Travel Guide: Kauai, Hawaii – Poipu

It’s finally time for part two of my Hawaii travel guide. In case you missed it, the first post covered where to stay, along with what to see, eat and do on the North shore of Kauai, in Princeville. The entire island of Kauai is the perfect place to get away and relax with beautiful scenery all around. Today I’m taking you to the South shore of the island, to the town of Poipu.

Travel Guide: Poipu, Kauai, Hawaii

Where to Stay:

We loved the Grand Hyatt Kauai, which is located right in Poipu on the water. The property is basically right on Shipwreck Beach, but since the surf was so strong, we found ourselves posted up by one of the many pools. My favorite was the salt water lagoon that overlooked the ocean, and there are also freshwater “river pools,” complete with a 150+ foot waterslide that I may have gone on about 100 times. The scenery on the Grand Hyatt property is beautiful and you truly feel like you’re in a Hawaiian paradise.

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Escape Winter with a Vacation to Sunny Puerto Rico

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Puerto Rico, The All-Star Island. All opinions are 100% mine.

If you live in New England, you love the snowy part of the winter months, but this year mother nature has taken it a bit too far. Here in Boston we’ve already had more than 95 inches of snow this season, nearly 60 inches of which has hit in February alone. With 10 days left to go in the month, we officially rank second as the snowiest season ever. Not to bore you with stats… but that’s a lot of snow… as you can see in the pic below I took the other day or in this BuzzFeed article with “pictures that perfectly capture how insane the snow in New England is.”

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Anyway, I’ve had enough of the snow, so I’m continuing my mission to plan a tropical vacation. I started thinking about this back in November when the cold first hit (more on that here), but now I really need some sunshine to look forward to.

One of the destinations I’ve been thinking about is Puerto Rico. I’ve been there a couple times, but haven’t been recently and one of the best things about it is how easy it is to get to from Boston (and other major cities). You can jump on a four-hour direct flight (no passport or foreign currency needed) and you’re there in no time, sitting on the beach with a drink in your hand.

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{W Retreat & Spa, Vieques Island – pic via Starwood Hotels}

While I’m most concerned with relaxing on the beach and maybe at the spa right now, there are also so many other world-class attractions for everyone to enjoy, whether you’re into golf, the latest food trends, outdoor adventures or just lounging on the beach. If we end up traveling to Puerto Rico this year, here’s what I’d love to do:

1. Spend a few nights at the W Retreat & Spa on Vieques Island. You just take a ferry ride over there and you’re immediately surrounded by 21 miles amazing beaches. And Vieques is where Mosquito Bay is, a popular attraction for kayaking or pontoon boating because it’s the brightest bio bay according to the Guinness Book of World Records (the water glows neon green in the dark!).

2. Relax on as many of the beautiful beaches as I can, including Flamenco Beach in Culebra. Puerto Rico has 270 miles of coastline and the island was featured in the Top 10 beaches from Travel Channel!

3. Hike through the U.S. national park service’s only rainforest, El Yunque, and take in the views of the island from above and waterfalls and other scenery along the trails (this is the perfect activity if you want to be active on vacation).

4. Try the local rums and Puerto Rican gastronomy. Tours of the Bacardi factory are fun (I did this many years ago) and there are so many delicious foods to try.

5. Walk around and enjoy the old world charm of San Juan. The colorful houses and buildings are beautiful and make for great photos. Plus, there’s lots of history behind Old San Juan.

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{Flamenco Beach – pic via Tanya Ramakers}

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{San Juan – pic via Jenni Konrad}

Check out the video below to learn how you can live your own 5-star vacation story in Puerto Rico. And for more on vacationing in Puerto Rico, visit SeePuertoRico.com, like SeePuertoRico.com on Facebook or follow @PRTourismCo on Twitter.

If you’re dying to take a vacation like I am, let us know in the comments below why you’d love to travel to Puerto Rico. And now I’ll go back to being snowed in forever… or until a vaca is finally booked!

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Win a Trip to NYC or San Diego from Atlantic Luggage & Delta Vacations!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Atlantic Luggage. All opinions are 100% mine.

This fall has been crazy with the amount of traveling I’ve been doing, both for work and fun. I feel like I’ve been on a plane at least once a week! Last week I got back from a three-day trip to LA then turned right back around the following morning to head to DC for a wedding. Can’t complain too much though – it’s great to visit different cities and friends.

If you’re looking to get away, Atlantic Luggage and Delta Vacations are offering you the chance to win a trip for four to either NYC or San Diego, CA. I just entered because I would love a free trip to San Diego! Some of our good friends live out there and even aside from that, it’s just such a nice, laid back place where people are always happy and the sun shines nearly every day of the year. Don’t get me wrong, NYC has its perks too, but I’ll take the beach over city anyday (pic below of our last San Diego trip earlier this year!).

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Enter to win a family trip now through November 15 and you could win the Grand Prize package, valued at $3,700, which includes:

  • Roundtrip airfare for four (4) courtesy of Delta Vacations
  • Choice of Delta Vacations hotel accommodations
  • Choice of one (1) Delta Vacations activity or tour for four (4)
  • Four (4) Atlantic carry-on size suitcases

Since I’ve been traveling so much, I’ve been on the market for durable, lightweight and affordable suitcases – and that’s exactly what Atlantic Luggage is. They’ve been pioneering great luggage since 1919, making travel super easy for families with lots of options for luggage, that range by style, features and color.

Atlantic Luggage’s suitcases fit so much (even more if you take my favorite packing trick and roll tank tops, blouses and other lightweight tops). I love the 360-degree 4-Wheel Spinners that make it so incredibly easy to wheel through a busy airport. Having 4-Wheel Spinners is key when you’re trekking around the airport and streets with lots of bags – I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to get these! And with the Link2Go feature, you can even connect multiple pieces of luggage to roll them together with one hand.

Go ahead and head on over to AtlanticLuggage.com and enter to win that trip to NYC or San Deigo. I’ll be crossing my fingers that one of us win! The winner will be chosen within 7-10 days, the trip has to be booked by September 30, 2015 and travel must be completed by October 31, 2015. That leaves lots of time to plan out a perfect long weekend – three days and two nights!

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Beach Bag Essentials {Review}

This summer has been SO busy with weddings, travel, birthdays, you name it. But my absolute favorite thing to do is head to the beach, which is exactly what my husband, puppy and I did this past weekend to celebrate my husband’s 30th birthday. We took the 90-minute ferry from Boston to Provincetown, Cape Cod and had a nice weekend with great weather, food and lots of relaxation.

Today, I’m sharing my beach bag “essentials” that I brought along with me this weekend – check them out below and pick some up for yourself for your end-of-summer beach days and Labor Day Weekend celebrations! If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere that you can enjoy the beach beyond actual summer months, I envy you. :)

Beach Essentials

1. Cinda B Beach Bag II

The perfect beach bag is hard to come by. You need one that is big enough to fit all essentials – towels, books, sunglasses, sunscreen, etc. – but you also need it to have compartments so everything doesn’t get lost in the bag. And then it’s just as important to have a bag that’s made of the right material to withstand sand and water at the beach. That’s where cinda b comes in. Cinda b’s Beach Bag II is but stylish and practical.

The Beach Bag II has so much room, along with six large exterior pockets (perfect for cell phones, snacks and books) and a zippered pocket inside (great for things like keys and money). I picked the beach-inspired Neptune pattern, but there are lots of other great ones to choose from here. The best thing about the fabric on cinda b bags is that they’re all water and stain resistant, “outdoors friendly,” durable and machine washable.

You can purchase cinda b’s Beach Bag II on cindab.com for $129. To learn more about cinda b, follow the brand on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

2. Coola Suncare

Wearing sunscreen has never been my favorite thing, but I know it’s so important so I suck it up and use it anyway. I recently tried out a few products from Coola Suncare and I can honestly say that I was totally OK with wearing them! The Sport SPF 30 Citrus Mimosa Sunscreen Spray and Face SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer will definitely be regulars in my beach bag from here on out. They smell so good and my skin feels like it can breathe while still getting the sun protection I need. The continuous spray goes on nice and clear, is made with 97% organic ingredients like cucumber, algae and strawberry extracts and is water resistant. The face moisturizer is super sheer, hypoallergenic and the cucumber scent actually feels refreshing. Both help fight aging with the antioxidants they’re infused with.

You can purchase the spray here ($32) and the face lotion here ($32). And to learn more about Coola Suncare, visit CoolaSuncare.com and follow the brand on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

3. Hayden Reis Wristlet

When I have a big bag, I find myself putting smaller wristlets or bags inside of it to help keep me organized. That’s why I love this Teal & Blue Stripe Wristlet from Hayden Reis. It’s water resistant and is the perfect place to store miscellaneous items you don’t want to get wet or sandy at the beach.

In addition to the Wristlets, Hayden Reis offers lots of fun, bright products that are perfect for both the beach and everyday use. To buy one of the Wristlets ($32 each), click here, and to shop other products and stay up on the latest from Hayden Reis, visit haydenreis.com and follow the brand on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

4. Mi Ola Bikini

Earlier this year, I was searching for a simple bikini with a perfect fit – and I found that in a swimwear brand I hadn’t previously heard of, Mi Ola. The brand’s founder, Helena, traded her NYC, high-fashion lifestyle for a laid back, Costa Rica surf life. According to Helena, as a surfer, she had a hard time finding “well-made, chic, sexy bikinis that stayed on,” which led to her launching Mi Ola. In addition to providing great fit and functionality, these bikinis are even made with fabric that is UPF 50+ to protect you from the sun – and it doesn’t fade or stretch out after lots of use.

I tried out the Ring Back Top and Ring Bottom, both in Fuchsia, and it’s already become one of my favorite bikinis for so many reasons. The shape of the top gives lots of support without any crazy padding and is very flattering. The bottoms have a special gripper elastic on the inside that ensure that it stays put, whether you’re surfing or jumping into the water. And while sometimes rings on bikini bottoms can be a bit uncomfortable, these ones are positions on the sides and are even molded to fit your curves. These are brazilian bottoms with ruching is of course very flattering as well.

To buy the bikini shown in this post, find the top here ($95) and bottom here ($85) on mi-ola.com. You can also follow the brand on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

5. Turkish Towel

I’ve been on the hunt for a Turkish towel all summer and finally got one. These towels are more like lightweight blankets and I think they’re perfect for the beach. They don’t take up much room in your beach bag and are so soft (they get even softer the more you wash them). I found this Turkish towel on Amazon here ($21.45), but you can also get them from stores like Serena and Lily, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Gilt.

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What are your beach bag essentials? Let us know in the comments below!

**While I was provided product samples for review in this post, all opinions are 100% my own.

Delano Hotel in Miami’s South Beach {Travel}

One of my favorite things about my full-time job is that it takes me to places that I might not go to on my own, for one reason or another. Recently, I had the chance to head down to South Beach in Miami and stayed at a beautiful property, the Delano Hotel. Lucky for me, the events I was working were spread out over the weekend, so I actually had the chance to enjoy my stay and also catch up with one of my best friends that lives in another part of Florida. The Delano was the perfect place to stay, with its close proximity to Lincoln Road, beach and pool, and overall chic yet relaxing vibe. Read on for some of my favorite things about this hotel!

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(Image via TripAdvisor)

The Rooms

I LOVE the all-white look this hotel has going on in the rooms. If I could pull it off at my own house, I would… but I’m just not tidy enough for it. So I go to places like the Delano to enjoy. I stayed in the City View King room shown below and it was pretty amazing even with just a view of the city, so I can imagine the Ocean View, Oceanfront and Poolside rooms and suites are pretty incredible. The rooms lived up to their description: “Playful and elegant, the serene oasis of every Delano room brings a fresh interpretation of ‘barefoot chic’ to Miami.” The bed is so cozy that I could have slept all day in it, with luxurious 300 thread count cotton and down bedding.

In the bathroom, the rainfall shower head complete with MALIN+GOETZ bath amenities were also perfection. And last but certainly not least, the mini bar was not your everyday mini bar. It was stocked with high-end cocktails and glasses to match. And there’s even a box with any item you may have forgotten or needed, from Supergoop! sunscreen to Advil, to mints and even socks.

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Delano Hotel - Bathroom

The Pool

Not much of a description is needed for the pool – you can see for yourself in the photos below. The Delano Beach Club is a 7,000 square foot seaside retreat, with a beautiful pool and direct access to the beach. If you want more of a lounge area by the pool, you can rent a poolside cabana. And of course, the poolside cocktails looked amazing and if you want to keep it non-alcoholic, try a smoothie.

If you’re looking to step it up a notch for a special occasion, check out the poolside bungalows. Admittedly I didn’t experience these for myself, but they sound pretty amazing! The bungalows include a private patio, rainfall showers, MALIN+GOETZ bath products and an enormous Roman-inspired marble soaking tub. Step outside and you’re right at the pool!

Delano Pool 1

Delano Pool 2

Delano Pool 3

The Beach

This one also speaks for itself, but as I mentioned above, the hotel has direct access to the beach and ocean. The staff down by the beach were super friendly and led us to a beach chair with fresh towels. For an additional cost ($200!) you could rent cozy beds on the beach, but our beach chairs were perfect for what we needed that day. And the ocean water was much warmer than in New England! Oh and in one of the pics below I’m wearing my new bikini from Mi Ola Swimwear… more to come on that in a future post!

Delano Beach 1

Delano Beach 2

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Delano Beach 3

The Spa

If you have time, you have to take full advantage of this spa, Club Essentia. It’s located in the penthouse and is a 3,500 square foot private rooftop oasis with amazing views and a calm, refreshing vibe that it so perfect. In addition to your traditional spa offerings like mani-pedis and massages, they also offer preventative aging procedures. It was raining when I was up there, so my photos don’t do it justice, but check out a few below that I found.

 

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The Location

The Delano is only a few blocks from the popular Lincoln Road, where you’ll find lots of shops and restaurants. My favorite spot for breakfast was on Lincoln Road, Paul. It’s actually a chain, but it has delicious omelettes and other breakfast offerings. And of course, the Delano is right on the beach, so you can’t go wrong there.

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The Food & Drink

Bianca, the hotel’s main restaurant, is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and has both indoor and outdoor seating. I sat outside on their deck for a post-work glass of wine and apps, and then again for lunch with my friend when she was in town. The menu items are simple and savory. I tried the calamari, a chopped salad and truffle fries, all of which were delicious. You can also order from a menu of sandwiches and the likes from the pool deck and beach.

FDR at Delano was the perfect place for my friend and I to go out for a bit the Saturday we were there. I’m not really into clubs, but this place was not too clubby, not too casual. They played awesome music (lots of fun remixes and older rap/dance) and the drinks were delicious (but beware, the martinis were $20 each… pretty typical for South Beach though!). We also got to cut the line and avoid paying a cover since we were guests at the hotel.

There’s also the Umi Sushi and Sake Bar, which I didn’t have a chance to try myself but looked delicious from what I saw walking by. The restaurant offers guests a casual, full-dining experience right in the middle of the lobby, featuring a large communal table that’s great for group dining. And lastly, the Rose Bar is a cute little bar at the hotel that’s a great post to grab a drink and light food bites in a relaxed yet sophisticated setting.

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(Image via HotelChatter.com)

Have a favorite hotel to get away for a relaxing weekend? Let us know in the comments below!

For Your Face: New FOREO LUNA mini

Admittedly, I was skeptical of the sonic skincare products, but was excited to finally try one out, the FOREO LUNA mini. After just one use, I understood what all of the hype was about. I had never experienced such smooth skin on my face after a quick and simple wash in the shower with my daily face wash.

After using my Luna Mini for a couple of weeks, here are my favorite things about the product:

  • Colorful, compact and easy to take on-the-go
  • Results in clearer, brighter and healthier-looking skin
  • Takes just one minute in the shower to use
  • Fully rechargeable for up to 300 beauty treatments per USB charge
  • Waterproof so you can use it in the shower
  • No need for any replacement brush heads
  • Deep, yet gentle cleansing that frees skin of dirt, oil and makeup residue
  • Cleanses pres of blemist-causing impurities
  • Leaves skin feeling smooth after just one use
  • Comes with a 2-Year Limited Warranty and a 10-Year Quality Guarantee

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To use the LUNA mini, all you have to do is apply your cleanser of choice, wet the LUNA mini, turn it on to your desired speed level and press it against your face to cleanse for approximately one minute.

The LUNA mini uses T-Sonic technology, which is described as “a radical new approach to cleansing that is both deeper and gentler at the same time. By channeling transdermal sonic pulsations across the skin’s surfact, the LUNA mini will will transform the look and feel of the skin within just 3 days. It works by cleaning pores of impurities to reduce the causes of blemishes, while smoothing and refining your skin’s texture for incredible results.”

Another great thing about the LUNA mini is that using it is really like getting a mini facial every time – and it’s great for any skin type. The LUNA mini cleanses deeper than other sonic brushes, and uses 1,300 nonabrasic touch-points that are coated with smooth silicone. The touch-points are specially configured into 3 zones, which is what allows it to accomodate any skin type.

The Luna Mini comes in several different colors, including Petal Pink, Turquoise Blue, Magenta (shown in my photos), Purple and Cool Gray. You can purchase yours today for $139 on FOREO.com, or through a variety of online retailers.

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** I purchased my LUNA mini at a discounted price through BzzAgent, a word-of-mouth product review company. All opinions about the LUNA mini are my own.

Hailo Turns 1, Offers Cupcakes & Rides to Bostonians

In case you haven’t heard about Hailo yet, it’s a great taxi service that allows you to order cabs from your smartphone and actually see where they are. Hailo is available in several different cities, Boston being one of them. Here are a few great things about Hailo:

  • It’s easy. I HATE hailing cabs, and with Hailo, I can get a Boston taxi easily with the Hailo app.
  • No need for cash. Another thing I hate about cabs is the need to have cash (which you technically don’t need in Boston, but cab drivers still prefer it). With Hailo, you automatically pay with your debit or credit card that’s on file with your account.
  • It’s safe. Hailo works with Boston’s licensed and trustworthy taxi drivers, and approves each driver individually.

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To celebrate Hailo’s 1-year anniversary in Boston, the company is saying “thank you” to Bostonians in a few different ways:

Free Kickass Cupcake

Today, November 13, Hailo will be at the following locations, where you can get FREE Kickass Cupcakes when you show your Hailo app.

  1. Brookline, Coolidge Corner Courtyard Marriott, 11AM-12:30PM
  2. Cambridge, Tech Square, 1PM-3:15PM
  3. Boston, Dewey Square, 3:30PM-5:30PM

Two Free Hailo rides

Take a ride to the Kickass Cupcakes truck, or anywhere you need to go today (11/13) and Thursday (11/14), with two $15 credits! Use codes HAILODAY1 and HAILODAY2 to take advantage. Some of Hailo’s drivers will have a special surprise waiting for you in their cabs too (not sure what it is, but sounds fun!).

HAILO arrives in Brookline!

Today, Hailo has also announced the launch of Hailo in Brookline. Brookline taxi drivers are now available to come to you with just two taps of your smartphone.

London Taxi Cab in Boston

This week, there will be a special Hailo-wrapped London taxi cab rolling through Boston’s streets. Share your pictures on Twitter with #HAILODAY and tag  @HailoBoston.

I might just have to take a Hailo home today or tomorrow – just because. You can download the Hailo app here. Enjoy!