Wednesday, July 30

activities + adventure in mexico // travel

during our visit to villa del palmar loreto, the staff planned plenty of activities for us to get the full experience of what they, and the city of loreto had to offer. i'd like to think that ryan and i have a good balance between adventure and relaxation planned on all of our vacations. and i think that's perfect, you can't lay around too long or be too scheduled. but i will say that when it comes down to the last day, it's usually those adventures that we look back on and remember the most. so, today, i will share all of my absolute favorite adventures that villa del palmar planned for us… and also my longest post! you can see the run down i shared yesterday on the the resort here.

like i said yesterday, the resort is located on it's very own (enormous) piece of land untouched by the borders of any other hotels in the area. part of their property included a gorgeous trail that led to the top of a hill with views of all of the surrounding islands. all i was thinking the whole time was how much i wished my girls from home were there with me that i run with every weekend. this would have been the perfect place for us to explore! it would have even made an awesome quick getaway (flights out of LAX are just as quick as getting to cabo) for a bachelorette party for girls that are looking for something different than the typical vegas weekend.
we were led by a guide who knew his stuff. he even stopped to grab fruit from a cactus for everyone to try. pretty sure it doesn't get more authentic than that… unless you're on survivor or something.

views from the top were insane. we stopped here to take a breather.

one afternoon, we were led by one of the staff members into the ocean and were given a quick lesson on clam diving. it took a while to learn how to spot them, but once i figured it out i was down there with him digging up dinner. this isn't something they offer up regularly, but the resort does serve chocolate clams that are a specialty in the area.

after 2 hours of diving, we swam back with a giant bag of over 90 clams! we drank margaritas from the beach bar and opened the clams to enjoy right there on the beach.

earlier that day we had some time to take advantage of their water activities. they had stand up paddle boards and glass bottom kayaks to cruise around the bay. after seeing how smooth the water was at the resort i couldn't wait to get my hands on one of the sup's. i paddled around, out to the boats, checked out a few of the private beaches you could only reach by water or a long hike and ended with a little float and sun bathing.

clearly we all had a thing for spending as much time in the water as possible. we took a boat trip one of the days after a walk around town and jumped off in several spots to snorkel and float in the clear blue water. there were plenty of fish and creatures to keep us busy all day. the resort prepared a light lunch and drinks to enjoy while on the boat. this would have been the perfect experience to do on your honeymoon or anniversary. we stopped at honeymoon beach where we were going to have lunch (but the water was too high on the beach at the time), how fun would that be? a private beach for lunch and snorkeling? yes please.

a tour of the tiny town of loreto was also scheduled for us where we visited plenty authentic shops. plenty of souvenirs were picked up and we all learned a bit about some of the local goods. we visited the spice shop below. i could've spent hours filling up my bag with fun stuff to cook and experiment with when i got home… only, the heat has this effect on me where i need to keep moving, and i really can't focus otherwise… anyone else? :)

the architecture, greenery and coloring of the buildings made for the most beautiful pictures. it always makes me think, when did we (in california) decide it was going to look good to paint every single house and building the same color… tan. we need to add a little color and fun back, right?

i had fun with my new and old gal pals during these adventures. so there is obviously plenty to do for those of you looking for adventure with your girls or for your special occasion. check back from part 3 on some of my tips for relaxing at villa del palmar loreto!

[ huge thank you to villa del palmar loreto for planning so many unforgettable experiences for us. vdpl hosted myself and a group of bloggers in exchange for our opinions. all ideas, images and thoughts are my own. ] 

Tuesday, July 29

visiting loreto, mexico // travel

a few weeks ago i shared a little peek of my trip to mexico with you guys, and the week is finally here there i get to go into full detail! in usual fashion, i have 900 pictures to share, so i've broken it down into 3 posts. today i'll share things i loved overall about the resort, next will be activities we got to experience and things i know you'd love if you're looking for a little adventure, and finally, there always has to be a little relaxing when you're on vacation. villa del palmar loreto is also offering all of my readers something special if you book a trip and mention a fabulous fete! i am working with them on something one of a kind, and i will share that as soon as the details are ready to go!

we'll start with the arrival. check in was not your standard, stand at the desk in a line for a half hour until you are finally called up to be given a room key you are bound to lose at some point on your vacation. instead, we were lead outside and greeted with refreshing drinks, a hand wash ritual that relieves stress (and smelled heavenly), a simple check in process while we enjoyed all of that, and finally keys that we wore as wristbands, the best! 
and as you'll see above, the rooms were personalized for each of us. not shown… the yummy treats they left for us daily in the dining room! i don't know about you but i'm a snacker, so any resort gets on my good side if they serve me snacks at the most appropriate times (between lunch and dinner anyone?).

each room had amazing views of the ocean or dessert… some had both. these were the most peaceful views to wake up to every morning. when ryan and i vacation, i think one of my favorite moments of the day is our coffee on the balcony. we enjoy the the views and how quiet everything is before the hustle of the day starts. so the fact that this resort is placed on its very own piece of massive land was perfect for us, or any honeymooner. you won't find anyone trying to sell you things on the beach, there aren't any people from other resorts walking through your resort trying to check it out. it is just plain, calm.

our first breakfast was hosted in the presidential suite. they served fresh fruit, fresh pastries (made on property), fresh squeezed orange and green juices, and traditional mexican dishes. villa del palmar loreto is a pretty significant drive from any type of big name retailer. they took this on as a way to provide fresh ingredients to their visitors by growing things like herbs on site as well as making things from scratch like our pastries, bread, butter, syrup, chips, and tortillas (just to name a few!). to be honest, i was a bit scared of straying from my normal food. i've been dealing with stomach issues for a while now and it's been a long process to find things that keep me feeling good. i think the fact that everything was so fresh and homemade at villa del palmar was why i felt great the entire time! well, except for the tequila… you can't hide from the tequila;)

[ breakfast and lunch (above) ]

moving right along. we took a little tour of the suite which was set up for large parties. all of the furniture you see in the pictures is always there so that everyone can enjoy the suite comfortably, or you can host private meals with the villa del palmar loreto's chefs in the comfort of your room. the suite had 4 bedrooms, a full kitchen, dining room, living room, wrap around balcony, barbecue and private jacuzzi. It was perfect for so many different occasions… a wedding, bachelorette parties, family trip, you name it!

after breakfast we took a tour of the property and got to see all of the underground parts usually hidden away from the public. one thing that really stood out for me was how this resort took care of their employees. there were signs of motivation all over and everyone knew each other. it was insanely clean and well organized. obviously one of my favorite peeks was getting to look at their crazy warehouse of supplies. wouldn't a space like this be heaven for us entertainers? clearly they are well prepared to handle a wedding or event of any size!

we visited the kitchens, and one of the pastry chefs even prepared a snack for us. demonstrating again how fresh things are here… they didn't buy those from costco.
we went on to tour things like their water processing facility, amazing. they purify all of their own water at the resort. and they make so much, that they share this at times with places in the main city that are in need. i think i drink a couple of gallons of water day:) so knowing that they had a great system in place to make sure all of the water was safe was a huge bonus. I've gotten sick from the water in other countries and it is NOT the way you want to spend your week.

at the end of our first day, we got all pretty and met for cocktail hour. these restaurants cooked amazing food. 5 star status. unfortunately i ate most of it before i could get a good picture. but here are a quick few of my faves. 

[ i'll be sharing my version of the tomato appetizer this week on the blog! ]

[ ps. i also caught some of those clams in the image above. yes, like in the ocean. more on that tomorrow ]

the resort overall was just gorgeous. i like to be outdoors, even when it is blazing, so little areas like this fire pit are my favorite.

we also were able to view their wedding set up. the alter was made up of flowing white fabric and bamboo. white chairs were also set up along the wood plank boardwalk. pretty much the ultimate simple, white beach wedding. villa del palmar has a wedding and event coordinator who you can work with to create your dream wedding there. she was the sweetest girl. not the typical wedding planner i've met in my years:)

and last but not least, a fully stocked store. i mostly wanted to show you the important stuff, but they have everything in there. all of the rooms at the villa del palmar loreto are suites, so whichever room you decide to stay in, you'll have a full kitchen to prepare meals, snacks and cocktails.

i'm sure i left something out.. but i have a few more posts to fit it in! if you guys have any questions about the resort, feel free to ask here!

i will also be sharing 2 recipes inspired by my favorite cocktail and appetizer from the trip, so don't miss those!

[ villa del palmar loreto hosted myself and a group of bloggers in exchange for our opinions. all ideas, images, and thoughts are my own. ]

Friday, July 25

let the sea set you free // printable

just for fun. a summer printable.
hope everyone enjoys their weekend!

printable is intended for personal use only. please credit when shared.

Wednesday, July 23

new product! // the shop

new product is here! i've added lots of new goods to the shop you are going to want to spruce up your dinner tables and parties this summer! This is just a peek at my favorites, you can see everything here.

[ wood and glass vase caddy above. perfect for a mix of flatware, flowers, and finger foods! ]

[ zinc stir sticks for your summer signature cocktails ]

let me know what you guys think of all the new product! and if you have any suggestions for items you want to see in the shop, i'd love to hear!

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