Mom Springs

Facebook has been reminding me of all the cool memories such as vacations I’ve taken in the past around this time. May, June and July are definietly the high traveling months for all of us, but as the boys get older, having their own activity schedules, it’s getting harder and harder to plan out a long vacation.

Earlier this week, I stumbled upon a Facebook memory of a trip to Palm Springs which I did with my older cousin. We called it “Mom Springs,” as it was a treat for the two of us moms, the weekend before Mother’s Day to relax and celebrate being moms, without our partners and children. It was a weekend trip to Palm Springs checking out two different hotels. One night at the beautiful luxury hotel of the Riviera Palm Springs, and then the rest of the weekend at Ace Hotel And Spring Club.

During our Mom Springs, we ate out, relaxed by the pool, and just enjoyed peace without being interrupted. Once place that I loved was FARM.

Farm is located right along South Palm Canyon hidden, in a quiet, charming, rustic, beautiful corner. It’s honestly, the best place for brunch.  If the weather is nice, you can sit outside under one of their many red umbrellas or smack in the middle where there’s a wooden covered area. If it’s raining, inside is just as quaint and adorable so you won’t lose either way.

6 Plz Dr
Palm Springs, CA 92262
With housemade jams, local produce, and really really good French press coffee, their omelettes, salads, and a few over-the-top French toast dishes, are to die for!!! There’s also a long list of crepes ranging from nutella and banana to ham and gruyere.  There’s also a brunchy cocktail menu with concoctions like a bacon-garnished Bloody Mary (Yum!) and a gin-basil cocktail.

If ever you’re planning a trip to Palm Springs, I’d definietly check out FARM. And as for my experiences with the two hotels……Stay tuned for my follow up blog post! Juicy, eye candy pics, that will make you want to book for your next trip to Palm Springs right now!!

Calmer State Of Mind

While we love spending time with extended family, sometimes (or often) it’s also a big time of stress and conflict. Stresses like these dealing with family and friends can happen more often during the holidays, but also in other instances such as other events and weddings. The Holiday disagreements happen. But if it’s one thing learned over the years, that keeps me cool during this stressful season is having my partner and I being on the same page specifically for the holidays. Stress tends to build up and there are times when family members can lose their cool, so the next time you argue with your partner during the stressful holidays, consider this calm down  themes/points:

CalmerState

Be On The Same Team

With your husband, spouse, partner, boyfriend, fiance, approach the seasonal holiday party(parties) with a game plan.  Anticipate the issues, issue spots on what’s going to happen, and address them before they become issues. We know our families, so addressing the hot button topics with your partner. Between each other as couple, fill each hother in on day-to-day going’s on whats currently happening within each other’s extended family members.

Sit down for a few minutes and discuss in preparation for the family party. Usually, my boyfriend and I discuss our plan during the commute to the party. Our drives to family parties are usually 30-45minutes, so we’re able to catch up on “who’s not talking to who,” or “don’t bring up that..” 

One thing to remember at the end of the night, is although you’re dealing with friends and extended family members, whatever happens during the party, at the end of the night you’re going home with your significant other. It’s all about supporting each other, and even if you disagree with whatever’s happening within the family, present yourself as a unified friend. Deal with it at home.

Find The Humor 

When at the family party, however the situation presents itself, go there with a smile, and just find the humor it in all. Weather it’s your teenage brother fighting with his girlfriend in the other room, or your mother complaining about why your children don’t want to wear a bow-tie, or your little nephew crying during prayer. Whatever it is, find the humor. Remember, this is a time of gathering, you don’t meet with these people on a daily, nor live with them on a day to day basis, so if you’re on vacation seeing family, don’t push anyones buttons, accept other peoples behaviors, and just take a step back, smile, and find the humor in it all.

Accept It

There’s a reason why you showed up to Thanksgiving. It’s your family. They may be far from being perfect, but you oviously accept them for who they are, and they accept you for who you are. People are not going to change, you will not change for your family, nor don’t assume they want you to be a certain way. Your family isn’t going to change into the way you want them to be.

Level set your expectations. The internet, social media, and TV  portrays the holidays as a perfect family gathering. So your expectations don’t always have to be so ideal. You got to get realistic with what your expectations are with your family especially during these times of events such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years.

One thing my boyfriend has taught me, which has some harsh truth to it is “Set your exceptions low.” Although there is some level of truth to it, it works. When gathering together, you know exactly the personality traits in which your family members have, so accept it, and leave that level of expectation there. That way you know how to handle their behavior and any sudden occurrences. At most times, you find out you’ll end of having a good time.

Leave At It’s Peak

While at the party, when everyone is having a good time, that is honestly the best time you can leave. It’s a common trick to practice during family events. I’ve been practicing for quite awhile, because of the crazy amounts of family holiday parties my family is invited to, somehow we’ve managed to show face to each one in previous years. (One year we did 4 Thanksgiving Parties!!! In one day!!!!!) Yes. It’s exhausting, but if you follow the common tips above it helps me deal with the overload, in dealing with extended family, and family gatherings. Leaving on a high note, keeps that engrained memory of family fun fresh in your head. As you leave the party, and drive off, it’s the last memory you and your family will have. It is a little heart breaking to leave, but trust me, it’s the best way to avoid the low, after all the partying, the food coma, and then grumpy children.

 

How do you deal with holiday stress and what keeps you calm? Do you sit with your significant other and plan ahead? Or do you deal with the crazy in-laws and extended family, knowing something always erupts? Holiday traveling is a lot to deal with, especially with having children. Do you avoid the parties, and just take a vacation away from it all? Let me know you’re thoughts, and how you manage to deal with the holiday season!

 

Have a Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!

 

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Anniversary Getaway

Sonoma Welcome

Over the weekend, Derrick and I celebrated our 14 year anniversary in the Springs neighborhood of Sonoma. We rented out an absolutely stunning  Sonoma wine county estate so close to the square. Lately, I’ve been obsessing about getting new furniture for our home from places like Z Gallerie and Restoration Hardware, because of all the shows I’ve been watching on HGTV like Fixer Upper. But Derrick always brings be back to earth after saying what’s wrong with my current system of Craigslisting items or searching for fine unique pieces from Antique faires and flea markets at bargain prices. (He has a point.) But, he does understand why I obsess over fine chic stylish home decor. So, what better way than living in a home already completely furnished for a weekend!

Our anniversary date is the day after Valentine’s so typically, we always combine the two and make a nice romanic weekend out of it. We’ve always have done weekend getaways to fine/artistic and stylish places, such as an art gallery boutique hotel in the French District of San Francisco. Located in the French Quarter and crossroads of Union Square, the Financial District, and right at the Chinatown Gate – Hotel De Arts in San Francisco, has an amazing selection of rooms, with simple, modern clean hotel furnishings. (We stayed in the Sam Flores room, in 2009)

Another year, we stayed at the Inn At DelMonte Beach in Monterey, now Hotel 1110 (in 2012). We were able to experience “Euro-Californian vibes,” that highlighted art, design, textile, fixtures, and other vintage accents (something I’m totally all about!) With a free artisan cocktails, and roof-top ocean views, the experience we had at DelMonte/Hotel 1110 was pretty unforgettable. We also had a romantic rooftop couple massage over sunset!

Exterior

The Sonoma house was located in a quiet neighborhood nestled between downtown Sonoma and popular Sonoma wineries. It’s a few miles from Sonoma square (fabulous restaurants like Girl and The Fig and El Dorado Kitchen) and a short bike ride to wineries, including Hamel Family Winery, Valley of the Moon and B.R. Cohn.  The owners also had two new beach cruiser bikes are provided for our riding pleasure!

In the Springs, Fetters Hot Springs (is where we were stayed) had funky, ethnic, rundown and building up architecture. The Springs has what passes for affordable living with a spicy Hispanic flavor, taco trucks ply the cheapest and tastiest fast food you can find up and down the highway. With countless cafes, thrift shops, movie theatres, it felt just like my hometown of Hayward, but with a classic sophisticated twist!

Entryway
Upon arrival, Derrick and I took a quick tour around the house, and just relaxed in the amazing living room containing a replica Eames lounge chair. Derrick didn’t understand the deal about this recognizable mid-century classic. Until he sat on it. For the weekend, it was officially “his,” chair.  Every time we were home from a day of shopping and cruising around Sonoma, I found him on the sophisticated stylish, and luxurious comforting lounge chair.

Bedroom

The newly remodeled 2 bedroom (both queen beds)/2 bath, modern/rustic style Sonoma home with mountain view, had a Master  en suite bathroom and a top-of the-line Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Cloud Luxe mattress. It was so comfy, it was hard to get up every morning to start our day! Our weekend was focused on relaxing, with no special romantic dinners, or evening strolls. Just to be away from all the home stress, kids, work, and just enjoy each others company, celebrating our 14 years of love.

Patio

We enjoyed a Saturday morning Valentine’s brunch at the Fremont Diner, just along Highway 121, in the Carneros district between Sonoma and Napa. Reimagined down-home Southern comfort dishes, drawing crowds. We arrived just in time before the lunch rush. We sat in the shared patio seating on roadside diner picnic tables, which was delightfully awkward?! Depending on your comfort level, you can chose to sit inside, or in the outdoor “shared,” seating. Due to the foot traffic of the place, we decided which of the two choices was faster to get seated!

Altogether, our weekend was surely needed. We both have been working really hard, and needed time to focus on us as a couple. Having two nights away from everyone, including our children was a great plan to rejuvenate, recharge, and refresh. I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s weekend! I look forward to another mommy/daddy weekend.

Smiles