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Vashon Island-Your Next Local Getaway

Hello friends, and Happy New Year. On today’s blog I wanted to highlight the beautiful little town of Vashon Island. Most people when traveling to Washington only visit the attractions around the Seattle are but there’s so much unique, lively neighborhoods waiting for your getaway.

I recently spent the most relaxing weekend in the town of Vashon, exploring all the vibrant shops, enjoying the local wine, and meeting the amazing residents. I left feeling rejuvenated and already planning to come back in the summer. This island just a 15-minute ferry ride from Seattle, is the perfect place for next weekend getaway. Hope this guide inspires you to visit this quiet town on your next local getaway.

Where To Stay

I had the pleasure of staying at The Lodges on Vashon located right at the center of town. They have 16 available lodges designed with a less is more mentality. The space was bright, clean, and decorated with modern furniture made on the Island. I Loved staying in the the Meadow suite, a gorgeous space with a queen-size bed, a bathroom with french doors opening to a private patio, and a wet bar including a microwave and a mini-fridge. The living room with a fireplace perfect for a cozy night in.

Not too far from the lodges you have the common space that includes a public house, Pavilion, and geodesic domes.

The Domes

The Geodesic Domes are transparent weather resistant structures with built-in air filter, heat, WIFI, couches, and chairs perfect for work meetings. They are available for daytime or night-time usage perfect for dinner under the stars.

Pavilion/Public space

An outside area inviting guest to enjoy lunch with friends, live music, or drinks by the fireplace. The space is also available for work retreats or parties.

As if that wasn’t enough, the lodge offers year round promotions such as the Baby Moon package for expecting mothers, the Elopement/Happy Anniversary package for couples, or the Give Me A Break/R&R package for those looking for a relaxing stay-cation.

The Vashon village right next to the lodges is a collection of businesses available to give you everything you need during your stay. The Vashon village gym and Core Centric are open most days and provide personal training to residents and those looking to stay active during their stay. The brewing pub and wine shop carry locally crafted beer and wine with available outside seating throughout the village to socially distance and stay safe.

FOOD/Drinks

The town has plenty of diverse restaurants to satisfy your taste buds. Stop by May Kitchen + Bar for some Thai cuisine, Earthen Bistro for some amazing farm to table dishes, and Zamorana for authentic Mexican food. Vashon Baking Company offers fresh house-made pastries with vegan options and local roasted coffee. For wine, make sure to visit Wine Shop just a few steps from the lodges. This cute wine shop offers wine tasting with outdoor seating. Other Wine shops in the area offering tastings are Palouse winery, Maury Island Winery and Vashon Winery, and Nashi Orchard.

For a relaxing day and some pampering, make sure to stop at Spa Ecdysis & Apothecary. I received one of the best facial thanks to the lovely ladies who run the spa. My custom service combined a relaxing facial and sound bath called “Ecdysis”, the process of a snake shedding its skin. The facial is designed to help you shed your old layer, renew, rejuvenate, and nourish your body, while the sound bath takes you through a deep meditative journey helping you release stuck energy. The two combined services helped me shed so much anxiety and tense energy. I left the spa in a calm and renewed state with glowing skin. I promise you this experience is worth it.

If you’re planning on visiting during the summer, I recommend visiting Point Robinson Lighthouse, KVI, or Spring beach. Rent a bike from Vashon E-bikes and explore the many trails around the island.

What would you do on your next local getaway to Vashon Island? Let me know in the comment section. For more local getaway ideas, check my winter road trip with Cabana.

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Washington Winter Trails To Explore For Beginners/ Solo Hikers.

With another Covid-19 lockdown in Washington, I have been spending a lot time time exploring all the beautiful hiking trails Washington has to offer. Washington State has some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the US. It has enough trails from easy to difficult to keep you satisfied all year long. With snow already gracing our mountains, I am sharing 3 of my favorite easy to moderate trails that are absolutely beautiful to explore this time of the year.

Heather Maple Pass loop is located in the north cascades and roughly 3 hours from Seattle. This 7.5 miles loop is beautiful during all season but especially breathtaking during early winter. Along the hike make sure to stop and take in lake Ann. A glacier beauty nestled between beautiful peaks. At this time of the year, the light snow dusting on the remaining of the fall foliage creates a breathtaking work of art.

Make sure to check the weather report and warning signs for road closure prior to heading to this hike. A northwest Forest pass is required and can be purchased online.

Lake Twenty Two, another hike located in the north cascade is one of the most popular hikes around Mountain Loop Highway. This hike is considered fairly easy and perfect for all ages. The hikes clocks in at 5.5 miles with an elevation gain of 1350 feet. The end of the hike provides beautiful views of Mount Pilchuck. Make sure to stay on the trail and avoid wandering off as avalanches are frequent this time of the year.

Last on the list is Kendall Katwalk-Gravel Lake. This moderate to hard hike is located in the Snoqualmie region and is 12miles long roundtrip. It is part of the Pacific Crest Trail and perfect for those looking for a weekend camping trip. Gravel lake, a little pass the Kendall Katwalk is worth the extra miles. Just above the lake are multiple camping sites perfect for time away from the city.

Always make sure to check the weather report before going on these hikes. Bring enough layers as the weather is unpredictable in the mountains and give yourself enough time to complete these hikes. Lastly have fun and let me know down in the comment section which hikes are your favorite around the Pacific Northwest.

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Winter Road Trips- Washington Beginner Tips

Road-trips have become increasingly popular this past year because of the pandemic. The past several months have been difficult with the lock down, but one thing that has helped me through is is staying active and being outside. The Winter season in Washington makes it difficult for some to enjoy outdoor activities, but I prefer it. Yes, Winter in Seattle is cold and wet but don’t let that stop you from enjoying all the beautiful scenery Washington has to offer. From hiking, snowshoeing to skiing, there is no shortage of fun weekend activities here in Washington State.

As a solo traveler, driving through my home state is an easy, and cheap way to go on a fun adventure. This winter, think about taking a trip around your state for a change of scenery. I partnered with Cabana to share some tips on how to enjoy a solo winter road-trip here in Washington.

Consider Renting A Van

Winter in the pacific northwest can be very unpredictable. Consequently, many prefer summer road-trips. Renting a camper van takes away some of the worries of winter travel. The right van can provide you the flexibility, and comfort to travel anywhere. The Cabana Vans equipped with all the technology, makes for an effortless and safe trip. For instance, the added bed, shower and kitchen makes it easy to social distance and enjoy a full night of rest after an all day hiking excursion. With everything provided to you, the camper van gives you the freedom to roam go off the beaten pass without the hassle.

Click here to book you first camper and enjoy vacationing on your own term.

Pack Winter Essentials

It is recommended to bring the ten essentials for any hiking, camping winter road-trips. The essentials include, food, water, map and compass, first aid kit, emergency shelter, pocket-knife, fire started and sun protection. I’ve included some extra winter essentials for safety.

  • Adequate Warm clothing- Temperature are unpredictable in the winter. To keep warm, pack clothing items made of wool to wick moisture from the body. For any winter activities, make sure to bring gloves, hats, and warm socks.
  • Extra Food- If you are planning on hiking or snowshoeing, bring along plenty of food for energy. We tend to expend more energy during these activities.
  • Head Lamp- With the sun setting much earlier during this time of the year, it’s important to bring a source of light for visibility in the mountains.
  • Plenty of Water- Stay hydrated
  • Tire Chains- Washington State requires tire chains depending on road conditions. Check weather conditions prior to your trip. Washington State Department Of transportation provides real time weather report.
  • Hiking Gear- A good pair of ankle high hiking shoes for area of deep snow. Shoe spikes for frozen snow to prevent from slipping. A hiking bag to carry extra food and water. A small first aid kit. A whistle in case of an emergency.

Where to go

Snoqualmie Pass is one of the most beautiful mountain passes in Washington extending through the incredible cascades. The pass experiences heavy snowfalls and frequent road closure, however due to the low elevation, this mountain pass is the best area for first time winter hiking. The area around the pass has many beginner hiking and snowshoe trails such as Franklin Fall. With an elevation of just 400 feet and a distance of 2 miles, Franklin Fall is the perfect destination for those looking for beautiful day hike. In the Wintertime, the water fall and the icicle formation along the mountain walls make this hike one of the most popular destinations in the area. make sure to arrive early to avoid the crowd.

Check out more beginner winter trails to explore for solo hikers.

Road Tips

Rapidly changing weather and road conditions in the pass can affect your winter road-trip. Here are a few things to do to better prepare.

  • Always check weather and avalanche conditions before hiking snowy trails. The Northwest Avalanche Center is a good place to check weather conditions.
  • Research which trails are open for hiking or snowshoeing. The Washington Trail Association provides detailed report on all hiking trails in Washington. The report includes trail information such as elevation, difficulty, pass needed, camp sites and many more.
  • Be flexible. As mentioned above, fast changing weather conditions make winter trips more dangerous. Stay alert and turn around when conditions change.
  • Give yourself plenty of time. With the sun setting earlier, it is easy to get lost in the dark with the trail covered in snow. Be safe and have fun

Hope these travel tips have inspired you to journey on your first solo winter road-trip. Thank you Cabana for allowing me to enjoy a winter escape through the cascades.

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A Quick Weekend Chicago Travel Guide

Happy November everyone. Last month my cousin and I took a quick weekend trip to Chicago. It was both our first time visiting the windy city. We decided to visit on the first week of October, and we couldn’t have picked a better time. The weather was absolutely beautiful. The leaves were turning a pretty golden color and fall was in full swing. We did not make it to all the recommended places but we had a blast exploring the city. For this post, I though it would be a fun idea to share some of our favorite places around Chicago.

We landed pretty late on Thursday so we checked into our Airbnb for the night. The Airbnb was located in this beautiful quiet neighborhood around Logan Square. I would recommend staying in this area as it was close to the city but far enough to enjoy a quiet walk in the neighborhood. Our adventure started Friday morning at Chiya Chai. It’s a small place with ten tables including outside seating. They have small plates and curry dishes that are all so amazing. Their coconut chai tea latte is the best I’ve ever had. I would definitely recommend this place.

With the weather in the 70s, we spent most of our time walking around the city. The river walk is truly one of my favorite spot in Chicago. You can find many chic, instagrammable restaurants with outside seating overlooking the river. We spent most of our mornings here snapping pictures and watching all the boat tours go by.

One of our favorite restaurant was The Hampton Social. The decor was beautiful, the dishes excellent and ofcourse we had to snap some pictures in front of the ‘Rose ALL Day” sign.

Another restaurant I would suggest is the London House Rooftop. This rooftop has one of the best views in the city. I suggest reserving your table in advance since they are booked weeks ahead. We were lucky to get a table.

Other restaurants to check out include the Beatnik on the river for lunch, Fremont for their Sunday brunch, Pizzeria Portofino by the river for dinner, and Hub 51 in downtown.

Don’t forget to see all the famous landmarks if you have time. The bean in millennium park is fenced off due to Covid-19 but you are close enough to get your pictures. It was not crowded like we anticipated. Buckingham fountain next to the park was not on but it was a beautiful place to visit. We rented some bikes to tour the city and stumble across the Chicago sign. Don’t forget the concrete beach. It was easily my favorite place to sit and people watch.

Other things we didn’t get a chance to do that are highly recommended include the Sky deck at Willis tower, the architecture boat tour and all the museums.

I’ve been told that this city is magical in the winter with the ice rink next to the Bean but I am not sure that will happen this year. Hope you guys enjoyed this blog post.

Leave a comment below if you like this post and if you have future plans to visit Chicago.

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Trousers, A Spring Trend To Invest In

I am not much of a skinny jeans girl, so I was excited to see trousers highlighted on the spring runway. Trousers whether tailored, high waited, super long, or relaxed make for a sophisticated look. My favorite, the high-waisted structured trousers are ones I can’t wait to style this spring. Trousers can be styled with sneakers and a tee for an everyday look, or a pair of heels with a blazer for an elevated look.

For my first look, I am pairing the trouser with a basic tee and an over-sized blazer. A few accessories like a chunky chain and a pair of shades to complete the look. This is a minimalist black and white look for spring.

For a little more put together look, I opted for a utility jacket and a pair of white pumps. Don’t be afraid to add colored accessories like this coral bucket bag to finish the look.

My everyday errand look is a graphic tee, sandals and a mini bag. This look is effortless yet put together for your everyday outing.

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Non-toxic Black-Owned Nail Product

A few months ago I was suffering from an undiagnosed skin condition. Nothing I did at the time seemed to help. Recently I was diagnosed with an immune system disorder making me susceptible to infections and very sensitive to chemicals. I was advised to limit the amount of chemicals I was putting on my skin. I reluctantly dispose of the products I have come to love. During my journey on finding non-toxic beauty products, I came across the brand suite eleven through @thevictsyle who is an amazing influencer with many beauty tips.

Suite eleven is a fairly new black owned company started in 2019. The products are vegan and PETA certified. This means that the company does not use any animal products and is approved by PETA which is a non-profit organization focused on protecting the rights of animals.

I have to stay that I am in love with this product. The colors are beautiful and vibrant. Most importantly for me, they are are toxin free. They have 14 different beautiful colors. I recently got the Sunny Side Up, a beautiful yellow color perfect for the summer; the Turnt Up For Haze, a neon green color, and Tea Time, a pretty neutral color.

Make sure to definitely give this product a try. Let me know which colors you end up loving.

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Staying at home due to Covid-19: How to spend a mindful and healthy day at home during quarantine.

It’s been almost a month since everything has been shut down due to the Covid-19 outbreak. With the social distancing and quarantine laws extended another 30 days, many are running out of ideas on how to preocupy themselves at home. If you are like me, your health has taken a impact. During this quarantine period, my sleep schedule has been off, I’m eating more out of boredom, my screen time has doubled, and my anxiety has gotten worse which was affecting my work.

For many of us, this is uncharted territory. I am no expert on how to make your quarantine days at home less daunting, but I can share some ideas that have helped me get back on track and stay healthy. Here is an example of a full day at home:

  1. Morning:
    • I start my morning with a glass of water and lemon. Lemon is rich in vitamin C and contains anti-inflammatory properties.
    • I follow this with some type of physical activity lasting 30 minutes or greater. Make sure to do a mix of exercises ranging from cardio, to muscle strengthening, to meditation.
    • After breakfast I usually have a smoothie. This is the best way I get my daily intake of fruits. I usually add turmeric, and honey to my smoothies. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties.
    • Lasty I avoid staying in my pajamas. I have noticed staying is my pajamas only makes me lazy. For comfort I usually pair a set of joggers with a cotton tee.
  2. Lunch:
    • Prior to my meal, I have an 8oz glass of water, or tea. I do this because hydration is important but it helps me not overeat.
    • I have cut out processed food, meat and dairy out of my diet. For lunch I’m focusing on eating colorful veggies and lean fish such as cod, flounder, and halibuts.
    • I usually don’t get to my to do list till after lunch. I am not a morning person so I take my time and allow myself to be in the right minsetnto attack my workload
  3. Afternoon:
    • I am not much of a coffee drinker so my go to drink is a green tea. It gives me a little pick me up to prevent the “afternoon slump”
    • I typically stretch during this time followed by a breathing exercise to help release some tension.
    • Nuts or fruits are my go to snacks if I’m craving something salty or sweet.
    • If you crave social time, schedule a time to check in with family and friends. It’s important to not alienate yourself.
  4. Dinner:
    • Dinner time is my favorite part of the day. I usually turn on some music and dance around the kitchen. I Try to stay away from certain foods like spicy and fatty food. They tend to cause stomach upset and prevent you from a good night sleep. I usually have a light salad with a fatty fish. Fatty fish contains sleep regulating ingredients like Vitamin D and omega 3.
    • I have battle with insomnia so I tend to have a cup of chamomile tea which is a natural remedy for insomnia.
  5. Bedtime:
    • My bedtime routine is simple. After my shower/bath, I prep for the next morning. I pre-planned my meals for the next day.
    • Workout gear is put aside to remind me of my health goals.
    • my phone is turned off an hour before I head to bed.
    • I have one last glass of water before tuning out for the night.

I hope these tips were helpful. Drop a comment below on what’s helping you during quarantine.