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TRAVEL NOTES: TODO SANTOS

Shopping, TravelLauren BraudComment
Image credit:  Hotel San Cristobal

Image credit: Hotel San Cristobal

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This post contains affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info.

When Patrick and I started dating (7 years ago last month!) we promised each other that we would travel every year - domestic or international - and miraculously we have managed to keep that promise by making it a priority. We FINALLY booked our summer trip: Todo Santos, Mexico. I’ve been to Mexico a few times, most recently Mexico City (which Patrick and I LOVED). This time though we checked another Bunkhouse Hotel off our bucket list and headed to The Hotel San Christobal - outside of Cabo. Hotel San Cristobal is a design lover’s dream: this hotel is my aesthetic. Do not hate me for saying that, because look at it.

THE HOTEL

The design of the hotel is textural, layered, simple and perfectly imperfect. It feels warm and inviting, like summer personified in a place. The spaces are minimalist without feeling cold or impersonal - the sparseness contributes to the feelings of ease you have immediately upon arrival. The Bunkhouse Group achieves this so flawlessly at every one of their properties but Hotel San Christobal has left me reeling with inspiration - that effortless minimalism is exactly what I love to impart in my client’s homes.

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Patrick and I kept saying that this was by far our favorite trip we’ve ever taken. The pictures are fabulous but can’t tell you how perfect the weather was (highs of 85, lows of 65 and not a cloud in the sky), they can’t tell you how kind and attentive and honestly fun the staff is, the pictures can’t introduce you to all the interesting guests you’ll meet and share a delicious drink with. And the pictures can’t begin to illustrate all the little details that went into making this vacation one for the record books.

FOOD & DRINKS

THE POOL BAR - the food at the pool bar was so good I would have probably been happy eating every meal there. Think: octopus or steak tacos, fried calamari, ceviche, quesadillas. Everyday they have a new food and drink special on the board - it’s worth partaking. I would say just about everything is split-able. The drinks are all excellent - you have to try the Pina Colada at least once. I had no idea they could taste so good when they’re made with fresh ingredients! After trying all the cocktails we settled back into our favorite poolside drink: mezcal, soda, and a generous squeeze of lime.

On Fridays the pool bar has a happy hour on drinks and ceviche and a live band comes to play as the sun sets. We only stayed for a little while because we had planned to go out for dinner but next time I won’t miss it - and I would suggest you plan accordingly. 

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BENNO - The hotel’s restaurant is just as well designed as everything else here. This is where we ate breakfast  every morning and endeavored to try just about everything. You can’t go wrong and the portions are hearty. They also make a variety of fresh juices - I really loved the Pina y Verdes and the Christobal Heat: carrot, orange, lime, cilantro, tumeric, jalepeno.

Our last night we ate dinner here and the sashimi was maybe one of my top 5 dishes ever. They bill as a Mexican-Medditeranian-Asian fusion. Sounds crazy and it is crazy good. The menu changes but honestly you can’t go wrong.

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HIERBABUENA - about a 15 min cab ride from the hotel (note: not towards Todo Santos) this restaurant is a true farm-to-table expierience. As with everything around here it’s down a dirt road, and when you arrive you walk through a gorgeous garden to the open air metal building. Everyone we talked to suggested this place and for good reason. The catch of the day was perfect, the papaya salad was everything we needed after a hot day by the pool, and the fig pizza was outstanding. I highly reccommend ordering a side of grilled veggies. Everything comes fresh from the property. OH GOSH and how could I forget the flan? Do youself a favor and save room.

JASMANGO - this one is in the town proper of Todo Santos (about a 15 minute cab ride from the hotel). We didn’t make it in town this time but Jasmango is another farm-to-table gem that we constantly heard great things about.

PACKING

Disclaimer: I’m a minimalist packer. You may very well want a different pair of shoes for every single day - and you do you! However, I am a card carrying member of the Carry On Only Club™ so I kept my packing list short, well-designed, and sweet.

I live and die by my Away suitcase when I travel - and after this trip I ordered their packing cubes to make my packing even more organized and efficient. If you’re in the market for a great suitcase you can get $20 off your order by clicking here. P and I each own one, they’ve taken a beating and the ability to charge a phone is so good, especially when you’re out of the country. The necklaces and dress I own BOTH and they’re by an amazing Houston designer who I love very much. I plan to buy ever color they ever make of this dress. And finally the sunscreen. I’ve started using Supergoop (female entrepreneur what-what!) but this sunscreen is honestly like wearing a real life instagram filter on your face. Not kidding. I’ve been wearing it without makeup and it’s just too good. I’m a sunscreen junkie - I don’t go a day without it and I’m telling everyone I know.

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PACKED, AND SO GLAD I DID:

  • Loose-fitting but chic clothes: aside from swimsuits and one coverup I packed 2 dresses and a jumpsuit. You want to look comfortable but put together when you’re not in the pool and everything I brought was perfect for either wandering the town, dining in the hotel’s restaurant or lounging by the fire.

  • A light sweater: I threw this in last second after checking the temps. Todo Santos is farther north than Cabo and gets beautiful cooling breezes that have the temps in the mid sixties in the mornings and evenings.

  • Easy to throw on cover up: for walking from the pool to the bar or the beach

PACKED BUT DIDN’T NEED

  • A turkish towel: this place is wonderful and so relaxed walking around barefoot in just your swimsuit is not at all unusual. Plus there are towels everywhere - on lounge chairs, in beautiful baskets, you will never be left without one nearby when you really need it.

  • An extra pair of “beach sandals” - the sand feels glorious on your feet and it never gets hot enough to hurt. The beach is impeccably clean and I felt fine walking around barefoot - my one pair of nice leather slides was just fine.

DIDN’T PACK BUT WISH I HAD:

  • Hiking shoes: I brought tennis shoes thinking “how hard can hotel trails be”. Mistake. There are gorgeous rocky trails all over this remote location and we could have gone further and enjoyed it more with the appropriate shoes.

  • A refillable water bottle: this is a super active hotel. Yes, you can do nothing and be completely happy, but there is hiking, and yoga, and so many guests get up and run the beach in the morning. Plus the entire property has these absolutely gorgeous water jugs you can fill up from that they fill with filtered water throughout the day. Even if you’re just rehydrating from Happy Hour the night before it’s worth it to throw one in your bag.

  • One more set of workout clothes: the hotel offered yoga almost every day of our stay and I would have liked to have one more leggings-and-sport bra combo since the set I brought got very dirty on the hike.

  • 1000% more sunscreen. Honestly I didn’t pack any besides my face sunscreen and we bought a (completely overpriced but worth it to not check a bag) bottle there. The first thing we noticed when we got to the pool that first day was that everyone was fried to a crisp - so red. The Mexican sun is no joke and we were constantly reapplying.

Clockwise from upper left: Yoga platform, walking through the old sardine cannery, view from the hike

Clockwise from upper left: Yoga platform, walking through the old sardine cannery, view from the hike

I would love to hear if you’ve been to this part of Mexico and your favorite places to see, hangout, eat and shop! I’m hoping it won’t be too long before we’re headed back and this time we will build in more time to see the surrounding area.

And please, leave me a message letting me know if this was helpful! I would love to continue to document my trips here and answer any questions I can!


SUMMER FRIDAYS: BEAUTIFUL THINGS I'M LOVING THIS WEEK

ShoppingLauren BraudComment
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Welcome to the weekend! It’s no secret I’m attempting to blog more often (ya’ll, I’m aiming for that MWF grind, so visit often and keep me accountable!) For the summer I thought I would introduce a new series called Summer Fridays - essentially a mix of beautiful things I’ve found, inspiring articles, and spaces or places that are inspiring me. Maybe we’ll see some art, maybe a new favorite book. Essentially a great way to spend the second half of your workday every Friday. For now I’m calling the first college football game to be the end of summer - because that’s just how you mark the seasons in Texas.

+ I’m sure you’ve heard we just got back from a trip to the Baja Peninsula in Mexico (of course you’ve heard because I haven’t stopped talking about it since we booked 3 months ago). I cannot more highly recommend the hotel we stayed in but I also just found this hotel and it was everything I could do to stop myself from booking a trip back. (PS: I’m writing up a Travel Journal of our trip: what we did, where we ate, what I packed for Monday. If you haven’t planned your summer vacation yet you should tune in!)

Source: Acre Baja  Instagram

Source: Acre Baja Instagram

+ If you’re more of a lake person this home tour from Garden and Gun magazine of a contemporary lake house in Alabama will take your breath away. The homes dark moody walls contrast with soft, textural furniture giving modern vibes but still cozy. And you HAVE TO see the floors.

+ Summer in Houston is here and I am LIVING in these sandals from Target and these shorts. I have never owned a pair of jean shorts I liked - but I wake up and pull these on just about every morning!

+ Too hot for makeup? I linked this before but I will never stop singing the praises of Super Goop’s mattifying tinted sunscreen. I am a sunscreen addict and I’ve switched entirely to this as my only “makeup” most days. It’s like a real life instagram filter with SPF40. Plus their products are cruelty-free!

+ Our backyard farmhouse table benefits from the beautiful shade of a massive pecan tree…and is also always covered in debris from that pecan tree. This adorable little dustpan set is exactly what I need. Honestly y’all I had no idea how trashy pecan trees can be. I am always on the lookout for good looking everyday items for my house - slowly upgrading.

+ Speaking of our backyard, I’ve been collecting endless inspiration over on my pinterest page. We are ready to turn this space into the place ALL the neighbors want to hang out. I’m really drawn towards split-levels, green walls, and different areas clearly defined by changing materials. (Also the entire home tour this image is from is wonderful.)

Author Alice Nelson’s home in Perth via  Homes to Love

Author Alice Nelson’s home in Perth via Homes to Love

+ One last note about the outdoors - in case you missed it: I revisited why we paint our porch ceilings blue on the blog earlier this week and included some of my favorite blue paints for the job.

S H O P T H I S P O S T

I hope you enjoyed and maybe even found something you loved too! See you back here next week same place same time!

6 REGISTRY GIFTS WE STILL USE EVERYDAY

Weddings, ShoppingLauren BraudComment
Photo (of my bouquet!) by  Gloria Goode Photography

Photo (of my bouquet!) by Gloria Goode Photography

This post contains affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info.

Wedding season is upon us and while I’m no longer a newlywed, weddings are still a feels-like-once-a-month occurrence in my household. We’ve attended two weddings already this year (down from three this time last year) I know of at least two people who will be getting engaged in the coming months, and my very best friend and soul mate is getting married in February. All this to say: weddings are still very much a part of my life.

P and I received so many beautiful and thoughtful things but these few items have been our ride or dies, day in and day out:

1 | Stemless Wine Glasses

When I say I use these everyday, I mean everyday. Somehow we ended up with 14 of them, but we’ve used them all. From dinner parties to my everyday water drinking adventures. They’re a great size (almost 12 oz), sturdy, dishwasher safe. We use them for wine (duh), margs, water, juice, even small floral arrangements. I love these simple, beautiful glasses. I am all for something that can serve you multiple purposes.

2 | A Great Vase

We received a beautiful dark green glass vase. It lives on my dining table and is often elevating yard clippings and grocery store flowers to centerpiece status, but it even looks good empty with a pretty candle. Since we got it I haven’t been able to find the same one again (believe me it would become my go to wedding/housewarming/everything gift). But I’ve linked a couple similar ones for you that have the same feel. PLUS they’re less than $3 a piece!

3| Marble Lazy Susan

Honestly I registered for this because we had a round dining table in our last place and I thought it would be so pretty in the middle. Now it lives on our coffee table as a large tray that holds all sorts of things: remotes, florals, candles, coasters, and a little decor. I don’t have to get off the couch to reach one or the other, just turn the susan. While I love them as trays this marble one would look good in a kitchen counter corner corralling frequently used spices and utensils, on a shelf in your open pantry, or of course, on your dining table.

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4| Electric Kettle

Let me preface this by saying when I registered for this I wasn’t a big tea drinker. I think I had tea drinking aspirations but honestly I use it constantly. I use it to make my matcha every morning, hot cocoa in the winter, instant oatmeal, french press coffee, and I love being able to offer tea to guests and have it ready so quickly! It’s so easy - especially compared to my previous microwave-a-cup-of-water-until-it-boils method. This is so much classier.

5| A Great Comforter

Specifically THIS comforter from Pottery Barn. It’s linen on top and satin underneath. Cool in summer and just warm enough for our Southern winters. It’s light and fluffy and I love the look of the linen. Can I describe a comforter as scrumptious without you unfollowing? I’m doing it anyway.

6 | Hands Free Trash Can

When I wrote the thank you for this I told the gift giver that they changed my life. Not having to touch your trashcan when throwing things away (or in my case, when your hands are covered in kitchen goop) is amazing. Warning: the habit of just waving your hand over the can will become engrained and you will look like an idiot doing it to other peoples’ trashcans, however then you have an opportunity to tell them about your life altering robot trashcan and then you can be that person who talks about her trash can at parties and social gatherings. In all seriousness. Register for this trashcan. OH and it comes in rose gold.