Mexico City with ma familia

St. Regis drone shot

The three of us took a trip to Mexico City at the end of last year. It was our second time there and we loved it. The drone captured the shot of us in bed at the St. Regis. We loved staying there for numerous reasons. It's gorgeous, centrally located, and the service is top notch. JC found a good deal in between Christmas and New Years, and it's hard to say no to a good deal at a beautiful hotel like this one. I would say my favorite part was our butler Antonio, but really it was just spending time exploring the city and hanging out with my favorite big and (not so) little guy. Room service breakfast nearly every morning was pretty amazing too.

Had to share this gem - top photo from May 2015, bottom photo from December 2016

jack archibald

Since vlogging is one of my new favorite things, here is the video of the trip, on my YouTube channel which now has 40,000 subscribers - WHAT?! THANK YOU THANK YOU!

Traveler's Notebook | Moms' Getaway to Palm Springs

Moms' Getaway to Palm Springs

As luck would have it, on my birthday last month, Chevrolet invited me to Palm Springs. What a treat it was to go on a quick little trip and spend two nights at The Parker. It's one of my favorite hotels - you may remember this post of my first time there with JC, and this post when we took Jack for a night. This trip didn't include JC since it happened in the middle of the week, but my friend Rachel was more than willing to come along for the ride.

A Chevy Malibu Hybrid was delivered to my house just before 1pm. When I first got in it, I wasn't sure if I had turned it on properly as it was whisper quiet. You can sense my confusion in the vlog on my YouTube channel. I headed to pick up Rachel and then we snapped a selfie before hitting the road.

Rachel Pitzel and Amy Tangerine

I was impressed with the ride and after Rachel got in, she was too. For the most part our trip was smooth, though we did encounter some traffic. Normally if you can head out of the westside of Los Angeles around noon, you can make it to Palm Springs in about two hours. Since we left at 1:30, it took us about three hours, including a stop.

THAT PINK DOOR | One of the must-do's on our list was a visit to That Pink Door for some photos. You can even pull it up on google maps to find the exact location by searching "That Pink Door". 

That Pink Door

As it turned out, JC and I were on the same street earlier this year when we went for Modernism Week (you can see the video here). It's just as amazing in person and when we arrived in the late afternoon, the lighting was good. You may feel a bit awkward standing in front of someone's door to take a photo, but we made it quick and then wandered a few houses down to see the lions.

Lions in Palm Springs

These are great photo ops, but so is the hotel! We pulled up to the valet and since the lighting was good, we asked the valet to take our picture. It seems silly, but as a scrapbooker, I love having a variety of photos to document. 

Parker Palm Springs Chevy Malibu hybrid

It was Rachel's first time to the hotel, and it was fun seeing her delight at all the details around every corner. 

We caught up on some work, relaxed for a bit in the hammock and then got ready for our al fresco dinner. 

The Parker Palm Springs

FIREPIT | After our amazing meal and fun conversations with new friends, we hung around the firepit and had to call it a night at 11:30pm. It's the latest this mama has stayed up in a while!

YOGA + BRUNCH | The next morning, we knocked out another must do on our list, which was outdoor yoga. It was a relaxing yet invigorating session, good for all levels. There was even a hummingbird that hung around for part of it and lingered for brunch too.

Yoga at The Parker

NORMA'S | The restaurant has an amazing brunch. My favorite dish is the huevos rancheros.

huevos rancheros at Norma's

POOL TIME | Never underestimate how wonderful it is to sit by the pool. Even though we needed to get some work done, it was really nice to be able to do it on the lounge chairs. It was pretty warm so I enjoyed a little swim in the water. 

Parker Pool
Crafting by the pool

I also worked on my traveler's notebook using my Tombow markers and new HP Sprocket pocket printer.

SPA | A moms' getaway would not be complete without some spa time. My shoulders are where I hold all of my stress, so a massage was in order. I have tried many times to prioritize self-care and get regular massages, but it had been months. I arrived early thinking that I would indulge in the hot tubs and plunges that I enjoyed in 2013, but that part of the spa is under renovation. It was amazing years ago, so whatever updates they are making will be awesome to see next year. Love the decor and those pieces on the wall are string art!

Sometimes, we as moms need to take a little break and treat ourselves. Rachel ended up extending her massage because she could! Then sadly it was time for us to check out and head home.

In the car we had a little fun playing around with Apple CarPlay. We just plugged in my iPhone and many of the functions were displayed on the screen. When I received a text message, it would play it for me through the car's speakers and then ask me if I wanted to reply. I was really impressed with the fact it accurately transcribed what you said. It's also pretty funny when someone texts you emojis. I really wish the Honda Pilot I just got this summer had this feature. I also wish my car got the same impressive gas mileage as the Malibu Hybrid. We got 45 miles to the gallon!

DINOSAURS | Both of our boys are obsessed with dinosaurs, so we made sure to stop at the Cabazon Dinosaurs. We've spotted them before, but this was our first time stopping. Jack loved seeing these photos and roared when I showed him. Next time we will definitely bring Grayson and Jack. We missed our kiddos of course, and were excited to get home to them. 

We are usually so busy taking care of others that we sometimes lose sight of what is essential to our own well-being, and we can suffer and so can those around us. I'm guilty of putting off self-care too, which is probably why at my age I am still getting pimples (seriously?!) The stresses of owning your own business seem to always be creeping to the surface. Even when I feel like I am hitting my stride, there are just so many things on my plate that the juggle feels like a struggle. Rarely do I spend enough time pausing. It's something I am working on. I fill up my schedule and don't allow for enough downtime between trips/work/etc. I'm going to try and be better about giving myself grace. Rachel's a mompreneur too, so we discussed these things in detail. Sharing our stories about how it's often difficult for us to say no, or even to say yes to an opportunity like this one, out of guilt and other commitments. Yet taking the time for ourselves made us feel rejuvenated and reinvigorated. What a perfect realization to make as I turned another year older (and hopefully wiser)! 

Great quote

We are so grateful to our moms and our men for holding down the fort at home. I got to spend the weekend with my guys. Jack even got to ride in the Chevy Malibu Hybrid after we moved his carseat into it. JC was impressed with the amount of room he had in the passenger seat (he's 6'4"). Jack kept saying, "Dada! Mama got a new car! It's all white!" And he must have heard us talking about how smooth the ride was and he added, "it's smooth! and white!"

Palm Springs Traveler's Notebook

Documented this gem of a journey in my traveler's notebook and also made a vlog. It's a long video, and this turned out to be a long blog post! Thanks for making it this far!

Palm Springs Traveler's Notebook

Palm Springs Traveler's Notebook | Amy Tangerine

Putting together little journals of trips in a simple way might be my new favorite thing. Trying to keep things interesting while not feeling so behind on documenting my memories. This particular Palm Springs trip was taken back in February over Valentine's Day weekend! If you want to check out the video of the trip, it's up on YouTube and also at the bottom of this post.

Palm Springs Traveler's Notebook | Amy Tangerine
Palm Springs Traveler's Notebook | Amy Tangerine
Palm Springs Traveler's Notebook | Amy Tangerine
Palm Springs Traveler's Notebook | Amy Tangerine
Palm Springs Traveler's Notebook | Amy Tangerine
Palm Springs Traveler's Notebook | Amy Tangerine
Palm Springs Traveler's Notebook | Amy Tangerine
Palm Springs Traveler's Notebook | Amy Tangerine
Palm Springs Traveler's Notebook | Amy Tangerine
Palm Springs Traveler's Notebook | Amy Tangerine
Palm Springs Traveler's Notebook | Amy Tangerine
Palm Springs Traveler's Notebook | Amy Tangerine
Palm Springs Traveler's Notebook | Amy Tangerine

Ironically, I'm also headed out to Palm Springs today. Will be sure to post a bunch on Instagram if you care to follow along there. And of course I will be taking plenty of video and hopefully have it up sooner rather than later. I am feeling a bit behind, but not letting the overwhelm get to me. Learning to embrace the fact that life is just going to be busy and I need to navigate through to find my flow and be present. I admire those of you who can keep up with your memory keeping. What's your favorite way to record your memories these days? 

Field Trip to the Circus!

Ringling Bros

Photo of Jack, me, Harper and Rachel from the circus a couple months ago. I also invited Chloé  to come along on our trip to the circus and to write a guest blog post about it as well. The video of our outing and part of documenting it in my traveler's notebook is at the bottom of this post. Take it away, Chloé!

You know you’re an English major when an internship opportunity requires you to see a circus!  But not just any old circus.  Old? Yes, but only with historical and successful credibility—The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus

My initial thought about going to a circus was, I’m excited to see how my experience will change as a young adult.  Needless to say, I was equally, if not more impressed.  However, for different reasons than five year old me.

First, and most obvious, I was impressed with the skill.  Being your average no-yoga-barely-touch-my-toes-self, it doesn’t take much to out-stretch me.  As I was walking to my seat, pretzel in one hand, and my ticket in the other, I felt like an A-class juggler.  Conquering the leg stretch over the row of seats and (not so) graceful landing, I felt pretty accomplished.  “Sign me up Ringling Bros., I’m ready!” But I quickly revoked my offer, because above me were women doing the splits in glass spheres, looking like the pretzel I had stopped eating long enough to pick my jaws up from the ground. 

The talent was not only spectacular; it was genuine! The circus reminds me of a body.  All the parts moving and working together was an art itself!  There were moments where the audience was a little scared and uncomfortable, but that’s what made the circus so beautiful: this was real.  The acts were exactly what they should be—intense. There was success and there was failure.  But every single time an error happened, the performer never skipped a beat—continuing what they set out to do—combining the ordinary with the extraordinary.  Just the attitude of hard work and unity was impressive. 

In addition to the spectacular show, I was equally impressed with the family-friendly atmosphere.  Being an aunt and older sister to four toddlers/kids, I know a thing or two about the art of shh-ing.  Any parent, aunt, uncle, nanny, baby-sitter, etc. can agree there is nothing more stressful than having to quiet a kid who just wants to express their emotion.  And let me tell you, seeing kids verbally and emotionally engaged in the show was refreshing!  The ambience was energetic and playful.  Never once did I hear a parent quieting or trying to accommodate to the environment.  Babies, toddlers, kids, and adults were welcomed to enjoy the show as loudly or as quietly as they pleased, without hindering the experience for those around them. 

Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie, sports fanatic, entertainment seeker, animal lover, or laughing advocate, The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus was truly an “Out Of This World” experience. 

-Chloé Zoellner Blog | Instagram 

traveler's notebook | circus

Seinfeld Apartment!

Seinfeld Apartment

Get out! We got to hang in the Seinfeld Apartment. It was a pop up event put on by Hulu that ran for just four days in December. Of course we decided to go on the last day, just like hundreds of others. It was a fun adventure and we didn't get great photos, but we got some video and had a fun time. And we got totally lucky and didn't have to wait in the three hour line - yikes!

Seinfeld Apartment
Seinfeld Apartment

I'm all about these cool field trips and crafting after - and of course awesome serendipitous stuff. Would love to hear about lucky coincidences and neat things that have happened to you, feel free to share in the comments!