It’s time for Ulta Beauty’s 21 Days Of Beauty sale, and you know what that means? There are some great deals on some great products coming up. I’ve gone through all the lists, and these are my top picks. Happy shopping!
An Experience At America’s Oldest Resort – The Omni Homestead
Now I don’t know about you, but I think it would be cool to travel through time, but alas, that’s not possible (at least that I know of 🤔), so here’s the next best thing. A trip “through time” to the oldest resort in the United States. The Homestead. This property is ten years older than the United States itself. It was founded in 1766. And while it has changed ownership and structures several times over through the centuries, it is still a historic resort from all those years ago. And it was an interesting time to say the least.
Truth be told, I had never heard of The Omni Homestead until I received a Save The Date for a friend’s wedding. Nestled in a remote area in the middle of the Allegheny Mountains, the property itself is stunning. The hotel is very grandiose, but my favorite part was the overall scenery. It was so lush and green. Plus, there are a large array of activities for the whole family to do. Options include everything from Horseback Riding, Falconry and Archery to Water Slides, Golf, Hiking and so much more.
The Cascades Gorge Hike
Since I was on a solo trip (the wedding was an adult-only affair and someone had to watch the kids, so my hubby stayed home with them), I opted to go on the resort’s Cascades Gorge Hike. Let me tell you, it was amazing and a highlight of the trip.
The Cascades Gorge Hike is lead by the Resort’s Naturalist Brian, who is very entertaining by the way. We trekked through waterfalls in this Tropical Forest of Virginia. You read that right… Virginia has a Tropical Forest. The Hot Springs in the area create a tropical microclimate. How interesting is that? And can I just say, I learned so much on this hike! Some examples. Did you know plants are actually classified as intelligent life? They communicate with each other. Or how about if you are infected by a poisonous plant, the remedy is typically within eyeshot? That is merely “the tip of the iceberg” so to speak of the facts our group learned on the hike.
In addition to the entertaining and educational nature of the hike, the surroundings were so beautiful and peaceful. There were several waterfalls along the way as we weaved from the base of the trail up to the golf course, and I can honestly say I left feeling re-energized.
If you ever make it this way, I highly recommend the hike. It did cost $31 a person (crazy for a hike, right?!) but I can actually say it was worth it.
The Homestead has several types of pools throughout the property, including a Lazy River, a Splash Pad, Water Slides and an Adult Only one. I spent most of my time in either the Lazy River or on the Water Slides. They also have poolside cocktail service (I definitely enjoyed a couple Strawberry Daiquiris). The only downside is there were several bees throughout the pool area, and I was even stung by one… Ouch!
The Hotel Room & Cleanliness
By now, most of you know that I am all about a clean hotel room. It is the main way I judge a hotel to be honest. And this is one of the areas where the resort fell short. The room itself was nice and spacious, but there were cashew nuts, straw wrappers and crumbs left on the floor (leading me to be concerned about the overall cleanliness of the actual room!). Can I just say… GROSS! Plus, what if someone staying in the room had a nut allergy? I did report the issue to management, and they were going to talk with their staff about the incident. But truth be told, it wasn’t just the rooms that needed some cleaning… Cobwebs could be frequently found in the hallways, on stairs and in corners.
Ok… I get it. This is the oldest resort in the country. But it is also 2019… Power shouldn’t be an issue. But oh was it. The power went out a couple times during my stay (a whole 36 hours on property) with the longest stretch being for around an hour because their generators are so old it takes that long to kick in. Pair that with the hallways that aren’t air conditioned and the heatwave that was sweeping through the region, it made for not the best accommodations.
As a whole, the food was pretty good. I enjoyed my Pizza, Strawberry Mojito (so refreshing!) and Calamari from Woody’s and the Poolside Chicken Fingers with my Strawberry Daiquiri were tasty.
The only disappointing meal I had was their breakfast buffet in the Dining Room. It was way overpriced for mediocre food. Seriously, my waffle and omelet were the most expensive things I ate the whole trip, and I can find better at an IHOP.
In conclusion, I did have an enjoyable trip to The Omni Homestead. Will I be rushing back? No. But I am glad I went and saw. Plus, the resort will be updated soon as The Omni has budgeted millions of dollars to renovate this property. I’m interested to see what they do with the place.
It is that time of year… I don’t know about you, but it’s my Christmas in July… The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! The time when a significant portion of the new Fall merchandise is on sale before the season. While the sale has changed a lot through the years, and if I’m being completely honest, each year seems to have less and less great options, it is still my mom and I’s annual tradition since I was 11-years-old. With that said, here are my top picks from the 2019 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!
*Note – I will continue to add to this list as I find more great options.
Shoes:“Give A Girl The Right Shoes, And She Can Conquer The World”
Great Wolf Lodge. The kids have been asking us to go there for what feels like forever. Truth be told, my hubby and I thought it may be too gimmicky and too expensive when we’d rather put the money towards a trip to Disney World. But… A Groupon deal came up for a $94 per night rate. You read that right… only $94 a night, and that included water park entry. Sure it was over Mother’s Day, but let’s be honest, I can celebrate Mother’s Day with my family at anytime. That deal was only good for a couple days, so I took full advantage. And I’m glad I did!
When we arrived at the resort, we ended up upgrading to a Kid’s Cabin Suite (it was an additional $35 a night so still only $129 a night), and the kids were thrilled. The room was so fun, spacious and cute! It included a fireplace, balcony and “Cabin” area (I mean… it is called the Kid’s Cabin Suite…) for the kids, where they had bunkbeds, a little table and their own television. And, the most important part… The room was very clean.
The Indoor Waterpark… This is probably what Great Wolf Lodge is best known for. The Traverse City location features 3 tube slides, 2 regular water slides, 3 kiddie slides and kiddie pool, a lazy river, 2 hot tubs (one kid-friendly, one adult only), a water basketball area, an activity pool that includes balancing lily pads and their famous water tower.
The kids loved splashing around the waterpark. While my youngest went down the kiddie slides on loop (seriously… I’m sure she went down the slides a few hundred times… Thank goodness for poolside strawberry daiquiris! LOL), my oldest jumped from the tube slides to the lazy river to the Totem Tower slides to the basketball area and back around again. And they both had a blast! And not going to lie… I always love a good tube slide too. 🙂
Another thing I found interesting about the pool area, is the staff could frequently be seen cleaning everything down or running life guard drills by planting a “dummy” in the pool areas to see how long it took the lifeguards to see and “rescue” him.
But the best part about our time in the waterpark? Since we were there during a slower time of year, there were no lines! It should also be noted that they also have an outdoor pool area that’s open in the summers.
One thing that surprised me about Great Wolf Lodge is how many more activities they had for the kids! Probably the favorite amongst my family was the MagiQuest – A scavenger hunt that involves magical wands, riddles and exploring the entire hotel to complete various quests that ends in a duel with a Dragon or a challenge with a Pixie. It was a great way to get moving, explore the property and use our brains to solve the riddles.
In addition to the MagiQuest, the resort also has a Bedtime Story Time, Clock Tower show, Miniature Golf, Morning Yoga for the kids, Bowling, a Creation Station (basically a Build A Bear for the Lodge) and an arcade.
Resort food. It can be hit or miss depending on the resort, so I was skeptical of how good the food options would be at Great Wolf Lodge. And I’m happy to say I was pleasantly surprised at how yummy the food was! They also had plenty of food options for a variety of dietary concerns (including Gluten Free!) at a variety of restaurants.
If you want a sit down meal at a regular restaurant, head to the Camp Critter Bar & Grill. They have everything from burgers, salads and chicken to pastas and grilled cheese. Plus, they had some tasty rolls (we seriously went through 3 baskets!) and a delicious Pineapple Mango Margarita.
If you’re craving pizza and pasta, head to Hungry As A Wolf (the pizza was delish… and my youngest ate 2 whole pieces!). Hanging by the pool, Buckets Incredible Craveables has you covered with tasty chicken fingers, burgers, fries, flatbread, pretzels and more. If you want something sweet, head to the Ice Cream shop or the Candy Store. And don’t forget… Dunkin Donuts will deliver breakfast to your room in the morning!
We had an amazing experience! If the opportunity arises, you should totally head to Great Wolf Lodge for a quick getaway filled with family fun! And don’t forget to check Groupon for a great deal!
Happy Face Mask Friday! So I’ve been using Pixi Beauty’s Glow collection for several weeks now and decided to stick with the glowing theme and try their Glow Mud Mask. Full of ingredients that detoxify and brighten the skin, this mask sounded like it would work great.
Kaolin Clay: This ingredient is excellent for detoxifying the skin. It’s known for drawing out excess oil and doesn’t dry out the skin. Plus, it’s safe for sensitive skin.
Sea Salt: Sea Salt cleanses the pores and can fight acne causing bacteria.
Ginseng: Ginseng is a great anti-aging ingredient that brightens and tones the skin.
Aloe: This anti-inflammatory ingredient helps retain moisture, fight acne and soothe the skin.
The Verdict: I always love a good mud mask, and this Glow Mud Mask is another winning skin treat from Pixi Beauty. My skin looked and felt cleaner, smoother and glowing. Plus, it wasn’t dried out. You should totally check it out!
Happy Face Mask Friday! This week I decided to add some glow (and gold!) to my skincare routine with Oh K!’s Glowing Skin Gold Foil Sheet Mask. This K Beauty mask fights the sings of aging and acne while soothing the skin and leaving a healthy glow. But why? Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients:
Gold – Gold is a great skincare ingredient known for reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improving skin elasticity and leaving the skin glowing.
Apple – Packed with Vitamin C, this ingredient prevents premature agin, leaves the skin glowing and treats acne and dark spots.
Cherry – Did you know that Cherry is known for treating acne and rosacea? It also fights free radicals.
Chamomilla Flower – This ingredient is great for soothing the skin.
The Verdict: I love this mask! It really left my skin soothed and brighter. Plus, it even reduced the naturally red undertones to my skin. I will definitely be making this mask a part of my regular routine.
Mother’s Day is right around the corner, and you know what that means? It’s time to find the perfect gift! But what do you get for the woman who has done so much for you? Or for your Mom Tribe? Well, keep on reading, because I’m here to give you some ideas to make your shopping that much easier.
The Gifts That Keep On Giving
I wanted to start with this category because these are the gifts that keep on giving, and show the moms in your world that you care… frequently throughout the year… but what are these gifts? Why some great quality Subscription boxes of course! Find my top 3 below:
For The Mom Who Like A Little Bit Of Everything: FabFitFun.
Seriously, this subscription is amazing and comes with so many perks in addition to the full size goodies in the box (which range from beauty, to fitness, to fashion, to self care), including their FabFitFun TV. FabFitFun TV has everything from Cooking Demonstrations to Meditations to Workouts and more.
Upbox is a newer subscription service that is super affordable and filled with a variety of self-care products, including bath bombs and salts, body washes, candles, face masks, body creams and more. One of the cool things about this service, is that every month they pick a Bible verse and then plan the entire box around that theme.
For The Mom Who Loves Trying New Skincare Products: C’Nu Skincare
C’Nu Skincare is a subscription service specializing in providing Natural Luxury Skincare products. And the cool part? For every subscription sold, they donate a subscription to Dress for Success to empower women in need.https://seenewskincare.com/collections/home-page
Gifts For Skincare and Self Care
These are some gifts for the Moms in your life that love all things skincare and self care.