Spa Days are the Best

I cherish the weekends that don’t have much planned. The weekends when your schedule is wide open and you can spend your time how you see fit. Go to a movie, read, lounge on the couch, exercise, run errands, or hang with friends and family. The possibilities are endless.

It has been awhile since Ray and I have had a free weekend, but luckily this weekend is one of those times. The only thing we have planned is a beach day and BBQ on Sunday to celebrate our friend, Laura’s, 30th birthday.

Last weekend Laura and I took a girls trip to Indian Wells (which is close to Palm Springs) for a pre birthday celebration. Laura found an awesome Travelzoo deal for a deep tissue massage, feet/ hand exfoliation, lunch, and use of the spa and resort facilities at the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells.  We decided to make a weekend out of it and headed to Indian Wells the night before our spa day. The Hyatt’s rooms were a little pricey, so we decided to stay across the street at the Miramonte Resport & Spa.  The hotel ended up being a great find for the price ($150 thanks to Orbitz). The grounds were well maintained, the pool area had lots of comfortable lounge chairs and plenty of shade, our room was big, and the beds were comfortable.

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As soon as we got to the hotel, we jumped in our swim suits and headed to the pool. On the way to the hotel we stopped by a local grocery store and grabbed a bottle of wine, hummus, and a bag of pita chips to snack on before our dinner reservation.  We poured our wine into paper coffee cups from the room so we could enjoy it by the pool.  So classy!

For dinner we went to Cork & Fork, which I picked solely based on the clever name. The menu offered an extensive wine list and lots of small plates of food to share. There were so many tasty options to choose from that we had a hard time deciding what we wanted to share for dinner. We ended up splitting the farmers market salad and sliders. The salad was light and full of fresh vegetables and the sliders were cheesy and delicious. After dinner, we headed back to the hotel and crawled into our beds and watched the movie, Begin Again.  The plot is simple, but it is a great story about friendship and starting over. I highly recommend it.

The next morning Laura and I headed to the Hyatt for our spa day at Agua Serena Spa. The spa facilities were fabulous and the staff was friendly and super helpful. The spa had an outdoor area with a jacuzzi, a sauna, a steam, showers (including a few private outdoor stalls), lockers, and plenty of room to get ready and lounge.

This may sound dorky, but one of the things I love about spas is enjoying the water they have out for their guests to enjoy.  Spas always have water infused with the best combinations of fruits and this spa didn’t disappoint. Their combination was grapefruit and orange.

We both enjoyed our treatments and took full advantage of the spa facilities. I felt like a new woman after a day of pampering. Sometimes you just need to do something nice for yourself!

After we enjoyed our lunch, we decided to check out the rest of the resort. The hotel has a large main pool and a smaller adult pool. The adult pool had a live reggae band playing, so we decided to hang out there.

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We spent the rest of the afternoon sipping cocktails and enjoying the sun before we headed back to San Diego.

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Hope you have a great rest of the weekend! Anything exciting planned?

Girls Weekend in Phoenix

This past weekend I traveled to Phoenix, Arizona for a girls weekend with my college friends. Amanda, Carlie, Meredith and I met at the University of Arizona during our freshman year and we became fast friends. The four of us had a ton of fun together and I am lucky that even though we all don’t live in the same area we are all still friends. Meredith and Carlie live in the Phoenix area and Amanda lives in Huntington Beach.

Last November Meredith had a baby, Caroline, and neither Amanda or I have had the chance to meet her, which gave us the perfect excuse for a girls weekend.

Amanda and I arrived in Phoenix last Friday and right after we checked into our hotel room we headed over to Meredith’s house to finally meet Caroline and enjoy some appetizers and drinks. She is the sweetest baby and has the biggest smile.

Amanda and I with sweet Caroline!

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Last Saturday morning the four of us headed to Camelback Inn Resort & Spa for massages and some pool time. My legs were sore from running earlier in the week and my shoulders had a few knots in them from traveling, so my massage felt extra good. I haven’t had a massage in a long time and I forgot how amazing they feel. I think I might have to book one for the day after I run the La Jolla Half Marathon!

The spa facilities at Camelback Inn are top-notch, but the best part is that if you have a spa treatment you can hang out by the pool (which is for spa guests only) for the day.  After our massages, the four of us snagged some lounge chairs and a few umbrellas and spent the rest of the morning talking and soaking up the sun. It was such a relaxing day.

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On Saturday evening, Carlie had everyone over at her house for a BBQ. Berkeley, Carlie’s daughter, is so funny and I loved hanging out with her. We took photos everyone at the BBQ with my iPhone, played in her sandbox, and pretended we were characters from the movie Frozen.  The last time I saw Berkeley she was a newborn and I couldn’t get over how big she had gotten and talkative she was. Carlie is pregnant with her second child and is having a baby boy in June. I can’t wait to meet him!

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A fun picture of all the ladies!

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I had so much fun in Phoenix and loved being able to spend some quality time with my college friends. It is always sad to say goodbye, but I am looking forward to our next girls weekend.

My schedule lately has been packed full of travel, which can make it more challenging to squeeze in some exercise.  Below are my three go-to workouts when I am traveling because they don’t require a ton of time, but still give you a great full body workout.

10 Minute HIIT Workout from Carrots ‘N’ Cake

10 exercises in 10 minutes that you can do anywhere. I love this workout because it is short but brutal.  Sometimes I switch out some of the exercises and choose different ones depending on my mood. I always keep the timing format the same (perform each exercise for 45 seconds with a 15 second break in between).

Hill Run on the Treadmill

Every quarter-mile you run or walk increase the incline on the treadmill until you have completed 2.5 miles. I usually run the first quarter-mile with no incline so I can warm up and work up to my pace.  This workout is great if you are traveling and have access to a treadmill because it allows you to work up a great sweat while giving your cardiovascular and legs an awesome workout.

On the Go Workout

Set 1 (perform set 3 times)

Push ups – 16 reps

Plank Jumping Jacks – 20 reps

Tricep Dips  – 16 reps

Cardio Set (perform once)

Jumping Jacks – 30 seconds

Mountain Climbers – 30 seconds

Set 2 (perform set 3 times)

Lunges – 10 reps on each leg

Superman – 16 reps

Punches  (without dumbbells) – 30 seconds

Cardio Set (perform once)

Jumping Jacks – 30 seconds

Mountain Climbers – 30 seconds

Set 3 (perform once)

Wall Squat – 45 seconds

Squats – 20 reps

Squat Jumps – 30 seconds

I provided links below of some of the exercises that are less commonly known for your reference.

Plank Jumping Jacks/ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdx8r3FIvvU / To modify the exercise, instead of jumping just step one foot out to the side at a time.

Tricep Dips/http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/fitness/tone-up-your-arms-with-the-tricep-dip.html/ To make this exercise more challenging try performing it with one leg straight up in the air (perform 8 with right leg up and then 8 with left leg up). You can also perform this move using a bench.

Mountain Climbers/ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1J4hRICVjRo /

Superman/ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cc6UVRS7PW4 /

Punches/ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78lvCPd3fsk/ Link shows exercise with weights, but you can perform it without them if you don’t have access to dumbbells. Make sure your hands don’t go above shoulder level.

Wall Squat/ http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/exercises.asp?exercise=66/ The lower you sit the harder it is!

Squat Jumps/ http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/fitness_programs_exercise_library_details.aspx?exerciseid=116/