Introducing my first (unforgettable) trip to Napa, California!
*All photography is by Janine Licare Photography
In the midst of the beautiful Napa Valley winegrowing region, just north of San Francisco is Carneros Resort and Spa, a luxurious Napa Valley retreat. Carneros Resort and Spa was created to provide an intimate atmosphere embracing Napa Valley’s hospitality and its unique surroundings.
Nestled among 28 gorgeous, lush acres of endless rows of grape vines and expansive Napa farmland, Carneros Resort and Spa’s design has received its styling cues from the local countryside – combining stylish resort accommodations and modern interiors. This beautiful resort captures the region’s distinct charm perfectly, as well as accommodating the needs of their sophisticated guests.
The suites range from 900 to 1,200 square feet and offer an expansive outdoor patio and garden. Candice and I stayed in a Garden Suite, which is actually two separate cottages complete with king size beds and a shared backyard.
There are only 86 suites, cottages, and private homes onsite, so it’s highly likely you’ll feel romantic, pampered and secluded. Carneros Resort and Spa offers serene tranquility with high-end amenities. The front decks are furnished with comfy rocking chairs which take in the amazing view. The bathrooms have heated floors, and unique outdoor showers which complement the private patio and garden areas.
The Boon Fly Café is fun, lively, and vibrant, serving modern rustic cuisine in a contemporary roadhouse atmosphere.
Guests dining in Napa Valley can start their day with the signature Boon Fly donuts and end it with a gourmet hamburger other delicious dinner specials.
The cafe was named after Boon Fly, a pioneer who planted orchards and vineyards in the area in the mid-1800s. Resort guests and locals alike are drawn to the energetic vibe and satisfying cuisine that’s based on the agricultural heritage of the region.
FARM restaurant offers gourmet wine country dining in an elevated setting that features a living room-style alfresco lounge, plush seating, dramatic lighting, a cathedral ceiling, and two fireplaces, as well as a bar and private dining space. Casually refined, FARM features fresh produce from the resort’s on-site culinary garden and eggs from the resort’s chicken coop. Authentically Napa Valley, the unique menu showcases simple and elegant food, imaginative hand-crafted cocktails, a selection of craft beer, and an extensive list of regional wines.
Hilltop Dining Room is reserved exclusively for guests of Carneros Resort and Spa, providing a picturesque setting for breakfast or lunch.
Hilltop Dining Room takes full advantage of its beautiful setting with floor-to-ceiling windows and outdoor patios – perfect for enjoying panoramic views of nearby vineyards and the Napa Valley countryside.
An upscale on-site general store, Market, is where you can stock up on picnic supplies, buy a bottle of wine or enjoy gourmet deli items. Perfect for a picnic and they also offer personalized picnic baskets. Perfect and so fun!
There is so much to take in and enjoy at this amazing property!
Enjoy an elevated relaxation experience at the newly reimagined Spa at Carneros – now open following a complete renovation.
An onsite boutique, COOP, where you can shop for luxury resort wear and accessories located in Town Square.
There are two pools with hot tubs, including the adult-only Hilltop Pool with a beautiful view of the countryside. There is also a family friendly pool – again as I said before, Carneros Resort and Spa has gone through every detail to delight their guests! There’s a 3,000-square-foot fitness center which includes cardio and strength training equipment and fitness classes. Complimentary bicycles are available to tour the property and surrounding area, which are provided on a first come, first serve basis.
The Town Square is complete with bocce ball courts, a market and an expansive outdoor lounge. Traveling with your dog? Your room will be complete with a dog bed and bowl. Cottages and suites are equipped with private enclosed patios for dogs to safely explore and relax. There are electric vehicle charging stations and guest car service within a 5-mile radius of the Resort based on availability in a complimentary luxury Cadillac.
My overall review about Carneros Resort and Spa? Simply AMAZING! It is so beautiful, relaxing, pampering and I can’t wait to visit again! Such a wonderful sensory experience. See you soon Carneros Resort and Spa and beautiful Napa Valley. xo
*Thank you, Carneros Resort and Spa, for sponsoring this post
In honor of International Women’s Month.
Williams Sonoma Photoshoot. Left to right: Jenn, Me, Melissa, Candice, Neyda
Unfortunately, I was going through an unexpected divorce (although I don’t speak publicly about this painful time, it actually turned out to be one of the greatest blessings of my life. Perhaps I’ll share more details at a later date…). Immediately following the shoot, I was going to meet with my now ex-husband to sign off on our house, close out all of our joint bank accounts and get our divorce papers notarized. I was an emotional mess to say the least. Because I am always professional, I composed myself through the shoot, but broke down when everything was over, and I was placing my items in my car’s trunk. I did not know Candice and had never met her before that morning. However, I’ll never forget her walking over to me with great concern on her pretty face and asking, “What’s wrong?” I briefly told her what was happening and that I had to leave right away. She said, “Girl, you will be OK. Let’s get wine tonight!” As I got in my car, she suggested meeting at Postino (a wine restaurant in Phoenix). Because of her compassion, I was able to get through the next painful hour and a half because I had plans in place and something to look forward to! That night, we became fast friends and I realized she has a very kind soul. Throughout our fun friendship we have traveled and gone to many blogging events together, such as attending New York Fashion Week, Sedona, Happy Hours, fabulous dinners and I even helped host a baby shower for her darling daughter Nixon, who is now 7 months old….as you are reading this, Candice and I are boarding a plane for a few fun filled days in Napa!
At a St. Jude event
As we all know, social media is a great platform and is truly the heart of my business. Unfortunately, because people can be anonymous, this can help breed online bullying. While I have been the recipient of such ugly behavior (and it feels terrible) it has only made me more determined to show true kindness and support to other women. The Blogger/ Influencer world is full of competition, however if we choose kindness over jealousy, great friendships can form.
Fun times while in NYC for New York Fashion Week where we stayed at The Surrey (where Meghan Markle just stayed!)
Some of my best friends have actually come out of my years working at The Bubbly Blonde. You never know what private battles a person is going through. Candice held out a kind hand when my world was falling apart, and I learned a great deal from her empathy. I want to thank her for being a true friend.
At a country concert for KNIX Radio
Why should we try to tear each other down, when we can actually enjoy and learn from one other? Candice and I often share contacts and advice to help each other grow our blogs. Be happy for other people because someday, it will be your turn to succeed and you will want people building you up, not tearing you down.
At a Phoenix Suns Game
If there are women who refuse to show kindness to you, reconsider their place in your life. When I see negativity, I get out of the way! Enjoy National Women’s Month and use these 30 days to learn more about the beautiful women around you. Your heart will thank you.
At a Bruno Mars concert
I’ll leave you with these wise words by Anthony T. Hicks: “There will always be someone better looking, better off, smarter, richer, thinner, taller, shorter, have more friends than you, a better car or a better house. You might not have what they have, but when you look in the mirror, that’s you! And that’s something that they don’t have and will never have!”
At an event for The Palmeraie at Hanger One in Scottsdale
I am in my 30’s and was a professional model during my teens and 20’s, meaning my skin always needed to look its best. Truthfully, I have struggled with some skin issues in the past, but now that I’m a beauty, fashion and travel influencer, I want (and need) to always have photo-ready great skin!
My mom who in her 60s, loves discovering and researching new cutting edge, non-surgical beauty treatments and it shows on her face. Both my mom and I have very fair skin and our results may be different from yours.
Photo taken of my Mom and I for a magazine in December 2018 after treatments
When I arrived at Arizona Facial Plastics (sans makeup) I filled out my required paperwork and once completed, I was taken into a sleek room full of numerous high-tech cameras.
The photographer took many images of my face from different angles, with each specific camera uncovering the good, the bad and the ugly truth about my skin. The final results clearly pointed out my redness, lines, the virtual age of my skin, as well as its true texture.
While fascinating, it was a little shocking! However, this is part of Arizona Facial Plastics terrific knowledge about real skin improvement. I took a deep breath and had a truthful discussion about how to best improve my skin. We discussed my specific treatment plan and I decided to go for it. Let my great skin begin!
From June to December, as suggested by the AFP skin experts, I had a HydraFacial, Vivace and the Lutronic LaseMD completed.
Left: June 2018 | Right: January 2019 (these photos are unedited)
The HydraFacial was the first step in my treatment (completed in June). This is a multi-step treatment to cleanse, exfoliate, extract impurities and dead skin cells while at the same time quenching skin with vital nutrients like antioxidants, peptides and hyaluronic acid.
The HydraFacial is fabulous for any skin type and takes about 30 minutes. The treatment is soothing, refreshing and non-irritating. My skin felt great, super clean, looked fresh and after the treatment I had zero down time. I did not put any makeup on for 24 hours to be sure my pores remained clean (this was my preference).
A few weeks later, I had a VIVACE treatment, which is the newest generation of Microneedling and is pretty amazing! The VIVACE is FDA approved and is a nonsurgical treatment for contouring and tightening the face, neck and body, helps with the production of collagen and reduces fine lines and wrinkles. (Kind of like a one stop shopping treatment for many skin issues).
Does this treatment hurt? Well, let’s just say that AFP is fabulous providing top notch numbing which was applied about 30 minutes prior to the treatment. Because of this wonderful numbing cream, I did not feel a thing! I was very red after the treatment and remained pretty pink into the next afternoon. I could have left the house but decided to just lay low and got caught up on emails.
On the 2nd day, I was able to apply light makeup and leave the house. The 3rd day I began to peel, and makeup did not stay on my face, but I was beginning to notice some subtle improvement with my skin- it looked firmer and smoother despite the peeling. By the 4th and 5th day, the peeling stopped, and my skin looked great! Strong advice: Don’t pick your flaking or peeling skin, just let it process and heal naturally. My skin is very fair and has pink undertones, so I looked like I was pretty sunburned, but it went away within days. Downtimes are different for everyone, of course. I had one VIVACE treatment completed and highly recommend!
Once all healing from my Vivace treatment had completed (Arizona Facial Plastics is very careful not to rush their patients in their skin improvement journey) my LaseMD treatment was scheduled. This is a gentle laser that delivers specialized nanosecond laser energy, which reduces visible skin pigmentation.
LaseMD not only improves uneven skin pigment but can also reduce the appearance of textural irregularities and fine lines. This treatment is great for dermal pigmented lesions, melasma, tattoo removal, epidermal pigmented lesions, epidermal nevi, scars, acne scars, non-ablative resurfacing, pigmented and vascular lesions and facial telangiectasia. Because I wanted to get rid of some old acne scars and pigmented skin, Arizona Facial Plastics told me that it would take more than one LaseMD treatment.
I appreciated their honesty and had 3 LaseMD treatments completed. With this treatment, my down time was approximately 2-3 days when I did not leave the house (I suggest having this done on a Thursday or Friday and taking the weekend to get lots of things done around the house). I was very red and pretty swollen for the first 36 hours and was specifically instructed not to put makeup on because I had opened up the pores on my face. Although there is some downtime with this laser, I highly recommend it because the results are worth it.
Fine lines and wrinkles around my eyes have lessened
Left: June 2018 | Right: January 2019
Brown Spots have lessened
Left: June 2018 | Right: January 2019
AFP suggested that my mom have CO2 laser resurfacing done, which she thought was a great plan. Laser resurfacing with carbon dioxide (CO2) is clinically proven to improve the texture, tone, and health of skin.
The treatment works by removing the thin outer layers of skin and serves two purposes. It eliminates superficial skin blemishes and promotes the development of new, younger skin. CO2 laser resurfacing is unique from other types of skin resurfacing because the procedure removes the damaged layers of skin and softens wrinkles and fine lines. All said, it gives skin a refreshed and vibrant appearance, while achieving dramatic improvements without surgery or a great deal of downtime.
Left: Immediately after the CO2 | Right: 4 days after the CO2
My mom’s face was pretty pink and swollen the first 2 days, but she continued to improve daily. She is absolutely thrilled with her results and feels the few days of downtime were more than worth the end results. Because she wasn’t in any discomfort, she simply ordered home grocery delivery, cooked a lot and cleaned out closets!
My conclusion? I definitely see wonderful improvement with past skin discoloration, my texture and fine lines. I feel that my skin is firmer and has a healthier glow. With my results continuing, it’s really great to have all my first group of photos to look back on and get excited over my results. I highly recommend all my treatments!
My mom’s conclusion? Mom is super excited about the CO2 Laser resurfacing, especially how much smoother the skin around her eyes looks. Her skin continues to look firmer and smoother overall. She says, “Thumbs up Arizona Facial Plastics!”
Use discount code “BUBBLY10” for 10% off products at AFP online store. Any mention of “The Bubbly Blonde” when booking appointments will get 10% off your first treatment*
*Terms and Conditions Apply
Thank you Arizona Facial Plastics for sponsoring this post