As Massachusetts starts to open up traveling can be tricky. So far this summer we have taken day trips to Maine, a two week stay at the cape and an overnight for the 4th of July holiday. Here are some recommendations to make the transition to travel during this difficult time.
Know the property policy. Most resorts in Mass and New England you have to wear a face covering in the public areas of the hotel. Please do wear a mask! Mass numbers are down so that is a good thing!
Travel locally so you don’t have to quarantine. We in Massachusetts have so many nice destinations to choose from.
Bring your wipes and alcohol. While most resorts now do not offer room service and cleaning services, it is still a good idea to wipe down surfaces, door handles and wash your hands when you do go back to your room from the beach or from an outing.
It’s been a tough March and April as most families are hunkering down and staying at home due to the coronavirus. It is especially hard for parents that are working from home and having to make sure their younger kids are doing their school work and homework virtually. Both my girls are doing school work virtually and both my husband and are were already working from home. Trying to get family time in is tough as they are teenagers! Here are a few suggestions for activities if you have older kids and some of these we have done! I do like to get fresh air every once in a while with no one around so here are my top suggestions for social distancing activities.
Exercise – take a stroll in your neighborhood, on a path (while social distancing of course) or check out YouTube for a fun barre class. Every day I am trying to do something active and trying to get my girls to join in!
We try to do movie night as a family – we went back to some oldies the other night – Big, Clueless, Thelma and Louise – make popcorn and add some candies for a fun night.
Game night – while I’d like to say we do this, we tried it once – but those with younger kids can certainly have a blast with many board games.
Drive through fun – it was my birthday the other day and while you should stay at home, ordering out is one way to support local businesses. Amazingly we have only ordered out about 4 times during the months of March and April! Girls now would like to go to the drive through at Chick-fil-A. You all stay in the car and have a fun ride.
Driving around your town – My husband can’t sit still and likes to get in his car and just drive around. No problem there as he is not seeing anyone. Once his friend made him some ribs and they left it in their mailbox for him to pick up. In fact if you are running out of dinner ideas do a meal swap with one close family that you know and know that you will like what they make.
Finally, cleaning, organizing their spaces – My girls did this the first few days we were on the stay at home order. Every closet is organized and clothes have been donated. Our house is pretty clean for four people at home all the time!
Stay safe, enjoy the together time and we will get through this!
I cannot believe it is the end of January. With our holiday trip over and having just come back from Miami I am craving warm weather. I have never been to Miami in January and it was 80 degrees every day which was so nice. It looks like we will have a staycation this February school vacation week. Well, maybe we will plan a night or two away. April school vacation week is the same as sports will occupy most of that week as well as drivers ed! Wow…how did that happen? Anyway our goal is to travel more this year…..yes, I say that every year but it is a good goal to strive for right? On my list of course is London, Paris and Italy but also South Carolina, California and maybe Bermuda too. As for the staycations for school vacation week we love our day trips to Boston and Maine and NYC is a quick overnight so think about those locations if you are planning a staycation. Enjoy this lovely cold weather we are having and dream about spring temperatures!
This year I was prepared and got everything ready for Christmas the weekend before so we could travel to Canada for a quick get-a-way. Our destination was the lovely Quebec City and what a beautiful, magical city. The Fairmont Frontenac offered me a discount to stay at their hotel and of course I said yes. This magical castle located on Cap Diamant overlooking the majestic St. Lawrence River is the place to stay.
It is a castle and it is magnificent! The lobby was decorated for the holiday season and had about 20 Christmas trees all decorated I believe from local companies. A cute dog greets you when you check in. The hotel is very dog friendly and you can pay a bit extra to have your pup stay with you. Daphnie is their St. Pierre breed (a cross between a Bernese Mountain Dog and Lanernese) and the story is she was trained to be a guide dog by the Mira Foundation. But because of her amazing social skills she is now the Canine Ambassador at the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac!
We loved everything about the resort — especially the food. We were lucky to be offered complementary breakfast at the Place Dufferin – Lovely views of the Saint Lawrence River and croissants for everyone! The hotel also has a Starbucks and we had wonderful drinks and light bites at the 1608 bar. There was so much to explore on the grounds of the hotel. The kids loved the pool. I loved the cute shops and really all the holiday décor was magical. I highly recommend traveling here during the holiday season. It is a hotel unlike any other I have ever visited – charming yet grand, magical and stunning – a perfect retreat for the Christmas season.
Fun winter activities in Quebec
In addition to exploring the grounds of the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac we ventured out to the Quartier Petit-Champlain. This area right below the hotel with adorable shops and restaurants is a must to visit. With the holiday lights and Christmas trees with snow it was like being in a snow globe! We were also able to experience the German Christmas Market. Beautiful decorations, tasty treats, choral singers – all around a magical time! The toboggan slide at the Frontenac is a must ride! It is open Mid-December to March and what a rush and fantastic views of the Frontenac and the River. I read that it can be as fast as 40 miles an hour! This is one activity that you have to experience! In addition, we took a ride and went dog sledding! This was the best experience. We went to Aventures nord-Bec Stoneham. The whole experience was a dream! First you learn how to maneuver the sled (yourself!) Then a guide takes you on a ride in the forest with your dogs. Each sled is for two people so you get a chance to ride and then steer the sled – it was a magical experience. We also got a chance to visit with the puppies after. They also served hot chocolate and cookies to us. This activity is a must if you go in the winter to Quebec. We also went ice skating too – there are a few places to go and here is a link. I do believe we stopped at this place – the Plains of Abraham. There are so many outdoor activities to enjoy in Quebec in the winter.
I would highly recommend a winter trip to Quebec and to stay at the Fairmont Frontenac! We loved it!
Disclosure: The Frontenac offered me a discount on the room and complementary breakfast. As always all opinions in this blog post are my own.
Hope it was a great Thanksgiving! Now as we head into December it’s craziness time. If you have travel plans or want to pamper yourself check out the latest products from Ona New York. Ona sent me the airplane mode intense hydration gel mask and the all eyes on me eye gels to test out. Soothing, cooling and super hydrating these masks make the perfect stocking stuffer gift. They are great to have on hand if you are heading out on an airplane this holiday season as well. The eye gels stay in place and help to reduce puffiness – perfect before you put on make-up to head out to that holiday party. The airplane mode intense hydration gel mask has hyaluronic acid and chamomile in it and is very soothing. It helps repair dehydrated, tired skin and perfect for a long flight or if you need a quick hydration to tired skin this holiday season. Check out their full product line here.
Disclosure: The company sent me the masks to test out and review. As always all opinions are my own in this blog post.
The holiday season is a busy time and who has time for a facial? Well, if you need a quick fix head to Vibrant Dermatology in Dedham and try their skin bar! This posh location was created by Harvard-trained, board certified dermatologist, Dr. Joyce Imahiyerobo-Ip. Vibrant Dermatology skin bar offers personalized skin care and many anti-aging procedures to achieve youthful skin. Step on up to the bar and be prepared to be pampered.
Vibrant Dermatology treated me to a 30 minute signature peptide facial and it was heaven! Super quick and super hydrating it was perfect for a lunchtime pick me up. They used customized products that they sell onsite. Check out their products here This beauty bar concept is meant to offer fast, customized skin care offering a menu of treatments in a comfortable clean atmosphere. Check out the photos.
Disclosure: Vibrant Dermatology treated me to a 30 minute facial. As always all opinions in this blog post are my own
Yes, I started decorating for the holiday season and yes, I started my Christmas shopping. Agree with me or not I have always started shopping early as well as decorated early. Christmas is my favorite holiday! The tradition of gifting pjs has continued in this family. I do tend to go overboard and buy multiple sets for my girls. While I may throw on a fleece or flannel pajama bottom to wear around the house, I HAVE to actually sleep in my favorite brand – Soma Intimates pajamas – Cool Nights. I have a few cool nights sets and one day I noticed my older daughter wearing them! She said, “these are the most comfy pajama pants” and I agree! And while sometimes she will go for matchy, matchy pjs – I thought this season we should buy complementary colors. Soma sent me these adorable pants – I do like the ankle type bottom. What is also nice is they have mix and match pjs sets, which is perfect for the holiday season. Soma also has pjs sets on sale right now. Check them out here. The cool nights tops and pants are super soft, keep you comfy and dry all night – made with 93% rayon, 7% spandex, they are machine washable.
Disclosure – Soma sent me two pairs of pants to test out and review. As always all opinions in this blog post are my own.
Last night I attended an evening out to support the Uncommon Threads Boutique. If you don’t know about this organization check them out. This boutique style organization takes an outside-in approach to boosting women’s self-esteem through the power of clothes. I am all about women supporting women and this holiday season we should think about where we spend our money. The CEO of Peach, Janet Kraus spoke about conscious spending and how important it is in choosing to support women run companies. Peach is a women’s fashion brand supporting women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship, We all love our brands but do we know about the organization behind them? Does buying those yoga pants align with your values? As Kraus mentioned companies are fueled by your dollar – think about spending where women can grow their business. 80 percent of the spending will be done within the next several months leading into the holiday season. As women it’s something to think about where your dollar is being spent. As a brand I do love Peach – I love their leggings and their casual vibe. But they also have great pieces that can transition from day time to business attire to a night out. Check them out at this link through my friend Trish’s site.
I am all for a good networking event and one that benefits a good cause is even better. Kim Miles of Miles in Heel productions puts on great events and this one – a shoes a palooza to benefit Uncommon Threads was great. Local businesswomen gathered for a luncheon and brought shoes to donate to this organization. Uncommon Threads is a “boutique style” organization that takes an outside-in approach to boosting women’s self-esteem through the power of clothes. They provide domestic violence survivors and women in need with clothes that will inspire and increase self-confidence, and self-worth. You can help by donating clothing, shoes, and accessories or your time or donation! They also host events where you can help by purchasing fab clothing all to benefit Uncommon Threads. It was great to see everyone gather for a good cause.
As a consumer product expert I review a lot of products. This simple solution I just discovered is a life changer. They are called levears earring lifts. Just bought a package the other day and they are so easy to use. IF you have an issue with earrings drooping this is the must have product to try. They also don’t hurt your ears, which sometimes I have problems with earring backs. Such a great invention. Check them out at levears.com