Weekend Getaway: Palm Desert

pool view

Every now and then it’s good to get away, and take a mini vacation.  This weekend my boyfriend and I decided to pack our bags and take a last minute vacation to Palm Dessert.  The drive is two hours or less, and we knew that a pool and a tan were awaiting us.

Twenty years ago my mother booked a vacation in Palm Desert.  We always took little trips growing up, but when I walked through the lobby doors I realized where I was.  I was staying at the Saved by the Bell hotel!! Let me explain, I was a huge Saved by the Bell fan growing up.  I watched every episode more than once, so I recognized the beautiful hotel at first sight.  In the episode where Jessie’s father gets married, the cast traveled to Palm Desert for the wedding.  They stayed at the JW Marriott and highlighted it’s romantic appeal.

As a child I had a lot of fun at the hotel, but I knew some day when I grew up I would have a boyfriend and we would ride the boats and have a romantic dinner.  Fast forward twenty years later and my boyfriend and I escape to the hotel whenever we need a quick escape.

The JW Marriott is appealing to singles and younger couples, with attractions like a lively pool and nightclub located in the resort.  The hotel has changed over the years, and now features a more modern look.  The lobby bar is also a great place to mix and mingle.  For couples or families the Marriott Desert Springs Villas offer a more relaxing setting.  The villa rooms are larger, and include either a full or half kitchen.  Rooms also offer balconies with views overlooking the beautifully landscaped golf course.  Each cluster of villas has it’s own pool and hot tub, but there are two main pools as well.  To view pictures or get more information on the villas visit here.  The Water’s Edge pool plays music, and offers activities for children.  The pool bar serves drinks and lunch.

My boyfriend and I enjoyed our little getaway, and I hope you take some time to getaway and relax soon.

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Spa Review: Spa Pura

meeshme.comI am always looking for great spa deals.  Let’s face it no matter how amazing a facial or massage may be, we don’t always feel great spending $150 for a one time service.  My go-to spa has always been Burke Williams, but I recently received a spa deal I couldn’t pass up.

While walking around Montrose, CA I passed by Spa Pura.  Montrose is located by the 2 Freeway North of Glendale.  It’s the closest thing to a small town you will find in Los Angeles.  With small shops and whole in the wall restaurants, Montrose is a charming little get away from busy L.A.  Spa Pura fits in well with it’s surroundings.  A small intimate spa in a town known for it’s hidden gems.

Special Deals

I decided to sign up for the mailing list on the website in hopes that a great offer would come my way.  Last week it finally came.  Right now Spa Pura is offering a Spring special, $119 for a 60 minute service and 30 minute service package.  I enjoy facials more than a massage, so I opted for the 60 minute facial and 30 minute massage.  You might be thinking that $119 isn’t cheap, and yes there are spas that offer services for $60 or less, but you have to consider overall experience. For $119 I was able to use the spa facilities which included a jacuzzi, steam room, and dry sauna.  The spa also offers showers for before and after use.

Couples

Every purchased a couples spa package?  Having a spa day with your significant other is a great experience, but it often leads to regret.  The increased price per service doesn’t always seem worth it.  At Spa Pura there is a common room for both men and women to enjoy.  There are comfortable chairs where you can sit and relax together.  The spa offers cucumber/lemon water, coffee, tea, and champagne to enjoy on weekends.  They also offer crackers, cheese, and veggies for snacking.

Lounge Area

There are three levels to the spa, and the bottom floor is by far the best.  Dimly lit with candles, this room is pure relaxation.  Comfortable chairs, beautifully decorated, and ready for you to enjoy.  It is the perfect location for a bachelorette party or girls spa day.  Notify the spa of your special event ahead of time, and they will accommodate you.

Services

Spa Pura offers a wide range of services.  At Spa Pura you can upgrade to an advanced facial.  These facials decrease scars, wrinkles, and other signs of aging.  To get the full list of spa services visit here.  I recently enjoyed the 60 minute European Deep Cleansing Facial.  The exfoliation really worked to remove dull skin.  My skin felt totally refreshed afterwards.  I could feel the citrus peels working to clean more pores, and I have never had a better head and neck massage than the one I received with my facial this past weekend.  My 30 minute massage was great as well.  The masseur used hot oils and lotions while she worked out my tense muscles.  She incorporated hot stones as well.

I would definitely recommend Spa Pura to anyone.  Make sure to sign up for their mailing list in order to receive special offers and savings.  See an informational video here.

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Travel: Viva Las Vegas

As I prepare to leave for Vegas this week, I am inspired to post about my love for the real city that never sleeps.  My love affair with Las Vegas began when I was 7, and my extended family took a trip to Las Vegas.  I’ve celebrated many a milestone in Vegas.  I was at the club at midnight for my 21st, drove straight there after graduating college, and spent every birthday there ever since.  Now it’s my boyfriend’s little sister’s turn.  She turns 21 this week, and we’re taking her to sin city to celebrate right.

Las Vegas is a shape shifter a cameleon.  It can be the city you want it to be.  Most people know Las Vegas as sin city, but there’s more than just sin going on in this lively city.  With critically acclaimed restaurants featuring world famous chefs, top rated spas, live stage performances, and shopping locations Vegas can fulfill your every desire.

When I visit Vegas there are a few things I have to do.  Here is a list of my top Vegas destinations:

meeshme.comSurrender: Nightclub Encore Hotel

Attempting to get me to go to a Hollywood club these days is a dangerous mission.  I did the Hollywood scene early on in my 20s and enjoyed it, but now it’s just tired.  However, mention going out in Vegas and I’m always game.  There’s something different about the atmosphere, the people, the music that makes it more enjoyable.  My biggest issue with staying out past midnight these days is that my heels become unbearable.  Unless you’re up for buying a table, or get invited to one, standing around all night becomes painful.  Which is why I love Surrender.  Partially indoors, partially outdoors, this club has something for everyone.  The inside is beautifully decorated, but the outside is amazing.  With LED lights, water fountains, and a pool reflecting light, the scenery at Surrender is worth the price of admission.  There’s always a hot DJ performing, and the crowd is well mixed.  Palm trees and bright lights make you feel like you’re in Miami.  The best part of the outdoor area is that there are places where you can sit and rest your feet, even if you don’t have a table.  Drinks don’t come cheap at around $18 a cocktail, but then again you are in Vegas.  The indoor dance floor is small, but that’s because party goers can dance anywhere they like in the massive outdoor area.  To buy a ticket or book a table reservation visit here.

chateau2-500x300Chateau: Nightclub Paris Casino

Located at the top of the Paris Casino Chateau is as romantic as a Vegas club gets.  The Paris Casino itself is a wonder to behold.  The replica of the Eiffel Tower is a wonder, and the Arc de Triomphe truly makes you feel as though you are driving around the streets of Paris.  To enter Chateau you walk up a beautiful stairway located inside the casino.  When you first enter Chateau it looks like any other Vegas club.  The black walls, DJ stand, and dance floor are nothing out of the ordinary.  Then you take a trip to the balcony where the magic happens.  Located beside the Eiffel Tower replica, the balcony provides a view of the entire Vegas strip.  Big bulbs light the Chateau sign above the bar.  The light from the bulbs reflected on the white furniture turns the entire balcony gold.  You can’t leave Vegas without experiencing this view.  To book your table visit here.

encore spaThe Spa: Encore Casino

I literally couldn’t believe what I was seeing when I first walked into the spa at the Encore spa.  I was there to workout, but was distracted by the amazing furniture and attention to detail.  The couches, the lighting, it’s reminiscent of a Moroccan palace.  One of the best ways to enjoy Las Vegas is to purchase a spa service.  Practically every casino features a spa where you can enjoy massages, facials, and spa amenities like hot tubs, saunas, and steam rooms.  When you’re in need of relaxation the spa at the Encore is just what you need.  Feel like a princess for the day at this lavish indoor spa facility.  Prices for massages range between $150 and $250 on weekends, facials are priced at similar rates.  The spa offers waxing services as well.  If you’d like to stay in shape while on vacation, the gym at the Encore is located within the spa.  The facility is smaller than other casino gyms, but features brand new top of the line equipment.  You can also request a personal trainer.  To view the whole Encore spa service menu visit here.

margaritavilleMargaritaville: Restaurant Flamingo Casino

Enough with the pricey destinations right?  Margaritaville is not the destination when you’re looking for class and eligance.  Margaritaville is the place to go when you need something hearty to soak up all the alcohol you drank the night before, or when you want to continue drinking throughout the afternoon.  The giant volcano located next to the bar erupts throughout the day as they play the Margartiville theme song.  Don’t sit too close to the giant glass next to the volcano.  A dancer takes a slide down into the glass filled with water, swishing a way and getting you wet.  The best nachos I’ve ever had are found at Margaritville, along with a pretty amazing margarita.  These nachos come piled as a high as a mini mountain.  Definitely for sharing, this cheesy dish comes with your choice of steak or chicken.  Order these nachos and you won’t be disappointed.  To view the full menu visit here.

serendipitySerendipity: Restaurant Caesar’s Casino

I first obsessed over a frozen hot chocolate from Serendipity in New York.  I was on a family vacation, and was miserable.  I had become deathly ill during the trip, and had an icicle fall from a building and hit me over the head (don’t ask). Nothing was going my way.  I couldn’t eat anything, nothing tasted good, and my brother insisted on going to Serendipity because it was in one of his favorite films.  The New York location is tiny, but charming.  I ordered my frozen hot chocolate, because I had seen it in one of my favorite films One Fine Day.  It was amazing.  Fast forward a few years later, and a larger Serendipity location was built in Las Vegas in front of Caesar’s Palace Casino.  The restaurant isn’t as charming as the New York location, but serves all the same treats that make the original so famous.  Still nothing beats my frozen hot chocolate.  If you’re in a hurry, the window located at the back of the restaurant serves quick items to go.  To see a full menu visit the website here.

wynn buffetWynn Buffet: Wynn Hotel & Casino

You can’t leave Vegas without eating at a buffet, it’s a staple.  Practically every casino has one.  I’ve heard people swear by the Bellagio buffet, the Mirage buffet, the Paris buffet, but they are all wrong.  The buffet at the Wynn hotel is by far the best.  The buffet at the Paris Casino is charming.  I was excited to dine there, because the inside reminded me of Fantasy Land inside the Disneyland park.  cobbled floors, lamp posts, and charming homes make up the inside of the restaurant.  It’s such a shame that the food doesn’t hold up to the decor.  The Bellagio buffet was boring, and the interior was nothing special.  The Mirage buffet is great for seafood, but again nothing to die for.  Then there is the Wynn buffet with it’s huge flower bouquets, vibrant colors, and amazing food choices.  There are many more choices for the health conscious eater as well.  Buffet prices vary depending on time of day, but it’s typically around $30 per person.

Fashion-Show-Mall-Las-VegasFashion Show Mall

Located next to Treasure Island, and across from the Venetian hotel, the Fashion Show Mall has everything you need.  There are plenty of malls and store locations on the strip, but the Fashion Show Mall has it all in one place.  No matter how much I travel I always find that I’ve left something behind.  Whether you need a party dress for going out, flats to walk around the strip in, or a swimsuit to hit the hot tub, the Fashion Show Mall has what you need.  If you’re looking for a good deal check out the outlets on your way into the strip.

I hope you get a chance to visit the strip soon, and check out these incredible destinations.

 

 

Relax Me: At Home Spa Day

One of my favorite things to do when I’m stressed is to get a spa service.  My favorite destination: Burke Williams.  Unfortunately, spa services don’t come cheap, making it difficult to treat yourself on a regular basis.

Tip: If you sign up to receive emails from Burke Williams you will receive specials like a 50 minute facial or massage with spa facility use for $89.

When you’re feeling stressed, and can’t splurge on a professional service, treat yourself to a treatment at home.  Spending time with your girl friends can be just what you need to relieve some stress and forget about the pressure you’re under.  Over the months I’ve picked up spa products from various locations.  Every time I get a treatment done, I picked up a product I enjoyed.  The products may be slightly pricier than your CVS brand, but they are an affordable alternative to getting the treatment done every week at the spa.

With my products stocked, I invited my girls over for a spa day.  Don’t forget atmosphere is important.  I downloaded some relaxing music off of itunes, picked up some flowers at the local market for under $15, and set up some scented candles.  I organized the products, prepared the towels, and prepared some easy to make appetizers.

When my girls arrived we sat down to our facials, did each other’s nails, enjoyed the food, and girl talk.  After an evening like that, I was ready to face my obligations again.

When you purchase the right products you can perform your own spa services any day of the week at a fraction of the cost.  Sure it’s relaxing to have someone else perform the service, but the scents from the products, the way they make your skin feel, the soothing music are all just as enjoyable from home.

Here is a list of my favorite spa products:

meeshme.comH2V Hydrate Cleanser

My skin gets dry, especially during the winter months.  H2V is a line of skin care by Burke Williams.  This hydrating cleanser brings moisture back to your skin.  Hydration hides the signs of aging, making wrinkles appear less visible.  Use this cleanser every day, or mix it up depending on your skin needs.  Unfortunately, H2V products aren’t available online yet, but you can purchase them from a Burke Williams near you.  The H2V hydrating cleanser costs $38.

meeshme.comH2V Buff

I never feel like my skin is really clean unless I use a buff.  Micro-dermabrasion facials are all the rage right now.  The H2V buff is a scrub that invigorates and polishes your skin using, “refined micro-dermabrasion crystals combined with cornmeal to achieve a new level of exfoliation for the face and body.”  I mix the buff with a little bit of the H2V hydrating cleanser then apply to wet skin.  Steam helps open your pores, allowing the deepest clean.  To achieve best results use the buff in the shower, or let the hot water run in your sink while you stand/sit nearby.  The H2V buff costs $45, but should last you a few months.  I purchased mine a few months ago, and still have enough to last me for a couple more months.

meeshme.com

Pumpkin Facial

H2v Pumpkin Puree Mask

The pumpkin puree mask was the first H2V product I ever purchased.  I purchased a facial from Burke Williams, and was pleasantly surprised by this product.  As my esthetician rubbed the mask on my face I smelled pumpkin pie.  It was so pleasant, I knew I had to purchase the product.  By far it’s my favorite mask.  It hydrates skin, and the pleasant scent truly helps you relax.  The “beyond” mask doesn’t come cheap at $40 for a small bottle.  I only use this mask once a month for a special treat.  Apply the mask to slightly damp skin, and leave for 10 minutes.  Always use a warm damp cloth to remove masks.

meeshme.comTee Tree Face Mask

If you are dealing with pesky black heads or growing pores, the Body Shop tea tree face mask is the product for you.  This affordable face mask is great at removing impurities, absorbing excess oil, and soothing skin.  The best thing about this product is that it reduces oil without drying out your skin. The tee tree face mask was just listed by Yahoo as one of the best skin treatments for a deep clean.  Read the article here.  At just $15.50 this face mask is affordable, and worth the results.  Buy it online here.

Remember to take a little time to relax this month.  Stress is a major factor in heart disease, migraines, obesity, diabetes and more.  In order to be your best self for others you have to treat yourself best.