On Break-Ups + the Magic of Micro-Journaling

travel micro-journaling

[trip style = any]

For most of my teenage years and early-twenties, I had an on-again, off-again relationship with my diary. Blank pages would get marked up with everything from what I wore to the Sr. Formal {a floor-length teal-green dress, BTW}, who I had a crush on at summer camp, or the eye-popping sunset I experienced atop the Eiffel Tower when I traveled to Paris solo.  

Then, one day, enough was enough. Overwhelmed by the time investment of journaling every detail of my day, I broke up with my diary. For 15 years we ignored each other. But, I missed her blank pages, providing a place where I could look at my life from an airplane {aka "bird's eye view"} perspective.  

So, we got back together, but in a win-win kinda way. "Dear diary" version 2017 is less long-form and more short-story, less time-intensive and more efficient.

Enter the micro-journal, something I'm attempting to do at home AND on the road. Otherwise, life passes me by faster than a supersonic jet. Without its simple day-by-day bullet points I would forget make-me-smile details like watching baby turtles hatch on the beach in the Great Barrier Reef with Mr. Trip Styler, or seeing Blue Styler take his first steps on a Disney Cruise.

Memories fade, but something my 96-year-old grandpa has taught me is: The joys of yesterday or yesteryear retain their clarity with a few {micro-journal} prompts. Try it. Just three bullet points a day.   

PS - If this post were micro-journal-style, I wouldn't have burnt the quinoa I was cooking while writing this :)  

[photo by @tripstyler]

That Travel Meal :: 5-Ingredient Sour Cream Ice Cream

5-ingredient sour cream ice cream

[trip style = food + wine]

Making, eating AND writing about this sweet AND savory ice cream has been on my to-do list for almost three years. It's that simple, silky and satisfying. 

I originally came across sour cream ice cream in Araxi restaurant at Cornucopia {Whistler's celebration of food + drink} during a seven-course food and wine pairing meal. Everything about the harvest-fresh menu was memorable, yet strangely, the dish that made my taste buds dance was an accompaniment. 

The cool treat became a topic of conversation, and I learned from the veteran food and cookbook author sitting next to me how easy sour cream ice cream is to make—seriously, prep takes five minutes! 

I've spent the last two weeks researching and tweaking this Trip Styler recipe to mimic what I tasted three years ago. Here is the delicious result for the latest "bite" in our That Travel Meal series. Bon Appétit!

Sour Cream Ice Cream Recipe {serves 6}
- 2 cups sour cream
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1 cup sugar
- Juice from half a lemon OR 1/3 a grapefruit
- Pinch of Maldon Sea Salt 

Instructions
Whisk sour cream and half-and-half together. Add in sugar and lemon. Blend well. Pour mixture into your ice cream maker and churn for 25-30 minutes. Serve and top with a pinch of sea salt or a fresh basil leaf. Store, sealed, in the freezer for up to three days.  

Splurgy Stays in the Hawaiian Islands

luxury hotels in the hawaiian islands where to splurge

[trip style = luxury + sun]

Over my trip styling tenure, I've had the pleasure of putting on my modern muumuu and jumping aboard the pineapple express more times than I can count. And, if I'm going to splurge, Hawaii is my go-to destination to add a few extra stars to my stays given its sure-thing weather, palm tree perfection, rock star-status hotels, and legacy of curated escape.

When I go, sometimes I do a quick, three-day getaway to a edited abode; other times I save to splurge, and set aside the last few nights for a chi-chi stay.

With this, here are a few posh pins to consider placing on your Hawaii map. Aloha!

mauna lani hawaii

THE ISLAND OF HAWAII: Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows
Without naming names, let’s just say that a number of travelers—the types who have private jets—touch down at Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows regularly. While the hotel has numerous rooms and suites fit for fabulous frequent fliers, the Bungalows provide that extra dose of wow-factor with their 2,700-square-feet of living space sprawled across two bedrooms, two master baths {complete with TOTO Toilets, and rain showers cascading into a tropical garden}, a kitchen, and a wet bar. Couple this with a private pool and jacuzzi, and sunset views over the Pacific, and you may want to move in {or become BFFs with a private jet owner}.

Trip Styler tip: Want a taste of upcountry life? Don't miss the ultra-authentic Aloha found at Puakea Ranch {reviewed here}, a four-cottage farm stay gorgeous enough to grace the cover of any travel mag {and a favorite stays in all my trip styling days}.

fs maui

MAUI: Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
As a regular stop on celebs’ travel itineraries—every time I go I spot at least one member of Hollywood royalty—the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea is a staple stay for those who like the finer things in life: haute-couture art, chic poolside treats, customizable beds, and the option to “posh” your drinks {insider tip: Add bubbles to put some sparkle in your “spirit”}, and suites with a personal assistant. In a meticulously planned move, the property just “poshed” itself transforming everything from the presidential suites to the pool cabanas to an exclusive place to see, be seen—and be unseen—on the Wailea coastline.   

LANAI: Four Seasons Resort Lanai
Dear, Fellow luxury lovers, don't walk, R-U-N to the Four Seasons Resort Lanai, an off-the-beaten-path hideaway catering to those who want to explore Hawaii’s private island paradise in style {spoiler alert: It’s only a 35-minute ferry from Maui}. Like its luxe sibling in Maui, this Four Seasons also underwent a recent multimillion dollar renovation upgrading every fit and finish to it-status. Case in point: Their pool is actually a lagoon, their room keys are actually waterproof wearables (so you don’t lose your key while playing in the waves), and their restaurant, NOBU LANAI, is actually the world’s only NOBU to source greens from its own on-site garden. {Fun fact: Not that he'll remember this, but NOBU LANAI is where we celebrated Blue Styler's 6-month birthday. He wore a blazer with a pocket square for the occasion.}

halekulani

OAHU: Halekulani
As one of the Aloha State’s most sought-after stays since 1907, this Waikiki legend offers a throwback to the warm and welcoming hospitality that has made the tropical paradise famous (in addition to the gorgeous beaches, that is). Inside the 453-room hotel, Halekulani‘s rooms are beautifully decorated with plush white-on-white textures to highlight the technicolor shoreline meeting each guest’s gaze. At the cusp of this coastline, don’t miss House Without A Key, the hotel’s outdoor restaurant preserving a time-honored tradition: cocktails, live music, and hula under their century-old Kiawe tree. Visit at the day’s end to drink in one of Hawaii’s most dreamy scenes with a Mai Tai in-hand.

Trip Styler Tip: If pairing Aloha and ah-mazing design is more your thang, don't miss The Modern Honolulu.

koa kea resort

KAUAI: Ko`a Kea Hotel & Resort
With 121 rooms, this boutique-style hotel recalls retro Hawaii with its tiki architecture and modern Hawaii with its upscale amenities (think: In-room Nespresso). Located on the sunny South shore of the Garden Isle, Ko`a Kea Hotel & Resort is the island’s closest hotel to the ocean, and ups its own ante brining the surf to turf with its saltwater pool. Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, beeline for the hotel’s Red Salt restaurant to nosh on local favorites: macadamia nut- and banana-topped topped Belgian waffles and lemon-pineapple soufflé pancakes to get some Vitamin T (tropical) before you even hit the beach!

Trip Styler Tip: Get money-smart about splurging on hotels in Hawaii. Many of the above resorts offer fourth-night-free promotions in shoulder season, think: Sept-Nov and April-June.

[All photos courtesy of hotels mentioned. Lead photo of Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows’ pool. This piece is a variation of an article I recently wrote for the Expedia Viewfinder Travel Blog.]

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

DSC00623.jpg

[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]