The tree house that filled my Instagram DM’s with the most asked question “Where is this place?!”
The anticipation is over, you guys. Here is all you need to know about our home-away-from-home getaway.
George and I had been wanting to go glamping… Well, I wanted to go glamping. He wanted to go camping. I stumbled upon this gem online, and instantly fell in love. I mean, can you blame me?! This lovely safari tent cabin is located on a secluded ranch near warner springs – about a two hour drive from LA. It was the perfect place for a quick getaway.
Wine with a view… I could’ve stayed in here for hours.
Best way to wake up every morning.
The best part about this camp site was that they allow pets. We brought our girl Marley, and she had a blast!
She was beyond spoiled during this trip.
During our stay, we visit a few vineyards, which allowed us to bring Marley with us, so it was a perfect “Marley and Us” trip. 🙂
About a 10 minute drive from the beaches, resorts and all the fancy boutiques, is where you will find the most charming boutique hotel: Howlita, which is located in Tulum Pueblo. I was so thrilled to find out that we were staying in town rather than off the beach, because there’s so much more to Mexico than laying out on the beach. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a beach kind of gal, however; I love exploring new places, and learning about the history and culture behind places I visit. It was my first time traveling to Tulum, and the location definitely reminded me of where my family is from – Zacatecas. It brought back so many beautiful memories.
The interior was just as chic as the exterior of the hotel. It had a very rustic vintage feel to it (right up my alley). I was obsessed with the hanging clothing rack. It’s inspired me to make my very own for my place. It’s such a great and simple idea.
Howlita Hotel is a little hidden gem in downtown right next to where the locals live. It is walking distance from the main strip, where all the fun bars, eateries and shops are located. We took a 5 minute cab ride to the main strip, where we had yummy shrimp tacos and margaritas at La Malquerida.
Welcome to my crib! 😉
No, but seriously… can I move in?!
If you know me you know that ice cream is one of my favorite desserts. I have the biggest sweet tooth. We stumbled upon the cutest little ice cream shop called Campanella Cremerie, where the ice cream and waffle cones were freshly made daily. Our ice cream cones were still hot when we got them.
Can we take a moment and talk about how adorable the outdoor bathroom is?! I mean, #bathroomgoals.
Joshua, the owner of Howlita recommended a few places to visit. One of them being the most talked about in town: Batey Mojito Bar. The watermelon mojito is AH-mazing by the way!
The Gran Cenote was definitely one on the list of where to go in Tulum. We went snorkeling under the caves filled with bats and birds, swam with the fish and even got a love tap on my shoulder by one of the turtles. Can’t say I wasn’t scared, but nonetheless, an amazing experience. One for the books!
I think Enocha and I could’ve had all the pina coladas in the world. They were so yummy. Also, quick shoutout to the kind local man for taking our photo.
The Mayan Ruins was one of the places that was highly recommended, perhaps the most suggested location to visit before leaving Tulum. I’m so happy we did because it was beyond incredible to see the ruins, iguanas everywhere, and the breathtaking beach view from above. Best seat in the house!
We had dinner at Burrito Amor, and it was so delicious that we went again the next morning for breakfast. Their bean and cheese burritos and mojitos were amazing. I had their egg pico de gallo breakfast burrito and a much needed cup of coffee for breakfast. I was a happy girl. 🙂
I’m all about that hammock life!
Howlita, you were so good to us. I had the best time. It didn’t feel like I stayed at a hotel. It felt more like home. The staff was extremely friendly and made us feel comfortable, and feel right at home.
If anyone is planning a trip to Tulum, I would definitely recommend staying at Howlita. It’s the cutest little boutique hotel, everyone is so friendly and all the fun spots are walking distance. What more can you ask for!
Calle Chanchen between calle Zazil Ha y Nicte Ha, behind Avenida KukulcanTulum, Quintana Roo CP 77780 Mexico
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love to brunch. Brunch is such a delightful affair. The workweek is over, and it’s all about enjoying your time off. Plus, there’s food, which is obviously the most exciting part.
This week is all about Easter, so Sunday brunch with girlfriends seemed fitting. I invited my two favorite blogger gals Enocha of Locks and Trinkets and Elizabeth of A Keene Sense of Style to brunch at Manuela – a relaxed and informal atmosphere. Right up my alley. Manuela brings southern charm to the Arts District with their locally-grown produce, and a variety of vintage furniture throughout the restaurant. It was a gorgeous place to take photos. Besides, what’s a blogger brunch without taking a million photos before eating, right?! 😉
No better way to celebrate the holiday than gathered with your best gals over a delicious meal and yummy lattes. Sounds like the perfect way to end the weekend.
I decided to switch things up this Easter. Instead of a pastel color, I opted for a metallic-shimmery lacquer – Worth A Pretty Penne. It has a slight rose-tinted silvery-copper tone that has quickly made its way to my top favorite colors this season.
I hope your Easter is filled with nothing but good memories. Whether you’re meeting up with friends or spending it with your family, the most important thing is to be surrounded by those who mean the world to you.
If you follow me on instagram, you know that Enocha and I were in Catalina Island last week. Catalina is just a boat ride away, and one of my favorite places to visit, especially when I want to get away for just a few days. We had a blast. It was nice to be back, since the last time we were there, was back in 2015, so definitely was due for some Catalina time.
As soon as we arrived, we went to check into our hotel: Hotel Metropole, which by the way is the cutest little hotel EVER! I seriously wanted to take the pillows home. And I don’t sleep with pillows.
Once we checked in, we headed to Descanco Beach for our two hour…but felt more like 10 hours, kayaking adventure. Kayaking is so much, and boy is it a workout!
Lastly, we went to happy hour for $1 tacos and yummy margaritas. Our kayaking instructor recommended this taco restaurant that was just a few blocks away from our hotel. So yummy.
We woke up super early for breakfast, then headed to our parasailing appointment at 8:30am. Yup, super early and super cold, but so much fun. I was being extra by taking my phone up with me to video and take photos… Yeah, I was THAT girl (smh).
We then headed back to the hotel to freshen up and get some OOTDs in before lunch at the Descanco Beach Club. The crab dip was totally my favorite. Also, we sat right next to Carlton (The Fresh Prince of Belair). Enocha was totally being a creeper taking photos, lol. Love that girl. 🙂
And we ended our day with taking last minute photos near the hotel. Bloggers being bloggers… what’s new. 😉
Ok, now for the good stuff! GIVEAWAY TIME!!!
Both Enocha and I have partnered with Catalina to gift one lucky winner a FREE TRIP TO CATALINA ISLAND, KAYAKING FOR TWO, $50 FOOD CREDIT TO DESCANCO BEACH CLUB AND TWO HOUR GOLF CART RENTAL!!!
If you know me you know that I am constantly decorating my home. Whether it’s moving rugs around from one room to another (George is going to kill me one day), or moving accents pieces around.
Warning: Major photo overload. You have been warned.
I decided to share bits and pieces of my living room to my dining table area… that we have yet to properly have dinner on BTW (shrugging my shoulders). It’s still a work in progress – I say this only because I’m probably going to rearrange things again tomorrow. I’m just never satisfied, lol.
By the way, how cute is my cactus candle?! I’m currently obsessed with it.
Hope you enjoyed my little-long tour of my home. I’ve listed all items below to shop and check out.
I cannot believe my blog is turning 7 this year (insert clapping hands emoji here).
I decided to share how I started MelRodStyle in today’s post, plus share a few blog tips.
HOW I STARTED MY BLOG:
I always knew I wanted to do something with fashion. I went to FIDM and worked in the fashion industry. I remember working in a showroom, and how much clothing I would be gifted. I seriously played dress-up all day and put looks together. Ugh, I loved it, but there was no way of me showing these outfits, other than to George or Boo Boo Kitty (true story). There had to be some way I could share my outfits with my friends – I thought. Mind you, social media didn’t really exist.
Then one day, I was sitting in my car looking over a FIDM newsletter I received in the mail, and came across a blogger. It immediately caught my attention, and went online to find out more about this whole blogger thing. That’s when I stumbled upon a few other bloggers, like Cupcakes and Cashmere, Fashion Toast, Sincerely Jules, The Blonde Salad. I knew right then and there that this was it. This was the platform I needed to be on. I could share my outfits. It was perfect. I was so excited, you have no idea!
And just like that, on June 15, 2010, my blog was born. Not a clue in the world as to what I was doing. I was just going with it. My blog was mainly focused on OOTDs and DIYs. Also, my blog was once called Modanista Junkie. Moda is Fashion in Spanish. I thought I was being clever by making up a word (sigh… don’t ask). That quickly changed. Thought MelRodStyle was more fitting, since everyone called me Mel or MelRod anyway.
How to start a blog? Just start.
If you’re new to this blogging world, then guess what, you’re already ahead of the game because any fashion/beauty blogger that began their blog around or before 2007-2010 will agree with me that they had no clue what they were doing and didn’t realize that blogging would be what it is today. All you newbies out there get to see all our trials and errors.
Don’t try to perfect every little detail on your website. Just buy the domain, and start creating amazing content. Make sure you have good quality images though. It’s all about the lens.
Advice to brands: Send straight-to-the-point emails. Make it short and sweet.
Make sure you know the blogger you are reaching out to. I cannot tell you how many emails I receive that read: “Dear Melanie, we’ve been huge fans of your blog for several years now”…. Well if that was the case, then you’d know my name is not Melanie. Also, don’t send out “Dear Blogger” emails (insert eye rolling emoji here).
I created my blog as a hobby. Never in a million years did I think it would be what it is today. I thought I would have my blog as a hobby and continue to work a 9-5 job until I was able to pursue my own business (shoe line and open my own store). Things are so different now. I get to be my own boss. I get to make what I thought was just a hobby a career. Is this real life?
There has been several times where Brands don’t feel that they should pay influencers. My favorite is when they reach out to me to offer content to share on my blog, and provide a list of requirements, and tell me they do not have a budget for this collaboration. Now what do I get out of this? Nothing. What do they get out of it? Free advertisement. Brand exposure.
I think it’s very important for companies to know that some of us bloggers make a living out of this. And although it’s nice to receive free gifts, gifts are not going to pay the bills, unfortunately. Bloggers provide a service just like any other company does, like a spa, a hair salon, the list goes on.
I work with many PR agencies that loan me styles to shoot, however; there is always a mutual agreement of some sort, plus I have amazing relationships with most of these companies.
Is it ok to promote brands for product in trade? Sure, why not. Is it rude to say no? Absolutely not. It is up to you how you wish to proceed with every partnership. Whether it’s kindly declining or agreeing to their terms. I do both gifting terms and paid, depending on the collaboration.
Insert laughing emoji here, here and HERE!!! What people do not understand is that blogging isn’t that simple. There’s a lot that goes into creating content. You don’t just grab a camera, point and shoot. You have to pay attention to your surroundings, your backgrounds, the lighting, the angles, and most importantly that your outfits are on point (or whatever you’re shooting is amazing). There is so much work that is put into creating content.
DO I LOVE BLOGGING?
OMG, yes! It’s so much fun. I love what I do. I love creating content, meeting new people, making new friends, and of course having your support.
You have no idea how blessed and thankful I am for having you all by my side on this crazy-fun journey of mine. Somebody pinch me.
I hate to admit it but with my busy schedule, I often skip meals, which is the worst thing you can do. The worst part is that when I do eat, it’s all junk food.
Being a blogger and always on the go, Eat Crateful has honestly helped me stay on track and make sure I get my meals in between my crazy-busy-days.
If you’re not familiar with Eat Crateful, allow me to fill you in… Eat Crateful is a gourmet meal delivery service created by top chef and celebrity nutritionist Cristina Bowerman. Their program allows you to select from their menu (Chef, Fit, Vegetarian, or Paleo), customize your meal plan, and schedule a delivery time that works best for you. You’re getting healthy and delicious meals delivered right to your doorstep. How amazing is that?!
Check out www.crateful.la for more information. As always, if you have any questions, comment below.
A couple of weeks ago, I attended the Rebecca Minkoff runway show debuting her Spring 2017 collection, on behalf of GE Lighting, to celebrate the launch of the RMxGE Glow selfie case. It was so much fun. The best part was that it was a see-now-buy-now show, which meant that the audience was able to view the collection off the runway and shop the entire collection right after.
The collection was a mix of floral prints, flirty and whimsical silhouettes, along with statement handbags.
Instagram stories or Snapchat stories? Which platform do you prefer?
As a blogger, it is really difficult to be on both and try to create different content as oppose to sharing every snapchat story onto Insta stories, which I’m guilty of. It honestly makes no sense. What’s the point of following you on both platforms if you’re going to be sharing the exact same content, right?
Here are my thoughts on Instagram stories vs Snapchat stories…
You can see and click on users who view your stories (I see you boo boo).
Hands-free video is awesome.
You can tag a brand/person, which will lead you to their Instagram profile with just a click of a button. Very convenient when working with a brand.
Video seems longer but not really sure if they are.
The Boomerang feature is my favorite.
You can go live.
You can be more creative with the drawing and text tools, especially since you can create multiple text lines.
You get more views.
You can view a photo longer by pressing down on your screen. Love this feature because I am able to read a longer caption if needed.
You can’t see who screen shots your stories, which is annoying.
There are no fun filters.
You cannot control the length of each photo or video.
Once the stories are done, it automatically takes you to the next person, which I can definitely do without.
You don’t have the fast-forward, rewind or slow-motion tool.
You can only upload photos from your camera phone that were taken within 24 hours, otherwise you’ll have to screen shot & crop your photos to appear within the 24hr time frame.
If you save your stories, they automatically appear in your camera roll versus within the app itself.
Geo tags and filters are the best.
You can control the length of each photo and video.
All stories saved are saved within the app and not necessarily in your camera roll, however you do have the option of doing both.
You can upload from your camera roll without any restrictions.
You can see who screen shots and re-plays your stories.
You can create your own geo tag for special events.
Although Snapchat let’s you see who views your stories, you’re limited because you cannot click through their profile to see exactly who they are unless you know them by their screen name.
You can mention a brand, however they will not be notified that they have been tagged or mentioned.
The drawing tools can be better.
Views aren’t nearly as great.
No Boomerang or Live feature.
So, which platform do you prefer?
In my opinion, if Instagram stories had better filters, be able to control the length of each story, and be able to see who screen shots your stories, then I would probably stop using snapchat altogether. Although I find myself more active on Insta stories, I am having a bit of separation anxiety and completely letting go of Snapchat. I do believe that Instagram will be coming out with new tools and features that will convince me to officially cut the Snapchat umbilical cord. Until then, you can still find me on both, but most likely more Insta stories.