To see all of my travel posts, click here.

All images taken with the Sony NEX-6.

This is my next post on the majesty of the Sponge Docks in Tarpon Springs, FL. Cannot recommend enough.

After our tour through the Greek Islands gift shop, we went for dinner at the amazing Hellas Restaurant & Bakery. This is our favorite choice at the Sponge Docks, as it will never disappoint you in your quest for delicious Greek food. The menu is large and varied, with many options. I am a creature of habit and so order the Chicken Souvlaki every time. Jess had some shrimp that looked amazing though, I might try that for next time. We also had the saganaki!

One of the reasons I love Hellas so much is the decor.

There is no lack of neon.

Clouds on the ceiling.

Holiday decor was also in place.

After our wonderful dinner, we moved on to the attached bakery!

While we didn’t eat at the restaurant so much during my younger years, I have distinct memories of getting coffee and baklava with friends in high school. The atmosphere in the bakery is not so unlike a diner in New Jersey.

More neon!

This is the view back into the restaurant.

The variety of baked goods are nothing to be messed with.

It is so hard to choose what to take home! Will and I bought some diples, baklava, and kataifi to go.

I cannot recommend this restaurant and bakery enough, if you make a trip to the Sponge Docks.

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Missing the Mark #6: Tradesy “Raining Purple” Email

by Jamie Sanford on April 22, 2016

To view all of my content about brand experience, please click here.

I am writing this post on the evening of April 21, 2016. The world found out less than 12 hours ago that Prince, a musical legend, has passed away at the age of 57. To say that people are upset is an understatement.

Much to my surprise, I received an email from Tradesy at 8pm, with the subject line “IT’S RAINING PURPLE.”

I can’t think of anything more heinous in e-commerce than essentially dancing on someone’s grave to sell a purple Chanel bag. I tweeted to Tradesy about this, and received a tweet back within 30 minutes, apologizing. I knew then that I was not the only one who had said something.

Hmm. Certainly it is good to be apologizing, but the wording of this response is also unfortunate. “We love Prince, are so sad, and wanted to honor him” – this doesn’t say to me that they were sitting around at the office, listening to Prince songs and talking about his music, but entertaining someone’s idea that they should use the death of a musical legend to sell expensive accessories.

I am sure that someone at Tradesy is feeling guilty over approving this idea or having this idea in the first place. I’m sure they won’t make the same mistake again. I just hope that other e-commerce teams understand that this is never a good way to go.

Update, 4/22/16: Chevrolet’s tribute to Prince, an obvious nod to his hit song “Little Red Corvette,” is perfectly crafted. The opposite of what we saw from Tradesy.

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Prince, 1958-2016

by Jamie Sanford on April 21, 2016

I saved this gif to my computer earlier this week, before the untimely death of Prince.

Prince’s music was around when I got into music as a kid, when I first started being INTO music. Plus, his inherent sexiness was an awakening for young Jamie – in a similar fashion to David Bowie, which I talked about earlier this year.

I would house-sit for some neighbors when I was a pre-teen and would borrow CDs from their collection sometimes to listen to at home. They had Prince’s The Hits 1 and The Hits 2 in the collection, and I took them home and devoured them. While Bowie certainly awakened something in me that I figured out later was just being a normal human feeling feelings, Prince really told me some things about actual sex. (Examples here and here, a small selection.)

I mean, the man showed his bare ass on live television in 1991!  (There is no good YouTube version of this performance for me to embed into this post.)

Here’s a great video from the NFL’s YouTube channel about Prince’s legendary halftime show, in the rain! (I can’t embed this one either.)

Reign in purple, Prince Rogers Nelson.

 

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Check out all of my Product Picks here. If you want to see all of the products I’ve reviewed (not just the ones I like), click here for Reviews.

Today’s review is a confession and a review.

First up, the confession. I own what I think is easily over 50 lip color products. I am pretty terrible about actually wearing them. Wearing a bold lip color is a statement – I had a week of trying out bold lip colors last year, and I really need to try again. However, in the meantime, I’ve bonded with a lipstick.

I had read about the Milani Color Statement Matte Lipsticks on Nouveau Cheap (anyone who shops at the drugstore for beauty items needs to be following this blog), and when I was at CVS, I checked them out. I ended up purchasing 2 colors of the matte lipsticks, Naked and Darling.

Milani Matte Naked is totally my new favorite lipstick. It’s matte, so it is long-lasting, but it isn’t so drying that I want to cover it in lip balm. It’s not quite a “my lips but better” color, it skews a bit too brown on me for that. I think the reason I love it so much is the balance between putting color on my lips that is enough to be noticed without being overwhelming.

Plus, the price is pretty amazing. These are about $6 at the drugstore. I think the word on Matte Naked in particular is out because I have had trouble finding it. Once I realized how much I liked it, I have been hunting for extras to stock up.

Share your drugstore beauty picks in the comments!

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To see all of my travel posts, click here. All images taken with the Sony NEX-6.

More Florida tips from me. The love is real!

If you are anywhere near Tarpon Springs, Florida, you need to go to the Sponge Docks. I recommend going mid-day, getting a snack, maybe taking a little dolphin viewing cruise, and then come back and have dinner at one of the absolutely incredible Greek restaurants, the best available in the state, and maybe the country. Tarpon Springs has the highest percentage of Greek American residents in the United States, and the Sponge Docks is home to multiple Greek restaurants. All of the ones I have been to are amazing, but Hellas is my favorite. (I will talk about Hellas specifically in an upcoming post.)

Anyway, we visited one night before Christmas, and stopped in at the Greek Islands gift shop, a tribute to Florida, kitsch, and Greece.

We spent at least 15 minutes in here.

Shells, all over the place.

For all of your decorative pirate ship needs.

It’s a little bit NJ shore house, a little bit grandma’s porch.

I should have gotten one of the blowfish for my Christmas tree. Note: they are very sharp.

Rows upon rows of Floridian treasures.

You can see some of the famous local sponges at the bottom here.

I highly recommend a stop at the Greek Islands Gift Shop, and Tarpon Springs in general. It is charming and worth the trip.

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