Girls Weekend Trip to Overland Park, Kansas City

A quick weekend girls trip is such a fabulous way to get away and relax with some of your closest girlfriends. Visit Overland Park invited myself and a friend to Kansas City to see all of the amazing activities and food the city has to offer.

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The flight was very quick and my plane landed at Kansas City International Airport in no time! I was super excited to explore a new place and could hardly wait to get the itinerary rolling the next day. The airport was approximately 45 minutes away from Overland Park, so as soon as Leah and I checked-in to our room at Hyatt Place, we grabbed a bite to eat at Stroud’s and returned back to the hotel to rest up for a full day.

Morning Bite from McLain's Market

Just a breeze away from our hotel, we started our morning at McLain’s Market for a quick bite to eat before our spa appointment. Can’t enjoy spa services on an empty, growling stomach! There were so many freshly baked pastries to choose from, but I settled on the avocado toast and Sunrise juice which were both so delicious. It gave me just the boost I needed!

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Serenity at Sunlight Day Spa

Sunlight Day Spa had the most serene environment that made me wish I could slip away to the spa every single day on my lunch hour. Leah received a customized 60-minute facial which included steaming, masks, extractions and everything else needed for a holiday glow.

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Afterwards, we were both able to hop in one of Sunlight’s mPulse chromotherapy saunas. They’re actually available to purchase upstairs at the spa and would definitely make the ultimate “gift to self”. We relaxed and chatted in the sauna for about 30 minutes with the company of YouTube, Twitter, Netflix, Pandora and more. It was the real deal.

Mini Holiday Shopping Spree at Oak Park Mall

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Following our spa visit, we were whisked away via Uber to Oak Park Mall. I love a trip with good shopping and this mall had all of the stores I love such as Nordstrom, Lush and Sephora. 

Kansas City's Most Coveted BBQ from Q39

After our first full girls day out, we spent time at the hotel watching Christmas classics before heading to dinner at one of Kansas City’s hottest BBQ spots. When we asked friends on social media where we should visit and eat, Q39 was one of the top named restaurants. We were encouraged to try it out, but with a reservation. Being from Texas where BBQ lives, we were a little skeptical at first.

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This newly opened location was completely packed with diners ready to feast their tastebuds on burnt ends and Q39’s special barbecue sauces. Luckily, we did have a reservation! We each ordered a drink and started with the bacon wrapped shrimp before indulging in a plate with our choice of two meats, apple coleslaw and fries. Leah and I were completely stuffed! Our minds were blown by the sauces and the meats were all cooked to perfection. From two Texas girls, we approve!

Weekend Brunch at Room 39

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On our final morning in Overland Park, we awoke from our foodie comas for brunch at Room 39. I’m always down for a hearty breakfast or brunch! 

I skipped on mimosas for this one, but we each ordered the challah french toast topped with a mixed berry compote and cinnamon whipped ricotta with a glass of fresh orange juice…and it was delicious. It was served with crispy potatoes and bacon. If I’ve learned anything from my visit to Kansas City, it’s that there are lots of potatoes in every form, and they’re tasty.

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Blend Your Own Beauty

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After breakfast, we blended our own fragrances at Blend! I live for customized beauty and thought this concept was so neat. You can choose from several notes in essential oils to create your own fragrance, shower gels, lotions, and more! If you know what types of scents someone loves, this would be the perfect holiday gift. You can even recreate some of your favorite designer fragrances.

Leah prefers clean scents, so she chose rain/shower essential oils; my own preferences vary, but I was in the mood for something tropical to remind me of my summer trip to Kauai, so I chose Monoi de Tahiti (one of my favorite floral scents) and Hibiscus Passion.

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Ditch Your Diet | Indulge in Decadent Delectables

It’s the holidays and probably the last time to indulge in those sweets you said you’d give up last New Year! Decadent Coffee and Dessert Bar was the happy place we stumbled upon at Prairiefire Shopping Center. Initially, it caught my eye because the shop was pink…and then I spotted a sign outside with hot chocolate and other treats! Once we got inside, there was classic holiday music playing, it was warm and there were desserts galore. Leah and I were SOLD.

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She got the pecan pie à la mode and I picked the apple turnover drizzled with icing. As if that wasn’t already enough, we both sipped on hot chocolate so rich that we were ready to take a nap right in Decadent’s plush pink chairs.

Evening Wine Dive

On our final evening in Overland Park, we Ubered to Louie’s Wine Dive for cocktails and bites. There’s nothing like wine, girlfriends and lots of laughs to end a good trip! We ordered The “Overland Park” which was Louie’s version of a classic Old Fashioned and the Sinatra Burger. We thoroughly enjoyed our cocktails and they were crafted with tons of flavor — no watered down drinks here! For dessert, we ordered the beignets with a rum butter sauce.

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Overland Park has plenty to offer whether you’re traveling with girlfriends or family! It’s a quick weekend destination especially from Dallas and, from what we’ve seen and heard, is growing rather quickly. There were so many more spots I wanted to visit, so I can’t wait to journey back to Kansas City to explore again. Planning a girls trip to Overland Park? Definitely visit some of the places from our itinerary!

This trip was sponsored by Visit Overland Park.

Sunday Sailing | Snorkel Picnic on the Nā Pali Coast with Captain Andy

Sunday was my last day on Kauai and a breeze -- literally. I woke up early to go on a snorkel picnic to the Na Pali Coast with Captain Andy's Sailing Adventures. At first, I was a little hesitant because I don't swim, but you don't have to snorkel. In fact, there's much more to the tour than just snorkeling! 

There's plenty of commentary from the guides and the views are to die for. I can't think of a better way I could have spent my Sunday morning on this vacation. I kicked my feet up while inhaling the fresh air, read my magazines, and took tons of photos.

Get a glimpse of my last excursion on Kauai:

On the way back to the shore, I listened to music and even took a nap. I'm happy that I got to do something new and I had time to take in the natural beauty of the island. The best part was that I had very little to no cellular service at all...and it was fantastic. In a world so obsessed and connected to our devices, it's nice to be able to disconnect sometimes. No emails, no phone calls, no social media updates, and I loved every moment of it on Akialoa.

Learn more about Capt. Andy's catamaran tours and add a sailing adventure to your Kauai vacation itinerary

Style of the Island | 5th Annual Kauai Fashion Weekend

Prior to the show with Sue Kanoho, Executive Director of the Kauai Visitors Bureau

Prior to the show with Sue Kanoho, Executive Director of the Kauai Visitors Bureau

In fashion, I am so mesmerized by texture. Embroidery, beading, sequins, jacquard, three-dimensional construction...all of it. I attended the 5th Annual Kauai Fashion Weekend last month at the breathtaking Kauai Marriott Resort and was in complete awe at the immense talent living on the island and beyond. Collections from Puka Surf, Definitely Baba, Chanterelle Couture, Wahine Toa Designs, Edgar Madamba Designs and Ahmad Couture glided down the runway on models of all shapes and sizes. Prior to the show, there were plenty of red carpet photo opportunities and shopping with local vendors. For VIP ticketholders, a three-course dinner was served before the lights dimmed for the main event.

Kaua’i Fashion Weekend will inspire others to create and share their design with our Kaua’i community and the world.
— Sue Kanoho, Exective Director of Kaua'i Visitors Bureau
VIP Dinner at Kauai Fashion Weekend

VIP Dinner at Kauai Fashion Weekend

Kauai Fashion Weekend was founded by Marynel Valenzuela and co-founded by Sha Ali Ahmad of Ahmad Couture, whom I had the pleasure of meeting following the big runway show before my flight back to Dallas. 

Perhaps it's the former pageant girl in me, but I know a gorgeous, well-designed piece when I see one and I have a deep appreciation for the hours of dedication that go into handcrafting them. See some of the designs I captured from Kauai Fashion Weekend:

Kauai Fashion Weekend was indeed an inspiration. Usually when traveling, I like to bring home fashion magazines as a souvenir or a piece of clothing (or jewelry) other than a t-shirt, but this time I brought back so much more! I brought home memories from an incredible fashion and cultural experience that I will always remember.

Learn more about Kauai Fashion Weekend and secure your tickets for next year's runway show!

5-Night Summer Stay at Aqua Kauai Beach Resort

On the island of Kauai, there are several hotels, resorts, and rental properties of all sorts for travelers to book for accommodations. Whether you're planning on staying on the North, South, or Central shores, there is a place for every type of traveler.

For my trip, I stayed at the Aqua Kauai Beach Resort which was just a short distance away from the Lihue Airport. Before getting my rental car situation figured out, I was conveniently picked up from the airport and shuttled to the resort upon arrival. I was greeted by towering palm trees as we pulled into the circular driveway and the friendly staff of Kauai Beach Resort. Check-in was a breeze and I was off to my home (room) for the next five nights!

Honestly, I didn't spend a ton of time at the resort during my stay, so I only explored the property a little bit and when I wasn't out enjoying all that the island had to offer, I was asleep. I did stop by the pool before getting ready for Kauai Fashion Weekend on Saturday for a burger, fries and Mai Tai at the resort's Driftwood Bar & Grille.

I would definitely recommend Aqua Kauai Beach Resort for younger travelers who are looking for something affordable and the full resort package of amenities and services. Also, groups of friends and/or families are perfect for this property as well. There's something appealing for everyone here!

Learn more about Aqua Kauai Beach Resort and start planning your trip to Kauai!