Travel

Holiday Gift Guide

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Whats in your stocking? With the holidays right around the corner I have rounded up some of my favorite things to make your shopping a little easier!

Beauty
beauty
* Mixologie Custom Blendable Perfume Create your own signature scent everyday with these 8 awesome oils or follow one of the fun recipe cards like With A Twist-“For when you are going to chop off all your hair”. This is the perfect gift for any woman in your life.

* Derma E Purifying 2 in 1 Charcoal Mask This is one of my favorite masks because it leaves pores feeling clean and my face feeling soft. Its quick and effective!

* Louvelle Shower Turban In this time of Blow Dry Bars and dry shampoo no one is washing their hair everyday and everyone needs a shower cap. This turban takes it to the next level and is so much chicer then a clear, plastic throw away.

* Nivea In-Shower Hydrating Body Lotion This is brilliant. I thought it couldn’t get any quicker or better then a spray on moisturizer but this takes the cake. Its so quick and easy and leaves me feeling silky soft all day.

* Radical Skincare Starter Kit I am a huge fan of Radical Skincare and this starter kit is the perfect gift for everyone because we all like to try new things! You won’t be disappointed in how this line makes your face look and feel.

* Heliocare Vitamins These anti-oxident vitamins protect you from free radicals and sun damage from the inside out and I feel like they have strengthened my nails too! A great stocking stuffer!

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* PUR Contour Stick Contouring is all the rage right now and this stick is compact and super easy to use if you follow their picture. It comes with a blender and goes on super light and natural. Its the best one I have tried and comes in 5 shades.

* Itiba Lotion in Crucian Spice This lotion is special. It is super hydrating and is hand crafted in St.Croix. The Crucian Spice scent is a warm exotic spice blend that smells like the holidays!

Devices
devices
*Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser 4X Why pay someone else to torture you when you can do it yourself? This laser hair removal system really works!

* Spiralizer Wow your friends by making fancy spiralized veggies! Works great with zucchini to use in place of pasta noodles for a healthy take on spagetti!

* reVive Light Therapy Anti-Aging System I am a sucker for any thing that is anti-aging and this little device helps stimulate collagen production to keep the skin plump and youthful. Perfect for the device lover on your list that has everything!

BOOKS
books
* Chapter and Verse: New Order, Joy Divison and Me I am a huge music lover and Joy Divison/New Order fan and found it quite intriguing to get inside the mind of Bernard Sumner and the songwriting process.

* The Modern Girls Guide to Life. Revised Edition This revised book is perfect for the modern woman. With information on entertaining, etiquette, housekeeping, basic home repair, decorating, sex, and beauty, this indispensable book has everything today’s young woman should know-but may not!

* The Fire Driven Life: How to Ignite the Fire Of Self-Worth, Health, and Happiness with a Plant-Based Diet I am not currently a vegetarian but found this book to be an extremely well written and informative guide to a heathly lifestyle. You can’t help but fall in love with Vanessa Chamberlin and want to follow in her footsteps to a healthier you. Its the perfect book to inspire you in the new year!

HIM
FotorCreated
* Bow Tie Bottle Opener How slick will your man look pulling out a bow tie bottle opener? So James Bond.

* The Carry On Cocktail Set Because every classy guy needs to create his own in-flight cocktail.

* Luxurious Italian Cashmere Socks You won’t know the magic of cashmere socks until you own a pair.

* Sriracha Key Chain Sriracha has long been called “the new ranch” and this key chain size is perfect for the hot sauce addict in your life!

* Kikkerland Classic Survival Tool Cheap and fascinating!

* Arcona Toner Tea Bar This smells earthy and amazing and is perfect for any man who cares about his skin.

ART
FotorCreated

* Weavings by Farron My talented friend Farron makes these gorgeous weavings in all shapes, sizes and colors. Check them out!

* Pins & Nail Stickers by Sara Lyons My friend Sara is so cool and creative and makes super cute pins, patches and nail stickers!

 

Villa del Palmar Loreto Mexico Day 3

Ahhh…day 3 in paradise at the Villa del Palmar. This day was so much fun and jam packed with activities! The beauty of this resort is that they have so many things you can do if you want to or you can just relax! Relaxing always sounds good to me but then I end up doing something. I love to explore and try new things!

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The perfect way to start this beautiful morning was with a guided hike. Carlos was so knowledgable about the geography, ecology and vegetation. He even taught us some survival skills!

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Photo by James Tiffany Photography
After the hike we met with Ivan, the Villa del Palmar Healer who is part of the Wellness Program. We did a sun salutation with him on the beach and he blessed each of us. It was a really beautiful and spiritual moment and one of my favorite parts of the trip. Ivan had great energy and the whole experience was really grounding.

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The afternoon was spent boating and snorkling around the gorgeous islands of Loreto. The landscape was unlike anything I had ever seen with cactus growing on mountains beside crystal blue water. Again, I felt like I was dreaming.

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Photo by James Tiffany Photography
Those 2 little snorkel heads are me and my friend Luci!

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After boating I took a very educational class on tequila, taught by the in house sommelier, and even got certified! I learned that Jose Cuervo is only good for cleaning toilets ūüėČ and I do like the taste of tequila, I just had to taste a bunch to find the right one!

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Our final evening included a “Fiesta Mexicana” dinner buffet at The Market Restaurant and a cultural show. I think my girl Kitty can totally rock a sombrero!

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The next morning I paddle boarded at 7am and absorbed all of the peace and beauty of the early morning on the Sea of Cortez before packing my bags to head home.

The town of Loreto and the Villa del Palmar dazzled me with its beauty and warm hospitality. This trip will forever fuel my spirit and warm my heart. I will definitely be back one day but in the meantime I will continue to be inspired by my experiences and the memories created there!

The Villa del Palmar Islands of Loreto is offering my readers a rate of $119 USD per night in a Deluxe Studio suite, plus taxes & gratuities. You can book your getaway now for travel through April 30, 2016. Terms & conditions apply. Blackout dates apply. Book your stay through reservaciones.vdpl@vgloreto.com. Please reference code FAMNOV15 to receive this special rate.

 

Villa del Palmar Loreto Mexico Day 2

I woke up with the sun on my first morning at Villa del Palmar and still thought I was dreaming. The only thing missing was my husband who I will definitely bring next time! I felt well rested and refreshed, ready for a fun day filled with adventures!

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The morning began with this decadent breakfast spread!

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After breakfast we took a tour of the property. This is the Danzante Bungalow. It is at Danzante Bay on the outer edge of the resorts property and is an 800 square foot yurt! It is totally private with its own jacuzzi on the deck right on the sand! How romantic! I would love to stay there and sip champagne in the jacuzzi under the stars!

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This was an interesting and important part of the tour because it is part of the desalinization system which is the process of removing dissolved salts from water, thus producing fresh water from seawater. A big concern when traveling to Mexico is always the water. At Villa del Palmar all the water is drinkable because of this system! It was impressive. They really care about the environment and do a lot to give back to their local community.

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I loved spending time at the Sabila Spa. It was absolutely gorgeous and soooo relaxing. I had a wonderful mini massage and then spent time hopping around from the jacuzzi to sauna to steam to cold water plunge. They also offer yoga, meditation, juice therapy and have a new wellness program.

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The afternoon was spent taking a scenic 50 min. shuttle ride along the coast into the quaint little downtown area of Loreto. There is shopping in Handcraft Alley, great food/drinks and historic buildings like the church and Mission. Carlos from Villa del Palmar was our guide and really gave us a lot of historical information about the town as well as the best spot for chocolate clams and jalape√Īo margaritas!

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When we returned from town we had a magical meal at Danzante, the fine dining restaurant at Villa del Palmar. My photos don’t do it justice because of the soft, dim lighting but trust me, it was delicious!

More adventures from this trip coming soon!

 

Villa del Palmar Loreto Mexico Day 1

Sunny beaches, snorkeling, hiking, yoga on the beach, paddle boarding, kayaking, amazing food and drinks, an award winning spa and much, much more all nestled into a beautiful cove on the Sea of Cortez? YES PLEASE!!!

Last month I had the pleasure of spending a few days at the fabulous Villa del Palmar resort in Loreto, Mexico. Just a quick 2 hour flight from LAX on Alaska Airlines, Loreto is on the Baja Peninsula and is a sister city to Hermosa Beach, California. Upon arrival I was greeted by a friendly staff member from Villa del Palmar who was ready to shuttle me 30 minutes away to paradise. My group grabbed margaritas to go and we hit the road. Between the gorgeous drive along the rustic coastline and the drink, I was in full relaxation mode when we arrived at the resort. Set on hundreds of acres, the Villa del Palmar is called the only “Million Star Resort” because at night the sky comes alive with millions of stars. It is spectacular!

From the moment I arrived I felt like I was dreaming. The beautifully groomed grounds, friendly smiles from all of the staff members, warm salty air, spacious room, gorgeous pools and fabulous food…could it get any better? Every moment of everyday spent at Villa del Palmar was magical!

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The Villa del Palmar Loreto

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The little bar in the airport makes legit margaritas (no need to worry about the ice!) and you can take them on the shuttle to the resort!

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Check-in was a breeze and my room was gorgeous. I had a giant jacuzzi tub and a  huge balcony that faced the ocean. I was seriously ready to move in! They pulled out all the stops to make me feel special and right at home.

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After checking in I headed straight to lunch which was absolutely fabulous. Everything was super fresh and delicious. I was in foodie heaven! I just want to note that someone in my group was vegan and the resort staff never missed a beat. They completely catered to her dietary restrictions and made her delicious alternatives to suit her needs.

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The room key was a resort wrist band which I thought was really cool and convenient. I never had to worry about losing it. Brilliant!

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The sunsets from my balcony were spectacular!

Evenings at Villa del Palmar can be as quiet or as lively as you want. If dinner and a show is your thing they’ve got you covered. If you want to sing karaoke till your hearts content, you can. Is dancing the night away your jam? There is a disco up on the hill with a shuttle to take there. Want to sit around a fire pit with a glass of wine, no problem. Take an evening soak in the giant jacuzzi, a romantic walk on the beach under the stars, or just have a quiet night in… whatever your heart desires, there is something for everyone at Villa del Palmar Loreto.

More adventures from this trip coming soon!

 

Friday Faves

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Good morning from Mexico!!! I am exploring¬†the beautiful¬†Villa del Palmar¬†resort in the quaint little town of Loreto¬†and¬†I can’t wait to tell you all about when I return!! In the meantime, November is here which means the holiday season is about to be in full swing! There are a ton of fun things to do starting today so don’t get left behind! Have a magical weekend!

See
* Lifetime’s Project Runway Junior starts Thursday Nov. 12th and one of the contestants is 17 year old Matt Sarafa from Manhattan Beach, CA! Watch a sneak preview here.

* Fashionista Superhero Comics? Yes please! Checkout Chapters 1-5 here!

* On Nov 7th at 10pm at The Ace Hotel LA  catch Ira Glass doing Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host. It looks quirky and amazing. Just what you would expect from Ira.

* You can spend An Evening with David Spade at The Bootleg on Sunday Nov.8th. I have always loved him and find him hilarious.

* There is a tribute to George Carlin going on at The Grammy Museum until March 31st 2016. That place is so much fun! I highly recommend it.

Shop
* CMC Sample Sale every Friday from Nov. 6th-Dec. 18th (except Nov. 27th). Get your shop on!

* Each year, dreams are made and soon-to-be-international-pop-stars are discovered on the Citadel Outlets stage during the center’s Annual Tree Lighting Concert. The free family-friendly event runs from 4PM-7PM on Saturday, Nov. 7, leading up to the grand finale lighting of the World’s Tallest Live-Cut Tree. This year’s concert will be co-headlined by Sabrina Carpenter and Laura Marano, joined by opening act Madison Beer.

* Freshly Picked is having a warehouse sale Sat. Nov. 7th from 10-12pm in Lake Forest. Definitely worth The drive!

Eat
* The Big Sur Foragers Festival is going on January 15th-17th 2016 and looks awesome!

Try
* L’Anza Combing Cream is the perfect blowout cream for thick, frizzy hair. This cream leaves the hair shiny, smooth and frizz free!

* Miracle Skin Transformer Night Treatment is a really wonderful night cream that almost acts like an overnight mask. It hydrates, resurfaces, and smoothes with minimal fragrance and is under $100. I have loved everything I have tried from this brand.

* RxQ Vitamins were developed in San Pedro, CA which is near me in Long Beach and has highly polluted air due to it being the home of the LA port. I can’t see any effects from taking these but I feel good thinking that they could be helping to reduce the effects of ozone pollution on my lungs and body health.

* Colon Cleanse Tea by Teami purifies the body from the inside out, cleansing the organs and clearing the digestive track of toxins. Teami is a Florida based company and their teas taste amazing and are free of gluten, dairy,sugar and GMO’s!

 

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