I’m so excited to share something with you today that Lauren and I have been working on for a while! The BlogRX Retreat! The site is live so go check it out! We’d love for you to come to our creative retreat in Palm Springs this September! We have so many awesome things planned!
Compensation was provided by Gold Peak Tea via Mode Media.Summer is my favorite time for quick getaways. Every year I try to get away, at least once, with my favorite girls. While we may text or talk on the phone often, spending time together, in person, gets harder and harder the older we get. Thanks to more obligations and kid’s activities, maintaining our friendships can be tough. These relationships are so valuable and, in my opinion, deserve to be celebrated with a trip. Even if you can only manage to escape the daily grind for 24 hours, you’ll come away with a renewed sense of friendship and balance. So pack up your favorite things and hit the road.Choose a hotel that has a really fun atmosphere. Although you won’t spend a ton of time here on a 24-hour trip, you still want to love where you are. Each hotel has a totally different vibe so be sure you check them out online before booking so you don’t end up somewhere you won’t enjoy. If a party pool isn’t your scene, make sure to read reviews so you can find something more serene.There is nothing like getting to spend time away with your girlfriends. They say laughter is the best medicine and it is the perfect stress reliever. Don’t forget to document the fun moments with a selfie! Get a little silly, these are the girls you feel most comfortable with so let your guard down and enjoy yourself!Do as much or as little as you want to do. If you like adventure, go find some! Otherwise, keep it easy and go shopping for vintage jewelry or see a movie. Do the things that you like to do with your friends, that you normally don’t have time to do at home.Don’t forget to pencil in some pool time! Lounge chairs provide the perfect place to get chatty and get caught up on what is happening in your girlfriend’s lives. And nothing is more luxurious than poolside food service! Spoil yourself a little!When the pools get too crazy, we like to head back to the room. Hanging out on a patio or in a hotel room, with a favorite beverage, is one of my favorite things to do with my friends. We flip through magazines or watch a TV show and just enjoy being together. Gold Peak Tea makes it easy by selling ice tea in these individual-sized plastic bottles. They are super easy to pack in your overnight bag. Having something other than hotel water (or a too expensive mini bar item) helps to make you feel more at home.Do you take girlfriend getaways? How do you keep your friendships healthy? Quick phone calls and texts are great for staying in touch on the day-to-day but a night away really allows for some serious bonding.
Over the next few months, I will be sharing more posts sponsored by Gold Peak Tea. This campaign focuses on creating memorable, meaningful moments and I am proud to be a part of it! Thank you for supporting the brands that let me share special moments in my life, with you.
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…
I freaking love Palm Springs. I am super lucky that I live about an hour and a half away from this desert paradise. I understand it isn’t for everyone. Some people just can’t take the heat. But I LOVE it! Which means that I go as often as I possibly can. Summer really is the best time to go considering that hotel prices are pretty low and you can find some great deals. So I’ve updated my posts on the best restaurants and hotels in Palm Springs. And if you have any recommendations to share, just leave them in the comments! Don’t forget to pack your sunscreen!
and don’t forget, if you are renting a house, you NEED to hire this private chef!
School ends this week and then we can start thinking of and planning for all the fun trips we get to take this summer! In the past, we haven’t really scheduled vacations but just kind of took small trips throughout the summer. This year, we have several getaways on the books and so I’m already thinking about how to best plan for those trips. There is some menu planning to be done, swimsuits to buy and of course some new summer clothes to be shopped for. We try to take a family trip to Palm Springs every year. The kids love spending long, hot days in the pool and my hubby and I love watching them explore and indulge in Icees and new activities. I’m beyond excited that this year I get to introduce my kids to a place that my dad vacationed as a child and where my family went I was a little girl. June Lake is in the Sierra Nevada mountains and it is beautiful, quiet and so different from where we live. My parents recently started going back to this well-loved vacation spot and decided that we should all go this summer! My boys are going to love it. They get to go fishing for the first time, ride in a boats, go on gorgeous hikes and swim in the lake. And I’ll get to show my husband the tiny town area, and take him on a date to the only bar in town. So many fun memories from this lake. The days are warm and the nights are cool, which means lots of clothes to pack. A fair amount of purchasing will be done prior to our departure. Since we will be staying here a week, we will need to stock up on groceries, things to keep the kids busy and wine. Always wine. And the low sides of these boats are already giving me a little bit of anxiety as I think about my kids standing up and leaning…And then there’s the bears…I’m not really sure why they call it a family “vacation.” I don’t know about you, but when I’m traveling with my kids there isn’t all that much relaxing going on. Of course I still have a ton of fun, but it’s totally different from when you go away without your kids. But I just found out about the Discover It Miles card. YOU GUYS! It’s genius. When you make purchases with this card, you earn 1.5x miles! So you can buy all the supplies and items you need for your family vacation all while earning miles that you can use on an actual vacation! And those miles never expire! So when I buy a new summer hat and bikini, I’m earning a vacation! When I buy a fishing license for my kids, I’m earning more travel! When I buy Dramamine for the car sickness we’ll experience on the way to June Lake, that is going towards a mom time out moment. My favorite vacation, so far, was the 10 year anniversary trip my husband and I took to Cabo a few years ago. It was all tropical drinks and lounging around. With the miles that we earn from using the Discover It Miles card, we could fly any airline, any time to get to another amazing beachy location (just buy a ticket and use miles to credit your statement). And there is no annual fee so this just seems like a win, win to me. There are no foreign transaction fees when using the card and there is a $0 fraud liability guarantee where you are never responsible for unauthorized purchases on your Discover card! It’s totally stress free travel. AND they credit you up to $30 each year to be used in in-flight WIFI purchases. Awesome. Maybe it’s just me, but I really feel like for every family “vacation” you take, you should earn a kid-free vacation. Kids don’t let you get massaged on the beach. Or they might, but since the hut has no walls they are totally going to ask you for ANOTHER virgin pina colada during your massage. Of course you can use the miles you earn to go visit family in other parts of the country, but they don’t always have hammocks. The good thing is that you get to decide how to where the miles take you. So remember that next time you are grocery shopping. If you put it on your Discover It Miles card, you are that much closer to a trip! Don’t get me wrong, I think summer travel should be a mix of family memories and extreme relaxing. And Discover can help you get to wherever it is you want to go with whoever you want to be there with!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
Recently, Netflix treated a group of bloggers to an Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt inspired trip to New York. I was one of the lucky Stream Team members to be picked to attend. They spoiled us all weekend long with activities inspired by characters or story lines from the show. It was SO much fun! So I thought I would share with you how you can have your own Kimmy Schmidt inspired weekend. While it was SUPER fun to do it in New York, since that is where the show takes place, you could also recreate this in most other big cities. So grab your girls and make waffles of your favorite city. I’m going to share the general activities you can do to help plan your weekend and also show the ones that we did in New York in case you just want to copycat our fun weekend.
*P.S. if you don’t get the references in the post, you should probably watch the show because it’s funny as hell. This post took forever to write because I was rewatching parts of episodes to make sure I got characters names right, etc. and would get sucked in and find myself watching episode after episode. Every time you watch it you catch another funny line. It’s the best and I can’t wait for season 2!Check in to a hotel in a bustling location. New York is super fast pace and keeps Kimmy on her toes. I would look for a room that is as close to Jacqueline’s style as you can afford. (Kimmy lives in a closet so I wouldn’t aspire to that). You should feel a little bit out of your element and experience new things around every corner.
*The Netflix Stream Team stayed at the Gansevoort Park Hotel. It was super nice and there were a bunch of full water bottles that Jacqueline would have thrown away. The hotel was comfortable and upscale with a touch of glam. The staff was super attentive and ready to take care of any Jacqueline like whim we had.Book spa appointments for your first afternoon. Do it right in the middle of the day so it feels extra indulgent. Be a little bit of a diva (but don’t be a jerk) and act as though you get massages all the time. If you’re up for it, see if you can find a local Dr. Frampf for some Botox and lip fillers (kidding, you don’t have to actually get any work done – unless you want to. Dr. Frampf is one of my favorite characters played by the very funny Martin Short). Do not feel guilty at taking time for yourself. You deserve this. Follow Jacqueline’s lead and do a little outside in living which means if you look good on the outside you become confident and happy.
*Our massages were done at Exhale Spa in the Gansevoort Park Hotel. Of course they were fantastic!Enjoy some Pinot Noir while getting ready for dinner. Then, when you are feeling tipsy, make your own video for Titus’ song, Pinot Noir. Or make up your own song about your favorite wine. What a great reminder it will be for your weekend with your girls. “As long as it rhymes, everything will be fines.”
*Netflix surprised us with wine and these Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt quote pins to our hotel rooms. I did not make a video of my own. Or maybe I did and it won’t surface until I’m on trial for holding 4 women captive in a bunker for 15 years.Book a fancy meal anywhere you think Logan would take Kimmy on a first date. Splurge. He spares no expense while courting Kimmy. Remember the dolphin with a bow? Order some wine and enjoy each others company. Or look for an Olive Garden since most towns have one and Kimmy also enjoyed a meal there with Randy and Kymmy.
*Our dinner took place at Tavern on the Green, the actual Ghostbusters restaurant. These are the other Stream Team members on the trip with me: Erica, Lynn, Ashleigh, me (duh) and Rachee. It was so fun to be on a trip with other fans of the show. There were lots of selfies among the group, hashbrown no filter. Here is something to always keep in mind when taking a selfie, “You have to hold the camera high to keep your chin up. Then make a kissy mouth. Then think about baby ducks, so your eyes look kind. And squeeze in your arm to push up your cleavage.” Thank you Jacqueline.
Provide some options for how to begin your second day. Get a late start with room service breakfast or you find a local Soul Cycle-type business for everyone to try out a spin class. “Turn your resistance all the way up to Ghandi” and feel the burn like Kimmy and Jacqueline did at Spirit Cycle.
*Several Stream Team members participated in a Soul Cycle class. I think you can tell which option I went with…Take a movie and TV sighting tour. Most major cities probably have some kind of tour sharing where things have been filmed or trivia about celebrities. Kimmy isn’t the only one who gets excited by experiencing places that she’s seen on the big screen. It’s really fun to think of your favorite movies and see the bigger picture of where the filming actually took place. If there isn’t a TV tour available, look for a sightseeing tour of historical places. I spent a little time in New Jersey before and after this trip to NY and it was so fun to see things like Thomas Edison’s lab. Just be sure to read an Us Weekly later to balance out the learning.
*We took a walking tour of Central Park. See that building with the black front in the photo. That is the building exterior they used as Mugatu’s office in the movie Zoolander. We also got to see locations from Gossip Girl and where Dong and Kimmy filmed at what they thought was the Friend’s fountain.
Find a candy store where you can eat candy for dinner. I think this is one of the first experiences that makes Kimmy feel like an adult. So throw your diet cares to the wind and eat some candy. Then do anything that your 15-year-old self always thought you would do when you grew up like drink alcohol.
*We ventured over to Dylan’s Candy Bar, which was the actual store Kimmy shopped in, for some candy inspired cocktails and a little afternoon snack of gummy sharks and dessert flatbreads.
See a production of The Lion King if you can. Titus Andromendon won’t be in it, since he can’t pass as a straight giraffe, but you’ll at least be able to see the show that he has tried out for a bunch of times. If The Lion King isn’t playing, see another play. If a Spiderman themed show is playing on stage, definitely see that. Anything theatrical will do and if all else fails, see a movie. Or watch Law squiggle Order.
*Find a swing set and try to go “all the way around!”
*Go dancing somewhere cool like Club Bombay from Moesha.
*Find a place like Time Square with lots of people, tourist attractions and off-brand characters trying to make a living and sing “Circle of Life” together
*Listen to one of those sad Boyz II Men songs and think of all the homies you’ve lost.
*Get matching “bean curd” tattoos.
*Use a blimp to summit Mt. Everest
I am so grateful to Netflix for having me on this trip (they paid for everything but these priceless experiences, memories and opinions are all mine) and getting to be one of their Stream Team members. One thing I learned throughout this weekend is that they really love what they do and that they are continually trying to improve the service and user experience. I’m proud to be part of the team and look forward to sharing how my family uses Netflix each month! You can see how our trip unfolded via instagram and #StreamTeamUKS.