If you follow me on Instagram, I’ve dropped hints about some big news for a few weeks now. If you know me from my personal life, then you might have already heard, but for the rest of you I wanted to let you in on some BIG life changes happening around here. Without further adieu….
I’m quitting my full-time job!
Ok now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I’ll explain a bit more. While I’ve never thought that I would find myself blogging full time (at least not until way down the road), it is opening doors to travel opportunities and experience a different pace of life that I can’t pass up. I don’t foresee blogging to be my end all be all and I don’t expect to solely be doing it for long, but for now it is the right decision for me. I expect to start looking for work again after the new year.
I’m having a second hip surgery!
As you might know, I had the first of my two hip surgeries in March of this year. I was out of commission for a good two months and then in physical therapy for another two. I will have the same thing done on my right hip October 9th and expect the same type of recovery. You can read more about my first surgery here.
I’m traveling the world!
Now onto the most exciting news and the most up in the air news. First up, I am heading to New York Fashion Week today for the second time. It will actually just be the first stop on my little adventure. I plan to be traveling for about a month. If you had asked me a month ago, heck even a week ago, my travel plans would have been different than what they are now. Due to recent events with Hurricane Harvey, my aunt is no longer able to travel with me which changes things a bit. I won’t go into detail but let’s just say that as of now, the only thing nailed down is my plane ticket across the pond. So it will literally be a fly by the seat of your pants type of adventure. I don’t want to give everything away (and honestly I don’t even know what everything is), but I will say that I am headed to Boston, Nantucket and then parts of Europe! I plan on blogging about my entire experience and will be sharing all of the pictures on my Instagram if you would like to follow along.
And last but not least, I have moved back home with my parents temporarily with all of these life changes going on. This piece of the puzzle actually worked out perfectly because Lindsey (my sister/roomie) is also moving to Chicago! So we said see ya later to our little townhouse in the city this week and I am saying hello to the suburbs. I’m definitely a little sad not to be in the city with all of my friends but I am so fortunate for some quality time with my parents and to save a bit of money while I pursue my dreams.
Thank you to everyone who has encouraged me to take this leap of faith. I can’t wait to share all of my experiences with you all.
Theres no hiding what a huge wino I am on my little corner of the internet. I’m not one to shy away from a glass (er, bottle) of cab any given night of the week. So when my college girlfriends talked about getting together for a reunion, Fredericksburg (aka Texas wine country) was at the top of our list. I’ve been to the “real” wine country, but this was my first time to experience Texas wine country and all of it’s glory. By the end of the trip, we all agreed that it would become an annual trip as we fell in love with the little city and of course, the endless amounts of wine and girl talk.
Where to Stay
I highly suggest renting a house for the weekend. If you are heading up for a girls weekend or wanting to go in on a place with multiple people, a house is the way to go. Fredericksburg offers many cute options that make the trip so much more enjoyable than staying in a hotel. We stayed at “The Aqua Door“ which proved to be everything we hoped for and more! We were able to spread out comfortably and truly felt like we were at home. Most places are between $4-$600 a night (cheaper during the week) so split between multiple people, it is well worth it! Our house came equipped with boardgames, a hot tub, outdoor games, cable, a piano, and several other amenities that made it a home away from home and a real treat. The owner has several other properties (found here), all with different colored front doors, that are perfect for your next girls weekend, bachelorette party, or couples retreat. I cannot say enough great things about the owner, all of her recommendations, attention to little details, and the overall house aesthetic. Just look what I mean 🙂
There are several tasting rooms on the main strip but if you are wanting to go to some of the wineries a little bit further out, I suggest taking the Wine Shuttle that runs to all of the wineries and picks up every 15 minutes. It is just $24.99 and well worth the money to not drink and drive. Our shuttle driver cranked up the music and we had a grand old time!
Grape Creek Vineyard– Our personal favorite! A tasting is $18 and you get to pick out 6 wines. The majority of us are red wine lovers, and enjoyed the Viognier and Bellissimo wines. We also stayed for lunch in their dining room and split a bottle of wine. We were given several free glasses of wine which might have been why it was our favorite 🙂
Becker Vineyards– A beautiful vineyard that also has lavender fields. Perfect for that vineyard Instagram picture (see below). There is normally live music on the weekends with a gorgeous area that overlooks the vineyard. Perfect area to split a bottle of wine. My personal favorite was the Reserve Malbec.
4.0 Cellars– Calling all wine and cheese lovers. This winery offers a wine and cheese pairing tasting for just $25. If you want to cut the cheese (hehe), a wine tasting is just $15. Friday evenings offer live music and you are welcome to pack snacks to enjoy on the patio.
Where to Eat
Fredericksburg has a lot of German history and heritage, which makes for great dining! Several of our meals were German because who can pass up a schnitzel and beer to combat all of the wine? Not us!
Otto’s– If you are looking for a really good German inspired meal, all 6 of us LOVED this place. Each one of us got something different and ended up sharing everything because every dish was out of this world! Some of our favorites included the Ricotta Gnochi, Wurst Platte, and Pork Shank. The prices are reasonable for a nice dinner. They are also open for Sunday Brunch. I do suggest arriving early or making a reservation as the place is very small.
The Auslander-If you are wanting a cheap, authentic German meal, this is the place! If the weather is nice enough, there is usually a pretty good sized crowd enjoying live music and throwing back oversized beers.
Sozial Haus– A quaint spot that has great pizza. Monday nights they have half price pizzas and bottles of wine.
Hondos– An old spot where you will find many locals. The food is nothing extraordinary but the atmosphere is fun!
Vaudeville– This is a nicer place and reservations are recommended. Even if you don’t get a chance to eat here, I suggest checking out the courtyard and little shop that is attached to it. Both are amazing! I have heard the restaurant is a must do if you have the time (and money!) to do so.
August E’s– Another great fine dining experience. We were there during the week and attended “Thai Tuesday” night. While the price is a little high for thai, the portions are HUGE and easy to share. They also have sushi and steaks.
What to Do
Besides the obvious, there are plenty of other things to do in Fredericksburg! It is such a cute town to explore and small enough to walk most places if you are staying at a house that is close to the main strip.
Walk/shop the main strip- There are over 100 small shops, tasting rooms, markets, and restaurants along the main strip. Be aware that almost everything closes down early in Fredericksburg so to do this earlier in the day. Most place close by 6.
Tasting rooms- If you are just wanting to grab a drink before dinner or do not want to drive out to the wineries, several of the vineyards have tasting rooms on the main strip.
Lincoln St.- A cute indoor/outdoor bar that is perfect for drinks before or after dinner and one of the only places that stays open later.
Yellow Door Studio– If you have already done a wine and painting class, then you know how fun they are. If you have not, now is your time! The art class is BYOB and is so much fun! These classes run about $45/person and are a great keepsake for a girls or bachelorette weekend!
I believe that most of you know that I vacationed in Puerto Vallarta recently with my good friend Britt from Hello Honey blog. If you have not been to this area of Mexico, I honestly cannot say enough amazing things about it! Our number one concern traveling as 2 girls, was our safety and not once did we ever feel unsafe. Not at the airport, at our hotel, walking around the city or even getting a taxi. Although we didn’t venture out too far from our beautiful hotel, The Westin Resort & Spa Puerto Vallarta, we had the most relaxing, and beautiful vacation I think either one of us could have asked for.
Our vacation was a quick 3 night stay as I had little time to take off from work and Britt had 2 important men waiting for her at home. We made the most of our 3 night stay and pushed the limits when it came to sun bathing, relaxing, and over indulging in ALL of the food options at the hotel. With 4 exceptional dining options, a full service spa, 24/7 gym, 2 pools, and a walk-up beach front, we were in our own little paradise!
Since we did not arrive until late afternoon, we checked into our room and then immediately headed down to check out the hotel pool situation but more importantly the swim up bar situation (#priorities). After a few drinks we freshened up for dinner and made our way down to the Westin’s fine dining restaurant, Arrecifes Seafood and Steakhouse.
This was by far my favorite meal, or I should say meals, of the trip. We had a series of 6 courses and I devoured every single one of them as I was not told that we would be having 6 courses. I all but licked my plate clean on each of the courses as I was sure it was my last, especially when we came to the 4th course, which was sorbet. Any person in their right mind would think sorbet was dessert right? WRONG. It was a “palette cleanser” to get us ready for the main course and dessert. The inner fat girl in me was not mad about this. Maybe a little disappointed that I had wasted stomach space on the first couple courses but not to fear, I still devoured my delicious filet as well as the goat cheese cheesecake, coconut ice cream and cappuccino.
Our first full day of vacation took the term relaxation and maybe even over indulgence to the extreme. I justify it because neither one of us had had a vacation in far too long! We started the morning with room service and since everything on the menu looked absolutely divine (I promise we weren’t even hungover), we pretty much ordered one of everything. Vacation calories don’t count after all. After taking our sweet time enjoying our feast on our balcony that overlooked the beautiful pools and beach front, we got ready for a day of relaxing by the pool. With 2 pools to choose from, we chose the one with the swim up bar (duh). We were very quickly introduced to our new best friend, the Miami Vice cocktail. Happy hour was from 2-3 each day but we pretty much made every hour a happy one if you know what I mean 😉
There were several places to grab lunch around the hotel such as Arrecifces Beach Club or Tlaquepaque pool bar but we decided to make the most of our sun time and order directly from the pool menu since it was quite abundant. Ceviche, tuna tartare and guacamole and chips were our diet for much of the trip when we weren’t on our liquid diet that is. Maybe it was the drinks talking, but we met several people at the pool that we became friends with right off of the bat. In fact, they tried to talk us into canceling our fight home so that we could stay and go to karaoke night with them. I was pretty convinced, Britt needed a little more bribing 🙂
For dinner we ate at the Westin’s La Cascada restaurant where we enjoyed scallops, muscles, roasted duck and creme brulee . I loved this dinner setting a lot because it was still inside the hotel but was open to and overlooked the entire property. We even got to end the night watching a firework show!
Our third and final day qualifies as my favorite day. We started the morning off for breakfast at one of the beautiful pergolas (similar to a cabana) on the beach. The menu consisted of the hotel’s Superfood menu packed with nutrients and energy. Normally you would find me with my nose turned up but everything that was served, including the quinoa yogurt parfait was out of this world, as was the view of the ocean.
From there we went to the onsite spa to get a massage and let me just tell you it was the best one that I had EVER had and the facility was one of the nicest too. We sat in the sauna and freshened up in the locker room after our services were done. With fully relaxed minds and bodies, we blew off any sense of trying to be productive and headed right back to the pool for more sun time and Miami Vices.
For our last night’s dinner we finally ventured away from the hotel premises and into Old Town Puerto Vallarta to a place on the beach called La Palapa. I guess you could say we went out with a bang because I think we ordered more drinks (er, shots), than we did food. Which is saying a lot because there was no shortage of food. We started with the coconut shrimp and then I got the tuna tartare (my fav) and Britt had the salmon. We also each ordered a dessert and coffee. There was a 2 person band that sang American song covers and Britt and I danced our last night away overlooking the sunset and beach.
Having stayed at multiple Westin’s in the states, I knew what a quality hotel I would be getting, but the Puerto Vallarta site was by far more like a 5 star resort than anything compared to in the states. With enough amenities and beach front access, you honestly could stay at the resort your entire vacation and be perfectly content which is exactly what most people that we talked to were doing. Since I am such an avid traveler, I do not normally try to ever go back to one place more than once, but I can honestly say that Puerto Vallarta and the Westin are two places that I would LOVE to go back to. That being said, I am currently taking applications for travel buddies 🙂
*Thank you so much to the Westin for sponsoring our stay while we were there. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.*
The day is finally here that I get on a plane to Puerto Vallarta! I thought it only appropriate to share some of my not-so-obvious things that I can’t go to the beach without. You can shop these directly by clicking on the pictures above or the corresponding numbers below the picture collage.
Sunhat and sunglasses– Hopefully it’s going to be sunny wherever you go so bring your favorite shades and hat. Both of these are an absolute must for the beach to keep your skin protected from the sun. I always opt for a wider brim hat to get the most coverage. The sequins and cute message were an added bonus. As for sunglasses- I linked my new favorite pair of Karen Walkers which are a total splurge, but if you you don’t want to risk losing or messing up your favorites, here is a knock off pair that is less than $25.
Swimsuits– If you saw my recent post on one-piece swimsuits under $100, then you know I am a huge fan of this trend. The beach is one of the most appropriate places to show some skin, so find a swimsuit (or 2) that you look and feel good in. It’s not everyday that you get to show off that bod! I will be taking this sexy little number with me!
Beach shoes– The easiest way to make something instantly cute? Monogram it! Flip flops are a necessity at the beach and these Marley Lilly ones are just about the cutest, well-made pair I have seen in awhile. I suggest bringing along a pair that you can wear to the beach but will also double as a cute alternative to wear with other beach outfits. Besides the flips flops, bring a dressier pair of sandals like a wedge or espadrille for a nicer dinner or event. I usually stick to 2 pairs of shoes on vacations and that’s it.
Comfy clothes– Bring a few comfortable outfits to throw on after a long day at the beach. My go-to is a graphic tee and denim shorts. If it’s one thing you remember to pack, make it a pair of denim shorts. They are durable, can be worn in the sand and go with everything! If I am wanting to get a bit more dressed up, rompers are my favorite. They are quick, cute, and don’t take up too much room in your suitcase.
Jewelry– Keep it simple and versatile. Bring a couple pairs of earrings and a necklace that will match multiple outfits. My current favorite pair of earrings are the Bauble Bar tassel earrings.
Skin care– While my routine at the beach really doesn’t differ too much from my everyday routine, there are 2 products I wouldn’t dream of traveling without. Those are the Tula exfoliating mask and hydrating cream. When I am at the beach, I don’t like wearing a ton of make up (because I actually want to get some sun), so catching pimples before they start is a must. I will dab the exfoliating mask on blemishes before bed and wake up to a clear face! The sun will dehydrate your skin so I make sure to put a layer of moisturizer on my face in the morning and then also carry around my favorite chapstick.
Beach essentials– Besides the obvious, some things that keep my life a bit easier and more enjoyable at the beach are a good book, a large tote, and a pool float. If you are like me, you probably don’t ever get time to just relax and read for pleasure- well the beach is the perfect time for that! A large tote is a must to load up everything you will be taking to the beach- towels, books, sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, etc. Another thing that has come in handy for me is bringing a smaller bag to put my phone, money and any other essentials in so that I am not digging forever in my larger tote. Lastly, the pool float is perfect because is can double as a beach chair or a relaxing way to sunbathe in the ocean. Plus it’s the perfect photo opp 🙂
Want to see what I am doing in Puerto Vallarta while I am there? Follow along with me on snapchat [shelbiadams] or Instagram stories for all of my crazy, real-life shenanigans. Also, I wanted to let you all know that since I will be in full vacation mode, there will not be a post up on Monday. Lastly don’t forget that I’ve already posted everything that I will be wearing on the trip here so that you can grab it before anything sells out! Have a great weekend everyone!
If you could use a vacation I would like you to raise your hand right now. I’m assuming all of you are raising your hands and I might as well be jumping up and down waving both because this girl needs the beach and a drank STAT! Well I’m excited to say that’s exactly where my happy butt will be in less than 2 days and I could not be more thrilled!
Britt, from Hello Honey blog, and I spontaneously decided a couple of weeks ago that we wanted an adult Spring Break adventure. Although we are certainly not above having a few too many drinks and dancing on the tables, we both were down for a more relaxing beach trip. Mexico was the obvious answer to our Spring Break wannabe blues. So without further ado, we are off to Puerto Vallarta in just 2 short days!
I have been snatching up all of the vacation wear that I can find. Nothing is more true when it comes to packing about suddenly needing 32 outfits for 3 days of vacation. #oops. If you are interested in getting a sneak peak of what I will be bringing along with me, I have listed everything here and also created a Spring Break wish list here.
This top is already packed in my ever growing suitcase and these jeans haven’t even made it in there yet because I wear them on a daily basis. There is a 99.9% chance I will even wear them on the plane. You know that pair of pants that very rarely gets washed because they are almost always on you? These are them and I have no shame whatsoever! As a side note, do make sure to size down in these as they run big.
I’d love for you to share along in our mini adult Spring Break adventures! Follow along with us on my Snapchat (shelbiadams) or Instagram as I post everything that we will be doing, where we are staying, and OF COURSE all of my outfits!