Oprah’s Favorite Things is all the buzz this week. As we prepare for the busy holiday season ahead, curious what is on HipTravelMama’s top holiday gift guide? From big splurges to great luxury stocking-stuffer ideas for the foodie, traveler, fashionista, or wine enthusiast, here’s how the team at HipTravelMama incorporated some of our favorite things for giving this holiday into our inaugural Mama’cation.
The Perfect Setting: Luxe Wine, Treats and Accomodations:
50 lucky moms joined us for a sold out Mama’cation at the Willows Lodge last weekend. It was a beautiful fall day in Woodinville wine country, leaves on the ground and the fireplace roaring inside the beautiful lobby of the Willows. The lobby was all a buzz as women walking through the front doors were greeted with a glass of Domaine Ste. Michelle’s Luxe sparkling wine and nibbles of the new holiday Theo Chocolates, WOW Baking brownies , Dancing Deer Baking Company goodies and PopChips.
HipTravelMama greets guests with gifts and a glass of Domaine Ste. Michelle Luxe sparkling wine. Perfect stocking stuffers for foodies and those with a taste for luxe sweet and salty: Theo Chocolates, WOW Baking brownies , Dancing Deer Baking Company goodies and PopChips.
Holiday Gift Guide: It’s all about the swag
After checking into their rooms, moms discovered the suprise HipTravelMama luxe swag bags, sponsored by lululemon Athletica and stuffed with goodies from our luxe boutique vendors and sponsors. Willows Lodge generously provided welcome gifts of large size Saltworks bath salts that now have a special place on my bath shelf (my fave is Tangerine Sage).
Stuff your stockings this season with gifts from some of HipTravelMama’s favorite things and our swag bag sponsors: lululemon athletica Merin Design Totes and Cosmetic bags, O.N.E. Coconut water and Acai juice, Wallingford Botanicals spa products, Nordstrom cosmetics and lotions, Sephora perfumes and beauty products, HARNN luxurious lotion and bath products gift sets, Malie Kai Chocolates from Honolulu and Hawaii Tourism, WOW Baking cookies, PopChips, Sahale snacks, The Little Bookroom guidebooks, Vitalah’s Oxylent multivitamin drink, Saltworks bath salts and natural cane sugars, Theo Chocolate holiday bars, Emergency Chocolate, Dancing Deer Baking Company treats, Honest Tea, Glee Gum, GlassyBaby luminaries, wine charms by Morning Glory Creations, and stationary by PixelImpress. Gifts cards and discounts from CHR Designs, Terra Yoga, Core Pilates, Nanny4U, BarkingFrog Restaurant and Willows Lodge, Suburban Soul, A Flair Affair, Promesse, Full Circle Farms, Stella & Dot, DNA 2050 , Occhio Optometry, GEM Hair Salon, and others.
Shopping the HipTravelMama Luxe Style Boutique
Noting their spa appointment time, women headed back to shop the luxe style boutique. The ballroom at Willows was transformed with a collection of hip local boutiques, style and beauty experts and local Etsy artists. Featured vendors included Tiffany Wendel, Petit Couture, Stella & Dot, Promesse, DNA 2050, Ragamoffyn’s, Suburban Soul, A Flair Affair, Nordstrom, GEM Salon, CHR Designs, Na La, PixelImpress, Occhio Optometry and Down Under Answers.
Personal stylist, Tiffany Wendel did 10 min consults with moms on freshening up their style and walked ladies around to the boutiques to help them select hip fashions and accessories that fit each mom’s personal style. The room was all a buzz as women grabbed arm fulls of clothes and headed for the dressing room.
Wine Tasting with JM Cellars
Wine tasting with JM Cellars was made fun with a visit by Cellar Master, Tyler Farnsworth, who poured wines and chatted up the ladies. Alvarado studio set up a fun photo booth nearby for women to get professional photos after their style sessions.
Travel Talk with Former The Bachelor Alumn, Jason Mesnick
Joining me to talk travel with kids was Jason Mesnick, formerly with ABC’s the Bachelor, traveling dad and new sales and marketing manager of wholesale tour company, Down Under Answers. We shared tips for luxury travel with kids, as well as inspiration for mid-winter and spring break travel. Willows Lodge gave away an overnight package for two, and Alvarado studio gave away a photo shoot to two randomly chosen winners.
Luxe Wine Pairing Dinner with Barking Frog Executive Chef, Bobby Moore
After retreating to our rooms to freshen up, we reconvened for dinner. In the center of the room sat one long, beautiful table, adorned with Glassybaby luminares in HipTravelMama’s signature colors of orange and green. It was an extraordinary sight, creatively designed by Willows marketing manager, Rhanda Rosselot.
The food and wine at Mama’cation was extraordinary. Barking Frog Executive chef, Bobby Moore joined us after each course was served to explain how it was prepared and the inspiration for each dish. Wine pairing featured exclusively Woodinville wines including Alexandria Nicole’s 2008 Sauvignon Blanc, Chateau Ste. Michelle’s 2008 Eroica, EFESTE Final Final, and Dusted Valley Vintners 2009 Stained Tooth syrah. Women loved the wine so much, they bought bottles to share with friends, or to take back to their room.
It’s All in the Merin Tote Bag: Luxe Gifts for VIP’s
At dinner we surprised four lucky guests with VIP swag bags provided by Merin Designs, and filled with goodies from sponsors. NaLa, DNA 2050, and A Flair Affair provided jeans and outfits, Stella & Dot and CHR Designs each gave away beautiful necklace, a Promesse donated a designer handbag and gift card, Nanny4u offered free childcare, Pixel Impress gave a gorgeous desk calendar, HAARN a luxe gift set and 425 Magazine provided a free one year subscription.
In the morning we were greeted by a lovely spread of fresh berries, bagels, smoked salmon and other delicious pastries. Ladies trickeled down from their rooms and sat chatting over coffee about their families, travel and life. Marjorie from Classic Vacations joined us nearby with inspiration on travel provided by Hawaii tourism.
Morning Yoga in the Willows Garden
Nearly 40 women joined us outside in the garden, under the covered and heated gazebo for a Yoga session taught by Terra Yoga owner Carina and sponsored by lululemon, O.N.E drinks. One lucky mom won a gift card for a lululemon outfit valued at $300.
Thank you to our gracious host, Willows Lodge, its team and staff who worked tirelessly to prepare for our arrival, make this event run outstandingly smooth and guests comfortable, well fed and relaxed during Mama’cation.
As I sat at the end of the long table that night, watching moms smiling, laughing and chatting, I couldn’t help giggling to myself and secretly hoping that we made 50 women happy that weekend. 50 happy moms who would return back to their families a bit more relaxed and recharged to pick up on the responsibilities that awaited them at home and the hectic holiday season. We moms (and dads too), work incredibly hard and to have just one night off to remember who you are, chew your food and finish a conversation with friends can help to clear your head. Most of all, this weekend reminded me that it is the simple things in life that really matter, and taking time for you and the things you love can be one of the biggest gifts you can give yourself as a mom. Ready to give yourself a gift this holiday? We will be announcing our next Mama’cation soon, Subscribe to Hip Travel Mama by Email to be one of the first to know when we reveal the date and location of our next event!
Love the gifts we gave to our Mama’cation guests? We encourage you to use this post as your gift guide to purchase products from our sponsors for your friends and family! Just click on the links and get shopping!
Photo credits: A BIG thank you to Alvarado studio and Fiona VanAlstyne for the beautiful photography. To download photos and view the whole photo album for Mama’cation, please visit Alvarado Studio.