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December 18, 2014

Eats from the Islands

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One of the best things about cruising is eating all of the things. Like, until you burst. And then eating more. The on-ship dining options were surprisingly fabulous (our favorite restaurant on the Carnival Valor was of course Scarlett’s Steakhouse…they told Scarlet the restaurant was named after her), and then each day we got to experience a different island and their specialty cuisines. Please join me and my taste buds on our foodie tour of the Southern Caribbean.

We will start each morning with our view from the ship and finish each day with a belly full of local delicacies from San Juan to St. Maarten…

San Juan, Puerto Rico

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Our port of call was San Juan and the food of choice here is Mofongo. Mofongo is a dish made of fried green plantains, which are mashed with a pilón along with broth, spices, and bacon, then served filled with veggies or one of a variety of meats (chicken, crab, shrimp, beef). So. Good.

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St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

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Start your trip off right with some Caribbean beer, aptly named “Carib,” on the beach.

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On St. Thomas, you’ll want to give Conch fritters a try. Or you can make them at home with this recipe from Brown Eyed Baker.

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At Sea

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For your fun day at sea, get your boat-eating on, starting with a room service breakfast (yes, room service is included at no additional charge!)

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Definitely enjoy fresh lobster in the dining room.

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And you can snag a different crazy cup every day. Scarlet loves this fish, and also the blowfish, disco ball, and coconut monkey that we brought home.

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And the creations at Scarlett’s Steakhouse, which is truly a world-class dining experience. The tuna tartare was beautiful and delicious.

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We had a blast at our regular table in the Lincoln dining room, with lobster bibs and all. The waiters dancing on the tables was also pretty fun.

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Barbados

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In Barbados you are going to have to eat fried flying fish. We went with a sandwich.

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Complement it with some golden apple juice. So sweet and tangy.

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St. Lucia

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In St. Lucia you should visit the rainforest, and also eat lots of banana-based sauces. Try banana barbecue sauce chicken and fish cake.

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And definitely don’t skip the fried bread.

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St. Kitts

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On St. Kitts I had my most favorite drink ever. It is called a Tingaling and it’s sort of like Sangria. It’s made by combining red wine with a Caribbean soda called Ting. So sparkly, so refreshing, so good. And the server was pretty cute too.
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On St. Kitts you may also want to try some local cuisine. The island (and it’s sister island, Nevis) is famous for goat water stew, which combines goat, breadfruit, green papaya, and dumplings in a tomato base. Yum.

St. Maarten

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On our favorite island, we spent the day relaxing on the beach and snorkeling with the fishes. But if you really want to eat a great meal with French roots or spicy Indian Creole, this is the place to do so. The flavor combinations are exciting and unlike anything you’ve tried before. Then, of course, you’ll want to purchase a bottle of guavaberry liquor so you can relive your island cocktail fantasies back home.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed your gastronomic tour of the Southern Caribbean. What foods did I miss? Cause I’m definitely planning another cruise soon… my stomach is growling.

This post was created as part of my collaboration with Carnival. As always, all of the opinions, thoughts, and ideas in this post are my own.


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December 17, 2014

Pretty Prudent Wishlist: For the Traveler

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We are saying bon voyage to our sixth annual holiday wishlists (sniff, sniff) with our favorite gifts for the traveler. This has been a year of many adventures for Jaime, Jacinda, and I, so we are especially excited to share travel essentials we love and others that we’d love to have. Let’s get started!

If you’re still stumped on gift ideas, check out our other wishlists: For the Crafter |  For the DudesFor JaimeFor Jacinda | For the Kids | Our Favorite Books for Kids |

Fight off the cold with this fleece-lined padded vest for girls from Boden.

A Map of the World: The World According to Illustrators and Storytellers makes for a colorful coffee table book for your favorite traveler. It’s a great place to start when you’re planning your next adventure.

Keep baby comfy on your winter travels with the High Performance Footmuff from Bugaboo. It works for any season and has two detachable covers - one is polyester padded for the warmer months and the other is down-filled for winter.

I have been eyeing the Rolling Carry-On from Filson for quite some time now. I prefer to travel with just a carry-on, so I think this could be a great option because it’s durable enough to handle frequent travels, but still has style.

Bring your coffee, tea, or cocktail in a Leather Traveler’s Mug from Orn Hansen.

Be inspired to travel all year long with the gorgeous Travel the World calendar from Rifle Paper Co.

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Stay warm on a camping trip with the Lumberlander Wool Blanket designed by Best Made Company and made by Pendleton Woolen Mills.

A sturdy, yet stylish, pair of waterproof Sorel boots from Zappos are great for outdoor adventures.

Jacinda loves her new Heritage Plaid Thermos by Genuine Thermos Brand that has a wonderfully classic print. Fill it up with hot cocoa on your next family campout.

When I visited Iceland my friends at Reykjavik Trading Co. sent me home with their handmade leather tags. Mine hasn’t left my bag since. Wrap up a travel gift and use these as the gift topper instead of a bow. You can order them or pick them up at Reyjkavik Outpost in Los Angeles.

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Don’t let your phone slip from your fingers by adding a Leather iPhone strap from Photojojo.

Keep your gadgets charged up with the tech version of the Swiss army knife, the Utility Charge Tool from DCI.

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Whether you’re in the woods or in a 5-star hotel, you can brew a delicious cup of coffee to remind you of home with The Voyager Brew Kit from Stumptown

Give a fellow adventurer a waterproof and insluated Outpost 2L Jacket from Poler.

If he is getting a little burly while on the road, throw in a Travel Shave Kit from The Art of Shaving into his stocking.

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Bugaboo and Storksak have collaborated to make this beautiful Leather Diaper Bag that is filled with plenty of storage, without making it feel too bulky. Along with the bag, you can always throw in a new wool baby blanket for the new mom.

A kids’ knitted beanie and scarf from Boden is a little something extra you can throw in for the upcoming winter trip.

The Privacy Pop Bed Tent comes in handy when you’re traveling with the kiddos, especially if there is a time change. It fits most standard bed sizes and helps reduce light for some easy shuteye.

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If you’re feeling crafty, give your traveler a waterproof, handmade Canvas and Leather Lunch Bag. Taking it with you camping or for a picnic in the city.

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L:A Bruket Travel Kit from Anthropologie comes complete with organic shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and soap so you can feel squeaky clean on the road.

When Jaime’s packing a travel bag, she always stores socks and underwear in one cotton drawstring bag, like these from The Made and Found, and packs another empty one to stash her dirties during the trip.

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Sew a Splash-Proof bag for toiletries or your gadgets.

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Jacinda loves how durable this Lightning Cable is from JunoPower. With its high quality design it is made to hold up twice as long as the standard lightning cable, which makes it great for holding up through frequent travels.

We are big fans of Tanner Goods in fact, last year Jaime and I both got our misters custom leather belts at their shop in Los Angeles. This year though, we’d love to treat ourselves to their Leather Camera Strap .

Mark your travels on this Cork Globe from CB2. Where do you think you want to go next?

Travel in style by dressing your phone in the beautiful Clear Rosa iPhone case from Rifle Paper Co. It has a rubber edge and strong shell to keep your phone protected, but is also so gorgeous.

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I was so thrilled when Woodsnap sent me two of my photos from my Iceland adventure printed on wood. The image quality was incredibly sharp on both of them, down to the smallest details. I find that many of my photos just stay on the computer, so it’s been such a treat to be reminded of this trip every time I see this hanging on my wall.

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Keep track of all the places you’ve visited with the Luckies of London Scratch Map. This has been a favorite travel item of ours!

Finally, you can’t go wrong treating the traveler to a new pair of V-MODA headphones. They fold up to minimize on space during travel, and have a comfortable fit for long plane flights, car rides, or train trips.

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December 16, 2014

DIY Beaded Bottle Lamp

This post was sponsored and inspired by the amazing WEMO® line of products.

Have you ever fallen in love with a lamp? I have. Many times. But fancy lamps can be so spendy! I wanted a new lamp for my living room end table, and I wanted it to have a bit of a boho vibe, with some rustic touches and a dash of turquoise. I also did not want to spend hundreds of dollars on it, so of course in true prudent fashion, I whipped one up myself. You can do it too! Watch the video above for the super simple DIY instructions.

DIY Beaded Bottle Lamp

I’m so in love with my new beaded lamp! This project cost less than $40 and took about an hour. Don’t worry, the video is not an hour long. I think I achieved my boho lighting goals, would you agree? The best part is the WEMO® LED lighting, which tops off my boho styling by emitting a warm glow that I can dim for any occasion – using my PHONE! So cool.

DIY Beaded Bottle Lamp
WEMO® is giving a whole set of their amazing products away right here on Pretty Prudent, so watch the video above, and then find out how to enter the giveaway after the jump…

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All do-it-yourself activities involve risk. None of our projects are tested for child or infant safety. Use at your own risk. Although photos may represent children using our products, these images are for entertainment only. Although the editors have made every effort to ensure accuracy, the reader remains responsible for the selection and use of tools, supplies, and methods. Obey local laws, follow manufacturers' instructions, observe safety precautions, and use common sense.

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