San Diego Staycation at the Marriott

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Happy Thursday friends- one more day till the weekend!!!  Since we moved to San Diego in January I’ve only left once for a quick business trip to LA, and life has been hectic with the house selling/buying, 6 weeks staying with friends etc.  And since we’ve been settled in the house I feel like my brain is running non-stop about how we can make it feel like home (design obsessive disorder, let’s call it).  So when the Marriott reached out to offer us the opportunity to book a spontaneous staycation we jumped on that like a cat pounces on feather toy!  So one random day when the mood struck us, using their mobile booking and check-in app we left the beach, booked a room, threw a few things in an overnight bag and headed out for our overnight stay at the Marriott Marquis.  The mobile check-in app makes it super easy- you can check in after 4 pm the day before your arrival and the app notifies you when your room is ready!

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Once we got there we hung out by the pool, ordered room service, checked out the amazing views from our room on the 23rd floor of the north tower (I got a little bit scaredy-cat-ish on the balcony for a second), lounged around and just generally made sloths of ourselves.  It was just what the doctor ordered!  My brain turned off, my vacation self turned on, and we were able to relax.  Of course we snapped a few photos to share below.  And here’s the bonus:  From April 2 to December 31, 2015 Marriott guests who check-in with the mobile app during their stay at a hotel in the US, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands have a chance to win a grand prize of one million Marriott Rewards Points!  That could be you my friends, and that’s A LOT of nights of R&R!  Here’s a video Marriott produced to celebrate the millionth mobile guest check-in.

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Win a trip to NZ with Air New Zealand!

From the time I was a child I dreamed about visiting New Zealand- it lived in my mind as a magical, awe-inspiring place.  This was before they filmed Lord of the Rings, but in every photo I saw it looked like an absolute wonderland.  When I started looking into colleges- you can bet that the one at the top of my list was in Auckland. I didn’t go because I was too intimidated to take such a big leap straight out of the nest, but I did make it one of the first vacations I took as an adult.  A girl friend and I rented a camper van and spent two weeks exploring the north island (the south island is still calling my name, I WILL get there!)  It was one of the best vacations of my life- we ran amuck, had grand adventures, saw the prettiest sights,  jumped into cold lakes in the middle of the night, hiked through the most beautiful rain forests, tried sand boarding, made friends (one that would later become my long distance boyfriend for a year!), ate incredible food and generally just had the time of our lives.  I wish I could pass along recs- but we did absolutely no research besides reserving the camper van before we arrived and we just followed our instincts through the entirety of the trip- so I may have not even known where we were while we were there!  I’m very often a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants traveler.  But if any of you have any recs, please leave them in the comments for those planning trips and for my next one!!!

Right now Air New Zealand is running a promotion where some very lucky folks will win their own New Zealand adventure!  Watch the video below, enter the contest, and if you win- bring me, OK?!   PRETTY PLEASE!!!  And for those of you that don’t win, Air New Zealand is offering flights starting at just over $1k round-trip- adventure is calling!!  Below the video are some of our vacation snaps and a few little blurbs- going through the photos was such a treat, it brought me right back to all the fun!  Enjoy and GOOD LUCK!!!!!  xx- Sarah

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CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE THIS IS REAL?!  It is.  I was pinching myself.  I may not remember everything but I do remember that.

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Bali Part II

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Thank you all for the sweetest comments on my last two posts- they made me laugh, some of them made me cry, and overall they just made my heart warm.  I love you guys!!!!  We’re all settled in with the friends that we’re staying with until we close on the new house (!!!!!!!) and I’m thinking that by next week I’ll be back to regular recipe posts, style posts and my usual song and dance.  But before that happens I want to share the second half of our Bali trip with you!  This post is dedicated to all of you in the northeast still shoveling your way out of the heaping present that Juno left!  I grew up in Maine so I remember those stormy days oh so well!  Let today’s post be a little escape to a place where snow doesn’t fall, windshields don’t need scraping, and mittens are non-existent!

As you saw here, we spent the first of our two weeks in  Ubud,Bali at the amazing Castello Jasper with friends!  And then we snuck away for a romantic week at The Bale´hotel in Nusa Dua- in search of white sand beaches and a whole lot of nothing to do.  We found exactly what we were looking for!  I don’t have a ton of recommendations because we barely left the beach/hotel/spa- but it was one of the most amazing places we’ve ever stayed and too gorgeous to not share!  It’s not a budget friendly hotel but we were there during the off season and they were running a special so we snuck into a hotel that we normally couldn’t afford.  As for travel to Bali during the “off season”- it rains a bit more (which I found romantic and lovely), there a more mosquitos than during the non-rainy season and it’s quieter.  From what I gathered that’s about the only major difference. Well worth the savings to visit then in my opinion!

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Ubud Bali + Castello Jasper

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Things have been a whirlwind since the beginning of December when we spent those two magical weeks in Bali, but I’ve been DYING to share our trip with you and am so happy that the day has finally arrived!  We spent our first week in Ubud with our friends Greg, Farra, Juan and their baby – and it was hands down one of the best vacations of my life.  We stayed at Castello Jasper, an incredible rental home with an infinity pool perched over rice paddies and facing the jungle and mountains.- A DREAM!  Each morning the lovely staff at the house (Wayan and Suri) greeted us with breakfast and helped us with anything we needed for the day (including arranging spa services at the house!).  We skipped a majority of the typical tourist things in lieu of relaxing, but we did have a few adventures and eat at some amazing restaurants.  More about that and my recommendations after the jump!  xx- Sarah

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End of Summer Road Trip

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I’m excited to share a few of our vacation snaps from a recent trip to Lake Powell today!  I’ve never experienced anything quite like it- the lake is like a maze, with little inlets that have canyon walls that tower up on either side, and crystal clear waters with orange sand beaches.  These photos don’t do it justice, sadly.  It’s one of those places where you just feel so tiny and you’re reminded again how amazing our planet is, how fortunate we are to have places like Lake Powell to explore.  Please go for a visit if you ever have the chance, I know you’d love it.  Happy trails everyone!  xx- Sarah

 

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Remote Printing Our Vacation Snaps With Canon PIXMA!

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As a child I was obsessed with photos, OBSESSED.  I would take pictures of our family pets, our home, flowers, my friends, our dinners and have them printed- in doubles!  My dresser drawers housed more photos than they did clothes, it got a little out of control. As an adult the obsession continues, but now that photos live on my phone and computer rather than in film and prints, I would appear to be a little less of a hoarder.  A few years ago though I realized that I missed the experience of  looking through stacks of photos, or flipping the pages of albums.  There’s nothing that brings a memory to life more to me than a photo and it’s amazing how much of our lives we forget.

I started a tradition of printing all of my favorite photos from the year and putting them in beautiful leather albums to give to Lou for Christmas.  I made it one year (and I love that one year’s album SO MUCH!).  Years two and three I had all of the photos printed, bought the albums but never managed to tape them into the books.  They’re still sitting in stacks tucked away in a drawer.  I KNOW!  Terrible.  That’s why I was so excited to learn about the Canon PIXMA MG7120 Wireless Inket All-in-One Printer and the PIXMA Printing Solutions App.  It’s changing my game with the technology they developed that allows you to print from anywhere!  Yep, that includes social platforms like Facebook/Twitter and storage platforms like Dropbox!  Lou and I were recently in LA for a couple of nights for a little work, a little play and as usual we took a million photos.  I chose my favorites and printed them from my phone, my laptop and Lou’s phone.  When we got home all of the photos were in my office in a neat little stack in the printer, waiting for me to tape them into our album.  GENIUS, right?!   Organizing and taping a few at a time into our album is totally manageable and at the end of the year all of our photos will be in order, all of our memories in tact and if I was a betting lady I’d say I’ll be VERY proud of myself.  This is life changing for a photo hoarder like myself who has a tiny problem with organization and sometimes lacks follow through, LIFE CHANGING!  xx- Sarah  {see more of our getaway snaps after the jump as well as a few of our must-visits in East LA!}

This post was sponsored by Canon PIXMA, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting!
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