Those Someday Goals http://www.thosesomedaygoals.com Changing a Life, One Goal at a Time Mon, 16 Sep 2019 01:18:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.3 The Best Laguna Beach Hotel for a Southern California Staycation /2019/09/16/the-best-laguna-beach-hotel-for-a-southern-california-staycation/ /2019/09/16/the-best-laguna-beach-hotel-for-a-southern-california-staycation/#respond Mon, 16 Sep 2019 06:11:36 +0000 /?p=7011 Surf & Sand Resort in Laguna Beach has everything you could want for a Southern California vacation: hotel rooms with incredible ocean views, beach access,…

The post The Best Laguna Beach Hotel for a Southern California Staycation appeared first on Those Someday Goals.

]]> Surf & Sand Resort in Laguna Beach has everything you could want for a Southern California vacation: hotel rooms with incredible ocean views, beach access, a pool overlooking the ocean, tempting dining, a spa and retail shops. The stay came as a gift from a friend, and now we are hooked. This Laguna Beach hotel is going to be our “go-to” for staycations to come, no matter what season is upon us.

Beach views from the hotel room balcony at Surf & Sand Resort in Laguna Beach, CA

The Trip to Laguna Beach

This trip was entirely unplanned. I was between treatment protocols, and I had a relatively limited reserve of energy. I was feeling better, but not ready for long drives or plane rides. We had made one trip out to Palm Springs for my birthday and realized that two hours was my limit for travel at that point. Just as we were starting to get real wanderlust, a dear friend offered us a stay at Surf & Sand Resort that she had already booked. I think it took us less than 20 seconds to say yes. We packed lightly and made plans for a writing retreat in Laguna Beach, CA.

The Hotel Rooms

We ended up getting a taste of two different hotel rooms while we were at the resort. The first room was lovely and comfortable with a dining/working area and a small balcony. The hotel advertises that every room has an ocean view, and that’s true. If you are out on the balcony of this room, there is a view, but we were positioned between two buildings, so the balcony ran sideways. It was cozy, and we were lucky to be there – especially since a wedding was at the hotel that weekend.

Laguna Beach Hotel Room
Hotel Room #1
Work desk, dining table, Laguna Beach hotel
Our work desk in the room #1
Beach views
A view from the beach from the side balcony

On a chance, Andy asked about changing rooms to get the full, ocean-view experience. If you know me, you know that I’m a wuss, so this seemed wildly daring. Miraculously, they moved us as soon as the wedding guests had departed, freeing up some of the other hotel rooms. As you can see, the second room had a broad ocean view, comfortable furnishings and a perfect perch for both ocean-gazing and working. Lesson learned – it pays to ask nicely if you want something. Also, it pays to have an Andy who is willing to ask.

Laguna Beach Hotel Room
Hotel Room #2
Laguna Beach Hotel Room
View from the bed — not bad at all!
Laguna Beach Hotel Room
Beach views from the hotel room balcony at Surf & Sand Resort in Laguna Beach, CA

Things to Do at the Hotel

As I said, we weren’t in Laguna Beach for a true adventure, although, I suppose going anywhere at that point was an adventure for me. Our goal (which we achieved!) was to start breaking the story of a film script. So, much of our time was spent working on our balcony or working at the table. BUT we did take some time to enjoy the hotel amenities.

If you see a notice about a Manager’s Party when you check in on a Friday, be sure to go. It was so much fun and mostly free. We enjoyed delicious hors d’ oeuvres and some wine while sitting on the open patio. There was live music, socializing and the sun, which had been hiding behind clouds most of the day, came out for an impressive sunset.

Laguna Beach Hotel Patio
Manager’s Party on the patio at Surf & Sand Resort
Laguna Beach, CA sunset views
Sunset views from the hotel’s deck

The beach is right below the hotel. Whether you are there with a partner and want to enjoy a sunset stroll, there with kids who want to play in the surf or there with your dog for a bit of calm, the easy beach access is a big bonus.

Laguna Beach Hotel beach property
Capturing Andy and the sunset in Laguna Beach, CA
Sunset views in Laguna Beach
Sunset Laguna Beach CA

The hotel pool seemed to be a big hit for families. I can imagine that during hot summer and fall days, the pool that overlooks the ocean is a pretty big draw for everybody. We walked through on the way to the restaurant, and it looked like everyone was having a good time.

Pool and Ocean views at Surf & Sand Resort
A view of the pool and the ocean as we came down for a light dinner in the hotel restaurant.

I hear talk of an amazing spa at Surf & Sand Resort, but I didn’t partake, so I can’t say with any authority. I can say that if I go back, the spa will be on my list of things to enjoy because a spa day is always a good idea. Always!

Laguna Beach

The hotel is within walking distance an array of restaurants, shops and other attractions. We ate at a variety of small places, sampled the wares of a couple of bakeries and enjoyed the lively atmosphere, even though it was April, and technically “off-season.” Andree’s Patisserie was a frequent stop (it was maybe a 2-minute walk from the hotel). Because it was slightly colder than anticipated, Andy now has a delightfully soft hoodie to commemorate the trip.

Resort pathway Laguna Beach
The winding pathway through the Laguna Beach hotel

Overall Impression

Surf & Sand Resort is a luxury hotel without the attitude. It works well for families, couples and singles. It also welcomes dogs under 25 lbs with a cleaning fee – a policy that we saw many people enjoying during the festive Manager’s Party. Even their smallest rooms do have some views, and if you are in a position to book the oceanfront rooms, it is well worth the splurge. And it gets four thumbs up as a writing retreat!

Laguna Beach, CA Sunset

The post The Best Laguna Beach Hotel for a Southern California Staycation appeared first on Those Someday Goals.

]]>
/2019/09/16/the-best-laguna-beach-hotel-for-a-southern-california-staycation/feed/ 0 Sampling the Mt Baldy Restaurants /2019/09/13/exploring-the-mt-baldy-restaurants/ /2019/09/13/exploring-the-mt-baldy-restaurants/#respond Fri, 13 Sep 2019 06:00:03 +0000 /?p=6954 When you visit Mt Baldy during the summer (or any time off-season), there are a handful of all-year restaurants that are going to grab your…

The post Sampling the Mt Baldy Restaurants appeared first on Those Someday Goals.

]]>
When you visit Mt Baldy during the summer (or any time off-season), there are a handful of all-year restaurants that are going to grab your attention. We were looking for tasty comfort food and tempting drinks. The live music we encountered along the way was a welcome surprise. Where did we land? During our stay in Mt Baldy, California, we spent quality time at the Mt Baldy Lodge Restaurant and Bar, the Top of the Notch and The Buckhorn Restaurant Lodge and Motel. During the ski season, there are undoubtedly other dining options that might entice you, but if you are there to enjoy some hiking and relaxation, add these restaurants and bars to your “must-visit” list.

Mt Baldy Lodge Restaurant and Bar

One of the amenities I appreciated the most about Mt Baldy Lodge was the resort’s restaurant and bar. It was so nice to take a short walk down the lane to enjoy comfort food options throughout the day. It also had live music at night, so when we went back in the evening, the visit felt special. We loved it as a date-night surprise, but it worked equally well for singles and groups of friends. The area is split between the main restaurant and the pool tables, with a bar running along the one side. I even gave playing pool a shot again – I’ve never been very good. Andy was patient, and I won the first game (though it was on a technicality and not through any incredible surge of skill). The restaurant is in the main building at the front of the resort complex and just across the street from the Visitor Center (which offers a museum that was fun to explore).

Mt Baldy Lodge Restaurant and Bar
Mt Baldy Lodge Restaurant and Bar
Mt Baldy Lodge Restaurant and Bar
Andy looking profound at Mt Baldy Lodge Restaurant and Bar
Mt Baldy Lodge Restaurant and Bar
Andy playing pool in the Mt Baldy Lodge Restaurant and Bar.

Related Article: Explore Mt Baldy Lodge in the Off-Season

Top of the Notch

As the name suggests, Top of the Notch restaurant and bar can be found at the summit of Mt Baldy. It can be accessed via chair lift – something that was a bit of a surprise to me. For reasons I can’t quite remember, I thought we could walk just around the corner to the restaurant and then choose to go up the mountain. As I’m not a big fan of heights, I probably would have vetoed that idea. But somehow, before I knew it, the fee was paid, and I was desperately trying to remember the rules that they told us about getting on and off a ski lift.

Mt Baldy Chair Lift Top of the Notch Restaurant
My grip as we rose on the chair lift to Top of the Notch restaurant on Mt Baldy.
Mt Baldy Top of the Notch restaurant
Andy snapped this pic of a passing couple. They seemed to be enjoying the ride.

As you can tell by the photo, I was clinging onto the chair for dear life. I’m not sure why I thought that would help exactly – if the chair fell, I’d go too. But holding on seemed like the wisest course. Oddly, going up was significantly more frightening than coming down. I imagine it is because you can’t see the end-point going up (it feels like you are going up forever), whereas you can see the end-point coming down, and the trip is a quick one.

Top of the Notch restaurant on Mt Baldy
Top of the Notch restaurant on Mt Baldy
Patricia Steffy Top of the Notch restaurant
Top of the Notch restaurant patio on Mt Baldy
Patricia Steffy Top of the Notch restaurant on Mt Baldy
Views from Top of the Notch restaurant on Mt Baldy.

Miraculously, we made it to the top and off of the chair lift without getting smacked in the head. I called this a victory! Just to the side of the lift is Top of the Notch. While the temps down below were in the low 80s, we enjoyed significantly cooler weather at the top of Mt Baldy. The sun was still intense, and I do recommend sunscreen for the trip up and down.

The mountain and valley views are incredible. I was content to sip and nosh while looking out the restaurant windows and relax on the expansive patio. Andy opted for a quick hike from the summit before returning to join me. The more adventurous among you can even go zip lining from the summit during the summer season. I will wave to you from somewhere more secure.

Top of the Notch restaurant hike Mt Baldy
Views from Andy’s hike around the summit of Mt Baldy.
Top of the Notch restaurant Mt Baldy
Andy’s shot of the trip down from Top of the Notch restaurant on Mt Baldy.

Related Article: Enjoy An Easy Hike on Mt Baldy

The Buckhorn Restaurant

We stumbled upon The Buckhorn Restaurant during one of our drives around the Mt Baldy area. It advertised live music, and it looked like a lively place. Inside, it feels more like a bar, but the restaurant offers several notable dishes. Char-roasted Tri-Tip is a big hit, as well as several BBQ options. At the time, they did not have a fryer, but that probably helped keep the small main room feel cooler. Alas, the music was canceled that day because the summer season was slow (and the drought was still in effect), but we savored every bite of our late lunch and enjoyed the conversation with the friendly staff before going back to the Mt Baldy Lodge for some serious reading and swimming time.

Buckhorn Restaurant Mt Baldy Dining
The Buckhorn Restaurant on Mt Baldy

Related Articles: Explore Mt Baldy Lodge in the Off-Season

Top of Notch, Mt Baldy Lodge, Restaurants Mt Baldy
Restaurants in Mt Baldy

The post Sampling the Mt Baldy Restaurants appeared first on Those Someday Goals.

]]>
/2019/09/13/exploring-the-mt-baldy-restaurants/feed/ 0
Enjoy An Easy Hike on Mt Baldy /2019/09/11/enjoy-an-easy-hike-on-mt-baldy/ /2019/09/11/enjoy-an-easy-hike-on-mt-baldy/#respond Wed, 11 Sep 2019 06:00:32 +0000 /?p=6945 If you love hiking, Mt Baldy has some incredible trails to explore before the snow flies. Some trails can be accessed from the base of…

The post Enjoy An Easy Hike on Mt Baldy appeared first on Those Someday Goals.

]]>
If you love hiking, Mt Baldy has some incredible trails to explore before the snow flies. Some trails can be accessed from the base of the mountain and some from the top (which can be reached via the ski lift), but my favorite is an easy to moderate hike beginning at the San Antonio Falls Trailhead. If you are looking for a hike that novices and advanced hikers alike might enjoy during your Mt Baldy getaway, investigate this gorgeous option.

San Antonio Falls Trail

Hike San Antonio Falls Trail Mt Baldy
San Antonio Falls Trail on Mt Baldy

As I’ve mentioned, I’m not great with challenging hikes or with hiking while dealing with significant elevation changes. Big Bear (also in California) was a real challenge for me, and I was mindful of that when Andy and I started looking for compromise treks. He’ll tackle almost anything. Me? Not so much. So, we liked the sound of the San Antonio Falls Trail in Mt Baldy.

It is an out-and-back trail that runs about 1.3 miles. Most of it has a layer of asphalt, making the majority of the hike widely accessible. The end of the trail does involve a scramble over rocks, for those who are interested in getting under the waterfall. The path is available all year long; however, it draws far more people during the summer, fall and late spring months. Hikespeak.com describes the falls as “a 75-foot tall multi-tier year-round waterfall carrying water off Mount Baldy.”  Be warned that if you come during the summer (our visit was in July) that the water flow will be significantly less than if you came during or after the snowmelt.

San Antonio Falls Trail Hike Mt Baldy
Parking for the hike on Mt Baldy

Our Hike Experience

I’m not going to lie – I was feeling the elevation even here. In fact, Andy and I both felt it. We were smart in waiting until late afternoon to start the hike because the weather in Mt Baldy, though cooled by a thunderstorm, was still in the low 80s in the village. I was sweating from the moment we left the car, but we had water in hand, so I thought I’d be okay.

The views were gorgeous. We saw many families, some with strollers, on the asphalt track taking in the scenery. The San Antonio Falls Trailhead is maybe four miles from the Mt Baldy Lodge, making it easy drive for those staying there (as we were).

San Antonio Falls Trail Hike Mt Baldy
Andy on the San Antonio Falls Trail on Mt Baldy

I’m afraid that my sweating seemingly attracted every known mosquito and flying insect in the area. Sadly, we didn’t see any rams hanging out, but we did stop several times to just breathe in the views (and swat the bugs away). My breathing, in general, wasn’t great. Whether that was because of the elevation or the looming health problems, I can’t say. But Andy and I made it to the scramble point in the trail.

San Antonio Falls Trail Hike on Mt Baldy
San Antonio Falls Trail hike on Mt Baldy
San Antonio Falls Trail hike Mt Baldy
Views from the San Antonio Falls Trail hike on Mt Baldy
San Antonio Falls Trail hike Mt Baldy
Views from the San Antonio Falls Trail hike on Mt Baldy

Andy was ready to scramble over the rocks to get to the waterfall. He was so looking forward to dunking his head in the cold water that even if the rocks had been more challenging, he would have gone for it.

I refused to go. I do the thing I always do: “if one of us falls, how do we get out of here?” There were some homes below the trail and around the bend, so it wasn’t remote enough to strand anyone there, and yet, I could not be moved to start climbing down, over and around the loose formations.

San Antonio Falls Trail hike Mt Baldy
Andy and the waterfall at the end of San Antonio Falls Trail

Happily, Andy was able to adventure without getting hurt, and I was able to stay back and enjoy the view. The perfect compromise for an adventurer and someone who enjoys an abundance of caution in all things.

Related Articles: Explore Mt Baldy Lodge in the Off-Season

The post Enjoy An Easy Hike on Mt Baldy appeared first on Those Someday Goals.

]]>
/2019/09/11/enjoy-an-easy-hike-on-mt-baldy/feed/ 0
Explore Mt Baldy Lodge in the Off-Season /2019/09/09/explore-mt-baldy-lodge-in-the-off-season/ /2019/09/09/explore-mt-baldy-lodge-in-the-off-season/#comments Mon, 09 Sep 2019 06:07:56 +0000 /?p=6920 Let’s talk about visiting Mt Baldy Lodge during the off-season. Everyone knows about the skiing on Mount Baldy, but we were surprised to find that…

The post Explore Mt Baldy Lodge in the Off-Season appeared first on Those Someday Goals.

]]>
Let’s talk about visiting Mt Baldy Lodge during the off-season. Everyone knows about the skiing on Mount Baldy, but we were surprised to find that we loved hiking, exploring and relaxing there as the heat overtook Los Angeles in July. If you are looking for a place to escape soaring temperatures (be it summer, fall or late spring in Southern California), Mt Baldy Lodge could be your ideal weekend (or mid-week) getaway.

Mt Baldy Weather

We arrived at the beginning of July to celebrate Andy’s birthday. It was more than 100 degrees when we left Los Angeles, and, to be honest, one of the reasons we chose Mount Baldy was because it promised a respite. You can imagine our surprise when we arrived, and it was still in the 90s. But mountain weather is unpredictable, and within seconds (literally) of parking the car and running into Mt Baldy Lodge, the heavy clouds let loose. The thunderstorm gave us the perfect excuse to leisurely register and enjoy lunch in the lodge restaurant – a place we would frequently visit during our visit. It also cooled the temperature to a completely manageable 83 degrees.

Mt Baldy Lodge
Andy enjoying the rain as we arrived in Mt Baldy Ldoge

Mt Baldy Lodge Cabins

As you probably remember, Andy loves the outdoors. He enjoys hiking, treks and the idea of camping. I … do not. I grew up camping with my parents, and I loved spending the time with them, but I feel like I’m good on the camping, and don’t need to pitch a tent anywhere ever again. It might sound like it is hard to find a compromise between those two positions, but we have by reserving cabins like those available at Mt Baldy Lodge. They offer comfort, indoor plumbing and a porch, perfect for comfortable reading for hours. They also offer proximity to both easy and challenging hikes and a sense of being in nature, even though this Southern California locale is only an hour from Los Angeles.

Mt Baldy Lodge cabins
Mt Baldy Lodge cabin pathway
Mt Baldy Cabin Porch
Mt Baldy Cabin

The cabin could probably sleep five (if you included the sofa), with a private bedroom and a bed in a living room nook. We chose to sleep in the nook, for no other reason than it felt cooler and cozier to us. The temperature had dropped, but there is no air conditioning in the cabins, only fans. The bedroom nook enjoyed a breeze and a sturdy fan that did the job. If you are traveling with friends or family, the bedroom is an excellent choice for privacy. We marveled at the fireplace – I bet that gets quite a lot of use during the resorts ski season.

Mt Baldy Lodge cabin bedroom
Main bedroom in the cabin at Mt Baldy Lodge
Mt Baldy Lodge cabin
Mt Baldy Lodge cabin living room bed nook
Mt Baldy Lodge cabin
Mt Baldy Lodge cabin fireplace

My favorite place in our Mt Baldy Lodge cabin was the front porch. We both brought books with us (this was before Andy got me the kindle, so you can see I was still holding on to my physical books), and we enjoyed the laid-back, surrounded by nature vibe. If you love the idea of kicking back with a cold drink and a good book for hours, I’m betting our cabin would make you smile. I’m not exactly sure how you would make it work in the winter, but during the summer, it’s a glorious place to perch.

Mt Baldy Lodge
Reading “One Good Turn” by Kate Atkinson on our lovely cabin porch at Mt Baldy Lodge.

Mt Baldy Lodge Amenities

Mt Baldy Lodge is a family-friendly place, but with enough separation that couples or singles can still have privacy. We were close to the pool, the volleyball pits and the cornhole court, but never felt impacted by noise. We spent some quality time in the pool after one of our hikes, and it was refreshing, clean and easy to access from our cabin.

Mt Baldy Lodge amenities
Mt Baldy Lodge pool, volleyball courts and cornhole set-up were close to the cabin.
Mt Baldy Lodge
Andy playing pool in the Mt Baldy Lodge bar and restaurant.

When we visited, the only free Wi-Fi was in the Lodge restaurant. There is a pay service you can get in the cabins, but I put my computer away for a while, and only checked in when we were up at the restaurant (or in areas with Wi-Fi service). It was a great way to feel comfortably disconnected – we could have access if we wanted it, but we could unplug when we didn’t.

Overall, we loved our time at Mt Baldy Lodge. While just a couple of months later, my health would make trips too challenging for a while, I look back at this time fondly. And I would happily go back with Andy whenever we needed a little summer or fall escape.

Details: Mt Baldy Lodge, 6777 Mt Baldy Rd, Mt Baldy, CA 91759

Stay tuned for more information about Mt Baldy restaurants, hikes and other activities that we loved in Mt Baldy, California.

Related Articles: Enjoy An Easy Hike on Mt Baldy

The post Explore Mt Baldy Lodge in the Off-Season appeared first on Those Someday Goals.

]]>
/2019/09/09/explore-mt-baldy-lodge-in-the-off-season/feed/ 20
It’s Never Too Early to Start Planning Your Next Spa Trip to Desert Hot Springs /2019/05/08/its-never-too-early-to-start-planning-your-next-spa-trip-to-desert-hot-springs/ /2019/05/08/its-never-too-early-to-start-planning-your-next-spa-trip-to-desert-hot-springs/#respond Wed, 08 May 2019 21:35:37 +0000 /?p=6898   If you are looking for an oasis-like spot in the middle of Desert Hot Springs, California, The Spring Resort & Spa is your spot.…

The post It’s Never Too Early to Start Planning Your Next Spa Trip to Desert Hot Springs appeared first on Those Someday Goals.

]]>
 

If you are looking for an oasis-like spot in the middle of Desert Hot Springs, California, The Spring Resort & Spa is your spot. It has all the positives: clean rooms, multiple thermal pools and a full day spa. Plus, it’s only minutes from the restaurants and entertainment of Palm Springs.

 

Andy surprised me with a trip to The Spring Resort & Spa for my last birthday. I had been feeling a bit down about my lack of career progress, and it was just the thing I needed to recharge and get excited about working again. Because, as you might know, working by a pool is always a good idea.

The Rooms
We took a deluxe room right by two of the hot spring-fed pools. The mineral springs are said to have healing and therapeutic values. For me, it was all about finding relaxation and letting go of all the negatives that I had been holding onto since I had a terrible meeting with a would-be manager earlier in the year.

There are 12 rooms in total at the resort, with nine of them surrounding the mineral pools. Our deluxe room allowed us direct access to the main swimming pool (which is delightfully warm, but still refreshing) and the first of the hot pools (my favorite). The room was immaculate (my first requirement for any stay), with wood floors and a long-bench that featured space for luggage and offered up refreshing beverages. The bathroom was clean with exclusive bath products and an energetic showerhead that helped wash off the desert. The only downside of the room was that there was no desk inside of it. It turned out not to be a problem because there was a table for two just outside of our door that had a view of the pool and was perfect for getting work done in-between soaks.

If you are coming with friends, family or just want extra space to work, choose one of the suites or the villa. They tend to be quiet and sit closer to the spa.

The View from our room

 

Our outdoor office

Our roadrunner buddy came to visit while we were working.

 

The Spa
Andy’s mom had gifted me with a spa massage, and I was so excited to give it a try. I’m not terribly adventurous, so I went with a traditional Swedish, and it was fantastic. I felt utterly decadent – exactly how you should feel if you are celebrating a special occasion or just there for some long-overdue self-care. They have a comprehensive menu of healing treatments, and you can sign up at the check-in desk when you arrive or come in during your stay to make your selection.

 

The Pools
As I mentioned, the mineral pools range from bath water to truly toasty. I don’t go for the extreme heat, but Andy loved the hottest pool that was located over by the fire pit. The water comes out of the ground at 170 degrees and then is cooled and fed into the three pools. I liked the middle-of-the-road pool the best. Also, it was covered, so when the evening winds started to blow, we didn’t get inundated by the palm fronds.

Visit the fire pit between the pools when the sun sets.

 

Restaurant/Food
There is a type of continental breakfast that has healthy options, but it is limited. In fact, the lack of a full-service restaurant at The Spring is the biggest negative there. But it is so close to downtown and Palm Springs that it didn’t stop us from having a wonderful time. It allowed us to explore a bit, and we discovered some delicious options in Palm Springs that we’ve decided to visit again when we go back.

A View of Palm Springs

When to Visit
We loved being here in March, and we’ve taken desert trips as early as February and as late as November. When the nights are cold, the mineral hot springs can feel particularly delightful. The only time I’d caution against is the summer where daytime temps can hit 120. Still, you can find good deals, the rooms are air conditioned, and the nights cool off enough to enjoy the tubs.

 

The desert flowers were already blooming in March.

 

Overall Impression
The Spring is a beautiful, relatively affordable resort and spa that is perfect for a weekend getaway or mid-week escape. While it does offer day passes for people to visit, it never feels overcrowded. Plus, early hours and evening hours are restricted just to the people staying at The Spring. It was so relaxing that whenever we get stressed, Andy and I seriously contemplate running away to visit The Spring in Desert Hot Springs, California.

Desert views

The post It’s Never Too Early to Start Planning Your Next Spa Trip to Desert Hot Springs appeared first on Those Someday Goals.

]]>
/2019/05/08/its-never-too-early-to-start-planning-your-next-spa-trip-to-desert-hot-springs/feed/ 0
How to Declutter Your Clothing Closets and Drawers When Marie Kondo’s Method Doesn’t Work For You /2019/03/14/how-to-declutter-clothing-closets-and-drawers-when-marie-kondos-method-doesnt-work-for-you/ /2019/03/14/how-to-declutter-clothing-closets-and-drawers-when-marie-kondos-method-doesnt-work-for-you/#respond Thu, 14 Mar 2019 08:00:46 +0000 /?p=6908 You may want to turn over a minimalist leaf, or you may just be looking for a great way to declutter your clothing closets and…

The post How to Declutter Your Clothing Closets and Drawers When Marie Kondo’s Method Doesn’t Work For You appeared first on Those Someday Goals.

]]>
You may want to turn over a minimalist leaf, or you may just be looking for a great way to declutter your clothing closets and drawers. After our move, I was with you. But the KonMari Method wasn’t going to work for me because I wasn’t in a place where I could make that big of a change that quickly. 

 

I love the KonMari Method. I think Marie Kondo is a tidying genius. I read everything Courtney Carver writes about minimalism and decluttering. Joshua Becker rocks and The Minimalists (aka Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus) are so compelling that I have watched the documentary on Netflix at least five times. I’m sold on how damaging “fast fashion” is, and I’m a minimalist because I never want to consume mindlessly.

But even after saying all of that, I have to tell you that the KonMari method did not work for my closet right away, and as a freelancer, the Project 333 approach spearheaded by Courtney Carver didn’t seem to fit my closet decluttering needs. I wasn’t ready for them. I needed to take small steps before anything was going to “spark joy” or make it into my core wardrobe.

 

I was pretty sure I was never going to be this woman or have her closet — mostly because I’ll never be that age again, and I don’t live in an industrial loft with a white infinity screen behind a clothing rack that doesn’t reflect anything in my life.

 

What is Your Style?
Before you start removing all of your clothing from your closet and creating a mountain on your bed, think about what you really want from your wardrobe going forward. I had left a job with a corporate law firm to work as a freelance travel writer, author and screenwriter. Very little in my new life was going to require suits, pencil skirts (still love them) or an endless supply of dress pants. I didn’t have a style goal (in other words, I didn’t have a particular icon that inspired me that was also realistic for my day-to-day life), but I knew I needed a change. Where did I land? I’ve always been a little preppy. Every once in a while, I fall on a cool balance of preppy and “hip,” but most of the time I lean into preppy. This was true when I had corporate paychecks, and it remains true today. Once I committed to what look I wanted, it felt easier to start sorting through my stuff.

 

Decluttering, Closet, Clothing

Sort #1
The picture above is what my closet looked like after we moved into a place with closets built in 1929. I don’t understand why the two clothing rods in a row ever made sense because you have to walk through one packed rack of clothing to get to another one. I suppose the second rod was probably put in later in a concession to ever-growing American clothing consumption, but it was a pain in the butt from the beginning. And, weirdly, that reinforced my desire to pull out stuff that wasn’t serving my needs.

Did I take everything out of the closet at this point? No. There are some things you just know are never going to fit you again. You know some things have never really looked good on you (and those are often the things stuffed in the very back of the closet anyway). You know there are things that you got as gifts that still have tags on them that you have never worn, but hate to donate out of guilt. You know some things cost you a lot of money to buy, and you don’t want to donate them because… well, they cost a lot of money and there might be guilt there, too. This was all true for me. So, the first round was pulling out the things that I already knew in my heart were not things that I would miss. Did I donate them right away? No. I put them in two large bags and placed them in our front closet. I figured that if in six months I hadn’t thought or needed anything in those bags that I was free to move on.

I did this in two phases. I never went into the bags for any of the items. So, when the time was up, I separated them into things I was going to sell (see my notes on ThredUp here) and things I was going to donate. And I didn’t look back.

Note: Don’t feel bound by the six-month number. For people living in places with dramatically different seasons, you can condense or extend this time depending on your needs. I can wear summer clothing in LA for about 9 months out of the year, so my weed-outs had to reflect that.

Sort #2
It was time to re-review my clothing with an eye towards fit. This is not as easy as looking at a tag and seeing a size. Every brand seems to size their clothing differently and use the numbers as a vague guideline driven by horoscope rather than an exact science. It was time to try on the things that I didn’t wear often, but for some reason loved. This created another pile of things that didn’t fit correctly. Again, I put them in a bag, and I waited a few months to see if that workout plan I had initiated was going to start showing results or a promise of results. When I re-opened the bag some of the clothing did fit me better, but in some cases, the cuts were wrong for my body no matter what size I was. It was much easier to physically remove them at this point because I had already mentally gotten rid of them when I put them in the bag.

Sort #3
I was ready for a combination of KonMari and Courtney Carver. I was able to take everything out and do a real assessment of whether or not I wanted to take these items into the future with me. I knew what I needed and wanted, so creating that core wardrobe was far easier. This is not about believing that I would always have abundance and, therefore, could just replace everything. This was about actually knowing my needs. And I found myself easily able to move from my closet to my drawers and cedar chest (for winter wear) with the same attitude.

 

Decluttering closets, clothing, Marie Kondo, Courtney Carver

Am I finished decluttering? I’m close. I’ve got the KonMari folding method down in my drawers (and it absolutely works), and my closet is now only one filled clothing rod, even with the winter sweaters out (it has been surprisingly cold in LA). But decluttering and tidying is an ongoing process. I always want to be mindful of, and grateful for, what I have and what I am acquiring. In terms of creating my core wardrobe, I’m working on it. Project 333 could still be a reality for me.

Have you gone through a significant decluttering process? I’d love to hear what methods worked for you or what methods you want to try.

The post How to Declutter Your Clothing Closets and Drawers When Marie Kondo’s Method Doesn’t Work For You appeared first on Those Someday Goals.

]]>
/2019/03/14/how-to-declutter-clothing-closets-and-drawers-when-marie-kondos-method-doesnt-work-for-you/feed/ 0
Marie Kondo is NOT Telling You to Throw Out All Your Books /2019/01/17/marie-kondo-is-not-telling-you-to-throw-out-all-your-books/ /2019/01/17/marie-kondo-is-not-telling-you-to-throw-out-all-your-books/#respond Thu, 17 Jan 2019 18:45:16 +0000 /?p=6916   Marie Kondo is NOT telling you to throw out all your books. If you’ve watched either her Netflix show or read her books, she…

The post Marie Kondo is NOT Telling You to Throw Out All Your Books appeared first on Those Someday Goals.

]]>
 

Marie Kondo is NOT telling you to throw out all your books. If you’ve watched either her Netflix show or read her books, she is telling you to be mindful of about what you take into the future with you. For some people, that is going to mean taking 1,000 books with them. For some, that number is going to be 5. But it’s okay, Marie Kondo is not coming for your books. And neither are The Minimalists.

 

I’m not really sure how these things get started, but I have seen a lot of people freaking out under the assumption that Marie Kondo (or her KonMari Method) wants people to toss their books in the garbage. I’ve seen the meme going around that suggests an ideal number of 30 books on the shelf which has people very agitated and ready to call Marie Kondo “evil” for the suggestion. But I’m here to tell you, you can tidy up, follow your bliss, spark joy and be a minimalist and still keep all of your books, some of your books, two of you books, whatever. It’s not about the number, it’s about what you value.

What Did My Books Say About Me?
Up until about a year ago, I was someone who had a great deal of their identity wrapped up in her book collection. I always had dreams of a vast library (complete with moving ladder) that welcomed me home. I love books. I love the way they feel, smell and look on the shelf. I also loved what I thought having all those books said about me – I wanted people to see that I was well-read and had a wide range of interests. In short, there was a lot of my ego wrapped up in all of those books.

I had two huge wooden shelving units, one tall bedroom unit and one short, long unit filled to the brim with books when I moved into my apartment in Los Angeles. I moved those books from New Jersey, Boston, Washington, D.C. and Ohio. All totaled, I spent thousands of dollars moving books.

And I did it again. When Andy and I moved into the new place, we added two more bookshelves to the mix with Andy’s books. But the way the spaces are broken up in the new place, I started to feel claustrophobia rather than joy.

Most of those books had not been opened in a decade. More of those books had not been perused in 25 years. The out-of-date textbooks were not reference sources for my career. The old Russian, Spanish and French language books felt like an accusation when I looked at them, which was not often. I had copies of books that I hated. That’s right – I paid to move books that I hated.

Choosing Which Books To Donate

The Minimalists talk more about the things that you find valuable in life rather than “sparks of joy,” but it comes down to the same thing. I had to go through every one of those books and decide if they brought value to my life. I wanted to be ruthless, but that was impossible. Again, too much of my ego was part of this collection.

There are some books I read every year. Those were staying. There are some books that I haven’t read in years but are works that I love and those that represented a new discovery. Those were staying. Books I hadn’t read yet remained. Special books my mother gave me are still on the shelf. But hundreds of books took their leave over the course of the last year — not because of Marie Kondo, but because they no longer fit my needs. And I feel better about them being read by new people who can appreciate them rather than staying dusty on my shelf.

I refuse to throw out books (most of the time). I understand that you might need to throw out books that have food or water damage on them, but if they are in good condition, consider donating them. I started with a yard sale. All of my Penguin Classics were snatched up at the beginning of the day despite my highlights from junior and high school classes. It turns out that teachers need to keep extra copies of books in their classrooms for new kids or book short-falls. Had I known, I would have just given them to the person who bought them, but I didn’t find out until later who she was. So, note to everyone out there, if you are getting rid of books that are taught in schools, find out if you can donate them to classrooms.

Did you know that some senior centers have libraries? If you have popular, paperback (or hardback) books that you don’t plan on keeping, consider contacting your local senior center to see what their needs are. Veterans groups often accept books, as well, but be sure to ask them before packaging them.

One of my most significant donations went to the Friends of The Robertson Library book sales. They sell used books that are in good condition twice per year to help finance their own acquisitions and activities. And if you happen to be donating something they can use, they may also add it to circulation.

Do you have the Little Lending Libraries in your area? These are the mini-libraries you see on tree lawns in residential areas. For the most part, these are also great places to offer up popular books. Plus, if you see something there that you want to read, you can swap it out for one of the books you are donating.

I tend not to donate books to places like Goodwill or the Salvation Army. While some of your local ones might take them, many do not. That seems like a waste when so many other places do want your used books. Naturally, if you have the time and patience, you can also sell through Amazon, eBay and textbook companies.

My Library Now
I have fewer than 50 books now. Every book is either something I love, something I need or something I have yet to read. Andy also got me a Kindle to make traveling with my current reads much easier. It took me years to give in to the digital read, but I certainly understand its appeal now. We sold or donated three of the bookcases, and the office is progressing toward a much more useable writing space. Did I get rid of my books because Marie Kondo or The Minimalists told me to? No. I curated my collection to reflect what I want to take into the future with me. For every person, that number is going to be different. And that’s okay.

The post Marie Kondo is NOT Telling You to Throw Out All Your Books appeared first on Those Someday Goals.

]]>
/2019/01/17/marie-kondo-is-not-telling-you-to-throw-out-all-your-books/feed/ 0
Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Go Down the Minimalism or Decluttering Path /2019/01/09/questions-to-ask-yourself-before-you-go-down-the-minimalism-or-decluttering-path/ /2019/01/09/questions-to-ask-yourself-before-you-go-down-the-minimalism-or-decluttering-path/#comments Wed, 09 Jan 2019 08:00:13 +0000 /?p=6901 At the start of the new year, it’s easy to get excited about KonMari methods of decluttering, Swedish Death Cleaning or any of the plans…

The post Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Go Down the Minimalism or Decluttering Path appeared first on Those Someday Goals.

]]>
At the start of the new year, it’s easy to get excited about KonMari methods of decluttering, Swedish Death Cleaning or any of the plans that will help you declutter, get organized, tidy up and feel less stressed (and by extension, more productive). But before you go down any of these paths, there are some questions you should ask.

Why Do You Want to Declutter?
Are you doing this because Marie Kondo show on Netflix looks so fun, and you want to jump on board so that you too could be as lovely as Marie Kondo appears to be? Are you always stressed and looking for any method to help you find a sense of peace in your home? Do you have a severe retail therapy issue that you can no longer afford? Have you shopped so much that you no longer know what you actually own? Is your closet full of things with the tags still on them? (Been there).

You may have answered yes to all of these questions or none of them. The decision to start decluttering and get organized is a profoundly personal one. And, depending on your needs, it could take a lot longer than it appears to take on TV to get yourself sorted. But if you have the desire, the need and the energy, you may end up in a much happier place.

How Do You Want to Declutter?
Obviously, the KonMari method has a lot of fans. Even if you haven’t read Marie Kondo’s book: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, you have probably heard about it. And you can get a crash course in her methods by watching the new show on Netflix (trailer below).

But the KonMari method doesn’t work for everyone. Not everyone can find that spark of joy or have the emotional fortitude (the time or a spouse joining in) to follow Marie Kondo’s plan in its purest form. In fact, there are dozens of options out there for people who want to get started but can’t commit to KonMari.

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter is another book that has gotten quite a bit of attention. I love aspects of Margareta Magnusson work. Having recently started helping my dad clean out my mother’s things after her sudden death, I can see the advantages. In fact, after that experience, I wanted to come home and start tagging everything with what my intentions were for each item and donate the rest. That, of course, was mostly an emotional reaction, but there is a lot to be said for making sure your affairs are in order at any age.

If you aren’t sure if you are ready to take the plunge, you might want to watch Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things on Netflix. I got oddly obsessed with it, and probably watched the documentary three times in a row. What can I say? I related. You can also follow the guys behind the documentary on their podcast and website, where they talk about different games and techniques you can implement to get started.

Is your primary area of concern centered on your closet? You might want to check out Project 333 and the wise words of Courtney Carver, who came into decluttering and minimalism at a time where her health demanded a change from her stress-filled routine.

Now, here’s the reality, you might not find a pre-made method that works for you. I didn’t. I needed to mix and match and find a plan that worked with my schedule, my emotional attachments to certain things and the fact that I live with my husband who isn’t a shopper but isn’t signing up for Marie Kondo boxes either. But there is good news: if you want to do this, you can. You’ll find the way that works best for you, and you will do it. You’ve already taken the first step by reading this blog.

Want to hear how I got started? You can read all about it here.

The post Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Go Down the Minimalism or Decluttering Path appeared first on Those Someday Goals.

]]>
/2019/01/09/questions-to-ask-yourself-before-you-go-down-the-minimalism-or-decluttering-path/feed/ 2
The Pros and Cons of Spending Christmas at the Hotel del Coronado /2018/12/14/the-pros-and-cons-of-spending-christmas-at-the-hotel-del-coronado/ /2018/12/14/the-pros-and-cons-of-spending-christmas-at-the-hotel-del-coronado/#respond Fri, 14 Dec 2018 00:39:56 +0000 /?p=6881 The Hotel del Coronado is a historic beachfront property in Coronado Island, California. Many of the wooden hotel buildings were constructed in 1888, and the…

The post The Pros and Cons of Spending Christmas at the Hotel del Coronado appeared first on Those Someday Goals.

]]>
The Hotel del Coronado is a historic beachfront property in Coronado Island, California. Many of the wooden hotel buildings were constructed in 1888, and the grounds are stunning. However, the crowds and management changes have created a scenario that may leave you feeling more “Bah Humbug” than Christmas festive.

 

 

Finding ourselves in town for our first Christmas as a married couple, Andy and I decided to splurge a bit and enjoy the beauty of a hotel that we’ve admired for years. On the surface, The Hotel del Coronado offers a stunning waterfront location, historic buildings, appealing amenities and delicious dining opportunities (provided you can get in to enjoy them).

 

 

The front desk told us that Christmas is their busiest time. Our first indication that this was true was the difficulty in getting into self-parking and the long lines to check in our room. In keeping with its Victorian beginnings, the lobby has a stunning upside-down Christmas tree at the center of it. The gorgeous detailing of everything from the ornate elevator doors to the ceiling work draws the Instagrammers. Unfortunately, that also makes the check-in process harder because the lines have to snake around people posing with the tree. Still, it’s quite a sight and adds to the hotel’s visual appeal.

 

Booking: Notes and Con
If you want to stay in the Victorian part of the hotel, you must make sure that you book a room in the historic buildings. Otherwise, you could end up in the tower which is just like any other outdated hotel, although you are still on the beach. There are private and semi-private villas that could be perfect for traveling families or a group of friends.

Book directly through the hotel. We made the mistake of booking through hotels.com. When we checked in, I noticed that our pre-authorization charge was more than the cost of the room for two nights, which didn’t make sense as we had already paid in full. We were assured that was normal. Then when we checked out, and the charge was still on there, we were assured by the front desk that it would be removed. You know where this is going, don’t you? They claimed the money never came over from hotels.com, and we were charged twice. It took me eight different contacts with the hotel over six weeks, even after they admitted that they had made the second charge in error before I moved on to Hilton corporate, who took care of the double charge in less than 24 hours.

 

 

Room: Pro and Con
Our room was clean, and although the furnishings were dated, we had a lovely view. We loved walking through the winding hallways. We could almost picture ourselves in our bathing clothes as we walked by the umbrella wallpaper in 1888.

 

 

Because it is a historic hotel, the walls are pretty thin. Usually, that doesn’t really bother us, but the person directly next to us brought their dog and then left the dog in the room the entire time. Clearly, the dog was not loving that and spent quite a bit of time barking to be let out to join the fun.

View from the room

 

Amenities
There is a gorgeous pool that is close to restaurants and just off the beach. It’s heated, and even in December, there were a fair number of people enjoying the water. And you know it’s considerably warmer than the Pacific Ocean.

 

 

There are a host of stores on the ground floor of the main hotel building. You can not only pick up some last-minute gifts and treats, but the halls are filled with old pictures of the hotel in its prime.

Movie night on the beach is a terrific family activity. The views are incredible, and they take care to make sure you are comfortable with a beachside movie. If I ever go back, I would definitely make plans to attend the beach movie.

 

Skating Rink: Pro and Con
One of the reasons I was excited about going to the Hotel del Coronado was the skating rink. The idea of ice skating within sight of the ocean in December was too tempting to resist. The views at sunset are incredible, and then the twinkle lights come up as the darkness settles over the rink.

 

Alas, we never ended up skating. We were only there two days, and the lines were so long that it didn’t make sense to spend that limited time waiting in line to skate on a crowded rink. The rink is open for anyone who wants it, whether they are staying at the hotel or not. This is great for the community and people in nearby San Diego. This is not great for people staying at the hotel with limited time to wade through the crowds.

Dining: Pro and Con
Hotel del Coronado makes an amazing Victorian Christmas dinner. It’s expensive, but just the experience of sampling terrific food in the Victorian dining room, all done up for the holiday, is worth the splurge. However, make reservations now. And once you make them, keep checking them. We heard a lot of complaints about lost reservations, and because the dinner sold out, they were out of luck.

 

 

There are many excellent restaurants in the hotel, including a fun-looking bar/restaurant that extends over the water. Again, the restaurants are expensive, but you would expect that at a resort. But, in the end, the public crowds made it difficult for hotel guests just to grab a drink or appetizers. I think we had a drink late on Christmas Eve, and that’s the only time we successfully navigated the restaurants. Trust me, make reservations now or at least make them when you arrive. Here’s the good news: there are excellent restaurants that we loved, that were far cheaper, within walking distance, including Clayton’s Coffee Shop (real 1940s diner feel), Leroy’s Kitchen + Lounge and Maretalia Ristorante.

 

Would I go again? That’s so complicated. I’d love to revisit Coronado Island. The hotel itself is fascinating. The beach is begging to be strolled and explored. Andy and I had a wonderful, romantic getaway because we’re flexible, and we were willing to spend time in the city rather than at the hotel. I would probably not stay at the Hotel del Coronado – it’s too expensive for too little access to the amenities (and my billing problems with their accounting department left me feeling deeply vexed).

However, if you do decide to go to the Hotel del Coronado (and its historic charms make it a bucket list hotel for many), choose a random Tuesday that isn’t close to any holiday. Skip Christmas, the 4th of July, Memorial Day, etc. Go on an average day, make dinner reservations beforehand and book directly with the hotel. That’s the best way to enjoy a hotel stay right on the beach. You may even hear more of those ghost stories that made the hotel famous.

The post The Pros and Cons of Spending Christmas at the Hotel del Coronado appeared first on Those Someday Goals.

]]>
/2018/12/14/the-pros-and-cons-of-spending-christmas-at-the-hotel-del-coronado/feed/ 0
Explore in the Nature Trails and See the Salmon at Taylor Creek in South Lake Tahoe /2018/10/27/explore-in-the-nature-trails-and-see-the-salmon-at-taylor-creek-in-south-lake-tahoe/ /2018/10/27/explore-in-the-nature-trails-and-see-the-salmon-at-taylor-creek-in-south-lake-tahoe/#comments Sat, 27 Oct 2018 18:28:15 +0000 /?p=6853 Are you looking for a nature-filled fall activity that works for the entire family? It may be time for you to head to South Lake…

The post Explore in the Nature Trails and See the Salmon at Taylor Creek in South Lake Tahoe appeared first on Those Someday Goals.

]]>
Are you looking for a nature-filled fall activity that works for the entire family? It may be time for you to head to South Lake Tahoe to visit Taylor Creek. Not only will you experience some breathtakingly beautiful scenery on the trails that run through the park but if you time it right, you’ll be able to see the Kokanee salmon spawn.

At the suggestion of Andy’s family, we walked through the park in October last year. The weather was crisp (South Lake Tahoe is a world away climate-wise from Los Angeles) and fall was clearly in the air. I just wanted stand there and take deep breaths – enjoying the clean, peaceful feeling of the place, despite the Saturday crowds.

 

We knew we wanted to walk the trails and see the Stream Profile Center. Most areas are easily navigated even if people have mobility challenges, and we loved being able to look out over the water to see the fish, as well as spotting the animals in the trees.

You can start in the Steam Profile Chamber, which allows you to see the salmon and other fish in their natural habitat through floor-to-ceiling glass windows, or finish there. We actually began our explorations on the Rainbow Trail.

Taylor Creek in South Lake Tahoe
Andy by the Rainbow Trail at Taylor Creek in South Lake Tahoe.

 

The Rainbow Trail loops through the marshland and along Taylor Creek. It runs for about .6 of a mile and felt like easy terrain to me (and I can be a wuss about these things). It can be quite crowded on the weekends in the fall, but we had no difficulty getting spots near the water to see the salmon.

 

When we came out, we looped back toward the Visitor Center and decided to walk out to some of the vista points along Smokey’s Trail to get a feel for the mountains beyond the park. I admit that I fell in love with some of the views. The extraordinary colors reminded me of paintings I used to see when I was a child, and I can’t imagine ever getting tired of seeing these sights.

 

 

There are still a few more days that you can get up to see the salmon and wander the park. It is closed during the winter and early spring months as the snow will begin to fly in South Lake Tahoe any day now. The Visitor Center, trails and the Taylor Creek Steam Profile Chamber are all free!

The post Explore in the Nature Trails and See the Salmon at Taylor Creek in South Lake Tahoe appeared first on Those Someday Goals.

]]>
/2018/10/27/explore-in-the-nature-trails-and-see-the-salmon-at-taylor-creek-in-south-lake-tahoe/feed/ 1