Chalk Paint Dresser Makeover

Bob and I just returned from a great week of vacation!  We spent part of the week at the beach and part at home and it was just wonderful to have a slower pace for a while.  I really did enjoy it.  Today was back to reality and work though!!

1-Chalk Paint Dresser Makeover

I finished this dresser up a little while ago, but it was hiding out in my basement workspace which isn’t good for photos.  So, today we brought it upstairs for some pictures before it makes it way to my booth space at Thrifty Elegance.

This dresser started out as your typical chest of drawers.  It is very good quality furniture though.  I got it from my friend at work as they were emptying out a relative’s home.

chalk paint dresser makeover - before

I knew what I wanted to do with it right away.  I removed the hardware and got to work.  I started with a coat of Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint in Graphite.  I put a thin coat of the graphite on the whole dresser…I didn’t have much of this color, it was just a sample pot that I had already used for another project.

After the graphite dried, I applied 2 coats of Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint in Cream.  Sorry for the lack of in process photos…I somehow overlooked taking any!  After the Cream dried, I took some fine sandpaper and distressed in certain areas.  I cleaned all of the sanding grit from the dresser and then applied a coat of Minwax’s Finishing Paste in natural.  It was the first I used this wax, and I liked it.  It went on quite easily and gave a very nice finish when I buffed it with a clean t-shirt.

The hardware got a few coats of Valspar spray paint in Brushed Nickel.  After that dried, I reattached the hardware and it was complete.

chalk paint dresser makeover

chalk paint dresser makeover 3

chalk paint dresser makeover 4

chalk paint dresser makeover 2

chalk paint dresser makeover (2)

It turned out just as I envisioned.  What do you think….do you like the fresh new look?

Celebrating Year Two

Today marks my second blogging anniversary!  Sometimes I can’t believe how fast time goes, and then sometimes I feel like I’ve been blogging forever.  I feel that way when I think how far I’ve come since I wrote my first post.  The fun part is to look back on it all.   I enjoy having my blog as a place for me to keep memories of our progress we’ve made in our home and the projects I’ve done.  But, I definitely don’t write and share just for me…I share for all of you!!  I only hope that I inspire someone to make something or update something they have for the first time. I found that inspiration from other bloggers and it is my goal to do the same for you.  So, if I have inspired you and you have a success to share (or a failure with a funny story ;) ) please share with me…it could inspire someone else, or just give us a laugh.

Daisies-create inspire enjoy

I was thinking about what was different in year two of blogging versus year one, and I don’t have anything that really jumps out at me.  One difference during 2014 has been based on my effort to Thrive. I thought today was a good time to check in and let you know how I’m doing.


One of the first aspects was thriving in my career as a Human Resources Manager.  I think this year that is happening.  I’m pushing myself professionally to learn and grow.  I applied for and was accepted into a program called Leadership Lancaster, which begins this Fall and I’m excited for that opportunity to develop personally and professionally as well as for the connections to the community.

Mexico Palm tree beach

As far as for the blog and the ideas in my head at the beginning of the year…it took a while but they are finally happening.  I wrote in at least one of my recent posts that my project was going to be for sale.  Well, this was my intention early in the year…I wanted to sell some of my projects, but I wasn’t sure how, when or where.  Tomorrow marks the official start of my selling.  I will have a booth at a local thrift shop, Thrifty Elegance.  I’m excited to have it all set up.  I’ve been working over the last few months to collect items for sale, some are just items I found and will resell and others I’ve updated with a new look, and yet other items are my creations (everything pictured below is for sale).  If you are local, I hope you’ll stop by and check it out.  The owners and other people with booths have great items for sale too!

1-thriftyelegance pieces

Conferences were other aspects of my goal to Thrive.  I attended BlogU and Haven Conference.  They were two quite different experiences, and both valuable to me.  I learned so much, and I am slowly but surely implementing my newfound knowledge here at Puddy’s House.  I also had lots of fun at the conferences.  These are just two of the silly pictures from Amy and I at BlogU.


Personally, I’ve done my best to thrive too.  I can’t say stress hasn’t creeped in here and there, but overall I have not been nearly as stressed as I have at other times in my life.  I’ve really done well at leaving my work at work and enjoying my time at home. I’ll admit to being a bit spoiled this year with my time off and travels – I got to go to the spa with my friends, had days off that I worked on projects, and Bob and I traveled to Mexico.  We still have a summer trip to the beach to look forward to and a long weekend in the Finger Lakes.  Puddy gets to go along for both, so he’ll be happy too! :)


I hope you will continue to follow along in my journey here at Puddy’s House.  I appreciate all the visitors, comments and followers that I have.


Two Tray Makeovers

1-Two Tray Makeovers header

I had these two trays and they both desperately needed a makeover.  The white tray was an old  yard sale find that I had previously spray painted white, but that was back when we had a wooden coffee table in the living room.  With the new living room furniture the white tray didn’t really look pretty on the new end table, so I decided it needed a new look.  My first thought was spray paint because that worked for me before.

Tray makeoveres - white tray before spray paint

I gave it a few coats of this Rustoleum spray paint and it was quite bright.

Tray Makeovers - white tray after spray paint

So, then I decided it needed to be lightened up a bit.  I had a sample size of Valspar’s Spring Green paint.  I brushed on a few coats of that.

Tray makeover -  tray after valspar spring green paint

Still wasn’t a look that I wanted, so then I decided to add another layer.  This time, I used Annie Sloan Chalk paint in Aubusson blue.  I was definitely using all the various paint types and brands that I had in the house! For my first coat of blue, I tried to just lightly apply it to see what look I got….not a look I wanted.

Tray Makeovers - tray after aubusson blue chalk paint

So, I went ahead and added a second coat of blue.

Tray makeovers - tray after two coats aubusson blue chalk paint

I liked the blue, but I wanted to see part of spring green too, so I took the tray outside and used a bit of sand paper to distress it by hand.

Tray makeovers - tray after distressing

Now, that was more the look I was going for.  I finished this tray with a coat of Annie Sloan Dark Wax.

Tray Makeovers - tray after dark wax close up

The tray definitely doesn’t blend into the end table anymore!  Plus, I think the hints of spring green look good with the lamp.

Tray Makeovers - tray on end table

It still just holds the remotes and coasters, but it looks a little prettier. :)

Tray makeovers - tray after on end table close up

The second tray was a much simpler process.  I started with the plain tray that I got quite a while ago, either at a yard sale or thrift shop.

Tray makeovers - dark tray before

Sorry for the bad before picture….it was in my basement work area, which does not have the best lighting.  I removed the glass and took the screws out of the sends to that I could work on all the sections at once.  For this tray, I chose Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Graphite and then followed it up with a coat of Dark Wax.  Then, came the fun part.  I wanted to put pretty scrapbook paper inside the oval frame.  I pulled out several pieces and tried different ones to see what I liked best.

Tray makeovers - second scrapbook paper option

I liked a few of them, but ultimately decided on the one in the tray below.

Tray makeovers - after paint and wax choosing scrapbook paper

Once I put the glass back in the tray, it became challenging for pictures again.  But, I still really like the updated look.

Tray makeovers - dark tray after - chalk paint-dark wax - scrapbook paper

Do you have a plain tray around your house that could use a new look?





Haven 2014

If you have been reading Puddy’s House for a while, you know that my blog was created after attending the Haven Conference in 2012.


Haven is like the mecca for DIY bloggers.  I had to go back in 2013, and of course returned again this year.  The conference is held for 3 days in Atlanta, and if you happen to be in that hotel, it seems it is taken over by (mainly) women for the weekend.  I always feel like Haven is so hard to summarize, and I go into it thinking I’ll take all these great pictures that will show what it is really like, but alas, I don’t have tons of great pictures to share!  And, I also think to non-bloggers Haven might not be that interesting, but I feel it is important to share because it is a highlight of my year!

This year, the keynote speaker was Chip Wade from HGTV.  I got a seat close to the front so that I was sure to get a picture, problem is he moves around A LOT when he speaks, so I really on have this one because he stopped moving while he played a video highlighting one of the projects on his new show, Elbow Room.

Haven - Chip Wade

I haven’t watched his show yet, but the projects he shared were inspiring and a great reminder to do things that function well in your home for how you use your home.  As soon as he was done speaking, we basically ran right up front to get a picture with him and it’s not the best, but we got  the picture!!

Haven - les jess amy shanna with Chip Wade

With me is, Jessica from Gourley Girl and Guy, Amy from Always Never Done and Shanna from Restoration Redoux.

After our Chip Wade stalking was over, it was time to get serious.  I attended great sessions over a 2-day period.  I took a variety of sessions in order to learn and improve in different areas, so I made sure that I covered the areas of DIY, design and many different aspects of blogging.  My head was swimming!  I took so many notes and I am slowly working on a plan to implement them.

1-Haven Collage

Besides getting an education, I also had the opportunity to meet with the brands that sponsored Haven.  Many of the sponsors had interactive booths and contests, so Amy and I took some fun pictures.  But, meeting with the brands is also a serious aspect of Haven.  I wanted to connect with brands that I already know and love, but also discover new brands that I wanted to learn about and decide if there are products they make or opportunities they have that will help me in my projects and blog.  When we registered for Haven, we picked up our swag bag, which was stuffed pretty full, but then I also picked up other products and information from the sponsors, so this is everything that came home with me.  It was a fun effort to get it home on the plane, but everything made it safely.  I can’t wait to use some of the products and build the gifts from Home Depot.

Haven - Swag

Every night, we had a fun party to relax and have a good time with the other bloggers.  It was great to have the time to get to know bloggers that I only know from the internet in real life!  Makes me feel a little less like a stalker and more like I know them.

Haven - Leslie Kim Amy

Amy was my travel companion again this year, so that is why she is in basically all of my pictures.  Home Depot and Ryobi threw us a great party on the last night, so we had to get a picture with their fun backdrop.  With Amy and I is Kim from The Kim Six Fix. Kim is one of the bloggers I met last year and have stayed in contact with her all year, so it was fun to hang out in person again.   I also had fun with a few of the other bloggers that I talk to reguarly online and finally had the chance to spend time with them in person:  Charlotte from Ciburbanity, Bee from Windgate Lane, Melody from My Passion for Decor and Anne from Anne Thompson Designs.  And, I met tons of new to me bloggers that I can’t wait to continue the conversations with throughout the year and see them at Haven next year!

When Haven ended last year, they challenged us to “Do good on a grand scale” and this year they are going to make it happen.  Haven is partnering with Habitat for Humanity for Hands of Haven on July 26th.


Bloggers will be volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, shopping Habitat restores, or  just proudly wearing the t-shirt in support of Hands of Haven.  I’m proud to be part of such a wonderful group of bloggers.

I am already anxiously awaiting Haven 2015!  But, after such a full weekend, I was glad to return home to Bob and Puddy.  This is the one picture I got from Bob while I was away; it has a sneak peak of our new shed in it.

Haven - puddy at home

DIY Plant Stand Makeover

1-DIY Plant Stand Makeover

I had this little plant stand around the house, and while we used it many places before it wasn’t in use anymore, so I decided to give it a makeover.

DIY Plant Stand Makeover - before

When we first moved into our house, Bob had this plant stand and it was unfinished.  I had the great idea to stain it, but I choose too light of a stain, so I never really liked it.  It was the perfect candidate with an update of some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I started with Aubusson Blue.

DIY Plant Stand Makeover - aubusson blue annie sloan

If you have never used Chalk Paint before, the beauty of it is that you don’t need to sand or prime first, so it makes it faster and simpler to update with a fresh coat of paint.  I put one coat of blue on the plant stand.

DIY Plant Stand Makeover - After aubosson blue

It definitely wasn’t enough coverage if I was leaving it blue, but I wasn’t.  I was going for a layered look.  So, next I applied Annie Sloan Cream.

DIY Plant Stand Makeover - Annie Sloan Cream

I applied two coats of the Cream all over the stand.

DIY Plant Stand Makeover - After 2 coats of Annie Sloan Cream

At this point, there was not much blue peaking through anymore.  So, I took it outside and began to distress it to show some of the blue.  I used a fine grit sand paper and just sanded certain areas.

DIY Plant Stand Makeover - distressed

Now, you could see the layers of paint and even some original wood.  Next up was a coat of Annie Sloan Dark Wax.  I applied it allover the stand with a clean cloth and then buffed immediately with the cloth.

DIY Plant Stand Makeover - Annie Sloan Dark Wax added

It really gave this simple little piece of furniture some character.

DIY Plant Stand Makeover - after top

I really like how you can see all of the layers at different points.  It was fun to really change the look with just some paint and wax.

DIY Plant Stand Makeover - after up close

Since it is technically a plant stand, I tried it with a plant on it first.  I actually think this is the plant that we used to sit on it.

DIY Plant Stand Makeover -with plant

I think it looks cute with a little beachy vignette too.

1-DIY Plant Stand Makeover - beach vignette

This was my first furniture piece using wax and it was easy to use and gave me good results.  I’m sure I’ll be using it again.  Have you updated anything with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and wax?



Ugly to Pretty Version 2.0

A few months ago, you may recall that I shared the ugly to pretty chairs and when I ended that post I only had one finished, which had a mistake to fix and I had messed up the other one.  Well, these chairs tried to get the best of me!!  I never was able to find more fabric to match the first chair, so I went ahead and bought some new fabric.  I reupholstered the one chair and loved it.  I also made a few minor adjustments to my process along the way that made it a better finish.  Well, after I had the one done, I decided that the improvements and fabric were better so I ripped the old one apart and made a matching set.

DIY Chair Makeovers

The main revision was in how I reupholstered around the arms, so I will show that part here.  For the other aspects, visit the first version here. I used the old fabric as my template and cut it out and then laid it on the chair.

ugly to pretty chair - fabric in place

I learned my lesson from before and did not cut the slits for the arms until it was on the chair, and even then I did one at a time.  But first I added extra fabric at the base of each arm.

ugly to pretty chair - fabric around arm step 1

Then, I cut the fabric in the middle of the arm.

ugly to pretty chair - fabric around arm step2

I tucked the fabric around the foam of the seat.

ugly to pretty chair - fabric around arm step3

Then, I rolled the edges over and stapled at the base.

ugly to pretty chair - fabric around arm step 4

When I attached the trim around the arms, I attached it to the fabric and not the wooden arm.  I did not do this right the first time and when you sat on the chair it ripped the trim from the arm.  With the trim attached to the fabric it easily slides as you sit in the seat.

ugly to pretty chair - trim around arm

Then, I glued trim the whole way around the base of the fabric to hide the remaining staples and the chairs were done.

ugly to pretty chairs finished

I really love them.

ugly to pretty chair version 2 with pillow

So, just to refresh your memory of the before and after.

Ugly to Pretty before and after

What do you think…do you like the new version?  Have you ever had a project that felt never ending?

As much as I love this pair of chairs (now that they are done), I am selling them, so if you are local and interested in buying the chairs, please let me know.


DIY Patriotic Wreath


DIY Patriotic Wreath header

If you’ve been around Puddy’s House for any length of time, you know I have a thing for making wreaths.  The idea for this patriotic wreath came when I had my fabric purchases in hand in the checkout line at Jo-Ann Fabrics and I spotted these bright red flowers and the nearby sign that said 70% off.  I quickly cut out of line and went over and grabbed the red flowers and hopped back in the checkout line….this was all on my lunch break, so it was quick!   I knew I had some of the blue hydrangeas and plenty of white flowers at home, so I thought combining them for a patriotic wreath would be nice for all the summer patriotic holidays.

DIY Patriotic Wreath - red white and blue flowers

I took the multiple flower options and a empty grapevine wreath.

DIY Patriotic wreath - bare grapevine

And, I started with some of the larger flowers of all the colors.

DIY Patriotic Wreaht - first step

Definitely wasn’t working…the flowers were all too big.  I dug out some smaller white flowers, and I also found another wreath in my stash.

DIY Patriotic Wreath - additional flowers to use

I wasn’t planning to use the wreath, just the little white flowers.  So, I disassembled the wreath, which was easy as the stems were just stuck in and occasionally wire tied to the grapevine.  After I added some smaller flowers and changed it up a bit, I thought the wreath was looking pretty good.

DIY Patriotic Wreath - all flowers added

It is always hard for me to tell when I’m working on it, especially now that I’m working in the basement…the lighting isn’t as good as I would like.  But, the basement space is certainly nice for the messes I tend to make. ;)  So, I carried the wreath upstairs and hung it on the door to check it out.

DIY Patriotic Wreath - close up flowers

I was pretty pleased with it.  Bob thought maybe it could use something on the other side.  I did try adding a flag and even adding ribbon and patterned fabric and didn’t like either.  I still may add something on the other side, if I find the right thing.

DIY Patriotic Wreath - all flowers

But, for now I like it.

DIY Patriotic Wreath - on door

So, what do you think, would you add something to the other side?  If so, any ideas?



My New Mohawk Rug and Giveaway

So, you know how long it took us to pick out a living room rug…yeah 1 whole year!  Imagine my excitement when Mohawk Home contacted me to provide me with a rug….well I was extremely excited because we definitely need more rugs in our house, and you can’t beat free.  But, there was also a few moments of sheer panic….you know, it took a whole year to pick out our last rug!  I didn’t know how patient Mohawk was going to be with me.  Fortunately, Mohawk Home has such a great selection, it wasn’t quite as difficult as I thought.  No, it wasn’t simple, but it didn’t take a year, just a few weeks. ;)  Bob and I agreed on this rug:


I am definitely drawn to leafy rugs, and I really liked the muted colors.  Our intention was to put the rug in my craft room.  Even though I have a desk in there, I’m quite frequently crafting on the floor and we thought it might make sense to put a rug in the center to protect the carpet.  So, the day my pretty new rug arrived, I rushed in the house and unwrapped it and put it in my Craft room and it did not look good!  It made all the furniture look way too white.  Since Bob wasn’t home, I decided I’d work on an alternate location for the rug, so I put it in the breakfast room.  I really liked the colors.  The breakfast room is very open and the gold tones worked well with the walls and furniture.  Plus, I thought it was nice to carry in the blues from the living room.

A good blogger would have a picture to show you, but alas, I did not take any pictures!!  Because, the rug didn’t stay there.  We left it in the breakfast room for several days, but Bob didn’t like it there.  So, we tried it in the craft room again, and it stayed there for a few days. I knew I didn’t like it, but Bob wasn’t sure.  I had resigned myself to painting my craft room furniture to go with the rug…hehe…I was actually excited about this potential, but again it was not meant to be.

The next rug location was the foyer.  This was a quick decision…no way!  The rug was too big for the space and made it feel too busy.  So now what, we took the rug to the basement.  We had wanted a rug for under the table and hadn’t really thought about that location until it felt like we were out of options.  Fortunately, it worked!  Hooray!!  We finally had a location for the rug.

Mohawk Rug 1

The rug fit the space well and we liked the extra color it added.  Since it is our basement, there isn’t much natural light and it is challenging to get good pictures of the rug.

Mohawk Rug 6

We’ve had rug for several weeks now and really do like it.  The area needed to be defined and the rug does just that and looks pretty too.  It also gave me reason to share this area of our basement again.  The only other thing that is about as challenging as picking out rugs for Bob and I is agreeing on artwork.  We added the painting in this picture last Fall.  It was one we picked up on vacation last year and Bob asked where we’d put it and I made up some location just because we actually agreed on artwork and I wanted it…I’d figure out where to put it later (sounds kind of like our rug).  So, this is where our vacation artwork ended up.  Slowly but surely, this area is getting decorated.

mohawk 8

So enough rambling about my rug and onto the exciting part!  Mohawk Home is giving away a rug up to size 5×8 and $150 to one of my lucky readers!! YES, you could win a pretty new rug too!

Mohawk Rug Giveaway

Mohawk Home has a great selection of rugs.  You can find them on their blog, Facebook, Twitter, Hometalk, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+, and

Enter below for your chance to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This giveaway will close on July 3, 2014 at 11:59 pm ET. The winner will be chosen by and I will notify you by email on July 4, 2014. You will need to respond within 48 hours to claim your prize or another winner will be chosen.



Baby Shower Diaper Invitation

1-DIY Diaper baby shower invitations

I had my first experience with creating a DIY Diaper Invitation over a year ago for my sister’s baby shower.  Since we knew she was having a girl, we got to use very cute girly prints.  Recently, a friend of mine was planning a shower for her daughter who had a baby boy on the way.  She wanted to use the diaper invitations and was planning an animal themed shower, so I helped by creating the diaper-shaped invitations.  It was fun to use different paper.  I also realized in my previous blog post that I didn’t have many pictures in process, so I took a few of those to share in case you want to make your own diaper invitations.

I found a pack of zebra print paper in multiple colors, so I started with the green, but we ended up only using blue.  This paper was 8.5 x 11 and only had a print on one side, so it was different than the girl paper/invitations.  I used my old template, which has now been updated for easier printing and use. Download here.

diaper invitation - template on paper

I made the invitations in assembly line format.  I traced all of them on the paper.

diaper invitation - traced template

Then, I cut all of them out.

diaper invitation - cut out shape

diaper invitation - cut out shapes

The next step was cutting the scalloped edges on the flaps. And, then I sliced the two lines where the flaps tuck in.

Diaper Invitations - complete stacks

I think you can see the scalloped detail better on the girl invitations.  The double-sided paper gives it a different contrast.

diaper invitation - baby girl invites 2

diaper invitation - baby girl invites 2 sided close up

The inside of the girl invitation is shown in my previous post here.

For the inside of the baby boy invitations, I let my friend complete that part, but I gave an idea on language to tie it into the animal theme:

We’re going WILD with excitement

Name is having a


Please join us for a baby shower

Saturday, May 10th at 2:00 p.m.



 RSVP to Me by May 1st

Email or Phone

For other baby shower invitation ideas, visit my Baby Shower Ideas board on Pinterest.

Have you made baby shower invitations?  I find it to be a fun and satisfying process.



Mexico Vacation continues in Akumal and Tulum

I had shared with you the first part of our Mexico vacation starting in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.  We spent the next six days in Akumal, Mexico.  If you are like me, you might not know how far it is from Cabo to Akumal, but it was flying coast to coast in Mexico!  Oddly for us, we could get home easier from Akumal, so that is what prompted us to combine the two into the same vacation.  It was almost like we had two trips in one, which was great.  For this portion of our trip, we used VRBO to find a condo to rent on Half Moon Bay in Akumal.  We had our own patio right on the beach and the view was just perfect.

Mexico -  Akumal view from condo

Bob and I have traveled to this area of Mexico three other times.  Many people refer to the area as the Riviera Maya, which is a whole section of Mexico.  We were specifically in Akumal and we visited Tulum beaches on several days.  Since we have been to the area before, it was like we didn’t miss a beat.  We got to Akumal late in the evening and when we woke up in the morning, we stepped out onto the beach in front of our condo and hopped in the water for some snorkeling.  It is a bay, so it is protected, but it had some small waves too.  After snorkeling, we relaxed under the palm tree in the picture above.  It was a great start to this part of our trip.  Our condo was dangerously close to the beach bar, La Buena Vida, so that was a regular stop for us.  It is right on the beach with a sandy floor and open air.  They also make awesome food.

Our next day, we drove to one of the beaches in Tulum.  The water is so clear and it has nice little waves.

Mexico - tulum beach

We got beach chairs outside the restaurant, La Vita e Bella, and spent the day on the beach and enjoyed a good lunch at the restaurant.  Finding restaurants on the beach is nice, because you have access to food and facilities, and another important item for me is access to shade too.  I love the beach, but I  need my shade!

Mexico - tulum in the sand

The next day, we went to another beach….that is the theme for this portion of the trip, a different beach each day :)  Akumal Bay was the beach for the day.  We’ve previously stayed on Akumal bay and it has gotten much busier since then, but the reason we go is for the snorkeling.  It is so nice.

Mexico - Akumal turtle2

Akumal means, “home of the turtle” and there is definitely no shortages of turtles.

Mexico - Akumal turtle

Bob did a great job of capturing them up close.

Mexico- Akumal snorkeling turtles

The bay is full of more than just turtles though; there are plenty of beautiful fish and coral.

Mexico - Akumal snorkeling fish

Mexico - akumal snorkeling coral and fish

Mexico - Akumal snorkeling angelfish

We saw some for the first time ever….the lionfish were really cool.

Mexico - akumal snorkeling 2 lionfish

And, so was the squid.

Mexico - akumal snorkeling squid

Mexico - Akumal leslie snorkeling

I love just floating in the water and watching below.  The crackling sounds of the coral, let you know that everything is alive.

Mexico - Akumal snorkeling coral

Mexico - snorkeling fish

We saw a few sting rays too.

Mexico - akumal snorkeling sting ray

mexico - akumal snorkeling spotted eagle ray

Mexico - akumal snorkeling stingray 2

When we are floating in the water, I tend to forget everything else that is going on.  And, then you surface and realize there is so much around us and above water.  Akumal is where many boats depart for fishing too, so it is a busy bay.

Mexico - Akumal boat

We snorkeled a few times that day, and had lunch a the Lol Ha, which is right on the beach too.

Our next day, we traveled back to Tulum.  We just chose to go to a different portion of the beach.  Again, we chose to access the beach at a restaurant/resort.  For this day, it was Cabanas Tulum and Ziggy Beach.  On one of our previous trips, we stayed at Cabanas Tulum, so we knew it was a good location.  They have big beach beds to hang out and deliver your food right to you on the beach.

mexico - tulum beach2

Each beach is just slightly different, and you can see the differences in the water too.  We enjoyed a long walk up and down the beach in Tulum.

For our last full day in Mexico, Bob asked what I wanted to do and I chose Xcacel.  Again, we have been there in the past…we learned of this local beach from one of the waiters on our first trip to the area.  There is nothing there other than a “guard” to collect your $40 pesos (about $4 in US) for entrance/parking.  Other than that, it is just a big empty beach.

Mexico - Xcacel beach panarama

The picture shows how empty it was.  More people showed up as the day went on, but it was just a wonderful final day.  We were missing some shade, but on the last day I was not quite as fussy with my sunscreen and shade so that when I came home it at least looked like I had been in Mexico for 10 days!

Mexico - xcacel beach

Overall, our vacation in Mexico was wonderful.  We had a great trip full of great beaches, food and fun.  I’m grateful for the pictures to preserve our memories too.

Have you traveled to Mexico?  Do you like returning the same vacation places?