California Central Coast Wine Tour, Days 3 and 4

If you read the previous blog post on our wine tour of California’s Central Coast with E & J Gallo, you’ve already read about how much fun we’ve had the first two days. We were not prepared for the fun to come and each day seemed to get better and better!

Day 3

On the morning of day three, we woke up bright and early to board the van to head to San Luis Obispo for more wine touring! The morning air was crisp and cool as the fog moved in and we headed out on Highway 1 for an unbelievably scenic route to San Luis Obispo (think Big Little Lies intro!)

For breakfast, we stopped at the famous Big Sur Bakery. One of the foodies in our group has the cookbook from the bakery and has always wanted to visit. Caroline and I got a chai tea latte and some breakfast goodies that were so yummy. The bakery was so cute, and outside was a cactus garden that brought fun, hippie vibes to the cute café.

Along the way, we stopped for some wine photo ops as a group. Who could say no to a morning glass of wine and fresh air?

The California coast was simply breathtaking. Highway 1 was closed for an entire year due to damage from a mudslide and we were so lucky that it had just reopened a month prior to our trip. You can’t beat the incredible scenic views!

We arrived late morning to Stepladder Ranch and Creamery in Cambria for a tour of the creamery and goat farm on our way to San Luis Obispo. Known for their amazing cheeses, the goat farm was founded in 1871 and has been family-owned and operated ever since.

Taylor, our tour guide, taught us all about goats and how the creamery is used to make goats milk which they then turn into cheese. We even got to play with some of the Momma goats and none of us were expecting how much fun goats can be! They are the most affectionate animals and we were all laughing and smiling while they tried to jump all over us.

After showing us the ropes, Taylor had us sample some fresh cheeses. By far, the best cheese I had ever eaten! We sampled all different kinds from cow’s milk cheese that they purchase from a dairy farm down the road and turn it into their own cheeses, and goats milk cheese. I even bought some to take home with me for a late-night snack!

We weren’t the only ones impressed by the cheeses; Curtis Stone gave Stepladder a shout out in a recent article by the Wall Street Journal! “The ingredients I’m most excited about right now are from a little place on the California coast called Stepladder Creamery. They make really interesting, funky cheeses and aged stuff. ” -Curtis Stone

We were so excited to learn that Stepladder Ranch is starting a cheese club, hoping to ship cheeses across the country at some point. We will be their first customers when they do!

After reluctantly leaving the Ranch, we headed a little way down the road to have lunch at Centrally Grown. With beautiful views of the coast, we had a fabulous lunch paired with wines from Talbott & Edna Valley Vineyard, which we were visiting the next day.

Finally, after a long day of traveling, we made it to The Cliffs Hotel and Spa in San Luis Obispo! Located right on the beach, the views of the ocean were amazing, and it was so relaxing to be at the beach after a long day.

We then hurried to happy hour to meet with Edna Valley winemaker, Kamee Knutson, who gave us an overview of the wines we would be enjoying at the vineyard tomorrow. We sampled some incredible rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay as we got to know Kamee. She was so friendly and enthusiastic about winemaking we all got so excited about the following day at her vineyard!

While we sipped and sampled on some of Edna Valley Vineyard’s wines, two members from the San Luis Obispo tourism center came and gave us a brief overview of SLO and the Central Coast. We were so taken aback that one vineyard nearby is 50,000 acres, more than the size of Rhode Island!

After our happy hour, we boarded the van to Grover Beach where we were greeted by a waitress holding a platter of rosé for all of us on the beach. That was quite the greeting!

The beach was set up with a beautiful table and chairs with tiki torches and beach chairs surrounding a bonfire. We were all in heaven.

(Photo above by the amazing Stephanie – her Instagram / photography is HERE)

Our dinner consisted of a Caesar Salad with king crab legs, artichoke, potatoes, and corn in a magnificent seafood bake, unlike anything we had ever experienced before.

After dinner, we gathered around the bonfire with some Edna red wine and made s’mores. Kamee insisted we try a s’more with a Reese’s cup and I will never make a s’more the traditional way ever again! We could not imagine a more perfect evening.

Day 4

The next morning, we had the option to sleep in or go kayaking at Avila Beach. I chose to sleep in, but Caroline made the better decision to go kayaking with some of the group. I was so jealous when she raved all about it, talking about paddling into the morning fog and seeing sea otters and sea lions! Her pictures were amazing, and I highly recommend Avila Beach Watersports to go kayaking along the coastline.

After Caroline rushed home to get changed, we all boarded the van to Edna Valley. One of the most remarkable things about California is how much the weather changes as soon as your only a few minutes away from the coast. The temperature rose 20 degrees! Luckily, we dressed in layers for the entire trip, which I would highly recommend.

At Edna, we were greeted with a glass of rosé, the trend in California I suppose, and did a quick round of the building, taking in the beautiful scenery that looks out onto the San Lucia Highlands and one of the Seven Sisters, seven extinct volcanoes along the Central Coast that helped to shape the incredible landscape!

We then headed inside where we had a Chardonnay tasting where Kamee took us through each of the glasses poured in front of us and even had us try a Chardonnay she had just made that no one had ever tried before! We all had our favorites and were enthralled by each and every Chardonnay Edna had to offer. Before this trip, I was exclusively a red wine kind of girl. Now, I have realized that “there’s a chardonnay for everyone!” as Kamee would say, and I’m certainly a Chardonnay drinker now!

After our tasting, we each picked our favorite glass of Chardonnay and headed to the patio for a cooking demonstration by Kendra Aronson, author of the San Luis Obispo Farmers Market Cookbook! Kendra spoke a little about the SLO farmers market, one of the more famous and well-known farmers’ markets in the country and showed us how to make her famous pistachio pesto with crostini!

 

The pesto was the best we had all ever had and we paired it with some incredible salmon, also the best we’ve ever had! Everything in California was just so fresh, unlike anything I’ve ever had. Even something as simple as a salad just tasted so much fresher!

After an incredible day at Edna Valley Vineyards, Kendra took us all to the San Luis Obispo Farmers’ Market to show us just how amazing it is and introduce us to some of the farmers she mentions in her cookbook, where she got all of the ingredients for our lunch earlier that day!

Needless to say, Kendra was right. Everyone was so friendly and there was something for everyone whether you wanted to stroll and enjoy some live music, check out Bubblegum Alley, or shop for some local produce, no one was disappointed.

Afterward, we had an amazing dinner at Novo, one of the best restaurants in San Luis Obispo. We brought our Edna wines with us and enjoyed ahi tuna nachos, a hummus plate, and bread for the table that were all divine. For dinner, I ordered a ribeye and Caroline ordered a lo mein dish with fresh veggies and chicken.

It was the perfect end to such an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime trip. We met so many amazing people that we are excited to keep in touch with and follow along with on all of their upcoming adventures. Thank you, E & J Gallo, Louise, Chelsea, and Kela for the trip of a lifetime. We could not be more grateful for such an extraordinary experience!

xx, Tonya Michelle

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California Central Coast Wine Tour, Days 1 and 2

This week, Caroline and I are on an incredible trip wine touring the beautiful central coast of California with E & J Gallo Wines. We’ve recapped our favorite parts of days one and two!

Day 1

After a long flight, we landed in San Jose and drove immediately to the nearest In N Out. Caroline and I had never had it so going with some local Californians were perfect for recommending what to order. Caroline and I got cheeseburgers and “animal style” fries that are topped with cheese and onions, yum! We both agreed In N Out was so worth the hype. P.s., I ate TWO burgers and TWO orders of fries!

We then hopped on the van with the rest of our group and drove down the beautiful California coast of Monterey where we saw whales in the distance. It was absolutely breathtaking.

We arrived at the Cypress Inn, a beautiful hotel in Carmel that is owned by Doris Day. The rustic vibes and the history behind the building we were residing in made us feel more a part of the culture that is Carmel.

After checking in and relaxing in our rooms for a little, we met in the beautiful courtyard at our hotel that doubles as a restaurant where we met with Talbott Winery wine maker, David Coventry. David brought some of Talbott’s finest wines with him and we paired them with Cypress Inn’s cheeses and bread for the table. Caroline is big on Chardonnay and loved the Kali Hart Chardonnay. David also brought a Pinot noir that we both loved.

After a happy hour in Cypress Inn’s courtyard restaurant, we headed down the street to an amazing Italian restaurant, Il Tegamino where we sampled even more of Talbott’s incredible wines. My favorite was their Sleepy Hollow Chardonnay. I am not a Chardonnay drinker, so I was especially surprised at how much I enjoyed this wine. It paired perfectly with the Pescatora pasta I ate which included scallops, prawns, clams, shrimp, and mussels. Caroline also had the Pescatora pasta after David recommended eating seafood when it comes straight from the sea behind us!

At the table, we also enjoyed stuffed meatballs, Octopus, zucchini, and bread with the fried zucchini oil. All were to die for and paired so perfectly with all of the wine David brought. To top off our incredible meal, we had limoncello cake which was divine. The cake was supposed to be for the table but Caroline and I ate it all haha.

After dinner, we walked around Carmel with David who showed us different shops and pointed out places where he had his first job and where he enjoyed spending his time as he grew up in this town. It was an incredible yet exhausting first day and we were so excited to get to bed for the night!

Day 2

Our second day started early. Cypress Inn had a hot breakfast for us waiting that started our day off right as we headed to Big Sur for a hike. We stopped at Bixby Bridge to take some pictures of the bridge in the morning fog.

The views were breathtaking. Mike, our driver, told us that virtually every car commercial ever was filmed on that bridge because of how picturesque and breathtaking the landscape is! After we climbed up some of the peaks to take some incredible pictures and boy was it windy! The wind made the air cool and crisp and we all agreed it was certainly the freshest air we have all ever breathed in.

Afterward, we had another amazing meal at Pacific Ridge. The restaurant has large glass window panes to give you an incredible view of the ocean and the peaks that surround it while you enjoy your meal.

We all ordered a drink to go with lunch, Caroline got a delicious Moscow Mule. At the table, we enjoyed fried artichoke, crab cakes, calamari, and quesadillas. Everything was just so fresh! For our meal, I ordered the daily fresh pasta with seafood and Caroline ordered a cup of clam chowder with fresh clams and a Caesar salad. We were again so impressed by the food and loved everything that we ordered! We all could not stop talking about how fresh everything tasted. Even the quesadilla, one of the simplest foods to make, was extraordinary.

After some downtime, we boarded the van to Talbott Vineyards to meet David again for a tour of the vineyard and dinner. We were completely blown away by the scenery.

The golden hues were apparent and the rolling hills combined with the dirt roads made for the most picturesque setting. David showed us around the vineyard and we were able to sample wines straight from the barrel, an amazing experience that will surely change your outlook on wine forever.

We then headed to the guest house for dinner, where we were met with appetizers and spoke with Timothy Cole, COO of Forno Bravo “the world’s finest pizza ovens” about their brick pizza ovens, which made the most amazing garlic bread by the way. I was so enthralled I immediately called Carl with his information so we could get a pizza oven for our patio! Stay tuned 😉

Inside, chefs from Tarpey’s down the road made us an exquisite dinner, which included beef tenderloin, salad, cole slaw and more garlic bread! Topped with a salsa-like glaze, the beef tenderloin was the best we had ever had. Of course, everything was paired with the most incredible Talbott chardonnays and Pinot noir.

We had such an incredible time day 1 & 2! Stay tuned for a blog post on the last 2 days of our trip!

xx, Tonya Michelle

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MY New Favorite Restaurant in NYC, Park Avenue Summer!

If you’ve been reading my blog lately, you’ve seen how much fun Caroline and I had in New York two weeks ago, that we decided to blog all about it in two separate posts. Well, here’s another one on our new favorite restaurant in NYC, Park Avenue Summer!

Park Avenue is an upscale, New American style restaurant that changes with the seasons. Featured during an episode of Gossip Girl back in 2009, Park Avenue NYC is known for its upscale menu items and stunning décor. Every season, Park Avenue changes its name to Park Avenue Summer/Fall/Winter/Spring and with it, their entire menu AND décor to match the season. Caroline’s cousins frequent New York City and raved about Park Avenue NYC, so we had to make a reservation. Somehow, we got lucky and ended up at Park Avenue Summer for lunch during “wine week,” which only happens twice a year during July and September!

From the moment we walked in, Caroline and I were blown away by the summer-inspired décor. We were seated and immediately handed a “wine week” list of wines to try. For only $20, guests can try ten different kinds of wines and when I say try, I really mean a full pour!

Our waiter was so friendly and immediately recommended appetizers to try. He brought us the corn crème brûlée, herbed French fries and a Cured Lemon Caesar Salad to pair with our wine and all were just exceptional. Both Caroline and I had never had crème brûlée before, so we were so excited and blown away by the flavor.

For lunch, we also asked our waiter for recommendations. Caroline knew right away she wanted to try the “free range chicken” with roasted summer squash and grilled lemon, but Vincenzo recommended the crispy chicken sandwich with jalapeño, and bread and butter slaw. Chicken sandwiches and chicken seem like pretty basic menu items, but not at Park Avenue!

Caroline and I immediately agreed—this was the best meal we have ever had. Sometimes, “fancy” restaurants can overdo it on the fanciness, taking away from the flavor of the meal. But Park Avenue Summer was the perfect mix of fancy and tasty and we had empty plates in minutes!

Last but not least, we had to try the dessert at our new favorite restaurant! Vincenzo was adamant about surprising us, and we couldn’t say no. He couldn’t pick just one, so he brought out the chocolate covered strawberry, a strawberry chocolate mousse with pistachio dacquioise and cocoa nib crumb, the mint chocolate sundae featuring chocolate fudge cookies and bourbon chocolate sauce and a coconut ice cream with bits of shaved coconut. Again, the desserts just blew us away! All three were just incredible, we were so grateful Vincenzo decided that we couldn’t have just one dessert, even if our tummies protested from being so full!

With more trips scheduled to New York City in the coming year, we plan to go back to Park Avenue NYC to experience fine dining in every season, and  we can’t wait to share with you our next experience there

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Day 2 of NYC – OOTD’s and Restaurants!

New York City is my favorite city in the world, so I was thrilled that Caroline and I were able to experience more than one day!

On our second day, we decided to sleep in a bit and get an early lunch after we shot some pictures for the blog. We met a friend who suggested Merriweather, a cute coffee and light bites breakfast and lunch spot located in West Village. Caroline and I both opted for the Mediterranean salad which did NOT disappoint! It was so tasty and just the right amount of food that didn’t make us feel bloated as we continued our trek across the city.

After stopping by Tractenburg and Co. for a meeting, we decided to walk around the city a bit and stumbled upon an adorable Italian-style restaurant called, “Rosemary’s.” We were drawn in by the decór and had some time to kill, so we stopped in for a midday snack. Caroline and I took advantage of their happy hour specials and ordered a rosemary infused lemonade spritzer and it was to DIE for! We loved it so much, we asked for the recipe so we could make it ourselves! We also got some bread and prosciutto which was also seasoned with rosemary. It was the perfect mid-day snack and the most inviting and fun atmosphere!

 

Next, we took a walk around town and headed to “While We Were Young” for an early dinner/another mid-day snack! We were on a hunt for good food and drinks and were not about to be stopped! I had been here before and was so excited to show Caroline one of my favorite spots in the City.

These sunnies have been EVERYTHING since I got them in the mail, they come in a range of colors and you can get them for $60 if you use my code ” tonyamichelle ”  when checking out!

My OOTD for walking around the city:

Wrangler Tank *currently 40% off under $18

Faux Leather shorts I purchased in Japan last year

Rachel Roy booties I found thrifted!

While We Were Young

Featuring blush décor and marble tables, your Instagram feed will thank you for stopping by this quaint cocktail bar. Their drink menu features a “night out” theme, which was fun to order. I had the “while we were young” and Caroline had the “too good for you.” Following drinks we ordered more food of course: garlic truffle French fries, roasted Brussel sprouts and a corn summer salad that were all incredible. We topped it off with some “frosé” (frozen rosé) and could not stop taking pictures of our drinks and the food!

Headed out to the hotel before dinner! Yes, all we did was eat and drink, haha.

Backpack:

Dress: BooHoo (Boutique Rose Metallic Polka Dot Skater Dress)

To finish our food-and-drink-filled-day, we met one of my good friends Adelle @fashionistalab at La Pecora Bianca, an Italian restaurant located in Midtown. We drank wine and enjoyed their homemade, fresh-in-house pasta. It was the perfect ending to a long day and the pasta was incredible! La Pecora Bianca has a cute outdoor seating area where we enjoyed the last bit of sunshine.

Adelle looking PURE fabulous as always!

xx, Tonya Michelle

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Day 1 of my NYC trip 7/18! Restaurants & OOTD!

As I sit here in the airport waiting for my flight home that has been delayed yet again, I have some time to reflect on the amazing trip to NYC that I brought my personal assistant, Caroline, along with!

We had so much fun and made the most of our trip that we wanted to share with you some of our favorite spots that we visited.

Umi Sushi

We had some time to kill before our first meeting, so we went looking for somewhere to eat a quick lunch. We stumbled upon Umi Sushi, and both being sushi lovers, we decided to check it out and were not disappointed! They have very inexpensive lunch options. We both opted for the Chicken Teriyaki Bento Box which included a salad, miso soup, rice, California Rolls and Chicken Teriyaki all for $10! Not to mention it was amazing. If you’re looking for sushi in the city, I highly recommend Umi Sushi!

 Conrad Hotel

If you’re in New York, chances are you’re not thinking of going out to dinner at a hotel. But let me tell you, you NEED to go to The Conrad’s Atrio restaurant.  Caroline and I had incredible cocktails, garlic fries that you cannot pass up, some lobster gnocchi and a Caesar Salad. For dessert, we had the churros dipped in chocolate sauce. The food was amazing! We were so full by the end, but not too full to enjoy some cocktails at the rooftop bar, Loopy Doopy! Caroline had been to Loopy Doopy before and said it was a must-go place on her New York bucket list. We headed up to the 16th floor to enjoy one of their prosecco-pop cocktails and I was absolutely blown away by the view! The sun had just gone down and the view of Jersey City across the Hudson River is something that can’t be beaten and our drinks were just as good!

You can see more of our dinner at Atrio on my Insta-stories highlights called “NYC” 

Day one was amazing, NYC has always been my favorite city and I think always will be, even though I’m dealing with delays currently, haha.

Also, my outfit details:

Dress – @vicidolls (use code TONYA20 for 20% your order)

Heels: @lolashoetique (use code TONYA for 20% off)

Earrings: Bauble Bar

xx, Tonya Michelle

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My LA trip roundup! Sofitel, Girl Boss Rally and MORE!

I went back to Cali, Cali… It was my first time back in around 7 years. I honestly am such an East Coast girl. I live for NYC. I think you’re either ONE or the OTHER – anyone else think that? I was in the LA area for a total of 5 days and I had a great time attending the Girl Boss Rally, I stayed at the Sofitel in Beverly Hills and also got to see my friend Nina who I met while living in Miami!

Ps, how cute is this luggage? It’s from Gabbiano Luggage!

Let”s dive into my trip! – I landed and got to the hotel around 7pm and was exhausted from traveling from NYC directly to LA. I order room service that night and passed out right after. I woke up around 6:30 am with a view of the Hollywood Hills and ordered room service for breakfast before I headed off to the Girls Boss Rally!

The breakfast was literally gone in less than 5 mins, It was beyond delicious and the hash browns and eggs were perfectly cooked. I’m actually craving this while typing.

I headed to the girl boss rally which was what I flew out for! I’ve been a huge fan of Sophia Amoruso for years. Not only is she my role model, she was the reason I was so inspired to quit my job and follow my dreams. If you haven’t picked up her “Girl Boss” book, you need to. I’ve read it twice and I will probably read it again every few months. It’s a great refresher on things you might already know but kinda put on the shelf.

The Rally was filled with so many inspiring women from business owners and entrepreneurs – huge walls filled with quotes that just excited you while walking by. I had to stop and take a photo in front of this one — START YOUR OWN SHIT. I am proud to say, I started my own. Listening to these incredible women and their stories made me cry, laugh, and feel so inspired. To be honest — it was the best trip I’ve ever taken, the best convention I’ve ever been to. They have them yearly in NYC and LA. I will 100% be attending the next NY one — I’m poaching the website already haha.

I was so nervous to introduce myself, but honestly one of my good friends told me earlier in that week that I basically need to cut the shit and do it. Never be shy or intimidated by anyone. I was so glad I spoke with her for a few minutes and got a photo. I walked away feeling so glad I was able to share with her how much of an impact she’s had in my life. I might of cried when I walked away as well, haha. BUT happy tears — for anyone reading this and wondering if they should follow their dreams or do something they are shy to do….DO IT.

After the GIRL BOSS RALLY I jumped in a Lyft and headed over to see Nina! Nina was one of my best friends in Miami and GOD only know how much I miss her. I left Miami and moved to Northern Virginia and she moved from Miami to LA. She’s a full time makeup artist and she’s KILLING it, here is here Instagram account: @NinasMakeup

We did a makeup youtube video together, headed to lunch and played catch up! It was amazing to see her again! Nina – I love you girl!

I also had the chance to stop by Rodeo Drive, meet my fellow blogger friend Missy (known as @missyonmadison) which I was super excited to finally meet her in person!

We did a little bit of a photoshoot, we had a late lunch at 208 Rodeo Resturant and enjoyed the view. If you are local to that area I highly recommend the surf and turf! We both ate it so fast…DELICIOUS!! I would die to have this right now.

I had a lot of early nights in LA. Can’t lie, theres nothing better than relaxing in bed early while you’re on a vacation. At least at this point in my life I’m totally ok with it. So that being said I went home and crashed after this. haha.

The next few days was filled with a few meetings and photoshoots. I really didn’t do that much while in LA because I wanted and needed to relax. I spent more time with Nina and met a few other blogger friends whom I’ve adored for years but never got to meet. I met up with Cassydy and Candice!

Missy and I ended up meeting again for dinner together at Cattle & Claw — it’s located inside my hotel; Sofitel. We were on a lobster roll trend so we stuck with it! haha. Their drinks, atmosphere and food was incredible. (Open on in D.C. please!)

Overall, I loved my trip. I’m still an East Coast Girl but it was a whole different feel than I get when I go to NYC. I enjoyed my stay at Sofitel (the beds are so comfortable, also the bathroom is spacious which is a must!) I had a blast seeing my new and old friends and I ate some killer food. I hope they next time you’re in LA or looking for a new place to eat or stay you reference this post!

xx, Tonya Michelle

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My experience with Soapbox Soaps x Clean The World x Delta Hotels in Orlando!

This trip was sponsored by Soapbox Soaps and Delta Hotels for their exciting new partnership. I have SO much information to tell you guys, it’s amazing what they are doing. Being part of it for only two days had such an effect on me. Soapbox Soaps also works with Clean The World which is an incredible idea – just WAIT til you learn more below.

I’ll first give you a look at the new face Delta Hotel decor got! You’ll die — I wanted to stick everything in my suitcase, yes I even mean the couches and chairs. What I appreciate about Delta Hotel is that they LISTENED to the feedback on what their customers want from them. Simple Made Perfect.

You get the bare MAXIMUM: Free Wifi – Streamlined Service – Free Bottled Water – Full Service Fitness Center – A Room That Works and Concept Bar! You can view their YouTube video HERE to give you a better idea on why you need to stay at a Delta Hotel if you haven’t yet. — I know I had a blast.

The ambience they created is amazing. Just look how how bright, energetic and welcoming the lobby feels. Whether you need to take a seat to wait on a friend, read a book, head to the bar to grab a drink, maybe even a snack, OR head to the pool?! You have those options.

I also love how they have an area for the children to play outside next to the pool, so if your children aren’t old enough or ready for the pool they have their own spot!

The full service fitness center is something I appreciate! I know if Carl was with me for this trip he would of been in there. A lot of people still want to maintain their routine even while traveling or on vacation, so this is perfect.


Being able to meet Global Brand Manager Gregory Durrer was incredible. Not only is he total business goals, he’s down to earth and easy to talk to. I appreciated getting to know him over those two days and was blessed to be part of this trip.

The staff at Delta Hotel in Orlando was also incredible, everyone had a smile on their face and made you feel at home. This is a statement I can say is true, even before we had our dinner  with everyone, I roamed around and was treated great by the bellmen, customer service staff and the bartender!

So now, I want to dive into why Soapbox Soaps and Delta Hotels have teamed up to make such an amazing impact on our communities and also world wide.

Just like every hotel, when you go into your bathroom you find the mini bottles of shampoo, conditioner, soap and lotion and usually a couple bars of soap. Did you know that even if you don’t use them, they get thrown away? Which then get dumbed into landfills….yep. Right into our Earth. Now with Soapbox Soaps teaming up with Clean The World and Delta Hotels…this isn’t happening anymore. Below you will see what happens, it’s about to blow your mind and this is only the HALF of it.

Below you can see how there are special dividers for each category. While we were there they had some volunteers during their Spring Break diving into help. If you’re in the Orlando area you can contact Clean The World to donate your time as well. Trust me, it’s worth a trip.

Everything you see below are the collections from the hotels! Used and New! They get dumped into categories, cleaned, sanitized and guess what?!? Then able to be packaged up and handed out to those who need them.

They also collect bars of soap…as you can see blurred out in the background in one of my photos below is thousands of used and new bars of soap. What am I holding in my hand? The finished product! Take the old, used, and even new…melt it down, clean it, sanitize it and create something we can use. #CleanTheWorld

I was so blessed to meet a new friend on this trip! This is a photo of Ni’Kesia and I before we started digging in and making over 1,000 hygiene kits with the rest of the team. (Ps, follow her- she’s a killer writer and blogger: www.instagram.com/kesi_p )

If you stay at any Delta Hotel you will be able to experience the real feeling of giving back by simply using those travel sized products in your room! How? Well, let me tell you! Below you will see how the bottle has a code, that code let’s you see where the other item was donated. No joke! You can really see where it went.  Simply head to Soapboxsoaps.com and type in your code to find out where! Also by purchasing any Soapbox Soap products either online or in stores like Walgreens, Target and more. Be part of a bigger picture by using products that care and give back.

Also meeting David Simnick the CEO and Co-Founder of Soapbox soaps was a blessing! He is someone who not only will motivate you to make a change, his energy is contagious. You can tell how much he believes and loves what he does. Thank you David for letting me be a small part of something so big. I will forever be a supporter of Soapbox Soaps!

I highly recommend you try some of their products, I purchased one of their sets online today. I will be doing another review here shortly so stay tuned. I know I loved these minis so I’m thrilled and excited to get my hands on more!

I hope this inspires you to do something on your own to do your part. Whether it’s something big or something small, everything counts. I know I will be doing more!

Follow Along on Social!

Soapbox Soaps: WebsiteInstagramFacebook

Clean The World: WebsiteInstagramFacebook

Delta Hotels: WebsiteInstagramFacebook

xx, Tonya Michelle

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Inside my stay at NYFW week with Innside by Melia.

Not only is NYC one of my favorite cities EVER — I love finding new chic and incredible places to stay that won’t break the bank. Innside by Melia is a must stay hotel — I can’t wait to share my thoughts below with you. If you’re headed to the Big Apple anytime soon, make SURE you stay here and if you’ve already booked somewhere — at least stop by for lunch, dinner or drinks at the restaurant located in the heart of the lobby. #WorkTripping

I was so excited to grab my room key and start my stay! I was a little early to check in, so I grabbed lunch at the bar and a much needed drink. Can we talk about how cute the bar is?  **warning: Don’t go behind their bar, haha**

Even in the cold temps you can enjoy their “outside” seating, it’s closed in and heaters are above! At night, this area is so romantic — a great date night or even fun atmosphere to grab drinks before heading out for a fun evening. I noticed a lot of people just came to the hotel to enjoy this area. That says a lot!

There is also their gorgeous dining area on the lower level of the hotel. You can enjoy a delicious brunch here as well. Can we also take a minute to appreciate the art? Stunning right? It looked like to be made out of artificial grass. Stunning!!

Woo Hoo!! I got my room key — time for some fun…

Does anyone else love putting on the comfy hotel robe and jump in bed? Innside by Melia had two robes and two pairs of slippers in the room. Luckily, I only needed one of each but having more is always great! I mean, doesn’t this look fun?!

Not only was the hotel lobby, restaurant and bar very clean and chic…the rooms are too. I can only image how hard it is to keep these rooms up to date, clean and on point. They did a killer job. I felt like I was at home in my own space, it didn’t feel like anyone else ever stayed in the room before me.

I stayed in the King View room — two huge floor to ceiling windows, a king sized bed, a work desk and chair, enough room for all three suitcases I brought and more. The build in was my favorite – it had a place to hang all my outfits, store my shoes below, a safe and extra space for my bags, accessories and makeup. I can appreciate when a room is designed to help you stay organized and it doesn’t make you feel crowded.

The bathroom was a decent size as well. I’m all about good water pressure it comes to taking a shower, anyone else?!! No complaints here with their shower. There was a huge drawer under the sink for more storage for hair products, makeup and hair tools! Win-win!

You can see behind me in this photo the storage I was speaking of! Also there is a cute mini fridge built in as well. All waters, juice and sodas are complimentary. Yassss!!! It always bothers me when my room doesn’t have water in stock.

Just some of the other great things they have to offer:

Located in Chelsea and in convenient proximity to NoMad, Garment District, Greenwich Village and Union Square.

Walking distance to famous New York City landmarks such as the Empire State Building, Madison Square Garden, the iconic Flatiron Building, Madison Square Park, and Times Square.

Modern, spacious rooms perfect for business and leisure travelers.

Unique suites with terraces featuring breathtaking views of the Empire State Building.

2 Meeting Rooms with capacity for up to 70 persons total

Fitness Center with outdoor terrace. (Talk about a view!)

I can’t wait to stay again with the Innside. It’s time to kick your feet up, enjoy an amazing stay and not break the bank during your stay. Trust me — you’ll love it!!

 

xx, Tonya Michelle

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Give the Gift of Finding for Under $30!!!

 

 

I just found one of the most clever items that I’ve ever seen. We all have that one person in our life that is constantly miss placing things. Maybe it’s you?! I know I’m always looking for where I left my keys or my wallet. Or maybe you just want to have extra security on one of your personal items. Well, for under $30 you can easily solve all the above!!

I have partnered up with TILE to give the gift of FINDING. – What’s TILE

TILE can be used for so many different reasons. As I mentioned above, I am the person who is always forgetting where I put my keys and my wallet. I have now attached the TILE to my key chain so this problem won’t cost me anymore time out of my day!

My boyfriend has gotten back into photography and it’s one his favorite items. When we travel we now attach TILE to the camera strap. It’s a great and easy way to track where the camera is and to make sure when it’s in our luggage, it’s not going somewhere it’s not supposed to.

It also comes in 4 different designs.

I’m in love with the “Classy” look with the gold trim.

That one is MINE! The other two will be surprises for loved one this Christmas!

                

 

How It Works:

Find lost items with your phone. If your Tile is within the 100-foot Bluetooth range, it will play a loud tune until you find it.

Can’t find your phone? Double press your Tiles to make it ring, even if it’s on silent.

Keep your tile app running in the background and it will remember the last place and time you had your item.

The Tile app connects you to the world’s largest lost-and-found community, where friends and strangers work together using the Tile app to find everything that matters.

It’s incredible how technology can help us solve the daily issues we have with misplacing items. Bluetooth technology is our friend!

Click here to find out more about their holiday gift ideas, the technology behind it and to purchase.

xx, Tonya Michelle

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Get Travel Ready with Samsonite Luggage!

Travel season is all year ’round! I’ve been traveling so much in the last two months that I need a vacation from my “vacations”. I have traveled from NYC- PITT-TOKYO-DC-PITT-NYC and now LA next week. Yes, that’s only in the last 8 weeks. I have been lucky enough to have luggage that keeps up with my jet setting and gives me the ability to travel in style! 

I am in love with my Samsonite luggage. My NEW Stryde Glider has SOLD out on their website but I did find it on another website and it’s 30% currently!! Direct link to purchase is HERE. It comes in two colors; Slate Blue (the one I have) and Charcoal.

Just to give you an idea on how much this suitcase can hold in a Woman’s world….when I flew over to Tokyo I brought 13 outfits, 5 pairs of shoes and 3 handbags. TRUE STORY. Maybe I’m a good packer? Maybe it’s the suitcase? I’m going with both, haha.

Product Details:

  • Exterior dimensions: 24.25″ x 24.2″ x 13.5″ (includes wheels)
  • Packing dimensions; 23.7″ x 22.25″ x 13″
  • Interior: multiple-pocket system with lining pockets, breathable mesh pockets and wet-pack pockets; double cross-straps; vertical mesh pocket

A few of other suitcases that my better half has his eyes on and would also be great for traveling:

SAMSONITE CENTRIC 28″ SPINNER

Comes in 5 colors.

It’s currently 25% off right now with code “SAVE25” – Direct link to purchase: HERE.

This deal is MIND blowing, I had to check twice. You can get this  SAMSONITE CENTRIC 3 PIECE SET for under $230!!! The normal price is almost $650. It’s a weekend deal, so don’t wait! Direct link to purchase is HERE. It also comes in 5 different colors.

I also travel with my laptop, it’s a necessity for me. With that being said, I needed a new bag that had a laptop comparment but also room to carry my normal purse necessities.

I picked out the SAMSONITE ZALIA ORGANIZED BAILHANDLE. Which does both of things and also has a SmartSleeve™ which is perfect. SmartSleeve™ is a feature where you can connect your bag to your suitcase. You don’t have to carry it or even watch it fall off when you’re strolling through the airport with your suitcase. Trying to balance your bag is no longer needed or an issue!

A few other great options they have and that I have on my “wish list”:

SAMSONITE KARISSA BIZ BACKPACK

SAMSONITE KARISSA BACKPACK 2 POCKETS

It’s currently 25% off and direct link to purchase is HERE.

I can’t wait for all the new places I get to travel coming up in 2018! It’s a blessing to be able to travel and I’m thankful for Samsonite for keeping my life packed up and organized while I do it.

xx, Tonya Michelle

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