Home

Check Out This Purple Purse

Please note that this is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Allstate Foundation and Latina Bloggers Connect, this post was created and written by me for travelinglatina.com and express my personal views and opinions.

As a travel blogger, I've seen and heard many domestic violence stories that have happened to women of all shapes, colors, religions, etc. That is why I have once again partnered with the folks from Allstate Foundation to raise awareness about domestic violence through their program called Purple Purse.

If you are reading this post and you are telling yourself "I don't know anyone who has suffered domestic violence" then you truly don't know your friends or relatives. Domestic violence affects 1 in 4 women – that’s more women than breast cancer, ovarian cancer and lung cancer combined (American Cancer Society). Most people think only of physical abuse when they consider domestic violence. Yet, financial abuse happens in 98 percent of all cases of domestic violence and is one of the most powerful ways to control a survivor.

Financial abuse is just as effective in controlling an abused victim as a lock and key. If her credit has been ruined, she can’t get an apartment. If her abuser constantly harasses her at work, she can lose her job. And, crushing debt run up by an abuser means it could take a survivor and her children years to fully recover from abuse.

With that, The Allstate Foundation responded by creating Purple Purse – the Foundation’s national symbol for domestic violence and financial abuse to raise awareness and getting people to openly talk about this important issue. Purple Purse was chosen because a purse represents the center of a woman’s financial domain and purple is the national color of domestic violence awareness.

This year The Allstate Foundation is putting the power to raise an unlimited amount of money for the cause directly in the hands of customers. The Allstate Foundation is issuing the Purple Purse Challenge to raise money for 145 nonprofit community partners across the U.S. who provide critical financial empowerment services for domestic violence survivors. The Foundation is encouraging people to open their hearts and their pocketbook and make a contribution to the participating organizations.  Supporters can visit PurplePurse.com starting September 2 to make a donation through October 3.

In addition to community/local contributions raised, The Allstate Foundation is investing more than half a million dollars in the Purple Purse Challenge. The more donations each Community Partner gets, the more Allstate Foundation funding the organization is eligible to receive.

To help bring the program into the forefront, actress Kerry Washington will lend her voice to the cause as an ambassador. She has designed a limited-edition purple purse, which will be distributed to select Allstate employees, select Agency owners and each of the Purple Purse Challenge participants, as well as media, opinion leaders and influencers to help raise awareness.

If you or someone you know needs immediate help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.

 

A Taste of Thailand

Thailand has well and truly established itself as a must-visit country, thanks to stunning landscapes, delicious culinary fare and gorgeous stretches of coastline. From the idyllic beaches in the south to the lush mountains in the north, Thailand has something for everyone and will leave every visitor wanting more. Travel agents, like First Choice, create great packages to give you the best possible chance to get on with exploring the possibilities.

Transient

Bustling Bangkok

The country’s capital city is a magnificent metropolis filled with authentic Asian flair as well as some western creature comforts to ease visitors into their Thai experience. Local markets boast everything from delicious street food (try the local Pad Thai) to stunning flowers being sold from river boats. Visitors can behold stunning architecture, larger than life Buddha’s and modest monks all in a single afternoon.

Sun

For the ultimate in idyllic Thai beaches, head south to any number of secluded mainland spots or take your pick of alluring islands. With a range of hostel and resort options, all types of travelers can find their version of paradise along these sandy shores. Days can easily fade to weeks when holidays are spent soaking up sun, sampling delicious fresh fruit and curries, or exploring the fresh water gems and salt water jewels of these gorgeous landscapes.

Transient

Sea

One of Thailand’s most incredible experiences is to explore the country’s underwater worlds. While Phuket is a mainstay for scuba diving enthusiasts, visitors can get certified in any number of locations throughout the country. The world-famous Similan Islands are a once in a lifetime journey and visitors can take overnight boat trips to get the full experience; searching for whale sharks and swimming with turtles while local Thai guides cook authentic meals on-board the boat each night.

Adventure

Northern Thailand boasts some of the most dramatic and spectacular scenery in the country. Visitors to the north should not miss Chiang Mai, a city known for its popular cooking classes and night markets where tourists can snack on everything from fresh papaya salad to tasty banana and chocolate roti pancakes made to order. Chiang Mai is also a popular point of departure for multi-day treks into the mountains to visit remote hill tribes and ride elephants through the jungle. 

Transient

Thailand is a once in a lifetime destination that visitors return to again and again. From incredible beach holidays with some of the most beautiful sunsets on earth, to adventurous jungle treks, everyone will agree that one taste of Thailand is simply not enough.

Images by Swaminathan, Enjosmith and Dennis Jarvis, used under the Creative Commons license. 

What To Pack When You Are Heading Outdoors

This is part of a summer campaign with REI; I was compensated for this post however, all opinions expressed are my own. 

Are you heading on your first camping trip? If you are going to a campground where you can drive up to your campsite, then I recommend you pack the following items to make this a trip you won’t forget!

1. Clothes- Yes we all need clothes while hanging out in the great outdoors but there are some items you can wear a couple of times for your weekend camping trip. My recommendation is to pack the following:

  • One pair of jeans- most likely the ones you wear on your way to your campsite

  • Plenty of underwear and socks- most camp grounds have a communal bathroom where you can shower and change clothes, which trust me, after a long hike, you are going to want to shower

  • PJ’s - I always prefer to be over dressed than under, especially when it comes to sleeping outside! That is why I recommend to pack long pair of sweatpants and a long sleeve shirt. Even on a hot day in the summer, campsites tend to cool off a lot at night.

  • Jacket or sweater- You’d be surprised how cool it can get at night, so make sure you bring a sweater or a jacket that can keep you comfortable while you enjoy those smores!

  • Shorts and t-shirts- During a trip I took to Olympic National Park last year, I headed to REI and purchased some awesome Columbia gear that had coolwick technology which helped keep my body cool during those long hikes. I highly recommend to pack a couple of items that have this technology.

  • Hiking shoes/boots- You definitely need a pair of shoes that can with stand all kinds of terrain while give you the support and comfort you need for those long days full of activities.

  • Towel & Flip Flops- These two items are a must, especially if you are going to a campground that has a communal bathroom. You want to make sure you protect your feet!

2. Toiletries- Ladies, leave your blow dryers at home! That is the beauty about camping, you don’t need  any of those items just pack your basic necessities such as:

  • Toothbrush

  • Toothpaste

  • Mouthwash

  • Body wash/soap

  • Shampoo/Conditioner - it’s not a huge necessity if you are doing a weekend trip however if you are out longer you might want to wash your hair!

  • Deodorant

  • Bug spray

  • Sunscreen- body and face

3. Food- I’m a foodie and I love to cook so I made sure during my last camping trip to purchase certain meats ahead of time so I can season them and put them in the cooler with ice for the weekend. However, if you like to keep it easy and simple, just pack some patties, hot dogs, bread, seasoning, and you are all set! Don’t forget to pack some water, juice, chips, and all the ingredients needed to make smores! Trust me when I say, purchase the dark chocolate bars for your smores, it will change your life!

4. Cooler, Ice and Grill- Yup! Make sure you pack all three of those items it will make your camping experience much more enjoyable.

5. Plates and Napkins- Ok so you might not need the napkins but you can purchase a cloth that you can wash and reuse after every meal. For the plates, I recommend buying plastic plates that you can reuse over and over again and wash it off with a little bit of water and soap! Oh yeah, don’t forget soap to wash your dishes!

6. Tent, Inflatable Bed, and Sleeping Bag- If you don’t own any of these items, I recommend you swing by REI. The folks at my local REI store were super helpful when I was picking out a tent for our camping trip. They asked me all the questions that helped me figure out that I needed a four person tent. A tent that large allowed us to have a queen size inflatable bed (this piece is optional, we have some back problems so this helped us sleep a bit more comfortably) and had enough room for us to put our shoes inside the tent while we were sleeping. Don’t forget your sleeping bag, this is what will keep you warm at night along with your comfy PJ’s and pillow.


Camping Can be Easy and Fun!

This is part of a summer campaign with REI; I was compensated for this post however, all opinions expressed are my own. 

#LetsCamp

It’s not as scary as it sounds.

You just need to pick a date, it can be a quick weekend get away, pack your car and just go!

Most people find it intimidating to go camping, mostly because they are afraid of the unknown, but if you actually just let your barriers down (just a tiny bit) camping can become the most fun activity that you can do with friends and family.

If you have never been camping before I recommend you pick a site nearby the city you live in. For example, my fiance and I had never been camping before and we decided to give it a try over Memorial Day weekend. We headed to Chain O’Lakes Park which was only 1.5 hours away from Chicago. Which means, it was far enough to feel like we were somewhere else but close enough that if we weren’t “feeling it” we could just head back home.

When researching campsites nearby, I recommend to look at your state parks. Most state parks have camping grounds that are clean, family friendly, and offer a lot of activities on-site which will never allow you to get bored! That was one of the reasons why we headed to Chain O’Lakes, we were able to go horse back riding, hiking, canoeing, and fishing. It was great! All these activities are things that we would never be able to do within our city.

What was also great about this campsite is that it was nearby a small town which had several grocery stores so we could leave the campgrounds and quickly pick up any treats we were craving for our stay.

The best part about this experience is that we were able to completely disconnect ourselves from the real world. That’s the magic about camping, you forget about all the things that are time consuming such as being on social media, getting dolled up to go out (at least for us girls), wasting time watching TV; instead, you are connecting with mother nature and finding time to have conversations with your friends and family.

Just give it a try, at least once, and you will see that camping can actually be a great time. We are now addicted to it! Our next camping trip is scheduled already in our calendars and we can’t wait to go out into the woods again with our friends and enjoy some smores by the camp fire!

So, what are you waiting for? #LetsCamp


Celebrate: National Tequila Day 07/24

Tomorrow, Thursday, July 24th marks National Tequila Day, and what better way to observe the tequila-aficionado’s favorite holiday than with a specialty cocktail from Tequila Don Julio.

To celebrate National Tequila Day, call upon Tequila Don Julio, Mexico’s original luxury craft tequila to celebrate authentically. With six variants in the portfolio ranging from Blanco through Extra-Añejo, there is a choice for any tequila-lover!

Invite your friends over and make them this delicious cocktail named Este Lado, created by mixologists Marshall Altier and Ben Scorah. It includes the following tasty ingredients:Tequila Don Julio Blanco, fresh lime juice, English Cucumber and mint.

Below the image you can find the full recipe! 

Este Lado

Created by Mixologists Ben Scorah and Marshall Altier

Ingredients:

1 1/2 ounces Tequila Don Julio Blanco

1/2 ounce Fresh Lime Juice

1/2 ounce Simple Syrup

Slice of English Cucumber

Mint Sprig

Mint and Cucumber Wheel Garnish

Preparation:

  1. Muddle English Cucumber and mint sprig in simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. 
  2. Add Tequila Don Julio Blanco, fresh lime juice and ice. Shake well. 
  3. Strain Contents over ice into a rocks glass. 
  4. Garnish with mint sprig and cucumber wheel. 

Ideal Serving:

Rocks Glass

Yield:

1 drink, no drink contains more than 0.6 fl oz of alcohol 

Soccer Fever #MyHouseIsMyStadium

This is part of a product review campaign with Orgullosa; complimentary products were provided.  However, all opinions expressed are my own. 

For an entire month I lived, breathed, and consumed soccer! It was the most intense month of my life but worth every minute of it especially since this major tournament only happens once every four years. 

I am pretty much a crazy Spain fanatic, mostly because my father was born there and he taught me everything about the beautiful sport of futbol! However, I had a couple of other teams I rooted for as Spain quickly got eliminated. I was all about team #USA (what a heart break), and Brazil (brutal loss to Germany).

During the semifinals, I hosted an awesome soccer viewing party with some of my favorite friends. I decorated the house with some of my favorite soccer items thanks to the folks from orgullosa. They gave me all the right tools to make #MyHouseIsMyStadium. Below are some pics of our soccer celebration!

You are probably wondering, why is Traveling Latina writing about soccer? If you didn't know, outside of the U.S., soccer is the one sport that unites all countries, languages, sexes, age groups, so on and so forth. The next time you head overseas, have a chat with the locals and bring up futbol, and you will see how their pupils will open wide and they start rambling on and on about their team. 

Experience: US Open Giveaway

This is an experience and contest you don't want to miss out on! I just entered, what are you waiting for?


Time Warner Cable and Tennis Channel are giving customers a chance to experience the 2014 US Open Tennis Championships like never before.  Now through July 31st, Time Warner Cable Facebook fans can enter the 2014 US Open VIP Experience presented by Time Warner Cable and Tennis Channel to be one of the two lucky Grand Prize winners to win a five-day trip for two to New York to attend select US Open Tournament matches - tentatively scheduled for September 2 through September 6, 2014.

Grand Prize winners will receive:

-          Round trip flights for two to New York City

-          Five (5) days/four (4)-night hotel accommodations for two

-          Two tickets to an earlier round US Open match

-          Two tickets to a later round US Open match

-          $500 spending money

-          Tennis Channel Experience for two which includes: a Tennis Channel set tour, visit to Broadcast truck; meet + greet with Tennis Channel talent

-          Access to Time Warner Cable Studios at the US Open

To participate, customers must ‘like’ Time Warner Cable on Facebook and complete the registration page (http://on.fb.me/VCCGLk).  Customers must be members of the Time Warner Cable Facebook community before registering.  Entries must be completed and submitted by 11:59 PM/ Eastern Time on July 31, 2014. 

Winners will be notified via email and/or phone by August 4, 2014.

 For updates and exclusive offers and extras, customers can like the TWC Facebook page and follow @TWC on Twitter.

*No purchase necessary to enter or win. Open to legal U.S. residents who are Time Warner Cable residential subscribers in good standing, residing in a serviceable area of Time Warner Cable and those living in the same household in the following states/areas: AL, AZ, CA, CO (only in Gunnison), GA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, ME, MA, MI, MO, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OH, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WA, WV, or WI, and 18 years of age or older as of 6/30/14.

Must Pack Item: Jergens BB Body & Shea Beauty Oil for #LuminousSkin

This is part of a product review campaign with Latina Mom Bloggers and JERGENS; complimentary products were provided.  However, all opinions expressed are my own. #LuminousSkin #Jergens

I'm getting ready travel to the beautiful Islands of Loreto, Mexico. As I start packing for this sun filled vacation, I am making sure the following two items for sure make it in my luggage: JERGENS® Shea Beauty Oil and JERGENS® BB Body Perfecting Skin Cream. 

Ever since I discovered the JERGENS® BB Body Perfecting Skin Cream (and in travel size!) I have been in love with my skin. It is the first BB cream designed for your skin and it smells amazing! My skin is so smooth and luminous thanks to this amazing cream. JERGENS® BB Body Perfecting Skin Cream delivers flawless-looking skin with 5 visible benefits in just 5 days. This revolutionary body lotion goes on sheer, dries quickly, and works like a moisturizer to visibly improve your skin with every use.

But if you are like me, when traveling to beach destinations I love wearing short shorts and mini dresses! To have that gorgeous and radiant leg shine like all the famous people have on magazines, I use JERGENS® SHEA BEAUTY OIL. This total body luminizer is designed to quench, hydrate and condition your skin, leaving it 6x more radiant, with a stunning sheen. I highly recommend using this oil after you put a layer of the BB Body Skin Perfecting cream on your legs. Trust me when I say, your man will not want to stop touching your legs when you do this!

Plus who wouldn't want luminous gorgeous skin while on your beach vacation? I love how these two JERGENS® products make my skin feel and will always be the first item I put in my luggage every time I travel! 

Destination: Solage Calistoga in Napa, CA

Solage Calistoga has once again been voted among the world’s best by the discriminating readers ofTravel + Leisure. The 19th annual World’s Best Awards survey, featured in the August 2014 issue, ranked Solage Calistoga in Napa Valley, California, among the “Best Resorts in the Continental U.S. and Canada,” with a rating of 90.23. This sixth consecutive-year of recognition demonstrates the deep commitment by the Solage team to deliver a fun, social and authentic Napa Valley experience geared for today’s discerning travelers.

The Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards are among the most revered awards within the travel industry and based on thorough reader evaluations of guest rooms/facilities, location, service, restaurants/food and value. Nestled in Napa Valley, Solage Calistoga offers 89 design-focused and environmentally conscious studios, the Michelin Star-rated Solbar restaurant and the award-winning 20,000 square-foot Spa Solage that features its signature Mudslide treatment.

 “Once again, we are thrilled to be recognized by the readers of Travel + Leisure, one of the most respected travel magazines in the world,” said Solage Hotels & Resorts President, Richard Hill. “This award reaffirms our position as a sought-after destination in Napa Valley and recognizes our team’s commitment to gracious and attentive service and overall excellence.”

The further your team goes, the closer you get

This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Crest and Latina Bloggers Connect

When I was growing up soccer or as we call it futbol was THE sport the entire family bonded with. But once every four years, we got closer thanks to the big soccer championship that we are all enjoying right now around the world! It was and still is the moment in time when the entire family picks one place, one TV, one (maybe two) lucky shirts to wear, and sit together to enjoy the high intensity and passionate moments of our favorite teams.

My dad is from Espana so of course we always rooted for Spain. It was an amazing moment in time when we saw Spain win in 2010. Tears of joy came down our faces as we from a distance celebrated and enjoyed the beauty of seeing our team hold that gorgeous gold cup. I remember losing my voice that day and enjoying one two many sangrias to celebrate this amazing win!

Nothing brings us closer than soccer. Shouting goal is a unique explosion of joy, regardless of who's sitting next to you, as long as it's someone from the same team as yours. That's why it's important that you're prepared with Crest Complete + Scope. The further your team goes, the closer you get.

Crest Complete Multi-Benefit Whitening + Scope Striped Toothpastes are the only toothpastes that combine the whitening power of Crest toothpaste with the freshening power of Scope mouthwash. They fight cavities, prevent tartar, and provide cleaning action to help remove surface stains.

Whitens teeth by removing surface stains

● Fights cavities

● Fights tartar

● Freshens breath

Crest Complete Multi-Benefit Deep Clean toothpaste provides the protection you need with an up to two times cleaner feeling and the signals that tell you you’re covered. Its unique combination of ingredients will leave your mouth feeling cleaner long after you brush.

Check out this link to obtain some coupons!

How do you remain close to your family, even when you have different teams to cheer for?

 

 

Impacting Latinas To...Travel, Succeed, Grow, etc.

Since February, I have had the privilege to be a blogger ambassador for Procter & Gamble’s Orgullosa campaign. This is the second time I have worked with this program and I am so proud to continue on supporting it. The purpose of the Nueva Latina program is to celebrate the cultural pride and undeniable bond that Latinas share by inspiring women from across the country to reveal what it means to be a Nueva Latina. The platform this year partnered with Linda Nieves-Powell who has written and produced a series of monologues that showcase the impact that successful Latinas have on young Latinas.

The videos that Nueva Latina has produced are currently featuring nine female trail blazers. Check out some of the videos below!

Right now they have only posted 5 out of the 9 videos, but if you loved the first five then I recommend following their YouTube page so you can watch the remaining four post once they go live!

Just how these videos highlight these successful Latinas, I too have found a group of amazing Latinas that have inspired me to strive for success and never give up. One of them being my mother! She is a teacher/mentor for many but for me she is much more than that! She is my mom, my role model, a strong Latina who never gives up and is always looking to find ways to help out the minority community.

She taught me perseverance, be strong willed, and not allow annoy to bully you whether it be professionally or within your network. She was also the beautiful lady who showed me the importance of travel and all the benefits you receive from every travel experience.

But just as my mom is my role model, I have heard from many close friends of mine how I have become their role model. One friend in particular, who is older than me, always says “I want to be like you when I grow up!” Every time she says that, I always ask her why? Her response, many of the items I have identified above that I learned from my mother.

Do you have anyone that inspires you? Has anyone ever told you how you inspire them? If so, I’d love to read your responses in the comments section below.

B Resort & Spa, Located in the Walt Disney World® Resort, Opens Next Week!

The all-new B Resort & Spa, located in the Walt Disney World® Resort, officially opens its doors next week.  The much-anticipated arrival of the B Hotels & Resorts® brand in Lake Buena Vista brings a refreshing burst of contemporary style, and an approachable lifestyle hotel experience, to Orlando’s Tourism Corridor.

Rising from the site of the former Royal Plaza Hotel, B Resort & Spa is set in the heart of theDowntown Disney® area, minutes from Walt Disney World® Theme Parks and the Orange County Convention Center. Following a massive, top-to-bottom redesign, the new 394-room resort promises to be equally fun for adults and children with luxurious appointments, modern touches, innovative technologies and an array of unique activities. Special limited-time introductory rates start at $159 per night through June 30, 2014.

“B Resort & Spa is the first resort designation for the B Hotels & Resorts® brand and we are thrilled to introduce travelers to such an incredible, unique product in one of the world’s top business and leisure travel destinations,” said Keith Wolling, the property’s general manager. “This is a four-star resort with attractive prices and a team that is committed to delivering unforgettable, customized experiences to virtually every type of traveler.”

For experience-driven families, couples, groups and discerning business travelers, B Resort & Spa offers an outstanding array of signature B Hotels & Resorts® offerings and amenities, including:   

  • Inspiring, playful design –B Resort & Spa’s stylish lobby features white marble floors, soaring ceilings and comfortable yet lively lounge areas that invite guests to work, socialize and relax. In the corridors off the lobby, bright pops of color come from the B Artistic exhibition, a contemporary art gallery showcasing the vibrant Central Florida arts scene. Guest rooms and suites are appointed with sleek blue-and-white décor and floor-to-ceiling windows with sweeping views of the area’s theme parks, lakes, and evening fireworks celebrations. Rooms are equipped with designer furnishings, the signature Blissful Bed®, large HD LED interactive flat-screen televisions and a B Treated Box of whimsical (and affordable, at $5 each) in-room snacks. Complimentary gaming consoles are available upon request. Many rooms also feature bunk beds, kitchenettes and wet bars.
  • Innovative technologies – Guests can B in touch with resort-wide FreeB Wi-Fi (complimentary wireless internet access), complimentary loaner iPads and the Monscierge digital concierge service and destination guide. Custom-designed for each B property, the Monscierge touchscreen and mobile app provide useful information, from hotel amenities to flight updates, even allowing printing capabilities of boarding passes from a lobby screen to the front desk. Also with Monscierge, guests can B Adventurous with access to unlimited localized content, such as tips on excursions, dining and sightseeing adventures within the destination.
  • Zero-entry pool and relaxation area – A heated outdoor pool is the perfect place to decompress and enjoy the afternoon at B Resort & Spa, with interactive water elements, a nearby kids’ zone and a pool bar and grill. 
  • Stylish, flexible function space – With state-of-the-art ballrooms, several boardrooms and an expansive 5,000-square-foot terrace, B Resort & Spa offers more than 25,000 square feet of flexible meeting and celebration space. Guests will revel in new options for enchanting weddings, meetings and other private functions in this world-class destination.
  • B Humane –  As part of the brand’s B Humane program, each guest room has a plush toy gopher frog, a species indigenous to Central Florida, perched on the bed. Guests can “adopt” the stuffed animal to take home, with a portion of the proceeds from sales going to the Wildlife Foundation of Florida, a nonprofit organization that helps protect the preservation of Florida's fish and wildlife resources and their habitats.
  • Unique food and beverage offerings – Opening on the heels of the B Resort & Spa will be American Q, a new signature restaurant developed in partnership with restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow and China Grill Management. The renowned group, of China Grill and Asia de Cuba fame, is continuing its tradition of food and beverage innovation with the inaugural location of this concept.  American Q puts a modern twist on classic barbeque, featuring specialties from regions throughout the U.S. and Latin America. Guests can expect spontaneous line dancing led by friendly “cowboy/cowgirl” servers and an appetizer and salad station served from the bed of a 1951, cherry-red, Ford F1 pickup truck.
  • For convenient grab-and-go fare, The Pickup, located just off the lobby, has a full coffee bar and ice cream shop, as well as a variety of snacks and sundries for on-the-go needs. Complimentary coffee is available daily until 11 a.m.  B Resort & Spa also offers a pool bar and grill, customized catering menus for weddings and meetings, a specialty spa menu and 24/7 in-room dining.
  • B Indulged® Spa by AVEDA – Set to open later this summer, B Resort & Spa is home to the brand’s first full-service spa. Well-deserved after a fun-filled day at the area’s many theme parks or a productive business meeting, this haven nurtures the body and soul, pairing pure botanical products with the ancient science of AVEDA. Travelers can treat themselves to customized massages, facials, hair and makeup services and a nail boutique, as well as unique offerings for busy business men and women, children and teens. The adjacent B Active® Fitness Center features state-of-the-art exercise equipment.

Travel Deals: Wyndham Hotel Group's Family-Friendly Summer

My friends over at Wyndham were so kind to share with me a few special deals for families to enjoy this upcoming summer season! Check out the deals below and do let me know if you get a chance to enjoy any of these amazing destinations! Happy travels!

·         TRYP By Wyndham – TRYP is the perfect option for families with picky pre-teens. With locations in exciting cities like New York, Barcelona, Madrid, Paris, and Buenos Aires, they’ll never be bored!

o   DEAL ALERT! Book online at least seven days in advance and save 10% off the Best Available Rate. You’ll even receive 500Wyndham Rewards bonus points – score!

Transient


·         Wyndham Hotels & Resorts – For families looking to enjoy the finer things in life Wyndham Hotel & Resorts has got them covered.  From Florida to California and all across the United States, hotel guests can expect properties with good food, near beautiful beaches and with activities the whole family can enjoy.

o   DEAL ALERT! This summer, save 30 percent off the Best Available Rate when booking three consecutive nights!


·         Days Inn – Active families coordinating a road trip to grandma’s can find comfort knowing that Days Inn will be there for their next stop. Their locations are both convenient and plentiful! 

o   DEAL ALERT! Beyond saving 15 percent by booking a week in advance, you’ll save even more money since kids 17 and under stay free with paying adults!


·         BONUS DEAL ALERT! Wyndham Rewards members get perks with each and every stay at any of Wyndham Hotel Group’s 15 diverse hotel brands. Points earned by mom and dad for business can be used for leisure trips with the kids and with as little as 5,500 points travelers can even earn a free night!


Travel & Entertainment: Disney Movies for Your Summer Roadtrip

Are you getting ready for your upcoming family summer road trip? Are you wondering how you are going to entertain your children while you are on the road? I highly recommend purchasing an individual mini DVD player or renting a mini van with a DVD player so your kids can enjoy all their favorite Disney movies.

Wondering how many Disney/Pixar movies you can pack in to your up-coming summer trip? Get ready to have your mind boggled by how many movies you could watch between some pretty awesome destinations.  Happy travels!

Travel Tips: What to Do if You are Injured While Traveling

Vacation is a time to kick up one’s feet and relax- but if an unforeseen event dampers your getaway, it is important to be prepared. Should an injury occur in the midst of travel, Attorney Richard Levin of Levin, Riback Law Group notes you should take action with a few simple steps to protect yourself.

“All too often people don’t want to deal with the headache of documentation or treatment during their vacation and wait until they are home to report an incident,” says Levin. “However waiting too long to file a report can have detrimental consequences; it is imperative to move quickly because vacation vessels such as cruise ships operate on a different statue of limitations.”

 If you become injured during a vacation, Attorney Richard Levin suggests the following:

 -          Document the Incident: Immediately document what happened. For example, if you slipped on the deck of your cruise ship, take photos of the floor and surrounding area immediately, as well as pictures of your injury. “Take note of your surroundings,” adds Levin. “Was the floor wet? Were there any signs alerting passengers to be careful? It may seem silly, but these photos can serve as evidence if crew negligence is to blame.”

 -          Get Proper Medical Treatment: Many people skip this step because they are on vacation and they would rather be sight-seeing or enjoying drinks by the pool. However, it is absolutely crucial that you see a doctor right away. “Your health should be your number one priority,” says Levin. “If a more serious injury is at hand, initial documentation is needed for any legal case you might consider in the future.”

 -          See Your Doctor: Once you have returned home from vacation, see your doctor at home right away. Keep documentation and monitor any issues that continue to arise (e.g. maybe your ankle is no longer swollen but it is still tender to the touch, or it starts aching when you return to your usual exercise program) as well as any issue that interferes with your normal daily activities.

 -          Speak To An Attorney As Soon As Possible: If you were injured in a foreign country or even on a cruise ship, it is important to remember you may have a shorter statute of limitations. “In many states, like Illinois, you may have up to two years to file,” says Levin. “Cruise ship companies bury lawsuit conditions on your ticket and those are generally followed by the courts. There may be a mandatory 180 day notice requirement, and only one year to file your case in court.  If these conditions are not followed, cases can be dismissed no matter how badly you’re hurt.”

Destination: Traverse City, Michigan - Grand Traverse Resort

Fun-and-Sun-Packed Summer in Northern Michigan

Grand Traverse Resort and Spa Makes Great Home Base to Enjoy an Action-Packed Season

Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, near Traverse City, Mich. invites travelers to a fun-filled summer of one-of-a-kind events; from family-friendly s’mores celebrations, beach Olympics and Native American Pow Wows; to microbrew, music, food and wine festivals, and more.

Set on 900 acres along Lake Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay, Grand Traverse Resort makes a great base camp for exploring all that Northern Michigan has to offer. Visitors can go for a tasting tour in any of the renowned wineries and breweries of the region, laze on the white-sand beaches of nearby Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, recognized by ABC-TV Good Morning America’s Most Beautiful Place in America, or host a self-guided tour along the 10.5 mile long T.A.R.T. biking trail through Traverse City and beyond to Suttons Bay on the Leelanau Peninsula.

For guests not wanting to linger far off property, they can get their rest and recreation at Grand Traverse Resort. This 600-room property offers the full gamut of amenities, from fine dining, shops and spa to watersports, hiking trails, golf, indoor waterpark and more. Active travelers can take a standup paddleboard lesson at the resort’s private beach, or play a round of golf on championship courses designed by Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. For a more relaxing approach, guests can treat themselves to a day at Spa Grand Traverse, spanning 7,000 square feet and offering a variety of luxurious treatments. Epicurean travelers can enjoy an unforgettable meal at the award-winning Aerie Restaurant & Lounge, serving up innovative fare made with fresh local ingredients and featuring sweeping views of Grand Traverse Bay.

Whatever the preference, Grand Traverse Resort and Spa caters to every guest and offers several affordable summer packages for couples and families. The central location puts guests close to the action for the many unique events this summer happening on property or minutes away, such as:

  • S’mores Fest – June 13-15, 2014: Grand Traverse Resort’s master Pastry Chef Stephanie Elwell will be crafting classic and gourmet versions of the famous campfire dessert during the Resort’s first ever S’mores Fest. During the weekend, the Resort and Chef Elwell will serve s’mores in many different forms, as well as foods and beverages with a s’mores twist, and will conduct activities with a s’mores theme for young and old alike.
  • Beach Week at Grand Traverse Resort’s Beach Club - June 29-July 6, 2014: Grand Traverse Resort and Spa celebrates Beach Week at its private Beach Club. Highlights include; beach Olympics, kayak races, candy bingo, pottery painting, and more. 
  • Horse Shows by the Bay Equestrian Festival – July 2-27, 2014: This prestigious annual, multi-week summer event is staged at Flintfields Horse Park in beautiful Williamsburg, just a few minutes from the Resort. The festival features thousands of the nation's champion horses and riders competing in the international disciplines of show jumping and dressage. Feature events, which welcome spectators, are held on the weekends during the festival dates and include the exciting Gran Prix plus exhibitions, special family day activities and charity fundraisers.
  • National Cherry Festival – July 5-12, 2014: Named in USA Today’s top ten festivals for several years running, the National Cherry Festival celebrates the region’s world-record tart cherry harvests with more than 150 events featuring the famous cherries cooked, baked, blended and mixed into every imaginable delicious concoction.
  • Traverse City Film Festival – July 29-August 3, 2014: With a special emphasis on “Just Great Movies” the Traverse City Film Festival has become one of the largest film festivals in the Midwest, showing foreign films, American independents and documentaries. This annual event presents classic movies for free on a giant, inflatable outdoor screen overlooking Grand Traverse Bay in Traverse City’s Open Space Park starting at dusk. In addition, free panel discussions with directors, writers and actors are offered daily.
  • Traverse City Summer Microbrew and Music Festival – August 22-23, 2014: Recently recognized by The Travel Channel as one of its Top 10 Beer Destinations in North America, Traverse City is the place for all brew connoisseurs. This festival inspires community collaboration through the joy of craft brew and great music, while raising funds for nonprofit organizations. It also supports hundreds of community-based artists, small businesses, vendors, farmers, local food providers, arts and entertainment companies, and others throughout Michigan.

Culture: Celebrating Being Latina

Over the weekend, I heard a friend of mine mention how she didn't like how she looked when she was younger. She would look at the mirror and call out things that she wanted to change like her curly hair (or what we Latinas call pelo malo), she pinched her nose because she didn't like her nose too wide, or how she wanted to dye her hair blonde because all her classmates had blonde hair. 

After hearing these comments and so many other women in my group agree on these feelings, I realized that it's not just a select group of people who feel insecure this way, it's all Latinas (and women of color) who share these feelings. This is just one of many things that we have so many things in common and once again confirms the many layers of connection we Latinas have with one another even if we don't know each other. 

Orgullosa's Nueva Latina campaign has done an awesome job at breaking down those barriers and building connections as to how all Latinas are connected with one another in a million levels. If you check out their website they have videos that celebrates the cultural pride and undeniable bond that Latinas share and these videos are inspiring women from across the country to reveal what it means to be a Nueva Latina.

he video above is just one of many that they have on their Facebook and YouTube page. I highly recommend for all Latinas out there to view these and even talk to your friends about these videos. You will immediately see how it will connect you with your gals in levels how you never have been connected before. 

Embracing Other Cultures

One of the reasons why I love to travel is because it allows you to expand your horizons and pushes you to open your perspectives about those that are different than you. 

But appreciating others that are different than you is something that has to be encouraged in your household and appreciated on your own. For me, it was my mother, she was the one who taught me to always explore new cultures and appreciate what those that are "different" than me have to offer. She reinforced this by taking me to different cultural events around time, trying new dishes from other countries and joining her in some on some of her business trips. 

Sometimes we even had friends from other countries stay with us for a few days and these folks would take their time to teach us about their culture, language and food. I loved those moments because it always felt like I was briefly escaping my home and imagined myself in their home country.

However, during our voyages around the world, she would challenge me to learn the new language and to do research about the new countries we would be visiting. This is something that to this date I practice every time I am about to jump on a plane whether it is for a personal trip or business trip. 

This was just one of the many things that my mom taught me and it is one that I will make sure to pass along when I have a family. These tips were also super useful to share last week when I participated in a witter party that the folks from #NuevaLatina hosted to celebrate Univision's news reporter, Satcha Pretto's pregnancy and discussed the benefits of growing up in a multicultural world. I learned so much from other moms that joined the conversation, one tip that I read was to start talk to your baby while it is in your belly in both languages (english/spanish); that way it will slowly allow the baby to get used to both languages and will make the learning process much easier/quicker once they are welcomed into the world. 

Travel News: Cancun Jumps to #1 on Orbitz 2014 Insider Summer Index

The Cancun Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) announces its top spot as the #1 summer destination for 2014 by Orbitz’ Summer Travel Insider Index and Fly.com. Cancun beat out top U.S. cities like Las Vegas and Orlando.

Orbitz, a leading global online travel company, named Cancun as the top destination booked for this summer, moving up in the ranking from #3 last year. Cancun was rated higher than popular international beach destinations such as Punta Cana, DR and Puerto Vallarta, MX. The Orbitz Insider Index 2014 Top 10 Summer Destinations were ranked based on all air bookings made on Orbitz.com for travel between May 23 and Sept. 1, 2014.

“We are proud that Cancun has been named the #1 international summer destination for the fourth year in a row, and are even more thrilled to be named the #1 overall summer vacation spot for the first time,” said Jesus Almaguer, CEO of the Cancun CVB. “This ranking is a testament to Cancun’s evolution as a top destination, proving that in addition to ideallic weather and beautiful beaches, Cancun also offers a blend of cultural experiences, thrilling adventure and world-class cuisine.”

Fly.com, the world’s easiest-to-use airfare search engine available in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Germany, also classified Cancun as this year’s favorite summer destination for Americans, beating out cities such as London and Rome. Fly.com based their ranking on over 5 million online searches for summer travel bookings between June 1 and August 31, 2014.

Fly.com helps their customers by scouring major U.S. airlines, international carriers and online travel sites to find the best deals based on their preferences such as number of stops and departure times. Fly.com refers users to other websites for direct booking.

New routes and additional frequencies from top U.S. airlines will allow even more travelers to be just a few hours away from paradise. Delta will expand routes to Cancun from 13 U.S. cities on December 20; Alaska Airlines will bring the first one-way flight from Seattle, a previously untapped market, starting November 6 (customers can start purchasing their tickets on May 9); and Southwest Airlines will commence flights from Atlanta, Washington DC, and Milwaukee on August 10.

“In the summer of 2013, Cancun welcomed close to 2 million travelers, 619,798 from the United States, and 48,075 from Canada” said Jesus Almaguer, CEO of the Cancun CVB. “With these recent announcements from Orbitz and Fly.com, we expect to surpass those numbers this summer.”