Hotel Awards

Regular followers of the R&R Mom know I am quite vocal about service when traveling, especially in hotels and on planes.  So it came to me that I should probably recognize some of my favorite places to stay with my first ever (and probably only) Hotel Amenities Awards.  So without further ado (even though there is hardly any “ado” anyways), here we go:

Best Hotel BedThe Four Seasons Los Angeles

Let’s face it.  The reason MOST of us are staying at a hotel is for a place to sleep so the quality of the bed, bedding, mattress AND pillows is of the utmost.  The bed at the Four Seasons LA has the perfect pillow to bed size ratio and is just cushy and cozy enough to lull this jetlagged old bag off to a deep slumber.



Best Hotel Bathroom – TIE – The Sunset Marquis West Hollywood and The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas

The Sunset Marquis wins for best bathtub.  The Cosmopolitan wins for sheer size and layout.

Best Hotel Bathroom Amenities – TIE – The Chateau Marmont West Hollywood and the W Hotel Hong Kong

The Kiehls products stacked up at the Chateau Marmont overrides the tired old bathrooms in desperate need of an upgrade.  At the W in Hong Kong, its all about the quantity of items.  Dental kits, shaving kits, bathing kits.  This place would be heaven if you lost your luggage.

Best Hotel Towels Claridges London

Big, soft, fluffy.  That in and of itself in a hotel towel is miraculous – but add in a fresh lavender scent and I’m in heaven.

Best Hotel MiniBarThe Thief Oslo

Clothing.  In the minibar.  Are you freaking kidding me?  It was like shopping in your room.  Another respite for weary luggageless travelers.

Best Breakfast The Sofitel Buenos Aires

No matter what you order, they bring croissants and pain au chocolat and those awesome Argentine treats Alfajores (chocolate covered dulce de leche cookies – shut. the. f^&%. up they are delicious).  Not to mention the entire pot of dulce de leche on the table to slather on your toast.  Disclaimer – I was pregnant when I stayed here, can you tell?

Best Hotel RestaurantGemma at The Bowery New York

Baked eggs with avocado and prosciutto for breakfast?  Do I need to say more?

Best Hotel Bar – TIE Lobby Bar at The Bowery New York and Vertigo at The Banyan Tree Bangkok

You have to battle to get a table after 10pm but it is one of the coziest, sexiest bars I’ve ever been too.  Vertigo is on the 61st floor overlooking Bangkok.  Who cares what the drinks are like.  You’re so high up, you’re already buzzing from lack of oxygen!

Best Hotel Swimming Pool – TIE – The Sunset Marquis West Hollywood and The Four Seasons Los Angeles

Of course LA hotels have the best pools.  The Sunset Marquis has 2 but I prefer the upper pool near the restaurant as opposed to the one in the courtyard.  More sun and more fun.  The pool at the Four Seasons is on the 4th floor, gets sun all day and is sheltered from the wind enough that its usable almost year round.

Best Hotel SpaEvason Six Senses Hua Hin Thailand

Outdoors comes indoors as geckos and frogs hop around the spa.  The Thai Yoga Massage was easily one of the best I’ve ever had.





Airplane Sleep

I’m a total chump.  Couldn’t help myself.  I caved like chocolate macaron in the hands of 5 year old.  I just became one of those people that I secretly mock and chastise.  I bought a neck pillow at the airport.  You know – the really soft, squishy kind that takes up loads of space in your carry-on and looks completely stupid when you wear it.

Well that's $20 I'm never getting back...

Well that’s $20 I’m never getting back…

I was heading to the gate before a 9 hour night flight in an economy seat knowing that on the other end I was going straight to work – sleeping on the plane was going to be necessary and I was willing to do anything to help facilitate that.  The truth is, $20 on a plushy pillow is not going to help for shit.  I was in for a crappy night’s sleep no matter what.

People carry these ridiculous pillows, take pills, wear eye masks and ear plugs all in an effort to sleep on the red-eye but that’s kinda why they call it the RED EYE.  Its never going to be restful until you’re settled in that little pod up in business class safely away from the plebs in coach battling out for armrests and recline space.  The reality is that in that confined economy seat you are at the mercy of those around you.  The seat grabber behind you, old recliner in front, the snorer beside you.  Not to mention the sweet lady on the other side who has now rested her head on your shoulder and is out cold.  All the way to New York.  (Yes, this happened to me.  And NO I didn’t say anything.  I’m Canadian.  I just screamed in my head WAKE UP!!!!!)  Nothing helps you escape those factors so you can fall into a peaceful slumber.  Not to mention the physical constraints of stretching out or finding enough recline in the seat so you don’t do the old head bob forward.  No.  The fact is you’re lucky if you get any sleep at all.

I wedge myself into the seat with knees up trying to find some sort of fetal position of comfort.  In the meantime, my neck is wrenched, my tailbone bruised from the armrests and I’ve taken a drink cart to the back of the head.  Ahh airplane sleep, you elusive mistress.  The statement “Don’t worry, you can sleep on the plane” is an outright lie and everyone knows it.  Instead I guess I’ll just catch up on all the TV and movies I’ve missed.


D-BAD: Grocery Store People

D-BAD aka DON’T BE A DOUCHE.  Each week I get to call out someone/ someplace or something for being a total DOUCHEBAG.  Its when I get to vent and take out my frustration on whatever makes me nuts each week, are you in?  Feel free to share your D-BAD’S anytime!

Dear Grocery Store People:

This is all pretty simple.  Every week we get together, always at your place.  I bring piles of cash that I give to you in exchange for a lot of stuff.  I ask for very little in return except for just a couple very small obvious things…

1. Please don’t sell me food that is rotten.  Sure, it could be like a party game – did I get the lucky box of strawberries that’s all moldy in the centre?  I mean sometimes this happens and you don’t even know.  But when you have to forensically inspect every lick of produce before its in the cart, we kind of have a problem.

2. Hand sanitizer.  Please put it EVERYWHERE.   At the very least keep it around the raw meat – but everywhere would be preferred.  I mean, there is nothing more repulsive than picking up a pack of chicken dripping with bloody chicken juice.  I know I’m a germaphobe – but I am pretty sure I’m not alone in this.

That’s it.  That’s all I ask.  So listen Grocery Store People.  Get your shit together and DON’T BE A DOUCHE.


The R&R Mom

The Cans and the Cannots

My sense of personal style can be easily divided into 2 categories when it comes to keeping up with the latest fashion trends.  The Cans and the Cannots.  Its VERY simple.  As a young minded 40-something, there are looks I know I can pull off and some that, quite frankly are a stretch.  The latter are those looks that either (a) I simply cannot wrap my head around, or (b) look completely ridiculous on me.  There are lots of trendy fashion statements that I love (ie: the boyfriend jean – don’t ever quit me, the small leather backpack, fabulous over-the-knee boots) that I hope NEVER go out of style.  But there are some trends of late that I just CANNOT DO:

1. Ankle Boots with a Skirt – I want to do this.  SO. BAD.  But this is simply a case of not being able to wrap my head around it.  I love to see this look on other people or in magazines but when its my turn I just can’t do it.

2. High Waisted Jeans – well, this is a given.  To wear these you have to follow the 25 rule.  You cannot be over 25 or wear anything larger than size 25 jeans.

3. Really Low Waisted Jeans – for two very simple reasons.  #1 – I have a high butt crack.  This requires no further explanation.  #2 – I have a mommy belly that comes from birthing 2 live humans.  So suck it.  That is all.

4. Overalls – that old adage that you should never wear a trend twice is true.  By the time something like overalls comes back in the picture, it’s been 20 years and we are now far too old to pull this off.

5. Cut-Off Jeans – couldn’t do it when I was 15, couldn’t do it when I was 25 and I SURE AS HELL am not doing it now.  PS – why are they SO short this year?  I mean, I’m not a prude but to quote my grandmother “You can see everything she owns.”  Under NO circumstances is it ok to reveal labia.

Grandma's version of a perfectly acceptable outfit.

Grandma’s version of a perfectly acceptable outfit.  Elbows covered please!

6. Denim on Denim – aka The Canadian Tuxedo.  I feel like this is just TOO much denim.  It looks like a mistake.  “Everything else was in the laundry.”  Maybe I’m old school and since this used to be a fashion faux pas, I just can’t get into it.  Which is even more bizarre since I am clearly ok with my purse and shoes not matching, and I think mixing gold and silver jewelry is cool.  But for the record, I do struggle with white after Labor Day.

7. Hats – because, well if you read this you would know.


The Blog Tour: Its Like A Pyramid Scheme… But Better

So my friend the grifter, Miss Teen USSR nominated me for this thing called a “Blog Tour”.  est. 1975 nominated the Teen Beauty Queen (among other fab blogs) you can check it out here.  Like a great pyramid scheme, it is clearly expanding my horizons on the other most fabulous writers out there slogging it out on their laptops posting blogs that make me laugh, make me cry and make me think.  But before I share my favorite blogs, here are some answers to the obligatory questionnaire which will explain more about who I am and why I can’t stop writing.

PS – Of course I had to do this right away because I am an anal-retentive type-A control freak that can’t stand it when there’s something that needs to get done.

1. What Am I Working On?

Besides my day job, I’m trying to make a more concerted effort to promote The Rock and Roll Mom.  I’m not sure why as there really isn’t a grand plan in place.  I think its because I’m narcissistic.  (See what I did there?  I hyperlinked my own blog while writing a post for the same aforementioned blog.  Raging ego alert!)

2. How Does Your Work Differ From Other Work in Your Genre?

Its a disjointed, stream of consciousness collection of my random thoughts.  The only thing that ties it all together is me.  See?  Narcissist.

3. Why Do I Write What I Do?

I’m bossy and I over share.  The perfect combination for a narcissistic blog writer.

This is what I look like when I'm hard at work.  But imagine smaller boobs, hunched posture and stray hairs popping out of that perfectly coiffed bun.

This is what I look like when I’m hard at work. But imagine smaller boobs, hunched posture and stray hairs popping out of that perfectly coiffed bun.

4. How Does Your Writing Process Work?

In the shower, falling asleep, driving – all places where I can’t actually write something down is usually when the inspiration strikes and then I write the blog in my head.  I run to the computer dripping wet, climb out of bed, pull the car over and I forget everything I thought of.  If I just sit at my computer waiting for an idea to come, I’m completely screwed.  Did I lift the veil a little too much there?

Three Blogs I Recommend:

I am a MAJOR fan of the two people I mentioned at the beginning of this blog.  They are funny and they are authentic.  So do yourself a favor and check them out.  In the meantime, here are 3 more writers that deserve your love:

The Queen of Green – Lindsay Coulter is a guardian of the planet.  She shares amazing tips and ideas for ways to live a greener, happier life.  I have a secret crush on her.  She too was a Top 30 Mom Blogger this year and I was so starstruck, I couldn’t talk to her.

Robin Esrock (formerly Modern Gonzo) is a real legit published writer now, but you won’t be disappointed if you subscribe to his travel blog.  He’s funny and his quirky view of the world and the importance of travel is super fun.

The Adventures of Fanny P.  I love to read Fanny’s posts.  Not just because she lives in Italy and I’m silently living vicariously, but because her writing is real and authentic.  The heartbreak she writes about is real and true and your heartbreaks for her.  When she’s happy and grateful, you remember  the blessings in your life.

So that’s it.  The Queen of Green, Robin Esrock and Fanny P – you’re up.  At least you don’t have to pour a bucket of ice water over your head.  Oh yeah, and send me $100 each.


The R&R Mom



Lube, Oil and Filter

Since crossing the threshold into 40, regularly scheduled maintenance is something I’ve had to focus on a little more.  There is a lot of mileage on this body (not that kind of mileage you perv… well, maybe a little of that kind) and once you complete the 4th decade, it definitely needs more attention than it used to.

In the chair for regularly scheduled maintenance.

In the chair for regularly scheduled maintenance.

Post baby body has been a real eye opener.  After the arrival of Shorty #1 there was a drastic and clear difference in the bounce back.  But once Shorty #2 arrived on the scene – and I was entering my 40th year – it was a wake up call that we were now well past the point of no return.  In addition to the major lifestyle changes to help take off the accumulated baby weight, the hair was just a little greyer, the skin a little looser and the fine lines and wrinkles just a little more prominent.  Ok – maybe it was a lot more of an issue than I care to admit, but there was no more avoiding it.  Its was time to start a maintenance plan.

The real issue here is when.  With 2 kids, a busy career and a silly travel schedule – how am I supposed to find 2+ hours to sit in a salon for a lube, oil and dye job?  I mean, its a necessity so I find a way.  But its not easy.

I know this is only the start as I begin the investment into middle age.  The creams and lotions and elixirs and serums (Why is it called a serum?  It sounds like some potion created by an evil villain to transform all the villagers into mindless slaves.) all ringing in at literally hundreds of dollars an ounce.  All claiming to deliver the fountain of youth and literally erase the signs of aging.  FYI – NONE of them really work.  Sure they work for a while, but it never lasts.  So its really just cash down the drain.  Hydration is the only thing that really helps.  Right cosmetic companies?  That’s the real truth isn’t it?  Genetics and hydration.

Even Botox only lasts for a while.  The only permanent solution is going under the knife but that scares the living shit out of me.

So I’ll stick with the dye job, send gratitude to the side of the family that gave me youthful looking chubby cheeks and curse the side that gave me these new jowls.