Japan

I have been dying to let you in on all my adventures from Japan. This country has a part of my soul. I truly appreciate culture and love to learn. Tokyo made it easy for me to love and learn. The people there are so incredibly welcoming and colorful! New York City vs. Tokyo=Tokyo wins for the busiest and nicest of people all in one. Where do I even begin?

Crystal and I stayed at the Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo. The 45th floor is where rooms and suites begin. Everything else is all about their amenities and restaurants. They have seven by the way (Azure 45, Towers, La Boutique, Hinokizaka, the Lobby Lounge, the Bar, and the Ritz-Carlton Cafe and Deli)! Of course we did the spa. The views just about anywhere are absolutely breathtaking. Whether you’re visiting the spa or dining, it is speechless day or night. Just look at the colorful city. I could stare for hours. Check out my Instagram to stay up to date on where I’ve been. I promise it won’t be boring. The Ritz-Carlton actually offers tours from their hotel. Some of them include the Sumo tour, the Whiskey tour, the Shrines and Gardens tour, and many others.

We used Yampu Tours to help us along the way. I can’t say enough about them. They were very accommodating. I will be using them again. Yampu Tours even met us when we landed. They went out of their way to make sure our stay was worth it.

TOKYO DISNEYLAND. It was magical. It was beautiful. It was surreal. It’s intriguing to me to see and compare the two theme parks (Tokyo and US). How many people in their lifetime will get to do this? There are a few differences. While Disneyland in Anaheim has California Adventure Park, Tokyo Disneyland offers Tokyo DisneySea. It is a bit smaller than the 500 acre park in the states, but has more of a theme park feel because the Disneyland in California is in the middle of a city while Tokyo Disneyland is perfectly tucked away. Everything is pretty much the same except songs are sung in Japanese. For a second, you can forget you’re even in Tokyo! I can’t forget to tell you about the food. There is a place dedicated to Mickey’s waffle. Everywhere I went in Disneyland, it did not disappoint. I’m so glad we stopped there.

Please look at this picture and tell me how adorable this is? One of the things I loved was being cultured. Immersed in a different world almost, I held on to places like this. So different than what I was used to, yet so unique and intricate in all it had to offer. From the food to the people, to the fashion, I could really go on and on. A place dear to my heart was Sukiyabashi Jiro. If you’ve never seen the documentary, Jiro Ono Dreams of Sushi, you must, and then eat at his restaurant. It gave me a new perspective, and I’ll never forget this experience.

Snow Snow Snow

Snow came early here in Aspen. I can’t tell you how wonderful it is! Does this mean the skiing is going to be epic? An early snow season means more bundling and coziness. It’s currently 36 degrees outside, and I’m not mad about it. Our deck has been covered in snow for the past couple of days. I’ve never been so happy to get out and ski the snow mass!

The Aspen Ski Resort is a place not to forget when you need a good reference. The lodging is reasonable and the views are absolutely breathtaking. If you need to find a good place to stay that fits in your budget, look at Aspen Snow Mass. I say that the views are breathtaking very generally because there isn’t a bad seat in the city. The mountains are truly amazing.

If you’ve never been here before. There are so many places to visit and things to do besides skiing. With your family, you could visit the Treehouse Kids’ Adventure Center.

“The Treehouse Kids’ Adventure Center — a multilevel, 2,300-square-meter childcare facility in Snowmass Village — brings the great outdoors inside with Colorado-themed play rooms and supervised activities for children ages 8 weeks to 4 years old.”

Don’t miss out on the SnowCat Dinner rides. The SnowCat will take you up to the Alpine Cloud Nine Bistro. I love how creative it is and different from the scenery of New York  or LA. Also, visit the Lynn Britt Cabin.

So much nightlife in the mix. Click the link here to see more details. We have the Ajax Tavern, Chair 9, the Limelight Lounge, 39 Degrees, Nest Public House, Escobar, the J-Bar, and many others. We’re all about recycling here, so prepare yourself for compostable and paper. Catch a local and ask them for some fun hole-in-the-wall places. They’ll be sure to let you know!

How many of you have heard of the Alpine Coaster? You can ride it during the night…scary! It’ll open November 22, so stop by around Thanksgiving. If you come down on a Friday, join the party at the Elk Lodge to celebrate the season. They normally have bonfires, food, music, and skiing under the lights.

As far as our mountains are concerned, scout out which one you’d rather visit: SnowMass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, and Buttermilk. Each one has its own personality, and there is no wrong one to ski on.

The Traveling Type

Happy week! Wish I could say happy weekend to some of you, but every day is feeling pretty awesome these days. I like to think of myself as a traveller. I’m a go-getter. After my trip to LA, my boyfriend and I decided to take a vacation in the South. Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina are just a few of the places we’ve stopped in. Better Than Sex Dessert Restaurant had their grand opening on October 5. This is a must stop! Don’t miss it if you’re driving through or planning on staying in Savannah. It’s a place made for couples.

Whether you’re rekindling or in love, stop in this dessert bar! From Barry White to Dean Martin, you won’t be able to get away from that lovin’ feelin’. To make a reservation, you can visit betterthansexdesserts.com or call (912)306-0309. Their address is 410 W. Broughton St. The restaurant is also in two other locations, but we just couldn’t miss this grand opening on Friday. Besides that, the city is absolutely gorgeous. Go down East River Street, visit Forsyth Park, or Savannah Historic District. The mansion in Forsyth Park is rich with history!

Johnryan’s childhood home was oceanfront in South Carolina. It was so perfect. There are just no words to describe the feeling. It brings you to another level of closeness. While in South Carolina, we visited the rooftop bar of Charleston. It was breathtaking. The Head Hilton is a place worth staying at while you’re down there! It is luxurious. Riding in the sunset on Hilton Head Island was a wonderful dream no one would want to wake up to. Waking up next to the ocean crashing next to you and the most important things in my life surround me, I don’t know how much more my heart could have handled. Chanel and Johnryan are my peoples. While there, visit the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. You can’t miss Fort Sumter or the Historic Charleston City Market either.  

The art of southern hospitality itself, Market Pavilion Hotel was divine. The service was great! At the Head Hilton, I can’t say a bad word about them. Our stays have been fulfilling, with no complaints here. Check out my Instagram stories to see more. I always post about my day. It could be little bits and pieces of a day or it could be a very big deal! You never know.

Find Your Center

Yoga at it’s finest. I have many hobbies and a many places and things I love to do. Yoga would have to be the most calming thing and self-medicating activity I’ve ever done. Even if you aren’t a regular yoga person, you can’t tell me it isn’t calming. Did you know that yoga originated in India 5,000 years ago? It isn’t just about breathing deeply and fitness, it involves meditation. Religion, knowledge, and sacred texts. I’m not crazy, this stuff is genuine. Another aspect of Yoga I love besides what it stands for, is that I can be on a hike and do Yoga just as well as anyone on a mat in a room, especially by the running streams and lakes along the way.

Please don’t forget to take time for you! Mental Health is so important. It can be a real struggle to find yourself once you’re “underwater.” Just getting your head above it is so hard. You are not alone in that journey! Hang on to anything good to bring yourself up to breathe. Definitely a proven way to recenter yourself is to include Yoga, meditation, nature, breathing, exercising, and doing what you truly enjoy. That may be golfing, it may be reading, it may be running, it may be traveling, or it may even mean being around your friends or family. I have found that Yoga helps recenter my mind, my soul, and my being. If you can find your center–your passion–you can be that light for someone else. I totally got serious on here, but it’s essential in our lives right now to know this information and embrace others going through it!

I was walking Weller Lake Trail the other day and tested out my Yoga skills against the background scenery. It was so serene. Beautiful was an understatement. I was completely in my element amongst the nature surrounding me. Aspen is absolutely wonderful. I love it every day. I didn’t realize how much I missed it until I left for LA. If you’re looking for trail ideas to hike, walk, run, or bike, make sure you follow me on Instagram: @checkoutamanda.

The Creperie Du Village: French Alpine Bistro was absolutely divine. Take a look at all of these popular avenues advertised this lovely restaurant. This spread shown was tagged to this restaurant on Instagram and looks of a little slice of heaven. Don’t underestimate the power of food. I eat pretty clean almost every day, so a spread like this may give me a reason to take a break one time. There’s nothing wrong with that, right? Reminder girls: Be comfortable in yourself and confident in your skin!

LA

Beverly Hills is my home away from home. I’m visiting my sister, Hanna, this week in LA, helping her move! I’m excited for her. So, while I’m here, why not indulge in a little of the amenities offered? Beverly Hills Hotel is a place I need to brag on. As a 5-star hotel, I expect it to be just about perfect. It has that old, vintage feel. At the same time, it’s modernized. The iconic red carpet and lettering on Sunset Boulevard makes me feel special and worth their time. Everybody becomes a somebody here. Excellent service all around. Let me share some fun stuff!

Our room was very spacious and gave off a high-class, yet homey feel. If you want a fireplace or balcony, I’ve learned that you have to request that ahead of time. The rooms feel like they’ve held a place to stay for so many stars. When I started researching the Beverly Hills Hotel, I learned that Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra both stayed there. The rooms were inspired by big celebrities such as these. I remember actually thinking the flowers in the room were fake. However, your room will be filled with fresh flowers. The huge living room area portrays their French windows and tree-lined patios. Just walking into the bathroom will give you a fancy glimpse into the past.

The outdoor and indoor terrace is the definition of their Bar Nineteen12. Networking here is a place for class and cocktails. The Polo Lounge in LA is the celeb choice of dining, and it is mine as well. Let me also squeeze in Soul Cycle! Click on the link to see what that beloved place is all about. The view of Beverly Hills Wilshire (Rodeo Drive) settles an anxious soul. The Concierge Lounge is a place to make dinner reservations, personal recommendations, and make use of their wonderful customer service.

The Spa. With a number of rooms to use, you and your partner can enjoy a couple’s massage or just some “me” time. It is so relaxing and breathtaking to relax and be with your best friend at the same time. In my case, Hanna was with me. Sometimes, it’s better to here from several other people. Alan gives his review along with others below. I linked other reviews to his name for you!

“A great spa in the classic Beverly Hills Hotel. Whenever I am visiting my mom I enjoy coming to The Beverly Hills Hotel and Spa. Is the spa expansive, yes. Is worth it, yes. What I like the most about The Beverly Hills Hotel Spa is the customer service.

From the minute you arrive to the minute you leave the customer service is great. I’m not a big fan of large spas. The Beverly Hills Hotel Spa is a perfect size. If you are a person who is looking for a great place to relive some stress. Then The Beverly Hills Hotel Spa for you.”-Alan B.

Free information: Vallet is around $48 a night pre-tipping. Your money pockets need to be prepared for that up ahead. Worth it? Completely!

You guys, there’s so much more to share with you about my trip. I’m only getting started. There may be an LA part 2 soon. I’ll let you in on another future adventure I’m taking…Japan with my bestie Crystal Hefner. Stay in touch with my blog to stay up-to-date!

Hangover Cure

You know how people get together and decide to go parasailing on a beach vacation? It’s one of the main excursions to go on once they’ve reached their destination. It’s so much fun! I’d want to go along too. Now that you have that in your brain, think about doing that over land instead of ocean. It’s called paragliding, and it’s the most freeing feeling in the world mostly because you’re up so high. It’s quiet, and it feels like you’re floating in the air. It has every similarity to parasailing except you are over land. Aspen Paragliding made me feel so safe and so alive
at the same time. In parasailing, you sort of take off from the ocean, sitting down. In paragliding, you run a short ways down a slope to lift off. There is no rope (except for the rope connected to the sail). In many ways, this may have been more daring than parasailing because you’re hanging free and in the open. I felt like I could conquer anything after the experience, including the hangover from the night before! If you need a cure, I’m telling you, paragliding will wake your head up! My sister and I went at 8 AM! Who does that? It was probably the best decision we could have made for that time because of how refreshing and new everything felt from the air and the sky. It’s hard to put into words the feeling. Probably the scariest part of all (well, one of the scariest) was when I had to sign the waiver! It’s always nerve wracking because you feel like you’re signing away your life! Exaggeration though it may be, you technically are. At least it’s my choice! The ironic thing is, I watched an episode of paragliding the day after experiencing it. Hearing other’s experiences let me know I wasn’t alone in the “awesomeness” of it all. I posted about it on my Instagram, and you should definitely check it out! Don’t miss all the stories and videos I post of my adventures. @checkoutamanda

Rewind to the night before. Dance party at 7908 (Aspen’s finest supper club). Me and my gal pals went for a girl’s night in white. I love themes. What better way to celebrate the last day of wearing white on Labor Day weekend than have a White Party! It should be illegal to have as much fun as we did. By the way, have I brought up this club with you? Even if I have, it’s fine. You need to hear it twice. It’s A-MAZE-ING. Literally, the website for 7908 will speak for
itself. Who tailors their restaurant to the eyes and ears of its consumers like this one does? It is high class, drinks of pleasure. It’s a place of the utmost acceptance, and they advertise pretty well.  Needless to say, the evening shifted to a very late one, and it turned into a hangover the following morning. So, who paraglides the morning after a night of partying? We do! With my sister, Hanna, in town, anything can happen.

Upwardly Social

Upwardly Social is something you and everyone can utilize. Of course, I highly encourage using it to your advantage. I am the CEO of this social media market and love what I do. As an entrepreneur, there are challenges, but I wouldn’t choose to do anything else. We help people in a different way, but needed all the same. If you’ve never heard of the this before, don’t feel bad. Let me share with you some awesome points of what this business is all about. Not only do we offer digital strategy and social media marketing, but digital ROI valuation, influencer marketing and content creation. Listen to this video made years ago, yet still holds true.

Couldn’t have said it better, “This is solely to help determine strategic, quantifiable goals that will help dictate the effectiveness and efficiency of digital initiatives in regard to individual clients.  Our initiative is to ensure the individual client has the wherewithal to effectively communicate brand awareness through the necessary social media channels.” We analyze a client’s future technology, marketing, branding and creative needs to determine strategic and quantifiable goals. In other words, we do a lot of the things for a lot of people and we want to share it with you. There ain’t shame in my game! We wear it and we’re proud of it.

When you need help with marketing strategies on your social media website, let us help! We have a list of things to help step up the notch on your Facebook or another one social media website. We give you insights, a timeline, how to engage, what to do about fans, visual content, ads, monetization, and a live video. Doing live videos will keep you connected to the outside world for sure. If you’re not sure if we are up to date or not, we are and we are here for you!

If you follow us at @upwardlysocial, we’ll give you tips and tricks along the way or as you post from site to site. Upwardly Social keeps you updated through text and email if you ever need to stay up to par on technology. If anything, get it just for that. It can come in handy. Things are changing yearly and really weekly, it seems. With any new app or new celebrity comes a new trend or new hype. We are really all the time so you can be ready at anytime.

Take a look at some of these influencers. From James Franco to Justin Simmons, there are many people apart of this ride. It grows daily, and you don’t want to miss anything important! We have a Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram. Search us and research us while you’re at it! Let us know how we can help. I started this as a way to help people and I intend to keep doing that through this outlet.

Armistar Casino and Resort Spa

Surprises, surprises. Who doesn’t love a good surprise? My boyfriend just got his wisdom teeth pulled out, and I wanted to surprise him with a trip. I decided to book a trip to Armistar Casino and Resort Spa in Black Hawk. His reaction? Well, let’s just say both he and I really enjoyed our stay! The rooms are modern and classy, but still give you the Colorado feel. The views are amazing of course. You’re in Colorado! There are mountains everywhere. We literally live in a vacation
every single day. It’s hard to want to travel when you have a dream as your own backyard.

Their casino includes Slots, Table Games, and a Poker room. THIS is an awesome place to get started. Who loves to make more money and enjoy all of the amenities when you’re on vacation?! There are over 1,250 games when you make your way to the slot and video poker area. We may have tried out a few. If you have a penny, you’re in luck because they actually let you use pennies to gamble. Of course, if you have more, go for it!

Bar 8042 is pretty popular here. Best feature, in my opinion? They have a roaring fireplace. Gosh, I love Colorado. How many places have this or frankly need it? It makes it for a cozy, boozy evening. There’s some free entertainment there as well.

Fireside dining. I’m dying. Love fires. Love food. Love my life. They have anything from steak, to salads, to seafood, to a burger. There isn’t too much on the menu to keep you from making up your mind either. Sometimes, there’s so much available, and then I can’t make up my mind! In the evenings (if you’re not getting room service), I’d love to eat next to the fire. Another restaurant I love is Timberline Grill. Same kind of menu with a lot more choices food-wise. If you’ve never made a trip here, you’ve just got to. Can you believe they have a Starbucks? I can! Black Hawk didn’t disappoint us. Let me highlight Club 38 for a minute. You get the ultimate treatment here. It’s for members with mychoice. Highly recommend it.

As icing on the cake, how about a spa day? Aaaaahh…I can feel it now. They have separate men’s/women’s rooms for steaming, saunas, and spas. OR you can get a couple’s massage. Bring. It. On. I wish I could go back. I keep reminding myself that we will! On the flip side, they do have a fitness area for all you “can’t stop, won’t stop-pers.” I may be one of those.

I’ve never been to Ameristar’s in other cities, although I’ve heard there are more. This one has the perfect amenities, dining, and casino. It completely helps that the resort is in Black Hawk. I’m an advocate for hiking, but I’m also an advocate for relaxing. This trip was definite relaxation. Word of advice, in case you’re asking, I would book for this ahead of time because availability is scarce here! It’s
that wonderful.

#1 Healthy Diet?

I know you’ve heard me talk about Sun Basket before. If you’re interested, check out a gift card I’m giving away under my bio on Instagram @checkoutamanda. $40 off! I cannot tell you how healthy they have made me feel. The Mediterranean way is a fun, colorful way to eat. It doesn’t have to be boring! There are so many different diets out there. If you’re looking for something (1) healthy, (2) different than the norm, or (3) colorful, try the Mediterranean diet! Even if you’re not aiming to go on a diet, try it to clean out your system. It will make you feel so much better than you think it will. When thinking about which diet to begin, here are some key factors: You should have dairy, fruit, veggies, and olive oil daily. Fish, poultry, eggs, potatoes, nuts, and sweets should be rationed weekly, and red meat monthly. It is recommended to have four servings of those, so this could be weekly as well. I’ve included some of my favorite recipes below.

1. Salmon with Roasted Potatoes and Charred Broccoli

  • 7 ounces new potatoes
  • ½ pound broccoli
  • Fish options: 2 wild Alaskan skin-on salmon fillets (about 5 ounces each), 2 wild Alaskan skinless halibut fillets (about 5 ounces each)
  • 1 lemon
  • 5 or 6 sprigs fresh mint
  • Sun Basket sherry vinaigrette base (sherry vinegar – whole grain mustard)
  • ¼ cup roasted red peppers
  • 2 ounces mixed greens
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt

More details: https://sunbasket.com/recipe/salmon-with-charred-broccoli-and-roasted-new-potatoes  Roast the potatoes and broccoli*Prep & cook fish*Make the lemon-mint sauce*make sherry vinaigrette*assemble salad

2. Lemon Zested Scallops with Zucchini noodles and wilted greens.

  • Lemon zest sprinkled onto about 8 scallops. Cook 2 min. on each side.
  • Stripped Zucchini
  • Tomato
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Olives
  • Oregano
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Zucchini ribbons and kale cooked together in a skillet.

I posted this on my story and obtained ingredients from Sun Basket.

 

Sprinkle lemon zest over scallops*Cook scallops on a skillet-2 min. on each side*cook Zucchini ribbons and kale cooked together in a skillet* Add artichoke, olives, oregano, olive oil, and salt & pepper together and serve under scallops.

The Mediterranean Diet is proved to be the number one healthy diet in the US according to U.S. News and World Report. I wouldn’t doubt it. I love the Paleo, Vegan, and Vegetarian diets too, but I had to brag on this one because of my amazing meal last night. Maybe I’ll brag on some others in the future. You know another thing I like about these recipes through Sun Basket? They are so easy. I can cook these with no problem or doubt in my mind. They have given me another hobby to truly enjoy! I like to call myself a chef in my home. Cooking was never made easier.

Don’t mistake that physical exercise is just as important! Note, that I post that as well. Just today, I took three Yoga classes! I also hike and stay active with other activities. Pick activities or exercises that you enjoy doing. This can motivate you to stay active and keep the shape you want! You can’t have one without the other. It sound like common sense, but many people may only focus on one or the other. To obtain that figure and be healthy on the inside, you really need to have your goal aimed at both of these things.

Hiking Dogs

I’m going to share about one of my obvious loves…hiking. I’ve talked with you about the Ute Trail, but have I told you how much I love the Aspen trails? If you follow my Instagram stories, you’ll see my recent post about my hiking path August 19th. I can’t tell you how much joy has been brought to my life from hiking and strolling around Aspen with my dog, Chanel. There’s a hiking trail log that people can write in publicly to track their hikes. I absolutely love filling this out. It makes me feel like a boss. You can run or hike these trails. They are by the town, yet you feel like you are deep in the forest. You can be hiking for a full day, or you can hike for parts of the day. Whichever you pick, be intentional about it and be safe! I’ve learned to love the sport of hiking when the snow is melted away. With it melted away, trails are revealed on the hiking map. They are ready and waiting to be conquered. Even though Aspen is known as the main key resort for skiing, I’m going to make it a main key resort for hiking. Summer isn’t over yet! There’s still time to get over and log in your hours on the trail log Aspen offers. 10hikes.com is probably the best way to see the different trails and how they are rated based on others’ opinions. It gives you the name of a trail, the difficulty level, elevation, distance, and time length. You’ll learn your own soon enough. Remember to be safe! I always take my dog or someone else with you. It’s always good to have a buddy to watch your back. There’s something about climbing a crisp mountain with your favorite dog by your side. Breath in the clean mountain air, feel the terrain beneath your feet, taste determination as you hike upwards.

I’ve referenced before that I’m wearing Smartone. This is one of my favs. You can’t go wrong with ordering off of Smartone. As women, this is important! Have you ever heard of the phrase, you feel the way you dress? It is so true. How you dress can tell your mind how to act. If you have the right workout gear, you can be your best on the exercise field. Don’t be afraid to branch out!

Dogs are life. I can’t tell you how many times I’ll be walking somewhere, see a cute dog, and just have to stop and ask about him or her! This shouldn’t be a surprise to some of my awesome fans and followers. When I was in Washington D.C., there were dogs everywhere. I really can’t tell you how often I stopped to say hi or ask to pet someone else’s dog. Who else out there is as obsessed with them as I am? Chanel is special to me; my close companion, and pretty much my child. It’s true what they say. Children and dogs share the same sentiment. Don’t they though?