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How An All-Girls Staycation Weekend Reminded Me of My Fearlessness

"When you feel like you don't fit in anywhere, find the people who fit you because there is no one else like you." ~ Issa Rae

The G6 minus Nanthale who was taking this pic (Left to right: Me, Jonquel, Fabiola, Brooke and Marlena)

So I'm going to totally admit something that may shock you...

I'm 47 years old and I have never been to a spa.


I always wanted to go but to be honest, I thought I couldn't afford to (now I know different, thanks to Groupon) and I was simply afraid to go. I didn't know how I would be received. Plus, I used to be so uncomfortable changing in front of people, wearing swimsuits and... let's not even discuss the nudity involved when showering at the spa (hello, open stalls!).

To some that might seem silly, but my feelings are valid and anyone who feels that way, I understand. We are all at different places in our journeys but we all deserve respect and compassion regardless. 

So when the girls of the G6 told me that we would be doing a spa during our staycation weekend, I was apprehensive at first but then I realized, it's my birthday and it was time for a spa day. I needed it in my life. More than I even realized.

I'm comfortable now with wearing swimsuits and after spending almost two years of changing into numerous pieces of clothing at Gwynnie Bee, undressing in front of others was not a big deal to me anymore. The nudity either, for some reason (I mean, I have had sex with the lights on so why not?). I felt okay about it all. So I went for it. Yay for fearless moments!

Me with Brooke aka Cardi B., lol
We went to the Premier 57 spa after our Sunday brunch at Alice's Tea Cup, which I blogged about here.

Premier 57 is basically amazing. As a first time spa goer, I was in awe. We were ushered in and each given a robe and slippers. We were told to lock up our shoes in small lockers assigned to each of us, located towards the entrance, as shoes are not allowed inside within the spa.

We were all given watches that were actually our "key" to our lockers. All we had to do was place the face of the watch over the front of the locker's black square to unlock them. The watches also act as a "open tab". Every time you buy something, whether it's food/drink or services, your watch is scanned and then you pay the full total upon your exit. 

We were shown to the locker room where we changed into our swimsuits and locked away our stuff. Please note, if you don't return your robe when you leave, you will be charged $15.

Speaking of robes, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that my robe fit my upper arms and while it did not flap over in the front, it closed enough where it fit well AND the tie belt was long enough for me to tie at the waist. This made me feel soooo much better and not feel like I didn't belong there.



We were then given a tour of the spa. I have to be honest. The spa is three floors and there is no elevator. I'm not a fan of stairs and have anxiety over the idea of falling (it has happened to me before where I broke my ankle). But I took my time and did it. Another fearless moment!

First floor is the offices, second floor is the saunas/dining area/indoor heated pool/massage area with chairs. They also have a nap area and a place to charge your phone while you relax. There's plenty of water machines around because they encourage you to stay hydrated as you can become dehydrated quickly from the heat. 


Indoor pool on second floor
Third floor has an outdoor pool and a hot tub. There's a full bar on the second floor at the indoor pool. They even carry non-alcoholic frozen drinks!


There were 6 saunas to choose from or you can go in them all. There's also a heated pool for those who want to go nude. 

Me in the color therapy sauna - of course, I chose red!
 

You read right, 153 degrees! This one has no benches to sit. You lay or sit on the floor.
There's an Igloo sauna that helps you cool down after visiting the hot saunas. I hate heat and it was almost 92 degrees on that day outside (so I came into the spa, hot to begin with). The Igloo was a welcome retreat for me. Ahhhhh...





Once in the spa, the girls hung out in the indoor heated pool on the second floor and then we split up to do our own thing around the spa. Marlena and I headed to the saunas where we actually did 15 minutes in the Gold sauna, to which I was shocked I survived. 160 degrees, people!!!!

It was so hot in there that you can't even sit on the benches without putting something over them or else, you're burning your booty and any other body part that touches the walls and benches. Yikes.





It was hot but it legit felt SO GOOD. The indoor heated pool was Heaven as I have arthritis in my knees and ankles and there were spots in the pool where the water massaged certain body areas. There were benches placed within the pool's outer area so you can sit and enjoy the heated water (it was 91 degrees).

I felt so relaxed after my day at spa. It was so awesome that some of us were talking about doing a monthly spa day. Entrance fee is $75 + tax but you can stay the whole day. I'm going to start a spa fund where I will put $5 - $10 in a jar when I can. Seriously! Self-care also includes treating yourself and this is an amazing way to do that.

More info on admission into Premier 57 and what it includes is here.

Here's some more images from our spa day:




And of course, I have to mention my swimsuit from swimsuitsforall.




I will admit that it was a challenge for me to find a cute suit in my size. I wanted a two piece with a skirt bottom but I also wanted a nice color or print and not black. I love this print swimdress I chose but the inner shelf bra was not super supportive (I'm a 44G). It may work better for a smaller busted woman. I did not feel sexy in this suit but it served its purpose of the spa day and I felt pretty.

I would have loved to get a GabiFresh suit but none are my size right now. I have hope that swimsuitsforall will add more cute and sexy styles above a size 24 to give me and other women my size some options. Fingers crossed!

Special thanks to Premier 57 for having us and thanks to swimsuitsforall for the swimsuits. What an amazing way to close out this staycation and my birthday weekend!

SwimsuitIvy V-Neck Swimdress (I'm wearing a size 26)

You also can get FREE 3-day shipping + 30% off with code 17AUG1 at swimsuitsforall by clicking here.

*This post is in collaboration with Premier 57 and swimsuitsforall but all thoughts and opinions are my own. This post also contains some affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them.  This is one of the ways I can continue to bring you inspiring content. Thank you!

How An All-Girls Staycation Weekend Reminded Me To Enjoy Every Single Moment

"Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we're here, we should dance." —Anonymous

Fabiola, Marlena, Nanthale, Myself, Jonquel and Brooke at Sunday brunch at Alice's Tea Cup. All looks provided by Eloquii.

As I blogged about a few days ago, I spent my birthday weekend having a girls only NYC staycation with five other fellow lifestyle bloggers. It was a weekend filled with great times, lots of laughs and a few firsts and fearless moments for me personally. You can read more here.

While Day #1 focused on more team-building activities where we all engaged with each other and learned a lot about each other, Day #2 was about food and relaxation. And I was ALL ABOUT IT. lol

First up, Sunday brunch at Alice's Tea Cup, this magical and whimsical tea spot that offers so much deliciousness with a Alice in Wonderland theme.



We were welcomed at the Chapter ii location warmly, where we ordered some teapots, the three-tiered stand filled with tasty scones, sandwiches and sweets. I also had the crepes with Nutella and bacon. Yum!

Before the food came - I loved the mismatched tea cups and plates.

After the food arrived... it was sooooo amazing!
The service was impeccable there - food was brought quickly and refills followed. They have this chicken hash side dish, which is basically diced potatoes with cubes of grilled chicken mixed in. It was so delicious! And they were not skimpy with the bacon in my crepe. My favorite scone was the blueberry coconut and the cookies were to die for.

We also had a celebrity sighting -- there was a private party happening towards the back and actress Scarlett Johansson came in and headed back there. She said hi to us and smiled as she passed our table. I wanted to pass out! LOL!

Special thanks to Alice's Tea Cup for having us for brunch. I know I definitely want to go back. It's so worth the experience AND the food. Click here to check out their official website (they have three locations in NYC to suit your needs).

Me having a Red Queen moment.

Nanthale, Myself and Jonquel wearing Eloquii





I thought it would be fitting to wear a bold and dramatic dress to brunch because it's an Alice in Wonderland theme so anything fun goes, right? 

This magical red dress from Eloquii is ME in a nutshell. It was like it was made for me. I love the color red, I love ruffles, I love a fit and flare dress and I just love having fun with fashion. I'm wearing the size 28.

I loved the bra friendly straps too! It gave me an excuse to wear my new Goddess Full Coverage Underwire Bra in Scarlet Red that I got at Livi Rae Lingerie last month when I was in Atlanta. This bra is amazing and I loved how they knew which styles and what size was perfect for me (my bra size changed AGAIN!). You can buy that bra here (it also comes in black, brown and nude).

I then paired the dress with my new Pumas that I treated myself to for my birthday. Leopard print is such an amazing neutral that pairs well with almost every color. I especially love pairing leopard with red so it was no-brainer for me to wear them with this gorgeous red dress. I got these sneakers on sale and they are now sold out on their website but I have learned that Puma has a ton of cute stuff on sale and constantly update their sale assortment. 

However, I did find them at 6pm.com on sale HERE for $54.99. FYI, they are men's sneakers so be mindful of that when choosing your size. They're very comfy too!



While we were taking pictures, we experienced another celebrity sighting. Adam Sandler was walking past, carrying his child and he looked over and yelled out "All of you look good!". Yessss! Only in NYC...







All in all, brunch was amazing and I felt like a queen with my red dress, crown and leopard print sneakers. Next up is the spa and it was such a magical experience that I am going to blog about it on Monday all on its own. So stay tuned!

You can shop our looks from Eloquii below:

Me: Ruffle Detail Fit and Flare Dress in Lollipop  SHOP

Nanthale: Asymmetrical Cold Shoulder Dress  SHOP

Brooke: Textured Column Dress with Rib Trim  SHOP

Jonquel: One Shoulder Dress with Side Slit  SHOP

Marlena: Collared Eyelet Fit and Flare Dress  SHOP

*This post is in collaboration with Eloquii and Alice's Tea Cup but all thoughts and opinions are my own. This post also contains some affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them.  This is one of the ways I can continue to bring you inspiring content. Thank you!

How An All-Girls Staycation Weekend Reminded Me To Be Present in the Moment

Every day is a reminder to accept myself as I am. ~ Molly Tarlov

This year, my 47th birthday fell on a Saturday. That had to be a sign, right? The last few birthdays I spent feeling sad that my dad and brother were not here in the physical sense to celebrate with me. And I also made plans that I never followed through with.

I always want to be THAT person who hangs out with friends on my birthday or walks in on a surprise birthday party that friends organized for me. But it never happened. I learned over the years that I had to be accountable for that because I wasn't always present or put myself out there to build those relationships with others.

This year, when I mentioned that to my blogger sister Nanthale of N.E.C. Style, she came up with this wonderful idea to have a girls only staycation and do it during my birthday weekend. 

I was down but nervous. It would be a group of six of us and while I had hung out with four of the other five girls in the group, I have never been one to hang out with a large group of women before and this was for two days!

But we did it and I have to say, I am very surprised at myself. This weekend was life-changing for me.

Nanthale, Brooke, Me, Marlena, Jonquel & Fabiola

Marlena from Big City, Curvy Girl, Thin Wallet gifted me with the most amazing crown to wear during my birthday weekend.
Day #1 kicked off at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where we did the #MuseumHack Badass Bitches Tour. Museum Hack offers what they call "renegade museum adventures in NYC, DC, SF, LA, and Chicago". 

The tour was super dope and our guide Sara was the best. We learned that only 6% of the art in the museum was created by women (I know, damn!) and we also learned more about fun things like vaginas and how bootys were considered magical.




Seriously, I loved this tour because it was a feminist's dream. It was inspiring, empowering and very eye-opening. There are so many women like Audrey Munson (America's first Supermodel), who changed history and are still not given major recognition.


It was a great way to see the Met from a different point of view. We also had a blast from mirrored ceilings in the elevators to taking fun pictures and laughing a lot.



Us posting with Sara, our awesome tour guide (lower left)

We also met Lilith, Adam's first wife before Eve, who became a demon who steals babies in the darkness. Yeah, it was creepy. Sara said that the statue is moved periodically along the wall so it never stays in one place.






I highly recommend doing this tour if you're interested in learning more about the history of women in art and female artists. 



Best part of the tour was when Sara asked Brooke what her name was for the name tag and she said "Cardi" as in Cardi B. LOL! 




Plus, Sara also works at The Meatball Shop location on 76th St and 2nd Avenue and she told us to stop by with our name tags and we'd get a free ice sandwich, which we did. Fresh baked cookies and in-house made ice cream... yes, please!


We ended the day with dinner and a movie at iPic Theaters in downtown Manhattan at Fulton Market. We thought it was fitting to see Girls Trip. I had never been to a theater that had pod seating and was a bit scared I wouldn't fit but I did and it was super comfortable!






I decided to go full-on cute and comfy for my birthday, wearing this amazing Chelsea Studio Smocked Knit Dress from Woman Within via fullbeauty.com. I ended up wearing my Adidas sneakers after the museum tour because my feet were killing me but it was so worth it.

Special thanks to fullbeauty for the pretty birthday dress and to the Met for the tour as well as the ice cream sandwich at The Meatball Shop. I had such an amazing time and it showed me that I can be present in a group of women and be myself. That's the most magical gift I received on my birthday.

Stay tuned for Day #2 of this All-Girls Staycation Weekend to come on the blog on Saturday!

Want to hear more about this magical day? Click on the links below to read about it on Nanthale's, Marlena's and Brooke's blogs:






You can shop my dress here at fullbeauty.com.

Year 47 is looking to be amazing so far!