All of my favorite boots & sneakers are from stores like these. It's always hit or miss so you can't count on finding things but you find the gems when you least expect it.
Yes, yes... thrift store shoes can be super gross. I KNOW. I mainly find boots at thrift stores but every once & awhile I come across a mint pair of converse or nikes & I do a little happy dance. Trust me it's happened. My mom & Juvol are witnesses.
Those are a few little tips for upping your shoe game on a budget. Was this post helpful? Let me know in the comments!
This past summer was the best summer of my life!! There was always something to do & always somewhere to go. It started getting cold & BAM the fun was over. Juvol & I have conflicting schedules. I go to school in the morning & work in the afternoons. Right when I am off work, his shifts start. We usually can squeeze in a little lunch date but sometimes we settle FaceTime when he gets off work. We were having the hardest time coming up with date ideas because it is so freaking cold outside, but we also don't want to spend major bucks when we go out. I did some digging & came up with this list of winter date ideas for when you want to go have some fun out of the house. The prices for each date vary. Don't have a date?? Grab your girl gang & go have some fun with these activities!!
In the comments tell me your favorite winter date ideas!!
1. Do you believe that fashion expresses who we truly are? If so why?
To me fashion isn't personal, it is about other people. It's about designers, industry standards, artwork & trends. Personal style is where fashion gets intimate. Your own personal style is the way you are able to take trends & labels to make them your own. I do think that fashion helps people express themselves. Expression is defined as making known one's thoughts or feelings & when I put together outfits, I love how I look in them & how they make me feel. That right there is expression.
2. What impact have you seen fashion have in people’s lives?
Fashion plays such a big role in confidence. When people look good, they feel good, & their productivity levels sky rocket. However, I am a firm believer that confidence is based on your level of self love. A good outfit doesn't replace genuine love for body, mind & soul.
3. How has fashion impacted your life?
Fashion & personal style has always been a creative outfit for me. I love taking every day basics & making them my own. I also love rocking trendy, off the wall styles. Fashion has helped me express my creativity & has helped me not care what others think of me. My love for fashion has also helped introduce me to other creative fields like photography, graphic design, interior design, social media strategy, content creation & art history. I love experimenting in each of these fields & developing new networks of friends & professional colleges.
4. For those that really take it as expression, for those who feel uncomfortable about it, what words of advice would you have to help others not be afraid or judgmental of fashion and how one expresses themself?
You do you!! You can't live your life trying to make others happy! You are the only one who knows your comfort level, what makes you happy & what makes you feel confident.
The past year I have taken a step back from my blog & used this site mainly as a store for my artwork. It has been an amazing learning experience! I've learned so much but I'm ready to bring back "THE BLOG" full swing! I've worked hard over the past year to create killer content for Instagram & other online platforms but I don't own those platforms & they could all be gone in a blink of an eye. This next year I want to work hard to create a Lexie Faith community here on this site & have it be a creative hub!
What are some things you want to learn? Questions you have for me? Ask away in the comments!!
When I was on my mission, serving on the island of Sint Maarten there was a member there named Sister Lumene who would go out teaching with us SERIOUSLY every day. She is so amazing, diligent & happy. She has had some hard things happen in her life & has gracefully overcome those trials. She is such an example to me. Both of her sons live in America & her husband passed away last Christmas. Mother's Day was coming up & I wanted to get her something special & meaningful to make the holiday special for her. I came up with the idea to paint a Book of Mormon cover for her.
After that my companion wanted one & then all the sisters in the mission. I painted one for the Sister I trained & had it on her bed for her when she arrived on the island. I grew to love The Book of Mormon so much on my mission & I knew it was special to each one of the Sisters too. That's why painting them was so fun.
I love being able to personalize journals for people to fill with heartful, sacred memories. I knew when I got home that I wanted to start selling the painted Books of Mormon too, it just took me a while to launch the product. However, IT'S HERE NOW! You can order yours today!
How do you use media, and what are the effects it has on you?
I wake up every morning to the alarm on my phone & the last thing I do each night before falling asleep is reset the alarm on my phone for the next day. I am surrounded by media from the second I wake up, till the time I fall asleep. As I get ready in the morning, I play a religious devotional on my phone. Then I listen to music in my car on the way to work, where I then spend all day on the computer. After work I either go teach dance classes, where I use my phone to play music, or I go to school where I am on a computer the whole time. For the dance classes I teach, I spend hours listening to music & watching dance videos. The more music I listen to, the more ideas I get for choreography and different dance concepts. Then as I choreograph I have to listen to the song over & over again to make sure the timing is right & to more fully understand the musicality.
I also paint commissioned paintings so while I am working on my paintings I usually listen to documentaries or shows on Netflix. I love movies so I try to pick things that I can listen to mindlessly & not have to watch. I really need to start listening to podcasts because I’ve just about made it through all the documentaries on Netflix and Amazon Prime.
As for actually socializing with my social media, I mostly socialize with strangers. I love painting because of the people I am able to connect to. Clients are able to find me through social media & my website. Since every order is custom, each order has a person & their story behind it. Some orders are for young adults that are starting new adventures in college, or moving to a different country. Some are for people in mourning & I always cry as I read their emails. Each story is different & I wouldn’t be able to reach as many people if it wasn’t through media.
When I am with friends & family, I am always conscious to keep my phone put away. I love taking pictures & filming video, so I always carry my camera with me instead of taking them with my phone. The content is better quality anyway. Then I edit the pictures on my own time, when I am not with people. I hate being in a room full of people where everyone is on their phones. I like watching movies in a group, or even play video games but the difference is we are all using the media together in unity. I’ve also noticed that when I’m with my friends & we are all on our phones we tend to gossip more. We see pictures that remind us of a rumor going around or we talk about about how the people we went to high school with have gone “down hill” as we watch their snapchats. The more we are doing together, the less we are talking about others & bringing negativity into our lives.
Along with photography, I’ve always loved fashion. Growing up my mom always told me that it takes about 7 years for all the trends from New York Fashion Week to hit Utah. That’s not so much the case anymore. My sophomore year of high school was the first year New York Fashion Week was live streamed. I watched it in all my classes. Gone are the days when you have to wait for the next magazine to come out or wait every six months for fashion week. All the top fashion magazines release articles on their websites daily & Instagram has become a Mecca for creative inspiration & recreation. Normally I am pretty good with coming up with my own outfit ideas, date ideas, color schemes for family pictures, & summer bucket list ideas but if I ever need a bit of inspiration I go straight to Pinterest.
I didn’t realize how much media affects my actions until the Royal Wedding a few weeks ago. I have been so busy with school & work that I honestly didn’t care about Megan & Harry. My cousin invited me to brunch at her house to watch the wedding. I went for brunch & then left before the wedding started to study before heading to work. When I got home that night I found myself loading up my wedding board on Pinterest for at least an hour. Then my mom & I were talking about my pins & locations for my future reception. I don’t even have a fiance, why am I planning my wedding? Now I realize that the pictures & videos I watch influence my outfit choices, my conversations & what I spend my time thinking about. I over analyze a lot, so there is always a lot of thinking.
I am pretty cheap when it comes to buying clothes & I am a fan of the thrift store. Trends, pop culture & media don’t have an effect on how I spend my money but it does influence what I think is cool. My brother on the other hand, he will buy name brand things, full priced, right when they come out. We are both on trend & well dressed but we just have a different way of doing things.
Media has also influenced the way I treat the people in my life. Sometimes I see things that motivate me to serve my family, help me to support them, or give me ideas on how to do something thoughtful. Other times it has encouraged my negative attitudes towards my family members, political ideas, groups of people, and teenage gossip.
I love how mass media helps us spread important messages & because of technology, we can do it so rapidly. I do think at times it can be toxic so I’ve had to set guidelines for myself. I’ve deleted twitter because I get offended so easily. I set timers on my phone when I am on social media. When I watch videos, movies or shows, I think, “would my mom watch this?” I have also followed lots of inspirational speakers & religious leaders on my Instagram & YouTube so that when I am mindlessly scrolling, I am seeing inspiring, important messages.
CONNECT with those around you. This week as I traveled I tried to be patient. I tried to connect with my family when I was with them. I am usually good at keeping my phone in my bag but I made an extra effort this week. When I went into the city alone I had a goal to connect with at least one person everywhere I went. It’s amazing how Heavenly Father helps us reach specific goals. Each museum I went to I was able to connect with people & have meaningful conversations about religion, art & photography. Then as I was walking I met a family from Utah. As the mom walked out she handed me money for dinner & was thankful that I had stopped to talk to them.
I would love to hear from you!! Tell me in the comments or a recent experience where you've been able to connect with someone!!
Lexie is the name, thrifting is the game. I have loved thrift shopping ever since I was a little girl. There is a little thrift shop in Idaho that I would go to with my grandpa & I would always find the most enchanting treasures. I have always believed that style isn't about how expensive your clothes are, or if they are name brand. Style is about how you can put things together to express yourself. I found this cute little denim dress at the Goodwill a few weeks ago. I am going to be doing a thrift store vlog soon on my YouTube channel so make sure you go subscribe so you don't miss the video. Tell me in the comments what your favorite thrift store is!!
It's National Gun Violence Awareness Day.
Awareness, communication, understanding & love is what we need.
I am not here to tell you my political views because no one wants to hear that. I just know that the more we try to listen & respect each other, the more we can change for good. Listen to people's life stories, their experiences. REAL people. Don't just focus on what you've heard from others or on statistics. We humans gotta stick together. God bless the USA. That is my two cents. Have a wonderful weekend filled with love, family & adventure.
This post is a reply to THIS video! I am taking a media class right now & took a poll on my Instagram stories to see if you guys would be interested in reading my papers for the class. 78% of you voted yes. So here is my first post in this little summer series:
"Turk’s video is engaging. This media stimulates human reflection & self evaluation. As I watched the video I noticed myself thinking, “yep, yep, I’ve done that, yep.” I do admit I have stared at a blank phone screen to avoid interacting a time or two. I have also been in a room full of people where no one is socializing because of technology. However, I started to think about my life experiences & how technology has influenced me as a 90’s baby. Personally I feel I am really good at managing my technical devices. I feel I use my devices & the media on them for good as much as possible.
First of all, I am on my phone a lot but it is never for games. I’m not hating on the gamers out there but it’s just not my thing. I use my phone mostly for scheduling (all hail google calendar), emails, texting important information, photo editing & dun dun dun… Instagram.
Instagram has, believe it or not, played a large role in my life (insert eye roll here). I’ve been able to develop my photography skills, develop an editing style & put my creative projects out for others to see through this social media platform. Instagram has helped me become a successful freelancer. I paint commissions & teach private dance lessons. I am a freelance choreographer, freelance photographer & a freelance graphic designer. I’ve never had to advertise, all my clients have come through Instagram & word of mouth. I agree with Turk when he says we “edit & exaggerate” on social media & our captions have to be in “perfect order”. Then he asks, “Is anyone even listening?” I mean this in the most humble way, but I know that people care about my story & they genuinely like what I post. Over the past two years as I’ve posted high quality photos & shared my life experiences, people react. Note, I share the good, the bad & the ugly. I’ve received hundreds of direct messages with people thanking me for sharing; How it helped them through a hard time, gave them hope, or how my embarrassing moment made their day. I’ve even had random strangers come up to me at the movie theatre, grocery store & the moms of girls I teach dance to say that a specific post helped them or someone close to them. From there we were able to continue the discussion, learn from one another & develop a relationship. That to me, is pretty amazing.
I do see the downfalls of having technology all around us. Yesterday as I was leaving the dance studio where I teach, I passed all the moms in the hallway waiting to pick up their daughters. Some of the moms had their other little kids as company. All the moms were on their phones & all the little kids were playing on tablets. If I am not aware, I will stay on my phone for hours, wasting a lot of time. When I am at home, the first thing I do is plug my phone into the charger and I leave it there. By plugging my phone in, I prevent myself from wasting any time. If someone really needs me, they will call & I’ll be able to hear it. When I am at work, school or doing homework I put my phone in my bag on airplane mode or on silent.
I don’t feel like I disagree with anything in Turk’s video. My opinion is that this can be a problem for a lot of people in society but I also feel like it is circumstantial. There are very few things & topics you can whitewash as being “bad” or “good”. Media & technology is not one of them."
Do you agree? Do you disagree? Please leave a respectful response in the comments. I would love to hear your view on this topic!!
The past two years have been HARD. I keep making choices that I feel like have been guided by God & then my life flips upside down. WHY? Why would Heavenly Father send me to Utah State to have the worst experience ever? Why would he send a category 5 hurricane to the smallest island ever & destroy everyone's lives? Why would he send me on a mission that I loved with my whole heart to get a brain injury & have to come home? Why did I have to experience crippling anxiety & post-traumatic stress? Why did all my hard work not pay off? Why is this all happening in what is supposed to be the most fun & free time of my life?
Some of those questions I've asked have been answered & some have not. Looking back it's all a blur but I know that I am now more Christlike & isn't that the ultimate goal? To be like Him! How can we become perfect, pristine diamonds without pressure, trials & the refiners fire? In the end the "why" doesn't really matter. I am so grateful for everything that has happened because I know it was apart of Heavenly Father's plan for me. I don't love the trials but I love the person I have become because of these experiences. I love Heavenly Father & fully trust him because of the person I am becoming.
One quote that has had immense power in my life is, "Whether you say you can or you can't, you are right." I have learned & am continuing to learn every day that (humble) confidence is key. I don't have time for doubt or to be afraid. This confidence has come from faith in my Savior Jesus Christ. I will never be enough, I will never be perfect, but through him, I can do all things.
It pains me when I see women of all ages mentioning that they have no beauty, aren't skinny enough, don't have enough muscle, are ugly, are not divine. NEWS FLASH! You don't determine your worth or your divinity. You are priceless & will always be priceless. We are all children of God who has made us in his unique & beautiful image. That fact right there proves your worth, your beauty, and how loved you are!
If confidence in your unique beauty is something you struggle with, change. Change can be hard & sometimes painful but it is beautiful. Spend time in the scriptures, surround yourself with beautiful people & people who have beautiful souls, reach out to family, start to understand your flaws & turn them into strengths, take care of the body & the machine that God has blessed you with, deepen your relationship with Christ & ask him for help to understand who you truly are.
Sint Maarten is a tiny island that has a BIG place in my heart. The culture, the scenery & the local people are beautiful and so amazing. Sint Maarten is known as "The Friendly Island" & you will feel their loving, humble & friendly attitude from the first moments you are there. Living on this island was a dream & I will treasure the memories I made there forever! Hurricane Irma took it's toll on the island but it is safe & welcoming tourism this summer. It's the perfect time to take a trip!
Sint Maarten, Netherland Antilles
18.04 °N, -63.06 °E
When To Go:
Tourist Season: December 1- May 30
Hurricane Season is June 1- November 30
December to May is the prime time to visit the island. Weather is steady. Hot & tropical but not miserable. There is also less rain & there aren't any storms. The last time I visited the island we went the first week of February. The weather was perfect!
After the hurricane, every hotel on the island closed it's doors. The only hotel currently open is The Atrium in Simpson Bay. It is a beautiful hotel, right on the beach & in walking distance to grocery stores & fun restaurants. The island is slowly being rebuilt & more hotels will soon be open. My suggestion is to rent through Airbnb. Ask for current, post hurricane pictures to ensure the quality. We stayed in an Airbnb on our recent trip & it was a great experience. I loved being able to have a kitchen!
Anywhere on the island is a great location because it is so small & everything is close together but my recommendation for first time visitors is to stay in Cupecoy, Simpsons Bay, Philipsburg, or Pointe Blanche. These are all on the Dutch side of the island.
There are so many amazing beaches on this island. Sint Maarten is famous for the airplane beach named Maho Beach. There is a fun bar right next to the beach & my all time favorite Taco Restaurant, Taco Macho.
Kimsha Beach is in Simpsons Bay. It's the beach that The Atrium Hotel is on. My favorite restaurant, The Green House is on that beach as well. My favorite things on the menu are the Bang Bang Sliders & don't forget to get a pina colada!
Mullet Beach is in Cupecoy. It is beautiful & in a beautiful area right on the golf course. The waves are pretty big. I love this beach & never felt unsafe but I don't recommend it to anyone who can't swim or has little kids. This beach is a prime skim boarding location though!
Philipsburg Beach is wonderful. There is a fun boardwalk lined with fun shops and authentic food from around the world. This is where the cruise ships port. The water is the most unreal shade of blue & is crystal clear.
The French side of the island has a few nude beaches so if that's your thing, go for it! If you want to read about my experience on a nude beach, check out this Instagram post haha!
What to do:
If you are cruising & you want to experience the whole island in just a few hours, I suggest taking an ATV or Jeep tour around the island. When I lived there, I loved being able to drive around & see the beauty of the island. When I went back with my mom we took an ATV tour & it was so fun.
Shopping in Marigot was one of my favorite things to do when I lived in Sint Maarten. Marigot is on the French side. My favorite shops in Marigot are Promod, Jennyfer's, Pimkie & then there's a men's store called Celio. There is a French bakery on every corner. So much of the French side got destroyed but Marigot is by far the most rebuilt. Go shopping & eat some crepes by the marina.
Philipsburg is another stellar place to spend your day. Between Front Street, Back Street & Old Street there is plenty of shopping. There are lots of spots to buy souvenirs, fine Caribbean jewelry, diamonds & gems & designer stores like Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Lacoste & Alex & Ani. For lunch & dinner head to the boardwalk by the ocean.
What to Eat:
While we are on the topic of Philipsburg, there so many cute little restaurants on the boardwalk. I love Antione's, & the Peruvian restaurant next to it. If are in the mood for some American food go to the Hard Rock Café. My girl Valerie works there & she is an amazing server! Ask for her!
If you are spending time at Maho Beach watching the planes & jumping in the big waves, go to the Mexican Restaurant to your left. It's called Taco Macho. The burritos are tiny but the tacos are so good. My order is 2 ground beef tacos & 1 shrimp taco.
There is a bar on every corner & more alcohol than is even imaginable. Party hardy if that's your style but if it's not or you're underage, treat yourself to virgin pina colodas all day & yummy cherry cokes (coke with grenadine).
One word. SHWARMA. Shwarma is literally the best thing I've ever eaten & the best Shwarma is at Abu Ghazi in Simpsons Bay.
Comment, tag me, or email me when you visit the island! I would love to see your adventures in this beautiful place!
Today I am bringing you an amazing list of road trip tips with the help of the QUEEN of road trips. My aunt @circekristine has been on road trips across the country with her family & takes a road trip every time her kids have a break from school. Use these suggestions from Circe & blend them with your own awesome style. Are you road trip royalty yourself? Comment & tell us your favorite tips!
#1 My biggest tip is snacks, snacks, snacks. I bring a giant bin of snacks. It just prevents everyone from getting hangry. Drinks, too.
#2 Tip: leave as early in the morning as you can. I like to leave at 2:30 am. You can get where you're going SO much faster. And by the time you're fully cognizant, you're 4 hours into the trip. Plus, it gives you wiggle room to make fun stops.
#3 Which brings me to my next point: make fun stops. Buy trinkets. Take pictures.
#4 Make sure you're staying awake. Monitor yourself. You cannot afford to doze off, so you have to know yourself. Don't take risks. Drink caffeine. Crank the music.
#5 Whenever we stop for a hike or outing or whatever, I let everyone choose like three snacks and a drink out of the bin. Cheese sticks, crackers, cookies, chips, nuts, a big variety.
#6 The drive is part of the trip, so start feeling celebratory as soon as, or even before, you start out. I even like to do something special the night before, like go out to dinner. Make sure you're prepared enough to be able to relax right before you leave. Pack early, or whatever it takes.
#7 On the flip side, if you're not ready to go, who cares? Throw some stuff in a bag and go. You can buy whatever you forget. Just make sure you have plenty of jackets and a swimsuit. You never know!
#8 Lastly, music is key. You have to have a trip anthem and a good playlist. That way, you can recall your fond memories of the trip every time you hear those songs in the future.
Swimsuit c/o: Rad Swim
I love going to the beach & making sure you have a beach bag is essential. These are the things that I bring with me. I hate carrying around things I don't need to so this is simply the essentials. No fluff, I truly use everything on this list. I am a list maker. It keeps me sane, organized & helps me feel productive. I've made a free printable Beach Bag Checklist that you can use for your next beach trip.
There are so many things in life that we simply get no choice, or say over. The families we are born into, the bodies we are given, the blessings we receive, the trials in our lives & the choices of those around us. I did not choose the body that I struggled to appreciate all of my teenage years. I did not choose my skin that has been bumpy & red since 2nd grade. I did not choose my wild, curly, course hair either.
People talk to me about the way my hair looks every single day. I won best hair in 9th grade. It's what I am known for. I've heard people describe me as, "You know Lexie Dopp, the one with the big hair." I love my hair, but it hasn't always been that way. For majority of my life I wished for stick straight hair. Hair that was soft, silky & shined.
TRUE STORY!! A past boyfriend & I were at a football game & he went to run his fingers through my hair & his hands got stuck. HIS HANDS GOT STUCK, WHAT?! After years of trying products, watching YouTube tutorials & trying to embrace my hair, I finally figured it out the summer of my junior year of high school. I love my hair now & think of my crazy mop as a blessing. However, it does not define me. What defines me is my choice of words, the way I spend my day, the service I render, and the way I treat other people. I am not my hair, I am not my body, and neither are you.
What are your strengths, what makes you happy, how do you serve & love others? You are divine & your worth comes from God. Never, ever forget it!
Every road trip needs the perfect playlist! The Dopp Family is on the road today & this is the playlist we will be listening to in between sessions of LDS General Conference! Check out our favorite tunes!
Top c/o Stay Warm in Style
I went from getting no orders and having zero creativity, to booming with orders and being filled with so many wonderful, creative ideas. This all came when I set short term goals for myself. Mid way through February I realized I wanted more for my business. There were things I wasn't doing but, accomplishing them all at once overwhelmed me. I decided to set some goals for the rest of February & have a dead line for each goal. By the end of the month, I had accomplished all the goals I had set for myself & felt so accomplished & successful.
Then the first week of March, I started to get more orders. Each time I logged on my email I had so many new orders. I was blown away. I learned on my LDS mission the importance of setting short term goals, but the past few weeks I have figured out how to transfer that skill I had learned into my professional life & personal life.
Below there is a FREE copy of the sheet I use to make my monthly goals. As the new month approaches, I invite you to use this sheet to set your monthly goals, set deadlines & watch as the Lord helps you accomplish these goals. HERE is the link to the template.
A quote I found in December is, "rejection is redirection". Those three words helped me process my recent trials. This past week I've been thinking about the blessings that have come every time God redirected my life. Particularly the blessings I've received in the past six months. Here's just a few:
I've been able to recover from my injury physically as well as recovering from the toll it took on me emotionally. I've developed a deeper love for myself & have been able to better understand how my Heavenly Father sees me. That developed self love & understanding of my divine nature is something I am so grateful for. I've developed so many new, meaningful friendships. I've also been able to spend a lot of time with my brother. We've always been tight, but it's a completely new relationship. I've been able to serve in my community & at church. I have seen so much growth in myself from those opportunities. They have tested me & stretched me in new ways. Last but not least, I have also been able to connect with so many of YOU! The emails & direct messages I get from you bring me to tears as I read about your stories, trials & successes. This is just a handful of ways the Lord has blessed my life recently.
NOW DON'T MISUNDERSTAND! These blessings have been the cracks that filled my broken heart. It's taken me a long time to be able to see these blessings, but now that I see them, I will never be able to ignore them again. They are woven into my trial & this chapter of my life.
I invite you to think back to hard times in your life & look for the blessings from the Lord. Record them, write them down, remember them & treasure them.