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Park Hyatt St. Kitts Hotel Review

Travel, LifestyleVeronica ArrietaComment
A full detailed review of the Park Hyatt St. Kitts Hotel

With a 7 month old baby at home, my birthday, and a hectic calendar approaching, my husband and I needed a true getaway. We heard about the Park Hyatt St. Kitts as it just opened in November 2017 so gave it a shot. If you’re looking for lay out all day and get some R&R, this is the place for you! It’s very private and quiet, which we loved.  

The hotel is situated directly on the beach with nearly every view being an unobstructed ocean view and a direct shot of it's sister island, Nevis. 

Outfit Details:  Ruffle Sleeve T-Shirt  |  Jeans  |  Shoes  |  Hat

Outfit Details: Ruffle Sleeve T-Shirt | Jeans | Shoes | Hat

HOW TO GET THERE

Flights - Play around with different dates as your departure city may have nonstop flights to St. Kitts (SKB). For example, Atlanta only offers 2 nonstop flights per week.

Transportation - No need to set anything up with the hotel, just grab a taxi at the airport ($30-40) and save your money. 

Breakfast at the Park Hyatt St. Kitts at the Great House

OUR STAY AT THE PARK HYATT ST. KITTS 

Their interior designer nailed it. Everything is 'decor goals' with it’s luxury modern Caribbean flare.

Rooms - A big benefit of the property are the rooms with private plunge pools overlooking the ocean. I suggest checking out the Nevis Peak Suite and the Park Executive Suite. Note: beds are pretty firm but they'll bring you a topper if you’d like.

We stayed in the Nevis Peak Suite (#1321) and had an amazing views of the ocean, Nevis and the overall property. Loved the floor-to-ceiling windows, free-standing tub, rainforest shower, outdoor patio with plunge pool, and of course marble and gold accents throughout. 

This was our view from bed! How gorgeous!

This was our view from bed! How gorgeous!

Bathroom necessities. We always get excited when a hotel carries this brand because it's quality.

Bathroom necessities. We always get excited when a hotel carries this brand because it's quality.

This tub fits 2 people comfortable! #TubGoals

This tub fits 2 people comfortable! #TubGoals

All about the little details. This little stool in the shower.

All about the little details. This little stool in the shower.

Our private plunge pool overlooking the ocean/Nevis.

Our private plunge pool overlooking the ocean/Nevis.

Our room had a living room.

Our room had a living room.

Marble table with fresh fruit in the living room.

Marble table with fresh fruit in the living room.

Pools - There are two pools: the main lagoon infinity pool and an "adult pool” - which we preferred as it was more quite and overlooked the entire property. On Wednesday and Fridays, they have live music. There are also little stations throughout with SPF (30), cooling gel, bug repellant, and flavored water.

People - If you get the chance to go to the Park Hyatt St. Kitts, you’ll quickly realize the people make your stay special. Staff is beyond friendly and go out of their way to know you personally. I kid you not, our server at breakfast Kishama literally sang me a solo “Happy Birthday” song at breakfast and Adrian (Director of Rooms) helped my husband scramble to find me a birthday gift! Please say hello to our new friends: Joelle at Fishermans Village and everyone at the pools like Julian, Daron, Alicia, etc.

WHAT TO DO 

A local massage therapist who came to the hotel and set-up a table directly on our balcony. see below.

A local massage therapist who came to the hotel and set-up a table directly on our balcony. see below.

Although there is not a ton to do, The Park Hyatt St. Kitts offers complimentary kayaking, paddle boarding, and snorkeling on-site which is fun and convenient.

Although I didn’t use the gym or spa, I loved doing morning Yoga in the Sugar Mill (yes, it was a real sugar mill). I highly suggest walking through the spa, however it’s pricey. Instead, we found a local massage therapist who came to the hotel and set-up a table directly on our balcony for a 1/3 of the spa price (it was amazing). You can contact Mimi here

Boat Ride to Nevis - The hotel offers rides to/from Nevis. If you’re staying for 5+ days, consider checking out the Four Seasons and also Sunshine's for a Killer Bee cocktail (beware!). 

Guided Tours - If you get the itch to do an early morning adventure, check out the zip lining or volcano hike. 

WHERE TO EAT

Fresh juices and champagne...yes please! 

Fresh juices and champagne...yes please! 

Whatever you do...get the lobster!!! 

Whatever you do...get the lobster!!! 

One of the only ‘cons' we had about staying at the Park Hyatt St. Kitts is the restaurants/taxi situation. Given there are not many nearby restaurants, you’re likely to not leave the hotel. Although we loved every meal, it would have gotten difficult/pricey after 4-5 days. 

The buffet room at the Great House: cereals, fresh cut cold cuts, and pastry heaven. Then in the next room is eggs, bacon, etc. 

The buffet room at the Great House: cereals, fresh cut cold cuts, and pastry heaven. Then in the next room is eggs, bacon, etc. 

On property, our routine was breakfast at the Great House (splurge for the buffet), lunch poolside, and dinner at Fishermans Village (get the lobster, you will thank me later). Before dinner, we enjoyed drinks at Flemings bar during sunset. 

Outside the hotel, we found two nearby places.

The Pavilion at Christophe Harbour - This place is a must! Located directly on the beach and only ~5 minutes from hotel ($20 taxi). You must have a reservation as it’s a members only community, however the Park Hyatt can set it up. Be sure to arrive before sunset so you can grab a drink (Mango Martini) and explore the property. Everything was delicious, but we ordered the poached lobster, scallops, and mahi-mahi. 

Salt Plage - This is one of the best sunsets on the island. Although it’s more of a drink place, we grabbed some light bites for dinner. Try to go on Thursday for the live music! Also ask the Park Hyatt to reserve you a private day bed to really enjoy the sunset. 

Marshalls - We didn’t end up going here, however if we had one more night we would have. All the locals raved about it. 

MY MOST-USED ITEMS OF 2017

Beauty, Fashion, LifestyleVeronica ArrietaComment
My most used items of 2017

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! We hosted Christmas this year in Atlanta with my whole family. They flew in from all over (China, Texas, Montana, and California). Sadly, everyone has now gone back home and I'm sitting here wondering where the heck 2017 went?! But really, why does it feel like the older you get the faster time flies. As amazing of a year 2017 was for me/us, I’m excited to welcome a new year full of fresh opportunities and changes. But before I we jump into 2018, I wanted to share some of my most-loved (and used) items from 2017. I try so many products daily, but there are a handful of items that stick out to me as daily or weekly essentials. Keep reading to see what my most-used items of 2017 were…

Cuyana Travel Case Set - I can’t think of a single trip where I didn’t bring my Cuyana travel cases on. The big one carries all my makeup and the smaller is for my toiletries. I love the blush color and how you can personalize it. 

IT Cosmetics Superhero Mascara - I’ve been using this mascara for a while now and love, love it. I used to hop around from different brands, but now I’m pretty loyal to this IT Cosmetics one. This could easily top the whole list for the most-used item!

Fawn Design Bag - This has been my go-to bag since having our baby girl. I love that it doesn't look like a diaper bag and can be worn as both a backpack or messenger bag. 

Amazon Alexa - We use this every day, whether we're playing music downstairs in the kitchen or while playing with the baby in her room. This is the best gift for someone too! 

Tula Skincare - I didn't start using this till the end of the year, so it didn’t really have a fair chance at a full 12 month analysis like all of the other products. But, I’ve used it every single day since I bought it and it’s proven to be a must-have for my day to day, so I definitely think it deserves a spot! Read up on my post about all the products I use here

What To Wear To Your Newborn Pictures

Motherhood, LifestyleVeronica ArrietaComment
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The day before our newborn photoshoot, I went into pure panic mode thinking I had nothing to wear; but as I opened my closet full of clothes that I hadn't seen in 9 months (and not knowing how things were going to fit), I found a few different options. I also forced myself to fit into my biggest jeans! Mike and I had just moved into our house and literally only have a few pieces of furniture so it was fun to see how Hayley captured it all. 

Just like you're maternity photoshoot, you want to look your best with your new babe, so I've put together a few ideas that will look great on camera and you! Tip: Unlink maternity photos, I would stay clear of anything tight-fitting because girl you just had a baby ~7 days ago!

Light Neutrals

Skip the bright and bold colors and instead go with light neutrals. Don't feel the need to match everyone in white shirts and jeans, you can mix light browns, grays, blush, etc. 

Textures  

Play it up with textures. I love adding textures from sweaters, lace, sheer overlay. embroidery, etc. These types of textures really pick up on the camera as well. I'm wearing this OTS lace top and this Gap textured knit sweater. 

For The Guys

Is your man anything like mine, saying "what do you want me to wear" 15 minutes before your photographer arrives?! I love a simple t-shirt and jeans if you're going for more of a casual look. Again, he doesn't need to match you exactly, just stay in the same neutral color scheme.

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For The Moms: Three Helpful Tips When Taking Newborn Photos

1. If you have the bandwidth and extra hands at home, then get your hair and makeup done! I'm usually not happy with how my hair turns out so did both myself, but if you're not confident doing your hair/makeup yourself or just want to get pampered then get it done girl because you deserve it!! 

2. Wear more makeup than you normally would because the natural light will wash you out. 

3. Make sure you have your nails painted and manicured as they will be photographed. 

Reality vs Expectations Of Having A Baby

Motherhood, LifestyleVeronica ArrietaComment

I'm only 3 weeks into being a Mom and feel like I can write a novel on things I wish I had known before I had a baby. Not necessarily advice about the baby because let's be honest everyday is a learning day, but more so things I needed to understand.

1. Contrary to popular belief, you won’t sleep when the baby sleeps. Even though everyone always says "sleep when the baby sleeps," it just doesn't happen. You'll want to spend time with your spouse, you’ll want to shower, you’ll want to eat, you'll want to work, you'll want to clean, etc. I can legitimately laugh at the thought that I would nap when she naps.

2. You’ll miss your weekly OB visits. Anyone else?! Especially towards the end of pregnancy, when you're going in for your weekly appointments. I loved my OB and nurse and in a weird way miss driving to the appointment and waiting for updates on Olivia. Am I weird for saying this?  

3. You can throw all the books you read out of the window. The ONE book that I actually got some good and honest stuff from was Girlfriend's Guide To Pregnancy.

4. Where do the days go? Babies are the biggest time spenders and you can stare at them all day long. Whether you're changing a dirty diaper, trying to get things done when they nap, or feeding them every 2/3 hours, you'll look at the time and think where did the day go?!

Does anyone else feel this way? I'm sure this doesn't apply to everyone, and if you're a mom that can nap when your little one naps then I applaud you. But I'm just speaking for myself and think it's humorous now looking back.

There are certain things I wanted to hold onto after having a baby - some I've stuck with and others have been harder to keep up with. One thing I've tried to hold onto is getting dressed. Now it doesn't happen every day but I feel more sane when I'm showered, dressed and have makeup on. What are some things you have held onto as a Mom? What helps make you feel more sane and yourself so you can be the best Mom to your little one? 

My Experience on The Ellen DeGeneres Mother's Day Giveaway Show

Lifestyle, FashionVeronica ArrietaComment

I wanted to give you the inside scoop of what it's like to be in the audience of The Ellen Show Mother's Day Giveaway show. I've also gotten a ton of questions as to how I got on the show, what to wear, etc. so will be going into detail on the whole experience. Let me just preface this post by saying, I am speaking from my experience alone from her Mother's Day Show. 

Also, my photos are mediocre, at best. I had to use my iPhone as opposed to a real camera, but I did my best to sneak in a few pictures as they had a very strict 'no photos policy.'

Let's start from the beginning...How I applied to The Ellen Show's Mother's Day Giveaway?

You apply here on her website. I was checking basically everyday in February and March to see if she had updated it from 2016 to 2017. In April they updated the site to 2017, which was the green light for the first-time-mom's to finally apply. Because of my persistency of checking the site daily, I basically applied the day they listed. 

I filled out the application with all my information, a picture of Mike and I (we used one of these), my due date, social media handles, and then 1500 characters to tell your story. In my story I shared where I grew up, what I do now, how my husband and I met, my pregnancy journey this far, my hopes and plans for our daughter, etc. Then I pressed submit, said a prayer and crossed my fingers.

They got back to be within a few days via email and told me I got on the Mother's Day Show (woohoo!!). I was so giddy with excitement and then we booked out flights to LA right away. They send the ticket to the show via email a week before the show tapes. The ticket included everything from the address, check-in, where to park, dress code, etc. 

What to wear to the The Ellen Mother's Day Show? 

The dress code is nice casual. You may be seen on TV, so you definitely want to look cute! Most of the women wore dresses and a light jacket. I wore a maxi dress, denim jacket, and sandals to the show. 

What happened the day of the show? 

The Audience Waiting Area/check-in area. I've never seen so many pregnant women in my life!!!

The Audience Waiting Area/check-in area. I've never seen so many pregnant women in my life!!!

Prior to the show they tell you to bring the biggest car you have because you never know what you're going to get in gift giveaways. We rented the biggest car in the Hertz parking lot, which just happened to be a Yukon XL SLT. We pulled in to Warner Brothers Studios, Gate 3, parked and went down to the check-in area, which is actually just a section of the parking garage. There were rows of benches, a roped off VIP section, TV screens with Ellen playing in the background. 

For the Mother's Day Show, each first-time-mom has a guaranteed ticket so you need to check-in, which was at 1:30pm for a 3:30pm show taping. I would recommend getting there earlier because they give you a number upon checking-in and that's essentially the order they bring you into the studio. We got there around 1pm and waited in line to get #158, my husband also got a number for the Riff Raff Room so he could watch. 

Closer to 3pm they had everyone line up according to their numbers and took us across the street to the set. The set looked much smaller than I had imagined. The seats were much closer to the stage than it looks on TV. 

The Riff Raff Room where the husbands and +1s sat during the show. This room also has The Ellen Show Shop, where we bought our little girl an Ellen onsie. 

The Riff Raff Room where the husbands and +1s sat during the show. This room also has The Ellen Show Shop, where we bought our little girl an Ellen onsie. 

From where I'm sitting. You can see where Ellen sits :)

From where I'm sitting. You can see where Ellen sits :)

The Ellen Show

This is the only show where they allow the audience members to get up and use the restroom during taping AND have food. You bet I took advantage of the food! :) 

This is the only show where they allow the audience members to get up and use the restroom during taping AND have food. You bet I took advantage of the food! :) 

Twitch came out and got the crowd excited and dancing, then a few minutes later the Ellen-music played, the blue doors parted, and Ellen walked through the doors. Everyone was so excited yelling and clapping. Ellen woo-d back at us, and finally as we quieted down, we took our seats. Ellen looked like Ellen. Ellen sounded like Ellen, only a little bit different since she was microphoned.

She opened up the show with her Mother's Day lingo, then said those two amazing words… ‘let’s dance!’ After the dancing, she didn't waste any time to start giving things away. The celebrity guests were Goldie Hawn and Amy Schumer. 

For the 2017 Mother's Day Show, she gave away: $500 Amazon gift card from Amazon Baby Registry, Amazon Echo, 1-year Amazon Prime membership, 1-year Amazon music unlimited, 1-year supply of Huggies Diapers and Wipes, Babyletto Bingo 3-in-1 crib, Essentia crib mattress, Laurel & Wolf online interior design service, $500 Home Depot gift card, 4moms Moxi Stroller, 4Moms Self-Installing car seat, 4moms car seat adapter, Svan high chair with cushion, $350 Amazon gift card from Plum Organics, 2-night babymoon in Palm Springs, $500 Carter's gift card, and a Kate Spade diaper bag

And then. It was over. The show was done taping. I couldn’t believe how fast it went by. Ellen took the microphone, and expressed her gratitude for us. It was genuine, but short. Then her staff came out and passed out all the gift cards to us, the Amazon Echo, then headed to the car for the second part of the gifts, where they loaded the stroller, car seat, car seat adapter, high chair and diaper bag in everyone's cars. 

The SUV fully packed and loaded with everything from Ellen! 

The SUV fully packed and loaded with everything from Ellen! 

First of all, if you are still reading this, thanks! I know it is a long one, but I wanted to give a detailed account of my experience at The Ellen Show for her Mother's Day Giveaway! Here are some things I realized about the show:

  • Ellen is an entertainer/performer, and an amazing one at that.
  • During commercial breaks Ellen stayed and danced with Twitch and talked to the staff, which pleasant surprise.
  • Ellen mostly addresses the camera, which really gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling when you are watching from home.
  • A lot of the magic that you see in your living rooms, happens in the editing of the show.
  • They will also take anything inappropriate out in editing as well (i.e. Not everything Amy Schumer said was aired).
  • It goes by so quick, so make sure to take in every minute. 

If I missed anything and you have questions, please comment below and I will answer anything else you want to know about my experience on The Ellen Show! xox

You bet we watched the show when it aired Thursday, 5/11 and spotted me!! 

You bet we watched the show when it aired Thursday, 5/11 and spotted me!! 

Smoke Bomb Gender Reveal

Lifestyle, Marriage, FashionVeronica ArrietaComment
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My heart could burst as I'm writing this because we're just so excited to officially announce that we are welcoming a sweet baby GIRL in July! We've told our family and close friends but have been keeping it a little secret from everyone else until now. I've already started to plan out her nursery and buy all the pink clothes (help!!!)! We feel so incredibly blessed for this little girl growing inside of me and we cannot wait to meet her in just a few short months. 

Dress: Old Navy ℅ (non-maternity wearing a Small)| Shoes: Sam Edelman (last summer on sale for $64 here) | Lips: NARS lip pencil in shade "Yu"

I wanted to do something different than the typical pink balloon announcement and totally fell in love with the smoke bomb gender reveal when I saw it on Etsy. If you love the idea of the smoke bomb photo shoot, here are a few tips we learned:

  1. Buy a few smoke bombs because they burn quickly. If you want a good variety of positions and chances for everyone to have their eyes open in the photo, you’ll need lots of burn time. We used 3 smoke bombs and 1 practice smoke bomb. The smoke bombs give you approx. 45-60 seconds to get the shot.
  2. Have two people handy. We had two friends help us: one behind the camera and one to light the smoke bombs/move it around once it started to fizzle out. A big shout out to Steve and Katie for making this possible :)
  3. Plan our your poses/what you're going to do. You only have a few seconds to get your photo so make sure you're 100% ready when you light it up.
  4. The wind matters! This is where the practice smoke bomb is really helpful, so you can see which way it's going to blow.