Ted and I are huge fans of hotel rooms and try to stay at one every chance we get. We both are also huge family people and are very close to both sides of our big fat arab families. It’s always a battle choosing between staying with family when visiting, to get more extra time together, or get a hotel room for some alone time. If you follow on Instagram and Snapchat you probably saw we were in Dallas a couple of weeks ago for a dear friends wedding. I have three boy cousins and my aunt and uncle live in Dallas so every time we get a chance to visit, we hop on the opportunity. This time my 4 aunts from Houston was also invited to the wedding and they planned on staying at my aunts house. You can imagine the chaos that house was filled with 3 boys, 5 aunts, 1 uncle, and 2 dogs. Ted and I decided last minute that it would be a good idea to get our own space. As much as we would have loved to be in the middle of the chaos, a place to put our head down on a gigantic comfy kind size bed, won.
We are so glad we chose the Westin Downtown Dallas for our stay. The room was unbelievably spacious that we actually treated our 3 cousins to stay with us for one night in the living room. The views are what really sold me. Living in a townhouse we don’t get much of a view so waking up on the 30th floor seeing downtown Dallas in every corner of the room really put a smile on my face. The staff was so friendly and Ted especially loved the unlimited water bottles. That kid could not stop talking about it! Another great part of choosing a hotel room was having our own gym so we could get our sweat session in. We had no excuse on Saturday morning before brunch to work on growing those muscles. You can find a list of my favorite activities/ places to eat in Dallas here. This was the dress I wore to the wedding that I was so in love with! The white dress above was the perfect brunch dress after our work out before the wedding!
PS. Sorry for the delayed post lovelies! It has been a mad house in the Raads household with our crazy weekend and trying to leave tomorrow out of the country. I have so many errands to get done and pack before we leave. We decided that we MIGHT leave tomorrow instead of Thursday so we can add Madrid to our itinerary. We will see if that actually happens! We are such last minute travelers it is a blessing and the most stressful thing ever. Anyways- I do want to note for the next two to three weeks, I most likely will only be posting Monday, Wednesday, Friday! I want to soak in as much as I can on our trip to Portugal, Spain, and Ireland. Thank you loves for following along!
So I know you’re probably thinking I just shared a romper literally exactly like this on Monday. Why yes I did BUT it wasn’t tie dye and it wasn’t selling out in a blink of an eye so I HAD to share this one before it’s completely sold out. I also am sharing my favorite similar tie dye finds herehere and below in the widget. You know my 5’3 self loves me some rompers, especially some long sleeve deep v cut rompers. Sorry for all your tall or big booty ladies, really I am!
I literally had the perfect day yesterday y’all. I am in Dallas visiting family and friends and had a non stop by. I plan to do a recap on my Dallas favs but for now here is a list of what we were up too yesterday
Reward Style Meeting: their office is such a dream
Hopdoddy: obsessed with their Ahi tuna burger
Chase Tower: fail, it was closed until Monday
Highland Village: couldn’t afford a thing but window shopped
Royal Blue Grocery: the cutest grocery story I ever did see – meet @hkung
Steel City Pop: YOU MUST GO HERE. Literally cutest popsicle place ever. They are opening one in Houston and I am so excited. I have been craving a popsicle all month
Chuys: Who knew happy hour included a Nacho bar. You must go! 4-7 & cheap drinks
Soul Cycle: LOVE LOVE this work out. You must try it if you haven’t! They give you $10 off your first spin. Its like a night club on a bike. Best part is they have clean showers so I could clean up before dinner
H&G Supply: Most adorable roof top bar. I met with two blogger babes here and the Kale + Cesar salad is my fav light combo ever
WOW I did a lot haha! I always get so nosey what people are up too when visiting other cities so I hope you enjoyed this little tidbit! Would love to hear your feedback if you are even interested in my travel diaries. Hope y’all have an amazing weekend! Ill be snapping away for the wedding we have on Saturday so be sure to follow along (dederaad).
What better back drop with this ruffle dress than the Eiffel tower in Paris. If you follow along on snapchat, sister and I had a TOTAL random Europe trip last week. We planned it literally days before and it was such a memorable experience. We flew into London and took a plane from London to Nantes, France. We spent a night in Nantes and toured the beautiful city all day. Our next stop was Rennees for some wine bars where we watched the Euro cup (France won) and it was a night to remember! We spent the night in Cancale which was on the coast of France and the cutest little town. We had brunch then went to Saint Malo where I HAVE to go back and bring Teddy. Saint Malo was an enclosed little old town on a beach. It felt like we were in a movie. I would very much recommend Saint Malo for anyone traveling to France. It is only a 3.5 hour drive from Paris so after our day trip to Saint Malo we drove as fast as we could to the Eiffel tower to catch these photos before sunset. We spent the night in Paris before out flight and toured the beautiful city. I also got to spend a night in Paris last summer so I just took sissy to all the attractions I loved.
This dress was the perfect addition to the trip and I may not be lying when I say I saved this dress just for this moment. The moment this dress & Mr. Eiffel met. It was magical despite all the people also trying to get a picture with Eiffel. I do plan on going back with Hubs one day so I would love your recommendations!
I am so excited to share a few bachelorette photos that I had the pleasure of throwing last weekend in Austin at the fabulous JW Marriott. This is my 4th bachelorette party to help plan, so I believe I have nailed the timeline down to a tee. If you are planning a bachelorette party and need ideas on what to do, you came to the right place!
Check In: I usually get there a couple of hours early to check in and make sure we get conjoining rooms or at least on the same floor. This weekend we had 8 girls so 2 queen bed rooms were perfect. The JW Marriott made sure we had conjoined rooms per arrival. I also like to get there early enough to decorate the room. Just a couple of balloons, boas, and a banner will do. You can see in the photos above for some ideas.
Explore Hotel: I normally ask everyone to get dinner before they arrive to the hotel since a lot is planned for that night. Another option is to order pizza for everyone. Once we check in I like to get the girls to explore the hotel to see what all it has to offer. We branched out to the pool area which had an amazing view of downtown and the state capital. We watched the sunset from the pool area then went back upstairs for our PJ party.
PJ Party: Since everyone is still tired from the work week, I feel like a full night of rest is important to set the tone for the weekend. I like to plan a bunch of games for this night in our PJS. This also is a really good way for everyone to get to know each other and break the ice.
Lingerie Party: After everyone is in their PJS, what better way then to snuggle up on the beds and watch the bride open her lingerie gifts. Depending on who the bride is (& how much she has had to drink) I try to get them to do a fashion show for us (haha!). This is always the highlight of the night. Each bridesmaid gets to choose a song for the bride to walk down the “runway” wearing the lingerie that was gifted. I choose “baby grind with me” for my performance & had the bride pretend the robe was her groom. It was GREAT y’all!
Games: After the lingerie party another fun way to spend time getting to know each other is with some games. We played mad libs and a game with a banana and oranges (you can google these games). If you saw my snapchat you know what I am talking about. Both were great and had us all in tears laughing so hard.
Lights Out: Then lights out or pillow talk should take place at some point since a long Saturday awaits us!
Brunch: You can’t forget about brunch since that is what Saturday mornings are made for. This is where I had a couple of girls take control and coordinate the food spots. We walked to Waltons and Fancys which was an adorable Flower/Bakery spot on Sixth.
Activity: After brunch is typically when I plan a fun activity for the bride. This can be a winery, paddle boarding, lake activities, painting with a twist, etc. I say this needs to be altered to whatever the bride wants to do. In our case, our bride just wanted to tan and lay by the pool and since the JW Marriott pool is AWESOME, we didn’t blame her. We all lounged by the pool and got some sun which is my favorite pasttime of them all.
Dinner: I try to plan dinner as late as possible so after dinner we can continue to go out. Again, to make things easier, I had someone else make dinner reservations. Also keep in mind that dinner reservations should be walking distance so no one is drinking and driving that night (especially since Uber is banned in Austin). Luckily, the JW was in a perfect location where we could walk to dinner and to the bars easily.
– I suggest a theme for the night to make you all stand out and celebrate the bride. You can all wear tutus, wear colored wigs, or matching shirts. For this particular weekend we decided to do black dresses and flower crowns. One of the girls took a floral design class and was gracious enough to take on this task for us. They came out SO stinking cute. We were told we looked like the snapchat filter 2738723 times but thats ok! (you can find more pics on my IG)
Late Night Actuvities: Do your research when you are going out and take into consideration your bride. Is your bride more chill and would she enjoy a wine bar or is she more rowdy and would like bottle service at a club? Do some research on the classy areas vs the sketchy areas wherever you are. I love leaving this night last since it doesn’t ruin our entire Saturday with sleep deprived, grumpy bachelorettes.
Brunch: Because luckily if you have a crazy night and you all were up until 3 am, brunch is your ultimate cure. I like to check out of the hotel and do brunch on Sunday before we all go home. Ted and I both had our parties at the same weekend in Austin so on Sunday we all got together for brunch. This was the most memorable for us to have all of our loved ones joined together and being able to exchange stories of the weekend! So if the groom also has his bach party in the same area on the same weekend, conjoined brunch can be a super fun idea!
Here are some tips I have learned over the years:
* I tell the girls if you confirm you are going, then you are responsible for your cost of the weekend no matter what. Even if you back out last minute. I have had girls back out the day before which isn’t fair to everyone else to have to cover their cost.
* I try to have everyone venmo me to cover the cost of the place we are staying, snacks, decorations, and for the brides dinner. I typically over estimate and refund whatever is left over. I also disclose to everyone that food & activities are not covered in this budget.
*State on the invitation the brides panty and bra size. This makes it easier when they are shopping for lingerie.
*I always create a timeline and packing list for everyone so they don’t miss anything. Planning a bachelorette weekend contains a lot of information. I can send you this sheet if you would like to have it!
*If you are planning the weekend, know you don’t have to do it ALL by yourself. Delegating is the best thing for you. I had some girls in charge of brunch/dinner reservations and other girls in charge of drinks/activities. This takes off ALL the pressure on you.
*Come up with a cute hashtag. Our brides name was Reneen and we call her Neener so a friend and I brainstormed on our road trip ideas. We then came to the conclusion that we should use Neener instead of (you know what) in our hashtag and the girls came up with #doesyourneenerhanglow and #askmeaboutmyneener. Both were too cute so we used both! Get creative!
I do want to disclose that I had a house booked that I found on Airbnb and the lady asked me to go around Airbnb since she wouldn’t have to “pay the fees.” My mistake was to agree with her (I am telling you this so you learn from my wrong) since she cancelled on me 4 days before the reservation. I called in a frantic a bunch of hotels and the stunning JW Marriott Atx jumped in and saved the weekend. The girls and I were ecstatic to stay at the new luxury hotel which happens to be the largest hotel in Austin. The entire property is just stunning and I would stay here again and again. The best part is the 5th floor that has an AMAZING view of Austin along with an incredible pool. You can see more photos of the resort here.
If you have any pointers or do your timeline differently, I would LOVE to hear from you! I am always up for learning and trying new things.