puerto vallarta recap

A little over a week ago, I jetted off to one of my favorite places in the world, Puerto Vallarta. Being only a short 2 hour & 15 minute flight from Houston, it’s a no-brainer when we locals want a tropical vacation without having to spend a ton of time traveling. I went to Puerto Vallarta exactly two years prior with my friend Shelbi and stayed at The Westin Resort & Spa, and was so excited to have the opportunity to partner with the hotel again this year. The trip came at the perfect time, honestly, because this mama needed a little break. Don’t get me wrong, I love my boys. I live to spend time with them. But with almost 13 months of nursing Boonester throughout the night and never once having a solid night’s sleep in over a year, my body desperately needed a rest. And there’s no better place to get that than The Westin in Puerto Vallarta.
I’m going to explain some of what I did there, why I love PV so much, and all about the hotel in case you’re interested in vacationing to this tropical paradise.

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A big reason why I partnered with The Westin was because the day I arrived there, March 15th, was their “Sleep Well” day. The Westin motto is “Eat well, sleep well, be well” and the hotel prides itself on promoting well-being for each and every guest. “JOMO” was the overall theme of Sleep Well Day, meaning “joy of missing out” instead of the popular “fear of missing out” acronym. This encouraged guests to relax, unwind, and find joy in taking time to rest. This is a mantra I can certainly get behind, and I love that The Westin puts so much focus on health and wellness.
When I arrived Friday evening, there was a big Sleep Well event happening in the lobby area. I got to do an incredible meditation class, meet some of the sweetest local bloggers, reunite with friends from 2 years ago (that have kept in touch all this time!), eat delicious food prepared there at the hotel by one of the chefs, and just chill (something I rarely do anymore!). After the event, the bloggers all headed to dinner at Arrecifes Seafood & Steakhouse, arguably my favorite restaurant ever. In a weak attempt to explain the ambiance to you, the restaurant is settled right on the Pacific, with the waves crashing in beside you, lights of the city glistening on the bay, and shadows of mountains standing tall in the distance. Beautiful acoustic live music fills the air Wednesday-Saturday evenings, and you can often catch a firework show over the ocean right above you. It’s an atmosphere I truly can’t begin to do justice with words, and I haven’t even gotten to the food! More on that later.

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Saturday morning called for room service in bed (The Westin has the most delicious waffles!) followed by a massage at the Spa with another local blogger, Dulce of She Petite Blog. I am being completely honest when I tell y’all that I’ve had the two best massages of my life at the Spa at The Westin in Puerto Vallarta. I know there are other options in the city, but there’s like strolling downstairs at your hotel, getting the most incredible hour-long massage, hitting up the sauna for a bit, and then lounging by the pool the rest of the afternoon. I don’t know where they train these masseuse at The Westin but….they’re so talented at what they do and I left the Spa feeling so calm and recharged.

swimsuit | cover-up | sandals | sunglasses

The pools at The Westin Puerto Vallarta are absolutely out of this world. We’re talking swim-up bar, crystal blue water that’s the perfect refreshing yet not cold temperature, hot tub if that’s your thing, stand-alone beds in the pool for sunbathing, and so much more. I could live there…and basically did for the weekend.

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Saturday evening was spent back at Arrecife Seafood & Steakhouse with my friend Nicole. It was so wonderful getting to know her over the weekend, as we’ve followed each other on Instagram for awhile and already felt we were friends. Dinner that night was amazing- the seafood at Arrecife is so fresh, likely caught day-of, and prepared in the most delicious and beautiful way. I also love the chocolate volcano at Arrecife- it’s a must!

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Easy breezy style for afternoons by the ocean with friends. The Westin is nestled on 16 acres of oceanfront property, so you can imagine all the exploring there is to do while you’re there.

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And in case you’ve explored all 16 acres and want to see more of the city, you’re in luck. The Westin is located conveniently right down the street from the Marina, which is another gorgeous area of PV full of quaint little shops, cutest dining options, and a breathtaking view of boats resting on the water. Most days you can catch a view of an alligator swimming by (saw one over 7 ft. long this trip!) and iguanas sunbathing on the rocks. Definitely worth the walk over and great for souvenir shopping.
Sunday evening consisted of dinner at another one of The Westin’s fine dining establishments, El Palmar. I opted for salmon yet again (it’s just too good there) and had the most mouth watering appetizer of roasted and boiled corn. No secret I “slept well” that night.

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If you’re wanting to venture out a little farther than the Marina and see more of PV, I definitely recommend doing so. The city is stunning everywhere you look, nestled on the bluest bay surrounded by mountains. Take a drive over to Los Arcos and you’ll truly feel like one of the locals, immersed in nature. Don't forget to wear a swimsuit as endless inviting beaches will be calling your name along the way.

swimsuit | sunglasses

I had to spend my last morning soaking up the sun by the pool, and had the place basically to myself. Birds chirping in the distance, sounds of the ocean rolling in behind me, watching ships sail out into the vast blue water. Truly a slice of heaven on earth. My stay was so amazing and I loved meeting new friends, re-uniting with old ones, and getting some much needed R&R. I was ready to return home to my boys and it was so sweet seeing their smiling faces waiting for me at the airport.

I can’t begin to tell you how much I love staying at The Westin Resort and Spa, Puerto Vallarta. While I have worked with them, every word of my review has been honest and I even feel I’ve held back some (if that tells you anything). A question I’ve gotten quite a bit is whether or not the resort is all-inclusive and it is not. But in my opinion, it’s still a great deal. Rooms average around $120 per night and the restaurants are affordable yet world-class, so I feel it’s comparative to what you’d spend at an all-inclusive. I also think it’s important to see some of the city, as Puerto Vallarta is safe and there’s so much to do outside the walls of your hotel. The Westin is located 5 minutes from the airport and can easily send transportation to and from the hotel for your arrival and departure. Just don’t think too much about your departure, as you’ll never want to leave this beautiful place.

To my friends at The Westin Puerto Vallarta, thank you again for another dream vacation. I hope to be back very soon, and next time with the boys!
xo, Britt

spring break essentials

Spring Break is almost here and I for one am very excited about it! Not only does Spring Break usually signify travel of some sort, but it’s the start to warmer temperatures (hopefully!), more sunshine, and a week to sleep in without worrying about school. I’m sharing 13 items below that whether you’re jetting off somewhere tropical or just having brunch with the girls, you’ll find something for you. Everything is either Amazon Prime or Nordstrom (fast+free shipping) so you can get whatever you “need” in time for the break!

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1. One Piece Black Swimsuit, $16.99- I recently got this swimsuit in the mail and can’t say enough good things about it. It’s a great “mom suit”, with full back coverage and a removable strap. It also comes in white and runs true to size.
2. Natural Stone Three Layered Necklace, $12.99- I love a good statement necklace and it’s a trend that’s not going anywhere anytime soon. This one is really pretty without being “too much” and is unique with the marble stone.
3. Cover-up Maxi Dress, $68- Sadly it looks like the blue color sold out since I made this collage yesterday, but this versatile maxi dress is still available in both black and coral. I love pieces like this that I can wear from the pool to a nice dinner and can be dressed up with statement earrings.
4. Luggage Tags, $6.99- The cutest set of 2 luggage tags to ensure your bags don’t lose their owner! One of my best friends recently had a suitcase get lost; her luggage tags didn’t have the wire ring and so they had no idea who the suitcase belonged to. It’s a crazy story but weeks later she ended up getting it back (a follower had seen her Instagram stories about it and spotted her bag in a random airport). She now advises everyone to get luggage tags with steel rings, and I’m taking her advice.
5. Dolce Vita Leopard Slide Sandals, $65- These sandals are a little on the pricey side compared to what I normally share but I just couldn’t leave them off this list- it was like love at first sight (or slide :) ) for me. Leopard is the new neutral and these look just as comfy as they are cute.
6. Panama Hat, $16.99- I just ordered this hat and can’t wait to wear it- I’ve seen so many bloggers wearing panama hats this season and they look good on everyone! I also really like the white version that I may end up ordering, too. It has 5 star reviews and UPF 50+.
7. Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist, $16- Y’all know I am partial to my Olay face mists but this mist is my favorite for travel because it smells like the beaches of Hawaii to me. It has a base of coconut water to tone and hydrate the face, which feels amazing after a long day at the pool or beach.
8. Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray, $22- A bit pricey but worth every penny in my opinion, this is my very favorite dry shampoo that doubles as texturizing spray. If your hair tends to fall flat around your face, this stuff is a total game changer! Spray it at the root of your hair, tease, and you’ll be amazed how much body it gives you. Not to mention the stuff smells amazing. I buy the smaller 2.2 oz. bottles and each one will last me a good 4-5 months. I use Oribe all the time but I especially won’t travel without it!
9. Small Faux Leather Travel Jewelry Organizer, $10.99- There’s nothing worse than getting to your final destination with your jewelry a tangled-up mess. Ain’t nobody got time for that! This organizer is small enough to fit in your purse and keeps all your jewelry safely in place, tangle-free. Comes in lots of pretty colors and has excellent reviews.
10. Cover-Up Jumpsuit, $68- Every girl needs a good comfy jumpsuit for travel and this one is super flattering+doubles as a cover-up. Win win!
11. Statement Earrings, $11.99- These fun, sassy earrings come in 6 color options and add the perfect punch to any outfit. The turquoise color would probably be the best choice because you could wear them with everything.
12. 7 Set Packing Cubes, $15.99- I have been on the hunt for cute packing cubes for months now and when I saw these, I had to have them. I am obsessed with the pink leopard print! They also have great reviews, come with an extra shoe bag, and will keep me much more organized on trips.
13. Expandable 3 Piece Luggage Set, $159.99- This luggage has great reviews, comes in 5 different colors, and is a great value for a 3 piece set. I’ve been on the hunt for new white luggage and this set is calling my name.


Are you headed anywhere for Spring Break? If you are, is it somewhere sunny or a cozy cabin in the mountains? I’ll be heading to one of my favorite spots and I can’t wait to share soon!
xo, Britt

Why We Love Living in The Woodlands, TX

When Zach and I first moved to The Woodlands area 7 years ago, we knew we’d be starting a family soon and wanted to find an area that had everything: parks and hiking trails, lots of shopping (high up on my list), great restaurants (high up on both of our lists), community swimming pools, and more. That’s the beauty of The Woodlands community- you have the best of everything. Whether you prefer spending your Saturday mornings working out at your local fitness center or brunching at a 5 star restaurant, you’ll find it all within a few minutes of where you live in this award-winning master planned community in Houston.

If you follow us on Instagram, then you’ve seen how often we frequent Creekside Park® Village Green in The Woodlands. I ate at Levure Bakery twice a week throughout my entire pregnancy with Boone because he loved their oatmeal pancakes and bacon, and Creekside Park is home to my favorite nail salon in Houston, Nails of America. But not only do I love the area, our entire family enjoys spending a day at Creekside shopping, eating, and playing on the vast open lawn, complete with turf, Adirondack chairs, and a splash pad. The Woodlands’ events are not to be missed. In the summer, they host Family Movie Nights and we always meet up with friends for Crust Pizza and a movie on the lawn. We recently spent a gorgeous fall Sunday at Creekside Park® Village Green in The Woodlands and I didn’t think we’d ever get Bear to leave- he also never asked to see a cell phone or tablet the entire time we were there. That’s what I love so much about this area- we can all unplug, spend time together as a family, and enjoy some much needed fresh air.

Our first stop was at Fieldings Local, probably my favorite brunch spot in The Woodlands next to Levure Bakery. My boys prefer Fieldings on the weekends because their brunch is out of this world- I’m talking chicken and waffles, lemon cream cheese stuffed pancakes, and turtle french toast. If I’m having brunch with girlfriends, we have to get their famous mimosa flights. I recently hosted my friend Aimey’s baby shower at Fieldings Local on the patio and it was the perfect spot for a shower!

After brunching our hearts out, we headed out to the lawn to let Bear burn off some energy. The Houston weather was so perfect, 70 degrees and warm enough for kids to be enjoying the splash pad. Nothing beats fall in Houston! Bear brought his soccer ball and he and Zach kicked around the ball while Boone and I did laps around the lawn, eventually putting Boone to sleep. I could sit in those Adirondack chairs all day, people watching and soaking up the sunshine but cupcakes were calling, so we walked over to check out the new Cupcakes and Bubbles.

The minute we opened the door, I fell in love. I have been in a lot of cupcake shops and never seen one this fabulous! And not only is Cupcakes and Bubbles major interior design goals, Zach and I agreed the cupcakes were the best we’ve ever tasted. I got the Chocolate Pumpkin and the boys got Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough- we both devoured them in minutes and I’m still dreaming of that delicious cupcake. I didn’t realize that the shop has a large private room area and offer cupcake decorating classes and wine tasting nights, along with hosting birthday parties, showers, cupcake decorating parties, and currently pumpkin carving parties. I’m dying to get my girlfriends here for a fun night of champagne and champagne- would make the best Moms’ Night Out spot!

We headed to Artisanat Home Decor next, since we are currently decorating our new home and wanted to see what new pieces they have. We weren’t disappointed- even the boys found things they wanted for the house which never happens. We left with the most beautiful throw pillows, hand-woven in Mexico, and we’ve already gotten compliments on them. What I like about Artisanat is that they have unique, high-end pieces handcrafted by artists around the world that you can’t find anywhere else locally. They also host private events like birthday parties and showers, and offer activities hosted by artists such as string art and wood sign painting. Zach is really into all the wood art they have- thinking I’ll be getting his Christmas present at Artisanat.

My parents are coming to visit this weekend and we always like to welcome them with a treat, so per Bear’s request we walked next door to Jordan’s Sweet Shoppe to find a tasty gift. My Dad LOVES Jelly Belly’s and Jordan’s has the best selection; Bear filled up a bag of jelly beans while I picked out some homemade chocolates for my Mom (can you say Milk Chocolate Pumpkin Truffles?!). Jordan’s Sweet Shoppe has endless gifts for the sweet tooth in your life, and they also serve Bluebell® ice cream which we can never resist. Speaking of not resisting, you haven’t lived until you’ve had a giant cinnamon roll from Levure Bakery. They are out of this world!

In case we haven’t already convinced you to visit Creekside Park® Village Green in The Woodlands, I’ll tell you a few other reasons why we love living in this area:
-There are almost 8,000 acres of green space, 130 neighborhood parks, 205 miles of hike and bike trails, 200-acre Lake Woodlands, and world-class golf, fishing, and kayaking.

-These Greater Houston schools are incredible, which is the reason we recently moved into The Woodlands neighborhood zoned to Conroe ISD. Bear’s elementary is ranked 10/10, and Tomball and Magnolia ISD are excellent as well. Not to mention, the top private schools and over 12,800 students enrolled in college courses. Education is a top priority and top notch in The Woodlands. And coming from parents who are both retired school teachers, this was a priority for our boys.

-You have close proximity to top Houston restaurants, shopping, and entertainment. We’re never far from anything we could ever need, both outdoor and indoor fun. Zach works in Hughes Landing® on Lake Woodlands, and we love visiting him during his lunch breaks to get outside and grab a tasty lunch at one of the restaurants on the water. We can walk over and get groceries at Whole Foods®, or pop in for a coffee at Starbucks®, or head across the street to the beautiful Northshore Park where they recently redid their playground area.

Zach and I discuss often how much we love The Woodlands and raising our boys in a place that’s so family friendly, while still being able to enjoy “adult things” like a night out on The Waterway or a staycation at one of The Woodlands’ Hotels, like The Woodlands® Resort. Bear has grown up frequenting Creekside Park® Village Green and it’s one of his very favorite places to go; I can’t wait until Boone can run around in the splash pad with him next summer! There’s honestly nowhere we’d rather raise our boys than in The Woodlands, Texas, and feel so lucky to call this amazing place deep in the heart of Texas our home.
xo, Britt

*This post is sponsored by The Woodlands, however all thoughts & opinions are my own.