Saturday, May 30, 2015

Mexico Vlog [Video]

Today I'm sharing a little more of my Mexico trip through a vlog.

I hope you enjoy it!

What are your plans this weekend?

Friday, May 29, 2015

Zoologico de Vallarta

One of the highlights of our trip to Puerto Vallarta was the zoo. Prior to our trip, my stylist mentioned  she recently visited Puerto Vallarta and I needed to check out the zoo. After some research, we were set on visiting. Upon our arrival, we learned that the zoo was just a 15 minute walk from our resort [Barcelo Puerto Vallarta]. 

On our third day of vacation, we ventured down the street to this unique zoo. Zoologico de Vallarta offers a few different packages when visiting their site. We opted for the Diamond package: admission, bag of animal food, two drinks [it is hot & humid], zoo t-shirt, zoo souvenir, and [the best part] time playing with baby animals; this package cost $85 USD. 

We spent two hours or so roaming through the exhibits. You follow a trail that leads you by all the animals. The bag of food explains which animals eat what [carrots, bread, pellets, asparagus, and peanuts]. We were able to fed the majority of the animals. My favorites were the giraffe and the monkeys. The giraffe and I had a Lady and the Tramp moment with a piece of asparagus. 

via iPhone

The monkey decided he is my new boyfriend. When sharing peanuts with the monkeys, one wanted to hold hands with me. And only me. Sorry Joe.

via iPhone

Saving the best for last. At the end of zoo, we were able to play with some cubs and monkeys. We were brought a baby tiger [1.5 weeks old], lion, jaguar, two monkeys and a lemur. The two employees seemed to handle the animals really well [all the animals in the zoo seemed well taken care of]. I was impressed. 

He wanted to eat my shoe!

We left with souvenirs and photos. We were definitely fully satisfied with our experience. 

If you are headed to Puerto Vallarta in the future, I highly recommend checking out this zoo. 

Have you visited the Zoologico de Vallarta? If so, did you enjoy your visit? 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Best Activities in Puerto Vallarta [Mexico]

Joe and I on our city tour

I am still blown away by my incredible trip to Puerto Vallarta last week. For anyone planning a trip or  contemplating a trip, I knew I needed to share my highlights [favorite activities]. 

Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish

City Tour: The thing that separates Puerto Vallarta from other desirable spots in Mexico is its rich history. We were fortunate enough to receive a free city tour, courtesy of our hotel [Barcelo Puerto Vallarta]. Our tour wondered around Old Town which is essentially the downtown area. We saw the Love Bridge by Elizabeth Taylor's home, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, and the boardwalk. Puerto Vallarta was originally a mining town that transitioned into a fishing town then transformed into a tourist destination. The film, The Night of the Iguana (1964), brought attention to this area [the birth of the first international airport in this city]. After our walk, we bused to an area that is still home to locals and did a tequila tasting. 

Tequila Tasting

Tequila Tasting: Puerto Vallarta has an endless supply of tequila tasting spots. Fortunately our city tour included a tequila tasting but if you wonder around town, you will find dozens at reasonable prices. I highly recommend partaking in a tequila tasting during your stay. We experienced unique flavored tequilas such as almond, chocolate, and coffee. We had to come home with the almond tequila for drinking and perhaps baking [so good]. 

Zoologico de Vallarta

Zoo: Several people recommended this zoo prior to my trip. I did my research and was excited to learn this zoo was only a 15 minute walk from our resort. We ventured to this zoo and were not disappointed. I will go into more details in another post later this week but let's just say you will have a unique experience [I've never been to a zoo like this one]. 

Horseback Riding

Horseback Riding: Initially we were under the impression that we were going for a ride on a beach [on my must-do list]. Sadly we learned we couldn't ride horses on the beach so we would be going around the town. We ended up really enjoying our experience and seeing a lot more of the true Puerto Vallarta. My advice: shop around for deals. I saw some higher rates at tourist shops [upwards of $80]. We ended up paying $10/hour/person because we settled for sitting through a timeshare presentation. Although we got a free breakfast, I would never do it again. My advice is to do some research online to find a reasonable price. 

Barcelo Spa

Massage: For my birthday, my best friend gave Joe and I a couples massage at the resort. It was wonderful. The spa at our resort was overlooking the ocean and the entire experience was incredibly relaxing [and luxurious]. Our club premium room status allowed us to receive 20% off all spa services so I opted for an eye treatment and spa pedicure as well; the prices were not outrageous. 

Playa Mismaloya

Sunset: My final suggestion is entirely free: watching the sunset. Puerto Vallarta has breathtaking sunsets every single day. On this particular day [my birthday], Joe got us a private dinner on a deck overlooking the ocean at sunset. If you visit Barcelo Puerto Vallarta, I recommend the romantic private dinners. We had a three course meal with our very own personal waiter: yellow fin tuna carpaccio, guava sherbet with tequila, surf and turf [steak & lobster with mashed potatoes], coffee with chocolate fondant, wine, & a surprise birthday cake. It was amazing and delicious!

These are my top recommendations. If you've visited Puerto Vallarta before, please leave a comment with your recommendations. Also, if you'd like any specific links or further information, I am happy to provide you with additional help! 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

My Stay at Barcelo Puerto Vallarta

Balcony View

I was blown away by my recent stay at Barcelo Puerto Vallarta. My friends and I took a trip to Mexico for my birthday last week. We selected this resort as the photos were stunning, they offered plenty of amenities and they had excellent reviews. We stayed for eight nights and nine days. We opted for club premium rooms, as they came with a good amount of perks [free room service, spa discounts, complimentary wifi, free city tour, and more!].  

Barcelo is roughly 45 minutes (by car) from the airport. Although it was a little further than most of the resorts, we were walking distance from the zoo and were able to take the bus into town. Joe and I enjoyed a private check-in in the club premium lounge [which we could access at any time for snacks, drinks, and computers]. Our room was beautiful. The first section of our room consisted of a couch, television and a closet. Our bedroom held a king size bed, giant television and another couch. We enjoyed our huge shower, complete with robes and slippers. 

The pools were the highlight of the resort. Barcelo has three pools [one is a children's pool]. We generally visited the pool with the swim up bar [obviously]. We visited the pools every single day. Bonus: iguanas hung out on the rocks along the sides of the pool. 

The resort was located next to the beach [another place we visited quite frequently]. The arches perched along the edge of the hotel are symbolic of Puerto Vallarta; they can also be found in town along the boardwalk. 

Joe and I stargazed from the hammocks at night. What is a resort without hammocks? They added to the relaxed vibe of the hotel. 

All in all we had an incredible stay at Barcelo Puerto Vallarta. I highly recommend this resort if you are looking to vacation in this area. I love the rich history of this town and will treasure these memories forever. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

25 Random Facts About Me! [Video]

It's my birthday! In honor of my 25th birthday, I'm sharing 25 random facts about me in my latest video

I hope you enjoy them!

What's a random fact about you?

Please share something in the comments!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Hair Savior

I'll be the first to say that I hate doing my hair. However, I got a haircut a couple weeks back and I want to enjoy my shorter hair. Generally I let my hair air-dry and wear it up [far too often]. When my hair dries naturally, it's frizzy and resembles a lion's mane. To counteract this, I've been experimenting with at-home blow outs. I use a round brush and blowdryer to create a sleeker look. 

We all know that heat damages the hair and we need to apply products to protect it. I have a stash of products I've acquired but never seem to use. As I was going through my hair product drawer, I discovered my Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Primer. I'm sure I got it as a point perk or deluxe sample from Sephora at some point. I spritzed the primer throughout my hair and brushed my locks to integrate the product. After blowdrying my hair, it was sleek, not frizzy, and soft. I was very impressed and will continue to use this product. I highly recommend checking it out. 

What are your favorite heat protection products?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

In-Flight Essentials

Airplane seats and long flights are never fun. Whenever I travel there are certain essentials I must have with me on the plane. 

Gum [birthday cake was a must in honor of my upcoming birthday]
Pens & a notebook [for random thoughts/notes; not to mention, you always need a pen for customs]
Magazines/reading material [entertainment] 
Snacks [airport food is overpriced and overly processed]
Neck pillow [I try to sleep as much as possible on flights]
Water [flights are so dehydrating] 

What are your in-flight essentials?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Iced Tea Discovery

Over the past year, I've fallen in love with iced tea. As someone who struggles to stay hydrated, I enjoy keeping a pitcher in my fridge at all times. I am motivated to pour myself large glasses throughout the day. I have a few favorite iced teas, however, I recently discovered Tazo makes their own iced teas. These tea bags are much bigger than normal tea bags and can be used in 64 FL OZ pitchers. I have a great pitcher from David's Tea [gift from Joe]. I have been enjoying passion and citrus bliss. It saves me the money of picking up my usual passion iced tea from Starbucks. 

What are your favorite iced teas?

Monday, May 18, 2015

Exploring Natural Beauty

I am slowly transitioning myself into using natural beauty products. I've been using Burt's Bees products for a while but hadn't explored much besides their chapstick. Burt's Bees has come out with more and more wonderful products over the years. I opted to try some of lip crayons for summer. My two shade selections were Niagara Overlook and Hawaiian Smolder.

The both provide a decent amount of color and are long-lasting. Whenever I'm going for a natural makeup day, I swipe a bit on my lips. 

I love that these lip products are affordable and available at Target!

I highly recommend these lip crayons. 

What products do you recommend from Burt's Bees?

Saturday, May 16, 2015

What's In My Suitcase?! | Mexico Vacation [Video]

Happy Saturday! I hope everyone has great plans for the weekend.

When you're reading this, I'm flying off to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I am sharing what I packed in my suitcase in my latest video

Are you traveling anywhere this summer?

Friday, May 15, 2015

Vacation Manicure

Happy Friday! I hope everyone has fun weekend plans. We are off to Mexico tomorrow for over a week. I am beyond excited for my birthday trip. 

My best friend and I went to get our nails done for vacation earlier this week. We opted for shellac manicures to ensure they'll last throughout our week long vacation. She pushed me towards a brighter color and I am so glad. I went with OPI Strawberry Margarita [in the gel formula of course]. I cannot be happier with the results. I didn't have to worry about letting my nails dry for ages and I know I won't have to deal with chipping while I'm on vacation. We were luckily to find a budget-friendly salon and we're only out $22 for the manicure. 

I am loving brighter colors for this time of year. Especially pink.

Do you have any favorite nail polishes right now?

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