Travel: Little Desert Getaways

Hotel Miramonte

As a California native, Palm Desert is a common vacation destination for my family and myself.  Taking little trips throughout the year is vital for many reasons.  Hitting the road and spending time away from the day to day grind can refresh your mind and prep you for a whole new week.

Miramonte Villas

I tend to stay at the same hotels when I vacation, but this last trip I decided to shop around.  I found a great offer on Expedia for the hotel Miramonte in Palm Desert, California.  I checked out the customer reviews and photos, and was impressed enough to give the hotel a try.  I had some vacation time saved up, and so did my best friend Marta.  Before we knew it the trip was here, and we were headed for a couple of days in the sun.

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While many travel sites may photoshop images to help sell you on an experience, the hotel Miramonte was actually much more impressive in person.  We exited the car excitedly and headed towards the large wooden gate doors.  As we walked through the big heavy doors we could see the gardens peaking through.  The grounds of the hotel are very lush, and vibrant.  Many of the plants and flowers are the same types found in Tuscany.

051The architecture of the hotel is unique.  The buildings were designed to replicate Tuscan Villas.  Each “villa” is named after a town in Italia.  The lobby of the hotel had high ceilings, chandeliers, and stone worked flooring.  The customer service at the front desk was excellent.  In addition to the beauty of the hotel, the space boasts convenience due in part to the boutique size of the resort.  We were able to walk to our room in under 3 minutes.  We requested a room on the bottom floor, so that we could walk straight out from our patio area to the pool area.

The hotel was vacant on a Wednesday afternoon, which was fine by us.  We had the pool area to ourselves, and a friendly waitress who checked in on us often.  I had yet to open up my birthday bottle of champagne, so we popped that open and started in on our mimosas. The pool is a good size, and the jacuzzi was large.  The pool temperature was great, because it was 106 degrees outside that day.  The lobby shop at pool mats, and the waitress offered to have them blown up for us.  We enjoyed a day of laying out pool side.

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If you are looking for pure relaxation you must make a reservation at the Well Spa, the hotel spa.  Often times, hotels will hike up the cost of spa services charging around $150 to $200 for a massage.  I was pleasantly surprised by the prices and services offered at the Well Spa.  There are three massages priced at under $150, and the purify facial is just $99.  To view the full list of spa services visit here.

Also located at the Hotel Miramonte is a fine dining restaurant and full service bar.  The Grove Artisan Kitchen serves “farm to table” fresh foods.  The website boasts, “The menu features organic produce, fresh herbs, local ranch raised meats and poultry, fresh Pacific seafood, house-made pastas, prime dry-aged meats and innovative vegetarian dishes.”  To view the menu or make reservations visit here.  Unfortunately my bff and I were too sun bathed and relaxed to get dressed up for dinner, but fortunately for us the hotel does provide in service dining.  Marta ordered the Greek salad, and I ordered a turkey club.  We shared vanilla bean ice cream and fresh berries for desert.

We had an amazing stay at the hotel Miramonte.  The views of the desert landscape and dark mountain ranges simply adds to the architectural and arboricultural beauty of this resort.  I would definitely recommend it.

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Skin Care Secrets

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This month I’ve decided to spend a lot more time on my skin.  I’ve never had a problem with acne or oily skin, so washing my face when in the shower was the most time I dedicated to it.  Envious? Don’t be.  When you’re not used to working to keep your skin clear, you can fall into the habit of neglecting it.  Taking care of your skin is incredibly important, especially if you want to stay looking youthful.

meeshme.comBeing a California native I’ve spent plenty of time sun bathing.  Having an olive complication thanks to my Middle Eastern roots, I never worried about sun block.  While others slathered on the sun screen, I laughed.  That’s come back to bite me in the a$$.  Sun screen is vital to the health of your skin.  The sun’s rays don’t just make you more susceptible to skin cancer, they also cause your skin to lose its elasticity.  Too much exposure to the sun can cause wrinkles, sagging, and freckling.  To protect your skin, avoid sun bathing for multiple hours a day or hitting the tanning bed.  Always put on sun screen.  I remember putting on the lowest SPF sunscreen I could find, don’t! Make sure to purchase something with an SPF of 30 or higher.  I hate rubbing in sunscreen, so I always opt for the spray-on versions like Coola organic sport sun screen.  Purchase it here.  Coola has enough SPF to provide protection without leaving your hands or legs white from residue.  It also doesn’t seep out of your pores when it’s hot, like traditional lotions will do.

meeshme.comI never was addicted to the tanning bed, but I definitely made visits at least once a month in preparation for the summer.  Who doesn’t appreciate the effect of a tan?  It can hide those pesky imperfections like nothing else.  I liked tanning not just for the look it gave me, but because it relaxed me.  Laying down in that warm bed would put me to sleep.  I’d listen to some music and just let go of everything going on in my head.  While I do miss this experience, it isn’t worth putting myself at risk for skin cancer, nor is it worth even the perfect tan.  I’ve never been a fan of spray tans, but there are other options.  Jergens Natural Glow will slowly increase the pigment in your skin without making you look orange.  Clinque also has a fabulous product for $23.  Buy it here.

meeshme.comTo help correct some of the sun damage on my face, I started researching moisturizers with SPF.  My skin is naturally on the dry side, so applying a moisturizer after washing my face is mandatory.  I read that ROC Multi Correxion 4 Zone daily moisturizer was rated by users as one of the top products for reversing sun damage and aging.  The ROC moisturizer, “targets four key areas of the face to diminish the look of multiple signs of aging.”  The moisturizer has an SPF of 30 which is higher than many make-up counter moisturizers.  The moisturizer claims to target the four zones of the face.  It claims to diminish the signs of lines and wrinkles from the forehead, decreases the appearance of crows feet from the eye area, removes brown spots and uneven skin tone from your cheeks, and improves elasticity of the jaw line. The ROC 4 zone moisturizer can be purchased at Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, and Target for around $25 a bottle.  This may seem expensive for the size of the bottle, but it’s cheaper than many brand name moisturizers that claim to do the same thing.

meeshme.comTo repair deep set wrinkles try L’OREAL’s Revitalift.  Botox and similar services can be a scary experience and costly investment.  I’ve never tried it myself, and horror stories keep me from making an appointment.  I’ve known women who have had it, and I can’t say that I saw too much of a difference.  If you do choose to invest in botox, make sure you don’t skimp on the cost in exchange for the right doctor.  These days almost anyone can provide injections, so make sure you go to someone who knows what they’re doing.  In the meantime Revitalift may provide you with the skin assistance you need.  This wrinkle repair cream works overnight to bring elasticity back to your skin, and plumps up the gaps which create wrinkles and lines on your face.  Users see results over time.  I myself only started seeing results after a couple of months.  Your wrinkles weren’t built in a day, so it won’t take a day or two to fix them.  Dedicate the time every night and a.m. to taking care of your skin, and you’ll see the results.  You can get Revitalift at CVS for just $15.99.  Buy it here.