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Little Black Book: Cozumel

By  July 01, 2014

Little-Black-Book-Cozumel

Although commonly relegated to a cruise ship stop, the Mayan isle of Cozumel is well worth a visit as a destination of its own. Mexico’s largest island, located just 17 miles from Playa Del Carmen, offers adventure, sports, all kinds of eating and drinking, and of course, plenty of sun, beach, and relaxation. Traveling there is a breeze: There’s an international airport right in Cozumel with direct flights from many major US cities. Below, our guide to island living.

Where to Stay: 

Intercontinental Presidente Cozumel

Presidente InterContinental Cozumel

As the island’s only 5-Star resort, the Presidente InterContinental is a step above the other lodging options in Cozumel. Set on half a mile of sandy beach, the property offers some of the best views on the island–which can be enjoyed right from the hammock hanging on your room’s private terrace. Whether you’re headed to this beautiful Mayan destination for relaxation or adventure, this resort has you covered. Those who wish to unwind can laze their days away at the multiple pools on property, enjoy all their meals al fresco, or even play a few rounds of golf at the nearby courses. Thrill seekers are just steps away from some of the best scuba diving in the world and fill their days with other water sports right at the hotel. Whatever it is that brings you to Cozumel one thing is clear–you’ll be taken care of here.

Where to Eat:

ileile Restaurante

This little hidden gem boasts a gorgeous view, and an even more delicious menu. The restaurant serves “contemporary international cuisine” in a sleek setting sure to please even the most sophisticated palette. The food is inventive without veering into “trying too hard” territory, and highlights include a 6-cheese soup (with prosciutto, dragon fruit, apple, and grapes), grilled octopus salad (with peppers and mayonnaise), and their signature green risotto: an avocado risotto dish topped with the freshest dorado. The real treat at ile, however, is the “Chef’s Corner,” located right in front of the open kitchen. Guests are able to order whatever they wish (including vegan and other dietary options), or be surprised by the executive chef’s preparation of the day. After dinner, stick around and enjoy a libation or two on the restaurant’s plush terrace.

 

napaNapa Grill

For special occasions, island residents and visitors alike head to Napa Grill, a newly opened fine dining experience that combines the best of surf and turf. Guests are welcomed with illuminated menus (always a conversation starter) filled with an assortment of cuts of prime meats and selections from the Caribbean’s freshest seafood catches. The Grill also shares a wine cellar with neighboring restaurant Alfredo di Roma, which boasts the island’s largest collection of domestic and international wines.

coconuts-viewCoconuts 

For something a bit more laid-back, head up to Coconuts, the “bar and grill on the hill” where the drinks are large and stiff, the food is cheap and tasty, and the atmosphere can get loud and rambunctious. Set amidst lush tropical vegetation, the bar welcomes not only hungry visitors but some of the island’s most colorful bird residents as well. The menu is filled with Mexican favorites from nachos, to tacos, to ceviche and it’s easy for afternoon drinks here to turn into an evening dance party. Just remember to bring an extra tee or bikini–not because it gets that wild–but because you’ll want to leave it behind for the shirt wall.

What to Do:

fachada_gScuba Du

Cozumel is a world class diving destination, with reefs lining the entire western coast of the island. Both novices and expert divers will enjoy exploring these natural wonders with Scuba Du. The company’s experienced and certified instructors will take you out their fleet of boats for half-day dives from morning till night. Non-divers can book a snorkeling expedition or charter one of their boats for a fishing trip. But one thing is clear: when in Cozumel, get thee to the water!

Atlantis-Submarine-2Atlantis Submarine

Just because you’re not a certified diver doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the exploring Cozumel’s famous reefs. The Atlantis Submarine takes you 100ft under water for a 40-minute tour, complete with a card at every seat to help you ID any sea creatures that may swim by.  It veers a bit on the touristy side, but the views are worth it.

Where to Relax:

IC_SpaPresidente InterContinental Cozumel Spa 

I’m a huge fan of always booking a spa service while on vacation–it’s the key to helping you get completely into a relaxed state of mind. The Presidente InterContinental has a boutique spa right on property with a full menu of therapeutic and revitalizing treatments infused with many local fruits, herbs, and plants and influenced by Mayan techniques. Those who need to do some extra detoxing might opt for a traditional Mayan Temazcal ritual, complete with an area Shamon, in the property’s sweat lodge. And even though vacation practically mandates wearing your hair in beachy waves, should you find yourself needing a sleeker ‘do, stylists at the on-site salon can whip your coif into any look you want.

One of the more novel services offered by the spa is a fish pedicure, where you can book an exfoliation treatment in 15-minute increments, with or without a polish change. Rest assured at the service is completely sanitary: The Fish Spa Aquarium has a built-in auto-cleaning system. But a word to the wise: this is not for the meek or squeamish.

Cozumel-Country-ClubCozumel Country Club

If hitting a few rounds of golf is more your idea of relaxation, head over to the Cozumel Country Club, the island’s only 18-hole course and home to the local annual golf tournament. The club is also a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, which means you can book bird and wildlife tours here as well. On more than one occasion, golfers even find themselves sharing the course with crocodiles.

 

The Glam Beach Book Club: Your 10 Summer Must-Reads

By  July 01, 2014

summer 10

Summer doesn’t officially kick off until each of the Glam girls successfully stuffed their respective beach bags, backpacks, and totes with essential warm weather reads. From the murder mysteries to social commentary to the educational novels that we want to revisit from high school and college, here are the essential books that you should add to your reading list this summer. You’ll thank us when September rolls around and you’re vastly more intelligent and a more talented conversationalist compared to your friends.

Editor’s Pick: Eagle Creek Pack-It Garment Folder

By  June 27, 2014

140627_Eagle Creek

Discover your next obsession with our Editor’s Pick series, must-have products for your home, wardrobe, makeup bag, and office curated by Glam editors.

A girl’s got to have options. Even when she’s vacationing in St. Lucia, where the majority of the island’s 174,000 population opts for tanks, loose tees, flip flops, and all things irie.

So, when it came time for me to pack for my 25th birthday’s Caribbean backdrop, I chose to do so like an adult. That’s where Eagle Creek comes into play. For those unfamiliar with the brand, or its popularity amongst The Container Store fans, the company is the purveyor of easy, organized packing. From its compartmentalized luggages to durable 3-1-1 travel accessories, it helps you prep in style… and order.

I used the large and medium Pack-It envelopes to condense 14 outfits—yes, there really were f o u r t e e n—and an assortment of swimwear and workout gear into one checked bag. There was plenty of space to stow sandals and flower crowns, I might add. The Pack-It envelope includes a folding board that keeps your clothing neat, while making it easy to access and identify. It’s like traveling with a drawer of your favorite items, except not as heavy, bulky, or messy (we know you stopped folding clothes properly a long time ago).

Where to next?

EagleCreek.com, $28

Editor's Pick: Custom Style-Savvy Notes From The Card Lady

By  June 27, 2014

Discover your next obsession with our Editor’s Pick series, must-have products for your home, wardrobe, makeup bag, and office curated by Glam editors.

card lady.jpg

Last month, I used up the last of my store-bought 12 pack of blank cards. They served me well, but now I feel that I should take advantage of the freedom to replace them with something a little more interesting. So, I connected with The Card Lady (desigsnbythecardlady@gmail.com) for something creative and custom.

I envisioned cards that felt quirky, trendy, and standout, representative of my style and myself. The Card Lady worked her magic, and the end result was spot on. My custom cards play with #HashTagging, something incredibly “of-the-moment.”  In contrast, they decorate a slew of hand-written notes, an art very much associated with previous times. Isn’t the whole modernity meets the past in right now anyways? It’s a bit tongue-in-cheek, and I liked that. The fun and witty expressions aligned with my sassy relationship with friends too–#LoveYouDoll and #DrinksOnMe are expressions commonly exchanged within our group. The packaging, made of 100% recycled paper with a foiled polka dot envelope linear, adds just the right amount of glam to the special delivery.

Part of me is now looking for excuses to send a handwritten note so that I can order my next round. The other part of me wants to just keep these beauties all for myself! -Katherine Fotinos

The Card Lady, prices vary upon design

The Coolest Hotel Pools In The World

By  June 24, 2014

HotelPoolsSlideshow

When it’s summer, we daydream about one thing: vacation. You know, sipping drinks, frolicking on beaches, wearing sundresses all day long, and of course, taking dips in the pool. Here is a list of the coolest, most luxurious hotel pools from around the world to satisfy that travel craving…at least until you make it out there.

Jessica Simpson Brings Her Feminine Flair Home

By  June 23, 2014

jessica-simpson-home

Jessica Simpson is branching out of our closets and into the rest of our space with her first home collection for Bed Bath & Beyond.

This time, the songstress enlisted her mother, Tina, to help with the design.“We both share a passion for home interiors, so branching out into this category has been really inspiring for us,” she shared with People.

Simpson followed Mom’s advice about mixing and matching different fabrics, colors, and textures to make a home feel distinctive and welcoming. The collection, which is infused with boho prints, pops of color, and plenty of paisley, is an eclectic mix that combines “traditional with a little Southern charm. I love to collect unique, vintage pieces that add to the character of my home. We spend a lot of time at home entertaining our friends and family, and I love how comforting and welcoming our space feels.”

The home collection is priced from $9.99 for slippers to $179 for a king sized comforter set. All the pieces, including quilts, kitchen, and bath accessories, are expected to roll out later this year.

Start the Summer Right With These Sweet Sippers!

By  June 20, 2014

Saturday, June 21 marks not only the longest day of the year but the official start of summer (finally). With rooftop season in full swing as well as a slew of seasonal barbecues on your social calendar, there are plenty of opportunities to (safely) soak up the sun. You’ll have to find fun ways to spend the time, but a refreshing fruity cocktail is sure to keep you cool. Below are a few we plan on shaking up this weekend. Cheers!

 

Mango Sunrise

mango-sunrise

3 oz. Mango Lemonade Sparkling ICE

1 ½ oz. Tequila

Splash of Grenadine syrup

Lemon slices and mint for garnish (optional)

 

Using a tall Collins glass, pour the tequila and Mango Lemonade Sparkling ICE over ice. Stir gently to mix. Top with a splash of Grenadine syrup and garnish with lime slices and mint sprigs.

 

 

Peach Splash

peach-splash

1 ½ oz. Cruzan Peach Rum

½ oz. Lemon Juice

1 slice of Fresh Ginger

Tonic Water
Lightly muddle ginger in a tumbler. Add the rum & lemon juice over ice and shake. Pour into a rocks glass, top with Tonic water, and garnish with a peach slice.

 

Strawberry Smoothie Picnic 

Altaneve_Strawberry_Chiller_Picnic_Cocktail

4 oz. Altaneve Prosecco

4 oz. St. Germain

Muddled frozen strawberries

Keep the strawberries frozen before crushing for a cool in-season Prosecco beverage during the hot summer months. Garnish with a strawberry.

 

 

Don Siegel by Thomas Waugh

Don-Siegel

1 oz. Tequila Don Julio Reposado

1/3 oz. Dry Amontillado Sherry

1/3 oz. Fresh Lime Juice

1/3 oz. Agave Nectar Syrup

1 tsp. Apricot Liqueur

1 tsp. Mezcal

Angostura Bitters

Mint Sprigs for Garnish

Combine the tequila, dry amontillado sherry, fresh lime juice, agave nectar syrup, apricot liqueur and mezcal into a shaker. Shake well and pour the contents into a Collins glass over cracked ice. Add a few dashes of angostura bitters and garnish with mint sprigs.

Kentucky Summer Sunset by The Rye House

Kentucky-Summer-Sunset

1 oz. Wild Turkey 101

3/4 oz. Wild Turkey 81

1/2 oz. lemon juice

1/2 oz. Aperol

1/2 oz. maple syrup

 

Combine all ingredients, shake vigorously, and serve in a high ball glass. Garnish with a wedge of lemon.

Bloody Brews to Toast to True Blood’s Final Season

By  June 20, 2014

Bon Temps has been rocked for seven years with the emergence of vampires, but this final venture into the Louisiana bayou might be the craziest yet. While we can’t shed a bloody tear for True Blood’s final season on Sunday, we can at least raise a glass to Sookie, Bill, Eric, Pam, and the rest of the gang for ensuring our summers sizzled over the years. Shake up a couple of these cocktails as you gather your nest to tune into the last season premiere, and she if your canines don’t grow with delight!

Kiss of Death

True-Blood-Kiss-of-Death-cocktail

1 oz. Hornitos Plata Tequila
1 oz. concord grape juice
½ oz. lemon juice

Add ingredients to glass over ice and stir.

Blood Red

true-blood-Blood-Red-cocktail

1 oz. Hornitos Plata Tequila
1 oz. DeKuyper Pucker Cherry Schnapps liqueur
Whipped cream and chocolate shavings for garnish

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass and stir over ice to chill. Strain into a shot glass or cocktail glass rimmed with chocolate shavings and top with whipped cream.

Cindy Crawford Makes a Healthy Lifestyle Meaningful

By  June 19, 2014

cindy-crawford-meaningful-beauty

Upon first glance, you would never think Cindy Crawford is anywhere near 50. Not only is the supermodel mommy still stunning in a series of magazine spreads, but she’s also prepping for the launch of her first book next year as well as working on upcoming products for her Meaningful Beauty line. With such a full plate, it can’t be easy to keep up a healthy lifestyle, so we asked the multi-tasking model for a few tips on maintaining that balance.

You recently launched a healthy eating campaign–what are some of your go-to foods?

On weekdays where it’s busy and I’m running my kids to school, I drink an Urban Remedy shake that [Neka Pasquale, Urban Remedy founder] has. I actually make it at home now myself because sometimes that’s a bit easier. So that’s almond milk, frozen banana, spinach, fresh mint, and I put walnuts in mine or cashews and it tastes like chocolate chip mint ice-cream. But when I’m traveling, I have her send them to me at my hotel, which is a nice option to have.

On my workout days, I’m really into muffins right now with cucumbers and peaches, and then for lunch, I usually have a salad. Then for dinner, I just try to eat with my family and enjoy food. I want to set a good example for my daughter that it’s not about depriving yourself. So I feel like if I’m good all day and if we have one of their favorite meals is like turkey meatballs with pasta, then I just don’t have the pasta. I’ll take the turkey meatballs, and I’ll have a side or on a bed of spinach and vegetables.

What are some easier ways you and other busy women can take care of themselves?

You know were all busy–you guys are as busy as me! I think for me, one of the things that’s key is, I try to wake up a half an hour before my kids because I don’t like waking up in chaos. So I like to wake up early and take that first half hour of the day. Luckily, I live in California so I have a Jacuzzi. I go in my Jacuzzi every morning at like 6 a.m.and I use that time to be grateful and set my intention for the day. I imagine how I want my day to go and if there are any conflicts or problems, how I want things to work out. Then I go and have a cup of green tea and put on my workout clothes or whatever. By the time everyone wakes up, I’ve had that calming half hour for myself and it just helps me kick off the day right. I hate waking up late and feeling frantic–I’d rather get up earlier and take the time to ease into it.

Aside from wearing sunscreen, what’s your number one beauty advice?

Be happy!

Many women know they should take better care of themselves, but it can be hard to feel motivated. Any advice for people who are just tired?

Make a date with a girlfriend! If you have a gym buddy, that’ll hold both of you accountable. You support them when they’re tired because, look, there’s always something better to be doing. Make an appointment as opposed to “I’ll work out when I have free time” –people [ask] how do you find time to work out and I say, “I don’t find time, I make time,” so you really just have to pencil it in. I’ll call a girlfriend and [say], “Let’s hike, let’s walk.” I love walking and hiking—I think it’s like therapy plus exercise; it’s a twofer.

Or, if you can, get a trainer or take a class. The great thing about that is, if you don’t show up, you still pay for it, and that’s motivating for most people. I don’t want to pay for something I don’t do.

6 Summer Drinks You Need To Make Right Now

By  June 19, 2014

Summer is coming and the weather is making us thirsty. It’s a predictable formula – temperatures increase leading to more time outdoors, leading to more fun in the sun, which means you’re sweating more which means you need to stay as hydrated as possible.  What’s the best way to stay hydrated when the weather outside is set on instamelt? Tip #1: drink water constantly.  As delicious as they are, none of the drinks we recommend below will be as essential and vital for you as pure H2O. Tip #2, make one of the drinks mentioned below, preferably in a big pitcher or one of those chic drink dispensers.  Serve to friends and enjoy accordingly.  Enjoy!

Grand-Babycakes-strawberry-lemonade

Grand Babycakes’ strawberry lemonade

Sure, you can buy some Simply Juice blend at the store and add fruit to fake the funk, but nothing comes close to making your own lemonade at home. This recipe via one of my favorite food blogs, Grandbaby Cakes, is the strawberry lemonade of your dreams. Go ahead and make a big pitcher, because this will make you yearn for more. Just add your favorite vodka for a summertime spike.

Salpicon-via-Skinnytaste

Salpicón via Skinnytaste

Salipicon is a popular Colombian fruit drink, kind of like a non-alcoholic sangria. Imagine a big pitcher filled with chopped, fresh fruit – watermelon, strawberries, pineapple, oranges, apples – you name it, you can add it. Then splash with carbonated soda and serve with a spoon. Skinnytaste has a delicious, healthy recipe. To make an adult version, spike it with a clear spirit, white wine or prosecco!

Flat-Tummy-Water

Flat Tummy Water

You’ve likely seen these recipes floating around Pinterest or Facebook, a big pitcher of water with stuff in it, promising health benefits from drinking one a day. Prevention Magazine has the corner on “sassy water” recipes – the usual mix involves mint, lemon slices, cucumber slices and good ol’ H2O. Does the addition of all of the fruit and herbs make a real difference in your tummy? We’re not sure, but we’re gonna keep drinking. Even if it’s just a placebo effect, at least you’re staying hydrated.

Sun-Tea

Sun Tea

Grandma knew best! There’s something so soothing and refreshing and old school about setting a pitcher out in the sun and brewing up some fresh sun tea. Here’s the thing with sun tea – it’s all about the kind of tea you use, and according to Serious Eats, you may want to forget the sun altogether. If you’re brewing up a pot, use a kind of tea that won’t turn bitter in the steeping process. I am a fan of iced green tea in the summer, but green tea is best when not left to steep for hours. Cold brewed black tea works best for me!. 

Rum Punch 

What’s more tropical and summery than a classic rum punch? The traditional Trinidadian recipe is outlined thusly – 1 of sour, 2 of sweet, 3 of strong, and 4 of weak. That means we like our rum punch strong but sweet. Start with a blend of light and dark rum. Add lime juice (sour), pineapple juice and orange juice, or your favorite fruit punch for sweet, sip in moderation and enjoy your season!

Contributing Editor, Patrice Grell Yursik is the creator of Afrobella.com, one of the first blogs to celebrate the beauty of natural hair and ladies of all skin tones and sizes. Affectionately called the Godmother of Brown Beauty Blogging, Patrice takes her readers inside unique beauty, fashion and cultural experiences.