August 17, 2016

Packing for: Italy & Germany

Packing for Italy and Germany

I never managed to put the suitcase away from the last trip and its time to pack up again! Just the way I like it. We're heading to Germany and Northern Italy next week for some family activities and a bit of exploring and relaxing. Our trip is going to take us between city and country so I want to pack a mix of items that will work for both, and of course, its carryon only - so everything has to work double duty. I'm sticking mostly blues and whites with a couple of pops of orange to liven things up a bit. I rounded up some of the items I've currently got pulled out for consideration below.  

August 16, 2016

Skin Care Routine

Sadly, I am not one of those people blessed with effortless skin, mine is temperamental and in constant need of attention. Sigh. But, after years of experimenting with different brands and products I've found a few that deserve gold star status. If any of this sounds familiar to you, hopefully some of these may work for you as well!

{The Routine} 
In the morning, post workout, I cleanse with Skin Cuticles LHA Cleansing Gel, followed with Biologique Recherch√© P50 and Embryolisse Lait-Creme.

In the evening, I use the Eve Lom Cleanser or Kate Sommerville ExfoliKate, again followed with Biologique Recherch√© P50. Then a few nights a week I layer on Sunday Riley Good Genes and either Skin Ceuticals Triple Lipid Restore or Estee Lauder Revitalizing Supreme depending on what I have open. Or, if I'm feeling super dry, I will use a few drops of Sunday Riley Juno. No, I don't think it smells amazing, but it does do a fantastic job moisturizing. I'm also fanatical about using eye cream, I rotate between Kate Sommerville Line Release and Verso Super Eye Serum. Usually one night a week I do a mask, during the summer I'm really enjoying the First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Mask.

{The Products}
Skin Cuticles LHA Cleansing Gel | Eve Lom Cleanser (use with these) | Kate Sommerville ExfoliKate | Clinique Take the Day Off

Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask | First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Mask

Biologique Recherche P50 (I order mine from here)

Sunday Riley Good Genes

Kate Sommerville Line Release | Verso Super Eye Serum

Skin Ceuticals Triple Lipid Restore (night) | Estee Lauder Revitalizing Supreme (night) | Sunday Riley Juno (oil) | Embryolisse Lait-Creme (day)

*Image via

August 15, 2016

24Hours+: Napa

Napa Valley Travel Guide
Napa gets a lot of attention, but in my opinion it isn't all that well understood. Yes, Napa is a town, but it is also a region/valley that has lots of small towns (Sonoma, Calistoga, Yountville, St. Helena, Rutherford... to name a few) and lots of wineries. If you don't like wine, or vineyards and aren't a big foodie, this probably isn't going to be your dream destination. That may seem obvious, but the wineries and the food really are the main draws. Each town has its own vibe, so don't discount the area altogether if your first stop doesn't blow you away.
Napa Valley Travel Guide
{Get There}
To get there, and to do the area justice, you really do need a car, though there are day tours that leave from San Francisco and the surrounding areas if you don't want to bother with driving yourself. If you do plan on doing some wine tastings, and no one in your group wants to play driver there are plenty of companies that offer car/driver services in the area.
The Fremont Diner
The Fremont Diner
The area is well known for its spas and resorts, but with only one night in the area we wanted something pretty central. M also really loves the Andaz brand so we spent one night at the Andaz in downtown Napa.  To be honest I didn't think the property or the rooms had the wow factor that other hotels in this chain typically have, but our room and the service was good.

On a return trip I'd love to check out the Carneros Inn and Auberge du Soleil.

Napa Valley Travel Guide
{See & Do}
Wineries are the big draw here. There is a wine train that you can take that stops at quite a few. Some are open without reservation, some you need reservations for tasting and tours etc. My best recommendation if you're doing it on your own and not taking a tour would be to pick out a couple that you really want to visit, either you love the wine already, or you're curious to try it and do a bit of research to see what the situation is at each.

We did one tasting at Domaine Carneros, which was recently acquired by Tattinger and we both really enjoyed the wines and the property.
Napa Valley Travel Guide
{Eat & Drink}
The food options in the area are seemingly endless, but we ate at the Fremont Diner on our drive into town, highly recommended both for the atmosphere and the great comfort food and Celadon in downtown Napa which I wouldn't return to. The setting was great, in an indoor/outdoor renovated industrial space along the river, but neither of us really enjoyed the food and the service was quite brusque. I've tried the Girl and the Fig in the past and it sticks out as a place to return to. Also, if you're really into food, the famed French Laundry is in Yountville. 

Check out Oxbow Public Market in Napa for some casual dining options as well as some local food shops. I really loved Ritual Coffee Roasters and have heard that Gotts Roadside is fantastic.
The Fremont Diner