Mar 27

ATTENTION: Spring Spa Week Approaching!

Big news!!  The 2012 Spring Spa Week is April 16 – 22! 

What does this mean??  I’ll tell ya!  $50 treatment deals at a number of Atlanta’s best local spas including Exhale Spa, Bella Med Spa & Boutique, Angela Michael Skincare & Spa, and Solera Salon & Med Spa

Check out the deals here: 2012 Spring Spa Week

Book now!  You will not want to miss out on this!  :)

xx, L

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Categories: Deals + Steals,Spa

Jan 19

Exhale True Facial + Anne-Marie Awesomeness!

(Just a little more today re. Exhale.)  You would think that we were getting paid from them or something…  Note: We are NOT, but maybe we should be??  :)

Y’all know how much I heart my second home in Atlanta, Exhale Spa Y’all know.  (And, welcome LK!  So happy you’ve joined!!) 

Well, I had my first facial at Exhale last week and JUST when I thought I couldn’t love it any more there, I fell even more head over heels!

It was the absolute greatest facial.  The greatest!  The one I got was the 60-Minute True Facial w/ a Cool Beam Treatment

Here are the deets:

True Facial: Enliven your skin with our customized facial appropriate for all skin types.  We use a layer of our most coveted mushroom enzyme mask to lift away all dull, tired skin and reveal a fresher, brighter version of you!  Trust that all of your need will be thoroughly addressed in this one hour facial – a true transformation!

Cool Beam Treatment: Monochromatic coherent light penetrates into the dermis sparking a physiological collagenic growth spurt.  This healing therapy inflates fine lines while simultaneously reducing post-surgical inflammation and decreasing hyperpigmentation and cystic acne.

My therapist, Kathryn, was absolutely amazing, too.  I highly, highly recommend getting a facial at Exhale.  My skin has been glowing since and feels like silk!

Also newsworthy at Exhale is…one of my favorite Atlantans + fitness gurus, Anne-Marie Berte, Manager of Guest Experience for the spa.  Do you know her?  Do you know her?  You should!  Y’all have seen me reference her in every single one of my Exhale-related posts, but you guys REALLY need to know how awesome Anne-Marie is! 

anne-marie berte

In addition to all her responsibilities at Exhale, she is also the ambassador for the 100 Women Project, the Lease Luxury Properties lifestyle & wellness concierge, and all around excellent person.  Anne-Marie is really into brand marketing and promotions, and is constantly working to connect people and create relationships and cross promotions for brands.  She has a contagiously positive and uplifting personality – this girl is going places, people!! 

super-fit, A-M!

Stay tuned for more Anne-Marie awesomeness – you are sure to see her around the ATL as the “fit girl blogger” bringing you up to date on the latest and greatest workouts to try, studios, and healthy lifestyle tips!

Love, love, love Exhale + Anne-Marie!  Just the best in 2012. 

xx, L

Exhale Atlanta
Anne-Marie Berte, Manager of Guest Experience: amberte@exhalespa.com

1065 Peachtree Street
Atlanta, GA  30309
404.720.5000
http://www.exhalespa.com/Locations/GAtlanta/Default.aspx

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Categories: Beauty,Exercise,Midtown,Random Musings,Spa,What we're Doing

Nov 10

Ritz Carlton Lodge Weekend (2 of 2): Heaven Found in the Georgia Woods

So, continuing from yesterday… Kevin + I spent Halloween weekend at the Ritz Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation.

As a recap, the Ritz Lodge is located in Northern Georgia, just 75 miles east of Atlanta on the shores of Lake Oconee – Georgia’s second largest lake.  Luxury merges with quintessential Southern hospitality at the stunning 251-room resort.  Nestled in the woods, the Ritz Lodge is surrounded by water on three sides, offering commanding lake views.  Draped in beds of ivy and edged by towering pines, blooming crepe myrtles and colorful caladiums, the five-story main building fronts the glistening lake, while six separate lakeside cottages and a presidential house with four master suites overlooks the Oconee Golf Course.  Lodge guests have full access to a complete gamut of activities and amenities, including a state-of-the-art Spa, tennis, two swimming pools, two full-service marinas, hiking trails and 99 holes of championship-caliber golf.

model view of the lake oconee area

We arrived late on Friday evening, but just in time to have the most delicious dinner at Linger Longer Steakhouse.  We checked in, grabbed another drink at the Lobby Lounge bar, and then headed upstairs to check out our room. 

When we woke up in the morning, we realized that we were on Club Level (holla!).  And, we had a private terrace with an outstanding lakeside view! 

Check out THIS gorgeousness:

ritz carlton lodge

room w/ a view

We spent a significant amount of the morning sitting on our balcony staring at our breathtaking view of Lake Oconee and the Ritz Lodge grounds.  It was the most relaxed I’ve been in a long time.

When our hunger finally got the better of us, we walked over to Club to get some grub (I totally recommend staying on Club Level*) + then we went out exploring. 

*Club Level: The Ritz Carlton Club Level features both deluxe guest rooms and suites, with a spacious lounge and personal concierge and staff, as well as four complimentary food and beverage offerings daily: continental breakfast, a light snack, hors d’oeuvres, and cocktails + evening cordials.  The Club Level is accessible only with a special key.

Just look at how magnificent the property is:

the set up for chiminea dining

heated infinity pool overlooking lake oconee (my favorite part of the whole property)

hot tub

We were overtaken by our beautiful surroundings + so many amazing amenities.  We walked a bit further, and then Kev dropped me off at the Ritz Lodge Spa for my Long Winter’s Nap treatment

The Spa is an adventure in and of itself.  An expansive 26,000 square feet, the Ritz Lodge Spa is adjacent to the hotel and features 19 private treatment rooms, one couples spa suite, four wet treatment rooms – including one hydrotherapy room – male and female relaxation areas with lockers and changing facilities, an indoor lap pool, saunas, steam rooms, whirlpools, a relaxation terrace, a full-service salon + a spa boutique.  Named one of America’s top resort spas by Conde Nast Traveler, this state-of-the-art sanctuary offers more than 90 health and wellness treatments, many of them utilizing ingredients indigenous to the area, such as rosemary, pine, fir and geranium, and extracts gleaned from gemstones such as smithsonite and malachite.

Here’s a peek inside:

spa lobby

spa pool

spa relaxation lounge

It was heavenly, to say the least.

My treatment, the Long Winter’s Nap, was perfect for the chilly October afternoon.  Here’s the description: A blend of essential oils add to this traditional hot stone massage to create a relaxed dream-like state, melting away stress and muscle tension.  Continue the sweet dreams with a nap that enhances the repair process.  Um, yes, I’ll take two!  (Kidding.)  It was SO enjoyable – I definitely recommend.

By the time I left the Spa it was pushing up to the Florida vs. Georgia game, so Kev + I scooted over to Gaby’s by the Lake to stake out seats. 

Gaby’s is a newly-renovated outdoor venue offering sweeping views of Lake Oconee, as well as a full menu of casual favorites and cocktails throughout the day.  Guests are seated at the water’s edge and can catch a spectacular sunset most evenings.  “Come-as-you-are” attire for lunch and dinner.

As soon as we walked in, we fell in love with Gaby’s.  It was so open and casual, and had large TV screens over the bar for us to watch the game.  I’m OBSESSED with Gaby’s chairs – incredibly comfortable and such a cool design!

We ordered beers + the housemade potato chips with bourbon BBQ, blue cheese and Vidalia onion dips.  The bartender also threw in a bowl of boiled peanuts.  We were set.

We met some friendly folks at the bar who were also rooting for the Gators + we became fast friends.  However, Kev couldn’t bear to see his Gators lose, so we eventually closed out our bill and decided to head back to Club to see what was going on in there. 

We stopped to take this picture along the way:

We ate dinner in Club, poured some wine + headed downstairs to the campfire for 8:00 p.m. S’mores!  All the kids staying at the resort (and Kevin and I, naturally) got in line to prepare our special evening snack over the campfire.  We had such a fun time doing this + pretending that we also had a kid around somewhere making s’mores…  Kids at heart?!  Yeaaaaaaa! 

We went back up to Club, poured some more wine (don’t judge), changed into our swimsuits + ran down to the hot tub to spend the next few hours hanging out outside and enjoying our last night on the property.

In the morning, we were both feeling pretty gluttonous.  So, we decided to go for a walk on the Oconee Trail after breakfast in Club. 

Our walk was eventful. 

We got about 5 miles of exercise on the winding trail…

We saw the leaves turning on the towering Georgia pine trees…

Kev whittled a walking stick (that now calls our condo balcony home)…

And, we plotted how we could stay at the Ritz Lodge F.O.R.E.V.E.R.!! 

(We couldn’t come up with a way…  We are already dying to go back.)

It was so hard to leave, but it only took us about an hour and a half to get back to Atlanta + now we have such great memories from our relaxing weekend in the Georgia woods. 

If you haven’t been to the Ritz Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation – you absolutely MUST go!  There is so much to do there; perfect for adults and kids alike.  The Ritz Lodge is a relaxing Southern paradise that makes you feel so far away from your worries and stressors, but it’s merely a 75-mile drive from Atlanta!  Visit soon! 

Oh, also, (as if there isn’t enough to do there already) the Ritz Lodge is building an ice skating rink on property for winter!  More info here: WINTER AT THE RITZ LODGE.

xx, L

Ritz Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation
1 Lake Oconee Trail
Greensboro, Georgia  30642
706.467.7196
http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/ReynoldsPlantation/Default.htm

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Categories: Appetizers,Chocolate,Cocktails,Event Space,Holidays,Hotels,Out of Town,Spa,Vacation,What we're Doing,Where we're Eating

May 10

A Few of My Favorite Things

Ok, so I’m not Oprah. (ssssigh.) but I did make it home to Birmingham over the weekend where I did some SHOPPING at Gus Mayer….so have a few recent Favorite Things to share with you!

Without further ado, here are the loves of my life right now:

Brightly Twisted Scarves

Check out these gorgeous one of a kind hand tie-dyed summer scarves:


I am obsessed. Gus has an amazing supply, but you can get also these darlings at Intermix or Tootsie’s here in Atlanta.

Oribe Hair Products

Ok I have blogged about the Anti-Humidity spray before (check it) and I still swear by it… I just picked up some “beautiful color” shampoo and conditioner and it’s amazing.

My color looks great, my hair feels super healthy and This. Stuff. Smells. Incredible.

Shoes!: I am the proud new owner of a couple of pairs of fantastic wedges for summer!

First, to continue the tie dye trend – I scooped a pair of these bad boys by Bacio 61:

Bacoli Tie Dye Wedge in Lily Purple

I happened to wear a pair of white pants and a black top Saturday when I spotted these and they complimented my outfit so much – I asked Katie to box up my Torys so I could wear them out! Who (past the age of 6) does that?

I also scored super cute pair of black and raffia Franco Sartos I plan to LIVE in this summer:


Trish Beauty Booster Cream with SPF15

I’ve officially replaced my regular SPF15 moisturizer with this marvelous “Anti-Fatigue” cream, which acts as a moisturizer and primer while brightening and firming… and protecting you from the sun’s harmful rays. Talk about a bang for your buck!

(Helpful hint for Alabamians: All of the above can be found at Gus Mayer at the Summit in Birmingham!)

Other recent MVPs:

The gorgeous and perfectly neutral Kendra Scott earrings I wore with my watercolor Halston Heritage dress to Camp Dance:

(Scored them at Nordy's)

My new Laura Mercier lipstick/gloss combo:

Hibiscus Bloom Gel Lip Color/ Bellini Lip Glace

and the Triple Oxygen facial at Bliss Spa.

I’ve blogged about it before, and I’ll blog about it again. Go to the midtown location inside the W Hotel.  Ask for Anila. Tell her I sent you.  You can thank me later.

And that, as they say, is that!

Enjoy!

xx, L

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Categories: Birmingham,Deals + Steals,Guilty Pleasures,Hair,Jewelry,Spa,Where we're Shopping

May 05

Warning: Serious Update OVERLOAD!

OyYou might need to sit down for this one.

I didn’t post for an entire week + now I feel like there’s almost too much to update you all on and it’s not exactly stringing together clearly…  So bear with me, folks.  I’m just going to lay it all out there + make of it what you will. 

The weather is getting gorgeous, the hemlines are getting shorter + there are more and more reasons to play outside, try new restaurants + spring into summer!  (I feel like I just wrote an Old Navy commercial.)

Ready or not – here I go!  Wheeeee…..

Ms. Reynolds, Sayako + I recently recruiter summit-ed at Victory Sandwich Bar in Inman Park, which has been all over Urban Spoon, etc., and we really enjoyed it!

Pictured below are our sandwiches, all of which are meant to be eaten in multiples (i.e. you don’t order just one sandwich – they are small-ish) at only $4.00 a piece.

We tried the New Bomb Turkey: turkey, arugula, avocado spread + baconaisse; The Hambo: prosciutto, mozzarella, arugula, apple + reduced balsamic; and the Castro: slow-roasted pork, ham, fontina cheese + yellow mustard. 

I love this place for a casual lunch and strongly recommend trying it out!

Victory Sandwich Bar
280 Elizabeth Street
Atlanta, GA  30307
770.676.7287
http://www.vicsandwich.com/
Hours: 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.

Victory Sandwich Bar on Urbanspoon

Next up, Bloomingdale’s just started showing some gorgeous turquoise-y blue stone necklaces.  So cute for summer!  Here’s a shot of the one I bought on Monday.  It’s my new favorite accessory.

Moving right along…

On my Palm Springs/ L.A. flights, I started reading John Kennedy Toole’s “A Confederacy of Dunces.”  I will admit that I fall in love with most books I read + can’t put them down until they’re finished, and that remains the case with this Pulitzer Prize winner.  It’s so thoughtfully written and a great (albeit very wordy) read.  The story of how the book came to fruition after JKT’s suicide is super interesting, as well. 

Let’s talk food trucks.

Slick + I got tacos at Tex’s Tacos recently, the new food truck in Buckhead, which urbandaddy.com dubbed the “Antonio Banderas” of food trucks.  Cute.

Tex’s is a fully-equipped kitchen + restaurant on wheels serving up an array of “Nueva Texicana” eats w/ “style + grace.”

While I’ll admit that they weren’t the best tacos I’ve ever eaten, they did the job.  Tex’s will be a goldmine for late night Buckhead frat boys who need to cut through the alcohol a bit before stumbling into bed.  And it’s not just stationed in Buckhead, which is why food truckin’ is so exciting.  Check out Tex’s schedule here: http://www.texstacos.com/

Speaking of food trucks…  When I was in Palm Springs, the Nom Nom truck drove up from L.A. and I got to try it!  Not familiar w/ the famous Nom Nom truck?

It’s a L.A.-based mobile food truck specializing in Vietnamese food, especially banh mi.  Nom Nom was the runner-up in season one of the Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race.

Their food is RIDIC. 

On Easter Sunday, Slick + I had a date night at Ecco, one of my favorite Midtown restaurants to order up a load of small plates + drinks.  (Also, to potentially spot the Vampire Diaries cast…)

As usual, our meal was predictably delicious.  To accompany it, I ordered a glass of pinot gris.  Slick, however, ordered one of the most interesting cocktails I’ve ever seen.  Here’s the description of it from the menu:

ZAFARAN: Gabriel Boudier Saffron Gin, housemade Shindeldecker tonic + a custom icy hot cube will remind you that, while temptation is a reality, there are repercussions in all things we do.

It was so different and had a very special, unique flavor.  You guys have to try it!

I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again.  I’m obsessed with mochi ice cream Recently, I’ve been satisfying my sweet tooth with an all natural strawberry flavor found at Trader Joe’s.  Um, yum!

Y’all, today is Thursday which means…

So, back to food trucks + street food.  Can we?  Thanks. 

My favorite Midtown Street Food Thursday vendor is definitely The King of Pops!

I get so excited when I see the Pops cart!  And you know who else does…

slick: king of the mountain (stone mountain, that is)

He LOVES KoPs!  Our favorite flavors are: Mexican Chocolate, Banana Pudding, Sea Salt Chocolate + Pineapple Ginger.  You must, must try a pop!

It really is perfect popsicle weather, too.  Speaking of perfect weather, I had it in California.  The entire week was truly gorgeous!  Although the main purpose of my trip was to meet Mrs. Wolkove’s adorable new addition to her family, I did have time to enjoy the outdoors when I went on a hike at Fryman Canyon Park located in the Santa Monica Mountains with Mrs. W’s madre.  The views were amazing + the workout was seriously intense.  I work out quite a bit in Atlanta, but I almost never go hiking.  I have to say that my legs were throbbing the morning after our hike.  If anyone knows of good hiking spots in Atlanta, please let me know. 

Even while hiking in the heat, my hair looked pretty perfect.  (OMG, what a bragger!)  But, I have to credit that to Daniel Carter at Mint Salon who does my 2-day keratin treatments.  (LK goes to Mint, too, for hers.)  Daniel is a fantastic stylists who has also started to do my cuts + color.  If you happen to be looking for a new stylist, I highly recommend Daniel!  Tell him you heard about him on the Q+DD!

Mint Salon
Stylist: Daniel Carter
404.724.9669
www.mintsalon.net

Since we’re focusing now on “maintenance,” I’m really looking forward to my spray tan today at RAW Organic Bronzing Studio.  (LK is a fan, too!)  I adore the owner, Tiffany Terranova, and have been very pleased with my tans!  They are made from 100% organic ingredients that are actually beneficial to the skin.  Read more about RAW Organic Bronzing Studio here: LK’s post about RAW.

And, RAW is conveniently located right next door to Victory Sandwich Bar in Inman Park!  Bringing it all together.  :)

Skipping around skipping around…

I’m in the market for a french press.  I drank french pressed coffee several times during my L.A. trip + don’t think I can go back to my Keurig any more.  It’s like two entirely different planets of coffee!  This Bodum one is pretty cute(Hint, hint.)

OH!  And isn’t this the most precious picture you’ve ever seen or what?!  Mrs. Wolkove, her one week old (who obv. cannot fit into those yet) + I all rock the glitter TOMS!  Love.

We’ll focus on this much more as it draws closer, but who’s pumped for the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival?! 

THIS event is going to be nothing short of incredible.  Can’t wait! 

More info here: Atlanta Food & Wine Festival

And finally (have I worn you out yet?), the Q+DD has some very special news to share!  One of our best readers, Jessica Gorman: Concierge at the Ritz Carlton – Buckhead, was featured in the newest edition of The Atlantan Magazine!

Click here to see the article mentioning Jess on page 36 of the new issue today!  (Reading Instructions for the Online Version: Click on the link mentioned in the previous sentence.  Type in page 36.  Full screen view + click magnifying glass to zoom in.  Silly technology…)  We are very proud of you, Jess!

So…did you get all that?!  It was pretty beastly.  (TWHS? Sorry, mom…)

There WILL be a quiz later.  It’s great to be back! 

xx, L

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Categories: Baby Chic,Beauty,Buckhead,Cocktails,Deals + Steals,Events,Exercise,Festivals,Guilty Pleasures,Hair,Hotels,Inman Park,Maintenence,Midtown,On the Street,Out of Town,Random Musings,Spa,Trader Joe's,Vacation,Vendors,What we're Doing,What we're Reading,Where we're Eating,Where we're Shopping