Travel

  • Rest & Relaxation at EVEN Hotels Downtown Brooklyn

    FYI: EVEN Hotels provided me a discounted rate on our room and a complimentary gift bag for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

    even hotels brooklyn valerie pierre mommyrandr

    It’s been almost six months since the last time Jeff and I had a date night. Which meant it was time for some much-needed couple rest and relaxation,  and with the help of my mom by taking the kids overnight we would be able to do just that. But with the kids gone what would we do? It was my birthday weekend so I didn’t want to stay in house and do nothing. I’m always down for traveling, but where would we go on such short notice? Money reasons would keep us from going too far, then it hit me.

    I pass EVEN Hotels Downtown Brooklyn all the time as I live nearby. It looked decent and the location was great. And as I would learn online this hidden gem is a health-focused hotel that prides itself on giving their guests an experience that will relax their mind, body, and spirit. This was the place for us!

    even hotels

    About EVEN Hotels

    We checked in on a cold and windy Saturday excited to escape the stress of life and parenting. We arrived a little after 2pm and were immediately met with a warm welcome, like literally, the receptionist gave us warm cloths for our hands. She took her time checking us in going over everything the hotel has to offer with a fine tooth comb.

    The main floor when you walk in is bright and colorful, and is broken up into five sections: the lounge area (which comes with board games and shuffle a shuffleboard table, meeting space (with computers and wifi), bar area (this speaks for itself), cafe (which is mostly stocked with healthy food and drinks), and the outdoor patio area (this is a perfect area to chillax in the warmer months).

    even hotels

    even hotels

    even hotels

    even hotels

    After a quick tour we headed up to the room. We were given sweet ass room on the 12th floor (1202). It’s right off the elevator near the exit door. Now usually I don’t like being by either location due to noise, but neither one of us heard a peep. But I’m sure at some point our neighbors probably heard us. I’ma Jersey gal living in Brooklyn, which means I have no clue how to use my inside voice. Sorry to those who heard my overly loud conversation and laughter.

    But back to this room – it was HUGE! And the fragrance that greeted me, it was like a mix of healthy living and kale. But seriously, it smelled like the epitome of cleanliness and tranquility. You can easily tell the staff really makes sure their rooms are top notch. Now I usually travel with a can of Lysol to spray the room and I never take my socks off. I didn’t need that here. I took my socks off and paraded around the room like I was home. That’s what EVEN Hotels is, home away from home.

    even hotels

    even hotels

    even hotels

    even hotels

    Health and wellness is more than a motto to the EVEN Hotels brand, it’s a way of life. A life they take very seriously. For starters, they have a mini gym in all of the rooms. It comes complete with resistance bands, ball, yoga mat and plenty of accessories – including a fitness manual to make sure you use all the equipment properly.

    even hotels

    even hotels

    As you can see this was one of the best amenities in the room. It’s a polite low key way of saying, there is no excuse for you to not be doing some form of exercise. But if that isn’t enough for you, venture down to the lobby to use the two-level gym that is only accessible by your room key.

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    even hotels

    even hotels

    Yup! This overnight stay at EVEN Hotels is gonna be just what the doctor ordered.

    What did we do during our stay?

    So what exactly did we do during our overnight stay? The answer is, nothing. We relaxed. Which is exactly what this hotel wants you to do. We took long hot peaceful showers, cause you know kids don’t let you bathe alone for long. We lounged in the pillow top bed and watched t.v. shows that weren’t on Sprout or Nick Jr. I worked out for all of 5 minutes. And because I love to eat we took a quick walk around the corner to Target Atlantic Center for dinner and snacks.

    I love when hotels are centrally located making it easy for guests to spread their wings and learn about the area they’re in. Being a stone’s throw from BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music), Fulton Mall, Barclay Center and City Point, this makes EVEN Hotels Downtown Brooklyn a perfect choice for locals and tourists. But that’s not all, Even Hotels is so centrally located that you can take damn near any train that runs into Brooklyn to get there including the LIRR.

    Yes, after a cozy overnight stay Jeff and I sadly checked out feeling refreshed, and looking forward to the next time when we can kick our feet up in room 1202. We could have done this exact thing at home but sometimes staycations right in your hood turns out to be the best remedy for rejuvenation.

     

    What do you think about EVEN Hotels? Have you ever stayed or are you thinking about staying?

  • Road Trip To VisionCon In The 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 SE

    I love traveling, especially road trips. They’re the best! Everyone piles up, gets comfy and goes on the ride of their life. This is exactly what me and Allaya did as we made our way to Washington DC for the VisionCon event.  Thanks to DriveShop we were able to ditch our mommy mobiles for the 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 SE.  This was gonna be one kick-ass road trip and overall husband and kid free weekend. And it was.

    We pulled out of Brooklyn after 7p and got to DC around 12:30a. We got there late cause I left my wallet in the house and had to turn around, slight traffic since it was a Friday night and we stopped for dinner and stayed a little too long at the rest stop. Mommy brain is strong with me okay.

    The first thing we both noticed about the car was how comfy it was. This car may look small on the outside but looks are deceiving. It was roomy. The handle was really good. There was no hesitation and gave us a smooth ride the whole way.  The entire trip would be just under 500 miles and we only had to fill up once. It came with a full tank and when we pulled into DC I had a quarter tank left. I filled up when we left and made it back with a little less than a quarter tank. NICE! And no road trip would be complete without tunes. The radio and it sounded great! We pumped tunes and sang like we weren’t killing each others eardrums.

    Here are more standard features of the  2017 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 SE

    I had a standard 4-door vehicle that came in a really rad sapphire blue exterior with black interior and push to start up/stop button. I really liked this feature due to the convenience , but I had the feeling that I was going to lock the key in the car. It is something one need to get used to if you’re going from key start up to button. It also had power windows and door locks, as well as, LATCH child-restraint system and child safety rear door locks.

    It also comes with:

    Engine type: 1.2 L MIVEC DOHC, 12-valve Inline 3-cylinder

    Horsepower:78 HP @ 6000 rpm

    MPG: 35/42

    7 Airbags

    Bluetooth hands-free phone system with steering wheel mounted controls

    USB ports

    There were several features this car had that I’ve never had before. Keep in mind I was driving a 20 year old car not too long ago so some of these “perks” had me hype.

    6-way adjustable driver seat and 4-way adjustable passenger seat 
    I am a tall gal and sometimes it’s hard for me to get comfortable behind the wheel. With the 6-way adjustable seat I can make sure I’m driving comfortably without worry of leg cramps and knee pain.

    Front seat heater
    It’s winter time. Nuff said.

    Auto-dimming rear view mirror with Homelink
    This is perfect to protect your eyes from drivers who insist on driving with their headlights on. Why they do this I do not know. But I feel like this should come in ALL cars because no one wants to be blinded by the driver behind them.

    5.5″ Audio display with Smartphone link system Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
    This was my first time driving to Washington DC, which means I needed GPS. Instead of draining my droid I was not only able to charge it in the car but have my phone home screen appear on the car display. Now that is some cool shit. This eliminates having to fumble with my phone (not that I would), but it makes it easier to take calls and to use the map to help get us there safely.

    Rearview camera system
    This is probably one of the sweetest features…rearview camera. Ohhh ahhhh….yeah buddy! The moment you put the car in reverse you are automatically able to see what’s behind you. That means you’ll no longer tap the car behind you parking or run over the kid’s bike. Although I am conditioned to turn around to visually see for myself it made things easier because I knew I didn’t have to turn around in every instance while parking.

    Find out more about the Mirage G4 SE here.

    See for yourself how cute she is. yes, it’s a she

     

    This car is super cute and gave us a smooth ride to and from Washington D.C. This is perfect little car for a single, couple or a family of 4 with small children. It’s THAT roomy! The Mitsubishi Mirage G4 SE starts at $16,995 before taxes and other added fees that come with purchasing a vehicle. Cute and affordable!

    Overall, it a was a great road trip that was much deserved. We’re looking forward to our next road trip – wherever that takes us.

    FYI: DriveShop provided the Mitsubishi Mirage G4 SE for the purpose of this road trip and review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  • PERFECT FALL RETREAT IDEAS FOR ULTIMATE MOMMY RELAXATION

    In case you didn’t feel it, fall is upon us. The weather around us is changing providing us with beautiful new scenery.  What better time to get out an enjoy it than retreat. It will not only rejuvenate your mind and body, but allow you to submerse yourself in the beauty that comes with the fall season. So, why take a retreat in the fall? Well, because the kids are back in school and you’ve already had summer family time. This can be your “me time”.

    So what type of fall retreats are out there you ask? Well, there are enough to satisfy every moms wants and needs.

    Church Camps

    If you’re religious or spiritual, you might enjoy a church camp or spiritual retreat. The next time you’re at your house of worship inquire if there are any planned, and if there isn’t work with them to organize one. Many spiritual moms find this is a great way to re-center themselves spiritually so they can be good leaders to their children.

    Enrichment Retreats

    These focus on enriching your life in a variety of ways. Some specialize in music and art, or a specific location in the world, where others focus on the parts of your life you want to change and/or enrich from the experience. 

    Wellness Retreats

    Do you find yourself making excuses as to why you can’t ditch the extra weight? Do you have a family history of diabetes, heart disease, or some other condition and you want to stay on top of your health to prevent it? Whatever the reason, it’s important to focus on your health and wellness and many moms put themselves last. It comes with the territory of being a mom. A wellness retreat may be just what you need right now.

    retreat ideas

    Personal Retreats

    Sometimes it’s all about the personal journey. Moms were women before they were moms and sometimes we need to get back to that. It’s important to remember who we are so we can be happier and more fulfilled. This makes us better moms in the process. A personal retreat will help you focus on this and also give you goals you can come home with to continue on your journey.

    Empowerment Retreats

    Some retreats are designed around empowerment which would be beneficial to most moms. If you want to learn how to juggle it all without losing yourself in the process, this is the kind of retreat you can get behind. You will feel inspired and will come back roaring and ready to go!

    Cleansing / Fasting Retreats

    While these technically fall under wellness retreats, they are also a bit of a class of their own. This is because cleansing and fasting is not for everyone but it can be a fantastic way to reset your body and mind before you get back into the daily grind. There are many different types of fasting and cleansing retreats and many women find fall is a great time of year for doing these, just before the holiday season comes around.

    There are a ton of retreats to choose from.  Use Retreat Finder as a tool to help you if you are looking for specific fall retreats.

    These fall retreat ideas could be the refresher you need to get back to your “old self” again. And if you don’t want to go alone plan mommy only vacay and bring friends. Enjoy!

  • RESIDENCE INN BY MARRIOTT HONORS
    LA LA ANTHONY AS THE 2016 RESIDENT MOM OF THE YEAR

    The Resident Mom award presented by Residence Inn by Marriott highlights their continued commitment to celebrating moms. Now in it’s sixth year, Residence Inn by Marriott will recognize La La Anthony as the 2016 Resident Mom of the Year.

    la la anthony
    Photo Credit: Residence Inn Residence Inn by Marriott

    To celebrate Residence Inn in New York City hosted an intimate cocktail party for this year’s honoree.

    About La La Anthony
    La La Anthony is an actress, producer, New York Times bestselling author and fashion-and-cosmetics mogul whose presence in the film and TV industry is rapidly growing. But her most important roles, however, remain closer to home as a mom to son Kiyan and wife to husband Carmelo.

    As an accomplished businesswoman and role model La La encourages women and mothers, in particular, to forge their path. Throughout her career she has devoted equal parts of her time to work, home and fun, and employs this balance even when traveling. Her busy career often means celebrating holidays on the road with her family, and the superstar has picked up a few tricks along the way.

    “La La exemplifies what it means to be Resident Mom of the Year,” said Diane Mayer, vice president and global brand manager, Residence Inn. “She has proven that dedication and hard work can drive success and propel you to reach your goals. La La is a devoted mom and wife who balances her career and family, and yet, still finds time for fun and discovery. This strikes a chord for many moms, and is a perfect fit for Residence Inn, a brand that understands the importance of maximizing time and thriving while on the road.”

    la la anthony
    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    See a portion of the interview below where La La shares her family travel tips and why she loves Residence Inn.

    In addition to sharing those tips La La unveiled ‘La La’s Lists’, a series of curated grocery delivery lists exclusive to Residence Inn. From signature beverages, including Shirley-La’s Temples, to holiday treats such as peanut butter cup pilgrim hats and fun ideas for children’s birthdays, La La’s Lists provide creative concepts for milestone occasions.

    la la anthony

    la la anthony

    la la anthony

    I think these lists are great! They are simple and easy to make recipes that even I can’t mess up. They come with everything you need to host simple yet memorable events at home or to bring to larger gathering like potlucks.

    lala

    About Residence Inn by Marriott
    Residence Inn by Marriott is the global leader in the extended-stay lodging segment, with more than 700 properties located in the United States, Canada, Europe, the Middle East and Central America. Residence Inn is designed for long stays, by offering spacious suites with separate living, working, and sleeping zones. The goal is to make family travel easier and to allow moms to maximize their time with select conveniences and services including: free hot breakfast and Wi-Fi; fitness centers; pools and complimentary grocery delivery service. Most importantly, spacious suites complete with full kitchens give families the opportunity to spread out and live better during extended stays.

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    Photo Credit: Residence Inn by Marriott NYC Midtown East

    As a resident you will enjoy amenities such as fully functional kitchens in all rooms and suites; grocery delivery service; 24-hour markets and complimentary breakfasts help guests maximize their time and thrive while they travel. The RI MixÔ evening events afford guests the opportunity to socialize and connect with the local community. Each Residence Inn offers free Wi-Fi in both public and guests spaces to ensure continuous connectivity while on the road.

    marriott
    Photo Credit: Residence Inn by Marriott NYC Midtown East

    And another great aspect is Residence Inn participates in the award-winning Marriott Rewards® frequent guest program where members can earn their choice of points toward free vacations or frequent flyer mileage for dollars spent at any of the more than 4,000 Marriott hotels worldwide.

    For more information or reservations, call the Residence Inn toll-free number at 800-331-3131 or visit them online. For travel tips, the latest information or to connect with other travelers, “like” Residence Inn on Facebook and follow Residence Inn on Twitter.

    This was truly a great event. That included a sweet gift bag that included a copy of La La’s book The Power Playbook: Rules For Independence, Money and Success, a lipstick from her Motives line, three recipe cards from La La’s Lists and Resse’s Peanut Butter Cups Mini’s (not shown cause I ate them my way home from the event while reading her book…which is great!)

    la la anthony

    Watch my Snapchat video during my quick makeover and the tour of Residence Inn New York City.

    Oh, and make sure you join La La and Residence Inn for a Traveling Mom Twitter party on May 19 at 9:00pm EST to discuss thriving on the road, and tips for celebrating special occasions. I can’t wait for this! I’ve already marked my calendar. If you want to join use the hashtags #RIMom and #TMOM. There will be a chance to win prizes including Residence Inn gift cards, perfect for summer family travel and some much needed mommy me time away from the family.

    Thank you Residence Inn for inviting me and many congratulations to La La Anthony on receiving such an amazing and inspiring award.

    Happy Mother’s Day Weekend!!