Harry Potter World & Grinchmas at Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood has a lot of celebrities at Christmas time: Harry Potter, The Grinch, Jurassic Park Dinosaurs… and I spent the day visiting them all and filming on my GoPro! Harry Potter World just opened earlier in 2016 so I spent a magical day checking out Hogwarts, Hogsmeade, the rides, the foods, the wands and the Butterbeer!

And since it was Christmas season, they even had Who-Ville, with the Grinch, the famous Who Christmas Tree and many Who’s walking about, ready to speak with you.
We even snuck in a Jurassic Park ride!
I hope this GoPro vlog guide helps you make the most of your trip to Universal! Tip: Don’t bother with the butterbeer!

Glamping & Wilderness Estates at The Resort at Paws Up

Luxury camping, or “glamping,” was born at The Resort at Paws Up. These tents have full bathrooms, full beds and stylishly rustic touches with decks. Depending on the camp you choose, you could have river or mountain views. I enjoyed a tour of the River Camp and dinner in their pavilion, to the tune the eagles and the calm stream.
I stayed in a Wilderness Estate, which is a luxury on a whole other level. With a giant fireplace and open-air common room, a lofted living room, outdoor grill and hot tub, these private residences make you feel like you are living in Montana. Each stunning and unique bedroom has it’s own bathroom along with a jacuzzi. Lucky for me, mine had incredible views of the meadows beyond.

Let me know what you think!

For more information, check out www.pawsup.com

My Winter Bucket List for 2017

I grew up on the rocky, often icy slopes of Vermont so skiing was naturally a big part of my winter life. I now live in Santa Monica, where I’ve traded my ski boots for flip flops, and I find my snowy escapades fewer and far between. As the temperatures start to drop (to a chilly 65 degrees) I find my mind wandering to higher elevations. I crave the sound of skis carving down a slope, the frosty air rushing against my face as I zip by snow covered trees and dozing off to the tune of a crackling fire. It is time to head to the mountains.

With my sights set on Northern adventures, I’ve come up with a bucket list of my top winter experiences for 2017. The catch? They are all experiences that I’ve never done before. To make this list, I’ve perused some of the most well known resorts out West, looking closely mountain resorts within a short flight from LAX. My standards are high–the mountain needs to have great food, awesome slopes, noteworthy hotels and a charming village, in addition to offering me something unexpected and new. Take a look at this list and let me know if you’d like to do any of these too!

Learn to Snowboard (& get a massage after!)

Vail, Colorado

I tried snowboarding when I was around 14 years old. My teacher was my friend Sonia, a naturally athletic girl, who made it look so easy. To my surprise, I wasn’t all that bad for the first few runs. Then… I fell. And after falling once, I continued to fall, over and over again. I was so sore after that first day, I decided that I’d prefer my own two skis. Now, after all these years, I’m ready to tackle it again. I think I’d like to learn at Vail, mostly because I’ll be in need of the Après-Sport Therapeutic Massage from The Lodge at Vail immediately after.


Ski at Night

Keystone, Colorado

First tracks on trail in the morning, the afternoon sun glinting off the snow, the mandatory hot chocolate breaks to warm up by a fire–these are a few of my favorite things–about skiing during the day. Night will bring a whole new atmosphere. I’m curious to see how the trails change, the mountain changes and my experience changes by skiing under a dark sky. Keystone offers skiing until 9pm and with sun setting around 5pm now, that’s a solid 4 hours of trail time. Bonus: watching sunset while up on mountain must be magical.

Snowshoe under the Stars

Northstar, California

Another evening event on my list, but this slower paced activity will have my eyes turned up instead of down. A Stargazing Snowshoe tour at Northstar sounds like my ideal way to appreciate nature. It combines a bit of exercise with majestic woodland trails –something most people don’t usually do at night. And all of this is under a blanket of winter stars.

BC-140 Snowshoe Hero 263 .jpg

Take a Sleigh to a Yurt

Park City, Utah

I’ve never been in a yurt, let alone one at 8700 feet, so clearly I am adding this Park City dinner experience my bucket list. The Viking Yurt, heated only by a woodstove, serves up a gourmet meal to 40 people each night at wooden tables holding pewter tableware. And just getting there sounds like half the fun! You hop in a heated sleigh and a snowcat pulls groups up the 1800 feet elevation. Of course, being greeted with Glogg, live piano tunes and a serious menu of alpine specialities, (braised short ribs with lingonberry sauce!) is the kirsch on top of this memorable night.

Snowball fight!

Snowball fight!

Fat Bike on Snow

Breckenridge, Colorado

Biking is one of my favorite activities–mountain biking, road biking, beach biking–I love them all. However, I’ve never attempted hurtling down a snow-packed trail on a bike! The ‘fat bike’ trend is exploding all over the globe–it is popular in the Swiss alps, where I had a blast on a similar monster scooter during the summer. The literally fat-wheeled bikes make it possible for even beginners like myself to trek down mountain trails, over rocks, holes and other terrain that would make you wary on a regular bike. In Breckenridge, several outfitters like Breck Bike Guides, offer full and half day fat bike tours in winter. From my brief experience, I can say that fat biking is adrenaline pumping to say the list. Now I have to get to Breckenridge to try it on snow!


Aprés Ski like a Rockstar

Heavenly, California

I love a good après ski but apparently Heavenly takes it to a whole new elevation. The Unbuckle Après party at 9150 feet is more Vegas club party than your typical post ski hot toddy. High intensity beats, half priced drinks and the Heavenly Angels all kick this party up a notch–but don’t worry, this party ends at 5:30pm so you won’t be here all night. What I particularly love is the idea of taking the gondola back down to town after sunset.

Brunch with Champagne at 11,000 feet

Keystone, Colorado

Nothing says decadence like champagne for breakfast. At Alpenglow Stube, a AAA Four Diamond restaurant on the top of Keystone, you can sip that champagne while looking out on breathtaking views of North Peak. Dinner is pricier but brunch will run you $56, but it includes a mimosa, extravagant buffet spread as well as soup and indulgent main course.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Vail Resorts. The opinions and text are all mine.


Martha’s Vineyard’s Oldest Hotel: The Kelley House

This historic hotel located in downtown Edgartown feels anything but old. The suites and rooms are classically New England yet modern wit a nautical twist. I loved the pool and the outdoor pool bar area. The Kelley House also has a great restaurant, the Newes from America, which serves up pub-style food and great drinks in a very cozy, local atmosphere.

A Priceless Night with Andy Grammer

“Traveling is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”

Ever since I was a little girl, my focus has been on seeing the world. I’ve dedicated my life to this passion, turning it into not only a career but a way of life. I believe that each trip that I’ve taken–no matter if it was to an exotic international locale or a neighboring town–has taught me something. Even the trips that were difficult–getting lost in Japan, food poisoning on my honeymoon in Thailand, rain every single day in Germany– All of those situations, though not desirable, did teach me about the kindness of strangers, communicating with language barriers, finding creative alternatives and about myself. However, for all those tough travel mishaps, I’ve had 10 times the amount of unexpected good come out of my trips.


I don’t have all the money in the world, but I never, EVER regret the money I spend on travel. Whether it’s a beach getaway, a surprise trip home to see my parents, or an impromptu friends weekend away–every single trip has brings memories I’ll never be able to forget. That’s why the Priceless Experiences campaign with IHG Rewards Club really resonated with me. Though you technically can put a price on travel, you can’t put a price on those special moments that your travel creates.

Practicing my beats

On a quiet Tuesday night in December, I experienced a priceless night with IHG and Mastercard, just down the road from my home. My husband Dave and I were invited to an intimate concert and a meet-and-greet with musical artist Andy Grammer. We were given the VIP treatment with a black car pick up door to door, from our home in Santa Monica over to the Crowne Plaza LAX Hotel, just next to airport. The evening only got better from there.

IHG Rewards Club Priceless Experiences Event with Andy Grammer on Tues., Nov. 29, 2016, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Casey Rodgers/Invision for InterContinental Hotels Group/AP Images)

IHG Rewards Club Priceless Experiences Event with Andy Grammer on Tues., Nov. 29, 2016, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Casey Rodgers/Invision for InterContinental Hotels Group/AP Images)

We started off with a bang with getting to meet Andy and chat briefly. He generously said I looked familiar, which I joked must have been because he watches all my youtube videos (lol). We took a photo with him before he had to go prepare for his concert for our small group.

Dave was starving so straight to the food we went. We sampled hand rolled sushi, made to order tacos, fresh pizzas and more.

Delicious sushi

I was very impressed by the handcrafted cocktails created by famed mixologist Alex Ott. I seek out unique cocktails and I really enjoyed the combinations of the unusual ingredients he used, like tea, superfruits and rose. I even had the chance to get behind the bar and “make” some of these cocktails myself!

Creative Cocktails

Creative Cocktails

The night continued with more of these memorable moments. We made our own custom printed t-shirts, posed in front of a step & repeat for a glamor shots and tasted scoops of my favorite ice cream from the Salt & Straw cart! Note: If you haven’t had Salt & Straw, look them up now and go as soon as you can.

This ice cream deserves the attention!

This ice cream deserves the attention!

Of course, the main event was Andy’s performance. We sat front row and were in the thick of the energy of the music. Andy’s enthusiasm was infectious and I turned around to see the whole room rocking out to his happy beats. He also told us the stories behind the lyrics between songs and he shared a lot of personal anecdotes about life and his start in music which I found to be really humanizing. I knew a few of his hits and liked their positive sounds and catchy choruses. However, I was surprised by how much I liked some of his songs that I’d never heard before.

Front row of Andy Grammer's show

Front row of Andy Grammer’s show

A Tuesday in my hometown was transformed into such an unforgettable evening, filled with surprising, hilarious and tasty moments that I shared with my husband. I think what IHG and Mastercard successfully showed us was that these types of travel experiences, even local ones, can make life richer. Thanks for giving us a #PricelessExperience!

This post was sponsored by IHG Rewards Club Priceless Experiences.

An Island Hotel You Need to See on Martha’s Vineyard

If you’ve ever been to Martha’s Vineyard, you understand how quaint, historical, charming and transportive this little island off of Cape Cod truly is. I’ve been coming since I was a kid and I can definitely say it is on my short list of happy places.
There are a handful of towns and even more places to stay but where you should definitely consider is Edgartown and the Harbor View Hotel. Elegant, classic, and true to the personality of the town, this hotel is a destination on it’s own. An amazing pool, comfortable & spacious rooms and great dining options all contribute to this hotel’s charm. And don’t forget, the best views, in my opinion, are from the Harbor View Hotel’s deck. This prime viewpoint showcases the Harbor Lighthouse better than anywhere else.