Announcing BlogRX Retreat

BlogRX Retreat is designed as an informal environment for creative bloggers to be inspired with hands-on workshops and relaxing with like-minded bloggers.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!

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How to Reconnect with Friends This Summer


Compensation was provided by Gold Peak Tea via Mode Media.I teamed up with Gold Peak Tea to share tips on how to plan a girlfriend's getaway this summer! #ad #travelSummer 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.Spending time with your friends is super important. But sometimes you have to plan a girl's trip to get quality time together. I teamed up with Gold Peak Tea to show you how to plan a girlfriend getaway! #ad #travel #summerChoose 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.Take a road trip with your girlfriends this summer! I teamed up with Gold Peak Tea to tell you how to reconnect with your friends away from home. #ad #travel #summerThere 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!I teamed up with Gold Peak Tea to share ideas for planning a girlfriend getaway complete with activity ideas like shopping for vintage jewelry! #ad #travel #vintage #summerDo 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.I teamed up with Gold Peak Tea to share how you can reconnect with friends this summer. See my tips here! #ad #travel #summerDon’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!Gold Peak Tea sponsored my post today about girlfriend getaways. Sometimes the way to reconnect with your besties is to get out of town! #ad #travel #summerWhen 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.Gold Peak Tea sponsored my post today on how to plan a trip away to reconnect with your friends. #ad #travel #summerDo 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.

I teamed up with Gold Peak Tea to give you tips on how to plan a girlfriend getaway this summer! #ad
There’s nothing like Gold Peak’s home-brewed taste. Gold Peak, the taste that brings you home.

Make a Vacation Movie

Make a fun movie with the kids on summer vacation to capture all the adventure! #StreamTeam #ad #NetflixWe are currently on summer vacation with these crazy kids. My parents and sister and her kids have all met up in the mountains to hang out for the week. Of course we have taken tons of photos but then we found an even better way to capture all the adventures for the week. We made a movie!

*This post is in partnership with Netflix. As a #StreamTeam member I share cool posts with you every month based on new shows or themes. This month we’re excited about the new Netflix series Dragons: Race to the Edge based on the How to Train Your Dragon movies. Netflix sent over a fun viewing kit that we took along with us on our vacation.

The first day here, my oldest son asked me to help him make a movie. We used iMovie (the coolest app, $5) on my husband’s phone and it couldn’t have been easier. The movie (well, really a movie trailer – but you can totally make a full movie if you have the time and energy) included his cousins and was about superheroes. And then I realized that we could include our beautiful surroundings, family and our new fun Dragons toys to create a vacation keepsake that will have us smiling long after we return home. And now, for your viewing pleasure…

Did you catch the cameo by me and my husband? The app is super easy to use. You pick the template of the type of movie you want to make and shoot videos accordingly. The music and titles are all done for you (minus whatever editing you want to make to the words) and making a movie trailer takes about 20 minutes. SO fun! We even made a movie with some other campers we met last night! When the trailer is complete, you can email it to whoever wants it. Grandparents love this kind of stuff! I can only imagine how many other movies we’ll make of our mountain adventures before we leave!

Looking for some adventure closer to home? Check out Dragons: Race to the Edge! And don’t miss other Netflix favorites, How to Train Your Dragon 2, National Treasure, Planet Earth, and new episodes of Marvel’s Hulk and Agents of S.M.A.S.H. season 2 (starting 7/28) and Turbo FAST (starting 7/31) begin soon!

Thank you for supporting brands, like Netflix, that allow me to share fun family activities with you! This is not sponsored in any way by iMovie, we are an Apple family that thinks you’ll love this app too!

Bungalows at Pacific Edge Hotel + Giveaway!

Rent one of the gorgeous bungalows at the @PacificEdge Hotel and it includes your own private patio with delicious food and beverage service. And that view!!! #pacificedgelagunaWho 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!@PacificEdge Hotel in Laguna Beach has amazing bungalows you can rent for a rad day at the beach! You can enter to win your own "daycation!" #pacificedgelagunaThe 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 private bungalows at @PacificEdge Hotel are perfect for family days but would also be so fun with your girlfriends! #pacificedgelagunaThe 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!The @gorjanabrand bungalow at the @PacificEdge Hotel Laguna Beach is absolutely stunning! The decor is coastal chic  and super homey. #pacificedgelagunaLocal 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. Coastal decor in the @gorjanabrand bungalow at the @PacificEdge Hotel Laguna Beach. #pacificedgelagunaThe 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).@PacificEdge Hotel is the best beach hotel in Orange County! The hotel offers rentable bungalows for enjoying a day at the beach in style. #pacificedgelagunaEach 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 Sailor Jerry Bungalow at the @PacificEdge Hotel is amazing! It's super cool and is like having your own private living room steps from the ocean! #pacificedgelagunaThe 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. Bungalow rentals at the @PacificEdge Hotel include a living room with air conditioning and flat screen TV, a kitchen area, private bathroom, a private deck and so much more! #pacificedgelagunaHow 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 bungalow at the @PacificEdge Hotel has it's own pinball machine to keep the kids entertained. #pacificedgelagunaThe Sailor Jerry room also has this cool vintage pinball machine that the kids couldn’t get enough of.When you rent a private bungalow at @pacificedge Hotel in Laguna Beach, you get a gorgeous bathroom plus kitchen area and private patio. #pacificedgelagunaAnd 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. Rent a private bungalow in Laguna Beach at the @PacificEdge Hotel! You can enter to win a "daycation" too! #pacificedgelagunaOnce 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. Best food and service by The Deck in Laguna Beach at the @PacificEdge Hotel. #pacificedgelagunaThe 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…Enjoy a delicious cocktail from The Deck on Laguna on the private deck of your bungalow at the @PacificEdge Hotel. #pacificedgelagunaBecause 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.This delicious lunch is served in bungalow,  by The Deck on Laguna Beach at the @PacificEdge Hotel. #pacificedgelagunaThere 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. The kids are treated like VIP's in the private bungalows at the @PacificEdge Hotel Laguna Beach. #pacificedgelagunaDid 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! Beachside service at the @PacificEdge Hotel in Laguna Beach. #pacificedgelagunaGetting 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.
Family beach day in Laguna Beach. @pacificedge #pacificedgelagunaIt’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.  Family fun in Laguna Beach. You should totally rent a bungalow at the @PacificEdge Hotel. It's like having your own living room right at the beach. Including a private bathroom with shower. #pacificedgelagunaSeeing 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. Spend a great family day at the beach at @pacificedge Hotel's private beach! The best way to do the beach with kids! #pacificedgelagunaBut then this makes me think otherwise…Blogger Playdate at the @PacificEdge Hotel in Laguna Beach, #pacificedgelagunaWe 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…)The food in the Bungalows at the @PacificEdge Hotel in Laguna Beach is provided by The Deck,  the only open air restaurant on the water in Laguna. And the food is AMAZING! #pacificedgelagunaDon’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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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…

Best Restaurants and Hotels in Palm Springs Updated!

I've updated my list of best restaurants and hotels in Palm Springs for you! You should totally plan a trip there this summer! 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!

Palm Springs Restaurants

Where to Stay in Palm Springs

and don’t forget, if you are renting a house, you NEED to hire this private chef!

 

Road Trip Playlist

A Road Trip Playlist that the whole family will enjoy. This picture cracks me up. This is from a road trip we took a few Spring Breaks ago. It was our first time in the car for a LONG time and the kids did really well. But we definitely knew that we needed to stop mid-way home and stay in a hotel for a night instead of pushing all the way through. Growing up, we drove as many hours as you possibly could before staying in a hotel. And I remember, for much of my childhood, the only thing we would listen to on these trips was a tape of the Doobie Brothers. I can remember one trip, the only time we drove to Loreto, MX, I wanted to throw that tape out the window. Of course, many years later I learned to love them again but back then, I needed variety in our travel playlist.

This playlist includes songs that all the people in the car will like. A long car ride is a great time to share music that you think your kids would love, music from your youth and also their favorites. But I promise you this list does not include ‘What Does the Fox Say.’ Not this time. But it does include a song from the Spongebob movie soundtrack. Because Pharrell.

So here is over 2 1/2 hours worth of songs for you. Where are you driving to this summer?