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travel blogger

A Girls Getaways Close to Home; Check Out the Grand Geneva Well Spa

I am a Chicago native, and for most Chicago folks we look forward to Spring and, of course, summertime CHI!  However, stepping away from the hustle and bustle of the city is a great way to decompress and reconnect with nature!

I recently took a weekend trip with some girlfriends and drove up to Lake Geneva in Wisconsin. It was a quick 2 hour drive from the city!  Lucky for us, one of my girlfriends has a house right on the water. Having a place that felt like home made our trip just a little bit better. We started our mornings with a healthy breakfast and ended our days with girl talk on the couch filled with lots of laughter!

Lake Geneva

Lake Geneva has a quaint downtown with boats, restaurants, and even a small beach! We set out to see Lake Geneva and try some of their yummy eats.  While I didn’t love our dining experiences there, the feel of this small city is just what the doctor ordered.

The Grand Geneva Spa

One thing we knew for sure was that we were going to top off our weekend with some time at the spa.  In doing some research, we realized that the spa at the grand Geneva hotel is rated the best in Lake Geneva. Of course we couldn’t leave without checking it out!  Each one of us received different services ranging from seasonal farmhouse massages, to deep tissue services.  We were greeted with a friendly face, and shown the amenities of the spa. The spa offers a whirl pool, sauna, steam room, and place to get your nails done! Since there were seven of us, we were given the Tranquil Lounge to sip on champagne and nosh on small bites while we waited.   I did the deep tissue with Diana, I have to say she has fingers of magic! I would highly recommend requesting her if deep tissue is what you are into.  The Grand Geneva certainly did not disappoint, we spent a little bit of time before and after our services just enjoying the amenities.

Thank you Lake Geneva for creating a lifetime of memories for my friends and I. Also, thank you Grand Geneva for giving us the rest and relaxation we needed to end our weekend filled with laughter and love!

Also, if you have not already, check out all the beauty tips we have on YouTube here!

Your Chick,


At Home Spa Essentials:

Get the Dirt on Dusters: How to Wear Them And Why They Rock!

The last thing I want to think about when traveling is the stress of packing, and I like to pack light.  As a mother of two, the time I spend choosing pieces to fit in my carry on can be exhausting.  This year I wanted to invest in pieces that are versatile, yet chic.  Who would have thought a simple duster would end up being that versatile piece I was looking for?!  This ended up being the perfect accessory for my recent trip to Raleigh.  I was able to pack my most versatile clothing, A LBD (little black dress), a swimsuit, and a skirt (shorts do not do any justice on me) to pair up with my duster.

With my duster, I was able to cover up my swimwear by the pool and warm up by layering my duster in the evening when we went out to dinner.  It also jazzed up my jeans and tank outfit!

My other favorite accessory to travel with is my Gucci belt; it definitely goes hand in hand with my duster.  Whether it’s a quick luncheon with girlfriends or a MNO (mommies night out) I pair up my skinny’s with a cute tank and throw on my belt and a duster over the ensemble to give it that “extra touch.”

Date Night

My look for a sexy date night is pairing a solid tank dress with a print duster and Gucci belt to tie it all in.  It’s amazing what adding a little something extra to a LBD can do.

I’m 5’4, 120 lbs and curvy in the right places.  A duster not only completes my look, but covers me up in all the right places.

Your Chick,


Happy To Keep Austin Weird

We have all heard of it, everyone is moving there, songs are written about it… Austin, Texas!

Over Thanksgiving my family and I went to Austin.  I have a cousin who lives there and he can’t rave more about what a wonderful city it is!  With two kids, 5 and 7 years old, we were looking for a good balance of sightseeing and family-friendly activities.

The Hotel: Westin – Downtown Austin

We stayed at the Westin in downtown Austin. The location of the hotel was central to many of the the places we planned to visit. Being a Starwood member with Westin allowed us to upgrade our room to a suite for a comfortable stay in a new city.

The swanky Westin Lobby

I recommend renting a car when you visit…unlike other cities, like New York or DC, a lot of this city is best accessed by cars or ride-share services.  Majority of the things we saw were a driving-distance away.

For those of you who have read my previous travel diaries, you’ll notice I like to recommend my favorite vegetarian spots.

The Eats: Uchi and Counter Culture

Uchi was a fantastic spot for both food and ambiance.  Don’t be fooled by its label as a sushi restaurant, chef Tyson Cole whips up many delicious vegetarian dishes. Uchi’s dishes come both in the form of sushi and others variations! My personal favorite was the nasu sushi…..I’m still dreaming about it!  This dish was a succulent eggplant dish that literally melts in your mouth.  This restaurant is not necessarily family-friendly but our kids enjoyed themselves nonetheless.

Another restaurant I would recommend is Counter Culture We came upon this restaurant on our drive back from the grotto (which I will touch on later).  It was a small vegan restaurant with a quaint feel.  The food was absolutely fantastic — they were able to mimic regular restaurant food with vegan replacements….it’s always a great feeling to know you can eat everything on a menu! Unlike Uchi, this was a much more causal spot.  Don’t leave without trying their nachos!

Outdoor Dining Defines Austin

Lake Travis

A MUST stop is Lake Travis.  While I didn’t find the vegetarian food at the Oasis to be all that great, the views were simply breathtaking!  We had a family sunset dinner on their outdoor terrace which made for a beautiful family memory…I would highly recommend this stop if you have time!

Family Friendly Activities

Because we were with our kids, we enjoyed doing a variation family friendly activities.  Some that stood out were the bat cruise, canoeing Lady Bird Lake and paying a visit to Westcave Canyon and the Grotto.

The bat tour takes you beneath the bridge that is home to thousands of bats.  If you take the sunset tour, as we did, you can see hundreds of them flying in and out.  Needless to say, both adults and kids delighted to see the hustle of nature as it integrates with man-made architecture.  As city dwellers we don’t get a lot of time to connect with the great outdoors so this made for a fun stop!

Bats at Sunset

We took the kids canoeing at Lady Bird Lake – which is a clean and crystal clear body of water.  The kids loved spotting turtles and fish all in their natural habitats.  My husband and I spent most of our time doing the rowing, but the kids loved pitching in every now and again. Not a bad workout, honestly!

Finally we went to Westcave Canyon.  They provide guided tours to the infamous “Grotto” (pictured below).  This beautiful natural occurrence made for a beautiful sight and great teachable moment for our kids. Our guide was knowledgeable and respectful about nature, serving as a role model for our children.  The hike there was easy enough for a 5 year old and the end result….seeing the Grotto, was the cherry on top!  A must-visit, but make sure you call and book in advance!

“Keep Austin Weird” is a common phrase throughout the city. This is likely in reference to its diverse array of activities and food, enough to entertain populations from children to adults. I would venture to add “Keep Austin awesome!”

I would highly recommend this beautiful city for a great family trip!  See where else we have wandered here.

Your chick,