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Malibu Weekend

Summertime is upon us and while most of us live where summer comes and goes, those lucky enough to call Malibu home, have a different approach on summer- it’s endless! Whether you are looking for a secluded beach to relax on, beautiful waves to surf, a delicious brunch with stunning views or a hike to get your heart rate up, you can find it all in The Bu.

DESTINATIONS/THINGS TO DO:
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If you’re planning a visit to Malibu, don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers. June is the perfect month to see vibrant hillside filled with wildflowers after ‘May Gray’ brings afternoon showers.
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Planning a lunch meeting in Malibu? Malibu Beach Inn’s menu will satisfy any craving! With ocean views and a picture perfect backdrop of Malibu’s famous pier, this lunch might last longer than you planned on.

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Head south to Marina Del Ray and take a catamaran north to see Malibu from the sea! We did this for a special and it’s still a trip our family talks about. Don’t forget your SPF.
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A day trip into the city isn’t complete without a stop at The Pink Palace, Beverly Hills Hotel that is! The iconic Beverly Hills Hotel is just a quick trip into the city from Malibu. If you’re looking to grab a bite, The Polo Lounge is the perfect option to get dressed up to see and be seen.
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Malibu Farm at sunrise. Explore the beaches of Malibu at dawn or dusk and prepare to be amazed at the movement in the water, surfers, dolphins, seals and even seasonal whales all come out to play. There is simply no better way to begin the day.
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Cozy overcast afternoons in Malibu are better at Surfrider! This is boutique hotel is the first of its kind in Malibu. It’s the perfect spot for a walk able vacation, just steps away from shopping on the pier, Aviator Nation and some of Malibu’s most famous beaches.

 

 

 

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Whole30 Sweet Potato Toast

If you’re following me on Instagram you’ve probably seen me posting more recipes and food photos as a result of Luke and I diving into the Whole30 on January 1st! We’re on Day 21 today…wahoo! Wrapping it up 🙂

It’s been so fun to share recipes on Instagram because the feedback has been bananas, pun intended :). I’ve had so many people message me for this specific recipe and after I shared the above picture, many of my friends have since sent me pictures of theirs… and they all look delicious!

Without further ado, here is my Whole30 Sweet Potato Toast Recipe!

INGREDIENTS

• 1-2 Large sweet potatoes (thinly sliced)

• 1-2 Tbsp. Olive Oil or Avocado Oil

• Toppings very

 

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Wash potatoes and pat dry.

2. Preheat oven to 400°.

3. Line a baking sheet.

4. Slice sweet potato lengthwise into 1/4″ an inch slices.

5. Coat both sides of sweet potato with oil and lightly sprinkle with salt.

6. Cook for 30 minutes (Flip after 20 minutes).

7. Set oven to broil and continue to cook for one minute on each side, until toasty! (Just keep an eye on them, they can burn easily).

8. Add your favorite toast toppings.

 

TOPPINGS

Feel free to mix up your toppings! The images posted above include:

  • Grilled chicken, mashed avocado with olive oil and Everything but The Bagel Seasoning from Trader Joe’s

You can also try:

  • Almond butter with blueberries, walnuts and honey
  • Almond butter with banana

Let me know what you think!

Emily’s Bulletproof Coffee

Earlier this year my husband and I tried bulletproof coffee for the first time. My main reason was to try and kick my french vanilla coffee creamer addiction and Luke’s reasoning was out of pure curiosity. To our surprise, we both loved it!

There are lots of different recipes for bulletproof coffees and ours has a few extras that make it just a tiny bit sweeter, and more latte like!

Why bulletproof coffee?

You’re probably wondering why were putting all these crazy things in our coffee. There’s a number reasons actually! And the biggest reason is energy. Not only are you benefiting from the caffeine in the coffee but you’re also getting an energy burst from the MCT oil, which is the fastest absorbed oil you can get your hands on, which makes it a perfect addition to coffee. Reason number two? This coffee is made to make you feel fuller longer. You’re energized and ready to take on the day!

What are the ingredients?

 

In it’s purest form bullet proof coffee is a combination of butter, coconut oil OR MCT oil in coffee. In recent years it’s basically any kind of coffee with lots of fat in it through a variety of sources like heavy cream, ghee, coconut milk etc. You’ll see my recipe has added a few things.

Begin with a cup of your favorite coffee and then add in these nutritional bonuses:

Ingredients

Then blend in a blender for a frothy delicious cup of coffee!

Georgia’s Wedding Weekend at The Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch

This summer Luke and I attended the most amazing wedding of one of my best friends in Vail, Colorado at The Ritz Bachelor Gulch.

It was truly one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever been to with the most joyful, calm and sweetest bride. From our first breakfast (with THE bride) to the reception under the stars, Luke and I felt so honored to be apart of such a beautiful weekend.

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Luke and I flew LAX to Denver and the Denver to Eagle Airport. From Eagle we took a shuttle about 25/30 minutes to the insanely pretty Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch. We planned to arrive late on Friday night but ended up getting in around 1:30am due to mechanical issues with our plane from Denver to Eagle, so we missed the dramatic drive up to The Ritz but woke up filled with excitement to explore the stunning property and see our friends.

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Upon arrival we were greeted by friendly (and very awake) staff who welcomed us and proceeded to give us a short review of the hotel before sending us up to our room, with a butler just before us with our bags.

Our room was very stylish with cozy interiors but also masculine touches to connect with the mountains outside. It was the perfect mountain top escape. I loved our little kitchen in our room. This is always a bonus to me at hotels, I love being able to make and enjoy my coffee in my room before venturing out to explore.

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Arrival 2AM: Never too late for a bathroom selfie, or wait maybe it was? 🙂

Asprey was the amenity of choice in our bathroom, a favorite of The Ritz Hotels. We brought some home with us. It’s funny how memories can be attached to the smell of amenities.

Our bathroom was very spacious with stunning marble and a heavy door so those enjoying time in the other room didn’t need worry about an embarrassing incident.

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The morning of the wedding, Saturday, Luke and I woke up early to venture out and see what friends we could find, explore the property and get some breakfast. Lucky for us we ended up eating with the bride! This is one of my favorite memories from Georgia & Cody’s wedding weekend. Getting to have one of my best friends all to myself, for a moment… on her wedding day! 🙂

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Unfortunately for me, I decided now would be a good time to show Georgia an old picture of us, from middle school, the table behind us, aka troublemakers asked to see it and I was teased endlessly.

Luckily, we all agreed I’ve done pretty well for myself since then..ha! Friendship like this one truly come once in a lifetime. Georgia and I have been friends since third grade, the memories that come with that kind of friendship are endless and priceless.

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Breakfast: Avocado Toast & Fresh Juice

After breakfast we walked around the grounds and took in the fresh mountain air. It was then that I realized this resort was truly heaven on earth: It’s pet friendly! It seems they somehow only allow the most beautiful and well trained dogs here too. Wonder how they swing that? 🙂

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The grounds at The Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch are beautiful even in “off season”. I can’t imagine this place with snow- STUNNING!

The day continued with the bridal party getting ready together in one of the most amazing suites with the most spectacular views (!!!) shown above. Every detail and gift was perfectly placed so that everyone felt loved and thought of. Very much like Georgia to make sure everyone else felt like a princess on HER wedding day.

One of my favorite things about weddings as friends get older and marry guys they meet out of college is the postgrad friends you’re able to meet! It was such a joy to get to know two of Georgia’s closest friends, one I had met before but the other it was our first time meeting and I was reminded again how instant friendships happen when you all love the same people. It was a sweet reminder throughout the weekend.

From the suite we all piled into a party bus for pictures. In true Georgia style we kicked off pictures with an adventure! Only one way up, ski lift!

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Georgia and Tara

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The photos and stunning views were well worth it!

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From our mountain top photo shoot we went straight back to The Ritz to get ready for the ceremony which was decorated with beautiful jewel toned flowers that all perfectly fit the weekends mountainside look.

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I was reuinted with Luke and was happy to hear he had a full day without me. 🙂 He went on a hike, to the spa and then the gym. See? It can all be done at The Ritz!

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My beautiful bestie and her handsome groom.

After the ceremony the couple had arranged to take a few photos with the wedding party and some shots of just the two of them so once I was finished with wedding party pictures, Luke and I headed to the cocktail hour so I could introduce him to some of my best friends from High School. So fun!

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Reception under the stars!

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My handsome date!

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Georgia’s wedding reception was just as beautiful as the rest of the weekend had been. The flowers, food, and company were second to none. Her head table hosted friends from every season of life. Luke and I so enjoyed getting know so many of Cody’s friends as well as Georgia’s that I had only heard about or seen pictures of.

The love felt throughout the weekend was tangible.

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We love you Georgia and Cody! Thank you for the most amazing weekend! It’s one we won’t soon forget.

Four Seasons Westlake Village

This summer Luke and I stayed at The Four Seasons Westlake Village in celebration of his swearing in to The California Bar!

I had been there before for a friend’s bachelorette so to have Luke with me was different from my previous visit but all the more sweeter.

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I love this hotel because it’s really close to our house so it’s a great spot for a staycation and it’s super easy to get to from Calabasas or Thousand Oaks. One thing I find interesting though is that they really market towards Malibu and if I was coming to visit Malibu I would think this hotel is a little far, our house in Calabasas is closer than The Four Seasons.

My mother-in-law and I were so excited because our stay landed on global wellness day which had the whole hotel packed with delicious food and special workouts for guests. We participated in the food portion and opted for a spa day over any of the workout classes. I didn’t miss out on their gym though, I love their gym and I actually took a cycling class when I was there for the bachelorette weekend. Their cycling studio is really impressive! The gym is large and has pretty much anything you would need and then some (!!!) Most likely because The Four Seasons also hosts the California Institute for Health. You can always check with the concierge about special workouts they’re having or group hikes and even bike rides through Westlake. It’s one of the main reasons I love this hotel, all of the healthy lifestyle options they give guests.

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Upon arriving we were welcomed with beautiful oriental decor and their signature stunning chandelier directly in front of you as you enter. They never cease to amaze me with their flower arrangements either. During our stay it was a delicious bouquet of pink roses.

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This hotel is larger than some of my favorite boutique hotels but it still has many aspects that make guests feel as if they’re the only ones there! One of the ways they did so was the wake up call my husband received around 4:30 AM before his morning of fly fishing with my father-in-law. After sending Luke off and getting in a great morning work out I joined my mother-in-law for a beautiful breakfast with gorgeous views of their outdoor waterfalls and “backyard”. Since it was Global Wellness Day I opted for their special, egg whites, spinach and tomato omelette. Delicious!

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We then headed to the Calabasas Farmer’s Market as I had never been and we both knew we would have a lovely morning together there. I always enjoy time with my mother-in-law.

Once we arrived we stumbled across the darling shop ‘French‘ in Calabasas. Our helper, Emilie, was a charming French woman who has since become a friend of mine. I often say hello whenever I stop in.

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Don’t let the seemingly expensive materials and weaved baskets stop you from exploring ‘French’. Many of the items we found had completely reasonable price points and were all absolutely gorgeous!

After walking through the Farmer’s Market we met up with our guys to enjoy a spa day back at The Four Seasons. Again, I had experienced the spa during the bachelorette weekend but thoroughly enjoyed being back. It’s a large spa area with a sauna, steam room, hot tub and any amenity you would hope for in a spa. The locker rooms are large and very clean as are the bathrooms and showers for post spa pampering. My massage was as expected, so relaxing! It could not have come at a better time as spring was very challenging for me personally this year. I enjoyed every second.

To wind down after our massages that afternoon we all sat poolside and ordered guacamole with chips and cucumbers. Simply the best.

On the way to dinner that evening we had to swing back by our house to grab something and we realized that our home was flooded, the staycation could not have come at a better time! Ha! Brief update, all is well with our home and we didn’t have to pay for any damages and didn’t lose any furniture or clothing. 🙂

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On Sunday morning we enjoyed The Farmer’s Market Breakfast at The Four Seasons Westlake which comes complete with a create your own omelette bar, yogurt parfait area, every pastry you could possibly imagine and delicious hot meal options waiting for you upon arrival.

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I highly suggest it all!

San Ysidro Ranch

This Memorial Day Weekend Luke and I decided to head north to Santa Barbara with Maui in tow. Neither of us had ever been before and I was so excited to take Luke to one of my bucket list hotels, San Ysidro Ranch. Working in social media myself, I often come across amazing properties through Instagram but I was actually introduced to San Ysidro by my friend Amy. She showed me pictures at lunch one Sunday afternoon at Cora’s Coffee in Santa Monica. I was immediately obsessed.

This hideaway, which is nestled in the Montecito foothills of Southern California’s wine country, will take your breath away. It’s blend of pristine nature (almost 500 acres of it), romantic heritage (it’s the setting of John and Jackie Kennedy’s honeymoon retreat) and luxurious accommodations had me wide-eyed and smiling from the moment we pulled into their drive.

The origin of the Ranch’s name is embodied in the legend surrounding its namesake, Saint Isidore. San Ysidro (Spanish for Saint Isidore) was born into poverty in Madrid in 1070. He worked as a farm laborer in the fields of a wealthy nobleman. According to legend, because Isidore spent much of his time tending to the sick and needy, the Lord sent an angel to help him plow the fields. Hence, San Ysidro, the patron saint of farmers, is always shown surrounded by a plow, oxen, and an angel. A retablo depicting the legend of Saint Isidore hangs above the fireplace in the Plow & Angel restaurant, honoring our namesake, Saint Isidore.

They have two restaurants on sight, The Stonehouse, open daily for brunch or dinner and Plow & Angel, open for dinner only. IMG_0795IMG_0804

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Upon arrival we quickly found a bench just below their rose garden and took in the amazing landscape. Luke knew I was in heaven!

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Guests have their own private cottage with names like Churchill Cottage, Daisy Cottage or Lavender Cottage. The cottages decor is a clean and fresh take on what you might expect in an old English countryside manor.

“Built in classic bungalow style, all are individually decorated, all with fireplaces or stoves, decks giving way to sweeping vistas and outdoor hot tubs. Here, every guest and privileged pet receives a warm welcome. Relaxation and refuge are premium, enhanced by the discreet personal service and flawless attention to detail that are Ranch hallmarks.”

IMG_0815IMG_0816I could have cuddled up next to this lily pond and read all afternoon.

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The Ranch is dog friendly with a small pet fee. I love hotels that don’t sacrifice luxury for pet accommodations. It’s a rare coupling but when you find it, I assure you (if you are a dog-mom) it will be a hotel you continue to return to. Two of my other favorite pet-friendly hotels, The Hay-Adams in Washington, D.C. and XV Beacon Hotel in Boston.

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Luke is so sweet to come along on these adventures with me. Some men might not enjoy strolls through rose gardens but Luke’s nickname, given to him BEFORE me, was Luxury Luke. I am in good company. 🙂

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Within the first few moments of arriving at San Ysidro I knew I was in love and then the above happened. We found their organic vegetable garden, each row perfectly placed and categorized so we could know what exactly we were looking at.

“The ranch provides several premier dining settings, each featuring a palate of herbs and vegetables grown right here in our organic gardens.”

IMG_0840Luke enjoying a game of putt putt golf.

IMG_0842IMG_0843^ Please take a moment to look at Maui! She looks as happy as her mom did that day.

IMG_0844Just above the pool area is this stunning green courtyard with views of The Pacific past the ranch below.

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Looking to check in? Follow the pink!

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If you are looking for a unique escape moments outside of Santa Barbara, CA, I cannot suggest San Ysidro Ranch enough.

We love you SYR.

Malibu Beach Inn

Disclaimer: Today I am not at Malibu Beach Inn. While I am a short 25 minutes away (at home in Calabasas) I am not currently there. Instead, I am working from home with an around the clock rotation of carpet cleaners, painters, dry wall creators, plumbers and other home improvement experts. Our home had a water leak over the weekend. Luckily, we were at The Four Seasons Westlake (post to come) and didn’t have to deal with any of this drama until today. So needless to say I am currently dreaming of Malibu Beach Inn and just might have to pop in tomorrow to make today’s dreaming tomorrow’s reality.

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When I  visited Malibu Beach Inn for the first time last month and walked into the newly renovated Carbon Beach Club Restaurant I felt a wave of peace wash over me. The Pacific Ocean is straight ahead as you walk into the dining and bar area. The windows are perfectly placed for optimum sunshine and breathtaking views. It’s light and airy with pops of color in the artwork, many of which are originals.

The flower arrangements seem to be a mix of wildflowers that are local to the area, I’ve seen many similar flowers on hiking trails and near beaches. Incase you’re cold there are thick cashmere throws both inside and out so that every guest can be cozy. If you have been to Malibu before you know that while nearly 99.9% of the time our weather is perfect, there are a few rare days that the temperature can drop. June Gloom, I am talking about you!

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If you ever see photos of Malibu Pier from the beach or above, they were probably taken on Carbon Beach or the outdoor seating area at Carbon Beach Club Restaurant. That is the best view of the pier.

 

I loved the fun striped wallpaper and color scheme they chose for the rooms and restaurant. It’s very fresh and relaxed, perfect for locals or travelers.

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If a blanket is not enough to keep you warm than you may want to call ahead and ask for a seat by the fireplace. If you need me, I’ll be there! The dining area pictured above feels so quaint and inviting. You almost feels as if you’re at a friends private beach house.

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The rooms have similar decor with that same stunning beach-y color scheme that I just loved. This King Premiere Ocean Front has it’s own couch and fireplace with a LCD HD flatscreen television just above. Movie night anyone?

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If you’re planning a trip to Malibu I cannot recommend this boutique hotel enough. It’s location, staff, decor, ambiance, and food make it a tough competitor in Malibu and beyond.