Checked-In – The Westin Austin Downtown

It’s been 3 weeks since my last flight and I’ve just booked another one. 

Wanderlust is calling and though the countdown has begun – (see where I’m headed next on the ‘gram!) I’m using the blog to share and relive some of my favorite destinations – particularly the warmer ones. It’s like that first taste of champagne after a week of sobriety… it’s just so good!

I try and make it back to Texas at least three times a year, once to Dallas and then once or twice to Austin. This past Memorial Day I headed back to the Lone Star State and checked into the Westin Austin Downtown for a one night stay before heading out to the hill country.

Now before I share details of my amazing overnight, you should know that I’m a Starwood loyalist. Between the points, their portfolio of properties and locations – when I think big city travel it’s Starwood all the way, More importantly Westin’s are at the top of my list.

The Westin Austin Downtown is no exception to the rule as its blocks from 6th street, restaurants, nightlife and the outdoor culture of Lady Bird Lake. The property also features some of the most stunning (and instagrammable views) of the city skyline especially during a not to miss Texas sunset from the Azul rooftop bar. Be sure to also order one of their elevated cocktails – a personal favorite is the Prickly Pear Mosa.

STAY

To say I was spoiled was an understatement. I had a top floor room with a view of Austin to my right and a southwest facing view with sprawling Texas skies. After being away for so long – sprawling landscapes are welcome after staring at buildings in the concrete jungle.The rooms are always so fresh and bespoke for the modern traveler, like myself, with USB’s by the bed, rain showers and the most comfortable bedding.

DO

What I also love about Westin’s is their commitment to making sure your vacation is as restorative as possible. Whether it’s a guided run along the lake with the run concierge or visiting their fitness studio, there’s always options to get a workout in.

Recently, The Westin Austin just added Peloton bikes to their fitness studio! For a cycling evangelist like me – having access to more than 5,000 on-demand classes is a great way to get a good workout in. All that is needed is to head downstairs, workout, back up to shower then you’re out the door to explore. It saves SO much time.

EAT

Three words. Stella. San. Jac. Stella – on San Jacinto (clever!) is the Westin Austin’s southern style restaurant with lots of charm and flavor. From the sleek Danish deco décor, to its cocktail menu and to die for deviled eggs we had brunch (droolworthy – menu here) before heading out.

The meal started with their signature biscuits with whipped butter (hello southern goodness), we ordered the delicious deviled eggs and I took a deep dive into the blueberry french toast. All three was a nice entrée into a food coma for our pending ride out to the hill country.

What I love about this place is that it’s the perfect intersection of southern flair, convenience and a little bit away from the heart of Sixth Street – no sense in being reminded of my sins from the night before. The staff couldn’t be friendlier and their revitalizing juices are on point for both Westin’s rejuvenation thematic and recovery from the night before.

Even if you aren’t staying at the hotel, it’s a great place to get brunch and perfect for a girls group, visiting parents or a day date when you may need a little more ambiance and ability to actually hear people – (a huge pet peeve of mine at other spots!)

Here’s more info on the restaurant.

Thanks to The Westin Austin Downtown for collaborating on this post!

March 7, 2018

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17 Days of 17

Wow. All I can say is – it’s been a minute. One of sheer denial that we’re in a new year and more that it’s January again!

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January is likely my least favorite month. January’s past included grappling with the winter blues, nursing broken hearts, lamenting the holidays and all around trying to get a handle on a whole new year ahead.

So instead of waxing poetic about all the thoughts in my brain for the past almost month – I wanted to turn my thoughts into more of a list of reflection and action – 17 thoughts on 17 dedicated to a new year, new resolutions and new goals. A listicle organized.

The past 17 days:

  • I spent an amazing New Years in a cozy cabin experiencing a lot of personal firsts and strapping on skis for the first time in 4 years!
  • 2. Skiing was like riding a bike – I even tackled my first black before lunch – natch!
  • 3. I’ve managed to book 3 trips back to back – please like the wanderlust bug couldn’t stay away for long!

On Relationships:

  • 17 days have come with time reconnecting with friends, visiting new date spots, entertaining family in town and frankly putting some effort into areas that my “on the road” job didn’t allow for in 2016. Sometimes it’s nice to know you’re starting the year off with a good cheering squad behind you as you pursue new things.

On Health/Wellness:

  • Ah – the elephant in the room. A recent injury has me hitting the pause button on my 2017 half-marathon goals but it will happen!
  • I’m maintaining the 3-C’s during the week – NO Cabs, Carbs, Cabernet Sauvignon. My body and wallet will thank me. Till Friday at least.

On Career:

  • If last year was the year of travel – this year is the year of big events. Starting with Super Bowl! Ya – it’s just what you’re thinking.
  • Also – it’s time to bring back the “From the Desk” posts – don’t you think? PR Gals get ready!

On the Blog:

  • I took some time over the holiday and really thought – is this online place something I really can devote my time to? Really believe in? The long short – yes, what matters is that life is better and richer with this corner of the internet alive.
  • But it may be time to refocus on what this blog is and what it isn’t – a cleaner manifesto if you will!
  • We’re coming up on the blog’s 5th Birthday – can you believe it!
  • So I think of it as time to “push myself” what do we really want to do with PRBlonde.com in 2017…

On LIfe/Resolutions: While the last 5 may seem quick and dirty. I find myself finding comfort in waking up and quickly resetting priorities with the simplest of mantras.

  • Travel more
  • Worry/apologize less
  • Be authentic not popular
  • Invest your time in it because it matters to you
  • Be happy!

On my last resolution it took me a minute to get here but I firmly believe happiness is a choice and you are fully capable of turning things around whenever you please. All that matters is picking yourself up by the boots and doing the work to get there!

Here’s to a great year ahead!

January 17, 2017

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THE BEST OF CYBER MONDAY SALES

This is it!

The mouse has had a rest for the first half of our cyber sales and now – we’re in the second half ready to score. Can you tell I watched too much football on Thanksgiving? 

We’ll consider my latte doubled and wish list ready (below!) to take on the best of the best Cyber Monday sales. I’ve got holiday gifts investment pieces and all holiday occasion outfits on the brain and I’ve scoured the internet (and my inbox – was yours overflowing like mine this morning!) for the not to miss sales the match. If you were poking around here Friday, some are the same savings (new codes!) and many just got a whole lot better! I’ve scheduled a few “very important” laptop required meetings (*wink!) on my calendar and plan on some lunch time clicking with the goal of adding closet and present equity by 200%! (That’s something the financial boys should understand right?! So, break out that wish list to maximize your budget and to buy smart and quick!  Let Cyber Monday 2016 begin!

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PRB PICKS – CYBER MONDAY FINDS

HOLIDAY MUST HAVES: Draper James Deck The Y’alls Vanderbilt Tote | William Sonoma Mini Gingerbread Houses | William Sonoma Hot Chocolate Sampler | William Sonoma Copper Mug

WINTER COZY: Ann Taylor Jeans (50% off!) | | Tuckernuck Hand Knit Cable Turtleneck Sweater | Women’s CashTouch Plaid Square Scarf | J.Crew Suede Sadie Flats |

XMAS WISHLIST: Brian Atwood Karina Pump | Mansur Gavriel Mini Bucket Bag |

NYE: Lodis Black Pouch | J.Crew Silver Sequin Skirt | J.Crew Velvet Cami |

XMAS MORNING: Lord & Taylor Heather Draped Front Cardigan | J.Crew Camisole Red Plaid PJ set | ASOS Santa Baby Slippers | Ashley Brooke Designs Jingle Juice Mug |  

HOLIDAY SHOES: Vince Camuto Lace-Up Pump | Cara Genuine Rabbit Fur Pom Pumps | Lauren Lorraine Giselle Plaid Pumps | Jack Rogers Monogram Flat |

INVESTMENT PIECES: YSL Dylan Suede Shoulder Bag (30% off!) | Gucci Princetown Loafer |

CLOSET STAPLES: Dolce Vita Neely Boots | Sandro Black Leather Leggings | Baublebar Tassel Earrings | DVF Embossed Leather Clutch | Tuckernuck Black Off The Shoulder Top | Miansi Screw Cuff |

FOR HIM: Hard Stuff Decanter | Mark & Graham Leather Catch All |

cybermonday-sales

ALL THE SALES YOU NEED (AND WANT TO KNOW!)

Amazon.com // ALL WEEK LONG // CLICK HERE

Ann Taylor // 50% off everything // DATE: 11.28 // CODE: CYBER50

ASOS // 30% off everything // DATE: 11.25 – 11.29 // CODE: THANKFUL30

BaubleBar // DATE: 11/28 // 2+ items CODE: SAVE35 // 1 Item CODE: SAVE25

Chicwish // 25% off Sitewide // DATE: 11/28 // CODE: BLK25

Design Darling // 20% off // DATE: 11.25 – 11.30 // CODE: HOLIDAY

Draper James // 20% off $200 – 25% off $300 – 30% off $400 // DATE: 11.28

GAP // 50% off everything // CODE: CYBMON

Henri Bendel // 30% off sitewide // DATE 11.28

J.Crew // 40% off everything! // CODE: MONDAY

Joie // 25% off sitewide // DATE: 11.25 – 11.28 // CODE: THANKS

Kate Spade // 30% off // DATE: 11.28 // CODE: WIRED

LOFT // 50% of everything // DATE: 11.28 // CODE: CYBERMONDAY

Lord and Taylor // Up to 75% off storewide // 11.28

Madewell // 25% off your entire purchase // DATE: 11.22- 11.27 // CODE: CYBERMONDAY

Moda Operandi // Sale items up to 65% off // DATE: 11.21-11.28 // CODE: EXTRA30

Sam Edelman // Spend $200 get $75 off, Spend $400 get $125 off // CODE CYBERSAM16

Shopbop // Spend $200 – 15% off, Spend $500 – 20% off, spend $800 – 25% off // DATE: 11.28 CODE: GOBIG16

Tuckernuck // 20% off Everything // DATE: 11/25 // CODE: GIVE20

Tibi // Up to 50% off + free ground shipping

TRAVEL

Expedia // 50% – 75% select hotels (and they are really good)  // DATE: 11.25 – 11.28

Starwood Hotels // Up to 30% off hotels with + 5% for SPG rewards members

Make sure to check back later today for updates to the list! #HappyHunting

November 28, 2016

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THE BEST OF BLACK FRIDAY SALES

The leftovers are in Tupperware, we managed to find a few bottles of leftover champagne and I have found my comfy spot on the couch with a mimosa in one hand and mouse in the other as we take on the best of black Friday. Doorbusters? Please, I’ll take my sales fireside in a cashmere blanket.

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We chatted earlier this week about the best ways to navigate today’s sales and even prep for the Monday ahead and I don’t know about you but I’m ready! With priorities and budgets set let’s get this click-party started!

First things first, these sales are the best of the best. From 30, 40, 50% off these are the ones not to be missed. I’ve gone through some of my favorite retailers and even picked out some not to miss items to get you ready for the holiday season – just want to click through – anything in red will take you straight to the action! Make sure to check back throughout the day for additions and on Monday for additional sale opportunities. Phew! I’m already exhausted.

THE BEST OF BLACK FRIDAY SALES

Amazon.com/Fashion // 30% off select clothing, shoes, accessories w/ CODE: 30BLACKFRI

Ann Taylor // 50% off everything // DATE: 11.27 // CODE: CELEBRATE

ASOS // 30% off everything // DATE: 11.25 – 11.29 // CODE: THANKFUL30

BaubleBar // 30% off purchases // DATE: 11/25 – 11/27 // CODE: THANKS30

Chicwish // 25% off Sitewide // DATE: 11/25 – 11/28 // CODE: BLK25

Design Darling // 20% off // DATE: 11.25 – 11.30 // CODE: HOLIDAY

Draper James // 30% off sale items // DATE: 11.25

GAP // 50% off everything // CODE: TGI50

Henri Bendel // 25% off +$150 and 30% off +$250 // DATE: 11.27 – 11.29

J.Crew // 40% off everything! // CODE: HOLIDAY

Joie // 25% off sitewide // DATE: 11.25 – 11.28 // CODE: THANKS

Kate Spade // 30% off // DATE: 11.24 – 11.28 // CODE: THANKFUL

LOFT // 50% of everything // DATE: DATE: 11.25 // CODE: FRIYAY

Lord and Taylor // Extra 50% off reduced styles // DATE: 11.24 – 11.26

Madewell // 25% off your entire purchase // DATE: 11.22- 11.27 // CODE: THATSALE

Moda Operandi // Sale items up to 65% off // DATE: 11.21-11.28 // CODE: EXTRA30

Sam Edelman // 30% Off Sitewide // DATE: 11.21-11.27 // CODE: SAMSGIVING

Shopbop // Spend $250 & save 15%, Spend $500 & save 20%, spend $800 & save 25% // DATE: 11.24 – 11.30 // CODE: GOBIG16

Tuckernuck // 20% off Everything // DATE: 11/25 // CODE: GIVE20

Tibi // Up to 50% off + free ground shipping

TRAVEL

Expedia // 50% – 75% select hotels (and they are really good)  // DATE: 11.25 – 11.28

Starwood Hotels // Up to 30% off hotels with + 5% for SPG rewards members

Make sure to check back later today for updates to the list! #HappyHunting

November 25, 2016

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How To Shop Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale

Let’s call tomorrow the Xmas Eve of Summer because that’s what it feels like when the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale comes to town. Can you believe it – it’s here!

Two years ago I went a little crazy – goodbye paycheck! Last year I put a skillful strategy in place and both years have shown love to my closet and more importantly, last year my wallet too! So to tackle this precious online sale with the closet love and wallet savings akin to Cyber Monday, I thought I would share my secret ways to ensure you don’t set your card on fire, while still getting the best the #NSale (if you’re following on social) has to offer. I mean who doesn’t love to leave more clothes in the closet and bills in the wallet right?

So here’s how were going to break it down. Tip by tip, I’ll share what you need to know, how I plan to take advantage of it and some of those key items where you’ll save the most and sweat your budget the best. Let’s do this? Mouses and laptops at the ready?

FIRST THINGS FIRST

Before we start clicking through the booties and finding the best of transition wear, let’s set a few ground rules:

  1. Set a budget – I know, we could spend our life savings at Nordstrom and we’d look good doing it, but that’s not the point. So, decide what can you spend? What when you’re having to say no to dinners with friends and yes to Ramen will your guilty conscience be able to live with?
  2. Set an alarm – With tomorrow the start of the sale – and open to the public, getting in early is key! So brew the French press cold brew tonight, set and alarm and hour or two early and suck it up for one morning. Who wouldn’t want to go to work on a shopper high! Come on!
  3. Make Two Lists – What you want and what you need. From special events to that beach bag you’ve been eyeing, strike a balance about being practical as we approach fall transition wear and end of summer “gotta have it” must haves.

NOW COMES THE FUN PART – LET’S SHOP!

SHOP SUMMER

Tip: Please! This season is so not over! With August vacations coming up and Labor Day ahead – stock up on the last of summer dresses, shoes bags and hats. With this season going out – savings can be nearly triple!

On my list/My Top Picks:

I kept Labor Day parties and summer date night top of mind while shooting for pieces under $100 with only half the summer left.

Way In Popover Maxi Dress ($52) | Sole Society Espadrilles ($69) | Leith Off-the-shoulder Lace Dress ($64) |

SHOP TRANSITION FOOTWEAR

Tip: Booties booties booties booties rockin’ everywhere! Whether with shorts or fleece leggings – booties are the shoe that keeps on giving all year round. With fall approaching, NEW! styles will be even be marked down giving you a first pass at a fresh pair!

On my list/My Top Picks:

I have leather and suede brown and suede black – but want to replace my leather black wedge booties and find a new style and invest in a pair I’ll have for years.

Dyer’s Bootie in Brown Leather ($99) | Sole Society Romy Bootie ($89) | DVF Perforated Almond Toe Bootie ($428) <– splurge/investment |

SHOP COATS

Tip: I know – a coat when it’s 98 degrees out, say what!? But should there be a new transition jacket you’re eyeing or a shell perfect for those fall winds, now’s the time to snatch it up! Coats are notoriously good sale items since inventory is high and demand in the summer is low. You’ll have your pick!

On my list/My Top Picks:

I’m in the market for a light fall jacket and thigh length windbreaker and LOVE Michael Kors style!

Michael Kors Detachable Hood Jacket ($89) | Theory Cashmere Topper Coat ($595)  <– splurge/investment |

SHOP BEAUTY AND TRAVEL NECESSITIES

Tip: With Nordstrom carrying many of my favorite make-up and beauty products, for both travel and day-to-day scooping up low-cost items and saving at the same time is totally worth it! Every dollar saved counts right?

On my list/My Top Picks:

From a high-quality travel dryer to my coveted and expensive shampoo – I’m stocking up!

Drybar Baby Buttercup Travel Hair Dryer ($135) | Living Proof ‘No Frizz’ Shampoo ($25) |

SHOP TRENDS

Tip: Shopping trends always requires a little out of the box thinking and some discovery! To avoid the temptation to splurge on a “cool” item – make filters your friend eyeing only what’s in budget, your size and frankly what you’ll actually wear (i.e. silhouettes, etc.) so you don’t regret the purchase.

On my list/My Top Picks:

| Off the shoulder – Poplin Bardot Pink Top ($48) | Peek-A-Boo Lace – A-Line Lace Dress ($190) | Ruffles – Ruffle Cold Shoulder Dress ($90) |

SHOP DENIM

Tip: Jackets and Jeans are perfect September Summer wear. With jeans being a popular item, there’s tons of stock to choose from. Consider that pair you wouldn’t have bought with the rips or the dark matchstick perfect with a blazer come Oct. 1.

On my list/My Top Picks:

I’ve been wanting a denim vest for a while and to try my hand at some ripped jeans!

| Side Stitch Short Sleeve Denim Romper ($58) | BlankNYC Distressed Jeans ($88) | Billabong Distressed Denim Shorts ($49) |

NEED INSPIRATION

Tip: Check all of your social sources. Instagram is a great spot to start because not only will you find full outfit inspiration but shoppable services like LiketoKnow.IT allow you to raid hashtags like #LTKSaleAlert and #NSale for influencers (like me!) and get the details of sale filled posts sent straight to your e-mail inbox. (How to sign-up here).

/ / / /

So are you ready? Phones in hand, laptops open? Cold brew made? I’m excited! See you tomorrow over on Nordstrom.com.

July 21, 2016

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Seeing Red

Given my recent relationship with work and affair with travel – finding time with friends has taken on new hours.

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Shoes: Jack Rogers | Sunnies: Karen Walker | Dress: BooHoo | Bag:  (orig. discontinued) Michael Kors Collection similar in link | Necklace: Kendra Scott | (more…)

June 23, 2016

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Weekend Reading – Vol. 41

…And Oscars! Is anyone else jazzed for this award show? Thanks to an abundance of champagne and some DIY decor I’m hosting a little shin-dig with friends for a front row seat to the carpet and festivities this evening. #TeamLeo.

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READ THIS: Knowledge bombs.

BUY THAT: Salezzzzz!

  • I’m a huge Lord & Taylor fan – one of the best department stores with the best sales – speaking of, 20% off this weekend with code SAVE.
  • Old Navy is giving 30% off with code CARDSAVE – they have great workout gear to stock up on before my race.
  • This travel sweater! Here we come destination #4 for the year. 😉

REMEMBER THIS: This is what you talk about when you mute Oscar commercials.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Who we kidding – you’re such loyalists.

  • From the Desk – Have you turned in your applications yet?
  • Anyone else running out the door in the morning? Here’s the 10-minute make-up routine I can’t live without

Toodles and good luck Leo! Make sure to follow me on Instagram and Snapchat tonight for some Oscars fun!

 

 

February 28, 2016

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2015 GIFT GUIDE: For The Workaholic

43 days. That’s all we’ve got people! 43 days till my favorite day of the year and I couldn’t be happier that the holiday season is finally here. With the tree being “decked” in Rockefeller Center, bows being draped around Cartier and my Pinterest board overflowing with apartment décor ideas – It’s safe to say I’m already in the spirit.

PRBlonde Gift Guide (more…)

November 11, 2015

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Thirsty Thursday with Club W

Consider today’s post a wink and a nod to my winter drink wardrobe.

CLUB W - Wine-001

After what feels like a week, New York’s ambitious charm has me retreating to one of my favorite corners of the universe for a little R&R – my couch. In prep for some quality thirsty Thursday sips – I found myself opening two closets, the one containing my cozy sweaters and spandex – the other housing my latest shipment of Club W wines and the appropriate glasses to match. Now don’t tell me that’s not a look you can get on board with… (more…)

October 29, 2015

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The Bachelorette is Back!

It’s Bachelorette Monday? What?!

I’m sorry, didn’t we just leave a cute blonde in a corn field somewhere like a few weeks ago? Well, this season who knows what the hell is going to go down. It’s a new game kids, new format; TWO Bachelorettes which means double the wine and tons of snarky tweets coming your way.

The Bachelorette

After last week’s press call both girls (Kaitlyn and Britt) both seem grateful to be chosen as our “Bachelorettes” but did I feel like I was talking to Romy and Michelle and it was all girl-gushing and post it notes? No. (more…)

May 18, 2015

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