9.25.2017

3 Days In Napa Valley

Hey guys! It feels like so long that I've blogged..probably because it has been! I'm excited to be back from our California trip and to share all about it with you all...

We started our trip in Napa Valley (we did venture to Sonoma for dinner/shopping one night too) and stayed there 2 nights before heading to San Francisco, where we stayed for 3 nights. Our parents stayed with the boys and 5 nights definitely felt like a long time to us to be away from the kids, but we had the greatest trip and made some wonderful memories, so we are super thankful we were able to get away just the two of us!

I'm going to spend this post recapping our time in Napa and then I'll do another post all about our time in San Francisco. Since this wasn't our first time visiting Napa (my first post from 6 years ago is here-with a lot of other recommendations for first time visitors) we went at a more slower pace, but still packed in so much. Napa is one of those places that it's best to have an itinerary written/planned out way before you go because a lot of the wineries require reservations and will book up weeks in advance for their tours.

I spent hours researching which wineries to visit and really feel like we hit THE BEST of the best...my gosh, all of them had the most stunning grounds! We were truly in heaven with the views + the wine..

WINERIES:

Newton Vineyard was our first winery tour + tasting and it set the bar high, to say the least. It's situated at the very top of the gorgeous Spring Mountain in St. Helena and the views are absolutely breathtaking. Definitely the most gorgeous grounds of any vineyard we have visited! We were lucky enough to have a private tour with JJ who showed us their famous English gardens, barrel caves, and enjoyed their spectacular wines in their tasting room. We didn't want to leave, but who would when you have views like this?



Amazing...right?!

You can make a reservation on their website here.

HALL-Tours starting at just $40, you really get the full experience here. It is a 33-acre property at the base of the Mayacama Mountains. It has over 35 pieces of contemporary art, this 150 year old site has something for everyone. A lawn for relaxing...beautiful architecture...and history! It is owned by Craig & Kathryn Hall whos vineyard collection features five Certified Organic estates producing classic Bordeaux varietals. HALL’s highly rated wines include the Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, selected as Wine Spectator’s #18 of the ‘Top 100’ in 2010 and the HALL 2008 “Kathryn Hall” Cabernet Sauvignon that earned #2 Wine Spectator “Top 100” Wines. We are actually thinking about becoming members here...the wine is that good!


HALL has two tasting vineyards in Napa Valley-one in St. Helena (this is the one we were at) and Rutherford. Make reservations here.

Other favorites to add to your list...

Domaine Carneros (I loved every single wine I tried here!)

 
(favorite crossbody bag is from here, romper from red dress boutique)

Artesa


Signorello Winery


Mumm Napa

 


VISIT: 

Our first stop was Oxbow Public Market to explore before heading to the first winery. It's the perfect place to grab a coffee, get a few gifts, sit outside with a beer for happy hour, a casual lunch, or for yummy desserts...


V Marketplace is a great place to shop. They have kids boutiques, chocolate shops, a few spots you can do wine tastings, and womens shops too.


DO:

Hot air balloon ride with Napa Valley Aloft!! (dedicating a whole post on this that will be up tomorrow!)

DINE:

We had some of the best meals of our life here. I'm not kidding when I say we had the best overall experience and yummiest farm to table dinner at Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch. It was my favorite restaurant I've ever ate at! From the gorgeous setting, drinks and cocktails, appetizers, and delicious entrees it is an absolute must when visiting Napa. Make your reservation ahead of time (like 3 weeks!) and arrive a little early to sit outside to have a drink or stroll through their gift shop!


Boon Fly Cafe for brunch was also a huge favorite. SO SO GOOD. It's located right down the street from Domaine Carnernos winery so we came here to eat right before our tasting. One of my top 5 brunch spots for sure!


Another place to add to your list is Bouchon Bakery for coffee, pastries, breads, and various desserts. Their macarons were to die for. After our hot air balloon ride, we got coffee's and sat outside on their cute patio. Try the sea salt caramel macaron and you won't be disappointed! V Marketplace is literally right across the street from Bouchon Bakery so you can get your coffee and head over to the shops!


We drove over to Sonoma on our second night to eat at Girl In The Fig. This restaurant is extremely popular and has rave reviews and it lived up to all it's hype! We LOVED it here. Highly recommend. Afterwards we had some drinks at Hop Monk Tavern that was a really cute bar + had live music.

As for hotel recommendations...we just stayed at the local Marriott and had a pleasant stay. I tried looking into Airbnb's, but most were sold out already (I would recommend going this route but make sure to book early!)

A lot of people have asked me how many days I would recommend staying in Napa. I thought we saw most of Napa on our last trip and that was totally false (although we did see a lot!) I definitely think you can see almost all of it in 3 days, but I would LOVE to go back and do Napa and Sonoma for 4-5 days. Plenty to do and plenty of good wine to drink! If you're looking for other rec's or wineries to visit, make sure to check out my first post! 

9.14.2017

6 THINGS I ALWAYS PACK WHEN LEAVING ON A TRIP

Hey hey hey, friends! This week has completely gotten ahead of me. As you're reading this we are on our way to California for a kid free vacation! We land there at 10am! 🙌 There's no doubt about it that we are so excited, but I totally underestimated how much there is to do before leaving your little ones. I swear...I've been "preparing" to leave for the past week, and I've written way too many mom notes! I thought that since I wouldn't have to pack a million and one kid clothes, wipes, diapers, etc. etc. that getting ready to leave would be much simpler, but HA, no. Don't get me wrong, we're so thankful our families will be watching the boys so we can get away but it's still A LOT. Happy to say that as I'm typing this things are all in place, the house is stocked with groceries, and we're ready to head to wine country.

I thought for my last post this week (see also: only) I would share my favorite must haves to pack for a trip...



A hat: Wear it at the airport or if you're having a bad hair day on vacation. It's also great to have if you plan to do anything active like take a hike, go bike riding, and so on (all of which are on our list for San Francisco!)

Cozy, neutral cardigan: Throw it on the plane or if you're cold walking around at night. This one doesn't disappoint either.

Cute sneakers: Obsessed with these! Comes in grey too! These Nike Free's I turn to a lot because they will go with anything (currently only $75-all sizes still available)

Lightweight jacket: I have ALL the heart eyes for this jacket! Wear it over a dress or at night with some skinny jeans and a cute lace top.

Statement necklace: Simple and versatile enough to wear with multiple outfits!

A scarf: To wear on the plane that can double as a blanket or to dress up a casual outfit. This one happens to only be $22 and is perfect for fall!

What are your traveling essentials? Follow along during our Cali adventures over on my instagram or snapchat!! (both @katiewkrysh)

9.08.2017

FRIDAY THOUGHTS


+ON BEING MIA: Earlier this week I decided to take on the project of painting our master bathroom cabinets white. They are the only ones in our house we haven't updated, so I just randomly decided to start painting them (when I get the urge to do a project I have to do it THAT INSTANT!) & I've been working on them every night this week. The painting is done now🙌, so it's just getting them back on! Sorry for the silence here on the blog!

+LABOR DAY WEEKEND: Even though it is supposed to mark the end of summer, it was pretty gosh darn good. Billy took Camden ice skating for the first time (me and Grayson enjoyed snuggling/keeping warm/watching from the side), which was really exciting for him because he has played hockey since he was little and actually still refs at this rink!


+BIG DOG OR SMALL DOG? I mentioned it before but we are discussing getting a dog for the boys soon and debating between a small dog (like Rocky was) or a bigger dog (retriever size.) We're leaning towards a bigger dog since the boys are...well...boys and can be on the rough side sometimes. It'll be a year next month since we lost Rocky (definitely feels way shorter than that-I still can't really think about that day or weekend without wanting to cry or getting a huge pit in my stomach..) so I think it'll help heal my heart a bit and make the boys really happy, especially Camden. He asks to pet EVERY single dog that he sees!

+THESE AWFUL HURRICANES: Can they just go away, now? All of 'em. Praying hard for all of you in FL and those still recovering in TX.

+PACKING FOR CALIFORNIA: I have found SO many cute things lately for our trip next week (and for fall in general) that I wanted to share some things that I'm definitely packing...

(only $44! SO good! I got a medium)

(marked way down!)
 ($17!)

+THE BACHELOR: Did you see the announcement that it's Arie?! (from Emily's season) I'm super shocked and disappointed it's not Peter! WHAT IN THE WORLD HAPPENED HERE? I'm still holding out hope that MAYBE they will change their minds and go back to Peter? What do you guys think?

+THE BOYS: Cam started swim lessons a few weeks ago-he's in a class with 2 other kids and is loving it! Since he's old enough to be in an instructor led class (without parent in the water), me and Grayson just sit in the waiting area and watch him! After the class is done and I go in to get him, he is so proud of himself that he jumps up and down and grins from ear to ear...it's so cute! As for our little Gray, he took 4 steps last week (on our anniversary!) and will walk here and there when he wants to, but still hasn't FULLY taken off walking yet.



Tomorrow I'm tailgaiting for the Ohio State game with a girlfriend which I'm really looking forward to! Hope you all have a great weekend!

8.30.2017

FALL CLOSET STAPLES


Adidas Iniki Sneakers, RUN! This color is almost sold out but one other color is still available!
Chloe Leather Crossbody seriously in love with this beautiful bag! full review coming on this one, also love the tan color
Paige Ultra Skinny Black Jeans, currently 30% off!  
Olive Skinny Pants. on sale for $39, I just got these and can't tell you how much I love them. The fit is amazing and they're super soft and flattering! 
Thermal Button Front, 8 colors available
Steve Madden Lancer Sneaker, Target has these in black in the store for only $27, but not available online!

Happy Shopping!