You would think after our summer road trip we’d want to take a little break from hotel life for awhile, right? Oh, no. Not us. We almost immediately got the urge for another adventure so we headed out to our beloved Palm Springs. Oh, Palm Springs. How I love your style. If you know me, you know I have a love for all things vintage, and Palm Springs is the best place to catch the vintage vibe. Whenever I look for a hotel I always look for three things: great design, great dining, and pet-friendliness. But when it comes to Palm Springs, a great POOL is a must. Summer temps soar into the 100’s so there is no point to being outside unless there is a pool and drinks. This time we stayed at The Saguaro Palm Springs – a Joie de Vivre hotel. It was my first time staying here but I’ve had it on my mind for awhile, and it has everything on my list of requirements. It was originally built in 1965 and had former lives as a Ramada and a Holiday Inn, but it’s never been as cute as this! The Saguaro opened in early 2012 and has taken on a new life in vibrant technicolor. The rainbow colored palette is the work of Peter Stamberg and Paul Aferiat, of New York-based Stamberg Aferiat Architecture. Each hue is inspired by indigenous flowers of the Colorado Desert and carried throughout the property. And the color continues inside where it’s met with handcrafted Mexican furniture. An interesting contrast that makes sense when you consider the southwestern inspiration. I loved the use of cacti and vintage brownie cameras as decor, further bringing the desert and vintage elements together. It works. The front desk stands out with its bold orange and yellow floral walls. The front desk staff was very helpful and accommodating to us. Great first impression. We were directed to our room on the color coded map and were happy to find self parking was ample and a breeze. Our king suite was spacious, and of course, colorful! The rooms are minimally decorated with only a few coffee table books and retro photography on the wall. The living area had a comfortable pull out sofa, little dining area, dresser, flat screen TV, and a walk out balcony. Oh and a refrigerator to store your drinks and stuff. Very convenient. The bathroom was ORANGE, spacious, and had a good shower. I hate when showers just have that weird, stupid mist that sprays at you and you can’t rinse your hair well, so you have to stick it under the bath faucet…sorry I’m ranting. This shower had none of that! It was delightful. The toiletries by Lather smelled gooooood. Lavender Lime lotion, bamboo lemongrass body wash, yuzu bergamot conditioner, and mint thyme shampoo. I was about to be like “heyyyy, can I have like 27 of each to take home?”, but then I just figured I should just buy them like a regular person. The bathroom has everything you need. My only “meh” is that the tile didn’t do it for me, aesthetically speaking. Hopefully it’s just left over from the Holiday Inn days. Anyway, enough about tile. LOOK ROBES! Hooded ones. The bedroom portion had a work desk, a table, and another wall-mounted TV. And a bed. Duh. Oh man, that bed was super comfy. I hadn’t slept that well in days. A lot of people are picky about room noise, but the room was quiet to me (except when the DJ was pumping jams on Saturday afternoon). It might be because I live in an apartment building on one of the busiest streets in Los Angeles, but I honestly didn’t notice any noise coming from other rooms. Bonus points for having lamps with electrical outlets on the base. I hate having to find a place to plug my phone and laptop in. Extra bonus points for the washable slipcovers on the sofas. That’s a good idea considering the dog friendly policy. WAIT. Let me talk about their super friendly dog policy real quick. No pet fee and they don’t stick you in the crappy rooms. They even included bowls and cute dog things. Mango and Pandie loved watching people at the pool and their hair colors fit right in. Now for the pool. The pool is important. If you don’t have a pool in Palm Springs, what is even the point? The Saguaro has one of the best and it’s open until midnight. There are two hot tubs, if you feel the need to soak. There is also a pool bar that has light snacks and drinks. Helllooooo. But wait, that reminds me. The middle portion of the pool goes to 9ft deep. Normally, I’m excited if any pool goes to even 6 ft deep, but in this case it’s kind of a funny problem. Every weekend they host a pool party (12pm-6pm) with a DJ and the drinks are flowing. Everyone ends up crowding into the shallow areas because they can’t stand and party it up while trying to keep their head above water in the deep end. Just make sure you snag a pool floaty if you can’t snag a spot in the shallow end. Oh, and one more minor observation: while it’s cool they have a DJ (because what pool is a party without one), they really need a better playlist. I enjoy the occasional ironic 90’s jam as much as anyone, but there really needs to be a better mix if they want to attract the crowd I think they do. The property also has a spa, bocci ball court, and daily yoga that I can appreciate but did not partake in. And FREE BIKE RENTALS! Jvee got stung by a bee and it was 106 degrees so we had to cut it short (typical luck), but taking these for a ride around the neighborhood is a blast. Rentals are for two hours at a time. There are two restaurants at the hotel, Tinto and El Jefe by Iron Chef Jose Garces. Tinto was closed during our stay but we had dinner at El Jefe where our server was very sweet and attentive. We ordered the vegetarian queso fundido as our appetizer. I had the fish tacos and loved them. Some of the best cabbage on a fish taco I’ve ever had. Jvee had the carne asada tacos because they were out of the cabrito that he had his heart set on. He enjoyed them. I liked the taco presentation. Very cute. However, I wish the food came out in the right order. My tacos came out, then the queso appetizer, then Jvee’s carne asada tacos. But it all tasted good in the end. You better get THE MARGARITAS. These aren’t watered down chain restaurant margs. I caught a little buzz off of one and the flavor was tops. I recommend the charred pineapple, even though I kind of wished it came with a charred pineapple garnish. Everywhere you look there’s color and it makes you happy! And the views! Maybe it’s the colors. Maybe it’s the tequila. I don’t know, but I’m definitely going back. I highly recommend you take a little visit to The Saguaro, too. And don’t forget to dress the part. Bye until next time.
So Easter is pretty cute, right? There’s adorable spring colors, cute little eggs to hunt for, and candy everywhere. My nana used to make these amazing sugared string Easter egg baskets for me every year. I was obsessed with them and thought she was a magician or something because they were always perfect and sparkly and made with SUGAR. As I got older, she stopped making them, but there is not a year that goes by where I don’t talk about about her awesome Easter creations.
This year I decided I would make them and show you guys how it’s done. I texted her to make sure I remembered the steps correctly and she texted back with blurry pictures from the pages of her decades-old crafting notes. They read:
3 cups sugar
1 cup water
Approx. 9 drops of food color for pastel sugar (optional)
3-9 inch balloon
1 spool crochet thread (350 yards)
Lace or ribbon
Acrylic Spray (optional)
“Blow up balloon to approximately 1 foot in length and tie. While holding balloon close to your body, wrap thread firmly, vertically, horizontally, and criss-crossing until you have used the whole spool. Just leave the end of the string tucked or loose, the sugar coating will keep it in place.”
“Mix sugar and hot water. Pour large spoonfuls of the mixture on to the balloon letting mixture run down sides. Mixture is thick and won’t run too fast. Periodically and toward the end, use your hands to spread the mixture over the egg so all the thread gets moistened.”
“Place balloon on the empty cardboard-like spool to dry. Place a plate under the spool to catch drippings.”
“Let dry for about 24 hours. When bottom is still a little soft, pop the balloon with a needle or pin, and sit on counter, the bottom will flatten out. With a pen, mark an opening about 5″ wide and 7″ long. With sharp scissors, carefully cut opening.”
“Spray inside and out with two light coats of clear acrylic spray (to preserve). Decorate with ribbons, bows, flowers, etc. Two rows of lace looks best to cover raw edges of opening.”
That’s it! The sugar mixture dries to becomes a hard, sparkly, crystalized shell.
Decorate your little bunny houses how ever you’d like. I used pastel colored crochet thread and white sugar. I like the look of the raw edge so I kept mine simple and decorated with colorful Easter grass, flowers, a bow, and of course a chocolate bunny and candy inside.
Click here to learn how to make these Sugar String Nests, too.
While thumbing through the millions of catalogues that flood my mailbox this time of year, I noticed a few craftsy decorations being sold for upwards $100 and thought “Whaaaat? These are totally easy DIYs.” These felt Christmas trees are among them. Similar styles are being sold for 10 times what you can spend to make your own and who doesn’t love a Christmas craft? Grab some cookies, turn on a Hallmark movie, and get your glue gun ready. Here’s how you do it.
It’s simple. You’ll need cardboard cones, 1 yd. heavy duty felt, and felt ball thingies (optional: twine or ribbon for garland). Oh and scissors and glue of course.
Glue them on in rows and layer your way up.
Go back through and fill in any empty spots with more leaves. You don’t have to be perfect. In fact the more random, the better!
Decorate them with different colors and sizes of felt balls, buttons, ribbon, twine — whatever you want! Now you’ll have your very own felt trees for a fraction of the price you’ll find them in trendy catalogues and stores. Cute right?