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Staycation in Salem, OR | Coffee & Chat

Staycation in a cute $10 blue stripe dress.

One of the key changes in Jason and mines marriage is that we go away for a night at least once every 3 months. This has been crucial for our growth as a couple and strengthening our relationship. We never did this in SoCal and we felt the effects.


This month we stayed in Salem, OR because our schedule didn’t allow for travel. Staying in our own area made us actually stop and enjoy the city. It’s amazing what happens when you go out of your comfort zone to enjoy the places you never take the time to enjoy.

Weekend Itinerary:

HOTEL: We stayed at The Grand Hotel in downtown Salem. The price is pretty affordable for a hotel in a downtown location. The rooms are spacious and the beds are COMFY! They do have a pool, hot tub, and gym, but we didn’t spend any time here since it was a busy weekend.

DINNER: We had dinner at Bently’s Grill that is located in the Grand. It was AMAZING!!! Not having dairy means that I am having to adjust my taste buds. This dinner didn’t need anything creamy, it is that good! I ate the steak with mushrooms, sauteed veggies, and red potatoes. Jason had a fettuccini alfredo that he loved! When you stay at the Grand, they give you a coupon for Bentley’s Grill so it makes it much more affordable.

BREAKFAST (HOTEL): There is a full breakfast that is provided with your stay! I wasn’t sure what had dairy in it or not so Jason grabbed some fruit first thing in the morning as we got ready. We have eaten here before I couldn’t have dairy, and it was really good!

BREAKFAST: We set out to try places we haven’t had before and went to the Oregon Crepe Cafe and Bakery that sits across the street from the hotel. Let me tell you….GO HERE! They have a full vegan crepe batter that I could have all the way down to a dairy free chocolate sauce and whip cream. This was absolute heaven, Jason even ate it with me and he isn’t too interested in my dairy substitutes. Now that it’s beautiful outside, you can sit outside and not freeze like we did πŸ˜‰ but we got to eat with cute little ducks walking around our feet so it was ok!

Don’t forget to date your spouse. You won’t regret the time and monetary investment in your relationship. A staycation is a great option for a budget!

Tips and Tricks Travel

Packing Guide for Spring Break | PurseN

You can be headed somewhere for Spring break or any fun vacation that is short or long, you need to know how to pack efficiently. It all begins with what you pack in. 

| JEANS | NECKLACE | BRACELET | LIPS (Turkish Delight) | INSTAX camera | LUGGAGE

PurseN ACCESSORIES: Mini Jewelry Case, Bangle Bar, Lexi, Tiffany.
You can use code ‘TOPKNOTS’ for 25% off your entire order until April 2nd!

Packing can be so overwhelming! Planning outfits ahead of time really isn’t the issue: it’s how to pack all of your toiletries, makeup, hair tools, hats, and jewelry all packed safely. Protecting your items but also making sure you are saving space too. 

ONE: If you have ever traveled with a hat, you KNOW they always seem to be scrunched once you arrive. The trick is to pack around the edges of the suitcase, place the hat in the center, and then fill the center with clothing to keep its shape! I love to put my swimsuits in the center of the hat to keep like things together. It helps to keep you organized when you arrive.

TWO: Keep your shoes separate. They have a tendency to snag clothes which is always upsetting. I layer my shoes on the opposite side of my suitcase, fitting the pair together exactly how they fit into a shoe box, and line them up as closely together as I can. I will then layer either my scarves or fluffy accessories over them to make sure they don’t move around.

THREE: Take a laundry bag with you. I travel with the inexpensive shopping bags from IKEA so I can keep my dirty clothes separate and keep the rest of my luggage smelling fresh. 

FOUR: Make a list. I always make a list on my phone ahead of time. This is a sure fire way that you know you won’t forget anything! You know that moment while sitting on the airplane and you remember your makeup is sitting on the bathroom counter. Don’t let this happen to you! Both Jason and I write lists, it seriously works.

FIVE: The key to being able to pack your items SAFELY and COMPACTLY is picking the right cases. I have had many in the last 10 years and none of them truly satisfied my need for space and security. I recently discovered PurseN which literally changed my packing style forever.

PurseN has a travel case for every one of your needs. Their cases are also easily interchangeable so you can pick one according to the size you need not necessarily due to it being made for something specifically. For example, the Tiffany can be used for makeup or for your skin care/hair care!  There are many selections of colors/patterns but this White Dunes collection is my favorite. 

The Tiara Mini Jewelry Case is a new case! I was able to fit all of my large tassel earrings, statement rings, and small studs in each little pouch. The pouches are attached to the bottom of the case so that they can’t fall out while still keeping everything separate and untangled. This is perfect for traveling but also for a mid-day outfit change, such as when you are going from your work look to your date look!

The Bangle Bar is a complete game changer for me! I never know how to pack my bracelets and watches. I can’t go very long without a bracelet or at the minimum a 3 stack arm party. This case has a removable padded bar that you slide your jewelry onto and then clip down for security. The bar is then zipped inside the case for protection! No more scratches on your jewelry or just leaving your bracelets home because it’s not worth the hassle.

The Lexi is the perfect case for my makeup! Inside the front flap is a pocket that fit my pallets perfectly. The construction of this case is truly genius. The zipper pockets are connected with a 2 ring system, similar to an office binder. I split up each pocket to hold a different part of my routine. Each was organized in the order I would use it. The back flap has little slots to be able to put your brushes in as well! The size of the Lexi is awesome: it can fit in luggage, a weekender, or for a moment to freshen your look before leaving for the evening. 

The Tiffany holds all my skin care and hair care! I struggled with finding the right case for these needs since I have SO many products I use for my hair and skin care. I loved that the lid of the Tiffany had a separate compartment I could put all my shower products in, this keeps things more hygienic in my book. The three zipper cases it comes with are perfect for separating your needs out! I put my skin care in one, my hair care in another, and my toothbrush and toothpaste in the last one. It’s perfect to keep them separate for not only organization but also for just grabbing one to put in your handbag for the afternoon or when in flight!

I am serious when I say, take advantage of the coupon code. I have looked for years for cases that actually function for travel. There is nothing out there that I have seen or used that compares to these. 
“TOPKNOTS” for 25% until April 2nd.

Where shall I go for Spring Break? I don’t get a Spring Break, so please travel someplace fun for me!
I don’t get a Spring Break, so please travel someplace fun for me!

Thank you PurseN for sponsoring this post. Thank you for supporting the brands that make T&P possible.


5 key steps for successfully packing for the Spring/Summer.

Travel Winter Style

Our Stay with Grouse Mountain Lodge | Travel Guide

Our beautiful stay at the Grouse Mountain Lodge in Whitefish Montana.

While Jason and I were in Montana, we stayed at the most beautiful and cozy hotel! From snow covered grounds to stone fireplaces, it was spectacular. Read all about it here!

Style tip to stay CUTE and COZY in the Winter.

Dressing in green for Spring, sharing how to transition between Winter and Spring.
Dressing in green for Spring, sharing how to transition between Winter and Spring.

I have two pairs of Sorel Boots and I DON'T live in the snow. I have had them for more than 2 years. I am sharing IF they are worth their money if you don't live in the snow.




#3 ROBEΒ (63% off!)| LEGGINGS | SLIPPERSΒ (75% off!)| BLANKET



LOCATION: Grouse Mountain Lodge Whitefish, MT

Our stay here was beyond beautiful! I have never felt so at home in a hotel before. From the warm wooden accents, stone fireplaces, and twinkle lights strung: everything was cozy and inviting. It was the perfect retreat away, especially since we were able to celebrate Valentine’s Day here.

Where is it located?

Whitefish Montana, which is located about 10 minutes away from Kalispell Airport. If you are flying into the area, this would be the airport you would most likely fly into.

Where to eat?

There is an amazing restaurant located on the first floor, Logan’s Bar and Grill. This is where we had our Valentine’s dinner. It was absolutely beautiful with a floor to ceiling stone fireplace that has a double sided fireplace. The fire is enjoyable from the bar side and the restaurant side. The food was incredible. I chose the FlorentineΒ Ravioli, check out the rest of the menu HERE!

What to do indoors?

There is an indoor pool, sauna, a 24-hour gym, and cozy areas to sit and relax. An espresso bar is located near the front lobby where there is the most beautifulΒ fireplace. We sat here with our white mocha’s by Montana Coffee Traders in the afternoon as well as in the evening after dinner with a glass of wine.

What to do outdoors?

One of my favorite spots was the outdoor fireplace where we sat and enjoyed the snow. This sits outside facing the golf course, which in the Winter is a cross-country skiing course. There is also an outdoor hot tub, but it was under construction when we stayed here. There are nice places to walk around as well as a large field across the hotel that is perfect for some snowshoe fun.

What was included in our room?

We had a spacious and comfortable king size bed in our room. It looked out to a set of 3 windows that faced the golf course. This was such a stunning view, especially in the morning when we were able to see Big Mountain from that window. The room came equipped with a coffee maker and Montana Coffee Traders coffee which was the BEST! A vanity space is located next to the spacious bathroom. This was perfect for us since I needed a space for my makeup and hair stuff. Yes, it takes up some room! In the large area of the hotel room: there was a desk and chair, full-size dresser, and a large TV. The room was cozy and minimalistic which was very relaxing.

What to do in the area?

Taking a day trip to Glacier National Park is a must! I wrote all about it HERE with lots of travel details. Whitefish has a beautiful downtown full of shops and cafes. We love going down to Whitefish Lake which is frozen in the Winter. Big Mountain has great downhill skiing and snowboarding. The hotel has a transport that will take you there as well!

What to pack?Β 

Layers. Lots of layers. I would pack a swim suit in case you wanted to swim or dip into the hot tub. Active clothes is a must for the snow activities or working out in the 24-hour gym. Snow boots or shoes, the Winter proves to make the sidewalks slippery with or without balance. I love having my slippers in my room since my toes need extra warmth when relaxing.

Enjoy your stay!!!

This blog post was in exchange with the Grouse Mountain Lodge. All opinions expressed are my own.