Thursday

Travel with Style: Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa with the Editor


I recently attended a media press trip at the Rancho Valencia resort alongside "Ralph Lauren" magazine, Track & Feel, Giuliana Rancic’s "Fab Fit Fun" and Pure Wow to name a few. Needless to say, we were showed an amazing time at this five-diamond resort. From the moment I arrived, I literally felt as if all of my problems drifted away and were left outside the gates. When your heart is broken, there is nothing quite like slipping on ultra-fabulous outfits and drinking delicious champagne at a destination resort. Plus, when you need time to reflect and recenter yourself, yoga classes and the lush grounds of the Rancho Valencia are quite simply what the doctor ordered! 

Editor highlights? 
My villa was literally larger than my Los Angeles apartment and came complete with a private jacuzzi and outside fireplace. The walk-in closet was simply fabulous too-don't worry, you'll get an inside look with my upcoming shopping guide...

Croquet. 
I lost. Obviously. 
Sips.
Nothing like a little opulence and luxury in the Pony Room. Bubbles, please.

Dress the part for happy hour with my picks available at local San Diego boutiques. My faves? Seka boutique in Cardiff by the Sea and Cedros Soles on Cedros Avenue. Plus, Designer Vault has the very best selection of vintage Chanel. I'll give you the lowdown on my picks shortly.  

Night Cap.

Night cap by the fire with the Rancho Valencia's delicious take on fire-side smores and candied apples. I’m having a craving just talking about it.

My favorite spot? 
Hands down, the Wine Cave. 

Fitness.

I scored a private training session with top trainer, Sean Piazza, the Fitness Director. Ladies, he’s major eye candy. So, let me tell you, when you feel like you just can’t complete another set of lunges, you will push yourself extra hard not to disappoint him. P.S. if you are a San Diego local, you can become a fitness member and have access to all of the offered classes (spin, yoga, Pilates, ballet sculpt and private personal training sessions). Extra perk? Each class ends with a mini fresh-pressed juice. 

I know.  


Plus, you have to check out the tennis courts. I was lucky enough to practice with champion, Robin White. The resort’s Tennis Director. But let’s be real, I packed ten pairs of shoes yet somehow forgot to pack tennis shoes. Bravo, Nacole. Bravo. That means I burned my calories barefoot…well, I wore bath slippers to the tennis courts. True story. 

Spa

Pamper yourself with an outside soak followed by a deep tissue massage. It was not a bad way to spend an afternoon at the resort. Not a bad way at all.

Tequila Tasting.
The Rancho Valencia is also known for their extensive tequila list and offers tequila tasting. Such a fun concept. One tequila, two tequila, three…I lost count. Oh and there are chips and salsa. You had me at salsa.

Conclusion? 
I was spoiled. 

Did I feel like a princess in a storybook fairy tale? 
Yes. 

Did I feel like a princess in a storybook fairy tale? 
Yes. 

Do I want to move in? 
Yes. 

So, Rancho Valencia, is there an option for that? 

Thank you for an unforgettable stay. I will be back.

Tuesday

Press Trip to the Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa | Travel Essentials and Packing Tips with the Editor



TAKE ME AWAY!

Well, let me tell you that my press trip to the Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa could not have come at a better time. Let's just say I am in major need of some TLC and I couldn't imagine anywhere else I would rather get away from it all than the Rancho Valencia.

The Rancho Valencia has garnered a name for itself over the past twenty-five years and with good reason. I have not only heard rave reviews as a San Diego local but now as an "L.A." girl. During my role as the Public Relations and Special Events Director for Rolls Royce and Bentley Beverly Hills, I worked consistently on providing exceptional hospitality to our A-List clientele with this resort always being on the top of my radar. The Rancho Valencia is known for delivering luxury, impeccable service and creating an experience that will surpass any expectations, even with the highest of standards. I am beyond excited to experience the grounds for the first time myself.

Of course, in Rich Skinny Pretty fashion, I am giving you a few tips on what to pack when you are getting ready for your Southern California getaway. Let's be real, I am looking forward to styling looks just as much as I am for the equally-exciting matched itinerary. What's on the agenda? Croquet and champagne, tequila tasting with the food & beverage director, a media dinner in the private wine cave, tennis lessons, an afternoon at the spa and there is even more lined up for the week thanks to the resort's fabulous PR team. Wow, they sure know how to treat a gal! I am planning looks for each activity which means I must plan in advance. You're not really surprised, now are you?

PACKING
I am completely and utterly in love with this luggage set by Dumore. Louise Linton's collection is delicious. It's roomy, chic and the forest green is absolute perfection.



The key with packing is to make the most out of your closet and maximize accessories. That means you must limit ladies! Yes, I know sometimes it's tough to know when enough is enough but it's just not realistic to pack your entire shoe wardrobe for four days. However, that means you need to be extra selective with what you bring because we all know you don't want to be on your vacay wishing you had brought those Marni stacked pumps with you.

SHOES
Hand select the right shoes for each look. I will be honest, I personally like to bring at least five to eight pairs with me for a four day trip. Why? Between flats, sandals, tennis shoes for working out and a different pair of evening shoes potentially for each night...that roughly brings us to five to eight pairs. Alternating evening shoes is just one of those things that is hard to keep to a minimum since certain looks aren't complete without a closed toed pump while another is nothing without a strappy heel. Plus, with fall upon us, ankle booties are once again a signature of the season. In addition, keep in mind your color palette. We have options like black versus cream versus metallic, etc.

JEWELRY
With that said, I typically only bring one or two over-sized statement necklaces. Go ahead and have a field day with your rings, earrings and bracelets. They don't consume a ton of space yet they can take a day look to night in one hot minute.

OUTERWEAR
Bring along two or three outerwear choices. Kick up the basic white tee a notch or update a simple LBD.

HANDBAGS
I usually count on one primary day bag and one evening bag/clutch. Possibly two clutches depending on my color palette (and also depending on available room left in my suitcase!)

Thanks to Seka Boutique in Cardiff by the Sea, Cedros Soles on Cedros Avenue and Designer Vault (best selection of vintage Chanel, seriously) I have updated my closet with some killer pieces. Major score, I scooped up this blazer pictured above thanks to Designer Vault, ummm there are no words!

O.K., so in honor of the Rancho Valencia's 25th anniversary and as the BIG year continues, there is an incredible list of 25 reasons to stay at the resort.

25 REASONS TO RANCHO

May I just lead this list with the fact that these little treats were not included? I mean, really? They make the top of mine!

I heard there are margarita popsicles at the spa also know as "spasicles"...I will report back ladies and gentlemen. ;)

1. Rancho Valencia was honored with AAA’s Five Diamond recognition, their newest accolade.
2. Forbes Travel Guide selected the resort as one of the few Five-Star resorts in the world.
3. New cocktails. They just launched a bevy of new beverages at The Pony Room. And each one is worthy of a sip (or two, or three…).
4. Freshly squeezed orange juice at your door. Daily!
5. The daily promise of sunset skies dotted with hot air balloons.
6.The stunning seasonal produce in this city allows their team to create incredible dishes.
7. Morning yoga. Afternoon yoga. Candlelight yoga. All in a stunning yoga pavilion straight out of Bali. Count me in!
8. Three perfectly heated saline pools.
9. The staff is at the heart of this property, and it can be seen in each and every every detail.
10. Plush, Frette robes await. Aint no party like a robe party.
11. Patio perks! Each casita opens out to a lush, private patio. Some complete with fireplaces and Jacuzzis.
12. The bathtubs are delightfully ginormous.
13. Croquet and cocktails. They do them well. And they do them together.
14. The house made toffee. If it’s your birthday, Veladora just might treat you to a taste…just saying.
15. Weddings at Rancho Valencia sparkle. Quite literally. I'm a sucker for twinkly lights!
16. Warm, friendly staff married with exceptional Relais & Châteaux service.
17. The honey used throughout the resort comes from our very own beehives. And it’s exceptionally delicious. How fantastic is this?!
18. Adventure is the resort's middle name. Take to the trails on the 50 acre property, from the waterfall to the olive grove and beyond.
19. A day without sunshine is a rarity. It’s always summer in Rancho Santa Fe.
21. The tennis options are practically endless with 18 tennis courts and 10 professionals to choose from.
22. Robin White, Tennis Director and two-time US Open Champion.
23. Complimentary Callaway Clubs are at your service 24/7.
24. The property is sprinkled with fireplaces to cozy up to, from every casita to The Pony Room, Fountain Courtyard and beyond.
25. Take a spin in a Porsche from their collection (yes!).


And I'm sure after my stay I will have 25 more reasons...

Bisous 

Campus Talk: Navigating Senior Year of High School and Surviving Freshmen Year of College



Remember high school? Remember the first year of college? Or maybe you’re immersed in it at this very moment. For me, it’s been over a decade. Yikes. Sometimes, I swear I still feel seventeen, or maybe there’s a little part in all of us that hangs on to that feeling, no?

Summing it up, it feels like the entire world is at your fingertips. It feels like you are building the foundation for the rest of your life, for who you want to become. Well, Liv and Car are living it right now. They literally have their entire lives ahead of them. Sharing our small beach-town roots, these girls have nailed Southern California style. They are giving you tips for surviving high school, venturing into college and what to wear along the journey. Ummm, just saying right now, staying caffeinated and staying organized are equally as crucial. For the ones of us who feel like it’s a distant dream, take a little trip down memory lane with us...I promise it will bring back a little nostalgia.

Living it now and need tips for navigating senior year during high school or surviving freshmen year of college? Manage stress with eucalyptus bubble baths, keep your nails looking good on that teen budget with $5 mani changes (genius) and style your hair in a cinch (hello, who has time to flat iron when you have papers to write and exams to cram for?) with simple five-minute-out-the-door-"mermaid" hair. Yes, that's beach-girl style exemplified and mastered.

Meet Liv & Car 

RSP: Tell us a little about yourselves:
Liv&Car: {Liv} I'm a senior in high school. {Car} I'm a freshmen in college, Liv and I have been best friends for years. We launched our company, Liv&Car, early this summer when we received a box of original bikinis from my aunt in Brazil. {Liv} The idea for our business suddenly came to us, and we got right to work.  We decided to make our own style of handmade jewelry to pair with the bathing suits such as, body chains, hip chains, necklaces and chokers. We were on a roll- so excited to actually turn this project into a small business. We invested in stickers, burlap packages, and jewelry pillow boxes, along with other additional necessities we needed to make our sales unique and interesting.

RSP: Let's jump into styling tips. You girls totally get the beach girl look and style. Give us five styling and beauty tips on how to achieve the look.
Liv&Car:
1. We both strive for more of the “natural” everyday look.  We usually stick to neutral colors such as browns and tans for our eyeshadow, along with a thin line of eyeliner, and of course, mascara.  We like to say, “the less makeup the better!”
2. Ladies, wash your face every morning and every night.  {Liv} I love the clairsonic spin brush with the antibacterial Cetaphil soap bar.  During the day, I apply NAKED tinted moisturizer for a nice even complextion and glow!
3. Get the beachy-mermaid look down!  {Car} This is how we do it: Take a shower and when your hair is damp, braid it back into one braid.  We recommend to braid as far down to the tips as you can! Sleep in the braid overnight and take it out in the morning! It's that easy; you have perfect hassel-free waves!
4. {Liv}We are obsessed with shoes! Platform sandals are so in! We love to pair them with a casual outfit, such as a t shirt dress or cuffed jeans!
5. {Car} Who wears bras anymore?!  We adore the simple bralettes.  Free People and Urban Outfitters have amazing lace bralettes that are incredible comfortable and look perfect with any outfit!

Get the look with Brandy Melville
Caffeinated and Organized (I hope you're taking notes)

RSP: Three items you can't live without for school?
{Liv} Senior Year has arrived for me! Finally, another year closer to freedom!  I cannot live without my chai green tea in the morning and my lemon water in the afternoon.  I love and need my Iphone, as lame as that sounds, Tumblr is the only thing that gets me through the day!  Lastly, I need my vintage Paris-inspired planner to stay organized and prepared for what the day has in store!
Car} I cannot live without coffee, everyday sometimes even twice a day! My Mac laptop comes in most handy at school, its needed for every class. I cant go to school without my colored pens! I use different colors for notes and homework to stay organized and clear.

RSP: Fashion Fix?
Shoes! Specifically a good pair of Jeffery Campbell heels- our absolute fav!

RSP: Beauty Fix?
{Car} I love my faux liptstick from Mac, can’t go anywhere without it!
{Liv} I need mascara to get me through the day! I feel like I look like a boy without it! Hahaha!

RSP: How do you unwind after a stressful day at school?
Stress can be horrific, especially at our ages!
1. We both love a good organic lavender or eucalyptus bubble bath.  Iced green tea is great after a hard day of school or work.
2. We both love getting the “$5.00 color exchanges” at nail salons, which are cheap and effective for those of you who are tight on cash like we are! Hahaha!


RSP: Words of Advice for Surviving School? Socially? Academically?
{Car and Liv} High School is a culture shock.  It is where young teens experience diversity and discover themselves.  It is really important to keep your head on straight and to make sure not to ignore your morals and values, in other words, stay true to who you are.  In our teen years, we are vulnerable and it is easy to be influenced.  We really want you to know that you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do, people will still like you nonetheless.  Really keep on top of your school work and don’t fall behind. Classes can be hard and boring, but it’s important to learn because all those classes will benefit you in the future for college and deciding what you want to do in life. All around, high school is one hell of an adventure!

RSP: Tip for balancing it all? 
Balancing everything can be hard at times.  Okay, lets face it- many times it will be difficult. Sometimes you will be forced to use the “pick-and-choose” method.  Make sure to have your head on straight and know what you want.  Our advice would be to try to plan ahead and make a small amount of time for everything- use a planner!  Whether its work, school, a boyfriend, or friends, you can usually make time for everything if you have it all written down and physically in front of you!
Liv- I love my planner.  It really helps keep my life in check!
Car- Don’t overwork yourself, I like to plan my days ahead of time and keep a good balance of fun and work so I don’t stress myself out.

RSP: Favorite place in the La Jolla?
There are so many!  For a great cup of coffee, we usually walk over to a nearby café called Brick&Bell! (They have amazing scones.)  For an amazing breakfast, you can find us at Coffee Cup, splitting a fruit bowl and rosemary eggs with toast!  Ironically, our boyfriends are best friends as well which makes double dating so fun!  All four of us love to go out to PB Sushi right down the road! Okay, so enough about food.  We love Warwicks, a fabulous bookstore in La Jolla village- you can get just about anything there with high quality!  We also love morning yoga at the beach!  It’s a great way to kick off your Saturday!  We both love to go on walks together to stay fit and keep in touch!

Get the look with LF.

RSP: Words of Advice?
{Liv}I like to live by thinking, “life is to short to wake up in the mornings with regrets” and “everything happens for a reason.”  Both are such genuine and honest statements that make situations in my life easier to handle.
{Car} Life is an adventure, its important to take advantage of what you have around you, but in order to have fun you have to work hard as well. Doing your best and working hard always pays off in the end and gives satisfying rewards.

RSP: Thanks for sharing your tips and insight to surviving your teens. Funny enough, the same outlook gets you far even in your thirties ;)

{Photography by the ultra-talented Kyle Jetter}

Bisous ♥

Sunday

Dress Like a Miracle Worker: Interview with the Make-a-Wish Foundation's Wish Assist Manager




A Note from the Editor:

I have taken a step back from my blog at different points over the past five plus years, however it has always and will always be a piece of me. It started as a creative outlet as I felt restricted in my early career and simply wanted a platform to create. I wanted to tell stories, not about myself, but about others. I had no idea that it would lead to the opportunities it has.

It helped me secure a role as a copywriter for a global fashion brand, as well as led to a role as the Public Relations Director for Rolls Royce and Bentley Beverly Hills. As I consumed myself with helping build other brands I took a step from building my own.

The most critical reason for taking a step back was due to battling a life-threatening diagnosis in the summer of 2010. I battled a chronic illness that was without a doubt the biggest challenge I have ever faced. Not only was the diagnosis traumatic, the recovery and aftermath was treacherous. With that said, Rich Skinny Pretty has remained a part of me. Having an outlet to channel my creativity when I was on bed rest, healing and returning to normalcy was definitely one of my biggest tools during recovery.

I'll never forget I had an opportunity to partner with Teen Vogue on a campaign at MAGIC in Vegas during my recovery phase. I did not hesitate to go even though I was not fully in a state of good health. I was still twenty pounds underweight, wearing a wig because I suffered from hair loss in correlation with the heavy prescribed medication and was in physical pain due to severe arthritis. I was embarrassed of my situation to say the least.

I vividly remember asking my friend CorEy to help me get dressed for the Teen Vogue blogger lounge since the swelling in my hands and ankles made it painful as well as difficult for me to dress myself. Words can’t convey the humility I gained from my experience. I’m not a victim, this is not “poor me.” I’m sharing my story for the exact opposite reason. These circumstances have only made me stronger, more determined and more grateful. That is why I am so especially thankful and excited to share stories about women like Kristin with the Make-a-Wish foundation and later this week, breast cancer survivor, Lauren with the Daily Debut. Thank you for following Rich Skinny Pretty these last five plus years. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, I sincerely hope we continue to inspire you.

Now without further ado, I welcome you to the relaunch of RSP. Let's meet Kristin:

RSP: Occupation ?

Kristin: I'm the Wish Assist Manager at the Make-a-Wish foundation. I always knew I wanted to help people, I just didn’t know in what arena. I had a couple of jobs that I did because I thought I was meant to do them-ones that utilized my degree yet I was absolutely miserable. I was so lost and worried that I would never find something I was passionate about. I always resented the quote “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life” because I wanted that so badly, but hadn’t found it yet.

I think I finally came to the realization that I couldn’t settle, so I didn’t. I reached the decision that I was the pilot of my own journey and if I was going to do anything worthwhile in life, I needed to pursue what I wanted to do…without the influence of others. No one should feel trapped. I think being “comfortable” and fear also paralyzed me for a while. Everything I did acted as a stepping-stone for what I would eventually end up doing. And looking back, everything I did led me to where I am at Make-A-Wish, and I am extremely grateful for that.

RSP: Which experience has helped you grow the most?

Kristin: Working for Make-A-Wish has made me realize that life is such a beautiful gift and one that we take advantage of too often. It’s incredible how a child can teach you so much. These kids are inspirational, motivational and some of the strongest people I have ever met. I was really sick when I was a kid, so I get it. I can relate to what they’re going through and it’s a hard thing to take in at such a young age. Instead of playgrounds and going to school, your childhood gets tainted by doctor’s appointments and surgeries-it’s scary and it’s a heavy weight to carry that young.

I find a lot of peace in sharing my story. I discovered that everyone has a story. A story that not only deserves to be told, but heard as well. It took me a while to be comfortable sharing mine, but once I did, I found people were able to relate to it and in some cases, it gave them the ability to share their own. If what I went through can help one person get through what they’re dealing with, that right there is enough.

RSP: How can you use this experience to help others?

Kristin: I want to use what I went through as a kid (as well as my experience at Make-A-Wish) to spread the message that’s important to care about others and care about what they are going through. I think compassion and kindness are two things a lot of us lack in this world. When someone is going through an uphill battle, they need to know that they’re not alone in their fight.

Many of us are lucky to have our health, but others are not as fortunate. We can never take advantage of that.

RSP: Career Tips? 

Kristin: If you haven’t found your passion, keep looking, don’t give up and don’t settle. You’ll find it eventually and don’t get discouraged that you won’t. I hope you know that it’s O.K. to start over and start again. You’re the captain of your own path and it’s O.K. to switch courses every once in awhile if it’ll lead to a more fulfilling life and better future. This is your own beautiful, magnificent life…choose to have an adventurous one.

Wealth is defined in a number of ways.  To me, it’s not defined monetarily. I’m sure being rich financially would be great, but I know that’s not what I was meant to do in this world. I just care to be a good person. And if that’s all I ever do in life, I’ll be completely content.

RSP: Beauty Fix? 

Kristin: Moisturizing-my face and skin. I do it every morning and every night. I also love my MAC Zoomfast mascara!



RSP: Fashion Fix?

Kristin: I love wearing heels (I’m clumsy though, so I need to be careful!!!). I’m definitely NO fashionista though and would consider my style to be eclectic. I shop at Buffalo Exchange and TJ Maxx, I think you can find the coolest things at those places. I do look out for trends and if I see one I like, I’ll try it out. I just really like to be comfortable and I think that’s when I feel the sexiest.

Honestly, I beat to my own drum when it comes to clothes.


RSP: Last Words of Advice?

Kristin: Everyone is different. We all have differences, imperfections, faults, but that’s what makes us unique. And we need to understand the importance of that. If we go into the world with positive intentions, filled with love, truth, kindness and courage, we can have the ability to change the world and impact others. You can’t rid the world of evil. Evil is always going to exist, but you can contest evil by putting as much good into the universe as possible.

RSP: Well, we couldn't agree more. You're definitely on to something, Kristin. 

Bisous ♥

Monday

ALL HAIL: What to Wear to the Office | Los Angeles Edition with Exclusive Style Interview at SBE

We've been keeping an eye on what L.A.'s power players have been wearing to the office. I mean come on, us working girls need to know what to wear for that 9-5 grind. Aren't I right? With that said, we like to take inspiration from everyday women for easy-to-wear style tips.

This week we're highlighting one of the most powerful offices in all of Hollywood. All hail to SBE in all of its glory. With SBE reigning supreme when it comes to where to go, what to do (and not to mention, who to see) in Los Angeles, how could we not include 'em in one of our office style guides? With SBE running the most sought-after clubs, restaurants and hotels, its completely and totally appropriate to bow down before reading further. Just kidding...but really they're that kind of a big deal.

We headed over to the SBE headquarters and checked out how the marketing supervisor of nightlife, Kelly Miles, dresses for her day-to-day power moves. So what does she wear when she's busy running this city? Get her style tips here with another RSP exclusive. 
Meet Kelly.


Oversized tote in black. Why? 
Kelly fits her iPad, documents, cell and other essentials in this chic staple that keeps up with her as she's on the go.
Tory Burch. Check.
Cap toe. Check.
Quilted. Check.
Easy-to-wear flats are functional yet shows Kell's clients and colleagues that she knows how to pay attention to the details.

There you have it—black skinnies, a chic blouse and a structured blazer keeps you looking your best at the office. Top it off with an over-sized day bag plus flats for a killer combo of function and style.

Bisous ♥