How to Spend 2 Days in Quebec City

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During Memorial Weekend, hubby and I spent a few days up in Quebec City. I know, I know…some of you might be thinking: “Quebec? Over Memorial Day? How un-American!” Well, just so you know, I was born in Montreal and didn’t move to the US until I was 13 and still have family north of the border. So a Canadian visit is always warranted!

This time, we decided to piggyback onto our family trip and add Quebec City so we could have alone time. I can’t believe that after all these years, this was my first time there!! I fell in love with the European feel and charm, the little side streets, the cobblestone sidewalks, and all the great French food. Oh, and the poutine! ALL the poutine!

In this post, I put together a quick guide on how to spend 2 whole days in Quebec City. You can obviously spend more time in this city but I think that you can hit all the major spots in just 48 hours.

Here is a quick guide on how to spend 2 whole days in Quebec City | So Finely Lived

Day 1 Morning – Old Quebec (Vieux-Quebec)

  • Visit Château Frontenac! I mean, this is a no-brainer. It’s the most prominent building in this entire city so you can’t miss it at all. Pictures don’t do it justice as it’s SO much bigger than you can capture on your camera. You can always try though! I also recommend coming back at night to see it in a completely different light.
Here is a quick guide on how to spend 2 whole days in Quebec City | Chateau Frontenac | So Finely Lived
So eerie at night!
  • Walk to La Citadelle de Quebec. From the bottom of the Château Frontenac, you can walk the entire length of the boardwalk towards the Citadelle. Make sure you have your walking shoes though; you’re going to be climbing lots of steps. All the walking in Quebec City is great for you though because you’re also going to eat a lot. (You’ll see!)
  • Have lunch anywhere in Old Quebec. There are countless of restaurants that you can choose from! We ate at Le Cochon Dingue, which is known for its pork sandwich. It doesn’t disappoint!
Here is a quick guide on how to spend 2 whole days in Quebec City | Old Quebec | So Finely Lived
A view on top of the stairs of one of the main streets in Old Quebec
  • If you’re like me, you’re also going to want to fit poutine in your trip any which way you can. Check out Le Chic Shack near the bottom of Château Frontenac. They put their own twist on the traditional poutine. Try it out for yourself!
  • Now that you’ll need to walk off that poutine, go towards Maison de la Littérature. It’s a reformed Gothic church turned into a modern-day library; it’s got a really cool Scandinavian-slash-Ikea feel to it. Plus, you can take some really cool pictures for your Instagram feed :P.
Here is a quick guide on how to spend 2 whole days in Quebec City | La Maison de la Litterature | So Finely Lived
This is what I posted on my own Instagram feed, @sofinelylived.

Day 1 Afternoon – Rue Saint-Jean

  • At this point in time, you might be a little tired of walking around the entire city. So why don’t you take a load off and have a few drinks? We stayed on Rue Saint-Jean and honestly, we probably could’ve spent our whole stay on this street if we wanted to! Le Bar Sacrilège has its own patio oasis, with church pews as chairs, cute mosaic tables and trees to shade you from the sun. Ninkasi St-Jean also has its own outdoor terrace. This is a great place to hang out in if you want to relax and play some games. Fou-Bar is another fun, little bar. Go here if you like to listen to  live music in a cozy bar. I think what I’m trying to say here is this: go to any bar on Rue Saint-Jean and you will enjoy it!
  • For dinner, we chose to go to Hobbit Bistro (no relation whatsoever to Lord of the Rings…sorry to disappoint!). If the pork belly dinner special is still on the menu when you go, you MUST get it! According to my husband, this falls on his Top 10 Best Meals Ever list!
  • If you’ve still got a little room left in you for dessert, head to Tutto Gelato for…you guessed it: gelato. I can never turn down ice cream or gelato!

Day 2 Morning – Day Trip Outside Quebec City

  • Before you head out for the day, you’ll need a good breakfast! If you love crepes, you might want to try out Le Billig. This place tends to fill up though, so make sure to make reservations ahead of time or be there as soon as the doors open.  You might want to pad in extra time for this too because when we went, the service was a tad slow. Just being honest! But those crepes though, mmm.
  • Drive to Montmorency Falls; it’s only a 15-minute drive from Old Quebec. Did you know that these falls are higher than Niagara Falls? Neither did I! FYI – Be prepared to walk up and down a lot of steps here as well!

Money saving tip #1: Parking at the Falls costs $12CAD. If you pass the parking lot entrance and park in the smaller lot past the light on the left, they only charge $5 there.

Money saving tip #2: Buy or make sandwiches ahead of time and eat them at the Falls. There is a big grassy area there where you can have a picnic.

Here is a quick guide on how to spend 2 whole days in Quebec City | Montmorency Falls | So Finely Lived

  • From the falls, drive over to Île d’Orléans, which is only 10 minutes away. This  island has gorgeous scenery, so many charming stone houses, wineries upon wineries, and tons of farms. It’s a nice getaway from the hustle and bustle of the Quebec City downtown area. Also, it’s much larger than we expected; over three times the size of Manhattan!
  • Stop by Vignoble Ste-Pétronille for wine samples. If it’s a nice day, buy yourself a bottle of wine and enjoy it on their terrace!
Here is a quick guide on how to spend 2 whole days in Quebec City | Vignoble Ste-Petronille | So Finely Lived
The view from the winery’s terrace. See that little white speck on the right side? Those are the Montmorency Falls!
  • In Saint-François, make a pit stop at the observatory to look back at Quebec. Again…lots of steps here! Your calves will be feeling it after your trip!
  • If you can find it, go to Érablière Boily for a quick maple syrup tour and samples. This might be the cheapest place for you to buy maple syrup products!

Day 2 Evening – Back to Old Quebec

  • Once you make it back to Quebec City, you might want to have another snack (aka poutine). I really enjoyed Poutineville because you can either customize your poutine exactly the way you want it, or stay basic and go with the classic dish. You can’t lose.
Here is a quick guide on how to spend 2 whole days in Quebec City | Poutineville | So Finely Lived
Look at this beauty!!
  • Head back into Old Quebec and wander the streets there. It’s fun to get lost around this part of town!
Here is a quick guide on how to spend 2 whole days in Quebec City | Old Quebec | So Finely Lived
BEclub Bistro in Old Quebec
  • For dinner, hubby and I really enjoyed Le Lapin Sauté. As the name suggests, everything on the menu here has lapin, meaning rabbit. Try it out even if you don’t think you’re a rabbit fan! You only live once!
Here is a quick guide on how to spend 2 whole days in Quebec City | Le Lapin Saute | So Finely Lived
God, I love the exterior of Le Lapin Saute!
  • If you’re looking for a night cap and a fun atmosphere, Bar 1608 inside the Chateau Frontenac is where it’s at! And while you’re inside, you’re definitely going to want to look around; it’s absolutely stunning! Some would even call it ornate (this was a word that my husband really wanted me to include in my post, so here you go, honey!).

Money saving tip #3: Watch out for their “shrub” drink. I kind of didn’t realize that 1) there was no alcohol in it, and 2) there was definitely vinegar in it. Blech! Don’t make the same mistake I did – don’t get all fancy and order a “cocktail” you’ve never tried before!

And there you have it! Two days have come and gone, your legs are totally sore and your tummies are completely full. That’s how I like my vacations to be! Is Quebec City on your bucket list now?

Ta-ta for now – see you next week!

Sophie

xoxo

Here is a quick guide on how to spend 2 whole days in Quebec City | So Finely Lived

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Crockpot Pasta e Fagiole Soup

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This crockpot pasta e fagiole soup is always my go-to recipe! It's the simplest recipe to make and will last you for days. | So Finely Lived

Whenever my hubby and I are in a time crunch or simply don’t have any creative ideas on what to cook for dinner, we always fall back on this amazingly delicious crockpost pasta e fagiole soup! We affectionately call this recipe “The Red Soup” because let’s face it, it’s much faster to say! I really wanted to name this post “The Best Red Soup Ever” but somehow, I don’t think it would’ve made much sense to anyone else! 😛

This crockpot pasta e fagiole soup is always my go-to recipe! It's the simplest recipe to make and will last you for days. | So Finely Lived

There are many reasons why this is our go-to soup. It’s SUPER hearty and chock-full of healthy ingredients; it’s so easy to put together, and makes a boat-load of leftovers! The prep should take you between 20-30 minutes and after that, you set it and forget it. Eight hours later, you have the best soup ever for dinner!

Another reason why I make this soup a lot is because you can change out the ingredients with whatever you already have in your fridge. We honestly never stick to the same recipe because we’ll use ingredients that we’re trying to get rid of in our fridge.

Vegetarian? You don’t need meat to make this a complete meal. Don’t like black beans? Substitute with garbanzo or white beans instead. Got leftover spinach? Use that instead of kale! You like mushrooms? Well…I think you get my gist now.

Be forewarned: this recipe makes a LOT of servings! We have a 7-qt slow cooker which is pretty large in my opinion; whenever we make this pasta e fagiole soup, our crockpot is literally filled to the brim. If you have a smaller one, you might need to adjust  and decrease some of the ingredients to make sure it all fits.

Cost Breakdown for Crockpot Pasta e Fagiole Soup

You’ll be amazed by how cheap this recipe is compared to how many meals you’ll get out of it!

  • 1 lb chicken = $6
  • 1 lb hot sausage = $6
  • 1 onion = $1
  • 1 pepper = $1
  • Carrots, bunch = $2
  • Celery, bunch = $2
  • 2 (28-oz.) cans diced tomatoes = $3
  • 1 (28-oz.) can tomato sauce = $1.50
  • 1 (16-oz.) can beans = $1
  • 1 carton beef or chicken stock = $3
  • Kale, bunch = $2
  • 1 lb pasta = $1.50

I’m not counting the spices below in my cost breakdown because I’m going to make the assumption that most people will have these at home.

  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Pepper
  • Hot sauce
  • Crushed red pepper

Total = $30

Out of 12 servings, that means it costs $2.50 for each bowl!! I mean, it doesn’t get any better than that. I knew this was a inexpensive meal to make, but after doing this cost breakdown, I’m floored (in a great way) by how cheap it is!

Directions

Start by browning your meat, whether it’s ground beef, sausage or chicken. While that’s cooking, chop your onion, red pepper, carrots, and celery and add to crock pot.

This crockpot pasta e fagiole soup is always my go-to recipe! It's the simplest recipe to make and will last you for days. | So Finely Lived

This crockpot pasta e fagiole soup is always my go-to recipe! It's the simplest recipe to make and will last you for days. | So Finely Lived

This crockpot pasta e fagiole soup is always my go-to recipe! It's the simplest recipe to make and will last you for days. | So Finely LivedThis crockpot pasta e fagiole soup is always my go-to recipe! It's the simplest recipe to make and will last you for days. | So Finely Lived

Once the meat is browned, add to the crockpot as well.

This crockpot pasta e fagiole soup is always my go-to recipe! It's the simplest recipe to make and will last you for days. | So Finely Lived

Next, mix in beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and beef (or chicken) stock.

This crockpot pasta e fagiole soup is always my go-to recipe! It's the simplest recipe to make and will last you for days. | So Finely Lived

Season with oregano, pepper, parsley, hot sauce and crushed red pepper to taste. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. Add in kale during the last 30 minutes of cooking time. If you add it in too soon, it might get too mushy.

Before serving, boil your choice of pasta according to the instructions on the box. We prefer to use ditalini because it’s small enough to complement all the other soup ingredients. Top the pasta with the pasta e fagiole soup once fully cooked.

That’s it!

What did you think? Easy enough, right?

‘Til next time,

Love,

Sophie

This crockpot pasta e fagiole soup is always my go-to recipe! It's the simplest recipe to make and will last you for days. | So Finely Lived

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Crockpot Pasta e Fagiole Soup
This crockpot pasta e fagiole soup is always my go-to recipe! It's the simplest recipe to make and will last you for days. This soup always leaves me feeling warm and healthy inside. Enjoy!
This crockpot pasta e fagiole soup is always my go-to recipe! It's the simplest recipe to make and will last you for days. | So Finely Lived
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours on low
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours on low
Servings
servings
Ingredients
This crockpot pasta e fagiole soup is always my go-to recipe! It's the simplest recipe to make and will last you for days. | So Finely Lived
Instructions
  1. Brown meat in separate pan.
  2. Chop onion, red pepper, carrots, and celery and add to crock pot.
  3. Mix in beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and beef stock.
  4. Season with oregano, pepper, parsley, hot sauce and crushed red pepper to taste.
  5. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
  6. Add in kale during the last 30 minutes of cooking time.
  7. Before serving, boil ditalini according to package instructions.
  8. Top pasta with pasta e fagiole soup.
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How I Booked My Flight to Japan for Only $45

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It's possible to fly to Japan using a total of 140,000 miles and paying $90 total (or 70,000 miles and $45 per person). Find out how I did it! | So Finely Lived

Oh. My. Gosh. We are going to Japan! WE ARE GOING TO JAPAN!!!

Excuse me while I try to temper my excitement! Hubby and I just booked our flights to Japan and as you can tell, I am super pumped. While we do a lot of smaller trips throughout the year, we try to incorporate one big vacation a year where we’re gone for at least 2 weeks. I’m here to tell you that not only did we book round-trip tickets to and from Tokyo, but that we purchased them for only $45 each! Ah-MAY-zing!!!

It's possible to fly to Japan using a total of 140,000 miles and paying $90 total (or 70,000 miles and $45 per person). Find out how I did it! | So Finely Lived

How did we do it?

Simple: Reward miles.

I use the United MileagePlus Explorer credit card for EVERYTHING. Since I love to travel so much, this card fits my lifestyle the most. This credit card typically offers bonus miles after you spend a certain amount after 3 months. You also receive double the miles whenever you purchase through United Airlines. In addition to that, you get even more bonus miles after you spend $10K within the calendar year or if you add an authorized cardholder. Plus, you also save money by receiving one free checked bag per flight.

***I think this is a good time for me to point out that this is not a sponsored post for Chase or United. This is simply me writing about how I personally save up miles for upcoming trips.***

Any time we go out to eat; whenever we go grocery shopping; every time we book a flight or hotel; ALL our purchases go on this card. To me, it’s a no-brainer to use reward credit cards because you don’t get any benefits by paying with cash. No rewards, no cash back, no miles. With all the great perks out there, it doesn’t make sense for people NOT to use a credit card. If I’m going to be paying for something, why not get a little incentive on the back end?

By taking a look at Chase’s website, they seem to have rewards credit cards for anything between different hotel chains (Hyatt, Ritz-Carlton, Marriott), airlines (Southwest, United, British Airways) and even Disney! And this is only Chase! Whatever company or brand you’re loyal to, my advice is to use their credit cards as much as possible (and by making your monthly payments on time :P) so that you can maximize your rewards.

It's possible to fly to Japan using a total of 140,000 miles and paying $90 total (or 70,000 miles and $45 per person). Find out how I did it! | So Finely Lived
Photo taken by my friend, @jakobstanley. Pretty, right?

OK, back to our booking to Japan.

It took us approximately 2 years to accumulate enough miles. Of course, the time it takes you to earn miles will depend on what your spending habits are. And if you pair this up with other reward credit cards, you might earn more cash back as well!

We could’ve cashed in our points sooner to go to South America or Eastern Europe, but we really wanted to go as far as possible. Once we built up enough points, we thought: “Ok…what is the farthest place that our miles will take us?” We desperately wanted to travel to Southeast Asia, but alas…Zika is there. Go scratch, Zika.

And that’s how we landed on Japan!

After a lot of debating, researching and pondering, we decided to pull the plug. We booked 2 tickets to Tokyo, Japan using a total of 140,000 miles and paying $90 total (or 70,000 miles and $45 per person). We are literally flying halfway across the world for less than the cost of us going out to eat! Cha-ching!

That’s how we booked our flight to Japan for only $45 each! Our trip is coming up in September and I’m so excited to do my research on the country. I’m already dreaming of all the delicious foods we’re going to eat and the onsens that we’ll hopefully get to bathe in!

It's possible to fly to Japan using a total of 140,000 miles and paying $90 total (or 70,000 miles and $45 per person). Find out how I did it! | So Finely Lived
I can’t wait to see the famous Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine in Kyoto!

There are other ways to redeem your miles: trading them in for products, gift cards, hotel stays, rental cars, etc. For us, because we value travel so much, we would rather save up our miles for flights anywhere around the world. Our last trip booked solely on miles was to Kauai, Hawaii back in 2015. Then, we spent 135,000 miles and only $22 total for that trip!

What trips have you booked with miles or points? What are you currently saving your miles for? Have you ever been to Japan?

Thanks for stopping by!
Until next time,
Sophie
xoxo

It's possible to fly to Japan using a total of 140,000 miles and paying $90 total (or 70,000 miles and $45 per person). Find out how I did it! | So Finely Lived

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The Sunshine Blogger Award

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Whaaaaaaaaaa??? I was just nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award!

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to bloggers by bloggers to those who are inspiring, creative, and who bring sunshine into the lives of their readers and fellow bloggers.

I couldn’t be more shocked and surprised to be nominated, but ultimately SO thrilled! I want to thank Heart, Soul and Whole Food for nominating me and spreading some love and sunshine my way! I enjoy reading Renee’s blog because well, I love food. All types of food. And if it’s healthy AND tasty, then you’ve won me over!

I’ve only been blogging for a few months now, so I can’t tell you how rewarding it is to know that at least one person out there has found my blog and has connected to it somehow. {Insert a million excited and happy emojis here!}

The Rules

Once nominated, the blogger is required to write a post in which they:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated them and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated them.
  • Nominate 11 other blogs and give them 11 new questions to answer. Notify your nominees.
  • List the rules and display your own version of the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post.

It’s Now Time For Q&A!

1. What made you want to start a blog?

The main reason why I started So Finely Lived is because I felt like I had so much to share around all of my travels, recipes and house projects that we do. I’ve written countless long emails to friends and family about suggestions on places to go or how we completed a certain DIY project. I thought to myself, there MUST be an easier way of doing this! I wished that I had a central repository for all the stuff that was in my brain. Digging into old emails to forward it to a friend felt like such an inefficient method and I wanted something more official. So that’s the reason why I started my blog!

This was taken at Roque Nublo in Gran Canaria. Check out my travel guide to Gran Canaria!

2. Do you plan your posts ahead of time?

I do plan my posts ahead of time. I typically write 2-3 blogs at a time and schedule to have one new post out every week. That way, I’m covered for at least a few weeks and I never have to worry about running out of topics or being behind on my schedule. I find that it’s much less stressful to plan ahead and I’m more relaxed when I write in bulk.

3. If you weren’t blogging, what else would you be doing with your time?

I can’t really remember what I used to do with my time pre-blogging! It’s now so ingrained in my day-to-day life that I’ve just managed to fit it into my routine. I guess if I wasn’t blogging, I would spend more time reading. I spent the last year reading the Harry Potter series and I haven’t been able to get into any other books after that. You know the feeling after you finish a great book or series…the sadness, the emptiness, the feeling that you’re not ready to move on yet. That was me after Harry Potter! I have less time now so I haven’t picked a new series yet but internally, I’m still mourning the end of the books.

Totally me after every book!

4. What has been the most rewarding thing for you with blogging?

My friends have been completely supportive about my blog but when a total stranger reaches out to me and gives me positive feedback, there is nothing more rewarding than that! I know I’m not out here saving lives or anything like that, but it makes me feel so good knowing that I’ve helped someone pick a place to travel to or that I validated someone’s thoughts on possibly having a destination wedding. The other day, I received an email from someone asking for advice about having a destination wedding. She said that she found me on Pinterest, then read my blog and checked out my Instagram. That made my week!!! It means that with all of my efforts with publishing a new blog post on a regular basis and focusing on my social media presence, something is working and someone has found my stuff to be useful! I’ll take it! 🙂

5. What goals outside of blogging do you have?

I want to improve the quality of the pictures that I post on Instagram so I’m learning to take better pictures. I’m reading a lot of photographers’ blogs and watching lots of YouTube videos so I can up my game! What I’d really love to do better is to include myself in the pictures that I take. It’s so tough though when you have a husband who gives you weird and embarrassed looks when you try and pose by yourself. Does anyone else go through the same thing??

6. What is the best way to unwind after a long day?

Wine! Wine, wine and oh, more wine.

7. What other authors and/or bloggers inspire you?

The Nurse Sonja and Jacqueline Pereda have been my main sources of inspiration to start my blog, stop doubting myself and to CRUSH IT each and every day. They are the epitome of hard working bad-ass chicks who don’t care what society thinks. They’re funny, witty, smart, successful, and down to earth. They motivate me to get off my ass and to do what I want to do. So, thank you girls!! It also helps that they’re my best friends :).

8. Where are you on a typical Friday night?

I’m most likely hanging out on the couch in our living room, catching up on shows that we missed throughout the week. There’s nothing better than snuggling under a blanket with my hubby and know that we don’t have to do anything that night!

9. Have you created any products or e-books for your blog yet?

I haven’t. I don’t think I’m quite there yet but this is definitely something that is on my radar. I’m not too sure what I would put in the e-books though!

10. Is there anything you do to get inspired when it comes to creating content?

I have brainstormed over 70 different topics that I can write about based on my past experiences. When I sit down to write, I go through my list, then I scroll through all of the pictures that I’ve taken. From there, something will usually grab my attention and will inspire me to write about it.

11. What is your absolute favorite dessert of all time?

This one is REALLY difficult. I don’t know that I have an all-time favorite one, but I know I can never say no to crème brûlée!

There it is! I hope that you’ve all learned a little bit more about me. Now it’s time for me to nominate my favorite fellow bloggers!

And My Nominees For The Sunshine Blogger Award Are…

  1. Lala of Lalalovely
  2. Beth of Gingersnap Travels
  3. Elise of Sea + Terra
  4. Nailil of Thirty Minus One
  5. Stephanie of Ordinary Stephanie
  6. Allie of The Wandering Alligator

These ladies have inspired me on my blogging journey one way or another. Thank you!

My Questions

  1. What made you want to start your blog?
  2. What is your favorite blog post that you have written?
  3. What is the hardest thing that you’ve learned about blogging?
  4. What is your advice for someone who is interested in starting their own blog?
  5. How do you find different bloggers to connect and engage with?
  6. What makes your blog unique?
  7. What is the last country that you visited and what was your most memorable moment from that trip?
  8. What is the weirdest food that you’ve had while visiting a different town/city/country?
  9. What makes you happy?
  10. How do you blow off steam?
  11. What is your spirit animal?

Thanks again to Heart, Soul and Whole Food for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award! Now let’s go spread some more sunshine and love to other bloggers!

Love,

Sophie

Slow Cooked BBQ Ribs Recipe

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This ribs recipe is the best! The meat will literally fall off the bones once you're done cooking the ribs. The meat is so tender and the flavor is just out of this world! | So Finely Lived

Something that you must know about me is that I’m a big-time carnivore. If it was up to me, my diet would consist simply of all things meat. Alas, my husband makes sure that I eat my vegetables and protein every day. How dare he!

On our second date ever, I asked him to take me to a Rodizio restaurant (or churrascarias, whichever term you prefer). My girlfriends were appalled!

“Are you sure that you want him seeing you consume all that meat?”, they said.

“If he can’t handle me eating so much meat, then maybe he shouldn’t be with me!,” is how I reasoned with them.

I still stand by my statement to this day. Me loving to eat is who I am at my core, and he deserved to see the real me. I guess he liked it since we’ve now been together for over 6 years! 😉

Anyway, I digress. The point of all this is that I love meat. This ribs recipe is one of my favorite ones because the meat is so tender; it falls off the bone and the flavor is just out of this world! You can also customize the recipe depending on how sweet or spicy you like your ribs to be.

 

Cost Breakdown for Slow Cooked BBQ Ribs

Something that I’m trying to incorporate into my posts is a breakdown of how much everything costs. The whole point of my blog is to show you that it’s possible to keep a 9-5 job while still saving enough to travel around the world and eat healthy meals. By providing this cost breakdown, I hope to show you that eating tasty meals doesn’t have to break the bank. Any time we eat leftovers, I think of the next trip we could possibly be saving for!

  • 2 racks pork spare ribs = $27
  • Beer (6-pack) = $12
  • BBQ sauce =$2
  • Brown sugar = $3
  • Allspice =$3

As for all of the ingredients below, I already had these on-hand so I didn’t count these into the overall cost. I’m making the assumption that most households will also have these at home.

  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • Garlic powder
  • Paprika
  • Parsley
  • Onion powder
  • Chili powder
  • Cayenne pepper

Total = $47

For 8 servings, that works out to $5.88 a serving! Cha-ching! You’ll obviously pay a bit more for each serving by adding a side of veggies and carbs, but all in all, it’s still absolutely worth the price.

Directions

Pre-heat your oven 250 degrees F. While that’s warming up, combine all of your spices together: salt, pepper, garlic, brown sugar, paprika, parsley, onion powder, chili powder, allspice, and cayenne pepper.

This ribs recipe is the best! The meat will literally fall off the bones once you're done cooking the ribs. The meat is so tender and the flavor is just out of this world! | So Finely Lived

This ribs recipe is the best! The meat will literally fall off the bones once you're done cooking the ribs. The meat is so tender and the flavor is just out of this world! | So Finely Lived

Rub both sides of the ribs with the mixture. After you place the ribs on a baking sheet, pour a bottle of beer on top of the ribs. From my experience, wheat, porter and dark ales go best with this type of recipe. We typically always have some beer on hand…you know…for emergency recipes!

This ribs recipe is the best! The meat will literally fall off the bones once you're done cooking the ribs. The meat is so tender and the flavor is just out of this world! | So Finely Lived

Cover the baking sheet very tightly with aluminum foil. By this point, the oven should be preheated already. Put the ribs in the oven and bake for the next 8 hours. Go about your life during this time. After 8 hours, remove the ribs and let them cool down to room temperature. Discard the liquids from the baking sheet but try hard not to touch or move the ribs as much as possible during this step. You want them to remain intact.

For the next step, pour a thin layer of your preferred BBQ sauce on the ribs and brush it on evenly. Again, cover the sheet tightly with foil. Place in your refrigerator overnight so that the meat has time to condense again. I know this step is such a tease; I would absolutely be ok with eating the ribs at this point, but alas, patience, Young Grasshopper! The wait is SO worth it!

This ribs recipe is the best! The meat will literally fall off the bones once you're done cooking the ribs. The meat is so tender and the flavor is just out of this world! | So Finely Lived

When you’re ready to eat the next day, remove the ribs from the fridge. You can either heat them up in the oven on 400 degrees F for 30-45 minutes, or grill them on medium-low heat for 30 minutes, or until browned.

This ribs recipe is the best! The meat will literally fall off the bones once you're done cooking the ribs. The meat is so tender and the flavor is just out of this world! | So Finely Lived

This ribs recipe is the best! The meat will literally fall off the bones once you're done cooking the ribs. The meat is so tender and the flavor is just out of this world! | So Finely Lived

Ta-da! Ribs are done! We paired ours with homemade mashed potatoes and steamed spinach. So good!

This ribs recipe is the best! The meat will literally fall off the bones once you're done cooking the ribs. The meat is so tender and the flavor is just out of this world! | So Finely Lived

I hope you enjoy these ribs as much as I do. And if you don’t, send your ribs over my way and I’ll for sure eat all the leftovers. Let me know how everything turns out!

See you next time!

Love,

Sophie

This ribs recipe is the best! The meat will literally fall off the bones once you're done cooking the ribs. The meat is so tender and the flavor is just out of this world! | So Finely Lived

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Slow Cooked BBQ Ribs Recipe
Once you're done cooking the ribs, the meat is so tender and the flavor is just out of this world! You can customize the recipe depending on how sweet or spicy you like your ribs to be. Enjoy!
This ribs recipe is the best! The meat will literally fall off the bones once you're done cooking the ribs. The meat is so tender and the flavor is just out of this world! | So Finely Lived
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 9 hours
Passive Time 12-24 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 9 hours
Passive Time 12-24 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
This ribs recipe is the best! The meat will literally fall off the bones once you're done cooking the ribs. The meat is so tender and the flavor is just out of this world! | So Finely Lived
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. Combine all spices together. Mix well.
  3. Rub both sides of the ribs with the spices mixture.
  4. Place ribs on a baking sheet. Pour beer on top of ribs.
  5. Cover baking sheet very tightly with aluminum foil.
  6. Bake in oven for 8 hours.
  7. After 8 hours, remove ribs from oven and let cool to room temperature. Discard of liquids but try not to touch or move the ribs too much.
  8. Pour thin layer of BBQ sauce on ribs. Brush sauce on evenly.
  9. Again, cover baking sheet tightly with foil. Place in refrigerator overnight.
  10. When you're ready to eat ribs the next day, remove from refrigerator and either heat in oven on 400 degrees F for 30 to 45 minutes, or grill on medium-low heat for 30 minutes, or until browned.
Recipe Notes

The reason for refrigerating the ribs overnight is that the meat will hold together much better. It will not fall apart when you eat it but will still be so tender. This also lets the dry rub seep into the meat for better flavors. Enjoy!

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Pre-Travel Checklist: 22 Things To Do Before You Go (With Free Printable)

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Pre-Travel Checklist: 22 Things To Do Before You Go | So Finely Lived

Pre-Travel Checklist: 22 Things To Do Before You Go | So Finely Lived

All in all, I consider myself to be a pretty good traveler. Ever since the airline lost my suitcase on my very first work trip (why me???), I’ve learned to scale back everything that I bring with me so that everything fits in a carry-on. I traveled to Greece with only a backpack for the very first time last year. I’ve reduced the amount of cosmetics and body products that I use so that I never have to check a bag. Yet, I’m usually freaking out until the very last minute about something that I forgot to do. This is why I decided to create a checklist that I can use for all my trips going forward.

I realized that whether I’m going away for a quick weekend trip or a multi-week vacation, there are always a set list of things that I have to do before I’m ready to leave. In the past, I would just scribble notes on random post-its and notepads as things would pop into my head. But then, after I was done with the checklist, I would throw out my notes. In order to stop wasting precious post-its, I wrote out a checklist once and for all so that I’d have it handy for every trip going forward.

I’ve been using this checklist for my past few trips now and it definitely cuts down on the amount of time that I spend fretting that I forgot something. The checklist is separated by things you can do a week ahead, the day before, and the day of. I hope this checklist helps you out as much as it’s helped me!

Pre-Travel Checklist Printable

Click on the image below to download your own pre-travel checklist!

Pre-Travel Checklist: 22 Things To Do Before You Go | So Finely LivedA Week Ahead (Or A Few Days Ahead)

  1. Do laundry. This way, you’ll have all your favorite clothes to pack for your vacation.
  2. Charge Your Electronics. This includes your camera, portable charging banks, iPads, Kindles, Nooks, etc…
  3. Have your entertainment ready to go. For me, this means taking out a library book, putting my favorite playlists and albums on Offline Mode on Spotify, adding movies and TV shows on my iPad, downloading podcasts and making them available offline as well, and adding audiobooks to my phone. I get very bored on flights so I always need to have a book, music, movies and TV shows at my fingertips! (Aren’t you glad you charged all your electronics before leaving?)
  4. Stop Mail. Unless you have someone coming over to handle your mail, then you should put a stop on your mail through USPS.
  5. Notify Credit Card Company. If you’re traveling abroad or even in a different state, you’ll want to call your credit card company to let them know you’re doing so.
  6. Arrange for Pet Care. Call your pet sitter or kennel for arrangements. Make sure you also have enough pet food to last the whole vacation.
  7. Refill Prescriptions. If you’re taking any medication, you’ll want to refill your prescription ahead of time so that it lasts you your entire trip.
  8. Clean Out Your Fridge. My hubby is the KING of rationing. The week before we travel, we ration out all of our meals so that by the time we leave, we’re down to nothing in our fridge. It’s actually a pretty sad sight, but it’s for the best. Whatever is left over, throw it out; you don’t want any foot rotting away while you’re gone!
  9. Schedule Hair and Nail Appointments. This one is not always necessary, but it always makes me feel good :).

The Day Before

  1. Go To The ATM and take out enough cash so you have spending money for your trip.
  2. Have a Backup Meal In Your Freezer. The last thing that I want to do when I come back is cook. Ugh. It’s so great when you can just take out a pre-made meal, whether it’s pre-made or it’s a frozen pizza! First meal back from vacation: DONE.
  3. Change Your Bed Sheets. I don’t know about you, but getting into your bed with fresh sheets is ah-mayyyy-zing! I like to change out our bed sheets before we leave so that we get that clean and fresh feeling when we get back.
  4. Lay Out Clothes For Flight. My standard flying attire is always a loose t-shirt, my trusted yoga pants and sneakers. I’m about comfort, all the way!
  5. Print Hotel And Flight Information. This is especially helpful when I’m abroad and don’t have WiFi to pull up our flight or hotel details.
  6. Check Into Your Flight. This will save you so much time once you get to the airport. You won’t have to stand in line for check-in; you can either go straight to security if you’re only bringing a carry-on, or you can go directly to the Bag Drop line.
  7. Fill Travel-Sized Liquid Bottles. I always re-use the same liquid bottles and fill them with my shampoo, condition, body wash, contact solution, etc. You don’t need to buy new travel bottles every time you finish one. This is a huge money-saver in the long run!
  8. Notify Your Neighbors. It’s always nice to have an extra set of eyes on your house when you’re away.
  9. Pack Snacks/Sandwiches. Food at the airport is always WAY too expensive. Not a lot of people know that you can bring your own food to the airport.
  10. Empty Your Dishwasher and Do Dishes. You don’t want to come back to old and crusty dishes, that’s for sure!

The Day Of

  1. Water Your Plants. And don’t forget to make arrangements to have someone water your plants while you’re away too. Luckily, our pet sitter is awesome and will do that for us!
  2. Adjust Thermostat Settings. We just upgraded our thermostat to the Nest, so luckily we can adjust our temperature when we’re away from the house. So neat! You’ll want to make sure that you adjust the temperature in the house so that you don’t have heat or AC running unnecessarily.
  3. Take Out Trash and Recycling. You don’t want any funky odors when you get back, right?

When I check all of these items off my list, I’m finally able to relax and look forward to that well-earned vacation!

To download your own printable Before You Go checklist, just click the image above OR simply click HERE. I recommend printing this out every time you travel somewhere so that you have this list handy.

Is there anything else that you like to add to your to-do list? I’ve love to hear about it!

Hope to see you back next week!

Sophie

 

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9 Reasons Why I Loved Our Destination Wedding!

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Here are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely Lived

On May 3rd, my husband and I celebrated our 3-year wedding anniversary!!! Every day, I’m in awe that it still feels like we just met and that we’re giddy to see each other every day when we come home. It still feels like we’re in our newlywed phase and I’m not complaining about that. I’m constantly thankful that I’m married to someone who is so caring, passionate, thoughtful, and who will go to great lengths to support me and show his love. (Ok, so I may or may not be tearing up as I write this right now. I get emotional during anniversaries, so what!)

Our life together has been a string of decisions: should we go on a first date together; should we book that impromptu vacation to California together; should we move in together; should I say “yes?” The answer to all of those questions was a resounding HELL YEAH!

But the one thing that I am the most confident of to this day is when we chose to forego the traditional wedding in order to have a destination wedding instead. It was one of the best decisions we could’ve made for OURSELVES and I want to share with all of you why we both LOVED our destination wedding!

If you’re on the fringe and weighing the pros and cons, this list should sway you in the direction of a destination wedding. Wink wink, hint hint!

Here are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely Lived
If you’re interested in seeing more of our wedding pictures, please check out M2 Photography’s website!

Why We Loved Our Destination Wedding

1. Stress-Free Zone

I always thought that I would be the Ultimate Bridezilla. I’m Type A, OCD, love to plan, and obsess over all the little details. Choosing to have a destination wedding also meant that I chose not to overanalyze everything. In turn, this made my entire time in Aruba such a stress-free experience! There is absolutely zero reason for you to stress out when you are on a beautiful island, the sun is shining, your closest friends and family are with you and the venue takes care of it ALL for you.

Do you know what I did the day of our wedding? I laid out by the beach! I mean, who has time for that on their own wedding day? It felt so peaceful to hear the waves crashing and feel the breeze in your hair, knowing that you’re about to marry the love of your life. It honestly felt like a movie moment where time slows down and you’re left with just you. Just your thoughts. I’m feeling relaxed as I’m reminiscing about this moment right now!

Oh and if you’re curious, the hubby went golfing on the wedding day! He may also have gone gambling in one of the local Aruba casinos…boys will be boys!

Here are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely Lived

Here are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely Lived

2. It Was Easygoing

I’ve heard so many horror stories of brides wanting their wedding to be one way, and then next thing you know, it got blown out of proportion and the wedding day isn’t what she had envisioned at all. Having a destination wedding forces you to scale back and not go overboard.

We had 43 guests at our wedding so we weren’t forced to make a million centerpieces, or buy an endless supply of wedding favors. In addition, because we had to fly to Aruba, we only packed as much as we could fit in our suitcases. If it didn’t fit, it stayed home. I had this idea when we first decided to do a destination wedding that I wanted to make all my centerpieces and ship them to the island. I also wanted to make my own custom wooden sign with our names on it, and arrows, and a flip-flop station, and then I wanted a brush for the flip-flop station…That’s when I realized that I was going overboard.

I also was sad that we didn’t get to do the cake testing that a lot of my friends did. On the wedding day though, no one even realized that we forgot to serve cake! Oops! We secretly cut it just so we could take a few pictures but we didn’t want to interrupt the awesome dance party.

There’s a lot of trust that goes on when you decide to go the destination wedding route. You have to trust that your coordinator will pull it all off and that your hairdresser gets your hair right. However, having a destination wedding really put it into perspective for me that at the end of the day, all that matters is that the people you love are there. Who cares about centerpieces when the ocean is your backdrop? No one notices if your hair doesn’t match the picture of a random model. All they remember is the love that they felt and how much fun they had!

Shout-out to Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa for doing an absolutely amazing job through and through! Woop woop!

Here are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely Lived Here are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely Lived

3. Family & Friends All Became Close

A marriage joins two souls together. What a marriage also does is join both sides of the bride and groom together. Typically, a wedding reception will last 4-5 hours. That doesn’t leave you with much time to meet new people and make friends. For our wedding though, our guests were there for several days, even a whole week. That’s so much time to get to know everyone! I can’t tell you much it warmed my heart to see the people we love most mingling and making memories with our friends and family. To this day, most of our guests still keep in touch with one another. You can sense the love and the joy and it’s seriously contagious!

Here are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely Lived

Here are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely Lived

Here are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely LivedHere are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely Lived

4. Emotions Were At An All-Time High

I experienced a roller coaster of emotions when we got married. To know that all of these people care so much about you that they would fly to a different country to witness your marriage…man. That’s real.

It hit me HARD when I walked down the aisle. Although we had spent the entire day doing portraits and bridal party pictures, I realized how significant this all was when I saw him down by the beach. At that moment, I felt so much love…from him, from my mother, from every single person that was looking back at me. And then I ugly cried alllll the wayyyyy to the altar.

Now I know that lots of weddings get emotional. I’m not saying that mine was in any way more emotional than others. But, I do feel that because everyone had spent so much time together as a group that the atmosphere felt so serene. Nothing was forced. I wasn’t worried about something going wrong, or about all the eyes on me. I literally felt nothing but the love.

Here are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely Lived

Here are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely Lived

 

Here are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely Lived

Here are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely LivedHere are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely Lived

Here are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely LivedHere are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely LivedHere are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely Lived

5. All the laughs! All the tears!

I don’t think I’ve ever laughed nor cried so much in my entire life in front of other people. Destination weddings really bring out the best emotions out of everyone. And the best part? It doesn’t end after just one night. You can laugh and cry all you want over the course of several days or even a whole week. Go ahead, laugh it up!

Here are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely Lived

Here are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely LivedHere are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely LivedHere are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely Lived

Here are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely Lived

Here are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely LivedHere are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely LivedHere are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely Lived

Here are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely Lived

6. It Was So Us

The hubby and I are such beach bums. I could have nothing, but as long as I have the sun, sand and ocean, I’m at my happiest. Getting married in Aruba seemed like the perfect answer because the weather there is a constant 80 degrees, breezy, and barely any rain. My friends used to make fun of me because of a picture frame that I used to have – on it, there was a saying: “May you always have a shell in your pocket and sand in your shoes.” Joke’s on them because I got what I wished for!

Here are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely Lived

Here are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely LivedHere are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely Lived

Here are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely Lived

7. Everybody (And I Mean Everybody) Had A Blast!

Again, I’m sure that this happens at lots of weddings but I swear, when you’re on an island and you’re celebrating under the stars, it changes people. Everyone let their guards down and simply had a great time. I serenaded my hubby; my brother-in-law and friend serenaded us back in return. My girlfriends and I group hugged and danced. We formed a conga line around the entire venue. Somehow all the men’s shirts became unbuttoned (I mean, seriously, how did that happen??) The bridal party jumped into the pool together. You can’t ask for more!

Here are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely Lived

Here are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely Lived

Here are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely Lived

Here are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely Lived Here are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely Lived

8. Cost!

This one is a no-brainer. In New Jersey, the average cost of a wedding ranges anywhere between $40,000-$50,000. That’s a WHOLE lot of money! We weren’t ready to spend so much money on a wedding that would literally last only one night.

We spent much less money on our destination wedding and we got EVERYTHING we wanted. We could afford to fly out our amazing wedding photographers from Pennsylvania (seriously, they are the best! Check out M2 Photography’s website and get ready to be blown away); we got married on an actual beach; we had live music during our cocktail hour; we rented out the entire Pincho’s Grill & Bar restaurant that was on the water for our rehearsal dinner. We wanted to make all of our guests feel special for flying all the way out to Aruba with us. After all that, we still didn’t break the bank.

Between our flight, venue, food, rehearsal dinner, photographers, my wedding dress, wedding invitations, wedding favors, bridesmaid and groomsmen gifts…we still didn’t get anywhere near the average wedding cost for New Jersey.

Here are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely Lived

Here are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely Lived Here are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely Lived

9. Think Of The Wedding Pictures!

Three years later and I STILL go through my wedding pictures on a regular basis! It’s hard to take bad pictures when your backdrop is of the Caribbean sea! This one is pretty straight-forward: if you decide to have a destination wedding, you will absolutely have amazing wedding pictures. Plus, it helps when you have amazing photographers with you!

I honestly could go on and on about why having a destination wedding is great, but I have to end my post at one point or another. I absolutely do not have any regrets into making this decision. Would we have preferred to have more people at our wedding? Maybe. Would we have liked to have more input into decorations or the cake? Possibly. At the end of the day though, your wedding is about YOU. Not about what your guests think. Make it EXACTLY the way you want it because your wedding is the day that should be all about your love for each other. Everyone else that’s there is to support you.

Here are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely Lived

Here are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely Lived

Here are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely Lived

Are you contemplating a destination wedding right now? Or did you also have your own destination wedding? I’d love to hear about what your thoughts were and where you’re thinking of going!

Until next time!
Love,
Sophie

Here are 9 reasons why I absolutely loved our destination wedding! If you're thinking of having a destination wedding yourself, this is a must-read! | Aruba | So Finely Lived

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Cinnamon Sugar Roasted Almonds Recipe

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This cinnamon sugar roasted almonds recipe is super easy to make and is a great healthy treat to eat throughout the day | So Finely Lived

If you’re looking for a sweet yet healthy treat, look no further! Making roasted almonds is SO easy, even I can do it. I swear, College Sophie didn’t even know how to boil water for pasta. I know, pathetic, but I swear that I’ve made some headway since then!

I’m the type of person who needs to eat…all…day…long. And if I go hungry, you may want to step out of my way! I’ve said many, many things that I didn’t mean while I was hangry, and I’ve had to issue out too many apologies after the fact. Those apologies typically go to my husband as he’s the kind soul who has to deal with my hanger wrath. Sorry honey!

This is why these almonds are a lifesaver -they’re an easy treat to have on hand and they hold me off until my next meal. I don’t know why I’ve waited so long to implement almonds into my daily snack routine, but now that I’m here, I don’t think I can ever go back. They’re rich in protein, vitamin E, fiber and potassium, among many other benefits. There are so many ways to season them as well, so you can always spice up each recipe according to what you like.

The prep for this should take you no more than 5 minutes. You’ll want to whisk together an egg white, a little bit of cold water and vanilla extract before coating your almonds with this frothy mixture.

This cinnamon sugar roasted almonds recipe is super easy to make and is a great healthy treat to eat throughout the day | So Finely Lived

Your next step is to combine white sugar, brown sugar (I prefer granulated brown sugar because I find that it keeps longer and doesn’t harden as fast), cinnamon and salt.

This cinnamon sugar roasted almonds recipe is super easy to make and is a great healthy treat to eat throughout the day | So Finely Lived

Mix your spices along with the almonds.

This cinnamon sugar roasted almonds recipe is super easy to make and is a great healthy treat to eat throughout the day | So Finely Lived

Once everything is mixed in, pop the almonds into the oven; bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Stir them every 10 minutes so that the almonds don’t stick on the tray, and voilà! Your almonds are going to smell delicious and while you’ll want to sample some right then and there, wait until they reach room temperature, will you?

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did! The blend of cinnamon, sugar and vanilla extract is out of this world! Please let me know how yours turn out.

Bon appétit everyone!

Sophie

This cinnamon sugar roasted almonds recipe is super easy to make and is a great healthy treat to eat throughout the day | So Finely Lived

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Cinnamon Sugar Roasted Almonds Recipe
This roasted almonds recipe is super easy to make and is a great healthy treat to eat throughout the day.
This cinnamon sugar roasted almonds recipe is super easy to make and is a great healthy treat to eat throughout the day | So Finely Lived
Course Side Dish, Snack
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
cups
Ingredients
Course Side Dish, Snack
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
cups
Ingredients
This cinnamon sugar roasted almonds recipe is super easy to make and is a great healthy treat to eat throughout the day | So Finely Lived
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. Lightly grease baking sheet.
  3. Whisk together the egg white, cold water and vanilla extract.
  4. Add almonds to the frothy mixture. Mix well.
  5. Combine white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and vanilla extract in separate container.
  6. Mix in spices and almonds together.
  7. Layer almonds on baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until almonds are crisp. Move almonds around every 10 minutes to prevent burning. Once room-temperature, store in airtight container.
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Your 7-Day Travel Itinerary in Gran Canaria

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I had never heard of the Canary Islands, let alone the island of Gran Canaria, until I watched Fast & Furious 6. First off, yes, I still watch all of the Fast & Furious movies. Yes, I still love Vin Diesel. Yes, I will forever miss Paul Walker. Yes, I love that The Rock is part of the franchise now…

Wait, what was I talking about again?

Oh yeah, the Canary Islands! Ever since I saw the cars zooming in and out of the mountain-side cliffs and roads of the islands, I knew I had to go there one day! Lo and behold, when my in-laws announced that they were taking their family vacation there, the hubby and I jumped on that opportunity right away!

Gran Canaria has it all!

If you like the beach, you can just stay down in the South and sunbathe for days on end. If you like the outdoors, you can hike not only to Roque Nublo, but to certain beaches that you can only access by foot. If you have kids, you’ve got multiple amusement parks to take them to. And if you like to shop, well, Gran Canaria won’t disappoint as there are duty-free shops and clothing stores up and down the main strips. This island is great for solo travelers, couples, families, and gay couples. Whatever you’re looking for in a vacation spot, you’re most likely to find it here.

This 7-day itinerary can easily be condensed into fewer days or extended into more days, depending on how much time you’re spending in Gran Canaria.

This is a 7-day itinerary guide for traveling in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands! You will see sand dunes like the Sarahan desert, Jurassic Park-like mountains and cliff-hugging roads on the same island! | So Finely Lived

Day 1

This is a travel day, so rest up! Explore the local area. Get familiar with the restaurants and stores around you.

Our villa was located in Maspalomas, which is the southernmost part of the island, about a 15-minute walk from the lighthouse and the famous dunes. To me, we were in a perfect location as it seemed that it is always sunnier and warmer on this part of the island. We were also far enough away from the promenade so it was super quiet at night, but we were close enough that we could comfortably walk to any restaurants or the beach.

This is a 7-day itinerary guide for traveling in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands! You will see sand dunes like the Sarahan desert, Jurassic Park-like mountains and cliff-hugging roads on the same island! | Maspalomas Lighthouse |So Finely Lived
The lighthouse in Masplomas at sunset. I loved how the sky looked in the background!

Day 2

Drive to Puerto de Mogán; known to be a quaint port town and affectionately dubbed as “Little Venice”. Enjoy the beach and beachfront restaurants. Stroll the side streets and get lost in them. Choose from a multitude of restaurants and cafes. Take lots of pictures of the beautiful white houses and their different trims, colorful flowers and port.

On the way back, drive along the coastline road; don’t take the highway. This is a very scenic drive and absolutely worth the additional 15-20 minute drive back to Maspalomas. I heard it was comparable to the Big Sur drive in California if that helps you visualize it.

This is a 7-day itinerary guide for traveling in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands! You will see sand dunes like the Sarahan desert, Jurassic Park-like mountains and cliff-hugging roads on the same island! | Puerto de Mogan |So Finely Lived

This is a 7-day itinerary guide for traveling in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands! You will see sand dunes like the Sarahan desert, Jurassic Park-like mountains and cliff-hugging roads on the same island! | Puerto de Mogan |So Finely Lived

This is a 7-day itinerary guide for traveling in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands! You will see sand dunes like the Sarahan desert, Jurassic Park-like mountains and cliff-hugging roads on the same island! | Puerto de Mogan |So Finely Lived

Day 3

Spend another beach day in Maspalomas and explore the sand dunes. Bring water and snacks with you as there aren’t too many vendors around. Sand dunes go as far as the eye can see. The ocean was a bit too cold for me when we went but I’m sure it gets warmer as summer approaches.

This is a 7-day itinerary guide for traveling in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands! You will see sand dunes like the Sarahan desert, Jurassic Park-like mountains and cliff-hugging roads on the same island! | Maspalomas Dunes |So Finely Lived

This is a 7-day itinerary guide for traveling in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands! You will see sand dunes like the Sarahan desert, Jurassic Park-like mountains and cliff-hugging roads on the same island! | Maspalomas Dunes |So Finely Lived

This is a 7-day itinerary guide for traveling in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands! You will see sand dunes like the Sarahan desert, Jurassic Park-like mountains and cliff-hugging roads on the same island! | Maspalomas Dunes |So Finely Lived

Day 4

This will be an early day as there are LOTS of places to go today!

Drive from Maspalomas to Barranco de Guayadeque. If it feels like you’re lost because all you hear is silence and there is no one else on the roads, you’re going the right way! When you pass the museum, you’ll keep going down that way until you start climbing up the mountains. You will find so many different varieties of cacti, poppies, and trees. To me, it honestly felt like we were driving through Jurassic Park! Did I hum the theme song all the way up to the top? Maybe, maybe not! Once you’re all the way up to, you’ll want to take lots of pictures.

This is a 7-day itinerary guide for traveling in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands! You will see sand dunes like the Sarahan desert, Jurassic Park-like mountains and cliff-hugging roads on the same island! | Barranco de Guayadeque |So Finely Lived

Afterwards, we double-backed to head to Pico de las Nieves, which is the highest peak on the island. It’s also much colder up there, so make sure you layer up. From here, you can see Roque Nublo, the Maspalomas sand dunes and even the island of Tenerife (where Fast & Furious was filmed…just saying) all the way in the distance.

This is a 7-day itinerary guide for traveling in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands! You will see sand dunes like the Sarahan desert, Jurassic Park-like mountains and cliff-hugging roads on the same island! | Pico de las Nieves |So Finely Lived
Far out in the distance, you can see Roque Nublo and even the island of Tenerife!
This is a 7-day itinerary guide for traveling in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands! You will see sand dunes like the Sarahan desert, Jurassic Park-like mountains and cliff-hugging roads on the same island! | Pico de las Nieves |So Finely Lived
Doing some light reading at Pico de las Nieves

Drive to Roque Nublo next. The hike towards the top is approximately 1km. It took us 40 minutes to reach the rocks; the views on the way up are magnificent. We stopped multiple times to take pictures and to eat our snacks; that’s why it took us that long to reach the end. This isn’t a hard hike per se, but it’s definitely not an easy one either. You’ll want to have comfortable sneakers and clothes, along with water. The path ascends rather quickly and because we were higher up in elevation, it was a bit tough for me to catch my breath at times.

At almost 6000ft above sea level and 220 ft tall, these rocks were breathtaking! I’ve never seen anything like it before (but I’ve also never seen any of our national parks in the States. I know, I know…my bucket list is ever-growing).

After spending time at Roque Nublo, it’s time to make your way down from the path. This didn’t take us as long since we were done taking pictures.

This is a 7-day itinerary guide for traveling in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands! You will see sand dunes like the Sarahan desert, Jurassic Park-like mountains and cliff-hugging roads on the same island! | Roque Nublo |So Finely Lived

This is a 7-day itinerary guide for traveling in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands! You will see sand dunes like the Sarahan desert, Jurassic Park-like mountains and cliff-hugging roads on the same island! | Roque Nublo |So Finely Lived

Afterwards, drive to the town of Tejeda for lunch. This village is 1000m above sea level and it looks like it’s carved within the mountains. You can choose from a few restaurants in town; we chose one with outdoor seating called Labrador.

If you like sweets, you must stop by Dulceria Nublo! At 1 euro for each (enormous) dessert, you cannot beat that price! We walked out of there with a dozen assortment  baked goods feeling like we had practically robbed them.

This is a 7-day itinerary guide for traveling in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands! You will see sand dunes like the Sarahan desert, Jurassic Park-like mountains and cliff-hugging roads on the same island! | Tejeda |So Finely Lived
This picture doesn’t do the village of Tejeda justice!

After this long day of driving, you’ll want to go back to your condo or hotel and relax! The roads used today were full of turns, elevation and cliffside views, so it definitely was not an easy drive. You’ll probably  need to rest up, preferably with some treats from Dolceria Nublo!

Day 5

If you have kids, a great place to take them is the Cocodrilo Park Zoo, an animal refuge park. Sure, you can take them to Aqualand or Palmitos Park, but this animal refuge is truly for animal lovers! Most of the animals here are rescues, so it makes the visit worthwhile.

You can spend a few hours here seeing the crocodiles, alligators, parrots, monkeys, snakes…I can go on. They even have live animal experiences where you and your kids can touch the animals or see the birds up close. Our nephew really enjoyed this and my hubby and I got to spend a whole day being cool aunt and uncle!

After this, we drove back to Maspalomas to hang out in our condo and play in the pool for the rest of the afternoon. Mostly because we promised our nephew ice cream for being such a good little man at the park! In your case, a good suggestion would be to stop off at Playa del Ingles. It’s got everything you want: a large beach, restaurants, bars, spas, you name it!

This is a 7-day itinerary guide for traveling in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands! You will see sand dunes like the Sarahan desert, Jurassic Park-like mountains and cliff-hugging roads on the same island! |So Finely Lived
Taken from our GoPro. You can really see the windy turns here!

Day 6

Go see the West and Northwest parts of Gran Canaria! Drive towards Puerto de la Aldea as the first of 3 pit stops. There isn’t much to see or do at this port, except that you can use this time to visit the Visitors’ Center and take a restroom break. There really isn’t a beach either, but it’s got a good view of the cliffs.

This is a 7-day itinerary guide for traveling in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands! You will see sand dunes like the Sarahan desert, Jurassic Park-like mountains and cliff-hugging roads on the same island! | Puerto de la Aldea |So Finely Lived

From there, you can drive towards Mirador Del Balcon and Anden Verde for what I hear are beautiful views of the other side of Gran Canaria. HOWEVER! When we went in mid-March, the highway that takes you there (GC-200) was closed. The only signs that we saw were closer to Puerto de Mogan (of course, we only noticed the signs on our return trip). There are no definite re-opening dates for this highway, so whenever you do go, make sure you ask around to see if that part of the highway is open again. I was absolutely bummed by this because I read that the views here are great! Hopefully you have better luck than we did!

Day 7

If you’re not tired of driving throughout the island yet, then take this last day to explore the middle and North side of Gran Canaria. Drive to the town of Teror to get that small-town feel. Unfortunately for us, we weren’t dressed for the weather as we had shorts and tank tops on. Silly us! It was raining and Teror was 20 degrees colder and windier than the south. The most we did was drive around the square a few times when we decided to move on to the next town. Bummer…again.

Next, head towards the town of Arucas. They have a beautiful Gothic-style cathedral that you can visit, right in the main square. Stop and have a cup of coffee at Café el Parque, directly across from the cathedral.

This is a 7-day itinerary guide for traveling in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands! You will see sand dunes like the Sarahan desert, Jurassic Park-like mountains and cliff-hugging roads on the same island! | Arucas |So Finely Lived

This is a 7-day itinerary guide for traveling in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands! You will see sand dunes like the Sarahan desert, Jurassic Park-like mountains and cliff-hugging roads on the same island! | Arucas |So Finely Lived

This is a 7-day itinerary guide for traveling in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands! You will see sand dunes like the Sarahan desert, Jurassic Park-like mountains and cliff-hugging roads on the same island! | Arucas |So Finely Lived

After this, you can drive to Las Palmas, which is on the northeastern side of the island. There, you will see Playa de las Canteras, along with many beachfront restaurants. I can’t quite explain it, but there was a special energy emanating from this place. Once you walk away from the beachfront restaurants, you’ll find that fewer and fewer people speak English. To me, that’s always a great sign. Have lunch at Tasca Galileo for a delicious cured meat and cheese plate. Yum!

This is a 7-day itinerary guide for traveling in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands! You will see sand dunes like the Sarahan desert, Jurassic Park-like mountains and cliff-hugging roads on the same island! | Playa de las Canteras |So Finely Lived
A rather chilly day at Playa de las Canteras, so the beach was pretty empty…makes for a good picture though!
This is a 7-day itinerary guide for traveling in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands! You will see sand dunes like the Sarahan desert, Jurassic Park-like mountains and cliff-hugging roads on the same island! | Tasca Galileo |So Finely Lived
After strolling down to Playa de las Canteras, stop off at Tasca Galileo for lunch!

That’s it, folks! Your week in the Canary Islands is over, but you can always come back, right? I really enjoyed myself here and am already thinking of when I can come back here next. I added in some random thoughts and tips that I thought might be useful if you ever decide to come here.

Random Thoughts:

  • Most large supermarkets are closed on Sundays. Plan your meals and shopping needs accordingly. The biggest chain that I saw was called Mercadona.
  • Between March and October, it only rains an average of 6 times in Gran Canaria. In total, it rains an average of twice a month the rest of the year. It rained about 4 times during our entire trip. And this is the Black Cloud that I keep talking about!
  • I heard Presa de las Niñas was absolutely beautiful and is a must-see. Unfortunately, it didn’t fit in with any of our routes and with all the driving we did, we didn’t feel like going out of our way to see it. I’m a little sad about it, but you can’t see everything! If you have time when you go or if it’s on the way, I would recommend stopping by this place to see it. If I were to do it again, I probably would’ve tried to stop at Presa de las Ninas here after our lunch in Tejeda.
  • Layers, layers, layers! While it could be warm and sunny with no clouds in sight down in Maspalomas or Puerto de Mogán, the more north or inland you go, the colder, rainier and windier it could be! It really makes no sense to me how volatile the weather can be in Gran Canaria. Always make sure to pack extra pants, rain jacket, scarves, hats, etc…with you because you never know what the weather is once you turn the corner!
  • Both Pico de las Nieves and Roque Nublo have small parking lots. Get up there earlier in the day to guarantee a parking spot. I read that the police have no problem issuing you a ticket if you park alongside the road and not in a designated spot. I would say if you get there before 11am, you’re good!
  • If you’re into hiking, consider Playa de Guigui. The only way to get to this beach is by hiking about 2 hours each way, but it’s supposed to be well-worth it. I didn’t hear about this until our vacation was almost over, so we didn’t have time to fit this into our schedule.
  • Watch out for those cyclists – they’re everywhere! It’s hard enough to navigate the curve-bending roads in the mountains on your own, but when you add dozens of cyclists at a time on a road, it makes it that much more difficult to drive in Gran Canaria.

Have you ever been to Gran Canaria? What other Canary Islands have you been to?

Thanks for reading; see you next time!

Sophie

This is a 7-day itinerary guide for traveling in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands! You will see sand dunes like the Sarahan desert, Jurassic Park-like mountains and cliff-hugging roads on the same island! | Roque Nublo |So Finely Lived

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My New Workspace Reveal and Quick Tutorial

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Here is a quick tutorial on how we gave our home workspace a makeover. It's relatively simple, but changes our room for the better! | So Finely Lived
Does anyone else have a room in their house where they just don’t know what to do with it? We do! For us, that room is our den where we have been using it as a combination of home office/random knickknack/piano room for the past 2 years. No more! We finally decided to give that room a nice makeover by removing our current desk, assembling different IKEA drawers and tabletops to make a custom desk for me and the hubby, and adding a new shelf for more storage. Our new workspace now ROCKS hard core!

 

I’m SO in love with what our workspace office looks like now! We have so much more space for both of us to work at the same time and oh! All that storage! How can two people accumulate so many random trinkets over the years? At least now, we have somewhere to store all of our precious things.

 

I put together a quick tutorial on how we gave our workspace a makeover. It’s relatively simple, but changes our room for the better. Enjoy!

 

Here is a quick tutorial on how we gave our home workspace a makeover. It's relatively simple, but changes our room for the better! | So Finely Lived

***Please note that there are affiliate links in my post below. Know that by clicking on them, you won’t be charged anything extra, but any profits that are made will be to help me keep the website up and running. Thanks for the support and being awesome!***

 

Workspace Materials:

Surprisingly, assembling the IKEA drawers was relatively simple and straight-forward! We all know how the assembly diagrams can be horribly inaccurate and anger-inducing tricky!
What took up the most time was staining the tabletops and shelf. While this is an unnecessary step if you’re happy with the natural color of the tabletop, we have multiple items in our house (such as our dining room table and hutch) that are stained, so we chose to keep the same theme going in our workspace.
Here is a quick tutorial on how we gave our home workspace a makeover. It's relatively simple, but changes our room for the better! | So Finely Lived
GERTON tabletops in their natural state. We wanted to stain these darker so they would match with our other furniture.
Use your sandpaper to sand down the tabletops in order to make it smoother. Make sure that you clean all of the sand and dust off of the worktop with a wet rag or tack cloth. Apply the pre-stain wood conditioner with a brush over the entire surface area. Once you cover your tabletop, use a dry paper towel to wipe off any excess conditioner. This step is important because it helps prevent streaks and blotches by leveling out the absorption of the stain (which you’ll apply next).
Within one hour of applying the wood conditioner, it’s time to get the stain on the wood. It can be applied with either a synthetic brush or clean cloth. Make sure to brush in the direction of the grain. We let it soak for approximately 15 minutes, but your setting time could be shorter or longer depending on the color you’re looking for. With a clean rag, wipe off any excess stain that hasn’t absorbed into the wood.

 

Once the top is dried, you can sand, wipe and apply a coat of the Polycrylic next. Make sure you follow the instructions on the packaging because the wait time in between layers will depend on the product that you get. We did 4 coats for the top and only 1 coat on the underside since no one should ever see the bottom of our desk. We may have overdone it with 4 layers but we wanted to make sure that the worktop was sturdy and that we wouldn’t leave marks if we write on the table.
The most important part of staining (or painting, or applying Polycrylic) is SAND, SAND, SAND! This ensure that the products adhere properly to the surface and it also makes your surface super smooth.

Here is a quick tutorial on how we gave our home workspace a makeover. It's relatively simple, but changes our room for the better! | So Finely Lived

Here is a quick tutorial on how we gave our home workspace a makeover. It's relatively simple, but changes our room for the better! | So Finely Lived
After 4 coats of polycrylic
We repeated the exact same steps with our shelf, which we purchased at Lowes. Because our room is so long, we chose to get a board that was 96″ x 11″. We then drilled 4 brackets to the wall, and drilled the shelf on top of the brackets. The ones we purchased were white, so we spray painted them with the Rustoleum Aged Copper color so that they would blend in more.

 

I’m so excited to have my own dedicated workspace in our home office now! Hopefully my hubby forgives me for girly-fying this space. I need something pretty to look at when I’m working.

 

And that’s it! This is how we updated our home office!
Here is a quick tutorial on how we gave our home workspace a makeover. It's relatively simple, but changes our room for the better! | So Finely Lived
The Before – I’m not going to miss you! How do you like the random tape measure in the room??
Here is a quick tutorial on how we gave our home workspace a makeover. It's relatively simple, but changes our room for the better! | So Finely Lived
The After! We literally got our pretty blue chair from Home Goods right after we took this picture.
Here is a quick tutorial on how we gave our home workspace a makeover. It's relatively simple, but changes our room for the better! | So Finely LivedHere is a quick tutorial on how we gave our home workspace a makeover. It's relatively simple, but changes our room for the better! | So Finely LivedHere is a quick tutorial on how we gave our home workspace a makeover. It's relatively simple, but changes our room for the better! | So Finely Lived
Have you updated your workspace lately? I’d love to see some pictures :).
Love,
Sophie
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