Monday, August 11, 2014

How To Enjoy Napa Valley With Kids

Napa Valley with kids, Napa valley ideas for children, napa valley

First we took our daughter to Paris. Twice. The most recent trip involved wine tastings at Moët et Chandon and Tattinger in Champagne (getting there was a BEATING).

The latest adventure in taking a toddler to "adult" spots? The Napa Valley. Our most recent exploits remind of the famous "baby in a bar" scene from the movie Sweet Home Alabama. 

Regardless. This was my fourth trip to the Napa Valley, the first with the kid. Turns out it was a wonderful, family-friendly experience at every turn.

How to Enjoy Napa Valley With Kids: Where To Stay
Meritage Resort, Napa, Napa Valley Hotels
Meritage Resort
Our friend, Sarah, had arranged for a block of rooms at the Meritage Resort in Napa in celebration of her wedding. This was an outstanding property that had everything on site: kids AND adults-only pools, a bowling alley with casual bar food, an "ultra lounge", a formal restaurant and a coffee bar. The rooms were spacious while the large resort provided opportunities to relax or enjoy more adventurous pursuits such as walking the vineyards behind the property.

Every other time I have visited, I have stayed at the Yountville Inn. It's an ideally situated hotel in quaint downtown Yountville featuring a beautiful pool. It's located next to Bouchon Bakery so you can grab a quick coffee and breakfast in the morning.

How To Enjoy Napa Valley With Kids: Where To Eat 
Chandon Winery Napa Valley
Playing on the lawn at Chandon
We didn't miss many meals on this trip. Although the interesting thing was that we would typically eat a big breakfast, late lunch and forgo dinner because we were so full. I love eating light at night.

We had an exquisite lunch at Chandon's étoile Restaurant on Friday, along with multiple glasses of sparkling wine après lunch.

Chandon Wine Napa Valley, Sparkling Wine
Sparkling wine
We adored picnicking at Oakville Grocery on Saturday. It's truly a Napa Valley must-do. We had a light dinner at Siena Restaurant at our hotel Saturday night. It was delicious! Before Sunday's wedding, we ate at Fish Story in downtown Napa. What a treat.

I've also enjoyed spectacular meals at Brix, Mustard's, Bouchon Bistro, Auberge du Soleil and Ad Hoc. Even an average meal in the Napa Valley is better than most whoopy-do meals elsewhere.

How To Enjoy Napa Valley With Kids: Wineries To Visit
Candidly, we didn't even think twice about bringing our kid to a winery. After formal tasting experiences in France, we felt we could handle anything and so could Jordan.

Peju Winery, Napa Valley Vineyards, Napa with Kids
Coloring at Peju
We visited Clos du Val (which wasn't as great as I recalled), Chandon and Peju wineries, where they gave Jordan coloring books for her to play with while we tasted. The latter was a special touch and perhaps my favorite winery of the trip. We also visited Neyers which is a much more intimate tasting experience. It was simply the three of us and a tasting expert. I recommend it.

In the past I have visited Plumpjack, Joseph Phelps, Nickel & Nickel, HendryAlpha & Omega, Coppola Nieubaum (which is now Inglenook) Truth be told, I know there are more but that's all I can recall.

Getting There
I have flown into Oakland, San Jose and San Francisco which we did this last time. Each airport has it's own pros and cons. The rental car line at SFO is always a pain.

I have also made my way to the Napa Valley via the Oakland Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge. Traffic was horrendous on the Bay Bridge this time. I have never encountered crazy traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge.

For our Sunday night wedding, we used Napa Valley Nanny to watch Jordan. What a treat! The service was thorough in pre-screening us to make sure they knew everything they needed to know about Jordan. Our nanny for the night, Jasmine, was superb. I highly recommend them.

Getting Around
We rented a car at SFO. There's an inherent danger of driving after too many tastings in the wine country. We were sure not to drink too much and spit our wine when necessary as not to endanger ourselves (or at least my husband was cognizant of that).

You can hire a car in the wine country or even hire a person to drive your car. My friends used Concierge of the Valley and raved about the experience.

The Takeaway 
Napa with Kids

Don't be afraid to explore the wine country as a family. Wineries are accommodating and open to families.

Be realistic, though. You're not going to have a five-wineries-in-one-day experience you might have had previously. (Tweet this). You'll have to slow down the pace a bit. If you do want to blow and go, a nanny service is always an option.

Your Turn
What's the most kid-unfriendly you have taken your little one? Any places you wish to take your kids but are worried about? Share your thoughts in the comments section.


The Surprising Secret To Burning Fat Fast

best exercise for fast loss, how to lose fat fast

After an indulgent trip to California, I am all about trying to burn some extra heft. While no amount of exercise will make up for a terrible diet, you can maximize your workouts so that you burn fat faster most fat possible in the time you have allotted to exercise.

What's interesting is that you don't have to kill yourself. Turns out, exercising at a perceived exertion rate of 5-7, on a scale of 1-10, is the prime fat burning zone. (Tweet this).

It's Hip To Be "All In" But Bill Parcells Was The Trendsetter For This NFL Cliché

Poker Club, Poker T-Shirt
Dallas Poker Club
It might be hip to be "all in" in the NFL but former Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells was a trendsetter when it comes to poker analogies in the NFL.

The Wall Street Journal notes that the Ravens, Raiders and Seahawks are "all in", an unofficial slogan to signify that every member of the team and coaching staff is completely committed to winning.

The article cites NFL executives who trace the genesis "of the cliché to the New York Giants, who used it in their late 2011 playoff run which ended with a Super Bowl title. Within a year, the Jacksonville Jaguars had adopted it as a marketing slogan."

It goes back further than that.

Anyone who covered the Cowboys when Bill Parcells coached the team knows that in 2006 the head coach had players wearing t-shirts with the phrase "Who's All In?" featuring a set of hands pushing a pile of pokers chips on the chest.  Blasts from the past like Terrell Owens, Mike Vanderjagt and Drew Bledsoe all sported the catchy T's.

Of course, these were the pre-Twitter & Instagram days so, natch, there's not a pic of the t-shirts to be found.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Chrissy Teigen Rocks Her First Pitch At Dodgers Stadium

Swimsuit model Chrissy Teigen threw out the first pitch at Dodgers Stadium Tuesday night prior to the Angels/Dodgers game. She did a great job....and enjoyed every minute of it.

The Dodgers personalized her jersey with "Nugz" on the back of it.

Turns out she WAS tanked, according to her Twitter feed.

She tweeted that earlier in the day. Lord knows it's easy to get delightfully tipsy at Dodger Stadium, as I have enjoyed an adult beverage or twelve at games there myself while my daughter plays coy with Tommy Lasorda.

So there you have it. Chrissy Teigen: a bon vivant supermodel with a pretty damn good arm.

That's the definition of a sports girl!


Monday, August 4, 2014

How To Buy Designer Purses And Accessories For Less

Gucci bags for less, Chanel purse for less, Louis Vuitton Purse for less
 From L to R: Hermés H Bracelet | Louis Vuitton Capucines | Chanel Jumbo 2.55  | Celine Pony Hair Luggage Bag | Gucci Jackie Bucket Bag | Dior Quilted Shoulder Bag

I rarely buy luxury designer goods brand new and at their full retail price, except when it's an item I will likely sell in the future such as my Louis Vuitton Neverfull (you can read all about that here). I am a consignment-shopping queen because it's a great way to purchase investment-quality designer pieces at a lower price.

In fact, I scout consignment stores when I travel which led to my discovery of an amazing vintage store in Paris, as well as the better-known Didier Ludot. In Montecito recently, I fell in love with Mattie and Me consignment store (and a Pucci coat that was out of my price range).

RELATED: 25 Great Bags For Work...At Every Price Point

Authentic Luxury Consignment Retailers
For those times when we're homebound, there is a treasure trove of online luxury consignment shops that sell guaranteed authentic items for less. The "guaranteed authentic" thing is a big deal. These resellers stake their reputation on authenticity and will refund your money if an item is not genuine.
Each of the following reseller's offer an authenticity guarantee. Many times the pieces are brand new.
Luxe for less, designer discount purses and handbags
Louis Vuitton Insolite Wallet
The sites are constantly updated so there is always something new to browse. I like to call it virtual window-shopping. If you see something you adore, you should hop on it because once it's could be gone. I recently missed out on a Hermes scarf (I REALLY wanted this one, was a Paris rooftop scarf) I was coveting on Fashionphile.

You can generally find a lot of bags from Louis VuittonChanelGucci Hermés and Celine. Certain accessories like scarves, jewelry and glasses may be tougher to find. Keep hunting, they usually turn up.

A word on ebay. You can always scout the online auction site. I have even sold some items on there. At the end of the day, especially when it comes to designer accessories, it's a beating. There is a ton of fake merchandise on there.

If you're in the mood to pick up that investment piece for a bit less, buying on consignment from a retailer that guarantees authenticity is the way to go, in my book. These pieces generally last for decades and, if you buy at the right price, you can sometimes make money on them if you decide to consign or resell them.

Scroll Through For Some Of My Favorite Luxe For Less Finds 


What To Wear To The PGA Championship

The PGA Championship is this week at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, KY. As one of golf's major championships, it's a chance to dress up just a bit more than most tournaments. 
What To Wear To A PGA Golf Tournament

To that end, it's still a golf tournament. It's not the Kentucky Derby or a night out. I think "Athletic Chic" is the perfect aesthetic to keep in mind if you're heading to a tournament. 

That's not a limiting concept. You can still wear stylish dresses, cute shorts and tank tops or even something more traditionally considered "golf attire". 
Golf Tournament Do's
  • Bring a small bag. PGA Tour events have a restrictive purse policy. Bags must be smaller than 6"x 6".
  • Wear sunscreen to protect your face, hands, neck and arms. I love Elta MD's or Skin Authority's. Learn more about Elta MD here or Skin Authority here.
  • Wear a hat, if you're so inclined. Not only does it shield your face from the sun, it's also a homage to the Kentucky Derby, the home of fabulous millinery. 
Golf Tournament Don'ts
LOVE these Gucci sandals, just not for a golf tournament.
  • Don't wear hoochie shoes, stilettos or strappy platform sandals with a pointy heel. They'll sink into the grass and make you look like an amateur. Go with wedge heels or a nice espadrille.
  • Don't wear a fanny pack. Seriously. I don't know why I have to reiterate this but I see them repeatedly at golf tournaments. 
  • Don't sport crazy, patterned shirts or things with wild logos on it. The HP Byron Nelson Championship is known for having ladies from local strip clubs walk the course with their clubs' logo emblazoned across the front. That's fine. For them. For you, go a little classier. Save the logo swag for another event. 
  • It bears repeating: DON'T forget about the purse policy. I have friends who have had their bags confiscated. TIP: you can squeeze a malleable bag to get it within the 6-inch rule (about the length of a dollar bill). I have done this a few times to squeeze my Chanel Wallet-on-a-Chain into events.
Browse These PGA Tour-Approved Purses

Shop Golf Tournament Looks


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Rangers Dugout Reporter Emily Jones Shares Her Makeup Secrets

That brutal August heat is here. If you're heading to a Rangers game, keeping your makeup from melting is a legitimate concern (even for some guys I know). Earlier this summer, I shared my secrets for sweatproofing your makeup for Rangers games.

Emily interviewing Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish/Image via

Rangers dugout reporter, Posh Play co-founder and mom to adorable Hattie and Henry, Emily Jones McCoy is a true expert. She sits in the dugout, during 100+ degree day games and manages to look camera-ready during every TV hit for Rangers games on Fox Sports Southwest. She recently shared her makeup and beauty secrets that sports-loving girl can adopt.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
© Gina Miller's Blog | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template by pipdig