If I could pick my ideal vacation spot, it would be somewhere I could relax half the time, i.e., sunbathe by the pool or at the beach, and be active half the time by doing things I wouldn’t normally do at home like mountain bike, jet ski or paddle board. This place definitely checked all those boxes but was even more of a bonus because I was there to watch my best friend get married. The same one who was standing up with me at the altar at my wedding 10 years ago. So it felt like a highschool reunion/anniversary trip/witnessing one of the best days of a couples married life so you can imagine, being in what felt like Gods country, it was almost euphoric. I am always so grateful each and every time I get to witness something as majestic as Lake Tahoe. I imagine I’d have the same reaction going to Africa on a safari or Bali or Bhutan, for example, just breathtaking. You better believe that the planner in me would like to make it a whole family reunion one day and guessing they won’t need much convincing after having seen all my pictures.
We stayed at a place called Brockway Springs and while the interior of our rental condo wasn’t very up to date, it made sense because we were basically only there to shower and sleep since it was so beautiful outside. That lakefront view though.
My official travel review of Lake Tahoe would have to be a hybrid of the Swiss Alps or Lake Como, the Caribbean with its clear, blue waters, and then just picture infinite rows of beautiful, tall, luscious evergreen trees. Add to your bucket list if it isn’t already on there.
So some people feel trapped if they don’t workout enough or if they don’t shop enough or whatever their fix may be but for me, if I don’t travel enough I literally get the itch. I was so happy when this client asked if I could work on a trip for them last year and allowed me over a year to get all my ducks in a row, post-surgery, to head out to San Diego and Carlsbad a couple weeks ago. The thing I struggle with when it comes to traveling is leaving my family. In fact, I cried the night before I left and told my mom I didn’t want to go but one thing that has remained consistent is if I have that fear, I need to simply conquer it and be brave (like whatever princess or animal my girls are currently into at the time) and just get on the plane. Here are some fun pictures from the 10 day trip.
An iconic photo one must get when in San Diego.
I mainly wore a daily uniform for my role but one outfit I was happy with from head to toe was my airport outfit. For me, an airport outfit can make or break your trip but this one felt just right, in the style and comfort zone. Shoes are Under Armour, cardigan is A&F, top is Lauren Conrad and black skinny jeans are from Express.
I celebrated my birthday while I was there too and knowing I was away from family, my team made me feel extra special with this beautiful cake.
I stayed at two beautiful hotels, The Manchester Grand Hyatt and Hyatt Aviara. Both very different but several things I liked about both. The Manchester Grand is right in downtown San Diego. It has a beautiful waterfront-resort type feel with so much to do on property but also off property between the Gaslamp District or checking out the USS Midway or even the reputable San Diego Zoo. Hyatt Aviara is about 45 minutes north of San Diego in Carlsbad and perfect if you’re looking for that quiet, secluded, 5-Star treatment. Personally, I’d bring my family back to Manchester but would just bring my husband to Aviara.
This is my view from my room in the Seaport Tower at Manchester Grand. 💗
A classic sunset we had at dinner when we went off property in Carlsbad. Never gets old.
Oh! And definitely didn’t have any complaints flying since they were able to book me on a non-stop trip from Maryland to San Diego! Not too shabby! But my travel takeaway is to look into global entry, which is like TSA pre-check where you can skip the security line but allows you to internationally. Such a time saver.
My sisters wedding recently captured the name of my blog perfectly because I literally was glam for the one day, including nails, makeup and hair done and the next day was back in the car in my yoga pants and hoodie for the long ride home.
Aside from being in Hollywood, walking red carpets or attending big premieres (none of which I do), standing up in my sisters wedding doesn’t get much more glamorous for me. Now I know why all those celebrities tag their glam squads in their pictures because they literally could not look like they do alone and same held true for my sisters wedding. I was the proud matron of honor and my girls were flower girls. It was a hectic day but loved every second of it. Not to mention was a nice break from my daily style of Old Navy, Target and/or Under Armour.
We really are so fortunate to be in love and in my case, loved by someone I can honestly say I want to grow old with and experience all life has to offer, the good the bad and the ugly. I do apologize for the mushy side there but couldn’t resist when we were just in Chicago celebrating my sister at her bridal shower and bachelorette party. Lucky in love happened to be the theme for the beautiful shower my aunt and cousins threw for her on St. Patrick’s Day so couldn’t have been a more perfect day in a city that literally feels like it bleeds green on this special, Irish holiday. One we particularly hold true in our family as well.
My ongoing fashion and just overall style motto is classic, classic and more classic pieces. There’s a reason why when I look at Jennifer Aniston in Rumor Has It, for example, that she looks like she’s 25 in one scene…it’s because she’s wearing a classic white tee, distressed jeans and I believe chuck Taylor’s. Want to guess how old she really was when shooting that movie? She was 36. She also wears a classic black dress in that movie that I fell in love with. Classic lines, classic color and classic silhouette. So needless to say, there was only one dress I had in mind for the bachelorette party and paired with a blush colored blazer that just happens to be one of my sisters wedding day colors, felt like I was staying tried and true to my motto that night. I, of course, paired it with some green dangly earrings to show my St. Pattys Day respect. 🙂
Photo credit (and the sweet shamrock headband) goes to my super cool cousin, Kenzie. Love you lady!
So there were two things that made me feel the slightest bit glamorous this past week and one was this Parisian style font ottoman and the other was this pair of d’orsay flats. My mom had the ottomans at her house that she found on amazon and loved them because they store things on the inside and I’m always looking for dual purpose furniture that makes me feel semi-grown up but that also hides toys, for example, that are constantly out with a 2 and 4 year old. Plus, there’s something so romantic about French script that brings me back to my study abroad days and that whimsical feeling.
The flats I found at Old Navy for about $25 and again loved that they looked expensive but for such a reasonable price, not to mention they were comfy. I think I’m going to take them on a work trip I have in August. To be honest, I felt like I was even channeling a little Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffani’s when I put them on too and I can never say no to that feeling. 🙂
So there’s really nothing like a brain infection to brush up on some old habits. Considering I was a clean and healthy person is a little frustrating it happened to begin with but I’m going to do what I can to make me feel in control of my life again. Since my doctors seemed to have narrowed the problem down to my mouth, I’ve made sure toothbrushes get a good weekly dishwasher cleaning and I’ve definitely upped my flossing and mouth washing. However, I didn’t have cavities or anything to begin with so trying not to let it get the best of me. Then I thought, what else do I use on my face daily that could use an upgrade and that was makeup brushes so got new ones of those and putting them in these cute organizers I found at Target didn’t hurt either. The other thing I use on my face daily is a towel to wash my face so those now get a weekly or bi-weekly cleaning. Last but definitely not least, I’ve become religious about taking my multi vitamin every morning and probiotic every night.
Not sure if any of this helps but praying it has to help keep my insides and outsides strong if I ever have to recover from something like brain surgery again. Again, trying to let go and let God as much as possible.
The title of this particular blog post has definitely become the theme of the summer. My sister had gotten it for me as a housewarming gift but instead of bringing it to me at my house, she brought it to me at the hospital. On Thursday, June 1, I was tired and complaining of a migraine. On Friday, June 2, I’m being checked into the ER and a doctor came in and told me they had located a mass on my brain. So for about the next couple days, we weren’t sure if it was a brain tumor or even cancer. Then fast forward 10 days later, I had been diagnosed with a brain infection, had the abscess removed and was discharged to re-enter the real world. And did I mention the day after I went to the ER, my husband had to move us into our new home? Some days it feels like it was a nightmare and never happened but given that it did, I couldn’t be more thankful to my entire family, friends and to all those unbelievable doctors and nurses at John’s Hopkins who helped get me back home to my amazing girls and super star husband. I’m eternally grateful.
In a weird way, it felt like this summer was my George Bailey moment from Its a Wonderful Life. He had his sights set on where he wanted to go and things he wanted to do but then got a big reality check about how wonderful life really is right at home.
I know it’s going to take me a while to sort through all that has happened and why God had me go through such a random traumatic experience but for now, I’m on the road to a healthy recovery, taking it one day at a time and enjoying being in our new home with my sweet little family.
I know there are entire glamour squads dedicated to each individual celebrity for hair, makeup, nails, etc. to make them look like absolute perfection on a night like the Met Gala but I can’t help but wonder how many people it took to make unbelievable dresses like these? I think the reason I sometimes have difficulty appreciating a painting or a sculpture is that, while I respect the fact that it’s art, this is more my kind of art. The wearable kind. Just like a painting or a sculpture, these would stand the test of time in terms of beauty, in my book, and simply the overall appreciation for someone’s creativity that went into them. Jaw droppingly gorgeous.
Easter is a big day in my house. Aside from the very important religious and family aspect, it also signifies the start of spring for me, even though it officially started last month. Part of that spring kickoff, in my opinion, should always include some kind of colorful or floral dress. As much as I love the four seasons, there’s nothing like coming out of my regular rotation of grey sweatpants, blue jeans and black yoga pants to a bright and happy piece of clothing to wake me up from that winter slumber.
Here’s my sweet little family dressed in our Sunday best!
My dress is from Old Navy and the girls dresses are from Target.
No matter how exhausted I feel from packing for a trip or returning from a trip with the girls, I never regret actually going on the trip. We went to visit my parents for a couple weeks in Wisconsin recently, along with my sister and her boys. Fortunately, we had extra hands on both legs of the trip since I have yet to tackle flying solo with two little ones. They couldn’t have had more fun between my parents house essentially being converted into a funhouse, compliments of my awesome, former school teacher of a mother, crafts, trips to the indoor swimming pool, Moana and one magical snow day that I know I’ll definitely never forget.
One of my biggest goals as a mom is exposing the girls to lots of different things that might spark their interest and instilling a sense of adventure in them. This trip definitely fulfilled a little bit of both. Now, off to plan a little getaway for moi. 🙂