Tag:

travel

Our Trip to NYC

by Shalice Noel

Why we went

Myself, Reid and Levi are in New York city all week for work meetings and reunions with friends. It wasn’t easy leaving the four older siblings at home, but I worry less knowing they’re in good hands with my dad watching them. Funny enough, we really miss the kids help with Levi. My oldest is so helpful changing his diapers and holding him so I have a little break. This week, I had some really exciting meetings, more of which I can share later.It was a highlight to be able to meet up with my friend Laura from Brooklyn, and do a little shopping in Soho. I forgot how good the NYC shopping is and HOW GOOD the style here is. The NYC girl surely knows how to dress: from classic trench coats, to simple totes, and stunning boots. See below what I wore, and where we ate. Let me know in the comments if I missed anything. Next visit, Guggenheim is on the list! Can’t wait to go back.

What I wore:

paper bag shorts similar // sweater (only $25.99!) // red sandals // earrings

blazer c/o/ Veronica Beard // crop top // black orchid denim similar jeans // white sandals // snake bag // earrings

kate jeans c/o Marissa Webb denim similar // crop top // trench coat similar // red heels // my Chanel diaper bag // Longchamp bag //

Sweater // jeans under $80 // Orange sandals // Turquoise Ring

White flowy pants // Anine Bing Tee // Sandals // Brahmin bag

Where we ate:

Estancia 460 // 460 Greenwich St. // I ordered salmon, Reid ordered the fried chicken.

Le Mercerie // 53 Howard St.// lunch and star sightings. I sat by Ina Garten!

ABCv // 38 E. 19th St. // breakfast vegan yumminess

Laduree // 398 W. Broadway// I had a meeting with Lago’s for breakfast I got the sunny side up eggs and almond milk latte.

Maman // 205 Hudson // We went there for lunch, sandwiches and coffee. Cutest southern frenchie vibe

Top Photography by Tomas Cohen

I’m going to shake the boat a little bit in today’s article. Reid and I will take a ski trip to the mountains over a trip to Disneyland any day. Yes, it’s true! For those diehard Disney goers, feel free to blast me in my comments below…kindly though. But here are my thoughts. Skiing is a great way to be active, learn something new, improve at a sport, challenge ourselves physically, face our fears, encourage each other…I can go on and on. Skiing is good for families.

When we plan our ski vacation we always pick Vail. For us personally, it’s centrally located for Reid’s parents who meet us there. We fly from the west coast and they drive from the midwest. They love the opportunity to see the kids ski and help us by babysitting Levi so I can ski. If you have grandparents who don’t ski, you need to know Vail offers free scenic gondola rides after 3:30, so the grandparents can join the kids on top of the mountain, watch them ski and then grab hot chocolates at Bistro Fourteen.

We flew Southwest Airlines from Burbank to Denver. Southwest is one of the few airlines that has bags fly free and with snow gear, and we knew we’d have a lot of bags. We got into Denver late afternoon and by the time our shuttle picked us up, the sun was down and we missed the scenery. When you book your trip, make sure to get to Denver no later than 1:00 pm. It’s a two-hour drive from Denver to Vail and the sun goes down around 5:00 pm.  

Vail has world-class skiing and attracts people from all over the world. Vail has amazing restaurants like Flame (our favorite) and Standard. Also, the streets are heated, so you don’t really have to slosh around in your boots to explore the town. Where were heated streets when I was a kid? They also have free transportation that will take you from one side of Vail to the other.

We recommend ski lessons for the kids to get reacquainted with their skis and learn mountain etiquette. Secretly, Reid and I wanted to run off together and ski alone while they were in school. We met up with them for lunch and then did some runs with the ski instructor and the kids in the afternoon before I had to run off and feed Levi. You can book ski lessons online or even the day of. They offer private, semi-private or group lessons. With the four kids, we chose a private group lesson. Be aware though, you can’t mix snowboard lessons with ski lessons.

Besides skiing, we also took the kids to Adventure Ridge at the top of the Lionshead Gondola.  Adventure Ridge offers snow biking, an alpine coaster and snow tubing. The kids chose snow tubing so while I stayed home with Levi and ordered room service, Reid took the kids tubing. Very much a highlight for the kids.

The final day we were blessed with lots and lots of snow! We almost got up early enough to make first tracks. It was beautiful skiing with the snow falling and we skied the morning together as a family. With the fresh powder, the kids were able to take on the blue runs with no problems. Even our five year old was taking them on. Can I remind you how cute kids are skiing? Making fresh tracks in the powder was a great way to end our day…even though we didn’t really want it to end.

If you are curious, we stayed at Ritz-Carlton Residences, Vail. Our place had two bedrooms, a spacious living room with a pullout couch, a well stocked kitchen, 2 bathrooms, a powder room and convenient washer/dryer. The hotel staff was friendly and helpful and provides shuttle service anywhere you need to go. I went downstairs to order a quick bite to eat while the older kids were tubing and the staff brought it up shortly to my room. Reid and I loved the gym area. We got to try the new Pelaton bikes. If we were brave enough, I would love to try the hot tub and heated pool. Funny enough, our kids jumped in and quickly begged for warm towels and blankets. Oh to be a kid!

Where we stayed: Collaboration with RITZ CARLTON CLUB VAIL RESIDENCES

Eat Little Diner (breakfast) Mountain Standard (dinner)

Flame (steak dinner)

Outfit details: GG Belt // Camel Coat // Red Print Sweater // Faux Leather Pants //

My Ski Coat // Ski Pants // Levi SnowsuitBoys Moncler

Girls Puffer // Girls puffer// Boys Puffer

I’ll be honest, packing for a ski trip is one of the most challenging to prepare for. Let alone with kids. The layers, the ski gear, the goggles, the extra thick socks, sweaters, and don’t get me started on the puffy coats!! But it is one of our family’s FAVORITE vacations. I mean, is there anything greater than skiing down a mountain together? I share more of our first trip to Vail, CO here.

We leave Sunday for Vail, CO so packing has been in the works for a couple weeks, ordering things like hats, gloves and snow suit for Levi, a ski coat for myself and Reid and a snow pants for my 5′ tall 10 year old that is growing like a weed!

Ok, you ask, what did you pack? FYI, here’s my last post on what I ordered for our trip!

Canada Goose Ski Jacket I got it in small (the vest is cute too)// (flattering) Ski Pants // Slippers to walk around the condo // Burberry scarf // Boot with red laces // Vintage inspired knit // “Ski” sweater similar// the red print sweater in my flat lay (FYI go up a size, I could’ve gone with a medium. It runs small // Moon Boots (I’ve always wanted an excuse to buy these!) // White and black turtlenecks

Where did you shop for good baby clothes?

H&M. As much as I like characters and cute teddy bears, I like his clothing to be character free, easy separates and I order a lot of them from H&M! His snowsuit is very warm and I ordered a size 9-12 mos, since he’s gotten quite long!

Can you recommend some good packing cubes?

Yes! Packing cubes help you save SO much space!

OK, I’ve been wondering about this, which ski coat did you get?

I opted for casual and classic. THIS ONE fit the bill. I also like THIS VEST worn over a long turtleneck sweater, faux leather leggings and moon boots.

Where can I find more affordable ski options?

After I had shopped for everything, I discovered the Outnet has ski items, game changer! Check it out. Also, Topshop has some cute ski options.

What do you bring for snacks on the plane and for the ride from Denver to Vail?

I’ll bring gum, mints, kale chips, turkey jerky, and raw almonds.

Don’t forget to check the weather before you go. It should be snowing every day we are there. The weather will justify me bringing 4 turtlenecks!

More sweaters below!

What island likes to have a lot of sweets? A deserted island J OK…OK…so we decided to head to the desert right after Christmas, but due to our unexpected trip to the Midwest, we ended up adjusting our dates so we could spend New Year’s Eve at The Miramonte Indian Wells Resort. Indian Wells is in the Coachella Valley (book now for festival season) between Palm Desert and La Quinta.

 

It’s funny how we left 12-degree temperatures in Omaha on December 29, and we were expecting hot desert temperatures to come home to. Well, we happened to come home to a cold snap and the temps in the desert were 60 degrees and below! We are so wimpy now. Needless to say, always check the weather before you pack. We took a day trip to Joshua Tree National Park and needed our winter clothes! I still grinned and bared it to get some fashion content but wow was I cold! All for the gram!

 

The Miramonte Indian Wells Resort is super family friendly with Spanish style architecture and beautifully landscaped grounds. Our room was garden level with a citrus garden outside our door. The grounds crew even picked some lemons and oranges for us and brought them to our door. The property also has a rose garden and an area with a life-size Connect Four game and bean bag toss, which the kids really enjoyed. We were disappointed because it was too cold for the pool. Although the kids totally would have gone for it if we had let them. We’ll have to return in the spring. The resort also has a spa and adult only hideaway pool.

 

Considering the cold temperatures, our favorite amenity was the fire pits scattered throughout the resort. You can even book a smores package and snuggle up together at sunset with melted marshmallow stickiness goodness.

 

For our hotel room New Year’s Eve bash, we picked up some root beer, sparkling juice, gummy bears, lollipops and popcorn. Whole Foods is a five-minute drive from the hotel. The room was spacious enough for a little dance party as we counted down the New Year. Here’s the nice thing about being on Pacific Standard Time – we celebrate the New Year at New York City time, then we all go to bed early. Does anybody else do this?

Despite the temperature hickup, it was a great trip and we’re definitely looking forward to our next visit!

Here are some other ideas for a trip to the Coachella Valley:

Tramway

Zoo

Joshua Tree

Salvation Mountain

Modernism Week

Outfits: kimono – Poska Resortwear // black camisole only $24! // leather pants and similar // white mules // “S” necklace

pink coat // white jeans // white mules // white blouse // leopard clutch //

chunky knit sweater // OTK Boots I’m a 9, and ordered a 40 // leopard Scarf

Click here to book your next trip at Miramonte Indian Wells Resort & Spa

How to shop for a Ski Trip

by Shalice Noel

Women’s

scarf 2. ski sweater 3. gloves are under $10! 4. ski coat 5. sweater 6. moon boot 7. ski pants

Men’s

1. hat 2. beanie 3. sunglasses 4. sweater 5. marled sweater 6. T-shirt 7. ski pants 8. backpack 9. ski jacket 10. boots similar

In 20 days we leave for Vail, CO to ski as a family! I’m starting to pack now for our trip. I’m still waiting on some turtlenecks and goggles coming in the mail, otherwise I’m feeling good about packing early! I can’t wait for our private ski lesson and enjoying more snowy conditions than last year. I’ll be sure to capture many pictures of my kiddos in ski gear, because it is THE CUTEST. Admittedly, my 7 year old is a better skier than I am and went down more blues than I did! Sadly, that’s the truth! Which is your favorite ski sweater, coat?

See more pictures HERE from last year’s family trip to Vail!

skirt // cardigan

brass stool table // sandals // similar denim jeans // black jeans // buffalo check top // faux fur 

 

4 Takeaway Tips

Check @airbnb for cool rentals. Our place was 3 bed 3 bath and a pullout couch condo almost 40 floors up. It was the same price as a high end hotel, but had a nice kitchen and plenty of room to spread out. Plus the views were VERY instagram worthy. And that’s reason enough. We’ve become home bodies more and more, so staying in a great place is huge. We didn’t always feel like going out, especially when you love where you’re at. I got SO man questions asking where we stayed in Chicago. Here’s a link to our Airbnb.

Download Park Whiz app. We found parking for 3 nights for $60, a short walk away. I ended up finding a coupon code on Retail me Not (Not sponsored) for an extra $5 off. Hey, score!

Take the kids to the LEGO store. We scored big taking them to the Lego store in Watertower. I  ALMOST made up for the time I tried on 5 faux fur coats at Nordstrom with a couple Ninjago sets. Plus the cashier asked if this was a gift, and threw in 2 gift sets. Merry Christmas!

It Lived up to the Hype: Dinner/Lunch/Breakfast at 3 Arts Cafe in Restoration Hardware

We ordered an Uber and headed to the Gold Coast for some fresh interior inspo and yummy bites at the 3 Arts Cafe. No reservations needed, we walked in , sat down, enjoyed veggies and dips as an appetizer and a turkey club. Yummy! And listening to the fountain was so relaxing, even Levi enjoyed it.

While in Omaha, we visited the Omaha Zoo and Lauritzen Gardens. Two of our favorites!

We look forward to winding down this weekend at home. What are your plans?

Just as an FYI, I’m hosting a giveaway on Instagram today. Stay Tuned!

MatchesFashion is having an extra 10% off sale today – see my picks below:

Also, Nordstrom still has some great finds on sale now up to 40% off. See my picks below:

swim tunic cover up // denim short one teaspoon // sunglasses // blue dress Misa Los Angeles similar  // kimono and similar cute one // one-shoulder red dress // stripe flip flops

Reid was off 6 weeks for paternity leave and the doctors recommended traveling with a newborn after 5 weeks, so we jumped right through that 5-week window and decided to take a trip to Kauai. I know, crazy sounding, but it actually worked out great. Flying with a newborn is much easier than traveling with a 1-year-old. Levi pretty much nursed and slept the entire flight. 

 

Why Kauai?

We chose Kauai because Reid and I went there for our honeymoon and the island is familiar to us. We felt we didn’t need the added stress of flying somewhere totally new. We’ll do that when he’s a little older.  Also, the Lihue airport is chill and not big-city crowded. It’s the Garden Isle after all. For LA urban dwellers like ourselves who battle sirens, smog and traffic, the country is a breath of fresh air. Literally. I’ll substitute sirens for rooster crowing any day. Yes, wild chickens roam the island of Kauai!

Kauai Family Trip Roundup

Here’s a list of our faves to help you plan your next trip:

Where we stayed

Suite Paradise. We stayed in a condo which had a kitchen and plenty of room for the 7 of us. We had a garden view and can’t complain because the price was right. Suite Paradise has a variety of units available at various price ranges. All reservations include a resort fee with access to the Poipu Athletic Club. The kids loved the pool with slide and Reid loved the gym. They also have tennis and basketball courts for the real athletes.

Favorite Beaches

Our favorite beach was Polihale Beach. It’s totally remote but not kid friendly. So our favorite kid-friendly beaches are:

Beach at Sheraton – Kiahuna Beach

Best for a quick family swim, boogie boarding and lots of surf lessons going on if you want to give it a shot.

Baby Beach or Poipu Beach

Great snorkeling, but you will need water shoes because of the rocky bottom. We saw incredible fish, eels, sea turtles and sea lions. There is also an island you can swim to.

Best Coffee

This is a big deal because everywhere we go we look for GOOD COFFEE. This is hard to master because good coffee is really hard to find IMO.

Little Fish Coffee. Reid rated that a 5 since it tasted a little burnt for the drip version. Maybe the custom pour over would have been better, but Reid didn’t give them a second chance. The place was packed for breakfast with outdoor seating and a total surfer vibe.

Living Foods Market had the best coffee. I ordered the almond milk latte and he ordered one large regular coffee. No burnt taste and we’re going back next time.

Eden Coffee is a cute little food truck with smoothies and coffee. We got to know the owner and he has a family very similar to ours so we immediately bonded and instantly followed them on Instagram because I feel like we are old family friends now.

Best Nature Seeing

Spouting Horn

It’s a quick little stop off from the main highway along the coast. It’s a cave that spouts water up to 30 feet in the air as the waves come in. It was pretty impressive and fun to watch. The kids really dug it and loved hearing the funny sound it makes.

Waimea Canyon 

The drive to Waimea Canyon was amazing as you go from sea level up to 3,000 feet above. There is a lookout point to view the canyon which is considered The Grand Canyon of the Islands. You can see a waterfall in the distance. We suggest picking up food in the city of Waimea and having a picnic in the Waimea National Park. We also grabbed shaved ice at Jo Jos on the way back. A local favorite.

Best Shaved Ice

Shave Ice TegeTege

Shaved ice is a known dessert for Kauai. We suggest Shave Ice Tege Tege, in Kappa. A local friend Reid made in the Poipu Gym recommended it. For those who hate food coloring, this food truck offers the only 100% organic Japanese-style shaved ice. The kids picked grapefruit and Meyer Lemon flavors. Bring cash though, it’s cash only and Reid and I only had enough cash for the kids.

Best Ice Cream

            Lappert’s Hawaii

While the kids hunted after the best-shaved ice, Reid and I sought after ice cream. Lappert’s in Hanapepe was our favorite. Rich and creamy and made right in the back of the store. It’s been around since 1983 (that’s not old is it?).

 

The kids are asking us to book our next return trip ASAP and I actually agree with them. Comment below on your favorite Hawaii experiences. I’d love to get more ideas for our next trip!

Airport Style

by Shalice Noel
1. Tee
3. Cardigan (this cardi is like a hug)

4. Summer Fridays Mask

5. Joggers (I wore a small)

Whether you’re heading East or West Home, or staying in, you won’t be able to pass up these tried and true basics that work for airport style or pancake duty. I used these sunglasses while we were traveling since they actually stayed on my head during airport security with 7 people! I also love this face spray that comes in a travel friendly size to lock in the moisture. To fight dehydration, using a maskduring the flight is a must. As for luggage, we had the boys share a carryon bag from AWAY and the girls shared a carryon AWAY bag. This eliminated too many bags and avoided silly bag fees. More gift guides to prepare you for the holidays and forthcoming info on our family in Kauai. Stay tuned!

We kicked off our babymoon at the Langham Pasadena with cream tea time in The Club Lounge. The baby and I enjoyed cream, berries and English tea with cream and a cube of sugar, YUM!

It happened to be a really hot week here in Pasadena, so we waited until the sun came down a little to enjoy dinner at the Royce. Reid wanted to celebrate with a steak, I really just wanted a veggie burger. I ended up compromising on this one.

We had a corner room with a view over the pool and the San Gabriel Mountains. The grounds and gardens here are botanical and simply breathtaking! I mean, what would it feel like to get married here? You can’t help but notice the manicured lawns with paths that meander through the beauty. I told Reid, time stood still a little today, and that’s not a bad thing.

For day 2, we made a beeline to the club lounge for some potato and garlic scrambled eggs, a plethora of berries, fresh lattes (steamed almond milk upon request), muesli, fresh smoothies—you get the idea. YUMMY. After breakfast, we stopped by the pool and hot tub to cool down. I love the size of the hotel, it’s big but it doesn’t feel huge. They also had yoga outside for the community and supplied cold water by the pool and the staff is super friendly. I definitely will be back. Maybe with my party of 7 ;). 

1. Best powder bronzer – in “Laguna”I love color on my face without the dangerous sun rays.
2. Luminizer in “Champagne Rose” works for ALL skin tones, paraben free
3. Tan Towels I swear by. Remember to exfoliate and moisturize before applying.
4. My awesome $16 travel makeup bag I always get asked about
5. Body Polish A great exfoliant and smells amazing.

6. Jet LagMask Serious hydration on the go and works for most skin types!

7. Coconut Lip Gloss Only $12 and all natural.
8. Shea Butter I use this to rub on my belly and its only $12!
9. Serum Mist  So refreshing when you spray on the plane or at home.