Snow in Orange County?! YES! Head to Discovery Cube OC for their Winter Wonderfest! Your kids will love all the special winter themed exhibits and activities and you’ll love seeing their huge smiles! Visit today (Dec. 19, 2015) through January 3rd! Click through for all the details!
I’m almost done with my holiday shopping. It’s one of my favorite things that I get to do each year. But that doesn’t mean I want to spend tons of time on it. I do a lot of online shopping, but no holiday season is complete without a trip to The Shops at MissionViejo Here are my tips for tackling the mall, getting great gifts and leaving with your sanity. PLUS! I have a $100 gift card sweepstakes at the bottom of this post.
Click through to enter now! Giveaway now closed!
Sometimes I come across a recipe that I just have to make. Usually it’s full of sugar, cheese or something else that’s going straight to my thighs (damn you delicious food!). Such was the case with this Cucumber Basil Soda. It sounded unbelievably refreshing and seemed pretty easy to make. And aside from the simple syrup, it’s not super bad for you unlike regular sodas. It comes from one of my favorite restaurants, California Pizza Kitchen. I’m a big fan of CPK and when a brand new restaurant opened up right by my house, you know I had to check it out and eat all the things.
Sometimes a restaurant is awesome just because of the food. But other times they offer way more than just a great meal and it blows your mind that you never knew about it. That is totally the case with Savannah Chop House in Laguna Niguel. I recently got a chance to check out the restaurant. Yes, the food is killer. But it’s so much more than the food.
Who wants to win a ‘daycation’ to this gorgeous Laguna Beach location? The answer is ALL OF YOU! Click through to enter the contest to win your own day use of one of the private beach bungalows at The Pacific Edge Hotel in Laguna Beach! And be warned, you are going to super jealous of the fun family beach day I had there last week!
This rad view is what you will see off your private patio in front of your private bungalow. What is a bungalow exactly? It’s like your own private living room only a few feet from the ocean!The Pacific Edge Hotel (a Joie de Vivre Hotel – the same cool peeps that own the Saguaros in Palm Springs and Scottsdale!) is located about half a mile from Main Beach in Laguna Beach. Their hotel rooms have recently undergone a refresh but what I’m super excited about, especially for you locals, is their private bungalows! The hotel has 5 bungalows, each designed by a local company that you can rent for day use. Arrive right at 11 am to make sure you get the most out of your beach day. And since you don’t have to “check out” until 8 pm, you will really get to take advantage of your ocean view. The hotel recently invited a few of us bloggers, and our kids, to come spend a few hours at the beach to check out the bungalows. Every single detail is thought of. From the crazy cool designs in each room, to the attendants that make sure you are well taken care of. This is THE way to do the beach. And you can enter the hotel’s giveaway for a ‘daycation’ below!Local jewelry designer, Gorjana Griffin, recently did a refresh on their bungalow and it is absolutely stunning! Everything in the room was coastal inspired with all these great layered textures and the prettiest color palette. The rooms seriously look like they are straight out of a home design magazine. The rooms are not huge, but have seating for at least 7 people plus you have a private patio right outside the door with deck furniture. The rooms are super comfortable and I have no idea how they keep everything looking so nice considering these are being used by people getting wet and sandy on the beach below. (You can see a better view of this full room in Mary’s instagram post – bottom right corner).Each room has air conditioning and a flat screen TV making this a great spot for the kids (or you) to take a break from the sun (although I didn’t check to see if they get Bravo…).The rooms also feature a kitchen area with fridge stocked with beverages to keep you hydrated. No outside food is allowed, but The Deck on Laguna Beach (one of two restaurants that are part of the hotel) can take care all of your food and beverage needs. This bungalow is designed by the Sailor Jerry Rum company. Notice that the colors are a bit darker and more masculine and a totally different vibe than the one I previously shared with you above. How relaxing does this look!!!! Hotel staff says that people rent these bungalows for a fantastic family beach day but also for bridal showers, or sometimes even to watch Sunday Football! I might even watch football if I got to watch it in one of these. The other three bungalows are designed by Fox, Billabong and XS. The Sailor Jerry room also has this cool vintage pinball machine that the kids couldn’t get enough of.And each room comes with a legit bathroom. This is strictly for use by those people in your bungalow with you. Which means this isn’t your typical beach bathroom. Like a normal hotel room, shampoo, conditioner and soap is provided. How awesome that you can take a quick shower to clean up before dinner if you want! My kids rinsed off in here after getting super sandy at the beach which meant I didn’t have to return home with half the beach in my car. Once you arrive at your bungalow, you don’t need to go anywhere, for anything. You will have a server to help you with all your food and beverage ordering. The food from The Deck on Laguna Beach was SO delicious! This is certainly not how I usually eat while at the beach. But guess what, now that I know it’s available, I think I only want to do the beach this way…Because cocktails. Alcohol is not allowed on the sand (although you can get food and regular beverages delivered right to your lounge chair), but you can enjoy one of the Deck’s specialty cocktails in your bungalow or on your patio. I mean, that view totally doesn’t suck. The drink didn’t either.There are lunch options to please everyone including the kids. This caprese was fresh and perfect for a beach side lunch. The burger looked crazy good and that mac and cheese was good enough for me to steal from my son. Did I mention dessert? Along with the plated dessert options available on the menu, they also have ice cream bars for the kids. The kids definitely enjoyed the cold treat on a this hot day! Getting to have an attendant set out a beach lounger for you is such a luxury. And look how close you are to the water. This is the perfect situation for sitting and relaxing while still being able to keep your eye on your kids playing in the water.
It’s the best of everything. You get waited on and your kids get to get crazy in the water. This beach is private for the hotel so although there are people walking past, the area in front of the hotel is not that crowded. I have to be honest. I have never really taken my kids to the beach. And we live 20 minutes away. There is so much to schlep. With my skin cancer issues I shouldn’t be in the sun and I don’t understand how to lug and use a beach umbrella. You have to take lunch and snacks and drinks. And you are usually parking a long way from where you will end up. But THIS makes perfect sense to me. While we can’t afford to do this all the time, it certainly makes the idea of the beach possible for me. Seeing how happy my kids were playing in the water confirmed that we need to visit the beach more. And seeing as I got married in Laguna Beach, this is and always has been our favorite beach. But then this makes me think otherwise…We had such an amazing time getting to check out the bungalows at The Pacific Edge Hotel. Thank you to the hotel and staff who treated us like VIPs all day long as we enjoyed the surf and sand. Check out the hashtag #pacificedgelaguna on social media to see more pics from our fun day!
Now let’s talk pricing really quickly. The rates for these bungalows change based on the time of year and the day of the week. At the moment (July, 2015) rates start at $250 for weekdays and can be about $500 for weekends. Remember you can fit about 10-12 people per bungalow so you could easily split this cost among families or girlfriends. This price does NOT include food (again, minimums depend on several factors), gratuities or parking (over 1 car per bungalow). It’s best to check with the hotel for exact pricing and availability I just wanted you to know going in what the costs are so you can plan accordingly. I’m in the process of planning a girl’s day out here and the cost is totally worth it (as long as no one flakes out and I’m stuck with the remainder of the bill…)Don’t you want to spend a beach day in one of the bungalows? Enter the contest via the hotel’s rafflecopter widget below! And if you win, you have to invite me…ok, you don’t but it would be way cooler if you did.
*I was invited to spend a day at the bungalows to review them. All opinions are my own. Also, this contest is only sponsored by Pacific Edge Hotel. Head to this page to read all the rules and exact prize.
And are you as obsessed with Snapchat as I am? Here is my Snapchat Story straight from the beach! Bear with me, I’m new to Snapchat, youtube, videos etc. Not sure why there is a big black hole in there. Or why my voice sounds like I was on helium…