Tag:

travel

Yesterday we took a day trip with my in-laws to Anacapa Island, 20 miles off the coast of Ventura. The best thing we did was buy a bunch of one-time use cameras for 3 kids and  1 pink instant camera my oldest saved up her money for. From the 1-hour ferry boat ride to the whale sighting to hiking around the island with a guide, 27 pictures on an instant camera went fast, but it was so much fun for the kids to capture the trip through their eyes.

We brought our lunch since there are no restaurants on the island. But we weren’t ready for the wafts of foul smells from the outhouses as we ate our picnic lunch. Yuck. Even though the smells and the nesting, and sometimes aggressive, western seagulls protecting their young, were among the cons of the trip, we still had an amazing time. The views were breathtaking. Something out of National Geographic with cliffs overlooking pebble beaches boasting sunbathing sea lions. So pretty.

If you go… don’t forget:

Water, sunscreen, cameras, snacks (in addition to lunch), dress in layers since the boat ride is chilly but the island gets hot. Also, don’t forget comfy shoes!

But if you ask my kids, in the end, after the long drive, the hike up, the 100 stairs, the squawking gulls protecting their young, they unanimously agreed seeing the huge blue whale and dolphins skimming our ferry boat was THE BEST part of the day. Go figure.

my jacket // jeans under $80! // cami similar // sneakers // sunglasses

Top and similar / Earrings // Leopard Clutch // Sandals // Jeans // Necklace similar // Sunglasses // Bronzer in “Laguna” // Sunless Tanner

Last weekend I spent with Rewardstyle! I have been with them since their inception, and if you’re not already familiar, this company has changed the fashion world! One of the highlights was, I was able to talk to my insta friend, fellow mom and multiple business owner Amber Venz-Box. We talked about her new venture “cherry” the downloadable app that allows you to order a mani pedi from your phone and they come to you. YES, I tried this service and LOVED it! Feels luxe when you can get a manicure and pedicure in your pj’s! Besides taking advantage of the great opportunity to network with fellow bloggers, I also attended for the seminars on how to best integrate home content into my blog and social channels. As most of you know, we are in the thick of renovating our the Lake Arrowhead house, and will be shortly furnishing it! I can’t wait to implement what I learned from this packed weekend! What do you guys think? I always value your opinion.

Tips for Travel to Dallas

Where did you stay?

Hotel Crescent Court

Huge hotel and lots of amenities, service was a wee bit slow but it was during a large conference so delays expected.

Friends of mine also stayed at the Adolphus and loved it.

Where did you eat?

+ We at ShinSei for sushi, thankfully they had a good variety of vegetarian dishes as well.

+ The Concierge is your best friend. We asked for healthy vegetarian food and we were told to go to NORA, mediterranean cuisine that knocked it out of the park.

Also recommended to me but I didn’t have time to try:

Sixty Vines, Honor Bar, Royal Blue Coffee, Mi Cocina, Bird Bakery, and Dolce Riviera

What to do for fun?

+ Go Biking! Our hotel had bikes – use them! Did you know on average, you can burn up to 450 calories just biking 5 miles?

+ Get Coffee

+ Go visit the Dallas Arboretum

+ Shop at the Dallas Galleria

As always, my shop page is open 24/7 (including home products I’m shopping for currently) and don’t forget to follow me on the LiketoKnow.it App where I’m posting exclusive content.

Now, off to take my kids to the park because its truly feels like Spring.

Happy Monday!

1. Hat
7. Hobo Wallet I recently purchased this wallet and I’m obsessed. So much room!
I have had so many friends and followers message me about what to bring or buy to a warm weather getaway. Living in LA, and not being far from a beach or pool, here are some of my top picks and things in my beach bag. Don’t forget SPF, a good book, and leave your worries at the beach. I always bring my go-to cutoffs and a bunch of black and white tanks to mix and match.
 
Shop more swimsuits below. There are a lot on sale right now, like this stripe one-piece I just ordered, hurry up sizes are limited.
After all, they say, happiness comes in waves. Happy Friday!

We had the opportunity last week to go as a family to The Ritz Carlton Rancho Mirage in Palm Springs.  The brand ASbyDF invited us to stay for two nights and feature some of their gorgeous new arrivals. Needless to say, it was a beautiful desert getaway with so many amenities and natural beauty surrounding us. To name a few, the separate kids pool and adults vista pool, the spa (I got a facial) , Reid hit the gym and club lounge. The latter of which really made the trip.  The Club Lounge provides breakfast, lunch, snacks and drinks from 7 – 10 at night.  Our room happened to be a couple doors down from the club lounge. So convenient and we goofed around in their for a little while. Our special last night, we ate dinner at State, a restaurant within the hotel. We enjoyed decadent burgers, steaks and excellent kids menu.  Oh and the kids finished their plates, thanks to the full day of swimming. As a special treat, the kids were invited into the kitchen to meet the chef, so cool!  They couldn’t believe the full size pig getting ready for a roasting.  If you’re planning a trip to Rancho Mirage, don’t miss these things:

STAR GAZING starts at 6:30, see the bright stars (If the weather permits…it usually does) and meanwhile enjoy a milky way candy bar.

HIKING you can go hiking around the hotel and nearby Indian Canyon. If we had more than 2 days, we would have loved to hike!

POOLS and hot tubs, we enjoyed the kids pool but there’s also a beautiful adult only pool with a spectacular view.

THE SPA you can use their hot tubs till 7:30 that day of service.

THE GYM has gymnastic rings and battle ropes for some HIIT (High Intensity Impact Training)

Have you been to Palm Springs or Rancho Mirage? Let me know in the comments below. And we are re-vamping the blog, so feel free to share what you’d like to see more of — stay tuned!

my parka // my dress // boots // hubby’s coat // little boy parka

Camel Coat Outfit

Ski Jacket // Ski Pants //

The Arrabelle at Vail Mountain

Perched up on top of the breathtaking Rockies – a mere 8,022 feet above sea level, is the European inspired town of Vail, CO. I cannot tell you how excited we were to finally go here! Not to mention as a family. This summer, we stopped in Vail for two days on our way to Chicago. Read more here. We rode the gondola and marveled at the streams, the warm sun, chilly nights, and most of all, GORGEOUS VIEWS. Family vacations, as many moms know, are not all relaxing all the time, so we were super excited when Reid’s parents agreed to join us in Vail for a couple of days. A girl needs a couple date nights out with hubby, right? I also got a little spa day, more on that below.

Which do you prefer?  Skiing or beach.  As always…I’ll welcome one of each per year, if I can.  All in the name of balance, right?  Now that we live in a warm climate, I don’t mind a week in snowy cabin.  The family was fortunate enough to partner with Vail Resorts as the ski season was just getting kicked off this last week.  The beauty of going skiing as a young family is that you are investing in their skills so when they are teenagers, they’ll be racing you down the black diamonds…if that’s your thing.  Or, sipping hot chocolate with you in the lodge.

Reserved Ski lessons

For a large family, you can book a private group lesson for less than 4 kids ½ day ski school.  Here’s our lesson learned.  Skiers and snowboards don’t mix.  The boys chose to snowboard and the girls skied.  I booked Ski lessons for everyone.  The Vail Ski School was super accommodating.  They arranged for a group ½ day lesson for the boys at a little extra cost.  The girls kept with the private lesson I had originally booked.  While the kids were in their lessons, Reid and I skied together which ended up being on the same bunny slope as the kids.  So we all got to see each other the first day.  And woahhhh… did my heart melt seeing my mini snowboarders figuring things out!  It was the cutest thing I have ever seen.  Seriously.  Worth every penny.  The boys though switched to skiing the rest of the trip, so Reid and I spent a day teaching them skiing.  Fortunately, they picked it up pretty fast.  Can we say Pizza?  I grew up calling it Snowplow?  What did you call it?

Booked a spa treatment

My hubby surprised me with a spa treatment at the Arrabelle Spa.  With the winter dryness setting in, airplane hair, wind burn, I needed major facial reconstruction.  I had a 50 minute glow facial.  It was…..

Yes.  That good.

I loved the exfoliation, steam, hot towels and how tight my skin felt afterwards. I learned a lot too! The aesthetician told me silk pillows are worth the buy both for your hair and skin, go easy on chemical peels, and every night you go to bed with make-up on, ages you 7 days. Ouch! Good to know. Bonus, I was given lemon sorbet after the procedure and a welcome to come back to the spa anytime to use the spa’s hot tub, sauna and steam room as we were hotel guests. Which of course Reid and I did that night. 

Meal Planning

Planning a day on the slopes can be overwhelming.  Especially for a larger family.  We tried to ease some stress by packing a backpack of crackers, gummies and water.  It did help some hangry moments.  Nobody really wanted to stop skiing, so a quick snack hit the spot.  Plus, the lifts lines we the best during the lunch hour!

Spending time on the slopes will be memorable now and years to come.  We are now one of those skiing families that I always dreamed of being.

Thank you Vail Mountain/Vail Tourism for a wonderful trip our family will never forget!

faux fur jacket and similar // jeans // flats

This week, the brand MeUndies flew me up to the Bay Area to cover their store opening in Palo Alto. It was a fun night of drinks, bites, taking selfies in front of their mirrors that read “You look good tonight” and shopping super soft sweats. Not a bad job, right?

After the event the next day, we were left with 3 good hours in San Francisco before we left for LAX. What would you see in SF if you only had 3 hours?

For me, it meant fueling up with a good breakfast then heading over to the Golden Gate Bridge. I saw it when I was little and countless times on Full House, but let’s be real, there’s nothing like seeing it in person. I squealed like a pathetic tourist when our Uber driver drove over it. It happened to be a super clear day and not a cloud in the sky. According to locals, the most unique view of the bridge and Bay is to climb to the top of historic Fort Point, in the popular Presidio area. My only regret was not seeing this at golden hour. Impossible to do with a flight bound for LAX at 4:03.

It’s OK though, I was excited to greet the real golden hour – time with my kids after being gone 48 hrs which included hugs, kisses, reading books, hearing about school and the highs and lows of their day. Followed by a much anticipated opening of 4 Lego sets I ordered via Amazon Prime since I didn’t have time to buy gifts in SF. Efficiency makes golden hour sweeter. See the shortlist below where to eat.  See also my guide on Carlsbad if you missed it. Happy weekend!

 

WHERE TO EAT

// statebird SF // 1529 Fillmore St // American style Dim Sum

// a Mano // 450 Hayes Street

for amazing radish salad & homemade pasta

// Hotel Proper //1100 Market Street

“Instagrammable lobby.” Great breakfast

 


 


 

phoebe distressed AG JEANS :: jacket LINEA PELLE :: tank LUSH similar :: heels Coconuts by MATISSE :: bag REBECCA MINKOFF ::

 

We set out on a sunny Friday morning which happened to also be National Donut day, for the city of Chicago. We allotted 4 days of travel via a large 2017 Suburban thanks to Budget, that we picked up the night before, along with donuts. The vehicle was perfect for our long journey of 2700 miles with stops in La Verkin, Utah, Vail, CO, Omaha, NE, Cedar Rapids, IA, and finally Chicago, IL. While as a party of six, as you can imagine there was a lot of “are we there yet?” and when can we dig into the candy kinds of questions. Beyond that, there was a lot of eye spying games and ooh’s and ahh’s once we got to Utah and were in awe of the rocks and mountains. It was great to be able to stop when we saw a scenic overlook or an old gas station or whatever of interest. I remember driving with Reid when we were dating from Chicago to Omaha and barely stopping once. Now, with children, they force you to stay flexible, go with the flow and savor this time that I hope they never forget. While we LOVED the long car trip, we all agreed flying home with American Airlines was the way to go. Four hours of flying versus four days, was a huge difference! Read on below for some travel tips answering some of my most asked questions.

Tips for Travel:

Where to Stay when visiting ZION NATIONAL PARK?

I got asked this a ton when we drove through Zion National Park. Stay in Springdale if you want to catch the ZION national park hikes and trails right out your front door. Such an artsy and pedestrian friendly little town (La Quinta had a great pool ). We made the rookie mistake of staying in La Verkin instead of Springdale which is closer to the park and has a free bus service that takes you to the ZION entrance. Read more Here.

Bring protein snacks and water everywhere! The desert literally had zero watering holes nearby. Be prepared.

Get organized. We had all the kids clothes in Ziploc bags. Each bag contained 1 full outfit (shirt and shorts or dress) and 1 pair of socks and underwear.

Don’t let kids pack their backpacks it sounds good but edit, edit! You’ll thank me when you’re on your second hike and they’re complaining how heavy their backpack is.

Don’t forget the baby wipes! I use them for everything from ice cream mustaches to cleaning the dashboard.

Make frequent stops at the scenic overlooks. The theme of your trip (if you’re traveling as a family) is SLOW and SAVOR. Even though it seems counter intuitive and oh-so hard, don’t rush what could be the most unforgettable memory. Truly.

 

girls romper Saks Fifth Avenue // girls white cold shoulder dress Target // girls maxi dress Target // my Jacket AG JEANS 

bedroom credits //

nightstands Urban Outfitters // linen sheets West Elm // clothing rack IKEA // grommet tee Nordstrom // ivory sofa Interior Define //jute rug West Elm

top SAYLOR :: cutoffs FRAME

bikini VIX :: skirt ZARA similar 

Reid and I celebrated our 10th anniversary in March and what better way to celebrate than escaping away together.  The in-laws flew in to babysit and we said ‘Adios’ for a few, much needed, nights away.  We jumped on a flight headed to Cancun.  We stayed at the brand new UNICO 20˚87˚ Hotel Riviera Maya an adult only, all-inclusive, Mexican modern hotel.  With pre-vacation adrenalin rushing through our veins, we entered the front hall of the resort where over-sized black Moroccan lanterns hang low from the high ceiling.  A hostess offered us a seat on the chesterfield sofa and a refreshing post-flight ginger drink to sip while we waited to check in.  Instead of the usual check in procedure, we were greeted by our host, who introduced the amenities and then gave us a tour of the property while we headed to our room.  The holistic design of the resort was inspired by modern artisans and Mexican craftsmanship.

We stayed in the Alcoba Ocean Front room with a hydrotherapy tub on the deck that over looked the pool and Gulf of Mexico beyond.  The king size bed was ultimate rest and the sweatshirt like UNICO 20˚87˚ robes were cozy to slip into early mornings to watch the sunrise and eat room service.  Oh, and they even give you two hand-made straw hats to keep the sun off your face.  This was our first all-inclusive vacation and we were both delighted in not having to worry about where to go for dinner. UNICO 20˚87˚ has 4 á la carte fine dining restaurants to choose from on property with Mexican, Italian and Japanese menus.  They also have a small café with espresso and desserts, a specialty bar with personalized drinks, a breakfast and lunch buffet just off the pool deck overlooking the water and of course full menu while lounging by the pool or on the beach.

We realized the ultimate relaxation of an all-inclusive vacation is when the staff at the pool asked us our toughest question.  “Where would you like to lay down today?”  We chose the chairs in the water, facing the beach of course.  On our second day, I received a 90 min full body massage. So relaxing, while Reid hit the gym.  As health nuts, we learned that Café Inez offers smoothies, so afterwards I got a blueberry smoothie and Reid got some kind of cabbage and basil one, which was surprisingly really good.  Especially after plane travel.  We also got to talk to another couple sitting next to us from Toronto who happened to be leaving that morning and totally jealous of our smoothie discovery.  Now you know!

Our last night of our 4-night stay came quickly and was spent with more eating, more coffee and one last stroll on the beach at sunrise.  Our only regret was that we didn’t do one of the excursions they offer.  Next time! 

5 Suggestions for your stay at UNICO:

1)             Keep the immigration form in your passport for return home.

2)             Try each of the restaurant choices and order items you usually wouldn’t order in a restaurant.

3)             Don’t miss the sunrise.  We are so used to sunsets on the Pacific side that we missed a couple sunrises over the water.  Definitely worth the golden hour

4)             The hotel  will run your bath for you whatever time you request.  Take advantage of that service!

5)             There are major discounts on the salon and spa treatments.  Part of the Unlimited Inclusion, you only pay 20% of the full price on select salon, spa, excursions and Unlimited Golf. Which meant a manicure cost $6.  Definitely a service worth using. And the ultimate question, would we go again? In a heartbeat.

Thank you UNICO Riviera Maya for sponsoring this post!

 

dress ramy brook similar :: lace up heels  :: sunnies ::

An all white dress is the ultimate Spring essential. It compliments a tan, and looks great with lace up sandals.  While we’re sad to leave Unico Resort in Mexico, we cannot wait to see our kids! There was so much to see and do it was almost overwhelming to capture. Stay tuned for more on the resort! See more white looks here and here.

Last week, we visited the Pasadena Library and it was simply stunning. We didn’t have long to explore, but we were able to peruse the wood paneled reading rooms, awesome kid space, and old fireplaces, so much charm. I can’t wait to take Reid back there! Also, the outdoor espresso bar is a cute little destination that’s quiet and somewhat private. Definitely worth a visit. Here are 4 more places worth a visit in LA:

Pasadena Library 285 E Walnut St, Pasadena, CA 91101

LACMA 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

The Getty Villa (huge, and don’t forget a selfie on the amazing tile)17985 Pacific Coast Hwy, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

Huntington Library and Botanic Garden 1151 Oxford Rd, San Marino, CA 91108

Griffith Observatory Griffith Park, 2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

flats zara similar :: jeans  and here (fits tts) :: top :: trench similar :: lip Stila in beso :: aviator glasses :: Photo’s by Tasha

5 Cold Shoulder tops under $100