Checking In: Hotel Valley Ho – Scottsdale, Arizona

Warning: This is a very image heavy post, but I just can’t help myself.

Last month we had the pleasure of staying at Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale, Arizona. It was the first stop on our three week long road trip to Florida and boy oh boy was it a good way to start off the trip.

Hotel Valley Ho Scottsdale AZ (1).jpgHotel Valley Ho has a very interesting history, so let me lay some on you real quick.

Designed by Edward L. Varney (a student of Frank Lloyd Wright), Valley Ho opened its doors in 1956 and was an impressive example of what we now know as mid-century modern architecture and design. Upon opening it quickly gained popularity with numerous celebrities and trendsetters of the time. Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood even celebrated their wedding reception at the hotel in 1957.Unfortunately, during the 70s the hotel was bought and was stripped of its design and fell into disrepair until it finally closed in 2001. Plans to demolish the structure were considered until architecture and history enthusiasts rallied to save it. Thanks to those efforts it’s now a registered historic landmark.

Hotel Valley Ho Scottsdale AZ (3)In 2002, the hotel was bought by Westroc Hotels & Resorts and underwent renovations by Allen+Philp, an architecture and interior design group from Phoenix. In 1958, Edward L. Varney proposed building a tower above the lobby, but it never came to fruition, until 2002  when it was built under Westroc’s owenership. The years long renovations were a success and stayed true to the spirit of the original style and era, and thus the Valley Ho we know today opened in 2005 on December 20th, exactly 49 years after its grand opening.

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The lobby immediately feels like a time warp with its glass walls, cast and poured concrete details, and natural stone walls. All perfect examples of mid-century desert style. Hotel Valley Ho Scottsdale AZ (6).jpg

Retro style furnishings, including large curved sectionals, shag carpet, and woven textiles surround a space-age fireplace.

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The high glass walls flood the room with light and give you a sense of being within the desert landscape.

This is a great place to grab drink by the bar, or just hang out and mingle with other guests if you want to escape your room for a bit. Rumor has it that sometimes late at night Jimmy Durante would play the piano in the lounge for the other sleepless guests.

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We had the pleasure of staying in a King Tower Suite for the night. Scottsdale's Hotel Valley Ho King Suite (3).jpg

The suite is definitely impressive and features a living space, adjacent bedroom, expansive bathroom equipped with a washer and dryer, a large patio over looking the pool, and a fully stocked kitchen. It’s decked out with mid-century modern furniture and plenty of modern conveniences.Scottsdale's Hotel Valley Ho King Suite (1)Scottsdale's Hotel Valley Ho King Suite (2)Scottsdale's Hotel Valley Ho King Suite (4)Scottsdale's Hotel Valley Ho King Suite (5)Scottsdale's Hotel Valley Ho King Suite (6)Scottsdale's Hotel Valley Ho King Suite (9)

The bedroom area has a comfortable king sized bed, chaise lounge, and a light fixture that gets honorable mention because I need it in my life ASAP.

Scottsdale's Hotel Valley Ho King Suite (10)Scottsdale's Hotel Valley Ho King Suite (12)Did I mention the hotel is also extremely dog friendly? Well it is! Pandora definitely enjoyed it.Scottsdale's Hotel Valley Ho King Suite (11)

The expansive bathroom is a little on the dim side, but is equipped with a walk in closet, laundry, double sinks, and an amaaaazing shower. Scottsdale's Hotel Valley Ho King Suite (7)Scottsdale's Hotel Valley Ho King Suite (8)

The room overlooks the main pool area and has gorgeous views of the sunset which you can watch while lounging on the patio furniture.Scottsdale's Hotel Valley Ho King Suite (13)Scottsdale's Hotel Valley Ho King Suite (14)Outside, the lush property is nothing short of break taking. Hotel Valley Ho Scottsdale AZ (9).jpg

The property features two pools – The “OHasis” Pool, a relaxing lap pool.Hotel Valley Ho Scottsdale AZ (10)And the OH Pool – the more lively hot spot with private cabanas, a hot tub, cocktail bar, and live music.Hotel Valley Ho Scottsdale AZ (11)

Can we talk about all of this color?? Serious heart eyes.Hotel Valley Ho Scottsdale AZ (12)Hotel Valley Ho Scottsdale AZ (13)

The hotel also features delicious on-site dining at Zuzu. Cafe Zuzu at the Hotel Valley Ho (1)Here you’ll find seasonal American food and stylish mid-century design including a curved diner-style counter, stone walls, globe lights, and round booths.  Cafe Zuzu at the Hotel Valley Ho (3) Cafe Zuzu at the Hotel Valley Ho (4)We had dinner there and were not left disappointed. I wish I was able to take pictures, but it was dark and I didn’t want to be the annoying person photographing all of their food. Cafe Zuzu at the Hotel Valley Ho (2)We dined in a cozy booth and I can honestly tell you that everything we ordered was great, especially the drinks. Our server, MJ, was very helpful with his suggestions and helping us navigate the menu. We started off with the roasted tomato and goat cheese casserole and a round of their seasonal cocktails. For our meal, I had the seared salmon in a tomato broth and my husband had the short ribs that came with the most amazing green chile grits. I stole them. Delish.Cafe Zuzu at the Hotel Valley Ho (5)The next morning we ate breakfast on the patio at Zuzu before hitting the road and it hit the spotttt! We shared stuffed french toast (yessss), eggs, bacon, the works. They even brought out eggies and a water bowl for the dogs. Two thumbs way up.Cafe Zuzu at the Hotel Valley Ho (6)

Hotel Valley Ho Scottsdale AZ (4)I can’t get over what a great experience we had during our stay here. From check-in to check-out everything was exceptional. One night definitely wasn’t enough and I hope to go back again soon. If you’re planning a visit to the Scottsdale/Phoenix area, I highly recommend paying a visit to Hotel Valley Ho. Especially if you’re a fan of mid-century architecture and design. It’s well worth it!

Big thanks to Hotel Valley Ho for a wonderful stay.

A Look Back At My Apartment Through The Years

If you haven’t heard the news already, I’m leaving my apartment of over 6 years and moving back to Palm Springs!

As I pack up each room for the move I’m reminded of how many faces each one has had over the years, and how we started out here with literally only an air mattress and a laptop. I worked hard to make this apartment feel like our own home and did every thing I could to personalize it within the limits allowed. In the beginning I worked with what I had and could afford, which wasn’t much, and slowly improved each room over the years and brought in new and better things to make it what it is today. I had fun doing it and I’m really proud of what I’ve done and been able to share with you all since the blog started.

I thought it would be fun to take a little look back through the years. Each rooms has looked even more different than what you’ll see below, but this is what I could find on my Instagram and photo archives.

The living room and dining room have always been the main focus. It’s where we spend the most time and really the only room people see when they come over. It started out with ugly paint and carpet (the floors were eventually changed by management) and eventually turned into a bright and spacious feeling room. It was even featured in Better Homes and Gardens!

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As you can see I flipped the entire layout last year.

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The dining room has had a few different lives too. 45778_431244939058_252962_nHere are a couple of my favorites.891011

Even the front door got a makeover a couple of times!

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And lastly, the bedroom. I went from garden grandma chic vibes to tropical resort vibes.

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I’ve had a lot of fun living here and sprucing this place up, but I’m excited for something new!

Stay tuned for projects in the new place soon!

 

I’m moving! To Palm Springs!

You guys, it’s finally happening…

I’M MOVING!

Remember last year when I talked about wanting to move but ultimately didn’t because the timing didn’t feel right? Well, it finally does and I’m really excited about it.

For about a year we’ve been toying with the idea of moving back to Palm Springs and during our 3 week long road trip last month we finally made the decision to do it. So many signs were pointing to ‘yes’ and everything just kind of fell into place which means it’s meant to be. Among the many signs were if we stayed here our lease renewal would result in a huge rent spike AGAIN (not worth it), and we found an amazing mid-century apartment right away as if by magic. I couldn’t turn it down.  Total kismet!palmsprings

Don’t get me wrong, I adore Los Angeles and always will. I was born in LA and I will always consider it home, but Palm Springs is home too. I grew up there and even though as a teenager I couldn’t wait for any opportunity to get out, as an adult I look for any chance to go back. Life is weird!


I’m going to miss this view, and this apartment, and all of the memories we’ve made in it. Six years is the longest I’ve ever lived in any one home in my entire life! It’s going to be strange to leave but it’s definitely time to go. Besides, I’ll be back in LA at least two days a week because of my husband’s job, so I’ll still get my fix.
Anyway, I’m really excited for this new chapter and to share the new place with you in a few weeks. Make sure you’re following along on Instagram for all the updates that don’t make it on here!
Wish me luck…

Melodrama Holiday Home Tour 2016

I’ve said it before but I feel like this month has flown by. I honestly wanted to do a little more decorating but ran out of time. Boooo. I did manage to get all of the necessities in here though! Christmas Tree: check! Bottle brush trees: check! More Christmas trees: check! I’ve realized this year that I have a thing for Christmas trees.

dining-roomIn the dining room I used large bottle brush trees from Target to decorate my shelves and then stuck in two more baby trees for good measure.barI got a little more festive on the adjacent bar, of course. I used Shiny Brite ornaments and epsom salts to dress up a cheapy $5 plain wreath and garland.living-room-bar-kitchenlivingroomThe living room is definitely the most festive place in the apartment! I spy a DIY corn husk wreath over the fireplace.IMG_5640.jpgI also decorated the fireplace with my collection of bottle brush trees and DIY Putz Housesvintage-inspired-christmas-tree-decorationAnd then there’s the treevintage-inspired-christmas-tree-decor

I’m going to miss this when it’s gone.

flamingoI got this hat for my dog but she hates it so Frank the flamingo got a festive little makeover.

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These DIY pom-pom pillows dressed up our little IKEA Hack bench. I made these for Christmas but I think they’ll end up sticking around all year.

I didn’t get much decorating done in our bedroom, except for this little gold tree that holds our personal, heirloom, and travel collection of ornaments. I used a faux fur throw as a tree skirt and hung a cute little DIY Christmas print on the wall. The lighting from this tree is super cozy and great to have on during bedtime Christmas movie watching AKA my favorite winter time hobby.bedroom-tree

That’s it! Thanks for stopping by and Happy Holidays! Xoxo!

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree! 2016

Ok, real talk, I honestly feel like this month has gone by really quickly. TOO quickly. The holidays are almost over and it makes me sad! I want more time!

Anyway, if you know me at all you know I take my Christmas trees very seriously. Every year we get natural tree and usually have it flocked in white, but for some reason this year was particularly difficult. It took visiting five different tree lots to find the perfect one, but we finally found *the one* and I love it. When you know you just know. You know?

Without further ado, here is this year’s tree!

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It’s chockablock full of candy colored ornaments, gold garland, tons of tinsel, and my trusty DIY tree skirt.

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It’s the perfect tree to display my vintage ornament collection. I especially love vintage Shiny Brites and threaded bulbs. Speaking of, The Christopher Radko Company has resurrected the Shiny Brite brand and has been producing ornaments based on classic Shiny Brite designs. I got some this year to fill out the tree and they’re gorgeous!

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I also got a finial from them to top it all off.

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I want to keep it up all year round!

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I’ll try to post a Christmas home tour, but until then you can see what’s going on over on Instagram.

How I’m Coping with Holiday Chaos with Olay Eyes

You guys, am I the only one who feels like the holidays sprung up on us this year? This month is going by so quickly and I feel like there’s still so much to be done before Christmas! So far December has been full of get-togethers, cocktail party planning, and late night DIY projects. I am TIRED, my babies, but I live for this stuff and all of this just comes along with my love for the holidays.
Olay Eyes.jpgEven though I’m tired from all the fun holiday chaos, I don’t want to LOOK tired on the outside. That’s why I turned to the Olay Eyes collection for help and why I’m sharing this v important PSA with you.
Olay Eyes 2 (2).jpgThe bags under my eyes from the late night projects, the puffy eyes from crying to my favorite cheesy Christmas movies, and my droopy “too much cocktail testing” lids have all been remedied by the products in this line.
Olay Eyes (2).jpgAfter only a few days of using the Pro-Retinol Eye Treatment I noticed smoother skin and less fine lines around my eyes. A dab of the Ultimate Eye Cream over my lids in the morning smooths and hydrates my lids to the point where I haven’t even needed to use eye shadow primer anymore. Yes it’s that good!

The Illuminating Eye Cream is a miracle in a bottle. In combination with the Eye Lifting Serum it’s out of this world. I look like the most rested person ever when I use them together, even though I feel like a frantic old mess on some days. You feel me?
Olay Eyes (3).jpgNo lie last week while I was Christmas shopping I felt my eyes literally puffing up by the minute and the tiredness kicking in and then I remembered I brought my Olay Eyes Depuffing Roller with me and rolled it on right there in the store as I waited in line. No shame in my game. I instantly felt reenergized and by the time I left the store my eyes felt and looked nice and bright! I’m addicted to it. Pro tip: I put mine in the fridge for a couple of minutes for ultra soothing under eye action. ADDICTED.
Olay Eyes Depuffing Roller is my latest beauty addictionWell, this month doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down at all, but at least thanks to Olay Eyes I LOOK well rested! Have you tried any of these products yet? Get on it!

I have more fun projects, recipes, and holiday ideas coming your way so stay tuned!

 

This post was sponsored by Olay but all opinions and words are my own.

Easy DIY Felt Pom Pom Pillows

Accent pillows are one of the easiest things you can use to change the look of a sofa or chair in your home, and they’re also one of the easiest DIY projects to do. I wanted to bring a little color and fun to a bench I have in my living room so turned to my fabric scrap collection for something to make pillows with. I had some felt and pom poms and thought they would be perfect pillows for the holiday season. To be honest they might stay well after that.

To make a basic pillow you just need to cut a piece of fabric to the size and shape of the pillow you want to cover. Leave about an inch on each side for seam allowance. Sometimes I cut the fabric on a fold so I end up with one longer piece rather than two pieces. Either way works fine.

DIY Felt PomPom Pillows.jpgSew the pieces together at the sides, leaving one side open.

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Turn your pillow case inside out so the seams are inside. By the way you can do these steps with fabric glue like liquid stitch if you don’t have a sewing machine.

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Insert your pillow stuffing and then use a slip stitch or fabric glue to close the open end.

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Next figure out where you want to apply your pom pom trim and use fabric glue to adhere it! Easy!

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I also cut some of the pom poms off and glued them on in a random pattern.

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There you have it. Easy pom pom pillows!