The saying goes, “necessity is the mother of invention.” Well, if that’s the case, then Inger Ellen Nicolaisen is that mother. All the way from Norway, Inger has become mama bird to many, and created the most successful salon franchise in the world. After discovering motherhood at only sixteen years old, she not only survived teen pregnancy, but she rocked it; and shattered all kinds of glass ceilings on her way up. Inger, went on to grow both her family and her business. But still, it took a single song (Elton John’s “Nikita”) on a dance floor in a disco that would spark one of the greatest projects she could ever birth, Nikita Hair.
Since then Nikita Hair has opened over 150 location in Norway, and now can finally be found right here in Boca Raton. The doors opened to this gorgeous salon with impeccable lighting and even more impressive stylists. So, what brings Nikita to the U.S.?
Forty-three thousand. That is the number of zip codes in the United States. Once Inger heard this, she couldn’t rest until she occupied at least one of those US zip codes, and here she is. The Nikita Hair Salon is located on Federal Highway and Palmetto Park Road, that’s prime real estate here in Boca Raton. The driving force behind Nikita Hair is passion. Everyone from the top to the bottom is passionate about this brand, and they should be. Nikita Hair has launched such successful sister-brands like Eleni & Chris, the likes of which have received top billing in the hair and skin care industry. A unique and powerful brand with the finest quality natural Scandinavian ingredients. I’ve been using the Facial Hydration Spray and am in love with it.
While sitting and learning directly from the master behind this glorious madness, a group of us bloggers were treated to a bit of a history lesson in Inger’s life. We listened and learned, and then began asking questions. What struck me most in this interview portion was her answer to a fairly simple question, “how did you come to open your first business at 16?” She replied very honestly, that is what I was passionate about. In a world where authenticity is few and far between, Inger had the presence of mind at only sixteen years-old to pursue her passion, knowing that success would eventually follow. Since then she has written many books on how to be successful and even starred in a local reality show.
While visiting with the staff of Nikita, it became evident that Nikita is built on family. Inger is a mother to many, but most importantly her fourteen children. Three of which are her biological children and even more that are adopted (although it seems as though even she has forgotten which is which). We were lucky enough to have them cater a delicious spread for us from scratch. After all, it seems that is how they do things around here; organically, and as a family. Everyone is invited to the table it seems, from the PR team, to the managerial staff, and even the receptionist. All hands are on deck, giving this top of the line hair salon a feeling of home. Just a very stylish home.. Everyone leaves Nikita with a great feeling, including the staff.
Nikita Hair USA prides themselves on helping their clients to be the best version of themselves. So after a decadent brunch, they whisked us away in a stretch hummer limo to give us a private tour of the first Nikita Hair USA location. This salon is beautiful and equipped to handle all of your beauty needs (mani/pedi’s/ hair color, cut, blow dry / deep conditioning treatments w/ a complimentary shiatsu scalp massage). You can choose from a Junior / Senior / or Master Stylist, all of whom are thoroughly trained. I inquired whether they could work with my curls and have been assured they are plenty qualified! In order to become a stylist in Europe you must first apprentice for as long as four years! All of their services are within a very reasonable price. Right now you can get a wash and blow dry for only $39! All in an effort to inspire all clients to feel great about themselves, and become a part of the Nikita family (this family is gorgeous!). After all, if you look great, you feel great. Feeling great about yourself can help you to accomplish anything your heart is passionate about. In any one of our 43,000 zip codes. I’m sure glad Nikita landed here at 33432!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I received complimentary accommodations and meals in order to facilitate my review. As always all opinions and obsession with travel and food are 100% my own.
Sand between your toes, salty air, or the sound of the palm leaves rustling in the breeze. Whatever it is that brings you to Islamorada, Amara Cay will make sure you ‘ll want to stay.
Our first Islamorada experience started a few years ago. A family trip with the kids, we enjoyed (what we thought at the time) all the island had to offer. Fishing, sailing, snorkeling, you name it. It wasn’t until our recent trip to the Amara Cay Resort that I realized it’s a wonderful location for a romantic getaway. We left the kids behind this time and discovered a different kind of island vibe, one we won’t soon forget.
If you follow me on Facebook or Insta-Stories, no doubt you’ve likely seen a live video or pictures of the beautiful wooden details that adorn this seaside resort. The lobby is filled with hanging wicker chairs, gorgeous green vases housing local palms, and even a selfie wall! The pristine beach-side property is perfect for reconnecting with each other.
We stood in on of the ocean view suites on the top floor. This guarantees gorgeous views of the sunrise each morning and a bright blue sky competing with a spectacular ocean view.
The decor is inviting and spa-like, we spent two mornings nestled in a sea of cozy white comforters taking in the view.
The ocean view suites invite you to indulge, explore, and restore. So we did..
A quiet pool-side welcomed us with a view of the ocean from both the lounge area and the rum bar. It’s just what we needed to unwind and relax. These views are endless!
The beach-side cabanas house plenty of seats to soak up the sun,or take a dip in the salt water and swim out to the massive float. We spent some time here and on the private “adults only” beach area during the day, then enjoyed the sea breeze at night after dinner by the fire with a glass of wine.
During the day you can hang in the courtyard with yet another incredible view. There is ping-pong and corn hole for fun, and a sitting area to catch some shade in between naps and pina colada’s.
There are free non-motorized water sports available at The Sea Monkey located right on the beach. There is kayaking and paddle boarding, but all we could think of this trip was rest and relaxation. Quiet strolls along the beach, taking a dip in the pool, and napping every chance we could. We also ate from time to time. Boy did we eat..
The tiki bar by the pool offers plenty of delicious options to choose from. I highly recommend the burger and our favorite, the Tostachos. These were incredible and could easily serve as a lunch for two. Roast pork on top of large friend plantains called Tostones, topped with a heavenly guacamole mix. The burger was served with a pickled cole slaw that added both crunch and flavor. We paired this with a couple of frozen drinks by the pool and of course took another nap.
Oltremare, the in-house restaurant located in the lobby and dining area is currently undergoing some renovations in order to become “Reel Burger”, which sounds incredible from all of the updates they were making behind the scenes.
We enjoyed dinner and breakfast at Oltremare, both were delicious.
We sat at the bar and polished off all of this food with a glass of wine, took a walk on the beach to enjoy to cool ocean breeze, and sat by the nightly bonfire. It was just what the doctor ordered! Each morning we got up, had breakfast downstairs, and hit the ocean immediately.
The pace in Islamorada was perfect for us. We took each day as it came and did exactly what we wanted, WHEN we wanted. There is no greater gift as a parent. From sunrise to sunset, it was all about us. The Amara Cay Resort made us feel as though were a world away, when in actuality we were only three hours South of home.
On our second night we were treated to dinner and drinks. We started the evening at the Tiki Bar at Amara Cay’s sister-property, The Post Card Inn. This hotel is fantastic and right up our alley. The vintage vibe made we want to snap all day long. It’s a family friendly hotel with suites on the sand, and plenty for the kids to do on the beach all day and by the pool.
After drinks, we walked across to The Ciao Hound. An adorable dog-friendly restaurant with a sweet setup for the pups. We scored a great window seat and sat and had real conversations that had nothing to do with parenting, it was glorious!
The food was excellent, and the staff was incredible! We spent some time enjoying a glass of wine on their front porch as the sun lit up the ski with its dewy amber glow. A big sunset was brewing and we knew we had to get seaside to see it unfold. But first, dessert..
The shuttle from Amara Cay runs on demand and dropped us at our dinner location. On the way back we asked for the spot in town to catch the sunset and boy did he deliver a sunset.
We sat on a pier admiring the way the sun kisses the sky with a final goodbye as the night sky emerges. There were families with children, but all was silent. Just the sound of the water dancing against the pier. You can’t help but stand in awe and take it all in. As a parent these moments are fleeting, so we sat there until it was completely dark, ready to enjoy our nightly ritual at Amara Cay Resort. A glass of wine, a walk along the beach listening to the water, and sitting my the bonfire.
It isn’t a trip to the keys without stopping along the colorful local businesses for a piece of some good ol’ key lime pie!
All in all, our trip to Amara Cay was a complete restoration for us and our marriage. We came. We saw. We Amara Cay’d.
Until next time..
The renowned Louie Bossi Ristorante Bar & Pizzeria found a new home in downtown Boca Raton. Doors opened to the public on May 1st, and the local food bloggers were chomping at the bit to get an invitation. The buzz in Boca started long before the doors first opened. The popular restaurant expanded from its flagship restaurant location in Fort Lauderdale, and Boca was happy to welcome them with open arms!
Part Owner and Executive Chef, Louie Bossi, nestled into the Hyatt Place Hotel on the corner of Federal Highway and Palmetto Park Road. If you live in Boca and haven’t been ogling at the construction, then you’ve been living under a rock! The atmosphere brought the old world charm likened to its sister restaurant, and upped the ante with its corner lot open for everyone to see.
Almost completely booked since it’s May opening, Louie Bossi’s is reviving this corner of Boca Raton and making it a hip place to dine. Word on the street is there will be plenty of music to entertain its guests and make a Boca night on the town a reality! But really, your here for the food. I get it, me too. Let’s start with how knowledgeable the staff was. They were able to offer wine pairings, answer questions, and make EXCELLENT recommendations for a large party looking to satisfy everyone’s cravings. It’s as though a handsome long-lost cousin from Italy is going to feed you and show you what you should drink as you smile and nod. FEED ME.
We started with a bevy of cheese, meats, olives, nuts, and yes fried pastry dough with even more cheese inside. Skip the diet, it’s totally worth it at Louie Bossi!
The buffalo mozzarella was creamy and perfect, while the calamari and garlic dipping sauce were savory and fresh. The sheer amount of charcuterie on these boards was impressive. Along with the very knowledgeable staff to point us in the right direction. Although, I’m certain there is no WRONG direction at Louie Bossi.
My husband enjoyed the Frutti di Mare. A hearty dish with no shortage of shrimp, mussels, or clams. Tossed in a delicious Marzano sauce with the longest pasta known to man!
I enjoyed dining on their infamous steak with potatoes and sautéed Brussel sprouts. The steak was perfectly prepared and garnished with a sprig of rosemary. It paired wonderfully with the crispy fingerling potatoes and crunchy Brussel sprouts.
We enjoyed a selection of wines perfectly paired with our meals. By the time dessert rolled around, we were ready. An ice cream sundae we won’t soon forget accompanied by a divine Tiramisu, and creamy cheesecake.
The food is some of the best Italian cuisine I’ve tasted, but Louie Bossie offers much more than that. The ambiance has been described as ” 1940’sRome meets 1940’s Lower East Side NYC.” The old world meets a new Boca. The vibe invites you to come, eat, and stay a while and eat a bit more.
The restaurant is open Monday – Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m., Friday 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 a.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. On Fridays and Saturdays a full dinner menu is served until midnight and pizza served until 1 a.m.The menu can be found online.