When I'm Not Trip Styling :: Home

[trip style = life at home]

Because Trip Styler is all about travel lifestyle, I don't talk about my life at home very often. In fact, I'm not sure I've ever gone into much my detail about the place where my suitcases take up too much space...

My HQ is a high-rise in Vancouver. Our "lock and leave" lifestyle puts us in a condo in the greenest development in North America located smack-dab in the city {so we can be close to cool shops and restaurants, as well as maintain the walking lifestyle urban life encourages}. 

As the little stylers get bigger, I'm not sure where we'll live; however, moi and Mr. Trip Styler are committed to an abode in or near the city that's not too far from YVR Airport. P-r-i-o-r-i-t-i-e-s. 

Cue Trip Styler home edition, our compact casa:

Living: Soft surfaces + rounded edges = good for little stylers and stress-free for big stylers 

Living: Soft surfaces + rounded edges = good for little stylers and stress-free for big stylers 

Vancouver views

Vancouver views

Oh, hey there 

Oh, hey there 

Kitchen, complete with baby teething toys

Kitchen, complete with baby teething toys

Console in our entranceway dressed with a vintage Hawaii plaque from Mr. Trip Styler's grandparents, and a retro vase from my grandma

Console in our entranceway dressed with a vintage Hawaii plaque from Mr. Trip Styler's grandparents, and a retro vase from my grandma

Blue Styler's room

Blue Styler's room

"Larry" the friendly shark, and a tall-ship kite we purchased in Bali, hanging above Blue Styler's bed

"Larry" the friendly shark, and a tall-ship kite we purchased in Bali, hanging above Blue Styler's bed

Les Trip Stylers, circa 2005 {Jamaica}

Les Trip Stylers, circa 2005 {Jamaica}

Our bedroom, complete with a Trip Styler Store Mexican throw and artwork my gram painted in the '50s at art school in California

Our bedroom, complete with a Trip Styler Store Mexican throw and artwork my gram painted in the '50s at art school in California

Pink Styler's pad

Pink Styler's pad

Turkeys are pink, right? :)

Turkeys are pink, right? :)

[photos by @tripstyler]

Creating Home Comforts On The Road

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[trip style = any]

Over the past few months something strange has happened: On a few occasions, Blue Styler {now a toddler} has reminded us of his love for home, literally saying "go home" when we're out for awhile. This caught me off-guard for a number of reasons, namely because he's n-e-v-e-r longed for home while we're traveling. Not once. 

When we're on the road we try very hard to create the comforts of home and routine {while at the same time enjoying our destination and attempting to bring up flexible children}. I've never counted the number of different hotel rooms and cribs Blue Styler has slept in since he was 7 weeks old, but I've lost track—maybe 70? 

Routine
When he was a baby, creating the comforts of home while traveling was simple. He was so little that all he needed was milk, swaddle blankets and a crib. Now that he's a toddler, he's started to appreciate the comforts of home and routine. Whether we're in MexicoHawaii or Italy, we've learned to keep his eating, nap and bedtime schedule similar to what it is at home, and adjust to the time zone as soon as possible. Sure, it takes a few days to get his {and our} rhythms sorted, but generally he always falls back to his 7pm bedtime no matter where we are in the world. {We've done this method with Pink Styler, too, and she's adjusted well.}

Creature Comforts
In addition to routine, we also create "home" on the road by toting a few essential creature comforts for him: 
- Pillow {To save space we just bring the pillow case and stuff it with a hand towel}
- Sleep sack and sleeper
- Water bottle
- Stars- and moon-projecting nightlight
- One of his fave stuffed animals
- Two of his books du moment
- Soother {Yep, so "soo" me that he still has one}
- Small toys he's partial to, right now, his cars

How do you create comfort on the road? For me, it's my go-to toiletries and my iPhone {so I can communicate with people}, as well as my "routine" of regular exercise. After all, without these things, I long for home, too.

[Photos by @tripstyler]

In Praise of Puakea

puakea ranch review

[trip style = sun + food]

Editor's Note: Photos below.

There's a grocery store down the road from Puakea Rancha stylish, salt-of-the-earth escape on the Island of Hawaiibut you won't peruse the aisles more than once because the farm-stay's fertile grounds turn every day into gourmet. 

Set on a 33-acre plot gently cascading down the northwestern tip of Hawaii's biggest isle, Puakea Ranch begs you to live off the land. The "house" chickens lay eggs daily; fruit trees rise at every turn; and the garden's produce is fit for a chef. And then there's Angus, the bandana-wearing pup-come-site-savant who is keen to show off his idyllic habitat {especially when the task relates to food}. 

With Angus as our guide, we found many of the fruit trees and lived off the landan inclusion when you stay in any of the four restored 1940s cottages situated in quiet corners of the ranch. Each day, when the sun came up, we'd brew Kona coffee, throw on the same clothes as the day beforethe place is cool but not pretentiousand saunter down to the chicken coop to see what how many eggs had hatched.

Thankfully, Blue Styler was so distracted by his new BFF, Angus, we'd swipe the eggs before he could reach {and crack} them, and place them into our basket, filled with papaya, coconut, limes and mangoes we gathered in the brief walk from our cottage to the coop. This was breakfast along with some crusty bread from the nearby town of Hawi.  

As a traveler and writer who relishes in places where chic meets unique and au courant meets authentic, Puakea has been on my radar since I started Trip Styler in 2009. Due to its unique grounds and well-groomed guest experience, it's the kind of stay that makes you want to break out into song à la Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music.

"I developed Puakea because I wanted an honest-to-goodness place to vacation with attention to detail; when I couldn't find it, I developed it," Christie, Puakea's owner and visionary told me over coffee. "At first, the cottages were deemed tear-downs," she recalled, which is hard to believe given they each look like they could occupy the cover of any leading travel magazine. Three years later, she proved that derelict should not be overlooked: Each bungalow now holds court on the State's Historic Register, a stud-to-style undertaking taking three years of planning and development, as well as a hands-on building crew who lived onsite in safari tents. 

To say Puakea is labor of love is an understatement. Original hardwood floors grace each abode. And the shingles sheltering each cottage? They were taken off, re-stained and hung on clotheslines to dry before being slotted back into place. Every window, piece of wood, and stud has a story, including the boot-kick in the doorway of Cowboy House, an indentation used by the house's original inhabitants to remove the dirt from their boots after a long day in the fields.

Speaking of cowboys, another hint at the ranch's history is the Architectural Digest-gorgeous bathhouses outside of every stay. Once housing tubs for the wranglers and workers to soak in after a hard day on the range, the owner resurrected the washhouses with wow-factor fixtures such as an antique copper soaking tub for two or a Japanese furo bath, and wood-slab counters.

When you're not making friends with the pigs and her piglets, wondering if you're in a dream as white horses gallop past you, or picking mangoes from the trees, there's the lava rock-rimmed swimming ponds with leafy views peering over the Pacific. Taking a dip is the perfect way to end the day before you head back to the garden to pick up some swiss chard and tomatoes to toast your gourmet vacay. Can I get an Amen? 

Details
+Yoshi's House: Two bedrooms {sleeps six} with its own swimming pond + wraparound lanai overlooking the ocean.
+Cowboy House: Three bedrooms {sleeps six} with private hot tub + shared swimming pond.
+James' Cottage: Large studio-suite {sleeps two} with private hot tub + shared swimming pond.
+Miles Away: Two bedrooms {sleeps four} with private dipping pool.
-->Included in each cottage: Washer/Dryer, kitchens, BBQs; as well use of pools, fruit from trees, veggies from garden, eggs from coop, and toys from the Toy Box room.

The welcoming committee 

The welcoming committee 

The communal swimming pond

The communal swimming pond

The tree-lined path to Yoshi's House

The tree-lined path to Yoshi's House

Yoshi's House entry {where we stayed}

Yoshi's House entry {where we stayed}

Yoshi's House interior

Yoshi's House interior

Checking out the just-picked lime plucked from a tree outside our cottage

Checking out the just-picked lime plucked from a tree outside our cottage

Heading out to pick veggies from the garden

Heading out to pick veggies from the garden

The garden

The garden

Photoshoot-ready tree

Photoshoot-ready tree

Blue Styler meeting one of the little chicks

Blue Styler meeting one of the little chicks

Even the chick and chicken coop is beautiful

Even the chick and chicken coop is beautiful

Toy Box playroom 

Toy Box playroom 

Blue Styler playing with a vintage Tonka dump truck {Mr. Trip Styler used to have one...!} from the Toy Box

Blue Styler playing with a vintage Tonka dump truck {Mr. Trip Styler used to have one...!} from the Toy Box

Our familia hanging in Puakea's upcountry Hawaiian paradise 

Our familia hanging in Puakea's upcountry Hawaiian paradise 

[photos by @tripstyler, taken while as a guest of the rancha place I'll return to yearly. Mark my words.]

9 Essentials for Trip Styling with Tykes

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[trip style = any]

I interrupt my regular TS programming to bring you a little ditty about the bare necessities for traveling light with little stylers {something many people have asked me about given we mostly travel with carry-ons}. 

Trip styling around the globe with and without tykes in tow, I've learned a thing or two about what and how to pack. Case in point: In the past two years we've only checked a bag once in 50-or-so flights. Here are the essentials that allow us to travel light with tots: 

1. Infant Car Seat + Stroller Combo
Our infant car seat and travel stroller set has logged a bazillion miles. The set is based on an easy-fold umbrella stroller capable of holding our infant car seat for easy-breezy handling. Word to the wise: If you plan on traveling more than once a year, don't bring your at-home stroller on the road. My travel stroller has been punctured and damaged more times than I can count, and if these nicks and pricks happened to my everyday stroller, I'd be an angry styler.  

Trip Styler Tip 1: Use your stroller as a high chair if your hotel, restaurant or vacay rental doesn't have one.

Trip Styler Tip 2: Lots of baby-toting travelers swear by baby slings/carriers; they aren't my fave because I have a weak back, though I find their hands-free flex helpful for airports and exploring.

2. Diapers + Wipes + Creams
I've purchased diapers all over the world, so I typically bring a starter pack and buy more when I arrive, but diaper cream and wipes are the TWO things I don't mess with. Bring MORE than you think you'll need of your fave cream {mine is Desitin} and baby wipes, and don't forget yeast cream for your baby's bumespecially if you're going somewhere hot, as it's hard to explain to a pharmacist that your little one has blisters on their bum IN ANOTHER LANGUAGE. 

3. Meds
For teething, fevers, colds, and anything else that afflicts little ones, pack a medi-case with items your child might need, for example: Tylenol, Benadryl, teething gel, eye drops...whatever you have used in the past, bring along just in case.

4. Scarf/Burp Blankets
The amount of times I've been spat-up on in-transit is laughable, so I always wear a beautiful and easy-wash scarf that can double as a baby burp cloth. Also, I never leave home without a baby swaddle-blanket for, well, everything, think: wipe mouth, clean up spit-up, feeding shield, etc....

5. BIG Purse {FORGET the ugly diaper bag}
I'm NOT a fan of diaper bags, which is a bold statement considering I have two small stylers in diapers! To save space and maintain a hint of style, I place my diaper bag {a mini football-sized cosmetics case} into my purse. After all, it's not like there's room in lavatories for a giant diaper bag anyway. Plus, a big purse is way more chic than a bulky diaper bag.   

6. Diaper Baggies
When Blue Styler was born my friend Lauren gave me a bunch of travel diaper baggies, which have saved my nose and the noses of many others from eau-de-diaper. Buy the bio-degradable version to contain diaper-scent in your hotel room {between cleaning} or changes on the go.   

7. Extra Outfits
The amount of times I've had fluids of all sorts on me while trip styling with small ones is laughable, including the time Pink Styler had such an up-the-back explosion that the flight attendant thought I'd spilled coffee on her back {um, NO, it was something else which I had to change...during turbulence in a lavatory without a changing table}. All this is to say: ALWAYS tote an extra outfit for every person in your pack to avoid wardrobe mishaps.

8. Pack 'n Play // Travel Crib
Most hotels have cribs, but if you're traveling to see friends or staying in a vacation rental, you'll need a travel crib or a pack 'n play. Over the past few years, we've brought both. {Our ultra-compact travel crib fits into our carry-ons, while less-compact versions can typically be checked with no extra charge}. From a packing-light perspective, it's easiest NOT to tote a crib, so always check with your accommodation of choice about their crib type and availability. A few months ago we went to Sweden and even though we were staying in an Airbnb, our gracious hosts purchased a pack 'n play-style crib for us to use. 

9. Baby Monitor App
Finally, the most important item, to moi, doesn't even take up space in my suitcase! Enter the Cloud Baby Monitor app, a little piece of digital wizardry my friend Caitlin told me about two years ago. Best $3.99 I've EVER spent. The app connects to iPhones/iPads/Macs via WiFi turning two units into a baby monitor with sound and video monitoring, as well as music and white noise. G e n i u s. If you want to peek on your baby at night via the app, it does not have night vision; however, you can use the iPhone's flashlight to illuminate baby for a quick check-in {I don't use this feature often, but it's nice to have}. Finally, this app is a battery-suck; therefore, when using its functions, connect your device to a power source. 

Related
Mexico with Familia
One and Done
Baby Styler's First Trip
Introducing Pink Styler  
Italy: Baby Styler Edition
Cruising with Disney
Travel Beauty :: Baby Edition

[photo by @tripstyler]

Mexico with Familia

Mexico with family + punta mita

[trip style = luxury + steal + beach + sun]

Ah, Mexico. Blessed with more than 450 beaches stretched over 6,000 miles of coastline, the southern part of North America is one of my trip styling faves.  

Almost every January since I've been hitched to Mr. Trip Styler, we've taken a trip to kick off the New Year. This year we started 2017 on an o note playing on the beach, eating guacamole {at every meal} and sipping cervesas in Riviera Nayarit with the little stylers AND Ama and Papa Styler!

Here's a snapshot of our tiempo en Mexico

View over Playa Las Destiladeras, a gorgeous, mile-long swath of sand that's perfect for walking, or running after your toddler. Blue Styler was SO elated be playing at la playa, he spontaneously broke out in song {Jingle Bells, btw} every day his feet touched the sand.

View over Playa Las Destiladeras, a gorgeous, mile-long swath of sand that's perfect for walking, or running after your toddler. Blue Styler was SO elated be playing at la playa, he spontaneously broke out in song {Jingle Bells, btw} every day his feet touched the sand.

Daily "diet" {all of which was made, chopped and mashed by hand}.

Daily "diet" {all of which was made, chopped and mashed by hand}.

Palapa vibes at our first hotel, Rancho Banderas, a 48-room, all-suite, beachfront stay where palm trees merge with practical amenities in '90s-styled glory. {Mr. Trip Styler and I feel Rancho is rare gem even though it's not chocolate-on-your-pillow fancy or design-focused.} Here, one main dining room overlooks the Pacific Ocean, and at mealtimes you can choose to do all your eating in the dining room, pool or beach via a "meal plan" option, or do your own thing.

Palapa vibes at our first hotel, Rancho Banderas, a 48-room, all-suite, beachfront stay where palm trees merge with practical amenities in '90s-styled glory. {Mr. Trip Styler and I feel Rancho is rare gem even though it's not chocolate-on-your-pillow fancy or design-focused.} Here, one main dining room overlooks the Pacific Ocean, and at mealtimes you can choose to do all your eating in the dining room, pool or beach via a "meal plan" option, or do your own thing.

Blue styler with Ama and Papa Styler. 

Blue styler with Ama and Papa Styler. 

Our version {these days} of a family photo. Perfect in its imperfection. 

Our version {these days} of a family photo. Perfect in its imperfection

Mr. Trip Styler and Pink Styler enjoying my favorite time of day: The golden hour before sunset when the sun embraces you in hug-like warmth.

Mr. Trip Styler and Pink Styler enjoying my favorite time of day: The golden hour before sunset when the sun embraces you in hug-like warmth.

Just down the beach: The W Punta de Mita, opened in mid-2016 and dripping in all kinds of gorgeous. {This is where I'd like to escape for a quick trip with Mr. Trip Styler.} 

Just down the beach: The W Punta de Mita, opened in mid-2016 and dripping in all kinds of gorgeous. {This is where I'd like to escape for a quick trip with Mr. Trip Styler.} 

Beach walk with my main man, while the kiddos spend time with Ama and Papa Styler. 

Beach walk with my main man, while the kiddos spend time with Ama and Papa Styler. 

Playing airplane with Pink Styler.

Playing airplane with Pink Styler.

Trying to outrun the waves with Blue Styler.

Trying to outrun the waves with Blue Styler.

The second week we stayed at another all-suite resort closer to Puerto Vallarta. Our three-bedroom room was more than enough space for all of us, but on the last night we were upgraded to a villa with its own palapa and plunge pool. 

The second week we stayed at another all-suite resort closer to Puerto Vallarta. Our three-bedroom room was more than enough space for all of us, but on the last night we were upgraded to a villa with its own palapa and plunge pool. 

Pool por uno, por favor.

Pool por uno, por favor.

Golden hour view of Playa Las Destiladeras. The amount of people you see in this shot was part of this beach's perfection: Busy enough so you're not worried about safety, yet deserted enough that you have space and serenity. 

Golden hour view of Playa Las Destiladeras. The amount of people you see in this shot was part of this beach's perfection: Busy enough so you're not worried about safety, yet deserted enough that you have space and serenity. 

This photo has NOT been intensified; the sunsets in the Riviera Nayarit are this shade of red almost every night. Fun fact: Another locale sunsets are this deeply hued and dramatic is on the Island of Hawaii, which is along the same latitude where distinct markers such as clear air and low light make for a unique viewing plane.

This photo has NOT been intensified; the sunsets in the Riviera Nayarit are this shade of red almost every night. Fun fact: Another locale sunsets are this deeply hued and dramatic is on the Island of Hawaii, which is along the same latitude where distinct markers such as clear air and low light make for a unique viewing plane.