Thursday, March 26, 2009

Girlfriend Getaway Spotlight - VA Beach Flowering Almond Spa

March came in like a lion - let's schedule some lamb-like calm. Grab your best girlfriend and hit the Virginia roads for a getaway at the Flowering Almond Spa!

The Founders Inn and Flowering Almond Spa was voted the "Best Resort Spa" in the Best of Hampton Roads and is awesome for a mini girlfriend getaway to recharge and catch up on the latest gossip! The Spa addresses all your needs and offers a comprehensive menu with services such as Sacred Stone massages, Caviar Facial, White Tea Body Scrub, as well as luxurious hand and food treatments. Also, spa guests have full access to the state-of-the-art fitness center and indoor pool for the day of their service. Founders Inn and Flowering Almond Spa is a just road trip away in Virginia Beach!

The Spa-Tacular Oasis Package includes overnight double occupancy accommodations and includes (2) 25-minute spa treatments, turn down service and all gratuities. The package price starts at $169.

The Girlfriend Get-Away Package includes overnight double occupancy accommodations with bottle of house wine, cheese and fruit, full breakfast for 2, (2) 50-minute spa treatments. The package price starts at $269.

The Spa-Mazing Package is for the ultimate spa-going gal pals! The package includes overnight accommodations AND a $299 spa credit (basically, a free night's stay!). The getaway also includes a 2pm early check-in and 2pm late check-out.

For more information and to reserve your getaway: or Phone: (757) 366-5749


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Girl's Night Out - Shopping Party @ The Chase Bethesda, MD

Burnt from everyday stress and craving a mini-getaway? Fret no more - Ladies Night Out with retail therapy and wine usually soothes the soul and is a great mid-week outing with your girlfriends!

Ditch work a little early and leave the kids with the sitter! Meet up with your gal pals for manicures, shopping from boutiques such as HenJen Handbags, Tunix Collection, GiraMondo Wine Adventures AND food from Morton's Steakhouse! Plus, the first 50 ladies will receive fab swag bags. There will also be fun door prizes, as well!

Sound like the mental getaway that you and your friends have been craving? RSVP by March 30 to reserve your space!

Wednesday, April 1
4-9 pm

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Music for the Flight - The Birth of Corneille

Heading on your girlfriend getaway and need new tunes for your flight or drive? I’ve recently been introduced to a new CD that’s worth a download to your IPod!

The Birth of Corneille is bound the rise the charts in 2009! I’d never heard of Corneille, but learning that the singer, song writer was influenced by the likes of Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder AND on the Motown record label, I immediately become intrigued (particularly since I’m a Motor City native ;) Originally from Rwanda, Corneille has already earned success in Canada, France and Japan. The Birth of Corneille is his English-language debut.

When I popped the CD in, the first track immediately brought arist, Dwele, to mind, with the bass infused beat and soulful neo-soul sound. As the tracks continue to play, I recalled another Canadian R&B artist, Glenn Lewis, with a similar silky style. Corneille’s smooth and soulful tunes remind me of Dwele, with a slightly less hip-hop edge or a male version of Indie.Arie. My favorites are Track #1 "Love is Good" since it immediately grabs your attention or soothing Track #8 "Home is By You". Corneille’s thoughtful American debut CD, The Birth of Corneille, is definitely an album that you can groove and relax to while in flight!

Learning more about Corneille’s life story certainly made me appreciate his music more. Corneille, born in Germany and raised in Rwanda, developed his interest in music as a child and credits his dad for nurturing his interest. His father actually compared his young sound to Tracy Chapman. Corneille made his first studio recording at 16 and was selected as a finalist in a tv music contest.

In 1994, Corneille’s life was struck by tragedy when his parents and family were killed during Rwanda’s massacre. Although, he dealt with his share of depression and guilt, Corneille is strikingly calm when asked about how his survival has shaped his music. Music helped Corneille overcome his guilt and find comfort in the world. In his music, many of us can find comfort in his tracks about love, the heart and his personal experiences.

I’d definitely recommend giving Corneille’s The Birth of Corneille a listen for yourself. Intrigued and want to learn more? Check out Corneille’s music and life at

Have another must-have CD that’s perfect for a getaway flight? Post and share!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

DC Cherry Blossom Festival - Packages great for Girl Getaways!

The famous Cherry Blossom festival is set to put the Nation's Capital in bloom beginning March 28, 2009. What a perfect time to grab a friend or two to escape for a girl getaway AND celebrate the arrival of Spring!

Here are a few packages in the DC area that will help with your celebration and pocketbook:

The Beacon Hotel’s Cherry Blossom Weekend Escapade package, includes a deluxe room, breakfast for two, a Sunday brunch buffet with unlimited Champagne mimosas, a sampling of the Cherry Cocktail in the Beacon Bar & Grill. The rate of $195/night is available on weekends, requires a 2-night stay and includes parking and gratuity. Invite another gal pal and upgrade to the larger junior suite for an additional $20 a night. Call 800-821-4367.

Take a trip to the harbor and visit the Gaylord National on the Potomac! They offer several packages to fit your Cherry Blossom needs. My pick for a girlfriend getaway is the DC Sights by Sea Package, offering deluxe accommodations and Seadog Speedboat Tour tickets, an exciting speedboat tour with fantastic views of Mount Vernon, Ft. Washington, and National Harbor itself. Also, don’t forget about the Gaylord’s all-season pool, nightly entertainment and Relâche Resort Spa to top off the relaxation portion of your trip. Room rates start at $199/night.

Book the Cherry Blossom package at Hotel Palomar, near Dupont Circle and your gal pals can share the $40 restaurant voucher at Urbana Restaurant & Bar (try the featured cherry cocktail and dessert) two all-day Metro passes (to visit the Blossoms or shop ;) and a cherry-themed welcome amenity. Package prices starts at $204/night. Call 202-448-1800 to book.

You and your friends can enjoy the blooms while pampering yourselves in luxurious accommodations at the Mandarin Oriental DC with a fabulous water view. The package also includes an American breakfast in Café MoZU, cherry truffles, commemorative Cherry Bloom Guide AND a Cherry scrub from The Spa. Plan the weekend so that you're able to check out the Friday night jazz in Empress Lounge. Packages start at $408/night.

Grab a friend and check out the Morrison House. Cherry blossom guests can enjoy drinks for two—including special cherry blossom-themed concoctions—and breakfast for two at this hotel in the heart of Old Town Alexandria, Viriginia hotel. The one-night Cherry Blossom Package, available through April 30, starts at $199 a night.

Want to see the City on your own time? The Westin Reston Heights is offering a one-night Cherry Blossom Package which includes breakfast for two at Vinifera Wine Bar & Bistro, a complimentary in-room movie, and cherry-themed amenities, such as a box of Godiva chocolate-covered cherries upon arrival. You'll also get a map of DC and a Westin water bottle to bring to the Cherry Blossom Festival. The package costs $139 a night.

For Dining tips during the Festival: DC Dining Examiner

For even more hotel packages, Cherry Blossom history and events, be sure to check out the Washingtonian's Cherry Blossom Guide:

Friday, March 13, 2009

Location Spotlight - Culinary Girlfriend Getaways

Normally, I tend to stray away from cooking while on vacation. Mainly because I’m on well…VACATION! However, I recently came across a set of tours created especially for girlfriend getaways that may make me break my No-Cooking-While-On-Vacation Rule. The tours are hosted by Sugar Tours and are a great way to seeing the “foodie” side of a big city or countryside.

Creative Culinary Tours was founded by Chris Donnelly, owner of Sugar Tours, Inc. Chris has been involved in the restaurant industry since he was 15 and knows the ins and outs of every aspect of the restaurant business from waiting tables to wine sales. He has traveled extensively throughout the United States including many of the fine wine regions in California, Oregon, Washington and Niagara. His appreciation and love for food and wine make him a success in the food tour business and after checking out his recent Girlfriend Getaway tours, I’d say he has even more success on his hands!

New York City Culinary Escape
If City Lights is your group’s “thing”, check out their latest tour New York City Culinary Escape. I love this tour for a girlfriend getaway because it’s an awesome way to see a different side of the Big Apple! The tour allows you to see, smell and taste New York City as you visit the Lower East Side on an ethnic eating tour. You and your girlfriends will spend an amazing afternoon in SoHo sampling top chocolate shops, with the New Cuisine Chocolate Tour. Also, the culinary weekend wouldn’t be complete without visiting the Chelsea Market/Meatpacking District. You and your gal pals will explore two old industrial areas that are evolving into the hottest new destinations in New York City! These neighborhoods have quickly become known for gourmet food shops, ethnic restaurants, boutique shopping, and nightlife. And don’t worry, there will be plenty of time for tasting along the way ;)

For prices starting at $699, the tour includes 2 nights accommodations in Manhattan, city transportation to the tours, meals and more. Sounds like a fun way to hang out with friends AND see a new side of New York!

Ultimate Vermont Girlfriends Getaway
If quiet countryside is more your speed, check out Sugar Tours’ Ultimate Vermont Girlfriends Getaway! Completely customizable for your girlfriend group, this tour allows for gourmet cooking classes with a pedigreed chef in a Food Network-type kitchen, relaxing at a resort spa, and unlimited sports in Vermont’s great outdoors. Your group will also have time for exploring fine arts, shopping and entertainment along Lake Champlain’s waterfront! With 4-diamond accommodations at The Inn at Essex, fitness classes, hands-on cooking courses and catching up with girlfriends at the Tavern, you’ll be booking your next culinary getaway by the time you return home!

Both culinary girlfriend getaways sound like the perfect treat for catching up with friends AND learning new culinary skills. Check out their website for more options including mid-week Summer packages in Vermont, Philadelphia and Boston tours!

Tours can be reserved by contacting Sugar Tours via their website: or contacting them at at 888-889-8681 or

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Web Roundup - Great Sites I've Found

Hey Divas! You know I'm always clicking and adding cool sites and articles to my favorites. This week I thought I'd share the fun finds I came across this week:

Yes, we're in a recession but a diva still needs to feel rejuvenated! Read Girlfriend Celebrations' awesome post from guest blogger, Melissa Mellott, on tips to pamper yourself despite the rough economy.

We need to remind ourselves of our blessings, especially during a tight economy. I love this simple, yet thoughtful game as a way to connect with girlfriends and share your gratitude!

Save time, money and your sanity with these travel tips for airport parking, easy packing, and more!

Have more sites I need to know to about? Share them here, I'd love to check them out!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Location Spotlight - Mandarin Oriental DC, who knew?

Burnt out from a busy work week, I decide to take time to have lunch at the Mandarin Oriental DC, meet a few of the team members and learn more about the award-winning luxury hotel to see how welcoming it would be for girlfriend getaways. So, I hop in a cab and off I go – in search of luxury, elegance and to be honest, a distraction from work. I already have my own impressions of the hotel from an office project months ago and I’ve heard from friends how fabulous the Mandarin DC and Spa is. Soooo, I strut into the beautiful lobby area that is designed to mimic the neighboring Thomas Jefferson memorial and wait for “Fabulous”….

….and Fabulous it is. But who knew that it’s so FRIENDLY as well!

The Mandarin Oriental DC is absolutely a friendly location for a girlfriend getaway! They’ve built packages created with us in mind - whether we simply need a change of scenery and want to relax or want to check out the district’s hottest shopping boutiques, they have the perfect package.

Here’s a taste of what the Mandarin Oriental DC has in store for Spring getaways:

Sublime Time
Mandarin Oriental has wrapped up all of a diva’s favorite indulgences into one convenient package! Spend precious time with a gal pal or family member in a plush hotel room, all while enjoying snacks and watching your favorite chick-flicks from their in-house video library. Wake up refreshed and enjoy breakfast served in the room. If that isn’t tempting enough, a private sedan is at your command for 4 hours to shop at the hottest district boutiques! Shop till you drop and return to the hotel to enjoy a fun flair on traditional afternoon tea, ‘Savories and Sweets’. They’ll even throw in a special take away Spa gift!

Cherry Blossoms Bloom Package
2009 marks the 97th celebration of the original gift of the 3,000 cherry trees from the city of Tokyo to the people of Washington, DC and for 2 weeks, the city will bloom with life and color around the Tidal Basin in a sea of pink and white. You and your friends can enjoy the blooms while pampering yourselves in luxurious accommodations with a water view. The package also includes an American breakfast in Café MoZU, cherry truffles, commemorative Cherry Blossom Guide AND a Cherry scrub from The Spa. Heaven, I tell you!

Don’t limit yourself to these packages – make a reservation to catch up on gossip at Five Diamond restaurant CityZen, book a fantastic treatment at The Spa, or just hang out at the heated pool.

And to think, I thought the Mandarin Oriental DC was just for dignitaries and stuffy businessmen? I stand corrected - The Mandarin can be the backdrop for a fabulous girlfriend getaway. Who knew?!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

What's on Your Safe List?

My family, as many of yours, has been forced to cut back on non-essentials over the past year. With grocery costs creeping up and companies laying off, Lord knows I can’t go shoe splurging like I used to. My pedicure visits have been reduced and I’ve learned to perfect Recessionista Fashionista style. Chatting with friends about money woes, I got to thinking (which depending on the day can be a scary task ;) – what’s on my Safe List?

Safe List, you ask??? You know what a Safe List is, although you may call it something else. You’re on a diet but you still “allow” yourself to eat chocolate. Thus, chocolate is on the Safe List. You’ve cut eating out from your budget, but Chinese takeout is acceptable – Chinese food is Safe. I could go and on, but you catch my drift. While myself and many of my friends have become penny pinching divas, we’ve included our Girlfriend Getaway and other vacation adventures on our Safe List. The Safe List brings you comfort and excitement, and while it may be a splurge; it’s appreciated much more, because you’ve saved and waited for it. I don’t know about you but I’m counting down the days until my next vacation. Literally. Counting. Down. The. Days....And I’m willing to postpone a few shopping trips to save up for it.

Regardless of the world around me, I make a point every year to travel with my family, travel alone with my hubby and getaway with girlfriends. The adventures may be extravagant or frugal but the time spent with family and my girlfriends is always special.

Now, give it some thought – what’s on your Safe List?