Weekend Getaway: Lake Tahoe

I love a good opportunity to glamp, and Lake Tahoe is one of my all-time favorite places in the US. This place brings back so many memories of sleep-away camp from my childhood summers. However, my idea of adult idea of glamping is more like posting up at a sweet hotel, where I can go to the spa, bask by the pool breathe the mountain fresh air.

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Where to Stay

This summer, I had the chance to stay at the Resort at Squaw Creek for a long weekend staycation this summer. We pulled up on a great last minute deal at this super-popular ski resort, primarily because it was the off season. Most people I know who frequent Tahoe only do so in the winter, but believe me... if you have the chance to go in the summer, you will won't regret it. 

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Where to Eat & Drink

For some reason I was too busy gobbling down all my food and not taking pics of it. I guess that's a good thing, meaning it was probably delish. You'll just have to trust me on it... here's a list of places we frequented:

The Oasis Grill, Resort at Squaw Creek has a decent lunch, but is a little over priced, in my opinion. I had the buffalo shrimp on a bed of salad and at least 1 alcoholic beverage, and I'm positive I paid at least 20 dollars or more for both. Paying a premium on food is expected on property. You know, the whole convenience thing.

Six Peaks Grille, Resort at Squaw Creek is the perfect place to post up fireside at the end of the night for a glass of wine and dessert. They stay open later in the summer... and the fire is always blazin'. Very cute for cupcaking with a special someone.

Firesign Cafe, Tahoe City was so good that we went twice, back to back for brunch. The service is fast, and the portions substantial. Also, there's a cute cafe behind the building for you to grab a coffee while you wait, because this place does tend to get busy.

Fireside Pizza, Olympic Valley Village is known for their pizza, but their pasta was the real MVP in my opinion. No shade to pizza. I love pizza, but the pasta and salad did not disappoint.

What to do for fun

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Bike the Truckee River

Talk about the easiest bike ride EVER! We rented two motorized bikes for our two hour ride up and down the Truckee river, and it was the best idea ever. Instead of walking to the nearest rental company near our hotel, we drove into town, and found Dam EBikes, which was very close to our new favorite cafe, Firesign. And what a gem. After your ride a motorized bike uphill, it'll have you rethinking all future bike rides involving hills. You can do as much or as little hardcore peddling as you want. Working the controls was super-easy, and made the 2-hour ride super pleasant.

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Swim or Tube the Truckee

Although, we couldn't bike and tube in the same day because of our time restraints, I can't lie, tubing looked fun as sh*t. Just floating down the river without a care in the world. Yes, I'll have some of that, please. Of course there was no way I was going to pass up the opportunity to baptize myself in Lake Minnetonka (I mean, Truckee). It seems to be a favorite local past time to just pull over to the side of the road with a couple of tubes, or lawn chairs and a cooler and just chill lakeside. I mean, that's totally what I would do on a summer Sunday afternoon with my bottle of Rose. The water was chilly, but invigorating.

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Horseback Riding at Alpine Meadows

Our concierge was a big help in recommending this family-owned stable to us. You basically call ahead, we phoned the day before to let them know we wanted a morning ride. When you arrive at the stable, you pay (cash only-- about 35 bucks) for an hour long ride, then saddle up. I was a little embarrassed that I was not dressed to ride. I wore a short dress over my swimsuit and some flip flops. They had me stash my flips and ride barefoot. Something about it being easier to do the foot horse signals without them. I didn't mind. I actually felt like a real nature girl, barefoot and in the wild, lol.

Our guide, Matthew was more than accommodating. He talked to us about life in Lake Tahoe, and the best restaurants and beaches to try the next time we come visit. If you visit Alpine Meadows, ask for him and tell him the black girl with the long braids with beads and a nose ring sent you. ;)

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Hi Matthew!

Hi Matthew!

Hiking

Unfortunately we ran out of time and did not get the chance to go on a hike. But there are so many trails to explore in the area, you won't have a hard time ticking this item off your list. Plus, it's free. We just asked our concierge where the nearest trails were and she handed us a map and basically said throw a rock, lol. We were literally surrounded by them. The closest, easiest one in Squaw Valley happened to be right behind the property, which you can access easily from the resort. If you go in the summer, it's advisable to go in the morning. Because although it gets very cool in the mountains at night, it heats up VERY fast in late morning and early afternoon. Don't forget your sunscreen!

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Sunset Booze Cruise 

There were literally sooo many choices for booze cruising, I spent several hours in my hotel room the night before narrowing it down. It came down between the Rum Runner Emerald Bay cruise we actually went on, and a sunset wine cruise on the Safari Rose, which was sold out. I think we made a good choice, the views were refreshing and the waters were smooth. The next time I'll plan in advance to try the wine cruise. Typically, I'm not usually one for boat cruises of any kind because of my motion sickness issue. However, in the past year I've found ways to cope and make my recent forays on the water much more pleasant. Taking liquid ginger helps.

Chill by the camp fire, or in the jacuzzi or at the pool...

...Depending on your resort or cabin set up. And Lake Tahoe has some ILL cabins, so the next time I go, hopefully this winter, that's where I'll be reporting back to you. Our resort was so nice, we spent the entire first day soaking up the amenities, which include a full gym, a golf course, and a full spa.

 

 

My staycation at Lake Tahoe was definitely one of my fave memories of the summer...

Have you ever taken a mountain vacation in the summer? Where did you go, share the deets in the comments below or hit me on the 'Gram.

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How to Diet During the Holidays: Don't

Got #BodyGoals?

The holiday season is upon us, and every other day there seems to be another potential eating extravaganza lurking around the corner. And IDK about y'all, but the way MY diet is set up, I'm gonna eat.

However, the way my 2018 body goals are set up, I've got plans to live as strong and healthfully as possible. But one thing I don't believe in is depriving myself along the way. I believe in living the fullness of life, so there's no way that I'm going to deprive myself of the things that love, and I don't think you should have to either.

But hoooow can you have the best of both worlds, you ask? How can you slay your health goals, eat whatever and look like a living goddess? Well, the first thing I can tell you is that you have to shift your mindset and your way of thinking about your overall wellness. And that starts with believing that you deserve everything that you want-- whether that's a 6 pack or a snack. 

You have to believe that you have the intuition and inner wisdom to listen to your body, and know your limits when treating yourself. There's nothing inherently wrong with eating and loving delicious flavor combinations on your palette. Enjoying tf out of food is one of your reatest tools to help you eat more intuitively.

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Get access to our private FB group and join us in January for the FREE 7-Day reset.

When you really enjoy and appreciate food that is healthy for you, saying no and limiting your intake of other stuff becomes easier. Or, if you can't or don't want to say no outright, you can become strengthened in your resolve not to go overboard.

Trust me, I have many food vices and indulgences that I love. And I allow myself to have them. Just not everyday, or even every week. Do I beat myself up for loving pumpkin pie and alcoholic egg nog during the holidays? Hell no! But do I eat these things on the regular? That's also a no. If you're wanting to eat more mindfully this holiday season, go ahead and grab your FREE copy of my Holiday Eating Survival Guide to get more tips on anti-dieting. As a bonus, you'll get a reserved spot in my upcoming 7-Day Wellness Reset starting January 1, when you sign-up below.

A diet, after all, is just a fling. Let's go steady. 

What are your tried and true tips for eating mindfully and avoiding fad diets? Share in the comments or on @TheSassyNation IG .

 

 

 

 

Want access to wellness on demand? Honor the space you're in and go at your own pace when you download the 31 Days of Wellness Journal.  +  Check out The Sassy Little Things Gift Shoppe for all the tools you need to set it off in 2018!

 

 

 

Getting Baked: Safe Tanning for Brown Girls

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Summer may be over, but for those of us who travel, anytime we can get away, even for a weekend in Miami, is a good time to activate our beautiful melanin.

While safe tanning may sound a bit like a misnomer, hear me out. We all can agree that due to the deteriorating ozone and the, let's face it, the sheer magnitude of the sun-- tanning on a regular basis is not advisable. But if you're on vacation someplace warm, it's bound to happen. In fact, I can't say that I know anyone who plans to go on a holiday and NOT get tanned. So, you may as well be smart about by showing the sun the respect it deserves and slather yourself properly.

To this point, let's talk about some myths as it relates to tanning while brown.

Myth #1 Black and brown people do not need sunscreen. 

Just go ahead and throw that whole theory in the trash. I'll wait. Some of us mistakenly think that just because you've been blessed with the melanin that you don't need to use sunscreen at all. We protest that our color will protect us from the sun, so why bother. Ok-- but consider the fact that decades ago, we had much more protection from the sun's UV and UVB rays because of the natural shield that was the ozone layer. Due to our rampant use of aerosols and general air pollution, that divinely created layer of protection is not nearly what it used to be. So, while your grandma and them didn't have to worry as much about protecting their skin, you should be a little more concerned and diligent about it. And just because melanated skin is able to withstand the sun better than fairer skin doesn't imply invincibility. Automatically assuming that we don't need protection, too, is reckless and a complete farce.

The rate at which Black people are getting skin cancer has dramatically increased in recent years (go ahead and look it up). One could pontificate that this is because of the toxic products that we are all using, but we'll save that conversation for another day. But would you really want to roll the dice on this one?

Myth #2 Sunscreen will keep you from getting tanned or burned.

As much as I'd like to tell you that sunscreen is the antidote to all of your sun related woes, I can assure you that using sunscreen, no matter the brand, will NOT keep you from getting tanned or burned. Especially if you are exposed to it for a prolonged amount of time. Only staying indoors can prevent sunburn. Sunscreen is meant to protect your skin from damage while out in the sun. That's it. 

Myth #3 If you wear a hat or sit in the shade, etc., you don't need sunscreen.

While you can keep from getting tanned in the shade, yes-- but, did you know that UVA and UVB rays can dance and bounce off of surfaces and hit you right in your pretty little face? It's true. This is the reason why sunscreen usage is advised, even when it is cloudy outside. Even though you may not be able to see the sun and its rays, they still see you.

Myth #4 Your makeup has enough sunscreen, so you're set fo' life!

Loved one, I am so sorry to tell you that the sunscreen under that beautiful, beat face of yours is only going to withstand about 2 good hours of sun. Sunscreen is like deodorant, if it's sunny out, chances are you're gonna need to reapply it at some point. Plus, what about your beautiful goddess body? Just because you've got your face covered, does that mean you're gonna skip the other 95%? Does that even make sense? IJS.

Myth #5 Sunscreen makes me look ashy or ghostly.

Piggybacking on #4, in the past, formulations for sunscreen were limited. But the market has opened up vastly, and introduced a slew of melanin-friendly options that blend on your face and body superbly, regardless of whether you use it with heavy makeup, powder or simply on a fresh face. Don't let this be your excuse. We've got options. Let Jackie Aina break it down for ya.

Myth #6 Black Don't crack

Keep going out without your sunscreen and you'll soon find out that's just not the case. Let me just say that I'm old enough to see the obvious difference between how my skin is aging compared to many of my peers, men and women, of an array of skin hues. And other people who I know that religiously use sunscreen will testify to the same noticeable differences.  If you want to keep flexin' in your complexion, there are some precautions to consider.

I live in a tropical climate part-time, and like to do what I call a gradual tan. But even if you're only vacationing and working on your tan for a couple of days, you can adopt a similar method. 

First things first, get you a good tanning oil. I'm an advocate for coconut oil or something natural-based. Coconut oil has a natural SPF of 5... not nearly enough to be considered full coverage, but it's better than nothing, eh? Plus, many tanning oils on the market average an SPf of 5-8. So, you mine as well go natural, in my opinion.

However, if you're like me and tend to get splotchy, I'd suggest going with at least 30-80 SPF. Also, consider only "baking" yourself gradually in 10-15 minute intervals per day. Trust me, this is PLENTY of sun to get the desired results. Also, I've found that using a higher SPF will result in a more even browning. 

ALSO-- this is super important... be sure to apply extra (meaning a thick white layer that you will not rub all the way in) on the areas where you may be hyper-pigmented-- i.e., knees, elbows, scars, even tattoos. This will lessen the likelihood of darkening your parts that are already dark. 

So there you have it girls... that's what I know about safely tanning while melanated.

What are your tried and true tips for safely activating your melanin? Share in the comments or on IG.